West Hoboken, New Jersey
|Population sources: 1870-1920|
Early history and civic boundaries
The area that became West Hoboken was originally inhabited by the Munsee-speaking branch of Lenape Native Americans, who wandered into the vast woodland area encountered by Henry Hudson during the voyages he conducted from 1609-1610 for the Dutch, who later claimed the area (which included the future New York City) and named it New Netherland. The portion of that land that included the future Hudson County was purchased from members of the Hackensack tribe of the Lenni-Lenape in 1658 by New Netherland colony Director-General Peter Stuyvesant, and became part of Pavonia, New Netherland. The boundaries of the purchase are described in the deed preserved in the New York State Archives, as well as the medium of exchange: "80 fathoms of wampum, 20 fathoms of cloth, 12 brass kettles, 6 guns, one double brass kettle, 2 blankets, and one half barrel of strong beer."
The relationship between the early Dutch settlers and Native Americans was marked by frequent armed conflict over land claims. In 1660, Peter Stuyvesant ordered the building of a fortified village called Bergen to protect the area. It was the first permanent European settlement in New Jersey, located in what is now the Journal Square area of Jersey City near Academy Street. In 1664, the British captured New Netherland from the Dutch, at which point the boundaries of Bergen Township encompassed what is now known as Hudson County. North of this was the unpopulated Bergen Woods, which would later be claimed by settlers, after whom a number of Union City streets today are named, including Sipp Street, Tournade Lane and Kerrigan Avenue, which is named after J. Kerrigan, the owner of Kerrigan Farm, who donated the land for Saint Michael's Monastery.
The area that became West Hoboken, however, was sparsely populated until the early 19th century. The British granted Bergen a new town charter in 1668. In 1682 they created Bergen County, which was named to honor their Dutch predecessors. That county comprised all of present day Hudson, Bergen and Passaic counties. Sparsely inhabited during the 17th and 18th centuries, the southeast section of Bergen County had grown by the early 19th century to the point where it was deemed necessary to designate it a separate county. The New Jersey legislature created Hudson County in 1840, and in 1843, it was divided into two townships: Old Bergen Township (which eventually became Jersey City) and North Bergen Township, which was gradually separated into Hudson County's municipalities of Hoboken (1849), Weehawken and Guttenberg (1859), and Union Township in 1861, though it was colloquially known as Union Hill. West Hoboken was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 28, 1861, from portions of North Bergen Township. The township was reincorporated on April 6, 1871, and again on March 27, 1874. Portions of the township were ceded to Weehawken in 1879. On June 28, 1884, West Hoboken was reincorporated as a town, based on an ordinance passed nine days earlier. The town was reincorporated on April 24, 1888, based on the results of a referendum passed 12 days earlier. Union City was incorporated on June 1, 1925, by merging the two towns of West Hoboken and Union Hill.
(B) denotes that the person was born there.
- James E. Buttersworth (1817-1894), British maritime artist.
- Pietro Botto (1864-1945), owner of the Pietro and Maria Botto House in Haledon, New Jersey, which was a central location of the 1913 Paterson Silk Strike, and the first Italian American site to be designated a national landmark. Botto emigrated from Biella, Italy in 1892, first settling in West Hoboken.
- Joe Jeanette (1879–1958), considered one of the best African American heavyweight boxers of the early 20th Century. (B)
- Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921), maritime artist known as the "Audubon of Steam Vessels".
- Otto Messmer (1892–1983), the creator of Felix the Cat. (B)
- Col. Walter Rudolph Walsh (1907–2014), FBI agent, USMC shooting instructor, and Olympic shooter. (B)
- Pietro di Donato (1911-1992), writer known for his novel, Christ in Concrete. (B)
- Arthur Pinajian (1914–1999), Armenian American artist and comic book creator, known as the creator of the characters Madame Fatal and Invisible Hood.
- Gene Wettstone (1913-2013), gymnastics coach, known as the "Dean of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches", for leading Pennsylvania State University to a record nine N.C.A.A. championships in the sport, and for coaching the United States men's teams in the 1948 and 1956 Summer Olympics.
- William Musto (1917-2006), Mayor of Union City from 1962-1970 and from 1974-1982.
- Bergenline Avenue
- North Hudson, New Jersey
- Hoboken Land and Improvement Company Building
- Drescher, William H. (1903). History of West Hoboken N.J. [scan] . Lehne & Drescher.
- Compendium of censuses 1726-1905: together with the tabulated returns of 1905, New Jersey Department of State, 1906. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Barber, John W.; Howe, Henry (1844), "North Bergen", Historical Collections of the State of New Jersey, New York: S. Tuttle
- Barron, James (December 8, 2005). "The Cookie That Comes Out in the Cold". The New York Times.
- Karabin, Gerard. "About UCNJ", City of Union City. Accessed November 26, 2010.
- Sturtevant, William C.; Trigger, Bruce G (January 1, 1978). Delaware languages: Handbook of North American Indians Vol. 15: Northeast. p. 215. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. 1978. ISBN 0-16-004575-4.
- Day, Gordon M. "The Indian as an Ecological Factor in the Northeastern Forests". Ecology, Vol. 34, No. 2 (April): 329-346. New England and New York areas 1580-1800. Notes that the Lenni Lenape (Delaware) tribe in New Jersey and the Massachuset tribe in Massachusetts used fire in ecosystems.1953
- Russell, Emily W.B. (1979). "Vegetational Change in Northern New Jersey Since 1500 A.D.: A Palynological, Vegetational and Historical Synthesis." PhD dissertation. New Brunswick, PA: Rutgers University. Author notes on page 8 that Indians often augmented lightning fires.
- Russell, Emily W.B. (1983). "Indian Set Fires in the Forests of the Northeastern United States." Ecology, Vol. 64, No. 1 (Feb): 78 88. Author found no strong evidence that Indians purposely burned large areas, but they did burn small areas near their habitation sites. Noted that the Lenna Lenape Tribe used fire.
- A Brief Description of New York, Formerly Called New Netherlands with the Places Thereunto Adjoining, Likewise a Brief Relation of the Customs of the Indians There. New York, NY: William Gowans. 1670. Reprinted in 1937 by the Facsimile Text Society, Columbia University Press, New York. Notes that the Lenni Lenape (Delaware) tribe in New Jersey used fire in ecosystems.
- Robinson, Dr. Walter F. (1964). New Jersey Tercentenary: 1664-1964. Hudson County Tercentenary Committee for this information, p. 190
- Lucio Fernandez and Gerard Karabin (2010). Union City in Pictures. Book Press NY. pp. 11-13.
- Snyder, John P (1969). The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968. Bureau of Geology and Topography. Trenton, New Jersey. p. 148. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- 50th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of West Hoboken, N.J. (1911). Datz Co.
- Kaulessar, Ricardo (October 3, 2010). "350 years of history; Fair commemorates founding of Jersey City, will honor the oldest families in Hudson County". Hudson Reporter. "Before there was a Jersey City or a Hudson County, the village of Bergen – the first European settlement in New Jersey, founded in 1660 by Dutch settler Peter Stuyvesant – had its origins in what is now the Journal Square area of Jersey City near Academy Street."
- Bergen: Town and Township Nov 1660-Sept 22, 1668, 1957 Genealogical Society of New Jersey
- Harvey, Cornelius Burnham (1900). Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey The New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company. p. 20
- Winfield, Charles H (1874). History of the County of Hudson, New Jersey, Kennard & Hay Stationary. p. 525
- Business Directory Of North Hudson, North Hudson Hospital Association, Town of Union, N.J. 1905. p. 331
- Union City 2000 Calendar, 2000, culled from History of West Hoboken and Union Hill by Ella-Mary Ryman, 1965 and The Historical Background of Union City by Daniel A. Primont, William G. Fiedler and Fred Zuccaro, 1964
- Van Winkle, Daniel (1924). History of the Municipalities of Hudson County, NJ 1630-1923, Lewis Historical Publishing Company Inc., New York & Chicago. pp. 463-464
- Karabin, Gerard. "Brief History of Union City". Union City, New Jersey. Accessed June 18, 2013. "Eighty-five years ago on June 1, 1925, the Town of Union (colloquially known as Union Hill) and the Township of West Hoboken joined together and became one, the city of Union City."
- Cattuna, Emily. "Remembering a shopping mecca". The Jersey Journal. August 25, 2009. Accessed June 18, 2013. "North Hudson was comprised of Union Hill and West Hoboken until 1925, when it was divided into Union City, Guttenberg, Weehawken and North Bergen. The southern "Hub," where North Hudson met Jersey City, was the Transfer Station at Paterson Plank Road."
- Halasz, Piri (January 21, 1973). "Art: Maritime Theme at Exhibitions; Appeal of Nostalgia History and Humor Portraits of Vessels". The New York Times. "James Butterworth (1817-1894), whose work is on view in Trenton, was an Englishman born on the Isle of Wight. By the time he emigrated and settled in West Hoboken (now Union City), America was in the heyday of its gallant clipper ships."
- Dennis J. Starr, "Botto House". In The Italian American Experience: An Encyclopedia, ed. Salvatore J. LaGumina, et al. (New York: Garland Pub., 2000), p. 70
- Rosero, Jessica (February 26, 2006). "Native Sons and Daughters: North Hudson Native and 20th Century Boxing Sensation Joe Jeanette". The Hudson Reporter. "Born on Aug. 26, 1879 in West Hoboken, now Union City, Jeanette was the son of Mena and Benjamin F. Jeanette, who worked as a local blacksmith."
- Rosero, Jessica (April 4, 2006). "Felix the Cat, created in Hudson County; Otto Messmer and America's favorite feline". The Hudson Reporter. "The creative genius behind Felix was Otto Messmer of West Hoboken (now Union City)."
- Mavromatis, Kelly. "Felix the Cat – Silent Star of April 1999". Silent Star of the Month. Accessed June 18, 2013. "Felix first appeared in 1919, and was the creation of Otto Messmer. Messmer was born in West Hoboken (now known as Union City) New Jersey on August 16, 1892."
- Severo, Richard (January 21, 1992). "Pietro di Donato Is Dead at 80; Wrote of Immigrants' Experience". The New York Times. "Mr. di Donato was born on April 3, 1911, in West Hoboken, N.J. His family had immigrated to the United States from Vasto, in the Abruzzi region of Italy."
- "'Lost & Found: Pinajian Discovery' debuts in NYC Feb. 13". Auction Central News. January 8, 2013
- "Eugene Wettstone". United States Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
- Rosero, Jessica (March 14, 2006). "The last boss Former Mayor, State Senator, and Assemblyman William Musto dies at 88". The Hudson Reporter. "William Vincent Musto was born on March 27, 1917, in West Hoboken, now the southern part of Union City off the border of Jersey City."
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