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 112 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 112 of 125)
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1870—1,760, 1875—1,906 ;

There are three churches, Baptist, Methodist
and CathoUc, two hotels, a National Bank and
Savings Bank and several stores.

The age of Pawling village proper does not
extend beyond the date of the construction of the
Harlem Railroad. Clustered around the site of
the present Baptist church, at, and previous to
that time, was a small hamlet of some half dozen
houses, known as Gorsetown. On the site of the
Baptist church stood a public house which was
kept for many years by Thomas Howard, and was
widely known more than half a century ago as
" Tom Howard's Hotel."* It is said that one
Bradley Barlow kept a store at this place, but it
never amounted to much as a business center.
Some eighty rods south from Gorsetown was a
store in operation from about, the close of the
Revolution. When the Harlem Railroad was
completed the locaHty around the station began to
develop and has since attained considerable im-

The hotels here now are the Lee House and
the Dutcher House. The former, the oldest house,
was built in its original form by Le Grande Hall
about i860. The original building was about six-
teen by twenty-two feet, and was built for office
use. The first to occupy it were Dr. Pearce and
Hiram S. Haviland, a lawyer. It was afterwards
for a time used for various purposes, mechanical
and otherwise. Additions were then made to it,
and it was first kept as a hotel by Noah G. Clark
and James Crane in 1866. The latter succeeded
Clark and conducted it alone until 1869, when he
was succeeded by Peter D. Doughty, who kept it
till his death in 1872. The property then passed
through several hands, and was sold by George
Norton in 1880 to the present proprietor, George
F. Lee.

The hotel which occupied the site of the Dutch-
er House was built in 1850, and was kept as a
public house until it was purchased by John B.
Dutcher, who removed the original portion of the
structure and converted it into a dweUing house.
In 1 88 1 Mr. Dutcher began the construction of
the large hotel known as the Dutcher House, one
of the finest structures in the County. The build-
ing has a north frontage of 172 feet, and an east-
ern frontage of 116 feef On the first, or ground
floor, are two large stores, and two rooms, one fit-
ted up as a Library and Public Reading Room,
for the benefit of the citizens of the village, and
the other devoted to town uses as a Town Hall.

• This building was torn down in 1876.



Over these is a large room to be devoted to the
uses of a Public Hall or Lecture Room. The
hotel contains fifty-six rooms for boarders, besides
parlors, dining, and reception rooms. The build-
ing is heated by steam and lighted with gas; and
is supplied with pure water, which is brought one
mile, from the mountains east of the hotel.

John B. Dutcher, to whose public spirit Pawling
owes these and other substantial improvements,
was born in Dover, Duchess County, in 1830.
His father was David Dutcher, who died in 1852.
He was educated in the common schools of his
native town, with the exception of one term at a
select school in Litchfield county. Conn. In i860
he was married to Christina, daughter of Daniel
Dodge, of Pawling, by whom he has one child,
John G. Dutcher.

In the fall of i860, he was elected to the Assem-
bly by the Republicans of his district, was re-
elected in 1 86 1, and in 1863 was elected to the
State Senate. He was a delegate to the Republican
National Conventions held in Baltimore in 1864,
and in Chicago in 1880. After serving his term as
Senator he withdrew from politics, and engaged in
business in New York. He is a Director of the
Harlem Railroad Company, and for several years
has had charge of the live stock traffic of the N. Y.
C. & H. R. R. R., and the management of its
stock yards in Buffalo and Albany. He is Presi-
dent of the Union Stock Yard and Market Com-
pany in New York; Vice-President of the National
Stock Yard Company of East St. Louis, 111. ; and
Vice-President of the St. Louis Beef Canning
Company. He is also the Vice-President of the
National Bank of Pawling, and President of the
Mizzen-Top Hotel Company of this town.

Mr. Dutcher takes much interest in all matters
pertaining to the improvement of Pawling, where
he retains his residence. He has here a farm of
nearly six hundred acres, which embraces the..
Dodge homestead, where his wife was born, and
he also owns the Dutcher homestead, in Dover,
where he was born, which contains about the same
number of acres. Although owning a city residence
in New York, where with his family he remains
during the winter, Mr. Dutcher-s interest seems
centered in his country home and its surround-
ings, where he has made extensive improvements.

The Bank of Pawling was organized in 1849,
under the old State laws. The officers were Albert
J. Akin, President ; J. W. Bowdish, Cashier. The
, bank was changed to the National Bank of Paw-
ling, in June, 1865. The officers then remained

the same. The present Cashier is George W.
Chase, J. W. Bowdish having retired.

The Pawling Savings Bank was chartered and
incorporated in 1870, and was opened for deposits
in 187 1. The first President was David R. Gould,
who figured prominently in its organization, and
who died in February, 1873. William J. Merwin
was the first Treasurer, and the first Secretary was
Jedediah Wanzer. The deposits of this bank in
July, 1880, amounted to $82,000. It has now, in
1 88 1, a surplus of $5,000. The present officers
are : John J. Vanderburgh, President ; W. H. Ta-
ber, Vice-President; Jedediah I. Wanzer, Secre-
tary ; William J. Merwin,' Treasurer ; Horace D.
Hufcut, Attorney.

Pawling has one newspaper, the Pawling Pioneer,
published weekly by Philip H. Smith, who estab-
lished it here in 1870. Mr. Smith was born in
Kent, Putnam county, N. Y., in June, 1842. His
parents were Horace Smith and Ruth Nichols.
The earlier years of his life were passed upon the
farm of his father, and during that period he
received an education in the common schools in
which he became a teacher. He early evinced a
desire to learn the art of printing, and as soon as
an opportunity offered he entered that business in
Carmel, Putnam county. In 1870, he began the
publication of the Pioneer, in which enterprise he
has been measurably successful. About 1875 he
conceived the idea of writing a history of Duchess
County, and immediately began to collect material
for that work. This was a task of no httle magni-
tude, involving as it did a considerable expenditure
of time, labor and money. To this task he
devoted the labor of two years, and the history
was presented to the public in 1877. The work
was largely illustrated by himself, and may justly
be considered a valuable contribution to the histor-
ical data of the State. Mr. Smith was married
December 4, 1867, to Amarillas Babcock, by whom
he has had three children now living— Nellie M.,
Josephine, and Carrie Belle.

One of the early merchants here was Archibald
Campbell, who conducted business for a num-
ber of years, and was succeeded by Gideon Slocum
& Sons, who continued until about 1848. When
the railroad was completed the business was taken
up by William T. Hurd, and subsequently by J.
W. Stark, under the firm name of J. W. Stark
& Co. Mr. Stark died May 22, 1880. His
partners were William J. Merwin and Henry A.
Holmes, who at his death succeeded to the business.
In this store is kept the postoflSce, W. J. Merwin,





postmaster, appointed in June, 1880. Mr. Mer-
win was born in New Milford, Conn., in 1832.
Mr. Holmes is a native of Putnam county, born
in Patterson in 1836. The other merchants now
engaged in business here are : —

Hiram W. Chapman, general merchant, in busi-
ness five years; G. W. & S. R. Gibney, stoves and
house furnishing hardware, in business three years.

Fernando Olmstead, dealer in boots and shoes,
in business here twenty years. He was born in
South East, Putnam county, N. Y., in 1838, and
became a resident of Pawling in 1858.

Elmore Ferris, floury feed, coal and lumber
dealer, in business here thirteen years. A native
of Otsego county, born in Westford, in October,
1837, and came to Pawling in November, 1855.

Edward Peabody, dealer in watches and jewelry,
. in business since July 10, 1879.

Frederick S. Merwin, stoves and general hard-
ware, in business here some fifteen years.

Andrew J. Wheeler, harness and horse furnish-
ing goods, in business here three years.

John McGlasson, dealer in and manufacturer of
monuments, etc., in business here eleven years.

George W. Turner, also a dealer in and manu-
facturer of monuments, began the business here
ten years ago.

Henry P^arce & Co., (James S. Pearce) drug-
gists, in business here four years.

Doctor Henry Pearce, was born in Pawling in
1833. He graduated from the University of Michi-
gan in 1857, and began the practice of medicine
in i860. At the breaking out of the Rebellion
he entered the United States service as surgeon
in the 150th Regiment.

The only other resident physician is Dr. William
B. Linsly, a native of New York city, born in
1840, and came to Pawhng in March, 1880. Dur-
ing the Rebellion, for one year, he was a medical
Cadet in the Sanitary Commission, and for eighteen
months thereafter was acting Assistant Surgeon of
the U. S. A.

The lawyers now in practice here are Esquires
Tice, Lee and Haviland. William G. Tice was
born in New York City in 1857. He studied law
with Hackett & Williams, Poughkeepsie, was ad-
mitted to the bar in September, 1879, and came
to Pawling in 1880.

William R. Lee, a native of Beekman, N. Y.,
was born in 1847. He received his legal educa-
tion in the office of William L Thorn, Poughkeep-
sie, and was admitted to practice in 1867. He be-
came a resident of Pawhng in 1871.

Hiram S. Haviland is a native of Pawling, born
October 28, 1830. He studied law with Homer A.
Nelson, and was admitted to the bar May, 17,

TAe Methodist Society was organized here a few
years after the beginning of the present century.
Meetings were held once in four weeks at the house
of Col. Pearce. The first Quarterly Meeting was
held in Col. Pearce's orchard, the preacher's stand
being under an apple tree. Among the early min-
isters were Revs. William Thatcher, Nathan
Streathen, Nathan, or John Emory, an Irishman
by the name of Moriarity, Billy Hibbard, Elijah
Woolsey, and Beardsley Northrop. The first at-
tempt to build a house of worship was made in the
year 181 2. Col. Pearce headed a subscription list
for that purpose, and a church edifice was soon
after erected about a quarter of a mile north of
the present Pawhng depot. Col. Pearce dying
early in the year 1813, the building was not fin-
ished j but it served as a house of worship until the
completion of the Harlem Railroad, when, at about
that time, a small building was erected near the
Pawhng depot. This soon being considered too
small to accommodate the congregation, was sold
to the Catholics, and a subscription was started to
build a larger one. Daniel Dodge, father-in-law to
John B. Dutcher, superintended the building of
both churches, and not only subscribed liberally
towards both, but laid the foundations of the last
church with his own hands. This, the present
building, was raised about the first of September,
1864. The membership is now quite large, and is
ministered to by the Rev. Mr. Hunt.

The first tradition regarding the Baptist Cause
in Pawling, is of the preaching of the Rev. Henry-
Cary, some time previous to 1766. He preached
in a log meeting house, which was situated about
a mile north of this village, near what was after-
wards known as the Camp Meeting Woods.

Elder John Lawrence began to preach in this
town in 1770, and was the first pastor of the church
that was organized before the war of the Revolu-
tion, in 1775. He is reported to have preached
thirteen or fourteen years, and under his ministra-
tion the church flourished. He moved away in
June, 1785, and his successor was Elder Phineas
Clark, who ministered to the congregation about
three years, or until 1788. He was succeeded by
Elder Nehemiah Johnson. He commenced preach-
ing when Elder Clark left, and continued his ser-
vices until July, 1841, a period of fifty -three years.
The meeting house where he preached most, known



as the Johnson meeting house, was situated on the
summit of the west mountain, near the dugway,
and near the north line of the town.

In 1853, a new and comfortable church edifice
was built near the south end of Whaley Pond.
The First Baptist Church is still prosperous, and is
performing a good mission in that part of the
town. The pulpit is supplied now by Rev. William
B. Harris, of the Ludingtonville * church. The
Clerk of the society is Van Ness Denton.


The Central Pawling Baptist Church was or-
ganized in 1852. Their first church edifice was
erected in 1853 and dedicated that fall. The ded-
icatory services were conducted by Rev. Thomas
Armitage and Elder Clapp.

In 1853, Elder Jas. W. Jones resigned his pas-
torate. He was succeeded by Rev. A. W. Valen-
tine. Rev. A. W. Valentine resigned the pastorate
in April, i860, and was succeeded by Rev. S. L.
Holman, who preached here and in the Beekman

In the fall of 1864, Elder Holman resigned and

* Putnam County.

the church for a season was without regular

In January, 1865, D. Van Fradenburg was en-
gaged as a supply, remaining until the first of
April. On the second Sabbath of that month the
church secured the services of Rev. George W.
Barnes, of Rosendale. In September of this year
Elder Barnes resigned, and Rev. William Parsons
was engaged as supply, remaining one year. In
September, Rev. D. T. Hill began his labors as

In October, 1874, E. D. Stearns, a licentiate of
the First Dover Church, began his labors, preached
through the winter, and was ordained on the 14th
of April following.

In May, 1876, was begun the work of removing
the church edifice to the present site. It was en-
larged, remodeled, ajid refurnished during this sea-
son, and was re-dedicated on the 21st of Decem-
ber, by Rev. J. D. Fulton, D. D. Sabbath school
and other meetings were held in the parsonage
during the re-construction of the church.

About $16,000 had been expended in the pur-
chase of the new site, and in removing and repair-
ing the church building, which, on the evening of
June 8, 1879, was destroyed by fire. Most of the
furniture was saved, and $4,000 of insurance was
obtained. To this the liberal community added
so much that the house and lot in the rear was
purchased for $1,100, and the present beautiful
church edifice was erected, furnished, and paid for
within a year. The cost was nearly $8,000. It was
dedicated June 16, 1880. The new bell was given by
John B. Dutcher. The present membership of the
church is ninety, still presided over by Rev. Ches-
ter L. VanAUen. *

The Catholic Society, (St John's Church,) was
organized here in i868, by Father P. W. Tandy.
Among the early members were John Hopper,
James Collier, Martin Gilroy, David Scully.

Previous to that time the CathoUcs of Pawling
were obliged for a number of years to worship in
private houses.

About i860. Rev. Father Slevin was sent by
Archbishop Hughes to minister to the CathoUcs
from Croton Falls to Boston Four Corners, and,
like his predecessors, held services in the houses of
his parishioners, for their means were yet too slen-
der to erect a church. In 1865, Father Slevin
was followed by an Italian, Rev. John Orsinego.
The labors of his extensive mission soon proved
too much for his constitution, and in i868 he was
compelled to yield the northern portion of his par-



ish to Rev. P. W. Tandy. The old Methodist
Church edifice was bought from Alexander Ar-
nold, repaired and furnished, and in 1869 was
opened for services to the delight of the poor peo-
ple who, after many years and at great sacrifices,
had at last secured for themselves and for their
children a house for divine worship. In 1872 this
edifice was destroyed by fire. Sorely tried, but yet
not discouraged, the people went to work again
and under the able lead of their pastor a new and
beautiful edifice was soon erected at a cost of

Dover Plains. Through the co-operation of the
people he has been enabled to reduce the debt so
much that all the financial difficulties of the church
are settled. In addition to this the people of
St. John's Church by united effort have made from
an inaccessable waste a beautiful cemetery, which
is a credit to themselves and a beauty to the vil-
lage. The church edifice has been beautified inside
and out, and the ground has been adorned with

The Catholics in attendance here have increased


nearly $6,000. This, together with the money
due on the old church, increased their indebted-
ness to nearly $7,500. Father Tandy having on
his charge three other churches, gave the church
in this place and the one at Dover Plains to Rev.
P. I. Healy, who became the first pastor of the
new parish of Pawling and Dover. Owing to the
hard times of 1873 and subsequent years, and the
large indebtedness for so small a place. Father
Healy resigned the pastorate, and Father Tandy
again assumed the charge. Rev. M. J. Mc Swig-
gan, of Poughkeepsie, assistant to Rev. Dr. Mc-
Sweeny, was sent to aid Father Tandy, and at the
expiration of six months he succeeded to the pas-
torate of the churches of Pawling, Beekman and


from a comparatively few in i860 to about five

The Methodist Episcopal Society at Reynoldsville
was formed about seventy years ago. There is a
lack of authentic records concerning this church.

The church edifice was built twenty-nine years
ago and was dedicated by the Rev. J. B. Wakely,
of New Jersey. Previous to this the meetings
were held in private houses and in the school
house. The present class leaders are Henry
Turner, George S. Turner and Silas Abbott.

There can be given no connected or dated Ust
of pastors. The following, however, have been
among the ministers who have presided over the
society : —



Revs. John Reynolds, Sellick, Ira Ferriss, Ban-
croft, Lent, Dickerson, Culver, Davis, G. Hearn,
B. Stebbins, Aaron Hunt, J. Croft, Asa P. Lyon,
George Knapp, J. A. Edmonds, Daniels, M. M.
Curtis, Ives, V. N. Traver, Scrives, and Robert

Quaker Hill.

Quaker Hill, the home of the first settlers who
located in the town, is an elevated and fertile
plateau three miles east of PawHng village. This
is one of the most romantic and picturesque
regions in the County, whose attractions rival
those of the Highlands and the Catskills. From
the summit of this plateau, nearly sixteen hundred
feet above tide water, and reached by steep and
winding roads, a view of unsurpassed beauty is ob-
tained, embracing in its scope the rugged peaks of
the Catskills, the fertile plains of the valleys below
in which nestle prosperous villages, and mile upon
mile of rich farming land in the states of New York,
Massachusetts and Connecticut. This is the emi-
nence heretofore mentioned, whose history in-
cludes important reminiscences connected with the
Revolution. In this vicinity, where dwelt the
pioneers whose labors made possible the present
prosperity of the town, encamped Washington and
the Revolutionary troops whose valor gave per-
manence to existing institutions and homes. Here,
in the church^now old and gray, of a denomination
whose mission it was to preach "peace on earth
good will to men,'' were laid the wounded and dying
heroes who shed their blood for the supremacy of
the idea that all men were created free and equal.
The grim old rafters of that ancient tabernacle
resounded to their lamentations and groans, and
the oaken floor still bears the crutch marks of the
crippled and maimed who sought the shelter of its
friendly roof. The encampment with its pomp
and circumstance of war has disappeared ; the
patriots slumber near by in unremembered graves ;
the generation that knew the hopes and fears, the
reverses and triumphs of those days has passed
away, but the old church still remains, a monument
to the patriotism of that trying time.

This meeting house of the Friends was built in
1764, eleven years before the breaking out of the
Revolutionary war. It cost in those times, as
would appear from the records, the sum of ^2Tfi.
The structure is plain and unpretending, but large,
roomy and decidedly substantial; with oaken
timbers whose massiveness attests its abiUty to
stand the storms of another century. This is the

second meeting house of the Friends in this vicinity.
The first stood nearly opposite the present edifice,
and was a smaller framed building. When the
present house was built it was sold and converted
into a barn which has long since passed from
existence. It stood on the farm since occupied by
Stephen Osborne.

This hill so rich in historical lore has become a
fashionable and popular summer resort. Up these
steep and tortuous roads, over which rumbled the
artillery of Revolutionary times, now sweeps the
pleasure ladened " Tally- Ho," whose musical horn
awakes the echoes which once resounded to the
bugle-call, the rattling drum, and the stern chal-
lenge of the vigilant sentry.

Mizzen-Top, one of the most healthy and popu-
lar hotels in the State, was built through the energy
and perseverance of Albert J. Akin, who is the
principal stock-holder, and who furnished the greater
share of the money for the enterprise. The capital
stock was originally $25,000, which has since been
increased to $65,000. The building was begun in
September, 1880, under the supervision of J. H.
Wood, of New York, architect, and was completed
in June, i88i. It has a frontage of 342 feet, com-
manding an extensive view of mountain and valley
scenery, and contains in all 145 rooms, 128 being
used as sleeping apartments. The servants de-
partments are in a separate building containing
sixteen rooms. The interior of the hotel is finished,
in the most moderri style, and has all the conven-
iences of bath rooms, gas, steam heating appa-
ratus, billiard room, bowling alleys, and tele-
graphic communication with New York. The pure
spring water with which Jihe house is supplied, is
derived from the adjacent hills, while that which is
used for the fountain and for fire purposes, is forced
from a glen some quarter of a mile distant. The
officers of the Mizzen-Top Hotel Company are
John B. Dutcher, President; Cyrus Swan, Vice-
President ; George W. Chase, Secretary and Treas-
urer. The house is now conducted by James L.
Jones, of New York, a man of much experience in
this business.

A short distance from this resort is a beautiful
structure known as Akin Hall, a model of archi-
tectural neatness and taste without and within,

This building in its name memorizes one of the
oldiest families in the town. It was erected in
1 880, by Hon. Albert J. Akin, by whom it was en-
dowed and donated to trustees who are limited to
no age, sect or sex. The Hall was opened to the
public on the 13 th of July, 1881.





Pawling in the War of the Rebellion.

Pawling's patriotism in the War of the RebelUon
was as prompt and generous as that manifested in
the Revolution. A record of the various enlist-
ments was kept by the town clerk, as required by
the law of 1865, from which, although somewhat
imperfect in its details, is gleaned the names of
those who went to the country's defense in that
perilous hour. The enlistments for 1861 were as
follows : —

44/'/^ Regiment, Co. E. — Geo. Washington Ar-
nold ; WiUiam M. Banks, born in PawUng, Aug. 5,

1842, was afterward in the 4th Heavy Artillery, in
which he served twenty-two months, now dead;
Hiram Banks, born in Pawling, Oct. 23, 1840,
served about one year, was then discharged on ac-
count of disabiUty, and died at home August 28,
1864; George Banks, born in Pawling, Aug. i,

1843, was wounded in the arm May 27, 1862, and
had the limb amputated at Gaines Hill, was dis-
charged in September 1862; Cyrus IngersoU;
Martin IngersoU ; James S. Pearce, served three

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 112 of 125)