HISTORY OF

SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK.

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

--------------------

HISTORY OF THE VILLAGES AND TOWNS OF SARATOGA COUNTY.

VILLAGE OF BALLSTON SPA.

-------------------------

I. - GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES.

THE village of Ballston Spa, the county-seat of Saratoga County, is situate at the head of the lower valley of the Kay-ad-ros-se-ra river. The village lies mostly in the town of Milton, the shire-town of the county, but the upper or southern part is fast extending across the town-line into the town of Ballston. This latter name was first written Balls-Town, in honor of the Rev. Eliphalet Ball, the founder of the town. But as there was already a Ballstown in Maine, it was changed to Ball-town. Afterwards, in conformity with the law of phonetic decay in language, as Fontaine-belle-eau, "the beautiful spring," in France, has run into Fontainebleau, the favorite country-seat of royalty, Ball-town Springs, has become Ballston Spa.

The valley of the Kay-ad-ros-se-ra river, which extends from Ballston Spa easterly, following the tortuous course of the stream until it falls into Saratoga lake, is one of exceeding beauty. Like the far-famed valley of Rasselas in the classic eastern story of Dr. Johnson, this valley of the wild Kay-ad-ros-se-ra was the "happy valley" of the Mohawks' hunting bands, who were the owners of the vast hunting-ground of the same name, of which it formed a part.

In Indian tradition many a thrilling legend has its scenes laid in this "valley of the crooked stream." From the opening of spring all through the summer and autumn moons until about the 1st of February, when they went home to celebrate the "feast of the white dog," their New-Year's festival, the Mohawk braves made this "happy valley" the ground of their hunting lodges. Through this happy valley also ran the old Indian trail which led from the Mohawk valley to Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence. It was the only trail over which they could travel with their canoes with little land carriage. This long trail led down the Mohawk at the mouth of the Eel-place creek, thence up that creek to near the head of Ballston lake; thence down the lake and its outlet to what is now East Line. At East Line there was a short carry to the Mournkil, down which they paddled their canoes into the Kay-ad-ros-se-ra river, which they entered in this beautiful valley, the classic land of Indian story, made immortal by Cooper, Irving, Peter Kalm, and La Rochefoucauld.

------------------------------

II. - EARLY SETTLEMENT.

The mineral springs of Ballston Spa, like those of its sister village of Saratoga, have long been world-renowned; but, unlike those of Saratoga, these springs had received but little attention from the red man. The Indians had often noticed that game flocked in great abundance to drink the waters of this valley, but there was in it no great "medicine spring" like the famous high rock at Saratoga. It was reserved for the white man to discover and develop the mineral springs of Ballston Spa.

In the early summer of 1771 some surveyors employed by the commissioners appointed to survey and partition among its thirteen proprietors the great patent of Kayadrossera were engaged in running the north line of the five-mile square, now the line between the towns of Milton and Ballston. When these surveyors and their chain-men arrived on the brow of the hill, opposite what has since been known as the Public spring, the heat of the day being intense, and seeing the rippling waters of the creek through the openings in the forest, they with one accord dropped their instruments, and ran down the bank to the stream to quench their thirst and bathe their foreheads in its cooling waters. It was then and there THEY FOUND A MINERAL SPRING, - the spring now called the Public spring, its waters then bubbling up cool and delicious from the low swampy ground which then bordered the creek. It was when first found a large full fountain rising to the surface and freely running off. The discovery was soon noised abroad, and people soon began to find their way along forest-paths to drink of the waters of the new-found mineral spring.

Reuben Sears, the author of a book called "Mineral Waters, a Poem," published at Ballston Spa by him in 1819, says in a note, page 78, "William Bousman, aged sixty-one, who has resided at the southwest corner of Saratoga lake from the age of twelve years, informs me that the next year after his father came to that place, in 1771, he saw these springs. An Indian named Harry, of the Tuscarora tribe, who tarried all that summer at his father's, coming home one night from a hunting excursion, said he had discovered a spring of very fine water like that of Saratoga. The next day he and the Indian, taking their guns, went to the place, and saw near the creek the spring that now stands in the public highway. At the first discovery it appears there was but one spring, though afterwards another broke out near by, which has since been lost."

It was not until about the year 1787, nearly twenty years after their discovery, that any permanent improvement was made at these springs. During this period of twenty years these springs were much frequented, it is true, by traveling parties and by the early settlers of the vicinity, who mostly located a mile or two to the south of them; but no one built near them any structure larger than a temporary log hut or bark shanty for a summer camping-place. A rude trough was dug out of a log near by, in which the spring water was used for bathing purposes; and a gourd shell, hung on a tree near by, was the only convenience for drinking. During this time, however, many people visited the springs, and boarded with the early settlers two miles away, or, bringing their provisions with them, encamped near the springs a part of the summer, as people now do in the Adirondack wilderness. They were then springs in the wilderness.

But about the year 1790 a new era dawned upon Ballston Spa. In the year 1787, Benajah Douglas, father of Stephen A. Douglas, the "Little Giant" of the presidential campaign of 1860, came to settle at Ballston Spa. The father of Benajah Douglas was Asa Douglas, long known as a famous pioneer of the valley called "Jericho," which extends along the western line of Massachusetts from Lebanon Springs towards North Adams. For a long time before the war of the Revolution the line between the States of New York and Massachusetts was disputed, - New York claiming to the Connecticut river and Massachusetts claiming to the Hudson. Asa Douglas settled on this disputed ground just west of the State line as since established, in which is now Stephentown, three or four miles north of Lebanon. But in colonial times it was claimed he lived in Massachusetts, and for several years before the Revolution he represented the region in the colonial House of Delegates, at Boston. In a word, Asa Douglas was a famous man in all the region, and had kept a tavern for many years.

His son, Benajah, now became the pioneer of the springs in the valley of the Kayadrossera, and was enabled to profit from his father's experience in tavern-keeping, and make these springs of the forest another Lebanon. So in the year 1787, Benajah Douglas built, for those days, a commodious log tavern near the Public spring. He purchased a farm of one hundred acres adjoining the spring on the west, on which he built his first rude hostelry and opened it for the accommodation of guests. He also built a small frame house near by for the use of people who came there with their own victuals.

About the same year Micajah Benedict opened a tavern and took boarders, one mile south of the springs.

In the year 1792, Douglas, who, the year before, had taken a deed of his one hundred acres, built what was then considered a large house, it being thirty by forty feet in size, with a kitchen added.

In the year 1792, Nicholas Low also built a house of the same size on his land lying east of the spring and adjoining the lot of Douglas.

Mr. Low, long a famous merchant of the city of New York, and the fifth son of Cornelius Low and Margarette, his wife, was born near New Brunswick, on the Raritan, New Jersey, on the 30th day of March, 1739. Late in life he married a widow named Alice Fleming, by whom he had three children, - two sons and a daughter named Henrietta, who married Charles King, for many years president of Columbia College. His elder brother, Isaac Low, the part owner of land at Saratoga Springs, upon the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, at first espoused the American cause, but afterwards adhered to the crown. Nicholas cast his lot with his countrymen. Isaac went to England in 1783, and died there in 1796, having been attainted and banished by an act of the Legislature in 1779. Nicholas died in New York on the 26th day of December, 1826. In addition to these, Salmon Tryon built on the hill south of the spring a log house, to which he added a small frame with one room only and a bedroom. To these buildings Tryon added a store for the sale of dry goods and groceries.

The houses of Douglas and Low were not completed till the summer of 1793. In that year Mr. Merrill took and kept the house of Mr. Low, but neither of the houses did much the first season.

It was not till the year 1794, only six years before Gideon Putnam began to build the Union at Saratoga, that the great tide of summer travel set in towards Ballston Spa. Yet these six years of superior accommodations afforded by Ballston Spa would doubtless have cost Saratoga its now peerless position among watering-places, had not the Ballston springs been afterwards, through natural or artificial causes, nearly lost.

In the year 1794, Mr. Merrill also put up a small frame building, which he let to visitors, who furnished themselves; and in that season all the houses at Ballston Spa were filled with guests. People came from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford, and the West Indies. This house built by Mr. Low afterwards passed into the hands of the brothers McMasters, who built large additions. Not long after Douglas finished his house, in the year 1795, he sold his farm to Joseph Westcot, upon whose death it passed into the hands of Mr. Adderde, who built extensive additions and kept it for many years with great success.

In the year 1801, Stephen H. White built an addition to a small house which had been put up two years before, and the year following he built the east, and in 1807 the west wing of his large boarding-house, which, after his death, was kept by his widow for many years.

In the year 1803, Nicholas Low erected the spacious and, for those days, the elegant hotel called by him the Sans Souci, after a famous one visited by him in Europe.

The Douglas property sold to Reuben Hewitt and Joseph Westcot consisted of one hundred acres. The house was on the site of Henry A. Mann's, and the farm extending back on the uplands. The price is stated in the deed as 1600, which seems to be rather high for those early times, unless dreams of future greatness were already attracting adventurers. The witnesses to the deed mentioned were John Thompson, Nathan Thompson, Epenetus White, Alexander Sloan. It was acknowledged before Epenetus White. Mr. Westcot's sons were Reuben and Joseph.

Two of the sons of Reuben, John H. and Joseph E., reside in Ballston Spa, also a daughter, Mrs. N.J. Johnson, and another daughter is Mrs. Lorenzo Kelly, of Rochester.

The elder Westcot dying soon after emigrating here, his widow was married to Joshua B. Aldridge, and the place, afterwards a celebrated boarding-house, was known for many years as the Aldridge House. In possession of John H. Westcot are many papers of historic value, Reuben Hewitt, one of the said joint proprietors who was connected to the Westcots, was in the army of the Revolution, and his several commissions as sergeant, sergeant-major, second lieutenant, and first lieutenant bear the signatures of distinguished men, - Eleazer Fitch and Jonathan Trumbull, governors of Connecticut, and the bold, unmistakable autograph of John Hancock, president of Congress. Among Mr. Westcot's papers is also a map of a portion of the old farm laid out into lots, described as "being near the town of Bath or Ballston Springs," surveyed and drawn by James Scott, December, 1802.

Au early scientific writer states that "the original spring issues from a bed of stiff blue clay and gravel, which lies near a stratum of slate nearly on a level with the brook or rivulet which runs through the town." Besides this one original spring there were three others, all said to have been of different taste and quality and all very near each other. These were on a small plat of ground in what is now the extension of Bath street. One of these at the foot of the hill, opposite the present harness-shop, exactly in the present road, was known as the Jack spring. There was still another in the yard of Medberry's hotel. All these springs promised to have a national and world-wide reputation. Visitors coming through the forests to find them led to the building of the Douglas log house for their accommodation, even in 1792. The tide of travel grew with each year. Other hotels or boarding-houses followed in quick succession. The now quiet, secluded, yet beautiful glen around the old iron-railing spring, rapidly cleared of its forests; became the resort of fashion and wealth. With the rush of visitors for the summer came all the other institutions of a thriving village, - stores, shops, schools, and churches.

In the course of ten or twelve years the following boarding-houses were built, as remembered by Joseph Jennings, now living at the age of ninety, and John S. Ford, seventy-seven. The Aldridge or Douglas House, already mentioned, was very early enlarged. At one time there was an extension seventy feet long, containing a dancing-hall below and sleeping-rooms above. This was in after-years, about 1843 or 1844, moved across the road by Reuben Westcot and became part of another building. The old "Low Hotel" was also built near the iron-railing spring. The present Jennings House, the front part of which was first a store, was established perhaps as early as 1800. There was still another large boarding-house kept by White on the place now owned by Widow Corey. The McMaster House was also near the main spring. No house at all now on the place occupied by it. The Clark House stood just where the railroad now crosses. The Ball House was just below the Clark House. There were three of the brothers Ball; two of them were "dancing-masters," as the teachers of the terpsichorean art were always termed in the olden times, so that this village might have easily been named Balls' Town even if no minister of that name had ever settled in this county. There was also the Flint Hotel, not far from the Aldridge House. In the rapidly-growing village there was also another hotel on the site of the present Commercial. In the north part, not far from the grist-mill, was also a very early tavern kept by Daniel Thomas. Besides all these the Sans Souci, built by Nicholas Low nearly three-quarters of a century ago, - even in 1803 built to its present size and its present form, - so that with the exception of slight additions, necessary repairs and painting, that building exists to-day as it stood in the childhood of the oldest citizens in Ballston Spa. Even Joseph Jennings was but seventeen years old when the Sans Souci was built. In this large and, for those times, palatial building, were entertained the most distinguished men of the nation, - presidents, senators, governors, and judges inscribed their names upon its registers; wealth, fashion, and culture met in its ample rooms, and pages of anecdotes might be written of this famous resort. There Joseph Bonaparte and his suite stayed for some months, in 1827; and there, in the west parlor, a messenger brought to him the letter that announced the death of the great Napoleon on the island of St. Helena.

The springs that promised to be so valuable were lost, according to the story of the older people, by not "letting well enough alone." In the attempt to dig them over and retube them, the several veins were lost, though as valuable water as ever has in late years been recovered by boring deep. Indeed, chemical analysis shows the waters at the present time to be peculiarly pure, healthy, and medicinal, rivaling those of Saratoga.

In 1809 most of the stores were on the flat. Epenetus White was an early merchant on the corner, near the "iron-railing spring." Near there, too, Warren was an early trader, followed by Sears. In this same place William Bridges kept a bakery, and his father before him. Probably it was the first bakery in all this section.

Joel Lee was an early merchant where the new bank building now stands, and Barnum at Westcot's place. An early jeweler was Mr. Edson. Elder Langworthy, the old Baptist minister, was also a jeweler. Moses Williams was an early shoemaker, and followed the business for many years. John S. Ford, to whom we are indebted for many of these items, served his apprenticeship in the shop of Williams. This was the principal shop. There were one or two others. Eli Barnum had a harness-shop in connection with his store, assisted by Harvey Loomis, now remodeled into the residence of John H. Westcot. Webster was an early blacksmith. His shop was on the site of a present one. Lockwood was also a blacksmith, with his shop near the creek. Samuel Smith and Archibald Kidd were merchant tailors, perhaps nearly as early as 1800.

There was a grist-mill before or about 1800, built by Hezekiah Middlebrook, somewhat above the site of the present Blue mill. Another mill was built in later times, on the creek above the Aldridge House, known as the Red mill, recently burned and not rebuilt. Daniel Thomas was the early pioneer in the north part of the village. There are not many buildings erected before 1800 now standing in the village. The old Middlebrook house, now owned by Edwin H. Chapman; parts of the Henry A. Mann house; the John W. Taylor house, now owned by John Brown, Esq.; the Scribner house, and the Flint house, are thought by some to have been erected earlier than 1800.

We take a page at random from an old account-book, kept by a merchant in Ballston Spa, in the possession of Mrs. John B. Thomas. The name of the merchant is not given:

 

Page 110, Oct. 22, 1806.

 

 

 

s.

d.

Solomon Sherwood,

Dr. to

1 gal. of rum

 

8

 

John Griswold,

"

1 bbl. of new cider

 

8

 

Joseph Pines,

"

sundry merchandise

4

15

3

Samuel Hollister,

"

65 lbs. Swedes' iron

1

18

 

Samuel Nash,

"

1/2 gal. molasses

 

2

6

Oliver Middlebrook,

"

1 qt. of rum

 

2

 

John Blood,

"

1 gal. rum

 

8

 

Benjamin Calvin,

"

11/2 doz. buttons

 

2

3

Samuel Lee,

"

1/2 quire of paper

 

1

 

Raymond Taylor,

"

2 lbs. candles

 

3

6

Enos Morehouse,

"

1/2 gal. of rum

 

4

 

Floyd Wakeman,

"

12 sugar

 

12

 

Daniel Stavru,

"

1/2 gal. rum, 98 feet lath

 

9

 

Benjamin Peck,

"

1 pair of shoes

 

10

 

Edward Watrous,

Cr. by

transportation

2

2

 

Solomon Sherwood,

Dr. to

1/2 gal. rum

 

4

 

Abel Curtis,

"

1 piece muslin. 7 lbs. sugar

2

3

6

Edward Wilkes,

"

1/2 lb. of tea and 1 qt. of rum

 

5

6

 

It is probable this was the old store of Epenetus White, Jr. Another page contains a bill against a citizen who was evidently building a barn. There are seven entries for rum, and four for nails.

An old day-book, in possession of John H. Westcot, supposed to be from the store of Hewitt & Westcot, the old red store that stood near the Aldridge House, across the street, has many items of interest. We copy from a few pages a list of names, showing early settlers in this portion of the county about the year 1800 or soon after: Philip Sharp, Daniel Starr, Nathan Lewis, James Garrett, John Buck, Wm. Marvin, John Fitch, Levi Kinnicut. George E. White, Ebenezer Robinson, Asahel Simons, Walter Patchin, Nathan Wood, Samuel Pike, Jared Patchin, Levi Kinnicut, Peter Darrow, Ebenezer S. Coon, Isaac Patchin, Robert Spear, Joel Lee, Adonijah Moody, James Wilson, John Lee, Saul Parks, Wm. Hawkins, John Blood, John Griswold, Levi Benedict, J. and D. McMasters, James Caldwell, James Merrill, James Hawkins, D. and A. Alcott, Joseph Bryan, Joshua Blood, John Burns, James Scott, Aaron Gregory, Dennis Penfield, Isaac Finch. Isaac Denton, James Gavitt, John Griswold, Samuel Pike, Timothy Hatch, Edward Dolph, Patience Westcot, Elias Lee, John Webb, Calvin Calkins, John Whitehead, James Lloyd, Aaron Sturges, Silas Briggs, Ebenezer Robinson, John Higby, Henry Luscomb, William Bridges, Amos Benedict, Wright Tryon, Stephen Alling, James Mann, Lemuel Wilcox, James Hawkins, John Welch, Powell, and Kellogg. These names are taken from the book under date of September 28, 1802, to November 2 of the same year.

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III. - ORGANIZATION.

The record of the first election held in the village is as follows:

"At an election of the inhabitants of the village of Ballston Spa, held at the house of David McMaster, on the first Tuesday of May, agreeable to public notice, and in conformity to the charter of incorporation of the said village of Ballston Spa, granted by the Legislature in an act entitled an act relative to the village of Ballston Spa, passed March 21, 1807, the following persons were duly elected to the respective offices: Joshua B. Aldridge, Stephen H. White, and Nathan Lewis, trustees; John Warren, David McMaster, and Archy Kasson, assessors; Epenetus White, Jr., treasurer; Eli Barnum, collector; Wm. Shepherd, clerk; Elihu Roe and Samis Blakely, constables."

At the first meeting of the trustees, held at the house of Joshua Aldridge, regular meetings were ordered for the Thursday of each week at five o'clock P.M.; a fine of fifty cents for non-attendance. A drain of timber nine inches in the clear was ordered from near "the northeast corner of the house now occupied by Anson Bradley, and terminating in a straight line to the upper corner of the bridge, west of the house of John Flint." A dock was ordered to be built "at the west side of this bridge near John Flint's house, and running up the creek in a straight line until it intersects a line to be drawn parallel with the west corner of the house occupied by Agus Wells." What surveyor was employed to run a line which should be "parallel to the corner of a house" is not stated.

Lands for streets were ceded by Nicholas Low and Joshua B. Aldridge by deeds dated December 15, 1807. At the second election, in 1808, the same trustees were continued. David McMaster: Peter Williams, and Ezra Ferris were elected assessors, Epenetus White, Jr., treasurer; Thomas Palmer, clerk; Farquhar McBane, collector; Elihu Roe and Thomas B. Burnett, constables.

May 28, 1808, each owner of a dwelling-house was required to have two ladders ready for use in case of fire, - one to reach the eaves, another, with iron hooks, to be laid on the roof.

In 1810 the following assize of bread for the village was ordained:

"A loaf of superfine flour to weigh 2lbs. 4oz. for one shilling. A loaf of like flour to weigh 1lb. 2oz. for sixpence. A loaf of common flour to weigh 2lbs. 11oz. for one shilling."

The early records are full of ordinances to protect the spring, to drain the streets in its vicinity, and otherwise to provide for the convenience and comfort of visitors.

The assessment of property for 1817 amounted to $175,650. The highest thirteen taxpayers were Joshua Aldridge, $44.80; Charlotte White, $33.60; Nicholas Low, $70; Andrew Berger, $33.60; Epenetus White, $11.20; James Caldwell, $15.40; Farquhar McBane, $11.20; James Merrill, $8.40; Joseph Perry, $7.28; David Sprague, Raymond Taylor, Moses Williams, Nathaniel and Stephen Tobey, each $7. The whole number of taxpayers was one hundred and four.

In 1822 the officers of the first Fire Engine Company, No. 1, were appointed by the board: Andrew Watrous, captain; Rowland A. Wright, assistant captain; Stephen B. Noble, secretary; Lyman S. Ballard, steward.

Previous to 1842 no president was elected. The trustees, three in number, were equal in authority.

In 1842 the number of trustees was increased to five, and after that a president was annually elected at the first meeting in each year.

The following list of clerks and collectors is added from 1807 to 1877, with the presidents from 1842:

 

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LIST OF CLERKS, PRESIDENTS, AND COLLECTORS.

 

 

Clerk.

Collector.

President.

1807.

Wm. Shepherd.

Eli Barnum.

 

1808.

Thomas Palmer.

Farquhar McBane.

 

1809.

"

"

 

1810.

Hugh Hawkins.

Elihu Roe.

 

1811.

"

"

 

1812.

"

"

 

1813.

Aaron Nash.

Eli Barnum.

 

1814.

"

Oren Sage.

 

1815.

"

William Clark.

 

1816.

"

Elijah Taylor.

 

1817.

"

Rowland A. Wright.

 

1818.

"

"

 

1819.

"

"

 

1820.

"

"

 

1821.

"

"

 

1822.

"

"

 

1823.

"

"

 

1824.

"

Horace St. John.

 

1825.

"

John Cutler.

 

1826.

"

"

 

1827.

"

"

 

1828.

"

"

 

1829.

"

Rowland A. Wright.

 

1830.

"

"

 

1831.

"

"

 

1832.

"

Aaron R. Pattison.

 

1833.

"

Stephen Fox.

 

1834.

"

Oliver H. Lockwood.

 

1835.

"

Cheeseman Burtis.

 

1836.

"

Amariah Ford.

 

1837.

John Manning.

"

 

1838.

James W. Horton

Stephen Fox.

 

1839.

"

Squire Burnett.

 

1840.

John Wait.

Stephen Fox.

 

1841.

G.G. Hawkins.

Harvey N. Hill.

 

1842.

"

Stephen Fox.

James M. Cook.

1843.

David Maxwell.

N.J. Seeley.

"

1844.

"

Harvey N. Hill.

Reuben Westcot.

1845.

"

"

James M. Cook.

1846.

"

"

Abel Meeker.

1847.

John J. Lee.

"

"

1848.

"

"

Samuel H. Cook.

1849.

Joseph E. Westcot.

Albert T. Blood.

Abel Meeker.

1850.

J. Oakley Nodyne.

Stephen Fox.

George Thompson.

1851.

John J. Lee.

Bernard McKitrick.

Reuben Westcot.

1852.

"

Stephen Fox.

George Babcock.

1853.

"

"

Wm. P. Odell.

1854.

"

Bernard McKitrick.

L.W. Bristol.

1855.

"

Stephen Fox.

Reuben Westcot.

1856.

Wm. B. Litch.

"

Edw. H. Chapman.

1857.

Perc. G. Newcomb.

Bernard McKitrick.

James O. Leach.

1858.

"

John F. Burtles.

Edward Gilbourn.

1859.

Wm. F. Posson.

Bernard McKitrick.

Seymour Chase.

1860.

"

"

Hiro Jones.

1861.

Joshua B. Boss.

"

J.H. Westcot.

1862.

Eph. W. Reynolds.

"

David Maxwell.

1863.

Bernard Patchin.

"

Levi Weed.

1864.

"

Perry Burnham.

John Wait.

1865.

"

Bernard McKitrick.

David Maxwell.

1866.

David F. White.

George B. Colony.

John H. Westcot.

1867.

"

Perry Burnham.

"

1868.

Emery Denton.

Bernard McKitrick.

George G. Scott.

1869.

Wm. J. Jennings.

"

"

1870.

David Maxwell.

"

Henry A. Mann.

1871.

"

"

"

1872.

"

"

"

1873.

"

"

"

1874.

"

"

Albert B. Blood.

1875.

Chas. O. McCreedy.

"

Henry A. Mann.

1876.

"

"

S.C. Medberry.

1877.

"

George H. Barlow.

"

 

The action of the village board has always been carefully directed to preserve the springs and provide convenient facilities to visitors.

------------------------------

IV. - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT.

The springs was the first source of the prosperity of the village. These in time declined, as already mentioned. Joseph Jennings relates that Joshua B. Aldridge predicted the ruin of the main spring if an attempt was made to dig it over and retube it. To those commencing the work he protested. Said he, "My house is full of boarders; you might as well burn it down and destroy my business that way as to tamper with that spring."

The permanent prosperity of Ballston Spa was finally assured by other causes than the springs. Until 1796 the county had no fixed place for the transaction of its business, but in that year the first court-house was built in the town of Ballston, on what has ever since been known as Court-House Hill. This continued the county-seat until the court-house and jail was burned, in March, 1816. The next struggle to be the capital of the county ended by the designation of Milton as the shire-town, and the selection of a site for the court-house in the village of Ballston Spa. The selection of this point was materially aided by the wise liberality of Nicholas Low, the wealthy landed proprietor of early times, who donated to the county the handsome elevation where the public buildings now stand.

This decision brought the public county business to Ballston Spa, and made it very largely the political, as it is the official, centre of the county.

The excellent water-power furnished by the Kayadrossera was the other permanent source of prosperity, and under all these several influences the village has progressed in population and in conveniences and facilities both for business and for pleasure, until there are few finer places of residence in the State.

We include in the following notice of the manufacturing interests of the village the paper-mills up the valley, that contribute, in various ways, to the business of Ballston Spa, this being the point of shipment, - the point where a portion of the mills are actually situated, and where the proprietor of the great chain of mills himself resides. They are not given either in order of time or location, but as seems most convenient to present them for the purposes of description.

The establishment of Allen & Heaton, miners and manufacturers of emery, is somewhat recent, but is evidently destined to be an important business at Ballston Spa. The works are in the building formerly known as the "oil-cloth factory." The building itself is very old, having been erected in 1812, and the main shaft of the machinery brought from Europe. Allen & Heaton obtain the emery from the mine at Thurman, in the Adirondacks, and manufacture solid emery-wheels at the factory here. The mines and the works are under the same management. It is a branch of industry with little or no competition upon this continent. Already, besides wheels, they are putting up the material in the form of scythe-stones, - and the forms and uses to which it may be devoted are perhaps only just begun to be developed.

The building was erected for a cotton-mill. Amos Olcott and Nicholas Low are understood to have been largely interested in it. The great "walking-beam" suddenly broke when the factory had been running not more than a month. So much damage was done that the enterprise was abandoned. The building was used somewhat for a cider-refinery, but was occupied by no manufacturing enterprise for nearly forty years. About 1850 oil-cloth works were opened in it by Messrs. Booth, Wait, Moore, Wakeman, Thomas. An excellent quality of cloth was produced. The machinery was mostly destroyed by fire in 1875, and the works closed.

The Glen Paper Collar Co., of Ballston Spa, was established in 1868; commencing business in April of that year. The buildings are very old, and were first built for the storage of grain in connection with the grist-mill. The foundation is peculiarly strong and massive. They had stood unused for some years, when they were devoted to the paper collar business by the firm of Medberry & Mann, who continue the enterprise at the present time. They employ from sixty to one hundred and twenty hands, varying in different portions of the year. Their daily production is about one hundred thousand collars. They have recently added the manufacture of paper pails, leasing for that purpose water-power at the Barber planing-mills.

The gas-works of the village were established about the year 1857. The ownership has changed hands several times since the organization, and is now vested in the First National Bank. The present lessee (1877) is James M. Cleish. The average amount burned per night during the year is about three thousand cubic feet.

In 1808 or '10 an iron-forge was established by Benjamin Hall. It stood near the old red bridge. The Indians used to encamp on the island near that forge.

Paper-Mills. - George West may be styled THE paper-manufacturer of the Kayadrossera valley. Not satisfied with one or two mills, he has extended his operations along a line of more than eight miles. His enterprises have contributed largely towards the general prosperity of the town of Milton and the village of Ballston Spa. The present firm-name is George West & Son. The history of Mr. West, even though compressed into the brief space that must be assigned to it here, reads more like a romance than veritable reality. He came to Ballston Spa in 1861, and entered into the employ of C.S. Buchanan, of the Rock City Falls paper-mills. Mr. West was thoroughly acquainted with the business of manufacturing paper, having learned it in the best establishments of Devonshire, England. Perhaps he had derived something of inherited skill from two generations of ancestors that had preceded him in the same line of work. To his complete acquaintance with the manufacturing of paper he had also added a thorough knowledge of machinery and practical ability to adapt it to new and improved uses. At the end of one year, with scarcely more than $3000 capital, he made his first bold venture by purchasing the Empire paper-mills, of Rock City Falls, taking the risk of an immense debt. This was in June, 1862. Success followed his enterprise. At his touch business sprang into redoubled activity. The quality of the paper made immediately attracted attention. Eagerly called for in every market around, his first enterprise grew upon his hands until he was compelled by his own success to increase his facilities. Three years from the commencement of his proprietorship he built the Excelsior mills, of Rock City, finishing them in 1866. These were entirely his own work, - dam, roadway, buildings, machinery, everything. At the same time in connection with others he bought the Angell paper-mills at Watertown, and was a partner there until 1870, when he retired from that enterprise to devote himself more closely to the Kayadrossera valley. In the year 1870 his business demanded still further accommodations, and he bought the Middle Grove or Jamesville mills up the stream within the town of Greenfield. These he rebuilt with his usual energy, and the same year purchased the Pioneer mill at West Milton. He now had four separate mills, but could not yet keep up with the orders for his paper, and in 1874 he bought the Eagle mill, located at Craneville, two miles above Ballston Spa. In 1875 he turned his attention to, the Island mill, formerly owned and run by Jonas A. Hovey as a cotton-mill This property he bought, consisting of three large buildings. The cotton-factory was at once remodeled into a paper-mill, and this required so much of the water-power that the two smaller buildings are not run as paper-works but are used for store-rooms. He signalized the year 1874 by buying at the same time with these "Island buildings" the cotton-mill No. 1, known also as the Union mill, and the woolen-mill near it, and also the fine private residence where he now lives on Milton street. The cotton-mill he leased to other parties. The woolen-mill he turned into a paper-bag manufactory. This career of unequaled courage, rapidity, and energy has only occupied the brief space of fifteen years. It tells its own story.

The firm manufactures manilla-paper, confining all their attention to this one line. Their finished work reaches two hundred tons per month, and they manufacture from eighty to one hundred millions of paper-bags every year, and their orders are steadily in advance of their work. No dead stock is found upon their hands. The care and management of these enterprises has been reduced to an exact system. The reports from each mill per week, the condensed monthly statements of production and sales, are all models of business forms devised by Mr. West.

Reversing perhaps the usual order, we add the past history of these several mills in Ballston Spa that were purchased by Mr. West, as shown in the previous account: In 1836, Jonathan S. Beach and Harvey Chapman bought seventy-two acres of land, east of Milton street, between Malta avenue and the railroad near North High street, including all the water-power of the lower dam now occupied by Mr. West. Soon after this purchase they built the west mill of the three on the island; this was opened and operated as a woolen-mill for a few years, but finally discontinued. About the year 1840 Beach & Chapman erected the second or middle building upon the Island; they sold it in a short time to P. H. McOmber, and he transferred it finally to Samuel H. Cook. This was a cotton-mill, and it was in operation down to the year 1861. In the year 1844 Beach & Chapman erected the third mill, the one now run by Mr. West as a paper-mill; they soon sold this, with the water-power and land still remaining to them, to James M. Cook. This was also a cotton-mill, and was operated until 1861. All of this Island property was then bought by Jonas Hovey.

The Ballston Spa mill-company was formed in 1838 to 1840, consisting of Beach, Chapman, James Thompson, John W. Thompson, George Thompson, Lebbeus Booth, and others; they bought the land and water-power west of .Milton street, north of Gordon creek, and south of the Blood & Thomas property. This was purchased of the Middlebrook family. In early times Daniel Thomas and Hezekiah Middlebrook had owned together a very large tract in and around the northern portion of the present village. They divided the property, Middlebrook retaining the water-power and Thomas taking the lands, covered then with valuable pine timber. In after-years the water privileges became far more valuable than the other. The Ballston Spa mill-company did not continue as a corporation, but the parties named above as joint proprietors erected the Union cotton-mill, sometimes known as No. 1. The mill was operated by Ziba H. Cook and others for manufacturing print cloths until about the year 1855. The same proprietors built the brick mill on the hill, the one now occupied by Mr. West in the manufacture of paper bags. This was opened for a knitting-mill, operated by H. Chapman & Son, also by Bassett and Hiro Jones; the latter owning the real estate. It was sold, as was the other factory, to Jonas Hovey in 1864-65. Mr. Hovey, having thus become the owner of all these mills, operated them, to a greater or less extent, until the time of his death in 1873. In connection with his extensive operations here, he built the residence now owned by George West. On this house is said to have been expended $50,000.

Beach & Chapman also built about the year 1850 a woolen-mill, known as the Glen woolen-mill property, now owned by Edwin H. Chapin. It has been occupied by Chapman and others as a blanket- and cloth-mill to the present time. It should also be stated in this connection that about the year 1830, a few years before the formation of the Ballston mill-company, Hezekiah Middlebrook had built the dam and the grist-mill known as the Blue mills.

The original grist-mill built by Daniel Thomas stood farther up the stream, - about the middle of the present pond. When the new dam was erected by Middlebrook, in 1830, it attracted attention as unusually high, and doubts were expressed whether it would stand. All of these several enterprises brought to Ballston Spa a large amount of capital, caused the erection of many dwellings for workmen and others, and now after the various changes of three-quarters of a century, Ballston Spa again has all of its three original sources of prosperity - the county-seat, manufactures, and springs.

The court-house and jail erected in 1819 are still in use. The first permanent office for the county clerk was erected in 1824, near where the railroad crosses the main street. It is a venerable relic of the past, - fifty-three years old. Previous to the building of this, each clerk had taken care of the records in his own office, wherever he might be located.

The building of 1824 was first occupied by the then county clerk, Thomas Palmer. The clerk's office at one time, under Clerk William Stillwell, was in his cabinet-shop, now the residence of G.S. Christopher, on Front street. He also kept the records at his residence on Church street, where Chester Clapp now resides. The valuable papers of the county remained in the small stone building forty-two years, when it was succeeded by the present fine structure near the court-house.

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V. - SCHOOLS.

The earliest school that the older people speak of was nearly or quite as early as 1800 on the ground of the present cemetery, kept in what was the first Baptist meeting-house. This was followed in a few years by the large two-story building, known for so many years as the "Academy." This stood in what is now Science street, near the railroad. It does not appear to have been an actual academy under the care of the regents, but simply a large public or, district school, with two departments, one for the smaller scholars and another for the older pupils, two teachers being employed. This was an excellent school, and many of the older and middle-aged citizens were educated there. It was finally abandoned as a school building, removed to the corner of Charlton and Ballston streets, and fitted up by the Methodists for a church. Sold by them to the Catholics, and finally by them to private parties, and fitted up as a dwelling-house. The removal from Science street was about the year 1836, and two district school-houses were built that year, one on Malta avenue, nearly opposite the residence of Edward W. Lee; the other is still standing on High street, between Ballston and Charlton, remodeled into a dwelling-house. This system was succeeded by the Ballston Spa Union School district. This was organized April 17, 1870. The first board of education consisted of the following citizens: Hiro Jones: president; Neil Gilmour, clerk; E.H. Chapman, B.F. Baker, C.N. McClew, E. Parkinson, J.B. Cheydleu; John J. Lee, treasurer.

The school was maintained for three years in the old school buildings of the districts and such other rooms as could be procured. In the fall of 1873 it was voted to erect a union school building, and the present convenient house on Bath street was erected the following year, at a total expense of about $23,400. The school was opened Sept. 14, 1874; principal, Thomas C. Bunyan, who has remained in charge to the present time, October, 1877. The school is arranged in three grades, - academic, intermediate, and primary, and so divided into sections as to require the employment of eight teachers. The annual pay-roll of the teachers amounts to $3750, and the district received from the State in 1877, $1654.27; and there were nine hundred and ninety-two scholars. The present board of education for the school year 1877-78 is as follows: E.H. Chapman, president; John H. Westcot, clerk; D.G. Harris, B.W. Noxon, Seth Whalen, S.C. Medberry, George R. Beach; John J. Lee, treasurer.

Some years before the adoption of the union school system, the Malta avenue school-house had been abandoned, and another one built on the corner of Milton avenue and Hamilton street.

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OTHER SCHOOLS.

From Mann's "Bench and Bar of Saratoga County" we take the following:

Mention should be made of the State and National law-school, established by John W. Fowler, a bright, but erratic son of genius, in the old Sans Souci Hotel, Ballston Spa, in 1849. He opened it with a full corps of competent professors, and secured an abundant patronage. Among the graduates may be mentioned the names of Colonel Slocum, of the First Rhode Island Infantry, who fell at the head of his regiment fighting at Bull Run; Governor Gilbert C. Walker, of Virginia; Judge Abraham R. Lawrence, surrogate; Delano C. Calvin; General Roger A. Pryor, of New York; and ex-Judge Samuel D. Morris, of Brooklyn, an alumni that would reflect honor on any institution. At the commencement in 1859 there were present ex-President Van Buren, Governor Hamilton Fish, and the great Kentucky commoner, Henry Clay. The latter made a memorable address to the students, addressing through them, for the last time, the young men of America in words of earnest counsel to be true to themselves and their country. But the projector of this law-school, to balance all his other attainments, lacked what General McCook called a "level head." He was very improvident, knowing nothing of the financial problems conducive to success, and after three years of active and useful life the institution went into bankruptcy.

Rev. Deodatus Babcock also opened and carried on a school for a time, and it was continued by Chas. D. Seeley. It was kept in the Henry A. Mann house; beginning about 1846, and continuing about ten years by Rev. Mr. Babcock, and about three years by Mr. Seeley. It was an excellent school, and furnished a thorough course of training.

There was also a ladies' seminary from 1822 to 1835. It was in High street, and was afterwards changed to a boys' school, and continued for a short time, when it was abandoned. This school was under the charge of Lebbeus Booth, a gentleman of classical culture and a successful teacher.

The private school by Rev. James Gilmour, opened in 1856, was a valuable acquisition to the educational facilities of Ballston Spa. The school building was on Pleasant street, on the present site of the residence of J.J. Luther. The school-house was burned down twice, and after the last fire the enterprise was abandoned. Hon. Neil Gilmour, now superintendent of public instruction of the State, was an assistant instructor in the institution.

The old Sans Souci Hotel, besides its other interesting reminiscences, also has the honor of having been devoted to the purposes of a ladies' seminary. Rev. D.W. Smith was the proprietor and principal of the school, and continued it some two years or more.

The parish school of Christ church, Ballston Spa, was organized in May, 1850, under the rectorship of the Rev. George Jarvis Geer. The rector was assisted in this work by the Rev. Theodore Babcock and the Rev. John H. Babcock, who were teachers in the "Ballston Spa Institute," then a flourishing institution under the charge of the late Rev. Dr. Babcock. The parish school was placed under the care of Miss Mary R. Smith, who has had charge of it ever since. The number of pupils has varied much from time to time, ranging from thirty to sixty, never over sixty; but most of the time as many as forty. School in session summer and winter, with usual vacations.

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VI. - CHURCHES.

CHRIST CHURCH OF BALLSTON SPA.

The first Episcopal service of Saratoga County (except what may have been held by Chaplain Brudenell, of Burgoyne's army, as mentioned in another place) was in the spring of 1791, by Mr. Ammi Rogers, of Bradford, Connecticut, who, under the supervision of the Rev. Mr. Ellison, of Albany, officiated as lay reader at St. George's church, in Schenectady, and in private houses in this section of the country. Mr. Rogers was ordained deacon by Bishop Provost, in Trinity church, New York, June 4, 1792, and advanced to the priesthood by the same hands, October 19, 1794. Christ church was first located at Ballston Centre, and Mr. Rogers was its first pastor. Families of Episcopal views in both Charlton, Ballston, and Milton attended church there, and services were occasionally held in private houses in the various towns. The parish of Christ church was organized in 1787, by Thomas Smith, Ezekiel Horton, James Emott, Edmund Jennings, James Mann, Elisha Miller, Salmon Tryon, and forty-two others. In 1792 the first church edifice was erected a little south of Ballston Centre, on lands now owned by Riley Crippen. The first vestry consisted of Joseph Bettys, Elisha Benedict, wardens; Thaddeus Betts, John Wright, Joshua Bloore, Jabez Davis, Richard Warn, and James Emott, vestrymen. Rev. Mr. Rogers remained rector until 1807, when he was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Van Horn, and he in turn by Rev. Gamaliel Thatcher, who died while in charge. Meanwhile, in 1810, at the rapidly-growing village of Ballston Spa, a parish was organized under the name of St. Paul's church, with the Rev. Joseph Perry, rector. After the death of Mr. Thatcher the pastor of St. Paul's assumed charge of both churches. But they were so near each other that it was evident strength and efficiency would be promoted by union. Accordingly, in 1817, they were consolidated into one society, and the united body appropriately received the name that had been given to the early church of the fathers in Ballston thirty years before. The first vestry of Christ church of Ballston Spa was Joshua B. Aldridge and James Mann, wardens; Epenetus White, Jr., Thomas Palmer, Samuel Smith, Thomas Smith, Eli Barnum, Daniel Starr, vestrymen. At this time the church edifice was taken down, removed to the village, and erected on a lot adjoining the old county clerk's office. It was re-opened by the celebration of morning prayer and a sermon by Rev. Benjamin T. Onderdonk, afterwards bishop of New York, from the text, "He loveth our nation and hath built us a synagogue." Rev. Mr. Perry was succeeded as rector by Rev. William A. Clark. In 1824, Rev. Deodatus Babcock accepted the call of the parish, and administered the sacraments and performed the offices of the church for nearly a quarter of a century. From 1845 to the present time the successive rectors of the church have been Revs. George J. Geer, Robert G. Rogers, Charles Arey, George W. Dean, George Worthington, and Joseph Carey.

During the rectorship of Rev. Wm. Dean, in 1860, the corner-stone of the new edifice was laid, and the work of erection was prosecuted to completion in the next two years, at an expense of about $11,000. In March, 1862, the congregation took a sorrowful leave of the hallowed walls within which they and their fathers had so often gathered. There the children of successive generations had been baptized. There for seventy years the people had worshiped "the Lord in his Holy Temple." From its sacred altar the dead had been borne forth to burial, the sad refrain of mortality, "ashes to ashes, dust to dust," relieved by the glorious words of Christian hope, "I am the resurrection and the life." The congregation moved from the old to the new, praying that the glory of the former house might descend on the latter. The old edifice was taken down after a few years, its oaken frame still sound as when it came from the hewer's axe, fit representative of the solid men of old, who laid the foundations of our civil and religious institutions. As an evidence of early genuine Christian friendship, it should be added that the bell which has so long called the faithful to the House of God, was a gift from the North Pearl Street Dutch Reformed church of Albany. It bears the ancient inscription, "Benj. Whitear Sharon in 1774. This bell is made for the High Jarmon Reformed church, Albani." {A verbatim copy of the inscription.}

The rectory adjoining the church was built many years before the new edifice, - a wise forethought having at an early date secured the valuable corner lot for the church. A few years since the church also purchased from the State the building erected for an armory in 1858. It is used for the general purposes of the society and for the parish school. The present officers of the church are Rev. Walter Delafield, rector; James W. Horton, Benj. F. Baker, wardens; S.C. Medberry, clerk; George C. Beecher, treasurer; Stephen B. Medberry, Wm. A. Wheeler, Samuel Smith, George C. Beecher, Stephen C. Medberry, John Richards, Andrew Booth, John Scott, vestrymen.

We add the following biographical sketch of the first pastor of this church, and the founder and leader of many others. The Rev. Ammi Rogers, the first pastor of Christ church, was born at Branford, New Haven Co., Conn., on the 26th May, 1770, and was a lineal descendant in the fifth generation of the Rev. John Rogers, who was burnt at the stake at Smithfield, 14th February, 1554, first martyr in Queen Mary's reign. At the age of sixteen he entered Yale College, and was graduated in 1790. He was ordained deacon 24th June, 1792, and elevated to the priesthood 19th October, 1794. In the year 1794 he married Margaret Bloore, only daughter of Joshua Bloore, of Ballston. She died at Ballston in the year 1800, leaving three infant children. During the nine years of his ministry in Schenectady and at Ballston and vicinity, he baptized fifteen hundred and forty-two persons, and officiated at more than a hundred weddings and as many burials.

Joshua Bloore was a settler in Ballston previous to 1787. He came from Manchester, England, and first settled as a merchant in Albany. His wife was Margaret Brintnal, of Langly parish, Derbyshire, England. His only daughter, Margaret, married Rev. Ammi Rogers at Ballston, in the year 1794, and dying there in 1800, left three infant children as the fruit of their union.

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BAPTIST CHURCH OF BALLSTON SPA.

The first organization of this church was in 1791. The congregation met in a school-house south of where the village now stands, and continued to meet there until the year 1802. During this time the village was a preaching station supplied by different ministers, two of whom may be mentioned, - Rev. Mr. Mudge and Rev. Mr. Langworthy, of Saratoga Springs. In the year 1800, Rev. Elias Lee was called to the pastorate of the church, which then numbered ninety-four members. Mr. Lee was a man of remarkable talent and power, and well beloved by his church. He remained pastor thirty years, and the connection then only terminated because he was called "up higher." The first meeting-house was built soon after Mr. Lee assumed the pastorate, and occupied a part of the ground where the present Ballston cemetery is located. The pulpit of the old meeting-house is said to have been almost exactly above the place where Elder Lee was buried. This first Baptist meeting-house stood until about the year 1820, when it was removed to a spot just west of the railroad depot, where the water-tank now stands. There services were held until the year 1837, when the present house was completed at an expense of $8000. The legal organization of the church took place in 1802, and the certificate, recorded in the office of the county clerk, shows that Rev. Elias Lee was pastor, William Stillwell, deacon, Joseph Robinson, William Stillwell, Silas Briggs, Nehemiah Seeley, Elisha Roe, and Jonathan Peckham, trustees

In 1805 the Saratoga Baptist Association was formed, and this church was one of the constituent members. Like most other churches this has had its days of spiritual growth and prosperity, as well as its days of adversity and declension. The church had its largest additions during the two years' pastorate of Rev. S.S. Parr, - one hundred and nineteen. The catalogue of pastors is as follows: Rev. Elias Lee, thirty years; William E. Waterbury, four years; S.S. Parr, two years; Charles B. Keyes, one year; Norman Fox, twelve years; Orrin Dodge, two years; Joseph Freeman, one year; L.Y. Hayhurst, four years; E.S. Widdemer, one year; William Groom, Jr., four years; William O. Holman, four years; P. Franklin Jones, one and one-half years; George W. Clark, five and one-half years; E.H. Johnson, one and one-half years; R.T. Jones, the present pastor, now in the third year of his labors The present organisation consists of Anson B. Garrett, Barney Crossman, Seymour Rowley, Calvin Wiley, A.J. Griffen, deacons; Edward Maxon, treasurer; Seymour Rowley, Stephen E. Garrett, James W. Morris, Charles N. McCleuv, William S. Waterbury, trustees; Jerome B. Schultz, sexton; A. J. Griffen, church clerk.

This church was known as the Second Milton until 1802.

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PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

The First Presbyterian church was organised in June, 1834. Previous to this time families of Presbyterian sentiments had belonged either to the church at Ballston Centre or that of Milton Centre. The rapidly-increasing importance of the village of Ballston Spa led to a desire for a separate church at this point. The movement was very much aided, as was that of the Methodist organization about the same time, by an extensive and noted revival, a part of this general work that prevailed over so large a portion of the State from 1828 to 1835. The first preliminary meeting was held May 10, 1834, and the church organized with sixty-six members, bearing letters from the two churches named above.

The first trustees were elected July 8, 1834, Philip H. McOmber, Jonathan S. Beach, Edward W. Lee, Moses Williams, Christopher Earl, and James Comstock.

The church edifice was erected in 1835, at a cost of $10,000. It was dedicated in November of that year, the congregation having met for a few months in the courthouse.

A parsonage was bought in 1856, at an expense of nearly $3000.

In 1860, Samuel H. Cook built a neat chapel on Milton street, at an expense of about $600, for the use of the society. His intention, expressed before his death, of making it a free gift to the church was carried out by his family.

The several pastors of the church have been James Wood, Samuel J. Prime, A.T. Chester, Daniel Stewart, George T. Todd, Nathaniel S. Prime, Richard H. Steele, Nathaniel B. Klink, David Tully, S. Mattoon, S.A. Hoyt, Jr., David Murdock.

The present organization (1877) consists of five elders, - T.M. Mitchell, Hiro Jones, J.L. Phillips, Joseph Horn, E.R. Scareman; and of six trustees, - T.M. Mitchell, Hiro Jones, John McLean, George R. Beach, Jonathan S. Beach, James O. Leach; Hiro Jones clerk of session and also of the trustees.

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METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

It is a matter of regret that no records are preserved of the earliest Methodist work in this village. It would, no doubt, show interesting facts of early prayer-meetings gathered in private houses; of the welcome given to the toiling itinerant minister, as he traveled the immense circuit of the olden times, and once a fortnight or once a month reached this place; the efficient method of organization, which is characteristic of Methodists. The establishing of a pioneer "class," where only two or three "met together in the Saviour's name," was a work in many places all unwritten, yet powerful as the nucleus of future churches and conferences. Not even a single leaf of class records may come down to the eager grasp of the historian; yet there is ample proof that the work was done, and well done, though the names and facts are known only to Him who needeth no record to recall the earthly labors of His faithful children.

Coming down to the actual organization of the church, we find that this occurred in 1836; that the society consisted of E. Jones, S. Hicks, C. Caulkins, C. Patchen, and some fourteen others.

Revs. Elisha Andrews and Wm. H. Backus were the first ministers.

They first worshiped in the old academy, so called.

Their first house of worship was erected in 1836, and the dedication services were conducted by Noah Levings. The present one was erected in 1846, at an expense of about $12,000. It has at various times been enlarged and improved, at a cost of $6000. In connection with the church a parsonage was erected, at an expense of $2000.

The present pastor is Rev. R.H. Robinson, who has once before also been appointed to this charge. During the war he was chaplain of the Thirty-second Regiment, New York Volunteers. The present organization consists of nine stewards - C. Garling, J.L. Weed, N.L. Roe, T. White, A; Reynolds, J.E. Purdy, J.L. Hemstead, William Winters, David Winne; of five trustees, - David Atkins, president; W.B.H. Outt, secretary; George West, M.J. Esmond, W.W. Garrett; and of eleven class-leaders, - David Atkins, Charles Van Valkenburgh, S.D. Arnold, D.C. Garrison, William Shaw, E. Rogers, J. Tucker, M.J. Esmond, H.C. Dey, A. Clark, W.W. Garrett. The membership is over three hundred. An efficient Sunday-school is maintained, with a good library. The house of worship is centrally and conveniently located, in the midst of the business portion of the village.

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CATHOLIC CHURCH OF BALLSTON SPA.

Catholic services were held by various pastors of the church, some perhaps as early as 1849. Father Havreman first celebrated mass here on Ash Wednesday. The meetings were held in the old Methodist meeting-house, which the Catholics purchased. Father Daly next ministered to this congregation. He was followed by Pastor Cull. Under his administration of the parish, ground was purchased and the corner-stone of the present house was laid in December, 1859. It was finished the following year, and consecrated by Bishop McCloskey, now cardinal. Mrs. McLaughlin, who has furnished this information (on the failure of the priest to do so), states that the great cardinal dined in her humble house. The church cost about $3000, and the fitting up $1000 more. The building committee were Michael St. John, Dennis McLaughlin, and John Hand. Father Cull ministered to this society many years. Pastor Sheehan came next, and then the first regular parish priest, Rev. M. McGeoghan.

The Catholic cemetery was purchased in the year 1865, and consecrated with appropriate ceremonies. The first burial in it was James St. John.

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CENTENNIAL HALL.

The Centennial hall, erected or finished, as its name indicates, in the year 1876, is a neat and ornamental building, devoted to free discussion in religious matters. It was built by citizens favoring or at least interested in modern spiritualism, and its platform is occupied from time to time by speakers upon that subject. The movement has not crystallized into an organization, but regular exercises are now held (October, 1877) twice each Sunday. The advisory committee consists of Dr. Moore, Lawyer Brotherton, Mr. Barber, and Mr. Noxon.

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VII. - BANKS.

"The Ballston Spa Bank," the first banking institution in town, was organized in 1838, and commenced business May 15, 1839. The first board of directors were James M. Cook, Isaac Frink, Anson Brown, Lebbeus Booth, Jonathan S. Beach, Samuel Freeman, Eli Barnum, John W. Thompson, Stephen Smith, John Kelley, Harvey Chapman, Philip H. Macomber, Samuel Hides. James M. Cook was president; Isaac Fowler, cashier; John J. Lee, teller. The institution was reorganized in 1865 under the name of the "Ballston Spa National Bank." The present board consists of John W. Thompson, president, Jonathan S. Beach, Samuel Smith, Andrew W. Smith, Arnold Harris, Leverett Moore, Henry Knickerbocker, George G. Scott, George L. Thompson. Cashier, John J. Lee.

It will be noticed that three, John W. Thompson, Jonathan S. Beach, and John J. Lee, have been connected with the bank thirty-eight years. The latter has also been treasurer of the village and treasurer of the Union School district for many years, enjoying, in a high degree, the confidence of the community.

"The First National .Bank of Ballston Spa" was established April 1, 1865. Capital, $100,000. The first trustees were Hiro Jones, Henry A. Mann, Nathaniel Harrison, Samuel L. Eldridge, Samuel Gould, Jr., Lawrence W. Bristol, John H. Westcot, James O. Leach, J.S. Smith, John McLean, John D. Bancroft, L.M. Crane, and James Ellison. Hiro Jones, president; John D. Bancroft, cashier. This bank has a savings department, organized April 1, 1870. Deposits, about $65,000. The present board of trustees consists of Hiro Jones, president; Stephen C. Medberry, cashier; George West, John McLean, James W. Horton, James O. Leach, John H. Westcot, Lawrence W. Bristol, J. S. Lamareaux, Thomas Noxon, M.J. Esmond, Abel S. Whitlock, John H. Bassett.

Before 1838 banking was done at Schenectady, Troy, and Waterford.

It may be added that Mr. S.C. Medberry, of the First National Bank, is said to be the youngest cashier in the State.

------------------------------

VIII. - SOCIETIES.

MASONIC LODGES.

In reviewing the history of Freemasonry in this vicinity, it appears that in 1794 a number of Masons met in the town of Ballston for the purpose of forming a lodge, and that on the 16th day of May, in the same year, the Grand Lodge of the State of New York granted a charter to Franklin Lodge, No 37, located in the town of Ballston. For a long time the meetings were held at the residence of one of the members, on the southwest corner, opposite the present church at Ballston Centre, and, after the death of this brother, were held at the residences of the different members until 1834, when the warrant was forfeited, and declared to be not legally capable of being revived.

About ten years subsequent to the organization of Franklin Lodge, above noticed, a number of the fraternity met at the residence of William G. Boss, in the town of Milton, September 24, 1804, and organized a lodge. This was at "Milton Hill." The organization received a charter from the Grand Lodge, March 22, 1805, with the title of Friendship Lodge, No. 118. Meetings continued to be held in the town of Milton until January 2, 1821, when the lodge was removed to Ballston Spa, where regular communications were held until 1835, when the charter was surrendered, and never afterwards revived.

On the membership roll of this lodge we find the names of many brethren who afterwards became active and useful members of Franklin Lodge, No. 90, one of whom, Worthy Brother Joseph Jennings, is still living in this village, at the advanced age of eighty-nine years.

For more than half a century Brother Jennings has been an esteemed member of the fraternity, receiving the degrees in Friendship Lodge, and being one of the founders of Franklin Lodge, No. 90, of which lodge he is now the oldest living member. During these many years of faithful adherence to the principles and teachings of Freemasonry, he has filled nearly every position in the lodge, always with credit to himself and honor to the fraternity.

For a period of seven years, from 1835 to 1842, there was no Masonic organization in this village. June 3, 1842, the charter under which Franklin Lodge, No. 90, now works, was granted by the Grand Lodge. Nearly all the members of Franklin Lodge, No. 37, and of Friendship Lodge: No. 118, became members of the new lodge, which has maintained its regular communications in this village to the present time. In the proceedings of the Grand Lodge, under date of June 3, 1842, is found the following:

"The committee on warrants reported in favor of granting a warrant to constitute a lodge at Ballston, in the county of Saratoga, by the name of Franklin Lodge, of which Brother William Saunders is to be the first Master; Brother William Hawkins, S.W., and Brother Joseph Jennings, J.W., and that the property of the late Franklin Lodge, No. 37, be returned to said new lodge on payment of the usual fee for the warrant."

Franklin Lodge has numbered among its members several brethren who have attained to high positions among the fraternity, and in the civil walks of life. Of the latter, Brother James M. Cook, who received the Masonic degrees in this lodge, was for several years superintendent of the State banking department, and also represented his district in both houses of the State Legislature. He was buried with Masonic honors, and his remains now rest in the cemetery in this village. Among those whom the craft have delighted to honor, we find the names of W. Brother George Babcock, at one time Grand Commander of the order of Knights Templar in this State; W. Brother Seth Whalen, District Deputy Grand Lecturer for two years, and Master of this lodge for seven years; and R.W. Jonathan S. Smith, District Deputy Grand Master, and present Master of the lodge.

For more than eighty years Franklin Lodge has been engaged in advancing the sublime teachings and principles of the order, and now occupies a high position among the lodges of the State for the excellence of its work, and a close adherence to the ancient landmarks of Freemasonry.

At the formation of this latter lodge, June 3, 1842, William Saunders was elected W.M., William Hawkins; S.W.; and Joseph Jennings, J.W.

The successive incumbents of the Master's chair have been William Saunders, William Hawkins, Joseph Jennings, Abel Meeker, S.A. Emerson, Reuben Westcot, Abel Meeker, Harvey N. Hill, Abel Meeker, George Babcock, Harvey N. Hill, Abel Meeker, Harvey N. Hill, George H. Milliman, George W. Ingalls, Harvey N. Hill, S.H. Drake, P.G. Newcomb, Graham Pulver, Seth Whalen, Benjamin Allen, Seth Whalen, Jonathan S. Smith, Albert J. Reid, Jonathan S. Smith, Edward F. Grose.

This lodge, in connection with the chapter, have a very fine lodge-room, fitted up with elegant and costly furniture.

The present officers (June, 1878) are Edward F. Grose, W.M.; George H. Barlow, S.W.; C. Fred. Wheeler, J.W.; John McKown, Treas.; John J. Lee, Sec.; George H. Noxon, S.D.; S.H. Van Steenburgh, J.D.; Alonzo M. Shepherd, S.M.C.; Edwin C. Hoyt, J.M.C.; Rev. W. Delafield, Chaplain; A. P. Hemple, Tyler.

The treasurer and secretary above named have held their offices continuously for a long series of years.

Warren Chapter, No. 23, was organized in 1809, the dispensation being granted March 30 of that year to Seth C. Baldwin and others. Just previous to this, in 1808, a warrant had been granted to Eliakim Corey, Nathan Worden, and William G. Boss, authorizing them to hold an M.M. Lodge, to be known as Friendship, No. 39.

Chapter No. 23 was represented in the Grand Chapter of the State, in 1808, by James Hawkins as proxy. The roll of representatives from that time to this is a long and honored one. 1811, A. Olcott; 1812, Joseph Enos, Jr.; 1814, William Hawkins; 1815, William Worden; 1817-20, William Hawkins; 1821-22, Jonathan Edgecomb; 1823, Rev. William A. Clark (the latter also represented Chapter 23 in the emergency session at the celebration of the opening of the Erie canal); 1824, Thomas Palmer; 1825-26, Lyman B. Langworthy; 1827, John Dix; 1828; Jonathan Edgecomb.

From 1829 to 1846, seventeen years, the chapter was not represented, but maintained its rights by paying its dues, retaining its name and number. Having commenced working again, the representatives have been: 1847-48, Reuben Westcot; 1849, Abel Meeker; 1850-51, Harvey N. Hill; 1852, Abel Meeker; 1853, Reuben Westcot; 1854, Harvey N. Hill; 1855, Abel Meeker; 1856-57, Harvey N. Hill; 1858, George W. Ingalls; 1859, Harvey N. Hill; 1860-61, Reuben Westcot; 1862-65, Harvey N. Hill; 1866, J.S. Lamareaux; 1867-68, Percy J. Newcomb; 1869-70, Graham Pulver; 1871, Charles Reasoner, Reuben E. Groat, and Jonathan S. Smith; 1872-78, Jonathan S. Smith. The latter is also one of the officers of the Grand Chapter of the State.

The present officers of Warren Chapter (June, 1878) are Jonathan S. Smith, H.P.; Samuel F. Day, K.; N.R. Vandenburgh, Scribe; Allen S. Glen, Treas.; John J. Lee, Sec.; Rev. Walter Delafield, Chaplain; J. George Christopher, C. of H.; Seth Whalen, P.S.; John L. Brownell, R.A.C.; Hicks Seaman, M. 3d V.; Edward F. Grose, M. 2d V.; George C. Benham, M. 1st V.; A.P. Hemple, Tyler.

------------------------------

INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODD-FELLOWS.

Kayadrossera Lodge, No. 17, I.O.O.F., was organized Jan. 9, 1844. The charter members were Samuel H. Cook, David Maxwell, James G. Stebbins, William T. Odell, William Smith, and Edward Gilborne. The lodge had its first rooms in the building known as the "Old Mansion House," near the foot of Front street.

It continued to work until about 1865, when it was dissolved. The successive incumbents of the chair of Noble Grand were Samuel H. Cook, David Maxwell, William P. Odell, P.H. Cowen, William Smith, Lorenzo Kelly, John J. Lee, Henry Wright, Edward Gibbon, G.V. Mix, Harrison Emerson, Squire Barrett, George Thompson, Selden A. Emerson, Spencer Twitchell, John McKown, John Wilder, James Ashmun, James W. Morris, Amos W. Cook, Daniel W. Culver, Abraham Carey, L.W. Bristol, George Babcock, H.P. Jones, A. J. Goffe, Isaac D. Gibbons, H.C. Hakes, Edson O. Arnold, William W. Simmons, Cornell M. Noxon, Nelson H. Huested, Isaac H. Sears, James W. Culver, C.H. Van Valkenburgh, E.C. Foster, John C. Sullivan, Henry A. Mann, Burdick F. Davie, Joshua B. Boss, William W. Day, John H. Westcot, Edwin Miller, Josiah B. Hall, John C. Newman, John F. Bortles, James S. Garret, C.C. Hill, J.P. Weatherwax, E.A. Frisbie.

This lodge having ceased to work, a new movement was made a few years later, and Kayadrossera Lodge, No. 270, was organized. This was about the year 1870. The lodge is a flourishing institution, having, with the K. of P., a fine hall, richly carpeted and furnished, and several hundred dollars in the bank. The present officers (June, 1878,) are:

James Chalis, N.G.; Joseph Richardson, V.G.; Daniel Nims, P.S.; Emmet E. Lee, R.S.; Frank W. Bortles, W.; Marshall L. Vaughn, C.; William Barrett, Treas.; Rev. R.H. Robinson, Chaplain; Hiram Van Ness, Guard; Frank Wilson, P.N.G.; E.O. Hora, R.S.N.G.; Charles W. Massey, L.S.N.G.; Orville McIntosh, R.S.V.G.; George W. Miller, L.S.V.G.

Ballston Encampment, No. 72, I.O.O.F., was organized Nov. 9, 1854. Instituting officer present, G.P. Seymour. The first officers were:

D.W. Culver, C.P.; J.H. Sears, H.P.; J.J. Lee, J.W.; John McKown, S.W.; L.W. Bristol, Scribe; J.W. Culver, Treas.; W.W. Simmons, Guide.

This organization was only continued a few years.

------------------------------

GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC.

Post No. 46, G.A.R., was organized in May, 1875. The officers were A.J. Reed, C.; Thomas Harris, S.V.C.; Charles Massey, J.V.C.; P.P. Williams, Adjutant; G.D. Storey, Q.M.; Justin Warner, Q.M.S.; James D. Thompson, O.D.; R.H. Young, Chaplain; Charles Brockway, Surgeon; Martin Lee, O.G.

The post numbers about sixty members. The present officers (June, 1878) are James D. Thompson, C.; James Dunk, S.V.C.; Hamilton White, J.V.C.; George McCreedy, Adjutant; George D. Storey, Q.M.; John Mitchell, Q.M.S.; Michael Brady, O.D.; James Wood, Chaplain; B.W. Noxon, Surgeon; John H. Foster, O.G.

The only presiding officer between the first and last named was Thomas Harris, two terms.

------------------------------

KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS.

Herman Lodge, .No. 90, K. of P., was formed in December, 1873. Among the first officers were S.H. Van Steenburgh, C.C.; W.W. Garrett, V.C.; R.H. Young, P.; A.M. Shepherd, K. of R. and S.; George McDonald, M. of Ex.; Matthew Livingston, M. of F.; George Briggs, M.A.; Willard Brown, J.G.; John E. Cooke, O.G.; M. Weiner, P.C.C.

The lodge has increased to seventy members, and meets in Pythian Hall every Wednesday evening.

Other presiding officers have been W.W. Garrett, R.H. Young, A.M. Shepherd, George Yatt, and Cortland Rouse.

The present officers (June, 1878) arc George D. Storey, C.C.; Robert Groom, V.C.; James Dunk, P.; Justin L. Warner, K. of R. and S.; Joseph Richardson, M. of Ex.; Willard Brown, M. of F.; R.M. Moore, M.A.; Henry Burnham, J.G.; Albert Hopkins, O.G.; George Yatt, P.C.C.

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TEMPERANCE ORGANIZATIONS.

A Tent of Rechabites existed in Ballston in the early years of that order in the United States. It was known as Delaware Tent, and lasted several years.

The present organization, under the same name, No. 66, N.O.R., was formed in the spring of 1876. At that time John Edwards was S.H.; R.H. Young, C.R.; and Frank Ross, D.R. The tent meets every Thursday evening, and numbers about fifty members. The present officers (June, 1878) are John Edwards, S.H.; Thomas Mills, C.R.; Erastus Smith, D.R.; Frank Ross, P.C.R.; John Smith, Treas.; Joseph Richardson, F.S.; John Van Ever, C.S.; John Agan, Levite; Loren Allen, G.

Ballston Division of the Sons of Temperance had a vigorous existence for several years in the earlier times of that order, but ceased to work.

A new division was attempted a few years since, but after two or three years gave way to a lodge of Good Templars, which was instituted about 1874, and this ceased to work in 1876. The last presiding officer was John Coon.

A branch of the order of United Workmen has recently been organized in Ballston Spa.

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IX. - INTERESTING REMINISCENCES.

We add the following circular of the Sans Souci Hotel of 1811:

 

REGULATIONS ESTABLISHED AT THE SANS SOUCI HOTEL.

 

Gentlemen on their arrival are requested to insert their names on the public register kept in the office for that purpose; also, the names of the whole of their party individually, and number of servants, after which they will please to make choice of their bedrooms.

 

Terms of Board.

 

Ten dollars per week; two dollars a day for a shorter period. Children under twelve years of age and servants, half price. Breakfast (for servant and help), six; dinner, one; supper, six. Hour of breakfast is eight o'clock; one hour previous a preparatory bell will be rung. Dinner at two, with the same notice at one o'clock, Supper at seven, with a like notice at six.

 

Price of Liquors.

 

Madeira, 1st.

$3.00

Burgundy

$2.00

 

" 2d.

2.50

Martinique Liquors

2.00

 

Sicily

1.50

Cherry Brandy

1.50

 

Port Wine

2.00

Jamaica

1.50

 

Champagne

3.00

Holland Gin

1.50

 

Rhine

3.00

Brandy

1.50

 

Claret

1.50

Brown Stout

75

 

Sherry

1.50

Cider

37

1/2

Tenerife

1.50

Mixed Liquors, glass

12

1/2

Vindegrave

1.50

 

 

 

 

To prevent mistakes arising from waiters not understanding the names of gentlemen calling for liquors at the dinner table, each waiter will be provided with cards and pencils, Gentlemen, when they want anything, will demand a card and pencil, and insert it thereon, with their signature. The charges at the bar will correspond, and must be correct.

Ladies and gentlemen are requested not to enter the dining-room while the waiters are placing the dinner on the table. The bell will give due notice when ready. To prevent annoyance to the ladies neither drinking nor smoking can he allowed in their drawing-room.

Gentlemen will please to give timely notice of their departure, as frequent mistakes are made in bills for want of time to make them out.

Persons bringing their own liquor will pay one dollar for each bottle opened. Gentlemen who drink liquor at the bar are requested to pay for the same when they receive it.

ANDREW BERGER.

BALLSTON SPA, July 1, 1811.

In the hotel are still some curious specimens of the old furniture, - wide old-fashioned sofas and mirrors; and in the office a round table covered with locust from a tree cut on the premises. Ex-Governor Wm. L. Marcy died in this hotel July 4, 1857. His signature, written June 22, twelve days before in the hotel register, was one of his very last autographs.

July 9 ex-President Pierce and ex-Governor Washington Hunt were at the hotel, but their names were probably written by a clerk.

The old Sans Souci has ever been held in high esteem by health-seekers, and under its umbrageous elms and its hospitable roof have entered John C. Calhoun, Martin Van Buren and his son Prince John, R. Barnwell Rhett the elder, General Wool, Franklin Pierce, J. Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, Commodores Hull, Decatur, and McDonough, General Dix, Charles O'Conor, Bishop B.T. Onderdonk, Jerome Bonaparte, Louis Napoleon, then an obscure princeling, and many others well known in the world's history.

George Smith, who made this last noted improvement on the grounds of the Sans Souci, is now the proprietor of the Ballston Spa House. This was formerly the winter house of the Sans Souci when the main building was closed at the end of the pleasure season.

S.R. Earls is the present manager of the Sans Souci.

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X. - MINERAL WATERS OF THE PRESENT TIME.

We close this account of the village of Ballston Spa with a statement of the several springs, which have restored to the village the source of its former prosperity, and which bid fair now to prove valuable and permanent. The various streams, rising from a great depth with immense force, are safe from surface impurities.

------------------------------

ARTESIAN LITHIA SPRING.

As the result of the oil excitement in Pennsylvania, enterprising adventurers of every community looked eagerly around their own localities for evidences of oil. A company undertook to bore in Ballston Spa for oil. They commenced work in the fall of 1865, and finished the next year. They missed the petroleum, but struck a splendid stream of the mineral water, at five hundred and fifty-two feet, that in old times had made Ballston famous, but the surface flow of which had mainly disappeared. Over this a suitable brick building has been erected, - beautiful grounds laid out in front of it, - an enterprise which, though temporarily embarrassed (not, however, for want of water), will no doubt prove remunerative in the future. The following certificate of analysis shows the quality of the water. The well was drilled by Conde & Denton, and was extended to six hundred and fifty-two feet in depth.

 

BALLSTON SPA ARTESIAN LITHIA SPRING.

Analyses by Prof. C.F. Chandler, Ph.D.

 

Grains.

Chloride of sodium

750.030

Chloride of potassium

33.276

Bromide of sodium

3.643

Iodide of sodium

0.124

Fluoride of calcium

a trace.

Bicarbonate of lithia

7.750

Bicarbonate of soda

11.928

Bicarbonate of magnesia

180.602

Bicarbonate of lime

238.156

Bicarbonate of strontia

0.867

Bicarbonate of baryta

3.881

Bicarbonate of iron

1.581

Sulphate of potassa

0.520

Phosphate of soda

0.050

Biborate of soda

a trace.

Alumina

0.077

Silica

0.761

Organic matter

a trace.

Total

1233.246

Carbonic acid gas

426.114

cub. in.

Density

1.0159

"

Temperature

52

deg. F.

 

SCHOOL OF MINES, COLUMBIA COLLEGE, N.Y., April 21, 1868.

 

------------------------------

FRANKLIN SPRING.

The "Franklin Mineral Springs, Company," some twenty years ago, became thoroughly convinced, by geological and scientific evidence, that valuable medicinal waters could, by a large outlay of money and much perseverance, be brought to the surface (for the benefit of humanity) at Ballston Spa, - waters unequaled in the known world for medicinal purposes, as well as a healthy, grateful beverage; but owing to circumstances and proper conditions, the work of boring for this water was not commenced till late in 1868. A contract was then made with an Artesian Well Company, and the work was at once begun. This company sunk a drill, five inches in diameter, twenty-three feet through earth and came to rock, through which they drilled to a depth of six hundred and ninety feet, - seven hundred and fifteen feet deep. When this great depth was reached and the drill removed, the water came rushing up with frightful velocity, and throwing it into the air fifty-three feet, and sustaining it sixty minutes by the watch, producing one of the sublimest and most wonderful phenomena witnessed by man, and since that time the supply has been exhaustless.

This spring is about half a mile northeast of the railroad station, on Malta avenue, on a swell of land overlooking the village and the surrounding country for miles. The well was also drilled by Conde & Denton. The following is the

 

CERTIFICATE OF ANALYSIS.

LABORATORY OF THE SCHOOL OF MINES, COLUMBIA

COLLEGE, CORNER OF 49TH STREET AND FOURTH

AVENUE, NEW YORK, August 9, 1869.

SIRS, - The sample of spring water from the Franklin spring, submitted to me for examination, contains in United States gallon (231 cubic inches):

 

Grains.

Chloride of sodium

659.344

Chloride of potassium

33.930

Bromide of sodium

4.665

Iodide of sodium

235

Fluoride of calcium

a trace.

Bicarbonate of lithia

6.777

Bicarbonate of soda

94.604

Bicarbonate of magnesia

177.868

Bicarbonate of lime

202.232

Bicarbonate of strontia

002

Bicarbonate of baryta

1.231.

Bicarbonate of iron

1.609

Sulphate of potassa

.762

Phosphate of soda

.011

Biborate of soda

a trace.

Alumina

.263

Silica

.735

Organic matter

a trace.

Total

1184.368

Carbonic acid gas

460.066

cubic in.

Density

1.0115

"

Temperature

52

F.

 

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

C.F. CHANDLER,

Professor of Analytical and Applied Chemistry.

 

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THE WASHINGTON SPRING

is situated near the railroad embankment in the centre of the village, north and south. This was drilled to a depth of six hundred and twelve feet in the summer of 1868.

The proprietors, Simon B. Conde and John Brown, have recently erected a fine building over the spring, and have a tract of seven acres of land, including a portion of the flat, and extending up the wooded slope to the fair-grounds. Mr. Conde, who has sunk most of these wells in Ballston Spa, has given considerable study to this work, and is understood to have been the author of the article in "Appleton's Encyclopædia" upon artesian wells. His skill and judgment have established for him a wide reputation as a successful operator. The following is the analysis of the water of this spring, and it ought to be added that it was made from a specimen taken before the work was fairly finished, and before it was protected from the intrusion of fresh water, as it is now. A new analysis would show still greater strength and purity:

 

ANALYSIS OF THE WASHINGTON LITHIA WELL.

Made by Prof. C.H Chandler, showing the amount of solid Contents in a Gallon of Water.

 

Grains.

Chloride of sodium

645.48l

Chloride of potassium

9.232

Bromide of sodium

2.388

Iodide of sodium

.925

Fluoride of calcium

a trace.

BICARBONATE OF LITHIA

10.514

Bicarbonate of soda

34.400

Bicarbonate of magnesia

158.348

Bicarbonate of lime

178.484

Bicarbonate of strontia

.189

Bicarbonate of baryta

4.739

Bicarbonate of iron

2.296

Sulphate of potassa

none.

Phosphate of soda

.003

Biborate of soda

a trace.

Alumina

.595

Silica

1.026

Organic matter

a trace.

Total per gallon, 231 cubic inches

1047.700

Carbonic acid gas

338.345

cub. in.

Density

1.010

"

Temperature

49

F.

 

------------------------------

THE SANS SOUCI SPOUTING SPRING.

In 1870, Mr. Smith, then proprietor of the Sans Souci, desiring to supply all needed facilities for his guests, caused an artesian spring to be drilled in the court-yard, directly in the rear of the main hall. Mr. Smith says he had the drill put down just where he wanted it, on a line with the centre of the hall, disregarding entirely the advice of those who, by bending boughs in trance dreams, sought to have him bore here or there. Taking the responsibility of selecting just the point he desired, the result was a magnificent success. When the drill first struck the water at the depth of six hundred and ninety feet, the grand spouting was a sight shared in by a large crowd, which the whistle of the engine called together. The analysis of the water is as follows:

 

SANS SOUCI SPOUTING SPRING.

UNION COLLEGE, SCHENECTADY, N. Y., July 1,1870.

Analysis of water from "Spouting spring," Sans Souci Hotel, Ballston Spa, N. Y.:

 

Grains.

Chloride of sodium

572.306

Chloride of potassium

5.860

Bromide of sodium

1.055

Iodide of sodium

.620

Bicarbonate of soda

4.757

BICARBONATE OF LITHIA

11.793

Phosphate of lime

3.175

Bicarbonate of lime

193.179

Bicarbonate of magnesia

181.106

Bicarbonate of iron

9.239

Alumina

a trace.

Silica

1.140

Bicarbonate of baryta

1.790

Bicarbonate of strontia

a trace.

Chloride of rubidium

a trace.

Total in a gallon of 231 cubic inches.

986.345

Carbonic acid gas

538.074

cubic inches.

Density

1.015

"

Temperature

50

F.

 

The gas shows a pressure at the opening of twenty-four (24) pounds to the square inch.

MAURICE PERKINS, A.M., M.D.,

Prof. of Chemistry at Union College, and at Albany Medical College.

 

------------------------------

THE PUBLIC SPRING,

owned and provided for by the village, is nearly at the point of the old famous "iron-railing spring." An artesian well, six hundred and forty-seven feet in depth, was drilled at this point in the year 1874, at an expense of about $2500. A neat pavilion, costing $650, was erected for it in 1875, and so arranged that visitors obtain the medicinal beverage without fee or reward.

No new analysis of the water appears to have been made. Being public property, no establishment for bottling is connected with it. It is simply provided by the liberality of the village as a free gift to visitors and citizens. An old analysis, given many years ago (as early as 1800 probably), states the contents of a quart in grains as follows. Perhaps it applies to the waters of the new public well:

Muriate of soda

42

Muriate of magnesia

1 3/4

Muriate of lime

31/4

Carbonate of magnesia

11 3/4

Carbonate of lime

91/4

Oxide of iron

1

Total

69

Of aeriform fluids:

Carbonic acid gas

61

Azotic gas

2 1/2

Total

631/2

 

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

HON. GEORGE WEST.

Portrait of George West

Few men have furnished a more illustrious example of the genius for organization and successful business enterprise than the subject of this sketch. By dint of energy, sagacity, and persevering industry, he has risen in a few years from comparative poverty to opulence, and is now one of the largest manufacturers in the eastern section of the State.

Born in Devonshire, England, on the 17th of February, 1823, of parents in very moderate circumstances, he had very little adventitious aid in making a future for himself. He received a good common-school education, however, and inherited from his parents industrious habits and a robust constitution. With these as his exclusive capital, he commenced the battle of life. His father and uncle were paper-makers, but he served a thorough apprenticeship with John Dewdney, one of the leading manufacturers in the west of England, learning the business in all its branches, and to his natural genius adding the skill acquired by a thorough training.

Soon after reaching his majority he married an English girl, whose prudent management and wise counsel, no doubt, contributed in no small degree to his success. He soon discovered that England failed to afford scope for his abilities, and in February, 1849, when he had reached his twenty-sixth year, he came with his young wife to this country. When he arrived on our shores he was almost penniless, but he possessed a good stock of indomitable energy. He procured employment in New Jersey, where he worked about a year. From there he went to Massachusetts, where he obtained employment in a paper-mill as an ordinary operative, continuing in that capacity about three years. Ultimately his employers discerned and appreciated his value, and he soon found himself the responsible manager of one of the largest manufactories of writing-paper in the Bay State.

During several years' experience in that position, he rapidly developed the sterling qualities by which he finally won success, and before he had been ten years in this country he became a partner in an extensive paper-mill. In the year 1860 he sold his business in Massachusetts, and seeing a favorable opening at Ballston Spa, moved thither. How well time has demonstrated the wisdom of his venture is shown by the fact that he is now sole proprietor of nine mills and factories, and is doing in connection therewith a business which averages about $65,000 monthly.

The mills of Mr. West are all water-power mills, situated on Kayadrossera creek, and are nine in number, as follows: seven paper-mills, one cotton-factory, and one paper-bag factory. He started with the old Empire mill at Rock City Falls in 1862. In 1866 he built the Excelsior mill at Rock City Falls, at a cost, exclusive of the site, of $50,000. In 1870 he purchased the ruins of the old Pioneer mill, at West Milton, and rebuilt it, at a cost of $75,000. In the same year he bought the ruins of the two mills in Middle Grove, and rebuilt them at a cost of $40,000. In October, 1874, he purchased the paper-mill formerly owned by Charles H. Odell, now known as the Eagle mill, at Factory Village, at a cost, including improvements made by him, of $55,000. In August, 1875, he purchased the property formerly owned by Jonas A. Hovey, in the village of Ballston Spa, consisting of three cotton-factories, two woolen-factories, the mansion which now constitutes his residence, about forty tenements, a number of barns and storehouses, and a considerable tract of land, forming one of the most picturesque portions of the village of Ballston Spa.

The principal cotton-mill, included in the above purchase, he still operates as a cotton-factory; it contains six thousand two hundred and twenty-four spindles. One of the cotton-mills he changed into a first-class paper-bag factory, which has a fall of twenty feet of water, and turns out two millions of paper bags per week, or, in round numbers, one hundred millions a year, of all sizes, for grocers' use and flour bags, the manufacturing being done entirely by machinery. The product of the entire paper-mills is two hundred and thirty-four tons per month, while the whole business employs one hundred and seventy hands, besides many teams, engaged in handling the immense stock and manufactured goods.

The perfect order and system which pervade all of Mr. West's enterprises strike the observer as one of the most remarkable features of his business. If "order is heaven's first law," it is equally necessary in any great and complicated enterprise successfully conducted by human agency; and of this the business of Mr. West affords a striking illustration. His great success is in a large measure due to his genius for organization, and the thorough order and system to which he has reduced every shop, mill, office, and department of the immense business of which he is the ever-active and vigilant head.

In personal appearance Mr. West is a good specimen of the sturdy Briton. Though of short stature, his robust form and broad shoulders seem well able to carry the massive and well-developed head, which seems a fit repository for a brain of more than ordinary activity. He bears with him, however, the air and manner of one who has earned the right to take the world easy, and the geniality characterizing his intercourse with others strengthens such an impression in the mind of one who judges men by first impressions. He is a man of much earnestness of character, and a hard worker in everything he undertakes.

He has always been an ardent Republican, and enjoys a large degree of popularity in his own district. In the fall of 1871 he was elected to the Assembly by the large majority of eleven hundred and sixty-six over William T. Odell, his Democratic competitor. In the fall of 1872 he was re-elected without opposition, no other candidate being nominated, and in the Legislature of 1873 he was the only member of the Assembly having no votes against him. In the fall of that year local issues which arose rendered him less fortunate, his majority over George A. Ensign, his Democratic opponent, being four hundred and twenty. In the fall of 1874 he was elected by a majority of seven hundred and nine over Benjamin H. Knapp, Democrat; and in the fall of 1875 he was chosen by a majority of six hundred and one, his opponent being George A. Ensign. He was a candidate in convention for the senatorial nomination against the Hon. Webster Wagner, and the contest was conducted with such spirit that it attracted attention throughout the State, and so close was it that on the final ballot Mr. West was defeated by only one vote.

His recent Assembly canvass closed, however, with a very saddening event, - the loss of a favorite son, a young man whose future seemed more than ordinarily promising, and whose death occurred on the evening of election day.

Mr. West, in 1874, was chairman of the committee on trade and manufactures, and member of that on public printing and public lands. In 1875 he was a member of the committees on public printing and on trade and manufactures; and in 1876 he was chairman of the committee on railroads, and a member of that on expenditures of the House.

A few years ago, Mr. West associated with himself in business his son, George West, Jr., since which the firm style has been George West & Son.

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JOHN W. THOMPSON.

Portrait of John W. Thompson

The paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, John Thompson, was of Scotch-Irish descent, his ancestors having emigrated in the early part of the last century from the north of Ireland to Londonderry, N.H. About 1763 he settled in what is now Stillwater, where he lived until his death, which took place in 1823, in his seventy-fifth year. He was by occupation a farmer, and was endowed by nature with unusual strength of intellect. He was an active patriot during the Revolutionary struggle. In 1788-89 he was a member of the State Assembly from the county of Albany, and upon the organization of Saratoga County received the appointment of first judge of the county courts. This position he held until 1809, when he retired by force of the constitutional limitation as to age, which was then sixty years. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1801, and was a representative in the Sixth, Tenth, and Eleventh Congresses.

Judge Thompson's second son, James (the father of John W. Thompson), was born in Stillwater, Nov. 20, 1775, and was educated at the academy in Schenectady, - the old building which until recently stood at the northwest corner of the junction of Union and Ferry {original text has "Terry".} streets. His schoolmates from this county were Rev. Joseph Sweetman, of Charlton; Levi H. Palmer and James Scott, of Ballston; and George Palmer, of Stillwater. He studied law at what is now Buell's Corners, at South Ballston, with James Emott (a son-in-law of Judge Beriah Palmer), and subsequently known as Judge Emott, of Poughkeepsie. Daniel L. Van Antwerp, Samuel Cooke, Samuel Young, and Levi H. Palmer were his fellow-students. Upon his admission to the bar, which was about 1797, he opened an office a little south of Milton Centre, and immediately entered upon a lucrative and extensive practice. Here he remained until 1806, when he removed to what has been subsequently known as the "Judge Thompson place," two miles northwest of Ballston Spa, where he lived until his death, which took place Dec. 19, 1845. In 1818 he was commissioned first judge of the county courts, his predecessor, Salmon Child, who had succeeded his father, taking his place beside him as one of the judges. He ably discharged the duties of this office until 1833; when he was succeeded by Samuel Young. He was one of the regents of the University, having been appointed in 1822. He inherited the mental vigor of his father, was distinguished by great force of character, and wielded an extensive personal influence. He seemed to take a far greater interest in promoting the political fortunes of his immediate personal friends, such as Young and Cramer, than in caring for his own. As a counsellor and advocate he stood in the front rank. Dr. Nathan Thompson, of Galway, was his brother.

The subject of this sketch is the second son of Judge James Thompson. He was born at the family homestead, in Milton, Dec. 29, 1808. His mother was a daughter of Abel Whalen, one of the early prominent settlers of Milton. He was named from his two grandfathers. After attending the "Milton Union School," and subsequently the Lansingburg Academy, he, in 1824, entered Union College, and was a room-mate of the late Preston King. He graduated in 1827, and the same year commenced a law-clerkship at Ovid, Seneca county, with his uncle, William Thompson, then a prominent lawyer of western New York, and completed his clerkship with Judge Luther F. Stevens, of Seneca Falls. He was admitted as an attorney of the Supreme Court in January, 1831, and in a few weeks formed a law-partnership at Ballston Spa with Anson Brown, which was continued with unusual success until Mr. Brown's death, while a representative in Congress, in 1840. Upon the nomination by Governor Marcy, in 1834, Mr. Thompson was appointed surrogate, and remained in office until 1847, when the new constitution took effect. Probably the duties of that important office were never discharged in a more thorough, intelligent, and satisfactory manner than during his administration. He was one of the original incorporators of the Ballston Spa Bank, which was established in 1838, and is the only surviving director of the first board of directors. In 1856, upon the resignation of James M. Cook, who received the appointment of superintendent of the banking department, Mr. Thompson was chosen to succeed him, and, upon the reorganization of the bank under the national banking law, he was continued in that position, which he still holds. During his presidency he has devoted the most of his time to the management of the institution. As a financier, he has few, if any, superiors. Having an ample fortune, he long since practically abandoned the drudgery of the law, notwithstanding he inherited the legal ability of his father. Since he was surrogate, with the exception of one term as supervisor of Milton, he has steadily resisted all overtures for political preferment. In politics his grandfather and father were of the Jeffersonian school, and Mr. Thompson has uniformly adhered to the same faith. Indeed, this family trait has descended to his son, George L. Thompson, the present Democratic supervisor of Milton. The late George Thompson, of Ballston Spa, an alumnus of Union College of the class of 1822, and for many years the county treasurer, and who died in 1871, was his eldest brother.

Mr. Thompson is now a widower; his wife, Anita, a daughter of the late Joel Lee, of Ballston Spa, having died in 1871.

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JAMES W. HORTON.

Portrait of James W. Horton

Mr. Horton was born in Ballston, Saratoga Co., N.Y., Sept. 29, 1810. He is a son of Ezekiel and Clarissa (Watson) Horton. His father was a native of Hebron, Conn., and settled in Ballston about the year 1795, where he died in 1843, aged sixty-seven years. His mother was a daughter of Captain Titus Watson, a captain in the Revolutionary war and a pioneer of Saratoga County. She was born in the town of Ballston in 1780, and died here in 1839, at the age of fifty-nine years.

The subject of this sketch received his education at the common school and academy, and came to reside at Ballston Spa in 1829, at the age of nineteen. He has resided here ever since. In 1840, under General Harrison's administration, he was appointed postmaster of Ballston, and held the office three years, until removed by President Tyler. In 1845 he was elected clerk of Saratoga County, on the Whig ticket, and by successive elections has held the office ever since, having been eleven consecutive times elected to fill the same responsible position. He was a Whig in politics till the disintegration of that party, and has since been a Republican. He had two sons in the war for the Union, who were brave soldiers. The elder, Stephen S., was a captain in the Seventy-seventh New York Volunteers, and was wounded at the battle of Antietam. The younger, William B. Horton, was wounded at the second Bull Run battle, and died of his wound in Washington, D.C. His other son, James C. Horton, the eldest of the family, resides in Lawrence, Kansas, where he has held several important and responsible offices, having been a member both of the Assembly and Senate of the State.

Mr. Horton was first married, in 1836, to Abby Clark, of Ballston Spa, who died in December, 1850. His second wife was Julia E. Betts, of Troy, N.Y., to whom he was united in marriage Jan. 14, 1852.

The sons above referred to, and Clara V., now Mrs. George C. Beecher, of Ballston, are his children by the first marriage. He has two daughters by his second marriage, viz., Jennie and Annie Watson Horton.

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DR. SAMUEL DAVIS.

Dr. Samuel Davis was born in East Hampton, Long Island, in 1765. His father, John Davis, left England in the early part of the seventeenth century, and settled in Massachusetts, and afterwards removed to Long Island, where he was successfully engaged in farming and the manufacture of leather. Samuel, the first son by his second wife, at an early age chose the profession of medicine, and was distinguished as a physician and surgeon of the old school. He studied his profession with Dr. Turner, of Stonington, one of the most distinguished physicians and surgeons of his day. After the completion of his medical course, which he did with great honor to himself, he emigrated to Schoharie Co., N.Y., where he practiced with great acceptance among the inhabitants for two years. Then Beriah Palmer and Seth C. Baldwin, two influential men of Ballston, Saratoga Co., learning from highly respectable men of Albany, who had become acquainted with him, of his skill and success for so young a man (being then scarcely twenty-five years of age), induced him to leave Schoharie and settle in Ballston, where, at twenty-five years of age, he re-commenced his practice and continued it for fifty years. He secured not only an enviable confidence in his skill in the profession, but the respect, esteem, and confidence of the inhabitants of the county, as a man of high moral character, genial and gentlemanly in his manners, and a Christian gentleman.

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