Today in New Jersey history - January 25

Marc Mappen's picture


[From author Joe Bilby]

January 25, 1822: Wilhelmus Van Auken was hanged in Newton for the New Years Day murder of his wife, a woman he claimed he “loved unspeakably, for our hearts were knit with pure love and compassion.”

January 25, 1844: George Ashby was born in Burlington. Ashby, an African-American, served in the Forty-fifth United States Colored Infantry regiment during the Civil War from 1864 to 1865, rising from private to first sergeant. When he died in Allentown, on April 26, 1946, Ashby was the last surviving New Jersey Civil War veteran.

January 25, 1886: The first elevated cable railway in America was opened by the North Hudson County Railway Company. It connected the Hoboken Ferry docks to Jersey City Heights.

January 25, 1942: Varanger, a Norwegian tanker sailing from Curacao to New York City with 12,750 tons of fuel oil, was torpedoed by a German submarine at 3:00 AM twenty-eight miles off Atlantic City. Hit by three torpedoes, Varanger split into three pieces, but all hands escaped in life boats. The crew was rescued by two fishing boats and brought to the US Coast Guard station at Sea Island Inlet, arriving there at 12:45 PM.