History of the Borough of East Newark 1895-1995
In late spring of the year 1895, a group of citizens, from what was then the First Ward of the Town of Kearny, became dissatisfied with the neglect of their interests. For their tax dollars they wanted a larger say in governing their district. They set about to establish a new borough and named it: "The Borough of East Newark."
Much of the credit for engineering the breakaway from Kearny was given to Mr. Edward Kenny, and as a result, he was named the first Mayor of East Newark. There are many tales that have mixed fact with legend that have been passed down from generation to generation of the antics that preceded the actual creation of The Borough of East Newark: the smallest borough in the area.
Though the smallest borough, East Newark has made an indelible contribution to the community. Mayor Kenny set an example that we should take heed of in today's world: "We have been selected by the people as their agents solely to provide for the public necessities of the people, and our efforts, and our work should be confined entirely to that object."
Acting on those words, they worked towards establishing a borough school, and fire and street departments, and urged that the new government not be rife with partisan politics, but rather that it be one: "having only the local public interest in view."
As an example, the Fire Department consisted of a 40 man volunteer force that was divided into two companies. With a fire truck and the hose carriage, the original cost of the fire department and the equipment was $1411.50.
Having successfully established the school system, fire department, and borough offices, the Mayor and Council set out to establish a Police force. The Chief, Andrew Davis, was sworn in, and hired three additional officers, who were then called "Marshalls," at the salary of $65 per month.
Imagine trying to set up a new borough in today's world. It would certainly cost more, but would the dedication to serving the public endure? Modern day East Newark continues to function as it did 100 years ago, providing essential services to the community. Throughout the past five years, all major roadways have been repaved and equipped with handicap accessible crosswalks. The Volunteer Fire Department is equipped with modern gear, and a state-of-the-art fire engine. Plans are underway to ensure that the school is equipped to educate the youth for the next century.
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This website was last updated on Friday, November 23, 2001
© Ken Forbes 1999-2001. All Rights Reserved