HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF GILBOA. -
TOWN FORMED - FIRST TOWN OFFICERS - BOARD OF INSPECTORS - DIVISION INTO DISTRICTS - TOWN MEETING OF 1849 - ANTI-RENT DIFFICULTIES - SHERIFF'S POSSE OF SOLDIERS - FIRST SETTLERS AND MILLS - JOHN DISE - ARCHIBALD CROSWELL - TANNERY - TUTTLE & OSORNE TANNERY - GRIST MILL PURCHASED BY PLATT, POTTER & CO. - COTTON FACTORY - LUMAN REED - FIRST TAVERN - GILBOA BRIDGE - FURNACE - CHURCHES - MERCHANTS - BROOME CENTRE - HENRY TIBBETTS - MCKEYS CORNERS - DAVID ELLERSON - HIS NARRATIVE - OFFICIAL LIST - SUPERVISORS - DISTRICT ATTORNEY - COUNTY CLERK - ASSEMLY - STATE SENATOR - BOUNDARIES.
BLENHEIM and Broome were two very large towns, making it inconvenient, in various ways, and to remedy the evils, the people petitioned to the Seventy-first legislature to divide the territory, and form a new town. Adam Mattice, of Livingstonville, and James Parson, of Sharon, were in the Assembly, to whom the petition was entrusted, and through whose labors a bill to that effect was passed, on the I 6th of March, 1848. Broome, previous to that date, bordered on the west, on the Schoharie creek, while Blenheim took in all the territory of Gilboa, that lies upon the west of that stream. Gilboa village had for a long time been an extensive manufacturing seat and business center, and being the main and only village upon the territory, the town was named after it.
First Town Meeting:-On the 20th day of April following the organization of the town, the first town meeting was held, and elected the following officers:-
For Supervisor, Colby Reed; Town Clerk, Paige Croswell; justices, Samuel More, David L Chichester, Hiram Fridenburgh and John Chichester; Assessors, Elisha Griffin, for one year, Philo Johnson, two years, and John Hoagland, three years; Commissioners of Highways, Archibald Croswell, one year, David S. Howard, two years, and Ransom Allerson, three years; overseers of Poor, Benj. E. Smith, and Nicholas L. Mattice; Collector, Elam Richmond; Constables, Lewis T. Davis, Solomon D. Mackey, Jacob McIntyre, and Reynolds Allen; Town Superintendent of Schools, Joseph Schofield, for full term, and vacancy; Sealer of Weights and Measures, Abram Mudge. Town house at Lawrence & Kibbes.
The first Board of Inspectors appointed for the town meeting, was Luman Reed. James G. Hackey and Hiram Fridenburgh. It was voted at that meeting to raise three hundred dollars for the support of the poor. On the 13th of May following, the road commissioner and clerk appointed sixty-nine overseers for that number of road districts then created.
In September the assessors divided the town into three election districts, pursuant to the statute, as follows:-
"District number one consists of all that part of the town of Gilboa lying west of a line commencing at the south line of the town and running thence north along the west line of Lot No. 5, occupied by John V. Hoagland, thence north to the east line of the lot owned by Peter Mattice, lately occupied by William Stevens, thence north along the east line of said lot, and north to the north line of the town."
"District number two consists of the central part of the town, bounded on the west by the eastern bounds of District number one, on the south by the south line of the town, thence northeast along the line between the towns of Gilboa and Conesville to the line between School Districts No. 2 and 3, thence west along the line between said school districts to the end of said line, thence in a direct line to the corner of the east and south lines of Clark's patent, thence along the south line of Clark's patent to the Schoharie creek, thence along the north line of the town of Gilboa to the place of beginning."
At the town meeting held the 20th of February, 1849, no choice of Supervisor was made, owing to the two candidates, Luman Reed and Henry Tibbetts running a tie. Elisha Griffin was appointed to fill the vacancy. The political sentiments of the people of this town are so nearly equally divided that it requires strategy upon the part of the candidates to gain an election.
The Anti-Rent troubles of the '40's were experienced in this section to an alarming extent, but no real serious collision between the opponents took place, with the exception of the "Injuns" overtaking a deputy while on his way to serve the papers upon a belligerent tenant. He was a citizen of the village and respected, but without ceremony was taken upon the hill west of the bridge, and threatened with a tar and feather garment if he would not promise not to serve the papers. He did so and was liberated. In conversation with a gentleman of the place who freely admitted he was a "big lnjun" through those times, we learn that nearly all the people of this locality were Anti's, and were not organized with any real intention of defying the law and creating a rebellion, but more to make pretentions and frighten the landlords. " If," said our informant, "we had any such intentions, we had plenty of opportunities even to kill as well as tar and feather, and not be caught. Many of us joined for fun, being young and venturesome, and we had plenty of it too."
Political aspirants took advantage of the troubles and did much towards the " blowing of the flames " which made unusual lively political canvasses. Sheriff Brown's posse of soldiers lay at this village for some time and was here, while that officer and deputy were upon Baldwin's Heights in the hands of the Anti's. They were one hundred in number, "armed to the teeth," and looked, our informant tells us, "ferocious enough to eat a biled Injun for each breakfast;" but said he, "when the boys gave war-whoops in the night through the streets and upon the hills, the soldiers hugged their guns and looked tame."
First Settlers and Mills.-Who were the first settlers of this town is unknown for a certainty but supposed to be the Dise family about the year 1760. After their losses as stated in the Conesville chapter of this work, they settled upon the Plattenkill, and John Dise, a son of one of the partners, located near the present iron bridge. He built a grist-mill some time between the years 1790 and 1800, near where Luman Reed's present grist-mill now stands. As the country became quiet and prosperous in the beginning of the century the well watered hills and fine mill privileges attracted the attention of the Yankees of New England and drew to this place men of energy and ingenuity that soon laid the foundation for a manufacturing town.
Among the number was Archibald Croswell, a very active man, such as every town requires, to create and push enterprises that give employment and add to the production of the country. He came from Connecticut and settled where Luman Reed's residence now stands, about the year 1800. He purchased the Dise mill property and soon rebuilt a stone structure for the same purpose, which stood for several years when the walls cracked and fell, obliging him to again rebuild. The second time he placed the mill above the present bridge. In 1821 Mr. Croswell built a fulling mill upon the west side of the river which was changed to a store and a new mill of larger capacity built below. In 1810 Jonas Soper commenced a tannery which did a fair business. The quantity of hemlock bark that was accessible at a trifling cost led Mr. Croswell to build a factory to extract from the bark the tanning qualities found therein, which he shipped in large quantities to Europe. Requiring a vast number of barrels he immediately started a cooperage which not only furnished himself with necessary shipping barrels, but the surrounding country with everything it required in that line. In the year 1831 the extract factory was burned, and having a large quantity of bark on hand Mr. Croswell built a tannery. About the same time another was erected by Tuttle & Osborne, which soon was owned and managed by Sidney Tuttle & Sons. Besides the grist-mill, fulling-mill, cooperage, store and extract establishment, all in operation at one time, that gentleman built a pottery, manufactured potash, managed a sawmill, giving employment to numberless workmen, but he became financially entangled and made an assignment to his brother, Dr. Croswell, of Catskill, and _______ Brace, who continued the different branches of business for a while and then closed. If it were possible to make the people believe it would be to the interest of the country for them to hold such business men up when they get in close financial quarters, instead of pouncing upon them as vultures, it would be to their best interests. With such a business man as Mr. Croswell, Gilboa with her unsurpassed water privileges might soon be made the largest manufacturing center in Central New York and number thousands of inhabitants.
Mr. Croswell after an active life passed away, leaving five children, Paige, John Keyes, Able Brace, Mrs. Wm. Wicks and Kellogg, the latter the only one remaining in the place. Platt, Potter & Co., of Schenectady purchased the grist-mill above the bridge of Croswell & Brace, and became owners of other valuable property at this place.
Cotton Factory.-About the year 1840, a company was formed with a capital of $50,000, called the "Gilboa Cotton Mill Co." for the purpose of building a cotton mill. Sidney Tuttle was at the head of the concern as President, and it became a prosperous establishment, with one hundred looms, employing about eighty hands.
B. G. Morss and Luman Reed became the owners, and while in their possession, the flood of October, 1869, destroyed the whole, entailing a heavy loss. Thus we find to-day the most active business interests that have adorned this romantic spot, have ceased to exist, have passed away as many of those whose brains were the grand motive power.
Luman Reed, one of the busy men of "years gone by" still remains, and is still identified with the enterprises of the place. In 1879 he built the present grist-mill but a short distance from the site of the first one, which he continues to manage, together with a general assortment of merchandise, the latter in connection with A. H. Bartley. Mr. Reed is a son of Colby Reed, who removed from Vermont in 1806, and commenced a small it "store" at Strykersville, and removed to "Blenheim Hill," or South Gilboa where he continued the business about thirty years, when he retired from business and was followed by his son Philetus Reed. He died in 1860 at the age of eighty, highly respected as a citizen and business man. Luman Reed has been elected as Supervisor of the town eleven terms and from the eastern assembly district in the Legislature in 1853 as a colleague of Hon. John Westover, of Richmondville. From the fact Mr. Reed's political principles being adverse to the majority of the voters of the County, his election to that position is evidence of his popularity as a social and business man.
John Reed, a brother was for many years an active business man of the town and held several local offices, and was supervisor five terms. He is at present a resident of Syracuse engaged in the insurance business.
First Tavern.-The first "tavern" or hotel built in the place was to the west of the present "Gilboa House." It was built against the bank, the stone basement of which still stands. It was built about the year 1797, and was a small affair conducted by Wm. Edwards. When the Catskill & Ithaca turnpike was built bringing travel, additions were put on from time to time, until it was at least seventy-five feet long. Here the first pioneers assembled to talk matters over and indulge in toddy and flip, and built air castles upon "the thousand hills" from which they might look down upon the landholders with contempt.
Gilboa Bridge. -Upon the advent of Archibald Croswell a trestle bridge was built across the creek which was carried away by high water and replaced by a lattice one when the turnpike was built, that was also carried away in October, 1869, and the present iron structure, the finest one in the County, took its place at a cost of nearly thirteen thousand dollars.
Furnace.-A. H. Jackson built the first furnace in 1832, which was in operation a few years and closed, and succeeded by the present one in 1876, built by M. Gilberts & Co.
CHURCHES-Reformed Church of Gilboa.-Upon the fly-leaf of the records of this church we find written in a bold hand:-
"Record of the Baptisms, marriages and members of the church of Schoharie Kill under the ministerial labors of the Rev. Cornelius D. Schermerhorn, which labors he discontinued in the year 18l3. May the Great King of his church supply this flock with the regular administration of his word and ordinances."
Below the above we find recorded:-
"This is to certify that the Rev. Winslow Paige, A. M., V. D. M., became the pastor of the united congregation of the Reformed Dutch Church in the towns of Broome, Windham and Blenheim, on the 1st day of April, 1820."
As near as can be ascertained the organization was effected about 1802, at which time Rev. Schermerhorn commenced his pastoral care. The society built an edifice nearly three miles to the east, in the present town of Conesville, about the year 1805 or 1806, and becoming old and needing repairs, and this village being then in its growing glory, the society resolved to remove it to Gilboa village, which was done in the year 1836. The church for many years was known as the "Church of Dise's Manor," and "Manor Church," for reasons stated in the Conesville chapter.
This organization has always been a popular one, comprising the best citizens and attendance, and has maintained a very prominent list of pastors. Rev. Winslow Paige has been followed by Cornelius Bogardus, 1838 to 1843; L. H. Van Dyck, 1843 to 1852; Samuel Lockwood, 1852 to 1854; R. B. Welsh, 1854 to 1856; William G. E. See, 1857 to 1861; W. W. Letson, 1865 to 1868; William S. Moore, 1869 to 1873; J. A. Ball, 1874 to 1876; Edward Cornet, 1876 to 1880; B. C. Miller, present supply.
Rev. Winslow Paige was in charge seventeen years and retired from the ministry. His children, J. Keyes, Alonzo, and Mrs. Judge Potter, became eminent personages.
The former was appointed as a Regent of the University the 31st of March, 1829, and held the office until his death, which occurred in 1858. He removed from this County to Albany where he was elected Mayor of the city in 1845. Alonzo was elected Judge of the Supreme Court in the Fourth District, in 1847 and 1855, and was honored as one of the purest minded and most competent Judges upon the bench. Mrs. Potter's free heart and other christian graces endeared her to a large circle of friends, especially the unfortunate, who have been the recipients of her charity.
Methodist Episcopal Church of Gilboa.-The records of this class were not to be found upon our several visits for them. Mr. J. M. Hazzard, however, informed us that a class was here as early as 1842, and thinks it was formed about that year, and that the edifice was commenced in 1844 and completed in 1845. The pulpit has been supplied by circuit preachers under the orders of the New York Conference. The society is prosperous and energetic in the religious cause, not sparing time or labor in its furtherance.
Flat Creek Baptist Church.-Rev. John Ormsbee with thirteen members organized this society on the 2d of January, 1831. They held their meetings in private houses for several years and built a house of worship in 1843. The present commodious structure was erected in 1865 at a cost of $3,300.
Merchants of Gilboa Village.-Through Mr. Hazzard and Luman Reed we find that Samuel Bortles and Archibald Croswell commenced the mercantile business together about the year 1823 and were followed by Ozias Stevens in 1828, and Allen H. Jackson in 1832. The year after, S. Tuttle & Sons established and did a fine business up to the year 1850, and were contemporary with Platt, Potter & Co. in the first years of business, and with Luman Reed from 1840. The present merchants are Reed & Baldwin, F. A. Haggidorn, Freidenburgh & Thomas and James M. Hazzard.
This place was first settled by Job Tibbetts whose son, Henry Tibbetts, possessed an ambition similar to Archibald Croswell to drive business. Upon the building of the road from Potter's Hollow to Gilboa (185o), Henry Tibbetts built the present hotel and storehouse and for several years did a large business. Being the builder of the hamlet, it was called for a long time as "Tibbetts," and, in fact, is known only as such by residents within a few miles. Being belated in reaching the place upon our first visit, to a late hour in the night, we became fearful of not being upon the right road, and awoke three farmers to learn the truth of our situation. Upon asking for Broome Centre and its distance we were told that the road "ran to Tibbetts," but did not remember how far it was to Broome Centre. The third call brought a live lass of eleven summers to our aid, who gave the desired information with intelligence and grace. Henry Tibbetts was an active man. He was elected to the Legislature in 1845, and to the Board of Supervisors in 1860, in which positions he served with commendable credit to himself and the County. He died in March, 1877. The early settlers of this locality were Elisha Griffin, Calvin Case and the Chichester family.
But a short distance from Mackey's Corners, upon the farm of David Elerson, lies, in a neglected grave, one of Schoharie's adopted sons, who braved the hardships peculiar to the struggle along the border for freedom.
David Elerson was a comrade of Timothy Murphy, Richard Tufts, John Wilber and Lieutenant Boyd, who came to Schoharie after the battle of Monmouth, under Colonel Butler, as before stated. When he settled here the territory was in the town of Broome, but by the division of 1848 it belongs to Gilboa. Some time toward the close of the patriot's life, some writer, unknown to us, published a pamphlet in which is recorded a few of the hero's exploits, said to be dictated by himself. It was entitled, "The Extraordinary Feats and Escapes of David Elerson in the Revolutionary war." In justice to the patriot we herewith copy the article, hoping that its perusal may excite the reader to a deeper sense of the purchase price of American liberty, and present another example of true fidelity to country worthy to imitate and noble to honor.
"This veteran of the Revolution now lives in Broome, Schoharie County, on the Plattenkill, and is a respectful and valuable citizen, a member of the Baptist church, on which account we rely on his statements as being true. These the publisher received from his own lips, and are now for the first time offered to the public.
"Elerson is a Virginian by birth, whose exterior appearance although far advanced in years, denotes that in the prime of his youth strength nerved his arm; and the kindling of his eye at the recital of the sanguinary tale evinced the deep hold the Revolution has still of his affections; as well as that he possessed the decision of character necessary for the prompt achievement of fearful deeds.
"He states that he entered in service in 1776, under Colonel Morgan, the well-known 'old Wagoner' as the British called him; and that in 1778, he was in the Monmouth battle, in the State of New Jersey, but escaped unhurt. He was also with Lord Dunmore in his war with the Indians in Virginia, where he received a dangerous wound from a shot of the enemy, the bullet entering at the top of his right shoulder, came out at his left breast, the scar of which is dismal to look at. It happened as follows:-A body of Indians had hidden themselves behind a fallen tree which had been blown down by the winds, over which they were shooting with horrible effect among the soldiers of Dunmore. Elerson being of a daring spirit determined at the risk of his life, to oust them if possible, from this skulking place. In order to do this he dropped down upon the ground, with his rifle in his hand, and crept on his belly towards the roots of a tree, which was loaded with earth cleaving to its roots, behind which he intended to secrete himself, in order to get a shot or two through the opening of the roots at the savages shrouded by its trunk. This he effected, notwithstanding before he reached the spot, a ball, which was probably a random shot, struck him on the shoulder as already stated. A few days after the battle of Monmouth, Colonel Morgan with a detachment of two or three companies of his riflemen, followed the retreating army of General Clinton as far as Middleton, where the British had halted a short time. At this place Elerson requested of Morgan for himself and three others, by name Murphy, (the same who was afterwards so fatal to the Indians in old Schoharie,) Wilber and Tufts, liberty to follow on after them towards Sandy Hook, where the army of Clinton was supposed to be in the act of crossing over to Staten Island. The request was granted, but not without an earnest charge by Morgan to take care of themselves. They had gone but a little way on the route when they came to a deserted house and stopped to look about and reconnoiter the premises. Elerson said to his companions that if they would remain at the house and keep a good look out, he would go a little distance where there were some horses belonging to the British and examine them. He did so; but on his return his companions were all missing. On passing a little farther he found the road parted two ways; he took one and pursued it, hoping to overtake them, as he supposed they were gone in one of these roads, but he had taken the wrong one and missed them. In a few minutes, however, he came within sight of the operations of Clinton's army, and found they had effected a safe landing on Staten Island by making a bridge of boats, and that the British fleet lay before him. There was nothing remaining which they had not carried over except forty or fifty horses and a number of wagons; but among the mass of baggage and lumber of war, he discovered a coach or phaeton, which he supposed belonged to General Clinton.
"Now it flashed across his mind that he would make a prize of this phaeton, and a pair of horses to draw it with, although he perceived it was under the protection of two sentinels. He now darted out of the road, under the cover of the thick foliage which grew along the shore, in this way secreting himself from the view of the sentinels, till within about twenty yards of them, when he shouted to them to surrender in a moment, or they were dead men, at the same time bringing his rifle to his face, ready to guide a bullet through the heart of one at least. At sight of his dreadful instrument, one of the sentinels let fall his gun into the water, from mere fright, as he stood exactly on the edge of the beach. On seeing this he felt assured that his gun was incapacitated to do him harm, as its charge was now wet. The other man, on seeing what had happened, plunged into the water with his horse, but the current of the tides proved too strong and soon forced him to return. By this time he had taken the other sentinel into custody, and ordered him forthwith to harness a good pair of horses as was among them, to the phaeton, or he would shoot him, on which account the command went speedily into execution. Now the other sentinel made rapidly towards him, till within a short distance, then wheeled abruptly off, riding quite around the wagons, coach and all, which maneuver was supposed a mere preamble, till a convenient moment might be seized upon to shoot Elerson, as the trooper appeared to make several sly attempts to draw a pistol from a side pocket, situated in his bosom. All this time he had been warned to go quite away, or give himself up, unless he wished to be shot; but he either did not understand, or did not fear the threats of Elerson, notwithstanding his rifle was leveled constantly at him, he continued to evince a determination to try his pistol. Our hero did not like to fire upon him, on his own account, as the report would certainly arouse the attention of the whole British army and fleet, which were in full view, and their cannon was what he dreaded. However the sentinel persisted, and when in the very act of drawing the pistol from his pocket, received the blazing bullet of Elerson through his presumptuous heart; he tumbled headlong to the earth, and struggled out his life on the sand. The sharp, shrill report of the rifle echoed up and down the shores of the channel and struck the ear of some artilleryman. who, ere he was aware of it, planted a cannon shot near his feet, but fortunately did not injure him. In a moment or two a flash admonished him he had better dodge, as another pelter must be on its way; this passed over him, and struck between two wagons, and settled in the ground, as it was a sandy soil.
"By this time the vehicle was ready, when he sprang into it, and rode away, coach, prisoner and all, amid the roar of old England's blazes, which had no power to touch the intrepid Virginian, whose day's work amounted to several hundred dollars. Two companies of Morgan's riflemen were now sent to the westward, as far as Albany, in which Elerson and his three companions, above named, were included under the command of Captain Long. From Albany they were sent to Schoharie, where the Indians and Tories were devastating, murdering and carrying off, in concert, captives to Canada. Here they joined Colonel Butler of the Pennsylvania line, as rangers. The first service on which they were sent, was to take, dead or alive, a person strongly suspected of Toryism, living on the Charlotte river, by the name of Service, who was not only Torified in principle, but was an active agent of the British in aiding, victualing, and secreting the enemies of the Revolution. While prosecuting their way through the woods, when not far from the place now called Gilboa, a doleful region of gulfs and precipices, lying along on either side of the Schoharie creek, towards its head, they surprised, and took prisoner, a man who, on examination, was found in possession of a letter from a Captain Smith, who was a Tory, to the very man on the Charlotte, whom they had started in pursuit of, namely Service. This Smith had raised his company about Catskill and along the North River, and was then on his way to Niagara, and had sent this man forward to apprise the Tory that he must be in readiness to furnish his men with such refreshments as he could, and to aid them with provisions for the journey. They now altered their course, being determined, if possible to fall in with, and cut to pieces, this Smith and his company, enquiring of the prisoner what way they would probably come, who from fear dare not deceive him.
"They now hastened up the stream as secretly as possible, and had come to the flats where the bridge now crosses the Schoharie, on the Patanvia road. Elerson and his fellow-riflemen were on the east side of the creek, where from a certain spot, they discovered the party on the opposite side of the flat. Elerson and his captain happened to be close together, when they dropped on their knees behind a tree, the rest of the company might probably have made some noise by treading on dry brush, which it is likely Smith might have heard, as he came out in an open space, looking here and there, wholly exposing his person, when Captain Long and Elerson both aimed their rifles at his breast. A flash, a groan, and he weltered in his blood, a victim of that justice which watched over the fortunes of the Revolution.
Several of the party were now wounded, the rest fled in consternation to their houses. Thus were the machinations of a deluded set of men dissipated by the untiring vigilance of a small band of our patriotic forefathers. This work finished, Captain Long and his men changed their course for the Charlotte, in pursuance of their first intention, where they arrived and silently surrounded the house of the person sought for, gathering closer and closer, till at length two or three entered the room where he was, before they were discovered. He instantly stepped out of the door with them, when he was informed that they had orders to take him to the forts at Schoharie. He appeared somewhat alarmed, while he strenuously objected to the proposal, pleading innocence, etc., but in the meanwhile was evidently working his way along from the door to a heap of chips lying between Elerson and Murphy. The reason now appeared why he had so cautiously approached the chips, for on coming to the spot, be seized in a moment a broad-ax, which lay there, and made a desperate stroke at Murphy, which, however, he eluded, as the keen eye of that veteran was not asleep, but the fruitless attempt rolled back in vengeance on its author, as a bullet from the rifle of Murphy stretches him a lifeless corpse, with the ax in his hand.
"The next year, in the month of July, Long's riflemen had orders to move under Colonel Butler, in connection with other troops, in all amounting to seven hundred, to Springfield, at the head of Otsego lake, where they were to await the arrival of General Geo. Clinton and the troops expected with him, all of which, when there concentrated, were to pass down the Susquehanna, to form a junction with General Sullivan at Tioga point. The object of this arrangement was a destruction of the Indian tribes on the Chemung and Genesee rivers; who had so often been employed in small parties by the policy of the British, to distress, in a predatory manner, the inhabitants of the frontiers the leader of whom was generally Tayadanaga or, the Brant. Now, whilst the troops were stationed at Springfield, Elerson on a certain day, thought he would go to a place where he had observed a quantity of mustard growing around a deserted old house, a small clearing having been made at this spot a year or two before, his object being to gather a dinner of herbs for himself and men. The place was distant from the camp about a mile, where he had been busily employed till his haversack was nearly half full. Round about this house the weeds and sprouts had grown thick and high. As he was stooping to gather the mustard, he thought he heard a rustling in the weeds behind him, when, looking around, he saw ten or a dozen Indians just ready to spring upon him, and take him prisoner. That they chose to take him prisoner, rather than shoot him, he inferred from their not having done it, as the most ample opportunity had been afforded. The nearness of the fort might have detered them, or they may have wanted him alive as a victim of torture. As he sprang to seize his rifle, which stood against the house, their hatchets were hurled sufficiently swift and numerous to have cut him to pieces, if they had all hit him; however, he sustained no injury, except the middle finger of one hand, which was nearly cut off.
"He secured his rifle and sprang off in the opposite direction with the speed of an arrow, leaving his haversack and greens behind. There lay between him and the woods an open space of ground which was thickly covered with sprouts and weeds, having once been cleared; through this he had to run before he could reach the woods. On coming to the edge of this open space, he found his way obstructed by a hedge fence made of fallen trees, into which he plunged, struggling and leaping to get through; at this awful moment he heard behind him a full volley of their rifles discharged at the same instant; bullets whizzed and pattered about him, among the old timber and trees, yet he escaped unhurt. It was about eleven o'clock of the forenoon; he now had the start of the Indians, as they had yet to load their rifles and to scale the hedge fence; having cleared all obstacles, he plunged into the woods straight forward, not knowing whither he was running. From eleven to three he had not slackened his pace more than compelled to do by the situation of the ground over which he had run, when he perceived himself headed by an Indian. He stopped and drew up his rifle to shoot him, but he had disappeared, when, before his rifle was taken from his eye, a bullet from another direction had pierced his side, which proved however only a flesh wound, as it passed just above the hip joint, between the cuticle and peritoneum, coming out near the spine. He was now convinced that he was surrounded, though by an invisible enemy. Again he renewed his flight, till coming directly to the brow of a mountain, he descended it like a chased deer, but on reaching its foot found there a small brook, which in crossing, he scooped with his hand a little water to his mouth, as his tongue was bloated and hung out from excessive heat and thirst. As he tasted the water he cast his eyes behind him, when he perceived an Indian alone, just breaking over the brow of the hill, in full spring after him; he now darted out of the brook and up a shallow bank, hiding himself behind the dark shade of a monstrous hemlock.
"Now, as a fair opportunity offered to shoot this Indian, he raised his rifle, but found it impossible to take aim, as he shook very much from fatigue, perturbation of mind, and the anguish and bleeding of his wounds.
"But dropping flat down he rested his piece on the root of the tree, having now no doubt but the moment he touched the trigger of his unerring rifle, the enemy would finish his course. So it turned out. He fired; the Indian reeled and fell, tumbling headlong on the side of the declivity. He now reloaded; returned the ramrod to its slide, and primed the faithful rifle, when at that instant the whole company of his pursuers burst over the hill, true to the scent; but on coming where their expiring fellow weltered in his blood, a yell, horrible as shrill, tore the air, reverberating among the dense forest, in sign, as their custom is, of the presence of death. It was the death yell. He now gave up all as lost, as his pursuers were so near, but had calculated to fetch to the ground one or two more before they should seize him, but as he perceived they still lingered about their dying comrade, a thought crossed his mind that one struggle more and he might possibly escape. Again he sprang off; but soon encountered the brook, whose dark, winding course overhung with a dense grove of low hemlock, offered a sure retreat, as also his tracks were lost in the oblivious waters. Having followed this stream some small distance he sprang into the thicket of hemlocks, where, finding a hollow tree which was fallen down, he crept into it, where he lay secure, as the Indians pursued him no further; being it is likely, terrified at the death of their chief runner and warrior. Sleep soon overpowered him in his dreary bed, from which he awoke not till the next morning. When he backed out of the log he found it rained, and added to this, which greatly augmented the horror of his situation, he was lost. Here he remained two days and nights in the tree, without food or dressing for his wounds, as the weather did not clear up; and besides he feared the Indians might still be lurking about. But on the third day from that on which the Indians surprised him, the sun rose clear, when he was able to shape his course, and came out at Brown's Mills, in Cobleskill, a distance from where he had lodged in the hollow tree, of only about three miles, having run from where he was gathering herbs at least twenty-five miles, from eleven in the morning till he entered the log pursued by a band of savages, who thirsted for his blood and to make his body a subject of torture.
|1852-David E. Chichester|
|1854-R. W. Ruliffson|
|1860- Henry Tibbetts|
|1861- David E Chichester|
|1863- Luman Reed|
|1864- Washington Mackey|
|1865- John I. Jackson|
|1866- Washington Mackey|
|1867- Luman Reed|
|1869- Luman Reed|
|1877- A. Hagadorn|
|1878- Addison H. Bartley|
|1880- Andrew G Baldwin|
|1882- A. Hagadorn|
|1874-Wm. H. Baldwin|
|1866-Benjamin E. Smith|
By an Act passed March 16, 1841, entitled "An Act to erect the town of Gilboa from Broome and Blenheim," the following bounds are given in Laws of New York, Seventy-first Session, Chapter XCII:-
"Sec. 1. All that part of the towns of Broome and Blenheim in the County of Schoharie, that is included within the following described boundaries, shall be a town and shall be called Gilboa, beginning at the center of the Schoharie creek, where the Manorkill empties in the same, thence along the north-westerly bounds of the town of Conesville to the extremity thereof, being the north-west corner of said town, thence easterly on the boundary line between the towns of Broome and Conesville to the east line of a lot of land owned and occupied by James Barlow as a farm, thence northerly on the said east line of a farm now occupied by Alva Hollenbeck in a straight line to the east of Keyser's kill, commonly called Black brook, thence northerly along said Black brook and said Keyser's kill to the north line of the present town of Broome, thence easterly along and upon said north line to the division line between Broome and Blenheim, thence southerly along and upon such division line till it comes to the center of the Schoharie creek, at the eastern extremity of the boundary line between lots U and V in the Blenheim Patent, thence along said boundary line westerly to the west extremity thereof, thence in a north-westerly direction on and along the boundary line between lots H and G one hundred and fifty-one and one hundred and fifty-two, one hundred and thirty-five and one hundred and thirty-six, one hundred and nineteen and one hundred and twenty, one hundred and three and one hundred and four, eighty-seven and eighty-eight, seventy-one and seventy-two, fifty-five and fifty-six, in said Blenheim Patent to the east line of the town of Jefferson, thence in a south-westerly direction along said east line to the south bounds of Schoharie county, thence in a southwest direction along said south boundary to the boundary line between the towns of Blenheim and Conesville, thence in a northerly direction along said boundary line to the place of beginning.
"Sec. 2. The first town meeting in said town shall be held on the twentieth day of April next, at the public house now kept and occupied by Stephen Briggs, and in each year thereafter the annual town meeting in the said town of Gilboa shall be held on the third Tuesday of February until the time be changed in the manner prescribed by law.
"Sec. 3. Hiram Freidenburgh, James G. Mackey and Luman Reed shall preside at such first town meeting, and shall possess all powers relative to the same that justices of the peace possess at town meetings, and in case they or either of them shall refuse or neglect to serve, the said town meeting shall have power to substitute some elector of said town for each one so refusing or neglecting to serve."