Founder’s biography translated

WEST MILFORD. Seventeen years after the project began, the story of Peter Hasenclever, founder of the Long Pond Ironworks, is available in English.

| 13 Jan 2024 | 12:52

Two historians curious about Peter Hasenclever, founder of the Long Pond Ironworks, soon learned that there was very little information about him available.

Elbertus Prol and Hans Niederstrasser found that secondary sources had based their work on material in a biography written soon after Hasenclever’s death in 1793 by rector Christian Glauber.

Finding many gaps in information about Hasenclever, they felt they had just a partial picture of a man they saw as brilliant and energetic.

So they decided to translate the full biography published in German in 1922 by Professor Adolph Hasenclever into English.

The professor had taken the Glauber biography and practically reprinted it. He had verified many records and inserted footnotes and comments.

Prol and Niederstrasser started the project in 2006, when Prol was curator of Ringwood State Park. He had approached Niederstrasser, a member of the board of the Friends of Long Pond Ironworks, who enthusiastically agreed to participate.

Niederstrasser knew German, Spanish and other languages and was able to apply his skills in further verifying and presenting information about the 18th-century businessman. He traveled to Remscheid, Germany, and Landeshut, Poland, during his work on the project.

Prol and his wife moved to North Carolina a few years ago. Then both men became ill and were not in touch until 2021, when Niederstrasser learned that Prol had fallen at home, broken his neck and was hospitalized.

Prol died Oct. 27, 2021, as he was being brought back to New Jersey for more medical assistance. His wife, Annie, now needs a kidney, and Niederstrasser is trying to help her get one.

The translation was finished and published.

Niederstrasser pointed out that Professor Adolf Hasenclever could not access a copy of the “Remarkable Case of Peter Hasenclever,” written by Peter Hasenclever in 1773, because of lingering fallout from World War II.

He and Prol tried to maintain the style and format page by page as well as the long, run-on sentences of the original German text, including the German sentence structure.

He acknowledged the support of Hasenclever families in Germany and Argentina and other sources, who helped bring the project to completion.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article contained incorrect information. We regret the error.