Morris County, New Jersey
|Morris County, New Jersey|
Location in the state of New Jersey
New Jersey's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 15, 1739|
|Named for||Colonial governor Lewis Morris|
|Largest city||Parsippany-Troy Hills Township (population)
Rockaway Township (area)
|• Total||481.62 sq mi (1,247 km2)|
|• Land||460.18 sq mi (1,192 km2)|
|• Water||21.45 sq mi (56 km2), 4.45%|
|• Density||1,049/sq mi (405.1/km²)|
|Congressional districts||7th, 11th|
Morris County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey, about 25 mi (40 km) west of New York City. According to the 2010 United States Census, the population was 492,276, up from the 470,212 at the 2000 Census, retaining its status as the tenth-most populous county in the state; since 2010, Morris County's population has increased by 1.4% to a Census-estimated 499,397 in 2013. The county is part of the New York Metropolitan Area, and its county seat is Morristown. The most populous place was Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, with 53,238 residents at the time of the 2010 Census, while Rockaway Township, covered 45.55 square miles (118.0 km2), the largest total area of any municipality.
Morris County, as of the 2000 Census, was the sixth-wealthiest county in the United States by median household income at $77,340 (second in New Jersey behind Hunterdon County at $79,888), sixth in median family income at $89,773 (third in New Jersey behind Hunterdon County at $91,050 and Somerset County at $90,605) and ranked tenth by per capita income at $36,964 (second in New Jersey behind Somerset County at $37.970) The Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the county as having the 16th-highest per capita income of all 3,113 counties in the United States (and the second highest in New Jersey) as of 2009. The county ranked third in the New York Metropolitan area in terms of median income.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Geology
- 4 Government
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Education
- 8 Municipalities
- 9 Transportation
- 10 Local media
- 11 Climate and weather
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
From 1611 to 1614, the Dutch established the colony of New Netherland, which claimed territory between the 40th and 45th parallels, which included northern New Jersey.
The Native Americans traded furs and food with the Dutch for various goods. In return the Dutch gave the Native Americans metal pots, knives, guns, axes, and blankets. Trading with the Native Americans occurred until 1643 when a series of wars broke out between the Dutch and Native Americans due to various disagreements and misconceptions.
There were hostile relations between the Dutch and Native Americans between 1643 and 1660. This prevented colonization by the Dutch of the Morris County region which was technically included in their claimed "New Netherland."
On August 27, 1664, three English ships approached Fort Amsterdam and the fort was surrendered to the English. The English now controlled New Netherland and Morris County was now under control of the colony of New York. Relations with the Native Americans improved for a while.
There was a war with the Dutch ten years later. The Dutch re-took control of New Amsterdam but after a year returned it to the English. Relations with the Native Americans and English improved for a while.
European settlements began in the early 18th century while it was known as Hunterdon County. Native Americans were still in the area at that time. Land was purchased from the Native Americans for various things such as blankets, shirts, rum, guns, knives, pots and gunpowder. The Native Americans' concept of selling land was different than that of the Europeans. Colonization occurred along the Atlantic coast and moved inland.
The first settlement in the area today known as Morris County occurred in Pompton Plains by the Dutch in 1695. From 1710 to 1730, various iron mines and forges were established. The first was in Whippany in 1710 and then in Succasunna in 1713.
By 1750, nearly all Native Americans had left New Jersey. This was due to land purchases from the Native Americans, diseases that the Native Americans contracted from Europeans, and due to starvation from the Little Ice Age, during which Native American corn crops failed and rivers froze, preventing fishing. Snow storms sent game into semi-hibernation or made them difficult to find. Nut crops such as oak, hickory, beech, walnut, chestnut and butternut failed some years due to late frosts in spring. Due to all the events that happened, Native Americans went to eastern Canada and others went to the Ohio Valley. The Walking Purchase in September 1737, prevented Native Americans from going to eastern Pennsylvania. At that time, European settlement grew swiftly as there was now land to be farmed and settled.
Morris County was created on March 15, 1739, from portions of Hunterdon County. The county was named for the Governor of the Province of New Jersey, Colonel Lewis Morris. In later years Sussex County (on June 8, 1753) and, after the revolution, Warren County (on November 20, 1824, from portions of Sussex County) were carved out of what had been the original area of Morris County under English rule.
The county was the site of the winter camp of the Continental Army after the Battles of Trenton and Princeton during the winter of 1777, as well as another winter camp at Jockey Hollow during an extremely cold winter of 1779–80.
According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 481.62 square miles (1,247.4 km2), of which 460.18 square miles (1,191.9 km2) of it (95.5%) was land and 21.45 square miles (55.6 km2) of it (4.5%) was water.
The county rises in elevation and relief from east to west, with only the more developed eastern suburbs in the Passaic River valley being relatively level. The highest point is at 1,395 feet (425 m) above sea level on a mountain south of Pine Swamp in western Jefferson Township. The second-highest point is on a mountain just north of Riker Lake at 1,358 feet (414 m). The lowest point is about 160 feet (49 m) in elevation, at Two Bridges, the confluence of the Passaic and Pompton rivers.
The county is drained by several rivers. The Rockaway River drains 125 square miles (320 km2), of the northern section of the county. The Whippany River drains 69 square miles (180 km2) of the middle of the county. The South Branch of the Raritan River and the Black River drain the western area. The Loantaka Brook Reservation is a public park with nature, biking, jogging and horse paths, to which 105 acres (42 ha) of land was added as part of a purchase in 2009.
Most of the county's borders are rivers. The Pequannock drains the northern boundary area. The Pompton River drains the eastern section. The Passaic river also drains the eastern border area. The western border is drained by the Musconetcong River.
- Sussex County – north
- Passaic County – northeast
- Essex County – east
- Union County – southeast
- Somerset County – south
- Hunterdon County - southwest
- Warren County - west
Around 500 million years ago, a chain of volcanic islands shaped like an arch collided with proto North America. The islands rode over top of the North American plate. This created the highlands in western Morris County and the eastern section of Morris County.
Around 400 million years ago, a small continent long and narrow collided with proto North America. This created folding and faulting, as compression occurred. Then around 350 million years ago, the African plate collided with North America creating the folding and faulting in the Appalachians. But when the African plate pulled away from North America, an aborted rift valley was created. This half graben, starts east of Boonton and goes through the middle of Parsippany, south to Morristown, to the south end of Great Swamp. From Parsippany and the Boonton area the half graben goes east to the western side of Paterson, were there was another fault by the lava flows. East of the Ramapo Fault is where there is this aborted rift valley. The Ramapo fault goes through the county on a northeast–southwest axis. The fault separates the Highlands from the Piedmont, also known as the Newark Basin. This is an active fault. The last major earthquake occurred in 1884, with a strength measured at 5.3 on the Richter scale.
Around 21,000 B.C., the Wisconsin Glacier covered about half of Morris County. The terminal moraine went from Hackettstown east to north of Budd Lake, east to Rockaway and Denville, then southeast to Morristown then south to the south end of Great Swamp. When the glacier melted around 13,000 B.C. the melt water created Glacial Lake Passaic. The lake extended from what is now Pompton Lakes through Parsippany south to the south end of Great Swamp. From Parsippany the lake went east to the lava flows of western Paterson. This lake was thirty miles long and ten miles wide (36 km by 12 km). The depth was about 200 feet (61 m). When the Wisconsin glacier cover Morris County the ice sheet was about 300 metres (980 ft) deep. Due to debris from the glacier, the lake was unable to drain through the Watchung Mountains near Short Hills. Instead, it drained through Moggy Hollow at the southwestern end of the lake. But when the glacier melted and receded to the New York State line, the lake drained though the Little Falls area, as this was lower in elevation than Moggy Hollow. And thus the Passaic river formed.
National protected areas
Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected to three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two or three seats up for election each year. The Freeholder Board sets policies for the operation of six super-departments, more than 30 divisions plus authorities, commissions, boards and study committees. Actual day-to-day operation of departments is supervised by County Administrator, John Bonanni.
- Deputy Freeholder Director David Scapicchio (Mount Olive Township, 2015)
- Douglas Cabana (Boonton Township, 2013)
- John Cesaro (Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, 2015)
- Ann F. Grossi (Parsippany-Troy Hills, 2013)
- John Krickus (Washington Township, 2015)
- Hank Lyon (Montville, 2014)
- 2007- May 2012 - Eugene Feyl (R)
- 1999-2012 - Margaret Nordstrom (R)
- 2006-2012 - William Chegwidden (R)
- 1998-2012 - John Murphy (R)
- 1999-2010 - Jack Schrier (R)
- 2007-2010 - James Murray (R)
- 2001-2007 - John Inglesino (R)
- 1992-2006 - Cecilia Laureys (R)
- 1984, 1992-2006 - Frank Dreutzler (R)
Constitutional officers are County Clerk Joan Bramhall (Denville, term ends December 31, 2013), Sheriff Edward Rochford (Morris Plains, 2013) and Surrogate John Pecoraro (Mendham Borough, 2014). The acting county prosecutor is Fredric M. Knapp, who was appointed to the position in December 2012 gy Governor Chris Christie.
The Morris Automated Information Network, which supplies Internet service to area libraries, turned down $10,000 per year in federal funding, starting in 2004. Acceptance of the grants would have required the network to install anti-porn content filters to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act. As these filters excluded legitimate information — such as pages with the word "breast" in online searches regarding "breast cancer" — the network declined to accept these grants.
Another organization having the power to affect the county budget without county governmental control is the Morris County Board of Taxation, (also called the Morris County Tax Board). "[T]he freeholders, and county government in general, do not have control over tax board spending... [T]he tax board is an entity of state government, even though it submits expense vouchers to county government."
Law enforcement at the county level includes the Morris County Park Police and the Morris County Sheriff. The judicial organization includes the Morris County Prosecutor's Office.
The 7th and 11th Congressional Districts cover the county. New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Leonard Lance (R, Clinton Township). New Jersey's Eleventh Congressional District is represented by Rodney Frelinghuysen (R, Harding Township).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 309,296 registered voters in Morris County, of which 110,341 (35.7%) were registered as Republicans, 68,302 (22.1%) were registered as Democrats, and 130,454 (42.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 199 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 53.3% of the vote here (132,331 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 45.2% (112,275 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (2,310 votes), among the 248,306 ballots cast by the county's 321,254 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.3%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 57.3% of the vote here (135,241 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 41.6% (98,066 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (1,847 votes), among the 235,920 ballots cast by the county's 313,745 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 75.2.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 59.5% of the vote here (99,085 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 31.0% (51,586 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 8.0% (13,321 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (1,031 votes), among the 166,516 ballots cast by the county's 314,232 registered voters, yielding a 53.0% turnout.
Based on IRS data for the 2004 tax year, Morris County had the tenth-highest average federal income tax liability per return in the country. Average tax liability was $15,296, representing 16.3% of Adjusted Gross Income.
There are 33 Fortune 500 businesses that have headquarters, offices or a major facility in Morris County. These include AT&T, Honeywell, Colgate-Palmolive, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, ExxonMobil, Novartis, BASF, Verizon, Bayer and Wyeth. Major industries include finance, insurance, real estate, pharmaceuticals, health services, research and development, and technology. There are 13,000 acres (53 km2) set aside for 28 county parks. Four county golf courses and 16 public and private courses are in Morris.
Major employers in the county include:
- Novartis Life Sciences 5,000+
- Atlantic Health Healthcare 2,500-4,999
- Louis Berger Group Services 2,500-4,999
- Picatinny Arsenal Industrial 2,500-4,999
- Saint Clare's Hospital Inc. Healthcare 2,500-4,999
- UPS Logistics 1,000-2,499
- Avis Budget Group Leasing 1,000-2,499
- BASF Chemicals 1,000-2,499
- ADP Services 1,000-2,499
- AT&T Info Tech 1,000-2,499
|Historical sources: 1790-1990
1970-2010 2000 2010 2000-2010
In 2009, Forbes magazine ranked the county sixth-best place in the nation to raise a family, the best of any county in the state. The ranking was mainly due to the high graduation rate of 98.4% and employment possibilities from area industry.
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 492,276 people, 180,534 households, and 129,262 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,069.8 per square mile (413.1 /km2). There were 189,842 housing units at an average density of 412.5 per square mile (159.3 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 82.61% (406,683) White, 3.12% (15,360) Black or African American, 0.16% (805) Native American, 8.95% (44,069) Asian, 0.02% (106) Pacific Islander, 3.03% (14,910) from other races, and 2.10% (10,343) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 11.47% (56,482) of the population.
There were 180,534 households, of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the county, 23.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 30% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.3 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.2 males.
At the 2000 United States Census, there were 470,212 people, 169,711 households and 124,907 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,003 per square mile (387/km²). There were 174,379 housing units at an average density of 372 per square mile (144/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.20% White, 2.80% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 6.26% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.01% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. 7.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among those responding for first ancestry, 22.8% were of Italian, 19.9% Irish, 16.3% German, 8.6% English and 7.5% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.
In 2000, there were 169,711 households of which 35.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.80% were married couples living together, 7.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.40% were non-families. 21.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.18.
Age distribution was 24.80% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 31.90% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from 45 to 64, and 11.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.
Hispanics constituted a majority of the population in Dover and over a quarter of the people in Morristown; over 18% of Americans in Parsippany-Troy Hills are Asian Americans. There are fairly equal numbers of Irish American and German American residents. The Jewish community is strong in specific areas, such as Randolph, Rockaway, and Morristown. Lincoln Park (26.7%), Montville (26.8%), East Hanover (41.8%), Pequannock Township (29.2%), and Riverdale (33.5%) have significant Italian American populations, along with other northern and eastern communities, while the rest of the county is more mixed with populations of Irish and German ancestries. Wharton (20.8%), Denville (25.1%), and Mine Hill (23.5%) are Irish American.
The median income for a household in the county was $77,340, and the median income for a family was $89,773. Males had a median income of $60,165 versus $40,065 for females. The per capita income for the county was $36,964. About 2.4% of families and 3.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.7% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over. 
The County College of Morris is a two-year public community college serving students from Morris County, with its main campus in Randolph and was founded in 1965. Another two-year college, the private Roman Catholic women's college Assumption College for Sisters, is in Mendham.
The Florham Park-Madison-Convent Station area is also the home of three universities. The College at Florham, Madison, a campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, is located on the border of these three municipalities. Drew University is a small, private university in Madison. The College of Saint Elizabeth is a private Roman Catholic, four-year, liberal arts women's college located in Convent Station.
The following is a list of the municipalities in Morris County. Other, unincorporated communitys in the county are listed below their parent municipality (or municipalities, as the case may be). Most of these areas are census-designated places that have been created by the United States Census Bureau for enumeration purposes within a township. Other communities and enclaves that exist within a municipality are marked with an asterisk (*) next to the name.
Morris County is served by several major roadways, including Interstate 80, Interstate 287, Interstate 280, U.S. Route 206, U.S. Route 202, U.S. Route 46, Route 10, Route 24, together with a number of county and local roads.
NJ Transit also provides rail service with Morris County via its Morris & Essex Lines and Montclair-Boonton Line to Hoboken Terminal and to New York City via its Midtown Direct service. Rail stations are located in the county providing electrified train service seven days a week from: Chatham, Madison, Convent Station, Morristown, Morris Plains, Denville, and Dover on NJ Transit's Morris & Essex Lines; electrified train service seven days a week from Gillette, Millington and Stirling on the Gladstone Branch; and diesel train service (weekdays only) from Mount Arlington, Lake Hopatcong, Netcong, Mount Olive, Mountain Lakes, Boonton, Towaco (Montville) and Lincoln Park.
Bus transportation is also offered by several carriers including Lakeland Bus Company and NJ Transit.
- WMTR is an AM radio station at 1250 kHz is licensed to Morristown and features an oldies format.
- WDHA is a FM radio station (105.5 FM) broadcasting from Dover with their main studios in Cedar Knolls, featuring a rock format.
- WJSV radio and television (90.5 FM) is also in Morristown, the non-profit radio station of Morristown High School, which also has a television show which is shown on cable television, Colonial Corner.
- The Morristown Daily Record and The Star-Ledger are published locally.
- Hometown Tales, a Public-access television cable TV show and podcast chronicling stories and urban legends from around the world, is loosely based in Morristown.
Climate and weather
|Morristown, New Jersey|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Morristown have ranged from a low of 18 °F (−8 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −26 °F (−32 °C) was recorded in February 1934 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in August 2001. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.91 inches (74 mm) in February to 4.89 inches (124 mm) in September.
- Fire departments of Morris County, New Jersey
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Morris County, New Jersey
- Whippany River Watershed Action Committee
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- Ragonese, Lawrence. "Morris County, Chatham land owners agree to preserve pre-Civil War era farm", 'The Star-Ledger, November 8, 2009. Accessed October 1, 2013. "The Platts are selling 105 prime acres to Morris County for $13.5 million. Land will be used to expand Loantaka Brook Reservation, adding hiking and equestrian trails."
- Barron, James. "A Third Quake Causes Talk, but Little Else", The New York Times, February 18, 2009. Accessed October 6, 2013. "The earthquake on Feb. 2 and the aftershock on Wednesday were just south of the area he said had been rattled by a strong-for-New-Jersey tremor in 1783. In geologic time, that is almost recent. 'Probably a 5,' he said, explaining how seismologists had sifted through newspaper accounts to estimate the strength of that quake and another in 1884. 'A lot of articles about that one,' he said. 'That was a 5.3.'"
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- What is a Freeholder?, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed October 1, 2013.
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- Meet the Freeholders, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed October 1, 2013.
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- David Scapicchio, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed October 1, 2013.
- Douglas R. Cabana, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed October 1, 2013.
- John Cesaro, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed October 1, 2013.
- Ann F. Grossi, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed October 1, 2013.
- John Krickus, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed October 1, 2013.
- William "Hank" Lyon, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed October 1, 2013.
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- Acting Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Morris County Office of the Prosecutor. Accessed October 1, 2013.
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- History of CCM, County College of Morris. Accessed October 1, 2103.
- About Us, Assumption College for Sisters. Accessed October 1, 2013.
- College at Florham, Madison, New Jersey, Fairleigh Dickinson University. Accessed October 1, 2013.
- Montclair-Boonton Line, New Jersey Transit. Accessed October 6, 2013.
- Gladstone Branch, New Jersey Transit. Accessed October 6, 2013.
- Morristown Line, New Jersey Transit. Accessed October 6, 2013.
- Morris County Bus / Rail Connections, New Jersey Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 22, 2009. Accessed October 6, 2013.
- WMTR(AM), FCCInfo.com. Accessed October 6, 2013.
- WDHA-FM, FCCInfo.com. Accessed October 6, 2013.
- WJSV(FM), FCCInfo.com. Accessed October 6, 2013.
- "Monthly Averages for Morristown, New Jersey". The Weather Channel. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Morris County.|
- Morris County Home Page
- Morris County Economic Development Corporation
- Morris County Visitors Center
- History of Morris County, New Jersey
- Morris County Library
- Morris County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC)
||Sussex County||Passaic County|
|Warren County||Essex County|
|Hunterdon County||Somerset County||Union County|