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

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1863 to 1864; A. Kelly, 1864 to 1871; Samuel
Sprague, 187 1.

East Fishkill in the War of the Rebellion.

The records relating to the part the town took in
the war, are in better condition and more replete
than are usually found. The following are the
names of those who enlisted from the town,
with dates and promotions as near as can be
obtained : —

Henry Surcebox, enlisted Aug. 15, 1862 for three
years ; was promoted to captain of Co. E, in the
128th Regt., in Aug. 1863 ; was engaged in the
battle of Ponchatula, was in the Red River cam-
paign and transferred to Sherman's command in
Georgia.

Wm. East, enlisted in Aug. 1862, for three years
as private of 128th Regt., and died in camp in
Lousianna June 6, 1863.

Traver Murphy, private 128th, enHsted Aug.
18, 1862 ; was killed in action before Port Hud-
son, May 27, 1863.

Smith W. Darling, private enlisted Aug. i8th,
1862, and went with 128th from Baltimore to New
Orleans in November, 1862; was in battle of Pon-
chatula, and through the Red River campaign and
afterwards transferred to Sherman's command.

Sylvester Brown, private, was in siege of Port
Hudson, and was killed June 10, 1863.

Webster Brundage, private, was in seige of Port
Hudson, with Gen. Banks on Red River, and with
Sherman through Georgia, was discharged July
27, 1865, and died Aug. 6, 1865.

Wm. Henry Bowne, private, served in battle of
Ponchatula, Red River and Shenandoah Valley.

John J. Woodin, private, seirved at New Orleans,
Port Hudson, and with Sherman.

Charles Stansbury, private, deserted at Hudson,
Sept. 4, 1862.



James H. Brown, private, served throughout
with 128th, was discharged June 6, 1865.

Richard Scofield, private, served with Regt., in
New Orleans, Red River and with Sherman, dis-
charged June 5, 1865.

Johannes Wilhelm, private, taken prisoner at the
battle of Cedar Creek, October 1864, and died of
starvation at Salisbury prison, N. C, Dec. 10, 1864.

Benj. Smalley, private, served at New Orleans,
Red River and with Sherman, and was discharged
June 6, 1865.

Valentine VanOstrand, private, was discharged
for disability.

Levi Niver, private, served three years with the
Regiment and was discharged in June, 1865.

Henry S. Hauver, private, served at Ponchatula,
Red River, and with Sherman, and was discharged
June 6, 1865.

Wm. Hauver, private, served as above and was
discharged June 6, 1865.

Stephen Yelverton, private, died of typhoid fever
at New Orleans, May i, 1864.

Wm. Spreadbury, private, deserted at Baton
Rouge, October 10, 1863.

Wm. Krouts, private, deserted at Baltimore,
September 6, 1862.

John Dewitt Lent, private, served with Grant in
front of Richmond.

Chas. Bush, private, served in McClellan's cam-
paign and was discharged July 27, 1865.

Caleb Bush, private, served with McClellan and
Grant, was discharged July 26, 1865.

John Dingy, private, died with fever.

Abraham Harris, private, served on the Potomac.

Charles Johnson, private, served in Louisanna,
and was discharged November, 1864.

Charles Lent, private, served on Hart's Island,
contracted disease and died at home in 1865.

Martin Root, private, accidentally shot and died
on Hart's Island.

John S. Brundage, private, died in Hospital at
Bahimore, July 27, 1864.

Levi Vredenburgh, private, wounded at battle of
Cedar Mountain, August 8, 1872, and was dis-
charged November 29, 1862.

Cornelius B. Dye, sergeant, taken sick on the
Peninsula, returned home and rejoined his Regi-
ment.

John Hunter, private, wounded at battle of Fair
Oaks, and was honorably discharged.

John Mullen, private, discharged from disability.

Frank Green, private, killed at Fair Oaks, May
31, 1863.



544



HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY.



Chas. W. King, private, wounded at battle of
Petersburgh, and was discharged March 5, 1865.

George King, private.

Walter B. Seaman, private, served with the 19th
Corps, and mustered out at Savannah, October
18, 1865.

John Thayer, private, served at Port Hudson,
Red River and with Sherman, discharged July 27,
1865.

John McGriffin, private, discharged at Fortress
Monroe, February g, 1862, for disability.

Isaac Daniels, private, was an escaped slave and
was discharged August 8, 1865.

Wm. Williams, captain, killed at battle of Fair
Oaks, May 31, 1862.

Harrison Bucher, private, promoted corporal in
March, 1 864, and served with Hancock.

James Gregory, private, served on the Potomac.

Noah Wixon, private, killed in action.

John Griffith, Navy, enlisted Jan. 4, 1865.

Jacob Montross, corporal, served at Petersburgh,
and with Sherman in Tennessee, was left at Atlanta
in consequence of sickness.

Richard T. Van Wyck, corporal, promoted to
sergeant and served at Gettysburg and with Sher-
man in Georgia.

George Burroughs, corporal, served at Gettys-
burg and with Sherman through his campaign.

Americus G. Mosier, private, served at Gettys-
burg and with Sherman.

Aaron Lockwood, private, served as above and
was last seen at Atlanta.

Jacob Rouk, private, deserted at Baltimore in
March, 1863.

Lorenzo Horton, private, 6th H. A., Sept. 8, 1864,
served with Sherman in the Shenandoah Valley.

Privates. — A. J. Runells, John S. Stoker, Geo.
W. DeFriege, John Morehead, Henry Dily,
Theodore Anthony, Geo. Anthony, Walter Lait,
Martin Kigan, John Kelley, John Peterson, John
Ryan and Patrick Mack.

The war account of this town from April 15,
1 86 1 to December 31, 1866, including town boun-
ties, recruiting fees and expenses, principal and
interest of town loans and other necessary expen-
ses was $98,799.



CHAPTER XLVI.
History of the Town of Bekkman.

THE town of Beekman Kes in the southeast
part of the County, one corner extending to
the south border. It is bounded on the, north by



Union Vale ; on the east by Pawling and Dover ;
and on the south and west by East Fishkill.

The town derived its name from Colonel Henry
Beekman, of Kingston, Ulster county, who, in
1697, obtained a grant of all the land east of Rom-
bout's Patent to the Connecticut line, embracing
the present towns of Beekman, Union Vale, the
northeast half of LaGrange, and all of the towns of
Pawling and Dover, except a strip one and three-
eighths of a mile wide along the east side of the
two latter towns forming a portion of the Oblong,
obtained from the State of Connecticut in exchange
for a tract of land on and adjacent to Long Island
Sound. Beekman being obliged to pay for this
grant an annual rental of forty shiUings to the
Crown of England, surrendered the patent and
obtained a new grant for the same property in
1703.*

Beekman's Precinct was formed December 16,
1737. May 20, 1769, an act was passed divid-
ing Beekman's Precinct into two precincts, the one
to be called Beekman's and the other Pawling's
Precinct. The latter included "the towns of Paw-
ling and Dover. Nineteen years thereafter, or on
March 7, 1788, Beekman was formed as a town.
A portion of LaGrange, then known as " Freedom,''
was set off in 1821, and March i, 1827, the
greater part of Union Vale was taken from the ter-
ritory and, with a portion taken from LaGrange,
was erected into a separate township.

The surface of the town is somewhat hilly and
broken. The highest summit is Pleasant Hill, in
the northern part. On nearly all of the hills is an
outcrop of slate and limestone. The streams are
nothing but small creeks, tributaries of the Fishkill
which runs through the central part of the town
from northeast to southwest. The soil in their
vicinity is fertile, forming one of the richest agri-
cultural sections in the County! Sylvan Lake, in
the western part of the town, is a beautiful body of
water of some hundred and twenty acres. It has
a depth of one hundred and thirty feet, being, in
fact, one vast spring. It is owned by Dr. C. A.
Nicholson, and is underlaid by one of the best and
most extensive deposits of shell marl known in the
State, and is besides well stocked with fish.

The town also contains quite extensive deposits
of iron ore, and several deposits of marble. The
marble is mostly of a very good quality, but none
of the deposits have ever been worked.

The Clove Branch Railroad and its extension
runs through the center of the town from Clove



*The Patent was granted June 25, 1703.



TOWN OF BEEKMAN.



S4S



Branch Junction, on the Newburgh, Duchess &
Connecticut Railroad, to Sylvan Lake, thence to
Beekman and Clove Valley. The New York &
New England Railroad running from Boston to
the Hudson River at Fishkill, has just been fin-
ished through the southern part of the town, run-
ning east and west near the villages of Poughquag
and Green Haven where there are stations.

It is not definitely known when or by whom set-
tlements were first made within the present Umits
of the town, as all records relating thereto have
been lost or destroyed. It is supposed that settle-
ments were begun about the year 1710. A man
by the name of DeLong settled here in 17 16, and
kept at an early day an inn, whose location is now
unknown. James DeLong is found as supervisor
of the town in- 1802, probably a descendant of the
settler of that name. It is probable that from this
family also descended the Japanese diplomatist, ex-
minister DeLong, who was a native of Beekman.
Among others who were early residents of the town,
and who held town offices at an early date, were Mau-
rice Pleas, Jesse Oakley, Jonathan Dennis, Gideon
Hall, and Ebenezer Cary. Maurice Pleas was for
many years town clerk of the precinct and of the
town after its formation in 1788. Jonathan Den-
nis was the first siipervisor at the erection of Beek-
man as a town. Other early settlers were the
Cornwalls from Long Island, the Uhls, from Ger-
many, the Haxtuns. Sweets, Gardners, Bakers and
Brills.

The records in the town clerk's office give the
proceedings of precinct meetings from April 7,
1772, to the formation of the town. At that date
the following officers were elected : —

Joshua Carman, Supervisor j Maurice Pleas,
Town Clerk ; Samuel Dorland, James Vander-
burgh, Assessors ; Simeon Noxon, Constable and
Collector; Thomas Clements, Maurice Pleas, In-
spectors of intestate estates.

From that date to 1788 the precinct supervisors
and clerks were as follows : —

Supervisors. Clerks.

'773-'74- Joshua Carman, Sen., Maurice Pleas.
1775-79. James Vanderburgh, do do

1780-83. Jonathan Dennis, do do

i784-'86. Ebenezer Cary, do do

1787. Jonathan Dennis, Jesse Oakley.

In the following year Beekman was formed as a
town. The Supervisors and Clerks from that time
to 1882 have been as follows : —

Supervisors. Clerks.

1788. Jonathan Dennis, Jesse Oakley.
i789-'9r. do do Maurice Pleas.
1792-96. Jesse Oakley, do do



797-
798-
802-
804.
805-
808-
811-
814.

815.
816.
817-
820.
821-
823.
824.
825-
827-
829-
832-
834.
83s-
840.
841-

843-
844.

845-
846.

847.

848-

850.

851.

852.

853.

854.

855-

856

858

860.

861.

862-

866-

868.

869.

870-

873

875-

876

878,

879
88r,



'07.
'10.
'13-



19.



Ebenezer Cary,
1801. do do
'03. do do
do do
Samuel A. Barker,
do do
do do
Thomas Flagler,
Samuel A. Barker,
Egbert Cary,
do do
John Wilkinson,
•'22. Egbert Cary,
Thomas Lee,
do do
■'26. Egbert Cary,
■'28. John Cooper,
'31. Egbert Cary,
'33. James De Long,

Egbert Cary,
'39. Elnathan Haxtun,
Egbert Cary,
James H. Denton,
Egbert Cary,
Gilbert B. Noxon,
Joseph C. Doughty,
Gilbert B. Noxon,
Joseph C. Doughty.
Wilson B. Sheldon,
Wm. A. Holmes,

do do

James F. Dakin,

do do

Elnathan Haxtun,

do do

Wilson B. Sheldon
■'59. Smith Cronk,
De Witt C. Cary,



Maurice Pleas.
Gideon Hall.
James DeLong.
Gideon Hall,
do do
John G. Hall.
Adam Crouse.
John Cooper.
Joseph Potter.



do

Gilbert B.
do
do
do



do
Noxon.
do
do
do



James Peters,



do
Elnathan
do
do
do



do
Haxtun.
do
do
do



'42.



'49-



'-'57



'65-
.'67.



■72.



Rob'tM.VanKleeck.
Thomas J. Doughty.

do do

Joseph T. Lee.
Chas. J. Benjamin.

do do

do do

■ do do

do do

do do

T. J. Doughty, 2nd.

do do

Lewis H. Sherman.

do do

Smith Cronk.

do do
Dewitt C. Noxon.

do do

John Ellison, Jr.



do do

, Jeremiah Sheldon, Joseph Dodge,
Wm. W. Haxtun, do do

George Tabor, John S. Van Wyck.
Wm. E. Haxtun, Wm. H. Wright.
, Geo. T. Doughty, Chas. A! MuUer.
-74. James E. Dutcher, Wm. H. Wright.

David Ludington, Jacob T. Benjamin
-'77. John H. Draper,

E. L. Williams,
-'80. Joseph H. Storm,
Isaac Vail,



Chas. A. Miiller.
Jacob T. Benjamin.

do do

Charles A. Miiller.



Beekman contains no villages of great import-
ance. Green Haven, Beekman Furnace, Pough-
quag and Beekmanville are hamlets with but a
small population.

Green Haven, near the south-western border,
contains a store, postoffice, grist mill, and some
twenty or thirty dwelUngs. The postmaster and
merchant is George Lawrence. The grist mill is
run by Christopher Brown.

Beekman Furnace, also called Clove Valley Post-
office, near the north line of the town, contains the



546



HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY.



Clove Sp-ing Iron Works, organized in 1873,
which consists of one anthracite furnace and one
charcoal furnace, the latter being the old " Beek-
man Furnace," built by Elisha Sterling & Co., in
1 83 1. There is a population here of about two
hundred, chiefly in the employ of the company.

The charcoal furnace has a capacity of about
ten to twelve tons per day, and the iron made here
is of a very superior quality, the uses to which it is
devoted requiring the best iron made in the United
States. The anthracite furnace turns out some
twenty-five tons per day.

Poughquag is a pretty Uttle hamlet* in the
eastern part of the town, containing two stores,
postoffice, a church and a population of some one
hundred and fifty.

The postmaster here is C. F. Rassell, who was
appointed in April, 1881. The merchants are
John H. Draper, a native of Union Vale, born in
1849, who has been in business here nine years;
Charles H. Slocum, general merchant, who began
business in March, 1881, succeeding Hamilton
Colwell; Charles F. Rassell, stoves and general
hardware, in business since April, t88i, succeeding
F. S. Merwin.f Mr. Rassell was born in Greene
county, N. Y., in 1847.

The Methodist Society was formed here some
time previous to 1839. The organization is now
known as the "Centenary Methodist Episcopal
Church." The edifice of this society stands a little
north of the hamlet within the enclosure of a
beautiful cemetery. It was erected in 1839. The
corner stone was laid on the 24th of July of that
year, and the building was dedicated on the isth
of January, 1840.

The society is prosperous, and, like many another
of that denomination throughout the County, has
never preserved, if it has ever kept, any extended
records of its origin and achievements.

A short distance northeast of this hamlet lived
during the Revolution, Col. Vanderburgh, an offi-
cer of some prominence in that struggle. He left
the comforts of his home to battle for a cause
shrouded in darkness, in which there seemed to be
more chances for an ignominious death on the
scaffold than for the acquisition of fame and for-
tune. It is said that Col. Vanderburgh did not
falter in his choice, though he had everything to
woo him to ease and repose at home. He enjoyed
the friendship and confidence of Washington, who,
in his diary mentions stopping with him at Pough-

* The name of this hamlet was derived from '' A-po-qua-gue" — round
lake— the Indian name for Sylvan Lake, in the western part of the town.
t Now a hardware merchant in Pawling village.



quag to take dinner, when on a hasty visit to
Hartford.

While the army lay at Fishkill, Col. Vanderburgh
was taken ill, and was obliged to return vto his home
for nursing and medical treatment. While in this
disabled condition Vaughn and his gang concluded
it would be an appropriate time to rob and murder
him. The house was strongly guarded and forti-
fied, and Mrs. Vanderburgh, who had an idea of
their intentions, and fearing they might reach her
husband through the walls of the house, built a
barricade of beds and bedding about her husband's
resting place to check the force of the ballets. The
robbers came and fired into the house, but without
injury to the inmates, and finding the stronghold
too impregnable decamped for easier booty. The
descendants of Col. Vanderburgh rank among the
most prominent citizens of the County.

Beekmanville has a population of a trifle over a
hundred.* The postmaster here is Charles A.
Mtiller, who was appointed in 1 868.1 The mer-
chants are Charles A. Miiller, who has been in busi-
ness here sixteen years, succeeding John S. Van
Wyck. He was born in Saxony May 4, 1831,
came to America in December, 1849, and to Beek-
man in April, 1866 ; Charles F. Benjamin, anative
of Fishkill, born in 1836, harness and horse fur-
nishing goods, in business here since 1880.

The only resident physician of the town is Dr.
Clark A. Nicholson, who resides here. Dr. Nich-
olson was born in the town of South East, Putnam
county, December 29, 1821. He graduated from
the medical department of the University of New
York City in 1847, and on the second of July of
that year became a residenjt of Beekman, where he
began the practice of his profession. On Jan. i,
1849, he married Caroline M. Bryan t,t of Beekman,
daughter of Amos J., and Harriet [Hamlin] Bry-
ant, by whom he had one son, 'William A., who is
a civil and mining engineer and assayer, and super-
intendent and manager of a gold mine. Dr.
Nicholson has been a member of the State Medi-
cal Society since 1861. In addition to the duties
of his profession he has been largely interested in
the development and sale of iron mines in this and
adjoining towns ; and has also turned his attention
to agriculture, having in his possession over four
hundred acres of land.

* One hundred and five according to the last census. The population
of the town is one thousand five hundred and seventy-eight. 1870— one
thousand eight hundred and forty-six ; 1875 — one thousand^ five hundred
and forty-eight.

t Dr. C. A. Nicholson was postmaster here for a number of years.

J Caroline Bryant Nicholson, died February 13, 1882. She was born
June 10, 1825.



TOWN OF BEEKMAN.



547



In this place was born Benson J. Lossing, the
historian. The house in which he was born, now
old and decaying, is still standing, an object of in-
terest to the intelligent tourist.

The Beekman Iron mine, one of the most valu-
able in the County, was discovered by W. E.
Haxtun in about 1846. It was opened in 1869,
by Albert Tower, the present owner.

The ore unearthed here is that known as the




fd^^ -



(BIRTHPLACE OF BENSON J. LOSSING.)

hematite.* From twenty-six to thirty hands are
employed in this industry, The summer residence
of Mr. Tower, a sketch of which appears here,
was purchased from W. E. Haxtun in 1867-68.

The hamlet contains one church, the Baptist,
which was organized in 1840. The constituent
members of this church, previous to the organiza-
tion, held their membership with the First Baptist
church in Fishkill. The first movement towards
the erection of a house of worship in this place
originated with some of the prominent citizens,
none of whom professed Christianity. In the
winter of 1838-39 the residents of Poughquag
built in their village a house of worship, which
stimulated in the dwellers in Beekmanville a desire
to have also in their midst a church edifice. Hav-
ing conferred together, they made their wishes
known to a few members of the Baptist denomina-
tion in the town, promisinggenerous aid in the work.
A plan for the prosecution of the work was at once

* The town contains several hematite ore mines. This of Mr Tower's,
and one owned by the Sylvan Lake Ore and Iron Co., being the most
extensively worked. Two other mines, not yet fully developed, — one
owned by Dr. C. A. Nicholson and the other by the heirs of Wayman
Dfidge,— are believed to be quite extensive and-valuable.



matured, and the title for the site of a church
building was secured and held by a committee of
trust for a Baptist church thereafter to be organized.
The edifice was completed the following autumn,
at a cost of $3,000, all paid. The success of the
undertaking was largely due to Nicholas German
and Abner Osborn. The church was dedicated
December 25, 1839, by Rev. Daniel T. Hill.

On the 1 2th of February, 1840, ten persons were
recognized as a regular church by a council con-
vened for that purpose. Those constituent mem-
bers were as follows :—

Abner Osborn, Nicholas German, Joseph Ger-
man, Robert Seaman, Pamelia German, Mary
Osborn, Hannah German, Cornelia Sherman,
Malvina Seaman and Carohne Taylor.

Rev. Daniel T. Hill served as the pastor over
this new church three years. He was succeeded
1 by Rev. Lewis W. Annan, licentiate of Shenandoah
:hurch, who was ordained pastor June 20, 1843.
He remained but one year. To him succeeded
Rev. A. M. Brown, licentiate, as stated supply for
ten months. In August, 1845, Rev. John Warren,
Jr., was called to the pastorate, and remained two
years, serving the church acceptably. He was suc-
ceeded in May, 1847, by Rev. John Lagrange, who
labored with the church a year and eight months
with marked success, some fifteen being added to
the membership during his administration. The
pulpit was then for three months supplied by Rev.
Joseph I. Grimley. The following November, Rev.
Richard Thompson became the pastor, remaining
nearly six years when he was dismissed.

The next pastor was Rev. Samuel T. Patterson,
a licentiate of a Poughkeepsie church. It is said
he proved to be an impostor, and after about three
months service left this church unexpectedly and
unceremoniously. Rev. Alexander Smith next
ministered to the church as stated supply for one
year. In May, 1858, Rev. John Donnelly, a stu-
dent from Hamilton, commenced supplying the
pulpit, serving the church acceptably for five
months. The next regularly installed pastor was
the Rev. Sullivan L. Holman, who was ordained
to the pastorate February 9, 1859. He remained
six years.

To him succeeded, after six months interval.
Rev. German N. Seaman, who labored with suc-
cess until his sudden death January 15, 1868. In
May, 1868, Rev. William H. Parsons was engaged
as stated supply, remaining five months. The fol-
lowing April Rev. P. C. Bentley, of Madison Uni-
versity, labored here during his six weeks' vaca-



548



HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY.



tion, and was succeeded in November, 1869, by
Rev. Charles F. Hall, Of New York city, who was
ordained on the ninth of the following month. He
remained with the church two years and nine
months, and resigned the pastorate to enter upon
a course of theological studies. He was followed
by Rev. E. D. Noxon, 1875;* Rev. P. C. Bentley,
six months, 1876 ; Rev. Daniel T. Hill, 1877 ; and
Rev. Lewis Sellick, i878-'8i.

This church has licensed to preach the gospel,
G. N. Seaman and G. W. Holman, May 22, i860;
Theodore F. Woodin, Sept. 23, i860; Edward D.
Noxon, September 23, 1872.

The present membership of the church is seven-
ty-three.

At Sylvan Lake, in the west part of the town, is
a Roman Catholic church. The structure was
originally a select school house in Beekman, from
which place it was brought in sections and rebuilt
on the present site in about i860. To accommo-
date the increasing attendance, Father Sbeehan,
the first pastor, added a new portionin 1872. The
land on which the church stands was donated by
the late Daniel DeLong, who supplemented the
gift with about one and three-fourths of an acre of
land for a cemetery. Shortly before his death in
1875, Father Sheehan severed his connection with
the church of St. Denis, and the Rev. Father
Healey was appointed in his place, serving at the
same time the churches in Pawling and Dover
Plains. In the year 1877 another change occurred.
Father Healey going to Brewsters, Putnam county,
and Father McSwiggan, the present incumbent,
taking his place in St. Denis church. Since that
time the church edifice and grounds have under-
gone extensive repairs, and, to the great delight of
the people, nearly the entire debt of $3,000 has been
paid. Here, as in other parts of the County, the
number of Catholics is rapidly increasing, and in
this section does not fall far short of eight hundred
persons.

Beekman in the Rebellion.

During the war of the Rebellion, Beekman raised
and expended nearly $35,000 to volunteers and



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 110 of 125)