Schaghticoke, New York, USA - 1897 - Schaghticoke
Schaghticoke is situated in the northwest corner of the county, and is bounded on the north by the town of Easton, Washington county; on the east by PIttstown, from which it is separated in part by the Hoosick river; on the south by Pittstown and Lansingburgh, and on the west by the towns of Halfmoon and Stiliwater, in Saratoga county, from which it is separated by the Hudson river. The Revised Statutes of the State describe the town as follows:
The town of Schaghticoke shall contain all that part of said county bounded as follows: Beginning in Hudson's River, at the northwest corner of the county, and running thence east along the north bounds of the county to the middle of Hoosick River; thence down along said river to Viele's or Toll's bridge; then a direct course to the westernmost corner of the grist-mill heretofore or late of Michael Cook, of Cooksburgh; thence westerly along the bounds of Lansingburgh to the bounds of the county; then northerly along the same to the place of beginning.
The first grant to lands in the limits of the present town of Schaghticoke was given to inhabitants of the city of Albany by the charter of 1686. The city did not take advantage of the privileges thereby accorded it, and in 1698 a patent was granted to Hendrick Van Rensselaer. The year after he sold his rights to the city of Albany, which, in 1707, secured from the Indians a tract of land of an area of thirtysix square miles. The price paid the aboriginal owners by the city of Albany was ' two blankets, two body coats, twenty shirts, two guns, twelve pounds of powder, thirty and six pounds of shot, eight gallons of rum, two casks of beer, two rolls of tobacco, two gallons of Madeira wine, and some gin." Part of the town is also within the limits of the original Hoosick patent, which began at the "Schaghticoke tract" and extended up the valley of the Hoosick river two miles in width on each side of the river.
The town of Schaghticoke was the home of the Mohican, then the Schaghticoke Indians. It is probable that the territory so frequently referred to in the early records as the "Schaghticoke tract" was the land set apart for the use of these Indians. The physical .conditions of the town do not differ materially from those of its neighbor, Pittstown. In the southern portion of the town are high hills, from which fertile fields slope gradually to the Hudson river on the west and the Hoosick on the north. The Tom hannock is the principal creek, flowing northwesterly through the town and emptying into the Hoosick river. The valley at the junction of these two streams is exceedingly picturesque. Some of the small streams flow for part of their courses through deep, picturesque glens, and in many places there are pretty waterfalls and cascades. At one point there is a fall of fifty feet in the Tomhannock, and at another point, just above, a fall nearly as great.
The earliest settlements in the town doubtless were made near the junction of the Tomhannock with the Hoosick before the year 1670. The first permanent settler of whom any record exists was Lewis Viele, son of Cornelis Cornelise Viele of Schenectady, who moved to Schaghticoke in 1668 or the following year. He was a man of considerable wealth for those days and laid out a farm, which he purchased of the Indians, near the site of what for more than a century was known as Viele's (or Veile's) bridge. He brought laborers with him, and probably a considerable family, and soon after he moved there he was followed by others who had learned of the great fertility of the valley and the splendid water power which abounded for miles thereabouts.
Comparatively nothing is known of Viele's neighbors, or any other settlers until 1707, when the city of Albany offered the lands of Schaghticoke for settlement. Among those who took advantage of this offer were John Heermans Vischer, who soon removed from the town; Corset Voeder; John De Wandelaer, jr., who also removed from the town about 1712 or 1713; John Knickerbocker, who located on the farm which has always remained in the family he founded; Derick Van Veghten, who came either from Albany or Schenectady; Daniel Kittelhuyn (or Kittle), who lived "on the banks of the Hudson, eighteen miles above Albany;" Wonter Quocumbos (whose name afterward appears as Adriaeu Quackenbush), ancestor of Hon. John A. Quackenbush; Cornelius Vandenburgh, who located opposite the village of Stillwater at the eastern terminus of the old ferry; Abram Fort, who settled a little more than a mile northeast of old Schaghticoke; Ignace Kipp, Philip Livingston, Samuel Doxie, Martin Daniels, Simon Daniels and Peter Winne. Seventy-five years later among those residing in Schaghticoke were Jacob Overocker, near Meirose; George Wetsel, his neighbor; Samuel Rowland, south of Johnsonville; Cornelius Wiley, on the east side of the present line dividing Schaghticoke and Pittstown; Lewis Van Antwerp, near Schaghticoke Hill; Sybrandt Viele, proprietor of a tavern at Schaghticoke Hill; John W. Groesbeck, William McCleaver, Thaddeus S. W. Conant, Gerrit Wenat, Daniel Elst, Thomas Hicks, Sybrant (Cebra?) Quackenbush, Pennel Bacon, David Browning, Walter N. Groesbeck and Reuben Morehouse.
The first saw mill built in the town was located at Johnsonville and was owned by Thomas L. Whitbeck. Early tavernkeepers were Wandeli Overocker, whose house was near the Hudson river; John Travis, Caleb Gifford, Jared Esbell, Ephraim Lyons, Moses Canfield, Samuel Stearns, Isaac Bull, James Brookings, Jesse Buffett, Elias Ray, Jacob Overocker and Jonah Moore. Later David Bryan and Sybrandt Viele kept inns at Schaghticoke Hill. Early merchants included Samuel Wilbur, Edwin Smith, Judge Smith, Charles B. Stratton, Henry N. Wales and Fellows & Briggs. The leading earliest physicians were Dr. Zachariah Lyon and Dr. Ezekiel Baker. One of the first lawyers was Herman Knickerbocker, who had an office and residence at Schaghticoke Hill, who was frequently referred to as the Prince, from the fact that while in Congress he frequently asserted that he was "the Prince of the tribe of the Schaghticoke Indians." Another lawyer who located early at the same place was Henry L. Wales. Charles J. Wilbur and Thomas C. Ripley practiced law at Hart's Falls in its early days.
The town of Schagticoke was organized by law March 7. 1788, and the first town meeting was held April 7 and 8, 1789, at the house of John Carpenter. At this meeting the following officers were chosen: Supervisor, Jacob A. Lansing; town clerk, Silas Wickes; assessors, Nicholas Groesbeck, Zephaniah Russell. Abraham Viele, Jacob Yates, Martin Weatherwax; overseers of the poor, Walter N. Groesbeck, James Masters, Pennel Bacon; commissioners for roads, James S. Masters, John W. Groesbeck, William Kittle; constables, John Story, Sybrandt Viele, Jacob Groesbeck; collector, William Groesbeck; pathmasters, Jared Esbell, Ashley Goodrich, Richard Bennett, John Kinnion, Walter N. Groesbeck, Athuiel Williams, John Weatherwax, Jeremiah Spalding, Nathaniel Samburns, Harrison Quackenbush, John W. Groesbeck, Abraham Viele, Garret Waidron, Peter Yates; fenceviewers, Walter N. Groesbeck, Asa Havens, Nathaniel Rusco; poundmaster, Walter N. Groesbeck.
An interesting bit of history is contained in Chapter XXXIV of the laws of 1792, passed March 23, 1792. It describes the manner in which the State of New York came into possession of the first bridge across the Hoosick river:
That it shall and may be lawful, to and for the commissioners of the land office, and they are hereby directed to cause to be laid out for William Chace at his expense, a tract of unappropriated land nor exceeding twelve thousand acres, in such part of the State as they may think proper to the northward of the Mohawk river, as a compensation for the bridge lately erected by him over Hoosick river in the county of Rensselaer, and to cause the same to be granted by letters patent under the great seal of this State, to him and his heirs, upon his granting and conveying the same bridge, and all his right title and interest of, in and to the same, and of, in and to the highway leading to and from the said bridge, on each side of the said river, to the people of this State.
That the commissioners of the highways for the town of Schachtekoke, for the time being, shall cause the said bridge from time to time, to be maintained and kept in repair at the expense of Rensselaer county; such expense to be assessed, raised and collected in the said county, in the same manner as the other contingent charges of the said county, are assessed, raised and collected; which monies so raised for the expense of the said bridge, shall be paid to the commissioners of the highways in the town of Schachtekoke for the purpose aforesaid; Provided the sum so to be raised for such expense shall not exceed in any other year, the sum of fifty pounds.
Exactly seven years afterward, the bridge meantime having reverted to the town of Schaghticoke, or on March 23, 1799, the Legislature authorized John Knickerbacker, jr., Silas Weeks, John Travis, Zephaniah Russell, Bethel Mather and Charles Joy to build a bridge "over the Hoosick river, at the same place, where William Chase formerly built a bridge." These men were also authorized to collect toil from those using the bridge at stipulated rates. The location of the bridge was then known as Schagtikoke Point. The Legislature prohibited the erection of other bridges across the same river within one mile of this point, except for private use.
In 1798 the town was divided into nineteen road districts and the work of improving the public highways was begun on a scale which soon gave that town thoroughfares as good as any within a radius of of many miles, and better, on the whole, than many of the principal roads in towns which had been settled permanently many years before. But several years previous to that time systematic work in this field was undertaken. August 31, 1793, it was recorded:
This may certify that a highway is laid out in the following manner, viz.: Beginning at the Sancoik road, at or near a swing-gate on the north side of said road; a few rods east of the dwelling house of Stephen Hunt; thence a northerly course through the lands of Richard Green; thence the same course through the land of Wandle (Wandell) Overocker to the land of Jacob Weeks; and nearly the same course through the land of said Weeks until it intersects or enters the road that leads from said Sancoik road to the Point, or Stephenson Mills.
By Garnet Winne and Nathaniel Jacobs, commissioners for the town of Schaghticoke.
By the general law dividing all the counties of the State into towns, passed April 7, 1801, the bounds of the town of Schaghticoke were described as follows:
Southerly by Troy, westerly by the bounds of the county, northerly by a line beginning at the mouth of Lewis's creek or kill, and running from thence south eighty four degrees east to Hoosick river and easterly and southeasterly by a line running from thence down along Hoosick river as it runs to Veile's or Toll's bridge, and then in a direct course to the westernmost corner of Michael Vander Crook's grist mill in Cooksburgh, and from thence in the same direction to the mannor of Rensselaerwyck.
The first official action in regard to the common schools in the town of Schaghticoke was taken in 1796, according to the records, when Nicholas Masters, Harmon I. Groesbeck, Silas Goodrich, Peter W. Groesbeck and John Crabb were appointed school commissioners under the then existing law. Early commissioners under the law of 1812-13 were Josiah Masters, Harmon Knickerbocker, Isaac De La Vergne, Wooster Brookins, Munson Smith and John Pierson. Early inspectors under the same law included John Beneway, Munson Smith, Nicholas Masters, John Van Veghten, David Bryan, Joseph Levins and Epenetus Holmes. The town superintendents were: 1844, Merritt M. Wickes; 1845, Peter Wetsel; 1846, D. Bryan Baker; 1847, Stephen L. Kenyon; 1848-1852, Henry N. Wales; 1852-1854, S. V. R. Miller; 1854-1856, Daniel F. Groesbeck. In 1856 the management of the public schools was placed in the hands of the district commissioners.
Tradition says that the early settlements in Schaghticoke suffered greatly by fire and massacre during the long series of French and Indian wars. Furthermore, being located directly in the great eastern warpath of the Indians as well as in the great northern warpath, the early inhabitants of the locality were frequently compelled to flee from bands of invading Indians. The old Schaghticoke fort was garrisoned in 1746 with two companies of soldiers, in response to the demand of the frightened inhabitants, and thus maintained until French domain in Canada came to an end. One of the most noteworthy of the numerous tragedies of these wars occurring in Schaghticoke was the massacre of the Kittle family. The date of the occurrence unfortunately has not been preserved. The family consisted of Daniel Kittle (formerly written Kittelhuyn and Ketlyne), his wife, a daughter Anna and an infant son. A brother of Mr. Kittle and his wife also resided with the family, and at the time of the massacre another brother, Henry Kittle, was a member of the household. The head of the family settled in Schaghticoke in 1736; the brothers had resided in Fort Edward, but had removed to Schaghticoke at the solicitation of David, who feared that they would share the fate of other inhabitants of the former place who had met death at the hands of the French or Indians. Tradition says a fourth brother also resided on the homestead at the time of the massacre.
Fearing an attack by the redskins the Kittle family decided to remove to Albany, though most of the Indians in the neighborhood professed the warmest friendship for all the members of the family. Upon receiving renewed assurances of fidelity from the Indians Mr. Kittle unwisely delayed starting for Albany, a delay that was fatal. Mr. Kittle and his brother Peter went into the woods to hunt the day after receiving these friendly assurances, when two savages fired upon the brothers, killing Peter instantly. Mr. Kittle then shot one of the Indians and clubbed his companion with the butt of his gun, leaving both for dead. He then carried his dead brother home and started for Schaghticoke village to procure vehicles to carry the family to Albany. Before he had proceeded far on his journey a band of savages attacked the defenseless family, murdered the married brother and his wife, burned the house, the children perishing in the flames, and took Mrs. Kittle and Henry Kittle prisoners. Mr. Kittle returned to find his family gone. He supposed those who had not been murdered had perished in the burning buildings. But the Indians had taken their captives to Montreal, where Mrs. Kittle found one of her former neighbors, the wife of a pioneer named Bratt, who previously had been made a prisoner by the Indians. Some time after the prisoners were ransomed and the remnant of the family reunited before the close of hostilities.
Among the other pioneers who were murdered by the Indians during this war was Herman Van Veghten, son of Derick Van Veghten. who was killed in 1746.
During the August preceding the famous battle of Bemis Heights, Major Derick Van Veghten, accompanied by Solomon Acker, crossed the river one afternoon to look at the crops, when both were fired upon either by Indians or Tories. They returned the fire, and Major Van Veghten was mortally wounded. Upon the advice of the latter Mr. Acker sought safety in flight. Reaching the American army on the other side of the river he told of the murder, and a detachment of soldiers at once crossed over and secured the body of the dead warrior.
Schaghticoke furnished a large body of soldiers for the American army in the War of the Revolution. The muster roll of officers of the Fourteenth Regiment for the Hoosick and Schaghticoke district contained these names:
Colonel John Knickerbocker, Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Bratt, First Major Derick Van Veghten, Second Major John Van Rensselaer, Adjutant Charles H. Toll, Quartermaster Ignas Kip.
Firstcompany.- Captain Hendrick Vanderhoof, First Lieutenant Samuel Ketchum, Second Lieutenant Nathaniel Ford, Ensign Jacob Hallenbeck.
Second company. -Captain Walter N. Groesbeck, First Lieutenant Wynant Vandenbergh, Second Lieutenant Peter Davenport, Ensign Jacob Yates.
Third company.- Captain John J. Bleecker, First Lieutenant John Snyder, Second Lieutenant Matthew D. Garmo, Ensign Stephen Thorn.
Fourth cornpany.- Captain Lewis Van Woerdt, First Lieutenant John Schouten, Second Lieutenant Joseph Boyce, Ensign Morrel.
Fifth company.- Captain Fenner Palmer, First Lieutenant John Johnson, Sec.. ond Lieutenant James Williamson, Ensign Jonathan Davis.
Sixth company.-Captain Daniel B. Bratt, First Lieutenant Michael Campman, Second Lieutenant Isaac Lansing, Ensign Francis Hogal.
Seventh company.- Captain Van Rensselaer, First Lieutenant Michael Ryan, Second Lieutenant , Ensign Peter Hartwell.
Minute men.- Captain John J. Bleecker, First Lieutenant William Thorn, Second Lieutenant Thomas Hicks, Ensign Jonathan Rowland.
Owing to the absence of some of the records it is impossible to compile an absolutely accurate list of the officers and men from Schaghticoke who died in the service of the United States during the War of the Rebellion. As far as can be learned the list includes the following:
Lafayette Travis, Morgan L. Wood, George A. Bryan, Archibald Fisher, Douglas Fisher, Isaac Kip, Jacob Houck, John Smith, Alexander Whyland, David Milks, Charles Stratton, Chauncey White, Ezra Burch and William Carr.
The most important village in the town is Schaghticoke, for many years known as Hart's Fall's. It is located about twelve miles from Troy on the "Great Falls" of the Hoosick river and near the Fitchburg railroad. The water power here is one of the finest in the State, the descent in a distance of about half a mile being nearly one hundred feet. The scenery in and about the village, particularly in the locality of the river, is most picturesque, even since the vandals of civilization have partially despoiled it. In old times the hamlet from which the village has sprung was known as Schaghticoke Point.
Mills were built there at an early day. Even before the year 1800 clothing works and carding mills were established there. In 1805, perhaps earlier, C. Joy had a wool-picking mill in the village, and this was succeeded in 1813 by a cotton and woolen mill. Early postmasters included Edwin Smith, Charles Stratton and Merritt M. Wickes. The office was called Schaghticoke until 1867, then Hart's Falls until 1881, when, the name of the village having been changed by act of the Legislature, the old post-office name was resumed.
For a place of its size no village in this State offers a more prolific theme for favorable comment than Schaghticoke, one of the oldest settlements in the thirteen original colonies. Its very location on the Hoosick river, surrounded by beautiful and historic points, furnishes agreeable surprises to the stranger and traveler who for the first time approaches the village from any direction. The village was incorporated as Hart's Falls March 20, 1867, and the first election was held May 7 following, the officers at that time being: President, Oliver A. Arnold; trustees, John A. Baucus, William P. Bliss, Sidney S. Congdon and Chauncey B. Slocum; clerk, Aiphonso Merrill; treasurer, Julius E. Butts.
A fire department was organized during 1867 and held meetings in the building situated at the corner of Main and Mill streets, on the property now owned by Mrs. Elisha Baucus. In 1895 exemption papers were granted to the old company and a hook and ladder company consisting of twenty four members was organized at the drug store of J. W. Richards under the direction of the village board, Thomas L. Doremus at that time being president.
A police department was organized the same year the village was incorporated, and on August 22, 1867, John W. Askins was appointed chief and has served upon the force consecutively since that time.
"An act to incorporate the village of Hart's Falls in the county of Rensselaer and to change the name thereof to Schaghticoke" was passed by the Legislature March 30, 1881, since which the village has been known as Schaghticoke.
December 15, 1874, the voters of districts 1, 4 and 16 convened and adopted resolutions requesting the trustees of each district to consent to the consolidation of each district with the other in order that a graded school might be established, and that a new district be formed, embracing the territory contained in the three school districts, and designating such a new district as district No. 1. The consent of the three trustees, Sidney S. Corigdon, No. 1, Michael McGrath, No. 16 and Charles Albro, No. 4, was given, and April 29, 1875, A. H. Allen, school commissioner of the second district, residing at Petersburgh, ordered the districts to be consolidated and the same went into effect May 1 of the same year. June 15, 1875, the taxable inhabitants convened at Baker's opera house. Clark C. Hill, Michael McGrath and Lorenzo Baker were elected trustees, Thomas L. Doremus was appointed clerk of the district and Samuel Bratt collector. June 29, 1875, a resolution was adopted for the building of a new school house and August 23 the contract for excavating and grading was awarded to A. L. Vial. September 1 the contract for building the school house was awarded to William F. Thompson for the sum of $8,952. The building was given into the possession of the trustees August 24, 1876. The cost of the building, grading, etc., amounted to $12,633.90. The first teachers in this building were Misses Ogden, Gunner, Richmond, Munger and Prof. Ira H. Lawton.
February 6, 1895, this building was destroyed by fire. March 15, 1895, a special meeting was held in Eagle hall, when it was decided to change from the graded to the union free school system. At an adjourned meeting held May, 11, 1895, the plans submitted by M. F. Cummings & Son of Troy were adopted and May 17 the plans were approved by School Commissioner Byron F. Clark of Hoosick Falls. July 1, 1895, the bid for the construction of the edifice was awarded to Thomas Campaign for $11,548, and March 23, 1896, the building was given into the possession of the board of education, consisting of J. Bryan Baucus, president; David Myers and Frederick Wiley, and E. Burlingame, clerk, it having been completed at a cost of $16,403. The building is of brick and fully equipped with electric bells and all the latest improvements. The school is under the professorship of C. W. Dunn of Canton, N. Y., assisted by Miss Delia Barrows, Helen Story, Lizzie Smith, Matie Ackart and Clara Thompson.
Among the prominent industries of the village is the Schaghticoke Woolen company's works, which were built in 1864 by a stock company, the officers being: President, Amos Briggs; treasurer, D. Thomas Vail; directors, John A. Griswold, Seth B. Hunt, William Burden, D. Thomas Vail and Amos Briggs. Robert Dobson was superintendent. In March, 1879, these mills were purchased by J. J. joslin and in 1886 Stephen W. Barker became the proprietor. This company employs three hundred and fifty to four hundred operatives and makes from three to five hundred thousand yards of worsted, cassimeres and all wool goods per year. In 1895 extensive improvements were made to the mills, a new storehouse and sorting room being built, and electricity introduced for lighting purposes. The officers of the company are:
President, Stephen W. Barker; secretary, Elmer E. Leonard; treasurer, George W. Sweet; superintendent, Andrew Schouler. The company has a branch office at 175 River street, Troy, N. Y.
Another prominent industry is the Cable Flax Mills, manufacturers of hemp, flax and jute cordage and threads. This is the oldest manufacturing concern in the town, its history dating back to the year 1800, when it was founded by Charles and Benjamin Joy for the manufacture of duck. The mills were carried on successfully for many years and were at last remodeled for the present company. In 1871 this company was incorporated with Thomas Lape as president, E. A. Hartshorn as secretary and R. E. Starks as treasurer. An addition was built to the mill in 1880 and further improvements were made in 1895, when a three story brick storehouse was erected. The company has suffered serious losses by fire. October 23, 1893, the storehouse was discovered on fire, which totally destroyed their entire stock of manufactured goods and raw material as well as the hackling shop. The loss incurred was $60,000. The company employs from two hundred and fifty to three hundred hands. It consumes daily an average of six thousand pounds of raw material, while it turns out nearly five thousand pounds of manufactured goods per day. February 18, 1894, a mill, located near the Empire Coal and Milling company's plant, and which was used jointly by the Woolen and Flax company, was burned, the total loss being nearly $100,000. In 1881 E. A. Hartshorn was elected president of the company and George H. Stevenson secretary. while L. H. Gibbs was elected treasurer in 1892, succeeding R.
E. Starks. The above now constitute the officers of the firm, with Amos B. Ralston as superintendent. The company has a branch office at 52 Leonard street, New York.
The Empire Milling and Coal company is a new industry. This company was incorporated May 6, 1896, with a capital stock of $10,000 and with David Button, president and treasurer; W. E. Wiley, secretary, and J. Warren Button, vice-president. The company has in process of construction a grist mill on the site of the old paper mill which was built in 1850. This company recently purchased the old Stratton property, which will be used as a storehouse. A steam grist mill is also to be erected by David Ewart on East street.
The Schaghticoke Powder Co.'s works were established by Josiah and Nicholas Masters in 1813, the first named at this time being a member of congress. In this year there was a great need of powder to supply our troops on the northern borders of the State of New York. Nearly all the mills in operation during the Revolution, finding the bulk of their demand gone when peace was declared, had ceased operations, and the new war rendered the revival of old or the establishment of new mills necessary. President Madison and Gov. Tompkins separately and unitedly used their personal influences with the Masters to secure the establishment of these works. The mills of the company are located on the south bank of the Hoosick river about half a mile southeast of the village, and comprise twenty separate structures, each of which is devoted to some single process in the manufacture of a special grade or kind of powder. The grounds comprise about one hundred acres. This company manufactures about 60,000 kegs or 1,500,000 pounds of powder per year. It is one of the oldest in the United States, and during the eighty years of its existence it has held a leading position as a manufacturer of superior goods. In 1858 William P. Bliss became secretary of the company, which position he held until 1868, when he was elected to the presidency of the concern. Thomas L. Doremus succeeded Mr. Bliss as secretary until the death of Mr. Bliss. In February, 1896, Mr. Doremus became president and A. W. Higgins of New York secretary. In June, 1893, work was commenced in erecting an electric plant for operating the machinery. The company now has three kinds of motive power, steam, water and electricity, each independent of the other.
Post Hartshorn No. 487, G. A. R., was organized June 3, 1884, when Edward E. Pinkham, John Hines, jr., Lewis Hunt, Elbridge D. Green, Daniel H. Tarbell, Henry Campbell, Thomas McMillan, Herbert H. Dill, Lorenzo Guest, Jesse B. Armstrong, Eugene Munn, John H. Conde, Charles H. Wolf, John Bacon, Michael 0. Keefe, Leander White, Charles Turner and Timothy Herlihy were mustered in as charter members. Of these the following were elected officers for the remainder of that year:
Commander, Edward E. Pinkham; S. V. commander, John Hines, jr.; J. V. commander, Lewis Hunt; quartermaster, Eugene Mnnn; surgeon, Henry Campbell; chaplain, D. H. Tarbell; officer of the day, Thomas McMillan; officer of the guard, Herbert H. Dill; adjutant, E. D. Green. July 12, 1884, the organization was named "E. A. Hartshorn Post," and at a later meeting the initials "E. A." were dropped so the name might conform to the rules and regulations of the order.
Schaghticoke lodge No. 526, I. O. O. F., was instituted June 9, 1885. The charter members were: John Kenyon, Wesley Winton, Robert Hasbrouck, Daniel H. Viall, Edward N. Masters, William Geddis, John McGregor and David Geddis. The first officers of the lodge were: W. H. Scougal, N. G.; Albert Allen, V. G.; Seth E. Firth, recording secretary; Frank Firth, financial secretary; and John J. Stewart, treasurer. The first meetings of the lodge were held in the building on Pleasant avemue now occupied by Lorenzo Baker. July 6, 1885, the lodge rented Eagle Hall and in February, 1886, removed to Stewarts' Hall. May 15, 1889, several members withdrew to institute a lodge at Raymertown, and in November, 1893, members were given withdrawal cards to institute a lodge at Valley Falls. It was through the instrumentality of this lodge that a new district was constituted. G. H. Stevenson, past grand, was the first district deputy grand master, holding the office two terms, Albert Allen serving one term and Myron
L. Van Wert, P. G., holding the office of district secretary one term. Since its institution this lodge has disbursed for relief over $1,200.
The Empire club is one of the prominent social clubs in the village. It was organized October 28, 1892, with twenty members, and since that time the membership has increased rapidly. The club has rooms in the Congdon block. Its membership is composed of young men and its objects are mutual pleasure and recreation.
Schaghticoke Hill is a village located on the Tomhannock creek and near the Fitchburg railroad. One of the early influential residents of the place was Hon. Harmon Knickerbocker, the "Prince of the tribe of Schaghticoke Indians." The Tomhannock creek at this point furnishes excellent water power, which is utilized by a saw mill, a grist mill and other small manufactories. Samuel Harwood's powder factory was once a leading industry of the place.
Melrose and Grant's Hollow are about a mile apart in the extreme southern end of the town, near the Lansingburgh line. They are on the line of the Fitchburg railroad and both have excellent transportation facilities. The ancient Lutheran church is located a short distance from Melrose. The business of Melrose was never very extensive. Of late years the hamlet has become a popular summer resort for residents of Troy and other places, some of whom have erected handsome homes and otherwise been instrumental in beautifying the village.
Grant's Hollow for many years supported an extensive factory for the manufacture of fanning-mills, grain-cradles and other agricultural implements. For a long time this concern, founded in 1836, was owned and operated by D. H. Viall, J. P. Leavens and Ezra Banker. It finally became the property of the Grant-Ferris company, which employed about twenty-five hands. One of the principal stockholders of the company is Albert E. Powers of Lansingburgh. The company's plant was burned in 1895 and the business was removed from Grant's Hollow.
Valley Falls lies partly in Schaghticoke and partly in Pittstown. A sketch of the place will be found in the history of Pittstown.
Old Schaghticoke, once the principal village in the town, has taken the last place in the list of the villages of Schaghticoke. In Old Schaghticoke were located the early Dutch church and the old Knick-. erbocker cemetery, and several taverns and stores. Very little business has been done in the place in recent years.
The First Presbyterian church of Schaghticoke dates from the year 1803, the first meeting for organization having been held May 24 of that year. Work upon the meeting house was begun the following year, but the structure was never completed or dedicated. In 1814 a movement was inaugurated to move the church to Hart's Falls, and February 14, 1820, the design was consummated, the dedication occurring the following December. In 1847-1848 a new church was erected; in 1865 it was enlarged, and in 1874 further improvements were made. There was no regular pastor while the church occupied the site first selected for it. Rev. Mr. Lansing preached occasionally but not regularly. The Rev. Jonas Coe of Troy frequently occupied the desk and took an interest in the struggling society, presiding at the reorganization in Hart's Falls July 17, 1815. There was no regular preaching for four or five years after this, and when services were held it was either in the dance hall of the old Schaghticoke house or elsewhere. The first settled pastor was the Rev. Thomas Fletcher, who came to the church August 11, 1824. A Sunday school was organized July 31, 1823. July 19, 1831, a new certificate of incorporation was filed. In July, 1869, a meeting was held to consider the propriety of erecting a parsonage, and during the year following the project was carried out, the building costing about $2,000. September 4, 1884, the church was damaged by fire and January 29, 1885, a committee was appointed to make necessary repairs. The work was completed in the fall of the same year at a cost of about $1,500. In the same year the church debt, amounting to $3,400, was paid. In 1894 the church was again repaired and painted and new stained glass windows were placed in position at a cost of $1,700.
The organization of the Reformed church of Schaghticoke was the outcome of meetings held as early as 1707. Seven years later, or in 1714, the parish of Schaghticoke was organized and a log meetinghouse, the earliest north of the city of Albany, was erected. Tradition says that the first log church was succeeded by one or two others, the early ones having been burned during the Indian border wars. A more pretentious church was erected in 1760 and served the congregation until 1833. In the latter year a more commodious and better furnished edifice was constructed on the site of the former one. This was burned about 1870 or 1871 and a new one was erected about a mile from the old site, where it is more accessible by its attendants. The society was newly incorporated April 8, 1872, with John A. Van Veghten and H. A. Hemstreet as elders and James Webster, Ira Button and William H. Fort as deacons. The record of the early pastors is incomplete. It is known that the Rev. Theodore Frelinghuysen of Albany served from 1745 to 1759 and the Rev. E. Westerlo of Albany from 1760 to 1773. The first regularly installed pastor was the Rev. Elias Van Benschoten, who served from 1773 to 1784. It is related of the Rev. Theodore Frelinghuysen that while he was pastor at Albany his sermons displeased the soldiers quartered there and one morning he found beside his door a staff, a pair of shoes and a coin. Believing this to be a hint that his services were no longer desired lie left town and sailed at once for Holland; but the incident so affected his mind that he committed suicide before reaching his home.
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran church is another old religious institution of Schaghticoke. Up to the year 1850 the church united with Gilead Lutheran church of Brunswick, but since that time it has had its own pastors. The first church was erected in 1776 and the first pastor was the Rev. George Joseph Wichtermann. A new house of worship was erected about 1854. The church was legally incorporated May 13, 1851.
The Lutheran church in the locality known as Bryan's Corners was organized March 6, 1852. The Rev. Rufus Smith, the first pastor, entered upon his duties immediately upon the organization of the church, and the society was regularly incorporated April 6, 1852.
Trinity Episcopal church of Schaghticoke was incorporated September 26, 1846, the first rector being Rev. George B. Eastman. Reswell J. Brown and James Akhurst were church wardens and Zachariah Lyons, Tibbitts Briggs, Benjamin Rodgers, Joseph Brown, William Searles, Charles Haywood, John Quintan and Edwin Smith were the vestrymen. It was some years before services were regularly held. During 1868 the Rev. J. H. Brown of Cohoes performed services with more or less regularity, assisted by neighboring clergy. May 30, 1869, the Rev. William Bogart Walker commenced holding regular services and April 1, 1871, was called to the rectorship, taking charge at the same time of the missions at Johnsonville and Crandall's Corners. September 1, 1874, the corner stone of the present church was laid. The Rev. William B. Walker resigned as rector July 26, 1875, and was succeeded by the Rev. R. G. Hamilton, who took charge October 14, 1875. Trinity church is pleasantly situated on Main street, Schaghticoke. There are forty.three families in the parish and fifty-three communicants. The church and property are valued at about $8,000.
As near as can be ascertained the first Catholic services in Schaghticoke were held in the brick school house on the Tibbits estate near the present church, Catholic pastors journeying from Lansingburgh on foot to conduct the same. Previous to the year 1842 (about 1840) a movement was inaugurated for the building of a church, John Breslin, William Graham, Patrick Butler and Patrick McGowan being the chief promoters of the project. Their duties were arduous but at last were crowned with success, for in the year 1842 the church was erected at a cost exceeding $5,000. The site was donated by George Tibbits of Troy and later two adjoining lots were purchased of Mr. Tibbits, as the church was situated in such a position that it was impossible for the members to attend the services without going out of their way a considerable distance. At the time of laying out the village a new street was to be created, passing directly in front of the edifice, but this was afterwards changed. At the time the edifice was built the Catholics of Schaghticoke, Johnsonville and Valley Falls constituted one parish. The church when built was very small. In October, 1859, the Rev. Fr. Louis M. Edge, O. S. A., took charge of the parish and during his pastorate the church was enlarged and improved about 1863. The spire of this church is one hundred and fifty feet above the level of the street. The first priest to take charge was the Rev. W. P. Hogan, who came in 1843. The.church at Johnsonville was built by the Rev. J. T. O. Reilly, and the Pittstown church was built by the Rev. George S. Mahar, both pastors of the Schaghticoke church.
The first Methodist meetings in Schaghticoke were held in private residences until the year 1825, when a church was erected on the property of Alex Diver on Sixth street, the Rev. Mr. Howe being the pastor. The church was incorporated January 15, 1831, Daniel Chase, Samuel Welch and Franklin Miller being named as trustees. In the year 1835 the present church was erected on Main street. The present structure was remodelled in 1895 at a cost of nearly $3,000, and now has a seating capacity of nearly four hundred.
The Methodist church at Meirose, or more properly Grant's Hollow, was organized in 1853 as part of the Raymertown circuit. The trustees were John D. Perry, jr., Oliver H. Perry, Frederick S. Cole and Daniel H. Viall. Mr. Viall has held the same position continuously since that time. October 19, 1853, land was conveyed to the trustees by Isaac Grant and wife and later a church was erected at a cost of $600. The dedicatory prayer was made by the Rev. Thomas A. Griffin, afterward presiding elder of the Troy district, who acted as supply for the Rev. J. C. Simmons, who was disabled by an accident. Extensive improvements have since been made to the church at a, cost of $400. The first pastor, in 1852, was the Rev. J. C. Simmons.
The Methodist Episcopal society at Schaghticoke Hill was organized as a class about the year 1789-90 and continued to be a regular preaching appointment of the Pittstown circuit until 1850, when, with Schaghticoke Point, it was set off. In 1863 Grant's Hollow, then known as the Junction, was joined to Schaghticoke. In 1864 Schaghticoke was set off by itself and since that time Schaghticoke Hill and Grant's Hollow (Melrose) have been under one pastor.
The first meeting with a view to organizing a Presbyterian church at Meirose was held January 28, 1882. The incorporators were Adam M. Hayner, Alexander B. Reid, T. Newton Wilson, George W. Sinsabaugh, C. C. Schoonmaker, Frederick A. Lasser, Thomas W. Griffin and Charles W. Bonesteel. The following were chosen as the first board of trustees: Charles E. Dusenberry, Thomas W. Griffin, George W. Sinsabaugh, John J. Sipperley and C. C. Schoonmaker. The beautiful site upon which the church is situated was given by T. Newton Wilson, and a commodious church was erected in 1882. The society was ecclesiastically organized by the presbytery of Troy January 10, 1883, with thirty charter members, John J. Sipperley, Michael L. Over®cker, Dewitt C. Halstead and Frederick A. Lape being chosen elders. The Rev. Mark A. Denman was installed as the first pastor May 12, 1886, serving until September 1, 1888. The Rev. C. H. Van Wie, the present pastor, was installed May 27, 1890. During the present pastorate a debt of $2,200 has been removed and a number of improvements have been made.
SUPERVISORS OF SCHAGHTICOKE.
1783-1786, Casper Rouse; 1787-1788, Isaac Thompson; 1789-1793, Jacob A. Lansing; 1796, Josiah Masters; 1797, Silas Wickes; 1798, Josiah Masters; 1799, Silas Wickes; 1800, Jacob Yates (probably); 1801-1804, Jacob Yates; 1805-1806, Herman Knickerbocker; 1807-1811, Munson Smith; 1812, Jacob Yates; 1813, Herman Knickerbocker; 1814-1815, Munson Smith; 1816-1817, Wooster Brookins; 1818-1823, Herman Knickerbocker; 1824, Munson Smith; 1825-1829, Herman Knickerbocker; 1830- 1831, Alexander Bryan; 1832, Isaac Tailmadge; 1833, Alexander Bryan; 1834-1835, Amos Briggs; 1836-1837, Edwin Smith; 1838-1840, Amos Briggs; 1841-1842. Nicholas M. Masters; 1843, John Baneker; 1844-1847. Charles B. Stratton: 1848, Jacob Sipperly; 1849-1850, William Van Veghten; 1851, Freeman Baker; 1852, Charles B. Stratton; 1853, R. M. Hasbrouck; 1854, Zachariah Lyo; 1855-1856, R. M. Has- brouck; 1857-1858, John A. Baucus; 1859, Wyatt K. Swift; 1860-1862, John A. Quackenbush; 1863, William Baucus; 1864-1866, William Allen; 1867, William H. Buckley; 1868-1870, Elisha S. Baucus; 1871 Daniel F. Wetsel; 1872, William Allen; 1873, Daniel F. Wetsel; 1874, John N. Bonesteel; 1873-1876, George Haner; 1877, Solomon V. R. Miller; 1878, Alonzo P. Cooper; 1879-1880, Charles J. Starks; 1881, James Nutt; 1882, Amos Bryan; 1883-1884, J. Irving Baucus; 1885, Alonzo P. Cooper; 1886-1888, Frederick Wiley; 1889-1891, James Beecroft; 1892-1893, Merritt Button; 1894-1895, Nelson L. Viall; 1896- , James Evans.
TOWN CLERKS OF SCHAGHTICOKE.
1783-1788, Evans Humphrey; 1789-1792, Silas Wickes; 1793, Cornelius Van Veghten; 1794-1796, Silas Wickes; 1797, David Bryan; 1798, John V. D. Spiegel; 1799, Edward Ostrander 1800, Edward Ostrander (probably); 1801, John V. D. Spiegel; 1802-1804, Herman Knickerbocker; 1805-1806, Sybrandt Viele; 1807-1812. Wooster Brookins; 1813, Jacob Kingsley; 1814-1815, Wooster Brookins; 1816-1819, Allen Cornell; 1820-1826, Lewis B. Slocum; 1827, Lewis Bnffett; 1828-1832, Lewis B. Slocum; 1833-1835, Edwin Smith; 1836, Henry N. Wales; 1837, Charles B. Stratton; 1838-1839, Franklin Millet; 1840, Henry Ensign; 1841, Nelson Mosher; 1842, Edwin Smith; 1843-1844, D. Bryan Baker; 1845, William McGregor; 1846-1847, John B. Perry; 1848-1849, James Nutt; 1850, Otis Robinson; 1851-1852, Norman Briggs; 1853-1854, Lorenzo Baker; 1855, Pardon Briggs; 1856-1860, James Nutt; 1861-1863, David Myers; 1864-1868, Sidney S. Congdon; 1869, Charles A. Pickett; 1870-1872, Job Viall; 1873-1874, John Downs; 1875-1876, Frederick Wiley; 1877, Richard C. Gunner; 1878, Charles Buffett; 1879-1880, William W. Bryant; 1881-1882, John W. Banker; 1883-1885, N. L. Viall; 1886-1890, T. J. Wiley; 1891, John W. Richards; 1892, E. B. Pinkham; 1893-1895, John W. Richards; 1896- -, E. B. Pinkham.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE OF SCHAGHTICOKE.
Daniel Goewy, sworn in February 26, 1823; Allen Conner, sworn in March 13, 1823; Alexander C. Tracy, sworn in October 8, 1823; David Talimadge, sworn in November 25, 1823; Orman Doty, sworn in March 15, 1825; Alexander Bryan, sworn in December 31, 1827; Nicholas M. Masters, sworn in January 5, 1828; Nicholas M. Masters, sworn in April 3, 1829.
Chosen at the annual town meetings: 1830, Levi Nelson; 1831, Alexander Bryan; 1832, Hiram Slocum; 1833, John D. Brown; 1834, Benjamin Perry; 1835, Levi Nelson; 1836, William Van Veghten; 1837, John D. Brown; 1838, Benjamin Perry; 1839, Cyrus A. Lockwood; 1840, William Van Veghten; 1841, Henry N. Wales; 1842, Henry N. Miller; 1843,. Hawley Ransom, Daniel F. Wetsell, Osborn Evans, 1844, Herman Knickerbocker; 1845, Henry W. Miller; 1846, Daniel F. Wetsell; 1847, Charles Joy Wilbur; 1848, John Bancker, Henry Burch; 1849, Ephraim Congdon; 1850, Matthew Webster; 1851, Charles 3. Wilbur; 1852, Samuel Herrick; 1853, Chauncy B. Slocum; 1854, George Baucus; 1855, Charles 3. Wilbur; 1856, Elihu Butts; 1857, Thomas Esmond; 1858, Ephraim Congdon; 1859, Chauncy B. Slocum; 1860, Elihu Butts; 1861, Charles J. Miller; 1862, John Bancker, Daniel H. Viall; 1863, Chauncy B. Slocum; 1864, David Myers; 1865, Alphonzo Merrill; 1866, Elihu Butts; 1867, Samuel Harwood; 1868, Sylvester Veits; 1869, Chauncy B. Slocum; 1870, J. S. Welling; 1871, D. F. Groesbeck; 1872, Samuel Harwood, Alphonzo Merrill; 1873, Charles A. Pickett; 1874, John R. Hinds, same for vacancy; 1875, Darius Gifford, Elihu Butts; 1876, E. F. Frost; 1877, Elihu Butts; 1878, James Evans; 1879, William V. V. Reynolds; 1881, 3. P. Leavens; 1882, William V Reynolds; 1883, John Kenyon; 1884, Elihu Butts; 1885, S. S. Congdon; 1886, B. Burlingame; 1887, William H. Hawkins; 1888, James Evans; 1889, N. M. Hayner; 1890, Frederick Wiley; 1891, John Kenyon; 1892, W. V. V. Reynolds; 1893, E. Burlingame; 1894, 1895, Chauncey Kinney; 1896, Franklin Harwood.
PRESIDENTS OF THE VILLAGE OF SCHAGHTICOKE.
1867-1869, Oliver A. Arnold; 1870-1873, Charles A. Pickett; 1874-1875, James Nutt; 1876-1877, Michael McGrath; 1878, John Downs; 1879, Sidney S. Congdon; 1880, Elihu Butts; 1881-1883, A. Sipperly; 1884-1885, Frederick Wiley; 1886, Frank E. Phillips; 1887, J. Bryan Baucus; 1888-1889, James Beecroft; 1890, John W. Richards; 1891-1892, George F. Allen; 1893, John W. Richards; 1894, W. B. Wiley; 1895, Thomas L. Doremus; 1896, Dr. D. H. Tarbell.
CLERKS OF THE VILLAGE OF SCHAGHTICOKE.
1867-1870, Alphonzo Merrill; 1871, Charles H. Harrison; 1872-1882, R. J. Hornbrook; 1883-1885, B. Burlingame; 1886, A. H. Doty; 1887-1889, E. Burlingame; 1890, A. H. Doty; 1891-1892, E. Burlingame; 1893, C. H. Button; 1894.__, Frederick M. Askins.
TREASURERS OF THE VILLAGE OF SCHAGHTICOKE.
1867-1870, Julius E. Butts; 1871-1872, Charles Baker; 1873-1874, Andrew Sipperly; 1875, E. M. Congdon; 1876-1877, Alphonzo Merrill; 1878, Sidney S. Congdon; 1879, E. Morgan Congdon; 1880-1885, John Downs; 1886, James Beecroft; 1887, D. Myers; 1888-1889, B. E. Pinkham; 1890, H. S. Fowler; 1891-1892, E. E. Pinkham; 1893-1894, James Beecroft; 1895- -, E. B. Pinkham.
Landmarks of Rensselaer County, George Baker Anderson, D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, N.Y., 1897
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