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Full text of "History of Deckertown; which includes a history of the Crigar, Titsworth, and Decker families to some extent"

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3 1833 02248 3272 


974. 9C 





Which includes a history of the Crigar, 
Titsworth, and Decker families to some extent, 

Charles E. Stickney. 

Deckertown,N. J. 1B95 


With which Is Incorporated The HiSfBt-RO Record- 
[i formerly published at Hamburg, 




Kntered at tlie Deckertown, N. J.. Post Office as 
Second-class Mail Matter. 





FRIDAY, MAY 7, 1805. 

The Wastage Recorder Ls for sale at Nichols 
Dro."a l«*>k store in Newton, at 3 cents per copy. 
Also at J. C Henderahot'a book Btore, in Deck- 


Which Includes a history of the 

Crijrar, Titsworth, and Decker 

Families to Some Extent. 


nniNoiNG TnE material for our 


In beginning to write a history of our 
t"«rn, or borough to bo more precise, It 
may bo well for us to state that the 
ui-ntloo made, in It of the Crigar, Tits- 
worth and Decker famlliea seems to ub 
very necessary. To write of Deckor- 

town without doing so would b« analog.! 
oua to writing a history of Rome without! 
any Bomini in It. To write- of thsrj 
families above named with smno d.-^reo! 
of knowledge has cost a eonnldcxaLUfl 
amount of research, which we m-ver «*».' 
pect to got pay for, unless some JubI! 
writer, to follow U3, may kindly nientlooj 
j our researches while prolltlnn by mrj 
! labors. "Rome was not built in a day."*] 
i neither was Deckertown. The pr<i>\r-t 
ation for the building of the latter whim 
' commenced when the Dutch West India 
Company sent colonists to peoplo th«| 
New Netherlands, away back In the] 
seventeenth century. At that time thoi 
Waranawonkong Indians, who dwelt! 
;i long the borders of the Walklll, hero! 
had some boundaries, which separated) 
their tribe from the Shawneese tribe* 
which occupied the valley of the Tapa-j 
kating. and the country extending acroa«J 
the Delaware river to where Bethlehem, i 
I l'a.,now stands. The division line was; 
drawn somowhoro In the vicinity of 
Deckertown. The Shawneeseare under- 
stood to have been allies of the Dela ware 
tribe, more properly a subdivision of] 
that tribe, the headquarters of which 
were in Minislnk valley, which was in-, 
habited by the Mlnsl tribe, another sub- 1 
division of the great Delaware eUn. j 
The Jllnisink valley was the part of tew 
ritury on both sides the Delaware riverj 
in the valley oxtendlng from the Watotj 
Gap to whero Tort Jervls now stands. > 
The word Minsi, has no relation to that; 
of Minislnk. the lattor having rerer.neo* 
to the formation of the land, while Ihiij 
former was simply the Indian name for! 
a wolf. The Indians in pronouncing the! 
word gave it a somewhat broad pro-j 
nunciation, wherefrom, in old documents j 
they were frequently called Munseyj 
.Indians, or Muueies. Their totem, o* 
tribal emblem, was the picture of a wolf ; 
which all other Indians know by sight. | 
for many hundred miles about, as their; 
signature. The totem, or emblem ofj 
the Suawnoe6e was the picture of aj 
bear. Whenever parties or warriors j 
passed through the forest, If they wished j 




\- J ' 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

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"to convoy tidings to others, they scrap**! 
o!T a smooth place upon the hoik of a 
tree, ami with a piece of coal skoti h d a 
Qgure of a bear, or a wolf, according to 
which tribe thoy belonged. Its differ- 
ent attitudes and accompanying marks 
convoyed the news of which direction 
they worn going and whether for hunt- 
ing, peace, or war. The- Shawneeso and 
Minel tribes spoke ouo language, called 
the Mingo tongue, and John Pompshiro, 
and Calvin, early interpreters between 
them and the whites, have left evidences 
of their speeches at the different treaty 
councils held at Burlington, Easton, and 
elsewhoro between New Jersey officials 
and the Indians. 

,« The close alliance that exists between 
the two tribes has never been more 
clearly established than by tho re- 
searches of Dr. E. 8. Dalrymple, of 
Eranchvllle. Only a little over a year 
ago he exhumed the skeleton of a little 
Indian maldon, (or it may be a male) 
fr< im the vast fields of Indian doad which 
are buried ou tho Minislnk flats. Among 
the trinkets, which loving friends had 
■buried wit K her probably 200 years ago, 
he found a wooden comb. It had vory 
likely been fashioned after a pattern of 
women's back hair combs seen among 
the early settlers. Upon its top was the 
carved figure of a bear rising on its fore 
feet In a watchful attitude This em- 
blem to our mind conveys a whole vol- 
ume of history. It shows us tho friend- 
ly relations that existed botween tho 
Shawneeso and Minnies, and confirms 
traditions that the bodies of deceased 
personages of Importance wero conveyed 
ofton to a considerable distance for 
burial. Tho animated body to which 
this skeleton, bolongod evidently was tho 
child of a very Important personage 
am mg the Shawncoso. It may not have 
hail a habitation near Deckertown, but 
from it we argue that many deceased 
Indians from this locality wero probably 
taken for burial to their great shrlno 
over tho mountalus, whoro wero tho 
main castles, oemetcrles, and the coun- 
cil chamber of tho Delaware's. This 

council chamber, is" known to the whitest 
ns Pow-wow-hlll, and Is on tho lovel j 
plateau near Milford, Pa. The council j 
chamber of tho other clan, or river 
Indians, was located Just above New- 
Uurgh on a level plateau forming part of j 
the shore of the Hudson River. It was 
called by the Dutch settlers the Dans- 
Kammer, and the legislature of New 
York State early passed a very stringent 
act forbidding tho Indians to resort 
there. Without any records as to the 
location of tribal linos, wo confess that 
natural formations of land havo guided 
our judgment in assuming that tho site 
of Deckertown was under Shawneeso 
domination. Another reason we have 
for so assuming is because an Indian 
trail or path led, from where an Indian 
village stood on the present site of 
Hamburg, through Deckertown, where 
some mounds could once be seen, on tho 
hill back of where Prof. Seely now lives, 
indicating the existence of an Indian 
village, thence up the Clove creek to 
Pakadasink (now Greenville) and 
through the gap In the mountains there 
to the Indian villagesat Mackhackameck 
i'i upper Minisink. 

Arent Schuyler passed over it in 1694. 
He was sent by the New York authorit- 
ies to find out whether the French, who 
occupied Canada, had not been tamper- 
In i with the llinsi Indians. He has 
left a diary of his journey and does Dot 
mention seeing a white person on the 
trip. This territory then was an un- 
broken wilderness. Can you imagine 
the solemnity of the strange silence that 
reigned above this very hill, and the 
swamps about it, when Schuyler fol- 
lowed the footpath indicated by blazed 
(marked) trees through the endless for- 
ests of their giant brethren that lockod 
their hoary limbs over it'.' 

Cut as we said before, preparations 
had been laid for the settlement of a , 
village here, although the movers were 
ignorant themselves of it. One princi- 
pal part of those preparations was the 
arrival of the progenitor of tho Decker 
family in America. This may be viewed^ 


la the Tight of preparatory material 
j.btfuil oo tli<> ground. Wo have not 
found thod i to or bis arrival, but when 
K log Charles II roadoa presont ot tho 
principal part of North America to his 
brother, the Duke of York, in 10G1, and 
had to send him a Hoot of ships to put 
him in possession because the Dutch 
hail a rory cosy settlement on Man- 
l,.itt.-ii Island, tho progenitor aforesaid 
was hero. The English squadron ar- 
rived in the ETarbor of New York during 
tho autunin of 1CG4. No war had been 
declared against Holland by tho English 
und Governor Stuyvesant was ruling 
the New Netherlands at his undisturbed 
pleasure In New Amsterdam, when he 
was rudely awakened by the sight of 
those English men-of-war riding abrea9t 
tho B ittery. He at once wrote a letter 
to tho commandant of tham, anil, desig- 
nated four messengers to take it to him 
U> Had out what ho wanted. Richard 
Nieholls, the acting commandant of the 
English forces, returned answer that he 
wanted all the Dutch possessions sur- 
rendered to his Majesty without delay, 
hiu.wosant undertook to "bluff" a little 
..sit might bo termed, and boldly de- 
claim] that "thoy feared nothing but 
what God should lay on them." At this 
the English squadron made preparations 
to attack tho city. When their guns 
were got in position tor attack, tho 
sight of their movements induced tho 
valiant Stuyversant to write another 
letter, dated Sept., 4th mew Style) 1664; 
and ho called to his aid four of the best 
men i>I New Amsterdam to convey the 
letter to Nieholls. In it he said (Smith's 
History Of New Jersey) "howover that 
In regard that wo make no doubt, that 
upon your assault and our defense, 
them will be a great deal of blood spilt ; 
.' : hi sidoa, it is to be feared greater 
difficulty may arise hereafter; we 
though) lit to send unto you, Mr. JOHN 
ii: Dw, Counselor of State; Corneli- 
us YanKivcn, Secretary and Receiver; 
( ••melius SLei'invick, Mayor; and James 
i'«>us»oa, .Sheriff; to the cud of finding 

some means to hinder and piwont tVf 
spilling of innocent blood." Gu\ern<-r 
Stuyvesant evidently did not rely o 
his waving the bloody rag lb 
English, otlieoi for much coosiddnitliMI, 
forhe had no means of defense. Hi* nialn 
reliance we may justly assume •■..•>,, 
tho Counselor ot State, John d^ linker. 
That gentleman could not alter lh» 
English Commander's determination 
He returned, and tho eu. I of ilia confer- 
ence was that Gen. Nieholls named sit 
persons, and Governor Stuyvesant 
named six persons, who met and agreed 
upon tho surrender of the Dutch juis-' 
sessions in America to the English Aug. j 
27th (old stylo) 1071. Quo of the eoui-j 
missioners appointed by the Governor J 
and who assisted in arranging the terms, 
of tho treaty, was John lie Decker. 

He w.ia no doubt tho same Hen do 
Decker, mentioned by Captain Martin 
Kraeger iu his Journal of the second , 
Esopus war. Tho Indians attacked \ 
Wiltwyek mow Kingston, N. Y.,i in 
1663, carried of a number of prisoners 
besides killing several of tho inhabitants 
and burning their houses. Capt. Thomas 
Chambers was nominally in command or 
the militia at that place but upon news I 
ot tho attack being received in Sovr : 
Amsterdam, Governor Stuyvesant sent j 
Capt. Martin Kraeger to their 
anee. The Captain has loft a very clear ] 
account of what took place (see do u- : 
mentary History of New York) and. 
among other things, the joy which th 
habitants manifested when lierr De j 
Decker arrived at Esopus with a supply 
of stores and reinforcements. Now here j 
occurs a halt. After the surrender ot] 
the Dutch provinces to the English in j 
the following year, as we have stated,) 
we havo boon unable to traco tho move- 
ments of John De Decker. But it has 
been ascertained that the family ol thai 
namo in Sussex County all came from a 
progenitor who settled at Esopus, It l» '< 
very probable that this John may have] 
gone thero after the English took pose* : 
slon, and made a permanent settlcmeut.j 

nd. j 
in- J 

He was of an Illustrious family In Am- 
sterdam, Holland. A relative, pre-tuui- 
ably a brother's 8<>n from their compara- 
tive ages, became oulte famous In Eng- 
lan<l as a writer. He born toward 
the latter part of the seventeenth cen- 
tury in Amsterdam, and was given a 
good education. In 1703 he went to 
London, and became naturalized as a 
Ilritlsh subject in 170:'!. Ho embarked 
In commerce, and made a fortune for 
those times in about ten years. He was 
made a Baronet in 1710. In 1710 ho was 
elected a member of Parliament for 
Bishop's Castle, in which capacity he 
served four years. In 1713 he published 
a pamphlet which went through seven 
editions and was a great success. In It 
he advocated the idea of raising all 
revenues for the government by a single 
tax — a tax upon houses. According to 
his tables there were then, in England 
1,200,00(1 houses— allowing one- half to 
be exempted for dwellings for working- 
men, he showed that the tax would 
raise £.0,000,000 annually, which far ex- 
ceeded the actual need. He died March 
18th 1710, and as he had no sons, his 
daughters succeeded to his estate. 

[Errata, Th« year 1fi"4 in last chapter should 






The illustrious originator of the single 
t..\, or house tax) mentioned in chapter 
one, was Mathew Decker. His grand- 
father and John De Deeker'B father are 
believed to have been Abraham Do 
] 'eeker, Jr., who is mentioned (Holland 
D,..-. Col. flirt. N. Y. vol. 1, p. 4S0i as 
i iug Yccountant (leneral of the West 
India Company, in 1CD2 at Amsterdam. 
1 he house tax. was given a trial by the 
Unite 1 States in President Adams' time, 
but it w.ts Bach a departure from old 
regulations that the people rebelled 
against it. George Labar, who lived 
;.^,u the Water Gap in Pensylvauia, in 

17iM, when the tax was attempted to Be" 
collected, said: "The excitement in Jit. 
Bethel exceeded that of the whiskey re- 
bellion The people took it as they had 
taken the British duty on tea as an irn- 
po3ition and wrong. The assessors were 
threatened with personal violence. Men 
armed themselves to resist the hated law. 
lu upper Mmisiuk the officers did not 
attempt to collect the tax. John Fries 
made himself conspicuous as a leader 
of insurgents. But the difficulty was 
at List crushed. Fries was arrested lor 
treason, found guilty, and sentenced to 
t j be hung, biit was afterwards pardon- 
ed by President Adams." Mr. Lubar 
s ud that at that time he was living with 
his father-in-law, aud their house having 
two windows was assessed 31 tax. 

Of Martin Kraeger, who has left on 
record an account of Herr Decker's visit 
' Esopus, we may as well mention that 
Ins uame is now spelled in plain English, 
1 'ngar. He was a Hollander — one of 
! he roving, jovial sort, who seems to 
have been fitted to almost any station 
and equally contented anywhere. He 
e;me early to New Amsterdam and pur- 
chased a lot just northeast of what we 
av.wcall the Battery. He built upou 
I lie lot .mil begau keeping hotel. It was 
what about every other man did who 
i ,itne to America in those times. His 
■". ay of mauaging it made it one of the 
favorites of the new town. Whan the 
incipient city was organized Martin 
5 raeger was elected the first Burgo- 
master. His example of good living, 
lms caused the alderman in New York 
city who have succeeded him even unto 
our day to be famous for good dinners 
aud. rotundity. He owned a sloop, and 
from that circumstance was called Cap- 
tain. In 1(150 he was commissioned 
regularly. Captain of a company of 
soldiers cent from the city of Amsterdam 
to the New Netherlands. A copy of his 
commission lies before us dated Dec. 5th 
10,0. It was iii command of tins com- 
pauy that he repaired to Esopus, as we 
have mentioned, in 1603. In the Arc- 

rh'.v«M ot Sew Teney he la npoken of aa 
tug ia the Rariton river with his Bloop 

• t.-w yearn later. Here we ha^o to leave 
:...... i.t we Lave no record of his death. 

3 hi ee brothers, Johann, AndneB, Johann 
!'. t. r, Jouauu Kneger, oanie to Phila- 
il< l|iiua, Nov. 20th, 1741, and rear- 
r 1 families. Audries Knegar, of Morns 

r..t</ who died in 1770, left a family 
f-.ur l>o)9 and three girls. There 

• ,ii ..> :i Omrad and Christian Cregar, 
II n.t.rduu County. The latter had 
, i- children ways, Chambers, when he 

r . :.!•.• his will in 1760, Peter, William 
,u I Catherine."' His will was probated 
Dec. 3d, of the same year. William 
( IngBC came to Wantage about the close 
. f the revolutionary war, and kept 
tavern just northwest of Beemerville. 
Tim road which led over the mountain 
from bia house, is yet called the Crigar Henry F. Simouson owns the 
..Id homestead, and if we mistake not 
he or his wife are descendants of William 
Crigar. We do not doubt that the fami- 
'.-. I . tracing their family histories can 

• -t.iblish the line of descent from gal- 

,: Captain Krieger, but we cannot at- 
ipt it now. 
Some readers may think by our men- 

• in of Capt.-riu Kriegar, that we have 
i -: our way while writing of Decker- 
' iu. and we admit that it properly may 
up called at least a digression, but the 

. I .hi n destined to, be such a histori- 

' figure in the aunals of New York 

tli it wo couldn't help mentioning 

■ - I'laiiua, To go back to the thread of 

in tory, we are told that in 1GC1 

'■■■'■■ lived in Esopus (Kingston) one 

. ' iorretson. who had emigrated thith- 

»i i. .hi Ueerden in Holland. He mar- 

'•■■ 1 linetjeo Hendricks Westercamp in 

* iurk (then New Amsterdam) in 
rch lCGA. Hhe was said to be a resi- 
• , ul Ksopus, and why they went to 

• •• ».<rk to get married it will now never appear. The records 

i{.l? »how they did so. They are said 

bVilliain U. Nearnass to have been 

' ..j tneeatora ..f the principal branch of 

tlio Decker family in tTiisoonntrr. Wrtnf 
relationship they held to Herr De-kir,' 
or John Da Decker does not appear!] 
lu.leal we are not certain that the uaiTn> 
Gerritson is always interpreted "JUeckur." 
(one 0th 1085 they received a deed f..r 
22'1 acres of land at Mombaeeus in Filt- 
er County, N. Y., and in 17iio they gava 
a plot of land to Rochester in 
county, for a town house. Was he J.,hn 

Heudriek Decker is claimed to have 
been their son. December l^tl,, W&H\ 
lib was married in Esopus (Kingston) to 
Antje Quick, and their plaeeof residence' 
pas given as Mombaeeus. It appears 
that Mombaeeus was the Dutch, nndi 
Rochester the English name for the 
same village. Their daughter, Femetje. | 
who by Mr. Nearpass' translation > f ' 
church records is found to have been 
baptised October 2'Jth, IC99, married] 
PieterKu>keudall July sth 171'.'. Mr. _ 
Kuykendall was a resident of upper; 
Minisink at the time, and the farm upon 
which he settled and began honsekeepH 
ing is now occupied mostly by Port': 
Jervis. After mentioning tke otheri 
children of Hendrick and Autje, ». 
snail endeavor to trace the descendants! 
of each one to some of the Sussex f anil -J 
lies of that. name. Their eldest sou,. 
Hendrick, Jr., mar lied Hauna TietsoortJ 
who was born in upper Minisii.h.: 
Thomas, baptised Sept. 3rd,J70t married! 
Jenneke Van . Nirnwegcn, .daughter on 
Gerardus Van Nimwegen. Johann is,] 
baptised Harob.9th, 171*2, married Eliza-] 
beth DeWitt lor his first wife, and 
Deborah Van Fleet tor his second wife.) 
Margaret the youngest daughter marrii df 
Hendrick llendricksen Ivortrecht There.. 
was a daughter Tjertje, of whom we 
have no further account. 

Of L'ietor KHykondaJJ who moi 
Femetje, he was t.Iie son of T.eur .Jacob-i 
sen Van Kuykendall, born in theeiiy "f; 
New York in Kioi) and who resided •■' 
Kingston. They had eight children,] 
Hendrick 'baptised July l"th. L7211, who 
married Oct. '21st 17Ui Elizabeth CooU 

'diaus, nh?F'sorTfiVn'r!.r^{v i o"T!rm"araee<l' 
in writing. Tins they did June 3d, 
1700. fn I7t>2 Oueen Ann- by the cele- 
brated Minisink patent, conveyed all the 
l.ui.ts from the luwer end of Big MioU 
siuk Inland northeast in New Jersey to 
certaiu parties. For snmo dozen years 
matters remained in pence except that 
it became a mooted .luestion whether 
the men who held the Minisink Patent 
could ejeut the settlers who' had previ- 
ous titles. In 1713 Tietsoord sold bin 
farm to "John Deeker who with his 
cousin, Voiintr .Tan, was to occupy one of 
the parcels and his brother Hemlock the 
other," as he states iu his affidavit. The 
purchase of this laud was probably what 
induced this branch of the Decker fami- 
ly to settle from Eaopiis iu Minisink, al- 
though it appears from Mr. Nearpass' 
translation of t he church records that 
some of them had before given Minisink 
as their place of resilience. Shortly 
after settling upon their new purchase 
Mathew Ling one of the Minisink Patent 
proprietors brought suit to get posses- 
sion of the farm uuder the authority of 
that grant. Tietsnort had removed to 
Dutchess Co., N. V.. hence hia affidavit 
was taken there in 1717 as we have notic- 
ed. The farm lies in a bend (arm it is 
called in the Indian d.-eiljof the Nevftr- 
sink river near Port Jevvis, and part of 
it is in the laud-- how owned by the heirs 
of Simon Westf.ill. We have no proof 
that Mr. Tietsoorfc (now Titsworth) ever 
returned from Dutchess county. In 
order to trace the family line, before we 
.take up the regular thread of the history 
of the Decker family wo shall digress a 
bttlo to a short genealogy of the Tits- 
worth family. .The suit brought f)y the 
Minisink Patentees was lost, and the 
original titles were held to be valid. 



It appears also that there was a 
Stephanas Tietsort, born in Schenec- 
tady, who must have emigrated fn .m 
there about the same time that the Wil- 
liam before mentioned did. That lie 
also came to Minisink is known. He 
married Sara Hoornbeck (Hornbeck) of 
Rochester, Ulster Co., N. Y., Oct. t8tb, 
1702 in Kingston. It was not a second 
marriage, consequently we may con- 
clude him to be about 2n years of atre 
at that time, and that he was about 7 
years of age when he left Schenectady. 
The comparison of ages and circum- 
stances, induces the belief that he was 
William's son. William had married 
Nielt;o Swart, and two of their children 
are on record as baptised at Kingston, 
Eanna, June 7th, 1695, and Maryetje 
Nieltje Swart, May 7th 169!). Hence we 
may reasonably conclude that when 
William settled In the wilderness to do 
blacksmithing for the Minsi Indians, he 
took his family with him. Tiny were 
undoubtedly the first white people who 
settled iu the Minisink valley. When and Codebeck, came there look- 
ing for a location, the peaceable establish- 
ment of Titsworth amouf the Indians 
helped the selection of a tract just north 
of his. Now Stephauus after his marri- 
age iu 1702, came to Minisink to begin 
housekeeping- It was but natural that ! 
he should set up an establishment for , 
himself. In doing so there is every rea- ; 
son for us to believe that he came over i 
the mountain and made a settlement in j 
the fertile Clove valley, very likely 
the east bank of Clove creek opp> 
the present residence of William Tits- 

f V, j ».ir«. 4 month*. 23 days. * n inven- 
Ftory of Stephen'" property was made by 
f J<ihn Middaugh aud Benjamin Kuyken- 
iLiIl appraisers June _'Ub, 1777. In it ap- 
peu S milcba cows ui £4 10s— .£30; 2 
three-year-olds £■<; 5 two-year-olds, £12; 
ouo horse, two niares, one colt, £02; 
{"lactation, 6400; one wagon, £0; woolen 
wheel aud little wheel and sundries, 
£1 6s. Upon the inventory is the fol- 
lowing endorsement made apparently 
by Henry Titsworth. 

"Henry Tietsort was married in the 
yearlTtft. In a will which he left me, 
and I kept my grandfather, William 
Tictsord, till he died, out of the estate. 
Hi. died on the 4th day of March, 1791, 
which he left rue £20 per year for bis 
clothing and board." 

When the speculators and land sharps 
began to look after Wantage lauds, by- 
virtue of authority from the Jersey 
proprietors, which they did largely be- 
tween 1750 aud 1705, they found the 
cabins of settlers scattered here and, 
there among the hills and valleys. Land 
wus of such little value that they wisely 
concluded not to disturb those squatters 
or. Bottlers, uud consequently, when the 
latter asked it, the surveyors surveyed I 
out their tracts aud they secured titles I 
by paying for the expenses. The re- j 
searches of my friend, Surveyor James | 
W. McCoy, have established the fact, 
that wheu Sharp made his surveys about 
Deckertown in J751 he kept to the val- ! 
ley sonth of the clearings of the few in- 
habitants then here, either becauso he [ 
did not value the hills, or did not wish 
to eueroaeh on previous claims. One" 
ill ed now in the possession of William 
TitKWorth. great great grandson, of the 
Qrat Clove settler recites: ''This Inden- 
; ire made the 15th day of May in the; 
. • ir of our Lord 1761 between Thomas i 
K.rtow of Perth Amboy in the Province | 
■ f Saw Jersey, of the one part, aud 
Stephen Tietsort of the County of Sus- I 
•»•!. Jr., Yeoman, of the other part, wit- j 
Dcsoeth," etc., conveys for £36 10s, fifty i 
two acres and two tenths of an acre, 

being part of 1001) acres sold to saltf! 
Bartow by Mary Alexander April 1st,] 
1760. The ourvey is on a separate sheet | 
of paper and begins "all thnt tract of; 
land in said county 1\ ing on the went' 
branch of the Wallkill called the Deep. 
Clove creek, beginning at a white oak 
tree standing on the west side of the' 
kill." Another deed from Lord Sterling] 
(rec. at Perth Amboy, book S. C. pagei 
334 etc.) conveys to Stephen ten acres j 
more. Lord Sterling is believed to have 1 
been the husband of Mary Alexander. 

Since Henry Tietsurt's death, the 
family name has been kuown as Tits-j 

The eldest son of Stephen and Cather- 
ine Titsworth, William, married Mar-' 
garet Middaugh. One of their sons,, 
John, became a physician of prominence 
and died on the old homestead l-'eb. 1st, \ 
1873. His second son, William now 
(1895) owns it. Wallace and Alfred 
Titsworth, thrifty farmers of the Clove 
are also lineal descendant of the first; 
Clove William. 

There is also on record one Ariaantje 
Tietsort who married Jacob van ivuy- 
keudall about 1706. They removed to 
Sandyston N. J., probably about lhat i 
time. Her husband and hi.s brother 
Matthews, or Matthew, were very early 
settlers at Pig Mini.siuk Island. Their 
names appear as land owners there, 
when a village plot was ^surveyed for 
Minisink village in 1725. Ariaantje was 
probably a daughter of ''Abram'", of] 
Kingston, aud we may reasonably con-i 
elude that the settlement of her husband 
and his brother in lower Minisink was 
brought about by the visits made to her . 
relative, the humble blacksmith, who. 
was sharpening tools and making axes 
aud hoes perhaps, for the Indians in the 
lonely Mackbackameck wilderness. She 
probably died betweeu 1706 and 1711, 
for her husband married Sara Westf.ill 
1712. It has already been shown that 
by the marriage of Hendiiek Decker, lfet 
to flanna Tietsort, the first white child, 
born in the vicinity of Port Jervis, thej 

probability is Htioncr" fhaf tbe Decker 
family were Induced to settle there. It 
alscr appears that tue Westbrooks had 
become relatives by marriage to the 
Deckers by the marriage of Johannis 
Westbrook to Magdaleua Decker at 
Kingston in l(J->7, and through that re- 
lationship it is very probable that the 
Westbrook family became familiar with 
the Minisink country, from the black- 
smith's residence there, and finally 
settled iu lower Minisink. Jacobus 
RosenktanH, it is known married Sara 
Decker, who was a sister of Johannis 
Decker, and so perhaps was influenced 
to a settlement in lower Minisink by the 
relationship. The Westphaels or West- 
falls were early related by marriage to the 
foregoing families, and thus it is plau- 
sible that they became acquainted 
with and settled in lower Minisink. 
Their first settlement on the Pennsyl 
vania side of the Delaware, must have 
been within a very few years after the 
blacksmith, William Titsworth settled 
on the Neversink. Thus we think to his 
settlement there, may be attributed the 
location of the Knykendalls, Westbrooks 
WestfalK Kosenkrans.Kortrights, Coles, 
and Deckers in that neighborood. Per- 
haps Guemar, Cuddeback, and the 
Swartwonts, were largely influenced to 
settle there through his instrumentality. 
The intermarriage of the Westbrooks, 
with the Decker family is shown by the 
entry on Kingston church records of the 
baptism of Anthony Westbrook, April 17 
1692, wherein his parentage is given as, 
his father, Johannis of Albany, and his 
mother Magdalena Decker, daughter of 
Jan Broerson Decker, and Heiltje Ja- 
cobs, of Kingston. John B. Decker's 
! identity is here clearly established. 
I He may or may not have been a son of 
John D. Decker mentioned in our first 
chapter, but our readers will notice 
throughout several generations of the 
family that have existed in this country 
that "Johu", "John B." or "John D." 
have never been omitted from the family 
nomenclature. It is very rare that any 

family, of much size, "among their We-3 
scendents, have omitted the prefix "John*! 
at least to one or more of the male mem-j 
bers. Thus that title can be claimed, i 
we confidently think to have descended 
in an unbroken line from the first John j 
De Decker, Counselor of State under I 
Peter Stuyvesant to the present genera- i 
tion. \ 

It will be remembered that William 
Tietsort in his affidavit stated the cir- 1 
cumstauces of his selling his Mackhack- I 
ameck laud to "Johannis Decker, who 
with his cousin, young Jan" was to occu- 
py it iu 17UJ. This Johannis (John) 
Decker was of Kingston' and most prob- 
ably .a father of the Magdalena above 
mentioned. The young John alluded to 
by Titsworth was the son of Hen J nek 
and Antje Quick, and was born March £ 
1712. Some descendants claim him as a 
son of Martinus Decker, of Deckertown. 
John, the elder, did not live long 
after the purchase of Titswortu's land, 
we assume because the records show that 
Helecca, his widow, purchased a tract of 
land adjoining that of Titsworth's from 
Joseph Kirkbride and Sarah Stevenson 
in 172C. This was the land upon 
which Peter Coykendall and Femmetje 
Decker, his wife, settled and finally 
owned. It covers the site of Port Jervis. 
It remained in the Coykendall family 
until 1810(Nearpass) when Jacob Coy- 
kendall sold it and went to Cayuga Co., 
New York. 



! We strongly suspect that Heleca, or 
Holeca as it is sometimes spelled, widow 
of John Decker named in the old Kirk- 
bride and Stephenson deed, is the same 
Helletje Jacobs mentioned in our last 
chapter. Her husband dying before 
172C he must therefore have been well 
along in years, when he bought the 
Tietsort farm. There was a Johannis 
Decker born at Kingston April lfith, 
1741, who we conclude to have been a 

nephew of tb» Johannla Vt*k or of Macfc- 
hackameck, Johiuinis, born in 1711, 
marriml Animtje Himbrouck, of Marblc- I Hater Co., N. Y. She was born 
1 K-c. •-"Jtli. 1747. They came to Waltlen, 
Orange Co., N. 1'., very early and he 
built or purchased a mill there in 17f>8. 
Tueir children were Jacob, Cornelius, 
.li lin, Rachel, Ann, Jonah, Elsie anil 
Muthew, Of them Cornelius, born in 
1770 married Miss Hannah Duryea. He 
di.-d in 1835. Their children were 
( reorgc, Joseph H., John, Ann, Hannah 
M., Rachel, Caroline, Dolly, and Cor- 
natina, Jr. Of them Joseph H., was for 
n long time a highly respected citizeD 
of the town of Montgomery, where his 
nun, Francis C, now resides if we mis- 
take not. Very many descendants of this 
branch of the family, are in the northern 
and eastern part of Orange County. 

l>iiniel Decker who married Blandina 
Vredenburg, Deo. 4th, 1756, as mention- 
ed in our first chapter, was married by 
Anthony Van Etten, Justice of the 
Peaoe. Anthony had married Daniel's 
"!-r»'r, Hannah, and at that time was his 
brother-in-law. Daniel and Blandina 
r titled on a part of the Schoonmaker 
and Brink tract in Houth Minisink by 
the Delaware river, which had- been 
located by Kirkbrides survey in 1718. 
Daniel established a ferry, one of the 
first across the river there, which was 
called Decker's Ferry for many years 
after his death. He died March 1st, 
W :t, and his widow Nov, 2'2d, 1835 and 
tiny were buried in a family plot on his 
farm. They had seven children, Henry, 
Thomas, Aaron, John, Hannah, Sarah 
"iid Jane. The two last married and 
went west. Henry married Margery 
VVentbrook. He was a soldier of the war 
f 1M2. They had eight children, 
' '"tin I, Andrew D„ John, Abraham, 
Elijah, Mary, Salache, and Blandina. 
Thomas, the next son, born Nov. 25th, 
1 . 75, married Susanna Shoemaker and 
had e:i;ht children, Henry S., Daniel D., 
Samuel, Peggy, Maria, Sarah A., Calvin 
and Blandina. Aaron, married Jane 

Brokaw, and had six ohlldren, John TBI 
Caleb, Abraham, George W., Daniel and! 
Amanda. The latter married a Mr.. 
Kiutner who lived at Stillwater. lohnd 
Danjcl'a fourth son, born April, 21th, 
17R0, married Maria Brokaw. Their 
children were Peter, Abraham, Aaron, 
Sarah, Salache and Jane. Hannah, 
Daniel's eldest daughter married John 
Dopue of Pahaquarry. Their children 
were Moses, Daniel, Nicholas and John. 
The descendants of the foregoing famil- 
ies it will be seen must occupy an im- 
portant part of the human family 
throughout the Delaware Valley, Penn- 
sylvania and Southern Jersey. 

Margaret Decker, mentioned in onr 
first chapter, who married Hendriek 
Hendrickson Kortright, is stated by Mr. 
Nearpass to have owned the farm near 
Tort Jervis, occupied in 1893 by Aaron 

Johannis Decker, son of Hendriek 
Decker, Jr., and his wife Hannah Tiet- 
sort, mentioned in our first chapter was 
the "Young Jan" spoken of by William 
Tietsort in his affidavit, who with his 
brother Hendriek was to occupy the 
farm sold them by Tietsort jointly. He 
married for his first wife, Elizabeth, 
daughter of Jacob Dewitt, who was a, 
son of T. Jerck Claassen DeWitt, of] 
Kingston, by whom had three sous, j 
Martin, John and Biohard. She dying j 
he married for his second wife, Deborah j 
Van- Fleet, daughter of John Van Fleet | 
and Jesyntje Swartwout, who owned, j 
Mr. Nearpass says, the present Solomon 
Van Fleet farm near Port Jervis; by 
whom he had sons, Levi baptised Feb. 
12tb, 1758, Isaiah and Isaac; and daugh- 
ters, Margery baptised Aug. 31st, 17t>8, 
who married Peter Gumaer, Jr., Eliza- 
beth baptised June 18th, 1700, who. mar- 
ried Van Etten, and Calletje, baptised 
Jan. 8th, 1772. In about 1857 Peter 
Gumaer wrote the following incident 
concerning John Decker: "It is now a 
few years over a oentury (meaning about 
1758) since the fall of the "deepest snow 
ever known in this part of the country. 

Before it fell Pieter Knykendoll and his 
wife went tcrEsopua anil left their child- 
ren home where John Decker and his 
wife were to go daily and see to them 
and render such assistance as would be 
necessary. Two or three days after 
they started this snow fell, and tho 
morning after its falling John Decker 
commenced to shovol and make a foot- 
path through the snow to Kuykendall's 
house. He worked all that day Bnd the 
greater part of the next day before he 
got to it and found the door shut, so 
that the children could not get out of 
tho house. The door opened to the out- 
side and the snow laid §o deep against 
it that it could not be opened until the 
snow was removed. No victuals had 
been provided on the previous day to 
servo them for the next. They con- 
trived to get some meal and mix it up 
with water, baked some of it on the 
hearth before the fire and lived on it 
till they were otherwise provided for." 

Mr. Decker was collector of Minisink 
precinct in 1739, and collected the taxes 
of the Titsworths then living in the 
Clove near Deckertown as we have seen, 
for building the jail ot Goshen, N. X., as 
he did of all the people living in what is 
now Montague township, N. J., which 
was then considered a rart of Orange 
Co., N. Y. His tax warrant has been 
preserved, and his return thereto. He 
was Ensign of a company of militia in 
Orange Co., at the same time. Hendrick 
J. Courtright was captain of the com- 
pany. He became an elder in the Mack- 
haekameck church in 1717. In 1748 he 
was made constable. In 1778 he was a 
Major of the militia. His commission 
as such was issued Feb. '-8th, 1776 and 
made him "second Major of the Goshen 
Keg. of militia, of foot in Orange Co., 
of which Wm. Allison is Colonel." I" 
1778, when Brant invaded Minisink tra- 
dition says, that chieftain went into 
Major Decker's house unawares, and 
captured two negro boys. In 1779, 
when Brant again swooped down upon 
tho settlements, tradition alleges that 
one of his objects was to get the scalp of 

Maj. Decker, for which the British had" 
otfered a reward. The Major's house 
was of logs surrounded by "wooden for- 
tifications." On the 20th day of July 
when the Indians came, Mrs. Decker 
was washing, assisted by a colored 
women, at a spring near the house. 
Mr, Decker had gone to attend a funeral 
at Abram Swartwouts. The children 
were at school. The Indians surrounded 
the house. There were white men with 
them. One of the tories built a fire on 
the floor of the house and said they 
would burn it. Mrs. Decker threw a 
pail of water on the fire and extinguish- 
ed it. He told her if she did that 
again they would kill her. She then 
! ran out of the house and fled across the 
fields towards another house. Brant 
sent an Indian after her, who brought her 
back, and Brant told her he wanted her 
to see her husband's residence burn 
down and she should not be harmed. 
She asked him if she could save any.- 
thing. He answered: "yes, anything yon 
can." She rushed in and saved lh£ beds 
and bedding, and Brant directed two 
young Indians to assist her in carrying 
them to a safe place, Major Decker 
was returning from the funeral when he 
saw the smoke of his burning house. 
H3 was on horseback and rode very fast 
being alarmed. Just between where 
Abraham Swartwout and Solomon Van 
Fleet nowlive(or did live a few years ago 
when Dr. Solomon Van Etten gave these 
particulars for publication) he was met 
by a party of Indians. He dashed 
through the party, but none of them 
fired upon him, all of them seeming to be 
looking back of him. His horse became 
unmanageable, and ran into a tree top" 
which had f.dlen across the road, and 
got fast, so that the Major could not get 
him out. The Indians fired upon him 
and he was wounded in the thigh and 
abdomen. Ho then left the horse and 
tied up the rocks and hid in a cave east 
of Carpenter's Point, where the Erie 
R, R. tracks now are. Tho Indians pur- 
sued him, but did not find him. When 
it got dark he traveled over the moun- 

tnln to Ftiwhville. " 

Hu« daughter Margaret, then eleven 
years old with her brother, was attend- 
ing school* The Indians came ti> the 
school house. Margaret's account of 
what followed is the Bamo na (.bat given 
by Mrs. Van Auken, who was a pupil 
thero at tho time, and all the stories told 
by the other children. It is therefore 
uu undoubted part of history. Tho In- 
dians took the teacher, Jeremiah Van 
taken, into the woods, killed, and 
i BOnlped him. While they were doing so, 
I the girls and boys huddled together, 
frightened at the awful scene. A tall 
Indian came up to them and dashed a 
blot of black paint on the girl's aprons, 
telling them to show that to the other 
Indians and they would not bo hurt. 
When the other Indians came back the 
girls held up their aprons iu front of the 
boys and themselves. The Indians 
looked at them but said nothing and 
passed on and left them. Their deliv- 
erer was no other than the great chief- 
tain Itnint. His act stands out upon 
the page of history as a magnanimous que 
Mis race was being exterminated by 
the whites, and the latter were never 
known to spare au Indian woman or 
child when triumphant in battle. When 
tho Indians started to leave them, Mar- 
garj's brother ran. IIo had his books 
under his arm, and one of the Indians 
ran after him. He dropped his books 
and tho Indian then stopped. When he 
found he was not pursued he went more 
slowly. Tradition says that he found 
na infant, which had been dropped by 
its mother in her llight, and rescued it. 
Major Decker, when he arrived next 
morning at the house of a Mr. Green 
n.-ar Fmcliville in what is now the town 
• •' Mount Hope, Orange Co., N. Y., 
found his son there where he had ar- 
rival the day previous. The name of 
Ibil lad was Benjamin, and his age is 
given in the History of Orange County 
»t It; years. Ho was at that estimate bom 
alM'iit 17<»l, and his name does not ap- 
j*-ar upon the church baptismal records. 

This lad's escape and llight over thjfl 
mountain must have earned the first! 
news of Brant's invasion to the people; 
about Finc.hville from whence an ex- 
press was dispatched to Goshen for as-: 
sistance. . 

In the memoir of James Finch, who 
lived at Finchville at the tune, it is stated 
that Mrs. Pecker came there tho next 
morning for protection, leading h ( . r 
small children by the band, and carry-, 
ing tho family bible under her arm. 

The only written memoir left by tho 
Major, is an affidavit ho mado relative to 
the boundary line between New York 
and New Jersey, which Mr. Nearpass 
furnished among other papers for the 
history of Orange County. It is as fol- 

Orange County S. S: Johannls Deck- 
er being duly sworn deposcth and saith 
that he was born at Rochester, ia now 
seventy-one or seventy-two years of ago, 
lived since he was a sucking child at 
Mohaghcamake, ho was well acquainted 
with the Indians and their language 
from a child — that he was well acquaint- , 
ed with tho fishkill, so called by the 
Dutch people, and by the English peo- j 
pie, Delaware, by the Indians Lamaso- 1 
pose —that is fishkill. That he has al- j 
ways understood from the Indians, | 
young and old, that the left hand or I 
west branoh at Shohacan, carried up 
the name of Lamasepose to the head j 
of it, and the reason why they gave 
deponent was booauso there was great 
numbere of Mushau amuck (bass) and 
Guwani (shad) went up that branch and 
but few or none went up the East 
branch. That ho has also heard from 
Daniel Cole that ho had been up the 
fishkill so far that he could jump over it ! 
with a walking stick and that Le tho do- 1 
ponont had understood that this was the i 
West Branch. That this transaction was! 
before the former trial at New York, an.l 
that Daniol Colo is now dead. That' 
this deponent was well acquainted with 
the Indians, Ainbopoes, Mastewap, Yam- i 
atabonties, Echkamare, and a number oil 

others that Hvod at Coshecton, Shoka- ! 
f'un, and Cookhouse, bat not much ac- 
quainted with the papekunk Indians 
because they were Eeopue Indians.— 
That the Mougaup cornea into the fish- 
kill about eight miles above Neversink 
and further saith not. 

Johannis X Decker 
Sworn this 23rd day of 
Dec. 1785 before mo 

Solouiaa Coykendall, J. P." 
The Major died in 1793 and divided 
his real estate among his children by 
will. In our next chapter we shall show 
how one of his descendants came to find 
his way to Deckertown after many years. 



The invasion of IMinisink by Brant 
was followed by a battle between his 
forces and the settlers on the 22nd ot 
July, 1779 nt Lackawaxen. It was a 
disastrous engagement te the settlers as older leaders have been taught 
by numerous works on local history and 
it is not our province in this work to go 
into its details. It only has to do with 
our present work, so far as its results 
concern the persons we are writing of. 
The defeat of the whites in that battle 
was so overwhelming that a fear seized 
• upon the near by inhabitants of the 
] lelaware Valley such as we cannot now 
realize. Whole families lied over the 
mountains into the more thickly settled 
parts of Orange County, and many mem- 
1 >ers of those families never returned to 
i ii.-ir former dwelling places. It was 
I irty years before any orgauized attempt 
* is made to collect the bones of those 
of our kindred ancestry who were slain 
in battle. Tradition has it that 
Major Deckel's sons, Levi, Isaiah, Isaac 
and Benjamin ultimately took up their 
residence east of the Shawangunk moun- 
tains but the exact period of their doing 
so is unknown to us. It was very prob- 
ably at the close of the Revolutionary 

struggle.' We find that Isaiah wasroaifl 
master in Road District No. 8 in thejj 
town of .Minisink in 1789. At that time : | 
the town of Minisink comprised nearly 
all that part of Orange Co., N. T., now 
included in the towns of Greenville and 
Winvayanda besides the present terri- 
tory in the old town. We, by tradition 
only, ascribe as his descendants, the 
families in and near Westtowu. We 
find Isaac Decker locatpd in 1790 as 
roadmaster of Road District No. 17, 
which it is quite clearly established was 
the Uidgeberry neighborhood. Braddoek j 
and Henry Decker were his descendants 
anil of a later generation Jouathan 
Decker now a resident of Middletown. | 
His son Benjamin now resides upon the 
old homestead which is on the road 
leading from Slate Hill to Ridgeberry. 

As to Benjamin, the lad who Hed from 
the school house, and brought the news 
of Brant's arrival in Minisink (Delaware) 
valley to Fiuchville, his movements have 
not been made clear. He married and 
and is reported to have settled in what 
is now the Middletown neighborhood. 
For some reason ho left that locality 
with a family of small children and 
sought the higher latitudes of Sullivan 
County. Of the date of his death we 
are not informed. The children were 
Johnathau, Stephen, Isaac, Alfred, Jehiel, 
Jemima, Penelope and an older sister I 
who married Wm. ParsoDs, of Middle- 
town and resided there. Jemima married 
a Mr. Mapes, and Penelope married 
Chas. Boyd. The four sons, Stephen, 
Issaac, Alfred, Jehiel, if we mistake not, 
all settled in Sullivan County. One or 
more of then bought a farm and owned i 
a considerable property on the East 
shore of Sackett Lake,, about three] 
miles southwest from Monticello. John- i 
athan came to Wantage. To the best in : 
formation we can obtain be had an un- j 
cie Joel. There is a Joel Decker buried 
in Fair-view Cemetery, whom we do not j 
tliiuk was tho one in question, because | 
his age was so nearly similar — lie having 
' been born in 179! , making him the same 
| age as Johnathan. The Joel in Fair- 

- a* lied Angimt 2f>, 1K53. ' Johnatban 
•Staa Ihtu Sept. Hi, 17J 1 .).. and was young 

. I fit be came to Wantage. After some 
•MtTMtttatlea he bought a farm near 
\V.. ..llmni with the Havings of his in- 

II.- married Mahetablo Wells, born Oct. 
I'i. 17'.f.», auil they resided during a long | 
and Useful life upon the Woodburn farm. 

; iere nro aoiitte of the readorrof this pa- 
I . r who ftill recall to memory the atton- 

I m •■■ i.r Jbhoatbarj and Mahetable 
1» kir lit the old Beemer church, where 
they were sure to be seen at every ser- 
vice, unless something prevented. He 
dud on the. 10th day of Aug. 1876, and 
his remains were laid to rest in the beau- 
tiful new Iieemerville Cemetery, where 
lay his loved helpmate, who had gone to 
li.-r eternal home seven years before, she 
having died Dec. 7th, 1868. 

Of their children one alone survive?. 
At his lurth July 1th, 1K10 his parents 
were in poor circumstances. When he 
K"t older, he lived and worked for some 
turn 1 with his uncles in Sullivan Co. 
Then h«' attended school and clerked in 
a store at iloortiervHIe. Then lie niar- 
i led an Hceoiupl shed young lady, Miss 
Kliziiheth H. Potter, of Wantage and 
they began life at farming, living 
for some time on the farm in Wantage 
wiitre 11 dsey Berry now resides. He 
then embarked in commercial life, and 
uas in business in New York and Jersey 
City. Then they returned to the town. 
of his choice —Deckertown, whero they 
now reside. By this time you have 
r. .' ignized him; but nevertheless I will 
run tin' risk of being thought guilty of 
repetition Mid will say further that he 
.-. now Mayor of out beautiful town. 
rjiin briugs us directly to the subject 
•• ' v.- in baud, but it is at the very 
I »l point in its history. To arrive at 
.i p'rnper beginning of that history we 

....• iki w to go back to the days wheu 
'■' • Indians were abandoning the lulls 

..•••I valleys about ils present location. 

.\» they movel westward it was with nu- 
• leiMed feelings of regret. We none of 

n cuu kuow of the bitter feelings of 

sorrow and despair whlcu wrung their"! 
untutored minds, when they stood at 
\ t tinal parting on the Lilh and moun- 
tains which overlooked their loved val- 
leys of the Papakatmg and Wall kill, and 
bade them a silent farewell forever. 
Here the smoke of their wigwams had 
rose for unnumbered years. Here they 
had beeu reared, and had shared with 
their kindred in the joys of the chase,, 
and games of their childhood. Hern] 
they had mourned with those that mourn- 
ed, and witnessed the funeral ob-e>piies \ 
of loved ones. AH to be forsaken, and 
worse than that, to be yielded up to su- 
perior force. Ah, my readers, there J 
must have been a bitter parting then. | 
But even r» they waved a last adieu to 
these enchanting lauds, the white man 
came on to take possession. His axe 
was heard at work upon the trees, even 
as the last farewell of the Indian was 
given to the Great Spirit. There bar. 
always lingered a halo of romance about 
the friendship which the chief, lied 
Jacket, had for the trees of tho forest. 
He looked upon every one of them as a 
friend and "every stroke of the axe" 
says his biographer thurst an iron into 
his soul. Thus it was in those times 
.that a white man came through the 
forest axe in hand, perhaps a idle too, 
and sought to locate a future home. His 
name was Teter Decker. His relatives 
had intermarried with tiie Tietsort.s, as 
we have seen, for he was of the Esopus 
family of whom we have written. There- 
fore it was very probable that he w:is 
■accompanied iu his search by William 
or Stephanus Tietscit who had been 
residing siuce 170-1 on the banks of the 
Clove stream near this place, and with 
whom he may be readily supposed to 
have been visiting while making the 
choice spoken of. Ho was a young man 
at the time, say, 18 years old, having 
been born iu Ulster^ County iu 1711, 
two years before his father, Johannis 
Docker and Helletje, or Holecca, his 
mother came to the old William Tiet- 
sort tract at Maokhnckameck by the 
Neversiuk. We assume his visit to this 

Totality to have been made s Tear before 
'his marriage, as would be natural in out' 
contemplating that event, and desiring 
to prepare in a measure for it. Tills 
would place it at about 1729. But there 
are good grounds for supposing that lie 
had spent some years perhaps, off and. 
ou with William and Stophanus Tietsort 
at their clove settlement, and had there 
foretime and again hunted over this 
neighborhood and was familiar with ils 
advantages. He was a Hollander, auo 
spoke the Dutch language, as did hi? 
friends and relatives, the Titsworths 
This we know because Wallace and 
Alfred Titsworth remember the old 
burial ground of their family which was 
located on the east of the Clove road on 
the Me.Uann farm, in which the tomb 
stones were all inscribed in Dutch. 

As to Peter's appearance wp. shall sub- 
mit proof later on which shows hiin lo 
have been of largo size, and of grea! 
strength when forty years old. At the 
time of his first visit here he was no 
doubt, correspondingly rugged and 
active. His dress then was very proh 
ably considerably Indian in its eharac- 
terisfies. All the early settlers won 
buckskin trousers and moccasins, witli 
perhaps a homespnn coat and rough I 
shirt, and a Cur cap. That was probably 
99 near as we can eoujeoture his ap- 
pearance when he paused upon the site 
Of Deckertowu, and with an a\e blazed 
a tree as the mark of his domain. Where 
was this spot' It is not probable the 
question can over be positively de- 
termined. But it is well known that 
the early settlers in selecting a location 
always sought the neighborhood of i 
spring, where the purest of living walci 
was 111 ways to be had in plenty, and it is 
well know.; that the Hollanders were 
very partial to low lauds. It is quite 
certain then that i'oter sen cted one ol 
two places for a homestead, either the 
spot by the splendid spring ofwatei 
which bubbled forth among the trees 
where J. J. WicUhani's house now stands 
on Spring street, or by the spring which 
^united from the declivity near when 

the old fkrni house of the late AmoBl 
Vliinson now stands owned by Evi A.j 
VVdlson on Hamburg avenue. It is very 1 
probable that the Amos Munsou spring I 
was the place because it fronted tin j 
Papakating meadows so nicely, and he- ' 
cause that spring was the IuilianV : 
favorite. Their village, the ruins of I 
which were once to be seen on the hill 
by where Prof. Seeley's house now 
stands, obtained its supply of water j 
from this spring, naturally as most cou- j 
veuient. Surveyor James W. MeCo) 
thinks that this was the place Petei 
selected, from the surveys which have j 
been handed down As a matter of fact , 
his tract of land embraced all the land 
now included in Deekertown, as will ap- 
pear later on Having made his selec- 
tion, he then undoubtedly awaited the 
time of his marriage before beginning 
a dwelling house. His marriage took 
place in Ulster Comity, as no record of I 
it can be found in the lecords of the 
Minisiuk Valley, and the exact date can- 
not be found. His wife's maiden name 
was Lecentje Osterhout. Her family re-, 
sided in Kingston in 1695j wo know be- 
cause their residence is so given upon 
the church records there when Dirck 
Westbrook married his first wife Cith- 
erina Osterhout Aug. '25th, 1C95. Edsall, 
in his Centennial address fixed the date 
of thei* coming to Deekertown at 1734, 
and Canouse in his Historical sermon, at 
1740. But the first of their children to 
appear upon the baptisimal records was 
in 173G, and there was probably one 
born before that as will hereafter appear. 
His marriage may with propriety he 
placed at or immediately before 1732, 
when he arrived at the age of 21 years. 
Then they very likely came the same 
year to settle upon their new homestead. 
Ah it was some distance to Mackhacka- 
meck church, the child baptised in 1730, 
may have been anywheres from a few | 
weeks to three or four years old. 

It was the custom then for n new 
comer in a neighborhood to make a 
frolic, or "Bee," as it was called in build- 
a log house, and very possibly when 

I Petrna and Tjpcenfje came, they may 

(have ht»il the assistance of a few neigh- 
bors in cutting, hauling, preparing and 
I putting up their log dwelling. The 
only neighbors who we can think of who 
could come to that "Bee," were Stephen 
and William Titsworth ot the Clove; 

| John Willson, the ancestor of Evi A. 

I Will* m, who probably then resided 
where Evi VaudrutV now resides, a West- 
brook who then lived at Woodburn, and* 

. perhaps Bome of the Beemer, Coyken . 
dall and Middaugh families who lived 

, near Beemerville and Libertyville. 
Whether they helped, or did not help, in 
the erection of that historic dwelling is 
merely conjecture. Certain it is how- 
ever that Petrus and Lecentje, now call- 
ed in our outrageous English tongue, 
Peter and Magdaleua, were domiciled 
here shortly after 1730. There were a 
few straggling Indians resident in the 
neighborhood, but they had then no 
grievance against the whites and found 
no fault with the land taken up by the 
latter because the Great Spirit they 
were taught by the law of nature, "Which 
was visible everywhere, had given it to 
all men alike and it was for the common 
use of all. Here then we bid good night 
to Peter and Magdalena, as they may be 
imagined sitting at the door of their hum- 
ble cabin by the ever Mowing spring, 
gazing out through the gathering shad- 
ows of nightfall over the Papakating 
swamps, whence came the bark of the 
wolf and the panther's scream. 







In due time children came to bless 
the home of Peter and Magdalena Deck- 
er. The eldest was named Hannah, as 
we are assured by her descendants, Mrs. 
Bross, of Sparrowbush. and Mrs. Mar- 
garet Shorter, of Deckertown. Her 
name does not appear upon the bap- 
tismal records, but it is ot importance 
becauso she was the tirst white child 
born in Deckertown. Mrs. Shorter, at- 
tended Hannah's funeral where Thomas 
Armstrong's farm house now stands in 

Wantage, and saw her lying in US* 
coffin. She is undoubtedly the mil; 
person living who did no. Hannah a! 
thai time was it very old ponton, mid 
Mrs. Shorter a girl oi live ot hi* year* 
Mrs. Shorter recollects that uilinomna 
acquaintances, always called Hio '.:J 
lady, who was a great social favorite, 
"Aunt Hannah." This fact conviii(\n 
us that the tradition that tlipcldi «t • d<] 
of Peter was a mute is erroneous. The 
funeral spokeu of was about 1-.J'. ;.,•- 
curding to Mrs. Snorter's recollection, 
; and the funeral sermon was preached 
I by PlOv. Edward Allen. 

There is an old tradition that the tir>t 
I white child born in Wantage was l>,.rn 
i in the shade of an oak tree, before a 
house had been erected. Rov. Prior 
Kanouse alludes to it in his serama 
j preached at Beemerville in 1RJ4. There 
[had been children born in other parts of 
I the township, as we have seen, before 
• Peter settled Deckertown, consequently 
I the tradition cannot allude to Hannah. 
Of the early educational advantages 
of which Hannah availed herself, we 
know little. No schools were (■ iblis! 
ed in the neighborhood of her youthful 
home; there were no newspapers and no 
postortiees. From the time she Erst 
; played about the logcabin door, to the 
i time of her marriage she probably saw 
no books, unless it might be a bible, or 
' a simple primer. It may well lie sup- 
posed that opportunities for social en- 
joyment were lew outside of the I: mie 
circle. Yet a wooer came for Hannah, 
and they were married after an acquaint- 
ance the previous duration of which is 
unknown. They were married by Rev. 
Thomas liomeyn, the pastor of Mack- 
hackameck church. The following is a 
copy of the record made in the chiiroli 
books by the minister : 

"Married, by Kev. Thomas Kumeyn 
Nov. 19th, 17C2, Abrani Cole born in 
Northampton, dwelling in Wantage, to 
Hannah Docker born and residing in] 
She must have been at this t ime u'o outj 

"WTor 27 years oTage. Hi eaffiiBPT>efr g'tlic '' Btuu'iea' medicine. ™H& ,r gfaaTia{eJT' 
eldest child she must bave been born as physician. At the time he concluded 
early as 17'ut or 17:s.", for the baptism of his studies with Mr. Styles he Lad no 
Maria is recorded in 17io. JosiahWick- funds to pay for his tuition and Mr. 
ham in his recollections has it that Mary Styles accepted his promise to pay. He 
married Abram Cole. I can tlnd no went to South America where he married 

.record of a daughter of Peter's named a Spanish lady and is believed to be 
Mary, and think perhap3 Hannah may still living. A few years ago lie came 
have had a middle name, which possibly with his wife to Deckertown and sought 
was Mary, and that thus the one Mr. , Mr. Styles' people and paid the old 
Wickham speaks of was one and the tuition bill. His brother Moses mnrned 
same with Hannah. Her husband dwelt a lady in New York State and went to 
in Wantage at the time he married Minnesota. Their brother Harrison 
her although from Northampton, Bucks married the widow Raymond, of New- 
Co., Pa., and thus appears to have been j ton where they kept the Fountain House 
of a different family from the Cole farm- j till he died. She is still living. 
ly who are by intermarriage related to j of James J., rod of Joseph Cole and 
almost all the ancient families of the i Margaret Jackson, we have no informa- 
Minisink region. The farm upon which I tion. Of their daughter Hannah Maria, 
Abram and Hannah settled embractd i a )i we know is that she married Andrew 

the present Thomas Armstrong farm, 
the William DeWitt farm in Cooper's 
Glen, the Samuel Beemer farm and 
other tracts. 

The children of Abram Cole and Han- 
nah Decker were Joseph, Muses, Peter, 
Hester and Eleanor. Of them, Moses, 
Peter and Hester lived to old age aud 
died unmarried. 

Joseph, the eldest who lived on what 
is now the Samuel Beemer farni.married 

Decker son of James Decker, of Mini- 
sink, and went west. Of Joseph and 
Margaret's son Samuel, it is known that 
he married Miss Cole. She was a daugh- 
ter of Gideon Cole by his first wife. 
Samuel by her had three sons and two 
daughters. One of those sons is George 
Pierce Cole, who now resides in Pecker- 
town, and one of the daughters is Mrs. 
L. C. Bross who resides in Sparrow- 
bush, N Y. The above named Gideon 
Margaret Jackson. Their children were j ^' :] '"< nft - r uis firet wife ' B deatl h whose 
Anna, Abram Jr., James J., Hannah I n;lne """'■ *> n,t now recall, married 
Maria, Eleanor 2nd, Samuel. Of them ! Eleanor 2nd. a sister of Samuel Cole 
Anna married John Morrison and theyi above,1Emed - B - 7 this secon<i wife he 
had three children: Adelaide, who died] had one child, Hannah. She married 
iu. infancy, Sarah who married Henry ' Jobu Crawford and they had one child, 
Tryon of Sullivan ConDtj where they j Eat «r who married Sid Eutan, and lives 
went to reside, nnd Margaret, born June] in Beemerville. This Gideon Colo was 
4th, 1815, who married Andrew Shorter. | a descendant of a different branch of 
'.''ho latter died in Deckertown some! tne dole family. After Abram Cole, Sr's. 
three years ago, and Margaret his widow death he became possessed of what is 
who resides with her daughter, Eliza J„ now the William DeWitt farm in Coop- 
in Deckertown, is therefore a direct de- er's Glen, where he lived. Joseph Cole, 
seeiidaut of Peter Decker's eldest daugh- first abaye mentioned, after his father 
ter. The eldest son of Joseph and Mar- Abram's death became owner of the 
garet Jackson Cole, Abram Jr., married Samuel- Beemet farm where he lived, 
a lady named Cole, believed to be of the Of Eleanor 1st, in German her name 
Miuisink Cede family. They had three was recorded Lanchia, daughter of 
boiib, James L., Moses aud Harrison. : Abram and Hannah Cede, the records a I, , was educated at Styles' Mt. show that she -married John Brink, bora 
I'* tireineiit Seminary and afterwards Sept. Ith, 1770, son of James Brink and I 

Roiinna Rossufernris" who came" from 
Pike County, Pa., and settled inSar.dys- 
tou Township in this county about 17i>0. 
Fie, John, lived aud died (Dec. 17th, 
1842) cm the farm known as the Brink 
Homestead. His wife Eleanor died, at 
what date we know not, and he theu 
married f>r a second wife Nancy Drake. 

! His son William Brink, born April 11th, 

) 1780 presumably by his wife Eleanor 
married for a first wife Anna Haggerty 

| and she dying he married for a second 
wife Laura O. Newman, born July 15th, 
I7!)9. He died April 12th, 1853, and we 
believe his wid;>w is still living in Mil- 
ford, Pa. Thomas, his son by his last 
wife resides in Port Jervis. Mrs. Frank 
Royoe, a daughter by his first wife now 
(or lately) resided iu Port Jervis. 

The second child of Peter and Mag- 
daleua Hooker, was a daughter and is 
recorded in , the baptismal records of 
Mackhackahieek church, born May 18th, 
173G, and is the one whom we think Mr 

. Wickharn says was a mute, although he 
says the mute was tho eldest. Upon 
this point ho.rever the recollections of 
ESannah's deeaeud .r.ts supported by cor- 
roborative facts are so plain that we Ce si 
sure we have correctly given the genea- 
logy. Tins daughter was named Maria. 
There are no records of her having but 
one child, a son named John. He settle 1 
on what is now culled the lower road in 
War.tge between Dicker town and 

' Duiouville, on the farm owned at present 
by Mrs. Samuel Cunudler. He was born 
• n 175 i, and died in Feb. 1803. Mr. 
iVickham says he was the grandfather 
>f Mrs. Rachel C- Buckley, of Tort 
Jervis. If we mistake not he was buried 
in the Slausou cemetery iu Wantage 
and his tombstone bears tlie following 

"John Decker died in Feb. 1S03, aged 
14 years." 

* My toad a i,l stay is took nwar, 
And lam l-f t 

My Imslial'.ri iIhi 
I-> tool; away 


■ bui two datmolers •• illi me U-ft. 
,-s,,rr htm liard to hear. 

" rj "ertSWnVflrBSrs a"« tierMT •*-*+ vr * t mm 

An Inow of foih^rdea-.'- 
The third cliild of Peter mid Uned* 
Sena Decker was Catherina, bantiHed 
May 31st, 1738. S!i e married a German 
named Fredrick Havue about 1168. He 
was u it connected witli the Hair.. - rami. 
Iy at Hamburgh, they being «,f fctoglmh 
extraction, and having emigrated from 
England. The difference in the way 
the family nam? is spell, >d, alth.aich 
pronounced alike, luis not there... re 
origuatecl in a whim' or change of spell- 
ing, bat is an original dill'jreuee arising 
from a different nationality. Frederick 
and Catheriua Hayne, after marriage 
S3ttled upon a farm at Lewisbnrg, which 
if we are correctly informed is now 
owned by Mrs. William McCoy. They 
bath lived and died there. We have 
only gleaned information as to one of 
their sons, Peter. Whether they had! 
o l her children or not we caunot say. i 
Peter H.iyne married Martha Lewis, of j 
Basktngridge Aug. 5th. 1781. He lived] 
an 1 died on a farm near the old home- ! 
steal at Levnslmrg. The Megee broth-! 
e.VH now own it. They had seven; 
ehairen, Frederick, Hulduh, Benjami i, 
Lydia, Alva, Lewis and Eliza. Of them; 
Frederick became a prominent man in' 
Wantage and his name appears a unm-? 
ber of times on the township records. 

Huldah married James Evans, and- 
removed out of the State. Of Alva and 
L-v.-is we have no record. Eliza married 
Evi Martin who then lived in Orange- 
County, N. Y. Lydia married for a I'.rht. 
husband, Jacob Willsou, born May 2 ',-,1 
17G1, sou of Andrew aud Martha « Forger-, 
son) Willson, who lived about a mile] 
northeast of Deckertowu. Her husband 
Jacob died soon after their marriage,; 
and she married for a second husband' 
Manuel Coykeudall, of Wantage who 
Was the grandfather of .Simeon M. C 
kendall of Wantage church neighbor- 
hood. Benjamin born Oct. 29th. 17^1. 
married in 181.1, Milly Whittaker wh«j 
was then a resident of Unionville, N. V. 
Benjamin set up a harness making ea 
tablishment in Unionville aud they 


- led there. ~ Ang. witti, kcjo bis wife 
died, ami bo afterwards married her 
-•■ tor CI arlotte. The tatter's brother, 
Samuel, married Margaret, daughter of 
Jnhii 1"., ami Jane Adams, of Wantage, 
and their son John A. Whittaker is the 
President of tlio Farmer's National Bank 
'if Deckertown and very highly esteemed 
in his public and private life. The child- 
ren ot Ban jam in by his first wife were 
Marcus S-, Peter and Milly, and by his 
last wife, Frances, Lewis, Henry, Caro- 
line, Jacob and Martha. His last wife 
Charlotte died Dec. 7th, 18&, and he 
died Nov. 12th, 1S13. Of their children 
Huron's S., born Jan. 23rd, 1816, studied 
medicine and after graduating in 1841, 
came to Westtown. In 1843 he married. 
Amelia, daughter of Samuel and Baliuda 
Van Fleet. In 1810 he came to Union- 
ville aud practised his profession. His 
wife died Jan. 30th, 1S48. He then, in 
1S49, married Jane a daughter of Josiah 
and Hannah (Adams) Decker. This 
Josiah was a sou of Bowdewine Decker, 
whoso father was Josiah Decker, Sr., 
a son of Peter and Magdalena. The 
children of Dr. Marcus S. Haync and 
Jane Decker, were Marcus P., who went 
west and others deceased unmarried. 
His wife Jane died July ICth, 1856, and 
ho afterwards married, Jan. 12th, 1858, 
Eliza A., daughter of Samuel and Jane 
Christie by whom he had one son, 
Samuel Christie Hayne, who resides in 
Unionville. Dr. Hayne died some ten 
years since. 

Peter Hayne, son of Benjamin and 
Milly, went to Goshen, N. Y., and his 
sister married H. B. Lee and went to 
j Western New York. 

Frances Hayne daughter of Benjamin 
and Milly, married Albert W. VanFleet, 
■:i Cmonville, her sister Caroline married 
i lliver W. Cook, of Passaic, and their 
si^tLT .Martha married J. B. Henderbhot 
now of Newton. 

To go back again; Peter and Magda- 
lena Decker had a daughter Annetje 
hup titled Jon 20th, 1745 and a daughter 
rU'leca June 21st, 1747, of whom we find 
u.j further records. They may not have 

lived" to adult years." If they diJ'anS'' 
left heirs this humble work of ours may 
help some of their descendants; if living-, 
to forward the genealogies of their 
families to us or to make them known. 
We are well aware that however pains- 
taking one may be in collecting statistics, 
records and traditions, some error will 
creep in, but we trust the tinder 
will not find fault with us, but will thank 
us just a little for getting them in a 
shape that will make correction easy. 
Next week we will take up the subject 
of Peter and Magdalena's sons. 





Josiah, born June 17th, 1740, -was the 
first born of Peter's sons. He grew to 
be an intelligent and enterprising man. 

He married Sarah and they 

settled upon lands in the Clove nowj 
owned by Hon. Jacob Swartwout. He j 
built the grist mill near there which is ' 
still known as Decker's Mills. He also i 
erected a saw mill there, and had a 
clover mill for cleaning clover seed, ; , 
which the farmers then all raised upon j 
their own farms. Mr. Wickham says j 
that in Josiah's time a few Indians lurk- j 
ed about the mountains north of Cole- j 
ville, and that on one occasion he was. 
fired at by them and wouuded in the leg 
by a bullet, the scars of which he carried 
to his grave. 

The incident was furnished by Wm. 
Rankin to Barbier ft Howe's history as _ 
follows : "Mr. Decker had gone out 
into a field which lay some distance . 
from his house on elevated ground. Ere ' 
he was aware, two Indians were stealthi- 
ly creeping around him, intending to 
intercept his retreat homeward and to 
capture him. On his making an at- 
tempt to escape, both Indians tired at 
him, missing him, (except the wound 
above mentioned.) Decker ran for home 
and both Indians at his heels. His fami- 

ly saw Ihem coining but did not know 
tho eauso. The oldest boy was qmck to 
grasp the situation. Ht> seized a mus- 
ket, and exclaiming "that's dad!" ran 
out towards them and hid behind an 
apple tree. One of the Indians was then 
almost within grasp of Decker. As they 
came up the boy took aim at the Indian 
and pulled the trigger, but the gun 
snapped. Hearing it the Indian stop- 
ped suddenly, and then turned and tied.' 
That wan in July 1779 just before the 
Miuisink Battle. He had seven child- 
ren, Bowdewine, Abraham, William, 
Simon, Femetje, Margaret, and Lanchia. 
Bowdewine married May 31st, 1787 
Naomi Weetbrook, daughter of Richard 
Westbrook born June 14th, 1772. She 
died April 29th, 1825. He re-married 
June 8th, 1826 Rebecca VanSickle, born 
May 1st 1768 and died Sept. 11th, 1*45. 
By Naomi he had children; Rich- 
ard, born Aug. 15th, 1788, Josiah Jr., 
born April 15th, 1792, Mary, bom Aug. 
30th. 1790, Hannah, born Feb. 5th, 1794, 
Sarah, born Oct. 10th, 1796, Frederick, 
born May 16th. 1802, and John B., born 
Nov. 16th, 1803. Bowdewine died in 
1857 in his 94th year. He carried on in 
his lifetime the improvements which hi, 
father designed, upon a large scale, kept 
a store and built a plaster mill, the ore 
for which was hauled by teams from 
Newburgh, and Mr. Swartwout informs 
us that this year.'in building hie new 
barns, he unearthed foundations and 
works that would cost a large fortune to 
construct in these days. Of his son 
Richard we have no data. Joshiah Jr., 
married Hannah Adams, of Wantage. 
They had a daughter, Jane, who mar- 
ried Dr. Marcus S. Hayne, of Fnion- 
ville as noted in Chap. vi. We have n<> 
memoranda of the other children of 
Bowdewine excepting John B., the 
youngest son. Ha married April 24, 
1824, Sarah, second daughter of William 
Decker, who if we mistake not was his 
cousin. They had eight children, of 
whom but one has deacendents living, 
viz., Emma R. who married Judson J. 
Wiokham and is living in Deckertown. ] 

Sarah, wife of John B. dying, he mar-' 
ried for a second wife, Charity It. Kil-' 
patrick, March 20th., 1855. She Tu ; 
born May 12th., 1824, and died March 1 
15th.. 186S. By hia secoud wi.V, J,.hnj 
B. had one child, a daughter, Liltie, 
who married Hon. Jacob Swartwout,! 
and who now resides on tho uouieetrtd 
[lands of the elder Josiah. AbrnuoraJ 

son of the elder Josiah married . '. 

They had but one child, a daughter. 
William who died Jan.- 3rd., INifi, aged) 
74 years, 4 months, 3 days, sou of thai 
elder Josiah, had married Elizabeth 
Dugan, and had four sons; John 1>., who 
died Dec. 20, 1854, aged 54 years, 1 mo, I 
20d„ Richard, Alanson, and Oscar, and 
five daughters; Maria; Sarah who niar-i 
ried John B. Decker; Enieline; Ellen and ' 
Eliza. His wife Elizabeth died in 1KW.J 
aged 50 years. They are interred in the- 
old Clove Cemetery. Of the foregoing 
sons of William and Elizabeth Decker, j 
Richard, born Dec. 9th., 1S09, married | 
at the Clove where he then resided in 
1831. Julia Decker. Julia wan the wid- 
ow of Frederick Decker, son of the elder] 
Bowdewine. Frederick had died soon 
after marriage, it would appear. it in 
also on record that Julia's maiden name 
was Decker. She was born in Yerm.n 1 
township, July 20th., 1803. Richard! 
and Julia had three children, John Har- , 
mon born April 9th., 1831, died Sept 1. 
1878; Bowdewine, born Oct. 2, 1^4:1, died 
July 1st., 1870; and Harriet, bom Feb. 
2nd., 1835, died Deo. 11th., 1841. After- 
Julia's death Richard married for n sec- : 
ond wife Margaret Wickhaiu, of New 
Hampton, in Orange County, N". Y.. 
born July 19th., 1835, died iu 1888. l )t \ 
his first wife's children John Haraionj 
married Elsie Fullerton, of Wawayanda, 
Orange Co., N. Y. in October, lV.l. 
They had eight children; William 1". 
Ettie, Ida, Harriet, Abraham L., May, 
Edward M., and Richard. Of the f< 're- 
going, Edward M. resides at 89 High- 
land Ave., Middletown, N. Y. Their 
ancestral home was changed from the 
Clove, in the time of the elder Richard 
to the handsome farm lying on the roadj 

I f-om Denton to Goshen. Kt Y. 

.Simon, sou of the elder Josiah Deok- 
er, settled near Beemerville. He liad 
fourjsous, Henry, John, Simon, and Sid- 
ney, and one daughter, name not known. 
Of them his son John died in 1799, aud 
is buried in the old Beemerville ceme- 
tery, lie had a sou Michael. Michael's 
sou Lucas lived near Beeruer church, 
and had sons, John who now lives in 
East Deckertown, Andrew living at An- 
drew Boy's, Peter living near the Flaius, 
and a daughter who married Richard 
Hill, a prosperous farmer of Liberty - 
ville, in Wantage. 

Fametje; eldest daughter of the elder 
Josiah Decker, married Ephraim Kil- 
patriek. Their son, Simon, married 
Julia Wickham, sister to Seth Wickham, 

sides in Deckertown, and is perliaps'th'?. 
only peusiouer of the war of 1812 now 
living in Susses County. 

We will now go back to the next eldest 
son of Peter and Magdalena. His name 
was Martmus aud he was probably born 
about 1T4-, his name not appearing on 
the baptismal records. We are not in- 
formed as to whom he married. They 
went back over the mountain aud set- I 
tied on the Hats northwest of where his 
grandparents Johanuis 'and Heleea 
Decker lived aud died, near what is now j 
Port Jervis. Mr. Wickham says it was j 
where the old stone house stauds in 
Germantown. He had two sons, John i 
bora March 20th, 17(i.">, died in 1813, and I 
Richard who went west. John who was I 
more generally known by his German , 

daughters married Abiah Wilson, of 
near Deckertown. She now lives with 
her son Simon on the old homestead, 
which is about a half mile northeast of 
town. The son of Simon and Julia 

hereafter mentioned. One of their neighbors as "Hnus" married for a tirst 

wife Sarah Lambert who died Feb. 27th, 
lSlfi aged 59 years, 11 months. They 
are interred in the old Clove Cemetery, 
as is also their son Martin who died May 
8th, 1886 aged 24 years, 5 months and 

Ivilpatrick was Judson, who rose to re- ! 1!' days. Upon the death of his wife 
nown during the late civil war. He was 9 Sirah, John married for a second wife 
promoted to a Generalship, and after ! Wirry TurtrWr. She was a widow with 
the war won distinction as a lecturer, n eight children. Her maiden name had 
Laneuia. youngest daughter of the a been Mary Shorter. John at the time 
ler Josiah Decker, married Robert 1 ot his marriage to her had seveuteen 

Evans, and settled in Deckertown, near 
where Lafayette Fuller's Mill now is. 
Margaret, second daughter of the eld- 
er Josiah Decker, married Seth Wick- 
ham who settled on a farm between 
Port Jervis and Coleville, which we are 
informed was lately or is now owned by 
H. Clark. One of their sons is Josiah 
D. Wickham now living in Port Jervis. 
Their daughter Lydia, married first, 
William Cole by whom she had two 
children; William H. Cole, Sr., who now 
resides in Deckertown, and a daughter 
Jane, who married Zephnmah Swarts. 
The latter died about live years since, 
aud his widow now resides in Decker- 
town. Lydia above named after the 
, death of her husband, William Cole, 
j married Peter A. Hoyt who was a veter- 
' an of the war of 1812. He has been now 
Ulead, for Bonie years. His widow re- 

children by his first wife living. The, 
united family consisted therefore of 
twenty-five children with which they be- 
gan housekeeping. They had no more I 
children His second wife died Feb. 
I 14th ISfil aged 78 years, 1 month, aud is 
interred iu the cemetery near Wnntage I 
church. The children of John aud 
Sarah were Esther, born Nov. 5th, 1791, 
Mary born July 7th, 1794, David born 
May 26th, 1796, Sarah born June 3nth,"! 
1798, Jane boru Oct. 29th. 1799, Huldah ; 
born March 27th. 1804, Margaret born 
March 20th, 1806, John boru .Sept. 7th, 
1809, Martin born Nov. 19th. 1811, Eliza- 
beth born Feb. 21st, 1812, Hannah Maria 
born June 25th, 1814, Peter born Jan. 
18th, 1818, Abraham .1., born March 28th 
1819, who for his second wife married 
Louiso DeWitt who now lives in James- 
burg, N. J., Sarah born Dec. Sth, 1820, 

who mamea HE Buchanan nnd .lied in 
189S, Margaret 2nd born Jan. 7th, 1H23 
who married William McManus, their 
son Decker MeManns now being a resi- 
dent of Deckertown, Jane liom March 
5tb, 1825 who married 11. B. Shaw and 
now lives near Wantage church, and 
Coe born March 9tb, 1827 whose widow 
afterwards married — — Shimer, and 
now lives iu Middletown. Mrs. Shaw 
is the last surviving oueof the cliildren. 

When Brant invaded -Minisink in 
July 177'J, Martinus, with his son John 
who was at that time fifteen years old, 
hid themselves upon the side of the 
mountain. They saw the Indians burn 
their grain which was in the shock and 
also their barn. Mrs. Shaw has beard 
her father tell the story often. Martiuus 
joined the troopH from Goshen and Ham- 
burg next day and took pait in the battle 
of Minisink. He swam the river and es- 
caped. His son John settled on the 
farm in Wantage lately owned by his 
son Abraham J. The latter's son by his 
first wife, John W. Decker, now lives on 
Hamburgh Aveuue in East Deckertowu. j 

To go back again; Saranel, the third I 
eldest son of Peter aud Magdaleua, was 
born Sept. 27th, 17-i'J. We have found i 
no record as to dates of his marriage or ] 
death. He married and settled near j 
where the Loomis homestead now is in 
Deckertnwn, and was an energetio busi- 
ness man. He built the first mill iu i 
Deckertown which stood on the west 
bank of the Clove creek opposite where 
the condensery now stands. The dam 
for this mill is still standing aud formB 
the elevated highway leading out of 
town towards Xewton where it crosses 
the llats. This dam formed a large pond 
of water which occupied the valley where 
J. Linn Quick's house now stands. The 
mill was afterwards rebuilt on the east 
bank of the creek, and the Fall of water 
not being sullicieut for an overshot 
wheel, a new pond was formed farther 
np the stream and the old pond drained 
by openiug the dam, which opening is 
now spanned by the Newton Ave bridge. 
Samuel also built a hotel, the second 
one in Deckertowu, where DeCamp's 
.hotel now stands and owned the upper 

mill. Mrs. Lottie Coin who rflrirtew t>rr 
Mill street remembers that after it was! 

completed, it with Mr. Vibbert's hotel on. 
the opposite-corner where the Dickson 
block now stands, were then the only 
two frame buildings in the village, all 
the others being of logs. This wax 
about 1890, Mrs. Cole now being in her 
87 yeai. He, Samuel, had four f.u* and 
three daughters: Peter. I., Siiniuel Jr. 
Stephen, Dick, Hannah and Mary, who 
married Jonathan Coykendall, Sr.', l'.t,r. 
and Samuel, Jr. Stephen settled ui 
Deckertown. Dick or Richard went 
west. Hannah born .May 9th, 1771 >. ... 
ried Moses Coykendall whose .]. - . -. |. 
ants have been traced in chapters one 
and two. Peter, Jr., for a tune kept 
hotel in the Vibbert house. Mr. Wii k- 
ham says be was the (list man to have 
the Low Dutch Church iu Deckertown 
changed to Presbyterian. If by this he 
means the old church formerly on the 
school house hill, it supplies a missing' 
link of history, of which more hereafter. 
Peter's son, Mark Decker is or was form- 
erly a resident of Port Jervis, Peter, Jr., 
then moved west and we have no further 
trace of him. Samuel Jr., we have no 
information of. Stephen settled as near 
as ?an be determined near where the 
old raceway to the mill is, about in the 
neighborhood of where Mrs. Cov keti- 
dall's house now stands. The laud ex- 
terding to where the Dickson and Avers 
bmk blocks now are, was, ou tic hi ;l i 
ground, once a fertile piece of me id ■ ■< 
land and was called in early surveys of 
the place, "Decker's meadow." Stephen 
married Elizabeth Middaugh. Their 
children were Halsey, John S-, Bcnj:i- 
miu, Richard, Huldah, Laviua ami 
Susan. The latter died young. Benj. 
died young. John S., marriedl'!i7.a'"tti 
Wells of Hunterdon County. He built 
a house and they lived where J. C. lb u- 
dershot now lives. Her father was a sea 
captain and -lost his life on the water. 
Her mother was a Mauuing f rom Plain- 
field and had boeu married previously to 

Dunn who was a half brother to 

Mrs. John Boy's grandmother. John 
S. and Elizabeth had four sons and one 
daughter: Lewis Ilavne, Ulna middle- 
name being for his uncle Lewis Has i > 
residing on Harrison street; Rlsi . 

who married Henderson and bv. I 

at Kerhonsen, N. Y , now deceased. •* ho 
left one child now, living iu A\ aterbur; 
Conn.; J. Emerson residing at herb' ris- 
en; Walter S., residing iu Brooklyi . N. 
Y.; and Mary E., who married Frank 1. 
Adams and resides on Mam street. 
Huldah, daughter of Stephen aud. 

Eli-aberh married T>wis Hayne whose ' 
ancestral home u.,s the farm uow owned . 
by Samuel Newman. He is deceased | 
iiiul bis willow resides in town. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Decker, widow of Joliu 
S., above mentioned resides witli her | 
daughter, Mrs. F. P. Adams. She is I 
unusually intelligent and baa a remark- 
able memory for ber years. 

The fourtb son of l'eter and Magda- 
lena Decker was Yope. He took tbe 
old homestead (tbe Amos Mnnson farmi 
after bis father's deatb. He nfterwards , 
sold it to Judge Sayre as we are inform- 
ed by Alpbeus Howell, Esq. Indeed it 
would appear that Judge Sayre must 
bare purchased nearly all the homestead 
lauds from the heirs of l'eter Decker, 
because he at that time owned and re- 
sided upoD what is now tbe Loomis farm 
previously tbe property of Samuel Deck- 
er. We have no further information 
concerning Yope, nor the fifth sou of 
Peter, Kick, who lived and died in Deck- 

(Conticued next week) 


Mrs. Bross of Sparrowhush writes us to correct 
our statement in chapter vi ns to Joseph ami 
Margaret Jackson Cole *a SOB Samuel, tin mar 
riej Mary I'erker sist-r to ihe Andrew Decker 
therein mentioned. They hail three sons James. 
I'hilip and Samuel, and one daughter, Mi's. Lor 
ana 6. BroSS, of Spar-owbush. 

Mis Bro»s informs us that Oorge Pierce Cole's 
father was S mmel Cule, but he waa a son of 
Aurora ami ITrit, ih Decfceri Cole. 



From what we have wntten of Peter 
and Magdalena Decker's descendants, 
and including the many other branches 
of the family tree which are known to 
exist, but of which tbe records are faulty, 
it has been shown that fully eight-tenths 
of the inhabitants of Deckertown are 
relatives by blood or marriage to the 
above named pioneers. As we have be- 
fore remarked, when this first couple of 
sturdy American born Hollanders took 
up their abode in tbe wilderness at this 
place, their names were pronounced, in 
German, Petrus and Lecentje Decker. 
Of Mrs. Decker we can find scarcely any 
memoranda, even among tbe generally 
ready fields of tradition. Her family 
name < Isterbout, although recurring with 
■••iiio frequency upon the early records 
■ i'-i.-. not scum to lead to any disclosuroe 

concerning the early life, date of birth^ 
or education, of this historical mother in | 
the genealogical line of the Decker; 
family. She lived near Kingston in 
Ulster Gocmty at the time of her mar-; 
riage to Petrus Decker which took I 
place in Kingston very shortly after j 
1>730. Petrus had been born in 1711, i 
and bis birthplace was doubtless in ) 
Kiugston, or near there because bis i 
father, J«hannis Decker, as we have 
seen, came to the Titsworth farm by the 
Neversink in 1713. After Petrus' mar- 
riage and removed to where Deckertown 
now stands, but little can be gleaned of 
his progress. We next find mention of 
his name upon the aesessor's books when 
the people of Minisink Precinct were 
taxed tor building Goshen jail in 1739. 
lu that year his assessment was ,£l-10e, 
and his tax Is. lid. Only improvements 
in lands were then taxed, so that we 
may assume that in the six or seven 
years he had resided here the clearing 
made waa not very largo. But as it 
comprised all there was of Deckertown, 
the tax, which in dollars and cents was 
abot 4l lets, was the smallest tax un- 
doubtedly ever laid upon the place, or 
that ever will be laid upon it. 

When Morris County was cut up and 
Sussex County organized in 1853, the 
dispute between New York and New 
Jersey claimants to lands along tie 
boundary line was at its height. As we 
have seen, New York State had exercised 
authority and collected taxes over a con- 
siderable portion of lands now included 
in New Jersey. The New Jersey Pro- 
prietors held that the boundary line ran 
from the Hudson River in a straight 
line to the most northward branch of 
the Delaware Kiver which would have 
reached Cochecton, and therefore New 
Jersey claimed that Port Jervis and 
lauds about it belonged to New JetHey. 
Iu consequence the New. Jersey authori- 
ties undertook to assert their rights, 
and there were lively times along the 
border, writs of ejectment being plenti- 
ful and land owners awake to their in- 
terests. In this disturbance we get a 

•"pretty good view of the disposition and ; 
[ appearance of Petrus Decker. Richard 
[ Gardner, was employed to survey the 
! boundary line in the name year that 
' Sussex County was organized. He hnd 
for chain bearers Petrus Decker and 
John Herring. On the 2Uth of July they 
had progressed as far eastward as Thos. 
DeKay's settlement in what is now 
Vornon township. As they were going 
through a swampy piece of land, the two 
sons of DeKay, Jacob and George, sud- 
denly came upon them and thumped \ 
Gardner and Herring with a club and f 
broke the compass, but did not offer to j 
touch Decker. Gardner went before 
the New Jersey Conned and presented 
his affidavits and those of bis assistants. 
Gardner first made oath that the De- ; 
Kay's struck him with a club, and took j 
away from him his surveying instru- 
ments auch as a oompass, dividers, etc., j 
but, said he, "not the least outrage did 
they offer to Petor Decker, an able man j 
of 4(> years, who was no Quaker and 
who looked on the whole time." John 
Herring's affidavit was the same as 
! Gardner's, except that he placed Peter 
; Docker's age at 42 years. Then followed 
the affidavit of Peter Decker. "Peter 
Decker aged about 42 years, being duly 
sWoin on the holy Evangelists of Al- 
mighty God, on his oath declares that 
he has several times heard the ailiirma- 
tion aforesaid of John Herring read to 
him, and verily believes of the facts 
therein related to have been done on the 
20th day of July laBt, are true to the 
best of his recollection, except the scale 
and dividers, which he, the deponent, 
does not recollect to have seen the De- 
Kays' take, but is sure as to compass, 
chain and bell, and believes as to scale 
and dividers." Feteu Decker. 

Sworn in Council Nov. 23rd, 1753. 

Ch. Read, CI. of Council. 
From the foregoing testimony it is 
established that Mr. Deokerwaaa large 
strongman, because the two DeKay's 
were careful not to molest him, although 
Gardner seemed to feel a little disap- 
pointed because he looked on the whole 

time. Thht he~was not opposed to &. 
trial of strength when he thought neoe»-* 
sary, for Gardner says he was no (jnakorj 
That his age was as wo have Btatai] 
That he was a conscientious man. us i* 
Bhown by the careful manner in which 
he framed his testimony as to what ha 
saw and what he believed, ami lastly thai 
he was an intelligent cautious man, be-. 
cause he kept aloof and took no part in 
the scrap, and could write because 
he wrote his name. 

October 13th of the same year (I7MW 
the King issued commissions for judges] 
and instituted a system of courts for 
Sussex County. Nov. 20th of that year' 
the first court of Common Picas con- 
vened in Sussex County at the house of 
Johnathan Pettit in Hard wick township, 
i^uow in Warren County.) Jonathan 
Robeson, Abraham VauKampen, John 
Anderson, Johnathan Pettit and Thos. 
Wolverton w ere th e judges. One of the 
first things they did was to read the 
King's commission to Justices of the. 
Peace, who were Richard Gardner, 
Obadiah Ayers, Japhet By ram and; 
Peter Decker. There were no elections ! 
for justices. Thus Mr. Decker was the ■ 
first public official of any grade in this! 
part of Wantage. A Justice of the peace 
then had no jurisdiction over suits where! 
more than $5 was in dispute. 

There is only one instance recorded | 
of his judicial action, and that was nar- j 
rated in a publication called the New j 
American Magazine. In its issue of j 
June 30th 1758 it said: "Some davsj 
since a man and boy travelling along I 
the public highway in the said county 
of Sussex were attacked by the In. liana, j 
The man was shot dead. The b< >y wa» ; 
surprised but finding one of the Indiana 
in pursuit of him he had presence of 
mind, as the last refuge, to turn and lit* 
Upon him, and saw him drop. lh« 
other Indian still pursued, mid the b ■' 
perceiving that his gun so Retarded hw 
flight that he must betaken broke it l i 
pieces against a rock that it might m>tl 
fall into the enemy's hands, and made} 
his escape from them. He then ular.iiolj 


the people "who Immediately went ont | 
upon the scout with guns ami dogs, aud 
coming to the place where the boy shut 
tbe Indian, they found a great deal of 
blood, but not the body. They sear-died 
very diligently about the woods, when 
at last one of the dogs began barking.. 
and going to 8M what was the matter 
they found him barking at a pile of 
brush aud tearing it aside they found 
the Indian buried with his clothes and 
tomahawk; upon which they scalped 
him, and brought away the things they 
found buried with him. On Tuesday 
the 16th day of June, Justice Decker of 
the County of Sussex brought the said 
Iudian scalp and tomahawk to the city 
of Perth Amboy. This savage proves to 
be the notorious bloody villain well 
kuown by the name of Captain Arm- 
strong, a noted ringleader of the Dela- 
wares, who was concerned with Benja- 
min Springer (lately executed in Morris 
Co.) for the murder of Anthony Swart- 
wout, his wife aud children." 

This occurrence was very probably in 
the vicinity of Deckertown. Congress 
deemed the boy's act so meritorious that 
thoy voted him, calling him in the net 
"The lad Tietsort," the sum of thirty 
Spanish milled dollars. They also pre- 
sented him with a medal of silver, the 
size of a dollar, whereon was inscribed 
the bust or figure of au Indian prostrate 
at the feet of the said Tietsort. Which 
of the Titsworth boys this was we have 
not learned, but he was no doubt living 
near Deokertowu since Feter Decker 
had the Indian's scalp. The medal 
I should have been, perhaps has been, 
j preserved. Who has it? The man aud 
' b >y are described as walking along the 
highway. At that time there were no 
roads in Deckertown known to record. 
Tiie highways were patiis through the 
woods, traveled by the settlers ou foot 
or ou horseback, for they were impass- 
able for wagoriB except in a few places. 
On the 30th day of Jauuary 177 2, Joseph 
Crowoll, Evi Adams, William Sonth- 
w.irtb, Abiah lirown, Abraham Van 
Aukuu uud Johannes Cortreoht. met at 

the house of Peter Decker t"o~T5y ont a' 
road, they being surveyors of highways. 
They had the surveys before- them and 
then aud there formally laid aud ordered 
reoorded a new road— the tirst one re- 
corded in the township ot Wantage. Its 
beginning point was described in the 
survey as beginning at a point in the 
Goshen road near said Decker's mills, 
aud running from thence to the foot of 
the Minisink mountain. . This Goshen 
road, owing; to the travel then seeking 
an outlet to tide water at Newburgh for 
market, was probably the tirst one made | 
use of with wagons, from Deckertown. 
It is conceded to have led from Deckel- , 
town across the drowned lands some-!' 
where near William Owen's. The above 
record by mentioning the mills also 
shows Decker's mills to have been budt 
previous to that date, 1772. At that 
time Peter Decker's son Samuel, who 
has always been credited with building 
the mills was but "23 years old as can be 
seen by reference to our last chapter, 
hence we conclude that the old mill was 
built by Peter the first, himself. The 
above eeorded road, niit-t have been 
the one leading from Deckertown 
through Woodburn to Beemerville and j 
thence to the foot of the mountain. 

Aug. 23ud 1791, the surveys of a road ! 
were placed on record, leading from ] 
Deckertown to conuect with a road 
across the Papakat ug which led from i 
Martin's and Willson's (Evi Vandrwff 
farm) to where Hamburg now is, then 
called Wallings. The beginning point | 
in Deckertown was "50 links north of j 
Robert Morns' ash house," thence south I 
18 deg. West 5 chains and DO links, ! 
thence south 58 deg. East 3 chains aud ' 
80 links, thence south 51 deg. East 6 : 
chains, thence east 3 chains and 10 links, 
thence south IG deg. East 11 chains, 
thence south 51 deg. East 17 chains, 
thence south 9 deg. • West 9 chains, | 
thence south 14 deg. East 1-1 chains to | 
the south side of Pepocottmg bridgenear 
Sylvan us Adam's house." By the help 
of Surveyor James W. McCoy, wc have 
located this first road to Hamburg v.itbv 

some certainty.' The beginning was in 
what is now Uniouville Ave., between 
the Say re honse and the Catholic church. 

The valleys then were swamps, hence 
the road was kept on the hills. It ran 
from its beginning to about where Lewis 
H. Decker now lives, and then zigznged 
across the swamp in the hollow to Peter 
Decker's dwelling or just north of it, 
from whence it turned and ran over the 
hill where Prof. Seely now lives, and 
across where John D. Shorter is now 
building his de welling house toward 
where Lebbita Martin now lives, in 
order to furnish an outlet for the set- 
tlers who lived near there, and thence at 
right angles almost to where the North- 
rap property is, whence it crossed the 
Papakating. It very possibly followed 
a path which had been previously used 
as a road. In 1*17, when the Hobokcu 
and Milford turnpike was constructed, 
the road was made straight from the 
Papakating to the hill where the Union 
House now stands and the old road 

Of the deaths of Petea and Magdalena 
Docker no records are known to exist. 
They almost certainly were deceased be- 
fore 1800. Hence the stories that some 
aged people yet indulge in, as to having 
seen Peter Decker, are certainly errors, 
aud have reference no doubt to bis son 
Peter Decker, Jr. The old couple were 
bnried in the old cemetery in the rear of 
the present school building on the hill. 
This cemetery which formed a receptacle 
for the dead of our incipient town for 
nearly half a century has been abandon- 
ed many years ago. Some of the remains 
have been removed to other grounds, 
but so many were there interred whose 
resting place was marked by a common 
slnb of tield stone, without a mark, that 
the graves of many of the early pioneers 
are unknown. Among them are our 
good old ancestral friends Peter and 
Magdalena Decker who dug cut a home 
for themselves in the wilderness, and at 
the same time have chiseled their names 
upon a monument more lasting than 
marble — the history of Deekertown. 

Some twelve years ago excavations otif 
Harrison street allowed the 1khi«< ofj 
many remains in the old cemetery t-. i •-' 
come exposed. They were removed iuj 
a misoellaueous collectiou and rebnrii d,j 
so tb^t it may be doubted whether thai 
bones, of the worthy couple are yet rent-J 
ing in the soil of their choice. I;-it w<rj 
doubt not their final sleep will be j i t ... 
sweet and dreamless wherever tin ir i .• r-i 
tal remains are laid. 



Peter Decker's sons who settled about] 
him in Deekertown. were Samuel, rope 
and Hick, and it may be that one or two 
of hia daughters married and settled 
near by. At all events the small col- 
lection of log houses, is reported to have 
been called at first Deckerville, by the 
early settlers of the vicinity. Andrew' 
Willson, who settled where Simon Will- 
son now lives just not theast of town, is 
reported by commonly accepted tradl-j 
tion to have built the Sifot frame hofcfsw 
iu the neighborhood, about at the close; 
of the Revolutionary war. About the 
same time Peter Decker built a frame 
building for a tavern, where Dickson's 
brick block now stands. This stood far- 
ther back from the street than the pres- 
ent brick building does. Several peo-j 
pie arc yet living who remember seeing 
the old tavern, and they are pronounced 
in their memory that the well at Wolfe's 
marble yard, was just in front of the. 
old Inn. The present buildings must; 
therefore set ont toward the road fully' 
ten feet farther than the old one. This, 
hotel was afterwards purchase. 1 by 
Sof.-r.-ign Westfall, and he sold it ttSain 
to Dr. Vibbert who had married .. 
daughter of Joseph Sharp, of Sharp*- 
boro, which name he had given to what 
had formerly been called Walling?, now 
Hamburg. Dr. Vibbert kept. hotel 
there tor some years, and finally rented' 
the house to Peter Decker, Jr., whffl 
kept hotel there. ,_j 


Shortly "attor this house ba<T"been 
Imilf, Samuel Decker built a frame 
liousn far a hotel where D. S. Goble's 
property now is. Those two frame 
l> Hidings remained the only ones of 
that kind here as late as 1N20, according 
to the recollections of Mrs. Lottie Oole, 
»ho says that all others were then log 

The llrst blacksmiths in the place are 
believed to have been the two Shepherd 
brothers, who joined Col. Meeker and 
Ca[it. llarker when they passed through 
D^ckertown on their way to the battle 
of Minisiuk July '2i)th, 1779. They were 
both killed m that battle, but one of 
them, Abram, must have had a family 
living in town because his son James is 
mentioned as a blacksmith here. Exact- 
ly where this first blacksmith shop was 
located is not detinately known. Some 
"Id inhabitants have a tradition that it 
was where the Opera House block is 
now located. The above blacksmith, 
James, afterwards bought property east 
of the v.llage and took up farming 
where, George Shepherd, one of his de- 
ei daatB now resides. 
Tlie first merchant of the town is not 
ueuiiatcly known, but the location has 
been quite well decided upon as being 
where Moses Ayers now has his meat 
market. Michael McMann, is believed 
to hitve been one of the first, who kept a 
store there and James Sayre the next. 
They sold whiskey more frequently 
than molasses, and indeed liquor was 
more an article of household consump- 
tion than was molasses at that time. 
We have been informed by one gentle- 
man whose memory extends back to the 
l; nn- when a store was kept, where we 
have stated, of an incident illustrative 
of those early customs. He came to 
i' kortowu with hia uncle, and being 
[a small lad rodo in the hind part of the 
I svagon. His uncle, after buying the 
• articles he came after, which included 
[ the usual jug of of applejack and the 
! unusual one of a jug of molasses, and 
■ '■•■ nor treated by* the storekeeper two or 
, three times, put the two jugs in the 

wagon side by sfiTe "and they started" foF 
home in the evening. While driving 
along his nucle got thirsty and reaching 
back in the wagon se.ized the jug and 
taking out the stopper elevated the jug 
to the proper degree aud put his lips to 
the mouth of it. There was a choking, 
then a splashing of the contents over I 
him as he lowered the jug, and then a 
very mad man. He had got hold of the 
molasses jug. 

The grist mill built as we have stated 
by Peter Decker, was owned afterward 
by bis son Samuel, and afterward by 
Dr. Vibbert, who rebuilt them in 1844, j 
on the east bank of the creek. The 
premises are now occupied by the con- 
densery. $ 

A gentlemen has told us of an inci- 
dent which took place in the old Vib- 
bert house which was as follows: John 
B. Decker, always known as Johnnie B., 
who then resided in the Clove, one 
morning missed an overcoat and one or 
two articles which had been taken from 
a wagon by his wagon house. He saw 
by two men's tracks which way the 
thieves had gone anil followed them to 
Deckerfcown. When he came in the bar- 
room of the Vibbert bouse two men were 
sitting there. ' Johnnie B., asked the 
landlord if two men had lately arrived 
there, and he pointed out the two 
strangers. When Johnnie B., turned 
towards them, one of the men arose and 
dashed out of the back door. Mr. Deck- 
er made a desperate rush after him and 
ihey went out of the back yard in full 
speed. A brook ran from the spring 
now on Jud Wickham's lot, through by. 
where Dr. Moore now lives, and it form- 
ed a sunken morass of brush and mud. 
When the thief reached the banks he 
made a tremendious leap for the other 
side which he safely reached, just es 
capiug Mr. Decker's grasp. Without a 
moment's hesitation ho leaped after 
him, but fell short and went down in 
the mud to his middle. The thief es- 
caped, but his companion who remained 
gave up the stolen articles to Mr. Deck- 
er and was not prosecuted. 

A distillery wru earTy fh operation, 
anil as Samuel Decker at one time own- 
ed the premises, ■which adjoined the 
hotel • he built, now the DeCamp or 
Goble Ilouse, it is probable that he 
erected the distillery. It stood where 
the shoo factory now is, and had a high 
trough over the road to convey the 
cider to the distilling room which was 
by the spring where J. J. Wiokham's 
house now stands. This distillery was 
in operation for many years and is yet 
remembered by many old people. 

The first physician who appears to 
have had principal charge of the Deck- 
ertown practice, was Dr. Berret Havens. 
He came to Deckertown from Connecti- 
cut in 1782 when he was 20 years old 
and began the practice of medicine. He 
I was Deckertown's physician for 28 years. 
[ He married Jane, eldest danghter of 
'. William and Margaret (Middaugh) Tits 
: worth of the Clove. She died Jan. 9fcb, 
j 18W7 in the 73rd year of her age, apd he 
' died Dec. 23rd, 1845, in the 83rd year of 
| his age. They are interred in the Clove 
Cemetery. They left two children, 
James C, and Jane T, James 0., bad a 
son James C, Jr., whose son, Johnathan, j 
was a prominent physician in Decter- 
town in 1S64 and 1SG5. His sons Gabriel 
of Newark, and Barret, of Passaic, sur- [ 
vive him. 

Dr. Berret Havens after his wife's 
death practiced till 1820 when he relin- 
quished the field to Dr. Heman Allen, 
Bon of Elisha Allen, of Vermont. Dr. 
Allen was 41 years of age when he came 
to Deckertown. He owned the property 
now belouging to Mrs. John B. Thomp- 
son. He followed his profession here 
for about 25 years. He died some 14 
years later (Deo. 22nd, 1859.) and is in- 
terred in the Deckertown Union Ceme- 
tery. One of his daughters married 
John Halstead, whose son Prof. Allen 
R. Halstead is now principal of impor- 
tant public schools in Massachusetts. 
Another daughter married Saudford 
Leach, of whose sons, Heman A., now 
resides at Sparta, and Lemuel W., re- 



sMefl Just south of the borough on tM 
Hamburg road. 

Dr. Alexander Linn, son of John I. mi 
of Harmony Vale, after graduating us a.) 
physician came to Deckertown aajl 
located in 1837. In 1M"> he;.-.! 
Julia, daughter of Dr. Horace Vil.L. rt4 
He practiced medicine in this pforo f^r; 
30 years, He died May 12th, 1WJ», »„ «N 
57 years, Dr. Carlos Allen also pj , ■■■:.■_ 
ed medicine in Deckertown foi f QB 
years previous to 184C,. 

Dr. Lewis West rail, son of Muting 
Westfall succeeded to Dr. Linn's praH 
tice in Deckertown but died May 
18C.9, aged 30 years. 

Later physicians are well known. DrJ 
J. Moore and Dr. H. D. VauGaasliecH 
now appear to each be doiug a profiM 
able business. 

The first establishment of of a school) 
here is somewhat diilicuU to ascertain.} 
Iu 1774, according to Rev. Peter Kanonsei 
fiere were but three dwellings in D.ek-I 
ertown, and there were three school] 
houses in the township of Wantage.} 
Where those three school houses were] 
located ho does not mention, bnt WO) 
have bo information that any of thcjnj 
were iu Deckertown. One of the three) 
schools mentioned he says, "was taught.' 
by an African servant and the other two 
by foreigners better qualified for ostlers] 
than for teachers." In 17S0 he ep ik» : 
of a school house thatched with *iri' v . 
The first school house in Deckertown u» 
reported to have been located near where 
the Union House now stauds, and a- 
teacher named Gunn is the first report- j 
ed one in the place. Very little i3 known] 
of him. There was another school- house 
located afterward near where EJ-wardj 
Feaka' dwelling now stauds. It was of. 
logs aud I have conversed with sevi r ti 
aged people who remember it. After. 
the close of William Rankin's Bided? 
school on the hiU'about 1852, tin- builit- 
ing he had occupied was obtaine 1 f< t 
the use of the public school, and ha< 
ever since been the home of public van 
straction in the place. Principal Wufcj 


IT. Orenello anrtThn-o asnrstante now 
compose the staff of teachers. 

The select school of Wm. Rankin who 
had been previously a teacher in Snssex 
County, was established in 183:!, the 
same year in which Edward Styles 
founded his Mt. Rjtiromeut Seminary. 
Schools of that kind were not viewed 
witli much favor '07 the townspeople 
then, they being considered of a fanci- 
ful and fashionable nature. Air. Rankin 
with difficulty secured a small room 
about 14 feet square, which if we have 
been correctly informed was where the 
building owned by Owen J. Little now 
stands In front of Goble'a hotel annex. 
The first day of the school only one 
scholar presented himself, and ho had 
oome. from Unionville That one 
scholar now resides in Deckertown and 
is no less a person than John A. Whlt- 
taker, President of the Farmer's Nation- 
al Bank. Mr. Rankin used to narrate 
an enecdote which illustrated the habits 
of some of Deckertown's citizens. One 
evening when he had been out walking 
ab mt two months after he began school 
he did ribfc get back until about eleven 
o'clock in the evening, His surprise 
was great on coming in sight of his 
school room to find it all lighted up. 
He was sure he had locked the door 
when he left it. He went to a window 
and looked in. The room was well 
tilled with gentlemanly well dressed 
men, some standing, others seated round 
a table which was almost covered with 
money of various kinds— all giving at- 
tention to a game that was in progress 
with cards. He then unlocked the door 
and stepped in. No seeming notice, 
however was taken of him and after ob- 
serving the scene a few minutes he ob- 
served to a gentleman standing near 
him that he would be thankful if. when 
they were done using the room, they 
would leave it in good order. He then 
retired and in the morning upon return- 
ing found the room divested of men, 
money and table— the door locked, all 
iu gixnl condition. We do not doubt 

however EST" Inere" 'naVe™neen otBer' 
scenes of nimilar import in Deckertown', 
since, then. From that small beginning- 
—one scholar— Mr. Rankin's school 
grew to 7G scholars, and that too while- 
Mr. Styles school was so near and was 
being extensively patronized at the same 
time. Mr. Rankin taught some 18 years 
here, and then went to Amity and from' 
there to Mendham where he taught a 
similar school for many years. While" 
in Deckertown he was a' great student 
of local scenery and geological form- 
ations. A conical mound in the ■ mead- 
ow in front of Hugh McGee's residence 
he felt quite assured was the work of 
mound builders— the prehistoncal race; 
of which suoh decided handiwork is tor 
be seen in some of the western states.' 
Several times he led his scholars to the • 
place and caused them to mako surveys 
of the mounds, which was a very good 
exercise for them even if they brought 
to light no farther evidence of the lost 
race. . J 





The first religious movement towards 
an organized form of worship in Decker- 
town we have been unable to trace to a 
certain date. In the petition asking for 
the establishment of a church in the 
Clove dated Aug. 21st, 1787, the petiti- 
oners say that Borne members of the 
Dutch Reformed church,-"a few in numb- 
er had settled our county about 10 years 
before, since which time Rev. Thomas 
Rouievu had preached for them occasion- 
ally" tradition says principally in Helmos 
Titsworth's barn in the Clove. At in- 
clement seasons these services were 
doubtless held in private houses. The 
above petition was signed by 55 resi- 
dents, principally of the upper Clove 
neighborhood. It was followed by the 
organization of the church and its in- 
corporation as the first Presbyterian 
Church of Wantage under an act passed 

by the Now Tereey'TLegiBratTire, March 
tOtb, l~x<', which was the first to legal- 
ize the incorporation of religions organi- 
zations,. A log church was built near 
the present location of the Clovo church 
ami Rev VanBenschoten became its 
pistor in 17*8. We consider it more 
than likely that Peter Decker's family 
anil the few people in Deckertown at 
that time attended church there, because 
subquent moves concerning a' church 
in Deckertown indicate that Mr. Decker's 
family preferred that mode of worship, 
although the Baptist had a church built 
previously (in 1778,| where the Papakat- 
iug church now stands. This was near- 
er Dtckertown, and the ohurch records 
say it was taken from Hamburgh there 
because 'large numbers of its members 
lived in Wantage." Rev. Nicholas Cox 
was its pastor at that time, and until 
J 1782, .and we may conclude that Mr. 
Decker and his children often attended 

Nov. 24th, 1817, soon after Mr. Van- 
Beuschoten's death, the Clovo church 
was by a vote of its members changed to 
a Presbyterian church, and upou its or- 
ganizat on as such, Aug. 11th, 1818 had 
2j members. This small membership 
from so large a congregation, leads us 
to conjecture that about thia time a 
good part of the members from Decker- 
town'formed a branch organization of 
their own, because they found it difficult 
to attend Clove church at all seasons 
owing to the distance. Exactly when 
I they lirst built an edifice we cannot de- 
i tcrmine but it is understood to have 
j been a frame building, and as we have 
i before mentioned, that, aocording to 
| Mrs. Lottie Cole's recollections, in 1820, 
| only the two frame buildings she named 
were here, consequently the church was 
erected subse'iueutly. It has beeu 
stated that this first church was a union 
one, built by various denominations 
jointly, but I no where find any evi- 
dence of it. On the contrary it is among 
the remembrances of Josiah Wickham 
that it was a Presbyterian and was 

"founded By Tefef"Decier.~ Tf tinJJf 
by Peter it must certainly haw Iwr^ 
Peter Decker,.! r., for the first P.l.r 1 >. 
er was undoubtedly deceased b"fnrt- ih»t 
time. That it belonged to the IV »!,>-{ 
terian denomination is corrnljorsdti bli 
all other circumstances related nf t!., 
times. At first it was conducted m-|h 
ate from the Clove church. Tim 
gether because about the time of in- 
ception Rev. Gershorn William* «m 
pastor of the Clove church, audn,. tradi 
tion mentions his having charge of t!,e 
Deckertown branch. Rev. En. is t > U 
was the first pastor of this idd church 
the school house hill without a doubt,: 
not as a regular supply at first, but s» 
au assistant to Mr. Williams, Aiu-Uig 
the papers left by Rev. Edward Ailesi 
occurs the folowiug memorandum dated 
"Friday Dec. 18th, 1818." "Arrived at 
Newfoundland and preached in the 
evening at the house of Maj. button. 
The attendance was good. Hud the 
pleasure of seeing Bro. Enos A. Osborn.i 
on his way as a missionary to lVcker- 
town, to assist Rev. Mr. Williams. The: 
Lord is reviving his work in tint region'." 
Rev. "Mr. Allen mentions him * ;aia, 
"Wednesday, June 9th, 18UI. Bro.: 
Enos Osborn, laboring at Decktrt. >wn, 
called on me (at Mr. Linn's in Hamburg) 
and spent the day. We examiiu d the 
points on which he expected next week 
I to be examined by Presbytery for ordin-, 

"Thursday, p. m., preached at th» 
j school house (New Prospect) near Mr. 
(iiveau's (ancestor of John F. Giveani 
now of our town; to a full and interest- 
ing house. Spent the night at E<*q 
Buckley's, an elder." 

"Friday. Visited Mr. Giveaus' family.' 
Conversed with the old genth man on 
many points. He ia indulging a ' ;■ 
Also with two young women— butilj 
seriously impressed." 

In 1820 Rev. Edward Allen b-.nm* 
pastor o! the Wantage church iCIotbJ 
but first regularly began his s.-rvu-c* 
with the beginning of the year U&y 

J !*unng bia chnrge, * the " Ueokertown 

i c -iigregation united with tbe CI»ve, and 

be preached alternately in either. This 

IB shown by a memorandum made by 

Rob( rt Ogden us follows: 

"Saturday, Oct. 23rd, 1824 Wont to 
Deckertowu. Lodged at Mr. Allen's 
Sabbath '21th. Attended the communion 
at the new meeting house below the 
mountain, iu Wantage, (Beemerville) 
under the pastoral care of Mr. Edward 
Allen. A powerful aud extensive re 
(rival of religion has taken place in that 
congregation, and the congregation of the 
Clove and Deckertown, now united under 
the care of Mr. Allen. Over 122 mem- 
bers were received into the church, of 
whom more thanTA) were baptized. Mr. 
J. Foster Halsey, a licentiate from the 
seminary at Princeton was there an as- 
sisted Mr. Allen in the administration 
of tbe ordinance. The bouse, though 
large, was crowded to overflowing. The 
exercises of the day were solemn, im- 
pretsive, edifying, aud consoling, and in 
the highest degree alarming to the im- 
impeuitent. Oh my Ood, let not the 
operations of Thy Spirit be suspended, 
but may they still be visible among that 
people and ulso be extended to this 
barren corner of thy vineyard," 

Mr. Allen preached until 1830 when 
he resigned. During that time 312 
members were added to the church — 
that is to the three under his charge.' 
He resided in Deckertown but we can- 
not point out the location of his dwell 
in;,' or the parsonage. if it may have been 
so called at that time. When he resign- 
ed from the charge of the Wautage 
churches he accepted a call to the Mil- 
ford, I'a-, Presbyterian church and was 
there four year9. During that time the 
three Wantage-congregations determined 
tb , : f they were too large and those mem- 
bers at Beemerville drew oil and built 
the stone church now there. Rev. 
Edward Allen preached the dedicatory 
sermon Jan. 4th, 1835, and was given 
ohurge of it as pastor where he remained 
uutil ISM. He then returned to Mil- 

ford, Pa., and afterwards at ofber church.'-^"}' 
es iu Pennsylvania. Haines says, '"As? 
many us ten church buildings owe their ; 
erection to his endeavors'' We have no 
account of his early life. He runrried 
for his first wife Elizabeth, daughter of' 
John and Martha (Huntl Linn, of Ham- 
burg, born Sept. 2nd, 17112. Hue was a 
sister to Alexander Linn, M. D., menti- 
oned in our last chapter. Mr. Allen 
when he first came to Wantage was a 
a young man comparatively. He taught 
school at Beemerville where Alpheus 
Howell of our town was one of his 
scholars. He was but one mouth older 
than his wife, whom he married at Ham- 
burg in 1820. Mr. Haines says his ap- 
pearance was so youthful, that at the 
great meeting held at Beemer church 
Aug. 56th, 1818, "some dissatisfaction 
was expressed at the suggestion that 
Mr. Allen should preach at the great 
meeting. But as he stood in the door-" 
way he soon carried the hearts of his 
great auditory with the earnest piercing 
words he used. They were deeply affect- 
ed, and from this time Mr. Allen's repu- 
tation as a preacher was established." 
There were estimated to have been 2,000 
persons present at that time. After the 
death of his first wife he married for a 
second, Louisa T. Richardson, of I'a., 
who was a widow. He died Aug. 1st, 
1877. Tbe following of his children 
grew to man and womanhood. John 
Linn his eldest son, studied for a physi- 
cian, and graduated in 18-15. He settled 
in Beemerville for the practice of his 
profession, but he remained only a few 
months there, removing' to Branchville 
in the spring of 18-1G. He entered into 
partnership there with Dr. Beach, and 
they practiced medicine there for a 
number of years. June 27th, 1850 he 
married Charlotte, daughter of Judge 
John Bell of thut place. He then rjs- 
moved to Lafayette where he followed 
his profession until h'is death a few ! 
years ago. His widow with her sons 
now reside in Newark. Sarah Elizabeth, 
eldest daughter of Rev. Edward and 
Elizabeth Allen, married Milton Dim- 

mick, a well known lawyer of Milford, 
Pa. She is now dead. -Martha Linn, 
second daughter, married Hawkins Di- 
Perry, a civil engineer and railroad man 
from Philadelphia, where she died. 
Mary L., third daughter, died unmarried. 
Henrietta L., fourth daughter, unmarri- 
ed, is now residing in Newton. Emma | 
E., fifth daughter, married Geo. P>. 
Boyd, M. D., of Serautou, Pa., where 
she now resides. William Edward, 
second son, early entered into the study 
of medicine, and graduated as a physici- 
an. . He became a prominent man in his 
profession and now resides in Scranton, I 
Pa. He married Amelia Clapp, of Brook- j 
lyn, N. Y. 

In 1835 Rev. George Pierson became ; 
pastor of the Clove aDd Deckertown 
churches. In 18:*9, May 1st, he recog- 
nized the appeal of a number of his 
members and Deckertown agaiu be- 
came a seperate organization. It became 
incorporated under the name of the 
third Presbyterian church, with Lewis 
Whittaker, Jacob Beemer, Horton Beein- 
er, and John Smith, elders. In Septem- 
ber of that year James \V. Wood became 
its pastor. He preached in the old 
church six years. During the latter 
part of his term, money was contributed 
' and arrangements made for building a 
new edifice. It was completed in 1845, 
where the present editice now stands. 
The old church was then abandoned 
and was idle until Mr. Rankin secured 
it for the use of his academy. Its mam 
building now forms Principal Grenell's 
room in our public school building, and 
is upon its original foundation. This 
venerable room was the only church 
edifice Deekertbwu possessed for 27 
years. We are sorry that the records 
have not given us some information of 
its first pastor, Kev. Enos Usborn. 

Rev. A. B. Rich, was called to the 
pastorate of the new edifice and remain- 
ed until 1844, adding 20 members to the 
church. Ho then resigned. Until 1840, 
for some reasons, the church was with- 
out a supply. Then Kev. A. B. Farrand 
uas called to the pastorate, and dis- 
charged its duties until lso~>. Then 
succeeded Kev. Wm- H. Babbitt, for two 
years, Kev. Peter Kauouse, for six years: 
Rev. O. H. P. Deyo, one year; Rev. P. 
J. Timlow, four years; then Kev. N. 

Elmer, Rev. J. \V. McWilliams, R«r.l 
E. A. Hamilton, Kev. O. P. Cl.r. •.-., 
Kev. A. Mc. A. Thorubum, and n-,'«m 

Rev. E. A. Hamilton the preHtnt pantor. 
During the charge of Kev. Mc. A. I .. -t:- 
burn, the church edifice was thorotiplilt 
overhauled and repaired at a c. >-t nl 
several thousand dollars, aud pine d m 
its present completed state. Two i.( I. r 
foregoing pastors died m Decker! - r 
Rev. J. W. McWilliams and IU.v. 1 • - 
Kanouse. The former who had in..- • . ; 
Miss Rebecca Willsou, of Deekerlnwu, 
died in September 1*7.1. Rev. l\ ;.r 
Kanouse died MaySOtli, 18G4, nnd • .• - 
terred in Fairview Cemetery. UU wid .w 
still owns property on Harrison stmt, 
and she spends a few months iu town 
every year. 

His historical sermon preached at 
Beemerville Jan. 7th, 1M I, was] lublishi A 
in pamphlet form and had a wide circu- 
lation. In it he mentions a remarkable 
ciroumstance as follows. "Sixty tivu 
years ago 1 1 779 » Mr. Joel Crowiii (who 
we are informed lived near when' (lab-, 
riel Ludlum now resides! cut a v. lute 
oak tiee about two feet in diameter, and, 
upon opening it, two distinct marks of 
an axe were found at the heart, made] 
there when young, and probably byl 
some straggling white man. The growth^ 
of the tree — say 140 layers or rings — and | 
the time of the discovery by Mr. C would 
carry us back not very lar from '., KJ 
years when these wounds wereinlheivd." 
This would have reached back to h'U, 
a period when the Dutch scouts weraj 
ranging the wilderness iu search of the 
preoious metals. May not that tr< > have 
been hacked by Arent Schuyler m 1' ' '!• 
when he passed through hero ti) the 
Minisink country as mentioned iu I •• 
first part of this history? Mr. Kai i •■ 
in his sermon describes the condition of 
the early settlers of Wantage thus: "In 
a howling wilderness, with a family ', 
children to feed, clothe aud edii 
farms to clear, houses, mills and h ma 
to erect, and roads to open and r. n ii fl 
passable, there was much to do and dii re 
to suffer. A log hut with our room, .i 
parlor, kitchen, bedroom ami all. I In re 
was nofurniture to dazzle without protil 
Oiled paper might serve far n 
glass, n pail of water for a mirror, a | 
kuot for a candle, and the wheel mid I 
loom made the music of the family. I a 
father supplied the wcol and lia\, r I 
the fair hands of our mothers and daugh- 
ters furnished the thread, tkeclotli, nuj 
the ready made garments. They wvraj 
rich in their own resources. lheiri 
wants were few and simple. And the»Ci 

"bread was the sweeter because the plow 
bad been driven through tne virgin soil 
that received the seed, by the hand of 
the mother, nDil the sheaf had been 
pressed in the amis of the .laughter." 
Again he says iu speaking of the mstitii- 
tions and education and relj. ,r ion here: 
"They are preen and blooming in the 
pearly drops of the morning, ami if half 
a century has. with the blessing of God, 
started us iuto being, and placed us 
upon vantage ground, what -if we do 
n-it prove recreant to our mercies, to our 
Redeemer, and our increased responsi- 
bilities—what may not be anticipat- 
ed and realized by the coming gener- 
ations? The igniting spark is treasured 
up iu the movements of the present age, 
the tbunderings of whose joy will "he 
heard and felt by our far off' descend- 
ants, rolling onward with increasing 
power, until the whole universe shall 
burst forth in one united acclamation 
"Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnip- 
otent reigneth." 

(Coutinue.1 next week) 

Sorrkction. Lewis Adams corrects the [oca- 
Uon ot the very early school house meniio:ie.i iu 
chapter ix. It was situated where Mm, C.irrie 
Cox DO*' reiUei. 



It is perhaps well enough, at this 
point, to note the corroboration given by 
the traditions of another family to the 
early settlement of John DeDecker at 
Kingston ior Eoopus,) as mentioned in 
Chapter I. Res, S. D. Decker, pastor 
of the M. E. Church, gives the tradition 
which has always been prevalent in his 
family, that the projectors of the Deck- 
er family in America were three brothers 
who very early came to New Amsterdam 
<N r ew York.) One of them settled up 
uloug the Hudson river, one of them 
settled on Htaten Island, and the third 
settled ia the south. The one who that 
triulitioH says settled up along the Hud- 
son River, was no doubt John DeDeck- 
er, judging from the time and circum- 
*!: ones. From the one who settled 
uponStaten island is traced the de- 
scent of Ke.v. S. D. Decker of our town. 
rheru was also a Henry Decker, by 
. tru ditiou known to be a relative to the 

Deckers of DeckVrto wn, *w£o settled "aS 
Ogdensbarg in 1795. We have seeni 
that the descendants of Yope and Rick ' 
Decker, sons of Peter the first, who had 
residences in Deckertown, have not been 
accounted for, and, it is very possible 
that this Henry was a son of Yope, who ; 
• fosiah Wickham says, occupied what 
was of late the Amos Munson farm. 
Henry had three sons, James, William 
and Benjamin, and three daughters, 
Susan, Jane and Margaret. The latter 

married Mapes and moved to Ohio, 

lane married John Happaree and went 
to Pennsylvania, Susan went unmarried 
with her sister, Mrs. Mapes to Ohio, 
William resided, when he died, by the 
Delaware above Port Jervis, Reujamin 
die.l iu Deckertown, and James lived 
and died near Sparta. The latter built 
the mill now owned by James L. Decker 
his son. Mr. Decker married Miss Nor- 
man, a daughter of John Norman, of 
Ogdeusburg, and his death occurred 
Feb. 5th, 1862 when he was 75 years 
old. I, 

Of Renjamiu, who died iu Decker- i 
town, we have it upon the authority of 
Mrs. John S. Decker, of our town, that 
he lived upon what was in his day called - 
the stone house farm. It was probably 
so called because the house iu which he 
lived was built of stone. It stood near : 
where the dwelling house of Mrs. John 
Loorais now lives. Mrs. John S. Decker 
recollects that wheu young she went to 
his house and visited there. He was a i 
tall man and very intemperate, so that 
all the neighbors pitied his family. • t 
The Deckertown Raptist church had 
its inception as early as 1751. A num- j 
ber of Baptists settled at Hamburg in 
that year from Connecticut. They se- 1 
lected one of their number, William 
Marsh, for a paste* A log meeting 
house was erected there, on Lawrence's ' 
Hill. In 1763, Mr. .Marsh, having pre- } 
viously enunciated some doctrinal views 
which did not suit some of his congre I 
gation, quit preaching and went to Wy- 
oming. A colony from Conneticut had 
purchased lands there, and made a set- J 


Hernial "prevTonsTy.^TfoSer County 
t.-.L.litiou, affirms that he was there 
missaereed by Indians; but the history 
of that colon; shows that about that 
time a bitter warfare of ejectment was 
carried oil by the Pennsylvania propri- 
etors, who had counter claims to the 
lands,, in which many persons on both 
sides lost their lives. In that struggle 
he was probably slain, since his name is 
nut found among the victims of the In- 
dian attack in 1780. Rev. Constance 
Hart succeeded him in the ministry at 
Hamburg. In 1772 Bav. Nicholas Cox 
succeeded him. Iu 1778 a new building 
was erected where the present edifice 
stands. It was incorporated under the 
title of the "First Baptist church of 
Wantage." Rev. James Finn succeeded 
him in 1783. R^v. Silas Southworth 
succeeded him in 1785. He died Feb. 

20th, 1814. Elders Hall and Thos. 

Teasdale, supplied the church till Nov. 
4th, 1813, when Rev. Levi Hall became 
pastor. He died Aug. 21st, 1821, and 
Elder John Hagau supplied the church 
as pastor until 182"), when Rev. Leonard 
Fletcher became pastor. In 1830 a new 
meeting house was erected which is still 
standing called the Papakating.- He 
was followed by Elder Timothy Jackson 
until Oct. 1835, when he was succeeded 
by Elder Isaac Moore. The latter was 
succeeded by Elder Wo. M. Fay in 
1840. In 1812 Rev. Sanford Leach suc- 
ceeded him. In 1845 Rev. D. F. Tunis, 
became pastor but resigned in 1849, 
when Rev. T. Davis succeeded him until 
1858. Rev. J. Belden succeeded him for 
a short time. In 18R1 Rev. G. F. Love 
became his successor, and remained un- 
til ISfi.j when R -v. 1). T. Hill succeeded. 
In 1870 Rev. O. F. Love came back for 
a short time and was followed by Rev. 
Mr. Jewitt and he by Rev. J. I>. Dyer. 
In 1889 ho was followed by Ruv. L. O. 
Greuelle. In 1882 the present edifice 
was erected on Hamburg Avenue, it 
l> ins,' the understanding that upon its 
erection services were to be held in the 
old church called the Papakating, once, 
a day, and in the church iu town, evon- 

flngs. ft was' soon found more eonr«t»3 
Lent to hold the services In the u„*j 
church altogether, and the other nUnd* 
practically idle. Mr. Clrenelle wad 
succeeded by 'Bev. A. R Wilson, »W 
did not remain long. He was hucckhIaJ 
by Rev. Charles C. Lathrop tbe prtwnt 
very efficient incumbent. Tlio Fint 
Baptist church as will be seen h*« « 
very ancient record. Before l|„. ,. rrTW 
tion of the church on school house LilL 
1818 or 1819, the people of our to»n 
divided their attendance as we !,,iv« 
mentioned between the Papakating ami 
Clove churches. 

Iu the life of Rev. Zelotas Grenello it 
is stated that "on this entire field, he 
labored as the pastor of the First Want- 
age four yeara and six months." Thia 
was previous to 1821. This would s.vm 
to have meant the supplying of the Bap- 
tist churches at Meadville near Mt. 
Salem but in Orange Co., N. Y., anj 
alternate preaching in tbe Union church 
at Bar merville, because Elder Levi Hall 
had charge of the First Wantage at that 
time. The trials of Rev. Zelotua Gren- 
etla towards procuring an ordination 
were a fair sample of church discipline 
"prevalent iu those days. At an exami- 
nation meeting where he and another 
minister were to preach. Elder Lebbeos* 
Lathrop was in charge. When Mr. 
^reneile was in' the middle of hia dis- 
course, Elder Lathrop arose from bin 
seat in front of the pulpit and said m a 
stern tone of voice, "Youug man you 
are wrong." The young man dropped 
into his seat as if shot, and the other 
minister took his place and went on with 
the meeting. But he persuvi r» 1, and I 
will give a description »! his setting 
apart *"~ the gospel tuiniBtry. "In 
August 1819, the meeting was held in a I 
grove adjoining thu frame building 
Meadville. A large audience was in -U- 
tendance and the exerqises were noli n»n 
and impressive. The following chnri . ■ 
were represented by their meSoengi s id 
the council: The First Baptist of Ull- 
age, Hamburg, Brooktield [Slate Hill,)] 
Deerpark (New Vernon,) and Middies 


t.iwr.. A large lumber wnjnn was driven the middle of the grave, and served 
as n pnlpit. It was capacious enough 
to contain nil the ministers present. The 
ordination sermon was preached by 
Aaron Perkins. Henry Ball ottered the 
ordaining prayer. Thomas Teasdale, 
Sr., gave the hand of fellowship and 
Levi Hall gave the charge." Of those 
ministers, the two last named are now 
sleeping in the Deckertowu Union ( Papa- 
kating) cemetery. 

From 1822 to 183.'?, occurred the divi- 
sion of the Baptist churches into the 
old and new school branches. It began 
with the opposition of many members 
and ministers to innovations and changes 
in the heretofore settled rulings and 
customs of the church. About the year 
1826 many churches withdrew from the 
old associations and formed "new school" 
organizations. For a long time the dis- 
pute made sad havoc with the attend- 
ance and congregations at their differ- 
ent churches, but I do not find that it 
affected the First Baptist of Wantage as 
mach as some others. 

In 17*3. says Kjuiouso, ''this church 
consisted of about 100 members. In 
1812 undar the labors of Elder South- 
worth there was au extensive revival. 
Between the years 181(3 and 1*21 during 
the ministry of Elder Levi Hall the 
church enjoyed an almost continuous 
revival. From 1820 to 1831, during 
which time Elder Leonard Fletcher was 
their preacher multitudes were added to 
its members by baptism and a thorough 
reform took place, and antimonionism 
w;is rooted out He left the church in 
great union and harmony," 

The Wantage Methodist Episcopal 
church may be said to have been the 
parent organization of that denomi- 
nation in the towaahip and the present 
borough of Deckertonn. For a period 
of some years previous to 1831, M. E. 
church meetings had be(*n held occasion- 
ally in private houses, and in the school 
house near where tho Wantage church 
now stands. In that year the present 
church edifice was built. Rev. Mr. 

Shaw was its first pastor. For six years 1 
it was the only M. E. church in Want- 
ago township. In 1837, a second one, 
known as the Red church was built in 
northern Wantage. In 18B6 steps were 
taken towards building a third church, 
which was looated where it now stands 
on Bank street, on a lot which was do- 
nated for the purpose by Increase Stod- 
dard. The edifice was completed dur- 
ing the winter of 1857 and 1858, and 
dedicated Feb. 3rd, 1858. Rev. Isaac 
Cross was its first pastor. The Wantage 
M. E. church has been supplied by 
ministers of the Deckertonn church for 
many years. The ministers have been 
Isaac Cross, John Scran, Jacob 
Fort, John Faull, J. N. VanZant, Benj. 
Palmer. J. N. Keys, Geo. W. Horton, 
Walter Chamberlain, E. V. King, J. N. 
Keys a second time, W. R. Keifer, J. N. 
Crasto, W. M. Johnston, Kev. J. H. Tim- 
brell and S. D. Decker the present tal- 
ented, popular.and hard working incum- 

Rev. J. N. Keys, deceased in Decker- 
town a few years since and is interred in 
Fairview cemptery. He was a verv 
I popular minister and noted for his ready 
wit as well as high scholarly attainments. 
Mrs. Keys his widow still resides in 

] During the pastorate of Rev. Mr. 
Klefer,tbe church building was thorough- 
ly repaired, in fact rebuilt, and presents 
a very st>lish appearance, both extern- 
ally and internally. 

St. Monica's Roman Catholic church, 
-on Uniouville avenue, was erected 20 
years ago by the subscription of- the in- 
habitants of Deckertown. It is under 
the pastoral care of the church at Frank- 
lin Furnace. In the great blizzard of 
six years ago, the edifice was blown 
down, but was soon rebuilt. It has ;>:i 
increasing membership. Rev. Father 
Boylan, of Franklin F.urnace has charge 
of it, and conducts services there month- 
ly, and is popular and well liked by his 

(Continued nr-xt week) 
Correction. In chapter x there seems. 


to be a clash of dates fn regard to the 
preaching of Rev. James 1!. Wood in the 
old church on school house hill. It is 
stated in a deed (riven by the trustees 
of the Third Preshvterian church to 
VVm. Kankin. April 8th, 1S37, a copy of 
which is in the possession of .Surveyor 
James W. McCoy, for the lot upon which 
the old church stands on the hill, that 
the deed was given to Mr. nankin be- 
cause a deed given to him by the former 
trustees was lost. In one of those deeds 
reference is also made to a deed convey- 
ing' the lot to the former trustees by 
James B- Bayer. It is within the recol- 
lection of Mr. McCoy also, that Mr. 
Rankin occupied the room that he first 
rented for school purposes but for a few 
years. He began in 1N>:), so that, from 
his deed above given it would appear 
that he certainly took possession of the 
old church on the hill as early as 1836. 
This being so it would hardly be prob- 
able that during Rev. Mr. Wood's pas- 
torate from 1839 to 1815, that he preach- 
ed in the old church occupied at the 
samo time by Mr. Rankin. In Rev. A. 
B. Rich's charge of the Presbyterian 
church our types said that he preached 
succeeding Mr Wood tol844. It should 
have read 1847. In 1S28, it is on record, 
that Rev, Edward Allen engaged William 
Rankin to teach school for him a 
select school, at his residence in the 
Clove. From this it would seem that 
Rev. Mr. Allen's residence in Decker- 
town where Mr. Ogdeu staid over night 
as he mentions in 1824, may have been 
in the Clove at that time. We may in a 
future chapter continue the corrections 
of some old time traditions, but the new 
church mentioned asbuiltin 1815 should 
be 1835. 



Post offices were not located in Sus- 
sex County uutil the close of the Rev- 
olutionary war, so far as we have been 
able to ascertain. The post office at 
Newton was instituted previous to 1795, 
This was mentioned during the efforts 
made in that year to get a post office es 
tablished at Hamburg, in the papers 
drawn up for that purpose, stating that 
Newton was then the only office in Sus- 
sex. Those efforts at that time were due 
to the energy of Thomas Lawrence, Sr., 

who having removed to Haruburi:, frniB 
Princeton, was desirous to have l* 4taM 
convenience of communication with tb»; 
outside world thau that place then t-a-J 
joy jd. He agitated the project iu 1.1. 
and found a willing assistant in Jo**phJ 
Sharp, who was then running iron •»..rk* 
thsre. In making application f...- j *. 
office however they differed material!) a* 
to the name it should huvo. The \ d! *.-« 
bal till then been called Sliarpsboru, 
after Mr. Sharp's 'works. lint .1. m* 
Potts iu 1792 had built largo iron w ..-feo 
near where the old Haines Iiotuowteadj 
stauds, which ho had named Hamburg- 
after that city in Germany, lie joined! 
with Mr. Lawrence in a petition to naval 
thi post office named nfter his works.] 
There were counter petitions and much] 
work done by Mr. Sharp and Mr. l.uw-i 
renes for their respective sides of tbe ; 
case, but the latter triumphed and so' 
the office, Oct. 1st, 1705, was named Ham--, 
burg, and that has named the Tillage.] 
At that time it was a far more impor-j 
ta it place than Deckertown, owing to* 
thj iron works. Sparta, three years I 
later, (Jan. 1st, 1793,) followed with a-- 
p.ut office. Deckertown did not gal to 
bo thus honored until the Hobukeii, • 
Hamburg and Milford Turnpike waai 
built through the place, which was not- 
till about 1316 as near as we oan ascer-3 
tain. There certainly was no office hero 
in 1811 as appears from a list of the «i». 
p >st offices of Sussex county published 
th it year. ' The mails were find l>r mghtj 
to Deckertown when the stages Ixgnn 
to run.. They brought them three times a/ 
weok. Deckertown was called a days] 
jouj-ney from Hoboken, being 3D miloaj 
distant, as can bo seen by one of ?h«' 
mile stones which is yet standing npouj 
the property of H A. Leach on llnra 
burg avenue. We. have not learned 
name of the first Deckertown po*ti ■•■■ 
er. Samuel Whittaker was postmast fj 
in 1SM7, and occupied that position mni r 
years. As he came to Deckertown is 
1835, it is evident that he had had i- r-' 
hips several predecessors ir. the officeJ 
The office in those early days was ju qfcp 

te 1 in a store, rind the postmaster gener- 
ally looked after his trade and the ofice 
at the same time. The post office at 
Fjihertyville rei not established nntil 
l - ' ! (•, it being on the above mentioned 
st lge route. During the time John 
L >omis was postmaster at Deekertown 
the niiiil matter began to pet very bulky 
an 1 shortly afterward hia successor suc- 
coded in getting the office graded, and 
kept in a aeperate building as it now is, 
under its present efficient postmaster, 
Humphrey Martin. The civil war of '01 
to ii">, was the building up of a very 
large demand for increased postal facili- 
ties. It may also be reckoned as the 
great school of daily instruction, from 
newspapers, in this vicinity. Previous 
to that a daily newspaper only found its 
w.iy here through the mails and rarely 
at that. New a large number of dailies 
are sold by -Mr. Hendcrshot and Mr. 
Satton every day from their news stands. 
In 1845, the expediency of establishing 
a bank in Deokertown began to be 
agitated. It at last was brought to a 
djtermination by a subscription to the 
B .piial stock in 1843. This had been 
placed at §59,000. Hamburg was also 
desirous of having a bank established 
Vane and considerable discussion en- 
sued, but John Loomis, Samuel Whit- 
taker, Charles Cooper and John B. 
Djcker, worked with a method that 
i found supporters for Deckertown rapid- 
ly. When the subscription was filled, 
Hamburg, found that the project was so 
far favorable to Deckertowu's success 
that they made no farther effort. Jan. 
1st, 1850, the Farmer's Bank of Wantage 
was founded, and began business in 
part of a private dwelling on Bank St. 
■lames C. Ilaven's was its first president, 
| whose antecedents are mentioned in the 
uotiee we have given in this history of 
Dr. Berret Havens. Thomas D. Arm- 
strong was its first cashier. A few years 
subsequently the capital stock was in- 
creased to S-30,000. At the close of the 
\. ir 1850 Mr. Armstrong resigned his 
podiliun as cashier, and John A.Whit- 
1 1 i - ■ r succeeded him, beginning his 

duties Jan. 1st, IS57. James C. Havens 
resigned as president April Otb, 1807, 
an 1 Johuathan Whittaker was elected 
president in his place. In 187:5 Johuath- 
an Whittaker died, and on Jan. 13th, 
1874, John A. Whittaker became presi- 
dent, which position he still ocenpies, in 
tne 77th year of his age -one of the 
oldest and most respected bank presi- 
dents living. When he became president 
in 1S74, Theo. F. Margarum became 
cashier and their careful management 
has secured the utmost confidence of 
the public. The stock is not for sale 
unless the decease of a holder occasion- 
ally puts it upon the market when it 
brings an extra premium. In 1^05, at 
the close of the war and when the Na- 
tional banking system came in vogue, 
the bank was recapitalized at §100,000, 
under that system, and named The 
Farmer's National Bank of Deckertown. 
In 1880, when the brick block was built 
upon the rums of the great fire which 
burned all the building on the corner, 
north of Swartwout and VanGaasbeck's 
brick block (then Hornbeck's) on the 
west side of Main St, the bank was re- 
moved from Bank St., to its present 
commodious quarters on the west cor- 
ner of Main St 

Pulaski Lodge, I. O. O. F., No. 113, 
was instituted in 1851, and for some ten 
years flourished but was after that time 
neglected by its members somewhat. In 
1S71 it was renewed and has since then 
been well sustained. This is probably 
the oldest fraternal organization in the 
borough, although the Masons are said 
to have had an organization here previ- 
ous to 1809. We have no proof of it 
however. Their Samaritan Dodge No. 
98 was formally constituted Feb. 19th, 
1869. since which time it has grown to a 
strong and prosperous branch of this 
great order. 

The K. £ L. of G. S', have since the 
above dates founded a well sustained 
lodge here, as has the American Legion 
of honor, the G. A. R., and Sons of 
Veterans- The Junior Order of United 
, American Mechanics is the last Bociety 

' organized here, the present "^ear, and 
! it appears also to have a fair pros- 
j peot ahead of it. 

The building of -what was called the 
New York Midland Railroad, gave the 
greatest boom to Dcckertown which it 
probably ever received. aDd to which 
much of its present prosperity may be 
reasonably ascribed. Surveys -had been 
made for the route ultimately located 
bv this railroad as early as 1832 and 
]'%!<>. It absorbed part of three routes 
winch had been thus early contemplated. 
The route was selected and articles of 
incorporation filed July 13th, 1870. The 
planning and building of this road was 
attended with exciting phases. Meet- 
ings were held, and immense sums of 
money subscribed, Wantage giving S150,- 

000 to the enterprise in stuck. John 
Loomis was a great champion of the 
road, and made tremendious exertions 
to secure its location by way of Decker- 
town. He spared no expense which he 
thought would have a bearing upon it, 
and bought liberally of the stock. This 
is of so recent occurrence that most 
residents of Wantage remember the 
arguments put forth to carry through 
the project. It succeeded and on Aug. 
isth, 1H73, regular trams first began 
their trips over the road from Now York 
to Oswego. The road failed to pay in- 
terest on its extravagant cost, and at 
length went into a receiver's hands. Oie 
New Jersey Midland R. B, Co., was then 
organized and ran the road until it plso 
passed in the receiver's hands. Upon a 
sale of the New Jersey part of the road, 
it was subsequently purchased by a 
syndicate and put into operation as the 
New York Susquehanna & Western B 
R. The other, or northern end of the 
road from Middletown was purchased 
by a syndicate in which the late Samuel 
J. Tildes was largely interested That 
part has since been run under the name 
of the Ontario & Western R. R. The 
building of that N. Y. & O. Midland II. 
R., drained a large amount of money 
from Wantage as it did from nil places 
it passed through. It has proved a 
gnat benefit to Deckcrtown but caii we 
pay the same of the country roundabout 

1 it V It elian ;• d the m >dt of living, tin 

; .i!.'.,! h if farming, the fashions and 

| habits of all the surrounding country. 

("an we say it has made them better or 

happier? On the contrary there is room 

' >r argument. The discrimination of 

I through freights against local freight 

has really brought the products of west- 

I ern farms into market, and lowered the 

Lpriees of Sussex county produce. This 

in turn has lowered the prices of g MWB 
County lands. To the borough of I Wk J 
ertown and all villages along the lisea! 
of great railroads the institution ,f 
railways has been a blessing. It hnai 
caused the population to Hook \ntoi 
them, and all through the conntrj j : 
can see the ruins of tenant houses V- -»-, 
ting upon farms, and if yon b 
whore the people have gone they 'will] 
tell you to Deckcrtown or Puterson t,r 
Newark or some other town or ci! ■. 

After the building of the M: ' ■ '•. 
the. Sussex Valley route, which h:. I | -:r»-i 
ly been incorporated in the Mi , 
was brought into notice in com -i a 
with a proposed extension of. the - •.:;, 
Mountain Railroad project from tl-e-i 
Delaware to the New Jersey state line j 
near the Walkill, William Bell, of' 
Branchvillo, lately deceased, secured j 
part of the right of way and the road 
was commenced. Then it wnt nnderj 
until 1891, when as the P. I'. A- 1; , it i 
was built. Under its lately organized] 
company andname, the Lehigh A: New j 
England R. R. Co., it is soon to com-. 
plete important links in its line, and} 
start into new life. 

At the time Samuel Whittakor was! 
postmaster in Deekertown in 1837, the , 
following were the rates of postage. For ! 
any distance not exceeding:'!! miles fori 
a single letter, 6 cents. If the letter' 
consisted of two pieces of paper it i 
called a double letter and charged; 
double. Every additional piece of paper 
in it was charged cents. Over 30 and 
not over 80 miles, 10 cents a letter. Over 
80 and not over 150 miles, 12 U' cents. 
Over 150 and not over 400 miles, is ■ , 
cents. Over 400 miles 25 cents. Each , 
newspaper carried not over 100 miles, 1 , 
cent. Over 100 miles l 1 ^' cents. Letters 
and papers were delivered out of the 
ollice every day from 8 a. m. to 8 p. m., 
except on Sundays they were delivi n J 
out of offices from ( J to 10 a. m., and 
from 12:30 to 1:30 p. m. The post oflice 
regulations provided that when ;m 
"abatement of postage was claihiedj the , 
letter must be opened in the presence j 
of the postmaster, or one of his assist- | 
ants; and if such letter should, insti til 
of being overcharged, happen to 
undercharged, the delicieucy must 
made up by the applicant." I'rj 
post ollice guide in 1K35, we learn that 
there were then 10.770 post offices in the 
United States. Sometimes an ap; lie u 
for a letter would claim that too much 
postage was charged, and after the It ttt r 
was opened and he saw what it cont im il, 
would refuse to pay and let the pect- 
in aster keep it. . ...«mI 

' "Tn"lR!KTaniII801, n strong pfforr wr,p 
made to get Decker'own incorporated as 
a I orongh. It »ai successful and th<- 
village became so incorporated Oct. 15, 

(Continued n-jtt week; 
Ckrkkctioh— William Titawortb. of the Clove. 
corr.ris our statement in Chapter iv, that Dr. 
Berrnt Havens came lure from Connecticut, 
which wa* the. tradition Elven in ihe family 
sla em-nt*. He wns v. lib Mr. Havens one>' on a 
trip to his native place, ;md says that the old 
li .ven's burial ground is on a farm at Hog's u^ck 
near Sag Harbor on Lour Island. This comi- _- 
within tt:e personal observation . f Mr. Titsvrortli 
wiil pro»e a valuable corr. etior, in the interest of 
history. Hon. Jacob liiuli, also corrects t)»e 
name of a Baptist mtakter o: the First Watiluee 
churcli. as fouom: The uajne given by us as 
Tunts" should read "Twins." and in the list of 
M 1'. church ministers the n line "Scran" should " Seran' 1 . We are glad 'o lmv> corrections 
made ana hope all who notice poitWo errors will 
call our attenton to them. Our ineir.oram'a 
gathered from many sources cannot av.'id solus 

il n I ia.H Hayne, who resides Jn town as menti- 
oned in the concluding pai I of chap, vii, was a 
dau^her of i.e«is Hayne insttaa of Ins widow. 
In conversation V'tb Mr. Leviis H. Decker, the 
statement made by ns last week that Ijenjamin 
Decker lived in the !'«■ house which Sam el 
Decker ut, one time owned was brought up. The 
explanation which seems reasonable Is thai 
Samuel hid per ; .apj removed to where he had 
built the hotel and distillery, before Beujamic 
moved in the stone house. 



The question of the division of the 
real estate which Peter Decker settled 
upon originally, into the many small 
parcels of land which now corupo 
Deckortown, is one which we cannot 
follow out in detail. We have delved 
far enough into the subject however to 
know that there have been losses in the 
dealings of various speculators therein. 
We mo satielicd that Peter Decker, who 
cleared the virgin soil here, and started 
the wheels ot the car of progress, never 
got tin-, full reward he should have had 
for his preemption rights. He drove his 
stakes hero and bniiL his home, buttlicru 
was a great power in New .Jersey at that 
time which swurved Governors and 
councils as it willed, and it clutched with 
the hand of capital by purchaso and 
grant from the Crown whole townships, 
Bye counties. It was vested in the 
iloiird of Proprietors. By quit claim 

and release, they sold large 1 tracts t<j( 
those who paid the cash. No matter if 
the cabin of a settler was upon themj 
aud his blazed trees indicated the pos- 
sessions ho had earned and improved. 
Those purchasers who came from tho 
Bo.;rd of Proprietors, 3aid to the settler 
'•here is our deed whero is yours?" The 
settler could not but acknowledge in 
man> cases that he could show no title 
beyond that of possession. That was 
supposed to amount to something in law, 
and so purchasers generally allowed tho 
settlers to retain the land upon which 
their buildings stood,and but littlo more, 
sometimes getting their plots surveyed 
and returned for them in the surveyor 
general's office, to quiet any legal strife 
which might threaten as to the balance 
of their tracts. 

It seems to be quito difficult to locate 
any of the lauds originally returned to 
Peter Decker. Kobert Morris Jr. and 
Gabriel Ludlum. were in partnership 
under the name of Morris A: Iiudlum, 
hore between 1713 anil 1S03. They were 
engaged in the manufacture of potash; 
and upon the flats south of tho Walling 
creamery the course of an old ditch can 
be trnced which led from their works to 
the Clove Creek. Robert Morris Jr., 
was here in 1772, as is attested by the 
early road survey iu that year which be- 
gan at the corner of his ash house. This 
would indicate that he then was engaged 
in manufacturing potash. His residence 
then was upon Unionvillo Avenue as it 
is now called, and upon a tract of 
&1 66-168 acres which it seems had l>een 
conveyed to him by John Rutherford. 
The latter it appears had previously 
conveyed to the said Morris 11 3-4 acres 
which lay within the bounds of the said 
54 acre tract, which joined on Decker's 
Mill lot. In a deed dated April 11, 1733s 
the foregoing tract is mentioned as be- 
ing Morris' house lot. , This it act there- 
fore embraced the lands from Bank street 
(now,) over tho hill southeastwardly and 
comprised John Mcttee's lot and all the 
hill north of tho present school bonne 
lot to the 51 aore extent. Tuim having: 

been retained to John Rutherford" 'by 
tirst surveys as we have seen, leter 
Decker therefore could never have owned 
it. Thin Robert Morris Jr. wo conject- 
ure to hnve been possibly a son of Lewis 
Morris n, and therefore was slightly re- 
lated to Mr. Rutherford. Wo cannot 
give the dsta of the continuance of tho 
llrm of MorriH £ Ludlum. In a deed 
dated May let, 1803, one of the lines is 
mentioned aa cornering at a black oak 
tree which stood on the north sidj of a 
ditch "which leads to the potash works 
lato of Morris & Lndlum," thus estab- 
lishing the fact they were not in business 
at that date. 

In 1790 Joseph Decker sold to Samuel 
Decker all his lands about Deckertown, 
consisting of several parcels beginning 
at a ditch at Decker's spring, and 
running by the potash works. This serves 
to establish the identity of the original 
Decker homestead upon the late Amos 
Munson property. 

Feb. 18, 1813, Peter Decker, who must 
certainly have been a son of the riist 
Peter, gave a deed to Joseph .Sharp to 
pay off three bonds which then "fell due 
amounting to $2594 of the lands upon 
the Hats about the potash works, includ- 
ing the land formerly owned by Samuel 
Decker, and a tract of 31 acres which lay 
on the road to Frederick Haynes (Lew- 
isburg). In that deed it is mentioned 
that the 31 acres was part of o tract of 
land originally returned to Richard 
Penn. Thus showing 'that the elder 
Peter Decker had never been its pro- 
prietory owner. Peter Decker and 
Olia, his wife, had previously sold to 
Samuel Decker a tract of 22 acre:) lying 
in or about Deckertown, which is men- 
tioned in the deed as having been 
originally returned by survey to Richard 
Penn. Samuel Decker also bought 
from Andeew Willson a tract lying at 
the north east of Deckertown. which is 
mentioned as part of .Tamos Barton's 
original return, and therefore had never 
been preampted by Peter. Thomas An- - 
dernon, of Newton bought BO acres, Oct. 
2."itb, 1784, being part of 3,000 acres, to 

be located in any part of tho K,ut<TK) 
Division of Now Jersey iinnjipn^'rintixS 
lauds except Bomopoko. Tula a:xir* 
acres cornered on tho lauds iif .1 --L 
Cro well just west of Dcekcrtuwn- I "■» 
3,000 acres was part of the Sharp utirtry 
of lands in tho Papakating vullpy, i>rnrib 
ed to Azariah Dunbar and John •!■ i n 
son, by the proprietors Sept. i::t ., 1 -i. 
and recorded in the Surveyor UcucrnTt 

Stephen Decker, who resided noar of 

upon whatisnow Bank St. did oot c ive- 

any of the lands upon which lie ri -<i.t.d l 
from his father, but bought th< m fr. ito 
Joseph Barton, and Elizabeth Cojken^ 
dall, Executrix, cud William Coykeudall 
and Henry Coykenkall, Executors of 
Gabriel Ludlum, deceased. Stephen 
left a will. Robert Morris Jr., and 
Jedediah Sayre bouglit of Henry I >• ';- 
er 100 acres, in 1701 which adjoined? 
Decker's mill pond. Tho next jcaij 
Morris sold his interest to Sayre. 

Josias Decker, bought his lauds of, 
Joseph Sharp and Martiu Ryerson, and9 
afterward conveyed them to Bowdewtnej 

Abraham Decker, bought his lands of; 
Martin Ryerson, of Newton. 

Thus we think it seems to ho pretty; 
well established, that capitalists and; 
land speculators, obtained titles by i nr- ; 
chase and by liliug surveys in the Sur- 
veyor General's office, under proprii lary 
grants to all the lands embraced in the 
present bounds of Deekertnwn except 
the Peter Decker homestead, lately that 
of Amos Munson, and comprising tmti 
little more thau tho few acre-; imuiedia-j 
tely about the house. 

Samuel Decker seems to have at one ! 
time acquired titles to the ; 
i lauds in Deckertown, but • • 
j much money in improvements 
being at the close of the Itavtiluri • j 
war. when the failure of the Cunt i 
money made very stringer: tin; 
I came involved in linuitoral difficult 
| William Treadwell, of Au.l >,;,, .-ecu: ■• 1 M 
I judgment against him for U'"2--m "t»j 
Under that his property was sold.ti/.; 

Janus Hyndbhaw Sheriff in 1703T Gab- 
n. 1 Lndhim was the purchaser; ami his 
deed from the Sheriff ia dated Feb. 19th, 
1 7:iJ. May let, 180IJ Mary, and .Tames 
Liullum sold nearly all the tracts to 
Peter Decker. 

About this date Jedcdiah Sayre came 
into prominent notice in connection 
with Deckertown real estate. Whence 
he came we cannot learn but he must 
have been p. man of considerable means. 
Ho is iirst mentioned in old deeds ar. 
from Susses county. .He at one time 
owned the old mill which once existed 
upon the lands now of Isral Davenport 
in Wantage. Feb. 10th, 1801 he bought 
SO acres of land from Gertrude Parker, 
Executrix of John Parker, deceased, bo- 
gining two chains and ninety links 
"from John Caskey's old house." March 
13th, 1S01 he bought ten acres from 
Thomas Anderson of Newton which 
began at a peppridge tree marked on 
four'sides and running "to a corner of 
.Joel Crowd's lands in Wantage." Then 

! he seems to have set out to literally 
own Dcckertown. He bought hits from 

; William Decker for 3725, which had 

[been left to William by his father, 
Stephen's will. He bought 12 acres from 
Abram Conrsen for £32. He bought of 
William Edsall Jr., 72 acres for S128. He 
b: >ught of Gertrude Parker, Executrix, 
117 acres for S83 next to Mr. Caskey's. 
He bought of P.obert Morns Jr., oil his 
possessions in Deckertown -'between the 
Clove creek and Drowned lands for 
S93 26-100." This survey includes the 

. 100 acres and UJ£ acres. The 11? { acres 
is however previously recorded as hav- 
ing been sold to him by Robert Morris, 
Jr., for £4o0, Nov. 10th, 1792. Mr. Sayre 
also bonght lauds of Benjamin Burt, 
an.i Poter Smith, Shriff.- Mr. Sayre, it is 
thought, from a deed hereinafter men- 
tioned lived in a stone house, probably 
built by Samuel Docker, which stood 
upon what is now the Loomis farm. He 
is conjectured by some to have reached 
Deckertown from Goshen, where reside 
iniluontial families of the Sayre name. 

He died iri"lS13, leaving" whaf must "T3 
those days have been considered a for-* 
tune to his live children. They applied 1 
to the courts for a partition of his real; 
estate among them. 

At the November term of court 1813,' 
John Tims tor Timbs,) George Backster, 
and Thomas Armstrong, were appointed 
commissioners in a partition suit to di- 
vide the lauds of Jedcdiah Sayre de- 
ceased among his children, viz: Susan, 
who by marriage was a Stoll, En A. 
Sayre, John R. Sayre, James B. Sayre, 
and Caroline E. Sayre. The last four 
were then under 21 years of ago. Feb. 
10th, 1S11 the commissioners filed their 
report. They t,et off to Susan Stoll a 
tract of 12 acres, being a part of the 
great meadows belonging to the stone 
house lLoomis) farm This tract was 
west of the Clove creek near its junction 
with the Papakahng, Caroline having a 
tract of 6 acres set off to her next to 
Susan's, on the west banks of the junc- 
tion of the two creeks. Susan had also 
the Still house lot set oil' to her, now ' 
owned by J. J. Wickham, except that ! 
then it extended aoross the road a*d i 
embraced the ground upon which the 
cider house stood, now part of or just 
north of the shoe factory lot. The still | 
house and eider house lot then comprised ! 
3 50-100 acres. Susan also had set oii' to 
her a tract adjoining John Caskey Sr's., 
lands containing 90 75-100 acres. 

To Evi A. Sayre the commissioners 
set off a tract of 12 acres, running from 
the west end of the dam at the foot of 
now Loomis' hill southerly to a wal- 
nut tr t -c, in the stone house mow Loomis) 
meadow, and from that tree to the centre 
of the creek in tho rear of what is now 
Benj. H. Smith's property, and thence 
up the creek to the dam (cow Newton 
Ave. I They also set off to him a lot con- 
taining 1 87-100 acres, which probably 
included what is now F«. P. Adams' and 
Dr. VunGaasbeck's properties. They 
also set off a tract containing 103 acres, 
which lay north and northeast of tho 
tavern property, probably extending to 

Abiah WHTson's lands. ""' 

To John B. Sayre they Ret off a part of 
the stone house farm (now Loomis, I 
which was the part upon which tho 
buildings were situated as near, ns can 
benaoeftftiaed. It oontained 90 acres. 
Wb gather that Jedadiah Sayre resided 
Lure some part of his lifetime because 
tiie survey of the above tract mentions 
running to a point three liuks from the 
"southeast corner of the cow Louse of 
Jedediah Saycr deceased." 

To Mary Suyre they set off tho west- 
ern and southern portion of tho stone 
hou30 farm, running as far south as 
Susan Stoll's twelve acres near the junc- 
tion of Clove and Papakating creeks.- 
It contained 57 acres. They also set off 
to her a lot "on the lower side of the 
road opposite to the lied house on the 
hill where Dr. James Hall then lived" 
containing 1 TO -100 acres. This 
tract we conclude was located in 
the rear of what i3 now the Union Ilouse. 
They also set of to her a wood lot of ten 
acres lying upon the north side of Evi 
A. Sayre's 102 acre tract, and also north- 
east of a wood lot of twelve acres which 
they at the same time set olf to Caroline 
E. Sayer. 

To James B. Say re, they set off a tract 
containing 1 72-100 acres upon a part 
of which we conclude the hotel annex 
to llobie's is now standing. They also 
set off to him tho Mill farm containing 
7- 33-100 acres, less a lot previously con- 
veyed to Timothy Tlolly. leaving net 6S 
acres. This we conclude to have been 
tho site of Lafayette Fuller's present 
mill, although there have been sugges- 
tions that this was the old mill sight and 
farm now owned by Israel Davenport in 
Wantage. They also set off to James 
B. Sayre a lot of two acres upon which 
said mill was situated adjoining the 
.dxivo 68 acres, and beginning at a large 
Hint rock on the northwest side of Mill 
Brook. They also set off to him a lot 
"bought of Adrian VanHouten, adjoin- 
ing lands of Henry Post" containing 17 
acres. Also a tract containing 71 39-100 

acres, being the farm whereon Th/>m^ 
Harden lives (18140 Thoy also sot oiTtnj 
him a tract of 33 S7-100 acre* on tUti 
Drowned lands •'Beginning at a whiM 
oak tree on the west shore of the WajU 
kill," being premises bought of Jon :r 

To Caroline E. Sayre they set oil t».<» 
two lots we have previously mentioned 
as hers, and also a lot containing 
4 02-100 acres, upon which t!,.- ■ •-. ■] 
house on the hill whom Dr. James il ,:j 
lives" (1814,) which we take to have '- m 
the lot whereon the Academy building 
now stands. They also set oil a tract to 
her on the south side of Fapnkating 
creek, containing r,0 acre?, which ad- 
joined George McCoy's. Crowed Adam s 
and John Clay's lands. 

The Commissioners certified that t',>- 
foregoiug were all tho lands belonging 

;-._ : ...' ' ., j . , 

that time in Susses. His daughter, 
JSary, before mentioned was married 
after the aforesaid division and wasi 
kcovri. as Mary Chandler in 1S27, as is'- 
mentioned in the Sheriffs deed to Bow-- 
dewi"n< Decker hereinafter mentioned. 

Dr. James Hall who occupied the 
"little red house on the hill" mentioned 
in the foregoing surveys, sold it and 
afterwards bought the double house on 
the Clove road now owned we think by 
W. B. Mills. This property he after- 
ward sold to Bev Leonard Fletcher, » ho 
was pastor of the Papakating Baj ti-t 
church. "The little red house on the 
hill," probably stood near where V. H 
Lane now lives, judging from a map of 
the above divisions of lands, now in pos- 
session of Surveyor James \V. McCoy, 
who kindly loaned it to us. It is men- 
tioned in the survey as being upon lot 9 
which we locate as near ah possible. 
Dr. Hall was then n praotieiag phy»i<"i»i 
here, but it is not known what relation- 
ship (if any) he bore to jother families "1 
that name in Wantage. How long 1 •• 
remained here is not known, but it m 
certain that he antedates Dr. Berret 
Havens in the practice of medicine in 

After the distribution of Jedediah 
Say re's estate, his children disposed of 
their shares to other partioa. Mrs. 
Susan Stoll sold her interests to her 
brother Jauma B. Sayre, who engaged! 
iu the grocery business. The year 182fj[ 
and '27 was a noted one In Sussex Co., 
tor litigation. Law suits sprang into 
existence every day, and the records 
show that William Darragb, who was 
then Sheriff, was kept birey by forced 
sales of personal and real property. A 
foreclosure was brought upon a lien 
which swept away a goodly part of 
Deekertown. The Sheriff levied upon 
it, and eoldthe cider house and distillery 
lots and several other parcels of land. 
Bowuewme Decker was the purchaser. 
His deed dated April 9th, 1827, recites of 
one of the parcels of land "that it lay 
southeast of the foregoing tracts of land 
near the road leading to the Babbitt 
Meeting house near the Pepocotting 
late in the possession of Samuel Decker 
and whereon he erected a new frame 
dwelling house a few years ago." It con- 
tained 120 aores. This we take to be the 
property lata of Amos Munson. 

Seven or eight years later Samuel 
Whittaker came in the place, and bought 
largely of the real estate, as did William 
Rankin and John Loomis. Then came 
the late Jacob E. Hornbeck, who at one 
time was an extensive land holder in 
the place. With his death the properties 
have become divided and merged into a 
greater number of owners. 

Br njaruim BE. Smith has probably ex- 
pended more money in street improve- 
ments than any one man who has ever 
resided in the place. He took off the 
top of the hill in front of his house and 
rilled in a considerable hollow at the 
foot of the hill. Before that the hill was 
even with his 3toop floor, and was a very 
hard ouo to haul a heavy load over. 
The expense of the improvement with 
the cost of pavements alxmt his property 
for public use, has been about $2000. 

The stone building now used for a 
bakery, was built for a blacksmith shop 

and used for tharprrrpose in about "18433 
The Wantage Grange, No. 78., P. of H. ' 
8 farmer's society, was organized about 
30 years ago. It suffered a decline for 
some years, but has been for about 
seven years iu a healthy condition. * 

Tho first newspaper of a parmancnt 
character was the Independent, the tirat 
uumber of which was issued May 4th, 
1870. The next was the Wantage Re- 
corder, the first number of which was 

issued Jan. 12th 1894. 




It is to be desired that some abler pen 
than ours had attempted tliis task; but 
knowing that, Jiowever humble the 
language may be, leading facts are to 
comprise the substance aimed at we 
shall proceed to enumerate them. The 
name of William Rankin has been uh>- 
gized in all the records of Sussex county 
which have a bearing upon the educa- 
tional interests of the county. As the 
scene of his greatest triumphs was our 
own borough of Deekertown, it is there- 
fore lifting that we should take perhaps 
a-greater pride in recounting his strug- 
gle.- and ultimate victory than the citi 
zens of other localities. His fame was 
won by a life struggle for supremacy, at 
a time when the popular mind valued 
the acquisition of learning very little. 
Ltev. Peter ivauouse, in his sermon 
preached at Beemerville Jan. 7th, 1844,, 
speaks thus of the inhabitants; of this 
locality as ho viewed them iu V>'- J >-'>, the 
year when Mr. Bankm began hin school 
iu Deekertown. 

"A race soon appeared, as if the fahled 
Gorgon tc-i th had been sowed broad 
cast over the region— a Cyeloptio race. 
(Jumbling, swea.-ing, lying, cheating, 
horse-racing, balls, riots, and litigations, 
followed in tluir train by a company oF 
duns, constables and s'lenlfs; ami a-* tho 
fruits of the whole, bankruptcy, broken 
hearts, disease, suicides, and prematura 

Many common school districts had. 

s -holars who prided themselves upon 
lioins able to whip t lie teacher, ami 
ivhcn an incident of tliat kind happened, 
iu itcad of visiting condigu punishment 
upnu the offenders, the people of tho 
di.'lrmt told of it gleefully and with nil 
the !> r nsto of relating a very proper joke. 
fn nnchan age William K cukin came to 
I leekertown, and eventually mi^lit truly 
have quoted the latin axiom, "Pen* 

lie was born amid tlie beautiful 
mountains of Greene County, Tennessee 
in August IT'.'o. It was a year made 
memorable in the history of that Slate 
because it then assumed the organized 
form of a state from the previous unde- 
lined region known as the "Territory 
south of Ohio." His parents were Wil- 
liam Rankin anil Sarah Moore. Their 
respective parents (his grandparents) 
were Thomas Rankin and Anthony 
Moore. The two latter were emmigrants 
at the close of the Revolutionary war 
from the Scotch-Irish settlement at Mar- 
ti". 's Creek in Pennsylvania, about six 
miles above Easton. The Creek is sup- 
posed to have taken its name from James 
Martin, who was one of the Commission- 
ers appointed to lay out the borough of 
Easton iu 1733. David Brainerd the 
.Moravian missionary, speaks of the set- 
tlement at Martin's Creek, thus : "May 
13th 1711, reached a settlement Irish, anil 
Hutch people, about 12 miles above the 
forks of the Delaware." Count Zinzen- 
dorf in 17-12 says: "Following the In- 
dian path that led past Tatemy's house 
north into the Minisink or upper valley 
"f the Delaware, they came to tho vil- 
l-.-e of Clistowakin, live miles above on 
Martin's creek, near the three churches, 
iu [jowcr Sit. Bethel." In a - note to 
imalo of the Moravian church, the 
'vi iter speaks of it "Settled by one wins 
of the Scotch-Irish, who came into this 
northern part of Buck's county between 
I7-!* and i7:i!»." These Scotch-Irish 
were Presbyterians. There is a Moore 
Township now in Northumberland Co., 
noised from the family who settlod 

there?' Mr. P.ankin's ancestry howoTe?! 
were from Carlisle Pensylvamr., but! 
closely allied to the Moore's in rcUgiunjI 
feelings and in nativity. 

When tho disintegration of neighbors 
hoods followed the closing scenes of the 
lievoluttouary war, they drifted nwny' 
from lower Mt. Bethel and from Carlisle 
and followed tho western slope of tl.e 
Alleghany mountains to Tennetwea.1 
There they pitched their abode*, nud 
it was not long ero a BVH Mt. Bethel 
church sprang into existence nuderf, 
their fostering care. William Kankinj 
Sr., was a wagon master during the v 
Revolutionary war, and was present at', 
Yorktowu when Cornwallis surrendered: 
to Washington. William B. Rankin, a< 
brother's son, ol Austin, Texas, has a : r 
cannon ball which his uncle, the rather! 
of William Rankin, Jr., brought homo; 
with him from that historical battlefield!] 
Wm. B's father, grandfather, and great] 
grandfather sere Elders in that old Mt.; 
Bethel church. Rev. Samuel Doak r EU 
D., who arose to much distinction as an) 
instructor in Tennessee, emigrated with* 
his ancestors from the same vicinity as" 
the Moore's. — Lower Mt. Bethel church 
six miles above Easton, l'a. He lir.itj 
started a school at Mt, Salem in Wash-.' 
ington County, Tcnessee, and called id 
Martin's College. This was about 1/:H)^ 
From Martin's College, now Washing-! 
ton College, he moved to Greene County! 
and settled lfi miles from Martin's Col-j 
lege near Wm. Rankin, Srs, home. I.'erej 
he founded Tusculum Academy in 1M* 
and one of his lirst scholars ivas William! 
Rankin of whom we write, at that time! 
21 to 22 years of age. Young Rnnkinl 
had previously fo that time had little; 
opportunity for acquiring an education,] 
He had worked hard at farm labor, lie.' 
had Buffered a severe attack of scarlet 
fever which had affected hifl eytmighd 
and from which it uever.fully recoven d. 
Yet he appears to have been an apt 
scholar, and to have made marvelous 
I gains in his studies. Tusculum «n*j 
I then a log structure, which waa later, 

si.l.iT over. "This became a famed iusli- 
tutiou of learning, and was incorporated 
HS Tusciilum College in 1845, when An- 
drew Johnson, afterwards President of 
the Dinted States wag made a life trus- 
tee. Mt Bethel church founded by the 
Moores and Ranking stands near this 
building. Jt is sixteen nulo from Knox- 
villo, Tonnei-see. 

Young Rankin remained there under 
the interaction of Dr. Doak three years. 
He then taught school in the neighbor- 
hood for a few months. About this 
time two persons appeared upon the 
sceno who took a great share of his time 
and thoughts. One was nn eccentric 
man who lived in a lonely hut in the 
neighborhood, and was known as hermit 
Jack Kobinsou. Ho was embittored 
ngainst the world, and had lost faith in 
the teachings of the bible. In his com- 
pany and in conversation with him the 
young teacher passed many hours. The 
other was a young lady named Sally 
Moore. She was an acquaintance of 
long standing. In her company he 
had passed many delightful hours, and 
they had grown to think each other in- 
dispensable to happiness. Their love 
had become so entwined with all their 
ideas of present and fntnre life that they 
may be said to have worshiped at that 
shrine. But when he broached the sub- 
ject of marriage to their parents, a stern 
objection presented itstlf. They were 
cousins. No argument could tear down 
the barrier which strict religions teach- 
ings upheld. In this extremity his mind 
received a lasting shock. He fell into 
the inlldel belief of his friend, the hermit 
Robinson, It was the turning point of 
his life. Had ho married Sally Moore, 
the chances are that Sussex County 
would never have drank at that fountain 
of instruction he afterwards struck with 
tin- rod of a Moses and brought forth here, 
lie hail partly consented to become a 
minister previous to this destruction of 
Ilia belief in everything. About the 
•in 1 He of the term of school in which he 
»'■" engaged he disappeared, leaving a 
ouUj which stated that he was tired of 

civilized Wo. "He Dever came homfl 
again. It was years before his parents 
heard from him again. He was found 
teaching a school in North Carolina. 
He had, so it was discovered, been a 
resilient of the Cherokee natiou of In- 
dians, and in after life narrated the 
amusement he created among them by. 
reading from pocket editions of Latin 
and Greek, of Horaoe and Homer which 
ho carried with him. His father en- 
deavored to induce hira to return home, 
but in vaiu. His mind was too restless 
from the great disappointment he had 
undergone to remain long in a place. 
He taught terms of school in Georgia, 
South Caroliua and Virginia. Like a 
wounded bird he flitted from place to 
place m a state of unrest and seemed to 
find no permanent abode. In 1S2S he 
made his appearance in Johnsonburg, 
now in Warren County, and applied for 
the school He was travel stained, and 
earned a small budget. Dr. Roderielr 
iiyington appointed a day to examine: 
him as to his qualifications. On that 
occasion a considerable number of the 
people of the neighborhood assembled 
nt the village tavern where the examina- 
tion was held. The writer having once 
been subjected to a similar examination, 
can fully realize the' display intended. 
The examiner on such occasions delight- 
ed to show by his learned questions his 
superiority in scholastic attainments, 
and the examined was equally desirious 
of showtac; the audience that he was a 
m itch for his questioner, while the vil- 
lagers were ready to applaud the dis- 
comfiture of either one. Despite Mr. 
Rankin's rough appearance he surprised 
the Dr. by lira knowledge of Latin, 
Greek, and the various studies upon 
which he was examined, ami their hear- 
ers went away enthusiastic in praise of 
the new school master. 

Shortly after beginning the school he 
was taken ill and for some weeks was 
under a physicians care. He gave up 
the school. After he recovered sulli- 
ciently to walk ho weut to Newton 
whero he was welcomed by Rev. Jos.. 

Slnfer. Ho then secured" a position a9 
assistant teacher to Rev. Edward Allen, 
who opened a select school that fall 
(1828) in his house in the Clove near 
lUvkortown. Here he taught one term. 
One of his scholars during this term was 
E. A. Styles, who afterward founded Mt. 
;. tueraent Seminary. At the expiration 
of the term Mr. Rankin engaged with 
Rev. Clarkson Dunn, of Newton, and 
taught a short time in a building on the 
hill, which was afterwards used as a 
residence by the late Levi Shepherd. 
From here he went one year to Yale 
college where the degree of A. M. whs 
conferred upon him. In 1S30, with Rev. 
Edward Allen, he founded a select 
school at Harmony Vale uear Hamburg, 
which was liberally patronized. Iu the 
fall of 1833 he sought to establish a 
i 8cliool in Deokertown, but found it 
1 dilTicult to secure a suitable room. Final - 
i ly to use his own words: "I rented 
from tho tavern keeper before mention- 
ed, a small building which was situated 
about hnlf way up a steep hill." His 
tirst pupil, John A Wbittaker, Esq., in- 
foriSfl lis that as near as ho can recollect 
this building stood in the rear of Mir. 
ilei'kers present property. Mr. 

Rankin's further description of the 
building was as follows: "ThiB build- 
ing had been erected for a tailor shop 
and used for that purpose, until the 
proprietor changed his mind and went 
to tavern keeping. It had never been 
punted, and had stood long enough to 
turn black, or at least blackish. Access 
to the door was by steps, or rather stairs 
on tho lower side. After examining all 
within I descended the steps and at- 
ti Dip ted to regain the main street, which 
[ did by two or three damaging slides 
r r the ground was covered with ice," 
From this we may reasonably infer that 
it was not earlier than November when 
he began his school. The room was 
1 1 feet square and bare of furniture. 
After borrowing a pick and Jigging a 
few rough places about tho steps to 
make the ascent practicable to his room, 
he next sot about getting a stove. He 

enquired of the merchants for a h1..\tJ 
but they informed him none was to be> 
had nearer than Newton or Goshen. H» 
then says "I made the same inquiry ofc 
the tavern keeper and at first he mud* 
the same reply, but then looking f u r a 
moment downward he raised lim lie«4 r 
and striking the counter us ^ad hm, 
manner, said 'I will rent you a utovc butt 
it la a broken one. A fewuitrl.ts »;-ot!j» 
young fellows in my bar room tlglit 
and iu a row broke my stove badly.' t 
will tako it, "said I" what is your priau 
'I will charge you nothing for the dm up 
it if you will get it repaired.' Have yon 
a smith's shop in the place? '.You* 
nearer thttn a mile and a half.' Havel 
you anything by which I can couvey 
the stove thither? '1 can lend von a; 
horse, bat I have neither a sleigh, sled* 
or wagon that would answer for such » 
purpose." Have you a wood pile? "Do 
you meau to hitoh my home to a wood 
pile and drag it to the smith's shop with. 
the stovo on top?' If I injure your: 
horse in the least, I answered, I will 
indemnify you for the same. He laughed 
and °aid 'go ahead.' While he went FbS 
the horse I went to the woodpile, and 
selected a couple of poles eight feet long' 
and, having obtained a hammer and; 
nails, nailed on several cross pieces, and: 
putting the horse in these shafts, I load-, 
ed up the broken stove and moved oft* 
to the blacksmith shop. Tho repairing' 
having been accomplished, I returned 
and put my stove in the place prepared, 
for it. Having now furnished my room- 
with warming apparatus and a few rude 
seats, I advertised on the public dooraj 
of tho village that my school would open: 
on the ensuing Monday morning. I had' 
not a single scholar engaged oertainly, 
though all told me they would see about 
it, and, if I succeeded would most Likely 

When bo went to open the school, he' 
said; "ascending the steps, I entered the 
door, and was there not a single scholar 
there? Yes, there sat a single one— a. 
young man of of fifteen or sixteen. Ho, 
arose and handed me a note from Uiaj 

[ father VSamuc-I Whittaker) "a~re»pected 
: nu.l worthy gentleman of Orange County 
(Unionville) X, V. In this note ho said 
• he bad heard of my intention to open 
the school and wished to enter his son 
nt the beginning." This young man 
was then fifteen years of age, and is the 
President of the Farmers' National 
Bank, John A. Whittaker. Mr. V'Lit- 
taker informs us that the next scholars 
to appear at the school were Dr. Allen's 
two daughters, Lydia and Anna. The 
building in which Mr. Rankin thus be- 
gan his famous school, is said by more 
than one old inhabitant of the place to 
have been subsequently removed to Mill 
street and tobenow partof the dwelling 
boust owned and occupied by William 
Mann. Mr. Whittaker says ho cannot 
remember as to the disposition made of 
the building. 

Before the nest spring over twenty 
scholars were in attendance. The next 
year this number was doubled. And as 
the fame uf his school was spread 
scholars came from distant places, and 
the number increased. It is thought 
that he occupied the building that he 
lirst rented for the school room two 
years, but it may have been three. In 
l'-> : !7 the deed of the old church on the 
hill which was sold him recites that the 
deed was a duplicate given him by the 
trustees of the Presbyterian church in 
place of one give him previously for said 
premises but which had been lost. If 
the lost deed was given the year before, 
it made his stay in the first school room 
throe years. It is not likely he#reuiain- 
ed there longer, very possibly not so 
long because the room could not have 
accommodated much more than twenty 
scholars. He purchased the old church 
and converted it into an academy very 
eertaialy by 183G. It was well suited 
fi'i his purpose. Hero he was obliged 
to engage assistant teachers and among 
those engage! was Miss Lydia Billiard, 
an accomplished young lady fro:.-. Nash- 
ua, N. II. hater he formed an attach- 
ment for her which was reciprocated and 
| id -j were married. She made him a de- 

vnfS3 wife, and the pupils male arcOfl 
male who attended her iuBtruohouni 
nevr forgot her kindness towards tbeaji 
nor her unwearied efforts to enhance 
their progress in the varied studies then 
were engaged in. 

From 1830, we will say, to lsf'i, be nt-' 
tamed the greatest reputation in Lis 
profession. The female department of 
the academy was presided over by bis 
estimable wife, and the number uf 
pupils taxed the capacity of the build- 
ing to its fullest extent. In iSi. he 
sold the academy to the Deckertuwn 
school district (No. 12 of Wantage Town- 
ship,) and removed to Amity. The clos- 
ing of the school in Deckertows grew 
out of a difficulty atl'eeting the property. 
He remained in Amity two years. ile 
then sought to return to Poekertonn, 
but a suitable property for his purpose 
was difficult to rind. Ile accordingly 
took the property where James II. 
Dunning now lives, and opened a fe- 
male department of his school which he 
placed in charge of his wife. He then 
opened the male department of the' 
school in Unionville. This aYr'nnge 
ment lasted two years, but although wi 11 
patronized was found inconvenient. 
He then gave up his labors there and 
came to Deckertown, whence lie re- 
moved to Chester, N. J., a few years 
later. He remained there but a short 
time. Then he established his school at 
Mendham, N. J., aud continued teach- 
ing there until his death, which occured 
in tlie spring of lS7r>. For fifteen years 
previous to that event he was blind. 
Yet he continued his school and Ins 
reputation as a teacher (lagged not. His 
death occurred while he was instructing 
a class in Zenephou's Anabasis. With-' 
out premonitory symptoms of ill;,' 
suddenly fell dead before his horrified 
pupils, from an attack of apoplexy. Ills . 
funeral and interment took plai n at I 
Mendham. Thus closed the career Of J 
the greatest professional teacher known j 
in Sussex County. lie eamo to Want-J 
age when education, like thecounty, was-) 
in a wild and unsettled state, and hi\, 

brought out of "that ' wTliTorhess as' one 
might say, a grand structure, which 

will endure for ages yet to come — a 
monument to his great talent. Then, as 
t.nw, most male teachers simply took 
hold of school teaching as a prepara- 
tory course for some other profession. 
They can hardly be olassilied as pro- 
fessional teachers. William Rankin 
was a professional teacher in the fullest 
sens" of the term— he attained the high- 
est rank in that profession — and he died 
like a soldier in battle iu the noble" dis- 
charge of his duty. Out of the shadows 
which obscured his early life, and we 
are assured by his nephew that skepti- 
cism in bible matters did not leave him 
until ho settled in Deckertowa, .he 
emerged by patient and persevering ef- 
forts into the sunlight of popular favor 
and renown. These efforts were of no 
ordinary character. They were guided 
by a master intellect, and aided by 
superb physical powers. He was, says 
one of his students, something over six 
feet high, square shouldered, well pro- 
portioned and able to to take refractory 
young men by 1 ho neck with one hand 
nu i lilt them clear of the lloorand shake 
them as a terrier would a rat. Ilis face 
had high cheek bones, was smooth 
stiuven, always by himself, and his eyes 
possessed a peculiar look as though 
they were weak, arising from an attack 
of fever in early life. Ills one peculiar 
faculty of teaching, says Rev. Wrn. B. 
Rankin hio nephew, now of Austin, 
Texas, was, that he not only impressed 
but imparted. Ills learning was im- 
parted to pupils. They wore not only 
Impressed by ins presence, but his word* 
were remembered by them. One 
expression often used by him was "chiuk- 
- ■.." A m ison, lie would illustrate, 
m.i\ build a high wall but it has got. to 
be ehinked in to render itduralile. So 
In learning great principles you must 
not forget the chinking in, i. e., details. 
ilis eccentricity was noted. Sometimes 
said liis nephew, who assisted him for a 
time, in the middle of the night he 
Would arouse me. "William," said ho 

got up, ring the academy bell: rfhg "tfj 
long and loud. Tell the boys I wan<j 
them to road to me." When they werol 
assembled they read a Greek lesson 
perhaps, and he would comment on iuj 
Then ho would say "now go back to bad 
boys." •} 

These were passing shadows of ti,e» 
old sorrow of his life, perhaps, which) 
required heroic measures to ecltpso. (in 
one occasion a young man named 'i'.il-' 
mage attended his school and studletE 
Greek. When declining Greek nounsJ 
aftor the pronunciation of Mr. Rankin J 
he fell into the habit of pronouncing the] 
prefix "Toop," "Tupp." Mr. Hanking 
corrected him in a number of lossons-l 
yet whenever the subject came up in| 
succeeding lessons the pupil would for-) 
get and to his teachers "Toop" responds 
"Tupp." One morning it again camti 
up, and to Mr. Rankiu's "Toop" again! 
camo up tho"Tupp"of young Tulinago.J 
Rankin turned upon him like an onraj 
lion, and grasping him by the colln: 
with one hand, ho raised the other as 
about to strike, and shouted "It you s.iyj 
Tupp again I will kneel; your tnetM 
dowu your throat.'/ Th'e pn fi:- wadj 
tacked to Talmage's name after that] 
by the students and ho ever aflerwardaj 
was known as Tupp Talmage. 

No other school in Sussex County has] 

turned out so many men who bc-1 

came prominent in after life as teachers,] 

surveyors, ministors, and promicentj 

men iu alt" walks of life, as Rankin's..; 

Mrs. Lydia Rankin is still livirJg In 

' Sumner, State of Washington. They } 

| had two .children, both .girls, born to] 

i them, Sarah and U ro tta. The former j 

i died iu youth., the latter married Rev. 

Mr. Davenport, a Presbyterian'ministerj 

1 now iu Sumner, Washington, with wh< ■ i 

Mrs. RanUi'n is living. Here we will 

bring our sketch "of His life to u Moan.';* 

I Ilis was a noble life. From adversity <:.' 

wrought triumph. It stands out upon 1 

the page of history, it marvel of untiring - 

labor and professional devotion erownedq 

by success. We cannot know the nor- 

rows he lived down, but wo do kin-yvj 


liar I 
s if] 

BhU Ee'hftHWfMSii B the Tabor wltieTTpoS^rtown'fyaf A^te-ma-rTfed-wi oyTadwaflj 
bash nefitted -operations of his fellow ' ^ ' , ' , John'r. Decker Feb. loth, n**) rod 

ni.'n. "P<?acH hath her victories no Int.* 
rotiowned Lhui '.vur." Of such were his 
vioti'ii. s «v«r all, the hero who sleeps 
hoaeiit-li the Eaodnst monument .-it Mend- 

i Conclusion i 

SiriKiissT The lande I interests nnee own- 
ed and exchanged by Mr. Rankin In Deckertowu 
whi -., app. ar from roe >rds, nave been suinmni- 
i. 1 i. r us tiy James W. McCoy, Esq., verified 
from »urvey» hu has made, incidentally while in 
the practice of his profession as asurveyorin the 
place. He was a pupil ol Mr. RanLia' 1 and our 
thanks ai e due to him for valuable data in Uik 
preparation of this article. The first real estate 
owned by M-. Rankin appears to have boen ein- 
b xiied in a deed dated June 1836, which Included 
3 — a :re^, which surrounded the meeting house 
(Academy lot,; aud was conveyed to bim by 
James Evans and wife for 54.400 who claimed 
title by pa-chase from Ales. Boyles and wife. It 
is probable th it Mr. Rankin about the snme time 
bad a deed of the meeting house lot, which was 
t.i one: mentioned us lost and for which be re- 
Ceivc i a duplicate April sth, 1S1? for ttti from 
the trustees of the First Presbyterian churou in 
Wantage. Therein the lot Is described as con- 
i .; i i.e 57-100 acre-*, and covered a sirip one rod 
wid on four sides o£ and outside of the ol.* 
church building and the /{round upon which it 

' '■ The rastee mernti >ned their title us 
having he"il purchiued from James B Sayre. 
■i .--i •..' .'-lay ; -tli. l-i;. Win. Rankin and wile 
ci. iv -yed th:. premised (North pjrl of Academy 
lot) >i Stephen J. Cole; and the tatter's heirs. 
April 3rd, : : -T conveyed it to tho 9chool trustees. 

Mr. Rankia curchased of Bowdewine Decker 
for <:,iH), April 1st, ISS7, 'i TS-l-JO acres, which be 
:,- .ii at a post in a board fence at a corner of 
S imud Whittalcer's lot standing north 10 deg. MO. 
east 4 chains and 40 links from the north corner 
or ihe old tavern bouse. Mr. Rankin and wire by 
deed M iy 1st ls.">i conveyed to Bethuel Fnrrand a 
put o. this tract which is part where James II. 
D.n.iiirignow resides. Apart of this tract also 
>• prised the premises wnce John A, Whitta 
ki . now resides. While another par teonveyed lo 
tberr isiees of tho Third Presbyterian church of 
Wantage by .Mr. Rankin and wife June llth, IrMI 
for S 1 Is the lot where the 1'resbyterian church 
ll n Is. 

' . ■" ilh. -.-il.t r .-!-'. Win Rankin and wii.- 
com eyed to H.-m-y Khepherd, ee, a!., a lot oil 
Academy bill for the sit.- for a new academy, 
which however was never built, 

Inthedeeilof Mr. Rankin to Bethuel Farfan.l 
ah re ciledone of Ihe Hues cornered on thelunds 
of, in Young. The greater of this Edwin 
Young lot i» now owned by Peter Wells. 

Tha last lot conveyed by Mr. Rankin of bis 

It hea on Academy hill contiguous to t.-.e ■ 
sehool lot, and is recited in the survey to be north 
Otttie same.' This is the premises now owned liy 
Sirs. Ayrcs, and was purchased by John D. 
Simmons from the heli s of John B. Decker about 
six years since. A lot was purchased of said 
Decker's he'rs at the same time by the Trustees 
of thesrhool district for school purposes which * 
lay adjoining the Academy lot on the south or 
southwest. With tho sale of his lo'. »o John R. 
Decker, Mr. Rankin concluded forever his 
dealings in a commercial way With the people of 
Deckertowu. His influence has hung over tho for its good however for a generati in in all 
that concerns the education of its people.- Well 
has ha been termed ' The great Educator of I 


Adhenoa Miss M. M, Lawrence ol Hamhurg 
whose historical .writings have attrai-ted much 
attention, supplies us with the following facts 
which are of great value as hitherto unpublished 
Sussex County records. The Robert Morris. Jr., 
mentioned in Chapter viii of your interesting 
history of Deckertown was a son of Richard 
Morris and Surah Ludlow, grandson of Leuis 
Mcnis second and Catherine Slants He married 
Frances. Ludlum sister of his partner Clabriel 
Lu Hum, and the late Judge Richard R. Morris of 
Sparta was his oldest son. James Ludlum a 
brother of Gabriel, purchased a tract of land in 
the county at the head of the Wnlkill, now Sparta 
leaving part of it to his nephew R. R. Morris who 
settled there. 

Sparrowbush, N. Y , Sept. 9th, 151)5. 
Edi roit Recorder : 
la the History of Deckertown mention is made 
of Yope, son of Peter Decker. Probably you are 
aware tbat Tope and the Joseph that s..lj tue 
lands in 1790, was one and the same person. You 
will remember that my grandfather's name was 
Joseph and was a son of Hannah Decker Cole, 
and undoubtedly named for this Joseph Decker, 
her brother | my grandfather,'! v.-a-i always called 

Yupe, which 


Dutch of Joseph, 

sins. L. C. BUOSS. 

Tweuty-cifflit iii Twenty .Minutes. 

Tho following letter from Rev. Leon- 
ard Fletcher, who was pastor of the. 
First Baptist church of Wantage fron 
1825 for about seven years, is valuable 
in connection with our history of Deck- 
ertowu. There is ( a quaint huruor 
about tho good man's attempt to beat 
the record on baptism against time, but 
it must have been rough on the candi-, 
dates: J 

For the CotruriAN Star £ Isde\. 

Deckertown, X. J.. Jan. 24th, 1830. 

Brother Editor— Knowing that it 

ever delights the hearts of the children 

of Gml to hear of the triumphs of grace 
in tho extension of the Redeemer's 
kingdom. I am induced once, more to 
writo you, and communicate to the 

friends of Zion, through the medium of 
tho Star and Index, the progress of the 
work of grace, in tho vicinity since ttie 
date of my last. About that time iD.c. 
lsth,) tho attention of the public was 
generally excited and our congregations 
were iucredably Jargc Since then 
however, the excitement has consider-' 
ably abated, but tho work continues 
gradually to progress. 

On the first day of this month I bap- 
tised twenty-eight persons in just twen- 
ty minutes, thus demonstrating the 
truth of tho proposition that twelve 
administers can immerse three thousand 
candidates in less than three hours. I I 
have baptised 103 sin'co the work com- , 
menced, and am yet in hopes of con- i 
siderably enlarging the number. The , 
revival has not been confined to any I 
congregation, nor to the Baptist, but 
other churches and other denominations ! 


have shared largely In tho trophic of! 
redeeming grace. 

It would be impossible to state rhn\ 
exact number of those who h:i\.' been] 
born into tho kingdom since the work: 
commenced but in the judgment of' 
charity, there aro not less than seven or 
eight hundred who have bi.-en inmlol 
partakers of a good hope through gritee, | 
within the circumference, of a few mill * 
since the first of October last. S--. ,. ra ] j 
Universalists have let co their hold ..i. | 
nothing, and have laid hold of tli 
sot before them In tho gospel and I 
abandoned the broad platform of uni- 
versal salvation, and have taken refuge 
in the ark of safety. 

In conclusion, I cannot forbear to ,,i»- 
serve, that previous to the commence- 
ment of the present gracious work, 
thero was a peculiar anxiety on tho 
minds of Christians for the prospi ritv 
of Zion, and the salvation of sinners. 
And in all tho ardor of holy desire, they | 
went to the throne of grace, and the-^ 
Loid who is rich in mercy and plente-j 
ous in redemption deferred, not to an 
swer and bless. 

Yours in Love. 

Leonard Fletckeb,