The village of Jeffers or Scullville stretching
from Cranberry Creek southeast along the present
road leading from Mays Landing to Somers Point
had its beginnings on the very early 1700's.
One of the first mentions of land in this
area in the records, is in the will of William
Lake. He died in 1716/1717, and in his will
he devises some 450 acres of land on the Great
Egg Harbor River to his son Nathan. (2)
Nathan Lake married Mary Scull the daughter
of Peter Scull, one of the first of the name
in this part of Great Egg Harbor. In 1749/50
Nathan Lake conveyed a tract of 200 acres
of this land along the Great Egg Harbor River
and Lakes Creek to Return Badcock. (3)
photograph of a very early
deed on sheepskin, conveying
land in Great Egg Harbor.
the Text. Photo
of above, Enlarged.
this deed dated July 30,
1724, Thomas and Rachel
Green of Great Egg Harbor
conveyed two tracts of land
and meadow totaling 350
Acres to Joseph Dole of
Newton Gloucester County.
The two tracts of land are
described as lying between
the two Egg Harbor Rivers.
tracts except a 30 foot
square Burying Ground wherein
the "said Thomas Green's
children are buried".
deed owned by Marie C. Gandy.
Photograph by Joseph Henry
Return Badcock married Abigail Cressee probably
of Cape May County. Return and Abigail had
three sons, John (1730- ), David (1734-1812)
Jonathan (1735-1807). David and Jonathan Badcock
lived in English Creek. (4)
Another early family was that of John Somers
(1640-1739). Job and Samuel Somers inherited
equally under their fathers (John) will some
800 acres of land and marsh along the northwest
side of Patcong Creek.
Job Somers who married Eunice Cressy settled,
at Job's Point which still bears his name.
Samuel his brother built a house some distance
north on the old road. (5)
Samuel Somers (1765-1845) and his sons Jacob
(1795-1849) and Chattin (1798-1885) and a
grandson Samuel S. Somers (1832-1917) lived
in the area of this 800-acre tract. The house
in which Samuel S. Somers lived is still standing,
just south of Somers Avenue. (6)
Constant Smith (1781-1861), the son of Isaac
and Mary (English) Smith lived some one-half
mile southeast of the present Scull's or Lee's
corner. He married Eunice Somers (1783-1860),
a great granddaughter of John Somers (1640-1739).
The house is still standing just southwest
of the Somers Point and Mays Landing Road,
Another early family was the Jeffryes clan.
John Jeffryes I (1735-1810) was one of the
first of the name along the River. He owned
land at the head of Patcong Creek and at the
mouth of the Great Egg Harbor River. One of
the three sons of John and Judiah Jeffryes
was John Jeffryes II (1789-1834). He married
Isabelle Smith (1799-1865), a daughter of
James and Hester Smith an early settler of
Great Egg Harbor. John and Isabelle Jeffryes
had nine children who lived and worked along
the reaches of the Great Egg Harbor. John
Jeffryes II was the wharf master at the present
Jeffries Landing in 1819. (9)
On the sheets of the U. S. Geological Survey
topographic maps of New Jersey, in 1885-1906
JEFFERS is the name given to the present Scullville,
named for this early family. (10)
|The home of Joseph Scull,
located at the northwest corner
of the Steelmanville Road,
and the road leading to Mays
Joseph Scull was the son
of Joseph and Susannah (Blackman)
Scull was born in 1826.
On reaching manhood, he
married Hannah Parvin Gifford,
1832-1896, daughter of James
and Christianna (Sooy) Gifford.
Joseph Scull (Jr.) was
the postmaster of Scullville,
which was known for a time
as JEFFERS. He kept a general
store, and was interested
in real and vessel property.
He was for some 15 years,
1880-1895, a lay judge of
Atlantic County, and a prominent,
and well respected man in
local affairs. He died in
Joseph Scull (1826-1904) the son of Joseph
and Susannah (Blackman) Scull moved to the
village of JEFFERS sometime before 1870 (?).
He was born "along the River". The
farm of Joseph and Susannah was just above
Matthews Run on the Somers Point Road. (11)
Joseph Scull II married Hannah Parvin Gifford
(1832-1896)of English Creek. He operated a
general store and was the postmaster. His
store warn in the house, which is still standing,
located at the northwest intersection of the
Mays Landing and Somers Point Road and the
road to Steelmanville. Elisha T. Lee (1865-1935)
later was the storekeeper and his daughter
Ethel Lee Hand ran it until 1962. (12)
Alice Scull (18t7-1887), the sister of Joseph
Scull II married Stacy Powell (1817-1883).
Stacy Powell was a blacksmith, and his shop
was across the Somers Point Road from the
store and Post Office. Over the blacksmith
shop was the Powells Hall used by the Try
On the same side of the Somers Point Road
as the store and some 500 feet west, lived
Susannah (Scull) Champion, a sister of Joseph
Scull II. She married Enoch B. Champion (1823-1900).
Andrew B. Scull (1814-1887) a brother of
Joseph Scull II lived near the bridge over
Lakes Creek. The house on the southeast bank
of the Creek is still in use.
From these members of the SCULL FAMILY which
goes back to John and Peter Scull, who came
to the Great Egg Harbor in 1695, came the
present name of the village Scullville stretching
from Cranberry Creek to the Jeffers Landing
A wagon road branched off from the River
Road in Jeffers and went down a long neck
of land to the mouth of the Great Egg Harbor
River. The old residents said they were going
"down the neck" when they traveled
down that road. It was Hell's Neck in the
old saying, "Ticktown, Toad-town, Hell's
Neck and Bargaintown", although what
happened to give such names is not clear.
In earlier days this landing was important
commercially and was named for the John Jeffryes
family who had a plantation on the River.
A spacious home with upper and lower porches
was built a short distance from the River
on the southeasterly side. (16)
At a Town Meeting held in Egg Harbor Township
on March 10, 1819, John Jeffryes (1789-1834)
was named as the wharf master at Jeffries
Landing. It was his duty to keep a fair account
of all wharfage due. Vessels were to remain
only while they were actually taking or discharging
cargo. Thirty cents a day was charged for
every day after that and half that sum it
if were an outside berth. The wharf master
was to keep the wharf in repair out of the
money collected, and have a reasonable compensation
for his trouble, and turn the balance of the
money over to the township.
In 1827 the wharfage was raised to fifty
cents a day at all public wharfs in the township.
During later years the wharfs fell into neglect
and were removed. Scows still loaded there,
however. Large wheeled wagons carrying produce
from surrounding farms were driven body deep
into the water along side of the scows. The
produce was transferred and awaited the next
tide to be taken to Atlantic City. Cordwood
from the woods nearby were loaded on to small
sailing sloops to be taken to Philadelphia
Jeffers Landing became a favorite bathing
site. The sandy shore of the Cove sloped gently
to deeper water making a safe bathing place.
In the late 1800's a bathhouse was built to
accommodate bathers. A heavy wind and tide
took it away some years later and it was never
Hollingsworth Boarding House near the River
took boarders who came down from the city
for fishing, bathing, hunting, or just a quiet
vacation in the country. (17)
|Thomas Bevis (1792-1874)
was the son of Denman and
Bluma (Garrish) Bevis of Blue
Anchor and later Leedsville.
They moved to English Creek
Thomas Bevis was married
three times, 1. to Sarah
Somers (1793-1816), 2. to
Eunice Somers (1790-1848),
3. to Hannah Somers (1809-1896).
All are in the family plot
in the old yard at Asbury
Methodist Church in the
Creek. T. Bevis operated
a Carding Mill on Bevis
Mill Road for a number of
years, later he moved to
the Landing near the present
steel bridge carrying the
Mays Landing Road over the
English Creek. He ran the
General Store and was for
a time the postmaster. The
store was destroyed by fire
in latter years.
T. Bevis was one of the
first trustees of the Asbury
Methodist Episcopal Church,
in 1852. Later he became
A photo copy of Thomas
Bevis from an old framed
picture owned by the Rev.
Robt. Bevis Steelman of
the N.J. Methodist Conference.
Data from "A Genealogy
of the Thomas Bevis Family"
from 1710 to 1962: by Robert
Bevis Steelman and J.H.
Photo by Jos. Henry Bennett
The Bevis Carding Mill The mill was built
on a branch of Lakes Creek by Thomas Bevis
(1792-1874) about 1835. The mill was for the
carding of wool and the preparing of sumac
for market. The mill was about 40 feet by
20 feet, a one story building with a loft.
Many farmers of Great Egg Harbor had flocks
of sheep and by this time hand carding of
wool and household manufacture of woolen cloth
had mostly passed to the carding and woolen
mills. Hand cards were displaced by the carding
machine. The machine had a drum 3 feet in
diameter and also 3 feet in length, covered
with cards. Small cylinders covered with cards
were placed so as to revolve against the large
cylinder in an opposite direction. The wool
was placed on a feed "apron". It
was drawn between the two rollers and became
caught by the cards of the revolving drum
and were combed out between it and the cards
on the small cylinders. The combed wool became
a "broad, thin, gauzy fleece" which
was drawn through a funnel until it became
ribbon like. The customer was usually asked
to supply one pound of clean grease or oil
with every nine or ten pounds of wool. This
was worked into the wool before the carding
was begun. The wool was returned in rolls
to be spun. The charge for the carding was
from eight to ten cents a pound.
Other work performed at the Bevis Mill was
the preparing of sumac for market. The sumac
leaves from the nearby woods were dried and
crushed beneath stones somewhat similar to
the millstones used in grinding corn. The
prepared sumac was shipped by boat from Jeffries
Landing where it was sold for the tanning
of leather for shoes.
This mill was closed in 1865, the machinery
was taken apart, and shipped to New York by
Joshua Scull, who was born in 1847, owned
the land of the Bevis Mill after Thomas Bevis
closed down. He liked to tell of the abundance
of rattlesnakes along the Creek. Under the
old mill was an enclosure housing the machinery
which operated the mill. A rattlesnake made
this compartment his home, and when the mill
was running, the snake would hum, sounding
something like the singing of a locust. (19)
Protestant Church, Scullville, NJ.
First built in 1866 as a Methodist Protestant
Photo by Jack E. Boucher
The Union Meeting House was built on the
old road leading from English Creek to Mays
Landing sometime before 1805. (20)
The Union Meeting House was used by the Methodist
Protestant faction after the 1830's and by
the congregation of the Asbury Methodist Episcopal
Church in 1860 after the first Asbury Church
was destroyed by fire. In 1863, a Methodist
Protestant meetinghouse was erected on the
land adjoining the farm of Peter and Lydia
Steelman in Steelmanville. A Methodist Protestant
Church was erected in Scullville in 1866.
Aaron Somers Jr. rebuilt the meetinghouse
in English Creek into a dwelling house. It
was last owned by Richard Lake and was destroyed
by fire in the 1940's. (21)
COMPANY was a popular organization
in Jeffers. It was formed on June 31, 1878.
Meetings were held every Sunday afternoon
above the blacksmith shop of Stacy Powell
at first and later above the Union Beneficiary
Lodge Hall on the Jeffers Landing Road. Young
and old participated by giving a scripture
verse when the roll was called. The congregation
repeated the pledge:
1. I will try to obey my parents.
2. I will try to read my Bible.
3. I will try to keep the Sabbath
4. I will try to bring in new recruits.
5. I will try to bring a dew drop.
6. I will try to bring a mite. (Offering)
7. I will try to love Jesus.
8. I will try to be at roll call.
9. I will try to be good at all times.
10. I will try to never say, "I can't,
but, I will try."
|Scullville's first one
room school was located
at the intersection of the
Robert Best and Bevis Mill
Roads. A second building was
erected opposite the present
brick school, on the Mays
In 1860 (c) a larger frame
school was erected on the
same road, (pictured above).
It is now used as an apartment
A new four room brick school
was erected in 1915, some
few hundred feet southeast
of the old school.
The village of Jeffers first school was a
one room building on the Robert Best Road
near the intersection with the road to Bevis
Mill. A later one was built across the Somers
Point Road from the present brick school.
Around 1860, a larger wooden school was built
with four rooms, one with a platform for school
There was no janitor; the boys took turns
tending the fire, bringing in the water from
the pump house, and sweeping out the school.
Men teachers received thirty-three dollars
($33.00) a month. Women were paid twenty dollars
($20.00). Three trustees administered the
school made formal visits, sitting in the
back of the room to see that the teacher kept
a strict hand on the pupils and taught them
in a way as to merit their approval.
The present brick school was built in Scullville
This is but a brief sketch of the people who
were there and took part in the past history
of Jeffers and the later Scullville.
From original notes of Ann Nickles
with added notes and genealogical abstracts.
Joseph Henry Bennett, 1964.