HISTORY OF

SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK.

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

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HISTORY OF THE VILLAGES AND TOWNS OF SARATOGA COUNTY.

CLIFTON PARK.

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I. - GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION.

Clifton Park occupies a central position upon the southern border of the county. It is bounded north by Ballston and Malta, east by Half-Moon, south by the Mohawk river, west by the county of Schenectady and the town of Ballston. The southern portion of the town is fifteen miles from Ballston Spa, the county-seat, and about the same distance from Albany. It is the fifth town in the county in respect to area, containing forty-seven square miles. It has a river front of nearly or quite nine miles. This town comprises the Apple patent and the Clifton Park patent. The history, location, and boundaries of these patents are sufficiently given in the general portion of this history. The Apple patent is in the west part of the town, the Clifton Park in the east, There is also included the Niskayuna patent, bounded south by the Mohawk, east by the Mudder Kill, west by the Steena Kill, and extending back from the Mohawk one mile, comprising about three miles of river front.

In the revised statutes of the State this town is described and its boundary lines defined as follows:

"The town of Clifton shall contain all that part of said county bounded northerly by Ballston and Malta, easterly by Half Moon, southerly and westerly by the bounds of the county."

The town includes 23, 159 acres of improved land, 4000 acres of unimproved, and of this last amount 3778 acres are woodland. The population in 1875 was 2495.

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II. - NATURAL FEATURES.

The surface is level - is undulating, except in the northeast part, where it is broken by sand-hills and ravines. A line of rugged clay bluffs borders upon the Mohawk valley. Above the bluffs there is a belt of gravelly loam and heavy clay. There are several creeks in the town, the waters of some reaching the Hudson through Anthony's Kill, and others flowing to the valley of the Mohawk. The watershed line between the two sets of streams passes irregularly from east to west, across the southern half of the town. Two small rivulets flow into the southern extremity of Ballston lake. The largest southern affluent of Anthony's Kill has two small branches in Clifton Park, known as Long Kill and Covley Kill. There are five streams that flow to the Mohawk, the largest uniting at Vischer's ferry.

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III. - EARLY SETTLEMENT.

As early as the 4th of March, 1669, only seven years after the settlement of Schenectady by Arendt Van Curler and his associates, at the great flats on the Mohawk, it is recorded that Pieter Danieke Van Olinda sells "his certain great island" in the Mohawk; at Niskayuna, to three persons, viz., Jan Verbeck, Philip Pieter Schuyler, and Pieter Van Olinda. We also learn that on the 31st of October, 1677, Claes Janse Van Boeckhoven bought land over the river at Niskayuna. The parties selling were Harman Vedder and Barent Reyndertse Smit. Boeckhoven was united in the purchase with Ryck Claes Van Vranken. This shows the settlement of these four families (and, doubtless, there were others with them) to have been in Clifton Park, in the vicinity of Vischer's ferry, more than two hundred years ago. Claes Janse Van Boeckhoven's first wife was Volkertie Janse. His second wife was Catlynde De Vos, daughter of Andries De Vos, and widow of Arent Andriese Bradt.

The second marriage was about 1691. He died about the year 1712, leaving no children. The property passed to his wife, and after her death, in 1717, to her children.

The Mohawk valley attracted settlers at a very early day, and there are many evidences that even before 1667 an opening had been made in the forests of this town. Families, daring the dangers of frontier warfare, pushed away from Albany and Schenectady to find homes for themselves and their children on these broad and beautiful uplands. Very little can be obtained about this earliest settlement in the wilderness. Neither names nor dates can be verified so as to be sure of accuracy. The line of pioneer settlement, which can be traced back for a hundred years without much real difficulty, grows rapidly obscure beyond that point, and when it has lengthened to two hundred years names and dates and homesteads are generally lost in the dimness of the past. Then successful narration becomes possible only when old papers, deeds, wills, church books, and similar records can be made to tell the story of the olden days. Unless these can be obtained we ask in vain for the annals of early settlement, early hardships, early dangers, and early success. From the old maps it appears that the Niskayuna of ancient times was mostly on the north side of the Mohawk, and within the present limits of Clifton Park, perhaps including the western portion of Half-Moon. The points of settlement were undoubtedly Vischer's ferry, and down the river, including Fort's ferry. The old name for Niskayuna was Canastigonie. Upon an old map of 1773 this name appears just north of the southerly bend of the Mohawk, inclosing the present lower portion of Clifton Park. Saratoga, Half-Moon, and Niskayuna are the three points occupied by white men before 1700 in the county of Saratoga.

The census of Albany county for 1723 gives the following names for Canastigonie, and this is no doubt an accurate list of all the residents at Niskayuna one hundred and fifty-five years ago. There are twenty names, but several may have belonged to the same family, leaving it probable that there were thirteen or more families living there. Of these, some were no doubt on the south side of the river.

The spelling is peculiar, but it is easily seen that these are the ancestors of many of the present families residing in this section of country: John Quacumbus, John Ffoort, Jacob Pearse, Derrick Brat, Maes Rycksen, Evert Rycksen, Gerrit Rycksen, Nicholas Van Vranken, Lapion Canfort, Cornelius Christianse, Eldert Timonze, John Quackenboss, Jr., Peter Ouderkirk, Jacob Cluit, John Cluit, Frederick Cluit, Samuel Creeger, Derrick Takelsen, Mattias Boose Snor, Johannis Christianse.

With reference to these names, inquiries at Vischer's ferry seem to sustain the following statements, though the links connecting the traditions of the people with this ancient census-roll are not entirely clear:

Derrick Brat lived on the flats, about a mile below Amity, owning the present John Pearse place. The buildings were burned in an Indian raid. The men were away. The younger women escaped, but the aged grandmother perished either by the tomahawk or the flames. When last seen by those who fled, she is said to have been going down the cellar stairs with a quantity of silver money, the genuine "dollars of the fathers," and it was supposed she buried it there. In later years many parties dug the site of the old cellar over repeatedly, and some suppose the money was found and carried away by lucky adventurers. Others believe that, like most of the money-digging, the search revealed "nary a coin."

Jacob Pearse settled at Fort's ferry, - whether the one whose name is on the roll is a later proprietor is not certain. The pioneer homestead is still owned by a descendant of the same name. The building is very old, probably the oldest in town; the timbers in it are massive and justify the belief that it is very ancient.

Old people speak of the Rycksen homestead as the present Philip Warner place, or near it, The name Rycksen is said by some to be the same really as Van Vranken, yet they both appear upon the census-roll.

The name is variously spelled Quacumbus, Quackenboss, and Quackenbush, was known in the vicinity of Crescent (town of Half-Moon) at a very early date, and it is possible families may have been there of that name soon after 1700, as the old Vandenburg stone mansion at Dunsback's ferry bears date 1718, five years before the census referred to.

The families of Christianse are believed to have lived on the south side of the river, and also the Cluits.

Sebastian Cragier was a resident of Watervliet; whether connected to the Samuel Cragier of the census-roll of 1723, does not appear. He had four sons. One of them, Tunis, settled on the present Hegeman estate. His son, Garret Cragier, is the present landlord of the village hotel at Amity. We are indebted to him for many items in this account of Visher's ferry and vicinity.

Nicholas Fort settled at the ferry that has ever since borne his name before the Revolution. In what year is uncertain. Daniel Fort, mentioned in the census of 1723, may have been an ancestor, as the name Daniel appears in the subsequent Fort families at the ferry. The children of Nicholas Fort were John, who settled at the old homestead, now occupied by his son, Nicholas J. Abram also settled at the ferry adjoining the homestead, and his place is now owned by a son, Nanning V. Fort. Rachel, a daughter of Nicholas, senior, became Mrs. John E. Vischer, and is yet living at the age of eighty-seven. Maria married Francis Vischer, both settling in Clifton Park. The families of Fort are numerous on both sides of the river.

Nicholas Fort kept a public-house at the ferry in the time of the Revolution. When General Washington returned from his northern tour in the summer of 1783, having visited General Gordon in Ballston, he rode with his staff, joined by General Gordon, to Schenectady, and crossed the Mohawk at Fort's ferry. Nanning V. Fort states that he has himself heard his grandmother relate the incident. The general stopped a short time, and was then ferried over the river. Quite a number of the people had gathered around; and the old lady used to tell with animation how noble Washington looked as he stood up in the boat, one hand resting upon his horse, the other lifting his hat, returning the salutations of the people.

The homestead of Andries Van Vranken at a very early day was at Fort's ferry. He had one son, Garret Van Vranken. Samuel, a son of the latter, is yet living at an advanced age in the village of Amity. Garret Van Vranken was born in 1760, in the same house that he died in at the age of seventy-five. The name of Nicholas Van Vranken occurs upon the assessment roll thirty-seven years earlier than the birth of Garret, and the family at the present time understand that Andries, father of Garret, was himself born in this county, so that it is very probable that Nicholas was really the pioneer. There is also now living near Amity, Adam Van Vranken, the third in succession of the same name upon the same farm. The second Adam was a cousin of Garret. This would imply that Andries and the first Adam were brothers - and point to an earlier pioneer as their father - either the Nicholas mentioned or some other Van Vranken.

It is the opinion of Mr. Samuel Van Vranken before alluded to, that the following families were residents here nearly or quite as early as those already mentioned, from twenty to thirty years before the Revolution. The Davisons, a mile north of Fort's ferry. John Smith, a half-mile below. Thollheimer, two miles below; he was commonly known as Tall-hammer. Nicholas Vandenberg, in Half-Moon, near Dunsback's ferry. The Volweiders, two brothers, Abram and Jacob, below Fort's ferry, where Nicholas Clute now lives.

The pioneer of the Vischer family at the ferry of that name is regarded as Eldert, who died at the age of eighty-eight about forty years ago. He had two brothers; one of them, Nanning, also settled here. The third removed to central New York. Eldert was the proprietor of the ferry. It was first merely a skiff ferry; capable, however, of taking over a team. The apparatus for transportation consisted of two stout negroes and a heavy pair of oars. About 1817 or 1818, a large scow was built, and a rope drawn across the river. Garret Cragier remembers that great preparation was made and a large number of teams employed to draw the heavy timbers for the scow. Eldert Vischer's children were Nanning, who settled on the present place of Cornelius Hicks; Nicholas, also in Clifton Park; Garret, near the old homestead; Simon, on the turnpike to Waterford, below Middletown; John, in Clifton Park; Maria, who married Michael Weldon; Elizabeth, Cornelius Vandenburg; Alida, Rensselaer Jones.

The children of Nanning, brother of Eldert, were Nicholas, who settled at Groom's Corners; Francis, at the third gristmill on the Steina Kill; Alida, who married James Weldon; Catherine, Smiton Irish; Maria, C. Groat, of Watervliet; Esther, Abram Fort, of the ferry; Rachel, Peter Vandenburg, of the Boght across the river.

One of the three brothers, Nanning, it is understood was taken prisoner by the Indians while after the cows one night. He was in captivity two years. It should be added that men still living at Amity remember that Eldert used to say he was born under the big beams in the old ferry-house at Amity. This would indicate that the father of the three brothers was the first of the Vischers to settle at this point. It may be noticed, too, that John Vischer was a justice of the peace in 1770, and Nanning Vischer in 1772, and also in 1780.

Coming down to about the time of the Revolutionary war, we continue the sketch of early settlement. Chronological order may not be followed exactly, but the design is to present as near as may be a complete statement of the families in town when the organization of Half-Moon took place, 1788.

Half-Moon became an organized district in 1772, but the records are not known to be in existence. There were some settlers who came in just before the Revolution, as well as during its progress. A few years after the war the town organization took place, beginning in 1788, and from the records of Half-Moon at that point ninety years ago, we obtained the names of settlers, aided by the recollection of Shubael Taylor and others of advanced age.

An excise list of 1788, among the records of Half-Moon, is very largely a guide in determining early settlers. Drawing our information from this source, it may appear that we are "writing up" the taverns pretty strong, but it should be noticed that in those days of travel wholly by teams public-houses were of great importance, and were located thickly along all the main routes of travel. It is said that on the Albany and Whitehall turnpike, in the valley of the Hudson, every alternate house was a tavern, and that strings of teams often reached from one to another, the man ahead lifting the full glass at the advance tavern just as the man in the rear was placing the empty glass on the bar.

Edward Rexford came to what is now Clifton Park just before the Revolution, and his family were here through all that struggle. He bought a tract of some three hundred acres, near what is now known as Rexford's Flats, at $5 per acre. Their first pioneer house was of logs, built under the bluff near a spring; afterwards a frame house was erected on the hill, the present Allen McKain's place. Mr. Rexford was himself away as a soldier in the American army a large part of the time. His wife was often obliged to take the children and flee into the woods for safety from roving parties of savages, and yet many friendly Indians made their house a stopping-place. It is remembered by Mrs. Haslam, of Rexford Flats, that she has often heard the aged grandmother tell of the dangers and hardships of those early times. Often her house would be filled at night with thirty or forty Indians, and herself and children alone with them. Little can the children of this generation now living here in peace and quiet appreciate these early struggles of the pioneers. Mr. Rexford left three sons, - Elisha, Edward, and Eleazer, - all of whom settled in Clifton Park, the last two on the old homestead. Cyrus W. Rexford, a son of Eleazer, is now a merchant at Rexford Flats. There was one daughter, Luzina, who married Ephraim Knowlton, and settled in Clifton Park. Edward Rexford, the pioneer, was from England. He married in Herkimer county. His wife's name was Eaton.

Nathan Garnsey was also a settler about the time of the Revolution. His place was the present Smalley farm. He had a brother who had come in still earlier and taken up the land; but he was a loyalist, and was obliged to leave. The tradition is that the brothers swapped farms, Nathan coming here and the brother going where he could enjoy his opinions without danger.

Something of a romance in connection with this family has come down in neighborhood tradition. The father of Roscius and Garnsey Kennedy (the latter still living near Jonesville) was an early pioneer about the same time as the Rexfords and Garnseys. Unmarried, he sought the hand of a daughter of Nathan Garnsey. The course of true love did not run smooth; the father opposed the match. We are left to imagine the tender meetings and the incidents of the courtship; but it ended as all such stories are expected to end, by the determined girl quietly dropping the yarn at her spinning-wheel, putting on her sun-bonnet, and telling the family she was going over to a neighbor for a few minutes. There she met Mr. Kennedy, a minister present fastened the irrevocable tie, and, without returning home for any outfit, the bride went to her husband's forest-home. After a while she visited her own home occasionally, her mother receiving her gladly, but her father declining to speak to her. He was, however, a watchful and kind parent. He saw the struggles' of young Kennedy, his steady industry, his invincible determination to win a home, and, as an important payment drew near, Mr. Garnsey took occasion to greet his daughter on one of her visits, and, as he helped her on to the horse to return home, he quietly put into her hands the money to make the payment. "All is well that ends well" was true no doubt of this.

We proceed to note briefly others who are shown by the records already mentioned to have been in Clifton Park as early as 1788, when the town of Half-Moon was organized.

Adrian Hegeman, whose judgment as assessor and poor-master was so often called into service by the people in the early times of Half-Moon, was a resident of what is now Clifton Park. His place was on Sugar Hill, so called, about a mile west of Amity.

John Rouse's old homestead was the present Eddy place. Gradus and Aaron Rouse were sons of John.

Richard Peters settled north of Vischer's ferry, on the H.J. Miller place. His sons were Samuel and William.

Samuel Sweatland settled near Jonesville, on the Peter Althouse place.

Israel Brooks lived near Jonesville. One son, Israel, now lives in the same neighborhood.

All these were settlers from 1785 to 1790; all, at least, before this last date.

James Groom lived near where Cyrus Clark does at the present time. From him Groom's Corners, of course, takes its name. He had a son, James, and removed to Albany. Samuel, a son of the second James, resides at the old corners.

Robert Eldridge lived near Jonesville, in the present Best neighborhood.

John Terpenny lived northwest of Groom's Corners, near Rexford Flats.

John Knowlton settled northwest of Clifton Park village.

Israel Brooks was a pioneer in the same neighborhood.

The Quivee family were in the northwest part of the town.

Jerry Cramer lived on what is known as the John Taylor farm.

The Close family was a prominent one in the early times, as it has been in later years. Their homestead was in the Moe neighborhood, on the place well known in later years as the residence of Halsted Close.

Simeon Van Camp kept tavern in what is now the village of Clifton Park. His house was on the present site of George Datur's house.

Hicks kept a tavern about a mile from the present village of Clifton Park.

James Jones, the first collector of the town of Half-Moon, was the pioneer landlord at the village that has ever since been known from him as Jonesville. His house was on the site of the present Rosekrans Hotel.

Solomon Waite lived near Jonesville, where his great-grandson now lives.

Jacob Fort was town clerk for the first three years of Half-Moon.

The name of Abraham Moe is associated with all this section of country through a long series of years. From him the corners near his old homestead derives the name it has so long borne. To say nothing here of his other public services, he held the office of town clerk for twenty-eight years consecutively, and the records yet extant bear witness to his care and accuracy in public matters. First elected in 1791, he kept the record through the long pioneer period down to 1828, when the portion of the town in which he lived was erected into Clifton Park. That was a favorable time to retire when the records he had kept so long and well were no longer within his jurisdiction.

Among the early settlers of Clifton Park was Thomas Young, from Berkshire, Mass. He came in 1785 and settled on the Apple patent, midway between Burnt Hills and Groom's Corners. He was the father of Colonel Samuel Young, afterwards so prominent in public affairs. At that Clifton Park fireside the young man educated himself, pursuing his studies far into night by the light of pine knots long after the others were asleep. Samuel Young afterwards married and settled at Academy Hill, Ballston. His public career left little time for private pursuits. Four years supervisor; three times elected to the Assembly; four times to the Senate; twice Speaker; one of the original canal commissioners that constructed the Erie canal; member of the Constitutional Convention of 1821; candidate for governor in 1824 against De Witt Clinton; Secretary of State, and superintendent of common schools, is a record seldom equaled.

Isaac Southard settled in the year 1800 on the present Scrafford farm. Of his sons, Jonas and John settled in Clifton Park; Samuel L., in Ballston; Stephen S., in Wilmington, Delaware. A daughter, Phebe, became Mrs. Eldred, of Rochester, N.Y. At the time of Mr. Southard's settlement, among the neighbors not already mentioned, was Nathaniel Holmes, who left a large family; Richard Smith, a wagon-maker, on the bank of the river; John Knowlton, below the Flats; Wm. Hays and Ezekiel Terpenning.

Early Mills. - The grist-mill at Amity is very ancient. The present building was erected thirty-six years ago, and its predecessor had probably stood for fifty years. It is remembered as wooden rigged entirely, - no castings in it. There is a tradition, but not very definite, that a still earlier mill was on the site where the canal crosses the Steina Kill. A half a mile above Amity was an early grist-mill on the site of the present Hegeman saw-mill. Some eighty rods above this was a carding-mill, used in later years for a cider-mill. A mile and a half farther up was a third grist-mill destroyed by fire in 1846-7; a saw-mill there at the present time. Still farther up the stream was a saw-mill and a cloth-dressing establishment, known as Clark's mills.

In the north part of the town on the line of Half-Moon was a saw-mill, and a few years later a woolen-mill. There was also a saw-mill near the present place of I. Higgins.

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IV. - ORGANIZATION.

The territory of this town belonged to Half-Moon for fifty-six years, - from 1772 to 1828. The convenience of the people finally began to require a new town, and the question was decided by an act of the Legislature. The name was derived from that of one of the land patents lying partly within the town, a description of which is given elsewhere in this history. The name first given to the town was Clifton, but the policy was just then beginning to be insisted upon at Albany that no new towns should be erected bearing the same names as those previously existing. There were so many Cliftons already that it was not desirable to increase the confusion, and so the next year the name was changed to Clifton Park. The naming of this, the youngest of the family, rounded out the circle to the full number of twenty. From that time the alphabetical list to be called at courts and conventions has been one stereotyped set, knowing neither variableness nor change. The school-children of successive generations have learned it, politicians have committed it to memory, and it is no doubt safe to say that County Clerk Horton, in the thirty-two years he has occupied his position, has learned the list perfectly from Ballston to Wilton, not omitting the long words Edinburgh and Northumberland.

This town is the last one organized in the county. It was formed from Half-Moon, March 3, 1828, and includes some of the earliest settled territory in the county. Its early history in reference to town affairs is blended with Half-Moon, and much of interest relating really to this town will be found in the history of that.

The first town-meeting was held at the house of James Groom in the spring of 1828, and the following were the town officers chosen: Supervisor, Ephraim Stevens; Town Clerk, Henry Clow; Collector, Michael Weldon; Assessors, Joseph Reed, Abram Pearse, Isaac E. Garnsey; Overseers of the Poor, Joseph Arnold, Tunis Cragier; Highway Commissioners, Jacob Volwider, Elisha King, Stephen H. Wakeman; Committee of Common Schools, Cornelius Failing, Seth W. Higgins, Solomon C. Peek; Inspectors of Common Schools, Levi Garnsey, William E. Noxon, Leonard Shepherd; Constables, William H. Brown, James Knight, Jr., John Cole; Poundkeepers, Ephraim Stevens, Eleazer Rexford; Fence-viewers, Andrew Evans, David Garnsey. The town was divided into thirty-nine road districts.

 

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TOWN OFFICERS FROM 1828 TO 1878.

 

Supervisors.

Town Clerks.

Collectors.

1828.

Ephraim Stevens.

Henry Clow.

Michael Weldon.

1829.

Nathan Garnsey.

Wm. Shepherd.

"

1830.

Ephraim Stevens.

Solomon C. Peck.

Sam'l B. Edwards.

1831.

David Garnsey.

"

Aaron Quivey

1832.

Ephraim Stevens.

James Groom.

Cortland Brewster.

1833.

"

"

"

1834.

"

"

Michael Weldon.

1835.

Wm. Gates.

"

Hiram Mosher.

1836.

James Groom.

John Thomas.

Hugh Sherman.

1837.

"

Wm. Hollister.

Israel Brooks.

1838.

Joseph Arnold.

"

Daniel Picket.

1839.

"

James E. Jones.

D.G. Van Vranken.

1840.

Henry Clow.

Wm. L. Potter.

Dorman K. Knight.

1841.

"

Thomas M. Peters.

John Philo.

1842.

Roscius R. Kennedy.

"

Pardon W. Cole.

1843.

"

Joseph S. Wood.

Garret Cragier.

1844.

"

Wm. A. Peters.

Adrian Hegeman.

1845.

John Peck.

"

Chas. S. Doughty.

1846.

"

John Arnold.

Eldert V. Failing.

1847.

Chris. C. Hegeman.

Aaron Wood.

Henry Clow.

1848.

"

Silas H. Sweetland.

"

1849.

John Peck.

Francis N. Vischer.

"

1850.

J.W. Van Vranken.

Lorenzo H. Sprague.

Gradus D. Clute.

1851.

Harvey H. Rogers.

"

Silas Keeler.

1852.

Wm. Shepherd.

Staats V.S. Fonda.

Stephen Rogers.

1853.

"

Hiram P. Jones.

John Woodworth.

1854.

Nanning F. Vischer.

Wm. E. Rogers.

Abram D. Graff.

1855.

Nelson Cole.

John Arnold.

"

1856.

Isaac Schauber.

Nicholas Vischer.

Augustus Smith.

1857.

Roscius R. Kennedy.

John Peck (2d).

Samuel Groom.

1858.

Nicholas Vischer.

Edwin Lyon.

C.D. Hicks.

1859.

David W. Wait.

John Peck (2d).

John W. Arnold.

1860.

Gradus Vischer.

"

"

1861.

Cyrus W. Rexford.

Samuel Groom.

Wesley Haynor.

1862.

"

"

Jacob I. Lansing.

1863.

"

"

George H. Clute.

1864.

"

"

Daniel W. Wright.

1865.

"

John Peck.

Samuel Y. Davy.

1866.

"

"

Wm. E. Shurtleff.

1867.

Nicholas J. Clute.

"

Miles Brooks.

1868.

"

"

Erastus R. Fort.

1869.

"

Samuel Groom.

John W. Jewel.

1870.

Garret Craiger.

Henry J. Wetzel.

Daniel Dater.

1871.

Cyrus W. Rexford.

Samuel Groom.

John W. Jewel.

1872.

Nicholas J. Clute.

"

A.P. Philo.

1873.

Barney R. Caldwell.

"

Augustus M. Wait.

1874.

"

"

John J. Clute.

1875.

Hiram Parker.

"

Emmet Arnold.

1876.

Adam Mott.

"

Wm. H. Lasher.

1877.

"

Edward S. Hubbs.

John R. Flagler.

1878.

"

"

J. Frank Godfrey.

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JUSTICES OF THE PEACE ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

1830.

John Clute.

1855.

Nathan D. Garnsey.

1831.

Cornelius Failing.

Samuel B. Edwards.

1856.

Silas P. Shepherd.

Benjamin Howd.

1832.

Joseph Reed.

1857.

Abram V. Fowler.

1833.

Cornelius Hegeman.

Henry Clow.

1858.

Elijah F. Reed.

1834.

Henry Clow.

1859.

Nelson Cole.

1835.

Solomon Brown.

1860.

Silas P. Shepherd.

1836.

Seth W. Higgins.

1861.

Rufus Palmer.

1837.

Samuel Wilber.

1862.

Adam Mott.

1838.

Henry Clow.

1863.

Norman B. Prentiss.

1839.

Benajah D. Arnold.

1864.

Samuel Langdon.

1840.

Abijah Peck.

Nelson Cole.

1865.

John W. Van Vranken.

1841.

Wm. L. Potter.

1866.

Adam Mott.

1842.

Henry Clow.

1867.

Cyrus W. Rexford.

1843.

Thomas N. Peters.

Nelson Cole.

1868.

Samuel Langdon.

1844.

Abijah Peck.

1869.

Tunis C. Pearse.

Samuel Langdon.

1845.

Thomas N. Peters.

1870.

Adam Mott.

1846.

Henry Clow.

1871.

Wm. E. Rogers.

1847.

John Philo.

1872.

James Edwards.

1848.

Aaron Wood.

1873.

Tunis C. Pearse.

John Peck.

1849.

Abijah Peck.

Thomas N. Peters.

1874.

John Peck.

1850.

Henry Clow.

1875.

Wm. E. Rogers.

1851.

Nelson Cole.

1876.

Julian Fish.

1852.

Urias Williams.

Abram V. Fowler.

1877.

Tunis C. Pearse.

1853.

Norman B. Prentiss.

John W. Van Vranken.

1878.

John Peck.

1854.

Wm. A. Potter.

 

 

 

Though 1828 is a modern date compared with the real pioneer period before 1800, we add at this point a brief statement of the residences of the first town officers, as being a matter of some interest to recall at the end of fifty years:

James Groom, lived at Groom's Corners, on the present farm of Minor Keeler.

Ephraim Stevens, resided at Clifton Park village.

Henry Clow, was also a resident of Clifton Park village.

Michael Weldon, south of Groom's Corners, on the present Best farm.

Joseph Reed, near Clifton Park village.

Abram Pearse, at Fort's ferry.

Isaac L. Garnsey; their homestead was near Jonesville.

Joseph Arnold, on the present Peter Althouse farm, near Clifton Park village.

Tunis Cragier, lived at Vischer's ferry.

Jacob Volwider, at the Dry Dock.

Elisha King, near Jonesville.

Stephen H. Wakeman, kept a store at Rexford's Flats.

Cornelius Failing, lived near Groom's Corners, on the Wager farm.

Seth W. Higgins, at Clifton Park village.

Solomon C. Peck, in the Waite neighborhood, and still living.

Levi Garnsey, on the present Smalley place, near Rexford Flats.

Wm. E. Noxon, near the line of Half-Moon; in later years in that town.

Leonard Shepherd, near Groom's Corners.

Wm. H. Brown, at Rexford Flats, remembered as having lost an arm.

James Knight, Jr., at Rexford Flats. A son of the same name now lives in Wisconsin.

John Cole. His place is not recalled in conversation with the old people.

Eleazer Rexford, father of C.W., Rexford Flats.

Andrew Evans, lived near Groom's Corners.

David Garnsey, was an uncle of Levi, father of Lewis Garnsey, now living.

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

V. - VILLAGES AND HAMLETS.

At the southeast corner of the town there are rapids in the river, with something of a whirlpool action in the waters, known formerly and still referred to as the WIT-HOICKS. In the same part of the town is CLUTE'S DRYDOCK, a place where formerly considerable beat-building, and in later years repairing more especially, has been done.

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FORT'S FERRY,

farther above on the river, as has been seen in the records of early settlement, is a very old point. The ferry was the crossing place for the main road from Ballston to Albany, and until the establishment of Vischer's ferry to Schenectady also.

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

WILLOW SPRING,

between Fort's and Vischer's ferries, takes its name from a valuable spring near a splendid ancient willow-tree.

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

AMITY

is the name of the village at Vischer's ferry. It is said to have been selected by old Dominie Romeyn, as a compliment to the peaceful, friendly character of the people.

History fails to inform us whether law-suits, dog-fights, unequal horse-trades, and short weights were absolutely unknown, but it is evident they were exceeding rare in those good old times, and that Amity was a fact as well as a name.

The first tavern was built by Benjamin Mix, in 1797. He also built an ashery, a store, and a distillery, all in the last few years preceding 1800. For some years liquors were sold wholly in the store, the tavern being devoted to "eating and sleeping," but afterwards the bar was established.

John E. Vischer bought out Mix. The same tavern is still standing, but little changed in appearance, now kept by Garret Cragier.

Dr. McClary was an early physician at Amity; practiced for more than thirty years; known through all this section of country. Dr. Wade, living in Watervliet, also practiced on this side of the river.

At Amity are two dry-docks, two stores, hotel, two blacksmith-shops, and a church. Three-quarters of a mile below, a canal lock, with a grocery near, and a few other buildings.

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REXFORD FLATS VILLAGE grew up during the building and opening of the Erie canal. The latter crosses by an aqueduct at this point to the north side of the river, and continues its course twelve miles in the county of Saratoga to Crescent. The oldest house at Rexford's was the ferry-house, in connection with "Alexander's" bridge, still standing, occupied by the Widow Jewell. The bridge was built in 1817 or 1818. The first tavern was opened by Eleazer Rexford during the building of the canal. - at first where Cyrus Rexford now lives; a little later the present tavern was built. The first store was by Isaac Howard, soon after by Curtiss & Wakeman in the old building, across the square from the present hotel. A small stream empties into the river at this point. There were no mills here in the early times; an attempt to establish one recently failed for want of water. Above the village, on the hill, was a store and a tavern, earlier than in the village. Considerable forwarding has been done in years past from this point. A lively country trade exists here, though the village is only four miles from Schenectady. Early physicians practicing here were Dr. Sprague, Dr. Sanders. Dr. Rogers has been a practicing physician for thirty years past.

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

GROOM'S CORNERS takes its name from the early settler, and is an old and well-known point in the history of the town. The first town-meeting of Clifton Park was held at these corners.

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

CLIFTON PARK, bearing the same name as the town, is on the line of Half-Moon, seven miles west of Mechanicville. It was formerly called Stevens' Corners, from the widely known and popular landlord at this place, Ephraim Stevens.

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JONESVILLE is a pleasant rural village in the north part of the town. It derives its name from Jones, the early landlord, and one of the first town officers of Half-Moon in 1788.

On one of the great through routes of early travel before the opening of railroads, it was a place of considerable importance. In later years an academy flourished there for some time, but was finally discontinued.

Railroad accommodations for Jonesville and the centre of the town are at the "Branch," "Round Lake," or southward to the Aqueduct station at Rexford's.

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VI. - SCHOOLS.

The first school-house at Amity was on the site of the present one. Old people recall the names of a few early teachers there, - Mr. Kelly, John Lindebeck, Salley Fraley, Nellie Morrell.

The school districts in this town are arranged somewhat as follows: No. 1, at Rexford's; No. 2, at Groom's Corners; No. 3, in the Hayes neighborhood; No. 4, at the Dry Dock village; No. 5, in the Dory neighborhood; No. 6, east of the Baptist church; No. 7, near the present Jones place; No. 8, south of Ballston lake; No. 10, south of Jonesville.

The Jonesville Academy added largely to the educational facilities of the town, and many young people received an advanced education there. Roscius Kennedy was especially active in founding and sustaining the school.

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JONESVILLE ACADEMY.

This institution was located in the small but remarkably pleasant post-village of Jonesville, in the town of Clifton Park. It originated in a small family school commenced in 1836, and kept by Mrs. Roger King in an ordinary farmhouse near by.

About the year 1840 the school was removed to the premises where the academy was finally located, and opened for the accommodation of a few boarding pupils by Mr. John Oakley, of New York city. In the same year (1840) a permanent brick academy building was erected, with provisions for the accommodation of some fifty boarders, both male and female.

In the fall of 1841 the school was formally opened as an academic institution, at which time Professor H.A. Wilson, A.M., became its principal, in which position he remained until 1860, a period of nearly twenty years. During this almost unprecedentedly long administration of Professor Wilson, the school assumed and maintained rank among the best and most popular institutions of that period. From the very beginning of his administration the academy gradually developed, by a vigorous and a healthy growth, into proportions of strength and eminent usefulness. Several very important additions and improvements were made from time to time, in order to meet the demands of the constantly increasing patronage.

The academy was incorporated by a special act of the Legislature in 1849, and became subject to the visitation of the regents of the university.

Hon. Roscius R. Kennedy, the original founder, was incorporated sole trustee, whose almost annual munificence placed the institution beyond all possibility of financial embarrassment. The original design of the founder was to furnish superior advantages of an academic character to both sexes in all the branches of an English, classical, commercial, and ornamental education, by which they might be qualified either for business, for teaching, or for a higher course of collegiate studies. How fully these objects were accomplished, scores of living witnesses who have enjoyed the advantages of this institution would gladly testify. It numbers among its alumni a very respectable number of eminent, earnest, useful men, who may be found in all of the learned professions. In proportion to its means and facilities, it has contributed its full quota of the elevating and helpful forces of a liberal course of academic education.

The successors of Professor Wilson, as principals of Jonesville Academy, no one having occupied the position for a longer period than three years, were Messrs. Rev. Barnes M. Hall, Rev. Austin, Rev. Fenner, King, Brino, Kempton, and Savage. On account of financial embarrassments, the academy was compelled to abandon its charter in 1870, and finally closed its career as a literary institution in 1876.

 

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COMMISSIONERS' CERTIFICATE, 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

57

$52.14

$39.20

$51.15

$1.90

$144.39

" 2

61

52.14

41.96

55.85

2.03

151.98

" 3

73

52.14

50.20

59.57

2.43

164.34

" 4

69

52.14

47.46

28.41

2.30

130.31

" 5

50

52.14

34.39

28.54

1.67

116.74

" 6

43

52.14

29.58

32.71

1.43

115.86

" 7

40

52.14

27.51

31.60

1.33

112.58

" 8

60

52.14

41.27

31.77

2.00

127.18

" 9

88

52.14

60.52

67.51

2.94

183.11

" 10

30

52.14

20.63

20.19

1.00

93.96

" 11

57

52.14

39.20

41.74

1.90

134.98

" 12

82

52.14

56.40

38.36

2.74

149.64

"13

44

52.14

30.26

23.17

1.47

107.04

"14

17

52.14

11.69

16.09

.57

80.49

"15

41

52.14

28.20

41.99

1.37

123.70

 

812

$782.10

$558.47

$568.65

$27.08

$1936.30

 

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VII. - CHURCHES.

REFORMED CHURCHES OF AMITY.

Previous to the beginning of the present century there was no society of this denomination on the north side of the river, and the early settlers worshiped with the church at Niskayuna, then under the ministry of Rev. Mr. Demarest. In 1802, by regular legal and ecclesiastical proceedings, the "Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Amity" was organized. The first elders were Jacobus Van Vranken and John Miller. The first deacons, Daniel F. Fort and Evert Van Vranken. In 1803 the first house of worship was built, and was, for the times, a most respectable building.

In the same year a call to Rev. Mr. Hardenburg was declined. In 1805 the church of Amity and Niskayuna united in the choice of Rev. Thomas Romeyn as pastor, and he was installed in the spring of 1806. The same year a joint parsonage was built at Amity by the two societies.

The records of a consistory-meeting in October, 1806, show that there were present Elders Nicholas Vandenburg, Nicholas Fort; Deacons Eldert Vischer and Daniel Fort, and Rev. Thomas Romeyn presiding. Candidates then admitted to membership: John Pearse, John B. Miller, Tunis Cragier, Margaret Pearse, and Schouten. The delegate to the classis of Albany, in 1807, was Nicholas Fort. Mr. Romeyn's ministry was a prosperous one, extending to twenty-one years. The following list of male members before 1827 may not be complete, but it furnishes a fair statement of the solid Christian citizens of the olden time, who laid the enduring foundations of civil and social order: James Weldon, Mr. Vandecar, John Schouten, Benjamin Mix, John Shears, Samuel Queemans, Abram Whitaker, "Tom, a negro slave of James Weldon," Wm. Bell, Philip Dutcher, Tunis Quackenbush, Garret A. Van Vranken, Cornelius Hegeman, Francis Vischer, Mr. Heeder, John Fort, Hendrick Dunsback, George Melius, Abram Best, John Melius, Henry Sherwood, G.M. Volwider. To this long and devoted pastorate of Mr. Romeyn the church has been largely indebted in all subsequent years.

The successive pastors since have been McKelvy, four years; Van Wagoner, three years; A. B. Chittenden, five years; Brownson, two years; Hathaway, six years; Williamson, till his death by the explosion of the steamboat "Reindeer"; Raymond, three years; Schoomaker, five years; and W.S.E. See, seven years, to 1868. The present incumbent, Rev. W. W. Letson, commenced his labors soon after. It may be said that through all this long period the church has had a steady, healthy growth. During the ministry of Mr. Van Wagoner the two churches dissolved their connection, and he continued pastor of the Amity church. Special mention may be properly made of the extensive revivals during the ministry of Mr. Hathaway from 1843 to 1849, and there was also great activity in missionary and temperance work.

In 1871 the present new, commodious, and beautiful house of worship was erected, and the dedication services were held Jan. 18, 1872. The church, now more than three-quarters of a century old, is vigorous and flourishing, one hundred members having been added since 1871. It stands a worthy representative of that ancient faith, transmitted by the sturdy old burghers who successfully defended religious liberty centuries ago upon the "lowlands of Holland."

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BAPTIST CHURCH OF CLIFTON PARK.

This body was constituted Feb. 12, 1795, and was included in the old Shaftsbury Association in 1796. In 1834 its relations were changed to the Saratoga Association. It was the pioneer religious society of the town, as the records show that the early settlers along the Mohawk worshiped with the Niskayuna church, on the south side of the river, down to about 1800.

However its numbers may be reduced by removals and death, however slight its importance may sometimes appear even to its faithful friends, the Baptist church of Clifton Park is yet worthy of all honor as the early society, whose ministers brought strength and faith into the homes of the early settlers, breathed the promises of the gospel in the ear of the dying, and spoke of the blessed Christian hope to mourning families gathered around open forest graves. The gentle yet powerful influence of the Christian church is never more clearly apparent than in tracing the histories of our quiet rural towns, and marking how irresistibly it has developed and controlled social life and civil organizations.

This church reported thirty-six members in 1800. The ministers of this church were Rev. Abijah Peck, Electra Carpenter, Jacob St. John, W. Grooms, Job Champion, E.D. Hubbell, S. Pomeroy, F.S. Parke, J.W. Crumb, John Reynolds, Thomas S. Rogers, R. Winegar, David Abijah Peck, W.W. Beardslee, and E. Conover. Elder Peck was the minister of this people for nearly fifty years. Several of those named above were his assistants.

From this church colonies were formed into independent societies, - the Burnt Hills church in 1820, the Glenville church in 1840, the second Half-Moon, at Clifton Park village, in 1841, and the first Half-moon seven years earlier, 1834. The two latter, however, derived their support to some extent from the old Newton church in Half-Moon.

Elijah Peck, who was so long the pastor of the Clifton Park church, left his impress for good far and wide upon this community. His son, Solomon C. Peck, still living in the same neighborhood, has filled many useful positions through his long life, now extended to an advanced age. He was elected commissioner of common schools at the first town-meeting fifty years ago, and was afterwards town clerk. John Peck was also supervisor for several years. John Peck (2d) is the present clerk of the church that was founded by his grandfather.

A few other items are added. The names of the first members forming the church Feb. 12, 1795, were Matthew Palmer, Philip King, James Groom, John Warren, Rufus Morse, Bellisant Morse, Rebecca Palmer, and Eunice Crossman.

Rev. Abijah Peck was a soldier of the Revolution, and at its close, 1784, settled in Galway. He was very active in religious work, and was induced to take the lead in meetings at an early day, but declined a license as a preacher until Feb. 9, 1793. He was ordained March 12, 1801.

The first assessors of this church were Andrew Evans, Sr., Ephraim Schouten, Silas Hamilton, John Groom. A large cemetery is attached to the church grounds, in which are buried many honored dead. There six ministers of this church are buried, among them the founder and venerable pastor, Rev. Abijah Peck, who died Nov. 12, 1848, aged ninety. The house of worship is a brick edifice, known far and near as the "Peck church."

The present pastor, Rev. E. Conover, commenced his labors March 1, 1876. The present deacons are Luther R. Benedict, Adam I. Caldwell, and Rensselaer Brown.

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METHODIST CHURCH, GROOM'S CORNERS.

This church was among the first Methodist societies in this section of the State north of Albany. The present building is the third one on the same site. The records in existence fail to show the early organization, names of officers, cost of building, dedication, and those many interesting items which unite to form a connected and valuable history. Father Minor Keeler and Esquire Shepherd were among the early active church officers. The present church membership numbers forty-six. The house of worship is valued at $2000, and parsonage at $1000. The benevolent contributions have averaged about $28 per year for the last fifteen years. The present officers of the church are J.C. Keeler, B. Adsit, Miner Keeler, P. Fonda, O.H. Ostrom, E.R. Forte. The successive ministers have been Bigalow, Jacobs, Matthias, Swain, Storm, J. Draper, F. Draper, Clark, Levings, Covell, Luckey, Riser, McKean, Southerland, Starks, Pier, Quinn, Stratton, Stevens, Meeker, Craig, Giddings, Williams, Phillips, Witherell, Ford, Barber, Richard, Williams, Brown, Griffin, Haslam, Miller, Brown, Housinger, Walker, Lamb, Clark, Witherell, Pigg, Blanchard, Simmons, Washburn, Hitchcock, Ostrom, Cox, and the present pastor, A.W. Smith.

Meagre as may seem the written records of this church, it is believed, nevertheless, that it has a noble representation on the roll of the church triumphant in heaven. It has wrought patiently the Christian work through a long series of years. More than two thousand persons have been converted in connection with its services, and the good achieved in the community can be measured neither by records of work nor rolls of members.

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METHODIST CHURCH, REXFORD FLATS.

The earliest Methodist preaching in this vicinity was by Father Southerland, a name well remembered by many yet living. He commenced work at Rexford Flats forty-five years ago, and soon after organized the first class. This was composed of Henry M. Hayner and wife, Ezekiel Terpenning and wife, Samuel Peterson and wife, and several young people. A church was organized Oct. 8, 1839. The number of members was twenty-five. Wm. Shepherd, Nathan D. Garnsey, Henry M. Hayner, Luther B. Orcutt, and Roscius R. Kennedy were the first officers. The house of worship was erected in 1840 at an expense of about $1500, and it was dedicated Dec. 9, 1840. The names of ministers who have preached here, though not in order of time, are as follows: Revs. Philips, Houghtaling, Sherman, Harrower, Brown, Picket, Walker, Lamb, Poor, Benedict, Housinger, Haslam, John Williams, Craig, Clark, Witherell, Blanchard, Pegg, Washburn, Simmons, Hitchcock, Cox, Osborn, and Smith.

The present trustees are Allen McKain, Augustus Kohring, Wheeler Bailey. Stewards: A. McKain, A. Kohring, F. Wager, James Plant, Marvin Debon, W.E. Rogers, and the last named is class-leader.

For the above we are indebted to Dr. Rogers, of Rexford Flats.

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METHODIST CHURCH, JONESVILLE.

This society originally formed part of a circuit, consisting of the towns of Half-Moon, Clifton Park, and Galway. The first services were held in the Hubbs school-house, south of the village. The first house of worship was built in 1825. This was superseded in 1855 by a better edifice at an expense of about $4000. This later house was dedicated by Rev. Sandford Washburn, presiding elder. Hiram Dunn was then pastor. Among the list of official members of earlier and later date are the names of Roscius R. Kennedy, S.B. Raymond, N.D. Garnsey, H.A. Wilson, Joseph Kingsley, Elias Beers, A.J. Waterman, Wm. Waite, S. Langdon, A.P. Wilson, Wm. T. Hamilton, Aaron Quivey, F.B. Weed, J.J. Best, C.P. Calkins, D.N. Northrup, A. Benedict, S.B. Smith, J.J. Van Vranken.

The following are the successive ministers who have served this church since its separate organization in 1842: Charles Sherman, J.B. Houghtaling, Spencer Mattison, Truman Seymour, P.P. Harrower, T. Benedict, Lester Janes, L.A. Sandford, Hiram Drum, Wm. Griffin, S. Meredith, F.A. Soule, F. Widmer, E. Watson, D.P. Hubbard, L. Marshall, J.M. Webster, S. Washburn, A. McGilton.

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METHODIST CHURCH AT CLIFTON PARK (VILLAGE).

Methodist meetings were held in the school-house some years before a church was formed, by Rev. S. Covell, then stationed at Jonesville. There was considerable opposition. The school-house was at one time locked against them, though a citizen, not then a member of any church, ventured to draw the staple and open the house. The discouragement caused the services to be suspended for a time. In 1842 preaching was re-established in the same school-house by Rev. Henry Williams, a church organized, and the house of worship built at an expense of $1200. Names of some of the first members were George Morse and wife, Wm. Swartwout and wife, Thomas Mosher and wife, and Mrs. Dedrick. The dedication services, in 1842, were by Rev. Charles Sherman, then of Albany.

The present officers are Adam Mott, Martin Adsit, John Taylor, F.A. Steenburgh, and Jacob Boyce, trustees. All of these trustees are stewards except Adam Mott. Class-leaders are Wesley Hayner, L.M. Turner, and I.H. Clarke. The following, with others, have been the pastors of this church: Rev. Messrs. Williams, Griffin, Starks, Pomeroy, Craig, Hurd, Frazer, Harris, Brown, Clements, Fox, Wood, Blanchard, Hall, Hart, Ford, Starks, and E.N. Howe.

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VIII. - BURIAL-PLACES.

The old pioneer burial-grounds are so numerous that little or no catalogue of them can be given. Samuel Van Vranken states that almost every one of the old original families had a private burial-place of their own, usually in the orchard. Some of these are yet preserved. From others the remains have been removed to the public cemetery at Amity, and still other grounds have been long since plowed over, with no name or sign of the pioneers slumbering below.

Near the site of the mill at Amity, skeletons have been exhumed, some regarding them as Indian remains, but others infer from remains of coffins and other indications that they were the relics of the earliest white men buried in this vicinity.

The public cemeteries at Amity, Rexford's, Jonesville, Clifton Park, and other places, contain few or no stones with dates earlier than 1800.

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IX. - PLACES OF HISTORIC INTEREST.

It was the court of common pleas that held its first session at the house of Samuel Clark, in Malta; but judicial honors were not confined to that point. For the first three or four years the county-seat was something of a peripatetic affairs - the clerk at one point, one court in one town, and another in another. The circuit court and court of oyer and terminer held their first sessions at Clifton Park village, July 7, 1791. There came Chief Justice Robert Yates with all the judges of common pleas and two justices of the peace, Adrian Hegeman and Epenetus White. This array constituted the bench of that dignified and really illustrious tribunal. It met in the house of Jedediah Rogers. As to other places of historic events, the old ferries constitute properly what might be named under this title. It is difficult to tell just how old they are. So near to Schenectady, involving often the safety or the danger of that place, they must frequently have been guarded for military purposes and crossed by contending armies. The French and Indian force that destroyed Schenectady, in 1690, no doubt moved over the soil of this town and crossed the rivers within its limits.

An old Indian burying-ground is to be seen in the woods of Jacob Van Vranken, under a chestnut-tree. Several Indians dying in this vicinity, within the memory of persons yet living, were buried there; those remnants of the dusky tribes desiring to sleep amid the dust of their fathers.

The destruction of a corn-field, in the early French war, is spoken of in some histories as having taken place somewhere near the present site of Rexford Flats.

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X. - INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS.

There are many valuable farms in this town. The soil is fertile, and under careful cultivation yields abundantly.

All the usual crops of the county are produced. Some years large quantities of potatoes have been shipped from Rexford Flats.

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XI. - MILITARY.

The only record of Revolutionary soldiers we have for this town consists of the items appearing in the account of early settlement.

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WAR OF 1812.

Lieut.-Col. Shubael Taylor, of Clifton Park village, has kindly furnished the following muster-roll of the veterans of the War of 1812, made by order of John S. Van Rensselaer, commander-in-chief of said veterans:

Clifton Park. - Henry Palmer, James Groom, Adam R. Van Vranken, Michael Doty, John Millins, Peter Doty, Solomon C. Peck, Everett Hawley, Richard Spire, David Wiltsie, Andrew Evans, Jeremiah Clute, Deacon Palmer, Timothy Doughty.

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WAR OF 1861-65.

The following list has been prepared as accurately as seems possible, from various sources. It ia unfortunate for the completeness and accuracy of this war-history, that no record was written up in the town clerk's office, as directed by the law of 1865.

Samuel Allen, enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

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

Peter Butler, enl. Aug. 13, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Jeremiah Baldry, enl. Sept. 24, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. F.

Joseph P. Bowers, enl. Sept. 22, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. F.

Samuel S. Butler, enl. Jan. 18, 1864, 13th Art., Co. E.

Wm. Butler, enl. Jan. 11, 1864, 13th Art., Co. E.

Anthony S. Badgely, enl. Jan. 11, 1864, 13th Art., Co. E.

Martin V.B. Billings, enl. Jan. 18, 1863, 13th Art., Co. F.

David Borst, enl. Sept 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

David Barker, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F; disch. for disability, July 5, 1863.

John Barker, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

Henry Clark, enl. Aug. 8, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; musician.

John Cudney, enl. July 26, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Abram Clark, enl. Sept. 22, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. F.

Albert Carnall, enl. Sept. 11, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. F.

Van Rensselaer Conklin, enl. Oct. 3, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Ransom Conklin, enl. Oct. 2, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Levi Clapper, enl. Oct. 1, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. B; fifer.

Sidney T. Cornell, enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. C.

George W. Cornell, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F; sergt.; died May 6, 1862, on the passage home.

Jacob H. Clute, Jr., enl. Feb. 13, 1863, 12th N. Y. Cav., Co. B; re-enl. May 18, 1864; disch. Aug. 21, 1865.

Charles H. De Graff, enl. July 21, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Robert De Graff, enl. Sept. 22, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. F.

George Davis, enl. Aug. 22, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Levi De Graff, enl. Jan. 4, 1884, 13th Art., Co. F.

Edward H. Dater, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F; died May 6, 1864.

David H. Dater, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

Wm. H. Evarts, enl. Aug. 15, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Edward Evans, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

William Filkins, enl. Jan. 18, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

John Fisher, enl. Jan. 5, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

Peter Friel, enl. Feb. 5, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

George Gregory, enl. Jan. 12, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

Wesley Heyner, enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; sergt.

James Haley, enl. Jan. 11, 1864, 13th Art., Co. E.

Thomas R. Holland, enl. Jan. 9, 1864, 13th Art., Co. E.

Wm. H. Haylock, 115th Regt., Co. H; corporal.

James Johnson, enl. Sept. 22, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Albert Jones, enl. Sept. 29, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

John Jones, enl. Oct. 14, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

Lyman Johns, enl. Nov. 23, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

Christian C. Kellogg, enl.. Sept. 28, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

John Kelley, enl. Jan. 1, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

John H. Lapius, enl. Aug 2, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Michael Lamey, enl. Oct. 16, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

Andrew S. McEchron, enl. Jan. 11, 1864, 13th Art., Co. E.

Christopher Mulligan, enl. Jan. 5, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F; he had been a member of the 77th Regt., Co. F.

Robert McPherson, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

Matthew Mulligan, enl. Oct. 21, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

John Mulligan, enl. July 2, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Benjamin Northrup, enl. Aug. 13, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Henry C. Peterson, enl. July 26, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Wm. D. Peterson, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

James Roach, enl. Dec, 29, 1863, 13th Art., Co. F.

Reuben Stokam, enl. Oct. 4, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G.

Lewis Shouts, enl. Dec. 28, 1863, 13th Art., Co. F; had been in 77th Regt. Co. F, from Sept. 29, 1861, to April 21, 1862.

Peter B. Simmons, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F,

John Simmons, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

Wm. Van Saulsbury, enl. Nov. 1, 1861, 77th Regt., Co. F.

Orlando Swartwout, enl. Oct. 14, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Wm. H. Shouts, enl. Aug; 14, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Andrew Stewart, enl. Aug. 11, 1882, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Jeremiah Stebbins, enl. Sept. 24, 1861, 77th Regt, Co. F; sergt.; trans. to Co. D, Dec. 9, 1863.

William Taylor, enl. July 26, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H.

Wm. D. Town, enl. Oct. 13, 1862, 153d Regt., Co. G; musician.

Christian Walker, enl. Jan. 5, 1864, 13th Art., Co. F.

Alexander H. Wicks, enl. Sept. 24, 1864, 77th Regt., Co. F.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

BARNEY R. CALDWELL,

son of Peter Caldwell, was born in Schoharie Co., N.Y., Dec. 2, 1823. His father was born in Dutchess Co., N.Y., Dec. 26, 1786, and died in Saratoga County, Oct. 9, 1877, aged ninety-one years. His wife, Elizabeth (Snyder) Caldwell, still survives him, and now resides in Saratoga County with her youngest daughter.

B. R. Caldwell was the sixth in the family of ten children, - six boys and four girls, - of whom nine are still living. His education was limited to the common schools of Rensselaer and Saratoga counties. On Nov. 21, 1846, he married Sarah C. Pink, daughter of Jacob Pink, of Rensselaer county. By this union one son was born to them, namely, Emmor J., born Oct. 12, 1855; married Ettie L. Garnsey, of Saratoga County.

After his marriage Mr. Caldwell commenced life empty-handed, working for his father on the farm. In 1849 he moved to Montgomery county and purchased a farm with his brother Peter. In 1855 he purchased his brother's interest in the farm, and remained there till 1868, when he sold out and removed to Saratoga County and purchased his present farm of one hundred and forty-seven acres, a view of which, together with the portraits of himself and wife and son and wife, may be seen elsewhere in this work.

In politics he was first a Whig, and upon the formation of the Republican party joined its ranks, remaining firm in its principles, receiving various local offices from the suffrages of his townsmen, such as constable, justice of the peace, supervisor for the years 1873-74, and school trustee for several years.

In religious sentiment he is a Methodist, both he and his wife being members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Fonda, N.Y. Mr. Caldwell is a thorough farmer, a good citizen, and deservedly enjoys the esteem of all who know him.

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NICHOLAS J. CLUTE,

the oldest in a family of three children, was born in Saratoga Co., N.Y., Sept. 12, 1820. His father, Jeremiah Clute, was born in Albany county in 1796, and settled in Saratoga County when a young man and engaged in farming. After about ten years he embarked in the mercantile business, and kept a hotel in connection with it in the village of Cohoes. Subsequently he became a manufacturer at the same place.

When he was about sixty years of age he retired from business and came back to Saratoga County, where he resided till his death in 1877, aged eighty-one years.

Nicholas' education was limited to the common schools of Albany county, supplemented by two years at the academy at Bennington, Vt. After he left school he clerked it for three years in his uncle's store in Saratoga County. He married for his first wife Miss Rachel H. Clute. By this union one child was born to them, who died in infancy.

Mrs. Clute died March 23, 1849, and on July 1, 1851, he was again united in marriage, with Louisa E., daughter of James and Lois Sherman, of Clifton Park. The result of this union was eleven children, six of whom are now living. Helen, the eldest, married Lydell Whitehead, of New Jersey, and now resides in Clifton Park. Anna, the second daughter, married Truman G. Younglove, Jr., son of the Hon. T.G. Younglove, of Crescent, Saratoga Co., and now resides at Crescent. After his marriage he commenced life, almost empty-handed, as a merchant and a farmer, and in addition to these, for the past twenty-six years he has been engaged in the building and repairing of boats on the Erie canal. Mr. Clute has been supervisor of Clifton Park for four years, and was chairman of the board for the year 1872.

Politically he was originally a Whig, but a Republican since the formation of that party. Is at present one of the directors of the Manufacturers' Bank at Cohoes.

Mr. Clute, by industry and economy, has accumulated a fine property, and now owns three hundred and fifty-four acres of fine land, mostly in Clifton Park, and is honored and esteemed by all who know him. A view of his residence and store and premises, together with the portraits of himself and wife, may be seen on the pages of this work.

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LEWIS R. GARNSEY.

John Garnsey, Sr., came from England at the age of seven years, and lived at Old Milford, Conn. He had five sons and three daughters. He married Ann Peck, moved to Nine Partners, Amenia, Dutchess Co., and died there, the actual date being unknown.

John Garnsey, Jr., one of his sons, had fifteen children, and died at Nine Partners. Peter Garnsey, another son, lived at Nine Partners. Nathan Garnsey, another son, married Nancy Hunter, and near the close of the Revolutionary war removed from Nine Partners to Half-Moon, Saratoga Co. Noah Garnsey, another son, had a family. Daniel Garnsey, another son, went to Canada, after which no definite information of his whereabouts or pursuits was received.

The subject of this sketch traces his descent from Nathan Garnsey. Nathan Garnsey had two sons and three daughters, viz., Nathan, David, Nancy, Eunice, and Esther. David married Esther Rogers, in 1806, and had ten children, of whom Lewis R. Garnsey was the third.

Lewis R. Garnsey was born in 1810. He pursued farming in company with his father until the death of the latter, in 1831, after which he continued the business at the same place. He received a common-school education. In 1859, when forty-nine years of age, he married Augusta S. Groom, by whom he had five children, viz., Esther L., Lewis R., Jr., Nathan D., Wallace, and Lily.

In political affiliations Mr. Garnsey was formerly an old-line Whig, but since the dissolution of that party he has acted with the Republican party. He has never been a seeker after place, and has, in consequence, never filled any prominent office.

He is a member of no particular church, although he is quite a regular attendant of the Baptist church, where his wife and two sons hold membership.

Mr. Garnsey's residence, at Clifton Park, which may be seen on another page of this work. is one of the most beautiful in the county, and is much admired by all who have had the good fortune to see it.

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PETER ARNOLD.

 

Residence of Peter Arnold (with portraits)

 

This gentleman was born in Clifton Park, Saratoga Co., on Sept. 14, 1803, and is a son of Joseph Arnold, formerly of Rhode Island. His mother's name was Mary Althouse. He is a grandson of John Arnold, who resided at Half-Moon when that place also included Clifton Park and Waterford. He was a farmer, and his son Joseph worked on his father's farm until he purchased a place for himself, at Clifton Park, and engaged in farming on his own account. Joseph died when about seventy years of age, and Mary Arnold when in her seventy-ninth year. They had seven children, of whom the oldest was Peter.

Peter Arnold is a prosperous farmer at Clifton Park, where he has a farm of two hundred acres. His first wife's name was Permelia Ostrum, a daughter of Paul and Catherine Ostrum, of Clifton Park. By her he had six children, - three boys and three girls, - viz., Cyrus, George, Emmett, Mary, Lucinda, and Catherine, all of whom are married.

Mr. Arnold married for his second wife Abigail Wallace, a daughter of Dr. Wallace, of Westchester county, with whom he is living at present, having had no children.

In political sentiment Mr. Arnold is a Republican, but has never filled any prominent office. He is a member of the Baptist church of Clifton Park.

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