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 99 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 99 of 125)
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remaining five years. The present pastor is Rev.
John B. Nain, who entered upon the duties of
the pastorate December i, 1881.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Dover Plains,
was organized in 1852. The board of trustees
consisted of the following persons : William H.
Belding, Darius B. Tallman, WiUiam McKoy,
William Sands, Samuel H. Tompkins, J. P. H.
Tallman, James G. DeForest, David L. Belding,
Darius Tallman. The erection of the church was
begun and completed under the pastorate of Rev.
William Ostrander in 1853, at a cost of $5,500.
The Church then numbered about forty persons.
The present number is about one hundred. A con-
venient parsonage, costing $2,500, is owned by the
church, and the entire property is free from debt.
The present board of trustees consists of A. J.
Ketcham, A. H. Dutcher, H. D. Hufcut, William
Soule, Robert M. Glasson, J. M. Waldron, and
J. G. Sherman. The present pastor is Rev. M. R.
Lent, who began his labors here in April, 1881
The succession of pastors has been as follows : —

Rev. William Ostrander,* 1852-53

Rev. George W. Knapp, i854-'55

Rev. Daniel Carrie, 1856-57

Rev. E. Ashton, 1858

Rev. George W. Knapp, i86o-'6i

Rev. Thomas Carter, 1862-63

Rev. A. C. Gallahue, i865-'66,

Rev. A. P. Lyon, i867-'68

Rev. J. W. Macomber, 1869-70,

Rev. S. J. McCutcheon, 1871-73

Rev. R. M. Roberts, , . . i874-'76

Rev. N. H. Bangs, 1877-78,

Rev. Silas Fitch i879-'8o.

Rev. M. R. Lent, 1881

The Roman Catholic Church was organized
about 1859. The first pastor was Rev. Charles
Slevin, under whose pastorate the church edifice
was erected in the winter of 1859-60. This par-
ish formerly consisted of what are now the parishes
of Amenia, Dover and Brewsters. This church was
the first built between Croton Falls, on the south,
to pine Plains, on the north. Among the early
members were Terrence Connell, Patrick Whalen,
Michael Maher, Patrick Wetheral, and Jeremiah
Whalen. The present attendance is between
three and four hundred. The pastorate of Father
Slevin extended over a period of three years.

* The laxness with which the records of this church have been kept,
renders it difficult to learn with entire accuracy, either the facts relating to
its earlier history or the succession of pastors. This list was given partly
from memory, and may be imperfect as to dates, but it is doubtless accu-
rate as to names The names of both Mr. Knapp and Mr. Lyman are
given for l854-*S5.



After him came the Rev. John Orsenigo, four years,
Rev. P. W. Tandy, eight years, and Rev. M. J.
McSwiggan, the present incumbent, who has been
in charge four years, and whose residence is at

Chestnut Ridge.

Three miles west of Dover Plains, on an eleva-
tion known as Chestnut Ridge, is another Metho-
dist Church, which was organized some years pre-
vious to 1849. The Church edifice was erected in
that year. Among the early members were Robt.
Van Wyck and wife, James McCord and wife,
Catharine Shears (now White), George Van Wyck
and wife, Mariette Hustus, Catharine Tompkins
Isaac Benson. The pastors, as a rule, have minis-
tered to this Church from Verbank and Dover

Chestnut Ridge is also the home of Benson J.
Lossing,* the historian, who owns here an excel-
lent farm of some three hundred and fifty acres.
From his dwelling a fine view is obtained of the.
mountain ranges of Ulster, Orange, Greene and
Sullivan Counties, and of portions of Con-
necticut. Mr. Lossing has here, in a fire-
proof library, some five thousand volumes chiefly
upon historical and biographical subjects, though
he has many of a miscellaneous character.
Among the latter is a fine copy of Ovid's
" Metamorphoses," translated in Virginia by
Edwin Sandys, (the first book ever made in this
country,) and bearing the autograph of Miles Stan-
dish, 1643. His cabinet of curiosities, composed
chiefly of historical relics, is an attractive one to
the antiquary. Among these are a portion of Mrs.
Washington's wedding-dress; a piece of a curtain
brought over in the May Flower; a piece of the
flag of Fort Sumter ; a cane made of the wood of
Perry's flag-ship, in the battle of Lake Erie ; and,
probably, the only photograph copy extant of
President Lincoln's original Emancipation Procla-

Mr. Lossing is a native of Beekman, born Feb.
12, 1813. At an early age he was left an orphan
and was compelled to rely upon his own resources.
A dweller in a rural district, he naturally gravitated
to farm work, doing for a year or so such labor as
a boy was capable of performing. At the age of
thirteen he went to Poughkeepsie to learn the trade
of a watch-maker, and in 1833 entered into part-
nership in that business with his former employer.
But the mind of Mr. Lossing was bent in a diff'er-

* To whom we are indebted for a kindly interest in this work as well as
for information courteously given. I

ent direction. He had early imbibed a taste for
literature, a taste gleaned from stolen interviews
with a scanty stock of books ; and in 1835, he be-
came part owner of the Poughkeepsie Telegraph,
and entered upon his career as a literary man.
"Once a newspaper man, always a newspaper
man," reads an old maxim of the printing ofiice,
but Mr. Lossing was destined for a higher walk in
literature than the editing of daily news. The next
year, in company with E. B. Killey, he began the
publication of a semi-monthly paper, more in uni-
son with his tastes. This was the Poughkeepsie
Casket, in the management of which he first essayed
the art of wood engraving, in order to illustrate his
work, and in which art he afterwards achieved an
eminent success.

In 1S38, he beame the editor of the Family
Magazine, the first illustrated work of that kind
ever published in this country, and which was en-
tirely under his Uterary and artistic supervision.
His first historical venture was '* An Outline His-
tory of the Fine Arts," in 1840-41. His next
work, "Seventeen Hundred and Seventy-six; or.
The War for Independence," was written in 1846-
'47. From that time his life work lay before him.
He had found his niche, and most successfully has
he filled it. The works on which his fame chiefly
rests are the "Field-book of the Revolution" and
"Our Country." The former was published in
series by Harper & Bros., from June i, 1850, to
December, 1852, and had an extensive sale. The
latter, a household history of the United States, for
all readers, was published later, and still retains an
enviable popularity. Mr. Lossing has written over
thirty works, historical and biographical, besides
numerous articles for magazines and other periodi-
cals, in which his pencil did equal duty with his pen.

Of equable temperament, Mr. Lossing ac-
complishes his work calmly and judiciously, without
the spasmodic outbursts characteristic of writers of
the nervous type. In personal appearance he is a
man of medium height, rather heavily built, with
kindly features, and with a complexion slightly in-
clined to ruddiness. He is still actively engaged
in literary work, and has in process of completion
some important works.

The Quaker meeting house on Chestnut Ridge
was built before the Revolution, and was formerly
filled with worshippers every Sabbath, That class
of people have disappeared from the Ridge, and
the meeting house is now in ruins. In the posses-
sion of Mr. Lossing is one of the stoves used for
heating that edifice,— a common box-stove, for



wood, — which bears the date of 1767. That was
probably about the date of the erection of the

Dover Furnace.

To the south of Dover Plains, on the Harlem
Railroad, lies the station of Dover Furnace. Here
are located the works of the South Boston
Iron Company, established in February, 1881.
The buildings of the company were erected in the
summer of 1881, and the principal business done
here is the manufacture of iron for government

The only merchants are Preston & Coyle, who
have been engaged in business here since April,

South Dove^.

The hamlet of South Dover lies in the southern
part of the town, on the Harlem Railroad. The
depot at this point is known as Wing's Station, and
the settlement here consists of the station, one hotel,
two stores, postoffice and a few dwellings.

The postoffice was estabUshed here about 1852.
The present postmaster is Jackson A. Whitely,
appointed some seven years ago. The merchants
are Chapman & Wing, in business here three years,
and whose store was built in 1850; Ebenezer H.
Sturges, stoves and tinware, in business here six
years. He had previously been in business in
Weebutook six years, and in South Dover, proper,
three years;

The hotel at Wings was built in 1858 by John
Cornwell, who died in 1864. It is now conducted
by Mrs. Cornwell.

The only physician in this section of the town is
Dr. Charles Landon Fletcher, who came here in
November, 1881. Dr. Fletcher is a native of
Milton, Vt, born in 1851. He graduated from
the University of Vermont, at Burlington, in 1873.

South Dover proper lies to the east of the station
some two miles. This is also a hamlet of but few
inhabitants, and is quite picturesquely located.
The postoffice was established here about 1828,
and the first postmaster is said to have been Mott
Titus. The present postmaster is William A.
Sheldon, who has held the office some twenty-four
years. He is also the proprietor of a grist mill
here. The only merchant is George T. Ross, who
has been in business here twenty-eight years. He
had previously been engaged in business at Wee-
butook six years.

Major Ross, grandfather to George T., was one

of the prominent men in his day, and a gentleman
of the old school. .

Weebutook, or, as it is often spelled, Weebo-
tuck, is a small settlement about three miles dis-
tant from this place. The merchant there is Wm.
C. Camp, who is also the postmaster, appointed
in January, 1881. There is also a grist mill at
that place, E. A. Preston, proprietor.

Jacob Harrington, it is said, was about the first
settler in the locaUty of South Dover. A house
which he built, had in it a stone marked 1763. In
that year his wife died, whose tombstone yet stands
in the cemetery. His house was torn down some
thirty-five years ago, and the residence of the late
Alfred Wing * stands on its site. The Wings, the
Prestons, the Rosses and Sheldons were also early
settlers here, and the Deuels were pioneer settlers
in the hollow which bears the family name.

South Dover has two churches, the Baptist and
Methodist Episcopal. The society of the latter
denomination was organized some years previous
to 1855 ; but there exists no records to show the
precise date of its origin or to shed light upon its
progress. The church edifice was erected in


For some years the society worshipped in the
Union church, which stood where the Baptist
church now stands. The succession of pastors,
previous to 1854, is unknown. From that date to
1 88 1 the following ministers have presided over
the church : —

Rev. J. Croft 1854

Rev. A. Hunt 1855-56

Rev. L. M. Knapp f 1857

Rev. M. M. Curtis i858-'59.

Rev. J. H. Hawkshurst 1860-61

Rev. A. N. Mulnix 1862- '63

Rev. W. H. Evans i864-'6s

Rev. J. Edmonds i866-'67

Rev. J. Birch i868-'7o,

Rev. B. M. Genung 1871-73

Rev. J. Birch i874-'75

Rev. J. Elliot i876-'77

Rev. D. Gibson i878-'8o,

Rev. R. Decker 1881

The First Baptist Church of Dover was organ-
ized in 1757, and is the oldest church in the town.

At the meeting of the Philadelphia Baptist Asso-
ciation, held October 4th and 6th, 1757, it was
resolved: — -

"In answer to a request from a number of in-
habitants in Beekmans Precinct, Duchess County,
N. Y. Government; agreed that our brethren, Mr.
Miller and Mr. William Marsh visit them, and give

* Who died November J, 1880.
t George W. Knapp?



the petitioners such direction and assistance as they
shall judge cpnvenient."

Accordingly, on the 9th of November, 1757, Mr.
Marsh visited South Dover, and explained to the
people of the Baptist persuasion, who "met with
him, the nature of a covenant, to which, "in the
most solemn manner," a number subscribed, and
were by him constituted into a church. On the
first of December, 1757, Ebenezer Cole was chos-
en as clerk of the church. On the 4th of January,
1758, Samuel Waldo was chosen as pastor, and
was ordained May 2Sth by Elders Marsh and Wil-
lard. At a conference meeting held September 3,
1758, it was voted to build a meeting house thirty
by forty feet. To see to the accomphshment of
this work, Pelitiah Ward, Manasseh Martin, Benja-
min Seeley, Ebepezer Cole and EUab Wilcox were
appointed a Building Committee. That building
was for many years the only place of worship in
the town of Dover.

September 15, 1764, the church hcensed Daniel
Bronson as a local exhorter. In that same month
ten members were dismissed to form a church in
the upper part of the Oblong.

June 10, 1775, Agrippa Martin was licensed as
an exhorter.

From 1757 to 1794, during the pastorate of
Elder Waldo, there were about 250 members ad-
ded by letter and baptism.

Feb. 15, 1794, it was voted that a call to preach
be extended to Elder Freeman Hopkins.

November 10, 1802, Elder Detherick was or-
dained pastor over the church.

April 10, 18 13, it was voted that Elder EUsha
Booth serve as pastor one half of the time and
Elder Foss the other half.

From 1833 to 1840, Elders Job Foss, Daniel
Baldwin, Elijah Baldwin and Nehemiah Johnson
are mentioned as having served the church with
acceptance. On the 17th of April, 1840, a com-
mittee reported the engagement for one year
of Elder Elijah Baldwin. April 13th, 1844,
Elder Johnson Howard became pastor over the

In 1849 Elder John Warren became the pastor
for a season. In August, 1854, Elder T. W. Jones
became the pastor. Previous to this time (about
1833), the old meeting-house was abandoned. A
new Meeting-House Society was formed, and a
subscription of many names was obtained to buy a
new lot and to erect a new building. The trustees
were none of them to be members of any church.
In the deed and the subscription there were reser-

vations in regard to the use of the house and the
perversions of the property to any other use.

For more than twenty years this house was used
alternately by the Baptists and Methodists. In
1854 it was decided to sell the property at auction,
the purchaser to be bound by the old reservations.
On the 1 6th of September, of that year, the Bap-
tists purchased the exclusive right and privilege of
the house and lot. A new subscription paper was
circulated to repair and enlarge the building, which
was done the following summer at an expense of
$4,564.74. This sum was given by about sixty
subscribers, the largest amount being $599. The
house was dedicated free of debt on Saturday,
September 22, 1855. The dedicatory service was
conducted by Elder Armitage, of New York. In
October following, WiUiam G. Hoben was called
to the pastoral chargl^.

On the 4th of May, 1856, a parsonage was pur-
chased at a cost of $1,000. Elder Hendrickson
became the pastor February i, 1858. In i860, the
membership had increased to 124. Elder William
P. Decker assumed the pastoral charge July 27,
1862. In March, 1873, Rev. Isaac N. Hill be-
came the pastor, removing from there to his pres-
ent charge in Clinton, N. J., in October, i88i.

On the nth of April, 1880, Edward S. Merwin
was hcensed to preach, and in July of that year he
was engaged to preside over the church.

Dover in the War of the Rebellion.

In the war of the Rebelhon, Dover contributed
hberally both in money and in men; but owing to
what should be termed an inexcusable lack of in-
terest in matters pertaining to those who directly
figured in that eventful period, no records have
been kept of the men who enlisted for and from
the town, and periled their lives for the general
good. A harsh measure of censure for such neg-
lect might appear unjust, as apphed to one partic-
ular locaUty, inasmuch as many other towns were
as culpably derelict.

The lapse of sixteen years has rendered it
almost impossible to obtain in many towns anything
like a perfect record of the men who entered the
service during that war. Thus it is that in Dover '
and in towns similarly neghgent, we are compelled
to rely on information derived from the veterans of
the war, and from citizens who were conversant
with the transactions of those days. The information
thus derived must be more or less imperfect, but
it is given with the laudable desire to preserve
from the oblivion which a decade more must bring,



the names of some who participated in that event-
ful struggle. For the following record relating to
Dover we are indebted to Horace D. Hufcut, Esq.,
Joshua Rodgers and Alvah Brown — the two latter
being veterans of the war.

150th Regiment. — Co. E. — Captain, Andris
Brant ; First Lieut., Obed Wheeler ;* Second
Lieut., Perry W. Chapman ; Second Sergt., Joshua
H. Rodgers; Fifth Sergt., Philip Brant j First
Corporal, William P. Humeston ; Second Corporal,
James L. Draper ; Third Corporal, Lon. V. Leach ;
Fourth Corporal, George D. Schermerhorn ; Fifth
Corporal, DeWitt Thomas ; Sixth Corporal, Oscar
Feroe ; Musicians, Charles W. Leonard, George
Toffey ; Wagoner, T. J. Burt ; Privates, George
Burroughs, Lawrence Burhans, George Burhans,
Alvah Brown, George Brown, Jacob Benson,
John Case, (Q. M. S.,) George Cooper, Samuel
Clements, (Q. M. S.,) Gilbert J. Dutcher, Henry
Duncan, (discharged,) WilUam Duncan, Heman
Ellsworth, Patrick Garland, Michael GiUigan,
Joshua Leonard, Judd Murphy (killed at Gettys-
burg), James McGrath (drowned in New York
Harbor), Daniel Roe, Matthew Rasell, Sheridan L.
Rodgers (wounded and died from effects), Henry
Spencer, George D. Sage, William D. Stowe,
Alfred Sherman, Henry Sloan, Arthur Sloan, John
Tallman, Nelson Tallady, WiUiam Tofifey, George.
Wilcox (re-enlisted in Regulars), Denman Whaley,
Benjamin Watts. f

\2%ih Regiment. — Co. B. — Thomas N. Dutcher,
First Lieutenant ; Charles Humeston, Third Ser-
geant j Gilbert J. Kniffin, First Corporal ; Chand-
ler McCarty, Sixth Corporal; Ransom A. White,
Eighth Corporal; Privates— Isaac O. Mitchell, Mer-
ritt Humeston, Gary Wilcox, Herman Bucking-
ham, Charles Smith, Leroy Lineberg, Edward
Lineberg, Charles Records, James Brant, Edward
Mulhaine, (Co. D,) CorneUus Ireland, (Co. F,)
George Coles, (Co. F,) Theron Jones, (Co. F.)

Scattering.— ^o'bzrX. Watts, (died in the service,)
William Leonard, Silas B. Stage, (died in the ser-
vice,) Joseph Stage, George Stage, (died in the
service,) Henry Lee, LaFayette Dennis, David
Cooper, Zachariah Burris, Albert Burris, Jacob
Filleo, (98th Regt.,) Michael O'Niel, Daniel Bree,
(150th Regt.,) Thomas Redding, (rsoth Regt.,)
Haviland Hammond, (i 6th Heavy Art.,) James M.
Hewitt, James Dingee, (i6th Heavy Art., killed,)
John H. Shaddick, Smith McCord, Herman
Wheeler, Andrew J ohnson, James Ross, William

* Returned as Captain.

t This list is from the company's roll, and is therefore correct, as is
also that of the 128th Regt. following.

Driggs, John Striker, Thomas Anderson, Samuel
Lewis, Geo. W. Howard, Stephen Decker, Robert
Williams, (colored,) Alonzo Leach, (150th Regt.,)
WiUiam Hall, (150 Regt.,) Silas Howard, David
Howard, Matthew Roswell, Roger Moran, (69th
Regt.,) William Jackson, George Marshall (150th

History of the Town of Wappinger.

WAPPINGER, though the youngest and
smallest town in the County, is, indus-
trially, and in point of population and wealth, one
of the most important ; and, although its historic
importance is mainly reflective, it is connected with
some of the earliest and most interesting episodes in
the County's history. It derives its name from the
beautiful and useful stream which defines the major
portion of its western boundary.

It was erected from Fishkill, May zo, 1875, and
the act thus defines its boundaries : —

" All that part of the town of Fishkill, in the
County of Dutchess, situated, lying and being
north of a line beginning at a point on the easterly
shore of the Hudson River, distant two hundred
feet northerly from the residence of Thomas Al-
dridge, and running from thence easterly in a straight
Une to a point in the center of the public highway
leading from Fishkill to Hopewell two hundred
feet northerly from the homestead of Lebbeus
Chorlock, and running from thence in a straight
line due east to the westerly bank of Sprout Creek,
is hereby erected into a separate and new town, to
be hereafter known and distinguished by the name
of 'Wappinger.'"

It Hes upon the west border of the County,
south of the center, and is bounded on the north
by LaGrange, on the south by Fishkill, on the east
by Sprout Creek, and on the west by Wappingers
Creek and the Hudson River.

The surface is a high rolling ridge, separating the
valleys of Wappingers and Sprout creeks, with a
general inclination toward the northwest. The
highest point is Mt. Hope, a half-mile south of
Myers Corners, which attains an altitude of 1,000
feet above tide. Its summit affords a beautiful
and extended view of the surrounding country ;
and a beacon was erected upon it by the Coast
Survey, to serve as a point in the triangulation of
the Hudson River Valley. A series of bluffs ex-
tend along the river from 150 to 200 feet in height.
The interior streams, all of which are small, and
have their origin in the southern and eastern parts



of the town, flow in a northwesterly direction to
Wappingers Creek. They afford a limited water-

Next to Fishkill, Wappinger is the most popu-
lous town in the County. In 1880, when the first
official enumeration of the town was made, it had
a population of 4,966.

Its area, as stated in the report of the Com-
mittee on Equalization, published in the Pro-
ceedings of, the Board of Supervisors in 1880,
is 16,001 acres ; but in the report of the same
committee, presented to the Board of Supervi-
sors Dec. 19, 1881, it is said to be 15,887 acres;
while the total equalized value of real and personal
property in the town is said to be $1,642,518,
which is exceeded by only five other towns in the

The town is wholly underlaid by the rocks of
the Hudson River group, and the soil is composed
of the detritus of these rocks, intermixed with allu-
vion, in which clay is a predominant element on
the river border, and is manufactured into brick a
half-mile below Carthage Landing, near the south
line of the town. The value of the soil for agri-
cultural purposes is suflSciently indicated by the
fact that only four other towns in the County sur-
pass it in the equalized value of real property per

The Hudson River Railroad passes through the
west border of the town and has a station at Low
Point, (Carthage Landing ;) while the Newburgh,
Duchess & Connecticut, and the New York &
New England railroads cross the south-east corner
of the town, the latter road using the track of the

There are six common and one union free school
districts in the town. The number of children of
school age residing therein Sept. 30, t88i, was
1,585, of whom 1,025 attended school, the average
attendance during the year being 732.468. The
number of licensed teachers -employed at the same
time during the year was six males and nine

There were 1,000 volumes in the district
libraries, valued at $300. There were one brick
and six frame schoolhouses in the town, which,
with their sites, comprising three acres, valued at
$2,700, were valued at $14,700. The assessed
value of taxable property in the districts was $1,-

Following is a statement of the receipts and
disbursements for school purposes during the
year : —

Amount on hand Oct. i, 1880, $ 394.76

" apportioned to districts,.-. 2,819.08

" raised by tax, 4i334-97

" received from other sources, ... . 99.00

Total, $7,647.81

Paid for teachers' wages,. $6,177.59

" " libraries, 52.32

" " school apparatus 46.41

" " school houses, sites, fences, out-
houses, furniture etc. , . . . 3 04. r 6
" " other incidental expenses, 545-47

Amount on hand, Sept. 30, 1881, 521.86

Total, $7,647.81

In conformity with the requirements of the
statue by which the town was erected, the first
town meeting was held at Brower Bros.' wagon shop
in the village of Wappingers Falls, March 7,

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 99 of 125)