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 64 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 64 of 125)
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A meeting was called, and Z. Flagler was the only
member of the old board left. Upon Mr. Jere-
miah Clearwater being chosen chairman of the
meeting, Mr. Flagler resigned the office of trustee,
and the following were duly elected: David L

Jackson, WiUiam Pattee, Joel O. Holmes, John C.
Velie and George W. Forman. From 1862 to
May 13, 1873, no elections were held, and upon
that day the excise law was acted upon and Charles
DeGraff, Danvers Osborne, John B. Duncan, John
Lester and Albert Devine were elected trustees,
with John B. Duncan as president, and Albert
Devine, clerk. It was the last election of officers,
and consequently the above gentlemen are the legal
officials of the corporation.

From the incorporation of the village up to the
formation of the town, nothing occurred more than
a slow, but steady increase of population and
buildings. The town of Clinton being large, and
political objects and interests becoming weightier,
it was considered advisable by the citizens of this
village and Hyde Park, in union with those in the
vicinity of each, to petition for the division of the
town. Accordingly upon the 26th of January,
1 82 1, a bill was passed to that effect. After
giving the boundaries of Hyde Park, it reads as
follows : —

" And be it further enacted that the remaining
part of the said town of CUnton shall be divided
into two separate towns by the following division
line to wit: Beginning on the west line of the town
of Washington in the corner made by lots number
five and six in the great division of the Nine Part-
ners Patent and running westerly along said lot
line until it intersects (he east line of the aforesaid
town of Hyde Park, and that the north of the two
last mentioned towns shall be known by the name
of Clinton, and that the first town meeting in said
town shall be at the house of John F. Schultz, esqr.
on the first Tuesday in April next, and that the
south of the two last mentioned towns shall be
known by the name of Pleasant Valley, and that
the first town meeting in said town last mentioned
shall be held at the house of Cyrus Berry, on the
first Tuesday of April next."

The records of this town, with the exception of
the official canvas of 182 1, '22 and '23, are entire
and have been kept with greater care than is usually
bestowed upon such documents. The officers in
1824 were as follows : Samuel M. Thurston, Super-
visor; Oliver D. Collins, Clerk; Anthony G.
Badgley, John Humphrey and Enoch Lewis, As-
sessors. A list of jurors is given in which nine are
competent and fourteen incompetent.

The town has been fortunate in the selection of
officers, as the public business has been success- •
fully managed, and enables it to stand in the front
rank with the sister towns of the county.

As evidence of the town's prosperity, better ex-
ample cannot be given than in its " bonding " for
the construction of the Poughkeepsie railroad,



built to Pleasant Valley in the fall of 1872. The
amount contributed was $30,000, which was levied
and collected in one season, beside the usual State,
County and Town taxes. The "pay as you go "
policy has always been adhered to by this town,
and hence its healthy financial prosperity.

Presbyterian Church of Pleasant Valley. — This
organization is the oldest landmark within the
village, and is an outgrowth, no doubt, of the
Pittsberry church of Washington Hollow, and the
one that consumed it by the village becoming the
business center. The first meeting we find of the
branch was in 1765, which date is the one set
down as the organization. It is a fact, that while
the parent church was built and for several years
meetings held at Washington Hollow, no regular
church organization was actually formed, that the
records speak of, until the year 1765.

Previous to 1763, one Deliverance Smith served
the Pleasant Valley church as stated minister about
three years, and also a Mr. Thompson (uncle to
Hon. Smith Thompson), but how long is not
known. Their services were rendered, no doubt,
in connection with some other church or churches,
undoubtedly as missionaries. In November, 1765,
Rev. Wheeler Case was ordained and installed as
pastor, in connection with the Poughkeepsie
church, which stood about half way between Pough-
keepsie and Pleasant Valley.

In 1770 was erected a new meeting house in the
now village of Pleasant Valley. It was a wooden struc-
ture and stood on the main street a few rods north-
west of the present building. Parties now Uving
recall its quaint octagonal pulpit, which was sup-
ported by a single wooden pillar at an elevation
sufficient to allow seats for the church officers and
choristers underneath it.

The ground upon which this church stood and
which continues the property of the present corpo-
ration, was given to the congregation, in consid
eration of 10 shillings, by Jacob Everson and his
wife, neither of whom appear to have been mem-
bers of the church at the time. The deed of the
property is dated " the tenth day of April in the
tenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord
George the Third, by the Grace of God, of Great
Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the
Faith, &c., and in the year of our Lord Christ One
thousand seven hundred aiid seventy ;" and is chiefly
remarkable for its redundacy of substantives.

This change of the location of the churches from
Washington Hollow to Pleasant Valley, taken with
other known particulars, would indicate the ten-

dency of the settlers to migrate toward the latter
place, where the central village was ultimately lo-
cated, although the Washington Hollow Church
was maintained for a number of years.

October 12, 1769, " Mr. Case requests with the
consent of his people in Poughkeepsie that he be
freed half his time from his labors with them till
our next stated Presbyter," which was granted. The
same request was repeated and granted May 9, 1770.

October 11, 1770, " Mr. Case requested to be
discharged from his pastoral relation to the Pres-
byterian Church in Poughkeepsie. Messrs. John
Wolsey, John Ward and Melancthon Smith being
present declare that the Church and congregation
at Poughkeepsie considering their inability to com-
ply with Mr. Case's proposals, the Presbytery
having considered the matter, judge it reasonable
that Mr. Case should he liberated from his pas-
toral relation to that people, and do Uberate him

The meeting-house at Pittsberry (Washington
Hollow) was still retained as an adjunct, and re-
paired and cared for by the same body politic, as
is seen by the following, under date of November
21, 1771: "Agree that we appoint collectors for
all the subscriptions to collectors for the Hollow
salary of Mr. Case jointly as one congregation ; "
and again on same date, "Voted that Mr. Case's
labors shall exactly be divided for the present

The residence of Mr. Case was located about
one mile east of the village of Pleasant Valley, on
the road to Washington Hollow. During the war
of the Revolution the safety of himself and family
being endangered, he removed with his household
goo4s to the Hollow; but, notwithstanding this
precaution, "was robbed of nearly all he possessed
by the British soldiers or by their allies."

In common with most of the churches of these
times, the Psalms of David furnished the musical
part of the worship, as appears from a number of
references to the election of readers, whose duty
after the custom of the time, was to read the
Psalms line by line as they were sung. Reference
is also made to the choice of persons to "set" the

Thus, "Pittsberry, November the 9, 1779, voted
that David Ostram, Joshua Owen and Joseph Nap
be singing clarks at Pleasant Valley, John Walsh
and Mr. Piatt, readers."

The next item of historic interest is the incor-
poration of the congregation. The records con-
tain the following : —



I St Class.
2d Class.

" At a meeting of those persons usually attending
public worship in Pleasant Valley, notified agreeably
to an act of the Legislature of the State of New
York, authorizing the inhabitants thereof to form
themselves into Religious Societies and choose a
Clerk and Trustees tokeep a proper account and
take care of the Teniporalites of the Church,
which shall be a Lawful Incorporate Body, &c.
Cornehus Humphrey and EUphalet Piatt were
unanimously chosen Inspectors; John Everson,
Clerk ; and the following persons Trustees : —

Cornelius Humphrey,')

Eliphalet Platt, j"

Lemuel Conklin, \

John M. Thurston, )

John Everson, "( , „.

Joshua Ward, ] 3^ "-'ass.

"Voted, That this Congregation be known by
the name of the ' Presbyterian Congregation of
Pleasant Valley.' Charlotte, Jan. 28, 1785."

The seal of the Congregation, which cost j£\
4s., has as an inscription the words. Seal of the
Pleasant Valley Church, in a circle about a raised
figure of a church.

Mr. Case remained as pastor of the church until
his death, which occurred August 31, 1791, his
labors with this congregation being, therefore, ex-
tended over a period of twenty-six years. That he
had much to discourage him is well known. The
unsettled state of the country, the war of the Rev-
olution, and the want of a stable population were
very great hindrances. Nevertheless, as we have
seen, the church grew and increased.

There is no record of the two years ensuing Mr.
Case's death.

Revs. John Davenport and Jehu Minor assisted
the church officially, but to what extent is not

On April 4, 1793, Rev. Methusaleh Baldwin was
called, and on November 6th of the same year
was installed pastor. He continued as such until
the summer or fall of 1798. The following is the
only minute of especial interest found in the rec-
ords during the period of Mr. Baldwin's incum-
bency : —

"At a.meeting of the trustees, held March nth,
1794, for taking into consideration the subject of a
parsonage, it was agreed, after some debate, to
drop the idea of building and to give the JRev. Mr.
Baldwin a settlement of ^^ 100 in lieu of a parson-
age. The money was subscribed and Mr. Bald-
win accepted it. "

Rev. John Clark, formerly of Patterson, became
the pastor in 1800, continuing until 1806, when he
resigned his charge to accept a call to Pittsgrove,
N. J., where he remained for about two years. In
May, 1808, Mr. Clark was re-called and installed

pastor Oct. 6, of the same year. From this time
until Sept. 29, 1829, Mr. Clark continued as pas-
tor of this church : his ministry here thus extend-
ing over a period of about twenty-eighty years.
August 5, 1814, thirty persons were dismissed for
the purpose of forming a separate organization aj,
Pittsberry, (Washington Hollow.)

Rev. Benj. F. Wile was called to the pastorate
Oct., 24, 1829, and was ordained and installed
Dec. 10, of the same year. This relation con-
tinued till Jan. 7, 1867, a period of thirty-seven years.
Rev. Henry J. Acker received a call to become
pastor of the church Nov. 11, 1868, and was in-
stalled April 28, 1869. He remained pastor
until the winter of 1875. He died at Brainard,
N, Y., Jan. i, 1874, and was buried in the grave-
yard adjoining the Pleasant Valley church, where
also lie the bodies of Revs. Messrs. Case, Clark and

Rev. Wra. Whittaker was installed by the Pres-
bytery of North River, Nov. 3, 1873, and con-
tinued as pastor of the church until April 22,
1879. The present pastor. Rev. Augustus B.
Prichard* was installed May 4, 1880. Rev. Mr.
Wile, was widely known both as an earnest advo-
cate of temperance, and as a successful revivalist.
By his influence very largely the moral tone of
this community was elevated almost entire by
the aboUshment of the liquor traffic from the
place. He received ' during his pastorate of
thirty-seven and one-half years, over 700 persons
into the communion of this church ; the member-
ship of which at one time numbered over 400.
The present membership of the church is 2 19. The
following persons are known to have gone out
from this church at various times into the stated
work of the ministry : —

Edward F. Ross, James J. Helm, Wip. N. Sayre,
now, and for over forty-five years pastor of the
Presbyterian church at Pine Plains, in this county ;
James ttervey Howe, before alluded to in con-
nection with Pittsberry; Robert? Laird, James
Jones, now of Hyde Park; Joseph Wood, now
stationed at Shandaken, Ulster Co., of this State,
and James Van Wagner.

The first house of worship was a wooden struc-
ture, erected in 1770, on the main street, a few
rods northwest of the present building. In 1812 it
was repaired and considerably enlarged, at a cost
of $2,500. A list of the 126 persons who sub-
scribed and paid this amount is on record in the
Congregational Book. The present brick edifice

*To whom we are indebted for the history of thisghurch.

Photo, by Vail, Fougbkeepsie-


The Lamoree family were among those
hardy French pioneers who came to this
county prior to the Revolution. Isaac
Lamoree, the grandfather of George, came to
America, with his two brothers, in 1772. In
1774 he purchased and settled upon the farm
now owned by the subject of this sketch.

Isaac Lamoree's son, Timothy, was born
on this farm, and succeeded his father in the
title thereto and passed his entire life thereon.
George Lamoree was one of the eight chil-
dren of Timothy. He was born on this farm
December i6th, 1816, and has owned it since
his father's death. He chose farming as a
business and has always, save when entrusted
with public affairs, followed it with the vigor
and judgment which always insure success.

August 13th, 1846, he was united in mar-
riage with Jane M., a daughter of Simon H.
Pells, Esq., of Rhinebeck. To them were
born four children and the only son, Franklin,
now occupies the old homestead.

Mr. Lamoree first appeared in politics in

the year 1855, when he was elected by the
Whigs as a Justice of the Peace of his town.
In the following year he was elected to the
office of Supervisor for his town. He filled
that office for three terms with such ability as
to call especial attention to his executive
power. At the commencement of the Rebel-
lion he was appointed U S. Revenue Col-
lector, and held that office until 1864, when
he was elected by the Republicans, as Sheriff
of Duchess County, which office he held dur-
ing the three succeeding troublous years. He
was also Brigadier Paymaster under General
Isaac I. Piatt.

He was one of the founders of the City
Natioftal Bank of Poughkeepsie, and has
been a director thereof during its existence.
Mr. Lamoree has now retired from active
political life, and from the direct management
of his lands, devoting his time to the direction
of his private affairs and .quietly advancing
the interests of the party in the principles of
which he is a firm believer.



was erected in 1848. The building committee
were : Joseph Holmes, Joshua O. Ward, Joshua
Barnes, George Badgley, Garrison ConkUn, M. De
L. F. Phillips, Collins Peters. In 1801, the con-
gregation secured a parsonage with about twenty
acres of land attached, one mile east of the village.
In 1840, a new parsonage was built on the site of
the old one. In 1869, this farm was sold and in
the winter of 1869-70 the present parsonage was
erected near the church at a cost of $4,500. A
part of the avails of the sale of the farm was used
for this purpose. The remaining $2,000 was fur-
nished by subscriptions. The building committee
were : J. Osborn Holmes, William E. Badgley,
David T. Barnes.

April 10, 1770, Jacob and Margaret Everson
gave the congregation the deed of a parcel of land
to be used for burial purposes and as a site for a
church building. The first house of worship was
erected on the northeast portion of this land.

The Pleasant Valley Baptist Churchy near
Salt Point Village. — The Newcombs, VanVoor-
hees, Harrises, Frosts and other families settled at
this point about the year 1765, and were princi-
pally of the Baptist faith. They procured the ser-
vices of Elder John Lawrence, who preached to
them in private houses and the school house, and
during the summer months in the woods. A reg-
ular organization was not formed until the early
part of 1770, when the Elder organized the society
at the house of Zaccheus Newcomb. Joseph
Harris was chosen as deacon, and regular appoint-
ments were made until the war of the Revolution
commenced, when a division of political sentiments
led the church to dwindle away without interest.
Rev. Alex. MacGeorge informs us that " Elder
BuUoek, of Stanford, afterwards began to preach
(about 17 16 or '17) and was blessed with a revival.
Some 40 or 5owere baptized and became a branch
of his church." The first record of the branch
was made in 1792, and Elder John Dodge became
their first pastor in 1795, and continued until 1813.
He died April 13, 181 6. In 1790, Mr. John Van-
Voorhees gave the Society a deed for one-half an
acre of landj and the first church was built.

After the resignation of Elder Dodge, in 1813^
Elder Robers followed as the next regular pastor,
but the time is not given. He officiated seven
years, and after his pastorate until 1847, the pulpit
was filled by " supplies." In the latter year Elder
C. Ambler came and remained two years, when E.
Fay followed as a supply for one year. In the
spring -of 1850, Elder' N. S. Benedict was called

and continued until the fall of 1851, and gave
pldce to Elder A. M. Brown, who remained until
the spring of 1858. . Meetmgs were not held regu-
larly during the remainder of that, and the fore-
part of the following year ; but Elder Van Freden-
burgh preached a few months in the latter part of
1859, and Elder Heppeou through the year i860.
Elder MacGeorge says, "from i860 to 1878, there
was no settled pastor. The church dwindled from
a membership of one hundred and four in 1843,10
twenty-nine in 1878." In the latter year Elder
MacGeorge took the charge of the church. The
present membership is sixty-three, and the sabbath
school numbers seventy-eight.

George W. Houghton, a member, was licensed
to preach in 1842, and ordained as an Evangelist.
E. T. Weed was licensed in 1847, S. T. Frost in
1858, and A. MacGeorge in 1878.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Pleasant
Valley. — From Rev. T. S. Lent the pastor of this
church in 1879 and '80, we have obtained the fol-
lowing,: It is not known when the Methodists first
came to Pleasant Valley, but probably about 1788,
the year the Duchess circuit was formed. For
many years the public meetings of these people
were held in the school-house on the hill one mile
east of the valley, which came to be known far and
near as " the Methodist school-house." July 27,
1825, this society bought of James Odell for $150
one acre of land situated on the "Duchess Turn-
pike," and proceeded at once to build a church in
the style of the times, about forty feet square, two
and one-half stories in height. The deed of this
property was given to William Dize, Solomon
Sleight and William Harris as trustees. Rev. Sam-
uel Cochran, Nicholas White and William M. Wil-
lett were pastors of the Duchess Circuit at this
time. Pleasant Valley remained a part of this
circuit until 1843, when Milan and Pleasant Val-
ley were formed into a separate charge with Rev.
William Thatcher as pastor. In 1744 and '45,
Jeremiah Ham was pastor. It was during Rev. Mr.
Ham's second year that the church edifice was
removed from the hill to the village on Main street.
The usual changes were made in pastors from
1845, °f which we have no means of ascertaining
up to the year i860, when Rev. Aaron Hunt was
followed in 1861 by M. R. Lent ; in 1862, by John
R. Edmonds; in 1863, by J. H. Wood; in 1864,
by L. J. Collins ; in 1865 and '66, by Thomas Ellis ;
in 1867, by N. Hubbell; in 1868 and'69, by Thom-
as Elliott; ini87o and'7i,byl. H. Lent; in 1872,
by William Hall; in 1873 and '74, by A, Davis ; in



187s and '76, by C. Sager; in 1877 and '78, by R.
Decker ; and in 1879 and '80, by T. S. Lent.

In 1833, Lorenzo Dow preached in the Metho-
dist edifice at Pleasant Valley. During an even-
ing service two young ladies sitting in the gallery
chanced to whisper, and were instantly heard by
the eccentric preacher, upon which he made a
pause in his discourse. " It was thought " — he
said — " by some, there were no women in Heaven
for this reason : The Revelator says there was
silence in Heaven for the space of one-half an
hour, which could not have happened if women
had been there." At the close of that service he
announced to preach, again in the morning at
sunrise, prompt. The doors would be closed at
that time, and no one allowed to enter. Long be-
fore the appointed time the house was filled with
anxious people to hear the renowned Evangelist,
but many who were dilatory, were compelled to
remain outside, as he had the key of the door in
his pocket.

Christian Church of Washington Hollow. — A
meeting of the " Friends of Christian Union and
Religious Liberty" was held at the Ensign House
on December r, i860, to council upon the or-
ganization of a society and build a house of wor-
ship. But few were present, and they adjourned
without taking action, and appointed a meeting on
the 3d, following. A goodly assemblage met upon
that day, and were addressed by William W. Stewart
and Rev. P. Roberts, after which Enos Northrup,
Jacob Vail and Reuben C. VerVlanck, of Pleasant
Valley, and Charles McCormac and Elias N.
Haight, of Washington, were chosen trustees.
Arrangements were made for the building of a
church, which was soon commenced. During Jan-
uary and February of 1861, Rev. P. Roberts held
meetings in " Floral Hall " upon the agricultural

The church was dedicated on the 23d of Octo-
ber, 1861, by Rev. P. Roberts and Rev. M. Cum-
mings, of New York City, of the Christian Church,
and Revs. Lent and Lyman, of the Methodist.

The pastors have been as follows : Rev. P. Roberts,
Rev. E. Jones, Rev. Teller, Rev. D. P. Putnam,
Rev. P. Roberts and Rev. Jesse Card, at present

Physicians. — Who the first practicing physician
of this town was is not definitely known, but in all
probability was Dr. Beldon, who died in 1815 at
an advanced age. The oldest inhabitants of the
town well remember him, and think he settled here
about I77&. During the latter part of his prac-

tice Dr. Ely located here and gained a large prac-
tice, but became intemperate and neglected his
profession, which brought him to the alms-house,
where he died. Contemporary with him, in the
last years of his usefulness, was Dr. Downs, who
remained several years after Ely died. Drs. Can-
field and Nelson followed, the latter taking Dr.
Downs' place and practice. The last two were
here about 1825-30. About the latter year Dr.
Hurd came, and for a short time the last four phy-
sicians were here together. They were followed
by Dr. Traver, who still remains, being the only
one of the old school left. Drs. Do wan and Wilson
afterwards followed. The latter removed to Pough-
keepsie, and Dr. McClorey fills his place.

Schools. — -The schools of this town are most
promising. Long years ago a deep interest was
taken in the cause of education, as has been inti-
mated in the founding of high graded schools.
From time to time "select schools" have been
kept by proficient teachers and very liberally pat-
ronized, but not to the detriment of the common
school. It is a fact worthy to be considered that
such are an advantage to the common schools sur-
rounding them, and wherever is found such a school
of a few years' standing, the district schools near
are far ahead of those more remote. A better
class of teachers are furnished, and competition of
scholarship is invariably indulged, the consequences
of which are regular attendance, studiousness and
thoroughness. The records for the common
schools for the year 1821, show that there were
six hundred and twelve children under the age of
fifteen, and over five years, in the town, and the
amount of public money received by the commis-
sioners, Thomas Berry and James Mott, was three
hundred arid ninety-two dollars and thirty cents.
From the commissioners certificate of apportion-
ment to the Supervisors for the year 1881, we learn
that the number under twenty-one and over five in
the twelve districts was eight hundred and forty-two,
and the amount ot public money apportioned was

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 64 of 125)