FORMATION OF COUNTY -
THE NAME OF SCHOHARIE - POPULATION - BOUNDARIES - SURFACE - THE SCHOHARIE AND TRIBUTARIES - INUNDATIONS - LAKES - FORMATION OF TOWNS - FIRST COUNTY OFFICERS - FIRST COURT HOUSE - POORHOUSE - PAUPERS - COUNTY'S PROGRESS - WAR OF 1812 - DELEGATES TO STATE CONVENTION - POLITICAL - SCHOHARIE DEMOCRAT GOV. BOUCK'S MESSAGE - SOURKROUT MESSAGE - ANTI-RENT WAR - RAILROADS - PLANK ROADS - SEMINARY MANIA - SUSQUEHANNA RAILROAD - SCHOHARIE VALLEY - SHARON AND CHERRY VALLEY - HOWE'S CAVE ENTERPRISES - MINERAL SPRINGS - EDUCATION - RELIGION - TEMPERANCE - SABBATH SCHOOL SOCIETIES - BIBLE SOCIETY - MASONIC LODGES - AGRICULTURAL AND MEDICAL SOCIETIES - TELEPHONE LINES - NEWSPAPERS - CRIMINAL LIST - SUMMARY OF FACTS - POPULATION BY CENSUS OF 1880.
Schoharie County was formed on the 6th of April 1795 from Albany and Otsego counties, and named Schoharie after the principal stream that runs through the territory of which it is comprised. Schoharie is an Indian name, and signifies, Flood Wood, according to the late Judge John M. Brown, who was the author of "A brief sketch of the first Settlement of Schoharie County," and to whom we are indebted for transmitting to us much that would otherwise have been lost.
We find the word Schoharie, written in various ways, viz: Skochalie, Schorie, Shore, (probably pronounced Sho-ree,) Schohare, Schoharry, Scorie and Schohary, and called by the Dutch. Shuck-ha-ry.
The Act of the Legislature in forming the County, gave to it the present orthoepy - Schohar-ie, which we must adopt as the name of the County, a town and village - whose associations are historical from the first tread of the white man upon the virgin soil, down to the present time, and with which are mingled the most glorious examples of patriotic devotion and endurance that adorn the annals of any history.
By an act passed April 3, 1801, to divide the State into counties, the boundaries of Schoharie were thus defined: -
"The county of Schoharie to contain all that part of the State bounded easterly by the county of Albany, northerly by part of the south bounds of the county of Montgomery, as hereafter described, westerly by a line beginning at the southwest corner of a tract of land formerly granted to John Lyne, and running thence the following courses and distances as marked by order of the Surveyor General, south twenty-one degrees and forty-eight minutes west, two hundred and nineteen chains to the place where Joshua Tucker formerly resided, thence south seven degrees and forty-eight minutes west one hundred and ninety-three chains to the easternmost line of a tract of land known by the name of Belvidere Patent, thence south nine degrees east, six hundred and ninety-five chains to a certain hill, known by the name of Grover's hill, thence with a direct line from the most northwesterly corner of Stroughburgh Patent, thence with a direct line to the northerly corner of Harpersfield, on the Charlotte or Adegatangie branch of tile Susquehannah river, thence southeastlv along the bounds of Harpersfield to the said lake Utsayantho and southerly by a line formerly run from the head of Kaater's creek, where the same issues out of the southerly side or end of a certain lake or pond lying in the Blue Mountains to the said lake Utsayantho, and by part of the north bounds of the county of Greene."
In 1836 a portion of Greene county was annexed and at the present time the County consists of three hundred and seventy-five thousand, three hundred and thirty-five acres of land, and containing, according to the census of 1880, thirty-two thousand, nine hundred and thirty- nine inhabitants. The surface is an upland, broken by a northerly branch of the Catskills in the southern, and by hills of lime rock formation chiefly, in the central and northern parts. The rocks are those which belong to the Hudson River, Clinton, Hamilton, Chemung, Onondaga and Catskill groups and the Helleberg series. Among them are found many caverns in which mineralogists find interesting specimens, such as sulphate and carbonate of strontia, carbonates of iron and arragonite, calcite, satin spar, stalactites - translucent and solid, sulphate of barytes, black oxide of manganese, calstronbaryte, agarie, mineral and bog ore, besides an endless variety of fossils peculiar to the formations.
The Schoharie river flows a little to the east of the center of the County and empties in the Mohawk at Fort Hunter. Its tributaries are Fox's creek, Stony brook, Little Schoharie, Keyser's creek, Platner's and Manor Kill from the east, and Cripplebush, Cobleskill, Lime, Panther, West and Mine Kill from the west. The Cobleskill is the largest and rises in the town of Worcester, Otsego county. The pond from which it flows is on the height of land between the Hudson and Susquehanna rivers, which is fourteen hundred and seventy-five feet above tide. The Schenevus, a tributary of the Susquehanna, also flows from the same source to the west, thereby joining the valleys of the two great rivers by a grade of which the genius of enterprise has taken advantage and laid the ":iron rails" along the waters' paths and opened a line of transportation, long desired by the agriculturists of western Schoharie, southern Otsego, Delaware and Chenango counties, besides giving the products of the coal fields of Pennsylvania another and more direct outlet to the Eastern States, northern New York and the lower provinces of Canada.
Schoharie river makes a somewhat circuitous course. It flows from a small pond in the town of Hunter, Greene county, about twelve miles west of the Hudson. and taking a western course enters the northeastern corner of Delaware county and turns to the northwest, where it finds an opening between the hills of Gilboa, and runs nearly north through Blenheim, Fulton and Middleburgh. Passing on through Schoharie in an east-northeast direction, it takes a sudden turn to the north and enters the town of Esperance where it again turns to the east-northeast and breaks through the southern watershed of the Mohawk and bears to the north to unite with the waters of that stream about nine miles from the county line, making a circuit of over one hundred miles, to swell the waters of the Hudson. From many elevations along its course the stream presents a picturesque appearance. Coming down from the lofty Catskills with rapid pace, winding around the base of giant mountains, gorging deep ravines in the sides of rocky hills and plunging over shelving rocks to deeper paths it appears at last in the broad openings of Schoharie County. Then again its serpentine trail may be traced among the evergreen hills that many times seem to lie placed as barriers to its onward course, but finding a winding path it pushes on to emerge again in broad intervals, whose beauty and productiveness are rarely equaled.
The river and tributaries have many times overflowed the flats along their courses and done a vast amount of damage in the destruction of crops, land and buildings. The first of which we have any definite knowledge was in the spring of 1784, the year following the Revolution. The damage was so great the people petitioned to the Legislature to be exempt from taxation. The petition says: -
"The heavy rains caused the river to be stopped up with cakes of ice to the top of the banks which caused the river to flow over the flats and spoiled whole farms thereon."
Farther on it continues: -
"If you Don't believe us that we have suffered we pray your Honorable houses to send men who you may perhaps place confidence in, than in us, to take a View of our situation."
To make the petition more effective they refer to their losses in the war as follows: -
"Your petitioners have long endured the burden of a distressed war and are of the greatest sufferers in the State of New York. By reason of living in the very frontier of the State, open to the Dayly incursions of a cruel enemy, & are destroyed to the utmost degree. The most of us not left with a building to go in to keep them and families dry from weather, and no money to erect buildings again. The Inhabitants of Tryon county are exempted from paying taxes. We think it Right. But at the same time We claim an Equal right with them and Rather more."
The next great overflow was in the spring of 1858, when houses and hay stacks were carried away, and broad flats cut up by the strong current. In the fall of 1869 another overflow did a great amount of damage, but was followed in the spring of 1870 by one of greater proportions, that did an immense damage in the destruction of farms, especially in the towns of Fulton and Blenheim. Other lesser floods have occurred which in individual cases proved disastrous, but those through which the valleys suffered the worst, as a whole, were in the years given.
Perched upon the hills of Summit, is a placid sheet of water, covering nearly one hundred acres, at an altitude of two thousand feet above tide. A similar pond that can hardly bear the name of lake, lies upon the southern bounds of the County, bearing the Aboriginal appellation of "Utsayantha."
Near the former, the Charlotte creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna rises, while from the latter, the west or main branch of the Delaware river takes its rise.
Throughout the lime rock districts, subterraneous streams are numerous, which appear at the surface, and after running a short distance, disappear to emerge again at some distant point.
Upon the formation of the County it was divided into six towns, namely: Schoharie, Middletown, Bristol, Blenheim, Cobleskill and Sharon. In 1801 Middletown was changed to Middleburgh, and in 1808, Bristol to Broome, in honor of Lieutenant-Governor Broome. There are at present, sixteen towns in the County, the names of which, with the date of their formation, together with the towns from which each was taken are as follows: -
Schoharie, formed March 17. 1797. from Schoharie, Albany county.
Broome as Bristol, formed March 7, 1797. from Schoharie.
Middleburgh, formed March 17, 1 797, from Schoharie.
Blenheim, formed March 17, 1767. from Schoharie.
Cobleskill, formed March 17, 1797. from Schoharie.
Sharon, formed March 17, 1797, from Dorloch, Otsego county.
Jefferson, formed February 12, 1803, from Blenheim.
Carlisle, formed March 31, 1807. from Sharon and Cobleskill.
Summit, formed April 13, 1819, from Jefferson and Cobleskill.
Fulton, formed April 5, 1828, from Middleburgh.
Conesville, formed March 3, 1836, from Broome and Durham, Greene county.
Seward, formed February 11, 1840, from Sharon.
Wright, formed April 4, 1846, from Schoharie.
Esperance, formed April 4, 1846, from Schoharie.
Richmondville, formed April 11, 1849, from Cobleskill and Seward.
The council of appointment, by whom nearly all officers were appointed, convened upon the sixth day of June, 1795, and appointed the following as county officers: -
Joachim G. Staats, Clerk.
Jacob Lawyer, Jun., Sheriff.
Stephen A. Becker, Surrogate.
William Beekman, First Judge.
Adam B. Vroman,
John M. Brown,
Jonathan Danforth, Assistant Judges
Being established as a separate county, and not having any public buildings, according to the records, the first Court of General Sessions "was held at the house of Johannes Ingold, inn keeper" upon the 31st day of May, 1796. Upon the opening of the same, thirty-two rules were adopted and afterwards printed, which may be found in the County Library. The following presided upon their adoption: -
His Honor Wm. Beekman, First Judge.
Adam B Vroman, Jonathan Danforth, Peter Swart, Marcus Bellinger, Assistant Judges
John Bauch, John Ries, Peter Snyder, Assistant Justices.
Upon the opening of the court the following Assistant Justices were added and an adjournment made" -
Joseph Borst, Jun., George Richtmyer, Jacob Mann, Josias Swart and Storm A. Becker.
The first Court of Oyer and Terminer was held at the same place, the proceedings of which we will copy verbatim from the records: -
"Court of Oyer and Terminer held in the house of Johannes Ingold Inn holder on the 26th day of June 1796 Present His Honor Mr. Justice Lansing.
"Adam B. Vroman, Jonathan Danforth, Peter Swart, John M. Brown, Marcus Bellinger Judges
"John Rie, Peter Snyder, Martines Zielie Ass't Justices
"10 ock A. M. Proclamation made and court opened. Proclamation made for the Sheriff to return, &c. Returns Precept to summons Jurors. Gran Jurors summoned and sworn, viz:
"Josias Swart Foreman, George Warner, Peter Shafer, Lambert Lawyer, Henry Weaver, Jr., Wardwell Green, Abraham Becker, Ichabod Griffin, Henry S. Haper, Peter Bouck, Silas Grey, Geo. Richtmyer, Walter Briggs, Nicholas Lawyer, David Bauch, Wm. Simmons, Abraham Lawyer, Jr. Grand Jury charged by his honor Judge Lansing.
"Proclamation made and constables called - Constables, Justices and defaulters excused by court from any fines at this time for their non-attendance.
"Proclamation made and Coroner called, appeared John Ingold, Jun., one of the Coroners. Returns an Inquisition dated 27th June 1796 by which it is found that Henry Parsons was found dead and came to his death by mischance by the act of God.
"The grand Jury returned into court and presented the following bill of Indictment to wit: -
"The People vs James a negro man slave Indicted for Grand Larceny
"Prisoner arraigned. Pleads to the Indictment not guilty. On motion of Mr. Joseph C. Yates on behalf of Mr. Van Veghten assistant attorney general, Ordered that the Sheriff return the precept. The Sheriff returned the precept with a pannel annexed and the following Pettit jurors appeared and were sworn to wit: -
"John I. Lawyer Foreman, Jacob Becker, John Schafer, George Hiltz, Jacob Lawyer, Wm. Mann, Jeremiah Brown, George Snyder, Peter P. N. Zeilie, Hendrick Schaeffer, Abraham Bergh, and Henry Bellinger.
"Witnesses for the people Jacob Lawyer Jun., Josias Clark.
"The prosecutors fail in proof of the fact. Jury charged to find the prisoner Not Guilty. They withdraw, and return and say, 'That the prisoner at the bar is not guilty of the felony, whereof he stands indicted.'"
In December of 1796, the Judges and Supervisors held a meeting to consider the building and location of a courthouse and jail, but no legalized steps were taken until the Legislature by an act passed the 4th of April, 1798, authorized the Supervisors of the several towns "to raise by tax on the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the said county the sum of two thousand dollars for the purpose of building a court house and Gaol in said county with the additional sum of four cents in the dollar for collecting the same."
It was also further enacted -
"That Jacob Lawyer Jun. Jost Borst Jun. Peter Snyder, John H. Shafer and Wm. Thrall shall be commissioned to superintend the building the court house and gaol."
Something of a controversy arose as to the location of the buildings, many chose the present site, while others were anxious to have them placed nearly two miles up the valley. The Legislature appointed Abraham A. Post of Ontario, Alex. H. Buell of Herkimer, and William Duer of Oswego, as committee to locate and who were influenced to decide upon the present site. The appropriation not being sufficient to carry out the designs of the commissioners and Supervisors, an act of April 4, 1800, authorized the latter to raise the sum of one thousand, five hundred dollars to complete the work. The same act required that -
"It shall be the duty of the Sheriff of the County of Albany to deliver over to the Sheriff of the said County of Schoharie, all prisoners in his custody belonging to said County of Schoharie, whenever it shall be certified by the major part of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Schoharie, that the gaol is in a fit condition for their confinement."
The fall of 1800 found the building occupied, but not completed, and an act was passed on the 21st of March, 1801, authorizing the further sum of one thousand, five hundred dollars to be raised for "completing the court house and gaol," making the total cost of the structure five thousand dollars.
In 1845 the building was burned by George Burton, a prisoner, and was replaced by a more commodious structure the year following, which was also burned in the month of January, 1870. The present building was erected the same year, and is calculated to be fire-proof. It is constructed of blue limestone, having galvanized cornices and pinacles, and a more neat and substantial court-house, but few interior counties can pride themselves upon possessing. The jail is in the rear and was built in the fall of 1846, and escaped the conflagration of 1870.
In addition to the public buildings already mentioned, is the Poor House, a brick and stone structure, located nearly six miles to the south, upon the west side of the Schoharie river. In 1830 a farm of one hundred acres was purchased, and the building then standing upon it, though inferior, was used as the "Poor House." The present edifice was built in 1838, under the superintendence of the building committee, Cyrus Smith and Peter I. Borst.
Soon after the purchase of this farm, a portion of it was sold, and the proceeds of the sale invested in a wood lot, which leaves but a trifle over sixty acres of tillable land, which greatly assists in the subsistence of the inmates.
The first keeper was Joseph Beck, under the dictation of three superintendents, appointed yearly by the Board of Supervisors. At the present time it is under the management of but one Superintendent, elected by the people triennially.
The average number of paupers, for the last five years, has been sixty-two, many of whom were once energetic business men with ample means, and well bred and affable women by whom fate has dealt harshly. While the majority of the remainder are those who belong to a class, to use the parlance of the people, known as "Sloughters," whose morality was lost long years ago, and not inheriting any principle, they have failed to find it, and instead, are content to eke out a miserable existence in licentious habits, until the winter returns, or their physical condition is such as to make them objects of care.
The country having dearly felt the bitter of contention truly enjoyed the sweets of peace and made an onward progression which far exceeded the expectation of the people of our own as well as those of foreign lands. Large accessions were made from Eastern States and European countries and each gladly united to advance and uphold the pleasing political and religious privileges they could here enjoy. The tide of immigration caused the borders to recede and far back in the wilderness and upon the broad prairies of the West the curling smoke of the enterprising pioneers' firesides shot upward as signals to lead others on to homes of peace, plenty and happiness. Within the limits of Schoharie County the same progression characterized every neighborhood in the beginning of the present century. Jealous of their freedom, every male inhabitant between the ages of eighteen and forty-five was considered a soldier of the country and was required to meet his respective military officers at such times and places as designated by them to drill in the use of arms and military tactics, that in case of war the country would be in readiness.
Perhaps a people could not be found that bore a greater, or as great a hatred to England, as the people of the Schoharie settlements, as a mass. The price set upon their scalps by the officers of that government forever alienated them from recognizing a single redeeming quality in the nation, and when she dared to overhaul our vessels upon free waters in 1811 and '12 and beneath the stars and stripes that had been bathed in the sweat and blood of their fathers for an existence, and take our citizens and force them to vindicate the British banner upon foreign shores, it but rekindled their hatred and each act against the supremacy of the Government was taken as an insult upon them as individuals.
When the call was made to resist the English forces upon our Northern borders, Colonel Efner's regiment was summoned to report at Schoharie and upon reading the proclamation of the President quite a controversy arose as to who would go, and when the roll was called and draft made from it, many that were not included stepped forward to take the places of those that were drafted. The record or muster-roll is very inaccurate, as it does not give the additions that were afterwards made to the regiment by enlisting as hostilities progressed.
Lieutenant William Elmandorf, as will be more definitely mentioned in Cobleskill, enlisted a company of artillery from Sharon, Cobleskill and Carlisle under Captain Josias Kellogg, and united with companies from Montgomery county, under Colonel Forsyth. They were at Oswego, Sackett's Harbor and Ogdensburgh, and remained in service until the close of the war, returning with nearly all their number, but bearing many wounds. They assisted in the destruction of British stores at Gananoque in Canada, and repulsed the British forces at Ogdensburgh on the 2d of October. 1812, being in numbers only four hundred against a force of one thousand disciplined troops. Besides this engagement, Lieutenant Elmandorf's biographer mentions others in number ten as above referred.
The company's enrollment is lost, but as far as we have been able to glean, the following were the volunteers: - Josias Kellogg, Captain, Wm. Elmandorf, Lieutenant, Jacob L. Lawyer, Corporal, David Lawyer. Marcus Warner, John Mickel, William Young, John Hyney. Joshua Ward, David Fraats, John Fox, Daniel Brown, Elias and Aaron Malick, Charles Gordon, Mathias Young.
In the season of 1813 Deidrick Van Veghten, editor of the Schoharie Herald, being clothed with a captain's commission, recruited a company at Schoharie village, and during the winter of that year was stationed at Schenectady to guard army supplies that were there stored. In the following spring, he joined Gen. VanRensselaer's regiment and was promoted to Major. In an engagement upon the border he was sent forward with his company, by the General, to make an attack upon the enemy with the assurance of relief. But after a bloody fight the Major and force were taken prisoners without any effort upon the part of VanRensselaer to send relief. He and his men were incarcerated at Chambly in a stone building, whose windows were too high to be reached by the men, and after lying there a few months an escape was effected. VanVeghten being a tall man, ordered each of his men to climb upon his shoulders and escape through the window. They did so leaving only himself in prison.
Many of the soldiers from Schoharie died by the epidemic that prevailed in 1813 and 1814, especially while in camp at Plattsburgh and Sackett's Harbor. At one time the ranks of Efner's regiment were nearly broken by sickness and had it not been for the vigor of the men, the disease would have made a most lamentable havoc in their numbers. But few were killed, although they participated in several engagements.
When peace was proclaimed, quiet was restored and the people settled down to labor and enterprise, knowing that their strength made them invincible from any source their enemies might direct against them Experience soon taught them of many defects, which their good, honest judgments led them to aright. The Constitution of the State made and adopted in 1777, proved to be defective, and on the 28th of August, 1821, the "Second Constitutional Convention" met in Albany and framed a new instrument, known as the "Second Constitution." Judge Olney Briggs of Esperance, Jacob Sutherland of Blenheim, and Asa Starkweather of Broome, were chosen by the people of the County as delegates. They were three men of marked abilities, as their debates before the convention show, and who performed their duties with honesty and faithfulness.
A free government, giving each an equal opportunity to aspire to prominent positions and allowing free thought and expression upon all subjects and occasions, naturally leads the ambition of many to mingle in the political arena, from which are brought official honors that are extremely tempting to the majority of the people. Contrary opinions are entertained by different individuals as to the manner certain results may be brought about. Each opinion becomes a "Platform" so called, with numerous advocates according to its practicability or the shrewdness and ingenuity of the leaders and thus forming "parties." While the American heart is upon the perpetuity of our political institutions, there are opposite ideas in regard to the means of so doing.
When the question of the disfranchisement of the Tory element which was so firmly and persistently advocated by George Clinton, who had safely engineered the province of New York through the Revolutionary struggle, became the leading topic in political circles and passed the Assembly in 1784, the people (or a majority of them) of Schoharie were Clinton's staunch adherents, and they in their excitement and hatred of the Tories, accused those who advocated their cause, of being such. Even Hamilton, whose magnanimity in Freedom's cause was inferior to none, had the epithet cast upon him beside others, whose course through the war condemned such charges. The disfranchisernent act was repealed in 1787 through the indefatigable labors of Hamilton and Schuyler, and we believe after a more careful reflection upon the privileges our government intended to accord to her citizens, Clinton withdrew his objection to it.
But still, the People of Schoharie branded many of the advocates of franchisement that had been unswerving patriots as Tories, and the odium is occasionally breathed afresh and kept in circulation, without the slightest degree of truth to substantiate it. Such is one of the evils our existing political periods fan into life to bring disgrace and defeat to political opponents, without weighing, by calm reflection, their untruthfulness, or considering the impractical theory the sentiment is likely to transmit to posterity, and in fostering a hatred that is detrimental to our political happiness as a people.
Being supporters of Clinton when the County was formed, her people adhered to the party, and Schoharie became a democratic 1 County giving only an occasional opposite majority in individual cases.
When Andrew Jackson stepped upon the political stage, and with his unflinching ambition caused the political firmament to rumble with his thunderings, Wm. C. Bouck and Colonel Wm. Dietz, were the leaders of the Democrats in the County. They were two men that possessed the unbounded confidence of the people, as in all positions in which they had been placed, (and they were many,) they proved themselves honest and true. Politics ran to fever heat during the years of the twenties and thirties in the the County, and culminated in the election of Wm. C. Bouck, as Governor, in the fall of 1842. Two years before he was nominated against Wm. H. Seward, but was defeated. At the time of Bouck's election, there were three candidates in the field, Seward and Alvan Stewart, over whom was obtained a majority of 14,718. In justice to our only Gubernatorial official, and also to recall an article that created considerable political gossip and curiosity, we here insert the chief points of the Governor's first message, hoping it may be pleasing to his old friends and admirers, as well as exhibit the acme of progression that the "Empire State" had reached thirty-eight years ago: -
"To the Legislature of the State of New York: -
"FELLOW CITIZENS: The Constitution makes it the duty of the Governor to communicate by message to the legislature, at every session, the condition of the State, and recommend such matter as he shall judge expedient, and take care that the laws are faithfully executed.
"I have entered upon the discharge of the responsible duties of the Executive department of the government, with a proper regard, as I trust, for the important obligations imposed upon me.
"For the first time since the organization of the government, the chief magistrate has been selected from the agricultural portion of the community.
"Whatever distrust I may feel in taking upon myself an untried station of so much importance and difficulty, I repose with confidence on the guidance of the Almighty! on the cooperation of every department of the government, and on the indulgence of a generous people, who are always ready to overlook unintentional errors.
"To you as the immediate representatives of the people, belongs the duty of making ample provision to enforce a strict compliance with the constitution and laws; to simplify, expedite, and cheapen all the proceedings of the courts of law and equity; to place every department of the Government under a rigid accountability upon principles of economy; to see that the public faith is sacredly maintained, and the credit of the State kept unimpaired; to lessen as far as practicable the burdens of taxation in all its ramifications; to give the greatest possible efficiency to our system of internal improvements, having reference to principles of public utility, and a careful regard for the interest of every portion of the State; to facilitate the use of the roads and canals already constructed; to see that our penitentiary system answers the great ends of preventing crimes and punishing and reclaiming offenders, against the laws, upon principles of humanity; to see that all our charitable and benevolent institutions of a public character, are made to accomplish the object for which they were designed; to see that the banking institutions are placed upon a basis that will enable them with an honest administration of their affairs to command public confidence and subserve the legitimate objects of creation; to give the utmost efficiency to the several departments of education; to protect and promote the interest of the agricultural, mechanical and laboring portion of the community; to restrain corporate bodies from all abuses of power; to take care of the public health, and to maintain the elective franchise in its purity.
* * * * *
"Were it not for the great excesses previous to 1837 when agriculture was neglected, when extravagance and an inordinate desire for wealth prevailed, and the whole nation was deluded by a fictitious prosperity, the people would now be comparatively happy in the full enjoyment of ease and plenty.
"Although the country is in possession of an uncommon surplus of the products of labor, yet business is depressed and the people are embarrassed in all their monied transactions.
"This should doubtless be charged to the fact that fictitious prices and an inordinate desire for wealth have led to the contracting of debts which the products of the country at the present low prices do not furnish the means of paying.
"But I am confident that this state of things is gradually undergoing a salutary change. The people doubtless see the necessity of more economy in all their affairs and the evil consequences of a system of credit altogether too much extended, I am also confident that they will not again be so easily misled by the fallacy of artificial means to make them prosperous, and that they have become convinced that substantial wealth can only be derived from productive labor.
"There is no nation so highly favored as the people of the United States; and if they properly improve the advantages they possess, time will show that in point of greatness they are, as yet, in their infancy.
"There have been repeated instances in the history of the administration of the Federal government when powers of legislation have been assumed derogatory to State rights.
"While the States should yield a ready obedience to the rightful authority of the Federal government, they cannot be too watchful of their sovereignty, and no encroachment should be permitted to pass unnoticed.
"Within the last two years, there have, in my judgment, been several unwarrantable assumptions of power on the part of the Federal government. The right to collect money from the people in any form, for the purpose of distributing the same among the States, has not been delegated to the General Government.
"So long as the whole revenue of the United States s required for the purpose of carrying on the operations of the Government, it matters not what particular monies are taken from the Treasury for the purpose of distribution.
"Whether it be the proceeds of the sale of the public lands, or the same amount of money collected from imports or by direct taxation, it is nothing less than collecting money from the people for the purpose of returning a portion of it to them in another form. And as it must come back diminished in amount by the expenses and losses incident to the collection and redistribution, the project is highly objectionable when viewed as a mere question of finance.
"But as an assumption of power which the States have not delegated to the General Government, it is of dangerous tendency, and like all other encroachments of power ought to be promptly met and firmly resisted.
"The Union can only be maintained and our free institutions transmitted unimpaired to posterity, by upholding the sovereignty of the States in all the Rights which they have not yielded to the Federal Government.
"Under a power to 'make or alter' regulations in relation to the times, places and manner of holding elections for representatives in Congress, the present Congress has passed a law which in effect requires the several states to legislate in a particular manner in relation to the choice of representatives.
"However unlimited may be the power of the National Legislature to 'alter' the existing regulations of the States, or to 'make' those which are entirely new, it is impossible upon any fair construction to maintain that the power to 'make or alter' includes the power to act upon the State Legislatures and compel them to make any particular law on the subject.
"As a question of mere expediency this question was not called for. No State has ever omitted to make the necessary regulations for the choice of representatives in Congress. But as an unauthorized exercise of power it was, like all other encroachments by the General Government highly dangerous to the stability of the Union.
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"It cannot be denied that there has always been a class of men in the United States who have been disposed to give to the Government a strong tendency towards consolidation.
"While I would not impugn their motives. I cannot withhold the expression of my deliberate opinion that they labor under a great and dangerous error.
"Nothing can be gained to the Federal Government by exercising powers which have not been plainly delegated to it. On the contrary, I am firmly persuaded that nothing short of the complete sovereignty of the States in all matters where they have not clearly surrendered their rights to the General Government can give strength and stability to the Union and secure in perpetuity the blessings which we so richly enjoy, and as I love the Union, I would firmly resist every usurpation of power on the part of the National Government.
"While we are thus careful to watch and defend our own rights, we are bound honestly and faithfully to discharge our obligations to the General Government and to the several States with whom we are associated. By the compact under which the Union exists, the States have made themselves a name among the nations of the earth! they have reared a bulwark for the defense of free institutions and secured to the people advantages of the highest value, which could not have been maintained by separate, and perhaps rival States.
"As we cherish the Union, we ought carefully to abstain from all encroachments upon the legitimate powers of the Federal Government, and scrupulously fulfill our obligations to the other States. So long as we remain in and reap the advantages of the Union, we are bound by every consideration of honor and good faith to yield to others what we demand for ourselves, an honest fulfillment of the compact by which for many purposes we are made one people.
* * * * *
"I will not discuss the question of Slavery. The abstract right to hold any man in bondage is a quest ion upon which, in this State, there is no diversity of opinion.
"We have happily relieved ourselves from the evil of Slavery. But we have no right to interfere with that institution as it exists in other States. We have virtually agreed that it shall not be done, and until we are prepared to break up the national compact, and take the hazard of a civil war, our obligations to the other States should he faithfully discharged.
* * * * *
"A public debt is under all circumstances objectionable and should never be incurred except upon the most weighty considerations. And in every instance where a debt is authorized, adequate means and resources should be provided to pay the interest, and the power to liquidate the debt should be placed beyond the reach of contingency. As long as the rule is observed, the credit of the State will be preserved, and the public faith maintained. Expenditures for roads and canals should not be based on revenue to be derived from indiscriminate taxation. Such a system I regard as liable to very serious objections.
"Few if any public works can now be undertaken and constructed, that are not local in their advantages. A tax imposed directly upon the people for such an object, would operate unequally and be contrary to the genius of our government, which recognizes no such principle. In all our legislation we cannot too frequently recur to those first principles which lie at the foundation of our institutions, the adherence to which constitutes our surest hope for their stability. The State has constructed and put in operation about seven hundred miles of canal, and have in progress the enlargement of the Erie; the Construction of the Black river and Genesee Valley canal; the improvement of the Oneida river, and has purchased the Oneida Lake canal.
"In addition to this, the State has loaned its credit to the following incorporated companies: Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. $ 800,000
New York & Erie Railroad Co. 3,000,000
Ithaca & Oswego Railroad Co. 315,700
Catskill & Canajoharie Railroad Co. 200,000
Auburn & Syracuse Railroad Co. 200,000
Auburn & Rochester Railroad Co. 200,000
Hudson & Berkshire Railroad Co. 150,000
Tonawanda Railroad Co. 100,000
Long Island Railroad Co. 100,000
Schenectady Railroad Co. 100,000
Tioga Coal & Iron Mining and Manufacturing Co. 70,000
"The New York & Erie, the Ithaca & Oswego, and the Catskill & Canajoharie Railroad Companies have failed to pay the interest on their loans from the State, and the two latter roads have been sold at auction, and the sale of the former is postponed until the first Tuesday in May next.
"The New York & Erie Railroad Company has completed forty-five miles of its road from the Hudson river to Goshen in Orange county. Between this point and Binghamton there has comparatively but little work been done.
"From the latter place to Lake Erie, almost the entire line of the road is under contract, and it is understood that upon portions of it a large amount of labor has been expended.
* * * * *
"It is, I think, very much to be regretted that the company did not confine its expenditures to sections of the road and between points promising the largest accommodations by its use.
* * * * *
"It is hoped that the friends of this improvement will see in the exhibit of our financial condition, that there are no means that would justify new engagements on the part of the State.
"I recommend a further sale of this road and the enactment of a law yielding the prior lien of the State mortgage to such encumbrance as may hereafter be created by the company for the purpose of completing the roads or sections of it. The lien of the State mortgage should not be discharged until the Canal Board shall certify that the entire road, or such parts of it as may be designated in the act be completed. To enable the canal board to act understandingly, they should be authorized to appoint an agent at the expense of the company to examine the work as it progresses.
"The Catskill & Canajoharie Railroad Company have in operation twenty-six miles and a half of road. If about eleven miles were added to this distance, which it is estimated can be constructed for about the sum of $110,000, the road would be extended to the Vly Summit, a few miles from the rich valley of the Schoharie creek. I cannot but hope that this entire road, from Catskill to Canajoharie. will eventually be completed.
"In granting acts of Incorporation for the construction of roads or other purposes, the Legislature should reserve such control over the operation of the company, as will ensure to the public the benefit proposed to be realized.
* * * * *
"The work under contract for the enlargement and improvement of the Erie canal, including that which has been completed as estimated at contract price amounts to $13,026,919.92
The work under contract for the construction of the Genesee Valley canal including that which has been completed as estimated at contract price is 4,223,305.68
Work completed and under contract etc., upon the Black River canal amounts to 1,760,046.12
On Oneida River 70,122.56
* * * * *
"The policy of arresting large expenditures and providing for the prompt payment of the interest, and a gradual diminution of the State debt, has exerted a salutary influence in reviving our credit
* * * * *
"On the first day of July last there were in this State 10,785 school districts; and the number of children taught the past year was 598,901. The number of volumes in the district libraries on the first of January, 1842, was 811,461, and at this time probably exceeds 1,000,000
"The amount of disbursements for common schools during the last year is as follows: - To teachers from the public money $588,466.54 To teachers from contributions on rate bills 468,727.27 Payment for libraries 93,226.09 Total 1,155,419.90 "The subject of education in all its departments merits your most attentive consideration. It is in my opinion quite proper that in relation to a subject of so much importance, the Legislature should annually satisfy themselves that the common school and literature funds are safely invested, and rendered as productive as practicable.
* * * * *
"The embarrassed state of the treasury and the severity of the times, demand that every department of the public service should be placed on the most rigid principle of economy. No expenditure should now he incurred that is not called for by the public necessity and good economy in reference to existing engagements.
"Every species of labor is depressed, the prices of all the agricultural productions are uncommonly low, and the necessaries of life cheap. Under such circumstances it is proper that there should be a corresponding reduction in the expenses of the Government. An effort should he made to encourage a return to the industrious and frugal habits of our forefathers. It would he quite appropriate that the Legislature should, by a prompt application to business, and a short session, set an example of public economy.
* * * * *
"There have been 1,417 convictions for criminal offences by the courts of record, since the first of January last, returned to the office of Secretary of State by the clerks of such courts of which 544 were convictions for felonies, including five cases of murder, to-wit: two in New York, one in Niagara, one in Sullivan and one in Tompkins. It is estimated that if the number of convictions by courts of records, from which returns have not been received, are the same as last year, it would swell the aggregate to 1,585; of this number 602 were for felonies. The number of convictions by courts of Special Sessions is 2,278 which added to the number already stated will make 3,695, as the whole number of convictions returned to the Secretary's office. Our fellow citizens who are engaged in various mechanical pursuits, have on several occasions presented to the consideration of the Legislature, alleged grievances in consequence of State prison competition. The act of 1842 will, probably, in its operation, lessen to sonic extent, the cause of complaint. It is proper to encourage the industry and enterprise of the citizen mechanic, so as to direct the labor of convicts as not to come in competition with them. But humanity requires that these unfortunate beings should be engaged in some exercise conducive to health, and it is also essential t hat the labor should he rendered productive.
"The banking institutions should at all times be subject to the control of the Legislature, who cannot well be too watchful in checking their natural tendency to partiality and inflated issues. Every institution that diverts its means from the legitimate purposes of banking should be promptly deprived of its charter. Every institution that faithfully fulfills its duties to the public, should be sustained and protected.
* * * * *
"The repudiation of a public debt is a heresy that I trust is no where seriously entertained. I am confident that the people of every State in the Union would reject the idea of such dishonor and that they possess a partisan and public spirit that would induce them to submit to any burden rather than incur the approbation of such foul disgrace.
* * * * *
"I indulge the cheerful hope that the time is not far distant when most if not all the States will find means to resuscitate their credit and finish their public works. The State of New York should cherish the hope that such expectations will be realized.
"Her natural position in reference to inland commerce, enables her to furnish the channels of communication for a trade that, in no very distant period of time, will be unsurpassed in magnitude.
* * * * *
"A concurrent resolution was adopted at the last session of the Legislature, requesting our Senators and Representatives in Congress to make use of their best efforts to procure the passage of a law refunding from the public Treasury the fine inflicted upon, and paid by General Jackson.
"Since that time the President of the United States has in a just and magnanimous spirit, commended the subject to the attention of Congress.
"Although the sentiment of the people of the State was expressed through your predecessors, yet it will be highly proper that it should again be heard through you, until mingling with the voices of the people of the whole Union, the National Legislature shall feel constrained to consummate this act of Justice. Wm. C. Bouck." Jan. 3d, 1843.
Great excitement prevailed during the two elections of 1840 and '42, and many humorous songs were composed and sung and many epithets cast upon each side. Those against Governor Bouck were the "Dutch Governor," "Krout Eater," "Cabbage head," etc. A humorous article appeared in the Albany Microscope, a paper in the interest of the Whig party, called the Sour Krout Message, which created no little merriment and was the best adapted to the occasion of any article that had appeared. We notice the author in Chapter XX, and will here insert a portion of his second effort, the first one being lost. It must be remembered that it is written in low Dutch brogue, and the English "e" whether long or short, should be pronounced as English "a." "Alpany Chanuary du Segond 18 tousant, 100, 4 & 44 "Veller Shitizens
De yahr has coom rount acain, and you haf meet in gounsel in dis capital of de lant of de coot olt Derrick Knickerbacker, for to settle de pisiness of de unifarce. Op dish auspicious oggasion I dake mit bleasure du jance for shpeak in your eairs mine gint wishes for your gesoudeit and your fokes, and to wish you all habby new years and blenty of oley cookies.
"I shall pye and pye shake hants mit you all ofer a thousant ells of leverworcht, and a bot ash Kettle full of hot schnapps, py the site of zwei hay stags of prown pretzels. We have vrighten all man kint into beace mit us, du zeason hasd pe very vruitful, die hucleperries hash brotuce by tousants, and die Krout wash nefer more apuntant. Gommerse hash vlourish poundivally, maar it ish mit pidder crief dat I lament dat your honoraple poty tit not bass de dariff pill, vor de prodegtion of the many Dutche mens engaged in dee manufacture of worsht, roelstjes and Sour Krout, ash I recgommentet in mine lasht animal messitch op your honoraple poty lasht winder. Maar it ish no wonter, if, ash I have, mine Sour Krout messicht was only red in der firsd house. I regomment thot a special choint gommittee be appointed py bote pranges of die shtate lechislature, to inguire into des tirdy pisness, mit bower to side bersons and babers, ant teal out blixen to der gilty. Your axacutif pardly in hees lumper waccon, ant pardly up his pedder half, du olt gray horse, has fisid mouch of der state der bast zeason, ant many goundies haf pe well recoort vor de timmygradic dicket
"I woot fudder regomment dat in orter to brefent anoder sech scrabe, dere pe none but Deutschen officers appint py der shtate brisons, ant none freed Dentschers electit brisoners, so dat dey can one anoder vershty when dey talks Deutsch, oder Yankee. Your axacutif has pecure for to mofe in dis madder, py abbinting one vrint to an office of Sing Sing, wat put hees name on a ferry coot deutsch electioneering ledder a yahr aco lasht vall.
"We pe in beace mit all mangint. We receife bromishes of coot will and brotection vrom all de ground hets in de worlt. We haf hope of a fisit from fader Mattew and dat vine old chendleman den bope of Room.
"Veller shitizens, I vas elactit pegaus I vas ein Deutschman. Ise pe shtill ein Deutschman. Dish ish ein strong glaim of die tear peebles, Ein Deutscher moost, py coorse, make a coot cooferner.
"Maar ash dat, I wash elactet pegause I was auch ien varmer. An I pe shoost zo mooch ein varmer now ash I usht to was. I haf blow, und trag und sow, and mow choost so mooch since I haf pin coofener ash pefore, and choost so mooch winder ash zummer, (pedween you ant me ant die old woman on top of Shtate house,) Dish ish anoder shtrong glaime of dee beeples. Oh, dee beeples! dee tear beeples! der coot, wise and safferin beeples.
"More ash all dish, I was elactit pegause I tit nefer shteal any of der beeble's money. 2 It ish drue, die sazzy wicks tid tenie all dis. Maar, we zoon vount out a way to zilence de minority, dey goud nelting brofe, ant any mon ish always innozend dill broof Gildy. I pe so clat tat I pe noch innozend, vor I dere py shtant a nople jance for a re-election ter next vall. Dish glaime pe choost so coot est efer, and of dis crount any one of you dat out lifs me and mine poys, gans run for cofernor, if he nefer shtole any of der beeples money.
* * * * *
"I haf long aco, mein Schoharie vnients, bromish dat iv elactet, I would to sometings vor die rail roat, so vor at leasht as de Vly Zummit, ant py way of vulvilling dat bromish, I woult here zay dat next to vurnishing blendy of offishes vor mein vamily, nothing lie so near mein pelly to, ash der Vly Zummit."
* * * * *
Amid the political excitement of 1840 to 1845, the sheriff of the County was frequently resisted in collecting executions that were obtained by due process of law, for rents upon lands owned in the southern part of the County by the Livingstons.
Large tracts were owned by those heirs, which were divided into small farms and leased for a stated term of years or an uncertain period, during the life of one or more of the family of the lessee at a yearly rental. Those yearly rentals the tenants refused to pay for their supposed illegality, and wherever leased land existed, more particularly in Greene and Delaware counties, a resistance was made to the officials in their attempts to collect, and every neighborhood was thrown into the greatest excitement over the prospect of an antirent war.
Greene, Delaware, Rensselaer, Albany, Montgomery and Schoharie counties were the seats of expected hostilities, but such extremes were not resorted to, only in Delaware, Albany and Schoharie. Osmer N. Steele, a deputy sheriff of Delaware, while acting in his official capacity, was killed, arid the brightest prospects of bloodshed existed in Schoharie. John S. Brown was sheriff, and being so stubbornly resisted in the enforcement of the law and duty; threatened with death, tar and feathers, and every conceivable and inconceivable torture, he called upon the State for arms and ammunition and enlisted one hundred men to enforce order and obedience to law. The force was raised in the month of March, 1845, and was marched through Middleburgh, Fulton, Blenheim and Broome to Gilboa, making, no doubt, the very hills tremble by their martial tread, and the Anti's quail before the glittering bayonets. Judgments in the hands of the sheriff were collected, and peace began to loom up over the ragged precipice of despair, while the tax-payers' grumbling disturbed the political waters and threatened to upset the seemingly safe causes in which many were sailing up the stream of distinction and healthy emoluments. While the force lay at Gilboa with "victory" depicted upon each countenance, the sheriff and his deputy, Tobias Bouck, started from Schoharie to join them. While stopping at "Fink's Tavern" in North Blenheim, they were surprised to find themselves surrounded by nearly three hundred antirenters, many of them in full costumes of Indian warriors, and one of modern experience may imagine army contractors, sutlers and carpetbaggers. The belligerents were armed, and like Knickerbocker's company of Dutch, were "brimful of wrath and cabbage." An escape was impossible, and after much parleying and threatening the officials were taken to "Baldwin Heights" for the purpose of being presented with a respectable coat of tar and feathers.
The fact of their capturing the officials spread throughout the neighborhood, and a few living at some distance mounted horses and hastened to witness the "presentation." There was a heavy crust upon the snow, and as the horses made considerable noise, especially in galloping over a bridge not far distant, the Anti's not being able to discern the cause of it by "occular demonstration," listened to the whisperings of cautious imagination and fled precipitately, with the belief that the sheriff's posse of one hundred men was upon their heels.
Brown and Bouck stood "alone in their glory," "sole monarchs of all they surveyed" without receiving the belligerents' testimonials of their contempt. Soon the dark clouds of war passed away, quiet was restored and the posse disbanded, with the happy thought "nobody hurt."
Over three thousand dollars were expended to collect in the neighborhood of three hundred. Brown was censured by many, for taking the steps he did but he was an official, and was resisted in the execution of his duties. If force is used to resist, force must be used to obey. The law must be obeyed regardless of the expenditure to enforce it; that should be secondary if considered at all. It was believed by those who were acquainted with the state of affairs at that time, that if the sheriff had not taken the steps he did in the beginning of the troubles, the affair would have proved serious. Those that were implicated in the matter, now living, look back upon the "Anti-Rent war" with a smile, as upon amusing incidents of younger days, with "malice towards none" as true patriots will do after an exciting campaign.
During the political and rental excitements that agitated the people, which we have noticed, progressive minds were active in bringing the County up to the height of improvements that characterized a few of the adjoining counties. The Catskill & Canajoharie Railroad Company was chartered on the 19th of April, 1830, the capital stock was subscribed. and the road, as will be seen by Governor Bouck's message, built within a few miles of the Schoharie creek. The business men of Albany city saw the project would be detrimental to their interest, purchased the stock and let the enterprise fail.
Another railroad was contemplated. and an act passed on the 9th of May, 1836, to incorporate the same as the Unadilla & Schoharie Railroad Company. The road was to be constructed from a "point in the county of Otsego, near the mouth of the Unadilla river, and thence extending up the valleys of the Susquehanna river and the Schenevus creek and down the Cobleskill valley to a point near the Schoharie creek, with leave also to extend the said railroad from the southern termination above mentioned to the New York & Erie Railroad." John P. Bellinger, Isaac Hayes, Thaddeus R. Austin, Wm. Angle, Peter Crollier, Jesse Rose, Schuyler Crippen, Arvine Clark and Peter W. Snyder were commissioned to "open books to receive subscriptions to the capital stock."
The project was abandoned and the parties that were interested living in the County became attached to the Catskill road, and bent their energies to a speedy completion of it. An act also was passed on the 25th of April, 1832, to incorporate the Schoharie & Otsego Railroad Company. Peter Collier, Eliakim R. Ford, Jesse Rose, Leonard Caryl, Thomas B. Van Alstyne, John Westover, Peter W. Snyder, Abraham L. Lawyer, Peter Shafer, Jr., and Philip Mann, were the "body corporate and politic." The capital stock was $300,000, divided into shares of $50 each. The subscription committee were Eben K Morehouse, Peter Collier, Jared Goodyear, Jr., Harvey W. Babcock, Schuyler Crippen, Jesse Rose, Thomas Lawyer, John P. Bellinger, Henry Hamilton, Wm. Mann and Freeman Stanton. This enterprise also was dropped.
Sharon made several attempts to connect the Spa with the New York Central Railroad but all proved failures. The first was in 1838 when the Canajoharie & Catskill R. R. was being built. An act was passed by the Legislature on the 18th of April of that year "To provide for the construction of the Sharon & Root Railroad."
It was to connect with the Catskill Road at some point in the town of Root, Montgomery county. The capital stock was fifty thousand dollars with the privilege of increasing the same to a sum not to exceed seventy thousand, which should be divided into shares of fifty dollars each. John Hyney, John Beakly, Adam Empie, George F. Fox, Aaron Malick, John Crounse, Jun., A. Smith Knight and Joseph H. Ramsey were the subscription committee.
The next object that absorbed the public mind throughout the County, as in other sections of the State, was the building of plank roads. It was not supposed possible to connect Schoharie with the outside world by "iron ties" after so many efforts had proved failures, and the next best improvement was plank roads, in which large amounts of hard earned dollars were invested, to be trampled upon and slivered up without returning very flattering dividends.
One was built from Middleburgh, through Schoharie and Gallupville, to intersect the Western Turnpike nine miles from Albany, and one also from Schoharie to Richmondville, through Mineral Springs and Warnerville, also from Richmondville to Summit and Charlotteville. The road leading from Central Bridge to Schoharie was planked to intersect the Albany road at Fox's Creek. These roads were of the best when newly laid, but upon becoming worn were rough and uneven, making it wearisome for teams.
Not being very durable, replacing the plank and other natural expenditures made a continual expense, which the low tolls were insufficient to meet and which caused their abandonment in a few years. Covering the worn planks with pounded stone and gravel made excellent roads until the frost raised the planks to the surface, but the expense of keeping them in order satisfied capitalists of their inability to obtain paying dividends.
About the same time (1850 and after) that plank roads excited capitalists, another financial enterprise loomed up, in which many engaged to the detriment of their monetary prosperity, and which we can only style as the Seminary Mania.
The first was built at Charlotteville, costing about thirty thousand dollars. By careful financiering on imaginary results the enterprise figured a large dividend, which was so exhorbitant that the envy of capitalists was excited and other institutions of the kind were organized at different places with increased facilities and expense. The citizens of the pleasant Cobleskill valley formed a stock company and built the Richmondville Collegiate .Seminary in the summer of 1852, at an expense of thirty-two thousand dollars, having accommodations for three hundred pupils. The school opened with very flattering success, which was keenly watched by the ambition of people of other sections, and before its existence proved either a success or failure, a company consisting principally of farmers, organized and built the Carlisle Seminary at Carlisle village. The fall of 1853 found the building, at a cost of thirty-three thousand dollars, ready to accommodate three hundred scholars.
Scarcely was the school commenced before the deluded farmers of Warnerville were attacked with the mania to such an extent that twenty-five thousand of their hard earned dollars were exhausted in a similar structure called the Warnerville Collegiate Institute. It is the only building left standing and has been unoccupied for many years. Incendiary fires and the impracticable method adopted in their management made serious failures, as they proved ruinous to those of moderate means, who were induced to invest, and many happy homes were sacrificed by the losses which were incurred. These schools were for the education of both male and female, with all the necessary conveniences for boarding within the buildings, together with the teachers and required help. They gave a thorough course in all branches.
The rates of tuition were low, also board, which made it an object for those seeking an education, with limited means. Good board, including furnished rooms, washing and ironing, three meals each day, with all the privileges accorded to a member of a well regulated family, were obtained for the low price of three dollars per week, which any one of practical observance will plainly see, was far less than could be afforded.
For several years an idea was entertained by enterprising business men of Albany City, Cobleskill, Schenevus and Susquehanna valleys, of building a railroad to connect the Hudson at Albany, with the Erie road at Binghamton, but did not receive any direct action until the year 1854. A company was formed, and Civil Engineer Chas. W. Wentz was employed to survey the route, which was found practicable, and renewed efforts were made by issuing stock certificates and obtaining the right of way along the line, besides inviting towns through which it passed, to issue bonds to aid in its construction. Passing through the County from east to west, and opening a rapid transit to the best markets in the world, to those who were from thirty to sixty miles distant, the people took a lively interest in the enterprise, regardless of their losses in former projects. Joseph H. Ramsey, of Lawyersville, turned his energies in behalf of the road, and was sent to the Assembly in the year 1855, for the purpose of advocating "State aid."
In all of the improvements made in other sections of the State, in which State aid was granted, Schoharie County had borne her share of the burden of taxation, and had not received any aid for herself, and had been but little, if any, benefitted by such projects. In fact, nearly the whole territory through which the road passed, had been exempt from receiving any assistance in internal improvements.
Mr. Ramsey was sent to the Senate the two following years, but was unsuccessful.
A bill was passed in 1858, giving aid to the road, in the sum of one million dollars, after the road was completed to Schoharie creek. Edwin D. Morgan was then governor, and upon some technicality he withheld his signature. Again, the bill obtained by Mr. Ramsey, in the Senate, of 1860, was placed before that official after his second election, but it received his second veto. The year 1862 placed Horatio Seymour in the Gubernatorial chair, and found Mr. Ramsey in the Senate, and Wm. C. Lamont in the Assembly. Strenuous efforts were made by those gentlemen for the passage of the third bill. It began to roll through, breaking down every barrier, and at last culminated in its passage and received the signature of the governor. Renewed efforts were made in the building of the road and in the year 1863 it was completed to the Schoharie creek, and in 1865, the cars passed through the County. On the 24th of February, 1870, the road was leased for the term of ninety-nine years, to the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. Like all other successful enterprises, this one gave birth and vigor to others.
The Schoharie Valley Railroad was built in 1867, at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars, to connect with the Susquehanna, east of Central Bridge station. Middleburgh also, desiring to be connected with the rest of the world by "iron ties," built a road from the ancient "dorf," to intersect the Schoharie Valley Road, at the village of Schoharie, in the year 1868, at a cost of one hundred and five thousand dollars. The two roads make a continuous line of 10.13 miles and are managed by two separate boards of directors, [See Schoharie and Middleburgh.]
For years the business portion of Cherry Valley, and especially Sharon Spa, felt the need of a railroad, as they were respectively twelve and ten miles from the New York Central. Sharon, being a summer resort, was forced to struggle against other watering places, under the disadvantage of being distant from public thoroughfares, since the greatest number resort to such places for pleasure instead of the effects of the medicinal properties found in the water.
When the Susquehanna road was completed a project was started to connect the two places with it at Cobleskill. Mr. Bates, of Cherry Valley, was at the head of the enterprise and induced the towns along the line to issue bonds for its construction. The road was opened on the 16th of June, 1870, at a total cost of six hundred thousand dollars, being 20.91 miles in length. The "Delaware & Hudson Canal Company," in the year 1871, leased the Susquehanna road and this branch for the term of ninety-nine years.
The transaction was a wise one, as the lessor company is a heavy coal mining association, possessing inexhaustible mines and will make these roads the arteries through which their products will flow with a certainty for the term of their lease, at least.
Upon the building of the railroad through Cobleskill another enterprise received its birth, at Howe's Cave, which each returning season proves to be of more marked proportions. The road runs nearly one hundred feet from the bed of the creek at this point, upon the Side of the lime rock hill, in which Nature has placed treasures which the genius of man requires to aid in the construction of his enterprises, as well as to instruct that ambitious spirit of the wisdom and power of the divine Godhead. From the surface of this hill is obtained limestone which produces lime of a superior quality, to the depth of forty feet, beneath which lies a strata of cement to the depth of ten feet, which proves equal to any, as is testified by railroad, canal and public building officials. The cement strata lies upon a limestone of a harder formation which is used for building and is capable of receiving a very fine polish equal to any black marble. The "marble" stratum is about twenty feet in thickness and is underlaid by one of gypsum to the depth of ten feet, The whole lies upon a very hard blue limestone similar to the stratum between the cement and gypsum. Two companies were formed upon the completion of the railroad at this place for the purpose of manufacturing lime, cement and plaster, which are now in progress, and considering the dullness of the times for the last few years, have increased their facilities and business beyond expectations.
Howe's Cave Association is a stock company, and under the management of the treasurer Joseph H. Ramsey. During the stagnant business year of 1878 the sales of cement were over 13,000 barrels, and that of lime 19,000 bushels, besides a large quantity of plaster, building, rough and dressed stone, the amount of which we are unable to give. This company has one draw kiln for lime, and three pits for the burning of cement, with a mill, driven by steam for the grinding of the same.
Another firm company. of which Hon. John Westover, of Richmondville, is president, under the name of Howe's cave Lime & Cement Co., with a capital of $100,000, possesses nearly the same facilities for the production of stone products. The business of the company is conducted by Eli Rose, its treasurer, and the sales for the same year (1878) were 10,000 barrels of cement, 20,000 bushels of prime lime and several thousand of a second class article, beside a large quantity of rough and dressed stone, it is a few feet above the cement stratum, in that of the lime rock proper, that the world-famed Howe's Cave is found, of which particular mention is made in Chapter X of this work.
The quarries of the County are the finest of the State for building purposes, monuments, bases, curbs and every other purpose for which solid and easily wrought stone is used.
A gray sandstone is found near Warnerville, that bids fair to be of great value in the building of monuments and fronting residences, owing to its beauty of color and solidity. The stone works of Middleburgh are producing superior flagging, which is being shipped to all parts of the country. It is a fact that the quarries of the County are inexhaustible, and in them lies untold wealth, waiting for the strong arm of capital and labor to develop them.
Throughout the lime rock sections mineral springs issue from the fissures of the rock, which are justly celebrated for their curative properties in rheumatic and cutaneous diseases, of which Sharon Springs is the chief, and where many thousand resort for relief and pleasure. A sulphur spring issues from a rocky bank, of such strength as to impregnate the atmosphere at some distance with sulphuretted hydrogen and incrustate the bed of the brook in which it flows. A short distance from the sulphur is the attractive water, and called the Magnesia Spring as it contains a greater amount of magnesium and lime and but little sulphur, which makes it more palatable than the former. The analysis of this water may be found in the chapter on Sharon, together with a history of the village. A chalybeate vein appears a short distance above but during dry seasons it fails to perform its office to Supply, and but little dependence can be placed upon it.
Nearly five miles east of Sharon, at Moak's Hollow, other sulphurous waters flow from the side of a hill, which many, that have experience in their effects, think excels Sharon, but which are little known, as efforts have never been taken to bring them to the notice of the public.
Upon the south side of the Cobleskill creek at a small hamlet known for many years as France's Corners and Cobleskill Centre, a sulphurous spring rises from the rocks that is nearly of the composition of the Moak's Hollow spring. Efforts were made from time to time to bring the attention of the public to their curative properties, but were met with but little encouragement. Several other mineral springs, chiefly sulphur, appear in different sections of the County, of less virtue, to which it is unnecessary to refer. A few mild salt springs also appear, from which the Indians of long ago and the early settlers manufactured salt, and around which many relics of their day and use have been found. The early settlers, especially the late Judge Brown, were induced to think that coal abounded in many of the hills from the fact that a substance resembling anthracite was frequently found near their base. Not being instructed in the geological formation of the earth, they believed that at a considerable depth it would be found inferior to none and in great abundance, and a spasmodic coal fever would occasionally attack some strong believers and lead them to expend a few dollars in opening the treasure boxes.
While industry has wrought a great change in the surface of Schoharie and swelled the volume of production, the people have not been unmindful of the importance of educational interests. As each neighborhood was settled, schools were established, and as each generation "returneth," a more advanced improvement has been noticed in the interest taken by the construction of school buildings and their apparatus, course of studies and required ability of teachers. In the annual report of John H. Salsbury, County Superintendent of Common Schools, made on the first of January, 1845, he says: -
"The number of teachers licensed by me during the last year is twenty- four, ten of whom received special certificates for one year."
There are at present two hundred and sixteen school districts, employing three hundred and ninety-two teachers. The average expense for all school purposes for the last three years was nearly sixty-four thousand dollars. Several of the village districts have adopted the academic system, employing a corps of teachers, and possess all the facilities for giving the student a thorough course of instruction. The County is divided into two districts, over each of which is elected a school commissioner, that unite annually and hold a convention of teachers, under the name of "County Institute," for the purpose of the examination of teachers, introduction of systems of instruction, and a general conference of teachers to awaken a livelier interest in the cause. Formerly each town elected a Superintendent of Schools, who granted licenses, visited the schools and made a report to the Secretary of State through the county clerk, but the system not being considered thorough, a. law was passed April 17, 1843, for the appointment by the Boards of Supervisors of County Superintendents. For unknown reasons the office was abolished in 1847, and town superintendents were again elected to the year 1856, when a law was passed creating the present office of Commissioner. Under the administration of superintendents a County Teachers' Association was formed and held annual meetings. Among the members were the veterans --- Jenkins, John C. Selleck, A Smith Knight, D. Clinton Dow, David H. Morris, Bartholomew Becker, --- Spenser, Ezra Smith, John H. Salsbury, S. Ann Guffin, Walter Cross and William Snyder.
Hand in hand with education has been the march of religion. The first church in the County was organized in, or a short time previous to 1728, and at the commencement of the Revolution but four buildings had been erected for divine worship. There are at present seventy-five organizations with an equal number of churches, a general history of which may be found in the towns' history to which they belong. The Methodist persuasion predominates in numbers, they being thirty-one; of the Lutheran there are fourteen; of the Reformed thirteen; of the Baptist nine; and the remainder are Presbyterian, Christian, Episcopal, Roman Catholic and Universalist. Many of the churches are expensive structures and costly furnished, but in general, they are plainly but substantially built at an average cost of thirty-five hundred dollars. Nearly all the organizations sustain Sabbath schools and a Bible class, and furnish service in school-houses distant from churches.
The temperance question has engaged the attention of the people for many years and created a distinctive change in the customs and habits of the people, in influencing the mass to refrain from using intoxicating liquors, to which they became habitually accustomed in the early part of the century. While several convulsive excitements were experienced in behalf of the cause in previous years, the first effective stroke in the County was made in the year 1844 by the societies organized under the name of "Washingtonians." Various other organizations have done much in suppressing the evil, under different names and plans of influence from time to time, and have done well in their efforts.
The chief orders of the present time are "Murphyites," "Good Templars," "Juvenile Templars," and "Band of Hope," a notice of which may be found in the chapters upon each town in which the organizations exist.
The County Sabbath School Society was formed in 1854 by Albert Brown of Schoharie, who was appointed the first secretary by the State Sabbath School Association, to organize branch societies. It was upon the wane at one time, but again revived and holds yearly conventions in different parts of the County, for the purpose of discussing and adopting uniform methods for the best interest of the cause.
To awaken a livelier interest, town organizations have been effected as branches, which prove successful in bringing the whole work down to a business system.
Long years ago the veteran "servants of the Master" of this County and Delaware called a convention in the Schoharie court house for the purpose of organizing a Bible Society. They met on the 7th of September, 1813, and formed the Schoharie and Delaware Bible Society which in truth preceded the American Bible Society. From a historical discourse delivered before the Society at its Semi-Centennial meeting in the Lutheran church, of Schoharie, on the 6th of October, 1863, by the Rev. George A. Lintner, D. D., President of the Society, we extract: -
"Rev. Dr. Augustus Wackenhagen, who was then Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran church of Schoharie presided at the convention and was chosen first President of the Society.
"Dr. Wackenhagen was succeeded by the Rev. Henry Moeller, of Sharon, in 1814. On the 31st of January, 1816, the connection between the counties of Schoharie and Delaware, in this society was dissolved, and to awaken a livelier interest in the cause and render thick labors more efficient, each county formed a separate association. This society them assumed the title of The Schoharie County Bible Society, and soon after became an auxiliary to the American Bible Society, which was formed in the same year.
"Rev. John Molther, who had succeeded Dr. Wackenhagen in the pastoral charge of the Lutheran church at Schoharie, was chosen President of the Society in 1817. In 1818, Jacob Gebhard was elected by the society to fill the office of president, the duties of which he discharged for two years with his characteristic zeal and fidelity to every trust that was committed to his hands. In 1822, Henry Becker became president, who performed the duties of the office in the true spirit of the Gospel, with which he was thoroughly imbued. The nest president was Rev. John F. Schermerhorn, who was the pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church of Middleburgh. He preached his first sermon before the society, which was printed and circulated as an appeal from the society to the friends of the Bible, for their support and co-operation in the new enterprise in which they had engaged.
"In 1828 the Rev. Mr. Salsbury was succeeded by the present incumbent, Dr. Lintner, who was elected in 1835, which office he has now held for twenty-eight years, during which time he has had frequent occasions to feel thankful for the satisfaction and pleasure he has derived from his official intercourse with the officers and members of the society who have labored with him in the cause."
Dr. Lintner's "satisfaction and pleasure" was longer extended, as he held the position until his death, which occurred December 22, 1871, giving to him the long term of thirty-six years as President of the society. Since the death of Dr. Lintner, with the exception of a short term, Peter S. Danforth, son-in-law of Dr. Lintner, has filled the position.
We are indebted to author Simms for information in regard to one of the first Masonic lodges in the County. Captain Thomas Machin settled about the year 1797, in the present town of Charleston, near the county line, and being a Mason, was appointed Master to install officers of a lodge at Schoharie, called Ames Mark Lodge. Silas Grey was appointed S. W., and Johannes Dietz, J.W., of the same. We have no further information in regard to it, but find in the Masonic Registry, of 1805, mention of two lodges, which we will here notice: -
The Schoharie Union Lodge, at Schoharie, had a membership of eighty-five, and the officers were Ralph R. Phelps. M.; Storm A. Becker, S. W.; David Swart, J. W.; Peter Vroman, Jr., Tr.; Richard Fishback, Sec.; Wm. Estelstine, S. D.; Nicholas Delavergne, J. D.; Isaac Simmonds and Lawrence Chambers, Stewards; Joseph Efnor, Tiler. The date of this organization is not given.
Sharon Felicity Lodge numbered thirty-five members, and the officers were: Dr. Zenas Pinneo, M.; Enock Kelsey, S. W.; Joseph Alexander, J. W.; John Beakley, Tr.; Reubin Parkinson, Sec.; Joel Rodgers, S. D.; David Cowden, J. D.; John Johnson, Jr., and Peter Ripson, Tiler.
A lodge was formed at Middleburgh village, about the years 1825 or '30, but we cannot give any facts relating to the order, excepting the anti-masonic excitements of the thirties, causing its abandoment. There are six organizations of the ancient order, in the County, a notice of which may be found in following chapters of this work.
By an Act of Legislature passed April 12, 1860, Chas. Goodyear, John G. Gebhard, Jr., Jacob Vroman, Peter S. Swart, Jonas Kilmer, Hobart Krum, David Dietz, Eli P. Garder, Wm. H. Davis, William Winter, Tobias Bouck, Treat Durand, and Augustus B. F. Pond, of the town of Schoharie; Lyman Sanford and George Manning, of Middleburgh ; Charles Courter and Marcus Borst, of Cobleskill; Joseph I. Brown, and Chas. G. Kenyon, of Carlisle; Asahel Billings, and Mark W. Stevens, of Esperance, and Weidman Dominick, Austin Becker and Ira Zeh, of Wright, were constituted a body corporate by the name of the Schoharie Valley Stock Growers' Association.
The society leased fifteen acres at Schoharie village, for exhibition grounds, erected substantial buildings, and graded a one-half mile track for the exhibition of speed. At the present time the association owns the grounds, being in debt but one thousand dollars. Premiums upon farm products and stock are given yearly, ranging from twelve to fifteen hundred dollars.
The officers of 1881 were: -
Trustees - Waletr Ferris, Robert N. Stafford, Marshall N. DeNoyelles, Darius B. Scott, Thomas B. Borst, Isaac C. VanTuyl, Hiram Schoolcraft, F. Wood, Wm. B. Murphy, Z. J. Brown, Schoharie; Wm. H. Mitchell, G. L. Haines, Wm. H. Freemyer, Fulton; Nathaniel Manning, David Zeh, Middleburgh; A. B. Larkin, Richmondville; W. Dominick, Gallupville; Jacob Angle, Cobleskill.
President - Nath. Manning.
1st V ice-President - Jacob Angle.
2d Vice-President - Z. J. Brown.
3d Vice-President - I. C. VanTuyl
Treasurer - M. N. DeNoyelles.
Secretary - Robert N. Stafford.
Executive Committee - Walter Ferris, D. B. Scott, I. C. VanTuyl.
Finance Committee - Hiram Schoolcraft, Z. J. Brown, Weidman Dominick.
Cobleskill Agricultural Society was organized in the spring of 1876. The yearly premiums range from $1,000 to $1,200, and the exhibitions have been well attended, chiefly by the inhabitants of Carlisle, Sharon, Seward, Richmondville, Summit, Fulton and Cobleskill. The first officers were W. C. Lamont, President, George Bellinger, Secretary, and Morris Cohn, Treasurer. Unparalleled exertions are being made for the fifth annual exhibition under the management of the following energetic officers:
President - Hon. W. C. Lamont.
Vice Presidents - Stanton P. Osterhout, P. A. Angle, W. L. Hawes, Theodore Owen, W. S. Clark, Isaac Hawes, Minard Proper, Abram Osterhout, John Patrie, W. W. Proper, Peter Conro, Ralph Hyde, Abram Freeman, R. Shelmandine, Hiram Schoolcraft, Frank Wood, D. S. Mann, J. A. Warner, Wellington Shafer, Philip Zeh, Dr. Leonard, Orlando Mace, Orson Spickerman, H. F. Hannay, George Shaler, John Snyder, Geo. VanDyck, Douglas Thorpe.
Treasurer - Martin D. Borst.
Secretary - George W. Bellinger.
General Superintendent - William H. McIntosh.
Dep't Superintendents - Horse Dep't - Marcus Angle, Thompson Perrine; Cattle, Sheep and Swine Dep't - Jared VanWaganen, D. H. Osterhout, Madison L Shafer; Fruit and Vegetable Dep't - H. VanDreeser, Daniel Malick; Farm Implement Dep't - David Lawyer, P. P. Karker; Poultry Dep't - Peter E. Borst; Ladies' Dep't - J. Henry Hoffman.
Directors - Marcus Angle, Thompson Perrine, S. D. Karker, Peter Tingue, John 0. Ried, G. W. Dana, Clinton Nethaway, David Lawyer, Wm. Farquher, J. J. Dickinson.
The First Annual Exhibition of the Schoharie County Poultry and Pet Stock Association was held at Cobleskill village in February from the 1st to the 4th, 1881. The enterprise proved a success and renewed efforts are to be made for its future prosperity, and certainty of its existence. The following are the officers: -
President - C. L. Griggs, Cobleskill, N. Y.
Vice Presidents - George Boughton, Hyndsville; Seneca Sands, Central Bridge; W. L. Morrison, Schoharie; Geo. Boorn, Jefferson; Hubbard Ellis, Livingstonville; Perry F. Mc Master, Sloansville; H. W. Champlain, North Blenheim.
Secretary - D. A. Hitchman, Schoharie, N. Y.
Treasurer - L. T. Fox, Cobleskill, N.Y.
Executive Committee - Rev. J. G. Gooding, Schoharie; James Gale, Barnerville; A. H. Sexton, Hyndsville; C. S. Swart, Howe's Cave; P. E. Borst, Cobleskill.
General Superintendent - Peter E. Borst, Cobleskill, N. Y.
Assistant Superintendent - Charles Limmer, Cobleskill, N. Y. Judge - I. K. Felch, Natick, Mass.
In the beginning of the present century a medical society was formed, but at what date is not definitely known, but supposed to have been in 1808. For some reason the order was abandoned for a while. Not having any records of the same, we are unable to give a correct list of its members. There were but few regular professionals in the County, and they had a hard service to perform, and but small pay. The chief physicians were, Jesse Shepherd, and --- Gannon, of Cobleskill; Zenas Pinneo, of Sharon; his student George Fox, followed in 1821, and J. B. Roscoe, of Carlisle; Prentiss Leonard, of Esperance; Origin Brigham, Cornelius VanDyck, Jas. VanGaasbeck, of Middleburgh ; P. S. Swart, of Schoharie; Dr. Shepherd was a delegate to the State Association in 1809 and '10. The organizations now in order are composed of those adhering to the allopathic and eclectic schools, and the following are the officers and members of the former which was reorganized in 1857 under the following officers, S. B. Wells, President; P. S. Swart, Vice-President; C. C. VanDyck. Secretary; John Pinder, Treasurer: P. S. Swart, Volney Danforth, Isaac Flint, Philip Werner, --- Ruland, Censors.
The annual meeting is held on the first Tuesday in June, and the semi-annnal, the second Tuesday in October.
The officers of 1880 and '81 were
David Norwood, President.
E. O. Bruce, Vice-President.
H. F. Kingsley, Secretary.
David Frasier, Treasurer.
The members are: -
Beard E. P., Summit.
Brown J. R., Seward.
Bruce E. O., Hyndsville.
Burnett C. S., Blenheim.
Cross Lemuel, Cobleskill.
Dickerson C., Seward.
Dockstader J. A., Sharon Spa.
Frasier D., Cobleskill.
Frasier C. K., Cobleskill.
Green J., Sharon Spa.
Havens C. H., Summit.
Horaling John, Gallupville.
Jackson Geo., Huntersland.
Kingsley H. F.. Schoharie.
Lawyer Ezra, Cobleskill.
Lawyer Jas., Middleburgh.
Layman W. S., Schoharie.
Leonard D. M., Broome Centre.
Lowell J. S., Argusville.
Marsh Edward, Sloansville.
MeCullock Charles, Central Bridge.
Norwood D., Esperance.
Roscoe R. J., Carlisle.
Terwilliger R. W., Carlisle.
Scott I. S., Grosvenor's Corners.
Spurbeck H., Charlotteville.
VanAlstine S. M., Richmondville.
Wells Henry D., Middleburgh.
The Eclectic School of Physicians, organized by Senatorial districts, making a larger organization than if divided by counties. This fraternity numbers fifty-one members in this the twenty-third district of which fifteen are residents of this County. The society meets annually on the 2d Wednesday and Thursday of June, at such places as the adjourning meeting designates. The County members are as follows: -
Allen P. A., Lawyersville.
Chase Jared, Warnerville.
Snyder J. D., Sharon Spa.
VanValkenburgh Jacob, Sharon Hill.
Myres Henry A., Seward.
Ackley John S., West Fulton.
Beard Frank P., Summit.
Chapman P. L., Richmondville.
Nellis J., Schoharie.
Kilmer Thomas K., Schoharie.
Rossman John, Middleburgh.
Hubbell R., Jefferson, President.
Benson J. H., South Valley, Vice-President.
Best C. S., Middleburgh, Secretary.
Chase Jared, Treasurer.
Physicians. - The following is a complete list of all the physicians and surgeons in the County of Schoharie who have registered to October 13, 1880, and contains the name of the physician and surgeon, his postoffice address, his authority, whether by diploma or license, the date of the same, and the name of the medical college or medical society by whom it was granted or given, as required by an act of the Legislature of the State of New York, (Chapter 513, Laws 1880,) entitled "An Act to regulate the Licensing of Physicians and Surgeons," passed May 29, 1880: -
H. F. Kingsley. Schoharie C. H., N. Y.; diploma; February 17, 1874; University City of New York, N. Y.
Christopher S. Best, Jr., Middleburgh. N. Y.; diploma; February 6, 1876, (college not given.)
Edward Marsh, Sloansville, N. Y.; diploma; October 1, 1874; Bellevue Hospital Medical College, N. Y.
Isaac J . Scott, Grovenor's Corners, N. Y.; diploma; November 27, 1848; Castleton Medical College, Vt.
Jacob VanValkenburgh, Sharon, N. Y.; diploma; January 22, 1862; Eclectic Medical College of Philadelphia, Pa.; also diploma, March 1,1877; Eclectic Medical College of the City of New York, N. Y.
W. S. Layman, Schoharie C. H., N. Y.; diploma; December 22, 1857; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
Peter L. Chapman, Richmondville, N. Y.; license; August 11, 1874; Eclectic Medical Society of the 23d Senatorial District, N. Y.
James Lawyer, Middleburgh, N. Y.; diploma; March 4, 1862; University City of New York, N. Y.
S. M.VanAlstine, Richmondville, N. Y.; diploma; June 13, 1854; Albany Medical College,N. Y.
William Hagadorn, Gilboa, N. Y.; diploma; February, 1873; University City of New York, N. Y.
Charles K. Frazier, Cobleskill, N. Y.; diploma; January 20, 1874; Medical Department Union University, N. Y.
Charles McCullock, Central Bridge, N. Y.; diploma; February, 1877; Albany Medical College, N. Y. John Rossman, Middleburgh, N. Y.; diploma; February, 1868; University of Medicine and Surgery of Philadelphia, Pa.
Jacob E. Norwood, Blenheim, N. Y.; diploma; November, 1864; Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Mass.
Jacob A. Dockstader, Sharon Springs, N. Y.; diploma; January, 1845; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
Rufus Coons, Broome Centre, N. Y.; diploma; January 22, 1862; College of Medicine and Surgery, Philadelphia, Pa.
George A. Williams, Sharon Springs, N. Y.; diploma; March 12, 1879; University City of New York, N. Y.
J. S. Akeley, West Fulton, N. Y.; diploma; March, 1870; Pennsylvania University, Pa.; also license; August 10, 1874; Eclectic Medical Society of the 23d Senatorial District, N. Y.
Olin A. Snyder, Gallupville, N. Y.; diploma; March 7, 1879; Eclectic College City of New York, N. Y.
Henry D. Wells, Middleburgh, N. Y.; diploma; December 22, 1857; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
R. Grant Havens, Jefferson, N. Y.; diploma; December 22, 1874; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
F. P. Beard, Summit, N. Y.; diploma; December 23, 1875; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
H. L. Gale, west Fulton, N. Y.; diploma; Dec. 27, 1873; University of Pennsylvania, Pa.
John Hotaling, Gallupville, N. Y.; diploma; May 28, 1863; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
J. R. Anderson, Esperance, N. Y.; license; January 13, 1880; Montgomery County Homeopathic Medical Society, N. Y.
John Green, Sharon Springs, N. Y.; diploma; June 17, 1846; Castleton Medical College, Vt.
James I. Hard, Sharon Springs, N. Y.; diploma; February 27, 1877; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
David Frazier, Cobleskill, N. Y.; diploma; January 27, 1847; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
Peter A. Allen, Lawyersville, N. Y.; diploma; January 22, 1862; Eclectic Medical College of Philadelphia, Pa.
I. S. Lowell, Argusville, N. Y.; diploma; December 26, 1871; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
Hamilton A. White, Argusville, N. Y.; diploma; March 3, 1880; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
Clark D. Welch, Cobleskill, N. Y.; diploma; March 8, 1877; New York Homeopathic Medical College, N. Y.
George Haner, Conesville, N. Y.; diploma; February 20, 1877; University City of New York, N. Y.
Philip J. Zeh, Fulton, N. Y.; diploma; December 24, 1869; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
George Jackson, Huntersland, N. Y.; diploma; March 9, 1871; University City of New York, N. Y.
Richtmyer Hubbell, Jefferson, N. Y.; diploma; February 21, 1866; Philadelphia University of Medicine and Surgery, Pa.
Charles S. Burnett, North Blenheim, N. Y.; diploma; February 1, 1879; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
Valentine M. Lawyer, Fultonham, N. Y.; (no authority, date, or college given.)
David Decker, Broome Centre, N. Y.; June 30, 1870; American University of Medicine and Surgery, Pa.; diploma.
Lemuel Cross, Cobleskill, N. Y.; diploma; February 23, 1856; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
James D. Snyder, Sharon Springs, N. Y.; license; August 10, 1874; Eclectic Medical Society of 23d Senatorial District, N. Y.
Jared Chase, Warnerville, N. Y.; license; August 10, 1874; Eclectic Medical Society of 23d Senatorial District, N. Y.
L. S. Wells, Middleburgh, N. Y.; diploma; November, 20, 1833; Castleton Medical College, Vt.
S. F. Fonda, Sharon Springs, N. Y.; diploma; February 24, 1841, Albany Medical College, N. Y.
Ezra Lawyer, Cobleskill, N. Y.; diploma; November 22, 1854; Castleton Medical College, Vermont.
Isaac W. Ferris, Middleburgh, N. Y.; diploma; March 7, 1867; University City of New York, N. Y.
E. O. Bruce, Hyndsville, N. Y.; diploma; November 22, 1858; Castleton Medical College, Vt.
Thomas K. Kilmer, Schoharie C. H., N. Y.; diploma; January 28, 1875; Eclectic Medical College of the City of New York, N. Y.
D. Norwood, Esperance, N. Y.; diploma; December, 24, 1857; Albany MedicalCollege, N. Y.
Menzo Barkman, Gallupville, N. Y.; diploma; January, 1879; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
D. M. Leonard, Broome Centre, N. Y.; diploma; November, 1867; Castleton Medical College, Vt.
H. Sperbeck, Charlotteville, N. Y.; diploma; December , 22, 1857; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
Nancy J. Langley, Mineral Springs, N. Y.; license; (no date given) eclectic Medical Society, 23d Senatorial District, N. Y.
Joseph R. Brown, Seward, N. Y.; diploma; December 25, 1868; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
Charles W. Havens, Summit, N. Y.; license; August 21, 1838; Schoharie County Censors of the Eclectic Medical Society.
Philip P. Werner, Barnerville, N. Y.; diploma; June, 1845; Castleton, Vermont, Medical College.
Henry A. Myer, Gardnersville, N. Y.; diploma; February 16, 1833; Syracuse Medical College, N. Y.; also license, August 11, 1874; Eclectic Medical Society of the 23d Senatorial District, N. Y.
Doctor Brayman, Livingstonville, N. Y.; diploma; February 1, 1880; University of City of New York, Medical Department.
R. J. Roscoe, Carlisle, N. Y.; diploma; March, 1852, College of Physicians State of Vermont, at Castleton.
Charles Dickerson, Seward, N. Y.; diploma; - 1860; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
R. W. Terwilliger, Carlisle, N. Y.; diploma; March, 1881; Albany Medical College, N. Y.
The first Telephone Line in the County was between Schoharie and Middleburgh, and was opened for communication in August, 1880. There were upon the first day of July, 1881, at least one hundred miles in successful operation, and other lines will soon be established until the County is made a net-work of the simple, yet wonderful invention.
Mr. Charles Kromer became interested in the enterprise and through his energy and management the lines were established. They have thus far been built by issuing certificates of shares of stock, each share being five dollars, privileging each stockholder to have the free use of the line with which he is connected.
While the principle upon which the telephone is worked was long known, yet to Edison are we indebted for an apparatus that brings the principle to practice, and with such simplicity as to abash the inventive genius of the past. Yet we are not unmindful of the claims of Science upon improvement and must expect that a few years hence greater improvements and inventions, or other principles will become animated and made to out-strip the inventions of our day.
Newspapers. - The first newspaper published in the County was the American Herald, published by Derick VanVeghten. It was a small sheet and appeared in June, 1801, and some time in the year 1812, it was, changed to the Schoharie Herald, but upon VanVeghten's enlisting in the volunteer service, the paper was discontinued. It would hardly be just to pass by without giving the hero notice, as a more patriotic and brave man could not be found. He came to Schoharie after serving an apprenticeship at Schenectady, and met with unexpected success in his enterprise, but when his country called her sons to oppose her enemy's encroachments, he answered by enrolling himself, and raising a company of which he was commissioned captain.
During the winter and early summer of 1813 and '14, he was stationed at Schenectady to guard army stores, and in the fall of the latter year, returned to Schoharie and opened a recruiting station. Having raised another company, he joined General VanRensselaer's regiment as Major, upon the frontier, and through a rash move, in making a sortie upon the enemy's flank - expecting to receive aid from his general - he, with his entire force, were taken prisoners, as before stated At the close of the war, he returned to Schoharie, a mid in 1817 commenced the publication of the Schoharie Budget, and continued the same until 1819, when he changed it to the Schoharie Republican. He soon disposed of his interest in the paper, and followed various branches of business, and in a financial point of view, succeeded in none. He was a tall muscular man, of slim build, active, yet rash in his movements and unconcerned as to results. He died at the house of Colonel Wilkins, at Spraker's Basin, on the 21st of March, 1844, of dropsy, and was buried near. Major VanVeghten was a bold writer, given to paroxysms of cutting sarcasm against those who dared to brave his views. Yet through his literary efforts, a large heart, good intentions, and progressive spirit could be detected, which gained for him the honor due an honest man.
In December, 1809, Thomas M. Tillman commenced the True American, but like VanVeghten, discontinued the sheet in 1813. He also joined the army, but of his subsequent life, we are not informed.
Returning to the Schoharie Republican, we find a long list of editors, whose terms of service have been successful, and we find the sheet still continued and progressive after braving the changing currents of sixty-two years. Major Van Veghten was successfully succeeded by Peter Keyser, Lemuel Cuthbert, A. A. Keyser, and Wm. H. Underwood, who, each in turn, kept up the dignity and spirit of the sheet, but events were not excitable enough to make the public consider a paper a necessity, neither had the people been educated to that thought, in a literary point of view, and consequently, double duties were imposed upon the struggling publishers, for which their financial gains were discouraging.
When Wm. H. Gallup succeeded Mr. Underwood, the political firmament began to rumble in earnest. Politics ran to fever heat, and that gentleman standing upon the firm, and growing firmer, Democratic platform, with his publication, success was assured, and when Mr. Gallup retired, the Schoharie Republican was looked upon as the Democratic organ of the County, which character it still assumes. Mr. Gallup was a careful, conscientious writer, modest to assume and direct, hut when aroused, bold and forcible.
He was succeeded by P. D. Lawyer, who kept the sheet in the even "tenor of its way" during the following political campaign. Mr. Lawyer was an independent writer, brief and forcible.
Ex-Judge Nathan T. Rossiter followed, whose smooth pen tended to cool political dames, and court pleasing, literary effusions. However, the political status of the sheet was maintained under the Judge's term of editorship, and its first introduction made into many households as a "family paper."
Next came J . B. Hall, a live, educated "paper man," whose glib and cutting pen shook up the dry bones of contention and made them laugh at themselves. His exclamation points and quotation dots gave evidence of firmness and faithful reading. Not to speak disparagingly of his predecessors' efforts and ability to enlarge the business of the enterprise, yet Mr. Hall increased the circulation of the paper nearly double to what it had been and infused a spirit within it more in accordance with the day and age, than any before him. He was a worker, physically and mentally, and when the concern passed from his hands in 1860, it stood inferior to no country paper in the State. Mr. Hall removed to Catskill and assumed the management of the Catskill Recorder, where he again labored hard, beyond the strength of his frail constitution, which soon brought him to an early grave.
J. C. Campbell, with declining health, followed Mr. Hall in the office of the Republican, but ere one year passed, death claimed its victim and he passed away, lamented by a host of friends.
A. B. F. Pond redressed the sheet as he followed Campbell, and the excitement of a threatened civil war, coupled with the known ability of Mr. Pond as a writer and manager, the paper enjoyed one of the most successful seasons it ever experienced. Mr. Pond was a terse, forcible writer, and dealt all subjects with his pen with a prompt business spirit. He was the son of Benjamin Pond and born in the village of Schoharie, where he received an academic education. He disposed of his interest in the paper to Sleight & Hunt, in 1865, and removed to New Jersey where he now resides. The latter firm continued as one until January 1, 1869, when the interest of Sleight was purchased by A. A. Hunt, under whose proprietorship it still continues. Mr. Hunt is a native of Sag Harbor, L. I., and has been connected with the press from a youth. As a writer, he is quick and perceptive, original in thought, with easy and smooth expression, which has won for him a reputation as a writer that few obtain.
In 1818, a periodical was started at Schoharie C. H., called the Observer, but by whom we cannot learn. In 1820 it passed into the hands of Solomon Baker & Fish, and in 1822 Baker purchased the interest of Fish, but soon discontinued the sheet. Not being fortunate in obtaining a copy and having no knowledge of proprietors, we cannot speak farther of the enterprise. Rev. George A. Lintner being one of the foremost workers in the cause of religion, a true, conscientious laborer, united his able efforts with those of Lemuel Cuthbert, and on January, 1824, issued the first number of the Evangelical Luminary, devoted to the interest of churches and religious societies. Of Mr. Lintner, we need not here make mention, as in connection with other causes we give such notice of him as our feebleness admits. Lemuel Cuthbert was a young man of promise, deeply interested in all religious causes and imbued with a true spirit of fidelity to duty. He took a lively interest in politics, but at an early age he passed to the grave, and as Dr. Lintner once wrote, "he sleeps in his silent bed where convulsions and troubles of political life can no more reach him."
The Lutheran Magazine of which Dr. Lintner was editor for many years, was commenced by the "Western Conference of Lutheran ministers in 1827, and printed by Cuthbert.
The Schoharie Free Press, by Duncan McDonald was originally published in Johnstown, Fulton county, as the Montgomery Monitor and removed to Fonda, Montgomery county, in 1828, thence to Canajoharie, and in 1830 to Schoharie. Being of a roving disposition, it was removed to Esperance and published as the Esperance Sentinel and Schoharie and Montgomery Recorder. It was discontinued in 1836 after a fierce war against the Albany Regency. It was ably edited. A notice of its connections may be seen in the chapter on Esperance.
The Gem a small sheet written by students of the Academy, appeared in 1837 but it sparkled for a day and lost its luster.
The first number of the Schoharie Patriot was issued February 13, 1838, by Peter Mix, and it became under the control of Mr. Mix and his son S. H. Mix, in after years, a substantial sheet in the interest of the Whig party. Mr. Mix was from Johnstown, Fulton county, and was connected with the Montgomery Republican from 1825 to 1834, when the office and type were burned. He revived the paper, but in 1836 he was again burned out, when he removed to Schoharie. He labored hard for years to turn the political sentiment of the County but what was "born in the bone" proved to be "bred in the flesh" in that respect at least, yet Mr. Mix drew around him a host of friends and proved himself to be a firm unflinching advocate of that, which he considered right. He ably conducted his journal, and handed it over to S. H. Mix with an honorable record. Growing in years, he retired from business, and died at the age of seventy-two. [For notice of S. H. Mix, see Chapter on Schoharie.]
Upon Mr. S. H. Mix entering the army his interest in the Patriot passed into the hands of Henry E. Abel and changed to the Schoharie Union. Mr. Abel was an energetic worker, and plain, ready writer, with a tendency to sarcasm, yet the spirit and success of his paper kept its status, as a party organ. In 1867 Charles C. Kromer purchased the property and continues to be the proprietor.
Mr. Kromer passed through the civil war in the "3rd Cavalry" as Captain and returned home unharmed, but upon the accidental discharge of a pistol his right hand was shattered which compelled an amputation at the wrist. Mr. Kromer merits honor as a self-made man and patriot, and deserves sympathy in his misfortune. The Union adheres to the principles of Republicanism in politics, though not radically.
Mr. Kromer is a careful yet bold writer, with original thought and expression that leave a tendency to mirth. His articles are always short and embody much meaning without exaggeration.
Two small sheets The Star and The Sun were commenced in 1838, the former by S. H. Mix and the latter by D. L. Underwood, two school boys, and after a years' existence were discontinued. The excitable times of 1840 called out a campaign sheet The Huge Paw, by William H. Gallup, that was published from August to November of that year, and in 1841 as the Anti-Rent troubles began to shake the earth, especially that portion of its formation known as the "Helleberg Series," Mr. Gallup again put forth a sheet entitled The Helderbergh Advocate, which name seemed to be too local, and in 1843 was changed to The Guardian of the Soil. Assuming too much in those "war-like" days it ceased its great labors after a years' experience. A semi-monthly enterprise was published by the students of the academy in 1855 called The Oasis, and was a spicy little sheet, the composition of which was highly commendable, in thought and expression.
All of the foregoing have been published at Schoharie Court House. In 1847, Mr. J. D. Lawyer commenced a paper at Leesville assuming the name of The American Christian, but was soon discontinued. Mr. Lawyer was a minister of the gospel, and the sheet was in the interest of religious matters.
The Schoharie County Sentinel was commenced at Cobleskill January 22, 1852, by Hiram C. Paige, now of the Brooklyn Era. Mr. Paige was succeeded by Charles Cleveland, and by Wadhams & Kniskern, who sold the establishment to J. B. Hall, of the Schoharie Republican, into which it was merged. It was a wide-awake sheet, full of spirit and commanded the respect and patronage of a large circle of friends.
Furman & Brown, of Charlotteville, commenced the publication of a small sheet at that village in 1854, called the Charlotteville Journal. In the year following Furman sold his interest to John Brown, who removed the press to Cobleskill village and changed the name of the paper to The Cobleskill Journal, and published it as such but a short time when it was discontinued.
The Cobleskill Jeffersonian was commenced at Cobleskill in 1859, by Matthew Freeman, in the interest of the Republican party, to revolutionize the political sentiment of the County. Mr. Freeman was a very plain and forcible writer and speaker, and exerted his faculties to "make a mark," but became mixed up in sarcastic imbroglios with other periodicals, which proved disastrous, as usual, to his paper's influence, and consequently its existence was short, being stopped some time in 1862. Mr. Freeman's paper was followed at Cobleskill village in the year 1865, by the Cobleskill Index, under the proprietorship of William H. Weeks. Mr. Weeks made it an independent sheet, devoted chiefly to local matters, and it gained a firm footing in the western towns of the County as a family paper. In 1874, Mr. George W. Bellinger purchased the establishment by whom it is at present managed. During the Centennial year it was made a political organ, in the advocacy of Democratic principles, to which it has firmly adhered and become one of the staunch organs of those principles, and is now wielding a flattering influence.
On November 5, 1870, was started at Richmondville, the Schoharie County Democrat, by J. J. and J. L. Multer of the Schenevus Monitor. After a flattering patronage the "Multer Brothers" sold the establishment to J. B. Olmstead, who changed the title to Richmondville Democtrat. It is a small sheet but outspoken and substantial, and does credit to its youthful editor.
The Middleburgh Gazette was commenced in October, 1871, at Middleburgh, by O. B. Ireland, and was soon purchased by J. E. Young, the present proprietor and editor. This sheet has been a firm advocate of administrative honesty and bold to expose political scheming and selfish power. Mr. Young has been successful in making his sheet reliable and attractive as a local paper, and gained many warm friends of the press and in the ancient dorf in which he is located.
The Jeffersonian is published as Jefferson, being started as the Jeffersonian by A. W. Clark as editor and publisher, on March 1, 1872, and December, 1880, was purchased by Jones & Holmes, who changed the name to Jefferson Courier. It is a wide awake, spicy, independent and reliable sheet, and receives a flattering patronage from the surrounding towns. The first sheet was 18 by 24 and enlarged to 21 by 28.
Charlotte Valley News, of Charlotteville, was started by Morris & Shafer, and enlarged to a double sheet, but after a short term was removed to Davenport, Delaware county. After its enlargement it published serial stories, and was, we believe, the first and only one of the kind ever printed in the County. It is now published as above by E. O. Conner.
Sharon Springs Gazette was established by John Sawyer of the Cherry Valley Gazette, in 1874, and was well managed and ably edited by the veteran publisher, but the enterprise proved non-paying and was discontinued in February, 1881, and removed to Cooperstown and published as the Living Issue, the temperance organ of the State. Mr. Sawyer is an able writer, of clear, honest views, and gained as he justly deserved, a high regard among the County fraternity.
The Charlotteville Phoenix was begun in November, 1879, by S. G. Shafer, as an advocate of reform and independent in politics. The "hot grape" and "shells" that are found in its columns have been thrown promiscuously to the right and left, but the inevitable results are to be seen, The attacks upon officials and their organs have been bold and exacting, but attempting to create a counter current in swift running streams, requires a triple force, which only disturbs without satisfactory results. The sheet is well arranged and full of local and current news.
The Cobleskill Herald was commenced in 1877, by Johnson & Roberts, of Oneonta, in the interest of the Republican party. In 1880 Mr. Graham purchased the sheet and still edits the same. It is a firm and honest exponent of Republican principles, and receives a very flattering patronage. Mr. Graham is a careful, earnest worker and forcible writer.
The Gilboa Monitor is a small sheet published at Gilboa, by Myron Dings. It was commenced in 1878, and holds its own in patronage as well as in the discussions of events of the day. Mr. Dings is an industrious worker and careful, honest writer, and makes his sheet spicy and attractive.
Criminal. - During the County's growth regardless of the efforts of the philanthropic to better the morality of the people, crimes have been committed of various degrees that have startled communities, to which we are loth to refer, as around them there is a halo of ignorance and brutality that is far beneath the intellect of man, and which casts a shadow over the bright picture our County presents. Tradition tells us, through author Simms and the Vroman family, of a capital offense being committed in the early days of the settlement of Vroman's land by a negro and white accomplice by the name of Moore, in the murder of one Truax.
Circumstances led to the belief in the guilt of the negro and his wife, who were servants in the family of Peter Vroman as was also the murdered man.
They were taken to Albany, tried and convicted, and placed upon a pile of fagots and burned. In after years through the bed confession of Moore, the fact was revealed that the negress was innocent of the crime and had no knowledge of it, as she protested during the trial and upon the pile of fagots.
Farther than that awful crime, except minor offences such as incendiaries, theft and trespassing nothing occurred that was brought to the public notice until after the war of 1812. Immediately after its close a vast quantity of spurious Spanish coins flooded the country that were manufactured in Canada and brought here to palm off upon the farming community. The coins were principally of the denomination of "two shilling," and led, in a few years to a greater speculation in counterfeiting paper money. The bills were upon various blanks, and the men whose reputation for honesty was the best were lured away by the prospect of making riches, and procured dies anti manufactured large quantities in secret. Stringent laws were passed but few of the guilty suffered. Various were the strategies of the guilty to punish the innocent, since the law demanded subjects to punish. It is a notable fact that the foundation of some families' fortunes was laid by being expert in the making and "shoving off" of the spurious.
As the excitement of the spurious money began the people were shocked by the premeditated poisoning of a lady by her inhuman husband, while stopping at an "inn" in the town of Middleburgh. An act of that kind was unusual in those days ad created a great excitement not only in the immediate neighborhood in which the crime was committed, but far and wide.
Abraham Casler, a resident of the Mohawk, married a Miss Spraker with whom he lived upon very unpleasant terms, owing to his immorality and love for another woman. He left home upon the pretext of going West to reside, and after being away some time returned, pretended penitent, and stated he had purchased a place and was desirous of his wife accompanying him to live upon it in peace and harmony. They started a wagon and traveled through Sharon and Cobleskill and stopped at an inn kept by one Best, on the road leading from Punchkill to Middleburgh.
Mrs. Casler complained of not feeling well, and her husband was very attentive, procuring medicine in which he added opium and arsenic alternately, till death relieved her of her troubled life. The remains were buried without the relatives being made acquainted of her disease, and upon Casler's sudden exit from the locality, suspicion was aroused and the remains exhumed.
Upon examination, opium and arsenic were found, Casler arrested and upon the testimony of Mrs. Best was convicted before Judge Yates, and hung in May, 1818, upon the hill east of the court-house. The gallows were left standing as a solemn admonition of the penalty such crimes demand, and before another year rolled around, one, who witnessed the execution of Casler, and who boasted upon leaving the scene, "they will never hang me," stood beneath the beam and forfeited his life in consequence of an ungovernable passion.
John VanAlstine, a farmer living in Sharon, becoming implicated in legal affairs, murdered a deputy sheriff, William Huddleston, while in the performance of his official duties, upon the former's farm on the 19th of October, 1818. Upon the impulse of the movement he struck the officer with a club with such force as to kill him. VanAlstine buried the body of the murdered man in a plowed field near the barn, and in the course of a day or two he mounted the officer's horse and fled to Canada. Upon suspicion of his being guilty of the crime a reward for his apprehension was declared by the sheriff, and also the Governor of the State. He embarked upon a vessel at Black Rock, for Detroit, but a strong gale arising, the vessel was driven back to its moorings and a fellow passenger having suspicion of his being the advertised murderer, caused his arrest. He as tried before Chief Justice Spenser at a special court of Oyer and Terminer in February, 1819, and found guilty. On the 19th of March he was publicly executed as before stated, beneath the beam under which Casler suffered less than a year before.
The next and last crime of that character that occurred to the knowledge of the public was in the month of March, 1845.
Judge Burnett murdered George Sornberger in the present town of Broome, by nearly severing the head from the body and stabbing him in the abdomen and chest, on the 24th of March, 1845. They were residents of Broome, and it was supposed Sornberger was the possessor of a considerable sum of money, as a payment was to have been made to him upon that day. It proved otherwise, as the total sum thus fiendishly procured was but three shillings and nine pence. The crime was committed while the Court house lay in ashes, and the prisoner was taken to Schoharie village to be tried and to Schenectady to be hung. The execution took place in that city on the 11th day of July, 1846. The three that have paid the penalty upon the gallows made full confessions of their crimes and the justness of their sentences, which relieves us of fears that the innocent have suffered in their cases, as many times they do when circumstantial evidence only is taken. Three cases of manslaughter have been tried in the County for which the criminals were sent to State's prison for a long term of years. We do not wish to give the particulars or the parties committed, but let their names be dropped.
A few cases have been brought to the County to be tried from adjoining counties, where juries could not agree, but the criminal record for capital offences of our county closes with the dying agonies of Burnett, and let us willingly draw a veil over this part of our County's history, hoping that long, long years may pass ere, if ever, another occasion requires the death penalty.
Statistics. - By the census of 1810, the total population of the County was 18,945, as follows: -
The following is taken from the Census Records of 1880: -
Blenheim town, including village of Blenheim, 1,191
*Blenheim village, 221
Broome town, including the following villages, 1,636
*Franklinton village, 77
*Livingstonville village, 97
Carlisle town, including the following villages, 1,722
*Carlisle village, 128
Grosvenor's Corners village, 60
Cobleskill town, including village of Cobleskill, 3,371
Cobleskill village, 1,222
Conesville town, 1,127
Esperance town, including the following villages, 1,373
*Esperance village, 341
*Sloansville village, 200
Fulton town, 2,709
Gilboa town, including the following villages, 2,040
*Gilboa village, 203
*South Gilboa village, 50
Jefferson town, 1,636
Middleburgh town, including the following villages, 3,376
*Hunter's Land village, 172
*Middleburgh village, 1,123
Richmondville town, including the following villages, 2,082
*Richmondville vilage, 653
*Warnerville village, 263
Schoharie town, including the following villages 3,350
*Central Bridge village, 195
Schoharie village, 1,188
Seward town, including the following villages, 1,734
*Hyndsville village, 129
*Seward Valley village, 141
Sharon town, including village of Sharon Springs, 2,591
Sharon Springs village, 627
Summit town, including the following villages, 1,405
*Charlotteville village, 126
*Summit village, 121
Wright town including village of Gallupville, 1,591
*Gallupville village, 258
The villages marked with an asterisk (*) are unincorporated, and their population is given only approximately, as their limits cannot be sharply defined.
The following miscellaneous statistics are from the census of 1880: -
Number of inhabitants, 32,939
" Males, 16,438
" Females 16,501
" Natives, 32, 199
" Foreign, 740
" White, 32,458
" Colored, 481
" Indians, 20
Number of houses, 6,686
" Frame, 6,488
" Brick, 57
" Stone, 16
" Log, 125
Milch cows kept, 20,185
Horses of two years and over, 8,559
Working oxen and steers, (pairs) 1,762
Acres plowed in 1875, 72,562
Acres pastured in 1875, 92,800
Acres mowed, in 1875, 97,524
Butter made in families in 1875, lbs. 2,507,970
Number of pounds cheese made by families and factories, in 1875, 177,774
Number of gallons milk sold in market, 43,036
Value of hops raised in 1875, $1,495,329
Value of poultry sold " $17,608
Value of eggs " " $42,761
Value of poultry owned, " $48,940