A Short History of Elmer Borough

Courtesy:   March 3, 2001 by Thomas A. Thomas, Brielle, New Jersey

Elmer Borough was named after Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus Elmer when the Borough was formed on January 28, 1893. The community was originally named Pittstown, but the name was changed on July 18, 1844 in honor of L.Q.C. Elmer who was instrumental in establishing a post office in the community. At the time, Elmer was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives.

Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus Elmer was born on February 3, 1793 in Bridgeton in Cumberland County New Jersey. He attended private schools and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. During the War of 1812, he served in the militia as a Lieutenant of Artillery and was promoted to the rank of Brigade Major and Inspector. After the war, he studied law and was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1815. He practiced in Bridgeton, became Prosecuting Attorney for the State in 1824 also serving as a member of the State General Assembly from 1820 to 1823 serving as Speaker in 1823. He was the Prosecutor of the Pleas for Cumberland County in 1824 and served as United States District Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1824 to 1829. Elmer was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1842 and served in the Twenty-Eighth Congress from March 4, 1843 to March 3, 1845 but was unsuccessful in his bid for reelection in 1844 to the Twenty-Ninth Congress. He served as Attorney General of New Jersey from 1850 to 1852. He served as a Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1852 until he retired in 1869. He died on March 11, 1873 in Bridgeton, New Jersey and is interred in the Bridgeton Cemetery.

L.Q.C. was the son of Ebenezer Elmer born in Cedarville (Cumberland County) on August 23, 1752 who served in the United State Congress from March 4, 1801 to March 3, 1807. He was Adjutant General and Brigadier General of the Cumberland Brigade during the War of 1812 and was the last survivor of the Society of Cincinnati when he died on October 18, 1843 in Bridgeton.

L.Q.C. was also the nephew of Jonathan Elmer (Ebenezer's brother) who was born on November 29, 1745 in Cedarville, graduated from the first medical class at the University of Pennsylvania in 1769 and practiced in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He was High Sheriff of Cumberland County in 1772. Jonathan was a Captain of the Light Brigade in 1775 and served as a member of the Continental Congress during 1776-1778, 1781-1784, 1777 and 1778. He served as a Federalist Senator in the United States Senate 1789-1791. He died on September 3, 1817 in Bridgeton.

Elmer was formed from Pittsgrove and Upper Pittsgrove Townships. The community was split by the boundaries of the two townships and the result was that part of the residents had to go five miles to vote at Centerton, the township seat for Pittsgrove Township, while others had to go three miles to Pole Tavern, the township seat for Upper Pittsgrove Township.

Sources: The History of Elmer Borough, as prepared by Theodosia D. Foster, October 12, 1909

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1794-1971, U.S. Printing Office, 1971;

The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries 1606-1968, John P. Snyder, New Jersey Bureau of Geology and Topography, Trenton, New Jersey 1969.

Courtesy: March 3, 2001 by Thomas A. Thomas, Brielle, New Jersey

Elmer Borough