James H. (James Hadden) Smith.

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

. (page 104 of 125)
Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 104 of 125)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

and was the captain of the first company of militia
in Rombout Precinct in 1776.

The first settlers in Fishkill village^ says Mr.
Bailey, were Henry Terboss and Henry Rose-
krame, but the name of neither appears in the hst
of the inhabitants in Duchess County, in 17 14,
though both appear in the list of freeholders in
1740- Terboss, he says, was an eccentric man,
and since he locates him where he else where locates
Johannes Terboss, (Terbush,) we are inclined to
think he has confounded the two names. The
name of Johannes Terboss appears in the list of
1714. It is one of varied orthography, and has,
says Mr. Brinckerhoflf, who pronounces him one of
the first representative men in this part of the

* The history of this church is given in connection with the Catholic
church in Matteawan.



County, either been changed from its original or
otherwise has now become extinct among us. He
was an" early Justice of the Peace and is spoken of
in old manuscripts as being a Judge. He was
admitted as a Representative in the Colonial
Assembly, May 4, 17 17, on the death of Baltus
VanKleeck, and was succeeded at his death by
Henry Beekman, August 31, 1725. He owned
lands about Fishkill village, including the site of
the Dutch Church, which was purchased of him.

The Wm. Van Wyck place in the west part of the
village, came into the possession of AUard Anthony
soon after the Revolution, and is now occupied by
the widow of Watson W. Andrews.

East of the old Union Hotel, on the north side
of the street, there was only one small house before
reaching the Dutch church. It was occupied by
Abram Smith, and was recently taken down. East
of the church there was but one house on that side
of the street till the residence of Mrs. John Van
Wyck is reached. The old Van Wyck house, now
owned by Sidney E. Van Wyck, was erected in
1737 by Cornelius Van Wyck and has been re-
ferred to as the headquarters of the officers of that
part of the American army stationed here during
the Revolution.

The first settler west of the village was Cornelius
Hageman, whose farm of one himdred and thirty
acres was purchased April 10, 1739, by John Bailey,
(great-grandfather of Henry D. B. Bailey, the
historian,) who was born in Westchester county
about 1704. Mr, Bailey enlarged the farm by subse-
quent purchases to one hundred and ninety-seven
acres, and in 17 84 it was sold to Robert Brett, Mr.
Bailey having removed to Poughkeepsie in 1778.
It now comprises two farms, which are owned by
Charles C. Rogers and William M. Baxter. Mr.
Bailey was a builder in early life, and took con-
tracts for building mills in New Jersey. He came
to Fishkill about 1730 or '31. The next settler
west was James Husey, whose name appears in
the list of 17 14. He died prior to 1739, and the
farm, it is supposed, was purchased from his heirs
by Hendrick Kip, who was a freeholder in 1740,
and built the house still standing, in the front wall
of .which is a stone bearing the initials, " H. K."
and the date "1753." The house is now owned
by the heirs of John Scofield.

Merchants. — The first merchant of whom we
have information was John (Johannes) Swart, who,
with his son, was doing business prior to and dur-
ing the Revolution, in the building which was after-
wards many years the residence of Judge Joseph I.

Jackson, in the northwest part of the village, which
was known for many years as Swart's Corners. He
discontinued mercantile business soon after the
close of the Revolution.

Early in the century Cornelius Van Wyck built
a store on the vacant site next west of Wakeman's
drug store. It was a two story building and was
for a long time the largest store in the village. It
was afterwards torn down and a fine hall with stores
below, erected on its site by James E. Van Steen-
bergh. That building was destroyed by the fire of
1873, and was not rebuilt. In May, 1827, Henry
D. and Samuel A. Hayt, brothers, and natives of
Patterson, Putnam county, engaged in business,
under the name of H. D. & S. A. Hayt. In 1867,
Samuel, who had succeeded to the business, sold
out to his son Wm. B. Hayt and F. R. Benjamin,
continuing his residence in the village to the pres-
ent time. Messrs. Hayt & Benjamin, the former
of whom is a native of Fishkill, and the latter of
Beekman, dissolved and divided stock in 187 1,
both continuing business, Hayt, till the spring of
1880, and Benjamin, to the present time, dealing
in dry goods, groceries and crockery.

The present merchants, besides Mr. Benjamin,
are : H. F. Walcott, hardware dealer, who is a
native of Rhode Island, came herefrom New York
City and established himself in the clothing busi-
ness in 1845. In 1867, after having kept the
Union Hotel for some years, he established his
present business. Augustus Hughson, dealer in
stoves and tinware, who has done business here
since 1846 ; H. B. Rosa, furniture dealer and un-
dertaker, who commenced business in i860, suc-
ceeding his father, John H. Rosa, who carried on
the business from 1827, till his death Sept. 11,
i860 ; DeWitt C. Smith, druggist, a native of Fish-
kill, who commenced the hardware business in Jan.
1864. In the spring of 1866, Mr. Smith purchas-
ed of Wm. Pelham the building which occupied
the site of the present location, and started the
grocery business in company with Mortimer
Cooper, whose interest he purchased after about
seven months. In 1875, Mr. Smith added drugs
to his stock ; Geo. E. Everett, grocer, a native of
Wappinger, who commenced business in October,
1879 ; Jarvis Washington Cary, grocer, who com-
menced inthewinterof i88o-'8i ; and Wm. F. Wake-
man, druggist, a native of Poughkeepsie, whence he
came to Fishkill in the spring of 1881.

Physicians.— The earliest physicians in Fishkill,
it is believed, were the Osborns, James, Peter and
Thomas, three bachelor brothers, anisons of Cor-



nelius Osborn, an Englishman, and likewise a phy-
sician. ' Cornelius was born July 13, 1723, and
was a surgeon during the Revolution. He died
just after peace was assured, Aug. 23, 1782. The
Osborn residence was a half mile north of Fishkill
village, on what is still known as Osborn Hill.
The house was the residence of the late Wm. An-
thony. Cornelius Osborn had eight children, five
of whom were girls. The three boys were James,
born Aug. 13, 1748, Peter, born March 4, 1759,
and Thomas, born July 27, 1764. All three were
born in this county and practiced medicine in
this vicinity. Dr. Hunting was in practice here at
the beginning of the century and resided here till
his death in advanced years, having retired from
practice some time previous. He Uved where
Edmund Luyster now resides. John Pinckney was
a contemporary practitioner at Low Point.

Dr. Bartow White, one of the most distinguished
physicians in the County, was born in Yorktown,
Westchester county, Nov. 7, 1776, and came to
Fishkill in 1799. This was his first field of prac-
tice, which continued until an attack of epilepsy
disqualified him some fifteen years before his death
which occurred Dec. 12, 1862. He represented
this County in Congress in 1825-7, and was a Pres-
idential Elector in 1840.

Dr. Lewis H. White, a native of Somers, West-
chester county, and son of Dr. Ebenezer White,
stiidied medicine with his father and his brother,
Dr. Bartow F. White. He attended lectures at
Yale in 1826-7, and was licensed by the Medical
Society of Westchester county, afterwards receiv-
ing the degree of M. D. from the University of
New York He commenced practice in Johns-
ville, in East Fishkill, Nov. 17, 1828, continuing
•there nine years, when he removed to and has
since practiced in this village. His son, Dr.
Howell White, who was bom in this "village
in 1856, and studied medicine with his uncle
Dr. OHver White, of New York, graduated at
Bellevue Hospital, February 27, 1879. In Octo-
ber, 1879, he established himself in practice in
this village.

Mr. J. Conklin, who was born in Cornwall, N.
Y, in January, 1846, studied medicine with' his
father, Dr. Peter E. Conklin, of Cornwall, and after
his death with Thomas Heaton, of that place. He
graduated at the Medical Department of the Uni-
versity of New York in 1870, and established him-
self m practice that year in this village.

Many others have practiced here a few months
or years.

Lawyers. — Joseph I. Jackson was the first law-
year in Fishkill village. He was born near New
Hackensack, October 24, 1783, and admitted to
the bar about 1 805, but did not continue long in
the active duties of his profession. Though nomin-
ally a farmer, he was always an active public man.
He was Master in Chancery ; a Member of As-
sembly from this County in i82o-'2i ; and for six-
teen years an able Judge of the County Court,
first as associate, and afterwards as presiding judge,
having been appointed to the latter office in 1840.
He died at his residence in this village of heart
disease, August 2, 1863. His son, of the same
name, was a lawyer in Poughkeepsie. James W.
Oppie, from Peekskill, opened an office in Fishkill
soon after 1827, and was for many years the only
lawyer in the village. He stood high in his pro-
fession, and had an extensive practice in this and
Putnam counties, continuing till his death, about
1862. A man named Waldo practiced here a short
time, till his death. John K. Liston practiced
several years, and died here about 1853 or '4.
Milton A. Fowler, from Claverack, came here im-
mediately after the death of Oppie and practiced
till 1868, when, having been elected Surrogate in
1867, he removed to Poughkeepsie, where he is
now a prominent practitioner. Ward Emigh, a
native of Union Vale, was in practice from about
1858, till his death, Feb. 16, 1869. Wm. R.
Thompson, from Newburgh, practiced a few years
and went to Poughkeepsie. Gideon Hill, from
EUenville, came here first as principal of the Union
School in 1867. He opened a law office about
1870 and practiced some four or five years. He
is now practicing in Newburgh. The present at-
torneys are, Wm. E. Dean and Wm. H. Wood.
Mr. Dean is a native of Fishkill, and son of James
E. Dean, also a native of Fishkill. He was admit-
ted at Albany in May, 1880, having graduated the
previous day from the Albany Law School. Mr.
Wood is a native of Stanford in this County. He
was admitted Dec. 12, 1879, and opened an office
m Fishkill, forming a law partnership with Frank
G. Rikert, of Matteawan, in January, 1880.

The Fishkill Manufacturing Co., was incorpo-
rated May 17, i88i, with a capital of $is,ooo,.for
the purpose of making paper bags. The first trus-
tees and officers were: James E. Dean, President;
James P. Foster, Treasurer; Sidney J. Everett,
Secretary. There has been no change. The
buildings were erected in April, 1874, by Avery &
West, the latter of whom invented the machine
with which the bags are made, but died before



the works were got in operation. Chas. E. Rog-
ers afterwards acquired an interest with Mr. Avery,
and the business was conducted under the name of
T. N. Avery & Co., for a year or two, when it was
sold to Chas. Fitts, who soon after sold to N. E.
Clark, his bookkeeper and superintendent, who
continued it till the spring of 1881, when he sold
to the present company, who employ about fifteen
persons, two-thirds of whom are females, and make
daily about 200,000 bags, mostly manilla, for groc-
ers and millers use.

The Fishkill Savings Institute was incorporated
Feb. 25, 1857, with a board of twenty-seven direc-
tors, of whom only one — Adolphus Van De water —
is now a member. The first ofllicers were : Alex.
Hasbrouck, President; James E. VanSteenbergh,
Treasurer; Samuel H. Mead, Secretary. Mr.
Hasbrouck was President until his removal to
Poughkeepsie, about 1 86 1 . He was succeeded by
T. V. W. Brinckerhoff, and the latter Jan. 16,
1869, by Richard Henry Brinckerhoff, who filled
the position till his death, June 12, 1869. Oct.
23, 1869, James E. Dean was elected to that office
and has since held it. VanSteenbergh was Treas-
urer till his death, Dec. 4, 1868. Alex. Bartow
was elected to that office Jan. 16, 1869, and held
it till January, 1877, when James Dearing, the pres-
ent incumbent, was elected. Edward H. Bedford
was elected Secretary March 13, 1858, and held
the office till his death, Jan. 21, 1872, when Chas.
E. Bartow, the present incumbent, was elected.

The Bank of Fishkill was incorporated June i,
1850, with a capital of $120,000; and was con-
verted to a national bank April i, 1865, under the
name of the National Bank of Fishkill, with a
capital of $200,000. Samuel A. Hayt was the
first President. He was succeeded by Joseph I.
Jackson, whom he succeeded at the expiration of
a year. Dr. Lewis H. White succeeded to the
office a few years before the suspension in 1877 —
at which time Alex. Bartow was the Cashier. He
succeeded James E. VanSteenbergh, the first
Cashier, at his death in 1868. The failure in-
volved the loss of the capital, $200,000, and an
additional seventy per cent, of that sum assessed
on the stockholders.

The Press. — The first paper in the town — the
first also in the County^ — was The New York
Packet, the first number of which was issued in
Fishkill, Oct. i, 1776, by Samuel Loudon, a Whig
printer, who fied with his press and material from
New York when that city came into the possession
of the British, and returned there after the close of

the war. Loudon was State printer until he
found a rival in John Holt, (who also fled with
his press from New York, first to Kingston and
then to Poughkeepsie,) and while here printed the
journals of the Legislature, "at a time when no
other printer in the State would do them," he says
in a petition for the State printing, presented in
1784, three days before Holt's death. He also
printed the orders for the army while it lay at
Newburgh ; and, says Hon. Gulian C. Verplanck,
the Constitution of the State of New York, "the
first as well as the most important book ever
printed in the State," was printed here by him in
1777.* Loudon occupied at one time, with his
press, the present residence of Mrs. John C. Van-
Wyck, and at another, the building now occupied
as a grocery by Jarvis W. Cary, which has since
been altered and modernized. An " extra " copy
of this paper, dated Oct. 21, 1777, announcing
the surrender of Burgoyne, is preserved at Wash-
ington's Headquarters, in Newburgh ; also a copy
dated Thursday Feb. i, 1781, No 200, containing
an anecdote of Lieut. Oliver Lawrence.

The Free Press was started at Fishkill in 1841,
by Fred W. Ritter. In 1842 it was removed to
Poughkeepsie, where it was changed to The
Duchess Free Press and continued until 1844.
The Fishkill Journal was started in 1853, by H.
A. Guild, and discontinued in 1855. The Ameri-
can Banner was started at Poughkeepsie in 1856,
by Chas. J. Ackert. In 1857 it was removed to
Fishkill and published as The Duchess County
Times, by J. Carpenter Mills. Alfred W. Lomas
succeeded Mr. Mills and changed the name to
The Fishkill Journal. In i860 it passed into the
hands of Caleb M. Hotaling ; and in 1862, into
those of Chas. S. Wilber, who sold it that year to
James E. Dean and Milton A. Fowler, and went
to the war. In August, 1865, Messrs. Dean &
Fowler were succeeded in its management by
Geo. W. Owen, the present publisher, who
enlarged it after about a year from a six to a seven
column paper, and about a year later to its present
size — eight columns, twenty-eight by forty-two
inches. In 1865 it was neutral in politics. After
pubhshing it about a year Mr. Owen changed it
to a Republican paper and has since continued it
as such. It is published every Thursday, simul-
taneously at Fishkill and Matteawan, and has a
circulation of 1,000 copies. It is, with the excep-
tion of the Poughkeepsie Eagle, the only Republi-
can paper in the County.

* Lossing's Pictorial Field Book of the Revoluiitm /., 693.



Hotels. — The old time hotel in Fishkill was
the Union Hotel, which was kept for many years
by Joseph Bogardus, who died Feb. 3, 1859, aged
74. It was burned Dec. i, 1873, at which time it
was kept by Wm. Jackson, and the site is now
vacant. The Mansion House now kept by I. J.
Kern, was built in 1825. The Kniffen House
was built in 1873-74, by John L. Kniffen, the
present proprietor, who had previously kept a
saloon on its site, which was burned in 1873.

Schools. — The first school house was built prior
to the Revolution, and stood on the south side of
Main street, near the blacksmith shop formerly kept
by John Beecher. The well known Van Steenbergh,
a celebrated teacher, who fled from New York dur-
ing the stormy times of the Revolution, taught the
youth of Fishkill during that period. An academy,
the first in the County, was in existence nearly
midway between Fishkill and Brinckerhoffville, some
years prior to the Revolution, and was removed to
Poughkeepsie after the close of the war. It was
for a time under the supervision of Rev. Chauncey
Graham; and previous to and during the Revolu-
tion, the Rev. Dr. Isaac Rysdyck taught a classical
school in Fishkill, as appears from advertisements
published in the paper of that time, and the min-
utes of the General Synod of the Dutch church in

Union Free School No. 6.— Feb. 28, 1866, it was
decided by a vote of ninety-seven to eighteen to
establish a union free school in district No. 6. In
December, 1869, about three acres of land was
purchased as a site for a school house, and Decem-
ber 7, 1869, it was resolved to levy $8,000 for build-
ing a nt^N^ school house, and to apply the proceeds
arising from the sale of the old school house and site
to furnishing the new building, and the balance, if
any, to the building itself. Oct. 11, 1870, an ad-
ditional $z,ooo was levied for building a school
house, which was begun in 1871 and finished in
1872. It is built of brick and is a credit to the
village. The number of children of school age
residing in the district September 30, 1881, was
231; the number who attended district school
some portion of the year was 152; the average
daily attendance was tl\\\. The number of vol-
umes in the district library was 300, valued at $50.
The amount expended for school purposes during
the year ending Sept. 30, 1881, was $2,063.51, of
which $1,439 was paid for teachers' wages.

Churches._7%^ First Reformed Dutch Church
of Fishkill wa.s orgamztd in conjunction with the
church at Poughkeepsie in 1716 by Rev. Petrus

Vas, the fifth pastor of the church of Kingston. The
two churches formed a collegiate charge, held
property in common, and were served by one pastor
until 1772. The consistory of this church as regis-
tered April 17, 1730, were: Abraham Brinckerhoff
and Hendrick Phillips, deacons, and Peter Duboys
and Abraham Buys, elders. The first name of a
church member appears under date of Sept. 30,
1727; the first marriage recorded, Oct. 7, 1831 ;
and the first recorded baptism, Oct. 10, 1731.

"Although," says Rev. Mr. Kip,* "religious
services were without doubt observed as oppor-
tunities offered," it was not until 1 73 1 that their
first house of worship was erected, as appears from
a petition made to Governor John Montgomery,
June 28, 1 73 1, by " Piter Du Bois," in " behalf of
the elders and deacons and other members of said
congregation," for permission to receive gifts from
the inhabitants of the Province in aid of its con-
struction, and from a bond executed the same
year, wherein it is clearly stated, that they had
agreed and built a church.

This church was built of stone, and its walls
were pierced in the upper story with port-holes, as
a means of defense against Indians. It was
quadrangular in shape, (though we have been told
that it was octagonal,) and faced the street. It
was inclosed with a hip-roof, from the apex of
which rose a small cupola, in which the bell was
suspended. The window sash were made of metal
and the pains of glass were very small. The church
was enlarged and rebuilt in its present form in
1786, and as much of the old walls as could be
were retained. It was not entirely completed,
however, until 1795, owing to the poverty of the
congregation. Subsequently an additional entrance
was made making one on each side of the tower,
and this we believe is the only external change
which has been made. Various alterations have
been, made in the interior of the church at differ-
ent times. The church was used as a prison dur-
ing the Revolution^ and in it was confined Enoch
Crosby, the supposed original of Harvey Birch,
the hero of Cooper's Spy.

About 1763 began to be manifested the ill effects
of the unhappy strife between the Coetus and
Conferentie parties, to which we alluded in con-
nection with the church at Poughkeepsie, and
which was not terminated until June 16, 1772,
when a plan of union between the two parties was
adopted. But not until May 12, r778, did the

* This sketch is mainly prepared from a dhcmm delivered Sept. 14,
1866, at the celebration of the. church's 150th anniversary, by Rev.
Francis M. Kip, D. D., who was then the pastor.



agencies at work succeed in harmonizing the con-
flicting interests which arose from the division in this
congregation by Rev. Solomon FroeUgh, a young
man, who came to Fishkill about the commence-
ment of the Revolutionary war, gathered around him
the members of the old Coetus party, estabUshed
separate service, and organized a consistory.

In 1772, the services, which had hitherto been
conducted in the Dutch language, were com-
menced to be held alternately in the Dutch and
English languages. Some years later, during the
pastorate of Rev. Nicholas VanVranken, preach-
ing in the Dutch language was wholly relinquished,
not only in this church, but also in the churches
of New Hackensack and Hopewell, which were,
at intervals, for many years, associated with this
under one pastorate. This connection was dis-
solved by Classis in October, 1805.

The church at Hopewell was formed from this
in 1757; that at Fishkill Landing, in 1822; and
that at Glenham, iii 1837. The silver tankard
used by the church in celebrating the Lord's Sup-
per was presented to it by Samuel Verplanck in
January, i8zo, to commemorate Englebert Huff,
a Norwegian, who was attached to the Life Guards
of the Prince of Orange, afterwards William III.
of England, was a member of this church, and
died at Hopewell, March 21, 1765, at the age of
one hundred and twenty-eight years. It is related
of him that at the age of one hundred and twenty-
one years he and a young man of twenty-one years
were simultaneously paying their addresses to the
same young lady. Two massive silver plates used
in the same service were presented to the church
in 1836, by three ladies, in memory of their sister.
Miss Letitia VanWyck, then recently deceased.
In Washington's Headquarters at Newburgh are a
mahogany oval-leaf table and three chairs, which
were brought from Holland by the Verplanck
family in 1682, and were formerly the altar furni-
ture of this church.

The present membership of the church is 182 ;
the attendance at Sabbath school, of which E. B.
DuMond is superintendent, about seventy-six.

The following is the succession of pastors : —

Rev. Cornelius VanSchie, Oct. 4, 1731, till 1738.

Rev. Benjaffiin Meynema, from 1745 till 1755.

Rev. Jacob' Vantaist; 1758, till 1761.

Rev. HenricUs Schoonmaker,* Dec. 11, 1763,
till 1772.

Rev. Isaac Rysdyck,t Sept. 1765, till 1789.

•Called by Coetus -party. ■ ■

t Called by the Conferentie party,- and served till within a short period
of his death, which occurred at New Hackensack, Nov. 20, 1790.

Rev. Isaac Blauvelt, Oct. 26, 1783, till 1790.

Rev. Nicholas Van -Vranken, Nov. 23, 1791,
till 1804.

Rev. Cornelius D. Westbrook, May 9, 1806, till

Rev. George H. Fisher, Oct. 1830, till 1835.

Rev. Francis M. Kip, D. D., July 25, 1836, till

Rev. Peter E. Kip, Aug. 2, 1870, till 1874.

Rev. Asher Anderson, Aug. 35, 1875, till 1880.

Rev. M. Bross Thomas, May, 1881. The pres-
ent pastor.

Trinity Church, (Episcopal,) Fishkill. The in-
completeness of the early records of this church
makes it impossible to determine with absolute cer-
tainty when it was organized, or the church edifice
built. Mr. Brinckerhoff assigns to the former
event the year 1765, and to the latter the year 1760,
which, he says, conforms to the opinion of the

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 104 of 125)