Williams was chosen treasurer and John Van Allen, clerk. This re-
organization was affected under the ministry of Rev. Joseph Kneiskern.
The original house of worship was a plain wooden building, and stood
a little below the present church, which was built forty years ago.
There are three Methodist Episcopal churches in Knox, but their
records are so incomplete that little of their history is known. It is
probable that Rev. William Brown was the first Methodist preacher in
the town. He is buried in the little plot formerly used, and the record
on the headstone says he was born in October 24, 1758, and died April
25, 1 834- His wife was Mary Chesebro. In early days the church at
Knox village was connected with those of Berne, Reidsville, Middle-
burgh (Schoharie county) and Schoharie, to form the Berne circuit.
Among the first members of this town were Joseph Hunting, F. Dom-
inic, Levi Van Auken, and Christopher Chesebro. The first house of
worship stood about a mile east of Knox village, and was taken down
when the present one in the village was erected in 1851. Another
church was built at about the same time at West Township. The third
one was erected in 1841 in the eastern part of the town.
A Baptist church known as the Church of Berne previous to 1825
was organized early in the century. In 18 12, when Rev. N. H. Ripley
was pastor, it had a membership of 105. Soon after this date the con-
gregation was without a regular preacher for twelve years, when Rev.
Samuel Hare was called and preached eight years, up to 1832. During
the pastorate of Rev. S. G. Tower, which began in 1850, a frame
church was built at West Township. The society was fairly prosperous
until about 187S, when it began to decline and was soon reduced to
very few members. It finally became extinct as far as holding services
Following is a list of the supervisors of Knox from 1850 to the
present time, with the years of their election :
1851, Lyman Witter; 18.52-.53, .Stephen Merseli.s, jr.; 18r)4-.').5, Henry Barckley;
18.')6-.57, John Keenholtz; 1858-5ii, Samuel Gallup; 1800-63, Samuel Warm; 1863,
John Keenholtz; 1864-65, Ira Van Auken; 1866-72, Peter Schooumaker; 1873-
74, Hiram Gage; 1875-77, J. M. Chesebro; 1878, William J. Haverly; 1879-81,
I. W. Chesebro; 1883, William J. Haverly; 1883-85, Charles G. Frink ; 1885-87, Ed-
ward L. Barckley, 1888-90, Sanford Quay; 1891-93, William J. Haverly; 1893-95,
THE TOWN OF NEW SCOTLAND.
This is the Central town of Albany county, and the latest one erect-
ed, having been taken from the town of Bethlehem by act of the Legis-
lature April 25, 1832, and containing about 27,000 acres of land. The
act erecting the town gives the following description of its eastern
From and after the passage of this act, all that part of the town of Bethlehem, in
the county of Albany, lying west of a line beginning at a point six miles west of the
Hudson river, in the south bounds of the town of Guilderland ; thence on a southerly
course, parallel with the Hudson river, to a point in the north bounds of the town of
Coeymans, si.x miles west from the said Hudson river, and all lying west of saidlme,
shall be a separate town, to be known by the name of New Scotland.
The surface of this town is widely diversified. The Helderberg moun-
tains rise along the western border in picturesque beauty, while the
eastern parts are high, rolling and broken by ridges and hills. The
.soil is clay and gravelly loam, and fertile and productive farms are
found in many localities. The principal streams are the Normans Kill,
which crosses the northeastern corner only ; Vly Creek, a tributary of
the Normans Kill in the northern part ; Vlaaman (or Flaman's) Creek,
in the eastern part ; and Onisquethau Creek, which flows across the
southern part from west to east. Black Creek touches the northwestern
corner. Lawson's Lake is on the Coeyman's line in the southwest
part, a small sheet of water, the outlet of which falls into a deep cavity
and flows onward through a subterranean passage to a cavern, the
natural features of which possess a great deal of beauty. Near Cope-
land Hill in the same locality are some remarkable sink holes, five to
eight feet in diameter and extending down through the soil and the
lime rock to a depth of ten to twenty feet, and being connected by sub-
terranean streams. Near Clarksville are two caves which extend respec-
tively an eighth and a half mile underground, with streamsflowing through
them. In the southwestern part of tlie town is situated a sulphur
spring. The highest point of land in New Scotland is in the western
part, in the Helderbergs, where it rises i ,823 feet above tide. Here form ■
erly was located a station of the United States Coast Survey. From the
summits of these mountains and hills views of great beauty, extending
over a wide area, are obtained.
Hay is the principal crop in New Scotland and has been for some
years, while the cereals, potatoes and fruits are grown extensively. In
recent years many hop yards have been planted. The farmers of the
town are fully abreast with modern methods and are rewarded with
adequate returns for their toil.
The territory now embraced within the boundaries of New Scotland
is a part of the Van Rensselaer Manor, and a portion of it was included
in the Jan Hendrickse Van Baal purchase of the Mohawk Indians, de-
scribed in an earlier chapter. Van Baal made his purchase in 1660,
and soon afterwards sold half of his tract of about 69,000 acres to Jan
Hendrickse Vroman, who in 1686 sold the same to Omie de La Grange
for one hundred beaver skins. In 1 7 16 Omie de La Grange and Johannes
Simonse Vedder purchased the remainder of the patent from the heirs
for .^250. The first settlements were made in this section on the Nor-
mans Kill about 1700 by the La Granges and Koenradt Koens Sev-
eral families in the vicinity of New Scotland took their leases from these
families as early as 17 16. Against these settlers the Patroon began
legal proceedings to invalidate their title ; the litigation was tedious and
prolonged, but was ultimately, on July 6, 1776, decided in favor of the
Patroon ; the families of Simon J. Vedder, Arie (or Aurie) La Grange,
and Volkert Veeder, with sixty- three others, now found themselves de-
prived of their estates, after having been in peaceable po.ssession ninety
The first settler on the Onisquethau flats in this town was Teunis
Slingerland, who came from Holland and purchased nearly 10,000
acres of land. The date of his arrival is not definitely known, but was
about 1660. The deed of his land is said to have been signed by three
Indian chiefs. Teunis Slingerland married Engeltje, daughter of Albert
Andriesen Bradt, built a dwelling and soon afterward established mills.
1 Historical sermon by Kev. James G. K. McClurc, pastor of New Scotland Presbyterian church.
His selection of lands was wisely made and the tract embraced what
subsequently became excellent farms, portions of which remained in
possession of descendants of the pioneer until recent years.
In 1685 a deed was given to Teunis Slingerland and his son-in law,
Johannes Apple, by three Mohawk chiefs, of the Wolf, Bear and Turtle
clans, for certain lands ; this deed is interesting as the following extract
Sa go-a-di och-qui-sax, To-ho-daa-\ve, Ro-jen-Jre, Tap-ib-dan-e-go, Ro-jon-jovv,
So-ha-ayn-tow-anne, being empowered by all the sachems of the three races of the
Maqiiaes, and by On-i-gho-cen da, one of the principal owners, for and in considera-
tion of the following goods, to wit, one piece of shrift, three casks of rum, three
kettles, three shirts, hundred and fifty hands white wampum, and one bag of pow-
der, sell, transport, convey, &c. , &c., to Teunis Slingerland and William Apple, his
son-in-law, their heirs, &c., a certain tract of land lying on the north side of a cer-
tain creek called O-nits-quat-haa, to the westward of Albany, lying behind Norman's
Creek, about sixteen miles into the woods, and marked on the east and west end by
a Wolf, Bear and Turtle, &c.
Barent Pieterse Coeymans set up the claim that this land lay within
his patent purchased of the Mohawks at Catskill in April, 1673 ; the
Mohawks disputed this and Coeymans subsequently relinquished his
claim. The tract probably contained about 10,000 acres. Slinger-
land's deed was signed in presence of Peter Schuyler, Garret Bauchry,
and William Teller, and is on record in the Albany county clerk's
Between 1700 and 1750 a considerable number of settlers came into
what is now New Scotland, bringing with them the customs of the old
world and the industrious hardihood of the race they represented.
Storm and Jan Bradt, and a family of Segers were in the town contem-
poraneously with Mr. Slingerland, and their descendants have been
conspicuous in the history of the community. Among others who
arrived during this period were Francis Moak, Jacob Hellenbeck, An-
dries Houck, David Belong, Jonathan Hoogtaling, Isaac Pryce, Adam
and John Long, W. Van Atten, John Mead, Hallers Thompsons, Al-
bert Bradt, Conradt Hoogtaling, William Van Allen, and Albert Sling-
Down to 1755 most of the .settlers on the lands of the Patroon were
occupying their farms without leases ; they were little more than squat-
ters, and had made slow progress in improvements, probably by reason
of their somewhat uncertain tenure. About this time the Slingerlands,
who had made more extensive improvements than others of their neigh-
bors, estabhshed the mills at Clarksville. During the period from 1750
to 1775 there was a large influx of settlers from Scotland, Ireland and
England, introducing new and varied characteristics and customs.
Among the pioneers of that period were Hendrick Bouse, Johannes
Seger, Derk Terwilger, Nicholas Sigsbee, Henrick Albright, John Wade-
man, Samuel Taylor, George Reid, George Swan, Ebenezer and John
Wands, William and Charles McCulloch, David and William Allen,
Fuller, William Pangburn, John Patterson, Samuel Ramsey and
his sons, James McMullin, William Kirkland, Anthony Wayne, Samuel
Erwin, Antone Slingerland, and families of McBride, Moak, Jackson,
McCoughtry, Bruce, Valk, Lenox, Conger, Ingraham, and Lamphere.
Most of these names in themselves indicate the change in the nation-
ality from their predecessors.
Immigration, which had practically ceased during the Revolutionary
period, began again after the close of the war. Property rights being
settled, industry protected, a market provided for crops, together with
the attendant blessing of peace, gave encouragement to settlers already
located and stirred the enthusiasm and ambition of the adventurous.
Some of those who came into the town between 1775 and 1800 were
Johannes Markle, Frederick Reinhart Fuller, Benjamin Van Zandt,
Conrad Bowe, John Furbeck, Benjamin Winne, Mathias Young, Nich-
olas Van Schaack, M. and F". Van Wormer, Elias Mattise, John Martin,
John Stalker, Mathias Winne, Richard Radlift", and the Johnson, De
Reamer, and Smith families. These names are mostly well known in
this county and descendants of many of them have been prominent in
the public affairs of the town and successful in their various occupations.
It may properly be recorded here that Dr. Samuel Dickson of this town
served as member of Congress in 1855 ; John McEwen and Henry
Fitch, both born in New Scotland, were elected to the office of sheriff;
John R. Radley and William J. Reid served as associate justices ; David
D. McCulloch as commissioner of schools, and Edmund Raynsford,
Aaron Van Schaack, David G. Seger, Frederick Mathias, John Reid,
Harman Van Derzee, Henry Creble, Peter Slingerland and Hiram
Becker, Smith O'Brien and Joseph Hilton as members of Assembly.
The early schools in this town were like those in other localities al-
ready described — taught in private houses, frequently in the dwelling
of the teacher, later in log school houses widely scattered, and finally
in the neat frame buildings of later days. Some of the teachers in the
territory of New Scotland in the first years of the century were Charles
McCulioch, HarmanusVan Huysen, Edmund Raynsford, Francis Seger,
James Wands, 2d, Horace Emery, William Hooster, James Patterson,
James McElroy, Peter De Long, Ann Lawson, and a Miss Hoyt.
After the distribution of the so-called school money the character of
the schools at once became better and their number increased. The
number of school districts increased somewhat after the first division
was made until in iS6o there were fifteen. At the present time there
are si.xteen with school houses. New Scotland with Coeymans and
Hethlehem constitute the first district of Albany county.
I'oUowing is a list of the supervisors of this town from its organization
to the present time:
1833-38. James Reid; 1839-40, Aaron Van Schaick ; 1841-14, William Murphy;
].v!4.5_40, Coon rad Math i as; 1847-49, Robert Taylor; 1850-51, John McEwen ; 1853-53,
John Mathias; 1854, William Van Allen; 185.5-56, P. V. W. Brooks; 1857-58, James
Slingerland; 1859, Samuel Rowe; 1860, James Sliugerland; 1861, Henry Crounse;
1862, James Slingerland; 1863-64, John R. Taylor; 1865, David Callanan ; 1866-67,
Nicholas A. Delong; 1868, Samuel Patton ; 1869, Nicholas B. Houck; 1870, Alonzo
B. Voorhees; 1871-76, Robert Taylor; 1873, Tuenis Slingerland; 1874, Henry M.
Meed; 1875, Tennis Slingerland; 1876-80, D. V. S, Raynsford; 1881, Henry H.
Meed; 1882-83, Hiram Becker; 1884-85, Charles Wood; 1886-88, William J. Reid ;
1889-92, Joseph Allen ; 1893, A. W; Witbeck ; 1894-5 Albert Vanderpoel.
The village and post-office of New Salem is situated a little north-
west of the center of New Scotland, at the foot of the Helderbergs on
the old Beaverdam road, which later became the Albany and New
Scotland plank road. The mountain just west of the village is 1,700
feet high, and over it the road passes into the town of Berne. Settle-
ment was made on this site as early as 1770, about which date Seth
Price, c;hristian Bradt, a family of Van Valkenbergs, and perhaps a few
others came in These were soon followed by John Stalker, John
Wamp (or Wemple), Obadiah Cooper, Benjamin Van Zandt, a family*
of Crouslers, and others. Alexander Stather built a large house in
1807 for a tavern, which is still standing, though unoccupied, and was
owned for many years by Jacob Seger. Johannes Markle, kept a pub-
lie house a half mile south of New Salem as early as 1792. About
1806 the little village began to grow; new dwellings, a church, and a
tannery, operated by Beriah Chesebrough, were built. When bark
gave out the tannery was converted into a saw mill, with water power;
later a steam engine was put in and a feed mill added. The buildings
were finally burned. About the j'ear 1800 a saw mill was established
on Spring Creek near the village on what was the Winne farm. About
1830 Aaron Van Schaack built a large store and tavern. The post-
office was opened soon after the formation of the town and the former
local name of Punkintown was dropped for the better one of New
Salem. Aaron Van Schaack was the first postmaster. The building
erected by him is now used as a temperance hotel by David O. Young.
In 1839 David C. Segar built a store which was rented to Thomas D.
Bennett, but which is now used as a harness shop. The store building
of J. M. Erwin was erected in 1875. There is a steam saw mill and
grist mill at Cold Spring built in 1887 by Peter Albright. The first
grist mill of the Slingerlands has been mentioned ; it was on the
Onisquethau. east of Clarksville, and was probably the first one in this
town. It was on the farm occujiied in recent years by Conrad C.
Crounse, where there is a fall of about forty feet in the stream. The
mill was'in operation, according to the best authority, about 1750 and
probably stood many years ; it was long the only mill in the neighbor-
hood and was used by the inhabitants of a wide area Another grist
mill was built in early years on the Michael Slingerland farm, which in
recent years has been superseded by a saw mill operated by Mr. Sling-
erland. On Vly Creek, to the north of New Salem, a grist mill was
built in 1 83 I by the La Granges and continued in operation down to
recent years. A man named Grant had a carding mill in early years
on a little stream south of the Andrew Allen place and north of the
Clarksville is situated on the plateau in the southwest part of the
town, and takes its name from Adam A. Clark, who settled there about
1822. Early settlers at this point were William Bose (or Bouse), Sam-
uel Ingraham, who kept a tavern in the upper part of the village, and
Joseph Bright, who kept a tavern where George Fuller now resides.
At a later date Henry L. Mead settled there, became a prominent citi-
zen, held tlie office of justice of the peace and was postmaster of the
village. The name of the place was originally Bethlehem, when New
Scotland was a part of that town. Not long after the year 1800 Har-
manus Bogardus came from Feura Bush and settled at this place, erect-
ed buildings and kept a public house, the dwelling now occupied by the
widow of Michael Flansburgh having been built by him for Mr. Mead.
A man named Jenkins kept another early tavern. After the charter of
the Albany and Delaware Turnpike Company in 1805 ^"d the improve-
ment of the road, travel greatly increased from Rensselaerville, and as
Clarksville was about half waj' between that place and Albany, it be-
came a convenient and popular stopping place. About 1822 Mr.
Bogardus sold his property to Adam A. Clark, who continued the
business many years. The tavern is now owned and kept by John T.
Smith. One of the early log school houses was in this place, and
Francis Seger and a Mr. Taylor were among the early teachers. In
1 84 1 Peter L. Houck built a saw mill on the Onisquethau, which he
operated many years, and which has since become the property of
Frederic R. Gardner. In 1845 Rushmore Bennett and John Murphy
built a saw mill and flouring mill, run at first by water power, to which
steam was afterwards added. It subsequently passed into the posses-
sion of Robert McLaughlin, was burned and was rebuilt as a feed mill,
which is still in his possession. There has always been a small mer-
cantile business here, though much of this has gone to Albany and else-
wliere since the opening of the railroad. A general store is kept by
Clinton Bagley, and there is also a granger's store doing an active
business. Besides the John T. Smith HottI, others are kept by Arthur
Houck and George Fuller.
Nev.' Scotland is a small hamlet and post-office in the northeastern
part of the town. Its name, like that of the town itself, is derived from
the many early Scotch settlers here. A post-office was opened here as
early as 1765, with Adam Holliday, postmaster; he was succeeded by
Edmund Raynsford, who was a prominent citizen for fifty years. Some
of the early settlers in this immediate vicinity were Jacob Moak, An-
thony Wayne, Henrick Bouse and William McCulloch, who established a
tannery near the plank roak. In common with most other hamlets tiiat
were settled at an early period in this region, when tiie mails were
carried on horseback or by stages and merchandise and produce were
carried to market in the same slow manner, numerous pubHc houses
were kept here, and men named Christie, Bellamy, Holliday, and Wayne
were at different times engaged in this business. A hotel, the property
of Mr. Raynsford, was kept in recent years by Mrs. George Reid and
her son. The present hotel of the village is conducted by John Bensell.
On the premises now owned by John Slingerland, Peter Rushmore es-
tablished at an early date a tannery. The original log school house of
the place was succeeded by one of better character which in turn was
replaced in 1866 by the present one. A store has recently been built
and is kept by J. M. Whitbeck, on the West Shore Railroad which
passes near the village. Dr. John H. Fitch has long been and still
continues the practice of medicine here.
Feura Bush is a small hamlet in the southeast part of the town, near
the Bethlehem line The post office here was formerly named Jerusa-
lem. It is a station on the West Shore Railroad, but has never had
much business. Two stores are kept, one of them having recently been
opened by George Rantoup. There is a considerable market here for
hay and straw.
Unionville is a hamlet with a post office, named Union Church, in
the eastern part of the town near the Bethlehem line. Here taverns
were opened in early years, one by Christian Houck, another by David
Chesebro. The Bradt, Haller, Long, Wademan, Sigsbee, and Radley
families were early settlers in the vicinity. Peter Stoner kept an early
tavern on Stony Hill, and Dr. Dennick kept one between Unionville
and Clarksville. The post-office was discontinued some fifteen years
ago, but later again opened. The hotel of the village is now kept by
Wolf Hill is a post-office about two miles west of New Salem, and up
to 1896 another post office was in existence on the Beaverdam road
under the name of Helderberg.
Onisquethau, with the local title of Tarrytown, is a hamlet about one
and a half miles south of Clarksville, It is said to have received its
local appellation from the fact that there was once a large building
known as " the Castle " in which was kept a tavern which became a
resort of idle and dissolute persons who would " tarry " there until un-
seemly hours. John Mead, David UeLong and one of tlie Lamphercs
were early settlers, of whom Mr. Mead kept a tavern. Robert Mayhew
kept a store and tavern in the old castle, and it was he who dug the
channel which drains Lawson's Lake. Other public houses were form-
erly kept by John J. Hoogabome, Thomas Austin, and Solomon Russell.
At the time of the construction of the Erie Canal, large quantities of
stone were quarried near this point, which perhaps accounts for the un-
usual number of public houses, as many workmen were employed at
Callanan's Corners post-office is in this town in the extreme south-
eastern part, a portion of the hamlet being in Bethlehem and a portion
in Coeymans. It took its name from two brothers who were early
settlers at this point. A store has been kept here for many years and
a few shops.
The village of Voorheesville is situated centrally east and west near
the northern boundary of the town at the junction of what are now the
Albany and Susquehanna and the West Shore railroads. Its business
importance has been chiefly attained since the opening of these roads.
The village takes its name from Alonzo B. Voorhees, who built one of
the first dwellings before the completion of the Albany and Susque-
hanna Railroad. It is a pretentious residence, was subsequently owned
by S. V. R. Hoes, and is now the property of Charlotta Coughtry.
Peter Wormer built and kept the first store, and William Spore erected
a fine residence south of the railroad. The post office was opened in
1868, with James A. Reid, postmaster. After the completion of the
second railroad, making the junction at this point, Conrad Fryer built
and opened a large hotel which is still in existence, while another pub-
lic house is kept by Morris Harris. The mercantile interests of the
place are represented by Joslin Brothers, hardware, etc., of whom E.
D. Joslin is postmaster, J. B. Wands & Son, Cummings Brothers, Levi
Wood & Co., L. S. Schell, Thomas Brewster, Crannell Brothers, and
Frank Bloomingdale, who is a large dealer in hay and grain. A feed
mill is operated by L. S. Schell, and Hotaling & Hicks formerly operated
a steam saw mill which has, however, since gone to decay. A second
one was built by W. S. Swift, but was burned in 1896. Mr. Swift also
had a lumber yard which is now a part of the large business of the
Crannell Brothers. The Empire Cider and Vinegar Works is another
prosperous estabUshment and is under the able management of A. E.
Corey. An excellent graded school which has two departments, is
maintained in the village and is now under charge of E. H. Parker, as
Among the earliest physicians resident in what is now New Scotland
were Drs. Clark, Dcnnick, Day, and De Lamater. Dr. Clark died about
i8i4and was buried with Masonic honors. Subsequently came Dr.
Thomas Lloyd, and a little later Dr. Samuel Dickson, the latter being
long a prominent citizen and being elected to Congress in 1854, while
Dr. John H. Becker practiced in this town until his death. Dr. John