The Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds
History

 in the town of Catskill, Greene County, N. Y.

 Transcribed by The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society
 Edited by Royden Woodward Vosburgh
New York City,
February 1920


Copy of this transcription located at the New York State Library in Albany by Sylvia Hasenkopf and retranscribed by Arlene Goldwin


INTRODUCTION:   Reorganization of the Old Catskill Congregation, pages   106 – 109

THE PRESENT CHURCH EDIFICE AT LEEDS.  
   
Building Operations, 1816 to 1818. 
    Deed for Land, 1816.  
    Expense of Building. Pew Leases, 1818
   
Repairs in 1852.  Pew Owners Tax List, 1852.  
    The Female Benevolent Association, 1853 to 1856.  
    Alterations in 1855.  
   
Trouble with old Pew Owners. 
    Music in the Church.                                                                                    pages    109 – 116 

THE FIRST PARSONAGE OF THE LEEDS CHURCH, Mar. 21, 1853      page             - 117  

THE SECOND PARSONAGE, 1852 to 1890                                                  pages    117 – 121
Consolidated Report of the Building Committee, Mar. 21, 1853                page            - 120

THE SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH AT KISKATOM,  1842                 pages   121 – 122

Articles of Incorporation                                                                                    pages   122 – 124

ABSTRACT OF LAND TITLES
    Map of the Land Belonging to the Catskill Church                                    page           - 123 
    THE SITE OF THE FIRST CHURCH AND FIRST PARSONAGE            pages   124 – 128
    THE SALISBURY DEED OF GIFT                                                                 pages   128 – 131
    Map of the Parsonage Land at Leeds                                                            page            - 130
    THE PARSONAGE LAND AT LEEDS,  1833                                               pages  131 – 132
    THE PRESENT PARSONAGE LAND,  1852                                                 page          - 133

PASTORS OF THE CHURCH
1.   John Cannon Van Liew, 1833 to 1834                                                           pages  133 – 134
2.   Brogun Hoff, 1835 to 1842                                                                              page           - 134
3.   James Romeyn,   1842 to 1844                                                                        pages  134 – 136
     William Knight, 1845                                                                                       page           - 137
4.   William Rowland Spalding Betts,  1845 to 1850                                         page           - 137
5.   John Minor, 1851 to 1857                                                                                 page           - 138
6.   Samuel Tomb Searle,  1857 to 1869                                                               pages  138 – 139
7.  Benjamin Van Zandt,  1859 to 1878                                                                page           - 139
8.  Charles Wiltshire Wood,  1878 to 1879                                                          page           - 139
9.  Cornelius Peterson Ditmars,  1879 to 1883                                                    page          - 139
10.  Elbert Navius Sebring,  1884 to 1889                                                            page          - 140

PASTORS OF THE REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH OF KISKATOM,  1842 TO 1889                                                                                                                            page          -140

Description of Church Records                                                                              page        - 141

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

 

I know of no better opening to the history of this church than to copy what was written on the first page of the minutes of the Consistory, by the Rev. John Cannon Van Liew:

“It will appear by a reference to the book of minutes of the Consistory of the Reformed Dutch Church of Catskill, deposited among the archives of this Church, *(This book is not in possession of the First Reformed Church of Catskill.) that this church which has now assumed the title of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds and Kiskatom, together with the church located in the village of Catskill, was formerly known and distinguished by the style and title of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Catskill; and that the Mother Church was located in the village of Leeds, which was originally old Catskill.  And it will further appear that the said Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Catskill, by the blessing of Almighty God, increased to such an extent in numbers and territory that the field of labor became to extensive for one Pastor and a division of the church, or rather a dissolution and new organization was deemed expedient; and that having taken the necessary measures to effect that object, it was sanctioned by the Rev. Classis of Rensselaer, and this Church having one building in the village of Leeds and another in Kiskatom, thought it expedient to relinquish their old title and to assume that of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds and Kiskatom.

On Dec. 3, 1832, the Consistory of Old Catskill appointed a committee to consider and report a plan for dividing the congregation. On Jan. 14, 1833, the committee recommended an entire new organization, instead of a division; and that the details of the separation of the old congregation be arranged by a Committee of Reference, composed of three members from neighboring congregations, who could act as disinterested parties.  On Jan. 21, 1833 the Great Consistory and the Congregation held separate meetings, approved the plan of separation and agreed to abide by the decision of the Committee of Reference.

The committee consisted of Samuel Wells, of Saugerties; G. W. Sager, of Athens; and Anthony M. Van Bergen, of Coxsackie.  The committee met on Jan. 29, 1833, and heard the statements of representatives from each section of the old congregation: vis, Catskill Landing, Madison (now Leeds) and Kiskatom. The

Page 107

excellent financial statements rendered on that occasion are so clear as to require no comment:    they follow.

#Schedule of debts due to and from the whole Reformed Dutch Congregation of Catskill as their Joint property & liabilities, as follows:

Due From

By Mortgage on their houses in Catskill Village, incurred for building that house                                                                                                                               1610.00

 On account of building their house at Kiskatom                                                      312.00

 On act. of Revd. I. N. Wyckoff’s Salary                                                                       980.07

 Bal. due A. Van Vechten, Trear. as per act                                                                   15.51

                                                                                                                                         $2926.58

 Due To

Sundry notes in the hands of A. Van Vechten Trear. & balances on pews sold                                                                                                                                    141.00

 Sundry small notes taken for rent of pews, most of which not collectable                                                                                                                           56.37

 Sundry notes taken for pew rent which are applicable to the payment  of Interest of Mortgage above referred to first, and remainder to pay Mr. Van Lew, on act. of salary                                                                                                                                 209.12

 Due on contract for the sale of the parsonage property,                                        1400.00

       Catskill, Jany. 26th 1833

                                                       [signed]  A. Van Vechten, Trear.

 # Cost of Catskill, Madison & Kiskatom Churches and by whom paid, 29 Jan 1833.

                    Catskill Congregation   To Consistory of R. D. Church                      Dr.

 1829, Jany. 1   To a Church built at Catskill & costs                                            $8226.59 

 By cash paid  in Catskill bounds                                                     $5495.76

 Cash paid to Madison church by Catskill people                           1925.35

 Cash paid to Kiskatom Church by Catskill people                          275.00

 Cash rec’d. from Rent of Pews & paid out for
 
Making fence & c.                                                                                   316.40

                                                                                                                                       8012.50   

                                                                                                                                         214.09

 This document continued on next page.

Note: Documents marked # are now in possession of the First Reformed Church of Catskill.

# Madison & Kiskatom Congregation

                            To Consistory of R. D. Church                                             Dr.

1818.  Jany. 1    to a Church built at Madison &  cost                              $6601.00
1832.  to Church built at Kiskatom                                                              1521.00  
   
                                                                                                                       8122.00

                                                                                                 Cr.

By Cash paid to Madison Church by Kiskatom’s
    
& Madison people,                                                     $4675.65

Cash paid to Catskill Church by Kiskatom &
 
Madison people                                                                  984.25

Cash paid to Kiskatom Church by Kiskatom &
 
Madison people                                                                 950.00

                                                                                                                          6609.90
                                                                                                                          
1512.10

 Report of Committee of Reference

“At a meeting of the Committee of Reference appointed by the Consistory of the Reformed Dutch Church of Catskill on the subject of division held at the Village of Leeds the 29th day of January 1833 pursuant of a resolution of Consistory and Congregation,  whereupon Samuel Wells was appointed Chairman and Garrett W. Sagar Appointed Secretary.

“The Committee of Reference beg leave to state after having duly examined the different lines of division between the two Churches, that they have agreed that the division line between the Congregation of Leeds and Kiskatom and the congregation of the Village of Catskill Church shall begin where the Athens Town line strikes the CaleBergh and running from thence southerly so as to strike east of Abner Austin’s and west of Sausers to the Junction of the Catskill Creek and Cauterskill Creek, then up the said Cauterskill as far as the two Congregations extends, shall be the division line.

The Committee beg leave to state further that they have agreed that the Catskill Church and congregation shall have and hold their Church with all the estate and benefits arising therefrom and that they shall pay their own debts occurred in building the said Church and likewise that the Catskill Church shall pay the one half of the Revd. I. N. Wyckoff’s back salary.

The Committee  have further agreed that the Leeds Church and Kiskatom Church shall pay the remainder of the debt incurred in building the Kiskatom church and shall pay the one undivided half of the back salary of the Revd. I. N. Wyckoff and it is further agreed that the Parsonage Lotts or the avails thereof hereafter shall belong to the Leeds & Kiskatom Churches; we the Committee of Reference  would further recommend as far as our authority extends that all the back salary of the Revd. Mr. Van Liew shall be paid by the Leeds, Kiskatom and Catskill Churches; all of which we the said Committee would respectfully submit; give under our hands and seals this 30th day of January, 1833.

[signed]           Samuel Wells                     (L. S.)
                         
G. W. Sager                         (L. S.)                                                           
                         
Anthony M. Van Bergen   (L. S)                                                                                                                          
“We the undersigned two of the Referees in the Division between the Churches of Catskill and Leeds & Kiskatom in Jany. 1833 did award to the Church of Leeds and Kiskatom the Parsonage near the Village of Leeds, the meaning and intention was to award said Parsonage to the Mother Church as it was claimed only by that part of the church,  Kiskatom not making any claims at that time did sanction the Said Claim by the Committee on the part of the Mother Church of Leeds.”

[signed]          Anthony M. Van Bergen
                         
G. W. Sager

 Page 109

 In March 1833, at an extra meeting of the Classis of Rensselaer, the acts of the Consistory, Great Consistory and Congregation were confirmed and the organization of the two new congregations were authorized, according to the terms of the report of the Committee of Reference; of Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Catskill, N. Y.  Genealogical and Biographical Society copy, page 236.  The proceedings of Classis were reported to the Consistory, at their meeting on Mar. 9, 1833, and arrangements were made to effect the new organizations and install the Consistories on Sunday, March 17, 1833.    Whereupon:

 “After prayer, that the blessing of God might rest on our arrangements for division now so happily brought to a close, & attend both the churches in their separate capacity & each of the beloved brethren in all their ways the Consistory adjourned sine die.” 

THE PRESENT CHURCH EDIFICE AT LEEDS.

 The history of this edifice begins in the year 1814, in the minutes of the Consistory of the old Catskill congregation; of. Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Catskill, N. Y.  G. & B. society copy, page v.

The first actual steps taken in the erection, were on the occasion of a stone drawing bee, on March 20, 1816.  The first item on the account of the Building Committee of the Stone Church with Martin O. Schuneman & Co., reads as follows:

#1816.  March 20th, at Bee:

                     1            Gln.  Gin                         12/        20:   12:       0         
                    
2  ½       Gln.s Rum                      12/          1:   10:       0
                    
2  ½       lb.  Crackers                    1/                  2:        6
                   
14           lb.  Bread              a         6d                  7:        0
                     
3 ½       lb.  Cheese                       ½                   4:        0
                      
2           lb.  Butter              a         2/                  4:        0
                    
23 ½      lb.  Ham                          1/3          1:    9:        5
                    
13          lb.  Beef                            9d                  9:        9
     
pd J. Moodin & J. Newkerk for Stone Broke           3:  12:       0 
                                                                                           
28:  10:       8

 There was a second Bee, at which the following refreshments were consumed:

 1816.   May 8  
                    
8 ¼        lb. Pork                          10d            20:    7:   11
                  
28 ¼        lb. Ham                          1/3              1:   15:    4
                   
28 ¾        lb. Bread                         6d              13:    4
                                  
Gin 5/6  Rum  20/                            1:     5:    6
                  
25            lb. Veal                      a    7d              14:    7
                                  
Bol. Cyder                                           1:    10:  0
                   
9 ¼         lb.  Pork                           ½               10:    7___
                                                                                                  
5:   17:  

The account of M. G. Schuneman & Co., for building material, labor, teaming, etc., runs from April 1816 to January 1817. The largest items are:  $127.50, to John Mondin for breaking stone and teaming 340 loads of stone; John Collier, board, $50.25, and work, $257.75; and Dillon & Mackey, $616.00. The total of the account

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 with interest to Jan. 1, 1818, after deducting $76.71 credits, was $2215.85.  besides extending credit to the building Committee to enable the erection of the church, Martin G. Schuneman also gave the land.  An abstract of the deed follows:

# Warranty Deed, dated May 9, 1816.  Martin G. Schuneman to the Ministers, Elders and Deacons of the reformed protestant Dutch Church of Catskill: consideration, fifty cents. Conveys land in the village of Madison, bounded as follows:  “Beginning on the Susquehannah Turnpike Road about twelve feet East of the building now erecting on the said piece of land for a church, thence at a distance of twelve feet from the East wall of the said building and parallel with the same to Athens Turnpike Road, thence westerly along the Athens Turnpike Road to land of Wessel Salisbury and near the Junction of the Athens and Susquehannah Turnpike Roads, and thence Easterly along the Susquehannah Turnpike road to the place of beginning.”  Acknowledged, June 11, 1816; recorded, Mar. 8, 1822, in book F, of deeds, pages 31 and 32;

Martin G. Schuneman, who was also the Treasurer of the church appears to have financed the building operations, until he could go no further. The church was roofed and the walls finished on the outside, in the summer of 1816, but financial difficulties prevented its completion for two years.  A vague reference to these troubles is found in an unsigned remonstrance addressed to the Consistory, against vacating the rights of the holders of the pew leases, which took place about the year 1855.

On April 15, 1818, the Consistory resolved:

“That we will expose to sale, by a prospectus, the seats to be made on the ground floor of the new stone church in Madison, on Monday 27 April  10 o’clock A.  M.”

The minutes of the Consistory at this period are incomplete and the minutes of a Congregational meeting held at about this time are lost.  On Apr. 27, 1818, the Building Committee and the Treasurer resigned their powers in favor of the Consistory.  It was resolved that the pews be leased for 999 years,  “on conditions of sale before agreed upon.”  This action was taken because  “doubts exists, whether the consistory possess the power to sell the pews in the New Church.”  The first service was held in the church, while the interior was still in an unfinished state; it was a Fourth of July celebration, the Rev. Isaac N. Wyckoff being the orator of the day.  On June 22, 1818, the Consistory resolved to apply the interior furniture of old church to building the new fixtures.

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A bill to the Consistory in account with H. & J. P. Whittlesey, shown items for hardware and painting materials, extending from June 24, to Oct. 23, 1818, amounting to $107.80, (e. & c. o.):  besides an unpaid account from Aug. 21, to Nov. 1, 1816, amounting to $73.45.

It would therefore appear from these incomplete details, that the Building Committee were unable to finish the church; that they resigned in the spring of 1818; that the pews, (not then built) were sold to raise funds to build them; that they were sold in perpetuity, subject to an annual rental; that material from the interior of the old church was used in building the pews; and that the new stone church was finally finished in the month of November, 1818.  Extracts from on of the pew leases follow:

Indenture; dated Nov. 1, 1818:  between the Consistory of the Reformed Dutch Church of Catskill and Isaac J. Dubois………..in consideration of the rent and covenants to be paid and preformed………………  do demise and let………forever, subject to the rent of $1.88 a year, ………….. for and during the term or terms a settled Minister shall perform divine service in said Church.  This rent to be deducted from subscription for the annual support of said Minister; if rent remains unpaid after demand, the lease to be forfeited to the church.

The treasurer’s report on Feb. 10, 1819 shows the following balances:

                   “Whole expense of the church building,                         $4498.31
                   
Amount of credit for seats sold  &c.                                  3806.89
   
      Leaving a balance of debt for which no provision is made        689.42”

My understanding of this report is, that the word “credit” was used because the seats were sold on notes; and the items of $3806.89 was the total amount of the notes, paid and unpaid.  The debt on the church was a source of pressing embarrassment  to the Consistory for four or five years thereafter.  Even as late as the year 1829, there had been no final settlement of the accounts of Martin G. Schuneman & Co.  Martin G. Schuneman had died Feb. 21, 1827, leaving the account unsettled.  On Oct. 5, 1829, a committee was appointed to obtain a receipt in full from M. G. Schuneman & Co.  In order to reconcile the cost of the Leeds church, as reported at the separation of the old congregation, at $6601.00, it would appear that the account of M. G. Schuneman & co. was never paid in full, but was settled for about $2100.00.

In August 1831, a committee was appointed to have stone steps  erected before each door of the church; a contract was 1st to Jacob Frear and Jno. Henry Demarest.  When the work was finished the committee could not accept it and a  year later they sued for payment. 

In the spring of 1852 a Building Committee was appointed to repair the

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Church and build a new parsonage.  The repairs to the church were made in July.

“Resolved that the sum of $767, be apportioned as a tax on the Pew-holders and that  the persons living out of the Bounds of the congregation be requested to pay the assessment or release their Pews & Slips to the Consistory.

Resolved that John Van Vechten & Isaac Plank be a committee to make the apportionment & call on the Persons to pay said Tax or release said Slips or Pews.”

The report of the Building Committee shows that $766.81 was expended for a new roof and rebuilding the steeple.  The tax of $767.00 was apportioned, but it is doubtful if much of the amount was collected, because early in 1853, the ladies of the congregation assumed the debt for building the new steeple.  A copy of the appraisal list follows, with names of the original Leases:

List of Pew Owners in the Stone Church at Leeds and amount taxed on same for repairs to said Church  done in July 1852 

No.

Owner’s Names

Val’n

Portion

1

M. G. Schuneman

$175

24.06

2

I. & J. Dubois

175

24.05

3

M. G. Schuneman

180

24.75

4

Abr. A. Salisbury

180

24.75

5

John Rouse

200

27.50

6

Wm. Schuneman

200

27.50

7

John Schuneman

200

27.50

8

J. Winne & E. Blackmer

200

27.50

9

Wm. Salisbury

200

27.50

10

Van Bergen & Schuneman

200

27.50

11

H. Dewey

200

27.50

12

J. P. Newkerk

200

27.50

13

J. F. Sax, Frederick & Jac. Overbagh

180

24.75

14

Wm. Vedder

180

24.75

15

----------  ----------

175

24.06

16

Van Orden & Mesick

175

24.06

17

----------  ----------

125

17.18

18

----------  ----------

125

17.18

19

Slips

 

 

20

Slips

 

 

21

*G. B. Sager

50

5.87

22

Michael Plank

50

6.87

23

Jacob M. Plank

55

7.55

24

Charles Crapser

55

7.55

25

William Plank

60

8.25

26

John Van Vechten

60

8.25

27

A. Abeel & A. A. Abeel

65

893

28

C. Benham

65

8.93

29

Wm. Fowks

70

9.62

30

----------  ------------

70

9.62

31

John Vedder

75

10.31

32

----------  ------------

75

10.31

33

Harmon Vedder

80

11.00

34

Peter Souser

80

11.00

35

*John Fiero  ½

85

11.68

36

Joseph Sax

85

11.68

37

William Brandow

90

12.37

38

*John A. Overbagh

90

12.37

39

John Rouse Jr.

95

13.06

40

* J. Fiero  1/3

95

13.06

41

P. P. Sax * J. Remsen

90

13.75

42

James Van Deusen

100

13.75

43

James W. Elting

100

13.75

 

* B. S. Elting

 

 

44

Wessel Salisbury

100

13.75

45

Caleb Rogers

100

13.75

46

Frederick Smith

100

13.75

47

--------  --------

90

12.37

48

--------  --------

90

12.37

51

--------  --------

80

11.68

52

--------  --------

80

11.68

                                                                                             2060   
                                                                                           
 3600
                                                                                             5660

Note: The names marked with asterick are written in Lead pencil.  The totals are not extended in the original document.

Page 113

In August 1852, a committee was appointed to obtain releases from the pew owners in order to have the pews altered into slips.  At the meeting of the Consistory on Jan. 7, 1853, it was resolved that  the pews and slips be sold.  But as some of the original lessees still refused to release their rights to the church, the sale was postponed until the first of February, when some of the pews were sold at auction, under rentals to May first.  It does not appear however that the sale was effective, and the objectors succeeded in delaying the interior repairs to the church until the summer of 1855, when the undertaking was finally accomplished with the aid of the Ladies Benevolent Association.

At a meeting of the Female Benevolent Association of Leeds (composed of the ladies of the congregation), held on Jan. 6, 1853, the following resolution was passed, by a vote of 18 to 15:

“Resolved That we, the Ladies of this Association propose to the Consistory that we assume the debt of the steeple ($400.) principle & interest, to be paid in 2 years, provided that they [the Consistory] within the same space of time liquidate the remaining part of the debt on the Church & Parsonage, with the understanding that after the removal of the entire debt, the Consistory shall co-operate with us in reseating  the church..”

At the meeting on Jan. 10, 1853, the Consistory passed the following:

“Resolved that we duly appreciate the generous offer of the Ladies and that we will endeavor to comply with the conditions of their worthy proposal and thereby secure their official Co-operation in the liquidation of our Debt to the extent contemplated in their resolution: after which we hope to be no less zealous than they in completing the inside repairs of the our church.”

On Mar. 21, 1853, at a meeting of the Consistory, the Treasurer’s report submitted, showed that “the Building Committee have paid out for repairs to the Church and rebuilding the Steeple, $766.81”.  During the next eighteen months the ladies of the Benevolent Association left no stone unturned to carry out their part of the bargain, as the minutes of their meetings will show. They held numerous quilting bees and festivals and took steps to invest at interest, the cast proceeds of their entertainments.  On July 4, 1853, a Fair was held at the house and grounds of Mrs. Jane M. Vedder, in August, there was a Picnic on the grounds of Mr. Wm. Van Hoesen. On July 4, 1854, a  Fair was held on the grounds of Mr. Wm. Van Hoesen, the Rev. Dr. Isaac N. Wyckoff, of Albany, was the

Page 114

Orator of the day; the receipts amounted to $208.

On Dec. 16, 1854, the Consistory and the Association both assembled in separate meetings at the parsonage.  The Consistory sent down to the Association the following resolution, which is copied from the minutes of the Association:

“Resolved that the Ladies be requested to give all their surplus funds towards the payment of the debt.  On a vote being taken by the Association the request of the Consistory was negatived. After which a Committee of Ladies was appointed to confer with the Consistory.  They did so & after their return to the Association, the following Resolution was passed by a majority  of the members present, the majority of the Ladies (though opposed to the resolution written by  Mrs. Minor) did not vote.  Resolved that the Association will give all their funds towards paying the debt if the Consistory will agree to repair the inside of the Church the coming Spring; the Ladies engaged to be at 2/5 of the expense. “

The foregoing  proceedings are reported in the minutes of the Consistory, as follows:

“Resolved, That the Clerk of Consistory ask the Ladies of the Benevolent Association to give the consistory all their surplus funds, for the purpose of liquidating the church debt; whereupon the ladies sent in the following resolution, viz.

 Resolved, by the Ladies, That we give the consistory  the whole amount of funds on hand, provided that in the Spring they will proceed to the repairs of the inside of the church, we assuming two fifths (2/5) of the whole expense incurred in such repairs.  Signed E. C. Van Deusen, Sec.        Further

 Resolved, That the above resolution of the Ladies be accepted provided we have the legal power, whereupon a committee consisting of the Elders Rouse, Van Deusen & Philip was appointed to ascertain whether consistory have the power by law to introduce the contemplated repairs.

 The Ladies then paid over to the Treasurer of Consistory their surplus funds amounting to 553.73 Dollars.”

 Having thus surrendered their resources to the last cent, the Ladies at once renewed their indefatigable efforts to provide funds to most their new obligations. In February 1856, an entertainment was given at the house of Mr. Cornelius Rouse, which yielded $21.00.  On May 31st, at an entertainment at

 Page 115

 the house of Mrs. Henry Vedder, $20.78, was received.  Suitable exercises were held on the morning of July 4th, after which the Association adjourned to the house of Mr. Wm. R. Dingman for dinner, where during the afternoon and evening a Fair was held; the avails of the Fair amounted to about $150.00.  And so on, up to March 20,1856, when the minutes that have been preserved, of this useful and energetic Association come to an end.

 At the meeting of the Consistory held on Apr. 27, 1855, the “Committee on legal rights to repair church reported, that if repairs are necessary to promoter the interests of the congregation, no pew holder can harm us, and hence it is our privilege to go forward.”  A committee was then appointed to take the necessary steps to repair the interior of the church. In his address, on Feb. 25, 1882, the Rev. C. P. Ditmars describes the repairs as follows:

 *The eastern staircase [to the gallery] was removed, making room for a wood or coal closet in the hall. The galleries were leveled and the seats turned into squares for the convenience of the Sunday school. The large wooden pillars beneath the galleries were taken away and the present  iron arches substituted in their place. The old-fashioned pulpit was cut down to suit the more modern tastes of the people.  The old-fashioned pews were turned into slips as at present.  The church was newly carpeted throughout.”  (*ref: Of History of Reformed Church of Catskill, (Photostat Articles), page 8)

Besides the foregoing repairs, the seats in the slips were cushioned, the work on the cushions being performed by the Ladies Benevolent Association. Air holes were broken in the outside walls, under the floor, stoves were put in the south end of the church and the chimneys were altered, The funds for the repair bills were borrowed from the Catskill Bank, in the following amounts: Sept. 27th, $750.00; Nov. 30th, $460.00; and $102.00, at the same time; total, $1322.00. In January, 1856, these obligations were met in part, by borrowing on notes; $300.51, from Isaac Plank; and $395.00, from Jacob Van Orden; possibly subscriptions and funds from the Ladies Benevolent Associations took care of the remainder.

On Oct. 15, 1855, the new seats were appraised, and notice was given from the pulpit that they would be offered to the congregation at their appraisement. The seats were sold on Dec. 5, 1855, for one year from Nov. 1st. But this did not entirely dispose of the cases of a dew who still claimed rights under the original leases, and as we have already seen, refused to release their rights 

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 to the church in 1853.  On Nov. 30, 1855, a committee was appointed “to notify John Van Vechten, S. D. Smith, William Newkirk, Samuel Dewey, Mrs. Catharine Salisbury, William Elting and (perhaps) Peter Schuneman, that the seats they claim as theirs will be let or if occupied by them, they will be compelled to pay the appraised value for the support of the gospel.:  The pews were let for the second year, on Dec. 1, 1856. Soon after some of the recalcitrants were sued for the first year’s rent.   On Nov. 13, 1858, a committee was appointed  “to obtain all the information from legal counsel necessary to enable the consistory safely to proceed in the matter of ejecting occupants and claimants of pews………who refuse to pay either pew rent or salary [subscriptions]”  At the end of the year 1859, the church debt was between seven and eight hundred dollars.  At the end of 1863, a subscription list was circulated to liquidate the balance of the debt; and on Feb. 13, 1864, Elder F. Elting reported that he had taken up a consistorial note to the amount of $414.58, all bills were paid, and the church was at last free from debt.

In the early days of the old stone church, the music for singing was supplied by a bass-viol, the property of the church.  When the Leeds and Kiskatom churches separated, the bass-viol was in the possession of the Kiskatom church. Kiskatom claimed ownership, but finally, in 1845, they  surrendered it to the musical society of Leeds, who claimed it as their private property.  The bass-viol at Leeds was superseded by a small melodeon, On Feb. 14, 1870, the Rev. B. Van Zandt, the pastor, reported to the Consistory that an organ could be obtained from the Presbyterian Church of Lansingburgh, at a cost of $350.00; and that the organ was recommended by Mr. Beach, an organ builder of Gloversville, as being of superior workmanship, needing but very little repair, and being very cheap.  It was resolved that the organ be purchased. One hundred dollars toward the payment of the organ was raised by a concert, and three hundred dollars was raised on a consistorial note.  By a resolution of Consistory, on Feb. 13, 1871, the “Bass Violin belonging to the church” was ordered to be sold for ten dollars.  By resolution of the Consistory on Dec. 6, 1873, the melodeon was presented to Miss Margaret Van Zandt, in consideration of her services as organist.

THE FIRST PARSONAGE OF THE LEEDS CHURCH.

The first parsonage house was purchased from Henry Persen, on Apr. 1, 1833, out of  the avails of the parsonage erected for Dom. Johannes Schuneman by the old

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Catskill congregation. It stood about five hundred feet east of the church, on the north side of the Susquehannah Turnpike, now Main Street.  It was first occupied by the Rev. John Cannon Van Liew.  In August, 1834, after Mr. Van Liew’s departure, negotiations were made with Rev. Brogun Hoff, with a view to calling him.  Mr. Hoff intimated that the parsonage house was not sufficiently large to accommodate his family.  On Sept. 8, 1834, the Consistory resolved, in case of Mr. Hoff accepting the call, to raise the house to two stories, provided that Mr. Hoff pay the interest on the expense, during his ministry.  Mr. Hoff did not accept this call and the project was not accomplished.  On Feb. 2, 1835, the Consistory resolved to renew the call on Mr. Hoff, and to make such alterations in the parsonage as were necessary to accommodate the contemplated pastor.  The renewed call Mr. Hoff accepted, and was duly installed on Apr. 29, 1935.  On June 29th, the repairs to the parsonage were reported, totaling about $125.00.  But there was not room enough for Mr. Hoff’s large family; and at the same meeting the Consistory resolved to build an addition, 22 x 16 feet on the west end of the parsonage.  On Aug. 7, 1835, it was reported that the addition was nearly completed, and the money to pay the contract was ordered borrowed on a Consistorial note.  For several years at about this period, the minutes show that Frank and Judy Dingo, colored people, were squatting upon a part of the parsonage land; finally a notice of eviction was served on Judy Dingo, dated Aug. 28, 1837. On May 6, 1852, the first parsonage and the parsonage lot adjoining in the rear, were sold to Dr. Jeremiah G. Green, for the sum of $1200.00;   of. page 132.

THE SECOND PARSONAGE

On Feb. 6, 1852, the Consistory called a meeting of the Congregation for  “the 14th Inst. for the purpose of a general consultation on the temporalities of the church and church property.”   The minutes of the congregational meeting are wanting, but from a letter to the Consistory from Dr. J. G. Greene, dated March 15th, it appears, that the congregational meeting selected a site for a new parsonage and appointed a Committee with no representative from the Consistory, to make the purchase.  Mr. Greene declined to serve on the committee, which he believed was appointed contrary to the wishes of a majority of the congregation; the Consistory also, were opposed to the location of the site selected for the new parsonage.

Another congregational meeting was called for March 23rd; a building committee was appointed by the Great Consistory, on March 24th. Then at various meetings

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of the Consistory resolutions were passed, and often reconsidered, concerning the site of the new parsonage.  Mar. 27th, John Van Vechten refused to release the representatives of the congregation from building a parsonage upon the lot verbally purchased from him.  Mar. 31st, the building committee reported that they had purchased the Vedder lot for $275.00.  Apr. 10, a committee appointed to obtain a deed for the Vedder lot.  Apr. 19th, the committee reported nothing done;  resolution passed at the last meeting reconsidered. Resolved, that the Creek Lot be purchased; committee appointed to procure a deed for not more than $260.  Apr. 27th, committee reported that the Creek Lot had been purchased and the deed left at the County Clerk’s office to be recorded;  deed accepted; then, resolution of acceptance reconsidered.  The committee instructed to see Abm. H. Newkerk and ascertain if he will give a deed untrammeled. Mr. Newkerk agreed to give an untrammeled deed, provided the consistory would give him a written pledge that the parsonage would be built on said lot.  Consistory resolved to give the pledge and take an unrestricted deed.    May 4th, the last resolution reconsidered.  Legal opinion was sought to see if the Consistory could refuse the Newkerk deed;  finally an order of the Court was obtained and on May 17th the lot was reconveyed to Newkerk by the Consistory.  Concerning the Newkerk transaction, Rev. C. P. Ditmars says:  * “ At the first a lot lying along the creek on the left bank below  the arch bridge was negotiated for and the deed  was drawn; but there being much dissatisfaction with this purchase, it was abandoned before the bargain was consummated.”  *(Ref: Of. Photostat Articles, page 7.  The arch bridge is  west of the church.)

On May 4th, it was resolved that the orchard lot of Mr. Harris be purchased for the parsonage site. May 8th, the committee reported that Mr. Harris proposed to change the location of the parsonage from his lot to the Vedder lot, and that he would guarantee that the Consistory could have the Vedder lot for $300.00, which proposal the committee were not authorized to accept. Thereupon, resolved that the Vedder lot be purchased. The committee obtained the Vedder deed on that day (May 8, 1852) and it is worthy of note that their delay in accepting the offer of Mr. Harris cost them $50.00. The final price at which the Vedder lot was purchased, was $350.00, being an advance of $75.00 over the first price, at which it was reported purchased by verbal agreement, on March 31st. The consideration money was paid by John Van Vechten, the treasurer, on May 12th. 

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Of course, it was not possible that all this vacillation took place without some hard feeling.  Resignations from committee occurred, abusive language passed and repassed; objection was raised to the installation of an elder; and even a neighbor’s hogs were imprisoned and  “shamefully abused.”  Happily however, all this tumult quickly subsided, with no further casualties than the resignation of one elder.  And the energies of the congregation were directed to circulating a subscription for, and building the new parsonage.

In this connection, it should be remarked that the Rev. John Minor did not move into the old parsonage, when he took up his pastoral duties in the fall of 1851.  Instead, he occupied a house owned by Mr. Whittelsey; he was compelled to move from this house to another, before the new parsonage was ready for occupancy.  On May 4, 1852, the Consistory, “Resolved, That the Treasurer pay to Mr. Wilber Ten  Dollars, it being the sum Mr. Minor agreed to pay him for moving his family from the house he occupied and suffering Mr. Minor to remain in his house until Sept.”  September, 1852, is then the time that the new parsonage was supposed to be ready.  The subscriptions for the parsonage appear to have fallen short.  It was resolved that money be borrowed on a mortgage  covering the parsonage lot, buildings and church, to make good the deficiency.  This resolution was reconsidered and finally, on March 21,1853, $1367.00 was borrowed on a note form Henry M. Vedder, for two years.

The report of the building committee was rendered on March 21, 1853. It stated that the repairs to the church and rebuilding the steeple cost $766.81; and that $2028.80 had been received form the sale of the old parsonage and subscriptions.  The various accounts which go to make up the report of the Building Committee contain so many payments, made from one account to another, that if all the accounts were transcribed, it is doubtful if the reader would gain much enlightenment.  For example, John Van Vechten received a subscription of $50.00, which he included among his disbursements, but which he paid over to Cornelius Rouse, who reported it as one of his subscriptions.  Henry M. Vedder’s bill included $1180.82, cash paid to R. T. Wilson, the contractor.  As the accounts finally stood, there was due to Cornelius Rouse                               $ 5.21
                             
And to J. D. Greene                                        10.41                                                                                                            15.72

 (Continued on page 121)

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Consolidated Report of the Building Committee,  Mar. 21, 1863.

Acct. of R. T. Wilson

Contract for roof on ch.                   $160.00                     Total of this bill paid as follows:

Taking down steeple and
Repairs to inside ch.                            19.65        by Corns. Rouse             $1109.14 
Contract for parsonage   $1600.00                           J. Van Vechten                153.60
Extras on parsonage             29.40                           J. A. Greene                        70.00
Extras on wood house          29.94                            H. M. Vedder               1180.82
Barn and out buildings      235.64
Building new steeple                         377.98                                                   2513.56 

Painting ch. & Steeple                          60.95

. . . . . . . . . . . . …………………………………………………………………

Acct. of Cor. Rouse                                                     Receipts as follows:

Shingles                                           127.50              Sale of old Parsonage           $1200.00
Zinc                                                   20.73              Subscriptions, including
Adams & Kings, Attorneys  22.94                            E. Blackmar,                            150.00

…………………………………………………………………………………

Acct. of H. M. Vedder                                  Total of bill, including loans   $1497.83

Labor, Disbursements and
materials,                           293.13                                       Credits
interest on loans of                                                    C. Rouse       75.00
$1180.82                                23.88                            Van Vechten  55.00
                                                                           
Vedder’s sub-
                                                                             
scription,               14.80                              14.80 
   
                                                                                                                              144.80
   
                                                                                                                            1353.03

                                                             This acct. settled by Loaning on  note                 1367.00
                                                                             
and a donation of                                           .06

………………………………………………………………………………..

 Acct. of J. Van  Vechten                                      Receipts as follows:

Cost of land                    350.00               By subscriptions                                        664.00
Sundries                              6.71               Paid to Wilson            $153.60
                                                                
Paid to House, Black-
                                                               
mar’s subscription,            50.00
                                                               
Paid to Vedder                   55.00
                                                               
Paid to Greene                    97.00
                                                                                                             355.60

…………………………………………………………………………………..

 Acct. of J. D. Greene

 Sundries                 10.41                              Paid to Wilson                70.00
Exp. Unaccounted  27.00                            Paid to himself                 27.00
                                                 37.41                          In Van Vechton’s acct.
   
                                                                     Greene Subscribed          97.00
                                               _______                                                     ______
                                            
2629.05   766.81                                        3395.65

 Recapitulation.

Cost of parsonage           2629.05                            Sale of old parsonage            1200.00
Repairs of church              766.81                            Subscriptions                            828.85
                                                                                    Borrowed on note                   1367.00
                                          
_______                                                                             _______
                                            3395.86                                                                                   3395.85

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 [continued from page 119]

To adjust these balances Henry M. Vedder loaned the Committee, over and above the amount due him, the sum of                                                                      $13.97
and made a donation of,                                                                                   .06
and there was a credit remaining in the hands of Van Vechten of          1.69
   
                                                                                                                       15.72

 

This balances all the accounts correctly, with a possible doubtful item on Jeremiah D. Greene’s account.    On Jan. 10, 1853, John Van Vechten’s account shows that Greene made a subscription of $97.00, which was paid back to him the same day to reimburse him for money he had already advanced.  In the record of money expended, Greene’s account is $10.41; he paid $70.00 to R. T. Wilson, which leaves $27.00 unaccounted for, unless he had a bill for that amount himself.  The note for $1367, was due in two years; no doubt the sum of $553.73, raised by the Ladies Benevolent Association, which was turned over to the Consistory on Dec. 16, 1854, was applied to meeting this note.

 The second parsonage was occupied by the pastors, until it burned to the ground in the year 1890.  The third parsonage was erected soon after on the same lot.

 THE SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH AT KISKATOM

In the natural course of events, the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds and Kiskatom, with two churches, one in each village, was bound to separate, as soon as each branch developed sufficient strength.  On May 3, 1839, the Consistory met at Kiskatom, when the following resolution was passed:

“Resolved, That each part of this congregation keep their temporal concerns separate after this spring, that each part keep their account separate with the minister & pay their respective part of the salary.  Viz. Leeds part of the congregation pay at the rate of four hundred dollars pr. Year, and Kiskatom at the rate of two hundred a year and that each part now settle up their respective proportions of arrearages with the treasurer.”  

On Oct. 6, 1840, it was;
“Resolved, that the whole consistory of the church of Leeds & Kiskatom do make a united application to the Revd. Classis of Greene for a division of the congregation & whatever appertains to said division.”

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A committee was appointed to present the matter to Classis. The application was presented at the meeting of Classis on Nov. 18, 1840. Classis met at Leeds on Dec. 2, 1840, in special session, to consider the matter.  It was,

“Resolved that such request be granted, to take effect when the church at Leeds shall present the Rev’d. B. Hoff a call equal in amount of support to that which he has hitherto received.”

On Nov. 20, 1840, a committee was appointed to solicit subscriptions for the additional two hundred dollars for Mr. Hoff’s salary, to make the separation effective.  They were still soliciting, on Feb. 7, 1842, when the Rev. B. Hoff applied for a dissolution of his call.   The application was granted at a meeting of Classis, on Feb. 11, 1842. At the same meeting, an application was received from the members of the church at Kiskatom, requesting a separation from Leeds. The reasons assigned were:

“1.  We consider it a disadvantage both to our temporal and spiritual interests to
      
remain in this connection.
“2.  Because we believe that it is essential to the spiritual interest of our church as 
     
well as our growth numerically to have a minister reside among us.
"3.  We believe that with the blessing of Almighty God we will be able to sustain a
      
minister.”

No objection being made by the Elder from Leeds, the application was granted , and the Rev. B. Hoff was appointed to organize the church of Kiskatom, which was duly accomplished, on Sunday, Feb. 13th, by the ordination of the Elders and Deacons from Kiskatom, who had been in office in the Consistory of Leeds and Kiskatom.  An Extract from the Statistical Report of the Classis of Greene, for April 11, 1843, is as follows:         

                                                                 Leeds                          Kiskatom

            Number of Families                      60                                  59
           
In Communion                               90                                101

 ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

The memoranda of incorporation are taken, not from the Greene County record of Incorporations, but from the respective church records.

Mar. 25. 1833.   “We the subscribers, Elders & Deacons of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds & Kiskatom.  Being duly assembled, do certify whomsoever it may concern; that by leave of the proper ecclesiastical authority we have assumed the title of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds & Kiskatom, & according to the statute in such case made & provided, will be known & distinguished in law as a body corporate by

Page 123     survey of land (map not reproduced here - copy illegible)

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that title.  In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands & seals this Twenty Fifth day of Mach in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight hundred & Thirty three.”

Feb. 11, 1842.   “We the subscribers, Elders & Deacons of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds, being duly assembled. ……………………”[Same form as above.]         

Mar. 17, 1842.  “We the subscribers, Elders and Deacons of the reformed protestant dutch church of Kiskatom, being duly appointed do Certify whomsoever it may concern that by leave of the proper ecclesiastical authority we have assumed the title of the ………………………………………..” [Same form as above.]

 ABSTRACT OF LAND TITLES.

When the Old Reformed Dutch Church was divided in 1833, the northern section of the old congregation was awarded the old parsonage lots or the avails thereof and the site occupied by the first church edifice. It is therefore proper to give as much of an abstract of the title to these lands, as is possible from the data at present available.

 The Site of the First Church and First Parsonage.

The land was given by Gerrit Van Bergen, though the title did not pass by deed.  The land then reverted by inheritance to William Van Bergen, his son, under the will of his father, dated July 25,1758 and proved Feb. 5, 1759. Of. New York County Wills, 21: 365; and Calendar of Wills, page 417. William Van Bergen conveyed the land to the church by two instruments: a “Lease and a release”.   The land consisted of two tracts.  According to Dr. Thompson, the larger tract was the parsonage lot and the smaller, the church lot; of. Photostat Articles, page 28. Abstracts of the two instruments follow; for map and courses, see on the opposite page:

1.      Lease for one year, dated Oct. 30,1787. William Van Bergen to the trustees of the Reformed Dutch Church of Catskill; consideration, five shillings and the rent of one pepper corn, if demanded.  Conveys 11 acres, 3 roods, 36 perches.  Also that lot, bounded by “a line beginning at a stone set in the Ground on the south side of the Road near to where a house called the School House some years ago stood and running form the said Stone North fourteen degrees and thirty minutes West…..” etc.;  containing 3 roods, 9 perches;  For course and dimensions of both tracts, see map opposite. Witnessed by Willm. Brandow Jun.  And Jacob Van Vechten.    Signed,  William Van Bergen.  Not acknowledged or recorded.

2.          #Deed of Release dated Oct. 31, 1787. William Van Bergen to the Trustees of the Reformed Dutch Church of Catskill; consideration, ten shillings  “as also for divers other good Causes and Consideration.”  Conveys the two lots as described above and in the map. The trustees agree to keep and maintain a fence about the whole of the first described lot.  Witnessed by William Brandow Jun., and Jacob Van Vechten.  Signed, William Van Bergen; also contains a seal duly affixed, for another signature, which is blank. Not acknowledged or recorded.”  (#This instrument now in the possession of the Reformed Church of Catskill.) 

Note: The Two foregoing instruments were handsomely engrossed

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                     On parchment; a copy of the engrossor’s bill follows:

                     “The Trustees of Catskill Church         To Jas. Barker                   Dr
                     
Oct. 27th 1787  for drawing Lease & Release from Mr.           £     s     d
                      
Wm. Van Bergen to them of two Lots of
                      
Land at Catskill                                                                            1:    4:   0
                    
Revd. June 22d 1789 of Samuel Van Vechten Esqr.
                    
The Contents of the above account.

                                                                                               Jas. Barker.”

In the minutes of the Consistory of the old Catskill church, under date Aug. 13, 1803, the following appears:

“The Consistory received a Deed or Quit-claim from Casper Van Hoesen for a piece of land in their possession although not included in the Deed given by William Van Bergen for the Parsonage in the year 1787, which piece of Land is bounded on the North-East and West by the Catskill Creek and on the south by the Parsonage Lot.  In consideration where of the Consistory agreed to give Mr. Van  Hoesen a convenient wagon road along the South East side of the parsonage Lot to where the Stony Ridge ends.  Ordered that the Treasurer Deposit this Instrument among the papers belonging to the Church.

By reference to the map, it will be observed that the land lay north east of the parsonage lot and between it and the Catskill creek.  It abutted that part of the larger Van Bergen tract, the description of which ends in the deed with, “To a white pine Tree markt and then with a straight Line to the place of beginning.”   It will be noted in the map that this white pine tree was on the bank of Catskill creek.  The Van Hoesen lot, as quit-claimed, may have included the site of the first parsonage, which was certainly very near it.  An abstract of the deed follows:

3.      Quit-Claimed deed, dated Aug. 13, 1803. Casper Van Hoesen, to the Minister, Elders and Deacons of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Catskill; consideration, $5.00.  Conveys to the party of the second part, “in their actual Possession not being…….all that Certain Lot……… on the South West side of the Catts Kill Creek Bounded on the Northeasterly side by the said Catts Kill Creek and on the southwesterly side by Land that has on the Thirty first day of October 1787 conveyed by William Van Bergen to the Trustees of said Church,………”  Witnessed by Abraham Elmendorph and Harmonus Vedder; acknowledged by Abraham Elmendorph, on Sept 9, 1803; not recorded. 

This lot of land is not conveyed by the church in any deed that is now in my hands.  It would naturally form a part of the first tract conveyed in Item No. 4, page 128.  Casper Van Hoesen became the owner of the old parsonage, eventually, but I am unable to give the chain of title, from the data at my command.  It is impossible for me to have, or to present to the reader a clear idea of

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 these various lots of land without having been on the spot, and without a comprehensive search of the county records.   The best that I can do now is to quote from Dr. Thompson, who had a visual picture of the scene before him, when he wrote.

“The parsonage is still standing on the South side of the creek, nearly opposite ‘The Fall’, on the terrain which marks the boundary of the first of the five fertile plains spoken of in the early Indian deeds, all of which were obviously once the bottom of mountain lakes.  The building is of grey sandstone from the neighboring ledge.  These stones were quarried and laid in their present position by  the willing hands of the people of the Church.  Many of them still show the figures and letters inscribed by these builders.  The date of the erection is over the door, and near it the initials of Martin Van Bergen.  ……….  The old house is falling to pieces, and the coming generation will look for it in vain.  As one stands and listens to the muffled rumble of the ‘The Fall’ as it comes up from the deep gorge below, it falls upon his ears (as it fell upon the care of the dwellers within these walls a century and a half since)  like the deep sub-bass of a mighty organ far away.  Looking toward the North-West, the eye rests upon the graceful sweep of the creek, as beautiful now as in the long ago.  Away in the distance Black Head and the Windham Hills bound the horizon with their mighty forms.  Nearer rises the Hooge   Berg  (the High Hill) with its wooded slopes, where the  trees cast their deep shadows in the afternoon.  On the terrain immediately opposite to the West once stood the picturesque old church with its four gables culminating in the belfry.”

The circumstances under which the old parsonage was sold are in part, as follows:  It appears, from the minutes of the Consistory, Feb. 13, 1839, that, an application was made for the purchase of the parsonage. Whereupon; Resolved: That it is expedient to sell at present.  That the minimum price shall be $1400. That Brn. Van Bergen & Van Vleet to be a committee to negotiate this business.”

At the meeting held Mar. 17, 1838, it was decided to purchase another parsonage more convenient to the church. In the village of Madison (now Leeds), when one could be secured; and it was further resolved that the money to be received from the sale of the old parsonage should be set aside and pledged to

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the purchase of a parsonage for the church in Madison.   On April 6, 1832, an order in Chancery was issued by Reuben H. Walworth, Chancellor, at a Court of Chancery held in the city of Albany, which authorized the sale.  On May 14th, the committee reported that they had obtained the Chancellor’s order and were ready to execute the conveyance.  On June 4th, they reported no progress and asked for further time.  In the fall of 1832, a committee was appointed to select a new parsonage, but the division of the old congregation took place before the new parsonage was purchased.  The Treasurer’s report, on Jan. 26, 1833, shows $1,400., due on contract for the sale of the parsonage property.  At the last meeting of the Consistory of the old Catskill congregation, on March 9, 1833, the following action was taken:

“Resolved, That the committee on the parsonage be authorized at their discretion, to take back the old parsonage or purchase another, without further reference to Consistory & that Br. James Elting be placed on the committee of the parsonage fund.”

Thus, the deed of sale must have been executed in the early part of the year 1833.  On March 25, 1833, the Consistory of the church of Leeds and Kiskatom, at  their meeting, authorized the committees appointed by the old Consistory of Catskill to procure a parsonage and execute their commission.  I have no accounting or report of the committee available.  The sale price of the old parsonage was probably $1400.  Of the avails, $950., was applied to the purchase of a parsonage at Leeds, from Henry Person and wife; and $230, to the purchase of 6.40 acres of land from Mary Van Bergen, in the rear of the said parsonage and bordering on the Athens Turnpike.  An abstract of the title of the land thus purchased will be found under title of the Parsonage Land at Leeds, which see pages 131 and 132.

At a meeting of the Consistory of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds and Kiskatom, on Apr. 9, 1833, it was  “Resolved that Elders Schuneman and Van Deursen be a committee to take charge of the old church lot and to make such disposition of it as they many think proper.”  In the minutes dated Nov. 1833, the following appears:  “The committee appointed to dispose of the old church lot (see minutes of Apl. 9th, 1833) reported that they have sold said lot to Mr. Casper Van Hoesen for Fifty Seven 50/100 dollars. The report was accepted and the committee discharged.  

Note: What kind of  a deed Mr. Van Hoesen received, or whether the sale was made pursuant to an order in Chancery, I cannot say.  In his

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Historical address, Rev. C. P. Ditmars seems satisfied that this minute of the Consistory disposes of the old church lot;  of.  Photostat Articles page 7.  Dr. Thompson also mentions the sale of the old church lot to Caspar Van Hoesen: of. Photostat Articles, page 16. However, the old church lot was conveyed again, in the deed dated Feb. 1, 1856; of. Item No. 4, below.  Whether this last conveyance was accidental or intentional, I cannot say with out an examination of the Greene County records.

On Apr. 30, 1852, an order was issued in the County Court of Greene County, granting permission to the church to sell certain lands and to apply the proceeds to the payment of the debt incurred by the purchase of a site and the building of a new parsonage.  By virtue of this order, the second parsonage and lot were sold about May 6, 1852; and the original parsonage lot, embracing possibly the site of the first parsonage, was sold on Feb. 1, 1856.  The latter transaction is mentioned in the minutes, on Feb. 1, 1856, as follows:  “A Deed for the parsonage wood lot was executed by Consistory to Isaac Plank for the Consideration of One hundred and fifty dollars.”  An abstract of the deed follows:

4.      Quit-Claim Deed, dated Feb. 1, 1856.  The Minister, Elders and Deacons of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds, to Isaac Plank; consideration, $150.  Recites conditions of order of the County Court, issued Apr. 30, 1852.  Conveys two tracts of land as described in Lease and Release form William Van Bergen; of. Items Nos. 1 and 2. Signed by the Minister, Elders and Deacons; witnessed by William Vedder; acknowledged by William Vedder, same day; recorded, Feb. 23, 1856, in Greene County Deeds, 51; pp 399,400. 

Note:  Particular attention is directed to the fact that this conveyances does not include the lot of land between the first tract and Catskill creek, which was quit-claimed by Casper Van Housen, on Aug. 13, 1803; of. Item No. 3, page 125.

THE SALISBURY DEED OF GIFT

 The original instrument and the copy in the minutes of the Consistory of the award of the Committee of Reference, pursuant to which the old congregation was divided, awarded “the Parsonage Lotts  or the avails thereof” to the Leeds congregation. There was another parsonage lot, which may account for the use of the plural in the minutes.  I have no information available concerning the second lot beyond the deed; which is a very interesting document, and which is now in the possession of the First Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Catskill.  The back of the deed bears the following endorsement:

“Abraham Salisbury Esqr. To the Elders & Deacons of Catskill Church. Deed of Gift.”

Below this, written in pencil, now indistinct with age, the following memorandum appears:

“Deed From Francis Salisbury to the Elders & Deacons of the R. F. Dutch Church of Catskill & Coxsackie in trust for the Minister of this Congregation.  Dated Nov. 1752.”

The call for Johannes Schuneman was dated Nov. 12, 1752; on of the provisions of the call was as follows:

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“Secondly: that we will give his Rev. a suitable dwelling, with a barn, a garden and a well, and keep them in repair, in such manner as shall be agreeable to this Rev. and the churches: together with twenty acres of land at Catskill, not far from the church.”
Off. Ecclesiastical Records of New York, page 3200.

In my opinion, the twenty acres of land referred to in the call is the same land as conveyed in the Salisbury deed, although by a survey made in 1801, the tract contained only about thirteen acres.  Francis Salisbury died about 1756; he left a son named Abraham; of. Calendar of Wills, page 345. The Salisbury deed, which is abstracted below, appears to be in confirmation of the deed dated November, 1752; its phraseology was probably copied, in part, from the old deed.

#Deed of Gift, dated Sept. 10, 1802. Abraham Salisbury Esqr. To the Elders and Deacons of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church situate and being at old Catskill.  “For and in Consideration of the Veneration, Love & Affection which he the said Abraham Salisbury hath & beareth unto the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church aforesaid, as for their perseverance & increase of Christianity, as also for the better Maintenance, Support, Livelihood & Preferment of an Orthodox Minister of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in North America, ………..All that certain Piece of Land laid out for the Church of Catskill being part of a Lot called Lot Number Eleven  Lying partly on East side and partly on the Hill called Hoge-Bergh, Begining at a black Oak Sapling standing at the South West Corner of said Lot Number Eleven at or near the Foot of said Hill and running along the South side of said Lot North eighty two degrees West fifteen Chains to a black Oak Tree and Heap of Stones, Then North eight degrees East eight Chains, then South eighty two degrees East Seventeen Chains & Seventy-four links to a black Oak Tree marked C standing at or near the Foot of said Hill, Then along the Foot of said Hill to the Place of Beginning, “[as per survey]* (* In engrossing this deed, there appears to be a line omitted where the words “as per survey” have been inserted; the acreage of the lot should be on the omitted line.)”performed in the Fall, in the Year 1801 as the Needle then pointed, by Samuel Van Vechten Esqr.  Full warranty deed. Conveyance “for the only Use and Benefit of  a Dutch Reformed Protestant Minister of Catskill Church who is now, or hereafter shall be standing Minister of the Catskill Church aforesaid.”  Signed, Abraham Salisbury.  Witnessed by Peter Overbagh and Catharine Black; not acknowledged or recorded.

Note:  This appears to be a deed of perpetual trust, for the benefit of the Reformed Dutch Minister at what is now Leeds; I do not know how it could be legally disposed of, if recorded, without an order of the Court, if it can be disposed of at all.

The Salisbury lot is mentioned but once in the minutes of the Consistory of the Old Catskill Church, as follows:

“On the 10th September 1802 Abraham Salisbury Esqr. Signed and delivered to the Consistory of this Church a deed for a Lot of Wood Land containing about 13 acres being part of  Lot No. 11 lying partly on the East side and partly on the hill Called Hoge Bergh. Consistory resolved that the deed be delivered to the Treasurer to be filed among the papers belonging to this Church.”

Page 130   copy of survey (not copied as very faint)

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The final disposition of the Salisbury lot, I have not been able to determine from the information now at my disposal; and without an inspection of the Greene County recorded deeds.  Abraham A. Salisbury was one of the partners of the firm of Martin G. Schuneman & Co., and consequently he was involved in the debt assumed by  that firm in the erection of the stone church.  The minutes of the Consistory for Oct. 5, 1829, read as follows:

“The President and Mr. Van Vliet were appointed a committee to prepare a deed for Mr. Abm. A. Salisbury and to obtain the Rect. In full of M. G. Schuneman & Co.,”  Of. Page 111.

THE PARSONAGE LAND AT LEEDS.

 The map reproduced, opposite, gives a general view of the land occupied by the present church at Leeds and the first Leeds parsonage.  An abstract of the title of the land is presented compiled from such deeds as are now in my hands.  This abstract is made without an examination of the County Clerk’s records in Greene county, and undoubtedly does not present a complete chain of the title.

 1.       #Quit-Claim deed, dated ------ 1822; acknowledged Sept. 14, 1822. James Bogardus and Eggie Bogardus, his wife, to Henry Pierson. Conveys two lots formerly owned by John Wolcott, in the town of Catskill; consideration, $300. First lot, on the north east side of the Susquehannah Turnpike, being one hundred feet square and including the house formerly owned by John Wolcott.  Second lot, being behind the first lot, beginning at the south east corner of said first lot, 40 x 90 feet, in form of a rectangle.   Recorded, in Deeds, Book N, pp. 304, 305.

Note: See on map, land marked “H P” and rectangle immediately behind.

2.     Quit-Claim deed, dated Sept. 18, 1832. Jacob M. Plank, Cornelius Rouse and Joel Comfort, Trustees of School District No. 10 in the Town of Catskill, to Henry Person; consideration, $6.00. Conveys land near the District school-house, beginning at the south end of Jacob Vedder’s stone wall in line with the north fence of Henry Person’s garden and running from thence along said Vedder’s south line of Henry Person’s lot, then along said Person’s line eastward and northward to the south line of May Van Bergen’s land, then along the same westward to the place of beginning. Witnessed by William Salisbury; acknowledged, Oct. 5, 1832; not recorded.

 Note: This small piece of land north west of Henry Person’s (or Pierson’s) garden lot; this is the 40 x 90 rectangle described in Deed No. 1.

3.        Warranty Deed, dated Apr. 1, 1833.  Henry Person And Maria Person his wife, to the Elders and Deacons of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds and Kiskatom; consideration, $950.  Recites acts of the

(Documents marked # are now in possession of the First Reformed Church of Catskill.)

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Consistory of the old Dutch Reformed Church at Catskill and division of the congregation, whereby the old parsonage lots or the avails there-of shall belong to the Leeds and Kiskatom church; and that this purchase is paid for, out of said avails. Conveys parcels 1 and 2 (page 131), with  with some slight changes in description. Beginning at a point of rocks on the north side of the Susquehannah Turnpike, at the S W Corner of land belonging to School District No. 10, and running from thence along the [north] west line of the Turnpike S 63 degree 30’ E 1 chain 10 links to Mary Van Bergen’s lot, then N 22 degrees N 100 feet, then N 39 degree 45’ E 90 feet to the N. E. corner of the said Henry Person’s garden fence thence N 61 degree & 1xhain 7 links to a stake standing in the N E corner of belonging to the School District No. 10, being 7 links W of the center of a stone wall  [Jacob Vedder’s], and then S 49 degree 30’ W 3 chains 10 links to the place of beginning, to have and to hold for the special benefit and behoof of that portion of the congregation who worship at Leeds.
Witnessed by William Salisbury; acknowledged, Apr. 1, 1833; Recorded, Aug. 1, 1833, in Deed, Book S, pp. 278, 279.   

4.    Warranty Deed, dated Aug. [1], 1833. Mary Van Bergen, to the Minister, Elders and Deacons of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds and Kiskatom; consideration, $230.  Recites acts of the Consistory, etc., as in deed No. 3. Conveys 6.40 acres of land on the south side of the Athens Road, north of the brook or Derick’s Killiche:  Beginning at the S E corner of Jacob Vedder’s  Lot, near the N E corner of land belonging to School District No. 10, and running from thence along the line of Jacob Vedder’s lot N 21 degrees 30’ E 8 chains 23 links to the Athens Road; then along the same, N 59 degrees E 7 chains 80 links, then N 63 degrees # 2 chains 85links, then  S 28 degrees 15’ E 3 chains 13 links  to the Brook; thence down and through its center N 82 degrees W 1 chain, then S 38 degrees  4 chains 92 links, thence S 39 degrees 45’ W 2 chains 80 links to the N E corner of the lot formerly owned by Henry Person [of. Deed No. 1, 40 x 690, garden lot]; and then 61 degrees W 1xhain to the place of beginning.
Witnessed by William Salisbury; acknowledged, Aug. 1, 1833, Recorded, Aug. 7, 1833, in Deeds, Book S. pp 279,280,281.

By reference to the map on page 130, it will be found that the land conveyed by Mary Van Bergen included 87/100 of an acre in Jacob M. Plank’s lot; 5 and 3/100 acres all of Jacob Vedder’s lot as shown on the map; and ½ an acre between Jacob Vedder’s lot and Henry Person’s  garden lot.  This entire tract, containing 6.40 acres, as well as the parsonage house and garden lot (No. 3) were probably sold  at the same time, on about May 6, 1852. The minutes of the Leeds Consistory show that on Mar. 31, 1852, James W. Elting and James Van Deusen were appointed a committee “to obtain permission and to sell and give Deed to Dr. Green conveying the old parsonage.”  The petition to the County Court was signed by the Consistory, on April 27th, and the order was issued April 30th.  On May 9, 1852, the committee reported to the Consistory that  “the lot had been conveyed and money paid and deposited in the Tanners Bank.”  The account of Cornelius Rouse (page 120), show cash received from J. G. Green, $1200.00, on May 6th, and $50.00, on May 8th, 1852, which was probably Green’s subscription.  On Feb. 10, 1856, Jeremiah G. Green deeded back to the Consistory, a triangular piece of land, which was a part of the old parsonage lot;  of.  Item No. 6,  page 133.

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THE PRESENT PARSONAGE LAND.

The present parsonage land is not shown upon the map on page 130, but its location can be intelligibly indicated.  It lies on the south east side of the Athens road about one third of the distance between the front corner of the Jacob Vedder lot and the junction of the Athens road and the Susquehannah turnpike.  At first it was an irregular lot, with parallel sides, (S 35degrees 15’ E and N 36 degrees 15’ W), the base line being the Jacob Vedder lot west line (N 21 degrees 30’ E on map).  In 1856, Jeremiah G. Green deeded back to the Consistory a triangular piece in the rear of the lot, which made the base line (N 52 degrees 30’ E) nearly parallel with the front line on the Athens road (S 60 degrees W).

5.     Warranty Deed, date May 8, 1852.  Jacob Vedder and Gertrude Vedder, his wife, to the Minister, Elders and Deacons of the Protestant Dutch Church of Leeds: consideration, $350.  Conveys land on the east side of the Athens Turnpike: Beginning at a post in the fence on the E side of said road standing 1 chain and 29 links from the S W corner of the house where Joel D. Comfort now lives on a course S 88 degrees W; and running from thence S 60 degrees W 2chains 1 link along the east side of said Athens road, then S 35 degrees 15’ E 3 chains 69 links to Jeremiah G. Green’s land, then along his line N 23 degrees 45’ E 2 chains 33 links to the S E corner of Joel D. Comfort’s garden, and thence N 35 degrees 15’ W 2chains 33 links to the place of beginning.  And also free use of the well on the adjoining lot owned by Jacob Vedder.

Acknowledged, May 11, 1852: recorded, May 15, 1852, in Deeds, Book 46, page 94 &c.

 6.     Warranty Deed, dated Feb. 10, 1856.  Jeremiah G. Green and Mary Green, his wife, to the Minister, Elders and Deacons of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds; consideration, $25.  Conveys triangular piece of land adjoining the lot on which the Parsonage house now stands; Beginning on the S E corner of the said parsonage lot and the N E corner of the lot on which Jacob Vedder’s barn now stands and running from thence along the fence N 52 degrees 30’ E 2chains 3 links to the corner of a fence thence N 35 degrees 15’ W 99 links to the S E corner of Jacob Vedder’s lot. And then S 23 degrees W to place of beginning. 

Acknowledged, May 10, 1856.     Not recorded.                                    

PASTORS OF THE CHURCH.

The dates that follow the pastors’ names cover the periods that hey served the congregation.  The data is compiled from the Church Record, the Minutes of he Consistory and the Minutes of the Classis of Greene.  The Rev. John Cannon Van Liew was the twelfth pastor, counting from the beginning of the old Catskill church.

.                   1.             JOHN CANNON VAN LIEW,  Mar. 17, 1833 to July 23, 1834.  Installed, May 1, 1832, as collegiate pastor of the old Catskill congregation; served the churches in the villages of Catskill and Madison, alternately with the Rev. I. N. Wyckoff. Mr. Van Liew organized the congregation of Leeds and Kiskatom, Mar. 17, 1833.  Called by Leeds and Kiskatom, Apr. 9, 1833; call approved by Classis of Rensselaer,

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Apr. 16, 1833: installed May 1st.  Consistory acted to dissolve call, on July 21, 1834: approved by Classis, July 23, 1834, and Mr. Van Liew was dismissed to the Classis of New Brunswick.  His salary was paid to Aug. 1, 1834.

       2.           BROGUN HOFF, Apr. 29, 1835 to Feb. 11, 1842.  Negotiations were begun with Mr. Hoff, in August, 1834: he was called Sept. 8, 1834; but did no accept, because the parsonage was not large enough to accommodate his family and because the Consistory expected him to pay the interest on the cost of alterations. The call was renewed in February, 1836, from the Presbytery of Newton, N. J., and accepted the call;  he was installed, April 29th, during the Spring Session of the Classis.  In January 1842, Mr. Hoff resigned his charge, to accept a call from the church of Rhinebeck, in the Classis of Poughkeepsie.   The pastoral relation was dissolved and approved by the Classis, on Feb. 11, 1842. On Sunday, Feb. 13, 1842, he organized the Reformed Dutch Church of Kiskatom. He was the last pastor of the united congregation of Leeds and Kiskatom. A salary settlement was effected on Feb. 15, 1842. 

3.          JAMES ROMEYN, Feb. 25, 1842 to May 1844.  The case of the Rev. Mr. Romeyn is peculiar;  he was Pastor elect for over two years, but was never installed.  During the period, he served the church of Leeds, to the extent that his health would permit; his call stipulated a salary of $500, and there is no reason to suppose that he failed to collect the full amount.  His call was dated Mar. 2, 1842, and was moderated by the Rev. Brogun Hoff.  By letter, dated Catskill, Mar. 19, 1842, and addressed to the Consistory, Mr. Romeyn accepted the call, experimentally, but asked that his installation be put off some little time, in order to give him an opportunity to test his strength and to judge whether it would permit him to assume the burden of the pastorate.  He stipulated that the amount of his services be limited to what his physical condition might be able to sustain.  The call should have been approved by Classis at the Spring Session, Apr. 26th but nothing appears under the proper Lammata.  Mr. Romeyn is mentioned as Pastor Elect at Leeds, in one report, and in the statistical report as without charge but supplying Leeds.  Mr. Romeyn appears to have fulfilled all the pastoral functions at Leeds, and thus the matter rested for a year.  At the meeting of Classis, on May 23, 1843, a long communication was received from Mr. Romeyn, in part as follows:

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"Dear Brethren:

 It is known to you, that at the time of the resignation of my charge in Catskill in February 1841, I was just recovering from a prolonged & well nigh fatal affection of my lungs & was under an injunction from my physicians not to attempt public service for several months.  The situation of the congregation not admitting in my judgment of the delay necessarily attendant upon my recovery, combined with the doubts expressed & felt whether it would ever be complete, I was induced to urge my application for a release form my pastoral connexion.

You are also aware that after supplying their lack of service from different quarters, as they could secure any, for 14 months, I was when negotiating the  question of a settlement here, again brought to a sick bed for a month & threatened with renewed & severe attack of my former complaint & was again warned by my medical advisors of the danger attending any considerable amount of stated service, vigorously prosecuted without reference to  local symptoms & my general health.  A call upon me had been approved by you & its acceptance with you consent deferred until I could make an experiment of what I could accomplish. This arrangement was to my view perfectly defensible, because under the circumstances of the case I must either have done nothing in the way of ministerial labor until qualified for full service, or in my enfeebled & broken state I must have bound myself down at once to the full service & responsibility of a pastoral relation, or I must do as I did, cast myself on a kind providence which opened right beside me the arms & hearts of an affectionate congregation, who bade me come & do what I could. Rather more than a year has transpired & I am not prepared to reply affirmatively to their offer: -  the field of duty widens ---  demands for labor are multiplied through the good hand of our God upon us, & I again find myself with the return of Spring, all but arrested in my services.”

The letter continues, and mentions the possibility of his removal to New Brunswick in the Spring of 1843, which had been settled in the negative.  He now asks Classis to determine whether he must accept the call from Leeds and be installed, or reject it.  Deplores the present conditions, which are against the usage and policy if the Reformed Dutch Church, and set a bad example.

“My experience & observation convince me that no understanding or arrangements, often sincerely made under the impulse of strong desires & in the ardor of first love, respecting a given amount or form of service will, unless full proof of our ministry is made & occasions are fully met, prevent embarrassment of feeling at least on the part of a minister, arising form interrupted fluctuation ministrations: -  the next natural result is uneasiness on the minds of the people & eventually a dissolution of their connexion under a cloud. ……………  If a little prolongation of time might be allowed, it would be acceptable, but if it cannot be consistently done, act freely & speak plainly.”

The committee to whom this communication was referred, reported, that they recognized the great spiritual benefits derived during Mr. Romeyn’s service at Leeds, went though his labors were not in the full measure required by his call.  The sympathized with him, because of the state of his health; and reported that the Leeds congregation were willing to accept him as pastor,  with any amount of service he may be able to perform.  Resolved that the matter remain in the hands of the committee, until September.  In the hope that Mr. Romeyn may be able to make up his mind in the mean time.  At the September Session  (1843), no answer was received from Mr. Romeyn, who was absent from the meeting. The committee recommended that Mr. Romeyn fix as early a date as possible for his installation and communicate it to the Stated Clerk so than measures may be

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taken accordingly. At the Spring Session, April 16, 1844, another communication was received from Mr. Romeyn, in which he appears to have taken exception to the recommendation of the committee. Mr. Romeyn’s tone was less apologetic because his health was about ready to permit him to accept a call to a better congregation than Leeds.  The committee took steps to smooth matters over, but indicated in their report, that Mr. Roemyn’s period of vacillation was nearly over, as far as the Classis was concerned. The recommended, “that Rev. J. Romeyn communicate as soon  as possible with the Classis as to the convenient time for his installation, which will give great satisfaction to us & all parties concerned, but if he be led to the decision to decline installation at Leeds & accept any other call that the Stated Clerk be authorized to furnish him with the usual testimonial and dismission.”

 The Classis of Bergen met in Spring Session, on the same day as the Classis of Greene, April 16, 1844. A call from the church at Bergen Neck on the Rev. James Romeyn was approved.   A committee was appointed to receive Mr. Romeyn's credentials and to install him as pastor on the last Tuesday in May.  On July 22, 1844, the committee reported that they had attended to his installation, and on that day he was received form the Classis of Greene.

 The last meeting of the Leeds Consistory at which Mr. Romeyn presided as President, was on Apr. 14, 1844. He failed to appear at the Spring Session of the Classis of Greene, two days later, probably because he was on  a visit to his prospective charge in Bergen Neck.  The last act that he performed in the congregation of Leeds, was to record baptisms, on July 5 and 6, 1844.  No doubt the change of climate proved beneficial to this health; but the expectations of Mr. Romeyn were realized, inasmuch as the method of this termination of this labors at Leeds, left him ore or less “under a cloud”.   At least his feelings (so easily wounded!) were hurt to such an extent, that he did not spend a Sabbath, when he was called back there by his temporal affairs (probably in July). The Leeds Consistory, at a meeting on June 2, 1845, passed a long preamble and resolutions, full of praise, love and affection, and assuming the blame for the action of the committee of Classis, which finally brought to a close his two year period of vacillation, a copy of the resolutions was transmitted to Mr. Romeyn  “to make such use of them as he may think advisable.”

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In September, 1844, a subscription list was circulated to call the Rev. John G. Johnson, of the Reformed Dutch Church of Glenham, in Dutchess County.  The call was dated September 30th.  By letter, dated Oct. 10, 1844, Mr. Johnson refused the call, having been led to believe that certain persons in the congregation would not receive him cordially.

               WILLIAM KNIGHT, January 1845.  The roll of members present at a meeting of the Classis, on Jan. 7, 1845, shows Rev. William Knight, present as Stated Supply, from Leeds.  The records of the Leeds church give no intimation of this service.  Probably, Mr. Knight was there but a few months; he may have been engaged to preach as Candidate.

4.          WILLIAM ROWLAND SPALDING BETTS,  Aug. 6, 1845 to Oct. 29, 1850.  In April, 1845, it was resolved to write to Mr. Betts to ask him to preach as Candidate. On May 26th, it was resolved to circulate subscriptions to make a call on him.  The call was dated June 2, 1845.  On Aug. 6th, Mr. Betts was received from the Classis of New Brunswick; the call from Leeds was approved by Classis, it was accepted by Mr. Betts and he was installed, all on that day.  His salary appears to have commenced on June 1, 1845. On Feb. 8, 1850, it appeared that there was a deficiency in the salary subscription, of $60.00, due Dec. 1st.  A meeting of the Great Consistory was called for Feb. 15th, when it was recommended to pay the regular salary until June 1st, and thereafter as much as could be collected.  On June 21st, the facts were communicated to Mr. Betts, to obtain his decision. Mr. Betts answered, that the expected the full amount of  salary, as stipulated in the call; and that he would continue to serve as pastor for three months from June 1st; after which, if no other call was presented him, he would be content with what was collected, or resign his call.  On Oct. 7, 1850, the Consistory asked for his resignation, as it was generally desired by the congregation. On Oct. 29, 1850, the pastoral relation was dissolved, the Consistory acting on the same day. Mr. Betts remained a member of Classis, without charge for some years.  More or less of the time, he supplied Athens which was vacant. On Sept. 21, 1852, he was reported Stated Supply at Athens for the first time.  At last on Mar. 13, 1855, he was dismissed by the Classis of Greene within whose bounds he had accepted a call.  

On May 20, 1851, a call was tendered to the Rev. Jacob H. Van Woert, pastor at North Blenheim and Breakabeen. He had formerly been a member of the first 

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Church of Coxsackie and was licensed by  the Classis of Greene, on Aug. 28, 1849.  Mr. Van Woert declined the call, by letter dated June 2, 1851. He stated that he would rather be among his own people and friends, but was unable to desert his Schoharie County congregations, the people there all desiring that he should remain with them.     

 5.                 JOHN MINOR, Nov., 24, 1851 to June 24, 1857.  His call was dated Oct. 15, 1851: he was present at a meeting of the Consistory, Nov. 19, 1851. His call was approved by the Classis, on Nov. 24, 1851; he accepted it and was installed on the same day.  His pastorate was an eminently successful one. A new parsonage was built; a new roof to the church and a new steeple were erected; and the church was refitted inside. Mr. Minor was obliged to raise much money for the improvements, in which he was ably assisted by the Ladies Benevolent Association, of which he wife, Mrs. Mary D. Minor, was President, 1852 to 1855.  His pastoral labors appear to have ceased in June, 1857, his last acts were performed on June 12th, as far as the records show.  On July 28, 1857, a meeting of the Classis was called for Aug. 12th, to consider an application for the dissolution of the pastoral relation, but it was not presented at the meeting.  On Sept. 24, 1857, the application was presented and the pastoral relation was dissolved; the reason assigned was “a rapid decline of health” and that “rest from active duties was necessary to its restoration.”  The Consistory acted to dissolve, on June 24th, though not shown in the minutes of the Consistory. By reason of his tact and good judgment, the congregation successfully weathered two storms: - the tumult occasioned by the selection of a new Parsonage site; and what was more serious, the disturbance caused by abrogating the rights of the pew lessees, in order to remodel the interior of the church.  Mr. Minor left the church considerably in debt, with litigation pending, concerning the rights of the first pew leases.          

6.                 SAMUEL TOMB SEARLE,  Nov. 4, 1857  to July 8, 1869. The Consistory resolved to call him on Sept. 27th; the call was dated Nov. 1, 1857. He was received by Classis, dismissed from the Classis of Saratoga; the call was approved and accepted; and he was installed, on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 1857.  His ministry was even more successful than that of his predecessor. In 1859, the debt was between seven and eight hundred dollars. But on Feb. 13, 1864, the last note was taken up, and the church was free from debt.    On July 6, 1869

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Classis approved a dissolution of the call  and Mr. Searle was dismissed to the Classis of Passaic.  In the minutes of the Consistory, it is stated that Classis met on July 9th, which is also the date given when the Consistory acted to dissolve the call.

7.                BENJAMIN VAN ZANDT, Aug. 26, 1869 to May 1, 1878.  Prior to Aug. 26, 1869, the Consistory resolved to tender a call to Dr. Van Zandt. The Ref. F. Horton, of Catskill was invited to be present to moderate the call, on Aug. 26; he failed to appear and the meeting was adjourned until the next day; Dr. Van Zandt was present at the meeting.  The call was finally moderated and signed on Aug. 29th.  At the meeting of Classis on Sept. 21, 1869, the call was approved.  On Nov. 4, 1869, Dr. Van Zandt was received by the Classis, dismissed from the Classis of Montgomery; the call was accepted and Dr. Van Zandt was installed.  During his pastorate, the church and parsonage were repaired and repainted.  In March, 1870, a pipe organ was installed in the choir-gallery; but the church again ran into debt.  On Apr. 1878, the Consistory acted to dissolve the pastoral relation.  It was resolved that the salary should be paid to May 1, 1878; that Dr. Van  Zandt should have the use of the parsonage during the month of May; and half, or all of the fruit growing that year.  At the meeting of  Classis on April 16th, the pastoral relation was dissolved to take effect on May 1st; the reason assigned was advanced age and impaired health. It was Dr. Van Zandt’s last charge.  For the last seventeen years of his life, he resided at Catskill, supplying churches whenever he was able.  He was Stated Clerk of the Classis of Greene, from Jan. 30, 1874 to Apr. 15, 1890.

Note: The minutes of the Consistory in my hands close with Dr. Van Zandt’s pastorate. The subsequent data is therefore curtailed.

8.                   CHARLES WILTSHIRE WOOD,    July 1, 1878 to May 1879.  The Consistory resolved the call him, on June 19, 1878.  He was received from the Classis of Bergen. The committee on vacant churches presented a request from Leeds for Mr. Wood to act as Stated Supply for one year, with a view to permanent settlement.  On Apr. 15, 1879, Classis dismissed him to the Presbytery of Troy.

9.                            CORNELIUS PETERSON DITMARS,      Sept. 23, 1878 to Oct. --. 1883. Called Sept. 2, 1879, Sept. 16th Classis received him from the Classis of New Brunswick., and call was approved.  Ordained and installed, Sept. 23, 1879. Pastoral relation dissolved, Oct. 12, 1833, and dismissed to Classis of Schenectady. 

Page 140

10.                        ELBERT NEVIUS SEBRING,  Nov. 1, 1884 to Oct 12, 1889, when he died. 

This closes the list of pastors of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Leeds, for the period covered by the records transcribed.

PASTORS OF THE REFORMED PROTESTANT DUCH CHURCH OF KISKATOM,
1842 TO 1850.

1.            WILLIAM LYALL,  Nov. 1, 1842 to May 25, 1847.  Called,  Sept. 19, 1842; call approved by Classis, Sept. 20th.  He commenced his ministerial labors, Nov. 1st.  May 23, 1843, at a  meeting of the Classis of Greene at Kiskatom, Rev. William Lyall exhibited his certificate of ordination by the Congregational Union of Scotland, and dismission for the Manhattan Association of New York; examined and sustained examination; subscribed to the formula and installed pastor of Kiskatom.  On Apr. 12, 1847, Mr. Lyall notified the Consistory that he desired to leave the close of the present month.  On Apr. 19, 1847, the Consistory acted to dissolve. At the meeting of Classis on Apr. 20, 1847, the Rev. Wm. G. B. Betts reported that at the request of the Rev. Wm. Lyall, he had attended to the preliminary steps to a dissolution, ,on April.19th.  The matter referred to a committee, who reported that matters of a minor nature led to the request for dissolution. The request was not acted upon, and a committee was appointed to visit the church of Kiskatom and if possible to bring about a reconciliation. The cause of the trouble was a difficulty between the Rev. Mr. Lyall and R. M. Lawrence.  On Apr. 28, 1847, the committee of Classis met at Kiskatom and heard statements; after which it was concluded to recommend the dissolution. The charge preferred against Mr. Lawrence was heard by the Consistory, on May 18th; the Consistory resolved unanimously that he was honorably acquitted. The pastoral relation was dissolved by the Classis, on May 25, 1847.

 2.                 JOHN LIMBERGER SEE,  Nov. 30, 1847  to Oct. 14, 1880.  Consistory resolved to call him, Sept. 30, 1847. At a meeting of he Classis of Greene, on Nov. 30, 1847, the Licentiate, John L. See was received from the Classis of New York; he was examined and sustained the examination; called by Kiskatom; call approved and accepted, he was ordained and installed on that day. On Oct. 14, 1850, the pastoral relation was dissolved; the Consistory acted on the same day. Mr. See was dismissed to the Classis of New York, to accept a call at Unionville.

 Page 141

 DESCRIPTION OF CHURCH RECORDS.

The following original records, the property of the Reformed Church of Leeds, have passed through my hands, in the preparation of this volume.

1.                        Vital Records, 1833 to 1888. This book is completely transcribed. On pages 1 to 96. The pages measure 7 ¾ x 6 ½ inches. The book contains about 250 pages, some 70 of which are blank.  All the quires are loose and detached and a few leaves may be missing.  The book is bound with calf back an corners and pasteboard sides. The binding would still be serviceable, if the covers had not become loosened.

2.                         Marriages and Funeral, 1879 to 1889; also Members Received, Dec. 1884 to Sept 1889.  The book as paged contained 289 pages; the first 42 pages have been cut out; evidently was the private property of Rev. C. P. Ditmars, before he came to Leeds. All the pages are blank except ten.  The pages measure 7 ½ x 5 inches; bound in full calf, with gilt tooling; condition good. Not transcribed.

3.                        Register of Baptized Members, 1881.  A home made book with pasteboard sides; contains 36 pages, wood pulp paper, some 8 ½ x 5 ½ and some 8 ½ x 3 ½ inches; of little consequence and not transcribed.

4.                        Register of Members, 1879 to 1883. A home made book with pasteboard sides; contains 40 pages, 7 ½ x 3 ¼ inches in size.  The book contains a list of members as of Oct. 1, 1879 and another as of Oct. 1, 1883; also record of a few members dismissed, 1880 to 1883. Not transcribed.

5.                        Minutes of the Consistory, Mar. 17, 1833 to Apr. 27, 1878. the book contains about 260 pages, nearly all of which contain minutes; size 12 ½ x 7 ¾ inches; bound calf back an corners with pasteboard sides; condition good. Abstracts from this book appear on pages 97 to 102; also throughout the historical article.

 The following original records, the property of the Reformed Church of Kiskatom, have passed through my hand sin the preparation of the Kiskatom Supplement, in the back of this volume.

 

1.                              Vital Records,  1842 to 1847.  this book contains about 20 pages of church records and several loose leaves form another book.  The rest of the book  is devoted to secular matters, nothing to do with the church.  The pages measure 7 ¾ x 6 ¼ inches; bound calf back and corners with pasteboard sides; condition good. The Vital Records cover the pastorate of the Ref. William Lyall. All the vital records are transcribed on pages 1 to 9 of the Kiskatom Supplement.

2.                              Vital Records, 1847 to 1887.  The book as paged contains 289 pages, in size 13 ¼ x 8 inches; bound calf back and corners with pasteboard sides. The book contains an Index, p. I; Record of Pastors, 1842 to 1907, pp 3 to 5; Marriages, 1847 to 1886, pp. 7-37; Adult Baptisms, 1849 to 1887, pp. 50, 74-77; Baptisms and Births, 1847 to 1887, pp. 51-67; Deaths, 1848 to 1850, p. 127; Deaths, 1868 to 1884, pp. 128-129; Members, 1842 to 1887, pp 201-218; Subscription list for new Church Register, 1887;  Members Dismissed, 1861 to 1871, pp. 251-252.

Extracts from this book, embracing the pastorate of the Rev. John L. See, (1847 to 1850)  have been transcribed on pages 10 to 21 of the Kiskatom Supplement.

    3.                     Minutes of the Consistory, Feb. 11, 1842 to Apr. 7, 1882. the book as                             paged contains 320 pages, nearly all of which contain minutes; size 12
                          
½ x 7 ½ inches; bound calf back and corners with pasteboard sides;
                          
condition good. A few abstracts from this book appear in the historical
                          
article.            

All the volumes above described, together with a mass of documents, were received form the Rev. John H. Heinrichs, the pastor of the Reformed Church of Leeds, towards the close of the years 1919; they were returned to him in the month of February, 1920. 


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