The History of the Borough of Glendon
GLENDON originally formed a part of Williams township, and was
incorporated a borough on the eighteenth of December 1867. The first Chief
Burgess was James Morrison, appointed by the Court.
The first borough election was held at the house of James Morrison, on
the third of June 1868. The Judge of Election was Reuben I. Richards;
inspectors, John Best and James Mowry. The first Town Clerk was
J. U. Bachman, who still holds the office.
The principal, and in fact about the only industry of the place, is the
Glendon Iron Works, the establishment of which was the first cause of the
The first experimental furnace was built in 1843, for Charles Jackson,
Jr., of Boston, by William Firmstone, and named by him “Glendon.” It was
built of common red brick, was circular in plan, thirty feet diameter at
base, forty feet high, with four piers, and four gothic arches. Slope of
outside was one and one-half inches per foot, and the overhang of the brick
at tunnel-head, was twenty-four feet diameter.
The internal diameter was ten feet at boshes and six feet at tunnel-head,
which last was surmounted by a tunnel-head chimney fifteen feet high, in
which were four openings for filling the furnace. The brick-work of the
stack was bound with iron-hoops four inches wide and one and a half inches
thick, eighteen inches apart, commencing at the top of the arches, and
extending. to the tunnel-head.
Below the arches, bars of iron, two inches, ran through the piers of the
furnace, with cast washers, inside and out, and keys. The hearth was of
stone, four feet square; the boshes and lining were of Watsons fire-brick,
from Perth Amboy.
The furnace was blown by two water-wheels, each fifteen feet diameter and
nineteen feet buckets, which drove two horizontal blast-cylinder-, made at
the Novelty Works, New York, each sixty-two inches diameter and eight-foot
stroke. The pressure of blast was four pounds per square inch; temperature
of blast six hundred to six hundred and fifty Fahr., supplying three
tuyeres, each two and one-half inches diameter.
The fuel was anthracite, from the mines of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation
Company. The iron-ore was three-fourths limonite, mined in the neighborhood
of the furnace, and one-fourth magnetite, from the Byram Mine, Morris
county, New Jersey. The furnace produced about sixty tons per week of
This experiment being satisfactory, a larger furnace was erected in
October, 1844, also of red brick, and circular; thirty-three, feet diameter
at the base forty-five feet high, fourteen feet diameter at the bushes, and
eight feet diameter at the tunnel-bead, with five gothic arches.
This furnace was also driven by water-power, obtained from the Lehigh
Canal. The furnace produced one hundred and twenty tons of pig-iron per
week, part of which was used for puddling purposes.
The iron-ore used, was one-third magnetite, from the Dickerson Mine, in
Morris county, New Jersey, arid two thirds limonite, from the vicinity of
the furnaces. The limestone used for flux, was brought by canal from Lehigh
county. That which is now used is from a quarry about half a mile from the
A third furnace was built in 1849, forty-five feet high, circular in
plan thirty-three feet diameter at base with six gothic arches; sixteen
feet diameter in the boshes and eight feet tunnel-head.
At the same time was erected a pair of direct-acting vertical
blast-engines, eight-foot stroke, thirty inch steam-cylinder, and seventy-
six inch blast-cylinder, built by J. P. Morris & Co., Philadelphia, the
steam being supplied by boilers heated by the furnace gases.
In 1850, the old experimental furnace (No. 1) was pulled down and another
erected in its stead, fifty feet high, circular in plan, thirty-three feet
diameter at base, eighteen feet diameter in the ten feet tunnel-head,
and six gothic arches. Diameter of hearth six feet and with five tuyeres.
In 1853, another furnace was purchased by R. B. Thomas, at, South Easton,
All these, furnaces produced about 34,200 tons of pig-iron per year with
the hot-blast, principally, for puddling purposes. The “Glendon ” brand
having a high reputation for such purposes, which reputation it has
sustained up to the present time. The capacities of the furnaces, were as follows
No. 1. 6,600 cubic feet
No. 2. 4,500 cubic feet
No. 3. 5,000 cubic feet
No. 4. 4,500 cubic feet
Another furnace, called No. 5, was built in 1868. It was of red brick,
circular in plan, seventy-two feet, high, forty feet outside diameter at
base, with eight brick piers, supporting eight gothic arches, eighteen feet
diameter in the boshes, and ten feet diameter at the tunnel-head with six
filling places, hearth eight feet, and with seven tuyeres. A vertical
direct-acting blast-engine, made by Merrick & Sons, of Philadelphia, was
erected. Its stroke was eight feet, and cylinder thirty-six inches;
blowing-cylinder eighty-four inches. The blast-pipe, leading to the hot
blast ovens, was five feet, diameter. This furnace was blown in, in January
1869, and averaged during the first blast two hundred and ninety-five tons
of pig-iron per week.
In 1871, this furnace was changed from open-top to closed-top, by the use
of bell and hopper, and all the other furnaces at Glendon were subsequently
changed from open-top to closed-top (that at South Easton remaining open-topped.
In 1872, when all the furnaces were, in blast, they made, with
anthracite, from an ore-mixture of one-fourth limonite, obtained in the
vicinity, and three-fourth magnetite from the New Jersey, mines of the
company, 58,400 tons of pig-iron -principally “forge.”
The works were first owned and carried on by Charles Jackson, Jr., alone;
afterwards a limited partnership was formed, with Charles Jackson, Jr., as
general partner, and the business was carried on under it, until 1862, when
The Glendon Iron Company” was incorporated, and by which the Glendon Iron
Works are now carried on and operated.
The capital stock of the company is $1,000,000-held by about one hundred
and forty stockholder.
The first President was J. G. Fell, of Philadelphia
the second President was Francis C. Lowell, of Boston
the present President is John A. Lowell, of Boston
the first Treasurer was Charles Jackson, Jr., of Boston
the present Treasurer is Thomas J. Bouve, of Boston.
The number of men employed at the works, when in full operation, is about
two hundred and fifty.
These works have been under the general management of William Firmstone,
from their commencement until the present time.
The canal is fed, and the water-power, both at Glendon and at South
Easton, furnished by the head-water created by the dam across the Lehigh,a
short distance above Glendon, known as the “Chain Dam.” The head of water
created by it is about twelve feet.
The first bridge across the Lehigh, at the Glendon Iron Works, was built
in 1855, at a cost, of $12,000.
The Bests, Hays, and other pioneers of Williams township, were the original
settlers, and owners of the fund in and about Glendon. It is so recently
that the borough commenced its existence, and ceased to be a part of the
old township, that, it has little or no history pertaining to it, except,
the history of the Iron Works. Nearly all the male residents of the place,
are directly or indirectly engaged in that, industry. The workmen’s houses
are well built and comfortable and in many instances neatly and tastefully
arranged yards and gardens are attached to them.
The dwellings of the resident, officers of the company, are tasteful and
elegant. Glendon has no post office, but, is supplied with mail facilities
by the carrier-systems of the Easton post-office. The population of the
borough, in the census, of 1870, was seven hundred and seven. It probably
exceeds 1,000 at the present time.