The Township of Franklin was incorporated on January 27, 1820 when 72,000 acres of portions of Woolwich and Greenwich Townships were combined. Glassboro, Clayton, Newfield, and Elk were originally part of this tract, but became independent municipalities by 1924.
Farms, orchards, glasshouses, gristmills and saw mills were an important part of the economy. In 1861, the Woodbury-to-Glassboro rail line carried passengers and freight from Camden to Millville, and a short time later, to Cape May. Franklinville, Iona, Malaga, and Newfield had stations along the way.
A growing population needed schools, and Delsea Regional was built in 1960, with Delsea Regional Middle School following several years later. Small, localized elementary schools were replaced with larger facilities: Mary F. Janvier School, Main Road School, and Caroline Reutter School.
This history is a chapter from the book "Counties of Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland New Jersey, with Biographical Sketches of Their Prominent Citizens" by Cushing and Sheppard, available on Amazon.
Township of Franklin Today
Today the Township of Franklin remains a semi-rural area with a mix of housing, businesses, farming, and open spaces. The population has grown from 1,137 in 1820 to 16,669 in 2010.