Randolph Friends Meeting House

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Brief Organizational History The Friends Meeting House and Cemetery Association of Randolph Township.

Compiled by Margaret L. Steneck, 2005 from Association minutes and other primary materials

Early History... 

June 28, 1898: Descendants of the Randolph (originally Mendham) Friends Meeting (1758-1865) and of individuals interred in Quaker Cemetery (1758 and continuing) met in the office of attorney Eugene J. Cooper, Dover NJ. They agreed to form an association to acquire and to preserve the Meeting House and Cemetery of their ancestors. James W. Brotherton presided.

October 14, 1898: Trustees of Rahway and Plainfield Monthly Meeting (RPMM) relnquished claim to the property and transferred title to James W. and Etta H. Brotherton and Rachel Brotherton Vail. James and Rachel had been members of Randolph Meeting and were now members of RPMM. In the later nineteenth century they had maintained the site with Rachel’s husband Elwood Vail and other descendants, overseeing activity there after 1865.

October 22, 1898: Founding members met to organize the Friends Meeting House and Cemetery Association of Randolph Township. The meeting was held in the office of Eugene J. Cooper in Dover. Members present at this first Association meeting were: James W. Brotherton, elected Chairman; Henry Alward (sp. Alwood), Cornelius D. Burg, Eugene A. Carrell, Eugene J. Cooper, M. Wheeler Corwin, Phoebe J. Corwin, Edward S. Hance, Elias B. Mott. Following adoption of the Bylaws, the founding members elected the first Board of Trustees, who elected the first officers. James, Etta and Rachel then transferred title to and responsibility for the site to the Association.

First Board of Trustees and Officers, elected October 22, 1898
        (Dates indicate years of service.)
James W. Brotherton, 1898-1910; President, 1898-1910
William H. Baker, 1898-1918; Treasurer, 1898-1918
Edward S. Hance, 1898-1914; Secretary, 1898-1914
Henry Alward, 1898-1944
Eugene A. Carrell, 1898-1942; President, 1912-1942
M. Wheeler Corwin, 1898-1937
Elias B. Mott, 1898-1918

Trustees and Officers elected between 1899 and 1955
Charles H. Brotherton, Sr., 1912-1956; Custodian Buildings & Grounds,
     1915-1922, 1954-1958; Treasurer, 1919-1953; President, 1953-1956
Frederick Hance, 1914-1953; Secretary, 1914-1953
E. Bertram Mott, 1919-1961; President, 1958-1961
Thomas H. Baker, 1919-1952; Chairman, Buildings & Grounds,
     1922-52; President, 1945-1952LeRoy Jacobus, 1937-1957
Clifford H. Alward, 1944-1972; Chairman, Buildings & Grounds, 1958-1972
Rev. Harold L. Meyers, Jr., 1945-1975
James H. Bennett, 1953-1975; Secretary, 1953-1975
Charles H. Brotherton, Jr., 1953-1976; Treasurer, 1953-1976
Henry O. Baker, 1955-1974

Middle Years...

1954: At Annual Meeting in June, the Association amended the Bylaws to increase the Board from seven to nine members. Also at that meeting, Society of Friends members from New York residing in the area for the summer requested permission to hold meetings for worship at the Meeting House until September. The trustees granted permission. Dover Monthly Meeting grew out of this summer activity and was organized September 18, 1955. With approval of the trustees, Friends Meeting has continued to use the Meeting House and Cemetery as its spiritual home since that time. The name was changed to Dover-Randolph Monthly Meeting on March 9, 1980.

1958: At a meeting in December, three members of Dover Monthly Meeting were elected to the Board of Trustees. These first, non-descendant, Society of Friends trustees were:

B. Chandler Bellows, Jr., 1958-1976; President, 1961-1976
Richard Haydock, 1958-1995; President, 1976-1984;
Trustee Emeritus, 1989-1995
W. Dumont Van Doren, 1958-1970

1958 - 1973: Friends Meeting assumed primary responsibility for maintenance of the site. Association trustees continued in office unless removed by death or resignation; however, vacant positions were not filled. Trustees conducted business via telephone and correspondence. Among other activity, the Annex was moved to the site in October, 1964.

Modern History...

1973 - 1974: Concerned about the long-term future of the site, Richard Irwin, Chairman of Randolph Landmarks, Marion Irving, Clerk of Dover Monthly Meeting, and Chandler Bellows, President of the Association, identified potential new members and began a new era of Association activity.

1975: President Bellows called a meeting for November 2 at which the three remaining trustees (Bellows, Brotherton and Haydock) admitted new members. The Bylaws were amended to include people with specific interest in preserving the site. The Association then re-elected the three continuing trustees and elected the following new trustees to serve until Annual Meeting.

1976: Edith E. Alward, James T. Brotherton, Richard T. Irwin, Albert B. Jeffers, Jr., Harriet C. Meeker and John R. Mott.

Trustees elected between 1976 and 1985
     (-- indicates tenure continues in 2005)
Richard Haydock, 1976-1995; President, 1976-1984; Trustee Emeritus,
John R. Mott, 1976-1987; Treasurer, 1976-1987
Richard T. Irwin, 1976-1992; Secretary, 1976-1984; 1985-1986;
Historiographer, 1993--
James T. Brotherton, Sr., 1976-2000; Chairman, Bldgs & Grounds, 1975-1979;
     Vice-President for Buildings and Grounds, 1987-2000
B. Chandler Bellows, Jr., 1958-1978; President 1961-1976
Edith E. Alward, 1976-1989; Trustee Emeritus, 1989-1992
Albert B. Jeffers, Jr., 1976-1981
Harriet C. Meeker, 1976-1993
Hope G. Stewart, 1976-1983
Edward M. Emire, 1978-1981
Dorothy E. Mott, 1981-1998; Secretary, 1984-1985; 1986-1988
John S. Ruch, 1983--; appointed Chairman, Buildings & Grounds
     as a non-trustee, 1979-1982
Helen R. Emire, 1983--
Margaret L. Steneck, 1984--; President, 1984--
Marion W. Irving, 1985--
William C. Mott, 1985-1997

1987: At Annual Meeting on April 12, the Association amended the Bylaws to increase the number of trustees from nine to twelve and to create the position of Vice-President for Buildings and Grounds.
1991: The Association incorporated at Annual Meeting on May 11.

Trustees elected following the 1987 revision of the Bylaws
Mary E. Robinson, 1987--; Treasurer, 1987-1999
Henry A. Emmans, 1988--; Secretary, 1988--
Richard V. Lenat, 1994--
James T. Brotherton, Jr., 1999--; Treasurer, 1999--
Wm. Hal Haydock, 2001--; Vice-Pres. for Buildings & Grounds, 2001--
Kathryn M. Munch, 2002--
Mary F. Brotherton, 2003--
Lee Whildin, 2006--

2004: The Association again amended the Bylaws with the intent of bringing more people into active participation as members and trustees and to honor the past. Among the amendments:

• Trustees will henceforth be elected for five-year terms rather than serving indefinite terms, usually for life, as had been the case previously.
• The position of Vice-President for Buildings and Grounds was named the “James T. Brotherton, Sr. Vice-President for Buildings and Grounds.”