VD Crock

Van Schoick, Josiah (1822-1898)

Josiah Van Schoick was born in 1822 in Monmouth County. His father was Josiah Van Schoick, Sr (1758-1831). Van Schoick researchers indicate he initially married Hannah Horsful and they had around nine children from 1783 to 1799, only three of whom survived past infancy. She died sometime in the early 1800s and Josiah married Mary ? (1755-?) and they had one child, Josiah, Jr. The senior Josiah died when junior was nine years of age and is buried in the Old Tennent Churchyard. I see no information that Josiah Sr ever lived in Middletown Point – he seems to have resided in Upper Freehold.

In Josiah, Jr’s obituary, it stated that as a youth, he lived near Mechanicsville and learned the blacksmith trade from Leonard Bedle. This most likely is the Leonard Bedle (1817-1879) who was residing in Keyport in 1860 and was listed as a blacksmith in the census that year. Josiah was working for the carriage/wagon manufacturer Reid & Craig in Matawan but, according to his obituary, left and started working with potter Abial Price (1802-1852) in the rear of James Van Brackle’s cigar store (this was located on Maiden Lane and Main Street in Matawan where the new apartments are now located.)

After Price died, Josiah partnered with another Reid & Craig employee, Ezra Dunn (see separate write up on this individual) and bought an acre of land “above the Gully Bridge” at what is now the corner of Jackson and Washington streets from Thomas Bedle, the father of Governor Joseph Bedle. They then established the pottery firm Van Schoick & Dunn in 1852 at the site (see separate entry for this firm under “Matawan Pottery” in the business section of this site.)

Josiah married Sarah A. Carlyle (1825-1899) on January 21, 1850 in Middletown Point. They had three children – Mary (1851-1916), Fanny (1855-1926) and James (1858-1935). The family lived near the pottery on Main Street. The partnership was dissolved in 1873 with Dunn’s brother-in-law William Dunlop becoming a new partner, with the firm being called Dunn, Dunlop & Company. Josiah reportedly maintained a third interest in the firm, and in mid-July of 1898 was still doing limited work there due to poor health. While at the business, he suffered an attack of dysentery and died on July 16, 1898. He’s buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan.

His son James worked at the firm for a period. While Fanny and James married, neither had any children and the family line died with them.

D.B. Webster lists Josiah (he lists him as “Joseph” as a potter in Middletown Point in his 1971 book Decorated Stoneware Pottery of North America. Van Schoick & Dunn stoneware is collectable, and the Matawan Historical Society has examples in its collection.

Van Schoick jugIn 1987, a Matawan stoneware jug was stolen from the museum of the Monmouth County Historical Association in Freehold, but was recovered about six months later. It depicted a man playing a trumpet and was inscribed “Safe in the arms of James.” The figure most likely represented Josiah’s son James Van Schoick, who played trumpet in the Matawan Brass Band. Although the article dated the jug as being from the 1850s, it most likely was from the mid 1880s when James was a member of that ensemble.


The Descendant Chart of Josiah Van Schoick is viewable here: Descendants of Josiah Van Schoick

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Barry Orr