Lewis Van Blarcom

A member of one of New Jersey’s oldest and most prominent families, Captain Lewis Van Blarcom, of Newton, whose death occurred February 20, 1904, was one of the foremost citizens of this State, an esteemed and valued member of the legal fraternity, and a beloved and respected resident of this community. Captain Van Blarcom exercised an inspiring influence in all affairs of this vicinity, having taken an active part in the various civic organizations and in political matters as a leader of the Republican party in Sussex County, and was known to everyone as a fair and honest party chieftain. His grandfather was Garret Van Blarcom, of Bergen County, who married Mary DeGraw, and to this union were born two sons and two daughters. Garret Van Blarcom was noted for his courage and patriotism, serving with distinction in the War of 1812. He removed to Sussex County in 1820 and engaged in farming, and both he and his wife were active in community affairs and were prominently interested members of the North Hardyston Presbyterian Church. He died in 1834, and Mrs. Van Blarcom died, 1864.

William Van Blarcom, second son of Garret and Mary (DeGraw) Van Blarcom, was born in Bergen County. He devoted his activities to agriculture in Sussex County for many years. His children were: Lewis, of further mention; Garret; Lucy A., married James E. Price; Susan C., married Nelson Ackerson; Andrew J., and Hannah, who married Charles Y. Dolsen.

Lewis Van Blarcom was born in Sparta Township, July 19, 1835, and was educated in the public schools of the vicinity, being regard as an unusually bright and diligent student. He afterwards had the advantage of private instruction under E.A. Stiles, the well-known educator in Wantage Township. His youth was spent on the farm of his father, where he assisted in the various works requisite to farm operation and later, for four successive years, taught in public school. Having a desire to study law, he entered the legal office of M.R. Kimble, the prominent Hamburg lawyer, where he read law. One year later he became associated with John Linn in the latter’s office in Newton, and he was thus engaged in preparing for his chosen profession when the advent of the Civil War caused him to cease his studies. Full of patriotic enthusiasm inherited from his pioneering forefathers, Lewis Van Blarcom enlisted on August 25, 1862, as first lieutenant in Company D, 15th New Jersey Volunteers, being actuated by the desire to serve his country in this tragic time, anxious to do all in his power to further the cause of freedom which he so earnestly espoused. A brilliant soldier and fired with an inspiring zeal, it is not surprising that he was promoted to the rank of Captain of Company C in June, 1863. He saw active service in many of the fiercest battles of the war, among which were the first and second battles of Fredericksburg, Salem Heights, Gettysburg, Rappahanock Station, and Spottsylvania. In the last-named battle Captain Van Blarcom was seriously wounded and carried from the battlefield a prisoner. His leg was amputated in an enemy hospital, in which he was permitted to remain but ten days, after which he was taken to Richmond and there placed in Libby Prison, from which he was discharged September 12, and for a time received care and medical treatment in the Annapolis Hospital until he was discharged from the service, December 19, 1864.

Returning to Newton, he at once resumed his law studies and, after passing the required examination, was admitted to the bar as a practicing attorney in 1865, and as a counsellor in 1868. Shortly afterward he formed a partnership with Joseph Coult, Esq., which continued from 1869 to 1873, in which year he became associated with Lewis Cochran, and this partnership continued until 1880. In active public life he was a popular figure for many years, having been appointed by Governor Randolph on March 25, 1869, to the office of prosecutor of pleas, and served the full term of five years, while in 1864 he had been nominated by his party for the office of county clerk. For two years he served as chosen freeholder for the town of Newton, and in 1885 stood as the party candidate for Congress from the then Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey. Divisions in the ranks of the Democratic party made his election possible, and he carried his native county of Sussex with such a majority as had never been accorded his party. For many years he was chairman of the Republican County Executive Committee, being just as brave in the field of politics as he had been on the battlefield, and his thorough honesty and integrity, fairness and candor were recognized and acknowledged by all, even political adversaries. Captain Van Blarcom was deeply interested in the prosperity and development of Newton, and aided its progress with all his influence and support. The welfare of Civil War veterans was one of his chief concerns, and he was never too busy to assist in promoting their happiness or aid them in necessity, while he was one of the principal factors in securing the soldiers’ monument now located in the public park in Newton.

Captain Lewis Van Blarcom married, August 17, 1871, Mary Thomson, daughter of Dr. Alexander H. Thomson, of Marksboro, Warren County, and they were the parents of three children: Kate, married Judge Henry T. Kays, of Newton; Andrew, see following biography; and Lewis, a practicing lawyer in Newton.

Source: Honeyman, A. Van Doren. 1927. Northwestern New Jersey: A History of Somerset, Morris, Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex Counties. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company.

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Lewis Van Blarcom

Lewis, eldest son of William Van Blarcom, was born in Sparta township, July 19, 1835. His early education was obtained at the common school in his native township, and under the private instruction of Edward A. Stiles, a well-known teacher of Wantage.

His minority was spent mostly at home, where he became inured to farm work, and learned the inestimable lessons of self-reliance and perseverance. After reach the proper age he was a teacher for four terms.

In 1858 he began to read law with M.R. Kimble, of Hamburg, and after one year entered the law offices of John Linn, of Newton.

On Aug. 25, 1862, Mr. Van Blarcom enlisted as first lieutenant, Company D, Fifteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, and for meritorious service was promoted in June, 1863, to captain of Company C. This regiment was part of the First New Jersey Brigade, which formed a part of the Army of the Potomac, First Division, Sixth Army Corps.

Capt. Van Blarcom was in the following engagements: Fredericksburg, December 1862; second Fredericksburg, at Salem Heights, May 1863; Gettysburg, Jul 1863; Rappahanock Station, November 1863; Spottsylvania, May 8, 1864.

In this last engagement, he was wounded and captured by the rebels, and had his leg amputated by them. After remaining in the hospital for ten days, he was carried to Richmond and placed in Libby Prison, where he remained until Sept. 12, 1864, when he was exchanged and placed in the hospital at Annapolis. He received his discharge from service on Dec. 19, 1864, and returned home.

After his admission as an attorney he began the practice of law in Newton, where he has successfully practiced his profession since. From 1869 to 1873, Joseph Coult was associated with him in business, and from 1873 to 1880, Lewis Cochran. He was appointed prosecutor of pleas by Governor Randolph, March 25, 1869, and discharged the duties of that office with acknowledged ability and justice for a term of five years.

Capt. Van Blarcom is, politically, a Republican, and leading and influential in his party in Sussex County.

Upon his return from the war in the fall of 1864 he was the Republican candidate for county clerk, but failed of election on account of his party being largely in the minority.

For two years he was one of the chosen board of freeholders, and he has been chairman of the Republican county committee for the past eight years.

He married, Aug. 17, 1871, Mary, daughter of Alexander H. Thompson [sic], of Marksborough, Warren Co., N.J. His children are Kate and Andrew.

Source: Snell, James P. 1881. History of Sussex and Warren Counties, New Jersey. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck.

Will of Hannah Rorick Kimble

In the Name of God Amen I Hannah Kimble of the town of Hector in the County of Schuyler and State of New York, being of sound mind and memory, and considering the uncertainty of this frail and transitory life, do therefore make, ordain, publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament, that is to say:

First. After all my lawful debts are paid and discharged, I give and bequeath to my son, Estel Kimble, all my estate both real and personal except my clothing, on condition that my said son pay to each of my daughters, Sarah Chittenden and Lavina Strader, the sum of two hundred (200) dollars within eighteen months from the time of my deceased; and I do hereby charge my estate with the payment of said sum of $200 each to my daughters aforesaid.

In the case of the death of either of my said daughters before the time of payment of said sum of $200 to each of them as above directed then the sum directed to be paid to each of said daughters shall be paid to the respective heirs of each deceased daughter to be divided equally between such heirs, so that the heirs of a deceased daughter shall receive the respective share going to such daughter.

Second. I give and bequeath my clothing to my said daughters to be divided between them equally.

Likewise, I make, constitute and appoint Estel Kimble my aforesaid son the Executor of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills by me made.

In Witness thereof I have hereto subscribed my name and affixed my seal the thirtieth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy six.

Hannah Kimble

The above written instrument was subscribed by the said Hannah Kimble in our presence and acknowledge by her, to each of us, and she at the same time declared the above instrument so subscribed to be her last Will and Testament; and we at her request have signed our names as witnesses hereto, in her presence, and in the presences of each other, and written opposite our names our respective places of residence.

Charles Monell, Schuyler County, NY
Horace W. Smith, Hector, Schuyler County, NY