Schoharie County NYGenWeb Site
History of Schoharie County by William E. Roscoe
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF SHARON.
FORMATION OF NEW DORLACH - SHARON - DORLACH GRANT - FIRST SETTLERS - LATER SETTLERS - PETER SOMMERS - MERENESS BROTHERS - WILLIAM BEEKMAN - BATTLE OF SHARON - COLONEL MARINUS WILLETT - LEEM AND HOPPER FAMILIES - MARIA LEEM - CAPTURE OF MYNDERT AND OTHERS - WILLIAM KNEISKERN - REV. PETER N. SOMMERS - ST. JOHN'S CHURCH - REFORMED CHURCH - TURNPIKES - TAVERNS - BEEKMAN'S CORNERS - PETER A. HILTON - ROBDRT ELDREDGE - ELDREDGE FAMILY - DR. PALMER - ENGLE'S MILL - LEESVILLE - DORMANT VILLAGES - LEESVILLE LUTHERAN CHURCH - LEESVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH - CEMETERY - ROCKVILLE - SHARON SPRINGS - PUBLIC HOUSES - ANALYSIS OF WATER - MERCHANTS - ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH - SHARON CENTRE - JOHN BEAKLEY - SHARON HILL AND HOLLOW - E.S. WALES - ZACHARIAH KEYES - KILLING OF VAN SCHAIK - JOHANNES LOUCKS - WILLIAM DAVENPORT - LEMUEL CROSS - KLING SETTLEMENT - SLATE HILL CEMETERY - BELLENGER FAMILY - VAN VALKENBURGHS - GILBERT'S CORNERS - REFORMED CHURCH OF SHARON - MASONIC LODGE - OFFICIALS - BOUNDARIES.
The territory of this town was embraced in the county of Tryon, from March 12, 1772, to April 2, 1784, when old Tryon was changed to Montgomery, in honor of General Richard Montgomery, whose patriotic principles proved more agreeable to the victorious patriots than to the Colonial Governor. Upon the formation of Otsego county on the 16th of February, 179l, a portion of Carlisle, all of Seward and Sharon, formed the town of "New Dorlach," agreeable to the wishes of many of the first settlers here found that immigrated from Dorlach in Germany from 1750 to 1760, and located here in 1754 and 1760.
When Schoharie was formed, the town or the eastern part of it was annexed to it, under the name of Sharon, from a town in Connecticut, from which Calvin Rich and John Rice with their families came immediately after the Revolution.
While the bounds were defined in part at that time, yet a perfect formation of the town was not made until 1797. Dr. Tinas Pynneo represented the town as "New Dorlach" in the Board of Otsego Supervisors in 1795, and at Schoharie in 1796 and 1797. Owing also to the fact of the settlers coming from Dorlach, a large tract of land granted to Jacob B. Johannes, John Jost,and Michael Borst, William Bauch (Bouck), Johannes Braun (Brown), Michael Heltzinger (Hillsinger), Johannes Schaeffer, Hendrick Haines, Johannes and Jacob Lawyer, Christian Zeh, Mathias Bauman, Lambert Sternberg, Barent Keyser, Peter Nicholas Sommers, which lay wholly in the original town, was called the "Dorlach Grant." The Germans pronounced the name "Turlah," as they still do at the present time.
Johannes Lawyer and Jacob Borst purchased the interest of the remaining owners, after each selected a large farm, and at last the former became the sole owner. The grant has of late years been designated by surveyor' as the " Borst Patent."
The first settlers of the present condensed town were: -
Peter and Nicholas Sommers, sons of Peter N. Sommers, Peter and Andrew Loucks, Christian Myndert, ____ Kling, Peter McDougle, Lambert Sternberg, Jr., The Hoppers (Harpers), and Leems (Lambs) families.
During the Revolution all immigration ceased, but as soon as peace was proclaimed up to the year 1800 the greatest influx of settlers was made chiefly from the Cobleskill, Schoharie and Mohawk valleys. This seemed to be the meeting ground for those branching off from those settled portions. The Mereness, Fritche, (now Fritcher) Bellinger, Ball, Hyney, Falk, Van Valkenburgh and Vanderwerken families came from those sections, while Calvin Pike, Calvin Rich, Eldredges, Beekman, Adams, Hiller, John Rice and Tinas Pynneo, mostly Yankees of New England, located here and all became influential and successful business men. Peter, eldest son of Rev. P. N. Sommers, kept the first store, dealing chiefly in groceries and ashes, as was customary for all merchants in new settlements. Peter held a commission during the French war, under the Crown of England, and while he was neither called upon nor had occasion to act in the capacity of a soldier, he had, nevertheless, sworn fidelity to the King. When hostilities commenced between the mother country and the colonies he thought he could not consistently, with his strict religious principles, act contrary to his oath by taking up arms against the government, and not wishing to engage against the patriot's cause, he removed to Canada in 1777; from whence he never returned. His brother, Nicholas, settled upon the land his father purchased, on a portion of which his son, David Sommers, now resides.
Abram and John Mereness removed here from the Mohawk in 1786, and settled upon the farm lately occupied by Squire Abram, son of Abram, the first settler. Squire Mereness passed away in February of 1881, at the advanced age of ninety-six. In 1806, he was elected collector of the town, and the year following Justice of the Peace, which office he held seventeen years and resigned to hold that of loan commissioner. Upon our visiting him nearly one year ago, we were surprised to find him in the possession of his mental faculties to such a degree as to give dates of transactions, the records of which were supposed to have been lost. Subsequent searching proved his accuracy. He was in his youngerdays an active politician, in union with Judge Beekman, John Ingold, Jun., John Rice and Calvin Rich, and was the arbitrator of local disputes for many years. When questioned in regard to early political affairs the " vim" of other days seemed to return and animate the feeble form to enter the arena again. A near neighbor to him was William Beekman.
William Beekman was honored with the appointment of First Judge of the Court of Common Pleas upon the formation of the County, and held the office until the year 1833, when John C. Wright, then of Esperance, succeeded him. Of Judge Beekman's early history we are indebted to his only living child, Cornelius Beekman, now of Albany, who in his old age is deprived of his sight. The Judge was born upon the ocean, was of German parentage, and was early accepted by Colonel Willett as an errand boy. He attended school but six months previous to his entering Willett's service. After the close of the Revolution, about the year 1788, he came to this town, and began as a merchant in a small way, and soon acquired sufficient means to purchase the farm upon which he died. During his life here he continued trade in connection with agriculture, and proved successful in both. Upon the formation of the County we find men of fine legal ability here whom one would naturally think would be honored with the appointment of First Judge, but one of the last acts of Governor George Clinton was to cast the honor upon mr. Beekman. What influence was brought to bear upon the council of appointment to concur in the choice, we cannot say, nor whether he was the only candidate. We only know that Beekman, a youthful pioneer, without education, received the honor and performed the duties with dignity and grace.
Besides his judicial appointment he was elected to the State Senate in 1799, 1800, 1801 and 1802, and held many minor positions in corporate bodies. He was small in stature, with a well proportioned frame, and a very round head which he carried erect, and with hair always closely cut. He became gray at an early day, and upon his death was somewhat bald. He married Joanna Low, (whose parents came from New Jersey,) by whom he had seven sons and three daughters. Those that grew to man and womanhood.and married, were John, Nicholas, William, Cornelius, Dow and Duryea. Maria was the only daughter married. Her husband was Hoffman Ten Eyck.
'I'he Judge built a spacious mansion west of Beekman's Corners in 1802-'04, which is still standing, having the appearance of a "baronial hall," in which he lived in princely style until his death, which occurred on the 26th of NOVenlber, 1845, at the age of seventy-eight. His remains were deliositecI in the family vault, near the residence, and lying near are five of his first children, the eldest being born in the year 1789. Mrs. Beekman lies beside him, having died in December, 1835, at the age of seventy
The mother of Mrs. Beckman also is buried near, and we find she was born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in March, 1732, and died in Sharon in October, 1821. Without doubt the Judge was the first man that kept a general assortment of merchandise in the town, and for a number of years did a large business. His barns, sheds and barracks were at one time swept away by the hand of an incendiary, although at the same time but few men enjoyed the confidence and respect of his neighbors and the country at large as did the Judge.
Nothing unusual occurred until the Revolutionary war. The Indians, chiefly Mohawks, occasionally visited their German neighbors on their hunting and begging excursions and a friendly feeling existed between them which the timid portion of the setters dared not provoke, and during the struggle partially sided with the Crown and remained "passive." It is easy for us who are safely ensconced beneath the pro tecting arm of the government to think and speak lightly of those who lived in the border settlements aml were thus timid. If the struggle had proved averse to the patriots, while we would perhaps commend them for their patriotism and bravery, we would have considered them to have been foolish to have undertaken such an enterprise while laboring under such great disadvantages. As the result was the most pleasing, we are apt to censure many - and perhaps noble characters - who made patriotic and useful citizens after. A number answered the call of the Crown in 1777 from old "Turlah" to unite with St. Leger at Fort Stanwix, and upon his retreat to Canada followed and did not return. A few came back and bathed their hands in their neighbors' blood. At the close of the war, the lands formerly occupied by such Tories were confiscated and principally purchased by the New England settlers. In this, as in other settlements, a few were accused of Toryism unjustly, and the stigma yet stands against their names. The farmers of this town were "well-to-do " at that time, and raised large crops of grain, especially those in the eastern part of the town, then called "Rhinebeck," and along the West Kill . During Colonel Willett's command of the Mohawk his force was supplied by the granaries of the Tories of "Turlah" Yet many times the foraging parties did not hesitate to visit those who were in sympathy with the patriots, provided they possessed the eatables the soldiers wanted.
Many that were thus visited, petitioned to the Legislature after the war closed to be paid for such things as were taken, and in a few cases were successful in receiving compensation. Others could not prove their "patriotism" and failed. A case, originating from grain and hay being taken from Conradt Brown in 1781, was in law for many years, that drew a great interest throughout this part of the County and culminated but a few years hence. Through reports of "Toryism " Mr. Brown was unable to obtain an order of compensation for a number of years, but finally proved his patriotism by producing proof of his furnishing a substitute that was in Willett's command, through Willett himself.
The case and the close of it was thus noticed by the Canajoharie Radii: -
"A very important and interesting case in the Supreme Court, Schoharie County, was also tried before Hon. Peter S. Danforth, Referee, at this place during the second week in August inst., growing out of a Revolutionary claim for the taking of the personal property of Conradt Brown, in the year 1781, by the United States troops, by order of Colonel Willett, for the supply of the army at Fort Plain on the Mohawk river.
"The State of New York passed an act in 1785, exonerating said Willett, and requiring him to account to the State for the property so taken, and to pay the value of the same, or account therefor to the Treasurer of New York, that it might be brought into account with the United States which was paid by the United States to the State of New York, in 1790, with interest, in order that the persons who were entitled to the same, might make application to our Legislature for the amount respectively due them, for the property so taken. Subsequently, Conradt Brown departed this life; leaving by his last will and testament, all his interest in this money, to his son, Marcus, who in his life-time, assigned and set over to Messrs. Brown & Machin, one-half of said demand, providing they procured the passage of a law by our Legislature, to pay the same to Marcus Brown or his legal representatives. The passage of this law was procured by Messrs. Brown & Machin, as per agreement, directing the Treasurer to pay to said Marcus, $1,545. After the passage of the law, said Marcus died, leaving Peter Brown, his sole executor, who insisted upon drawing the full amount of the demand, but finally consented that said Machin should draw one quarter thereof, but refused to allow Severenus Brown to draw any portion thereof; insisting that the assignment was against public policy and void. Messrs. Brown & Machin had severed their claim, and Severenus Brown brought an action against said Peter, executor, to recover his share of the money, which was referred to Ex-Senator Danforth, of Middleburgh. Hon. J. H. Salisbury, of Sharon, and J. A. Bloomingdale, Esq., of Albany, appeared as counsel for Severenus, and Messrs. Dewey & Moak, of Cherry Valley, for Peter Brown, the executor.
"'When the plaintiff rested his case, Mr. Dewey moved for a non-suit, on the grounds that the claim was not assignable, because it was a mere bounty from government, and a mere matter in expectancy; that the consideration of the assignment was an agreement to perform lobby services, and therefore void and against public policy, and cited a number of cases to sustain' him. Mr. Salisbury followed in opposition, and exhibited a great deal of ingenuity in his argument, dealing now and then in sarcasm, and created some considerable laughter by his witticisms aimed at Mr. Dewey, whom he at the same time complimented for his agility and shrewdness. Mr. Bloomingdale also followed in opposition to the motion of Mr. Dewey, and in a very able, pointed and masterly manner discussed the principles of law involved in the case, and went 'on to show that there was a very wide distinction between the cases cited by Mr. Dewey and the one under discussion; and that the assignment was valid and should be upheld. His argument was unanswerable. The Referee here refused to non-suit the plaintiff, and the defendant proceeded with his defence. We understand that there are about eight thousand dollars depending indirectly upon the result of this case. It was an important question and brought out the talent on both sides."
Battle of Sharon.- On the 10th of July, 1781, an engagement occurred between the forces of Colonel Willett of Fort Stanwix fame, and less than three hundred regulars and militia, and one Dockstader a Mohawk Tory, at the head of over four hundred Tories and Indians. near Sharon Centre, which was the only battle fought within the town, although hostile parties came very near meeting in conflict upon two other occasions. At this time Colonel \\'illett with Major Robert McKean was stationed at Fort Plain, and had sent a foraging party over to "Turlah" for supplies, and upon their return they discovered the tracks of a large force traveling in a southwesterly direction. To estimate their numbers, the party walked back and forth by the site of the enemy's trail and judging by the number of tracks thus made, a force of at least three hundred had of late passed along, and were principally Indians. The foragers sent two messengers to apprise Colonel Willett of the.fact, and the remainder cautiously followed the trail and found the encampment west of the present buildings belonging to Frederick Hiller. Dockstader had that day devastated Currytown and taken several prisoners, a knowledge of which had reached Willett, before the foraging messengers had arrived, and he had sent a small force to the relief of that settlement, but too late to be of service. When he was made acquainted of the encampment, he at once, with that intrepidity that characterized his military life, started with a small force to give battle to the invaders. He bent his course to a small block-house at Friesbush, then in command of Captain Gross, where he increased his force, and having men in his ranks that were from the neighborhood, and had a perfect knowledge of the grounds, he was led to make a circuitous march to the west, and place his force, unperceived by the enemy, in a ravine a short distance to the south of the encampment, upon Engle's farm. His march from Fort Plain and the placing of his men was done during the night of the 8th. As day began to appear, he sent men out to make a feint upon the east of the encampment, and by broad daylight the whole force was aroused and ready for pursuing the prowlers, but a small squad was led off in an opposite direction, which returned soon without meeting any enemy or having their suspicions aroused. Soon, one McAdemy, of "Turlah," and a Bellinger, of the Mohawk, cautiously approached the encampment upon the south, and fired into their camp and retreated. They being ready to resume their march, gave chase to McAdemy and his comrades, and were led over the ground now occupied by the store and hotel- along the present road leading to the south, and down into the ravine, to the right, upon the sides of which Willett's men were placed, to give them an unexpected yet warm reception. As the scouts had run quite a distance and were very closely pursued, it was feared that as the enemy entered the gully they would kill them. Colonel Willett, who was stationed upon the left, in his excitement, raised up and swung his hat, exclaiming, "Give it to them, boys, I can catch all the bullets the damn Indians can send." At this, McKean and his men upon the right, gave them a broadside, and the battle commenced. The Indians seeing they were cut off from fighting from behind trees, pushed along down the small stream to the southwest, and as they emerged upon the flat, Willett's force and theirs became mixed and they fought
"Hand to hand, and eye to eye,"
as at Oriskany, nearly one quarter of an hour, when the Indians gave a whoop and made a precipitate retreat to the southeast. Willett's force followed nearly three miles, and returned to care for the wounded, Over seventy of the enemy were slain and five of the patriots, there being also a few wounded, among whom was the brave Major McKean. He was taken to Fort Plain and survived but a few days. The next day a party was sent to bury the slain, and among them were found Jacob Diefendorf, a lad taken prisoner at Currytown on the 8th, and whom the savages had scalped upon their retreat, also a small girl, who survived but a few hours after being discovered. Mr. Diefendorf lived to an advanced age, and became one of the wealthiest men of Montgomery county. |While the battle of Sharon was of short duration and of less numbers than many others, yet but few were more bloody and obstinate than this. It was a counterpart to the one of Oriskany, in which that valor was displayed which so nobly adorns the annals of American history.
Robert McKean was a native of Cherry Valley, and at the head of a company early entered the service as Captain. For bravery and vigilance, he was promoted to Major, and his early death was lamented by his comrades, especially by his superior, Colonel Willett. McKean was in several engagements, but in none displayed fear or inaction, but on the contrary, the greatest courage and wisdom. While holding a captain's commission in 1780, he joined Van Rensselaer with his company and a body of Oneida Indians to intercept Sir John Johnson in his devastation of the Mohawk valley. His remains, we are told, were buried near the fort at Fort Plain, and the little strong-hold was named in honor of the brave officer, Fort McKean.
"Colonel Marinus Willett was born at Jamaica, Long Island, July 31, 1740. He was a farmer's son, and early entered the Provincial service, and was under Montgomery in his northern expedition as Captain, and at the opening of the campaign of 1777, was placed in command of Fort Constitution as Lieutenant-Colonel. During that year he was ordered to Fort Stanwix, and after the unsuccessful attack of Colonel St. Leger, he was left in command until the summer of 1778, when he joined Washington, and was engaged in the battle of Monmouth. He was in Sullivan's invasion of the Indian country in 1779, and actively engaged in the Mohawk valley in 1780, 1781 and 1782. In 1792 he was appointed by Washington to treat with the Creek Indians, and the same year appointed a Brigadier-General in the army intended to act against the Northwestern Indians He declined, as he was opposed to the expedition. He was Mayor of New York City in 1807, and previous was Sheriff of that county. In 1824 he was chosen Presidential Elector, and was made president of the electoral college. He died in New York August 22, 1830, in the ninety-first year of his age.".* *Benson J. Lossing.
We clip the following from the New York Journal of Commerce: - "The coffin of Colonel Willett, who recently died in this city, was made of pieces of wood collected by himself many years ago, from different Revolutionary grounds. The corpse, in compliance with a written request of the deceased, was habited in a complete suit of ancient citizen's apparel, including an old fashioned three-cornered hat, which had been preserved for that purpose. It is estimated that seven thousand persons passed through the house for the purpose of viewing the remains."
At that time one Leem (Lamb) lived where Augustus Parson now resides, and upon the opposite side of the road lived the Hopper family, upon the farm now owned by George P. Hiller. They were sons-in-law of Harwanger, who fled to Canada in 1777. Mrs. Harwanger was then living with Hopper and sympathized with the patriots, and while the battle was waging, she retired to the back of the house and prayed to the God of Battles for the patriots' success.
A few days previous to the battle, Leem (Lamb) while asleep, dreamed that an army was to invade the neighborhood, and it worked upon his mind to that extent that he was led to remove his family to Fort Plain the day before the battle. After the engagement, the remainder of the settlers quit their places for safety and did not return until the close of the war, except to gather their harvest.
In the fall of that year Mrs. Leem's (Lamb's) daughter, Anna Maria, a young and blooming girl of sixteen, walked over from Fort Plain to the farm to pull flax, but a short distance from the battle-ground, intending to return the same night. but not being able to finish her task, she made a bed of flax in one corner of the lot and remained over night. The next morning she arose with the sun and secured the remainder and walked to the fort by dinner time. . How many of the girls of to-day would dare do the same, or think they could even walk that distance? But few, if any. Considering the natural timidity of the female sex, we think her a heroine, especially in lying through the cheerless night, so near the blood-stained battle.field, where imagination would naturally see all the horrors of the strife rehearsed, and court the disagreeable nervousness of fear, to insanity! She afterwards became the wife of one of the patriotic Karkers, of New Rhinebeck, and the mother of a highly respected family.
On the 9th of July, 1881, a centennial celebrati* (*see appendix) was held upon the ground on which young Diefendorf was scalped, and was attended by several hundred citizens from the surrounding country. John Beakley, Esq., presided, and addresses were made by John Van Schaick, Esq., and Watson Lamont, Esq., of Cobleskill. A poem by Hon John Bowdish, and historical address by W. E. Roscoe, were read, and interspersed by both vocal and instrumental music, which, taken together, made very imposing and appropriate ceremonies.
CAPTURE OF MYNDERT AND OTHERS.
The next hostile movement in the town was made where the little hamlet long known as Moak's Hollow now stands, and upon the farm owned and occupied by Joseph Sharpe. About the year 1755 or 1760, one Christian Myndert, now pronounced "Miner" settled upon Mr. Sharpe's farm. His house stood a little north of the foundry site upon the side hill, on the farm near where the present one stands. Several incursions were made during the season of 1781, by Colonel Willett's men to obtain supplies from the Tories for the garrison at Fort Plain, and squads of Indians were frequently sent to intercept them, and were secreted by the Tories to catch their opportunity to kill or take them prisoners, but being too cowardly to undertake such risks, they failed to be of service until about the middle of September, 1782. Myndert and family, knowing the Indians were frequently secreted in the neighborhood, became fearful of their safety, and in the fall of 1781, removed to Middleburgh Fort, and returned in the spring with several scouts, to do their spring's work. In September, as above stated, he made a bargain with six others to return to his farm, to harvest his crops, agreeing with the six to divide equally with them. Those that engaged in the speculation were Jacob and Philip Karker, Lieutenant Jacob Borst, of Cobleskill; Williarn Kneiskern and two others whose names our informant cannot recall.
Mrs. Myndert came over to cook for the party. They had worked but a day or two, when one afternoon it began to rain, and they sought the house for shelter, not perceiving a squad of Indians that had gained access to the barn, assisted by one of the neighboring Tories. In entering the house the party placed their guns in one corner of the kitchen and sat down in front of the fireplace to dry their clothing and while chatting, without any idea of insecurity, the door was thrown open and nine powerful lmlians with guns and tomahawks, headed by an inveterate tory, rushed in, between the party and their guns. The Karkers and Kneiskern enjoyed a knock down, but the muzzle of the Indians' guns being brought to their breasts, they agreed to submit as prisoners, and were soon on the road to Niagara, by the way of the Susquehanna river, with their hands bound behind them.
Mrs. Myndert was allowed to return to the middle fort, alone, with the compliments of the Tory commander, to Colonel Vroman. Upon marching through the southern part of the town they barely escaped a party of Willett's men, who were upon a foraging expedition, and had found shelter from the Storm in the Tory Philip Crysler's house, but a short distance from the captors' and captives' path. The prisoners were severely treated, especially as they passed through Indian villages, when they were compelled to run the gauntlet for the amusement of the younger class of the "noble red man." Their vengeance seemed to be more especially upon Lieutenant Borst, as he had been a terror to the Indians and Tories. The prisoners secretly consulted with each other, except Myndert, upon the propriety of effecting an escape, but hardly dared to speak of it to him as he seemed to be a willing captive, but upon arriving at Niagara, they became better acquainted and had opportunities to talk with him upon their desired escape, and found he had wished to broach the subject many times, but was fearful of being unsuccessful. The whole party were retained after peace was proclaimed, but they made their escape by digging beneath the pickets that enclosed their prison.
William Kneiskern was taken to Rebel Island and there he secretly procured three brandy casks and lashed them together and set himself afloat upon them. He safely landed upon the.American side several miles from the Island and returned to his home. He afterwards settled in Decatur, Otsego county, and was one of four brothers living in Carlisle, two of whom were loyal to the Crown and two true and faithful patriots. Lieutenant Borst had acted as scout through the war, previous to his captivity, and being exposed to all kinds of weather and hardships, he had contracted a severe cough, which terminated in consumption and death, soon after reaching home. Our informant, Solomon Karker, is a nephew of the Karker prisoners, and was conversant with the men themselves and has been a faithful as well as retentive listener to many interesting conversations between the actors of the Revolution.
We find many pages of charming reading in the history of our County, in admiration of less worthy characters than Lieutenant Borst. We find, as in other cases, the praise of doing was given many times to those who pretended to do and the risks and valor of the quiet and unpretending were coveted by unprincipled bragadocio, and handed down to us to admire. Borst possessed one of the most daring spirits that those times produced, and no labor, endurance, danger or sacrifice was too great for him to lay upon the altar of Liberty and Independence. But the noble patriot lived not to enjoy the sweets of his labors. He drooped and died as the tree of liberty began to thicken with the foliage of political and religious blessings.
The closing life of Rev. Peter N. Sommers, was passed in this town, a few rods to the west of the "St. John's Evangelical church." After preaching over forty years, in various places, but principally at Schoharie, and becoming blind, he settled here and preached occasionally in the neighboring churches and houses. Formerly he performed his ministerial journeys on foot and undoubtedly did not consider his task any more laborious than do many of our modern preachers that have two parishes under their charge a few miles apart. The people of those days seemed to have been created with constitutional strength and capacity for the times, and no amount of endurance was too great for them. Sommers was a ripe scholar and wrote several theological works, also a dictionary of English, High and Low Dutch, words and scriptural passages, which we believe to be the first one written in America, and which is now in the care of the Lutheran Archaeological Institute at Gettysburgh, with other works of his composition.
I've believe his ability to have been greater than is generally conceded, from the fact that his charges were made up of a too illiterate class of people to appreciate his talents. Yet his ministry was successful in the extreme, which shows a mark of greatness in humbling his talented mind to parallel ideas and reasonings of his rude and uneducated flocks. His nephew, Mr. David Sommers, has the old gentleman's Bible, which he brought with him from Germany, and from which he preached so faithfully and earnestly so many long years. The book is bound with heavy hog-skin leather over oak board covers of three-eighths inch thickness, and formerly decorated with heavy brass clasps. The book is prodigious in dimensions, it being nearly eight inches in thickness, eighteen in length, and twelve in breadth, and embellished with large wood cuts of very fine workmanship for those times. It bears the date of 1736. It being very heavy and having been carried here and there, during the Revolution, for safety, and many times the exigency of the case could not warrant careful handling, it has sprung the binding, but otherwise it has been kept very neat, and is in a good state of preservation. It is a relic of great worth, and a place should be established by the County for the keeping of all such boons.as have been handed down to us by our worthy ancestors, there to be preserved in the original form. Those writings at Gettysburgh should adorn the shelves of a like place in our County, or State, at least. Mr. Sommers showed us a manuscript of Bible passages in English, High and Low Dutch, that were written by his grandfather, in a plain, neat and precise manner, and which we think were for school purposes, as it was common for the then languages to be used, independent of each other in the schools and religious meetings. Reverend Sommers organized the Rhinebeck and "Turlah" churches in 1775. The former was called "St. Peter's," and the latter "St. John's." The Turlah meetings, previous to 1796, were held in barns, (they being more spacious than the houses,) when a church edifice was built upon the brow of the hill below Mr. - Empie's, but which was taken down upon the building of the present structure. A few graves mark the spot, as well as the neglect of the present age in caring for the resting places of those who founded our happy homes. Rev. Henry A. Moeller, was the first resident pastor, as also of St. Peter's, and the same pastors officiated in the two churches up to the closing of services in that ancient edifice. Since that time the following have been the pastors, with the dates of their coming, as near as Mr. David Sommers can inform us:-
1842 - James Fenner. 1845 - A. L. Bridgman. 1847 - Martin J. Stover. 1848 - W. H. Emerick. 1855 - Swackhammer. 1858 - H. Wheeler. 1864 - N. Wert. 1866 - Hemperly. 1868 - I. S. Porter. 1870 - N. Klock. 1874 - Henry Teller. 1877 - do 1877 - M. J. Stover, and present.
The first records of this society are lost, and the present ones, as with the majority of churches, are not kept in a systematic manner, as they should be. This society was re-organized on the 6th of June, 1808, according to an act of legislature passed the 27th of March, 1801. We find Jacob Anthony, Peter Traber, and Nicholas Sommers, were then trustees, and Jacob Crounse, clerk. The articles of organization were signed by Henry France, and John Sommers. During the long term of years since that day, we find, with the exception of a few short seasons, that David Sommers, Robert S. Conyer, andJohn H. Sternbergh, have officiated as clerks of the society.
The Reformed Church of Dorlach was erected the same year that the Lutherans built the church upon the hill, and still stands as a monument of other days. It has been twice repaired since its erection. The organization dates back to 1771, and was sustained in conjunction with the "Rhinebeck Reformed" (now Lawyersville,) as St. Peter's and St. John's were, although two, yet one.
There was not a resident pastor over the organizations until the year 1796, and from that date to the present time nearly the same pastors have officiated as at New Rhinebeck and Lawyersville: -
1796 - 1798 - Bort. 1801 - 1811 - Labagh. 1816 - 1820 - U. Jones. 1829 - 1832 - Raymond. 1833 - 1837 - Bassler. 1838 - 1840 - Frazee. 1841 - 1845 - Chitenden. 1846 - 1848 - Bogardus. 1849 - 1850 Eckel. 1852 - 1853 - Julian. 1855 - 1856 - N. W. Jones, [ss.] 1856 - 1864 - Raymond. 1867 - 1871 - Van Woert. 1871 - 1874 - Shaffer. 1875 - 1877 - Carr. 1877 - 1879 - Kershaw, [ss.]
At present the church is without a pastor, and as to the organization, all that can be gleaned is given in the Cobleskill Chapter of this work, under the head of the Reformed Church of Lawyersville.
We will here add, that a more regular organization than at first of this branch was made the 31st of July, 1795. It should be understood that the churches formed in the border settlements, at an early day, were not organized as at a later date. There was no formality, but simply a "coming together " and establishing a society without any prescribed rules or instructions from Synods or Presbyteries, and when they became established, and the head orders of the church able to reach them and assist, they re-organized them, according to established tenets of such church.
Condition of Settlers. - While the settler of the town were well-to-do farmers up to the years 1780 and 1781, the inroads made upon their productions by Colonel Willett and Indians, left them in poverty and compelled the most of them to resort to Schoharie or the Mohawk. They did not feel safe personally, and to delve along through the season and have it taken from them in the fall without a recompense was too discouraging, and they quit their places, as the timid and the bold Tories had done before. When peace was proclaimed they returned, bringing with them others, who settled near, and all began to make the forest again disappear before their vigorous strokes, and by the year 1800 but a small part, if any, of the town remained unoccupied.
Several farms were confiscated, as their owners had proved loyal to the Crown, and did everything to injure the Colonial cause. And several instances occurred where a covetous neighbor made charges of Toryism against others to obtain his possessions at reduced rates, which caused no little trouble,and also implanted a hatred that is easily aroused, even at this late day. Such charges were not sustained, as it was an easy matter to convince by positive proof, the confiscation committee of true patriotism or Toryism. We can say the settlers as they returned were poor, and the year 1784 was one of hardships to them, as the fore part of the season was continual rain, and the latter continual drought. Petitions were sent abroad to older settlements for subsistence, and were liberally responded to, which perhaps saved them from famine.
Turnpike. - In 1793 the route of the "Great Western Turnpike" was laid out through the town, and promises made of a great western thoroughfare that would prove of immense advantage to the country. But long years passed before a regular wagon road was constructed, not until 1806 and 1807. In 1802: the Loonenbergh road (now Athens-on-the-Hudson) was surveyed but not completed until 1810 and 1811. These roads were the great thoroughfares, and both running through the town, gave an impetus in business that was astonishing. The immigration from the Hudson river counties and the Eastern States to the west was made by ox and horse teams before large covered wagons with broad tire, and the country being new produced a large quantity of grain, which was carted to Albany and Catskill, making an immense amount of travel, and gave existence to numberless houses of entertainment then called taverns.
Taverns.-The first one upon the Loonenbergh road that we will notice was at Beekman's Corners, kept by Jacob Crounse, of Guilderland, a ready compounder of "flips " and "toddy," much to the satisfaction of his many customers, and above him, to the west, was one kept by Cornelius Beekrnan, son of Judge Beekman.
Militia training was here frequently held, and it was during one of the drills at this place in 1812, that Lieutenant William Elmandorf, of Lawyersville, (and afterwards Major) procured a fifer and drummer, and marched around the grounds calling for volunteers to join the army on the northern frontier. This company was the first that went from Schoharie County, and did signal service, as will be seen by consulting Chapter IV.
Beekman's Corners which seems to be so isolated at the present time, was in the first quarter of the century the most prominent part of the town, with the exception of Leesville. Here Judge Beekman resided, and around him clustered a sturdy class of people who looked upon him with honor and marked confidence. During a somewhat heated political campaign, a warm politician of the Whig faction asked a neighbor of his if he would support the Whig candidate. He thought a moment and replied, "Shust as Shudge Peekmon dells me." We find the old settlers of each settlement had their confidential advisor, and every matter was left to him, on the plea that they had not the time to consider weighty matters. A short distance to the east Peter A. Hilton, a very energetic man, after a few years in the mercantile trade near the Centre church in Seward, built the present brick mansion and storehouse now owned and occupied by Mr. John Pindar. Mr. Hilton held several official positions in the town, beside representing the town in the Board of Supervisors in 1815 and again in 1819. He represented the County in the Assembly in 1812, 1813, 1816 and 1817, with Heman Hickok, Wm. C. Bouck, Thomas Lawyer, Isaac Barber and Aaron Hubbard, and proved a successful legislator. A copartnership was formed between him and Jacob Crounse, which lasted several years. Becoming aged he sold his farm to Judge Robert Eldredge and settled at Hyndsville in 1838, where his son continues the mercantile business.
Robert Eldredge was supervisor of the town in 1821, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1834,1835,1836 and 1840, member of assembly, in 1826 and 1831, with Martinus Mattice of Middleburgh, and Daniel Hager, Jr., of North Blenheim, and received the appointment of assistant judge of Common Pleas, in 1832. While we are not led to think that as grave and intricate judicial labors and duties engaged the minds of the two judges found here, as now, yet we find they performed their duties assigned them, with satisfaction and dignity. Judge Eldredge was an associate with John C. Wrightt, and was born in this town in 1795, and died in December, 1848, consequently was fifty-three years of age.
His grandfather, Edward Eldredge, in company with a brother, emigrated from Wales, and settled upon Cape Cod, Massachusetts. After residing there a short time, he came to this town in 1788.
He had five sons. Barnabas was the fourth, and was the father of Robert and Seth. He represented the County in the legislature in 1820 and 1821. Seth also held the same position in 1844, and his son Edward in 1865. Thus we see the Eldredge family have been prominent citizens of the town and County, in an offcial point of view, and perhaps few families can be found, who possess the genius required to "keep a hotel " equal to this family, from the oldest to the youngest. Their fame is known to the traveIing public, as adepts in the business to which we shall hereafter have occasion to allude.
While we are here at the "corners," it would be unjust not to refer to one who was long a resident here, and whose career has been quite different from those of whom we have made mention. While they were useful in the official arena. solving intricate legal questions and debating upon enactments, this quiet neighbor attended to the ills to which the flesh is heir, and spent many years in literary pursuits, beside studying the art of portrait painting - three avocations that are the least appreciated by the majority of people, and upon the labors of which fortune has but few smiles as financial emoluments.
Dr. Sylvanus Palmer - In 1840 the political excitement over Harrison's election ran to extremes. While the nation was awakened to sing "Zip Coon," drink hard cider and build log houses in honor of the rural birth and life of "Tippecanoe," New York was also ablaze over her Gubernatorial election, especially Schoharie County, as the Democratic candidate was one of her prominent citizens. Wm. C. Bouck, Wm. H. Seward and Gerritt Smith were the contestants, but Seward being in the all-powerful current with Harrison, he was elected by a majority of 2,541 over both Bouck and Smith. Believing in Bouck's honesty and popularity, his adherents kept his political virtues before the people and renominated him in 1842 and were successful in his election. (great excitement prevailed, and during the two campaigns numberless grave and humorous missives were published and sung against Bouck and the party that elected him. There never was an election that brought out more political genius and wit than those of 1840 and 1842. Governor Bouck had held various official positions, among which was that of Canal Commissioner, and in the performance of his duties he rode a gray mare, as he superintended all the works himself and did not entrust them to sub-officers. His opponents said he was so accustomed to stop upon meeting any one to shake hands, for political objects, that the old mare did not require a rein or word of command in carrying Bouck from one end of the "canawl" to the other, and stopping to allow hitn to shake hands with working men - especially before election.
The famous Sour Krout Message was published without a knowledge of the author, and created an endless amount of merriment. Dr. Palmer was the author, and was known in the literary world as Peter Paradox. He was born near Canastota station on the 4th of August, 1804. He was a teacher in his earliest days, and commenced the study of medicine in the office of Dr. Shepherd, at Lawyersville, in 1822, and began to practice in that town immediately after receiving his license in 1825. He married Mary, the daughter of Major Elmandorf, in 1826. The Doctor early cultivated an artistic taste, and painted many portraits that exhibit his genius in the art. His literary productions have been many, and each are in commendable taste, in sentiment humorous and display ingenius wit from a copious fount. No more agreeable conversationalist could be found than the doctor, and he was ever ready to be amusing and instructive. He died suddenly at his home, in October, 1880.
Farther on to the west, near the Reformed church, an inn was kept for many years by John Vanderwerken, under whose supervision the annual three days' horse racing was witnessed, much to the merriment of the country folk and advantages of "mine host's pocket-book". The people of this section were, as of others to which we have referred, fond of "gala days," such as "training," "horse racing" and "law suits," and turned out without regard to age, condition or sex. Farther on to the west was the last "stopping place" for travelers, and nightly gatherings for neighbors on the Loonenbergh in the town of Sharon. It was known as the "Sharpe place" for many years, and was long occupied by Daniel Feathers, previous to his removal to Rockville.
Peter, Martin, Mathias, Jacob and Henry Engle, sons of Jacob Engle, of Berne, Albany county, settled in this County about the year 1798. The latter located in the town of Middleburgh, while the former four brothers settled in this town. They are of the same family originally of those spelling the name with an A, making it Angle, that are numerous throughout the County. Engle is correct, and should be adopted by the whole family. Peter Engle built a grist-mill about the year 1810, and during his life built there at different times, near the present mill site. His son, Moses Engle, is the.present proprietor, and although the silver tints of age crown his locks, yet the vigor of his muscular frame bids fair for him to witness the centennial year of his father's settlement upon the farm. The first settlers of this portion of the town were the Baxter family, the descendants of whom yet live near.
Upon establishing a mail route over the great western turnpike in 1805, Sharon post-office was here located, and for many years this little hamlet was the chief business center. Here were three hotels, two stores, a tannery, beside blacksmith and other shop; that are usually found in a busy country village. Here Calvin Rich settled in 1784 from Sharon, Conn. He was of a legal turn of mind, and did considerable business in justice courts, and during the war of 1812 he was Colonel upon the northern frontier in General Richard Dodge's brigade. Mrs. Cornelius Lane, of Friesbush, is a daughter of the Colonel, and is the only one of the family left in this section of the country. The Colonel settled upon the farm now owned and occupied by Alvin Dockstader. At the time of Rich's settlement there were others from the east that settled near that we will here mention, before we allude to the present.
Calvin Pike came in 1785, settled upon Clinton Lehman's present place, and was, like Colonel Rich, a Yankee and pettifogger in law, being Rich's opponent usually in legal troubles. Tese two men were without doubt better qualified for public officials than many that were chosen, but being extreme Federalists they were not thus honored.
Hezekiah Adams came from Massachusetts about the year 1785, and settled upon the farm now owned by Joseph Ward, and was the father of the present Mrs. Daniel Feathers, Mrs. John Pindar, Mrs. Anthony Simmons, Mrs. Walter Walradt and Henry Adams, of Troy, Wisconsin. John Mutt, another Yankee, came in the same year and settled upon the George Dunkle place, and built the first saw-mill in the present territory of the town. He afterwards built clothing works down near the sulphur springs long before any road but a foot-path was constructed to reach it from the present turnpike. A short distance below, Omed Lagrange built a small grist-mill near where Bang's plane factory stands, about the year 1798.
The old turnpikes are but little traveled at the present time, and the rattling stage-coaches have vanished, and in their stead the screeching, puffing iron-horse, before long trains of moving palaces, wind around the hills, occasionally crossing the old roads, but unblushingly pass on without "paying toll" at the rate of speed that would leave the "Jehu's" of other days far back in the shade, wondering what will come next. The grass nearly covers the old road-bed--gloom is written upon the crumbling mile-stones, and this small hamlet, as many others along the turnpike lines that were once so busy, is growing grey with the moss of inactivity.
Most of the route taken by the railroad through Sharon and Seward was surveyed for the Erie Canal before its construction along the Mohawk, to intersect the Hudson at Catskill, upon the supposition that the distance would be lessened from Buffalo to tidewater by cutting across from Utica. If this route had been established, Catskill would have been today what Albany is, as a business center.
In visiting Leesville we find a few aged ones remaining as links of the past, but none as active as Mathew Ottman, at the age of eighty-one. Accompanying him in a walk of one mile and one half over railroad ties, we found him too active to make the walk agreeable to us, whose years are but half of his. He assured us he chopped his two cords of wood each day the last winter, and "did his chores." While a young man, his strength was great, as upon a wager he carried eleven bushels of wheat across the barn floor. He stood upon his hands and knees, while others piled the bags upon his back, and carried the eleven bushels without faltering. Mr. Ottman's father was William Ottman, one of the three brothers that were taken prisoners in the fall of 1782, as stated in the Seward Chapter, and is a genuine type of the early settlers, not gigantic in size,but of medium height and muscular. He is a consistent member of the Lutheran church, and was instrumental in the building of the same at this place by his liberality and labors. This organization is called the "Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reformation, of Leesville."
Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reformation, of Leesville --This church was organized by Rev. Philip Weiting, in 1853. The first officers were:
Trustees -- Mathew Ottman, John H. Snyder and Sebastian Fonda. Deacons -- Mathew Ottman and J. H. Snyder. Clerk -- Peter A. Ham. The following were pastors: P. Weiting George Young M. Kling William H. Sheldon Jacob Rosenbergh G. W. Hemperly Chauncey Diefendorf James Weaver Samuel Bruce A. L. Bridgman
The edifice was built in 1854 upon grounds formerly occupied by a hotel long kept by Elihu Eldredge.
Leesville Baptist Church -- The Rev. R. H. Weeks, present pastor of this church, in a communication, says:
"It was constituted August 6, 1835, with twenty-nine members, twelve of whom were males, and seventeen were females, who had been connected with the church at Argusville. During the first years of its history, its increase in membership was rapid, and it soon numbered more than one hundred. Since then, it has passed the usual experience of churches, of increase and diminution. A goodly number of its members have entered and become useful in the gospel ministry. One is now pursuing a course of study at Hamilton, with reference to the sacred office. Our present membership number one hundred and ten.
The present deacons are:
Adam Shaul, Christopher Platner, Jacob Hone. The following is a list of the pastors, with their terms of service: 1835-1839 -- Henry Topping 1839-1848 -- George F. Post 1848-1849 -- John Fulton 1850-1856 -- Peter Goo 1856-1860 -- C. C. Bourne 1860-1867 -- Roswell Collins 1867-1870 -- C. C. Hart 1870-1873 -- E. Jewett 1873-1880 -- J. M. Joslyn 1880- -- R. H. Weeks The clerks have been: 1835-1838 -- Phineas Rowley 1838-1849 -- W. L. Judd 1850-1852 -- Henry H. Foland 1852-1857 -- A. Haner 1857-1860 -- J. L. Fox 1860-1863 -- A. Haner 1863-1865 -- Albert Hone 1865-1868 -- Nelson Handy 1868-1870 -- Albert Hone 1870-1882 -- George Tucker
The house of worship was moved from its original location to its present one in 1852.
John Beekman, son of Judge Beekman, was for a long time an enterprising merchant at this hamlet, beside William Becker, Nelson Eldredge, Garrett Hone, W. E. Sprong--Hone and Sprong were partners. Mr. Sprong removed to Rockville, and in connection with Mr. Nathan Stratton managed a cooperative store, which proved a success, it being the only one of the kind in the County. In justice to an able official we will here refer to Mr. William E. Sprong, who has held the office of Justice in the town for the term of thirty-one years. His early life was spent in teaching school and serving as legal scribe of the neighborhood in which his services as teacher were required. Removing form Argusville to Leesville in 1848, he was immediately elected Justice, which office he still holds.
Sharon Cemetery -- This Cemetery Association was formed in 1867, and their grounds, lying east of the village of Leesville, command one of the finest views to be found in the country. The plats are artistically laid out, and cover seven acres of ground.
Upon the completion of the turnpike the rush of travelers being great, Barnabas Eldredge purchased a building that stood east of "Shaul's" present hotel, and for a while kept by Isaac Tinkum as an inn, and removed it across the road upon the grounds of "Feathers' Hotel." Tinkum built in 1808. Eldredge kept this house for many years, and from time to time additions were made to it. It became the property of Daniel Feathers, and was burned in 1864. The present structure was erected in 1865, it being a portion of "Carlisle Seminary." Quite a settlement was made here at the "Rocks" as it is familiarly called, before any village existed near the springs. In 1863 S. Shaul built the hotel opposite of Feathers, for the accommodation of summer boarders, and each enjoys a lucrative patronage each season.
Long years before any efforts were made to accommodate the health-seeking populace, the mineral property of the different springs attractd those troubled with cutaneous diseases. The afflicted for many miles around procured the waters in quantity and used them at their homes, and found them beneficial. The Indians also used them, as when the whites first came here trees were marked leading to them from every direction. One of the Mohawk's paths leading to the Charlotte led past them, and many trinkets and utensils cut from stone were found here, which lead us to conjecture that an encampment was occasionally made by then. Owing to the customs or negligent care of their bodies, the Indians are much afflicted with cutaneous diseases, especially in the spring time, and undoubtedly they found relief in the use of these waters.
The first steps taken to accommodate the public, were by David Eldredge who moved a house that stood near the "Pavilion" down near the Springs in 1825, and kept a few boarders. Believing the enterprise could be made a success, the next season he added to his accommodations, and the season following was favored with twenty-five boarders, which number increased each season, and others were led to embark in the business. In 1836 a company from New York City built a large boarding-house, the "Pavilion", for the better convenience of visitors, which has received several additions from time to time and is now capable of accommodateing five hundred boarders. Beside the main building, the present proprietors, J. H. Gardner & Son, have built seven highly finished and furnished cottages (for private families), that are in close proximity to the "Pavilion", and form the largest establishment at the Spa, or in the County. We believe the building was opened under the management of "Getty & Williams," in 1837, and soon after by J. H. Gardner and Joseph Landon. After, the firm was changed to Gardner & Joslin, and then again to Gardner & Landon, the latter being William, a nephew of Joseph, a former partner. Mr. Gardner at last became sole owner and connected himself with his son, J. H. Gardner, Jr., and formed the present firm of J. H. Gardner & Son. By Mr. Gardner's practical method of managing affairs, the enterprise has proved a success as a profitable investment and model establishment.
From time to time other large hotels have been erected at great expense, and we find today ten large hotels, including the two already mentioned at Rockville. Numberless private families also accommodate boarders through the season, making an interesting and attractive center. The following are the main hotels and present proprieters:
Pavilion - J. H. Gardner & Son Empire - Geo. J. Best Union Hall - Christian Saur Howland House - Sarah Howland American - N. M. LaRue Park House - Fred Eigan Rockville Hotel - C. Shaul Sharon House - Peter Sharpe Feathers' House - Daniel Feathers
Fire has laid three large hotels in ashes within a few years that added very much to the appearance of the place and accommodation of visitors.
Jacob J. Anthony built a fine building in 1857, known as the "Anthony House", but the fall of 1860 found it in ashes. Another of greater dimensions was built in the season following which also burned in December, 1879.
Eldredge House - Seth Eldredge, whom we have already noticed built a large hotel upon Main street in 1850, and opened it to the public in June, 1851. Several additions were made to it as patronage increased, and upon its burning in August, 1873, three hundred boarders could be pleasantly accommodated. Mr. Eldredge was connected with his son-in-law, William Landon, a former parter of J. H. Gardner. Mr. Eldredge, after an active and useful life, died June 24, 1880.
Congress Hall - H. J. Bangs, of New York City, purchased the land surrounding the Springs and built a large hotel in the summer of 1860. He expended a large amount of money in beautifying the grounds; building arbors, temples, and laying out walks; building bath-rooms and other improvements for the convenience and pleasure of visitors. The hotel burned in the fall of 1875, entailing a heavy loss.
Mr. Bangs erected a large building near the cascade for the manufacture of carpenters' planes, but it proved a non-paying enterprise. We cannot recall a man that has done as much for the prosperity of the place as Mr. Bangs. He came to it with a fortune and expended it here, and upon his death was a poor man.
The analysis of the waters found at this celebrated Spa is, as furnished by Dr. J. Green:
White Sulphur Spring:
Solid contents of one gallon: Bicarbonate of Magnesia . . . . . . . . . 24 Gr. Sulphate of Magnesia . . . . . .. . . . . 34 " Sulphate of Lime . . . . . . . .. . . . 85.4 " Hydrosulphate of Magnesia and Lime 3 " Chloride of Sodium and Magnesium . . . 2.7 " 149.1 Hydrosulphuric Acid Gas, or Sulphureted Hydrogen . . . . .20.5 cubic in. Temperature invariably 48 degrees F.
Solid contents of one gallon: Bicarbonate of Magnesia . . . . . . . 30.5 Gr. Sulphate of Magnesia . . . . . . . . . . 22.7 " Sulphate of Lime . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 " Hydrosulphate of Magnesia and Lime . . . .5 " Chloride of Sodium and Magnesium . . . . . 3.0 " 132.7 Hydrosulphuric Acid Gas, or Sulphureted Hydrogen . . . . . . 3.3 cubic in. Temperature invariably 48 degrees F
Gardner Magnesia Spring
Solid contents of one gallon: Sulphate of Magnesia . . . . . . . . . . 19.680 Gr. Sulphate of Lime . . . . . . . . . . . 93.500 " Bicarbonate of Magnesia . . . . . . . 1.360 " Bicarbonate of Lime . . . . . . . . . 9.698 " Bicarbonate of Soda . . . . . . . .554 " Chloride of Sodium . . . . . . . . . 1.232 " Chloride of Magnesium . . . . . . . . .438 " Chloride of Calcium . . . . . . . . . .162 " Sulphurets Calcium and Magnesia . . . .625 " Silicic Acid . . . . . . . . . . . . . .400 " 127.649 Sulphuric Hydrogen . . . . . . . . . . 6.00 cubic in. Carbonic Acid . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.22 " Atmospheric Air . . . . . . . . . . . 3.00 " 11.22 Temperature invariably 48 degrees F
Many hundreds flock to this Spa yearly for health and pleasure, more particularly the latter, as at all other American resorts, and owing to the shortness of the seasons, much must be done in a short space of time, which makes an unusually lively place while the heated term lasts. Sharon Springs has all the facilities for and characteristics of a much larger and more progressive resort, but why they are not employed and expanded we are unable to tell. The stream running through and the cascade below the village are of romantic beauty. The scenery, pleasant drives, wholesome atmosphere, and qualities of the springs, all invite and attract the tourist; while a fine stone quarry, an abundance of building timber, pleasant building sites, and a rich, productive country surrounding, should induce the residents to more pride and enterprise, to do their part as nature has, in making the place a lively competitor to other resorts. Here are presented to the geologist many beautiful specimens of fossil leaves and moss, whose tiny ribs and thread-like branches are perfectly preserved, and may be found upn the surface as well as beneath. In a small cave near--like a hidden casket--nature has placed the rare mineral, Anhydrous Sulphate of Lime, though not in a large quantity, as decomposition of crystals is continually going on nearly in the same ratio of forming.
There are many wealthy families of various cities that yearly come to this place to spend the heated term, that do much for the benefit of the community. For their convenience and the good of the place, they formed a Church of the English order, and built a neat edifice and parsonage of Gothic architecture, that add much to the beauty and appearance of the village.
J. H. Gardner has, since its erection, been the leading officer of the organization, and under his earnest and watchful care, and the labors of the pastor, Rev. Paige, the church stands at the head of the order in the County.
Another worker in the Christian cause is the Roman Catholic Church of Sharon Springs, known as "St. Mary's Church". It is connected with the rectory of the Canajoharie Society, and has been under the pastorate of the following priests: Fathers Brennan, Halligan and Zoker. The latter gentleman at present officiates, but intends soon to return to Ireland, his native land, and retire from ministerial duties, after a very useful and exemplary life of many years in America. The edifice was built as a Union Church in 1857, but was not sustained, and the Roman Catholics purchased the property in 1859.
Merchants -- Marshall N. DeNoyelles, now of Schoharie, was the first general merchant at the Spa, beginning about the year 1848, and continuing several years. Mr. De Noyelles was supervisor of the town in 1854, 1859, 1860, 1865. 1867, 1868, and was an influential member of the Board, beside a practical business man. He was followed by Nathan W. Stratton, in general merchandise, who was also supervisor in 1871, 1872, and is at present in trade. John B. Hoag was for several years a contemporary with Messrs. De Noyelles and Stratton. He was Supervisor of the town in 1869, 1870, and elected to the Assembly in 1874. Mr. Hoag removed to Kansas, and now represents his adopted county in the Legislature of that State. Mr. _____ Fitch is at present in trade, also Wm. H. Beekman, who is the only one of the late Judge Beekman's family bearing the name now residing in the town. Mr. Beekman removed from Beekman's Corners, where he was engaged in trade.
Two miles east of the Springs, Jacob Hiller settled in 1785, and when the turnpike was built he engaged in the hotel business. A store and a few houses were soon erected, and another hamlet received its birh to be killed by the enterprise and intelligence of a later day. But a short distance to the east John Beakley settled at an early day, about the year 1785, and we find him a member of the "Sharon Felicity Lodge" (Masonic) in 1800. His son, John Beakley, Jr., has been one of the prominent citizens of the town for many years, having been Supervisor in 1844 and 1864, and held the office of Justice of the Peace for sixeen years, beside other local positions of honor and trust. Near the Beakley farm Cornelius Van Alstine, of the Mohawk valley, early kept an inn, as did his neighbor, Adam Dockstader, a short distance below. While they acted well their part as citizens, successful farmers and obliging landlords, they long since removed their creaking, swinging signs, and passed away themselves, leaving their families to enjoy the fruits of their active labors.
SHARON, OR MOAK'S HOLLOW
Christian Myndert was the first resident here, and upon the survey being made for the turnpike, Tinas Pynneo, a practical physician from New England, purchased from Myndert the farm now owned in part by Seneca Bergh, and sometime after 1795 built a house for the public convenience, which was soon occupied by Elisha S. Wales and his son-in-law, Joseph Alexander, from Arlington, Vermont. Alexander kept a store and Wales the inn. The former died in 1803, and his widow afterwards married John Sharpe, who became the father of Joseph Sharp, the present resident of the Myndert farm. Upn the death of Mr. Sharpe his widow married Jedediah Miller. Another daughter married John Redington, who, upon the death of Mr. Redington, and her sister, Mrs. Miller, became the second wife of Miller. Mr. Wales met with a sudden death on the 10th of May, 1808, near the present residence of Orrin Griffith. He was upon a heavy load of potash, going to Albany, and having occasion to get off the load, he endeavored to mount the same while the team was in motion He slipped and fell beneath the broad-tire wheels, and was literally crushed. The property was soon purchased by Zachary Keyes, an Eastern man. "Zack Keyes," as he was familiarly called, was a cute, fun-loving, hospitable, yet rough man, and was known from one end of the road to the other as a practical joker. Many anecdotes are still related of him which are amusing and enough to fill a goodly-sized volume. One perhaps will suffice. A temperance organization was formed in the town and its members knowing Zack's love of the cup, asked him in a very polite way to join. Ready at all times to comply with the wishes of his neighbors, he agreed to do so immediately, upon one condition, "to be allowed to use stimulants in the form of liquor when he washed sheep." Having, as most Yankees, a large flock, the temperance men did not mistrust any joke, from the fact that it was customary for all to use spirits upon that "chilly occasion," and they agreed to his proposal, thinking they were about to gain one good step towards a reformation of the man. Zack had a cosset sheep running in the yard, and whenever a chum asked him to drink or he felt thirsty, he would catch the cosset and throw him in a large tub filled with water which he had placed on purpose for the occasion. He was sure to drink before and after the operation. The poor sheep, if not the lodge in general, must have had but little faith in the "reform" as far as Zack was concerned, as it was compelled to undergo the washing several times each day. He was a free-hearted , jolly business man, and remained here several years, but at last removed to Cherry Valley where he died. Reuben Moak followed Keyes in the hotel, beside keeping a variety store, and the hamlet has borne the sobriquet of Moak's Hollow ever since.
Peter Cross, Joseph H. Ramsey, D. J. Dow and others have been engaged in the mercantile business here, but at present that branch of industry has flown.
About 1805 a small tannery was established near the bridge by one Sweatman, who built the house opposite of Mr. Sharp's. In 1847 the "Eagle Foundry" was built and conducted by _____Anthony, who manufactured "sweep" horse-powers, and afterwards invented Harder's "Fearless" tread-powers. In 1848 or 1849, Elias Paige became the proprieter, and was succeeded by his son-in-law, George Fox, who was the proprietor when the establishment burned in the fall of 1880.
Back of Mr. Seneca Bergh's house upon the hill, near a few poplar trees, was a race-course and training ground, upon which a sad accident occurred at a Polk and Dallas ratification meeting in the fall of 1844. A small six-pound cannon was being used upon the occasion, which the young and much-excited people "crowded" in loading, to cause it to "speak in louder terms." Sods and pounded stone were used, which, making a dead weight for the powder to move, caused it to burst, throwing the trunnion several rods and killing James Van Schaaick, a promising man, instantly. He was the son of Koert Van Schaaick, a Revolutionary veteran, who removed from Monmouth, New Jersey, to Glen, Montgomery county, in 1796, and from thence to this place in 1800. There were four sons, two only with families, but one now living. Joseph W., recently deceased was an extensive farmer, and being honored with various local offices, from time to time, and serving upon the Board of Supervisors in 1849, he won, by his strict integrity, conscientious principles and upright dealings, the explicit confidence of all who knew him, and their verdict "An honest man!" Leffret G. is also a prosperous farmer and another example of integrity. These families are true descendants of the Manhatten Van Schaaick's, who were burgomasters of that ancient city.
Soon after the building of the Bergh Hotel, Peter Loucks built an "inn" upon the hill, which was for many years managed by his son, Andrew P. It subsequently came in the possession of one Beauman, and after that of Henry Shutts, who repaired it in 1837. William Thrall and George Dimmick followed each other during the palmy days of the stage line, and it was under Major Thrall the stand was favored as the "stage house" where horses were exchanged, meals taken, and a "round" or two of "flip." During Dimmick's stay, the four-horse stage line was withdrawn, and since then the house has exchanged owners many times, Henry McNeill occupying it for several years. Upon the corner to the west, Mr. Loucks built the present house about the year 1810, and established another son, William P., in the mercantile trade, and he proved successful. In 1839, Henry Shutts, of Cobleskill, built the present store occupied by John Malony, and engaged in trade with Abram A. Kneiskern, of Carlisle, and continued the same until 1844, when Robert Brown succeeded them, and remained til within a few years of the present date. The postoffice was established in 1810.
JOHANNES LOUCKS AND DAVENPORT FAMILIES
We are led to think that Johannes Loucks and William Davenport were the first settlers in the "Rhinebeck" settlement. Johannes Loucks undoubtedly was a distant connection of Cornelius, Andrew, Peter, and other Middleburgh families bearing the name. He came direct from Ulster county by an Indian path, and when the war commenced, being a staunch patriot, and the neighborhood otherwise, he went back to his native place and remained until peace was proclaimed. His children were John, (Squire Henry Loucks' father), John G., (father of Peter Loucks, long of Carlisle, now of Cobleskill), Nicholas and Jacob. The children were small, and were brought on horseback, while the parents walked the entire distance in coming, and carried their small stock of clothing. They settled upon the farm now occupied by Squire Henry Loucks, and purchased a large tract of land.
With them came William Davenport, a direct descendant of John Davenport, of the Mayflower, being a great-grandson. In the possession of the late George Davenport's family is a relic of the pilgrim band, in a good state of preservation, it being a chest belonging to John, Richard and Samuel Davenport, three brothers, that came over in that time-honoured vessel in 1620. The relic has been handed down from father to son through the long course of time with the greatest care. We are indebted to Mr. George Davenport for many interesting facts, as he possesses a large store of general knowledge in regard to the early history of the County, gained from extensive reading of documents and attentive listening to the aged ones that have long since passed away. Possessing a good memory, but few of greater pretensions were better informed than Mr. Davenport, or took a deeper interest in the events of other days, or possessed a warmer heart towards his country.
OTHER LOUCKS FAMILIES
These families came to this neighborhood about the year 1765. There were two brothers, Peter and Andrew, the former settling upon the place now occupied by Daniel Loucks, and the latter upon the farm, of late called Slingerland's. A few years previous, 1760, an uncle of those two, Cornelius, settled upon the farm belonging to Harrison Kromer, now in Seward. Peter was a more energetic business man than Andrew, and had clearer views upon political matters, especially during the "struggle for liberty." In 1799 the High Dutch Reformed Church of Rhinebeck concluded to build a house of worship of their own, upon lands purchased for that purpose, and they cut and hewed the timber -- (white oak and heavy enough for a temple) -- ready for framing, when a controversy arose and the work stopped. The year following, the church was built at Lawyersville. The timber was sold at auction and purchased by Peter Loucks, who erected the present residence of Daniel Loucks with it in 1802. Peter and Andrew were own brothers (see Middleburgh). Peter's children were William, John, Hallis, Daniel, Andrew P., Mrs. Peter Brown and Mrs. Joseph W. Van Schaick.
Prominent as a businessman has been Isaac, son of Daniel, who inherited the business qualities of his grandfather Loucks, and the command of language of Dominie Labagh, his mother's father. While we do not find him in the list of officials, we see him as one of the most active businessmen of the day. No undertaking was too great to baffle his energies, but with the vim of an earnest commander over willing followers, he made business and it to obey his mind. If he had been placed as many other men, with great fortunes at his command, and brought in contact with the gigantic enterprises of this day, we feel assured he would have proved equal to them. With his small means and isolated position while in his prime, he did more business than the majority of his townsmen do at the present time.
Andrew Loucks had but two children, and both were daughters. Mrs. Bently removed to the west, and Mrs. Lemuel Cross settled near and reared an intelligent and useful family. Dr. Cross of Newark, and the late Captain Peter Cross, were sons, the latter being the father of Dr. Lemuel Cross, Augustus, Andrew, and the late Mrs. Augustus C. Smith.
Peter, Mathias, and William Ball, sons of Johannes Ball, of Schoharie, the chairman of the Committee of Safety, settled in this town about the year 1813. Peter located upon the farm previously occupied by Dr. Pynneo, and now by his grandson, George F. He was during the latter part of the Revolution a Quartermaster, and drew a pension as long as he lived. His sons were William, John, and Peter M. William, brother of Peter, settled upn Henry Bellinger's farm, and Mathias upon a portion of Jacob Dockstader's.
They were during the war staunch patriots, as their father, against whom the stigma of disloyalty was never breathed, as they were daily in the service of their country.
In the year 1758, Kling came from Germany, and after a short residence of three years at Stone Arabia, settled upon the present Van Ness Eldredge farm. The old gentleman had two sons, and one daughter, who married a McDougle, who proved to be a desperate Tory, and fled to Canada and did not return. His farm, now owned by James Voorhees, was forfeited. One of the sons wandered away from home when quite young, and was never found, while Luther married the eldest daughter of the patriotic Sebastian France, who it will be remembered, was born upon the ocean. They had four sons, Nicholas, George, Jacob, and Henry, that settled within the County and died, with the exception of Jacob, who removed to Wisconsin and is still living. It is a remarkable occurrence that he reared a family of twelve children, and each are now with families, without a death in the circle, except the wife and mother, of late deceased.
John Adam Kilts removed from Stone Arabia in 1790, and purchased the farm upon which Daniel and George Kilts, his grandsons, now reside. The old gentleman brought the boards with him from Stone Arabia to build a house. The tract of land upon which he settled was in dispute for many years, and at last settled by the Court, in Kilts producing large blocks cut from line trees, upon which were the marks made by early surveyors. John Adam here laid the foundation of the property which the present families bearing the name enjoy. He reared four sons, namely, Conradt, John, Adam, and Peter, who were fathers of the present heads of the Kilts families.
Slate Hill Cemetery. - Among the many beautiful cemeteries that bespeak reverence for the dead, to be found in the County, none are more attractive than Slate Hill Cemetery. It is situated upon a lofty hill of slate formation, from which is presented one of those picturesque sceneries of hill, mountain and vale that abound throughout Schoharie County, whose beauty and grandeur none can but admire. It was incorporated July 6, 1866, and regularly laid out in large plats, and broad roadways and footpaths that are kept in the best of order. A receiving vault is near one of the entrances that was erected the same year, at a large expense. Many fine monuments are placed here that reflect credit upon the architect and the affection of the living towards the dead that lie beneath them. Upon them we find engraved, Wieting, Dockstader, Empie, Bellinger, Conyne, Ramsey, Borst, Eldredge, Van Slyke, Sommers, Pruyn, Loucks and Vroman, mostly families of the County, whose fathers' strong and sinewy arms felled the broad and heavy forest and laid the foundation of the wealth here displayed as well as that of our governmental structure, and who long since passed the sad ordeal of death, after lives ripe in affliction and adversity.
Here lies the first resident pastor of St. Peter's and St. John's churches, and his son, Dr. John C. Moeller, whose usefulness in life deserves a passing tribute. He was born near the Rhinebeck Church in 1788, and was educated under the care of his worthy father and accomplished mother. He studied medicine with Dr. Van Dyke, of Schoharie, and settled in this town about the year 1814. He married Gertrude Traver, who died in 1830, at the age of thirty-nine years, leaving six children: Mrs. Duryea Beekman, Mrs. Samuel Beekman, Mrs. VanNess Eldredge, Mrs. Jacob H. Diefendorf, E. L. H. Moeller of Albany, and Augustus Moeller of Chicago. The Doctor was a very skillful physician who took pride in his profession, and was one of the leading men in the Lutheran church. He represented the town upon the Board of Supervisors in 1846, and died on the 5th of May, 1849, at the age of sixty-one.
Rev. Moeller's life was sprinkled a little with romance that perhaps may be of interest. His first wife was a very unpleasant companion, as she was a scold, and while the army to which the Dominie was attached lay at Philadelphia, a barbecue was held upon the ice, to which his wife was counseled not to attend fearful of getting cold, but she went, and, as predicted by her faithful husband, she caught a severe cold and soon after died. While at the the barbecue the husband met the accomplished wife of a Prussian Count, by the name of Zebwitz, who was upon a tour through the Colonies at the time the war commenced. The British blockaded the Colonial ports, and he could not return home. He espoused the Patriots' cause, and was commissioned a General after the death of Mongomery, under whom he fought at Quebec. Mrs. Zebwitz was also fascinated with the Dominie, but undoubtedly kept it to herself, and during the stay at Philadelphia they were much in each other's company, and each was admired by the other. Ere the war closed the Count died, and the pair wedded, and the union was most pleasing. In 1787 they settled at Rhinebeck, a very objectionable location for one whose past days had been spent in regal splendor. They were laboring, conscientious Christians, and willingly deprived themselves of ease and the luxuries of life, for the Master. The Count and Countess had two sons that died a few years after the father. The fruits of the last marriage were Dr. John C. and Julia, the wife of Dr. Almy, of Toddville, Otsego Co. We find engraved upon her tombstone that stands beside the husband's , "Julian, wife of Rev. Henry Moeller, died July 12th , 1824, aged seventy-five years and ten months," with an appropriate epitaph.
Bellinger Family. - The Bellinger family of this town has been a prominent one as successful farmers, and strict adherents to Calvinistic doctrines in a religious point of view. Their ancestors came from Germany, as will be seen by consulting the Middleburgh Chapter of this work. Those found here are chiefly descendants of Marcus, of Middleburgh. Hon Yost and John, sons of Marcus, settled here in 1791. The former had two sons, David and Yost, and the latter four, namely, John, Jr. , William, Henry, and Marcus. The latter two have been prominent as preachers of the "True Reformed Church" over half a century. Henry preached regularly at this place, Bethlehem, Albany county, Greenbush, Wynderkill, and Piedmont, near New York City, and was revered by his differnt flocks as a noble, sincere man, full of Christian virtues, and an untiring servant of the Master. After expounding "the Word" to many thousands in his plain, unpretending manner, based upon strict doctrines, without sympathy to the so-called "liberal views" of other religious sects, he was called to the realities of the "world beyond", while on the route to fill an appointment at Piedmont on the 11th of October, 1877, at the age of eighty-seven.
Marcus died within the past year. He commenced preaching about the time his brother did but did not supply as many parishes. Canajoharie, Duanesburgh, and Middleburgh, were the fields of his labors, and he was also an untiring teacher. William is the only one of the four brothers living. One peculiarity attended the labors of these men, which is worthy of notice -- the firm hold they had upon their followers. Through all the ecclesiastical changes from "conservative doctrines" to "liberal views" that have been going on for the last few years in most of the churches, these men whose views were so repugnant to the general idea of the day, have held their flocks and carried them through, without dissentious seceding, and stand today stronger in faith and numbers than ever. They received only a common school education, which must have been very limited, and were industrious farmers and more than common men. They were men of inflexible purposes, indomitable energies, and of superior tact.
VanValkenburgh Family. - The original of this family name is Valk in German, and Falk in Holland Dutch, as we are informed by one of the family, Dr. Jacob Van Valkenburgh, whose researches into the family history have been extended. The ancestors of this branch of the Valk family came from Valkenburgh, at present within the bounds of Holland, and to to distinguish them from those of higher Germany after they came to America, they were called after the place from which they came, viz: John or Henry Valk, from Valkenburgh, was changed to John or Henry Van Valkenburgh -- Van meaning from. The first of that name in this town was John Joseph, who came from Middleburgh and purchased one hundred and sixty-six acres of land, now occupied by John J. and Adam Van Valkenburgh, in October, 1792, paying therefor one hundred and fifty-four pounds, four shillings. He had thirteen children, six sons and seven daughters. The sons were: Adam, John Joseph, Peter, Jacob, Joachim and Henry. The original family of both branches used the German language.
Tillapaugh Family. - Referring to the origin of the Van Valkenburgh name, we will here allude to another, which is quite prominent in this and other northern towns of the County, that originted from another family. It is Tillapaugh. The original is Dillenbeck, which, when spoken by the old stamp of Germans, becomes "Dillapah," and when uttered by the English tongue, with a broader accent, it becomes Tillapaugh, as written now through the fancy of one of the Dillenbeck family that adopted the name. His own brothers, however, retained the original.
This settlement was made about the year 1794, by families from Stone Arabia, among whom was the Hyney family, (father of the late John Hyney), also the Taylor's and Gilbert's. The hamlet was named after Richard Gilbert. Myron Culver also was an early settler, and kept a small store for many years. The road leading from this place to the Springs is one from which fine views are obtained, especially near and at the "Pavilion." The long stretch of low land lying to the north, east and west along the Mohawk, presents an attractive scenery, while the mountains beyond make a varied background that is most pleasing.
Physicians -- Tinas Pynneo was the first physician in the town, and settled upon the present George Ball place. George F. Fox studied and formed a partnership with him in 1820, but Pynneo died that year and Fox retained the field to within a few years. John C. Moeller came in 1814, and remained til his death in 1849. Sylvanus Palmer followed in 1825 at Beekman's Corners, and George B. Huddleston at Leesville about the same time. Theodore Gilbert, James Thompson, James Mereness, J. Green and James Snyder followed in succession at the latter place. Dr. Snyder, of late deceased, leaves the place without a professional physician for the first time in sixty years. Upon the building up of the village at the Springs, Dr. John Loucks settled there about the year 1840, and was followed by S. F. Fonda, in 1850. After a practice at Leesville of seven years, Dr. Green located at the Spa in 1853, and is still in practice with Dr. Fonda. Doctors Jacob Dockstader, G. A. Williams and John T. Hard all of the allopathic school, except Dr. Dockstader, who withdrew from that practice, and of late adopted the homeopathic, are also there. Dr. Jacob Van Valkenburgh, of the electic school, succeeded Dr. Fox at Sharon Hill, and still remains, and to whom we are indebted for many facts connected with the history of Sharon.
True Reformed Church of Sharon Hill -- The "True Reformed Church of Sharon Hill" was organized in 1829, with Henry Bellinger at its head, having seceded from the "Reformed Church" of "Turlah" in that year. The society built a house of worship the season following, upon the forks of the roads leading to Gardnersville and Cobleskill. In 1857 or 1858 the present edifice was built upon Sharon Hill. Henry Bellinger was the officiating pastor as long as he lived, and since his death the pulpit has not been regularly supplied. The cause of seceding fom the parent church was, as we were informed by the late Dr. Palmer, long a member of this society, a difference of belief in the doctrine of election and fore-ordination, the seceders holding to the strict injunction of the doctrine.
Masonic Lodge of Sharon Springs No. 624 -- This Lodge of "Free and Accepted Masons" was organized June 20, 1867, with Barnabas B. Eldredge as Worshipful Master. Seth Eldgredge, Senior Warden James W. Harper, Junior Warden L. H. Jackson, Secretary Joshua Ward, Seward Eldredge, Henry C. Snyder, William Fox, members.
The membership has increased over one hundred, and the Lodge is in a prospering condition. Their rooms are spacious and well-furnished. The present officers are:
James W. Harper, Worshipful Master A. P. Prime, Senior Warden Lyman D. Mereness, Junior Warden J. K. Harper, Treasurer W. H. Craig, Secretary A. J. Cook, Chaplain Emme Kilts, Senior Deacon Andrew Turner, Junior Deacon George Copp, Senior Master of Ceremonies George Kilts, Junior Master of Ceremonies Hezekiah Simmons, Tiler Menzo France, Marshal George Kilts, M. W. Stratton, J. H. Best, Trustees
This town presents a long line of officials.
Judge William Beekman, beside being the first County Judge, represented the district in the State Senate in 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802,
John Rice was the first Assemblyman from the County. His successors, including those from Seward, up to the time that town was formed were:
John Rice, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1808, 1809, 1810 Henry Bellinger, 1806 Barnabas Eldredge, 1820, 1821 Robert Eldredge, 1826, 1831 Peter Hynds, 1829 John F. Hiller, 1835 George F. Fox, M. D., 1839 Seth Eldredge, 1844 James Parsons, 1848 Edward Eldredge, 1865 Robert Eldredge, Assistant Judge, 1833, 1838 The old town records have been carefully preserved and give us the names of the supervisors as follows: 1796 - Tinas Pynneo 1797 - Tinas Pynneo 1798 - Peter Loucks 1799 - Peter Loucks 1800 - Peter Loucks 1801 - Peter Loucks 1802 - Peter Loucks 1803 - Peter Loucks 1804 - Peter Loucks 1805 - Peter Loucks 1806 - Peter Loucks 1807 - Peter Loucks 1808 - John Malick 1809 - John Malick 1815 - Peter A. Hilton 1816 - Jacob Crounse 1817 - Peter A. Hilton 1818 - John Rice 1819 - Peter A. Hilton 1820 - Jacob Crounse 1821 - Robert Eldredge 1822 - Robert Eldredge 1823 - Robert Eldredge 1824 - Robert Eldredge 1825 - Peter Hynds 1826 - Peter Hynds 1827 - Peter Hynds 1828 - Jacob Crounse 1829 - Jacob Crounse 1830 - Timothy Cook 1831 - John Scott 1832 - John F. Hiller 1833 - Adam Empie 1834 - Robert Eldredge 1835 - Robert Eldredge 1836 - Robert Eldredge 1837 - Martin Merckley 1838 - James Parsons 1839 - William Royce 1840 - Robert Eldredge 1841 - Seth Eldredge 1842 - Cornelius Beekman 1843 - Daniel D. Webster 1844 - John Beakley 1845 - David Becker 1846 - John C. Moeller 1847 - Seymour Smith 1848 - John C. Empie 1849 - J. W. Van Schaick 1850 - John I. Dockstader 1851 - Adam Empie 1852 - Seymour Smith 1853 - Joseph Zeh 1854 - M. N. DeNoyelles 1855 - P. H. Sharp 1856 - Luther Taylor 1857 - Garret Hone 1858 - Daniel Eldredge 1859 - M. N. DeNoyelles 1860 - M. N. DeNoyelles 1861 - Peter Low 1862 - Peter Low 1863 - John A. Empie 1864 - John Beakly. 1865 - M. N. De Noyelles. 1866 - Charles Craig. 1867 - M. N. De Noyelles. 1868 - M. N. De Noyelles. 1869 - John B. Hoag. 1870 - John B. Hoag. 1871 - Nathan W. Stratton. 1872 - Nathan W. Stratton 1873 - Augustus Parsons 1874 - Peter A. Bellinger. 1875 - Peter A. Bellinger. 1876 - Garrett Hone. 1877 - Garrett Hone. 1878 - Henry C. Lyker. 1879 - Henry C. Lyker. 1880 - Henry C. Lyker. 1881 - Henry C. Lyker. 1882 - Henry C. Lyker.
Upon the building of the railroad through the town, bonds were issued to the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, to aid in the construction, of which amount $90,000 remained unpaid, July 1, 1881.
The boundaries of this town were defined in 1813, after those of the surrounding towns, and were only described as follows by statute: --
"And all that part of the said County of Schoharie bounded northerly, westerly, and southwesterly by the bounds of the County, and easterly and southeasterly by the towns of Carlisle and Cobleskill, shall be and continue a town by the name of Sharon." (36th Sess. Chap. CI., (R.L.) Vol. II.)
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