The town of Middletown was incorporated in 1789, as a part of Ulster county, being formed from the towns of Woodstock and Rochester, and took its name, no doubt, from the circumstance that at its formation white settlements had made no considerable progress beyond the Susquehanna valley--nearly the whole population of the State being included within the territory drained by the Hudson river, the Delaware and the Susquehanna. The Delaware is the middle valley, and the town contained nearly all that part of Ulster county lying within it. It is one of the original towns of Delaware county, as well as one of the oldest, and formerly covered all the territory of the present towns of Roxbury, Bovina, Middletown, Andes, Colchester and Hancock; nearly all of Stamford, a large part of Delhi, Hamden, Walton and Tompkins, and a small portion of Shandaken, in Ulster County, comprising more than half of the whole county of Delaware. By division it has been reduced to a territory of about fifty thousand acres or seventy-nine square miles, with a population of about three thousand inhabitants, or thirty-eight to the square mile.
It lies in the southeast corner of the county, with Greene and Ulster counties on the east and south, and the towns of Roxbury Bovina and Andes on the north and west. The Pepacton or east branch of the Delaware flows through it centrally, in a southwesterly direction, with the Batavia kill, Bush kill, Fry brook and Mill brook emptying into it from the east; and the Platte kill and several smaller streams from the west. Each of these streams drains a fertile valley, having a similar topography, being broader and less inclined in the upper and central portions, but becoming narrow and descending more rapidly as they approach the main valley, causing the steams to rush over rapids or falls, forming an abundance of excellent water power.
The surface is hilly, and in the eastern parts mountainous. East of the Delaware river spurs from the Catskills intersect the town, running in a southwesterly direction between the valleys, and are steep and rugged, but heavily timbered;west of the river they are less elevated and broader, and can usually be cultivated to the tops. All the hills are more steep and rocky on the northern and western sides, while toward the east and south they slope off gradually into good farming and grazing lands. The highest elevation is reached one and a half miles east of the village of Margaretville, at three thousand feet above tide.
The prevailing rock is the old red sandstone of the New York series, which is highly stratified, and in many localities furnishes excellent flagging and building stone, in quantities sufficient to warrant a considerable trade in that article when prices will pay for transportation. Underlying the sandstone is a red shaly rock stratum of considerable thickness, which crops our is deep gorges where the water flow has worn through the sandstone, and sometimes makes the appearance on the hillsides; but more frequently on the tops, where the superincumbent strata have been worn away by the action of the elements. It is the disintegration of this rock which gives the red color to the soil, so noticeable in Delaware county, especially in the northern part.
The soil in the Delaware bottom is alluvial, composed of sand, loam, and shale washed down from the mountain sides, and is very productive,. It is the accumulation of ages, as shown by the position of pebble stones near the mouth of small streams, which, at the depth of twenty or more feet show the same relation to the action of the water as on the surface. Driftwood is found at considerable depths, and everywhere the stones are worn smooth by the action of water. Corn and Oats are especially adapted to this soil, and it produces excellent grass. The uplands contain a large percentage of clay, which, mixed with the other constituents of the soil, forms a hard pan, often impervious to water, and which, when near the surface, renders the cultivation of winter crops very difficult. This formation is better adapted to grazing purposes and the cultivation of timothy grass than grain raisin; yet it produces good crops of oats, buckwheat and potatoes, and rye is frequently grows on the dry parts.
Wheat was staple crop when the country was new and the ashes of the burnt timber furnished the necessary alkali; but the want of lime in the soil has long since tendered its cultivation unprofitable. The best sill is found in localities where the red shale predominates. Analysis shows it to be rich in iron, and the color is no doubt derived from the red oxide of that metal. It produces good crops of all kinds; but is especially adapted to the cultivation of potatoes. As many as ten crops in succession have been produced from the same locality, without any apparent diminution in the yield. The great potato region of the county, however, is found in the more elevated towns of Stamford, Kortright, and Harpersfield.
Middletown forms a part of the dairying region of Delaware county. apples are almost a natural production of the soil, and pears and plums flourish; but is too cold for peaches.
Maple, beech, birch, ash basswood and oak are natural forest trees. The pine of early times and the forests of hemlock have now nearly disappeared, large quantities of which have been floated down the Delaware by lumbermen.
The population above referred to, about 3,000, was shown by the last State census to be 3,029, a figure reached by a general though not uninterrupted growth during the last forty-five years, as the annexed census returns during that period (taken from the Legislative Manual) will show: 1835, 2,487; 1840, 2,608; 1845, 2,695; 1850, 3,005; 1855, 2,946; 1860, 3,201; 1865, 3,119; 1870, 3,035; 1875, 3,029.
The history of this mother of towns properly begins with a period when its territory was but a spot in the vast hunting grounds of the primitive tribes which claimed these valleys,. Their unlettered generations have left but little to confirm the tradition of their existence, and mire than a century ago the westward course of the white man's empire swept them away. Under the irrevocable law of progress, idleness gave way to thrift and industry, and the tents of the discontented were pitched toward the sunset. Scarcely more penetrable is the mist of uncertainty that surrounds the traditions of the European races during the first half century of their occupancy.
The Canadian French were here about the time of the French and Indian war, but their few landmarks had also been nearly obliterated when the Dutch in 1763 began the permanent settlement. Thus has the stream of time carried the events of those two periods beyond the reach of our pen, and many of the trials and hardships of the early years of the present period have faded from the memories of men.
Not only to pass away, gut to be forgotten, seems to be the destiny of us all, and brief indeed is that period whose history we are able to span .
A few, however, of the present generation cherish the traditions of the past, and to them the historian is chiefly indebted for his knowledge of civilization's struggle with savagery on the territory now smiling under careful cultivation, and thickly dotted with happy homes.
PAKATAKAN AND ITS PEOPLE
This euphonious word, Pakatakan in the dialect of the Tuscaroras was applied to the Indian village which was situated but a short distance above the present village of Margaretville, near the junction of the Bush kill with the east branch of the Delaware. The exact location is not marked, and the fact that the course of the river has materially changed renders the early description of its site quite indefinite.
The earthworks and chiseled rocks along the east branch have remained the longest of any trace, which are left by the aboriginal occupants. Near the place where Mill brook empties into the Delaware are the remains of earthworks, in the usual form of rude fortifications, which are certainly artificial formations, but by whom or when constructed is purely conjectural. The two are each of a circular form, and were surrounded with an embarkment inside of a deep ditch which contained four to six feet of water, supplied from a small stream in the rear of this fort. Both have been partially filled by frequent plowing, and trees are growing in the ditch around one of them.
The marvelous number of arrow-heads and rude flint axes found near these spots is corroborative evidence, at least, of the nature and use of these curious antiquities.
There has been no little speculation concerning and artificial cave near Arkville, upon the interior walls of which rude hieroglyphics were carved. Some fifty years ago a party of abut twenty Indians came to the town from one of the western reservations, and visited several places which have their interesting traditions. The old burying ground on the Dumond farm was visited and they then spent a good deal of time in the cave here spoken of.
Their was trail from Pakatakan to the great meadows of Roxbury, by which those of the Indians who gave any attention to agriculture, and those of the whites who owned live stock, reached the vast pasture fields near the present village of Roxbury.
IN THE BEGINNING
So vague and uncertain are the traditions of the French settlers that we will be led by this topic back only to the spring of 1763. During the fall and winter previous a party was formed in Hurley, Ulster county, N. Y. to explore the Delaware valley, and, if expedient , to make arrangements for emigrating thither with their families.
Four families made the experiment, and bought four farms on great lot No. 7, on the Middletown flats in 1763. The deeds are dated April 9th of that year, and the purchase price was twenty shillings per acre. Harmonus Dumond bought the farm across the river from Margaretville, and his brother, Peter Dumond, took a farm up the river, near the present residence of Elijah A. Olmsted. Johannes Von Woggoner settled part of the Cockburn farm. The farm is so called from William Cockburn, a surveyor, who was in the employ of the Livingstons in 1774, and received this fine farm of six hundred acres for a part of his compensation. He also in 1797 made the survey and map locating the line between Delaware and Ulster counties. This line was resurveyed officially in 1874 and the marked trees were them standing, on some of which the date was still legible.
Peter Hendricks located on the farm now owned by Noah Dimmick. Hendrick's wife was a widow Kittle, and her son \, Frederick Kittle, has been spoken of as the fifth early settler, but the fact is he came with his step-father at the age of sixteen years. This farm is generally known as the Kittle farm, and in this way: Mr. Hendricks made a will giving his son a musket, and his step-son the farm. It is believed that this family purchased of one of the French Canadians, who had returned after the French and Indian troubles had subsided.
The little Dutch colony thus planted continues to increase by immigration, and within eight years numbered nine families. Of these, William Philip Henry Yaple came to the Elias Carpenter place in 1771. He evidently came to the settlement on more than one errand, for his fortunes were at once shared by Dumond's daughter Nelly. Other settlers were Simeon Von Waggoner, Slyter, Green, Hinebaugh and Bierch. All the settlers thus far had maintained friendly relations with the Indians, but during the first years of the Revolutionary troubles complications arose, by which the property, the freedom, and in some instances the lives of the colonists were sacrificed.
The settlers were not all in sympathy with the colonists in their Revolutionary measures, and thus a feeling arose in which the Indians took sides with the tories, and many were the insults which the rebels - as they were called - had to endure. The first open quarrel growing out of these opposing political affiliations is said to have originated between two school boys, who were attending the Dutch school that had been established at Pakatakan quite early in the history of the settlement. One of Peter Dumond's sons, Isaac, was called a rebel buy a young man named Marble, and the rising ire of the young Dutchmen culminated in fist blows, in which others of the larger boys took part, The result was the discontinuance of the school.
During the following winter (1777-78, the Indians, seeing that the burning of Kingston October 17th, 1777, had created a sort of panic among the whigs, as those were called who favored the independence of the colonies, and being assured of the aid of the white tories, began a series of depredations upon the property of the settlers, who by this time had homes along the river as far sown as Colchester, or Pepacton , as it was them called.
A body of Indians and hostile whites had laid a plot to advance up the stream and burn the homes of the white settlers at Pakatakan. Teunis, the Indian who afterward lived in Bovina, then lives on the Platter kill, below Clark's Factory, and had always been particularly friendly with Mr. Yaple and his family. By the kind offices of this red man the lives of the settlers were saved; for his warning hints were taken, and hastily bundling together such effects as they could carry, and secreting such as they could not,, those who were not in sympathy with the British made a retreat over the mountain to the eastward. The reader is under obligation to Hon. Orson M. Allaben, of Margaretville, for much that this section contains, which would have been lost had it not been for his thoughtfulness in committing to record, while they were living, the statements of some of the eye witnesses of the scenes of that eventful period. The warning was none too soon, not the flight too hasty; for the next night the fiends made the attempt to massacre the settlers, but had to satiate their bloodthirstiness by killing such stock as was left behind and burning the houses that were tenantless. Twenty savages, guided by two tories followed as afar as Shandaken, and there gave up the chase.
The whigs having left the settlement, there remained only those who were in sympathy with the English, and Pakatakan thus became an uncontaminated tory community. No further attempt was made by the settlers to establish themselves here until after the Revolution, but the refugees made frequent visits to their former homes to secure other of their personal effects, or to gather the crops that they left growing. On one of these occasion Mr. A. Yaple was taken prisoner by a band of tories, among whom was Blanch, one of his former neighbors. He was taken to Pepacton, and there detained in custody until the crops he had intended to gather were secured the tories and Indians, when he was released and allowed to return with some few of his goods.
These outrages had so aroused the attention of the Americans that during the summer a company of militia was sent from Schoharie to scour the upper valleys of the Delaware and to arrest or drive out the disaffected persons, and to destroy certain Indian villages where aid and comfort were being given to the British enemy. While here they came upon John Burrow and Harmonus Dumond, and seeing them armed and refusing to halt, the guard were ordered to fire. Dumond was mortally wounded, and died in Simeon Von Woggoner's hotel three days later, on the 29th of August, 1778; but Burrow made good his escape, by taking a pathless course up Dry brook and over the mountains into Shandaken. It is claimed by the descendants of these men that they were both whigs, but tried to escape supposing the soldiers were enemies of the colonists.
As the result of this campaign, the tories fled to the older settlements at Hurley, and Indians retreated to the westward.
In the fall of the same year Peter Burgher, another who returned to secure his crops, was shot by an Indian named Abraham. He had incurred the particular displeasure of the Indians by acting as guide to the Schoharie guard on the occasion already mentioned.
In 1779 the governor was empowered to cause the destruction of the grain in the valley of the east branch, to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. These same tories afterward asked the Legislature to pay them for their losses, but no act was passed in their favor.
ORIGINAL PROPRIETORS OF THE SOIL.
The town, as it now is, has an area of 57,080 acres, and embraces parts of great lots 38, 39,, and 40 of the Hardenbergh patent west of the east branch,, and lots 7 and 8 on the east branch of the river. Chancellor Livingston, as one of the heirs of Johannes Hardenbergh,, was once the owner of all this section of the county. The Montgomery tract, on the eastern side of the town and north of the east branch, is so called from Mrs. Janet Livingston Montgomery, who was a daughter of the chancellor and wife of Richard Montgomery, who was killed at the battle of Quebec. Nest west of this; on the same side of the river, is great lot 40. It is called the Livingston tract, from Edward P. Livingston, or William Livingston, who owned parts of it at the time e of the revolution. This tract is as wide as from Halcottsville west to Spruceville, and extends northward, including the New Kingston relief lands. Still farther west is great lot 39. This lot is four miles wide, and includes the Governor Morgan Lewis or the Margaretville tract, and the Gulian Verplanck tract. Mrs. Morgan Lewis was a daughter of Chancellor Livingston, and inherited this tract. Their daughter Margaret, finally became the owner, and hence the Margaretville tract; also the name of the village which is situated on it. Gulian Verplanck was also a son-in-law of Chancellor Livingston. South of this is a small part of the Samuel Verplanck tract (great lot 38), which is opposite Lumberville.
On the south side of the river and bordering on the town of Andes is the Verplanck and Allen tract, known as lots 7 and 10. It extends up the river as far as the Waterbury place, and south into Ulster county. The owners of this tract were Gulian Verplanck, before mentioned, and one Allen.
Up the river from this and extending as far as Arkville is the Garretson tract, known also as the Cunningham tract.. Freeborn Garretson came to own this by marriage with another of Chancellor Livingston's daughters. He died without issue, and the estate descended collaterally to a nephew, who sold it to Walter Cunningham, and he sold the soil to the tenants soon after.
The next tract up the river extended as far as Cloveville. It was inherited by Edward Livingston, who was once minister to France. His style of living in Paris plunged him into debt, and he mortgaged his estate to Anthony Laussat and Joseph Bouchaud. Laussat was a Philadelphia importer, and in the war of 1812 he lost heavily and was obliged to retire from business,. They foreclosed the Edward Livingston mortgage, and built the house now occupied by Hiram B. Kelly.
The remaining tract is in the extreme eastern part of the town , and is called the Armstrong tract. It is great lot 8, and belonged to Mrs. General John Armstrong. The general's house at Griffin's Corners is still standing, and occupied by George Osterhoudt. The lots on the southeast side of the river extended to the opposite bank, and thus included the stream.
On some of these tracts the tenants paid an annual cash rent of "one York shilling per acre," and on others a wheat rent of "five bushels of good, sweet, merchantable winter wheat for one hundred acres of land." The rents were usually free for two or three years, and "half rent" for three to eight more before the full amount was exacted.
AFTER THE REVOLUTION
For six years the white settlement was entirely abandoned,. but in 1783 the families which had begun the settlement returned -most of them to the same places.
Johannes Von Woggoner, Frederick Kittle, the family of Sloughters (now written Sliter) and the descendants of Mr. Yaple came at about the same time. James Phoenix came tin 1784 and settled what is known as the Jackson farm, below Lumberville. At that time there were but four families in the valley. Mr. Phoenix afterward owned the Kelly place at Halcottville, and in 1807 built the grist-mill there. Daniel Burrow came in 1784, and lived a short distance north of the old toll gate south of Clark's Factory.
The first settlement at New Kingston was made in 1793 by Johannes Delamater, and the following year Christian Yaple became his neighbor. They had many a touch of the rude pioneer life in the woods, where bears were as plenty as cattle are today;. One incident may suffice to show the present generation what kind of a life was lived by those early adventurers:
One night, when the cows were driven to the enclosure to be milked, a stray yearling steer was noticed in the drove; the cows did not at all seem to be contented in his company, and after several vain attempts to milk the uneasy creatures the stray yearling was discovered to be nothing less than a black bear. An alarm was given, but before the musket could be got to the scene bruin took his peaceable departure.
In 1795 Philip Yaple settled in the valley of the Platte kill, near New Kingston, and at that time had only four neighbors in the valley. One of these was Jacob Von Benschoten, who came the year before and settled where his grandson now lives. An early tavern was kept on this farm by one Cunningham.
Captain Utter (1785) was another of those who took part in the struggle which the settlers had in order to gain a shelter and a livelihood. The boards from which this house floor was made were carted from Kingston, and it was thought quite extravagant to have so much sawed stuff in a dwelling. Not only had they to experience the privations incident to the life of the pioneer everywhere, but the seasons were also unkind to the,.
Reuben Craft and Abner Mead were lost in forest one winter's night , and their bodies were found frozen the following morning, only a few rods from their homes.
Benjamin Akerly probably built the first saw-mill in the town. Conflicting statements show that the Von Woggoner mill at Arkville was earlier, but in the original field notes of the survey of 1797 to locate the county line of Delaware and Ulster, the stream now called Mill brook was noted as the Akerly mill stream. Peter Vanderbergh settled the place afterward occupies by Abel Sands, who kept a store at this house. This Sands family, from Connecticut, brought several slaves with them to Middletown.
The oldest house now standing in the town of Middletown is on Daniel Waterbvry's place. It was built in 1791 by Colonel John Grant. The first post-office in the town was kept in it, and town meetings were held here for many years. The draft for the war of 1812 took place in this building, and the broad meadow near was used for the general training . Mr. Grant kept a store and tavern here for a long time, carting his goods from Esopus. Richard M. Goodrich, John Von Woggoner, Daniel Burrow, William Burgher and Peter Sloughter were his early neighbors. The two latter crossed over Whortleberry hill to the westward before there was any road down the river, and made the first clearing on Mill brook.
The McLean saw-mill below the Sands farm was formerly the site of a sole leather tannery, built about forty years since by Samuel Smith.. Before that there was a grist-mill here, and it is authoritatively stated that there was one still earlier, known as the Wench mill,. The name alluded to the power used being nothing more than the strength of some female slaves applied to the lever to propel the machinery.
Among the early settlers in Middletown it is not unusually the case that longevity and large families were coincident. Henry Meyers, of Germany, coming to America during the Revolution, served in the patriot army, and at the close of the war settled on the farm now owned by George Biehler, to which place he brought his wife, Catharine Shafer, at the age of fourteen. she became the mother of twenty-three children; survived her husband, and died on the farm to which she was brought as a bride, after a residence there of eighty-four years.
FORMATION AND RECORDS OF THE TOWN
When the town of Rochester, Ulster county, was incorporated, in 1703,it included a large part of what was afterward Middletown. Woodstock, in that county, included (1787) the remainder of the town.
The boundaries of these towns were changed, and from parts of both the town of Middletown was erected by Chapter XLVIII. of the laws of New York, passed March 3d, 1789. This act sets forth that., "whereas, it is found that the towns of Rochester and Woodstock are too extensive and inconvenient for the inhabitants now residing in the western parts of said towns, and that the erection of another town is become necessary; therefore, be it enacted by the people of the State of New York, that all that part of * * * be hereinafter known as Middletown, in the county of Ulster, * * * and that the first town meeting be held at the house of Benjamin Akerly."
The preamble of this act must have been eminently fitting, for the town as erected included what is now Andes, Colchester, Hancock, Bovina and parts of Delhi, Walton and Hamden.
The subsequent change in the boundatry of Middletown sufficiently appear in the history of those other towns.
Through the carelessness or treachery of some one the oldest and most valuable volume of records of this town has recently been destroyed, The next volume begins with 1817, and whatever we give of earlier civil history is from tradition or contemporaneous writings. According to " a true and accurate estimate of the votes taken at the anniversary election, held in and for the town of Middletown on Tuesday the 29th day of April, 1817, and the two following days, for Assemblymen, Erastus Root had forty-two (42) votes, William Beach had forty-two (42) votes."
"Annual town meeting, first Tuesday in March, 1820, voted that the overseers of the poor be authorized, if they should deem it expedient, to procure a horse which shall not cost more than $30, and leave the said horse to Gilbert Dougherty's, and that, if the overseers of the poor deem it necessary, the town shall be taxed for that amount for that purpose. John Beadle, Town Clerk."
"The subscriber is the owner of two black children, the one a male, aged, as near as he can recollect, eighteen years. His name is Wan. The other , a female, aged, as near as she can recollect, fourteen years., Her name is Isabella Roch.
"Dated at Middletown, March 20th, 1818."
"Personally appeared before me the above named Abel Sands and subscribed and made oath to the above certificate, the day and date above written,. "Asa Grant, Justice of the Peace."
The first supervisor of the town was Charles Tay, elected in 1789. After he had served several years, Benjamin Akerly (the same family name is sometimes written Ackerly) was elected. Benjamin Mills was one of the early supervisors of the town, but after several years it was ascertained that he had not lived in the town or county. Israel Chapman, Thomas Landon and, it seems, Thomas Crosby were also elected before 1810. That year Daniel H. Burr was elected, and served eight years. The office has since been held as follows:
Asa Grant, 1818; Noah Dimmick, 1819-26; Matthew Halcott, 1827-29; Asa Grant, 1830; George H. Sands, 1836; Gritman Elwood, 1837; Orson M. Allaben, 1838, 1839; Warren Dimmick, 1840; Timothy Corbin, 18451; Edmond Kelly, 1842; Orson M. Allaben, 1843; George Mc Farland, 1844; Millow W. Hubbell, 1845; Jonathan C. Allaben, 1846; Henry S. Schermerhorn, 1847; John Kelly, 1848; Maransa Sanford, 1849; George H. Green, 1850,1851; Orson M. Allaben, 1852; Warren Dimmick, 1853; Gritman Elwood, 1854; Benjamin G. Lee, 1855; Robert Humphrey, 1856; Orson M. Allaben, 1857; George W. Clark, 1858, 1859; Sherman Streets, 1860; Orson M. Allaben, 1861; George G. Decker, 1862; Orson M. Allaben, 1863; Lemeul Sines, 1864-68; John Kelly, 1869, 1870; Adam F Henderson, 1871, 1872; Smith W. Reed, 1873-76; William H. Whispell, 1877; John Kelly, 1878; Ozias S. Decker, 1879.
Justices -- We are able, as the result of patient search among papers officially signed by the board of justices, to give the names of most if not all of those who have served since 1810.
The first justice in the town was Thomas Crosby, who was appointed at the organization of the town and served thirty years. His contemporaries and successors were:
Philip Yaple, Richard M. Goodrich, Asa Grant, Boaz Searle, Solomon Osterhoudt, Noah Dimmick, John D. Swart, Israel Chapman, Augustus R. Knapp, Thomas Landon, Horace Ellis, Avery Grant, Benjamin L Crosby, Ezekiel Reed, John Beadle, William Van Benschoten, Ezra Waterbury, Gritman Elwood, John Dickson, Warren Dimmick, Samuel Gunn, Matthew Halcott, George H. Sands, Timothy Corbin, Matthew Griffin, Asa Griffin, Edmond Kelly, Obed Hendrix, John Kelly, Chauncey P. Wolcott, Elias J. Osterhoudt, Silas H Mason, William A. TenBroeck, Jonathan H. Dean, Hiram B. Kelly, Adam R. Henderson, John M. Corbin, Perez Dimmick, William D. Doolittle, John D. Hubbell, Talman Banker, Daniel Banker, G. Chauncey Grant, Noah Vermilya, William H. Dickson, Edwin A. More.
Town Clerks -- Asa Grant, 1814-16; Peter s. Freer, 1817; Boaz Searle, 1818, 1819; John Beadle, 1820; Richard M. Goodrich, 1821; Solomon Osterhoudt, 1832-35; Nelson P. Chamberlin, 1836-38; Zebulon Ashby, 1839, 1840; Orson M. Allaben, 1841; John A. Person, 1842-44; David Akerly, 1845-48; Nelson P. Chamberlin, 1849; David Akerly, 1850, 1851; William O'Connor, 1852; Aaron D. Reed, 1853; William O'Connor, 1854; Charles P. Northrop, 1855; Cyrus Mead, 1856; William O'Connor, 1857-61; Jeremiah B. Akerly, 1862; William O'Connor, 1863-66 ; John C. Osterhoudt, 1867; Orson A. Swart, 1868; Henry T. Becker, 1869, 1870; Ozias S. Decker, 1871, 1872; Abram L. Stratton, 1873;James L. Allaben, 1874, 1875; Ozias s. Decker, 1876, 1877; William D. Doolittle, 1878; E. R. Biehler, 1879;
ROADS AND POSTOFFICES
The first regular supply of mail for the Middletown colony came from Esopus by the way of Shandaken valley and over the mountain, nor far from the present route of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad. The mail was distributed at the residence of Colonel John Grant before 1800.
After the completion of the Esopus turnpike a regular office was established, and Colonel John Grant was the postmaster for over forty years. He was succeeded by Captain Asa Grant, and during all this time the office was kept in the house which is still standing, the residence of Hon. Daniel Waterbury.
Soon after the inauguration of John K. Polk, Warren Dimmick received an appointment and removed the office to his residence.
There was once a post-route from Colchester through this town to Roxbury, and the Lumberville community was supplied by one of the devices of that early day. No office had been established, but mail would be directed to one of the terminal offices on the route, and the mail-riders, Charles Miller and Joseph Woolsey, would bring the letters from the office and deposit them in a box nailed to the "old Elm," a short distance from the village.
The "old elm" post-box answered the purpose for several years, but in 1850 the Lumberville office was established, and John Y. Tompkins was appointed postmaster.
The Clovesville office was the second one established in Middletown. John Beadle was the first postmaster, and he held the office for thirty years. This office supplied the communities now supplied by the Griffin's Corners office, which was established by the appointment of Matthew Griffin postmaster in 1848. Mr. Griffin served until 1879, when he was succeeded by his son, Dewitt Griffin.
The Arkville office dates from 1837, when Noah Dimmick was appointed postmaster.
Margaretville was made a post station June 15th, 1848, and Dr. O.M. Allaben was commissioned postmaster. The present incumbent is Hon. G.G. Decker. A daily New York mail is supplied via the Ulster & Delaware Railroad.
For about thirty years New Kingston has been supplied with a weekly or semi-weekly mail from Margaretville. The returns to the postal department from this office for the first quarter amounted to eighteen cents. Halcottsville is one of the oldest post-offices in the town. Mathew Halcott, from who the place received its name was given the first appointment.
There is an office at Clark's Factory, and in 1873 one was established at Kelly's Corners, with W.T. Ryer as the postmaster.
These nine offices are the post-offices of the town, the Middletown and Clovesville offices, having been discontinued several years ago.
The construction of the Esopus and Ithaca turnpike, the date and particulars of which appear in other parts of this work, gave the town excellent facilities for communication with the outside world. The course of this great thoroughfare was on the roadbed of the Delhi and Arkville turnpike, as it now is, excepting between Margaretville and Clark's Factory, where it ran over the hill farther back from the river, on the same side; crossed the New Kingston road at the foot of the hill north of Margaretville, and continued up the valley past the cemetery and on to Arkville. From Arkville up the river it went by the way of the present highway as far as Griffin's Corners, where it diverged to the left and crossed the valley at the foot of Pine Hill, on an immense high bridge, and left the town and county near the summit. Noah Ellis had the contract for the construction of this division of the road.
A turnpike company was chartered in 1811 to build a turnpike from Arkville to Moresville, but the work was never completed.
The Arkville and Delhi turnpike was chartered in 1840, and was begun in 1843, but the unsettled state of affairs in 1845 necessitated a delay, and it was not completed until 1849. It was thirty-three miles long, extending from the top of Pine Hill to Delhi, and was constructed at a cost of $485 per mile. The commissioners were: Hon. O.M. Allaben, Isaac Burr and Dr. Peake, of Andes.
The most available route of communication at the present time is the Ulster and Delaware railroad. This road was begun in 1869 as the New York and Oswego, and in 1874, after being completed as far as Stamford and the name changed several times, it was sold on a mortgage, and became the property of Thomas Cornell.
A law was passed on the 7th of April, 1866, authorizing certain towns in Delaware, Ulster and Green counties to issue town bonds bearing seven per cent. interest, and to invest the proceeds of their sale in the capital stock of the Roundout and Oswego Railroad.
George G. Decker, O.M. Allaben (who was vice-president of the company), and Lemuel Sines were appointed commissioners to issue the bonds; $100,000 worth of bonds were issued, of the denominations of $100,$500 and $1000, and are payable, principal and interest, at the first National Bank of Rondout. Six annual installments of $5,000 each have been paid upon the principal, and the balance matures in installments during the next fourteen years.
Early Religious Societies
Religion, as well as education, received early attention at the hands of the primitive Dutchmen. Very soon after the return of the refugees at the close of the Revolution a church was erected in the old churchyard above Lumberville. It was a Dutch Reformed Presbyterian institution, and although its exact date was lost by the destruction of its records, yet enough remains in private writings to fix its date prior to 1790. Rev. Messrs. Gooches and Meyers were the preachers in early days. Probably the first supply of preaching was by a one-legged man by the name of Anderson, who afterward became a sort of doctor and fortune-teller. This church was in ruins and abandoned before 1835, and a part of the site has since been used for burial places.
The Old School Baptist church had an organization in the town, in which Anna Grant is remembered as being a very earnest worker. They held religious meetings in the old school house in district number 10. Rev. Mr. Seymour was their preacher for several years.
Probably the oldest burying place in the county, and surely the oldest in the town, is the old cemetery on the Dumond farm, across the river from Margaretville. It was used by the early Dutch settlers, and they believed it to have been occupied long before by the half breeds who preceded them.
This place contains the graves of some of the children of the original settlers, but for years it has been entirely neglected. The bed of the proposed railroad is over it, and in grading, many of the bones of unknown dead were exhumed.
The Indian graves on the knoll opposite the Cockburn house have long since been covered by a cultivated field.
There is another ancient burying ground above Margaretville, on the Dimmick farm, which was begun by the settlers of 1763. Peter Hendricks, the first adult who died in the settlement, was the first person buried here. His wife, the mother of Frederick Kittle, Frederick Kittle's wife, and Elijah Olmsted's wife were among those who were buried here very early.
The burying ground above Lumberville is nearly a century old. The first grave that is marked is that of Captain Samuel Dunham, July 27th, 1792. The new burying ground is on a lot given for a church building lot by John Y. Tompkins. The first grave was that of Benjamin Akerly, January 28th, 1859.
The Clovesville M.E. cemetery was set off in 1835. The first burials were infants. The first adult was Baxter Mulenix, May 5th, 1837.
John B. Todd, who served during the Revolution, died at the advanced age of one hundred and one, and was buried here.
The Public Schools
The early schools of Middletown were essentially similar to those already mentioned in the Dutch settlements at Shavertown. The Dutch language was both read and spoken in the schools. These Dutch schools being broken up, as above narrated, no further effort was made toward public instruction until after the Revolution.
The first school of this period was probably near the foot of the Whortleberry Hill road. A log school-house was built on a knoll near the present site of the stone schoolhouse in that district. Noah Mann was one of the early teachers.
In this school several such families of young men as the Carpenters, the Waterburys, the Dimmicks and the Sandses were educated for the prominent stations they afterward filled in public and professional life.
An early school was kept in the house of Colonel Noah Dimmick by Eben Hawkes, and one by Master Mead. Several others of the most learned of the times enjoyed the honorable title of master. Among them were Master Hallcott, Master Jared Barkley (1795), Thomas McAuley (1798), a brother of the Rev. Mr. McAuley of the M.E. church, and Judge Keeler.
Owing to the incomplete state of the early records it is impossible to give the date of the organization of the several early schools, yet it is evident that educational matters received prompt attention, and as early as 1813 there were nineteen public school districts in the town. During the year 1814 district No. 5 was divided, the new district being numbered 20, and in the following year districts No. 21 and 22 were erected, the former from portions of Nos 11,12 and 16.
In 1816 the whole number of children between the ages of five and fifteen years was six hundred and fifty, and the monies received from the State amounted to $117.33. During 1819 district No. 24 was organized, and in the year 1825, after the town was reduced to its present size, a complete reorganization of the districts resulted in the formation of fourteen complete and two joint districts; and we find that in that year the whole number of children of school age was seven hundred and sixty-four, and the public monies received were $222.16. Following the records for the next two decades, they show that in 1835 there were in the town 846 children between the ages of five and sixteen years, and that $248.32 was received from the State; and in 1845 there were found 886 children of school age, and the State appropriation had increased to $590.54.
In 1878 the public money was $2,506.35. There were 25 school districts, 1,039 resident pupils, and the average daily attendance was 428. District No. 17 had 159 resident pupils, and an average daily attendance of 77. This is the only school employing two teachers. The present two-story building was erected in 1871.
The only attempt ever made for anything in advance of the public school system was in 1865, when an act was passed by the Legislature incorporating a school to be located at Margaretville. The act provided that "Orson M. Allaben, the supervisor, town clerk, and the assessors having one and two years to serve, and their successors in office * * * be a body corporate and politic, for the purposes herein-after provided, under the name and title of the Margaretville Utilitarian School."
Power was conferred upon this corporation to hold real and personal estate, to confer and sign diplomas, to teach such branches as related to the self knowledge, security and preservation of the individual man, comprising anatomy and hygiene, such as relate to industrial pursuits and such as relate to government.
A building was erected in 1866 by Dr. O.M. Allaben, who was an earnest worker in support of the undertaking, but as yet nothing further has been done.
How much the vague notions of medicine which were entertained by the early Dutch residents of Middletown may have tended to produce the remarkable longevity of that generation, and how much of the result came from the simple modes of life which prevailed among the folks of that primitive age, would puzzle the historian of to-day to decide. The food they ate, the clothing they wore and the habitations they occupied were widely at variance with the genius of the nineteenth century, while the modes of cure adopted by those who were believed to have the healer's secret were scarcely less than scorcery; yet they experienced little or nothing of those dreaded ills that their successors of century later are heirs to.
Mrs. Nelly Yaple, the daughter of Mr. Dumond, previously mentioned, was one of the favored few upon whom the superstition and credulity of the people had conferred a degree as distinctive as the "M.D." of some of the modern colleges. Among those who have since had a share in the great trust of caring for the lives and health of the people here are Drs. Searl, Bradley, Spaulding, Robinson, Bead, Hon. Lorenzo Dana, Richard M. Goodrich, William Slaid, Augustus R. Knapp, Newman Abbey, Robert Webber and Richard Connolly, most of whom are now here. In 1831 Orson M. Allaben began practice here, and six years later his brother, J.C. Allaben, located at Griffin's Corners, where John Atkin had first practiced. R.L. Waterbury, Horace Scutt, W.H. Crawford and Aaron D. Reed have each practiced medicine or surgery here.
Middletown in the War of 1812.
At the time when the difficulties of 1812-15 required the use of the State militia the town of Middletown (as it then was, including Andes) had three companies, under Captains Avery Grant, Jonathan Smith and Ezra Chapman. From these three companies a company was to be drawn to go to the defence of New York harbor. Accordingly, on the 1st of September, 1814, at the residence of Hon. Daniel Waterbury, a draft was made, and on the 6th the drafted men reported at Delhi. Captain Grant claimed his right as the oldest captain to go with the drafted mne, but instead of the company maintaining its organization it was used to fill up others, and Captain Grant, being relieved of command, returned to his home. The troops were marched from Delhi to Catskill, thence by boat transported to New York, where they were into winter quarters at Camp Greenwich, and remained until they were discharged at the expiration of the three months for which they were drafted.
From the partially illegible original records now in possession of Hon. D. Waterbury, from the old pension rolls in the State library at Albany, and from the recollections of John Beadle, Esq. of Griffin's corners, we obtain the following names of most or all of those who went from what was then Middletown. The first four are still living:
John Beadle, Millow W. Hubbel, Abram Akerly, Henry George, Zebediah Abell, Thomas Hayes, Samuel Todd, Timothy Tyler, Samuel Smith, William Smith, Thomas Thomson, Samuel Carman, Phillip P. Shafer, James R. Spicer, Alexander More, Henry P. Ostrander, Chauncey Peck, John Dickson, John Blish, Silas Blish, Joshua Kelley, Simon Blish, John Woolheater, Harvey Faulkner, John Yaple, Isaac B. Sands, Edward Sands, George H. Sands, James Kiff, Robert Jones, Abram Shaver, Jacob Baker, John Davis, Horace Ellis, Charles Ellis, Charles Barlo, Jonathan Crego, Charles Crosby, James Robinson, John Jenkins, Stephen Green and Caleb Sweet.
There were three fifers, each anxious to go with the drafted company, but only two of them were wanted, so John Beadle, who was one of them, and one of the others gave the third $4 to stay at home and let them go. To this arrangement the drum-major objected, and so young Beadle, then only nineteen years of age, was to be left out. To this he objected, and so enlisted and went as a volunteer private. Soon after their return he was promoted to sergeant, lieutenant, and finally to colonel of a militia regiment.
Ezra Chapman went with the company as chaplain.
The peculiar relation of the town of Middletown to the great land controversy of 1828-1845 demands a passing mention of some incidents and recollections, in addition to what has been written in a previous chapter in the more general discussion of this subject.
The east branch of the Delaware, which bisects this town, being the eastern boundary of the disputed territory, there is an area east of the river where the tenants generally conceded the landlords' rights. At New Kingston also the sympathies of the people were with the landlords, for, as the reader already knows, the New Kingston lands where deeded absolutely to the occupants years before the controversy arose. There were, however, a great many of the people in other portions of the town who took active part in the struggle. Some of them still survive, and among them in is William Reside, now a resident of Middletown. He says: "When the anti-rent excitement broke out I was a young man of twenty-four, with a wife and two young children. I joined the tribe in my neighborhood, and when the Earl sale came off we met the members of the Roxbury tribe in a barn, put on our disguises there, and went with them. When the sheriff and his deputy were about to commence the sale they ordered the cattle driven to the road. Warren W. Scudder, who had been chose commanding chief of the tribes present, protested, claiming that the cattle were advertised to be sold on the place, not in the highway, and promising that the sale should not be interfered with unless the sheriff exceeded his authority by driving the cattle away from the advertised place of sale. The latter persisted, and as a man named Peter P. Wright was letting down the bars, one of the 'Indians' struck at him, knocking his hat off. Edgerton, one of the sheriff's party, then ordered the spectators to leave the ground, and with Steele rode through the bars to drive out the cattle. As the 'Indians' gathered around them, both fired their pistols into the crowd. Scudder then gave the order to shoot down their horses, and a number of shots were fired. Edgerton's horse fell dead under him. Steele's was mortally wounded, and stood still with the blood pouring from its breast. Steele seemed to have been hurt, as he fell forward on his addle. I stood then not far from the bars. I had not fired. A man who did not belong to my tribe, but who I believe to have bene Edward O'Connor, ran up to me, and saying 'Is your gun loaded?' snatched it from my hands and aimed at Steele. I had only time to exclaim 'Take care!' when he fired, and Steele fell to the ground on this hands and knees.
"There has been much conjecture as to who shot Steele. I would not speak to harm a living man, and masked as we were I could not swear to any man's identity; but I knew O'Connor's voice, and this I can say, that the man who killed Steele was the one who took my gun and fired at him.
"I stayed on the ground until among the last. I could have escaped, but did not know that I would be held accountable. After I was arrested I was guarded by a posse from Unadilla, who arranged an escape for me, one of them leading me out the day before I was arraigned on to a hill some distance from the jail, and leaving me there with two women, who hinted to me that it had been arranged that I need not go back. But I had had enough of hiding. I knew that if an escape was made I must leave the country, and supposing that at worst only a small fine would be imposed, I went back, and the next day was sentenced to Clinton for seven years. We supposed that all of our men were true, but one of them turned State's evidence, which convicted us. I was pardoned after serving sixteen months."
One of the saddest episodes of those dark days was the fate of Edward O'Connor. To him suspicion most strongly pointed as the man who fired the fatal shot at Mr. Steele. Refusing to plead guilty, he was tried, convicted, and, with John Van Steenburgh, sentenced to be hanged. Governor Young, however, interposed executive Clemency, and after an imprisonment of one and a half yeas O'Connor was pardoned. Prior to his arrest he had been visited a Miss Scott, and finding her true to him, even under the shadow of the gallows, he married her after his release. The trials through which she had passed, however, were believed to have shortened her life, as she died early. After her death her husband passed from public notice, and many years later reports came from a western State that the dashing Edward O'Connor had fallen a victim to malarial fever.
Concerning his conviction Mr. Reside also says:
"O'Connor was convicted on the evidence of his rifle, experts testifying that the wounds were made by a large ball like that carried by his gun. The truth was that the gun that fired the fatal shot carried 120 balls to the pound, while his own took only 44; but of course I could not help him by showing that fact, as I believed him to have fired my gun."
Arkville, a mile above Margaretville, on the Bush kill, is one of the oldest business points. Sone after the return of the settlers at the close of the Revolution occurred what was known as the "pumpkin freshet." Coming in the fall of the year, before the crops had been gathered, the pumpkins floated off the fields until the river was covered by them. The water on this occasion rose in the night so as to inundate the flats and almost submerge the sleeping Dutchmen. The first alarm to one family came from an altercation between the children sleeping in the old-fashioned trundle- bed. When the venerable sire jumped in rage from his bed to settle the fuss, he found that neither of the boys could be blamed for the discomfiture, for the water had risen so that he stood on his own floor in water knee deep. The elevated position of the block tavern at the time of this flood afterward suggested the name of Arkville.
Here Simeon Von Woggoner kept the first tavern in Middletown, in a double block-house on the site of the elegant residence of Mr. Longyear. The entrance was surmounted by the largest pair of antlers that had ever been known.
The landlord also built the first grist-mill in this part of the town, and one of the first in the county. The mill property was afterward owned by Jonathan Hasbrook, who sold it to Colonel Noah Dimmick in 1826. Mr. Dimmick added much to the business of the place and erected the present mills.
During his time it was the principal business center in the town, and militia training and town meetings were held here.
The first store here was kept by one Newkirk, who was succeeded by Peter S. Freer. Colonel Dimmick was a merchant here for a number of years.
J. Hopkins Dean did business here at one time, and erected a hotel in 1871. The railroad station was called Dean's for a time, and the place thus became locally known as Dean's Corners. The first train passed this station October 24th, 1871.
Clovesville, on the Bush kill, at the mouth of the Red kill, is one of the oldest business places. The building of the old turnpike through here gave it its first impetus. Noah Ellis built a store here in 1806, and eight years later Abram Beadle opened a hotel. John Winn built a hotel here before 1799; it was the first frame house ever built in Middletown, and stood until quite recently. There is a tradition that Mr. Winn was mobbed and hung for his disloyalty after the settlement of peace at the close of the Revolution.
Ezra Waterbury built a carding and cloth dressing establishment here. He removed in 1828. George W. Doolittle in 1843 built a carding-mill on the same site, and twenty years later he built a saw-mill there. The last saw-mill here is owned by John Kelly. Humphrey's tannery has been abandoned, and the whole place has a kind of goneaway look, as though the enterprise of the hamlet had gone up stream, or floated down - which is about as near the truth as we can get.
Griffin's Corners, farther up the Bush kill, was named form the Griffin family, who were among the early business and professional men. The first business here was the rum business, begun in 1804 by a Mr. Taylor, in the house where Allen Lasher now lives. Baxter Mulenix and a Mr. Searl also were among those who ministered to the thirst and hunger of the people half a century ago.
In August, 1845, Matthew Griffin, who had kept a store in 1833 on the site of Esquire Ten Broeck's house, built the old red store now standing on Main street, and three years later he put up the Griffin's Corners Hotel, which he carried on until 1855.
The old grist-mill, which stood just below the Star Mills as early as 1802, was owned by Noah Ellis, Horace Ellis, and finally by John D. Vandermark, who kept a store in 1844 as successor to his brother-in-law, Noah Ellis, jr. The Star Mills were built in 1829. The steam mill here, the only steam saw-mill in the town, was built by Allen Lasher. He also owns the grist-mill above.
One of the enterprises which have come u-p stream from Clovesville is the wool carding business of George W. Doolittle, which now occupies part of the Star Mills. This machine is surely one of the old settlers, having been built more than a century ago. It is the same one upon which the present owner served his apprenticeships fifty years ago, in the village of Hobart.
The turnpike was built where it now is, between Griffin's Corners and the top of Pine hill, in 1834. The oldest building now standing is the General Armstrong house, on the hill east of the village. The old school-house stood where Mr. Ludkey's house now is. The present school building was raised in 1851, and the first term in it was taught by James Taylor, for $15 per month.
Lumberville, is, as its name implies, a village that sprung up as one of the results of the great lumbering business on the east branch. It is situated at the mouth of Mill brook.
John Dickson, a settler of 1784, opened the first store here in 1795. His house was then the only one in the place, and it may be understood that "store keeping" at that day was not what we understand now by that term. His book shows that he dealt only in the plainest necessities (including whiskey), and his customers were principally the lumbermen and raftsmen on the river.
William Akerly kept a tavern here in 1810. In 1841 a stock company was formed to build a house for church and school purposes, schools having been ketp in private residences until that time. This building was subsequently purchased by school district 11, and served until the completion of the elegant new school building in 1878.
N.E. Conklin built a hotel here in 1872, but that was one of the many ventures made during the time when there was prospect of a railroad being finished through the place. The Bryant Hotel was built in 1854 by James H. Dickson. Three years previous he had built the Lemuel Sines store.
The new Methodist church is quite an addition to the tidy appearance of the place.
Clark's Factory, is a post station on the Platte kill, named from a family of Clarks, who have been prominent citizens and business men at this point. The first tannery in Middletown was built here before 1811, by Abram I. Shults. The vats were made by digging holes and pounding in a lining of blue clay. A second tannery was built here and operated for years by Shultz & Smith. Jackson S. Shultz, the eminent manufacturer, was born at this point. A grist-mill and a saw-mill were built here in the first years of this century, but were destroyed before 1834, and the grist-mill was rebuilt by Samuel and Elkanah Smith. This was burned in 1848, and Dr. Adam Clark built the present tannery on the same site.
Among the settlers in this part of the town were several Welsh, among whom were the Roberts and the Jones families.
New Kingston, is a hamlet on the Platte kill, near the center of the relief lands, which were given by William Livingston to a hundred families who were left houseless after the burning of Kingston by the British - hence the name New Kingston. Five thousand acres were divided into settling lots of fifty acres each, the tract being a square in the most fertile part of the valley of the Platte kill, or open brook, as the word signifies.
At first this was emphatically a Dutch settlement, but from 1807 to 1830 there was a great influx of the Scotch element, until now the population is almost as generally of Scotch descent as are their neighbors of Bovina, just over the mountain.
The first school here was taught by John May in 1803. A Mr. More was the first merchant, and he was succeeded by Samuel Gunn, who, in 1828, sold to Abram Yaple.
The United Presbyterian Congregation of New Kingston owes it origin to an organization of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, effected by Rev. John Gibson and Rev. James Laing, in July, 1853. This organization consisted of nineteen members, from whom Mr. Alexander Ruichbe, William Laidlow and John Clement were chose and ordained ruling elders. During the two years following services were conducted by occasional supplies; when at a communion in November 1855, six new members were added to the church, and in October the following year eight more were also received, making in all about thirty.
In the fall of 1857 another organization, consisting of thirty-one persons, taking the name of the Associate Presbyterian Congregation of New Kingston, was effected by Rev. Andrew Thomas, and from this number William Elliot, James H. Thomson and David Scott were installed ruling elders.
At a union meeting held in Pittsburg, Pa., May, 1858, the Associate and Associate Reformed Synods (the bodies to which the New Kingston organizations respectively belonged) by mutual consent united and took the name of the United Presbyterian Church of North America. By this union, all ecclesiastical differences being removed, the two organizations at New Kingston united and became one congregation. Shortly after the union they met and made out a call for Rev. John W. Bain. He accepted, and for a period of about nine months preached with great acceptance to an enthusiastic house; but for some reason, probably the severity of a cold northern climate, at the end of this period he returned the call before the had been installed as pastor, and took his departure to the southern part of Pennsylvania.
The congregation, being now vacant, maintained regular services through supply preaching, when a call was presented to Rev. John Service, of New York city. He accepted the call, and continued his ministry until the spring or summer of 1867, when, at his own request, he was released, and the relation between him and the congregation was dissolved.
During the vacancy of nearly two years that followed, the church was regularly supplied by itinerant preaching, at the expiration of which time Rev. A.W. McGibbon, the present pastor, beganhis ministry. The enrolled membership at that time was sixty-two. The church, which had been built in the cheapest manner, when the congregation was both small and poor, was now badly out of repair, and there were many things to discourage the pastor and people, but when twenty-six new members were added to the church, in the summer of 1869, new life animated the congregation. The old church was entirely remodeled and refitted, while by the construction of a gallery 120 additional seatings were made.
The present church building, neat and commodious, will seat 360 people, has a spire 75 feet in height, and is supplied with an excellent bell of over 1,000 pounds weight. There is no debt on church or parsonage.
The congregation, now numbering 148 members, owes its success in a great measure to a live and prosperous Sabbath-school, conducted by faithful teachers since its early history.
Halcottsville is the last hamlet in the town up the east branch. It was named in honor of Matthew Halcott, the first merchant in the place, and for years one of the most prominent business men of Middletown. After the Phoenix mills, above mentioned, the next business was the blacksmith shop built in 1807 by Phineas Killy.
The first store was opened by M. Halcott in 1814, and five years later he built a fulling, carding and cloth dressing establishment, which for a long time did a business of good proportions. John B. Moore sold goods here in 1826. A short distance down the stream, on the Rev. John D. Hubbell's farm, Caleb Stokeham had a hotel and a still some time before and after 1828. He was succeeded by Luman Searle and he by Millow W. Hubbel. John Burden kept a hard kind of a tavern in 1819 and afterward, where Hiram L. Kelly lives.
The Halcottsville Grange, No. 350, was organized by Thomas R. Hutson, under the auspices of the State and National Grange, July 7th, 1875, with David W. Hubbell master; Alonzo Williams, O.; Isaac S. Bookhout, L.; Riley Sanford, S.; William O. McKillip, A.S.; Wallace Kelly, chaplain; David G. Kelly, treasurer; George L. Hewitt, secretary; James P. McKillip, G.R.; Miss Marions McKillip, Ceres; Mrs. E. Bookhout, Pomona; Mrs. Fanny A. McKillip, Flora; Mrs. Huldah M. Hubbell, L.A.S.
The present membership is thirty-four. The officers for 1879 are:
David W. Hubbell, M.; Stephen J. Lawrence, O.; Ezra Henderson, Lec.; Riley Sanford, S.; David F. Sanford, A.S.; Richard P. Craft, chaplain; David G. Kelly, treasurer; George L. Hewitt, secretary; Talmy Van Amburgh, G.K.; Mrs. Enseba Bookhout (the name was originally written Bouchaud), Ceres; Mrs. Sara C. Sanford, Pomona; Mrs. Mehitabel Lawrence, Flora; Mrs. Huldah M. Hubbell, L.A.S.
Executive committee: Stephen J. Lawrence, Ezra Henderson, Talmy Van Amburgh.
Kelly's Corners is a post hamlet and railway station on the est branch, between Halcottsville and Margaretville, at the junction of the Batavia kill and east branch. The name refers to a prominent family who were early settlers, and whose descendants are among the substantial men of to-day. William Elmondorf in 1868 built the first store, and was succeeded by T.W. Ryer.
The first settler on the site of this village was Ignos, a nephew of Harmonus Dumond, in 1784. He sold it for £100, and John Tompkins succeeded him in the occupancy, and built the first saw-mill at this point. Tompkins was succeeded by Salmon Scott and Jephtha Seager, who divided the lands, Scott taking the mill and the west half of the farm, and Seager the remainder. Scott was succeeded in 1843 by Dr. Orson M. Allaben, and Seager sold to David C. Sliter.
A mill-house had been built near the mill, and Salmon Scott had had a dwelling on the turnpike, which was across the flats from where it now runs. These three buildings were all that were standing in 1843 where this thrifty village now stands. The saw-mill performed its part, and made a way for the industries and enterprises that followed. The present road down the river was opened from the saw-mill in the winter of 1843-4 as a log road, and in the spring following the opening was closed; but a plow peddler drove through throwing open the fences, and they were never closed again.
During the same winter a patient was at Dr. Allaben's being treated, and being a practical weaver and cloth dresser, he came from the doctor's residence at Dry brook and looked at a site for a woolen mill. The suspicious movements of the stranger and the doctor as they paced off the size of the proposed site attracted the attention of David Akerly, who then lived in the old mill-house before referred to. He rushed to the spot to quench his inquisitiveness, and was more surprised than ever to learn the plan in view.
Only a few months passed when James T. Streeter, another patient, was at Dr. A's being treated, and the two came over to stake off another business site in the proposed village. The inquisitive citizen was more perplexed than ever, and again hastened to interrogate the doctor concerning his designs. He was told that that was for a hotel site, and after being persuaded that this would be a good point for a hotel, he suggested that he had thought some of building one and proposed that his lumber and the doctor's land and mill be made to serve the desired end of having a hotel built. To this the doctor suggested that the corner above, on David C. Sliter's land, was a much better spot, and that Sliter wanted to sell a lot for $25. The doctor's object was accomplished when the subject was discussed and a demand felt for a hotel.
Mr. Akerly went up and tried to buy a corner lot, but corners had "gone up" to $50, and he returned in dismay to consult with his friend the doctor.
He was advised that any probable price would be cheap, and he hastened to inform Mr. Sliter that he would take the lot. Business was brightening up on the river, and in an hour lots had "gone up" again to $75. Another consultation was had and still prices advanced, until finally the bargain was closed and the site of the Ackerly house was bought for $110.
The building was at once begun, and in 1845 the hotel was opened, with David Akerly as "mine host." Religious meetings were held in it, and on one occasion, at least, Rev. Ananias Ackerley preached a sermon in the sitting-room. It was enlarged by his son, J.B. Ackerley, in 1871, and furnished throughout for the accommodation of city boarders.
The next buildings put up were Dr. Allaben's present residence and an office occupied by him, near the present residence of Lawyer Henderson.
The first store in the place was kept in this office by Dr. A. and Rev. Ananias Ackerley, 1845-47. A nucleus of a village was thus formed, and it grew rapidly for several years. The Thomas Winter store was built by Francis O'Connor, and first occupied by Burhans & Decker. The next store building was the O.S. Decker hardware building, erected by Keator & Mead for a dry goods store.
The post-office building and Charles Gorsch's cabinet and undertaking establishment were next in order of erection.
Establishing a printing press in Middletown was another of Dr. Allabven's enterprises to build up and benefit the village. The first number of The Utilitarian was issued by him on the 7th day of July, 1863. He continued to edit it until 1868, when the office was sold - nominally, at least - and since that time it has been under various managers. H.T. Becker was editor and proprietor at the time of his death in 1879. The paper is published as a Democratic sheet, and has been issued weekly since its first appearance. It is now carried on by J.K.P. Jackson.
After the completion of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad, in 1871, a loop was put in the Western Union telegraph line west of Arkville Station, and a telegraphy office established at this village, which added an important feature to its attraction for New Yorkers, who come up to spend the summer among the many delightful resorts.
Although situated upon the east branch this village had no proper water-power until 1863, when G.G. Decker and James Chamberlin turned enough of the water from the river into the binnacle to make that stream sufficient for mill purposes. The word binnacle is from binne kill, a closed brook, and was an appropriate name for the Dutch to give to the sort of along pond in and above the village on the right bank of the river.
In 1863 Mr. Chamberlin erected the tannery on this stream and two years later Mr. Decker put up the cooperage that is now operated by Michael Meagher. The foundry was built in 1867 by Ebenezer Laidlow.
The growth of the place had been very rapid during the period covered by the dates thus far given, and in 1875, on the 5th of April, a meeting was called to consider the subject of incorporating the village. This call was signed by W.R. Swart, O.M. Allaben, A.R. Henderson, Charles Gorsch, S.P. Ives, O.M. Race, William Mungle, jr., John H. Banker, O.A. Swart, Asa Akerly, A.P. Carpenter, E.L. O'Connor, J.W. Kittel, Thomas Winter, A.L. Stratton, J.B. Ackerly, A.B. Edson, Mrs. Fanny J. Grant, John Y. Dumond, Jackson Scudder and J.L. Allaben.
The election for incorporating the village was held May 8th, 1875, resulting affirmatively.
The first charter election was held Jund 21st, 1875, and resulted in the election of Dr. S.W. Reed preseident, and E. A. Olmsted, G.G. Decker and A.P. Carpenter trustees, without opposition.
In 1876 S.P. Ives was elected president, and he was re-elected in 1877.
In 1878 Dr. O.M. Allaben was elected president, and re-elected in 1879.
The present officers are O.M. Allaben, president; A.R. Henderson, Asa Ackerly and Arthur M. Noxon, trustees; William Mungle, jr., secretary; E.R. Biehler, treasurer, and E.I. Osterhoudt, collector.
Free masonry in Middletown dates from the charter of the Delaware and Ulster Lodge, No. 186, June 1st, 1808. The recrodsd of this lodge are destroyed, and the name an datea are all the trace or remembrance left of it among men or masons. Colden Lodge, No. 296, was chartered on the 13th of September, 1817, and included in its membership such men as John Beadle, Matthew Halcott, Colonel Noah Dimmick, Abel sands, Edward Sands, George Sands, Caleb Sweet, Nicholas Redmond, Edward Mays, John Vermilya, Solomon Vermilya, Danie Smead, Joseph Gilbert, Captain William Dean, Abram Vermilya, John E. Burhans, Gilbert Foster, Hiram Kelly and Jonas More. Among the masters were Matthew Halcott, Captain Dean and Colonel Dimmick. The lodge was named in honor of its founder, John Colden. The place of meeting was in the upper rooms of Mr. Dimmick's house, and sometimes, as craftsmen of old, they assembled in the open field or on the hill top. The last of that lodge is shrouded in the same mist of uncertainty as is that of nearly every other lodge that went down under the rising tide of the Morgan excitement.
Margaretville Lodge, No. 389, was organized on the 1st of August, 1855. The charter officers were: Warren Dimmick, W.M.; Robert Humphrey, S.W.; Wheeler W. Clark, J.W.; Samuel G. Dimmick, secretary; John Vandermark, treasurer; Ira Whitcomb, S.D.; Noah Vandermark, J.D., and Michael McCormick, tiler. The following is a list of masters, senior wardens and junior wardens, with the dates of their election: December 26th, 1855 - Robert Humphrey, W.W. Clark, Samuel G. Dimmick; 1856 - Robert Humphrey, W.W. Clark, Henry A. Clark; 1857 - Wheeler W. Clark, Edward Burhans, Jeremiah B. Ackerly; 1858 - Edward Burhans, George W. Clark, Smith W. Reed; 1859 - S.W. Reed, William A. TenBroeck, Cyrus Mead; 1860 - W. W. Clark, Cyrus Mead, Orson M. Allaben; 1861 - Warren Dimmick, Cyrus Mead, O.M. Allaben; 1862 - Smith W. Reed, Orson M. Allaben, Jefferson T. Allison; 1863 - S.W. Reed, Cyrus Mead, J.T. Allison; 1864 - Cyrus Mead, J.T. Allison, J.B. Ackerly; 1865 - Jefferson T. Allison, Jeremiah B. Ackerly, Michael McCormick; 1866 - Jeremiah B. Ackerly, O.M. Allaben, William W. Miller; 1867 - J.B. Ackerley, O.M. Allaben, W.W. Miller; 1868 - Orson M. Allaben, W.W. Miller, A.R. Henderson; 1869 - William W. Miller, A.R. Henderson, Henry T. Becker; 1870 - W.W. Miller, A.R. Henderson, H.T. Becker; 1871 - Adam R. Henderson, J.B. Ackerly, John McCadden; in 1872 J.B. Ackerly was elected master; 1873, 1874, John McCadden; 1875, 1876, Henry T. Becker; 1877, 1878, John McCadden. The present officers are: John McCadden, W.M.; Ira G. Biehler, S.W.; William A. Munson, J.W.; J.B. Ackerly, treasurer; Dr. S.W. Reed, secretary; N.S. Peet, S.D.; John W. Ackerly, J.D.
The regular communications are held at the Ackerly House, in Margaretville, on the second and last Saturday evenings of each month, from March 1st to September 1st, and on every Saturday evening during the other months of the year.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows organized the Pakatakan Lodge at Margaretville in August, 1855, with forty-one members.
The Council of Pakatakan.
This is the name of a society organized by a few literary gentlemen a few years since, for the purpose of collecting and preserving the historical relics of the town. The following extract from a published report is a sufficient record of this society, and also of one of its most important public meetings: "The centennial anniversary of the first settlement in the town was celebrated under the auspices of the Council of Pakatakan, a society recently formed for the purpose of collecting and preserving such historical reminiscences of the early pioneers of the Delaware valley as would probably be lost if left to the care of the general historian. The society has other objects, but this is one, and not the least important. The address was delivered by O.M. Allaben. The first will made int eh county (April, 1763), by Hendricks, was read, which is certainly a curiosity. Throughout the address the speaker exhibited a knowledge of the primitive history of this vicinity equaled by no person among us. We hope the address will be published, because, in a historical point, it contains facts which can be obtained from on other source.
"A.R. Henderson, Secretary. "Margaretville, October 30th, 1863."
The first effort in Margaretville to secure a local musical organization was made some time since, and resulted in the formation of a brass band of twelve pieces. This band was under the tutorage of S.D. Eells, and the leadership of J.B. Ackerly.
In the spring of 1879 the band was reorganized, under the name of the Margaretville Silver Cornet Band, with fifteen pieces, and J.B. Ackerly leader and teacher. The members are O.A. Swart, G.F. Stimpson, J.A. Whittaker, W.A. Laidlow, William McNulty, Jacob Bieterman, James Baker, H.E. Ackerly, John Hendricks, M.S. Keather, W.A. Hoffman and J.A. Barhyd. They are furnished with an entire new set of excellent silver instruments, and have already acquired such proficiency as to be a credit to his thrifty village. The officers are: J.A. Whittaker, president; O.A. Swart, treasurer; W.A. Laidlow, secretary.
Methodist Episcopal Church
The history of Methodism in Middletown dates back to 1800, when a class was formed, though there were but eight members in that suction, and some of these lived beyond the limits of the town. The preacher's name is forgotten. The members were Samuel Merwin and wife, Lemuel Brooks and wife, Salmon Scott and wife, a Mr. Wood and Russell Seager. The class met in the residences of its members, and was supplied with preaching by the traveling preachers of the Delaware Mission - a mission which included all the eastern and southern towns, at least of Delaware county. In 1812 a camp-meeting was held on the Cockburn farm, and on this occasion the frame of the first Methodist church building in the town was raised. This building was afterward enclosed, and served as a place to hold religious meetings, but as it was never finished, it was only available as a warm weather meeting-house. Within the next three years a second class was formed, near the center of the town, by Rev William Stilwell, with Anaias Akerly as leader. This class consisted of Boaz Searl and wife, Henry Myers, his wife and two daughters, and a Major Fay. Religious services were held at the house of Ananias Akerly.
During the first fifteen years of the entury Methodism advanced but slowly in the valley of the east branch. A small class was formed about 1816, in Clovesville, by the Rev. Mr. Finegan, with Capatina John Beadle as leader. The members were Mr. Beadle, Samuel Hill and wife, Polly Beadle and Miss Hyde. The preachers on this charge from this time to 1830 were Roswell Kelly, ----- Pomeroy, S. Silemon, Friend Smith, J. Bangs and Sanford Boughton, the latter of whom was sent from Middletown in 1828 to organize Methodism in Hancock and Deposit. He was the first Methodist preacher in that section. By an action of the annual conference of 1830 Middletown, Kortright, Deposit, Andes and Roxbury were organized into what was known as Middletown Circuit. The presiding elder on the charge for this year was P. Rice; the circuit preachers were A. Calder and J.P. Foster. At the first quarterly conference, held at Kortright, we find a committee of three appointed on table expenses, namely - Salmon Scott, Israel Chapman and John Beadle. The circuit stewards were James Munsel, Gilbert Dickerson, Alexander Crawford and Nathan W. Williams. AT the third quarterly conference Daniel B. Ostrander was employed as third circuit preacher.
The amount of their salaries, as well as the manner of its distribution, shows a marked changed in the fifty years that have since intervened. Here were four men, sharing a total amount of $311. Of this the presiding elder received $18, Calder $173, Foster $64 and Ostrander $56. There were also the farm product contributions, valued at $156. This was divided among the preachers, according to the size of their families. The young men had no share in this; the presiding elder took $13 and Mr. Calder had home use for the balance of $143, which at the prices in those days must have made him a goodly load.
In 1834 a church was built at Clovesville, and about the same time a parsonage was also erected.
The presiding elders on this circuit from this time to the building of the church at Margaretville were: M. Richardson, William Jewet, N. White, J.B. Stratton, S.D. Furgeson, Valentine Buck and Stephen Martindale.
The circuit preachers were: In 1831, N. Rice and J. Calder; 1832, Bazaleel Howe and Philip Ferris; E.S. Stout was assistant part of the year; 1833, 1834, B. Howe and J. Carver; 1835, D.B. Turner and C.B. Holmes; 1836, J. Carver and W.F. Collins; 1837, D. Bullock; during this year Ananias Akerly and Russell S. Scott were licensed to preach, and the church building at Clovesville was burned and rebuilt; 1840, S.M. Knapp; local preachers were Joseph Green, J.P. Van Volkenburgh, R.S. Scott and J.W. Cavet; 1841, John Davis and John Carver; 1842, John Carver and Parby Stoddard; 1843, D. Bullock; 1844, William F. Could and J. Croft; 1846, Hiram Lamont; 1847, William H. Smith; 1848, William H. Smith and James Smith; 1849, Edward Stout and Robert Ker; 1850, R.S. Scott.
In 1851, the Margaretville chruch was built and dedicated. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Aaron Rogers, and after sufficient money had been pledged to free the church from debt it was formally dedicated by Rev. Mr. Rogers.
The presiding elder this year was S. Van Duesen; R.S. Scott preacher in charge, and R. Decker assistant. Four prosperous Sunday-schools were reported this year.
The presiding elders from 1851 to 1879 have been: J.Z. Nichols, J.B. Beach, P.R. Brown, W.M. Gorse, J.W. Chadwick, A.R. Sanford and J.E. Gorse. The circuit preachers were: In 1852, 1853, Milo Couchman; 1854, B. Burr; 1855, 1856, C. Palmer; 1857, 1858, A. Vail pastor, H. Wood assistant, R.S. Scott supernumerary.
As Methodism increased the different town sustained independent churches until, in 1859, The Middletown circuit had but two charges, one at Margaretville, the other at Clovesville and Halcott. These are under one quarterly conference, but each has a separate pastor.
The preacher who was sent to Margaretville in 1859 and 1860 was P. Stoddard; 1861-63, C. Gorse; 1864, E. Clement; 1865,1866, W.D. Telford; 1867-69, A. Gaylord; 1870, 1871, W.D. Fero; 1872, J.M. Burger; 1873-75, J.R. Vandewater; 1876, A. Schriver; 1877-79, O.P. Dales. Those sent to Clovesville and Halcott were: In 1859 and 1860, J. Davy; 1861-63, W.W. Shaw; 1864, J. Whittaker; 1865, 1866, C.D. Sitzer; 1867, J.W. Gorse; 1868, 1869, A.N. Mulnix; 1870, 1872, W.I. Ives; 1873, 1874, J.W. Ferris; 1875, W.W. Taylor; 1876,1877, ---- Andrews; 1878,1879, L.D. Niles. The present membership is seventy-one. Besides these there is a class at New Kingston. Rev. Isaac Birdsell is the present supply. Services are held in the U.P. church.
In 1871 or 1872 a church was built at Lumberville. Here is now a flourishing littel society, under the pastorate of the Margaretville supply.
Rev. R.S. Scott, now superannuated, occasionally preaches at Dry Brook, where there is a small society. Each of these stations has a flourishing Sunday-school.
Margaretville Baptist Church
A regular Baptist church was organized at Margaretville in June, 1874, with Rev. William N. Allaben as pastor, J. L. Allben, M.D., clerk; Mrs. S.P. Ives, treasurer; Nicholas Y. Shaffer, first deacon; George W. Redmond, second deacon; Edward O'Connor, Dr. J.L. Allaben and N.Y. Shaffer, trustees.
The church was organized chiefly through the instrumentality of Rev. W.N. Allaben, who is still the pastor and under whose efficient pastorate the church as been greatly prospered, having increased during the five years since its organization from the original membership of ten to its present size, sixty-four members.
The church officers have always been the same as at its organization.
The church holds its services in the building which was erected for the Utilitarian school.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES, TOWN OF MIDDLETOWN
HON. ORSON M. ALLABEN was born on the 5th of August, 1808, in the then town of Delhi, on a farm near Delancy Station, on the Midland Railroad, now in Hamden. In March, 1809, his father settled on a new farm in the town of Roxbury, where young Allaben lived until he was sixteen years old, helping to clear up the farm, and in winter attending the district school, which was never nearer than two miles,. When about sixteen years old he met with an accident by which he was disqualified from working on a farm and then turned his attention to common school teaching, for which he was thought to be well qualified, and which he followed until past nineteen. He then entered the office of Dr. J. B. Cowles, of Roxbury, and commenced the study of medicine and surgery. He finished his common school education by attending several terms at the Delaware Academy., where he learned sufficient Latin to qualify him for the study of medicine. He began his medical course in November, 1827; graduated in 1831, receiving his diplomas from Waterville College, Me., and immediately settled in Middletown, in June of that year. He was married to Thankful Dimmick, daughter of Colonel Noah Dimmick, on the 17th of October, 1832. He was elected supervisor of Middletown in 1839, which office he as filled for seven terms. He was a member of the Assembly from Delaware county in 1840 and 1870, and a member of the Senate from that district in 1864 and 1865. In December, 1843, he moved to the present village of Margaretville, which then contained only three houses, but one of them on the present street, which had not then been opened. In 1846 he built his present residence. In 1847 he sold the first goods sold in Margaretville, converting his office into a small store. In the summer of 1848 he got a post-office established there, making a visit to Washington for that purpose at his own expense, and held the office of postmaster for several years. In July, 1863, he started the Utilitarian newspaper, and conducted it for five years at an average loss of about $300. He had then brought it to a paying basis and sold out. In 1866 he finished a building, now used as a Baptist church, but which is designated for a Utilitarian school, to be conducted on the principle of lectures and recitations, and which was chartered in 1865, by "an act to incorporate the Margaretville Utilitarian School." Dr. Allaben has always taken a deep interest in internal improvements, and as commissioner of highways has made many alterations in the public roads, and as a legislator procured the passage of the act assessing delinquent labor upon the real estate of the delinquent. In 1840 he procured a charter for a turnpike from the Ulster county line to Delhi, and as one of the commissioners saw it built. In 1865 he procured the first legislation relating to the present Ulster and Delaware Railroad, and was one of the directors from its commencement until it was finished to its present terminus; and has at different times held the positions of vice-president and general superintendent.
ASA AKERLY, son of Samuel and grandson of Jeremiah Akerly, who came to this county I the latter part of the last century, was born in Middletown in 1833, and married in 1857 to Nancy C., daughter of John Y. Dumond. At this time he was engaged in the grocery business; subsequently he ran a tannery on the lot now owned by Jacob Van Brahmer, but for the last twenty years he as carried on an extensive boot and shoe business in Margaretville, but for the last twenty years he has carried on an extensive boot and shoe business in Margaretville.
J. B. ACKERLY, grandson of Ananias Ackerly, was born in Middletown in 1832, and married in 1860 to Katie, daughter of L. D. Jackson, of Andes. He operated in the southern States as bridge builder for four years previous to 1860. He succeeded his father, David Akerly, who died in 1869, as proprietor of the Ackerly House. He as served as town clerk one year, and was captain of a company in the N. G. S. N. Y.
REV. WILLIAM N. ALLABEN, pastor of the Baptist church at Margaretville, which he organized in 1874, was born June 205th, 1816, in Roxbury. In early manhood he learned and practiced dentistry, but since 1844 has been a clergyman in the Baptist church. He was located at West Colesville as pastor nine years, at Westkill, Greene county, N.Y., for ten years. His first wife was Deidamia Maben, who died in 1861. His present wife, Martha, is a daughter of Samuel Todd, whose father, a pioneer from Connecticut, lived to the advanced age of one hundred and one.
THEOPHILUS G. AUSTIN, son of Alexander Austin, is one of the most thrifty farmers of Middletown. His wife is a daughter of Jefferson T. Allison. His farm of two hundred and thirty-five acres has been owned by his ancestors since 1791, when it was first settled by Pardon Austin, the grandfather of the present occupant. There was a tannery on this farm in 1839.
JACOB BAKER was born in Germany 1829, and at the age of twenty-three he came to America. He was married, in 1855, to Christina Heilensthein. They settled in Middletown in 1858, where he is now running a tannery on the binnacle.
NATHANIEL B. BAKER, son of colonel William Baker, was born in New Hampshire in 1814. He subsequently removed to Massachusetts, and in 1839 removed to Middletown. He located on his present farm in 1848. This farm is one of the first settled places on the right side of the river below Clark'' Factory. Part of it was cleared in 1803 by the Dicksons. Mr. Baker was married, in 1839, to Mary A. Silver, of Vermont. Their son, O. S. baker, was a soldier with Company G. 144th regiment N. Y. volunteers.
J. H. BANKER, M. D., was born to Greene county in 1842. He was educated at Roxbury Academy, and studied with Dr. Hull, of Olive, N.Y. He graduated in 1865 from Geneva Medical college, and located in Middletown in partnership with Dr. S. Street. In 1868 he removed to Margaretville, where he is now practicing.
ROBERT BARRETT, son of Richard Barrett, came from Oxford, England, in 1837, to Middletown. He afterward removed to Sullivan county, and married Elizabeth Brooks. After a subsequent residence of seven years in Ulster county, he returned to Middletown in 1858, where he now resides. Three sons and one daughter, of nine children , are living. His son Albert is a compositor on the Utilitarian, and was for a time its foreman.
SNIFFIN K. BELLOWS, son of Merrick W. Bellows, who came to Middletown from Vermont in 1819, was born in Middletown. He has been engaged in mechanical pursuits, was a teacher in Delaware county public schools eighteen terms, and is now engaged in farming, having a farm in Halcott, also one in Roxbury. He received his education at Delaware Academy.
ED. R. BIEHLER, son of George Biehler, who came to Delaware county from Baden, Germany, in 1848, was born in Middletown in 1855, and married in 1877, to Ella Chapman, of the same town. He formed a copartnership with O. A. Swart, of Margaretville, in 1877. He is now town clerk of Middletown.
His brother, IRA G., was born in 1852, and at the age of eighteen entered the employ of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad company. He is now agent for the American Express Company, and operator for the western Union telegraph company at Arkville.
WALTER BIVINS was born in 1851. His father, Henry J. Bivins, was a soldier in the 8th N.Y. cavalry, and also in the 144th volunteer infantry. His mother was Louisa Mould, to whom his father was married in 1848.
JOHN M. BLISH, son of Simon and grandson of Silas Blish, was born in Middletown in 1841. He was married in 1to Jemima Jones, who died in 1872, leaving one son. His present wife is a daughter of Lewis Garrison, of Halcott. Mr. Blish is a thrifty farmer at Griffin's Corners, and has a pleasant summer resort for city boarders, which was opened in 1878 and is justly popular. His only son died in August, 1879.
WILLIAM H. BLISH, son of Simon and grandson of Silas Blish, who came from Dutchess county to Middletown in 1803, was born in 1846, and married in 1867 to Esther, daughter of Benjamin L. Crosby, of Halcott. Mr. Blish was a farmer until 1870, a grocer for three years, and since 1873 he has been engaged in harness making at Griffin's Corners. He was town collector for two years. In 1877 he entered the employ of W. W. Munsell & Co, publishers of this work.
JOHN S. BROWN was born in Delaware county in 1846. He subsequently removed to Greene county. Since 1871 he has been located at Griffin's Corners, where he carries on a boot and shoe store. He as married in 1868 to Mariette., daughter of John to Griffin, of Halcott.
The legal profession has been represented in Margaretville since 1855 by A. P. Carpenter, who was born in 1829. His law training was begun in the office of Samuel Gordon, of Delhi, where he practiced a year after being admitted to the bar in January, 1853.
ABRAM CARPENTER, the most extensive farmer on Mill brook , is a son of Richard; was born in Middletown in 1821. In 1864 he was married to Margaret Jaquish, whose father, John, built the saw-mill below Mr. Carpenter's residence in 1834. The farm of four hundred and fifty acres was first cleared by Leander Done, about 1840.
RICHARD CARPENTER, son of John Carpenter, was born in Dutchess county in 1791. In 1826 he removed to Middletown, where he resided until death, which occurred February 29th, 1879. Mr. Carpenter was long identified with the Methodist church of Margaretville, of which he was steward over thirty years. His wife, who survives him, was a daughter of Abram Akerly. They were married in 1859.
W. H. CHAPMAN, son of Alonzo Chapman, of Brooklyn, was born in 1863. He is now residing with his mother's sister, Sarah A. Mead, on a farm that was left him by his grandfather, Orrin Hewitt. The farm is the oldest in Brag Hollow, and was settled by Seth Parker about 1801.
WHEELER W. CLARK, formerly an extensive manufacturer of sole leather, now the owner of a pleasant place at the point known as Clark's Factory, is one of Middletown's most prominent citizens. His father, Dr. A. Clark, came from Albany county in 1847, the subject of this sketch being a native of the town of Berne. Since Mr. Clark's retirement from business he has often been solicited to accept public positions, but has always declined to become a candidate for office.
F. G. CLOSE was born in Middletown in 1834, and married in 1860 to Mariette, daughter of W. Akerly. His father, Elijah Close, came to this town from Westchester county in 1818, and was for a time proprietor of the Lumberville Hotel, but is now engaged in farming.
The hotel built by William H. Crispell at Dean's Corners in 1872 has been kept by Solomon Cole since 1872. Mr. Cole was born in 1823.
CALVIN C. CROSBY, the proprietor of the Clovesville tannery, is a native of this town. He served in the engineer corps during the civil war. Mrs. Crosby was formerly Augusta Van Valkenburgh, of Halcott, Greene county, N. Y. Mr. Crosby was deputy sheriff under Gabriel S. Mead.
WALLACE CROSBY, son of Jeremiah Crosby, was born in Middletown in 1845. He began the blacksmith business in Delhi with T. Harby, and in 1872 removed to Griffin's Corners, where he is now located. His wife, Anna, to whom he was married in 1873, is daughter of John Macomb. Mr. Crosby enlisted in 1861 with Company G, 101st regiment, and was discharged in 1863 on account of wounds received at Malvern Hill.
SAMUEL DECKER, M. D., was born in Schoharie county, N.Y., in 1839. Several of his early years were spent in teaching, but his he made only a stepping-stone to a profession. Removing to Delaware county in 1866, he graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the city of New York in 1867, and immediately began a lucrative practice at Griffin's corners.
O. S. DECKER, son of William Decker, a native of Columbus county, was born in February, 1827. He has been a resident of the town and engaged in commercial business in Margaretville since 1856. Mr. Decker has served in several minor offices, and is at present supervisor of his town. His wife is a sister of John R. Newkirk, of Andes.
NOAH DIMMICK, son of colonel Noah Dimmick, was born January 1st, 1819. At the age of twenty-one he was married to Susan P., daughter of Ransom Wolcott. Their family consists of three sons and two daughters. Their son Samuel enlisted in the 101st N. Y. , and was transferred to the 37th, and then to the 40th. He was captured at Cold harbor, and was eleven months a prisoner at Andersonville. The subject of this sketch is a practical surveyor, and has been justice and deputy sheriff several years. He is one of the most systematic farmers in Middletown.
WILLIAM H. DICKSON was born in 1837. He is a son of Jacob T. and a grandson of John Dickson, who came to this country from the Highlands of Scotland in 1784. His wife, Juliana H., is a daughter of Francis O'Connor. They were married in 1867. Mr. Dickson was a soldier in Company I, 3d N.Y. cavalry. He enlisted in 1864 and was discharged in 1865. He is now a justice of the peace in Middletown.
HON. WARREN DIMMICK, oldest son of colonel Dimmick, was born in Roxbury in 1808, and married in 1830 to Mary, daughter of Colonel George H. Sands. Their family consisted of Seven children, five of whom are living. The youngest daughter, Julia, died in the fall of 1878. Mr. Dimmick's death occurred in April, 1879. He had during his life held each of the town offices, and represented this Assembly district in the Assembly of 1857. His daughter, Eugenia, has been engaged in teaching in New Jersey for several years. The Dimmick family sprung from three brothers, Samuel, Perez and Shubal, who came from Wales to Roxbury in 1795.
ERASTUS D. DOOLITTLE, son of George W. Doolittle, is one of the excise commissioners of the town, and has been prominently connected with the public schools. He is now the proprietor of the Star Mills, near Griffin's Corners.
W. D. DOOLITTLE is a son of Joseph C. Doolittle, who came from Litchfield county, Conn., to Delaware county in 1824. He was born in Stamford in 1825. He began business at Griffin's Corners in 1859, and subsequently removed to Margaretville, where he now carries on a hardware store. He has been an officer of the Methodist church for twenty years, and has served four years as justice of the peace of Middletown.
GEORGE W. DOOLITTLE, brother of William d, and grandson of Joseph Doolittle, a revolutionary soldier, was born at Berlin, Conn., February 8th, 1816. He came with his parents to Stamford in 1824; and at the age of twelve years was apprenticed to Charles booth, of Hobart, to learn the wool carding and cloth dressing business. At the age of twenty-one he went to Massachusetts and remained three years. In 1841 he purchased a place in Middletown, N.Y., and was married to Sally J. Dodge. Mr. Doolittle is a successful business man and the head of a respected family.
WILLIAM ELLIOTT, who was born in 1800, and married in 1837, to Eleanor Wright, is a son of Thomas Elliott, who came from Scotland in 1817. Two of his sons, as mentioned below, perished in the civil war of 1861-65. His only child now living is John W., who was born in 1843, and now manages the estate of his aged father.
THOMAS and JAMES ELLIOTT were sons of William and Eleanor Elliott, and grandsons of Thomas Elliott, who with his wife and six children, emigrated from Scotland to America in 1817, and settled on the homestead now occupied by William Elliott, the only survivor of the original family. Thomas, son of William Elliott, was born January 22nd, 1840. At an early age he gave evidence of an active and energetic mind, and such rapid progress had he made in the studies taught in the district school at the age of seventeen, that he then began a classical course in the Delaware Academy, preparatory to entering college. Here, again, his advancement was rapid and marked. His recitations were so perfect, both in the English branches and ancient languages, that he soon won the admiration of his professors, who saw in his expanding intellect marks of rising genius. It being an acknowledged fact that among some three hundred students he had no superior (if any equal), both in Christian demeanor and scholarship, he became the quoted example, and was often pointed to as a model for young men to follow. But alas! Mr. Elliott's brain power was too strong for his body to support. In the midst of his growing popularity as a scholar and essayist, when far advanced in the classics, his health failed, and with regret he was obliged to suspend study. By a tour to Scotland his health was partially restored, but not sufficiently to justify the stern hardships of college studies. While at home he was superintendent of the New Kingston Sunday school, which took new form and spiritual life under his efficient labors. He became a soldier of the Union Army in 1864, and in the battle of Cedar Creek was mortally wounded. All that chill November day he lay bleeding on the damp, cold ground, and was robbed by the rebels of all his personal effects, even to his military boots. At nightfall he was found by friends and carried to the hospital, where, after suffering great pain for three weeks, he died, full of triumph and faith.
JAMES ELLIOTT was born October 23d, 1841. He also possessed an active mind, and made considerable progress as a scholar; but enlisting in the 144th regiment, N.Y. volunteers was shot dead at the battle of Honey Hill by a ball passing through the vicinity of his heart. A professed follower of Christ, he died as he had lived, with his face to the enemy.
JOHN W. ELLIOTT, the third and only living child of William Elliott, is still a resident of new Kingston.
J. P. FULLER, boot and shoe maker at Griffin's Corners, began business in 1874. His wife, who died in 1864, was a daughter of Rev. Cyrus Fields. The subject of this sketch was a soldier in company G. 144th regiment.
HENRY W. GARRISON, MD, a native of Greene county, was born in 1849. He removed to Middletown in 1873, and was agent and operator at Griffin's Station until 1876. He graduated from the New York Homeopathic Medical College in February, 1878, and is now practicing medicine at Griffin's Corners.
PETER E. GEORGE, born at Red Hook, N.Y., was for many years prominently engaged in lumbering and farming on Dry brook., where he died August 5th, 1879, aged sixty-two years. His widow, formerly Delilah Todd, has five living children. Mr. George leaves behind him many friends and no enemies.
CHARLES GORSH was born in Prussia in 1828, and came to New York in 1854. He was married in 1868 to Jane, daughter of John Bailey. He was a soldier in the Federal army with the 19th army corps, 9th N.Y. battalion. After working at the cabinet business three years in Andes, he removed to Margaretville, where he now carries on a business as cabinet maker and undertaker.
G. C. GRANT, son of Ward W. Grant, was born in 1855 in the town of Middletown. His wife is a daughter of S. Fenton Scott. In 1878 Mr. Grant was elected justice of the peace; having previously begun the study of law with S. P. Ives, in whose office he opened a justice's office a year after his election.
DR. GEORGE H. GREEN, son of Solomon Green, was born in Franklin in 1807. He was married in 1846 to Nancy Roberts. He has practiced medicine in Middletown forty years. Dr. Green has served his town as supervisor two terms.
HON. MATTHEW GRIFFIN, attorney and counsellor at Griffin's Corners, was born in Dutchess county in 1810, and came to Delaware county in 1822. He was admitted to the bar in 1852, and represented the second Assembly district of Delaware county in the Legislature in 1872, and practiced with his father for thirteen years, when for eight years he turned his attention to railroading. He was an officer in the Assembly of 1874 and 1877, and is now practicing law at Griffin's Corners.
BURCH HAMMOND, farmer, son of David Hammond, was born in 1813. His wife is Julia, daughter of James Hanley, who came from Ireland in 1809. A quarry on Mr. Hammond's place produces excellent flagstone, from which substantial walks are being made in the village.
A. R, HENDERSON, a native of Roxburyshire, Scotland, was born in 1839. He began the study of law with Gordon & Hughston, of Delhi, in 1861; graduated at Albany Law School in 1862 and began practice in Margaretville in the fall of 1865. Mr. Henderson was a soldier in the federal army with Company G, 144th regiment.
GEORGE L. HEWITT, farmer, son of Russel and Ziporah Hewitt, was born in 1846 in Bragg Hollow, and married in 1869 Ursula, daughter of D. H. Jaquish. He is living with his parents on the homestead. Post-office, Halcottsville.
ELDER ISAAC HEWITT, who is a descendant of the early settler of the same name, was born in 1810. His wife is a daughter of David Weld, another early settler. They were married in 1830. He was ordained by the Baptist church in 1840, and has since retired from farm duties, to devote his mature years to gospel work.
EBER HICKS is the second son of Chauncey Hicks, whose father, Eber M. Hicks, came from New England to Schoharie county, and whose grandfather, David C. Hicks, entered the patriot army during the Revolution, at the age of seventeen years, and served through the war. Mr. Eber Hicks is an enterprising young farmer and hop grower. He has a brother, James and sister, Emma, living at home.
JOHN S. HINCKLEY, one of Middletown's most thriving farmers, is the son of Burtch Hinckley, who served in the war of 1812. He is married; has three daughters, and is a member of the board of assessors of the town.
JAMES H. HITT, son of Albert Hitt, of Union Grove, was born in Andes August 9th, 1856. Three generation of his ancestors have been residents of Colchester. He has been clerk and accountant with O. A. Swart, a merchant at Margaretville, since March, 1877.
D. WILLARD HUBBELL was boron in Bragg Hollow in 1839. He resides at the homestead, and is one of the first farmers in that locality. He was married in 1864 to Huldah M., daughter of D. H. Jaquish. Their family consists of five children. The Hubbell farm was settled by James Carl. Mr. Hubbell is prominently identified with the Halcottsville Grange, being at present master of that organization.
ELDER JOHN D. HUBBELL, son of Milo W. Hubbell, a soldier in the war of 1812, was born in 1836. His wife is a daughter of D. H. Jaquish; they were married in 1857. Of their family of three children, two only are living-Willard and Burr. His father, one of the early settlers of Hubbell Hill, is now living with him, at the age of eighty-two. Mr. Hubbell owns a find farm near Halcottsville. He is connected with the Second Baptist Church of Roxbury.
WILLIS S. HUBBELL, son of Orrin Hubbell, was born in Connecticut in 1841, and came to Delaware county in 1864. He carried on a billiard saloon in Margaretville two years, and located at Lumberville in 1872. He was four years in the federal service during the war of the Rebellion; was acting captain at Camp Cadwalder, Philadelphia.
GEORGE L. HULL, farmer at Hubbell Hill, is a son of Jeremiah Hull, and grandson of Elijah Hull. He was born in 1851. Mrs. Hull was Agnes McEwen. They were married in 1877.
WILLIAM ELIJAH HULL, a leading farmer at Hubbell Hill, is a son of Elijah Hull, an early settler of about 1800. He was born in 1820, and in 1846 was married to Electa, daughter of Ziba Sanford, an early settler on the Platte kill. Their family consists of two sons- Ransom W. and Ziba S.
S. P. IVES was born in Greene county in 1827. He entered the law office of D.K. and J. Olney, of Windham, Greene county, in 1851, where he remained three years. After one term at the Albany Law School he was admitted to the bar in 1854. He practiced at Windham nineteen years; he then removed to Margaretville, where he is now located.
J.K.P. JACKSON, Margaretville (Post-office Middletown, N.Y.) son of James H. Jackson, and grandson of Zarab Jackson, was born in Franklin, January 10th. 1843; followed the life of a cattle broker up to the age of twenty-five years; published the Register at Franklin, N.Y., from February 1st 1870, to January 1st, 1872, as editor and part proprietor; was admitted to the bar in June, 1870, having read with R. T. Johnson, Esq; was editor and proprietor of the Oneonta Liberal from September 14th, 1872, to April 16th, 1875; also part owner and editor of the Walton Chronicle in 1870, and owner and editor of Jackson's Democrat at Sidney Plains, 1871 and 1872; of the Deposit News in 1872, and the Oneonta Sun in 1876. He is editor and proprietor of the Margaretville Utilitarian, where he also follows the practice of law. He was married January 10th, 1871, to J. Alice, daughter of A. H. Grant, of Franklin; has two children-Alexander G, born March 2nd, 1873, at Oneonta, N. Y., and Mary Lulu, born November 27th, 1878, at Oneonta, N.Y.
GEORGE P. KAUFMAN, one of Middletown's thrifty farmers, was born in Baden, Germany, and came to America about the time of the German revolution. He served as a soldier in the 144th N. Y. S. volunteers. He has occupied his farm for twenty-three years, and erected the present buildings. His wife, who died in 1879, was Laurina Sprague, a cousin of the Colgates, of New York city. They were married in 1854. The eldest son, Charles C. was born in 1855. His early years were spent on the farm, and since 1876 he has been a clerk with Thomas Winter.
JOHN B. KELLY, a son of Thomas Kelley of Halcott, was born in 1834; was married to Mary, daughter of Benjamin L. Crosby, of that town, and removed to Pennsylvania, where he died in 1863, after a residence in that place of four years. After his decease Mrs. Kelley returned to this State, settling at Griffin's Corners, where she has since been engaged in the millinery business. She has two interesting children.
DAVID G. KELLY, proprietor of the Kelly mill at Halcottville, is one of the eight children of John O. Kelly, and a grandson of Hiram Kelly, and great-grandson of David Kelly, from Putnam county, who settled the Kelly homestead in 1807. Mr. Kelly was born at Halcottville in 1850, and now occupies the homestead with his widowed mother and younger members of the family.
HIRAM L. KELLY, brother of David G., was born in Middletown September 23d, 1847. He was married in 1871 to Mary A., daughter of John N. Simmons, of Roxbury. Mr. Kelly is a dairy farmer on one hundred and ninety-six acres, and was one of the first in this town to ship milk to New York.
HIRAM B. KELLY, who owns the popular summer resort known as Locust Grove, is a native of Middletown. His beautiful home was formerly the Lozette mansion, and descended from the family to "Lord" Willoughby, of Brooklyn, by whom it was owned for some time. Mrs. Kelly is a cousin of the celebrated financier Jay Gould. Their pleasant home often has as many as eighty guests at one time.
JAMES W. KITTLE, son of William and great-grandson of Frederick Kittle, was born in 1845. He was occupied as a farmer until 1869, when he entered commercial business in Margaretville. He is now with Thomas Winter.
EBENEZER LAIDLOW is a son of William Laidlow, who came to Andes from Scotland in 1823. He was born in 1827, and came to Margaretville in 1850, and established a blacksmith shop a short distance from his present one. During the six years preceding 1874 he operated the foundry which he erected at the upper end of Main street. Mr. Laidlow has been overseer of the poor since February, 1878.
ALLEN LASHER, son of Conrad Lasher, who came to this country in 1830 was born in Dutchess county in 1825. His wife, Eliza A., is a daughter of Benjamin L. Crosby, of Greene county. He was married in 1853. He was engaged in farming until 1860, when he began speculating in real estate; also in butter. Since 1877 he has run a steam mill at griffin's Corners. He has served as assessor of his town three terms.
FREDERICK LASHER was born in Dutchess county in 1817. In 1833 his farm was settled by his father, Conrad Lasher, a native of Columbia county. At the age of twenty-one he was married to Anna Maria, daughter of John I. Rikert. Mr. Lasher served two years in the State militia as captain of a company in the 174th regiment. Of his family of twelve children nine are living.
REV. A. W. McGIBBON, the pastor of the U.P. church of New Kingston, is a son of Andrew McGibbon, of Bovina, and grandson of John McGibbon, of Andes, and John Elliot, of Bovina. He was born in Andes, and graduated with the class of '64 at Monmouth College. The following year he was married; is now surrounded with a promising family-Ella, James and Viola. Mrs. McGibbon was James Marshall's daughter, Lizzie, of Jacksonville, Ill.
ALEXANDER McLEAN was born in 1820 in the parish of Tain, Scotland. He came to this country with his father, Alexander McLean in 1834. His wife, Frances, is a granddaughter of Alexander McPherson, a pioneer of Kortright. He owns a dairy farm of two hundred and fourteen acres on the east branch, near the mouth of the Platte kill, where Elias Deyoe settled.
JOHN McMULLEN, who died in 1877, was the son of John McMullen who settled in Middletown in 1818. Mr. McMullen leaves two sons, Alexander, who married a daughter of Orson A. Fuller, and Andrew, who married a Miss Ballard. Their sister, Ellen, is the wife of William Kelly, of Redkill. Their mother, whose maiden name was Sally Vandervolt, is living on the old homestead, now owned by Alexander.
The iron foundry of CHASE & McNulty supplies the farmers of Middletown with a variety of agricultural implements. William McNulty, the junior member of the firm, has perfected a maple sugar arch that is meeting with increasing favor.
VAN R. MEAD, carriage builder, was born in Otsego county in 1828, and was married to Mary J. Brown, daughter of Ezra Brown, of Schoharie county, in 1852. Mr. Mead was carpenter and builder, making a specialty of bridge architecture, for eighteen years. He planned nearly every large bridge in the town. He began wagon making in 1865, at which he is still engaged.
S. G. MORE, son of Thorn More and grandson of Colonel More, was born in Middletown in 1826. He was married in 1852 to Jane, daughter of Devough Ganung, of Roxbury. He was for two years proprietor of the hotel at Lumberville. In 1864 he enlisted in Company G, 144th regiment, and was discharged at the close of the war.
The MORSE Brothers, James Addison, John and Jason A., are sons of Joseph Morse, grandsons of John and Great-grandsons of Joseph Morse, an early settler at Batavia kill, in Roxbury. Jason A. was born in 1837, and married in 1867 to Electa Sanford; James A., who is a year younger, was married the same year to Mary A., daughter of Thomas Owen; John was born in 1833 and married in 1856 to Mary Seagrim. Their family consists of three daughters and two sons. Eugene G., the oldest son, who was born in 1857, is a farmer and teacher.
WILLIAM A. MUNSON was born at North Franklin May 24th, 1849. He received his education at the common school and the Delaware Literary Institute; began teaching at the age of nineteen in Davenport, and has since taught in East Oneonta, Meredith Hollow, Ouleout and various other schools of Delaware county. Since the spring of 1877 he has been principal of the public school at Margaretville, and law clerk in the law office of S. P. Ives. His father is John H. Munson, of Franklin, a son of Heman Munson, who came to Meredith from Connecticut in 1800.
JAMES W. MEYERS as a member of the 144th regiment N.Y. volunteers; was wounded at Honey Hill, at which engagement his brother, Daniel H. Meyers, was killed. Mr. Meyer's grandmother was Catharine Shafer, who married Henry Meyers, a German emigrant, who served in the Revolution, and at its close settled in Middletown, bringing his bride of fourteen years to the farm, where she lived eighty-four years and became the mother of twenty-three children.
JAMES H. O'CONNOR, oldest son of William O'Connor, was born in Middletown in 1832. He went to Illinois in 1857 and was soon after admitted to the bar of Ogle county. He practiced in that State until 1861, when he entered the army as a federal soldier, a private, and was discharged at the close of the war as a lieutenant-colonel. He was a prisoner three months. He now resides at Helena, Arkansas.
SAMUEL W. OSBORNE, son of Hiram Osborne, who settled at Margaretville in 1824, was born in Roxbury in 1841. He began business in 1868 in the firm of O'Connor & Osborne. His wife, Julia, is a daughter of John Y. and granddaughter of "King" Dumond, an early settler at New Kingston.
EDWARD J. PHELPS was born in Deposit in 1851, and married in 1872 to Katy Truman, of Syracuse. He learned the barber's trade in Delhi, and after one season in Hobart came to Margaretville in 1877 and established his present shop at the Ackerly House.
HENRY REDMOND, a native of Middletown, and for the past fourteen years the occupant of the Stone farm, married a Miss Butler, of Meredith. They have two children. Mr. Redmond's ancestors settled in this town during the first years of the present century.
SAMUEL REDMOND is the grandson of Matthias Redmond, who came from Ireland and settled in Middletown seventy years ago. Mr. Redmond was born in Hunter, Greene county, N.Y., but has lived in Middletown since early childhood. His wife was formerly Miss Inman, of this town. They have seven children.
SMITH W. REED, M. D., is a native of Roxbury. He came to Margaretville in 1850, at the age of twenty years, and began the study of medicine with his brother, A. D. Reed. Three years later he graduated from the medical college at Castleton, Vt., and formed a partnership with his tutor at Margaretville. In 1854 his brother removed to Cortland county, leaving the subject of this sketch in the enjoyment of a practice which has increased with the growth of the place. Dr. Reed has served the town as superintendent of common schools and several years as supervisor.
WILLIAM R. SANFORD, SON OF Ziba Sanford, an early settler, was born on the Old Sanford homestead near Clark's Factory, in Middletown, on the 14th of February, 1824. And was the oldest of a family of five children. His education was limited to the common school and the most approved principles of farming which prevailed at the time. Always circumspect, thoughtful and retiring, he early embraced the doctrines of the Old School Baptist church, of which he has been a consistent member since his eighteenth year. In 1845 he married Miss Sarah A. Allaben, sister of Dr. O. M. Allaben, of Middletown, and he has reared a family of eight children, seven of whom are still living, and are an ornament to the society in which they move. He has always been a successful farmer and dairyman, and through industry and economy has accumulated a handsome property, while sustaining a character for integrity and fair dealing which he has ever honored. He has always resided in the same neighborhood, and is the owner of a large farm, which, from a state of extreme insignificance, he has rendered very valuable and productive, by good farming and the addition of good and durable fences, buildings and orchards. He was the first to introduce the modern overshot barn now so common, with its numberless conveniences. Without any pattern to guide him, with the aid of a common mechanic, and with no knowledge that any such barn existed, he erected a large, commodious three-story building, capable of holding the productions of a large farm, which was entered near the top, to save the labor of elevating hay and grain; and in the basement, which was built of imperishable material where exposed to the wet, was placed machinery moved by water power, which runs his grindstone, dairy churn, feed mill, corn sheller, straw and hay cutter, cider mill, thresher and winnower, pitcher and circular and drag saws for sawing wood.
RANSOM W. SANFORD, brother of William was born in 1836. His wife was a daughter of E. C. Nicoll. They have six children. The farm was settled by Abram Dellamater, and came into the possession of Ziba Sanford in 1818.
CORNELIUS D. SANFORD was born at New Kingston in 1830, and was married in 1852 to Sarah M. daughter of Jeremiah Faulkner. They have eleven children, seven sons and four daughters living. He is largely engaged in the dairy business.
MARANSA J. SANFORD was born in New Kingston. He served through the civil war as a member of the 14th N. Y. State volunteers. He married Eleanor C. Tait, of Middletown, and has six living children, and lost one little son, seven years of age, who was drowned while bathing in Mill brook some twelve years since.
The livery business at Margaretville is represented by A. J. Scudder, who is a descendant of Jotham w. Scudder, a pioneer of Roxbury (1795). Mr. Scudder was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion. He enlisted in 1861, and was discharged at the close of the war. He was married in 1869 to Fanny, daughter of George W. Stimson.
WEBER SCUDDER, a successful dairy farmer, son of William and grandson of Jotham Scudder, an early settler in Roxbury, was born 1832. In 1856 he was married to Hannah, daughter of John W. Boughton. He enlisted with Company G, 144th regiment, and was afterward transferred to the 1st N.Y. engineer regiment. His family consists of two sons and three daughters. Mr. Scudder has been trustee and steward in the Methodist Episcopal church since 1868. His farm of three hundred and fifty acres was settled by Jonathan Ryder.
LEMUEL SINES was born in Stamford in 1814. He removed to Greene county in 1834, from there to Schoharie county, and in 1841 to Lumberville, where he now resides. He has served as supervisor of Middletown five years; also as justice of the peace. He does business as dealer in general merchandise.
DAVID SLITER was born in Middletown in 1842, and married in 1868 to Jane, daughter of David Hull. His father, David C., was a son of Nicholas Sliter, who came to this town from Cuyomans in the early part of this century. Mr. Sliter owns a fine farm of three hundred acres, which was settled by Captain Utter, who is remembered as the pioneer whose son was stolen by the Indians.
GEORGE R. SLITER, a shoemaker at Halcottville, is a son of Nicholas Sliter. He was born in 1847, and in 1876 was married to Hannah Henderson. He learned his trade at Lumberville, and located here in 1877.
DANIEL SMITH was born in Middletown in 1843, and married in 1868 to Dorcisna, daughter of Daniel Woolheater. He was engaged in farming until 1875, when he established a jewelry business at Griffin's Corners, where he is now located. He is a grandson of Chloe Smith, who is now living, at the advanced age of ninety-eight years. His grandfather, Christopher, was a soldier of the Revolution. He came to Middletown from Rhode Island in 1793.
JUNIUS G. SMITH was born in 1841. He enlisted in Company E. 3d N.Y. cavalry; was discharged in 1865, after being in sixty-three engagements. His last engagement was with Luther D. Jackson's daughter, Ada, to whom he was married in 1869. He is the inventor of an improved creamer, which was patented in 1879.
REV. RUSSELL S. SCOTT, son of Salmon Scott, was born in Ulster county in 1810, and married in 1833 to Julia A., daughter of John P. Clum. He united with M. E. church at the age of eighteen, and received license to preach in 1840. He was ordained as deacon in 1842, and as elder in 1844. He retired from public ministry in 1856.
ADAM H. STALL, who was born in 1841, is a son of John A. Stall. He was married in 1865 to Eleanor Sherwood. They have a family of four promising children-Elmer E., Minnie, James and John. The farm was settled by Clark Sanford.
JAMES T. STREETER was born in Lexington in 1810, and removed to Roxbury in 1839. Three years later he settled in Middletown, where he now resides. He was fourteen years a member of the Lexington Independent Battery. His wife, Sarah, was a daughter of Luther Bellows. His son, James was born on the old homestead, where he now resides. His wife was Miss Symons, of Halcott. Their family consists of three children.
SHERMAN STREETS, M. D. of Arkville, is a native of Dutchess county, N.Y., and has been a resident and practicing physician of this town since 1855. His early medical studies were pursued for four years with Dr. Joseph Hall, of Union Vale, Dutchess county. The Berkshire Medical College, of Massachusetts, honored him in 1845 with the degree of M. D. Dr. Streets practiced several years in Roxbury before coming to this town. His wife, Julia Ann, is a grand-daughter of Ephraim Baker, who father, Godfrey, tradition says, was shot (1789) by the Indians, on the farm where the doctor lives.
W. R. SWART was born in Middletown in 1821, and married in 1841 to Elizabeth, daughter of Ignos Dumond. He was a drover seven years, a merchant at New Kingston fourteen years, and at Margaretville six years. Since 1873 he has been engaged in farming; he has one of the best farms in town, of one hundred acres. His father, Samuel Swart, son of Teunis Swart, was a solder in the war of 1812.
EUGENE D. TAYLOR is a son of Smith Taylor, who came from the town of Stamford some twelve years since and kept a hotel at Clark's Factory until 1874 in the building now operated by himself and son as a custom cooperage.
CHARLES E. TEED, who is now operating the Munson place, came to this town from Otsego county, and married Rachel A., daughter of Jeremiah Munson, October 10th, 1877. They have one child, Lena Edith, born in December, 1878.
WILLIAM A. TEN BROECK, a native of Columbia county, came to Delaware county in May, 1846. He was a student with Henry Hogeboom, of Hudson, and Judge Watson, of Catskill; was admitted to the bar in 1847, and practiced one year at Lexington, when he removed to Griffin's Corners, where he now resides. He has been justice of the peace sixteen years, and pension notary since 1871.
BURR TODD, merchant at Griffin's Corners, was born in 1828. His early years were spent on the farm with his father, Isaac, and at carpenter work, until 1808, when he succeeded W. D. Doolittle in the hardware business. Mr. Todd has been connected with the M. E. church as a member and officially for many years. His grandfather, Samuel Todd, from Connecticut in 1786 , was an early settler in Redkill, where he died at the advanced age of one hundred and one years.
JOHN D. TODD is the grandson of Samuel Todd, who served in the Revolution. His father, Lyman Todd, came from Connecticut to Middletown when a child. The subject of this sketch was born here. His first wife, who was the mother of five children, was a Miss Leo. The present Mrs. Todd is a daughter of Jacob Lynch; she has one child. Mr. Todd is s thrifty farmer.
EDWARD S. TOMPKINS was born in Middletown January 9th, 1856. He served an apprenticeship as printer in the Utilitarian office in Margaretville from 1870 to 1875, and in 1875 he became foreman on that paper. On the 4th of August 1879, after the death of the editor, he took the management of the office for Mrs. Becker.
NOVATUS TOMPKINS was born in Middletown:; served in the 57th N.Y. State volunteers. His wife was Martha E. Knapp, of Colchester. They have three children.
ISAAC TOWNSEND, son of Alfred Townsend, was born in Townsend Hollow in 1836. His wife, Hannah, to which he was married in 1858 is granddaughter of John Woolheater, from Germany, who settled in Redkill in 1781. Mr. Townsend is one of the thrifty descendants of Robert Townsend, from Connecticut, who made the first settlement here in 1814.
L. W. TWAY, A native of Brooklyn, was born in 1842. His early years were spent on a farm in Tioga county, N.Y., and in 1863 he entered the federal army with Company K, 147th regiment; was wounded in the battle of the Wilderness May 6th, 1864. After the war he was in the employ of the American Bank Note company until 1874, when he removed to Kelley's Corners, where he is now carrying on a general store. Mr. Tway has been postmaster at Kelley's corners two years, and now represents the Weed Sewing Machine Company.
NELSON VAN BENSCHOTEN is a descendant of the family of that name who settled on the relief lands in this town after the burning of Kingston. His brother, Jacob, was one of the citizens who volunteered to protect the people at the time of the anti-rent excitement. Nelson owns a fine farm, and is largely interested in raising capons for the New York market.
ORVILLE VERMILYA is a son of Samuel Vermilya, of Putnam county, who removed to Middletown, where the subject of this sketch was born. His wife is a daughter of Robert Stone. During twelve years of his life Mr. Vermilya was a merchant at Griffin's Corners, and he is now a farmer and keeps a summer boarding-house, which was opened in 1874. His son, Charles H, was born in 1851, was five years a grocer at Griffin's Corners, and has for the past three years been in the employ of the U. & D. R. R. as agent at that station. He married Loretta, daughter of George W. Doolittle, Esq., of Clovesville. He was twice elected collector of Middletown, and was census marshal in 1875.
NOAH D. VERMILYA, who was born in 1823, is a son of Solomon, who was a brother of Samuel Vermilya. At the age of twenty-three he was married to Frances J., daughter of Francis O'Connor. Their family consists of six sons and a daughter. Mr. V. has served his town in responsible official positions.
HON. DANIEL WATERBURY, son of Rev. Daniel Waterbury and Marry Lewis Grant, now occupies the original Grant homestead. His grandfather was Daniel Waterbury, from Connecticut, a pioneer of Andes. He was elected justice of the peace in 1859, and represented the second Assembly district in the Legislature of 1861 and 1862, being the first Republican ever elected from that district. He was the Republican nominee for senator in 1863. He graduated at the State Normal School in 1848, at Union College in 1854 and Poughkeepsie Law School in 1857, and began practice in New York city, but his uncle's death brought him home to take charge of the estate.
GARNER C. and WARREN WHIPPLE are sons of Henry Whipple, whose father was a native of Bennington, Vt., in which place Henry was born. Warren is a resident of the Redkill district. Garner, who is living on the home far, is married and has one child.
WILLIAM H. WHISPELL, successor to A. J. Maben, dealer in general merchandise, was born in Ulster county in 1841, and came to Griffin's Corners in 1868. He was married to Elizabeth Green, of Ulster county, in 1860. Mr. Whispell was supervisor in 1877. He owns a dairy farm of one thousand acres in Ulster county.
GILBERT WINTER, son of Thomas, is also a grandson of John Winter. He was born in 1828. His wife, Margaret, to whom he was married twenty years since, is a daughter of William Donaldson. Their children are Thomas, Ella, William and Nettie.
JOHN W. WINTER is one of the twelve children of Robert Winter and Sally Dumond. His grandfather, John Winter, came from Northumberland, England, in 1819, to the farm where Gilbert Winter now lives. Mr. Winter was married in 1861 to Elizabeth Scott. Their children are Robert and Nancy.
THOMAS WINTER, a son of Robert Winter, who came to this county in 1819, was born in Middletown. He was clerk and partner with Isaac Birdsall, of New Kingston, for nine years, but in the fall of 1871 he entered into partnership with O. A. Swart, of Margaretville. In 1873 James W. Kittle became partner in the firm. In 1876 Mr. Swart retired, and two years later Mr. Kittle also retired, leaving Mr. Winter alone. A self-made man, he is steadily winning his way to an enviable position among business men. Mrs. Winter is the oldest daughter of W. R. Swart, Esq.