Stoutsburg Cemetery, c. 1850
Wilmer Grover & Bessie Brokaw Grover
Wilmer Grover was a descendant of the Grover family who were one of the earliest African American families to settle on the Sourland Mountain. His wife, Bessie Brokaw Grover also descended from early African American Sourland Mountain settlers that included the Stives, Peterson, Brokaw and Truehart families. Bessie was the granddaughter of Catherine Amanda Peterson Truehart and Aaron Truehart who was a veteran of the 127th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops. Bessie was also a descendant of William Stives, a Revolutionary War Veteran who received the Badge of Merit from General George Washington.
The Bessie Grover Park, located on Camp Meeting Avenue in Skillman, was named in her honor in recognition of her heroic effort of saving her family members from a house fire in 1974.
Earle & Virginia Nevius
Earle Nevius was a descendant of the Nevius and Bergen families whose roots go back to the early 1800’s on the Sourland Mountain. Earle was a landowner and entrepreneur whose work ethic was one of his most recognized traits. After the illness of his father, Elmer, Earle took over the responsibility as caretaker of the Stoutsburg Cemetery where father and son diligently worked to bring the cemetery up to pristine condition after suffering years of neglect.
Virginia Cray Nevius, a lifelong resident of the Hopewell, Skillman and Rocky Hill area, was married to Earle Nevius for sixty-five years and were parents to four children, Beverlee, Bruce, Barry and Carol. Virginia, who was the daughter of Bessie Grover, was a descendant of William Stives, a veteran of the Revolutionary War who received the Badge of Merit from General George Washington. Virginia, a gracious woman with a warm smile, was also known as a local historian of African American history and was especially skilled at writing and reciting poetry. Earle and Virginia were both highly respected members of the Hopewell Borough community where they resided for the majority of their lives.
Herbert Albert Hubbard
Herbert Albert Hubbard was a descendant of the Bergen family who resided on the Sourland Mountain since the early 1800’s. Herbert was the husband to Sarah Matilda Hoagland Hubbard and was parents to seven children, Basil, Albert, Elwood, Hervey, Herma, William Earl, and Florence Leona. In 1894 Herbert had the distinct honor of becoming the first African American to graduate from Trenton Business School which is now known as Rider University. Though educated for white-collar employment, societal attitudes on the type of opportunities that should be afforded to a Black man caused Herbert to cut his professional life short. Herbert ended up working as a sharecropper on a large dairy farm in Hopewell for the remainder of his life.
Mae Terry True
Mae Terry True and her husband, Scudder, lived on Hollow Road located in the Sourland Mountain where they raised two children, Robert and Edith, and farmed five acres that was known for its spacious flower and vegetable gardens which produced corn, sweet peas, collard greens, peppers, tomatoes, onions and much more!
For a while, Mae worked as a cook for a family of German descent with whom she travelled to New Hampshire and learned a variety of German recipes. Everyone who knew Mae also enjoyed her homemade yeast rolls, cinnamon & sugar sandwiches, and her famous chocolate chip cookies! As adults, her grandchildren Patricia, Bill and Jerry, fondly recalled how their grandmother would pack delicious boxes of cookies for them to take home after the Christmas holiday.
Mae lived most of her life in the ancestral home of the Truehart family who was one of the earliest African American families to settle on the Sourland Mountain.