Old Greene County
Facts and Figures, Portraits and Sketches,
MEN WHO WILL LIVE IN HER HISTORY
Those at the Front To-Day
And Others Who Made Good in the Past
by F.A. Gallt
Catskill, N. Y.
Original book provided by Celeste MacCormack and transcribed by Arlene Goodwin
Of the early industries of Greene county it appears the greatest was tanning. It was in every section and some of these were timed to take care of 40,000 hides a year. Millions of cattle were slain for their hides, hundreds daily at the Point in Catskill alone. Great hemlock trees in dense forests made music for the woodmen’s axe, and the bark peeler. Great droves of oxen hauled these logs and bark to the markets and saw mills. Some of the timber found its way into the charcoal pits, and some into the homes of the pioneers. Old taverns ever in Catskill, drew patrons to their hostelries by the hanging out of Bulls Head signs. There were tanner’s stores, tanner’s and trader’s supply houses and even banks. It was the tanning industry that furnished the incentive to name Catskill’s bank the Tanners Bank.
Near the head of Main street in Catskill may still be seen the remains of tanning vats in what was the Jones and Bagley tannery.
The brick industry had remained, and is on the upgrade yet, but tanning, once the subject for poetry and song has passed. The cattle industry has passed. But other industries have come, and the capital that represents them runs into the millions.
The last decade however has added what is destined to become the greatest of all industries, that of cement making.
There are three great plants in Catskill, each costing millions of dollars, and each capable of turning our thousands of barrels of the finest cement in the world.
The Seaboard plant is still in process of completion, south of Catskill, and will likely get running this year.
The Alsen plant of Alsen is a German concern and has been doing a great business.
Reference will be found elsewhere to the allied industry of brick making, of which the several river towns have many important yards, and to the manufacture of vitrified paving brick at the great Catskill plant.
The above illustration is a view of the plant of the ALPHA Portland Cement Company as it appears with improvements completed.
This plant, located at Cementon, is one of the largest industries tributary to the town of Catskill. The original plant was built by the Catskill Cement Company, which was incorporated in August, 1899. The officers of this company at that time were P. Gardner Coffin, President, James W. Kittrell, Secretary and Treasurer, both of whom are residents of Catskill.
These gentlemen operated this plant, gradually increasing its capacity from 350 barrels per day to something over 1000 barrels per day in 1909, at which time the control of the Catskill Company was purchased by Alpha Portland Cement Company of Easton, Pennsylvania.
The Alpha Company immediately started in to extend the plant and since their control began in October, 1909, they have practically rebuilt the mill. They have also very greatly increased its capacity, having spent, at this point in the last five years, over a million dollars.
The capacity of the plant at the present time is about 4000 barrels per day. It enjoys unusual shipping facilities, having private docks located directly on the Hudson River and also a private siding from the West Shore Railroad.
An increasing quantity of the cement made in this mill is now being sold in South America the European War having cut off to a large extent the importation of Portland Cement from European countries and opened the way for a larger sale of Portland Cement made in the United States.
The product of this cement enjoys a distinctive place in the engineering world because of that fact that the percentage of alumina is very much lower than that in most Portland Cements. A low-alumina cement is regarded as preferable for concrete work that is exposed to the sea-water. Very large quantities of cement from the ALPHA Catskill plant have been used in building docks and wharves for New City and for U. S. Government construction along the coast.
Some idea of the growth of the increase in the use of Portland Cement may be gained from the fact that in 1900 only about eight and a half million barrels were manufactured in America, while the present yearly output is close to one hundred million barrels.
Originally Portland Cement was used mainly in the construction of great engineering jobs, such as bridges, dams, etc. During recent years the use of cement is making home and farm improvements has developed into an enormous field for the cement companies. The use of Portland Cement in the building of concrete roads has opened another great field.
The ALPHA Portland Cement Company follows an educational policy in its advertising and sends our free literature of various kinds to persons contemplating the use of cement in any way. The general offices of the Company are at Easton, Pa. The present officers are G. S. Brown, President; J. M. Lockhart, First Vice-president; F. G. McKelvy, Second Vice-president; F. M. Coogan, Secretary and J. J. Matthes, Treasurer. N. D. Colburn, who is well known in this part of New York state, is the Superintendent of the Catskill ALPHA Plant.
Courts and Records---The Bar
Greene county had always been wealthy in the array of legal talent that has come to the front to represent the several towns or fill the most important of the stations where much knowledge had been required. Some of these men have been legal giants to judge from their records. Men of the stamp of Judge A. Melvin Osborn, Judge Sanderson, Sidney Crowell, Rufus H. King, Lyman Tremaine, Danforth K. Olney, Lucius Robinson, Malbon Watson, John A. Griswold, Lewis Benton and others were very conspicuous during their life time.
Of the old time lawyers we have mention of but two who held important State positions, and Lyman Tremaine, was one. He was born in the town of Durham and represented the county as speaker of the assembly at one time, and filled many important positions. He was one of the great lawyers of the state.
John Adams and James Powers were among the early pleaders. Later on we note Rufus King, Peleg Mattoon, Mitchell Sandford, D. K. Olney at one time was considered the head of the bar in Greene county. Adams and Powers, and Olney and King, and then King and Hallock. This firm later changing to Hallock, Jennings and Chase, and upon the election of Mr. Chase to the Supreme Court, to Osborn and Bloodgood. Later Mr. Wilbur being admitted to the firm. Mr. Osborn was conspicuous in the trial of a number of very important cases, the Quinn murder trial being one of them. Mr. Wilbur became district attorney and Mr. Chase had gone to the court of appeals bench. These men have all been connected with the banks of Catskill.
Hon. A. Melvin Osborn was another Greene county man who bore great distinction as a lawyer and who was soon elevated to the higher courts, where death claimed him in the prime of his work.
D. K. Olney, James B. Olney, Hon. John Olney, Hon. John A. Griswold, Hon. John Sanderson, Manly B. Mattice, Sidney Crowell, Pierre S. Jennings, Addison C. Griswold were among the lawyers who gained distinction and political honors, all passed to their rewards.
Other talented lawyers of the county who have passed are William E. Leete, Sidney Crowell, Addison C. Griswold, Henry Mott, Sheldon Givens, Charles Givens, Charles F. Bouton, Herman Winans, Lemuel C. Bennett, Charles H. Porter, Ebenezer Haight, J. C. DeWitt, Augustus R. Macomber, Joseph Hallock, Arthur M. Murphy, Jacob I. Werner, Henry D. Shores, Charles G. Coffin, Augustus Sherman, Augustus Hill, A. Cowles, John B. Bronk, and Cicero C. Peck.
Among those who have gone to other fields are L. B. Cornell, Spokane, Frank H. Burroughs, New York, Jesse W. Olney, San Francisco, Eugene Raymond, Brooklyn, Herbert Niklewicz, New York, Fred Warner, Connecticut.
The most notable of the men who have been honored in recent years, is the Hon. Emory A. Chase who has for the past 17 years been a judge of the supreme court, and for a considerable portion of the time justice of the highest branch of the court—the appellate division.
Among the lawyers of the recent years perhaps the most successful has been Judge Tallmadge who for many years has been county judge and who handling thousands of cases that have come before him not only in the Greene county courts, but also in the courts of New York had never yet been reversed on a decision. Senator Bloodgood is another lawyer who had gained distinction in the courts and been honored with high official stations. Attorney Judson A. Betts, also has been very successful and has held the office of county treasurer a number of times. At present he is associated with his son Lee F. Beets, who was sergeant at arms in the legislature under Gov. Sulzer. William W. Bennett is another rising young lawyer. He gained distinction by taking his command the 16th Sep. Co. to the front at the time of the Spanish American war.
Attorney Frank H. Osborn is regarded as one of the greatest pleaders in the state, and invariably successful in important cases. But for the fact that the district is heavily republican, he would years ago have found his way to the highest courts.
Albert C. Bloodgood of the same firm is regarded as a lawyer of exceptional ability.
Then there is O. T. Heath who has served Catskill in many ways. H. Leroy Austin has risen to an important railroad lawyer with offices in Albany, and he was a partner with former District Attorney Pierre S. Jennings, whose untimely death from consumption is still mourned. Another once brilliant lawyer was Egbert Palmer, who served as district attorney, and who in his last years gave way to the attack of disease.
J. Lewis Patrie has risen to the legislature and had the best record perhaps of all men who have represented Greene County. A natural born orator, and one whose opinion was foremost in the legislature for years.
Attorney H. Leroy Austin of the younger men who have risen fast has served the county as district attorney, and becoming a great corporation lawyer was last fall elected to serve as a member of the State constitutional revision committee.
G. Howard Jones made a capable District Attorney and has a fine practice.
Clarence Howland also has a splendid record and is doing well.
E. A. Gifford, of Athens has risen to deputy attorney general.
Nor should we fail to mention Charles A. Nichols, election commissioner and former member of the assembly. Hon. Ira B. Kerr the silver tongued pleader, and the brilliant D. H. Daley and E. C. Hallenbeck of Coxsackie, of the older men.
George L. Rifenburgh, of Oak Hill, has had to extend his practice to Albany.
Of the young lawyers who have forged to the front and who are doing excellent, and very successful work, are Howard C. Wilbur, who has risen to district attorney, Seth T. Cole to state tax examiner, George W. Plusch to referee in bankruptcy cases, and James Reilly to an important position in the surrogates office.
Percy W. Decker, John L, Fray, and J. Lewis Malcolm of Catskill are doing well.
William E. Thorpe has been corporations counsel for Catskill, and is regarded as a very brilliant lawyer.
Curtiss and Warren of Coxsackie, Michael and Edward Lackey of Tannersville are rated very high, So also is Benjamin I. Tallmadge of Windham, brother of Judge Tallmadge.
We understand that no Greene County women have ever been admitted to the bar, although there have been a number who are doubtless competent, Miss Jackson, Miss O’Brien, Miss Simmons are stenographers of ability and Miss Simmons is doing court work right along.
Greene county was represented in the several constitutional conventions that have been held. In 1801 Martin Schuneman and David Simmons were named.
1821, Jehliel Tuttle and Alpheus Webster.
1846, Robert Dorlon and James Powers.
1867, Manley B. Mattice and Ezekiel Moore.
1873, Joseph B. Hall, editor Recorder.
1894, Hon. John A. Griswold.
1915, H. Leroy Austin of Catskill.
The first Court of Common Pleas was held in the academy at Catskill and at the residence of John R. Vandenburgh at Coxsackie.
The first county officers
Leonard Bronk, judge
James Bill, clerk
George Hale, sheriff
John H. Cuyler, surrogate
John R. Vandenburgh, and Thos. Croswell, coroners.
The Judges of the county have been:
Garrett Abeel 1810 F. James Fitch 1855
Moses I. Cantine 1818 John A. Griswold 1863
John V. S. Scott 1821 John Olney 1867
Dorrance Kirkland 1828 A. Melvin Osborn 1870
Perkins King 1838 Manley B. Mattice 1870-82
Layman Tremaine 1847 Johan Sanderson 1888
Alex. H. Bailey 1851 Josiah C. Tallmadge 1900-15
John H. Cuyler 1800 Dorrance Kirkland 1808-11
John Adams 1810
Through the courtesy of Judge Chase we are able to present likeness of most of the judges. A few are missing and will be for all time.
It is interesting to note that the early surrogates purchased their own books of record, and these subsequently were sold to their successors. Dorrance Kirkland refused to purchase the unused portion of Book A. of Wills, from John H. Cuyler who was removed from office and Cuyler thereupon took his knife and cut out the unused leaves. This certified statement may be seen in the book today.
Those who have
held the office of district attorney in the county are:
Date of Elections
Date of Elections
Danforth K. Olney
Danforth K. Olney
Peleg C. Matton
John A. Griswold
James B. Olney
A. Melvin Osborn
William E. Leete
Addison C. Griswold
G. Howard Jones
Frank H. Osborn
Josiah C. Tallmadge
Edward A. Gifford
Charles E. Nichols
Pierre S. Jennings
H. L. Austin
Orin Q. Flint
Howard C. Wilbur
Washington Hunt, born at Windham, Aug. 5, 1811, was Member of Congress 1843-1840, State Comptroller 1849, Governor 1850.
Lyman Tremaine was born at Durham and Attorney General in 1846. County Judge 1847. Attorney General 1857.
Malbon Watson was justice of the supreme court 1848.
Lucius Robinson, also born in Windham, Nov. 4, 1810 was the only man from Greene county who served the state as governor Mr. Robinson was District Attorney in 1837, Master of Chancery 1843, Assemblyman from Chemung county in 1859, Comptroller of State in 1861, 1863, 1875, and elected Governor Nov. 1876.
A very successful lawyer who has retired from active practice is W. I. Jennings, who for a number of years has devoted his time entirely to the Catskill Saving Band of which he is president.
Dorville S. Coe is another Greene county boy who went out from Greene county and who is doing well in New York.
The present member of the Greene county bar are:
Austin, H. L.
Bagley, Charles J. Jones, G. Howard
Bennett, William W. Kerr, Ira B.
Betts, Judson A. Malcolm, J. Lewis
Betts, Lee F. Nichols, Charles E.
Bloodgood, Albert C. Osborn, Frank H.
Bloodgood, Clarence E. Palmatier, William
Boyne, Harold J. Patrie, J. Lewis
Chase, Emory A. Philip, James P.
Cole, Seth T. Plusch, George W.
Decker, Percy W. Reilly, James H.
Fray, John L. Tallmadge, Josiah C.
Heath, Orliff T. Thorpe, William E.
Howland, Clarence Van Gedder, James H.
Jennings, W. Irving Wilbur, Howard C.
Calkins, N. A. Dibble, Flavius
Curtis, H. McK. Lackey, Edward W.
Daley, D. Henry Athens
Hallenbeck, Edwin C. Flint, Orin Q.
Hiseerd, James W. Gifford, Edward A.
Warren, Leonard A. Porter, O. Gates
Chadderdon, Miles A. Gardner, Harrison I.
Van Vechten, Francis H. Taylor, Frank
Hunter Oak Hill
Cartwright, C. M. Rifenburgh, George L.
Daley, James B. Tallmadge, Benjamin I.
The Hon. William P. Fiero who was elected to the State senate from Greene county in the fall of 1910 was one of the grand old men whom the county loves to honor. For more than 33 years he was a leading lawyer in the Westchester courts and assistant district attorney in the federal courts, where he had universal success winning over 400 cases. He had a wonderful interest in the county of his birth, and on the court house lawn may be seen the grand fountain given by him to the county. He carried Greene County by 1124 votes.
Mr. Pinkney says he well remembers the Hon. Malbon Watson, of a very distinguished Catskill family, who was very slow and dignified in manner, but who had a fund of humor on occasion. It was in a case in justice court, where his opponent had been speaking in a very loud voice and earnest manner as though the trivial case was the utmost importance. Watson came to the close of his summing up and said, “And now, gentlemen of the jury I leave my case in your hands and give you a chance to listen to a blast from the fountain of minds.”
Green county has not produced many women who have achieved notoriety in the various fields of activity. The one who stands out pre-eminently however is Maggie Van Cott, who passed away in 1914 at her home who was ordained to the ministry of the Methodist Church, and pretty much all of her life was devoted to revival work. She went from one end of the country to the other and her converts are said to have numbered over 100,000. Her commanding appearance, remarkable voice, and personal magnetism with an appeal that was irresistible made her a great power for good. So late as 1901 she held a great revival at Lebanon Springs and three brass bands turned out to assist in the work. There are few if any places in Greene county where she has not held successful revivals, and some of these places she visited during the last year or so of her life. Around 1900 she had a big tent and for several weeks held meetings on west Main street, Catskill.
Mother Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers, a sect of the Quaker church, a denomination still having adherents in Greene county, was buried at Watervliet where her grave may still be pointed out. She made a great stir in her crusade in which she declared that Marriage was the root of human depravity, and forthwith she was sent to prison and then to the mad house. She secured her release however, and in 1776 was arrested on a charge of high treason, by the British and confined at Pokeepsie. Gov. George Clinton pardoned her and she went about establishing churches. Finally in 1784 she died at Watervliet. Churches in many sections included in Albany county, now Greene, were established by her.
Squaw Owned Old Catskill—Chief of Tribe—From historical matter furnished us by the Hon. Clarence E. Bloodgood, former senator from Greene county, we learn that “Director Brandt Van Slechtenhorst, for the Patroon (Van Rensselaer) bought of Pwasck, a squaw, chief of Catskill, and her son, Supahoop, a kil named Katskill, accounted to be 9 miles and that the consideration was seventeen and a half ells of duffels, a coat of beaver and a knife. Aepkje, the interpreter, who brought about the sale got five and a half ells of duffels for his service. This was in 1649, and is a part of the Fort Orange records.
Among the old residents of whom we find mention in other works Dame Van Schaack of the early Dutch of the Coxsackie district was a strenuous character who lived in the old Van Schaack homestead near the village. During the Revolutionary period this old house was bombarded by the British, and they ransacked it and carried off what they thought was of value. Dame Van Schaak who appeared to have been very brave, and relentless gathered up certain of the belongings that she had an attachment for and announced that she wouldn’t give them up, and she did not either for the leader relented and let her keep what she wanted. This old house is still standing and has many pieces of furniture of the colonial period. Wood is still burned in the old fire places.
At the Greene county alms House for the past few years Mrs. E. C. Judson, wife of Ned Buntline, the great American Scout and Sea Fighter, as well as one of America’s greatest writers of fiction, has been making her home. Col. Judson who was in the employ of the government during the latter years of his life, crippled and scarred from the many battles in which he participated, lived at Stamford, Delaware county, in a mansion that he built, and was supposed to be wealthy. As a writer of Indian and Scout or Sea Faring life he had no equal, and many of his stories were printed in the New York Weekly.
Madam Jumel also was one of the wives of Aaron Burr. She died at the age of 98 years, and Mr. Burr was her third husband. The madam was the wife of Col. Croix of the British army in an elopement at 17, then she married Stephen Jumel, and spent a great part of his vast fortune. Burr was 78 years of age when she married him. They separated. The Jumel mansion is an historical museum in the city of New York.
Those who have represented the county in charity work are:
Mrs. Emory A. Chase, Mrs. Percival Goldin, Mrs. W. I. Jennings, Mrs. F. S. Decker, Mrs. F. H. Osborn, Mrs. Charles A. Elliott, Mrs. J. Lewis Patrie, Mrs. H. L. Boughton, Mrs. James P. Philip, Mrs. Benjamin Wey, Mrs. Ella M. Grout, Mrs. J. S. Henderson, Catskill; and Mrs. Sherwood H. Holcomb, Palenville.
Mrs. Harriet Penfield, Mrs. George H. Penfield and Mrs. Isaac Pruyn are among the prominent workers deceased.
Mrs. Cornelius Du Bois at Palenville was for many years at the head of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union of Greene county, and Mrs. Harvey Brown and Mrs. G. N. Brandow of Catskill and Miss Brandow of Coxsackie have been conspicuous in this work.
Mrs. Egbert Beardsley of Catskill has been doing Sunday School work and attained considerable distinction as a lecturer.
Mrs. Benjamin Wey of Catskill has been among the leaders in school, missionary, church and library work in Greene county. A grand woman in every way.
In the Suffragist work Mrs. Joseph Malcolm, and Miss Gertrude B. Linnell have been very enthusiastic workers and the movement has shown great progress. For a list of other workers who have been connected with this movement see article on the Suffragist Movement.
Among those who have taken the lead in the work of the Old Ladies Home, are Mrs. J. P. Philip, Mrs. Emory A. Chase, Mrs. H. L. Boughton, Mrs. Jeremiah Day, Mrs. Orrin Day, Mrs. W. I. Jennings, Emily Becker, Margaret Bedell, Georgianna Jackson and Miss Whitbeck.
Mrs. Ira T. Tolley matron of the county house has also been prominent in charity work.
Reference will be found elsewhere to the several clubs of the county which have been formed and presided over by women.
Probably the oldest woman of whom we have any record in Greene county was Lavina Allerton, a former resident of Cairo, who was born in a log house near that place in 1809 and who died at Newark, N.Y., in 1914, being 105 years old. She survived her husband by 40 years. Her generations are scattered all over the county and state.
Another old resident who died at Coxsackie last fall was Hannah Mackey, who had passed 90 years of age.
Mrs. Maria Doane of Catskill was another aged resident of the county who lived to the century mark.
Of the Darringer family Mrs. Dorothy Darringer of Catskill passed away at the age of 94 years.
Laura G., wife of the late Judson Wilcox died at her home in Catskill, Jan. 1900, from the effects of her injury two months before, when she fell and fractured her hip. During most of the time she had been a great though patient sufferer. She retained her remarkable mental faculties up to the last, reading from the papers, signing checks, etc., writing her name in regular and plain manner. She was 95 years and 5 months and the physicians declare that every organ of her body was in a perfectly healthy condition and had not the accident occurred she might have lived to 100 years. She had been a member of the St. Luke’s church over 50 years and was always deeply interested in the welfare of that society. Truly she went down to the grave full of years and good works. Mrs. Wilcox was born at Cortright, Delaware county, July 13th, 1804, and was united in marriage to Judson Wilcox Aug. 18, 1825, by the Rev. Elder Hobbie at Cortright. With her husband she came to Catskill in May, 1826, where she had since made her home and for more than 60 years had lived in the house where she died. Mrs. Wilcox who was an authority on early history of Catskill was for more than 50 years in the grocery business on the corner opposite Geo. C. Fox’s store. He died June 7th, 1879.
The oldest house on William street, 1798. Occupied by the Wilcox family since 1826, and where in 1836, Howard Wilcox was born. Judson Wilcox died in this house, 1879, also his wife, Mrs. Wilcox in 1900 at the age of 95.
Among the inscriptions gathered from the local cemeteries by the writer of this book, which among is a considerable number of others was that of Ruth Croswell relict of Dr. Thomas O’Hara Croswell, one of the publishers of the Catskill Packet, to which we have referred. She died Jan. 7th, 1862, at the age of 96 years and 10 months. She was born in New England, saw George Washington, and her husband honored by him with the appointment of postmaster.
Miss Georgianna Jackson has taken great interest in the Humane Society of which she is a leader.
The greatest monument ever erected to the memory of a woman is this state doubtless is the Rowena Memorial School building at Palenville, which was dedicated in 1900 and cost over $50,000. The building is of picture or shell granite from the quarries of George W. Holdridge of Catskill, who erected the building. It is a beautiful and will stand for all time. It was a gift to Palenville of L. W. Lawrence a New York man, who with his wife for many years spent their summers in that section. Mrs. Lawrence was greatly interested in the cause of education and the young, and as a beautiful and lasting tribute to her memory the school building was erected. It was also partially endowed.
Washington Irving gave to the Catskill region, a romance that has come down as one of the great pieces of fiction of the age, and had added much to the allurements of the grand old Catskills. Rip in his sleep of 20 years, and his pitiful return to the region of Sleepy Hollow, is not more pitiful than Gretchen, who was the personification of the Vixen in womankind.
Women And The Franchise
Suffrage work was begun some forty years ago in Catskill, when a club was formed for the purpose of study, rather than of practical work. Speakers were brought to Catskill at that time Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, and Miss Harriet May Mills.
Four or five years ago Mrs. Joseph Malcolm was appointed Leader of Greene County, by the national American Woman Suffrage Association, but no active work was done at that time.
The next Suffrage meeting in Greene county was held, I think, at the home of Miss Margaret Bedell, on William street, in the Spring of 1910 or 1911, at which Mrs. Raymond Brown and another out-of-town Suffragist spoke.
In the Summer of 1911 Mrs. William Spencer Murray of New Haven, formerly Miss Ella Rush of Catskill, arranged and conducted a meeting at which she was the only speaker, at the Y. M. C. A. hall, It was a very well attended and the receipts were more than satisfactory.
In September Mrs. Florence Maule Cooley spoke at the home of Mrs. Linnell in Jefferson, to about thirty people. Inspired by Mrs. Cooley’s able talk, an informal club was organized, which met once or twice at the Heidleberg Inn as guest of Mrs. Beardsley. In the absence of Mrs. Malcolm Mrs. Linnell presided at these meetings.
In October Ms. Murray held another small meeting at her former home on William street, when she gave a very interesting account of Suffrage in England, and told some of her own experiences in London and elsewhere.
About the third of January “General” Rosalie Jones and her little army of Suffragists marched through Catskill on their way to petition the legislature to pass the bill permitting women to watch at the polls during the election when their enfranchisement or non-enfranchisement should be decided. Mrs. Rose Livingston, called the Angel of Chinatowns, who is not regularly a Suffrage worker, but a rescuer of young girls from the dives of Chinatown, told her own tragic, and unfortunately not singular, story to a crowd in front of the Court House, and awakened many to the necessity of Woman’s place in the regulation of these things.
On January 14, 1914, the newly formed club secured Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association as a speaker and arranged a meeting for her at the Y. M. C. A. Hall, which was well attended, and which more than cleared expenses. County Sealer Adin E. Ballou was chairman of this meeting, and the numbers of the Suffragists were greatly argumented afterward.
About the first of March, the National American Woman Suffrage Association sent Mrs. Frances Maule Bjorkman to Catskill to organize a formal club, this consisted primarily of the appointment of a chairman for each of the eleven districts into which, for the purpose of the campaign, New York State was divided. Mrs. Joseph Malcolm was appointed Leader for Greene county, and Mrs. Wardle, Miss S. Joseph, Mrs. E. Lasher, Mrs. John Salisbury, and Mrs. Linnell Captains.
A club, to be called the Equal Franchise League of Catskill was formed, with a constitution drawn up and duly signed at a meeting at which Mrs. Stuart Bentz was elected President, Mrs. Wardle Vice-President, Miss Emily F. Becker Treasurer, and Miss Antoinette Weed Secretary.
At a subsequent meeting Miss Gertrude Linnell was elected President and Miss Ione Schubert Treasurer. Regular monthly meetings have been held at the library on the last Friday of the month since that time, for the discussion of plans, and the arrangement of work.
On May the second, which was kept as Suffrage Day all through New York State, Catskill had an open air celebration at which the Rev. Mr. Hamm presided, and Miss Garrison and Mrs. Bjorkman spoke. A large collection was taken.
About this time Headquarters were established on Main street, next door to the express office, where a large amount of literature was on sale, and a fine window display of posters and Current Suffrage News was shown.
On June the 5th the Greene county Suffrage Convention was held in the Y. M. C. A. Hall, presided over by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance and Chairman of the Empire State Campaign Committee. At the evening meeting Mr. E. C. Hoemer, County Superintendent of Schools was Chairman, and made a warm address, which was followed by a Suffrage song rendered by the Eighth Grade Girl’s Chorus. Afterwards Miss Linnell read a description of some Suffrage lantern slides, and Mrs. Catt made the address of the evening. Mrs. Bjorkman followed Mrs. Catt with a short talk.
The following day, June the 6th, the Eastern New York State Suffrage Parade was held at Albany, and Catskill sent a delegation, headed by Master Nathan Bentz in a yellow and white Colonial costume, carrying a banner with the inscription, “Taxation Without Representation is Tyranny.”
A Suffrage Bridge and Tea Dansant for the benefit of the Equal Suffrage League was held a the Grant House on July 31, at which abut twenty dollars were cleared.
A booth, was secured at the Cairo Fair which was presided over by Mrs. Bjorkman, assisted by delegations from the Catskill and the Tannersville Suffrage clubs. A great number of people were reached in this way who had no idea of the meaning of the slogan, “Votes for Women!” Mrs. Francis Thurber of New York spoke on the second day.
A reception was held in honor of the Tannersville Equal Suffrage Club, on September 24, 1914, at the Heidelberg Inn, at which a large number of Suffragists turned out to welcome the ladies from Tannersville.
About the first of October Miss Edna Post was appointed Press Chairman for Greene county to succeed Miss Linnell, who had previously resigned from that post.
Another Report of Suffrage
In addition to the foregoing matter on the Suffragist movement we have received from Mrs. Joseph Malcolm a very interesting account, which we are giving in full. The Suffragist movement is showing great gains all over the country and it appears to be only a matter of a little time when the franchise will be extended to the women.
The Catskill Recorder of February 29th, 1884, contains the following, under the caption of Mrs. Blake’s lecture. The Mrs. Blake to whom the article refers probably was Lillie Devreux Blake and this as far as is known was the first work for Woman Suffrage in Greene county
“The world really does move and Woman Suffrage, a subject which but a few years ago was mentioned only to be ridiculed, is today exciting the interest and engaging the attention of men and women who can easily remember the time when they would have been ashamed to be detected countenancing the “woman’s rights” movement in any manner. Evidence of the change the public mind has undergone and is undergoing is furnished in the manner of the character of the audience that met Mrs. Blake on Monday evening. Instead of the Corporal’s Guard that formerly constituted the listeners when the occasion was the hearing of the story of woman’s wrongs and rights, was a houseful, for the most part people of intelligence and refinement, the seats of the court room were all occupied, men and women stood in the aisles during the entire lecture, and many person were turned away.
For an hour or two Mrs. Blake addressed her audience conversationally, speaking without notes and with no affectation of the rhetorical art of the stump speakers. She made number of telling points in the course of her argument and the minds of the many present had presented to them, we trust convincingly, the harsh injustice and the outrageous wrongs which man since the creation has complacently regarded the natural lot and portion of women.
The women who are engaged in this agitation for the sufferance do not desire to unsex themselves and their sisters. “We do not wish to be men” said Mrs. Blake, “God forbid!”
The leaders in this movement have been cruelly misrepresented and caricatured by would be wits: they are womanly women and thoroughly in earnest but not in the least ambitious to don the bifurcated garments of the sterner sex, or to assume any of the distinctive belonging or to upsurp any of the special rights pertaining to masculinity. They believe that the sphere of woman’s usefulness and her opportunities for self support should be enlarged. They believe that this can best be effected through the ballot, arguing that if woman had a vote she would be politically of much more consideration, and there is solid ground under the argument.
Mrs. Blake held the closet attention of her large audience throughout—not a person, not even one of those standing in the aisles, leaving the room till the lecture was over.”
About ten years after Mrs. Blake’s address the New York State Woman Suffrage Association began an active campaign in preparation for the constitutional convention, earnestly working to have the word “ male” dropped from the constitution.
In March, 1894, there was held in the old opera house of Catskill, a convention in charge of Harriet May Mills, at which Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Anna Shaw spoke. At that time there was no suffrage organization in the county but Greene county is reported as having sent a petition to the convention of 2,904 names, of these 2,085 were the names of men and 819 the names of women.
In the spring of 1895, the Political Equality Club of Catskill was organized, auxiliary to the State Association and for a period of four years paid dues to it. In the autumn of that years representatives from other towns in the county joined the club, which was then called the Greene County Political Equality Club. Mrs. Benjamin Wey, Mrs. Lizzie Fitch, Miss Fannie Wilcox, Ms. L. Beach, Mrs. Hazard, Mrs. Root, Miss Hattie Root, Miss E. G. Root, Mrs. W. B. Phillips, Mrs. F. C. Hall, Miss Georgiana Jackson, Ms. Anna B. Hill, Mrs. Charles Beardsley, Mrs. Robert Selden, Mrs. Richard Van Hoesen, Mrs. Joseph Malcolm of Catskill and Mrs. Wakely of Greenville, Mrs. Rufus King of Cairo and Mrs. McRay of Coxsackie formed the active membership.
The semi-monthly meetings were usually held in the parlors of the women belonging to the club or in the Presbyterian lecture room. Fiske’s Civil Government was studied and discussed and lectures by Miss Mills and other workers in the cause were of frequent occurrence. A petition was circulated about town and when a member of the club asked a well known citizen of Catskill to sign it, he exclaimed, “No indeed! I will not sign any such paper and in ten years time you women will be so ashamed of having put your names on it that you will want to hide your heads.”
Twenty years have passed by since then, and all of the members who are living are still keeping up the fight, and one at least of the members often proudly claims the honor of being a pioneer in the cause. After being in existence four years and after the failure of the constitutions convention to grant the request of the women of the state, the treasurer’s report of the Equality Club pathetically states, “There is no money in the treasury, so the club died December 31st, 1898.”
Until the time drew near for another convention to amend the State Constitution, very little interest was shown in Greene Co. An occasional talk by Miss Mills, who has always expressed a most hearty interest in this, one of the first fields of her life work, was the extent of the work of suffrage.
In the summer of 1912 the campaign work was begun by Mrs. Florence M. Cooley who talked to an interested gathering of representative women and a few men of Jefferson. Miss Rosalie Jones and Martha Klatschkeus, with others, on one of their automobile tours through the state, stopped and held a large, out-door mass meeting before the new court house. On the following day they appointed a leader for suffrage work in the county and a committee for campaign work in the election districts in the town. The following winter Dr. Anna Shaw gave one of her inimitable lectures in the Y. M. C. A. building and the Brotherhood of the Reformed Church challenged any two suffragists to meet two of the “brothers” in a debate on the subject. Mrs. Charles Wardle and Miss Gertrude Linnell bravely entered the contest. Although public speaking was an entirely new experience for them, the judges, Mrs. James P. Philip, the Rev. Mr. Tetley and Mr. Hocmer—declared the women winners by several points. The success of the debate started a demand for a permanent league, and the Equal Suffrage League of Catskill was organized.
The summer of 1914 was indeed a busy time for suffragists all through the state, and Catskill valiantly worked to do her part in spite of discouragements. Much literature was distributed, through the mails, at meetings, left at public places, and handed out to passers-by on the street.
A Sunday in May was named as a Woman’s Sunday and every minister of the gospel got a letter requesting him to urge women to work more earnestly for the betterment of women and children and especially wayward girls. In June a Greene County Suffrage Convention and school of methods was conducted by Mrs. Catt, chairman of the Empire State Campaign Committee. A very successful league was formed at Tannersville by Mrs. John Jay White, Mrs. Alexander and others cottagers at Onteora Park. They worked all through the mountain towns and had a booth at the Cairo Fair. Delegates from both leagues appeared before the Greene Co. Republican Convention at Tannersville, and Mrs. Raymond Brown, president of the State Woman Suffrage Association addressed the convention. The Catskill league sent delegates to the State Democratic and Republican Committees at Saratoga Springs. During the boarding season headquarters were opened on Main Street of Catskill and in the afternoon talks would be given and tea would be served. The Catskill Daily Mail, The Examiner, The Recorder and the Enterprise helped in every way.
Meetings were held in New Baltimore, Coxsackie, Leeds, West Catskill, Cairo and many other places.
If the enfranchisement of the
women of New York State is accomplished at the coming constitutional convention,
or if there is another twenty years work ahead of us, we are ready for the
future. We are better organized, have more money and more determination than
ever before. Every year teaches
women more politics, makes them better co-workers with men and women.
There has never in the world’s history been such a large, intelligent
and enthusiastic body of citizens ready and eager to give of their time and
their means for the battlement of their government. They are ready now for the
vote. The opponents of the cause
are the politicians with big money and little work, the grafters who fears
women’s well known economical use of money, and the white slavers who wish to
keep good women out of all public places.
A Grand Charity
In the northern end of the village of Catskill, at the corner of New and High streets stands the Home for Aged Women of Greene County. It is the house known to old residents as the Wellington House which later became the property of Hattie Cowles Cater from whom it was purchased on the 2d day of Nov. 1908, by the corporation above named.
The house is on high ground yet easy of access, and is well adapted to the purpose of the Home, and when the necessary alterations were made, and a new system of lighting and heating were installed it became a model dwelling for those whose active years are passed and who need and deserve care and attention in their declining years.
Our county is small, and not wealthy. It was thought by many, therefore, that the dream of a Home to be supported by voluntary gifts was an idle dream indeed. Yet in the latter part of 1907 a small but earnest band of men and women saw the vision, and the way to its fulfillment, and on the 13d day of July 1908, a certificate of incorporation was granted to the “Home of Aged Women in Greene County.”
In order to secure funds for the maintenance of the Home a committee was set to each of the fourteen towns in the county for the purpose of forming auxiliary boards, each to have its own officers, and each board to solicit contributions of a small but stated sum of money from individuals in the respective towns, pledged for three consecutive years. This plan met with a most hearty response and the result enabled the incorporators to proceed confidently with the work of establishing and furnishing the Home. Early in the year 1909 it was opened, and was quickly filled with those who had long since applied for admission. From that time until the present moment the list of applicants has been far in excess of the number that can be cared for. There has been from the first, general recognition that the Home has attained a worthy success in its efforts to meet a real and urgent need. This success is due to the wise and careful inception of the undertaking to legal advice freely given—to busy men and women who have laid aside their pressing duties to aid those less fortunate, and to the generosity of doctors, merchants, tradesman and farmers, none of whom has ever failed to respond to the call for help. A small but promising endowment fund had been started, and when that becomes large enough, the Home will be supported by its income. In the meantime it is largely dependent upon voluntary gifts.
The managers and directors look forward hopefully to the time when on this foundation of the year 1908 a Home of greater capacity may be established. Perhaps the next History of Greene County will record the erection of a Home of Aged Couples.
One of the foremost social organizations of Catskill and of Greene county as well, so far as the women are concerned, is the Monday Club.
This was organized in 1894 or 1895 and has represented the leading women of Catskill in social and literary effort.
The charter members were Mrs. Benjamin Wey, Mrs. Samuel Penfield, Miss Mary B. Penfield, Miss Sarah Beach, Miss Georgiana Jackson, Mrs. Adelaide Elting Harris, Mrs. E. E. Elliott, Mrs. F. H. Osborn, Mrs. A. L. Fitch, Miss Emily Becker. Seven of these are still members, and to that number as the years have passed has been added a large number. During the winter season each year a literary program is taken up and the interesting and instructive papers that have been written would form a great volume. Miss Mabel V. Root is president of the organization. The winter program comprised papers by Miss Root, Miss Gertrude Gardner, Mrs. Solloway, Miss Mary Hale, Mrs. S. H. root, Miss Elizabeth Chapman, Mrs. J. Lewis Malcolm, Miss Louise Driscoll, Mrs. E. E. Elliott, Miss Edith Root, Mrs. J. A. Dykstra, Mrs. F. H. Osborn, Mrs. G. P. Grout, Mrs. Benjamin Wey, Miss Charlotte DuBois, Miss Elizabeth Fitch, Miss Emily Becker, Miss Georgiana Jackson, Mrs. Clarence Howland, Miss Anna B. Phelps, Miss Sarah Beach.
Order Eastern Star
There are a number of other organizations in the county in which the women are at the head. They are successful in their work and without doubt fill an important place in the welfare of the county. In the absence of detailed information we give the facts of that are at hand. Probably the most flourishing in the Order of Eastern Star, and affiliation of the Masonic fraternity, with organizations at Catskill, Cairo, Oak Hill and Windham.
Catskill Chapter 293 was organized in August, 1903, with 21 members, and at present had over 100. The charter officers were: Mrs. Fannie C. Mott, worthy matron, Geo. F. Mott, worthy patron, Mrs. E. M. Post, assistant matron, Annie E. Banks, treasurer, Mrs. R. L. Horton, secretary, Gretta D. Thorpe, conductress, Victoria Hallenbeck, assistant conductress, William E. Thorpe, conductor, Miss Conklin, organist, Mrs. N. E. Hill, warden, Geo. N. Hill, sentinel, Esther Hallenbeck, Adah, Sarah J. Hill, Ruth, Elise Hansen, Martha, Mrs. M. E. Maguire, Electa.
The present officers are: Mrs. Alice P. Magee, worthy matron, Lewis R. Magee, worthy patron, Miss Mable G. Hill assistant matron, Mrs. Middie D. Haines, treasurer, Mrs. Emma S. Barnard, secretary, Mrs. Jennie A. Whitcomb, conductress, Miss Martha J. Ernest, associate conductress, Mrs. Fannie C. Mott, trustee for 3 years.
The New Year Club
One of the new organizations of 1915 was the New Years Club of Catskill. One thing appears certain and that is whatever their aims may be they are always up to date: Mrs. Geo. Egnor, president, Mrs. C. W. Overbaugh, vice-president, Mrs. H. R. Hinman, secretary, Mrs. L. K. Austin, treasurer.
Daughters of Rebekah-415 I. O. O. F.
The officers installed are as follows: P. N. G. Mrs. Rachel Smith, N.G. Mrs. Mabel Beare, V. G. Ms. Helen Bates, Sec Mrs. Sarah Hill, Treas. Mrs. Mary Caniff, R. S. N. G. Miss Antionette Bloom, L. S. N. G. Mrs. Alice Egnor, R. S. V. G. Miss Lena Conklin, L. S. V. G. Mrs. Ella VanDyke, Warden, Miss Josephine Castler, Conductress, Miss Eva Hardwick, Chaplin, Mrs. Winifred Travis, I. G. Mrs. Lena Delmater, O. G. Mrs. Kate Lampman, R. A. G. Miss Mildred Myers, L. A. G. Mrs. Jennie Hughes, Organist Miss Goldie Cuer, Degree Master, Mrs. Winifred Travis.
Ladies of The Maccabes No. 128
The officers of the Ladies of the Maccabes are:--Com., Mrs. Luella Brandow; Lieut. Com., Nancy Youmans; Past Com., Mrs. Elizabeth E. Klepser; Chap., Mrs. Mary Hammer; Record Keeper, Mrs. Mabel Hallenbeck; Lady-at-Arms, Hattie Carpenter; Finance Auditor, Ruth Carpenter; Sergeant, Mrs. Catharine Gehbauer; Sentinel, Mrs. Alice Egnor; Picker, Mrs. Chas. Cummings; Official Prompter, Mrs. Katharine Cummings; Musician, Agnes Youmans; Capt. of Guard, May Smith; 1st Color Bearer, Olive Smith, 2d Color Bearer, Hazel Carpenter.
Ladies Catholic Benevolent Association
The Ladies Catholic Benevolent
Association of St. Patrick’s church is a fraternal organization similar to the
Knights of Columbus, and has been doing a good work. It was organized in
Catskill about 1900, and has 50 members. The
Officers are: Mrs. P. D. Hitchcock, Pres., Mrs. Ellen Cooney, 1st
V.P., Mrs. Joseph Hoy 2d V.P., Mrs. Medard Pierre, P. Pres., Miss Mary Shade,
Treas., Miss Katharine O’Connor, Fin. Sec., Mrs. Mary Tynan, Rec., Miss
Catharine Quinn, Ass’t Rec., Mrs. Nora Hass, Guard, Mrs. Elizabeth Gaffney,
The Ladies Catholic Benevolent Association of St. Patrick’s church is a fraternal organization similar to the Knights of Columbus, and has been doing a good work. It was organized in Catskill about 1900, and has 50 members. The Officers are: Mrs. P. D. Hitchcock, Pres., Mrs. Ellen Cooney, 1st V.P., Mrs. Joseph Hoy 2d V.P., Mrs. Medard Pierre, P. Pres., Miss Mary Shade, Treas., Miss Katharine O’Connor, Fin. Sec., Mrs. Mary Tynan, Rec., Miss Catharine Quinn, Ass’t Rec., Mrs. Nora Hass, Guard, Mrs. Elizabeth Gaffney, Marshal.
Cairo has a chartered organization of Camp Fire Girls, starting off with eighteen members, and Mrs. Ira Tolley as Guardian.
Royalty at Leeds
One of the most sightly and imposing structures in the Catskill Mountains was completed last summer on the Potic Mountain near Leeds and overlooks the valley of Catskill. It is the property of two London women. The building has the appearance of one of the old Rhine castles. It was built under the direction of John Benn, a former member of Parliament of Greenwich, who has been conspicuous in the English navy, being a lieutenant commander. The Misses Benn are ladies of culture and their beautiful home is furnished with antiques representing the early English and continental orders.
Catskill has two fountains erected by women. The first one was the Frances Willard memorial fountain, erected by the W. C. T. U. of Catskill, in honor of the greatest of all temperance workers and orators, Miss Frances Willard, who at the head of the Women’s Christian Temperance work in the United States, and who helped to organize the Union in Greene county. The date of the organization is uncertain, but it was about 1880. the fountain is located on Main street, near the postoffice, and gets a supply of the best and purest water from the spring on the H. L. Boughton place.
The second fountain is located near the head of the Main street and was the gift of Mrs. H. L. Boughton who has always taken a great interest in Catskill. The water is form the spring on her place and a gift.
Before we leave the subject it would seem that further reference should be made to Madam Jane Dise, wife of John Dise, a major in the English army. He is said to have been a deserter, and that he fled from New York and came to Catskill around, 1762 with his wife, and to have secreted himself in a secret chamber in the old house when the British made a search for him. He was said to be very intemperate. Jane Dise was the child of Jacob Goelet of Albany and later of New York. She died in March 1799 and the grave once on the farm of Huybartus Du Bois at Cauterskill is now marked on the Du Bois plot, where F. N. Du Bois on the old farm has gathered together the Du Bois generations. A complete list of these generations will be found under the article in reference to F. N. Du Bois. The old house in which she lived was known as Dise Folly, and later as the Old Stone Jug. It was built of sand stone imported by a sloop form the quarries of Nyack. The picture of Jane Dise which we show was taken when she was about 16 years of age. Though beautifully dressed for the period in which she lived she was bare footed. John Dise is said to have built one of the first saw mills and grist mills at Gilboa. The date and place of his burial is not known.
John Dise to whom we have referred came to New York in 1743.
Some of The Old Dutch
Johan Wilhelm Brandow to whom several hundred families in Greene county trace was a Palantine and came to this country in 1710, settling on the Loveridge Patent. He had four sons and two daughters. Nicholas, who lived at Cauterskill, Johannis who settled at Athens, Frederick who settled at West Camp. Godfrey who settled at Athens, Ann Elizabeth settled at West Camp and married Peter Schumecher, Anna married Hannes Schermerhorn.
From the first generation of these children there were 51 descendents. All having raised large families. Nicholas 8, Anna 8, Frederick 8, Johannis 9, Godfrey 9, Elizabeth 9.
Then we got the Overbaughs, Schumakers, Lohmans, Vandenburghs, Defours, Welshs, Grooms, Coyns, Allens, Webbers, Ecklers, Lampmans, Bogarduses, Planks, Ostranders, Dedericks, Beckers, Hallenbeck, and a great many families of Brandows. Brandows in Catskill, Athens, Coxsackie, West Camp, Greenville, and all over the county. The great Brandow printing house in Albany is run by descendents of the Greene county family, and Sheriff I. W. Brandow traces to the same source.
Jan Wilhelm Dederick was also a Palantine and came to this country from Wurtenburg in 1710. He settled at West Camp, and the Dedericks rival the Brandows for generations, and are still in Catskill and various sections of the county. Jan had three children, but his daughter Maria married Heinrich Graat and had 10 children, his son married Eva Graat and had 9 children, Jurry William did not believe in unlucky number and had 13 children.
There were two families of the original stock of the Halenbecks, Casper Jacobus, 1654, but where they came form we have not learned. They settled in the town of Athens and have a host of descendents.
Abraham Person settled on the Loveridge Patent in 1733, and he had 11 children. Their generations remain and have greatly increased.
Sylvester Salisbury came from England in 1664. Their generations remain.
Herman Schunemann, Captain of the Palantines, came to this country from Hamburg, Germany in 1708, and his children found their way to Catskill: Martin Schunmann, Catherine, Hendrick, Wilhelmina, and Johannes. Johannes became the pastor of churches at Catskill and Coxsackie, and preached in them for over 40 years. Elsewhere we present a picture of the old parsonage, at Leeds occupied by him.
Martin Garretsen Van Bergen came from the New Netherlands in 1640, and located at Rensselaerwyck. He was a great man and a member of the Government’s Council. He was very wealthy and occupied a mansion on the west side of the Hudson. He had lands on the Catskill Patent. Coxsackie Patent and Corlarskill Patent. He was shot and killed by the Indians in 1696, while occupying the Van Rensselaer place. He had 12 children, and the Van Bergens remain a great family.
The Van Ordens came on the Loveridge patent in 1746, from Kingston. William Van Orden had 7 children. A great family and it would take many pages of this book to trace them. They are all about the county and state.
Dirk Tunisse Van Vechten was among the first settlers and he came to this country in 1636, settling at Greenbush. He came from Norway or Holland and had 12 children, and they prospered in every way.
Abraham and Catharine Schuyler had 15 children. Samuel and Sarah Overbaugh had 10. Nicholas and Maria Spoor had 10. Isaac and Sarah Collier had 10. Martje Van Vechten had two husbands and had 11 children. And 8 to 10 appears to have been the average family.
Frederick Nelson DuBois
The picture of the Du Bois Mansion and Portrait of Mr. Du Bois will be found in the front of the book.
Frederick Nelson Du Bois was born October 6, 1829, and was the son of John D. Du Bois to whom we have referred. He was born in Catskill, and learned the trade of a silversmith with his brother at Buffalo. In 1855 he moved to Chicago, and in 1862 was working in the gold mines in Colorado, having with him his wife and two children. He was foreman, builder and conductor of several mines, but lost everything when the works were destroyed by fire. In 1871 he went into business in New York.
Most wonderful has been the transformation during the past years on the property known as the Du Bois place owned by F. N. Du Bois well known to every resident of Catskill. The old homestead which was one of the early landmarks, near the mouth of the Catskill creek, has been rebuilt and changed into a place of great beauty. On the flats where formerly the tides swept a marsh field, a great sweeping terrace keeps out the floods and encloses a sunken garden, with flower beds, tennis court, driveways, etc. The frontage is securely docked and has fine boat house and an ice house, cold storage, and a very pretty cottage and barns. Under the trees in a quiet plot near the entrance to this place have been gathered by Mr. Du Bois in a well kept enclosure the generations of the Du Bois family.
The farm had been trimmed and garnished with all the beauty of skilled landscape men, and seems like a great park with its roadways and drives set with shrubs, cairns, statues, etc.
Topping the hillside at the East end of Grandview avenue is the sightly and beautiful mansion of Mr. Du Bois which overlooks the Hudson for many miles, and which catches the eye of all who pass up and down the river. This was built in 1898 by Edwin Lampman. It is furnished in keeping with the exterior, and shows much that is valuable and beautiful. One of the choice gems of his library is the costly and voluminous family history which covers several hundred pages and contains much early and valuable history and records.
Adjoining the mansion are the barns and farm buildings, bowling alleys, and the commodious homestead building occupied by Mr. T. J. Reilly, a nephew, the head farmer and his family.
The Du Bois place forms a part of the original patent to Mr. Loveridge, embracing about 6000 acres.
The Du Bois family has had a long and honorable record, See generations on another page.
Tracing down to the present owner F. N. Du Bois who on Tuesday, October 6th, 1914 celebrated his 85th birthday, he has occupied the place for the past 23 years and has become and integral part of Catskill history and society, and he has expended in improvements on the place probably $100,000. Clinging like an ivy vine to a sturdy oak, he has entwined his affections about the interests and life of Catskill. Whether it was a new and better water supply, village improvement, church extension and maintenance, schools or charity he has steadfastly stood at the front unassuming and unostentatious but always liberal and generous to a fault. It was his love for the young men of Catskill and the up building of the moral interests of the town that prompted him to turn over to Catskill $30,000 for a Y. M. C. A. building, which a credit to all, and a beautiful structure, complete and commodious adorns Main street. Nor has his giving since been other than bountiful for its maintenance.
It was his careful planning and energy that saved to the business life of Catskill the street railroad, into which he put a large sum of money on several occasions. First several years ago, and then again in 1914 when it went into the receiver’s hands. Under his plans maturing the creditors of the road will not lose a dollar.
Du Bois Cemetery
Generations of the Du Bois’s, interred in the Du Bois plot on the Du Bois Homestead, gathered from many points by Frederick N. Du Bois, of Catskill.
Joel Du Bois, born May 25, 1762, died April 29, 1844. (A Minute Man in the revolution.)
Cornelia, wife of Hybarius Du Bois, died August 25, 1795. Aged sixty-eight years.
Emily Ann, daughter of Isaac J. Du Bois, born January 10, 1817, died April 2, 1841.
Annaetje, daughter of Col. Cornelius Du Bois and Catharine Vanderpool, wife of Joel Du Bois, born Mar. 17, 1769, died May 11, 1846.
Edward B. Manning, died February 22, 1861, aged two months and nine days.
Joel Du Bois, born Nov. 6, 1803, died Nov. 3, 1890.
Sally J. Hunter, wife of Joel Du Bois, born Jan. 12, 1810, died April 17, 1858.
Marry Ann, daughter of Joel and Sally Jane Du Bois, born July 22, 1845, died Nov. 7, 1848.
Catherine Du Bois, wife of John Du Bois, died August 24, 1850, aged eight-five years.
Gitty Du Bois, died October 16, 1814, aged fifty-two years.
Caty Du Bois, died August 3, 1796, aged thirty-three years.
John Du Bois, born March 25th, 1760, died July 30, 1841, aged eight-one years.
Fennet Du Bois, died May 15, 1794, aged thirty-four years, four months and fourteen days.
Isaac Du Bois, died October 8, 1795, aged sixty-four years, four months and eight days.
Lanah Du Bois, died Feb. 25, 1795, aged sixty-four years, nine days.
James Du Bois, born March 17, 1786, died January 4, 1871.
Esther, child of Robert F. and Esther Story, died October 17, 1877, aged three years and two months.
Little Frank, aged one month and twenty-six days.
Esther Du Bois, wife of Robert F. Story, born August 28, 1833, died August 16, 1891.
Elizabeth Abeel, wife of N. Hunter Du Bois, died September 17, 1898, aged sixty-five years.
N. Hunter Du Bois, died October 13, 1892, aged sixty-four years.
Lewis Du Bois, born at Wigcres, near Lille, France, 1626. A Huguenot refuge to America. Settled at Esopus, now Kingston, N.Y., 1660. First Elder of French Reformed Church, New Paltz, 1663. Died at Kingston 1695.
Solomon, fifth son of Lewis Du Bois, born at Kingston, N. Y., 1669. Purchased land of about 900 acres of Catskill 1720. Died at New Paltz 1757.
Benjamin, second son of Solomon Du Bois, born at New Paltz, 1697. Settled upon his father’s land at Catskill in 1728 and made additional purchase of over 500 acres. Died at Catskill 1767.
This Table was placed in the Cemetery by F. N. Du Bois in June, 1907.
William, son of John D. and Rebecca Du Bois, died October 2, 1834, aged eighteen years, three months and twenty-four days.
John D. Du Bois, died June 3, 1845, aged sixty-one years, two months and thirteen days.
Rebecca Overbaugh, wife of John D. Du Bois, died March 14, 1869, aged eighty-two years.
Jane Dise, wife of John Dise, died March 5, 1799, aged seventy-eight years.
James Goelet, son of John Dies and Rebecca Du Bois, born July 2, 1818, died February 25, 1898.
Jane, wife of James G. Du Bois, died December 12, 1848, aged twenty-eight years.
Lewis Du Bois, born July 15, 1809, died May 23, 1876.
Elizabeth B., wife of Lewis Du Bois, born June 15, 1807, died May 5, 1864.
Lewis, son of Lewis and Reuhamay Du Bois, born February 15, 1870, died July 23, 1900.
Peter Schutt, born April 24, 1789, died December 28, 1863.
Rachel Rightmyer, wife of Peter Schutt, died August 18, 1870, aged eighty-two years and seven months.
The Cemetery is forty-four feet by eighty feet.
First interment was Mrs. Isaac Du Bois, 1793.
Capt. Jacob Dunham
Among the remarkable characters who have resided in Greene county, perhaps no man ever had a more exciting life than Captain Jacob Dunham, and if we had the space to tell fully his experiences it would be very interesting matter.
Captain Dunham was a sea going man and had experiences that read like creations of Mayne Reid. Living in the time when pirates sailed the seas and when the English war vessels were blockading the coasts of this country he encountered all the varied experiences that have made the foundations of marine fiction. Captured by the English war vessels on two occasions, and captured by pirates and by Indians, running the blockades successfully, and making no less than nineteen sea voyages, he finally died at battered piece of humanity in his home town Catskill, having lost every penny of his fortune.
He was a wonderful man and when
near the close of his life an effort was made to have the government compensate
him for the piratical robberies on the ocean that had taken his all, his
character was vouched for in a certificate that was signed by Thomas O’Hara
Croswell, postmaster of Catskill, Hon, Malbon Watson, Hon. John Adams, Caleb
Day, Orrin Day, Zadock Pratt, T. B. Cooke, Jacob Haight, Robert Dorlon, James
Power and other great men of Greene county.
He was a wonderful man and when near the close of his life an effort was made to have the government compensate him for the piratical robberies on the ocean that had taken his all, his character was vouched for in a certificate that was signed by Thomas O’Hara Croswell, postmaster of Catskill, Hon, Malbon Watson, Hon. John Adams, Caleb Day, Orrin Day, Zadock Pratt, T. B. Cooke, Jacob Haight, Robert Dorlon, James Power and other great men of Greene county.
Captain Dunham came to Catskill in 1785, with his father who was an officer in the American Navy during the Revolutionary war, and who followed the sea all his life.
In his book of voyages he says that at that time there were only seven houses in Catskill, and that his father purchased a half acre of ground where the Greene County Hotel now stands. This was on what is now the court house lot, as may be seen by reference to the map of the burned district in 1851, found on page 61 of this history.
In 1793 he was an apprentice in the office of the Catskill Packet, published by Mackey and Thomas Croswell, printers. He then went to Charlestown, S. C., where he was employed in a printing office, returning to Catskill in 1800. Then he went to boating on the Hudson. The back to the printing business.
He married Fannie Morgan of Catskill, 1801, made sea voyages to Charleston, Savannah and to St. Croix.
The he was fourth owner of a packet sloop with T. B. and A. Cooke between Catskill and New York and he made money.
In 1813 however he purchased the sea going sloop, Rover, a condemned vessel in New York, which had broken timbers, no top mast and rotten planks covered with leather patches to keep out the sea water.
Into the tub he put 500 barrels of flour and 70 barrels of bread and ran the English blockade to Providence. He loaded with lumber and started to return. At Stonington he was taken by three war ships and after being allowed to go on shore and raise $100 as ransom he was permitted to sail back to New York, the English captain having taken pity on him. Not only that but he was given a passport for another trip. This stood him in good when a few weeks later the same man of war captured him again.
Later on after having made a lot of money he sold the Rover for $450, the boat having cost him $125. And the boat went to pieces at once.
He then had a half interest in the Sloop New York with the Cookes of Catskill, and took a cargo of potatoes, onions, salt, cheese, ropes, etc. from Catskill to Norfolk, VA., and while he reached Norfolk all right after a rough experience, the boat was captured by a man of war, the Sophia 20 guns, and the Acton 16 guns. The capture of Captain Turner of the American brig commander put them in good spirits and Capt. Dunham and his men were put ashore and returned to Catskill.
Then he took charge of the Cyngus of New York and made a trip to Bermuda and Turks Island for salt. At Musquite Island they fell in with a privateer named Capt. Mitchell, and with him made an attack on Gov. Gonzaloes at St. Andrea’s island. They captured the governor and Mitchell caused him to be hanged from a yard arm. Captain Mitchell at that time boasted that he had killed 100 Spaniards with his own hands, because of ill treatment they had given him.
Dunham after having made a very successful trade at St. Andrea’s was captured by the Indians and lost his ship. It was a long time before he found his way back to Jamaica.
In February 1817 he took charge of the sloop Governor Tompkins and again sailed for Old Providence. This trip was a success.
In 1821 he was again in partnership with Apollos Cooke of Catskill and sailed the Combine, was captured by Portuguese pirates who robbed them of everything, beat them and finally set them adrift.
The last voyage made by him was in 1842 in the sloop First Counsel, but this boat sunk, while at anchor near Pokeepsie, and after being raised, the wreckers charge not being met the sloop was seized and sold for less than the charge.
Famous Wooden Bridges
The old bridge at Catskill was authorized to be built in 1801, by an act of the legislature, and was 550 feet in length, and 20 feet in width. It was a wooden structure, and a portion of the footpath was covered. The red store of Jacob Bogardus, now occupied by Grocer Fred Woolhiser, was on one side, and the residence of Terrance Donnelly on the other. Dr. Porter, of the Presbyterian Church, officiated at the opening of the bridge. There was a draw on the side next to the Raynor elevator, which swung on a pivot, or hinge. Foot passangers were required to pay 3 cents, and teams from 25 to 31 cents. It was torn down in 1881, and for a year the crossing was made on oil barrels, which formed a pontoon bridge. Hiram Van Steenburgh built this strange pontoon bridge. The new iron bridge was completed in 1882, and cost $52,000.
The upper iron bridge was built in 1869, and cost $22,500. This bridge was finally condemned, and the structure dynamited to make room for the $40,000 concrete bridge.
Judge Chase has some of the old bridge tickets in his possession. One of these reads, “Catskill Bridge Company. This will pass two-horse wagon one way, 25 cents.”
The Post Family
While we are dealing with the early residents of the river section of Greene county, there are none that have figured more favorably, than the Posts. Just when they came to this country we cannot say, and all that we know is that Abram Post settled in the Embocght about 1800, and was the father of Abram Post who was born in Catskill in 1808. Abram Post, father of Charles A. Post occupied the farm in the Embocght and was a model farmer in every way.
The Post homestead is situated about 4 miles south of Catskill and had been in their possession over 100 years, when Charles A. Post consented to the taking over of the property for the great million dollar cement plant at Alsen. He moved to the old historical Story farm which he purchased of Robert F. Story, and has lived there ever since. The old homestead farmhouse is occupied by the cement people.
Steady going, honest and honorable in every way the Posts have forges to the front and written nobly on the historical fabric of the county.
Ex-Sheriff Charles A. Post, many times supervisor of Catskill was born on the old farm in 1837. He was married April 7, 1859 to Hannah Winans, who passed away Sept. 19, 1914. They had 6 children, Mary M., who is dead, Edith P. who married Wm. G. Trumpbour, Annette, Charles E., Willis W. and Abram, the last named being the sheriff of Greene county and also under sheriff under Hardy Stewart, his father-in-law and also under his father.
It is interesting to note that during the life of Abram Post father of Charles A. Post, on the night of October 17, 1873, at the old homestead occurred the great robbery that filled the news columns of the press of that period. It was one of the boldest robberies of the period. Mr. Post and his wife, and Edward Post and Sarah Post were at home, and they were the victims of the masked men, 6 in number who bound them and proceeded to take $400 in bonds, a check of $1200 and $440 in cash, and departed. Detectives trailed them for some time and finally after the gang had robbed a family named Ford in Connecticut, another named Sutton on Staten Island and Judge Emmett at White Plains, the gang was located in a house on Canal Street, New York City which they had made their rendezvous. They watched them by the aid of glasses for some time, and finally made a descent in which the robbers were rounded up at the point of the revolver. They were convicted and sentenced to long terms in prison. Most of the property taken from the Posts was recovered.
Mr. Post is one of the few men who have been said to have carried the vote of Greene county in his pocket. And all of this was because of his personal magnetism, generous and whole souled nature. If “Charlie Post”—always unassuming and retiring, modest to a fault—could be prevailed upon to become a candidate for office his election was only a question of how big his friends would make the majority, and the fact that the town was politically against him made not the slightest difference. As supervisor of the town of Catskill he gained the distinction of being the friend of all and the town profited immensely by his being at the helm. He would have been continued as sheriff indefinitely had the law permitted. In fact he could have had most any office within the gift of his party had he desired it.
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