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 51 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 51 of 125)
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nach Mission, Duchess County, New York."

The west side bears the following inscription :—

" Erected by the Moravian Historical Society,
October 6, 1859."

On the east side is a selection from Isaiah.

The more modern settlements are neither large
or numerous.

Mount Riga.

Mount Riga is a small hamlet. The postmaster
here is Abram B. Couch. A general merchandise
business is conducted here by Ward B. Grey, of




Shacameco is a station on the railroad. The
postmaster is R. D. Bertine, who has held that of-
fice some four or five years. He also runs a store
and a coal yard.

Coleman Station.

Coleman Station, on the Harlem Railroad, has
the depot and post-office, the latter kept by Oliver


Winchells, on the Newburg, Duchess & Colum-
bia Railroad, is merely a stopping place. The
postmaster here is James M. Winchell who has
held the office some eight years.

Iron Junction.

Iron Junction is at the junction of the Connec-
ticut Western, Poughkeepsie & Eastern, and Rhine-
beck & Connecticut Railroads. The postmaster
and sole merchant is James Campbell.


Irondale contains a few houses, and the popula-
tion consists chiefly of those who work in the mill
and furnace, the sole business features of the place.
The postoffice was established here some six years
ago. The present postmaster is Charles H. Wat-
son, appointed in 1879. The buildings of the
Millerton Iron Company were erected in 1854 or
'55, by Julius Benedict, now an iron manufacturer
in New York. . He sold to Barnum & Richardson,
the former of whom is now the president of the
company. The mills employ about one hundred
and fifty hands. The ore is procured from the im-
mediate vicinity, and is peculiarly adapted to the
making of car wheels. A general store is also run
by the Company. The grist mill here, controlled
by the Millerton Iron Company, was built in 1880.
The old mill which stood here previously, and which
gave way to the present building, was that built by
James Winchell about 1803. After his death in
1834, the property went into the hands of Charles
Paterson. Then Bailey Bowditch, then Curtis
Potter, then Julius Benedict were owners, and it is
now owned, as stated, by the company owning the


■ Millerton, in the northwestern part of the town,
is the largest and most important of the villages.

It derived its name from Sidney G. Miller, one of
the contractors and builders of the extension of the
New York & Harlem Railroad from Dover Plains to
Chatham.* It is on the Harlem Road, thirty-six
miles from Chatham on the north. The Duchess,
Newburg & Conn., the Poughkeepsie & Eastern,
and the Connecticut Western railroads also touch

In 1 85 1 there were no houses where the village
of Millerton now stands. The place now contains
a population of six hundred. The village was in-
corporated June 30, 1875. The first officers were
Nathan C. Beach, President; Orrin Wakeman,
Hilem B. Eggleston, Ward B. Grey, Trustees ;
John M. Benedict, Treasurer ; William E. Penney,

The postmaster here is John H. Templeton,
who was appointed in 1879; William E. Penney
deputy, who has acted in that capacity ten years.
The office was estabUshed here thirty years ago.
The first postmaster was Selah N. Jenks. Harvey
Roe, Henry Bunnell, Edward W. Simmons and
Ward B. Grey, make up in the order named the
succession of postmasters. The building in which
the postoffice is now located, was the first erected
in Millerton. t In that building E. W. Simmons
was probably the first to keep a store. He traded
until four years ago when he was succeeded by the
present merchant, James Finch. The other mer-
chants now doing business here are: — Beadi, Haw-
ley & Co., (Nathan C. Beach, Cyrus F. Hawley,
Elias B. Reed and Alonzo A. Bates,) general mer-
chants, in business here fourteen years, — another
store at Sharon is also conducted by this company ;
Ward B. Grey, a native of Pine Plains, born May
19, 1832, general merchant, in business here
since 1867, and who also has another store at Mt.
Riga, which was established in i§8o; Eggleston
Brothers, (Hilem B. and William T. Eggleston,)
general merchants,t in business eight years ; Levi
P. Hatch, druggist, in business here nine years;
Charles P. Suydam & Co., general merchants, who
began business in April 1879 ; Dwight Stent, deal-
er in stoves, tinware and house-furnishing goods,
establishing the business in February, 1879; Jo^^n
M. Benedict & Son, dealers in lumber, lime, brick,
etc., in business since 1878; James R. Paine &
Son, general hardware, in business as a firm since
February, 1879; Sylvester Tripp, a native of Scho-
harie county, born 1837, jeweler, in business here
. — — *'

* The meeting at which the village was named was held in the house
of Walter Wakeman in 1851,
t Built in 1851.
t The store was built by them in 187J,



since 1865; L. A. Knickerbocker, harness and
horse-furnishing goods, in business some four
years ; Thomas Dye, merchant tailor, in business
since 1872, succeeding his father, Thomas Dye,
who established the business in 1869 ; Sarah Hull,
millinery, in business here four years ; L. A. Brown,
confectionery and fancy goods, in business ten
years ; Charles P. Capron, photographs, in busi-
ness since 1865; Bernard Carney, marble works,
in business since 1876, succeeding William Coon ;
Joseph Harris, merchant tailor, in business since
July 15, 1875 ; Stillman & Hoag, (Sidney Still-
man, Arthur F. Hoag,) druggists, in business since
August, 1879.

Hotels. — The village contains three hotels.
The Millerton Zf^^wj^ was built in 1852 by Alex-
ander Trowbridge, Alexander HoUey and James
M. Winchell. The first to keep it as a hotel was
George Cole, who remained six months or a year;
James M. Winchell then conducted it two years
and a half, and then sold to Harrison Gilbert in
1855, who kept it until 1862, put on the addition
where the store now is, and built the barn. He
sold to Hoffman Sweet, who probably ran it three
years and sold to Ebenezer Sherman, who conduct-
ed it a short time and died. The property then
went into the hands of Norman E. Wheeler, and
so remained three years, when he sold to Myron
Pitcher, who kept it two years and sold to EUas
B. Reed. In his possession the property remained
five years, Noah G. Clark running the hotel as
lessee. The latter then purchased it, kept it five
years and sold to Beach, Hawley & Co., who now
own the property. The present landlord is Noah
G. Clark, the lessee.

The Planet Hotel was built in 1859, by Edward
Shinners. James Bird was the first to keep hotel in
the building, running it a year or more. Henry
Dayton then purchased the hotel, and, in company
with his son-in-law, James Paine, conducted it two
or three years. An addition to the building was
built by Dayton in 1861. Sterling More and
Marshall Doty were the next successors in Une,
each remaining but a short time. The hotel went
into the hands of William Card, who run it some
ten years, *and the property was then sold under
mortgage to Myron HamUn, who is the present
owner. The hotel is now kept by Perry Loucks,
who has been its landlord three years.

The Brick Block Hotel was erected by James
Conlan in 1872.* The first to keep a hotel here
was Charles A. Correy, who rema ined two years.

• James Conlan died in 1873.

Michael Rowe succeeded him, and is the present
landlord. The store which occupied the site of
this hotel was built by James M. Winchell in 1856,
and was burned down on the night of July 4th,

The Central Hotel ^z.^ built in 1865, by George
Greathead,* and was used until 1871 as a storage
house. The building was moved to its present
site in 1872, and was run as a hotel by Mr. Great-
head from the spring of 1873 '^"'•'^ ^^ spring of
1876. Rowland and Eugene Simmons, Seymour
L. Buckley, and Barnum, were the -succes-
sors in Une. The present proprietor [1881] is
Franklin Silvernail, who has been here two years.
Newspapers. — The Millerton Telegraph, a
weekly newspaper, was established in 1876, by
Cooley James, who conducted it some three
months and sold to Van Scriver & Deacon, the
present editors and pubUshers.

Webotuck Lodge No. 480, F. and A. M., was
organized June 11, 1860. The Charter officers
were : — Lucius P. Woods, W. M. ; Samuel L. Bag-
ley, S. W. ; J. Curtis Smith, J. W. The present
Secretary is Levi f. Hatch. The lodge meets
every other Friday.

North East Library Association.— The vil-
lage contains a fine library under the control
of the North East Library Association, which
had its origin in the Millerton Reading Room As-
sociation, organized January 10, 1876. It was
changed to the present association, April 10, 1876.
The first officers were Andrew J. Copp, President ;
Mrs. Jeremiah W. Paine, General Walter Phelps,
Jr., Darius Penney, Vice Presidents; William E.
Penney, Treasurer, Secretary and Librarian. The
library contains about 350 volumes.

Physicians — Among the past physicians of the
town, was Curtice J. Hurd, who practiced here
from 1820 to 1834 or '36, and who had an exten-
sive patronage. He went to Manlius, Onondaga
County, N. Y., about 1837, and practiced for some
time there, where he died a number of years after.
Two of his sons, George and Darwin, were also
physicians, and for a short time practiced here.
Both are now dead. Dr Samuel Robertson, a na-
tive of Windham, Greene County, N. Y., practiced
here from 1830 until 1846 or '47. He went to
near Albany, and in i88r, was living in Canisteo,
N. Y. Dr. Bull was also a prominent physician
here previous to 1820. Other physicians were Dr.

* a native of Yorkshire, England, bom April lo, 1830, came to Amer-
ica in 1849, and to MiUerton in i8S4- For some years he was prominent
as a speculator and merchant.



Northrop, previous to 1864-5; Dr. Tibbies, 1865-
'67 ; Dr. Chamberlain, 1870, died in 1873 ; and Dr.
James F. Preston, who practiced here from the fall
of 1878 to 1880, and removed to MinneapoHs,

The physicians now in practice here are. Dr.
Sidney Stillman, who graduated from the Berk-
shire Medical College, Pittsfield, Mass., in 1837,
and who came to North East, July 4, 1846.

Dr. Henry A. Hart, a native of New Britain,
Conn., born in 1828, graduated from the College
of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, in 1853-4,
and came to Millerton in 1874.

Dr. Arthur F. Hoag, a graduate from the
College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York,

William Selleck, M. D., a native of Dover
Plains, graduated from New York Homeopathic
College in 1875, and came to Millerton in

Frank G. Hugins, a native of Sheffield, Mass.,
Surgeon Dentist, came to Millerton in 1881.

Dr. Frederic V. Clarkson, a native of New York,
graduated from the College of Physicians and
Surgeons of that city in 1852, and came to North
East in 1865.

Lawyers. — The lawyers are Edward W. Sim-
mons, a native of North East, born in 1816, ad-
mitted to the bar in 1867.

Collins Sheldon, a native of Copake, Columbia
County, admitted to practice in May, 1862, and
came to North East in February, 1863. He is
Surrogate of the County, to which position he was
elected in 1877.

William R. Smith, a native of Ancram, Columbia
county, born in 1827, became a resident of this
town in 1868. He was admitted to the bar in

Churches. — Millerton contains four churches,
the Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and Roman
Catholic. The history of the Baptist Church em-
braces a period of a century and a quarter. The
organization was begun on the 6th day of Novem-
ber, 1751, when nine persons, who had been bap-
tized on a profession of their faith, entered into
church relationship. The names of the original
nine members are as follows : —

Simon Dakin, Elijah Calkin, Josiah Baker,
Maltheo Rowlee, Reuben Cloos, Barzillai King,
Stephen Pepper, Elisha Cole.

A church covenant and articles of faith were
adopted, and these nine disciples became the
"Baptist Church of Phillips' Patent, Government

of York."* There were at that time less
than fifty Baptist churches in North America,
with a membership of less than 4,000. But few
then could be found to sympathize with Baptists,
and the movement was generally regarded as the
illustration of a fanaticism that would soon expend
itself The church appears' to have been destitute
of a settled pastor until 1753. In that year an
invitation was given to Simon Dakin, one of the
nine constituent members, to assume the pastoral
charge. He accepted the call, and at once began
his labors as the first pastor of the Baptist Church
of Phillips' Patent. He was ordained by a coun-
cil, and for fifty years was a faithful minister in
that denomination. Up to 1761, the society was
without a house of worship, but in that year a be-
ginning was made, and in the following year the
house was finished aad dedicated. At this time
the membership had become increased to thirty-
three. In 1770, the society joined the Phila-
delphia Association of Churches, and had then a
membership of sixty-five.

In 1773 they were invited to remove to the sec-
tion of country lying north of them, known as the
" North East Precinct of Duchess County." Owing
to numerous difficulties, and the invitation to re-
moval being so cordial, they decided that the change
should at once be made. Previous to removal,
however, they dismissed some of their number to
form another church in the same county, over
which Nathan Cole was ordained as pastor. By
the last of April the removal was effected, and on
the first of May, 1773, they held their first cove-
nant meeting in North East, at the house of Rev.
Simon Dakin, the pastor, near " Spencer's Clear-
ing." During 1774, seven were baptized and ten
received into membership. In 1775, Rev. Elijah
Wood, a Congregational minister over a church in
Amenia Precinct,t was baptized" and received into
the Baptist Church. During this year the sever-
ance of the colonies from Great Britain was declared
accomplished. The storm of patriotic indignation
burst, and every day added intensity to its force.
The patriots of Duchess County called a meeting
at Poughkeepsie, and a pledge was adopted " that
under all the ties of religion, honor and love to
country, they would adopt and carry into execu-
tion whatever might be recommended by the Con-
tinental Congres s."

* PhUlips' Patent, in which the church was first located, was a tract
ofland in Westchester county, lo miles square, lying south of a line
running due east from the mouth of Croton River. It was granted by
Charles II., of England, to Frederic Phillips, who settled upon its
western limits in 1680.

t See History of Baptist Church in Amenia.



On the Sth of July, 1775, this pledge was sent
into the precinct of North East for signers. The
response was enthusiastic, and among the names
of those who signed we find James Winchell, Ben-
jamin Covey, Eusly Simmons, Elisha Mead, David
Hamblen, the Knickerbackers, John Fulton, Eben-
ezer Crane, Smith Simmons, Israel Thompson^
Nathaniel Mead, and others. The ore bed, now
known as the Maltby, formerly the Dakin, ore bed,
had been opened several years before, but aban-
doned. It was this year re-opened, and iron taken
out for the casting of cannon for the patriot army.

In 1776 the society prepared to build a house
of worship. Rev. Simon Dakin donated to them
the land now occupied as the old burial ground at
Spencer's Corners, and on this they laid the found-
ation of their second meeting house, which was
completed and dedicated the following year.

In 1778 the church recorded its protest against
slavery, and at a church meeting, held September
24th, they declared it to be contrary to the gospel,
and voted that they would do nothing to uphold it.
Few events of more than ordinary interest occurred
until the year 1780, when Elder Wood, with others,
withdrew from tiie North East church, and organ-
ized a church in the Amenia Precinct. Elder
Wood was ordained their pastor. Hezekiah East-
man was Hcensed to preach, being the third thus
authorized by this church.

In 1787 occurred a serious division of senti-
ment, which was continued into the following year,
when, by invitation of the church, a council met at
their house of worship to advise with them. As a
result, fifteen were dismissed to form anew church,
which they did at what is known as North East

In 1797 the membership had decreased, by
deaths and removals, to sixty-four. In this year
Rev. Simon Dakin died. During this time Rev.
John Leland moved into the town, purchased land,
and took charge of the church. He preached on
the Sabbath in the meeting house, and on week'
day evenings in the kitchen of the house now the
Presbyterian parsonage.

In 1812, James M. Winchell, having graduated
at Brown University, was licensed to preach by
the Church. He was ordained the following year
at Bristol, R. I., and the next year was installed as
pastor of the First Baptist Church in Boston. In
this same year John Buttolph was licensed to
preach, and on the 4th of May, 18 1 4, he was or-
dained, and began his labors as pastor, which he
continued for eleven years.

In 1828 the erection of a new house of worship
was begun, and was finished in 1829, the dedica-
tion taking place on the 12th of August, Rev.
Thomas Winter preaching the sermon, and Rev.
Rufus Babcock assisting in the services.

The edifice cost about $4,000, of which sum
James Winchell donated $1,700.

In 183 1, Jamfes Winchell and wife gave to trus-
tees a house and fourteen acres of land, to be for
the use and assistance of the pastors of the church.

In April, 1839, Rev. Thomas Winter resigned
the pastorate, and was succeeded in 1840 by Rev.
Andrew M. Smith, who remained till 1843. He
was succeeded by Rev. John LaGrange, who be-
gan his labors, as the sixth pastor, in April, 1843,
and remained until March, 1846. His successor
was the Rev. C. C. Williams, who remained as
pastor till 1847, and was followed by Rev. H. L.
Grose, who began his labors in 1848, and closed
them the 20th of December, 1851.

Rev. C. B. Keys succeeded to the pastorate in
March, 1852, and resigned in 1853. In 1854,
Rev. G. Anderson, a licentiate from the Baptist
church in Lewisburgh, Penn., came here, and the
church called him to the pastorate. He was or-
dained November 21st, and remained until 1857.
Rev. George Kempton succeeded him in 1857,
and closed his labors in i860.

In 1 86 1, Eugene M. Byrnes was called to the
pastorate and began his ministry. He was follow-
ed by Rev. Thomas Winter, who, in August, 1863,
was the second time called to serve the church. '
He remained until 1865, when he removed to Rox-
boro, Penn. The pulpit was then for some time
supplied by different pastors who officiated for
brief periods. Rev. W. C. McCarthy supplied the
pulpit a few weeks and Rev. J. B. Simmons, of
Philadelphia, officiated a month.

In 1866, the church voted to sell the meeting
house, purchase a new site, and erect a new edi-
fice in the growing village of Millerton. On the
1 9th of August, the church met for the last time
in the old house at Spencer's Corners. Novem-
ber 4, 1867, a hundred and sixteen years after its
organization, the church met to lay the corner
stone of its fourth house of worship.

In November, 1873, Rev. S. L. Holman began
his labor as pastor, and on the 20th of Novem-
ber, the new house of worship was dedicated. Mr.
Holman's pastorate lasted until the 23d of May,
1875. His successor was Rev. A. C. Lyon, the
present incumbent, who began his ministerial work
in June, 1875.



The Presbyterian Church, formerly known as
the North East Congregational Church, was or-
ganized January 15, 1829, with nine members,
six by letter, and three by their profession of faith.

The names of these members were : — Elihu
Paine, Ezra L. Barrett, Rhoda Barrett, Phillip J.
Jenks, Julia Ann Jenks, John G. Douglass, Eliza-
beth Clark, Mary Hotchkiss, Myra Coleman [Mrs.
Pitcher]. The original church was formed and
located at North East Centre. The old church
edifice there was torn down in 1866. During the
year there were fourteen additions to the mem-
bership, eight by letter and six by profession of
faith. Phillip J. Jenks was elected Deacon.

The first to preach to the society was Rev. Mr.
VanDyke, who remained six months. In 1830,
the first regularly installed pastor. Rev. Thomas
Fletcher, began his labors. On the 21st of May,
1833, Rev. Thomas Fletcher was dismissed for
want of adequate support. On the 30th of Sep-
tember, 1834, the church became connected with
the Litchfield North Association of Connecticut.
There is no account of a ministerial supply for that
year. July 3, 1835, Rev. Mr. Gaylord was en-
gaged for one year. In 1841, Rev. Mr. Howe
was the pastor. Rev. Joel Osborn was invited to
become the pastor, and was installed May 27,
1846. In 1848, Rev. Joel Osborn was dismissed
on account of ill-health. The church was closed
the greater portion of the time from his with-
drawal to March, 1850. In that year Rev. Isaac
DeVoe was engaged for one year. Mr. DeVoe was
again engaged for 1852, and remained until 1855.

From April, 1855, until the summer of 1858, the
church was for the most part closed.- In the latter
year Rev. E. W. Stoddard, pastor of the church in
Amenia, commenced preaching every Sunday af-
ternoon, and under his labors the church was gath-
ered together again, after being seemingly almost
scattered. Mr. Stoddard supphed the desk until
September, 1859, when the Rev. George R. Fer-
guson took his place.

In October, 1863, the church secured the ser-
vices of Rev. O. Parker, who held for three weeks
a series of revival meetings.

In 1866 the church was removed to Millerton.
The last sermon in the old house was preached
February 1 1 th. The corn er stone of the new house
was laid August ist, with appropriate ceremonies.
Services were held in the basement of the Metho-
dist church, at the Centre, while the work of build-
ing was in progression. The new house of wor-
ship was dedicated February 17, 1867.

In 1873 the church severed its connection with
the Association of Litchfield North, in Connecti-
cut, and was received under the charge of the Pres-
bytery of North River. Mr. Ferguson closed his
labors about 1874, and September 2 ist, of that year
a call was extended to Rev. John J. Walsh, who ac-
cepted it and remained until March 5, 1876, when
on account of failing eye-sight he was compelled to
cease preaching. From that time for a considera-
ble period the desk was variously supplied by Revs.
Beebe, Phillips, Territt, Cleveland, Brown, Acker-
man, Woodruff, Westervelt, Lent, Cooper, Shaw.
William E. Westervelt was called in February, 1877,
and remained until 1880. He was succeeded by
Rev. J. Y. Marsh, one year.

The Methodist Episcopal Church records are very
meagre. The Methodists were the first to hold re-
ligious services here after the departure of the Mor-
avian missionaries. Their first meeting was held in
this town about 1750, and the first sermon was
preached in a house just east of Sharon Station, by
whom it is not known. One of the early Metho-
dist itinerants of Northern Duchess was " Billy "
Hibbard, who probably preached in this vicinity.

One of the early members of the church here
was Thomas Haywood, who lived near what is
now known as Mt. Riga. He had a family of five
sons and nine daughters, nearly all of whom were
Methodists. At his house the traveUing preachers
were wont to stay, and services were held there
once a fortnight. This was probably from the
year 1790 to 1807, as the school house near there
was built in 1807, to the erection of which Mr.
Haywood gave fifty dollars on condition that the
building be made large enough to be used 'as a
place of religious worship. The first original
document as yet . discovered is a certificate of in-
corporation of the chapel which stood at Spencer's
Corners. It reads as follows : —

"At a meeting of the members and supporters of
the Methodist Episcopal Church at Spencer's Cor-
ners, at the house of Orville Dakin, Nov. 5, 1842,
at 7 o'clock p. M., the meeting being duly called'
Rev. A. F. Selleck, preacher in charge, was called
to the chair, A. Winchell was chosen secretary
and Nathaniel Gridley and Orville Dakin officers
to preside at the meeting. Upon motion of N.

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 51 of 125)