Early Settlers of Vineland West of Malaga Road

Mrs. Mary E. Schley


Squire Huff was one of the early settlers in Vineland. He bought on the south side of Landis Avenue, between West Avenue and Malaga Road. He made his home on the hill where he built a house which he occupied. He also purchased ten acres on Malaga between Landis and Chestnut Avenues. A mortgage had been placed upon the Malaga Road property; when it became due he was unable to raise the necessary sum to liquidate the mortgage. He 1hen organized a company known as the Oak Hill Cemetery Co. This company took the land, issued shares of stock which were disposed of, and laid out the grounds, Afterward another acre was purchased on the north side as a burial place for the indigent. In April 1870 the first grave was made in the new cemetery. Lots sold rapidly. At this writing it is a populous city. The grounds have been beautified with many trees, shrubs and flowers. The Avenues have been graded and graveled.

A hedge of arbor vitae was planted on the east side next to Malaga Road. Altogether it is a place which Washington Irving might delight to visit and indulge in meditation, showing how sorrow for the dead exalts and enobles the feelings, minds and souls of the living.

Mr. Charles Howe was born in Marlboro, Massachusetts in 1810. His parents were farmers and he was brought up to that business. In April 1835 he married Lucy Rice, also of Marlboro. She was six years his junior, being born in 1816. With the exception of a few months in the butcher business, he followed farming in Marlboro until 1866. Of their seven children, three had died of consumption. Fearing for the health of the others, in 1866 he came to Vineland in company with his ward and nephew Allen D. Howe. They bought ten acres each of C. K. Landis, situated on the west side of Malaga Road north of Almond. There were four acres of cleared land and sixteen of woodland in the two farms. Two houses were built. At the earnest entreaty of Mr. Landis, A. D. Howe started a shoe factory. The business was unsuccessful. In 1871 he sold to Mr. Poole the farm on which he lived. The shoe business was sold to James Wiswell and A. D. Howe returned to Massachusetts. Twenty three years after, he returned to Vineland and started a dairy and chicken farm on East and Chestnut Avenues

Mr. Charles Howe helped to build the Unitarian Church and support a minister to preach in it. The rule of Mr. Landis in Vineland was by many thought arbitrary and an opposition was started. William H. Earle joined with Mr. Charles Howe and A. D. Howe to form the Independent party. They met in the shoe factory of A. D. Howe and organized the Independent party. Mr. Charles Howe died in 1891 and his wife in 1896. They went to Massachusetts and celebrated their golden wedding in 1885.

Mr. Philip Snyder was one of the pioneers. He purchased a farm on the southwest corner of Malaga and Almond Roads. He came from New York. He was one of the editors of the "Albany Evening Journal", was President of the Agricultural Society, and a leading member in the Baptist Church. Mr. Snyder wrote for several Agricultural papers. A gentleman by the name of Blanchard came to Vineland and was permitted to occupy the Presbyterian Church for a course of lectures against secret societies. The church was free, but wishing to charge an admission fee, Cosmopolitan Hall was rented. The Masons interrupted the speaker; they threatened tar and feathers. Mr. Snyder, Prof. Marcius Willson and Prof. O. Wells went to protect the lecturer during his discourse. They carried revolvers. Blanchard left, but the affair divided the church. Those who left built the Congregational Church.

Mr. Snyder sold his farm to Harry Rice in 1885. In 1902 Mr. Rice sold to Elias Jones.

Samuel Hale Sargent was born November 28, 1819 at Oxford, New Hampshire. His wife Merriam H. Sanborn was born August 16, 1822 in Sebago, Maine. They were married January 9, 1849. Mr. Sargent was a farmer and followed that occupation in Oxford until the death of his wife, June 7, 1866. She left four children. On December 25, 1866 he married his second wife, Marie N. Davis. She was born in Concord, Massachusetts, April 15, 1827.

In 1868 Mr. Sargent came to Vineland and bought of George Starkweather a farm on Park Avenue, March 31, 1879. He also bought of Justus Stocking thirty five acres on the south side of Landis Avenue west of Malaga, March 31, 1879. Mr. Sargent's eldest daughter, Clara, born November 28, 1849 was married to Charles H. Little of Sheffield, Massachusetts, November 28, 1870. Mr. Little died in New York City, January 7, 1878. Mrs. Little returned to her father's house with two children, Grace E. Little, born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, September 25, 1871, and George S. Little, born in New York City, May 4, 1874. The youngest son of Samuel H. Sargent, William Sanborn Sargent, born in Oxford, Massachusetts, April 25, 1857, with his widowed sister and her two children came to reside on the place bought of Justus Stocking.

Mr. Samuel H. Sargent continued to reside on the Park Avenue farm until his death January 25, 1902. Mr. William Sargent still resides on the Landis Avenue farm with his sister. He has been a successful farmer.

Mr. Dallas Frazer was married to Grace E. Little, June 19, 1900. In 1904, April 23, he purchased of William S. Sargent a house and lot on the south side of Landis Avenue.

Charles McDavitt purchased the cottage on the north side of Landis Avenue, second house below Orchard, and moved his family there the latter part of June 1888. His family consisted of himself and wife, their daughter and Mrs. McDavitt's mother, Mrs. Fidelia H. Hawkes. They came to Vineland from Maine, arriving on the 25th day of June, 1886, and after spending two years in the village moved into the Orchard Road neighborhood.

Charles McDavitt was born in Dover, N. H. on the 28th day of March, 1838. His grandfather McDavitt came from Scotland, although his father, William McDavitt, was born in this country. On his mother's side he could trace a long line of New England ancestors, from the Hansons who came from Sweden or Denmark in 1632, the Sullivans, the Worcester s and the Lords.

Master John Sullivan, who came to this country from Ireland in 1732, was a scholar and a gentleman and descended from a noble family. He settled in Berwick, Maine, where for some time he taught a boys' school.

Of his sons, three were in the Continental Army; one as a Major General, and two as Captains, the fourth son being incapacitated from service owing to an injury caused by a fall from his horse.

Major General John Sullivan was first President of the Royal Province of New Hampshire. James, who was lame, was a Judge and Governor of Massachusetts, while Captain Daniel Sullivan was prisoner on the Jersey prison ship, with his son Benjamin, and died after his release on the journey home. Stephen, the son of Benjamin, was in the war of 1812 and also the war of 1861, Stephen's son Frank, being also in the latter war.

Benjamin's daughter Nancy married George W. Lord, whose father was also a Revolutionary soldier and their daughter Eminity Holmes Lord, was the wife of William McDavitt.  Three of their sons were in the war of 1861.

Charles the second son, enlisted August 13, 1861. Mustered August 14, 1861 at Lynnfield, Mass., Co. K., 19th Reg., Mass. Vol. He was in thirteen battles; Ball's Bluff, West Point, Fair Oakes, Seven Pines, Savage Station, White Oak Swamp (Glendale, White Oak Swamp, Wilson's Farm) Malvern Hill, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg. Wounded at Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, in four places, twice in the right arm and once in the leg. Right arm amputated at elbow joint. Discharged at Providence, R. I., May 28, 1863. Commissioned Second Lieutenant in 4th Heavy Art., Nov. 28, 1864. Served until the close of the war.

His wife, Mary Elizabeth Hawkes, was a daughter of Aaron Hawkes, of Windham, Maine. She was born in Windham, Me., Sept. 2, 1843 and was a pupil at the famous Windham Phonetic School. Her father's people were Quakers but he and his brothers were expelled from the Society for attending muster. Her mother was the daughter of Richard King of Scarborough, Me., whose brother William was the first governor of that State, another brother was a member of the Maine legislature, while another was the Hon. Ruf us King of New York, at one time an unsuccessful candidate for the Vice Presidency of the United States, and a signer of the Constitution.

After her marriage to Charles McDavitt she lived in Sacarappa, Me., where her eldest child, Annie King McDavitt, was born. Then they removed to Lynn, Mass., where her husband's family resided and where their youngest child, Ina Lord McDavitt, was born. Mr. McDavitt was Milk Inspector and Custom House Collector for the port of Lynn, but his health having suffered from his army experiences and the damp air of Lynn, he moved to Berlin, Mass. where he resided for several years, moving in 1877 to Lewiston, Maine. In 1879 he purchased a farm in Green, Me. where he lived until June 1886 when he came to Vineland, having heard of the delightful climate. They lived for two years in the village, where the eldest daughter Annie, died on the 28th day of January, 1888.

Mrs. Fidelia Hawkes died on the 18th day of December, 1893 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.

In 1896 Charles McDavitt was elected Township Clerk. For several years it was his custom to ride to and from his office on his bicycle, despite the fact that he had only one hand to guide the machine. In 1904 he made an improvement to the house by adding two rooms on the east side. (He died August 16, 1909.)

Ina Lord McDavitt attended the Vineland High School, graduating with the class of 1889. Sheresides at home and has been for some years a contributor to the eastern periodicals. (She died May 14, 1917 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.)