Arthur H. (Arthur Haynesworth) Masten.

The history of Cohoes, New York [electronic resource] from its earliest settlement to the present time online

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Online LibraryArthur H. (Arthur Haynesworth) MastenThe history of Cohoes, New York [electronic resource] from its earliest settlement to the present time → online text (page 13 of 30)
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officers : president. T. G. Youriglove ; secretary and treasurer, D. II. Van Auken ;
trustees, T. G. Younglove, Geo. Z. Collins, M. S. Younglove, D. T. Lamb, D. H.
Van Auken, Geo. H. Stewart, Levi Dodge.


side of Mohawk street between Seneca and Oneida, extend
into the street as it was laid out. The following in regard
to the matter is from the Cataract of April 7, 1860 : "It
will be remembered that a short time since the village au
thorized the corporation counsel, Jas. F. Crawford, Esq., to
commence legal proceedings against several property owners
whose buildings projected several feet into Mohawk street
near its intersection with Oneida. The first suit, that against
II. Bortel, was tried before Squire Hubbard, on Wednesday
last and resulted adversely to the village ; it being proved
that Mohawk street was a highway under control of the
town of Watervliet, and that therefore, the village had
nothing to do with its boundaries. This will probably settle
the matter for the present, at least."

Another suit in which the village was interested, concern
ing the appointment of water commissioners, was decided
in the following month. It had been pending since 1858,
and had excited much local interest. It was necessary for
the board of trustees of that year to appoint water com
missioners in place of Messrs. Wild and Carter, whose terms
of office then expired. As the board was equally divided
in politics it was evident that no appointments could be
made unless a compromise could be effected. According to
the water act, vacancies in the water board were to be filled
by a two-thirds vote of the trustees ; but some of the trus
tees were advised by Judge Parker that a majority vote
would suffice, and accordingly at a meeting held May 3,
when one of the board was absent, a motion was carried
that Messrs. J. F. Crawford and Jno. W. Frink be ap
pointed to fill the vacancies. This was vetoed the next
day by President Landon, and at a meeting of the full
board, held the same evening, Messrs. Wild arid Carter were
declared re-appointed. The matter was carried to the courts,
where it remained for two years. The final decision of
Judge Hogeboom was that Messrs. Crawford and Frink
were rightfully appointed, and they served the remainder
of their term.


A marked improvement of this year was the increase of
church accommodations. In January, the alterations in St.
John s church which had been for some weeks in progress,
were completed, and were thus noticed in the Cataract :
" An addition of thirty feet has been made to its length,
the outside has been neatly painted and new blinds have
been put up. In the interior a much needed change has
taken place. The increased length of the house gives seve
ral additional seats and has much improved its general
appearance, while the decorations of the ceilings together
with the beautiful stained glass window in the rear pro
duce a fine effect."

The new Methodist church was dedicated on Feb. 22d.
Rev. Dr. Haven, editor of Zion^s Herald, preached the
opening sermon in the morning, which was followed by the
dedicatory services, participated in by the presiding elder,
Rev. Mr. Seymour of Waterford, assisted by several emi
nent clergymen from abroad. In the evening a sermon
was preached by Rev. Wm. P. Corbitt of New York.
Subscriptions towards liquidating the debt of the church
were taken after each service, amounting in the morning to
$1,700, and in the evening to $800. The church, which
has a seating capacity of 800, cost about $30,000.

The Reformed church was dedicated April llth. The
dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. Rogers of
Albany, and was followed by the prayer of dedication,
offered by Rev. I. N. Wyckoff of the same place. Rev.
Mr. Dickson, Rev. Dr. Gregory and Rev. Mr. Van Brunt
of Albany were also present and took part in the services.
Rev. Mr. Seelye of Schenectady occupied the pulpit in the
evening. The building, which is 98 by 74 feet, and capable of
seating 850 persons, was erected at a cost of $30,000. The
architect was L. A. Gouch of Yonkers. The building com
mittee were Egbert Egberts, S. A. Becker and Jacob I.

In June the Sisters of St. Joseph, an order established


the preceding year in connection with the Catholic church,
took possession of the dwelling on Mohawk street north of
Cataract alley, now owned by Solomon Stimson, where
they established the parish school. After the completion
of the new parsonage of St. Bernard s they removed to the
building next the old church, which they now occupy.

There were during this year several important business
changes. The Ogden Mills property was purchased by the
Harmony Company, who enlarged and improved the build
ings at a cost of $200,000, giving them a capacity of 30,000

The partnership between Root and Parsons was dissolved,
Mr. Parsons, with J. H. Parsons as partner, retaining the
old establishment,- and Mr. Root commencing the erection
of a new mill on Mohawk street which was one of the most
complete in the place. The latter admitted his sons Messrs.
A. J. and S. G. Root to partnership, and the business was
conducted under the firm name of Root & Sons/*

A new enterprise was Blake & Son s saw works, which occu
pied the first, second and third stories of T. G. Younglove s
new building on Mohawk street. The polishing and grind
ing machine in use was the joint invention of Messrs. Blake
& Dodge of Cohoes. Between foi ty and fifty dozen wood
saws were sent to market daily.

An axe factory was subsequently established by this firm
in the rear of the saw works which did not, however, con
tinue long in operation.

In the latter part of the year the flour mill near the old

1 The stock company which had been organized in 1847 failed in 1851, and in the
following year the business came under control of Brown Bros. & Co., who had
been heavy creditors of the old firm. The buildings passed into the possession of
the Cohoes Company. The agent under the new management was Waterman
Smith who was succeeded in 1853, by Jenks Browu.

a After the death of Mr. L. S. Parsons in 1864, the present firm was organized.

1 Mr. Root retired in 1869, and the firm became J. G. Root s Sons, and so remained
until the formation of the present company, January 1st, 1875.


junction, owned by G. M. Cropsey & Co., was completed.
The building was 55 by 30 feet and three stories high. 1

The manufacture of soap was commenced by Walter
Campbell in the building on Oneida street east of the rail
road, which had some time before been occupied for that
purpose. -

The Cataract during the year contained a number of
communications and articles on the water rents, concerning
which dissatisfaction had arisen. In one of these, which
gave some interesting figures in regard to mill property in
Cohoes, it was shown that the total assessed valuation of
such property for the preceding year was $476,000, and its
owners paid a water tax of $780.25, and that during the
preceding ten years twenty-one fires had occurred in mill

The census taken during the year showed an increase in
population since 1855 of 2,694. The number of deaths re
ported for the last year was 183. The statistics of manufac
tures were as follows :

Am t capital employed in manf g, $2,078,500

Operatives employed in factories, 3,728

Wages paid monthly to operatives, $53,862

The remarkable increase in the business activity of Cohoes
and its material improvement in many particulars, which
had been the chief characteristics of the period just de
scribed, became less noticeable after the outbreak of the
rebellion in the spring of 1861. Instead of recording con
stant evidences of growth, the local columns of the village
newspaper were devoted mainly to matters connected with
the war, and items of this sort furnish the principal materials
for the history of the place during the next few years.

1 This property was bought by Bills and Sage of Troy, March 1864. In the follow
ing year it came into the possession of Mills and McMartin of Albany, and subse
quently Jas. McMartin, the present owner, became sole proprietor.

2 The subsequent proprietors have been ; M. M. Wilson & Co., 1868, P. D. Niver,
1874, F. W. Grant, 1875, Mrs. H. R. Grant.



A.T the opening of the war, Cohoes was not behind
neighboring towns in manifestations of patriotism, and was
prompt in the contribution of funds and recruits. The
first public demonstration was a meeting held in Egberts
Hall April 25, to raise money for the support of the families
of volunteers. Egbert Egberts was called to the chair, and
the following gentlemen were chosen vice presidents : Sid
ney Alden, C. H. Adams, Wm. Burton, Joshua Bailey,
John Lyons, T. G. Younglove, H. D. Fuller, W. K Chad-
wick, Jas. Hay den, Robert Johnston, Abram Lansing, Henry
Brockway, Wm. G. Caw. The secretaries were as follows :
D. J. Johnston, Jas. H. Hasten, Murray Hubbard, M. Mon-
ahon, S. V. Trull, H. S. Bogue. After prayer by Rev. Mr.
Spor, a series of patriotic resolutions was read and adopted.
The president then stated the object of the meeting, after
which stirring addresses were made by S. W. Lovejoy,
Jacob W. Miller, Rev. Thos. Keveney, Rev. Dr. Reed, Rev.
Mr. Spor, H. B. Silliman, T. G. Younglove and II. D. Fuller.
Collectors were then appointed, and the following finance
committee : S. A. Becker, J. R. Clarke, F. Henderson,
Edward O Reilly, I. Quackenbush and Wm. Burton ; Edward
W. Fuller was chosen treasurer and the books were opened,
the subscriptions of those present amounting to $3,135.
Further contributions were made until within a few weeks
the fund amounted to nearly $5,000.

Another evidence of loyalty in a less substantial form was
spoken of as follows in the Cataract of April 27 :

" If displaying colors is a manifestation of patriotism the
people of Cohoes are not wanting in devotion to our glorious
union, for the national banner floats from every prominent
building in the place, while nearly every man, woman and


child wears the red white and blue rosette. On Saturday last
a beautiful flag was raised over the mill of J. G. Root &
Co., and impressive speeches were made by L. Sprague
Parsons, J. W. Miller, C. II. Adams, S. H. Foster, and H.
B. Silliman, Esqs., while Green s Cornet Band enlivened
the occasion by playing a number of national airs. A large
crowd was in attendance whose repeated cheers gave evi
dence of their heartfelt appreciation of the sentiments
uttered by the speakers."

During the same week flags were raised on nearly every
factory and store in the village, in many instances with
similar exercises.

The first detachment of volunteers, consisting of 84
men under F. Temple, left here for Camp Willard, Troy,
May llth. Unfortunately the number of companies called
for in the state had been offered and accepted before
Capt. Temple could muster a full complement of men, and
instead of going as a company from Cohoes, his men were
forced to join companies already formed, or else stay
at home. Many of them accordingly enlisted in the differ
ent companies stationed at Camp Willard, and went
with Col. Carr s regiment from Troy. About 45 men
went from Cohoes, who enlisted in Waterford in Co. A.,
Capt. J. L. Yates, which was assigned to the 22d regiment,
and 25 more went with the 5th regiment, Gen. Sickles s
brigade. A large number of men were enrolled in other
out of town companies during the year. In August
recruits were enlisted for the IT. S. Vanguard Reg t,
organized in New York, and for the Cameron Light Infantry,
Capt. P. R. Chadwick, formerly of the 7th Reg t, of New
York, being agent for the latter. Recruiting offices were
also opened in September by Egbert J. Wilkins and Peter
Manton, and in October by Lieut. Frank Keating, each
of which did a large business. A number of men who had
enlisted in the 4th Heavy Artillery, Col. Doubleday, left
Cohoes in the latter part of January, 1862.

On May 10th, the Ladies Aid Society effected a perma-


nent organization. Much useful work had been done during
the preceding year by many ladies who belonged to it, in
connection with the Ladies Central Association for the
Relief of the Army, the headquarters of which were in
New York. During the year regular meetings were held
for the purpose of making articles needed by the soldiers,
and contributions from private parties or business firms were
packed and sent to their destination.

Recruiting continued during the summer. In July, an
office was opened by Wm. Shannon, who enrolled some
sixty men. 1 A number of Cohoes men also enlisted in Co.
H. of the 115th Reg t, then being organized in Crescent
by Capt. Smith which drew forth the following com
ment from the Cataract: "While we have none but
the best wishes for Capt. Smith s success, we regret that
Albany county loses so many from its quota. It seems un
fortunate for Cohoes that her volunteers are scattered
among so many foreign companies, when if they had en
listed together they might have numbered a half regiment."
Even at this early stage of the war it was seen that it would
be very difficult to obtain accurately the number of soldiers
which Cohoes had furnished. Frequent requests were made
in the editorial columns to friends of men who had enlisted
to hand in their names for publication, and in August a notice
was published urging the preparation of a complete list of
soldiers and sailors, and requesting that names be left with
Postmaster Chesebro. The call of Secretary Stanton for
300,000 men was issued August 4, and steps were immedi
ately taken to fill the quota of the town, so that a draft
might not be necessary. A recruiting office was opened by
S. V. Trull, and some 80 men were enrolled, who joined

!MoBt of the men enrolled by Capt. Shannon joined the 113th N. Y. Vols., which
was afterwards known as the 7th N. Y. V. Artillery, to which they are credited in
the list at the close of this chapter.


the 30th Reg t ; by the efforts of Wm. Conliss, some

12 more enlisted in the Corcoran Legion, and a number of

other recruits joined different companies.

The militia enrollment of Cohoes, for which the draft

was to be taken, was as follows :

Total number enrolled, 768

Affidavits of persons whose names were enrolled :

Active firemen, 63

Exempt, 5

All other claims for exemption, 15 83


On Aug. 21st, the board of supervisors voted to con
tinue the county bounty to every man who enlisted until
the quota of the county was made up.

An enthusiastic war meeting was held at the Cohoes
Hotel during the same week of which Wm. Leckie was
president and Michael Monahon, secretary. Addresses
were made by Prof. Baerman of Troy, Wm. M. White of
Canaseraga, and L. S. Parsons of Cohoes. Among the reso
lutions passed was the following :

" Resolved, That we recommend to the committee (at
Albany) to offer an additional bounty of $20 to each man
who shall be enlisted in any company and accepted, and
that for that object we pledge our liberal contributions."

A town meeting was held Sept. 6, at which it was voted
to raise by tax $60,000 to enable the payment of a town
bounty of $100 to every man enlisting until the quota was
filled. Committees were appointed to make arrangements

1 This company joined the regiment at Sharpsburg, Md., Oct. 14th. In May, 1863,
it was transferred to the 76th Regt. N. Y. Vols. Having made the campaigns of
63 and 64, the men were transferred to the 147th N. Y. Vols., Feb. 1st, 65, the
term of the 76th having expired. With this regiment they made the campaign of
65, ending in Lee s surrender. On June 5th, they were mustered into the 9th
Reg t N. Y. Vet. Vols., with which they returned to Albany, July 6th. In the
list of soldiers at the end of the chapter the men who enlisted under Capt. Trull are
all credited to the 76th Reg t, with which they were longest connected.


for procuring the funds at once that from Cohoes consisting
of Egbert Egberts, Wm. G. Caw, L. S. Parsons and Wm.
Burton. Besides these bounties, extra inducements to volun
teers were offered by numerous private parties ; among whom
may be mentioned T. G. Younglove, who agreed to pay
John Stephens of Wm. Shannon s Company $10 per month
for three years, and paid $10 each to the first ten recruits
of Capt. Smith s company, and Alfred Wild, who furnished
six men, two for Albany and four for Columbia Co. regi
ments. The result of these efforts was that the town of
Watervliet was exempt from the draft which was made Nov.
10th, having furnished over 800 men since July 2, and paid
a town bounty of over $35,000.

The local columns of the Cataract at this time contained
much interesting matter. Letters from soldiers and sailors,
either to the editor, or published by permission of friends,
were a prominent feature and continued to be so during
the war. Considerable space was also occupied with re
ports of relief committees, lists of subscriptions and other
matters of the kind. Among the enterprises mentioned
were two promenade concerts and festivals, held in Sep
tember by the ladies of the Aid Association, Miss E. Howe
manager, which cleared $260 for the Soldiers Relief Fund.
Such efforts as these, however, were but a part of the work
in which the ladies were engaged. Boxes of goods or pro
visions were being continually packed and sent to the
Washington hospitals, the headquarters of committees in
New York, or the soldiers in camp ; money was raised in
large amounts for contribution to the U. S. Christian Com
mission and similar patriotic funds, and in fact every call
on their benevolence and industry was liberally answered.

Material for pleasant paragraphs was furnished when

1 Among the contributors at different times were Messrs. Joseph and P. K. Chad-
wick, Myron and James D. Van Benthuysen, L. H. Vermilyea, J. W. Himes,
Almon E. Stone, Zalmon Van Ness and A. C . Musgrove.


popular officers were presented with swords by their friends,
an event of quite frequent occurrence. Among those thus
favored were Messrs. Uiram Clute, Silas Owen, Jas. O Hare,
Wm. Shannon, Frank Temple, A. T. Calkins and Malachi

Another subject for items was the scarcity of small change,
which began to be felt here early in the summer and by fall
had become a serious inconvenience. A number of business
firms, among them Alden & Frink and H. Thompson & Son,
issued shinplasters for fractional amounts redeemable at
their establishments and at different localities in Troy and
Albany. Smaller concerns issued pasteboard tickets, or
tokens, and these, together with postage stamps, were made
to answer the purpose of specie.

During the early part of 1863, few volunteers left Cohoes,
the ordinary course of business was resumed, and aside from
correspondence, war matters occupied a comparatively small
space in the columns of the local paper. It was announced
March 7th, that at a meeting of the supervisors it was found
that there was a surplus of $18,000 remaining in the fund
which had been raised for payment of extra bounties, and
it was voted to appropriate this sum to the support of
families of needy volunteers. The amount to which Cohoes
was entitled under the allotment was $782.

The return of the regiments which had enlisted in 1861,
was made the occasion of public demonstrations. The 2d
Reg t of Troy, under command of Col. Carr, which had
enlisted with 900 men, reached home May 16th with less
than 300, having been engaged in fourteen battles. The
Cohoes members received a hearty welcome from the citi
zens, which was described as follows :

" In anticipation of the arrival of the regiment our citizens
determined to give the Cohoes boys such a reception as
would prove to them that their gallant deeds in defence of
their country were appreciated. Messrs. Wm. Burton, Peter
Manton, II. B. Silliman, D. J. Johnston and the officers of


the fire department acted as a committee of reception and
in their arrangements spared no pains to give our brave
soldiers a most cordial welcome ; while our citizens
generally suspended business to give all an opportunity to
join in the festivities. Early on Thursday morning Mohawk
and Cataract engine companies, headed by the Cohoes
Cornet Band and accompanied by large numbers of our
citizens marched to Troy to take part in the reception there
and escort our heroes home. A special train was chartered
on the Central Road and about four o clock they left Troy,
arriving at our station at half past four, where hundreds of
friends had gathered to greet them. They were received
amid the booming of cannon, the ringing of bells, and the
most earnest manifestations of joy."

On June 5th the 22d Reg t, which had been organized May
14, 1861, under Col. Phelps, and left Albany 825 strong, re
turned with 500 men, having been engaged in ten battles.
Company A, composed of men from Waterford and Cohoes,
arrived in the former village in the afternoon and was
hospitably entertained. In the evening the company was
formally received by the people of Cohoes. The train was
met at the depot by an immense concourse of citizens, and
the fire department bearing torches. A procession was
formed, that paraded through the principal streets, which
were brilliantly illuminated. The exercises were concluded
with an address of welcome, delivered by H. B. Silliman.
The return of the 10th (or 177th) Reg t was spoken of as
follows in the Cataract, Sept. 5th:

"The anticipated joy with which the return of the 10th
Reg t was to be welcomed was sadly marred when they
appeared on Tuesday, by their wretched condition. Worn
out, decimated by battles and fevers, sick and dying, tot
tering feebly or borne by others to their homes, it was
almost impossible to believe that the splendid regiment
which left Albany nine months ago over 1,000 strong had
indeed returned. Not over 250 men could be numbered who
were in the enjoyment of even moderate health."

In the latter part of September announcement was made
of a draft, the quota from Cohoes being given as 93, though
the enrollment was made for 140 to make allowance for all




who might be exempt. The Cataract made the following
comment :

" Cohoes, like all other wide-awake towns, has its periods
of local excitement, which she enjoys or disrelishes, accord
ing to their character, with the same zest or repugnance as
other large towns or cities. The fact that the draft was to
take place, and had actually commenced, threw many into
consternation who had lulled themselves into a sort of un
easy security because it had been so long in coming; others
took the matter philosophically and began to cast about for
some expedient to relieve themselves from its worst con
sequences. Early last week an association was formed,
pledged to pay $75 each for the relief of such of its mem
bers as should be drawn. This organization grew rapidly
in numbers, and before the result was announced, had se
cured a membership of thirty-two. Of this number eleven
were drawn. If from these the usual proportion are ex
empted the amount pledged will cover the commutations."

The drafted men, 138 in number, were as follows :

John Trim,
Silas Owen,
John Thompson,
Thomas Dallas,
James Acheson,
Alonzo Van Arnum,
G. Vandermark,
William F. Jones,
Albert Ten Eyck,
William Walsh,
Thomas Mahar,
Patrick Fay,
John S. Crane,
John Mitchell,
Francis Leboeuf,
John Cassidy,
John McCoun,
Henry Hunt,
William Fonda,
Joseph Booth,

Alexander H. Frink,
Edward Nichols,
John Webber,
Joseph Chadwick,
Michael Higgins,
Charles W. Orelup,
Ammond Winnie,
James L. N. Cranston
William Clafley,
Lorenzo D. Sanborn,
Jacob Bishop,
Frank Lebard,
Elias David,
William Smith,
Thomas Scott,
John Brian,
Levi W. Lamb,
George Brider,
Thomas Hogg,
James Kemp,

John Clute,
John Cahill,
John Bisconner,
John A. Lynch,
Charles Maguirk,
Joseph Parker,
George TenEyck,
Sylvian Pattric,
Robert Jackson,
Robert Cleachein,
James McMurray,
John Maguire,
Louis Solon,
Patrick Gilligan,
Peter Masta,
David Colegrove,
Charles Gregory,
John Condley,
Isaac Auringer,
William Sheridan,

1 Up to January 1st, 1864, the following disposition had been made of the drafted

Online LibraryArthur H. (Arthur Haynesworth) MastenThe history of Cohoes, New York [electronic resource] from its earliest settlement to the present time → online text (page 13 of 30)