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 87 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 87 of 125)
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Buckingham, Treasurer. 'The only change which
has occurred in the officers is in the office of Vice-
President, to which Rev. R. F. Crary was elected
in place of Rev. Dr. Cady, Jan. 3, 1876.

A building was hired in Garden street from May
I, 1 87 1. It was open for inspection and the first
services were held therein May 17, 1871. In 1873,
the present building, a small brick structure, located
at 108 North Clinton street, and formerly occupied
as a dwelling house, was purchased for $5,200, and
was occupied in October of that year. It is situ-
ated in a healthful, pleasant and quiet locality.

House of Industry* No. 16, Liberty street. —
This institution was incorporated April 24, 187 1.
The charter names eleven ladies as trustees, and
states its objects as being "to aid i)oor women in
the city of Poughkeepsie by providing them with
sewing and other like employment." Its origin,
however, dates back to 1864, in which year a nur-
sery was provided wherein children of soldiers'
wives could be cared for while the mothers were
out at work. This mode of relief was soon changed
and the mothers given partial employment at their
homes. In June, 1865, the House of Industry was
organized, and from its commencement has been
productive of good.

It is supported by "voluntary subscriptions" and
the sales of garments made by the workwomen.
Orders for sewing are given, after examination, to
old ladies, cripples, widows and respectable women,
who, having resided in the city of Poughkeepsie
six months, are confined at home by sickness or the
care of young children, and have neither husband
nor children able to support them. The value of
orders given is proportioned to the need of the ap-
plicant; being at the rate of fifty cents or one dol-
lar per week. It is not intended to give full em-
ployment, to pay unusual prices, or in any way to
offer inducements which might draw from other
fields of labor.

In 1867, a contingent fund was put aside for the
reUef of sick women unable to work. The fund
now amounts to $1,000, and is deposited in the
savings bank ; the interest only is drawn upon. In
1873, the moderate sized brick building now occu-
pied was purchased, at a cost of $6,000, with
money collected in the city, and the title vested in

Connected with, the house, and controlled by it,
is a training or sewing school, which was organized
in 1874, and is in charge of Miss Kate Smith and
other volunteer teachers. Weekly sessions are held
during the winter.

Poughkeepsie Charity Organization Society was

* The materials for this sketch are drawn from an Extract from ike
Fourteenth A nnual Report of ike State Board of Charities^ Relating
to the Charities of the Second jfudicial District., by Miss Sarah M.
Carpenter, Commissioner.



organized June 9, 1879, by the election of the fol-
lowing officers : Stephen M. Buckingham, President;
Dr. E. H. Parker, Vice-President ; John H. Mat-
thews, Secretary; Alison Ward, Treasurer. A
board of twenty managers was likewise chosen.
Preliminary meetings had been previously held.
The objects of the society are " to />revenf the im-
position by beggars, indiscriminate and duplicate
almsgiving, and pauperization of the poor, by char-
ity," and "to secure relief for the needy, employment
for laborers, information for all, and a permanent
improvement in the condition of the poor." It is
not the aim of the society to give direct relief, but
to secure help for the needy through the aid of
existing institutions or of private individuals, and
to systemize and facilitate the method of affording
such aid. It maintains a bureau of application
and investigation, with a secretary in attendance,
at 27 Garden street, where, also, it has in practi-
cal operation a kitchen garden, in which girls are
trained in household duties by its members.

Poughkeepsie Orphan House and Home for the
Friendless was organized June 21, 1847, as the
Poughkeepsie Female Guardian Society, and was
incorporated in 1852. The charter was amended
in 1868, and again in 1872. Its object is to pro-
vide a home for the destitute and friendless chil-
dren of the county until they can be " committed
to the guardianship of foster parents, or worthy
families, who will train them to respectability and
usefulness." It was originally designed also to
furnish a temporary home and employment for
unprotected and friendless females. It occupies a
substantial brick building, sixty by forty-five feet
three stories high, with basement and cellar, fur-
nishing accommodations for sixty inmates. The
building was finished in 1857, and was opened for
the reception of inmates on Feb. 2 2d of that year.
It is situated on a lot three hundred and sixty-four
by one hundred and sixty feet, on the corner of
South Hamilton and Franklin streets.


City Water Works — Fire Department

Fraternities— Poughkeepsie Gas Light Co.
—Citizens Gas Co.— City Railroad Co.—
Hotels and Taverns.

PREVIOUS to the construction of the present
water works there was no public provision
for the supply of water for domestic purposes in

Poughkeepsie. The earliest dependence for such
supply were springs, which were to be found in
almost all parts of the city. Many of them still
exist in cellars, and are never-failing. Before
Main street was graded, at least a dozen steadily
flowing springs were to be seen between the old
Red Mill and the river. Fine springs were also to
be seen on Market, Cannon and Union streets. In
the progress of improvement these were all cover-
ed up, and the sinking.of wells followed. The first
well sunk in Poughkeepsie was that in the yard of
the Northern Hotel ; and the second, that on the
grounds of Riverview Institute on Pine street.*

But the causes which produced springs so
abundantly were the source of annoyances which
were only obviated by the system of sewerage
adopted since 1870. At an average depth of ten
feet below the surface of the table-land on which a
portion of the city is built, lies an impervious
stratum of blue clay. Immediately above this is
a layer of gravel, then yellow clay and clayey loam.
Above this again is sand or gravel, and then the
surface soil — vegetable mold ; while a ridge of rock
runs along the brow of the hill, varying from a
foot or two to ten or fifteen feet below the surface.
Consequently, upon this formation after heavy rains
and in the early spring, the water-table in the soil
is raised, and the water set back by the ridge, forced
its way into cellar and basement, causing yearly
much inconvenience and expense.

Water for fire purposes had, however, been sup-
plied from a comparatively early day. As early as
1819 a system of cisterns was established in differ-
ent parts of the village, and these were used until
the construction of the old reservoir. Water from
the Fallkill was stored in a small reservoir at the
head of Cannon street, and was used for that purpose
until the present system came into use. That res-
ervoir was granted by John-P. Adriance to George
P. Oakley, then president of the village, May 25,
183 >;■

The village trustees had previously contracted with
Joseph Harris for a lot of land 200 feet square, on
the hill then occupied by Rufus Potter, .immediately
east of the land of Jared Smith, on which to build
a reservoir; also a lot of land forty feet on the
north-east side of Mill street, extending parallel
with the channel of the Fallkill and the mill pond
of said Harris, contiguous to his Red Mills, "to
lay down and maintain pipes for water works from
said water lot to said hill lot," paying for the hill
lot $1,000, and for the water lot $200. After the

* The Sunday Ce'MnVr, April 20, 1873. "



reservoir was built it was found necessary to fill it
with water from the Fallkill, and the trustees nego-
tiated with the mill owners for water for that pur-
pose. These water works were transferred tempo-
rarily to the board of water commissioners in
August, 1871. "In their day," says the Fou^A-
keepsie Eagle of Nov. 2, 1872, "the old water
works were considered very valuable and the pretty
Uttle reservoir was a popular place of resort for all
classes. In the spring it will be leveled to the
earth, and what is now a high eminence will then
be made into a handsome park with fountain, shade
trees, &c." Much of this improvement, however,
remains to be done.

Feb. 21, 1867, the Council adopted an amend-
ment to the city charter authorizing the creation of
a board of water commissioners and the use of the
Fallkill for the purpose of supplying the city with
water; but though the Legislature passed an act
April 12, 1867, "to provide for a supply of water
in the city of Poughkeepsie and sewers therein," it
failed of immediate results.

That act authorized the raising of $200,000, sub-
ject to the approval of the people at an election.
April 9, 1870, it was so amended as to authorize
the Common Council to raise by loan from time
to time, as required by the board of water com-
missioners, consisting of Stephen M. Buckingham,
Edward Storm, Edward L. Beadle, Abraham
Wright, Edgar M. VanKleeck and James H. Weeks,
a sum not exceeding $200,000, by the creation of
a public fund or stock, to be called the "Water
stock of the City of Poughkeepsie," to bear inter-
est at seven per cent, per annum. The commis-
sioners are authorized to acquire the right by agree-
ment or approval " to alter the course of, to
straighten, widen or contract, to wall in, fill in,
control, improve and regulate the Fallkill creek,
and the ponds thereon, -and the use of water theres
from, and to pass ordinances relating thereto ;"
" and to remove all or any of the dams and ponds
thereon, and to fill said ponds or creek, or a por-
tion of the same if deemed necessary by them,
within the territorial limits of said city." April 19,
1872, the charter was again amended to empower
the council to increase the loan to $350,000 ; and
Stephen W. FuUerton and Enoch Carter, of New-
burgh, and George Hufcut, of Dover Plains, were
" appointed commissioners to determine and assess
the benefits conferred upon the owner or owners
of lands bordering upon Fallkill creek, or the ponds
formed by the same in the city of Poughkeepsie,
by reason of the taking down or removal of the

dams upon said creek, * * * "or any one of
them ;" " or by reason of the improvement, altera-
tion, or walling in of said creek or ponds * * *
or for leaving the beds and sides of said creek or
ponds, now overflowed, free and clear from the
waters" thereof.

The first board of officers of the water commission-
ers were : Edward L. Beadle, President ; Charles B.
Herrick, Secretary and Treasurer ; J. B. G. Rand,
Chief Engineer; Theodore W. Davis, Resident
Engineer; James P. Kirkwood, Consulting En-

The commissioners considered the comparative
feasibility of using the waters from the Fallkill and
Crum Elbow Creek, the Hudson and Wappingers
Creek ; and came to the unanimous conclu-
sion " that the waters of the Hudson is the
best, and the river system the cheapest and most
reliable." Experience has demonstrated the wisdom
of that conclusion, at least with respect to the last

The estimated cost of the Fallkill plan was
$710,000; of the Wappinger plan, $550,000; of
the River plan, $200,000, with the interest of an
additional $100,000 to do the pumping.

The commissioners located the pumping and
filtering works on the river, two miles above the
city on the Swain estate, and the distributing res-
ervoir on College Hill. The work of construction
was commenced in 1876, and completed during
that and the following year.

Mre Department of Poughkeepsie. — It would be
interesting to review the history of the department
from the incorporation of the village, to note the
varying apparatus — first the conventional leather
bucket, next the hand engine, at first without a
suction pipe, and the present steam engine and
hydrant — and the different organizations which
have used them in battling with the devouring ele-
ment, some of which have a memorable history,
but we have not the space at our command, and,
unfortunately, the records do not admit of it.

From the Poughkeepsie Weekly Eagle of March
18, 187 1, we glean the names and occupations of
the men who composed Poughkeepsie's first fire
company, as follows : Joseph Powell, Captain,
silversmith, Richard Harris, tailor, John Nelson,
carpet weaver, John Armstrong, carpenter, WilUam
Smith, grocer, Wm. R. Barnes and Moses Yelverton,
blacksmiths, John Fields, dry goods, Christopher
Markle, butcher, Joseph Mason, tobacconist, John
E. Pells, tailor, Casper Hillequist, cabinet maker,
James Tallmadge, Jr., lawyer, William Kidney,



tailor, John Hobson, hatter, Matthew Colwell,
cabinet maker, John Swartwout, shoemaker, Abe
Thompson, Benjamin Howland, grocer, Thomas
Carman, saddle and harness maker, Abiah 8.
Storm, silversmith, Chester Parsons, bookbinder,
Joseph Nelson, grocer, Benj. Banker and Elijah
Morgan, silversmiths. The apparatus of the de-
partment in 1806, says the same authority, con-
sisted of one engine, six hooks and ladders, one
trough, one speaking trumpet, four lengths of hose,
eight bags and one rope.

The department in 1880 comprised one chief
and two assistant engineers, 128 members of en-
gine companies, 130 members of hose companies,
41 members of hook and ladder company, and 17
fire wardens, making a total of 819; who are
divided into three engine, three hose and one hook
and ladder companies, and a board of fire wardens.
The equipment consists of one first-class rotary
steam-engine with hose and tender ; one recipro-
cating steam-engine, with hose and fuel tender com-
bined, one second-class hand engine, three hose
carriages, one hook and ladder truck, and one two-
wheel hose cart for extra service, all in good order,
and 7,290 feet of hose, 4,000 feet of which is good,
2,400 feet, ordinary, and 890 feet, poor.

The department officers are: William Kaess,
Chief Engineer; Arthur L. Todd, First Assistant
Engineer ; George G. Williamson, Second Assistant


Poughkeepsie Lodge No. 21, I. O. O. F., was
organized in 1838, and has a present membership
of 225. Regular meetings are held each Tuesday
evening at Nos. 10 and 12 Liberty street. It is
an incorporated society and has a fund of about
$7,000, which is largely drawn on for the relief of
sick members, widows, and the education of or-

Germania Singing Society was organizedin 1850,
with the following charter members : A. Kiihn, L.
Bantle, P. Meinecke, P. Kiesleer, Charles Peters,
L. Schlosser, C. Rausch, L. Kasselberg, A. Ulrich,
P. Zimmer, F. Grinling, Otto Rohr and Joseph
Bauer. It has a present membership, of 102.
Musical conductors : Charles Grube, M. Umlauf,
C. Peters, Fred. Reichardt, A. Kuhn, T. Gehrig,
L. Lehman. The society meets every Thursday
evening at Germania Hall, Nos. 149 and 151
Main street, for training in vocal and instrumental
mifsic ; and was awarded the first prizes for musi-
cal culture at the festivals in Utica, in 1874, in

Albany, in 1880, and in Kingston, in 188 1. It
was incorporated April 27, 187 i..

The St. Peter's Catholic Total Abstinence and
Benefit Society was founded Nov. i, r866, and in-
corporated with thirty-two charter members April
5, 1 87 1. The charter names Peter Shields, Mi-
chael J. Corcoran and Edward Downey as trustees.
Michael J. Corcoran was the first President, and
Patrick Kerr the first Vice-President. The society
has no members, and about $400 in bank. It
meets every Sunday evening at 8 o'clock, in the
basement of St. Peters' church.

Hamilton Post, G. A. R., named from Capt.
Hamilton, the grandson of Alexander Hamilton
and son of Judge Philip Hamilton, was organized
March 23, 1867, with the following members :

A. B. Smith,C. H. Andrus, George Parker, H. M.
Carter, Wm.Platts, W. Harris Johnson, Robert K.
Tuthill, Derrick Brown, A. A. Boutell, Charles

B. Morris, George E. Bissell and Henry F. Bissell.
The present number of members is about 125.
The Post meets every Wednesday night at the
rooms of Battery D, 218 Union street. It is the
owner of a plot of ground in the Poughkeepsie
Rural Cemetery, large enough for thirty-nine graves,
which is designed for those of the members who
request burial there. It was purchased in 1879,
and is managed by a board of trustees. The
Post disburses a very respectable amount annu-
ally in the way of charities to the widows and or-
phans of deceased comrades and to meritorious

Siloam Encampment, No. 36, / O. O. F., was or-
ganized August 31, 1867, with the following char-
ter members : J. D. Neal, P. S. Rowland, P. G.
Beneway, S. Scofield and E. O. Caldwall, who were
also the first officers. The present number of
members is ninety-five. Regular* meetings are
held the first and third Thursdays of each month.

Excelsior Rebekah Degree Lodge No. 7, /. O.
0. F. was organized April 13, 1870, with ninety-
seven charter members, twelve of whom have died,
and only ten of whom are numbered with the
present forty members, who meet the second and
fourth Wednesday of each month. The first offi-
cers were : Samuel Mott, N. G. ; Mrs. Mary A.
Rowland, V. G. ; Mrs. Mary E. Mott, Rec. Sec. ;
Mrs. Mary A. VanSiclen, Treasurer ; Mrs. Kate
A. Cornell, Fin. Sec.

Rising Star Lodge, No. 52, was organized* Nov.
23, 1870. The charter members, the first ten of
whom were also the first officers, were: F. E.
Stickle, John Stone, G. W. Lane, C. Potter, W.



Broas, A. Schaeffer, N. Winters, Jr., J. Peterkin,
D. Lentz, John Bauman, A. Fitchett, Theo. Clark,
T. Eckhardt and J. M. Dorland. The present
membership is sixty-seven. Regular meetings are
held every Thursday evening in Pythian Hall, 333
Main street.

Fallkill Lodge, No. 2()i, I. O. O. F., was insti-
tuted Dec. I, 1871, with thirty-three charter mem-
bers. The first officers were : Stephen Scofield,
N. G. ; Lawrence W. Butcher, V. G. ; Augustus
VanSiclen, Rec. Sec. ; John H. Caldwell, Per.
Sec. ; George W. Bayer, Treasurer. The lodge
has initiated one hundred and ninety-eight mem-
bers and admitted eleven by card. It has a pres-
ent membership of one hundred and forty-two.
Since its institution it has paid for charitable pur-
poses $3,000. Regular meetings are held every
Friday evening in Odd Fellows' Hall, Johnson
Building, Nos. 331, 333 and 335 Main street.

Poughkeepsie Lodge, No. 266, F. df A. M., was
organized May 12, 1852. The charter members
were : Abram M. Sweet, John Broas, Samuel
Chichester, George Gausman, John E. Eisel, Elias
G. Hopkins, George Kent, Isaac F. Russell and
Andrew Geutner. The first officers were : A. M.
Sweet, Master; John Broas, S. W. ; S. Chichester,
J. W. ; John E. Eisel, Treasurer; Isaac F. Rus-
sell, Secretary. The lodge has one hundred and
seventy-three members and meets in Masonic
Hall, Nos. 9, II, 13 and 15 Market street, the first
and third Mondays of every month, except July
and August.

Dutchess Temple of Honor, No. 7, was instituted
July 18, 1872, with twenty-eight members. The
first officers were : W. H. VanBenschoten, W. C.
T. ; Robt. S. McKean, W. V. T. ; Walter Farring-
ton, W. R.; Jabez Pierce, W. A. S.; Thomas F.
Gumey, W. F. S.; Hiram Van Benschoten, W. T.;
J. O. Lake, W. U.; Wm. F. Voce, W. D. U.;
J. J. Rosekrans, W. G.; Edgar Thorn, W. S.
The membership has reached as high as one
hundred and thirty-five ; but at present is forty- four.
The temple meets on Tuesday evenings at 7:30
o'clock, in Wright's Building, 361 Main street.

The Social Turnverein of the City of Pough-
keepsie was incorporated April 18, 1874.

Poughkeepsie Lodge, No. 572, K. of H., was or-
ganized April 6, 1877, with twenty.-eight charter
members. The first officers were : Dr. O. M.
Shedd, P. D.; Frank W. George, D.; J. H. Mar-
shall, V. D. ; W. H. Young, H. D.; James Smith,
R.; John P. A. Vail, F. R.; C. E. Patterson, F.
The lodge numbers thirty-three, and meets the

second and fourth Mondays of each month. The
lodge has had fifty-eight members, and has lost
two by death and twenty-three by withdrawals and
suspensions. Dr. O. M. Shedd was Grand Direct-
or of the Grand Lodge from April, 1879, to April
1 88 1, being unanimously elected each term. Un-
der his administration the order increased from
ninety to one hundred and eighty lodges, and from
3,191 to over 10,000 members.

Dutchess Lodge, No. 11 28, K. of IT., was organ-
ized June 26, 1878, with twenty-nine members, the
present number. The first officers were : S. Jacobs,
P. D.; P. Melhado, D. ; S. Goldstone, V. D.; S.
Beck, A. D. ; C. Joseph, Repr.; J. Jacobs, F. R. ;
J. H. Luce, Treas. ; H. Trickett, Chaplain ; C. H.
Little, Guide ; P. Sanford, Guard ; J. Leonhart,
Sentinel. Meetings are held the second and fourth
Thursdays of each month in the Harris building,
on the corner of Main and Liberty streets.

Faithful Lodge, No. loi. Knights and Ladies of
Honor was organized Dec. 11, 1878, with thirty-
two members. The first officers were : Dr. O. M.
Shedd, P. P. ; Gerhard Betz, P. ; J. A. Smith, V.
P. The membership has decreased to twenty-six
by withdrawals and suspensions. The lodge meets
the first and third Wednesdays of each month in
Waight's Hall, 361 Main street.

Azro Goff Lodge, No. 1 2, International Order
of Good Templars, was instituted June 23, 1879,
with fifteen members, and has increased at the
present time to sixty-eight. The first principal
officers were : Albert H. Marsh, W. C. T. ; Doria
S. Tomb, W. V. T. ; A. Van Nostrand, W. R. S. ;
H. C. Stearns, W. A. R. S. ; Annie Ferguson, W.
F. S. ; Wm. Ferguson, T. ; Susan A. Steams, Chap-
lain. The lodge meets each Tuesday evening at
236 Union street. It is under the jurisdiction of
the " Right Worthy Grand Lodge of the World,"
the branch of the order which separated from the
American organization when that body recognized
the constitution of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky,
which excludes the colored man from the Order.

Hudson River Lodge, No. 251, was organized
August 12, 1879, and has sixty-one members. The
first officers were : S. R. Rupley, M. W. ; H. Cole-
man, P. M. W. ; Henry Van Kleeck, Foreman ; D.
C. Whiteman, Overseer ; J. H. Luce, Receiver ; M.
B. Osborne, Recorder; A. B. Stockholm, Financier.
The lodge meets the second and fourth Tuesdays
of each month.

Temple Legion, No. 5, S. K. of A. O. U. W.,
was organized Nov. 24, 1879, with seventeen mem-
bers, the present number being nineteen. The first



officers were : E. P. Bogardus, S. C. ; H. Van
Kleeck, V. C. ; D. C. Whiteman, L. C. ; M. B.
Osborne, R. ; H. Coleman, J. C. ; A. Candee, R.
T. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of
each month at 311 Main street.

Dutchess County Division, No. 8, S. of T., was
instituted May 22, 1880, with twenty-five members.
The first officers were : Walter H. Van Benschoten,
W. P. ; Albert G. WiUiams, W. A. ; George T.
Smith, F. S. ; Wm. Moore, Treas. The member-
ship has increased to 105. Meetings are held
every Wednesday evening at 226 Union street.

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of
the City of Poughkeepsie was incorporated June 7,
1880, "to promote the cause of total abstinence
from all intoxicating liquors as a beverage, and the
suppression of the liquor traffic, by such means as
shall from time to time be deemed wise and expe-
dient." The incorporators and first managers were :
Ad^le D. B. Webb, Sarah M. Tuthill, Mary E.
Bennett, Mary G. Underhill, Sarah E. Seaman,
Mary C. Gurney, Rebecca A. Thurston, Frances
E. Ostrander, Harriet Piatt, Elsie A. Brooks, Ruth
C. Flagler and Mary H. Bedell.

Poughkeepsie Council, No. 9, Chosen Friends, was
instituted May 31, i88j, with forty members, the
present number. The first and present officers are :
Dr. 0. M. Shedd, C. C. ; S. K. Darrow, V. C. ;
Peter G. Beneway, P. C. C. ; D. M. Myers, Jr.,
Recorder; G. P. Robertson, Financier; J. H. Mar-
shall, Treasurer ; Jennie M. Daniels, Prelate ; Ves-
pasian Briggs, Marshal; Henry Wood, Warden;
Charles Dongan, Guard ; Fred. G. Keller, Sentry ;
Wm. Moore, E. Blankenhorn and Dr. E. A. Rich-
ards, trustees. The council meets the first and
third Fridays in each month at 311 Main street.

Incorporated Companies.

The. Poughkeepsie Gas Light Co. was organized
January 27, 185 r, with a capital of $70,000,
which was increased in i860 to $84,000. The
works, which are located on Bayeux street, were

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 87 of 125)