Facts and Events
Copied from: http://www.plainfieldquakers.org/dudley.htm
The Websters The Webster Friends were of Scotch origin. William Webster, the founder, settled east of Plainfield about 1685. His descendants have always lived on adjacent territory. William Webster's oldest son was William Webster, Jr., born in 1692. He married Susannah Cowperthwaite and soon afterwards began housekeeping - about 1718-20 - not far from this spot, on a large farm through which Cedar Brook ran, and which probably extended to Green Brook. This pioneer's home was on the south side of the stream where Prospect Avenue now crosses. In this home, one of the earliest inland settlements, were eleven children born, and here the Webster homestead remained for generations.
The first child was John, born in 1718, who in 1743 married Anna Taylor, granddaughter of Richard Hartshorn of distinguished Quaker stock from Middletown. This family still owns the Highlands of the Navesink, near Sandy Hook. John and his younger brother, Hugh - who married Sarah Marsh in 1753 - were prominently instrumental in 1788 in locating the present Plainfield Meeting House on the three-acre lot where it stands today. The lot is part of the original Webster farm.
The Websters were mainly instrumental in opening in 1763, the roadway, which was known afterward as the road to Rahway, later as Peace Street and now as Watchung Avenue. It was they who built the first grist mill, on Green Brook, at the head of Peace Street.
In 1782, Taylor Webster, a son of the builder, was granted by his father the privilege of constructing a race-way from the pond to the new mill on the mountain road, now Somerset Street. The Webster family may properly be credited with localizing the town of Plainfield.
©1998, Rahway & Plainfield Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends