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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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 57 of 125)
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acres, the houses of William Bergh Kip, Levy

Leroy and Mrs. John Killmer, on Mill street, pay
rent to the church.

S(. Paul's of Wurtembergh. — March 20, 1759,
two farmers residing in the part of the precinct of
Rhinebeck then called " Whitaberger Land," ad-
dressed a letter to Henry Beekman, the proprietor
of the said land, to which they received this an-
swer : —

"New York, April 17, 1759.

"Messrs. Wager & Boltz: — Having received
your letter of the 20th ult., concerning leave
to build a church, etc., which reasonable re-
quest I willingly grant, and give you what further
assurance that shall be adjudged for such purpose
necessary. Wishing you good prosperity in the
meanwhile, am and remain

Your well-wishing friend,

Henry Beekman."

To conduct a church in those days required a
government license, and to receive and collect
subscriptions for the erection of a church edifice,
a special charter. That these were at once ob-
tained and the edifice erected is certain. And it is
equally certain that the edifice was erected and a
grave-yard opened on the premises of said Wager
and Boltz. Sept. 5, 1774, Henry Beekman con-
veyed to Johannes Markwat, Michael Pultz and
Adam Dipple, trustees for the time being of said
church, 19! acres of land for the use of "the Pro-
testant Church now erected in the southeast part of
Rhinebeck, commonly called ' Whitaberger Land.' "
June I, 1785, George and Sebastian Pultz, and
Paul and Sebastian Wager, also deeded to the
church two acres of land. In this conveyance the
church is designated as the " Wirtemburg church."
Neither of the deeds refer to the church as " St.
Pauls," or " Lutheran." It was certainly not
known by these names until some time after the

A new church building was erected in 1802, and
in 1807 the church sold the i9f acres obtained
from Henry Beekman, and devoted the proceeds
to the payment of a debt incurred in the erection
of the new edifice. The church edifice was thor-
oughly repaired in 1832, and in 1 861 it was en-
larged and remodeled into its present condition.
The first baptism was recorded October 22, 1760.
The first pastor named in the record was Rev. J.
F. Reis, who served the church from 1760 to 1785.
George Henrich Pfeiffer served as pastor from 1785
to 1794, and was succeeded for a brief period by
John Frederick Ernst.

Dr. Frederick H. Quitman came into the pas-
torate in 1798. From that date to 1815, he



preached not only here, but in the church at Rhine-
beck, at East Camp and Tarbush. February 4,
1815, Dr. Quitman agreed to preach in the Wur-
tembergh church " on every third Sunday during
the year — one Sunday excepted — namely, during
the winter season one sermon, and from May until
October, two sermons, one in the German and one
m the Enghsh language," upon condition that they
payhim "every year, in semi-annual payments, $200,
and between twenty-five and thirty cords of wood,"
the congregation in Rhinebeck to make up what
will pay for the remaining Sundays. They do this
at his request, that he may be " freed in his ad-
vancing years from the tedious task of continued
traveling." It would, therefore, appear that he
gave up the East Camp and Tarbush churches in
1815. He continued to serve the Rhinebeck and
Wurtembergh churches until 1825. Toward the
close of his ministry he had to be carried to the
pulpit, and retained his seat while preaching. He
died in the parsonage of the Rhinebeck church,
and was buried in the Rhinebeck graveyard. He
is well and reverentially remembered by all who
knew him. His successors in turn were William
J Eyer, 1825 to 1839, who, shortly after his settle-
ment, preached altogether in the English language,
and ministered exclusively to the Wurtembergh
church; A. T. Geissenhainer, 1838 to 1840; phas.
A. Smith next, to 1850; W. N. SchoU, to 1855;
George Neff, 1855 to 1876; and Rev. J. G. Grif-
fith, the present pastor, who came in September,

The Methodist Church came into Rhinebeck
with Rev. Freeborn Garrettson, about 1793. A
map of the town of Rhinebeck, made in 1797,
shows a Methodist Church on a hill facing the
road to Milan, a short distance beyond the house
recently erected by Edwin Knickerbacker. In
the immediate vicinity of this church was the
residence of the Garrettson's, a httle to the south-
east, in a stone house built in 1772 by Thomas
Conner, for a man by the name of Hagadorn. At
what date this church was built, and with what
funds, there lives no person, nor exists any docu-
ments to tell us. That it was there because the
Garrettsons were there, no one can doubt. The
first knowledge gleaned of the presence of the
Methodists in the viUage of Rhinebeck, is con-
tained, in a deed from Mrs. Janet Mont-
gomery to Rev. Freeborn Garrettson,' Robert
Sands, Simon Johnson Myers, Charles Doyle and
Daniel McCarty, trustees of the Methodist Epis-
copal Church at Rhinebeck Flatts, dated August

I, 1801, for one rood and six perches of land.
This lot is now owned and occupied by John E.
Traver, in Centre street. The lot on which the
present church edifice stands was also a gift from
Mrs. Janet Montgomery, in 1822. The corner-
stone of the building was laid by Rev. Freeborn
Garrettson, May i, 1822, and the edifice was com-
pleted October 6, following. The cost of the
building was $3,559.88. The subscriptions
amounted to $3,234.00, leaving the committee in
debt $325.88, which indebtedness was assumed,
and finally presented to the church, by Rev. Free-
born Garrettson.

Rev. Freeborn Garrettson entered the ministry
in 1775, and, we are informed, was appointed pre-
siding elder over the district extending from Long
Island to Lake Champlain in 1788. In 1827
while at the house of a friend in New York, he
was taken suddenly ill and soon died, in the 76th
year of his age, and the 52nd of his ministry. The
church was incorporated with Freeborn Garrett-
son, the nephew, William Cross, Nicholas Drury,
Jeffery H. ChampHn and William Mink as trus-
tees, June 2, 1829, and the certificate thereof re-
corded on the eleventh of the same month, in Liber
No. I of Records of Church Incorporations, pages
97-98, in the Clerk's Office, of Duchess County.
A deed for one rood and thirteen perches of land
for a parsonage lot, in the rear of the church lot,
was presented to the Church by Hon. Edward
Livingston, November 12, 1829.

On this lot in the same year a new parsonage
was built, at a cost of $1,305.79. June 30, 1832,
Mrs. Catharine Garrettson presented the church
with half an acre of ground south of the village, for •
burial purposes, on condition that the church
should enclose it with a suitable fence and permit
no more burials in the ground attached to the
church. The deed for this ground bears date
March 27, 1835. A deed for half an acre of land
adjoining the parsonage lot was presented to the
church by Mrs.Louisa Livingston, widow of the Hon.
Edward Livingston, Nov. 7, 1838. In 1834 the
church found itself in debt in the sum of $954.00,
and appealed to the court for leave to sell the old
parsonage and lot, the proceeds to be applied in
payment of the debt. An order permitting the sale
was obtained by John Armstrong, Esq., October
I, 1834, a strip on the north of the lot, 32 feet
front and rear, on which there was a " new school
house," to be reserved. The sale was not im-
mediately effected, and the premises continued in
the possession of Harvey Seymour as tenant.



November 12, 1838, it was resolved to sell the
premises, with the reservation on the north, to
Robert T. Seymour, for $600. Failing in this, it
was rented to Mr. Seymour for another year at $50,
and in 1839 was sold to Rev. Benjamin Griffin,
presiding elder of the Methodist church, at the time
for the Rhinebeck district, for $500, he to pay the
expense of a second application to the court, and
fence the lot reserved for the school house. In
this house a classical school was taught by Rev.
Samuel Bell, a Methodist minister from the east.
That was the beginning of the Rhinebeck Academy.
The credit for building up the Academy is due to
the Methodists, and very largely to Rev. Mr. Grif-
fin. Bell, Marcy, Park, Comfort, Powers, Stock-
ing and Schuyler, were all Methodists.

The school house on the old church lot was the
property of Miss Mary Garrettson, probably be-
cause it had been built with her money. Super-
seded by the Academy, in the building of which
she had taken an active interest, she offered it to
the Methodist church, with a lot fifteen feet wide
on the west of the Methodist church lot, in 1842,
to be fitted up exclusively for religious meetings
and purposes. The removal was eflfected, and the
old lot sold to Rev. Benjamin Griffin, for five dol-
lars per foot, in 1843. March 12, 1848, Miss
Mary Garrettson transferred her trust of the church
lot to the trustees of the church, having held it as
sole trustee for twenty-six years. June 14, 1849,
Mrs. Catharine Garrettson, widow of Freeborn
Garrettson, died suddenly at Montgomery Place,
the residence of her sister-in-law, Louisa, widow of
Hon. Edward Livingston. Born July 13, 1752,
she was in the 97th year of her age when she died.

In 185 1 the portico and steeple were added to
the church edifice, at an expense of $1,100. In
1853 the church received a donation of five acres
of land in the Buco Bush * from Miss Margaret B.
Livingston, which was sold for $70 per acre, and the
proceeds appHed to the payment of Church debts.

In 1854 the church obtained an order from the
court to sell the lot purchased from Gilbert Akerly
May I, 1845, the proceeds to be appUed to the
payment of other indebtedness. On the 19th of
February, 1856, Miss Mary Garrettson f made a
gift to the church of five acres of land for an addi-
tion to the cemetery, and the cemetery thus en-
larged was called the " Rhinebeck cemetery of the
Methodist Episcopal Church."

* Beech-Woods.

t Miss Mary R. Garrettson, only chUd of Rev. Freeborn Garrettson
and his wife Catharine Livingston, died March 6, 1879. She was bom
September 8, 1794.

In 1863 the church edifice was greatly enlarged,
internally reconstructed, and grealtly improved, at
an expense of six or seven thousand dollars. In
1868 the church received a gift from Miss Mary
Garrettson of the Akerly lot, upon which was built
the present commodious Sunday School and lec-
ture room. In 1 87 1 the parsonage was recon-
structed and enlarged, and is now, with its fine
situation, a very desirable residence.* With its
enlarged premises and improved buildings the
Methodist church property is now one of the most
attractive features in the village.

The Baptist Church was brought into Rhine-
beck by Robert Scott, an Englishman. His fami-
ly, it is said, were Episcopalians, and he was
brought up in the faith of the EngUsh Church.
He received a classical education, but learned the
trade of a cabinet maker in his native country.
At an early age he became a Wesleyan, and trav-
eled about in his own country preaching as a min-
ister of that denomination. In the progress of
his ministrations he became a Baptist, joined the
Baptist Communion, and settled down to his trade.
He came to America with his family, in company
with the Vassars and Slatens, arriving in New
York October 6, 1794, where he went to work for
Gen. Morgan Lewis, in Leonard street, as a car-
penter. On the persuasion of Margaret Beekman
Livingston, he moved to Rhinebeck with his fami-
ly, and opened a school in 1796. He shortly after
became a merchant, in which business he remained
four years, when he gave up that business and
opened a boarding school, and for the balance of
his Ufe followed the occupation of teacher and

His ministerial life, it is said, never ceased from
eighteen years of age. The first beginning of
church organization was June 2, 1821, when Elder
Freeman Hopkins preached at Rhinebeck Flatts,
and baptized the following persons : John Reed,
William Styles, Calvin O'Hara, Wadsworth Brooks,
Jacob Dedrick, Elizabeth Thompson, Ann Logan,
Catharine Thompson, EUzabeth Ann Thompson
and Caty Myers. These, with Robert Scott,
James Canfield, Ann Cook, Elizabeth Scott, Mary
Scott, Jane Scott, James Styles, Jr., and Sarah
Styles, agreed to walk together in church fellow-
ship, and were formally recognized as a church of
the Baptist denomination in Rhinebeck on the 4th
of July, 1821. Robert Scott, then at the age of
60, became their first pastor. There was then no

• In the fall of 1876, the organ was put into the gallery, at an expense
of (2, 500, and was a memorial gift from Thomas Suckley,for his brother,
Rutsen, who died the previous year.



house of worship for the Baptists, and their early
meetings were held in various places. June 30,1825,
James Canfield was chosen as the first deacon. In
1823, Janet Montgomery gave to them a lot of
land on which to erect a church, which was begun
in 1824, completed in 1825, and the first service
held therein on the third of July of that year. The
building was 30 by 34 feet, 18 foot posts. During
the following winter, the house being devoid of
stoves, meetings were held in the school house.

Rev. Robert Scott died September 24, 1834, in
the 74th year of his age. His successor as a settled
pastor was Rev. Isaac Bevan. He came in 1842
and continued his pastorate to January, 1848. His
successor was Terry Bradley, from Wilmington,
Del. He lost his health, and resigned his call
April 7, 1850.

Dr. James Lillie, having become a Baptist, and
entering the service of the American Bible Union
as a translator, took up his residence in Rhine-
beck. He and his wife joined the church here
June 19, 1852, and he for a short time supplied the
pulpit. Rev. Samuel W. Culver came as Dr.
Lillie's successor in 1854, and remained until Jan-
uary, 1857. Rev. M. R. Fory preached several
months during the year 1858. William I. Gill
came to Rhinebeck from the University at Roch-
ester, and was ordained here September 2, 1858.
He remained until October 15, 1859. Thereafter
for several years the records are meagre. It is
recollected, however, that during this period the
desk was supplied at different times by Rev. J. N.
Smith, a missionary of the Hudson River Central
Association, and Messrs. Harriman and Coit, from
the Rochester University. In 1867, the baptistry
and dressing rooms were built under the direction
and at the expense of Hon. William Kelly. Rev.
A. M. Prentice, a student in the Seminary at
Hamilton, was called to the pastorate and ordained
September 9, 1869. He served the church until
January, 1874. Benjamin Franklin Leipsner was
his successor. He preached his first sermon July
26, 1874, and his last June 13, 1875. Rev.
George W. Barnes succeeded Mr. Leipsner, begin-
ning his pastorate October 11, 1875, and ending it
May I, 1880.

The original church lot was 5 1 feet wide and
180 feet deep, a gift, as before said, of Mrs. Janet
Montgomery in 1823. The deed for it was given
after her death by Edward Livingston, her brother
and heir, July 25, 1829, in fulfillment of her inten-
tions.'' It was given to Scott, Reed and Canfield,
and their successors in office, as trustees, forever.

In 1869, at the widening of Livingston street,
WiUiam Kelly purchased what remained of the
corner lots, and added the purchase, as a gift, to
the church lot, which was thereby increased to 89
feet front and made a corner lot. It is located on
the corner of Montgomery and Livingston streets,
and is the most eligibly situated church lot in the

The Village Lutheran Church has a recent ori-
gin. It was founded by Rev. Charles A. Smith,
who came into Rhinebeck the successor of Rev.
Augustus T. Geissenhainer in the pastorate of the
Wurtembergh Lutheran Church.

The church edifice was built in the summer of
1842. The lot on which it stands was the gift of
John T. Schryver. The house was built at a cost
of $5,500, and when completed was, by common
consent, the handsomest church edifice, in its in-
terior finish and steeple, in the town.

Rev. Charles A. Smith continued to minister to
both the Wurtembergh and the Village church until
1849, when he took charge exclusively of the lat-
ter church, and continued his services until 1851.
His successor here was Rev. John McKron, of
Maryland, for two or three years. Those who
came after were Revs. J. W. Hasler, Jacob Heck,
Ernest Lubekert, William H. Lukenbach, Reuben
Hill, Henry L. Zeigenfuss, who afterward became
an Episcopalian, and Rev. William D. Strobel,
who came into the pastorate in 1873, and is the
present incumbent, and a man of much power and
influence. In the summer of 1876, under his di-
rections, important alterations and repairs were
made in the interior of the church building.

The Rhinebeck Episcopal Church was organ-
ized in 1852. For many years prior to this
Episcopal services were held at intervals in differ-
ent places. The first service was held'by the Rev.
Mr. Johnson, of Kingston, who, by courtesy of the
Metho(Jist Society, held service in their church
once a month. Subsequently, services were held
in the " Baker Building " by Rev. Sheldon Davis,
Rev. Mr. Wyatt, Rev. Dr. Sherwood, Rev. Dr.
Montgomery and Rev. J. C. Talbot, the present
Bishop of Indiana. In the year 1852, Rev. Rich-
ard S. Adams became a resident in Rhinebeck,
and under his endeavors the church was formed.
Among the constituent members who, on the nth
of August 1852, attached themselves to the Protes-
tant Episcopal Church, under the pastoral care- of
Rev. Richard S. Adams, were James M. Pendleton,
A. Wager, Gouvernuer Tillotson, E. Piatt, Theoph-
I ilus Gillender, Julius Bellard, G. W. Clarke, M. E.



A. Geer, Isaac F. Van Vliet, R. S. Adams, Wil-
liam Betterton. The church was incorporated
August 1 8, 1852.

The first officers were also chosen at that date
as follows : Eliphalet Piatt and Isaac F. Van Vliet,
church wardens. James M. Pendleton, Gouverneur
Tillotson, George W. Clark, Ambrose Wager,
Julius Bellard, Isaac F. Russell, George Lorillord
and Marshall E. A. Geer, vestrymen.

The corner stone of the church was laid Sept.
16, 1852, by Rev. Reuben Sherwood, D. D., rector
of St. James' Church, Hyde Park. The lot on
which the church stands was given by Rutsen
Suckley. The church was consecrated October
6, 1855, by the Rt. Rev. Horatio Potter, D. D.,
provisional bishop of the diocese. Rev. Richard
Adams was the first pastor, elected December 18,
1852, and resigning December 24, 1853. He was
succeeded by Rev. George Herbert Walsh, who
was elected June i, 1854. and who resigned June
18, 1866. During his pastorate the lecture room
and the chapel at Rhinecliff were built, and the
rectory purchased. The Rev. A. F. Olmsted suc-
ceeded Mr. Walsh. He was elected rector Sep-
tember 29, 1866, and entered upon his duties on
the first of November of that year, and is the
present incumbent. During the past year the
church has been thoroughly repaired and painted,
the interior decorated, and has received as agiftfroni
Mrs. Francis H. Delano, four costly oil paintings,
by celebrated artists of Rome.

The Rhinebeck Catholic Church was founded
by the Rev. Michael Scully, in 1862, who, in
that year, held services in the hall of the Starr
Institute. A lot was purchased, and steps were
taken to build a church in this village, on the
northwest corner of Livingston and Mulberry
streets. This lot was sold, and finally became the
property of Henry Latson, the present owner and
occupant. In 1863, George Rogers, of Tivoh,
bought of Charles H. Russell six acres of land
at Rhinecliff, for $4,000, and deeded them to
Rev. Michael Scully, the parish priest, for a
church lot and cemetery. St. Joseph's Church,
at Rhinecliff, was erected on this lot, under
the direction of Father Scully, in 1S64, with
George Veitch, as architect, and John Bird, as
master mason.

Rhinebeck in the Rebellion.

In the Civil War which broke out between the
Free and Slave States, on the election of Abraham

Lincoln to the presidency of the United States in
i860, Rhinebedc contributed the following soldiers
to the Union Army : —

\2%th Regiment, Co. C. — Francis S. Keese,
Captain ; Howard H. Morse, First Lieut. ; Charles
W. McKown, Orderly Sergeant; J. Howard Asher,
Second Sergeant (wounded); John W. Keese,
Fourth Sergeant; George Tremper, Second Cor-
poral; Frank W. Rickert, Third Corporal (was in
Saulsbury prison) ; Derrick Brown, Fifth Corporal;
Clement R. Dean, Sixth Corporal; David H.
Hannaburgh, Eighth Corporal (was in Saulsbury
prison); James M. Braley, Color Sergeant, (was
wounded). Privates : John W. Kip (died in hos-
pital); Lemuel Marquart, George W. Hamilton
(wounded); John H. VanEtte; Charles Rynders ;
Martin V. B. Hawkins; William H. Hawkins;
James A. Fraleigh (wounded); John W. Myers
(wounded) ; William A. Noxon (died in hospital);
Calvin Rikert, John Gay, Edward F. Tater, Evert
Traver, Charles W. Marquet, (wounded); Albert
Ostrom, Robert P. Churchill (killed in battle); Jas-
per De Wint (died in hospital); Charles Wooden
(wounded); Patrick Lyden, Robert H. Hayner
(died in hospital) ; Benjamin H. Brown, Peter
Scally; John E. Cole; Nathan Day; Robert Ris-
ely ; James L. H. Holdridge ; James K. Brown,
WiUiam B. Brown (was in Saulsbury prison); Jo-
seph Brown (killed in battle).

150M Regiment, Co. D. — James W. Baxter,
Stephen S. Tater.

Co. F. — John L. Green, Captain; Isaac F.
Smith, Corporal (killed in battle) ; Elias A. Briggs,
Corporal ; James M. Sheak, Corporal ; William T.
Francisco, Wagoner. Privates : Philip Bowman,
Jefferson Champlin, William B. Doyle, Thomas M.
Fraleigh, Joseph LaBonta, John E. Odell, Stephen
H. Rynders, Samuel K. Rupely, John McKinny.

Co. G. — Rensselaer Worden, Alexander Wor-
den (died in hospital). Philander Worden (died in
hospital), Walter R. Bush.

Co. X.— Wade H. Van Steenburgh, First
Lieut.; Landon Ostrom, First Sergeant; Enos B.
Sylands, Third Sergeant; Henry Lamp, Fourth
Sergeant ; Jacob Heeb, Fifth Sergeant ; Benjamin
J. Hevenor, Corporal. Privates : Charles M.
Buckland, Leopold Oswold, George A. Clark, Wil-
liam H. Dederick, John Griner, Amos T. Lillie,
Jacob Miller, DeWitt Shaffer, Charles Winans,
Lawrence O'Brien, Frederic W. Pottenburgh, Ste-
phen R. Tater, Harvey M. Traver, George A.
Wager (died in hospital), Alfred Wooden, George
W. Buckmaster.



Co. ^.— William Holdridge, Edward Tater,
Elisha Holdridge, Adam Weishauph.

44^/5 Jiegiment.— ]a.co\) Z. Hegeraan, Charles
Luff (killed in battle), Edward Luff, Peter Norris,
Samuel Risely, John Raymond, Philip Sylands,
Stephen Hamilton.

20th Regiment, N. Y. S. Militia.— ]z.coh Teal,
(wounded,) Andrew J. Kip, George Mann, Charles
Asher, William Norris, William Rikert, George
Traver, Douglass Marquardt, Thomas Price,
(killed in battle.)

Unknown Hegiments. — KVoexi Prosins,
(wounded,) Thomas O'Brian, Alfred Lewis,
(died in hospital,) Avnor Proper, James W
Lewis, (died in hospital,) Samuel DeWint,
(died in hospital,) Ambrose Ostrom, John
DeWint, (died in hospital,) Richard Sylands,
Andrew Fraleigh, (died in hospital,) David
Wager, George Gay, Jacob Handschule,
David McCarty.

Poughkeepsie and assumed charge of the " Pough-
keepsie American," a weekly paper. In 1848 he
removed, with his family, to New York in order to
take a position in the Custom House under the
administration of Taylor, and under the collector-
ship of the late Hugh Maxwell. In 1852 he re-
moved with his family to Rhinebeck, where he has
since resided. He was postmaster of Rhinebeck
four years under the administration of James

In 1862 he obtained a charter from the Legisla-



Theophilus Gillender, to whose enterpi I'^i.
the public are indebted for numerous bent
ficial projects, was born in New York July
31,1814. His father, Capt. James Gillender,
was a resident for seventy years of New
York, a large ship-owner, and a successful
navigator. At the age of twelve years
Theophilus went to England, and for
two years attended school at Prior's
celebrated school in Liverpool, and on
his return to this country was placed in
the Moravian School at Nazareth, Penn.,
where he remained four years. In 1832,
his father having purchased the Slate
Dock and Slate Quarries in Rhinebeck, Theophilus
came to Rhinebeck and engaged in the business of
freighting, under the firm name of Dunning, Gillen-

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 57 of 125)