22 June 2017

Clover Hill School

According to Edla Sutphin Bellis the thing that made Hillsborough Township's Clover Hill School unique was that the desks were not bolted to the floor. In 1991 the 94-year-old former teacher/principal recounted in a remembrance she wrote for the Courier News how this made it possible to move the desks and chairs, remove the blackboard that served as a partition dividing the two rooms, and make one large space for meetings, dinners, and entertainment. This was something that few schools had at the time.


Detail from, the 1860 Farm Map of Hillsboro'
 showing the schoolhouse east of the village.

The school was built in 1918 to replace an older one-room school that had been at that location east of the village since before 1850. Mrs. Bellis was the very first principal and also taught grades 5 through 8. Her mother, a former teacher who hadn't taught in 30 years, came out of retirement to teach the younger grades. She recalled that by putting on plays and holding suppers they raised enough money to have an oil stove installed in the cupola where the older girls made soup each day for the children's lunch. The community was also able to raise enough money to install electric lights, but water still had to be retrieved at the pump outside and brought in in pails.



The Clover Hill School in 1991

Because of its location at the far western end of Hillsborough near the Hunterdon County border, many 8th grade graduates in the 1920s and 30s went on to Flemington High School instead of Somerville.


1923 admission ticket for "Always in Trouble", from my collection

The end for the Clover Hill School came in August 1950 after the Hillsborough Consolidated School (now HES) was inspected and approved to be opened that September. Actually, August 9, 1950 saw the sale at auction of three Hillsborough schools, as the Neshanic and Pleasantview Schools also had their bell towers on the chopping block. The Clover Hill School was sold to contractor John Dietz for $5,000 and was soon set up by Walter Dietz as a carpenter shop. The school was converted to a residence in 1976, and stands proudly today in its original location on Amwell Road.




The Clover Hill School as it looked just a few years ago.

15 June 2017

Harlingen School

If there is one thing I have learned while researching Hillsborough Township, NJ schools it is that during the 20th century every solution to the ever-increasing enrollment issues has been short-lived - at best. The first consolidated school - Bloomingdale - was too small to put more than a few of the rural one-room schools out of business, and necessitated the building of the second consolidated school - HES - just 21 years later. Unfortunately that 1950 school predated the beginning of the 40-year residential building boom by 5 years.



The Harlingen school soon after it was built in 1918

Which brings us to August 1957. With Sunnymead School - another proposed enrollment crusher - still two years away, the school board was scrambling to find space for 1,207 students. Five classrooms at Bloomingdale and four in Flagtown were put back online, and the two rooms at Liberty School were again pressed into service. With the 29 classrooms at the recently enlarged (there we go again) Consolidated School (HES), that left every grade accounted for except 5th.


22 November 1952 Courier News

Casting about for any sort of acceptable space, board members were fortunate to find the classrooms of the Harlingen School on the southbound side of Route 206 in Montgomery Township available. Montgomery had also begun consolidating their rural schools, and had not yet experienced the kind of suburban sprawl beginning to hit Hillsborough.



The Harlingen School with later additions

The Harlingen School, built in 1918 incorporating a typical four room configuration was later expanded to include two additional rooms. Hillsborough needed all six rooms for the 5th graders. After Sunnymead opened in 1959, Montgomery reclaimed the valuable educational space for themselves - but not before sending Hillsborough a bill for "necessary painting". Hillsborough of course disputed the idea that they had left the school in any other condition besides immaculate.

Within a year, Hillsborough was back on bended knee looking for help from their neighbor to the south. Hillsborough was again building - two schools this time, Triangle and Woodfern - but the new schools would not be ready until spring 1962. The two rooms each offered by Montgomery at Blawenburg and Skillman Schools and a sub-standard room at the Hillsborough Rescue Squad Building(!) were just enough - for the moment........


01 June 2017

Liberty School

On August 9, 1950, with the grand opening of the Hillsborough Consolidated School (now known as Hillsborough Elementary School) a month away, the school board disposed of three schools at auction. The Clover Hill School was sold for $3,000, the Neshanic School for $4,750, and the Pleasantview School for $7,000. Missing from the inventory was Liberty School - unable to be sold because a clear title to the property could not be obtained.


14 June 1957 Courier News

According to historic maps of Hillsborough and Somerset County, a school existed on the northbound side of the current Route 206 near the intersection of Valley Road from at least 1850. By the 1870s, the Liberty District No. 42 was one of 15 school districts in Hillsborough Township - each with their own one-room rural schoolhouse. Although newspaper stories from a century later sometimes described the Liberty School as being from that era, or built in 1860, it seems likely from the design of the two-room school that the building many current residents remember was actually a replacement school built in the 1910s. Indeed, the school shares a design with the Neshanic School on Amwell Road, which was built in 1913.


25 September 1954 Courier News

The problem with obtaining a clear title was that the deed restricted use of the property to a school. If the property were to be used for any other purpose, it had to be returned to the previous owner, or their heirs. By 1950, the school district had already owned the property for a century and finding legal heirs was difficult. In any case, the initial 20 classrooms of the Hillsborough Consolidated School only took a small bite out of Hillsborough's increasing enrollment issues. Liberty School was put back into regular use within a couple of years, and used regularly until Sunnymead School opened in 1959, and then on an emergency basis throughout the 1960s.



The Liberty School in the 1980s
Although students had no indoor plumbing at the school, no modern playground or indoor recreation area, and no kitchen providing hot lunches, they regularly expressed their opinion that Liberty was the best school in Hillsborough. Children who spent time at both Liberty School and the modern consolidated school, were always happiest when they were redistricted back to the little red schoolhouse on Route 206.


18 May 2017

Blackwell's Mills School

The forty-one eighth-graders who graduated in Hillsborough Township on June 15, 1929 held their ceremony at the Clover Hill Church. Dorothy Stryker from Pleasantview School played the processional as the students marched into the church, decorated for the occasion with roses and pink peonies, and sat on a platform at the front, while parents and guests crowded the pews. 



Blackwell's Mill from the 1860 Farm Map of Hillsboro'


One student from each of Hillsborough's one and two room schoolhouses that produced a graduate that year was given a special part to play in the proceedings. Norman Sutphen from Montgomery School gave a recitation, Helen Olon of Liberty School sang a solo, Dorothy Van Doren of Clover Hill played the piano, Sara Labau of Pleasant View School gave a recitation, Almira Veghte of New Center School played a piano selection, Hazel Erck of the Mountain school received her prize from the Manville National Bank for getting a high score on the state test, and the graduates of Flagtown School each gave brief recitations. 

Finally, Inez Squeri from the Blackwell's Mills School stood up to recite - the last act by a student from the school that had served the children from the southwest corner of Hillsborough for over one hundred years.


Blackwell's Mills School from a postcard circa 1905

The first school in the tiny village along the Millstone River was probably built around the same time the mill went up in 1746. It was located north of the mill nearer to Millstone. In 1813 a new school was built in a new location well south of the village at the corner of Millstone River Road and its original intersection with Hillsborough Road.



Detail from the 1850 Somerset County map

In 1928 and 1929 the school board struggled with issues of overcrowding and aging schoolhouses - some without electricity. A proposal to build a new two-room school at Blackwell's Mills was put before the voters, but it was turned down in favor of a modern four-room school to replace the one-room Bloomingdale School. It was decided that the 25 or so students from Blackwell's Mills could be bused to Bloomingdale.

The school was sold at auction, along with the old Hillsboro/Crossroads School, on August 24, 1929.






16 May 2017

George H. Wert, Pulp Artist

The rocky amber mountains in the distance and the sparse scrub grass underfoot place the scene in the western American desert. A spooked horse rears back almost vertically, while a cowboy in red shirt, leather vest, green bandanna, and tall yellow hat holds tightly to the reins with his left hand. In his right he steadies his revolver, and with steely-eyed determination squeezes off a shot. 


Can you picture the scene? Hillsborough artist George H. Wert painted this cover for the October 2, 1926 issue of Western Story Magazine while looking at an old horse ambling in the meadow outside the window of his Amwell Road cabin. And he was only getting started.



George H. Wert illustration for a 1921 calendar.

George Harrison Wert was born in Brook, Indiana in 1888, His father worked for the railroad, and then later as a guard at the Indiana State Prison. After he was done with his schooling Wert also worked for the railroad. He got married in 1912, and by 1917 he had two small children, which disqualified him from being drafted during the first world war. After a move to Joliet, Illinois, he started working as an artist for an advertising company.

By the early 1920s Wert was living in Memphis, Tennessee and contributing illustrations to Collier's and other magazines. Some time after their fourth child was born in 1924, the family moved to Yonkers, where Wert began illustrating for the big New York City "pulp" publishing houses.  Pulps - named for the cheap wood-pulp paper on which they were printed - were fiction magazines popular between the 1890s and 1950s. Wert contributed interior pen and ink illustrations as well as color cover paintings for such titles as Action Stories, Short Stories, Sea Stories, and The Popular Magazine


Wert drew this picture of his log cabin in 1928.
However, his specialty was western scenes. In July 1926 The Courier News reported that he had bought the old Hahr farm on Amwell Road near Neshanic. To set the mood for his work, Wert decided that the property needed a log cabin. One of his neighbors, Richard Stryker, helped him carry hand-hewn logs and stones down from the Sourland Mountain. John Amsler of Flagtown built the cabin.

This is how The Courier News described the cabin in 1928:

The interior is very beautiful, with its wide fireplace and artistic furnishings. Unusual objects such as cowboy bridles and six-shooters suggest the Western stories which Mr. Wert delights to illustrate.

Wert's years in Hillsborough were his most prolific. He painted covers for such pulp titles as Western Story, North West Stories, Lariat, Western Adventures, and Wild West Weekly, as well as contributing interior pen and ink illustrations to those magazines and many others. Pretty amazing for a man who had never been much further west than Memphis. Essentially he came East to go West!


Detail of a Wert painting that was used as the cover for the
August 14, 1926 Western Story Magazine

Unlike some famous artists who spent time in our area but never really became part of the community (such as George Bellows), Wert and family were fully invested in Hillsborough. When his log cabin became too much of a roadside attraction he built another house on the property. He was elected to the school board at least twice. When the family decided it was time to move again, they moved to the Roycefield area. His daughter Winona married prominent Hillsborough farmer Richard Doyle in 1938. He donated a sketch of the Neshanic Methodist Church that was used for their fundraising cookbook in 1941. All the while turning out incredible artwork - especially the many covers like the ones in the collage below.


A selection of pulp covers from George H. Wert's most creative period, 1924 to 1934.

George and his wife moved to Virginia in 1942 to live with their son John, but by 1947 he was back in New Jersey, living in Readington. In 1949 he told The Courier News - perhaps tongue-in-cheek - that his paintings were not proper for children and that he was going to switch to political cartoons!

He died on April 15, 1950 at the age of 61.





11 May 2017

New Center School

On August 22, 1938 the Hillsborough Township school board decided that they would no longer pay $50 per student for seventeen children from the village of South Branch to attend school across the river at the South Branch School in Branchburg Township. All that was left to decide was whether the students should be bused to Flagtown School, or to New Center School. In a 5-4 vote it was decided to send the students to Flagtown. Exactly three months later, on November 22, 1938, the New Center School was destroyed by fire.

1850 Somerset County Map showing location of the New Center School
The school that burned down in 1938 was an improved school that was built around 1918. It had two classrooms, a library room, and a basement with a furnace room and a kitchen. But a school was at that location - currently the southwest corner of Beekman Lane and New Center Road - from at least 1850, and probably from the 1830s. In 1856 Cornelius and Sara Ann Peterson officially deeded a small lot, about 22,000 square feet, to the new school district for the "purpose of building a school house, lecture room, or church..."


One of the incarnations of the New Center School

Not many Hillsborough residents today would state that they lived in "New Center", but up until a few decades ago, this was a common designation. And the schoolhouse was the centerpiece of the strictly farming district. In fact, the actual name of New Center Road is New Center School Road or New Center School House Road - and it used to end in an intersection with Beekman Lane right in front of the schoolhouse, as can be seen in the 1850 map. When a new section of the road was built westward in the 1930s, it did not line up with the older section of New Center Road at the 4-way stop as we see today, but instead was offset to the north of the school.


The New Center Missionary Society in 1925
As the only public building in New Center, the school was the hub of local activity. No group was more identified with the district and the school than the New Center Missionary Society. The group was formed by school girls in 1857, inspired by their teacher, Sarah Provost. The initial aim of the organization was to raise money to support Christian missionary work around the world, especially in China. They did this through the collection, drying, and sale of hickory nuts that they hunted for in the woods near the school during recess. They also raised money for soldiers fighting in the Civil War, and for refugees during World War I. The club was a success, and enthusiasm was passed down from mother to daughter for generations until finally disbanding in 1961.


The school district kept the New Center School property for 20 years before selling it at auction in 1958 for $525.

04 May 2017

J. B. Duke's McKinley Bronze

On February 27, 2013 a crane carefully lowered the refurbished nine foot tall 20 ton bronze statue of President William McKinley onto its base in front of the brand new Niles, Ohio High School. The statue of America's 25th president had stood in front of the recently demolished previous high school since the early 1960s when it was given as a gift by heiress Doris Duke.


Refurbished statue of President McKinley at the new Niles, Ohio High School

Tobacco magnate James B. Duke was a great admirer of McKinley. Some time in 1906, Duke contacted Italian-American sculptor Gaetano Trentanove to commission the larger-than-life-sized tribute to the president, who was assassinated in September of 1901. The sculpture was based on a favorite portrait of McKinley that hung in Duke's New York office, and was cast in Florence, Italy in January 1907. It was intended to be displayed at Duke's Hillsborough, New Jersey estate on the site of the large greenhouses that were built between 1909 and 1912.

"The Orangery" at Duke's Park - later part of Duke Gardens

The casting of the bronze was an event in itself with the American Consul in Italy and other dignitaries present for the event.


Headline from the Baltimore Sun 5 January 1907


The McKinley statue arrived in Hillsborough later that year, and was eventually placed on a sixteen foot marble and granite base. Below is a newspaper photo from 1909 showing the statue in Duke's Park without the base.


Photo from The New York Herald 30 May 1909

In 1958 Doris Duke formed Duke Gardens, Inc. to transform the greenhouses into what would become the famous display gardens. William McKinley did not fit into her plans. She began looking for someone who would accept the statue as a donation. She was even willing to pay shipping costs. In March of 1960 the city council of Niles, Ohio - McKinley's birthplace - accepted the donation.


Courier News 11 October 1960

Transportation arrangements took seven months. On October 11, 1960 an over-sized rail car was moved onto the private siding off of the South Branch Railroad that runs through the Duke Estate. The marble and granite base was separated into five segments, and McKinley himself was lowered intact into an open gondola. At nine feet two inches square, the massive base of the monument just barely fit railway requirements.

Two years after arriving in Niles, the McKinley statue was still in the railroad yard awaiting funds to be raised to have it erected.

27 April 2017

The Mountain School

In the spring of 1929, with work nearing completion on the new four-room Bloomingdale School, the Hillsborough Township Board of Education decided to dispose at auction of three one-room schoolhouses - Blackwell's Mills, Hillsborough (Crossroads), and Montgomery (Montgomery Rd.). Notably absent from the list was one of the oldest schools in Hillsborough, the Mountain School.


The Mountain School on Longhill Road, circa 1932

Built in 1825 deep in the woods of the Sourland Mountain along Longhill Road, the century-old school - also known as the Boozer School because of its proximity to the old Boozer earthenware factory -  had just ten pupils in 1929. Edgar Durling was the master that year, as he had been for more than twenty years, in a schoolhouse that seemed frozen in the 19th century - no electricity, no running water, no school buses lined up at dismissal.



Portion of 1850 Somerset County map showing the location of the Mountain School

With the four-room Flagtown School, and now the new Bloomingdale School, Hillsborough was moving away from the era of the one and two-room rural schoolhouse. The Mountain School survived in 1929 because of poor road conditions and no good way to transport the students to other schools "down the valley".


Courier News 29 June, 1932

Circumstances were vastly different three years later when the board voted to close the Mountain School and transport the remaining students in new school buses over improved roads to Clover Hill and Neshanic. The kindergarten through eighth grade students had a party on the last day, June 17, 1932, ringing the bell one last time and taking the flag down from the pole outside. Local historian Samuel Harden Stille was witness to the scene and wrote about it for the Courier News:

The boys and girls had a hilarious time. The teacher was busy gathering up some of the old papers and books and things, holding a personal interest to him. There was not a note of sadness to be found on the mountain that day. The writer watched them eat their candies and oranges, and last of all, haul in Old Glory from the flagpole in front of the clapboarded school.
Fifty people attended the auction on July 2, 1932 where the school sold for $77.



The last class at the Mountain School, circa 1932

22 April 2017

Hillsborough’s Belle Mead GSA Depot

Hillsborough’s Belle Mead GSA Depot

The Nation’s Largest World War II Era Military Supply Depot



Early History


On January 29, 1941, The Hopewell Herald reported that residents and farmers in the vicinity of Belle Mead, NJ had been approached by two real estate agents looking to potentially buy thousands of acres of land adjacent to the Sourland Mountain in Hillsborough Township. Although the agents did not disclose where they were from, the implication was that the land was being sought by the federal government. With war raging in Europe, it was the consensus of the property owners that they would have no problem at all selling their land for the purpose of “National Defense”.



The land having been acquired, construction began on 28 April 1942, with newspapers reporting hundreds of workers erecting warehouse buildings and constructing miles of railroad sidings on the 1,000 acre site.

 

One of the people that answered the call for “Immediate War Work for Laborers” was future writer and social activist James Baldwin. In June 1942, not yet eighteen, he moved from Harlem and roomed with a friend who had also taken at a job in Belle Mead and was living with friends in Rocky Hill. They made very good money for the time - $80 per week plus overtime. Baldwin started out in railroad construction, but the heavy labor proved too much, and he was transferred to warehouse duty.


In his book “Notes of a Native Son”, he writes powerfully about the subtle and not so subtle racism he experienced during the one year he worked at the Depot, culminating in a scene that played out on his last night in New Jersey. Baldwin and some friends went to see a movie in Trenton, but were refused service at a local diner. An infuriated Baldwin walked to the fanciest restaurant in the vicinity, demanded service, and, when refused, threw a glass water pitcher shattering the mirror behind the bar. This was the signature moment that set Baldwin on a four decade crusade for social justice.

West Point graduate Colonel R. Potter Campbell was assigned as the first Commanding Officer on 18 July 1942. During this period the Depot went through many name changes: Bound Brook Defense Aid Depot, Bound Brook Holding and Reconsignment Point, Bound Brook War Aid Depot, Belle Mead Quartermaster Depot, and finally, on 27 May 1943, Belle Mead Army Service Forces Depot – by which name it was known throughout the war and up until the time it was acquired by the General Services Administration.

The Belle Mead ASF Depot was officially activated on 10 August 1942. Between the first inbound rail shipment in September 1942, and 30 June 1943, the Depot had handled more than 580,000 tons and had a civilian work force of more than 2,500 people.

The civilian workers were the heroes of the Belle Mead Depot. Not only did they build the facility, they were employed in the near entirety of its operation, with military personnel providing supervision. As most able-bodied men began to be drafted or enlist in the service following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the Depot employed more women in all areas of operations, including guard duty, as shown below.


 


  
On December 6, 1942, The New York Times reported that because of a severe labor shortage due to men being sent overseas as many as 350 Princeton University students – and their professors – were now working at the Depot warehouses on Sundays.




First Anniversary, 10 August 1943


On August 10, 1943, the Depot held its first anniversary celebration with distinguished military officers from around the country traveling to Belle Mead for the occasion. The festivities included a parade by the military personnel, the civilian guards and their dogs, and the guard band.


New Jersey Governor Charles Edison addressed the assembled and commended them on their exemplary work and vital contribution to the war effort.


Within a month of the anniversary celebration, Colonel Potter was again faced with a shortage of civilian employees. With men constantly being taken away for military service, he pleaded with his superiors in the Quartermaster Corps for relief. They sent him a provisional battalion of 800 African American soldiers – raw recruits, some with only 2 weeks of military service. While civilian employees lived off-base, these soldiers needed to be housed and fed at the Depot. This necessitated the construction of an enormous tent city on the base as seen in the image below.

 

At a time when segregation was the norm in many parts of the country, Colonel Potter not only had to deal with integration of the African American troops into the mostly white labor force, but also ease the natural friction between the huge influx of military personnel and the 1,700 remaining civilian employees. He did this by having everyone, civilian and military, black and white, work side by side in all of the labor-intensive functions of the Depot, and by encouraging the provisional battalion to participate in all of the recreational activities, including the renowned glee club, led by Irving Washington of East Orange, NJ.



May 1944 – The Press gets a peek inside


At the end of May 1944, on Colonel Potter’s last day as Commanding Officer – and just a week before D-Day – the press was allowed access to the Depot for the first time.


Reporters were wowed by the $1.2 billion (over $16 billion today) in war supplies, the 45 miles of railroad track, 5 locomotives, 550 freight cars, 14 giant warehouses, and 7 million square feet of indoor and outdoor storage space. Cranes, heavy trucks, bridges, portable buildings, complete manufacturing plants, spare parts, tools, rifles and ordinance, petroleum products – 5,000 tons of equipment were moved in and out of the Depot on a daily basis.

Captain Staniar, in charge of the outside storage areas, showed off “the largest concentration of cable in the world, 53,000,000 feet of it”!


The timing of the press tour could not have been coincidental. Like a prize fighter at the pre-bout weigh-in, our adversaries overseas must have been seriously intimidated and demoralized by this amazing show of material strength.




 Italian Service Units and German POWs

On June 21, 1944, The Hopewell Herald reported that Italian Service Units had replaced the QM Provisional Battalion. The newspaper correctly reported that these men were former prisoners of war who had been captured in North Africa and Sicily, and had volunteered to work for the U.S. They were allowed visits by family members living in America, and other privileges such as “spaghetti, cheese, and other foods” to supplement their military rations.


Italian Service Units worked at the Depot in skilled and unskilled positions until October 29, 1945 when they were replaced by German prisoners of war. Unlike the Italians, these POWs were not afforded any luxuries, and were kept under strict guard. A reward of $15 was offered for apprehension of an escaped prisoner, who could be recognized by the letters PW emblazoned on the back and sleeves of shirts, and on the seat and legs of the trousers.

After the war


By the end of 1946, the army was using the Depot to dispose of military surplus. Veterans were given the first shot at buying items such as farm equipment, office equipment, household items, hardware, and clothing – even jeeps.


The Belle Mead ASF Depot saw renewed operations during the Korean War, but nothing like the intense activity from 1942 through 1945.

In 1958, 800 acres of the property was acquired by the General Services Administration, who operated the Depot until 1991. Subsequently the property was sold in two portions, with the Somerset County Improvement Authority purchasing the acreage that is now being developed as a county park.



 The Future


In October of 2014, the Somerset County Park Commission, together with local officials, held a ground-breaking ceremony for Mountain View Park.

Although there are very few, if any, physical structures remaining at the Belle Mead Depot, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still opportunities for Somerset County and Hillsborough Township to commemorate the role the Depot and it’s civilian workforce played in defeating fascism by winning World War II.

18 April 2017

Captain John Hoagland

If not for the many obituaries published upon his death in September 1912, we could know almost nothing about the life of Hillsborough Township native Captain John Hoagland, who nearly captured Lincoln's assassin in 1865!


John Hoagland, Captain,
Compnay K, Thirteenth Regiment, New York Volunteers

He was born in April 1833 in Flaggtown (the original Flaggtown located at the crossroads of South Branch Road and East Mountain Road). He was of one of the Dutch families that settled New Amsterdam about 1650, and came to New Jersey three generations later in the mid 1700s. 

As a young man he left the Flaggtown farm to make his way in the New York import/export business. He married Louisa Singee in 1856, At the start of the Civil War he recruited a company of cavalry volunteers which was mustered in as Company C, Thirteenth Regiment, New York Volunteers and held the rank of First Lieutenant. He was later promoted to captain in Company K.




On April 14, 1965 the Thirteenth Regiment was camped on Capitol Hill charged with guarding Washington, D.C.  Hoagland's Company was the first to pick up the trail of John Wilkes Booth after the assassination. He followed Booth through St. Mary's County, Maryland and almost had him at the home of Dr. Mudd where Booth was having his broken leg set.



Booth was able to avoid capture by hiding in the woods for several days, and the chase was taken up by others after the assassin crossed the Potomac into Virginia on April 23. Nevertheless, Hoagland's party were able to capture a co-conspirator and as many as thirty suspected accomplices.

After the war, Hoagland - mustered out with the rank of major - returned to New York and was engaged in the import produce business. He retired with his wife to a farm near South Branch, NJ in 1902 where his daughter Louise Dalley had settled. He also had two sons, Ira and Elmo. After the death of his wife in 1910, he went to live with his son Elmo in Brooklyn, where he passed away on August 31, 1912.