History of
Greene County
New York

with

Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men

J.B. Beers and Co.
1884


Modern Catskill

by Richard M. Bayles


The town of Catskill occupies the southeastern part of the county. It has a frontage on the river of eight and two-thirds miles. Its population at the last census was 8,311. In this respect as well as in wealth and other points of importance, it is the principal town of the county. Its shape is irregular, and its area comprehends about 33,000 acres. The soil of the town is strong and fertile, and agriculture is carried on profitably. The surface is hilly, but not so excessively so as to prevent a large portion of the land being susceptible to cultivation. Several low ridges extend through the town, parallel with the river. The most conspicuous of these are the Kalkberg, from one to two miles in land, a limestone ridge 50 to 100 feet high, and the Little Mountains, a range of elevations reaching 300 to 500 feet, two or three miles further west. The latter are sometimes called the Hooge-bergs. Of the main Catskill Mountains, parts of the eastern slope of North and South Mountains and High Peak are the southwestern part of this town. A rich agricultural district borders the river, from Catskill down to the great bend known as the Inbogt about four miles below. Fruit raising is engaged in to a considerable extent, and many fine orchards of choice pear trees are to be seen. Strawberry culture has also of late excited much attention. Natural meadows abound, and grass is a profuse and spontaneous product of the soil.

Katskill Creek, which rises in a swamp called Eckerson Vly, in Schoharie county, 34 miles from its mouth, flows across the northern part of this town, part of the way forming the dividing line between it and Athens. About two miles west of the village of Catskill, it is joined by the Kaaterskill, which, descending the mountain in the southwestern part of the town makes a zig-zag course to a comparatively level plain, twice crossing the line into Saugerties, and after returning to this town, it finally flows in a course nearly north, to the junction referred to. 

The principal timber growing here is pine, yellow and white oak, maple and walnut. In the early part of the century about 1,000 bushels of walnuts were annually sent from the town. At that time we are told that black spruce grew in the western part of the town and a considerable business was done in extracting the essence of that wood. Large quantities of the product were exported and were used in making beer. 

Shad, bass, herring, sturgeon, pike, trout and perch are caught in the river. The smaller of these fish, and some others are found in the smaller streams. Wild geese and ducks are numerous in the spring and fall. These and wild pigeons are the principal game birds. 

Upon and among the mountains, wild animals lingered long after the settlement of the county. Panthers, wolves, deer, bears and wild cats were numerous, the last named, so much so, as to suggest names for the mountains and streams. An occasional bear, wild cat and deer remain, but they are seldom seen. The generation of hunters, however, who have engaged in personal encounters with wild beasts upon these mountains, are still represented among the living. Among those who gained reputations for their hunting proclivities and numerous exploits with wild animals were Benjamin Peck, Frederick Sax, John Pierson and Paul Peck. Many incidents of narrow escape from imminent danger, which these old hunters passed through, might be gathered from their own recollections or the traditions of their families, and a volume might be filled with those recitals, that would be rich in exciting interest. But we must forego the pleasure of introducing them here.           

Respecting the mountains which lie on the southwestern border of the town, and whose fastnesses furnished a home for the wild animals referred to, as well as for numerous rattlesnakes and other poisonous reptiles. Washington Irving has left on record the substance of Indian mythical tradition gathered from an Indian trader with whom he was a passenger on board a sloop sailing up the river when a boy. He gives the trader’s account in the following language: 

“In these mountains, he told me, according to Indian belief, was kept the great treasury of storm and sunshine for the region of the Hudson. An old squaw spirit had charge of it, who dwelt on the highest peak of the mountain. Here she kept day and night shut up in her wigwam, letting out only one of them at a time. She made new moons every month, and hung them up in the sky, cutting up the old ones into stars. The great Manitou or master spirit employed her to manufacture clouds. Sometimes she wove out cobwebs, gossamers and morning dew, and sent them off, flake after flake, to float in the air and give light summer showers. Sometimes she would brew up black thunderstorms and send down drenching rains, to swell the streams and sweep everything away.” 

No precious minerals are known to exist in these mountains, though in the early history of settlement, tradition tells us, it was supposed that gold and silver did exist there. This idea appears to have originated with Governor Kieft during the early Dutch dynasty. Upon are [sic] occasion, he discovered one of the chiefs of this region, whom he met while negotiating a treaty, with his face painted with a pigment which exposed shining particles that he suspected might be gold. Governor Kieft thereupon procured a sample of the earth of the Indian, and submitting it to experts, received the assurance that it was gold. A further quantity was obtained and shipped to England, thence to be conveyed to Rotterdam, but the vessel in which it was sent was lost on the way. And again, when Kieft returned to his native land, he took with him an additional quantity, but he too, was wrecked on the way, and this specimen lost, so none of the ore reached the old world. Afterward, say about 1680, a shining metal was found by a Dutch girl, and by some means the discovery came to the ears of the agent of the patroon of Rensselaer’s Wyck, who sent his son to investigate the matter. Just as the young man reached the house on the farm where the discovery had been made, a terrible storm burst upon them, and the floods came down the mountains with such violence as to wash away the house and obliterate all landmarks by which locations could be identified, so that young Van Schlechtenhorst was happy to escape with his life and his horses, and a disagreement occurring shortly afterward between Stuyvesant and the patroon, the search for precious metal was never renewed by the parties by whom it was begun. These are the traditions. How much of truth exists in them we cannot say. Whatever attempts have been made since that time to discover nature’s treasure, have been no more successful than the first attempts which were so disastrous. 

TOWN ORGANIZATION

The Great Inbogt District, the initial political division corresponding to the town of Catskill, was constituted by the act of March 24th 1772, with boundaries described as “all that part of the said county of Albany which lays on the west side of Hudson’s River, and on the south of Coxsackie District.” The district thus formed was invested with some of the powers now exercised by the town. The limits of the district, however, were very much larger than those of the present town, as the line of the county was then a line running west from the mouth of Sawyer’s Kill, the present site of Saugerties. This line, as the dividing line between the counties of Albany and Ulster, was run in 1765, in accordance with an ordinance that had been passed in 1733. The town of Catskill was erected by the clause of the act of March 7th 1788, for dividing the county of Albany into towns, which reads as follows: 

“And that all that Part of the said County of Albany, bounded northerly by Coxsackie, easterly by the County of Columbia, southerly by the County of Ulster, shall be, and hereby is erected into a Town by the Name of Cats-Kill.” 

By the following clause in the act of April 5th 1798 the town was placed in the county of Ulster: “That the town of Catskill, now in the County of Albany, shall be and hereby is annexed to the County of Ulster.” 

Upon the formation of Greene county, March 25th 1800, Catskill became one of the four towns composing the new county. At this time it was enlarged by the addition of some territory from Woodstock in Ulster county. In the act of April 7th 1801, for dividing the counties of the State into towns, the boundaries of Catskill are given as follows: 

“And all that part of the county of Greene bounded southerly and westerly by the county of Ulster and by a line continued from the northwest corner of the town of Kingston in the county of Ulster to the head of the Kaaterskill  or creek, where the same issues out of the southerly side or end of a certain lake or pond lying in the blue mountains, and from thence in a direct course towards the small lake Utsyantho till it intersects a line beginning at the south bank of the mouth of the Murder’s kill at Lunenburgh, and running from thence north eighty degrees west to the said intersection, and northerly by the said last mentioned line, shall be and continue a town by the name of Catskill.”  

A part of its territory was taken in the formation of Canton, March 26th 1803. By the same act all that part of Catskill which lay westerly and southerly of the Catskill mountains was annexed to the town of Windham. Its size was still further reduced by an alteration made in its line bordering the town of Saugerties, June 16th 1812. Again a considerable tract was taken from the northern part of the town by the formation of Athens, February 15th 1815.

The first town-meeting was held April 8th 1789. There were then elected five assessors, three commissioners of highways, two overseers of the poor, two collectors, three constables and four fence-viewers and pound-masters. These first officers were as follows: assessors: -- Egnatius Van Orden, Abraham Salisbury, Jurry Laman, John Fero and Egbert Bogardus; commissioners of highways: -- Egnatius Van Orden, Samuel Van Vechten and Abraham Salisbury; overseers of the poor: -- Samuel Van Vechten and Frederick Smith; collectors: -- John Overpaugh jr. and Marthagaritse Schanaman; constable: -- Petrus Oosterhoudt, John Overbaugh jr. and Arent Van Dyick; fence-viewers and pound-masters: -- Petrus Souser, Johannis Sax, Joseph Groom and Jurry Laman. Hezekiah Van Orden was elected supervisor, and William Van Orden jr. clerk. 

EARLY INHABITANTS

“A Rate List of the Inhabitants of the Great Imbought Destrict Made the 28th Day of October, 1786 for the Quota of One thous tow hundred & Twinty Pounds, To Hezekiah Van Orden, Supervisor of Said District.” 

Persons’ Names

Quota

Pounds.

s.

d.

 

 

 

 

 

David Obeel

93

4

12

 

Gosen Van Schaick

90

4

10

 

Widow Ten Brook

70

 

 

 

John Van Orden

55

2

15

 

Henry Person

37

1

17

 

Egnatius Van Orden

50

2

10

 

John B. Dumond

56

2

16

 

David Dumond

41

2

1

 

William Van Orden & Son

60

3

0

 

Johannis Overbough

38

1

18

 

Johannis Burger

39

1

19

 

Johannis Sax

38

1

18

 

Nicholas Trumpore

38

1

18

 

Sybrant Van Schoyick

20

1

0

 

Jacob Mussier

18

0

18

 

Frederick Martin

17

0

17

 

Wilhalmis Rowe

14

0

14

 

Thomas Mussier

10

0

10

 

Johannis Feroe

11

0

11

 

Zachariah Dederick

36

1

16

 

Christian Mire

17

0

17

 

Isaac Dubois

50

2

10

 

Frederick Smith

50

2

10

 

Jacobus Person

16

0

16

 

Abraham Person

20

1

0

 

Michal Schoonmaker & Son

22

1

2

 

Joseph Adams

15

0

15

 

Christian Sax

7

0

7

 

Peter Overbough

10

0

10

 

Johannis Becker

8

0

8

 

Henry Minnerse

2

0

2

 

Isaac Tilshorn

2

0

2

 

Petrus Mower

2

0

2

 

James Milliken

2

0

2

 

Jacob Acker

3

0

3

 

John Feroe

2

0

2

 

Mr. Anderson

2

0

2

 

Mr. Cole Fox

2

0

2

 

Jacob Sox

28

1

8

 

Henry Feroe

7

0

7

 

Patrick Clemins

5

0

5

 

Petrus Dedirick

2

0

2

 

Abraham Overbough

2

0

2

 

Jere Overbough

4

0

4

 

William Dumond

2

0

2

 

Peter Overbough

2

0

2

 

John Overbough

3

0

3

 

John T. Dubois

4

0

4

 

William Reghtmire

2

0

2

 

Jere O’Brien

2

0

2

 

Peter West

2

0

2

 

Jacob Hallenbake

2

0

2

 

John Rosebom

8

0

8

 

John Reghtmire

8

0

8

 

Widow Grant

1

0

1

 

Darius How

1

0

1

 

Petrus Sox

6

0

6

 

Peter Britt

8

0

8

 

John Strope

2

0

2

 

John B. Dumond, Ju’r

2

0

2

 

William Duwit

2

0

2

 

Rubin Hill

2

0

2

 

Whelmis Schram

2

0

2

 

Jonas More

2

0

2

 

Mr. Cash

2

0

2

 

Peter Van Orden

2

0

2

 

Oliver more

2

0

2

 

George Mussier

2

0

2

 

Philip Spaans Estate

10

0

10

 

Dr. Church Estate

 

 

 

 

The Estate of Jacob Tenbroock, Desesed

4

0

4

 

John Mallery

2

0

2

 

Andrew Aman

1

0

1

 

Andrew Alegh

2

0

2

 

Godfrey Woolf

1

0

1

 

 

1220

61

0

 

HIGHWAYS 

For the purpose of keeping the highways in repair the town was divided into fourteen districts. These, as established by the commissioners April 17th 1789, were as follows: 

“John G. Vought, Overseer of the road from Lonenburgh to the division Line between the Town of Cattskill and Coxseghkie in the Laine and from where said line crosses the road on the west side of the land of Albartus Van Loon, near the house formerly Posses’d by Andrew Slover, and to where the said Roads fall in the old Public road near Henry Outhoudt’s land.”  

“Jacob Van Hoosen, Overseer for the ensuing year of a Road on the East side of Hans Vousin Kill to begin at the Division line between Cattskill Town & Coxsaghkie, from thence as the Road runs to where it falls in the old Public  road leading to Samuel Van Vechten’s.” 

“Benjamin Van Orden, Overseer of the Road from the Division line between Cattskill landing to begin at the point, from thence as the road now runs to the Potick kill.”

“Francis Salisbury Jun’r, Overseer of the road from the Division line between Cattskill Town & Coxseghkie, Past his Dwelling house, as the road has been laid out and as it now runs to the upper end of John Schanaman’s land at Potick Creek.” 

“John Rows, Overseer of a Road to Begin at the Division Between Cattskill Town and Coxseghkie, from thence near along the said Rowses House as it runs to the Widow Whitbeck’s there to cross the Creek, from thence along the House of Martin Van Bargain to where it meets the road that leads from Brown’s to the Widow Vader’s.” 

“John Allis, Overseer of the Road from the Division line Between Cattskill Town & Coxseghkie, at the mine Kill, from thence as the road runs to the house of Abraham Salisbury.” 

“Jacob Oouchuss, Overseer of the Road from Lambert Van Valkenburghs, from thence as the road runs to the Middle of the Cattskill Creek where it crosses Near the House of Samuel Van Vechten.” 

 “James Brown, Overseer from the Midle of Cauters Kill where the road crosses at William Van Bargain’s Mill, from thence as it Runs to Abraham Salisbury’s House.” 

“Wilhelmus Brandow, Overseer of the Road from the Middle of Cauter’s Kill where the road crosses at William Van Bargain’s Mill, from thence as it runs to where the road Crosses from the Backoven to the Great Imbought.” 

“Johannis Becker, Overseer of the Road from the Division line between Albany and Ulster County, from thence up as the Road runs to where the road Crosses from the Backoven to the Great Imbought, from thence down the said Bought road  to South east corner of Jacobus Person’s fence where the roads run from each other one to the south and the other to the north.” 

“Henry Person, Overseer of the Road on the East side of the lime stone Hill, to begin at the Division line between the County of Albany & Ulster, from thence along the said road under the lime Stone Hill as it runs to the lain leading from Egnatius Van Orden’s.” 

“Jacob Van Vechten, Overseer of the Road to begin at Major Van Orden’s Swing Gate, from thence as the road runs across the lime Stone Hill to the South East Corner of Jacobus Person’s fence, where a road turns off to Frederick Martin’s also to begin at the end of the lain as it runs Past William Van Orden’s House to a swing gate which hangs in a road leading to David Dumond’s.” 

John B. Dumond, Overseer of the Road to begn in the Middle of the Catts Kill Creek Near the House of Samuel Van Vechten’s, from thence as the road runs to where you come to a swing Gate of William Van Orden which hangs in a Road leading to David Dumond’s from thence up the Lime Stone Hill to where it meets a road comeing up to the said Hill.”

“Clement Overpagh, Overseer of the road from the House which formerly belonged to Corn’l Dubois, from thence as it runs across the lime Stone Hill to Van Bargain’s Mill where it meets a road coming across Cauter’s Kill.” 

SLAVERY 

Slaves were brought here by the Dutch at an early period. By reference to another part of the work, the number of slaves held in this town in the year 1810, can be seen. The following copy of a certificate filed in the town clerk’s office in conformity with the provision of the law, but without any signature, is a curiosity that shows singular absence of mind on the part of its maker: 

                                                                                                “JULY 4th A.D., 1811.”

“Sir:    
 “In compliance with the law I would thank you to record a Negro child born of my wench Deon, born the 23rd day of May last the Child’s name Juba.” 

The records of the town show that the following persons set free slaves in accordance with the law, in the years indicated: Moses I. Cantine, 1 in 1809; Thomas T. Thomson, 1, W.H. Wey, 1, Anthony Abeel, 2, Thomas B. Cooke, 1, Peter Eckler, 1, Casper Van Hoesen, 1, and Adam Burger.1, in 1818; Teunis Van Vecten, 1, William Schuneman, 1, Cuff Smith, 1, Henry Baker, 1, and Isaac Dubois, 1, in 1819; Abram Van Vechten, 1, John and P. Van Vechten, 2, Jacob I. Ten Broeck, 1, and John A. Thomson, 1, in 1820; Abraham Salisbury, 2, in 1821, and 1 in 1822; Wessel T. B. Van Orden, 1, M.G. Schuneman 1, and Wessel Salisbury, 1, in 1823.

SCHOOLS 

As early as 1803, there were 15 schools taught in the town. Under the act entitled “An Act for the Establishment of Common Schools,” passed June 19th 1812, the reports of the trustees and minutes of the commissioners show the following facts in relation to the 16 districts or parts of joint districts into which this town was divided. Under this act the first distribution of the interest of the school fund of the State gave to this county $1,018.50, of which sum $526 fell to the share of this town. The first distribution of public money was made February 23rd 1814. 

District number 1 was at Catskill Landing, and contained 328 children of school age. Its trustees were James Powers, Thomas Limbrick and Elisha Wise. Number 2 had 55 children of school age, and its trustees were Peter Overbaugh and Jeremiah Browning jr. Number 3 was located at the Great Inbogt, and it reported 58 children. The trustees were Jacob Van Orden, Frederick Martin and Abraham Post. Number 4 was near Smith’s Landing. It made no report that year, but in the year following it contained 38 children of school age, 20 of whom were in attendance at the school. The trustees then were Abram Van Gelder and Jacob Dederick. Number 5 was in the southwest part of the town, the trustees being Joseph Klein, Peter Eckler and Jonathan Palen. Three months school was kept, and 31 children attended out of 54 resident children of school age. Number 6 lay southwest of Catskill, and contained 32 children. David G. Abeel, Anthony Abeel and John Fiero were trustees. Number 7 reported 94 children, only 40 of whom attended the school, which was taught five months during the year. Steven Root, Frederick Sax and John Ramsen were the trustees. Number 8 reported an attendance of 23 out of a school population of 64. The school age at that time, we may explain, was between five and fifteen years. School was maintained for six months of the year. Paul Fiero, William Chidester and Martin G. Van Bergen were trustees. Number 9 was at Leeds, then called Madison, the trustees being Harmon Vedder, John Rowse jr. and H. Whittlesey. There were 95 children of school age, and 55 attended the school. Number 10 was partly in Cairo. John Wolcott and Elisha Blackman were trustees. There were 41 children in the district. Number 11 contained 50 children, 25 of whom attended school. Noah Lindsey and Peter Souser jr. were trustees. Number 12 was in the southern part of the town, partly in Saugerties, and it made no report. Number 13 was at Athens, then in this town, and contained 103 children of school age. The trustees were Samuel Hamilton, Henry White and Andrew Dexter jr. Number 14 made no report that year, but in 1815 John Conine and Jedediah Allen were its trustees. It then reported having twelve months’ school, attended by 30 children, while the district contained 63 of school age. Number 15 contained 152 children of school age, but the defective records forbid giving any further particulars in regard to it, other than that its proportion of the public money was $69.71. Joint district number 13 with Saugerties reported 21 children of school age, the trustees being Isaac Northrop and Samuel Doxsee. The public money was apportioned as follows: 

Number 1, $150.42; Number 2, $25.22; Number 3, $26.60; Number 4, ------; Number 5, $24.76; Number 6, $14.67; Number 7, $43.11; Number 8, $29.35; Number 9, $43.57; Number 10, $18.80; Number 11, $22.93; Number 12, ------; Number 13, $47.23; Number 14, ------; Number 15, $69.71; Number 13 with Saugerties, $9.63. 

Further information in regard to the schools will be found in the general county history. 

TAVERNS 

In 1789 the supervisor, who was then the grantor of licenses, or permits as they were then called, to sell spirituous liquors, granted innkeeper’s permits to Egnatius Van Orden, Stephen Haight, Jacobus Persen, James Brown, John B. Dumond, Elisha Camp, Barent S. Salisbury, Lambert Van Valkenburgh, Shadrach Sill, Alburtus Van Loon and Samuel Haight. Permits to retail spirituous liquors were also granted to Benjamin Van Orden, Thomas Thomson, Wilhelmus Brandow, Sybrant Hydenbergh, Joel Grizel, Jacob Bogardus, Uriah Blau, Wilhelmus V. Bargain, Andrew Brushinham, Breman Brockway, Arent Van Dyck, John G. Vought and Mrs. Lucy Dinkey. 

The price for license then seems to have been 2 [pounds] for the year, but some were granted for only part of the year. Cash on delivery of the permit was not demanded, and as a natural consequence some evaded payment of the license fee, and some only paid in part. The revenue from permits for the year ending April 1st 1790 was 39 [pounds], 10 s., 10 d.

The following were innkeepers in this town in 1803: Sibel Ogden, Caleb Street, John Hide, John J. Dewitt, Solomon Chandler, John Souser, Martin G. Schuneman, Olean Barber, Gamaliel Barkalay, Henry L’Homideu, William Dusenbury, Andrew Brosnahan, Ezekiel Benton, Joseph Calson, Henry Van Gordon, Peter Ousterhoudt, Frederick Huntington, Isaac Baldwin, Benjamin Haveland, Peter Souser jr., John Sherling, Daniel Wallace, Francis Botsford and Terrence Donnelly. 

In 1807 the license fee was $5. May 5th of that year permits were granted to Philip Emmons, Henry Ritter of Esperanza, Henry White of Athens, John Corbit, David Shaw of Athens, John T. Netterville of Athens, William Gray, Joseph B. Jenkins, Augustus Spencer, Charles Clark, Peter I. Bogardus, Jonathan Bill, Joseph Klein jr., Philo Day, John Wolcutt, Orin Day, Macenstry & Holly, Taddeus Ludington, Isaac Hardenbergh, Jehial Preston, William Robb, Samuel Haight, Andrew Whiteford, William I. Hermance, T.B.& A. Cook, Hiland Hill & Co., Ezra Hawley & Co., Hyde & Wright, Bogardus & Dubois, and Andrew Brosnahan. 

MISCELLANEOUS 

Bounties for the destruction of troublesome animals were paid during the first third of the century at least. In 1834 a bounty of three cents each was offered for crows. This was increased in 1835 to 12 ½ cents each. In 1838 the sum of $100 was ordered to be placed in the hands of the supervisor, with which he was to pay this bounty. 

Cattle and swine were permitted to run at large in the highways and commons, but in 1838 the town voted that swine were to be “Rung and Yoked substantially.” 

The town voted on the license question at a special town meeting, May 20th 1846. The result was 420 “No License,” and 259 “For License.” 

The register of vital statistics for the town of Catskill shows that for the year ending August 30th 1883 there occurred in the town 60 births, 39 deaths, and 25 marriages. 

CIVIL LIST 

Hezekiah Van Orden was supervisor of the Great Inbogt District in 1786 and 1787, and probably in 1788, as well as the first supervisor of the town. Since the organization of the town the following persons have held the office of supervisor:

Hezekiah Van Orden, 1789, 1791, 1792; Henry Oothoudt, 1790; Samuel Van Vechten, 1793; Garret Abeel, 1794, 1795, 1798, 1800, 1801; George Hale, 1796; Martin G. Schuneman, 1797, 1799, 1802; Samuel Haight, 1803-11; Jonathan Kyes, 1812; Thomas Hale, 1813-22; William Seaman, 1823-28; Aaron C. Hall, 1829-31; Jacob Haight, 1832-38; Robert Dorlan, 1839-44; Ira Dubois, 1845; Malbone Watson, 1846; Joseph M. Boies, 1847; Jacob Van Orden, 1848, 1849; Rufus H. Hing, 1850, 1851, 1853; Wilson Page, 1852; J. Atwater Cooke, 1854; Henry G. Johnson, 1855; Addison P. Jones, 1856, 1860, 1861; Alexander Wiltse, 1857-59; John H. Bagley jr., 1862-64; Hiram Van Steenburgh, 1865, 1866; S. Sherwood Day, 1867, 1868; Samuel Dewey, 1869; Robert E. Austin, 1870; John A. Griswold, 1871; William Smith, 1872, 1873; John Breasted, 1874-77; William Donohue, 1878, 1879, 1882; James B. Olney, 1883.

The town clerks of Catskill have been: 

William Van Orden jr., 1789; Wilhelmus Schuneman, 1790, 1791; Garret Abeel, 1792, 1793; Mackay Croswell, 1794; William Van Orden, 1795-1800; James Bennett, 1801-8; Robert Dorlan, 1809, 1810, 1812-24; Isaac Dubois, 1811; Charles C. Abeel, 1825-36; David Ely, 1837-49; George Peck, 1850-54; John R. Sylvester, 1855, 1857; Charles Cornwall, 1856; William H. Russ, 1858-61, 1864-68; Henry G. Johnson, 1862, 1863, 1869, 1870; Charles C.W. Cleveland, 1871; B. Frank Conklin, 1872, 1873; Wheeler Howard, 1874; Jacob W. Kelley, 1875; Albert Cornwall, 1876, 1877; Charles E. Bassett, 1878, 1879; Samuel W. Greene, 1880; George T. Williams, 1881; Wheeler Howard, 1882, 1883.

The first election of commissioners of common schools appears in 1796. There were five commissioners, those elected being Stephen Day, John More, Martin G. Schuneman, William Brandow, and Deluana Backus. Subsequently but three were elected annually. 

Justices of the peace were at first appointed. They were first elected in 1831. From the imperfect records we have been able to make the following list of justices acting in this town. It is incomplete, but it contains the names of nearly all who held the office here, though we have not in every case been able to learn the full extent of their terms of service: 

Abraham Salisbury, 1792, 1793; Martin G. Schuneman, 1792; Shadrach Sill, 1792; John B. Dumond, 1792; Joel Bellamy, 1803-10, 1813, 1816, 1828-31; Merchant Lawrence, 1807-9, 1811, 1813, 1816-18; John Blanchard, 1802-6, 1808-11, 1813-16;

James F. Wright, 1814, 1815; Moses Morse, 1802, 1803; Deluana Backus, 1802; Thomas Thomson, 1802; Patrick Hamilton, 1803, 1806, 1808; D. Bancroft, 1804-6; John J. Dewitt, 1807; Henry Ritter, 1813; Francis Sayre, 1818-22; Stephen Root, 1814-19; Jacob H. Tremper, 1817-19; James Pinckney, 1817-21, 1823; Ephraim Baker, 1809, 1810; William Schuneman, 1810;  Seth Hamilton, 1811, 1813; Waldron Dumond, 1811; Samuel Hamilton, 1813, 1814; Cornelius Dubois, 1813, 1814, 1816-18; Cornelius Myers, 1814; Henry Ashley, 1817; Timothy Lawrence, 1815, 1822, 1823; Luke Kiersted, 1821, 1823, 1827-31; Luther Carter, 1815; Isaac Northrop, 1814; Robert Dorlan, 1821; Isaac J. Dubois, 1828, 1831; William G. Van Vliet, 1828. 

Since the office became elective the following have held it during the terms indicated: 

Joel Bellamy, 1832-38; Barent Van Vleck, 1839-44; Alexander H. Bailey, 1845-48; Lindsey Beach, 1849-52; Henry F. Olmstead, 1853-56; Addison C. Griswold, 1861-64; William Salisbury, 1865-76; John Horton, 1877-83; John Dewey, 1834-37; Ira Dubois, 1838-45; Robert Dorlan, 1846-55; Edgar Russell, 1856, 1877; William Salisbury, 1878-81; Henry F. Olmstead, 1882, 1883; Isaac J. Dubois, 1835-50; William Doud, 1851-54; James Johnson, 1855-62; Jeremiah Overbaugh jr., 1863-83; John Van Vechten, 1836-55, 1859; Michael Plank, 1856-58; Lloyd Howard, 1860-76; Benjamin T. White, 1877-79; George R. Olney, 1880-83; James H. Van Gelder, elected 1883. 

CATSKILL AGRICULTURAL AND HORTICULTURAL ASSOCIATION 

This society was organized in October 1866. It contemplated a capital stock of $15,000, and held the privilege in reserve of increasing the amount to $50,000 if necessary. The following were its first officers: -- A. P. Jones, president; J.B. Hall, John T. Mann, Isaac Pruyn, A.P. Black and I.B. Wellington, vice presidents; John H. Bagley jr., treasurer; Theodore A. Cole and Edgar Russell, secretaries; and Jacob H. Meech, Marshal. 

Fifteen acres of land were purchased at Jefferson Flats, of John B. Foote, and a half-mile track was laid out upon it. During the following season the grounds were put in order and suitable buildings erected. The first fair was held October 2nd, and 3rd, 1867. A very large and fine display of flowers, fruits, vegetables, animals, machinery, art productions, and miscellaneous articles, was made, wherein the people of adjoining towns united with those of Catskill, to increase the volume and interest of the exhibition. Ex. Governor Seymour was present and delivered an address on the afternoon of the second day. After the address, he and General Anderson, who was with him, were escorted to the steamboat landing by a parade of several military companies. Horse-racing was a prominent feature of the fair. The receipts for the three days were nearly $3,000. The second fair was held September 9th, 10th and 11th 1868. Governor Fenton was expected to deliver the address, but the weather was stormy and he failed to appear, so the address was made by the Rev. Dr. Kennedy. Over $2,000 were given in premiums. John Breasted was president that year, and T.A. Cole secretary, and J.H. Bagley treasurer. Fairs were held in 1869, on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of September, in 1870 on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of September, and in 1871 on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of September. 

At the last mentioned fair, a grand cavalcade on the second day was pronounced the greatest demonstration of the kind ever made here. It consisted of 17 decorated wagons, the most of them bearing implements of trade or manufacture, and machinery with them, in actual operation, or their products, representing different trades, arts, or lines of merchandise. They bore the cornet band, brick machines in operation, brick-laying, a steam carpenter shop, a bakery, a blacksmith shop, the process of horse-shoeing, sewing machines, furniture, groceries, harness, and numerous other things, tastefully and conspicuously arranged. These wagons were followed by nearly a hundred others, loaded with people. Hon. Charles H. Winfield of Orange county delivered the address. 

The sixth fair was held September 17th, 18th, 19th 1872. George C. Fox was secretary at this time. The seventh fair was held four days beginning with October 14th, 1873. The officers then were: Theodore A. Cole, president; George C. Fox, secretary; and J. H. Bagley, treasurer. The principal feature had now become horse exhibitions, and $7,000 was this year offered in premiums and purses for horses. By the following year the grounds had assumed the name of Driving Park, and days were appointed for races independent of the fair. A fair was held September 30th and October 1st, but the interest was evidently on the decline. No fairs have since been held. The grounds are occasionally used for horse-races. 

CATSKILL VILLAGE 

This village, the county seat of Greene county, lies at the junction of Katskill Creek with the Hudson River. It contains a population  of about 5,000, and is finely situated on the western slope and level summit of a hill that lies between the river and the creek. The main business street runs parallel with the creek and a very short distance from its left bank. This street, Main street by name, runs straight for more than half a mile, and contains nearly all the business establishments of the village. It contains angles in its course, both at the upper and lower ends, outside of the straight section spoken of. The lower end of this street is at the steamboat landing on the river. Many substantial and home-like residences, surrounded with well-kept grounds, and embowered in shrubbery, line the beautifully shaded streets of that part of the village which lies upon the hill. This hill has an elevation of 75 to 100 feet above the river. The village contains the court house and jail, an opera house, a woolen-mill, a knitting-mill, two brick-yards, a tannery, several hotels, a large public school building, two banks, six churches, one daily and two weekly newspapers, and a large number of stores, shops and offices. One large summer boarding house, the Prospect House, stands on a bluff within the village limits, and two others, the Grant House and the Summit Hill House, occupy elevated positions just back of the village. The village is lighted with gas, the streets are paved and the side-walks nicely flagged. 

This village has a character of its own, and is, perhaps, less influenced by the bustle and blare and tricks of New York city than one might expect in a village that sees so much of the summer pilgrimage of the inhabitants of a large city. There is about the village and it surroundings a certain attraction that lays strong hold upon those who by long association come within its power. On this subject, James D. Pinckney, whose ready pen has left pictures that will be read with interest by the coming children of Catskill, writes: 

“There is probably no place on the continent from which there is so little emigration of the descendants of the early settlers, and it is proverbial that few leave it who do not sooner or later return. For myself, I have been a wanderer for twenty years from my native village, and yet absence has but strengthened my attachment to my birth-place. In the crowded cities where I have, whilom, dwelt – amid the festive scenes of a fashionable watering place, where I have lived for some years – and during a somewhat lengthened residence in the chilly regions of Northern New York and Canada, I have never forgotten my first home, nor ceased to long for a sight of the blue mountains which shadow it at evening.” 

EARLY CONDITION 

Touching the early condition of the village, the subjoined extract, which we take pleasure in placing before our readers in its unabridged form, is so full of interesting facts that we insert it in full.

The Duke De la Rochefoucault Liancourt made a tour through the United States and Canada in 1795, 1796 and 1797. An account of his travels and what he saw was published in London in 1799, and from that work the following extract, which pertains to Catskill, is made. It gives us an interesting view of the condition of things at that time, as they were seen by foreign eyes. 

“The road from Freehold to Katskill is all bordered with habitations more or less recent, but all of very late date. Land, however, is sold at pretty high prices in this tract. At Shinglekill, where we dined on the 31st of October, on our way from Freehold to Katskill, the price was of uncleared ground from six to seven dollars the acre; farms having one-fourth cleared, are sold at ten or twelve.

“Intermittent fevers are very common in these parts in the autumnal season; and it is even asserted that during the last three years they have been more than usually frequent. They had been very prevalent at the commencement of the settlement, and had become less so for some years back. As the inhabitants can assign no reason for this return of insalubrity, they attribute it to ‘something in the air.’ But what happens here is very usual in new countries, which, until they be entirely, or in a great measure cleared, become more unhealthy, probably in consequence of the exhalations from the putrid substances with which the earth is covered, and from stagnant waters, to which the action of the sun is admitted by the partial clearance of the soil.

“Monsieur Guillemard and I – for we now travel together – had a letter from Major Prevost to Mr. Bogardus, his father-in-law. The latter is also an American royalist, an enthusiastic admirer of Peter Porcupine,* (* A paper published at Philadelphia devoted to the advocacy of union with England.) and impressed with a belief that American would be much more rich and prosperous and happy if she still enjoyed the honor of belonging to his Majesty King George the Third. But, considered in every other light, he is a generous and excellent man, extremely hospitable, and one with whose behaviour we have the greatest reason to be satisfied. He inhabits a small house on the opposite bank of the creek to that on which stands the little town of Katskill. To this house is attached a farm of three hundred acres. He purchased the whole for three thousand dollars, six years since, and could now sell the property for ten thousand. It is true he has made considerable improvements on the spot: at the time of his purchase, there were only eight houses in the town, whereas at present it contains about a hundred, of which some have a good appearance.

“Seven vessels, mostly sloops, belong to this little town, and are constantly passing and repassing between Katskill and New York. A single brig, of a hundred and fifty tons burden, is employed during the winter in the West India trade, and even goes to Europe; it is owned by Mr. Jenkins of Hudson.

“Katskill, like all the other towns similarly situated, receives the produce of the back country; but a natural gap in the Blue Mountains, which obliquely separates the counties watered by the Susquehanna at the commencement of its course from those watered by the North River between Albany and Katskill, renders the communication with this latter place more easy.

“We have been informed that pot and pearl ash, which are a considerable article in trade of new quantities under clearance, are brought to Katskill from the distance of above a hundred and fifty miles. The potash is sold at present for a hundred and seventy-five dollars the ton. The usual price is a hundred. To produce a ton of potash, are required from five to seven hundred bushels of ashes, according to their quality; and, in all the parts which I have lately traversed, the ashes are sold at one shilling the bushel. The potash is inspected before it is admitted to exportation; yet, whether through want of skill or want of strictness in the inspectors, it is often found to contain lime. It is distinguished into first and second quality. Salt beef is distinguished into prime, second and ordinary; pork, into prime and ordinary.

“Katskill is built on a little hill which separates Katskill Creek from the North River, into which the former discharges its stream at the extremity of the hill. The majority of the houses are situate on the side next the creek, where the embarkations take place; some, however, are on the side next the great river. The property of the ground on which the town stands is disputed by three claimants; but the possession is held by one of the parties, Clark and company, by virtue of an old patent that he has purchased, and on which the others ground their claim. Meantime the inhabitants hold their lot under Clark, whom they consider as the lawful proprietor. But this existing dispute, which the others are in no haste to bring to a decision, prevents many persons from coming forward as purchasers. The lots, however, produce a good price, whenever they are exposed to sale; they contain each half a rood, and are sold so high as three hundred and seventy-five dollars. The mouth of the creek is not more than a quarter of a mile distant from the town.

“Katskill stands at the distance of a hundred and twenty miles from New York; and the waters, which during the prevalence of the strong southerly winds become absolutely salt, and are at all times of the year brackish. The tide goes up as far as Hudson.

“Workmen at Katskill are paid thirteen dollars per month, and are not easily procured. Here is a regular market, where beef is sold at eight pence the pound.

“Along the North River is carried on a great trade in planks; but here, as in Massachusetts, and the district of Maine,  the planks do not contain twice the thickness of the boards; their dimensions vary in different places; they are an inch and a half thick at Albany, and inch and a quarter at Katskill. It is on these dimensions that all bargains are made which do not particularly specify otherwise. The boards are an inch thick, and of such dimension, are sold at ten dollars per thousand feet; planks, sixteen dollars and two shillings; shingles, seven dollars and a half per thousand; barrel-staves, seventeen dollars and a half. The staves are of oak; all the rest of yellow fir. Hemlock bark, of which large quantities are also purchased for the tanneries of the country and those of New York, is sold at four dollars the cord. At Katskill are built the sloops employed in the trade between that place and New York. At present their price is from forty-three to forty-five dollars per ton, ready for sea; they are generally of from seventy to ninety tons burden.

“Horse-races are common in the State of New York. There was one beyond the river on the day that we stopped at Katskill. Although it was but an indifferent race, and this part of the country is not inhabited by wealthy people, the bets made on the occasion exceeded the sum of four thousand dollars. The best races are said to be at Poughkeepsie, at the distance of fifty miles lower; they take place on regularly stated days, and I have been assured that the wagers sometimes amount to eight thousand dollars. The horses that run there are used for no other purpose; and their price is from twelve to sixteen hundred dollars. We have also been informed that the strictest honour does not prevail at these races.

“Katskill, so denominated by the Dutch, who made the first settlement on the spot, was by the Indians called Katsketed. Which, in their language, signified ‘a fortified place.’ No foundation for that name can be discovered in the appearance of the country; and it is moreover well known that the Indians, especially at that time, erected no fortifications. The great quantity of human bones, hatchets, tomahawks, and arrows, found buried in the earth around Katskill, prove at least that this place formerly was the principal seat of some considerable tribe.

“The cultivation of the soil in the vicinity of Katskill is indifferent; the lands do not, on an average of years, produce above twelve bushels of wheat per acre, though the soil is tolerably good. Those belonging to Mr. Bogardus, having greater attention bestowed on them, yield him from thirty to thirty-five.

“There has occurred this year on a part of his estate a pretty remarkable phenomenon. All this tract of country is a succession of little hills, or rather small elevations, detached from each other, and only connected a little at the bases. One of those hills, the nearest to Katskill Creek, and elevated about a hundred feet above the level of the creek, suddenly suffered a sinking of more than one-half its declivity. It might have measured about a hundred and fifty feet from its summit to the extremity of its base, following the line of inclination. A breadth of about eighty fathoms fell in, beginning at about three or four fathoms from the top. The sunken part gave way all on a sudden, and fell so perpendicularly that a flock of sheep, feeding on the spot, went down with it without being overturned. The trunks of trees that remained on it in a half rotten state were neither uprooted nor even inclined from their former direction, and now stand at the bottom of this chasm of above four acres in extent, in the same perpendicular position, and on the soil. However, as there was not sufficient space for all this body of earth, which before had lain in a slope, to place itself horizontally between the two parts of the hill that have not quitted their station, some parts are cracked and, as it were, furrowed. But a more striking circumstance is, that the lower part of the hill, which has preserved its former shape, has been pushed and thrown forward by the sinking part making itself room, that its base has advanced five or six fathoms beyond a small rivulet which before flowed at the distance of above ten fathoms from it, and that it has even entirely stopped the course of its stream. The greatest elevation of the chasm is about fifty or sixty feet: in its sides it has discovered a blue earth exhibiting all the characteristics of marl, and which from the different experiments that Mr. Bogardus has made with it in several parts of his estate, seems to possess all its virtues. In some of the strata of this marl is found sulphate of lime in minute crystals.

“It is not known what may have been the cause of this event, which the people here attribute to the operation of water, without well knowing why; for the inhabitants of Katskill are neither deep-read, nor versed in natural philosophy, nor addicted to observation.  This sinking took place on the first of June of the present year, unattended by any noise, at least by any that was sufficiently loud to be heard either at Mr. Bogardus’ house, which is but three hundred fathoms distant from the spot, or in the town, which is separated from it only by the narrow stream of the creek.

“Mr. Bogardus does not bestow on his neighbors so favorable a character as I have heard given to the inhabitants of the country in every other part of America: he describes them as mischievous and thievish. I know not whether good grounds, or whether he does not extend to the whole neighborhood this general accusation of thievishness in consequence of a few apples and peaches stolen from him, or whether his predilection for England may not have personally exposed him to some unpleasant treatment.

“One fact, however, may be adduced in support of Mr. Bogardus’ opinion. A bridge over a creek at two miles from Katskill has lately been burned; and the country people think the deed was perpetrated with the view of promoting the private interest of a particular inn.”

The growth of this village appears to have begun soon after the Revolution, and from that time to the end of the century it must have been quite rapid. We are told that in 1787 the village contained but five dwelling houses and one store. At that time land on the village site could be bought for $10 an acre which in less than 20 years from that time commanded $4,000 and acre. This place, then called the Landing, had two sloops engaged in carrying lumber to New York and bringing back general merchandise needed by the settlement lying near. There were in 1787 exported from the Landing 257 bushels of wheat, 15,000 feet of lumber and 2,980 pounds of potash. 

In 1792 the village had grown to contain ten dwellings. These were all in the valley of the Katskill. The export of wheat that year reached 624 bushels. That year was probably the beginning of a new era in the growth and prosperity of the village, for at that time two new institutions, a newspaper and a physician’s office, were established. The first of these, the Catskill Packet, was established by Mr. Mackay Croswell assisted for the fist year by his brother, Dr. Thomas O’Hara Croswell, who also established the second. These enterprises, it is supposed, were carried on in a two-story building which had been built a few years previous, on the lot now known as the “Atwater place,” on the corner of Main and Greene streets. The doctor occupied the ground floor while the newspaper was printed in the office up stairs. That building was, several years afterward, moved up the street to a site near the present site of Gay’s Hotel, and when that hotel was built it was annexed to it as a kitchen, where it still remains.           

Dr. Croswell was a prominent and successful physician of this village who grew up with it, lived in it in its most prosperous days as one of its leading citizens, and enjoyed the fullest confidence and esteem of the people with whom he was associated. In 1795 he established a drug store in the village, and was appointed postmaster, of the post-office then being established here. This appointment was made by President Washington, and Dr. Croswell continued to hold the office until his death in 1844, a period of about a half a century. His drug store was the same as that now known as DuBois’ drug store, and if we have been rightly informed occupied the same site. 

The growth of the village now became very rapid, perhaps exceeding that of any other village on the Hudson. In 1802 the number of buildings had increased to 180. At this time it enjoyed a considerable commerce, having twelve vessels employed in transporting produce to New York, two running to Boston and one to the Southern States. The annual shipment of wheat from this landing now reached 10,000 bushels. This and the potash manufactured in the vicinity constituted the chief articles of commerce. It is said that the number of sleighs unloaded here in a single day was sometimes as high as 1500. The products of a large section of back country were brought in here to be shipped down the river. Considerable ship-building was carried on here at that time, reaching as high as 37,000 tons annually, for other ports. The village which up to that time had been confined to the valley of the creek and the slope of the hill on the east side of it, now began to spread upon the level at the top of the hill. This level was laid out into streets and building lots in 1803, and that year the first house was built upon it. This was built by Stephen Day, upon the site now occupied by the Hopkins place, south of William street and overlooking the river. The second house built there was probably built by Robert Dorlan, on the bluff on the north side of William street, overlooking the river, and is now occupied by E.B. Day. 

In 1803 the village contained 12 warehouses, 31 stores and a population of nearly 2000. There were 12 wharves on the creek, and more than 300,000 dollars worth of produce was annually shipped to New York. Mails were regularly carried to and from Hudson twice a week and Tioga Point, Pennsylvania, once a fortnight. October 1st of that year the stages from New York to Albany began running, passing through the village every Tuesday and Friday. The communication with the interior which was afforded by the newly constructed thoroughfare, the Susquehanna Turnpike, reaching away into the interior of the State, made this an important point on the river, and imparted a vigorous impetus to the growth of the village. Good were brought to New York by way of Catskill to go to Binghampton [sic] and points in that vicinity beyond the State line into Pennsylvania. 

Thurlow Weed, whose boyhood was passed in Catskill, gives some recollections in a letter dated March 29th 1865. He left Catskill in 1808, being then a boy ten years old. Speaking of the early appearance of village he says: 

“At any rate, however, the Catskill of my youth was a bustling, thrifty, pleasant village, with considerable commerce, two ship-yards, and in the winter a large slaughtering and packing business.

“The first great man I ever saw was Governor Morgan Lewis, who received a brigade in the village of Madison, in 1806.

“In early embargo days there was much of party bitterness at Catskill. The Federalists wore black cockades. This exasperated the Republicans. I remember an occasion when a light infantry company (commanded, I believe, by Major Haight) being paraded, that a general street collision was with much difficulty arrested.

“I wonder if any of the half-dozen boys, who, with myself, put their clothes in their hats, and placing the hats on upon a board, pushing it ahead, swam off to the island (now the steamboat landing) to await the approach of the first steamboat, still survive.

“My first occupation was to blow and strike in the blacksmith shop of a Mr. Reeves, which stood not far east of the Ira Day house. I afterwards lived with a Captain Baker, on the bridge, and subsequently with him in a tavern at Jefferson.

“My river experience, as cabin boy, or cook, was with Captains Grant and Bogardus, in the sloops Ranger and Jefferson. * * * * My great ambition was to get apprenticed to Mr. Mackay Croswell, who then published the Recorder, but the realization of that object was postponed, though I lingered about the printing office a good deal, doing chores,  and learning what I could learn as an interloper.

“I remember to have formed a high estimate of the usefulness of three citizens of Catskill, viz.: Dr. Croswell, the Rev. Dr. Porter, and Jacob Haight. Perhaps I only shared the common sentiment of the village, but at any rate those gentlemen came up to my idea of model men.

“In the first years of my banishment – for Catskill was an Eden to my youthful memory – my chief happiness consisted in anticipating at some future day, a return to that charmed locality. And only last summer, moved by something like the instinct which brings ‘chickens home to roost,’ I explored the village in search of what was not found – a finished mansion with pleasant surroundings, and ‘For Sale.’” 

A prominent man of the locality in the early part of the century was Samuel Haight, a merchant whose store was just above the Hans Vosen Kill where it empties into the Katskill. Vessels of some size used to reach that point on the creek, but the channel long since became obstructed with rocks so as to make navigation impossible. The wharf and storehouse which once occupied the site designated, have been removed a long time. His residence was near the site. In the militia he held the rank of brigadier general. After pursuing business here until he had gained a competence he removed to Athens, where he passed the remainder of his life. 

VILLAGE INCORPORATION 

Catskill village was incorporated by an act of the Legislature passed March 14th 1806. The boundaries indicated in the charter are given in the following section. The numbers refer to slight changes indicated below, that have been made in the language of the charter as subsequently amended. The act ordains: 

“That the district of country contained within the following bounds, that is to say: beginning at the Hudson’s river, at the (1) mouth of the kill called Piez or Stuck; thence north (2) seventy-six degrees forty-two minutes west, to the northwest corner of Lindsey’s Patent; thence due west to the Susquehanna turnpike road; thence in a direct line to the Catskill creek at the northwest corner of the lands of Hubartus Dubois; thence along the west bounds of his land to the farm of Frederick Smith; thence easterly along the north bounds of his farm, to the northeast corner thereof; thence in a direct line to (3) a stake and stones three chains south of Ramshorn creek; thence (4) to the channel of the Hudson’s river; thence up the same opposite to the place of beginning; thence (5) to the place of beginning, shall continue to be known and distinguished by the name of the village of Catskill.” 

A new charter was granted by the Legislature, March 14th 1860, by which the former charter and amendments were consolidated and amended. In this charter the words indicated below in quotations are inserted at the places indicated by the corresponding figures in the original charter, taking the place of the words in italics where they occur. Otherwise the description of the boundaries remains the same: 

            (1) “North side of;” (2) “seventy-five;” (3) “the mouth of Ramshorn creek;” (4) Insert “east;” (5) Insert “west.”

The first charter provided for the election, annually, on the first Monday in May, of five trustees, five assessors, a treasurer and a collector. Under the charter of 1860 the time for village elections was fixed on the last Tuesday in March. The office of clerk, which had been held by appointment, was now made elective. 

The first meeting of the village trustees was held on the 12th of May 1806, at which time the following men, having been duly elected, were qualified for their respective offices: 

Stephen Day, Garret Abeel, James Pinckney, John Blanchard and Caleb Benton, trustees; Hiland Hill, Stephen Root, Isaac Nichols, Orrin Day and John Dubois jr., assessors; Isaac Dubois, treasurer; James Bennet, collector. 

At this meeting a device for a seal was agreed upon as follows: “Resolved, also, that a seal be made for the Corporation with the following device on an Oval Viz, a Globe on a plain field mounted with a cross thus:” [illustration appears in original text page 126.]  Another device was adopted April 12th 1810. This represented an oval field upon which was a shield, bearing upon its face the letter C. Another seal was adopted February 10th 1812, another June 14th 1813, another February 20th 1816, and another June 4th 1822. This represented a sloop under full sail, with the words “CATSKILL CORPORATION,” in the border of the circular field. 

The seventh article of the by-laws passed at that first meeting of the trustees, reads as follows: 

“And be it further enacted: That persons being inhabitants of the village, who shall frequent and spend their time during the Sabbath at any tavern or grocery within the village and shall there purchase and drink any liquor on the Sabbath, or shall angle with hook and line or fish with nets in any creek, or shall swim or bathe in any creek or river within the limits of the village on the Sabbath shall each forfeit and pay one dollar for each offense; the same to be recovered as aforesaid – one moiety when recovered to be paid to the corporation and the other moiety to the person who shall give information of the commission of the offense.” 

A village meeting was called June 16th, and adjourned to the 21st, at which time the trustees were empowered by the vote of the inhabitants in meeting assembled, John Blanchard presiding, to raise $500 by tax to apply to laying sewers and drains to carry  off the water from the public streets. On the 7th of the following month another vote of the inhabitants was taken, and its result authorized the trustees to levy a tax of $1,500 for the purpose of laying sidewalks in Main street. In 1806 and 1810, covenants were entered into between the trustees and the representatives of the Susquehanna Turnpike Company in relation to the use and improvement of their road through the corporation territory. Corporation bills of money for circulation were issued by the trustees in 1815. 

VILLAGE OFFICERS 

The presidents of the board of trustees have been successively, Stephen Day, 1806; John Blanchard, 1807; Samuel Haight, 1808, 1810; Caleb Benton, 1809; Ezra Hawley, 1811, 1813; James Cole, 1812, 1814, 1816, 1821, 1825; Thomas Hale, 1815, 1817-20, 1823, 1826; James Power, 1822; John Adams, 1826,1827; Henry Ashley, 1828; Samuel Smith, 1829; Isaac Van Loan, 1830; Robert Dorlan, 1831, 1832, 1840; Caleb Hopkins, 1833; Joel Bellamy, 1834; Hiram Comfort, 1835; Jacob Haight, 1836-38; Francis N. Wilson, 1839; Jonathan Rowe, 1841-43; Francis Sayre, 1844; Jacob Van Orden, 1845, 1847; Thomas C. Wey, 1848; James Kortz, 1849; A.H. Bailey, 1850; S. Sherwood Day, 1851, 1852; Judson Wilcox, 1852; John J. Ashley, 1853, 1855; Frederick S. Lynes, 1854; D.B. Dunham, 1856, 1858; Benjamin Wiltse, 1857; Lee Ensign, 1859; died in office , and his term was filled out by Oliver Bourke from October 31st;  Oliver Bourke, 1860, 1861; Charles Cornwall, 1863-70; David B. Dunham, 1871, 1872; Hiram Van Steenburgh, 1873, 1874, 1876, 1877; William Smith, 1875; Frederick M. Van Gorden, 1878, 1879; William Donahue, 1880, 1881; William Ruland, 1882; George C. Fox, 1883. 

The successive village clerks have been James Pinckney, 1806, 1807; Orrin Day, 1808, 1809, 1812; Isaac Dubois, 1810, 1814; Henry Ashley, 1811; Francis Sayre, 1815-23; Peter T. Mesick, 1824; M.D. Van Orden, 1825; A. Cooke, 1826, 1827; Lewis Benton, 1828; Ira Dubois, 1829; James G. Elliott, 1830; Samuel Dubois, 1831, 1832; James Pinckney, 1833; Francis Carbine, 1834; David Ely, 1835-47; P. Van Orden, 1848; A.J. Grant, 1849, 1856; Alexander Russell, 1850; George Peck, 1851; Benjamin Wey, 1852-54; John R. Sylvester, 1855; Rufus W. Watson, 1857; Charles Cornwall, 1858; Ebenezer Gilbert jr., 1859-61; Charles C. W. Cleveland, 1862-69; Henry C. Bulkley, 1870-73; George R. Olney, 1874; William Joesbury, 1875-77; Thomas B. Mitchell, 1878-83. 

The treasurers of the corporation have been Isaac Dubois, 1806-12, 1814-21; Robert Dorlan, 1813; James Pinckney, 1822-28; Hiland Hill jr., 1829-50, when he died in office; Frederick Hill, November 6th 1850-74, 1876, 1877; Orrin Day, 1875, 1882, 1883; Henry B. Hill, 1878, 1879; Joshua S. Day, 1880, 1881. 

VILLAGE FIRE DEPARTMENT 

The fire department of Catskill had it origin in “An Act for the better extinguishing of Fires in the village of Catskill, in the county of Albany,” which was passed April 1st 1797. This act provided for the appointment of not more than five, nor less than three trustees, who should have power to appoint firemen, not more than fourteen to each engine, who were to be entitled to certain immunities, such as exemption from serving in the office of constable, and from jury or inquest duty, except in village justice courts. As a matter of interest to the present and coming generations, we insert here the fourth section of that act, which shows the methodical deliberation with which the village fathers were to proceed at fires: 

“IV. And be it further enacted. That upon the breaking out of any fire within the said village, that the trustees aforesaid, and the constables of the said town of Catskill, together with the justices of the peace then being present in said village, on notice thereof, shall immediately repair to the place where such fire shall happen, with staves and such other badges of authority as shall be ordained by a majority of them to be worn, and be aiding and assisting  as well in extinguishing said fires as in preventing any goods from being stolen, and also in removing and securing the same; and it shall be the duty of such justices of the peace, if any shall be present, and they are hereby authorized to command the assistance of all and every of the able-bodied inhabitants of said village, whose duty it shall be to obey and execute all orders and directions of the trustees and magistrates aforesaid, in extinguishing said fires, removing and securing of the goods, providing water for the engines, and assisting the firemen in working the same.” 

Up to the time of the incorporation of the village, there was probably but one fire company organized under this act; and there was in used one engine, which was simply a force pump fixed in a tank on wheels, which was to be filled by the use of hand buckets, while the pump sent the water from the tank upon the fire. The first ordinance of the village trustees, made June 6th 1806, was the following in relation to fires: 

Be it ordained by the trustees of the Village of Catskill, that hereafter in every case when a Fire shall break out in the village, the trustees shall invest themselves with a white scarf on their respective hats, and shall perform the duties assigned them as follows, to wit: The president with the trustee No. 1, shall pay particular attention to the formation of a line of Citizens with Buckets, and cause the Engine to be supplied with water during the fire. The trustee No. 2 shall attend to the Hooks and Ladders, and shall direct their particular use & application during the fire. The trustee No. 3 shall direct his attention to the removal and security of all Effects, which he shall deem exposed to danger. And the trustee No. 4 shall have the superintendence and direction of the Engine and Fire Company. And that the several constables residing in the village attend at any Fire which may happen, with their Staves, ready to assist the Trustees and inhabitants in Extinguishing such Fire, and to be under the direction of the Trustees.” 

The fire buckets were to be supplied by the owners of houses and stores. They were to be kept in readiness, the number varying according to the size of the house or the number of fire-places in it. For example, a house with three fire-places was to have two buckets, and a house with more than six fire-places was to have four buckets. 

The records of the village give us but few glimpses of progress and improvement in the fire department during the first quarter century. But in 1825, it appears the citizens began to feel the need of more improved and extended facilities for extinguishing fires. May 6th of that year, it was decided at a meeting of the inhabitants, that a sum not to exceed $2,250 be raised for the purpose of purchasing two or more engines, hose and other apparatus, and for constructing one or more reservoirs and preparing a suitable place for storing the engines. In addition to the old fire company, which was properly called No. 1, two new engines were bough, and, October 25th of that year, Engine Company No. 2 was organized, with Jacob Van Orden as captain, and Engine Company No. 3, with Francis Sayre as captain. The first mention we find of an engine-house being provided, is in 1827, when a village meeting voted that $1,000 be raised for the purchase of a lot, and the erection of a building for an engine-house. This stood on William street and was probably occupied by all the engines. In 1840, the lot “north of Widow Comfort’s house” which was on Main street, was bought for $200 and a new engine-house built upon it. In 1841 a new, engine-house was built on what was then called Court street, now Bridge street. The appropriation of these houses to the engine companies was not satisfactory to No. 1, and it refused to keep its engine in order, and, as a consequence, the trustees disbanded it March 8th 1842. 

Under the provisions of an act of Legislature passed April 28th 1847, the trustees reorganized the fire department July 27th 1849. Engine Company No. 1 was organized with 36 members; Engine Company No. 2 with 45 members; Engine Company No. 3 with 29 members, and Hook and Ladder Company No.1, with 26 members.

A new engine-house was built in 1851, at a cost of $785. In 1853, two new engines were bought, at a cost of $750 each. 

In 1836, seven cisterns were built in Main street, at a cost of $1,475, for the purpose of having a convenient supply of water to be used in case of fire. These cisterns were to be filled, and a contract was made January 6th 1837, with Elisha Meigs, by which he was to keep them filled for $50 a year. 

New companies were organized to take the new engines that had been bought in 1853. Ever Ready Engine Company No. 4 was organized February 7th 1854, with 46 members, composed mostly of former members of Nos. 1 and 3, and took one of the new engines. The other was taken by F.N. Wilson Engine Company No. 5, composed chiefly of former members of Nos. 1 and 2. This was organized February 21st 1854, with 28 members. The engine of Company No. 1, was taken to West Catskill, and the West Catskill Fire Company was organized September 26th 1855. This became Protection Engine Company No. 1, by which name it is now known. About 1864, and engine-house was built for it, at a cost, including the lost, of $1,700. It stands on the north side of Bridge street, 25 rods west of the end of the bridge.  Protection Hose Company No. 1 has been organized in connection with it. About 1862, a new house was built for No. 5. In 1870, a new house was built for No. 4. The records show appropriations to the amount of $3,500 for this house. In 1871, this company assumed the title of F.J. Silsby Steamer Company No. 2, and a new steamer was bought for it at a cost of $4,350. In the following year (1872), the title of No. 5 was changed to Francis N. Wilson Steamer Company No. 5, and a new steamer was bought at a cost of $4,000. Silsby Hose Company No. 2 was organized November 26th 1873, and a hose carriage bought in November 1874, costing $800. Citizens Hose Company No. 5 was organized April 10th 1869, and a carriage costing $1,500 was bought in 1874. The company was reorganized in 1876. 

VILLAGE STREETS 

The main street of the village, as had already been intimated, is the one originally laid out through the Lindesay Patent. It is doubtless the improvement of an early path or trail that existed long before it was trodden by the foot of the white man. But the first definite knowledge we have in regard to it is that when the first division of the Lindesay Patent was made among the individual owners August 19th 1741, its course was agreed to by them. It was then described as running from the Hans Vosen Kill, at a point 25 links from its mouth, by numerous courses, substantially as Main street now runs, to a point on the river called Femmen Hoek. When the Susquehanna Turnpike was built in 1800 this became a part of that road, and so continued until within a few years of the present time. After the incorporation of the village, treaties were entered into between the directors of the turnpike company and the trustees of village by which the rights and powers of each were adjusted so as not to come into conflict. The claim of the turnpike company was released by the formal abandonment of that part of their road within the village limits December 24th 1877. Bridge street, from the bridge to the village boundary line, was a part of the Catskill and Mountain Turnpike, but was abandoned by the directors June 6th, 1877. 

The causeway from Femmen Hoek, the point of solid land at the mouth of the creek, to the little island in the river was built in the early part of the century, probably about 1820, though the precise date has not been learned. 

Main street was graveled in 1811. An alley, 20 feet wide, running west from the southeast corner of Henry McKinstry’s store was laid out across the land of Fanny Thompson in 1812. Franklin street was laid out in 1829. An ordinance was passed that year forbidding throwing dead cats, dogs &c., into the streets; and a petition from a number of inhabitants for the repeal of a former ordinance restricting the roaming of swine in the streets was not granted. 

Many of the streets were named by the trustees September 24th 1829: that running at right angles with Main street between the dwelling house of A. Cooke and the Lyman Hall house was named Green street; that from Main to Broad, north of the lot of F. Sayre, Livingston street; that leading from Main street to the creek, past the brewery, Bronson street; that leading from Main street to the jail, Clark street; that between the Catskill Bank and M. Crosswell’s, Bridge street; that leading to the Presbyterian meeting-house from Main street, Howard street; that leading to Water street, between A.C. Hall’s and I. Wilcox’s store, Liberty street; that leading to the Hudson River, between the houses of John Adams and Addison Porter, William street; that between the stores of Croswell & Brace and John Pullan, Canal street; that crossing Main street between the stores of H. McKinstry and A. Cornwall, and extending up the hill past Mrs. Botsford’s, Thompson street; that leading to the creek, past the Episcopal church, Church street; that leading to the burying ground between the store-house and Mrs. Hicks’, Spring alley; that leading from Main to Water streets, between the houses of Samuel L. Penfield and John Bogardus, Union street; that leading from Main to Bridge street, past the house of Jacob Van Orden, Water street; that leading from Bridge to Green street, parallel with Main street, Hill street; and that leading from William street to the Albany and Greene Turnpike in front of the court house, Franklin street. Orange and Harrison streets were opened and named in 1840 or early in 1841. The former has since been named Prospect avenue. King street, running east from Broad to Liberty street, was opened in 1859. 

VILLAGE CEMETERY 

The first burying ground of which we can learn anything as being located in the village, was at the corner of Broad and Livingston streets. The bodies it contained wee removed to the village cemetery probably very soon after that was established. The village burying ground is first mentioned in a record dated September 30th, 1811, which is as follows: 

“Moved & Carried, that the Trustees attend on the 2nd Oct. next, to point out a suitable lot for a burying ground.” The trustees evidently discharged that trust in a satisfactory manner, and purchases were made, of John Bogardus and Sally, his wife, April 16th 1812, of a part of Lot No. 7 in the Lindesay Patent, and of Garret Abeel, the same date, of part of Lot No. 8, in the same patent. These tracts were purchased for the specified purpose of a burying ground, and the price paid was $125 each. Arrangements were made at once to fence the ground. On the 10th of the following September the people authorized the trustees to sell not more than one-third of the ground to pay the expense of fencing. The price of the lots was fixed at not less than $10 each. August 12th 1815, a committee was appointed to stake out lots and lease them for a term of 999 years, at $5 each. The ground was enlarged by the purchase of additional land about 1832, and again in 1848, and the Abeel and Van Loan lots, in 1859. At the last mentioned date extensive improvements were made, and a receiving vault was built. The purchase of the additional land, and the improvements, together cost over $2,500. Dr. Lee Ensign was at this time one of the prominent movers in the enterprise of enlarging and beautifying the cemetery, and, singularly enough, he was the first to be buried in the new ground. He died, lamented by the populace, December 8th 1859. The ground now contains about eight acres.

The site of this cemetery is a beautiful one. It is upon an elevation which overlooks the village and the valley of the Katskill for miles away. Looking across the valley and over the lower hills that intervene, we have a magnificent view of the long line of mountains as they loom up in the distance, closing out all scenes and sights beyond. The ground itself is a beautiful plateau, extending from the junction of Thomson street with the Athens road on the east to New street on the west.

In connection with this cemetery we clip the following lines from an original poem published anonymously in the Examiner, in 1860, regretting that its length forbids our insertion of it entire. It is from the pen of Mrs. Lee Ensign, who was then a resident of this village. 

“This is our Silent City – precious dust
Lies treasured in our Mother’s bosom here;
She hides from curious gaze the sacred trust,
Accepting but the tributary tear.
 
“Thou can’st not know the secrets treasured here;
Beneath these mounds unwritten volumes lie
Of life’s experience – only those most dear
Have turned the pages of their history.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

“And let yon grand old mountains from afar.
With their proud battlements fence in the scene
So vast and beautiful, that nought can mar
The symmetry and grace that intervene.

“Yon river – type of being – seaward bound,
We see at intervals; the wood, and glen,
The rock-bound steep, the near hills verdure crowned,
The cottages, and prouder homes of men, --

“In this wide panorama greet the eye,
And greeting, throw their spell about the soul,
Till Heaven and Earth clasp hands, and poetry,
Their genuine offspring, permeates the whole.”
 

WATER WORKS 

The scheme of supplying the village with water by means of wooden troughs conducting water from a spring on the hill-side through the main street, was one of the early village enterprises. An association was formed for the purpose of carrying the project into execution, a spring of delightfully cool and pure water was found on the land of James Bogardus, and the connections were made. As early as 1803, it was in operation, and water was conducted into nearly every house in the village. In 1806 the association under date of August 1st, bought of James Bogardus “all that certain piece or parcel of ground including and containing the spring of water called the Cold Spring, as the same is Enclosed by Stone, Brick or otherwise, and taken and improved by the Aqueduct Association in the village of Catskill.” An association of this title was chartered by act of April 21st 1818. Its name was changed to Greene County Bank, February 5th 1819, at which time a new charter was obtained. The institution thus having diverged from its original purpose, failed in 1826. The aqueduct, however, appears to have been in operation for several years after that time. As late as the year 1837 at least, it was in the possession of Elisha Meiggs, who for more than fifteen years had been connected with it. 

Under the authority of a general statute, which makes the village trustees a board of water commissioners, public water works are (1883) being established. A pumping station is to be built at the land end of a wharf extending into the river from the upper part of the village, and water from the Hudson is to be forced into a reservoir elevated 260 feet above mean tide, of 8,000,000 to 10,000,000 gallons capacity. The reservoir is to be located on a hill north of the village, and water will be raised by a 100 horse-power engine pumping about 2,000,000 gallons a day. From this it will be distributed over all parts of the village by about nine miles of water mains. The work is being conducted under the direction of W.S. Parker, a civil engineer, of New York. It is to be completed in 1884, and is estimated to cost $100,000. 

COUNTY BUILDINGS 

When the county was first organized, the courts were held in a building then called the academy, in which a school was kept. It stood a little west of the present jail site, probably in the rear of the present site of Mrs. Gunther’s residence on the corner of Clark and Broad streets. The building of a new court house was authorized by an act of Legislature, May 26th 1812. This we are told was built on substantially the same site occupied by the academy, but was soon afterward burned down. The present court house, on a new site, now the corner of Bridge and Franklin streets, was built about 1819. It is a brick building, and contains the court room and sheriff’s office in the second story, and the supervisors’ room, grand jury room, and county clerk’s office in the first story. The valuable records of this office are kept in fire-proof vaults. 

In this connection we deem it proper to give a brief sketch of the present worthy county clerk. 

JOHN AVERY 

Mr. Avery, the present county clerk of Greene, was born at Jefferson, Schoharie county, New York, January 26th 1834. But little is known of his remote ancestry. The family tradition is, that his great-grandfather was one of five brothers who came from England about the middle of the last century, and settled in Connecticut. Thomas, a son of one of these brothers, moved westward and settled at Westerlo, in Albany county, where his son, John, the father of our subject, was born in 1797. He learned the tannery business, and after working at it with David Conklin at Rensselaerville, Levi Tremain at Oak Hill, and Colonel Zadoc Pratt at Prattsville, he bought of the latter a tannery establishment at Jefferson, Schoharie county, and settled there in 1822. He continued to reside there until his death in 1863.

John Avery, the subject of this sketch, passed the early years of his life in school most of the time in attendance at the academy in his native village, and working in his father’s tannery. At the age of nineteen he left home and engaged as clerk in a store at Eminence, Schoharie county. Later he was employed for a short time in a dry goods store in Albany, and afterward in a general store in Gilboa, in Schoharie county. In 1859 he formed a business partnership with Luman Reed, his former employer. He was married September 5th of the same year to Miss Eleanor C. Rickerson of Potter’s Hollow. In 1862 he moved to Potter’s Hollow, and engaged in the same business there until 1866, when he moved to Oak Hill. He continued in this business at the latter place until 1876, when he sold it out and retired from mercantile life. He represented the town of Durham, as its supervisor, in 1877, 1878 and 1879. In the fall of the latter year he was elected county clerk, and at the commencement of the following year moved to Catskill, where he has since resided. He was reelected county clerk in 1882. 

CAPTIAL PUNISHMENT 

There have been four executions of murderers at this jail. Patrick Flinn, an Irishman, who murdered a drover by the name of Robert James, at East Durham, was executed September 25th 1846. John Kelly, an Irishman, who murdered a Mrs. Lewis, in Prattsville, was executed October 28th 1847. Warren Wood, an American, murdered a peddler near Greenville, for which he suffered a death penalty June 20th 1854. Joseph Waltz murdered and Italian scissors-grinder by the name of Holcher, at Athens, May 1st 1873. On the 30th of April, 1874, the day before that set for his execution he succeeded in stripping from the floor of the cell in which he was confined a piece of scrap iron, and with this weapon killed the constable, Charles Ernst, who had him in charge, as he came into the cell. Some efforts had been made to get a reprieve, and the excited populace, especially the German friends of Ernst, fearing that it might be granted, surrounded the jail and demanded his execution, threatening to lynch him if the sentence was not carried out. Telegrams were sent to Governor Dix, informing him of the situation, and he returned the laconic reply, “No reprieve,” and also sent down two companies of soldiers under Colonel J. Gould to guard the jail from the violence which it was feared might be done. Waltz was executed May 1st 1874. 

SCHOOLS 

Education has received a considerable share of the attention and enterprise of the people of this village from an early date. The first school of which we find any record here was kept in the academy, which was built around 1794 or 1795. It was designed to be built by the proceeds and subscriptions for 400 shares of 4 [pounds] each. From “Sketches of Catskill,” we take the following list of those who subscribed on a paper dated August 23rd 1793, with the number of shares taken by each: 

“Hezekiah Van Orden, 9 shares; George and Thomas Pale, 6 shares; Caleb Street, 6 shares; Thomas Thomson, Alexander Thomson, Kezia Camp and Samuel Van Vechten, each 4 shares; Elnathan Finch, Joseph Graham, Peter Raymond, M. Croswell & Company, William Van Orden, Israel Gibbs and Jane Dies, each 3 shares; Stephen Day, George Taylor, Noah Evensham, Gideon Ball, Ira Day, William W. Wetmore, Cole & Newell, Edmund Ogden, John V.D.S. Scott, Abraham Overbaugh, Egbert Bogardus, John Lay and Hugh Fiddis, each 2 shares; and Beman Brockway & Company, Theophilus Demmack, Josiah Rodgers, Henry Pratt, Edward Boylston, Benjamin Van Orden, Matthew Bellamy, James Smith, John Doan, Isaac J. Lacy, John Sole, Benjamin Nichols, Isaac Van Loan, Reuben Webster, Darling Hamlin, David Van Bergen, Enoch Calkin, David Hamlin, David Marajan, Aaron Rumsey, James Bogardus, Andrew Brosnahan, Samuel Haight, Gideon Brockway, Joseph Adams, John Dubois, Uriah Blaan and John Bunce, each 1 share.” 

May 10th 1795, it was resolved to add 120 shares to the subscription to increase the funds which it was desired to raise. 

This school was taught by Elisha Bishop, and, quoting again from “Sketches of Catskill,” we give the following list of pupils attending the school for the term beginning August 17th 1797 and ending March 17th 1798. 

“George Brosnaham, John Brosnaham, John Rimph, Edward Haynes, Jesse Pratt, Betsy Stodard, Elisha Bishop, Sally Bishop, Polly Bishop, Caty Dubois, Sally Dubois, Cornelius Dubois, Peter Schoot, Jacob Schoot, Ginna Van Gorden, John Dubois, James Dubois, James Bogardus, Lana Bogardus, Wessel Van Orden, Henry Van Orden, Jacob Stephens, Arastus Stephens, Henry Stephens, Benjamin Van Orden, Harriet Lay, Elizer Root, Betsy Drake, Anna Drake, Charles Cammel, Sally Cammel, Joel Persons, Prescilla Addoms, and Sally Spicer.” 

At what time other schools were established is not definitely known, but in 1803 there were three schools in the village. In one of them, probably the one already noticed, the languages were taught. The village at that time also had a library containing 672 volumes. The Catskill Academy was incorporated by the board of Regents, March 12th 1804. It continued for many years to exert a wholesome influence on the character of the youth of the village, but its history in detail is not within the reach or scope of our work. 

The Catskill Lancasterian School Society was incorporated by an act of Legislature, March 14th 1817. We do not know how much progress it made, but the act was repealed by another passed April 20th 1830. 

The Catskill Female Seminary was incorporated by act of March 24th 1820, but was never organized. 

About the year 1814 another school building was standing on the north side of Thomson street, which was also sometimes called the academy. This had a bell upon it. It was built partly of brick and partly of wood. This afterward became the property of the Methodist church. 

The present public school building, a large brick structure, which stands on a commanding eminence, approached by an alley from Main street, was erected in 1869. The increasing demands of the school have made it necessary to enlarge it, and an addition is now being built upon the east end of the building. The school is divided into ten departments, comprehending the academic, grammar, intermediate, six primary, and colored departments. The principal of the academic department and superintendent of the graded school, is James V.D.Ayres, M.A., who is assisted by thirteen teachers. The annual expense of maintaining the school is about $8,000. 

LECTURE ASSOCIATION 

As an evidence of the high standard of intelligence and culture enjoyed by the people of this village, it may be mentioned in passing, that during the winter of 1861 and 1862, the Young Men’s Lecture Association arranged a course of lectures, which gave the people a chance to hear such men as Rev. E.H. Chapin, D.D., Hon. Edward Everett, John G. Saxe, Rev. E.L. Magoon, D.D., Bayard Taylor, John B.Gough, and Henry M. Brace. 

THE REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH 

The Reformed church of this village was an off shoot of the old church at Leeds, which, during the last century, was itself the Reformed Dutch Church of Catskill. In the early years of the present century, the supervisors gave permission for the court house to be used for religious meetings, and even before that time, it is probable that services were occasionally conducted here under the auspices of this church, but no regular provision appears to have been made until the year 1810, when it was expressed in the call extended to the Rev. Henry Ostrander, that he should preach in the English language at the Landing at Catskill. Accepting that call Mr. Ostrander preached here during the summer months on Sunday afternoons. The growth of the village was quite rapid, and his congregation increased, so that in 1814 their contributions had so swelled the treasury that the consistory were enabled to offer the Rev. Peter S. Wynkoop, in their call to him, a salary of $600, which was an increase of $200 over that which had for several years been paid. Mr. Wynkoop began his pastorate May 1st 1814, and the congregation in the village received one-half of his services. The same arrangement continued when, after his resignation, the Catskill church called the Rev. Isaac N. Wyckoff to the pastorate. His labors began November 1st 1817, though he was not installed until May 12th 1818. The congregation at the Landing, during a part of the years preceding the building of a church of their own, were allowed to use the Episcopal church, and part of the time the court house. During these years the choir was composed of Jane Merrifield, and Washington and Peter Van Vechten. The custom had been to hold service at the old church on Sabbath mornings and at the Landing afternoons during the summer, but as the latter community grew stronger it was deemed proper to change the arrangement and give them a service on alternate Sabbath mornings throughout the year. This was effected about the year 1823. 

The need of a house of worship in the village had been felt for ten years, but no decided attempt was made to accomplish it until February 7th 1825, when the consistory appointed a committee to take hold of the work. Nothing was done, however, until the autumn of 1827, when a subscription was circulated and the sum of $6,081 raised for the purpose, mainly through the agency of Peter T. Mesick, one of the elders of the church. It was stipulated that the house should be built on the lot of Charles Clark, on the east side of Main street, and that when completed the slips on one side of the lower floor should be sold for permanent seats forever, and that the slips on the other side should be sold “half-yearly every year, at public auction to the highest bidder.” Subscriptions rainged from $1 to $5. The following were subscribers: 

William Wynkoop, William Van Bergen, P.D. Mesick, Frederick Overbagh, Abram Burgett, Paul Smith, James Overbagh, Abraham Post, Nicholas Trumphour, John J. Hollenbeck, Peter Bonham, William Farrow, David G. Abeel, John Fiero, James Priest, Casper Van Hoesen, John Vedder, Garret Person, William G. Van Vliet, William Schuneman, Abraham Salisbury, William B. Salisbury, Joseph Bevier, John Schuneman, Henry Person, Peter Van Den Berg, Benjamin Comfort, Abraham Simmons, Walter Whitbeck, Casper Benham, William Van Orden, James Winans, Jacob Van Orden, Francis Van Hoesen, W. and Peter Van Vechten, Henry O. Demarest, John Rowe jr., James N. Sanford, Elisha Blackmore, Abraham Van Vechten, Stephen Bosworth, John Trumphour, Hannah Overbagh, Rachel Overbagh, Sarah Overbagh, Lewis Benton, Zachariah Dederick, Abel Brace, John Sax, Frederick Sax, jr., Rachel Souser, Anglie Overbagh, William H. De Witt, James Manning, A.F. Rightmyer, Peter Goetchius, Gerard G. Person,  John D. Du Bois, Zebulon Green, James Van Gordon, John Adams, John S. Elmendorf, E. Mills and Henry Talmage.” 

The building was erected during the year 1828, and dedicated January 7th 1829. It was a brick structure, 45 x 70 feet, and occupied the site of the present church. The interior had a gallery on three sides, four tiers of pews, a consistory room over the vestibule, and a high and elaborately finished pulpit. The cost of the building and ground was $8,000. 

A great revival occurred in 1831, coming suddenly and unexpectedly. The interest was aroused to such an extent, that daily prayer-meetings were held for young converts, in private houses. The work took a deep hold on the lives of the people, especially of the younger classes. A very successful Bible class was organized under Dr. Wyckoff, which numbered as high as fifty, of both sexes. 

In February 1832, it was resolved by the congregation at the mother church, that a colleague should be called. John C. Van Liew, was accordingly ordained and installed on the 1st of the following May. The call of the colleague was made to the end that preaching and pastoral work in the three sections of the congregation, Madison, Catskill and Kiskatom, might be more frequent. Half a year later, the question of dividing the church was introduced, and a committee of reference appointed to indicate a proper division of the territory and property of the congregation. This committee, consisting of Anthony M. Van Bergen, of Coxsackie, G.W. Sager, of Athens, and Samuel Wells, of Saugerties, decided January 29th 1833, that a line beginning where the Athens town line strikes the Kalkberg, and running southerly to the junction of the Katskill and the Kaaterskill, and thence up the latter stream, should be the line between the congregation of Leeds and Kiskatom on the west, and that of Catskill on the east. Further details of the division we have not space to recite. All was confirmed by the Classis, and the Reformed Protestant Church of Catskill was organized Sunday, March 17th 1833. Its certificate of incorporation, made in compliance with the laws of the State, was executed on the following day. It bears the following official signatures: Peter T. Mesick, William Van Bergen, Casparus Benham, and John Fiero, elders; and John A. Overbagh, Frederick Overbagh, William Cater, and Jacob Van Valkenburgh, deacons. 

Rev. Isaac N. Wyckoff was called to the pastorate of the Catskill church, and having accepted, was installed May 1st 1833. In 1834, a house, which stood on the rear of the church lot, was bought for a parsonage, for $1,800. The pastorate of Mr. Wyckoff closed in October 1836. A call was at once presented to the Rev. James Romeyn, which was accepted, and he was installed December 20th 1836. He is said to have been a “Boanerges” in spirit, but in body he appears to have been weak, so that it was thought best to employ an assistant for him. This was found in the person of the Rev. David D. Demarest, who served the people in that capacity about a year, closing with the latter part of 1841. During this time Mr. Romeyn resigned, and his pastorate was dissolved February 8th 1841. He, however, supplied the pulpit a few months after his associate vacated it. The Rev. David Murdock was next called, and entered upon his labors early in May 1842. Gaining, by the intercourse of years, a familiarity with the scenes, customs, and history of this region, he wrote a fiction entitled “The Dutch Domine of the Catskills,” representing characters and events of the Revolutionary times, with Domine Schuneman of the old Dutch church for its hero. The ministry of Domine Murdock closed here in May 1851. On the 19th of that month a fire broke out in the village, which, among other buildings, burned both the church and the parsonage. The latter, by the way, had been bought by Mr. Murdock, and its destruction was his personal loss. The church was thus without a house of worship and without a pastor. The court house was opened for their public services, and the work of rebuilding, now on a larger scale than before, was begun. The parsonage lot was bought of Domine Murdock, and an adjoining lot of Jacob Van Orden, thus increasing the front to nearly double its former width, while its depth became 227 feet. This size has since been diminished by the sale of a part of the rear to Rufus H. King. With such energy did the work of rebuilding go forward, that the present building, a much larger edifice, was completed early in the following year, at a cost of $12,318. Of this sum, all but about $2,500 was paid at the time. 

The Rev. Acmon P. Van Gieson was employed as a stated supply for six months from September 1st 1852, after which, being regularly called, he was installed as pastor in the spring of 1853. At that time the church was in a vigorous working condition. A mission Sunday-school was established at the Inbogt, occupying the school-house, and teachers went from the village on Sundays to attend it. 

The work of restoring the roll of church members, which, with other records had been burned in the old church, was effected by Mr. Van Gieson, who estimated the whole number of communicants on the church book when it was burned, to have been 158. The number admitted during his pastorate was 63. His ministry closed November 2nd 1855, and his successor was the Rev. Ransom B. Welch of Gilboa, whose work began March 16th 1856. He was installed April 17th, following, and entered upon a succession of labors so unremitting and nerve-taxing that in about three years his health failed, and though granted a liberal leave of absence to recruit, he was obliged to resign his pastorate. The consistory, after urging its withdrawal reluctantly accepted his resignation May 25th 1850. During his pastorate 200 members were admitted to the church. His successor, the Rev. John A. Lansing, was installed June 24th 1860, and continued until December 5th 1866, during which time the roll of communicants was increased by the addition of 91. It is a fact worthy of remark that during 1865 and 1866, elders Van Orden and Kiersted undertook the work of removing the church debt, amounting then to about $2,000, which work they pursued to its successful accomplishment. 

The Rev. Francis A. Horton was installed pastor of this church May 9th 1967. It was during his ministry that a parsonage was built upon the church lot. This was built of brick, in the year 1870, at a cost of about $5,000. Domine Horton received into the membership of the church 107 persons. His labors here ended on the first Sabbath in February, 1874. He was succeeded by the Rev. John B. Thompson, the present pastor. In 1874, a spacious chapel, with consistory room and study, was built across the rear of the church. The present membership of the church is 437. The Sunday-school connected with it numbers about 200. Its present superintendent is W. Irving Jennings. 

ST. LUKE’S PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH 

In conformity with the statute of March 17th 1795, for the “Relief of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New York,” a meeting for the purpose of organization and incorporation was held August 24th 1801. The meeting was presided over by Rev. Ammi Rogers, and Abijah H. Beach acted as secretary. The wardens then chosen were Dr. Thomas Thomson and Major Samuel Haight. The vestrymen chosen were Caleb Benton, Jonathan Booth, John Andrews, John V.D.S. Scott, John Blanchard, Frederick Cholett, Solomon Chandler and Isaac Nichols. 

Rev. Ammi Rogers appears to have had the spiritual oversight of the organization for nearly a year, when the Rev. Richard Bradford became its rector, September 26th 1802. He continued to exercise the functions of the office here until some time in 1805. During this time, the question of building a church was agitated and carried into execution. May 16th 1803, a committee was appointed to circulate subscription papers to raise funds for the erection of a house of worship upon a lot which had been approved by the rector, wardens, and vestrymen, as a suitable site. A lot offered by Dr. Caleb Benton was accepted, and the building was soon after commenced. At this time, there was no church edifice in the village, and public worship was held in the school-house, which stood on what is now Thomson street. St. Luke’s has the honor of being the first church built in the village. Trinity Church, New York, contributed $2,000 toward building it.  It was completed, so as to be used for purposes of worship, in 1804, and the wardens and vestrymen, at their meeting in June of that year, ordered 1,000 feet of glass, 10 x 12, for the windows, and 100 lbs. white lead and 10 gallons of oil to paint with. The structure was of brick, surmounted by a wooden steeple. It was not consecrated until 1807. Among those who contributed toward the erection and support of the church and took an active part in its early history, appear the names of Terence Donnelly, James Pinckney, Barent Du Bois, Jacob Bogardus, Thomas O’H. Croswell, Mackay Croswell, Peter Bogardus, Jacob Bogardus, Isaac Van Loan, Stephen Calkins, Henry Selleck, John Doane, Nathaniel Hinman, and Thomas Waight. The rector’s salary in 1808 was $300 a year. 

About 1806 John Reed became rector of this parish, and continued until 1810, when a vacancy of several years occurred. During this time, services were conducted for terms of various lengths by Rev. Joseph Prentiss of Trinity church, Athens. In 1815 Mr. Prentiss became rector of this parish, and continued such for 21 years. He resigned August 3rd 1835, and a month later Rev. Joseph F. Phillips was called to the rectorship. He was instituted on the 23rd of the following November, Bishop Onderdonk conducting the ceremonies. 

In January 1836, Mr. Prentiss, the late rector of St. Luke’s, met a sudden death by the overturning of a stage-coach. He had gained the esteem of his people to such an extent that the altar, desk and pulpit of the church were draped in mourning for 30 days, and a memorial tablet of marble was placed in a conspicuous position in the church. After the burning of the church, and the building of another in its place, a beautiful memorial window was placed in the new church, to perpetuate his memory. 

On the 11th of September 1839, the church was destroyed by fire, which was supposed to have originated in a spark thrown from the smoke-stack of a planing-mill in the vicinity. In this emergency the Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches of the village offered to the houseless congregation, the use of their rooms for worship.  The rooms of the Methodist and Dutch Reformed churches were used for a time. Steps were at once taken for the building of a new edifice. Plans were drawn by the celebrated artist Thomas Cole, who was a member of this congregation and one of the building committee, and the structure was completed in the early part of 1841, and consecrated the same year. It occupies the same site as the original church. 

January 16th 1844, Rev. Joseph f. Phillips resigned, and after a few months was succeeded by the Rev. Louis N. Noble. Of the latter it is said that “he remained for nearly ten years the genial and beloved pastor of St. Luke’s flock.” His pastorate ended May 22nd 1854. 

Rev. Thomas Richey was called to the rectorship September 18th 1854. During the time of his ministry, in 1855, the building again caught fire from the burning of the planing-mill. As a precaution against further danger from this source the lot upon which the mill stood, was purchased by the church. It adjoined the original church lot on the west. A building for a parish school was erected upon this ground during the summer of 1869. This is also used as a chapel. Mr. Richey resigned February 7th 1858, and was succeeded by Rev. E. Folsom Baker, whose pastorate continued till November 1st 1859. He was followed by Rev. William S. Chadwell, whose call dated April 25th 1860. 

A parsonage property on Spring street was purchased in March, 1861, for $2,510. A building lot was afterward sold from it. 

Mr. Chadwell resigned July 22nd 1867, and was succeeded by Rev. Robert Weeks, who took charge November 1st 1867, and continued his ministration just 14 years, closing with November 1881. Rev. William H. Harrison, the present incumbent, commenced his charge here January 1st 1882. 

The following persons, heads of families, were contributors to the support of the church in 1802: 

Samuel Haight, Thomas Thomson, Caleb Benton, John V.D.S. Scott, Jonathan Booth, John Blanchard, James Bill, Isaac Nichols, Abijah H. Beach, John M. Canfield, Mackay Croswell, Terence Donnelly, John Andrews, Frederick Cholett, Solomon Chandler, James Bennett, Isaac Van Loan, Joseph Graham, Thomas O’H. Croswell, James Pinckney, Stephen Root, Richard Edgerton, Joseph Hawkins, Joseph Klein, Joseph Wyman, Barent Dubois, Andrew Brosnaham, John Doane, John Bogardus, Henry Selleck, Isaac Race, Peter Bogardus, Benjamin Hyde, Oliver Bull, Stephen Calkins, Charles Clark, Nathaniel Hinman, Charles Rogers, Enoch Calkins, Thomas Waight, David Thorp, Joel Weed, Michael Hann, Moses I. Cantine, John Wolcott, Benjamin Haxtun, Thomas Dillon, Nathaniel Ells, Reuben Sanderson, Thomas P. Grosvener, Jacob Bogardus, Alexander Thomson, Alexander McCleland and Kenney McKenney. 

From November 2nd 1844 to July 1 1883, 1038 were baptized, and from June 6th 1849 to the end of 1882, 439 were confirmed. The present number of communicants is about 275. The church owns real estate, valued at $12,000. 

Mrs. Hubbell, a daughter of the Rev. Joseph Prentiss, presented the church with a handsome marble baptismal font, and also bequeathed to the society $3,000, and a donation of $1,000 was received from the late Henry Meiggs, a railroad prince of South America, who was a Catskill boy. Another donation from William Burroughs of Greenville, in 1862, provided means for the purchase of a large pipe organ. The present church wardens are Charles S. Willard, and Charles B. Pinckney; vestrymen, Manly B. Mattice, William L. DuBois, Theodore A. Cole, Charles E. Willard, George W. Halcott, Oliver Bourke, John H. Bagley jr., and Charles Trowbridge. The Sunday-school numbers 24 teachers and officers, and 148 pupils. The superintendent is William L. DuBois. 

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

One of the first steps toward the organization of this church was to circulate and subscribe to an agreement by which, after reciting in preamble the necessity of union and organization to sustain public worship, the signers of it formed themselves into a society to be known as “Christ’s Church of Catskill.” The agreement recites that the signers are inhabitants of the town of Catskill, and they agree to meet at the academy in the village on the 7th of February 1803, to elect trustees according to the statute, and further, until some other means should be devised, to bear the expense of the support of the gospel for each year, in proportion according to their several assessments on the books of the town for the year preceding. A tax according to this scheme was to be made out and collected by the trustees. This document bears the following signatures: 

Gomer Brockway, Joseph Graham, William Brown, George Taylor, Ira Day, Hiland Hill, Charles Rodgers, John Grant, Thomas B. Cooke, Richard Hill, Gilbert Drake, Jehial Preston, John Gager, Jesse Brush, Orrin Day, Lyman Hall, Eliphalet Webb, Aristobulus  Myrick, Caleb Street, George Hale, James Graham, Sally Brockway, Ruben Sanderson, Caleb Croswell, Ezra Hawley, Joshua Chapman, Thomas Dimmick, Elisha Ferguson, Stephen Day, Thomas Hale, Benjamin Sanford, Nathaniel T. Cook, Tunis Pryor jr., Moses Morse, Adonijah Sherman, William Ward, Daniel Mitchell, Philip Gebhard, Isaac Dubois, James Blodget, Ellis Thompson, Philo Day, Heman Wadhams, David Horton 3rd, David Johnson, Uriah Ward, Benjamin Butler, Timithay Shattuck, John Buel, John P. Bollen, Peter Ousterhout (“1 dollar for a year of a minister.”), Abraham Edwards, J. Harris, Joseph Weed, Joel Weed, Stephen Calkin, Wilkes Hyde, John H. Colton, Benjamin W. Dwight, Daniel M. Gregory, John Morison, Daniel Reeve, Josiah Stebbins, John Dougherty, Nathaniel Ells, Asa Kneeland, Ezekiel Orsborn, Phineas Meigs, Sedgwick Prestan, James M. Sanford, Lemuel Hall, Elijah Webb, David E. Gregory,  Jonathan Bill, Joel Austin, Henry Whittlesey, Jared Stocking, Daniel Hall, James Colliar, David Morgan, Abner Miller, William Hammond, Amos Eaton, William Bodvelt, Thomas P. Grosvenor, N. Benjamin, William Robb, James Pierce, Henry L’homedu, James Bennet, Samuel Hull jr., Nathan Elliot, Wyllys Miles, Josiah Rodgers, John Reeve, Rufus Moore, Thomas Place, John W. Strong, James Powers, John Doane, Nathaniel Hinman, and James J. Bill. 

At the organization meeting on the 7th of February 1803, the following trustees were chosen: Benjamin Sanford, William Brown and Jesse Brush, to serve for one year; Stephen Day, Thomas B. Cooke and Isaac Dubois, to serve for two years; and Thomas Hale, Richard Hill and Philip Gebhard, to serve for three years. Thomas B. Cooke was appointed clerk and Isaac Dubois treasurer. Though the corporate name did not indicate its denominational cast, yet it appears to have been commonly known as the Presbyterian society. A Rev. Mr. Coles preached to them a few months at the beginning. From an article on Catskill by Rev. Clark Brown, written in 1803, and preserved in the New York Historical Society’s collections, we learn that this church was at that time without a settled pastor; that its meetings were held at the court house; that among its members there were two merchants who had been regularly settled ministers in Connecticut, and another who had been a licensed preacher in that State; that the church intended soon to build a house of worship; and that “several wealthy and publick spirited men belong to this church and society.” 

On the 7th of June 1803, the trustees decided to raise $300 for the payment of a minister, and at the same time extended an invitation to Rev. David Porter to preach on probation. This probation appears to have continued until August 1st, when a call was given him, and a salary of $350 was offered, with the possibility of an increase by voluntary subscriptions, not to exceed $50 additional. He accepted the call, and was accordingly installed in September following. He is represented as being a man of great wisdom, dignity, simplicity and power, and the impress of his character was deeply made upon the society of which he was leader for nearly 28 years. He resigned the pastorate June 15th 1831, being then 70 years of age. 

During the first five years of its existence, worship was held in the court house, but in 1808 the building of a church was begun. This was the initial part of the present edifice. It was modeled in the style of that time – the square auditorium was supplied with family box pews, and galleries around the sides, while the pulpit was narrow and elevated. The interior was remodeled some thirty years afterward, but the exterior remained unchanged until 1853. It is thus described by the present pastor: 

“I remember it well. It was broken up by sixteen small windows, four on each side above the galleries, and four below. It sadly needed painting. There was no piazza nor porch in front. Three plain steps led up to the doors, which were ornamented above by arched fan-lights painted black, in imitation of glass with darkness behind it, and the doors were garnished by large wrought iron handles and latches. The belfry was low, and the heavy iron that crested and adorned it had been set awry by the boisterous winds.” 

The church lot was purchased of Thomas Thomson, as likewise was the alley leading from Main street up to it, now called Howard street. At the time the church was built Franklin street had not been opened, so the alley was the only way of access to the house. It is still owned by the church. The building was enlarged by the addition of the transept across the rear, in 1869 and 1870, at which time the interior was remodeled and beautified. The organ had been presented by Miss Caroline Day several years previous, now about twenty years ago. The lecture room adjoining the church was built in 1826. It was originally arranged with the seats facing the door, but in 1852  it was remodeled , and in 1873 still further improved and provided with movable chairs. 

During the pastorate of Dr. Porter two important revivals occurred: one in 1821, by which 51 persons were added to the church, and another in 1831, when 94 new members were joined to its ranks. Dr. Porter filled the pastorate until 1831, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas M. Smith, a scholarly, gentle, refined and studious man, who ministered to this church about ten years. Following him came the Rev. Gideon N. Judd, who was installed as pastor in the spring of 1840. He is described as a serious and devoted man, who was deeply absorbed by the duties and dignity of his office. He remained until the fall of 1849. Rev. George a. Howard, D.D., the present pastor of the church, was installed in July, 1850. At that time the number of communicants on the church record was 155. During the quarter of a century following the last mentioned date 360 were received into the church, 250 of whom were by profession of faith. So harmonious has been the pastorate that Dr. Howard was enabled to say – what few pastors of even much less than 25 years’ standing can say – “My people have given me an almost untroubling ministry.” The present membership of the church in full and regular standing is about 300. The church has no parsonage. 

The records of the Sunday-school of this church go back to 1828. The school for that year was kept up from March 16th to December 7th. The following were teachers then: Charles Jenkins, Samuel Wardell, Joseph Penfield, John Day, William Day, S.S. Day, Edward Elmer, M.E. Whittlesey, Joseph Crane, Henry H. Hyde, Charles Willard, Mr. Trowbridge, Ezra Hawley and Henry McKinstry. The number of scholars in attendance through that year was 155. The present number of the school is about 250, and the average attendance about 150. Henry F. Olmstead, the present superintendent, has held the position about 18 years, succeeding S. Sherwood Day, who had held it for many years previous. 

THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH 

It is probable that the first sermon in Catskill by a minster of the Methodist Episcopal church, was preached about the year 1815. Tradition says that soon after that date an Englishman, who was a physician and a local preacher, established himself in a small cloth factory in the old building which still stands on the corner of Main street and Cook’s alley, and arranged to preach regularly in the lower part of the court house. The first written record we are able to find is that of a trustees’ meeting February 19th 1823, the business of which was to lay plans for the purchase of a lot and the building of a house of worship. The trustees were John Hicks, Caleb Elmer, Daniel H. Sands, Curtis Graham, Seth Jones, Whiting Race and William Adams. April 30th 1823, a lot on which stood a small school building called the academy, on the north side of Thomson street, was bought of Richard Field for $100, and a year later the ground was enlarged by the purchase of five feet along the east side of the lot, of Peter Bogardus, for $37.50. The southwest corner of this lot was four chains from Main street, about opposite the alley which leads from Thomson street to the public school building. In July 1824, a building was contracted for, to be built by Thayre and Sherman, 34 x 44 feet on the ground and 14 feet high, to be built and prepared for plastering for $660. The school-house was placed in the rear of the church and separated from it by a narrow alley. It was rented for school purposes and also used by the society for social and business meetings. Doors were placed upon the pews in 1837, and the pews were then rented. 

In 1836, Alfred Foote came to Catskill, and about three years later, Benjamin Wiltse, both of whom have been prominent and active men in this church to the present time. In those days, love feasts were held with closed doors, and persons were admitted only by tickets previously granted by the pastor to members and probationers. Catskill was then part of the circuit that embraced Coxsackie, Coeymans, Leeds, Sandy Plains, High Hill, Cairo, Acra, Woodstock and Durham, and perhaps some other points, and was supplied by two or three preachers who followed each other around the circuit. 

The present church site was bought of the heirs of Dr. Green in 1862, for $1,000. the money that enabled them to make this purchase was bequeathed to the church by A.Wicks. In the course of the following year, a committee was appointed to consider plans for a new church. This committee, which consisted of B. Wiltse, R. Furrier and J.B. Foote, visited New York city, and by advice of Orange Judd, selected the Methodist Episcopal church at Flushing, as a model in proportions of measurements. A plan agreeing in the main with this model, was adopted October 1st 1863, and the church, costing, with it appurtenances and the improvement of the lot, about $12,000, was completed, and dedicated by Bishop Simpson, in November 1864. The former church property was sold to Hiram Bogardus, December 20th 1864, for $1,155. 

The parsonage property, on the east side of Prospect street, was bought of Francis Sayre February 1st 1867, for $2000. It stands directly opposite the rear of the church. It was afterward enlarged and improved, during the pastorate of Rev. J.H. Wardell. The church had in building incurred a debt of $2,500, which in 1870, had been increased until it amounted to $5,000. This, by the earnest efforts of Rev. Jeremiah Millard, in 1870, assisted by the active members of the church, was entirely cancelled. The seating capacity of the church is about 600. A lecture room on the rear of the church , with communicating doors has been recently built. It is 40 x 60 feet in size, and like the main building is of brick. A new pipe organ, from the Davis manufactory at Buffalo, which cost $1.645, has been recently placed in the church. 

The Sunday-school connected with this church numbers at present 25 officers and teachers, and about 175 scholars. The average attendance is about 130. 

THE CATSKILL BAPTIST CHURCH 

We take pleasure in inserting the following very excellent history of this church in the language of its pastor, by whom it has been prepared for this work.

The Catskill Baptist Church was organized July 20th 1803, with seven members, viz: Rev. Truman Beeman, Brethren Hiland Hill, Penn Parish, David Johnson; with Mrs. Ketura Hill, Ruth Drake, and Betsy Parish. As anciently the ark abode for a season, in the house of Obed Edom, the church, for twenty years, tarried in the house of Deacon Hill. Sometimes it met in the village school-house, or in the court house. Before it had a temple of its own, on occasions of ordaining councils, and of missionary gatherings, under the auspices of John M. Peck and Luther Rice; and subsequently when its own buildings were burned, on the kind invitations of the neighboring pastors, it used their sanctuaries. 

The church is now worshipping in its fourth building. On the morning of January 23rd 1823 it convened for the first time in its own sanctuary. Up to this period the church had received, by confession and baptism, 91; and by letter and experience 46. Their second house was built in 1839 and 1840, on the present site. Two of the members, Francis N. Wilson and John J. Ashley, whose lives and deeds have left a fragrant memory in the church, with wise forethought had some time previously secured the lots for that purpose. This building was burned April 20th 1850. Another was opened for public service November 19th of the same year. This was burned also, in August 1870. Their fourth and present house, was dedicated June 12th 1873. 

The church has not been favored with wealth. Faith and push have ever been essential. This feature has not attracted, but rather repelled the community; that is, a feeling simply exerting and waiting, had little in this to call it forth. The church has adhered in the midst of much temporal loss, to her principles. Conscious of holding “The faith once delivered to the saints,” each member has acted on conviction. Two motives have called it forth: that is, a personal confession of faith, and the purpose of confession in church-life. Divine impulse through this faith has kindled her altar fires. At times these have been quickened into heat and flame, by the presence of the Spirit. Then men have felt, and said, that the fragrance of her incense proved her life to beg of God. As a Baptist church in sympathy with her people, she wore their fellowship as her crown of honor. The mistake of short pastorates, now so common, has not doubt hindered growth. 

The following are the names of those who have served her, in the order of time: Truman Beeman, Peter Thurston, John M. Peck, Reid Burrit, (--------), Richmond Taggart, B.T. Welch, Peter Simonson, John Dowling, Thomas Dowling, Henry Whitman, Samuel Wilson, S.B. Willis, George Webster, E.F. Platt, J.M. Hope, A.J. Chaplin, W.C. McCarthy, A.C. Williams, P.F. Jones with the present incumbent B.B. Gibbs. 

There have been fifteen deacons, some of whose names are historic. Hiland Hill, who was ordained to the office, by a council from the churches of the Rensselaerville Baptist Association, which the church joined within a month of her organization, and who held his office for more than 40 years. (Hiland Hill was the worthy ancestor of those of the name now in the town.) James Coke, father of Rev. Jirah D. Cole D.D., late of Hiland Park, Ill., now deceased; J.J. Ashley, Henry Palmer, Philip Barnum, Francis N. Wilson, and Wilson Page. For about 25 years Hiland Hill was the first clerk; others have followed to the number of fifteen. An efficient Sabbath-school has been sustained for 53 years, of which John J. Ashley was the honored superintendent for 34 years. (Scholars 120, and Vols. in Library 400, at the present time). Thirty, or more, clergymen have served the church in councils for ordination, and in supplying it with the ministration of the Word. Space forbids the record of all the names. We mention only the following: Rev. Drs. Archibald McClay, S.H. Cone, John Dowling, author of the “History of Romanticism,” William R. Williams, the nestor of the New York pulpit; and Bartholomew T. Welch, “The golden mouthed” – and for many years the eloquent pastor of Pearl street Baptist church Albany. 

When the Hudson River Association of Baptist churches was formed, the Catskill church joined it. It soon became so large that it was thought best to divide it. This church remained as the most southern member of the compact. Subsequently however, it joined the “Hudson River Central.” But in 1882 it returned into fellowship with the “Hudson River Baptist Association North.” The church has by council ordained seven men to the Gospel ministry – six of these to her own pulpit. She has given license to preach to seven others of her members. By personal confession and faith in Christ she has received through baptism into fellowship, 661; and by letters from other Baptist churches, 315; making a total of 976. This gives 12 1-5 members for each year. If as many do, we measure growth by numbers received, twelve adults, or one each month, will indicate success. In the esteem of some this would be a good showing for many a strong church. Considering her weakness, the fact that she had taken into membership one adult for each month of her eighty years of church life, is good evidence of usefulness; but, in another view, is far less than should be sought. The property of the church is finely located on Main street; and is valued at $25,000, on which there is a debt of $4,108, soon to be removed, as is hoped. The present membership is 130. The congregation is increasing in influence and is prosperous.                                                                                                                        B.B.G. 

ST. PATRICK’S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 

This church was first established in Catskill in the summer of 1853, principally through the exertions of Rev. Father Howard of Hudson. Rev. Father Sullivan, who succeeded him at Hudson, came to this church for the purpose of celebrating mass. Rev. Father Myers was the first resident priest. He was succeeded by the Rev. Father Graats, and he by the Rev. Father E. O’Driscoll, whose pastorate, beginning previous to 1876, still continues. The families connected with this church and congregation number about 400 souls. The church property is on the south side of William street, adjoining the property that fifteen years ago or more was known as the “Catskill Free Academy,” which is on the west side of Spring street. The residence of the pastor stands on the street, while the house used for religious services occupies the rear of the lot. The building has a seating capacity of 288.The value of the real estate is estimated at $6,500. 

THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH 

Some form of organization appears to have been in existence before the date when the records begin to give any definite information concerning it, though the membership was doubtless small. A lot was bought of C.C. Abeel, on the west side of Hill street, about midway of the block between Bridge and Bronson streets, early in 1869, and labor toward building a church went forward. The corner stone was laid with imposing ceremonies, under direction of Bishop Campbell and Elder Rhodes of Albany, and the minister of the Coxsackie and Catskill circuit, who was then the Rev. J. Dudley, April 26th 1869. A handsome brick building was completed at a cost of several thousand dollars. Not being able to meet the entire expense of the building at the time, mortgages were given in 1871, 1872 and 1873, to secure a debt of about $3,000 which remained upon it. The mortgages were foreclosed in 1879 and the house was sold. It was afterward occupied as a shirt factory, but now stands empty. The first record of the election of trustees was dated March 22nd 1869. Since then, the ministers have been as follows: J. Dudley, 1869; R.E. Davis, 1871-3; B. Lynch, 1874; J.W. Cooper, 1875; J.H. Morgan, 1876, 1877; J.W. Cooper, 1878; J.W. Taylor, 1879; A.S. Amos, 1880, 1881; and R.H. Shirley, 1882, 1883. Since the church was sold, the society has occupied different rooms for worship. They now occupy Martin’s Hall, a room on the third floor over Martin’s hardware store. The present membership of the church is 19. The Sunday-school numbers 60. It is superintended by George H. Penfield of the Presbyterian church. 

FRATERNITIES 

Harmony Lodge No. 31 F. & A.M., the first masonic organization in Catskill, was instituted in 1793. Among its founders were Stephen Day, Samuel Haight, Thomas Thomson, Jacob Bogardus, Hezekiah Van Orden, George Taylor, Rufus Stanley, W.W. Wetmore and other prominent men of that time. When the organization was dissolved, or what were the causes of its dissolution, we are not informed, but it is probable that it occurred but a short time before 1818, and it may have been only to give place to a new organization which was then effected. 

Catskill Lodge, No. 302, F. & A.M., was instituted in 1818. The charter, dated March 4th of that year, was signed by DeWitt Clinton, grand master of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. Many of the old members of Harmony Lodge became members of the new. Its original officers, named in the charter, were Caleb Benton, W.M.; Cornelius Dubois, S.W.; Thomas Hale jr., J.W. A room which had been fitted up for the purpose by Francis Botsford, in the attic story of the building that stands on the corner of Main and Thomson streets, was used by the lodge. This room was afterward used for a variety of purposes, being occupied by the Mechanics Society, by political clubs, itinerant shows, jugglers and the like; and finally, it was occupied by Solomon Southwick, for his series of Sunday lectures against masonry. The furniture of the room was plain and simple, consisting of four raised desks, and a few hard bottomed benches. This lodge probably existed until the time of the anti-masonic excitement, which occurred in 1827, and then followed its predecessor. 

Catskill Lodge, No. 468, F. & A.M., was organized February 10th 1859, with the following charter members: John H. Bagley jr., T.C. Palmer, James Becker, A.M. Osborne, Rufus H. King, George L. France, Peter Baurhyte, Samuel Dubois, Luke Kiersted, David S. Manchester and Isaac Pulver. The first officers were John H. Bagley jr., W.M.; T.C. Palmer, S.W.; James Becker, J.W.; Samuel Dubois, secretary; Rufus H. King, treasurer; Isaac Pulver, S.D.; A. M. Osborne, J.D.; David S. Manchester, tyler. The successive worshipful masters have been C.C. Givens, James E. Nearing (died May 3rd 1868), J.S. Philips, A.M. Osborne, James Becker, Charles H. Pierson, John F. Sylvester, George C. Fox, S.M. Bagley, and William J. Hughes. The officers for 1883 were: O.G. Selden, W. M.; A.P. Kerley, S.W.; Will R. Post, J.W.; A.D. Wilbur, secretary; Nelson S. Shaler, treasurer; E. Gilbert jr., S.D.; John Siebel, J.D.; A.P. Stone, tyler; Luke Smith, chaplain. The lodge, in January 1883, numbered 124 members. It meets every Thursday evening in St. John’s Masonic Hall. 

Hendrick Hudson Lodge, No. 189, I.O. of O.F., was instituted January 14th 1846. The charter members were Peter Baurhyte, William Bennett, James Johnson, George Bell, Peter Hamblin, A.D.O. Browere, B.O. Wait, Nathan Mack, William Adams, and James H. Van Gorden. The first officers were as follows: Peter Baurhyte, N.G.; A.D.O. Browere, V.G.; James Johnson, secretary; William Adams, treasurer; George Bell, W.; Peter Hamblin, C.; The successive noble grands have been A.D.O. Browere, Samuel Dubois, Peter Hamblin, J. Atwater Cooke, Thomas C. Wey, David Ely, J. Fiero jr.; Rufus H. King, A.A. Hinman, Alexander Russell, Edgar Russell, Enos Gunn, Judson Wilcox, James H. Van Gorden, John H. France, Charles G. Lang, John M. Donnelly jr., John H. Mackey, O.T. Hill, Peter Davison, T.C. Palmer, Abram Decker, James Becker, Oliver Bourke, R. Masley, T.A. Penfield, J.P. Lohmann, P.T. Brindle, D.W. Seeley, Philip Plusch, C.S. Hitchcock, Julius Saul, I. Richardson, Charles Peters, F.S. Lynes, James Leeson, Charles Holt, Charles Ernst, A. Van Leuven, J. Zimmerman, George E. Mitchell, William Comfort, William N. Paulson, George C. Fox, A.P. Stone, W. Egnor, William Ruland, A.D. Wilbur, T.T. Corey, William Hollenbeck, William Hunter, Emil Merkel, Fred Stahl, Edward Ashley, William Canniff, A. W. Thomas, E.W. Wayne, E.H. Canniff, George Kinnecut, The present officers are: Emil Merkel, N.G.; Thomas Daglish, V.G.; Henry Hansen, secretary; O.T. Hill, treasurer; Edward Canniff, P.S. The lodge meets every Tuesday evening, at Odd Fellow’s Hall. This room was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies, October 6th 1847. The first death of a member was that of John Lusk, in March 1848. 

Malaeska Lodge, No. 99, K. of P., was instituted April 16th 1873, with the following charter members: H.O. Nichols, George E. Mitchell, J.F. Sylvester, William Joesbury, E.R. Wilcox, B.F. Conklin, A.D. Wilbur, J.P. Baird, William B. Gay, W. Howard, J.W. Van Gorden, J.A. Penfield, Warren H. Egnor, David Mackey, George R. Olney, J.R. Burgett, Charles Beardsley, C.A. Weed, Egbert Beardsley, Gottlieb Fromer, James B. Mitchell and F.P. Joesbury. The first officers were as follows: H.O. Nichols, C.C.; G.E. Mitchell, V.C.; J.F. Sylvester, P.; William Joesbury, K. of  R. & S.; E.R. Wilcox, M.F.; B.F. Conklin, M.A.; J.P. Baird, I. G.; W.B. Gay, O.G.; J.A. Penfield, P.C. The successive presiding officers have been George F. Mitchell, George R. Olney, Thomas Wilson, A.D. Wilbur, Warren H. Egnor, W.D. Aldrich, E. Beardsley, O.D. Aldrich, C.A. Weed, E.R. Wilcox, T.F. Botsford, Howard Wilcox and F.P. Smith. The lodge meets every Wednesday evening at Odd Fellows’ Hall. The present officers are: F.P. Smith, C.C.; William B. Gay, V.C.; E. Beardsley, P.; T.F. Botsford, K. of R.& S.; S.W. Green, M.F.; P. Goldin, M.E.; C.A. Weed, M.A.; J. H. Cornell, I.G.; H. Hahn, O.G.; Howard Wilcox, P.C. 

Catskill Division, No. 56, S. of T., was in operation here in 1867. It met on Monday evenings, and had about 40 members in 1869, having had nearly double that number a year before. It ceased working in 1870. 

Golden Rule Division, No. 377, S. of T., composed of colored members, was chartered July 26th 1868. In October of that year it had 29 members. It ceased working in 1870. 

The Catskill Mechanical Society, having for its objects “the relief of unfortunate and indigent members, their widows and children, and other charitable objects,” was composed of mechanics of the village of Catskill, and was incorporated by act of Legislature passed March 20th 1807. John Blanchard was then its president, and Adj. Sherman its secretary. It had an existence for several years, and after the Masonic Hall was fitted up, on the corner of Main and Thomson streets, about the year 1818, it held monthly meetings in that room. As showing the craft of some of the early residents of the village, the following list of its members in 1807, and their trades, will be interesting: 

Henry Ashley, tanner; John Blanchard, cordwainer; Abijah H. Beach, saddler; Francis Botsford, tailor; John P. Bohlen, saddler; Ephraim Baker, blacksmith; Adonijah Baker, blacksmith; James Bennet, mason; Peter Breasted, painter and glazier; Matthew Bounds, shipwright; *Caleb Croswell, painter and glazier; James Cole, cabinet maker; Mackay Croswell, printer; John Doane, house and ship joiner; Nathaniel Ellis, house joiner; Elisha Ferguson, cooper; John Gager, ship carpenter; Richard Hill, shipwright; Hiland Hill, shipwright; Nathaniel Hinman,, cordwainer; David Horton, weaver; Herman Hinman, house joiner; John Hyde, blacksmith; Lemuel Hall, cordwainer; Aaron Hall, mason; Henry L’Homedieu, wheelwright; John T. Lacy, ship carpenter; Isaac Nichols, cordwainer; Peter Ousterhout, blacksmith; John S. Olcott, rope maker; Jehiel Preston, clock and watch maker; Stephen Root, tanner; Adonijah Sherman, tailor; Reuben Sanderson, house joiner; *Josiah Stebbins, nailor; Henry Selleck, house joiner;  Simeon Sanford, cordwainer; Benjamin Sole, ship carpenter; Jared Stocking, blacksmith; David Thorp, cordwainer; Hezekiah Thayer, housewright; *Thomas Waight, housewright; *Eliphalet Webb, brick maker; Shadrach White, cordwainer. (*Indicates deceased members at that time.) 

The Catskill Association, a sort of speculative association, was formed in 1836 or 1837, called and described as the “Catskill Association, formed for the purpose of improving the town of Catskill, in the county of Greene, State of New York, and for other purposes.” The officers of the society were: George S. Doughty, president; Thomas Duguid, secretary; Evan Griffith, treasurer; and L.B. Woodruff, counsellor. Large tracts  at West Catskill were purchased, the Dubois farm among the rest, and laid out into streets and city lots with fanciful names. But the financial depression of that time descended upon the bubble, and it burst before it had reached its intended magnificence. Beyond a book of 48 pages devoted to the description of the enterprise, accompanied by two maps, but few footprints of the enterprise now remain. 

TELEGRAPH COMPANIES 

The Catskill, Cairo & Windham Telegraph Company filed its certificate of incorporation, January 15th 1876. Its capital stock was limited to $3,000, but this limit was afterward, April 5th 1879, increased to $5,000. The route was from Catskill to Windham, using about 22 miles of wire. The Cairo & Durham Telegraph Company erected a line from Cairo to Durham, through Freehold, East Durham and Oak Hill, in connection with the former line. This company was organized by the filing of its certificate, March 9th 1876. In connection with this the Greenville &  Freehold Telegraph Company, whose certificate was filed May 18th 1877, ran a branch line from Freehold to Greenville. Another branch line was run from Windham to Hunter by another company. These lines were all absorbed by the Catskill, Cairo & Windham Company, which then had about 50 miles of wire. This company paid from 10 to 20 per cent. dividends on its stock. About four years after its organization it was absorbed  by the American Union, its stock being taken at $1.20. 

Catskill Telegraph & Telephone Company. This organization filed its certificate in 1881. Its office was on Main street, Catskill, and the exchange was opened July 15th 1881. It had 22 subscribers. Its capital stock was $1,000, which was increased, September 9th, to $2,000. Seventy-five miles of wire were put up the first season, and ten miles more, subsequently. It had connections with the large hotels near the village; with Kiskatom, Palenville, Laurel House, Hotel Kaaterskill, and the Mountain House, at the mountains. The incorporators were A.W. Thomas, P.G. Coffin and A.D. Wilbur. In May 1883, it sold out its property to the company, now the Hudson River Telephone Company, at 50 per cent. advance on the investment. 

TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION 

During the early years of the history of this village, its communications were by wagons and stages on the land, and by sailing packets on the river. These have in a measure given way to the railroads and steamboats. Some of the early packet sloops were: the Ann Eliza, Captain Richard Hill, in 1807; the Sally Ann, Captain Van Loan, the Jefferson, Captain James Bogardus, and the Ranger, Captain Grant, in 1809; the Delaware, Edmund, Superior and Lewis, about 1818; the James Monroe, Alfred, Shakespeare, Superior, and Delaware, about 1825; and the Catskill, Greene Co. Tanner, James Monroe, Gen. Livingston, and Bucktail, about 1833. An experimental boat was run between Catskill and Hudson in 1809, by Cruttenden & Hathaway. 

The Steamboat, Capt. J. Wiswall, was running on the river in 1808, and advertised to pass Catskill every Wednesday on the way to New York, and on Sunday evening on the way up the river. The fare, between here and New York, was then $5.00, which included berth and meals. The trip occupied about 24 hours. In 1814, there were three steamboats plying on the river, passing here from New York: the Paragon, Captain Wiswall; Car of Neptune, Captain Roorbach; and North River, Captain Bartholomew. But the first steamer that we find any notice of as plying between Catskill and New York, was the Richmond, which in 1828 was commanded by Captain Charles Porter, and made semi-weekly trips to New York. In 1837, the Frank began running on this route, and September 4th 1841, the M.Y. Beach, a fine boat for the time, then being new, was put on. Besides these, in 1842 we find the Washington running here. The Thomas Powell made trips to this point some 20 years later. 

The New York, Catskill and Athens Steamboat Co. (Limited), was organized April 25th 1877, when the articles of association were signed by H.O. Nichols, William H. Morton, George M. Snyder, Edwin Snyder and Weston L. Snyder. The object of this company was running a steamboat line between this vicinity and New York. The Escort was bought and employed on the line and in October following the Charlotte Vanderbilt was added. The Escort having been enlarged, was 206 feet long on the keel and the Vanderbilt 207 feet. March 4th 1878, the company bought the interest of Black & Donahue Company, and the steamboat Andrew Harder. In August 1878, the Walter Brett, a boat of 220 feet keel was bought. In the spring of 1879, the Harder was sold from the line. The City of Catskill was built for this company and this line, and was launched May 29th 1880, being one of the largest and finest boats ever built on the upper Hudson. She was 250 feet on the keel, and was built at Athens. She was burned in 1882, while lying at Kingston. The Kaaterskill, the last boat added to the running stock of this line, is 269 feet on the keel, and contains 115 staterooms. She was built at Athens in the early part of 1882, and is one of the finest boats on the Hudson. 

Communication with Albany is kept up on the river by the steamer City of Hudson, which plies daily between this point and the State capital. This boat belongs to the Albany, Hudson & Catskill line which was established in 1835 by Captain William Allen of Hudson, an old sloop captain. The first steamboat used on the line was the Advocate. Two years later she was replaced by the Rockland, which after three years’ trial, was exchanged for the Hope. The latter boat was used three years. The Shepard Knapp was placed on the line in 1843, and ran until it was succeeded by the P.G. Coffin, in 1852. This boat was retained ten years. The City of Hudson was built in 1862 and placed at once upon this line, where she still remains. A pilot, Captain Abe Miller, served on all these boats. 

The Catskill & Hudson Steam Ferry Company (Limited), was chartered under the provisions of chapter 611, of the laws of 1875, and their certificate filed in the office of the secretary of State, November 4th 1881. Its capital stock was $15,000, and the term of its corporate existence 20 years. The incorporators were George H. Power, William Donahue, William J. Hughes, Edward J. Hamilton and Charles Whitbeck. The company was organized to run a ferry between the village of Catskill and the city of Hudson, with its principal office at Catskill. The small propellers, Isabella and Eloise are used on this line, making hourly trips during the day, to Hudson and return. 

At what time a ferry from this point across the river was first established, it is difficult to ascertain. At the beginning of the century, the State Legislature grant to Henry Van Gorden the right of maintaining a ferry from a point near where the Susquehanna Turnpike strikes the river, across to any convenient landing on the other side. This grant excludes all others from establishing a ferry, to land anywhere within a mile above or below this ferry. But Van Gorden’s ferry had already been established, at what time we cannot learn. The grant was to be “forever,” unless the State saw fit, after 25 years, to reimburse him the cost of the dock, and take it off his hands. The Court of Common Pleas was appointed to regulate the rates of ferriage, which it has done from time to time. 

When the ferry was first established, and for many years previous to the building of the causeway to the little island which now forms the landing at the Point, the ferry landed on the north side of the mouth of the creek. The primitive ferry boat was a clumsy scow, with a mast on one side, from which a sail was hung, by means of which the boat was propelled when the wind blew. When the wind failed, a pair of long oars was used. In either case, the working of the boat across the river was a slow and tedious operation. The boat was steered by a long broad bladed oar run out astern. This boat was in operation in the early years of the century, and after many years it was propelled by the treadmill horse-power, which was itself superseded by the steam ferry boat. This was about a quarter of a century since. A handsome and commodious ferry boat, the A.F. Beach, now crosses in connection with all trains on the Hudson River Railroad. 

THE PRESS 

The Catskill Packet, the first newspaper printed in Catskill, was issued first on Monday, August 6th 1792. It was printed on coarse, blue paper, the sheet being about 10x12 inches in size, and its heading was ornamented with a vignette of a sloop under full sail. It was published by Mackay Croswell & Co., at the subscription price of ten shillings per annum. The “company” was Dr. Thomas O’H. Croswell. In May 1795 it title was changed to the Catskill Packet and Western Mail; and in May 1800, to the Western Constellation, and it was then published by Mackay & Harry Croswell. In May 1804, it became the Catskill Recorder, and having been enlarged, was published by Mackay Croswell. It was afterward published by his son Edwin, and about 1820 by Richard Field, then by Charles Faxon, and later successively by Nathan G. Elliott, Caleb Croswell, John R. Sylvester and J.B. Hall. Philip Deyo was for a while associated with him, but February 8th 1862, J. B. Hall assumed the publication, the name having been changed to Recorder and Democrat March 14th 1861, at which time it was enlarged. In 1871 the name was changed to Recorder. Mr. Hall died September 14th 1874, since which time it has been published by his estate. 

The American Eagle was established here about the year 1808, and published two or three years by Nathan Elliott & Co. 

The Catskill Emendator was started in 1813, and ran a short time. 

The Zetetic, a sort of literary periodical, was started by a company of young persons in 1814, but it failed with its sixth issue. 

The Greene and Delaware Washingtonian was started here in 1814, by Michael J. Kappel. In 1816 it was changed to the Middle District Gazette, and was published by Wm. L. Stone. 

The Greene County Republican was established here by one Hyer, November 1826. In 1827 it was sold to Ralph Johnson, in 1828 to C. Hull, and in the following year merged into the Recorder. 

The Catskill Messenger was started in 1830 by Ira Dubois. It was afterward issued by Wm. Bryan, C.H. Cleveland, and Trowbridge & Gunn. While under the management of the latter it was changed to the Greene County Whig October 20th 1849. In 1857 it was changed to the Catskill Examiner under which name it is still published by Marcus H. Trowbridge. 

The Catskill Democrat was started June 14th 1843, by Joesbury & Dugard, with James D. Pinckney for its editor. It was soon after issued under the sole proprietorship of Joseph Joesbury. It was absorbed by the Recorder in 1849. 

The American Eagle was started at Prattsville in 1854, by E. & H. Baker, who moved it to Catskill in the same year. In 1855 it was made a school paper, and its name changed to the Banner of Industry, and was published by James H. Van Gorden. In 1857 it was bought by a company of prominent democrats, among whom was Lyman Tremain, and its name changed to the Democratic Herald. As a party organ, it was now placed under the management of Henry Baker, by whom it was published about two years. In 1860 it was merged in the Recorder.  

The Catskill Democratic Journal was started May 2nd 1861, by George E. Mitchell. It was published but a short time. 

The Catskill Independent, a weekly greenback organ, was started January 1st 1879, by J.D. Smith, by whom it was published a little less than a year. 

The Catskill Morning Mail, a daily newspaper, was started by John D. Smith, it first issue being Tuesday, November 25th 1879. It was a four page folio, with four columns to the page. October 6th 1880, another column was added to each page. November 1st 1881, it appeared as the Daily Mail, which name it has since borne. It has been a successful experiment, and a further enlargement is being consummated (December 1883). 

BRIDGES 

The Catskill Bridge Company was incorporated by an act of the Legislature, April 4th 1801. By its provision Joseph Graham, Gerrit Abeel, John M. Canfield, George Hall and Solomon Chandler were authorized to build a bridge across the Katskill, from “the red store built by Jacob Bogardus on the west side of said creek, to the road on the east side of said creek leading to the house occupied by Terence Donnelly.” Tolls were to be allowed, from 31 cents for a four-horse carriage and 25 cents for a two-horse carriage down to three cents for a foot passenger. The bridge was completed and formally opened in September 1802. It was about 550 feet in length, and about 20 feet in width, and was regarded as an elegant structure, and one in which the village took great pride. Its formal opening was celebrated by a parade of the ladies and gentlemen of the village, and speech making, and it is said that Dr. Porter afterward pronounced a benediction upon it, the virtues of which protected it from the wreck of wear and time, for seventy years and more. The bridge had a draw in it. Soon after its erection it became a favorite place for lovers to loiter, and for pleasure seekers to linger in the warm season; so say the chroniclers of the olden time.

The act of April 15th 1814, incorporating the Cauterskill Turnpike Company, contains the following paragraph: 

“VI. And be it further enacted, That no bridge hereafter shall be built over the Catskill Creek, between the draw-bridge in the village of Catskill and the fording place, near the house of Jacob Wetsel, nor any bridge over the Cauterskill from its junction with the Catskill, to within five rods of the first bend of the creek, below Joseph Klein’s falls, without the permission of the Legislature.” 

The limitations of this and former acts appear to have been subsequently modified so as to restrict the monopoly of the bridge to a half-mile from it. Accordingly the people, having been authorized by the supervisors to raise the necessary funds, erected in 1869 and 1870, a substantial arch bridge of iron, at a point a measured half-mile north of the drawbridge. This structure cost $22,500, and belongs to the town. It was done in accordance with an act of 1869, allowing supervisors to provide for the erection of bridges. Previous to this, however, in 1866, an act had been passed allowing the town to buy the draw-bridge, but no action had been taken until 1870, when the bridge and its franchise were bought by the town. A new iron bridge, with a draw in it, was built by the town in the same place in1881 and 1882 at a cost of $52,000. The old bridge was torn down in 1881, and for about a year and a half, while the work of reconstruction was going on, the people were without means of crossing at this point with vehicles. 

THE ICE BUSINESS 

The business of gathering and storing ice from the river is one of noticeable importance to this village as well as to other villages and towns on the Hudson. There are several ice houses to be seen on the borders of the village, which, though not particularly ornamental, suggest ideas of magnitude and industry and commerce that are pleasing to contemplate. The first great ice house in this locality was built at the Point about thirty years ago. It was burned down by a stroke of lightning, and another has since been built upon the same site. One at the Hopenose (a short bend in the creek about half a mile from its mouth) was built since, and that took fire from a burning barge in the creek near by. This has since been rebuilt. Another stands at the hither end of the Long Dock, about half way between the two mentioned. Others have been built on Rogers’ Island, which lies in the river off against the village, and at the point called Stuck, just at the upper bounds of the village on the river. The ice houses mentioned have varying capacities of 18,000 to 30,000 tons each. The Knickerbocker Ice Company of New York city owns the greater part of them. Besides these, there are a few smaller houses on the creek, occupied by the local trade, one of which is above the river, at the junction of the Kaaterskill, whose waters are claimed to give a better quality of ice. 

THE BANKS 

The Catskill Bank was incorporated as an associated free bank March 26th 1813, with a capital stock limited by the charter to $400,000. April 30th 1829 the charter was renewed to run to January 1st 1853, with a capital stock fixed at $150,000. At the expiration of this charter the actual capital of the bank was $110,007, and the charter was extended to January 1st 1899. This charter however gave place to an incorporation know as Catskill National Bank, July 20th 1865. Thomas B. Cooke was its first president, in 1813, and he held the office for many years. The present officers are Isaac Pruyn, (since 1872,) president, Wm. H. Van Orden, vice-president, and Henry B. Hill, cashier. 

The Tanners’ Bank was incorporated March 14th 1831 under the title “The President, Directors and Company of the Tanners’ Bank, (safety fund),” with a capital stock of $100,000. It was reorganized under the act of April 18th 1838, to run 40 years from December 31st 1859, with the privilege of increasing its capital stock to $250,000 at the discretion of the directors. An increase of $50,000 only, was made March 16th 1860. It was reincorporated as the Tanners’ National Bank in 1865, with a capital stock of $150,000. Its resources October 2nd 1883, were $780,956.08. Its first directors, in 1831, were James Powers, Edgar B. Day, S. Sherwood Day, Francis Sayre, Charles L. Beach, George H. Penfield, Rufus H. King, Joshua Fiero jr., John T. Mann, Joshua Atwater jr.,  Francis N. Wilson, Isaac Rouse and John Breasted. Its first president was Orrin Day. Frederick Hill was its first cashier, and has held that office to the present time. S. Sherwood Day was at first vice-president and bookkeeper until 1846, when he succeeded Orin Day as president, and has held that office to the present time. The present directors are S. Sherwood Day, John T. Mann and Orrin Day. 

The Catskill Savings Bank was incorporated in 1868. Its first officers were John Breasted, president, and Edgar Russell, secretary. Upon Mr. Breasted becoming incapacitated by disease, the office of president was conferred upon S. Sherwood Day. No other change has been made in these offices to the present time. The resources of the bank January 1st 1883 were $722,784.56. There was then due depositors, $648,401.10, and a surplus of $74,383.46. The business is done in the office of the Tanners’ National Bank. 

MANUFACTURING 

A lime manufactory was established, about three miles west of the village, in 1833, by Jacob Edwards. He was succeeded by James, Henry and Cyrus Overbagh. The present proprietor is Hiland P. Palmer. The factory employs seven men. 

The tan-yard between Main and North streets at the upper end of the village, is now silent. A few years since it was in active operation under the proprietary management of Nicholas Swartout. It then employed about twelve hands and produced mainly harness and upper leather. 

The Imperial Facing Mills, on Water street, were established in 1880, by Thomas Bell. The buildings include one of brick 40 x 42 feet, two stories with basement and attic, one frame building, a coal shed, a shipping room and a brick engine house. A steam engine of 70 horse power is used, and eleven persons are employed. About 3,500 tons of raw material is annually consumed. The foundry facings manufactured here are shipped to all parts of the United States and Canada. 

The foundry on Water street was established is 1808, by one Dutcher, who manufactured plows. In 1839 the firm of B. Wiltse & Co. purchased the business. In 1850 the firm’s name was changed to A. & B. Wiltse, and this was succeeded by the present firm of B. Wiltse and Co. A 12 horse power steam engine is used, and six persons are employed. The class of goods manufactured embraces general machinery and foundry work. About 100 tons of raw material is annually consumed. 

The Hop-o-nose Knitting Company, was established in 1881 with a capital of $25,000. The buildings are two in number, built of brick and situated at West Catskill. A 65 horse power steam engine is used. The establishment employs 120 hands, and produces 100 dozen shirts and drawers per day. About 1500 lbs. of raw material is consumed daily. 

The Harris Manufacturing Company (Limited). In 1864 Samuel Harris established a woolen-mill at Catskill. In 1868 Benjamin Howland associated himself in business with Mr. Harris under the firm name of Steam Woolen Company. In 1881, the Harris Manufacturing Company (Limited), was incorporated, with a nominal capital of $50,000. The original buildings were two, built of brick. In 1881, a new dye-house and store-house were built. A Corliss engine of 160 horse power is used, and about 175 hands are employed. The annual consumption of raw material is about 400,000 pounds. The officers of the corporation are C. L. Rickerson, president; Samuel Harris, treasurer; Frank Oliver, secretary; Joseph R. Hunter, superintendent.

The Excelsior Pottery and Drain Tile and Pipe Works were established in 1865 by Ferrier Brothers, who were succeeded in 1868 by the present proprietor, Otis Chickering. Mr. Chickering has enlarged and improved the business, and employs from six to twenty men, varying in different seasons of the year, producing about 1000 tons of hollow brick annually. The works are situated on West Water street. 

THOMAS E. FERRIER 

Thomas E. Ferrier was born in the town of Warwick, Orange county, N.Y., April 15th 1821 – the third in a family of seven children of Joseph and Hannah W. (Edsall) Ferrier. On the father’s side, he is of Scotch-Irish descent, -- on the mother’s, of French. His grandfather, Robert Ferrier, married Mary Wilcox; he was a farmer by occupation, lived most of his life in Orange county, and died there. His wife survived him, and died in Yates county, N.Y. They had six sons and one daughter, viz: William, David, Joseph, Thomas, Anna, Robert and Michael. All these children were married and raised families. All are now deceased. 

Joseph Ferrier, father of Thomas E., was born in Warwick, Orange county, N.Y., January 25th 1791. He married, February 11th 1815, Hannah W. Edsall, who was born in Sussex county, N.J., August 13th 1790. They had seven children viz: John Milton, married Frances M. Coleman, and died Aug. 5th 1843, no children; Sarah M., born Aug. 13th 1818, widow of Mathew Bailey, living in Sussex county, N.J., with her only son, Daniel Bailey; Thomas E., subject of this sketch; Louisa, born August 5th 1824, married to Cornelius J. Jones, a farmer in Warwick; Mr. and Mrs. Jones are deceased; Edward Jones, living in Jersey City, is their only surviving child; Almira, born July 30th 1827, wife of Cornelius J. Lazear, furniture dealer and undertaker in Warwick; three children; Sarah, Ida, and William; Edsall, born October 30th 1831, married Anna M. Hummell, of Easton, Pa., May 12th 1859; he was for a number of years professor of languages in Lafayette College; at the present time (1883) is paster [sic] of the Presbyterian church at Mauch Chunk, Pa.; no children; Robert, born February 23rd 1835, married Celia D. Jones, December 18th 1855, and died in Catskill, May 2nd 1880. Thomas E. Ferrier lived at home, on the farm, till he was 15 years of age. At that time he entered as clerk, the store of H.W. Houston, where he remained three years. He then attended school one year at Edonville. He thereafter taught school three seasons, one season in Pike county, Ill. He then returned to his native place, where he purchased a farm adjoining the home farm, which he carried on until 1866, when he moved to Catskill, where, in company with his brother Robert, he engaged in the manufacture of brick, firm R. Ferrier and Bro. This partnership continued till the spring of1876, then terminated by the death of his brother. He continued to carry on the business in his own name until 1882, when he associated with him, his son-in-law, Percival Goldin, firm Ferrier & Goldin. The business is quite extensive, and successful. In 1880 Mr. Ferrier purchased of his brother’s widow the place where he now lives. 

During the continuance of his partnership with his brother Robert, the firm, in addition to their manufacture of brick at Catskill, were quite extensively engaged in the erection of buildings in New York city and Brooklyn, mainly in the latter. 

Mr. Ferrier has been a stockholder and director in the Catskill National Bank for the last fifteen years. He was president and director of Hop-o-nose Knitting Company during the erection of the buildings, and one year afterward – and still holds his interest.

In politics, he has been identified with the whig and republican parties. He has been a member of the Presbyterian church for 25 years. He is now a member of that church in Catskill, and for five years has been one of its trustees. 

He married, February 19th 1846, Elizabeth, daughter of John and Elizabeth Vanderoef. Mrs. Ferrier was born in the village of Florida, Orange county, N.Y., August 16th 1825. Their children are: 

Hannah Elizabeth, born May 23rd 1849, married to H.W. Lane, May 29th 1872, living in Warren county, Pa.; one child, Hubert A.

 Willis Wentworth, born October 20th 1860, died July 16th 1871. 

Mary W., born June 28th 1854, married to Percival Goldin, October 13th 1875; children, Lizzie F. and Willis P. 

EPIDEMICS 

Though for general healthfulness, the reputation of this locality stands high, the village has on a few occasions been ravaged by epidemic diseases. The first of these was in 1803, when the yellow fever broke out and for a time raged with much fatality. The epidemic commenced in the month of August. The first two cases occurred on the 10th; the third and fourth on the 11th, and the fifth and sixth on the 19th. The first three cases were in one family. There were altogether 30 clearly marked cases, and 10 or 12 doubtful ones. One-third of them began in August, and the others in September. Eight persons died, six of whom were males. Females were handled with less severity than males. The disease appeared to be confined to that part of the village near the Hopenose, mainly on Green street. On this street there were then several houses, and on the lower end of it a few stores. Two or three hundred barrels of herrings had been stored in one of these buildings during the month of the preceding May. A slaughter yard was then in operation in the village, the effect of which was so marked that Dr. Croswell claimed that he could tell beforehand, from its condition and that of the sewer leading from it, in connection with the weather, whether the families living near it would be visited with the sickness or not. The water was said to produce diarrhea if freely used. The people lived very much crowded together, generally two to four families in each house. These facts indicated bad sanitary condition, and to them were attributed the progress of the disease, if not its origin.

The village was visited by cholera in 1832, but we have failed to gather the details in regard to it. The disease was sufficiently serious to prompt the provision of a building for a cholera hospital. November 11th 1834 the board of supervisors authorized the county treasurer to sell this building, there being no further need of it. Again, in 1849m the village was visited by cholera, but of this we have learned no particulars. 

In 1854 the third visitation of cholera occurred. This was probably the most direful scourge that ever came upon the village. It was of the true Asiatic type. It made its appearance in May, coming on gradually and increasing in its severity till July, when it reached its height, though it continued on into September. During that time upwards of 80 persons died of it. Most of the cases were confined to the village, and here it seemed to linger about Main street. It affected all classes, and was so obstinate as to defy the most skillful treatment. Five deaths occurred in a single day. No rain fell from May to September; the atmosphere seemed to lack ozone; the heat of summer was intense and prostrating, and to add to the depressing effects, the air was often filled with smoke, from fires that were raging on the mountains. In this hour of terror there were barely physicians and ministers enough in the village to attend the sick, or give Christian burial to the dead. Rev. A.P. Van Gieson was for two weeks the only minister in the village. He says: “There was no heart for merriment in those awful weeks of the cholera.” Dr. Howard returned from his vacation when he learned the state of affairs.  Sixteen persons died in three successive nights, most of the deaths occurring during the hours of night. The first victim was a Mr. Abbott, the last was John Adams. Philip Van Vechten was taken one morning in about the usual way, and his funeral was held the next day at 11 o’clock. Another was about the streets until 10 or 11 o’clock at night, and was buried in the early morning of the next day. 

In the midst of the epidemic it is said, Cook Hull, a physician of the homeopathic school, in passing through on his way to the mountains, treated several of the worst cases, and that treatment was almost uniformly followed by recovery. This gave a favorable introduction to the new school of medicine in this locality. 

Of the various theories advanced in regard to the cause of this pestilence one is worthy of notice. Dredging in the creek had been prosecuted early in the spring, and the deposit of the creek bottom thus drawn up was brought ashore and dumped along the village front. Some of it had been deposited on the road bed in the street. The exposure of this sediment to the sun was thought by some to have set free in the air some germs of disease that had been sleeping in the bed of the river. Copious rains and cooler weather came on late in September and the disease abated. 

JEFFERSON

This is a locality on the Susquehanna Turnpike, about two miles west of Catskill. It is sometimes called the Flats. Some excellent farms and orchards are to be seen in this locality. It contains a store, a school, a hotel, the site of which has been occupied as such from very early times, a trotting course, a paper-mill, and, at this time, about 50 dwellings. At the commencement of this century it contained ten dwellings, three stores and two public houses. Lumber was then a common article of produce, and the merchants bartered goods for it. A paper-mill on the Katskill was then owned by Nathan Benjamin. December 1st 1807 it took fire, at about 7 o’clock in the evening, and was entirely destroyed. Loss $10,000. It was rebuilt, and in 1815 was owned by Russell and Abner Austin, from whom the ownership passed to the Austin family, where it still continues. 

Jefferson Rural Cemetery Association was organized at a meeting held in the district school-house March 27th 1872. The trustees then elected were Conrad Stevens, Frank Salisbury, W.W. Palmatier, S.W. Simmons, T. Jackson, John F. Wolfe, E.L. Demorest, Luke Kiersted and William S. Kenyon. 

LEEDS 

This village lies on the Katskill at the crossing of the Susquehanna Turnpike, about four miles west of the village of Catskill. It is the ancient and original village site of Old Catskill, and occupies the original “five great plains” of the Indians, really one of the most beautiful and fertile valleys in all this rugged region. It is a quiet village, of perhaps 500 inhabitants, which may boast more of its past history than of its present achievements. In the early years of the century the village was called Madison. The village center was then newly established on a spot a short distance from the site of the older part of the settlement. The flouring-mill of Ira Day had then been recently established on the Katskill, and by the introduction of new and improved machinery, was able to manufacture about 600 bushels of wheat into flour daily. It had four runs of stone driven by two water-wheels, and the annual product of flour was estimated to be worth about $70,000. Just about the mill a dozen houses had been erected, and there were three stores, one public house and a few other buildings. The village now contains two general stores, a drug store, tin store, market, two blacksmith shops, a hotel (the Schoonmaker House), a school, three churches, a foundry, and two large woolen manufactories. The flouring-mills mentioned above, afterward became Whittlesey’s Mills, and upon the same site Samuel Harris afterward erected a large woolen factory. This was burned, together with three boarding houses for operatives, on Saturday, May 24th 1862. The fire was supposed to have been generated by friction of the machinery. The mill had been in full and successful operation, employing about 150 operatives, and the value of property destroyed was about $80,000. Two large woolen factories now occupy substantially the same site, being the property of the estate of A.T. Stewart. They are, however, standing idle. The upper one was closed January 1st 1882, and the lower one, January 1st 1881. They were employed chiefly in the manufacture of woolen cloakings, shawls, cassimeres, robes, etc. When in full blast, these mills used 2,500 pounds of wool per day, and employed 700 operatives. There are in the village about 70 dwellings belonging to these mills, most of which are now unoccupied.   

The Leeds Plow Works were established about the year 1813 by Samuel Fowks. Mr. Fowks was a blacksmith, and in olden times the farmers of the neighborhood came to him to get the wrought iron points for their wooden plows. Jethrow Wood, a Quaker of Dutchess county, invented an iron plow. He came to Mr. Fowks to get his plows made, and about the time mentioned, iron plows were first made by Mr. Fowks. The castings were at first made in Albany. In a short time, however, Mr. Fowks himself commenced the work of casting. His first attempt to melt iron was in an ordinary blacksmith’s furnace. He placed a dish or ladle in the bottom of the furnace and built around it a fire of charcoal. Two slaves were set to blow the fire, and when it became sufficiently hot, a few pieces of iron were placed upon it, which, melting, ran down into the ladle. When a sufficient quantity of iron was melted, the ladle was removed from the fire, and the melted iron was poured into the mould, and thus the first iron plow was cast at Leeds. Mr. Fowks was succeeded by his sons, William and Edward, who were in turn succeeded by the present proprietor, Milton Fowks, about the year 1850. About 25 tons of iron is annually melted in the furnace of this establishment. 

Nearly two miles west from the village center is an ancient mill site on the Katskill, known as Dubois’s Mill or Wolcott’s Mill. The first mill erected there is said to have been a very large one, and it was destroyed by a freshet in the creek coming suddenly, supposed to have been caused by a cloud-burst on the stream above.  In 1809 the mills were owned by Ezekiel Benton. They then consisted of a grist-mill, a clothier’s mill and a distillery. In 1810 they were occupied by Montgomery Stephens and John Wolcott. More recently the site has been occupied by a flour and plaster-mill. 

A destructive fire, supposed to have been the work of an incendiary, broke out in the barn of David W. Duncan one evening in February, 1883. Before the flames could be stayed, it being in the heart of the village, 13 buildings were burned, including five dwellings and two stores. One of these, occupied as a store by B.T. White, was the oldest building in the village proper, a stone building, having been built by Martin G. Schuneman more than 100 years ago. It stood on the southeast corner of the main street and the street leading to the upper woolen factory. The other buildings burned stood along the street to the west of it and on the opposite side of the main street and up to the Coxsackie road. The total loss was about $26,500. 

THE REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH 

The “Reformed Low Dutch Church of Katskill and Kocks-Hacky” appears to have been the first church organization within this town. Previous to its establishment, religious worship under the leadership of representatives of this church had been conducted with more or less regularity, from about the year 1650. The early history of this church, from its organization in 1732 to the death of Domine Schuneman in 1794, will be found in [t]he history of Old Catskill. 

The history of this church as a legally incorporated body under the laws of the State, begins with the transactions recorded in the following document: 

“Agreeable to an act of Legislature of the State of New York, Entitled An Act to enable all the Religious Denominations in this State to appoint Trustees who shall be a body Corporate for the purpose of Taking Care of the Temporalities of their respective Congregations, and for the purposes therein mentioned. Passed on the 6th day of April, 1784, and Election for Trustees was held for the Congregation of the reformed protestant dutch church at Catskill at the church of Catskill aforesaid and the following persons, after due notice agreeable to the above Law, Elected by the plurality of Voices, Trustees, and classed, viz:

                                    “HENRY OUTHOUDT, – 1st class
                                    “FRANCIS SALISBURY, – 1st class
                                    “SAMUEL VAN VECHTEN, – 2nd class
                                    “WILLIAM GROOM, – 2nd class
                                    “JOHN SOUSER, – 3rd class.

“We the subscribers, being two of the Elders of the reformed protestant dutch church of Catskill, do hereby Certify that the above Named persons were duly Elected Trustees of the reformed dutch church of Catskill, given under our hands and seals this 29th day of Aug., 1787.
                                                                                    “WM. GROOM,
                                                                                    “JACOB SAX.” 

The labors of Domine Schuneman closed in 1794, and for several years the pulpit was only occasionally supplied.

About this time, the union that had existed between the Catskill and Coxsackie congregations was dissolved, and the former, uniting with Oak Hill, which was to have one-third the pastor’s service, presented a call to the Rev. Peter Labagh, who accepted it, and began his labors May 13th 1798. His pastorate continued till June 24th 1809. The Rev. Henry Ostrander began labor here in 1810, and continued two years. The association with Oak Hill appears now to have been abandoned. For about two years the pulpit was occupied only by occasional supplies. The Rev. Peter S. Wynkoop was called to the pastorate in 1814, and continued till 1817. In the latter part of that year the Rev. Isaac N. Wyckoff was called, and in 1818 was installed as pastor of this church.  

The old church having become much impaired, it was decided to build anew, and a new building was begun in 1816, and completed in 1818. The building up of the new village center about the mills made it desirable to change the location of the church to a more central point. A new site was given on the east side of the Susquehanna Turnpike, at the junction of the Athens Turnpike, by Martin G. Schuneman, by deed bearing date May 9th 1816. The structure was built on a rock which rises to the surface in a convenient position for its foundation. The first service held in the house, then incomplete, was the celebration of 4th of July 1818. The building is of fossiliferous limestone, surmounted with a spire. 

Under Domine Wyckoff the societies of Madison, Catskill and Kiskatom were united, and so continued until 1833. Rev. John C. Van Liew was an assistant pastor for a year preceding the dissolution of the union. In 1833 two churches were organized, one at Catskill village, and the other consisting of the remainder of the union, to be known as the Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds and Kiskatom. 

The new church at Leeds was organized by the election of elders and deacons, according to the direction of Classis. This took place March 17th 1833, and the officers chosen were: -- elders; John Schuneman, Frederick Sax and James Van Duzen: deacons; Joseph Bevier, James Elting, Zeria Ferry, David C. Abeel and James Manning. The old parsonage property was sold April 9th 1832, by direction of consistory, to Casper Van Hoesen for $1,400. April 1st 1833 a lot for a parsonage was bought in the village, on the Susquehanna Turnpike, adjoining the lot of school district No. 10. This was bought of Henry Person for $950, and in August following, an additional tract was bought of Mary Van Bergen for $230. 

The Rev. J.C. Van Liew was called, and installed pastor of this church May 1st 1833. His pastorate was short, closing July 21st 1834. Rev. Brogan Hoff was installed in April 1835. During the winter of 1839 and 1840 there was a revival, by which 41 were added to the church at one time. Domine Hoff resigned his pastorate, and was dismissed February 11th 1842. 

By action of Classis this congregation was now divided, and two separate churches formed, one of Kiskatom, and the other of Leeds. The final action in the matter by consistory was on February 15th 1842. The church of Leeds now called the Rev. James Romeyn, who acted as a stated supply for about two years, when his failing health compelled him to resign. In 1845 Rev. W.R.S. Betts became pastor, and continued until October 1850. The church was then without regular supply until October 1851, when the Rev. John Minor was called, and he remained a little more than five years. 

In 1852, the parsonage lot lying on Main street, east of the church, was sold, and the “Vedder lot,” as it was called, was bought, and the present parsonage built on it at a cost of $2,629. The church was repaired, and the steeple added at a cost of $766. In 1855 the interior of the building was remodeled. 

On two occasions the church considered the question of dropping the word “Dutch” from its title – in 1855, and again in 1857 – but both times it was voted to retain it. 

Rev. Samuel T. Searle was called to this church in September 1857, and his pastorate continued until July 9th 1869, during which time the church was cleared of debt. In March 1870 a pipe organ was put into the church. In February 1871 the old bass viol, which had been in use years before, was sold for $10. 

Rev. B. Van Zandt, called August 27th 1869, was installed in September, and his pastorate continued till April 1878. Rev. Charles W. Wood served the church from June 1878 till May 1879. Rev. C.P. Ditmars was installed September 23rd 1878. In the latter part of October his pastoral relation was dissolved, and he accepted a call at Niskayuna, Schenectady county, New York. 

At the time of the division of the old church, 1833, the church of Leeds and Kiskatom had 170 members. How many were left after the Kiskatom church had been withdrawn is not known, but ten years later, in 1852, the church embraced 90 families and contained 105 members; in 1862 it comprehended 80 families and 127 members; in 1872 it had 100 families and 111 members; and in 1882 it counted 62 families and 101 members. Since 1833 there have been received into the communion of the church 405 members, 292 by confession of faith. The pastors have baptized 294 children and solemnized 361 marriages. The Sunday-school, which was begun at an early date, has an average attendance of about 70. 

THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH 

This church was organized in 1845, by the Rev. E.S. Hibbard, who preached occasionally on week-day evenings in the school-house. W.G. Walcott was the first class leader. In 1855 a board of trustees was formed, consisting of Nelson Wright, J.D. Comfort, W. Fullager, James Ingram, and H. Hustead. In 1856 the present edifice was built, at an expense of $2,809.30, which included the furnishing. The house was dedicated by Rev. Jesse T. Peck D.D., on the 10th of September of the same year. A commodious parsonage was built in 1859, costing $1,750, including $300 paid for the lot. 

Rev. J.W. Macomber was pastor when the church was built, and served one year. The following are the manes of the succeeding ministers and the time of service of each: Bradley L. Burr, 1857, 1858; D. Gibson, 1859, 1869; W.F. Harris, 1861, 1862; J.E. Gorse, 1863, 1864; C. Gorse, 1865; J.H. Hawxhurst, 1866-68; E. Clement, 1869-71; G. Hern, 1872; N.H. Bangs, 1873, 1874; J.H. Phillips, 1875; H.C. Masten, 1876, 1877; W.S. Winans, 1878-80; A. Gaylord, 1881, 1882; W.W. Shaw, 1883. 

ST. BRIDGET’S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

When the woolen-mills were in operation a large number of the operatives were of this denomination, and a church was established, which was under the spiritual charge of the priest residing at Catskill, Rev. E. O’Driscoll. A lot was bought of Dewey Dederick, on the east side of the Coxsackie road a short distance from Main street, and in 1878 a handsome church was built on it. With the removal of the Roman Catholic population on the suspension of the mills, regular services were discontinued. 

SOCIETIES 

Fraternity Lodge, No. 417, I.O. of O.F., was instituted January 22nd 1875, by D.D.G.M., W. H. Baldwin, of New Baltimore. The names of the charter members were G.H. Warder, N.G.; J.M. Vedder, V.G.; C.C. Teich, secretary; E.D. Warner, permanent secretary; H.F. Vedder, treasurer. The first death of a member of the lodge was that of Edward D. Warner, which occurred November 18th 1875. Mr. Warner was a man of the strictest integrity, diligent in the performance of every trust and duty, and his death caused universal sorrow in the community. The following are the names of the past grands: George H. Warner, Charles C. Teich, Levi Perry, C.I. Shires, B.F. Dayter, H.F. Vedder, William H. Wolfe, J.M. Vedder, John Ganderman, Henry Conine, James Moore, Andrew Wrigley, Martin Newbury and Thomas Martin. The present officers are: George Church, N.G.; John Burroughs, V.G.; B.F. Dayter, S.; Ira Perry, T.; Levi Perry, W.; George H. Warner, C.  Odd Fellows’ Hall, formerly Warner’s Hall, was built by George H. Warner, in 1874, and was bought by the lodge in 1880. The lodge meets every Friday evening, is in a prosperous condition, and numbers about 50 members. 

About 1875 to 1878 there were four temperance organizations represented in this village: the Sons of  Temperance, Good Templars, Temple of Honor, and an independent village society. The first flourished about fifteen years, the second and third, eight or nine years and the fourth, two or three years. All are now extinct. A weekly temperance paper, the Voice of Liberty, was published here three years, by George H. Warner. 

KISKATOM 

This is a scattered settlement of farms under the mountain in the central western part of the town. Several branches of the Kaaterskill drain this section and furnish power for a few saw-mills. A number of the farmers have made boarding houses of their dwellings, to accommodate those who wish to spend the summer near the mountain. The settlement was begun during the last century. 

THE REFORMED CHURCH

The early settlers and farmers who lived in this region were a part of the congregation of the old church at Leeds, about four or five miles to the northeast of this locality. The Rev. Isaac N. Wyckoff, while pastor of the Catskill church, preached and catechized the youth in the school-houses and private houses in this section, and was probably the means of forming this church. It was part of the Old Catskill church or the Leeds church until 1842, and up to that time its history is contained in that of those churches. 

Its house of worship was built in 1832, at its present location, then known as “Lawrence’s Tavern.” It was a wooden structure, and cost about $2,500, besides considerable material and labor, that were furnished gratuitously. The building committee were Isaac J. Du Bois, Frederick Sax, Joseph Sax, Jonathan C. Myer, and Roswell N. Lawrence. The latter was treasurer. Rev. I. N. Wyckoff preached the sermon at the dedication. In 1869 twelve feet were added to the length of the church, and other alterations were made, at an expense of about $2,300. Land for a parsonage site was bought of William Britt, about four acres, for $125, and on it a parsonage was built in 1848. The cost of the building was about $1,100. Additions have since been made. The entire property now owned by this church is in complete order and free from all incumbrance. 

A Sabbath-school in charge of Jonas Snyder, was held in the Remsen school-house until the church was completed, and has been continued, except during the winter seasons, to the present time. In 1840, a marked work of grace resulted in adding to the church more than 40 souls. This event led to the separation of the churches of Leeds and Kiskatom. 

The Reformed Dutch Church of Kiskatom was fully constituted March 17th 1842, with 59 families, 101 members and two Sabbath-schools, having together 80 scholars. The first consistory was composed of Elders Frederick Sax and Isaac J. Du Bois, and Deacons Roswell M. Lawrence and John F. Sax. 

The Rev. William Lyall was pastor from November 1842 to May 25th 1847, during which time 20 were added to the church. The Rev. John L. See, was pastor from November 1847 to October 14th 1850. During that time, 50 were received into the church. The Rev. James M. Compton followed, and closed a service of nearly four years September 20th 1854, having received 33 into the church. He was succeeded by Rev. Henry Eckel, who, after about eight months labor, died November 20th 1855. During the vacancy that followed, the church was supplied partly by Rev. John Minor, of Leeds. Rev. Calvin Case began laboring here in June 1857, and continued till May 1st 1860. During his pastorate, 38 members were admitted. Rev. Charles Rockwell was pastor for six years, to July 22nd 1866, welcoming during that time, 87 persons to membership in the church. Rev. William G. E. See following with another six years’ pastorate, receiving 59 members, and closing October 1st 1873. Rev. Paul T. Deyo succeeded him, and remained till 1875. His record showed an addition of 47 members to the church. He was followed by Rev. Jacob O. Van Fleet, whose term of ministerial service was about three and one-half years, closing with October 20th 1879. During his pastorate, 23 persons were added to the church. The present pastor, Rev. George J. Van Neste, began his ministry December 1st 1879. The church in 1883, reported 86 families with 200 communicants and three Sabbath-schools with 125 scholars. The gifts for benevolent objects, during last year, were $352.89. The jubilee of the church was celebrated May 22nd 1883, when the history of the church was read, and several former pastors made addresses.

PALENVILLE 

This village, named in honor of Jonathan Palen, one of the early residents of prominence, lies at the mouth of the Kaaterskill Clove. Of this village, a writer in 1854 said: 

“Apart from its location, the village of Palenville is a hamlet of the most shabby sort. It barely supports one ill furnished store, two primitive wayside taverns, a Methodist chapel, a school, a post-office, and a small woolen factory. With the exception of such gentry as the blacksmith, the wagon maker, the cobbler, and the tailor, the inhabitants employ themselves in the factory, in neighboring saw-mills, tanneries, and in the transportation of lumber and leather to the river landings. In the vicinity are a few of the better class of homesteads and small farms. The situation of Palenville, at the portals of the hills, gives you an equal and ready access to the great valley on one side, and to the mountain solitudes on the other.” 

However true this picture may have been in 1854, there is nothing so shabby about its present appearance as to make that part of the description hold good now. It is a beautiful and attractive hamlet, situated amid grand scenery, and thousands of pleasure seekers come to its agreeable retreats to spend the heated summer months. In 1859 it contained two tanneries, a woolen factory, and 18 dwellings. It now contains a number of comfortable boarding houses, and a population of about 300. It is the terminus of the Catskill Mountain Railroad, the opening of which, in the summer of 1882, made communication with Catskill more convenient. A Methodist chapel has for some years been occupied for religious services under the charge of the minister of the church at Cairo. 

THE GLORIA DEI PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH 

This church was organized in the spring of 1878. Services were at first held in the union church which had previously been built there for general religious services. In January 1878, a very rough structure was built for temporary use while the church was being constructed. In this, service was held during the summers of 1879 and 1880. The corner stone of a handsome stone church was laid July 30th 1879, on land that had been presented for the purpose, by Miss Sarah Travis, by deed of June 25th 1878. The church, the interior of which is still unfinished, has already cost upwards of $4,000. The porch, roof, bell and windows were presented by a gentleman living in New York, whose modesty forbids the mention of his name. The walls are built of rough stone, with doors and windows in pointed arches of cut stone. 

The first members of the church were E.T. Mason and wife, Charles H. Chubb, M.D., and wife, Mrs. Amelia Greetham, Miss Eva Baker, and E. Potterfin. The first officers were E.T. Mason, treasurer, and C.H. Chubb, warden. 

The following ministers have officiated: Robert Weeks, of (St. Luke’s) Catskill, during the summer, from 1873 to 1877; Scott B. Rathburn, summer of 1878; J.J. Young, summer of 1879; William C. Grubbe, who took charge of the mission in September 1879, and has continued to the present time, holding services throughout the year. From the commencement to the present time there have been 13 confirmations and 13 baptisms. There are now 20 communicants. A Sunday-school in connection with it numbers 20, including officers and teachers. 

A union meeting-house was built in this village in 1812, to provide some place for public worship. Land for the purpose was given by Benedict Knapp, and a building costing about $800 was built on it. It was understood that the Methodist denomination should have the use of it one-half the time, and that any other denomination that might establish itself here should be entitled to use it the other half. It is still occupied in this way. 

MANUFACTURING 

The woolen-mill of Teale and Lamouree, at Palenville, was established by Daniel G. Center about the year 1830, and was subsequently owned and operated by Josiah B. Hinman, and later by Alexander McKinley. The mill was destroyed by a freshet in 1858, and afterward removed, and rebuilt on it present site by McKinley, of whom it was bought by the present proprietors. The machinery is operated by water power. The class of goods manufactured embraces woolen bats, flannels, satinets, etc. From 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of wool is annually consumed, and employment is furnished for five persons. 

The well-curb and bucket manufactory now owned by E. Anson, was established at the Forge, in the town of Cairo, by L.S. Roe, of whom it was bought by the present proprietor, in 1879. In 1882, Mr. Anson removed the business to Palenville, and in June of that year the factory was destroyed by fire. It was re-established in the old rubbing-mill buildings. Eight persons are employed, and the machinery is operated by water power. 

THEODORE C. TEALE

was born in Palenville, Greene county, New York, August 18th 1844, the youngest of a family of four children of Charles H. and Pauline (Smith) Teale. The wpe8.gif (188060 bytes)family are of German origin. Peter Teale, his grandfather, married Elizabeth Foland, in Ghent, Columbia county, New York. Six children were the issue of this marriage, viz: Charles Howard, John Henry, Wyan, Frances, George E. and Catherine. The first four were born in Rhinebeck, Dutchess county, New York; George E. and Catherine, in Palenville, Greene county. Peter Teale moved from Rhinebeck and settled in Palenville about the year 1820. He followed his trade of carpenter. He died in Palenville in 1826. His wife survived him many years. All the children (1883) are living. All but John are married and have families, and all but Wyan and Frances are living in Catskill. 

Charles H. Teale, father of Theodore, was born in Rhinebeck, November 19th 1805; married, July 4th 1829, Perlina, daughter of Frederick Smith of Catskill. Mrs. Teale was born July 5th 1805. Mr. Teale has been farmer and merchant in Palenville for 44 years. Appointed post-master of Palenville first under President Harrison, he has occupied the position continuously ever since with the exception of a three years interval under President Buchanan. In politics he was first a Whig, and a Republican from the first organization of the party. Mr. and Mrs. Teale have been members of the Methodist church of Palenville for many years. They have four children, Theodore C., Martha, Charlotte, and Frank P.

Martha Teale has devoted many years to the art of painting and has acquired considerable reputation in her chosen profession. She divides her time between the homestead and New York city. Charlotte (widow of Edgar Goodwin), her daughter Sarah (widow of Gilbert Haines), and Frank P. are living at the homestead in Palenville.

Theodore C. Teale received his education in the public and private schools of Palenville, and at Claverack Seminary, Columbia county, Professor Alonzo Flack, principal. After leaving school, for several years, he was employed as a clerk in his father’s store at Palenville. 

In 1872 he received the appointment to a clerkship in the New York custom house, under Chester A. Arthur, and from 1873 to 1878 (the year he resigned), had charge of the records of suits against the collector. The estimate in which Mr. Teale was held while filling this responsible position is well set forth in the following letter, received after tendering his resignation:                                                           

                                                                        “COLLECTOR’S OFFICE, May 2nd 1878.

“DEAR TEALE:

“I have had nor more unpleasant official duty to perform than notifying the collector of your resignation. While my relations have been exceptionally pleasant with almost every  man in my division, you have occupied a place in my regard shared only by two other men, Balch and Wright. From the very first I felt that you were a gentleman, and I soon found that you were, besides that, a scrupulously faithful official and a thoroughly loyal, trustworthy man. If you had enjoyed better health and had determined to remain in the service, with your intelligence, willingness and integrity, you would have deserved and I doubt not have attained a very high position.*

Whenever you come to New York you must make the Ninth Division your headquarters, and as long as I am here you will always have a desk and chair at your disposal.
                                                        “Yours very truly,                                                     
                                                                        “DUDLEY F. PHELPS.” 

Mr. Teale married, February 1st 1875, Addie J., daughter of Josiah B. and Ann E. Hinman.           

Mrs. Teale was born in Palenville, March 10th 1854. Her parents were among the earliest settlers of Palenville. 

Mr. Teale built the “Winchelsea,” a summer resort in Palenville, in 1878, and has been ever since its owner and proprietor.           

He has taken an active part in politics from the time he was eighteen years of age. In 1879 he was elected chairman of the Republican Central Committee of Greene county; re-elected in 1880, also in 1882 and 1883, which position he now (1883) holds. In 1880 he was appointed postmaster of the Assembly by its speaker, Gen. George H. Sharpe. In 1881, he was elected member of the State Committee form the 15th Congressional District, and in 1882 was elected its secretary. It is only just to say that in these different positions of trust, Mr. Teale has rendered his party most efficient and satisfactory service. 

Upon reaching his majority he became a member of Catskill Lodge, No. 468, F. & A.M. 

Mr. and Mrs. Teale have one child, Creighton Lee, born November 5th 1876. 

SMITH’S LANDING 

This is a small settlement in the southeast corner of the town, upon the Hudson River. It has a good dock, and several of the steamboats that ply on the river, stop here. The place was named in honor of Rufus Smith, who was its pioneer. William Massino became the owner of the site near the dock, in 1856. A post-office was established in 1872, and Massino was the first post-master. The settlement contains a brick yard, owned by Theodore Bresseau. There is also a stone quarry in the neighborhood. Four large ice houses have been built on this side of the river near this place. One of these, on Wanton Island, having a capacity of about 50,000 tons, was built in 1874-75, and is owned by the National Ice Company. Another, built on the land of Lima Crawford in 1868, has a capacity of 45,000 tons, and is owned by the New Jersey Ice Company. One was built on the land of Theodore Bresseau in 1871 or 1872, having a capacity of 64,000 tons. This belongs to the Consumers’ Ice Company. Another, having a capacity of 40,000 tons, was built by the same company a little farther up. The Knickerbocker Ice Company have a house of 22,000 tons capacity on the Trumpbour land near the Inbogt.

BIOGRAPHICAL 

JAMES BROWN OLNEY 

James Brown Olney was born in Hartford, Conn., July 20th 1833. He is a descendant in direct line:

1st.  From Thomas Olney, who was born in England, in 1606, married a Miss Small in 1630, and came to America in 1635; first settled in Massachusetts, but when Roger Williams was driven out of the colony, Mr. Olney accompanied him to Rhode Island. The families were very intimate and became still more closely allied by a number of intermarriages.

2nd. Epenetus, second son of Thomas, born in England in 1634, married Mary Whipple in 1666, and had seven children, four sons and three daughters, of whom –

3rd. John was the fifth child. He married Rachel Coggshall, August 11th 1699. The issue of this marriage was five sons and one daughter, of whom – 

4th. William, the second child, was born February 22nd 1706. He married Alice Dexter, and had four sons, of whom – 

5th. Ezekiel was the second child. Ezekiel married Lydia ------, by whom he had twelve children. Ezekiel Olney was a farmer, and lived and died in Union, Toland county, Conn.

6th. Jesse Olney, tenth child of Ezekiel, and father of James B., was born in Connecticut, October 12th 1798. He taught school at an early age, and was principal of the “Stone School” at Hartford, Conn., for 16 years. He was the author of many text books, which have been extensively used in the schools throughout the country. Among these are “Olney’s Geography and Atlas,” “The National Preceptor,” “The School Reader,” “The Easy Reader,” “The Little Reader,” a “History of the United States,” a “Series of Arithmetics for Common Schools,” and a large volume entitled “Family Book of History.” The latter years of his life were chiefly devoted to the compilation of these volumes. He also took an active interest in the politics of his State. He was elected a number of times to the lower branch of the State Legislature, and at one time was the candidate of his party for the Senate, but was defeated. He was State controller for two terms. He took a deep interest in religious matters. He was first a member of the Baptist church, but subsequently adopted Unitarian views, and was an active supporter of that denomination.

He married Elizabeth Barnes, by whom he had children as follows:

Charles F., a teacher in the public schools of New York city; James B., the subject of this sketch; George A., a stationer in Brooklyn; Ann Maria, died in infancy; Julia A., living at the homestead; Ellen W., wife of J. Foster Kirk, editor of Lippincott’s Magazine; Mary H., living at the homestead.

Jesse Olney died at Stratford, Conn., July 30th 1872. His wife survives him, and lives at the homestead in Stratford.

James B. Olney received his primary education in the public schools of Southington, Conn., the place to which his father moved from Hartford when he wpe1.gif (173546 bytes)(James B.) was one year old. His academic and preparatory course was received at Lewis Academy, Southington. In 1850, he entered Yale College and completed the sophomore year. In 1853, he came to Windham, Greene county, N.Y., where he commenced the study of law, in the office of Danforth K. Olney, a cousin, with whom he remained one year, but continued the study with John Olney, brother of Danforth K., until he was admitted to the bar in December 1855. In May 1856, he opened a law office in Prattsville, Greene county, and continued in the practice of his profession there until December 1862, when he moved to Catskill, where he entered into a partnership with his old preceptor, D.K. Olney, under the firm name of D.K. and J.B. Olney. This partnership continued until the spring of 1865, when Hon. Rufus H. King became a member of the firm and the name was changed to Olney, King & Olney. In 1866 James B. Olney withdrew from the firm and opened an office on his own account, and has so continued since. Mr. Olney has always taken an active part in local, State and national politics. He has repeatedly served as delegate to the State, Judicial, Senatorial, and Congressional conventions, and for several years was chairman of the democratic county committee. In 1857 and 1858, he was judge advocate on the staff of Brigadier-General Bassett. He was elected to the office of district attorney of Greene county, in 1859, and reelected in 1862. In 1872, he was a candidate before the convention for attorney-general of the State. Hon. Daniel Pratt, of Syracuse, received the nomination and was elected. Mr. Olney has been a member of the board of education of Catskill six years, and its president two years. In the spring of 1883, he was elected supervisor of the town of Catskill. He has been a member of the Masonic order since 1860. The estimate in which he is held in the community in which he has passed so many years of his professional life is sufficiently attested by the responsible positions he has been called to fill. He married, October 13th 1870, Julia P., youngest daughter of Judge Malbone and Mary (Hickock) Watson. Mrs. Olney was born in Catskill November 6th 1847. Her father was elected to the office of justice of the Supreme Court in June 1847, which position he held till his death, in 1857. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Olney, viz: James Watson, died in infancy, and Jesse Watson, living at home. 

P.M. GOETCHIUS

P. M. Goetchius was born in Catskill, Greene county, N.Y., January 24th 1816, the third in a family of seven children of John and Hannah Goetchius. wpe3.gif (217056 bytes)Johannes Henricus Goetchius, his great-grandfather, was a native of the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, born in 1714, emigrated to America in 1728, completed his study for the ministry under the Rev. G.H. Dorsius, pastor of the Low Dutch church at North and South Hampton, near Philadelphia; was ordained by him, and the Rev. Jacobus Theodorus Frelinghuysen of Raritan, N.J., in 1738, was pastor at Jamaica, L.I., and thewpe1.gif (210346 bytes) region round about from 1740 to 1748, then removed to Hackensack, at which place, and also at Schralenburg, he continued to preach until his death, which occurred in 1774. He was thrice married. His first wife was Rachel Zabriskie (English for the Polish name Sobieski), who was a lineal descendant of the famous John Sobieski III, who routed the Turks at the battle of Choezin in 1673, and chased them from the walls of Vienna in 1683, and subsequently led a colony of about 200 Protestants from Poland to America, there to enjoy a religious freedom which was denied them in their native country. Sixteen children were the issue of his first and second marriages. He had no children by his third wife. 

As an efficient and faithful minister of the Gospel he had few superiors, in his day, in New York and New Jersey. 

Jacob Goetchius, son of Johannes by his first wife Rachel Zabriskie, and grandfather of Peter M., was born July 12th 1756, married March 9th 1780, Catherine, daughter of the Rev. Johannes Schuneman (See No. 4 Schuneman gen.), who was for many years pastor of the Dutch Reformed church at Leeds in the town of Catskill, Greene county, N.Y. Jacob Goetchius died in Catskill December 30th 1820. His wife died in Catskill October 28th 1846. Ten children were the issue of this marriage, of whom John Goetchius, father of Peter M., was the fourth child. He was born December 25th 1786. He married, September 22nd 1811, Hannah, daughter of John Goetchius, his own cousin, who was born March 20th 1788. John Goetchius was a farmer by occupation and spent his whole life in Catskill. He died July 2nd 1842; his wife, August 20th 1859. To this worthy couple were born children as follows: Jacob Zabriskie, born January 1st 1813, died May 11th 1882; John Post, born September 4th 1814, died April 8th 1881;  Peter Martin; Ann Catherine, born November 11th 1817, died in infancy; Esther Ann, born October 2nd 1819, wife of Nathan Finch of Catskill; Margaret, born January 16th 1822, wife of James Wescott, both of whom are deceased; and Maria, born April 15th 1824, wife of Cornelius Jansen, a farmer living in Napanock, Ulster county, N.Y. 

wpe5.gif (617214 bytes)Peter Martin Goetchius spent his youth at home in Catskill. He received his education in the common schools of the place. When 14 years of age he went to New York city, where he was employed by different parties until he was 20 years of age. He then carried on an eating saloon there for two years. Returning to Catskill, he carried on his father’s farm for about ten years. He married October 3rd 1843, Sarah, daughter of Harman and Hester (Townsend) Becker. Mrs. Goetchius was born September 20th 1822. The Becker homestead in the town of Greenville, Greene county, N.Y., has been held in the family for seven generations. At the present time (1883), it is owned and occupied by Mr. Fred. Becker, a brother of Mrs. Goetchius. 

Mr. Goetchius, after marriage, remained on the home farm three years. After carrying on a farm in Freehold, town of Greenville, one year, he moved to Ellenville, Ulster county, N.Y., where for eighteen months he carried on a mercantile business. He then returned to Catskill and purchased a farm of 80 acres north of the village, which he carried on for about one year. The following nine years he engaged in the wholesale and retail grocery trade, in Catskill. He again moved on to the farm named above. He commenced keeping boarders in 1868, and from a capacity, at first, for only 20 boarders, he has from time to time enlarged the house until now (1883) he has ample room for 300 guests. Indeed, under the efficient management of Mr. and Mrs. Goetchius as landlord and landlady, the Summit Hill House has taken high rank among the favorite resorts of Greene county. 

In politics, Mr. Goetchius has been identified with the democratic party. 

Both he and Mrs. Goetchius have been members of the Dutch Reformed church of Catskill for about 30 years. 

MYNDERSE WYNKOOP 

The family bearing this name, were among the earliest Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam, and among their descendants are many men of eminence. The wpe1.gif (113872 bytes)subject of this sketch is a descendant of Cornelius Wynkoop, who lived in Ulster county, and had two sons, Hezekiah and Tobias. The latterwpe5.gif (129313 bytes) settled at Kiskatom. The former had a son Evart, who lived at Kingston. In the year 1789, he bought the farm at Catskill now in possession of his descendant. This farm, which was in Lot No. 5 in the Loveridge Patent, is finely situated about two miles below Catskill Landing. He bought this place for his son Hezekiah, who built a block house, which stood about 300 feet east of the present residence. He soon became tired of this new location, and went back to Kingston, and his brother William became the possessor, and made it his home. Here he had four daughters, Altje, Elizabeth, Hannah and Neltje. The last married Egbert Schoonmaker, who bought the farm and homestead. 

Evart Wynkoop married Altje Myers, and had four children; Hezekiah and William, as mentioned above, also Henry and Catherine. The first married Elizabeth, daughter of William Dederick and had four children; Maria and Evart (twins), Henry and Altje. Of these, Evart married Marie Post and has children, William Evart and Isaac. 

Henry married, 1st Neltje Mynderse, 2nd Hannah Wynkoop, and has five children: Henry, Mynderse, Hezekiah, Nellie and Maria. Mynderse married Mary E. Schoonmaker, and thus the homestead returned to the family of its original owners. Mr. Wynkoop has eight children; Egbert, Nellie, Sarah, William, Asa, Gillette, Irving and Anna M.  His son Asa is now a student in Rutgers College. 

Henry Wynkoop, the father, was judge of the Court of Common Pleas at Kingston, and a soldier in the war of 1812. Evart the great-grandfather was a member of the committee of safety during the Revolution, and a lieutenant of militia under the king. The family residence is a typical Dutch homestead. Its stone walls seem to bid defiance to time and will doubtless last for centuries to come. The date 1792, cut in the stone, tells the time of its erection, and the inscription W.W.K. 1820, indicates the time of its enlargement and improvement.


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