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 62 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 62 of 125)
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days were placed to the credit of the whole High
Dutch race, by the less magnanimous Low Dutch;
but we are too far advanced in intelligence and
reason, to accuse the many of the evil deeds of the
few. There were also many faithful patriots
among that class, and we invariably find they were
those, or the children of those, who were led to
mistrust the honesty of the EngUsh government,
through the dishonorable peculations of the officials
placed over them, in their first emigration to this

We have already mentioned the fact that Bar-
ent Lewis purchased of Jacob Stoutenburgh and
others, a tract of land lying near Hyde Park. In
the division of the Nine Partners, we think the
lands lying here fell to Hendrick TenEyck, of
whom Jacob Stoutenburgh and others purchased.
In 1797, Jacob and Catharine Lewis conveyed the
property, purchased by Barent, to Morgan Lewis,
then living at "Rombout." Here Gen. Lewis
lived many years in a manner becoming his sta-
tion, and exhibited that generous hospitality for
which he became noted. His life was a busy and
useful one, and a worthy example for the youth
to notice. From " Jenkins'" Governors of New
York " we cull the public life of Duchess' honored

He was born in the city of New York, October
16, 1754, and educated at Elizabeth Academy and
Princeton College, from which he took his degree.
He afterward entered the law office of John Jay,
one of the brightest professionals of the day.
While engaged in his studies, he joined (1774) a
volunteer company composed mainly of his asso-
ciates, or those about the same age as himself,
who had united together for the purpose of per-
fecting themselves in military discipline under the
instruction of one of the soldiers of the " Great
Frederick." The ability of the teacher and the
manner in which they profited by his tuition, may
be inferred from the fact that this one company
furnished to the army of the Revolution more than
fifty of its best officers.

Soon after the battle of Bunker Hill, young
Lewis was found in arms before Boston, as a vol-
unteer in' a rifle company commanded by Captain
Ross, of Lancaster, Penn. He soon returned to

New York, as he was appointed to a command of
volunteers, whose first duty was to remove the
arms, ordnance, etc., from the battery, in the face
of the British ship Asia, sent from Boston to
" overawe the city."

In November following, Capt. Lewis was com-
missioned as first Major in the Second Regiment
of foot, as the New York militia was organized by
the Provincial Congress. He accompanied Gen.
Gates to the northern frontier in 1776, as the chief
of his staff, with the rank of Colonel, and was soon
appointed Quartermaster-General of the Northern
department. He was through the Saratoga cam-
paign, and rendered as a soldier in common with
others of that noble band such efficient duties
as marked an event that will resound to all coming
time. At the close of the war, he resumed his
studies in the city of New York, and was soon
admitted to the bar. At this time began his polit-
ical career. The Federalists elected him to the
State Assembly from New York. Dissolving his
connection with the Federalists in 1790, he was
elected by the " Repubhcans" to the same position
that year. Removing to this county, the electors
re-elected him in 1792. He was appointed Attor-
ney-General of the State in 1791. The year 1792
elected him fourth Judge of the Supreme Court,
and in 1801 he rose to the Chief-Justiceship. It
is well known that the " Repubhcans " were at that •
time the party of the day, so far exceeding the
"FederaHsts" in strength, that the latter werebut a
shadow of their former greatness. In the campaign
of 1804, the Repubhcans were divided and placed
two candidates in the field for the gubernatorial
chair, Aaron Burr and Morgan Lewis ; the Fed-
eralists fading from existence without a candidate.
Lewis, being connected with the most powerful
family of the State, the Livingstons, also favored
by the Clintons, and drawing a large vote from the
Federalists, was elected, with the worthy John
Broome as Lieutenant-Governor. He was again
nominated to the office of Governor, but having
displeased the Clintons, was defeated by Daniel D.

In 1 810, he was elected State Senator. In
181 2 he was once more appointed Quarter-
master-General, with the rank of Brigadier-
General, and was promoted to Major-General
in 1813, which position he held till the close of the
war. Becoming advanced in years, he retired to
private hfe, but was honored in 1835 by being
elected President of the New York Historical So-
ciety, which position he graced with interest and



dignity. At the time of his death, which occurred
on the sth day of February, i860, he was the pre-
siding officer of the State Society of Cincinnati,
and the Grand Master of the Masonic Grand
Lodge of New York. He married in 1799, Ger-
trude Livingston, sister of Robert R. and Edward

His only child, Margaret, married Maturin Living-
ston, and lived at Staatsburgh until her death, which
occurred on the 9th of February, i860, at the age
of eighty years. Throughout her life she endeared
herself to those around her, by her affability and

Maturin, her husband, preceeded her in death
many years. Their children were : Maturin, Mor-
timer, Lewis, Mrs. Col. Alex. Hamilton, Mrs. Will-
iam Lowndes, Mrs. Major Lowndes, Mrs. Henry
Livingston and Mrs. G. L. Hoyt. Maturin occu-
pied the old mansion at Staatsburgh, a fine resi-
dence, where the leading society of the early part
of the century often assembled and enjoyed the
hospitality for which the family have long been

The Lewis mansion was long owned by Hon. J.
K. Paulding, to whom the literary world owes
much for many fine productions in both poetry
and prose. He was a close associate of Washing-
ton Irving, and in sentiment and expression of the
same school. The residence is now owned and
occupied by N. Pendleton Rogers, a nephew of
the late Judge Pendleton.

About the year 1790, Dr. John Bard, a native
of New Jersey, removed to this place, having pur-
chased, many years previous, a portion of one of
the water lots. He was born in Burlington in
1 7 16, and practiced in the city of New York many
years, as leading physician and surgeon, and was
also President of the State Medical Society for a
long time. He passed his last days here, upon the
place now owned by Mrs. Kirkpatrick, upon which
he spent large sums of money, making it the finest
estate of the vicinity for that early day. He died
April I, 1799, and was followed by his son. Dr.
Samuel Bard, who was born in the city of New
York in 1742. He was the originator of the hos-
pital and of the medical school of that city, and
long a professor of the latter. After acquiring a
portion of his education he pursued his studies in
the best schools of France, England and Scotland,
and received his degree in Edinburgh in 1765. In
1813 he was elected President of the Medical
College, which position he held until his death,
which o«curred here on the 24th of May, 1821.

His last request was complied with, by burying him
beneath a tree in front of his mansion, where he
had spent many days in study and meditation.
His remains were, however, re-interred in the St.
James cemetery, where they he with the ashes of
his kindred. The Doctor was deeply interested
in educational matters, and with other gentlemen
who had purchased retreats near him, established
a fine school under his son WilUam as principal.
The school building stood to the south of the rail-
road depot, and was one of the best institutions
found outside of the city of New York. Among
those that gave a helping hand to the enterprise,
was Nathaniel Pendleton, a native of Virginia, a
scholar and jurist. He held various offices before
he left that State for the North, and after locating
in New York City was elected to the Assembly,
(181 6- 17) and held other positions of trust. He
was taking a ride upon the old Poughkeepsie road
on the 20th of October, 182 1, when his horse be-
came frightened as he was descending a hill and he
was thrown from the carriage. His head striking a
stone he was instantly killed. He was sixty-six
years of age, and a true type of the old Virginians,
intelligent and hospitable. His son, Edmond Hen-
ry, also studied law, and was Judge of the Court of
Common Pleas of Duchess County from January
6, 1830 to January 20, 1840. In 1831 he was
elected to Congress, and held his seat until March
3, 1863. As a jurist. Judge Pendleton was just,
expeditious and thorough. As a lawyer, practical,
conscientious and most honorable.

Another gentleman of taste and culture that
established a country home at Hyde Park, was the
late Dr. Hosack, long a professor in the New York
Medical college, and author of several medical
works of great value to the profession. He built
the fine residence now occupied by Walter Lang-
don, and here spent his latter years in quiet enjoy-
ment, surrounded by all the pleasures that wealth
and a rSfined taste could command. Being a
healthy and romantic locality and easy of access to
New York city, the grounds l)ing between the old
Kings road and the river, within the town of Hyde
Park, have long been occupied by wealthy fami-
lies as country residences. At present, beside
those already named are those of ex-Lieutenant-
Governor Dorsheimer, James Roosevelt, the heirs
of Elias Butler, Stuyvesants, Smiley the bank note
engraver, Mrs. Daniel S. Miller, Mrs. Kirkpatrick,^
Mrs. Hoyt, and William Dinsmore the president
of the Adams Express Company. From each of
these mansions can be seen a long stretch of the





Hudson, upon which are continually floating in
summer time, boats of every description from the
ancient canoe to majestic steamers whose grace
and elegance surpass the dreams of ancient
fancy. The shrill whistle of the steam car is sent
forth from the river's edge below them as if to
awaken the very air to greater motion and keep
pace with the mighty strides that progress here

While enterprise presents its most pleasing pic-
ture, nature, not to be outdone, unfolds the grand-
est panorama before the eye that she ever presented;
mountain, hill, crag and gorge chiselled in romantic
grandeur, loom up to the right and left with
marked boldness, beauty and impressiveness.

The eastern part of the town adjoining Pleasant
Valley and CHnton, was settled at an early day by
Quakers from Rhode Island, Connecticut and Long
Island. Among them, were the Moshers, Waters,
Frosts, Marshalls, Bakers, Briggs, Halsteads,
Hoags and Stringhams. Families by the name of
Barber, VanValin and Dickinson, removed from
that section to Schoharie county in 1804 and '6,
and united with the Friends of Charlestown,
Montgomery county, and those of Quaker street,
Schenectady county, in their meetings. The old
members who removed have long since passed
away, leaving their children to unite and conform to
the manners and discipline of other sects. The
Friends' house of worship was for a long time called
the " Crom Elbow meeting house." Author Smith
says: "This edifice was erected about the year
1780," but we are laboring under the impression
that its erection will date back a few years, at least,
previous to that date. An old lady living in Scho-
harie county in 1856, at the age of eighty-five,
attended church here when she was a very small
child, not more than four or five years of age, but
did not remember the erection of the building.
This society like all others of that faith is fast
dwindling away, much to the regret of all lovers of
honesty, meekness and sobriety. While their life
principles are admired and highly respected, their
quaint garb and expressions are not agreeable to
the taste of the people of to-day. The world pre-
sents too many fascinations that are antagonistical
to the Friends' biblical doctrine, and hence, but few
additions are made to their numbers, while death
fast removes those who have " long lived in the
faith." No sect, that ever adorned the christian
world goes out of existence with so worthy a record,
as that of the Friends, socially, morally and spirit-

The act passed on the 26th day of January,
182 1, to divide the town of Clinton, reads as
follows : —

" That from and after the last day of March
next, all that part of the town of Clinton lying
west of the following line, towit : Beginning in the
north line of the town of Poughkeepsie, at the
southeast corner of the water lots of the nine part-
ners patent, from thence along the east line of the
said water lots to the northeast corner thereof, and
thence in the same course until it intersects a line
running due east from the southeast corner of the
farm of John LeRoy, then due west to the said
southeast corner of the farm of the said John
LeRoy, then along the south line of the said farm
of John LeRoy to the Crom Elbow creek, then up
said creek to the line of the town of Rhinebeck,
shall be known and distinguished as a separate
town by the name of Hyde Park, and that the first
town meeting in said town shall be held at the
house of Philip Bogardus, on the first Tuesday of
April next."

The Hamlet, now the pleasant village of Hyde
Park, bore that name as early as 1795, and was
so called by Dr. John Bard. Previous to that
date its landing was called " Stoutenburgh."*
Agreeable to the above Legislative act, on the
twenty-fifth of March following, a commission was
chosen by the new town and surveyed the same :
" Beginning at the southeast corner of the water
lots in the Nine Partners patent and run from
thence north two degrees and fifty-five minutes
west in a direct line to the farm of Ichabod Will-
iams and made a monument directly east from the
southeast corner of John LeRpy's farm," thereby
cutting off the southwest part of the old town of
Clinton. The first general town meeting was held
as by act, over which P. B. Collins presided as
moderator and inspector and the following were by
a majority of ballots cast declared elected : James
Duane Livingston, Supervisor; Reuben Spenser,
Clerk ; Peter A. Schryver, Tobias L. Stouten-
burgh and Christopher Hughes, Assessors ; Isaac
I. Balding, Collector ; John Lamoree, Abraham O.
VanWagenen, Overseers of the Poor; Cornelius
VanVleet, Jr., Isaac Stoutenburgh, Willett Mar-
shall, Commissioners of Highways ; Rev. Peter S.
Wynkoop, Rev. David Brown and Luther Clark
Commissioners of Schools ; John Caswell, I. Tom-
kins, F. Russell, Inspectors of Schools ; Charles A.
Shaw, William Wagenen, Constables. The records
continue : —

"And the following gentlemen were chosen
vive voce or by lifting up of hands, viz : David Mul-
ford, Peter A. Schryver, Abraham O. VanWagenen,

* In l77o-'79-'85-'90 there were two distinct places. ** Stoutenburgh"
and/' .Staatsboro."



Peter I. Schryver, Andrew Philips, Nehemiah,
Hoag, and Benjamin DeLamater, Fence-viewers ;
Garrett P. Lansing, Abraham Lansing, Barent
VanWagnen, Pound-masters."

It was resolved that sheep and hogs " shall not
be allowed to run at large unless well yoked and
rung.'' " A vote was taken and passed that eight
hundred dollars be raised in the town for the sup-
port of the poor for the ensuing year."

The following is the list of supervisors and clerks
elected in the town, and the date of serving : —











187 1-'









Jas. D. Livingston, Reuben Spenser.




do do

John Johnston,

do do

do do

J. D. Livingston,
Elijah Baker,

do do
J. D. Livingston,
David Barnes,
L. S. Stoutenburgh, do
W. W. Woodworth, do
James Russell,

do do
W. W. Woodworth,
Nelson Andrews,

do do

James Russell,
Elias Tompkins,
David Collins,

do do
Isaac Mosher,
L. T. Mosher,
Henry Green,
Elias Tompkins,

do do
D. H. Mulford,
Brooks Hughes,
Morris G. Loyd,

do do

T. L. Stoutenburgh.

do do

S. V. Hoffman.
James Rogers.
John Johnston.
R. Stoutenburgh.
John Johnston.

do do
Alex. McClelland,
Nelson Andrews.
John Hinchman.
Wm. B. Cutwater.

do do

Theop'ilus Gillender.
David Johnston.

do do

do do

J. A. Parker.
H. C. Stoutenburgh.

do do

do do

Jas. P. VanWagener.
George Westfall.
Isaac W. Wood.
John A. Parker.
M. R. Vedder.
Walter S. Brown.

A. V. W. Tompkins, Isaac L. Green.

Morris G. Loyd,
'62. John M. Friss,
Elias Tompkins,
John Russell, Jr.,
'66. J. N. DeGraff,
Elias Tompkins,
David H. Mulford,

do do

John A. Parker.

do do

JoelN. DeGraff".
Albert B. Schryver.

do do

do do

Albert S. Schryver, WilUam H. Riley.

do do

72. James Roosevelt,
74. Timothy Herick,
John A. Marshall
do do

Henry K. Wilber,
do do

do do

Edw'd H. Marshall, H. B. Manning,
do do Casper Deyo,

James A, DeGraff'.
Michael Smith.
William Riley.

do do

G. W. Meyding.
do do

Isaac DeGraff".
G. W. Meyding.

Churches. — The Reformed Presbyterian. — The
first meetings held within the town outside of the
Quaker society, of which we have any knowledge,
were by the Reformed preachers of Poughkeepsie
and Pleasant "Valley — in private houses, until the
year 1790, when a church edifice was erected near
the present Reformed church of Hyde Park village.
It was built as a Union church, in which various de-
nominations worshipped, the Reformed Presby-
terians however, having the preference. At what
time that society was organized we are unable to
tell, undoubtedly about 1785. Rev. Cornelius
Brower of Poughkeepsie, occasionally preached pre-
vious to 1794, when he was called and accepted as
the regular pastor, .and continued as such until the
year 18 15. Besides officiating here, he preached in
private and school houses in the outskirts of the
town, as was usual for ministers of all denomina-
tions of that day. Rev. Mr. Brower supplied the
Poughkeepsie church, also, during that time, ex-
cepting the last three years, from 1812 to '15,
when he was relieved from the latter. From 1815
to '17, the pulpit was occasionally supplied by
other churches, but in the latter year Rev. P. S.
Wynkoop commenced his labors, which ended in
1822. In the fore part of 1823, Rev. F. H. Van-
derveer was called and remained till 1829. It was
during his pastorate that the church was rebuilt,
(1826.) Rev. Mr. Cahone followed and officiated
four years. The following year (1834) Rev. S. V.
Westfall came and successfully preached three
years, when Rev. J. C. Cruikshank followed and
closed his services in 1843. The society was then
in a prosperous condition and immediately called
Rev. A. Elmandorf, who remained till 1848, when
Rev. Mr. Ten Eyck succeeded him to the forepart
of the year 1853. Rev. Henry Dater then settled
and remained till 1877, followed by Rev. Geo. R.
Garretson in 1878-80, and Rev. C. R. Blauvelt,
the present pastor.

St. Jame^ Episcopal Church. — This church was
established in 181 1, by Rev. Wm. A. McVickar,
D. D., for over fifty years a professor in Columbia
College. He married a daughter of Dr. John
Bard, and was one of the most brilliant scholars
of his day. The society worshipped in the Union
church for many years. In 1 844, the present edi-
fice was built. It is a very substantial structure of
ancient architecture, giving it the appearance of a
Scottish kirk. Around it lie, beneath the shade of
stately trees and creeping myrtle, those who were
early connected with the organization as pastors
and members. Here lie Rev. Mr. McVickar, Revs.





Johnson and Sherwood, whose pastoral relations
were long and the most pleasing, as earnest work-
ers and accomplished scholars. Beside them lie
the Bards, Livingstons, Lewises, Pendletons, Benja-
min Allen and others of prominence, whose lives
were useful, active and successful.

The Rectors of this Church from the organiza-
tion have been as follows : Rev. John McVickar,
D. D.; Rev. Samuel R. Johnson, D. D.; Rev.
Reuben Sherwood, D. D.; Rev. Mr. Brown, Horace
Stringfellow, Jr., D. D.; Rev. James S. Purdy,
D. D., and Rev. Philander K. Cady, D. D.

The Parish includes a chapel at Staatsburgh and
one within the village of Hyde Park for the con-
venience of those who live at a distance from the

The Methodist Episcopal Church. — To Rev. S.
P. Gallaway, the present pastor (1881), we are
indebted for the following history of this church.

Methodism was introduced in Hyde Park in the
year 1829, through the labors of Brother Alonzo F.
Selleck, then a layman in the Methodist Episcopal
Church, and afterward a useful member of the New
York Conference. In the month of June, 1833,
John Albertson became interested in the cause,
and generously deeded the lot on which the pres-
ent church stands. Joseph WiUiams, John Giles,
Wm. Armstrong, Alonzo F. Selleck and Henry S.
Bacus, were the first Board of Trustees, through
whose untiring zeal and great liberality the chiurch
edifice was completed.

In 1834 Rev. A. F. Selleck, then a local preacher,
supplied the pulpit. In 1835 Denton Keeler and
his colleague, appointed to the Milan circuit, were
the preachers at this village. In 1834 and 1837,
S. Cochran labored here. In 1838 and 1839, C.
C. Keys was the preacher in charge. In 1840 and

1841, I. N. Shaffer and Young faithfully and

sucessfuUy preached to this people. John Albert-
son, Jr., son of John Albertson, before mentioned,
was converted about this time, and, following in
his father's footsteps, presented the trustees of the
church a lot adjoining it, for a parsonage, retaining
it in his possession, until they should be ready to
build. This they were not prepared to do until
1856, at which time John Albertson had died.
His heirs refused to sanction the gift of this lot, thus
defeating his generous intentions. In 1842, Con-
ference sent Rev. R. A. Chalker and L. E. Pease,
whose ministry and goodly examples were greatly
blessed here. In 1843, Hyde Park was formed
into a station and Brother C. Chittendon was ap-
pointed to the charge. In 1844 and 1845, R. A.

Chalker was re-appointed pastor. In 1846 the
Rev. Cyrus Bolster became the pastor. He died
soon after leaving here. In 1847 the Rev. B. M.
Genung was pastor. In 1848 and 1849, Rev. Wm.
Ostrander served the charge acceptably and profit-
ably. In 1850 and 185 1 the Rev. Andrew J.
Hunt was preacher in charge. In 1852 the Rev.
J. H. Champion labored faithfully in this place.
In 1853 the gifted George Kerr was appointed.
In 1854 the Rev. George Daniels was sent to this
charge. In 1855 and 1856 the Rev. A. C. Fields.
Under his administration the present parsonage
was built, at a cost of $2,200.

In 1857 and '58 the Rev. W. B. Mitchell receiv-
ed his last conference appointment, and it was to
Hyde Park. Here,- in the autumn of 1858, Mi.
Mitchell died, beloved and regretted by all. The
remainder of the conference year, by the unanimous
call of the society, I. L. Green, a very worthy local
preacher residing in Hyde Park, supplied the pul-
pit. In 1859 and '60 the Rev. Thomas Ellis, the
warm-hearted Welsh Methodist, was sent here. He
died in 1873. In 1861 and '62 the Rev. I. W.
Edmons became preacher in charge. In 1863 the
Rev. J. W. McComber spent a very pleasant year
with the people. In 1864 the Rev. Van Ness
Traver was appointed pastor. His public services
and pastoral work were highly appreciated by the
members of the church. In 1865 Rev. A. H.
Saxe was pastor. 1866 Rev. W. L. Pattison
served the church as pastor, and was followed by
the Rev. R. L. Tarleton in 1867. In 1868 no
preacher was appointed to this charge. The church
was then thrown on its own resources, heavily in
debt. Israel L. Green, a local deacon, volunteer-
ed to preach every Sabbath morning, if his health
permitted, and Wm. B. Outwater pledged himself
to take charge of a prayer meeting every Sunday
evening. Thus divine service was held throughout
the conference year. In the meantime the church
edifice, within and without, was sadly in need of
improvement and change. Mr. WilUam Mallory,

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 62 of 125)