Main Street – 208

The Baier House

The Arrowsmith family owned a great deal of property in Matawan.  Simon lived here in his younger years, but another Arrowsmith — Thomas Henry (1803-1895) — might have built it, or even Simon’s father Henry (d. 1834). An 1889 map show 208 belonging to as “T.  I. Arrowsmith.”  A map from 1855 lists this and the adjoining three homes north as belonging to T. H. Arrowsmith.

Simon took moved to a farm near Rose Hill Cemetery and leased the property to William Zimmerman. He was the owner of the Zimmerman Saloon,” two blocks away, located across from the Matawan Hotel. (The saloon would have been located where the Town Center now stands.)

In 1890 Simon Arrowsmith passed away and in his will he bequeathed this house to Henry A. Crawford.

By the early 1900s, this house was the residence of Florence and Wilbert Cox. Mr. Cox worked as a driver of an oil wagon and eventually became a manager for Standard Oil.  Wilbert Cox died in 1938. The Cox’s daughter Emma married Joseph Baier. The census shows all three living here until Florence (nee Henderson) died in May 1952.

208-main-bankMr. Baier was president of the Farmers and Merchants National Bank, retiring in 1963. He was also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank.  He was also active in the town affairs and appointed to the public assistance board by the town council. He was named “Man of the Year” in 1973 by the Matawan Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Baier died in 1976.

Item of interest:  The Arrowsmith brothers, like their father, were undertakers and placed in charge of attending to shark attack victim, Lester Stillwell.

Architectural Notes

Built c. 1825. This home demonstrates colonial style in its two-story rectangular structure, side gable roof and double sashed windows.  However, it lacks the central door so common to this style. It is possible that the door was moved, and side lights were added at that time.


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Barry Orr


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