Town of Poestenkill


The following information is from Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State by J. H. French, published in 1860.

Ray Brown's website Ray's Place has town histories as published in Landmarks of Rensselaer County by George Baker ANDERSON (Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1897). For Chapter XXXII, Town of Poestenkill, click here.


Poestenkill1 - named from its principal stream - was formed from Sand Lake, March 2, 1848. It lies near the center of the co., upon the western declivities of the Petersburgh Mts. The central and e. portions are rugged, rocky, and mountainous, and the soil is cold, sterile, and unproductive. The w. part is hilly, with a gravelly loam well adapted to pasturage. Snake Hill, near the center, is one of the principal elevations. Upon the Poesten Kil is a fall of about 80 feet. One mi. w. of the falls is a medicinal spring, with a local celebrity for the cure of eruptions and cutaneous diseases.2 Poestenkill (p.v.) contains 300 inhabitants, East Poestenkill (p.o.) 10 houses, and Barberville 16. A union academy was formed in this town in 1854, but it is not under the regents. The census reports 4 churches.3

1 Pronounced "Poos-ten-kill". It is a Dutch word signifying "puffing or foaming creek."
2 A bathing establishment erected here was swept away by a freshet.
3 Bap., F. W. Bap., Disciple, and Ev. Luth.


The following information is from Gazetteer and Business Directory of Rensselaer County, N. Y., for 1870-71, compiled by Hamilton Child, 1870.

Poestenkill, named from its principal stream, was formed from Sand Lake, March 2, 1848. It lies near the center of the county, upon the western declivities of the Petersburgh Mountains. The central and east portions are rugged, rocky and mountainous, and the soil is cold, sterile and unproductive. The west part is hilly, and the soil is a gravelly loam, well adapted to pasturage. Snake Hill, near the center, is one of the priucipal elevations. Upon the Poesten Kil is a beautiful cascade of eighty feet fall. About a mile west of the falls is a medicinal spring which has attained some notoriety for the cure of eruptions and cutaneous diseases. A bathing establishment erected here several years ago was carried away by a freshet.

The village of Poestenkill, on the creek of the same name, contains two churches, three stores, a grist mill, a saw mill, a small cotton batting factory and about 300 inhabitants.

East Poestenkill is a hamlet.

The village of Barberville contains a church and about fifteen dwellings.

The population of the town in 1865 was 1,952, and its area 19,353 acres.

The number of school districts is eight, employing the same number of teachers. The number of children of school age is 725; the number attending school 503; the average attendance 226, and the amount expended for school purposes during the year ending Sept. 30, 1869, was $2,727.56.


The following information is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

Poestenkill derives its name from its principal stream, the Poestenkill, which, in the Dutch language means "puffing" or "foaming creek". It is located near the center of Rensselaer County, and was formed from the town of Sand Lake on March 2, 1848. It is bounded on the north by the towns of Brunswick and Grafton, on the south by Sand Lake, on the east by Berlin, and on the west by the towns of North and East Greenbush.

The first permanent settlements were made in the town about 1770. The early settlers came mostly from river towns, working their way north and east as settlement of the county progressed.

Poestenkill boasted the usual grist mills, blacksmith shops, cotton mills, and later a shirt factory. A medicinal spring was located near the settlement and in the early years of the nineteenth century it was a very popular resort, with large bathing houses. In 1814 the resort and dams were destroyed by a flood and never rebuilt.

Poestenkill's military record is praiseworthy. At the time of the Revolutionary War the town contained few inhabitants, a large number of whom served in the army. Among these were William Sluyter, Archelaus Lynd, Barent Polock, Mr. Windsor, and Daniel Peck. Benjamin Cottrel, grandfather of George and William L. Cortrell, served in the war and drew the first wheelbarrow-load for the fortifications of Bunker Hill.

A number citizens served in the War of 1812, among whom were Joel Peck, William C. Cooper, Thomas Morrison, Burbee Feathers and Platt and George Horton.

The following is a list of those who served in the Civil War, prepared from the printed muster-in rolls of the State, and from the reports of the census of 1865.

Civil War Soldiers
Adams, Luther A., enl. Dec. 2, 1863, 7th H. Art.; pro. to corp. and serget.; re-enl. June 2, 1865
Amidon, Benjamin F., enl. Feb. 28, 1862, 11th N. Y. Regt.
Amidon, Benjamin T., enl. March 1865, 192d Regt.
Austin, Charles, enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 125th Regt.
Austin, Hiram F., enl. Aug. 6, 1862, 108th Regt.
Austin, James E., enl. Dec. 31, 1863, 7th H. Art.
Austin, John E., enl. March 27, 1865, 192d Regt.; re-enl. 11th Regt.
Bailey, Abraham, enl. Sept. 3, 1862, 169th Regt.
Bly, William C., enl. Aug. 24, 1861, Harris Cav.; re-enl. Feb. 1864
Bly, William C., enl. Feb. 1862, Cavalry
Bradt, John, enl. Oct. 6, 1862; pro. to corp.; wounded.
Bradt, Tunis, enl. May 1861, Navy, gunner's mate, ship "Octorora."
Bronagen, Frank, enl. Aug. 30, 1863, 125th Regt.
Burdick, Thomas, enl. May 8, 1861, 4th Wis. Regt.; pro. to corp.; pro. seven times.
Castle, Irad, enl. Aug. 14, 1864, 7th H. Art.; had served before in the 169th Regt.
Causick, John, enl. Dec. 16, 1864, 7th H. Art.; wounded
Chapel, William J., enl. Sept. 6, 1864, 43d N. Y. Regt.
Cipperly, Ezra, enl. Sept. 1862, 125th Regt.
Cipperly, George, enl. Sept. 1862, 125th Regt.
Coons, Jacob, enl. Sept. 1863, 169th Regt.
Cooper, William W., enl. Dec. 21, 1863, 7th H. Art.; severely wounded
Cropsey, Albert, enl. Dec. 21, 1863, 7th H. Art.; pro. to corp.
Feathers, Adam H., 1st sergt., enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 125th Regt.
Feathers, John M., enl. Aug. 12, 1862, 125th Regt.
Feathers, Joseph, enl. Sept. 10, 1862, 5th Art.
Flint, Heman, enl. March 7, 1862, Scott's Nine Hundred
Freemauth, Alfred, enl. 5th Regt.; wounded in foot
Fritz, Henry, enl. Sept. 15, 1862, 169th Regt.; wounded in hand
Fritz, Henry, enl. Sept. 5, 1862, 169th Regt., Co. A
Goewey, Daniel, enl. Aug. 4, 1862, 125th Regt., Co. C
Goewey, Darius, enl. Aug. 1862, 125th Regt.
Goewey, Oliver, enl. Sept. 1861, 30th Regt.
Hall, Emerson, blacksmith, enl. 1861, 7th Cav.
Hall, George M., enl. July 12, 1862, 7th H. Art.
Hammond, Edward, enl. 11863, 104th Regt.; re-enl. March 14
Hanner, David, enl. Aug. 26, 1862, 125th Regt.; pro. to sergt.
Herringrton, Herman E., enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 125th Regt.
Herrington, George F., corp., enl. Sept. 11, 1862, 115th Pa. Regt.
Horton, Alfonzo, enl. 169th Regt.
Horton, Alonzo, enl. Sept. 3, 1862, 169th Regt.; trans. to 9th Vet. Res. Corps.
Horton, Charles, enl. Aug. 19, 1864, Scott's Nine Hundred
Horton, David P., enl. Dec. 2, 1863, 7th H. Art.
Howe, Henry S., enl. Aug. 27, 1864, 21st Cav.
Isle, Nelson, enl. Dec. 6, 1861, 2d Regt.
Ketchum, Henry, enl. Dec. 1863
Lampson, George, enl. May 1862, Scott's Nine Hundred
Lampson, Otis, enl. March 1865.
Lance, Henrya, enl. Sept. 6, 1862, 169th Regt.; pro. to corp.
Lanze, Henry, enl. Sept. 6, 1862, 169th Regt., Co. A
Lawless, John, enl. 1863, 7th H. Art., trans. to infantry
Lee, Emerson D., enl. Aug. 15, 1862, 125th Regt.
Lefinger, Irad K., enl. Aug. 1862, 125th Regt.
Lockwood, Simson, enl. Dec. 1863, 7th H. Art.
Loderick, Jacob, enl. Dec. 1863, 7th H. Art.
Magett, Joseph, enl. Jan. 6, 1862, Ind. Battery, No. 12
Mason, Israel, enl. Dec. 14, 1863, 7th H. Art.; wounded; trans. Nov. 1864
Mason, Leonard, enl. Aug. 17, 1862, 125th Regt.; prisoner at Harper's Ferry
Mason, Moses, enl. Dec. 19, 1863, 7th H. Art.
Mason, Peleg, enl. Aug. 17, 1862, 125th Regt.
Mason, W. H., enl. Sept. 6, 1862, 169th Regt., Co. A
McDonald, Hugh, enl. Dec. Dec. 1863, 7th H. Art.
Menheifer, Lewis, enl. Sept. 3, 1862, 169th Regt.; wounded in lower limbs.
Mills, John, enl. Jan. 7, 1862, 12th Battery
Mills, John, enl. Jan. 7, 1862, Ind. Battery, No. 12
Moon, Alfred, enl. April 1861, 30th N. Y. Regt.; re-enl. Aug. 14, 1862, and Jan. 12, 1864.
Moore, Norman, enl. Aug. 331, 1864, 91st N. Y. Regt.
Overocker, Mathias, enl. June 1864
Place, George, enl. June 1861, 30th N. Y. Regt.
Pulner, David, enl. Sept. 1864, 12th Cav.
Quitterfield, Charles O., enl. Aug. 10, 1862, 125th Regt.
Reder, Anton, enl. Sept. 6, 1862, 169th Regt., Co. A
Render, Anton, enl. Sept. 25, 1862, 169th Regt.; pro. to corp.
Richard, Henry, enl. Dec. 1863, 7th H. Art.
Sharp, Benjamin, enl. Nov. 1861, 15th H. Art.
Simmons, George, enl. Dec. 21, 1863, 7th H. Art.; wounded through the hand
Simmons, Herman, enl. Aug. 16, 1862, 125th Regt.
Strope, George, enl. Dec. 1863, 7th H. Art.
Tracy, Chauncey, enl. Sept. 1, 1862, 169th Regt., Co. A
Tromble, Byron W., fifer, enl. Nov. 1861, 1st Sharpshooters
Tromble, Theron A., drummer, enl. Aug. 1862, 1st Sharpshooters
Wager, Zachariah Z., enl. Sept. 2, 1864, 188th Regt.
Wagner, John, enl. Sept. 5, 1862, 169th Regt., Co. A
Waterman, William C., enl. March 14, 1862, Scott's Nine Hundred; re-enl. March 1864, 11th Cav.
Wheeler, Walter M., enl. June 6, 1861, 30th Regt.

Died in Service
Amidon, Philip, enl. Dec. 18, 1863, 7th Art.; killed June 1, 1864 at Cold Harbor.
Bailey, Willard, sergt., enl. Dec. 1862, 7th N. Y. Regt.; killed in 1864 in the battle of Ream's Station.
Bradt, George, enl. Sept. 20, 1862, 125th Regt.; died March 18, 1865 at West Philadelphia, of bleeding of the lungs.
Horton, Daniel M., enl. June 24, 1863, 12th Cav.; died Sept. 3, 1863 at home of typhoid fever.
Loradee, Martin, enl. Aug. 1862, 125th Regt.; died Sept. 18, 1863 in Va.
Mason, William Henry, enl. Sept. 6, 1862, 169th Regt.; died June 1, 1864 at Cold Harbor, Va.
Morrison, Daniel, enl. Sept. 20, 1862, 2d N. Y. Regt.; re-enl. 30th Wis. Regt.; died March 28, 1865 at Goldsboro, of wounds.
Randal, Dexter, enl. Dec. 1862, 7th Art.; died June 3, 1864 of wounds at Cold Harbor.
Robbins, Watson L., enl. Sept. 20, 1862, 125th Regt.; died of wounds before Richmond, Va.
Simmons, George, enl. Feb. 13, 1864, Scott's Nine Hundred; died at New Orleans of typhoid fever.
Wagoner, John, enl. Sept. 1862, 169th Regt.; died Jan. 1863 on his way North.
Wood, William H. H., enl. Sept. 20, 1862, 125th Regt.; died of starvation in rebel prisons.



Send comments or suggestions to:
Lin Van Buren
Go Back to Rensselaer County Cities, Towns, Villages and Hamlets
Go Back to Home Page