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 107 of 125)
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disgusted with the indignities to which the hostile
feeling the French then manifested toward the
English exposed them, they resolved to leave that
country. John established himself temporarily in
Paterson, N. J., in 1827. In 1828, at the solicitation
of Peter H. Schenck, then a principal factor in the
Matteawan Co., he came to this village to re-cut
files for that company, continuing until 1835, when
he engaged in their manufacture on his own ac-
count, leasing power of that company and after-
wards of the Wiccopee Cotton Co. About 1853,
he erected a portion of the building now occupied
by his son for a cutting shop, continuing the busi-
ness till his death, April i, 1858, aged 58. His
sons John and William succeeded to the business,
and in 1868, purchased the old Matteawan grist-
mill (now operated by M. E. Clearwater,) and the
residence of Abraham Schenck, together with the
water privilege, carrying the water thence by means
of a race to the file-cutting establishment, the
capacity of which has been doubled since 1853.
In 1869-70 the large three story building to the
east, adjoining the creek, was erected, and the
lower floor also occupied by the file-works, the up-
per floors having been used as store-rooms until
Nov. I, 1881, when they and the attic, and a
boiler house and chimney, erected in 1881, were
leased to L. H. King & Co., for the manufacture
of straw hats, a business, which when in full opera-
tion will give employment to about one hundred and
fifty persons, some two-thirds of whom will be
females. The Messrs. Rothery employ about eighty
persons, mostly skilled workmen, only two or
three of whom are females.

The Matteawan Manufacturing Co.'s Works
were established in 1864, by the present company,
who were incorporated in 1868, with a capital of





$150,000. The first and present
John C. and Charles R. Henderson, and W.
Mase. John C. Henderson has been the President
and Treasurer, Charles R: Henderson, the Secre-
tary, and W. H. Mase, the Superintendent since
the establishment of the works, which occupy the
building formerly occupied by the machine works
of the Matteawan Co., and subsequently by the
establishment of Samuel B. Schenck, after whose
death, in 1861, it was sold, together with the black-
smith shop and foundry of the Matteawan Co., to
Messrs. H. H. Hustis, Wm. H. Rogers, James
Mackin and Wm. D. Budd, who sold it in the
winter of i863-'4 to John C. Henderson. The
Matteawan Manufacturing Co., employ about 350
to 37S persons, about 35 per cent, of whom are
famales, and manufacture fine wool hats, which
are marketed through the store of the company in
New York. The product of the works is about
2,000 dozen per week.

Colwell's Machine Works were established in
1861, by H. M. Swift. He purchased that year of
Messrs. Hustis, Rogers, Mackin and Budd, the
building formerly occupied by the Matteawan Co.,
as a blacksmith shop, and commenced the manu-
facture of lawn mowers and hat machinery.
About 1873 he leased the establishment to the
National Felt Works, and the manufacture of hat
machinery and repairing was continued about two
years, when, in June, 1876, W. S. Colwell under-
took the manufacture of hat machinery and doing
general repairing, in which he now employs sixteen

The Matteawan Pantaloon, Overall and Mechan-
ic i Jacket J^tfr/i.r were established in June, 1880,
by Strain & Drislane, (Robert Strain and W. E.
Drislane.) In November 1881, C. W. Rainey
acquired Drislane's interest and the business is
now conducted by Strain & Rainey, who employ
some eighty persons, about nine-tenths of whom
are females. The product of the establishment
for the year from June, 1881, to June, 1882, will
amount to about $200,000. The works first
employed twenty-five persons ; the number has
gradually increased as the introduction of their
goods created a demand for them. They occupy
the building, the main part of which was erected in
1857, by A. Vanderwater, for the manufacture of
leather belting, a business which he has since carried
on in a small way, but less extensively now than
formerly, when he employed three or four persons
in the manufacture of hand-made belting and in
tanning hides.

The Matteawan. Savings Bank was chartered
March 21, 1871, with twenty-one trustees, who first
met and organized April 5, 1871. The Bank
opened for business in April, 1871, in the office of
the National Felt Works, where it is still located.
Mr. Laurens has been Treasurer to the present
time. W. H. Mase is the President ; and Theo.
Van Vliet, Secretary.

Press of MATXEAWAk -Several papers have been
started here, but none have survived to the present
time. The Matteawan Daily Herald was started
June 14, 1869, by Charles G. Coutant, and printed
five weeks at the Fishkill Standard office at the
Landing, when an office was opened in Matteawan.
It was soon after changed to .a weekly paper and
passed into the hands of Louis G. Contairini, who
published it but a short time. In 1872, James H.
Woolhiser started i'Ae Matteawan Enterprise with
the same material, which he sold in 1874 to Peter
A. Vosburgh, who kept a job office till its destruc-
tion by fire, January i, 1875. The Matteawan
Observer was started in the fall of 1876, by Peter
H. Vosburgh, and published by him fourteen
months, when it was sold to George W. Owen, of
The Fishkill Journal who discontinued it. Sub-
sequently The Matteawan Review, a weekly was
published a short time by Louis G. Contairini ;
and The Matteawan Chronicle about two months
by a Frenchman named Louis Charlouis.

Highland Hospital was founded May i, 187 1,
having been incorporated under the general act in
April of that year, its object being "to establish a
hospital • * * for the reception of the sick
and injured, and for rendering all necessary care,
assistance and medical attention." The property
consists of a story and a half frame house and a lot
pleasantly situated on Washington street, which
was purchased by Joseph Howland, a large proper-
ty holder in this town, who fitted it for hospital
purposes at a cost of $2,000, and presented it to
the town, which has since expended $1,500, the
contribution of its citizens, in its improvement.

The Howland Circulating Library was found-
ed in 1872, through the munificence of Mr. and
Mrs. Joseph Howland, of Fishkill. The erection
of the building was commenced in the summer of
1871 and completed in the spring of 1872. It is
sixty-five by forty feet, with two stories and attic.
The building and ground cost about $23,000. The
library comprises 4,229 volumes, and these have
been purchased and the current expenses met with
funds received from stockholders and subscribers.
The Matteawan Union Free School was organiz-



ed in 1870, and formed by the union of two com-
mon school districts. The present school building,
a fine structure of pressed brick, was erected that
year, and cost, including the lot and furniture, a
little more than $26,000. The school was opened
in the fall of 1870, under the principalship of Prof.
John G. Murphy, who was succeeded at the ex-
piration of a year by E. B. Ro well,. who likewise
remained a year. In 1872, W. S. Allen assumed
and has since discharged those duties. He has
nine assistants. The attendance at school is seven
hundred and forty-seven, the average attendance
being four hundred and eighty. The school is
graded into primary and senior departments, with
six classes in the primary and four in the senior

Churches. — The Presbyterian Church ofMattea-
wan was organized Aug. 27, 1S33, with twenty-
four members, not one of whom is living.
Previous to about 1832 the Presbyterians of
Matteawan attended the Reformed Church at the
Landing. They then obtained and held occa-
sional services in the upper part of the old
Matteawan store. Rev. Joseph D. Wickham
was installed the first pastor November 16, 1834.
He was the uncle and tutor of Major Wickham of
New York, and became famous as an educator.
The second pastor was Rev. S. I. Prime^ senior
editor of The New York Observer, who was in-
stalled May 23, 1837. He was followed, but only
for three months, by Rev. A. B. Van Zandt, who
died as professor in the Theological Seminary at
New Brunswick, N. J., July 21, 1881. Rev. James
Harknesswas called Dec. 12, 1842, and remained
until Nov. 19, 1845. He afterwards practiced
medicine at the Landing.* After an interval of
two years Rev. J. T. M. Davie was installed pastor
and remained until the spring of 1855. In July,
1855, Rev. F. R. Masters, on whom Union Col-
lege afterwards conferred the degree of D. D., was
installed and continued the pastoral care until
February, 1872, when his health failed and Rev.
J. L. Scott became his assistant. He resigned
October 8, 1872. Mr. Scott was called to the
pastorate Nov. 7, 1872, and ordained and installed
Dec. 2, 1872. He has since had the pastoral
charge. It is worthy of note that Mr. David
Davis of Matteawan, has been an officer of the
church over forty years.

The first church edifice was erected in 1833,
and dedicated on July 16, 1834; the present
onein 1871-2, at a cost of about $40,000,

• See page SJo.

and dedicated July 17, 1872. It is a sightly
stone structure, combining the Gothic and Nor-
wegian styles of architecture, and is supplied with
an organ of rare beauty and power. The audience
room seats five hundred persons ; the lecture room,
two hundred and eighty. The church numbers
about two hundred members. The attendance at
Sunday school,'of which Robert J. Halgin is Super-
intendent, is about two hundred.*

St Joachim's Church (Catholic.) — The few
Catholics at Fishkill Landing, Low Point, Mattea-
wan and Fishkill village before 1850, depended on
St. Patrick's Parish, Newburgh, for the services of
a priest. Rev. Father Duffy, pastor of that church,
attended on both sides of the river in Orange and
Duchess counties. In 1850, Rev. George Brophy,
then pastor at Channingville, received the pastoral
care of these places, and occasionally celebrated
mass at the Landing in a school house kept by a
lady named Meagher, located at the five corners,
and near the present Cliff and Main streets. In
September, 1853, Father iBrophy was appointed
pastor of St. Paul's church, Harlem, and Rev.
Dennis Sheehan took charge of the vacant mission.
Finding his congregation rapidly increasing, and
the little temporary church inadequate to accom-
modate it, he purchased in 1855, from Matthias
Toohey, the site of the present church in Mattea-
wan, at a cost of $1,200, and immediately began
the erection of a house of worship. This location
was selected as best suited from its central posi-
tion to the surrounding missions. In August, 1857,
the building was inclosed, the basement finished
with pews, and a neat altar erected. The people
assisted the pastor to the extent of their means,
and up to 1857 had contributed nearly $8,000.

In October, i860. Archbishop Hughes consti-
tuted Matteawan, Fishkill Landing, Low Point and
Fishkill village an independent parish and ap-
pointed Rev. James Coyle as first resident pastor.
At that time the church was not plastered, con-
siderable debt was incurred, and there was no resi-
dence for the pastor. Nov. 30, i860. Father
Coyle purchased the present parochial residence
from Milo Sage for $2,500. In 1862 the chancel
and gallery of the church were erected, making
the entire cost of the building, as it then stood,
about $10,000.

In September, 1861, Father Coyle purchased a
lot in Fishkill village from Mrs. Oppie for $200
and set ab out building a church upon it. Octob er

* A veiy interesting history of the church, prepared by the pastor, was
published in The Fishkill Journal, July 7, '88', and gives ftiller de-
tails than we can devote space to.



17, 1874, that edifice was dedicated by Very Rev.
Wm. Starrs, V. G., under the title of St. Mary's.
The building, 25 by 30 feet, cost about $1,500.

In February, 1 865, Father Coyle purchased 6.31
acres of land near Matteawan from Everett Smith,
for $2,524, four acres of which he laid out for
burial purposes and the rest he divided into build-
ing lots. It is known as St. Joachim's Cemetery,
and was blessed by Very Rev. Wm. Quinn, V. G.,
October 16, 1877. March 23d, a church organ
was purchased from St. Peter's, Jersey City.

July 8, 1867, Father Coyle was appointed to the
pastoral care of Rondout, and Rev. Christopher
Farrell took charge of the parish and missions of
Matteawan, June II, 1871. Rev. Peter McCourt
was appointed pastor of the parish. Father Farrell
having retired on account of ill health. In Sep-
tember, 1874, the erection of a parochial school
was commenced. It is a brick building, 50 by 100
feet, two stories high, and is attended by 300 chil-
dren, who are instructed by three teachers, one
gentleman and two ladies.

Father McCourt died December 19, 1876, and
was interred on the north side of the church. Feb.
15 1877, Rev. John C. Henry was appointed
pastor, and in May of that year, Rev. A. J. Canary,
a fine vocalist, was appointed his assistant. In
September, 1878, P'ather Canary was removed to
Cornwall, and Rev. T. F. Kelley, now pastor at
Hyde Park, was appointed to his place. In Sep-
tember, 1880, St. Joachim's Young Men's Literary
Society was organized with fifty members. In
October, 1880, it was resolved to enlarge and im-
prove the church edifice by an addition of 30 by 40
feet, and a suitable portico 12 by 15 feet. These
improvements were commenced in November
1880, and completed in 1881, at a cost of $5,000,
all of which was cheerfully paid by the people.

Nov. 1, 1880, Father Kelley was transferred to
St. Reymonds, Westchester, and Rev. John J. Mc-
Grath appointed Father Henry's assistant. The
church has a present membership of about 2,500.
The Sabbath-school is attended by 30 teachers and
400 children. St. Joachim's Temperance Benev-
olent Society was organized in 1875 and numbers
60 members.

The mission church at Fishkill village has been
served by the pastors of this church. Services are
held there twice a month. The membership is
about 100.

The First Baptist Church of Matteawan per-
fected its legal organization Oct. 26, 1853, at which
time Rev. D. W. Sherwood was pastor. The

, church was erected in i854,but was not completed
until 1855. Most of the subscriptions therefor
were collected by the pastor. Rev. D. W. Sher-
wood. Previous to the erection of the church
meetings were held in the district school-house at
Matteawan. The pastors who succeeded Mr.
Sherwood under this organization were Revs.
Frank Fletcher, Hiram Haynes, John B. Pittman,
J. L. Benedict, the latter of whom was called Oct.
20, 1864, and resigned June 13, i866, and Wm.
Jones, who served as late as March, 1869.

Oct. 26, 1868, the church authorized the trustees
" to make over " their church property to the Pil-
grim Baptist Church ofMatteawan,^h\ch was organ-
ized Oct. 19,1868. yi&xcht,jS()q,ih& First Baptist
Church of Matteawan disbanded. Articles of faith
were adopted by the newly organized church Sept.
7, 1870, and a church covenant Sept. 18, 1870.
The church was recognized by a council represent-
ing nine churches Sept. 21, 1870, and the same
day the edifice, which had been refitted, was re-
dedicated. Rev. Thos. S. Rogers was the pastor
at this time. He was succeeded by Rev. Jabez
B. Marshall, who resigned Dec. 27, 1874. Rev.
F. Kratz was called March 21, 1875, and resign-
ed Dec. 29, 1875. Rev. Stephen B. Almy was
called April 18, 1876, and remained till his death
in the fall of 1879. Rev. E. N. Harding was call-
ed to the pastorate Jan. 2, 1880, and resigned
June 30, 1 88 1, since which time there has been
no pastor, though the pulpit has been regularly
supplied. The number of members is about seventy-
five. The attendance at Sabbath-school, of which
Deacon Joe Bently is superintendent, is about

St. Anne's Church (Episcopal), was incorpo-
rated June II, 1833, under the temporary rector-
ship of Rev. John Brown. , The first permanent
rector was Rev. R. B. VanKIeeck ; the present
one is Rev. Edward Bartlett.* The society owns
eleven acres of land in the south-east part of the
village on which a fine church edifice and parson-
age have been erected.

Glenham, early known as Red Rock, from the
color of the rock in that vicinity, is situated in a
romantic glen in the Fishkill valley, on the New-
burgh, Duchess & Connecticut and the New York
& New England railroads, by whiclj it is distant
two miles north-east of Matteawan. It is the seat
of the extensive w oolen manufactory of A. T.

♦ We have been unable to obtain ftirther datTrelalive toTliiTchuTdir



Stewart & Co., and contains three churches,
(Dutch Reformed, Episcopal and Methodist
Episcopal,) a union free school, a large store,
known as the Glenham store, a grocery, kept by
T. H. Alexander, a stove and tin store, kept by
Mark Brierly, a drug store kept by Chas. D.
Cooper, a shoe shop kept by Robt. Doyle, a wagon
shop kept by Jno. Mosher, a blacksmith shop kept
by Geo. Gildersleeve, a meat market kept by Wm.
Haight, and a tobacco manufactory, of which the
Marsh Bros, are proprietors. In 1880 it had a
population of 1,353. R. H. Marsh & Co. have
conducted the store here since Mr. Stewart acquir-
ed the property. Geo. W. Westcott first engaged
in mercantile business here in 1835, and con-
tinued it some thirty years.

About i8ii, McGill, Peter H. Schenck,

Dr. Bartow White and Benj. Brown, the latter of
whom occupied the house next west of the Glen-
ham store, established a woolen mill and saw-mill
at Glenham, the former of which is still in use,
having been several times enlarged, and forms a
part of the extensive works of Messrs. Stewart &
Co. The woolen mill was built of stone and the
saw-mill of wood. The latter is not now in exis-
tence. The company continued the business in
a modest way until 1826, when they were succeeded
by the Glenham Co., formed that year, with a capi-
tal of $140,000, and was composed at different
times of John Jacob Astor, Peter A. Schenck,
PhiUp Hone, Joseph Karnochan, Gardner and
Samuel 'Howland, and Russell and Nathan Dart,
all except Mr. Schenck, of New York. The com-
pany greatly increased the capacity of the works,
and in place of Mr. McGill, who had previously
superintended the establishment, employed Augus-
tus L. Ulrich, a native of Jena, Saxe Weimar, Ger-
many, as agent, a position he filled until his death,
Sept. 16, 1841. Jirah Stearns, who is still living in
Newburgh, was a manager under the Glenham Co.,
and during his superintendence the business was
successful. Russell and Nathan Dart eventually
acquired the sole ownership of the property, which
at their death, passed into the hands of Wm. and
Russell Dart, sons of Nathan, who survived his
brother Russell. The Darts still further increased
the business, erecting during the war the present
extensive buildings, except the storehouse, which
was built by Mr. Stewart. " Between the years
i860 and 1873," says the New York Herald of
April 27, 1876, "over $450,000 were expended for
new buildings and the best British machinery."
"About six hundred operatives were employed,"

says the same paper, " and the company owned
dwellings sufficient to accomodate all the families
working for them."

The mill at Glenham employs some 380 persons
in the manufacture of all kinds of woolen fabrics,
cassimeres, flannels, blankets, etc.

Union Free School No. 3 of Glenham, was
formed Nov. 13, 1866, by a vote of eighty-four to
one, and the following trustees elected : C. Bartow,
F. K. Scofield and E. H. Bedford. H. Gaunt was
then the principal and continued to serve in that
capacity until Oct. i, 1867. His successors have
been Wm. Darach, Jno. B. Quick, Geo. W. Pier-
son, who closed his services July 18, 1870 ; Derrick
Brown, from Aug. 17, 1870, Smith Sherman, in
1873, and L. D. Wymbs, who has filled the posi-
tion since the fall of 1873. He has four assistants.
The school building, a fine brick structure, was
erected in 1872, and is valued, with the site, at
$9,500. The old school house was sold and con-
verted to a dwelling. The number of children of
school age in the district Sept. 30, 1881, was 605,
of whom only 365 attended school, a large num-
ber of children being employed in the mills. The
number of volumes in the district library was 793,
valued at $1,000. The assessed value of taxable
property in the district was $518,386.83.

Churches.— 7)4^ Dutch Reformed Church of
Glenham was organized February 7, 1837, with ten
members, who withdrew from the churches at Fish-
kill and Fishkill Landing. The early meetings of
the church, at the time of the organization, were
held at the district school house in Glenham. June
II, 1838, the corner-stone of achurchfifty by forty
feet was laid by Elder Peter Cromwell. The
church was dedicated by Rev. Abraham Polhe-
mus, of Hopewell, Feb. 28, 1840. In 1851, a
parsonage with three acres of land attached, was
purchased, G. Smith contributing $450 towards its

Owing to its feeble condition, the church, through
most of its early existence, received aid from the
Board of Missions, and although it resolved in 1853
to ^'■henceforward decline that assistance" the effort
was successful for only a few years. Not until
about 1865, did it free itself from debt. The pres-
ent membership comprises forty-five famihes and
fifty-two communicants. The Sabbath school is
superintended by Sidney Scofield, and has an at-
tendance of no.

The following is the succession of pastors: —

Rev. J. G. Johnson, a licentiate, Nov. 1839, to
Jan., 1846.



Rev. William A. Miller, May 20, 1846, to Dec,

Rev. J. F. Pingry, (supply,) Dec, 1849, ^o

March, 1851.
Rev. J. G. Duryee, March, 1851, to Oct., 1852.
Rev. J. F. Pingry, (supply,) Oct., 1852, to June

16, 1853.

Rev. Jno. H. Bevier, June 16, 1853, to Jan. 9,

Rev. Edwin Holmes, Feb. i, i860, to Oct. i,


Rev. Francis A, Horton, Oct. i, 1865, to


Rev. Abram N. Wyckoff, Sept. 5, 1867, to


Rev. Joseph Scudder, D. D., February 1872, to
March, 13, 1875.

Rev. Jno. C. VanDeventer, May 19, 1875, to
spring of 1879.

Rev. Wm. W. Schomp, Nov. 11, 1879, present

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Glenham
was an organized society in 1828, and then had
about thirty members. John Reynolds was the
circuit preacher. The society worshipped in the
district school house, which now stands unoccupied,
having been used for a short time as a dwelling
after the present school building was erected. It
is the building next north of the residence of the
late Patrick Murphy, at " Red Rock Corners'." In
1842, during the pastoral labors of Rev. Mr. An-
drews, the church perfected a legal organization
and built a house of worship on the knoll a little
north of the old school-house at " Red Rock Cor-
ners." In 1872, the building was removed to its
present site. The present pastor is Rev. WiUiam
Stevens, pastor of the church at Fishkill, with
which charge this is connected. The present
membership is forty-eight.*

The Episcopal church of Glenham, rector, Rev.
Robert B. Van Kleeck, (who is also the postmaster
at Glenham,) was organized in 1855, under the
title of Free Church of St. John the Baptist. The
church edifice was erected in 1858.


Groveville is pleasantly situated on the Fish-
kill, .79 mile by rail, below Glenham, through
which it enjoys postal facilities. It derives its
name from the extensive oak grove which formerly
occupied the site of the Stewart carpet works,
which, with the dwellings occupied by the employes
therem, constitutes all there is of it. There was a
grist mill at Groveville from a very early day. It
was owned about i82oby Samuel Upton, a Quaker,

* The records of this church were not accessible at the time of our
visit; hence the meagre sketch we give of it.

who acquired it from Abraham Dubois. Upton
tore down the old mill and replaced it with a larger
one. He also erected on the opposite side of the
race a stone building which he used as a fulling mill.
Between 1830 and 1840, Upton sold the property,
which also comprised six acres of land, to Peter
Cromwell and Epenetus Crosby. Messrs. Crom-
well and Crosby sold it to the Glenham Co., who
converted it to a woolen mill, and did carding,

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 107 of 125)