A Glimpse of the City as It is Today
Bayonne City, now in its thirty-fifth
year of existence as a city, is no longer a young", struggling
suburban community with three thousand inhabitants. It has
developed into a full-grown and vigorous city with a population
of forty-one thousand souls, and a city of which the State of
New Jersey has reason to feel proud.
Today it has a good and efficient
Volunteer Fire Department, consisting of six steam engines, two
hook and ladder trucks, and two hose companies, averaging about
sixty men each. The Department is recognized by the New York
underwriters to be one of the best volunteer forces in the
vicinity of New York.
The Post Office Department has eighteen
mail carriers, and three deliveries are made in the business
The city is well policed. The Police Department consists of
fifty men, all told. This includes a chief, two captains, six
sergeants, three detectives, four roundsmen, thirty-three
patrolmen and one van driver. A new police signal system has
recently been installed, and a separate building for Police
Headquarters is in course of erection.
The school system has improved
considerably. There are eight schools, one high school and one
evening school, as well as five annexes and several parochial
and private schools.
There is one hospital, which has an
ambulance to answer calls for aid to the injured. Both electric
and gas lights illuminate the streets. Most of the streets have
been flagged and curbed, some macadamized and asphalted. A
complete system of sewers has been established. Splendid
drinking water is obtained from the Passaic River above Little
Falls, where it is free from pollution. There are three banking
and trust companies, three building and loan associations, two
daily and two weekly newspapers, one hundred secret, benevolent
and miscellaneous societies, twenty-six churches, a public park
being laid out, and a $50,000 Carnegie Library just completed.
Monthly rents average from $15 to $50.
Average sale price of improved property
is from $2,000 up. Building lots per front foot, $7 to $30. The
death rate is unusually low, being 17 per 1,000.
Bayonne has enjoyed for years the
enviable reputation of being foremost among the cities of New
Jersey from an industrial standpoint. There are, at the present
time, about 235 manufacturing establishments, the product from
which is valued upward of $40,000,000. Many of the greatest
industries in the world are located here. The plant of the
Standard Oil Company and the Tide Water Oil Company, known the
world over, employ about 3,000 men, and have facilities for a
daily output of 40,000 barrels of refined oil.1
The Babcock & Wilcox Tubular Boiler Company, which is the most
extensive and complete plant of its kind in the world, provides
employment for 1,500 men. There is also the Orford Copper Works,
the Pacific Coast Borax Works, Guffey Petroleum Company,
Columbia Oil Company, Goubert Manufacturing Company, Electric
Launch Company, Bayonne Chemical Works, Schwartzenback, Huber &
Company's Silk Mills, Port Johnston Coal Docks, International
Tin Company, Safety Insulated Wire and Cable Company, and other
industries. This, of course, makes the city an important
shipping point. Large steamship and sailing vessels load daily
at Constable's Hook, Port Johnston and Bergen Point, carrying
petroleum, oil, copper, ore, sulphur, coal and various other
products to all parts of the globe. Railroad transportation is
also carried on extensively.
The tallest chimney in America and
second tallest in the world is located on Constable's Hook. This
was erected two or three years ago, at a height of 365 feet.
The increase in population has been far
greater than most cities in the State. This is due, principally,
to the fact that the large industries are the means for the
employment of thousands of men.
The city is cosmopolitan, especially in
the Centerville and Hook districts. In these localities about 85
per cent, of the population is of foreign elements, coming from
all corners of the earth, including Germany, Russia, Italy,
Poland, Ireland, England, Sweden and Austria.2
While some are of an objectionable class, taken as a whole they
are an industrious, hard-working people, and have been the means
of building up a thriving business section in these localities.
In the better residential sections, many
of the people own their homes; others rent cottages or Chicago
flats at $18 and up-ward.3 In these
districts, a large percentage of the men have their business in
the great metropolis close at hand, and trains and trolleys run
frequently to accommodate them.
Avenue D is the center for trade. The
following estimated list will give the reader an idea of the
number of stores in the principal lines of business:
Butchers 64 Carpenters and builders. .
Milk dealers 24
Variety stores 62
Boot and shoe dealers, including makers 64
Furniture dealers 8
Among the professional men there are 18
lawyers and 22 doctors.
The area of the city is 2,530 acres, or
4 1/10 square miles; besides 1,240 acres of submerged property.
It is 3¾ miles in length, and averages three-fourths mile wide.
Salaries of Principal City Officials.
Councilmen No salary
City Treasurer 2,500
City Clerk 2,400
City Attorney 2,000
City Surveyor5 8,000
Tax Assessor; $1,800
Street Commissioner 2,400
Collector of Revenues 2,000
Water Purveyor 1,700
Chief of Police 3,000
Building Inspector 1,500
Constable's Hook is the terminus of
the longest oil pipe line in the world. This is owned by the
Standard Oil Company, and extends to the Indian Territory, some
2. In 1900 the foreign-born
in the city numbered 10,786.
3. According to the last
census (1900), 26.6 per cent, of the private families owned
their own homes, while 73.4 per cent, lived in hired dwellings.
4. The first Mayor to
receive a salary was Egbert Seymour.
5. This includes the salary
of the City Surveyor and his assistants, besides the expenses
attached to this department.
Source: First History of Bayonne, New
Jersey, by Royden Page Whitcomb, Published by R. P. Whitcomb, 24
East 37TH Street, Bayonne, N. J., 1904.