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 65 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 65 of 125)
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The supervisors and town clerks of Pleasant
Valley, since the year 1824, have been as
follows : —

Supervisors. Clerks.

i824-'2S. Sam'lM. Thurston,©. D. Collins.

1826. Peter K. Debois, Jacob Emott.

1827. do do O.D.Collins.

1828. Anthony Badgley, do do
i829-'3i. do do Joel Terrill.
1832. do do Henry Flagler.
1833-34. Robert Lawrence, Joel Terrill.






























Charles Brown, Joel Terrill.
Thomas Welling, do do
Charles Brown, do do
John H. Newcomb, do do
Isaac Van Wagner, do do
Oliver Devine, John B. Dinekin.

do do Seneca Dean.

Daniel O. Ward, do do

George Holmes, do do

do do Isaac F. Collins.

Franklin Dudley, do do

do do Joel Holmes.

Isaac F. Smith, Samuel Welde.
do do John O. Holmes.

Isaac Van Wagner, Thomas Wiggins.
Isaac P. Marshall, George W. Forman.

[Records lost.]
William Herrick,
George Lamoree,
John W. Lattin,

Joel O. Holmes.
John C. Velie.
do do

V. M. Townsend, Joel O. Holmes.
Thomas Alley, do do

V. M. Townsend, do do

Dewitt Webb, John B. Duncan.

Isaac P. Marshall, Wright Devine.
George E. Bower, Joel O. Holmes.

do do

Anthony Briggs,
John M. Bowman,

do do

Abram Divine,

do do

Frank L. Akerley,

Albert Devine.

do do

David Hastings.
Albert Devine.
B. F. Badgley.
Henry McLaurey.
do do

Pleasant Valley in the War of the Rebellion.

When the late Rebellion broke out, her sons
stepped forth with firm patriotism and alacrity
worthy of the blood of revolutionary sires, to defend
the stars and stripes and assert their supremacy
to float over our ramparts. Many left their
homes and endured the fatigue, privations and
dangers attending a soldier's life and fell by dis-
ease. Many fell before the cannon's mouth and
lie sleeping upon the field of their glorious deeds.
Many returned with scars as evidence of patriot-
ism, while others having passed through the struggle
without an injury, returned with a love of country
of deeper root and with many tales peculiar to the
camp and battle-field, that will be re-iterated by
their children and grandchildren long after they
have passed away to join their comrades beyond
strife and contentions. Those who enlisted from
and in behalf of the town, as near as can be ascer-
tained, were as follows : —

William Palmatier, Charles E. Dennis, Edward
Vail, Collins Jackson, Theodore Williams, Isaac
Leroy J. F. Bevits, John Silvernail, Leonard
Mitchell, John Corumph, Lawrence Russell, Pat-

rick Mangin, Aaron N. Plain, Thomas Jones,
Henry L. James, William Genet, Alfred Williams,
Horace Millard, William H. McFarlin, Henry P.
Williams, Allen J. Velie, Theodore Lockwood,
William H. Cary, James Murphy, Smith Allen,
Henry Peters, William Jones, Fred Gerard,
James E. Mastin, Rowland Marshall, William B.
Place, Joseph Wooley, Charles E. Florence,
Thomas F. Gibbons, Benjamin Burrows, William
C. Wiles, Charles Pells, John L. Haight, John H.
Smith, William H. Mackey, Oliver Underhill,
William Tablemen, Daniel B. Rider, Thomas
Williams, William Walker, Riley Crocker, James
Gibbons, Howard Tihen, Charles F. Wilkeson,
Thomas Murrey, Seth Wheeler, John Brennan,
Christopher Burt, John Williams, Lewis Lawrence,
Corporal John Lockwood, Archibald Ostram, S.
Glensal, Edward Waters, John Townsend, James
A. Leroy, Morris Wagner, William Knowlton,
John A. Simone, J. Stewart, Charles Baker^ Philip
Duncan, John C. Bradley, Spencer Duncan, Isaac
Green, Charles E. VanLock, Elijah Weldon, Will-
iam H. Branne, James O. Lake, John McCord,
William E. Lawrence, George Williams, Nelson
Gray, James Storms, George L. Mastin, James
Rue, Andrew Spencer, Nathaniel Horton, Benja-
min James, Walter Mastin, George F. Abbott,
Richard R. Hawkins, Matthew Shilborne, Peter
H. Fanander, Jacob Webber^ Jacob F. Miller,
Charles Smith, John Hammond, Robert Vance,
Harmon Goodeck, Christopher Bliri, Edward Mat-
thews, 2d Corporal John Taff, 2d Corporal Will-
iam Walker, Adam McHahna, Martin L. Riggs,
Daniel Kepp, William C. Williams, William Mar-
tin, William Webb, Thomas Casey, Allen S. Clark,
John Welsh, Charles Moore, William McMachin,
Charles Tager, Michael Brennen, William Jones,
Frederick Gerard, John Parke, John J. Marshall,
Walter Palmatier, Abram Turner, Benjamin H.
Vanwyck, Joseph E. Lockwood, Edward Waller,
Peter G. Hemlett, Walter Smith, John H. Smith,
Walter P. Mastin, Charles H. Mastin, Matthew
Foster, Everett Storms, John H. Mastin, Bartlet
H. Bishop, George S. Cady, Edward Cady, James
E. Mastin and ten others, who received a bounty of
$300, and were credited to the town.

John Hart Mastin was taken prisoner after
taking part in eighteen battles, and died in Salis-
bury prison. Walter Mastin died of chronic dys-
entery at Fort Schuyler, immediately after the bat-
tle of Savannah. John Henry Smith, died of
chronic dysentery after the battle T)f Fort Hudson,
in which he was engaged. Wm. P, Smith served



in the Peninsula campaign, and after two years
service was killed at Malvern Hill, July i, 1863.

Peter G. Hemlett was promoted to Hospital
Steward, June 9, 1864. Abram Turner, was taken
prisoner in 1864, and confined in Libby prison, was
removed to Salisbury, and at the close of the war
was discharged but died at Savannah, Ga. Row-
land Marshall was promoted from private to 2d
Lieutenant, Sept. i, 1862, and died at Georgetown,
September, 1863. Henry P. Williams, (colored)
served two and one-half years, participating in the
battles of Gettysburg, Ringgold, Atlanta, Black
River Swamp, and received a gun-shot through the
body, and returned home.

The total sum paid to the volunteers noticed
was $27,490, but the whole cost of the war to the
town cannot be ascertained, as no record of it was
kept. Each quota was promptly filled and the ex-
pense incurred, as promptly met by taxation,
which, though heavy, was a much less burden
upon the people than the simple town expenses
have been since the close of the war. It is a
fact worthy to be chronicled that the vast ex-
pense to which our county was driven to incur
through the Rebellion, was the most cheerfully met
and easily paid of any since the organization of
the government. During the whole struggle, the
crops throughout the Northern States were large,
and every article of production brought exorbitant
prices, which, through the economical and temper-
ate habits of the agriculturists, as a class, enabled
them to meet every requirement with promptness
and without financial embarrassment.

History of the Town of Washington.

IN 1697 the lands of this town were purchased
from the Crown by nine men, who formed a co-
partnership, and were known as the Nine Partners.
They were Caleb Heathcote, Augustus Graham,
James Emott, Henry Filkins, David Jamison,
Hendryck Ten Eyck, John Aaretson, William
Creed and Jarvis Marshall. The territory they
purchased was large, and upon the division of it
Henry Filkins' portion lay in the western part of
the town, and was for a long time called Filkin-
town. He settled at Washington Hollow, and was
a very prominent man of that day. In 1743 he
was appointed sheriff of Duchess County, and held
that offica until the year 1748. He was member

of the Assembly from 1751 to 1758, But few of
the family remain within the county ; their num-
bers are small, and none possess any of the original
tract. From a writing bearing date 1745, we find
that James Emott also was a near neighbor, and
sold to Frederick Ham a tract which per-
haps is the same upon which Milton Ham,
a grandson, now resides. Mr. Ham is nearly
eighty years of age, and was born upon the
same farm as his father, Conradt, before him. The
old mansion is still standing, near the present fam-
ily residence, and presents a marked contrast to
the progress of the age in wealth and architeqtural
designs. A settlement was made here at an early
day, at least as early as 1730, but did not make
any advance to the west till the year 1750. The
original settlers were from the eastern states,
and people of refinement and intelligence. Among
their children was Malancthon Smith, who became
a representative man, a strict churchman and politi-
cal leader. He was sheriff of the county in 1777
and '78, receiving the appointment from the Pro-
vincial government, and also member of the First
Provincial Congress in 1775. But few of the set-
tlers found in this part of the town were disloyal
to the Provincial government. -They early formed
a church, as before stated, to which they strictly
adhered and lived in unity and fellowship.

The Hudson becoming the great thoroughfare of
the day, along which large settlements were being
made, many of those who located near the " Hol-
low " removed to the river during the Revolution
and after, breaking up in a measure, the original
social circle, and giving room for others whose fam-
ilies are now to be found the most prominent of
the vicinity. The most noted among those
who removed were the Oakleys and Platts, whose
children became popular in the political fields as
worthy representatives. Nothing of inaportance
occurred within the town during the Revolutionary
war, in a hostile point of view, except the skirmish
referred to in the annals of Pleasant Valley, which
occurred upon the territoiy held by that town,
but indulged in by the inhabitants chiefly of

On the 7th of March, 1788, the county was re-
organized and eight towns formed, of which Wash-
ington was one; named in honor of that noble
general whom the world reveres.

The act defining the boundaries of the town is
as follows : —

"All that part of the said County of Duchess
bounded southerly by the town of Beekman, wes^



terly by Poughkeepsie and Clinton (now Pleasant
Valley) northerly by the north bounds of a tract
of land called the Lower or Great Nine Partners,
and easterly by the easternmost line of lots laid
out in the general division heretofore made of the
said tract of land called Lower and Great Nine
Partners shall be, and hereby is erected into a
town by the name of Washington."

The surface is rolling, and over it are strewn
water-worn pebbles, giving it the appearance of
having been inundated in the prehistoric past,
beyond the vision of man, when hills and moun-
tains were the " habitation of the deep."

Considering the intelligence of the people of
this town from the first settlement down to the
present time, we are at a loss to account for the
negHgent manner in which the Records have been
kept. There is evidence that no regular set of
books have been kept until a recent date, but that
all transactions have been entrusted to loose papers,
which have from time to time been wafted away,
perhaps to swell the bulk of some economical
housewife's "paper-rag bag," and thereby add to
the culinary department many useful articles which
are usually obtained in that way from the "Yankee
tin peddler."

There is not a survey of a road in this town
to be found, and when questions of doubt arise, in
which these limits are connected — the doubt must
be cleared by conjecture and be doubtful still.
The records of such ancient towns are usually in-
teresting and instructive and it is deeply regretted
that those of this town have not been preserved.

The ofificials previous to 1866, failed to preserve
a record, and we have only the names of that date
and after : —

Supervisors. Town Clerks.

1866. Geo. H. Brown, Geo. F. Lawton,
i867-'69. Geo. Titus, Geo. H. Warner,

1870. Walter Woodin, do do

187 1. John P. Anderson, Charles H. Loosie,

1872. James B. Sisson, F. C. Tompkins,
^873. John P. Anderson, Charles H. Loosie,

1874. TimothyW.Preston, F. C. Tompkins,

1875. James Deming, Chas. H. Loosie,

1876. Geo. P. Tompkins", Andrew J. Sembler,

1877. do do Fred Warner,

1878. do do J. Frank Tripp,
1879-81. Lewis D.Germond, do do

The Ductless County Agricultural Society. — The
Duchess, Co. Agricultural Society was organized in
1841 ; receiving as its first State appropriation $rs7,
which was to be granted yearly, providing the society
raised an equal yearly amount by voluntary sub-

At a meeting held Oct. 16, 1841, at the then
Emigh's Hotel, upon a call of the County Clerk,

Henry Staats of Red Hook was elected President
of the Society ; John Wilkinson, of Union Vale^
Thomas Swift, of Amenia and Stephen Thorn, of
Fishkill, Vice-President's; Geo. Wilkinson, Treas-
urer, and Obadiah Titus of Washington, and Edgar
Sleight, of Fishkill, Secretaries. Later in the same
year George Kneeland, of Poughkeepsie, was ap-
pointed secretary in place of Obadiah Titus, re-

Ample funds having been raised by voluntary
subscription the society was considered a perma-
nent organization, and a meeting of the Board of
Managers was held February 8, 1842, at which it
was decided that a fair should be held the first
Wednesday and Thursday of the following October.
A premium list was then issued amounting to $373,
upon farm productions. The first fair was held at
the time appointed, upon the grounds and at the
hotel of Daniel P. Emigh, Washington Hollow.

The table for the display of fruits, vegetables,
domestic goods, needlework, flowers, etc., was set
in the parlors of the hotel and was twenty-six feet
long and about four wide.

The farm stock was tied to stakes or shut in
temporary pens on the meadow in the rear of
the house. The fair was considered highly suc-
cessful ; the prizes actually paid amounting to $294.
The fair for the year 1843, was held in the village
of Poughkeepsie ; the live stock being airanged on
a vacant lot, corner of Mill and Catharine streets,
and the tables set in the village hall.

The premiums awarded this year amounted to
$419. At the fair of 1844, which was held at
Washington Hollow, the Treasurer made his re-
port for the three years that the society had been
in existence. He stated that the sum appropri-
ated by the State for this period had been $471,
voluntary subscription, $796; prizes paid in cash,
plate and books, $1,014.75; expenses for the time,
$109.58; total payments for the three years,
$1,124.23. The fair of .1845 '^'^ "i^^^ in Pough-
keepsie ; those of 1846, '47 and '48 in Washington
Hollow; that of 1849 in Poughkeepsie; and 1850,
'51 at Washington Hollow.

In 1852, the society made a permanent loca-
tion of its grounds, and erected thereon a suitable
building and fixtures for holding its fairs; leasing
of Mr. TomUnson, of Washington Hollow, seven
acres of land which were enclosed, and a hall fifty
by eighty feet erected for an exhibition building,
with suitable pens, stables, etc., built. The cost
of these improvements amounted to $2,000, which
was mostly raised by voluntary subscription. The



fair for the year was held upon the new grounds,
and the receipts from all sources amounted to
about $i,ooo.

In 1859, suitable sheds and stables for stock
were built at an expense of $500, which sum was
raised by voluntary subscription. This year on
account of storms the receipts of the fair did not
meet expenses, which were over $150, but money
was borrowed and premiums paid. In 1862 the
grounds were enlarged ; twenty-one acres of land
being enclosed. A half-mile track was laid out and
graded, more stables were built and sheds re-
arranged, at an expense of $1,650, which was most-
ly raised by subscription. In 1866 the grounds
and buildings proving inadequate for the increas-
ing business of the society, it was decided by a
committee held January 10, 1867, consisting of
the officers of the society, together with John
Trowbridge, Charles E. Sands, John S. Thorn and
Stephen Angell, to agree upon a plan of
new buildings and grounds, and they directed the
Secretary to take general charge of the work. The
work was completed in time for the annual fair of
this year, at an expense of over $7,000. The two
exhibition buildings cover an area of over 9,000
square feet, and the grounds contain something
over thirty acres of land. The receipts for the fair
of this year amounted to $4,000. The year 1869,
was the most successful in point of attendance,
and receipts that the society has yet held ; the re-
ceipts all told amounting to about $6,000. About
this time the success of the society led to the for-
mation of rival organizations. The first of these
was the Rhinebeck Association, meeting at Rhine-
beck village, next the " East Duchess," located at
Amenia, and last the " Hudson River," which held
its meetings at Poughkeepsie. These rival or-
ganizations seriously injured the prosperity of the
society, there being a gradual decHne for several
years in the attendance and receipts. In the years
of 1878-9, the president's chair was filled by Mr.
Benson J. Lossing,the eminent historian. About
this time the society had reached its lowest plane
in point of support and general interest; its re-
ceipts falling below $2,600 with expenses above
the ability of the society to pay. But the other
associations were also proving unsuccessful finan-
cially; the Rhinebeck Society being the first to
disband, and the "Hudson River" after many
pecuniary reverses soon following its example.

The old society now soon began to show decid-
ed signs of prosperity ; the last year of Mr. Los-
sing's pre^dency showing a decided increase in the

attendance, receipts and general interest. The
years 1880-81, find the society eminently success-
ful, the receipts each year amounting to over

The following is a list of the officers of the asso-
ciation since its organization: 1841-44, Henry
Staats, president, George Wilkinson, treasurer,
Obadiah Titus and Edgar Sleight, secretaries ; 1845,
Stephen Thorn, president, George Wilkinson, treas-
urer, and Henry Mesier and Edgar Sleight, secreta-
ries; 1846-47, Stephen Haight, president, George
Wilkinson, treasurer, Henry Wyck and Henry
Mesier, secretaries; 1848, CorneUus Dubois, pres-
ident, George Wilkinson, treasurer, and Barclay
Haviland and James Wilkinson, secretaries; 1849,
Cornelius Dubois, president, Henry A. Field,
treasurer, Barclay Haviland and James Wilkin-
son, secretaries; 1850-51, Cornelius Dubois,
president, George Wilkinson, treasurer, Barclay
Haviland and Samuel T. Tabor, secretaries;
1852-53, Elnathan Beekman, president, Bar-
clay Haviland, treasurer, and S. T. Tabor
and John Bloom, secretaries; 1854-55, Edgar
Thome, president, G. W. Coffin, treasurer, and
G. W. Payne, secretary, (removed and George
Sweet appointed to fill his place;) i856-'57, Dan-
iel B. Haight, president, S. C. Clinton, treasurer,
and George Sweet, secretary; 1858-59, Peter
R. Sleight, president, John G. Halstead, treasurer,
and George Sweet, secretary; 1860-61, James
Haviland, president, C. S. Wainright, treasurer,
and George Sweet, secretary; 1862 -'63, Abraro
Staats, president, W. H. Beekman, treasurer, and
George Sweet, secretary; i864-'65, John C.
Halstead, president, W. W. Haxton, treasurer,
George Sweet, secretary; i866-'67, John U.
Able, president, W. W. Haxton, treasurer, George
Sweet, secretary; i868-'69, W. W. HaxtQn, pres-
ident, Thomas Jaycox, treasurer, and George
Sweet, secretary; i87o-'7i, John W. Storm, presi-
dent, Thomas Jaycox, treasurer, George Sweet,
secretary; i872-'3, Stephen Angell, president,
Thomas Jaycox, treasurer, George Sweet, sec-
retary; i874-'7s, David Barnes, president, Thom-
as Jaycox, treasurer, and George Sweet, secretary;
i876-'77, Thomas Jaycox, president, Henry Bost-
wick, treasurer, and George Sweet, secretary;
i878-'79, Benson J. Lossing, president, Henry
Bostwick, treasurer, and George Sweet, secretary ;
1880-81, Edward Gridley, president, Henry Bost-
wick, treasurer, George Sweet, secretary.

The last exhibition of the society was its fortieth.
Like all other associations of the kind it has had






its successes and its reverses. The Eastern Duchess
association still holds its fairs, but its grounds are
far removed from those of the society, and they
interfere but little with each other. It has always
been the aim of its managers to treat all branches of
industry alike. Mere sporting has not been en-
couraged. Trotting has been allowed for small
premiums, but only so far as it has been thought
necessary to encourage the production of an im-
proved class of animals.

Thus it encourages improvements in all kinds of
farm stock, farm machinery and farm productions
of every kind, the useful and the ornamental. It
is believed that the systenj so far followed is in the
true interests of agricultural industry. In its efforts
it has ever had the cordial support of the true
farmer. With the continuance of that support it
cannot fail to succeed. From its small beginning
it has reached its present proportions. With the
present good feeling, with the State aid, with its
ample grounds, its exhibition buildings, its stables,
sheds, its many other fixtures, all in good order ;
the steadfast support of its many friends, the expe-
rience of the past, it is believed that its future
career will be one of permanent success, usefulness,
and honor.

Physicians. — It is impossible, at this time, to
tell who were the first physicians of the town. Un-
doubtedly the settlers near Washington Hollow,
who were the earliest, had a physician previous to
the coming of Dr. Ely at Pleasant Valley, who at-
tended to all the inhabitants. Dr. Ely was long
the attending physician of many of the old inhabi-
tants throughout the town and during the last year
of his practice he was contemporary with Dr. La-
throp, who located in this section about the year
1790. With Dr. Lathrop was Dr. Benj. De-
lavergne, and later ' still Dr. Treadwell. Drs. La-
throp and Delavergne were the leading practitioners
of the county for several years. They were of the
allopathic school, which was known in those days
as "Pothecary," and much against the custom of
to-day, carried a hi^ hand in bleeding and vom-
iting their patients, or as a comic writer once
said : —

" Physic, bleed and sweat em.
Then if they choose to die,
Why, verily, let 'em."

Dr. Orton, Dr. Ensign, Dr. Charles Haight and
Dr. Thorn followed each other in succession, and
added to the corps ability and respectability. Dr.
Ranker came next and was followed by the present
practitioners. Dr. Sydney Henry, of Mabbettsville,
Dr. J. O. Pingry and Dr. J. F. Goodell, of Mill-

brook, and Dr. C. H. Tripp of Washington Hol-

Early Settlers. — Among the early settiers
were the Harts, who built the first grist mill in the
town about the year 1755. ^^ ^T^°! Tripp Mo-
sher built a large grist mill with all the " modern
conveniences," upon or near the site of the pres-
ent "Haight mill." The old building stood till the
year 1858, two years before it reached its cen-
tennial anniversary, when it was torn down by Geo.
P. Tompkins to give room for the present "Haight
mill," which he immediately built. Mr. Tomp-
kins' father was for a number of years the "Miller"
in the old mill, commencing his labors about the
year 1815.

The Harts as we notice built their mill back of
the present "Anson mill," down by the brook and
it was reached only by driving down the steep bank.
It was a small affair at first, but in 1790, was en-
larged by Philip Hart, who had then become the
owner of the property.

Mr. Hart was an energetic man and took a very
active part in the church and town business, besides
doing much for the small settlement he drew around
his place, and which is one of the most pleasant
retreats to be found in the county. He died at his
home on the 30th of September, 1837, at the age
of eighty-eight, and was buried in the Friends'
cemetery, where his ashes lie with many of his

In 1 809, a fulling-mill was erected here and was
followed by an establishment for the cutting of dye-
woods by Gifford, Sherman & Innis about the year
1820. Soon after that date quite an interest was
awakenened throughout the county in manufacture-
ing, especially of cotton goods. The Yankee genius
had awakened to the utilizing of the numerous
streams for such purposes, and whenever a " privil-
ege " could be found, it was brought into action, if

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 65 of 125)