the original settlers in Hunterdon County, many put down roots that have held fast to the present. The Philhower family's
tenure in and around Tewksbury Township and Califon is typical of so many family histories which tell of the development of
an area strong in character and tradition.
The patriarch, Philip Wulhauer, emigrated from Germany
on the ship Patience, landing in the port of Philadelphia on September 16, 1748 at age 24. He met and wooed his wife on shipboard,
and Philip and Anna Maria traveled to Hunterdon County to settle.
Philip leased 14 acres in what
is now Tewksbury Township in 1758 and established the Philhower homestead, building first a log cabin--a large room and a
loft. He soon built the house that still stands today. It was put together with mortar, lime, sand, and clay, and its walls
were 18 inches thick. His land was then 100 acres. Philhowers have occupied the homestead continuously.
Philip and Anna Maria had seven
children, all of whom survived, married, stayed in the area, and produced large families (73 grandchildren for Philip and
Anna Maria.) A few descendents moved out of the area, but much of the family history is close to home.
the family names entwined with the Philhowers are Apgar, Sutton, Fleming, and Hoffman. Philhowers have represented this area
as soldiers in all the wars. They were farmers, millers, physicians, ministers, merchants, bankers, and educators. One was
considered a prophet.
In 1917, the Philhowers held their first family reunion, attended by nearly
400 descendents of Philip and Anna Maria. As noted in a newspaper report: "ice-cold lemonade was served from a twenty-gallon
stone pot. The children were keen competitors in the various races. George M. Lindaberry's victrola was loaned for the afternoon.
An actual count of the vehicles at the luncheon hour showed 52 touring cars and 21 wagons."
Philhower family has continued its traditional gathering uninterrupted, having recently celebrated their 89th reunion.