Rahway - Encyclopedia


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RAHWAY, a city of Union county, New Jersey, U.S.A., in the north-eastern part of the state, on the Rahway river and about 20 m. S.W. of New York City. Pop. (1890) 7105; (1900) 7935 of whom 1345 were foreign-born; (1910 U.S. census) 9337. Rahway is served by the main line of the Pennsylvania railroad, and is connected with neighbouring cities by electric lines. It has wide streets and attractive parks, and is, to some extent, a residential suburb of New York and other neighbouring cities. It has a public library (1864), with upwards of 17,000 volumes, and about 12 m. distant is the New Jersey Reformatory (1903), to which prisoners between the ages of sixteen and thirty may be sentenced instead of to the State Prison. There are various manufactures. Rahway was first settled in 1720, and was named in honour of the Indian chief Rahwack, whose tribe owned the site and the surrounding territory; it was chartered as a city in 1858. For many years Rahway was popularly known as Spanktown, and in January 1777, during the War of Independence, a skirmish, known as the battle of Spanktown, was fought here.

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