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 39 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 39 of 125)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook



was Mr. Myers' successor. He came into the pas-
torate in 1875, and died November 21, 1876.

Mr. Scudder's successor was the Rev. Ezekiel
Carman Scudder, the present efficient incumbent,
also a doctor of medicine, and at one time an India

The edifice of this church was in existence in
1787, and was probably built in that year. It was
built of stone. In 1854 that edifice was recon-
structed, and in 187 1 gave place to the present
handsome and commodious Gothic wooden struc-
ture. It was erected at a cost of about $14,000.
The corner stone was laid September 12, 1871,
and the house was dedicated May 15, 1872. The
interior contains three beautiful memorial windows
of stained glass. The first is to the memory of
Harmanus Hoffman and his wife, Catharina Ver-
plank, and was a gift from their son, Philip Ver-
plank Hoffman, of New York.*

The second is to the memory of the Rev. J. G.
Johnson, and was put in its place by the church.
The third is to the memory of Ebenezer Adams,
a veteran of the Revolution, and was a gift to the
church from his daughter Ruth. He was often
an elder of this church. He died January 31st,
1846, aged 94 years.

Red Hook.

The village of Red Hook lies in the southern
part of the town, and is perhaps the most beauti-
ful village in the township. Its streets are level
and well shaded, its buildings and churches fine,
and its business is of a solid and well established
character. The village contains a population of

The postmaster here is Charles W. Massanneau,

appointed under Lincoln's first administration.

The village has one newspaper, "The Red
Hook Journal;' a weekly, established in 1859 by
Levi Piester, who conducted it until his death, some
three years after. His wife, Martha, then con-
ducted it about one year, then rented the estab-
lishment to Franklin Van Valkenburgh for one
year, and again rented it for two years to Chauncy
A. Reed. The office and paper were then pur-
, chased by Albert Piester in 1866, who is still
the editor and proprietor.

The First National Bank of Red Hook was
established in February, 1865, through the exer-
tions of William Chamberlain. The first officers
were Jacob W. Elsefifer, President] Robert H.

* Harmanus Hoffman was an elder of Ihe church in 1789.
t In 1870 the population was 861.

Freeman, Cashier; Clarence Shook, Teller. The
Directors were, William Chamberlain,* Geo. A.
Phelps, J. W. Elseffer, Thomas Elmendorph, Dr.
John Bates,! Henry H. ConkUn, Peter G. Fraleigh,
Augustus Martin, t Robert L. Massanneau. The
present officers are :^Robert L. Massanneau,
President; John S. Crouse, Cashier; Clarence
Shook, Assistant Cashier. Directors: — J. W.
Elseffer, Henry H. ConkUn, Thomas Elmendorph,
Benj. B. Hoffman, John M. Lewis, Alfred AUen-
dorf, John S. Crouse, Clarence Shook, Robert

A Lodge, I. O. O. F., was organized here
January 24, 1874, under the title of " Christian
Lodge, No. 379." The charter members were : —
Stephen R. Burnett, John H. Shafer, DeWitt Van
Wey, John E. Plass, H. W. St. John, Rev. Thomas
T. Everett. The first officers were : — Stephen R.
Burnett, N. G.; John E. Plass, V. G.; John H.
Shafer, Treas.; D. W. Van Wey, R. S. The
Lodge has a very fine hall, and meets every Satur-
day night.

An old established industry here is the Red
Hook Tobacco Factory, whose brands- of tobacco
and cigars are so celebrated throughout this sec-
tion of the State. This industry was started over
sixty years ago. The nucleus of the building in
which the business is conducted, was built some
sixty years ago, by Robert C. Massanneau. A
portion of the present building was erected in

The business since 1875 has been conducted by
Hoffman & Co.j (Benj. B. and John W. Hoffman,
Robert B. Hevenor and Henry E. Miller,) who
succeeded Nicks & Hoffman, who had run the
business seven years. The succession of proprie-
tors as far as can be learned has been as follows : —
before Nicks & Hoffman, Hendricks & Company,
about five years; J. & P. Hendricks & Co.,
twelve or thirteen years; Jeremiah & Philip Hen-
dricks, four or five years; Jeremiah Hendricks,
about three years; Hendricks & Wells. This is as
far as the proprietorship can be definitely ascer-

The Red Hook Hotel was built probably over a
hundred years ago, but by whom it is not known.
It has been held by many successive owners, and
has been added to and changed many times. It
is on the old post road from New York to Albany.
The present proprietor is Howard Ellsworth, by

~ * Bom in 1800, died May, i875-
elected in 1868, died in Aug., 1880.

t Died June, 1877.

JiDiedyan., 1875.

A son, Wm. L., also a director.



whom the building has been owned fourteen
years, twelve of which he has kept it as a hotel.*

One of the early merchants at this point was
Claudius G. Massanneau, who died in 1846, aged
77 years. His son, Robert C, was also a mer-
chant here many years. He died in 1878, aged
80 years. His successors in the business were his
sons, Charles W. and Edward F.,t who have con-
ducted a mercantile business here since 1861. The
store of Massanneau Bros, was built by Robert C,
their father, in 1854 or 1855.

The other merchants now doing business here,
are, Le Grand B. Curtis, general hardware, suc-
ceeding his father, John Curtis, who established
the business some thirty years ago, and who died
in July, 1879; Benjamin F. Gedney, general hard-
ware, in this branch of the mercantile business five
years ; Electrus Teats, (a native of Milan, ) boots
and shoes, in business here twelve years; John
Hobbs & Co., (William E. Hutton,) druggists, in
business eight years, succeeding Ransom E. Traver,
who had conducted the business two years t ; Ste-
phen R. Burnett, (born in Red Hook, June 30,
1829,) furniture and undertaking, in business twen-
ty years, succeeding Benjamin F. Gedney ; Abram
A. Dayton, (born in Brooklyn, 1835,) in business
here twenty years ; Charles H. Dayton, (born in
Tivoli, 1861,) books and stationery, in business
three years ; WiUiam A. Coon, (born in Red Hook,
1850,) boots and shoes, in business two years, suc-
ceeding Charles Falland who established the busi-
ness about a year previous ; Virgil Pulver, (born in
Red Hook, 1854,) cigar manufacturer, in business
two years.

The lawyers here are, Jacob Whiteman ElsefFer,
who was born in Red Hook, September 6, 1822,
educated at Claverack, N. Y., studied law with
Judge Rowley, Upper Red Hook, and was admit-
ted to the bar in 1845.

Joseph Martin, born in Red Hook in 1814,
studied law with Jacob W. Elseffer, and admitted
to practice in 1858. «

John H. Elseffer, son of Jacob W., born in
Red Hook, July 2, 1851, educated at De Garmo
Institute, Rhinebeck, and at Cornell University,
graduated from Albany Law School in June

George R. Carhart, born in Clinton Hollow,
N. Y., September 23, 1857 ; educated at Clifton
Park Seminary, and De Garmo Iiistitute, studied
law with Hackett & Williams, Poughkeepsie. and

•Leased to Edward Coon 2 years.

t The former bom in i8j 5, the latter in i8j6, in Red Hook.

tThe business was established by Charles GUbert Brown, in 1870.

with Hon. C. M. Woolsey, of Milton, Ulster Coun-
ty, and admitted to the bar January 30, 1880.

J. Edward Webb, a 'native of England, estab-
lished an office here in January, 1881.

The physicians are, Dr. Robert J. Carroll, born
in Ohio in 1843, graduated from Jefferson Medi-
cal College, Philadelphia, in March, 1867; came
to this town in 1876.

Dr. Harris L. Cookingham, born in Hyde Park,
N. Y., in 1850, graduated from Albany Medical
College in 1871, practiced a year and a half in
Staatsburg, and came to Red Hook.

The most historic points of interest near this vil-
lage are the houses of E. L. Traver and Edward
Martin. The former at one time known as the
" Martin House," was built probably one hundred
and fifty years ago, and still retains the character-
istics of the architectural ^tyle of those days. The
Martin Homestead, the present occasional residence
of Edward Martin, was built by his grandfather, Got-
heb, or Gotlop Martin, in 1776, the rafters being
raised on the stone walls on July 4th of that year.
This homestead has never been out of the family.
The house stands on the road leading to Upper
Red Hook. Hendrick Martin, the great grand-
father, was the first proprietor of the farm as ten-
ant. The house of Egbert L. Traver, before men-
tioned, was the original dwelling of the ancient

Red Hook contains three churches, the Metho-
dist Episcopal, Episcopalian and Lutheran.

For the brief and even meagre history of the
Methodist church here given, we are principally in-
debted to the memories of some of the oldest liv-
ing members. Two small blue-covered book?,
titled respectively, " Probationers and Members,"
"Baptisms and Marriages," contain all the written
history of the church now to be found. Previous
to this date there appears to have been no record,
or, at least, none preserved. Red Hook, it is
learned, was originally an appointment on the Milan
Circuit, suppKed with only occasional preaching.
Rev. Samuel Cochrane, one of the fathers m the
Church, is mentioned, among others, as having
preached in the old school house that was located
just in the southern end of the village. As there
was no church edifice at that time, the itinerant had
to preach where he could find a convenient place.
Mrs. Christian Mowl, the oldest living member of
the church, used to offer the hospitality of her
house to the Methodist itinerants. In the* year
1840 this appointment was made a station, and was
called the Red Hook Mission.



Albert Nash was the first minister stationed here.
He held services in what was then called, " Fan-
cher's Hall," which, years ago, was either taken
down or converted to other uses. During his pas-
torate the first church edifice was erected. The
old house is still standing on or near the original
site, and is in the possessioft of Jacob W. Elsefifer.
The membership was then small, not exceeding
perhaps, a dozen names. Among these, were Sam-
uel Fancher, Mrs. Christian Mowl, Mrs. Jane Nicks,
and others whose names cannot now be easily re-
called. The next preacher on this charge was Bar-
tholomew Creagh, appointed in the spring of 1841.
He drew around him some of the wealthier and
aristocratic families of the neighborhood and town,
among whom were Mrs. William B. Astor, and
Mrs. Col. Armstrong and daughter. They became
regular attendants and supporters of the M. E.
Church in this place.

About this time the old German Reformed
Church of this place was converted into the pres-
ent Lutheran Church. Quite a number of its
members and congregation became dissatisfied,
and, instead of resolving themselves into the Lu-
theran Church, some of them united with the

Mr. Creagh's labors were blessed with a revival,
and this favorable combination of circumstances
gave the church a standing which it had before
vainly struggled to gain. The whole town had
been pre-occupied by German Reformed and Lu-
theran influences, so that the Methodists found
hardwork to obtain even a foothold, but now their
prospects had become quite encouraging.

In 1 849 the present church edifice was erected,
and in i860 or 1861 it was repaired and trans-
formed in part into its present beautiful appearance.
The church organ was purchased in 1866. In the
fall of 1867 the interior of the church was refitted
and improved, seats cushioned, and a marble-slab
table bought for the altar, while the old fixtures
were transferred to the parsonage. In February,
1877, the church was enlarged by an addition of
twelve feet to its length, the audience room changed
to its present form, new floor laid over the old,
seats changed somewhat, chairs purchased for choir,
and building repainted, all at a cost of about $600.
A pipe organ was also bought for about $800.

The following, as near as can be learned, has
been the succession of pastors since the time of
Rev. Mr. Creagh : —

Rev. Chas. B. Sing 1843-1845

Rev. O. V. Amerman 1845-1847

Rev. W. C. Hoyt 1847-1848

Rev. Shaffer 1848-1850

Rev. E. O. Haven 1850-1852

Rev. S. C. Perry 1852-1853

Rev. J. A. Edmonds 1853-1855

Rev. O. V. Amerman 1855-1857

Rev. Wm. Bloomer 1857-1858

Rev. Chas. B. Sing 1858-1860

Rev. O. Haviland 1860-1861

Rev. G. W. Knapp 1875-1878

Rev. Wm. H. Evans 1878-1881

Rev. Wilbur F. Brush -1881

Christ Church was not formally established here
until 1854, although occasionally the services of
the church had been held since 1850. In that
year the Rev. Henry de Koven, Rector of St.
Paul's Church in the upper part of the township,
at Tivoli, determined to establish the Church in
this village on a permanent basis. He, with the
aid of a few friends of the cause, procured a lot
containing about an acre and on it erected and fur-
nished, at a cost of $5,500, the present building,
the property being vested in him as sole trustee.
On July 21, 1855, the building was consecrated
under the name of Christ Church, Lower Red Hook,
by the Right Rev. Horatio Potter, D. D., Bishop
of New York. Soon after the consecration. Dr.
de Koven called as his Assistant the late Rev.
Frederic Sill, who held that position for about four
years, and had sole charge of the parish for two
years, while the Rector was absent in Europe.

The present incumbent, the Rev. John W.
Moore, M. A., was called as Rector by Dr. de
Koven in February, 1861, and began the discharge
of his duties April 7, 1861. Dr. de Koven con-
tinued sole trustee until August 28, 1867, when, at
his instance, the church was organized as a free
church with the name of Christ Church, Red Hook
(dropping the word " Lower,") under an act of the
State Legislature, passed April 13, 1854. Dr. de
Koven then resigned his trust, and deeded the
church property to seven trustees, as follows :
Rev. John W. Moore, Rector; Hon. John W.
Chanler, William Chamberlain, Henry Astor, An-
drew Crane, John H. Lord, Dr. John Bates.

These gentlemen were a close corporation, and
had power to fill any vacancies. With the excep-
tion of the Rector, none of the original trustees
" are in the present Board. The Church has now
about forty communicants, and a Sunday School
averaging from thirty to forty children.

St. PauFs Evangelical Lutheran Church is an
outgrowth from the old " Pink's Corner" Church,
which was the original church, and was German
Reformed. It originated from that portion of the



Palatines who adhered to the Calvanistic faith.
Their first church building stood below St. Peter's,
at what was known as " Pink's Corner," now
Monterey, where an old burial ground shows the
location of the church.

The baptismal record runs back to 1730.
About the year 1800 the old edifice at "Pink's
Corner" was abandoned, and a new church was
built at Lower Red Hook Village, about four
miles north of the former location.

The German Reformed Church died out gradu-
ally, — some congregations united with the Dutch
Reformed, and this church at Red Hook being
largely affiliated with the Lutherans by association
and intermarriage, became a Lutheran church
during the pastorate of Rev. Dr. N. W. Gcertner,
at St. Peter's, and has since been connected with
that denomination. The church building is a
large substantial ston ; edifice, with a fine parson-
age, lecture-room, cemetery, and ample sheds.
The church has an enrolled membership of 305
communicants. A few years ago the church edi-
fice was largely improved at an expense of $3,000,
and recently a pipe organ, costing $1,400, has
been added.

On the territory of this congregation are two
Lutheran chapels, one at Rock City, about four
miles south-east from here, and the other at Bar-
rytown, near the Hudson River. That at Rock
City was built at the sole expense of John Griffin
Schultz, a member of the Red Hook Church. It
was built on the land of the donor, and cost about
$3,000. In 1872 Mr. Schultz presented the deed
of the property to the Synod. The chapel is sup-
plied with preaching by the Lutheran ministers
of Red Hook, St. Peter's and Wurtemburg.

The chapel at Barrytown was built by Robert
Donaldson and Isabella Donaldson, his sister, and
which, after the death of the former, was deeded
by Miss Donaldson, in 1873, to the Synod of New
York and New Jersey, with which this church at
Red Hook is connected. Robert Donaldson is
buried in the rear of the chapel and on its grounds.

The pastor of Red Hook preaches there in the

The succession of pastors, subsequent to Rev.
N. W. Gcertner, has been as follows :

Rev. Dr. Charles F. Schaeffer i846-i8r;i

Rev. Dr. William D. Strobel 1851-1860

Rev. N. H. Cornell 1860-1864

Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Barclay 1865-1868

Rev. W. H. Luckenbach 1869-1872

Rev. Thomas T. Everett 1872-1871;

Rev. Dr. G. F. Stelling 1875-1877

Rev. J. Q. McAtee 1877-1879

Rev. S. A. Weikert 1879-1881

TivoLi — Madalin.

After the Revolution an old Frenchman drifted
into the northern part of Duchess County and
bought what was afterward known as the Elmen-
dorf Place. He spelled his name Delabegarre,
but tradition says that this was an Americanism
for L'Abbe de Seguard, which would indicate that
he was a waif of the French Revolution.

On this place he built a quaint old structure,
since remodeled and rebuilt by Col. Johnston L.
de Peyster. Of -the original only a sort of octagon
tower remains.

The early French settlers, when they established
themselves and acquired some property, and saw
a little hamlet grow up around them, followed as
far as possible the custom of their native country
by surrounding their dweUings with a high heavy
wall, and, where there was a stream, a moat, in
order to entitle them to style their dwellings
" Chateaux ; " because in France a protecting wall
and a ditch, or at least a wall, was indispensable to
such an appellation. Part of the old wall built by
Delabegarre, with its postern gate, is still standing.
Carried away by his ambition, Delabegarre, in imi-
tation of the Livingstons, — who laid out a town
on a bleak clay flat, near the original manor
church, on the north shore, overlooking RoelafF
Jansen's Kill, near the present station of Oak Hill,
where no house was ever built — laid out his farm
of about sixty acres into a city,* in which no house
was ever erected. The plot of this imaginary city
was elegantly engraved by the celebrated St.
Memin, whose miniature likenesses of notables of
the Revolutionary times have become of the great-
est value. Delabegarre styled his, enwalled dwell-
ing " Le Chateau de Tivoli," and from this cha-
teau and illusory town, the name of the present
postoffice, station, and incorporation was derived.
Tivoh lies in the north-western part of the town,
on the Hudson River. The incorporation com-
prises that section at one time known as -Myers-
ville, then changed to MadaUn, the postoffice at
this part of the village still retaining the latter
name. These two post-villages were united and
incorporated June 18, 1872, the first president of
the corporation being James Starr Clark, and Jacob
H. Feroe the first clerk. ,

The following is the succession of presidents
and clerks to date : —

' Staatje "—little town.




1873, James Starr Clark, Jacob H. Feroe,
1874-75, Chas C. Champlin, Frank S. Ormsbee,
1876-77, Daniel V. Queen, " «

1878, Rensselaer Potts, " "

1879, Zachariah Weeks, William Hover,
1880-81, Watson D. Otis. " "

The village contains a population of 1,254. The
population of Tivoli proper, in 1870, before the in-
corporation, was 452; of Madalin, 629; total,
1,081 — an increase of 173 in ten years. The
postmaster at Tivoli is Theodore A. Hoffman, ap-
pointed February 4, 1869.

This portion of the incorporation has one store, a
freighting establishment, a church* and two hotels.

The merchant is Theodore Hoffman, in business
seven years, succeeding Hoffman & Feroe. This
store was built about 1853, and the first merchant
to do business in it was Edward Miller.

The Tivoli Hotel, Saulpaugh Bros., proprietors,
(Philip and Harman,) was built by James Outwater
about 1850.

The Farmers' Hotel, Alexander Boice, proprie-
tor, was built by a man named Fontaine, but at
what precise date is unknown. The property
some eighteen years ago came into the possession
of George Rogers, who thoroughly remodeled the
building and gave it the present name.

Peter Henry, a colored man, who was born on
the Bard Place, at Annandale, died here April 5,

1874, aged nearly 102 years. It is said that his
mother and grandmother were both born in this
town. A son, also named Peter, aged about
71, still lives here.

That portion of the incorporation known as
Madalin is the larger and more important end of
the village. Mr. Winegar, from whom we have
before quoted, said he worked on the building on
the north-east corner, where Clarence Moore now
has a store. At the "raising" it was proposed
to name the place, and Ephraim Martin suggested
the name of Myersville, in honor of a prominent
resident. of the name of Ten Broek Myers (or
Meyres,) one of the first merchants here. It was
so named, and as Myersville it remained until the
misspelling of the name, " Mireville," became too
appropriate. It was then called Madalin — a mis-
nomer for Magdalen, for it was named for Magda-
len Island, just below in the river.

At that time this locality was but sparsely popu-
lated, and the roads did not have their present
form. What is now known as Wall Street, was at
one time known as " Lothrop's Lane," so called for

* Catholic.

a man of that name into whose property the lane
ran as a private road, and it was afterward opened
through to the main road.

Eighty years ago, the road from Upper Red
Hook, then Red Hook, (what is now Lower Red
Hook was then only known as " Hardscrabble, ")
to Upper Red Hook Landing, now Tivoli, did not
come down the " Molly Coon " hill, and there was
no bridge across White Clay kill. The road turned
off near the old Vosburgh family's brick house, on
the summit of the hill, and went down the hill to
the creek in the rear of the house of Alfred Lewis
Moore, along the north edge of the present woods.
There was a ford through the creek two or three
hundred yards south of the mill where Parks once
had his woolen factory. The road ascended in the
rear of the present buildings and out-buildings
fronting on the main street east and west, and
came out on the present Montgomery street, about
where Edward Feller's house now stands. Before
that it turned off from the road to Upper Red
Hook, just west of John I. Saulpaugh's house, and
ran south half way up the hill, where its traces are
yet plainly distinguishable.

The traces of the cellar of the Vosburgh house
on "Molly Coon" hill, mark the site of one of
the oldest houses in the town.

On this road from Madahn to Upper Red
Hook, over Saulpaugh's Hill, is one of the oldest
houses in the town, now known as the Gale House,
which was built in 1733.

The first merchants here were Myers & Mar-
tin.* Jacob Van Steenburgh was next in succes-
sion, and he was succeeded by his clerk, Charles
Kent, who afterward left here and entered into
partnership with Judge Tyler, at Barrytown. His
brother, James Kent, and James White then took
the store. White shortly after went out of the busi-
ness, and Kent connected with him Alfred Lewis
Moore, and the firm was known as Kent & Moore
for a number of years. Alfred L. Moore died in
1878, having been a merchant here forty years.

His son, Clarence L. Moore, succeeded to the
business, which he still conducts.

The other merchants doing business here are : —
Philip Peelor, general merchandise, in business
here twenty-five years, succeeding Erastus Kim-
ball; WiUiam S. Ross, (born in New York city,
1 8 18,) druggist ; Gustave MuUer, (born in France,
1843,) boots and shoes, in business ten years;
William A. Decker, (born in Red Hook, 1820,)

» Ten Broek Myers and Ephraim Martin, in Moore's store, built by

I go


confectionery, began business in June, 1881; Will-
iam A. Washburn, (a native of Johnstown, N. Y.,
born 1858,) druggist, in business here three years;
Edward Feller, general merchandise, in business
here ten years ; Roswell C. Gleason, (born in
Red Hook in 1832,) furniture and undertaking, in

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 39 of 125)