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Independence Township, New Jersey
Township
Township of Independence
Pequest River Valley farms
Pequest River Valley farms
Map of Independence Township in Warren County. Inset: Location of Warren County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Independence Township in Warren County. Inset: Location of Warren County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Independence Township, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Independence Township, New Jersey
Independence Township, New Jersey is located in Warren County, New Jersey
Independence Township, New Jersey
Independence Township, New Jersey
Location in Warren County, New Jersey
Independence Township, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
Independence Township, New Jersey
Independence Township, New Jersey
Location in New Jersey
Independence Township, New Jersey is located in the United States
Independence Township, New Jersey
Independence Township, New Jersey
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Warren
Formed November 11, 1782
Incorporated February 21, 1798
Named for American independence
Government
 • Type Township
 • Body Township Committee
Area
 • Total 19.98 sq mi (51.75 km2)
 • Land 19.83 sq mi (51.36 km2)
 • Water 0.15 sq mi (0.39 km2)  0.76%
Area rank 143rd of 565 in state
10th of 22 in county
Elevation
518 ft (158 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 5,662
 • Estimate 
(2019)
5,411
 • Rank 361st of 566 in state
9th of 22 in county
 • Density 286.8/sq mi (110.7/km2)
 • Density rank 484th of 566 in state
10th of 22 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 908 exchange: 637
FIPS code 3404133930
GNIS feature ID 0882244
Website

Independence Township is a township in Warren County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 5,662, reflecting an increase of 59 (+1.1%) from the 5,603 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,663 (+42.2%) from the 3,940 counted in the 1990 Census.

History

The Township of Independence was established by an act of the New Jersey Legislature in 1782. This occurred through the division of Hardwick Township which at that time made it a section of Sussex County. Through another act of the State Legislature in 1825, it was one of the seven large southerly townships, formerly in Sussex County, which together comprised the area that became Warren County. As the seven townships gradually were subdivided, Independence was reduced to half its original size through the loss of Hackettstown in 1853 and Allamuchy Township in 1873. The population thereby decreased to around 1,000, having the boundaries that it has today. It is roughly eight miles long from the northwest to the southeast corners, about 6 square miles (16 km2) across its widest point and covers an area of 20.4 square miles (53 km2).

Through the Township the major brooks and the Great Meadows drain into the Pequest River which winds slowly from northeast to southwest to flow on through the County and eventually into the Delaware River at Belvidere. Part of the eastern land drains under the Morris Canal bed and south into the Musconetcong River just below the boundary with Mansfield Township. The hillsides are steep, layered with rock and limestone while the valleys still hold soil deposited here from the receding glaciers. Mastodon bones and a few relics of the early Indian dwellers still occasionally can be found as well as coveys of game birds, some white tail deer and small game.

This area was initially settled and cleared as farmland for growing hay and grain or as pastureland. Timber was cut for lumber, grain was milled into flour, and some iron ore was mined from the Jenny Jump Mountain area during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The mining of iron ore which attracted the early settlers, the later iron foundries, and many of the early industries have disappeared as has the Morris Canal and the railroads as the major means of shipping freight. After many attempts the Great Meadow was drained with the water channeled to permit successful development of commercial vegetable production. Shipping over the years has been by wagon, small trucks, rail freight, and then by large trailer trucks.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 19.894 square miles (51.525 km2), including 19.744 square miles (51.137 km2) of land and 0.150 square miles (0.388 km2) of water (0.75%).

Great Meadows (2010 Census population of 303) and Vienna (population of 981 as of 2010) are unincorporated communities and census-designated places (CDPs) located within the township. Through the 2000 United States Census, the areas were grouped together as Great Meadows-Vienna, which had a population of 1,264 as of that year.

Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Petersburgh.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 1,224
1820 1,850 51.1%
1830 2,126 14.9%
1840 2,140 0.7%
1850 2,621 22.5%
1860 1,871 −28.6%
1870 1,766 −5.6%
1880 1,018 −42.4%
1890 904 −11.2%
1900 805 −11.0%
1910 867 7.7%
1920 933 7.6%
1930 964 3.3%
1940 1,046 8.5%
1950 1,169 11.8%
1960 1,509 29.1%
1970 2,057 36.3%
1980 2,829 37.5%
1990 3,940 39.3%
2000 5,603 42.2%
2010 5,662 1.1%
2019 (est.) 5,411 −4.4%
Population sources:
1810-1920 1840 1850-1870
1850 1870 1880-1890
1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade

The Township's economic data (as is all of Warren County) is calculated by the US Census Bureau as part of the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 5,662 people, 2,234 households, and 1,506 families residing in the township. The population density was 286.8 per square mile (110.7/km2). There were 2,325 housing units at an average density of 117.8 per square mile (45.5/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 93.43% (5,290) White, 1.22% (69) Black or African American, 0.09% (5) Native American, 2.23% (126) Asian, 0.07% (4) Pacific Islander, 1.61% (91) from other races, and 1.36% (77) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.42% (307) of the population.

There were 2,234 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.8% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the township, the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 33.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.0 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 90.3 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $89,844 (with a margin of error of +/- $7,094) and the median family income was $104,808 (+/- $8,796). Males had a median income of $72,719 (+/- $6,017) versus $58,413 (+/- $7,006) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $36,372 (+/- $2,731). About 1.6% of families and 1.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 5,603 people, 2,146 households, and 1,489 families residing in the township. The population density was 282.4 people per square mile (109.0/km2). There were 2,210 housing units at an average density of 111.4 per square mile (43.0/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 94.98% White, 1.16% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.73% Asian, 0.79% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.77% of the population.

There were 2,146 households, out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.0% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the township the population was spread out, with 26.8% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 34.9% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $67,247, and the median income for a family was $79,819. Males had a median income of $59,688 versus $37,643 for females. The per capita income for the township was $30,555. About 1.2% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.0% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

2018-06-28 14 23 26 View east along U.S. Route 46 just east of Warren County Route 611 (Hope Road) in Independence Township, Warren County, New Jersey
View east along US 46 in Independence Township

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 46.85 miles (75.40 km) of roadways, of which 32.70 miles (52.63 km) were maintained by the municipality, 9.26 miles (14.90 km) by Warren County and 4.89 miles (7.87 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

CR 517 passes through in the eastern part of the township while U.S. Route 46 traverses 4.89 miles (7.87 km) across the southern part of the municipality.

Interstate 80 misses the township by less than 100 feet, but is accessible in both neighboring Allamuchy Township (exit 19) and Hope Township (exit 12).

The Great Meadows Railroad Station, along the abandoned Lehigh and Hudson Railway, is the only nineteenth-century station to remain preserved with all its structures. It was placed on the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

Education

Public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade attend the Great Meadows Regional School District, together with students from Liberty Township. The New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division blocked a 2007 effort by Liberty Township to leave the Great Meadows district based on Liberty's greater share of district costs, with the court citing the inability of the two communities to provide an efficient education separately. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of three schools, had an enrollment of 662 students and 73.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.1:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 school year enrollment from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Central Elementary School with 221 students in grades PreK-2, Liberty Elementary School with 204 students in grades 3-5 and Great Meadows Middle School with 239 students in grades 6–8.

Students attending public school for ninth through twelfth grades attend Hackettstown High School which serves students from Hackettstown, along with students from the townships of Allamuchy and Liberty, as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Hackettstown School District. As of the 2018–19 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 828 students and 68.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.1:1.

Students from the township and from all of Warren County are eligible to attend Ridge and Valley Charter School in Frelinghuysen Township (for grades K-8) or Warren County Technical School in Washington borough (for 9-12), with special education services provided by local districts supplemented throughout the county by the Warren County Special Services School District in Oxford Township (for PreK-12).

Notable people

See also (related category): People from Warren County, New Jersey

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Independence Township include:

  • Christina Desiderio (born 2000), artistic gymnast.
  • Chuck Haytaian (born 1938), former speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly.
  • Cole Kimball (born 1985), former professional baseball pitcher who played for the Washington Nationals.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Municipio de Independence (Nueva Jersey) para niños

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William M. Jackson
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