In the year 1649, Jacob Waling Van Winkle and his associates petitioned the Dutch West India Company for permission to settle and erect a Dutch community on Fresh (now Connecticut) River.
The lands which comprise Rutherford today were included in two grants given separately to Englishmen Wiliam Sanford and John Berry in 1668 and 1669.
On March 26, 1687, according to the first deed for Rutherford (property recorded in the county clerk’s office in Hackensack) John Berry sold to Waling Jacob Van Winkle the western part of his land lying in the present Borough of Rutherford, and thus Mr. Van Winkle became the first settler. He enlarged an existing structure that had belonged to Captain John Berry on a little hill just south of the present Union Avenue Bridge at approximately Darwin and Hastings Avenues.
Waling Jacob Van Winkle was born on June 13, 1674. He would become the first of the famous Van Winkle Realtors, a profession which has become a tradition still practiced by his descendants, nearly three hundred years later.
Waling Jacob Van Winkle died in 1725. His wife, Catharina, bore him eight children.