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 71 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 71 of 125)
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inferred from the fact that in 1808 the New York
Annual Conference was held here. The sessions
were held in the Round Top school house, about half
a mile northeast of the Old Red Meeting House.
Rev. Bishop Asbury presided, and occupied the
teacher's chair,* with the school desk before him,
and the preachers sat upon the benches of the

The church organization was formed in 181 1,
"by certificate of incorporation dated May 13,
181 1." The first Trustees were George Ingraham,
Frederic Powers, Peter Powers ; Geo. Ingraham,
Society Clerk.

The first church edifice of the Society was built
in 181 2, a short distance east of the residence then
of Thomas Ingraham, of whom the site was pur-
chased. That house remained there until 1845,
when it was removed to its present site on a lot
donated by George W. Ingraham, and remodeled
and enlarged. Rev. Samuel W. King, was the
pastor at that time. In 1867, under the pastorate
of Rev. William E. Ketcham, the house was again
enlarged, a steeple added, and a bell put in —
donated by George Reynolds — at a cost of $500.00.

Up to 1 82 1, the church was embraced in the
Duchess Circuit. In that year Amenia Circuit
was formed from Duchess Circuit, and the church re-

•This chair is preserved as a relic of those days.

mained under the Amenia Circuit until formed as a
station in 1845. It afterward became connected
with a circuit known as the Amenia and Sharon
Circuit, which connection it retained some ten
years, and was again formed as a station. The
first Sunday school was organized in 1827 and in
1828 contained, including bible-class, sixty-four

The following, so far as can be ascertained from
somewhat imperfectly kept records, has been the
succession of pastors from 1821 to date : —

Rev. Daniel Brayton, 1821-22

Rev. Cyrus Stillman, 1823-24

Rev. John Reynolds, 1825-26

Rev. William Jewett, 1827-28

Rev. Fiteh Reed, 1829-30

Rev. Samuel Cochrane, 1831-32

Rev. U. Fisher, 1833

Rev. Richard Wyman, 1834-35

Rev. Fitch Reed, ." i836-'37

Rev. Bradley Sellick, 1838

* ****«*»

Rev. George W. Knapp, 1862-64

Rev. James Birch, 1864-66

Rev. Clark M. Eggleston, 1866

Rev. Wilham E. Ketcham, i867-'69

Rev. Charles Shelling, 1869-70

Rev. Silas Fitch, 1870-72

Rev. G. H. Hawxhurst, 1872-74

Rev. F. Mason North, 1874-76

Rev. Fields Hermance, 1877

Rev. W. G. Browning 1878

Rev. James N. Ramsey, 1879-81

The present membership is about one hundred
and ten.

The Church of the Immaculate Conception was
organized permanently under Rev. Charles T.
Slevin, about 1859. He was succeeded by Father
John Osenego, he by Father Tandy, about 1868.
The present pastor is the Rev. Daniel J. Corckery.
The church edifice was erected in 1868.

The City.

The City, so named at the first settlement of the
place, because three log-houses were built there
near each other, lies in the northwestern part of
the town. It contains a postoffice, church, and a
few dwellings. The postmaster here is Robert R.
Thompson, who has held the office a number of

The history of the Presbyterian Church here
goes back beyond the memory of any one now
living. In the year 1750, one hundred and thirty-
two years ago, and fifty years after the formation
of the first Presbytery in America by the Rev.
Francis Makeniel and his associates, a plain



church edifice was erected upon the ground now-
occupied by the present building. At an early
date two churches occupied the ground now cover-
ed by the Smithfield Church and Society. Both
were originally Congregational, and remained so
until the one ceased to exist and the other became
Presbyterian in 1824. After the Revolutionary
war, there was a successful effort to unite the two,
for the opening record of Smithfield Church is in
these words : —

" The records of the church of Christ in the
towns of Amenia, Washington and Stanford,
Duchess County, A. D. 1787, commonly known by
the name of the United Congregational Church
of Christ, in Westfield Society."

The use of the words, " United Congregational
Church," clearly reveals a successful effort to unite
the two societies, as the Rev. John Cornwall, it is
beheved, preached in both places from this time to
his death. No evidence has been found that a
settled pastor served this church from 1750 to 1775,
and it is probable that during this long period the
gospel was preached only by such ministers as
might journey through this section of country.
Among these was the celebrated Rev. George
Whitefield.* Tradition tells us that the church
edifices here could not hold the people who as-
sembled to hear him. Near the church was a
grove of oaks, under whose shade the masses lis-
tened to this most wonderful preacher of the age.
Five years after this, in 1775, the church gave a
call to the Rev. Job Swift, D. D.,t who preached
here for more than seven years. He was born in
Sandwich, Mass., June 17, 1743, but in early life
his father removed to Kent, Conn. He entered
Yale College in 1761, and graduated four years
later. He pursued his theological studies under
the eminent theologian, Rev. Joseph Bellamy, D.D.,
of Bethlehem, Conn. His first pastorate was over
the Congregational Church in Richmond, Mass.,
where he remained several years. He went from
the church here at the City, to Bennington, Vt.,
where he was pastor for fifteen years. He died at
Enosburg, October 20, 1804. From 1782, the
year when the labors of Dr. Swift closed in this
church, to 18 12, the church was without a pastor.
He died March 18, 1812. July 7, 1812, a call was
given by this church to Rev. Eli Hyde, which was
accepted, and he remained as its pastor until May,
1 82 1. During his pastorate, in 18 r4, the second
church edifice was built on the site of the present
building. From the close of Mr. Hyde's ministry

* He preached herein tno.

i His son, Hon. Samuel Swift, LL. D., was born here-

the church was without a pastor for more than
three years, when the Rev. Robert G. Armstrong
receivedand accepted a call, and wasjnstalled pas-
tor by the Presbytery of North River, September
20, 1824. He had, however, served the church
nearly two years as stated supply. He remained
until June 21, 1831. Under his pastorate this
church was duly organized as a Presbyterian church,
January 25, 1824.

From the close of his ministry here in 1831, the
church for four years was served by Rev. Geo. W.
Kennedy and by Dana Goodsell, a Hcentiate from
the Eastern Association of New Haven.

The Rev. WiUiam J. McCord was sent by the
Presbytery of North River to supply this church,
then vacant, the second Sabbath in January, 1835.
In June of that year he was installed pastor, and
served the church until April, 1847.

The Rev. George T. Todd became pastor in
1848, and remained until the spring of 1855. Dur-
ing the early part of his ministry the present
church edifice was erected. Rev. Dwight K. Bart-
lett was the next pastor, in 1759, and he remained
until February, 1862. Rev. A. H. Seeley, the
present pastor, began his labors here in 1863.

Amenia in the War of the Revolution.

The patriotism of Amenia in the war of the
Revolution was both prompt and generous. The
pledge adopted by the association formed in New
York City, April 29, 1755, to oppose the oppres-
sive acts of British government, was presented to
the citizens of this town for signatures in June and
July of 1775, by Roswell Hopkins, Samuel King
and Silas Marsh, a committee appointed for that
purpose. To this pledge four hundred and twenty
citizens at once subscribed, and only six delayed
or refused to sign. Those who were persistent in
their refusal to subscribe to it were Joel Harvey,
Philip Row, Samuel Dunham, Judah Swift, and
Peter Slason. The latter, who lived in South
Amenia, near his brother-in-law, Capt. WiUiam
Chamberlain, who was a staunch patriot, never
accepted the situation. After the war, when a
pole was raised in that part of the town, crowned
with the cap of Liberty, Mr. Slason was brought
before it with a rope around his neck and required
to confess his loyalty. He kneeled before the
emblem of the nation's freedom and cried out
"Great art thou, O Baal!"

Those who signed the Pledge of the Association
— sometimes called the "Roll of Honor." — were



known. as " Associators," and the Pledge was
pressed upon individuals, at times with some de-
gree of rigor, as a test of their loyalty. A Com-
mittee of Safety was appointed, whose vigilance
was particularly directed to the movements of the
Tories, or those suspected of a want of loyalty to
the country. A rude log prison, used for confining
Tories and other suspected persons, was built
about half a mile east of the present village of
Amenia, and north of where the turnpike now runs.
The remains of this prison were there a few years
ago. In all there were four hundred and thirty-
five names appended to the pledge, of whom one
hundred and fifty, or more, were independent, sep-
arate land-holders.

The following, as far as now known, are the
names of the officers and soldiers of the Revolution
who were residents of Amenia : —

Waight Hopkins, chosen Captain, July 27, 1775,
in a regiment of Green Mountain Boys under Col-
onel Ethan Allen and Lieutenant-Colonel Seth

In Regiment No. 6, of Militia of Duchess
County, were the following officers, whose commis-
sions were dated Oct. 17, 1775 : —

David Southerland, Colonel.

Roswell Hopkins, Lieutenant -Colonel.

Simeon Cook, Major.

Richard de Cantelon,* Major.

Joseph Carpenter, Adjutant.

Dapiel Shepherd, Quarter-Master.

First Company. — William Barker, Captain ; Job
Mead, First Lieutenant ; Noah Hopkins, Second
Lieutenant ; Abner Gillett, Ensign.

Second Company. — Brinton Paine, Captain; Sam-
uel Waters, First Lieutenant ; Ichabod Holmes,
Second Lieutenant ; Jesse Brush, Ensign.

Third Company. — Joshua Laselle, Captain
Colbe Chamberlain, First Lieutenant; David Doty,
Second Lieutenant ; Elisha Barlow, Ensign.

Fourth Company. — Robert Freeman, Captain
Elijah Smith, First Lieutenant; Ezra St. John
Second Lieutenant; Noah Wheeler, Ensign.

Minute Men of Amenia Precinct. — James Reed
Major; Reuben Hopkins, Adjutant; Josepl:
Ketcham, Jr., Quarter-Master; Increase Child,
Captain ; John Lloyd, First Lieutenant ; WiUiam
Blunt, Second Lieutenant; Josiah Morse, Ensign.

Officers in General Clinton's Brigade. — Colonel
Graham, Captain Brinton Paine, Lieutenant Hop-

In 1775, Rufus Herrick was appointed Captain
in a Duchess County regiment.

In January, 1777, the following officers were

* Not a resident. Probably a professional soldier appointed to the
regiment for the instruction of the soldiers in the science of arms.

recommended for commissions according to their
rank in Colonel Humphrey's regiment : —

Brinton Paine, Major.

William Chamberlain, Captain.

John McNeil, First Lieutenant.

Edmund Perlee, First Lieutenant.

Reuben Doty, Second Lieutenant.

David Doty, Adjutant.

The following served in the capacity of soldiers : —
Benjamin Hopkins, Jacob Bockde,

Jabez Flint, Jacob Powers,

Job Mead, Jr., Moses Harris,

Alex. Spencer, Jr., Daniel C. Bartlett,

David Rundall, Ruger Southerland,

Joseph Mitchell, Judah Burton,

Silas Reed, Simeon Reed,

Samuel Reed, Nathan Conklin,

Lemuel Hatch, OUver Hatch,

Peter CUne (Klein), James Bump,
Conrad Chamberlain, Samuel Gray,

Garret Winegar, ^— Mackey,

Jones Knapp, Silas Ray,

Barzilla Andrews, Isaac Osborn,

Dr. Reuben AUerton, Ephraim Lord,
Bezaleel Rudd, Joshua Newman,

Isaac Delamater, John Congdon,

Warum Kingsley, (?) Stephen Edget,
Amos Pennoyer, Jeduthan Gray,

Asa Holhster, Samuel Benedict,

WiUiam Brush, John Ford,

John Benedict, Joel Denton,

Jesse Pennoyer.

Of these and others who entered the service of
the Colonies, Simeon Cook was an influential citi-
zen, and one of the first to give himself to the
work of the war. He was promoted to the rank of
Major, and distinguished himself in battle near
Fort Independence, near Peekskill, in 1777. Of
the five sons of Capt. Stephen Hopkins, Waight
and Benjamin, who joined the Green Mountain
boys under Ethan Allen, were both killed by the
Indians. Roswell Hopkins was a Colonel and
participated in the battle of Saratoga, r Dr. Reu-
ben AUerton was Surgeon of the regiment in that
campaign. Reuben Hopkins,* the youngest of the
brothers, was Adjutant in Col. Graham's regiment.
Major Brinton Paine was a prisoner in the hands
of the British in April, 1777.

Moses Harris, Jr., was a spy and was held in
much confidence by Washington. After the war
he was rewarded for his service by a grant of land
in Westfield, Washington County, N. Y., now the
town of Fort Ann.

Alexander Spencer, Jr., was a volunteer in
Arnold's expedition to Quebec, and died on tte

* Born in Amenia in 1748. In the war of l8la he was appointed one of
the eight Brigadier-Generals of this State, He then lived in Orange



Jabez Flint entered the service at the beginning
of the war, and joined the army near Boston. He
was in service near New York, when the retreat
was made from Long Island, and his company es-
caped with peril from Governor's Island. In 1777,
he entered the regular army for three years, and
the next winter was one of the heroic sufferers of
Valley Forge. He became Assistant in the
Quarter-Master's Department, and then Assistant
in the Commissary's Department. He died in
1844, aged eighty-eight years.

Capt. James Reed, Capt. Isaac Delamater and
Judah Burton were in the Commissary Depart-

Mackey, mentioned in the general list,

was a colored man who had been a slave, and
whose freedom had been gained by patriotic ser-
vice. He lived near Amenia Union in a little
home which had been bestowed upon him for his

The War of 18 12.

In this war there was but a partial response to
the call for men. A few men entered the regular
army, one or two volunteer companies were rais-
ed, and sent to New York, and drafts were made
from the uniformed companies and other militia.
Col. John Brush commanded the troops from
Duchess County, which were stationed at Harlem

Henry Perlee, son of Edmund Perlee, who re-
sided at the City, was Captain of one of the com-
panies. Edmund Perlee had served in the Revolu-
tionary War, and two more of his sons were in this
war of 181 2, Edmund and Abraham, the latter of
whom was severely wounded in a battle on the
northern frontier.*

Capt. Jacob Rundall, William Barker, and
Samuel Russell served under Col. Anthony Dela-

Jesse Barlow was Captain of a volunteer com-
pany, and was stationed on Staten Island.

Archibald AUerton served as Lieutenant in a
company of light horse. There are but few names
known of others who served in this war, and we
give them, as follows : —

William Snyder, Elijah Stevens, Russell Stevens,
John Jenks, Elijah Andrews, Ashbel Porter, Cor-
nelius Jordan, Isaac Latimer Seymour Haskins,
Alexander Haskins, Asa Hollister, Hezekiah Lewis,
Eben Wheeler, Solomon Wheeler, Simeon Hall,
George Reynolds, Jonathan P. Reynolds, Milton
Mason, Enoch Anson.

* The other sons were Walter and John.

Lieut. Obed Barlow died near New York of
fever, at the age of twenty-one. Lieut, Phoenix
Bock^e was taken sick and died in Poughkeepsie.
Caleb Chamberlain returned and died at home.

Colonel Henry Brush was Captain of Ohio vol-
unteers in this war.

Captain Ambrose Spencer, aide to General
Brown, was mortally wounded at the battle of
Lundy's Lane, July 25, 1814.

The War of the Rebellion.

A complete record of the soldiers in this war
was never kept. So far as can be ascertained,
from official documents and private sources, the
following men entered the service from Amenia to
aid in the suppression of the Rebellion.

\2%th Regt, Co. B. — Charles E. Bostwick, Cap-
tain ; Henry L. House, Seargent ; George H. Gor-
ton, Corporal; J. VanHovenburgh, Francis Mitch-
ell, George Haight, Riley Burdick, Seneca S.
Marks, William H. Haskins, Edwin Johnson,
Charles Tweedy, Oscar F. Parks, Charles H.
Baker, George L. Drake.

Co. Z).— Archibald Field.

Co. 7^.— Charles H. Pinder, William Teator.

Co. I. — Daniel Hawes, James O'Donnell.

\^oth Regt, Co. A. — Lieutenant Henry Gridley,
[a graduate from Amherst in 1862, enlisted in that
year. He was one of the best officers in the ser-
vice and greatly beloved. He was killed at the bat-
tle of Gulp's Farm, south of Kenesaw Mountain,
June 22, 1864.J George Ingraham, William Wat-
tles now in U. S. Marshall's office, New York ;
John L. Hofftailing, Amos T. Bates, John Hart,
died in the service; Seabury Birdsell, William
Chamberlain, Hamilton Bramin, Charles Benton,
Abiah B. Hall, William H. Bartlett, Isaac M.
Mead, transferred to the sth N. Y. Cavalry, now a
druggist in Amenia ; Edwin Davis, Miles K. Lewis,
now a merchant in Wassaic ; James H. Vasser,
now in Custom House, Boston ; Thomas Dye,
dead ; Milo D. Rogers, Benjamin Buckley, William
E. Salisbury, Ira Fish, died in 1880 ; Chester A.
Andrews, Isaac N. Palmer, Charles E. Griffin,
Michael Fitzpatrick, John Davis, Thomas Benham,
died in the service in 1864; WiUiam Reed, dead ;
John CoUer, George T. Wilson, Nelson Wilson,
John Van Alstine, killed at Gettysburg, July, 1863 ;
John G. Borden, J. Curtiss Smith, Nathan W.
Reed, Albert Reed, died in service ; Henry Winans,
died in service ; James I/yman, Nicholas Sheldon,
Eugene M. Kempton, enlisted in August, 1862,
discharged in July, 1865, now postmaster at



Amenia village ; Horatio S. Chamberlain, Andrew
T. Winters, died in the service.

Company £.— Oscar W. Fiero, John Tallman.

Company /—Levi King (dead), Thomas Mack,
Edward Hart, Joel Dykeman.

Scattering.— \)d.\\ii Watts, ist Conn. Heavy Ar-
tillery; Miles St. John, Sergeant-Major, 48th N. Y.
Infantry ; Thomas Batlers, Co. B, 4th N. Y. Heavy
Artillery ; Albert Buckley, Co. G, 48th N. Y. In-
fantry; William Davis, Co. E, 12th N. Y. Cavalry;
John W. Teator, Co. H, 6th N. Y. Cavalry;
George Dewey, Co. C, 26th Reg't., U. S. Colored
Troops; Aaron H. Ingraham, enlisted in i86r in
Co. C, 48th N. Y. Infantry, killed at battle of
Cold Harbor, Va., June r, 1864, and buried on
the field.

In the Presbyterian church, in the village of
Amenia, is a memorial window, the gift of the
church, to the memory of the soldiers "slain in
i"863, '64, '65, Amenia's offering on the Altar of
National Unity.''

The following names are there inscribed: —

Lieutenant Henry Gridley, George Flint, Aaron
Ingraham, George H. Couch, John Van Alstyne,
Albert Reed, Charles R. Wilbur, naval service,
died and buried at sea ; Thomas Benham, Charles
IngerSoU, Henry Dykeman, William H. Haskins,
died from wounds received at Cedar Creek ; Rob-
ert Watts, John P. Van Hovenburgh, John Hart,
Willis Chamberlain, John P. Wing, George Wing,
Charles W. Bishop, Riley Burdick, Andrew T.
Winters, William Frost, Charles Mitchell, John
Pitcher, John C. Welsh, John Flaherty, Frank
Cleaveland, John Clark, Harrison M. Leroy, Hez-
ekiah Lee.



Dr. Desault Guernsey was born in the town of
Milan, Duchess Co., June 13, 1830, but at an
early age removed to the city of New York with his
father, Dr. Peter B. Guernsey, who for many years
was a prominent physician in that city. He was
educated and fitted for college at the grammar
school of the New York University, at that time
under the control of Chancellor Frelinghuysen.
His medical education was obtained in the offices
of his father and Dr. Willard Parker, and in
attendance on the lectures of the College of Phy-
sicians and Surgeons, Medical Department of
Columbia College, receiving his degree of Doctor
of Medicine in the year 1850.

Shortly after, he was appointed House Surgeon
to Bellevue Hospital. Completing the term of
service here, he received the appointment of As-
sistant Physician to Marine Hospital Quarantine,
when his health, after a little over one year's ardu-
ous labor, became seriously impaired by an attack
of ship fever. Resigning his position, he returned
to Duchess county, locating at Pine Plains, where
for several years he was successfully engaged in the
practice of his profession. Just before the outbreak
of the war he was unanimously chosen delegate to
the State Convention called for the purpose of
nominating Daniel S. Dickinson as a candidate for
Presidential honors; the project being in the inter-
est of pacification, with the hope of avoiding im-
pending national calamities.

In 1862, the the Doctor was appointed surgeon
of the 174th Regiment, N. Y. S. V., by Gov.
Morgan, having before served as volunteer surgeon
with Gen. McClellan during the memorable con-
flict of Antietam. He went with his regiment to
New Orleans in the Banks Expedition and served
with it up to the attack on Port Hudson, when he
received a severe injury from the fall of his horse,
causing a fracture of the leg, which incapacitated
him from futher service.

Returning home he located at Amenia, and
from the first has been most successful in his pro-
fession, taking at once a high position among the
business men of the town. The Doctor is an
indefatigable worker, for in addition to a large
practice as physician and surgeon, he holds the
responsible position of President of the First Na-
tional Bank of Amenia ; is President of the Board
of Trustees of the Amenia Seminary, and also
owns and manages one of the largest* dairy farms
in the County. Besides these he has extensive
property interests to look after in other directions.

In his profession he has won by his native
worth and merit not a few responsible positions,
among which may be mentioned: President of
the Duchess 'County Medical Society, Member of
the State Medical Society, Member of the Ameri-
can Public Health Association, and many other
offices of trust and -responsibility.

His home in Amenia was formerly known as the
" Reynolds Cottage," the homestead of his wife,
the eldgst daughter of the late Joseph Reynolds,
Esq. The cottage, which is well preserved, has
been greatly improved in later years. It is now
combined with a large imposing mansion, which
embraces among other architectural features, a
tower, parte cochere, and all the equipments of a
palatial country home. The landscape in connec-
tion with the grounds, and the stream and lake
which adjoin the place, and in which are to be
found some very fine trout springs, combine to
make it one of the finest residences in Eastern

The Doctor's only child is a son of sixteen, now
fitting for college, and whose studies in Ornithology
and Oology are something remarkable for one so
young. But the Doctor and his family inherit the
scientific tendency from hi? father and grandfather,





who were early physicians, as well as residents and
practitioners in Duchess County. His mother was
the second daughter of the late Judge Stephen


History of the Town of Poughkeepsie.

Topography of the Town — Derivation and
Signification of Name — Streams — Soil —
Population — Area — Schools — First Settle-
ment — Early Land Transfers Affecting
THE Town and City of Poughkeepsie — Tax
List of Poughkeepsie Precinct in 1771 —
Wappingers Falls (Channingville) — New
Hamburgh — Rochdale — Manchester — East
Poughkeepsie — Brick-Yards — Clinton Point
— Milton Ferry — Van Wagners — Locust
Glen — The War of the Rebellion.

THE town of Poughkeepsie, like the city of
the same name, which was formerly com-
prised within its border, derives its name from an
Indian word, about which, as well as its significa-
tion, authors differ.* It was formed as a precinct
Dec. 16, 1737, and as a town, March 7, 1788. The
city of Poughkeepsie was taken off March 28,
1854. It lies upon the west border of the county,
south of the center, in the angle formed by the
confluence of the Hudson River and Wappingers
Creek, the river forming its western and the creek
its eastern and southern borders. The town of
Hyde Park lies upon the north border, and Pleas-
ant Valley, LaGrange and Wappinger lie upon the
eastern and southern borders.

The surface is an undulating upland, but mod-
erately uneven, except near the river, where its
streams cut through the embankment, which con-
sists, in places, of steep and rugged bluffs. The

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 71 of 125)