Historic Timeline Details

1809 The Stelle/Martin 1794 mortgage is canceled in the county clerk’s office on June 21st [Somerset County Mortgages, Book D, page 52].

1812 Squire Martin of New Brunswick, son of Col. Ephraim Martin, and wife Susan convey to Oliver Stelle of Bernards Township three lots of land in said township for $5,000: lot 1 containing 100 acres “bounded north by land owned by Charles Saxton and the road to dead river [,] on the east by said road and Oliver Stelle land [,] on the south by said Stelles land and west by widow Randolph;” lot 2 containing 11.7 acres located between the road to the Dead River bridge and the Passaic River; and lot 3 containing 25.3 acres whose border begins “at the northeast corner of a Ditch on the west side of the road between Oliver Martin and Squire Stell” [Somerset County Deeds, Book F, page 776, New Jersey Wills, 10425G].

1813 Mary, wife of Oliver Stelle, dies on February 22nd at age 54, according to her gravestone inscription in the Mount Bethel church cemetery [Siegel, Cemetery Records of Warren Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, 1998].

1813-23 Oliver Stelle remarries during this period, as his will dated December 21, 1829 mentions his “beloved wife,” and an 1823 deed records the sale of land by “Oliver Stelle and Sarah his wife” [NJ Wills, 2389R; Somerset County Deeds, Book Q, page 178].

1815 Mary Stelle, daughter of Oliver Stelle and his late wife, Mary, dies on August 26th in his 21st year, according to her gravestone inscription in the nearby Mount Bethel church cemetery [Siegel, 1998, p. ?].

1818 Oliver Stelle is assessed for 232 acres of land at $50 “value per 100 acre,” 3 horses, 12 cattle, 1 still, 1 top wagon, 2 riding chairs, 1 slave, and 1 dog [NJ Archives, Bernards Township Ratables, 1818].

Oliver Stelle purchases two pews in the Mount Bethel Baptist Church, #s 5 and 9, paying $24 and $40, respectively, for each, the congregation holding the sale to raise funds to renovate the church [Siegel, 1992, pp. 15 & 16].

Rachel Stelle, daughter of Oliver Stelle and his late wife Mary, dies on September 7th, aged 18 year, 4 months and 29 days, according to her gravestone inscription in the nearby Mount Bethel church cemetery [Siegel, 1998].

1818 &1820 Oliver Stelle registers slaves “born in his family” in these two years [“Additional slaveholders’ List in Somerset,” Somerset County Historical Quarterly, VI, 19??, page 96].

1823 Improvements on Oliver Stelle’s property evidently include a hay barrack: the September 12th deed recording his sale of a 56-acre tract to his son Clarkson which describes the parcel’s boundary as “Beginning at a stone in the road near the barrack and running with Oliver Stelles other land” [Somerset County Deeds, Book Q, page 178].

1830 Household of Oliver Stelle, as listed in the 1830 census, contains six members: one white male (1 aged between 70 and 79), three white females (one aged between 60 and 69,one aged between 40 and 49, and one between 15 and 19); one free black male and one free black female (both aged between 10 and 23) [US Census, Bernards Township, 1830].

Oliver must have been the white male in his seventies; the oldest woman probably was his second wife and the middle-aged woman his unmarried daughter Christiana, mentioned by name in his will as residing at home. The teenaged girl may have been one of the granddaughters also mentioned in his will (see 1832 entry), or perhaps a servant; the free blacks presumably were former slaves, and employed as a domestic servant and farm laborer [NJ wills 2389R; US Census, Bernards Township, 1830].

Households of John and Clarkson Stelle, two of Oliver’s sons, are listed in the 1830 census immediately before and after Oliver, respectively, indicating that they lived in close proximity to him, perhaps on their father’s property or on land which he had sold to them. An 1823 deed recording Oliver’s sale of a 56-acre tract to Clarkson describes it as “Beginning at a stone in the road near the barrack and running with Oliver Stelles other land” [Somerset County Deeds, Book Q, page 178].

The 1830 census lists John’s household as containing eight members: five white males (one aged under 5, two between 10 and 14, one between 15 and 19 & one between 30 and 39), two white females (one aged between 10 and 14 and one between 30 and 39); and one free black male (aged between 10 and 23). Clarkson’s household contains five members: one white male (aged between 30 and 39) and four white females (one aged under 5, two aged between 5 and 9, and one between 30 and 39) [US Census, Bridgewater Township, 1830, page 56].

1831 Thomas Terrell Stelle, son of Clarkson and Lucinda (Terrell) Stelle, is born on January 11th [Siegel, 1998; Snell, 1881, page 738].

1832 Oliver Stelle dies on June 3rd, aged 76 years, according to his gravestone inscription in the Mount Bethel Church cemetery [Siegel, 1998]. His will, dated December 21, 1829, is probated on June 15th and an inventory taken on June 28th. Oliver’s will divides his real estate (excepting one small lot) among his three surviving sons John, Ephraim and Clarkson (who are named executors) and bequeaths money and personal property to his widow, three of his four surviving daughters (Christian[a], unmarried, Ruth, wife of John Worth, Harriet, wife of Peter F. Randolph, and Sarah, wife of Isaac F. Randolph) and two granddaughters, Mary and Clarissa, the daughters of his deceased son, Isaac [New Jersey Wills, 2389R]. His unmarried daughter, Christiana evidently was living at home.

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