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Article Number Fifteen - Jewell Family - Post's Creek

Written by Joshua G. Borthwick and originally published
on January 1, 1881, in the Catskill "Examiner". Copy provided by the Durham Center Museum and retyped by Annette Campbell

The stream on which Rozel Post (referred to in sketch #14) built his Grist Mill sometimes called Heifer creek, alias Post's creek has some very remarkable features. It as two sources: one taking it's rise on Mount Hayden, southwest of Mr. William Johnson's, flows down from the Gulf school house and through the farms owned by Mr. Horace Maybee, Mr. Horace Strong and Mrs. Porter, until it reaches the flat, and forms a junction with the other branch, which has it's source near the top of the Ginseng Mountain in several large springs, south of Mr. Abijah Ransom's and Mr. Brown's, finally unites with its sister tributary and follows in a serpentine course through the flat lands owned by S. R. Johnson, Wm. Johnson, O.B. Field's estate, Wm. Baldwin and J.R. Elliott.  These flats are about a mile long and a quarter mile wide. The soil is natural meadow and is very productive. It is subject to frequent overflow, and the water is very clear and in some places seldom freezes in the winter. It is thought by some that this whole flat was once entirely covered with water, perhaps hundreds of years ago, with trees standing here and there in it. It is claimed by some that the beavers threw a dam across the stream near Mr. James Elliott's and this fertile meadow was one vast beaver dam. Much of the soil gives evidence of having been washed down from the sides of the mountains; and there are now trunks of old trees in a remarkable state of preservation, lying buried from one to two feet below the surface of the ground, and leaves of trees have been found deeply embedded in the soil, having lain there for years, centuries perhaps, and yet retaining their freshness in a wonderful degree.  Just below these flats the steam descends very rapidly over the rocks near Post's Mill, now owned by Mr. James Elliott, and enters a wild deep ravine, called Shadow Glen. This Glen is about half a mile long, thickly wooded, with high, steep rocks on one side, and high banks on the other. It has many romantic features in its native wildness, and is a place much admired and often visited by summer boarders and other lovers of Nature.
The farm now owned by Mr. James Elliott was settled by Joseph Jewell,  who was born in Connecticut, June 18, 1744, and died in Durham, N.Y., Dec 13, 1832.  He and  Mary, his wife, and Joseph Jewell, Jr., and Bathiah, his wife, united with the Presbyterian Church of Durham on the 7th of August, 1803.  The history of the family can be traced back to about the year 1600. Thomas Jewell, who emigrated to this country from England, was born about that time. The name has been spelled variously: for instance, Jule, Joyell, Juel, Jewel  and Jewell.  I have seen a copy of an entry in the "Visitation Book" of the county of Wilts, England, made by the grandfather probably of the above Thomas Jewell, in the year 1565, of which the following is a copy;
"John Joyell, Bachelor of Davynitie of the universitie of Oxfords and at this p'sent by the grace of god byshoppe of Sarune, unto whom by Declaration of ancient letters patentes the Chauncellorshippe of the most noble order of the garter is incident as more playnlie appeareth."
In 1638 Thomas Jewell came to this country and bought twelve acres of land on Mount Millar, now Mount Wollaston, near Boston, for three shillings per acre. The deed was dated the "24th day 2nd mo. 1639."  On the 24th day of December, 1640, Henry Adams, bought 40 acres of land in the same neighborhood. He was the forefather of President John Adams and John Quincy Adams.  Thomas Jewell made his Will dated "The 10th, 2nd month, 1654," and as an index to his character, and in accordance with the custom, he said in the second sentence of the Will, "My soule I commit in to the hands of Almighty God in ye meditation of Jesus Christ, and my body to the duste."
His son Thomas was married Oct. 18, 1672, to Susannah Guilford. He was several times chosen Tything man, about which we shall have occasion to speak hereafter.   The family afterward removed to Dunstable, Mass., and here the record becomes indistinct, being mostly a register of names of which there are more than 1800, among which are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Several of the sons gave their lives for their country's salvation, one at Fort George, Nov. 30, 1776, and another at Saratoga in 1777. David Jewell raised and commanded a company of volunteers in the same war, while Henry Jewell was wounded in the old French war of 1756, and much later still, Charles Jewell was killed in the battle of Plattsburgh in Sept. 1814.  Two of the sons, Ebenezer and Lemuel, were in the battle of Stillwater, and saw the surrender of Burgoyne's troops.  George Jewell was pastor of a Congregational Church in Mass. 55 years, preached 6965 times and married 693 couples and attended 1000 funerals. He was Town Clerk 44 years, Member of the Legislature 2 years and Chaplain of the same one year. The family in later days have given the world its full proportion of heroes of whom we may speak in the future. Ebenezer Jewell was an engineer on the railroad, and was killed February 7, 1857, near Jolliet, ILL., by the falling of a bridge.  He was found the next day at his post on the engine, with his hand, cold in death, on the throttle valve, as though he saw the danger, attempted to avoid it, but bravely stood to his post, and met his death in the discharge of his duty.

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