Sperry Park (a.k.a. the Sperry Section of the Rahway River Park)

Cranford, Union County, New Jersey


Geology:

the park borders the Rahway River


History:

The donator of the park was William Miller Sperry (1839 - 1927).

1859 William M. Sperry born at Bristol, Tennessee. His father was a Knoxville newspaper editor and supporter of the Confederate cause, was active in the Civil War.

1890 Sperry married Carrie M. Whitehead in New York City. They had one daughter.

1891 Mrs. Sperry died.

1896 brother Thomas A. Sperry originally founded the S&H firm.

1897 -- in Chicago Sperry married Emily L. Mooney. They had three daughters.

1898 William Miller Sperry came to Cranford.

He and two of his brothers Thomas Alexander Sperry and Joseph Austin Sperry had much to do with the development of the Cranford community.

c. 1901 Sperry purchased a half interest in The Sperry and Hutchinson Company, distributors of S&H Green Stamps and succeeded his brother as president.

William M. Sperry was one of the founders and later president of the Cranford National Bank. He was also a director of the Cranford Mutual Building and Loan Association, now the Cranford Savings and Loan Association.

Sperry remodeled the old "Opera House" block on North Avenue west, after a disastrous fire. The building now houses the Suburban Trust Company.

1906 he erected the Sperry Building in downtown Cranford which still bears his name.

1927 Sperry dies at Roosevelt Hospital, New York.


Habitats:

There was a lagoon formed by a dam across the Rahway River which served as the focal point of the Annual Cranford Venetian Water Carnival, probably the most entertaining and popular event of the time.