Article Number Eighteen -
The Butler, Strong, Cornwall, Baldwin and Woodard Families

Written by Joshua G. Borthwick and originally published
on , February 19, 1881, in the Catskill "Examiner". Copy provided by the Durham Center Museum and retyped by Annette Campbell



John Butler
emigrated from Branford, Conn., in company with the Barker family, and perhaps others.  The date cannot now be given; but it was probably as early as 1785, certainly prior to 1790, as I have in my possession the survey of a road past his house, which is dated Oct. 16, 1790; and in that instrument mention is made of his cornfield, John Bagley's wheat fields, and a meadow near John Bagley's, where John Morehouse now lives.  He and the Barkers chartered a schooner to bring them and their families from New Haven, Conn., to Hudson, NY.  Reaching that city, they first settled in the neighborhood of Claverack; but for some reason disliking the place, they crossed the river, and found a home in the town of Durham. The Barkers owned the farm now owned by Rev. Aaron Rodgers.  The Barkers of Coxsackie belonged to this family.  Mr. Butler took up the farm now owned by Cornelius Schermerhorn.  He and Capt. John Bagley were near neighbors, and became very good friends. Mr. Butler belonged, it is said, to the same family from which Gen. Benjamin F. Butler of Mass., descended.  His daughter, Sally Butler, married Aaron Strong, Esq., of whom we have already written.
 
Montgomery Stevens lived on the farm now occupied by Henry Abrams, and left it to his son, Montgomery, Jr., who removed to East Durham; but of this family and many others who came to this town later in its history, we may write more fully hereafter; and just here before we leave this neighborhood, I wish to supply an omission in the last sketch. Among the sons of D. B. Hervey, Esq.,  we neglected to mention Henry O. Hervey. He is Principal of a school at Maspeth, L. I.  His brother, Horatio S., has been a teacher for more than 30 years; and has been a Principal for 25 years on Staten Island. He has had the charge of two flourishing schools.
 
We now come to the region of country about Cornwallsville; so named in honor of Dan Cornwall, who lived there in its early settlement. The inhabitants of Cornwallsville came principally from Durham and Haddam, two towns in Middlesex Co, Conn.  In fact the whole of New England element, as represented in this town, came almost without exception from the two counties of New Haven and Middlesex; and "Old Durham" furnished more settlers for "New Durham" by far than any other town. 
 
We have already spoken of the settlement of Anson Strong, Esq., on the farm now owned by Ellsworth Strong Esq.  This was in 1796. Previous to this however, it appears that Ezra Jones occupied the farm.  Deacon Benjamin Chapman, who afterward lived in Durham village, first lived in a house directly opposite Esquire Strong'sDeacon Joseph Hart took up the farm now owned by Mr. Horatio Hough.  He was the first Deacon of the Presbyterian Church in Durham, chosen at its organization in 1792.  He sold the farm to a Mr. Snyder---a brother of the Snyder who was carried off by Indians, as recorded by Rockwell in his "Catskill Mountains".
 
Seth Baldwin lived on the farm now owned by Reuben Moss.  He may not have been the first owner, but he must have moved there very early in the history of the neighborhood. One of his sons Dwight, became a Missionary to the Sandwich Islands, and died there only a few years since. Another son became deranged, and shot himself in the woods now owned by Mr. William Borthwick.  Mr. Baldwin's death was caused by the kick of a horse. He was threshing with his horses in the barn when it took place. The lower part of his body was completely paralysed, while his mind was perfectly clear, and during the few days he lived afterward, he expressed the utmost resignation to the will of God, and his readiness to depart. His death was very happy.  He was born in Durham, Conn., and united with the Church there, and when he came to this town he brought his letter, and united with the Presbyterian Church here on the 10th of December, 1804. He died February 22, 1832.
 
Among the early inhabitants of the town who spent a portion of their lives near Cornwallsville, we mention Jared Woodard. He was born in Washington County, and when a lad, removed to Dutchess County. Here he learned the blacksmith trade, married, and came to Durham and settled. His wife's name was Margaret Couse. Their first home was on the hill West of the Stone bridge, West of East Durham. The house was on the East side of the turnpike, opposite the barn now standing there. He had a farm of 100 acres there, and at the same time worked at is trade. Afterward he lived where Matthew Scoville now does. This was in 1791.  Late in life he lived where Amos Woodard does, and died there in 1848.  They had 8 children---Polly, John, Betsey, Lewis, Jacob, Hannah, David, and Amos.  Polly became the second wife of Bernard Bagley, and now lives in Schoharie with her only son Henry B., who is a very wealthy man. John lives in Hervey Street, Jacob at Palenville, and Amos in Durham.  The mother died in Schoharie in 1856, and was buried near her early home in Durham.

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