Isaac Runyon and wife Rachel (Clarkson Stelle’s daughter), purchased the property at auction in 1852. They deeded the portion of the property lying west of King George Road, which contained 111.52 acres, to Thomas J. Stelle, Rachel’s brother. Thomas Stelle occupied and farmed that tract until his death in 1856.
The Runyons retained the 88.27-acre tract east of the road and the farmstead, which they made their residence and farmed throughout their lives.
From approximately 1852—1892, Isaac and Rachel (Stelle) Runyon owned the farmstead. A prosperous and successful farmer, Isaac Runyon had the means to improve his property, and he probably was responsible for the Victorian cross gables and contemporary alterations to the house.
The property inventory, made upon his death in 1892 summarized the physical character of house during his ownership and identifies twelve rooms or areas in the house:
The inventory indicates that the upper story contained at least one bedroom by this time, as well as an attic and possibly a hallway. One of the rooms might have been a storeroom. The parlor, sitting room and two rooms to their rear occupied the western half of the first story. For the east half of the first story two arrangements can be considered:
(1) Kitchen occupying the southeast room with cooking fireplace and bake oven, the “room back of kitchen” to its rear, dining room immediately to its west occupying the east end of the present living room, and the hall with hat rack the entry at the foot of the stairs; the store room could either occupy the east-end shed appendage or be located on the upper story.
(2) Hall with hat rack occupying the east end of the present living room, dining room the southeast room with cooking fireplace; and the kitchen and the “room back of kitchen” located in the east-end shed appendage; this scenario leaves the northeast room (the modern kitchen) unaccounted.
The “granary” is only other building mentioned, presumably the extant wagon house, in whose upper-story feed bins the wheat, oats and shelled corn listed in the inventory undoubtedly were stored.
The 1860 and 1870 censuses reveal that German immigrants had supplanted slaves and free blacks as laborers on the farm.
Isaac Runyon died intestate on February 9, 1892, leaving his daughter Rachel Coddington as his only heir.
He was married to Rachel Stelle and had 1 child.
Sources & More information:
Dennis Bertland Associates, Kennedy-Martin-Stelle Farmstead National Register Nomination, 2001 (Township of Bernards).
“Commissioners Sale of Real Estate,…June 15, 1852” Somerset Messenger, July 23, 1852, page 3.
Hubert G Schmidt, Agricultural In New Jersey, pp. 118-121.
Somerset County Deeds, Book Q2, pp. 361 & 375, Book A2, page 82; Siegel, Cemetery Records of Warren Township Somerset County New Jersey, no page; D.
J. Lake & S. N. Beers, Map of the Vicinity of Philadelphia and Trenton, 1860; F. W. Beers, Atlas of Somerset County, 1873.
US Census, Bernards Township, 1860 and 1870.
US Census, Agricultural Schedule, Bernards Township, 1870; 1880
NJ Wills, 6157R.
Resting Place: Mount Bethel Church Cemetery, Warren, New Jersey
Farmstead Owner: 1852 – 1892
Spouse: Rachel Stelle
Children: Rachel Coddington
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