Mary Thomson Van Blarcom

Mrs. Mary Thomson Van Blarcom, whose death occurred at her home in Newton, October 5th, was born at Marksboro, N. J., on June 5th, 1837. She was the daughter of Dr. Alexander Hamilton Thomson, a graduate of the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, and Rachael Everett Thomson, his wife. Her grandfather was Robert Thomson and her great grandfather, Col. Mark Thomson of distinguished Revolutionary memory, and a large land owner from whom Marksboro took its name. Besides serving in the war for Independence, Col. Thomson was in 177(unclear) elected a member from Sussex county to the Provincial Congress of New Jersey, one of the acts of which Congress was to change the government of New Jersey from the colonial form to a constitutional government or state. In all services to his country and state, in the trying days which called for patriotism, courage and capacity, Col. Thomson’s name appears a heritage of honor, to his descendants. In 1857, she married James Cummins, who died in 1863. Of this marriage, there are living three children, Mary L., wife of the late Vice Chancellor James E. Howell, Anna Florence, wife of James E. Baldwin, of Newton and Dr. James H. Cummins, of Newton. In 1871, she married Captain Lewis Van Blarcom, an accomplished member of the bar. The children of this marriage are Kate Van Blarcom, of Newton, Andrew Van Blarcom, second assistant Prosecutor of Essex county and Lewis Van Blarcom, a lawyer of Newton. All her married life was passed at Newton, and though nearly eighty years of age, the declining years had dealt very gently with the beauty of her youth and with her attractive personality. She surrounded herself with that ideal county life of which she was so fond and which was always foremost in her mind. These with her many starling graces of mind and heart, drew to her a wide circle of friends to whom they will ever be a precious memory.

Source:  New Jersey Herald, October 12, 1916.

Lewis Van Blarcom

After having practiced law in a single location, Newton, for a period of thirty-five years, Lewis Van Blarcom may be said to be familiar with all of the legal problems that come up in the business or private life of the residents here. He has been called upon to apply his legal training to business also, as a director in local corporations, and has been as successful in this advisory work as in his professional practice. He has enjoyed not only a long period of private legal work, but has also been entrusted with the public responsibility which goes with the office of county prosecutor, which he held here for five years.

Mr. Van Blarcom was born on April 29, 1883, son of Lewis and Mary (Thompson [sic]) Van Blarcom, both members of families old in the history of the state. His father, also a native of Sussex County, was a veteran of the Civil War, who served as captain of Company E, 15th Regiment of the New Jersey Volunteers; wounded at Spottsylvania, he was made captive, and imprisoned at Libby Prison for a period of six months. In private life he was, like his son, a practicing attorney at Newton, and continued in this field for many years prior to his death on February 19, 1904. His wife, Mary (Thompson [sic]) Van Blarcom, who was born at Marksboro, followed him in death in October of 1916. Mr. Lewis Van Blarcom’s paternal grandfather, William Van Blarcom, was a member of the agrarian community in Sussex County; his maternal grandfather was Dr. Alexander Hamilton Thompson [sic], a well known physician of Warren County.

Mr. Van Blarcom was not only a native a Newton, but also grew up and attended public school here, graduating from the Newton Collegiate Institute and the English and Classical School. He later studied law with Martin Rosencrans, and, upon becoming qualified, was duly admitted to practice at the bar of the State of New Jersey.

Devoting himself to the general practice of law, he has offered his services in Newton continuously since his admission to the bar. He is a Republican in politics, and it was on the ticket of that party that he won the position of prosecutor of Sussex County for the period from 1917 to 1922. Serving in another public capacity, he has been a member of the county tax board for many years, and he has consistently interested himself in the non-partisan civic programs of Newton.

He is a member of the Sussex County Bar Association, and the New Jersey State Bar Association. His associations with the business and financial concerns of Newton include the following posts: member of the board of directors of the Sussex Mutual Insurance Company of Newton, and of the S. & M. Building & Loan Association.

During the World War, Mr. Van Blarcom was a captain of Company E, 4th Battalion, New Jersey State Militia. He is a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, and of the Sons of the American Revolution.

In January of 1919, Lewis Van Blarcom was married to Ethel M. Hart, daughter of Nathan H. and Margaret (Cox) Hart. They are communicants of the Presbyterian Church of Newton, and are active in the social affairs of the community.

Source: Myers, William Starr. 1945. Prominent Families of New Jersey. Volume I. New York: Lewis Publishing Company.

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.

Lewis Van Blarcom

Lewis, eldest son of William and Catherine A. (Sutton) Van Blarcom, was born in Sparta township, Sussex county, New Jersey, July 19, 1835, died February 9, 1904. 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 mostly spent at home, where he became inured of farm work and learned the inestimable lesson of self-reliance and perseverance. After reaching a suitable age he became a teacher, continuing for four terms. In 1858 he began to read law with M.R. Kimble, of Hamburg, and after one year entered the law office of John Linn, of Newton. August 25, 1862, he 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. During his service he was in the following engagements: Fredericksburg, December, 1862; Second Fredericksburg at Salem Heights, May, 1863; Gettysburg, July, 1863; Rappahanock Station, November, 1863; Spottsylvania, May 8, 1864. In the latter engagement he was wounded and captured by the enemy and has his leg amputated by their surgeons. After remaining in the hospital for ten days he was carried to Richmond and place in Libby Prison, where he remained until September 12, 1864, when he was exchanged and placed in the hospital at Annapolis. December 10, 1864, he received his discharge from the service and returned home. After his return to Newton he resumed the study of law and was admitted to the bar as attorney, June, 1865, and in June, 1868, as counsellor. He then began the practice of his profession in Newton, where he met with great and well-deserved success. From 1869 to 1873 he was associated in business with Joseph Coult, from 1873 to 1889 with Lewis Cochran. Governor Randolph appointed him, March 25, 1869, prosecutor of the please, and he discharged the duties of that office with acknowledged ability and justice for a term of five years. Politically speaking Captain Van Blarcom was a Republican and a leading and influential man in his party in Sussex county. he was the Republican candidate for county clerk, member of congress, but failed of election owing to his party being largely in the minority. For two years he was one of the chosen board of freeholders. For many years he was chairman of the Republican county committee.

August 17, 1871, he married Mary, daughter of Dr. Alexander H. Thomson, of Marksboro, Warren county, New Jersey. Children: 1. Kate. 2. Andrew. 3. Lewis, Jr.

Source: Lee, Francis Bazley. 1910. Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey. New York: Lewis Publishing Company.

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.

Henry T. Kays

As Vice-Chancellor of New Jersey, Henry T. Kays, of Newton, occupies a prominent place in the judiciary of this State.

Vice-Chancellor Kays was born September 29, 1878, in Newton, New Jersey, son of Thomas M. and the late Marielle Ryerson (Anderson) Kays. He received his early education in the Newton public school, and in the English and Classical School in Newton, from which he was graduated in 1899. In that year he entered Princeton University, where he was graduated with the class of 1903 with the degree of Bachelor of ARts. He then taught science at the English and Classical School, after which he studied law in the office of his father. In February 1910, he was admitted to the New Jersey bar. In 1910 and 1911 he was a member of the board of chosen freeholders of Sussex County, and in 1911 and 1912 he served as county counsel. He was again named county counsel in 1917, and held the office continuously thereafter until his appointment to the Court of Chancery.

In 1913, 1914 and 1915 he rendered Statewide service as representative of Sussex County in the New Jersey Assembly. In 1918 he was elected State Senator from Sussex County, and in 1921 was reelected. While a State Senator he was chosen minority leader for the 1921 session. During the First World War he was Federal Food Administrator for Sussex County. In 1924 Governor Silzer appointed him a job of the Court of Errors and Appeals to succeed Judge Ernest J. Heppenheimer, who had resigned from the office. In order to accept this post, he resigned as State Senator on March 8, 1924, being sworn in on that day as a member of the Court of Errors and Appeals.

On his appointment at Vice-Chancellor by Chancellor Luther A. Campbell, Judge Kays resigned as judge of the Court of Errors and Appeals and was sworn in as Vice-Chancellor on June 24, 1935. He was reappointed for a second term in 1942. The Court of Chancery of New Jersey dates back to 1705, after which, until 1844, the Governor or person acting as chief executive was ex-officio Chancellor. Since adoption of the 1844 constitution, chancellors have been appointed by the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. From the time of Lord Cornbury the first Chancellor of what was then the province of New Jersey, many distinguished men has graced this office. The office of Vice-Chancellor was a natural creation arising out of increased business devolving upon the Chancellor. In 1871, when the office was first established, there was but one Vice-Chancellor. The number has since grown to ten, of whom Vice-Chancellor Kays is one. In his political views he is a Democrat.

Vice-Chancellor Kays is a man of broad interests. He was elected president of the Merchants National Bank, of Newton, and upon its consolidation with the Sussex National Bank, became chairman of the board of directors and afterward president of the new institution, the Sussex & Merchants Bank, of Newton. He is a trustee of the Newton Library Association, the Newton Cemetery Company, the Newton Hospital, and has been interested in many civic improvements to the advantage of Newton.

Vice-Chancellor Kays married Katherine Van Blarcom, daughter of the late Lewis Van Blarcom and the late Mary (Thomson) Van Blarcom.

Source: Myers, William Starr. 1945. Prominent Families of New Jersey. Volume II. New York: Lewis Publishing Company.

Three Biographies of Andrew Van Blarcom

Andrew, second child and eldest son of Lewis and Mary (Thomson) Van Blarcom, was born in Newton, Sussex county, New Jersey, November 12, 1881, and is now living in Newark, New Jersey.  He was educated at the Newton Collegiate Institute, after which he read law in the office of Mssrs. Count [sic] & Howell, Esquires, and was admitted to the New Jersey bar as attorney in February, 1902, and as counsellor in February, 1905. Since that time he has been in the general practice of his profession in Newark, New Jersey, where he is regarded as one of the rising men of the present generation.  In politics Mr. Van Blarcom is a Republican.  He is a Presbyterian, and a member of the Essex Club of Newark, of the Lawyers’ Club of Newark, and of the Wednesday Club.  May 9, 1906, Mr. Van Blarcom married in Newark, Sara Streit, daughter of Joseph M. Riker.  Children:  Andrew Jr., born April 19, 1907.  Sarah Hunter, born September 24, 1909.

Source:  Lee, Francis Bazley.  1910.  Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey.  New York:  Lewis Publishing Company.  

Andrew Van Blarcom, one of the rising lawyers of Newark, New Jersey, is a representative in the seventh generation of an old Dutch family which came to American from Blarcom or Blerkum, Holland, from which town the family name is derived. He is a son of Lewis and Mary (Thomson) Van Blarcom, the former, also an attorney, having served with distinction in the Civil War, in the course of which he lost a leg by amputation.

Mr. Van Blarcom was born in Newton, Sussex county, New Jersey, November 12, 1881. He was educated at the collegiate institute in his native town, read law with Coult & Howell, was admitted to the bar of New Jersey as an attorney in 1902, and as a counsellor in 1905. He engaged in the practice of his profession in Newark, New Jersey, in 1902. The firm of Raymond, Mountain & Van Blarcom was formed September 1, 1908. January 1, 1910, Mr. Van Blarcom was appointed assistant prosecutor of Essex county.

His political affiliations are with the Republican party, and his religious with the Presbyterian church. He holds memberships in the Essex, Lawyers’ and Wednesday clubs of Newark.

Mr. Van Blarcom married, May 9, 1906, Sara Streit, daughter of Joseph M. Riker, and they have children: Andrew J., Sarah Hunter and Mary Thomson.

Source:  A History of the City of Newark. Volume III. 1913. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. 

Occupying a position of prominence in the legal fraternity of New Jersey, Andrew Van Blarcom is one of this State’s outstanding attorneys and a member of the well-known legal firm of Riker & Riker, having offices in the Federal Trust Building at 24 Commerce Street, Newark.  Mr. Van Blarcom is descended from some of New Jersey’s pioneer settlers, and the history of this section is replete with accounts of the important and constructive part which the members of this family have taken in the development and upbuilding of the State through successive generations.  He known as an attorney of great ability and achievements, while he is also a counsellor-at-law of the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey.

Mr. Van Blarcom was born in Newton, November 12, 1881, son of Captain Lewis and Mary (Thomson) Van Blarcom (see preceding biography).  Captain Lewis Van Blarcom was a prominent attorney and counsellor-at-law, and an active factor in State politics, also a veteran of the Civil War.

Andrew Van Blarcom was educated in the public schools of Newton and later prepared for the legal profession, being admitted to the bar of New Jersey as a practicing attorney at the February term, 1902, and as a counsellor during the February term, 1905.

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