07 October 2010

"It's Somerset, N.J."

"It's Somerset, N.J."  That was the headline of the Franklin News-Record fifty years ago this week, as the paper reported the decision of the Franklin Township Council to name the township's first central post office after Somerset County.

When Hilsborough got its first central post office four decades later, there was never any doubt that the post office would be called "Hillsborough".  The Franklin Township councilmen of 1960 were faced with a much more difficult choice.  Federal regulations precluded naming the post office "Franklin" because of other communities in New Jersey already using that name - although Franklintown would have been an acceptable name, and was in the running.

Other possibilities under consideration included Somerfield, Rockingham, Middlebush, which was the name of the post office that would be closed when the new one opened, and Wilson, which was the choice of the Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce.

After several names were eliminated on successive ballots, the nine councilmen were left with a choice between Somerfield and Somerset.  The final vote was five to four.

Now, when someone tries to tell you that Somerset is a section of Franklin Township, you'll know where to send them your response!

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