Of 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
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.
Among 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."
family has continued its traditional gathering uninterrupted, having recently celebrated their 101st reunion.