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HISTORY OF

SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK.

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

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

HISTORY OF THE VILLAGES AND TOWNS OF SARATOGA COUNTY.

HALF-MOON.

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

I. - GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION.

THIS town still borders both the Hudson and the Mohawk, notwithstanding the numerous changes in its boundaries; but the town of Waterford was cut from the extreme point, leaving to this town a tract of somewhat irregular shape, with no common central point. Its town-meetings are held and its public business transacted either at one extreme or another, - Mechanicville, Middletown, Crescent, and Clifton Park all claiming at times the honor of being the capital.

Half-Moon is bounded north by Malta and Stillwater, east by the county line, south by Waterford and the county line, west by Clifton Park.

It is mostly upon the Van Schaick patent, and contains 17,517 acres of improved land, 3264 unimproved land, and of this last amount 2113 is woodland.

The population in 1875 was 3176. Besides the geographical boundaries, we add the following legal description and definition of the boundary lines taken from the revised statutes of the State:

"The town of Half-Moon shall contain all that part of said county bounded northerly by Anthony's Kill, easterly by the east bounds of the county, southerly by Waterford. and the south bounds of the county, and westerly by a line beginning at the outlet of Round lake; then running south to the east side of William Gates' grist-mill; then southerly through the centre of the mill-pond across the bridge over said pond; then southerly to the west side of Joseph Merrill's dwelling-house; then south to the Van Schaick line; then along said line to the Mohawk river, varying the same at the dwelling-house of Ephraim Stevens so as to leave the same on the west side of the line."

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II. - NATURAL FEATURES.

The surface of the town is undulating and broken by the narrow ravines of small streams. There are portions of interval land along the river, half a mile wide at some points. The clay bluffs beyond these vary from sixty to one hundred feet in height. The small streams emptying into the Hudson are Anthony's Kill and Dwaas' Kill. Steena Kill empties into the Mohawk. The soil is a clayey and gravelly loam upland, and a fine quality of alluvial in the intervals. Some portions are sandy, but nearly all the town is of fair productiveness.

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III. - EARLY SETTLEMENT.

Just how early the first settlers entered upon the present territory of Half-Moon is a matter very largely of tradition; as already mentioned in regard to the name, it is certain that the junction of the Mohawk and the Hudson was a place known by white men soon after Fort Orange was established at Albany, and even earlier. From ancient Albany records, it appears that there were a few hardy pioneers on the banks of the Mohawk as early as 1680.

There is indeed one venerable relic of early settlement, known as the "old stone house," or the Dunsback place, about two miles above the village of Crescent. The walls of this house are very thick, nearly two feet, built of field stone without mortar, and in it are beams twenty-two inches deep. The old chamber floor was laid with splendid pine plank two feet wide. The roof boards were beveled together, and of such excellent quality that when the shingles were off rain could not penetrate. It was built by Killian Van Den Burg in 1718. The house bears upon it the date 1718, and the initials N.V.B.

Henry J. Dunsback states that he put on a new roof in 1855, and in his opinion that was the first time it had been reshingled, - showing the first roof to have lasted one hundred and thirty-seven years. The place was bought by the grandfather of Henry J. Dunsback in 1813, of the Haswells, and the latter purchased it of the Vandenburgs, descendants of the original settler; the initials on the building meaning Nicholas Vandenburg. A few rods from this building was, very evidently, an Indian burial-ground, preserved for many years, but now plowed over by late proprietors; also an Indian orchard, venerable old trees set irregularly. Not far off, too, is a singular high rock, in the vicinity of which the early settlers are said to have hidden their valuables from the Indians.

The Loudon ferry crossed the Mohawk about a mile and a quarter below Crescent, just within the limits of Waterford. From this point the London road passed northward to Ballston and Saratoga Springs, and then through Wilton, - the Loudon Methodist church in that town being probably named from its position on or near that old road. In connection too with the "old stone house" described above, there was an ancient ferry, - so ancient as to have acquired rights by long usage, and not subject to license. Since 1813 this has been known as the Dunsback ferry.

On the river-road, along the Hudson, some very early locations were no doubt made. The present Powers place was owned by Mr. Peebles, probably in the time of the Revolution.

Some old people speak of Van Schaick in connection with the same farm. The earliest place in Mechanicville, south of the creek, was probably a public-house on the site of the present Burnap's tavern. It was kept in very early times by one Gates. About a mile below was another public-house, kept by Mills, but there was a still earlier proprietor, in 1788, Henry Bailey. In Mills' time there was an original genius by the name of Bloodgood living in Mechanicville, of whom many quaint stories are told. Calling on Mills and finding him lathered for a shave, he induced Mills to allow him to do the shaving. Seating his victim, he took off one side nicely, then drawing the edge of the razor across the andiron, he left the man half shaved, and the only razor in the vicinity disabled. Mr. Mills' house was so ancient looking a building that it was jestingly called Noah's ark, and Mr. Hart, the present owner of the farm, insists yet that the garden of Eden must have been there, and says he can show an apple-tree old enough to prove it. Two miles farther down was the Fitzgerald place.

Ten Broeck was also an early settler on the river-road. At Middletown or Half-Moon village, Wm. Clark was about the first settler. He was the great-grandfather of Mrs. Traverse, now living there. Dr. German was probably there too, as early as the Revolutionary war. His old place was the present residence of Dr. Bottum. Dr. Sabin followed Dr. German at this point and Dr. Shaw.

There was a tavern at Middletown, established by Shubael Cross, before the Revolution. The barns now attached to the Sheldon house were built in 1800, by Mr. Woodin. An old house in Middletown was the Payne homestead, where Hollister now lives. This was taken down in 1832, by Luther Gates.

Devoe was a very early name in connection with pioneer settlement. His place was at Crescent, just above the canal aqueduct.

Crescent village grew up almost wholly under the capital expended there by Alfred Noxon, now of Ballston. His enterprise set everything in motion. Before his undertaking, in 1840 to '44, there was little besides a canal-grocery, and one or two dwellings. He established a foundry, paint-works, a block of stores, and a hotel, employing at times from seventy to one hundred men. Grain was shipped from this point, teams in a line half a mile long having been seen waiting for a chance to unload. Large quantities of moulding sand are shipped from this point at the present time. The lower grist-mill at Crescent is on the site of an old sawmill, but neither go back of 1800 in history. On the Steena Kill was, however, a saw-mill in 1762. The name of Scouten is mentioned in connection with it. Just below Crescent is the mouth of Bouton creek, where the Indians coming down the Mohawk trail were accustomed to cross to go up the Hudson river; carrying their canoes overland, or leaving them to be used on their return.

Benjamin Rosekrans was an early pioneer; he lived where his great-grandson, Samuel Rosekrans, now resides. His wife lived to be very old, and her descendants relate many incidents told by her of the fearful times of border warfare. On one occasion during an Indian attack she managed to hide herself and children on a haystack, around which the Indians lay down to sleep after their labors in sacking the buildings.

Timothy Wooden, too, is a name of the early times. He settled about two miles north of Crescent in 1768. A grandson is still living near Round lake.

Thomas Flagler, who was an assessor for twenty years or more in the town of Half-Moon, now resides on the place formerly owned by his father-in-law, Peter Davis. Davis bought it probably about 1788-89. He had a large farm, bought at different times of Jacob and Cornelius Teachout, also of Lawrence and McConnery, showing that these men were also early settlers, perhaps before 1790.

Mr. Flagler supposes Richard Davis, the supervisor in 1792, to have been a nephew of Peter Davis. Thomas Flagler was born in what is now Clifton Park; his father, Richard Flagler, having moved there from Dutchess county about 1798.

Peter Ferguson was an early settler at Half-Moon, no doubt in 1780 to 1785. He lived on the present place of the Anthony brothers.

Jacob Miller was here about the same time. Indeed, quite a colony was in the same neighborhood very early, composed, among others, of John Vincent, Jerry Vincent (brothers), and Miller and Rosekrans, whose wives were sisters of the Vincents. In this same neighborhood Dr. Carey was an early physician, coming there soon after the Revolution. He lived on the present Wandell place.

Another early resident on the river was John Flinn. He kept a tavern as early as 1753. Jacob Wilsey must have been a pioneer before the Revolution on the present Husted place.

A grist-mill was built by Bradshaw on the Dwas Kill at the close of the Revolutionary war. This has since been known as the Steinburg mill, now owned by Hart. Before this settlers probably went to mill at Vischer's ferry.

In very early times Mechanicville was called the Burrow, - perhaps, as old people say, from some families that were not over-particular as to the title of their mutton, and burrowed out of sight occasionally along the river-bank, - or better, from the old English word "borough."

Mechanicville, on the Half-Moon side of the creek, is principally a place of modern times. It is said by citizens familiar with its history that as late as 1835 there were scarcely more than five buildings here, and these were the Episcopal church, the tavern at Burnap's, a house occupied by Dr. Tibbets, one near the site of the present Methodist parsonage occupied by Serviss, and a house about opposite the tavern; to these should be added probably a canal-grocery, and perhaps one or two more buildings. Dr. Cuerdon had a tavern just north of the brick store, opposite the Episcopal church, in 1788.

Another early settler not yet mentioned was Abraham Traverse, who lived on the present James Raymond place.

The Joshua Taylor spoken of in the list of innkeepers in the year 1788 lived opposite the Powers place, across the present canal. That he kept a tavern is doubted by his nephew, Shubael Taylor, of Clifton Park, but his name is in the list.

John Cuerdon was an early doctor at Mechanicville, as well as an innkeeper.

John Flynn, from Ireland, mentioned among the innkeepers of 1788, settled on the river-road below the present Fitzgerald place, in 1753. Colonel Fitzgerald was a son-in-law of Mr. Flynn.

Jacob Miller kept a public-house west of the Rosekrans place.

The Swarts saw-mill was just above Mechanicville, where the railroad now crosses Anthony's Kill.

The Snedikers, in 1788, lived southwest of Mechanicville; Andrew Evans, on the Van Veghten place. The Weaver family were in the Mott neighborhood, - that is, in what was called Newtown, - Zebulon Mott's place being about a mile west of the cemetery, where stood the early Baptist church.

Richard Burtis kept a tavern on the site of the present one at Clifton Park village.

William Tripp was in the northwest part of the town. Ebenezer Landus was connected to the Woodins. The Woodin pioneer home was the present Hegeman place.

Abraham Deuel lived west of Mechanicville. Jonathan Loosing was a pioneer at Usher's Mills as early as 1780. His daughter, then a child of two years, is yet living at Stillwater village, - nine years older than the federal government.

Old records at Albany indicate that "Half-Moon precinct" had a population of one hundred and one as early as 1714. This statement of course includes Waterford, and how much more is uncertain, as, prior to 1772, the names of Half-Moon and Saratoga are exceedingly indefinite. The population of one hundred and one would indicate fifteen or sixteen families. Most of these were probably at the "Point," and in the vicinity of Crescent, with scattering families farther up the Mohawk, and also up the Hudson. Very little is known either of the names or the history of these families. The name of Taylor is given by some authorities as a settler at Mechanicville in 1763. This is probable, as Stillwater, above, was quite extensively settled from 1760 to 1765.

James Deyoe, from Tarrytown, came to Half-Moon about 1770, and settled about two miles west of Mechanicville, on what is well known in late years as the Deyoe farm. When he first came he leased six acres of land, for which he was to pay a rent of four ears of corn annually. He had previously spent a few months in Saratoga, about two miles west of the springs. This place was so infested with rattlesnakes that he decided not to remain. Near the High Rock spring the settlers were compelled to suspend their beds from trees to keep the snakes out. Mr. Deyoe died at the age of one hundred and three years, and his wife at the age of one hundred and five, their married life being continued for eighty-three years.

Among the early settlers of Half-Moon were George Ellsworth and Joseph Reynolds. They located before the Revolution, a mile and a quarter from Clifton Park village. George Ellsworth was a soldier of the Revolution, grandfather of Capt. Ephraim D. Ellsworth, now of Mechanicville. Reynolds also was the grandfather of the captain on the maternal side.

George Ellsworth, the pioneer, left four sons, - William, Charles, James, and George. William was drowned near Cohoes; Charles settled and died at Schuylerville; James in Northumberland; George married the daughter of the pioneer Reynolds and settled on the old homestead. In 1836 he moved to Dunning Street, Malta, and in 1837 to Rose, Wayne county, where he died. His son, Ephraim D. Ellsworth, married Phebe Denton, and settled in Malta. There the future Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth was born. The family moved to Mechanicville when Elmer was seven years old, and his boyhood was spent in that village. The remarkable life of the young hero, his earnest purpose, his early military ardor, his struggles in business, his advancement in Chicago and at Springfield, his acquaintance with Abraham Lincoln, his noble ambition, his splendid service and heroic death, have all passed into history, and will live forever upon its enduring page. His motto was, "There is nothing impossible to him who WILL."

As still further showing the names of early settlers, we add the following list of the founders of the old Baptist church of Newtown, - a venerable body, whose memory is cherished by early settlers still living, or by the descendants of others who received their earliest religious impression within the walls of the old meeting-house, a building long since removed, and the society that worshiped in it extinct; but though dead yet living in its two young successors, - the church of Middletown and the church at Clifton Park village.

These were the male members of the Newtown church in 1791: Peter Groom, Wm. Groom, Daniel Derbyshear, James Essex, Matthew Neally, Joshua Miller, Ephraim Dunham, Wm. Goslain, Richard Clute, Timothy Woodin, George Alford, Joseph Peck, Nathaniel Upham, Shubael Waldo, Peter Baker, John Bell, Moses Lent, Andrew Evans, Abraham Weldon, Thomas Mosher, George Ellsworth, Wm. King, and Philip King.

On the farm known as the old Colonel Tenbroeck place, there lived a family who were massacred there by the French and Indians in 1748. A short distance south of this place is a barn built in 1737.

In 1689 it was resolved by the authorities at Albany to remove the fort about the house and barn of Harme Lievese at Half-Moon to a more convenient place.

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IV. - ORGANIZATION.

NAME.

This town retains the name originally given to the territory around the northern bend of the Mohawk near the present village of Crescent. The territory between the Hudson and the Mohawk is irregular in shape, and not easily described by any single word. It is sometimes called the Triangle, but a portion of the water front, particularly near Crescent, is curving enough to render the name Half-Moon appropriate, and it no doubt received this designation far back, even to the first settlement of Albany. The junction of the Mohawk with the Hudson was a point of such importance, both for military purposes and for traffic, and was so near to Fort Orange, that it was no doubt known and named soon after the first voyage of Hudson up this noble stream, - a stream that repeats for every generation the name and exploits of the great discoverer. Indeed, Saratoga and Half-Moon are the two earliest names applied to civil divisions above the mouth of the Mohawk and south of the Great bend at Sandy Hill.

The original two districts - the foundation of the county - were Saratoga and Half-Moon, and they were erected in 1772. The names are one hundred and fifty years older than that date.

Half-Moon has step by step been reduced from its original size and its original importance to a town of only medium extent.

In 1816, Waterford was organized, taking from Half-Moon its oldest settled portion and its points of greatest historical interest. Twelve years later, Clifton Park was set off, taking nearly all the river front upon the Mohawk. This reduced Half-Moon to its present extent. With reference to the name, it should be added that when Waterford was taken off, in 1816, the name of this town was changed to Orange; but in 1820 the old name, Half-Moon, was restored.

The district of Half-Moon was organized in 1772, and as districts were similar to towns, it would be interesting to trace the annual meetings and the officers elected in those earliest years; but the records are missing. This district organization lasted sixteen years, or until 1788, when Half-Moon was organized as a town, making, with Ballston, Saratoga, and Stillwater, the original four towns from which the remaining sixteen have been formed. Fortunately, the records of the town-meetings from 1788 down are complete, several books having been saved from the fire which destroyed the office in 1853. As Waterford was not taken off until 1816, and Clifton Park not till 1828, the town officers of the earliest years belonged indiscriminately to the territory of the three towns.

The first town-meeting in 1788 was held at the house of Cornelius Vandenburg. The officers chosen were Jacob Fort, town clerk; Jacobus Van Schoonhoven, supervisor; Adrian Hegeman, Jacob I. Lansing, Christopher Miller, Adam I. Van Vranken, Jeremiah Vincent, Israel Van Alstyne, and William Reeves, assessors; Gerret Lansing and James Jones, collectors; Jas. Dugan, Joseph Mosier, Jacob Miller, and Henry Brevoort, constables; Adrian Hegeman, Dan. Van Alstyne, and Cornelius Groat, poor-masters; Andrew Evans, Jacob Ostrander, John Slosson, John Clark, and Jeremiah Vincent, poundmasters and fence-viewers. Thirty-seven pathmasters were chosen, whose names are added, as showing early settlers in every part of the town: Johannes Fulmer, Aarie Banta, Noah Taylor, Jesse Brunsen, Calvin Fuller, John Quince, Jacobus Pearce, Nicholas Vandenburg, Gerardus Clute, Jacob Hall, Peter Steenburgh, Chas. Hoffman, Timothy Woodin, Shubael Waldo, Jerry Cramer, John Devoe, Jr., Jesse Groat, Michael Bassett, John C. Connell, James Shaw, Gideon Close, Peter Faulkner, John Van Vranken, James Grooms, Jeremiah Vincent, Joseph Fowler, Stephen Wiley, John Bell, Abraham Deul, Jacob Clute, Gerardus Clute, Valentine Brown, Edward Rexford, Alexander Brevoort, Jacob Van Vranken, Nathan Evans, and Ezekiel Free.

At the second town-meeting, 1789, new names appear among the town officers and pathmasters as follows: Matthew Gregory, Edward Weaver, Benjamin Rosekrans, Nathan Garnsey, Andrew Scouten, Moses Scott, James Murray, Wm. Bradshaw, Jedediah Rogers, Josiah Taylor, Robert Eldridge, John Folmer, John Terpenny, James Scott, Thomas Smith, Benjamin Mix, John Way, Samuel Hicks, John Knowlton, Wm. Tripp, Solomon Burlinghame, John Carothers, John Darby, Hendrick Vanderwerken, Henry Efner, William Ash, John R. Van Vranken, John C. Connell, Nicholas Vandenburg, John Hamilton, Anthony Leversie, James Murray, Timothy Smith, John Barnes, Israel Brooks, Clemens Young, Ebenezer Landers, James Youngs, and Richard Burtis.

At the third town-meeting, 1790, we find still other names: Henry Van Hyning, Martin Wilcox, Cornelius Doty, Richard Davis, James Teller, Moses Scott, William Teller, Jr., Valentine Brown, Philip Doty, William Brayton, John Way, William Hamilton, George Lane, Nicholas Jansen, Abial Kinyon, John Donaldson, Christopher Northrop, Thomas Little, John Cuerdon, Dirck Hurnstreet, John Rouse, John Miller, James Darbyshear, Stephen Ladue, Jonathan Lossing, Joseph Gilbert, Richard Peters, Matthew Shear, Francis Still, Isaac Doxey, Reuben Woodin, Samuel Sweetland, James Youngs, Alexander Brevoort, Israel Brooks, Robert James, and James Conklin.

We copy the following by-law of 1789: "Hoggs and swine that weigh more than forty pounds may run at large, but less than that must be yoked; but from the Widow Peebles down to Waterford, and from the river west to the first hill, none may be allowed to run."

This meeting was adjourned "to meet at the house lately occupied by Mr. Sibley, it being the most convenient and central place."

A few fragments in the old town books go back of the town organization two or three years, while Half-Moon was yet a district.

In 1785 the highway commissioners were Thomas Smith, Reuben Taylor, Jr., Isaac Fonda, and John Way.

There is a bill of sale for saw-logs, sold by Jerry Armagher to Henry Bailey, - some of them at Swarts' saw-mill. This was in 1785, and the paper was witnessed by Jonas Delong and Garret Snediker.

There were forty taverns in the three towns for the year 1788, implying plenty of accommodation for man and beast. They were kept by the following persons, most of whom paid a license of £2: William Fuller, Elizabeth Peebles, Henry Bailey, Daniel Van Alstyne, Joshua Taylor, Benjamin Mix, Nicholas Fords, Christian Smith, Elias Van Steenburgh, Peter Faulkner, John Donald, John Cuerdon, Nicholas Teachout, John Flynn, Jacob Miller, Aaron Comstock, James Steih, Anthony Leversie, Coonrad Wesley, Moses and Ira Scott, Garret Hannion, Samuel Connery, Matthew Gregory, Joseph Potter, Adam Edson, William Ward, Joseph Sibley, Jacobus Van Schoonhoven, Richard Davis, Joseph Mosher, Simeon Groat, William Waldron, Hezekiah Ketchum, Jacobus Ostrander, John C. Connell, Dirck Flansburgh, Jedediah Rogers, John Burhans, and James Scott. There were also four retailers licensed: Robert Fullerton, John Arden, Jacobus Van Schoonhoven, and Samuel J. Hazard.

The following is the complete list of supervisors, town clerks, and collectors from 1788 to 1877, inclusive. The justices of the peace are also given from the time they were elected by the people:

 

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LIST OF TOWN OFFICERS.

 

Supervisor.

Town Clerk.

Collector.

1788.

J. Van Schoonhoven.

Jacob Fort.

Gerret Lansing.

James Jones.

1789.

"

"

James Duggan.

1790.

"

"

Job Halstead.

1791.

Benj. Rosekrans.

Abraham Moe.

Martin Wilcox.

Gerardus G. Clute.

1792.

Richard Davis, Jr.

"

"

Nathan Garnsey, Jr.

1793.

"

"

Corneli's Dougherty.

Martin Wilcox.

1794.

"

"

Nathan Garnsey, Jr.

1795.

Zebulon Mott.

"

Wm. Brayton and

five others.

1796.

"

"

G.A. Van Vranken.

1797.

"

"

Peter Banta.

1798.

"

"

Solomon Waite.

1799.

"

"

"

1800.

"

"

"

1801.

"

"

Nicholas Vischer.

1802.

"

"

"

1803.

"

"

David Garnsey.

1804.

"

"

David Emigh.

1805.

"

"

"

1806.

"

"

Asahel Philo.

1807.

"

"

Jeremiah Coon.

1808.

"

"

"

1809.

"

"

"

1810.

"

"

Henry Claw.

1811.

"

"

A.J. Van Vranken.

1812.

"

"

Peter Van Sanford.

1813.

"

"

"

1814.

"

"

"

1815.

"

"

Nathan A. Philo.

1816.

"

"

Michael Welden.

1817.

"

"

James Nessie.

1818.

Nathan Garnsey.

"

Campbell Kennedy.

1819.

"

Asahel Philo.

"

1820.

"

"

Samuel Cole.

1821.

David Garnsey.

"

Elisha Morse.

1822.

"

Ephraim Stevens.

James Swartwout.

1823.

"

Benj. I. Hall.

"

1824.

"

"

Wm. Clute.

1825.

"

"

David Carpenter.

1826.

"

"

John L. Davis.

1827.

"

"

"

1828.

Asahel Philo.

"

Peters Sickler.

1829.

"

"

"

1830.

"

"

"

1831.

"

"

James Nessie.

1832.

"

Nicholas Emigh, Jr.

Isaac Clements.

1833.

"

Jno. P. Steenburgh.

"

1834.

"

"

Andrew Taylor.

1835.

"

"

"

1836.

"

Robert Forbes

Philip Colehauser.

1837.

"

"

H.H. Steenburgh.

1838.

Isaac Smith.

Chaun'y Boughton

Anson Badgley.

1839.

"

"

Wm. Fitzgeralds.

1840.

Platt Smith.

Nicholas E. Philo.

John Tripp.

1841.

Chauncey Boughton.

"

"

1842.

Abraham Travis.

"

Wm. Ransom, Jr.

1843.

"

"

"

1844.

Wm. Clute.

Nehemiah Philo.

Nath. H. Conklin.

1845.

"

"

"

1846.

Ben. S. Cowles.

Henry L. Landon.

Milo Moxfield.

1847.

David W. Wait.

Aaron A. Knight.

Isaac Shear, Jr.

1848.

Lucius Smith.

Isaac Clements.

Christopher Snyder.

1849.

James Noxon.

James T. Wiley.

"

1850.

"

Lyman W. Clements.

David Merrill.

1851.

Stephen Emigh.

J.B. Schermerhorn.

Garret Vanderkar.

1852.

"

"

Platt V. Burtis.

1853.

Benj. Wait.

"

Clark Noxon.

1854.

"

Selar Knight.

"

1855.

Shubael Taylor.

"

Clark Miller.

1856.

Thomas Noxon.

Warren Rulison.

Peter S. Woodin.

1857.

"

C.J. Warrington.

Albert Smith.

1858.

Nehemiah Philo.

"

Isaac Shear, Jr.

1859.

Wm. Carey.

"

Elisha G. Moss.

1860.

Thomas Noxon.

Henry Lape.

John Cassidy.

1861.

"

Daniel R. White.

Daniel Forbes.

1862.

C.J. Warrington.

"

"

1863.

"

Martin Sherman.

Isaac Shear, Jr.

1864.

Thomas Noxon.

Warren Rulison.

Luther Gates.

1865.

"

"

Lowell K. Harvey.

1866.

"

"

Wm. A.T. Cassidy.

1867.

John C. Greene.

"

Lowell K. Harvey.

1868.

Chas. H. Clute.

M.O. Caldwell.

Jacob A. West.

1869.

Henry L. Haight.

James H. Clark.

Francis A. Lansing.

1870.

M.O. Caldwell.

Jacob A. West.

Stephen Philo.

1871.

"

Warren Rulison.

John W. Post.

1872.

Daniel R. White.

Jacob D. Defreest.

"

1873.

"

"

Gilbert H. Filkin.

1874.

Jacob C. Defreest.

{Jacob C. Defreest was elected supervisor in 1874 and died, and Charles H. Clute was appointed.}

S.S. Teachout.

John W. Post.

1875.

Charles H. Clute.

"

Warren E. Sunims.

1876.

"

Henry Clark.

John W. Post.

1877.

Henry L. Haight.

"

Henry Danielson.

1878.

"

J.F. Terry.

Geo. W. Rosekrans.

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

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

1831.

William Fowler.

1855.

William Ostrander.

John O. Mott.

1832.

William Clute.

1856.

Selar Knight.

1833.

Stephen Varnum.

1857.

William Hicks.

Henry I. Dunstock

Doedatus W. Hurd.

1834.

Asahel Philo.

1858.

Harmon J. Quackenbush.

1835.

William Fowler.

1859.

Nathan Tabor.

1836.

Nathan A. Philo.

1860.

Abram Sickles.

1837.

Stephen Vernam.

1861.

Samuel R. Mott.

1838.

Benjamin S. Curtis.

1862.

Melvin Van Voorhees.

1839.

James Noxie.

1863.

Harmon J. Quackenbush.

1840.

Nathan A. Philo.

1864.

Nathan F. Philo.

1841.

James V. Bradshaw.

1865.

Charles E. Dillingham.

Smith L. Mitchell.

1842.

Stephen H. Sherman.

1866.

James Clark.

1843.

Lewis E. Smith.

1867.

Charles E. Gorsline.

Charles E. Gorsline.

William Hicks.

1844.

Nathan A. Philo.

1868.

Lelar Knight.

1845.

David W. Wait.

1869.

Charles H. Dillingham.

1846.

Benjamin S. Cowles.

1870.

Melvin Van Voorhees.

1847.

Moses Clements.

1871.

Charles E. Gorsline.

Charles E. Dillingham.

1848.

Eldert I. Vanwoert.

1872.

Lelar Knight.

1849.

David W. Wait.

1873.

William A.T. Cassidy.

1850.

Samuel A. House.

1874.

Melbourn Van Voorhees.

1851.

John R. McGregor.

1875.

William L. Potter.

1852.

Abram Sickles.

1876.

Lelar Knight.

William C. Tallmadge.

1853.

David W. Wait.

1877.

William A.T. Cassidy.

1854.

Charles H. Fowler.

1878.

Henry Clark.

 

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

V. - VILLAGES.

MECHANICVILLE.

Edward A. Morehouse, who came to Mechanicville in 1825, recalls a clear picture of the village fifty-two years ago. South of the kill, Dr. Cuerdon; two Boillo families; a colored family; the old tavern; the blacksmith-shop, still standing and used; farther down, McMulligan. The Cuerton house was partly log, on the site of the present parsonage. On the Stillwater side, west of main street, Morehouse's tailor-shop, Vernam's store, John Cross' tavern; joining the store was Carrington's residence, then a house and store kept by Wm. Pierce. On the east side of the street, Skinner's blacksmith-shop, Farnum's store, where the meat-market is now, a brick house, Squire Hutton's residence, now Widow Boardman's, Carrington's harness-shop, over it Lockwood's shoe-shop, Synott Bloodgood's; at the corner old-fashioned hay-scales, wagon and all swung up by chains to be weighed; beyond these eight or ten other buildings, and in the rear the factory and grist-mill, as now. The factory had been erected by Squire Hutton many years before, had been burned, rebuilt, and in 1825 was owned by Bloodgood.

Mechanicville was incorporated in 1867: Wm. W. Smith, president; James F. Terry, clerk; Alonzo Howland, Wm. M. Warner, Charles Wheeler, Dr. N.H. Ballou, trustees. Present officers, 1877, are Lewis E. Smith, president; George H. Moore, clerk; James Dougrey, Jr., Nelson Shontz, Daniel F. Ladow, James McBierney, trustees.

The American Linen Thread Company of Mechanicville was established in 1850 by a company of which Samuel Chase was president and Lewis E. Smith secretary, treasurer, and general manager. These positions Mr. Smith has actively filled from that time to the present. They employ about one hundred and seventy-five hands. Their line of work, twines, threads, salmon-lines, gilling, etc. The grist-mill belongs to the same firm. Both derive their power from Anthony's Kill. A preparing-mill west of the canal is also owned by them. They also have a saw-mill, sixteen acres of land, and about forty-five tenements. The flax used is largely imported from Ireland, Belgium, and Holland. J.L. Van Schoonhoven is president now, 1877.

These works are all in the town of Stillwater, but are conveniently mentioned here.

The village of Mechanicville, about a year since, provided against fire by procuring an engine and erecting an engine-house at an expense of $3500. The company consists of about sixty men; H.S. Sheldon, captain. Another company is recently organized.

An instance of remarkable age in Mechanicville may be noticed. Lewis Smith, now living at the age of ninety-two, and his wife ninety, - their married life extending over sixty years.

The villages and hamlets are named as follows: Mechanicville, from the number of mechanics employed by the first proprietors of manufacturing works at the mouth of Anthony's Kill. Smithtown, from the number of Smith families that live in that vicinity. Crescent retains the early designation, - the synonym for half-moon. Clifton Park, partly in the town of Clifton Park, takes its name from the latter. Middletown, lying between Waterford and Crescent, seems to have had this name without any particular reason. It is now assuming the name of Half-Moon, which, indeed, has been the pest-office name for years. Newtown, - this term was applied very early to the settlement in the neighborhood of the old Baptist meeting-house on the hill near John Boker's. It was a new town, compared with the old settlements at "The Point" and the Mohawk flats.

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

VI. - SCHOOLS.

Under the earlier school law, school commissioners were elected in 1796-99. The following served one or more years: Guert Van Schoonhoven, Hugh Peebles, Benjamin Rosekrans, Benjamin Mix, Robert Kennedy, Solomon Waite, and Hezekiah Ketchum. There was evidently no further action by the town until the enactment of the general school law in 1812, the real commencement of the continuous school policy of the State.

From 1812 to 1843 the following persons served one or more years each, as school commissioner: Ira Scott, Asabel Philo, David Garnsey, Nathan Garnsey, Jr., Samuel Reynolds, Nicholas B. Doe, John E. Vischer, John B. Miller, Elnathan Smith, Nathan Peck, Henry Clow, Nehemiah G. Philo, Silas Sweetland, Joseph Read, Benjamin Hall, Powell Howland, William Shepherd, John P. Steenburgh, William Vernam, Henry Fowler, William Clute, John F. Taylor, Anson Badgely, James Nessle, W.I. Groesbeck, Chauncey Cowles, G.W. Beal, Stephen Emigh, William Clute, Abram W. Van Wert, James V. Bradshaw, Hiram A. Ensign, Anthony Fitzgerald, Lucius M. Smith, and James Noxon.

During the same period the following persons served as inspectors of common schools, one or more years each: Daniel G. Garnsey, Henry Clow, Robert Kennedy, Elnathan Smith, Nicholas B. Doe, Samuel McCleary, Charles K. Whitmore, Samuel Reynolds, Nathan Garnsey, Jr., William Hamilton, Nathan Peck, Abraham Moe, Joseph Peck, Daniel Closs, Cornelius Van Santford, Silas Sweetland, William Scott, Silas Hamilton, William Shaw, William Hollister, John P. Higgins, Ebenezer Staats, Nehemiah G. Philo, Powell Howland, Solomon C. Peck, Garnsey Kennedy, William Shepherd, Asahel Philo, David Garnsey, Ephraim Stephens, Nathan Peck, William Fowler, Cornelius Failing, William Tibbits, Loring Kimball, Henry Philo, Cyrus Garnsey, Benjamin F.S. Stevens, Edward Kelly, David McShauber, William Fowler, Chauncey Boughton, Stephen Vernam, John Mott, George W. Beal, Anson Badgely, William W. Yates, William Clute, Hoffman Steenburgh, Anthony Fitzgerald, Nicholas E. Philo, Powell Howland, James Clow, Chauncey Cowles, Isaac Clements, James G. Bradshaw, Robert Forbes, Lewis E. Smith, and James B. McKean.

The town superintendents of common schools were as follows: 1844, James B. McKean; 1845, Reuben Stewart; 1846, Nathan F. Philo; 1847-50, George W. Peak; 1851, Nathan F. Philo; 1852, John O. Mott; 1854-56, John Cassidy.

This system was terminated in June, 1856, and supervision by Assembly districts followed. The school report for 1840 shows the following statements:

 

District.

No. of Children.

Public Money.

No. 1

104

$93.96

" 2

66

59.63

" 3

35

31.62

" 4

48

43.37

Part 4

6

5.41

" 5

5

4.51

" 5

104

93.96

" 6

37

33.45

" 7

21

18.97

Nos. 8 and 18

21

18.97

No. 9

46

41.56

" 11

6

5.41

" 12

28

25.30

" 13

49

44.30

" 14

28

25.30

 

604

$545.72

 

Middletown has a union school, organized Nov. 20, 1877. The first board of education consists of the following persons: A.P. Hawley, C.H. Clute, Daniel Knights, John Van Voorhees, Daniel R. White, William Lape, Washington Lansing. The district procured the building belonging to the old Half-Moon Academy, now extinct for some years, and repaired and remodeled it at an expense of about $1500.

Mechanicville academy has a pleasant situation near the river on Main street, surrounded by a beautiful grove. It was founded in 1860. The first officers were Lewis Smith, president; Rev. Edward Noble, secretary; J. Wesley Ensign, treasurer; with other trustees, Isaac Clements, B.B. Hutchins, Isaac M. Smith, Joseph Baker, John C. Holmes, Samuel B. Howland, E.A. Lindley, Bloom Baker, Robert Moon.

The present trustees are Rev. J.E. King, Fayette Baker, Dr. H.H. Ballou, S.B. Howland, Dr. B.W. King, Lewis Smith, Harvey S. Sheldon, Joseph Baker, Frank Pruyn, and James C. Rice. S.B. Howland is president, and H. Sheldon secretary and treasurer. Successive principals have been Andrews and Wetzel, C.C. Wetzel, Rev. B.D. Ames, and Mrs. S.E. King Ames.

The Clifton Park Female Seminary was established at the village of that name in 1863.

 

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

COMMISSIONERS' APPORTIONMENT, HALF-MOON, MARCH, 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

84

$52.14

$57.77

$50.47

$2.80

$163.18

" 2

45

52.14

30.95

26.83

1.47

111.39

" 3

18

52.14

12.38

11.71

.60

76.83

" 4

40

52.14

27.51

35.45

1.34

116.44

" 5

64

52.14

44.02

36.96

2.14

135.26

" 6

37

52.14

25.45

25.44

1.24

104.27

" 7

46

52.14

31.64

30.76

1.54

116.08

" 8

94

52.14

64.65

44.01

3.14

163.94

" 9

40

52.14

27.51

29.88

1.34

110.87

" 10

312

104.28

214.59

168.22

10.41

497.50

" 11

110

52.14

75.65

69.83

3.67

201.29

" 12

42

52.14

28.89

24.62

1.40

107.05

 

932

$677.82

$641.01

$554.18

$31.09

$1904.10

 

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VII. - CHURCHES.

ST. JOHN'S CHURCH OF STILLWATER,

being under the same pastorate as the church at Mechanicville, the following account of it, written by Mrs. Stubbs, wife of the rector, is inserted here:

St. John's church, Stillwater, was incorporated Oct. 27, 1795, but a church organization had existed, with occasional services, many years prior to that time. The first recorded meeting of the vestry was held Oct. 7, 1795, when the following were elected officers: Ezekiel Ensign, senior warden; Ezra St. John, junior warden; Thomas W. Ford, Henry Bruerton, Warren Smith, Cornelius Vandenburgh, vestrymen.

The Rev. Mr. Rodgers became the first rector of the parish. It is a matter of regret that there are no records of the earlier services of the English church in this town. That they were held is no doubt true, for wherever England's sons wandered they took with them the Bible and the Prayer-Book, charters of Protestantism, which recalled the solemn worship of their own homes.

Some facts were obtained by the writer from an old lady named Shipman, whose parents resided at Bemus Heights when the great battle was fought. Her narrative was of great interest. She could describe very minutely the position of each battery, and the personal appearance of the officers engaged. These things she had heard from her parents, who were well acquainted by trading with a little stock of vegetables, which brought them a munificent return. Mrs. Shipman stated that some weeks preceding the battle two or three British staff officers were quartered in the village of Stillwater, in a house since torn down, near the site of old St. John's church. During a week's occupation of the village by General Schuyler, they were concealed in the cellar. Mrs. Shipman stated that services were twice held in the sitting-room of the house by Chaplain Brudenell, of Burgoyne's command. This statement is involved in some doubt, as it is not known that the British forces ever held Stillwater village; yet these officers may have been concealed there as scouts, and it would be like the intrepid spirit of Brudenell, who so bravely stood amid the whistling bullets over the grave of General Fraser, in the cold twilight, to utter with Christian faith undimmed the then awfully solemn words, "I know that my Redeemer liveth," - like him to brave a journey through the wilds to hold service in the little room at Stillwater.

Old St. John's church was erected in 1798, but becoming within later years unsuitable as a place of worship for the present congregation, was sold by the officiating rector, the Rev. Alfred H. Stubbs, and vestry to the Roman Catholics, and a tasteful and pretty chapel built with the proceeds. Still bearing the name, it is a young branch of the old tree - brighter, fresher, newer.

The rectors succeeding Rev. Mr. Rodgers were Orange Clark, I.M. Tappan, William Alanson, Reuben Hubbard, William A. Curtis, Major A Nickerson, Robert B. Fairbairn, John B. Downing, William B. Musgrave, Robert C. Rogers, E.S. Widdemer, Albert Danker, W.P. Walker, and the present rector, Alfred H. Stubbs.

The first marriage is recorded on the books in 1795, between Thomas Walker Ford and Betsey Patrick. There yet stands in the hall of the Patrick mansion, now occupied by Mr. Skinner, a quaint old mahogany table, around which Washington, Hamilton, and Burr dined amicably together, the horrors of the later years unforeseen. The first baptism on register is that of Sarah Hoskins, in 1776, and the first death that of "Betsey Ford, consort of Thomas Ford," on the 23d of October, 1795, an ill-fated bride of but twelve days. About the year 1835 the church was gladdened by the added membership of Mrs. Catharine Mancius. Born in the year 1777, in the city of Montreal, Canada, a most devoted daughter of the church, of good family, with large wealth, but with a pure, heartfelt love of her Master's work, she chose to shine in the charity which needed no vaunting, rather than to adorn the society to which birth and education gave her entrance.

Upon her removal to Stillwater, Mrs. Mancius at once began to interest herself in this church. Not satisfied with aiding it materially in her lifetime, she so willed her property that the church should suffer nothing pecuniarily by her death. At her home, Mount Livingston, about a mile from the village, she erected a little chapel, where, in old feudal style, she daily summoned her vassals, and in the absence of chaplain, she read the service herself. The little building yet stands, though the estate has passed into other hands. Within its walls bishops and priests have officiated, and the announcement that the "Lord was in His holy temple" has sounded as solemnly here as in old Trinity itself. May it be long before she shall be forgotten in this communion of saints which we celebrate!

The present St. John's, as before stated, is a small edifice containing about one hundred and fifty sittings. Some of the descendants of the first vestry of 1795 gather there each Sunday in its congregation, and we trust another centennial anniversary will yet behold the good old stock animated with the brave Brudenell's spirit to succor and defend it against "the world, the flesh, and the devil."

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

EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF MECHANICVILLE.

{By Rev. A.H. Stubbs.}

The first services of St. Luke's parish were held in a building that stood upon land now owned by the American Linen Thread company, in the rear of the engine-house.

The church was organized in the then residence of John C. Valentine, Esq., now owned by Joseph Kelso, and standing on the west side of Main street, opposite the engine-house, August 2, 1830, with the following officers: Wardens, John C. Valentine and William Gates; Vestrymen, Hugh Peebles, John Cross, Munson Smith, William L.R. Valentine, Lynott Bloodgood, William Tyler, William Tibbitts, and Cramer Vernam.

The church building erected during 1829 and 1830, on the east side of Main street, was consecrated by the Right Rev. John Henry Hobart, third bishop of New York, August 24, 1830.

By mutual consent all religious bodies were permitted to worship in said building, and with this understanding the necessary funds were raised for its construction, with the proviso, however, that when completed it should be consecrated by the bishop of New York. Difficulties having arisen, the vestry obtained a release from all the denominations interested, and after July 15, 1835, the church property came under the sole ownership and control of St. Luke's church.

The services were first conducted by the Rev. Orange Clark, who probably opened the first Sunday-school. He was succeeded by the following clergymen, to wit: J.M. Tappan, William Alanson, Reuben Hubbard, William A. Curtis, Major A. Nickerson, Robert B. Fairbairn, John G. Downing, William B. Musgrave, Robert C. Rogers, E.S. Widdemer, Albert Danker, William B. Walker, and A.H. Stubbs, the last named being the present pastor.

The first baptism was that of Adeline Vernam, and the first marriage, David Fairbanks to Elizabeth Bradshaw. The early record of communicants is unfortunately lost, but Dr. William Tibbitts and William Tyler were undoubtedly among the number. The decease of the former of these communicants is thus mentioned in the 1875 convention address of Dr. W. C. Doane, present bishop of the diocese of Albany: "The death of Dr. William Tibbitts, of Mechanicville, removes a most honorable name from our roll. At the age of eighty-two he fell asleep, most unexpectedly, with what was suddenness to every one but himself. Always active and generous, and by no means confined in his religious zeal, he had less than a month before his death transferred to the board of missions $2000. His death was singularly beautiful. Kneeling in his accustomed place in church, he had joined in the general confession, and under the very words of the absolution he died, loosed by the voice of the Great High-Priest at once from the bondage of sins and from the burden of the flesh." Dr. Tibbitts had been a deputy to the Diocesan convention for a number of years; the above parish, which he represented, was admitted during the month of October, 1830.

The latter of the communicants named, William A. Tyler, was born Dec. 9, 1779, at Branford, New Haven Co., Conn., was baptized by the first bishop in the United States, Dr. Samuel Seabury, and died Feb. 22, 1876. He also was noted for his liberality and generosity, having contributed one-fourth of the sum required to build the rectory.

The present officers of the church are as follows: Rector, Rev. Alfred H. Stubbs; church-wardens, W.C. Tallmadge, Esq., and Philip Kiswood; vestrymen, Drs. Ballou and Garbutt, Joseph Knicherbocker, Madison Hart, Isaiah Massey, Harvey Dwight, and Job Viall.

Services are held now in connection with St. John's church in Stillwater, the rector of St. Luke's church, Mechanicville, being incumbent of both parishes.

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

THE METHODIST CHURCH OF MECHANICVILLE.

This society has its house of worship in Stillwater, but its parsonage is in Half-Moon. The first class was organized in 1828, and consisted of the following: Cornelius Skinner, wife, and daughter, Mr. Phelps, Rebecca, Eliza H., and Mary A. Furnham, - just seven. They met first in an unused private building, next in the Union meeting-house, - when they could have the use of this for a quarterly meeting only on condition that there should be no noise. The unconverted husbands of some of the Methodist women were indignant, and declared their wives should have a place where they could shout to their hearts' content. This resulted in the first chapel of 1832. The circuit then included Ballston, Saratoga Springs, Quaker Springs, East Line, Lanswoorts, Schuylerville, Stillwater, and Mechanicville. The successive ministers were Rev. Messrs. Ensign, Dayton, Stebbins, Rice, Marietta, Luckey, Anson, Brayton, Newman, Pier Goss, Hammond, Burton, Meeker, Quinlan, Stevens, Chase, Coleman, Pomeroy, Houghtaling, Kelly, Ford, Sayres, White, Noble, Spencer, Mattison, Ford, Giddings, Trumbull, Ayres, McElroy, Spier, Coleman, Hitchcock, Morris, Frazier, Wade, Gregg, Dunn, Lytle, Squires, Harrower, Carhart, Loomis, Morehouse, Wicker, and the present pastor, William H. Washburn.

The present class-leaders are J.H. Prine, E.A. Morehouse, Nelson Shouts, Nelson Wood, Henry G. Edmunds, S.B. Howland, J.B. Orcott; stewards, S.B. Howland, D.S. Douglass, Lewis Howland, J. Cleveland, S.H. Clemens, C.E. Dillingham, and W. Mayhew; superintendent of Sunday-school, Lewis Howland.

The society have a convenient church, about on the site of the old chapel.

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

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF MECHANICVILLE.

This society originally consisted of a few members of Presbyterian sentiments, worshiping in union with the Congregational church of Stillwater, located at the "yellow meeting-house." The present convenient church edifice was erected in 1854. The united organization continued down to 1871, and the names of the ministers preaching here will be found in the account of the old Congregational church of Stillwater. At the time of the separation, in 1871, Rev. Mr. Beman was pastor. He was followed, in 1872, by Rev. Charles D. Flagler, the present pastor. The present elders are William H. Sherman, Abram Van Veghten, George Lape, William H. Stevenson, Cyrus Gilbert, and George H. Flagler; clerk of sessions, William H. Sherman; clerk of the society, and also of the board of trustees, Charles A. Hemstreet.

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

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH OF MECHANICVILLE (CATHOLIC).

Before any organized Catholic society existed here services were held by Rev. Father Coyle, who made missionary journeys up and down the valley, and was instrumental in founding several churches and erecting several edifices. He was succeeded by the Rev. Father Farley. Mechanicville services were first held in the barn of Mr. Short, near the present church premises. The society was formed in 1845. The church edifice was erected about 1852, and cost approximately $10,000. The pastoral residence, with about four acres of orchard, a fine place, was secured at a cost of from $5000 to $6000.

The successive pastors of the church have been Rev. Lewis M. Edge, Rev. James D. Durragh, Rev. Philip Izzo, and the Rev. T.A. Field, present incumbent; all 0f the Augustinian order.

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

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF HALF-MOON, LOCATED AT MIDDLETOWN.

This society, organized about 1835, is a branch, or more properly, perhaps, one of the successors, of the old church at Newtown, two and a half miles west of Mechanicville. That house was taken down, and no church exists there at the present time. The first pastor of the society at Middletown was Elisha D. Hubbell, and the first clerk Chauncey Boughton. The first deacons Clark Noxon, N.G. Philo, Zebulon Mott, Chauncey Cowles. The successive ministers have been Elder A.H. Palmer, called April 3O, 1836; D.A. Parmalee, May 20, 1837; G.J. Stockwell, June 6, 1846; G.C. Tripp, April, 1848; J.D. Greene, 1851; Elijah Lucas, 1853; B.F. Garfield, Sept. 17, 1855; M. Day, May, 1856; E.P. Weed, June 5, 1858; S.N. Barlow, Nov. 3, 1860; F.S. Parke, Nov. 3, 1866; R.R. Davies, April, 1868; G.S.C. Hanna, November, 1875.

The house of worship was built in 1834-35, and dedicated in 1835. It will seat about three hundred persons. A Sunday-school has existed from the organization of the church to the present time. The following are the present officers of the church: deacons, B.S. Cowles, Luther Gates, Wm. Fowler, John W. Filkins, and Stephen Morse; trustees, Alexander Button, Sanford Cowles, Abram Sickler; clerk, E.H. Philo; treasurer, Luther Gates. The number of communicants is one hundred and twenty. Superintendent of Sunday-school, E.H. Philo; assistants, Irving Button and Sanford Cowles. The attendance is one hundred to one hundred and twenty; volumes in library, four hundred.

The members from 1835 to 1840 were the following: Rev. E.D. Hubble, N.G. Philo, Chauncey Cowles, Clark Noxon, Silas Morse, Platt Mitchel, Peter Swartwout, Samuel Runfuss, John Swartwout, Elijah Brown, Peter House, Luther Benedict, Cornelius Teachout, John Smith, Joseph Harris, Daniel Forbes, Lewis Mills, Elisha F. Calkins, Zebulon Mott, Lewis Hawley, John Nestle, Adams Philo, Daniel J. Van Olinda, John Smith, Luther Gates, Nicholas Emigh, Mathew Groff, Zacheas Woodin, Wm. Shattuck, Porter Runsom, Alfred Noxon, Andrew Taylor, Isaac Calkins, Stephen Benedict, Stephen Morse, Stephen Smith, Wm. Toll, John Miller, Elbert Vanwort, Isaac West, George Welch, Wm. Gates, Richard Swartwout, Wm. R. Craver, J. Woodruff, Thomas Sayles, Philip Irish, Egbert Noxon, Depew Swartwout, Gilbert Smith, George Taylor, P. Holbrook, Lewis Mills, Chauncey Boughton, Andrew Shears, John Van Olinda, Abram Kipp, Peter Steenburgh, William Oakley, Abram Sickler, G.G.I. Lansing, John Mott, Westle Woodin, B.S. Cowles, Richard Vale, Albert H. Vandewerker, Joseph Beach, Silas Morse, Minor Morse, Lucius Ransom, Simeon Rupler, Peter Filkins, Philip House, Henry Clapper, Raleigh Grey, Peter Sanford, Jacob Lansing, Isaac Benedict, Elisha Welch, Benjamin Cowles, Isaac Lansing, Eli Benedict, Christopher Snyder, Charles Cooper, Henry Woodard, Samuel Irish, Reuben Irish, Charles Calkins, Elisha Smith, Thomas Platt, Cornelius Hawley, William Kidney, John Ports.

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

THE REFORMED PROTESTANT DUTCH CHURCH OF MIDDLETOWN

was incorporated November 14, 1791. The elders and deacons mentioned in the certificate were John C. Connell, William Ash, Abraham I. Ouderkirk, and Francis Still, and the paper was acknowledged before Jeremiah Lansing, and witnessed by John Bassett. We have no other record of this society, and it has no existence at the present time.

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

CRESCENT METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

{By. Rev. B.M. Hall}

At a meeting held at Crescent in 1852, by the members and friends of the Methodist Episcopal church, it was resolved to elect a board of trustees for the purpose of procuring subscriptions and erecting a house of worship for said church, and the following-named persons were so elected: William Carey, John B. Schermerhorn, Silas H. Sweetland, Seymour Birch, and Nathan F. Philo. S.H. Sweetland was chosen secretary and treasurer. A committee was also appointed to select a site on which to erect the house, and Hiram Morse, Alfred Noxon, K.R. Kennedy, S.H. Sweetland, and J.B. Schermerhorn were so appointed.

At the next meeting, July 20, the work of the committee last named was approved, and proposals from builders being received, the contract for the carpenter work was given to James Schouton, and the mason work to Hiram Mosher.

The building was erected in due time and accepted. It is a brick edifice forty by sixty feet, of good height, and standing firm until now. The house was dedicated to the worship of God in the winter of 1853, by Rev. Bishop Janes, who preached an able sermon, and Rev. Stephen D. Brown preached in the evening of the same day. The following-named persons composed the first board of stewards: John Dunsback, Nathan F. Philo, Isaac Hicks, S.H. Sweetland, and J.B. Schermerhorn. The house of worship has been kept in good repair and well and finely frescoed a few years since, and is now held to be worth $6000.

From 1852 to 1859 Crescent stood alone as a pastoral charge, and the ministers who served the church in turn were Tobias Spicer, John Bannard, Daniel Marvin, W.W. Pierce, Ira G. Bidwell, and John Newman. The first of these was a retired clergyman, and served only from the organization of the church in the winter to the session of the conference in June, when Mr. Bannard served the church well, but at nearly the end of the year he was prostrated by sickness, and died while the annual conference was in session, in May, 1854, aged thirty-four years. He was greatly beloved, and gave promise of great usefulness to the church. Rev. W.W. Pierce remained but part of a year, when he chose to remove to the west, and Mr. Marvin served during the remainder of the year. Revs. Bidwell and Newman were connected with Union College, and gave but a part of each week to the pastoral work.

In 1858 Crescent was united to Half-Moon circuit, and Rev. S.W. Brown became the pastor. He was followed by S.W. Clemans, A.C. Rose, R. Fox, H.W. Slocum, J.B. Wood, B.M. Hall, G.C. Thomas, Bennett Eaton, R. Patterson, J.B. Searles, and D. Starks, who has just begun his service.

In the spring of 1865 Crescent was disconnected, and became once more a distinct pastoral charge in connection with an appointment two miles farther west, since which time the last six persons named above have been its pastors. Mr. Eaton closed his very useful life near the close of his first year in this place, aged sixty-four years. He left two sons in connection with the Troy conference, who are walking in his footsteps and doing good work for the Master.

The time of the organization of the Sunday-school cannot be given, but it was, at least, as early as the erection of the house of worship. It has been in operation ever since, and doing a good work, summer and winter. The officiary and statistics are as follows: officers and teachers, 16; scholars, 104; volumes in library, 150; music books, 150; Bibles and Testaments, 95; value of books, $125.

Names of Officers. - James H. Clark, superintendent; Warren Caswell, assistant superintendent; Mrs. Rachel Potts, lady superintendent; E.L. Haight, secretary; J.H. Clark, treasurer; Jas. A. Knight, librarian; Miss Carrie Lansing, organist.

The present officers of the church are H. Cady, H. Dummer, F. Taylor, Charles Dutcher, J.H. Clark, P. Potts, A. Clute, and W. Caswell, trustees; H. Cady, F. Taylor, L.K. Harvey, J.H. Clark, Philip Potts, and W. Caswell, stewards.

There is a small brick church two miles west of Crescent, in which there is service every Sabbath afternoon, and a Sunday-school, except in winter. This place constitutes a part of the one pastoral charge, and for the whole field there is one pastor, Rev. Dr. Starks, and five class-leaders, N.F. Philo, J.B. Morrill, John I. Craver, H. Scouton, and S.M. Devoe. In these classes there are one hundred and fifty members, some of whom were the founders of the church in this place. One of these veterans is the venerable John Dunsback, ninety-one years old. He was long a member of the Methodist Episcopal church before coming to this place. N.F. Philo, another of the founders, is yet here, and is a veteran class-leader.

Crescent is situated in the town of Half-Moon, on the Mohawk river and Erie canal, - this last-named highway of commerce crosses the river at this place; and while we remember that it has never been a Sabbath-keeper, and that many of the citizens spend a large portion of each year upon it, and that many groceries on its borders are open seven days in the week, it is to the credit of the church that it can make se good a report.

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METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH AT SMITHTOWN.

This society is one of modern growth, occupying somewhat the ground formerly held by the ancient Baptist church. They have a neat chapel, standing some distance south of the Corners, formerly known as Newtown. The church is comparatively of recent origin.

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SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH OF HALF-MOON.

This society is located at Clifton village; the one at Middletown and this are successors of the old Newtown church that was dissolved some years ago. That old church had its house of worship at the four corners by the cemetery, near the present residence of John Baker. Clifton Park village was an out-station, at which preaching was established for some time before the formation of a society by the pastors of the First Baptist church of Clifton Park, and under the labors of Elder F.S. Parke, assisted by Elder Parmalee, the movement developed into a new society in 1841. The early members of this congregation have been Elders Parks, Parmalee, Grant, Green, Capron, Stockwell, Keach, Greene.

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A FRIENDS' MEETING

was established very early about three miles southwest of Mechanicville, - in the neighborhood of Smith, Dillingham, and Badgely. The society probably reached back towards the Revolution. The meeting-house itself was a venerable building.

Meetings were discontinued about 1850. The few Friends left in that neighborhood after that went to meeting at Quaker Springs and elsewhere. The building stood some years later. Among the old families of Friends were the Kirbys, Dillinghams, and Careys.

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A METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH

is located at Coon's Crossing, in the northwest part of the town. Their house of worship has been located there about twenty years. Earlier than that it was farther west, near Usher's mills, and was known as the McKean church, being the home of that pioneer Methodist, Rev. Samuel McKean, and the place of his labor for many years. Methodist work there perhaps dates hack to nearly 1800.

The church is understood to be a distinct society, but preaching is supplied by pastors from Mechanicville.

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VIII. - BURIAL-PLACES.

The cemetery at Mechanicville is on a bluff commanding extensive views of the valley and the river. There is placed the monument to Colonel Ellsworth, whose name and heroic deeds are forever associated with the capture of the first rebel flag in the great civil war. Indeed, Mechanicville itself is better known throughout the Union as the burial-place of the brave young colonel than for any other reason. His parents reside there, and the horse the colonel rode, tenderly cared for, is still occasionally driven upon the streets of the village.

Southwest of Mechanicville, near the residence of A.D. Hart, is the old burial-ground connected with the original Newtown church. Many of the pioneer families are buried there.

The cemeteries at Clifton Park village are within the town of Half-Moon, and are also very old. In the northwest part of the town, near the place of A.R. Lindsley, there is a burying-ground. For the south part of the town the cemetery at Middletown ia the principal one. In several other places in the town are small family burial-places.

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IX. - SOCIETIES.

A lodge of the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, known as Mechanicville North Star Lodge, No. 174, was organized Sept. 4, 1845; James Lee, N.G.; John W. Cornell, V.G. The lodge continued to work about ten years. Their rooms were in the triangular building of Mr. Elmer, in the north part of the village.

A division of the Sons of Temperance existed at Mechanicville about thirty years ago. It had a flourishing existence for some years. Its hall was the present room occupied by the Temperance Reform Club. In later times, 1866, a division was organized with E.O. Howland, W.P.; Dr. F.K. Lee, W.A.; George R. Moore, Secretary; and J.F. Terry, Conductor. It continued until Feb. 25, 1869, when the charter was surrendered, and a Good Templars' lodge organized the same evening, - Union Lodge, No. 836. The first officers were J.F. Terry, W.C.T.; Miss Satie Shonts, W.V.T.; E.W. Simmons, W.R.S.; J.D. Terry, W.A.R.S.; James McBurney, W.F.S.; Miss Ruth Hobbs, W.T.; John Rice, W.M.; Miss E. Wheeler, W.G.; Joseph Layland, W.S.; E.C. Chase, P.W.C.T.; F. K. Lee, W.C.; Miss Nannie Lockwood, R.H.S.; Miss Rosalie Doty, L.H.S. This society only continued about a year.

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X. - PLACES OF HISTORIC INTEREST.

Under this head there is nothing special to be mentioned except certain items that are embodied in the notices of early settlement. The ancient ferries, the old roads described in the county history, and the stone house above Crescent, constitute about all there is of importance. The American army, of course, crossed and recrossed this territory in its movements during the Burgoyne campaign of 1777; but there are no traditions of skirmishes or encampments during that year, though there must have been many such in the earlier colonial period. This town is in the lower portion of the triangle, where Indian trails and the routes of early French provincial armies must have converged and crossed either the Mohawk or the Hudson, or both.

On the Leland farm it is said that there was a family massacred by the Canadians and Indians in 1748. The next year a house was built on the same farm, and is still standing. The boards for the inside work were split and hewn from the bodies of pine-trees. The farm is better known, perhaps, as the old Ten Broeck place. A short distance south of this is a barn built in 1737. A Scotch-man, who bought the farm in 1820, writes of it: "I am informed that there was once a good well a little southwest of the house, but that it was filled up by a Dutch family, on account of its being inhabited by the ghost of a woman without a head."

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XI. - INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS.

The general occupation of the people is agriculture. The town has some very valuable productive farms, not only on the alluvial fiats along the river, but on the uplands. Only a small portion of the town can be called sandy and poor. Brick-making has been carried on to some extent south of Mechanicville, a good quality of clay being found there. Industrial enterprises at Mechanicville have already been mentioned. Considerable moulding-sand is shipped from the southwest part of the town.

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XII. - MILITARY.

For the correction of the soldiers' list for the war of 1861-65 we are under obligations to James H. Clark, of Middletown, whose own brave record, as well as his acquaintance with the men from this town, eminently fit him to prepare the roll.

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WAR OF 1812.

The following are known to have been in that war from Half-Moon: Lieutenant-Colonel Shubael Taylor, Gilbert Williams, Samuel Coon: Oliver Waite, Genung A. Robinson, Elijah Brown, Peter Van Santford, Isaac M. Devoe, William Smith, James Houghtaling, Ezra Crittenden, John Potts, Jeremiah Francisco, German Van Voorhees, Henry Soper, Esau Wilson, Thomas Follett.

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WAR OF 1861-65.

Oscar L. Ackley, enl. July 22, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; killed at Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20, 1864.

Judson B. Andrews, enl. Oct. 12, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F; capt.; not mustered; resigned July 16, 1862.

John M. Brewer, enl. July 81, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Joseph H. Bullock, enl. Aug. 6, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Charles H. Betts, enl. Aug. 5, 1862, 115th Regt., Go. H.

Ebenezer C. Broughton, enl. Aug. 5, 1862, 115th Regt., C9. H.

Augustus W. Bayard, enl. Aug. 5, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; served out time; died at home.

George E. Brockway, enl. Aug. 5, 1862, 115th Regt., Go. H.

George W. Bortle, enl. Oct. 21, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

Charles Burnham, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. C; pro. corp., March 3, 1863; killed in battle, May 6, 1864.

Rev. Fred. N. Barlow, enl. Aug. 26, 1862, Co. H, 115th N.Y. Vols.; Pastor Baptist church, Half-Moon; com. 1st lieut.; resigned.

James H. Clark, enl. July 26, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; 1st sergt.; pro. 2d lieut., Feb. 6, 1863; pro. 1st lieut., April 22, 1864; disch. Nov. 30, 1804; wounded in right side at Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20, 1864; pro. brevet capt. Dec. 11, 1865.

George D. Cole, enl. Aug. 9, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; five desperate wounds and legs shattered at Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20, 1864; captured and sent to Andersonville, and lived to get home - a wonder to all.

Sylvester W. Clemens, enl. Aug. 18, 1822, 115th Regt., Co. H; pro. to chaplain; served through; the only chaplain the regiment ever had; was pastor of M.E. church, Crescent circuit, when enlisted.

Wm. S. Clemens, enl. July 25, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; wounded once.

George Carr, enl. Aug. 8, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Henry G. Craig, enl. Feb. 16, 1862, 77th Regt., Co. F; trams, to Vet. Battalion, 77th.

Simeon W. Crosby, enl. Oct. 8, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. H.

Henry Clark, enl. Aug. 1862; musician, Co. H, 115th Reg., N.Y. Vols.; served time.

Aaron Dillingham, enl. Aug. 6, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; died of chronic diarrhœa at U.S. Gen. Hospital, Fortress Monroe, Va., Feb. 18, 1865.

Thomas Donahue, enl. July 23, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; served time.

Charles W. Dusten, enl. Jan. 15, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

Henry B. Dummer, enl. Aug. 5, 1862, 115th N.Y. Vols., Co. H; wounded; served time.

Thomas Empterns, enl. Oct. 7, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

William H. Evartts, Co. H, 115th N.Y. Vols.; died at home, fall of 1862, from sickness contracted in the army.

John W. Filkins, enl. July 23, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; sergt.; pro. 2d lieut., April 22, 1864; wounded at Petersburg; discharged latter part of 1864.

Ambrose Fowler, enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; sergt.

Peter F Imsbee, enl. July 31, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

E. Raymond Fonda, enl. July 21, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; pro. to sergt.-major; mortally wounded at Chesterfield Heights, Va., May 7, 1864; died in hospital, New York city.

Abram Filkins, enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Losee Filkins, enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; wounded in battle.

George Freeman, enl. July 14, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Isaac L. Fonda, enl. in some cavalry regiment early in the war; re-enl. twice afterward.

Alfred Gould, enl. July 21, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; sergt.; served twice.

Fred. S. Goodrich, enl. July 31, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; pro. to 2d lieut. in 33d U.S. Cav. Regt., June 7, 1865.

Wm. H. Gorham, enl. July 21, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; served out time.

Edward Greene, enl. Feb. 4, 1864, 25th Cav., Co. C.

Henry Haylock, enl. Aug. 13, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; corporal.

George T. Hoag, enl. Aug. 8, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; corporal; pro. to 2d lieut., April 29, 1865.

George A. Houghtaling, enl. July 24, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

James K.P. Himes, enl. July 22, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.; killed in battle at Deep Bottom, Va., Aug. 16.

James H. Hicks, enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; died in New York city, Jan. 1864, dis. con. in army.

John Hoover, enl. Feb. 4, 1864, 25th Cav., Co. C.

Henry Honeyer, enl. Feb. 2, 1864, 13th Art., Co. E.

Edward Holland, enl. Sept. 27, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F; wounded, May 10, 1864.

Isaac V. Irish, enl. Aug. 13, 1862, 115th Regt.; lost one eye; served time.

John Irish, U.S. Regulars.

Patrick Kelly, enl. Aug. 9, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

James T. Kennedy, enl. Feb. 4, 1864, 25th Cav., Co. C.

George Killmer, enl. Jan. 7, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

John Kelly, enl. 1861, in 67th N.Y.; re-enl., and killed June 4, 1864, in front of Petersburg, Va., by a sharpshooter of the enemy.

Aaron Lewis, enl. Nov. 6, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F; disch. for disability, Feb. 4, 1863.

William B. Look, enl. July 23, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Philip Link, enl. Aug. 7, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; killed In battle at Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20, 1864.

Abbott C. Musgrave, enl. Aug. 21, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; corporal; killed in battle at Deep Bottom, Va., Aug. 16, 1864, while bearing regimental battle-flag.

John Mulligan, enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Charles H. Milliken, enl. Aug. 4, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; killed in battle at Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20, 1864.

Leander Milliken, enl. Oct. 21, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

John McGuire, enl. Dec. 11, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

Alfred G. Noxon, Co. H, 115th Regt., N.Y. Vols.; 2d lieut.; pro. to 1st lieut.; resigned 1863.

S. Mitchell Noxon, commissioned a lieutenant in a western regiment.

Alfred Phœnix, enl. Aug, 5, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; weeded in battle at Olustee, Fla.

George W. Pettit, enl. Oct. 12, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F; disch. Oct. 21, 1862.

Hiram Richardson, enl. Aug. 5, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; died at Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill. Nov. 8, 1862.

Wm. Ryan, enl. Feb. 13, 1864, 25th Cav., Co. B.

Frank Short, enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 77th Regt., Co. K, trans. to Vet. Bat., 77th Regt.

Wm. Smith, enl. Aug. 6, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; killed in battle at Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20, 1864.

Henry Sampson, enl. Aug. 7, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Marvin Steenburgh, enl. Aug. 5, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; served time.

Henry Shouts, enl. July 23, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Andrew H. Smith, enl. July 22, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; served time.

John P. Silvernall, enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Duane Shepherd, enl. Aug. 4, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; died in Waterford, N.Y., summer of 1863.

Almon E. Stone, enl. Aug. 4, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; wounded in battles at Petersburg and Fort Fisher, N.C.

Jacob Sever, enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Dewitt Sickler, enl. July 18, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Samuel W. Seymour, enl. Aug. 9, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; trans. to Battery B, 1st U.S. Artillery.

Samuel D. Stevenson, enl. Feb. 3, 1864, 2d lieut.; captain; mustered out with regiment, Aug. 10, 1865.

John Smith, enl. Oct. 12, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

Solomon P. Smith, Capt. Co. H, 115th Regt.; breveted lieut.-colonel for gallant service in the field; lost an arm at Deep Bottom, Virginia.

Chalsey W. Simmons, 77th Regt.; instantly killed while sleeping in front of a tree, at Petersburg, in summer of 1864.

Frank Smith.

Benjamin Thackrah, enl. Aug. 5, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; wounded at Cemetery Hill, Va., July 30, 1864.

Elias D. Tuttle, enl. Feb. 4, 1864, 25th Cav. Co. C.

Thomas Thackeray, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

George Vandercook, enl. Aug. 5, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; corporal; lost an arm in battle at Deep Bottom, Va., Aug. 16, 1864.

Warren Van Olinda, enl. Aug. 6, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; musician.

George T. Van Hoesen, enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; wounded in two engagements; served time.

Van Dervort, capt. U.S. Colored Regt.

James Wilson, enl. July 30, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; killed in battle at Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20, 1864.

John R. Walt, enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; pro. sergeant; wounded at Fort Fisher, N.C.

Samuel A. Winslow, enl. Feb. 4, 1862, 25th Cav., Co. C.

James Wade, enl. Feb. 8, 1864, 13th Art., Co. E.

Albert Wooden, enl. Jan. 3, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

COLONEL E.E. ELLSWORTH.

 

Portrait of Col. E.E. Ellsworth

 

It is difficult in the brief space allotted to this sketch to write the life of one whose every deed and word has been treasured by a sorrowing nation as a sacred memento. His life was short, but full of grand meaning and significance; his death was tragic and untimely.

Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth was born in the town of Malta, Saratoga County, eight miles west of the little village of Mechanicville, on the left bank of the Hudson, April 11, 1837. His boyhood days were spent amidst scenes rendered classical in American annals by reminiscences of the Revolution, the decisive battle of Saratoga, and the surrender of Burgoyne, - scenes often related to him at the fireside, the spirit and import of which he had a peculiar genius for receiving, and which, no doubt, exerted a powerful influence upon his after-life. We find young Ellsworth, as a school-boy, receiving his first lessons at the district school. He loves books; but, most of all, those which tell the story of wars, and the lives and deeds of men great in arms. He has a genius for drawing and sketching, but military figures, generals, and armies appear upon his canvas or start from his crayon or brush. As an illustration of this proclivity for military matters, even in early childhood, it may be stated that his mother has preserved an old fragment of a window-shade which he painted when only nine years old with common wagon-paint, - General Washington and staff is portrayed on one side, and General Jackson and staff on the other. He became, afterwards, a rapid and accurate sketcher.

Passing over his experience as a clerk at Mechanicville and in the city of Troy, we find him, in 1853, with "a purpose high and strong" to seek his fortune in the metropolis of the nation. He writes, asking his father's consent, "I believe that faithful, honest clerks are wanted there, and that one who knows his duty and will do it cannot fail to succeed," - a statement showing that, young as he was, he had remarkably mature and just ideas of the principles which should govern a young man seeking success in life. These principles became as strong and ruling in him as his military ardor. Daring the year which he spent in New York he attended every drill of the Seventh Regiment which it was possible for him to attend, read books of tactics, and first felt the breaking light of those ideas of his regarding military organization which afterwards came to such splendid fruition. Through all his struggles for place and position in the mercantile world, which followed for several years, this ruling idea was uppermost. Under the tuition of an accomplished swords-man - De Villiers - he became master of the several systems of tactics and of the use of the sword and bayonet.

He was quite young when he went to Chicago, and associated himself in business with Arthur F. Devereaux, of Massachusetts. Through the treachery of one in whom they reposed great confidence, they suffered severe loss, and were obliged to close their business. Ellsworth then sought the law. His first application, written to one of the leading attorneys, for some cause was rejected; but he persevered, and finally completed his studies with Mr. Lincoln, at Springfield, Illinois, and was admitted to the bar, about three weeks before he became the escort of the President-elect to Washington, in the spring of 1861.

On the 4th of May, 1859, he had organized the United States Zouave Cadets, at Chicago, - the organization which first gave his name to the world. The march of this celebrated regiment through the principal cities of the Union, in 1860, and the military enthusiasm it awakened, are well known. During the presidential Campaign of 1860 he made many eloquent and earnest speeches for his party, reminding all who heard him of the early and palmy days of Stephen A. Douglas. To the Legislature of Illinois, that winter, he submitted a bill embodying his idea of militia reform, but no progress was made with it before that body.

The life-long friendship between him and Mr. Lincoln sprang up during the days when Ellsworth was a law student in the office at Springfield. Mr. Lincoln intended that he should be chief clerk of the war department, to which place he was recommended by letters from many leading men.

The central idea of his short life was the thorough reorganization of the militia of the United States, and he had drawn up a complete and systematic plan for the accomplishment of that object. He desired a place in the war department in order that he might effect the reform he had planned. In March, 1861, President Lincoln wrote a letter to the secretary of war, instructing that officer to detail Colonel Ellsworth to the "special duty of adjutant and inspector-general of militia affairs for the United States." The letter was never officially transmitted, on account of the jealousy of the officers of the regular army.

While Ellsworth was lying sick at Washington the cloud of war broke upon the country. He was aroused by the shock, and his ill health vanished. In a few days he was in New York, proceeding thither without assistance or authority. Organizing the First New York Zouaves, he was speedily back in Washington, with his men mustered into the service for the war. After a few days of drill and discipline they were ordered to cross into Virginia and co-operate in the attack on Alexandria. On the 24th of May, 1861, while descending with a rebel flag which had been flaunting treason from a house which had once sheltered Washington, he was shot by the owner of the house. A Union soldier, almost in the same instant, shot the assassin. Two lives thus went out into eternity, but how different the memory of each! One was the hero and martyr, dying for human liberty, to be forever enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen; the other dying the death of the traitor, to be remembered only with infamy.

Words can pay no fonder tribute than those from the pen of the sainted Lincoln, written to the father and mother of Ellsworth:

"In the untimely loss of your noble son, our affliction here is scarcely less than your own. So much of promised usefulness to our country, and of bright hopes for oneself and friends, have rarely been so suddenly darkened as in his fall. In size, in years, in youthful appearance, a boy only, his power to command men was surprisingly great. This power, combined with fine intellect and indomitable energy, and a taste altogether military, constituted in him, as seemed to me, the best natural talent in that department I ever knew."

The personal appearance of Colonel Ellsworth at the time he organised the United States Zouave Cadets is thus described:

"At this time he was the picture of a soldier. His form, though slight, was of the size of the elder Napoleon; the head poised like that of a statue, covered by curling black hair; dark eyes, bright and serene; a nose like that you see on Roman medals; a slight moustache, just shading the lips that were continually curving into sunny smiles. His voice deep, but musical; his address soldierly, sincere, and courteous; his dress tasty and faultless; the fascination to gather friends and keep them; a cavalier of the days of romance, stainless, loyal, and brave."

In military matters he was a strict disciplinarian, especially in keeping up the moral tone of his men, prohibiting, under pain of dismissal, all intemperance and profligacy.

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CAPTAIN EPHRAIM D. ELLSWORTH.

 

Portrait of E.D. Ellsworth

 

The Ellsworth ancestors came from England. George, the grandfather of Ephraim D. Ellsworth, was a resident of Half-Moon, Saratoga County, before the Revolution. When Burgoyne invaded the territory he joined the Continental army, at the age of fifteen, and was in the battle of Bemus Heights, and at the surrender of Burgoyne, after that decided victory. He married Sarah Reynolds, a native of Rhode Island, and had fourteen children.

Ephraim D. Ellsworth, his son, and father of Colonel Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth, was born in the town of Half-Moon, Saratoga County, May 22, 1809. Previous to his nineteenth year he learned the tailor's trade in Waterford, and afterwards worked at it in Troy, and in Jonesville, in this county. In 1836 he married Phebe Denton, of Malta, and located for the prosecution of his trade at Mechanicville, where he has resided ever since, except an absence of about ten years, employed in the government service.

On the 16th of November, 1861, he was commissioned, by President Lincoln, captain in the ordnance department, and assigned to duty at Fortress Monroe. This position, however, he soon resigned, and was assigned to the charge of the Champlain arsenal, at Vergennes, Vt., where he remained about ten years, returning to his home in this county in the fall of 1871.

At the time of the Fenian raid he rendered prompt and efficient aid to the governor of Vermont by issuing arms and ammunition. By an accident, which happened to him at that time, he was disabled. The government has justly renewed his leave of absence from year to year, continuing his salary without requiring of him active service.

Captain Ellsworth had one other son besides Elmer, who died in Chicago, quite young.

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REV. F.S. PARKE.

 

Portrait of Rev. F.S. Parke

 

The life of the Rev. F.S. Parke is an apt illustration of the trials, privations, and hardships that have characterised the early lives of many of our most successful ministers.

Born at the town of Hancock, Berkshire Co., Mass., on Aug. 24, 1807, of pious, God-fearing parents, he early realized the blessings of religion and adopted a religious life. Brought up in the Presbyterian faith, he was at first inclined to unite with that body, but on the 3d day of June, 1827, he was baptized into the fellowship of the Baptist church at Egremont, Mass., by the Rev. Enos Marshall. The church to which he joined himself, feeling that he had especial gifts which called him to preach the gospel, recommended him to adopt the profession of the ministry, and on the first Saturday in November; 1830, voted him a license to preach. He immediately entered upon the work.

On Nov. 10, 1831, he was ordained in accordance with the regular forms of the church as pastor of the Baptist church at Hancock, Mass. On Dec. 7, same year, he removed, with his invalid wife, to that place, and entered upon the active duties of his pastorate. His salary was but $200 a year, $50 of which went for rent and fuel, leaving the meagre balance to sustain himself, wife, and servant for a whole year. As a consequence, his life was a hard one, and his trials many. His entire capital at this time consisted of this salary and about fifty dollars' worth of books and clothing, - a striking contrast to the lives of the young members of the clerical profession of the present day. Yet amid all these privations Mr. Parke continued faithfully to discharge his duties, relying upon Providence for grace to sustain and guide him in the darkest hours.

The second pastorate of Mr. Parke was at Nassau, N.Y., where he had charge of the First Baptist church, at an annual salary of $250. He assumed the charge on April 1, 1833, and continued pastor for two years.

His third pastorate was at West Troy, N. Y., where he remained as pastor of the Baptist church for four years. He entered upon the discharge of his duties in May, 1835, at a salary of $400. Here the clouds of adversity that had hitherto overshadowed his life began to dissolve, and the years passed at West Troy were years of peaceful, calm enjoyment. In 1836 fifty persons were added to his church. He also supplied three stations from here, the one at Cohoes being in a prosperous condition, and the seed from which grew the present influential church at that place.

In September, 1839, Mr. Parke received and accepted a call to become the pastor of the Baptist church at Clifton Park. This was a large and flourishing church. Elder Abijah Peck, who was the founder of this church, was as yet its acknowledged pastor. With this church Mr. Parke remained for eleven years, enjoying at times the special tokens of divine favor. He also preached in many school-houses in the vicinity.

On the 1st day of May, 1866, Mr. Parke took charge of the Second Baptist church of Half-Moon, where he labored for eleven years to this date, May, 1878, at the same time having charge of the First Baptist church of the same place for three consecutive years. He is still at the same place.

Mr. Parke has been a member of the Baptist church for fifty-one years; he has been an ordained minister for forty-seven years; he has lived and labored in the county of Saratoga twenty-seven years, being pastor of five of its churches; he has been a member of the Saratoga Baptist Association thirty-three years, and has preached in every Baptist meeting-house in the county.

He has been three times married; his first wife living but seven years after marriage, his second for twenty, and his third is still living. All were excellent women and successful pastor's wives. He has four children now living.

Residence of Frank Pruyn, Mechanicville

Residence of Reinhold Werner (with portrait)

Residence of Peter Woodin (with portraits)

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Transcribed from the original text and html prepared by Bill Carr, last updated 2/7/00.

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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