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Delaware County, NY Genealogy and History Site


The History of Delaware County
W.W. MUNSELL 1797-1880

THE TOWN OF HANCOCK

Electronic text by Sharon Wilson and John Hope

The lapse of time and the dimness which the dust of generations throws over the unwritten history of past events render their record more valuable. And this is especially applicable to the experience, perils, trials and hardships of the pioneers and early settlers of our country. Each locality has its traditions of interesting events. It is the duty of the historian to rescue the more important of these from oblivion.

The town of Hancock was named when taken from Colchester, March 8th, 1806, in honor of John Hancock, president of the first Congress of the United States. Until the formation of Delaware county, in 1797, it was in Ulster county. It is situated at the southwestern extremity of the county, in latitude 41,55' north, and longitude 1, 10" east from Washington; and contained in 1875, according to the last census report, 97,646 acres of land, of which 11,208 acres were cleared and in cultivation, the remainder being forest, much of it broken up by numerous mountains, hills and ravines, traversed by the rivers and brooks.

THE DELAWARE BRANCHES AND THEIR JUNCTION

The elevation at Shehocken, where the Pepacton and Coquago or Mohawk branches of the Delaware unite, is 922 feet above the tide water, and the mouth of the Beaver Kill 1,018 feet. The mountains rise from 800 to 1,200 feet above the rivers, and are often steep and rocky. In speaking of this section or vicinity previous to its separation from Colchester, and for some time after, we shall use the name Shehocken, as used by the old settlers, the Indian name signifying the wedding or union of the waters, in the Wyandotte language, spoken by the Iroquois, and the same as Papagonk in Algonquin. The town is watered in the interior by the Pepacton or east branch of the Delaware (called Papagonk by the Indians) and the Beaver kill, which enters the above at East Branch post-office, about fifteen miles above Hancock village. The west branch, now recognized as the main river, and the Delaware below Shehocken form the western boundary. In some old maps and patents his river is called the Great Fish river. The Iroquois or Five Nations, afterward the Six Nations, called it Makeriskis-kis-kon; and the Lenni Lenapes, who spoke the Algonquin, called it Lennipihittuck.

When the Swedes, the first settlers on the lower Delaware, arrived, they called the river Swedeland stream. The Dutch, who overpowered them, called it South river, and after the surrender to the English it was named Delaware in honor of Lord De-La-War. Shehocken was also commonly called The Forks by old settlers. But this name should not be confounded with the name "Forks of the Delaware," referring to the union of the Lehigh and Delaware at Easton, uniformly used in early histories by Brainard, Zinzendorf and Whitefield.

In one of the affidavits taken in 1785, in the Bradstreet-Hardenbergh land controversy, involving the question which was the main branch of the Delaware river, "Richard Jones, forty-nine years of age, being duly sworn, deposeth and saith, that he lives at Schehawken, on the forks of the Delaware river; that he, this deponents, has fished at the said forks, and that he has a fish-weir on the west branch of that river near the forks ant Schehawken, where he has caught quantities of eels and trout, but no bass-not so much as one: that Benjamin Owen has a fish-weir below the forks at Schehawken, and he caught quantities of bass in his weir; that about six miles above the forks, on the west branch, is another weir, belonging to James and Thomas Gilmore; and about seven miles further up the said branch is another fish-weir, the property of Peter Heinpagh; and that about two miles higher up is another weir, the property of Jonathan Fitch; at each of which several weirs they take eels, trout, and other fresh water fish, but no bass, that ever came to the knowledge of this deponent, though he has made frequent inquiry; and this deponent also saith that Ezekiel S. Lamson has a fish-weir on the east branch of the Delaware river next above the forks at Schehawken, in which he has caught great quantities of bass, when at the same time none were to be found in the west branch; that the people from Papacunk take great quantities of shad in the east branch, when they are exceedingly scarce in the west branch; and this deponent has remarked that in the latter end of June there were far greater quantities of dead shad to be seen in the east branch than in the west branch."

In another of these affidavits "James Chambers, of Rochester, in the county of Ulster, * * * saith that he has frequently been at Schehawken, as also at Pawpaction and Packatakan, and is very well acquainted with the land to the west of Kingston, Harley, Marbletown, and Rochester, having frequently been on parties in the late (Revolutionary) war and hunted in the country for several years past; * * * that the deponent was some time ago engaged to conduct Simon Metcalfe and George Metcalfe from Lackawack to Schehawken; that he accordingly took them from Lackawack to Pawpaction by the road formerly measured and cut out by Hanse Ousterhout and others, and showed the said Simon and George Metcalfe the several mile trees, marked from 1 to 35, beginning at the widow Cole's house in Lackawack, and ending near John Shaver's house at Pawpacton; and showed them the * * * waters which cross that road; the deponent conducted them from Pawpacton to Schehawken; * * * and also judges the Pawpacton branch of the Delaware at its junction with the water of the Cookhurse branch of the Delaware at Schehawken to discharge the greater quantity than the Cookhurse branch of the Delaware; which appears to be the case at Schehawken at all times, as the trees and driftwood have been floated at the late extraordinary freshet up against the stream of the Cookhurse branch a considerable distance by the more powerful waters of the Pawpacton branch, trees of extraordinary size being lodged with their heads opposed to the stream of the Cookhurse branch."

In still another affidavit, which reminds us of the former existence of slavery in New York, "Jacobus Chambers deposeth and saith, that he well remembers to have been to Papacunk, in company with Samuel Gonsales and an Indian named Shankin Ben; that they went through the woods thither in quest of a negro of Johannes Schoonmaker, and on their return they came down the east branch of Delaware in a canoe." Etc.

SETTLEMENT BY THE WHITES

But three white men are known to have settled in the town before the Declaration of Independence. These were: Josiah Parks, John Johnston (father of Levi Johnston), killed by Indians, and one Cadoce, of whom nothing further is known than that his cabin was at the mouth of Hawks brook, since called, after the old pioneer, Cadocia creek.

Just previous to the Revolution this county was inhabited by a few Indians, composed of remnants of the Wappinger, Esopus, Lenni Lenape and Mohawk tribes; not withstanding the fact that they had conveyed the title to the king of Great Britain in 1768.

The forests were unbroken, composed of pine, hemlock, maple, birch, ash, oak, cherry and other trees, among which roamed the elk, the deer, panther, wolf and bear, and a great variety of smaller game. Wild turkeys and partridges were common, and eagles, fishhawks, owls, henhawks, and an almost infinite variety of feathered songsters abounded. The creeks were numerous; among the larger, Sand brook, emptying into the Coquago a mile above its mouth; Hawks or Cadocia, called also May's brook; Reeds, Fish and Baxter brooks, tributary to the Pepacton; and Big Trout, Basket Pond, Geer's, Sand Pond, Lord's and Holmes brooks, contribute to swell the Delaware below Shehocken. These streams, with many others, rush through the deep gorges between steep and rocky hills, and were the resort of the finest trout and other fish.

The first permanent settler in what is now the town of Hancock was Josiah Parks, generally known as Bo'son Parks. He was engaged as boatswain on a British ship at the taking of Havana in 1762. Coming to America he went to Wyoming, and there took part with the Connecticut settlers in the Pennamite war, and made a wooden cannon, hooped with iron. This was more dangerous to its owners than to the enemy, for in the first engagement it burst. He then started to go to Connecticut with funds to buy an iron cannon; for some reason he did not return, but got married and took up a tract of one hundred and fifty acres on the west side of the Delaware river, at Stockport, two miles below Shehocken point, including Preston's flat, then cleared by the Indians and having a number of Indian cabins or wigwams, as represented on an old map. In one of these lived one Canope, a grandson of an old Indian named "Old Abram," living two miles below the Cookhouse(Deposit), near a spring on Whitaker's flat, called old Abram's spring. After the war commenced, uncertain as to the disposition of the Indians, Parks built a cabin on Equinunk Island, as being more secure and more easily defended, and removed his family thither. He would never sleep in a bed. When the first raft was run from Cocheckton by Daniel Skinner (called Admiral), Parks was forehand, and from this and his having been a boatswain he received the name of Bo'son, as the sailors pronounce boatswain. It is said they took a boat or canoe with them to ride through the falls or rapids, not daring to stay on the raft.

The first intimations of serious danger from the Indians to the inhabitants of Wyoming and on the Delaware were considered as baseless rumors. Old Abram, having become acquainted with the hostile designs of the tories and Indians, traveled all the way to Equinunk Island to warn his friend Bo'son Parks of his danger. Having told his story, it was slighted at first, as an idle tales, when the Indian seized hold of him, and fiercely exclaimed, "Go! They will kill you." Satisfied that he was now in earnest, Parks took such of his movables as he could not carry in a canoe and hid them in a cave of rocks, called the Oven Rocks, below the mouth of Equinunk creek, then intending to leave at once with his family. His wife was taken sick, and being unable to go further she was confined in the cave, in which a son was born, whom they named William, who lived long afterward and raised a large family in Hancock, and whose descendants are among the most respectable inhabitants of the town. William Parks had one son married, who, after living in Hancock to middle age, removed to Easton, PA, and soon after died there about 1870.

As soon as the mother was able to travel, the husband, placing her and his family in a canoe, hastened to Minisink, where he found friends and was supposed to be out of danger. So strongly was he impressed with the perilous condition of his old neighbors, the Wyoming settlers, that he left a dying child and plunged into the unbroken forests, over mountains and swamps, sixty miles, to give the information he had received from Old Abram. When he arrived his tale was delivered, but he was suspected of being a spy and tory, and was arrested and confined for some time, when he was discharged at the instance of Colonel Zebulon Butler. Saddened with the reception he had met with for his pure errand of mercy, he with heavy heart turned his face homeward, and again traversed those gloomy forests and swamps, afterward called "the shades of death," from the fact that many of the fleeing fugitives left their unburied bones in their dark recesses. This arrest appears to be the only foundation for the slanderous report, which was once circulated among the old settlers, that Bo'son Parks was a tory. After the most diligent inquiry, the writer is perfectly satisfied that this worthy pioneer was a true patriot. He was late in life a cripple, and used to walk with two canes to see his friends and descendants, to whom he would relate his adventures and hairbreadth escapes; he lived till he was about one hundred years old.

In 1784 Ezekiel Sampson, a Baptist preacher, came from Orange county with his brother Henry, and settled on the flat below Shehocken cove. Ezeckiel remained five years, and in 1789 removed to Chemung, and in 1790 was pastor of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, which was constituted that year with forth members, gathered by him and Timothy Howe, a Baptist missionary from Connecticut. Henry Sampson remained. They had large families, and their descendants, many of them, reside in the vicinity, while others followed Greeley's advice, to use a hibernicism, and went West.

Edward Doyle emigrated while a young man, unmarried, from Doylestown, near Philadelphia, and settled two and half miles below Hancock village, about 1795. Soon after he married Elizabeth Shafer, of Canaan, then Northampton, now Wayne county,PA. He was elected justice of the peace soon after the town of Hancock was organized. His last vote was Democratic, for Governor Lewis. In this faith he lived and brought up his sons Edward, John and Samuel, who have always illustrated the maxim, "Bring up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." He also had three daughter; Abigail married Charles Leonard, and resided in the town through a long and honored life, leaving a family much respected. Betsey, the second daughter, married Ezra May, who came to Shehocken with his father, David May, in the first decade after the Revolution.

Ezra May was a constituent member of the First Congregational Church of Hancock, and was elected deacon, which office he worthily filled till 1836, when he removed to Olean, Cattaraugus county, N.Y., with the younger members of his family. He died in 1854.

Dexter May was of another family, an early settler in Hancock, and was a tory. The way this came to be known was as follows: In 1794 Silvester Hulce, the father of M. R. Hulce, of Deposit, then about eighteen or nineteen years old, went with Dexter May in a canoe to Minisink to obtain supplies. On their return they stopped for refreshments at the Rock Run, a few miles above Callicoon. While there Thayendanegea (who preferred to be called Captain Brant), with three other Indians, came down the river in a canoe, on the way to Philadelphia to see Washington, and stopped at the same place. On meeting, he cordially greeted May, and from the conversation that took place it appeared that May had been in concert with Brant in the war. At this interview Brant gave an account of the Minisink or Delaware battle of July 22nd, 1779, near Lackawaxen. He stated that if the whites had stood firm five minutes longer he should have given the retreat whoop, Oonah! Oonah! And that the occasion of the whites retreating was the arrival of three young Indians, who had been on a hunt, and who came back whooping. The whites thought a reinforcement had come and that they would be surrounded, when the cry of "Lope! Lope! Was made, and they threw down their arms and fled, most of them being tomahawked. When the conference ended, they all took a drink of rum, and each party resumed their journey. On arriving at Shehocken May stopped, and Hulce poled the canoe to the Cookhouse. Stopping at Squire Whitaker's, he related the interview with Brant and May, when John and Benjamin Whitaker, sons of Squire, seized their guns and declared they would go and shoot the tory May. Their father had to use all his authority to prevent them from going. He removed to the Cook-house, and died there in 1807.

The third daughter of Edward Doyle, Polly, usually called Mary, married Daniel D. Petit, whose history is unknown to the writer.

Few records were preserved, and often none kept of justices' acts. In those days process was very simple. It is said that the constable sometimes verbally summoned the delinquent of defendant, showing the justice's jack knife for his authority. The only record known of the official acts of Edward Doyle shows that he married Paul S. Preston, afterward sheriff and judge of Wayne county, PA, to Henrietta Maria Perry Hays Magridge, a native of England, June 11th, 1818. It was said to have been stipulated that the fees should be paid in cider.

The brothers Edward and Samuel are still living, the former eighty years old, honored and respected. Samuel lives on the old homestead. He married Emily, daughter of William Parks, and granddaughter of Bo'son Parks. He is now (1879) about seventy years of age, and has been elected supervisor of the town six times, and once to the Legislature.

Captain John Knight, from Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, came about 1785 and settled below Stockport. He had two sons by his first wife, who was a sister of Judge Samuel Preston's wife. Their names were William and Daniel. His second wife was Hetty Sands, daughter of Benjamin Sands, an old pioneer. By her he had five sons, Richard, John, George, Charles and Edward. The last named, when six years old, got lost from the school-house and could not be found, though diligently searched for several days. His bones were found the next year in the woods.

Two daughters grew up to womanhood and died unmarried. Many of the Knight family reside in Hancock and are worthy citizens.

John Kroscup, a carpenter, first settled very early on the Doyle place, which he sold to Edward Doyle. Kroscup Island took its name from him. In 1790 he built the Preston mansion, at Stockport, then a wonder of architecture among the people.

Aaron Thomas and Moses, his brother, about the same time settled above Doyle. Aaron had three sons, Elsiva, Silas and John. He died, and Moses married the widow, who brought him twelve children. All these grew up to manhood, except one, who, at three years old, fell into a spring and was drowned. The Thomas family are very numerous and worth in Hancock.

Archibald Armstrong settled at Shehocken cove and entertained raftmen for many years. He had no children. When the river changed its course to the west side of the island the landing was ruined, and Armstrong sold out and left the county.

John Wainwright married a sister of David Leonard, father of Charles Leonard, and took up Wainwright farm, below Shehocken, and lived many years on it till he died, leaving a son, Timothy, who removed to Philadelphia about 1852.

George Labar first settled near Knight's below Stockport. After staying a few years he removed up the river, just below Hancock village. He married Achsa Newton, and had six sons: George, Jacob, Edwin, William, Edgar and John. Edgar died young. The farm is still occupied by the descendants of George.

No apology is necessary for giving some account of a few settlers at and near Shehocken on the west side of the river, in Pennsylvania, since they were so intimately connected with those on the east side of the river, in New York.

Thomas Travis located opposite Shehocken point. His family was large, and his descendants numerous and respectable. Among the sons was Thomas, the eldest, still living in Tompkins, an old man. When a boy he had a favorite puppy, a great pet in the family. A panther came and seized the dog at the doorstep, carried it off into the woods and devoured it, in spite of the outcries and pursuit. For a long time the grief of Tommy was inconsolable.

In 1786 a young son of Ben Haines was playing near the door, when a large panther suddenly seized him by the nape of his neck and started off, dragging the struggling and screaming child. The mother, seizing a heavy splint broom, pursed with flying steps, and after an exciting chase of a dozen rods overtook the ferocious animal and used it with such effect that he dropped his prey, growling and showing his teeth. She did not wait for further demonstrations, but catching up the boy retreated to the house. The panther lay down on the spot, remaining there till toward evening, when Mr. Haines came home. Being informed of what had taken place, he took his rifle and shot the panther dead. Mr. John Whitaker informed the writer that he saw the marks of the panther's teeth on the child's neck, not yet healed, a short time after the occurrence. Another incident on the subject will here be stated, as related to the writer by Leonard Labar, a grandson of George Labar, before referred to.

About the year 1850, as Leonard was traveling the woods near the head waters of the Lehigh, the weather was very warm, and he carried his coat hung over his shoulder; suddenly, without a moment's notice, a panther pounced upon his back, his claws reaching over into one arm below the elbow. He was a large and powerful man, and letting go the coat he flung off the beast, and seizing a club lying near drove it away. He showed the writer the long scars made by the claws of the animal on the arm and wrist.

In the spring of 1786 Squire Whitaker, from Orange county, came and settled on Shehocken point with his family. Here he planted corn and other crops on land cleared by the Indians. "The pumpkin flood" in October did great damage, overflowing all the river flats on which the first crops of the pioneers were raised. The corn was all topped, according to the custom in early times. The river rose twenty-one feet at the forks, covering the corn fields to depth of eight or ten feet. The family had to retreat to the chambers, and were in great fear that the log house would be swept away with all its inmates. Huddled together, with every article of clothing, provisions and furniture that could be crowded into the limited space, many hours of the most painful apprehension were passed, during which the water kept rising rapidly at first, then for a time was stationary, and again gradually grew higher and higher, till the last hope began to die away. From mountain to mountain the whole valley was a surging, roaring mass of madly rushing waters, carrying along with resistless impetuosity every floating thing which it had engulfed.

At one time a vast tree would be observed above, rushing toward the house with a violence that threatened its sudden overthrow. Utterly helpless to avoid the result, how eagerly was it watched as it swept past, barely grazing the house, and with what heartfelt emotion did the "thank God" escape from every lip. At last the waters ceased to rise, and after a short time began to fall; slowly at first, however, and it seemed an age before they could feel safe again, with their feet on terra firma. As soon as the flood sufficiently subsided Mr. Whitaker removed his family across the river to the Labar farm, on higher ground, where he remained till the 10th of April, 1787, when he removed to the Little Cookhouse, near Deposit. An account of this family will be found in the history of Tompkins, in which town the sons lived. During the summer of 1786 John Whitaker and Richard Jones made a journey by canoe to Colchester to buy seed wheat. They staid all night at a deserted cabin at the mouth of the Beaver kill. There were no settlers then between Shehocken and Colchester, and no house except the cabin referred to.

THE FATE OF CANOPE

A short time after peace was declared a few of the Indians who had formerly resided in the Delaware Valley, attracted by the game and fish there, revisited their old haunts. Several of those who ventured down as far as Minisink mysteriously disappeared, until few were bold enough to risk the hazard, as it was believed that Tom Quick's rifle "Poll" had some agency in the non-return of those who had ventured to go thither. One Hucyon, called Ben Shanks, and Canope and another Indian, named Nicholas, experienced and brave warriors, perfectly familiar with the country and scorning to yield to the fears which deterred others, resolved to revisit their old hunting and fishing grounds below the Lackawaxen, where the forests, ponds and streams were full of game. On their way they called on Josiah Parks, at Equinunk Island, and were cautioned and advised not to go. Not heeding the advice they pushed on to John Ross's, a mile above Callicoon, where Ross's descendants still live. An island just above the farm is known among raftsmen as Ross's Island, opposite Rock Run. Mr. Ross told them it would not be safe for them to go further, as there were some men who still entertained the most deadly hatred to the Indians on account of the massacre of their friends and relatives, and who would not hesitate to take their lives. Confident of their ability to take care of themselves, and knowing no fear, they told Mr. Ross it was "peace time." They proceeded down the river about forty miles, to the neighborhood of Handsome Eddy, and encamped at some distance from the river, among the hills, abounding with lakes and streams, and began to hunt and fish with success. While thus engaged they were met by one Ben Haines, who lived at Handsome Eddy. He professed friendship, and invited them to go down to the river and make his house their home, saying they should be welcome and he would protect them. They hesitated, but on his urging them and giving repeated assurances, Ben Shanks and Canope finally yielded and went with him as requested. Nicholas refused to go.

Haines was a selfish, cowardly and hypocritical villain and a disgrace to humanity, as the sequel will show. His cupidity led him to covet the valuable furs and skins which his guests had collected, and to which they were constantly adding.

It was not long before Haines gave out that is was necessary for him to go to Minisink to obtain some rum, powder and lead.

Having thus lulled suspicion he went down to Quick's, his real object being to persuade Tom to come to the Eddy and kill his confiding friends and guests.

Quick had not long before lost his own furs up the river at his cabin, and was at the same time taken prisoner by the savages, tied hand and foot, and placed in the chamber with a rawhide thong around his neck fastened to a beam, while his captors, exulting in the success and their anticipated revenge by torturing the Indian slayer, indulged in a carouse below on his liquor. His situation was evidently the most critical one of his life. He could hear them, and understanding their language he learned from what they said that it was their intention to glut their revenge by the most exquisite torments they could devise. While in this suspense a drunken Indian clambered up the ladder into the chamber, knife in hand, having taken a sudden resolution to finish Tom at once. In the dim twilight he approached and with upraised arm and gleaming blade made a lunge at his prostrate victim, but stumbling forward missed and fell over him, the knife dropping from his hand to the floor.

He was too far gone from the effects of the liquor to renew the attack, and lay in a stupor. Quick managed to get hold of the knife with his teeth , and cut the thong that was around his neck and attached to the beam; then sticking the knife handle into a crack, with the blade sticking out, he backed up to it and cut the cords that bound his hands behind him. It was the work only of a moment then to cut loose his feet, and he was again free. He had done all so quietly and quickly as not to arouse his now inebriated enemies, and lost no time in leaping from the window, which he did uninjured, when he fled, and before daylight was at a safe distance. The disappointment and rage of the Indians on finding he had escaped were great, and the only satisfaction that remained was to take his favorite gun, ammunition and furs, and burn his cabin.

Smarting under the remembrance of his late loss and burning for revenge for this, as well as for the cruel murder of his father before his eyes, he lent a willing ear to Haines and readily agreed to his proposal, provided he could get the aid of another, for he knew he was to meet two brave and experienced warriors. There was one Cabe Shimer living near, who was said to have been a lover of one of the girls tomahawked and scalped by Ben Shanks on the Shawangunk mountain. Having engaged Shimer to aid, Tom informed Haines of the arrangement with Cabe, and told him they would come in a short time.

Haines now returned, and found the two Indians still at his house. One morning, two days after his return, Tom and Shimer came to the Eddy on a professed journey up the river. The wife was preparing breakfast for her husband and the Indians when they arrived.

Haines greeted Tom as an old acquaintance, and expressed pleasure at the unexpected meeting, and, calling him by another name, invited him and his companion to stop and take breakfast with him. After a little urging they accepted his invitation. He then filled a dish with water and took it to a stump a rod or two from the house, and told the Indians to go and wash. While they were doing so he conferred with Tom and Shimer, and agreed to get the Indians to go the Eddy after breakfast to fish, while they were to secrete themselves in some bushes within gunshot range. The whole party then sat down and ate a hearty breakfast. Tom and Ben were quite at ease and social, while Cabe appeared nervous. No suspicion was excited. After breakfast the two travelers started, apparently on their journey up the river, but taking a circuitous route, secreted themselves in a clump of bushes a preconcerted.

After a short time Ben and his son and the two Indians went to the Eddy and began to fish. The boy was sent home on some errand by the father, to get him out of the way.

The Indians were a little apprehensive of danger from what they noticed, but Haines quieted their suspicions and they continued fishing. Canope broke his hook, and having no spare on he lay down on a rock, resting on his hand and elbow, near Hucyon or Ben Shanks. While in this position Tom and Shimer fired on them, the ball of Tom taking effect, and wounding Canope in the hand and head, while, while Shimer was so nervous and trembled so much that he missed his man, who sprang into the river and, floundering as if wounded and drowning, floated down, till he found the shore covered with bushes, when he crawled out and ran off, limping and groaning as if in great agony. Tom was not deceived, but ran after him, loading his gun as he ran, and getting near enough to reach him, he fired. When the gun flashed Ben Shanks was looking back and fell flat on the ground. He said afterward that he dodged at the flash. At all events he was not hit, except there was a ball hole through his blanket. He now took to his heels in earnest and escaped. Tom came back saying "if ever legs did service, it was then." Canope on being wounded ran to Haines and claimed the protection he had promised, but he seized a pine knot and said, "Tink, tink how you used to kill white folks. Pent, pent I'll send your soul to hell in a moment." He then beat out his brains and tumbled the body into the river, when if floated down a short distance and lodged under a pile of floodwood. Ben Shanks continued his flight to Cocheckton, where he was seen by Mrs. Drake, whose father and first and second husband had been killed by Indians.

Her dread of them on seeing him caused her to faint. He next came to the house of Joseph Ross, hungry and crying, saying, "Canope dead, Canope dead." Mr. Ross invited him into his house and treated him hospitably, though at first he was shy. He staid a few days, watchful and fearful, when his host furnished him with some provisions and a gun, and he started for Canada. At Equinunk Island he was ferried over by Bo'son Parks, to whom he related his story. He stopped at Shehocken, at Richard Jones's where he was kindly received and fed. The last known of him was here, when he again cried, "Canope dead, never see him no more."

Mr. John Whitaker, deceased, living near Deposit, furnished many of the particulars above related. He also stated that he and Benjamin Jones stopped on their way to Minisink at Handsome Eddy soon after the occurrence, when Haines related to them the facts stated, and went with them to the pile of floodwood, and that the smell of the putrefying body of Canope was very offensive. Judge Paul Preston, of Stockport, near Shehocken, stated that his father, Judge Somerset Preston, and John Hilborn, in the fall of 1806-twenty-two years after the murder-collected the bones of Canope and buried them at the lower end of Handsome Eddy.

Ben Haines was a tory and removed to Nova Scotia with Robert Laird and other refugees. Laird left his wife and family, and after the war his son John went to Nova Scotia and got his father. They staid on the way home at Whitaker's. He had been gone and separated from his wife twenty-two years.

ADVENTURES OF THE RUSS AND JOHNSTON FAMILIES

About the close of the last century Josiah Russ (who lived on the Richard Lord farm, opposite the upper end of Equinunk Island), with his wife and son Cyrus, and daughters Mary and Huldah, and John Johnston, a brother of Russ's wife, and his son Levi, who had married the elder Russ's daughter, with a daughter of Johnston, moved to the Ohio and settled on an island. They had not been there long before six Indians called at the house, the family being at home, and asked for dinner. Before coming in they had set up their guns at the gable end of the house. The dinner was prepared for them, and after partaking heartily their conduct excited suspicion, as they conversed together in their own language, laughing boisterously. Some of the family now discovered the guns of the visitors, when old Russ and Cyrus and Johnston seized their own guns; Russ sitting on the bed beside one of the daughters. Instantly an Indian sprang from the table and stuck him dead with a tomahawk, on which Cyrus shot down the assailant , and taking the father's gun shot another; then seizing an ax brained a third. At the same time Johnston was engaged with two, who finally overcame and killed him and his daughter, and the other Indian killed Mrs. Russ at the same time. Cyrus, with his ax, then killed his mother's murderer. A pause now ensued; four out the six were hors du combat; but two stalwart savages remained. Cyrus and his two sister, Mary and Huldah, were unhurt except some slight wounds to the former. After the fatal discharge of the two guns by Cyrus the combat was band-to-hand. There was no time on either side to go out to the guns of the Indians at the gable end of the house. The girls were petrified with fear and horror and could do nothing. The floor was covered with mutilated corpses, blood and brains. Fierce, scowling glances showed that the conflict was not ended. The suspense was a life-time of agony to those young and trembling girls-the table overturned, their father and mother, uncle and cousin, and four savages lying before them in death, and the result awfully uncertain.

Like Maximus, Cyrus placed his back against the wall and awaited, with ax uplifted and unshaken nerve, the terrible encounter. Nor did he wait long; with a whoop and yell his assailants sprang upon him, hoping to avert the stroke of the as and make him a prisoner, that they might glut their vengeance by the most exquisite tortures on him and his helpless sisters. But the ax came down with such unerring force that the shield interposed no effectual obstacle, and it crashed through the skull and brain of the painted demon. This closed the contest, for the other turned and fled. The gallant Cyrus was now at liberty to survey the scene of the conflict. Little remains to be told. He buried the dead, and about the same time Benjamin and Jonathan Jones arrived from the Delaware, whence they had come more than five hundred miles on horseback, after the girls, whom they had courted and to whom they were affianced. They brought them back, and Cyrus came back also and settled in Hancock. Benjamin Jones married Mary and Jonathan, Huldah. The former settled on the G. Travis farm, after O. Hale left, and the latter built a house and settled at Hale's Eddy, near the station of the Erie Railway, the first house ever built in that village.

THE PRESTON FAMILY

Stockport is about two miles below Shehocken point, a station on the Erie Railway. It takes its name from a hamlet on the opposite side of the river, long occupied by the Preston family, who have been so prominent and who were so intimately connected with the early settlement and affairs at and around Shehocken that no apology is needed for giving some account of them. Perhaps no individual has been so much identified with the experiences, labors and trials incident to the early settlement of this section of the country as Judge Samuel Preston, deceased, of Stockport. He had three sons, Paul S.,Warner M. and Samuel, all now deceased.

The Preston family is one of the oldest in Pennsylvania. A coat of arms still preserved in the family would indicate that their English ancestors occupied a position of rank. Belonging to the Society of Friends, they doubtless sought the western world to secure that peace and quiet characteristic of that respectable community of Christians. Samuel Preston was the son of Paul and Hannah Preston, born June 17th, 1756, in a log house in Buckingham township, Bucks county, PA. The father of Samuel was self-educated, and became a good Greek and Latin scholar.

The literary taste of the father induced him to give the son a good English education, superior to that of most young men of that day. He was especially proficient in mathematics, and was a good bookkeeper. These qualifications led to his early employment by merchants and land-holders to collect debts and locate and survey lands. In these employments he traveled in eastern Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York, and kept a journal, to which we are indebted for many particulars noted herein. Before entering further into particulars we will transcribe a marriage certificate of Samuel's grandfather, to show the peculiar customs of the Quakers in relation to that important and interesting phase of human life.

"Whereas, Nathan Preston, son of Amos and Esther Preston, of Buckingham, in the county of Bucks and province of Pennsylvania, and Mary Hough, daughter of John and Elinor Hough, of Jobsbury, in the county and province aforesaid, having declared their intention of marrying with each other before several monthly meetings of the people called Quakers at Buckingham aforesaid, according to the good order used among them, and having consent of parents and relatives concerned therein; now these are to certify whom it may concern, that for the full accomplishment of these said intentions, this 28th day of the 12th month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and thirty-seven, the said Nathan Preston and Mary Hough appeared at a public meeting of the said people for that purpose, appointed at Buckingham aforesaid; and the said Nathan Preston, taking the said Mary Hough by the hand, did, in a solemn manner, openly declare that he took her for to be his wife, and promising by the Lord's assistance to be unto her a loving and faithful husband until death should separate them. And the said Mary Hough, in like manner, declared that she took the said Nathan Preston, to be unto him a loving and faithful wife until death should separate them. And, moreover, they, the said Nathan Preston (she, according to the custom of marriage, assuming the name of her husband), as a further confirmation thereof, did then and there to these presents set their hands, and we, whose names are hereunder thereto subscribed, being present at the solemnization of the said marriage and subscription have, as witnesses thereunto, set our own hand the day and year above written. "NATHAN PRESTON,"
"MARY M. (her name) PRESTON"

Here follow 21 names of males and females.

The following memoranda were written under the certificate: "Elinor Preston, daughter of Nathan Preston and Mary, his wife, was born 30th day of ye 3d month (1748), about 10 o'clock in the morning:" and "The above Nathan Preston was born 28th day of ye 2nd month, Anno Domine (1715); and the paper filed, "Recorded in the monthly meeting book, page (62).
"JOHN HILL"

Samuel Preston was married to Marcia Jenkins, a native of Dover, Dutchess county, N.Y., September 21st 1795, at Stockport. There being no society of Friends in the vicinity, the marriage was necessarily performed according to the custom of the Quakers call "the world's people." Her father's name was Valentine Jenkins, and her cousin, Thomas Jenkins, was engaged in the whaling business, and was the founder of the city of Hudson. Her ancestors were also Friends. Samuel Preston's grandmother came over with Penn, and was present at the Elm Tree Treaty between Penn and the Indians on the banks of the Delaware, in the late district of Kensington, now in Philadelphia. This spot is marked by a plain marble monument, placed under the shade of an elm tree that sprang from the root of the treaty tree, which was blown down about the beginning of the present century.

Samuel Preston first came into Northampton, now Wayne county, PA, in 1787, for the purpose of locating and surveying land, and aiding in the sale and settlement by opening roads. The northern part of the State had been claimed by the State of Connecticut under her charter, which extended westward to the Pacific Ocean, and many of her sons had moved from their rocky and stony homes to find a more genial soil in the then west, on the banks of the Delaware and Susquehanna.

Cosheckton, then known by its Indian name, Cu-she-tunk, was first reached and settled, and the enterprising pioneers established homes both above and below for many miles.

In 1788 Preston and John Hilborn cut out and opened the old north and south road from the Wind Gap, near Stroudsburg, to the State line five miles south of Deposit-about 100 miles. This for many years was the usual route for the return of the raftsmen to the upper Delaware and Susquehanna. At the close of 1787 Preston located at Stockport a large tract of land, and in 1790 built the large and commodious mansion still standing, in which he lived till his decease in 1834, aged 78, and where his son, Judge Paul S. Preston, and his wife, and his brothers, Samuel and Warner M., all lived and died. Paul had one son, who died young, and two daughters, one of whom married Allen K. Hoxie, who had several children; the other resides on the homestead and was never married. She is well educated and some of her published papers are much admired. In 1792 Mr. Preston, assisted by John Hilborn, surveyed a road from Stockport to the mouth of Meshoppen creek, on the Susquehanna, through an unbroken wilderness. This road was never opened, as much better grade was found to the Susquehanna by following the Indian path from the Cook-house (Deposit) to Oquago. Mr. Preston was also engaged by the State of New York to commence a turnpike road from Stockport to the Hudson river, and the completed the first ten miles in Hancock during the last decade of the eighteenth century.

Paul S. Preston was a very prominent and active man, and identified himself all his life with the interests of the community in which he lived. His brothers were also highly esteemed. Paul died about two years ago, and the brothers about eight and twelve years before. They left a large and fine estate, but with them ceased the name of Preston from among the descendants of Judge Samuel Preston.

LORDVILLE

Is a station on the Erie road, one mile below Equinunk. It received its name from John Lord, an old and honored settler of the place, lately deceased. His son Alvah has been for several years past, till last year, supervisor. Richard Lord, a brother of John, for a long time occupied and owned the farm opposite the upper end of Equinunk Island, and succeeded Josiah Russ.

LONG EDDY AND THE GEER HOUSE

This was in old times a famous landing for rafts. It is at the extreme south end of the town. John Geer was the first and for a long time the only settler, and his son John resides there still. He had a log house, with two large rooms on the ground floor. Here he entertained raftsmen with such accommodations as he had. Frequently not one-half who came could not sleep in the house. The chamber floor, of rough hemlock boards, unmatched, was covered with straw, and on this the wearied raftsmen were glad to lie, packed in rows. When this was full and the floors below, the surplus went to the barn and slept on the hay, if there was any, and if not, on the floor. The raftmen were a jovial and rollicking set, and at Geer's it was often after midnight before any one could sleep.

One night, after the upper floor had been packed, a barrel of beans was overturned, and some fell through cracks. One of the boys called out,"There! Mr. Maples, you've knocked over the beans." (Mr. Maples, was a merchant and owner of several rafts, and was doubtless asleep.) Mrs. Geer went to the ladder and exclaimed, "Mr. Maples! You shall pay for every one of them beans." And he did, for it was done purposely by one of his men. It was near midnight before all could be provided with supper.

PARTRIDGE ISLAND AND ITS PIONEERS

This is an old lumbering and farming hamlet, some six or eight miles above Shehocken, on the east branch. Lemuel Mallory, a carpenter, was one of the first settlers. He resided here many years, and removed to Scott, Wayne county, PA. Where his descendants now live. Ebenezer Wheeler came about 1792 from Massachusetts.

The ancestors of the Hancock and Tompkins Wheelers were among the early settlers in Massachusetts. Three brothers came from Wales in 1738 Zsic-probably 1638], and settled in Concord. Their names were Timothy, Ephraim and Thomas, and all distinguished themselves in the Indian wars of the time, and their history, with that of their descendants, is closely interwoven and connected with that of many of the most distinguished families of New England.

Z"Thomas Wheeler "the elder" was buried at Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England in 1634. Of his twelve children by two marriages, the following seven came to New England in the 1630's: Thomas, Elizabeth, Timothy, Susanna, Joseph, Ephraim, and Thomas (by second wife). Of these, both of the brothers Thomas and their brother Ephraim moved to Fairfield, Connecticut while the others remained in Concord, Massachusetts, except for the daughter Elizabeth, who settled in Lynn, Massachusetts, with her husband Allen Breed." Review of "The Wheeler Family of Cranfield, England and Concord, Massachusetts and some Descendants of Sgt. Thomas Wheeler of Concord" by M. Wheeler Molyneaux (M. Wheeler Molyneaux, 4701 East Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90803-3113 $47.5) Nutmegger June 1993 p. 85]

Captain Timothy Wheeler had two horses shot under him in one of the encounters of King Philip's terrible war. A Captain Timothy Wheeler in 1775 had charge of colonial stores at Concord, and saved them from capture.

One branch of the family settled in Brantford, Mass., before the Revolution. One, named William, had five sons, Ebenezer, James, William, John and Joseph, and died in Brantford. The widow married George Hubbell, who by his first wife had three sons, Edmund, George and Silas.

By a second wife he had three sons, Wheeler, Truman and Richard. In the last decade of the 18th century George Hubbell, with the family, left Massachusetts and came to Sidney, N.Y., where they staid a few years (and where he is buried). They next located at the mouth of Sands creek near Shehocken, and in 1798 we find them at Partridge Island. Here the Wheeler brothers settled and married, except John, who lived a bachelor and was finally, drowned. Major Ebenezer Wheeler had one son, Ransom, and several daughters, all of whom married respectably. He died in 1814, aged 44. He and his brother were remarkable for physical strength and endurance. William, in 1804, married Eleanor Knox, of Massachusetts, a descendant or relative of General Knox, the aidZsic] of Washington, and lived at Partridge Island till 1814, when he removed to Deposit. James had three sons, Leroy, Ebenezer and James; the first a physician, the second a lawyer, and the other a farmer, who occupies the homestead. The father died in 1854. Joseph Wheeler had three sons. Franklin, Milton and Rensselaer, the first two lawyers and the latter a farmer. He died in 1858.

Edmund Hubble settled at Ballstown, and George at Little Falls, near Hancock, where he married Paul Newton's daughter. He had two sons, Jefferson and Chester. Chester, his second son. was born in 1799, and is now (1879 living in Deposit. Jefferson went to the Legislature, and removed afterward to Honesdale, Pa. Silas went west Wheeler, Truman and Richard all lived in Hancock for several years. Truman and Richard removed to Tompkins. Richard died there, and Truman removed to Philadelphia, where he died.

Several other Wheelers. relatives of the former, also came to Hancock early from Massachusetts. Frederick Wheeler, father of Marvin and Royal Wheeler, first settled near Knight's, below Shehocken, and then went to Partridge Island. Marvin Wheeler married Emily, daughter of Captain Conrad Edick, of Deposit. He left two sons, Frederick and Marvin D. One son, Clinton, had died before the father, and two daughters unmarried. Royal Wheeler, a brother of Frederick, came to Hancock at the same time. He had two sons, Earl and Royal, the former a distinguished lawyer at Honesdale, Pa., now deceased. One James Wheeler was known as "Fiddler Jim," to distinguish him from the other James, who was called "Tailor Jim." Little is known of his history. One Joseph Wheeler was known as "Hatter Joe," while the other was called "Innocent Joe." John Wheeler, cousin to bachelor John, after residing for some years at Partridge Island, removed to or near Barryville.

Jonas, Jonathan and Joel Laken came to Partridge Island about the same time as the Wheelers, or a little earlier. Jonas was elected a justice of the peace, and was ever after called 'Squire Jonas. The descendants of these men are numerous and respectable. John Laken and Sallous Laken were prominent men. The latter is still living. His mother was a daughter of Bo'son Parks.

Asa Apley was also an old pioneer. He was the progenitor of all the present Hancock Apleys. Luther Apley was the father of Dr. William Apley, deceased, late of Coshecton.

Samuel Sands and John Duzenbury were early settlers at Partridge Island and established the first store in the town. Henry Sands was a partner. His pomposity drew on him the ridicule of his plain and unsophisticated neighbors. Samuel Sands lived till old age and died in the town, leaving several sons and daughters. Mr. Duzenbury, some sixty years ago, sold out and removed to Windsor, Broome county, N.Y. He had three sons, Henry, George and Harper, the latter two now living, and all became wealthy and honored citizens.

Gilbert Early, above Patridge Island, was among the pioneers who left many descendants. He was a man of marked character and enterpriser - a farmer. His son, Gilbert, inherited the homestead.

Stephen Reed, father of Riley Reed, hotel keeper at Hancock village, was among the first settlers at Partridge Island. After living there some years he bought of John Duzenbury the Reed farm, at the mouth of Reed brook, for which he paid in pine log rafts.

George Leonard and David Leonard, the father of Charles Leonard, deceased, came from New England, and settled at first at Partridge Island in 1794. His sister, Dolly, kept the first woman's school in town, at Beaverkill, in the summer of 1798.

BEAVERKILL (EAST BRANCH P. O.).

This place is at the mouth of the Beaver kill, fifteen miles above Shehocken. In 1791 Samuel Davis came with his family from Dutchess county and settled here. His daughter, Betsey, married Thomas Lovelace, lately deceased.

Joseph Lovelace and family came in 1793 and staid two years, then removed to Merrick's Flats and stayed seven years, then were at Shehocken thirteen years and then in Tompkins, where Mr. Lovelace died. He had a large family. The eldest son, Thomas, lately died (in 1879), aged ninety; he was a great hunter. He states that for many years he killed at least thirty deer a year, and eight bears in one year.

William Twaddell. father of James and Isaac, deceased, settled at Beaverkill in 1795. The widow of James and his son, Edwin, live on the old homestead, on the point between the Beaver kill and east branch.

Timothy Ryan, John Biddlecom, Henry, Philip and Chris Ruff, John Barber, John Crow, Owen and Dennis Hitt, all settled near Beaverkill, though all did not stay through life.

Henry Lewis, from Dutchess county, father of Holloway and William Lewis, deceased, settled early on the Pepacton, above the mouth of the Beaver kill. William occupied homestead till his death, about 1856. Holloway resided near Beaverkill. He has been largely engaged in !umbering, merchandise and farming; has two sons, William and Holloway, and several daughters.

James Miller, father of James M. and DeWit, C. Miller, came before 1800 and settled on the flat at the mouth of the Beaver kill, where the village of East Branch is located. It is a station on the Midland railroad. Both James M. and D.C. Miller live on the old homestead.

The first school kept in the town was at Beaverkill, kept in the winter of 1797 by John Gregory, called "Master John." The next summer Dolly Leonard, sister of David Leonard, kept the school, and Gregory succeeded her for five or six years. "Master John" was the father of the State Z?] Judge John H. Gregory, of Colchester, and grandfather of Dr. Harrison Gregory, of Deposit.

There are two churches and edifices at East Branch: Baptist and Methodist Episcopal. The Baptist church was formed chiefly from members of the Baptist church of Deposit, September 7th, 1854, under the name of the First Baptist Church in Hancock {changed to East Branch Baptist Church in 1857), with 23 members. They have not been able to sustain a regular pastor constantly. L. W. Jackson preaches for them part of the time. The present number of members is 30, and they sustain a Sunday-school, of which Edwin Twaddell is superintendent.

HARVARD.

Harvard is a small village on the east branch, about three miles above the mouth of the Beaver kill. The first settler here was Daniel Banker, about 1792. In 1798 Rev. Titus Williams a Methodist missionary, preached here, and on the river above, All the record that is known of Banker and Williams represents them as "good men." There is an M. E. church in this place.

THE FRENCH SETTLEMENT.

Between the mouth of the Beaver kill and Long Eddy is a hamlet, composed chiefly of Germans and French. One Onderdonk purchased a large tract of forest land, and had it surveyed into small lots, which he sold to the settlers at reasonable prices. Fifty years ago it was an unbroken wilderness. It is now a thrifty agricultural community, called the French Settlement.

EMINENCE.

In the same vicinity is a hamlet called Eminence, in which a Baptist church was organized June :8th, 1879, with 20 members--Richard Hoolihan pastor.

CADOCIA VALLEY

is on Cadocia creek, about three miles from Hancock village, and is a station of the Midland railway. H. and A. Kiersted about 1851 established a large tannery, which they have successfully carried on. Large lumbering establishments are connected. A plank road was constructed from Hancock to Walton, twenty-one miles, through this valley in 1851-2, over which, till the opening of the Midland railroad, a large amount of travel and transportation passed from Delaware and Otsego counties. It was not uncommon to see five full-loaded stages pass daily each way. This valley has also become a fine dairy section.

CRARYVILLE

is another hamlet, on Sands creek, three miles from Hancock village. About 1851 Messrs. Allison Crary & Co. established a tannery, which is now owned and carried on by Crary and brother, under the name of Crary Brothers, who have been very successful and have accumulated a large property. The lands on the creek have been cleared, and are now occupied by industrious and thrifty farmers and dairymen.

POLITICAL HISTORY AND STATISTICS.

In the early settlement, the immigrants from Massachusetts and Connecticut were generally Federalists. All the eleven Wheelers were from Massachusetts, and but one, Royal, the father of Earl Wheeler, was Democratic (Republican of that day). For many years past the Democratic and Republican parties have been nearly equally matched.

The members of the Legislature from this town have been Edward Doyle, Thomas J. Hubbell, Samuel Doyle, Jerome Lanfield and William Welch.

William Wheeler is thought to have been the first supervisor.

At the first election in the town, then Colchester, there were but two Democratic voters -- Edward Doyle and one Joseph Coddington, who had two sons, Thomas and William.

The following is a list of the supervisors, commencing with 1825, before which no record can be found: 1825, John Knight; 1826, 1827, 1831, Edward Doyle; 1828, Ezra May; 1829, 1830, Thomas J. Hubbell; 1832, 1833, 1838, Edwin Graves; 1835, Nathan W. Williams; 1836, 1837, Thomas J. Hubbell; 1859, 1840, James M. Twaddell; 1841, 1842, 1845, 1849, 1859, 1870, 1872, Samuel Doyle; 1843, Thomas M. Miller; 1844, Marvin Wheeler; 1846-48, 1852, James M. Miller; 1850, William Knight; 1851, James Faulkener; 1853, John Kiersted; 1854, L. H. Allison; 1855, E. K. Carrier; 1856, Clark Lanfield; 1857, 1858, Alexander Kiersted; 1860, 1861, Dewitt C. Wheeler; 1862, 1867-69, George H. Hawk 1863, 1866, A. B. Chamberlin; 1864, 1865, Edwin R. Twaddell; 1871, Marvin D. Wheeler; 1873-77, Alva D. Lord; 1878, E. Walker Griffis; 1879, John S. Hoolihan.

By the. census of 1875 it was shown that there were in the town of improved land 11,208 acres; unimproved, 86,468; total, 97,676. Value of stock, $93,802; of implements, $19,715; total real estate, $859,276. Cows, 866, producing 95,325 pounds of butter; sheep, 825; horses, 1350.

The valuation of the real estate of the town in 1878 was $951,520.

Forty-five years ago Hancock had a smaller population than any other town in the county. Each successive census has shown increase, until this town now ranks third. The figures are as follows: 1835, 895; 1840, 1026; 1845, 1208; 1850, 1,798; 1855, 2,512; 1860, 2,862; 1865, 2,955; 1870, 3,069; 1875, 3,176.

From the first the principal business has been manufacturing lumber and running it to market on the lower Delaware. Since 1851 the manufacture of leather has also been pursued. Lately more attention has been given to farming and dairying.

HANCOCK VILLAGE.

The village of Hancock is situated on the Pepacton one mile above the confluence of the two branches of the Delaware, where they are less than half a mile apart; separated below by "Forks Mountain," most celebrated for its rattlesnakes. The present village has been chiefly built up since the opening of the Erie Railway.

The first store was established on the west branch near the mouth of Sands creek, about 1855, by Marvin Wheeler, in company with Ira Bixby and Richard P. Mather. The station being finally located on the other branch, the business followed, and Mr. Wheeler and others built a number of elegant stores. Three commodious hotels were erected, and a fine and flourishing village soon grew up around them, now having a population of about 1,000. Marvin Wheeler became a large landholder, and died in 1879 possessed of a very valuable estate.

A union school has been organized and a fine building erected, where a first class corps of teachers are employed.

There is a lodge of free and accepted masons in the place. Three physicians and three lawyers reside here.

CHURCHES.

There are four churches in the village. each having a house of worship, viz., Methodist Episcopal, Congregational, Baptist and Roman Catholic.

The M.E. Church was organized in 1831 by Rev. Alexander Calder, lately deceased. George Knight was the first class leader. The present membership is 129. Rev. E. S. Bishop is the pastor. There is a good Sunday-school. The site of the church was presented by John Hawk in 1841, when the church was erected. Mr. Hawk was one of the early settlers of the town, at the mouth of Cadocia creek.

The Congregational Church of Hancock was organized in 1831, by a council of which the Rev. Samuel G. Orton was moderator, with ten members, as follows: James Wheeler and wife, Sophia, and sons, Leroy and Ebenezer; Charles Leonard, Ezra May and wife and daughter, Ransom Wheeler and Moses Thomas. Ezra May was the first deacon. The earlier records of this church cannot be found. They had no regular pastor for many years. The Rev. Mr. Cornell preached for them for quite a number of years till recently, when his age and infirmities compelled him to resign. Rev. C. G. Hazzard is the present pastor. The church now members sixty-five members, and sustains a Sunday-school.

The Hancock Baptist Church was organized February 12th, 1858, with nineteen members, chiefly from the Deposit Baptist church. Their names were: Nathan Merwin, Jane M. Griffis, William Castle, Mary Ann Walker, Electa Ketchum, Mary C. Ayres, Hamet Post, Elizabeth Mullony, Emily D. Hawkins, Albert H. Jones, David Biggs, Seraphina Travis, Sophronia Travis, T. S. Travis, Moses L. Travis, Victoria L. Cole, Robert J. Taylor, Viola E. Taylor and Elizabeth Lewis. Nathan Merwin was elected deacon, and William Castle clerk. The church was organized on the 2nd of March following, twelve having been added by baptism. The council was composed of delegates from the following churches: East Branch, Maple Hill, Deposit, Buckingham, Tompkins, South Walton, Bennettsville, Colesville, Damascus and Masonville. The same day H.A. Sherwood was ordained and became the first pastor. In 1861 a neat and commodious house of worship was erected. The following have been pastors, in the order named, after Sherwood: Anderson Reynolds, R. J. Reynolds, William H. Pease, George W. Remington, W. J. Erskine, H. C. Leach and L. W. Jackson, present pastor. The number of members is 85. They have an efficient Sunday-school.

The Roman Catholic Church was organized about 1851. The present pastor is Father Fournier, of Deposit. All the Roman Catholic population, adults and children, are members.

BIOGRAPHICAL.

SEYMOUR C. BAXTER is a prominent farmer and lumberman of Hancock. He was born in 1850 in this town. He was united in marriage with Emma Hood, also of Hancock. Mr. Baxter's father was born in 1811, and his grandfather was an early settler of the town.

A. C. BARTOW, merchant at East Branch, was born April 13th, 18544, at New Canaan, Conn. He married Myra F. Mallory, of Hamden. He removed to East Branch January 23d, 1877, from Walton. His father, George Bartow, was born in Connecticut in and married Miss Harriet A. Webb.

R. F. COURTRIGHT came to Hancock in 1867, and is now engaged in the wagon making business in the village. He has been teacher; was born in Wayne county, Pa., and married Electa Jones, of that county.

H. H. CRARY was born in Sullivan county, N.Y., in 1824. In 1850 he came to Hancock and built the first tannery on Sands creek; also the first saw and grist mill. He was first in everything then as now, and a very extensive milling and tanning business is now supervised by the Crary Brothers.

A.M. CHANDLER came to Rock Valley, Hancock, at the early age of six years, his father being an early settler there in 1850. In 1862 Mr. Chandler enlisted in the Union army, and honorably passed through the service to the end of the Rebellion. He married Jenny Watson, an accomplished school teacher.

J. S. CAGWIN is a well known farmer of Basket Brook, born in the county of Delaware in 1814. His father, a native of Rhode Island, was a pioneer of Roxbury, and married Candace Dart, of Connecticut.

CHARLES EMRICK is of German birth, and was born in 1838. He emigrated to this country in l866. He married Margaret Chubble, who emigrated from the same place at the same time. He is a farmer by occupation.

BARTLEY FORD, the proprietor of the Union House, Hancock, was born in Ireland in 1836. He emigrated to America in 1851. His wife, formerly Mary Riley, was born in Ireland in 1838, and came to America in 1855.

PATRICK FARRELL was born in Ireland in 1822, and in 1869, after his settlement in Hancock, commenced the grocery business, which he still continues. He married Bridget Conroy, of Ireland.

VICTOR GEER, farmer and lumberman, was born in 1854 in Delaware county. He married Clara Watson, of Wayne county, Pa. The farm he now occupies was first nettled by his father, John Geer, when it was a howling wilderness.

WILLIAM GOULD is the son of English parents who emigrated to America in 1833 and settled in Orange county, N.Y., where William was born in 1837. He was married to Cynthia C. Bresack. Mr. Gould was a member of the 144th N.Y. volunteers, Company F, to the close of the war.

T. J. GORMAN was born at Lordville in 1861. He married Mary M. Murphy, of Hancock, and has one child, a daughter. Mr. Gorman's father was a native of Ireland, and emigrated to America in 1846. He was overseer of portions of the work on the Erie Railway, and was accidentally killed by a handcar. T. J. Gorman is a blacksmith at Hancock.

O. C. GRIFFIS is a farmer and the proprietor of Griffis's Mills. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1850, and married Alice D. Cornell.

ELMOS WALKER GRIFFIS, keeper of hotel and livery stable, and dealer in coal, at Hancock, came to that place in 1852 from Forest Lake township, Susquehanna county, Pa., where he was born October 19th, 1844. Mrs. Griffis was Mary J. Doyle, of Hancock.

JOSEPH I. HALL was born May 19th, 1836, at Herkimer, N.Y. Mrs. Hall was formerly Miss J. W. Griffith, of Whitestown, Oneida county, N.Y. They have six children. Mr. Hall held the office of town clerk and other offices in that town, where he resided some time previous to 1871, when he removed to East Branch. Here he was postmaster from 1872 to 1876 and is now is a lumber merchant. Mr. Hall's father, Luther Hall, was born in the town of Newport, Herkimer county, in 1812. His grandfather was a colonel in the war of 1812, and his great grandfather one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

WILLIAM A. HALL, is a bookkeeper and clerk for H. H. Crary, of Hancock. He wan born in Sullivan county, N. Y., and married Miss F. A. Fobes, daughter of Lucas Fobes, of the name county.

LEANDER E. HOWARD was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1840. He came to Delaware county in 1870, and married Eliza, second, daughter of Daniel Underwood. He in a prominent druggist of Hancock.

REV. L. W. JACKSON was born in Franklin in 1830, and married Miss Remington, of the same town. His father, Elias Jackson, was an early settler of the county. Rev. Mr. Jackson is pastor of the Baptist church of Hancock, and of the East Branch church.

N. JOHNSON was born in Sweden in 1855 and came to America in 1872. He was in the employ of the Erie Railway Company one year, and has since been in the Hancock House with Mr. Griffis. He has one brother in America, and one in Sweden, where his two sisters live.

ALEXANDER KIERSTAD was born in Greene county, N.Y., in 1818, and came to Delaware county In 1849. He built the first tannery of Hancock with his father, H. Kierstad, and is still proprietor; he is also, a farmer. He married Miss Beach, daughter of M. Y. Beach.

ELIZABETH P. KNIGHT (post-office Stockport Station) was born in Hancock July 30th, 1827, and is now engaged in the management of an estate. She is one of nine survivors of the eleven children of William Knight. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1802; married Susanah Pierce; was a pioneer and twenty years postmaster at Stockport, and was supervisor of the town.

CHARLES KNIGHT is a native of this town, and was born April 8th, 1826. Mrs. Knight was Miss Rachel C. Calder. of Buckingham, Pa. Mr. Knight is a farmer and lumberman. Post-office, Stockport Station. His ancestors came over with William Penn in 1682. His father, John Knight, came from Philadelphia to this town in 1806 and settled on the "Cole Flats," near Ball's Eddy. He removed to Stockport, where he died in 1843. John Knight's brother, William, was sailing master on the frigate "Philadelphia" when she was run on the rocks in the harbor of Tripoli, October 31st, 1803; was captured and held in slavery two years by the Tripolitan pirates. Part of his ransom was paid with pine lumber from the Knight estate.

GEORGE C. LEONARD, boot and shoe maker at Hancock. was born in the town of Tompkins February 17th, 1818. His wife was Dorcas J. Couse, of Davenport, born in 1839. Mr. Leonard served three years in the Union army during the civil war. His eight near relatives on his father's side, of military age, were all in the army. Mr. Leonard removed from Hamden to Hancock in September, 1865. He has two children--Jessie F. and Ernest H. His father, a farmer, was born in l806 married Miss Sarah Pine and had two children, both living.

STEDMAN LINCOLN was born in Connecticut in 1814; he settled In Pennsylvania with his father, and in 1836 came to Hancock, where he was for many years in the blacksmithing business. He has been deputy sheriff of Delaware county for many years past.

JOHN F. LOBDELL, farmer and lumberman, came to Hancock when the site of the homestead was a wilderness. Its was born in 1831. He married Mariam Lobdell, of Albany county, N.Y. James Lobdell, his father, was an early settler of Delaware county.

ALVAH I. LORD married Helen A. Foster, of Springfield, Mass., and has one son. Mr. Lord was born in 1830 in Wayne county, Pa., and since his residence in Hancock has filled the principal offices of the town.

FREEMAN A. LORD, lumber merchant and farmer, Lordville, was born at that place. May 12th, 1818. He married Abbie Kingsbury, of the town of Buckingham, Pa., who was born in 1812. They raised seven children. Mr. Lord's father, John Lord, was among the pioneers of Hancock.

JAMES A. LORD, farmer, post-office Lordville, is a life-long resident of this town, in which he was born April 25th, 1808. Mrs. Lord was formerly Mis Almarine Miner, of Andes, who was born in 1816. They have nine children living. Mr. Lord served three years in the 2nd N.Y. heavy artillery (Company D) during the suppression of the Rebellion, and was shot through the thigh before Petersburg, June 17th. 1864. His grandfather, John Lord, was one of the first settlers in this section, and his father, of the same name, settled here about 1800 and raised a large family, of whom six are living.

BELFRAGE MCGIBBON is of Scotch descent, and was born November l3th, 1832, at Delhi. His wife, formerly Ellen I. Tarbox, is a native of Equinunk, Pa. Their daughter Clara is their only child. Mr. McGibbon came to the village of Hancock from Cannonsville, in November, 1872, and is a dealer in general hardware. He has held minor town offices, and is now president of the board of education, having charge of the Hancock union school, whose fine school building is an interesting feature amid the wild and picturesque landscape to be seen at Hancock.

W. W. MAIN was born in Connecticut in 1829, and married Elizabeth Haight, of Albany county, N.Y. They came to Rock Valley, where they now live, when the country was new, and now enjoy the fruits of their enterprise.

F. X. A. MEYER was born in Germany in l820, and at the age of eleven came to America. In 1842 he settled on his present farm; he married Veronica Mack. They have cleared up this farm, built all the buildings and made every improvement.

JOHN MEYER was born in Germany in 1818, and emigrated in 1832; his wife was Catharine Pilger, of the same country; they settled where they now reside in 1842 and have made the wilderness into beautiful fields by their own labor. Mary Meyer is their daughter.

M. M. MILLER was born at East Branch in 1850, and married Mary Early, of this town. Mr. Miller is a lumberman.

JAMES M. MILLS is a farmer; he has filled the highest offices of the town for over thirty years past. He was born at East Branch in 1809, and married Ann M. Williams, of Delaware county. Mr. Mills's father was an early settler of the county.

A. L. MONROE resides at Stockport, Delaware county, N.Y., where he came in 1872, and was the railroad agent for six years; he was born in Pennsylvania in 1842, and married Miss Nancy C. Lamont. He has been the postmaster there for several years.

CHARLES HOMER NICHOLS, of the firm of M. H. & W. H. Nichols merchants at Hancock (dealing in groceries and provisions, clothing, hats and caps, boots and shoes, gents' furnishing goods, books, stationery, etc., also sewing machines and organs), was born in Hancock, March 30th, 1851, and in 1876 married Miss Mary Emma Hyatt, of the same town. It is worthy of note that in 1878, about a mile from the village. Mr. Nichols set out what may be expected to prove one of the finest orchards in the county, consisting of a few over thirteen hundred winter apple trees.

MOSES HIGBY NICHOLS, senior member of the firm mentioned in the last paragraph, was born in New Windsor, Orange county, N. Y., in 1820; married Cynthia Suasnnah Moores in 1842 and came to Hancock in 1850.

WILLIAM HIGBY NICHOLS, of the firm above named, was born at Newburg August 24th, 1843, and in 1867 married Miss Millany Huntington Lincoln. His grandfather, Moses Nichols, came from Newark, N. J, and with his brother , Samuel settled on Silver stream, near Hancock. W.H. Nichols came to Hancock October 12th, l850, from Boonville, Oneida county, N. Y. He served three years and five days in Company F of the 99th N.Y. volunteers during the Rebellion. The Nichols brothers organized the Hancock Building and Loan Association, the first of the kind in the county. They put up the first brick building at Hancock, and there are only thirteen houses in the village that were there when they came.

GEORGE OSKAMP was born in Germany April 25th, 1842, and came to America in 1865, and to Hancock in 1867. He follows blacksmithing at Hancock. He married Josephine Baker, who was born in Germany in 1842.

SAMUEL CURTIS PETTENGILL, M.D., has been more than thirty-one years a resident at Hancock, having removed to that place from Masonville July 1st, 1848. He was born May l8th, 1811, in Butternuts, Otsego county, N. Y., and married Salome Hoag, of the town of Tompkins.

E. DARWIN READ, merchant and lumberman at Hancock, was born in this town September 11th, 1838. He married Adelia C. Miller, also of Hancock. They have two sons--Howard Miller Read, born April l4th, 1875, and Charles Leland Read, born August 9th, 1877.

RILEY READ is a native of Hancock, born in 1809. His trade is blacksmithing. His father came to Hancock in 1798, and built the first log house on the site of Hancock village. Riley Read married Miss M. Apley, of Wayne county, Pa.

C. RICKARD is a of Schoharie county. N.Y., and was born in 1840; he married Elizabeth A. Chandler, of Pennsylvania. He is a farmer, and owns the farm settled by his brother, Jeremiah Rickard.

CLIFTON ROFF was born in Hancock in l827, and has been for several years a postmaster In this county. He married Mary C. Campbell, of Delaware county. Her father, Daniel Campbell, was a native of Steuben county, N.Y.

CHESTER ROOD was born in Broome county, N, y., in l820, and was a justice of the peace there for eighteen years. He settled in Hancock in l864 in mercantile life. His father settled very early on Rood creek, which took his name.

E. SPERBECK was the first settler on the farm now owned and worked by him on Basket brook. His wife was Mary E. Smith, and she assisted him in clearing the land. They now enjoy the fruits of their labor.

EDSON STEVENS was born in Pennsylvania, and married Elizabeth Pickard, of Delaware county. He is a farmer and carpenter, and thirty years of age.

E. B. TARBOX came to Hancock about l853, where he carries on a harness business, and is a member of the firm of McGibbons & Tarbox, dealers in general hardware. He was born June 13th, l840, at Honesdale. Penn., and married Mary McGibbon, who was born at Cannonsvile in 1845. They have three children, Annabel R., Mary I. and Edward Ball. Mr. Tarbox's father, S. B. Tarbox, was born in Connecticut in 1816, and married Miss Anna O. Matthews, who was born in England and came to this country in 1821. They raised four children. A grandfather of S. B. Tarbox was in Congress from Connecticut.

CALVIN THOMAS has held several town offices and is a prominent farmer of the town. He was married to Betsey Twaddell, who died in 1865. He was born in 1809.

JOSHUA HENRY TIMPSON was born in New York city November 26th, 1843. He removed from New York to Lordville February 1st, 1866, and subsequently married Maria A. Lord, of the latter placed where he carries on a mercantile business. While at New York Mr. Simpson was in the National Guard of that city during the civil war, and was in the United States service from June 18th, 1863, to July 24th, 1863, and from September 12th, 1864, to June 12th, 1865. He was appointed a notary public May 26th, 1874, and still holds that office. He has one child.

FRANCIS TINKELPAUGH, a farmer on Basket brook, is a native of Schoharie county, N.Y., and was born in 1837. He married Alice Hulce, of Delaware county.

GEORGE TWADDELL, a respected citizen and farmer of Delaware county, was born in 1818, and married Miss P. Landfield, also of this county.

MRS. J. M. TWADDELL married James Twaddell, a prominent citizen of this county, active in business and church affairs. He was born in 1805 and died March 5th, 1861. Mrs. Twaddell was born in 1812, and is a life-long resident of the county.

SMITH TYLER is a prominent farmer and lumberman of Hancock, where he was born in 1806. He has been an earnest promoter of the growth and welfare of his native town. He married Polly Baxter, of Hancock.

A. B. WEST is a prominent farmer and miller of Hancock, owning three thousand acres of land and the Cadocia Creek mills. He was born in 1827 in Orange county, N.Y., and married Hattie M. Peek. He was superintending foreman on the Hudson River Canal for twenty-three years. . WILLIAM J. WELSH is a native of Montgomery, Orange county, N. Y. and was born August 31st, 1842. He removed from Equinunk, Penn., to Hancock in 1859, and subsequently married Family Doyle, of the latter town. He is an attorney at law, and served as a member of the Legislature of 1877 from the first district of Delaware county. He has two children, a son and a daughter. His father was born in England in 1811, and in 1811 came to country with his parents; be married Miss Mary Parks and had eight children, three of whom are living.

S. B. F. WEST, lumber merchant at Hancock, was born May 18th, 1855 in Mongaup, Sullivan county. He came from that county to Hancock eight years since, and married Miss Annie S. Wheeler, of Hancock, a native of Binghamton, and daughter of A. N. Wheeler.

J. F. YENDES was born In Delaware county in 1813. He was elected justice of Hancock in 1850, and has been re-elected every term to the present. He is descendant of the first settlers of Delhi. He married Maria Hawk, of Hancock.


Index to History of Delaware County by Munsell

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