Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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Harder, west part, November 10, 1794; 182, Asa Phelps, October 2, 1787; 183, David
Allworth and Cornelius Van Aken, January 9, 1831 ; 184, Samuel Greenleaf, and
Abraham Bernett, May 23, 1803; 185, S Callender and B. Hall, February 11, 1795;
186, Adam Coons, Elisha Murdock and Thomas Brown, February 11, 1795; 187,
Adam Coons, July 15. 1788; 188, Philemon Lee, November 10, 1787; 189, Reuben
Bumpus, October 2, 1788; 190, Aaron Hunt, September 28, 1S03; 191, Henry Spann,
February 9, 1797; 191, Charles Mead and Wheeler Watson, December 26, 1795; 201,
George Rivenbergh and J. Hallenbeck, February 22, 1803; 202, Abel Ford, Septem-
ber 30, 1793; 203, Jacob Charlier, September 8, 1797; 204, Elias Ames and Gad Hall,
March 20, 1794; 205, John Owen and Philo Camp, August 18, 1788; 206, Thomas
Brown and Alanson Saxton, July 15, 1788; 207, Gamaliel Palmer and Henry Lewis,
October 10, 1800; 208, Joseph Woodford and William Hatch, January 28,
1795; 209, James White and Daniel Lindley, January 13, 1799; 210, David Bailey,
211, William Wightman and Thomas Lee, December 3, 1788; 212, Jonathan Fish,
March 5, 1801; 221, David Hess, June 28, 1806; Joseph Woodworth, January 30.
1806. and David Newcomb, September 16, 1796; 222, Ariel Murdock, Novem-
ber 15. 1787; 223, Amos Beecher, July 20, 1803; 224, Congregational church; 325,
east part, John Frisbie, July 22, 1801. and west part, Michael Brant, May 2. 1797;
226, Ashbel Culver, February 1 , 1798 ; 227, Samuel Fuller, Melatiah Hatch and Josiah
Watson, May 11, 1797; 228, Asa Woodford and Melatiah Hatch, March 4, 1795; 239,
Samuel Jenkins, William Kin^ and Wlu-Ller and Thomas Watson, February 20, 1799;
230, Elijah and Eber Sweet, June (i, Kss; -i;',!, Apollos Moore, January 1798; 241,
Enoch and Sylvanus Cooper, ^lay 0, 17!i4; 242, Samuel Nichols and John Owens,
February 7, 1798; 243, Christian Bc\ker, January 31, 1794; 244, Joseph Lincoln;
245, Daniel Conklin, jr., west half, March 39, 1812, Amaziah Palmer and Samuel
Nichols, March 4, 1796; 247, John Couse, February 23, 1797; 348, sold to Jonathan
Jenkins, west part, and to Charles Pierson east part, and others, pond, etc. ; 249,
Hans Winegar, April 35, 1788, and second lease March 12, 1803; 250, Henry and
Josiah Conkling, May 28, 1798; 351, Josiah Havermau, January 24. 1796; 261, Heze-
kiah Watson and Job Sisson, west part, January 15, 1800, east part, to Jabez Sisson
and Christopher Shreve, May 7, 1795; 262, Dating Day and William Borthwick,
December 22, 1806; 363, /amcs Borthwich, January 28, 1796; 264, Daniel Lamoree,
January 9. 1795; 265, Reuben King, May 19' 1795; 266, Nicholas Cornell, June 9,
1785; 367, Rufus Watson, August 38, 1822; 268, Jonathan Crocker, jr., March loj
1795; 269, Daniel Conkling, jr.. May 28, 1798; 370, Daniel Conkling, May 28, 1798;


281, George Bell and George Cogshall, January 22, 1800; 282, Isaac Cowles, May 9,
1788; 283, William and Charles West, March 22, 1792; 284, Benjamin Frisbie and
Elislia West, October 31, 1794; 2S5, Thomas and Benjamin Frisbie, jr., February 25,
1796; 286, Thomas Watson, February 22, 1792; 287. Joseph Sisson, February 13,
1795; 288, Salmon Sandford and Weston, April 25, 1795; 289. Asa and Barnabas
Rice, March 8, 1796; 290, Michael Boomhover and Valentine Gasman, December 23,
1799^ 301; Joseph Rollo. April 11, 1791; 302, John H. Bushnell, March 29, 1798; 303,
Daniel Sears. January 20, 1806; 304, John Sisson, June 6, 1796; 305, Alfred Hislop,
April 18, 1788; 306, John Raymond and George Sisson, December 14, 1796; 307,
Shubel Bouton and Shubel Bouton, jr., July 25, 1803; 308, Martin Campbell, June 6,
1788; 309, John Abel and Caleb Sanford, February 24, 1796; 310, Samuel Frink and
ane Solomon Sanford, December 4, 1804; 311, Steadman Fo.x, Februarys, 1810; 349,
Edmund Watkins and Solomon Seaman, May 29, 1793; 350, Peter Frisbie, November
11, 1824; 351, George Sanford, September 27, 1797; 352, Christopher Almy, January
30, 1809; 353, Joseph Hopkins, May 7. 1802; 354, Reuben Crosby, May 18, 1789; 355,
Salter Pullman, February 19, 1788; 356, Nathan and Seth Young, March 14, 1805;
357, Pardon Kelsey, June 4, 1790; 358, Elisha and Philander Goodrich and Caleb
Sanford, September 7, 1796; 3.59. Jonathan Crocker, January 14, 179G; 360, Ephraim
and Samuel Lir.dsley, February 25, 1795. in the northeast corner of the present limits
of the town.



The town of Coeymans is situated in the southeast corner of Albany
county, and includes within its boundaries Baeren (Barren) Island and
about one-half of Shad Island. It was erected from the mother town
of Watervliet March i8, 1791, and was the second town formed in the
county. When the town of Westerlo was erected in 1815, a small sec-
tion of Coeymans was set off to it. Coeymans has an area of 32,570
acre?, and received its name from Barent Pieterse Coeymans, the pat-
entee. The surface of the town consists of an upland rising 200 to 400
feet above the river, which is broken by hills and ridges rising 100 to
400 feet higher. The soil on the levels is alluvial in character, mi.xed
with sand and clay and very productive. In the western part of the
town its consists of gravel and clay. As a whole the town is well

1 This name is found spelled in various ways— Kcieymans, Koymans, Koevemans, and the cus-
tomary way, in Holland it was probably Kojiemans.


"adapted to the growing of tlie usual farm products and the common
fruits. Geologically there is little of importance in this town. A stra-
tum of marble or limestone extends across it from north to south three
to four miles from the river, and this has been quarried for building
purposes. Some blue stone is found and a quarry was formerly worked
at Mossy flill. The principal streams are Coeymans Creek, which en-
ters the town from Bethlehem in the eastern part and empties into the
Hudson at Coeymans Landing. The Hannakrois flows in from West-
erlo and crosses this town in a southeasterly direction, passing through
Indian Fields, Stephensville, and Coeymans Hollow, and supplying
excellent water power. It enters Greene county near Achquetuck ;
and then making a long bend again enters Coeymans near the south-
east corner of the town and empties into the Hudson a little below Coey-
mans Landing. These streams flow thraugh narrow valleys which are
bordered by steep hills through which they have cut gorges in some
places. These two streams have numerous small tributaries, and Coey-
mans Creek makes two falls at Coeymans village aggregating seventy-
five feet in height, which supply a water power that has been utilized
for years past. Some of the small streams in the northern part of the
town disappear into sink holes and again come to the surface after flow-
ing some distance through subterranean channels. Moulding sand has
been found in some parts of Coeymans and was formerly shipped in
large quantities.

The first permanent occupation of land in this town by white men
took place more than 125 years before its civil organization in 1791.
Among the Dutch immigrants who came over to secure the advantages
offered by the Patroon, was Barent Pieterse Coeymans, who arrived in
1636 and immediately entered the service of Mr Van Ren.sselaer at
a yearly salary of thirty guilders. Coeymans was accompanied by his
three brothers, David, Jacob, and A rent. Barent Coeymans worked in
the Patroon's grist mill until 1645. when he took charge of the saw mills
belonging to Mr. Van Rensselaer, which were in the northern part of
the present city on Patroon's Creek. In this work he was assisted by
Jan Gerritsen, and each received a yearly salary of 150 guilders and in
addition three stivers for every plank sawed by them. Coeymans re-
mained thus employed until 1647. Previous to 1650 Coeymans lived


south of Patroon's Creek, but in 1655 he took a ninteen year lease of a
farm of "maize land" at twenty four guilders a year. In 1657 he
secured a lease of the Patroon's mills for nineteen years, at the expira-
tion of which he leased the mills on the Norman's Kill for thirteen

With the expiration of this lease in 1673 Mr. Coeymans purchased
from the Indians a large tract of land, extending eight to ten miles on
the river and twelve miles back into the country. For this tract, which
embraced what became the town of Coeymans, he obtained a patent
from Governor Lovelace. It was a valuable purchase at that time,
especially as it carried with it excellent water power, and on the creek
north of Coeyman's Cryn Cornelissen and Hans Jansen had already, as
early as 165 1 built a saw mill. Of course this tract fell within the
boundaries of the Van Rensselaer Manor and the Patroon sought to
establish his title at law. After protracted litigation the matter was
finally arranged in 1706, by an agreement on the part of Coeymans to
receive title from the Patroon and pay a small annual quit rent. This
title was confirmed by patent from Queen Anne August 6, 17 14.

The following extracts from the Patent and from a conveyance of
one of the islands in the river, possess peculiar interest in this con-
nection, the cession of the patent being defined in part as follows :

From "a certain creek or kill lying and being on the west side of Hudson's river
to the north of a place of the Indians called Kax-hax-ki, stretching in length to the
highest place where Jacob Flodden did used to roll down timber, named by tlie na-
tives Scen-tha tin, to the island belonging to John Byers, and into the woods as far
as the Indian Sachem's right goes."

Yielding and paying therefor, yearly and every year, unto the same Kilian Van
Rensselaer, his heirs and assigns, the yearly rent or sum of nine shillings, current
money of New York, at upon the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, in lieu of all
other rents, dues, duties and services, for or in respect of all premises or any part
or parcel therefore, as by the said indenture relation to them being had more fully
and at large appear.

Following is the conveyance alluded to:

On the t6th of Apiil, l(i72, Volkert Janes conveys all his rights and ownership to
Barent Pieterse (Coeymans) in tlie island named Schutters. lying below Beeren
Island, and included in Coeymans' ])atent, dated August 14, 1071.

Barent Pieterse Coeymans married a daughter of Andries De Vos
and was the father of five children — Andries, Samuel, Peter, Arriantje


and Jannetje. The first named was born in Albany and married a
daughter of Dr. Samuel Staats, and later became a resident of New
Jersey, where descendants of the family are still found. Samuel, also
born in Albany, August 3, 1670, married Katrina Van Schaack, and
resided many years in the great Coeymans stone house which still
stands at the Landing; he had no children. Arriantje was born in
Albany October 19, 1672, and remained single until she was fifty-one
years old, living with her brother Samuel. She finally married David
Verplank, who was then only twenty-eight years old ; they had no
children, and the mother died April 4, 1743. Verplank inherited a
portion of her estate, and was twice married after her death and became
the father of David, Johannes, Arriantje, and Isaac D. Peter Coey-
mans was born in Albany and married Elizabeth Graveret (or Greve-
raad), by whom he had two children — Menjae, who became the wife of
Andreas Whitbeck, and Elizabeth, who married Jacobus Van Allen.
Peter's first wife died and he married, second, Charlotta Amelia Daw-
yer, who was mother of three children — Garritje (married John Bar-
clay) ; Ann Margaret (married Andries Ten Eyck), and Charlotte
Amelia (married John Jonas Bronk). Peter Coeymans resided in the
old stone house until his death on April 30, 1736, when he was buried
on Baereii Island. Many descendants of Peter through his five daugh-
ters, lived in this vicinity, but none of the name of Coeymans are left.
Barent, the patentee, is believed to have been buried on land now
owned by Peter Whitbeck, the belief being chiefly founded on the
fact that in a partition deed a part of this land is reserved for burial
purposes. The old Coeymans stone house is now owned by Dr.

The Coeymans Creek, before mentioned, is the same stream that
bears the Indian name, Onisquethau, described in the history of New
Scotland, both names attaching to it in these later years. The creek
has the two falls mentioned, before it empties into a small bay leading
to the Hudson At the bottom of the lower fall is an old mill, long
idle, and a building known as the old stone house, wliich is constructed
of field stones, with brick gables. Two other buildings similarly con-
structed still stand at the Landing, all three being probably more than
a hundred years old.


The level lands west of the village were in early years called
Achquetuck, and here the early settlers were Andreas and Lendert
Witbeck, whose families have been prominent in the town and county
for many years. Daniel Traver and Balthus Keefer settled to the north
of Indian Fields near what became known as Keefer's Corners, and
nearby A. Searls and John and T. Witbeck built homesteads at an
early date. The names of many other pioneers will appear as we pro-
ceed, and the list of prominent families and their biographies is greatly
extended in Part III of this volume. The town records go back only
to i8ii,which leaves the proceedings for twenty years unaccounted
for. John T. Van Dalston was the first supervisor of whom there is
record and Archibald Stevens the next, being chosen in 1818. His
successors to the present time have been as follows :

1819-21, John N. Huyck; 1822-25, Israel Shear; 1826-28, Abraham Verplanck;
1829-31, Andrew Witbeck; 1832-34, Henry Niles; 1835-37, Cornelius Vanderzee;
1838-40, Jonas Shear; 1841-43, Garret Whitbeck; 1844-45, John Mead; 1846-47.
Elwell Blodget; 1848-49, John Vanderzee; 1850-51, Nathaniel Niles; 1852-53, Willet
Serls; 1854-57, Garrit Whitbeck; 1858-59, John B. Shear; 1860-61, David A. Whit-
beck; 1862-63, Jonas Shear; 1864-65, Peter Keefer; 1866-71, John B. Shear; 1873-
73, Cornelius Vanderzee ; 1874-75, Nelson Schermerhorn ; 1876-77, John H. Powell;
1878-80, John A. Hunt; 1881-82, Estes H. Strevell; 1883, Lansing Shear; 1884,
Horace Blodgett; 188.5-86, Richard S. Blodgett; 1887-88, Alton ^'an Derzee; 1889-
90, Estes H. Strevell; 1891, Richard S. Blodgett; 1892-93, Alton Van Derzee; 1894-
95, Noble H. Bronk.

The first Coeymans dwelling, the so-called Castle, was torn down
about 1833. It stood on the corner of Westerlo and First streets, hav-
ing walls of great thickness which were pierced with loop holes. The
building faced the Hudson River and was erected very soon after Coej'-
mans made his purchase from the Indians. Down to the time of its
removal it contained many relics and keepsakes of the old family, among
them being an old picture of the property, made probably 150 years
ago or more. It shows the present stone house, a small mill back of
the site of the late grist mill, a plaster mill to the northward over an
artificial rock-cut which served as a water-way, another saw mill on the
crown of the rocks, and another grist mill on the opposite side of the
creek. The last named mill stood until 1830. The old stone house
and the other property passed to the Ten Eyck family through Peter


The history of this town is a simple record of gradual progress and
improvement in agriculture, the advancement of educational interests,
the promotion of religious institutions, and the establishment of such
mercantile stores as were needed for the community. In common with
all communities dwelling on or near a great river, the inhabitants were
intensely interested in the progress and final determination of the war
of 1812, but there is no record of how many of them fought in its bat-
tles. Many of the roads through this town were opened and consider-
ably improved previous to the beginning of the present century. As
population increased the number of road districts was augmented, turn-
pike companies were organized, and stage and post routes were estab-
lished. The Hudson River has, of course, always been a much-traveled
highway northward and southward, supplying an easy and economical
means of reaching the principal local market at Albany. It was about
1820 when the stage routes were established the stage companies having
contracts for carrying the mails. Previous to that time the mails had
been commonly carried by post riders. A turnpike company was early
incorporated in this town for the construction and maintenance of a
highway from Coeymans through Coeymans Hollow, Indian Fields, and
thence through Dormansville and Chesterville in the town of Westerlo,
and on to the old Delaware turnpike, a distance of about eighteen miles.
The first division, about eight miles, was incorporated in 1850 as the
Coeymans and Westerlo Plank Road Company, the charter extending
thirty years. In i860 the roadway of plank was taken up and broken
stone substituted, since which time the stone road bed has been farther
extended and it is now one of the best highways in the county. The
charter of the company was renewed in 1880 for thirty years.

The school districts of Coeymans at the present time are fourteen in
number with a school house in each, the whole together with Bethle-
hem and New Scotland constituting the first school commissioner's dis-
trict of Albany county. There is no graded school, high school or
academy in existence at the present time. The Coeymans Academy,
established in 1858 by Fletcher Blaisdell, Theophilus Civil and Peter
Seabridge, and having for its first teachers Misses C. B. and Emma
Brace, was not successful and like many other similar institutions was
abandoned with the great improvement of recent years in the district


scliools. Previous to 1880 Acton Civill made an effort to found an
academy at Coeymans village. In the western part of the place, on the
high ground he erected a massive brick and stone structure in ample
grounds, and in 1882 added a building which was to be used as a board-
inCT house. His own ill health and other causes led to the abandon-
ment of all his plans before a school was opened. The buildings are
still standing and un-jccupied.

In the war of the rebellion Coeymans furnished her various quotas
of volunteers for the armies of the Union, but the law providing for
the preservation of a complete list of those who went out from the
town has been unheeded.

The town of Coeymans was without a railroad until 1883, when the
New York, West Shore and Buffalo line was completed, and though
the mercantile interests of small villages and hamlets are generally
much affected by the building of railroads, and are frequently totally
or in part destroyed ; it cannot be said that those of this town have
suffered very much in this respect. The trade of Coeymans Landing is
retained partly on account of its water front and its connection with
Albany by the river, while at Ravena Junction, which is one mile from
the Landing, an enterprising village has sprung into existence almost
wholly on account of the railroad and furnishes an excellent point for
marketing the surplus products of the country. The necessity for a rail
connection with Albany by the West Shore road led to the building of
the line from this point, direct to the city, while the main line passes a
little to the northwest of the city through Bethlehem, New Scotland,
and Guilderland.

The Coeymans Mutual Insurance Company was incorporated August
16, 1859, and has done a large local business, to the great advantage of
its members and policy holders.

The Grove Cemetery Association at Coeymans was incorporated in
1848, through the efforts of Acton Civill.

The Indian Fields Cemetery was incorporated in January, 1872. The
following were the first officers: President, William S Cole; vice-presi-
dent, Andrew H. Witbeck; treasurer, Joslin Nodine ; secretary, John
N. Verplank ; Judson Lamoreaux, Abram Witbeck, William J. Lamo-
reaux, and George C. Lamoreaux. The cemetery contains about five


Among the physicians who have practiced in this town are Drs. Ely,
Smith, Spaulding, Hand, Van Alstyne, Van Allen, Herrick, Holmes,
Blodgett, and Clement ; Dr. Benjamin B. Fredenburg settled here in
1826 and passed a long and active life in the town ; Dr. Andrew Huyck,
settled at the Hollow in 1838 ; Wesley Blaisdell, and Andrew Van Ant-
werp also practiced medicine here; Dr. F. C. Mosher, located at the
Landing about 1848, and Dr. H. N. Johnson, settled at the same place
about 1881, practiced his profession and also conducted a drug busi-
ness ; Dr. C. C. Willis, is well known locally as a dentist ; Dr. G. E. El-
mendorf settled at Stephensville in 1876, while Dr. F. A. Rivets, located
at Indian Fields in 1880.

The village of Coeymans Landing (Coeymans post-office) retains
perhaps more of its ancient appearance and spirit than any other vil-
lage in Albany county. There is an air of antiquity and quaintness
about some of its streets and buildings that lends a charm to the place
and makes it a much sought resort. These are in strong contrast with
the modern business establishments of J. N. Briggs and other enter-
prising men. Many of the streets are crooked, and along and among
them are placed dwellings and shops with little regard to the order fol-
lowed in villages founded in recent years. The western part of the
place, situated upon the higher ground, is more modern in its charac-
teristics and here are many beautiful residences, surrounded by at-
tractive grounds. Among the first settlers at the Landing were Andreas
and Lendert Witbeck, and the Ten Eyck, Van Allen, Verplank, Bronk,
Barclay, Hotaling. and Van Daalston families. A little later came the
Waldron and the Huyck families; one McMichael, a very early mer-
chant; James Teft, who kept a public house; Oliver Lawton, John
Fanning, Palmer Utter, Joseph Hazelton, Levi Blaisdell, and others,
whose descendants have been foremost in promoting the best interests
of the village. Some of the early mills built at this point to utilize
the valuable water power have been mentioned. They have all passed
away and given place to other and later industries. What were known
as the Cedar Point Mills were built by Conrad Ten Eyck many years
ago, and connected with them was a plaster mill and carding factory
which long ago disappeared. A flouring mill owned or operated at
different periods by Isiael Lawton, Briggs & Colvin, A. Willis, is now


the property of Henry Johnson. It has been idle a number of years.
A large mill is operated at the present time by John N. Briggs, as part
of the large business interests controlled by him on the river. No man
has done more in recent years for the up building of this place than he.
He is a heavy dealer in coal and ice and is the lessee of Barren Island,
to which he has given the name Baerman Park. Here he has made an
ideal pleasure ground which is visited by hundreds of excursion parties
every season from Albany and elsewhere.

Among past and present business men of the village are William B.
Hull & Co., general merchants, a business now conducted by Andrew
Van Derzee & Son ; Baumes & Brother, former dealers in groceries,
crockery, etc.; W. W. Snyder, former boot and shoe dealer ; W. H.
Keller, former grocer; Powell & Johnson, present dealers in drugs and
medicines; Alfred A. Sherman, fancy goods and stationery; J. B.
Holmes, tin shop and hardware ; A. Vandyck, harnessmaker ; L. E.
Gould and Charles Zcigler, meat dealers; Henry Slingerland, forward-
ing and commission business; H. Long & Son, grocers; C. B. Clow,
furnishing goods. Among the attorneys who have practiced here in
the past were S. Springsted and J. M. Harris, and Charles Thompson.
C. M. Tompkins is in practice at the present time.

The Hotaling Hotel has long been owned and conducted by Richard
S. Hotaling The Gedney House, formerly the Union, has been kept
for many years by Samuel Gedney. The Tobiii House, formerly the
VVhitbeck House, kept by Verplank Whitbeck, is now run by George
Tobin. The American House is kept by Gilbert Cronk.

The first newspaper in Coeymans was established in 1863 by Gilbert
C. Vincent under the name of the Coeymans Gazette, who sold out in
the fall of 1864 to Willard Pond. It soon after passed into the hands
of Henry Bronk, and subsequently to McKee & Springsted. In De-
cember, 1869, Mr. Springsted sold his interest to his partner, Thomas
McKee, who continued the publication until 1871. In that year Mil-
ler & Sherman established the Coeymans Herald. Mr. Miller soon sold
his interest to his partner, who a little later sold out entirely to S. H.

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 48 of 138)