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 105 of 125)
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venerable Rev. Dr. Brown, of Newburgh, and to
that of the late Gulian C. Verplanck and others.
Mr. Bailey assigns to the latter event the year
1770, which is more nearly correct, for among the
records and papers now in the possession of Mr.
Isaac E. Cotheal, we were shown an instrument
bearing date of Sept. 30, 1767, by which Matthew
Brett conveyed to James Duncan and Richard
Southard two roods and thirty-one perches of land,
in trust, in consideration of £2, "for the use of the
inhabitants of Rombout Precinct * * * who
are members in communion of the Church of Eng-
land as by law estabUshed, for a cemetery and
church-yard, and for building a church of England
thereon, for no other use or purpose whatsoever."
This is the plot on which the church stands and in
which those who worshipped there lie buried. The
church building, which was the first of its denomin-
ational character in the State east of the Hudson
and north of the Highlands, is one of the oldest
church edifices in the State, and older by many
years than any other in the County. The State
Convention, on taking refuge in Fishkill, first met
in this church Sept. 5, 1776, but as it was not in
fit condition for use and was destitute of seats or
other conveniences, removed to the Dutch church.
It was afterwards used as a hospital by the Ameri-
can army during the Revolution, and was then in
an unfinished condition.

The church is a plain wooden structure, scarcely
evincing its extreme age. A graceful steeple origin-
ally towered above the present tower, but being
considered unsafe, was taken down in 1803, by
Abraham Wetmore, who was then a vestryman of
the church. The vane which surmounted it was
afterwards placed on the Dutch Reformed church



at Fishkill Landing, and when that building was
replaced by the present fine brick structure, was
sold to Isaac E. Cotheal, who placed it on the tower
of one of his outbuildings, where it still remains.

The church was incorporated Oct. 30, 1785.
Oct. II, 1796, the church was re-incorporated un-
der the act of March 17, 1795, and Peter Mesier
and James Cooper were named as wardens, and
Daniel C. Verplanck, Benjamin Snider, Jno. I.
Carmin, Greenleaf Street, Jno. R. Southard, Jere-
miah Green, Thomas Poiar, (Foyer), and Robert
Mills, vestrymen.

There is no record of the earUer rectors, but
during the period for which the record is wanting,
they were, it is believed, the same as officiated at
Christ Church, Poughkeepsie. Services were dis-
continued during the Revolution. Rev. Henry
Van Dyck, was the rector Nov. 10, 1790. Dec. 7,
1799, the vestry concurred with the vestry of Christ
Church in calling Rev. Philander Chase, afterwards
Bishop of Ohio, to the rectorship of the two
churches, devoting two-thirds of his time to Pough-
keepsie and one -third to Fishkill. Mr. Chase con-
tinued until 1805, and was succeeded in 1807 by
Rev. Barzillai Buckley, who closed his labors in
1809. Sept. 28, 181 2, Rev. John Brown was en-
gaged for six months. Sept. 6, 1814, he was called
to the rectorship, which he resigned Dec. 6, 1815.
Dec. 15, 1816, Rev. Mr. Ten Broeck commenced
his labors as rector. Aug. i, 1733, Rev. Robt. B.
Van Kleeck was called to the rectorship, which he
resigned in 1835. He was succeeded by Rev. Jno,
L. Watson Nov. 9, 1835. Rev. Colby A. Foster
was called Sept. i, 1837, and Rev. Richard L.
Burnham, Feb. i, 1838. Rev. Robt. Shaw was the
rector April 12, 1841. June 11, 1843, a call was
extended to Rev. Wm. H. Hart. Rev. Christian
F. Cruse was the rector April i, 1847, and Rev. F.
W. Shelton, Nov. 2, 1852. Rev. Jno. R. Living-
ston was called to the rectorship, Aug. 19, 1855, ,
and continued to officiate as such till his death
April II, 1878. May 29, 1879, Rev. Jno. Henry
Hobart, D. D., son of the Bishop of that name, ac-
cepted the care of the parish, which he still retains.

The interior of the church was quite extensively
repaired and modernized in 1870, but its exterior
remains the same as in the Revolution, except that
the steeple was removed as before stated.

Methodist Episcopal Church of Fishkill.— Ktih-
odism was introduced into the town of Fishkill
between 1785 and 1795. By reference to the life
of Rev. Benjamin Abbott we find that he was ap-
pointed to the Duchess circuit in 1789. He refers

to a " brother Tolbert " who preceded him. They
had an appointment just over the line in Phillips-
town, near Fishkill Hook, where there was a soci-
ety of about forty members.

It is probable that a class was organized in Fish-
kill village about 1810 or '12, of which John Purdy
was leader. But this organization was not perma-
nent. They had preaching for some years in a
school house standing in the upper part of the
village, about that time, and Rev. Fitch Reed, D.
D., preached his first sermon in that school house
before this class and congregation in 1815. But
the first Methodist sermon in the village, says Mr.
Bailey, was preached in the street under a poplar
tree, near the Baxter house, in 1794, by a man
named Croft, wRo attracted a large crowd. This
class subsequently became scattered ; but in 1829,
Rev. Marvin Richardson organized a second one,
which became the nucleus of the present Society.
Meetings were held in private dwellings and the
school house until the present church edifice was
erected in 1838-9.

In I^Sept. 1834, a meeting of the members and
friends of the Methodist church in this village was
called to take steps to secure a lot suitable for a
church site and hold the same till the society
should be in circumstances to build. The present
site was secured, but the church was not completed
until 1841. Rev. L. M. Winchell, was then pas-
tor. The parsonage was built in 1865, at a cost of
$2,344. Thepresent membership (January, 1882,)
is one hundred ; the attendance at Sunday School,
which is superintended by Thomas Brown, is fifty-

The following is the succession of pastors since
1853, at which time, in conjunction with Mattea-
wan, Glenham, Fishkill Landing and Johnsville, it
was on the Fishkill circuit :^»

Rev. Uriah Messeter, 1853

Rev. Marcus M. Curtis, i8S4-'SS

Rev. Elijah B. Shurter, i8s6-'57

Rev. C. W. Lyon 1858

Rev. T. Lamont, 1859

Revs. Wm. F. Gould and A. P. Lyon, . .. i860,

Revs. A. Hunt and A. P. Lyon, 1861

Rev. William Stevens, 1862

Rev. H. C. Humphrey, 1863,

Rev. C. M. Eggleston, i864-'6s

Rev. A. L. Culver 1866-68

Rev. E. S. Bishop 1869-71

Rev. T. Elliott i872-'73

Rev. C. R. North > ^ . .. 1874,

Rev. W. F. Brush, i87S-'76,

Rev. E. S. Bishop i877-'78.

Rev. E. F. Barlow, i879-'8o,

Rev. Wm. Stevens, the present pastor,. . 1881-82,



FisHKiLL Landing.

Fishkill Landing is beautifully situated on the
crest and river-slope of the ridge which separates
the Fishkill from the Hudson, opposite the beau-
tiful and historic city of Newburgh. It is an import-
ant station on the Hudson River Railroad, at the
river terminus of the New York & New England
Railroad, and is distant by the former 58.85 miles
from New York, and 83.28 miles from Albany,
while it is distant only 11.45 miles from the county
seat at Poughkeepsie. The name of the station is
Fishkill, while that of the postofRce is Fishkill-on-
the-Hudson. The corporate name by which it is
commonly known is derived from the fact that it
was an early and principal landing place on the
river. This gave it an early prominence, but it
was long outrivalled by the interior village of Fish-
kill, which, for the time being, possessed superior
advantages. In 1864, the question of changing
the name of the then pretentious village was agi-
tated and many names were proposed. At an
adjourned meeting held at the Eagle Hotel, Feb.
6, 1864, to consider this subject, it was decided by
a vote of fifty-three to thirty- five to call it " Bea-
conside," and a committe was appointed to corres-
pond with the Postmaster-General in regard to the
proposed change. A counter petition was, how-
ever, sent to that official and secured a change of
name to Fishkill-on-the-Hudson.

The first settlement at this point was made by
Peche Dewall, a squatter, who located here, says
Mr. Bailey, in the spring of 1688. He cleared
about three acres of land and planted corn between
the standing stumps, gathering a tolerable crop in
the fall. His wife assisted him in tilling the com
and clearing the forest. The following winter, not
having a team, he built a hand-sled and with it
drew home from New York a half bushel of salt
and a side of sole leather. The road to New York
was then mostly nothing but an Indian trail. In
the spring he bought a horse, paying _^3, which
was then considered a fair price. Dewall and
Nicholas Emigh were until 1700, says Mr. Bailey,
almost the only settlers on the Rombout Patent.
Dewall apparently did not remain long, for his
name disappears from the Ust of inhabitants in

In 181 1, Fishkill Landing had not acquired suf-
ficient importance to merit recognition by SpafTord,
but in 1824 that author describes it as a " handsome
collection of houses," with a postoffice of the
same name. It had a line of packets and a steady

increasing business. At the upper landing there
were six dwelhngs and two storehouses, but three
of the former. and one of the latter had then re-
cently been purchased by P. H. Schenck, of the
Matteawan Co., and made appendages of that
prosperous estabhshment. In 1842, Messrs Barber
and Howe {Historical Collections of New York)
simply mention it as a small village or hamlet. In
1850, Messrs Mather & Brockett, {Geographical
History of New York,) describe it as "a place of
considerable trade," with "much delightful scenery,"
and a population of about 1,000. In i860, says
FrencKs Gazetteer of New York, it had two news-
paper offices, two machine shops, four churches
and 1,100 inhabitants. In 1866 (Directory of
Fishkill of that year) it had three churches, two
select and one public school, a national and savings
bank, a printing office, one hotel, an armory, "a
large number of stores," a machine shop and
foundry, and a population of about 1,550. In 1872,
says Hough's Gazetteer, it had two banks, two
newspaper offices, a machine shop, four churches,
"many elegant residences," and a population of
2.992. At present it contains three churches,
(Dutch Reformed, Methodist Episcopal and Afri-
can M. E.,) a district school, a private school,
(conducted on the Quincy plan, estabUshed in the
spring of 1881, by an association of gentlemen,
under the tutelage of Miss Mary Gay, who con-
ducted it till her dealth in November, 1881, when
she was succeeded by Miss Alice Churchill,) four
hotels,* the Fishkill Landing Machine Works, the
Duchess Hat Works, a newspaper office, a national
bank, savings bank, several stores, a blacksmith
shop, kept by John Pollard, two extensive wagon
shops, kept by S. & J. Sewall and Peattie Bros.,
the latter of whom keep an extensive livery stable,
two carpenter shops kept by James and Patrick
Murray. The population in 1880, was 2,503.

Fishkill Landing is the only incorporated village
in the -town. The application for incorporation
shows that the territory — 704 acres — proposed to
be incorporated, had a population of 1,536, accord-
ing to a census taken Dec. 31, 1863. March 16,
1864, Halsey F. Walcott, of Fishkill Village, Dan-
iel Brinckerhoff, of the town of Fishkill, and James
H. Weeks, of Poug hkeepsie, were appointed Com-

* The Ml. Gulian Hmtse, which occupies the site of the old Star Inn,
was built in iS6o by Charles Pugsley, who kept it several years, and is
now kept by C. R. BuUard, who took possession in July lS8i. It was a
tavern stand a hundred years ago. The building which was burned
shortly before this was built was occupied by Dr. Mase as a water
cure for few a years ; the Iniing Houst, kept by Charles Talbott .
Flannery's Hotels kept by John Flannery ; and the Newburgh Bay
Hotel, kept by Mr. De Groot. The site of the Revere House was a
tavern stand during the Revolution, but in 1824 was a peach orchard.



missioners by the Court of Sessions of Duchess
County, "to fix the boundary line between the pro-
posed incorporation of the village of Fishkill Land-
ing and Matteawan." Incorporation was authorized
by that Court March 17, 1864, and Stephen Mapes,
Lewis B. Ferguson and John Place, Inspectors of
Elections of Fishkill, were directed to hold an elec-
tion "for the purpose of determining whether such
territory shall be an incorporated village." Such
election was held at the Eagle Hotel, April 16, 1864,
and the question was decided affirmatively by a vote
of one hundred and thirty-nine to sixty. May 14,
1864, the following village officers were elected:
Samuel Bogardus, Henry L. Stevens, Charles B.
Pugsley, William H. Rogers, Silas G. Smith, Trus-
tees; William R. Addington, Stephen Mapes, As-
sessors; P. Y. Youmans, Noah Hanson, Commis-
sioners; William J. Smith, Collector; John W.
Spaight, Treasurer; John Place, Clerk; W. Alex.
Van Wagnen, Pound Master. May 2 1, 1864, Sam-
uel Bogardus was chosen President. Feb. 26,
1878, the corporation voted to incorporate under
the general act of 1870, and was so incorporated
June 25, 1878.

The following have been the successive Presi-
dents and Clerks of the village since its incorpo-
ration : —

Presidents. Clerks.

1864. Samuel Bogardus, John Place.

1865. S. Mapes, F. Van Voorhis.

1866. H. H. Hustis, do

1867. H. N. Swift, do

1868. H. H. Hustis, W. H. Rozell.

1869. Samuel Underhill, Wm. S. Smith.

1870. H. H. Hustis, W. H. Rozell.

187 1. Mile Sage,

1872. James Mackin,

1873. H. H. Hustis,

1874. Armand Miller,

1875. do

1876. do

1877. J. T. Smith,
i878-'8i. do




Charles Peattie.
Wilbur F. Hopper.

John F. Schlosser.

Merchants.— The general hegira from New
York in 1776, brought with it to the Landing sev-
eral merchants, and made it an active business cen-
ter during the Revolution. Here too, was located
the storehouse of John Fisher, who, during much
of that period was commissary to the American
army. Jacob Van Voorhis, Jr., who was after-
wards a merchant in New York, had a store at
Major Daniel Terbos', in the summer of 1779, and
at the house of Mrs. Haightin 1781, in which year,
as appears from the New York Packet of Feb. 8,
1781, he married "the amiable and agreeable Miss
Martha Haight, of Fishkill Landing." In 1782 he

was doing business here with Abraham Mesier, un-
der the name of Mesier & Van Voorhis. Egbert
Bogardus was also engaged in mercantile business
at the upper landing during the Revolution, in a
building which stood near the foot of Main street,
and continued there till his death, having been as-
sociated after the war with a man named Sturgess.
He also was a commissary for the American army.
In 1824, William Teller, Jacob Bartley and Will-
iam Brett were engaged in mercantile business
here. Teller, in 1852, associated with himself as
partner WilUam A. Baxter, to whom he sold his in-
terest in February, 1871. In the spring of 1871,
Mr. Baxter formed a co-partnership with Charles
E. Martin, with whom he has since done business
under the name of Baxter & Martin.

John Nelson, who had carried on black smithing
at Matteawan, was engaged in mercantile business
here some forty-two years ago. He was the father
of Hon. Judge Homer A. Nelson, of Pough-

The merchants now doing business here are:
Thomas Lester, clothier; Stephen Mapes, druggist;
Samuel Underhill, grocer, who is a native of Ulster
county, and established himself in business here
some thirty years ago, having been associated with
his son, Charles C. Underhill, in 1872-73; S. G.
& J. T. Smith, dealers in dry goods, carpets and
boots and shoes; M. E. Dietrich, jeweler; A.
Theodore Moith, chemist and druggist; W. H.
Rogers, dealer in hardware and stoves ; Melanch-
thon Heroy, boot and shoe dealer; Stotesbury,
Bros. & Co., grocers; H. Member & Sons, whole-
sale and retail dealers in groceries and dry goods,
and dealers in hay, oats and feed; Nicholas Hop-
per, furniture dealer; George Root, crockery
dealer; and H. Ritter, jeweler.

Physicians.— The physicians at Fishkill extended
their practice to this place at an early day, and
probably supplied it for many years of this century.
We do not know who was the first physician to lo-
cate here. Roderick Royce came from Mon-
ticello, Sullivan county, about 1832 or '33, and
practiced here some years, when he returned to
Monticello. He was the father of William Royce,
a dentist in Newburgh. He also kept a drug store
in the building now known as the Revere House.
Rev. James Harkness, M. D., who was born in
Roxburyshire, Scotland, March 3, 1803, graduated
at the University of Edinburgh, and^ subsequently
studied medicine. He became a Presbyterian
minister, and practiced medicine considerably
among the members of the churches with which he



was connected. He was pastor of the Presbyterian
church of Matteawan in 1843-5, ^^^ afterwards
founded the Presbyterian church at Fishkill Landing.
In 1840 he became a homeopathic physician and
soon after located at the Landing, where he prac-
ticed several years. James Sykes Rumsey, who was
born July 9, 1800, finished his education in France,
and married into the Verplanck family, was in prac-
tice here in 1846 and continued till his death, Nov.
1. 1872. Valentine Vermilyea graduated at the New
York Medical College about 1840, and located at
Fishkill Landing, where he practiced till about 1850.
William P. Bell, who was born in Gettysburg, Penn.,
Feb. 25, 1822, and had practiced in Ohio, came
here about 1850, and practiced till his death, Dec.
4, 1869. Dr. Pearson was contemporary with Bell
for three or four years. He removed to the western
part of the State.

The present physicians are : Henry Slack, who
was born in Albany, June 10, 1831, graduated at
Yale in 1848, and at the Albany Medical College in
1 85 1, completing his medical studies by a two-
years' course in hospital clinics in Paris. He com-
menced practice in 1856, in New York, and re-
moved thence in 1865 to this village; Chas. M.
Kittredge, who was born in Mt. Vernon, N. H.,in
1838, graduated at Amherst in 1862, and at Har-
vard Medical College in 1867. He was physician
in the Insane Asylum in Hartford, Conn., for three
years immediately succeeding his graduation, at
the expiration of which time he established himself
in practice at Hyde Park in this County, removing
thence in 1870 to Fishkill Landing, where he estab-
lished that year his home (Riverview Home) for
nervous invalids, which he has since conducted
with gratifying success, extending his practice also
to the village patronage, and making a specialty of
nervous diseases. Dr. Kittredge purchased the
King Chandler property, which he improved and
adapted to its present use. It occupies a sightly
location, overlooking the Hudson and the city of
Newburgh, and has accommodations for four to eight
patients. Dr. Kittredge is a pioneer in this speci-
alty — the treatment of cases bordering on insani-
ty — and his " home" is among the first opened in
this country ; JuUus Edgar Moith, who was born
in Fishkill Landing in 1857, and graduated at the
College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York
in 1879; and Walter D. O. K. Strong, who was
born in Owasco, N. Y., Aug. 10, 1823, graduated
at'Buffalo University April 19, 1849, and removed
to this place in the spring of 1880, and engaged in
practice with his son, Jacob R. Strong, who was

bom in Sennett Nov. 22, 1853, studied medicine
with his father and Dr. Benj. Lansing, of Rhine-
beck, and graduated at the Homeopathic Medical
College of New York in the spring of 1880.

Lawyers. — John Owens, from Westchester
county, was in practice herein 1850 and continued
four or five years. He went to New York, where
he practiced and died. Contemporary with him
was Edwin R. Bogardus, a native of the place, and
son of Matthew A. Bogardus. He practiced here
but a few years. He went to New York about
1851 or '52, and was then a young man. A man
named Sloan preceded them, and had an office
where Dr. Mapes' drug store now is. He was a
highly conscientious man, but did not practice
more than a year or two. He went to New York
about thirty-eight years ago.

The present attorneys are : Henry H. Hustis,
who was born in Cold Spring, N. Y., March 9,
1829, educated at Amenia Seminary, read law at
Newburgh with Wm. FuUerton, the great criminal
lawyer of New York City, Judge Jno. J. Monell
and Thomas George, all of Newburgh, and was ad-
mitted in September, 1852. He opened an office
in this village January 3, 1853, taking the place of
John Owens. J. Hervey Cook, a native of War-
ren county, N. J., and a lineal descendant of Fran-
cis Cook, who came with his son John among the
Mayflower passengers, received an academic edu-
cation at the Suckasunny Academy and was in-
structed in the classics at the Chester Institute.
In November, 1865, he entered the Law Depart-
ment of the University of Albany and graduated
in November, 1866. He opened an office in this
village in May, 1867 ; Jno. F. Schlosser, who was
born in Poughkeepsie, Aug. 22, 1839, graduated at
Union College in 1874, read law with H. H. Hus-
tis of this village and E. A. Brewster of Newburgh,
was admitted in 1876, opened an office here July
5, 1876, and was elected School Commissioner of
the I St District, in this County in 1878; George
H. Porter, who came here from New Jersey in the
summer of 1879 ; and Samuel B. Rogers, a native
of Fishkill, son of Wm. H. Rogers, who was edu-
cated at Amenia Seminary and spent three years
at Union College, graduated at the Albany Law
School in 1879, and opened an office in this vil-
lage in the spring of 1880.

Manufactures. — The Fishkill Landing Machine
Co., was incorporated Feb. 17, 1853, and its char-
ter was renewed at the expiration of twenty years.
The original capital was $25,000; it has been in-
creased to $35,000. The company was composed



of some seventeen individuals, mostly residents of
Matteawan, who had been employed by the Mat-
teawan Co., as iron workers. They first leased and
subsequently purchased the building which had
been used by the Matteawan Co., for the storage
of cotton, which they fitted up and occupied tem-
porarily till the present brick structure, one hun-
dred and twenty by forty feet, two stories, was
erected and ready for use that year — 1853. The
old building is still used by them as a storehouse.
The company engaged in and still continue the
manufacture of stationary and marine engines,
besides doing a general machine business.

The Dutchess Hat Works were established in
1874, by Lewis Tompkins, the present proprietor,
who erected at that time a building which
now forms the southwest portion of the large
brick building on the corner of Main and Bank
streets. The building has been enlarged nearly
every year since to meet the increased demands of
the business, and has now about four times its orig-
inal capacity. The business employs two hundred
and sixty persons, about one hundred of whom are
females. Mr. Tompkins is also proprietor of the
Hudson Straw Works, on Main and Hudson
streets, which were estabUshed by him in the fall
of 1880, and employ some one hundred personSj
about two-thirds of whom are females, in the man-
ufacture of straw hats.

The First National Bank of Fishkill Landing
was organized May 9, 1863, with a capital of $50,-
000, which was increased Jan. 16, 1864, to $100,-
000, and May i, 1872, to $150,000, the limit
allowed by the charter but reduced July i, 1876, to
$100,000. The first officers, elected May 18,
1864, were: Walter Brett, president; Daniel
Brinckerhoff, vice president. Conrad N. Jordan,
late cashier of the Third National Bank of New York,
and now treasurer of the New York, Ontario &
Western Railroad, was chosen cashier July 17,
1863. The Bank commenced business August 10,
1863, in the building it now occupies, which had
previously been used for other purposes, and was
purchased by the Bank in April 1880.

Walter Brett was president until Jan. i, 1870,
and was then succeeded by James Mackin, who
has since held the office. March 15, r864, William
C. Oakley succeeded Mr. Jordan as cashier and
filled that position until his death, Oct. 13, 1869.
Milton E. Curtiss succeeded him, entering upon
the duties of the office Nov. i, 1869;

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 105 of 125)