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 56 of 125)
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by Harry Tremper, and is one of the best hotels
in the county.

Banks. — The Bank of Rhinebeck was established
in 1853. The subscriptions to the stock were
procured in the previous year by Theophilus Gil-
lender, on a paper, the heading to which was
drawn up by Gouverneurj,TilIottson, Esq., who
came into the practice of law here on the death of
John Armstrong. The bank was begun on a
capital of $150,000, which has since been increased
to $175,000. Its first officers were: — Henry De
Lamater, President; William R. Schell, Vice-
President; DeWitt C. Marshall, Cashier. It has
always been a well managed and prosperous insti-

The Rhinebeck Savings Bank was also estab-
lished through the enterprise of Theophilus Gil-
lender,* who was its first Secret^'y and Treasurer.
If was organized in 1862. Its deposits are now
$248,150. The present officers are :— Joshua C.
Bowne, President; Simon Welch, Secretary and

Lawyers. — The lawyers now in practice here
are: —

Esselstyn & McCarty, (George Esselstyn,*
James C. McCarty). The former, a native of
Claverack, Columbia county, was born in 1841.
He was graduated from Rutledge C*ollege, N. J.,
m 1 86 1, studied law with Gaul & Esselstyn, in
Hudson, about four years, was admitted to prac-
tice December 10, 1863, and came to Rhinebeck,
March 20, 1865.

James C. McCarty, a native of Rhinebeck, born
in 1824, studied, law with Ambrose Wager, Esq.,
from 1844 to 1847, in which year he was admitted
to the bar, and remained with Ambrose Wager '
until 1857. -^

Charles E. McCarty, son of James C. McCarty,
studied law with his father, and was admitted to
practice in 1880.

thil^ii^s^^:^^::^^^'- "- ^ ^"""" ^-^ "^-^^p"-' ^^-^ -^



Ambrose Wager, born in Hillsdale, Columbia
county, in 1815, graduated from Union College,
Schenectady, in 1839, ^.nd came to Rhinebeck as
a resident in 1841.

Ambrose Lee Wager, born in Rhinebeck in
1858, graduated from Yale College in 1878,
studied law with his father, Ambrose, and was ad-
mitted to practice in May, 1880.

Physicians. — The resident physicians are : — Dr.
Francis H. Roof, a native of Cooperstown, N. Y.,
born in 1842, graduated from the College of Phy-
sicians and Surgeons, New York, in the course of
1862-3. He began his practice in Kings County
Hospital, Brooklyn, where he remained a year and
a half. In January, 1865, he entered the U. S.
service as Acting Assistant Surgeon of the 19th
Army Corps, under General Grover, which position
he retained until June, 1865. He came to Rhine-
beck in 1876.

Dr. William More Decker, born in Margaret-
ville, Delaware county, N. Y., in 1855, graduated
from the Homeopathic Medical College, New
York, in 1879, and came to Rhinebeck in 1880.

Dr. Pierre A. Banker, a native of Poughkeepsie,
born in 1845, graduated from the New York
Homeopathic College in 1879, and came to
Rhinebeck in January, 1881.

Dr. Cornelius S. Van Etten, born in Pike
county, Pa., in 1846, graduated from the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, in 1873,
and became a resident of Rhinebeck in March,

Dr. Frank Latson, a native of Rhinebeck, born
in 1853, graduated from the New York College of
Dentistry in 1880, and began his practice in this

Churches. — German Reformed Church. — The
first church in Rhinebeck, and probably in Duchess
County, was the " High Dutch Reformed Protestant
Church," which, until the year 1800, stood near
the old cemetery, on the post-road, three miles
north of the present village of Rhinebeck, at what
is now known as " Pink's Corner." It came into
the town with the German Palatines, and undoubt-
edly as early as 17 15. There were among these
people both Lutherans and Calvinists, and they
built the first church together, and remained joint
owners until 1729, when contentions arose between
them, and they separated to have each a church to
themselves. December 10, 1729, the Lutherans
sold out to the " Reformed Protestants," receiving
for their interest in the church and four acres of
land, " twenty-five pounds, current money of New

York." The money was paid to Hendrick Shever,
Joseph Rykart, Barent Sipperly and Karell Neher,
for the Lutherans ; by France Kelder, Ccenradt
Bearinger, Wendell Polver and Jacob WoUeben
for the Reformers. In a bond given by the Luther-
ans to the Reformers, a deed is quoted from Henry
Beekman, the younger, and other heirs of Col.
Henry Beekman, deceased, to Barent Sipperly, Jr.,
for a farm at Rhynbeek, March 5, 172 1, contain-
ing fifty-six acres of land, in which was reserved
four acres of land whereon the Church of Rhyn-
beek then stood, for the use of a church and
church yard, " and so to remain forever for that
use ;" and, also, that " Gilbert Livingston and his
wife, with the consent of the said Barent Sipperly,
Jr., did, on the first day of August, 1724, lease the
said farm unto Hendrick Beam, with the said res-
ervation of the said four acres for the church."

It is learned from this that four acres had been
assigned for the church, and the church built
thereon before 1 7 2 1 ; that the reservation was
again made in 1724, when the land changed own-
ers, and that joint ownership continued to 1729,
when the German Reformers became sole proprie-

December 4, 1747, "Catharine Pawling, of Rhine,
beck Precinct, * * * widow " gave to Nicholas
Stickell, Jacobj Sickener, Philip More, Hendrick
Berringer, Jacob Drum and Jacob Berringer,
"being the present Elders and Deacons of the
High Dutch Reformed Protestant Church of
Rhinebeck," a deed for this church and lands, (in
which is again recited the leases to Sipperly and
Beam,) for the use of the inhabitants of "Rine-
beek " professing the Protestant religion according
to the rules of the Reformed Church. When the
church was discontinued on these premises, in
1800, the land reverted to the heirs of Catharine
Pawling, or to the sole use of the cemetery. It is
now, with the exception of about one-fourth of an
acre, appropriated for farming purposes, and cattle
are herded among the tombstones in the old cem-
etery. By what right this is done is not known,
unless it is by the right of possession. The rec-
ords of this church while in union with the Luth-
erans, if any were kept, are lost. Johannes Spal-
ler, a.Lutheran, was minister at the " Kamps and
Rinback" in 1723, and doubtless ministered to the
Lutherans in the Union Church at that date.
There is no definite knowledge of the minister who
served the German Reformed people during the
union. John Frederick Hager came to the Camps
with the German people in 17 10. October 8,



1715, he with John Cast and Godfrey de Wolven,
on behalf of themselves and upwards of sixty fara-
iUes of the Palatines in Duchess County, petitioned
Governor Hunter for license to build a church in
Kingsbury. Corwin, in his Manual, classes him
with the Reformed ministers. This being so, he
probably served both the Kingsbury and Rhine-
beck people ; and the Rhinebeck may have been
the Kingsbury church. After the separation in
1730, a book of records was opened in the Re-
formed Church. The first baptisms were recorded
April 5, 1730, and the first in the list is Johannes,*
the son of Zacharias Schmidt.

The title page to this book, now in existence, is
in German, in the hand-writing of George Michal
Weiss, and, translated, is as follows : —

"General Church Book of the Reformed Con-
gregation in Reyn Beek, organized and estabUshed
by G. M. Weiss, Preacher for the time being for
the Two Low Dutch Congregations at Kats Kill
and Kocks Hocky. Ao. Christi, 1734, May 23d."

June 27, 1742, the record is again in the hand of
Dominie Weiss, and this is the beginning of a pas-
torate of four years in the German Church at
Rhmebeck, and the Dutch Church on the Flats,
the churches being a joint charge during this
period. His record in the German Church termi-
nated on the 32d, and in the Dutch on the 29th
of June, 1746. Casper Ludwig Schnorr, of the
Camp Reformed Church, installed the officers of
the Rhinebeck Church May 2, 1747, and presided
at the reception of members therein on April
26th. He evidently served both churches during
this period, and thus established a union which
endured for a century. At the close of his labors,
Mancius resumed the charge of the church, and
did all its work until February; 15, 1755. His suc-
cessor was Johan Casper Rubel, whose first bap-
tism in Rhinebeck is recorded May 18, 1755, ^^d
his last on September 30, 1759. At the close of
his pastorate, Mancius was again pastor. He
remained until May 31, 1762. June 25, 1763,
there is a record of thirteen baptisms and four
additions to the church in the hand of Rubelj and
that is the last found of his hand in the records of
the church.

Gerhard Daniel Cock came to America, on invi-
tation of the Camp Church, in November, 1763
and at once took charge of both churches. He
recorded his first baptism i« the Rhinebeck church
December 11, 1763, and his last July 24, 1791.
At the close of his pastorate, between July 24

•Grandfather to Edward H- Smitb, author of the "History of
RhlBebepU. "

1791, and June 15, 1794, there are 24 baptisms in
an unknown hand. Johan Daniel Schefer came
into the pastorate in 1794, and remained until
October 9, 1799. Between July- 8, 1800, and Sep-
tember 26, 1802, there are nine baptisms in an
unknown hand. In this period, it is thought that
the new edifice was built four miles further north,
in what is now Red Hook, on land donated by
General Armstrong, to which the church moved.
It did not cease to be the Rhinebeck German
Reformed Church by this change of location.*

Valentine Rudiger Fox came into the pastorate
in 1802, and doubtless commenced it in the new
church. His last baptism was recorded July 27,
1823. John Rudy succeeded Fox in 1823. He
remained until 1835. Cornelius Gates succeeded
Rudy in the pastorate of the Red Hook church,
the Camp church having passed under the care of
the Classis of Poughkeepsie April 25, 1837, during
the pastorate of Rev. Jacob WiUiam Hangen, who
served thenceforth in connection with the Upper
Red Hook Dutch Reformed Church. This church
having thus taken the Camp, the Lutherans in a
short time thereafter took the Red Hook charge,
and this was the end of the German Reformed
Church in Duchess county.f All that is left of it
in Rhinebeck, where it had its birth, and passed
the most prosperous period of its existence, is the
old grave-yard, now a cow-yard, at Pink's Corner
within the limits of the old Palatine village of Rein
Beek. Stranded between the Dutch church on the
Flats, and that erected in the village of Upper Red
Hook, in 1785, it fell an easy prey to the Luther-
ans, with whom its people had freely inter-married,
and toward whom they naturally gravitated.

TAe Rhinebeck Lutheran Church came into ex-
istence simultaneously with the German Church at
Pink's Corner. If it kept any <»records while in
union with the latter, before 1729^ they are not
now extant. It sold out its interest in the church
at Pink's Corner, as before stated, December 10,
1729. On the fourth of November preceding, ap-
pUcation had been made to Gilbert Livingston for
a lot for a church and cemetery, which received the
following response : —

"Memorandum — This 4th day of November,
1729, have Francis Near, and Michael Bonesteel
asked of me, in behalf of the Lutheran congrega-
tion m Rhinebeck, Duchess County, a piece of
ground for the purpose of build ing a church and

* The Precinct of Rhinebeck, organized in 1734, extendeif to the Co-
lumbia County line untU i8ii, when Red Hook received a separate

tits ministers always resided at the Camp, now the Germantown



making a burying-place for the said congregation,
which ground, so said, lies by Barent Sipperly's.
For the encouragement of so good a work, I promise
in this the same ground in my lot lying, and at a
convenient time to measure off to them and to
give a transfer for the Lutheran congregation dwell-
ing on land of the late Col. Henry Beekman.

"In witness whereof, I have undersigned this,
date as above, at Kingston, Ulster County.

Gilbert Livingston."

"The above promissory note was translated
from the original Low Dutch by me, the under-
signed, at Clermont, Columbia Co., N. Y., this
second day of May, 1857.

Augustus Wackerhagen."

The fruit of this promise was the present church
lot and cemetery, containing five acres, three roods
and eighteen perches. There is no deed for it
among the church papers, but - possession was
doubtless at once obtained. In the grave-yard
here are tombstones dating back to 1733. On the
first of May, 1768, Michael Sipperly sold to Henry
Tator, Lodewick Elsever and Philip Bonesteel,
trustees of the Rhinebeck Lutheran Church,
twenty-nine and one-half acres of land for two
hundred pounds New Y^rk money. On the same
day, Robert G. Livingston gave the same parties
a hfe lease for two pieces of land, both pieces to
contain seventeen acres, subject to a rent of six
bushels of wheat a year, and to continue during
the lives of George Tator, Jr., David Elsever and
Frederick Sipperly, the son of George Sipperly.
On the first of June, 1798, John Crooke deeded to
Peter Traver, Jost Neher, Frederick Pister^ John
Seaman, David Lown, Jr., and George Elsever,
trustees, and their successors forever, two acres of
land for fifty dollars, subject to an annual rent of
three pecks of wheat. On the eighth of Decem-
ber, 1807, Robert G. Livingston and his wife,
Martha, sold to Nicholas Bonesteel, Zacharias
Traver, Johannes Simmon, Zacharias Feller, An-
dries Teal and John R. Feller, of the town of
Rhinebeck, trustees of St. Peter's Church, for the
sum of fifty dollars, three acres and three roods of
land for a parsonage lot. There is found, also, a
map of the church lot, for five acres, three roods,
eighteen perches, with a map of seven acres, two
roods, five perches, on the east side of the road,
for a parsonage lot. These maps are without date,
and were probably made in 1760. A lease for
one year, dated May i, 1797, given by the trustees
of the church to Charles Reinold, says he is to
have all the lands lying on the east side of the
post-road, belonging to the church. The church
now owns no lands on the east side of the road.

On the eighth of January, 1808, the church lands,
aside from the church lot, were the property of
Robert G. Livingston and his wife, Martha, who,
in a conveyance bearing that date, disposed of
them to Samuel Hake. These lands were then in
the possession of the church, and consisted of
thirty-two acres. The church held these lands un-
der a perpetual lease, and paid an annual rent of
ten bushels and twenty-eight quarts of wheat On
the first of May, 1857, this rent was due to James
de Peyster, Frederick de Peyster and Robert G.
L. de Peyster, heirs of Samuel Hake, and they
released the land from the incumbrance at this
date, in a deed of absolute ownership to Henry
Cotting, Michael Traver, John A. Traver, Stephen
Traver, Jacob Teal, Philip Sipperly, John H.
Rikert, Henry A. Cramer and Lewis D. Elsefifer,
trustees of the church, for $275.00.

The first church edifice was built in 1730. Of
the cost and character of the house there exist no
records to give us information.

" The Stone Church," the name by which it has
been distinguished for more than a century, was
built some time before the Revolution. In 1824
this edifice was remodeled and enlarged, and em-
belished with its present tower. The expense of
this improvement was about $3,000.00, and the
name of PhiHp Schuyler is recalled as one of the
building committee, and that of Stephen McCarty
as the builder. In 1843, it was again improved at
a cost of some $1,100.00. The present parsonage
was built in 1798, for Dominie Quitman, and is a
commodious dwelling, well preserved for its years.

Undoubtedly the first pastor over the Luther-
ans, and when they were united with the German
Reformers in the occupancy of the church at Pink's
Corner, was Rev. Joshua Kotcherthal. He was
a Lutheran minister, and came to this country
with the first company of Palatines, whom he set-
tled at Quasack Creek, near Newburgh, in Orange
County. He knded in New York January i, 1709,
from the ship Globe, Capt. Congreve. In that
same year he returned to London on an errand to
the Queen, and came back with the Palatines who
came over with Governor Hunter in 17 10, on the
ship Midfort, Capt. Fowles. He took up his resi-
dence in New Town, one of the Palatine villages,
on the west side of the Hudson, in the West
Camp. He served as Lutheran pastor for the
Palatines, settled in New York, at Quasack Kil, at
the West and East Camps, and at Rhinebeck. He
began his records on shipboard, September 14,
1708, and they cover a period of eleven years,



beginning in 1708, and ending at his death in
1 7 19.

Johan Christoval Hartwick * was pastor over the
church, after the separation, from 1746 to 1758.
His successor was Johannes Frederick Reis, whose
pastorate began March 7, 1760, and ended Jan_
15. 1783. He died in 1791, and was buried at
Churchtown. George Henrich PfeifTer succeeded
Reis. He served the church from 1784 to 1798-
A tombstone in the Rhinebeck church yard closes
his history in these lines : —

"Sacred to the memory of GEO. H. PFEIF-
FER, a native of Germany, pastor of the Lutheran
congregation in Rhinebeck, who died Oct. 26, 1827,
aged about eighty years."

Frederick Henry Quitman was the next pastor,
coming in 1798 and remaining until 1830. Rev.
William J. Eyer succeeded him in the pastorate.
His first baptism was recorded Oct. 24, 1828, and
his last March 17, 1836. Rev. N. W. Goertner
was the next pastor. He recorded his first bap-
tism in January, 1837, and his last Oct. 24, 1845.
It was during his ministry that the Red Hook
German Reformed Church was brought into the
Lutheran fold, and added to his charge.

The after pastors were : — Rev. Dr. Charles
Shseffer ; Rev. Dr. Strobel, after whose pastorate
the Red Hook and Rhinebeck churches became
independent charges; Rev. Frederick M. Bird,
1860-62 ; Rev. George W. Schmucker, 1862 to
April, 1 871; Rev. Charles Koerner, 1870; Rev.
Samuel G. Finkel, i87i-'78; Rev. J. A. Earnest,
the present incumbent.

The Reformed Dutch Church had practically its
origin in 1730. On August 26th, of that year,_
Henry Beekman presented to Lawrence Oster-
hout, Jacob Kip and William Traphagen, for
themselves and "the rest of the inhabitants of the
North Ward, a deed for two pieces of land, one
containing two acres, and the other forty-four
acres, for church and burial purposes. The deed
recites as conditions that two elders and two
deacons shall annually be chosen by a majority
vote of the members of the said denomination, to
act as trustees until they are able to call a minister
of their own, when they were entitled to act ac-
cording to the rules of the Reformed Church in
Holland ; and, likewise, that within the sp ace of

•Johan Christoval Hartwick obtained a grant of 21,500 acres of land
from the government in 1754- He died at the residence of Mrs. Judge
Livingston, in Clermont, July 17, 1796, aged 82 years, 6 months, and was

buried at the Camp Lutheran Church. His

remams were subsequently

removed to Albany and bnried under the pulpit of the Ebenezer Lutheran

Church. Hartwick Seminary, at Cooperstown, named for him, was

erected and IS largely supported with means left for that purpose in his

three years ensuing they shall build on two acres
of the said land a church, in neglect of which con-
ditions and provisions the lands were to revert to
Henry Beekman or his heirs."

The first election of church officers under this
deed was held June 28, 1731. The elders chosen
were Hendricus Heermance and Jacob Kip. The
deacons were Jacobus Van Etten and Isaac Kip.
The elders and two deacons were thus elected an-
nually and approved by the minister and consistory
of the Kingston church, as required by the terms
of the deed, until 1742, when the church on the
" Flatts " found " itself in quahty," as the deed ex-
presses it, to support a minister in connection with
the German Reformed Church, at Rhinebeck. The
church was probably built as early as 1 733. The deed
required it to be built by that time, and old monu-
ments, still to be found in its graveyard, show that
the ground was appropriated for burial purposes in
that year. It is not probable that this step would
have been taken in advance of the erection of the
edifice necessary to secure the title to the property.
It is assumed, therefore, that the house was built
in due time, and that services were conducted in
it, as occasion required, by the minister from

George Michael Weiss came into the pastorate
of this church in 1742, and served it, in connection
with the German Reformed Church, until 1746.
From April 15, 1746 to 1750, there was, appar-
ently, no settled pastor.

Eggo Toukens Van Hovenburg came into the
pastorate December 23, 1750, and remained until
February 26, 1763. From the close of his pastor-
ate to March 26, 1769, there was no settled pastor.

March 26, 1769, Warmaldus Kuypers came into
the pastorate, and remained until September 29,
1771- From that time to 1776, the church was
again without a settled pastor.

June 2, 1776, one month before the Declaration
of Independence, Gerhard Daniel Cock was evi-
dently pastor, and continued thus until December
i8, 1785, one year after the close of the war.
From this date to October 28, 1787, there was no

Petrus DeWitt was Cock's successor, and John
Broadhead Romeyn succeeded DeWitt, coming
into the pastorate in 1799, and going out in 1803.
October i, 1801, Mrs. Montgomery presented the
church with an acre of ground to take the place of
that taken by the extension of East Market street
through the church lands, which was done in this
year. It was also during the pastorate of Dominie



Romeyn that the church lands were released, or
attempted to be released, from the restriction in
the deed forbidding their occupancy by liquor
sellers, shopmen and peddlers, in an indenture
bearing date September 2, 1801. Romeyn's suc-
cessor was Rev. Jacob Broadhead, who served the
church from 1804 to 1810. The present substan-
tial church edifice was built in 1807-8, and during
the ministry of Jacob Broadhead.

Jacob Broadhead was succeeded in the pastor-
ate by Dominie McMurray, who served the church
from 1812 to 1820. Thereafter the succession
was as follows: David Parker, from 1820 to 1827;
George W. Bethune, from 1827 to 1830, during
whose pastorate the present parsonage was com-
pleted in which he was the first occupant ; James
B. Hardenbergh, 1830 to 1836; James LiUie, 1837
to 1841 ; Brogan Huff, 1842 to 1851; Peter
Stryker, 1851 to 1856, durinj whose pastorate the
recess and a new pulpit were built, the heaters put
in and the building otherwise improved ; William
A. Miller, 1856 to 1859; Herman R. Timlow,
1859 to 1866 ; Goyn Talmage, 1867 to 1871 ;
Alonzo P. Peeke, 1872 to 1879, and Rev. L. Wal-
ter Lott, the present incumbent, who was ordained
and installed pastor of this church October 7, 1879.

The old cemetery was abandoned in 1845, not
because it was full, but because it lies near the
center of the village and interments were prohibited
by the corporate authorities. There is a tradition
among the people of this church that Col. Henry
Beekman, the donor of the church lands, was buried
in its cemetery, near the old church, and that the new
edifice was built over his grave. His descendants
have no knowledge at variance with this tradition.
If this were so, it is singular there is no tablet or
monument to be found to establish the fact. He
died January 3, 1776, six months before the Dec-
laration of Independence by the American Con-
gress. His daughter and only child, Margaret,
widow of Robert R. Livingston, died in June,

Excepting the Episcopal Church property and
the Francisco premises, all the village of Rhine-
beck lying east of Mulberry street and south of
Chestnut street, is built on church land. It is
traversed by South, East Market, Livingston, Par-
sonage and Beach streets. On the laying out of
these streets this land was laid out in lots which
have all been sold under durable leases, subject to
a yearly rent. There are over ninety houses on
this land. On the church and cemetery lot of two

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 56 of 125)