Theodore F. Margarum, the well known and esteemed president of the Farmers’ National Bank of Sussex, passed away at his home on Bank street at 10:15 o’clock Saturday evening last. His death was not unexpected, as he had been in failing health more than a year. Four weeks ago Wednesday he felt compelled to remain in bed, and from that time he did not leave his home. His affliction was a liver ailment, and for several months his family and friends have known the seriousness of his condition. Mr. Margarum was also aware of the inevitable result and was perfectly resigned. Everything known to medical science was brought to bear in his case.
Mr. Margarum was born near the village of Stockholm, this county, June 7th, 1804, a son of Stephen F. and Lucy (Hammond) Margarum. His father was one of the most prominent and successful men of his time, and in those days Stockholm was one of the most active business places in the county of Sussex, having large iron industries. In addition to extensive farming operations on a large tract of land, Stephen F. Margarum operated a forge, a gristmill and a sawmill. In matters of public concern and in business affairs he exerted a great influence. He died in 1852, in his sixtieth year. His wife died in 1884. Their family numbered seven children: Catharine, wife of S.T. Lozeer [sic], of Warwick, N.Y.; Lucy, who died in childhood; David F.; Mary, wife of Rev. D.E. Frambes of Cape May; Noah H., who lives on the homestead at Stockholm; Edward S., who died at the age of twenty-four years; and the subject of this sketch.
Theodore was the youngest of the children. He was educated at the seminary at Pennington, N.J., and at Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, Pa. After leaving school, he began his career as a clerk in a mercantile [unclear].
In 1865, he went to Norfolk, Va., with a view of entering business there, but after a year returned to Newton, and for fifteen years was connected with its business interests as clerk and principal in a mercantile institution. Four years he was a partner in the firm of Stoll, Dunn & Co. He was successful and careful in business undertakings, and his well-directed efforts brought him a comfortable position.
In 1874 he came to this borough to accept the position of cashier of the Farmers’ National Bank. The deposits in the institution at that time ranged from $35,000 to $50,000, but have since at various times reached between $250,000 and $300,000. Not a little of this success is due to the careful management and progressive spirit of Mr. Margarum. He was made president of the bank in May, 1894, upon the death of John A. Whitaker, his predecessor and father-in-law.
He was regarded as one of the safest and most substantial business men in Sussex county, and aside from his banking interests had many important trusts placed in his care. He was executor of the estate of the late Gen. Kilpatrick, as long ago as 1881, and since that time was made administrator of the estate of the late John Loomis. He had been a trusted advisor in many other large business interests.
Personally, Mr. Margarum was a man of pleasing address and dignified bearing. He was unpretentious in his tastes, of a very genial disposition and kindly ways. He possessed a broad sympathy and his friendship was highly prized. He was the soul of honor, and did many kindly acts in a quiet way which never met the public eye. Many a man in the community will miss his safe counsel and help. His fidelity to his tastes was proverbial. He was always [unclear] community and was one of the firmest supporters of its industries.
Mr. Margarum married Isabel daughter of John A. Whitaker, who survives him. Their home on Bank street, in the borough of Sussex, is one of the most beautiful and substantial in the county, and its hospitable doors are ever open for the reception of their many friends. He led a most model home life, and his devotion to his wife and children was a striking characteristic of his nature. He was most indulgent, ever affectionate and loyal.
His immediate family surviving consists of his widow and three children: Mary, wife of Elihu Adams of New York; Martha and Ford, at home, the latter being an officer in the Farmers’ National Bank.
Politically, Mr. Margarum was a stalwart Republican, casting his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He was a careful reader of current events and at all times well informed upon the issues of the day.
After the incorporation of Deckertown, he was elected its first Mayor, filling the office from 1892 to 1895, and to him fell the task of organizing the various departments of the town. His administration was an able one, and the town through his efforts was greatly advanced. He had always been one of the most valued residents of the place, and all involvements for its betterment received his hearty co-operation and assistance.
Source: An undated newspaper clipping in a scrapbook made available by Elizabeth Headley.