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The area that became Kearny once comprised the New Barbadoes Township of colonial era. The town's name came from General Phil Kearny, a Civil War general who was killed in the Battle of Chantilly on September 1, 1862. Kearny is home to several large corporations and has an extensive history related to railroads and transportation. Most notable is its railroad station which was built by Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) in 1869 at Church Street between Hudson Avenue and River Road; it replaced an earlier station built by CNJ predecessor Elizabethtown & Somerville Railroad (E&S). The building itself had been constructed c1866 as a passenger depot for E&S but acquired by CNJ shortly after opening through merger with other railroads including E&S; it later served Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines (PRSL), Penn Central Transportation Company, Conrail until June 1980 when last NJ Transit train left for Newark Broad Street Station via Midtown Direct service over former Reading lines now owned by Norfolk Southern Railway(NS).