Hackettstown, New Jersey
|Town of Hackettstown|
Hackettstown Medical Center
Map of Hackettstown in Warren County. Inset: Location of Warren County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||March 9, 1853|
|Named for||Samuel Hackett|
|• Type||Special Charter|
|• Body||Town Council|
|• Mayor||Maria DiGiovanni (R, term ends December 31, 2020)|
|• Administrator / Municipal clerk||William W. Kuster Jr.|
|• Total||3.71 sq mi (9.61 km2)|
|• Land||3.61 sq mi (9.35 km2)|
|• Water||0.10 sq mi (0.26 km2) 2.67%|
|Area rank||307th of 565 in state|
18th of 22 in county
|Elevation||554 ft (169 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||246th of 566 in state|
2nd of 22 in county
|• Density||2,696.1/sq mi (1,014.0/km2)|
|• Density rank||232nd of 566 in state|
3rd of 22 in county
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||0885237|
Hackettstown is a town in Warren County, in the state of New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 9,724, reflecting a decline of 679 (-6.5%) from the 10,403 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,283 (+28.1%) from the 8,120 counted in the 1990 Census. The town is located in the easternmost region of the Lehigh Valley.
Hackettstown was incorporated as a town by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 9, 1853, from portions of Independence Township. Portions of territory were exchanged with Mansfield Township in 1857, 1860, 1872 and 1875.
It is believed that Hackettstown was named after Samuel Hackett, an early settler and large landowner. Hackett is said to have "contributed liberally to the liquid refreshments on the christening of a new hotel, in order to secure the name which, before this, had been Helms' Mills or Musconetcong".
William Johnson (1817 - 1891) was a prime contributor to the incorporation of the town in 1853. He and his brother George (1815 - 1889) were successful merchants in the town beginning in 1839 when they began operating the W.L. & G.W Johnson dry good store. The two men were very active in community affairs. George was a member of First Presbyterian Church, a director of the Hackettstown National Bank, and a member of the Hackettstown Water Board. Both men were involved in the establishment of the Union Cemetery.
Tillie Smith Murder Case
In 1886, Tillie Smith, a 19-year-old kitchen worker from a poverty-stricken family, was raped, murdered and left lying in an open field on the campus of the Centenary Collegiate Institute, where she worked. James Titus, a janitor at the school, was tried and convicted of the rape and murder, based on circumstantial evidence and public opinion shaped by yellow journalism. Titus was sentenced to hang, but he signed a confession and served 19 years of hard labor. He lived from 1904 to 1952 in Hackettstown among many of the same residents who championed his conviction. The killing remains a popular local legend, inspiring several books, Weird NJ magazine articles, theatrical performances and dark tourism ghost tours.
In 1925, a train wreck just outside of town killed about 50 people and injured about 50 others en route to Hoboken, New Jersey from Chicago, Illinois. The derailment involved a Lackawanna Railroad train and occurred at the Hazen Road grade crossing near Rockport Road at approximately 3:30AM, as a result of debris washed downhill by a storm fouling the road crossing. The event made national headlines and stands as the deadliest event in Warren County history.
In 1977, a mass shooting occurred in the town when a 20-year-old graduate of Hackettstown High School and former U.S. Marine, Emile Pierre Benoist, took random shots at passing cars over the course of about four hours and shot and killed six people, before turning his sniper rifle on himself.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 3.71 square miles (9.61 km2), including 3.61 square miles (9.35 km2) of land and 0.10 square miles (0.26 km2) of water (2.67%). The town is located in a valley along the banks of the Musconetcong River.
1860-1920 1860-1870 1870
The 2010 United States Census counted 9,724 people, 3,575 households, and 2,255.825 families in the town. The population density was 2,696.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,041.0/km2). There were 3,755 housing units at an average density of 1,041.1 per square mile (402.0/km2). The racial makeup was 85.08% (8,273) White, 2.46% (239) Black or African American, 0.24% (23) Native American, 4.97% (483) Asian, 0.05% (5) Pacific Islander, 5.19% (505) from other races, and 2.02% (196) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.16% (1,474) of the population.
Of the 3,575 households, 29.4% had children under the age of 18; 49.5% were married couples living together; 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present and 36.9% were non-families. Of all households, 30.0% were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.09.
20.3% of the population were under the age of 18, 14.5% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.3 years. For every 100 females, the population had 91.8 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 91.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $62,215 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,907) and the median family income was $82,216 (+/- $10,611). Males had a median income of $51,489 (+/- $5,850) versus $41,822 (+/- $5,248) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $29,433 (+/- $2,122). About 4.4% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 10,403 people, 4,134 households, and 2,530 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,809.5 people per square mile (1,085.6/km2). There were 4,347 housing units at an average density of 1,174.0 per square mile (453.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 90.25% White, 2.18% African American, 0.12% Native American, 2.91% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.00% from other races, and 2.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.01% of the population.
There were 4,134 households, out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.0% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 22.7% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 33.9% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $51,955, and the median income for a family was $64,383. Males had a median income of $44,420 versus $31,110 for females. The per capita income for the town was $24,742. About 2.3% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.9% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
- The roller derby team Skyland Roller Girls, founded in 2008, bouted out of Excel Roller Skating Center in Hackettstown until it closed in late 2011.
Half of the roller skating center was used as an indoor sports facility called Hackettstown Indoor Sports Academy from 2014–2015.
- The Jersey Express, a team in the American Basketball Association moved to Hackettstown in late 2012 and played in the gym at Centenary College.
- Hackettstown High School is known for its sports teams, collectively known as the Tigers. The group recently moved into the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference.
- The Centenary University sports teams are known as the Cyclones.
The Town of Hackettstown operates under a mayor-council form of government that was created by a special charter adopted by the New Jersey Legislature and approved by the voters in 1970. The town is one of 11 municipalities (of the 565) statewide that operate under a special charter. The town's governing body is comprised of a strong mayor who serves a three-year term of office and six councilpersons who are elected at large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two seats up for election each year. The mayor is the town's chief executive officer, overseeing its day-to-day operation and presenting an annual budget. The council is the town's legislative body. The mayor attends town council meetings, but may only vote in the event of a tie. The mayor may veto ordinances passed by the council, which can be overridden with the votes of four council members.
As of 2020[update], the mayor of Hackettstown is Republican Maria DiGiovanni, whose term of office ends December 31, 2020. The members of the Hackettstown Town Council are Gerald DiMaio Jr. (R, 2022), Matthew Engelau (R, 2022), Leonard Kunz (R, 2020), Robert Hinrichs (D, 2021), Scott Sheldon (R, 2021), Eric Tynan (R, 2020).
James Lambo was selected from a list of three candidates nominated by the Republican municipal committee to fill a vacant seat. The seat, which expired in December 2018, was vacated by William Conforti in August 2016, after his announcement that he was moving out of the municipality. Lambo served on an interim basis until the November 2016 general election during which he was elected to serve the balance of the term of office.
Federal, state and county representation
For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Fifth Congressional District is represented by Josh Gottheimer (D, Wyckoff). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 23rd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Michael J. Doherty (R, Washington Township, Warren County) and in the General Assembly by John DiMaio (R, Hackettstown) and Erik Peterson (R, Franklin Township, Hunterdon County).
Warren County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders whose three members are chosen at-large on a staggered basis in partisan elections with one seat coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects one of its members to serve as Freeholder Director and other as Deputy Director. As of 2014[update], Warren County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Edward J. Smith (R, Asbury / Franklin Township, 2015), Freeholder Deputy Director Richard D. Gardner (R, Asbury / Franklin Township, 2014) and Freeholder Jason Sarnoski (R, Lopatcong Township, 2016). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Patricia J. Kolb (Blairstown Township), Sheriff David Gallant (Blairstown Township) and Surrogate Kevin O'Neill (Hackettstown). The County Administrator, Steve Marvin, is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the county and its departments.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 5,410 registered voters in Hackettstown, of which 1,169 (21.6% vs. 21.5% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,764 (32.6% vs. 35.3%) were registered as Republicans and 2,468 (45.6% vs. 43.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 9 voters registered to other parties. Among the town's 2010 Census population, 55.6% (vs. 62.3% in Warren County) were registered to vote, including 69.8% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 81.5% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 1,973 votes (52.2% vs. 56.0% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,661 votes (44.0% vs. 40.8%) and other candidates with 77 votes (2.0% vs. 1.7%), among the 3,777 ballots cast by the town's 5,516 registered voters, for a turnout of 68.5% (vs. 66.7% in Warren County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 2,090 votes (52.7% vs. 55.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,724 votes (43.4% vs. 41.4%) and other candidates with 64 votes (1.6% vs. 1.6%), among the 3,969 ballots cast by the town's 5,437 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.0% (vs. 73.4% in Warren County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 2,368 votes (60.3% vs. 61.0% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 1,492 votes (38.0% vs. 37.2%) and other candidates with 48 votes (1.2% vs. 1.3%), among the 3,928 ballots cast by the town's 5,241 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.9% (vs. 76.3% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 72.5% of the vote (1,543 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 25.6% (545 votes), and other candidates with 1.9% (41 votes), among the 2,166 ballots cast by the town's 5,608 registered voters (37 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 38.6%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 1,547 votes (61.1% vs. 61.3% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 662 votes (26.1% vs. 25.7%), Independent Chris Daggett with 250 votes (9.9% vs. 9.8%) and other candidates with 30 votes (1.2% vs. 1.5%), among the 2,533 ballots cast by the town's 5,321 registered voters, yielding a 47.6% turnout (vs. 49.6% in the county).
The Hackettstown School District serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district serves students in four schools: two elementary schools (covering K-4), a middle school (5-8), and a four-year high school (9-12). As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of four schools, had an enrollment of 1,926 students and 162.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.9:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Hatchery Hill School with 361 students in grades K-1, Willow Grove School with 248 students in grades 2-4, Hackettstown Middle School with 458 students in grades 5-8 and Hackettstown High School with 828 students in grades 9-12. Students from the townships of Allamuchy, Independence, and Liberty, attend the district's high school as part of sending/receiving relationships. For the 2001-02 school year, Hackettstown Middle School was recognized with the National Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence from the United States Department of Education, the highest honor that an American school can achieve.
Students from the town and from all of Warren County are eligible to attend Ridge and Valley Charter School in Frelinghuysen Township (for grades K-8) or Warren County Technical School in Washington borough (for 9-12), with special education services provided by local districts supplemented throughout the county by the Warren County Special Services School District in Oxford Township (for PreK-12).
- WXPJ, 91.9 on the FM dial - Centenary University radio.
- WRNJ, at 1510 on the AM dial, is licensed to Hackettstown. It is also simulcast on FM translators on FM 92.7, FM 104.7, and FM 105.7.
- The main office for The Warren Reporter, a free weekly newspaper delivered to 42,000 households in Warren County, is on East Moore Street.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the town had a total of 34.47 miles (55.47 km) of roadways, of which 28.83 miles (46.40 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.96 miles (4.76 km) by Warren County and 2.68 miles (4.31 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The Hackettstown station is the western terminus of the NJ Transit Morristown Line and the Montclair-Boonton Line, which both provide service to Hoboken Terminal with connections to Pennsylvania Station in Midtown Manhattan via Midtown Direct trains. New Jersey Transit bus service used to be provided on the MCM5 and 973 local routes before they were discontinued.
Hackettstown is located 49.3 miles (79.3 km) from Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark / Elizabeth. Lehigh Valley International Airport, near Allentown, Pennsylvania, is 39.0 miles (62.8 km) away.
Hackettstown Airport, a small general aviation airport with the official database designation of (FAA LID: N05) is located in adjoining Mansfield Township, only a few hundred yards from the municipal border with Hackettstown proper.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Hackettstown include:
- Abraham H. Albertson (1872-1964), one of Seattle's most prominent architects of the first half of the 20th century.
- John D. Bulkeley (1911-1996) Vice Admiral in the United States Navy, Medal of Honor winner, PT boat skipper who evacuated General Douglas MacArthur from Corregidor.
- Bette Cooper (born 1920), Miss America 1937.
- Jim Courter (born 1941), former Member of Congress.
- Jonathan Townley Crane (1819-1880), clergyman, author, abolitionist, father of Stephen Crane, founder of Centenary Collegiate Institute.
- Christina Desiderio (born 2000), artistic gymnast.
- John DiMaio (born 1955), member of the New Jersey General Assembly who served as mayor of Hackettstown from 1991 to 1999.
- Brian Fallon (born 1980), lead singer for The Gaslight Anthem / The Horrible Crowes.
- John Clifford Heed (1862–1908), composer and musician, best known for composing over 60 marches.
- Kenneth Hopper (born 1926), engineer.
- Izetta Jewel (1883-1978), born Izetta Jewel Kenney, actress and women's rights activist.
- Cole Kimball (born 1985), pitcher who has played for the Washington Nationals.
- William Logan (1914-2002), cyclist who competed in the tandem and team pursuit events at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
- Kristen Maloney (born 1981), former gymnastics Olympian.
- Naked Cowboy (stage name of Robert John Burck, born 1970), street performer and 2012 Presidential candidate.
- Louis F. Post (1849-1928), journalist, lawyer, author, former US Attorney, former Assistant United States Secretary of Labor during the Wilson administration.
- The Semonski Sisters, family musical act that appeared on television's The Lawrence Welk Show from 1975 to 1977.
- Jimmi Simpson (born 1975), Emmy nominated film and television actor.
- Joe Stanowicz (1921-1999), football player who attended the United States Military Academy where he played at the guard position for the Army Black Knights football team.
- George Theodore Werts (1846-1910), Governor of New Jersey (1893-1896).
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- 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 125.
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- QuickFacts for Hackettstown town, New Jersey; Warren County, New Jersey; New Jersey from Population estimates, July 1, 2019, (V2019), United States Census Bureau. Accessed May 21, 2020.
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- Sullivan, Denis. In Defence of Her Honor: The Tillie Smith Murder Case. Flemington: D.H. Thoreau Books, 2000.
- O'Donnell, Chuck (October 6, 2013). "Tillie Smith murder at Centenary College remains part of Hackettstown lore". lehighvalleylive.com. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
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- Staff. "Derailed In Big Storm; Special Train Leaves Rails in Early Morning Near Hackettstown.", The New York Times, June 17, 1925. Accessed July 6, 2012. "Hackettstown, N.J., June 16. -- Thirty-nine persons are dead and 48 are in hospitals, as the result of the wreck of a special train early this morning on the Delaware, Lackawanna Western Railroad near here, and about sixty miles from New York."
- Staff. "Wreck Death List Now 45 In Jersey; One More Victim Dies and 13 Others Are in a Critical Condition. Funeral Special Departs Bodies Due in Chicago Tomorrow -- Coroner's Inquest Is Set for Monday Night.", The New York Times, June 19, 1925. Accessed July 6, 2012.
- Times, Special To The New York (August 27, 1977). "Sniper Slays 6 in Jersey And Then Takes Own Life". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
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- Home page, Skyland Roller Girls. Accessed July 6, 2012.
- Loigu, Andy. "Sports Chatter: New Jersey Express call Centenary home this winter", Warren Reporter, February 16, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013. "The New Jersey Express has been in the circuit that brought the red, white and blue ball and three-point shot into the sport 45 years ago, since 2005, but is in its first season of calling the Reeves Gymnasium and Hackettstown its home."
- About Athletics[permanent dead link], Centenary University. Accessed July 13, 2008.
- Charter and General Code Ordinance, p .420. Updated through December 31, 2018. Accessed September 1, 2020. "On September 23, 1970, an Act to provide a special charter for the Town of Hackettstown was adopted by the Legislature. This act was approved by the voters on November 3, 1970, and became effective at that time."
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- Hackettstown Board of Education District Policy 0110 - Identification, Hackettstown School District. Accessed September 1, 2020. "Purpose: The Board of Education exists for the purpose of providing a thorough and efficient system of free public education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through twelve in the Hackettstown School District. Composition: The Hackettstown School District is comprised of all the area within the municipal boundaries of Hackettstown and middle and high school pupils from Allamuchy and Great Meadows."
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- Warren County Transportation (WCT) Demand Response, Warren County, New Jersey. Accessed March 2, 2015. "The Hackettstown/Washington Shuttle runs Monday - Friday starting at 8:00 a.m. and the last run begins at 4:30 p.m. Shuttles operate on a schedule with stops every 60-minutes at key locations along the route."
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- Vachon, Duane. "John D. Bulkeley Vice Admiral USN – A Gitmo Hero, Hawaii Reporter, March 21, 2014. accessed January 17, 2019. "John Duncan Bulkeley was born on August 19, 1911 at New York City. He grew up on a farm in Hackettstown, New Jersey and graduated from Hackettstown High School."
- Staff. "Sororities Admit 85 At Centenary Junior; Majority of Students Named to Three Societies Are From New York Area", The New York Times, November 21, 1937. Accessed September 12, 2018. "Miss Bette Cooper of this community, who was chosen Miss America for 1937 at the Atlantic City beauty contest in September, is a new member of Delta Sigma Sigma."
- MacFarland, James M. "No Headline", The New York Times, October 16, 1983. Accessed July 6, 2012. "If memory serves me correctly, Miss Cooper then lived in Hackettstown, where her parents lived. She confounded the Atlantic City pageant officials by not returning for the after-contest festivities. Later, she attended Centenary College in Hackettstown."
- "Katrina Courter, Taylor Whitman", The New York Times, September 10, 2006. Accessed September 20, 2007. "Katrina Janis Courter, a daughter of Carmen and former Representative Jim Courter of Hackettstown, N.J., and Taylor Prentice Whitman, the son of former Gov. Christie Todd Whitman and John Russell Whitman of Oldwick, N.J., were married yesterday at Watch Hill Chapel in Rhode Island."
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- via Associated Press. "He's baaack — 'Naked Cowboy' belts out tunes in Times Square", Deseret News, July 29, 2001. Accessed January 25, 2020. "So why give up the excitement of the rest of America to settle down in Hackettstown, N.J., and commute to Times Square every day? 'I get paid tons of money, but that's not important,' said Burck, who claims to make nearly $600 a day by charging a dollar to let people take his picture."
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- Staff. "Speedy Backs and Sturdy Line Factors in Army's Success; Cadets Unbeaten In Three Starts", The New York Times, October 13, 1943. Accessed September 12, 2018. "Joe Stanowicz, a Hackettwtown, N. J., boy who later went to Blair Academy, where he starred as fullback, has been remolded into a tackle, giving the Cadets two 215-pounders at these important slots, while McCorkle is a converted end."
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hackettstown, New Jersey.|
- Hackettstown website
- Warren County page for Hackettstown
- Hackettstown School District
- Hackettstown School District's 2015–16 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Hackettstown School District, National Center for Education Statistics
- Hackettstown Business Improvement District
- Hackettstown Life Community Web Site
- County of Warren, NJ Official Site