In 1915, Julia Brown was 37 years old, married to Morris Brown, and living on Netherwood Avenue in Westfield. Morris died suddenly in 1917.
Less than 2 years later, Julia had met, married, and purchased land with Moses Hines on the opposite side of Netherwood Avenue from where she had lived with Morris Brown. Moses was 47 at the time of his marriage and originally from South Hampton, Virginia, just north of Julia’s birthplace of Greensboro, North Carolina. Moses had been a laborer in the brickyards at Haverstraw, New York.
It is documented that the Haverstraw Brickyard owners had difficulty finding workers locally to work in the extreme heat of their kilns and had gone to the South to recruit African-Americans to come North to work in their brickyards. Since Westfield was 40 miles away from Haverstraw, it is fair to conclude that Moses was seeking other job opportunities by his move; he was listed as a pickler in a factory in the 1920 US Census. It is also interesting to note that two other African-Americans who lived Haverstraw bought land near the home of Julia and Moses, but never built homes on their land.
In the 1930’s Moses joined with neighbors to form a third church organization - Metropolitan Baptist Church, which eventually built a church on the corner of John Street and Jerusalem Road. Moses rose to become a Deacon for the Church and regularly served as a pallbearer for funerals of church members.
Julia passed away in 1952. In 1954, Moses was struck by a car as he walked along Brightwood Avenue. He moved in with Cordelia and Mac Manair, also a pallbearer at Metropolitan Church, to recuperate from his injuries, and ended staying with them for the next 8 years until his death at the age of 90.
In 1958, he sold his home to his grand-nephew, Clarence Smith, who lived in Plainfield. Smith sold the property to the Town of Westfield in 1969 for $3,250.
Brightwood Park is on the North end of Prospect Street. Go past Franklin School and look for the entrance on the left.