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Springfield Township, Union County, New Jersey

Springfield Township, New Jersey
Township of Springfield
First Congregation of the Presbyterian Church at Springfield
Map of Springfield Township in Union County. Inset: location of Union County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Springfield Township in Union County. Inset: location of Union County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Springfield Township, Union County, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Springfield Township, Union County, New Jersey
Springfield Township is located in Union County, New Jersey
Springfield Township
Springfield Township
Location in Union County
Springfield Township is located in New Jersey
Springfield Township
Springfield Township
Location in New Jersey
Springfield Township is located in the United States
Springfield Township
Springfield Township
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 40°41′53″N 74°20′04″W / 40.697966°N 74.334436°W / 40.697966; -74.334436Coordinates: 40°41′53″N 74°20′04″W / 40.697966°N 74.334436°W / 40.697966; -74.334436
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Union
FormedApril 14, 1794
IncorporatedFebruary 21, 1798
Government
 • TypeTownship
 • BodyTownship Committee
 • MayorAlex Keiser (D, term ends December 31, 2022)
 • AdministratorJohn Bussiculo
 • Municipal clerkLinda Donnelly
Area
 • Total5.17 sq mi (13.40 km2)
 • Land5.16 sq mi (13.36 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)  0.31%
 • Rank272nd of 565 in state
9th of 21 in county
Elevation138 ft (42 m)
Population
 • Total15,817
 • Estimate 
(2019)
17,464
 • Rank161st of 566 in state
12th of 21 in county
 • Density3,057.2/sq mi (1,180.4/km2)
  • Rank211th of 566 in state
18th of 21 in county
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
07081
Area code(s)908 and 973
FIPS code3403970020
GNIS feature ID0882213
Websitewww.springfield-nj.us

Springfield Township is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. The township is located on a ridge in northern-central New Jersey, within the Raritan Valley and Rahway Valley regions in the New York metropolitan area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 15,817, the highest recorded at any decennial census, reflecting an increase of 1,388 (+9.6%) from the 14,429 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,009 (+7.5%) from the 13,420 counted in the 1990 Census. Recent housing construction has pushed the township's population to 17,464 as of the 2019 census estimate.

Springfield was formed as a township on April 14, 1794, from portions of Elizabeth Township and Newark Township, while the area was still part of Essex County, and was incorporated as one of New Jersey's first 104 townships by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798. It became part of the newly formed Union County on March 19, 1857, with portions remaining in Essex County used to create Millburn. Other portions of the township have been taken to form New Providence Township (November 8, 1809, now known as Berkeley Heights), Livingston (February 5, 1813), Summit (March 23, 1869) and Cranford (March 14, 1871). The township's name derives from springs and brooks in the area.

The Battle of Springfield was fought here, the last of many battles of the American Revolutionary War to be fought in New Jersey.

Springfield is the home of the Baltusrol Golf Club, which was the host to the 2016 PGA Championship. It has also hosted other golf major championships, including the U.S. Open, held on seven occasions at Baltusrol, most recently in 1993. Golfweek magazine ranked Baltusrol as the 36th best in its 2010 rankings of the "Best Classic Courses" in the country.

New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Springfield as the 85th best place to live in New Jersey in its 2010 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.

History

Springfield is celebrated as the site of a Battle of Springfield between the American Continental Army and British forces on June 23, 1780. The British, under Hessian General Wilhelm von Knyphausen, advanced from Elizabethtown about 5 o'clock in the morning. They were opposed by General Nathanael Greene, but owing to the superior number of the enemy he was compelled to evacuate Springfield, which was then burned by the British. During the action the Rev. James Caldwell, chaplain in the New Jersey brigade, is said to have distributed the Watts hymn books from the neighboring Presbyterian Church among the soldiers for wadding, saying at the same time, "Now put Watts into them, boys." This battle prevented further advance on the part of the British. The American loss was about 15 and that of the British about 150.

Some historical landmarks from the Revolution still stand: the Cannon Ball House, which has since been converted into a museum, was (according to the township's official website) "Built circa 1741 and served as a farmhouse at the time of the Revolutionary War. During the Battle of Springfield (June 23, 1780) the British used it as a hospital. ... It was one of only three buildings left standing when all others including the Presbyterian Church where Reverend James Caldwell had taken Watts hymnbooks for rifle wadding, were set on fire. ... In later years the house became a tavern to serve travelers on Morris (Ave) Turnpike. The farmland was later sold off, and it served then as a private residence. The property was acquired by the Springfield Historical Society in 1955. It has become known as The Cannon Ball House because a cannonball was found on the west side embedded in a beam. ... The Cannon Ball House has five revolutionary era rooms, some American Civil War items, early tools, a Battle diorama and a colonial garden. It has just been (1998) renovated to its original appearance and color."

After being burned down by the British, First Presbyterian Church was rebuilt. A statue of a Continental soldier was erected in 1903 at the site of the smallest state park in New Jersey.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 5.17 square miles (13.40 km2), including 5.16 square miles (13.36 km2) of land and 0.02 square miles (0.04 km2) of water (0.31%).

The Township of Springfield is located on the northern edge of Union County and is bordered by Millburn to the north in Essex County, by Union Township to the east, by Kenilworth to the southeast, by Westfield and Cranford to the south, by Mountainside to the southwest and by Summit to the northwest.

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Baltusrol, Branch Mills and Milltown.

Parks and recreation

The Rahway River Parkway greenway along the Rahway River runs through the township.

Parks include:

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18102,360
18201,804*−23.6%
18301,656−8.2%
18401,651−0.3%
18501,94517.8%
18601,020*−47.6%
1870770*−24.5%
1880844*9.6%
189095913.6%
19001,07311.9%
19101,24616.1%
19201,71537.6%
19303,725117.2%
19404,14811.4%
19507,21473.9%
196014,467100.5%
197015,7408.8%
198013,955−11.3%
199013,420−3.8%
200014,4297.5%
201015,8179.6%
2019 (est.)17,46410.4%
Population sources:
1810-1920 1840
1850-1870 1850 1870
1880-1890 1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.

2010 Census

The 2010 United States census counted 15,817 people, 6,511 households, and 4,265 families in the township. The population density was 3,057.2 per square mile (1,180.4/km2). There were 6,736 housing units at an average density of 1,302.0 per square mile (502.7/km2). The racial makeup was 82.46% (13,042) White, 6.25% (989) Black or African American, 0.06% (10) Native American, 7.70% (1,218) Asian, 0.01% (2) Pacific Islander, 1.75% (277) from other races, and 1.76% (279) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.50% (1,502) of the population.

Of the 6,511 households, 29.0% had children under the age of 18; 53.6% were married couples living together; 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present and 34.5% were non-families. Of all households, 29.6% were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.05.

21.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.9 years. For every 100 females, the population had 88.8 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 84.7 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $84,038 (with a margin of error of +/- $8,139) and the median family income was $111,359 (+/- $8,121). Males had a median income of $74,335 (+/- $7,959) versus $62,859 (+/- $6,250) for females. The per capita income for the township was $46,393 (+/- $3,175). About 2.9% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.9% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 14,429 people, 6,001 households, and 4,014 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,801.8 people per square mile (1,081.8/km2). There were 6,204 housing units at an average density of 1,204.7 per square mile (465.1/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 89.72% White, 3.72% African American, 0.02% Native American, 4.69% Asian, 0.96% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 4.14% of the population.

There were 6,001 households, out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the township the population was spread out, with 20.6% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.0 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $73,790, and the median income for a family was $85,725. Males had a median income of $55,907 versus $39,542 for females. The per capita income for the township was $36,754. About 1.8% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.0% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Local government

The Township of Springfield is governed under the Township form of New Jersey municipal government, one of 141 municipalities (of the 564) statewide that use this form, the second-most commonly used form of government in the state. The Township Committee is comprised of five members, who are elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At an annual reorganization meeting, usually held on the first day of January, the committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor and another as Deputy Mayor.

As of 2022, members of the Springfield Township Committee members are Mayor Alex Keiser (D, term on committee ends December 31, 2024; term as mayor ends 2022), Deputy Mayor Christopher Weber (D, term on committee ends 2024; term as deputy mayor ends 2022), Erica DuBois (D, 2022), Richard Huber (D, 2022) and Christopher Capodice (D, 2023).

In the November 2012 general election, voters approved the formation of a Charter Study Commission that would consider the possibility of changing the existing township form of government and may recommend changing to one the forms available under the Faulkner Act (mayor-council, council-manager, small municipality or mayor-council-administrator), one of the other available forms or to leave the form of government unchanged.

Federal, state and county representation

Springfield Township is located in the 7th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 21st state legislative district.

For the 117th United States Congress. New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Tom Malinowski (D, East Amwell Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2027) and Bob Menendez (Harrison, term ends 2025).

For the 2022–2023 session, the 21st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Jon Bramnick (R, Westfield) and in the General Assembly by Michele Matsikoudis (R, New Providence) and Nancy Munoz (R, Summit).

Union County is governed by a Board of County Commissioners, whose nine members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis with three seats coming up for election each year, with an appointed County Manager overseeing the day-to-day operations of the county. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Chair and Vice Chair from among its members. As of 2022, Union County's County Commissioners are Chair Rebecca Williams (D, Plainfield, term as commissioner and as chair ends December 31, 2022), Vice Chair Christopher Hudak (D, Linden, term as commissioner ends 2023; term as vice chair ends 2022), James E. Baker Jr. (D, Rahway, 2024), Angela R. Garretson (D, Hillside, 2023), Sergio Granados (D, Elizabeth, 2022), Bette Jane Kowalski (D, Cranford, 2022), Lourdes M. Leon (D, Elizabeth, 2023), Alexander Mirabella (D, Fanwood, 2024) and Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded (D, Westfield, 2024). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi (D, Union Township, 2025), Sheriff Peter Corvelli (D, Kenilworth, 2023) and Surrogate Susan Dinardo (acting). The County Manager is Edward Oatman.

Politics

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 10,078 registered voters in Springfield Township, of which 3,271 (32.5% vs. 41.8% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,795 (17.8% vs. 15.3%) were registered as Republicans and 5,007 (49.7% vs. 42.9%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 5 voters registered to other parties. Among the township's 2010 Census population, 63.7% (vs. 53.3% in Union County) were registered to vote, including 80.7% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.6% countywide).

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 4,083 votes (55.3% vs. 66.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 3,179 votes (43.0% vs. 32.3%) and other candidates with 63 votes (0.9% vs. 0.8%), among the 7,388 ballots cast by the township's 10,772 registered voters, for a turnout of 68.6% (vs. 68.8% in Union County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 4,328 votes (53.9% vs. 63.1% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 3,548 votes (44.2% vs. 35.2%) and other candidates with 82 votes (1.0% vs. 0.9%), among the 8,033 ballots cast by the township's 10,379 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.4% (vs. 74.7% in Union County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 4,246 votes (55.1% vs. 58.3% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 3,372 votes (43.8% vs. 40.3%) and other candidates with 49 votes (0.6% vs. 0.7%), among the 7,703 ballots cast by the township's 9,885 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.9% (vs. 72.3% in the whole county).

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 57.0% of the vote (2,624 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 41.7% (1,921 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (59 votes), among the 4,723 ballots cast by the township's 10,771 registered voters (119 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 43.8%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 2,477 votes (46.0% vs. 41.7% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 2,447 votes (45.5% vs. 50.6%), Independent Chris Daggett with 359 votes (6.7% vs. 5.9%) and other candidates with 28 votes (0.5% vs. 0.8%), among the 5,380 ballots cast by the township's 10,214 registered voters, yielding a 52.7% turnout (vs. 46.5% in the county).

Education

The Springfield Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of five schools, had an enrollment of 2,273 students and 167.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.6:1. All of the township's schools are named after notable Springfieldians. For instance, the township's high school is named after Jonathan Dayton, a signer of the United States Constitution. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Edward V. Walton Early Childhood Center with 627 students in grades PreK-2, James Caldwell Elementary School with 255 students in grades 3-5, Thelma L. Sandmeier Elementary School with 261 students in grades 3-5, Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School with 512 students in grades 6-8 and Jonathan Dayton High School with 578 students in grades 9-12.

Adjacent to Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School is Saint James the Apostle School, a Catholic school serving students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grades with an enrollment of 148 students, operating under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.

Transportation

Roads and highways

I-78 eastbound in Springfield Township

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 56.53 miles (90.98 km) of roadways, of which 39.82 miles (64.08 km) were maintained by the municipality, 8.63 miles (13.89 km) by Union County and 8.08 miles (13.00 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

A number of major highways and roadways pass through Springfield, including Interstate 78, U.S. Route 22, NJ Routes 24 and 124, as well as CR 509 Spur and CR 577.

Public transportation

NJ Transit provides bus service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan in New York City and to points in New Jersey including Newark Penn Station. Parking is available for a fee at a municipal lot near the center of town (Hannah Street and Center Street) and in the Duffy's Corner lot at Morris and Caldwell Place, which provide easy access to all NJ Transit buses that run through town. Annual permits are available from the town hall.

Although there is no train station in Springfield, the Millburn and Short Hills NJ Transit stations are located nearby, though neither allows commuter-hour parking for non-residents, and parking hours are very limited even on weekends. The closest stations that allow out-of-town residents access to parking are Maplewood and Summit, although both are full to capacity very early on weekdays. The 70 bus provides access from the center of town to NJ Transit's Summit and Millburn stations; Eastbound it terminates at NJ Transit's Newark Penn Station with connections to Amtrak, NJ Transit trains to New York Penn Station, and Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) trains. The township also runs a jitney that operates on weekdays during morning and evening rush hours from the community pool to NJ Transit's Short Hills station. NJ Transit buses 65, 66 and 70 (to Newark), the 114 (to Midtown Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal) and local service on the 52 route also run along the town's major roadways.

Newark Liberty International Airport is approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of Springfield.

Historical transportation

The Rahway Valley Railroad passed through the community, and during the early 20th century offered both freight and passenger service, but is currently out of service. The section of the railway that extended from Springfield to Summit was taken out of service in 1976, though special trains were operated to provide service to Baltusrol during the 1980 U.S. Open.

A trolley line called the Morris County Traction Company, ran trolley service through Springfield to/from Newark and Morris County, in the early part of the 20th century.

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Springfield Township include:

This page was last updated at 2022-07-01 15:41 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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