Franklin Dye

Franklin Dye was the grandson of Josiah and Jane Chambers Dey and the great grandson of Lawrence and Ann Dey Dey.

FRANKLIN DYE, at present and for twenty years past secretary of the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture, and holding a number of other responsible offices, is a representative of a family the first members of which in this country came over with the early settlers from Holland and France, and whose descendants are scattered throughout the United States. In the Richmond county, Staten Island, Deeds D, 131, mention is made of the fact that Francis Bodine married Maria Dev (as the name was then spelled), daughter of James Hance Dey, of Staten Island. From thence he removed to Cranbury, Middlesex county, New Jersey, about 1736 or 1737. Vincent Bodine, April 14, 1761, purchased a tract of land from his father-in-law, Lawrence Dey. This land was at that time and is at present (1906) known as the "Old Church Farm," from the fact that the first church in all that section of the state was there erected. The farm is near the old Red Tavern and east of Hightstown, Mercer county, New Jersey, and has been almost continuously in the possession of the Dye or Dey family until the present time. The Dutch records give the Dey coat of arms with the motto "Semper Fidelis."

Josiah Dey, grandfather of Franklin Dye, was a direct descendant of the Staten Island and New York city Deys, in honor of whom Dey street in New York city is named. Subsequent to his honorable discharge from the service after the war of the American revolution, he was a resident for a number of years of Mercer county, New Jersey, as was also Jane Chambers, whom he subsequently married. Later they removed to Middlesex county and settled on the Millstone east of Hightstown, and, at their death, were buried in the cemetery connected with the Baptist church of that town, of which they were members. Among his children were: Peter Walsh, of whom see forward. Elias, who was one of the founders of the Second Presbyterian Church of Cranbury, New Jersey, and a ruling elder in it until old age. He was a member of the state legislature in 1860.

Peter Walsh Dye, son of Josiah and Jane (Chambers) Dye, was born near Hamilton Square, Mercer county, New Jersey. He was a progressive farmer and influential business man in Cranbury, Middlesex county, and was a member of the legislature in 1851. He also was a ruling elder in the Second Presbyterian Church of Cranbury. He removed with the younger members of his family to Trenton, Mercer county, New Jersey, about 1865. He married Ann Eliza Bodine, daughter of James and Kitty A. (Wyckoff) Bodine, of Cranbury. James Bodine was a soldier in the war of the revolution, and was the son of Vincent Bodine, mentioned previously. During the detention of Washington's army at Cranbury, as per his report to congress, July 1, 1778, General Lafayette visited Vincent Bodine and his family and was their guest, at least for a day, as General Lafayette had been intimately acquainted with the Bodines of France. "In France the Bodine family has borne an honorable part in war and peace, and has given to the world the noted political thinker and philosophical reasoner, Jean Bodin, the father of political science, if Machiavelli be excepted, and the author of 'Livres de la Republique.' Sir William Hamilton, 1729-1803, said of him that, from the time of Aristotle until Montesquieu the six books of Bodin's formed the ablest and most remarkable [Image for Genealogical and Personal Memorial of Mercer County, New Jersey Vol 1 ]treatise extant on the philosophy of government and legislation." The children of Peter Walsh and Ann Eliza (Bodine) Dye were: Morgan, deceased. Franklin, see forward. Peter Hampton, who was in active service throughout the Civil war, and is now a resident of California. Elias, deceased, who married Emeline Duncan, daughter of Andrew Duncan, of Cranbury Neck. Joseph Chambers, who served as a member of the common council of the city of Trenton. Levi, a dry goods merchant of Trenton, deceased. James W. Cornelia, who married Alfred M. Perrine, of Cranbury, New Jersey. Gertrude Ann, who, after the death of her sister Cornelia became the second wife of Mr. Perrine. Jane E., who married Spafford W. Davison, of Cranbury, and who now resides in Trenton, New Jersey.

Franklin Dye, second son and child of Peter Walsh and Ann Eliza (Bodine) Dye, was born on the Old Church Farm near Cranbury, Middlesex county, New Jersey, April 1, 1836. He received an excellent education in public and private schools and supplemented this by home study. He took an active part in enlisting soldiers for service during the Civil war, and was secretary of a Union League during that period. He was actively engaged in the cultivation of his farm until 1886, when the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture elected him its treasurer, and in 1887 secretary, a position to which he has been re-elected from time to time until his present term, which will expire in 1911, when he will have made a continuous service of twenty-five years. He was instrumental in bringing to a successful issue the efforts of the State Board of Agriculture to improve our roads by state aid, using stone in their construction (see Report of State Board of Agriculture, page 45, 1903-04). He is also secretary of the state commission on tuberculosis in animals; is director of the Farmers' Institutes in this state; a director and one of the organizers of the Interstate Fair Association, and secretary of the Mercer County Board of Agriculture, which he, with others, organized in 1883. On his removal to Mercer county he was elected a member of the executive committee of the Mercer County Bible Society, which still exists; was chosen ruling elder in the Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church, with which he united, and secretary of the Mercer County Sunday School Association, which he built up from reporting only fourteen schools to reporting one hundred and one evangelical schools to the state association. He is a member of the National Geographical Society, Washington, D. C.; a life member of the American Bible Society; the American Tract Society and of the American Sunday School Union.

Prior to his connection with the State Board of Agriculture, Secretary Dye increased the revenues of his farm, for a number of years, by a series of singing classes which he conducted in surrounding neighborhoods during the winter evenings. These were both popular and useful. Later, at the urgent request of the trustees of the district schools adjoining his farm, he consented to teach them two successive winters, but this requiring day service interfered too much with his farm work and was not longer continued.

He married (first) Sarah Brown Hewitt, born in North Stonington, Connecticut, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Brown Hewitt; the children of this marriage were: Jennie Davison, who married Arthur Parks Smith, of Springfield, Massachusetts. Sarah F., who married Frank H. Barr, of Trenton. New Jersey. He married (second) Anna Stevens, daughter of James S. Stevens, of Slackwood, near Trenton. He married (third) Elizabeth Draycott, daughter of Thomas and Margaret Draycott, of Loughborough, Leicestershire, England, who subsequently removed to Muskoka, Canada. On his removal from his farm to Trenton, in 1887, he identified himself with the Fourth Presbyterian Church, with which he is still connected, and in which he is a ruling elder.

Genealogical and Personal Memorial of Mercer County, New Jersey Vol 1