I need to explain the geography of the times and the different boundaries that existed in 1918 so you can better understand why the man on the Honor Roll Lists of 1918 would be considered Hackensack young men. Below is a copy of page 1 of “A Historical Record of The Hackensack Public Schools” written by George M. Scudder, who was supervisor for many years of the Buildings and Grounds for the Hackensack schools. Although he does not officially record the date written his records end at 1973, so it would be safe to say he printed the book in late 1973 or 1974. I thought it interesting to see how deep Hackensack 's history goes to our countries beginnings so I copied the whole page. I will attempt to make clearer the time I am dealing with 1918, because the newspaper clippings and other papers help reveal a more complete picture.
A Chronology of Outstanding Events
in the History of Hackensack and New Barbadoes
1682----The Assembly of East Jersey divides the province into four counties – Bergen , Essex, Middlesex, and Monmouth.
1693---- The township of Hackensack is a part of the County of Bergen and comprises all of the area between the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers and from the Village of Bergen (North Bergen) to the New York State line. The Township of New Barbadoes is a part of the County of Essex and comprises all of the area from the Hackensack River west to the Passaic River and from Newark Bay north to Sussex County.
1709---- The Township of New Barbadoes becomes a part of the County of Bergen and the county seat is located in the Village of Hackensack . The first courthouse and jail is constructed on the Green. (The building was destroyed by the British in 1780.)
1872---- The township of Hackensack is divided into a number of boroughs including Teaneck, Ridgefield, Englewood, Palisades, Tenafly, and Bogota . Likewise the Township of New Barbadoes is divided into a number of individual boroughs including most of the present municipalities between the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers and from Jersey City to New York State. What remains of New Barbadoes assumes the boundaries of the present City of Hackensack.
1921---- Hackensack becomes a city by referendum and New Barbadoes ceases to exist as a political entity.
An Honor roll article, January 28, 1918, explains the desire of local historians to have an accurate list and why they felt it important. Many of our names of World War I from this Honor Roll list did not attend Hackensack schools. The list does provide the most comprehensive list of people who the people of the day closest to the events while they were happening from Hackensack felt were part of the Hackensack community. I will give my best understanding of the person's connection to the city through my research when telling one of their stories. Some were to old to have attended the High school in 1896 and many who lived in town felt no need to attend school for a formal education was not needed for most occupations of the day. I have found some who did attend schools in Hackensack through articles and old records but most did not go on to High school because that was considered more for professionals of some sort.
Even though the boundaries of the city were still under the 1872 guidelines by 1918 the people of the city Hackensack and the surrounding areas were basically recognizing the boundaries we do today. You can understand after reading the material written by Mr. Scudder that of coarse they were much more general at times when referring to people outside of what we recognize today. For example River Edge to this day still has two Post offices and the one is recognized as the North Hackensack Post office and New Milford also had a portion of it considered Hackensack during this time.
My point in explaining this is to let you know that the information on the people's connection to the City of Hackensack will be explained when telling individual stories. I believe the Honor Roll list of the day is who the People closest to the events felt were connected to the city and community and so in fulfilling there wishes as explained in the January 28, 1918 article we will include all of the names.
Following is the Newspaper Article of January 28, 1918 explaining there commitment to this list and why they felt it so important. The latest Honor Roll list which we have is the October 5, 1918 list. Two days later,
October 7, 1918, another article appeared appealing for people to supply unknown names that were missing, again explaining why they felt it so important. The War ended only 36 days later, and weather they ever had a plaque put up with all the names or not I do not know. One does not exist today, only of those who died while serving. Below are those articles so you can better understand the posting of these names. These are the names that the People of Hackensack were recognizing as those serving on behave of the community.
Let us never forget their sacrifice.
Written by: Bob Meli
August 26, 2009
Back to Top