1798 First Store in Orange

Stephen D. Day (1771 - 1856):

The Reynolds and Day families figured prominently in the founding of Orange, New Jersey. Judge Stephen D. Day (1771-1856) was a direct descendant of George Day, one of the founders of Newark, New Jersey. He was born in Camptown (now Irvington), New Jersey. Day settled in Orange, New Jersey in 1798, and with his partner, John Lindsley, became one of the first merchants in that town. His other business activities included the organization of the Orange Bank, and the formation of the Morris and Essex Railroad Company. Day was also a member of the first Orange Town Committee, a judge in the County Court of Common Pleas, and was a New Jersey State Senator. Day married Lindsley's sister Sarah, with whom he had six children, of whom three survived: Robert Patton (b. 1799), Eliza (b. 1805), and Charles Rodney (b. 1808). After Sarah's death Day married Mary Lindsley, the sister of his first wife. James Everett Reynolds was also a descendant of one of the founding families of Orange, New Jersey. He was the son of Daniel D. Reynolds and Eliza Gurnee, and was a leading businessman and attorney in Orange, and later East Orange, New Jersey. Much of his wealth was derived from earnings on real estate deals. On March 3, 1868, one of the buildings erected by Reynolds on Main Street was destroyed in a fire, which also destroyed the home of Charles Day. The total damage was estimated at forty thousand dollars, which was quite a large sum for the time. Reynolds married Phebe Day, the granddaughter of Stephen D. Day. They had three sons and five daughters. Clinton G. Reynolds, the brother of James Everett Reynolds, was born in 1835. Also an attorney, Clinton's business activities were mostly in real estate; most notable of these were his dealings on lands available in the West under the Homestead Act. He was shot dead in his New York office on May 20, 1890.

Stephen D. Day, son of David and Elizabeth (Lyon) Day, was born at Camptown, now Irvington, July 1, 1771. On March 30, 1798. he purchased a lot on the southwest corner of Main and Cone (today called Day Street) streets, and built a two-story house, on the first floor of which he opened a country store. He subsequently formed a co-partnership with John Morris Lindsley, whose sister he married some years later. The partnership was dissolved in 1811, and Mr. Day built a new store on the site now occupied by the Orange Savings Bank, the easterly corner of Main and Cone streets. Mr. Day bought out Mr. Lindsley in 1811, and in 1813 he sold all his property on the south side of Main street, taking in part payment the northeast corner of Main and Day streets, on which he built a fine house which he occupied until his death, the lower part being occupied by him as a store. At the time of this purchase Day street was not opened. This building was destroyed by fire on the night of March 3, 1866.

Judge Day was the first and the most successful merchant in Orange and prominent in public affairs throughout the county. He invested largely in real estate in different part of Orange and sold at a very small advance over the cost in order to encourage settlement. He was a man of great liberality and when the third meeting house in Orange was built he subscribed $300 towards it.

During the War of 1812-15 he raised and commanded a company of infantry which was mustered into the United States service. He was a leader in and a promoter of nearly every public enterprise in this locality. He assisted in the organization of the Orange Bank, in which he was a large stockholder, was its first president, continuing in office for twenty-four years. He was for many years one of the judges of the County Court of Common Pleas. He was twice elected to the State Senate. He was a director and for a time temporary president of the Morris and Essex Railroad Company.

A man of decided convictions, when his mind was once made up nothing could swerve him from the course he had marked out for himself. Early in life he became a strong advocate of temperance at a time when intoxicants were freely used as a beverage in almost every family. He gave up the sale of it, which was a source of great profit and formed a part of the stock in trade of every country merchant. He never clung to any of the old-time prejudices which were so common in his day, but was always ready to adopt any real improvement. He bought a piano for his daughter, said to be the first ever brought to Orange. It is claimed that he laid the first sidewalk in front of his own premises ever laid in Orange. It is also claimed that he brought the first load of anthracite coal to Orange, but as the stoves of the day were not constructed for its use it did not prove a success.

Judge Day was twice married. His first wife, Sarah Lindsley, was a daughter of Judge John Lindsley, whose old homestead was in South Orange. The children of this marriage were six, of whom three died in infancy. Those who lived were: Robert Patton, born December 16, 1799; Eliza, born October 8, 1805, married Rev. George Pierson; and Charles Rodney, born November 6, 1808, died August 19, 1870. Judge Day married (second) Mary Lindsley, a sister of his first wife. Of the
second marriage there was no issue.

 

John Morris Lindsley (1784 - 1863)

John Morris Lindsley was one of the first general merchants of Orange, and like his father, a leading man of his community. He was in
business with his brother-in-law, Stephen D. Day, until 1806, they building a store on the site of the Orange Savings Bank. Their firm dissolved in 1806, but Mr. Lindsley continued business under his own name and became one of the most enterprising merchants of his county. As his sons. Nelson and George, came to man's estate, they were admitted as partners, the firm trading as John M. Lindsley & Sons. In 1850 the brothers established the coal business, and later specialized in hardware in connection with this business; they established the first coal yard in Orange. John Morris Lindsley, born in South Orange, April 25, 1784, died in Orange, October 19, 1863, continuing in business until his retirement. He took no part in political affairs, but did his full share toward advancing the business interests of his town.

Mr. Lindsley married Charlotte Taylor, born September 23, 1787, died August 25, 1857, daughter of Daniel, son of Daniel, son of Rev. Daniel Taylor, the first pastor of The Mountain Society in Orange, son of Daniel Taylor, of Saybrook, Connecticut. John M. and Charlotte (Taylor) Lindsley were the parents of six children : 1. Nelson, born August 23, 1808, died July 1, 1888, one of the most influential men of his day. He married Ann Harrison and left issue. 2. Romana A., married (first) Philip Kingsley, the first lawyer of Orange; (second) Locke Cattin. 3. John Philip, born October 3, 1813, died June 19, 1884. 4. Ann Eliza, married Edward Truman Hillyer. 5. James Girard, born March 19, 1919. 6. George, of further mention.

George Lindsley was born at the Lindsley homestead in Orange, corner of Main and Cone streets, August 23, 1821, died in Orange, February 24, 1886. He was educated in the public schools and Orange Academy, and was early inducted into mercantile life in his father's general store. Later he was admitted to a partnership with his father and brother, Nelson, trading as John M. Lindsley & Sons. About 1850, Nelson and George Lindsley started a coal business in Orange, and after the retirement of the father, they discontinued the dry goods department in the general store, continuing the grocery, hardware and coal departments. Their store was for years on the southesat corner of Main and Cone streets, but about 1860 John Morris Lindsley made a division of his property, the west corner coming into possession of Nelson and George Lindsley, who on the site of the old homestead erected a brick building, where they conducted business as N. and G. Lindsley until failing health caused the retirement of the elder brother. Nelson. His place in the firm was taken by his son, John Nicol Lindsley, uncle and nephew continuing in business until the death of George Lindsley, in 1886, when the latter's son, Charles Alfred Lindsley, succeeded his father. The cousins divided the business in 1889, John Nicol Lindsley taking the hardware department, Charles Alfred Lindsley, with his brother Stuart, the coal business, under the firm name of S. & C. A. Lindsley, which was later incorporated under the same name.

 

Silas Condit (1778 - 1861)

 

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