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Genealogical History Of Hudson And Bergen Counties New Jersey

Originally published in 1900
Cornelius Burnham Harvey, Editor

Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

The borough system of government for small communities was first introduced into New Jersey March 28, 1789, by an act incorporating the "Borough of Elizabeth." During the next ninety years a number of similar municipalities were erected in various parts of the State, each of which was the creation of a special act of the legislature. No general law on the subject was enacted until April 5, 1878, when what has since been known as "The General Borough Act" became a law. It provided that the inhabitants of any township, or part of a township, embracing an area not to exceed four square miles, and containing a population not exceeding five thousand, might become a body politic and corporate in fact and in law whenever, at a special election to be called for that purpose, it might be decided by a majority of votes of the electors of the proposed borough qualified to vote at elections for State and township officers.

For a period of sixteen years following the passage of this act very few boroughs were organized in the State, only three of them being in Bergen County. In the spring of 1894 an act was passed establishing an entirely new system of public instruction. By this act the old school districts were blotted out and each township erected into a separate and distinct district. All the taxpayers of each township were thenceforth required to assume and pay, pro rata, the debts already incurred by the several old districts, as well as all future debts of the township for school purposes. The people complained against the injustice of such a law, and sought a way to escape its operation. By the terms of the law it was inoperative in all incorporated boroughs, towns, villages, and cities, and accordingly a rush was made to form boroughs, particularly in Bergen County, and had not the legislature hastened to check this rush by amending the school law the whole county would have been carved into boroughs in less than two years. As it was, twenty-six boroughs were created in the county from January 23, 1894, to December 18, of the same year. The amendment which the legislature made to the school act provided that no borough might maintain a school separate from the township unless there should be four hundred children within its limits. This so effectually checked the borough movement that only five have since been formed.

The following table shows the names of the boroughs organized in Bergen County to date, the dates of their organization, and the town- ships from which they were respectively taken:

Number Name Date Of Organization From Which Townships Taken
1 Rutherford September 21, 1881
Enlarged June 10,'90
2 Ridgefield May 25, 1892 Ridgefield
3 Ridgefield Park May 25, 1892 Ridgefield
4 Tenafly June 23, 1894 Palisades
5 East Rutherford March 29, 1894 Boiling Springs
6 Delford May 7, 1894 Midland
7 Creskill May 8, 1894 Palisades
8 Westwood May 8, 1894 Washington
9 Park Ridge May 14, 1894 Washington
10 Bergenfields June 2, 1894 Palisades and Englewood
11 Carlstadt June 27, 1894 Bergen
12 Maywood June 29, 1894 Midland
13 Riverside June 29, 1894 Midland
14 Schraalenburgh
The name of Schraalenburgh Borough was changed to Dumont in 1899
July 19, 1894 Midland
15 Hasbrouck Heights July 21, 1894 Lodi
16 Woodcliff August 25, 1894 Washington and Orvil
17 Montvale August 30, 1894 Washington and Orvil
18 Glenrock September 12,1894 Saddle River and Ridgewood
19 Little Ferry September 18,1894 Lodi and New Barbadoes
20 Old Tappan October 16, 1894 Harrington
21 Allendale November 8, 1894 Orvil, Hohokus, and Franklin
22 Bogota November 14, 1894 Ridgefield
23 Woodridge November 15, 1894 Bergen
24 Saddle River November 19, 1894 Orvil
25 Upper Saddle River November 20, 1894 Orvil and Hohokus
26 Leonia December 5, 1894 Ridgefield
27 Undercliff December 5, 1894 Ridgefield
28 Fairview December 18, 1894 Ridgefield
29 Wallington December 31, 1894 Saddle River
30 Cliffside Park January 15, 1895 Ridgefield
31 Englewood Cliffs May 19, 1895 Englewood and Palisades
32 North Arlington March 9, 1896 Union
33 Eastwood March 26, 1896 Washington
34 Garfield March 15, 1898 Wallington Borough
35 Palisades Park March 22, 1899 Ridgefield


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