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Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Gretna I.Q. Test Answers

Last Sunday, April 26th, we published a New Gretna I.Q. Test. Below are the answers for those of you who took the test. Remember, 15 or more correct answers entitles you to join the New Gretna Menza Club. As far as I know, only Donald Maxwell and Bob Mathis qualify to be members, as of this morning. Donald got all 17 correct and Bob got 16 out of 17 correct, only missing the last question. Great job guys! Please let me know if anyone else out there got 15 or more correct, so that I can acknowledge your membership in the New Gretna Menza Club. Maybe we'll have membership cards printed.

The answers posted below were largely taken from Bob Mathis' email. Thanks for saving me a lot of typing, Bob.

New Gretna I.Q. Question Answers

1. What did Harry Kid have in common with the Great John Mathis? Last name of both is Mathis.

2. Who were the Gray brothers? Bill and Frank. They had an oyster and clam business.

Frank (1896-1986), left, and Bill Gray (1897-1954) as youngsters.

3. Which of the clammers was noted for his gigantic hands? Delbert Robbins

Del Robbins (1893-1967). Big hands and big boots!

4. Who on the list owned and operated a saw mill? Milton Kauflin

Mutt Kauflin (1911-1987) had a saw mill on Eel Street.

5. Who was "Keever"? Edward Allen.  Father of Woodrow, Leslie and others.

Edward Keever Allen (1875-1965) cutting his birthday cake.

6. Who on the list captained an America's Cup winning Yacht that was, at times, anchored off Allen's Dock area? Can you name the yacht? Tom Mathis and the Yacht Columbia.

7. Who was "Rue"? LaRue Mizelle.  He captained Chet Allen's boat the "Evelyn".

Rue Mizelle

8. Who captained the "Saphire Lady"? Otto and Fred Kalm. It was built by Otto.

Otto Kalm (1899-1989) built and captained the "Saphire Lady."

The "Saphire Lady" was also captained by Otto's son, Fred.

9. Who on the list was related to the famous VanSant ship building family? (Hint: He was a good ship builder, also, when you could get him to work. He was known to march to the beat of a different drummer.).  Joe Cramer

Joe Cramer (1906-1976)

10. Who was nicknamed "Sach"? Hillary Robbins

A young "Sach" Robbins (1896-1952).

11. Helen Carty presently lives on Route 9 across from the Speedy Deli. Her uncle, who lived in that house before her, is on the list? Who is he? Washie Allen

Caleb Washington "Washie" Allen (1882-1960)

12. Who later operated the marina at Cape Horn? Ferron Lamson

Ferron Lamson (1905-1977)

13. Who on the list was an oyster watchman? Washie Allen and Otto Kalm.

14. Who lived on New York Road, in Mathistown, just a stones throw from Munion Field Road? Ben Chew (1868-1947)

Ben Chews Rt 9 house is no longer there.

Who can name its last resident?

15. Who lived on Allentown Road, across the street from the New Gretna School? Jess Loveland

Jesse Loveland (1859-1952)

16. Who on the list was born in New Gretna, became a New Jersey State Senator, and was the New Jersey Secretary of State from 1931 to 1940? Tom Mathis

17. What was Charles Henry's last name? Allen

Charles Henry Allen (1854-1937)

As I stated in the "Comments" section of the April 26th I.Q. Test Blog post, Donald Maxwell pointed out an error in my construction of questions #6 and #16. This comment is posted below.

Don also held my feet to the fire by pointing out that I was mistaken with questions #6 and #16. The name on Chet's gas list is the same as my answer to those questions, but it is not the same person. It's a case where two men had the same name, a common occurrence in New Gretna families. I'll be posting the answers to the questions and an explanation of my mistaken identity in questions # 6 and # 16 in a few days. 

Seems that there was more than one Tom Mathis. I assumed that the "Tom Mathis" on Chet's list was the more famous of the two but, after reflection on Donald's comments in our telephone conversation, I have to agree with him. Interestingly, they were both born in New Gretna in the same year.

Thomas A. Mathis, known affectionately as Captain Tom, the son of Alfred and Abigail Loveland Mathis, was born in New Gretna on June 7, 1869 and later moved to Tuckerton and Toms River. He captained the America's Cup winner Columbia and later became a New Jersey State Senator and New Jersey Secretary of State. He died on May 18, 1958. Who can tell me where he is buried?

According to Donald Maxwell, this is the New Gretna childhood home of Captain Tom. Identify the location of the home and its present owner and receive a bonus New Gretna I.Q. Test point. Hint: It's in Frogtown. (April 27, 2009 photo by Pete Stemmer.)

Thomas S. Mathis, who Donald Maxwell believes is on Chet Allen's gas list, is the son of Elizabeth White and DeWitt Clinton Mathis, Sr. He was born March 1, 1869 and died September 18, 1951. He and his wife, Ida Deacon, are buried in Miller Cemetery in New Gretna.

Well, that's just about it for our New Gretna I.Q. Test review. Hope you did well.

Pete S


  1. Pete; Great Quiz. Congradulation to Don & Bob. I have a couple of questions for the experts.

    1. How come Dan LeMunyon didn't make the gas list?

    2. Ben Chew always rode a bicycle, what did he need gas for? Did he have a boat?

    Clif Brown

  2. Clif,

    Maybe Dan paid cash. I believe the list was just for credit. As for whether or not Ben Chew had a boat, perhaps Jim McAnney or Don Maxwell can comment on that.

    How did you make out on the quiz?

    Pete S

  3. Yesterday, when I posted the New Gretna I.Q. Test, I inadvertently posted the wrong photo as the house that Donald Maxwell reported as Captain Tom Mathis' boyhood home. The correct photo is now posted as of 8:00 PM, Thursday, April 30th. Sorry about the mistake.

    Pete S

  4. Pete; In response to your question, How did I do on the quiz? I post the following.

    Question 8: I was completely bafflied.

    Question 9: I scanned back issues of the "Bass
    River Gazette" and found an
    article on Joe Cramer.

    Question 17: Located two Charles Miller
    Cemetary, Adams or Allen. I selected
    Allen as his DOD was in 1937.

    The other questions I initialy answered correctly.

    As quizmaster its your call whether I qualify or not.

    Clif Brown

  5. Clif,

    Welcome aboard! You did some pretty smart detective work.

    Pete S

  6. I emailed Don Maxwell to make sure that the photo I have posted as Captain Tom Mathis is correct. Following was his reply.

    Yes Pete, that's the correct house according to my grandmother who lived in the Nelson Cramer house now owned by Tommy Cramer. She was a member of that family, she was a Cramer also. She said she was friendly with Captain Tom's older and younger sisters. She was born in 1862 so she remembered a lot about old New Gretna.

    I have no idea where captain Tom was buried. For a while after I graduated from business college, I worked for a short time in Tom's River with a auditing firm and remembered Captain Tom taking his daily walk down Hooper Avenue near the court house with his swagger cane. He used to come quite often to the New Gretna Old Home Society dinner on Decoration Day. He would pull up in his chauffeured black limousine at the old Civic Hall. It was always held on the 30th of May regardless what day of the week it fell on. Don Maxwell


    PS- The Old Home Society still meets for a dinner
    every Memorial Day Sunday. This year it's being held on May 24th at 2 PM at St. Paul's Methodist Church on Rt 9 in New Gretna. It's a great time to talk with some New Gretna old timers about the "good old days."Anyone wishing to attend can contact me for information. Pete S

  7. I will attempt to answer two questions posed on the Blog.

    First- Why wasn’t Dan LeMunyon on Chet’s gas list? Answer: Its very possible Dan wasn’t around at that time. He was an experienced seaman and was known to ship out on ocean going vessels for extended lengths of time. He served on the SS Mills, a tanker captained by Capt. Haines Maxwell for 30 years or more. Even I can remember Dan LeMunyon going to sea for long spells. He told of stories being on ship with Harry Kid, Rodney and his brother, Harold Mathis, and numerous others. My own uncle, Ted Allen served for at least 30 yrs on the S.S. Mills captained by Haines Maxwell. I believe Dan had retired from the sea by the time WWII started, as I remember him mostly clamming as my father bought his clams and him coming in every Saturaday night to get his weekly pay for
    the clams he caught.

    Second Question- Why did Ben Chew need gas for as he rode a bicycle? Yes, he did have a boat, a clamming garvey, and he also had clamming leases in Great Bay. I remember seeing him at a distance as he always sat up on top of the cabin and steered his boat by turning the steering wheel with his foot.

    Don Maxwell

    1. Seen this information on the net and couldn't help but wonder if the "Dan LeMunyon" you make reference to might be my grandfather. He was the son of Giorgianna ( Mathis ) LeMunyon, who is descended from John "The Great" Mathis. My grandfather's youngest child would have been my mother - Martha Alicia. When she was alive, she had told me her father was the ship's captain on the SS WW Mills. If all this is relevant to you, then obviously she had her information wrong. Maybe Grandpop embellished things a bit too much.
      I wonder if you could drop me a line with some info on the family? My name is Samuel R. LeMunyon and you can email me at . I would certainly appreciate it.
      Thanks in advance - Sam

  8. Hi,

    Question for Don Maxwell: Harry Clinton "Kid" Mathis was my great grandfather (Harold Hilliard was my grandfather). I would love to hear some of the stories of his time at sea on the SS Mills. Any chance you might be able to post something here, or contact me off-blog? I am at

    Many thanks!

    Don Mathis

  9. super nice pictures! 're Really pretty ne! In general, full of sweet test

  10. Cindy (Gray) DickeyAugust 16, 2010 at 1:14 AM

    How wonderful to see the picture of the Gray brothers. Bill was my grandfather. I never met him. He died in 1954 and I (his first grandchild) was born in 1955. My brother Bill, born 1956, looked exactly like our granfather at the same age. Is this a great website or what!!!

  11. I'm the brother Bill that was born in 1956. I just saw the picture and i can't believe how much it looks like me.