Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men
J.B. Beers and Co.
by Hiram Bogardus
Transcribed by Dianne Schnettler, Arlene Goodwin and Annette Campbell
This town lies in the northeastern corner of the county, bordering on the Hudson River, and it was the last one of the seven lying east of the Catskill Mountains that was organized. It originally formed a part of Albany county, and was included in the district of Coxsackie when that was organized, and remained a part of it until 1811, when by a special act of the Legislature it was erected into a separate town.
The original ownership of the soil was claimed by the Catskill Indians, and from traditions left by the early settlers, in relation to its Indian occupancy, it is learned that at the time the first settlements were made several families of Indians were living on the banks of the river, who, from appearances, had made the place their home for many years. These families were occasionally visited by others, principally the Mohawks, who, in their journeys to the east, frequently remained for sometime, to engage in various religious and festive ceremonies, usually winding up with a grand pow-wow, which was often the cause of no little alarm to the isolated settlers, as they were made doubly hideous by the free use of the fated fire-water so easily obtained at Albany, only a few miles distant.
But the first settlers in this section suffered little from Indian depredation, and at the close of the Revolution, scarcely an Indian family was left. Their lands had been granted away by their chiefs, and they were compelled to seek in other regions that freedom and solitude which the advance of civilization had deprived them of in the land of their fathers.
According to the original grants and purchases of Barent Pietersen Coeymans, all the territory within the present limits of the town, except a small portion in the southeast corner, bounded by the Coxsackie Creek, was included in his patent. But from a map now in the office of the secretary of State, of a survey made soon after the order was issued by Queen Anne, confirming the previous grants to his son, Andries, it appears that certain reservations were made of lands previously granted, and also certain parcels to pay the expenses of locating. By this map the lands south of Coxsackie Creek were included in the Coxsackie Patent, and one of the sections laid down as previously granted, extended from the mouth of Coxsackie Creek to the north bounds of the town, and included most of the lands lying between the river and the Lime Rock Hills. A part of this reservation was covered by the grant or purchase of Thomas Houghtaling, which extended northward into the town as far as Haucraus Creek. The largest portion of this grant was in Coxsackie, where the grantee resided, and it was said to include all the land he could ride around in a day; but in the town of New Baltimore all the boundaries are not well defined, and from various documents now to be found, it appears that a large portion of this reservation, and also the lands set apart to pay expenses of locating, eventually passed into the hands of Andries Coeymans. The only reservation within the limits of the town, besides the one referred to above, is the Thomas A. Houghtaling Patent, which also extended into the town from Coxsackie, as far north as what is now called the new road, leading from Medway to New Baltimore Landing. The west line of this tract ran about midway on the east side of Bedell Hill, and the east bounds were what was called the Diep Kill, which runs in a southeasterly course, and empties into Coxsackie Creek a short distance from where it crossed the town line. The north end of this patent was narrow, but it extended into the town nearly two miles. The remaining portion of the territory included in the town, was covered by the Coeyman’s Patent.
The bounds, as given on the map referred to, are as follows, and comprise what is frequently alluded to as the confirmation line:
“Beginning at the mouth of Coxsackie Creek, where it empties into the river, and running up said creek to a place where the road crosses the same; thence north, 86 [degrees] 36’ west, 790 chains, to an oak tree [described in the town of Greenville], thence north, 6 [degrees] 45’ east, 1117 chains; thence east, 23 [degrees] south, 960 chains; thence southerly, following the course of the river, to the place of beginning.”
The Coeyman’s Patent has already been referred to, but as it may be an object of interest to the reader to see one of the ancient title papers in print, this patent is given in full:
“Francis Lovelace Esq., one of the Gentlemen of his Majesties Privy Chamber and Gouvenoure Generalle of all his Royall Highnesse Territories in America – To all whom these Presents shall come Sendeth Greeting – Whereas Barent Piertersen by the Consent and Approbation of the Commissaryes at Albany hath made Purchase of the Princepall Sachems at the Kattskill and Proprietors of a Certain Creek or Kill lying and being on the West side of Hudson’s River to the North of a Place by the Indians called Haxhaexks, Stretching in length to the highest place where Jacob Flodden did used to Roll Down his Timber, named by the Natives Sietkatm to the south of the Island belonging to John Reyers, and into the woods as far as the Indian Sachems Right Goes as alsoe the woodland Kills Creek Valley and Meadows hereunto appertaining without and Reservation, for all which the sd Indian Sachems Doe acknowledge to have Received or are Secured to have satisfaction according to their agreement, and the said Barent Pieters having Requested my Grant by Patent for the Confirmation of the Purchase aforesaid, engaging to Sett up a Saw Mill on the said Creek which will be useful for the Country &c. to make the best Improvements of the Rest of the Land According to its Capacity – Know Yee that by Virtue of the Commission and Authority unto mee Given by his Royall Highness upon the condition aforespecified I have ratified Confirmed and Granted and by these Presents Doe hereby Ratifye Confirme and Grant unto the said Barent Pieters his Heyres and Assignees the said Creek or Kill lying in Hudson’s River and named as aforesaid together with the woodland Hills Creeks Valleys and Meadow Ground thereupon belonging. To have and to hold the said Creek or Kill and Premises unto the said Barent Pieters his Heirs and Assigns unto the propper use and behoof of him the said Barent Pieters his Heirs and Assigns forever.
“Yielding and Paying Yearly and every Year as a Quitt Rent unto his Royal Highness his use and rendering such other Dutys and acknowledgements as now are or hereafter shall be Constituted and Established by the Laws of this Government under the obedience of his Royall Highness his Heirs and Successors.
“Given under my hand and Sealed with the Seale of the Province att Port James in New Yoork this Seventh Day of April in the 25th Year of the Reign of our Sovereigne Lord Charles the Second, by the Grace of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King Defender of the Faith &c. at anuoqus Domini 1673.
“Recorded by the Governor’s order the day & year above written.
“MATTHIAS NICOLLS, Secr.”
This patent was confirmed by a new one granted to Andries Coeymans (son of Barent Pietersen), August 26th 1714.
Peter Coeymans died in 1736, and left his estate in Coeymans Patent to his five daughters: Marytje, wife of Andries Whitbeck; Elizabeth, wife of Jacobus Van Allen; Gerritje, wife of John Barclay; Anna Margareta, wife of Andries Ten Eyck; and Charlotte Amelia, wife of Jan Jonas Bronk.
Jacobus Van Allen and his wife sold their part to Thomas Houghtaling. The share of Andries Ten Eyck and his wife was left to his son, Peter Ten Eyck. And the estate, about 1770, was divided equally among the owners by Rensselaer Nicoll and Volkert P. Dow.
The share of Peter Ten Eyck:
“Begins at Hudson’s River at a place distant from the southeast corner of the dwelling house of the late Peter Coeymans, ten chains upon a course south 27 degrees 15 minutes west, and runs from thence south 84 degrees, west 7 chains 50 links, thence north 6 degrees, west 3 chains; thence south 84 degrees west, 112 chains to the west side of the cripple bush (swamp) to the old Haghkatuck road, then down the road until a west line from the mouth of Coeymans creek intersects the said road, and then along the said line to the mouth of Coeymans creek, and then down the river to the place of beginning. Reserving 4 small lots by the river for the other owners to land things on, and a corn-mill on the tract.”
The share of Jan Jonas Bronk and his wife:
“Begins at the river side at the southeast corner of the tract alloted to Peter Ten Eyck, and runs thence south 84 degrees west, to the west side of the cripple bush and the beginning of the Hills, and thence south along the cripple bush, until it intersects to North 42 degrees West, course run from the gate of an old piece of land called Het Owe Landt, then along that course reversed 57 chains to the said gate, then along the Albany road northerly to the first gully or small run of water, and thence down the run to Hanacroys Kill; thence down the said Kill to Hudson river, and up the river to the place of beginning also the island called the Veis Hook, and the small adjoining islands, and a small lot near the mouth of Coeymans Creek for landing, &c.”
The share of Thomas Houghtaling:
“Begins at the gate of Het Owe Landt before mentioned, and runs thence N. 42 degrees W. 37 chains, to the west side of the cripple bush at the beginning of the Hills; thence southerly along the cripple bush to Hanacroys Kill, then east along the same to the small gully afore mentioned, and along the gully to the Albany highway; and then southerly along the highway to the place of beginning. Also a small lot beginning at the lower end of Stuyvesant’s Vlactie, and extending up the Hanacroys Kill, with a breadth of 200 yards on each side of the said Kill, to the first small run of water running into the said Kill on the north; also an island in Hudson river having to the west the main stream of the river, and to the East, Shuters island. Also the south part by a line run from the south end of the Long Rack at a place where an elm tree stands to the mouth of the creed of the Wilde Huysen [Indian wigwams] also Lot 3 at the mouth of Coeymans creek for a landing.”
John Barclay’s share was a tract:
“Beginning at the mouth of Hanacroys Kill and running up the same to the land owned by Teunis Van Slyck, and thence on an east line to Hudson river, also the north part of Shuter’s island, also Lot 4 at the mouth of Coeymans creek.”
The share of Marytje Whitbeck was:
“A tract called Haghatuck, which lies on the north side of Hanacroys Kill, and beginning at a small kill that lies above the falls of Hanacroys Kill, on the south side of Stuyvesants Vlackie, and runs along the creek 400 paces wide, until it runs to the path of Acquatuck, and then along the path to the second bridge, and then westerly to the said Hanacroys kill, and along the south side of the kill, to a marked wild cherry tree, and thence westerly to the said kill, including a small island in the kill, to the high hills where a Hillock lies, in a march or cripple bush, and thence southerly along the Hills as they run, till an east line takes it back to where it begun.” Also lot 2 at the mouth of Coeymans creek for landing, &c.”
The original deed by which the parties release to each other their respective shares is in the possession of Andrew P. Houghtaling, in a tattered condition, and a map of the estate of Pieter Coeymans is in the county clerk’s office in Albany.
On the 2nd day of March 1773, John Barclay and Anna Margareta, his wife, sold to Cornelius Van Der Zee jr. and Albert Storm Van Der Zee, all their part of the estate of Peter Coeymans, for the sum of 1,200 [pounds]. The entire village of New Baltimore stands on this tract. The sale also included the north part of Shuter’s Island which is opposite the village. The original deed on parchment is in the possession of Ephraim Van Slyck of the town of New Baltimore. The south boundary of the tract is just below the village.
The twelfth allotment of Coeymans Patent is a small tract of land lying at the southeast corner of the patent, near Hudson River, and is thus described:
“Beginning at the east side of a brook called the Deep Clove Kill at the north bounds of Coxsackie Patent on the line that was formerly run by arbitrators chosen to fix the bounds, and up the said brook or kill including the same unto where another small brook comes into it, called the Englishman’s Cluy kill, then up the said Cluy kill as it runs unto the line run for the east bounds of Phillip Conine, from thence along the same South 23 chains 75 links to the north bounds of Coxsackie Patent or the line run by arbitrators, thence along the same South 79 degrees 39 minutes East to the place where it first begun, containing 70 acres.”
On the 2nd of March 1738, Samuel Coeymans, David Ver Planck, and Ariantje, his wife, gave a perpetual lease to Phillip and Johannes Conyn, for a tract of land in Coeymans Patent which is described, as,
“Beginning by a marked tree known by the name of Jan huybacker’s tree, standing by a spring nigh the Steep Hills, thence from the said tree southerly along the said Steep Hills to the southernmost creek called the Maquaas Killitje, and from thence easterly to a marked tree standing on the south of a clove, and from thence, northerly to a moddy [sic] Cly Kill nigh a small creek, then westerly along the said small creek to the afore said tree where it first begun, with all the appurtenances, &c.”
The annual rent was to be “one-tenth of the grain and other produce growing, and from time to time to grow on said land, except the produce of one scheppel of Indian corn, and one scheppel of flax seed.” The first payment was to be made in 1739.
The tract of land above mentioned lies on the Kings road under the cliffs of the Kalkberg. The spring by the tree, at the place of beginning, is the first run of water that crosses the road north of the old stone house now owned by Henry T. Houghtaling. The Maquaas Killitje,” is the little stream that rises at a spring near the house of Peter Henry Whitbeck, and flows into Coxsackie Creek. The “Clove” is a deep hollow some 50 rods east of the West Shore Railroad, north of the first rock cutting north of Coxsackie. The south line of this tract is the boundary between the two patents. Johannes Conyn left his share to his nephew Jeremiah Conyn, who, July 11th 1795, sold to Peter Coeymans Bronk 32 acres at the south west corner of the tract.
“Lying between the dwelling houses of the said Jeremiah Conyn and Peter Coeymans Bronk. Beginning at the northwest corner of the Coxsackie Patent, on the public highway leading from the city of Albany to Esopus, and running northerly along the highway, 5 chains, to a heap of stones; then south, 79 degrees 45 minutes east, about 57 chains, to a large white pine stump; then north, 30 degrees east, 3 chains, to a run of water or deep clove, and then easterly along the run of water so far as the right of Jeremiah Conyn extends; and then south to the north bounds of the Patent of Coxsackie, and then westerly along the north bounds of the said patent, to the place of beginning.”
The house of Jeremiah Conyn was where the house of Peter Henry Whitbeck now stands, and the house of Peter Coeymans Bronk was on the west side of the road, a little south of the house now owned by Robert Vandenberg, where some apple trees are now standing. The south of this tract, which is the north line of the Coxsackie Patent, is five chains south from a large elm tree, standing in front of the house of Peter Henry Whitbeck, on the east side of the road. This land, with other around it, was left by Peter Coeymans Bronk to his son, Henry, and by him to his nephew Henry A. Whitbeck, who in turn left it to his son, Peter Henry Whitbeck, its present owner.
In July 1783, John L. Phillip, John P. Peters, Richard and Charlotte Bronk, Thomas Houghtaling, Anthony, Henry, and Peter Van Bergen and Hermanus Cuyler, of Coxsackie, gave a bond of 10,000 [pounds] to Jacob and Conrad A. Ten Eyck, Isaac D. Verplanck, David McCarty, Phillip and Jeremiah Conyn, Thomas B. Atwood, and Susannah Ten Eyck of Coeymans Patent.
The conditions of the bond were that they would “abide by the decisions, award, and final determinations of John R. Bleeker, Robert Yates, and Gerardus Banker, chosen as arbitrators to decide and fix the boundaries between the patent commonly called the Coxsackie Patent and the patent of Coeymans.”
This immense estate eventually passed into the hands of Samuel and Peter Coeymans and their sister Ariantje. Samuel died childless, and a large part of his share was sold by auction to Abraham Ten Eyck. Ariantje, when advanced in years, married David Verplanck. She died January 1st 1730, and her share went to her husband. He then married a young woman named Catharine Boom, and had four children, Isaac D., Johannes, Ariantje (who married Abraham Gardiner), and David. David Verplanck died January 1st 1761, and left his estate to his four children mentioned above. Most of them sold out to David McCarty in 1787. The deeds for a large part of the land in this town go back to some of these.
Organization of Town
The act organizing the town was passed by the Legislature March 15th 1811, and reads as follows:
“Be it enacted by the people of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, that from and after the passing of this act, all that part of the town of Coxsackie, in the county of Greene, beginning at Columbia county line, opposite to a point of rock at Hudson River, near to a place called Planke Point; thence running north, 80 degrees west, from said rock, 615 chains, to the west bounds of said town; thence north, 7 degrees and 10 minutes east, 323 chains and 50 links, along the west bounds of said town of Coxsackie, to the county line which divides the counties of Greene and Albany; thence north, 86 degrees and 30 minutes east, along the said county line, to the county of Columbia in the Hudson River; thence southerly along the Columbia county line, to the place of beginning, shall be and is hereby erected into a separate town by the name of New Baltimore, and the first town meeting in said town of New Baltimore shall be held at the house of Peter Wolf, now occupied by Matthew Setts, in said town.”
No records can be found, that can be made available, previous to 1854, in regard to the town legislation, nor even the names of the town officers.
A record of the town meeting held April 4th 1854, shows the following officers elected for the ensuing year: Nathaniel O. Palmer, supervisor; Henry P. Miller, town clerk; Edgar Halstead, superintendent of schools; A. P. Smith, justice of the peace; Benjamin Hotaling, assessor; Stephen Dean, commissioner of highways; Lee Wheeler, collector; J. U. Gurney and Abraham Travis, overseers of the poor. Nothing can be learned from the records since 1854, except at long intervals.
There are 16 school-houses in the town, and four post-offices, viz: New Baltimore, Medway, Grapeville, and Stanton Hill.
The first marriage in the town was that of Gerrit Van Slyck to Annatje Turk, September 1st 1736. The result of this marriage was two sons, Peter and James. James was a soldier in the war of 1812.
The principal creeks in the town are the east branch of the Potick Creek, which crosses the west part of the town from north to south, and is a small stream, which rises in the northern part of the town; the Coxsackie Creek, which crosses the southeastern part of the town; and the Hauncraus Creek, which enters the town from Coeymans and flows in a southeasterly course, and then turns northerly, and enters the town of Coeymans a short distance from where it empties into the river.
Surface and Soil
The surface of the town from its eastern to its western limits is extremely rolling, comprising a succession of ridges running parallel with the river, which are separated by narrow plateaus and valleys.
The most important of these is the one known as the flats, which enters the south side of the town about three quarters of a mile west of the river, where it is about one mile in width, but by the hills on the east side it is gradually narrowed down as it extends northward, and, within a distance of two miles, terminates in a narrow valley. Immediately west of this plateau and running parallel with it, is the Kalberg [sic], which for some distance presents a perpendicular front of 80 feet on the east side, with a narrow flat surface on the top, when it gradually breaks down to the westward. The highest elevation is about five miles from the river, on a ridge that extends entirely across the town with scarcely any interruption, and maintains, much of the distance, nearly a uniform height. The plateau on the top of this ridge is most of the way nearly one mile in width, when it breaks to the west into a deep valley, followed by two successive ridges, which are separated by an intervening valley, when the western limit of the town is reached.
The soil bordering on the river and as far back as the Kalkberg, is mostly clay; a few patches of sand are to be found, but only in the southeastern part. In the remaining portion of the town the soil is variable, the valleys being a clayey loam mixed with gravel, while the uplands are a reddish gravel underlaid with shale which in places appears on the surface. Though but a few ledges of rocks appear, except the one referred to as the Kalkberg, yet some of the hillsides are too steep to be of much avail for agricultural purposes, and on their tops the soil in places is thin.
The range of hills which skirt the river is underlaid most of the way by a species of lime stone, and a short distance south of New Baltimore Landing quarries have been opened from which considerable quantities of building and flagging stone have been taken. In the western part of the town similar quarries exist, though more of the blue stone species, which have been worked to a greater or less extent. The soil, on the whole, is under a good state of cultivation, and well adapted to the production of grass, corn, rye, oats, and buckwheat. Much attention is also given to the culture of the different varieties of fruit; especially the apple, in the production of which it excels any other town in the county.
The following statistics are from the census of 1875, and report of the board of supervisors of 1883: whole number of acres of land, 24,886; valuation as per census, $1,802,700; valuation as per board of supervisors, $1,537,801; personal property, $125,125; acres improved land, 15,978; wood land, 4,668; other land, 4,240; acres ploughed, 4,952; pastured, 3,438; mowed, 7,588; cost of fertilizers bought, $2,981; value of farm buildings, $284,420; farm implements, $77,450; stock, $147,560; number of milch cows, 711; pounds of butter made, 69,550; gallons of milk sold, 4,000; number of fleeces of wool, 4,541; tons of hay grown, 9,138; acres sown to buckwheat in 1874, 828; bushels produced, 7,347; acres to corn, in 1874, 1,115; bushels grown, 14,995; acres to oats, in 1874, 1,842; bushels raised, 43,048; acres to rye, 1874, 1,683; bushels produced, 28,336; gross sales from farms, $158,392; number of land owners, 394; number of families, 596; average number of persons to a family, 4.47; number of houses, 525; population, 2,664; native born, 2,480; foreign, 184; aliens, 15; males, 1,321; females, 1,343; males of school age, 333; females, 339; number of persons 21 years and upwards not able to read or write, 12.
The proximity of the territory to the Beverwick of Albany, together with the advantages afforded by river navigation, were inducements that let to an early settlement.
The first of the Knickerbockers to come were the Van Der Zees and the Van Slycks. Albertus Van Der Zee was the first settlers, but he was soon followed by Andries Van Slyck, and from documents now in possession of their descendants still living in the town, it appears that they were both here at a very early day. Van Der Zee’s occupancy comprised 800 acres, covering the land now occupied by the village of New Baltimore and extending for some distance around it. The old homestead dwelling stood on the present site of the one now occupied by the widow of Theodore F. Cornell, and his first cabin was erected only a short distance south of it. But little can be learned of him or his family.
Andries Van Slyck, who came soon after Albert Van Der Zee, made his settlement south of New Baltimore Landing near the bank of the river. His occupancy covered several hundred acres, and extended some distance back from the river. The old stone house, built in 1713, now standing near the river was his old homestead. This house, one end of which is now falling in, has been continuously occupied since it was first erected, till about three years ago.
From Andries Van Slyck, are descended many of the name of who are still living in the town, and some of them on portions of the original purchase. The following deed found in possession of Ephraim T. Van Slyck, a descendant in the fifth generation, is form Tunis Van Slyck, son of Andries the first, to his own sons Andries and Peter. It conveys lands commencing about one-half mile south of New Baltimore village, running from thence south and west. The Deep Clove Creek, referred to in the deed, is a small stream about two miles west of the river, and runs south.
“This Indenture Made and Concluded the Twentieth day of October in the Fifteenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the grave of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the faith, &c and in the Year of Our Lord Christ One Thousand and Seven Hundred and Forty One between Tunis Van Slyck of the County of Albany Yeoman of the one par and Andries Van Slyck and Petter Van Slyck both of said County Yeomen of the other part Witnesseth That the said Tunis Van Slyck for and in Consideration of the Rent and Services herein after reserved and for Divers other good Causes and Lawful Considerations he thereunto moving Hath Remised Released and for ever Quits Claimed unto the Said Andries Van Slyck and Peter Van Slyck and to their Heirs All that a Certain Tract or Parcel of Land Scituate Lying and being in the County of Albany on the West Side of Hudson River Beginning at the Fall of the Creek or Kill Called the deepe Clove kill and Stretching form thence to a Place called the Movasgat and from the Stoney Hill from thence along the Pine Criple bush to the old Coxhackies Road and from thence along said old Coxhackies Road to the Fall of the Creek or kill called the deepey Cloves Kill where first begun Allways Excepting and Revising out of this Present Lease Unto the Said Teunis Van Slyck and Heirs of Ever a Certain Small Piece or Parcel of Criple bush Land Lying within the aforesaid bounds On the North Side of the Road that Leads to the Arable Land Containing about three hundred Yards in Length on both Sides along the Said Road and about Two hundred Yards in breadth be the Sam more or Less with all Singular the Premises and appurtenances thereunto belonging or tin anywise appertaining with Priviledge of Outdrift for Cattle Cutting of Firewood Stuff and other necessary for the use of the said Land and not otherwise which Said Tract of Land the said Teunis Van Slyck doth Release and Convey unto the said Andries Van Slyck and Peter Van Slyck by Virtue of a Certain Indentore to him thereof Made by Samuel Coeymans Ariaentje Coeymans bearing Date the fourth day of October One Thousand Seven hundred and Sixteen Recourse being thereunto had may more fully and at Large Appeare To Have and to Hold the Said Tract or Parcell of Land and Premisies abovementioned (Except as before Excepted and Reserved) together with all and singular the appurtenances unto them the Said Andries Slyck and Peter Van Slyck and their Heires to the Sole and only Proper use benefit and behoof of them the Said Andries Van Slyck and Peter Van Slyck and their Heires in Manner following (that is to say) That he the Said Tunis Van Slyck doth hereby for himself and his heirs for Ever Reserve unto himself and his heirs for Ever out of their Present Lease the Tenth Part of all the grain growing and from him to time to grow on the Said Land and Every Part there of (Except as before Excepted) Indian Corn only Excepted and four good Dunghill Fowels to be Pain unto the said Tunis Van Slyck his Heirs and Assigns for Ever by the said Andries Van Slyck and Peter Van Slyck and their heirs Yearly and Every Year after the First day of May next upon the First day of May Yearly and Every Year thereafter and upon non Payment thereof the Lande and Premises aforesaid (Except as beforr Excepted) to revert unto the Said Tunis Van Slyck his heirs and Aseigns any thing herein Contained to the Contrary thereof in any wise Notwithstanding In Witness Whereof the Parties to these Present Indentures have Interchangeably Set there hands and Seals the day of year first above written.”
“Teunis J. X Van Slyck.”
"Sealed and Delivered}
“In Presence of }
“Matthys Vanderbeck, “
“Jam. S. Unhorye.”
The Following deed explains itself:
“To all Christian People to whom this present writing shall come, Albert Van Zee of the County of Albany, in the province of New York, sends Greeting. Know yee that for and in consideration of a certain sume of Lawful money to him in hand paid, at and before the ensiling and Delivery hereof by Wouter Van Der Zee of the County aforesaid, the Recept whereof the said Albert Van Der Zee doth acknowledge to the full paid, satifyed, and contented, doth therefore fully, clearly, and absolutely acquit, exonerate, and discharged him, the said Wouter Van Der Zee, his heirs, execute, administrators, and assigns forever, hath therefore Granted, bargained, sold, released, conveyed, transferred, and confirmed, and by these presents doth fully, freely, and clearly bargain, sell, release, convey, transfer, and confirm unto him said Wouter Van Zee, all the one-half of a certain piece of woodland situate, lyeing, and being at Wiskatha, in the county aforesaid, being and bounded at follows: beginning by a marked Oak tree by the on the north side of the kill, and from thence stretching up said kill or creek to another creek oak tree marked, and from thence eastwardly into the woods from each tree aforesaid one thousand paces or yards, lying in a square as before bounded, all which he, the said Albert Van Der Zee, doth convey by vertue of transfer made over to him by Johannes Appell, the 14th day of Sept. in the year of our Lord 1704, together with all and singular and primi, to the half of said piece of land to its belonging, or in any way appertaining, to have and to hold the said half of the above bounded premicies, with there and every of it appurtenances, unto him the said Wouter Van Der Zee, his heirs, and assigns forever, in his and their quiet and peaceable possession and injoyment against all pearsons to warrant and forever by these presents to defend. In testimony where of the said Albert Van Der Zee, hath hereunto set his hand and seal in Albany, this 29th day of April, the 5th year of here Majesty’s Reign Anne Queen, One thousand seven hundred and six.”
“Albert Van Der Zee.”
“Signed, sealed, and delivered
“in presence of
“H. J. Sansen, Justice,
“ David Shinler.”
The will of Wouter Van Der Zee, mentioned in the preceding deed, is inserted as a relic of olden times. The orthography, as far as possible, is given as in the original:
“In the name of god, Amen, and in the eight day of August and in the year of our soverin Lord, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-three, of Wouter Van Der Zee, of the Colleny of New York, county of Albany, being in good mind and parfact memory, thanks be to the almity god for the same, nowing that I am naterly born and ordained to grass from this mortal world and minding to put in order all my estate, real and personal goods, and Chattls and Dets and Ducs owing unto me, and whatsoever as also to Declare how in what maner I Desire my ares shall be satisfied with my last will and testment. I do Recocke all former wills and testaments whatsoever made before for a conferring of my estate Rith and title and Intrest gold and silver and all my moving gods; first of all I give all my estate to my father storm van der ze and my mother Elizabeth van der ze, but of all I give and bekweth unto my berthrit and order him thre silver spons and then thre silver spons to my sister Egie fonda, and then thre to my brother tunis van der ze, and now in first of all I recommand my sole to god almity and in his jesus Christ my only savior and recommend to the holy Gost three persons and one god hombling beseeching him the most holy and blessed almyty to have mersey on my soul an to pardon and forgive all my offenses to that I may after this life may have the life eternal by the deth of our lard and savior jesus Christ, minding the merciful promis in the belef and I will that my boddy shall be Desently buried and all my lawful deths shall be paid, and in and now I intrust in my father and make him my sole Exuecter of my last will and testement.
“Sined Sealed pronounded Declared and delivered up by the said Wouten van der ze in the presens of us Subscribers.
“Johanis flensborgh }
“Johannes Becker.”: }
According to papers now in possession of Jacob M. Schermerhorn it appears that in 1773 Jeremiah Van Rensselaer was a commissioner to survey the shores, etc., of the Hudson River. The work of making the survey and a map was drawn by Robert Yates; and his chainmen were Gerardus Lansing and Nicholas Marselisk, all of whom made affidavits before Abraham C. Cuyler, mayor of Albany, as to the correctness of their work.
According to that map, what is now known as Houghtaling’s Island, was then three islands. The one farthest north was called “Vife Hook,” and was separated from Coeymans or Shuter’s Island, just south from it, by a channel which has become obliterated, and cultivated land occupies the place where a portion of it ran. Just west from Shuter’s Island, and separated from it by a narrow channel, was a long narrow island that has disappeared. Forty years since there were still seven acres of this island remaining, but the main channel now runs where it was. The island, as it now appears, is owned by Schermerhorn and Gardinier of Schodack; Edward McCabe; and Vanderpool and Van Orden of New Baltimore. It has been owned by many different parties.
What is now known as Bronk’s Island is named on that map “Marte Gerritse’s Island.” It does not appear that its form has perceptiably changed. It is now owned by John Colvin, Ephraim Bronk, John Van Slyck, and Luther and Robert Bronk. It also has been many times transferred.
In the central
and western part of the town, among the early settlers were John Garrett,
Jonathan Miller, Timothy Green, Charles and Hallet Titus, David Halsted, Robert
Palmer, Edmund Powell, Noah Wheeler, John Smith, the Bedells, Searles, Travis
and others. Many of these emigrated form Dutchess county, and in their
religious sentiments were Quakers.
John Garret was of German descent, and came into New Baltimore a short time before the Revolutionary war. He made his purchase and settlement a short distance west of the Kalkberg, a part of which is now known as the Garrett homestead. After his death, Levi, his youngest son, born February 22d 1787, remained upon the old homestead. He married Lydia, daughter of Jonathan and Lydia Miller, born August 15th 1791, by whom he had nine children. His wife died in 1860, and he died on the old homestead where he was born, in his 97th year, November 27th 1883, being by several years the oldest resident in town. For many years he had been a member of the Christian church at Medway.
Jonathan Miller came from Dutchess county into the town of New Baltimore about 1791. He located a tract of land containing at least 1,000 acres, and erected his first buildings a short distance east of the present residence of his grandson, Henry P. Miller. This was in the eastern part of his purchase, and it extended westward a short distance beyond the hamlet of Medway. At least 600 acres of this land is now owned by his direct descendants.
Charles Titus came from Dutchess county about the year 1798. He purchased 500 acres of land, and settled on that part of if now occupied by his grandson, Charles T. Bedell. At that time there was only a foot-path a part of the way from Coxsackie to the place where he made his settlement. He built his cabin where the old red house now stands, and soon afterward a saw-mill near by, on the stream called the Titus Creek. As early as 1808, he opened a store, the first in this part of the town, and engaged largely in the shipment of staves, many of which he sent direct to the West Indies. To his saw-mill and store he added an ashery, and several of the mechanical branches, which were carried on under his immediate supervision. He continued the business for a number of years, when he turned his attention more to real estate, and eventually became a large land owner. Mr. Titus was a man of uncommon enterprise and energy, and soon became an important factor among the early settlers. In his religious views he was an orthodox Quaker.
Charles Titus was born July 2d 1758, and died in New Baltimore, April 22d 1847. His first wife, Anna Mott, was born May 19th 1760. The result of this union was one daughter, Martha, born February 5th 1798. She married John W. Bedell of New Baltimore, and had five children, three girls and two boys. Three girls and one son are now living, as follows: Anna and Prudence Bedell, both unmarried; Martha, wife of J. Swan; and Charles T. Bedell, who now resides upon the old homestead. The above are all the direct descendants left by Charles Titus. Late in life he married Prudence, widow of Richard Rundle of New Baltimore.
Hallet Titus, brother of Charles, settled early in the western part of town, where he built a grist-mill on the Honey Hollow Creek, the first one in that part of the town. He later moved into the town of Coxsackie, but his son, Isaac, remained in New Baltimore, and settled a short distance west of Medway, where he built a stream saw and turning-mill. He was a Hicksite Quaker preacher, and a man of considerable ability.
John Smith was born in Westchester county, N. Y., August 3d 1761. He came into the town of New Baltimore probably as early as 1795, and settled on the farm now occupied by his grandson, Warren Smith. John Smith died May 4th 1841, leaving his homestead to this son Stephen, born November 4th 1784, who married Mary Yeomans, September 1st 1808, by whom he had three sons; John, born October 6th 1829; Samuel Y., born October 26th 1812; and Warren, born June 4th 1831.
Samuel Y. married in 1838, and purchased a farm of 218 acres adjoining that of his father, where he now resides. He has made farming his business. He had been captain in the State militia, and has held various town offices. Warren, now living on the old purchase, married for his first wife, Miss Hannah Palmer. His second wife was Euna Brezee, of Schoharie county. He has been assessor of the town nine years. He has been supervisor and a member of the State militia.
Timothy Green was the son of William Green, who immigrated to America from Wales in the early part of the 16th century, and settled on Long Island, where he spent the remainder of his life. On a coat of arms now in possession of one of his descendants is inscribed: “Virtue is always Green.” Timothy was born April 20th 1745, and soon after his majority he married Frances De La Vergne, born April 25th 1748. She was a French lady, whose family had suffered persecution in France for political reasons. Soon after his marriage, he settled on a farm in Dutchess county, but about 1790 came with his family to the town of New Baltimore, and settled on a part of the Jonathan Miller purchase. Mr. Green was a wheelwright as well as a farmer, and for many years carried on the business at Medway. The old fashioned high back pleasure sleighs, so common in this section 60 years ago. Were of his manufacture. The result of his union with Miss De La Vergne was ten children, six boys and four girls, born, as follows, in Dutchess county: William A., December 17th 1766; Mary, August 7th 1768; Nicholas, June 7th 1770; Isaac, October 14th 1772; Elizabeth, June 30th 1774; James, August 10th 1776; Lewis, July 3d 1780; Eliza and Annie (twins), May 19th 1784; and Henry, March 15th 1788.
All of the above except his eldest son, William A., came with him to New Baltimore, and most of them eventually settled in the immediate vicinity, and some of their descendents are still living here. His grandson, Jesse, son of James, was for many years one of the representative men of the town. He was born in 1804, and died in 1876, leaving one daughter, Mrs. Spencer Palmer, now living on the old Green homestead.
Conradt C. Houghtaling moved from Coxsackie to the town of New Baltimore in 1791. The year previous the old stone house now occupied by the widow of Albert Bedell had been erected for his reception by his father, Thomas Houghtaling, who was a resident of the town of Coxsackie. His occupancy was on the Houghtaling Patent, and covered 600 acres. Of the original purchase, 200 acres are now owned by his grandson, Benjamin B. Houghtaling. Thomas A. Houghtaling, whose patent is referred to as lying west of the Kalkberg, was a distant relative of the other branch of the Houghtaling family. His son Peter H., built the old stone house now standing on the east side of Bedell Hill. The house is 44 feet in length, 24 in width, and 16 in height; it is in good condition, and upon a stone built in the walls in the following inscription, “built by Peter H. Houghtaling, June 9th 1794.” It is now occupied by John Houghtaling, great-grandson of Thomas A. Where Thomas A. first settled cannot be learned, but probably in Coxsackie.
Ebenezer Wicks emigrated from Long Island to Rensselaerville, Albany county, in 1790, but removed from there to New Baltimore in 1802. He settled on the farm now occupied by his son Selah, and the same year erected the house now occupied by his grandson Judson Wicks. He was a Baptist preacher of the old school, a man of ability and much force of character, and he soon became an important factor among the early settlers. Like many of the old time ministers, he frequently labored on his farm or at this trade, that of a carpenter, six days of the week, and on the seventh administered to the spiritual wants of others, often preaching three sermons on the Sabbath, besides traveling long distances to reach his appointments. The meetings in his own neighborhood were usually held at his own house, but in 1805 be built a school-house at this own expense on his farm, the first one in the vicinity, which, for many years, answered the double purpose of both school-house and meeting-house. It was mainly through his efforts that the Baptist church at Grapeville was erected, and the greater share of the carpenter work was done by his own hands, for which he asked no compensation, but in addition thereto contributed liberally towards the material. At his death, March 10th 1837, his only son, Selah, born December 9th 1824, also resides upon the original purchase of this grandfather, and occupies the same house referred to before as being built in 1802, which is still in a well preserved condition.
Mills and Factories
The grist-mill standing on Coxsackie Creek, which for over 100 years has been known as the Van Bergen mill, was erected by Peter Van Bergen, grandfather of the present owner, Peter P. Van Bergen. Whether or not the present mill is any part of the old mill can not be learned, but a portion of it bears evidence of great age, and without doubt it stands on the original site. It has remained in the Van Bergen family, except at short intervals, since it was first erected. It has an overshot wheel, 23 ½ feet fall, and three run of stones.
A grist-mill was built on the east branch of Potick Creek, where the present mill stands, at an early day. Since the first one was erected, it has, until recently, remained in the Powell family. It is a small mill and at present out of repair. The present owner is William Peary. It has an overshot wheel, 16 feet fall, and two run of stone.
The first mill erected where the present Dean’s mill stands was probably built as early as 1780 and was known as the Skinner mill. The mill and site were deeded by Salmon Skinner and his wife, Catrina, to Thomas Houghtaling, September 29th 1794. It remained in the Houghtaling family many years, but it is now owned by Jeremiah Dean. The first mill has an overshot wheel, the present one has a tubine wheel and three run of stones. There is also a plaster-mill in connection with it. This is a first class water privilege, and the mill does a large business. The saw-mill standing near was built early, is now in good repair, and has always changed hands with the grist-mill property.
The saw-mill built by Charles Titus, one of the early settlers, has been kept in good repair, and it is now owned by his grandson, Charles Bedell. It stands on a small stream called Titus Creek, and can be operated only a small portion of the year. It had formerly an upright saw, but is has now a circular saw and turbine wheel.
The saw-mill at Grapeville is now owned by Hezekiah Wood. It was erected about 15 years ago by Smith & Losee, and depends almost entirely for its water power upon a large spring near by, called the Blue Spring. It has an overshot wheel, 12 feet fall, and a circular saw. Formerly a turning mill was run in connection with the saw-mill, and stream power was then used. The business of the mill is limited.
Among the old mills which have entirely disappeared, was the Hallet Titus grist-mill, which stood between the Powell mill and Potick Creek. It was built early and, about 1818, taken down and removed to the Community in the town of Coxsackie. Several saw-mills also stood upon the same stream, but their sites are at present hardly to be found. Some of these mills were formerly known as the Dodge mill, the Coney mill, the Powell mill, and the Delamater mill, from the names of owners. Noah Wheeler built a saw-mill, soon after his arrival, on the small stream since known as the Wheeler Creek. This mill stood a short distance west from where he built his hotel. Jonathan Miller soon afterward built one north of the Wheeler mill. Both of these mills soon outlived their usefulness and were suffered to go down. Peter Van Bergen built a saw-mill which stood near his grist-mill, and a man by the name Duncan built a saw-mill below the Van Bergen mill about the same time. These mills were both built early and remained a number of years. About 1835 Isaac Titus built a saw-mill near the present residence of Spencer Palmer. Afterward an engine was put in and a turning-mill erected. Both are now torn down.
The Croswell paper-mill, which is located about one mile from New Baltimore, was originally a grist-mill, but when or by whom it was built cannot now be learned. In 1820 it was owned by a Mr. Rowe, and in 1826 it had become the property of Nathaniel Bruce, and had been converted into a paper-mill. In 1829 Hiram Seely became a partner of Mr. Bruce, and about that time a paper machine was introduced in the mill. About 1832 George Dayton succeeded Mr. Bruce in the firm, and the business was conducted by Seely & Dayton during several years, when they were succeeded by Nathan Stevens as owner, and the mill was leased during several years. It was purchased by a Mr. Morehouse, and soon afterward was burned. The site was purchased by James Croswell, and the mill was rebuilt and conducted by him during many years. It was again burned, and again rebuilt by Mr. Croswell, who was succeeded by his son, W. Croswell, and his son-in-law, Stephen Parsons, the present owner. Different varieties of paper have been manufactured in this mill. It is now temporarily idle.
New Baltimore Shipyard
It has been stated elsewhere that Paul Sherman commenced the building of vessels here as early as 1815. In 1830 operations had been suspended, and a dry dock way was built, in the rear of the present residence of Recorder Smith, and the business of repairing vessels was commenced by Leander Sheffield, Stephen Ayrault, Henry L. McKinney, John Parsils, and William Wheat. Five years later another side way was built, opposite Riverside House, by John G. Raymond, and operations at the first afterward ceased. Business was conducted here by Mr. Raymond, till 1846, when the yard was purchased by John Burlingham, who operated it two years, and sold it to J. R. & H. S. Baldwin. It was repurchased, in 1850, by John Burlingham and William Wheat, and was conducted by that firm till 1852, and was then sold to Ludlow T. Goldsmith and John Ten Eyck, and a year later it was discontinued.
At about the same time, Messrs. Goldsmith and Ten Eyck built the end way, now in existence, about 300 feet south from the freighting dock, and Mr. Burlingham became their foreman. Here they continued the business of repairing vessels, and added that of building barges, of which four were built in two years. About 1856, J. R. & H. S. Baldwin purchased the yard, and carried on the business for more than 20 years, and during that time they built about 100 barges, propellers, steamboats, and schooners. In 1881 the present proprietor, William H. Baldwin, purchased the yard, and he still continues the business.
The New Baltimore Steam Mill was built in 1853 by Goldsmith & Ten Eyck, adjoining their ship yard. It was built mainly for the purpose of sawing lumber for building vessels, but machinery was introduced for grinding plaster, and also buckwheat. It has always been owned by the proprietors of the ship yard which adjoins it. It was burned about 1860, and was at once rebuilt as a saw-mill, and it continues to be used as such. As before stated, it is in use principally for the ship yard, but custom work is occasionally done, and lumber is supplied to the people in the vicinity. The timber sawed here is rafted through the Erie or Northern Canals and down the Hudson River.
The Ice Business
The Knickerbocker Company’s ice house was erected in 1854 on land formerly owned by Mr. Chaddon. Its capacity when built was 6,000 tons. In 1855 an addition was built, another in 1863, and another in 1865, making its capacity 27,000 tons, as at present.
The Horton Ice Cream Company, of New York, erected, in 1877, an ice house one-fourth of a mile below New Baltimore. This has a capacity of 22,000 tons.
Smith & McCabe, in 1878, built an ice house, with a capacity of 12,000 tons, in the north part of the village of New Baltimore.
H. A. Vanderpool, in 1879, built, at Matthews Point, three-fourths of a mile below New Baltimore, an ice house with a capacity of 12,000 tons.
Scott Brothers, of New York, in 1877-78, built an ice house on Bronk’s Island, four miles down the river from New Baltimore. This had a capacity of 16,000 tons. In 1879 they built, on the east shore of Houghtaling Island, another with a capacity of 16,000 tons.
Sherman, Vanderpool & Van Orden, in 1881, built, on the east side of Houghtaling Island, opposite New Baltimore, on land now owned by Vanderpool & Van Orden, an ice house with a capacity of 12,000 tons.
Peter McCabe, in 1881, built an ice house on the east shore of Houghtaling Island, which had a capacity of 10,000 tons.
Chaddon, Bronk & Gay built, in 1882, an ice house one and a half miles south from New Baltimore, that has 12,000 tons’ capacity.
William Terry, in 1876, built an ice house with 1,600 tons’ capacity, five miles south from New Baltimore.
Greene County Ice House was built, in 1877, by the present owners, Palmer, Powell & Co., five and one-half miles below New Baltimore, on land of Garrison Palmer. Its capacity is 14,000 tons.
In all except one of these houses the ice is elevated by steam power.
In former times, three hotels were kept on the Coxsackie and Greenville Turnpike, which crosses the south-western part of the town.
The Noah Wheeler hotel, remained in the Wheeler family till 1840, when it was purchased by Alfred Bouton, who continued the hotel business till 1847, when it was sold to Charles T. Bouton, who in turn soon sold it to Isaac Travis, when it was leased to others, and was continued as a hotel, except at short intervals, till several years ago, when it was enlarged and converted into a boarding house by Joseph Reynolds, whose widow still occupies it as such.
About 1830, Harry Wheeler, son of Noah, kept a hotel on the premises now occupied by George Earl. This was afterward kept by Townsend Losee, and after him came a Mr. Gedney, who soon after closed it as a hotel.
Tyler Cobb kept a hotel at Grapeville, in 1840, in the house now owned by Isreal Palmer. This was run a few years as a hotel, when it was changed into a store.
The only hotels in the town at the present time are two in the village, owned and conducted by W. H. Rowe and John L. Colvin, respectively.
Village of New Baltimore
The land where New Baltimore now is, was formerly owned by Andrew and Storm Van Der Zee (sons of Albert Van Der Zee, who owned 600 acres here), Teunis Van Slyck, and Paul Sherman, the latter of whom settled here in 1795. Of the earliest history of the place but little is known. It was a fishing village, and a few shops for the convenience of the people in the surrounding country were established here.
In 1815 Paul Sherman commenced the business of building schooners, in which he carried on a trade with the West Indies, doing an extensive business. Hishabit was to sell his vessels, after a few trips, and build others. His son, Joseph Sherman, followed him in the business of sailing, but was not a builder. He carried on a commerce between New Baltimore and New York city.
As early as 1830 there was a landing here, and about 30 houses. Of the residents at that time the names are remembered of Benjamin Baker and Elisha D. Hall, who kept a small store; Matthew Miller, also a small merchant; George Ely and Joseph Sherman, forwarders; Stephen Parsons, a farmer; Andrew and Storm Van Der Zee, also farmers; Leonard Haight, a merchant; Daniel Ayrault, a fisherman; Daniel Gage and William Wheat, ship caulkers; John Anderson and _______ Hilton, Revolutionary pensioners, not in active business.
The first blacksmith was John Worden, whose shop was on the hill, near where the Reformed church now stands. The first wheelwright was Henry L. McKinney. The earliest remembered shoemakers were ________ Hilton, Peter Jackwin, and James Sudderly. George Slater was the earliest remembered tailor. The first harness shop was established in 1845, by Peter Wolf.
The growth of the village has been gradual from its settlement to the present time. A macadamized road leads from it to Westerlo, and over this road goods have been carried to the village through which it passes, and produce has been brought for shipment at the landing here. From the first to the present time ship building has been carried on here to a greater or less extent. The ice business here, as at other points along the river, was commenced about 1850, when Joseph Sherman, his son, Edward E. Sherman, and Teunis Chaddon erected the first ice house. Ship building, the ice trade, and freighting between here and New York, have been the principal branches of business that have been carried on here in addition to the shops and stores necessary for the people in the surrounding country. Quite a business has also been carried on in the quarrying of stone for buildings, docks, and other purposes. Of course there has been a landing for steamboats and other vessels at this place, and commerce has been carried on to the extent of the requirements of the place and the region about it.
There is in the village a graded school with two teachers. Among the teachers of 60 years since are remembered the names of Erastus Shear, Joseph Ely, and Volkirk Whitbeck.
The first physician in New Baltimore was Dr. Robert Fowler, who was followed by Dr. T. F. Cornell, and Drs. Roney and Searle, the present practitioners here.
The estimated population of the village is 900. It has two general stores, two hotels, two saloons, one variety store, two milliner’s shops, one tin shop and stove store, one shoe store, one coal yard, and the usual mechanics’ shops.
There are but two hamlets in the town, Medway and Grapeville.
Medway is on the Coxsackie Turnpike six miles from the river. It has a store, a post-office, two blacksmith shops, a wagon shop, and two churches.
Grapeville, about two miles further west, is on the same road. It has a store, and post-office, and the usual shops found in a country hamlet. In earlier times more business was carried on here than at present. Hezekiah Austin built a tannery here about 1830. He carried on a large shoe shop in connection with it, and continued the business for many years. The tannery stood on the present site of the turning-mill. Elisha Austin, one of the most enterprising men in the town, built the store now occupied by Joseph and David Losee. Hezekiah Wood, now running the shoe and harness shop, formerly carried on the same business in Greenville.
Reformed (Dutch) Church of New Baltimore
At the commencement or the present century a church stood at what was then Coeymans Square, now Coeymans Junction. The time of its erection cannot now be learned, but it was an old church building in the time of the earliest recollection of the oldest people now living here.
At that time the people of New Baltimore worshipped in this church, but in 1823 it appears that the lot where the present church edifice stands was deeded to the trustees of the Reformed Dutch church which was then in process of erection; the corner stone having been laid July 4th of that year. It was first a modest brick structure, with an end gallery, and it was 36x40 feet, in size. It was first enlarged by the addition of 12 feet to the rear end, in 1855, and the interior was remodelled during the ministry of Rev. R. G. Strong. It was further enlarged and improved, by an addition to the front, and the erection of a spire.
A lot was purchased in 1861, and a tasteful and convenient parsonage was erected thereon. The estimated value of the church property is $15,000 and the society has no debt.
The following pastors ministered at Coeymans and New Baltimore; Rev. Staats Van Santvoord, 1833-36; J. A. H. Cornell, 1843-48; Philip Peltz, 1848-1851; William P. Davis, 1852-1855; H. B. Gardner, 1856-60; R. G. Strong, 1861-70; J. L Zabriskie, 1870-82; A. M. Arcularius, installed May 15th 1883.
of the church is 182. The Sunday-school, of which Dr. S. T. Searle is
superintendent, numbers 105.
Grapeville Baptist Church
This church was built in 1815, mainly through the efforts of Rev. Ebenezer Wicks. It was built by the members of the Greenville Baptist church who lived in this vicinity, and remained under the jurisdiction of that church for 10 years after its erection, the Rev. E. Wicks acting as its pastor.
On the 17th of November 1825, 19 members of the Greenville church made application to be set off as a separate church. Consent was given, and soon afterward they were admitted into the Baptist association under the name of the First Baptist Church of New Baltimore. The name was changed to Greenville church February 27th 1875. The original members were: Mathew and Phoebe Palmer, William and Sarah Stuart, Stephen and Elizabeth Chichester, Robert and Sarah Baker, E. and Rachel Palmer, Loduwick Hanney, Susan Rundle, Israel Palmer, David Holly, Betsey Tryon, Oliver Blenis, Ransom Losee, C. Vermilyea, and I. R. Powell. The first deacons were Mathew Palmer, William Stuart, and Henry Blenis.
pastors who have ministered to their spiritual wants at different periods, have
been: Rev. Levi S. Hill, John L. Thompson, Milo B. Tremain, Timothy Palmer,
Peter Brink, A. Burrell, Nelson Palmer, J. C. Weeden, H. C. Longear, J. C.
Happy, H. Haines, J. S. Bennett, B. Lounsberg, D. A. Peck, G. W. Slater, and the
Rev. A. M. Cole, who is the present pastor. Within its walls, Levi L. Hill and
Timothy Palmer were ordained to the gospel ministry and Walter Covey and Oliver
Blenis were licensed to preach. In the year 1853, 28 were added to the church by
baptism, which was the greatest number during any year. The whole number
admitted by baptism and letter since its organization is 237; present membership
80. It has a Sabbath-school with an average attendance of 70 pupils; Miss Alice
Palmer, superintendent. It is a frame building, has been kept in good repairs
and it will seat about 300. Egbert Thorn is the present pastor.
First Baptist Church of New Baltimore
Baptist services were held in New Baltimore, in 1868, by Rev. Foster Hartwell and Rev. A. B. Parmatier. In February, 1869, a society was organized under the above name. The first place of worship was the school-house, and afterward the village hall was used. In 1870 the present house of worship was erected, and was dedicated in October of that year. It is a wooden structure, 32 by 46 feet in size, and its cost including site, was $4,000. The society has no debt.
The first pastor was Rev. G. W. Slater, followed by Rev. R. W. Stockwin, and he by the present pastor, Rev. W. Brewster. The church has no debt.
Sunday-school has been maintained since the organization of the church. The
present superintendent is the pastor, Rev. W. Brewster. The number of teachers
and scholars is 55.
Orthodox Quaker Church
The Orthodox Quaker church, on Stanton Hill, was erected in 1833. The builder was Jonathan Head of Oak Hill.
prominent members and early supports were Thomas Bedell, Solomon Carman, Jesse
Powell, Peter Stove, Hallet Titus, and Samuel F. Powell. Early preachers were
Joseph Bowne and Christopher Healy. Later, among its supports are Henry
Halstead, Lewis Bedell, Egbert Stove, Joseph Bedell, and John W. Stover. There
are no stated periods for services, and they are held there only occasionally.
It is under the jurisdiction of the Poughkeepsie conference. It has a
Sabbath-school, with an attendance of about 40 pupils. It is a frame building,
and in good repair.
Hicksite Quaker Church
Friends meeting-house (or Hicksite) was erected about 1840. The builders were Benjamin Tryon and William Smith. The principal contributors were Benjamin Gurney, Jacob Gurney, Benjamin and Charles Lisk. It has services once a month, called monthly meetings. The first preachers were Samuel Cary and Joseph Green. The present trustees are William Bedell and John Halstead. It has a Sunday-school numbering 30 pupils.
superintendent is Arthur Powell. Previous to the present year, John Stover was
superintendent for several years. It is a small sized wooden structure, and
located near the center of town.
Methodist Episcopal Church of New Baltimore
It cannot now be learned when the first class was organized here. The early records are lost, and the memory of the oldest member of the denomination here does not extend to the beginning of Methodism in this region. The earliest class leader, of whom tradition tells, was a Mr. Hilton, but when he assumed his duties is not known. From the origin of Methodism here till 1876, New Baltimore was a charge on the Coeymans circuit, or a portion of the Coeymans charge, but beyond the names of the officiating clergymen, no data concerning the history of the society prior to 1855 are accessible.
In the latter part of that year, and in the spring of 1856, the first church edifice of the society was built, during the pastorate of Rev. J. D. Macomber. The building committee were Alanson Scott, William M. Scribner, and William C. Hinman. The board of trustees consisted of Evert Van Slyck, Alanson Scott, William C. Hinman, William M. Scribner, and James Smith. The building was completed in 1856, and dedicated on the 20th of March in that year. Its cost was $1,400. In 1865, it was remodelled, frescoed, and otherwise beautified, at a cost of about $400.
In the spring of 1873, a new site was purchased of William Wheat Esq., and work was commenced on the present church edifice. The contractors were James H. Case for the carpenter work, and Hubbard Harris, of Coeymans, for the mason work. The board of trustees consisted of Jacob Burger, Paul Jones, Gilbert Van Zandt, William B. Wheat, and William C. Hinman. The building committee consisted of this board and Rev. R. H. Kelley and Thomas H. L. Lockley. The corner stone was laid August 26th 1873, and the house was dedicated May 27th 1874. Its cost was $8,575. Of those who were contributors toward the erection of this church, the names are remembered of Rev. James A. H. Cornell, D. D., of the Reformed church, who gave $500; his brother, Dr. T. F. Cornell, $100; Dr. King, of Brooklyn, $200; Henry Crandell, Henry Slingerland, Henry Springsted, James W. Jolly, J. B. Sheffield, William R. Dibble, Ex-Governor Alonzo B. Cornell, and others who gave various liberal sums.
In 1876 a parsonage, near the church, was purchased from Jacob Burger.
A Sunday-school was organized in 1856, and it has been in successful operation since. George W. Nelson is the superintendent, and the number of teachers and scholars is 113.
The clergymen who served the Coeymans circuit and charge, of which this was a part, till 1876, were: Revs. John Crawford, 1789; James Campbell, 1790; Samuel Wighton, John Crawford, 1791; Robert Green, David Vallean, 1792; Samuel Wighton, John Crawford, 1793; David Bartine, Jonathan Newman, Thomas Woolsey, 1794; Samuel Coats, Daniel Johns, 1795; Robert Green Joseph Covell 1796; Robert Greerson, H. Jefferson, D. Storms, 1797; William McLenahan, Anning Owen, 1798; Robert McCoy, Eben Cowles, 1799; Matthias Swain, William Williams, 1800; Bazilai Willey, Smith Arnold, 1801; William Vredenburgh, Alexander Morton, 1802; William Vredenburgh Robert Dillon, 1803; Gideon A. Knowlton, John Crawford, 1804; Henry Stead, Seth Crowell, 1805; Andrew McKean, Griffin Sweet, 1806; Zenas Covil, John Finnegan, 1807; Darius Ensign, Samuel Howe, 1808; Nathan Bangs, Isaac Smith, 1809; John Crawford, Jacob Beeman, 1810; Ephraim Sawyer, John Crawford, 1881; Jesse Hunt, Andrew McKean, 1812; Henry Stead, John Celine, 1813; John B. Matthias, William M. Stillwell, 1814; Luman Andrews, John B. Matthias, 1815; Isaac Lent, Phineas Rice, 1816; Arnold Schofield, James Young, 1817; Andrew Mc Kean, Bela Smith, 1818; Gershom Pierce, J. Crawford, 1819; Gershom Pierce, John Moriarity, 1820; John Moriarity, Daniel T. Wright, 1821; Friend Draper, Daniel I. Wright, 1822; Bradley Sellick, John C. Greene, 1823; Gilbert Lyon, Bradley Sellick, 1824; Coles Carpenter, Gilbert Lyon, 1825; Coles Carpenter, Jesse Hunt, 1826; Jesse Hunt, John Bangs, 1827; Harvey Brown, John Bangs, Ely Denniston, 1828; Ely Denniston, Harvey Brown, 1829; D. Howe, Cyrus Silliman, 1830, 1831; Rodman Lewis, J. Carley, 1832, 1833; Ely Denniston, J. Nixon, S. S. Strong, P. Cook, 1834; J. Nixon, J. Crawford, 1835; J. D. Sizer, D. Holmes, J. M. Pease, 1836; J. D. Sizer, Elbert Osborn, 1837; William S. Collins, E. Cook, 1838; A. C. Fields, William S. Collins, O. G. Hedstrom, 1840; R. S. Scott, D. B Turner, H. H. Smith, 1841; R. S. Scott, H. H. Smith, Daniel I. Wright, 1842; Daniel I. Wright, Aaron Rogers, R. H. Bloomer, 1843; Jason Wells, Reuben H. Bloomer, 1844; R. H. Bloomer, Jason Wells, 1845; William Lull, William F. Gould, 1846; William Lull, Silas Fitch, 1847; D. J. Wright, Aaron Rogers, 1848; D. J. Wright, . L. Hoyt, 1849; P. L. Hoyt, Ira Ferris, 1850; Ira Ferris, W. F. Gould, 1851; W. F. Gould, William Blake, 1852; William Blake, 1853, J. W. Macomber, 1854, 1855; A. F Selleck, 1856, 1857; O. P. Matthews, 1858, 1859; D. S. Stilwell, 1860, 1861; William Goss, 1962, 1863; Ananias Ackerly, 1864, 1865; Charles Gorse, 1866, 1867; J. M. Burger, 1868-70; R. H. Kelley, 1871-73; H. Ackerly, 1874, 1875.
In 1876 New Baltimore became a separate charge, and H. G. Earl was the pastor in 1876, 1877; E. F. Barlow, 1878; O. A. Merchant, 1879-81; J. M. Cornish, 1882, 1883.
the class leaders at New Baltimore have been: Stephen Ayrauolt, John E. Gibbon,
Moses Carey, Alanson Scott, Robert Scott, William H. Scribner, William H.
Slater, Lester Dunbar, A. J. McLaughlin, James Reed, H. W. Smith, George Van
Steenbugh, Thomas Albright, Paul Jones, Mrs. Sarah A. Jones, and D. Melvin
Methodist Episcopal Church of Medway
The Methodist church at Medway is a moderate size frame building of unpretentious appearance, and was built in 1832.
contributors to its erection and its early supporters were: Thomas Smith,
William Cochrane, Joshua T. Smith, Isaac Titus, Mr. Van Der Zee, Francis Oconor,
Hiram Garret, Mrs. Lee Wheeler and others. Among the early ministers were the
Revs. Mr. Hedstrom, Sizer, Collins, Turner, Eagers, and Selkirk. Latterly, Revs.
J. M. Cornish, William H. Ackerly and O. K. Banton, who is the present pastor.
Services are held every alternate Sabbath. The first service held in it after
the dedication was the funeral of Mrs. John H. Robins. The cemetery, near by, is
neatly laid out, but it has been used for burial purposes only a few years. No
records have been kept and but little could be learned of its past history.
Sylvendale Methodist Church
This church was erected in 1854. It was dedicated the same year by Elder Miller, of Broome, Schoharie county. Among the first ministers were Elder Peterson, John Shoe, Elder Mathews, and Slater. The present class leaders are: Abram Wingard, Luther Travis, and I. Tompkins. But little can be learned of this church as no record has been kept and no regular services are held. Here. It is a small size wooden structure with good sheds attached.
Societies - New Baltimore
Social Friendship Lodge, No. 741, F & A. M.: this Lodge was instituted July 9th 1874, with twenty-one charter members, as follows: Anthony H. Holmes, John Colvin, James H. Case, George W. Smith Andrew V. S. Vanderpool, Andrew J. Vanderpool, Ira Willson, Benjamin B. Houghtaling, Leonard A. Marshall, John A. Davis, Jacob B. Holmes, James B. Miller, Isaac Burns, Dewitt A. Fuller, Philo H. Backus, Stephen Mead, Edwin S. Colburn, Horace Rennie, George H. Johnson, Stephen Springstall, John H. Houghtaling.
The first officers were: Anthony H. Holmes, W. M.; John Colvin, S. W.; James H. Case, J. W. The worshipful masters since, have been Augustus Sherman and Samuel Carroll jr.
The present officer are: Augustus Sherman, W. M.; John Colvin, S. W.; and William C. Carroll, J. W.
membership is 69.
A. O. Bliss Post, No. 305, G. A. R., was organized October 25th 1885.
The charter members were. John W. Wiggins, commander; Robert Wilson, sen. vice; Henry W. Mead, adjt.; John Sullivan, sen., vice adjt; Frank Green O. R.; Elias Van Steenbugh, O. D.; David Layton, O. G.; Charles C. Lowery, chaplain; Peter Van Hosen, James L. Warner, Norton Links Joseph Smith, Sylvanus P. Eaton, John F. Wright, James S. Frazier, G. F. Hopper.
Present number of members about 21.
The subject of this sketch was born August 6th 1814, at Allentown, New Jersey, and was the son of Rev. John Cornell and Maria, daughter of Major General and United States Senator Frederick Freylinghuysen, a lady of great amiability and eminent piety. His medical education was obtained at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and he was a student in the office of the celebrated surgeon, George B. McClellan, M.D., a professor in the institution. Dr. Cornell practiced in New York fo9r several years, and he divided the medical leadership of the metropolis with Drs. Francis and Delafield. His articles on scarlatina were published in the leading medical journals, and were translated into several European languages. The extent of his duties was such as to seriously impair his health and about 1844 he moved to New Baltimore, and there, up to his death, lived the life of a retired gentleman. He was for 30 years one of the ruling elders of the Reformed church of Coeymans and New Baltimore. He had before this found a companion for life in the person of Miss Maria, a daughter of Dr. Zina Wolcott Lay, a native of Saybrook, Connecticut, who came to this state and settled in Chesterville, Albany county, whence he removed to Cooperstown. He afterward lived in Albany, and the last years of his life were spent in Stillwater, where he died March 4th 1855 at the age of 67. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Moses Smith, of Chesterville. Dr. Cornell and Miss Lay were married November 8th 1843. They were called to bear the loss of all their children in early infancy.
Dr. Cornell departed this life October 22nd 1880. His widow lives a life of quiet repose in the village of New Baltimore, in a home hallowed by many pleasant associations.
Dr. Cornell had three brothers: Frederick, Rev Dr. James A.H. (whose prominence and usefulness in the Christian ministry are too well known to require mention), and John. He had sisters: Margaretta, wife of Rev. Isaac S. Dumond; Catharine; Sarah, wife of Rev. William Demarest; and Charlotte, wife of Dr. John Van Allen.
Throughout his professional career Dr. Cornell was recognized as a leader, and was kind, affectionate, and prompt in his ministrations to the sick, and when he passed away there were few that did not realize that the community had experienced a loss that would not soon be supplied.
The Miller Family
Although there is no direct proof, yet there is good reason to believe, that this family is a branch of the Millers of East Hampton, Long Island, whose ancestor, John Miller, settled there as early as 1650. The immediate ancestor of the family here mentioned was Jonathan Miller, who came to this county from Peekskill in 1791. Jonathan Miller was born November 24th 1753. His wife, Lydia McCabe, was born December 19th 1758. Their children were:
Hannah, born November 2nd 1777, married Ephraim Garret of New Baltimore; Matthew, born January 8th 1779; Sarah, born January 16th 1781, married James, son of Timothy Green; Elizabeth, born August 13th 1783, died young; twin boys, died in infancy; Jonathan; Lydia, born August 15th 1791, married Levi Garret of New Baltimore; Rhoda, born January 3rd 1793, married Levi Hathaway; Jesse, born May 1st 1795; Stephen; and Daniel S..
Jesse Miller married Ann Kirk (born in 1800), November 28th 1821, and their children were: Lydia, born December 9th 1822, married Henry P. Miller; Rosetta, born July 8th 1824, died young; Abigail K., born May 12th 1826, married Benjamin Lisk; Elizabeth H., born December 30th 1829, married Rev. Warren Hathaway of Orange county, of whose eloquence as a pulpit orator the Christian church is justly proud; and Martin Silas, born February 29th 1832, married March 24th 1868, Mary E., daughter of William H. Rice of Albany, who was born in 1816, a granddaughter of Charles Rice, who was born in 1789, and a great granddaughter of Jesse Rice, who was born in Wallingford, Connecticut, and whose mother was Abigail Woodford, who came to this country about 1690. The children of Martin Silas and Mary E, are William, born January 2nd 1869, and Ernest born September 2nd 1870.
Mrs. Miller is a lady of well known literary ability. Her first appearance in the literary world was as the winner of two prizes, offered by the publishers of Wood's Household Magazine. The story that took the first prize was a little work for children, entitled, "A Word and a Blow," and the second, "Ruth." She is a regular contributor to the Illustrated Christian Weekly. Her work entitled, "Little Margary," is very popular, and two sets of books for children, called the "Holly Books," and "Books for Bright Eyes," have had a very extended sale, and their popularity has not diminished. Among her other works may be mentioned "Bessie Kirkland," "Riverside Farm House," and "Bertie's Fall." Her works are specially adapted to the wants and capacities of children. Mrs. Miller is a member of the Episcopal Church, St. Paul's of Albany, being her mother church, and her father's faithfulness as vestryman for many years, and Mrs. Miller's devoted labor in all the charities of the church, and as a successful Sunday-school teacher, are well and affectionately remembered.
Mr. Miller's home, on one of the tracts purchased by his enterprising grandfather, is in a beautiful location. He is extensively engaged in the raising of superior horses, and among his stock may be reckoned, "Roland," half brother of the famous "St. Julien," and a horse that has developed remarkable speed. Mr. Miller is a member of the republican party, and a man of recognized influence. He is also a prominent member of the masonic fraternity. Like the rest of the family, he is a supporter of the Christian church, founded by his grandfather.
Jonathan Miller, Jr., was born June 8th 1787, and married Margaret, daughter of Elisha Powell, April 26th 1810. Their children were: Lydia, Henry Powell (born July 10th 1812), Luman, Elisha D., Rachel, Jonathan J., Margaret, Daniel S., and Agnes. Mr. Miller died April 25th 1854; his wife, Margaret, died June 23rd 1856.
Ann Kirk, wife of Jesse Miller, was a daughter of George Kirk born December 27th 1770, a granddaughter of Richard Kirk, born April 8th 1737, and her great-great-grandfather was Richard Kirk, who had sisters Jemima and Jerusha. George Kirk's wife was Elizabeth Hendrickson, born April 8th 1837. The Kirks were Friends, and noted for their integrity and worldly success, as owners of the large paper mills at Roslyn, Long Island. In the stream that turned the mill, an aunt of Ann Kirk was drowned in sight of her mother. Another aunt of Ann, a childless widow, found in old age a hospitable home with her niece Ann, becoming well known throughout the neighborhood as "Aunt Abby," a sort of dowager queen who entertained both old and young with stories of her once beautiful home at Roslyn, a place famous as having been the home of the lamented poet, William Cullen Bryant. Silas Kirk, a bachelor brother, is well remembered as the recipient of a beautiful portrait in oil, the gift of his sister Ann, for his name.
Henry Powell Miller
Henry Powell Miller married Lydia, daughter of Jesse Miller, March 2nd 1842. Their children are: Valentine J., born September 13th 1843; James K., born June 29th 1845; Margaret P., born May 28th 1847, died November 16th 1860; Abby Ann, born November 26 1855, died October 18th 1860; Annie S., born December 27th 1861; Abbie, born April 4th 1864; and Jessie, born October 21st 1869.
Mr. Miller lives on the homestead of his grandfather, but the original log house is replaced by one more elegant and convenient. Mr. Miller is a member of the democratic party, and has filled the offices of town clerk and superintendent of schools. His extensive farm shows thrift and a comfortable independence. When his grandfather, Jonathan Miller, came to this county, December 15th 1791, he purchased of Isaac D. Verplanck a tract of land containing 67 3/4 acres. It is described in the deed as "situated in the west corner of Lot 1, in the 10th allotment of Coeyman's Patent, bounded on the north by the north line of the lot, and on the south by the Diep Kill or Houghtaling Patent." Near the east end of this tract he located his log house, which stood on the south side of the road near the Diep Kill, and a little southeast of the present family burying ground. A few years later, a young man rode up to the house one day, and requested permission to hold a religious meeting. The young man was in after years well known as Rev. Jasper Hazen. The meeting was held in the barn, and this was the origin of the Christian church, to which all the Miller family are warmly attached. Jesse Miller and his wife were active workers in establishing the church at Medway.
The Van Slyke Family
The Van Slyke family, whose various members are now scattered along the banks of the Hudson River, from Catskill to Albany, appear to have originated with an ancestor, who became a large landholder in Greene county. The whole history of the family illustrates the virtues which belong to well-to-do and prosperous farmers. They have been characterized by a loyalty which has been pronounced in the support of religion in the Reformed Dutch church; and in moulding and making the history of local churches, none have been more influential.
The New Baltimore branch of the family, several generations back, can boast of an alliance, which brought to their children a strain of princely blood; they can put the name of the Prince of Orange on their family tree.
According to the traditions which may be gathered up, the earliest member of the family came from Amsterdam to this country about 1635. His name was William Peterse Van Slyk, as the name was spelled. He appears to have been associated with the enterprise of the Patroon Van Rensselaer of Fort Orange. His son, Jacobus Van Slyk, was appointed by Governor Stuyvesant, in 1658 as "Voorleser", or lay-reader and instructor in religion, to the settlement of Esopus, now Kingston. Through his instrumentality a flourishing church was there founded. It is believed that another son had settled in Bruckelen (Brooklyn), whose name was Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyk. To this one, August 22nd 1646, Governor Kieft executed a patent or deed for a large tract of land, lying west of Catskill, toward Kiskatom, and extending for several miles northward.
It was intended that he should here plant a colony, after the manner of the Van Rensselaers of Fort Orange. It was, in fact, a transgression upon the claims, which were stretched much farther southward than Kieft would allow. This gift to Van Slyk by Governor Kieft was a recompense for what Van Slyk had done for "this country, as well in making peace, as in the ransoming of prisoners." Disregarding the patent which Governor Kieft had granted to Van Slyk, the Patroon Van Rensselaer, with superior power, dispossessed Van Slyk, who did not care to contend, when he located himself on unappropriated lands between Coxsackie and New Baltimore, where, for 200 years, the Van Slyke family, or rather the Hudson River branch of it, with the Bronks and others with whom they have been closely allied, have been "lords of the soil."
The genealogical records of the family given below illustrate connections with other old Dutch families, as the Van Wies, Van Vrankens, Bronks, and Vanderzees.
The line of descent to Ephraim T. is through William Peterse, the first to settle in this county.
Tunis and Jannetje Hendrickse VanWie.
Pieter and Anna Rykse VanVranken.
Tunis and Alida Van Slyke.
Andries and __________.
Baltus and Harriet Lewis
Tunis B. and Judith Bronk, to
Ephraim T. and Baltus, of Hudson, Columbia County.
Ephraim T. Van Slyke was born in New Baltimore, March 5th 1815, and resides 3 miles westward. He married Mary Vanderzee, of New Baltimore, September 21st 1840. The result of this union was five sons, two of whom are now living: A. Webster, born December 5th 1846; and Bronk, born July 20th 1852.
The oldest surviving son of Ephraim T. Van Slyke is A. Webster Van Slyke, M.D., of Coxsackie, who after having pursued a broad course of study in medicine, is now enjoying eminent success as a practitioner.
The oldest son of Baltus, the Rev. J. G. Van Slyke, D.D., is now serving the First Reformed church of Kingston, N.Y., with eminent success as its pastor--a church which owes it origin, as indicated above, to the organizing efforts of Jacobus Van Slyk.
A very short distance from the old stone house, near the West Shore railroad station in New Baltimore, lately occupied by Mr. Frank Matthews, are still visible remains of a still older stone mansion. This was the original home of the Van Slykes, and in that old mansion five generations of the family have lived, and their lands were of wide extent in all directions.
We are indebted to the Rev. Evert Van Slyke, D.D., of Syracuse, for the genealogy of the Van Slyke family.