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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Sherman lives, and Garrett built the HiUiard house,
a stone building where Shadrac Sherman's house
now stands.

The old houses built by these early settlers, of
which there were as many as seven or eight near
Amenia Union at the beginning of the present
century, were objects of especial interest.

A pen and ink map * of the Nine Partners, ex-
ecuted previous to- 1 73 1, shows the dwellings in
Amenia at that time. The dwelling of Mr.
Sackett is shown, and Henry Nase's four near
Amenia Union confirm the supposition that Mr.
Row was here previpus to 1731, and the location
of one of the houses agrees with that of Mr.
Row.

In 1725, Henry Nase settled in the south part of
the town. His memorial stone, in the cemetery at
Dover, says : " Henry Nase, born in High Ger-
many, died Dec. 14, 1759, about 64 years old."
His residence was near where his grandson, Cor-
nelius, lived, but on the opposite or east side of
the river. Here also his son, Philip, Sr., resided,
who was the father of Henry, John, Philip, Cor-
nelius and William. Henry, the oldest of these,
being a Tory, emigrated to Nova Scotia after the

In the possession of Mrs. Caroline Germond, a descendant of Henry
Filkin, one of the Nine Partners.



Revolutionary war. The others occupied four
contiguous farms in that beautiful agricultural
district.

The families of Knickerbocker and Van Deusen
were in the south part of the town at an early
period. There is a deed, written in the Dutch or
Holland language, bearing date 1711, from Herman
Knickerbocker to Cornelius Knickerbocker. It
appears to be of land occupied by Van Deusen,
whose house was a short distance east of George
T. Belding's.

Capt. Isaac Delamater came here previous to
1740, from Kingston, Ulster County, where the
family had lived several generations. His father
was Jacob, and his grandfather, Claude, who
came to America after 1645 and before 1650.
They were Huguenots, driven from France by the
revocation of the edict of Nantes. They fled first
to Holland and from thence came to America.

Capt. Delamater was a man of prominence in
the town. He was famous as an eccentric magis-
trate. Many quaint things were said and done by
him, but his integrity and good sense were never
questioned. It is an accredited tradition that in
judicial cases of importance he consulted his wife,
who sometimes sat by his side in court. He was
an extensive land owner. Martin remained at the
homestead ; Benjamin built a stone house north of
Horace Reed's ; John (Honnes), built at LeedsviUe
the first mill erected in the town, and in 1761 he
built the brick house now the property of Myron
B. Benton. On the wall of this antique building
are still to be seen the initials " J. M. D." — John
and Mary Delamater. Isaac, Jr., lived on the farm
now owned by Newton Reed, where he built a
house, a portion of which is the residence of the
present owner, and is now the oldest building in
the town of Amenia.

The farm of Edward E. Cline also belonged to
Capt. Delamater. Some quite celebrated men
have descended from this family. A grandson of
John Delamater of LeedsviUe, John Delamater,
M. D., LL. D., was a distinguished physician and
surgeon, and a professor in the medical institutions
of Pittsfield, Mass., Fairfield, N. Y., and Cleveland,
Ohio, in which latter place he died in 1867. Ex-
Governor Todd, of Ohio, Ex- Vice President Col-
fax and WilUam M. Evarts, are also members of
this family. Capt. Isaac Delamater died April 20,
1775, the day after the battle of Lexington, and
was buried in his own field.

Besides the settlers whose names have been
given there was one named Baltus Lot, who lived



338



HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY.



awhile in the northern part of Amenia, and on the
public lands in the town of Sharon. Adam Show-
erman is also mentioned as being, at about the
same time, a resident in the northern part of the
town. These then constituted the pioneers of the
town of Amenia.

The first important immigration to these new
lands from other parts of New York and from New
England was not until about 1740. The land of
the Nine Partners had for some time been in mar-
ket and was sold at first in rather large tracts. The
Oblong lots brought into market in 1731, had at-
tracted many immigrants from the adjoining State
of Connecticut, and . from Massachusetts. From
1740 to 1750, the immigration was evidently large,
from the significant fact that about 1750 the pop-
ulation was sufficiently numerous to encourage the
people to institute pubHc worship in three different
places.

Abraham Reinke, one of the Moravian Mission-
aries who in 1753 preached at Nine Partners and
Oblong, says in his journal : " The people came
here five years ago in expectation of bettering
their fortunes by the purchase of cheap farms, and
for the enjoyment of religious liberty." This, from
his estimate shows that a considerable portion of
the people came here about 1748.

Hezekiah King and Abraham Paine were among
the eariiest settlers from New England. They came
previous to 1740, as Mr. King died in that year,
and he had built a house a short distance west of
Amenia Union, which was afterward known as
the "Karner House." This house was built after
the style prevaiUng then in Connecticut, high in
front and very low in the rear. It was built of
white wood, from which timber all the early houses
were constructed. But few log-houses were built.
Abraham Paine, of Canterbury, settled in the
northern part of the town, and also Joshua Paine,
Jehoshaphat Holmes and Elisha Cleaveland.
Nathan Mead came frpm Horse Neck, or Green-
wich, about 1740, and purchased the land now in
the possession of the family.

Stephen Kinny, from New Preston, settled in
1740, near what was known as the "Separate,"
where his family is still represented. Elisha
Adams was the first resident in that part of the
town called Adam's Mills, and the first in the west
part of Lot 32 of the Nine Partners.

In 1741, Benjamin HoUister, from Sharon, set-
tled near Leedsville, where six generations of the
family Ijjave lived. Joel Gillett settled on the
Delavergne farm in 1742. Gardner Gillett lived



north of the present residence of Hiram Cooper,
and on a road now discontinued. Abner Gillett
was here previous to 1748, probably as early as
1742. He owned the farm of George D. James.

Capt. Stephen Hopkins, a grandson of Edward
Hopkins, one of the first settlers of Hartford,
Conn., and second governor of the Colony under
the charter, was born in Hartford in 1707, and
came from Harwintown to Amenia about 1742.
He purchased a tract of land about a mile north
of Amenia village, and including the land on
which the Old Red Meeting House stood. He
was the first Supervisor of' the town in 1762, and
held that office in i764-'5-'6. He died in 1766.
Michael Hopkins, of this family, was the first Town
Clerk, and served in that office until 1773. Then
Roswell Hopkins was elected and he filled the of-
fice until 1783. He was Supervisor in 1777 and
1778, and for more than thirty years was a Magis-
trate of the town.

The Hopkins family played a distinguished part
in the Revolutionary war as officers and soldiers in
the Continental army. Col. Michael Hopkins died
in 1773, aged thirty-nine. His wife died in 1771.
Roswell Hopkins died in Verm ont in 1 8 1 7 . The only
descendant of this family now living in Amenia is
Mrs. Peter B. Powers, daughter to J. Milton
Wheeler, whose mother was a daughter of Roswell
Hopkins.

Captain Thomas Wheeler came from Woodbury,
Conn., in 1749, and settled in the place now
owned by his great-grandson, Erastus Wheeler.
Captain Noah Wheeler, son to Thomas, was a
patriot, and distinguished himself in battle at Fort
Independence. Captain Thomas Wheeler was en-
gaged in the French war, and while serving on the
northern frontier was taken sick, and on his way
home died at Fite Miller's tavern, in Columbia
County, September i, 1757, aged forty-four years.
Col. Anthony Wheeler was a prominent man in polit-
ical affairs during the war of 1 8 1 2. Elijah Wheeler,
the father of William and Cyrus Wheeler, was from
New Marlborough, Mass. He died in 1774,
aged forty-one.

Soon after 1750, Abraham Bock^e came from
New York, where he had been a merchant, to Nine
Partners, and located on land which had been pur-
chased by his grandfather in 1699, and which has
been in the possession of the family to the present
time. He was one of the Colonial Justices, ap-
pointed by the Crown, as early as 1 761, at which
time he is mentioned as " a Mr. Bokay,* a Justice

• Doc. Hist. Ill, 985. ~~ ~"



TOWN OF AMENIA.



339



of the Peace at Nine Partners, near a place called
the City." The ancestor of Abraham Bock^e was
Johannes Bockde, who came to this country in
1685, and who was of that "noble Huguenot stock
that has contributed so many families of worth and
distinction.'' Abraham Bockde was the father of
Jacob Bockde, and grandfather to the late Judge
Abraham Bockee. Jacob Bockde, a graduate of
King's College, N. Y., was Captain in the Revolu-
tionary war of a company in Col. Marinus Willet's
regiment. He was a Member of the Assembly
from 1795 to 1797, where he introduced a bill for
the abolition of slavery in this State. His wife was
sister to the late Judge Isaac Smith. Phoenix
Bockde, a brother to Abraham, was Lieutenant in
the war of 18-12. He died in Poughkeepsie in
1814.

CorneUus Atherton, a son of James Atherton,
who came here from Canterbury, Conn., was an
iron manufacturer, and had a contract with the
government during the Revolutionary war to make
fire-arms for the soldiers. During the early part of
the war he removed to Wyoming, and with his
family barely escaped death at the time of the
massacre.

Col. William Barker was the father of the late
John Barker, and lived on the same farm. He
held several civil offices ; was active in the military
during the Revolution, and was a Member of the
Legislature in 1 798-1800. He married Chloe,
daughter of John Bronson, in 1763.

Deacon Moses Barlow and his brother, Nathan,
came from Sandwich, or Cape Cod, in 1756,
and purchased of Meltiah Lothrop the farm after-
wards the home of the Swifts, and which they
exchanged for the- one where Moses Barlow
settled, a portion of which is still held by his
grandson, Franklin Barlow. Their father, Peleg
Barlow, came with them at the age of sixty-seven,
and died in 1759. Moses Barlow was the father of
Elisha and Thomas and several daughters.

Elisha Barlow was a Member of the Legislature
in 1800-02; a Member of the New York Senate
from 1807 to 1 8 10, and in 1808, was one of the
Judges of the County Court.

Daniel C. Bartlett, from Redding, Conn., bought
of Joel Gillett, in 1803, the farm now owned by
his grandson, W. S. Bartlett. He was the father
of William and Collins Bartlett, and Mrs. John
Barker, Mrs. Thomas Paine, and Mrs. William
Paine.

Zera Beach resided a few years near South
Amenia, where be was engaged in trade about



1790. He was one of the leaders at Wyoming
who signed the Articles of Capitulation. One
of his daughters was the wife of James Warren.

Caleb Benton, of Guilford, Conn., purchased of
Capt. Lasell, in 1794, the place now owned by his
grandson, Myron B. Benton. He was the father
of Joel and William. The emigrant ancestor of
Mr. Benton was Edward Benton, one of the first
settlers of Guilford, the most of whom were from
Kent, England. Joel Benton, Esq., was quite
prominent in public affairs, and was four times
elected to the Legislature.

Silas Belden, from Wethersfield, Conn., settled
about 1743, near the foot of Plymouth Hill, on a
tract of land which his father purchased in New
York, and which was afterwards described as situ-
ated in Charlotte and Amenia Precincts. His
sons were Silas, Jr., and Lawrence. Joseph Bel-
den was the son of Silas, Jr., and the father of Taber
Belden, whose home in the south part of the town
is now occupied by his son. Taber Belden was
twice a Member of the Legislature, and often
served the public as a wise counsellor.

Captain John Boyd came here from Orange
County previous to 1769. He married the daugh-
ter of Conrad Winegar, and lived a little south of
Amenia Union in a house which he built, now
standing, and in which he died in 1817. He was
the father of Samuel, Gilbert, David, and others.

Lemuel and William Brush, sons of Reuben
Brush, from Long Island, lived in the west part of
the town, not far from the City. Lemuel married
Mary Perlee, and his sons were Perlee, Jesse, Piatt,
John and Henry.

Judah Burton came from Horse Neck, now
Stamford, Conn., previous to 1762. The house
which he built is the brick house now the residence
of Edmund P. Carpenter. He was an officer in
the war of the Revolution, in the Commissary De-
partment, and is spoken of as "Commissary-
General."

Ezra Bryan, one of the true Whigs of the Revo-
lution, and father of the late Amos Bryan, lived in
the north part of the town, where the family have
since resided. Ezra Bryan, David, and others, are
of that family. Amos Bryan was Member of
Assembly in 1840.

The ancestors of the Carpenter family of this
town and vicinity came from England to Massa-
chusetts in 1638, and from there to Long Island
in i686. In 1752, Daniel Carpenter purchased
land in Crom Elbow Precinct, near Salt Point,
where he died in 1777. His 5on, Benjamin, being



34°



HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY.



excessively persecuted by the Tories, sold his land
there, and purchased the lands which, with subse-
quent additions, made in part the farm of his son,
Hon. Morgan Carpenter, now of Isaac S. Carpen-
ter. Benjamin Carpenter also purchased for his
sons, S. Pugsley and Daniel, the Evartson farm in
Amenia, south of the City, where Daniel remained
until his death. Daniel married Zaydee Perlee.
Morgan married Maria, a daughter of Jacob
Bockde.

Joseph Chamberlain came from Tolland, Conn.,
in I7SS, ^iid settled on the farm afterwards owned
by the Nye family, where he is supposed to have
built the house, now on the place. He was buried
near the Steel Works, in 1765. His sons were
Colbe, James, John and William. Col. Colbe was
the father of Joseph, Conrad and Henry. John
was a physician of skill and prominence. Capt.
William Chamberlain, the father of Oliver and
James, lived on the farm now owned by J. H.
Cline, and kept a tavern there, which was much
frequented in the time of the Revolution. He
was in the battles of Bennington, Saratoga, and
others, and both he and his brothers were zealous
patriots.

Peter CUne,* a native of Germany, came here
from Rhinebeck in 1760. He came from Ger-
many to this country about 1752 or '53. He was
one of the " Redemptioners," who paid for their
passage to America by their service here after-
wards, tp which they were bound by the captain
who brought them over. Mr. Cline purchased of
Capt. Isaac Delamater, where his great-grandson,
Edward E. CHne, now lives, one-half of Oblong
Lot No. 49, for $10.50 per acre. He left one son,
John Cline, who died in 1845, aged eighty-nine, and
one daughter, the wife of Allen Hurd. The sons of
John Cline were Peter, Allen, Philo and Ebenezer.
One of his daughters was the wife of Asa Hurd,
and another was the wife of Thomas Swift.

Major Nathan Conklin came from East Hamp-
ton, L. I., in 1781, and settled in the northern part
of the town. He was an intelligent and public
spirited man, and was frequently Moderator of
town meetings. In those days to be Moderator of
town meetings was considered a high honor.
Capt. Benjamin Conklin, the father of Dr. Ebene-
zer Conklin, of Amenia Union, was from Nor-
walk. Conn. He lived in Sharon many years, and
in the later years of his life near Amenia Union.

Captain David Collin, father of the late Capt.
James Collin and others, was born in Milford,

•This name was originally Klein.



Conn., in. 1734, and came to Amenia previous to
1764. He was the son of John CoUin, who was
born in France in 1706, and who came to America
on account of religious persecutions and settled
in Milford.

Rev. John Cornwall, father of Eden B. Corn-
wall, and grandfather of Hon. W. I. Cornwall, was
from Cornwall, Conn. He Uved at the "Separate"
and ministered there, and at the City, and occasion-
ally at the Red Meeting House.

Jacob Evartson, a native of New Jersey, came
to Amenia in 1762, and purchased the south half
of Lot No. S3, of the Nine Partners, about 1,700
acres. In 1763 he built the large brick house,
afterwards the residence of Daniel Carpenter,
about a mile south of the City pbstoffice. He
owned a' large number of slaves. He was for
some years a merchant in the City. His ancestors
were from Amsterdam, in Holland, ,where for
three generations they had held the position of
Admiral in the Dutch Navy.

In 1776, Jacob Evartson was one of the Depu-
ties from Duchess to the First Provincial Congress
of New York. He died in 1807, in Pleasant Val-
ley, to which town he had removed about 1795.

John Garnsey, father to Deacon John Garnsey,
Dr. Ezekiel Garnsey, and others, came from New
Haven county. Conn., and settled where the fam-
ily still remain. He was a courageous and con-
scientious patriot.

Roger Gale lived in the western part of the town
as early as 1776. One of his descendants went
from Amenia and founded the town of Galesburgh,
Illinois.

Deacon Asa HoUister a native of Glastonbury,
Conn., came here about 1780, and settled on the
hill west of Noah Wheeler's place. He was a dis-
tinguished Christian of Puritan stamp. His father
and a brother were killed at the massacre of
Wyoming, and other members of the family es-
caped. He was father to the Rev. Allen HoUis-
ter, Asa, Jr., and Timothy.

The family of Ingraham came from Bristol,
Rhode Island. Jeremiah Ingraham, the father of
George and Thomas, purchased lands of William
Davies in 1 789. George purchased land of Davies
in 1794, and Thomas purchased of Evartson about
1772- There were many descendants of this fam-
ily who ranked prominent as exemplary citizens.

In the latter part of the century Sanmel Jarvis,
of Redding, Conn., came to Amenia and located
on the farm where Hiram Cooper lives. He lived
in the old house near Mr. Cooper's. He was of ^



TOWN OF AMENIA.



341



an English family of good standing, many of whom
adhered to the Crown during the Revolution.

Justus Powers, a native of Naumburg, Ger-
many, born in 1731, emigrated to America in 1752,
and settled first in Rhinebeck, where he married
Ehzabeth Moule. He came to Amenia about
1758, and purchased lands at different times, some
of which are still occupied by the family. His sons
were John, Jacob, Frederic, David and Peter. His
daughter, Christine, was the wife of Jonathan
Pennoyer. His daughter Catherine married David
Rundall. Jacob Powers was a soldier in the Rev-
olution. David removed to Saratoga County ;
the other sons and the two daughters died in
Amenia. Peter Powers, son of Justus, was born
in Amenia in 1776. He was one of the pioneers
of Methodism in this town. He died in 1848,
leaving several daughters and one son, Charles W.
Powers who was born in 1797, was married to Jane
A. Benjamin in 1819, and died in 1866. Peter B.
Powers, now living here, is his son.

Elijah Park, who was of EngKsh ancestry, came
to Amenia from Rhode Island in 1768. At the
close of the Revolutionary war he purchased a
tract of land which had been confiscated to the
government, near what is now Sharon Station
where he built a commodious house which is yet
standing. He was a man of great stability of
character, and a public spirited and influential citi-
zen. He died in 1795. His children were Thom-
as, Daniel, Rufus, Elijah B., James, John, George,
Louisa and Olive. Elijah B., died in Amenia; the
other sons removed to Broome county. Louisa
Park, who was the wife of BelaE. Benjamin, died in
Amenia, in 1863, aged eighty-eight years. Her
grandson Peter B. Powers, is the only representa-
tive of the Park family now living in this town.

John Balis was one of three brothers who came
over from England at an early day. He settled in
Amenia, and was the father of several sons, one of
whom, William Balis, was born May 18, 1781,
and who married Polly Culver, also a native of this
town. William Balis held various offices of public
trust. He was quite extensively known as a man-
ufacturer of grain-cradles. The house in which he
lived stood in the rear of what is now the Baptist
parsonage. He was the father of a large family of
girls and one son, Abiah P. Balis, who was born
January 10, 1805. Abiah P. Balis followed for
many years the business of his father. He was
also a farmer, and owned the farm just south of
the Amenia ore-bed, which he sold to N. Gridley
in 1854, and afterward moved to a farm two miles



east of Amenia village, where he lived the remainder
of his life. He was married twice ; first to Jane Case,
of Amenia, and next to Mary J. Gregory, of Sand
Lake, Rensselaer County. He had a large family
of children, six of whom are still living. He died
March 20, 1873, leaving a daughter and son by the
first wife, and two sons and two daughters by the
second wife. The second son, Franklin Balis, was
born September 14, 1846, married Hattie A. Cline,
of Amenia, in May, 1878, and lives on the old
homestead farm. He has two sons, making the
fifth generation born in this town. The third son,
William Balis, was born March 12, 1857.

Thomas Mygatt, the father of Preston and
Thomas, came from New Fairfield in 1772, and
purchased the lands where he resided, and which
are still in the possession of the family. He was a
descendant in the sixth generation of Deacon Jo-
seph Mygatt, one of that company of Puritans who
emigrated to this country in 1633, and who came
with Rev. Mr. Hooker and his company in 1636,
and began the settlement of Hartford.

The Paine family of this town are descendants
of EUsha and Joshua Paine. Abraham Paine, son
of Elisha Paine, of Canterbury, Conn., came to
Amenia in 1841 or '42. Joshua Paine, nephew to
Elisha, and father of Judge Paine and Barnabas,
Sr., settled here in 1849, in the eastern part of
the town, on lot 59 of the Oblong. Ichabod Paine
was the son of Rev. Solomon Paine, of Canterbury,
and grandson to Elisha. These were all descend-
ants of Thomas Paine, who came to Plymouth
from England, in 1621.

The Reeds of Amenia were from Norwalk. In
1759, James Reed was one of a company of Con-
necticut troops who passed through this town on
their way to Canada to the aid of General Wolfe
in the conquest of Quebec. While on the way the
company received news of the capture of Quebec,
and were ordered to return. Mr. Reed was so
pleased with the Oblong Valley, through which he
leisurely returned, that he induced his father, Dan-
iel Reed, to purchase for him some land here,
which he did, where the late Philo Reed, son of
James, resided until his death. The brothers of
James Reed, who came here a few years later,
were Ezra, who lived where Huldah Bump did and
who with his family went afterwards to Hudson and
Coxsackie; Elijah, who owned the farm which he
left to his son, Elijah, Jr., and EUakim, who set-
tled where his grandson, Newton Reed,* now re-
sides. Mrs. Stephen Warren, was a sister of these.

* Author of History of Amenia.



342



HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY.



The emigrant ancestor of this family was John
Reed, who came from England in 1660. He had
been an officer in the army of the Commonwealth,
and came away at the Restoration. HediedatNor-
walk in 1 730, aged ninety-seven. James Ree4 mar-
ried the daughter of Daniel Castle in 1759, and built
his house on the present site of James H. Swift's
residence. This house was removed many years
ago, and is now a tenant-house belonging to Mr.
M. F. Winchester.

Eliakim Reed's sons were EUakim, Jr., who
went to Greene County ; Simeon, who settled in
Vermont; Silas and Samuel, who settled in
Ontario County; Phineas, who lived in Hills-
dale, and Ezra, who remained on the homestead.
Eliakim Reed came to Amenia in 1773.

Capt. Reed was a man of great sagacity and
enterprise, and was widely known for his honora-
ble dealing. He enlarged his estate, conducted a
store, a mill, and a manufactory of iron, and, dur-
ing the war, of steel. He was also one of the
first in sustaining a .religious society. His sons
were Daniel, Reuben, Stephen, Elijah, Amos, Gil-
bert, Jesse, Jacob, James and Philo. Only Reu-
ben, Stephen and Philo died in Amenia. The
others removed to the western part of the State.
The daughters were Mrs. Northrop and Mrs.
Rose. They all left families except Philo.



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 68 of 125)