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Putnam County, New York

History of Putnam County
Chapter XXVII
Town of Kent


Among the early settlers of Queens county, Long Island, were John and Henry Townsend, who were the progenitors of a very extensive family. The first of the name who appears in Putnam county was David Townsend, who, in 1735, was the owner of Lot No. 6 on the Oblong, which was the extreme southeast corner of the county. His son, Elihu Townsend, was born in Oyster Bay, Long Island, August, 1704, and moving to the Oblong, lived on the Lot No. 6, as above described. His house stood in the town of North Salem, a short distance south of the county line, and he died there in July, 1805.

His son, Uriah Townsend, was born in 1732. His homestead was in the original lot but nortli of the county line in the town of Southeast. He died in 1804, leaving five sons: Abijah, born 1780, died November 5th, 1838; Elihu, Samuel, Abraham and. Stephen. Elihu Townsend gave his farm to these grandsons by deed in 1801. Abijah Townsend lived in Southeast. He had a son, Uriah, whose son Keeler was a well known citizen of the town. Elihu went to Canada. He had two sons, Henry and James. Abraham left no descendants. Stephen went to Susquehannah.

Samuel Townsend was born November 25th, 1772, and died May 20th, 1853. His homestead, during the greater part of his life, was the tract in the town of Kent, which has long borne the name of Townsend's Ridge. The farm was originally in the possession of Nathan Crosby, who held it as a tenant of the Philipse family, and it was afterward purchased by Samuel Townsend. Mr. Townsend married Keturah, daughter of Nathan Crosby. Their children were: Polly, born May 7th, 1792, married Lewis Ludington; Zillah, born May 9th, 1794, married Peter Smith; Anna, born November 5th, 1797, married Ward Haviland;. Coleman, born November 5th, 1797, and now living at Brewster; Warren, born September 23d, 1802, died May 10th, 1859; Horace, born December 20th, 1804, died February 2d, 1852; and Samuel A., born May 20th, 1810, now living in Carmel.

Coleman Townsend, who is a well-known resident of Brewster, married Malinda Ogden. She died in 1870. Their children were: Zillah, wife of Alanson Robinson; Elihu, who died at sea July 2d, 1858, aged 38; and Peter B., deceased.

Warren Townsend was a prominent citizen of Carmel. He married Betsey, daughter of Thomas Caldwell. Their children were: John, who is now living in Pawling; Marriette, wife of George M. Hughson, of Carmel; Edgar, now living in Patterson; Thomas, deceased; Samuel K., deceased; Charlotte H., wife of David C. Ilughson; and Eli, now living in Kent.

Horace Townsend was a resident of Farmer's Mills, and was a prominent citizen when that village was in the days of its glory. He married Philinda, daughter of Daniel Kent, and had two children: Laura, wife of Peter Smith, and Coleman K., now living near Brewster.

Mr. Samuel A. Townsend was born on the old homestead on Townsend's Ridge, and the early part of his business life was passed on the farm in the town of Kent, now owned by Putnam Light. About 1852 he went to reside on the homestead of his father, and continued there till 1868, since which time he has passed a life of retired leisure in the village of Carmel. Besides conducting his extensive farm he was in earlier years an extensive dealer in cattle. Mr. Townsend married Hannah, daughter of Thomas Caldwell. Their children were: Henry, born April 30th, 1832, died August 5th, 1871; Mary A., Cyrus C., Zillah and Susan.

Mr. Cyrus C. Townsend, who is well known as an extensive farmer of the town of Kent, was born on his father's farm March 17th, 1837. When fifteen years old he came with his father to reside on the old homestead of his grandfather, on Townsend Ridge, and this has been his residence till the present time. The original farm has been largely increased till it now embraces 280 acres and is one of the finest in the town and county. On this homestead, near the present barn, was, in the middle of the last century, an enclosure known as the "Horse Pound," which gave its name to the principal road through Kent and Carmel. It was made for the purpose of securing the large numbers of stray horses which ran at large in early times. Long lines of fence converged to the pound, and between these the horses were driven to the enclosure.

Mr. Townsend married Eunice, daughter of Alexander Penney. They have two children, Ethel Glenn and Bessie.

Henry Townsend, brother of Cyrus C. Townsend, married Angeline, daughter of Stephen R. Barrett. Their children are: Arthur, Wilbert, Byron, Cassie (wife of Coleman T. Henion), and Emily.

Besides the family of Elihu Townsend, whose descendants have been traced above, there are several other families of the name, the exact relationship of whom is unknown. On the assessment roll of 1777, the names of Daniel, Charles, Benjamin, Robert, Christopher, James, John, Levi, Elijah, Isaac, Zebulon and Uriah Townsend are found. Charles Townsend is supposed to have been a brother of Uriah and son of Elihu, He had sons, James and Elijah (mentioned above) and Eber. Of these Gen. James Townsend was born in 1756, and died March 13th, 1832. He was a prominent man of Carmel, and once owned the land where the Court House now stands, he married Priscilla, daughter of Elihu Cole, 1st, and his children were: James, Alvah, Charles (who had sons Albert, David and others), Ardillio, Susannah (wife of Stephen Waring), Naomai, (2d wife of Dr. Robert Weeks), Mercy (wife of Issacher Merrick) and Priscilla (wife Levi Bailey).

Elijah Townsend (brother of General James) died in 1823. He had sons, James, Melankie, Charles and Joshua. The last died November 9th, 1858, aged 70 years, 11 months and 11 days. He had sons: Stephen, born 1810; Harvey; Alonzo, Coleman and Hamilton. Stephen has children: Isaac, Orville, James, John, Freeman, Augustus and Coleman S., who lives in Carmel, near Long Pond.

Benjamin Townsend was living near Lake Mahopac in the early part of this century. His house stands about a quarter of a mile east of the railroad station. The first Methodist meetings were held there. He died May 2d,1838, aged 79. He had a wife Anna, and a daughter who married Nathaniel Crane.

Isaac Townsend was living on Lot 6 on the Oblong, near Uriah Townsend, in 1791. Nothing is known of his family.

Christopher Townsend is supposed to have been the father of John Townsend, who married Jemima Travis. Among his descendants may be mentioned Professor Cleveland Abbe of Washington, D. C.


The first of the Robinson family of whom we have any knowledge was Isaiah, who came from Cape Cod and settled in Carmel on a place which was west of the reservoir, near the Tilly Foster Mine. In the assessment roll of 1777 the names of Ebenezer and John Robinson occur. The latter probably lived in Patterson and is mentioned as living "near Robinson's store." They were brothers of Isaiah Robinson.

Isaiah Robinson married Amy Chapel. Their children were: Peter; Zelotas, who went to Danbury, Conn.; Isaiah, who moved to Vermont; Ebenezer, who went to Chenango county; Noah, who moved to Tompkins county; Andrew, who lived in Kent on the place now owned by Eben Wixom; and Chapel, who also removed to Tompkins county. There was one daughter, Lydia, who married Joshua Morse.

Peter Robinson was born March 8th, 1761, and died May 21st, 1849. He was a soldier in the Revolution, and was at West Point at the time of Arnold's treason. During the latter part of his life he received a pension from the government, the principal witness in his behalf at the time of his application being Enoch Crosby, the original of "Harvey Birch," the hero of Cooper's "Spy." His residence was on a farm in Kent near the place where his grandson, Coleman Robinson, now lives. He was well known as a good and worthy citizen.

Peter Robinson married Phebe Haight. Their children were: Huldah, wife of Squire Robinson; James, who moved to Tompkins county; Nathaniel; Meliza, wife of Abel Shaw, of Wisconsin; Ira, who also went to that State; Carle, who went to Illinois; Lydia, wife of Abijah K. Barrett; Betsy, wife of Major Mead; and Amy, wife of Joseph McCargar, of Orleans county, N. Y.

Elder Nathaniel Robinson, the third child of this family, was born April 6th, 1788. When four years old he moved to Kent with his father, and lived in a log house near the present residence of Coleman Robinson. His father at first held a large farm as tenant of Frederick Philipse, and afterward purchased it. Mr. Robinson was for many years an elder and minister of the Baptist Church. From a church record book, which is now in possession of his descendants, and a highly prized relic, we learn that he commenced preaching June 20th, 1819. During the rest of his life he preached in various places, as Carmel, Patterson, Fishkill, Farmer's Mills and Putnam Valley. The number of marriages solemnized by him was five hundred, and he officiated at the funerals of more than one thousand persons, and his services on such occasions were so highly appreciated that he was called to distant places to perform the last sad rites which accompany the closing scene of man's career on earth. The house which he built more than sixty years ago is yet standing on the farm of his son, Coleman Robinson. After a long life of great usefulness Elder Robinson died August 20th, 1865, in the 81st year of his age, and a neat monument in the burying ground by the Baptist church at Farmer's Mills marks his last resting place.

Elder Nathaniel Robinson married Adah, daughter of Seth Kelley. She was born May 11th, 1791, and died October 9th, 1883. They were the parents of three children: Coleman Robinson, born May 2d, 1816; Laura, born June 5th, 1818, married Eben Wixom, and resides in Kent; and Olive, who died in infancy.

Mr. Coleman Robinson, who is one of the best known citizens of Kent, resides on a farm in the northern part of the town. This farm was formerly owned by his grandfather, Peter Robinson, and was given by him to his son Carle, who sold it to Elder Moseman Barrett, a prominent citizen of former days. His sons sold it to John Henion, from whom it was purchased by Mr. Robinson. To the original farm he has greatly added by judicious purchases, and it now includes 255 acres. A line of stone wall about three rods west of his house is the original line between Lots 5 and 6 of the Philipse Patent, and from this point an unbroken line of fence marks the line to its northern extremity on the top of a mountain a short distance north of the county line. Mr. Robinson has held the office of supervisor of Kent, and was justice of the peace for many years, and justice of Sessions. He has also held the office of commissioner of schools, and was appraiser of lands in many instances. In all these positions his sound and discriminating judgment was fully recognized.

Mr. Robinson married Chloe Jane, daughter of John Henion. Their children are: Watson D., Emily B., wife of Charles B. Peck of Patterson (who has children, Coleman, Annie L. and Chloe May), and Coliette, wife of Emory C. Hufcut of Fishkill, who has one son, Ralph W.

Mr. Watson D. Robinson, who resides in Kent with his father, has also been supervisor of the town, and is justly regarded as one of the rising young men of the county.

John HENION came from Rhinebeck, and lived near Boyd's Corners in Kent. He married Mercy Smalley, and had children: Elias, who married Betsey Clawson; Zachariah, who married Margaret Hagar; John, jr., who married Chloe Hagar; Hannah, wife of Edmond Knox; Elizabeth, wife of Hiram Light; Julia, wife of Barnum Hazelton; Chloe Jane, wife of Coleman Robinson; and Mary, wife of Lee McDonald.

John Henion, Jr., had children: David, Julia, wife of Coleman K. Townsend; Kent, a well-known citizen of Patterson; Hannah, wife of William J. Robinson; Laura, wife of Lewis G. Robinson; Coleman T.; and Carrie, wife of John M. Penny.

Source: pages 708 through 713.

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