James H. (James Hadden) Smith.

History of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

. (page 102 of 125)
Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 102 of 125)
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was sold by the doctor to Isaac Lounsbury.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Carthage
Landing, was organized in 1823, and erected their
church edifice — the first in the village — in 1833.
Feb. 6, 1833, it is recorded, the inhabitants of Low
Point and vicinity met at the school house and de-
cided " that the church to be built should be a M.
E. church." The following were elected trustees :
Elijah Budd, Jno. H. Brinckerhofif, Felix Shurter,
Henry I. Brinckerhofif and Garret B. Brinckerhofif,
the latter of whom was chosen treasurer and sec-
retary of the society.

The church has preserved no records by which
its history can be traced. The present pastor, Rev.
Abram Davis, was appointed to this charge in
April, 1881. The present membership is about
fifty. The attendance at Sabbath school is about
thirty. The superintendent is Abram Reynolds.
It is on the charge with New Hamburgh. The first
resident pastor was Rev. Merwin Lent, who was
stationed here in the spring of 1879.

St. Marks Church of Carthage Landing. — In
1865, a few ladies assembled in the shop of Mr.
Taplin and formed a Sunday school, which was or-
ganized by Rev. John Scarborough, the rector of
the church of the Holy Comforter, in Poughkeepsie,
but now Bishop of New Jersey. Mr. Scarborough
also held services in Mr. Taplin's shop, but visited
the place only once. The instruction then inau-
gurated has been continued to the present time.
Rev. Henry E. Duncan, the rector at Matteawan,
next officiated here a few times, and was followed
by Rev. Chandler Hare, of Lebanon, Penn., who
remained about a year. Rev. George D. Johnson
of Newburyport, Mass., next held services here
some months.

In the meantime a church had been organized,
and a house of worship was erected in 1866. The
constituent members of the church at its organiza-
tion numbered fourteen families, viz: Mrs. C.
Ackerman, Samuel Townsend, Jno. Shurter, J. A.
Taplin, Charles Adriance, Mrs. Charlotte Constan-
tine, Mrs. Eleanor Sturgess, Mrs. Nicholas Rouse,
Mrs. Harriet Rouse, William H. Merritt, Mrs.
Alex. Bush, Samuel Robinson, Richard P. Hart
and Mary A. Verplanck. The church is a neat
frame structure twenty-five by sixty feet, very invit-
ing in its surroundings.

On the completion of the church, the services
which had occasionally been held in the district
school, but generally in Mr. Taplin's shop, were
transferred to it. Rev. Jno. B. Pitman, of Malone,
N. Y., conducted services for a few months, and
Rev. William Walsh, of Newburgh, occasionally,



when the pulpit was not otherwise supplied. Rev.
Jno. Morgan, of New York, officiated a few
months, and Rev. Jno. R. Livingston, then rector
of St. John the Baptist church, Glenham, occa-
sionally. Rev. Frederick Wm. Shelton, LL. D.,
received a call from the church and entered upon
his duties as first rector of the parish August 20,
1867. The vestry was then composed of Gulian
C. Verplanck and Jno. H. Shurter, wardens; and
William S. Verplanck, Robert N. Verplanck, S. B.
Knox, William H. Merritt, Charles Adriance and
Charles H. Duryea, vestrymen. Mr. Shelton re-
signed the rectorship May 22, 1880. Rev. Samuel
M. Ackerly, of Newburgh, officiated as Mr. Shel-
ton's assistant for fourteen months before the lat-
ter's resignation, and continued his services until
October, 1881.

New Hackensack.

New Hackensack is a village of some two hundred
inhabitants, situated in the north-west part of the
town, and derives its name from Hackensack, N. J.,
whence came the first settlers, among whom were
the Van Benschotens, the Snadikers and the Van-
derbilts. The Van Benschotens, who were large
land-holders in this vicinity, apparently preceded
the Snadikers and Vanderbilts by many years. The
name of "'Elias Van Benschoten " appears in the
list of inhabitants in the County in 17 14, while
two of that name, Elias and Teunis, appear in the
list of freeholders in 1740 ; but neither the Snadi-
kers nor the Vanderbilts are represented there. In
17 1 4, Elias had a family of five, three of whom
were under sixteen.

The village contains one church, (Dutch Re-
formed,) a district school, one store, (F. E. Hop-
son,) a grist mill and saw mill, one hotel, a black-
smith shop, kept by Joseph Martin, a wagon shop,
kept by Isaac Mickle, a shoe shop, kept by F. E.
Hopson. The postoffice is kept in the store and
Mr. Hopson was appointed postmaster about the
time he took charge of the latter.

The Reformed {Dutch) Church of New Hacken-
sack was organized in 1 7 5 6. The services were held
in private houses until 1766, when the first houses
of worship was erected. No record of the original
members has been preserved ; but at the time of the
building of the church there were thirty-three in full
communion, Capt. Cornelius Luyster and Tunis
Wiltsie, as elders, and John the Baptist Kip and
Adolph Swartwood, as deacons. At this time the
* first regular pastor was settled. Rev. Isaac Rysdyk,
who also ministered to the congregations at Ppugh-

keepsie, Hopewell and Fishkill. He continued in
the service of the churches of New Hackensack,
Hopewell and Fishkill till his death, Nov. 20, 1790,
and was buried in front of the pulpit at New Hack-
ensack.* He was succeeded by Rev. Nicholas
Van Vranken. He continued his ministrations tillhis
death, May 20, 1804, and was succeeded by Rev.
George Barculo, who remained from 1805 to 18 10.
Rev. Thomas De Witt then became the pastor, and
remained in charge of the churches of New Hack-
ensack and Hopewell until 1826, when he became
the pastor of the latter church alone. After this
separation of the two churches. Rev. Maurice
Dwight was settled here and remained until 1833.
Rev. C. Van Cleef was settled the latter year and
remained until 1 866. The next year Rev. Henry
Ward was ordained and installed the pastor, and
continues his labors with the church to the present
time, (1882.)- In 1834, the first church was taken
down and the present one was erected. The pres-
ent number of members is 160.

Myers Corners.

Myers Corners, situated one and one-half miles
south of New Hackensack, was once the seat of a
store and tavern, but has degenerated to a mere four
corners and a farming community. It derives its
name from John Myers, who came here from Hol-
land when a young man and took up a farm of 150
acres at these corners, about the middle of the
eighteenth century.

Dr. Anthony Underbill^ the only physician who
has located at the Corners, came here from New
York nearly forty years ago, and is still living and
practicing here. He boarded during the first eleven
years in the house last referred to. He married
Charlotte, daughter of William Marvin, who owned
a farm of some 200 acres in the vicinity, on which
the doctor built the house in which he now resides.
His practice extends over a wide range of country.


Swartwoutville, situated in the southeast corner
of the town, is a hamlet of four houses and a dis-
trict school, but for many years boasted a flourish-
ing store. Though at present devoid of commer-
cial importance, it was once the center from which
radiated the most pregnant activities of Fishkill
patriots during the Revolutionary period. It is
intimately connected with some of the dearest and

• When the church was taken down in 1834, his remains were removed
to a plot in the adjoining graveyard.



most sacred of Fishkill's Revolutionary associations.
Here was located the ever memorable Griffin
Tavern, where many of the early meetings of the
patriots were held to concert measures for the
public weal ; and here, too, stands the residence of
Col. John Brinckerhoff, which was at different
times for short periods the headquarters of Gen.
Washington, and at one tirafe of Baron Steuben
and other Revolutionary officers. It is a stone
building and was erected in 1738 by the gentleman
named. On one of its gables, formed of brick im-
pprted from Holland, is the date of its erection.

" Whenever Washington was at Fishkill," says
Benson J. Lossing,* " he made Colonel Brincker-
hoff 's his headquarters. He occupied the bedroom
back of the parlor, which remains the same, ex-
cepting a door, that opens into the hall, which has
been cut through. The Colonel's wife appears to
have been one of those kind-hearted, motherly
women, who are never at ease unless every one
around them is comfortable ; and there is a tradi-
tion in the family that she always went to Wash-
ington's room after he had retired and tucked the
bed-clothes around him to keep him warm. The
Colonel was a religious man, and a devout member
of the old Dutch Church at Fishkill Village. He
was rigid in his observances of Christian duties."
Colonel Brinckerhoff was born in 1702, and died
March 26, 1785. He married in 1725, Jannetie,
daughter of Johannes Coerte Van Voorhees, who
died Nov. 11, 1792, aged 88 years.


Middlebush, situated about a mile south-easlrof
Wappingers Falls, was an early business center,
affording postal facilities for a large extent of coun-
try, and an early center of religious enterprise,
but now has only a cluster of houses and a hotel
kept by James Keely. The first Baptist church
in the town, and the second, we believe, in the
original town of Fishkill, was organized here Nov.
13, 1782, by Elders John Lawrence, of Pawling,
and Nathan Cole, of Carmel, with eighteen mem-
bers. The services were held at the house of
Abm. Van Wyck, who deeded the Society a piece
of land for a site for a church and burying ground.
The building of a church edifice was commenced
at once. Elder Lewis was pastor of the church for
several years, preaching here and at the Union
meeting house at Green Haven. This church was
essentially a perpetuation of the first Baptist church

* Historical Sketches No. 6i, by Benson J. Lossing, in Poughkeepsie
Eagle of Feb. 14, 1874.

in the town, which was organized prior to the Rev-
olution, and had a house of worship at Gayhead, in
East Fishkill, which was abandoned when the
Society was formed here. But it did not prosper,
and in 1826 sold the " meeting house lot " to Wm.
B. Phillips, whose farm bounded it on the south.
In 1830 that meeting house became the property
of the Methodist church, organized that year, and
was used by them as a house of worship until the
present Methodist church in Wappingers Falls was
erected in 1869, when it was taken down and the
material used in the construction of the barn and
sheds connected with that church.

The Eagle Foundry of which Disbrow & Halli-
well are proprietors, is situated near the mouth of
Wappingers Creek, opposite the village of New
Hamburgh. Mr. Disbrow commenced to learn
the trade in 1849, with Lee, Arnold & Son., who
were then proprietors of the Poughkeepsie Iron
Foundry. In 1852, he purchased an interest in
those works which were then located in Wappin-
gers Falls. Mr. Halliwell, who was master me-
chanic in the Dutchess Company's print works, ac-
quired an interest in 1861. In 1873, the foundry
buildings were burned, and the establishment was
removed to its present location, the grounds hav-
ing been purchased and the buildings erected at
that time.

History of the Town of Fishkill.

FISHKILL is intimately connected with the
earliest and most sacred historic associations
of the County. Its name, which is a modification
of the Dutch word Vis-Kill, meaning Fish- Creek,
and is derived from the creek which flows cen-
trally through it, suggests a train of reflections
which carry us back to the period when the white
man first exchanged fraternities with the red man
whom he supplanted, and within the fair domain
of Duchess County, planted the first seeds of an
advancing civilization, destined in the increasing
generations to still further circumscribe the limits
of his domain, if not eventually to completely
absorb it. Later, after years of toil and privation
had sanctified the principles of liberty and equality
in the minds of the hardy pioneers, we see it the
theater of stirring events in the drama which pre-
pared the country for their perpetuation and en-
joyment, and established that peace which, with
unimportant exceptions, prevailed for nearly a cen-



tury — a period during which, mainly, the resources
of the town were developed and its wealth, accu-

The town was formed March 7, 1788, a cen-
tury after its settlement began, and embraced a
much greater extent of territory than at present.
Its proportions have been curtailed at different
times; first Feb. 9, 182 1, when a "paxtoi Freedom,
now LaGrange, was set off. Nov. 29, 1849, the
eastern portion was set off to form the town of
East Fishkillj and May 20, 1875, the town of
Wappinger was formed from the northern portiom
Apart of Philipstown, Putnam county, was annexed
March 14, 1806.

It lies in the southwest corner of the County,
mainly within the angle formed by the Hudson
River and the Fishkill or Matteawan Mountains,
which are high, rocky and precipitous, the highest
summits. Old Beacon and Grand Sachem, in the
southeast corner of the town, being respectively
1,47 r and 1,685 f^^t above tide. North of the
mountains the surface is pleasantly diversified.
Broken ridges terminate abruptly on the river and
form a series of bluffs from 150 to 200 feet high.
Honers Hill, a rounded eminence in the north-
east part, derives its name from the first settler
who located upon its sumnnit. A break in the
mountains in the southeast part, opening toward
the south, is known as the Wiccopee Pass, a name
of varied orthography, and applied to a principal
village of the Highland Indians. This pass was
carefully guarded during the Revolution, to pre-
vent the British from turning the American works
at West Point, and to protect the military stores at
Fishkill. A considerable American force was sta-
tioned at its upper extremity during the campaign
of 1 777. The works erected for its defence during
this period, occupying commanding positions, are
still discernable. From the crests of the eminen-
ces referred to, beacon fires flashed intelligence to
the patriots of the surrounding country and warned
them of impending danger.

The only important stream is the Fishkill, which
enters the town in the northeast part and flows
diagonally through it. It is a valuable mill stream,
with numerous cascades, and gives power to many
important industries. There are no less than nine
danas upon it within the limits of this town, one
each at Brinckerhoffville, Glenham, Growville and
Tioronda, three at Matteawan, and two at Wic-

The town is underlaid by the rocks of the Hud-
son River group, except in the Highland region,

where the rocks of the primary system obtain.
Graphite is found in the mountains south of Fish-
kill Landing. A large bed of talc has been opened
near the line of Putnam county and quarried as
soapstone. It is both gray and white, very soft
and compact, but its uneven structure and the im-
bedded minerals render it of little value. Large
beds of sand and clay exist adjacent to the river
and are very extensively manufactured into brick
Ijelow Fishkill Landing. This, indeed, is a most
important industry, employing a large capital and
many men, and producing nearly 50,000,000 brick
per annum. The firms engaged in the brick manu-
facture in this town and the capacity of each yard
in 1881 is thus stated in the Poughkeepsie Daily
News of April 22, 1881 : —

McLean & Co. 10,000,000

Wm. D. Budd. 5,000,000

Gedney, Dow & Polhemus 4,000,000

Aldridge Brothers 10,000,000

N. Covert 3,500,000

James E. Member 5,000,000

Theodore Brinkerhofif. 7,000,000

Fishkill is the wealthiest and by far the most
populous town in the county ; while its area,
18,257 acres, is exceeded by sixteen of the twenty
towns in the county. The total equalized value of
its real and personal property is $3,505,241 ; while
Poughkeepsie, Red Hook and Rhinebeck are the
only other towns which exceed two millions. Its
population in 1880 was 10,734; while no other
town in the county had half that number of inhab-
itants. Its soil is a clay and gravelly loam, highly
productive, and adapted to a wide range of crops.
The Hudson River Railroad extends through the
west border of the town, and the Newburgh,
Duchess & Connecticut, and the New York &
New England Railroads cross it diagonally, along
the valley of the Fishkill. The latter road uses the
track of the Newburgh, Duchess & Connecticut
road to a point a little below Wiccopee, where it
deflects to the west, and conriects with the Hudson
River road by a curve to the north at Fishkill
Landing, while the Newburgh, Duchess & Con-
necticut road connects with the same road at
Duchess Junction, 1.69 miles below. Monday,
Dec. 12, 1 88 1, the first regular passenger train
from Fishkill Landing to Boston, over the New
York & New England Railroad, left the former
place, and the first car-load of freight was trans-
ported across the Hudson from Newburgh to Fish-
kill Landing without breaking bulk. *

There are three common and five union school
districts in the town. The number of children of



To any one who has ever known Mr. Storm this very expres-
sive and life-like engraving will readily recall him to memory.

Notwithstanding his apparent freshness and lite be is believed
to be, to-day, the oldest male representative of the Storm
family in Duchess Gonnty.

His early and matured manhood were spent upon lands be-
longing to one ot the gld homesteads of the Storm family in
East Fishkill, where his younger son, William J. Storm, now re-
sides. The site of this old homestead still remains surrounded
with trees that lift themselves toward the sunlight and hide
in their branches the beautiful outlines ot Wiooopee, and the
Beacon heights of the Fishkill mountains,or Highlands, as their
soft tracings of shadow and outline are spread out in near and
distant view until lost in the valley of the Hudson.

Here Abraham Storm was born October 1, 1773, and here his
son.John V. Storm, was born November S4,1800.and was married
to Jeannette E. WooUey December 4, 1839. His life has been
mainly spent upon a part of these ancestral acres, which he
afterward inherited. Under the touch of his hand they assum-
ed new forms ot life, beauty and fertility, until even the pass-
ing stranger would be attracted by the neatness and precision
of all their surrounding^.

His stables were filled with the finest horses in the country
and his fleldswaved with the finest wheat that grew in the rich
and beautiful valley of the Fishkill.

He held, too, positions of trust and responsibility. He was a
Civil Magistrate for many years, and also Supervisor ot his
native town, and at the organization of the Fishkill Savings
Bank was director and the first president of that institution.

Mr. Storm is descended from an old and now numerous
family. He stands six generations removed from Deriok Storm
who came to this country in 1668, from the Mayory of Borch, in
Holland, and is the federal head and representative of all who
bear the Storm name in America. His wife's name was Maria
Pioters. He was at times schoolmaster and in 1670 was Secretary
of Brooklyn. He was town clerk of Flatbush, and was clerk of
sessions in Orange county from 1691 to 1703. He owned land
and paid taxes when Peter Stuy vesant was the Dutch Governor
at New Amsterdam. He had sons Goris, Peter and David, and
a daughter whose name was JMIaria. Goris married Engletie
VanLyok, daughter of Thomas VanLyck, of New Utrecht, and
had sons DircS, born in 1695, and Thomas born in 1697.

Thomas Storm, grandson of the elder Dirck, and son ot Goris,
purchased lands of Col. Phillips, of the Manor ot Phillipsburgh,
'O y estohester county and resided at Tarrytown, where many
ot his descendants still live and where he was burled. He had

seven sons and two daughters. Two of these sons died in early
manhood, leaving children. By his will he gave to his grand-
son Abraham, son of Jacob, one hundred pounds. And he
gave also to bis grand-daughters, CbrlBtina and Anna, forty
pounds. Besides Thomas and Jacob he bad sons Garret, Goris,
Abraham, John and Isaac. His two daughters' names were
Catherine and Engletie and bis wife's name was Annie. To
Garret and Goris he gave by will the lands which he purchased
from Madam Brett, in Bombouts Precinct, being the first pur-
chase, and lying on the north side of the Fishkill, containing
four hundred and six acres. To Garret be gave two hundred
and four acres of these lands, and to Goris he gave two hundred
and two acres. To his son Abraham be gave the lands of the
second purchase, excepting ten acres, lying on the south side
of the Fishkill. And by bis will be gave to nis son Isaac his im-
provements in Phillips Manor, The two brothers afterwards
exchanged possessions and Isaac came to Fishkill.

This will, now on record in the Surrogate's office, in New
York City, was made and executed in Duchess County, being
made no doubt, at a time when he was visiting his children. It
was made on the 17th day of June, 1763, and probated before
Bartholemew Crannett, in Duchess County, on the 15th day of
January, 1770. One thing can here be said of -these lands, that
now, after a period of more than one hundred and forty years,
scarce one acre ot these lands has passed out of the family

In so brief a paper as this only the shadow of an outline can
be given of the Storm fainily.

Mr. John Y. Storm of the sixth generation now resides in Fish-
kill village, still healthy and strong and in possession of bis
wonted vigorous faculties.

He has three sons and four daughters. His elder son, Abram
J. Storm, wbo is a large land holder and civil engineer in
Texas, was married to Miss Eate Fowler, October 29, 1878. His
second son, Joseph H. Storm, owning a large farm in Green
Haven, Duchess County, was married to Miss Sophia Sheldon,
September 4, 1867. William J. Stoim was married to Miss Isa-
bell Harpell, October 11, 1872, he having two children, a son
named Harpell, and a daughter. Marguerite, Joseph Storm has
two children, a son named Wilson and a daughter named Jean-
nette. His daughter Elizabeth, was married January 24, 1873,
to Charles A. Storm, ot Hopewell. His elder daughter Sarah
Frances, was married June 7, 1876, to Sylvester Southard,
who have one child named Jane WooUey Southard. They reside
in Fishkill. His youngest daughters, Helen and Cornelia Storm
reside with their parents.



school age residing therein Sept. .30, 1881, was
3,509, of whom 1,961 attended school, the average
attendance during the year being 1,446.740. The
number of licensed teachers employed at the same
time during the year was five males and twenty-
four females. There were two thousand volumes
in the district libraries, valued at $600. There
were three frame and five brick school-houses in
the town, which, with their sites, comprising seven
acres and eighty rods, valued at $6,800, were
valued at $49,800. The assessed value of taxable
property in the districts was $3,908,000.

December i, 1873, the fire which destroyed the
principal part of the business portion of Fishkill
village, also destroyed the town house and the
early town records, — nearly all indeed, prior to
that date. But one volume of town minutes, we
believe, was saved, and that of comparatively
recent date. This is a fact much to be regretted, as
it removes from the materials of the historian a val-
uable source of authentic information.

The Rorabout Patent, which is elsewhere de-
scribed,* covered the original town of Fishkill and
a portion of Poughkeepsie. In 1708, by authori-
zation of the Supreme Court, a partition was made
of the lands embraced in this patent lying between
the Fishkill and Wappingers Creek, the lands to
the north and south of those streams being still
held in common by the patentees or their repre-
sentatives or heirs. In this division the southern
third fell to the lot of Catharine, wife of Roger
Brett, daughter and sole heir of Francis Rombout,
and the intermediate third to the children of
Gulian Verplanck.

T. Van Wyck Brinckerhoff, in his History of
Fishkill, supposes that, though the patentees came
in full possession of their purchase in 1685, several
years must have elapsed before any real settlement
was made on the patent ; but inasmuch as the con-
ditions of the patents required the settlement or
improvement of the lands to which they gave title

Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 102 of 125)