HISTORY OF

SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK.

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

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

HISTORY OF THE VILLAGES AND TOWNS OF SARATOGA COUNTY.

TOWN OF BALLSTON.

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

I. - GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION.

THE town of Ballston is situated southwest of the geographical centre of the county, and extends to the southern boundary. It consists of the so-called "Five-mile square," together with a small addition at the southern extremity. This five-mile-square tract, together with five thousand acres now constituting the south part of Charlton, was set apart to defray the expenses of the survey and partition of the Kayadrossera patent. The commissioners were Christopher Yates, John Glenn, and Thomas Palmer. An examination of these lands now will convince any one that the commissioners made no mistake, if it was their intention to set off the most valuable portion of the patent to pay the expenses. The town is bounded north by Milton, east by Malta, south by Clifton Park and Schenectady county, west by Schenectady county and Charlton. It contains 14,979 acres of improved land, 2471 unimproved, of which 2041 are forest, the whole area being about twenty-seven and a quarter square miles. The population in 1875 was 1932. This town is described in the revised statutes of the State, and its boundary lines defined, as follows:

"The town of Ballston shall contain all that part of said county comprehending the tract of land commonly called the five-mile square, and the west line of the same extended south to the bounds of the county; then along the bounds of the county to a line run from the south end of Long lake south fifty-three degrees west; then along that line and the east shore of said lake to the south bounds of the said five-mile square."

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II. - NATURAL FEATURES.

The surface of the town is gently undulating. The principal streams are the Mourning Kill and the outlet of Ballston lake. This body of water from its shape was appropriately called Long lake, but in later years it is more generally known by the name of the town. It is a narrow, deep, and beautiful sheet of water, and though no pleasure resorts or camp-meeting grounds have been located upon its banks, yet there are several choice sites that may hereafter aspire to rival Round lake and other favored localities. A few mill-privileges exist in the town, though now of little importance, and never of any great value.

The outlet of Ballston lake flows into Round lake, and thence through Anthony's Kill to the Hudson river at Mechanicville, forming a beautiful chain of lakes and streams. The clearing up of the country has so diminished the amount of water in the streams that they are useless for milling purposes. The northwest part of the town is drained by the branches of Gordon's creek, that finally empties into the Kayadrossera at Ballston Spa, and west of Burnt Hills several rivulets flow southward to the valley of the Mohawk.

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III. - EARLY SETTLEMENT.

Before the year 1760 there were not many places settled in the county. The old village of Saratoga was destroyed in 1745, leaving only a few scattered pioneers at Schuylerville. Isaac Mann was at Stillwater Mills; there was a small hamlet at Waterford, while, perhaps, a daring adventurer or two had built cabins along the north bank of the Mohawk and the west bank of the Hudson. Practically, the whole county was an unbroken forest back from the two rivers.

The settlement of Ballston was just about coeval with the removal of the Connecticut colony to Stillwater and the temporary residence there of Dr. Thomas Clark's Scotch-Irish colony, who settled Salem, Washington county.

Michael McDonald and his brother Nicholas were the pioneers. They came to the western shore of Ballston lake in 1763, and located south of the creek. The house stood near the lake, just south of Charles Wiswell's place. Sir William Johnson, on his trip to the springs in 1767, found them here, and stayed overnight with them. The McDonalds were from Ireland. When boys, they had been enticed on board a vessel and brought to America, and then sold to pay for their involuntary passage. In their new locations they were on friendly terms with the Indians. Indeed, they came to this place on the invitation of the Indians, who assisted them in building their log house. Michael McDonald died June 29, 1823, in the 94th year of his age. On his tombstone it is recorded that "He was the first settler of Ballston."

Of Nicholas McDonald there is not so much known.

A granddaughter of one of the brothers, Mrs. Morse, is still living, and her son, Nelson Morse, resides in Ballston, between Court-house hill and the Centre.

Between 1763 and 1770 it is not known that there were any additional settlers. The McDonalds had the country all to themselves. The purchase of four hundred acres by Eliphalet Ball was made, according to the deed, October 12, 1771. The price was only nominal, - ten shillings for the whole, and one year's service in helping to settle the country. The present Presbyterian church is located upon the southwest corner of the Ball farm. The removal to this town of Mr. Ball and family was in the year before the one named in the deed.

His pioneer home was near the present house of Abram Post, at Academy hill, a little north, in the south part of the orchard. His children were three sons - Stephen, John, Flamen - and one daughter, Mary.

John was a colonel in the Revolutionary army, and was in active service. He was in the relief-party, under General Arnold, that marched to the aid of Fort Stanwix.

The daughter became the wife of General James Gordon. Rev. Eliphalet Ball was a third cousin of George Washington. Of Stephen Ball, it is said he once assisted his father at a marriage service in a peculiar way. Having inquired of the bridegroom whether he had ever seen any one married, and finding that he had not, Stephen told him just what to do, and said he, "Father will expect you to kiss the bride several times during the ceremony, but he won't like to tell you; I will sit near you and touch your heel at the right time." The service just commenced, Stephen touched the heel and a hearty smack followed. The minister frowned, but said nothing; but when the same thing occurred two or three times, Mr. Ball threatened to leave them half-married if that nonsense didn't stop. The poor bridegroom replied, "Stephen told me to."

George Scott was an emigrant from the north of Ireland, and settled in 1774 on what has since been well known as the Scott homestead. The house was on an eminence northeast of the present dwelling-house. His wife was the sister of General James Gordon. During the Munro Tory raid of 1780 he narrowly escaped death, being in fact struck down with a tomahawk and left for dead. His children were James Scott, born at the Gordon homestead, Jan. 31, 1774. Daughters, - Mary, became Mrs. William Marshall; Margaret, who never married; Susan, Mrs. Daniel Start.

James Scott was a well-known surveyor of the olden time. His son, Hon. George G. Scott, is the present supervisor of Ballston, a position he has occupied for nineteen years consecutively, honoring by careful service that office, as he has the higher and more responsible positions to which he has been repeatedly called through his long and distinguished public career.

Gen. James Gordon was a pioneer whose name is associated with the most stirring events of early times, with the most important civil positions, town, county, State, and national. In the catalogue of public officials his name repeatedly appears. He was from County Antrim, Ireland, when a boy of seventeen or eighteen; went back, returned, and (after being in the Indian trade at Albany) in the year 1771 or 1772, finally settled in Ballston, and located where Eugene Wiswell now lives. The Gordon house was a little southwest of the present house. He was actively in service during the Revolutionary war, and was promoted through successive grades to the rank of general. He was taken prisoner by the Tories in 1780, and carried to Canada. Removed from Quebec to the Isle of Orleans, and finding his old neighbors taken in the second raid of 1781, they effected their escape, and, after severe hardships and well nigh starving, they reached Boston to find that peace was declared. The wife of General Gordon was the daughter of Eliphalet Ball. He left one daughter, Melinda, who became Mrs. William B. Verplanck, of Fishkill. He dying, she married Henry Waller, of Sing Sing.

The three McCrea brothers, in Ballston, were William, who married General Gordon's sister, and settled on what is now the Henry Davis farm; James, who lived next north on the Henry Harrison farm; and Samuel, who settled on the present Thomas McCarty farm.

Joseph Morehouse with his brother-in-law, Nathan Raymond, came from Connecticut before or during the Revolution and settled on the east side of the lake. The Morehouse homestead was the present place of Edwin B. Cook. The Raymond place was the present place of widow Frances Rexford. Sons of Joseph Morehouse, - Talcott, Joseph, John, Daniel, Bradley. Talcott settled in Ballston, Bradley in Michigan, the other three in Greenfield. Two daughters became the first and second wives of George Watson. Tallcot is still living, at the age of eighty-nine.

Samuel Wood was an early pioneer on the east side of the lake. His homestead is now owned by Jehial F. Miller. The house, built about 1780, is still standing.

Epenetus White came from Connecticut about 1771-72, and settled on the east side of Ballston lake. The old homestead was on the site of the present brick house owned by the Collamers. His son, Epenetus White, Jr., settled at Ballston Spa about 1800, near the old iron-railing spring, and opened a store; continued till 1828; then built the red mill which was burned in 1874. He died in 1832. His sons, David F. and Henry, settled at Ballston Spa.

A daughter, Mrs. W.L.F. Warren, resides at Saratoga Springs.

A daughter of Epenetus White, Sr., became Mrs. Shepherd, of Albany.

Dr. Elisha Miller came from Westchester county in 1770, about the same time as Rev. Mr. Ball, and settled on the east side of the lake. His old house stands a little way from the outlet, - now occupied by Edward McLahey. The original farm was about one hundred acres. His children were John, Elisha, William, Ephraim, James, and Moses. Moses and James settled in Pennsylvania, John in Cooperstown, William in Northumberland, Ephraim settled east of the lake, Elisha where his daughter, Betsey Miller, now lives. A daughter of Elisha Miller, Sr., - Deborah, - became Mrs. Daniel Clark, of East Line, afterwards of Sullivan county.

Dr Miller was a practicing physician. During the war he removed his family to Schenectady, and returned himself to practice. After the Burgoyne battle he procured two horses from the woods, which were full of estrays. Descendants of this breed are now owned by Jehial F. Miller, a grandson. Dr. Miller was a man of varied acquirements, and lived a long and active life. Among the papers of Dr. Miller, in possession of John Miller, of Gansevoort, are many valuable documents.

A letter upon the death of his wife, written in 1791, says, "When Death receives his summons to execute the almighty decrees of Heaven, doctors are but cobwebs before his all-conquering arm."

There is an assignment by Thomas Weed to Dr. Miller, dated Jan. 14, 1800. A survey and map of Dr. Miller's place in Ballston. A lease, June 18, 1772, from Sunderland Sears to Jesse Smith, of two hundred acres. A receipt signed by John Pollen in 1772. A deed of land in Westchester county, in 1745, by John Holmes, - a venerable paper, one hundred and thirty-two years old.

The following notice of entry or purchase also is preserved: "The bearers hereof, Messrs. Epenetus Howe and Dr. Elisha Miller, have taken lot No. 3, in the 11th Division of the township of Ballston, containing 210 acres, not having been taken up before."

Capt. Titus Watson was an early settler in Ballston before the Revolution. He was in active service during the war. His homestead was on the east side of the lake, and is still in the family, owned by his grandchildren. Of his children, Titus settled in Ohio, Freedom in the south, George lived and died on the old homestead. Daughters were Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Waterman, and Mrs. Ezekiel Horton.

Ezekiel Horton was the son of Ebenezer Horton, of Hebron, Connecticut. He came to Ballston about the year 1802, and settled near the line of Charlton. He afterwards removed to Academy hill, and kept a public-house, where the tavern now stands, opposite the school-house.

His son, James Watson Horton, clerk of Saratoga County since 1845, was born there and educated at the academy opposite. Bearing the name of his maternal grandfather, he recalls the numerous stories told him in his boyhood by Capt. Watson of the old Revolutionary struggle. The places in the forest where they hid from the Indians, their exposure, sleeping in the woods in blankets, waking up to find a foot of snow over them, but warm and ready again for the fight or the march.

Edmund Jennings was another early settler in the town of Ballston. He came from Connecticut in 1775, and settled on the present farm of widow Spear. Of his children, Elisha, Samuel, and Joseph settled here. Abram went west. Daughters, Mrs. Cole and Mrs. Anson Seeley. Abram, in Michigan, is still living (1877), and also Joseph, in Ballston Spa, at the advanced age of ninety-one. The latter came from his farm to the village sixty years ago, and led an active life as constable and deputy sheriff for many years. He once brought twelve prisoners from the jail at Schenectady handcuffed together, and on his arrival here was obliged to chain them to a tree until he could secure his team. He also assisted in preparing the murderer, Benjamin Bennett, for the gallows, July 21, 1820, and also prepared John Watkins for execution, Jan. 17, 1834. Mr. Jennings yet retains the rope used on this last occasion. Mr. Jennings recalls the following as old neighbors to his father's house when he was in his boyhood: James Spears, Archy Spears, John Wilson, Noah Toby, 'Squire De Forest, Joseph Hubbell. The latter was probably the earliest blacksmith in that section of the town. Joseph Jennings was named for him, and the blacksmith presented his namesake a pair of sleeve-buttons. The first school Jennings attended was in a log house just within the present town of Charlton. An early school-teacher was Mr. Hugin.

In early times Peter Williams was a tanner, and had a shoe-shop on the Mourning Kill.

The earliest burials in that part of the town were at the "Hop City" burial-ground.

Mr. Jennings describes clearly the old spring and the early times of fashionable resort to its celebrated waters. The spring was surrounded with an iron railing, four gates, and a marble floor; and in the season was thronged with visitors. Rude means for bathing were provided in very early times. He remembers coming with his father and his brothers while yet boys to the springs. His brothers were induced to try the shower-bath. So, removing their clothes behind the temporary screens, they awaited the dash. When they received the sudden shower they rushed out of the bath pell-mell without stopping to dress. On the old homestead is an orchard set out before Joseph Jennings was born.

Zaccheus Scribner removed to this town in 1770, and settled on the east side of the lake. His pioneer home was the present place of Stephen Bowen.

His son Thaddeus was active in the War of the Revolution, and was also the "old mail-carrier," known far and wide by the blast upon his horn.

Stephen White came to Ballston from Connecticut in early times. He was a captain in the Revolutionary army, and was a cousin of Epenetus White, Jr.; therefore his father must have been a brother of Epenetus White, Sr.

Hezekiah Middlebrook came from Connecticut probably as early as 1772, and settled on the farm now owned by William Smith. He sold to the father of Mr. Smith the next year, and removed to the farm long known by his name, just north of the town line. He had two sons, Michael and Hezekiah. The former settled in Milton, on the south line of the town and on the middle line road. Hezekiah came to Ballston Spa, it is supposed, a little before 1800, and bought a large tract of land in connection with Daniel Thomas. His enterprises are spoken of elsewhere. A son, Hezekiah, - the third of that name in succession, - resides in Ballston Spa. A daughter became the wife of Harvey Chapman and mother of George W. and Edwin H. Chapman. Another daughter became Mrs. Arnold Harris. It is a tradition in the Middlebrook family that Joseph Bettys, the .celebrated spy, had some touches of kindly friendship in the midst of his fearful career. The elder Middlebrook having concealed his cattle somewhere to the north for a time, was bringing them back just before one of the raids. Met by Joseph Bettys, the latter warned him to keep them in a place of safety. He did so and saved them.

John Taylor was probably the father of John W. Taylor, the well-known congressman for many years, and Speaker of the House of Representatives. Their pioneer homestead was just within the present limits of Charlton.

John, Samuel, Azor, and Eliakim Nash. It is not known whether these were brothers, though it may be inferred they were. Eliakim died not long after their settlement. John and Samuel lived on the farm between Wm. Smith's and Mr. Alexander Sears', west of the middle line road.

As David Clark died soon after settlement, it is difficult to ascertain anything concerning him. Ebenezer Sprague lived north on the Middle Line road. He came from Connecticut, about the year 1770. He settled on what is now the James Thompson place.

Beriah Palmer was a noted man in early times, repeatedly filling important public positions and executing the most responsible public trusts. He came from Connecticut early in the war or before, and settled on the farm now owned by Hon. S.W. Buell, which is at the forks of the road north of Burnt Hills. There Judge Palmer died. One son was D.L. Palmer, of Saratoga Springs. At this point there were, in early times, a store, a tavern, and shops; but Burnt Hills afterwards became the village for the south part of the town rather than the Palmer place.

Sunderland Sears came from Connecticut about the same time as the other pioneers, and settled northwest of Burnt Hills. His children were Rev. Reuben Sears, Dr. Isaac Sears, Dr. Levi Sears, William Sears. Daughters were Mrs. James Comstock, Mrs. Curtiss Taylor. The old Sears Homestead is known as the J.W. Haywood place.

Isaac How came from Connecticut and settled in Ballston at an early day. The How place was southeast of Ballston Centre.

Isaac Stow was the miller of Gen. Gordon, and the man killed in the Tory raid, as noted in another place.

Jabez Hubbell settled at Hop City.

Wm. Barnes resided on the present place of Isaac Cain, between Ballston Centre and Burnt Hills, opposite the old school-house.

Robert Speir settled in Ballston very early, in the northwest part of the town, where his two sons, Archibald and James, also resided. The name is still common in Ballston. His grandson, Robert, was a sheriff of Saratoga County. A son of Archibald, Gilbert M., is a judge of the Supreme Court in New York city.

It is known that John Young, with his wife, joined the Presbyterian church in 1776.

John Cable was an early pioneer some time before 1776, as he united with the church that year. His place was the present farm of Abram G. Bradt.

Uriah Benedict came from Connecticut in early times, and settled on the East Line road. His home was the farm now owned by Thomas Moffitt. He was a supervisor of Ballston in 1785, when the town included nearly eight of the present towns of the county. His children were Uriah, Elias, and David. Uriah died young. A grandson was Lewis Benedict, of Albany. James M. Marvin and Thomas J. Marvin are grandsons.

Nathaniel Weed was in Ballston very early, as the deed of the Ball farm bounds the tract on the south by land owned by Nathaniel Weed. His homestead is supposed to have been on the corner opposite the church at Ballston Centre. He afterwards removed to Greenfield. Mrs. Morehouse Betts is a granddaughter, and lives northwest of the church, and Mrs. Riley Crippen is a great-grand-daughter of Mr. Weed, now living on the homestead of her ancestor.

Miles Beach was an early settler of Ballston. He came from Connecticut in 1786, with his father, Zerah Beach. Miles Beach married Cynthia Warren, in 1807. Their second child was William A. Beach, the noted lawyer. His father afterwards removed to Saratoga Springs.

The Davis family, coming in about the time of the opening of the Revolutionary troubles, settled on the present place of A.J. Slade, the first house north of Ballston Centre, on the Middle Line road. The first barn built is still standing there, and is said to have been the first framed barn in town. It is a tradition in the family that the Tories were confined as prisoners in this barn, when they attempted to join the British forces in Canada, and were seized and brought back. The old house of Mr. Davis stood south of the present mansion, near the well. It was moved back, and is yet in use as a wagon-house. A son of the pioneer, Henry Davis, resides north of Academy Hill.

Asa Waterman, now residing near Burnt Hills, is the son of David Waterman and grandson of Asa Waterman. The father of this last named was also Asa Waterman. He was in active service in the Revolutionary war, and was present at the surrender of Burgoyne's army. In possession of the present Asa Waterman is his ancestor's commission as lieutenant-colonel, signed by Governor George Clinton, December 27, 1786. This was an appointment in the militia just after the war was over. There are preserved also the sleeve-buttons marked A.W., a pocket-book and knee-buckles, very likely worn at Schuylerville, October 17, 1777. The wife of Asa Waterman, Sr., lived to an advanced age, dying in 1831. Her great-grandson, now living, received from her many anecdotes of the war, and particularly of the battles of Stillwater, and these had an especial value as not coming through several hands, but related by one who lived then to one living now. She confirmed all that has been written of Arnold's brave, desperate fighting that last great day, - October 7, - and when he fell wounded Mr. Waterman carried him from the field. When the fearful crime occurred that forever blackened the name of the brave hero, Waterman regretted that he had not left him to die upon the field of his glory rather than live to be stained with treason.

The Waterman family, Asa Sr., and Asa Jr., went from Columbia to Montgomery county, soon after 1786, and a few years later came to Ballston. Their home here was at first opposite the Presbyterian church at the Centre. Soon after they removed to the Larkin farm, just east of the present Asa Waterman place. Asa the second was an only son. His children were David, Frederic, and John. All settled in this vicinity.

Seth C. Baldwin was one of the early settlers of Ballston. His pioneer home was the well-known Colonel Young farm. He was an active and useful citizen, and filled important public positions for many years. He was elected to the Assembly for three years from 1797, and was also chosen supervisor of the town in 1793, and again in 1800-1. In the latter year he was appointed sheriff. He held that office three years, and was then elected county clerk. He continued in that position for nine years, and kept the records all that time at his own residence, no public office having then been built.

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TAX LIST OF THE DISTRICT OF BALLSTON.

As fully showing the entire list of property-holders in the district of Ballston in 1779, {original text has "1799".} we add a copy of the tax list of that year. The original is in the possession of Mr. John Miller, of Gansevoort.

This assessment was levied pursuant to an act of the Legislature of the State of New York, entitled an act for raising the sum of $2,500,000, by tax within the State, passed 23d of October, 1770 {1779?}.

The district of Ballston then comprised Ballston, Milton, Charlton, Providence, Galway, Day, Edinburgh, and the western parts of Hadley, Corinth, and Greenfield.

The collector of this tax was Dr. Elisha Miller, - and in this connection the following certificate of Rev. Mr. Ball will be of general interest, a facsimile of which is given on the following page:

 

 

Assess-

ment.

Amount of Tax.

 

s.

d.

John Davis

14

 

12

2

Eliphalet Ball

528

22

16

4

John Ball

37

1

12

 

Nathaniel Mead

137

5

18

3

Thomas Barnum

57

2

9

3

Lewis Barnum

29

1

5

 

Edward A. Watrous

162

7

 

 

Paul Persons

210

9

1

5

John Griswold

74

3

4

 

Israel Munn

22

 

19

 

James Benedict

190

8

4

2

William Mirick

117

5

1

 

Jabez Gorham

166

7

4

 

Samuel McCrea

349

15

1

9

William McCrea

204

8

16

4

James McCrea

232

9

19

6

Daniel Seeley

63

2

14

6

Jabez Hubbell

418

18

1

4

Stephen Sherwood

221

9

11

6

Edmund Jennings

108

4

13

3

John Cole

133

5

15

 

Joseph Proctor

24

1

1

 

John Waters

50

2

3

6

Nehemiah Seeley

40

1

14

9

Grixon Frisby

210

9

1

6

John Curry

75

3

5

 

James McDonald

40

1

14

6

Robert Spears

26

1

2

6

James Fullerton

92

3

19

6

James Gordon

714

30

17

6

Elisha Benedict

369

16

 

 

John Higby

217

9

7

6

Jonathan Philo

26

1

2

4

Daniel Hand

26

1

2

4

Uriah Gregory

86

3

14

6

Gilbert Benedict

16

 

13

10

Samuel Benedict

16

 

13

10

John Dumbleton

10

 

8

9

John Cable

113

4

10

 

Jeremiah Persons

70

3

1

6

John Sprague

119

5

3

 

Benijah Smith

130

5

12

6

Daniel Olmstead

130

5

12

6

Ebenezer Sprague

128

5

10

 

Thomas Kennedy

127

5

10

 

John Kennedy

105

4

10

9

Jonathan Olmsted

14

 

12

2

Ebenezer Sprague, Jr.

102

4

8

6

Benjamin Wood

162

7

1

 

David Wood

165

7

3

 

Stephen Wood

182

7

17

6

Cyrus Philmore

40

1

14

9

Elijah Wood

30

1

6

 

Nathan Wood

30

1

6

 

Thomas Smith

30

1

6

 

Joseph Ketcham

87

3

15

 

Gideon Lawrence, Jr.

21

 

18

 

James White

77

3

6

 

Ezekiel Olmsted

82

3

10

9

Rozelle Russell

100

4

6

6

Thomas and Charles Mirick

406

17

12

 

Samuel Bryon

100

4

6

6

Thomas Ballard

108

4

13

6

Jabez Patchin

142

6

2

9

Robert Shearer

10

 

8

9

Robert and John Tannahill

10

 

8

9

George Gardiner

10

 

8

9

Alexander Glen

10

 

8

9

John McNiel

135

5

16

6

George Scott

66

2

17

 

John M. McNeil

110

4

16

 

Samuel Hunter

173

7

10

 

Peter How (probably)

116

5

 

 

John Christie

60

2

12

 

Peter McPherson

68

2

18

6

Joseph Shearer

10

 

8

9

Angus McDermott

10

 

8

9

John Michael

10

 

8

9

Jonathan Tuttle

95

4

2

 

William Stewart

49

2

2

6

Alexander Davidson

46

2

 

 

Henry Bigford

10

 

8

9

George Bolton

10

 

8

9

William Wilda

10

 

8

9

James Grant

51

2

4

 

George Frazier

57

2

10

 

Joseph Rue

251

10

17

 

Joseph Rue, Jr.

136

5

17

6

Hezekiah Seeley

143

6

3

6

Nathaniel Cook

108

4

13

6

David Gordon

114

4

19

 

David Maxwell

158

6

16

6

James Adams

221

9

12

 

John Camp

87

3

15

6

John McKnight

71

3

1

6

Thomas Brown

227

9

17

 

Thomas Sweatman

142

6

2

9

Robert Clinch

34

1

9

6

John Young

43

1

18

 

Eli Northrup

95

4

2

6

Wilson Northrup

20

 

17

6

Zophar Wicks

7

 

6

 

Thomas McCarty

10

 

8

9

Obadiah Wood

6

 

5

3

Samuel Whitney

8

 

7

 

James McKinley

25

1

1

6

John and Moses McKinley

17

 

14

6

John Major

38

1

12

9

John McClannan

9

 

7

9

John McKerg (probably)

9

 

7

9

Thomas Pattison

5

 

4

4

Christopher Herrington

25

1

1

6

John Agleson

2

 

1

8

William Kelly

23

 

1

 

James McWilliams

1

 

 

10

William Gilchrist

24

1

1

 

John Whitney and Jabez Morehouse

96

4

3

6

Peter Smith

111

4

16

 

Joseph Gonzalez

226

9

17

 

Benjamin T. Schermerhorn and Nicholas Van De Bogert

247

10

15

 

Seth Hubbell

44

1

18

3

Nathan'l Wealt (probably)

28

1

4

3

James Sherwood

62

2

14

 

John Holmes

196

8

10

 

Nathan Hull

112

4

17

3

Jesse Cunda

168

7

6

 

John Rogers

84

3

13

 

John Taylor

173

7

9

6

Alexander McAuley

6

 

5

3

James Low

56

2

8

6

Jonathan Douglas

132

5

15

 

Nathaniel Jessup

132

5

15

 

Michael McDonald

259

11

5

 

Joseph Morehouse

123

5

6

6

George Morehouse

168

7

6

 

Zaccheus Scribner

156

6

15

6

Daniel Scribner

67

2

18

 

William Reeves

73

3

3

3

Nathan Raymond

169

7

6

6

Zaccheus Scribner, Jr.

58

2

10

6

Zachariah Mead

144

6

4

6

Azor Nash

185

8

 

 

William Belden

99

4

5

6

Daniel Armstrong

156

6

16

3

Samuel Wood

148

6

10

 

John Wood

140

5

2

 

Uriah Benedict

196

8

9

6

Jonas White

175

7

12

 

Epenetus White

150

6

10

 

Stephen White

207

8

19

 

John Nash

83

3

12

 

Joel Pease

151

6

11

 

Azor Cole

61

2

19

9

John White

39

1

13

9

Gamaliel Stewart

110

4

16

 

Christopher Hagerman

155

6

15

 

Andrus Mitchell

499

21

12

 

Job Aylesworth

100

4

7

6

John Miller

20

 

17

6

William Burns

121

5

5

 

Thomas Armstrong

90

3

18

 

Joseph Bettys

296

12

18

 

Sunderland Sears

348

15

2

6

Deliverance King

77

3

7

 

Benjamin Young

277

12

 

 

Joseph Chard

142

6

3

 

Michael Middlebrook

124

5

8

 

Gilbert Miller

778

33

18

 

Solomon Couch

14

 

12

3

Tyrannus Collins

100

4

6

6

Isaac How

219

9

10

6

Slatly Scranton

10

 

8

9

George White

114

9

7

6

Elisha Miller

188

8

3

 

Eliphalet Kellogg

430

18

14

 

James White

187

8

2

 

John Clinton

225

9

15

 

David Clinton

58

2

10

6

John Clinton, Jr.,

47

2

1

 

Hezekiah Middlebrook

369

16

 

 

Nathaniel Munn

17

 

14

9

Thomas Van Vleck

274

11

17

 

Harmanus Van Vleck

10

 

8

9

Matthew Fairchild

139

6

1

 

Samuel Nash

71

3

1

6

George Wakeman

881

38

5

 

Beriah Palmer

132

5

14

6

Abraham Hyatt

84

3

13

 

Elisha Persons

33

1

8

9

John Glen and Ryar Schermerhorn

200

8

13

 

Daniel Campbell

9,045

390

16

6

Heirs of Johannes Fisher, Albany

3,107

134

4

 

McCrea and the Beekmans, concerned in the same

Allotments of land in the Great Patent

4,629

200

 

 

Nanning Vischer

2,868

123

18

 

Luther Thurber

522

22

11

 

Samuel Stringer

320

13

16

 

John McKie

16

 

13

6

Nicholas Vischer

1,348

58

4

 

Total property

45,267

1959

03

8

 

JAMES GORDON, Supervisor.

BALLSTON, 31st of December, 1779.

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

IV. - ORGANIZATION.

Name. - This town derives its name from the early minister, Rev. Eliphalet Ball. He was not the first settler, as appears in another place, but as the leader of a company of his neighbors from Bedford to this section of country; as the pastor of the first church, founded no doubt by his labors; as a prominent citizen in every other respect in those early times of civil peril, he became so well known that the new settlement received his name, and was called Ball-town. Common usage soon inserted the "s," and the abbreviating tendencies of language reduced the final word to a mere syllable, and "Ballston" was the result. The tradition that he purchased the right to have his name attached to the town from pioneers still earlier than himself may be true, as such a process is known to have changed Wing's falls to Glen's. But in this case the circumstances of the times, the change in the word itself, conclusively indicate that the name was of gradual growth, not one of sudden application. Whatever may be true as to this, it is certain that no worthier selection could have been made than this to perpetuate the memory of a faithful pioneer pastor.

We may add, for what it is worth, that the purchase of the right to name the place is said to have occurred at an old-fashioned "raising" of a log house; that somewhat in jest Mr. Ball offered the McDonalds a gallon of rum to surrender their right as pioneers to name the town; that the offer was accepted, otherwise citizens at the present time might now have been compelled to date their letters at "McDonaldton."

Civil History. - The Districts of Saratoga and Half-Moon were organized in 1772. At that time Half-Moon included three present towns, Half-Moon, Clifton Park, Waterford. Saratoga comprised all the rest of the county, or what is now divided into seventeen towns. In 1775, Ballston district was formed from Saratoga. The three districts then consisted of the following territory: Half-Moon, the same as before; Saratoga and Ballston, dividing all the remainder of the county between them by the present east line of Ballston, extended northward to the Hudson river. The three districts remained in this form thirteen years, or until 1788, when four towns were created, - Half-Moon, Stillwater, Saratoga, Ballston. Half-Moon retained the same territory as when a district,. Stillwater, taken from Saratoga, comprised the present town of Stillwater and the largest portions of Malta, while to Ballston remained the same territory as before; that is, the present towns of Ballston, Charlton, Milton, Galway, Providence, Day, Edinburgh, Hadley, and parts of Corinth and Greenfield. The records of the district of Ballston, from 1775 to 1778, are probably lost, or have drifted into private hands, and are consigned to some box or chest in an old pioneer garret. They would be of rare value now at the lapse of a hundred years. May it not be the reward of some patient searcher yet to discover and bring them to light? As it is, the records of Ballston still preserved in the office of the clerk are the earliest district or town records in the county. They commence with 1779. The district-meeting for that year was held in the meeting-house, and the following officers were chosen: Supervisor, James Gordon; Town Clerk, Beriah Palmer; Collector, Dr. Elisha Miller; Assessors, Captain Elisha Benedict, Jabez Patchen, John Rogers, Beriah Palmer, Jr.; John Taylor; Constables, Isaac Stow, Daniel Taylor; Fence-Viewers, Lieutenant John Bell, Lieutenant Nathaniel Weed; Overseers of the Poor, Hezekiah Middlebrook, Jabez Hubbell; Pathmasters, Nathaniel Weed, Jabez Hubbell, Elisha Benedict, Jabez Patchen, James Adams, Sunderland Sears, Nathan Raymond, Isaac How. The assessors, it will be noticed, were headed by a captain, and the fence-viewers were qualified for their positions by being lieutenants in the military service.

The next year the same officers were generally re-elected, though a few new names appear, - Stephen Sherwood, John Holmes, Uriah Benedict, George Morehouse. These names show to some extent the scattered settlers in all the ten towns of what was then Ballston.

There are no records for 1781-83, and it is supposed no annual meetings were held, the settlers having been captured or driven away largely by the Tory raids of 1780 and 1781. Commencing again in 1784, the lists of town officers are complete to the present time. In 1792, four years after the town organisation, Ballston was reduced to its present limits by taking off Charlton, Galway, and Milton.

We add the names of the supervisors, town clerks, and collectors down to the present time.

 

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

LIST OF TOWN OFFICERS.

 

 

Supervisor.

Town Clerk.

Collector.

1779.

James Gordon.

Beriah Palmer.

Dr. Elisha Miller.

1780.

"

"

Maj. And. Mitchell.

Capt. Tyr. Collins.

Capt. Steph. White.

1781.

None elected {On account of the war.}

1782.

1783.

1784.

Uriah Benedict.

Beriah Palmer.

Joseph Cole.

1785.

Andrew Mitchell.

"

Nathaniel Weed.

1786.

Benjamin Andrews.

"

"

1787.

James Gordon.

"

Gilbert Miller.

1788.

"

Wm. Weed.

Eliphalet Kellogg.

John Taylor.

1789.

"

"

Elijah Walbridge.

1790.

Beriah Palmer.

Seth C. Baldwin.

Nathan Raymond.

Walter Patchen.

1791.

"

"

"

1792.

Uriah Benedict.

Caleb Benedict.

Nathan Raymond

1793.

Seth C. Baldwin.

"

"

1794.

Edward A. Watrous.

"

"

1795.

"

Lloyd Wakeman.

Gideon Luther.

1796.

"

Caleb Benedict.

Thaddeus Patchen.

1797.

Jabez Davis.

"

Amos Larkins.

Bushnell Benedict.

1798.

Henry Walton.

Robert Leonard.

"

1799.

Beriah Palmer.

John McCrea.

"

1800.

Seth C. Baldwin.

Seth C. Baldwin, res.

"

"

1801.

John McCrea, app.

"

Samuel Hollister.

1802.

Nathaniel Booth.

Jonathan Kellogg.

Wm. M. Wilkins.

1803.

"

"

"

1804.

"

"

"

1805.

Samuel McCrea.

Samuel Young.

"

1806.

"

"

"

1807.

"

Ebenezer S. Coon.

Elihu Roe.

1808.

"

"

John Jones.

1809.

Samuel Young.

"

"

1810.

"

"

Samuel Hollister.

1811.

Ebenezer S. Coon.

Joseph Taylor.

Wm. M. Wilkins.

1812.

Samuel Young.

"

John Jones.

1813.

"

"

George Munn.

1814.

Abijah Hubbell.

"

Uriah Beers.

1815.

S.D. Hollister.

"

Wm. Henry.

1816.

James McCrea.

John Gibson.

Elijah Taylor.

1817.

"

Sherman Curtis.

Jerry Penfield.

1818.

"

"

Nathaniel G. Seeley.

1819.

"

"

"

1820.

"

"

"

1821.

"

Elijah Castle.

Nehemiah Barlow.

1822.

"

"

Elihu Roe.

1823.

"

"

"

1824.

Jesse Robertson.

"

Samuel Larkin.

1825.

"

David Waterman.

Uriah Beers.

1826.

"

"

Elihu Roe.

1827.

"

"

Uriah Beers.

1828.

"

"

Sim'n S. McDonald.

1829.

"

"

Bradley Morehouse.

1830.

"

"

John Cutler.

1831.

"

"

"

1832.

"

Cady Hollister.

Uriah Beers.

1833.

"

"

Wm. E. Lee.

1834.

"

"

"

1835.

"

"

Abraham Wigg.

1836.

Anson Seeley.

Lewis Miller.

Rogers C. Abell.

1837.

"

"

"

1838.

Wm. G. Verplanck.

Alfred Hollister.

"

1839.

Anson Seeley

"

Amaziah Ford.

1840.

Anson Buell.

"

"

1841.

"

Joseph F. Kingsley.

John Jones.

1842.

William H. Satterlee.

Stephen Merchant.

S.D.F. Jennings.

1843.

"

"

Lewis Raymond.

1844.

Stephen Merchant.

Wm. H. Satterlee.

Alvah Robertson.

1845.

Anson Buell.

"

David R. Harlow.

1846.

Cady Hollister.

David Boyd.

"

1847.

"

Richard H. Castle.

Wm. H. Wendell.

1848.

"

"

"

1849.

Anson Seeley.

"

David R. Harlow.

1850.

John P. Roe.

"

Wm. H. Wendell.

1851.

Henry P. Wooley.

Andrew Curtis.

Royal M. Stiles.

1852.

Wm. H. Wendell.

Richard H. Castle.

Henry L. Sears.

1853.

Abel Meeker.

Daniel E. Larkin.

"

1854.

"

"

Cyrus French.

1855.

John P. Roe.

"

David R. Harlow.

1856.

John Vibbard.

Albert S. Curtis.

Cyrus French.

1857.

"

"

Royal M. Stiles.

1858.

John Wait.

Alexander Sears.

Wm. H. Southard.

1859.

"

"

Wm. K. Post

1860.

George G. Scott.

"

Daniel T. Gates.

1861.

"

"

Daniel D. Post.

1862.

"

"

Wm. K. Post.

1863.

"

"

Hiram Loomis.

1864.

"

"

Samuel C. Beeman.

1865.

"

Frederick Curtis.

Samuel R. Miller.

1866.

"

"

O.P Jennings.

1867.

"

Asa Hollister.

John P. Roe.

1868.

"

Alonzo B. Comstock.

Alexander Abell.

1869.

"

"

Samuel R. Miller.

1870.

"

William Bradley.

Wm. H. Stewart.

1871.

"

"

T.G.Y. Seaman.

1872.

"

Riley Crippen.

Lewis C. Harlow.

1873.

"

"

Asa Hollister.

1874.

"

"

John J. Larkin.

1875.

"

"

Edward Leahea, Jr.

1876.

"

Hiram B. Stillwell.

Allen S. Glen.

1877.

"

"

Alexander Sears.

1878.

"

"

Solyman H. Coons.

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

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

1830.

James McCrea.

1855.

Abel Meeker.

1831.

Bushnell Benedict.

1856.

Frederick Curtiss.

Wm. Warner.

1832.

Wm. H. Satterlee.

1857.

Wm. Warner.

1833.

Jesse Robertson.

1858.

Lewis H. Sears.

1834.

James McCrea.

1859.

Jeremiah Husted, Jr.

1835.

Cornelius Lansing.

1860.

Lewis H. Sears.

1836.

Wm. H. Satterlee.

1861.

Wm. Warner.

1837.

Abel Meeker.

John Holmes.

1862.

Anson Seeley.

1838.

Jonathan McBride.

1863.

Herman H. Ferris.

1839.

Cornelius Lansing.

1864.

Lewis H. Sears.

1840.

Wm. H. Satterlee.

1865.

Wm. Warner.

1841.

Abel Meeker.

1866.

Bradford Spier.

1842.

Anson Seeley.

1867.

Herman H. Ferris.

1843.

Cornelius Lansing.

1868.

Lewis H. Sears.

1844.

Wm. H. Satterlee.

1869.

Wm. Warner.

1845.

Thomas G. Young.

1870.

Bradford spier.

1846.

Anson Seeley.

Silas H. Linley.

1871.

Herman H. Ferris.

1847.

Abel Meeker.

Ebenezer R. Jones.

1872.

Lewis H. Sears.

1848.

Samuel B. Edwards.

1873.

Wm. Warner.

1849.

Thomas G. Young.

1874.

Wm. S. Curtiss.

John Brown

Henry P. Curtiss.

1850.

Anson Seeley.

1875.

George Higgins.

John Brown.

1851.

James H. Clark.

1876.

Lewis Sears.

1852.

Samuel B. Edwards.

Abel Meeker.

1877.

John Brown.

Daniel W. Allen.

1853.

Thomas G. Young.

1878.

W.S. Curtiss.

Anson G. Larkins.

1854.

Anson Seeley.

 

 

 

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

V. - VILLAGES AND HAMLETS.

COURT-HOUSE HILL must always be a place of interest to citizens of Ballston and residents of the county. It is situated on the middle line, that old historic road of Revolutionary times, - a sightly elevation, fitly chosen for its convenience of access over the leading roads of the county before railroads were opened, and for its reasonably central position. Enos Mann, in his book, "The Bench and Bar of Saratoga County," says, -

"Around the court-house a thriving village was growing, and doubtless the owners of the surrounding farms discussed the probable value of corner-lots, and saw, in imagination, their pastures and corn-fields bisected with avenues and streets; and, without doubt, there were others who saw, with an air of dismay, the ruin of their sylvan homes beneath the crushing weight of local taxations for local improvements. Several stores and two hotels were erected, and did a 'land-office' business in court terms. Two lawyers - John W. Taylor and Samuel Cook - displayed their shingles there, trusting in the maxim to secure the worm. But suddenly a blight came over this rural Arcadia, and its hopes were forever blasted."

The court-house and jail burned to the ground on the morning of the Sunday preceding March 27, 1816 - closing the village prospects of the Hill. George Billings, a prisoner chained to the floor, lost his life.

When the question came to be argued before the commissioners appointed to decide the location of the new buildings, the advocate of Court-House Hill, Samuel De Forest, made an able effort to retain the honors and emoluments of the county-seat; but the efforts of Judge Cook, of Ballston Spa, Thomas C. Taylor and Nicholas Low, of New York, aided by the liberal offers of the latter, prevailed, and Court-House Hill retained its name secured in the early times, - but the name only. The court-house stood on the west side of the road, opposite the large dwelling-house, formerly a tavern, now owned by David R. Harlow,, rented, however, to other parties. Mr. Harlow's residence is south of the court-house site, on the same side of the road. Abner Harlow, father of David R., came to this town from Vermont, reaching here the day after the court-house burned, and settled a half-mile west of the hill, on what is now the place of James Young.

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

THE MIDDLE LINE ROAD contains many historic points, - the old Gordon homestead, where General Washington dined in 1783; the site of Gordon's grist-mill, the remains of the dam being still visible in the creek south of the mansion and near the road; the points in the Tory raids where they seized their prisoners; and the houses they pillaged, and many others. The traditional stories of olden times are full of interest, abounding in "moving accidents by field and flood," hair-breadth escapes, thrilling encounters and hasty flights. All this has passed away. Peace and civil order prevail. In all this now beautiful section of country "the desert has blossomed like the rose and the wilderness become a fruitful field."

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

ACADEMY HILL is the old point at which Rev. Mr. Ball settled, and at which the first meeting-house was built, in 1780. The place received this name from the fact that about the year 1804 the old red meeting-house, then abandoned for the new one west, was opened as an academy. It stood upon the site of the present school-house, and was for many years an excellent school, at which many distinguished men were educated. A catalogue of its early students would include a large number of citizens, eminent at home and abroad. Whoever will dig out from the archives of the past a history of that institution - its teachers, scholars, and officers - will add a contribution of much value to the pioneer history of Saratoga County.

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

BALLSTON CENTRE is on the Middle Line road, a short distance west of Academy Hill. The new Presbyterian church, built there in 1804, the importance of the line of travel, the location of the post-office, all tended in early times to cause the growth of a small village. Its importance was diminished very much by the change of the courthouse, - the change in all the great lines of travel, - but it remains, nevertheless, a beautiful spot.

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

BURNT HILLS is a pleasant rural village in the south part of the town. It derives its name from the fact that there was a large tract of land at this point burned ever, either purposely or by accident, about the time the first settlers were coming in. Traveling up from the Mohawk Flats below and passing these blackened forest elevations, they spoke of them as the Burnt Hills.

This point was settled at an early day by the Hollister family, who owned, at one time, a large estate, reaching from the hills to the Branch. A descendant, Asa Hollister, is still living in the village. The records of the Baptist church extend back to 1791. Rev. Bradbury Clay was the first minister. The father of Joseph Bettys, the noted spy, was an early settler near Burnt Hills. Of Harriet McGregor we learn that her stepfather, Wm. Kingsley, probably opened the first tavern, in 1805, and that Fox, Guernsey, and Cogswell were early settlers.

There was also a tannery established here at an early day.

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

THE BRANCH, as railroad men term it, or SOUTH BALLSTON, as it appears in the maps of the county, is the railroad station about a mile east of Burnt Hills, and is a convenient point for all the south part of this town and the north part of Clifton Park. The opening of the road caused the growth of whatever there is of this place. Before that there were not even the three necessary elements to constitute a village, - a tavern, a blacksmith-shop, and a store.

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

SPEAR'S CORNERS is within the town of Milton, but derives its name from the families spoken of elsewhere, who settled in the northwest part of Ballston, at what is still known as Hop City.

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

The V CORNERS, a mile south of Ballston Spa, appeared in early times as likely to be a business point, but it lost its importance, being outranked by the demands of spring waters, official business, and manufacturing enterprise at the southern bend of the Kayadrossera.

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

EAST LINE is a name in connection with Ballston, - old as the town itself, - spoken of in the history of Malta. It is seen, under the head of "settlement," that the beautiful slopes east of the lake attracted many of the early settlers. For them East Line was a business point, and they also drove across the "outlet" to Academy Hill and Ballston Centre.

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

VI. - SCHOOLS.

The earlier settlers were men who valued education and religious privileges. Among their first public acts were the opening of schools and the establishment of churches.

The meeting-house and the school-house rose side by side in the wilderness. Amid the severity of pioneer life there was little opportunity for long school terms. Boys and girls were obliged to work, but the brief three months' school was well improved. The three R's - Reading, Riting, and 'Rithmetic - were well taught, and the very brevity of the advantages rendered them all the more highly prized and the more promptly attended to. The number of learned men that have risen from the ranks of the early pioneers of Ballston prove their culture, their real refinement, though struggling with all the rudeness of the wilderness.

A very early school was at Ballston Centre, or near there at Academy Hill. At Burnt Hills also was a pioneer school-house, and among the sturdy Scotch settlers in the western part of the town there was another.

East Line, so prominently known in the old times, had a good school.

Lewis Smith, of Mechanicville, now in his ninety-third year, recalls the school and the following incident, though the names of teachers and scholars are fading from his memory: He was a "little boy." The fat, good-natured old teacher was asleep in his chair, and the larger boys gave Lewis twenty-five cents (which seemed to his eyes an immense fortune) to carefully tie the school-master's ankles fast to the chair. He succeeded in doing it. Then the "big boys" made a noise, and woke him up. Rising suddenly, his feet refused to move, and he fell his full length upon the floor, at imminent risk of life and limb, though, fortunately, he was not much hurt.

There is no profanity in Mr. Smith's remark when, in his quaint way, he said to the writer, "It was a devil of a fall." He gives the older boys credit for standing by him, and the schoolmaster was unable to find out who did it.

The Ballston Academy was probably opened about 1804, as it was established in the old pioneer meeting-house, which was given up for their new one by the church about that time. Many distinguished men received their education here. But little trace of records or catalogues can be obtained. With the growth of Ballston Spa that place soon became the resort of those seeking a higher education.

 

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

COMMISSIONERS' APPORTIONMENT FOR 1878.

District

Number of Children between five and twenty-one.

Equal Quota of the Public Money.

Public Money according to the number of Children.

Public Money according to average attendance.

Library Money.

Total Public Money.

No. 1

111

$52.14

$76.34

$58.66

$3.70

$190.84

" 2

36

52.14

24.76

33.49

1.20

111.59

" 3

18

52.14

12.38

13.36

.60

78.48

" 4

52

52.14

35.77

34.97

1.73

124.61

" 5

50

52.14

34.39

36.74

1.67

124.94

" 6

72

52.14

49.52

46.45

2.40

150.51

" 7

38

52.14

26.13

31.83

1.27

111.37

" 8

51

52.14

35.08

39.22

1.70

128.14

" 9

47

52.14

32.33

41.32

1.57

127.36

" 10

38

52.14

26.13

19.20

1.27

98.74

" 11

56

52.14

38.52

51.24

1.87

143.77

 

569

$573.64

$391.35

$406.48

$18.98

$1390.35

 

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

VII. - CHURCHES.

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF BALLSTON CENTRE.

This is the pioneer church of the town, and it has a record of faith and works worthy of a prominent place in history. Study political systems as we may, examine judicial tribunals and trace their influence, search for early business enterprises and learn their effects, - yet , after all, we must turn to these early churches founded by the fathers as the true origin of social order and civil prosperity, as the real fountains from whence flowed the streams of education, culture, and civilization.

The church was founded by the Rev. Eliphalet Ball. The first meeting for organization seems to have been September 22, 1775, when a brief covenant upon the basis of the Westminster Catechism was agreed upon, and signed by the following persons, constituting the first roll of members:

Zaccheus Scribner, Michael Dunning, Steven White, Hezekiah Middlebrook, John Nash, Samuel Nash, Azor Nash, John Holmes, Eliakim Nash, David Clark, Thomas Brown, Ebenezer Sprague, Solomon Couch, Hezekiah Wood, Jonas White, Mary White, Martha Gordon, Elizabeth Ball, Jane Scott, Rhoda Nash, Sarah Nash, Jerusha Benedict, Mary Weed, Abigail Collins, Sarah Kellogg.

The records of the church are very brief in the earliest years, and the names of the first officers do not appear. There is an entry in 1776 stating that John Young and wife, John Cabell and wife, Wm. Belding, Eliphalet Kellogg, Solomon Couch, Uriah Benedict, Grickson Frisby, Nathaniel Weed, and Samuel Benedict united with the church upon profession of faith.

In 1780 another list of members received is given, peculiar in the fact that nineteen husbands and the wives of all of them united at once, - John Cabell, James McCrea, Joseph Morehouse, Samuel Wood, Epenetus White, Matthew Fairchild, James Gordon, John Young, Wm. Barns, Robert Speir, Samuel McCrea, Jabez Gorham, Nathan Raymond, John Wood, Beriah Palmer, Sunderland Sears, Michael Middlebrook, William Bettys, and James Gordon, Jr.

The church was independent, and no doubt Congregational in government for a time, as there seems to have been no election of elders at first.

Rev. Mr. Ball was the pastor till 1783. He lived among his people, however, after that, dying in 1797.

He was succeeded by Rev. Ebenezer Martin, September 25, 1783, and October 3 a new covenant and declaration of principles were drawn up and signed. May 11, 1787, the society completed a Presbyterian organization by electing Solomon Guernsey, James White, and Isaac How elders; Michael Middlebrook and Eliphalet Kellogg, deacons. They were ordained June 9 of the same year. The church was admitted to presbytery in 1787 or 1788, and Rev. Mr. Schenck was installed pastor August 26, 1788. Sermon by Mr. Young, and charge to both pastor and people by Mr. McDonald, of Albany.

The catalogue of pastors (some only stated supplies), From the first organization to the present time, is Eliphalet Ball, Ebenezer Martin, Wm. Schenck, John B. Smith, Jonathan Edwards, Joel Bradley, Stephen Porter, Reuben Sears, Reuben Smith, James V. Henry, Erasmus D. McMaster, Samuel S. Davis, David Murdock, George H. Thatcher, John B. Steel, Reuben Smith, Charles H. Taylor, E.B. Allen, A.B. Morse, and the present pastor, Alexander S. Hoyt.

From this church have gone forth an unusual number of candidates For the ministry: Reuben Sears, Henry R. Weed, Samuel S. Davis, John K. Davis, James McCrea, Charles E. Farman, Theophilus Redfield, Montgomery M. Wakeman, David Murdock, Nicholas J. Seeley, Matthew H. Calkins. Trained in the Sunday-school, but not members of the church, were the following ministers: Thomas C. Kirkwood, Wm. H. Milham, and W.W. Curtis.

The first house of worship was the "old red meeting-house," that stood where the present school-house stands, erected, according to tradition, in the summer of 1780. This was a landmark well remembered yet by many of the older people. It became the Ballston Academy after it was abandoned by the church. In 1803 a new meeting-house was erected where the present one stands. The satisfaction at securing a more convenient house was saddened by the fatal accident at the raising, Mr. Joseph Warner having been killed by the falling of a stick of timber.

The present house succeeding this one of 1803 was built during the pastorate of Dr. Taylor, extending from 1854 to 1861.

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CALVARY CHURCH (EPISCOPAL), BURNT HILLS.

In 1848 this village had a new growth, by the establishment of a paper-mill, which brought into the community a large number of English artisans, and added new life and business to the place. For these men, quite a number of new dwellings were erected. Many of the operatives were members of the Church of England, reverencing its ancient Faith, and loving the forms of worship known to their childhood. To provide for these men and for the families residing here, who had previously worshiped at Charlton, a church was established, and incorporated May 7, 1849. This was principally due to the labors of Rev. Edward Davis, and the cordial co-operation of Cady Hollister, the proprietor of the paper-mill. The land for a church edifice was a gift from Mr. Hollister and Isaac Woolsey. During the summer of 1849 the building was completed, at an expense of $2500, a large proportion of which was the gift of Rev. Mr. Davis himself, and the first service was held in it on Christmas-day of the same year. The church was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Wm. R. Whittingham, of Maryland, at the direction of the standing committee of the diocese, July 11, 1850, being free from debt. The edifice was first built with open nave and recess chancel, but was enlarged in 1858 by the addition of two transepts, making sittings for 250. The church had formerly plain glass windows, but in 1862, Mrs. Belinda Davis, wife of the rector, presented the parish with new stained windows, which were immediately put in. The family of Mr. Davis also presented a beautiful stone font at Easter, 1863. The rectory, house, and lot was also a gift, in 1856, by the same generous benefactors. This was opposite the church. Another house and lot, adjoining the cemetery, was also a gift from the same source. The first wardens of the parish were Daniel K. Smith, who died Oct. 11, 1876, and Wm. Wheeler, who died April, 1871, both of whom were highly esteemed as zealous friends of the church. Rev. Edward Davis continued his abundant labors both here and in Charlton until failing health compelled him to relinquish his work in part, and in 1863 he was called from earth to the hope of a brighter future. On his monument, in the cemetery adjoining the church he loved so well, is the truthful and merited inscription, "Eminent for the gentleness of his spirit and the simplicity and the purity of his character, of vigorous intellect and varied acquirements, he was respected and beloved by all who knew him for his faithfulness as a minister of the gospel, his virtues as a Christian, his worth as a man." The successive rectors of the church have since been Rev. N.J. Seeley, Rev. J.H. Betts, Rev. Mr. Wainwright, Rev. J.H. Tyng, Rev. E.A. Edgerton. Rev. R.H. Barnes, the present rector, took charge, in connection with St. Paul's church, Charlton, Aug. 1, 1871. The officers of the church at the present time are Calvin S. Wheeler and Frederick Curtis, wardens; W.H. Wheeler, L.H. Sears, James P. Smith, E.R. Jones, Edward K. Wheeler, Peter Bliss, Ammi Van Vorst, and Sheldon D. Smith, vestrymen; Levinus Lansing, treasurer. In connection with the church is a flourishing Sunday-school, in which Mr. C.S. Wheeler has rendered faithful and efficient service for seventeen years as superintendent.

Mrs. Belinda Davis, wife of the first rector, was the daughter of the late James Emott, of Poughkeepsie. With her husband, she was greatly beloved by the people among whom they lived nearly forty years.

One of the founders of this church was Daniel K. Smith. He was a frugal farmer, a wise counselor, a faithful friend, and an earnest Christian. He was born, lived, and died in the parental and centennial homestead. His father, Jesse Smith, associated with a brother, Thomas Smith, took up a large tract of land before the days of the Revolution, living then in a log cabin. During the war they left their home and fought for their country's freedom. On their return, after peace was declared, finding their cabin burned, the main part of the present house was erected of hewn green timber, making the building nearly one hundred years old.

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THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF EAST LINE.

This society was established about 1858 or '59. They erected a meeting-house about that time at an expense of $1000, and services were maintained quite regularly for ten or fifteen years, but more rarely since, and at the present time are discontinued. John Brownell, Rensselaer Hall, William Emigh, and Elisha Scidmore principally managed and sustained the enterprise.

The dedication sermon was by Rev. J.G. Holland, now of Scribner's Monthly.

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THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF EAST LINE.

The pastor of the Ballston Spa church, Rev. Mr. Delafield, commenced services at this place in the fall of 1876, the congregation meeting in the house of worship belonging to the Christian church.

In the spring of 1877, through the energy of the pastor, assisted by a few active workers, a lot was purchased and a chapel erected. It was an unusual ease of rapid church work. The corner-stone was laid and the finished building consecrated within a month. Indeed, the principal work is said to have been actually done in eleven days. The expense was about $1200, and it is a very fine addition to the little village of East Line.

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THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF BURNT HILLS.

This organization was established about thirty years since, and services have been maintained most of the time. From this church the society at East Line originated.

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THE BAPTIST CHURCH OF BURNT HILLS.

This society was formed at a very early day. The following members, originally connected with the old first church of Stillwater, were set off about 1791 or '92, and were the founders of the present Baptist church of Burnt Hills.

Lazarus Hollister, Clement Young, Smith Hollister, Wm. Bettys, Nehemiah Seeley, Daniel Thomas, Thomas Proctor, John Cloidenwiser, Benjamin Ide, John Luther, Gideon Luther.

For this list of members we are indebted to the courtesy of Charles Hunt, clerk of the first church of Stillwater, who has contributed many other valuable records bearing on the history of Baptist churches in this county.

Early ministers of this church, as shown by the records of the Shaftsbury Association, were Bradbury Clay, Nathan N. Whiting, John Harris, E. Tucker, William McCarty, J.S. McCollum, J.W. Green, John Goodby, William C. Phillips, and Alfred Harvey. This first church seems to have become extinct and a new one formed, about 1820, from the Clifton Park church. No statistics have been received from the officers of the church.

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VIII. - BURIAL-PLACES.

The earlier burial-places in town were numerous, and some of them have been long since obliterated.

The first settlers, the McDonald family, are buried upon the farm where they made their pioneer home in 1763. On the Cain place, southwest of the house a few rods, was a public burial-place, long since given up and plowed over.

On the Middle Line road, just beyond Delevan and Finney's place, there were burials near a large elm-tree, not far from a barn now standing there.

Opposite the Presbyterian parsonage at Ballston Centre were early burials. The bodies were removed. The cemetery at Burnt Hills is old, having one stone bearing the date 1795, marking the grave of Samuel Hollister.

The Scotch Bush burying-ground is very old, and takes its name from the nationality of the settlers near. Still another burial-place is near the Hiller farm, in the southwest part of the town. Another one at Hop City, but little used for burials at the present time. The Briggs yard, between Ballston Centre and Court-House Hill, is very large; many of the pioneers are buried there.

Near Ballston Spa is the large main cemetery, with its extensive additions of late years. Here may be read the brief story of the life and death of many early settlers carved upon the enduring marble, reminding the casual visitor how quickly passes the longest life, and how speedily senatorial honors, military glory, and the most distinguished civic service reach their last repose beside the sweet child cut off in its beauty and its innocence.

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IX. - HISTORIC NOTES.

The Northern Invasion of 1780, in which the British forces, under Major Carleton, invaded the settlements in Ballston, has been described somewhat at length in the general history of the county. In addition to what is there set forth, the following historical notes, furnished by Judge Scott, are given here as possessing much local interest. And in this connection it is desired to acknowledge the personal assistance rendered by Judge Scott in the preparation of this work. His printed addresses, manuscripts, books, and maps have generously been offered for consultation, and his personal reminiscences have furnished valuable material that could not easily have been obtained from other sources.

The following account of an alarm in Ballston, earlier than the raids of the Tories, is taken from Judge Scott's address, delivered July 4, 1876

"Colonel Robert Van Rensselaer, in a letter to the Provincial Congress, dated April 18, 1777, writes that he has received a letter, requesting the assistance of the militia to quiet an insurrection of the Tories in Ballston.

"Hezekiah Middlebrook, chairman of the Ballston committee of safety, writes a letter to the committee of Saratoga, dated May 2, 1777, stating, in detail, the suspicious movements of a party of men who had encamped between Charles Merrick's and Ebenezer Sprague's (now on the road between Factory Village and James Thompson's), and adds that the morning previous thirty or forty men were discovered marching up the Kayadrossera, and returned the same way in the evening, and further adds, 'There is reason to think there is a large body of them, more than we are able to cope with; and a good many from this settlement have absconded, and it is thought have joined them. We look upon ourselves at their mercy, if they choose to attack us, which we hope will incite you to be as expeditious as you can to assist us.'

"The explanation of this alarm would seem to be this: Several of the Tories in this vicinity, having received the offer of bounty lands in Canada, marched off in an armed body at about the date of Middlebrook's letter to join the British forces at Crown Point. They struck the well-known Indian trail leading over the Kayadrossera mountain, across the Sacandaga river near Daly's creek, and west of Lake George to Crown Point, which I shall hereafter refer to. They encamped the first night on the bank of a lake on the summit of the mountain, to which (either from its surroundings or their own situation, or perhaps both) they gave the name of 'Lake Desolation,' which it still retains. Colonel James Gordon, with a detach-merit of militia (among whom were Edmund Jennings and David How), followed in pursuit, and on the 6th of May overtook them, thirty-one in number, in the present town of Luzerne, and brought them back. They were tried by a court-martial and fined fifteen dollars each.

"On the approach of Burgoyne's army several of the Connecticut families returned to that State, and did not come back until the close of the war."

We add the following from unpublished memoranda of Judge Scott:

Very early in the decade from 1770 to 1780, Gen. Gordon purchased and received a deed from Dirck Lefferts, Cornelius Clapper, Isaac Low, and Benjamin Kissam of a tract in Ballston, containing four hundred acres. The tract was covered with a magnificent white-pine forest. I remember a few of the original gigantic pines which were in Mr. Mann's woods some fifty years ago (1825). The tract was subdivided into eight fifty-acre lots. The whole was bounded, west, by the middle line; north, by the town line; east, by Ballston street, passing the cemetery; and south, by the Garrett road and the north line of the Garrett farm; and this was the south line of Jones' fifty acres. George Scott moved on to his fifty acres, and erected a frame house on the hill northwest of the present dwelling, in 1774. Mr. Carley settled upon the fifty acres next south of George Scott; John McIlmoire upon the fifty-acre lot afterwards James Mann's; John Carey upon the fifty acres mostly now in the village limits; also James Gordon, upon Amos Hewitt's fifty acres.

As early as 1774 or 1775, Gen. Gordon erected a sawmill for working up the pine timber upon the creek, - east side of it, nearly opposite the late residence of Capt. Daniel Stone, on the Middle Line road. The dam was between the two high banks, where they approach nearest to each other. Some of the foundation timbers of the dam yet remain in the bed of the brook. This brook was known as Gordon's creek, and it is one of the branches of the stream flowing through Ballston Spa, and still bears the old name derived from the general, who erected the first mill upon its banks. The stream has shrunk, certainly, to one-third of its former volume. The Middle Line road did not cross the creek twice, as it does at present, but followed the east bank along by the saw-mill, and thence southerly to Givins' and Cleary's corners. Monro, on his raid in 1780, passed that way. John Carey and McIlmoire in the Revolution adhered to Great Britain, and so did Francis Hunter, on the Lanehart farm. Mr. Ebenezer Jones, in 1875, while plowing in his field, and upon the site of the old road, turned up an Indian tomahawk in a good state of preservation. My father informed me that his father's brother, John, older than himself, and the only brother, was, in his youth, a midshipman under the command of Capt. Grass, afterwards Rear-Admiral Grass. When George Scott came to America, in 1773, his brother gave him the sea-chest which he had used in the service, and it was brought to Ballston.

Before Munro's raid, this chest, containing the most valuable effects of the family, was buried on the east side of a knoll, towards the east part of the farm, and remained hidden for several weeks. Unfortunately, deeming the greatest danger over, it was dug up and brought to the house just before the raid, and just in time to be rifled of its contents. The chest, however, remained, and is in possession of Judge Scott.

 

COPY OF A PETITION TO THE COMMITTEE OF SAFETY.

"January 5, 1776.

"TO THE COMMITTEE IN BALLSTON:

"GENTLEMEN, - We, the subscribers, having heard it hinted in several parts of the town, and in divers ways, that a certain number of disorderly persons is expected here under pretense of subduing the Tories in this place, we therefore desire that you, the said committee, will, with the utmost of your power, repel any such motion if it shall come to your knowledge, as we, the subscribers, think it would be injurious to this infant settlement. Furthermore, we, the subscribers, desire the above said committee to warn a meeting, that the town may have the opportunity to change two members of said committee, in the room of Mr. -- and Mr. --, as they have behaved themselves of late in a very indolent and unbecoming manner. We have reason to believe, from their own conduct, that they are unfit persons to have this trust reposed in them, and in so doing you will oblige your friends and humble servants,

"ELISHA MILLER,

ZACCHEUS SCRIBNER,

ELIPHALET KELLOGG,

DANIEL SCRIBNER,

JOHN CLINTON,

SAMUEL FITCH,

JOHN, CLINTON, JR.,

JOHN GRANT,

DAVID CLARK,

THOMAS ARMSTRONG."

 

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X. - INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS.

Farming is the principal occupation of the people of Ballston. The soil in large portions of the town is fertile, and under careful tillage yields abundant crops. On the whole, the town may be said to possess some of the finest and best-cultivated farms in the county west of the fertile slopes of the Hudson valley.

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XI. - MILITARY.

Incidents in the War of the Revolution and names connected therewith are given at length in the papers of Judge Scott, and in the notes upon early settlement, but no full list of those who served as soldiers seems to be obtainable.

With reference to the War of 1812, Lieut.-Col. Taylor, of Clifton Park, furnishes from his papers the names of the following soldiers from the town of Ballston: Capt. Isaac Curtis, Silas Smith, Lewis Miller, S. Curtis, Wm. Evans, and Chester Clapp.

We add the following list for the War of 1861-65, obtained from the best sources possible, and advertised for several weeks for correction by the veterans themselves.

WAR OF 1861-65.

Edward S. Armstrong, enl. Oct. 1, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. B; corp.; pro. sergt.; 1st lieut. Co. G; disch. Jan. 14, 1863.

Thomas Andrews, enl. Nov. 22, 1861, 4th Art., Co. D.

Frazer Atkins, enl. March 3, 1862, 77th Regt., Co. E.

Wm. Abbs.

Andrew J. Armstrong, in Mexican war, and also War of 1861-65.

Wm. G. Bradshaw, enl. Sept. 27, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. E; disch, for disability, Jan. 7, 1862.

Alexander J. Beach, enl. Jan. 22, 1864, 13th Art., Co. E; died Aug. 10, 1864, at Chesapeake hospital.

Jay Burnham, enl. Dec. 31,1863, 13th Art., Co. F.

Henry W. Burnham, enl. Dec. 31, 1861, 13th Art., Co. F.

George H. Briggs, enl. Dec. 31,1863, 13th Art., Co. F.

Abram G. Bradt, enl. Nov. 24, 1861, 4th Art., Co. D; 1st sergt; pro. 2d lieut.; 1st lieut.; mustered out Dec. 13, 1864.

William Bradt, enl. Nov. 24, 1861, 4th Art., Co. D; 5th sergt.

George H. Bradt, enl. Nov. 24, 1861, 4th Art., Co. D.

John Barnhart.

George W. Bigelow.

Wm. G. Ball, enl. 13th Art.

Marcus S. Barrows, enl. Nov. 1861, 4th Art., Co. D.

Frank Clark, enl. Oct. 15, 186l, 77th Regt., Co. C.

William Davis, enl. Sept. 6, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Thomas H. Dorsey, enl. Jan. 2, 1864, 13th Art., Co. E.

Andrew J. Dubois.

Josiah Dean.

James Dunk, enl. 115th Regt., Co. C.

Christopher Emperor, enl. Aug. 1, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. C.

Warren Earls, enl. Oct. 17, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. E.

John Emperor, 18th Regt.; served his time; re-enl, in 43d Regt.; served through the war.

John S. Fuller, enl. Jan. 4, 1864, 13th Art, Co. F.

David Frisbie, enl. 22d Regt.

James Grooms, enl. Oct. 14, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. C; disch. for disability, Jan. 23, 1862.

Patrick Goonan, enl. Jan. 11, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

Stephen S. Horton, enl. Sept. 13, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. B; 2d lieut.; pro. capt., July 25, 1862; disch. May 31,1863.

George Hughs, enl. Oct. 6, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Philip M. Hill, enl. Sept. 18, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Joshua Heritage, enl. Sept. 6, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Frank Harris, enl. Sept. 30, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. G; disch. May 24, 1862.

George Hoyt, enl. April 17, 1861 18th Regt., Co. I; re-enl. 46th Regt., Co. K, Sept. 7,1864; disch.

Edwin C. Hoyt, H. Art, 13th Regt., Co. F.

Thomas Harris, 77th Regt.

Joseph F. Jones, enl. Sept. 14, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. B; died Dec. 5, 1862, at Ballston.

D.K. Smith Jones, enl. Jan. 9, 1862, 4th H. Art., Co. D; 2d lieut.; pro. 1st lieut., Oct. 30, 1862; capt., May 27, 1863; killed in action, June 17, 1864.

Ransom Knight, enl. Aug. 13, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. D.

Michael Kildea, enl. Sept. 20, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Otis King, enl. Sept. 5, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

John Kildea, enl. Jan. 11, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

John Kearnes, enl. Sept. 28, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. B.

Alfred H. Kingsley.

Hugh Kelley, Battery B, 7th N.Y. Art.

Truman M. Loveland, enl. Aug. 12, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. I.

John Lanehart, enl. Oct. 4,1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Jacob Lansing, enl. Nov. 24, 1861, 4th Art., Co. D.

Moses Lewis, 4th Art.

Richard Millard, enl. Sept. 28, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. B; disch. Nov. 17, 1862.

Frederick Martin, enl. Aug. 9, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. I.

Win. H. McIntosh, enl. Sept. 2, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Richard L. McIntosh, enl. Sept. 6, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Edward Middleton, enl. Jan. 7, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

Patrick McGarr.

John Morris, enl. 30th Regt.

Charles Massey, 4th Art.

John Morris, 30th Regt.

Samuel H. Nelson, enl. Oct. 4, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. B; disch. Nov. 18, 1862.

Samuel Nelson, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. C; died at Portsmouth Grove hospital.

Beckman Near, enl. Aug. 21, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. I.

Adam Niles, enl. Sept. 6, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Wm. H. Quivey, enl. Oct. 15, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. C; dis. Feb. 6, 1863.

Aaron B. Quivey, enl. Oct. 8, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. C; trans. to non-com. staff, May, 1862.

Patrick Reidy, enl. Sept. 23, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. B; died Oct. 30, 1861, at Saratoga Springs.

Horace L. Stiles, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. B; trans. to 3d Battery.

George E. Springer, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. C; disch. Dec. 13, 1864.

Hiram R. Sweet, enl. Sept. 2 ,1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Wm. Schism, enl. Sept. 12, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

John Spicer, enl. July 8, 1863, 2d Vet. Cav., Co. F.

John H. Shivis, enl. Aug. 23, 1862, 77th Regt., Co. B; trans. to Vet. Battalion 77.

Benjamin J. Severance.

James D. Thompson, 115th Regt.

Alonzo Vandenberg, enl. Oct. 16, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. H.

James H. Vanderwerken.

W.W. Worden, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. B; sergt.; trans. to Co. K.

William Wait, enl. Aug. 1, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. I.

John J. Wood, enl. Sept. 20, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Gilbert Warren, enl. Sept. 5, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Jacob Wager, enl. Sept. 3, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Norman F. Weeks, enl. Jan. 2, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

JAMES MANN.

{Contributed by Miss Electa Mann, Ballston, 1878, aged seventy-seven years.}

 

Old Home, built by Jas. Mann, 1805 (with portraits)

 

Once it was a happy day -

From tree and wood sweet voices sound -

When yea was yea and nay was nay.

A holy influence lingered 'round.

My beloved father, James Mann, was born in Hebron, county of Tolland, Conn., Feb. 24, 1768. His father's name was Joseph, who was the son of Nathaniel Mann, son of the Rev. Samuel Mann, of the Congregational church, Massachusetts. In December, 1790, he was married to Miss Tryphena Tarbox, of Hebron. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Dr. Bronson in the Episcopal church of that place. The wedding-ring differed essentially from those of the present day. It was a plain hoop of pure gold, having engraved upon the inner surface the motto, "Love and Virtue," suggestive of the unobtrusive gifts and graces of mind and heart. The same winter they came to Ballston and settled on their farm. They made their journey in a large sleigh, covered with domestic linen, drawn by a yoke of oxen and a horse. The sleigh was heavily laden with household furniture and other necessary articles. They were several days on the road. One evening they met at the inn some fellow-travelers, who made themselves quite at home, brought in their meat and meal, prepared and ate their supper, after which they had a dance. Then they brought in their straw beds for their night's repose.

My parents arrived the 4th of March, 1791. They had followed the Middle Line road till within less than a mile of the place destined to be their life-long home. They soon reached the woods on their own premises. The road then passed down a side-hill, lined on each side with towering pine- and hemlock-trees, while the March wind among their branches played a welcome greeting, which was strange music to one unaccustomed to a forest home. Then going over the causeway of logs, they soon came to a rise of ground where their house stood. By the politeness of Mr. Knapp my mother had preceded my father by an easier conveyance from the hill, afterwards the Court-House hill. That evening they gratefully accepted his hospitality and took tea with the family, - a sumptuous repast of delicious corn-cake, fried pork, and a cup of warm tea. The log house contained two rooms on the floor, an attic, with a ladder instead of stairs for ascent.

Logs within and logs without;

Brave hearts would not repine,

Since moral worth and calm content

Brighter than gold or diamonds shine.

There were two other buildings of the same material on the premises, - a milk-room attached to a shop and a barn. There was an out-door cellar, and a stone-oven covered with slabs. The snow was then two feet deep. Winter soon yielded to the mild influence of spring, the snow melted away, and early in April young lettuce, self-sown, graced their table. The garden was in front of the house, and contained some useful plants. The asparagus was transferred to the new garden, where it still remains. There were three apple-trees a few rods northeast from the house that are still living.

My father brought apple-seed from his eastern home and planted a nursery, raised young trees sufficient for two orchards on his own farm, leaving a balance for his neighbors. He also planted peach-trees, which bore fruit a number of years. Not long after he started some pear-trees from scions brought from his native place, one of which is still living and bears better pears than it did many years ago.

Until a well was dug the house was supplied with water from a cavity below the garden; when that failed it was brought from over the causeway, where was a little pool of water at the corner of a beautiful grove of young pines, which, with the green grass beneath, was a delightful spot.

'Twas there our dear mother, in the warm summer day,

Would sit, while we children were close by her side;

Look on us, and smile at our innocent play,

Whilst nimbly for us the bright needle she plied.

James Mann, Sr., died March 21, 1856, aged eighty-eight years. Tryphena Mann was born Dec. 27, 1765, and died Nov. 1, 1850, aged eighty-four years. They had seven children: Hervey, who was born and died Sept. 26, 1791; James, born Aug. 10, 1792, and died Sept. 24, 1873; :Patience, born Sept. 22, 1795, died April 12, 1816; Solomon, born Oct. 22, 1797, died Sept. 5, 1807; Fanny, born Oct. 20, 1797, died April 29, 1816; Electa, born Oct. 16, 1801; Joseph, born March 21, 1804.

The tender bud is withered,

The blooming flower does fall,

The golden sheaf is garnered,

And silence reigns o'er all.

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GEORGE G. OSTRANDER

 

Portrait of G.G. Ostrander

 

was born in Ulster Co., N. Y., Jan. 6, 1830. He went with his father to Virginia in 1844, where his father purchased a farm. George continued to work with his father until 1848, when he went to learn the trade of carpenter and joiner. In 1850 he was married, at Washington, D. C., to Carolina A. Pink, of Rensselaer Co., N.Y. They then located, at Sand Lake, and he engaged largely in building, employing several men in erecting buildings in that county until 1863, when, at the solicitation of Hon. E. C. Delavan (they were personal friends as long as Mr. Delavan lived), he came to Ballston, and located at Burnt Hills, to work at his trade. Soon after he purchased a farm near that place, where he resided until 1876, when he moved to South Ballston, leaving his only son, Philip, on the farm.

Mr. Ostrander has built and owns several buildings at South Ballston, carries on a lumber and coal business there, and is foremost in any enterprise that tends to advance the interest of the village.

Residence of Henry I. Curtiss

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Please provide me with any feedback you may have concerning errors in the transcription or any supplementary information concerning the contents. wcarr1@nycap.rr.com


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