“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Elizabeth in Union County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Nathaniel Bonnell House 1682

The Nathaniel Bonnell House 1682 Marker image. Click for full size.
By John Miller, November 11, 2013
1. The Nathaniel Bonnell House 1682 Marker
Inscription. (Under top photo:)
The 17th Century Bonnell House is on the National Registry of Historic Houses and has recently been restored by the Historical Society, Elizabeth, NJ Inc. which has its offices within.

(Main text:)
The Bonnell House is the oldest house in Elizabeth, NJ and one of the oldest residences in the state. It was on this site in 1682 and was likely built years before then. The house represents the carpentry skills of Nathaniel Bonnell, a Hugenot originally from New Haven ,CT. He came to Elizabeth about 1664 and was one of the original settlers and a member of the incorporating organization, the Elizabeth Associates. Between 1670 and 1685 Bonnell and his wife Elizabeth (nee Whitehead) raised seven children here. The family worked several farms in the environs, one of which in Connecticut Farms (now Union, NJ) was left to his son and namesake, Nathaniel.

(Under portrait:)
Francis Barber, headmaster of the Elizabethtown Academy, joined the New Jersey militia with his student Alexander Hamilton in 1775. He married the daughter of Aaron Ogden, owned Bonnell House, and died during the war in 1882 [sic].

(Next to lower photo:)
Edward J. Grassmann (1887-1973), an entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey of German immigrant parents.
The Nathaniel Bonnell House image. Click for full size.
By John Miller, November 11, 2013
2. The Nathaniel Bonnell House
Grassmann reinvested his profits from his ownership (1927) of Amercian Industrial Clay Company into many charitable enterprises including the preservation of the historical houses, the Belcher Ogden-Mansion and Bonnell House. The Historical Society of Elizabeth carried on his passion for tulips in the its colonial garden at Bonnell House.

Paid for with Urban Enterprise Zone Funds.
Location. 40° 39.803′ N, 74° 12.532′ W. Marker is in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in Union County. Marker is at the intersection of East Jersey St. and Catherine St. on East Jersey St.. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1045 East Jersey St., Elizabeth NJ 07201, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Belcher-Ogden Mansion (within shouting distance of this marker); Property of John Ogden   1680 (within shouting distance of this marker); Boxwood Hall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); General Winfield Scott (about 700 feet away); Seven Astronauts (about 700 feet away); Washington’s Inaugural Bicentennial (about 700 feet away); Old Academy (approx. 0.3 miles away); Colonial Church (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Elizabeth.
Regarding The Nathaniel Bonnell House 1682. Nathaniel Bonnell was from New Haven, but his parents were from England and he was quite certainly not a Huguenot. See Donald L. Jacobus, Familes of Ancient New Haven (Baltimore, MD.: Genealogical Pub. Co.; online; orig. New Haven Genealogical Magazine, 1923-32), v. 2, pp. 358-9; v. 8, p. 1981.

Francis Barber did not die in 1[7]82 but on Feb. 17, 1783. According to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (see link), Barber was killed in camp in Windsor, NY, while riding past soldiers who were cutting down trees -- and one of the trees fell on him. This was technically during the war, i.e. before the Treaty of Paris was signed in September 1783, but hostilities had effectively ceased at Yorktown in 1781. A truly ironic death for the Colonel who had fought with distinction in numerous battles during the actual war.
Also see . . .
1. Penn. Historical Society, "The Ironic Deaths of Revolutionary War Soldiers…After the War!". Describes death of Francis Barber. (Submitted on November 14, 2013, by John Miller of Rising Sun, Maryland.) 

2. Aaron Ogden (Wikipedia). (Submitted on November 14, 2013, by John Miller of Rising Sun, Maryland.)
Categories. Colonial EraPatriots & PatriotismSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by John Miller of Rising Sun, Maryland. This page has been viewed 487 times since then and 159 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by John Miller of Rising Sun, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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