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Full text of "The history of Montgomery classis, R.C.A. To which is added sketches of Mohawk valley men and events of early days, the Iroquois, Palatines, Indian missions, Tryon county committee of safety, Sir Wm. Johnson, Joseph Brant, Arendt Van Curler, Gen. Herkimer, Reformed church in America, doctrine and progress, revolutionary residences, etc"



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY 

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THE 









HISTORY 



OF 



Montgomery Classis 



R. C. A. 



TO WHICH IS ADDED SKETCHES OF MOHAWK 
VALLEY MEN AND EVENTS OF EARLY DAYS. THE 
IROQUOIS, PALATINES, INDIAN MISSIONS, TRYON 
COUNTY COMMITTEE OF SAFETY, SIR WM. 
JOHNSON, JOSEPH BRANT, ARENDT VAN CURLER, 
GEN. HERKIMER, REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERI- 
CA, DOCTRINE AND PROGRESS, REVOLUTIONARY 
RESIDENCES, ETC. :: :: :: :: 




/q/G 



(EmDracbt S^aafet Stf)adbt 




THE VALUE OF HISTORICAL RESEARCH 




History has been spoken of as a mere chain of 
facts, which serve the purpose of comparing knowl- 
edge, but this is the lesser half of the truth, for while 
we need the guidance of established facts, systemati- 
cally arranged, and their true connection with pre- 
ceding and succeeding events, we submit that by far 
the larger purpose of history is to unite ourselves 
with these facts, to fix our personal responsibility 
as heirs of the past, and to determine our present 
duty to ourselves and to others, in the light of such knowledge. 
If men and women were unrelated and individual units of 
humanity we might review the past and forecast the future with 
such pleasure as comes naturally from historical research, as we 
weave into one body the warp and the woof of the story of the 
centuries. But history, as we interpret it, is not knowledge merely, 
but in a higher sense it is power, for it is inclusive of those fine 
relationships that link men to their homes, their country and their 
God. In recent years there has been a wholesome revival of histor- 
ical study, which finds development in local and general celebrations, 
in state and national expositions, in pageants and antique loans, in 
translation and reprint of the church records, cemetery inscriptions, 
and the papers preserved in the archives of state and nation. This 
is not a work of vanity or of self-aggrandizement, but a wholesome 
exercise of the mind and soul of the people, through which we 
get life's true bearings, and gain courage and inspiration with which 
to meet the days before us. Such study and research as may be 
provoked by this Classis History cannot help but weave its influences 
into our lives, and thus mould our character and direct our conduct. 
Imagination takes us back along fascinating footsteps that lead to 
history-making scenes in both church and state — to the first settlers 
in the valley of the "Mohaque," indomitable in spirit and Protestant 
in faith — to the church of our fathers, built before they reared their 
homes, and built, too, better than their homes — to the kindred, and 
friends, and childhood scenes — to the familiar woods with their blazed 
trails — to the men and women, most of them asleep in unmarked 
graves in God's Acres close by these churches, who lived to toil, 
and fought and died, that they might hand down to us this glorious 
heritage of a land swept by the spirit of liberty, where God dwells 



continually in the midst of His people. Our purpose in these pages 
is to record the incidents and facts of the churches of the Classis and 
their environment. No attempt is made to consider the organic 
development of the life of the communities in which they are 
found, especially the churches and fields of a century ago. It is this 
study of local history, the development of a passion for our countryside 
and our church, this practical demonstration and administration of 
God's kingdom in our midst that will put holy zest into our character, 
and thereby equip us for life's highest duties. The environment of these 
stories, the Valley of the Mohawk, is unsurpassed in the grandeur 
of its picturesque scenery. Through it ran the old Indian trails, 
which for two hundred years after the coming of the white man, were 
the pathways for the armies. Then they were the roads by which 
the hardy pioneers traveled westward, to return, later, with the 
commerce of the western world. How rich with historic incident, with 
legendary lore! No other section of our land is more replete with 
romantic and tragic story than this valley. We have come to this 
study and research in an honest attempt to give the reader the 
vision splendid as we see it, of this wonderful heritage that God and 
our fathers have conserved for us in these old Reformed churches 
of this Classis, praying ever that the vision may lure us away from 
any lower levels of contentment or indifference, unto the higher and 
broader fields of opportunity for worship and service through the 
church of God. In some such way we will be able to realize in the 
character and conduct of our daily life the ideals and hopes of the 
founders of these churches. 



Methinks I hear the sound of lime, long past, still murmuring o'er 
me and whispering thro most these pages, — like the lingering voices of 
those who long within their graves have slept. 



-Q 







WO hundred years ago 
there came into the vir- 
gin valley of the Mo- 
haque a company of 
Christian settlers. £ In the wil- 
derness, thro sorrow and suffering, 
they toiled for civil and religious 
liberty. £ Times changed; settle- 
ments became thriving cities and 
villages; stages and packets gave 
place to 3team and electricity; can- 
dle and oil were lo£t in the glare 
of the mazdas; beautiful churches 
were built; the wilderness of the 
Mohaque was no more. £ Time 
will come when those Chri^lain 
settlers and their successors thro 
the centuries in the Reformed 
Dutch Church of America, and 
their accomplished work, will be 
but a fleeting memory. £ Now 
to keep inviolate the £tory of this 
service of two hundred years the 
record has been transcribed in 
these pages, -a task that has been 
a labor of love. 




/ Prefatory 

II Introductory 

III Montgomery Classis Churches 

IV Churches Extinct and Independent 

V Cayuga and Geneva Classes 

VI Reformed Churches Listed 

VII Montgomery Classis Ministers 

VIII Reformed Church History 

IX Mohawk Valley History 

X Biography 

XI Bibliography 



Page 

3 
7 
11 
109 
132 
138 
142 
157 
164 
187 
197 




MONTGOMERY COUNTY 



The Province of New York in 1771 included what is now Vermont, 
and was further divided into the counties of Albany, Cumberland, 
Dutchess, Kings, New York, Orange, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, 
Ulster, and Westchester. On March 12, 1772, Charlotte and Tryon 
counties were set off from Albany. At the time the Province had a 
population of 168,000 including 20,000 negroes. Charlotte county was 
composed of the western half of Vermont, and included what is now 
Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Washington counties. Tryon (Mont- 
gomery) county included all west of Charlotte county to the St. 
Lawrence river, and west of a line running nearly thro the centre 
of Schoharie county to the Utsayantha Lake, the source of the west 
branch of the Delaware river, thence down the west branch to the 
Pennsylvania line. 

Originally Tryon county included about a third of the State's 
area, and was named after the royal governor of the Province, an 
intimate friend and ardent admirer of Sir William Johnson, by 
whom he was royally entertained at Johnson Hall. At the time 
there were eight million acres in the county, but thro the 
years this has been reduced unto its present size of some three 
hundred thousand. 

Governor William Tryon, after whom the county was originally 
named, was popularly known in the Province as "Bloody Billy." He 
was Governor of North Carolina prior to his appointment over New 
York. In 1777 Tryon became almost a savage in his treatment of the 
colonists. He charged Washington with burning a quarter of New York 
and plotted to assassinate him and blow up the fort. His personality 
was so intensely offensive to the patriots of the Mohawk valley, 
who were to all intents the first "Independents" in the Colonies (cf 
Note on Tryon Co. Com. Safety) that the name of the county was 
changed April 2, 1784, to that of Montgomery, in honor of Gen. 
Richard Montgomery, the brave American officer who had lost his 
life in an attempt to capture Quebec. The history of Tryon county's 
twelve years of existence would fill a volume whose pages are 
largely carmined with the life blood of those Christian patriots who 
for the most part were allied with the Dutch church. When the glad 
tidings of peace were announced Tryon county was a desolate blood- 
stained wilderness. Today the traveler, speeding along the old 
Indian trail in palatial splendor, is entranced with the beautiful vista 
of the valley of the Mohawk and is reminded on the journey at 
Schenectady and Canajoharie of its Indian occupancy, while at Pala- 
tine his thots go back to the Rhine of the Fatherland. But only in 
the musty pages of forgotten tomes will one ever come upon the name 
of Tryon. Herkimer and Otsego counties were formed from Mont- 
gomery this same year (1784). In 1780 a state road was begun leading 
from Schenectady to Utica, sixty-eight miles. There were toll gates 
established at the terminals, and others at Cranesville, Canajoharie, 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Schenck's Hollow, Garoga Creek, St. Johnsville, East Creek Bridge, 
Fink's Ferry, Herkimer, and Sterling. At this time Montgomery 
county had a population of 15,057. 

In 1788 Montgomery county was enlarged to take in the lands 
of the Iroquois which extended from its west boundary line. On Nov. 
5, 1768 the Iroquois had made with England the Treaty of Fort 
Stanwix, receiving in lieu of certain lands $50,600. Later their rights 
to these lands were declared forfeited by the Crown. In 1789 Ontario 
county including all the land west of Seneca lake, two million acres, 
was set off. In 1791 Hamilton and Tioga counties were formed. 
Hamilton county was put back into Montgomery in 1797 but again 
set off in 1817. In 1838 Fulton county was formed, its creation being 
due to the effort to move the county seat from Johnstown to Fonda. 
From Montgomery County have been carved the following New York 
State counties, — Alleghany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautau- 
qua, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, 
Genesee, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, 
Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, 
Otsego, St. Lawrence, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, 
Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates. 

GENERAL RICHARD MONTGOMERY 




Maj. Gen. Montgomery 



This distinguished patriot- 
soldier, after whom the County 
is named, was born in Dublin, 
Ireland, December 2, 1736, en- 
tering the army of Great Britain 
at - the age of twenty, serving 
seven years in the French and 
Indian war. When the Regi- 
ment to which Montgomery be- 
longed was ordered to enforce 
the Stamp Act he and others re- 
signed, an act due, doubtless, to 
the influence of Fox and Pitt, 
with whom for some years he 
had been intimate. He visited 
England later, and sought cer- 
tain honors, failing of which he 
returned to America and went 
to live in New York City. He 
bought a large estate in Dutch- 
ess county, facing the river and 
soon afterwards (July, 1773) 



married Janet Livingston, whom he had first met when he was a 
captain in the British army. She was the sister of Chancellor 
Livingston, one of the three men to organize Montgomery Classis 
in 1880, and daughter of Robert R. Livingston, one of the judges of the 
King's bench. Here he settled down to the peace and prosperity 
of his quiet home. However, it was of short duration, for he soon 
joined the ranks of the colonists, and enlisted in the army of General 
Schuyler which was preparing for an attack on Quebec He parted 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

from his beloved Janet at Saratoga, never to see her again. In 
1775 he was second in command with the rank of Brigadier. Illness 
of Gen. Schuyler threw the entire command upon Montgomery. He 
succeeded in taking St. John, Chambly, and Montreal. Congress 
made him Major General. Forward thro the December snows he 
pressed to join Arnold in the attack on Quebec. For three weeks 
the city was besieged, and on the morning of Dec. 31, 1775, amid 
the falling snow, an attempt was made to take it. Montgomery was 
killed at the very beginning of the attack while leading a division 
along the shores of the St. Lawrence beneath Cape Diamond. Arnold 
also was wounded and the expedition failed.. Among the prisoners 
taken at St. John was Capt. Andre who was later exchanged and 
joined the English army under Gen. Clinton, and became Major 
Andre. Major Andre had an intimate friendship with "Peggy" 
Shippen, the daughter of the radical Tory of that name of Philadel- 
phia, whom Benedict Arnold married as his second wife. For two 
years prior to the West Point affair a correspondence was kept up 
between Major Andre and Arnold and Mrs. Arnold. 

For forty-three years the remains of Montgomery rested within 
the walls of Quebec. When time for exhuming the body came, 
one James Thompson, a man of eighty-nine, was found, who iiad 
originally buried Montgomery, and also had the sword that Mont- 
gomery wore when he was killed. In 1818 at the request of Janet 
Montgomery, who had lived all these lonely years at the "Montgom- 
ery Place" (Rhinebeck), thro action of the New York Legislature 
the body was brot back to America and New York. It lay in 
state at the Capitol, Albany, on Independence Day, 1818. On the 
following day Mrs. Montgomery stood alone upon the broad piazza 
of her home and for hours watched the funeral cortege wending its 
way down the Hudson past the General's former dwelling. On 
July 8, 1818, it was buried in St. Paul's churchyard beneath a mural 
monument ordered by Benjamin Franklin and provided by Congress. 
He was in his fortieth year when he died, tho the monument says 
but thirty-seventh. His only original portrait reproduced here was 
made at twenty-five when he first came to America. 

THE CLASSIS OF MONTGOMERY 



Among the churches of the Classis 
of Montgomery of this day are or- 
ganizations that carry us back to 
the very first settlements of the 
Mohawk valley, as Fort Herkimer 
which was organized in 1723. Nearly 
half of the present membership of the 
Classis are churches which were 
founded more than a hundred years 
ago. Still the terms "old" and "new" 
are relative and indefinite since what 

may seem old to us is after all but new 
Caughnawaga Church jn the Hght q{ Qther higtory And yet 

we are proud of these old Dutch churches of the valley of the 
"Mohaque," some of whose buildings take us back to the begin- 




HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



ning of things in this section of New York State, as the church at 
Fort Herkimer whose foundations were laid before 1740, and whose 
quaint architecture, bold and strong, has almost entirely escaped the 
despoiling hand of the modern. These pages tell the romantic — often 
tragic story, of the provisions made by these first settlers to supply 
the religious needs of the community, and is worthy of repeated 
telling, that the people of this day may know something of the price 
paid for the heritage handed down to them. 

Named after the County in which its churches were for the 
most part originally situated the Classis of Montgomery was formed 
on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 1800, at the Caughnawaga (Fonda) Dutch 
church. On Friday, June 13, 1800, General Synod had appointed a 
committee of three, Rev. Dr. John Livingston (afterwards Chancel- 
lor), Rev. Dr. Dirck Romeyn (pastor of the 1st Dutch church at 
Schenectady, and founder of Union College), and Rev. Dr. Solomon 
Froeligh (later organizer of the "Wyckofite" church), all three pro- 
fessors in the Theological Seminary, to organize the Classis. At 
this Synod there were seventy-two ministers and elders present, 
thirty-one of whom were from the Classis of Albany. Among the 
delegates were Rev. Conrad Ten Eyck (cf Owasco) and his elder, 
Lowrens E. Van Nalen from the Veddersburgh (Amsterdam) church, 

Rev. Abram Van Home and his elder from 
the Caughnawaga church, and Rev. Dirck 
Romeyn and his elder, Garret S. Veeder, 
from the First Dutch church at Schenec- 
tady. At this time the Reformed Protest- 
ant Dutch Church of America had five 
classes, Albany, Hackensack, Kingston, 
New Brunswick, and New York. In 1800 
General Synod divided the Classis of Al- 
bany, Kingston and Hackensack into seven 
classes, Montgomery being one of the 
bodies set off from Albany, and containing 
twenty-four churches. With Albany the 
churches of the Classis of Rensselaer, 
Montgomery, and Ulster formed in 1800 
the original Particular Synod of Albany (formerly called the Circle 
of Albany). This was made up of the churches of Albany, Charlotte, 
Cumberland, Gloucester, Schenectady, and Schoharie counties. 

Rev. Rynier Van Nest of Schoharie became the first President 
of the Classis of Montgomery, and Rev. Abram Van Home of Caugh- 
nawaga the First Stated Clerk. The churches forming the Classis at 
its organization were the following: 1. Amsterdam (not present Am- 
sterdam); 2. Andrustown (merged in Columbia); 3. Canajoharie 
("Sand Hill"); 4. Charlestown (extinct); 5. Chenango (Presb. and 
extinct); 6. ^fejfes+pqtf-^Florida^; 7. Coenradstown (merged in Colum- 
bia); 8. Conewago (Caughnawaga i. e. Fonda); 9. Curriestown (Curry- 
town); 10. Duanesborough (Presb. and extinct); 11. Fonda's Bush 
(Presb.); 12. German Flatts (Fort Herkimer); 13. Herkimer; 14. 
Lower Schoharie (Schoharie); 15. Mayfield (Presb.); 16. New Rhine- 
beck (Lawyersville) ; 17. Owasco Lake (Owasco); 18. Remsens Bush 
(Florida); 19. Sacondaga (extinct); 20. Schoharie Kill (extinct); 21. 
Sharon (Schoharie Classis); 22. Snellsbush (Manheim); 23. Stone 
Arabia; 24. Upper Schoharie (Middleburgh). 




Rev. Dr. Livingston 



l(i 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 




AMSTERDAM: FIRST REFORMED CHURCH 



3g 




Originally the church 
was the First Reformed 
(Dutch) Church of Port 
Jackson, and was organ- 
ized in 1850. Religious 
services had been con- 
ducted in the school house 
for some time during the 
early part of 1850, and 
before applying to Classis 
for recognition the found- 
ers of the church had se- 
cured a lot upon which 
they had already begun 
the construction of the 
building which cost about 
$3,000.00. 

The church had applied 
to Classis on June 28, 1850, 
and on Sept. 8, 1850, the 
Rev. Douw Van Olinda of 
the Caughnawaga church installed the first consistory, elders John 
Freemyre, Don C. Bent, and Cornelius Phillips, and deacons William 
McClumpha and Frederick Vedder. Later on Sept. 17 the church 
was received into the Classis of Montgomery, but it was not until 
Feb. 8, 1851, that the first service of communion was held, and the 
charter members, of whom there were twenty-five (including the 
consistory), were received. 

The dedication of the new church was held on Dec. 19, 1850, 
and at the same time the Rev. Garret L. Roof was installed. Mr. 
Roof was a Union College man, and had been practicing law 
for some years when he was called to the ministry, and had seen 
four years service at Glen and Auriesville before coming to Amster- 
dam. His ministry here ended April 10, 1855, and he served the 
church of Watervliet for the following nine years. Then occurred 
a ten year pastorate in the Lowville (N. Y.) Presbyterian church. 
He died in Troy, N. Y., in 1891. Cornelius Gates was next called 
(June 27, 1856) from the Classis of Philadelphia, but remained 
only a year, serving later at Wolcott in the Geneva Classis and at 
Minisink in the classis of Orange, where he died in February, 1863. 
The church at this time numbered fifty with the Sunday school about 
the same size, which was begun with the church in 1850. From 
the close of the Gates pastorate the church had no settled minister 
for six years, or until Henry Martin Voorhees was called, who began 
his work August 1, 1863. During this interim the pulpit was 
mainly supplied by Revs. Abram J. Swits and Isaac G. 



11 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Duryee of Schenectady. Mr. Swits on graduation from New 
Brunswick in 1820 had served as a Classical Missionary in 
Montgomery for some time. For the last twenty-five years of his 
life he lived retired at Schenectady, and for about three years supplied 
the pulpit of the Port Jackson church (Aug., 1857-July, 1859, and 
Nov., 1862-Aug., 1863). Mr. Swits died in 1878 at Schenectady. Rev. 
Isaac G. Duryee while pursuing his college course at Union 
showed his great courage in espousing the cause of the colored 
folks, securing for them a house of worship (only recently torn down) 
at Schenectady. He graduated at Andover in 1841 and for a year 
following was at the Yale Divinity School. He preached first for 
the Congregationalists. After a pastorate of six or seven years in 
the Second Reformed church of Schenectady he became the supply at 
Port Jackson, remaining nearly three and a half years at an annual 
stipend of $400. He left the church to enlist in the war and became 
the Chaplain of the 31st Regt. N. Y. Vols. He died soon after the 
close of the war, Feb. 8, 1866, at Schenectady. 

Rev. Henry Martin Voorhees was ordained, and installed over 
the church on Oct. 27, 1863, having come to the work from New 
Brunswick seminary. He brot to the organization the enthusiastic 
and intelligent and permanent ministry that it greatly needed, and 
was greatly blessed in his work, which continued for sixteen months. 
Mr. Voorhees had several other pastorates, and died in 1895 at the 
age of fifty-five. The pulpit was soon again filled. Rev. A. Messier 
Quick, another New Brunswick senior being called, who was or- 
dained, and installed over the church soon after his graduation in 
May, 1865, and remained until November, 1869. Mr. Quick, after 
leaving Port Jackson, had a nearly quarter-century pastorate in the 
Franklin, N. J. church (Classis of Newark). He then went to Peek- 
skill (1882-1885) and then to the Ocean Hill Reformed church of 
Brooklyn (1885-1890). He is at present living in Brookyn, without 
charge. He is a frequent contributor to the "Intelligencer." 
After Mr. Quick's going the church was without a pastor for 
three years and a half, or until the coming of Rev. Mr. Minor in May, 
1873. During this time the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Mr. Pettengill 
from July 1, 1870, to Oct. 1, 1872. John Minor had already served 
the Reformed church for about thirty years when he was called to 
the pastorate from the 1st church of Glenville. During his ministry 
here of seven years and a half one hundred and forty-seven were 
received in the church. He left the field in October, 1880, and spent 
ten years longer in the classis ministering unto the smaller churches, 
dying in 1890 while he was supplying at Fort Herkimer. On 
January 6, 1881, Rev. Joshua R. Kyle, the present pastor, was 
installed over what became the First Reformed church of Amster- 
dam. He was formerly connected with the United Presbyterian 
church, Monangahela, Pa. During his ministry besides liquidating 
a debt of $4,000 the church was extensively repaired at a cost of 
about $9,000, and a new organ was placed at a cost of $1,700. During 
Dr. Kyle's long pastorate of a generation great changes have taken 
place in the community and city, Port Jackson becoming a ward of 
the city which has grown from Vedder's Mills to be one of the 
greatest industrial centres of the Empire State. The late Luther L. 
Dean was an elder in this church for forty years, while Jacob 'J. 
Johnson has been choir leader and Sunday school superintendent for 

12 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

thirty years. The present consistory is, William Servoss, John H. 
DeGraff, Jonas D. Friderici, Jacob J. Johnson, and James H. Doak, 
elders, and William J. Smith, John S. Sterling, Earl V. Servoss, 
Francis J. Johnson, and Ralph A. Hallenbeck, deacons. 

AMSTERDAM: TRINITY REFORMED CHURCH 

In the year 1890 certain church workers of the Second Presby- 
terian church recognized the fact that while the central portions of 
Amsterdam were well churched there was no organization in either 
the east end of the city or on what has come to be known as the 
Market Hill section. But the second church did not see the need 
for any similar organization in either of these sections, hence their 
own workers were forced to turn for aid to another denomination, 
which proved to be the Reformed church. Rev. J. H. Enders, the 
Synodical Superintendent, came to the field at once, and with the 




workers decided to establish a religious work in the east end of the 
city. Here the work had hardly begun when the Methodist church 
also initiated a work in the same community, and the Reformed 
church workers moved out and upon the Market Hill section and 
began services in the old Academy building, hired for the purpose. 

Besides Rev. Enders, Edward O. Bartlett and Jacob J. Johnson, 
the former a charter member of Trinity, the latter for more than a 
quarter-century superintendent of the First Reformed church Sunday 
school, were active in beginning the work. Jamas A. Smeallie and 
H. S. Vossler, elders, and E. O. Bartlett and W. H. Carver, deacons, 
were the first consistory. P. Henry Smeallie and N. W. Donnan 
were also active at the starting of the work. In December, 1891, a 



13 




HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Sunday school was started in the Academy, 
where preaching services had been held for 
some time, and in 1892, February, Rev. Jas. 
A. Beattie of Pekin, 111., a Glasgow Uni- 
versity man, was called to the field and re- 
mained thro a part of 1894 when he en- 
tered the mission work of the Reformed 
church in Chittoor, India. It was dur- 
ing his ministry that the chapel was 

™ T^T u^c i built which served the congregation for 

The Church Seal , 

A , , , . _,_.,,. some seventeen years, tho at the time 

Adopted in 1910 . J ' 

of its building the plans called for 

the completion of the church the following year. The formal 
organization of the church took place April 5, 1892, and besides Mr. 
Bartlett, H. S. and Mrs. Vossler are the remaining active charter mem- 
bers. A fourth member is Mrs. Margaret Beattie of Chittoor, India. 
Other charter members not mentioned above were Mrs. W. H. Carver, 
Mrs. J. A. Smeallie, Mrs. P. H. Smeallie, and Mrs. N. W. Donnan. 
The land and the building cost $9,500 of which sum the Board of 
Domestic Missions loaned $5,000. Mr. Beattie was one of the thous- 
and passengers lost when the Lusitania was destroyed off the English 
coast on May 7, 1915. 

The second pastor of the church was Rev. Evert J. Blekkink, 
who had served the churches at Lishas Kill, Cobleskill and Lawyers- 
ville, and who came to Amsterdam in 1894 and remained- thro most 
of 1899, doing a splendid fundamental work in the field. Mr. Blek- 
kink went next to Kalamazoo, Mich., from which place he was called 
to Holland, Mich, in 1905, and after a brief pastorate here was made 
Professor of Theology in the Western Theological Seminary at Hol- 
land, Mich. Rev. Blekkink's son, Rev. Victor Blekkink is now pastor 
of the Canajoharie church (cf). Rev. Charles W. Van Zee came to 
the church from Freehold, N. J. in 1900, and after remaining a little 
less than three years went to High Bridge, N. J. in which pastorate 
he died, August 16, 1903. He was succeeded by Rev. Howard R. 
Furbeck, son of Rev. Philip Furbeck (cf Fonda), who was ordained 
by the Montgomery Classis and installed over the church in 1901. 
He remained but a year and a little more, going next to Rensselaer, 
and is now at Annandale, N. J. 

The fifth pastor at Trinity was Rev. W. N. P. Dailey, who had 
had pastorates at Albany 3d and Athens before coming to Amster- 
dam. His first work had been as a missionary under the Presby- 
terian church in Utah. In his years at Trinity the church grew by 
bounds, the building was completed, the Board relieved from aiding 
in pastor's salary, the several organizations perfected, and the various 
work of the church established. Members of the consistory at the 
time of building the church were, besides the pastor, elders Harvey 
S. Vossler, Edward O. Bartlett, Levi M. Strong, H. O. Wilkie and 
John H. Wilkie, and deacons Fred W. Rogge, Jas. Lindsay, Charles 
McGovern, Wm. B. Greene, and Peter R. Van Valkenburgh. One 
of the members of the church, Charles E. Fick was the contractor, 
who wrought his best into the structure, an edifice of beauty and 
stability. Fred W. Rogge who administered the finances of this 
$25,000 addition deserves special mention. The cost of the addition 
was four-fifths met at dedication. The church is one of the finest of 



14 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

any denomination in the Mohawk valley, and its completion marked 
the dawn of a new era in its history. After a pastorate of more than 
eight years, the longest in the church to date, Mr. Dailey was per- 
suaded to take up the Missionary work of the Montgomery Classis, 
which he did in November, 1911, in which work he is still engaged. 
His successor was Rev. J. Harvey Murphy of Philadelphia, Pa., who 
came to the church in February, 1912, and has pushed forward the 
work of the organization, until today Trinity is one of the strongest 
of the churches of the Classis of Montgomery. 




AURIESVILLE REFORMED CHURCH 

Auriesville was for- 
merly called "Auries 
Creek," and there are 
many references to the 
place both in the coun- 
ty records as well as in 
the State's documents. 
Tradition tells us that 
the name is a corrup- 
tion of the Indian word 
"Ograckie," which is 
found in the Fonda 
records as a boundary 
line in the Shucksburg 
Patent of 10,000 acres 
which was on both 
sides of Auries Hill in 
the town of Glen. We 
are also told of an old 
Indian, by name "Aurie," which is the Dutch for Adrien or Aaron, 
who lived near the mouth of the creek, after whom the place was 
called. In N. Y. Doc. History in a list of King's County assessments, 
dated 1675, the name "Arie" appears as a Christian name six times, 
and "Ariaen" once. Doubtless the name came from some settler 
bearing the Christian name of "Arie," since changed to "Aurie" who 
lived near the place about the beginning of the eighteenth century. 
"Ograckie" has no meaning of itself, but is probably a corruption 
of the word Osarakie, which means "at the beaver dam." The word 
occurs in the John Scott Patent (IT:.':.') as a boundary point. Auries- 
ville is the supposed site of the lower Mohawk Castle, which Domine 
Megapolensis, in his visit in 1664 called, "Asseru," and which Father 
J°gu&& called "Osseru." When Arent Van Corlaer visited the place 
in 1635 he found the name of the ruling sachem to be "Adriochten." 
The word Aurie or Arie is the Dutch for Adrien or Adrianus, the 
meaning of which is the "sea." Here near Auriesville Father Jogues 
was killed by the Indians in 1646. Gen. John S. Clark after an ex- 
haustive study approved the location of this Papal shrine, but since 
this approval the Arent Van Curler" Journal has come to light with 
much data that might change this determination. At Auriesville the 
Mohawks had their castle from 1635 thro 1666, at the close of the 
latter year being driven out by the French and settling across the 



15 



•••: SUc^-rmn^^^//^ ^ 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

river at Caughnawaga where they remained until 1693, when the 
French again drove them away, the tribe going to the west side of 
the mouth of the Schoharie creek. 

The Reformed Protestant Dutch church of Auriesville was or- 
ganized March 19, 1839, under the title of "The Second Reformed 
Protestant Dutch Church in the town of Glen, Montgomery County." 
The trustees elected on March 19 were John C. Servoss, Henry C. 
Cady, David Wood, Erastus Holmes, and Abraham V. Putman. 
Henry C. Cady gave the land for the church, adjoining the old ceme- 
tery and the edifice was built by Peter Wiles. The Dutch church of 
Albany gave a $100 toward this. The first consistory was John C. 
Servoss and Erastus Holmes, elders, ordained by Rev. Jukes in No- 
vember, 1839. The first pastor of the church was Rev. Chas. Jukes who 
was born in England in 1788 and came to this country in 1830. His first 
charges were in the Presbyterian churches of Edinburgh and the 
Fish House, and, later, he was pastor for five years of the Presby- 
terian church at Amsterdam. His first work in the Reformed church 
was at Glen to which he came in 1839, the year of the organization. 
He preached here for nearly five years, going in the latter part of 
1844 to the collegiate pastorate of Ephratah and Stone Arabia, where 
he remained until 1850, in which year he entered the work of the 
Rotterdam church near Pattersonville, where he died in 1862. It was 
during Jukes pastorate that the church was built which was burned 
in 1876. Some of the descendants of Rev. Jukes are living in Fulton 
county. From July, 1845, to October, 1846, the pulpit was supplied 
by Rev. Douw Van Olinda, pastor at Fonda (cf). 

The second pastor at Auriesville was Rev. Garret L. Roof, who 
followed Jukes after an interim of a couple of years and was or- 
dained and installed over the church December 1, 1846. Leaving 
Auriesville in 1850 he became the first pastor of the newly organized 
church at Port Jackson, now the First Reformed church of Amster- 
dam. On the occasion of the fifty-sixth anniversary of the Battle of 
Stone Arabia (October 19, 1780), and the erection of a monument 
to the memory of Col. John Brown, who lost his life in that battle, 
Mr. Roof made a brilliant oration. This was on October 19, 
1836. His pastorate at Amsterdam ended in April, 1855, and 
his next church was at West Troy (Watervliet) where he 
remained from 1855 thro 1864, when he accepted a call to 
the Lowville Presbyterian church which he served for ten years. He 
now retired from the active ministry, residing at Troy, where he 
died in 1891. The records speak of a Rev. I. P. Burnham being 
called September 30, 1851. When called to the ministry Mr. Roof had 
already been practicing law at Canajoharie for a decade or more. 
Nothing further is known of him except that he came to the church 
in some capacity. During his supply the church voted to quit the 
denomination and join the "Old School Presbyterian Church of 
Albany," but a later consistory repudiated this action. From 1854 
thro 1855 Rev. Adam H. Van Vranken of Glen supplied the pulpit, 
and from 1858 thro 1860 the Rev. Ransford Wells of Fultonville 
did the same. 

The next minister was Rev. John Nott, son of Rev. Dr. Nott 
(President of Union College for sixty-three years). Mr. Nott taught 
at Union for nearly a quarter of a century, and then, for more than 
ten years served the 2d Rotterdam ("Cobblestone") church, after 

16 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

which he spent some years in the south. Returning in 1861 he took 
up his residence at Fonda and began a supply work at Auriesville 
which lasted for upwards of seventeen years, or until 1878, the year 
of his death. In 1875 Hon. John H. Starin of Fultonville gave the 
church organ, and in 1876, when the church burned, be gave $500 
toward rebuilding. The new church cost $3,180, and was dedicated 
December 6, 1870. Rev. Joseph P. Dysart of the Glen church (cf ) 
began to supply the pulpit in September, 1878, continuing for three 
months. 

Rev. Francis M. Kip was the next supply (cf Fultonville), com- 
ing in 1879 and remaining thro a part of 1883, serving for a while 
after he had resigned his charge in Fultonville. His next and last 
field of work was Harlingen, N. J., where he spent twenty years in 
the active ministry. He died in 1911. Rev. John C. Boyd of the 
Fonda church (cf) was the next supply. He began in 1884 and con- 
tinued until 1899. He died October 12, 1901. Mr. J. Abrew Smith, 
formerly at Fort Herkimer (cf) supplied the church in 1900, and Rev. 
J. H. Enders (cf Chittenango) in 1901, and Rev. John P. Faber, who 
had been a pastor at Stuyvesant Falls (1899-1901), and was pursuing 
a course of medicine at Albany, supplied the pulpit in 1902, while 
living at Auriesville. He is now a resident physician at Schenectady. 
Rev. Peter A. Wessels began a supply in 1903 which continued till 
1909 when Rev. E. J. Meeker of the Glen church began to fill the 
pulpit and remained until November, 1914, when he accepted a call 
to the Lodi church. Mr. Wessels' first work was in the western 
missionary fields, followed by a two year pastorate at Columbia 
(cf). Next he went to South Glens Falls and in 1903 took up the 
work at Auriesville. W. H. Kroeger, a layman, now supplies. 



CANAJOHARIE REFORMED CHURCH 




The name of the town, often 
found spelled "Canajohie," is In- 
dian, and is said to mean "whirl- 
ing stone" or "stone in the pot." 
A writer of more than a half 
century ago speaks of seeing deep 
bowls at the foot of a cascade half 
a mile from the village where large 
stones were whirled around at a 
rapid rate. Other Indian names as 
Cayuga and Niagara are smoother 
of pronunciation but even Canajo- 
harie is preferable to Cato or 
Homer or Manlius or Pompey. 
The Dutch who clung to the In- 
dian outwitted the Yankee who 
copied the Roman and Greek. The 
Indians called the hill on which the 
Canajoharie castle was built, "Ta- 
ragh-jo-res" ("hill of health"). The 
village was incorporated in 1829 
and was locally known as "Roof's 
Village." At this time, and for 



i; 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

many years, Judge Alfred Conkling (father of Senator Roscoe Conk- 
ling) was the leading legal light of the community. He was a Rep- 
resentative in the XVII Congress (1821-18:23). While Canajoharie 
is not identical in any way with the old and former "Sand Hill" 
church (1750-1838) still it may he rightfully regarded as a suc- 
cessor to it. In the call to Rev. John Wack, the last of the "Sand 
Hill" ministers that church is called "The Canajoharie Church." But 
Canajoharie must share any such honor with Fort Plain, if, indeed, 
we must not put the latter first in the line of direct descent, even 
tho this church was organized a few years previously. The "Sand 
Hill" church is treated of under the "extinct" churches of the Classis. 
The first permanent religious work in this village was that of the 
Dutch church. Rev. John J. Wack of the "Sand Hill" organization 
raised funds with which to build what he called a "Union Church," 
but it was expressly stipulated {hat while all denominations might 
use this building for worship the Methodists and Universalists were 
forever debarred. Wack probably had some personal grudge against 
these two non-union denominations. The church was built on what 
is now the tow-path of the Erie Canal in the year 18<>8. Canajoharie 
at the time was a community of half a hundred houses. A Rev. 
George B. Miller, a school teacher in the village (afterwards a Hart- 
wick Seminary professor) used to preach in this Union church. This 
was during his residence here, from 1818 to 1827, tho Dominy Wack 
of the Dutch church at "Sand Hill" and others also held forth tor 
years before this. 

When the Reformed church was organized in 1827 they began 
to use this building. Items of cost of repairs to the same appear 
in the records. The organization was effected at the house of Gerrit 
A. Lansing who with Silas Stillwell, Henry Loucks, and John Cornue 
were made the first consistory. Others present at the meeting were 
Jacob Hees, John Cooper, John W. Wemple, and Jacob Gray. Mr. 
Cornue soon after this left the village and Simeon H. Calhoun, who 
later became a missionary at Mt. Lebanon, Syria, was elected in his 
place. After using this "Union Church" for ten years, while likely 
other denominations also used it, the Lutherans came into real posses- 
sion of it, and the Reformed church found itself compelled to build, 
as did likewise the Methodist church, both of whom built in 1841. 
The church built by the Methodists, near the modern Beechnut plant, 
was destroyed by fire January 2, 1915, and rebuilt the same year. The 
Reformed church was dedicated on March 10, 1842, Rev. Dr. Wyckoff 
of the Second Albany church preaching the sermon. The Sunday 
school work was begun with the organization of the church. Later 
there was a union Sunday school work carried on by the Dutch 
church and that of the Methodists who, until 1841 were on the south 
side of the river at Palatine Bridge. 

The next record of incorporation is dated October 7, 1841, and 
herein are the names of John Frey, John A. Ehle, and Elisha W. Bige- 
low. John Frey was the grandson of Hendrick Frey, the first settler 
on the north side of the Mohawk in Montgomery county and who 
built a log house at Palatine Bridge in 1700. John A. Ehle was a 
decendant of Rev. Ehle (Oel) the missionary to the Mohawks who 
lived in what is now called Fort Ehle (near Fort Plain). The in- 
corporation record states that "the church was organized, establish- 
ed and in continuous operation since 1827." 

18 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

It is interesting to note the apparent religious awakening (not 
to say sectarian) about Canajoharie at this time, as evidenced in 
church organizations. The county clerk's records show the follow- 
ing incorporations, — "Second Methodist" (1838), "Methodist" (1840J, 
"Dutch Reformed' and "English Lutheran" (1841), "German Luther- 
an" (1844), and the "St. Polycarp P. E." (1852), later changed to the 
"Good Shepherd." This was just prior to the erection of the stone 
edifice (1841) while the church was pastorless. John Frey (father 
of S. L. Frey) gave the land for the church. A third incorporation 
is found, recorded September 24, 1867, this patterned after that of 
the Second Dutch church of Albany, which a number of the churches 
in the valley in those days followed. After the building of the par- 
sonage by Rev. George Davis in 1912, a fourth incorporation was 
effected. In other places of this record mention is made not only of 
the old original Canajoharie church at "Sand Hill," but as well to the 
Canajoharie Seceding church (1822-1842), and the Canajoharie Inde- 
pendent church of 1816, which was finally merged into the "Wycko- 
fite" church, and also to the "Wyckofite" or "True Reformed" church 
which was incorporated May 26, 1825, and of the "Reformed Cal- 
vinistic" church which was incorporated May 8, 1806. 

The present Canajoharie church was organized in IS.'? when the 
town embraced a large area on the south side of the river. The 
church was gathered together by Rev. Douw Van Olinda (later pastor 
at Caughnawaga) who was also preaching at the same time at Maple- 
town and the original Sprakers church. He supplied Canajoharie 
for four years. Van Olinda was born near by, in the town of Charles- 
ton (18(70), and spent nearly his whole ministry in the Montgomery 
Classis. After leaving Canajoharie he served New Paltz for a decade 
or more, then returning to Caughnawaga (1844-1858) where he died 
while pastor. In 1830 the Rev. Ransford Wells became the first pastor at 
Canajoharie. In the first year sixty members were received. Wells was 
called to the Nassau church in August, 1832, but declined, tho a year 
later, in October, 1833, he left the field for Newark, N. J. After an 
absence of a quarter of a century he returned to the Montgomery 
Classis for a ten year ministry at Fultonville (cf). He died March 
4, 1889. at the age of eighty-four. Dr. Wells' son, Theodore W. 
Welles has been in the Reformed ministry for half a century, and is 
now living at Paterson, N. J. He was licensed by this Classis. 

The second pastor was Rev. Richard D. Van Kleek (1834-1836) 
who had been a teacher for a few years, and after leaving this field 
returned to this work for the rest of his life. He died in 1870 in 
Jersey City, N. J. Rev. Samuel Robertson was his successor I 
1839) who went next to Schoharie and spent the last twenty years 
of his ministry in missionary work in the west. He died in L869. 
At this time the village came into possible prominence thro the Cat- 
skill and Canajoharie Railroad incorporated in 1830 and built as far 
as Cooksburg at a cost of $400,000. But in 1842 it was abandoned 
and the track taken up. 

Rev. Edward Osborne Dunning came from the Rome Congrega- 
tional church in 1842 and remained thro most of 1845. This with 
Rome (1840-1841) were his only charges. Leaving this field he be- 
gan a work of many years with the American Bible Society in the 
Southern states. During the Civil War he was a chaplain stationed 
at Cumberland, Md. During the last few years of his life he was 

19 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSiS 

interested in the exploration of ancient mounds in various parts of 
the south. Since leaving Canajoharie he had always made New 
Haven, Ct. (his birthplace), his residence. Here he died March 
23, 1874. Rev. Jas. McFarlane of Rosendale was the next pastor (1845- 
1848). After two other pastorates in the Reformed church he en- 
tered the Presbyterian ministry. He died in 1871. The bell was 
bought in 1846 but cracked with use, and in having it re-cast by the 
Meneeleys they were directed to change its tone so it could be dis- 
tinguished from the Lutheran or Methodist bell. Rev. John DeWitt 
was next installed as pastor in 1848 and remained thro the following 
year. On leaving here he went to Millstone, N. J., from which church 
he was called to a professoriate at New Brunswick Seminary which 
he held for .thirty years. He was a member of the Old Testament 
Revision Committee. 

Rev. Nathan F. Chapman came next (1850-1854), his first charge, 
and went from this field to Plattekill. He died in 1893 at Saugerties. 
He was followed in the pastorate by Rev. Eben S. Hammond who 
served the church as stated supply during 1854 thro 1856 in which 
latter year he went to the Columbia church for a few years (cf). 
He died in 1873, May 24. In 1856 a U. S. dime was officially de- 
clared the seal of the church. Rev. Alonzo Welton supplied the 
pulpit from October, 1856, to February, 1857, and then was called, but 
declined. Rev. Benj. F. Romaine who had been editor of the "American 
Spectator" (Albany) for fifteen years began a supply of the pulpit 
in 1857 and after a year or more accepted a call, was installed, and 
continued with the church until October, 1862. His last work was 
as secretary of the Colonization Society of Ohio. He died in 1874. 
During Romaine's pastorate (1858) the church was renovated through- 
out, the galleries removed, the pulpit changed from the south end 
to the north and the seats reversed. The cloth covering the pulpit, 
the gift of the North Dutch church of Albany (recently repaired) 
was originally given to the latter church by the family of Patroon 
Van Rensselaer. Venerable mantle! what theology, what sympathy, 
what Gospel, it must have supported thro a century or more of use. 
Following this pastorate of Romaine came Rev. Benjamin Van 
Zandt who had served Presbyterian churches for a few years. His 
mind seemed particuarly attuned to the letter of the constitution, and 
Canajoharie was truly "disciplined" while he was pastor (1862-1869). 
His next church was at Leeds, and the last seventeen years of his 
life he spent at Catskill. He died in 1895 at the age of 86. 

Rev. Richard R. Williams was the next pastor (1870-1883), one of 
the few longest of the pastorates and one of the most successful. He 
came from Union Seminary and was ordained by the Classis and in- 
stalled over the church in 1870. He was forty-five years a member of 
this Classis. Leaving the field he took up literary work, becoming editor, 
as he was owner of Iron Age until his death in 1915. Rev. Dr. Pearse 
united in 1873, making these men long termers in Montgomery. Rev. 
John A. Lansing supplied the pulpit after Williams' leaving and until 
his death in July, 1884. Rev. Francis S. Haines, another Union 
Seminary man, was ordained by Montgomery Classis in 1884 and 
served the church for eight years. During his ministry two hun- 
dred and sixty-one members were received. Later Mr. Haines re- 
entered the Presbyterian ministry. On leaving Canajoharie he be- 
came pastor at Easton, Pa., and in 1903 began work at Goshen, N. Y. 

20 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Rev. Mark A. Denraan came to Canajoharie in 1891 from the 
Ganesvoort church and remained thro a part of 1896. For some years 
Mr. Denman has been engaged in business at Springfield, Atass. On 
leaving Canajoharie he became pastor of the Chatham church, then 
went to a Brooklyn pastorate, and next to the Springfield Memorial 
church. He has written an informing "History of the Republic of 
Honduras." Rev. Joseph D. Peters was called in October, 1897, and 
served the church for twelve years. Since leaving the field he has 
done fine work in the First Hoboken church (N. J.). Rev. George 
Davis came in 1911 and died while pastor, in March, 1914. Mr. Davis 
is remembered as a faithful pastor and a prodigous student. Follow- 
ing Mr. Davis, Rev. Victor J. Blekkink of Long Branch, N. J., came to 
the church in October, 1914. Mr. Blekkink is the son of the Rev. Dr. 
Blekkink, Professor of Theology in the Western Theological Semin- 
ary (Holland, Mich.), a former pastor at Trinity of Amsterdam. 

CICERO REFORMED CHURCH 

The town of Cicero, which 
is in Onondaga County, ten 
miles from Syracuse, near 
South Bay, was formed in 
1807. A Presbyterian church 
was organized here (1819) of 
which Rev. Jas. Shepard was 
the pastor and from which 
at the inception of the Re- 
formed Dutch church work, 
members were received by 
letter. The first religious 
work done in the community 
was probably by the Dutch 
church, since Rev. Jacob 
Sickles while the pastor 
of the Kinder hook 
church (1801-1 835) was sent 
by the Domestic Board to this community to arrange for gospel 
work. This was in September, 1803, and Sickles' destination was 
Fort Brewerton, four miles to the north of Cicero (then called 
"Cody's Corners"). But on the way he stopped at Trask's Tavern 
and services were held in Aaron Bellows' cooper shop. This place 
was about three miles south of Cicero. Services which resulted in 
the formation of the Dutch church had been held for some time in 
the village, the preaching being done by men of the Cayuga Classis 
as Yates of Chittenango, and Evans of Owasco, and Abeel of 
Geneva. Acting on the authority of Classis (Cayuga) the three 
mentioned met on November 12, 1835 and organized the Reformed 
Protestant Dutch Church of Cicero. There were thirty- one charter 
members, and these chose for the first consistory. Lot Hamilton, 
Peter Colyer, Henry Nobles, Elders, and Isaac Cody, Daniel Van 
Hoesen, Peter Dominic, Asher Smith, deacons. 

At the organization a church was already in process of construc- 
tion for conveyance was given March 5, 1836. For sometime Rev. 




21 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

William Evans supplied the pulpit, for which he was paid $35 month- 
ly. His service was continued thro 1838. During 1839 a Rev. Oren 
Hyde supplied the pulpit. He lived at Fayetteville for thirty years. 
On November 29, 1840, Rev. Amos W. Seely, who later sup- 
plied Frankfort, came from the Hillsdale, N. Y. Presbyterian church 
to begin his pastorate, tho he was not installed until September 21, 
1841. Mr. Seely did splendid work, his records being remarkable 
for their neatness and care. He remained five years. He died 
September 12, 1865, at Brooklyn, N. Y., after a retirement of ten years. 
Rev. William E. Turner, the pastor at Arcadia, supplied the pulpit 
and looked after the church during most of 1845. During 1846 and 
1847, Rev. Truman Baldwin was the supply. At this time, tho the 
Board of Domestic Missions had aided the church, there was a 
movement to join the Onondaga Presbytery with the thot that a 
closer touch with a denomination that was strong in the vicinity, 
might relieve it of the financial distress. On the first Sunday of 
August, 1848, the Rev. John Liddell, who had just finished a decade 
of work in the Lodi church (cf), began to supply the pulpit and 
continued thro 1849. He died is 1850. 

In November, 1849, the Rev. N. DuBois Williamson came to the 
church, remaining thro May, 1850. After a number of other brief 
pastorates he became the pastor of the South Bend, Ind. church 
where he remained for a quarter-century. It was the home church of 
Vice-President Colfax. Mr. Willaimson died September 12, 1896. 
Following him at Cicero was Rev. John DuBois (1850-1854) who 
came in July. A house belonging to Dr. Van Dyke was bought for 
a parsonage in 1851. Mr. DuBois died in 1884 while supplying Ma- 
makating, N. Y. (cf Manheim). Rev. S. N. Robinson supplied the 
pulpit for the last four months of 1854, declining a call to the church. 
The pulpit was supplied thro 1856 by Mr. Robinson. 

Rev. John Gray of Ghent was next called. He was a Scotchman, 
but His ministry was mostly in America (Cohoes, Schodack). He 
came to the church in the early part of 1856 and resigned after a 
year. He died in August, 1865. His first wife was a sister of Robert 
Morrison. Mr. and Mrs. Gray spent seven years in missionary work 
in Tartary. Later he was associated for some years with Czar 
Nicholas in educational work at St. Petersburg. On July 5, 1857, the 
Rev. F. Hebard began a year's supply of the pulpit. During the war 
there seems to have been no stated supply until Rev. G. W. Humpers- 
ly came in April, 1863, and remained two years. After his going 
another year of occasional supply ensues, when Rev. Levi Schell be- 
gan to preach at Cicero, also serving Clay (Lutheran) nearby. The 
consistory seems to have held meetings about this time biennially. 
Rev. D. W. Lawrence supplied the pulpit for two years from April, 
1874. No mention is made of the preacher after April, 1876, until 
1879, when Rev. Jas. Edmondson (cf Mohawk) came and remained 
thro 1881. During 1881 and 1882, Rev. Maltbie D. Babcock, a member 
of the Syracuse Reformed church, who was pursuing his studies at 
Auburn Seminary, supplied the pulpit. 

Rev. H. A. Strail supplied the pulpit during 1883 and 1884, while 
attending Auburn, and for several years Auburn students continued 
to do the work at Cicero. He proved himself to be the right man 
in this critical history of the church, and was of inestimable help to 
the people. On October 5, 1882, the church was destroyed by fire. Rev. 

22 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Evert Van Slyke, pastor of the Syracuse church, led in a movement 
to help the people rebuild. In a week $1,500 had been raised, and 
the church decided to build a $3,000 edifice. The Utica church gave 
$100. The church Building Fund gave $1,000. Rev. Babcock gave $20. 
The Building Fund also gave $300 toward the parsonage. In 1888 
Rev. B. E. Fake (Lutheran) supplied. 

Rev. J. H. Enders, Synodical. Missionary, began to look after the 
enterprise. Rev. Elmer E. Smith (Butte, Mont.) a student, supplied 
the church during 1890. During 1891 the church continued to be 
supplied by students and by Mr. Enders. Rev. Frederick W. Ruhl 
came to Cicero from Prattsville, N. Y. in 1891, toward the close of 
the year, and resigned to go to Manheim (cf) in May, 1892. Rev. 
A. J. Wilcox began now to supply the pulpit, and a Mr. Mason, after 
him (students), to be followed by Rev. Dr. Emmons in June, 1897, 
who remained until April, 1898. Rev. G. E. Harsh began a supply 
in the Fall of 1899 and continued thro the Spring of 1900. He is 
now a Lutheran pastor in Ohio. 

Rev. Henry Smith was called in the Summer of 1901, and re- 
mained until May 11, 1902. Rev. John Erler of Highlands, N. J. was 
called in August, 1903, and served the church until the Fall of 1904. 
He is now in the Lutheran church at Rockwood, Pa. From this time 
on until the summer preaching of Mr. De Hollander in 1907, there was 
occasional preaching. Richard V. Curnow (Meshoppen, Pa.) of 
Auburn Seminary was asked to supply for a year, and was fol- 
lowed by Mr. Rippey, another Auburn student, for a second year. 
Mr. Spencer supplied during 1911. In the Fall of 1911, Rev. W. N. P. 
Dailey, having been appointed Classical Missionary, went to the 
field, supplied the pulpit for a while, and later the church called Rev. 
John A. De Hollander of Annville, Ky., who came on the field in 
June, 1912. Mr. De Hollander resigned April 1, 1915, and is in busi- 
ness at Irondequoit. Garrett DeMotts (N. B. '16) supplied the pulpit 
during the summer of 1915. Jos. M. Spalt, a lay evangelist began 
work on the field November 1, 1915. Not far from Cicero is a settle- 
ment called "Stone Arabia," the original settlers coming from Mont- 
gomery County. An Onondaga county History refers to the "Stone 
Arabia Reformed Dutch Church" in the town of Cicero. 



COLUMBIA REFORMED CHURCH 

The beginning of the 
Columbia church takes us 
back to July 8, 1798 when 
Rev. Dedrick Christian 
Andreas Pick, V. D. M. 
(as he always signed his 
name), who at the time 
was pastor of the large 
German Flatts congrega- 
tion, ordained the first 
Columbia church consis- 
tory. A year later the 
church was incorporated. 
For several years the congregation used the barn of Coonrod Oren- 

23 




HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

dorf (still standing) for a place of worship. In 1803 plans were laid 
for a church building, which was completed, at least sufficiently for 
worship, in the year 1806, tho it was not wholly finished until New 
Years of 1810. It cost $4,000. On November 1, 1806, the first mem- 
bers were received, fifty-five in number, the Rev. John J. Wack, at 
the time the pastor of the old "Sand Hill" church (cf), conducting the 
service. Rev. John P. Spinner, for nearly half a century pastor at 
German Flatts, frequently preached at Columbia in its earliest days. 
The settlement of the first pastor, Rev. John Bartlett occurred 
in 1811, who remained three years. Rev. David De Voe began a four 
years' supply in 1816 while pastor at St. Johnsville. Mr. De Voe was 
an active pioneer in central New York, and organized several Re- 
formed churches. After leaving Columbia he remained fifteen years 
longer at St. Johnsville, and later returned to supply Columbia during 
the years 1836-1839. He died in 1843. Rev. John Rawls was called 
in 1819, and came to the church from New Brunswick Seminary, 
where he had just graduated. He was ordained, and installed over 
the church by the Classis of Montgomery, and remained two years. 
Columbia seems to have been his only charge. Rev. Isaac S. Ketchum 
(cf Stone Arabia) occasionally supplied the Columbia pulpit between 
the pastorate of Rawls and that of Hangen, which began in 1826. 
Rev. John Rawls was called in 1819, and came to the ~shurch from 
Brunswick Seminary where he had just graduated. He was 
ordamxL and installed over the church by\the Classis of Montgomery, 
and remained two years. Columbia seems % to have, been his only 
charge. Rev. Tsaac S. Ketchum (cf Stone Arabia) occasionally sup- 
plied the Columbia^ptdpk between the pastorat^of Rawls and that 
of-Hangen which began misa^. 

Rev. Jacob W. Hangen came from the German Reformed church 
to Columbia at the age of twenty-three and served the church for 
six years, going to Mapletown and Currytown where he supplied for 
five years (1832-1836). After several other pastorates, the last in 
Trappe, Pa., Mr. Hangen died February 23, 1843, at the age of thirty- 
eight. During Hangen's pastorate at Columbia a great revival took 
place resulting in large accessions to the church. At this time a 
colony from Columbia, nearly all of whom were Mr. Hangen's mem- 
bers, under the leadership of Rev. George W. Gale (Union '14, 
Auburn '17), Principal at the time of Oneida Institute, settled at 
Galesburg, Illinois and founded Knox College. There were one 
hundred and seventy members of the church at this time. During 
1834 the Rev. David De Voe supplied both Columbia and the 
church at Warren. In 1836 David De Voe returned to Columbia for 
three er -fe#r years supply. Following De Voe was the Rev. George 
W. Lewis a Lutheran minister who supplied the church one year. 
Rev. John H. Ackerson on his graduation from New Brunswick was 
called to Columbia, and ordained b}' the Classis of Montgomery and 
installed over the church in December, 1839, remaining pastor until 
1841. For the three years following he was pastor of the Schaghticoke 
church, but in 1843 he was deposed from the ministry for unbecoming 
conduct. He died in 1849. While Ackerson was pastor (1840) the 
church was all but destroyed by a fierce wind storm, which occurred 
during a service. The structure was taken down and at once rebuilt. 
Deacon John Edick was killed in the reconstruction of the church. After 
Ackerson the church was supplied for a while by Rev. Jedediah L. 

24 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASS1S 

jftff 

Stark (1843— cf Mohawk), Rev. D. B. Hall (1844-) and Rev. W. L. 

James (1852-1855). 

Rev. Jedediah Lathrop Stark spent twenty years in Montgomery 
Classis supplying and preaching at Columbia, Mohawk, German 
Flatts, Frankfort, and Buel. His last service was at German Flatts. 
He died in 1862 at Mohawk. David B. Hall came from the Congrega- 
tional church to Columbia. He was a Princeton ('42) man, and was 
supplying Columbia a couple of years when ordained an evangelist by 
the Pawlet Cong. Asso. in 1846. T-b c only pa3to r atc he ever had wa s 
at- Clev o la n-d— fefc). He died May 1, 1898 at Duanesburgh. He was a 
virile preacher, evangelistic and optimistic (despite a domestic afflic- 
tion), and served the church over half a century. 

Rev. Mr. James died at Kingston, October 20, 1887, aged 
seventy-six. The Particular Synod of Albany Minutes gives the name 
of Rev. Jas. Murphy as the supply of Columbia during the years 1851 
thro 1853, and the name of (Woodbridge) L. James as supply for 1855. 
Rev. Dr. Murphy preached for the church in 1857, but in this 
year the church became the owner of a large parsonage and Rev. 
Eben S. Hammond who came to Columbia in 1857, was the first 
pastor to occupy this manse at Columbia Centre. In the Synod 
minutes of 1858 the church is credited with fifty families and seventy- 
five members. The next pastor of the church was the Rev. Henry 
Aurand who came from the German Reformed church, and began 
his work in 1860, remaining thro 1863. He died in 1876. In order to 
meet the salary of Mr. Aurand the parsonage was mortgaged, to be 
later foreclosed, thus losing it to the church. 

Rev. Andrew Parsons of the Richfield Springs Presbyterian 
church supplied the pulpit during 1864. Rev. Matthew Bronson oc- 
cupied the pulpit during the years 1865 thro 1867 (an Asahel Bronson 
is on Record of Classis) and lived in the house next east to the 
church. Columbia is reported "vacant" to Classis from 1864 to 1871. 
In 1871 Rev. James M. Compton began a five years pastorate, during 
which the church was extensively repaired. After preaching at 
Sprakers and Mapletown, Mr. Compton returned to Columbia in 1888 
and passed the rest of his days there. He died December 12, 1891, 
and is buried with his wife in the church cemetery. 

Rev. John W. Hammond supplied the pulpit during the winter 
of 1875-1876, during which time a great revival took place and twenty- 
seven united with the church. It was Mr. Hammond's last service 
since he died, November 23, 1876. In July, 1876, Rev. Rufus M. 
Stanbrough came to the field and remained thro 1881. The present 
parsonage was secured in Mr. Stanbrough's pastorate, the church 
and Sunday school showing decided gains. He had two other charges 
after leaving Columbia and died at Newburgh in 1905. 

In 1883 and 1884, Rev. Peter A. Wessels was the pastor, during 
whose time the church sheds were built, the present parsonage and 
barn erected, and the church re-incorporated. Mr. Wessels supplied 
for a time at Auriesville but has lived at Amsterdam now for a num- 
ber of years without any charge. After a lapse of a year Theodore 
A Beekman became pastor in November, 1885, and remained two years. 
He came from the seminary to the church and was ordained and in- 
stalled by Montgomery Classis. Mr. Beekman is at present in the 
Rosendale, N. Y. church. In 1888 Mr. Compton began his second 
pastorate. During the summers of 1892 and 1893 the pulpit was supplied 

25 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

by seminary students, Clinton W. Clowe, who is now pastor at 
Schoharie and S. G. Parent who is pastor of the Presbyterian church 
at Mariaville. Rev. William H. Shelland was called to the pastorate 
in 1894 and remained thro 1896. Nothing further is known of him. 
During the Summer and Fall oi 1897 the Rev. George Reynold, pastor 
of the Richfield Springs Presbyterian church supplied the pulpit. The 
last settled pastor was Rev. Fletcher V. W. Lehman who supplied 
the summer of 1898 and who was ordained by the Classis of Mont- 
gomery and installed over the church in 1899, on his graduation from 
New Brunswick. 

Since the year 1902 the church has had no regular services save 
during the summer time when the pulpit has been supplied by students 
from the seminary. The only other supplies have been the Synodical 
Missionary and later, occasionally, the Classical Missionary. The 
students who have supplied, and their present work, as far as we have 
been able to obtain the information, are as follows: 190:2 — Henry Van 
Woert, New Brunswick '04, now at Selkirk N. Y. 1903 — Frderick E. 
Foerner, New Brunswick 'Or,, now at Pompton, N. J. 1904-1905 — 
Henry K. Post, New Brunswick '06, now at Freehold, N. J. 1906 — 
John A. De Hollander, New Brunswick '08, now at Irondequoit, N. Y. 
1907 — William A. Worthington, New Brunswick '09, now at Annville, 
Ky. 1908 — E. M. Gehr, a Union Seminary student Presbyterian) now 
at New Hampton, N. Y. 1909 — Andrew Hansen, New Brunswick '13, 
now at Millstone, N. J. 1910-1911— Allen F. Markley, Western Theo. 
Sem. '14, now at Cleveland, Ohio. 1912 — Stephen W. Ryder, New 
Brunswick '13, now at Aomori, Japan. 1913 — Frank Blanchard, New 
Brunswick '16. 1914-15 — Rev. F. V. W. Lehman. 

Originally the church owned two and a half acres of land, but 
an acre or more was given to the cemetery, one of the best kept in 
all the country-side. There is an endownment of $1,200 created by 
the gift of Moses Isaman of $1,000 and the Myers-Oxner fund of 
$200 (originally $400). In the County Clerk's office at Herkimer is 
a record, of Incorporation filed May 23, 1877, and an election of 
trustees recorded, June 27, 1877. Since its organization it is estimated 
that some thirty other church societies have gone out of this one 
church. The cemetery attached to the church contains the graves 
of a great many revolutionary soldiers. 



CORTLAND REFORMED CHURCH 

The Reformed church of 
Cortland grew out of a work 
in 1906 on the East Side 
which was originally begun 
by the Congregational 
church. There came a time 
in this work when the Mis- 
sion felt that it could support 
itself, but the home church 
insisted on managing the 
work, which led most of the 
workers to withdraw and form an independent church. A chapel was 
secured and Charles W. Roeder, a Christian layman, now pastor of 

26 




HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

the Flatlands church of Brooklyn, who had at first been in the em- 
ploy of the Congregational Mission Board, assumed the leadership 
of the new congregation. This movement was stoutly resisted by 
the Congregationalists who claimed the whole East Side of Cortland 
was their ecclesiastical field. After a most successful work for a 
year, under Mr. Roeder's leadership, the church applied for member- 
ship in the Montgomery Classis, being led to this move thro Rev. 
Harvey Clements, then pastor of the Presbyterian church of Cort- 
land. After many months of discussion, classical visitation of the 
field, and hearing, also, much from the Congregational side, the 
Classis received the church which had been in existence for more 
than a year, thus disproving any infraction of church comity. 

The church was organized March 18, 1908, and the following 
consistory duly installed, Robert C. Colver, W. T. Linderman, M. G. 
Spaulding, and M. J. Haynes, elders, and deacons Harry D. Cole, 
Herman Baldwin, Harry E. Todd, and John W. Lee. The church 
came into the Classis without asking any aid from the Board of 
Domestic Missions and with a well-equipped chapel already for hold- 
ing services, and lot on which to build the future church. However, 
such were the conditions — local opposition on the part of the other 
churches, and an evident lack of unity with the denomination to 
which they had become attached (owing to continued agitation on 
the part of a few men) that the work lacked a leader upwards of a 
year, tho the people were enthusiastic, the audiences overflowed the 
chapel, a large Sunday school gathered every Sunday and the usual 
organizations of men and women, germane to the Reformed church, 
were found doing splendid work. 

Rev. Garrett D. L. DeGraff, who had been at Blue Mountain, 
N. Y. ever since his graduation at New Brunswick in 1901, assumed 
the pastorate on December 20, 1908. For a little while the work went 
forward in bounds, but Mr. DeGraff's health, very poor for several 
years, soon gave out and he died, after a few months illness, on No- 
vember 23, 1910. Again the church was left to struggle on alone for 
another year, or until November, 1911, when Rev. John E. Winne 
began a year's supply. He was a member of the Schenectady Classis. 



~=D 



y* i ft 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

CRANESVILLE REFORMED CHURCH 

The Indian name of the 
places was "A d r i u c h a" 
("Valiant"). It was also 
called "Willigas" and Claas 
Gravens. The name of 
Cranes Village comes from 
Daniel Crane who settled 
here in 1804. The first settle- 
ment in the town of Amster- 
dam was made in 1804. The 
first to settle at Cranes- 
ville was the widow and four 
sons (Simon, Jacob, Philip, 
Lewis) of Philip Groot, the 
latter having been drowned 
in the Mohawk on his way 
hither from Rotterdam in 
1716. Philip Groot was the 
son of Symon Groot who 
came to New Amsterdam in 
1640, and to Albany in 1650, 
then to Schenectady in 1663. 
In 1730 the Groot brothers 
built a grist mill at what is 
now Cranesville (ruins still 
extant), the first to be erected 
on the north side of the Mohawk, from which flour was sold to the 
settlers along the river. In 1755 Lewis Groot was takn captive by 
the Indians into Canada where he remained four years. John L. 
Groot, a son by Philip Groot's second marriage, died in 1845, aged 
ninety. Philip Groot's son, Peter, was in the Battle of Oriskany, 
and supposed to have been killed, but thirty years later (1807) 
he suddenly reappeared after his long Canadian captivity. 
Claas Gravens Hoek was the first land settled upon west of Scotia, 
and by Claas Andriese DeGraff, who died before 1697. He also prob- 
ably bought Adriucha of the Indians before transferring it to 
Hendrick Kyler who sold it to Carel Hansen Toll in 1699, for £180. 
It was on this land, eighty acres, that Philip Groot's family settled, 
his son Lewis succeeding him on his death in 1716, part of the place 
still being in possession of descendants of the Groot family. 
Under Amsterdam (extinct) we see how an early attempt was 
made to organize a Reformed Dutch Church here. For religious 
service the people depended on the Reformed church at Glenville 
(organized in 1814), five miles over the hill, or else went to the 
Mannys Corners Presbyterian church, or to Amsterdam. The Cranes- 
ville Reformed church was organized June 25, 1871, the edifice 
being already built. The charter members of the church 
were H. V. V. Clute, Henry J. Swart, Elizabeth Swart, Mary 
Ann Coombs, George and Mrs. Lydia Brewster, George Coombs, 
Mrs. Maria Clute, Mrs. Charles Fancher, G. W. and Mrs. 
Watkins. H. V. V. Clute and H. J. Swart, elders, -and 

George Brewster and George Coombs, deacons formed the first 




28 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

consistory. At first the church was in the Classis of Schenectady 
but dismissed to Montgomery in the Fall of 1879. Among the sub- 
scribers to the building of the church were, John Blood, Stephen 
Sanford, Chas. Fancher, John Sanders (Scotia), Rev. W. P. Davis, 
Henry J. Swart, George Coombs, and H. V. V. Clute. In 1892 the 
church bought land adjoining on which they built the present Hall. 
In 1884 Eleanor Veeder of Schenectady, gave the church $100 and 
later Mrs. Magdalena DeGraff willed the church $300. Ida Robb 
in 1915 gave $200. John G. and Mrs. DeGraff gave the church 
bell. Cranesville has never had an installed pastor. The pulpit has 
usually been supplied by near-by pastors, among whom were Revs. 
Kyle, Minor, Blekkink, Rogers, Dailey, Weidner, Wurts, Nickerson, 
Wilson (P. Q.) and Conant of the Reformed church. Others have 
been Rev. T. C. Harwood, C. B. Perkins, W. H. Groat, Mr. Blaine, 
Mr. Pershing, and Mr. Bell. Since 1913 Rev. Enoch Powell of Scotia 
has supplied the pulpit. In recent years great improvements have 
been made to the property, a Board of Trustees has administered 
most successfully the temporalities of the church. Rev. Mr. Dailey, 
Classical Missionary, has given considerable attention to the field 
since 1911. John G. DeGraff has been an officer of the church for 
forty years. The others of the consistory are, George S. Truax, 
Francis Robb, and George W. Phillips. 

CURRYTOWN REFORMED CHURCH 



In November, 1737, the Crown granted a Patent of twenty-five 
thousand acres of land to Wm. Corry, George Clark and others. This 
land was in the present towns of Glen, Charleston, and Root( some 
in Schoharie County). Corry sold his share which was later con- 
fiscated by the State because the owners were Tories. The earliest 
known settlers were Jacob Dievendorf, Sr., Rudolph Keller, David 
and Fred Lewis, Jacob Tanner, John Lipe, and the Bellinger, Mowers 
and Myers families. 

As early as 1790 a church was 
built at Westerlo, as Sprakers or 
Spraker's Basin was at first 
called. This was not agreeable 
to the folks at Currytown (called 
after William Corry a pat- 
entee) who wanted the church 
built nearer their hamlet. When 
this was not done the Curry- 
town people continued to wor- 
ship as they had been doing for 
some time, in the barn owned 
1)}' Jacob Devendorf. Once a 
month they were served by the 
ministers at "Sand Hill," or 
Caughnawaga, or Stone Arabia, 
domines Wack. and Van Home, 
and Pick. 

/The Curry's Bush church or- 
ganized in 1790, was given an 
acre of kind October 25, 1792, 




P- 



ot land LArtober .25, 17 



29 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

which deed is recorded at Fonda under date of June 5, 1794. Under 
date of January 31, 1794, trustees were elected for the "Associate 
Congregation of Currie's Bush and Remsen's Bush" (Florida or 
Minaville). This church belonged to the Associate Reformed Synod 
in which Re^.-JaSj/ Proudfit, of Salem, Rev. John Dunlap of Cam- 
bridge (>a^a*©g6p-Ge.), and Rev. James Mairs of Galloway (Galway) 
were members. It was probably these two churches that were ac- 
customed to be supplied by the pastors of. the First Presbyterian 
church of Schenectady. Rev. Alexander^la*Hli2y of Schenectady had 
both Currie's Bush and Remsen's Bush as his charges as early as 
1770 and thro 178L] 

On July 9, 1781 "Currietown" was destroyed by a band of five 
hundred Indians and Tories, the latter being commanded by John 
Dockstader. As soon as Col. Willett heard the story he set out from 
German Flatts in pursuit of the enemy, whom he scattered at Sharon, 
captured the camp duffle and recovered the spoil taken in this raid. The 
enemy had taken nine of the settlers prisoners, — Bellinger, Dieven- 
dorf, Keller, Moyer, Stowitts, Myers, Suits and others. When Wil- 
lett's forces drew near these prisoners were tomahawked. Later 
they were buried but Jacob Dievendorf, tho scalped and supposedly 
dead had enough vitality left to work himself out of his trench 
grave and lived for many years. Currytown was again invaded on 
October 24, 1781. This force was under Ross and Butler. At Fort 
Hunter the British Regulars joined them, Col. Willett pursued, and 
at Johnstown engaged them in battle October 25, 1781 (the last 
battle of the Revolution). For thirty miles he pursued them as they 
retreated until he had driven the remnant into the wilderness. 

The Currytown Reformed church was formally organized in 1790, 
and in 1806 three trustees were appointed a building committee who 
had the frame of the church up in 1808, and completed the edifice 
by September, 1809. The grounds for the church and parsonage 
were given by Jacob Devendorf, Sr., and John Mount, each con- 
tributing an acre. At one time this church marked the boundary 
line between the towns of Charleston and Canajoharie. Since 1823 
when the town of Root (named after. Erastus Root of Delaware 
county) was formed, the church has been called the Root church, 
and later the Currytown church (from the Curry patent). On Sep- 
tember 9, 1809, the church was dedicated before an audience of a 
thousand, Rev. John J. Wack preaching the morning sermon in 
German, Rev. Peter Van Buren the afternoon sermon in English, 
and Rev. Abram Van Home of Caughnawaga the evening sermon. 
Rev. Van Buren of Glen (cf) had conducted services for a long time 
before this in private houses. 

In October, 1814, Rev. Jacob R. H. Hasbrough of Esopus was 
called to the churches of Currytown and Glen. Originally this church 
was in the Classis of Montgomery, but was put into the Classis of 
Schoharie, and in 1831 was brot back again into the Montgomery 
Classis. Mr. Hasbrouck finished his work here in 1829 having served 
Currytown, Charlestown, Mapletown (Middletown), Glen, and Cana- 
joharie during fifteen years. He was without charge for the last 
twenty years of his life and died in 1854. 

Early in 1830 the Rev. John Gray was installed and in a year 
and a half received forty-one members. Rev. Jacob W. Hangen who 
was the pastor at Columbia (cf) was installed March 1."), 1832, and 

30 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASS1S 

remained until 1837. Forty-eight members were received by him. A 
parsonage was built in 1833 costing $700. Rev. Harrison Heer- 
mance took up the work in 1837 and preached here thro 
1840. As Chaplain of the 128th Regt. N. Y. V. Mr. Heermance con- 
tracted a weakness that followed him for twenty later years. He 
lost a son in the war, and he died in 1883, at Rhinebeck. 

Rev. Thomas Frazer was pastor for the next four years (1840- 
1843). He died in Montreal in 1884. Rev. Jasper Middlemas sup- 
plied the pulpit during 1844 and thro 1847. He entered the Presby- 
terian church, later coming into the Reformed, but returning in 1825 
and for twenty-five years, or until he came to Currytown, remaining 
in that denomination. He resigned in 1851 after a four years pas- 
torate. Rev. William D. Buckelew came in 1851 from New Bruns- 
wick, and was ordained by the Classis of Montgomery. His last 
pastorate was in the Palisades church (1889-1893) in which field he 
died in the later years. Including Buckelew's pastorate the Curry- 
town church had been associated with the Mapletown church for 
twenty-five years. 

Rev. John J. Quick succeeded Buckelew, coming to Currytown 
in 1855 and remaining thro a part of 1862, which was followed by a 
two years at Mapletown. He also supplied Fort Herkimer in 1867 
and 1868, while living at Canajoharie without charge. 

Rev. R. M. Whitbeck supplied thro 1863 and 1864 until Rev. J. 
M. Compton came the first time to preach here. Mr. Whitbeck while 
preaching at Currytown also supplied the Presbyterian church at 
Buel. After a four years pastorate in the Tyre church he entered 
school work at Lenox, Mass. for a few years. 

Mr. Compton's first work at Currytown was from 1864 thro 1868 
while he was also preaching at Mapletown. Rev. D. K. Van Doren 
followed in 1869 and remained five years, preaching also at Sprakers. 
Mr. Van Doren had a number of other pastorates in the Dutch 
church, besides spending a decade in the American Bible Society 
work. He died in 1908. 

Rev. Edward G. Ackerman took up the work during the holidays 
of 1874, and continued until the Spring of 1879. He held several other 
charges in the church and died while pastor of the Clover Hill, N. J. 
church in 1899, December 1st. Mr. Compton again came to Curry- 
town, spending three years this time, or until May, 1882, at the same 
time supplying Sprakers, and for six months in 1882 supplying Maple- 
town. Mr. Compton spent a number of years at Columbia (cf). 

Following Compton came Rev. John Minor in November, 1882, 
who supplied at first Mapletown, but for the last year or more 
Sprakers in connection with this charge. During this pastorate the 
old church, which had stood for seventy-four years, was taken down 
and on May 1, 1884, the present edifice was dedicated free of debt. It 
cost $7,000. Mr. Minor resigned May 1, 1885. Garret Wyckoff, now 
of Red Bank, N. J., was here from February, 1886, to September, 
1887. Rev. Henry Hudson Sangree began the work in February, 1888, 
and remained until June, 1893, also preaching at Mapletown (cf). 
Rev. Peter S. Beekman was installed on November 9, 1893, resigning 
August 25, 1901. He has now for some years been pastor at Johns- 
town. 

Rev. Ephriam W. Florence was called and took up the work 
here and at Sprakers on New Years day, 1902. From here he went 

31 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

to the Philmont, N. Y., Reformed church, next going into the Canadian 
Presbyterian church, and has now for some years been in the Episco- 
pal church, for a while in Canada, then at Trinidad, California, and 
now at Sidney, Nova Scotia. 

Rev. James B. Campbell was the next installed pastor, this oc- 
curring in February, 1905, in the Sprakers church. Mr. Campbell 
resigned in April, 1907. Mr. Campbell spent forty years in the 
ministry ere he died in 1911 while pastor of the 2d Port Jervis church, 
— a man of great power in prayer and success in winning a great 
multitude of souls to Christ. 

From November, 1907, thro February, 1909, a Mr. E. L. Wade, 
son of a Gloversville Lutheran minister, conducted services in the 
church and at the Sprakers church. Rev. C. V. W. Bedford was the 
next stated supply, serving the church from June 1909 until New 
Years, 1912, when he took up the work of the Hagaman church. Mr. 
Harry A. Eliason occasionally supplied during 1912, then regularly 
thro 1913, and until July, 1914, when he was ordained to the ministry 
and installed as pastor of the church, and of that at Sprakers. 



EPHRATAH REFORMED CHURCH 



The town of 
Ephratah was form- 
ed from the town of 
Palatine on March 
27, 1827. The first 
settlers of the town 
came in 1765. Be- 
fore the Revolution 
among the settlers 
were, Fredk. Get- 
man, Jacob Empie, 
Jacob Snell (all liv- 
ing near the village) 
and Nickolas Rec- 
tor, Henry Herring, 
Wm. Smith, Philip 
Kreitzer, John Cas- 
sleman, Jacob Fry, 
William Cool, Jo- 
hannes W i n k 1 e, 
Zachariah Tripp, 
Henry Hart, Peter 
S c h u t t, and Mr. 
Dussler. Most of these men were Germans, and some of them came 
from the Schoharie valley. Sir William Johnson erected the first 
grist mill, near where Wood's tannery was located. This was burned 
by the Tories during the war. William Cool was in the mill at the 
time and was killed and scalped. The miller was taken a prisoner 
and carried away captive. He had hidden his money in the walls of 
the mill, and on his return foi 
Johannes Winkle settled 
Yauney later lived, and built a grist mill where Yauney's mill now 




>und it.^»^^lAC.^<<r^^^w^^^ > (Svy<rv«.cL 
d before the Revolution where Ta-mes 



32 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

is. When this mill was burned it was later rebuilt by Mr. Shulls 
(Shults). Still later Henry Yauney bot it and built a woolen mill. 
In 1808 Henry Yauney built a saw mill where Levi Yauney's 
mill now is. Henry Yauney was a captain in the 1812 war and later 
major of the New York militia. In 1803 he bot a 100 acres of land, 
embracing the village site, and laid it out. Fredk. Empie settled 
where John F. Empie later lived. In 1815 Peter Schram built the 
first inn. In 1810 Thomas Benedict kept the store in Ephratah. 
Richard Young and Richard Coppernoll, two soldiers of the Revolu- 
tion settled down where later Hiram Lighthall lived. Aaron C. 
Whitlock of Ephratah was a brigader-general in the New York 
militia. He was also one of the three commissioners to locate -i /? '' 
the Court House and jail at Fonda. / A a _ i ^^_ v ^ ( 

Nickolas Rector, a Revolutionary captain of militia, lived near ' 
where Chauncey Snell later lived. He and his family were attacked 
by the Indians but all escaped alive. Mrs. Rector went toward 
Stone Arabia. On the way she came across the body of a settler 
who had been killed by the Indians. She removed his boots and 
wore them the rest of the way. One boot it was said was almost 
filled with blood when she got to Stone Arabia. 

The first church of which we have any record at Ephratah was 
a Presbyterian organization of 1823. On March 17th of that year 
a number of persons living in the northern part of the town of 
Palatine met in District No. 9 schoolhouse. William Lassels was the 
chairman of meeting and Christopher Getman was the clerk. They 
decided to call the society "The First Presbyterian Church and 
Society of the Town of Palatine," and selected these trustees, Peter G. 
Getman, Thomas Davies, Joseph Getman, Philip Kring, William 
Lassells, Jonathan Selter, Timothy Riggs, Chauncey Hutchinson, and 
Caleb Johnson. The record at Fonda is dated March 24, 1823. 

Rev. Caleb Knight was the first supply of this church. It does 
not appear from the minutes as if he was ever installed. He began 
work on June 1, 1823 and continued till July 1, 1826. According to 
the receipts recorded the salary ranged around $275 a year. The 
last meeting (recorded) of this Board of Trustees was the annual 
meeting September 25, 1826, but no business was transacted. 

The next efforts toward an established church at Ephratah is 
found in the county clerk's records at Fonda, where is recorded the 
incorporation of "The Dutch Reformed and Presbyterian Church 
of Ephratah." The record is dated June 1, 1829. At this time (1805- 
1828) the Rev. John Wack was the supply at Stone Arabia, and, 
without doubt, he looked after the religious work at Ephratah, when 
there was no pastor there. A good many of the Ephratah folks 
were in the habit of attending the Stone Arabia church, while a few 
also went occasionally to the Tillaborough church (cf). The trus- 
tees of this 1829 church at Ephratah were John Rickard, Philip 
Kring, Harmanus Shaver, Christopher Getman and John Y. Ed- 
wards. Notice that Christopher Getman was the clerk of the original 
organization in 1823, and Philip Kring (whose name appears in con- 
nection with the Tillaborough church in the Stone Arabia records) 
was a trustee of the original church. Between the dates of 1835 and 
1851 there are no minutes recorded of any election of trustees for 
this church, and in 1859 it was formally disbanded. No name of any 



33 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

minister is recorded in connection with this "Dutch Reformed and 
Presbyterian Church." 

Under date of February 10, 1831, there is a record at Fonda of 
the Incorporation of "The St. John's Reformed Church of Ephratah," 
whose trustees were, Aaron C. Whitlock, Adam Hart, John Beck, 
and Frederick Empie. Nothing further is known of this work. In 
1832, according to the same records, a "Union Society" was formed 
at Pleasant Valley (Rockwood) in the town of Ephratah. Rev. 
William Thomson was the pastor, and the trustees elected were, 
Joseph Deans, Rose Simmons, Dutec Joslin, Robert Weaver, Chaun- 
cey Orton, and Azel Hough. It was at Ephratah and Oppenheim 
that the first settlements were made in what is now Fulton county. 
These were in 1724, while that of Johnstown was about 1764 when 
J.ohnson Hall was built by Sir William Johnson. It was just beyond 
Ephratah that the Battle of Johnstown was fought between seven 
hundred Tories and Indians, commanded by Ross and Butler, and 
the forces under Col. Marinus Willet. In this engagement Walter 
Butler was killed by an Oneida Indian. 

At a meeting of the Montgomery Classis held on July 2, 1832, 
a "Reformed Protestant Dutch Church" was organized at Ephratah, 
which was later incorporated (April 14, 1851). At this time and 
thro the year 1840 the clerk of the consistory frequently refers to 
the "Dutch Reformed and Presbyterian Church," and calls the con- 
sistory meetings "sessions," but all this is manifestly wrong be- 
cause Rev. Isaac S. Ketchum was called in 1833 and Rev. Benj. B. 
Westfall in 1837, — both Reformed Dutch ministers, and at the time 
preaching in the Dutch church at Stone Arabia. 

Altho the church at Ephratah was organized in 1832 the first 
record of any members uniting with the church is made in November, 
1841, when Ashbel Loomis was received by Rev. John Robb, the 
stated supply. On May 21, 1842, Josiah and Mrs. Elisabeth Wil- 
liamson were received, and this is the last record until January, 1845, 
when twenty were received on confession. However, we find the 
names of fifty-two members in the register under date of 1845. In 
the rear of the old record book is a long list of the names of those 
who were pew renters or other subscribers to the church expense, 
but this is not a complete list. The date of this record begins in 
1834 and runs thro 1837. 

The first installed minister at Ephratah was Rev. Isaac Ketchum 
(1833-1836), who was also, pastor at Stone Arabia (cf). The second 
pastor was Rev. Benjamin B. Westfall (1837-1838) who was also at 
Stone Arabia (cf). The pulpit seems to have been supplied for 
several years, the Rev. John Robb's service extending from 1841 
thro 1843, following which another vacancy occurs for a year, tho 
it is likely that the pastor at Stone Arabia looked after the field. 
Rev. Charles Jukes was the pastor from 1841/^ thro a part of 1850, 
for whose history see Stone Arabia, where he was a pastor at the 
same time. There is not much of record concerning the first pas- 
torates of the Ephratah church, the work being tributary to the 
older and stronger organization at Stone Arabia, in whose records 
there is much recorded concerning the churches at Ephratah and 
Tillaborough. 

Rev. John C. Van Liew began his pastoral work in 1851 and 
remained thro 1856 (cf Stone Arabia). He was followed by Rev. 

34 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

John P. Westervelt who was a licentiate of the "Wyckofite" church, 
stationed thro 1845-1855 in the Independent churches of Mayfield 
" .id Johnstown at the close of which pastorate he became a Pres- 
byterian, and for two years (1858-1859), he supplied Ephratah. Mr. 
Westervelt died in 1879. Westervelt not only knew Greek and 
Hebrew and Latin, but could speak fluently in German, French and 
Dutch. Rev. George Hewlings supplied the pulpit during 1861, and 
Rev. Miles T. Merwin, a Presbyterian minister, thro 186:2. Mr. 
Hewlings died in 1872 and Mr. Merwin in 1865. 

Rev. William H. Smith became pastor in 1866, remaining two 
years. He also preached at Tillaborough occasionally. Rev. Smith 
was a Union College '63 man, who had allied himself at first with 
the Methodist church. Examined at Ephratah for ordination in the 
Reformed church, the classis vote stood, — For: Two ministers and 
five elders; against: Five ministers — thus evidencing the power of 
the eldership. Leaving the Ephratah church in 1868 Smith entered 
the Presbyterian ministry. He died in *8#§/fjf<? 

Rev. James M. Compton came in 1868 and remained two years, 
tho he continued at Stone Arabia two years longer. He was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. William B. Van Benschoten, who also preached at 
Stone Arabia (cf) while acting as pastor at Ephratah (187:2-1878). 
In 1877 eighty-seven members were added at one communion. Rev. 
Peter Quick Wilson was the next pastor, coming from a stated 
supply of Blue Mountain where just prior to leaving he received 
seventy-five persons into the church, remaining from 1882 thro 
1885. His first charge was at East Greenbush (1861-1866), while his 
last work was at Cranesville. A good deal of his ministry was spent 
in supplying Presbyterian and Reformed churches. He died at 
Easton, February 26, 1902. Rev. Rufus M. Stanbrough, who had been 
at Manheim in 1861 and at Columbia in 1876, supplied Ephratah 
during 1881-1884. Next came Rev. William W. Whitney, who 
served the Ephratah church four years (1886-1889). He also 
preached some at the Tillaborough church. He came into the Classis 
from the Methodist church. He had other pastorates after leaving 
Ephratah and died at Eminence, Schoharie county, in 1903. Rev. 
Charles L. Palmer assumed the joint congregation of Ephratah and 
Stone Arabia in 1896 and staid with the congregation thro 1899, 
going to Shokan on leaving this church, and in 1903 to Kingston. 
Mr. Palmer's present charge is at Marlboro, N. J. 

Mr. Palmer was the last settled pastor that either Ephratah or 
Stone Arabia had until the coming of Rev. Royal A. Stanton to these 
churches in 1914. Mr. Stanton had supplied these fields during the 
three previous summers, when a student in the Western Theological 
Seminary, and came to the fields to take up the work of reviving 
and strengthening the work, which he has done in a most successful 
way. During the long interval between the pastorates of Rev. Palmer 
and that of Rev. Stanton the church at Ephratah was supplied for 
longer or shorter periods by a few men, as Charles S. Lewis who 
was nearly three years with the congregation. Nothing is known 
of his ecclesiastical connections. Rev. E. J. Meeker was here 
for a year's supply. Then during certain summers the 
students from the seminary supplied the pulpit. In 1911 the Classis 
having appointed a Classical Missionary, Rev. W. N. P. Dailey, the 
work of preparing for a new pastorate was begun. At first preach- 

35 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

ing services were conducted, then the church repaired, and, finally, 
the way was opened for a pastorate over these two churches. The 
first printed report of the Ephratah church is in the Minutes of 
Particular Synod of Albany, 1835, which gives 225 families, 105 mem- 
bers, and a congregation of 1,200. Rev. Ketchum must have taken 
in the whole town of Ephratah and part of Palatine to get such a 
congregation. 

The first church was built in 1833. This was extensively re- 
paired in 1890-1891 at a cost of $1,000, which included new pews, 
pulpit, and carpet. In 1901 the church was moved down from the 
top of "Church Hill" where it had been built in 1833, to its present 
site in the village. In 1913 the church was again given a thorough 
renovation, at a cost of about $1,700, which included new ceiling, 
electroilers, heater, windows, pulpit rails, side walls, etc. This last 
work was undertaken by the Ladies' Aid Society and Young People, 
under the direction of the Classical Missionary, Rev. W. N. P. Dailey. 
The cost was almost entirely raised at the re-dedication in Febru- 
ary, 1914. Since Mr. Stanton's coming the church dining room has 
been built and furnished. The present consistory is, Daniel Burdick, 
Daniel Duesler, Charles Gray, Elmer Lighthall and Alpha Christman, 
elders, and Clark Dockstader, Seymour Snell, Adam Swartz, John 
J. Saltsman and Frank F. Tittle, deacons. The trustees are, James 
H. Yauney, Norman Saltsman, and Jacob I. Christman. Levi 
Yauney gave to the church in 1911 thro his will, $500. Daniel Duesler 
has been the chorister since 1875 and Mrs. Ella Christman 
Lighthall the church organist since 1895. 

FLORIDA REFORMED CHURCH 




The Reformed Church of Florida is situated at Minaville in the 
town of Florida, hence its name. When Classis was formed in 1800, it 



3(5 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 
Trhukon ot church. 



was called the X - hukon ot" church, ™pH t n b n n ro rr u-pti^n f n r th n Tn- 

Hi-in term, "f'h nr t-g mui rln " - n n A wViinh mnqna "itnnn hniiro" HowCVCC , 

th g T niiilT1 t Qrrn "<~l-iii1rn«n+" mgnnr "plgpp r»f |tig tnmnrnnlr " Miliaville 

in those early days was also called "Yankee Street" and not far 
away was i'Remsen's Bush," where a Reformed church had been 
established^1» oforc' the — Chukon ert — ctrm*e44 — was n^a'TiH In 1769 
Lawrence Shuler settled about a mile east of the present site 
of the village. It was on a part of his farm of three hundred acres 
that the first church was built. The district in which the church 
was situated was called Caughnawaga, and was one of the eight 
districts of Tryon county, which in 1784 became Montgomery county. 
When the Montgomery Classis was formed in 1800, two churche s 
in— what is now Minavillc, wore includ e d - among the twenty-four or.- 
gini-ntinn n ) n niiii 1j i /^hn il rnnnt and Remsen's Bush, % hc latter being 
+h-e — fi r s t — • * " ^<^^fq^^^hr^T^hr,^a^ f worship was near the old 
burying ground, one of whose stones bears the burial date of 1786, 
and which building stood until 1849, — an unpainted, barn-like struc- 
ture, with galleries, high pulpit, and sounding board. 

The Remsen's Bush Reformed Protestant Dutch church, as its 
title reads in the incorporation, and which bears date of February 
9, 1789, was very likely organized soon after the settlement by 
Lawrence Shuler perhaps as early as 1784, the date usually assigned to 
it, tho we should give it an earlier date. The records at the County 
Clerk's office, after the one mentioned above are as follows, No- 
vember 20, 1806, the .Florida R e formed Du tch church incorporated 
and the act was recorded January 22, 1807. The present consistory 
are, J. F. Ernest, John McClumpha, Charles Patterson, and William 
Kelly, elders, and 
Van Home, and Ric 

The oldest consistorial record extant bears date of June 2, 1808* 
which states the action whereby the Remsen's Bush and the Florida 
<£€3fote>4i»#? churches were united into one body. This body was 
incorporated, according to the county clerk's record on June 6, 1808, 
tho it was not put on file till January 13, 1810. The elders were, 
Christian Servoss, Isaac Vedder, and Jacob Sharpentine; the deacons 
were Ruloff Covenhoven, Jacob Staley, John Davenpack, and John 
Van Derveer, with Winslow Paige, V. D. M., and Jacob Sharpentine, 
trustees. The first church of the united congregation was erected in 
1808, with the usual tall spire without and the three galleries within, 
square pews, high pulpit and sounding board. In course of time it 
was considerably changed, but lasted the congregation for seventy- 
two years, when, in 1880 and 1881 a new building was erected at a 
cost of $5,000. In 1858 a parsonage was bought and repaired at a 
cost of about $2,000, but this was burned in 1886 and the present 
house then erected at a cost of $2,500. The church has $2,300 in in- 
vested bonds. In 1882 Rev. J. H. Enders, for many years Synodical 
Superintendent, erected a chapel for the church in memory of his wife, 
which chapel, together with the church, was burned in 1912, and a 
fourth church building was then built in 1913. The earliest 
known preacher in this section was Rev. James Maier, as 
early as 1794, while the ministers at Schenectady and Al- 
bany, also, doubtless ministered here. The first settled pastor was 
Rev. Thomas Romeyn (1800-1806), who was born at Caughnawaga, 



37 



juiiii ivj.c v_i uiiipua, v^iidiica ;i auciaun, diiu vv uiiaiii 

d Arthur Luke, Elbert Van Derveeg? Schuyler ,>. 
Richard De Forest, deacons.^^j^^^jj^-^^/^^^f^^— 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

the son of Thomas Romeyn, Sr., pastor there during 1772-1794. For 
a score of years he was pastor at Niskayuna. Ill health compelled 
him to give up the ministry in 18:37, tho he lived until 1857. The 
trustees elected were, Nathan Stanton, Ruloff Covenhoven (Conover), 
John DeGraff, Samuel Jackson, Isaac Vedder, John Van Derveer, 
John Shuler, Hendrick Van Derveer and Tunis Hubbard. Successors 
to Mr. Romeyn in the Florida pulpit were, Winslow Paige 
(1808-1820), who died in 1838; Peter P. Rouse (1822-1828), who died 
in 1832; James Stevenson (1829-1854), who died in 1864 and lies 
buried at Minaville; John Clancy (1855-1860), in whose pastorate the 
parsonage was built and sheds secured; on leaving Minaville he gave 
up the active ministry and removed to Schenectady where he spent 
the rest of his life; Josephus Krum (1861-1865) ordained by the 
Classis, who went into the Presbyterian ministry, lattp becoming an 
Episcopalian, and is now preaching at Ottawa, Kansas; Gilbert Lane 
(1860-1873), who had been a chaplain in the army, and who died in 
lS&tfTRev. Richard A. Pearse came to the church in 1873 on his gradua- 
tion from New Brunswick, and has already passed the forty year 
mark of a single pastorate. (A classmate, C. E. Lasher, has had the 
same experience at Guilford, N. Y.). The Rev. Sheldon Jackson, 
the noted Alaskan missionary, was born and spent his youth under 
the shadow of the old church at Minaville, and lies buried in its 
beautiful cemetery along with his wife, and children, and parents, and 
grandparents, and the parents and grandparents of his wife, his 
brothers and sisters, — a multitude of kindred. Col. Samuel Jackson, 
his grandfather, was stationed at Plattsburgh during the war of 1812. 
Rev. Dr. Jackson was present at the centennial of the formation of 
the church in 1908 and delivered an historical address. 



FONDA REFORMED CHURCH 



waga 

white 



lily 



The village was named 
after Douw Fonda who 
came from Schenectady 
and settled here in 1751. 
The former name for 
the village of Fonda 
was "Caughnawaga," 
the meaning of which 
is "stone in the water" 
or "at the rapids." The 
Caughnawagas of 
Tribes Hill were a 
family of the Wolf 
Tribe of the Mohawks, 
to which tribe Brant's 
mother belonged. In 
1669 the Jesuits built a 
chapel here, called St. 
Peter's of logs on the 
Sand Flats of Caughna- 
Fonda. Here in 1676 the Iroquois maiden, Te-ga-wi-ta, the 
of the Mohawk, the now canonized saint of the Romanists, 




38 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

was baptised by James de Lamberville. The town of Caughnawaga 
originally embraced all that part of Montgomery county lying north 
of the Mohawk and east of a line extending from the "Nose" to 
Canada. In 1793 it was divided into Amsterdam, Broadalbin, Johns- 
town and Mayfield. As early as 1659 Arent Van Curler held a con- 
ference with the Mohawks at Caughnawaga, renewing the treaty of 
1643. Qouw- FoTida came into this section in 1751, and after him thc - 
■nillagrp was mmaH When Fonda had come to his eightieth year, on 
Alay 22, 1780, he was killed at his home, and two of his sons, John 
and Adam, were taken captives to Canada. There is a story current 
that the renegade Tory, Walter Butler, killed the old man who had 
been a great friend of Sir William Johnson. 

The Reformed Protestant Dutch church of Caughnawaga, its 
title until 18f|, when the term "Dutch" was dropped (Caughnawaga 
being changed to Fonda in 1872), was organized in 1758 by a Low 
Dutch element, the first building being erected of stone in 1763, to 
which was added a steeple in 1795. In the destruction of the village 
by the Johnsons in 1780 the church was about the only unburned 
building and this was due to the fact that it was built on the Butler 
estate land and was supposed to belong to the Butler family. This 
church was in what was called East Fonda and was used up to 1842, 
when, at the close of Rev. Fonda's pastorate, the old church and par- 
sonage, the glebe lands, the old bell, and all were sold, the congrega- 
tion going into the village and erecting a new church which was 
dedicated in 1843. Then the old church was transformed into a dwell- 
ing house, parlors, bedrooms, and kitchen taking the place of pulpit, 
pews, and aisles. There was a small wooden church erected near the 
Uppjjer Mohawk Castle, where the Fort Hunter (Queene Anne's 
chapel) missionary preached at times. The bell of this church, similar 
to that on Queene Anne's chapel, was stolen by the Indians and 
carried away into Canada. At first the church was supplied by the 
pastor of the old Dutch church at Schenectady, the Rev. Barent 
Vrooman. From the year 1772, when the first settled pastorate be- 
gan, the church at Fonda had had but twelve pastors. Excepting the 
twelve supplies, who served altogether about eight years, the pastor- 
ates have averaged twelve years, that of the Rev. Van Home being 
the longest, thirty-eight years. Then, Romeyn twenty-two years and 
De Baun seventeen years. The preaching in Dutch ceased with Van 
Home, who had had a record of twenty-three hundred baptisms and 
fifteen hundred marriages. The Classis of Montgomery was organized 
in the old Caughnawaga church on Wednesday, September 2, 1800 
(cf Note), and the pastor of this church, Rev. Thomas Romeyn, Sr., 
became the first Stated Clerk of Classis, as he was the first in- 
stalled pastor of the church. He died while pastor in 1794. A parch- 
ment subscription list, dated July 24, 1790, refers to Romeyn's failing 
strength and calls for an assistant pastor. Eighty-eight names are 
on the list (pub. in Fonda "Democrat" of January 21, 1915). His son, 
Thomas, a member of the first class at Union College (1797) was a 
pastor at Florida (cf). There have been ten members of the Romeyn 
family in the ministry of the Reformed church. A brother of this 
first pastor, Dr. Dirck Romeyn, while pastor of the Dutch church in 
Schenectady, founded Union College. He died in 1794 while pastor, 
aged sixty-five (cf DeBaun's Mem. Address in "Democrat" of Novem- 
ber 22, 1894). A writer in the "Christian Intelligencer" (August 14, 

39 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

1859), describes the "old church as made of rough limestone, gable- 
roofed, two windows on the end, and two more on the east, with 
the door between, all having the Norman arch above." The spire 
put on in 1795 had disappeared by this time (1859), leaving but a 
remnant of a tower. In 1868 this old stone church was demolished, 
most of the stone being used in the wall enclosure of the Mills' place 
at Fonda. Its only bell was from the confiscated sale of Sir John 
Johnson's property, held at Tribes Hill, and was formerly Sir Wil- 
liam's dinner bell. It weighed a hundred pounds and has on it the 
inscription, "Sir William Johnson, Baronet, 1774, made by Miller and 
Rosa in Eliz. Town." After the sale of the church the bell began its 
old work of calling the hungry to eat on the farm of Mr. Shull at 
Stone Arabia. It has been recast and the owner added his name to 
the inscription. Over the door of the old church was a stone tablet 
containing these words, "Komt laett ons op gaen to den Bergh 
desfeern, to den hmyse des Godes Jacobs, op dat by ous leere van 
syne wegen, eu dat my wand ele in syne paden." Micah 4.2. 

In 1854 the Rev. Douw Van Olinda who was pastor at Caughna- 
waga from 1844 thro 1858 conducted the Fonda Academy in the old 
building, Jacob A. Hardenburgh, a Rutgers man was the principal. 
He was New York Senator for two terms (1870-1873). 

The successor to Romeyn was Rev. Abraham Van Home (1795- 
1833). The consistory elected April 15, 1801, was Henry B. Vrooman, 
James Lansing, Cornelius Smith, and John Prentiss, elders, and John 
Dockstader, Barent Martin, John C. Davis, and John Stauring, 
deacons. During the last two years of Van Homes pastorate the 
pulpit was supplied by Rev. Isaac S. Ketchum (cf Stone Arabia). The 
father of Van Home was a commissary in the American army and 
when he resigned in 1783 the son was appointed in his place. Rev. 
Van Home preached in both Dutch and English. He died in 1840, 
aged seventy-five. Rev. Robert A. Quinn was the third pastor (1833- 
1835). He died at Snug Harbor in 1863 while serving his eleventh 
year as chaplain of the sailors' work there. Rev. Jacob D. Fonda came 
in 1835 and remained thro 1842. After several other pastorates he 
died in 1856 while pastor at Schaghticoke. Jeptha R. Simms, the 
historian, was active in the church at this time, playing a flute in the 
choir. During the years 1842 and 1843 the pulpit was supplied by Rev. 
Andrew Yates of Union College, Schenectady (cf Chittenango). Dr. 
Yates died in 1844 and is buried at Schenectady. 

The new church building, dedicated in October, 1843, cost $3,500. 
It was located on the corner of Railroad avenue and Centre street. 
During Rev. Boyd's pastorate (1866) this building was moved from 
that site to its present location, and eleven thousand dollars spent 
in repairs and improvements. On the dedicatory program were Revs. 
I. N. Wyckoff of Albany, Stevenson of Florida, and Robb of Canajo- 
harie. In 1844 Rev. Douw Van Olinda came to the church and re- 
mained here until 1858, the year of his death. Van Olinda spent more 
than twenty years in the Montgomery Classis (Auriesville, Canajoharie, 
etc.). Rev. Philip Furbeck (father of Revs. George and Howard Fur- 
beck) was the next pastor (1859-1862). Mr. Furbeck had an active 
ministry of forty years in the Reformed church, another charge in 
this Classis being at St. Johnsville. He died in 1899. Rev. Wash- 
ington Frothingham, a retired Presbyterian minister living at Fonda, 
supplied the pulpit during 1863 and 1864. He died in 1914. He was 

40 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

popularly known in the literary world as "The Hermit of New 
York," an eccentric man of fine character and noble attain- 
ments. Rev. John C. Boyd came in 1865 and remained thro 1870 
when he entered the Presbyterian church. He spent his last years, 
however, at Fonda, supplying for a number of years the church at 
Auriesville (cf). He died in 1901. He was admitted to the bar in 
1857 and practiced law a few years. The pastorate of Rev. Thomas W. 
Jones was from 1870 thro a part of 1882. A great revival marked 
this ministry at Fonda. During this pastorate also a parsonage was 
secured and $10,000 spent on organ, repairs, etc. On February 10, 
1863, the Board of Trustees of the church was incorporated, patterned 
after the incorporation of the Madison Avenue Reformed church of 
Albany. After two short pastorates in the west and a long one at 
Bedminster, N. J., Mr. Jones died at Brooklyn in 1909. He supplied 
his old pulpit during 1900 and 1901. Rev. John A. DeBaun was with 
the church from 1883 thro a part of 1900 and died on the field. He 
was tendered a professorship at Hope College while pastor here, but 
declined the same in favor of the church. Rev. J. C. Boyd filled the 
pulpit for a while after Dr. De Baun's death. Rev. J. Collings Caton 
spent three years on the field (1902-1904) going next to the 12th St. 
Church of Brooklyn and in 1915 becoming pastor of the First Pater- 
son (N. J.) Church. Rev. Wm. J. Lonsdale followed Rev. Caton 
and remained until 1910. He is now pastor of the Second Paterson 
(N. J.) Church. Pev. Henry C. Cussler, the present pastor, was 
formerly of Buffalo. 

FORT PLAIN REFORMED CHURCH 



The village of Fort Plain 
goes back beyond Revolution- 
ry times, the place undoubt- 
edly taking its name from 
Fort Plain which was built in 
1776 about a third of a mile 
north-east of the "Sand Hill" 
church, which church was 
built about a mile above the 
present site of the village. 
Some have thot it derived its 
name from Fort Plank, built 
toward the close of the war 
and which was two and a half 
miles west of Fort Plain and 
a quarter of a mile from the 
river. The story of the "Sand 
Hill" church ought to be read 
in connection with this of 
Fort Plain, because of the 
close relationship of the two, 
Fort Plain being an outgrowth of the old church on the hill. The 
present church at Fort Plain was organized in 1831. The church at 
"Sand Hill" had about outlived its usefulness, but under the influence 
of Rev. Wack (cf "Sand Hill") who had been dropped by Classis, 
it was endeavoring to defeat the aim of the younger congregation, 




41 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

whose work was more opportune to the changed conditions of the 
community. Already the present village folk of Canajoharie had 
withdrawn from the hill church and the families at Fort Plain felt 
the distance too great to continue to go there. Accordingly a com- 
mittee of Classis, Revs. Welles and Gray, visited the field, looked 
carefully into the situation and reported back to Classis on February 
7, 1832, about as follows, — "that the 'Sand Hill' church was domin- 
ated by Rev. John J. Wack, no consistory had been elected for a 
decade, the property was fast falling into ruin, the members were 
scattered, and the church defunct. On the other hand Montgomery 
Classis and the Domestic Board had organized this new (Fort Plain) 
church and it was deserving of the hearty support of all in that com- 
munity, and amply sufficient to supply their needs." The men be- 
hind the movement for this new church were Revs. Douw Van Olinda 
(cf Fonda) and Cornelius Van Cleef (classmate of Rev. Bethune at 
Utica). These men at the time were looking after the work of the 
Classis at Johnstown, Mayfield, Canajoharie, Palatine, Mapletown, 
Sprakers, Fort Plain, etc. In June, 1833, both the Reformed and 
Universalists began to build their edifices. 'Henry and Abram I. Fail- 
ing were the Reformed church builders. There was a great rivalry 
to see which would first raise the frame. The Reformed church 
builders won out while the carelessness of the others caused an 
accident which injured several men, one of whom died. 

Rev. Nanning Bogardus was the first installed pastor of whom 
we have any definite record. He was to have been installed on 
December 26, 1833, and Rev. Bethune was to preach the sermon, but 
on the night of December 25, the church decorated for the occasion, 
was burned and Bogardus was not installed until April 15, 1834. 
Rev. Demarest (pastor 1884-1890) thinks Rev. John H. Pitcher was 
the first pastor because he was ordained at Fort Plain. Corwin's 
Manual places Pitcher at Herkimer and German Flatts during 1831- 
1833, but this is an error since Domine Spinner was then pastor and 
for ten years longer. The Minutes of the Albany Part. Synod speak 
of him as a missionary at Fort Plain in 1831. We know, also, that 
Pitcher at this time was in the Second church of Herkimer, merged 
into the First church in 1836. The new church to take the place of 
the one burned was built in 1834. Mr. Bogardus remained with the 
enterprise but a little over four months. Later he spent ten years 
in the Classis as pastor of the churches at Canastota and Sprakers 
(cf). He died in 1868. 

During 1835-1836 the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Arthur Burtis, 
a member of the Oxford Presbytery, who went to the Little Falls 
Presbyterian church on leaving Fort Plain, and, later, became Pro- 
fessor of Greek in Miami University. He was ordained to the 
ministry by the Classis of Montgomery (1835). He died in 1867. 
The church was incorporated at this time, February 2, 1836, the 
names of David Diefendorf and James Post (elders) and Abraham 
I. Failing (deacons) appearing on the record; also that of Rev. A. 
Burtis. Rev. John P. Pepper succeeded Burtis, remaining four 
years (1837-1840), and had another pastorate in the Classis at Warren 
(Herkimer county). He died in 1883, being without charge for thirty 
years. Rev. Samuel Van Vechten was the next pastor (1841-1844) 
and tho he broke down physically here he lived forty years more. 



42 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

He also served in the Classis at Mapletown, Johnstown, and al 
Union. He died in 1882. 

Rev. Charles G. McLean (1844-1852) came to the church from 
the Newcastle Presbytery (Pa.) and entered educational work on 
leaving this field. The church greatly depreciated during his pas- 
torate owing to internal trouble. For three years McLean was on 
trial before the Classis and Synods. Rev. Martin L. Schenck (1853- a -'"'*-/^ 
1857) succeeded McLean and proved to be a great conciliator who"'^^ 1 ^*^ 
harmonized the various elements in the church. He had three pastor- ' 7~ ,e 7 
ates after leaving Fort Plain (Rocky Hill, White Hall, Plattekill). 
He died in 1873. Rev. John G. Hall was the next pastor, coming in 
June, 1858 (1858-1864), and remained seven years, a fine character, 
a most helpful preacher and pastor. But this prosperous pastorate 
was followed by a seven years famine, a divided house, — only the 
name of a church, — and Classis seemingly unable to bring the prayed 
for peace to its Jerusalem. In the interim of the pastorate the pulpit 
was frequently supplied by Rev. G. D. Consaul (cf Herkimer) and 
Rev. Whittaker, a Presbyterian minister. Finally, by invitation of 
the Classis, Rev. Vermilye of the Utica church, and Revs. Clark and 
Elmendorf of the Albany churches mediated the matter with the 
congregation and again peace and prosperity ensued. Rev. Alexander 
B. Riggs was called and came to this, his first pastorate (1870-1876), 
and brot the church back to its former glory and efficiency. He was 
ordained by Montgomery Classis. 

During this pastorate the building was remodeled at a cost of 
$13,000. A great revival conducted by Riggs swept over the com- 
munity and not only increased the membership of the church but 
gave spiritual tone to the whole work. Mr. Riggs next went to 
the West Troy (Watervliet) Presbyterian church. For many years 
he has been Professor Emeritus at the Lane Theological Seminary. 
A Board of seven Trustees was incorporated on February 24, 1S67. 
to manage with the consistory the temporalities of the church. There 
is also a record at Fonda of a meeting of these trustees, August 19, 
1869, at which D. S. Kellog presided and G. J. Pettit was the clerk. 
During the years when the church was without a settled pastor the 
pulpit was supplied for at least four years by Rev. Ganesvoort D. 
W. Consaul (1864-1868), a licentiate of the Schenectady Classis. 
Seven years later he was received into the Classis, ordained and in- 
stalled over the church at Mohawk (cf Herkimer). In 1879 he de- 
mitted the ministry. Rev. Mr. Whittaker also supplied the pulpit for 
about two years (1866-1868). 

The successor to Dr. Riggs was Rev. Samuel J. Rogers (1876- 
1879) who had been a pastor at Geneva (cf) for eight years, and 
came to Fort Plain from Port Jervis. On leaving the fjeld he entered 
the Congregational body, serving it in Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa. 
He died May 3, 1910, having been for a decade the Secretary of the 
Minnesota Congregational Association. Rev. Denis Wortman came 
to the church from the old First church of Schenectady, in 1S80, 
and resigned in 1883 to take up work at Saugerties. For a great 
many years he has most efficiently served the denomination as Secre- 
tary of their Ministerial Board of Relief. Rev. James Demarest be- 
came pastor in 1884, remaining seven years. His last work was in 
the Bethany church of Brooklyn. He died in 1913. Rev. Edward A. 
McCullum was the next to occupy the pulpit (1890-1900). Air. 

43 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

McCullum has recently resigned his pastorate at Fishkill-on-Hudson 
to take up the work at Castleton. Rev. Arthur Dougall was called 
to the pastorate in 1900 and remained about three years. He next 
entered the Elmira Presbyterian church and died while pastor there 
in 1909. The present pastor at Fort Plain is Rev. Henry C. Willough- 
by who came on the field in 1904. 

FORT HERKIMER REFORMED CHURCH 




The corporate title 
of this church is 
"The Reformed Pro- 
testant Dutch church 
of German Flatts." 
The beginning of its 
history goes back to 
the settlement of the 
country in the years 
1722 and 1723 when 
the Palatines came 
into the valley of 
the Mohawk from 
Schoharie. Of these 
Palatines and their 
migration to Ameri- 
ca and to this valley 
we have spoken in 
detail in the Notes. 
The Burnettsfield 
Patent of 9,186 acres, 
dated April 30, 1725, was given to ninety-two persons, one-fourth of 
whom were women. Their names can be found in Simms' "Frontier- 
men." The history of this church is linked with the work at Herkimer 
since from the start the people of the latter place depended upon the 
German Flatts preacher for services, and for half a century or up 
to 1841 there was an established dual pastorate in the two fields. 
The initial church building at German Flatts was a lo^g structure 
in the woods, erected, doubtless, as the Palatines were wont to do, 
as one of the very first buildings, as early as 1723. This was their 
House of God .for ftKasryears, s&sce in 1734 we find one Nicholas 
Feller, in a t *^« onC^fe- owned by the Oneida Historical Society 
(Utica), granting his pew in the German Flatts church to his son-in- 
law, Han Nicholas Chrisman. The deeds for the land on which the church 
stands are two in number, one dated September 24, 1730 (4*©w- owned 
by— -Mrsr-Afl- drew - Paeon of - Mohaw k-T-Nr-yQ and another dated April 
26, 17*33. Undoubtedly with the granting of the first land the German 
Flatts church, the one now standing, was begun. About 1860 the 
holders of the Glebe lands refused to pay rent. Court of Chancery, 
Utica, decided against them. Over the original entrance on the river, 
or north side of the edifice one sees cut into the stone "J. H. Esq. 
1767," — referring to Johanns Herkimer, Esquire, the father of the 
conqueror on the Battle Field of Oriskany, Nicholas Herkimer. -But 
the will quoted above, and deeds of land for church building, and old 



44 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

subscription lists still extant, and the old books of the treasurer, and 
appeals to Governor Clinton for permission to raise funds for com- 
pleting the church (- l'rao, J.71G, 1£ 5 1, ct n -k) are abundant evidence that 
the date, 1767, does not refer to the beginning of the building of the 
church, but rather its completion. History also records how the 
settlers long before this date used the stone church as a means of 
refuge in times of Indian depredation. Johann Jost Herkimer built 
a stone house for himself in 17j|, later called "Konin" ("bear") *B*d 
General ITfrWitncr^.hnilr a_brick— koas^, evidencing the reasonableness 
of believing the stone church was begun soon after the settlement. 
Among the names of those who are found on the lists and in the 
books as subscribing toward the building of the church are eight 
each of Becker, Veeder and Vrooman. Others of note are, Yoost 
Werner, Heinrich Riemenschneider, Ludwig Rickert, Joseph R. Yates, 
Annaatzie Ziele, Birch Hagedoorn, Storm Becker, Johannes Schuyler 
(Rev.), Barent Kysley Meinert Wemp (Wemple), Reyer Baxter, 
Sanders Glen, Plantina Vrooman, Wilhelm Braun, Peter Man, God- 
fried Knieskern, Jacob Borst, Johannes Snal, Phillip Rily, Arent 
Bratt (some of these of Schenectady and Schoharie). 

The German Flatts church is one of the very few oldest churches 
in the country. Originally it was forty-eight by fifty-eight and 
seventeen feet high, but in 1812 it was made eight feet higher, a 
gallery put in on three sides, the entrance changed from the north 
to the west side, and the high pulpit, with sounding board, placed* 
in the east or opposite end. These repairs cost $4,359 , and William ^zJb^- ff 
Clapsaddle was the chairman of the building committee. On June 
1, 1813, the German Flatts consistory met in the "new church" of 
Herkimer, and decided to hold services in the barn of Squire Fox 
till the church repairs were completed. At this time the inventory of 
the church (recorded at Herkimer, Bk. 67, P 115) included thirteen 
hundred and seventy-seven acres of land, the rent of which was $235. 
Also one acre in the church site and cemetery. 

The Herkimer family, numerous and influential, perhaps second 
to the Johnson family in importance in the valley, all belonged to 
this church, and lie buried either in its acre or under the shadow of 
the old church. General Nicholas Herkimer (dec. August, 1777) and 
his four brothers and eight sisters, one of whom married Rev. Abra- 
ham Rosencrantz, pastor (1752-1796) were, with their numerous de- 
cendants, allied with the old church. George Rosencrantz, son of 
the domine, was active in the church from 17fl4 to 1838. The parents 
of the General are buried at the rear of the old stone church — 
close to the original entrance of the church. The name is various- 
ly spelled, as here, also Herchkeimer, Erghemar, Harkamar. The 
true German was Ergemon. 

Two of the pastors of the church, the Rosencrantz brothers, were 
buried under the pulpit (when in the south end). Indeed part of the 
sub-cellar was used as a burial ground, and has some graves, each 
marked with a rude unlettered stone. This custom may have been 
the result of the scalp hunting Indians who were looking for the 
bounty offered by the English and who regarded this settlement as 
privileged ground for their trade. When extensive repairs were made 
to the building in 1887 two long fluted pillars of cedar, originally 
painted white, were found beneath the floor, and parts of the first 
pulpit that stood in the south end of the church. Along with these 

45 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

repairs a new bell was put in, a lower platform erected under the 
high pulpit, and an arch built up over the gallery, concealing it. It 
is hoped that some day these innovations will be removed and this 
grand old edifice put back to its pristine conditions, — a standing 
monument of the valor and vigor of the German settlers of the Mo- 
hawk valley. 

Fifty rods west of the church was built Fort Herkimer. Original- 
ly this was a stone dwelling house, built (178») by the father of the 
General and where Nicholas the eldest son spent his boyhood. The 
father, Johann Jost Herkimer, deeded several hundred acres of land 
to the young man on his first marriage to Miss Petrie and he went from 
this old homevto the town of Danube, three miles east, and built the 
brick hou&e( to which he was brought after the Battle of Oriskany and 
where he died, surrounded by his family, to whom he read the thirty- 
seventh Psalm. The first home built by Johan Jost Herkimer was 
about half a mile east of the church, and in this home General 
Herkimer was born. Neither this building nor the old Fort are 
standing, the stones of the latter having been used to enlarge the 
locks of the Erie canal near-by when its capacity was doubled about 
1840. Bronze tablets, erected by the Daughters of the American 
Revolution mark many of the spots of historic interest hereabouts. 
The fort was called by the French, Fort Kouari. In the Summer of 
1783 Washington visited the place and the fort was provisioned for 
five hundred men for ten months, and Col. Marinus Willett put in 
command. 

On September 6, 1756 Governor Hardy of New York ordered 
Sir William Johnson to send two hundred and fifty more soldiers 
(making five hundred in all) to German Flatts, and to go himself, 
if need be, to protect the settlement. Thrice was the village assailed 

'.G^-cIa. by the Indians, ^!/ 1757 when it was burned with the gathered crops, 
forty of the people killed, and a hundred and fifty taken prisoners, 
and sixty houses burned (Canadian records). In September, 1756, 
a breast work was built about the Jc ^tlrch .. On April 30, 1758, a 

cfCxJ-O- —Jtcon 'i d - raid occurred, when the Indians, with the help of the French 

killed thirty. & settlement acemo to - have been alao on the nort h. 

-twtr^nf rh r riwrr ninrn it i s tnlrl ns that in 17^ g th" Vi'il rilnfl ni < " 1l p 
co ming of the — s avages ,— Lh£ — settlers — wou44 not believe the — friendly 
f-ftd-nrosr When at last these came the minister (Rosencrantz) and 
some others sought safety in the old stone church. In 1782 Brant 
with a hundred and fifty-two Indians and three hundred Tories again 
laid waste the settlement. August Hess lost his life. A hundred and 
twenty houses and barns were burned and six hundred head of cattle 
stolen. 

Lieutenant Colonel John Brown (cf Note on Battle of Stone 
Arabia) was stationed here for thirteen months beginning April 1, 
1776. Four years later he was killed at the Battle of Stone Arabia, 
October 19, 1780. Here also General Benedict Arnold, the only 
officer in Schuyler's command who would dare the journey, tarried 
for a few days on his way to the relief of Fort S rarTwff ^near the 
Oriskany Battle Field (Rome) and where the Stars and Stripes were 
for the first time in this country^ flung to the breeze. Arnold had 
twelve hundred men here, a»d jf om German Flatts he started out 
the half-witted yo uth to strike, terror into the hearts of St. Leger's 
Indians, still investing Fort StS&ja*^" and which caused them to beat 



^°^1 J^W A*^- 

ft >4Tr S-A^-h 46 



'7 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

a precipitate retreat with loss of nearly all their camp equipment. 
It was to German Flatts, also, that the renegade Tory, Walter 
Butler, came, after the Oriskany battle, with fourteen Tories and as 
many Indians, seeking to influence the settlers against Independence. 
He was apprehended, convicted as a spy, and sentenced to death. 
Thro the influence of his family connection he was imprisoned at 
Albany, from which confine he soon escaped, to wreak his diabolical 
vengeance on the men, women and children of the Mohawk valley. 
Two great councils of the Indians were held at German Flatts, one 
by Tarbot Francis et al on June 28, 1775, when the Oneidas and 
Tuscaroras agreed to remain neutral; and another council on August 
16, 1775, from which a large delegation of the Indians was sent to a 
still larger council at Albany. On June 28, 1785 at a treaty conducted 
here the Oneidas and Tuscaroras (always friendly to the colonists), 
sold to the State all the land between the Unadilla and the Chenango 
rivers. 

It was from German Flatts that Col. Charles Clinton (father of 
Governor George Clinton and grandfather of DeWitt Clinton) 
marched in the summer of 1758 to the capture of Fort Frontenac 
from the French. One of the first Liberty Poles erected in the 
country was at German Flatts. Sheriff White of Tryon county brot 
a large body of militia from Johnson and cut it down. In 1772, 
Gov. Tryon was here on an inspection of the troops. 

German Flatts was formed as a district of Tryon county on 
March 24, 1772. In some of the older histories, and on some of the 
older church records, the place is called "Burnettsfield," because one 
of the English governors of that name owned most of the land 
originally. When the settlement was made at German Flatts the 
place was in Albany county, then in 1772 in Tryon county, 
then in 1784 taken from Montgomery county and made a part of 
Herkimer county. The village now has a population of a little more 
than a hundred, and is easily reached from Herkimer, from which it 
is distant about two miles, east. 

The first known TOimctm - at German Flatts was the Rev. Johannes 
Schuyler, who was pastor at Stone Arabia and Schoharie. Among 
the names of the first subscribers to the building fund of the church 
we-find the name of this minister. He had married in 1743 Annatje 
Veeder of Schenectady and was forty years in the Schoharie church 
(cf Stone Arabia). Mr. Schuyler supplied German Flatts until the 
coming of Rev. George Michael Weiss who was the first permanent 
pastor in the field. Rev. Weiss came to this field in 1736 from 
Coxsackie and remained here ten years. This is the first mention 
we have ever noticed of either of these two men in connection with 
this church. In a letter sent to the Classis of Amsterdam (Holland), 
April 24, 1738, Rev. Weiss signs himself, "Reformed pastor at Bur- 
netsfield (German Flatts) in the county of Albany." Another letter 
of Weiss bears date of December 16, 1744 (cf Stone Arabia also in 
re to Weiss). The name of "Burnettsfield" was a temporary designa- 
tion, resulting from the original ownership of the land, Governor 
William Burnett. 

Between Weiss' pastorate and the coming of Rev. Abraham 
Rosencrantz in 1752 was the brother of the latter (given name un- 
known). Abraham Rosencrantz^ j«fc » 3 to h i e predecessor's being 
his brother, while Rev. John A. Wernig who supplied Stone Arabia 

47 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

(1751-1753), attributes his coming to America to the influence of this 
brother, and further states that this brother had just died (1752), 
and that Abraham Rosencrantz -had taken up his work, which also 
included a sort of itinerant missionary work among the German 
families scattered along the Mohawk between Schoharie and Utica. 
Excepting a two year pastorate in the German Reformed church of 
New York (1758-1759) Rosencrantz was at German Flatts (includ- 
ing his itinerant preaching at Canajoharie, Stone Arabia, etc.) from 
1752 to the time of his death in 1796, a period of forty-four years. 
Rosencrantz was a graduate of a German University and during his 
time here was justly regarded as the foremost and most learned 
divine west of Schenectady. The Stone Arabia records show that he 
served that church at least twelve years, and we are inclined to think 
many more. From 1760 to 1766 he preached at Middleburgh and 
Schoharie. From 1765 to 1796 his permanent residence was at 
German Flatts. His wife was Anna M. Herkimer, a sister of the 
General, to whose influence it is said that he owed his life, since he 
was suspected of having Tory feelings. Rev. Rosencrantz had four 
sons and some daughters. The names of his sons were Henricus J., 
Georgius, and John Jost Hergheimer, and Nicholas. Nicholas' son 
Henry had a son, Nicholas, whose daughter, Mrs. Josephine Rosen- 
crantz is living (1915) at Ogdensburg, N. Y., aged eighty. During 
the last year or two of the Rosencrantz pastorate, and tmtil the 
coming of Rev. Pick, the pulpit was supplied by the Rewriflrh, 
Rom£edi s$ Qst&id%.'QRev. D. C.A. Pick was the pastor of German 
Flatts for four years rt ^O w' i C& H-. Before he became pastor, Pick 
visited the church and ordained the consistory (1796) for which he 
received four pounds and sixteen shilling, plus six shilling for re- 
cording the same. Rev. Caleb Alexander, who visited the valley in 
1801 (November), refers to the stone chapel and its Dutch clergyman, 
who preached every other Sunday (cf Stone Arabia for Pick). At 
this time Philip Peter Cowder was the schoolmaster and also chorister 
at the church. From 1798 thro 1803 the name of the church is 
omitted from the General Synod Minutes. 

In the year 1802 the Rev. John P. Spinner assumed the pastorate 
of German Flatts and continued thho forty-six years. Excepting 
for the brief stay of Pick this church had had but two pastors in a 
century. Spinner was born at Werbach, Germany, January 18, 1768, 
and at twenty-one became a priest in the Roman Catholic church, 
which office he held for eleven years. He left the Papal church in 
1800 and in the following year came to America. Thro the influence 
of John Jacob Astor he came to German Flatts where for nearly a 
half century he proved to be the most commanding figure in the 
community. During Spinner's earlier years the membership of the 
church was around four hundred (in 1813 he reported three hundred 
and sixteen), his congregation numbered a thousand, but with changed 
conditions at Herkimer and other contiguous places the audiences 
fell off until in the early forties he reports but a few over a hundred. 
Spinner filled three large books with statistics, aside from the con- 
sistorial records, Mteassi&9&J&&i*. In 1815 Spinner offered himself 
to the Domestic Board for Canadian missionary work, but was not 
accepted owing to his inabiltiy to preach English fluently. The 
church was almost always in debt to him, and the minutes show 
constant friction ensuing. In 1836 the church owed him $1,324.10, — 

48 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

so exactingly calculating were the financiers of those days, and this 
indebtedness was minutely detailed showing a pitiable unconcern for 
the minister's comfort which spirit, is prevalent today in too many 
churches. The domine offered to donate half of the debt if they 
would but pay the rest. They gladly accepted his offer and paid him 
the rest out of the sale of lands that were deeded to the church for 
the sole support of the ministry. Toward the end of his ministry, 
so oppressed was he, that he took up outside work, as, for instance 
he taught German in the Utica High school for a year and a half. 
He was the father of F. E. Spinner who was the treasurer of the 
United States under Lincoln, a statue of whom is in the Herkimer Park. 
Spinner died at Herkimer in 1848 (cf Herkimer in re Spinner). In 
addition to Fort Herkimer and Herkimer, Spinner often looked after 
work at Indian Castle, Columbia, Warren, Manheim, Schuyler, Deer- 
field, Manlius, etc. 

For some years after Spinner's death the pulpit was supplied by 
Rev. Jedediah L. Stark of the Mohawk church (cf), who became 
the pastor in 1862 and died in 186.3. He had already regularly sup- 
plied the church thro the years 184^-1853, after which it was vacant 
for nearly four years. He was the last resident pastor over German 
Flatts. An old subscription shows that Stark gave his salary for 
one year (1861) to the repairs of the church, which thing was later 
done by both Revs. Brandow and Kinney. The income of the church 
glebe lands could not be diverted from the pulpit but the financiers 
at German Flatts were keen on administering the ministers' salary. 

The men who have been in the pulpits of Mohawk, Herkimer, 
Canajoharie and Columbia have thro most of the years since Stark's 
pastorate kept the church going. Among these men have been Rev. 
Jeremiah Petrie of Herkimer (cf) 1864-1865, the Rev. John J. Quick 
(1867-1868), who had been at Currytown (cf) and Mapletown; Rev. 
'Gansevoort D. W. Consaul of Mohawk and, later, of Herkimer (cf); 
Rev. Wm. N. Todd, who became a Presbyterian in 189:2. Dr. Todd is 
now at McAlistersville, Pa.; William H. Hoffman, a student of New 
Brunswick for the summer of 1874, who is now in the Deckerville 
(Mich.) Presbyterian church; and William Johns who supplied dur- 
ing 1873-1875 and who died 18$5. After this and for five years, only 
summer services were attempted. During the summers of 18S0 thro 
1885, the Rev. Daniel Lord supplied the pulpit, driving over from the 
Henderson church. Dr. Lord was at Henderson and Jordanville for 
nearly thirty years of his life (1851-1856; 1860-1864; 1878-1899). He 
died September 10, 1899. He was a grandson, third removed of Rev. 
Dr. Benj. Lord, who was for sixty-seven years pastor of the Nor- 
wich (Cong.), Ct. church. He pursued a course of medicine in order 
to increase his usefulness among the people of his parishes. Rev. 
John H. Brandow of Mohawk supplied thro 1886 and 1887, and Rev. 
Albert D. Minor was pastor from 1888 thro 1891. Rev. Ira Van Allen 
(cf Mohawk) from 1892 to 1896, and Mr. J. Abrew Smith, a layman, from 
1896 thro 1899. Rev. E. J. Meeker supplied from June, 1900 to 
1903, and Rev. J. Dyke of Herkimer (cf) for a year or more from 
June, 1905. Rev. C. W. Kinney of .Mohawk (cf^from 1909 to 1911. 

In 1912, following work done by the Classical Missionary, Rev. 
W. N. P. Dailey, the church property came into the possession of 
the Classis of Montgomery, since which time it has been supplied 
by the Missionary and also by Rev. O. E. Beckes of the Mohawk 

49 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

church. The Rev. J. H. Brinckerhoff and the Missionary also un- 
dertook to restore the rights of the church in the glebe rentals and 
have been successful in the main. For more than a century the church 
has depended altogether for the pulpit support on the income of the 
glebe rents, that is, the perpetual liens on lands sold many years ago. 
At first this revenue could not have been far from $500, but thro 
mismanagement the profits now will not reach more than $150. The 
membership records of the church are extant from 1763 (excepting 
the years 1865-1885). There are some financial books, and papers, 
etc., all of which are in the keeping of the Herkimer church. The 
oldest ministerial signature extant follows: 

V^'V' T^^^W^^ y^&. -r-*-~ est*.,*. j/^-i&JrJZZ^i 

1761 the first of April have received from reverend consistory for half year's salary 3l£ 

FULTONVILLE REFORMED CHURCH 

In Revolutionary days the 
place was known as "Van 
Epps Swamp." From the 
establishment of the inn in 
1795 by John Starin the place 
began to develop. The Re- 
formed Dutch church of Ful- 
tonville (named after Robert 
Fulton) was organized No- 
vember 24, 1838, eight mem- 
bers of the Caughnawaga 
church being among the 
charter members. The Rev. 
James B. Stevenson, at the 
time pastor of the Florida 
church, presided at the or- 
ganization and installed the 
first officers. The first build- 
ing was erected in 1839, Rev. 
Charles Jukes of the Glen 
church conducting the dedi- 
catory exercises. This build- 
ing was burned in 1852, and 
for four years the congregation had no place of worship. A solu- 
tion of the problem was found in the election of a Board of Trustees, 
who set to work and built a structure, which was dedicated in 1856, 




50 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Rev. Isaac N. Wyckoff of Albany preaching the sermon. The par- 
sonage had been built in 1844, during the pastorate of John M. 
Van Buren. In 1882 it was enlarged. At the incorporation in 1838, 
the trustees were, Evert Yates, Isaiah DePuy, Adam Bell, William 
A. Smith. The first pastor of the church was Rev. David Dyer 
(1841-1843), of whom nothing further is known. Kis successors 
were, Rev. John M. Van Buren (1842-1851), who next went to Xew 
Lots for a twenty years' service, afterwards retiring from the active 
ministry, he wrote for the religious press, and died at Nyack, N. Y., 
May 12, 1892. Mr. Van Buren united with the Kinderhook church 
in 1831. He aided Simms in the preparation of his Schoharie County 
History. He married a sister of Rev. J. C. F. Hoes (cf). (A son, 
Peter Van Buren, born at Fultonville, graduated from New York 
University in 1864, and from New Brunswick in 1867, but died in 
July of the same year). Rev. Ransford Wells (1857-1868), who had 
been Canajoharie's first pastor (cf); Rev. Henry L. Teller, a Presby- 
terian minister, who supplied for half of the year, 1868; Rev. Francis 
M. Kip who came in December, 1869, and remained twelve years, 
going to Harlingen, N. J., where he spent twenty years, and died at 
Neshanic, N. J. in 1911; Rev. Francis V. Van Yranken, the fifth 
pastor of the church who came in 1882 and remained thro 1892, and 
is now retired at Albany, N. Y.; Rev. Wm. Schmitz, who was pastor 
for nine years, or until 1901, and is now at work in Pennsylvania; Rev. 
Isaac Van Hee (1901-1905), who is at present doing social work in 
the Ford factories in Detroit, Mich.; Rev. James Edward Grant, who 
began work in 1906 and completed a pastorate of six years on 
January 1, 1913. Rev. Edward B. Irish came from the seminary to 
the church in the Spring of 1913, and was ordained and installed 
by the Classis of Montgomery. 

CLEN REFORMED CHURCH 

The village was first called 
"Voorhistown," and, later, 
and until 1860, "Voorhees- 
ville." Its present name came 
from Jacob S. Glen, who 
owned most of the land where 
the village is now situated. 
In 1740 Sir William Johnson 
brot eighteen Irish families 
to settle at Glen, but they 
remained only a short time, 
returning to their native 
land. The first permanent 
s e t tl e r s were from New 
Jersey, and were Hollanders 
or of Holland descent. 
Originally the church stood 
in a dense forest. The earliest 
consistory or congregational record is dated July 5, 1794, while the 
first consistorial book was begun in 1804. In those early days one 
reads often the names of Conover, Ostrom, Mount, Van Derveer, 
Hoff, Voorhees, Edwards, Vrooman, Vedder, Pruyn, Wood, Enders, 




51 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Putman, etc. It is difficult to decide on the date of the organiza- 
tion of the Glen church, but inasmuch as a congregation existed as 
early as July, 1794, and on February 6, 1795, it was agreed to buy an 
acre of land for the church of Daniel Lane, it would seem as if we 
might put the organization of the church as early as 1793, tho we 
are disposed to think that the New Jersey folks who settled here, 
especially being of Holland extraction, did not long wait to organize 
their church. On July 15, 1797, the consistory appointed a committee to 
meet with another committee appointed by the villagers to arrange for 
a new church building, thus evidencing the fact that a congregation 
and church had already had a long time existed if it required a new 
building. The church committee consisted of Pearly Brown, Timothy 
Hutton, and John^B^aJia-rd. After a brief time the committee were 



scectin -g. a nev 



successful in er e ctTn -g anew edifice at a cost of Sf^SfljIr which served Z-,^3* 
the congregation for seventy years. There is a record that on March 
15, 1806, John and Mrs. Ann Ostrom deeded the land on which the 
church stood to the organization, which deed is recorded at Fonda, 
November 28, 1839. Ezekiel Belding's survey of this church lot, 
which was a part of Lot No. 14 of the Glen Patent, and, contained 
an acre and a half, is dated, Charleston November 18, 1800, and it 
is specified on this survey as the lot that John Ostrom and his wife, 
Nancy, have deed to the church. A parsonage was soon added to 
the church property, built sometime prior to 1814 when repairs were 
made to the same. The church, too, was repaired in 1814. The 
first pastor of the Glen church was Rev. Henry V. Wyck- 
off (1799-1803) who, later, became interested in the "Wyckofite" 
movement, or "True Dutch Reformed Church" as those who seceded 
from the Dutch church styled themselves. One of the Notes gives 
a brief history of this defection from the denomination. Following 
Wyckoff, who went to the newly organized Second Charleston 
church, came Rev. Peter Van Buren (1804-1814), who at the same 
time was preaching in the First Reformed church of Charleston (cf). 
He was ordained by Montgomery Classis and was installed over 
Glen, February 19, 1805. He remained more than ten years, going to 
Schodack in 1814. He died in 1832. The next to occupy the pulpit 
was Rev. J. R. H. Hasbrouck (1814-1826), who was, also, the supply 
of the First Charleston congregation, and what was known as the 
Canajoharie field which embraced Mapletown and Westerlo (Sprak- 
ers). Revs. Hasbrouck and Wyckoff in time went to extremes over 
their varying opinions and this resulted in weakening both the 
churches at Charleston and the Glen church. From Glen Rev. Has- 
brouck went to the Root (Currytown) church (1826-1830). For ten 
years the church felt the influence of this enmity between Has- 
brouck and Wyckoff. Hasbrouck died in 1854. 

Rev. Jonathan F. Morris whose name is frequently met with 
in the annals of the Classis of Montgomery was the Classical Mis- 
sionary for his day, serving in this capacity the churches of Ovid, 
Fayette, Poultneyville, Amsterdam, Stone Arabia, Ephratah, Asquach, 
Herkimer, and for two or three years the Glen church (1827-1829). 
He died July 11, 1886, aged eighty-five. He was followed in this 
work by Rev. Alanson B. Chittenden (1831-1834), who had previously 
supplied the Glen church occasionally. Chittenden's last pastorate 
was at Sharon. He died in 1853 at Schenectady. During 1836 the 
pulpit was supplied by Rev. Adam M. Leckner, of whom we know 

5? 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

nothing further. Rev. Charles Jukes followed (1838-1844), going 
next to Stone Arabia (cf) and Ephratah. Rev. Jas. P. Fisher, a 
Union Seminary man, supplied the pulpit during 1845 and 1846. Mr. 
Fisher died in 1865. 

It was during Rev. Juke's pastorate that the sheds were built 
and extensive repairs made on the old church. The entrance faced 
the highway, and in the vestibule were stairs leading to the galleries, 
extending round the three sides of the auditorium. The west gallery 
was for the older youth of the church. In the eastern gallery were 
reservations for the colored folks. In the west gallery behind parted 
scarlet curtains were the choir and chorister, the music of which was 
led by a bass viol for which the church had paid $18. Box family 
pews with doors were on the three sides, and so built that a portion 
of the family had their backs to the preacher during the services. A 
central section of pews was built higher than the others. The pulpit 
was built for one person, reached with a long flight of steps. Original- 
ly there was a sounding board over the pulpit, as in the German 
Flatts church of today. 

Rev. Garret L. Roof was the next settled pastor at Glen. He 
had been a practicing attorney at Canajoharie before entering the 
ministry. This was Roof's first charge, to which he came in Decem- 
ber, 1846, and remained thro October, 1850, when he accepted a call 
to the recently organized church at Port Jackson (Amsterdam). He 
was followed by the Rev. Adam H. Van Vranken (October, 1851- 
1865), who was ordained by the Classis when installed over this 
church. After another pastorate of equal length at Centreville, Mich., 
Mr. Van Vranken died in 1880. A brother of the pastor, Rev. Francis 
V. Van Vranken next took up the work in January, 1866, and re- 
mained thro a part of 1874. He, later, became pastor at Fultonville 
(cf), and is at present living at Albany, N. Y. It was during this pas- 
torate that a village lot was bot for $500, and a new church, the present 
one, was built at a cost of $13,000. The frame of the 1795 church 
is being used as a wagon house. Mr. Van Vranken was followed by 
Rev. Joseph P. Dysart who was a United Presbyterian minister, and 
who was installed at Glen, November 11, 1874, remaining on the 
field until June 1, 1879, when he entered the Troy Presbytery. Rev. 
Richard L. Schoonmaker succeeded Dysart (1880-188:2). He was the 
son of Rev. Jacob Schoonmaker (1777-1852) and grandson of Rev. 
Henricus Schoonmaker (1739-1820), two of the most renowned min- 
isters of the Dutch church. Richard L. Schoonmaker died while 
pastor at Glen in 1882. Rev. Sydney O. Lawsing became pastor in 
January, 1883, and staid thro 1888. Mr. Lawsing was born in Am- 
sterdam. He has been pastor of the Kiskatom church since 1910. 

After Mr. Lawsing came Rev. Joseph B. Thyne, who supplied 
the pulpit from December, 1888, thro May, 1894. Mr. Thyne spent 
his last years at Broadalbin where he died November 10, 1910. Rev. 
Jasper S. Hogan, now of New Brunswick, N. J., was called to the 
pastorate in 1894, and was ordained and installed over the church by 
the Classis. Here he remained for three years, going next to Pomp- 
ton Plains, N. J. and later to the Lafayette church in Jersey City, 
N. J. Rev. Hogan published a history of the church in 1905, 
one chapter of which gives a succinct account of the "Wyckofite" 
movement, which still clings to the Glen field. Rev. Raymond A. 
Lansing was ordained by the Classis and installed over the church 

53 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

in 1897. He died in 1903. Rev. Henry Smith came to Glen in Sep- 
tember, 1901, and resigned in November, 1903. Rev. Louis F. Sauer- 
brunn was installed pastor (1904-1905), going to Ghent in October, 
1905, then to Schodack Landing in May, 1908, and in December, 1902, 
to the Presbyterian church of Chester, N. J. Rev. Edward J. Meeker 
was installed in May, 1910, and resigned in November, 1914, to enter 
the work at Lodi (cf). During the interval between Rev. Sauerbrunn 
and Rev. Meeker, the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Chas. A. Conant of 
Schenectady (November, 1905-April, 1909). After Mr. Meeker the 
pulpit was occasionally supplied by the Classical Missionary, Rev. 
W. N. P. Dailey, and Rev. Henry G. Dean (Presb.) of Schenectady. 

MAG AM AN REFORMED CHURCH 

The Reformed Pro- 
testant Dutch Church 
of Hagaman's Mills (as 
the village was at first 
called) was received 
into the Montgomery 
C 1 a s s i s in October, 
1855, though organized 
five years previously as 
an Independent Pres- 
byterian church. A por- 
tion of the congrega- 
tion of the 1st Presby- 
terian church of Am- 
sterdam asked the 
Presbytery of Sarato- 
ga to divide the church, 
giving to them the 
right to be known as 
the Amsterdam Pres- 
byterian church. Tho 
a majority of the mem- 
bers opposed the me- 
morial, still the Presbytery yielded to the minority. Two-thirds of 
the congregation withdrew and formed the United and Independent 
Presbyterian Church of Hagaman's Mills. The village was first 
settled by Joseph Hagaman in 1770, who came from Dutchess county, 
and was of Holland descent. It is interesting to note that the session 
of the original church became the first session of the Independent 
Church,- — Aaron Marcellus, Gilbert Conner, Joseph Hageman, Francis 
M. Hageman, and Myndert Pauling being the elders, and Jeremiah 
W. Hageman and Henry Rowe being the deacons. The act of Pres- 
bytery was the first Tuesday of January in 1850, but before the month 
was out the other church was formed, David W. Candee being the 
moderator, and John W. Thatcher the clerk of the meeting. There 
were a hundred members at the start. The church called Rev. Charles 
Milne to become their pastor. He was the pastor of the church lie- 
fore the division. This church was independent of the Saratoga 
Presbytery. In February, 1855, the congregation voted to change 




54 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

their name to the Hagaman Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, 
and a committee was appointed to go to Classis with such petition 
which was favorably acted upon. In its first report to Classis the 
church numbered fifty families and sixty-one members. 

The first pastor of the Hagaman church was Rev. J. Lansing 
Pearse (uncle of Rev. R. A. Pearse of Minaville, cf), who was 
ordained, and installed over the church in the latter part of 1856, 
by the Classis of Montgomery. After leaving this field in November, 
1859, Mr. Pearse went to the Delmar church, which he served for 
about forty years, dying there in the pastorate in 1908. For tlv. j 
most of this time he was the. stated clerk of the Classis of Albany. 
Rev. Elbert Slingerland, who had previously held pastorates at Chit- 
tenango and Mohawk (cf) was installed in August. 18G0, and re- 
mained thro most of 1862. He was the sixth pastor at Scotia, N. Y. 
(1857-1860). Later he was pastor at Mohawk for the second time 
for several years before his death which occurred in 1876. The next 
pastorate was the longest in the history of the church (1863-1887), 
and was ably filled by Rev. Andrew J. Hageman, who was ordained 
by the Montgomery Classis in this church. After another 
pastorate at St. Thomas, D. W. I. (1887-1890), Mr. Hageman de- 
veloped a throat trouble which kept him for a quarter-century out 
of the active work of the pastorate, tho he occasionally supplied 
pulpits until his death in 1912, at Somerville, N. J. 

Rev. Maurice G. Hansen succeeded Hageman at Hagaman in 
1887 and remained here thro 1893. This was his last pastorate. He 
died in 1904. Mr. Hansen was a voluminous writer for the religious 
press, and also translated much from the Dutch, especially of the 
old prints and documents of the church at its foundation in America. 
Rev. William A. Wurts followed Rev. Hansen in 1893 and staid thro 

1901. Mr. Wurts had already been in the Canastota church for eight 
years, and also at Lysander (cf) for six years. After leaving 
Hagaman he took up work at Sharon, N. Y., in which field he spent 
about eight years, next supplying the church at Lawyersville, N. Y. 
for a few years. He is now living at Sharon Springs and occasional- 
ly supplies vacant churches. 

Rev. David C. Weidner was the third pastor at Hagaman to lie 
ordained in the church by the Classis of Montgomery. This was in 

1902, and Rev. Weidner remained about four years, going next to 
Schuylerville, N. Y., from which field he went to the Park church 
of Jersey City in 1913. Rev. George G. Seibert came to Hagaman 
from the Helderbergh church at Guilderland Centre in 1906, and 
resigned in 1911 to take up the important work at the Owasco field. 
Mr. Seibert was followed in the pastorate by the present pastor, Rev. 
Charles V. W. Bedford, who had already had charges in the Classis 
at Johnstown, Currytown and Sprakers. During Mr. Seibert's pas- 
torate the church was extensively repaired, and during the present 
pastorate a new chapel has been erected, the gift of one of the mem- 
bers of the church, Mrs. Caroline Yates. 



55 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



HERKIMER REFORMED CHURCH 



■ 


Ill ,&*fih( 




Ik - fe% 

r ' ., ** 

J v. _ _ * -.-|L 


"*"*"* , *^«SS? 





The history of the 
Herkimer church and 
that of Fort Herkimer 
("German Flatts") is 
to be read together, 
at least from about 
the coming of Abram 
Rosencrantz to the 
field in 1752 down to 
1841, the time of the 
cessation of the dual 
pastorate. Some 
thirty years ago Rev. 
Henry M. Cox, then 
pastor of the Herki- 
mer church wrote 
a n interesting his- 
tory of Herkimer 
and of the Palatine 
migration to this 
country, of which .we 
speak in detail in 
a separate chapter herein. The number, however, who came 
with Rev. Joshua Kochertal in 1708 numbered fifty-one — not forty, 
as Cox writes. In our story of Fort Herkimer we show, also, that 
the date 1767, found roughly cut in a stone on the west side is not, 
necessarily, the date of the building of the church, as Cox says, 
since record books still extant show that the subscriptions were be- 
gun as early as 1740, and the building was started as early as this, 
if not earlier, and while a second appeal was made in 1746 for more 
funds, the entire sum sufficient was raised and the church was used 
for services (as well as a means of refuge by the settlers) as early 
as 1751. Mr. Cox says that there is no record of any sort to show 
the religious condition of the community (Herkimer, originally called 
"Stone Ridge"), until 1757. He refers to a will made by Nicholas 
Feller in 1734 in which a bequest is made of the testator's seat in his 
church, — but whether this church was in what is now Herkimer or 
was at Fort Herkimer, Mr. Cox cannot say, tho he is inclined to 
think it was in the church of which he was the pastor at Herkimer. 
However, the name of the legatee, Han Nicholas Crisman, is among 
the pew holders and members of the German Flatts congregation. 
We have shown in our Fort Herkimer history that Rev. George M. 
Weiss was the first known pastor at German Flatts, being there 
as early as 1736. Mr. Cox makes no mention of Weiss but refers 
to a Lutheran minister as the first pastor at Herkimer. Weiss came 
to America about 1720, and then returned to the Palatinate on the 
Rhine, to come back for permanent residence here in 1727. But he 
was a "Minister of the Reformed Palatinate Church" (as he signed 
himself) and not a Lutheran. Undoubtedly Weiss often supplied 
the Herkimer congregation, if, indeed, there was any congregation 
during the decade (1736-1746) that he was settled at German Flatts. 



56 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

It is not known when the original church was built at Herkimer, 
which was burned in 1757 by the French, but it is represented on an 
old sketch as being octagonal in form with the traditional rooster 
as a weather vane and throughout of typical Dutch architecture. It 
is also not known when the church was rebuilt or the services re- 
sumed, but on the return of Johan Jost Petri, who had been carried 
a captive into Canada, at the time of the French-Indian raid in 1757, 
he took steps to re-deed the land to the church for a new building. 
This was in 1770, but it is not at all likely that the church was rebuilt 
until some years after this, since the Indian depredations continued 
for a decade or more. 

To turn now to the ministry of the Flerkimer church, we again 
refer to the pastorate of George Michael Weiss at German Flatts 
(1736-1746, cf), with the natural supposition that he also supplied any 
congregation at Herkimer, and then, to the coming of Abram Rosen- 
crantz' brother to the field, which date (1750) we have from the 
correspondence of Rev. Wernig of Stone Arabia with the Coetus of the 
Dutch church and with the Classis of Holland. Rev. Abram Rosencrantz' 
ministry at German Flatts began immediately upon the death of his 
brother (1752). A receipt for salary is shown under Fort Herkimer, bear- 
ing date of April 10, 1761, signed by Rosencrantz. Both men were buried 
under the pulpit of the German Flatts church. Of Rosencrantz we 
have spoken in the Fort Herkimer church record and also in that of 
Stone Arabia, where he also preached for some years. Rosencrantz 
took up a permanent residence at German Flatts in 1765 and at the 
same time supplied the "Sand Hill" (Canajoharie) church. The 
work at Herkimer, owing to the unsettled conditions of the country, 
was very small, but whatever attention was needed was given by 
Rosencrantz to it. He lived until 1796, but in the kistjew vears of 
his ministry he was aided in his pulpit work by Rev. FifiriMKomofeff* 
of Oneida* who, doubtless, also preached during these yea£s to the 
congregaton at Herkimer. The statistical records of the church dur- 
ing these years were well kept by Rosencrantz, as well as the financial 
and consistorial minute books. In the old register are to be seen 
the names of many who were conspicuous in the work of the church 
in those- days as well of note in the civic and military service of the 
state. 

Rev. "D. Christian Andreas Pick, V. D. M." (so he signed his 
name) succeeded Rosencrantz in the ministry both at Herkimer and 
German Flatts, between which churches a formal contract was now 
entered into for a dual pastorate, which prevailed until 1841, or over 
a period of forty years. Pick was to preach alternately in these two 
fields. His ministry, however, was brief (1798-1801). We have spok- 
en in detail of his work under Stone Arabia (cf). Rev. John P. 
Spinner came to the church at Herkimer (and also of German Flatts) 
in 1801 and remained for forty-four years. Excepting the brief stay 
of Pick these two fields had had but two pastors in about a century, 
a most remarkable record. The call was moderated by Rev. Isaac 
Labagh, at the time preaching at Stone Arabia and Canajoharie. At 
the beginning of Spinner's ministry (1804), a large church was built 
on the original site — probably the first substantial church building 
since the burning of the other in 1757. Another church had been 
built to take the place of the one destroyed in 1757, since the call to 



57 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Pick refers to both the German Flatts and Herkimer church building, 
while Rev. Taylor's Journal of 1802 speaks of the "new meeting house 
which lacked all improvements." In these days Herkimer was a 
German settlement, and the preaching was in German, though the 
pastor kept his records in Latin, and it is said he could speak five 
languages fluently, and knew quite a bit about three more. The 
church built in 1804 was burned in 1834, and in 1835 was replaced by 
the present brick edifice which has now been used as a house of 
worship continuously for four score years. In 1813 Spinner reported 
three hundred and sixty-four members, about fifty more than at 
German Flatts. 

With the coming into the village of many English speaking 
families a desire for English service was urged. This caused a 
division in the church with the result that a Second Herkimer church 
was organized in 1824 (cf under extinct churches) and ran along for 
some twelve years, when it was merged into the original church. 
Neither church prospered during these years, but with the building 
of the new structure, Rev. Spinner continued to preach in the German 
and Rev. James Murphey, who at the time was pastor at Manheim, 
began his work in the Herkimer church, preaching in the English 
language. In 1841 Spinner resigned from the Herkimer church, giving 
the rest of his ministry to the church at German Flatts. Rev. James 
Murphey began his work, as we have said, at Herkimer in 1836, fol- 
lowing an eight year pastorate at Scotia, N. Y. On Spinner's resig- 
nation he became the pastor, and continued so until 1842, at the time 
supplying the churches at Frankfort and Mohawk, which he or- 
ganized. In 1842 he resigned the field and went to Coeymans, but 
was recalled to the Herkimer church for a seven year pastorate (1843- 
1849). It was during this last pastorate that a revival occurred in 
the church which resulted in the addition of great numbers to the 
church. Mr. Murpli^ on resigning from this pastorate in 1849, sup- 
plied the churches at Frankfort and Columbia. He died in 1857. 

Rev. Cornelius S. Mead was the next pastor coming from the 
1st Rotterdam church and spending a decade in the Herkimer church 
(18^0-1859). He had one other pastorate at Chatham, N. Y. During 
the last years of his life he supplied the churches of Ghent, Stuyvesant 
Falls, New Concord, etc. He died June 26, 1879, at Chatham, N. Y., 
and was there buried. Rev. Hugh B. Gardiner next came to the 
church in 1860 from Coeyman's and New Baltimore, and was here 
for four or five years (1860-1864). He re-entered the Presbyterian 
ministry and died July 23, 1874, at Brooklyn. He was succeeded in the 
latter part of 1864, by Rev. Jeremiah Petrie, a native of Herkimer, 
and a Presbyterian pastor, who supplied the pulpit for several years 
(1864-1868), preaching also at Ilion, which church was organized at 
this time and he is the only known pastor. He died in 1910 in his 
85th year. He compiled an excellent record of the Petrie family. 
The next pastor of the church was Rev. Ganesvoort Consaul, who 
tho licensed by the Schenectady Classis in 1861, did not receive or- 
dination from the Montgomery Classis until June 23, 1868, after he 
had supplied Fort Plain several years, and while preaching at Mo- 
hawk. His ministry at Herkimer began in 1869 and ran thro 1877. 
While traveling abroad, where for a year he supplied the American 
church at Geneva, he was allowed to demit the ministry, April 15, 1879. 
It was during his ministry that the interior of the church received its 

58 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

handsome decoration of black walnut, and the imported English 
windows were put in. For a number of years Mr. Consaul was en- 
gaged in mercantile business in Watertown, N. Y. On August 30, 
1898, he was accidentally and fatally shot while on a hunting ex- 
pedition. Following Consaul the Rev. Ralph W. Brokaw was 
called to the pastorate and was ordained by the Classis of Mont- 
gomery in 1877, and remained with the church for five years, 
going in 188:2 to the Springfield (Mass.) Congregational church, 
for a pastorate of similar length. In 1898 he became the 
pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Utica where he 
still abides in his strength. Rev. Henry M. Cox succeeded 
Brokaw in 1882 and resigned in 1890. Leaving Herkimer he spent 
twenty years in two pastorates in New York City, and since 1911 has 
been in the Harrington Park, N. J. church. Rev. John G. Gebhard 
next came to the church and served it for nine years (1891-1900). 
During this pastorate a commodious stone chapel was built in 1894. 
On leaving Herkimer Mr. Gebhard became the Secretary of the 
Board of Education of the Reformed Church which he has most 
acceptably filled ever since. Three short pastorates next ensued. 
Rev. Chalmers P. Dyke (1900-1903), who went from Herkimer to 
the Hamilton Grange church of New York City for a four year 
pastorate, since which time he has been in the Lowell (Mass.) Congre- 
gational church. Following in the work at Herkimer Rev. Jacob Dyke 
(brother of his predecessor), was pastor for thirteen months (De- 
cember, 1903-1905), having come to the field after a few years in 
the Episcopal church of Iowa and South Dakota, tho he came into 
the Classis from the Congregational church. On leaving Herki- 
mer he supplied the Mayfield Presbyterian church for a couple of 
years, and, later, was in the pulpit of the New Salem Reformed 
church, tho a member of the Presbyterian body. At present he is 
serving the East Moriches (L. I.) Presbyterian field. Rev. Charles F. 
Taylor who had been a Presbyterian missionary in New Mexico, and 
for a couple years previous to coming to this field was engaged in 
special evangelistic work, was the pastor during 1905 and 1906, go- 
ing next, after a year's interim, to his present pastorate in the Westv 
port (Ct.) Congregational church, and since 1913 has been pastor of 
the Greenwich, Ct. Congregational church. 

Rev. B. E. Fake, who has frequently supplied churches in our 
Classis, a Lutheran minister, supplied the Herkimer pulpit from 
June, 1907, to September, 1908. The present pastor, Rev. J. Howard 
Brinckerhoff, after supplying the pulpit for two months, was ordained 
by the Classis and installed over the church in February, 1909. Dur- 
ing this pastorate most extensive interior improvements have been 
made, a new organ secured, and the church has been greatly strength- 
ened along all its lines of work. 

INTERLAKEN REFORMED CHURCH 

This church was formerly known as the "Farmer Village Re- 
formed Dutch Church" and was incorporated in 1830. On October 
28, 1830, pursuant to a resolution passed by the Consistory of the 
Lodi Reformed church (cf), a meeting of the citizens of the place 
was held and the following chosen as the first consistory of the 

59 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 




church: Peter Rappleye, John Kelly and Joseph Smith, elders, and 
Jacob Voorhees and Peter Ditmars, deacons. These were installed by 
Rev. Asa Bennett, pastor of the Lodi church, on November :?|th, 
1830. Bennett's call to the Lodi church provided that he should 
spend one-fourth of his time at Farmer Village. For several months 
after the organization these men were the only members of the new 
church. The church building was dedicated September 28, 1831, the 
Rev. J. F. Schermerhorn preaching the sermon. On June 8, 1831, 
a call was extended to Oscar H. Gregory of New Brunswick Seminary, 
which was accepted, and on August 11 following, he was ordained 
and installed pastor of the church. At the time there were thirty- 
one members, but within two weeks thereafter twenty-five united 
with the church. The first Sunday school was organized in 1832. 
Isaac Covert was chosen superintendent, served one year, and was 
succeeded by James C. Knight, who held the position thirty-nine 
years. Also during this pastorate the first parsonage was built on 
the spot where the present one now stands, on land given by Peter 
Rappleye, who had" also given the land for the church building. This 
pastorate closed, with great regret among the people, after a period 
of six j^ears and eight months. Later Dr. Gregory was pastor of the 
North church at Watervliet (1848-1870). He was President of General 
Synod in 1860. Union College gave him the degree of D. D. in 1853. 
He died December "11, 1885, at Watervliet. 

Rev. Benjamin Bassler was the next pastor, commencing work 
September 1, 1838, and continuing until his death twenty-seven years 
later (1866). Mr. Bassler came to the church from Sharon and 



60 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Cobleskill. He was a Swiss by birth. He began his ministry 
under the most favorable circumstances; the church was prosper- 
ous, out of debt, the congregation increased in strength and num- 
bers. The parsonage was repaired at a expense of several hundred 
dollars in 1842. In 1850 a session house was built at a cost of 
$604. In the year 1857 the church building was extensively repaired 
at a cost of $3,000; an addition of nineteen feet was made. The 
galleries running around three sides of the auditorium were taken 
down, and the pulpit removed from the west to the east end of the 
room. On September 6, 1857, the church was rededicated, the Rev. 
O. H. Gregory preaching. The parsonage was again repaired in 
1860, at a cost of $450, and a new organ costing $1,000 was purchased 
in 1861. More than two hundred and fifty were received into the 
church during Mr. Bassler's ministry. Rev. Wm. W. Brush succeeded 
Bassler, coming to the church from the New Brunswick Seminary 
in 1866, being ordained and installed in June of that year. Twenty- 
three were added to the church during his pastorate. Leaving in April, 
1868, he went next to Marbletown (Ulster Co.), and, later, to Geneva. 
He died in 1878. Rev. Albert A. Zabriskie followed, coming also from 
New Brunswick, and was ordained by the Geneva Classis and in- 
stalled over the church July 29, 1868, resigning November 1, 1869. 
Twenty-six were added to the church in this pastorate. After ten 
pastorates in New York and New Jersey, Mr. Zabriskie became pastor 
of the Bloomington, N. Y. church, his present field. 

The Rev. J. C. Forsythe succeeded Rev. Mr. Zabriskie, com- 
mencing his labors in May, 1870. The parsonage was again repaired 
at a cost of about $450, and thirty were added to the church during 
the five years of his ministry here. Leaving Interlaken he entered 
the Presbyterian church. He died in 1898. In November, 1875, Rev. 
Philip Furbeck was called and his pastorate continued until October, 
1881. Fifty were added to the membership of the church under his 
ministry. In 1877 the interior of the church was extensively repaired 
at a cost of about $2,500. Mr. Furbeck had a four year pastorate at 
Fonda (cf). He went next to Little Falls, N. J. for a six year pas- 
torate, then returned to the Montgomery Classis and was at St. 
Johnsville for five years (1888-1892). He died after a pastorate at 
Taghkanick, July 23, 1899. After Mr. Furbeck, Rev. Wm. H. Nas- 
holds was called, and installed March 1, 1882. During his service the 
old parsonage was sold and removed and the present one built on the 
old site. The total cost for building the new parsonage and repair- 
ing the barn was $2,800. Thirty-seven were admitted to the church 
during his pastorate, which terminated October 1st, 1887. Mr. Nas- 
holds had come to Interlaken from Geneva (cf). Since 1905 he has 
been in the Second Church of Rotterdam. In May, 1888, the Rev. 
F. W. Palmer accepted a call from the church and was installed July 
19th, continuing to serve until February 15, 1893. During this period 
the church grew rapidly in membership and in power, and enjoyed 
great prosperity. One hundred and forty members were admitted 
into the church, and the membership numbered about two hundred 
and sixty. The old session house was taken down and an addition 
was built on to the church, comprising parlors, dining hall, and 
kitchen at a cost of $1,200, in 1889. At the April communion in 1890, 
thirty-eight were received. Mr. Palmer also organized the Christian 
Endeavor, King's Daughters and Young Ladies' Missionary Society. 

61 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Mr. Palmer entered the Presbyterian ministry and has served for 
many years in Auburn as pastor of the Central Presbyterian church. 
The present pastor, Rev. E. B. Van Arsdale, was ordained and 
installed in this his first pastorate on the 8th day of August, 1893. 
During these years about one hundred and eighty-five have been re- 
ceived into the church. In the Fall of 1904 the church building was 
thoroughly renovated at an expense of $3,000. The church was re- 
dedicated January 12, 1905, the sermon being given by Rev. F. W. 
Palmer of Auburn, a former pastor. This church, now in its eighty- 
fifth year, has had a record of steady growth in numbers, of whole- 
some, spiritual development, of prosperous, financial administration, 
is thoroughly organized and active in all departments of its life, and 
is today a leading influence in community affairs, and a loyal sup- 
porter of the interests of the denomination and the kingdom. 



JOHNSTOWN REFORMED CHURCH 




When Sir Wm. Johnson settled here in 1762 he called the place 
after his son, Johns-town. The old jail and Johnson Hall built at 
this time are well preserved buildings to this date. Under the extinct 
churches it will be noted that many efforts were made in other days 
to establish a Reformed Dutch church at Johnstown. Churches were 
organized at Kingsborough, Mayfield, Fondas Bush and other near 
by places. Here at Johnstown, tho preaching services were regularly 
conducted by the pastors at Fonda and Amsterdam (Ten Eyck and 
Van Home), and an organization was incorporated under the title of the 
"Kingsborough Reformed Church." still the church of longest duration 
was the "True Reformed" or "Wyckofite" church which was begun in 
1821 and ended in 1855. A church building, erected in 1838, is still 
standing and occasionally used by the Glen preacher. The present Re- 



62 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

formed church of Johnstown was organized in 1894. Rev. J. H. Enders, 
Synod Missionary and Rev. Wm. Schmitz of Fultonville conducted the 
initial services in the Fire Engine House near the Fair grounds in 1893. 
During the Summer of 1894 Rev. H. C. Willoughby gathered the 
nucleus of a church. On October 10, 1894,' the organization was ef- 
fected with seventeen members. Ground was secured and a Christian 
Endeavor church (No. 3) was erected. The dedication took place 
February 6, 1895. The first consistory was, Peter Fox, Wm. C. Van 
Alstyne, elders, and T. W. Van Slyke and Wm. Topp, deacons. The 
first pastor was Rev. John Van Burk who came to it from the dual 
pastorate of Clarksville and New Salem. After eight years Mr. Van 
Burk resigned to accept the pastorate of the Athens church, where 
he remained upwards of five years, going in 1910 to the Congregation- 
al church of Monterey, Mass. He is now supplying the Congrega- 
tional church of Swanton, Vt. Succeeding Mr. Van Burk was Rev. 
Chas. V. W. Bedford who was ordained by the Montgomery Classis 
and came to the field in 1902, and remained thro 1909, going next 
to a three years stated supply of the Currytown-Sprakers field, and 
in 1912 taking up work at Hagaman where he is at present pastor. 
During this pastorate, in 1904, the Hillside Park chapel was bot and 
added to the rear of the church.. Following Mr. Bedford came Rev. 
Peter S. Beekman, who had already been a member of the Classis 
(Currytown, 1893-1901). Mr. Beekman began his work at Johns- 
town in 1909 and is the present pastor. In 1909 the present par- 
sonage was built. In 1915 eighty-five members were received. 
The men of the consistory are V. J. Lasher, Nicholas Glenar, 
Frank Billington, and W. J. Sprakers, elders, and Henry Edwards, 
George Person, Fred J. Vosburgh and George Pedrick, deacons. In 
connection with the Johnstown work a Union work is kept up at 
Sammonsville. Formerly, especially in Rev. Boyd's day, the Fonda 
church looked after this work. This movement is a half century old 
and the services are held in the public school building. During a 
recent evangelistic campaign in Johnstown, eighty-five members were 
added to the roll. 

LODI REFORMED CHURCH 

The first church in Lodi (Seneca county) was Presbyterian, or- 
ganized in 1800 by the Rev. John Lindsay who remained with the 
church until 1805. The town of Lodi was formed in 1826. While the 
church was called the "First Presbyterian Church of Ovid," it is not 
to be confounded with the later organization in Ovid village in 1803, 
which was organized by Rev. Jedediah Chapman. The 1800 organiza- 
tion, changed in denominational name, and, later, in location, is to- 
day the "Reformed Church of Lodi." During Lindsay's pastorate 
the first building was erected, but after his going there was no other 
Presbyterian minister, the church becoming Dutch Reformed in 180$: 
In the interim services were, however, occasionally held, among the 
preachers being Revs. John Stuart, Lewis Williams, M. Misner (Bapt.) 
and Rev. Wm. Clark. These men also preached in the churches of 
Ovid village, Lodi, and Hector. The 1803 organization erected a 
primitive log church in 1804 on ground donated by Judge Silas 
Halsey who had come into the country from Long Island in 1792. 

63 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

It stood with its gable end toward the road, the entrance from the 
south, and the pulpit in the north. The building was never com- 
pleted, yet it served for twenty-five years. It was organized in Hal- 
sey's barn which served as the house of worship until the hewn-log 
church was built. The ministers mentioned in connection with the 
1800 organization (which worshipped for several years in the court 
house) also served this church, which was made up largely of per- 
sons at variance with the other church. From 1804 to 1806 Rev. 
John Stuart supplied the pulpit, and in 1828 when the Reformed Dutch 
church of Lodi village was erected. 

In the Presbyterian record book (1800 church) under date of 
February 27, 1809 is a record of the election of elders and deacons in 
the new "Protestant Reformed Low Dutch Church of Ovid." Stephen 
Voorhees, Tunis Covert, John Groenendike and Joshua Covert were 
made elders, and James Vanliew, Nicholas Huff, Daniel Bassett, and 
Peter Rappleye were made deacons. This consistory was installed 
by Rev. Abraham Brokaw (cf Glen), who was installed pastor of the 
church in 1809 by Rev. Conrad Ten Eyck of Mayfield (Montgomery 
county). Originally Lodi belonged to Montgomery, then to Cayuga, 




then to Geneva, and came back into the fold of the Montgomery 
Classis a century after its organization. Under Brokaw's ministry the 
church grew until in 1822 it numbered some two hundred members. 
This was the year that the "Wyckofite" or "True Reformed Church" 
(cf) was organized and Brokaw was one of the malcontents who 
joined the secession movement. As a result, locally, a majority of 
the consistory, but a minority of the membership, went with their 
minister (already suspended by the Classis) and organized another 
church which he served until 1838 when he was succeeded by Rev. 
Archibald McNeil who continued in the field until 1865, after which 
time there was occasional preaching until 1873 when it ceased al- 
together and the building erected by the secessionists was taken down 
in 1876. Rev. Brokaw died July 17, 1846, and is buried in the cemetery 
attached to the old church in which he ministered. He was eighty- 
six years old. On his grave stone is the data — "Born in Somersett 
county, N. J., April 23, 1760. Ordained in the Reformed Dutch church 
in 1798. Seceeded in 1822." 



64 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

After the secession the new consistory elected were, John Kelly, 
John I. Sebring, Falkord Sebring, and Ruloph Voorhees, elders, and 
Cornelius Wyckofl, Stephen C. McCoy, Joseph W. Smith, and Joseph 
Stull, deacons. These were installed by Rev. Jacob R. H. Hasbrouck 
(cf Mapletown). The litigation caused by this division was at last 
settled in favor of the Reformed Dutch church but it cost the total 
value of the property to defend the title. During these days of 
trouble the congregation was frequently preached to by missionaries 
of the Reformed church, among them being, Rev. Sam. Van Vechten, 
John Van Derveer, Ferdinand Van Derveer, Johathan F. Morris, and 
John F. Schermerhorn. Having lost their church property, they met 
in various places, at times in the homes, again in wood sheds or 
barns. But amid all this distress the people of the Dutch church were 
loyal and kept to the faith. The next pastor was Rev. Abraham 
Messier (1825-1828) during whose ministry a new church was erected. 
In December, 1824, the following committee was appointed to super- 
intend the building of a new church: John P. Nevius, J. H. Halsey, 
Tunis Covert, Henry Montgomery, and John De Motts. The church 
was erected at Lodi village (De Mott's Corners). A subscription 
paper extant is nine feet long and holds the names of one hundred 
and eighty-one subscribers who gave $3,520. 

Rev. Messier was installed pastor of the church in June, 1825, 
the service being conducted by Rev. David R. De Fraest of Cato (cf). 
The church was dedicated November 9, 1826. On July 24, 1828, Mr. 
Messier resigned to enter a missionary work in New York City. Two 
pastorates followed, in Pompton Plains and at the 1st Raritan (N. J.) 
in which latter he died, at the close of a half century pastorate on 
June 12, 1882. Messier was a prolific writer, a trustee of Rutgers, 
and President General Synod in 1847. The next pastor at Lodi was 
Rev. Asa Bennett (1828-1838). Later he was pastor at Constantine, 
Mich. (1843-1845), and died in 1858. It was while Bennett was pastor 
that the Farmerville church was organized (1830), the child of the 
Lodi church. A house was also bought at this time for the minister 
to dwell in, and was so used until the coming of Rev. Van Neste 
when another parsonage was obtained. During Bennett's ministry 
two hundred and sixteen members were received. 

Rev. John A. Liddell succeeded Bennett (1838-1848), during 
whose ministry a hundred and twenty-one new members were re- 
ceived. Mr. Liddell was a Glasgow graduate, an attractive and able 
preacher. He served the church at Cicero for a year after leaving 
this field, and died in 1850. After a year Rev. Garret J. Garretson was 
installed in September, 1649. Rev. Gustav Abeel, a Rutgers trustee 
for forty years, then in the Geneva church, preached the sermon, as 
he did also for Mr. Liddell eleven years previously. Mr. Garretson 
remained three years (1849-1852), and died within a couple of months 
after the relationship was dissolved. After an interim of a year, 
Rev. Geo. J. Van Neste was installed in November, 1854. Van Neste 
was connected with the celebrated family of that name in the Dutch 
Reformed church. He remained until November, 1865. During this 
pastorate the church numbered two hundred twenty-three members, 
its largest roll. One hundred and thirty-four were received while 
he was pastor. After several pastorates he took up the work at St. 
Johnsville (cf), and later was pastor at Flatbush, and Pottersville, 
N. J. at the latter place dying in 1898. Rev. John Addison Van Doren 

65 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

was next called, and accepted (New Years, 1866), but a serious ill- 
ness prevented his being installed. He remained here but six months. 
In 1866 he became the first pastor of the Annandale, N. J. church, and 
remained in that field until 1873, when he retired from the active 
pastorate; Rev. Isaac H. Collier from Nassau, N. Y. was in- 
stalled by Geneva Classis January 29, 1867, and remained until Sep- 
tember 25, 1869. Forty-five were added during this ministry. Leaving 
Lodi Mr. Collier had pastorates at Saratoga and Montville, N. J. 
when he entered the Presbyterian ministry; and while supplying the 
Oakfield, N. Y. church died, February 19, 1881. For more than a 
year following the close of the Collier pastorate the pulpit was sup- 
plied by Rev. Alexander McMann, who had been in the Ithaca Dutch 
church for seven years (1831-1837), and had gone into the Presby- 
terian body in 1862. He died in 1893. The next settled pastor was 
Rev. H. P. McAdam, who delivered an interesting address at 
the Centennial. Mr. McAdam began his work about New Year's, 
1871. In the Autumn of 1871 repairs upon the church were 
begun under the committee, S. S. Gulick, Peter Lott, P. V. W. Bodine, 
Voorhees Minor, and Covert Osgood. The expense incurred was 
$6,500. Six months later, July 14, 1872, the church was burned. Two 
hundred of the members and friends of the congregation at once sub- 
scribed toward a new church and the congregation began to build 
under the direction of the former committee of repairs, and $20,000 
was spent, the new church being dedicated July 15, 1873, Rev. Wm. 
W. Brush of Geneva preaching the sermon. Rev. McAdam remained 
thro a part of 1884 when he went to the Wolcott Presbyterian church 
of Utica, later pastor of the Worthington (O.) Presbyterian church, 
and has been living retired at Saugerties since 1905. The pres- 
ent parsonage was built in this pastorate. His successor at 
Lodi was Rev. Chester P. Murray (1884-1886), a Presbyterian min- 
ister who reentered the work of that church and is now living in 
Cleveland, O. 

Rev. William H. Ballagh succeeded Murray, remaining thro 1888. 
Mr. Ballagh died at Palmyra, N. Y. in 1892. The next pastor was 
Rev. Charles F. Porter (1888-1904), an Auburn graduate who came 
from the Alden Presbyterian church to a sixteen year pastorate at 
Lodi. For several years now Mr. Porter has been connected with 
the New York State Library at Albany. Rev. Frederick Perkins of 
Bainbridge (Ga.) took up the work in 1905 and remained thro 1909, 
going next to St. Johnsville where he is now pastor. Succeeding 
him was Rev. Seth Cook who was installed in 1909 and dismissed 
in the Fall of 1914, going to the Dryden, N. Y. Presbyterian church. 
Rev. E. J. Meeker, who had served the churches of Mohawk and Glen, 
next took up the work in December, 1914, and is the present pastor. The 
Reformed church of Lodi has sent many men into the ministry, evi- 
dencing the sort of work that has been accomplished there thro the 
years. Among these have been Revs. Elbert Nevius, Arad Sebring, 
John Minor, James Wyckoff, William Cornell, Minor Swick, G. 
DeWitt Bodine, John V. N. Schenck, Elbert Sebring, Charles Wilson, 
and John Van Neste. A son of Rev. Isaac Collier, William M., after 
the Spanish-American war became the American Ambassador to 
Spain. 



66 




HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

MANHEIM REFORMED CHURCH 

Manheim is very nearly the 
central point of New York 
state and is five miles east of 
Little Falls. It has been an 
immemorial tradition in the 
community that the town was 
so called by Dr. Wm. Petry 
out of his personal associa- 
tions in a town of the same 
name in Baden, Germany. 
Manheim was set off as a town 
from Palatine on March 3, 
1797, and on April 7, 1817, it 
was annexed to Herkimer 
county. Originally Sir Wm. 
Johnson owned all the land 
hereabout, the same having been granted to him a few years before 
his death by King George, some forty thousand acres in all, called the 
Royal Grant. The oldest patent of land in the town was given to Rev. 
Petrus Van Driesen who for a quarter-century was in the old First 
Dutch church of Albany. This grant was made in 1737 and contained 
twenty-five hundred acres. With him was joined Rev. John Jacob 
Ehle, and both of these men conducted a mission among the Indians, 
Ehle keeping at the work at what is now called Fort Ehle (still stand- 
ing), for upwards of half a century, or until his death, about 1780. 
Originally the town of Manheim was in what was known as the Stone 
Arabia district, created in 1772, but in the following year the same 
was changed to Palatine district. In March, 1778, the Indians and 
Tories invaded the settlement and caused general devastation, some 
scalps were taken besides quite a number of prisoners. Among the 
families who suffered were those of Cobus Mabee, Conrad, Joseph, 
Abram and Jacob Klock, Mabus Forbush, Robhold Ough, Adam and 
Rudolph Furrie, Henry Shafer, John and Michael Keyser, Calvin 
Barnes. Between 1786 and 1796 the supervisors of the town were: 
John Frey, Christian Nellis, Jacob Eaker, Frederick Getman, Samuel 
Gray, and Jacob Snell. Judging from the votes cast for Governor 
in 1786 there were a thousand population in the town then, while in 
1796 there were over six hundred electors, indicating a population 
of thirty-five hundred. 

With the settlement of the town of Manheim in 1770 the people 
who were mostly German, soon formed the first church organization, 
and as they had to depend on the Stone Arabia Dutch Reformed 
church for preaching, naturally the organization followed that de- 
nomination. Among the influential men of that day were Jacob Mar- 
kell (later a congressman), Michael Myers, Andrew Finck, Dr. Wm. 
Petry, John M. Petry, and others. Most of the inhabitants were 
unprogressive and uneducated. They did not keep up either their 
German language or adopt the English, but used what was called 
a Mohawk Dutch. But with the coming of the New England settlers, 
who were better educated and more enterprising, and with the English 
preaching and English teaching in the schools, the community as- 
sumed a higher condition in morals and education. Sometime before 



i;: 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

the Revolution there were four of the Snell brothers, Jacob, Joseph, 
Peter, and Suffrenus, who gave seven acres of land for the church 
and twelve acres for the school. So many Snells lived in the vicinity 
that the place was popularly known, and is in a measure to this day, 
as "Snell's Bush." The first church built was burned sometime during 
the Revolution. The second church, probably erected soon after the 
war, served the congregation until 1850, when it was taken down, 
part of its timber used in the construction of the new edifice. On 
January 8, 1850, at a meeting of the congregation it was voted to 
build a new "St. Paul's Reformed Protestant Dutch church" to be 
sixty by forty feet, and the following committee was appointed to 
build it: John Markel, Peter P. Snell, and Jacob Yoran. The con- 
sistory at this time consisted of elders, Peter A. Timmerman and 
Jacob Yoran; deacons, John Garlock and Levi Timerman. The "slips" 
(pews) were sold on February 3, 1851, for $4,464, and among the 
purchasers were eighteen Snells and ten Timermans. Peter P. Snell's 
family was so large that he bought two pews for $221, while Adam 
A. Feeter paid $141 for a single pew, and Jehoram Snell $136 for a 
pew. 

All but half an acre of the nineteen acres given by the Snells 
was finally deeded to the church, an act of the legislature being 
necessary to consummate the deal and establish the title. In 1801 
the Rev. Caleb Alexander who was travelling thro the country wrote, 
"between Fairfield and Little Falls is a Dutch settlement called Man- 
heim — rich farms, a meeting house and a minister. The church was 
at first called the Reformed Calvanist church, and was incorporated 
in 1792. Originally it was a German Reformed church, and is called 
"St. Paul's" in the incorporation article. It united with the Mont- 
gomery Classis September 27, 1822. Consistory minutes which are 
extant begin in 1850, all previous ones seeming to be lost. The mem- 
bership roll begins in 1860 and the marriage register in 1872. An 
1839 subscription list for a coffin cloth contains the names of Jacob 
I., Joshua, Adam P., Simeon, Peter P., Peter, Frederick F., and 
George P. Snell, Adam H., David, Levy and Samuel Timerman f 
Benjamin and Nicholas Petrie, John and Jacob Yoran, John and 
Hiram Gerlock, Adam Feeter, John Markell, Jonas Elwood, Joseph 
Casler, Henry Dockey, John Moyer, Henry Young, Daniel Getman, 
Isaac Smith, and Uriel Van Valkenburg. The first pastor at Manheim 
was the Rev. John H. Dysslin of St. Johnsville Reformed church (cf), 
who began preaching here in 1770 and supplied the pulpit for nearly 
a quarter of a centry. Dysslin was a scion of Swiss nobility, coming 
to America to seek his fortune, shipwrecked on the high seas, and 
vowing to God while tossed about on the wreckage that if He would 
spare his life it should be devoted to God's service. He was rescued^ 
brot to New York, returned to Switzerland for education, then re- 
turned and spent the rest of his life in the Reformed ministry (cf 
St. Johnsville). 

In 1820 Rev. Isaac Ferris (Chancellor of New York University^ 
1852-1873, dec.) was appointed by the Board of Domestic Missions to 
labor in the Classis of Montgomery. He spent considerable time at 
Danube, Manheim, Oppenheim and Herkimer. He reports that Man- 
heim had no ecclesiastical connection at the time with the Classis. 
The Fonda records give the names of the men elected July 3, 1816, 
for consistorymen, elders, Adam H. Timmerman, Lawrence Timmer- 

68 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

man, and John Rasbach, and deacons, Suffrenus Snell, Peter P. Snell, 
and Adam Kilts. These were ordained by Rev. Daniel De Voe, who was 
called to this church and Oppenheim in 1816. He came from Middle- 
burgh. Following him came Rev. Stephen Z. Goetschius who after 
a couple of years work seceded from the denomination and joined 
the "Wyckofites," and was suspended by the Montgomery Classis. 
Later (1828) he reentered the church and served Canastota as a sup- 
ply for two years (1836-1837) and then went west. Following Goet- 
schius in the pastorate was Rev. Isaac S. Ketchum (1822-1830), who 
was ordained here, and spent about the same time in the Stone Arabia 
pastorate (cf). Among the families in the church at the time shown 
by an old list were those of Ayres, Altenburgh, Baum, Beardsley, 
Bloodough, Cook, Couch, Dockstader, Feeter, Fink, Garlock, Get- 
man, House, Hart, Ingham, Johnson, Klock, Kilts, Loucks, Lipe, 
Markel, Nestle, Owens, Powell, Petree, Pettibone, Richtmyre, Ras- 
bach, Snell, Shults, Shaver, Scott, Timmerman, Turney, Tacka, 
Vedder, Van Allen, Van Valkenburgh, Woolaver, Walrath, and Yoran. 
Rev. John Manley (1831-1833) was the next pastor; he died in 
1871. Rev. Jas. Murphy who was pastor at St. Johnsville (cf) supplied 
from 1834 thro 1836. Rev. Paul Weidman came to Manheim from a 
seventeen year pastorate at Schoharie, and remained here from 1837 
almost up to the time of his death in 1852. This is what Corwin's 
Manual of the Reformed church says, but Rev. John DuBois began 
his work in the ministry here in 1843, remaining three years, and go- 
ing next to Cicero (cf). And after this Rev. Abraham H. Myers 
came in 1848 and staid here thro February, 1852. He began his work 
in the Montgomery Classis at St. Johnsville (cf). After this the Rev. 
Paul Weidman returned for an eight year pastorate (1852-1860), re- 
linquishing the active ministry of forty years in October, 1860. Rev. 
Rufus M. Stanbrough on his graduation from New Brunswick, came 
to field in the spring of 1861 and was ordained and installed over the 
Manheim church in October that year, serving the church at Indian 
Castle also, on the south side of the river. He also supplied the 
Stone Arabia church (cf) for a while. He remained until June, 1876. 
Later he was six years in the Columbia church. He died in 1905. 
Rev. Algernon Matthews, who succeeded Stanbrough in the Manheim 
church in November 1876, was born on the Isle of Geurnsey and 
educated in Germany, tho graduating at New Brunswick in 1875. He 
remained with this church thro 1878, and then entered the missionary 
work of the Presbyterian church in Canada. 

During the year 1880 from November thro October, 1882, the pulpit 
was supplied by the Rev. John Minor who had previously been pastor 
of the first Amsterdam church (cf). For several years the pulpit was 
supplied by the St. Johnsville and other nearby pastors. In the 
records are the names of Rev. David E. Van Giesen, George W. Fur- 
beck and Rev. Philip Furbeck (cf St. Johnsville). In 1892 David T. 
Harris was received from the Methodist Conference and was ordained 
and installed over the church which he served for two years. He is 
now pastor of the West Copake church. Rev. Fred W. Ruhl was 
next called, coming to the church from Cicero, and staid four years 
(1892-1895). Again the church began an itinerant supply. Rev. Louis 
H. Baehler's pastorate began in 1898 and continued thro a part, of 
1900. Mr. Baehler entered the Presbyterian church, retiring from 
the active work of the ministry in 1912, and spent the rest of his life 

69 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

at Schenectady, where he died in 1914. A brother of Rev. Baehler, 
Rev. P. G. M. Baehler, is in the Williamson, N. Y. Reformed church, 
while his father, Rev. P. B. Baehler served several Holland churches 
in New York, and the grandfather, was a preacher at Zwolle, Holland. 
This was the last settled pastorate at Manheim, whose pulpit has 
been since supplied, mostly in the summer time, by seminary students, 
neighboring pastors, and the classical missionary. Among the sup- 
plies of the pulpit may be mentioned Rev. C. V. Bedford (1896), now 
of Hagaman, N. Y.; Rev. John A. Thomson (1892), now of Middle- 
bush, N. J.; Benjamin F. White (1902), now of Germantown, N. Y.; 
Rev. Burton J. Hotaling (1904), now of Albany, N. Y.; Rev. Henry D. 
Cook (1905), now of Paramus, N. Y.; Rev. Daniel G. Verwey (1906), 
now of Walkill, N. Y., during whose summer services the church was 
repaired and renovated; and Rev. George S. Bolsterle (1907), now of 
N. Y. City. During 1908 the pulpit was supplied by a young 
Christian worker, Henry Mcllravy, and in 1909 the Rev. R. J. Van 
Deusen, a Lutheran pastor, preached here in conjunction with Ing- 
hams Mills. During the summers of 1910 and 1911 the work was 
done by the student, Andrew Van Vranken Raymond, Jr., who is in 
the Presbyterian church at South Wales, N. Y. During the summer 
of 1912 the Rev. Arthur J. Wyman of the Little Falls Presbyterian 
church supplied, and in 1913 the classical missionary of Montgomery, 
Rev. W. N. P. Dailey, preached occassionally thro the year. Rev. 
Herbert D. Leland, now of Utica, supplied one summer, and Rev. 
Edward B. Irish of Fultonville, spent his 1914 vacation on the field 
ministering to its wants. The church cemetery has recently been 
cleared and beautified and may be seen for many miles, on the high 
land surrounding the church. The principal burials are the Snells, 
Timmermans, Yourans, Feeters, Garlocks and Markells. The oldest 
stone in the yard marks the burial spot of Peter Snell who was born 
in 1731 and died in 1804. Other burial spots not far distant, as the 
one on the Beardsley farm where many of the Kilts family are in- 
terred, and another surrounding the Lutheran ("Yellow") church, 
where many of the original settlers were buried, as the Keysers, 
Windeckers, Bellingers, Petries et al. were laid to rest, are interesting 
spots for the student of the early history of the town of Manheim 
and the valley of the Mohawk. 






70 



i 

I 1 

i ■! i 


I 1 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

MAPLETOWN REFORMED CHURCH 

Another name for the 
place is "Middletown," and in 
the earlier records the church 
is often given this name. The 
sugar maples abounding in 
the vicinity naturally suggest 
the origin of the name of the 
place. Jacob Ehle and Joseph 
Knox were settlers here in 
1791. Mr. Knox died in 
1809, Mr. Ehle in 1850. 
Services were held as 
early as 1793, but the or- 
ganization was not perfected 
until September 12, 1801, the 
meeting for the same being 
held at the tavern of Elisha 
Taylor and presided over by 
Rev. Isaac Labagh, who at 
the time was preaching in 
the churches of "Sand Hill" (Canajoharie), Stone Arabia, and 
Sharon. Jacob Ehle is mentioned in the 1801 Fonda records as 
a trustee. A full consistory was chosen and services were continued 
in the homes of the members until 1805, when the first house of 
worship was erected. Jacob Ehle, Ebenezer Hibbard, Jacob S. 
Keller, Daniel Van Hoesen and Ebenezer Lathrop were the first con- 
sistory. The first pastor was Rev. John Calvin Toll (Tol), who had 
studied under Livingston, and on his ordination in October, 1803, 
assumed charge of this church, preaching also at Bowman's Kill 
(Buel) and Westerlo (Sprakers). Mapletown renewed its call No- 
vember 3, 1807 (approved in Classis May 31, 1808), and again renewed 
it December 20, 1817. The 1807 call is signed by Peter Clement, Elijah 
Taylor, Ebenezer Hebberd and John R. Van Evera, elders, and Luke 
Wesseley, James DSy, Peter Deremer and Garett Van Valkenburg, 
deacons. The 1817 renewal is signed by Peter Deremer, David 
Huguarin, L. Van Dervolgen and James Dey, elders, and Peter Clute, 
Rudolphus Dingman, John Davis and William Smith, deacons. After 
a pastorate of some eighteen years Mr. Toll left the denomination 
and joined the "True Reformed Church" ("Wyckoflte"), and or- 
ganized a church of this name at both Westerlo and Aliddletown, and 
spent a second eighteen years in these two fields. He died at Glen- 
ville in 1848. During his pastorate at Mapletown (1803-1821) he 
married two hundred couples and baptised six hundred and fifty in- 
fants and received one hundred and seventy members into the church. 
Rev. Toll was born in 1780 and died in Glenville in 1849 at the old 
Toll homestead. His father was Adj. Carl H. Toll of the 14th Regt. 
N. Y. Militia. Rev. Toll was chaplain in Lieut. Col. John Roof's 
regiment of Montgomery county. His wife was Annatje, daughter 
of Barent Mynderse of Guilderland (a Lieut. Col. in the war of 1812), 
whom he married in 1802. During 1820 and 1824 Rev. Samuel Van 
Vechten occassionally preached here. After an interim of a few 
years, with a Rev. Alonzo Welton supplying one of them, Rev. 



71 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Douw Van Olinda, a native of Charleston, became the pastor (1827). 
Rev. Buckelew, pastor at Mapletown (1851-1854) in an article in the 
"Christian Intelligencer" says that Van Olinda was pastor in 1824, 
but this can hardly be so, since on graduation from New Brunswick 
in the class of 1824 Van Olinda spent a year in missionary work at 
Johnstown, Mayfield and Union, and in 1825-1827 he was the pastor 
at Palatine (St. Johnsville). Mr. Van Olinda's pastorate closed in 
December, 1831. After serving the church at New Paltz (1832-1842), 
he returned to the Classis (1844) and was pastor at Caughnawaga 
until the time of his death in 1858. In 1831 the custom of electing 
deacons was discontinued and trustees were elected. In 1883 the 
Board of Trustees was disbanded and a return made to the election 
of deacons. 

Rev. Jacob W. Hangen came next to the church from Columbia 
(cf) and was installed March 14, 1832, and remained four years. 
He served Currytown while pastor here. Consistorial meetings were 
held monthly and a fine of fifty cents was imposed on the members 
who were either absent or tardy one hour. During Hangen's pas- 
torate the name of the church was changed from "Middletown" to 
that of Mapletown. Hangen had several other pastorates in the Re- 
formed church, then entered the German Reformed church, preaching 
in Pennsylvania, where he did at Trappe in 1843. A brief pastorate 
of two and a half years followed by Rev. Harrison Heermance, who 
came September 25, 1837. After several years in the active work of 
the Presbyterian ministry, Heermance became an army chaplain. He 
died in 1883. From 1842 thro 1848 there were no consistorial records 
kept. Rev. Thomas Frazier was pastor in 1840 thro 1843, of whom 
we know nothing further except that he died in Montreal, Canada, in 
1884. Jasper Middlemas succeeded him in 1844 and acted as a stated 
supply thro 1846. The next pastor was Rev. John H. Carle (1847- 
1851) whose ill health compelled him to give up the active ministry. 
Rev. William D. Buckelew was next called and began his ministry 
in this church in 1851, and spent forty-two years in the pulpit, his 
death occurring in 1893. He was four years at Mapletown. During 
Buckelew's ministry a new church was built. The last service in the 
old church was held Sunday, May 30, 1852. The church was taken 
down during the following week. The corner stone of the new church 
was laid July 8, 1852, by Rev. J. C. Van Liew of Stone Arabia. The 
church was finished in October, 1852. Rev. John J. Quick's pastorate 
extended over seven years (185(3-1862). He also preached at Curry- 
town, which was frequently joined with this church in pastoral work. 
Rev. Richard M. Whitbeck succeeded Quick, was ordained and in- 
stalled by the Montgomery Classis but remained only two years, 
1863 and 1864. After a few more years he left the active ministry 
to enter educational work and lived a retired life for many years 
at Hudson, N. Y. 

Rev James M. Compton was next .called and staid four years or 
until 1868, but to remain in the Classis for twenty-five years at Stone 
Arabia and Ephratah (1868-1870), Columbia and Henderson (1870- 
1875), Union (1875-1876), Sprakers (1878-1882), Mapletown again dur- 
ing 1882, and, finally, Columbia again from 1888 to the time of his 
death at the latter place, December 12, 1891. Josiah Markel supplied 
the Mapletown pulpit from the summer of 1869 thro the summer of 
1871. His death occurred at Albany, N. Y., in 1898. He had not been 

72 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

in the active ministry for twenty-five years. Two years the pulpit 
was occasionally supplied by different men, and until Rev. George 
Sharpley became pastor in 1874 who resigned in 1880. He was 
licensed and ordained by Montgomery Classis. A son of this pastor, 
Giles H. Sharpley, after studying at Rutgers and New Brunswick 
(1888-1889) entered the ministry of the Episcopal church, graduating 
from the General Theological Seminary in 1897. In 1880 from May 
to December the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Dewey Jones. Rev. 
John Minor was installed in 1882 and remained thro 1884. Later Mr. 
Minor supplied several Presbyterian churches and died November 
20, 1890, while supplying the Fort Herkimer church (cf). Rev. Garret 
Wyckoff succeeded Mr. Minor, coming to the church in 1886 and 
staid two years, to be followed by Rev. Henry H. Sangree (1888-1893). 
Mr. Wyckoff is now supplying the church at Flatbush, N. Y. Mr. 
Sangree entered the ministry of the German Reformed church and 
later still that of the Presbyterian and is now in Philadelphia, Pa. 
The last installed pastor at Mapletown was John A. Thomson (1894- 
1902). Since leaving this charge Mr. Thomson has been pastor at 
Middlebush, N. J. Following Mr. Thomson Rev. E. M. Forest sup- 
plied for a year, after which the Rev. Frank R. Shepherd (Presb.) 
supplied for three years (July, 1903-March, 1906). Beginning Sep- 
tember 30, 1906, Rev. Sybrandt Nelson of the Buel Presbyterian church 
began a supply which continued until October 23, 1912. During the 
summer of 1913, Mr. Charles Stube, a New Brunswick Seminary 
graduate, supplied the church. The present supply, Rev. Elmer E. 
Frederick, has had charge of the Buel Presbyterian church and of 
Mapletown since the fall of 1913. 



MOHAWK REFORMED CHURCH 




■ The Reformed Protestant 
Dutch church at Mohawk was 
organized in 1838 by the Classis, 
and the following year incor- 
porated. At the time of organiza- 
tion Christopher Bellinger and 
Samuel Meeker were elders, and 
Samuel Bellinger and Henry 
Harke, deacons. The lot for the 
church was given by Frederick 
Bellinger. The church records 
were lost in a hotel fire during 
Mr. Meeker's pastorate. The 
first supply of the church was the 
Rev. James Murphey, who at the 
time was the pastor of the Her- 
kimer church (cf). Rev. Jede- 
diah L. Stark followed in 1842 
and died in 1862 and was buried 
at Utica, N. Y. Corwin says that Mr. Stark preached at German Flatts, 
Mohawk, and Frankfort at the same time thro the years 1843 and 
1844, and from 1844 thro 1846 he preached at Mohawk and Frankfort, 
and from 1846 thro 1852 he was the pastor at Mohawk, from which 



73 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

place he went in 1852 to Fort Herkimer (German Flatts) and con- 
tinued there until 1857, when he ceased the active work of the min- 
istry. Mr. Stark preached for several years at Mohawk, Frankfort and 
Fort Herkimer on every Sunday, covering the eleven miles with horse 
and wagon. His first pastorate of twenty years was at West Brattle- 
boro, Vt. (1820-1840). Rev. Elbert Slingerland came to Mohawk in 
1865 and after a couple years work became a pastor emeritus, and 
died in 1875 at the age of seventy-five. This was his second pastorate, 
the first occuring during 1855 and 1856. He also preached at Haga- 
man (cf) and Chittenango in this Classis. Rev. John W. Hammond 
followed Slingerland in 1856 and staid thro 1859. He had several 
other pastorates in the Dutch church, and died in 1876, soon after 
the close of his pastorate at Roxbury, N Y. Rev. Charles D. K. 
Nott succeeded Mr. Hammond in 1859 and preached for five years, 
when he entered the Presbyterian church ministry. Then came the 
second pastorate of Mr. Slingerland, of which we have spoken above. 
Rev. G. D. W. Consaul (later pastor at Herkimer-cf) supplied the 
pulpit at Mohawk during 1867-1869, at which time he was ordained by 
the Classis of Montgomery. Rev. Frederick F. Wilson became pastor 
in 1870, coming from the Scotia church, thro a part of 1872. After a 
few other short pastorates he became inactive, about 1890, and twenty 
years later died at Asbury Park, N. J., in 1910. 

Rev. Francis M. Bogardus was called to Mohawk in 1872 and 
resigned in 1876. He continued in the active pastorate for twenty 
years more, and has for some years been living retired at Asbury 
Park, N. J. Rev. John G. Lansing (son of Dr. Julian Lansing, a 
missionary at Damascus) was born in Syria at Damascus in the street 
called "Straight." He was licensed and ordained by the Montgomery 
Classis in 1887 and installed over the Mohawk church, which pulpit 
he occupied for three years. After a second pastorate of five years 
at West Troy (1879-1884) he was made Professor of Hebrew in New 
Brunswick Seminary, which chair he occupied for fifteen years when 
he resigned to take up editorial work at Denver, Co., where he 
died in 1906. He was the author of several volumes on Old Testa- 
ment exegesis, and the founder in the Reformed church of the 
Arabian Mission. Rev. James Edmondson was licensed by the Mont- 
gomery Classis in 1868; the next record of him is as supply at Cicero 
(1879-1881), from which field he was called in 1881 to the Mohawk 
church which he served until some time in 1886, when he went to 
Sedalia, Mo., where he died. In 1882 Rutgers gave him the degree 
of Ph. D. Rev. John H. Brandow succeeded to the pastorate in 
1886 and resigned in 1888. He was ordained by the Montgomery 
Classis. He went from Mohawk to the Oneonta Presbyterian church, 
from which field he came back into the Reformed ministry in 1895, 
and settled at Schuylerville. In 1905 he was called to Schoharie, and 
was there until 1908 when he became the Albany Synodical Mission- 
ary which position he still fills, with residence at Albany, N. Y. The 
next pastor was Rev. Albert Dod Minor who was licensed in 1879 
by the Classis of Montgomery, and ordained and installed over the 
church at St. Johnsville (cf). In 1888 Mr. Minor came to the Mohawk 
field, at the same time, and for a few years following his resignation 
from Mohawk (1891) supplying the pulpit at Fort Herkimer. -Mr. 
Minor died in 1910. Following Mr. Minor was the Rev. Ira Van 
Allen (previously pastor at Owasco), who was installed pastor 

74 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

in 1S92 and remained thro 1898, to be succeeded by the Rev. 
Edward J. Meeker, who was ordained in 1899 by the Montgomery 
Classis and installed over this church. Mr. Meeker also supplied 
Fort Herkimer. He resigned in 1903, going to Highland Park church, 
New Brunswick, N. J. He returned to the Classis in 1909 and took 
up the work at Glen, now in the Lodi church. Rev. Charles 
W. Kinney who followed had already had a pastorate at 
St. Johnsville (1893-1899), having gone from that field (cf) to the 
Presbyterian church of Hobart, N. Y. In 1906 he returned to the 
Classis and was installed over the Mohawk church (also supplying 
Fort Herkimer) which church he continued to serve until 1911 when 
he went to the Schoharie church. Since 1913 he has been in the 
Schuylerville Reformed church. The present pastor of the church, 
Rev. Oscar E. Beckes, was called from the Manlius Presbyterian 
church in 1912. 



NAUMBURCH REFORMED CHURCH 




This village lies a mile east 
of Castorland, a station sixty- 
five miles north of Utica on 
the Black River division of the 
New York Central R. R. Be- 
hind Castorland is the story of 
an attempt to found in the 
wilds of the New World by an 
exiled nobility and clergy of 
the old regime in France, a 
secure retreat from the horrors of Revolution in the Old. In August, 
1792, a French company bought a large tract in the Macomb Purchase, 
on both sides of the Black river, 610,000 acres. Later two-thirds 
of this was given up. Castorland means the "land of beavers," the 
Iroquois term being Couch-sach-ra-ge, "Beaver Hunting Country." A 
pamphlet descriptive of the place was published in Paris, where the 
details of the settlement were most elaborately planned — an im- 
practicable Utopia, doomed at its inception to failure, tho many took 
shares. The founding of Castorland is a story well worth reading, 
tho terribly tragic in its conclusions. One finds its counterparts in the 
Jacobite settlement at Cape Fear, or the Huguenots at Port Royal, or 
Arcadie in Nova Scotia, or New Sweden on the Delaware, or New Am- 
sterdam on the Hudson. Ancient Castorland lives now only in poetry 
and history — a story of highly colored but unfulfilled promise, of 
bright hopes forever deferred, of man's titanic but fruitless endeavor, 
of woman's tragic tears. 

The Reformed church is situated on what is known as Macomb's 
Purchase, who owned practically the land of the whole county. The 
western part was sold to New York City capitalists while the east- 
ern section went to a French company at Paris (cf West Leyden). 
In the early part of the last century a French nobleman by name of 
James Donatien Le Ray, Count de Chaumont, who had come to man- 
age the land, gave to the Prussian settlement now called Naumburgh, 
sufficient land (about an acre) for school and cemetery purposes, and 
about thirty acres for the church. He could afford to be thus gener- 



75 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

ous for he owned 348,205 acres in Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis and 
Jefferson counties. This was in 1852, and the church, which had been 
already organized in 1850, was a Lutheran body. In 1855 the Re- 
formed church, by request of the Lutheran Synod, took over the con- 
gregation and Classis organized a Reformed church. Naumburgh is 
a small village about sixty-six miles north of Utica in Lewis county 
on the Black river, while the church is about a mile from the village. 
The first Reformed minister to serve the church was Rev. William 
Wolfe, who came in January, 1855. There were eighteen charter 
members. As long as New Bremen Reformed church was in ex- 
istence (cf) the pastors at Naumburgh supplied that pulpit also (six 
miles distant). The parsonage was built during Wolfe's pastorate. 
He remained until 1860. He went to 3d Hackensack, and in 1866 
was preaching at Plainfield, N. J. Rev. Carl Becker was called in 
1860 from 3d Hackensack and was the pastor for nine years. In the 
early part of 1870 Rev. John Boehrer of Damascus, Pa. became the 
pastor, remained five years, during which time extensive repairs were 
made upon the church building. There were sixty-nine members at 
this time, and a Sunday School of thirty-five. Boehrer's pastorate 
began in fine spirit but its close ended in the refusal of the entire 
congregation to attend the services. He resigned on June 1, 1876. 
He worked for the American Tract Society for some years after leav- 
ing Naumburgh, and spent the last years of his life in Buffalo, where 
he died in 1913. 

Rev. H. W. Warnshius was ordained and installed over the church 
on June 26, 1877. In a brief period the church revived, the member- 
ship grew to nearly a hundred, the church became self-supporting, 
and the entire religious life of the community was quickened. This 
pastorate came to a close in April, 1889. Warnshuis later entered the 
Presbyterian church for work in Dakota. Rev. Peter A. Moel- 
ling came to the church in the latter part of 1880, and staid until 
the summer of 1884. He was succeeded by Henry Unglaub in 1885, 
who remained three years. During the years 1889 and 1890 the pulpit 
was occasionally supplied by the late Rev. J. W. Geyer of New York 
and Rev. F. E. Schlieder of West Leyden. Rev. Wm. F. Barny of 
the Seminary at Bloomfield supplied the pulpit during the summer 
of 1891 and 1892. In 1893, on his graduation from New Brunswick, 
Barny accepted a call to Naumburgh and was ordained by Mont- 
gomery Classis and installed over the church. He spent four years, 
the last of the settled pastors, resigning September 13, 1896. John 
Bombin (now of Hackensack, N. J.) a New Brunswick student, spent 
the summer of 1889 on the field and George Schnucker the 
summer of 1897. He is now at German Valley, 111. Rev. 
Theodore F. Hahn, an ordained missionary of the Presbyterian 
church, spent the summer of 1903 on the field. For the past fifteen 
years services have been held occasionally, conducted by the Synodical 
and Classical missionaries, and others. 



76 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



OWASCO REFORMED CHURCH 




Cayuga county, in which 
, Owasco is situated, was 

formed in 1790 from the 
Onondaga military tract, 
a large land area, pur- 
chased of the Indians, and 
used by the government 
for paying the land boun- 
ties given the soldiers of 
the Revolution. Simeon 
De Witt (N. Y. State Sur- 
veyor-General) laid out 
this tract, giving classic 
names to most of the com- 
munities. Cammerhoff in 
1750 wrote the name of 
the place, "Achs'-go." The 
first settler of the country 
was Roswell Franklin (1789). In 1792 Capt. John L. Hardenburgh 
bought six hundred acres of land near Owasco Lake. Col. Harden- 
burgh settled about three miles from the foot of the lake, his house 
being about where the Auburn City Hall now is. Auburn was called 
"Hardenburgh's Corners" until 1805. Here near Owasco was the 
settlement of the Alleghans who occupied the land for several 
centuries before Columbus came, and until the Cayugas conquered 
them. The place was called Osco or Wasgough (Owasco). The cele- 
brated Indian chief, Logan, was born here. The first of the Harden- 
burghs had come to America from the Netherlands in 1640. Sir John 
Hardenburgh was knighted by Queen Anne for gallantry at the de- 
cisive battle of Blenheim. Of his six sons (and six daughters) Johanes 
(1706-1786) lived at Rosendale, N. Y., and was a Colonel in the Ulster 
Co. Militia for twenty years, a Colonial Assembly member (1743- 
1750), and also of the first Provincial Congress (1775). The old Hard- 
enburgh house is still standing in Ulster county. His son, Johannes, 
Jr., was Colonel of the 4th Ulster Regt. during the Revolution. Jacob 
Rutsen Hardenburgh, a brother, .was Queens (now Rutgers) first 
college president. Leonardus Hardenburgh, son of Sir John Harden- 
burgh (bl714) had a son, John L., who was a Lieutenant in the 
7th Co. N. Y. (1776), Adjutant in 1789, and Captain of Levies in 
1782. Ten years later he came into this country where he died April 
25, 1806. The first settlers in 1792 were Benjamin and Samuel DePuy 
and Moses Cortright from Orange County, and Jacob and Roeliff 
Brinkerhoff from Harrisburgh, Pa. In 1795 the families of Jacob 
Roeliff and Luke Brinkerhoff, Thomas Johnson, Jacob Loyster, An- 
drew Johnson, Abraham Bodine, Isaac Parsell, James Dales and 
Charles Van Tine came from the Conewago Reformed church near 
Gettysburgh, Pa. These later settlers met at Col. Hardenburgh's 
home September 23, 1796, organized the Owasco church, and, later 
(1797), built the first house of worship in Cayuga county. They found 
here on coming, the families of Adam Tries, Daniel Miller, Elijah 
Price, and Benjamin DePuy. Later came the Cuykendalls and 
Gumaers from Orange county (N. J.). Of the first missionaries there 



77 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

were Rev. Daniel Thatcher, and Rev. Asa Hillyer of Orange, N. J., 
Rev. Matthew Perrine, Rev. James Richards and Rev. Henry Miller, 
also of New Jersey, these last becoming teachers in Aubury Semin- 
ary. The organization took place at the home of Col John L. 
Hardenburgh, the founder of the city of Auburn on September 23, 
1796. In 1796 Rev. Peter Labagh was sent to the western part of 
New York with Rev. Jacob Sickles. In Todd's Life of Dr. Labagh 
the latter is said to have organized Owasco in 1796. In 1797 the 
first church was erected, at a spot about midway between what are 
now Owasco and Owasco Outlet. It was built of logs, twenty-five 
feet by thirty feet, with four windows each eighteen inches square, 
and slabs for seats. It served the congregation for eighteen years. 
The first consistory consisted of Elders Jacob Brinckerhoff and 
Cornelius Van Auken, and Deacons Roeliff Brinckerhoff and Thomas 
Johnson. Col. Hardenburgh married the same year Martina Brinck- 
erhoff and the names of their two children, John Herring and Maria 
are on the Owasco register (1798-1800), Rev. Abram Brokaw, pastor. 
Col. Hardenburgh died in 1806. The consistory at the time of the 
building of the church consisted of Elders James Brinckerhoff, 
Thomas Johnson, Cornelius De Witt and Jacob Brinckerhoff, and 
Deacons Samuel Hornbeck, Abram Selover, Levy Boadly and Isaac 
Selover. 

The ground on which the present church is built was given by 
Martin Cuykendall. Three or four years were spent in the building 
of the second house of worship. In 1811 a subscription was made for 
the work, and in 1813 the seats were sold for $3,772 and $1,300 ad- 
ditional was raised. This enabled them to build in 1815. Rev. 
Abram Brokaw was the first pastor at Owasco. It was also his 
first pastorate and lasted twelve years, when he accepted a call to 
the church at Ovid, where he remained fourteen more years, or until 
1822 when he joined the "True Reformed" or "Wyckofite" church, 
for which secession he was suspended by the Classis. Rev. George 
G. Brinckerhoff, from whose congregation at Conewaga, Pa. many 
families had migrated into Cayuga and Genesee counties, New York, 
and who was settled at Sempronius, N. Y. (near Owasco) supplied 
the pulpit until the coming of Rev. Conrad Ten Eyck in 1812. The 
entire active ministry of Mr. Ten Eyck 'was in the Montgomery Classis 
at Mayfield, Veddersburgh (Amsterdam), Fonda's Bush, Sand Beach 
and Owasco, at the latter place preaching for fifteen years. In the 
call the churches at Owasco and Sarp/ Beach (Owasco Outlet) 
promised each to give Mr. Ten Eyck $150 and 150 bushels of wheat an- 
nually. The nearest market at the time for wheat was Utica where 
it sold for a dollar a bushel. During his pastorate here, or in 1816, 
a great revival swept over the two congregations, resulting in ad- 
ditions to the churches of three hundred and fifty-one members. Three 
years later on complaint of a few members Mr. Ten Eyck was tried by 
the Classis on the charge of teaching a free and unlimited atonement. 
Both Classis and Particular Synod (to which body appeal was made) 
upheld the teaching and work of the good minister. This was in 
1819. At the close of his work in these two churches (1826) Mr. 
Ten Eyck retired from the active work of the ministry. His daughter 
Elizabeth, married Rev. Robert W. Hill, Auburn '26. Mr. Ten Eyck 
died in 1844 at East Gainesville in the eighty-eighth year of his age. 

Rev. Israel Hammond succeeded Ten Eyck in the pastorate, com- 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

ing in 1831, and remaining until 1839. He had two short pastorates 
later at Mt. Morris and Gorham, N. Y. He died in 1856. Rev. Wil- 
liam Evans was installed in 1839 and served seven years or until 1846, 
when he gave up the active work of the ministry. Rev. Jacob C. 
Dutcher came from New Brunswick Seminary to this his first charge 
and remained five years (1846-1850). After preaching for some thirty- 
three years he entered the consular service at Port Hope, Can. He 
died in 1888. Rev. Henry A. Raymond( father of Rev. Dr. A. V. V. 
Raymond) had a short pastorate of less than three years (1851-1853), 
but continued for twenty years in the work in other fields. He died 
in 1877. Rev. Wilson Ingalls followed Mr. Raymond in a twelve year 
service to the Owasco church (1853-1854). Mr. Ingalls studied theology 
under Dr. Nott of Union College and came from a ten year pastorate 
in the 1st Church of Glenville. Rev. George L. Raymond, Auburn 
'62, was a member of this church. He had a ten year pastorate at 
Blooming Grove, N. Y. He died in 1889. Following Mr. Ingalls came 
Rev. Alonzo Paige Peeke (1865-1872). After a pastorate of eight 
years in the Rhinebeck church, Mr. Peeke went west and served the 
churches at De Kalb, la., and Centreville, Mich. He gave a great 
deal of time and work to the institutions of the church at Holland, 
Mich. He was finishing a ten year work at East Millstone, N. J., 
when he died in 1900. He had two sons in the ministry, Louis Peeke, 
a Presbyterian pastor, and Harmon V. S. Peeke (born at Owasco), 
who since his graduation at Auburn Seminary in 1893, has been in the 
South Japan mission of the Reformed church. Rev. George H. Peeke 
(a brother of the former pastor) was called to the vacant pulpit and 
began work in the latter part of 1872 and staid until 1875. Mr. Peeke 
entered the Congregational ministry in 1876 and after twenty or more 
years in that denomination next began work (1898) in the Presby- 
terian church of Sandusky, O., where he died December 20, 1915. 

At the beginning of the pastorate of Mr. Alonzo Peeke the 
"Wyckofite" or "True Reformed Church," a secession from the Dutch 
church, which began in 1823, was disbanded, the building being sold 
to the Methodists, and now used by them. The successor to George 
H. Peeke was Rev. Alfred E. Myers (1893-1915 in the Collegiate 
church of New York City), who after studying at New Bruns- 
wick and Princeton, graduated at Union Seminary in 1870. He began 
his work in the Owasco Reformed church in 1876 and closed it in 
1878. In the second year of his work a division occurred in the 
church, resulting in the organization of a Presbyterian body, which 
Myers served for six or seven years. Other pastors were Rev. H.T?- 
Chadsey, Rev. Mr. Hoyt, and Rev. D. I. Biggar. Afterwards for a n*f <J*~rra£ L 
few years this church was supplied by students from Auburn Semin- 
ary. Lying vacant for many years, after a few brief pastorates, 
it was finally sold by the Presbytery to the Roman Catholics (1912). 
Naturally the old Dutch church suffered severely from this defection 
and its serious consequences can be traced even to the present day. 
Rev. Robert H. Barr became the next pastor, coming to the church 
in 1880 and remaining thro 1883. In 1888 Mr. Barr went to the 
Associate Reformed church located at Newburgh. Rev. Jonah W. 
Vaughn's pastorate (1884-1889) came next, followed by that of Rev. 
Ira Van Allen (1889-1892). Mr. Vaughn died in October, 1913. Mr. 
Van Allen later served Mohawk (1892-1898) and for a decade now 
has been supplying the church at Owasco Outlet. Rev. John A. 

79 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Rodgers an Auburn Seminary graduate supplied Owasco for ten years, 
or until April, 1903. He became a member of the Classis of Montgom- 
ery in 1896, but was never installed over the church. Rev. Robert 
Ivey was received from the Syracuse Presbytery in 1903, installed 
over the church in October of the same year, and resigned in March, 
1905. Rev. J. Cassius Sargent became stated supply of the church 
in August, 1905, and continued until September, 1910. He joined the 
Classis of Montgomery at the Spring session of 1910, but was never 
installed over the church. Leaving Owasco, Mr. Sargent went to the 
Cato Presbyterian church (originally Reformed-cf) but in September, 
1912, be became pastor of the Liverpool Presbyterian church. The 
change in the community is evidenced in the fact that during Mr. 
Sargent's supply of five years he had seventy-eight funerals. Rev. Geo. 
G. Seibert came to Owasco from a pastorate of six years in the 
Hagaman, N. Y. church (cf). He began his work at Owasco on 
January 1, 1912. Mr. Seibert was the first pastor, educated in the 
schools of the church and trained in the experiences of the denomina- 
tion that the Owasco church had had for twenty years. This century- 
old church, whose light has never ceased to shine, still holds its 
place of power in the religious life of the community. There is 
manifest a deepening love for denominational activities and an 
awakening zeal for missions at home and abroad. 

OWASCO OUTLET REFORMED CHURCH 



The original name of this 
church was "Sand Beach," by 
which it is still best known. The 
church is at the head of Owasco 
Lake, situate about three miles 
east of the city of Auburn. The 
history of Owasco is to be read 
in conjunction with the story of 
the Outlet church, as the same 
pastors frequently supplied both 
of the fields. As early as 1807 
efforts were made to build a 
church at the Outlet, and an- 
other effort was made in 1810. 
In November of 1810, pews 
in the new church (not yet 
erected) were sold for $2,1^8.50, 
while Asa Jackson gave an acre of land on which to erect the new 
building. The church was incorporated in December, 1810. The year 
of the organization of the church is put in 1812. The first preaching 
at the "Sand Beach" church was by Rev. Abram Brokaw, who was 
also the first pastor at Owasco (1796-1808). But before this, at both 
Owasco and Owasco Outlet, preaching services had been more or 
less regularly conducted by the missionaries, Revs. Daniel Thatcher 
and Asa Hillyer from Orange, N. J, and Revs. Matthew Larue Per- 
rine, James Richards and Henry Mills of New Jersey also, the last 
three becoming professors at Auburn Seminary. The nearness of 
both of these fields (Owasco and Owasco Outlet) to the Presbyterian 




80 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Seminary at Auburn has afforded easy opportunities for the pulpits 
to be supplied by the students of this school, especially during in- 
terims of the pastorates. This has meant, naturally, longer lapses 
between the pastorates than should have existed, and it has also 
resulted in distinct loss, thro certain periods, of the influences of the 
two churches upon the work of the denomination. The first pastor 
was Rev. Conrad Ten Eyck who also preached at Owasco (cf). He 
came to the church in 1812 and remained thro 1826. In 1816 eighty- 
nine additions were made to this church (two hundred and sixty-two 
at Owasco). Domine Ten Eyck was followed in 1826 by Rev. Benj. B. 
Westfall (1827-1828), who, after ten years in the Rochester church 
went to Stone Arabia (cf) where he died in 1844. For two years (1828 
and most of 1829) the pulpit was supplied by Rev. John Dunlap, who 
died while preaching here, and by Rev. Henry Heermance, who died 
in 1846 while pastor at Kinderhook. Rev. John G. Tarbell supplied 
the Owasco Outlet church for two or three years (1830-1832). He 
spent some forty years of his life as a missionary in Michigan, where 
he died in 1880. Rev. Leonard Rogers became the pastor in 1833 and 
remained thro 1834. He died a few years later (1838). He was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Robert Kirkwood (1836-1839), who died in 1866. Fol- 
lowing Rev. Mr. Kirkwood came Rev. John G. Moule, a Presbyterian 
minister who supplied the pulpit thro 1839-1841, and was followed by 
Rev. Richard W. Knight (1841-1844), who later supplied Cato, Ly- 
sander and Wolcott (cf) and died in 1873 after he had been out of the 
active work for some twenty years. 

Rev. Aaron B. Winfield was next called to the church from the 
Presbyterian church at Friendsville, Pa. Mr. Winfield remained at 
Owasco Outlet from 1844 thro 1850, when he went to the Paramus 
N. J. church in which pastorate he died in 1856. Following this 
pastorate, Rev. Samuel Robbins Brown was called to the church in 
1851 and resigned in 1859 to go to Japan where he spent ten years in 
missionary work. He had previous to the Owasco Outlet work spent 
nearly the same time in China in a Chinese Boys' School. On a 
furlough to this country in 1869 he supplied the pulpit of the Owasco 
Outlet church for a year. At the end of this furlough he again re- 
turned to Japan and gave ten more years of his services as teacher 
in Yokohama and Nigata. He died at Munson, Mass. in 1880, in the 
seventieth year of his age. Guido Fridolin Verbeck joined the Cayuga 
Classis in 1859 and became a member of Montgomery in 1889. He 
went to Japan with Dr. Brown in lStl. He knew seven languages, 
and added Japanese in a few years. He was a citizen of the world. 
He founded Japan's system of education. One of his early pupils 
was Count Okuma, the premier of 1915. Verbeck of all foreigners 
who ever entered Japan may be justly termed its new creator. 
He died in 1898 at Tokio and was buried with imperial honors. 
The wife of Guido F. Verbeck (Maria Manion), noted missionary 
in Japan, Mrs. E. Rothesay Miller, late of the Japan mission, who 
was Mary E. Kidder, and Caroline Adriance, names honored in the 
story of Japan's Christianization, were all members of this church 
during Dr. Brown's pastorate. Miss A.driance died at Amoy, leaving 
all her property to the Foreign Board. Mrs. Miller founded Ferris 
Seminary at Yokahoma, Japan. Miss Hequemborg also went in- 
to the foreign work (1873) from this church. Dr. Brown had the 
distinction of being the pioneer teacher in Christian education in 

81 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

China, in being the founder of the colleges for women in America, 
and of starting the movement for Christian education and 
theological study in Japan. Corwin's Manual gives a most 
interesting account of Mr. Brown's life. It was while he was princi- 
pal of a school at Rome that Dr. Brown accepted the call to the 
Owasco Outlet church. He bought a farm near by and on it establish- 
ed a school in order to increase his stipend for living. The school 
flourished, the church waxed strong, a new edifice was built in 1855, 
a movement was started by him which resulted in the founding of the 
"Elmira Female College," the first of its kind in America. Rev. 
Dr. Griffes has written biographies of both Brown and Verbeck. 
John Garretson, who from his graduation at New Brunswick in 1826, 
devoted, himself to the missionary movement and who served the 
Board of Domestic Missions for ten years (1849-1859) as Correspond- 
ing Secretary, succeeded Dr. Brown in the Owasco Outlet church in 
1861 and remained thro 1864. The present parsonage ground was 
bought in 1862 (the old property having been sold in 1854 for $1,400) 
for $1,250, and a new parsonage built for $1,100. The church cost 
$6,000. Under his secretaryship the Holland immigration took place 
(1847-1852), and Mr. Garretson's leadership enabled the Board to make 
great progress in the west. His last service was as Rector of Hertzog 
Hall in which position he died in 1875. Rev. John V. N. Schenck came 
in 1865 and after three years went to Pompton Plains, N. J., in which 
pastorate he died in 1874. He was followed in the church by Rev. 
Henry S. Huntington, a Presbyterian minister who filled the pulpit 
in 1870 and 1871. On leaving the Owasco Outlet church Mr. 
Huntington became pastor of the Calvary Presbyterian church of 
Auburn, later going to Caldwell on Lake George. In 1881 he entered 
the Episcopal church. He died December 22, 1895. A son, George, 
is rector of the Niles (Mich.) P. E. church, and a younger son, 
David C. is archdeacon of Western Michigan. 

Rev. W. A. Rice preached here during 1871-1873, and Rev. 
Artemas Dean from 1873 thro 1875. Mr. Dean's previous ministry 
of twenty-five years had been in the Congregational church. After 
leaving Owasco Mr. Dean had two pastorates at High Bridge, N. J., 
and at the Palisades church. He resides at Mt. Carmel, Pa. Rev. 
G. A. McKinley supplied the pulpit from 1886 thro 1887 and Egbert 
C. Lawrence (cf Thousand Isles) during 1878 (both Auburn men), and 
Rev. Charles Anderson, a Presbyterian, from 1879 thro 1883, after a 
pastorate of thirty years in Sennet Presb. church; he died in 1900; 
and Rev. R. R. H. Dexter (Presb.), 1884 thro 1887, and who died 
in 1890, and Rev. Hervey D. L. Leland from 1888 thro 1889. 
Mr. Leland was allowed to demit the ministry by the Montgomery 
Classis in the Fall of 1912. Rev. Charles Maar became the pastor of 
the Owasco Outlet church on his graduation from Auburn, and was 
ordained by the Montgomery Classis and installed over the church 
in 1892, and remained until 1893 when he took up the work in the 
new Second Reformed church of Syracuse (cf). Rev. Frank A. Force 
was called to the church from Gallupville in 1895 and remained about 
four years, going to the Cortlandtown church at Montrose, N. Y. He 
is at present pastor of the Gallatin church at Mt. Ross, N. Y. Rev. 
Ephraim W. Florence succeeded Mr. Force, coming in 1899 and re- 
maining thro 1902, going to the Currytown church (cf) in that year, 
from which he went in 1905 to the Philmont, N. Y. church. He has been 



82 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASS IS 

living in Canada for some years now, serving the church of England. 
Rev. Ira Van Allen, who has served the Montgomery Classis at Mo- 
hawk (1892-1898-cf) was pastor of the church during 1890 and 1891, 
just before the coming of Mr. Maar. After leaving Mohawk, Mr. Van 
Allen gave up the work of the active pastorate, and now for more 
than ten years he has been supplying the vacant pulpit of the Owasco 
Outlet church. Rev. Mr. Dean in 1875, and Rev. Mr. Maar in 1893, 
wrote histories of the church. 




SPRAKERS REFORMED CHURCH 

In Revolutionary times this 
place was called "Keder's 
Rift" but about the year 1800 
it became known as "Wester- 
lo." Still later, because of the 
prominence in the community 
of Major Yost Spraker, it re- 
ceived the name of "Sprakers 
Basin," which has for many 
years been abbreviated into 
its present form. The people 
of the community were in the 
habit of going to "Sand Hill" 
for service until about 1790 
when meetings began to be 
held in the homes of the 
people by the nearby pastors. 
On October 29, 1796, at a pub- 
lic gathering a Reformed 
Protestant Dutch church was 
organized under the direction of the pastor at Fonda, Rev. Abraham 
Van Home, who installed these officers: Elders, Andrew Michel and 
Daniel Cornue, and Rynier Van Evera, and Deacons William Bell- 
inger, Jacob Ehle, and Joseph Van Ingen. In 1803 John Roseboom 
and Peter Quackenbush were the elders and William Bellinger and 
Wessel Cornue were the deacons. In 1805 Rev. John C. Toll had 
come into the work. In 180G Andrew Mitchell gave land for the 
building of the new church contemplated. But just as soon as plans 
were laid for Westerlo then Currytown wanted a church too, unless 
Westerlo would build at Currytown. The division was unfortunate 
at the time to both communities. But Westerlo went ahead and the 
new church was built in 1807. In 1814 it was proposed to move the 
church to Canajoharie — a geographical term which included a large 
area, sometimes on both sides of the river. The minutes extant 
of the Westerlo church are not carried beyond 1824, but Rev. Isaac 
Labagh, a later supplj' and pastor, recorded many statistics in the 
Lawyersville church of which he was at the same time pastor. The 
period was one in which the "Wyckofites" were eager to do battle, 
and Rev. Toll and others were drawn into the secession, and when 
they could not take their church with them they went off and started 
a "True Reformed Church." 

For nearly a score of years the Sprakers church was supplied, 
Rev. Douw Van Olinda who had nearby fields, often preaching here. 



83 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

It was not until Mr. Romaine came to Canajoharie that definite plans 
were carried out for the reorganization of the church in 1858. It was 
incorporated April 9, 1858. The first pastor, Rev. E. Vine Wales 
(1859-18*51) came from the Otsego Presbytery. He died in Oneonta 
where he had lived since 1865. Succeeding him in 1861, Rev. Nanning 
Bogardus remained until 1866. This was his last pastorate. He had 
been in Fort Plain twenty-five years before this. Rev. Benjamin 
Van Zant of Canajoharie supplied the church for two or three years. 
In 1869 Rev. David K. Van Doren was called and remained until 1873, 
preaching also at Currytown. He went to the Third Reformed Church 
of Albany and had later pastorates at Schuylerville, Scotia, Middle- 
burgh and New Salem. He died in 1908. The next pastor was Rev. 
Edward G. Ackerman (1874-1878), who also served Currytown. He 
died in 1899. Rev. James M. Compton supplied the pulpit from 1878 
thro 1883 (cf Ephratah). Rev. John Minor came in 1884 and remained 
a couple of years (1884-1885). Rev. John Thomson was ordained by 
the Classis in 1887 and installed over the churches of Sprakers and 
Stone Arabia, and was here for five years (1887-1902). 

Rev. James B. Campbell was called to the church in 1903 and 
staid until 1906. Tho a New Brunswick graduate, Mr. Campbell had 
about equally divided his ministry between the Reformed and Presby- 
terian bodies. He came to Sprakers from the Shawnee (Pa.) Presby. 
Church and on leaving went to the Raritan, 111. church, and next to 
Port Jervis, where he died in 1911, as pastor of that church. A man 
of rare spirit, evangelistic, and of great power of prayer. His son, 
Rev. Donald Campbell, became a Congregational minister and when 
pastor of the Schodack Reformed church, demitted the ministry. 
Rev. C. V. W. Bedford was the stated supply at Sprakers and Curry- 
town in 1909, and served the church for nearly four years. He went 
next to Hagaman (cf). The present pastor of the church is Rev. 
Harry A. Eliason, who supplying the pulpit for a year or more, was 
licensed and ordained by the Classis and installed over Sprakers and 
Currytown on July 14, 1914. 



ST. JOHNSVILLE REFORMED CHURCH 




St. Johnsville was, doubtless, 
settled as soon as Stone Arabia 
of which it was originally a part, 
that is in 1725. For a long time 
the place was called "Timmer- 
man's" after the first settlers. 
Simms say the present name 
comes from Alexander St. John, 
a pioneer surveyor, but this is 
conjectural since the church was 
called "St. John" long before 
the village was named St. 
Johnsville. The date of the or- 
ganization of the church has al- 
ways been placed as 1770 but 
inasmuch as a church washere 
as early as 1756 (-N. Y: DOcT 
H-isi.) we are inclined to give 



84 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

the date as 1750, while there is no reason to think that the Germans 
who settled here in 1725 did any different from those who settled 
at the same time at Stone Arabia or German Flatts who organized 
the church as soon as they settled. We are indebted for much of this 
history of St. Johnsville to the orderly type written transcript of the 
church records by R. W. Vosburgh, archivist of the. New York Genea- 
logical and Biographical Society, who has illuminated the story, by 
research in the county and state records concerning the same. St. 
John's church was within the limits of the Palatine (Stone Arabia) 
district of Montgomery county, a part of which in 1838 became the 
town of St. Johnsville. The Francis Harrison patent of 1:3,000 acres 
was obtained of the Indians in 1722, and a year later the entire tract 
was partitioned off, the first church having been built on Lot. No. 
13, owned by George C. and Jacob Klock (cf Bk. Deeds 48, 213). 
There are traditions that both Christian and George Klock built the 
first church in 1756. The Capitol fire destroyed priceless historical 
documents which would verify and illumine much of the history of 
the Mohawk valley churches. This George Klock is often mentioned 
in the Sir William Johnson correspondence but always for his in- 
terference with the church services and work, and particularly for 
his inimical attitude toward Domine Lappius, and his deceit toward 
the Indians. The earliest written record extant of the church is in 
the form of a receipt bearing date of January 4, 1805. Jacob G. Klock 
who gave this receipt was the son of George Klock the elder, owner 
of lot 16 of the Harrison patent, thro which Klock's Creek flowed. 
Letters of administration of this George Klock were granted October 
19, 1795 to his two sons, Jacob G. and George G. Klock. What is 
known as "Klock's Church," probably erected in 1786 in the Klock 
private burying ground, was the work of George Klock (the son of 
George Klock, the elder) and Col. Jacob Klock. It was built after 
the Indian raid of 1780, the church being incorporated March 13, 1787, 
the title being, "The Reformed Calvinist Church." The burying 
ground of this so-called "Klock's Church" occupied the central por- 
tion of the eight acre lot shown on the map dated 1842. Undoubtedly 
the first services at St. Johnsville were conducted by the nearby 
pastors, Schuyler of Stone Arabia and Weiss and Rosencrantz of 
German Flatts (cf). The usual belief is that the first church was 
built in 1770, but we know of the 1756 building, probably the initial 
structure. The first settled pastor at St. Johnsville was Rev. John 
Henry Dysslin. He was a Swiss, born in Burgdorf, Canton Berne, 
of the nobility. Gathering his "goods" together he left home, was 
shipwrecked and lost all but his life which he vowed to God if saved 
from the sea. Brot to New York City he then returned home, was 
educated for the ministry, and came back to New York and served 
the German churches at St. Johnsville and Manheim (1788-1812). 
Local tradition says that Mr. Dysslin was buried (died in 1812) be- 
neath the pulpit of Klock's church, but this can hardly be since the 
Klock church was taken down long before Mr. Dysslin's death, and had 
not been used since the organization removed to the village. About 
a hundred graves are still visible in the old cemetery, the last in- 
terment taking place in 1847. One stone is supposed to mark the 
grave of Hendrick Klock the pioneer settler who died in 1760, aged 
ninety-two. Rev. John Taylor mentions the church in recounting 
his missionary travels in 1802, and speaks of Mr. Dozly (Dysslin) as 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

the German pastor. For the first two years Mr. Dysslin's salary was 
$117, with use of glebe lands, etc. The third year he was paid $119, 
and a receipt dated June 12, 1810, shows that for two years they paid 
him $120. Additional payments were in wood, wheat, and labor in 
plowing the land. Mr. Dysslin married a daughter of Col. Jacob Klock, 
by whom he had five daughters and two sons wdiose descendents still 
live in the community, among whom are the Dysslins, Beekmans, 
Klocks, Bauders, Nellis, et al. 

St. John's church in St. Johnsville is one mile west of Klock's 
church site. The old church was torn down in 1818. Originally there 
w r as a glebe land of seven acres connected with the present property, 
the burial grounds of the church being the westerly end of this glebe 
and extending on both sides of Zimmerman's creek. References to 
this church land at Fonda are plentiful. The land originally belonged 
to Jacob Zimmerman (written also Timmerman), and as far back 
as 1792 payments were made on it. The work had not progressed 
on the new church in the village until 1803, at which time John L. 
Bellinger became treasurer. In 1804 the seats were sold, among the 
buyers being W. I. Walrath, Andrew Zabriskie, Wm. Shaver, Fredk. 
Bellinger, Jacob J. Failing, Fredk. Getman, Peter Storms, Conrad 
Hellecoos, John Euker, Henry Beekman, Catharine Windocker, John 
C. House, Peter Kels, and John Kring. The church was completed 
June 1, 1$04, during the pastorate of John Dysslin (who was al- 
so the pastor at Canajoharie Castle (Indian Castle). The first par- 
sonage stood near the center of the glebe lot, and Rev. De Voe was 
the first pastor to occupy it. Mr. Dysslin remaining in the Klock 
church parsonage, or house, which Mrs. Dysslin had inherited from 
Col. Jacob Klock. Prior to February 11, 1829, St. John's church was an 
independent German Reformed body, tho served by a member of the 
Classis of Montgomery, which Classis had installed Mr. De Voe over the 
churches of St. John's of Oppenheim and of St. Paul's at Manheim 
(received by Classis in 1822). After Mr. Dysslin's death the church was 
supplied for a while by Rev. John J. Wack (cf "Sand Hill") who was 
then at Stone Arabia. Rev. David De Voe came to St. John's in 
1816 and remained until 1830. Mr. De Voe joined the Montgomery 
Classis in 1813, and preached at Beaverdam and Middleburgh. While 
pastor at St. Johnsville, Mr. De Voe organized churches at Fayette, 
Seneca county, and at Le Roy, Jefferson county. His last work was 
at Columbia (cf) and Warren (Herkimer county) during 1834 thro 
1837, tho he did some missionary work in Lewis county (Turin) until 
1841. He died in 1844. 

Rev. Abraham H. Myers came to St. Johnsville in August, 1830, 
from the Seminary and remained a year. He also supplied Man- 
heim (cf) later (1848-1852). Rev. Herman B. Stryker was the next 
pastor who came in February, 1833, remaining thro May, 1834. On 
his graduation from the Seminary in 1822 he had done some mission- 
ary work at Johnsburgh and Warrensburgh (Warren county). He 
was also in the Union church, Amsterdam (1827-1832) from which he 
went to Glenville. After a retirement from the active work for twenty 
years he died, December 11, 1871, following a decade of work at the 
Huguenot church of Staten Island. Rev. James Murphey succeeded, 
remaining from June, 1834, to July, 1837, when he went to the dual 
pastorate at Herkimer (cf). He died while supplying Frankfort (1854- 
1857). Rev. A. H. Myers returned for a second pastorate and re- 

80 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

mained seven years (1837-1844). He died at the age of eighty-five 
in 1886 and was buried at Port Ewen. Rev. Joseph Knieskern came 
next in May, 1845, and remained until September, 1872. In 1848, 
$2,000 was spent in repairs on the church. Mr. Knieskern also supplied 
Manheim and Indian Castle. For some years after leaving this field 
he supplied the Virgil Presbyterian church. A cold caught at a 
funeral at St. Johnsville so affected his voice as to render him almost 
unfit for pulpit service. He died at Cortland, September 7, 1895. Rev. 
Edward Lodewick was the eighth pastor, remaining a little over 
three years (1872-1875). He was ordained by the Montgomery 
Classis. His next charge was in the Pascack, N. J. church. He died 
at Bound Brook, N. J., September 14, 1909. During this pastorate 
the glebe land was sold, several acres, on both sides of the creek, 
for $6,025. The church debts were paid and the rest of the proceeds 
went into the new parsonage which cost $3,400. The bodies were 
removed from the glebe land to the village cemetery. Rev. George 
Van Neste came in September, 1875, and remained a little more than 
three years. He died in 1898. He had been pastor at Lodi (cf) for a 
dozen years. Other pastorates followed this field at Kiskatom and 
Flatbush, and one at Pottersville, N. J. -tfe. wa=s A*-fa*ber -&k Eld er 
Afe#*a*- Van Nes4: wire gtui e ^imm M«*t tiaW- te- R- tttg» fss Colkgc , H e 
was of the seventh generation from Peter Van Nest, who came to 
Long Island from Holland in 1647. The pulpit was next filled by 
Rev. Albert Dod Minor (1879-1888), who went next to Mohawk (cf) 
During Minor's pastorate the present church was built in 1881. Mr. 
Minor preached an historical sermon, as did his successor, Rev. 
Philip Furbeck, who gave a great deal of study to the old documents. 
We have been unable to locate either of these investigations. 
Mr. Furbeck came in 1888 and remained thro a part of 1893. His 
brother, George, died October 18, 1851, the year of his graduation at 
New Brunswick Seminary. Rev. Furbeck's first charge in the Classis 
was at Fonda (cf). Rev. Charles W. Kenney took up the work in 
1893 and left in 1899 to become pastor of the Hobart Presbyterian 
church. He was later in the Mohawk church (cf). Rev. Orville J. 
Hogan was next called. He had been at Rocky Hill, N. J. when he 
came to this field in 1899 and remained here ten years, going to 
his present charge at Closter, N. J. The present pastor, Rev. Fred- 
erick Perkins was already in the Montgomery Classis at Lodi, when 
called to this field in 1909. 

Three churches were continuous and collegiate with St. John's 
at St. Johnsville, the pastors of the latter preaching statedly at 
Youker's Bush, Canajoharie Castle ("Indian Castle"), and "Snell's 
Bush (Manheim). Of Youker's Bush it is sufficient to say that it was 
organized by De Voe in 1821, and from 1830 to 1887 was collegiate 
with St. Johnsville. The building was erected in 1830 and stood about 
a mile and a half east of Crum Creek, and half a mile north of the 
county line. The spot is two and a half miles north of Upper St. 
Johnsville church, tho never mentioned in the minutes of Classis. In 
1857 a new church was built, a mile and a half east from the first 
Youker's Bush church, and is about three miles north by east of St. 
Johnsville, and was controlled by the Dutch Reformed church. It 
paid $225 of Van Neste's salary, and $150 of Minor's salary. About 
the year 1887 the Reformed services ceased, and later the Grace 
Christian church of St. Johnsville assumed direction of the services. 

87 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

The Canajoharie Castle church was the present Indian Castle church 
(cf) now standing in the town of Danube. It was erected in 1769 
by Sir William Johnson who is said to have personally paid for the 
whole cost of the same, which was $1,147.50. The church was built for 
a church of England mission to foster religion among the Indians of 
the Upper Mohawk castle. Thro the years the Dutch Reformed and 
German Reformed and Lutherans and Presbyterians have all held 
services here. The Reformed Dutch church of the Castle was in- 
corporated about 1800. [The Snell's Bush church, called now the 
, Manheim church (cf), is situated in the town of Manheim, midway 

^f^-J^i^between St. Johnsville and Little Falls. Before the revolution Suf- 
^ XAA ^ vfi ^^*^ frenus, Peter, Joseph and Jacob Snell of Snell's Bush gave seven 
acres for church and twelve acres for school purposes. A church 
was built but burned during the revolution, and later rebuilt. It 
stood until 1850 when it was taken down and the present church 
built. These churches are historically considered elsewhere in this 
record?_ 

STONE ARABIA REFORMED CHURCH 

Stone Arabia is sphinx-like in the origin 
_______ _ of its name. None of the fanciful theories 

. about it satisfy. That some of the Palatines 

Q^lQT)y\fQ.0lO. had traveled in Arabia Petrae and saw a re- 

JferowcD QtyRcn- semblance in the "Nose" and the low lying 

5r «/7»™« *r hills of the country to that place is mere 

Of?g*m,z£o hbout conjecture. The name is variously spelled and 

- 1 7* — 0~ misspelled in the church and other records 

0/ttSm,, Ch»rct, bui)t->» .j thro the nearly two hundred years since the 
~° // , <y<3"°~ men of the German Palatinate first settled in 

the valley. One hundred and twenty-seven 
names are among the first settlers to 
whom the land was parcelled out. At this time the road on the 
north side of the Mohawk ended at Cayadutta creek, not far from 
Fonda, access beyond being only by Indian paths. In 1726 a new 
road was undertaken, to be built as far as Utica. The land upon 
which the original Stone Arabia church was built (a log struc- 
ture) and which stood where the present Lutheran church is now 
erected, was purchased of one William Coppernoll of Schenectady, 
the contract being dated Jbnfiars* >, 1729, the deed to be given by 
April 9, 1731. The deed, however was dated May 29, 1732. It con- 
sisted of 50 acres for which £100 was to be paid, the other parties 
to the transaction being Andrew Fink, Warner Diegert, Johannes 
Schnell, and "all the rest of the proprietors and owners of the Stone 
Raby patent." In the following year (1733) the people, German 
Lutherans and German Calvinists, began to build a frame church, on 
the site of the building now occupied by the church. The foundation 
had been laid when a controversy arose as to the name by which the 
church should be known in the future. The Lutherans withdrew 
from the project and returned to the old log church, while the Re- 
formed people continued to build. Johannes Schnell and Johannes 
Krembs were the contractors, having given bonds for £400 to finish 
the building according to the plans. Five years were spent in build- 

88 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

ing, but no record is given of the cost or size of the edifice, nor any 
view exists of the church, unless, perchance, the ancient seal illus- 
trates this nrstchiirch. Rev. Wm. C. Berkenmeyer, S $aot%€ ^k. the 
ga2*t*fte* Ston-e^churchi (1733-1743), Lutheran, writes under date of 
August 11, 1734, that he had visited Stone Arabia and held services 
in a church jointly built by the Reformed and Lutherans. This must 
have been the original church. Under date of February 17, 1745, 
Rev. Peter Nicolas Sommer in his Journal writes that he had held 
a service of communion for the Lutherans of Stone Arabia in the 
barn of Wilhelm Nellis. This shows that the old log structure had 
already been abandoned, but as yet no Lutheran church had been 
erected to take its place. Ten years later the Lutherans and the Re- 
formed people divided equallj r the 50 acres of Glebe. The release 
given by the Luthern church to the Reformed church is dated 
"Twenty-seventh day of March in the seventeenth year of the Reign 
of our Sovereign Lord George the Sec- 
ond, over Great Britain, France and Ire- 
land, King, Defender of the Faith, etc., 
and in the year of our Lord Christ, one 














'i| ' 


if 

A! 


11 


H 

H 




ff- 


" if? 


IT 


ft 


'-— 


r 




- 




1 



thousand seven hundred and forty-four." It is the oldest and most 
valuable of the very few papers or records, outside of the books, in. 
the possession of the church. It is signed by Jacob Schnell, Kirl£ 
Loux, Wm. Brouer, Laverinus Deigert, Peter Suits, Hendrick Louxy 
Nicholas Horning, William Coppernoll, Peter Diegert, Harris Schnell) 
Andreas Fink and Johannes Krems. Each name is differently "sealed" 
and six are "marked." 

This old stone church, and the one at German Flatts (Fort 
Herkimer) whose foundations were laid almost half a century 
before it, are among the most remarkable and rarest ecclesiastical 
buildings to be found in the United States. The elements of time 
and innovation have not changed their form, except slight improve- 
ments made necessary within. The same simple but substantial lines 
of craftsmanship that the builders wrought into these stone Houses 
of God abide to this day. Ardently we hope that for ages to come 
they will remain to teach other generations, many yet unborn, of 

89 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



the price of liberty and the value of worship. Altho Stone Arabia 
was organized nearly two hundred years ago and about it have oc- 
curred some of the most tragic events of the valley of the Mohawk, 
and its membership evidently originated the Tryon County Com- 
mittee of Safety (cf), and to it the nation is indebted for a large 
share of those human forces that gave independence and liberty to 
the Republic, yet, strange to say, we have never known of a history 
of this church to be written. The present effort is a duplication of 
an address given by the writer at the time of the one hundred and 
twenty-fifth anniversary of the building of the present stone structure. 
The first minister among the Palatine Germans in America was the 
Rev. Joshua Kocherthal, a Lutheran pastor who came over with the 
first Palatine emigration in 1709, under the favor and support of 
Queen Anne. For ten years he worked among his people, who had 
settled near Newburgh on the Hudson. His death occurred in 1719. 
In 1709 Kocherthal visited England and on 
his return in 1710, the Rev. John Frederick 
Haeger accompanied him, organizing on his 
arrival in New York City an Episcopal 
church. The missionary society of the 
Church of England paid him a salary of £50 
annually. Haeger tried at first to win the 
Lutherans over to Episcopacy and when he 
failed in this, he turned his attention to the 
Reformed Germans. But the Church of Eng- 
land was not attractive to either, and Kocher- 
thal opposed his efforts. Haegar's work 
was almost wholly confined to the Hudson 
EnTitnnc£On»r£DjN j^^ river settlements below Catskill. He died in 
1721, for years having been neglected by the society that had sent 
him into the foreign field, tho his letters are piteously appealing for 
support. The third minister to serve the Palatines was the Rev. John 
Jacob Ehle. The oldest record book of the Lutheran church of Stone 
Arabia bears on its cover the statement that the original church here 
was organized by Ehle in 1711, but this is an error, both because Ehle 
did not come to America until October, 1722, and because the Pala- 
tines did not come into this section from Schoharie in any consider- 
able numbers until about the same year. Most of the original settlers 
had come by 1710. The Rev. Ehle, as his predecessor, Haeger, was an 
Episcopalian, having been ordained by the bishop of London, 
in August, 1722. He was a Palatine and educated at Heidelberg. At 
first his work was among the German settlements on the Hudson, 
though he supplied Kinderhook frequently, at which place he married 
Johanna Van Slyck in June, 1723. From 1742 until the time of his 
death in 1777 at the age of 92, his entire ministry was spent in the 
Schoharie and Mohawk valleys. On February 8, 1762, Rev. Ehle 
wrote Sir William Johnson protesting vigorously against certain 
Bostonians who were proposing to establish schools among the Mo- 
hawks as well as the Presbyterian faith He, doubtless, spent some 
years in regular service at both Schonane ina Stone Arabia and the 
settlements between, but after 1750 his work was confined mainly to 
the Mission established near Palatine (then called Canajoharie), the 
building still standing and his adjacent residence, called also Fort 




90 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



Ehle, situate a short distance east of the Fort Plain N. Y.C. depot. 

In his latter years he devoted most of his time to his work among 

the Indians to whom in 1750 he had been appointed a missionary, and 

with the Rev. Peter H. Van Driesen (dec. 1738), was given valuable 

land tracts by them in appreciation of his services. Ehle's descend- a 

ant's still occupy this land. ~Xor ><^^^ ,^r^^c-^ £~t2^£ty frsC/to**** 2 - &*'^^2- a ^ 

The Rev. Michael Weiss (Weitzil/s he sometime? wrote it) was "^-s-c-w?^ 
the first ordained Reformed minister to labor among the Palatines 
of the Schoharie and the Mohawk valleys. Born in the Palatinate, a 
graduate of Heidelberg at 18, ordained in 1725, he came to America 
two years later (with 400 others) sent there by the Palatine consis- 
tory. For four years he worked in Pennsylvania, then came to Scho- 



harie country in 1731, going the, next year 






^oxsackie, where he re- 



year to Lo 
mained four years, and in"T73fland for seven years stationed at 
German Flatts (Fort Herkimer). From German Flatts he went to 
Rhinebeck in 1742. No mention is made in the existing records at 
Stone Arabia of the service either of the Revs. 
Ehle or Weiss, but we know the former often 
preached here, and Weiss, doubtless, frequent- 
ly supplied this pulpit during his pastorate at 
German Flatts. After two other pastorates 
Weiss died at Gosenhoppen, Pa., in 1762, at 
the age of 62. During his years in the valley, 
Weiss, as Ehle, worked among the Mohawks. 
Weiss wrote quite a graphic description of the 
Indians. The Rev. Johannes Schuyler had 
four pastorates, two of which 
were at different periods in Scho- 
harie, involving some thirty years 
or more, the first for a score of 
years following 1735. During this 
first pastorate he supplied Stone 
Arabia and German Flatts, where 
his name is to be found on the 
earliest subscription list toward 
the completion of the partly 
built church. By some he is 
thought to have been the man who organized the Stone Arabia 
church. The first consistory record is dated October 24, 1743, yet 
members were admitted into the church and so recorded as early as 
1737. Ten members joined in 1739 and seven in 1740. There is a 
baptism in 1739 of Henry Richard Loux, the son of Adam Loux. 
The church early in its history was an Independent Reformed church, 
probably from the beginning the Lutherans having their own 
organization. There is a record showing that at first consistory 
gatherings were largely verbal meetings with no records. Rev. 
Schulyer was a member of the first Coetus (1738), first Dutch minister 
to be ordained in this country, which act was approved by the Classis 
of Amsterdam. We are inclined strongly to believe from conditions 
that prevailed at German Flatts, that one of the first things done at 
Stone Arabia was the organization of a church, without doubt as 
early as 1725. It may be that the earliest baptisms, marriages and 
admissions to membership were regarded as a part of the work of 
the Schoharie church. The earliest record extant of the consistory 




91 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

is dated October 24, 1743, — "Johannes Schuyler, Praedeger of Scho- 
harie and Steinrabie; Dietrich Loux and Jost Snell, elders, and Ser- 
venus Duiker and Adam Loux, deacons." This is the first minister 
mentioned in the extant records. Rev. Schuyler left Stone Arabia 
and Schoharie in 1756 to succeed Rev. Curtenius in the Hackensack, 
N. J. church, where he remained ten years, returning next to Scho- 
harie where he died on April 16, 1779, aged sixty-nine. He was buried 
beneath the pulpit of the old stone church, erected toward the close 
of Schuyler's second pastorate, later used as a fort. Rev. Schuyler 
married Annatje Veeder of Schenectady in 1743, and had six children. 
His sixth son, Philip, was the builder of the Stone Arabia church in 
1788. Philip was also engaged on the Inland Lock Navigation Co. 
under Gen. Schuyler, to whom he was distantly related. His only 
daughter, Margaret, became the wife of Andrew Van Wie of Florida 
(Montgomery county). A sister of Rev. Schuyler, Elisabeth, was the 
wife of Gosen M. Van Alstyne, who built the old stone house, the 
first in the present village of Canajoharie, still standing, and, by 
some erroneously thot to be Fort Rensselaer. Mrs. Margaret Snell 
of Herkimer was a great grandaughter. The names of the minister 
and those of his two sons, Peter and Philip, are carved in the stones 
of the old Fort at Schoharie. 

The "Rev. Johannes Aemilius Wernig" is the way this successor of 
Schuyler spells his name in the record. Under date of July 14, 1751, 
the church of "Stein Rabien," testified to the Classis of Amsterdam 
(Holland), of the good character and correct standing of their pastor. 
The letter is in German and is signed by 32 names as follows: Peter 
Lutz, Johannes Schnell, Henrich Fehling, Johannes Jost Snell, Sev- 
erinus Deigert, Wilhelm Wermuth, Henrich Lauchs, Casper Kock 
(Cook), Peter Kremps, Gottfried Helmer, Friederich Bellinger, Jr., 
Friederich Bellinger, Johann Leonhardt Helmer, Henrich Lauchs, 
George Koppernoll, Henry Ifer'kel, Jacob Krauz, Adam Lauchs, 
Frederich Getmann, Conrad Kutz, Johann Henrich Klock, Wilhelm 
Lauchs, Johannes Kremps, Wilhelm Koppernoll, Leonhardt Helmer, 
Robert Gerder, Adam Wabel, Johannes Fehling Johannes Snell, Jr., 
Dietrich Lauche, Johannes Henrich Riemenschneider. The church 
decided to call Wernig, who had already declined to go to Lancaster, 
Pa., but a year elapsed before the Classis of Amsterdam replied, who 
said that Wernig had exhibited no evidence that he was even a can- 
didate (his papers were not satisfactory), much less that he was a 
minister. They seemed to have investigated his Heidelberg record, 
for they admit he is a licentiate, but his examination for the ministry 
was not sustained. Therefore Classis votes that Wernig must come 
to Holland to be examined before they can approve the call of the 
Stone Arabia church. This was the action of July 17th, 1752. On 
September 14, 1752, Wernig writes from Stone Arabia a long letter 
to his friend, the Rev. John Ritzema of New York city. It is full of 
scathing rebuke for the disturbers in the field, and replete with fine 
sarcasm for some of the preachers whom Wernig claims "serve the 
flock only for the wool that is in it." He wants to be examined by 
the New York City Reformed ministers, which request was refused 
September 17, 1753, and says he can't go to Holland, among other 
reasons, because he has married a wife, and hasn't any money, and 
on his first voyage over he came near dying of sea sickne^ (Eccles. 
Histy. N. Y., V. 3162, 3285). After leaving Stone Arabia (he also 

92 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

served Canajoharie and Schoharie) all trace of him is lost. Rev. 
Sommers of the Lutheran church married Mr. Wernig to Anna Maria 
Schnell on July 2, 1751. 

Under date of May 30, 1755, the Coetus (predecessor of the 
General Synod) asked permission to ordain and install John Mauritius 
Goetschius over the church of Stone Arabia which they say is a 
"German Reformed church north of Albany ... .for sometime past 
imposed upon and tossed about and injured by German (ministerial) 
tramps. It is far distant and has little strength; but it longs for the 
Gospel ministry. .. .if not helped now in this way.... it is liable to 
become totally scattered." But the Classis of Amsterdam under date 
of April 5, 1756, writes that it will not permit Mauritius Goetschius 
to be installed at Stone Arabia to which he had been called. Mr. 
Goetschius was a physician, and was licensed in 1754 and was at 
Schoharie in 1757-1760, and doubtless supplied Stone Arabia during 
these same years or a part of the time. He was ordained at Scho- 
harie on December 14, 1757. His next and last pastorate was at New 
Paltz, an itinerary of thirty miles. Here he died in 1771. He practiced 
medicine all his life. He was one of the original trustees of Queens 
College. The Rev. Abram Rosencrantz ©ee»sie«a41y served Stone 
Arabia during the years 1756-1758, and a second time from 1760 thro 
1770. Rosencrantz was one of the original patentees of the tract 
known as "Stally's Patent," in the town of Little Falls. He was a 
graduate of one of the German universities and at the time the fore- 
most divine west of Schenectady. His first work was at German 
Flatts (cf) and Canajoharie in the old "Sand Hill" church, where he 
labored from 1752 to 1758. A brother in the ministry was working 
among the German families scattered along the route from Schoharie 
to Utica, but died (1752) just before Abram came to America. In 
1758 and 1759 he was called to a work among the Germans in New 
York city, but in 1760 he returned to the Mohawk valley, preaching 
in Stone Arabia, Canajoharie and German Flatts. He supplied this 
church for ten years from 1760, spending the remainder of his life, 
about 40 years, at German Flatts. Rosencrantz married Anna M. 
Herkimer, a sister of the general. He died on Fall Hill, in 1796, 
and was buried beside his brother under the pulpit of the old stone 
church at German Flatts (Fort Herkimer). While pastor at Stone 
Arabia Rosencrantz received £70 annually as his salary, Canajoharie ^Trk {r 
and German Flatts also paying a similar amount (in all $525). 

In the period including the war of the Revolution there seems 
to be no record of any settled pastor or regular supply, the Rev. 
John Daniel Gros and the Rev. Rosencrantz occasionally serving the 
church. The church records show this. The Rev. John Daniel Gros, 
once a New York city pastor, also for a while professor at Columbia 
College, was an unusually well learned man for the time. He was an 
ardent patriot and served as chaplain in three different regiments. 
The last few years of his life (1802-1812) were spent in the vicinity 
of Fort Plain on a farm, and he lies buried at Freysbush in this 
county. There are no records of baptisms or marriages, or even of 
consistory after 1771 thro 1776 tho very likely the former records 
were made, especially by Rosencrantz in the German Flatts register. 
For a decade after this the history of the church is unknown. The 
Battle of Stone Arabia, occurring near the church (October 19j 1780) 
is treated of in the Notes. The Johnsons and Butlers and Brants 

93 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

were raging the country with the help of the Indians. The 1779 raid 
was a cruel one but the 1780 devastation was inhumanly brutal. In 
the Reformed church cemetery is a monument erected in 1836 to the 
memory of Col. John Brown who lost his life in the Battle of Stone 
Arabia. It ought to be a patriotic shrine to which we might make 
regular pilgrimages in remembrance of the price paid by our 
forefathers for liberty and justice. The present stone church 
was erected in 1788 by Philip Schuyler, the sixth son of the first re- 
corded pastor of the church. The consistory at the time was John 
Ziellj', Jacob Eacker, Arnout Vedder and Johannes Koch, elders, and 
Frederick Gettman, Adam Loucks, Casper Cook, and Michael Ehle, 
deacons. The history of the church from this time on is more definite. 
At the completion of the building Rev. D. C .A. Pick came to the 
work. He, later, served German Flatts (cf). He remained at Stone 
Arabia for ten years. In 1795 the church gave five acres of land to 
the Union Academy of Palatine. A two story frame building was 
erected opposite the church in 1799. Maj. Andrew Finck was behind 
this project. The Legislature was about to establish several new 
seats of learning and this was to be one of them. However, Finck's 
neighbors vehemently objected to the school, saying that "too much 
learning made bad farmers." The title to the land was questioned, 
the administration was sued, and Finck was forced to yield. Later 
Finck gave the land for the Fairfield Seminary in Herkimer county, 
for which school in 1814, $5,000 was raised by lottery. This was 
burned in 1806 and the school given up. 

Pick was a great orator, likened by some to Martin Luther, 
and crowds waited upon his preaching. He was suspended 
from the ministry about 1800. In 1802 on a visit to New York cily, 
he dropped dead on the street. During this pastorate the church con- 
nected itself (January 20, 1790) with the Classis of Albany, and on 
May 31, 1791, it was incorporated as the "Reformed Protestant Dutch 
Church of Stone Arabia." An inventory of church property filed at 
Fonda, January 3, 1794 is signed by D. C. A. Pick, V. D. M., Adam 
Loucks, Hendrick Loucks, Frederick Gettman (elders), and Jacob 
Snell, Christian Finck, Nicholas Van Slyck and John H. Van Wie, 
deacons. In 1797 a parsonage was built. For eight years or not until 
1788, when this church was erected during Pick's pastorate at a cost 
of $3,378, the people had no other place of worship, except a 
temporary frame structure. Sir John Johnson with Captains Thomas 
and Brant came from Montreal by way of Oswego with their hired 
Indians and after devastating Schoharie reached Fort Hunter October 
17, 1780, and proceeded west, destroying every building as far as Fort 
Plain, including Caughnawaga. From Keder's Rift (Sprakers), 150 
men attacked Fort Paris, the stockaded store of Isaac Paris (tortured 
to death by the Indians at Oriskany in 1777) and burned the Dutch 
and Lutheran churches. The Dutch church burned was erected in 
1738. The Lutherans rebuilt theirs, the present structure, in 1792, 
Rev. Dr. Philip T. Gros preaching the dedication sermon. 

Rev. Isaac Labagh came to this church from Kinderhook in 1800, 
and remained three years, preaching in German Low Dutch and 
English. While pastor here he also preached in the Reformed Cal- 
vinist church of Minden (Canajoharie having been divided) and, oc- 
casionally at Sharon (•N-e*v Rhin -&beek-), Schoharie county, to which 
place he went in November, 1803. h i 1 84- J7 --4rr--rg4«aHhed--trj~rh- c valley 

94 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

tmd- spent a few month c at U -fciea-. He died July 4, 1837. It is re- 
corded that John Dockstader of Stone Arabia was paid seven shillings 
for bringing up the minister's wagon from Kinderhook in 1803. Rev. 
John Taylor in his Journal of 1802 writes that he visited Stone Arabia 
and found Dr. Grotz (Gros) in the Lutheran church and Rev. Lubauch 
(Labagh) in the Dutch Reformed church. He spells the name "Stone- 
rabia," and adds that the Dutch pronounce the last word as if spelled 
"robby." The longest pastorate in the church was that of Rev. John 
J. Wack, extending thro nearly a quarter-century from 1805, th e y e a r 
ui-h+s-ea4i, tho during most of these years Mr. Wack was not in good 
standing in the Classis. The Minutes of Albany Particular Synod 
(1817) refer in detail to the trouble, Among the officers at this time 
were, Elders Thomas Getman, Lutwig Rickert, John P. Grames, Wm. 
Smith, Jacob Snell, David I. Zieley, Adam Lipe, Peter G. Getman, and 
Deacons Jacob I. Eacker, John Gray, Richard Luts, and Christopher 
C. Fox. He also supplied the Tillaborough field, and for a few years, 
also, the church at Ephratah. His life and work is spoken of in detail 
in the record of the "Sand Hill" church of the extinct churches. On 
his death, May 26, 1851, Wack was at first buried in the church hill 
cemetery at Ephratah, but later the body was reinterred at Fort Plain. 
The Rev. Isaac S. Ketchum was graduated from New Brunswick in 
1821 and entered at once upon his ministry in this community, serving 
at Manheim (cf), Danube (Indian Castle), Salisbury and Stone Arabia 
from 1822 thro 1830. He also occasionally preached at the Columbia, 
Second Herkimer, and Remsen Snyder's Bush Churches, and from 
1829 thro 1836 he preached at Ephratah in connection with Stone 
Arabia. Ketchum was an intimate friend of President Martin Van 
Buren, who commissioned him to remove some Indian tribes beyond 
the Mississippi and received the thanks of Van Buren for his success- 
ful work. He spent the closing years of his life on a farm near St. 
Louis, and died in 1863, aged 67 years. 

Rev. Benjamin B. Westfall came to Stone Arabia in 1838 and re- 
mained about seven years, or until the time of his death, which oc- 
curred in 1844 at the age of 46. Westfall was brot up on a Columbia 
county farm. In a nine years' work in Ulster county 300 were added 
to the church, and it was in the midst of a great revival here in Stone 
Arabia that Ketchum contracted a disease that ended his life. This 
man's soul travailed in birth for his people, that Christ might be 
formed in them, the hope of glory. During Westfall's pastorate the 
church was repaired and a bell bot, all costing $2,000. He died in 
Stone Arabia in 1844, as the tablet on the wall tells, and lies buried 
beneath the pulpit. The bell bot in 1839, cost $355, the repairs, be- 
side a complete renovation, including the closing of the east door, a 
window being substituted, the raising of the floor, change of seats, a 
new pulpit built, arch overhead filled in, gallery at front partitioned 
off, the steeple tinned and weather vane purchased, and belfry blinds 
put on. The membership at this time was 241, and in 1840 the report 
to Classis was most gratifying. When the next renovation comes to 
the old Stone Arabia Reformed Dutch church it is to be hoped that 
those who have it in charge will endeavor to reinstate the old pulpit, 
still extant, and bring back the interior to its old time beauty and 
symmetry. Charles Jukes had a seven year pastorate at Stone Arabia 
(1844-1850), beginning in 1844. He was an Englishman by birth, 
coming to America in 1830 and serving Presbyterian churches in 

95 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Saratoga county and at Amsterdam. He came to this church from 
the Glen Reformed church (cf). His last pastorate was at Rotterdam, 
Schenectady county, where he died in 1862. Some of his descendants 
live in Fulton county. John Cannon Van Liew was 40 when he came 
to this church in 1851, remaining nearly six years. He had another 
short pastorate at Berne (Albany county) and died in 1861 at the 
age of 51. During the years 1857 and 1858 the Rev. Nanning Bo- 
gardus, who spent some ten years in the Classis at Fort Plain and 
Sprakers, was a stated supply. Mr. Bogardus' last pastorate was at 
Sprakers and he died in 1868. The only record of this ministry is to 
be found in a salary receipt. Other supplies in 1858 and 1859 were 
the Rev. Philip Furbeck, at the time pastor at Fonda (cf), and the 
Rev. G. M. Blodgett of whom we know nothing further. In 1859 the 
present parsonage was built at a cost of $1,337. 

After an interim in the pastorate of some five years, the Rev. 
Lawrence H. Van Dyck was called to the church in 1861. There 
were 85 families and 103 members in the church in 1862. He had 
ministered to Presbyterian churches since graduation at Auburn in 
1833, and for about 15 years at Gilboa and Helderburg, and at Bloom- 
ing Grove for 5 or 6 years before entering this field. Leaving here 
in 1867 he had a pastorate in Unionville, N. Y., next going to New 
Brunswick, N. J., in 1876, to become rector of Herzog Hall. He died 
in Brooklyn January 24, 1893, at the age of 86. Van Dycke was a 
most devoted pastor, his whole life an illustration of the Master's 
spirit and service. He wrote a history of the Montgomery County 
Bible society in 1867. His wife was Christina Hoes of 
Kinderhook, sister of Rev. J. C. F. Hoes (cf Ithaca). A 
brother, Rev. C. V. A. Van Dyck was the noted Syrian scholar, 
and a sister, Jane Elizabeth, married Rev. Dr. T. W. Wells. 
The Rev. James Murphy Compton spent nearly thirty years 
laboring in the Classis of Montgomery, principally in the 
churches of Currytown, Mapletown, Columbia, Henderson and Sprak- 
ers (cf). His pastorate here and at Ephratah extended over four 
years from April, 1868. He died while pastor of the Columbia church 
December 12, 1891, and lies buried in that church cemetery. William 
B. Van Benschoten, after two pastorates in New Jersey of four years 
each, came to this church in 1872 (also preaching at Ephratah and 
labored here until he died in 1880 at the age of forty-five. During the 
last year of his pastorate the church and parsonage were repaired 
at a cost of $2,000. Prominent among the workers of this period were 
Conrad P. Snell, Henry Gramps, John Kilts, Reuben Graff, Erwin 
Vosburgh, Aurora Failing, Charles Loucks, Johannes Hess and Harri- 
son Brown. 

The Rev. Rufus M. Stanbrough was graduated from New Bruns- 
wick in 1861 and at once took up the work at Manheim (cf), also 
supplying Indian Castle. He came to Stone Arabia in 1881 from a 
five years pastorate at Columbia (Herkimer county), remaining here 
for about five years. His next and only other charge was at West 
Hurley, N. Y. He exhibited an indomitable energy in his arduous 
ministry and was the personification of patience, faith and devotion. 
He died in 1894, at the age of 72. During Stanbrough's pastorate 
(1883) the organ was bot at a cost of $400. Occasionally services 
were held during the years 1886 and 1887. The Revs. P. H. Bariler 
(cf Manheim), F. S. Haines (cf Canajoharie) and Jas. Demarest (cf 

96 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Fort Plain) filling the pulpit, the summer months being filled by 
Frederick L. Luce, a seminary student. The Rev. John A. Thomson 
on graduation from New Brunswick in 1887 assumed the pastorate in 
connection with Sprakers and remained nearly five years. At this time 
forty families were reported and seventy members. In the few years 
after leaving this field, Mr. Thomson served Sprakers (cf) and Maple- 
town, and a mission at East Palatine. Since 1902 he has had a pas- 
torate at Middlebush, N. J. During Mr. Thomson's pastorate the 
centennial of the construction of this church was observed. 
The morning program included a sermon by the Rev. Dr. 
DeBaun of Fonda, and an historical address by S. L. Frey of Pala- 
tine Bridge. In the afternoon, dinner having been served, addresses 
were delivered by Edward F. Jones of Binghamton, Lieutenant- 
Governor of New York, A. T. Worden, Senator Arkell and the Rev. 
J. W. Compton (pastor 1868-1871). After Mr. Thomson's pastorate 
the church had no regular ministry for another five years, or until the 
Rev. Charles L. Palmer came in 1897. Richard Van Benskor, a 
student, supplied occasionally in 1895, as did also Rev. Joel A. Loucks, 
a licentiate of Montgomery Classis, Isaac Messier, superintendent of 
the Kentucky mission work since 1905, preached here during the 
summer of 1896. The Rev. Charles L. Palmer became pastor in 1897, 
also serving the Ephratah church for three years, and since 1903-1914 
was pastor of a Reformed church at Kingston. During this pastorate 
the church was again incorporated (May, 1899) and the Bible now in 
use was given by the Social union. Rev. Palmer is now at Marlboro, 
N. J. Since the year 1900 and until June, 1914, there was no settled 
pastor or stated supply, of the church, regular services having been 
held only during the three summer months of each year. Only sum- 
mer work by students has been undertaken during these years. A. 
C. V. Dangremond, now of College Point, L. I., was here in 1900 and 
1901, and in 1902 and 1903 Garret Hondelink, now at Kalamazoo, 
Mich, supplied. For four years following no services were held in 
the church. In 1908 R. A. Stout preached during the summer. In 
1909 Rev. E. J. Meeker, now at Lodi, supplied the pulpit for several 
months. Anthony L. Ver Hulst supplied during the summer of 1910, 
and for three summers R. A. Stanton, '14 of the Western Theological 
Seminary at Holland, Mich., was the supply. In June, 1914, Mr. 
Stanton was ordained by the Montgomery Classis and installed over 
the Ephratah (cf) and Stone Arabia churches. The present con- 
sistory is Harvey Gramps and John C. Kilts, elders, and Wm. Kent, 
Adelbert Laning and Chas. Vosburgh, deacons. 



97 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

SYRACUSE: FIRST REFORMED CHURCH 



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Ifli 




The First Re- 
formed (Dutch) 
church of Syra- 
cuse was organ- 
izedby the Classis 
of Cayuga on 
March 10, 1848, 
the same year 
that Syracuse ob- 
tained its first 
charter, and was 
incorporated 
March 25, 1848. 
A. mong the ori- 
ginal members 
both Salina and 
Syracuse (joined 
by the charter) 
were represented, 
while others 
came from the 
Dutch churches 
of Chittenango 
and Geneva, and 
a few from the 
First and Park 

Presbyterian churches of Syracuse. The services at the very be- 
ginning were held in Market Hall where the magnificent City Hall 
now stands. The services, however, were transferred to a frame 
chapel which had previously been used by the Baptists, Congrega- 
tionalists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Unitarians. Here the Re- 
formed congregation worshipped for two years. In 1850 the church 
bot its present site and built a fine frame edifice which served them 
until February, 1878, when the church was burned. The original site 
and church cost $16,000. W. B. Van Wagenen and B. C. Vroraan, 
elders, and Peter Burns and S. V. A. Featherly, deacons, made up 
the first consistory. After the burning of the church, plans were 
set on foot for rebuilding, with the result that the present beautiful 
and enduring stone church was dedicated in February, 1881. This 
church cost $60,000. At first the church was in the Cayuga Classis,. 
but was transferred to Montgomery in 1889. Rev. James H. Cornell 
was the first pastor (1848-1851), installed November 9, 1848. His 
father was Rev. John Cornell a student of Livingston, his mother 
being Maria Frelinghuysen, daughter of Gen. Frederick Freling- 
huysen. After leaving Syracuse he had short pastorates at Raritan, 
N. J., and Coeymans, N. Y., spending his last years in this latter place. 
He died in 1899. Dr. Cornell is best remembered by the church at 
large as a good Secretary of the Board of Education, as well for his 
personal efforts and gifts which increased the Seminary endowment 
at New Brunswick for upwards of half a million of dollars. It -was 
during Cornell's pastorate that the first church was built, being dedi- 
cated July 16, 1850. In May, 1851, the consistory unanimously re- 



98 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

solved to approve the action of the Classis of Cayuga which had 
officially and solemnly decreed that every minister that joined their 
body should thereby attain the degree of "Doctor of Divinity." Rev. 
J. Romeyn Berry followed Dr. Cornell (1851-1857). At this time the 
church reported a hundred and twenty members and at the close of 
his ministry a hundred and forty-nine. Dr. Berry was President 
of General Synod in 1890. He was a grandson of Rev. J. V. C. 
Romeyn and a great grandson of Rev. Thomas Romeyn( cf Fonda), 
whose four sons were in the Reformed church ministry. Dr. Berry 
had several pastorates after leaving Syracuse, including one of eighteen 
years in the Montclair, N. J. Presbyterian church. His last charge 
was at Rhinebeck where he died in 1890. Following Dr. Berry, Prof. 
J. B. Condit of the Seminary at Auburn, supplied for a while. Rev. T. 
DeWitt Talmage came to the Syracuse church in 1859 from his first 
charge at Belleville, N. J. and remained thro the larger part of 1862. 
General Synod met in the church in 1861, and again in 1885. From 
Syracuse Dr. Talmage went to the Second church of Philadelphia for 
an eight year pastorate. The church had called him the year previous- 
ly but he postponed going for a year. In 1869 he became the pastor 
of the Central Presbyterian church of Brooklyn, which church in 
1870 became the "Brooklyn Tabernacle." Here he was pastor until 
1894 when he went to the Presbyterian church of Washington, D. C. 
He died in 1902 in this pastorate. He was a preacher of world-wide 
reputation and influence. The late Rev. Frank Talmage was his son. 
Rev. Joachim Elmendorf, who had already served the Reformed 
churches of Ithaca and Saugerties, was called to the church in 1862, 
and resigned in 1865. Leaving Syracuse Dr. Elmendorf became the 
pastor of the Second Church of Albany (1865-1872) and later of the 
Second Church of PoughkeepjJe(1872-1886), leaving in the latter 
year to enter the Harlem / ^ga$Bgla^H3hurch of New York City in 
which pastorate he died in 1908. Dr. Elmendorf was Press Agent of 
General Synod in 1872 and was a Rutgers trustee for nearly forty 
years. Rev. Jeremiah Searle was the succeeding pastor (1866-1869), 
whose father of the same name, studied theology under Prof. Yates 
of Union College while pursuing a course there and whose brother, 
Rev. S. T. Searle, was the father of Rev. Dr. J. Preston Searle, Presi- 
dent of the Faculty of New- Brunswick Seminary. Leaving Syracuse 
Rev. Jeremiah Searle became the pastor of the Calvary Presbyterian 
church of Newburgh in 1873, and served this church for forty years, 
or until 1913, when he died. In the interim of the pastorate the pulpit 
was again supplied by Prof. Condit of Auburn Seminary. Rev. 
Martin Luther Berger was the sixth pastor of the Syracuse church, 
during whose time some two hundred were added to the membership. 
At the close of a seven year's work (1869-1875) he entered the Pres- 
byterian church at San Francisco. He died in 1910. Prof. W. P. 
Coddington of Syracuse University supplied the pulpit until the com- 
ing to the field of Rev. Evert Van Slyke who was called in July, 
1876, and remained nine years. It was during his pastorate that the 
church was burned, February 3, 1878, and the new present stone 
structure erected. Dr. Van Slyke left in April, 1885, and had later 
pastorates in Catskill and Brooklyn. He died in 1909. The church 
had no settled pastor now for about three years. Rev. Dr. Codding- 
ton of Syracuse University supplied the pulpit thro 1886-1888 when 
Rev. H. D. B. Mulford of Franklin Park, N. J. was called and came 

99 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

in 1889. He remained until 1897. During his pastorate and thro the 
efforts of his Christian Endeavor Society the Second Church of 
Syracuse was organized in 1895. Two hundred and twenty additions 
to the church membership are recorded during Rev. Mulford's pas- 
torate. Mr. Mulford next went to Rutgers as Professor of English. 
In 1912 he became the pastor of the Upper Red Hook Reformed 
church. In November, 1897, Rev. Dr. Philip H .Cole became the 
pastor and remained ten years. Dr. Cole has been pastor since 
leaving Syracuse of the First Presbyterian church of Rome. Follow- 
ing Dr. Cole came Rev. Dr. John F. Dobbs (November, 1908) of Mott 
Haven, who remained until May, 1915, when he was dismissed to 
the Woburn (Mass.) Congregational Conference. Rev. Ulysses Grant 
Warren succeeded Dr. Dobbs, coming to the church from the Brook- 
lyn Congregationalists in September, 1915. Hon. Nathan F. Graves, 
who endowed a Missionary Lectureship at the Syracuse University and 
another at New Brunswick, was a member of this church, and one 
of its officers for many years. Rev. Maltbie D. Babcock and Rev. 
Willard King Spencer (Auburn '79) were also in membership here. 



SYRACUSE: SECOND REFORMED CHURCH 




The Second Re- 
formed church of Syra- 
cuse was organized 
May 27, 1895, begin- 
ning with a charter 
membership of twenty- 
seven. The church was 
the direct outgrowth of 
a Sunday School work 
which had been carried 
on for some months by 
the young people of the 
First Reformed church 
while Rev. H. D. B. 
Mulford was the pas- 
tor. The first pastor called to the field was Rev. Charles Maar, who 
after two years at New Brunswick, took a third year at Auburn 
Seminary, and on his graduation in 1892, was ordained by Montgom- 
ery Classis and installed over the church at Owasco Outlet. After 
a second pastorate at Cobleskill, Rev. Mr. Maar took up the work at 
Second Syracuse in October, 1895, remaining until May, 1899. After pas- 
torates at Upper Red Hook and Walkill, Mr. Maar entered the employ 
of the State at Albany, where he now resides. Within a short time 
the church called Charles G. Mallery who took up the work of his 
first pastorate on graduation from New Brunswick in 1899 and was 
ordained and installed over the church by the Classis. During his 
pastorate sixty-four were received into the church, the building erect- 
ed, and the work progressed. Mr. Mallery resigned in 1904, going 
to Rhinebeck, N. Y. from which field he went to Bedminster, N. J. 
in 1914. Rev. Peter Edwin Huyler, a graduate of Auburn, next took 
up the work at Second Syracuse in the early summer of 1905, and 
resigned in September, 1914, to follow Mr. Mallery in the Rhinebeck 



100 



HISTORY OF .MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

church. Rev. Alexander S. Van Dyck came to the pastorate from 
Philmont in January, 1915. He had served the denomination for 
twelve years in the foreign missionary work at Amoy, China. The 
Second Reformed church of Syracuse is in a fine field, a favored and 
growing residential section of the city, and is coming into its own 
in the influence upon the community. The first consistory of the 
church was made up of Elders John Boyd, and F. G. K. Betts, and 
Deacons E. F. Hammeken and Alexander Gee. The present con- 
sistory is composed of Elders W. A. Boyd, E. F. Hammeken, N. W. 
King, and H. H. Snyder, and Deacons E. E. Hull, C. W. Taylor, 
Oscar Hauptli, and G. C. Hutchings. 

THOUSAND ISLES REFORMED CHURCH 




Probably the first 
white man to gaze on 
the beauty of the Lake 
of the Thousand Isles 
was Samuel de Cham- 
plain, the founder of 
New France, who, in 
1615, took part in an 
expedition against the 
Iroquois. After him the 
first man of note was 
Father LeMoyne, the 
Jesuit priest while on 
his journey to the On- 
ondagas in the summer 
of 1654. After Le- 
Moyne came LaSalle, Frontenac, De La Barre, La Hontan, Hennepin, 
Charlevoix, et al. This church is in Jefferson county (called after 
Thomas Jefferson) at Alexandria Bay (named after Alexander Le Ray, 
son of the proprietor of the tract). The site for the church and par- 
sonage was given by Francis DePeau. "The Church of the Thousand 
Isles" is the corporate and euphonious name of this Reformed church, 
which owes its origin to the indefatigable labors of Rev. Dr. Bethune, 
the noted hymn writer and at one time the pastor of our Utica 
church (cf). While pastor of the old Third Church of Philadelphia 
(now extinct) Dr. Bethune made annual pilgrimages to the "Thousand 
Isles," usually preaching on Sundays in the school house at Alexan- 
dria Bay. The first Sunday school in the town was soon organized. 
Later Dr. Bethune met the Rev. Jerome A. Davenport, and sent him 
to the field, caring for him largely out of his own means, with no thot 
whatever of a church — just a sort of itinerant preaching at the Bay 
and in the surrounding communities. But Mr. Davenport's work soon 
outgrew the little stone school house, and compelled a church building. 
Mr. Davenport went to Wisconsin and later entered the Episcopal 
church. After two years spent in raising funds, a church was built 
costing $2,800, while in the following year a manse was erected which 
cost $825. The first consistory of the church was Alvah Ford, elder, 
and James Wordworthy, deacon. The first pastor of the church was 
the Rev. Anson DuBois, who came in 1850 and remained four years. 



101 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

He had just graduated from the Seminary (New Brunswick) and 
spent over fifty years in the pulpit. During Mr. DuBois' ministry 
here the church was organized in 1851, reporting to the Particular 
Synod the following year. Among the early patrons of the church, 
besides Dr. Bethune, were Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Throop Martin of 
the Owasco Outlet church, who largely contributed toward its 
erection and John G. Holland to whom a memorial tablet was erected. 
The building was dedicated in August, 1851, Dr. Bethune preaching 
the sermon. A Presbyterian church in Troy, N. Y. gave the bell. 
Very few of the members of the church were ever before connected 
with the denomination. The land for both church and parsonage 
wwe^given by the estate of Frances DePeau. 

The second pastor of the church was the Rev. George Rockwell, 
who staid by the organization for twenty-three years. Relinquishing 
this pastorate owing to extreme deafness in 1877, Mr. Rockwell spent 
some time in Fulton, N. Y. and New York City, going for residence 
finally to Tarrytown, where he died in 1897. Rev. De Vries came to 
the work in 1877 and remained five years. Since 1884, Mr. De Vries 
has been the pastor of the Peekskill, N. Y. church. Rev. Dr. Egbert 
C. Lawrence followed De Vries in 1882 and resigned in 1886. Mr. 
Lawrence has been in the Presbyterian ministry for many years, and 
has been spending a good many years as supply to vacant churches, 
making his home in Schenectady, N. Y. After Dr. Lawrence, the 
Rev. Charles P. Evans supplied the church for a couple of years. He 
is living at present in Watervliet. Rev. George Z. Collier was next 
on the field, coming in 1890 and remaining thro a part of 1896. Mr. 
Collier is now serving the Middleburgh church in the Classis of 
Schoharie. Rev. Isaac J. Van Hee came to the field from the Semin- 
ary (New Brunswick) in 1897, being ordained by the Classis. He re- 
mained thro 1901 when he accepted a call to the Fultonville church 
which he left in 1905. After pastorates at North Paterson (N. J.), 
Little Falls (N. J.), and Pekin, 111., he entered the Presbyterian 
church. His principal task for some years has been in social work 
for the Ford Auto Co. of Detroit, Mich. 

In 1901 the church called Rev. Charles F. Benjamin, a member 
of that year's class in the Seminary, who was ordained by the Mont- 
gomery Classis and installed over the church, and is its present 
pastor. The present consistory consists of Norman Hay, Noris 
Houghton, John Betz, C. B. Forsythe, elders, and C. W. Cornwall, 
George Russell, J. B. Reid and Fred Chayn, deacons. 






102 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASS1S 

UTICA REFORMED CHURCH 







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Oneida county, in which Utica is situated and which was form- 
ed January 27, 1789, was the home of the Oneida Indians, the only 
tribe who remained friendly to the colonists, except a part of the 
Tuscaroras. The work of the Rev. Samuel Kirkland among them 
made this possible (cf Note on Indian Education, etc.). The earliest 
mention of Utica is in the Cosby Manor Patent, dated 1734, and, again, 
in the itinerary of a French spy, traveling in 1757 from Oswego to 
Schenectady. President Dwight of Yale passing thro Utica in 1798, 
speaks of it as a pretty village of fifty houses. Reference is also 
made to it in the "Story of Castorland." The Reformed Protestant 
Dutch church of Utica was organized in 1830. The first church organ- 
ized in Oneida county was by the Congregationalists at New Hart- 
ford, the Presbyterians having formed one later (1786) at Whites- 
boro. With Reformed churches established so many years previously 
in the vicinity of Utica it is a cause of surprise that one was not found- 
ed here earlier. Soon after 1800 (Utica was incorporated as a village 
in 1798), a number of Dutch and German families settled at Deer- 
field, near Utica. The pastor at German Flatts, Rev. John P. Spin- 
ner, as well as Rev. Isaac ,'Labagh and Rev. John F. Schermerhorn, 
missionaries of the Domestic Board, made frequent visits to this field. 
The preaching was in the German and Dutch tongues, the services be- 
ing held at first in the Deerfield Baptist church, then the old Utica 
Methodist meeting house, kindly loaned for this purpose. Up to 



103 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

1825 Mr. Spinner came to Utica nearly every alternate Sunday. In 
the Reformed Church Magazine of January 28, 1828, is an account 
of a consistory meeting of the Collegiate church, New York City, 
held at the corner of Nassau and Amsterdam streets, at which the 
matter of organizing a church at Utica was discussed. Rev. John 
Ludlow of the First Church, Albany, and Secy. Schermerhorn, were 
the men who urged it. It was shown that a sum of $3,000 was avail- 
able at Utica, and a lot worth $4,000. The Albany church had prom- 
ised $3,000. It was thot that $10,000 was necessary to begin the 
work. We do not know the results of this meeting, but in the follow- 
ing years plans were consummated for the organization. The Broad 
Street church building was erected in 1830, and dedicated on June 
3d. It cost $15,000. At the organization, late in October, there were 
thirty-nine members, while fifteen more united at the first communion. 
This building was used until 1866. The first pastor of the church was 
Rev. George W. Bethune, who remained four years. He was in- 
stalled November 7, 1830, and preached his farewell sermon June 
29, 1834. The Utica church resulted from an unusual religious con- 
dition in the city, and was started by certain men and women of 
strong Calvinistic faith. Rev. Charles G. Finney had occupied the 
pulpit of the First Presbyterian church during the winter of 1827. 
While his influence was powerful, many questioned the methods 
he pursued, while they regarded much of the preaching as un- 
scriptural. But rather than oppose what passed in those days for a 
revival, certain persons, principally Scotch, came together and formed 
the Utica Dutch church. The first officers were Abraham Varick and 
George M. Weaver, elders, and Nicholas G. Weaver and Richard 
Vaughan, deacons. 

Dr. Bethune was the son of Divie Bethune, one of the founders 
of Princeton Seminary, a publisher and distributor of free tracts and 
Bibles years before the founding of the societies for this purpose. He 
was born March 18, 1805, spent three years at Columbia, and gradu- 
ated at Dickinson College (1823). He was a Princeton Seminary 
graduate of 1826. His first work was among the colored and poor 
people, and the sailors at Savannah, Ga. He came to the Utica church 
from Rhinebeck. His reasons for entering the ministry of the Re- 
formed church, briefly, were these, "a preference for her order, equally 
removed from the democracy of Congregationalism, the monarchy of 
Episcopacy, and the oligarchy of Presbyterianism, she presents in her 
representative government, united to rotation in office, the purest 
republican constitution." He wrote that "he liked her liturgy, de- 
lighted in her sound doctrine, admired her spirit her ministers 

were a band of brethren children of the same beloved mother 

who never meet but with joy, and never part but with tears and 

mutual benedictions, a united, respected, influential body 

and they shall prosper who love her." Dr. Bethune's correspondence 
shows the marked opposition of the other local churches to the Dutch 
church at its organization, which was continued for some years. In 
his inaugural sermon we hear him making a sort of apology for the 
denomination. But it was the spirit of the man and those first mem- 
bers who won the day, for despite all scorn and ridicule, the Dutch 
church, under the leadership of their pastor, made a name and fame 
for itself. When the cholera visited Ctica in 1832, Dr. Bethune 
was one of the two ministers who did not flee the city. Indeed he 

104 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

took one minister into his home and nursed him back to life. After 
pastorates at Philadelphia and Brooklyn, he went to the 21st St. 
Church of New York. He died while in this pastorate, at Florence, 
Italy, April 28, 1862. He was the founder of the church 
at Alexandria Bay (cf). He gave his library of seven hundred 
volumes to New Brunswick Seminary. He was a scholarly man of 
sweet, rare character, whose contributions to Christian Hymnology 
constitute one of his chief claims to remembrance. President James 
K. Polk urged Dr. Bethune to accept the chair of Moral Philosophy 
at West Point, but he felt obliged to decline. Later he was selected 
to succeed Chancellor Frelinghuysen of the New York State Uni- 
versity, but this honor also he declined to accept. A handsome marble 
mosaic of Dr. Bethune, once in the Third Church of Philadelphia, is 
now in the Sage library at New Brunswick. 

The second pastor at Utica was Rev. Henry Mandeville (1834- 
1841). He was born in Kinderhook, and was a professor of Moral 
Philosophy at Hamilton College. He died in 1858 while pastor of the 
Presbyterian church at Mobile, Ala. Rev. John P. Knox was the 
next pastor, coming from the Nassau Reformed church in 1841 and 
remaining thro 1844. He entered the ministry of the Presbyterian 
church later and died June 2, 1882. The Rev. Charles Wiley succeed- 
ed Dr. Knox, June 15, 1845, and remained ten years (1845-1854). Be- 
fore coming to Utica he had been pastor of the Northampton (Mass.) 
Congregational church. In 1849 the church had 225 members. After 
leaving Utica he became the President of the Milwaukee University, 
but again entered the active ministry and was pastor in the Geneva 
church in 1859. He edited a series of Latin Classics and wrote a 
volume on "Why I am not a Churchman." He died in December, 
1878, at Orange, N. J. The fifth pastor at Utica was the Rev. George 
H. Fisher (1855-1860), who became one of the great preachers of the 
country. For six years he was secretary of the Domestic Missions 
Board. He died in 1872 while pastor of the church at Hackensack, 
N. J. For two years the church was supplied by Rev. Charles 
E. Knox, a tutor at Hamilton College, and, later and for thirty years 
President of the Bloomfield Theological Seminary, where a $65,000 
Knox Hall was erected in 1914 to commemorate his work there. 
When Rev. Dr. Knox was asked to supply the pulpit he felt that 
the church ought to move up town and consented to supply on con- 
dition that he be permitted to raise the funds necessary to build 
in another section of the city. He raised $17,000 for this purpose. 
The Civil War provided an impediment to this project, but Dr. Knox's 
work paved the way for his successor to build. He died April 30, 
1900. Rev. Ashbel G. Vermilye succeeded to the pastorate, coming 
to the church in 1863 and leaving in 1871, to become the pastor of the 
old First Dutch church in Schenectady. He was the son of Rev. 
T. E. Vermilye, at the time the senior pastor in the Collegiate church, 
New York City. He was born at Princeton, N. J. in 1822. Before 
coming to Utica he had had pastorates at Little Falls, N. Y. (Presby- 
terian) and Newburyport, Mass. For thirty years before his death 
in 1905, Dr. Vermilye was not in the active work, much of the time 
being spent abroad and in literary labors. It was during his pastorate 
that a new site was secured for the church at the corner of Genesee 
and Cornelia streets, where the second church was erected, being 
dedicated on May 3, 1868. This building was burned February 6, 

105 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

1881, but rebuilt the following year. When Rev. Dr. Vermilye went to 
Schenectady he became the first pastor of the new church, the fifth 
erected, and preached his first sermon there on the day of its dedi- 
cation, August 6, 1871. 

In 1871 Rev. Isaac N. Hartley was installed pastor of the church 
and remained on the field nearly eighteen years, resigning in 1889, 
to enter the ministry of the Episcopal church. He died while rector 
at Great Barrington, Mass., in 1899. In 1880 Dr. Hartley wrote a 
semi-centennial history of the church. Rev. Oren Root, at the time 
Professor of Mathematics at Hamilton College, began supplying the 
pulpit in 1890. Later he was called to the pastorate and remained 
five years (1890-1894). Rev. Dr. Root (brother of U. S. Senator, Elihu 
Root) frequently supplied the Utica church pulpit when there were 
no pastors. He died August 20, 1907. The pastorate of Rev. Peter 
Crispell was of nine years duration (1894-1902). This was his second 
charge, his first being at Warwick, N. Y. Leaving Utica he went 
to Montgomery. In 1914 he retired from active work and is 
living at Newburgh. For some years the church seemed to be 
losing its grip in the community, but in the hour of its need, at the 
close of the pastorate of Mr. Crispell, Rev. Oren Root came back 
to it with generous and helpful service, and with the aid of the faith- 
ful few (found everywhere) saved the church to the denomination and 
the city, and prepared the way for the coming of the present pastor, 
Rev. Louis H. Holden, who was installed over the church October, 1904. 
The work done in the past decade has strengthened the organization 
and given the church a place of widespread influence in the religious 
life in the city. The present consistory are, Charles W. Weaver, 
Herbert F. Huntington, Joseph Hollingsworth, Edward Williams, Roy 
D. Barber, elders, and Frederick R. Drury, Floyd E. Ecker, Newton 
B. Hammon, Allen C. Hutchinson, and Roy C. Van DerBergh, 
deacons, while the board of trustees are, Herbert F. Huntington, Roy 
D. Barber, George DeForest, Newton B. Hammond, Joseph Hollings- 
worth, John W. MacLean, and Harry W. Roberts. The late Vice- 
President Sherman was for years a trustee of this church. 



# 



106 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

WEST LEYDEN REFORMED CHURCH 




The county of Lewis in 
which are situated the West 
Leyden and Naumburgh 
churches (as was also the New 
Bremen church) was formed 
from Oneida county March 28, 
1805 (Jefferson county being 
formed the same day). Alex- 
ander Macomb, who came 
from Ireland in 1742, had five 
sons in the War of 1812, one 
of whom was Maj. Macomb of 
Plattsburgh fame. On June 
22, 1791, Macomb bought near- 
ly all the land in Lewis coun- 
ty, some 3,816,960 acres (cf 
Naumburgh). The town of 
Lewis was formed November 
11, 1852. West Leyden was 
first settled in 1789 by two 
families named Newel and In- 
graham, who remained, how- 
ever, but a few years. In 1799 
Col. John Barnes, Joel Jenks, 
from Rhode Island, Medad Dewey and John and Cornelius Putman, 
from Somers, Ct, settled here. Major Alpheus Pease (dec. 1816) 
built the first grist mill in 1802. The names of Hunt, Tiffany, Felshaw 
and Pelton are among the earlier settlers. In 1831 ten German 
families came to West Leyden. The first church formed in the 
village was a Baptist organization in 1798. Its building stood where 
the present Union church is. The Congregationalists formed a 
church in 1806, Rev. Nathaniel Dutton being the organizer. Other 
ministers of this church were Reuel Kimball, Amaziah Clark, Eli 
Hyde, Calvin Ingalls, Jedutha Higby, and Comfort Williams. In 
1826 the congregation joined the St. Lawrence Presbytery. The 
building stood on what is now cemetery ground. On August 16, 
1847, the St. Paul's Lutheran and Reformed church was formed of 
which Frederick Meyer, Frederick Schopfer and George Tries were 
the trustees. A question arising in 18*5 concerning the matter of 
worship the families of the Reformed persuasion in this Union 
church withdrew and organized the "Reformed Protestant Dutch 
church of West Leyden." This was September 17, 1856, and the 
first trustees were, Philip Rubel and Frederick Meyer, elders, and 
Frederick Schopfer and Valentine Gleasman, deacons. Rev. John 
Boehrer came to the church as its first pastor soon after the organiza- 
tion and continued with it until 1862. Mr. Boehrer later on was 
pastor of the nearby churches of Naumburgh and New Bremen. 
Leaving Naumburgh he became pastor of a Buffalo church (1887- 
1897), but was without charge from 1897 to the time of his death, 
1913. During Boehrer's pastorate another church was organized 
December 7, 1858 and was called the "United German Protestant 
Lutheran and Reformed Congregation," in which Peter Wolf, Jacob 



107 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Roser, Peter Kantser, George Tries, and Heinrich Roser were the 
trustees. 

Rev. John M. Wagner succeeded Mr. Boehrer in September, 
1862, and continued the work thro 1864. Wagner was from the 
German Palatinate and gave his best efforts for the German churches 
he served. For nearly thirty years he was pastor of the large and 
influential German Evangelical church in Brooklyn, in which pas- 
torate he died January 21, 1894. In the summer of 1864 Rev. Frederick 
E. Schlieder came to the West Leyden church. Mr. Schlieder was 
born in Germany. Coming to this country he was graduated at New 
Brunswick, and in 1865 was installed over the church here. He had 
two pastorates at West Leyden, this one of eight 3 r ears, and a second, 
beginning in September, 1889, and continuing for eighteen years, or 
until failing health compelled him to relinquish the pulpit. Alto- 
gether Mr. Schlieder served the West Leyden church twenty-five 
years. He died February 2, 1915. His son, Rev. Albert Schlieder, 
is pastor of the First Church of Hackensack, N. J. Under the 
shadows of the old West Leyden church Mr. Schlieder spent his 
last days. There was no pastor during 1873, but in 1874, Rev. Jacob 
Weber became the minister in charge, and remained with the people 
for five years. Rev. Henry W. Warnshuis succeeded Weber but 
stayed only half a year. After leaving West Le} r den he went west 
and entered the Presbyterian church for work in Dakota. John H. 
Reiner was the next pastor. He was born in Russia, of Jewish 
extraction, and came to America in 1880. His only known work was 
this pastorate at West Leyden (1881-1885) and another at Gallatin 
(1886-1887). He visited the West Leyden field in 1912. During 
Reiner's pastorate the parsonage was built and the Ladies' Aid 
Society organized. It was also in his time that a division occurred 
in the church, and the faction withdrawing built a meeting house 
in 1889, supplied since by the Ava Methodist minister. Following 
Reiner came Rev. Henry Freeh (1885-1888), tho Rev. S. Kern had 
supplied the pulpit for a year (March, 1885-March, 1886). Nothing 
further than this West Leyden work is known of either of these men, 
except that before coming to West. Leyden, Freeh had been pastor 
for four years of the German church (2nd) of Jamacia. In 1889 
Rev. Julius J. Keerl supplied the pulpit for six months or until the 
return of Mr. Schlieder. In June, 1908, the Rev. George S. Bolsterle, 
recently graduated from New Brunswick, was ordained by the Classis 
of Montgomery and installed over the West Leyden church. Mr. 
Bolsterle did a fine work of reorganization and greatly encouraged 
the people in the three years he remained with them. For the past 
three years the church has been supplied during the summer by the 
seminary students, with occasional services by the Classical Mission- 
ary. Among these students have been Stephen W. Ryder of New 
Brunswick '13, who is now in the foreign missionary work in Japan, 
Bert W. Maass, now at Schodack Landing, John Putman and 
Chauncey Stevens of New Brunswick '16. In the Fall of 1914 Joseph 
M. Spalt began a lay work at West Leyden, which continued for a 
year. 



1C8 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



IReformeti Ctjurcljes 5I?oto QEetinct 

g JFormerlp attacfjcD to Classis @ 



The first settlement in the town of Amsterdam 
AMSTERDAM (formerly called "Veddersburgh"or"Veedersburgh" 

was by the widow and four sons of Philip Groat, 
at a place just opposite to where Cranesville is now (cf). Originally, 
Amsterdam, Johnstown, New Broadalbin and Mayfield were in a sort 
of square, and formed the ancient town of Caughnawaga. At first 
this part of the town was called Veddersburg or, Vedder's Mills, 
named after William Vedder, who, with his family, moved here from 
Johnstown in 1776. He was a descendant of Lucas Vetter (spelled 
also Vader, Feeter, Veeder) who died at Derdinger, southwest Ger- 
many so long ago as 1483. (Koetteritz: "Feeter Family"). Others give 
Albert Vedder of Holland descent as the founder. He was the first 
tenant of Fort Johnson after Sir John had fled to Canada. The name 
was changed in 1808 to "Amsterdam," and incorpation of the village 
was in 1830. Among the first settlers were William and Albert 
Vedder, E. E. DeGraff, Nicholas Wilcox and William Kline. The 
earliest known church was the Dutch Reformed Protestant church of 
1792, in which Michael Spore, Tunis Swart, Jeremiah DeGraff and 
Ahasuerus Marcellus were elders. This was an effort to organize a 
church at Cranesville ("Willigas"), but tho a morgan of land was 
given by John L. Groat, son of Philip Groat above, the project fell 
thro because the members wanted the church on both sides of the 
river. In the Summer of 1795 a second organization was started in 
which Jeremiah Voorhees and Cornelius Van Vranken were elders, 
whom Rev. John Johnson of the First Dutch church of Albany or- 
dained. The meeting for organization was held at the home of John 
Wiser (near where Henry Hagaman lived in 1851). A Rev. Ames 
supplied this church, who spent his last days at the county house. 
R ev. S am p s on Qccuir^ - a Long Iola nd Ind ia n— preaeh-ef; also was in 
thi^-ehtrrcrr. — He-died-m-l ^g g a t N^w-S4^ckbrid^erM^xiisorr-€-o.7-NlT-¥ . , 
aged— etr- He^was ^ne- of-4ke-be^^diieated ~o~f^ Two 

other churches were built at this time, one at New Harlem, later 
called Fondas Bush, and another at Mayfield. In 1799 the Rev. Con- 
rad Ten Eyck, just graduated from the New Brunswick Seminary, was 
called to these three fields, the call being dated March 14, 1799, tho 
Mr. Ten Eyck did not enter on the field until May 1, 1799. There was 
no church edifice as yet in Amsterdam. On July 3, 1799, Joseph Clizbe 
was made elder and Aaron Lindsay deacon. John DeGraff was al- 
ready in the consistory whose place was taken in December, 1799, by 
Nicolas Marcellus. John Manley and John Crane were made deacons. 
During 1800 in trying to settle on a church site two places were 
favorites, one in the village where the Dr. Pulling residence was, 

Note — We are attempting to give in these following pages glimpses of the 
history of those churches, formerly attached to the Montgomery Classis, but 
which^ thro the circumstances referred to in each case, became extinct, or 
independent, or were merged into other bodies. While some of them were 
worthy a decent burial, still we are constrained to feel that many were lost 
to the denomination thro neglect or lack of practical aid on the part of 
the Classis. 

109 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

near Market and West Main, and the other at Manny's Corners, 
where a good many of the congregation lived. As a result of the 
difference of opinion two churches were erected, one on each spot. 
At this time a third church seems to have been organized in Vedders- 
burgh, among the officers being James Downs and Mr. Van Derveer, 
both residents in Florida. This church continued until about 1831. 
Ten Eyck remained about four years with these three churches, and 
then served Mayfield and New Harlem until 1812, when he went to 
the Owasco church. The Veddersburgh church was supplied after 
Ten Eyck's going by the neighboring pastors, and occasionally by 
those in the Albany and Schenectady Dutch churches. Articles of 
incorporation of all these churches are to be found at Fonda. In 1802 
Classis dismissed the First Dutch church to unite with the Galway 
Presbyterian church to call Rev. Mr. Christie. In 1807 Classis dis- 
missed another First Dutch church to Albany Presbytery. 

In the journal of the Rev. John Taylor, who traveled thro here 
in 1802 he refers to Amsterdam as a town eleven by eight miles, 
where both the Dutch and Presbyterian churches are vacant, tho 
he adds that "Domine Ten Eyck occasionally officiates at both." 
He also says that the people are three-fourths English and that they 
have great respect for pious clergymen. In 1806 the Veddersburgh 
congregation at a meeting held in the church building, elected Andreas 
Waters, Harmanus A. Vedder and Volckert Vedder as trustees. In 
1807 this church is dismissed to the Presbytery of Albany. In 
1815 a new church was formed, known as "The Albany Bush (Johns- 
town) and Amsterdam Reformed Dutch church"; the elders were 
Peter Van Neste and Solomon Hoyt, and the deacons, Peter Vos- 
burgh and Garret Ten Broeck. Later, November 21, 1821, the term 
"Union" was added to the title and John Voorhees and Nathan 
Wells were in the consistory. The Manny's Corners Reformed 
church became Presbyterian in 1802, and was incorporated February 
1, 1803, its first trustees being Joseph Hagaman, Samuel Baldwin, 
John Bantan, Aaron Marcellus, Joseph Gunsaulus and Gabriel Manna. 
It united with the West Galway Presbyterian church and called Rev. 
John I. Christie, who began his work October 5, 1803. He was a 
Reformed Dutch minister coming from the Classis of Bergen to the 
church. His last charge was in the Dutch church at Warwick (1812- 
1835). He died in 1845. After Mr. Ten Eyck left in 1804 there was 
no preaching in the Veddersburgh church for several years, and in 
1812 the church became Presbyterian and united with the church at 
Manny's Corners, which also had become Presbyterian, under one 
head. It was from this church that on March 3, 1832, a hundred and 
four members went to form the Second Presbyterian church of Am- 
sterdam. Not until 1850 was another Reformed Dutch church found- 
ed in Amsterdam, this time on the south side of the river, in Port 
Jackson. Among those who preached in these first or earlier Re- 
formed churches, besides Mr. Ten Eyck, were the Rev. Messrs. 
Stephen Ostrander, Herman B. Stryker, Jonathan F. Morris and 
Sylvanus Palmer, the last of whom organized an independent 
("Wyckofite") church in Amsterdam, its members being called 
"Palmerites" and "Wyckofites." This church ran for six or seven 
years. Palmer also preached in independent churches at Tribes Hill 
and Mayfield. The Particular Synod of Albany, of the Dutch church, 
carried the "Albany Bush Reformed church" on its records until 1831. 

no 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

The years of the ministry of Morris and Stryker date down to 1833. 
Stryker went to St. Johnsville in 1833 and remained about two years. 
This was one of the original churches of the 
ANDRIESTOWN Classis, and usually given as one of the 
Canadian churches organized by the missionary, 
McDowell. But Andriestown ("Andrustown") was an outgrowth of 
the German Flatts church, seven miles away in the southern part of 
Herkimer county, and so called after Dr. Jas. Henderson, a surgeon 
of the British Army, who had obtained in 1739 from the Crown some 
20,000 acres of land. It was a corrupted form of Hendersontown. 
Seven of the German families of the German Flatts church bot a 
thousand acres of this land. Among the names are Grimm (Crim), 
Starring, Osterhout, Frank, Hawyer, Bell, Lepper, et al. In 1757 
these people took refuge in the church fort at German Flatts on ac- 
count of the French-Indian troubles. On July 18, 1778, an Indian 
massacre occurred at Andriestown with utter destruction of crops and 
cabins. It was here that Brant took his first revenge for Oriskany. 
At the time there were ten families, three of whom, the Crims, 
Moyers and Osterhouts escaped to Fort Herkimer. The rest were 
killed or taken prisoners. The congregation was pastored by the 
German Flatts church minister as the records show. The work was 
continued in the Columbia church. 

The records of this church, now called^ Roxbury, y sJLct/^ 

BEAVERDAM begin in 1802. In its earliest years- ft was supplied-,. r<y% 
by Revs. Stephen Z. Goetschius, Abner Benedict ^^^-v^C^j 
and Winslow Paige. Rev. David Devoe supplied ifwfien pastor at ^V. T 
Middleburgh (1803-1816). In 1813 he reported one hundred and thirty ~^ 
members. This was the year it joinea the Classis..Vr ■'=•>'- ^ k4rn£aT££: 

This church is now called So. Gilboa. Corwin sa"ys 
BLENHEIM it was organized in 1821 but the Montgomery Classis 
Minutes carry it on their roll for a decade previous to 
this. Rev. Winslow Paige was its supply during this period. 

The first settlement at Buel was by John Bowman in 1760. 
BUEL The Indian name for the place was Te-ko-ha-ra-wa. The 

place was called "Bowman's Kill" for a long time. Its pres- 
ent name comes from Hon. Jesse Buel a prominent agriculturist of 
Albany. It was here that Capt. Robt. McKean was brot after the 
battle of Dorlach (Sharon Springs) and where he died, July 10, 1781, 
and was at first buried at Fort Clyde (Minden), tho later reinterred 
at old Fort Plain. The earliest title of the church is the "Bowman's 
Creek Protestant Dutch Reformed Church. It joined the Classis 
of Montgomery in 1802. The consistory in 1807 were Abijah 
White and John Bowman, elders, and William Bartlett and 
Adam Felist, Jr., deacons. In 1809 John Bowman, a ruling elder 
in the churc,h had the body turned into Presbyterian. Rev. John C. 
Toll was the last pastor of the Dutch church (1803-1807). On May 
21, 1842, the session met and put the church back into the Dutch fold, 
but five years later, May 22, 1847, the church was again put into the 
Presbyterian fold, where it has remained since. The church edifice 
built about 1800 was burned in 1915. A new building was erected the 
same year. Among the preachers here besides Toll (cf Mapletown), 
were Rev. J. L. Stark (cf Mohawk) and a Rev. William Clark, who 
supplied for a while. The proximity of the Mapletown Reformed 
church has often resulted, as now in a dual pastorate. Rev. Ebenezer 

111 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Tucker, Auburn '43, was a member of the Buel church. In 1823 an 
asylum for the deaf and dumb was built, but in 1836 united in the one 
already founded in New York City. 

Three Reformed churches at Buffalo have become ex- 
BUFFALO tinct. The church of 1838 had for pastors, Rev. John 
Beattie (1838-1844), and Rev. William A. V. V. Mabon, 
who served it in a missionary capacity for two or three years (1844- 
1856). Mr. Beattie came to Buffalo to supply the church here after 
a twenty-five years pastorate at New Utrecht. Later he was installed 
pastor. He died January 22, 1864. Mr. Mabon died while in the 
professorate at New Brunswick, November 3, 1892. A second organi- 
zation at Buffalo was the Holland church of 1855, whose pastors were 
Revs. W., C. Wust (1855-1856), A. K. Kasse (1861-1864), and Henry 
K. Boer (1876-1879). Mr. Wust went to a Holland church in Ro- 
chester (1856-1864), then to the Lodi, N. J. Holland church, where 
after a few years he was suspended, but preached to an independent 
church until 1878, when he returned to Holland. Mr. Kasse died 
while pastor of the Second Holland church of Paterson, N. J., in 
1874. Mr. Boer is at the Siuox Centre, la. church. A third effort at 
Buffalo was an English speaking church, founded in 1855, located on 
Delaware avenue, of which the only pastor was the Rev. John L. 
See (1854-1861), who, later became Secretary of the Board of Educa- 
tion. He died June 1, 1892. The present Buffalo church is in the 
Rochester Classis, tho for many years a member of Montgomery. 

"Canajoharie" is a term to conjure with in 
CANAJOHARIE OR any historical study since it was on both 
"SAND HILL" sides of the Mohawk and was loosely bounded 

by the changing events of those early pre- 
Revolutionary times. Originally it referred to the country on the 
north side of the river, and was named after the Indian village, 
"Can-a-jor-he" ("whirling stone"). When the Bear clan of the Can- 
a-jor-he moved to the south side of the river toward the close of 
the seventeenth century they took the name with them, tho for 
years afterwards the old deeds refer to it still as on the north side. 
This continued until 1772 when Tryon county was formed and Cana- 
joharie was definitely bounded, extending from Nose Hill to Fall 
Hill along the river for twenty miles, virtually to the Pennsylvania 
line. In the divisions of Tryon county Canajoharie included the 
settlements of Cherry Valley, Charlotte river, etc. and, later, was 
known as the "Old English District." On Sauthier's map (1776) 
the Canajoharie creek was called "Te-cay-o-ha-ron-we." 

During Sir William Johnson's time Canajoharie was known as 
the country on the south side of the river around the Upper Castle 
of the Mohawks, in the town of Danube, but by the time of the 
Revolution its boundaries became popularly extended as far east as 
Fort Plain. Continuing the local history before we come to the 
"Sand Hill" church, the government in 1776 built a fort about a third 
of a mile north-east of the church (built in 1750) and called it "Fort 
Plain" (not Fort Plank which Stone, Campbell, et al. confuses with 
Fort Plain). It enclosed a third of an acre and was palisaded and 
defended with cannons and bastions. After the brutal raid of Sir 
John Johnson in 1780 (cf Notes) the government built a score, of 
forts in the valley for increased protection of the settlers. The first 
raid was in August, followed by the savage raid in October. The 

112 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

record of the court martial of Gen. Robt. Van Rensselaer brot out 
the fact that Van Rensselaer wanted the name of "Fort Plain" 
changed to that of "Rensselaer," to satisfy his vanity — surely not 
because of his cowardice shown at the battle of Stone Arabia (cf 
Note). Acquitted at the court martial, failing to have the name 
changed, Van Rensselaer ordered the erection of a block house a 
little to the north of the fort, on the land of John Lipe, and called 
it "Fort Rensselaer." This was in 1781. "Fort Plain" was already 
becoming dilapidated. Rev. Daniel Gros, the pastor of the "Sand 
Hill" church wrote Gen. Clinton urging him to send troops to Fort 
Rensselaer which, he says, is close to the ruins of the old "Sand 
Hill" church, burned in the raid of 1780. In his trip up the valley 
in July, 1783, Washington speaks of tarrying over night at the home 
of Maj. Wormuth, opposite Fort Plain and crossing in the morning 
where he probably dined at Fort Rensselaer to which he refers. 
Simms and later writers refer to the old stone house built by a Mr. 
Van Alstyne (1740), who had come from Kinderhook and settled at 
what is now the present village of Canajoharie, as Fort Rensselaer, 
but this is obviously an error, as all the documentary history amply 
proves. The ninth meeting of the Tryon Co. Com. of Safety was held 
in this house, June 11, 1775. The fourteenth meeting was also held 
here and Gen. Herkimer was chairman of the meeting. The forts 
built near Fort Plain during the last years of the War of the Revolu- 
tion were Fort Rensselaer, three hundred and thirty feet from old 
Fort Plain, Fort Plank, two and a half miles west and a quarter of 
a mile from the river, Fort Willett four miles west on the highland 
of "Dutchtown," on the Zimmerman farm; Fort Windecker eight 
miles west on the river, and Fort Clyde, in Freys Bush, three miles 
south. 

"The Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Canajoharie" (so 
the seal reads) was organized in 1750 and for seventy-five years the 
work was carried on. The church was locally known as the "Sand 
Hill" church, and was built on the westerly side of the "Dutchtown" 
road, about four miles up the river from the present village of Cana- 
joharie and about one mile above the present site of Fort Plain. The 
Germans who settled the town of Minden about 1720, located prin- 
cipally on the "Dutchtown" road which led down from Sand Hill to 
the river where there was a ferry. The land for this church and 
parsonage was given by Rutger and Nicolas Bleeker on September 
22, 1729, tho the church was not built, that is the substantial structure, 
until after 1761, for Rev. John Lappius, a German minister, on Sep- 
tember 9, 1761, was given permission to collect funds for the erection 
of a church. In April, 1759, Sir William Johnson held an Indian 
council at this place with the Iroquois. Domine Lappius died in 
1765. From Canajoharie just previous to his death Mr. Lappius writes 
a pathetic letter to Sir William Johnson, begging him to send him 
some rum and raisins to relieve his cold. Near by the church was 
the home of John Abeel, a celebrated German trader with the Indians, 
whose Seneca squaw bore him a son, Cornplanter, the celebrated 
Indian of infamous memory. 

All that remains of the old church today is a long neglected 
burial spot, a few mutilated books (in the Utica Public Library), the 
church seal, Rev. John Wack's call, and a few old papers, which are 
in the possession of some of Wack's descendants at Fort Plain. In 

113 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

the old record books referred to there are but a few consistorial 
minutes, the main portion of these records being statistical — baptisms, 
marriages, deaths, etc. These are from.1788 thro 1821. Rev. Abra- 
ham Rosencrantz preached here aTtelr Mis coming to German Flatts 
rcf>-4«- 175:3, and, later came Rev. John Casper Lappius(l , S^1765) 
and Rev. Kennipe (of whom we know nothing but the name in the 
records) and Rev. John Broeffle'fdr" Brtreffel), who was one of the 
first post-Revolutionary pastors. In 1788 Rev. D. C. A. Pick of Stone 
Arabia (cf) came to the church to supply it, and was followed by Rev. 
John D. Gros, a regent of the University of New York, and a chaplain 
of the N. Y. militia. He had served a German Reformed church in 
New York City. Dr. Gros was the instructor of the illustrious 
Milledoler (for thirty years connected with Rutgers). He wrote a 
standard work on "Moral Philosophy." He spent the last ten years 
of his wonderful life in the vicinity of Fort Plain, and lies buried in 
its beautiful cemetery. He was an extensive land owner in the 
valley. His brother, Capt. Lawrence Gros, of the Revolution, came 
to America in 176-1. His company was a part of Col. Willet's regi- 
ment. He was in the battles of Oriskany, Sharon and Johnstown. 
Rev. Dr. Gros was the almoner for N. Y. State Commission for re- 
lieving distressed families and served during 1780-1783. During the 
^ buv-k^ffllPttuist^y— ®$- Dr. Gros a new church was built costing $2,500, before 
^ and during the construction of which (erected on the site of the old 

one) the barn of Mr. Lipe (torn down in 1859) was used for worship. 
The builder of the church was Peter March. It had the high pulpit, 
half round with a bench for one, and sounding board, galleries on 
the sides and rear and steeple. Rev. Isaac Labagh came to the church 
about 1800 and remained three years. During the first year of his 
ministry a Washington Memorial service was held, and Labagh 
preached a sermon, afterwards printed. The church was decorated 
with evergreen and black crepe, while in the procession was a rider- 
less horse, with boots attached to the saddle (a custom of the day 
when officers were buried). It was an imposing service, attended by 
thousands, not a few of whom, doubtless, saw Washington on his 
visit to "Sand Hill" in the summer of 1783. 

Rev. John J. Wack came to the "Sand Hill" church in 1804, the 
call being dated May 26 and promising $200, together with fifty cords 
of wood, the personal use of the parsonage, the use of the glebe 
lands, and two weeks' vacation. His older brother, Casper, began 
the study of theology at eleven, and received calls at fifteen, but 
Classis compelled him to wait a few years for ordination tho he was 
allowed to serve the church as a catechist. He was the first native 
born minister to be educated and ordained in America. Rev. J. J. 
Wack began preaching at twenty-three at Amwell, N. J., from which 
he came to the "Sand Hill" church with his bride and two slaves, 
several head of cattle — driving all the distance. Wack's call is signed 
by John Jr., Jacob and John Dievendorf, Cornelius Van Camp, Jr., 
Dionysius Miller, Thomas Zimmerman, Jacob H. Walradt, John Fail- 
ing (consistory), and by the trustees, Solomon Dievendorf, George 
G. Garlock, John Seeber, Casper Lipe and Henry S. Failing. Rev. 
Mr. Wack was a fluent linguist, preaching in the German and English, 
and in the controversies of that day with the Universalists, quo.ting 
passages from his Hebrew and Greek Testaments, and from the 
Latin Fathers — which procedure always had a most favorable impres- 

114 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

sion on the hearers and tended to confound his adversaries. Rev. 
Wack was more than a preacher — he was for his day a sort of 
"bishop," ruling in all the affairs of his people with strong hand and 
convincing speech. When the soldiers of the company of which he 
was chaplain (War of 1812) refused to assemble for prayers be 
borrowed the sword from the commanding officer and compelled them 
to form a hollow square, inside of which he led them in the morning 
devotions. When the Montgomery Classis sought to discipline him 
for infraction of their rules he took the church out of the Classis or 
else went off and organized a new one. For nearly half a century 
he was a potent factor in the churches of the classis, or in those 
that were organized independent of Classis. He served the church 
at "Sand Hill" for twenty years, its last pastor, unto whom, for 
salary due, came the church, and parsonage, and glebe lands, — he 
might have had the cemetery but declined it. We find him serving, 
besides "Sand Hill," the churches at Canajoharie (Independent), Stone 
Arabia, Tillaborough, and Ephratah, at which place he died, May 
26, 1851, the anniversary of his call to "Sand Hill." Under the present 
Canajoharie church we speak of other efforts in the present village 
to organize Reformed churches, and under the Independent churches 
references are to be found anent the "Wyckofite" movement in the 
community. Both Fort Plain and Canajoharie are outgrowths of the 
"Sand Hill" church, tho the former has priority in the succession. 
"Sand Hill" or "Canajoharie" was for many years also called, the 
"Fort Plain" church. In the Minutes of Particular Synod of Albany 
(1817 ff) concerning the trouble Classis had with Mr. Wack it is 
so called, and Peter Mayer signs himself as the "President of the 
Fort Plain Reformed Dutch church" under date of October 2, 1816. 
Organized in 1833 by the Cayuga Classis, it entered 
CANASTOTA the Montgomery Classis in 1889. The pulpit from 
the beginning was almost wholly supplied by the 
students from Auburn Seminary, while of the fourteen pastors or 
supplies mentioned, but four represent the Reformed church ministry. 
Among the pastors were, Rev. S. Z. Goetschius (S. S. 1836-1837), Rev. 
Francis T. Drake (1845-1853), Rev. John Garretson (1859-1861), and 
Rev. William A. Wurts (1863-1868), the latter serving as pastor for 
six years, and, later (1877-1878) acting as supply. Rev. John H. Lock- 
wood was installed in November, 1871, and resigned in May, 1873. 
Mr. Lockwood went to the First Congregational church of Westfield, 
Mass., in 1879, and is now the pastor emeritus of that church, tho 
residing at Springfield, Mass. He has not been in active work since 
1896. Cayuga dropped the church after Wurts' supply but Mont- 
gomery listed it until 1894, even tho it had gone over to the Pres- 
byterian denomination about 1883. A strong Reformed church in 
the sixties, tho most of the families were Presbyterian, the church 
was practically in the hands of the Auburn men, especially Rev. Mr. 
Whitfield, and eventually went into that denomination. Canastota 
means "the lonesome pine." 

Two churches were organized at Caroline (Tompkins 
CAROLINE Co.), the first in 1800, the year of the forma- 
tion of the Classis, and which continued for a 
few years, Rev. Garrett Mandeville being a pastor. In 1831 a second 
Reformed church was formed, Revs. Chas. P. Wack, John G. Tarbell, 



115 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Cornelius Gates, and John Witbeck (cf Arcadia) serving as pastors, 
the last thro the years 1852-1868. 

The Reformed Dutch church of Cato was organized in 1818 
CATO by the Montgomery Classis and continued as such until 

December, 1884, when it was formally received into the 
Presbytery of Cayuga. For the first few years it was supplied by 
missionaries or nearby pastors. In 1821 David R. DeFraest became 
the pastor. In 1824 a church was organized at Sterling (cf Aurelius) 
and DeFraest preached for a couple years here, as well as at Cato. 
In 1827 an Independent or "Wyckofite" church ("True Reformed") 
was organized at Cato in which DeFraest continued to preach until 
1828 when he was suspended by the Classis from the ministry. Later 
he joined the Associate Presbyterian body, and died in 1861. When 
the seceders left the original church the missionaries, Rev. Richard 
Wynkoop served the church for several months, and after him Rev. 
Jas. B. Stevenson for a couple of years, going to Florida (cf) in 1829. 
Rev. Abram Hoffman was the second pastor serving the church from 
1831 thro 1843. He died in 1856. Rev. Richard W. Knight, an English 
Congregationalist, who had been at Sand Beach (Owasco Outlet) for 
several years, came to Cato in 1845, also preaching at Lysander. 
Later Wolcott (Victory) was substituted for Lysander, and Knight 
continued at Cato until 1852, when he was made pastor emeritus. He 
died February 9, 1873. Rev. A. G Morse was at Cato during 1857- 
1859. Rev. Thomas G. Watson was ordained and installed over the 
church by the Geneva Classis, June 25, 1861. He also preached at 
Wolcott. On leaving Cato in 1869, he entered the Presbyterian 
church, spending fifteen years in Washington where he died, at 
Spokane on October 28, 1900. During his pastorate (1865) the con- 
gregation bot of the Methodists their property for $850, selling the 
old church and land for $350. At this time there were but thirty- 
one in the communion of the church. Rev. Watson was drafted for 
the Civil War, but he bought his release with money given by the 
two churches and some of his own ($600). In these days L. W. 
Van Doren, Isaac Van Doren, Morgan Lawrence, Peter Sleight, and 
David Jones were efficient officers. Rev. Minor Swick came in 1869 
and remained two years, to be followed by Rev. Frederick F. Wilson, 
who came from Mohawk (cf) and remained a year (1872). Rev. T. 
R. Townsend supplied for a while. On May 26, 1874, Rev. J. Howard 
Van Doren, who had been in the China mission, was installed and 
staid until 1876 when he went to Tyre. His last pastorate was at 
East Albany (Bath) where he died June 6, 1898. His daughter, Alice 
Van Doren, has been for some years a member of the Ranipettai 
(India) Mission. Rev. Ransford Wells (cf Canajoharie and Fulton- 
ville) spent five years at Cato (1876-1880). At this time the church, 
thro its financial depression, lost its parsonage. For three years it 
was supplied by Auburn students, Rev. Wilbur O. Carrier leading 
it at length into the Presbyterian fold. This was no reflection on 
the Reformed denomination for the Domestic Board gave thousands 
of dollars thro the years to the work. The first pastor of the Presby- 
terian church was Rev. John Wileridge. Rev. O. B. Pershing (New 
Brunswick 1900) was ordained here. The present pastor, Rev. Cassius 
J. Sargent, supplied the Owasco field from 1905 thro a part of 1910. 



116 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

The First Reformed Protestant Dutch church of 
CHARLESTON Charleston was a charter member of the Classis. 
It was organized in 179$" In 1803 the Second 
Charleston church was organized by the Classis, the first settled 
pastor being Rev. Henry V. Wyckoff (1803-1820), who lived in the 
town of Charleston for thirty-five years, serving various churches, 
regular, independent, and secession. In the Particular Synod Albany 
Minutes of 1817 he is reported as without charge. A brother, Rev. 
Isaac N. Wyckoff, was at Albany Second for thirty years, receiving 
a thousand souls into that church. Wyckoff came to Glen and 
Charleston from the Seminary in 1799: During the quarter-century 
following the first organization there were four others according to 
the records, but nothing is known of them. Wyckoff seems to have 
been the moving genius in each but the first. Another church under 
date of August 13, 1803, was incorporated, which Wyckoff served 
twenty-five years. The consistory of this last church was, Timothy Hut- 
ton, Sr., John Jamison, Garrett Lansing, Cornelius Van Olinda, elders, 
and Edward Montaney, Francis Stile, Wilhelm Fero, and Henry 
Disbro, deacons. There was also a "Reformed Calvinist church of 
Canajoharie and Charleston," incorporated it/ ^lSOe. The building 
used by the Second church finally came into use by the followers of 
Wyckoff, who were termed, and to this day, "Wyckofites." This 
edifice was burned in 1860. This church was re-incorporated Novem- 
ber 24, 1823. Wyckof was suspended in 1820 and at once organized 
a "Truth Reformed" church (cf Note), which, with another seceding 
church he served for ten more years. Other men serving the regu- 
lar churches in the town of Charleston were, Revs. Benj. Van Keuren, 
Peter Van Buren, ordained by Montgomery Classis in 1805, J. R. H. 
Hasbrouck, Jonathan F. Morris, and Alanson B. Chittenden. Van 
Keuren was also at Mapletown (cf). Hasbrouck was, later, at Curry- 
town (cf). Morris was a classical mhjionan^in the twenties. He 
died July 11, 1886. Mr. Chittenden died m / !&^^. 

This is said to be the first church organized by the 
CHENANGO Board of Domestic Missions after the Revolution, 

but in Todd's "Life of Peter Labagh," it is recorded 
to have been organized in 1796 by Labagh, who was temporarily 
serving the Particular Synod of Albany as a missionary. It was 
formed by Rev. John Cornelison. He died in 1828 after a pastorate 
of twenty odd years in the church at Bergen. The date was 1794, a 
charter member of the Classis. It was situated near the present site 
of Binghamton, and continued as a Dutch church for nearly thirty 
years, when it became Presbyterian. The building was torn down in 
1911. Corwin's manual says the men who served this church were, 
Revs. Sylvanus Palmer (cf Amsterdam), Samuel Van Vechten (cf 
Fort Plain), John Van Derveer (cf Canajoharie), John W. Ward, A. 
Henry DuMont, Douw Van Olinda (cf Fonda). Ward was the first 
Presbyterian pastor. Excepting Mr. Ward these men served the 
Union church in Montgomery county (Johnstown) organized by the 
Classis in 1810. Corwin's Manual errs in associating them with the 
Chenango Church so far distant. Another church nearby was called 
the "Union" Reformed Dutch Church, because here Gen. Clinton on 
August 28, 1779, made a union with the forces of Gen. Sullivan in the 
latter's campaign against the Iroquois. 



117 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Chittenango was settled in 1793 and was called 
CHITTENANGO Chittenango Falls. A Presbyterian church was 
organized here in 1799 and Rev. John Leonard 
was the first pastor. The Reformed Dutch church of Chittenango 
(an Indian name meaning "sunshine") was organized January 12, 1838, 
and the building dedicated January 15, 1829, by the Cayuga Classis. 
The founders of the church were Rev. Andrew Yates, David R. 
Austin, las. A. Van Voast, Jacob Slingerland and Stephen Alexander. 
At a public meeting held February 28, 1828, a committee of thirteen, 
with Rev. Yates was appointed to erect the church. Hon. John B. 
Yates, an attorney at Chittenango, gave $2,500 toward the project. 
The first work done in Chittenango was by Rev. Hutchins Taylor 
(1828), but on the coming of Rev. Yates, a New Brunswick man, to 
the principalship of what became the Yates Academy (a work of the 
Dutch church) and which, later, and is now called the Yates High 
School, the Reformed church was organized. Originally there were 
but five members, and at the close of the first year, but twelve, tho 
after the dedication some twenty from the Sullivan Presbyterian 
united. Even after forty years, in 1864, when Rev. Jas. R. Talmage 
was pastor, there were but seventy-nine. Rev. Taylor remained 
eighteen months, after which Dr. Yates served as supply for a year. 
Rev. Dr. Yates is again called, and declines, but secures for the 
church Rev. William H. Campbell (later Professor and President at 
Rutgers), who remained a year. Rev. Dr. Yates now accepts a call 
to the church, still retaining his position in the school. But the burden 
of work is too great so he secures Rev. Elbert Slingerland, but he 
remained but two months. Rev. Daniel E. Manton, a graduate of 
Andover and Princeton, supplied the pulpit after this until April 22, 
1836, when Rev. John Cantine F. Hoes is installed over the church, 
remaining until 1837, when he resigned to go to Ithaca (cf). Rev. 
Hoes was born in Kinderhook, and a sister married President Martin 
Van Buren, while another married Rev. L. H. Van Dyck (cf Stone 
Arabia). His only son was a chaplain in the navy. The Board of 
Domestic Missions was making annual grants of $200 to aid in pay- 
ing salary. 

In January, 1838, Rev. James Abeel came to the field and staid 
nearly twenty years, during all of which time the organization was 
straightened financially. Other preachers or supplies were, Rev. 
Seth P. M. Hastings, who died at Accord in 1876, and Jas. R. Tal- 
mage, who died a decade later. His brothers were Rev. John V. N. 
Talmage, a missionary to the Chinese for forty years, Rev. Goyn 
Talmage of the same class ('45) at New Brunswick, and Rev. T. 
DeWitt Talmage, the famous preacher (cf Syracuse 1st). Rev. Jacob 
H. Enders who was pastor for ten years (1869-1880). Rev. Otis C. 
Thatcher was the last pastor of the Reformed church. A Mr. Fisher 
supplied the pulpit after Rev. Thatcher left, who later entered the 
Methodist ministry. At the Fall meeting of the Presbytery of Syra- 
cuse, held in the Reformed church at Chittenango, the organization, 
on application of the congregation was received into the Presbytery, 
which also took over the valuable property rights into which the 
Board of Domestic Missions had invested thousands of dollars, and 
endowments given to the Dutch church by its former members. Rev. 
Charles H. Walker (now of Troy, N. Y.) was the first Presbyterian 
pastor, installed in 1889. A year after this transfer the Particular 

118 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Synod of Albany placed the Chittenango church in the Classis of 
Montgomery, and said church was listed among those of the Classis 
until 1894. 

The Classis of Montgomery in 1825 gave leave of 
CINCINNATUS absence to Rev. Mr. Labagh that lie might go to 
this place, which is in Cortland county, to organ- 
ize the Reformed Dutch church there. Mr. Van Home and Rev. Mr. 
De Voe were to supply his pulpit. The church is mentioned after 
this only in the reports of the Missionary Society. 

This church, as that of Andriestown (cf) was 
COENRADSTOWN given a place in the 1800 list of the Montgom- 
ery Classis. They have been placed at times 
among the Canadian churches of early missionary activity organized 
by Rev. Robert McDowell, who was commissioned by the Classis 
of Albany to labor in both Upper and Lower Canada, and whose 
regular field of service was nearly three hundred miles long. Both 
of these churches were developments of the German Flatts church. 
Reference is made under Andriestown to the settlement of that name, 
seven miles south of Fort Herkimer. After a few years of prosperity, 
a number of these settlers went five miles further west and formed 
a new settlement and called it Coenradstown (Coonrodstown) because 
that family surname predominated among the first settlers. In the 
"Mission Field" of December, 1912, is a view of the Coonrod 
Orendorf barn where the people of Coenradstown usually met for 
worship, and where, in 1798, the church of Columbia was organized. 
In the records of the German Flatts church in calling Rev. Pick to 
their joint pastorate (April 9, 1798) the consistories of German 
Flatts and Herkimer, besides demanding of Pick a statement as to 
his debts and his creditors, also agreed, on request of a representa- 
tive from Coenradstown, that Pick should preach at that place six 
Sabbaths every year, and four times a year during the week at Oren- 
dorf's barn or in the church erected. No records of these two 
churches, Andriestown and Coenradstown are extant, tho references 
are made to them in the records at German Flatts. 

The Union Reformed Dutch church of this place 
COBLESKILL was received into the Montgomery Classis on the 

second Wednesday of February, 1826. It became 
extinct in 1855, for most of the time being in the Schoharie Classis. 
A church was at once built, and Rev. William Evans conducted 
services in it during the summer months of 1827. Other pastors or 
supplies were, Revs. H. A. Raymond, A. H. Myers, J. E. Quaw, Benj. 
Bassler, H. E. Waring, William Lochead, Cyril Spaulding, and D. B. 
Hall. Roscoe's History of Schoharie County refers to the church, 
but the only correct statement made is to the effect that the building 
was later occupied by the post office. This church has no relation 
whatever to the present Cobleskill church. 

"The Duanesburgh Dutch Church — Anno Domini 
DUANESBURGH 1800— Thomas Romeyn, V. D. M.," is the record 
on the fly leaf of the old consistory book of this 
church. This organization had apparently but a few years of life, 
the records beginning in September, 1798, and ending in June, 1804. 
Among the ministers whose names occur in the records are those of 
Rev. Winslow Paige of Florida (cf), Rev. Thos. Romeyn, Rev. Conrad 
Ten Eyck, Rev. Robert McDowell. Romeyn was also at Florida 

119 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

(1800-1806), and Ten Eyck was at Amsterdam (first organization), 
while McDowell was one of the early missionaries of the denomina- 
tion, doing a large work in the Canadian settlements near the border. 
A meeting house was built, but the work was given up in 1805. A 
second church was organized in 1824. Records of these churches are 
to be found at Fonda. On April 5, 1801, an "Association of Florida 
and Duanesburgh" was incorporated, and trustees chosen at the house 
of Thomas Crawford. Later a Duanesburgh Presbyterian church was 
organized in 1804, and in 1806, Classis dismissed the Dutch church 
to Albany Presbytery. Still another Associate church was organized 
at Scotch Bush in 1795, and a church was built. This last church was 
rebuilt in 1846 and in 1851 it became Presbyterian. The old book to 
which we refer contains several pages of marriages, baptisms, and 
a church membership register, of which typed copy has been made. 
This church was in Seneca county; originally the town 
FAYETTE was called "Washington." The church was formed in 
1800. It was a missionary church, and was supplied 
for a decade by Revs. John Van Derveer and Jonathan F. Morris. 
In 1855 the county histories report two Reformed churches in this 
town. Classis admitted the Fayette church in 1821. 

Called also Raitfsonville (corporate name in 1815), 
FONDA'S BUSH "New Harlem" and "Broadalbin," it was situated 

in what is now Fulton Co. on Kennyetto Creek, 
and is now called Vails Mills. Rev. Romeyn began services here in 
1790. The church was organized in 1795, and incorporated in 1800, and 
ran thro an existence of some thirty years, when (1823) it was dis- 
missed by Classis to the Albany Presbytery. The first consistory 
was made up of Dick Banta and Samuel Demarest, elders, and 
Abraham Westervelt and Peter Demarest, deacons. Mr. Ten Eyck 
staid until lSl^^T^aTrner' came in 1818. Rev Conrad Ten Eyck and 
Rev. Sylvanus Palmer were pastors of the church and Rev. Samuel 
Van Vechten, the missionary, also served it. (In 1804 there was an 
incorporation as "The First Presbyterian Congregation in Broadalbin 
under the inspection of the Associate Reformed church"). 

This church was situated in the town of Minden 
FORD'S BUSH (Montgomery Co.) just south of St. Johnsville, 
and was incorporated April 26, 1801. The incor- 
poration, signed by Rev. Conrad Ten Eyck, bears date of May 18, 
1800 and is on file at Fonda. Jonathan F. Morris is put down as a mis- 
sionary, serving this church as late as 1829. Robert Sybert, Martin 
Blessing and John Monk were trustees. 

While the Reformed church never had any or- 
FORT HUNTER ganization at Fort Hunter yet on the estate of 

Rev. Jacob H. Enders (for years a member of the 
Montgomery Classis, cf Chittenango) a commodious house of worship 
(still standing) had been built by J. Leslie Voorhees of the Auriesville 
church, and services for the people of the community had been held 
in it for many years. Fort Hunter was originally called "I-can-der- 
a-go" or "Te-on-de-lo-ga" i. e. "two streams coming together." Here 
was the familiar palisaded Indian Mission spoken of in the Note on 
Indian Education. The lower Mohawk Castle was built here. Fort 
Hunter was built in October, 1711, but at the close of the French 
War in 1763, it was abandoned, and the Indian Mission given up a 
decade later. Soon after the Queen Anne chapel was built in the 

120 



iLs 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

fort, the Dutch built a log meeting house near what later became 
known as Snook's Corners, about two miles distant from the fort. 

The place was named after Lawrence Frank, an 
FRANKFORT early settler. A church was organized in the pres- 
ent village of Frankfort (Herkimer Co.) in 1830. At 
the beginning the Rev. Henry Snyder (cf Herkimer) preached here, 
and at Schuyler and Herkimer 2nd. Other ministers were, Rev. Amos 
W. Seeley (cf Cicero), Rev. James Murphy (cf Herkimer), and Rev. 
Jedediah L. Stark (cf Mohawk). 

, This church was organized in 181:2. It was some- 

jGREENVVICg; times called "Union Village," and was in Washing- 
\/UTt**~ w^. tQn county Nothing else is known. 

Sometimes called, "Warren," this church was situ- 
HENDERSON ated near Jordanville (Herkimer Co.), some six 
miles east of the Columbia church. It was settled 
between 1750 and 1756. Its name was, doubtless, derived from Dr. 
Henderson, after whom Andriestown was also called (cf). Services 
were conducted in this church, built in 1829 (building still standing, 
1915) up to May 22, 1887, a communion service conducted by Dr. 
Daniel Lord. In 1895 Classis sold the building for $25. A First Church 
of Henderson was organized about 1798, at the time of the organiza- 
tion of the Columbia church. This seems to have been dropped, and 
second one formed in 1823, the pastors at Columbia usually sup- 
plying Henderson, among whom were Revs. Jacob W. Hangen (cf 
Columbia), David De Voe (supplied for a year-cf St. Johns- 
ville), John P. Pepper, Davis B. Hall, John Witbeck, Daniel 
Lord (supplied often during twenty years, cf Fort Herkimer), and 
James M. Compton (cf Stone Arabia). Henderson reported one 
hundred families and a congregation of five hundred in 1842, but in 
1854, the report read, forty families and one hundred and fifty in 
the congregation." Reported vacant until 1895 when the name was 
dropped. 

It was about a century after the forming of the origin- 
HERKIMER al Herkimer church that a second church was or- 
SECOND ganized by Montgomery Classis in the east end of 
Herkimer. This was done in 1824 and continued with 
more or less success until 1836, when it was merged into the mother 
church. In December, 1823, Simeon Ford and others wanted to organ- 
ize but Classis objected. Gen. Synod in June, 1824, directed it should 
be done. Among the men who served the Second Herkimer church 
were Revs. Samuel Centre, Isaac S. Ketchum, Joshua Boyd, Jonathan 
F. Morris, Henry Snyder, and John H. Pitcher. In 1912 a Sunday 
school was started by members of the Herkimer church in East 
Herkimer, and the outlook is excellent for an organization in this 
prosperous suburb of Herkimer. 

A Reformed church was organized at Ilion in 1862, and in 
ILION 1866 reported thirty families to the Classis. Rev. Jeremiah 
Petrie (cf Herkimer) was the pastor from 1864 thro 1868. 
The church later went over to the Presbyterians, who built a beauti- 
ful new structure in 1912. 

Sir William Johnson is said to have built the 

INDIAN CASTLE church at Indian Castle, costing $1,142.75 (also 

called "Danube") in 1769 in order that the 

Indians at the upper Mohawk Castle might have religious training. 

121 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

In the beginning of the work Rev. Mr. Hale was called, but declined. 
In 1772 Sir William Johnson complained to Rev. Dr. Burton, that 
he can get no preacher for the Castle church. On March 12, 1800, a 
Reformed Dutch church was incorporated. Rev. David De Voe, Rev. 
Joseph Knieskern of St. Johnsville, and Rev. D. C. A. Pick of Stone 
Arabia often supplied the pulpit. In 1823 Rev. Samuel Ketchum was 
preaching here. The consistory at this time were Andrew Dingman, 
Jacob Overacker, Robert Spoor, Henry Moyer, elders, and William 
Ostrander, Thomas J. Mesick, Jacob I. Cramor, and Rudolph Wal- 
rath, Jr., deacons. A second church was formed in 1861 to which 
Rev. R. M. Stanbrough, at the time the Manheim pastor ministered. 
Stanbrough usually walked from Manheim to the Mohawk at a point 
opposite the church site, then crossed in a skiff, with frequent dangers, 
and after service made the return trip for the evening service at 
Manheim. 

Called also "Johnsburgh," it was organized by 
JOHNSBOROUGH Rev. Samuel Centre (cf Herkimer) who sup- 
plied the field in 1823. The church was in 
Warren county and was organized in 1819. 

A Montgomery county church, formed in 1816. It 
JOHNSTOWN was also called "Kingsboro." It was in the Kings- 
land tract of sixty-six thousand acres of land that 
the King gave Sir William Johnson a few years before the latter's 
death. Johnstown was originally the county seat of Tyron and later 
of Montgomery county, and it was the removal of the county seat 
to Fonda that caused a division in the county and the formation of 
Fulton county. The title on record is "The Kingsborough Reformed 
Dutch church." At first it was connected with the Caughnawaga 
church. The men who preached here were, Rev. Albert Amerman, 
who also supplied Mayfield, and who was on this field, in regular 
and independent Reformed churches for a quarter century (1817- 
1843). His only other field was Hackensack (1843-1871). He died as 
pastor of the Presbyterian church of Hackensack in 1881. The next 
ministers were, Rev. Samuel Van Vechten (cf Mapletown), Rev. 
Douw Van Olinda (cf Mapletown), and Herman B. Stryker (cf St. 
Johnsville). The work was given up about 1835, and it was not until 
1894 that the present Johnstown church was organized. The Fonda 
records are dated 1800, Philip Miller and Christian Yaney being 
elected elders. A re-incorporation is recorded in April, 1813. Rev. 
Peter Domier, a Lutheran, organized on Christmas day, 1821, a Dutch 
Lutheran church at Johnstown (cf Palatine Stone Dutch church). 
Rev. John Taylor (1802) speaks of the "elegant Scotch Presbyterian 
church" in Johnstown, Rev. Simon Hoseck, pastor; also of the Epis- 
copal church and its organ, Rev. John Erquahart, rector, and of the 
Reformed Dutch church where Dominie Van Home preaches. 

Tho this church was in Schenectady county it was 
MARIAVILLE in the Montgomery Classis, being near to the Flori- 
da church at Minaville, if not, indeed, an outgrowth 
of this church. It was organized in 1843, its only pastor of whom 
we have knowledge having been James Donald, who served the 
church from 1844 thro 1850. Mariaville first reported to the Fall 
meeting of Classis in 1845. 



122 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASS1S 

Situated in Lewis county, organized in 1827. 
MARTINSBURGH It was near Lowville on the Black River Rail- 
road. Known only thro mention of it in the 
minutes of the Synods. 

The Reformed Protestant Dutch church of Mayfield 
MAY FIELD was organized in 1703, Abraham Wells, Abraham 
Romeyn, Lucas Brinckerhoff, Peter Snyder, David 
Becker, Elisabeth Turner and Mary Van Buren being charter mem- 
bers. On February 20, 1795, it was determined to build the church 
on the "nole" at or near the road leading from Mayfield to Romeyn's 
Mill (building still standing near the F., J. & G. R. R.). Mayfield 
cemetery now covers the original tract of land that was used for 
building the church. The first church was thirty by twenty, built on 
a half acre of land, given by Abraham Wells. Originally Mayfield, 
with New Broad Alban, Johnstown, and Amsterdam, formed the 
Caughnawaga "Square." Rev. Conrad Ten Eyck was the first preach- 
er, also at Amsterdam (cf) and remaind until 1812. Rev. John 
Taylor's "Journal" of 1802 speaks of the old Dutch church at May- 
field and its pastor, Ten Eyck. After Mr. Ten Eyck left a dissension 
arose resulting in a number withdrawing and building another church 
at what is now called Munsonville. These people were called "Pal- 
merites" after their pastor, Rev. Sylvanus Palmer (cf Amsterdam), 
who was with them so many years. This second church building 
was taken down many years ago. Rev. Albert Amerman (cf Amster- 
dam) was here for four years (1817-1821), and Revs. Douw Van 
Olinda, and Samuel Van Vechten, of whom we have spoken under 
Amsterdam. In March, 1823 (Fonda Records), the church withdrew 
from Montgomery Classis and became the Central Presbyterian 
church of Mayfield. Rev. Jeremiah Wood began preaching here in 
1826, and continued until 1870. He died in 1876. The present Presby- 
terian church was built in 1828. 

A Reformed organization was once started at 
MIDDLETOWN some place in Saratoga county called Middletown, 
(Half Moon), but this is the only reference we 
have of the body. The present name of the town is Middle Grove. 
The date of formation of the society was 1791. This church is not 
to be confounded with the Mapletown church, formerly called Middle- 
town, in Montgomery county. Rev. John Clost is the only pastor 
known. Middletown was put into the Washington Classis in 1818. 

In the town of Minden (Montgomery Co.) a Reformed 
MINDEN Dutch church was organized February 12, 1816, and. was 

known as the "St. Paul's Reformed Dutch and Lutheran 
church." Peter Ressner was trustee. (The Geissenberg church in this 
town was a Lutheran body). 

This church was collegiate with Naumburgh, six 
NEW BREMEN miles distant. The pastors and supplies were the 
same as those who preached at Naumburgh (cf). 
New Bremen is now a town of three hundred population on the 
Lowville and Beaver River R. R. The church was organized in 1855, 
and the last meeting of Consistory was held in 1876. The building 
was sold for $25 by the Board of Domestic Missions. The congre- 
gation was German, the minutes being kept in this language. The 
first church building was erected by the Lutherans (as was also the 
case at Naumburgh), but in 1873 Rev. Boehrer built a new church 

123 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

at a cost of $1,050, the Board of Domestic Missions giving $650 of 
this sum. Classis disbanded the church in 1900. 

This was a German Reformed church at first, 
NEW RHINEBECK organized by Rev. J. C. L. Broeffle of the 
Schoharie church in 1788, and later merged 
into the present Lawyersville church. Durlach (Sharon) organized 
at the same time, and New Boston, a mission station, were all con- 
nected. The first settled pastor was Rev. Christian Bork, formerly 
a Prussian soldier under Burgoyne, and, later with Col. Willett, when 
the Indians were given their final scourging at Johnstown, and the 
Tories were driven forever from the Mohawk and Schoharie valleys. 
Rev. Mr. Bork began work here in July, 1795, tho he was not in- 
stalled till August 14, 1796. The church was one of the charter mem- 
bers of the Classis. In 1807 the Lutherans having demanded the 
church edifice, built in 1801, the Reformed church gave up the prop- 
erty. The church was a mile or more north of Lawyersville on a 
part of Lot No. 11 of Jacob Borst. From the call to Rev. Mr. 
Labagh in 1807, the congregation worshipped in the church at 
Lawyersville. In 1826 it was put into the Schoharie Classis. From 
1798 to 1803, besides those above, Rev. Winslow Paige and Rev. 
Rynier Van Nest supplied. Rev. Mr. Labagh was first called to the 
church in 1803. In 1811 he desired to go to the Pompton, N. J. 
church, but the churches (New Rhinebeck and Sharon) would not 
dismiss him. Five months later Classis dismissed him. In May, 
1813, he came back for a second pastorate of a year and a half. Rev. 
Nichola-s- Jones was pastor for five years (1816-1821). Mr. Jones well 
illustrated the proverb about "man being born unto trouble." Con- 
sistory records and Classis records give him large space. In 1820 
he was suspended. He did some work on the parsonage and with 
back salary made a demand for $t,.7<(70, but settled for $330.04. He 
later entered the Baptist church. 

This church was organized in 1895. It was 
NEW YORK MILLS an Oneida county field. Rev. Jacob C. Berg- 
mans was the pastor for six years after its 
formation. He came from the Congregational body, and on leaving 
New York Mills in 1901, he went to Gilboa. 

This church reported to the Montgomery 
NORTH HARLEM Classis in 1820. It may be an error for New 
Harlem or Fonda's Bush (cf). 

The town of Oppenheim was formed March 18, 1808, 
OPPENHEIM from the western part of the town of Palatine. In 

the Fonda records are three references between 1816 
and 1822, anent the Oppenheim church. There were two churches 
organized, the first, the "St. John's Reformed church" in July 1816, 
which is the present St. Johnsville church (cf), and supplied by 
Rev. David De Voe for six years from 1816. Montgomery Classis 
received this church on February 11, 1829, and De Voe continued to 
serve it until 1830. It was also called "Youker's Bush." De Voe 
ordained the first consistory at Peter Kline's house, January 4, 1822. 
This church had no building. Rev. John C. Van Derveer, a Mission- 
ary of the Classis (1822-1823), reported the Second Oppenheim church 
as "small and weak." On September 25, 1830, a Lutheran church 
was organized at Eukersbush (Youkers Bush). On May 15, 1855, 
this church was reorganized as a Reformed Dutch Lutheran church, 

124 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

and a building erected in 1857. A second church was formed No- 
vember 28, 1821, and called the "Second Reformed church of Oppen- 
heim." In 1826 a third society was formed. De Voe recorded not 
only the incorporation of these two churches, but the names of the 
consistories also. 

Originally in the Canajoharie district of Tryon Co. 
OSQUAKO Later it was in the town of Stark (Herkimer Co.). We 

spell the name as found in the corporate title of the 
church tho it is found as "Asquach," "Osquak," etc. The meaning 
is said to be "under the bridge." The record is dated June 3, 1800, 
on file at Fonda. The church was in the town of Minden, the village 
being east of the creek near St. Johnsville. Another meaning of the 
Indian word is "place of wolves." Rev. Jonathan Morris (cf Amster- 
dam) preached here about 1823. At this time the consistory con- 
sisted of Peter Whitbeck, Anthony Devoe, Jacob S. Moyer and Peter 
W. Philip, elders, and Jacob J. Young, Lewis Young and Jacob F. 
Bronir, deacons. It was visited by Van Curler in 1655, and is a half 
mile west of Canajoharie creek. In August, 1780, the place was 
devastated by the Indians. John C. Wieting, a British prisoner (tho 
German) at Saratoga, became an American citizen. He began an 
itinerant preaching circuit about Greenbush, soon afterwards coming 
to the town of Minden where he established two churches (Lutheran), 
one at the "Squake" (Otsquago, Osquak, etc-cf), where he built a 
frame church near the source of the creek of that name; a second 
church was erected at Geissenberg ("Goat Hill") seven piiles from 
the Squake church. The work was begun in 1750 by HJoTiHe-f (cf 
Palatine). This was a brick edifice, with galleries, high pulpit and 
sounding board, and was dedicated in 1806. It stood until 1849. A 
first church built here in 1767 was called "St. Paul's Lutheran church 
of Minden." Rev. Philip 4lL (&¥&£ preached here, as also did Wieting, 
until his death in 1817. The work prospered for a few years and 
then ceased altogether. A Union church was organized in Minden 
in 1807, of which John Herkimer, Jacob Smith and Jacob Tarpenny 
were the trustees. The records of the Geissenberg church are in 
the Fort Plain Farmers National Bank. The place is now called 
Hallsville. John H. and Magdalena Walbracht gave a half acre of 
land in 1767 to the Osquako church. Mr. Pick was pastor. 

In 1890 Rev. John A. Thomson (then pastor at 

EAST PALATINE Stone Arabia), began a work at East Palatine, 

the services being held in the school house in 

Schneck's Hollow, near the county house. Rev. Thomson continued 

to hold services from 1891 thro 1894, when the work was given up. 

The town of Palatine was formed March 7, 1778, 

PALATINE and embraced all the county between "An- 

STONE CHURCH thony's Nose" and Little Falls, north to Canada. 

On January 2, 1804, a "St. John's Reformed 

Protestant Dutch church of Palatine" was organized (St. Johnsville). 

What is popularly called the "Palatine Stone Church" (Lutheran) 

in the town of Palatine became a member of the Montgomery Classis 

on February 2, 1825. The transfer of this organization from the 

Lutheran Synod to the Reformed Classis was brot about by Rev. 

Domier, who was at the Stone Arabia Lutheran church from 1811 

thro 1826, and who had trouble at the Palatine Stone church toward 

the close of his ministry there. Rev. Douw Van Olinda was called 

125 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

to the pastorate, but in February 14, 1825, it united with the old Cana- 
joharie ("Sand Hill") church under one pastor. In 1830 the church 
is reported vacant and on February 7, 1832 Classis dissolved the or- 
ganization. The property from the beginning had always been in the 
Lutheran body, and after the original organization there had been no 
efforts made to increase the membership or re-elect the consistory 
tho the congregation worshipped in the stone church. At Fonda is 
a record (1820) of the Canajoharie and Palatine church whose trus- 
tees were Henry I. Frey, Alfred Conkling, Isaac Hees, John Garlock 
and George Getman. A Presbyterian church of Palatine was or- 
ganized in 1823. 

In the north-eastern part of the town of Perth (now 
PERTH Fulton county and a part of the Royal Grant given Sir 

William Johnson) a Dutch Evangelical church was or- 
ganized in 1867 with fifty members (Child's Gazette, 1830). 

This church was an out-station of the West Leyden 
POINT ROCK church, and some seven miles from that church 
(Lewis Co.). It was organized in 1881, and sup- 
plied by Rev. John Reiner of the West Leyden church. In the late 
eighties the work was given up, the Methodists assuming charge 
of it, and are still conducting services there. 

It was also called 'jPLay," one of the original churches 
SACONDAGA of the Montgomery Classis (1800), tho it was or- 
ganized as early as 1789. The place was at first 
called "Concord." The names of the early pastors are not recorded, 
but doubtless, those serving Johnstown, Mayfield and Caughnawaga 
also frequently preached at Sacondaga. The later organization was 
in 1842, and the preachers were, Revs. John A. Lansing, Jacob N. 
Voorhis, Woodbridge L. James and Calvin Case (1855-1857). Sacan- 
daga means "swamp." 

In 1822 a Reformed Dutch church was formed in 
SALISBURY Salisbury, Herkimer county. It was a Congregational 
body at first. It was supplied by Rev. Samuel Ketch- 
um during 1822-1823 and later, by Rev. David De Voe of St. Johns- 
ville (cf). A Presbyterian church was incorporated here in 1803, to 
which in 1824 Classis dismissed the Dutch church, which became 
part of the Oneida Presbytery. 

The first President of the Classis of Montgomery 
SCHOHARIE was the Rev. Rynier Van Nest, the pastor of the 
Schoharie church. The place was also called, or at 
least, the church, "Huntersfield." Prior to its dismission to the 
Schoharie Classis in 1826, this church was pastored by Rev. Rynier 
Van Neste (until 1804), J. D. Schoeffler, and Paul Weidman. The 
organization of the church goes back to 1720 or 1725. The pastors at 
Schoharie were accustomed to preach at Stone Arabia after 1730. 

The place was also called "Conesville," and 
SCHOHARIE KILL the church here was formed about 1800 or a 
little before, and continued until 1846. Rev. 
Cornelius D. Schermerhorn, ordained by Montgomery in 1804, was 
the pastor for twenty-eight years, from 1802 on. He died in 1830 at 
Canajoharie (cf Simms "Schoharie"). Doubtless this organization 
was placed in the Schoharie Classis in 1826, but no mention is made 
in the record. About the time of the Revolution the Reformed 
churches on the Schoharie were known as "the churches of the 



126 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Schoharie Kill." Included in these were Brakabeen, North Blenheim, 
Gilboa (Broome), Prattsville, Red Oak, Huntersfield and Windham. 
The Prattsville minutes begin at 1798. The Gilboa record, the oldest 
of them all, bears the name of Broome, and those of Prattsville, 
"Schoharie Kill." This last church, built in 1804 and rebuilt in 1834, 
together with the village itself, will soon give place to the great 
reservoir being built for New York City. 

Organized in 1770 and later merged into 
SCHOHARIE LOWER the Schoharie church. 

Organized in 1808 near East Cobleskill, 
SCHOHARIE MOUNT and merged later into the Howes Cave 

church. No names of pastors given while 
church was in the Montgomery Classis. 

Organized in 1732, and later (after 1800) it 
SCHOHARIE UPPER changed its name to Middleburgh. Pastors 
up to 1826 were, Revs. Johannes Schuyler 
(cf Stone Arabia), Rynier Van Nest, David De Voe, and John F. 
Schermerhorn, the latter ordained by Montgomery Classis in 1816. 
Later and for some years Schermerhorn was the Montgomery County 
Missionary. From 1828 for five years he was the Secretary Board 
Domestic Missions. Rev. Mr. De Voe, tho licensed in 1808, was not 
ordained until 1812 in order that he might study and better perfect 
himself for the ministry. 

This was a small organization in Herkimer county, 
SCHUYLER between Herkimer and Frankfort, where Henry 
Snyder supplied for a few years about 1830. 
An earlier name for this place was Dorlach. It is in the 
SHARON present town of Seward (Schoharie county). Rev. Peter 
N. Sommer of the Schoharie Lutheran church began to 
hold services here as early as 1776. The German Reformed church 
of Dorlach was formed in 1788 by Rev. J. C. L. Broeffle of the Scho- 
harie German Reformed church. In 1790 a bell was given to the 
"High Dutch Reformed Church of Dorlach." But in 1798 Mr. Bork 
refused to remain longer at New Rhinebeck or Sharon, unless a 
church was built. Other preachers in this church were, Rev. Isaac 
Labagh, Rev. Nicholas Jones. In 1826 it went to the Schoharie 
Classis. In 1813 Sharon reported eighty members. Read the history 
of New Rhinebeck with that of Sharon. It was here that the Battle 
of Dorlach was fought on July 10, 1781, in which Capt. McKean was 
mortally wounded (cf Buel). 

Another name for the church was the "Reformed 
STILLWATER Church of Sinthiock" (Sincock). It was organized 
in 1789 and ran thro, possibly, twenty years. It 
was a Saratoga county church and but two pastors are mentioned, 
Rev. Winslow Paige (cf- Florida) and Rev. Peter D. Froeligh (1802- 
1807), who also supplied at the same time Pittstown and Tioshock. 
He was a son of Rev. Solomon. Froeligh, and like his father, seceded 
from the church to form the "True Reformed" church. He died in 
1827. It was at Stillwater where the American forces encamped be- 
fore the Battle of Saratoga. 

The Summit Reformed Dutch church was received into 
SUMMIT the Classis in 1823. It was situated at Eminence (Scho- 
harie county). It never had any settled pastorate. 



127 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

The history of this church begins in 1767, when 
TILLABOROUGH a grant of land was given (115 acres) for church 

and school purposes to encourage certain 
settlers who had been placed upon the contiguous territory. The 
church was built on Lot No. 13 of Magin's Purchase. The 
place is about three miles west of the present village of Ephratah. 
One of the owners of the land, and one of the givers of this church 
tract was the Rev. John Ogilvie of New York City, who had been 
the rector of St. Peter's P. E. church of Albany (1749-1764). He 
died four years after this deed of land, aged fifty-one. Under the 
conditions existing in the province at the time between the Church of 
England and the Dutch church we are persuaded that there must 
have been some commercial reason for putting into the deed the pro- 
vision that the church must be a Reformed one. The church for a 
century or more has always had a building, but never a stated pastor, 
and for most of the time no congregation. For more than three 
generations the property has been held by trustees who have used 
the same for personal profit. An incorporation is recorded April 15, 
1823, and a form of re-incorporation in 1831. Since 1865 there has 
been no consistory or membership even. Nearly all the men who 
were at Stone Arabia, and later, at Ephratah, have supplied the 
church at intervals. In this field Revs. Domier, formerly at Stone 
Arabia Lutheran, and Wack, so long at "Sand Hill" (cf) finished their 
ministerial work. In order to hold the property the old church, fall- 
ing to pieces, was taken down and another one built in the seventies. 
There is an old forsaken cemetery connected with the church. 



S 



ilk 



128 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



I! 3n0epentient ant) Receding a 
fteformeD Ci)urcl)e0 



-j-HiT.,. ... _ „. „. _ „. ^ „. ^> 



A Union church was organized in 1822 and existed 
AMSTERDAM for eight years. Rev. Sylvanus Palmer (cf Maple- 
town) established the work and was its only pastor, 
remaining here for eight years. Palmer had become a "Wyckofite" 
after his suspension from the ministry and also was at Mayfield and 
Broadalbin. 

An independent organization continued in the 
CANAJOHARIE "Wyckofite" church, was started here by Rev. 
John J. Wack in 1819 after his being dropped from 
the Montgomery Classis in 1814. An incorporation of this church is 
found in the Fonda records. Mr. Wack preached in this church for 
more than ten years and was followed by Rev. John C. Toll (1827- 
1842), when the church became extinct. The building was in the 
eastern part of the present village, and some years ago, it was torn 
down, its timber being used in the construction of the dwelling now 
owned by O. C. Van Evera. The trustees were Henry I. Frey, Al- 
fred Conkling, Isaac Hees, John Garlock, Jacob Hees and George 
Gartner, all found in the membership of the later Reformed church, 
organized in 1827. A church was built which remained for many 
years after the services were given up. Prominent in the work were 
Hugh Mitchell, Gloudy Van Deusen, Rudolph Dingman, Anthony, 
Daniel and Wessels Cornue, Nicholas and John Sweatman, Dr. 
Jonathan Shineman, Bartholomew Van Alstyne, Uriah Wood, Lewis 
and Abraham Putman, Peter and Martin Van Deusen and John Davis. 
What was known locally of the "True Reformed Dutch church" was 
an organization made up of certain persons who seceded from the 
old "Sand Hill" church to become followers of Rev. Wack. They 
organized this church May 26, 1825, the preacher also supplying a 
similiar church at Westerlo (Sprakers) and Middletown (Mapletown). 
Rev. John C. Toll was the pastor of this church for five years (1822- 
1827), when he became the pastor of the new or Independent church 
referred to above, and remained till his own death and that of the 
church in 1848. The first consistory were, Hugh Mitchell, Garrett 
Van Valkenburgh and Martin Van Deusen, elders, and Rudolph Ding- 
man, Jr., Henry Smith and J. G. Van Deusen, deacons. We have 
gone thro the records of these churches, the main portion of which 
has to do with the discipline. In 1773 a "Lower Canajoharie" church 
is found recorded. 

Corwin's Manual refers to a seceding church at Cato, or- 
CATO ganized in 1827, a defection from the Dutch church of the 
same place. 

During the years 1797 thro 1830 no less than five 

CHARLESTON Reformed churches were organized in this town 

(Charlestown), two of which are spoken of under 

These churches are given a place in this record for the reason that the 
organizations were defections from the Dutch church, and in most cases 
the men serving them were ministers of the Dutch Reformed church. These 
churches were of brief life, except those that Wyckoff and McNeil served. 

129 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

the "extinct churches." A seceding church was started by the 
"Wyckofites" in 1822, and from this a second church seceded in 1824 
and, finally, in 1829, an Independent church was established. 

This was another name for "Indian Castle" (cf) in Her- 
DANUBE kimer county. Rev S. Z. Goetschius, suspended in 1824 
by Montgomery Classis, organized a church at Danube, 
and on its decline in 1828, he re-entered the Dutch church, supplied 
Canastota (cf) for three years from 1836, then went west. He also 
preached at Osquak and Westerlo. Rev. Goetschins furnished the 
"Wyckofite" Synod material for a tedious , trial on strictly moral 
lines of conduct. 

The Fonda records show the incorporation of what has al- 
GLEN ways been known as the "Wyckofite" church of Glen, formed 

in 1830. Rev. Jasper Hogan wrote an informing chapter on 
this secession in his "History of the Glen Church," and it is also 
treated in the "Bergen Classis History." The compiler of this work 
has recently filed in the Seminary at New Brunswick an almost com- 
plete set of all the printed documents (some manuscripts) of the 
"True Reformed church." Corwin's "Manual" refers to an independ- 
ent Reformed church at Glen of which Rev. Christian Paulison (N. 
B. Sem. '26) was the pastor, who had seceded from the Reformed 
church in 1831, and, later, was suspended from the "Wyckofite" 
Classis (there never were but two classes, and each in time dis- 
solved the other). The church building erected in 1831 is still in 
good condition, and is generally known as the "White" church. 
Services are held monthly in this church. 

A "Wyckofite" church was formed at Johnstown in 
JOHNSTOWN 1822, and was served by two pastors for more than 
thirty years, first by Rev. A. B. Amerman (Asso. 
Refd. Sem. '16), who while servng Johnstown and Mayfield (1817- 
181) was both suspended and restored, and continued at Johnstown 
and Mayfield thro 1843; and second, by Rev. J. P. Westervelt (1845- 
1855). Both of these men later united with the Presbyterian church. 
The Johnstown church soon after Westervelt's pastorate disbanded. 
An "Independent" Reformed church was organized in 
MAYFIELD 1821, and served by Revs. Amerman and Westervelt 
of the church of the same character at Johnstown (cf 
Johnstown above). In the County Clerk's records at Fonda is shown 
the incorporation act, dated April 12, 1832, of the "True Reformed 
Dutch church of Mayfield." Besides these there was a Union Re- 
ligious Society incorporated at Mayfield on April 5, 1813. 

There was a "True Reformed" church organized by 
OSQUAKO Rev. S. Z. Goetschius at Osquako ("Asquach" or 
"Osquak"), in the town of Minden, about 1823, but 
it survived only a few years. 

After serving Ovid (organized 1808 and in 1828 merged into 
OVID Lodi, organized in 1800) for fourteen years, Rev. Abram 

Brokaw became a "Wyckofite," and was suspended by the 
Montgomery Classis. He at once organized a "Wyckofite" church 
at Ovid (1822), and probably supplied it for a while. In 1838 Rev. 
Archibald McNeil became the pastor of this church, and served it 
thirty years, the church dying with its minister. The General Synod 
of the True Reformed church met here in 1840. 



130 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

A secession from the old church at Owasco took place 
OWASCO in 1823, the first pastor to serve it being Rev. Archibald 

McNeil (cf Ovid), who remained five years, and was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. William Johnson, and after a lapse of ten years, who 
remained with the church for more than a quarter of a century 
(1838-1865). 

A second secession from the Owasco church took place 
OWASCO in 1879 when Rev. Alfred E. Myers, pastor, and some 

members of the church withdrew and formed the Owasco 
Presbyterian church, which Myers served six years (1879-1885). The 
church erected has become the home of the Owasco Roman Catholic 
church. Rev. Horace Chadsey and Rev. Mr. Hoyt were other pastors 
of this church. 

What was called a "Canajoharie" church was 
SPRAKERS BASIN formed by the union of Sprakers Basin 
("Westerlo") and the Middletown (Maple- 
town) secessionists, who were pastored by Rev. John C. Toll for 
twenty years (after his suspension by Montgomery Classis in 1822). 
Toll died in 1848. 

A "True Reformed Church" was formed and in- 

TRIBES HILL corporated at Tribes Hill in 1840. The record is 

on file at Fonda. This was probably a development 

of the Glen "Wyckofite" church. Beyond the County Clerk's record 

nothing is known of it. 






131 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



— — - 



H iaeformeti Ci)urcl)e0 S 

Capuga anD ®enetia Classes 



Cayuga Classis 

In 1826 the Particular Synod of Albany formed the Classis of Cay- 
uga by setting off seven churches from the Classis of Montgomery, as 
follows: Cato, Chittenango, Lysander, Ovid, Owasco, Sand Beach, 
Six Mile Creek. Of these seven churches Owasco and Sand Beach 
(Owasco Outlet) are now in the Montgomery Classis. The other 
five are extinct or are merged into other churches (cf). When Cayuga 
Classis was disbanded in 1889 Chittenango was put back into Mont- 
gomer}'. In 1851 Cato was put into the newly formed Classis of 
Geneva, but is dropped from the roll of churches in 1884. Ovid, 
divided by the Brokaw secession of 1826, was finally merged into 
Lodi. Lysander became Congregational in 1883. Six Mile Creek had 
but a brief existence (1827-1831). In 1835 the Particular Synod of 
Albany sought to form a new Classis, to be called "The Classis of 
Oneida." From the Classis of Cayuga were to be taken Chittenango, 
Canastota, Jamesville, Lysander and Utica, while from Montgomery 
were to be taken Frankfort, Herkimer, Columbia, St. Johnsville and 
Manheim. Tho referred to several succeeding synods the plan of 
the Classis makers never materialized. In 1851 the Particular Synod 
of Albany, on request of the Cayuga Classis reformed that body, 
making the Classis of Cayuga to consist of Chittenango, Cleveland, 
Canastota, Cicero, Owasco, Lysander, Sand Beach, Syracuse, Utica. 
The statistical tables of 1852 add the church of The Thousand Isles. 
Of these churches, Canastota, Chittenango, Cicero, Owasco, Owasco 
Outlet (Sand Beach), Syracuse, Thousand Isles and Utica were put 
into the Montgomery Classis when the Cayuga Classis was disbanded 
in 1889. Of the other two churches that at Lysander, organized in 
1826 by the Classis of Cayuga, joined with the Presbyterian church 
of the same place, and formed a Congregational church about 1883. 
The church at Cleveland (Oswego Co.) organized in 1850, became 
Presbyterian in 1856. In 1889 the Classis of Cayuga was disbanded, 
its churches being placed in the Montgomerj' Classis. The churches 
received by Montgomery Classis were Canastota, Chittenago, Cicero, 
Lysander, Naumburgh, New Bremen, Point Rock, Owasco, Owasco 
Outlet, Syracuse, Thousand Isles, Utica, and West Leyden. Other 
churches which were in membership in the Cayuga Classis before 
the Classis of Geneva was formed in 1851, were as follows: Arcadia, 
Caroline, Farmerville, Gorham, Geneva, Ithaca, Jamesville, Lodi, Tyre, 
Piffardinia, Wolcott. Of these churches Arcadia, Caroline, Farmer- 
ville, Geneva, Gorham, Ithaca, Piffardina, Tyre and Wolcott were 
placed in the Geneva Classis when formed in May, 1851. Unless re- 

The Churches and Ministry of the Classes of Cayuga and Geneva, being 
more or less associated with those of Montgomery, are included, with brief 
reference, in these records. The printed Particular Synod of Albany Minutes, 
except a few copies found by the writer, are lacking for the first twenty 
years, and for the next forty years they are cruelly condensed (for history's 
sake), and typographically much in error. 

132 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

ferred to in this part of the record that has to do with the Cayuga and 
Geneva Classes, the churches mentioned above or below will be found 
in the Montgomery Classis lists. 

Geneva Classis 

The Particular Synod of Albany in 1851 organized the Classis of 
Geneva, making it to consist of the following churches: Arcadia, 
Caroline, Cato, Farmerville, Geneva, Gorham, Ithaca, Piffardinia, Tyre 
Wolcott. In the statistical tables of 1852 (P. S. A. Minutes) are added 
Lodi, Pultneyville and Waterloo. Corwin's Digest adds Buffalo, 
Clymer and Rochester, tho these do not occur in the statistics until 
1853. In this same year Cataline (error for Caroline) is added and 
Gorham and Piffardinia are dropped. In 1887 the Classis of Geneva 
was disbanded, the churches going into the recently formed Classis 
of Rochester. At this time the Classis of Geneva had these churches 
in membership: Abbe, Clymer, Farmer Village, Marion, Pultneyville, 
Arcadia, Dunkirk, Geneva, Mina, Rochester, Caroline, East William- 
son, Lodi, Ontario, Tyre. There were two thousand members in 
these churches and fifteen hundred in the Sunday schools. Fifteen 
ministers were members and $11,000 was raised for congregational ex- 
penses during the year previous to disbanding. In 1887 the Particular 
Synod of Albany organized the Classis of Rochester, to take the place 
of the Classis of Geneva. The churches forming the Classis of 
Rochester were as follows: Abbe, Arcadia, Clymer, East Williamson, 
Farmer Village, Geneva, Lodi, Marion, Dunkirk, Pultneyville, Pal- 
myra, Rochester, First and Second Tyre, Ontario. Of these churches 
Lodi and Farmer Village (Interlaken) are now in Montgomery 
Classis. Dunkirk, organized in 1867, vacant for three fourths of its 
nominal existence, was dropped in 1888. Geneva was disbanded when 
the Classis of Rochester was formed. The rest of the above named 
churches are now in Rochester Classis. Other churches which were 
in membership in the Geneva Classis, not mentioned elsewhere, were 
as follows: Buffalo and Buffalo Holland (1856), Mina Corners (1857), 
Athens, Pa. (1859). 



"Q 






133 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



[*] (Efcurcijes of @ 

Capuga anD dBenetoa Cla00e0 

(linrcroriiet) <2liactofoere 



The Reformed church at Clymer (Chautauqua Co.) was called 
ABBE the Abbe church in memory of Mrs. L. M. Abbe of Albany, 
who gave a large sum of money toward its erection. Clymer, 
formed in 1821, was named after Gen. Clymer, one of the signers of 
the Declaration of Independence. Organized in 1869, it is today a 
prosperous church in the Rochester Classis of two hundred and fifty 
members. (The Clymer Hill church is another organization of 1853.) 
This church was also called "Fairville" (Wayne Co.) and 
ARCADIA was organized in 1835 by the Classis of Cayuga. Among 
the pastors were Rev. Elbert Nevius (1835-1836), the 
famous missionary to Borneo; Rev. William E. Turner (1841-1848), 
John Whitbeck (1850-1852), Benj. F. Snyder (1855-1856), and Rev. 
W. E. Turner (second pastorate, 1862-1866). In 1870 the organiza- 
tion was abandoned. The Second Reformed church of Arcadia (near 
Newark) was organized in 1833 and is today a church of a hundred 
and eighty members in the Rochester Classis. 

This was a Rradford county (Pa.) organization of 
ATHENS, PA. 1858 with a reported charter membership of ninety- 
five. Its pastors were Rev. Augustus F. Todd (1858- 
1865), Rev. Philip Berry (1865-1872), Rev. John F. Shaw (1868-1870). 
This was a Cayuga county church, organized in 1813 
AURELIUS by Rev. Conrad Tfen Eyck, who served the church 
(JWtLe^oZtjblaf fourteen years. There were nearby organizations at 
Sempronius, where Rev. George W. Brinkerhoff was prior to 1812, and 
Sterling (named after Lord Sterling). Rev. David R. De Fraest was 
pastor at Sterling during 1825-1828. The 1855 census gives the Dutch 
church at North Sterling. Aurelius was the former name of the town 
of Owasco and was three miles west of Auburn. 

This was a Cayuga county church, organized in 1831 and 

CATLIN served for two years (1832-1833) by Rev. Leonard Rogers, 

who was at Owasco Outlet nearby for two years (1833- 

1834). He died in 1838. Nothing further is known of the Catlin 

church. 

The New York Gazetteer (1849) says that the first church 

CLAY organized in the town of Clay was a Dutch Reformed body, 

whose meeting house was in the north-eastern part of the 

town of Clay. Smith's "Pioneer Times in Onondaga County" also 

refers to this early Reformed Dutch church. 

The Reformed church of Cleveland (Oswego Co.) 
CLEVELAND was organized in 1850, but after a few years, during 
which it was ministerd unto by Rev. David B. Hall 
(cf Columbia) and Rev. Nathan W. Jones. It went over to the Pres- 
byterian body in 1856. 

Originally this Holland church was in the Classis 

CLEVELAND, O. of Cayuga, when it was organized in 1864. Rev. 

A. K. Kasse was licensed by the Geneva Classis, 

and after a pastorate at Pultneyville (1851-1861) and one at Buffalo 

134 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSTS 

(1861-1864), he went to Cleveland, from which he went to the Second 
Church of Paterson, N. J. in 1868, and died as pastor of that church 
in 1874. 

One of the churches taken from Montgomery to form 
GENEVA the Classis of Geneva. It was organized in 1831 (On- 
tarion Co.) and for a quarter of a century did splendid 
work. At the time that it was the strongest church in the Classis 
of Geneva it was disbanded, its one hundred thirty members dis- 
missed, and the church building and property, worth $10,000, was 
sold to the city of Geneva for $4,000 to satisfy a claim of the Collegiate 
church of New York. The city later sold the property to the church 
of Rome. General Synod met at Geneva in 1867, and at the time there 
were a hundred and seventy-eight members who gave $701 for 
benevolence the previous year. Its first pastor was Rev. Henry Man- 
deville (1831-1834), who later went to Utica (cf). Following him 
were Rev. Gustavus Abeel (1835-1849), Rev. James Romeyn (1850- 
1851), who died as the pastor emeritus in 1859, a Boanerges in the 
pulpit of his day; Rev. Henry V. Voorhees (1851-1854), Rev. Jos. 
A. Collier (1855-1859), a most successful pastor, especially with the 
young; Rev. Charles Wiley (1859-1865) and for ten years in the 
Utica church (cf) ; Rev. Samuel J. Rogers (1865-1872), who later was 
pastor at Fort Plain (cf); Rev. William W. Brush (1872-1878), or- 
dained by the Geneva Classis in 1866 and installed over the Farmer 
Village church (cf ) ; Rev. Oppie (1878-1879), who died in 1880; Rev. 
William H. Nasholds (1880-1882), who went to Farmer Village next 
(cf); and Rev. Thomas C. Strong (1882-1885-S. S.), who became a 
Presbyterian in 1871 at the close of his pastorate in the Ithaca church 
(cf ) that became Congregational in 1872. Dr. Strong was President 
of Wells College during 1871-1875, and of the Pennsylvania Female 
College at Pittsburgh during 1875-1878. He was the Cor. Secy, of 
the Board of Publication (1859-1868) and President of General Synod 
at both Geneva and Albany in 1867, when the present name of the 
denomination was fixd. 

This place was first called "Easton" then "Lincoln." 
GORHAM Organized in 1843 the church at Gorham had but a 
decade of existence, during which time it was pastored 
by Rev. Abram G. Ryerson, Rev. Aaron Lloyd and Rev. Israel Ham- 
mond (cf Owasco). 

The Reformed church of Ithaca (Tompkins Co.) was or- 
ITHACA ganized on April 2, 1830, with forty members. A month 

after the formation of the church the people were wor- 
shipping in their new edifice, an humble imitation of the Parthenon, 
which served them for forty years — the span of life for the Ithaca 
Reformed Dutch church. With the coming of Rev. Dr. Charles M. 
Tyler in 1872 to the pastorate, the church went over into the Con- 
gregational body. Pastors at Ithaca were Revs. Alexander M. Mann, 
John C. F. Hoes (cf Chittenango), James V. Henry, Charles H. A. 
Bulkley, Joachim Elmendorf, John W. Schoenck, Francis N. Zabriskie, 
and Thomas C. Strong. Rev. Dr. W. E. Griffis (N. B. Sem. '72) 
served the Congregational church ten years, from 1893. Ground for 
the original church was given by Simeon De Witt, the founder of 
Ithaca. A memorial tablet in the handsome new edifice of the Con- 
gregational body records the names of the pastors of the Reformed 
Dutch church. Rev. Mann was the first pastor at Ithaca (1831-1837) 

135 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

who, later had a twenty year pastorate in the First Church of Pough- 
keepsie, his last charge. Rev. Hoes' pastorate was from 1837 thro 
1845 in which year he went to Kingston for his last twenty years 
work. Here at Kingston he built the stone church. He came to 
Ithaca from Chittenango (cf). Dr. Hoes died in 1883. Rev. James V. 
Henry succeeded Dr. Hoes, coming from a seven years' pastorate at 
Ossining. He remained at Ithaca during the years 1846-1849. Rev. 
Henry died at Jersey City, N. J., March 14, 1873. Rev. Charles H. A. 
Bulkley, a Presbyterian followed who supplied the pulpit thro 1850- 
1852. Rev. Joachim Elmendorf began his ministry in 1853, remaining 
upwards of three years. Other pastorates of his were at Saugerties, 
First Syracuse, Second Albany and in the Harlem Collegiate of New 
York. Rev. John W. Scheneck (1855-1863), who died while pastor of 
the Claverack church in 1881, at the close of a ten year pastorate; 
Rev. Francis N. Zabriskie (1863-1866), who later was connected with 
the "Christian Intelligencer," and was followed by Rev. Thomas C. 
Strong of whom we have spoken at length under Geneva (cf), who 
was the last Dutch pastor (1870-1871). 

An Onondaga county Reformed church, organized 
JAMESVILLE about 1833 (P. S. A. Min.). It was short lived, Rev. 
E. Evans serving it in 1836, and Rev. Thomas A. 
Amerman from 1838 thro 1840. 

"The First Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Japan" 
JAPAN is reported in the 1866 General Synod Minutes under the 
Classis of Cayuga. It had a membership of twenty-nine, 
two hundred and fifty under Bible instruction, and reported six 
hundred and seventy-four in the Sunday schools. Rev. Samuel R. 
Brown (cf Owasco Outlet) and Rev. Guido F. Verbeck were in charge 
of the work. 

This place in Onondaga county, was settled in 1793. 
LAMSONS A New York Gazetter of 1855 refers to this church. 

Elijah and Solomon Toll were among the first settlers, 
John Toll being the first child born here. 

Organized in March, 1828, in a small town of Onon- 
LYSANDER daga county by Rev. James Stevenson, thro half a 

century it did good work. On its organization it took 
in the Second Presbyterian church, which was organized in 1820, but 
had no building. Rev. John Davenport was the missionary here. Dis- 
sension soon arose, followed by litigation, the original Dutch church 
winning in the courts. In 1833 a Presbyterian church was built and 
until 1877, both churches prospered. About this time, however, a 
union of the two was perfected, forming the Lysander Congregational 
church. Rev. James B. Stevenson (cf Florida) thro 1827 and 1827, and 
Rev. James E. Quaw during 1829 and 1830 did missionary work on the 
fields. Other men who were pastors or supplies were, Rev. Aaron A. 
Marcellus (1830-1831), Rev. Melanchton B. Williams (1834-1855), Rev. 
Richard W. Knight (1846-1848), Rev. J. W. Bradford (1849-1855), Rev. 
Francis V. Van Vranken (1861-1866), Rev. J. H. Enders (1866-1869), 
who was later at Chittenango (cf), and Rev. William A. Wurts (1871- 
1876), who was also a pastor at Hagaman (cf). Of these men Rev. 
Quaw lost his life on Lake Erie in 1845; Mr. Marcellus spent most 
of his years in teaching; Mr. Williams is unknown after leaving 
Lysander; Mr. Bradford in his last years lived retired at Marathon, 
where he died March 3, 1874. 

136 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

A Chautauqua county church, called also Mina Corners, or- 
MINA ganized in 1856 and was active for a quarter of a century, 
tho its name was not dropped from the roll of the Geneva 
Classis until 1887. Rev. John W. Dunnewold while pastor at Clymer 
Hill Congregational church (1851-1868) supplied the church until 
1860, and then became pastor (1860-1808). He was followed by Rev. 
Jacob Weber and Rev. John Boehrer (cf West Leyden). Clymer Hill 
was in the Congregational body, but joined the Classis in 1851, along 
with its pastor. 

The story of this church, in Seneca county, is told in con- 

OVID nection with Lodi, into which in 1830, it was merged. An 

important institution of learning was here for many years. 

The Ovid Presbyterian church was dismissed to the Classis in 1809, 

when Mr. Brokaw was installed. 

A Livingston county Reformed church, organized in 
PIFFARDINA 1847, and served for a couple of years by James M. 
Compton, who spent most of his ministry in Mont- 
gomery Classis (cf Columbia). Its name is dropped from Classis 
after 1852. 

The Onondaga county history refers to the Plain- 
PLAINVILLE ville Reformed Protestant Dutch church, situated in 
the town of Lysander, and as late as 1850, speaks 
■of it as being still at work. 

There was an early organization at Pultney- 
PULTNEYVILLE ville in 1824, to which Rev. J. F. Morris min- 
istered, but the present church (Rochester Classis) 
was organized in 1851. It has a membership of 141. ^..^ OiuXjP 
SEMPRONIUS and STIRLING were out stationf of &mz£^(ciy** 

A Cayuga Classis organization of 1827, which 

SIX MILE CREEK had but a single pastor, Rev. Garret Mande- 

ville, who served the church for three years 

from 1831, when he retired from the active ministry tho he lived 

until 1853. Received from Albany Presbytery in 1819. 

This church, ajs.o called the "Malcolm Church," was organ- 
TYRE iz<?tf V ^&v 1836/1^ "tlie Cayuga Classis. It is now in the 
— -<w- Rochester Classis and has a membership of thirty-eight. 
t'f*' ' Another name for this church, which at first was in 

WOLCOTT Cayuga then in the Geneva Classis, was "Fair Haven," 
and was organized in 1847. Gov. Wolcott of Connecti- 
cut was sponsor for first name. Rev. Richard W. Knight (cf Owasco) 
was the first pastor (1849-1852), and was followed by Rev. John 
Muller (1854-1857), who later became President of Pleasant Prarie 
Academy. Rev. Cornelius Gates was pastor during 1857-1859 (cf 
Amsterdam); Rev. Thomas G. Watson (1862-1864), who died in 1900, 
while pastor of the Brighton Heights Presbyterian church. Rev. 
Benjamin A. Bartholf was the next pastor (1864-1868), whose ministry 
was partly spent in the Presbyterian church. Rev. James L. Southard 
succeeded Bartholf (1869-1881), and afterwards was ten years at 
Buskirks, and died at Griggstown, N. J., in 1906. He was the last 
Reformed pastor, the church becoming Presbyterian in 1882. 



137 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



a 



Ifteformeti Ctjurctjes 

aipfjafcetkallp !Lt0teD 



* 



C .- ^ ■»■ -.■■-.--■ -■ - -^ ^ 



(With Parenthetic Explanation! 



Abbe (Clymer) 

Albany Bush (Amsterdam) 

Alexandria Bay (Thousand Isles) 

Amsterdam — First 

Amsterdam (Albany Bush) 

Amsterdam (Port Jackson) 

Amsterdam — Trinity 

Amsterdam (Veddersburg) 

Andristown (Andrustown) 

Arcadia (Fairville) 

Asquach (Asquako) 

Athens (Pa.) 

Auriesville (Auries Creek) 

Aurelius °fr~i> 

Beaverdam (Roxbury) 
Blenheim (So. Gilboa) 
Bowman's Kill (Buel) 
Broadalbin (Fonda's Bush) 
Buel (Bowman's Kill) 
Buffalo 

Buffalo (German) 
Buffalo (German) 
Buffalo (Holland) 

Canajoharie 

Canajoharie (Sand Hill) 
Canajoharie (Sprakers Basin) 

(Westerlo) 
Canastota 
Caroline 
Cato 

Caughnawaga (Fonda) 
Charleston (Charlestown) 
Chenango (Union) 
Chittenango 
Chukonot (Florida) 
Cicero 
Cincinnatus 
Cleveland (N. Y.) 
Cleveland (O.) 
Clay 

Clymer (Abbe) 
Cobleskill 
Coenradstown 



Columbia 

Conesville (Schoharie Kill) 

Conewago (Caugnawaga) 

C^nesvnTe 

Currytown (Root) 

Danube (Indian Castle) 
Day (Sacondaga) 
Dillenburgh (Tillaborough) 
Dorlach (Sharon) 
Duanesborough (Duanesburgh) 

East Palatine 

Eminence (Summit) 

Ephratah 

Eukersbush (Youker's Bush) 

Fair Haven (Wolcott) 

Fairville (Arcadia) 

Farmers Village (Interlakeh) 

Fayette 

Florida (Minaville) 

Florida (Chukonot) 

Fonda (Caughnawaga) 

Fonda's Bush (Broadalbin) 

Fonda's Bush (New Harlem 

and Johnstown) 
Ford's Bush 

Fort Herkimer (German Flatts) 
Fort Hunter 
Fort Plain 
Fultonville 

Geneva 

German Flatts (Fort Herkimer) 

Glen 7" 

Gorham 

Greenwich 

Hagaman (Hagaman's Mills) 
Henderson (Warren) 
Herkimer 
Herkimer — Second 
Howes Cave (Schoharie) 
Huntersfield (Schoharie) 



138 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



Uion 

Indian Castle (Danube) 

Interlaken (Farmers Village) 

Ithaca 

Jamesville 

Johnsborough (Johnsburgh) 
Johnstown (Fonda's Bush) 
Johnstown (Kingsborough) 

Kingsborough (Johnstown) 
Klock's (St. Johnsville) 

Lamsons 

Lawyersville (New Rhinebeck) 

Le Roy 

Lodi (Ovid) 

Lysander 

Manheim (Snell's Bush) 

Mapletown (Middletown) 

Mariaville 

Marion 

Mayfield 

Middleburgh (Schoharie Upper) 

Middletown (Mapletown) 

Mina Corners 

Minaville (Florida) 

Minden 

Mohawk 

Naumburgh 

New Bremen 

New Harlem (Fonda's Bush) 

New York Mills 

New Rhinebeck (Lawyersville) 

North Harlem 

Ontario 

Oppenheim (Youker's Bush) 

Osquako (Asquath) 

Ovid (Lodi) 

Owasco 46W^&eD-45S^iey 

Owasco Outlet (Sand Beach) 

Palatine (St. Johnsville) 

Palmyra 

Piffardinia 

Palatine — East 

Palatine Stone Church 



Perth 

Plainville 

Point Rock 

Port Jackson (Amsterdam) 

Puitneyville 

Rochester 

Root (Curry town) 

Roxbury ( BeaverasS&fT 

Sacondaga (Day) 

Salisbury 

Sand Beach (Owasco Outlet) 

Sand Hill (Canajoharie) 

Schoharie (Huntersfield) 

Schoharie Kill (Conesville) 

Schoharie Lower (Schoharie) 

Schoharie Mt. (Howes Cave) 

Schoharie Upper (Middleburgh) 

Schuyler 

Sempronius 4yfflAniraeiiu.fr) 

Sharon (Dorlach) 

Six Mile Creek 

So. Gilboa (Blenheim) 

Sprakers (Westerlo) 

Snell's Bush (Manheim) 

Sinthiock (Stillwater) 

Stillwater (Sinthiock) 

Stone Arabia 
St. Johnsville (Palatine) 
Summit (Eminence) 
Syracuse — First 
Syracuse — Second 

Tillaborough (Dillenburgh) 
Thousand Isles (Alexandria Bay) 
Tyre 

Union (near Chenango) 
Union (Montgomery Co.) 
Utica 

Warren (Henderson) 

Waterloo 

Westerlo (Canajoharie) Sprakers 

West Leyden 

Wolcott (Fair Haven) 

Youker's Bush (Oppenheim) 



139 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASS1S 



a laeformeD Ct)urci)e0 

©f tfje Qiontgomerp Classis, 1915 



- 

m y l|l y | | | T ^ i T y y T T ^ ■!■ T ¥ f ¥ y ' I' ■■■ H »~^ ' 



Chronologically Arranged 



1723- 


-Fort Herkimer 


1798- 


-Mapletown 


1848- 


-Syracuse First 


1723- 


-Herkimer 


1800- 


-Lodi 


1850- 


-Amsterdam 1st 


1725- 


-Stone Arabia 


1812- 


-Owasco Outlet 


1850- 


-Hagaman 


1750- 


-St. Johnsville 


1823- 


-Ephratah 


1850- 


-Naumburgh 


1758- 


-Fonda 


1827- 


-Canajoharie 


1851- 


-Thousand Isles 


1770- 


-Manheim 


1830- 


-Interlaken 


1856- 


-West Leyden 


1784- 


-Florida 


1830- 


-Utica 


1871- 


-Cranesville 


1792- 


-Glen 


1831- 


-Fort Plain 


1892- 


-Amsterdam — 


1796- 


-Sprakers 


1837- 


-Cicero 




Trinity 


1796- 


-Currytown 


1838- 


-Fultonville 


1894- 


-Johnstown 


1796- 


-Owasco 


1838- 


-Mohawk 


1895- 


—Syracuse Second 


1798- 


-Columbia 


1839- 


-Auriesville 


1908- 


-Cortland 



These dates represent the year of the organization of the work on 
the field — not the year always of the acceptance of church by the 
Classis. 



Geographically Arranged 

Cayuga Co. — Owasco and Owasco Outlet. 

Cortland Co. — Cortland. 

Fulton Co. — Ephratah and Johnstown. 

Herkimer Co. — Columbia, Fort Herkimer, Herkimer, Manheim 
and Mohawk. 

Jefferson Co. — Alexandria Bay. 

Lewis Co. — Naumburgh and West Leyden. 

Montgomery Co. — Amsterdam First and Trinity, Auriesville, 
Canajoharie, Cranesville, Currytown, Florida, Fonda, Hagaman, Fort 
Plain, Fultonville, Glen, Mapletown, St. Johnsville, Sprakers and 
Stone Arabia. 

Oneida Co. — Utica. 

Onondaga Co. — Syracuse First and Second, Cicero. 

Seneca Co. — Interlaken and Lodi. 



140 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



Membership of Classis in 191 5 

Year Indicates Date of Joining Classis 



1873- 


-Rev. 


R. A. Pearse 


1909— Rev. 


1881- 


-Rev. 


J. R. Kyle 


Rev. 


1890- 


-Rev. 


Ira Van Allen 


Rev. 


1896- 


-Rev. 


Joel Loucks 


1910— Rev. 


1901- 


-Rev. 
Rev. 


H. C. Cussler 
C. F. Benjamin 


Rev. 
1912— Rev. 

Rev. 

Rev. 
1913— Rev. 
1914— Rev. 

Rev. 




Rev. 


Henry Smith 


1902- 
1903- 


-Rev. 

-Rev. 

Rev. 


C. V. W. Bedford 
P. A. Wessels 
W. N. P. Dailey 


1904- 


-Rev. 


H. C. Willoughby 


Rev. 




Rev. 


L. H. Holden 


1915— Rev. 


1906- 


-Rev. 


G. G. Seibert 


Rev. 



J. H. Brinckerhoff 
P. S. Beekman 
Frederick Perkins 
E. J. Meeker 
E. B. Van Arsdale 
J. H. Murphy 
O. E. Beckes 
J. A. De Hollander 
E. B. Irish 
R. A. Stanton 
H. A. Eliason 
V. J. Blekkink 
A. S. Van Dyck 
U. G. Warren 




Montgomery Classis Ministers 

See Illustration on Next Page 



1. Rev. T. DeWitt Talmage 

2. Rev. Edward Lodewick 

3. Rev. Evert Van Slyck 

4. Rev. James A. H. Cornell 

5. Rev. Jeremiah Searle 

6. Rev. J. Romeyn Berry 

7. Rev. Henry A. Raymond 

8. Rev. John A. Liddell 

9. Rev. Martin Luther Berger 
10. Rev. Joachim Elmendorf 

21. Rev. J. 



11. Rev. Peter Q. Wilson 

12. Rev. Isaac Labagh 

13. Rev. James R. Talmage 

14. Rev. Oscar H. Gregory 

15. Rev. George W. Bethune 

16. Rev. A. Henry Dumont 

17. Rev. James Murphey 

18. Rev. John A. DeBaun 

19. Rev. John P. Spinner 

20. Rev. Guido F. Verbeck 
Lansing Pearse 



141 




e^ontgomcrp Classis Ministers! 

See Previous Page 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 



a JReformeD Ctjurct) 30tnt0ter0 a 

©f ttje Siontgomerp Classis 



Abeel, Gustavus (1801-1887) 1835-1849— Union '23— N. B. '24 — Geneva. 

Abell, James (dl867) 1838-1855— Chittenango. 

Ackerman, Edw. G. (1837-1899) 1874-1879 — Rutgers '66— N. B. '69— 

Currytown, Sprakers. 
Ackerson, John H. (1810-1852) 1839-1841— N. B. '39— Columbia. 
Amerman, Albert B. (1793-1881) 1816-1821— Col. '12— Asso. Refd. Sem. 

'16 — Johnstown, Mayfield. 
Amerman, Thos. A. (dec.) 1838-1840— Amherst '27 — N. B. '30 — James- 

ville. 
Anderson, Chas. (1812-1900) 1879-1883 — Union '40 — Auburn '43— 

Owasco Outlet (S. S.) 
Aurand, Henry (1805-1876) 1860-1863— Dartmouth '30 — Columbia. 

Babcock, Maltbie D. (1853-1901) Syracuse '79 — Auburn '82 — Cicero 

(S. S.) 1881. 
Baehler, Louis H. (1839-1914) 1898-1901— Rutgers '01— N. B. '67— 

Manheim. 
Ballagh, Wm. H. (dl892) 1886-1888— Rutgers '60— N. B. '63— Lodi. 
Barny, Wm. F. (1862) 1893-1896— Bloomfield Sem. '93— N. B. '09— 

Naumburgh and New Bremen — Milltown, N. J. 
Barr, Robt. H. (1851) 1880-1883— Rutgers '75— N. B. '78— Owasco— 

Newburgh, N. Y. 
Bartholf, Benj. (1835-1908) 1864-1868— Rutgers '61— N. B. '64— Fair 

Haven. 
Bartlett, John— Pastor at Columbia 1811-1814. 
Bassler, Benj. (1806-1866) 1838-1866 — Union '30 — N. B. '33 — Farmers- 

ville. 
Beattie, Jas. A. (1861-1915) 1892-1915— Glasgow Univ. '85 — Princeton 

'89 — Amsterdam, Trinity. 
Beattie, John (1784-1864) 1838-1844— Union '06— Buffalo. 
Beaver, J. Perry (1858) 1898-1901— Ursinus '80— Auburn '83— Buffalo 

— Coeymans, N. Y. 
Becker, Chas. — -Pastor at Naumburgh and New Bremen 1860-1870. 
Beckes, Oscar E. (1868) 1912 — Emporia Col. '96— McCormick '98 — 

Auburn '99 — Mohawk — Mohawk, N. Y. 
Bedford, C. V. W. (1871) 1902— N. B. '97— Johnstown, Currytown, 

Sprakers, Hagaman — Hagaman, N. Y. 
Beekman, Peter S. (1861) 1893-1901 and 1909— Rutgers '84— N. B. '87 

— Currytown — Johnstown — Johnstown, N. Y. 
Beekman, Theo. A. (1856) 1885-1887— Rutgers '82— N. B. '85— Colum- 
bia, Rosendale, N. Y. 
Benjamin, Chas. F. (1872) 1901— Rutgers '98— N. B. '01— Thousand 

Isles — Alexandria Bay, N. Y. 
Bennet, Asa (1790-1858) 1828-1838— N. B. '24— Ovid. 

First parenthesis gives birth, and if deceased, year; membership in 
Classis follows; College and seminary, and year; then fields served in Classis; 
address last. Cayuga and Geneva classes, set off from and returning to 
Montgomery are somewhat included in this list. 

143 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Bentley, E. W. (1826-1886) supplied Canajoharie in 1881. 

Benson, Clarence H. (1879) Oct. 1911— Jun. 1912— Univ. Minn and 

Macalster College — Princeton '08 — Buffalo (now in Rochester 

Classis)— Buffalo, N. Y. 
Berger, Martin L (.1839-1910) 1868-1875 — Williams '59 — Union Sem. 

'62 — Syracuse First. 
Bergman, Jacob C. (1861) 1895-1901— Albion '88— Yale Div. '91— N. 

Y. Mills — Grand Rapids, Mich. 
Berry, Philip (1837-1889) 1865-1872— Rutgers '57— N. B. '60— Athens 

(Pa.) 
Bethune, Geo. W. (1805-1862) 1831-1834— Col. and Dickson '23— 

Princeton '26 — Utica. 
Blekkink,, Evert J. (1858) 1894-1899— Hope '86— N. B. '89— Amsterdam, 

Trinity — Holland, Mich. Western Theo. Seminary. 
Blekkink, Victor J. (1887) 1914— Hope '09— N. B. '12— Canajoharie— 

Canajoharie, N. Y. 
Blodgett, Gaius M. (1815-1884)— Union '34 — Auburn '37— Columbia, 

Warren (Licentiate), Stone Arabia 1858-1859 (S. S.) 
Boehrer, John (1828-1913) 1856-1862 and 1868— West Leyden, Naum- 

burgh and New Bremen. 
Bogardus, Francis M. (1836) 1872-1877— Rutgers '60— N. B. '63— Mo- 
hawk — Asbury Park, N. J. 
Bogardus, Nanning (dl868) 1834 and 1858-1868— Fort Plain, Sprakers, 

Stone Arabia. 
Bolsterle, Geo. S. (1876) 1909-1911— Rutgers and N. B. '09— West Ley- 
den— N. Y. City, N. Y. 
Bork, Christian (1758-1823) 1796-1798— N. B. 1795— Sharon. 
Boyd, John C. (1836-1901) 1865-1870 and 1883-1901— Princeton '55— 

Princeton Sem. '63 — Fonda, Auriesville and Sammonsville (S. S.) 
Boyd, Joshua (1785-1874) 1826-1828 — Union '14 — Herkimer Second. 
Bradford, Wm. J. (1795-1874) 1849-1858— Princeton Sem. '23— Lysan- 

der (S. S.) 
Brandow, John H. (1853) 1886-1888— Rutgers '83— N. B. '86— Mohawk 

—Albany, N. Y. 
Brinckerhoff, Geo. G. (1761-1813)— N. B. 1788— Owasco, Sempronius. 
Brinckerhoff, J. Howard (1883) 1909— Rutgers '05— N. B. '08— Herki- 
mer— Herkimer, N. Y. 
Brokaw, Abram (1761-1846) 1796-1822— Queens 1793— N. B. 1796— 

Lodi, Ovid, Owasco. 
Brokaw, Ralph W. (1855) 1877-1882— Rutgers '74— N. B. '77— Herki- 
mer — Utica, N. Y. 
Brokaw, Asahel (1794-1822) 1865-1867— Columbia. 
Brower, Cornelius (1770-1845) 1815-1833— Col. 1792— N. B. 1793— 

Frankfort, Arcadia, Gorham, Tyre. 
Brown, Samuel R. (1810-1880) 1851-1859 and 1868-1869— Yale '32— 

Union Sem. '38 — Owasco Outlet. 
Brush, Wm. W. (1843-1878) 1866-1868 and 1872-1878— Rutgers '62— 

N. B. '66 — Farmers Village, Geneva. 
Buckelew, Wm. D. (1825-1893) 1851-1854— Rutgers '48— N. B. '51— 

Currytown, Mapletown. Also at Tyre 1870-1876. 
Bulkley, Chas. H. A. (1819-1893) 1851-1853— Univ. N. Y. '39— Union 

Sem. '42 — Ithaca. . 
Burtis, Arthur (1807-1867) 1835-1836— Union '27— Auburn '33— Fort 

Plain. 



144 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Campbell, Jas. B. (1840-1911) 1903-1906— Rutgers and N. B. '70— 
Currytown, Sprakers. 

Campbell, Wm. H. (1808-1890) 1831-1833 — Dickinson '28— Princeton 
'31 — Chittenango. 

Carle, John H. (dec.) 1847-1851— Queens '11— N. B. '14 — Mapletown, 
Currytown. 

Case, Calvin (1821-1906) 1855-1857 — Rutgers '48 — N. B. '51 — Day. 

Caton, J. Collings (1872) 1901-1904— Princeton '97— Yale Div. '98— 
Fonda — Paterson, N. J. 

Centre, Samuel (1794-1859) 1824-1826— Middlebury '19— N. B. '23— 
Herkimer Second, Johnsburgh. 

Chapman, Nathan F. (1811-1893) 1849-1853 — Rutgers '44 — N. B. '47— 
Canajoharie. 

Chittenden, Alanson (1797-1853) 1827-1834— Union '24— Auburn '28— 
Charleston, Glen. 

Clancy, John (d) 1855-1861— Florida (Minaville). 

Close, John (1737-1815) 1796-1804 — Princeton 1763 — Middletown (Sara- 
toga county). 

Coddington, W. P. (dl913)— supplied First Syracuse 1886-1888. 

Cole, Philip H. (1864) 1897-1907— Union '88— Union Sem. '89— Syra- 
cuse First — Rome, N. Y. 

Collier Geo. Z. (1862) 1890-1896— Rutgers '83— N. B. '86— Thousand 
Isles — Middleburgh, N. Y. 

Collier, Isaac H. (1834-1881) 1865-1870— Rutgers '59— N. B. '62— Lodi. 

Collier, Joseph A. (1828-1864) 1855-1859— Rutgers '49— N. B. '52— 
Geneva. 

Compton, Jas. M. (1817-1891) 1847-1850 and 1863-1891— Rutgers '43— 
N. B. '46 — Currytown, Mapletown, Stone Arabia, Columbia, Hen- 
derson, Ephratah. 

Consaul, Gansevoort D. W. (1841-1908) 1868-1879 — Amherst '59 — 
Princeton '61 — Fort Plain, Mohawk, Herkimer, Fort Herkimer 
(S. S.) 

Cook, Seth (1858) 1910-1914— Auburn '90— Lodi— Moravia, N. Y. 

Cornell, Jas. A. H. (1818-1899) 1848-1851— Rutgers '38— N. B. '41— 
Syracuse First. 

Cox, Henry M. (1854) 1882-1890— Rutgers '76— N. B. '79— Herkimer— 
Harrington Park, N. J. 

Crispell, Peter (1862) 1894-1902— Rutgers '48— N. B. '87— Utica— Mont- 
gomery, N. Y. 

Cussler, Henry C. (1866) 1901— Rutgers '93— N. B. '96— Buffalo- 
Fonda — Fonda, N. Y. 

Dailey, Wm. N. P. (1863) 1903— Union '84— Hartford Sem. '87— Am- 
sterdam, Trinity — Schenectady, N. Y. Classical Missionary 1911. 

Davis, George (1860-1914) 1911-1914— Rutgers '84— N- B. '87— Cana- 
joharie. 

Dean, Artemas (1824) 1873-1875— Amherst '42— Auburn '48— Owasco 
Outlet— Mt. Carmel, Pa. 

De Baun, John A. (1833-1900) 1883-1900— Rutgers '52— N. B. '55— 
Fonda. 

De Fraest, David R. (1785-1835)— N. B. '18— Cato, Sterling. 

DeGraff, Garret D. L. (1869-1910) 1909-1910— N. B. '01— Cortland. 

De Hollander, John A. (1875) 1912— Univ. Mich. '05— N. B. '08— 
Cicero — Irondequoit, N. Y. 

145 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Demarest, James (1832-1913) 1884-1900— Union '52— N. B. '56— Fort 
Plain. 

Denman, Mark A. (1858) 1891-1897— Washington-Jefferson '82— 
Princeton '86 — Canajoharie — Springfield, Mass. 

De Voe, David (1783-1844) 1811-1844— N. B. '08— St. Johnsville, Colum- 
bia, Oppenheim, Manheim, Henderson, Warren, Upper Schoharie. 

De Vries, Henry (1847) 1877-1882— N. B. '88— Thousand Isles— Peek- 
skill, N. Y. 

Dexter, Rex Rescum Hart (1819-1890) 1884-1887— Auburn '54— 
Owasco Outlet. 

De Witt, John (1821-1906) 1849-1850— Rutgers '38— N. B. '42— Cana- 
joharie. 

Dobbs, John F. (1870) 1908-1915 — Lafayette '97 — Union Sem. '00— 
Syracuse First — Woburn, Mass. 

Donald, James E. (dec.) 1844-1855— Mariaville. 

Dougall, Arthur (1868-1904) 1900-1903— Union '92— Princeton '95 — 
Fort Plain. 

Drake, Edward (1871) 1897— Lake Forest '94— Auburn '97 — Lie. by 
Montgomery Classis — Minneapolis, Minn. (Presb.) 

Drake, Francis T. (1805-1867) 1844-1853— Rutgers '38— N. B. '41— 
Canastota. 

DuBois, John (1812-1844) 1843-1845 and 1850-1854— Union '39— N. B. 
'42 — Manheim, Cicero. 

Dumont, Abraham H. (1800-1865) 1826— N. B. '26— Union Church. 

Dunnewold, John W. (1821-1895) 1855-1868— Clymer and Mina. 

Dunning, Edward O. (dl'874) 1842-1845— Canajoharie. 

Duryee, Isaac G. (1810-1866) 1859-1862 — Union '38— Andover '41 — 
Yale Div. '42 — Amsterdam First. 

Dyer, David (dec.) 1841-1843— Fultonville. 

Dyke, Jacob (1860) 1903-1909— Hope '83— N. B. '86— Herkimer (1904) 
— Presb. — East Moriches, L. I. 

Dyke, Chalmers P. (1869) 1900-1903— Rutgers '92 — N. B. '95— Herki- 
mer — Lowell, Mass. 

Dysart, Joseph P. (1841) 1874-1879 — Union '65 — United Pres. Sem. '68 
— Glen — Milwaukee, Wis. 

Dysslin, John H. (dl812) 1788-1812— St. Johnsville, Manheim, Indian 
Castle. 

Edmonson, James (dec.) 1868-1886 — Cicero, Mohawk. 

Eliason, Harry A. (1880) 1914 — Currytown, Sprakers — Currytown, 

N. Y. 
Elmendorf, Joachim (1827-1908) 1853-1855 and 1862-1865— Rutgers '50 

— N. B. '53 — Ithaca, Syracuse First. 
Enders, Jacob H. (1834-1901) 1891-1901 — Union '58 — Princeton '61 — 

Chittenango — also at Lysander 1866-1869. 
Erler, John (1877) 1903-1906— N. B. '02— Cicero (Luth.) Rockwood, Pa. 
Evans, C. Park— Thousand Isles (S. S.) 1889-1890— Watervliet, N. Y. 
Evans, E. — Stated supply at Jamesville (Onondaga Co.) during 1836. 

Faber, John P. (1878) 1906 — N. B. '99 — Auriesville (S. S.), Cranes- 
ville (S. S.) — Schenectady, N. Y. 

Ferris, Isaac (1798-1873) 1820 — Col. '16 — N. B. '20 — Missionary: Man- 
heim, Oppenheim, Danube, Osquak and Herkimer Second. 

Florence, Ephraim W. (1864) 1899-1904 — Owasco Outlet, Currytown, 
Sprakers. Sidney, Nova Scotia (P. E.) 

146 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Fonda, Jacob D. (1793-185(5) 1835-1842— Union '15— N. B. '19— Fonda. 

Force, Frank A. (1850) 1896-1899 — Hope '76 — N. B. '80 — Owasco Out- 
let— Mt. Ross, N. Y. 

Forsyth, James C. (dec. 1898) — pastor of Interlaken 1870-1875 (Pres.) 

Frazer, Thomas (1791-1884) 1840-1843 — Currytown, Mapletown. 

Freeh, Henry — pastor at West Leyden and Point Rock 1886 and 1887. 

Frederick, Elmer E. (Presb.) Supply at Mapletown 1913. 

Froeligh, Peter D. (1782-1827) 1802-1807— Col. 1799— N. B. 1801— 
Sincock. 

Furbeck, Howard R. (1878) 1901-1903— Union '97— N. B. '01— Amster- 
dam, Trinity — Annandale, N. J. 

Furbeck, Philip (1832-1899) 1889-1892 and 1898-1899— Union '54— N. B. 
'59 — Fonda, St. Johnsville. 

Gardner, Hugh B. (1820-1874) 1860-1864— Yale '42— Princeton Sem. 
'49 — Herkimer. 

Garretson, Garrett I. (1808-1853)— Rutgers '29— N. B. '32— Lodi. 

Garretson, John (1801-1875) 1859-1864— Union '23— N. B. '26— Cana- 
stota, Owasco Outlet. 

Gates, Cornelius (dl863) 1856-1857 — Amsterdam First. 

Gebhard, John G. (1857) 1892-1900— Hope '78— N. B. '82— Herkimer 
— N. Y. City, N. Y. 

Goetschius, Stephen G. (dl795) 1822-1824— N. B. '19— Manheim, Dan- 
ube, Osquak, Canastota. 

Grant, Jas. Edward (1872) 1906-1915 — Westminster Theo. Sem. '00 — 
Union Sem. '14 — Fultonville — Delaware Water Gap, Pa. (Presb.) 

Gregory, Oscar H. (1809-1885) 1831-1838— Amherst '28— Princeton 
Sem. and N. B. '31 — Farmersville. 

Gray, John (1799-1877) 1830-1832— Root (Currytown). 

Gray, John (1792-1865) 1856-1857— Cicero. 

Gros, Johannes D. (1737-1812) 1796-1800 — Canajoharie, Stone Arabia. 

Hageman, Andrew J. (1837-1912) 1863-1887— Rutgers '60— N. B. '63— 
Hagaman. 

Haines, Francis S. (1857) 1884-1890— Princeton '78— Union Sem. '83— 
Canajoharie — Goshen, N. Y. 

Hall, David B. (1812-1898) 1844-1848— Union '39— Princeton Sem. '41 
— Columbia and Henderson (Cong. S. S.). Also at Cleveland, 
N. Y. (1850-1853). 

Hammond, Eben S. (1815-1873) 1854-1858— Rutger's '39— N. B. '42— 
Canajoharie, Columbia. 

Hammond, Israel (bl791) 1831-1839 and 1847-1850— Owasco, Gorham. 

Hammond, John W. (1819-1876) 1856-1859— N. B. '48— Mohawk. 

Hangen, Jacob W. (1805-1843) 1832-1836— Columbia, Warren, Maple- 
town, Currytown. 

Hansen, Maurice G. (1835-1904) 1887-1893— Rutgers '56— N. B. '59— 
Hagaman. 

Harris, David T. (1846) 1891-1892 — Manheim — West Copake, N. Y. 

Hartley, Isaac S. (1830-1899) 1871-1889— N. U. Univ. '52— Union Sem. 
'54 — Utica. 

Hasbrouck, Jacob R. H. (1784-1854) 1814-1830— Canajoharie, Charles- 
ton, Mapletown, Currytown. 

Hastings, Seth P. M. (dl876) 1855-1859— Hamilton '33 — Auburn '37 — 
Chittenango. 

147 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Heermance, Harrison (1813-1883) 1837-1840— Rutgers '34— N. B. '37— 
Currytown, Mapletown. 

Henry, Jas. V. (1798-1873) 1846-1849— Central Col. N. J. '15— Prince- 
ton Sem. '21 — Ithaca. 

Hewlings, Geo. (Hulin, Geo.) (1804-1872) 1861 — Union '26 — Princeton 
Sem. '31 — Ephratah (S. S.) 

Hillyer, Asa — Missionary at Owasco Outlet 1790f- — rom Orange, N. J. 

Hoes, John C. F. (1811-1883) 1839-1845— Amherst '32— Princeton Sem. 
'35 — Ithaca, Chittenango. 

Hoffman, Abraham (1780-1856) — Pastor of Cato church 1831-1843. 

Hogan, Jasper S. (1867) 1894-1896— Rutgers '91— N. B. '94— Glen- 
New Brunswick, N. J. 

Hogan, Orville J. (1861) 1899-1909— N. B. '93— St. Johnsville— Closter, 
N. J. ' 

Holden, Louis H. (1873) 1904— Yale '95— Col. '97— Union Sem. '98— 
Utica— Utica, N. Y. 

Huntington, Henry S. (1828-1895) 1869-1870— Princeton '50 — Andover 
and Princeton '54 — Owasco Outlet (S. S.) 

Huyler, Peter (1876) 1905-1914— N. Y. Univ. '98— Auburn '01— Syra- 
cuse Second — Rhinebeck, N. Y. 

Hyde, Oren (1787-1873)— Middlebury '12— Princeton '25— Cicero (S. 
S.) 1839 (at Fayette 1833-1873). 

Ingalls, Wilson (1809-1899) 1855-1864— Union '36— Owasco. 

Irish, Edward B. (1886) 1913— Union '10— N. B. '13— Fultonville— 

Fultonville, N. Y. 
Ivey, Robert (1862) 1903-1905— Auburn '96— Owasco, Atlanta, Ga. 

Johnson, William (dec.)— At Owasco 1835-1865— ("Wyckofite"). 
Jones, Nathan W. (1820-1876) 1853-1854— Rutgers '50— N. B. '54— 

Cleveland (S. S.) 
Jones, Nicholas (dl839) 1816-1820 — Sharon and New Rhinebeck. 
Jones, Thomas W. (1843-1909) 1870-1882— Rutgers '64— N. B. '67— 

Fonda. 
Jukes, Charles (1788-1862) 1830-1834 and 1838-1850 — Glen, Auries- 

ville, Ephratah, Stone Arabia. 

Kasse, A. K. 1851-1864— Pastor at Pultneyville and Buffalo (Holland). 
Ketchum, Isaac S. (1796-1836) 1822-1840— N. B. '21— Salisbury, Man- 

heim, Danube, Stone Arabia, Ephratah, Columbia, Herkimer. 
Keerl, Julius J. — Was stated supply at West Leyden in 1889. 
Kinney, Chas. W. (1858) 1893-1899 and 1906-1911— St. Johnsville, Mo- 
hawk — Schuylerville, N. Y. 
Kip, Francis M. (1839-1911) 1870-1883— Univ. N. Y. '64— N. B. '67— 

Fultonville, Auriesville. 
Knieskern, Joseph (1810-1895) 1845-1895 — Rutgers '38— N. B. '41 — St. 

Johnsville, Manheim, Indian Castle. 
Knight, Richard W. (1794-1873) 1841-1873 — Owasco Outlet, Cato, 

Lysander, Wolcott. 
Knox, Charles E. (1833-1911) 1861-1862— Hamilton '56— Auburn '57 — 

Union Sem. '59 — Utica (S. S.) 
Knox, John P. (1811-3 882) 1841-1844 — Rutgers '30 — N. B. '37 — Utica. 
Krum, Josephus D. (1833) 1861-1865 — Rutgers '58— N. B. '61— Florida 

—Ottawa, Kan. (P. E.) 
Kyle, Joshua R. (1833) 1881 — Miami '59 — Xenia Sem. '63 — Amsterdam 

First — Amsterdam, N. Y. 

148 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Labagh, Isaac (1764-1837) 1801-1811-1813-1814, 1822-1826— Canajo- 

harie, Stone Arabia, Sharon, New Rhinebeck. 
Lane, Gilbert S. (1828-1896) 1866-1881— Rutgers '51 — N. B. '54 — 

Florida. 
Lansing, John A. (1824-1884) 1845-1848— Union '42— N. B. '45— S. S. 

at Day, Canajoharie. 
Lansing, John G. (1851-1906) 1877-1879 — Union '75— N. B. '77 — Mo- 
hawk. 
Lansing, Raymond (1873-1903) 1897-1903 — Union '94 — N. B. '97 — Glen. 
Lappius, John C. (dl765) — Pastor at "Sand Hill" church 1770-1774. 
Lawrence, D. W. — S. S. at Cicero 1874 and 1875. 
Lawrence, Egbert C. (1845) 1883-1886 — Union '69 — Princeton Sem. '75 

— Auburn '76 — Thousand Isles — Schenectady, N. Y. 
Lawsing, Sidney O. (1846) 1882-1883— Rutgers '74— N. B. '79— Glen— 

Catskill, N. Y. 
Lehman, F. V. W. (1870) 1899-1902— N. B. '99— Columbia— Delmar, 

N. Y. 
Leland, Hervey D. (1862) 1888-1912 — Yale '85— Union Sem. '88— 

Owasco Outlet — Utica, N. Y. 
Lloyd, Aaron (1817-1905) 1846-1847— Rutgers '42— N. B. '45— Gorham. 

Lockwood, John H. (1848) 1871-1873 — Williams '68— Princeton '71 

— Canastota — Springfield, Mass. 
Lodewick, Edward (1846-1909) 1872-1875— Rutgers '69— N. B. '72— 

St. Johnsville. 
Lonsdale, Wm. J. (1889) 1904-1910— Hamilton '01— Auburn '02 — Union 

Sem. '04 — Fonda. 
Lord, Daniel (1822-1899) 1851-1856 and 1860-1865 and 1878-1899— Univ. 

Penn. '44 — N. B. '47 — Henderson, Fort Herkimer. 
Loucks, Joel (1853) 1896— Rutgers '81— N. B. '84— Stone Arabia (S. S.) 

in 1895 — Canajoharie, N. Y. 

Maar, Chas. (1864) 1892-1900— Rutgers '89— N. B. '90— Auburn '92— 
Owasco Outlet, Syracuse Second — Albany, N. Y. 

Mabon, Wm. A. V. V. (1822-1892) 1844-1846— Union '40— N. B. '44— 
Buffalo. 

Mallery, Chas. G. (1869) 1890-1904— Rutgers '96— N. B. '99— Syracuse 
Second — Bedminster, N. J. 

Mandeville, Garrett (1775-1853) 1798-1802— N. B. 1796— Caroline, Six 
Mile Creek. 

Mandeville, Henry (1804-1858) 1831-1849— Union '26— N. B. '29— 
Geneva, Utica. 

Manley, John (1810-1871) 1831-1833— Rutgers '28— N. B. '31— Man- 
heim. 

Mann, Alexander M. (1808-1893) 1831-1837— Rutgers '27— N. B. '30 
— Ithaca. 

Manton, Daniel E. (1811-1841) 1836— Amherst '31— Andover & Prince- 
ton '32-'35 — Chittenango. 

Markle, Josiah (1829-1898) 1870-1872— Rutgers '53— N. B. '57— Maple- 
town. 

Marcellus, Aaron A. (1799-1860) 1830-1831— Union '26— N. B. '30— 
Lysander. 

Matthews, Algernon (1841-1885) 1876-1879— Elizabeth Col. (Ger.)— 
N. B. '75— Manheim. 



149 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Mattice, Abram (1833-1904) 1871-1879 — Rutgers '58 — N. B. '62— Fort 
Plain (S. S.) 

McAdam, Hugh P. (1837) 1871-1884— Lodi— Saugerties, N. Y. 

McCullum, Edward A.— 1891-1899— Fort Plain— Castleton, N. Y. 

McDowell, Robert (1760-1841) — Served the Duanesburgh Dutch 
church 1800. 

McFarlane, James (dl87l) 1845-1848 — Canajoharie (student supply). 

McKinley, Geo. A. (1847) 1876-1877 — Auburn '77 — Owasco Outlet — 
Salem, Ore. 

McLean, Chas. G. (dec.) 1844-1853— Fort Plain. 

McNeil, Archibald— Owasco 1823—1824 (S. S.) Ovid (Seceder) 
1838-1868. 

Mead, Cornelius S. (1818-1879) 1849-1859— Union '41— Auburn '44— 
Herkimer. 

Merwin, Miles T. (1802-1865) 1862 — Yale '28 — Union Sem. '41— Prince- 
ton Sem. '42 — Ephratah (S. S.) 

Messier, Abraham (1800-1882) 1824-1828— Union '21— N. B. '24— Ovid. 

Meeker, Edward J. (1867) 1899-1903 and 1910— Rutgers '96— N. B. '99 
— Mohawk, Fort Herkimer (S. S.), Glen, Auriesville (S. S.) — 
Supplied Ephratah and Stone Arabia — Lodi — Lodi, N. Y. 

Meyers, Abraham (1801-1886) 1830-1831 and 1837-1844 and 1843-1852 
— Union '27 — N. B. '30 — St. Johnsville (2), Manheim. 

Michael, Daniel (1810-1865) 1836 and 1840-1847 (w. c.)— Rutgers '33— 
N. B. '36 — Licensed by the Montgomery Classis. 

Middlemas, Jasper (dec.) 1844-1847 — Mapletown and Currytown (S. S.) 

Mills, Henry (1786-1867)— Auburn Prof. 1821-1854— Princeton 1802— 
Owasco Outlet (S. S.) 

Milne, Charles (1820-1882) 1849-1853— Rutgers '42— N. B. 45— Haga- 
man. 

Minor, Albert Dod (1850-1910) 1879-1910— Rutgers '76— St. Johnsville, 
Mohawk, Fort Herkimer. 

Minor, John (1814-1890) 1873-1886— Rutgers '42— N. B. '45— Amster- 
dam First, Manheim, Currytown, Mapletown, Sprakers, Herkimer, 
Cranesville (S. S.) 

Moelling, Peter A. — Pastor of Naumburgh and New Bremen 1880-1884. 

Morris, Jonathan F. (1801-1886) 1824-1832— N. B. '24— Glen, Charles- 
ton, Ephratah, Stone Arabia, Herkimer Second, Ford's Bush, 
Osquak. 

Morse, A. G. — Stated supply at Cato during 1857-1859. 

Moule, John (dec.) 1839-1841 — Rutgers '34 — Princeton '37 — Owasco 
Outlet. 

Mulford, Henry D. B. (1859) 1889-1897— Rutgers '81— N. B. '85— 
Syracuse First — Upper Red Hook, N. Y. 

Muller, John (1826-1910) 1854-1857— Rutgers '51 — N. B. '54 — Woolcot. 

Murphy, James (1788-1857) 1834-1843 and 1853-1857— N. B. '14— St. 
Johnsville, Manheim, Mohawk, Herkimer, German Flatts, Frank- 
fort, Columbia. 

Murphy, J. Harvey (1882) 1912— Rutgers '06— N. B. '09— Amsterdam 
Trinity — Amsterdam, N. Y. 

Murray, Chester P. (1845) 1886 — Princeton '72 — Princeton Sem. '75 — 
Lodi — Cleveland, O. 

Myers, Alfred (1844-1915) 1877-1878— Williams '66— N. B. '68— 
Princeton Sem. '69 — Union Sem. '70 — Owasco. 



150 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASS1S 

Nasholds, Wra. H. (1850) 1880-1887— Rutgers' 76— N. B. '79— Geneva, 

Interlaken — Schenectady, N. Y. 
Nelson, Sybrandt (Presb.) Supplied Mapletown 1907-191:2. 
Nevius, Elbert (1808-1897) 1835-1836— Rutgers '30— N. B. '34— Arcadia. 
Nott, Charles D. K. (1833-1904) 1859-1864— Union '54— Union Sem. 

'56— N. B. '59— Mohawk. 
Nott, John (1801-1878) 1861-1878— Union '23— Andover '25 — Princeton 

Sem. '26 — Auriesville (S. S.) 

Oppie, John (1854-1880) 1878-1879— Rutgers '74— N. B. '78— Geneva. 
Ostrander, Stephen (1769-1845) 1792-1793— N. B. 1792— Missionary in 
Mohawk Valley. 

Paige, Winslow (1768-1838) 1808-1814 — Dartmouth and Brown — Flori- 
da, Stillwater, Blenheim. 

Palmer, Chas. L. (1869) 1897-1899— N. B. '94— Ephratah, Stone Arabia 
— Marlboro, N. J. 

Palmer, Frederick W. (1860) 1888-1893 — Hamilton '81 — Auburn '88— 
Interlaken (S. S.)— Auburn, N. Y. 

Palmer, Sylvanus (1770-1846) 1818-1822— Fonda's Bush, Middletown, 
Veddersburgh. 

Parsons, Andrew (1830-1900) 1864 — Williams '57 — Auburn '60 — Colum- 
bia (S. S.) 

Paulison, Christian Z. (1805-1851 )— N. J. Col. '22— N. B. '26— Glen 
("Wyckofite"). 

Pearse, J. Lansing (1829-1898) 1856-1860— Union '49 — Princeton Sem. 
'56 — Hagaman. 

Pearse, Richard A. (1849) 1873— Rutgers '70— N. B. '73— Florida— 
Minaville, N. Y. 

Peeke, Alonzo P. (1835)-1900) 1865-1872— Rutgers '59— N. B. '62— 
Owasco. 

Peeke, George H. (1833-1915) 1872-1875— Rutgers '57— N. B. '60— 
Owasco. 

Pepper, John P. (1809-1883) 1837-1845 — Fort Plain, Henderson 
(Warren ). 

Perkins, Frederick (1865) 1909 — Hamilton '89— Princeton Sem. '92 — 
St. Johnsville, Lodi — St. Johnsville, N. Y. 

Perrine, Matthew La Rue (1777-1836)— Princeton Col. 1797— Prof at 
Auburn 1821-1836— Owasco Outlet (S. S. ) 

Peters, Joseph D. — 1898-1910 — Canajoharie, Hoboken, N. J. 

Petrie, Jeremiah L. (1825-1910) 1836-1870 — Union '46 — Auburn '49— 
Ilion, Herkimer. 

Pick, D. C. A. (dl802) 1788-1800 — Stone Arabia, German Flatts, Sand 
Hill, Herkimer. 

Pitcher, John H. (1806-1879) 1831-1833— Union '27— N. B. '30— Herki- 
mer Second. 

Porter, Chas. F. (1861) 1888-1904 — Hamilton '84 — Auburn '87 — Lodi— 
Albany, N. Y. 

Powell, Enoch R. of Scotia (Baptist) at Cranesville (S. S.) 1914. 

Quaw, James E. (1800-1845) 1829-1830— N. B. '28— Lysander (Mission- 
ary). 

Quick, A. Messier (1839) 1864-1871— Rutgers '60— N. B. '64— Amster- 
dam First — Brooklyn, N. Y. 

151 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Quick, John J. (bl817) 1855-1871 — N. B. '39 — Currytown, Mapletown, 

Fort Herkimer. 
Quinn, Robert A. (1803-1853) 1833-1835— N. B. '33— Fonda. 

Rawls, John (dl~97) 1820-1823— N. B. '19— Columbia. 

Raymond, Henry A. (1804-1877) 1831-1833— Owasco. 

Reiner, John H. — Pastor at West Leyden and Point Rock 1882-1885 — 
Brooklyn, N. Y. 

Renskers, Garret J. (1818-1893) 1868-1880— Clymer. 

Richard, Jas. (1767-1843) — Yale 1749 — Auburn Prof. 1823-1843— Owas- 
co Outlet (S. S.) 

Riggs, Alexander B. (1842) 1870-1876— Washington and Jefferson '63 
—Auburn '69 — Union Sem. '70— Fort Plain — Auburn, N. Y. 

Robb, John (dec.) 1844-1845— Ephratah (S. S.) 

Robertson, Samuel (1784-1869) 1836-1839 — Williams '12 — Princeton 
Sem. '15 — Canajoharie. 

Rockwell, George (1821-1897) 1854-1877— N. B. '51— Thousand Isles. 

Rodger, John A. (bl855) 1897-1900— Syracuse '91— Auburn '94— Owas- 
co — Skaneateles, N. Y. 

Rogers, Leonard (1803-1838) 1832-1838— N. B. '32— Catlin, Owasco 
Outlet. 

Rogers, Samuel J. (1832-1910) 1876-1879— Rutgers '59— N. B. '62— 
Fort Plain. Also at Geneva 1865-1872. 

Romaine, Benj. F. (1820-1874) 1859-1862— Rutgers '42— N. B. '45— 
Canajoharie. 

Romeyn, James (1797-1859) 1850-1851— Col. '16— N. B. '19— Geneva. 

Romeyn, Thomas, Jr. (1777-1857) 1800-1806— Union 1797— N. B. 1798 
— Florida. 

Romeyn, Thomas, Sr. (1729-1794) 1772-1794— Col. N. J. 1750— Fonda. 

Roof, Garret L. (1810-1891) 1847-1855— Union '31— Auriesville, Glen, 
Amsterdam First. 

Root, Oren (1838-1907) 1890-1907 — Hamilton '56— Utica. 

Rouse, Peter P. (1798-1832) 1822-1828— Union '18— N. B. '21— Florida. 

Ruhl, Frederick (1847-1904) 1891-1895— Rutgers '72— N. B. '84— 
Cicero, Manheim. 

Ryerson, Abram G. (1817-1887) 1843-1846— Rutgers '39— N. B. '42— 
Gorham. 

Sangree, Henry H. (1857) 1888-1893 — Mercersburg 80— Union Sem. 

'83 — Currytown, Mapletown — Philadelphia, Pa. (P. E.) 
Sargent, Cassius J. (1869) Apr., 1910-Dec, 1910 — Aubuprn '01— At 

Owasco 1905-1910 — Liverpool, N. Y. 
Sauerbrum, Louis F. (1877) 1904-1905 — Bloomfield '97 — Princeton '00 

— Glen — Chester, N. J. 
Schenck, John V. N. (1842-1871) 1865-1867— Rutgers '62— N. B. '65— 

Owasco Outlet. 
Schenck, John W. (1825-1881) 1855-1863— Rutgers '45— N. B. '49— 

Ithaca. 
Schenck, Martin L. (1817-1873) 1853-1857— Rutgers '37— N. B. '40— 

Fort Plain. 
Schermerhorn, Cornelius D. (1780-1830) 1803-1830 — Union 1797— N. 

B. 1803— Schoharie Kill. 
Schermerhorn, John F. (1786-1851) 1816-1827 — Union 1809 — Upper 

Schoharie (Middleburgh). 

152 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Schlieder, Albert H. (1869) 1896— Rutgers '93— N. B. '96— Hacken- 

sack, N. J. Licensed by Montgomery Classis. 
Schlieder, Frederick E. (1838-1915) 1865-1872 and 1890-915— N. B. '65 

— West Leyden. 
Schmitz, William (1857) 1892-1901— Rutgers '81— N. B. '84— Fulton- 

ville— Bushkill, Pa. 
Schoeffler, J. D. (dec.) 1804-1819— Schoharie. 
Schoonmaker, Richard L. (1811-1882) 1880-1882 — Rutgers '29 — N. B. 

'32— Glen. 
Schuyler, Johannes (dl799) — Supplied German Flatts and Stone 

Arabia (1745-1756). 
Searle, Jeremiah (1836-1913) 1866-1868 — Rutgers '55 — N. B. '58 — 

Syracuse First. 
Seeley, Amos W. (1805-1865) 1831-] 836— Union '28— Princeton Sem. 

'31— Frankfort. Also at Cicero 1840-1845. 
Seibert, George G. (1867) 1906— N. Y. Univ. '89— N. B. '92— Hagaman, 

Owasco — Owasco, N. Y. 
Shaw, John F. (1844) 1868-1870— Rutgers '65— N. B. '68— Lysander, 

Athens, Pa.— Afton, N. Y. 
Shelland, Wm. H. — Pastor at Columbia 1895-1899. 
Slingerland, Elbert (1800-1875) 1855-1856 and 1860-1862 and 1865-1875 

— N. B. '24 — Chittenango, Mohawk, Hagaman. 
Smith, Chas. W. (1883) 1913— Rutgers' 10— N. B. '13— Lawyersville, 

N. Y. Licensed by the Montgomery Classis. 
Smith, Henry (1863) 1901— Friends Sem. '88 (Cong.) Cicero, Glen— 

Rifton, N. Y. (W. C.) 
Smith, William H. (dl880) 1866-1871 — Union '63— Ephratah, Tilla- 

borough. 
Snyder, Benj. F. (1826-1889) 1855-1856— Rutgers '46— N. B. '49— 

Arcadia. 
Snyder, Henry W. — S. S. at Frankort, Schuyler, Herkimer Second 

(1829-1831). 
Southard, James L. (1844-1906) 1869-1881— Rutgers '66— N. B. '69— 

Wolcott. 
Spinner, John P. (1768-1848) 1801-1848 — German Flatts, Herkimer. 
Stanbrough, Rufus M. (1832-1905) 1861-1885— Rutgers '58— N. B. '61 

— Indian Castle, Manheim, Columbia, Stone Arabia. 
Stanton, Royal A. (1886) 1914— Rutgers '09— Western Theo. Sem. '14 

— Ephratah, Stone Arabia — Ephratah, N. Y. 
Stark, Jedediah L. (1793-1864) 1838-1862— Buel, Columbia, Mohawk, 

German Flatts, Frankfort. 
Stevenson, James B. (1798-1864) 1827-1854— N. B. '27— Lysander, 

Florida. 
Strong, Thomas (1824-1890) 1866-1890— Union '41 — Ithaca, Geneva 

(S. S.) 
Stryker, Herman B. (1794-1871) 1822-1834 — Johnsburg, Warrensburg, 

Amsterdam, St. Johnsville. 
Stube, Charles F. (1886) 1913-1914— Hamilton '10— N. B. '13— 

Licensed by the Montgomery Classis. Missionary in India. 
Swick, Minor (1829) 1861-1871— Rutgers '58— N. B. '61— Cato— Flush- 
ing, N. Y. 
Swits, Abram J. (1785-1878) 1821-1822— Union '17— N. B. '20— Missy. 

in Classis. Supplied Amsterdam First July, 1857-July, 1859 and 

Nov., 1862-Aug., 1863. 

153 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Talmage, J. R. (1808-1879) 1860-1869— Col. N. J. '26— N. B. '29— Chit- 

tenango. 
Talmage, T. DeWitt (1832-1902) 1859-1862— Univ. N. Y. '53— N. B. 

'56 — Syracuse First. 
Tarbell, John G. (1794-1880) 1830-1840— Harvard '20— N. B. '25— 

Owasco Outlet, Caroline. 
Taylor, Chas. F. (1872) 1906-1909 — Princeton Sem. '95 — Union Sem. 

'96 — Herkimer — Greenwich, Ct. 
Taylor, Hutchins — Stated supply at Chittenango Nov., 1828 — May, 

1830. 
Ten Eyck, Conrad (1756-1844) 1799-1844— N. B. 1799— Amsterdam, 

Mayfield Fonda's Bush, Owasco, Owasco Outlet (w. c. 1826-1844). 
Thatcher,. Charles O. (1842) 1880-1887— Union '64— Princeton Sem. '67 

— Chittenango — Bachellerville, N. Y. 
Thatcher, Daniel — Missionary from Orange, N. J. at Owasco Outlet 

before Brokaw (cf). 
Thomson, John A. (1857) 1887-1891 — Rutgers '84 — N. B. '87 — Sprakers, 

Mapletown, Stone Arabia, East Palatine — Middleburgh, N. J. 
Thyne, Joseph B. (1830-1910) 1899-1910— Union '58— Xenia Sem. '61 

—Glen. 
Todd, Augustus F. (1826-1907) 1858-1865— Rutgers '55— N. B. '58— 

Athens, Pa. 
Toll, John C. (1780-1849) 1803-1822— Union 1799— N. B. 1801— Cana- 

joharie, Mapletown, Westerlo. 
Turner, Wm. E. (1810-1893) 1841-1848 and 1862-1866— Rutgers '38— 

N. B. '41 — Arcadia. 

Unglaub, Henry (1857) 1884-1888 — Bloomfield Sem. '80— Naumburgh 
and New Bremen. 

Van Allen, Ira (1846) 1890 — Rutgers '73 — N. B. '76 — Owasco, Mohawk 

— Owasco Outlet (S. S. ) Syracuse, N. Y. 
Van Arsdale, Elias B. (1869) 1893-1909 Rochester CI.) 1910 — Inter- 

laken — Interlaken, N. Y. 
Van Arsdale, Jacob (1808-1871) 1850-1864— Rutgers '30— N. B. '33— 

Tyre. 
Van Benschoten, Wm. B. (1835-1880) 1872-1880— Rutgers '61— N. B. 

'64 — Ephratah, Stone Arabia. 
Van Buren, John M. (1811-1892) 1842-1851— Union '35— Auburn '38— 

Fultonville. 
Van Buren, Peter (dl832) 1805-1814— Union 1802 — Charleston First. 
Van Burk, John (1863) 1895-1902 — Oberlin '91 — Johnstown — Swanton, 

Vt. 
Van Derveer, Ferdinand H. (1841-1881) 1823— Union '20— N. B. '23— 

Ovid. 
Van Derveer, John (1880-1878) 1822-1823— Col. N. J. '17— N. B. '22— 

Mapletown, Canajoharie, Oppenheim. 
Van Doren, David K. (1841-1908) 1869-1873— N. B. '67— Currytown, 

Sprakers. 
Van Doren, John Addison (1815-1886) 1866— Lodi. 
Van Doren, John H. (1837-1898) 1876-1882— Rutgers '59— N. B. '64— 

Tyre. 
Van Dyck, Alexander S. (1858) 1915— Col. City N. Y. '79— N. B. '82— 

Syracuse, Second — Syracuse, N. Y. 

154 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASS1S 

Van Dyck, Lawrence H. (1807-1893) 1861-1867 — Amherst '30 — Auburn 

'33 — Stone Arabia. 
Van Hee, Isaac J. (1868) 1897-1905 — Rutgers '93 — N. B. '96 — Thousand 

Isles, Fultonville — Detroit, Mich. 
Van Home, Abram (1763-1840) 1795-1840— Fonda (Caughnawaga). 
Van Home, David (1837-1867)— Union '64— N. B. '67— Theo. Sem. 

Refd. U. S. — Dayton, O. Licensed by Montgomery Classis. 
Van Keuren, Benj. (1800-1865) 1824-1825 — N. B. '24— Charleston 

Second, Mapletown, Westerlo (Canajoharie). 
Van Kleek, Richard D. (1800-1870) 1834-1835 — Union '22 — N. B. '25 — 

Canajoharie. 
Van Liew, John C. (1806-1861) 1850-1856— N. B. '32— Ephratah, Stone 

Arabia. 
Van Neste, Geo. J. (1822-1898) 1875-1878— Rutgers '42— N. B. '46— 

St. Johnsville. Also at Lodi 1853-1865. 
Van Nest Rynier (1739-1813) 1793-1813— Schoharie. 
Van Olinda, Douw (1800-1858) 1825-1831 and 1844-1858— N. B. '24— 

Johnstown, Mayfield, Union, Palatine, Mapletown, Sprakers, 

Fonda. 
Van Slyke, Evert (1862-1909) 1876-1885— Rutgers '62— N. B. '65— 

Syracuse First. 
Van Vechten, Samuel (1796-1882) 1823-1824 and 1841-1844— Union '18 

— N. B. '22 — Johnstown, Mapletown, Mayfield, Fonda's Bush, 

Union, Fort Plain. 
Van Vranken, Adam H. (1824-1880) 1851-1865— Rutgers '48— N. B. 

'51— Glen. 
Van Vranken, Francis V. (1835) 1866-1874 and 1882-1892— Union '58 

— N. B. '61 — Glen, Fultonville. Also at Lysander 1861-1866— 

Albany, N. Y. 
Van Zandt, Benj. (1809-1895) 1862-1869— Union '33— Auburn '36— 

Canajoharie, Sprakers. 
Van Zee, Chas. W. (1867-1903) 1900-1901 — Rutgers '90— N. B. '93— 

Amsterdam, Trinity. 
Vaughan, Jonah W. (1851-1913) 1884-1889— Rutgers '78— N. B. '81— 

Owasco. 
Veenhuizen, A. B. (1814-1895)— Pastor at Pultneyville 1853-1885. 
Verbeck, Guido F. (1830-1898) 1898— Auburn '59— (cf Owasco). 
Vermilye, Ashbel G. (1822-1905) 1863-1871— N. Y. Univ. '40— N. B. '63 

— Amsterdam First. 
Voorhees, Henry V. (1826-1897) 1851-1852— Rutgers '47— N. B. '50— 

Geneva. 

Wack, Charles P. (1807-1866) 1831— N. B. '29— Caroline. 

Wack, John J. (1774-1851) 1803-1817— Stone Arabia, "Sand Hill," 
Ephratah, Stone Arabia (Preached 14 years after being dropped.) 

Wales, E. Vine (1816-1878) 1850-1861— Oneida Inst. '39— Auburn '43— 
Sprakers. 

Ward, John W. (1801-1859) 1824-1831— Col. N. J. '21— Princeton Sem. 
'23 — Union (Chenango) Presb. 

Warnshuis, Henry W. — 1877-1880— Pastor at Naumburgh, New Bre- 
men, West Leyden — Port Royal, Va. (Presby.) 

Warren, Ulysses Grant (1872) 1915— Syracuse '96— Columbia— Yale 
'99 — Syracuse, First — Syracuse, N. Y. 



155 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY CLASSIS 

Watson, Thomas G. (1836-1900) 1861-1869— Hobart '57— N. B. '61— 

Cato, Woolcot. 
Weber, Jacob. 1871-1879 — Mina, West Leyden — Yonkers, N. Y. 
Weidman, Paul (1788-1852) 1820-1826 and 1837-1852— Union '18— N. B. 

'20 — Schoharie, Manheim. 
Weidner, David C. (1877) 1902-1905— Rutgers '99— N. B. '02— Haga- 

man — Ridgewood, N. J. 
Wells, Ransford (1805-1899) 1830-1833 and 1857-1868— Rutgers '27— 

N. B. '30 — Fultonville, Canajoharie. 
Welles, Theodore W. (1839) 1865— Rutgers '62— N. B. '65— Paterson, 

N. J. Licensed by the Montgomery Classis. 
Wessels, Peter A. (1841) 1882-1884 and 1903— Williams '76— Drew '78 

— Auburn '79 — Columbia, Auriesville (S. S.) — Amsterdam, N. Y. 
Westervelt, John P. (1816-1879) 1858-1859— Rutgers '37— Ephratah. 
Westfall, Benj. B. (1798-1844) 1827-1828 and 1838-18-44— Union '23— 

N. B. '26 — Owasco Outlet, Stone Arabia, Ephratah. 
Whitbeck, John (1812-1888) 1849-1850— Rutgers '37— N. B. '40— 

Arcadia, Caroline, Henderson. 
Whitbeck, Richard M. (1838) 1863-1866— Rutgers '59— N. B. '62— 

Mapletown. At Tyre 1865-1868 — Lenox, Mass. 
Whitney, Wm. W. (dl903) 1886-1889— Ephratah (cf). 
Wiley, Charles (1810-1878) 1845-1855 and 1859-1865— Princeton '31— 

Auburn '35— Yale Div. '36— Utica. 
Williams, Melanchton B. — Col. N. J. '14 — Pastor at Lysander 1834- 

1837. 
Williams, Richard R. (1843-1915) 1870 — Union Sem. '70 — Canajoharie. 
Willoughby, Henry C. (1866) 1904-1915— N. B. '96— Fort Plain— Fort 

Plain, N. Y. (After February l, 1916, Schenectady, N. Y.) 
Wilson, Frederick F (1831-.1910) 1870-1872— Rutgers '58— N B. '62— 

Mohawk. Also at Cato 1872-1873. 
Wilson, Peter Q. (1831-1902) 1882-1889— Rutgers '58— N. B. '61— 

Ephratah, Cranesville. 
Winfield, Aaron Burr (1815-1856) 1844-1851 — Owasco Outlet. 
Wortman, Denis (1836) 1880-1883 — Amherst '57 — N. B. '60 — Fort Plain 

— East Orange, N. J. 
Wurts, Wm. A. (1838) 1863-1868 and 1871-1816 and 1893-1901— Lafay- 
ette '59 — N. B. '62 — Canastota, Lysander, Hagaman — Sharon 

Springs, N. Y. 
Wyckoff, Garret (1855) 1885-1887— Rutgers 8'1— N. B. '84— Curry- 
town — Red Bank, N. J. 
Wynkoop, Richard (1798-1842 1826-1827— Col. '19— N. B. '22— Cato. 

Yates, Andrew (1772-1844) 1828-1835 — Yale 1793— N. B. 1796— Chitten- 
ango. 

Zabriskie, Albert A. (1843) 1868-1869— Rutgers '65— N. B. '68— Inter- 

laken — Bloomington, N. Y. 
Zabriskie, Francis N. (1832-1891) 1863-1866— N. Y. Univ. '50— N. B. '55 

— Ithaca. 



156 



a IReformet) (2Dutci)) Ctjurct) 1 
^tstortcai J15ote0 



Church Emblem 




The seal of the Reformed Church in America 
dates back to 1556, and is built upon the seal or 
shield of Prince William of Orange, the leader of 
the Reformation in the Netherlands. The present 
shield goes back to its official use in 1826, when the 
pillars were added to give it an ecclesiastical bear- 
ing. The stars at the top of these pillars suggest 
the heavenly life. The motto on the top ribbon is 
Latin and means, "Without the Lord all is Vain," 
while the nether ribbon is in Dutch, meaning, "Union makes Strength." 
The various armorial bearings on the three shields originate from the 
fact that the Princes of Orange were also lords of other principalities. 
When a number of Provinces came under one leadership the right to 
make use of the emblem of all centered in one person. Thus we have 
on the large shield the four shields of Nassau, Katzenelnbogen, 
Vianden, and Dietz. On the small shields at the centre, composing 
the second shield, are those of_ the united provinces of Cahlons and 
Orange, while the very smallest shield, which is divided into squares, 
is there by the reason of the marriage of Jane of Geneva to one of the 
princes of Orange. Tt is interesting to note that the first quarter of 
the large shield bears the arms of Nassau, the capital of which was 
the birthplace of William the Silent, Prince of Orange. It has a lion 
rampant, surrounded by seventeen billets, representing, it is said, the 
union of the ten states of the Netherlands with the seven states of 
Holland, under the rule of William. The princes of Orange received 
a recognition from the Emperor, Charles V, which permitted them 
to place the Imperial crown above the helmet, which is the emblem 
of bravery in time of war. The Coat of Arms is now the accepted 
emblem of the denomination. The armorial device fittingly recalls 
the glorious work of William the Silent, founder of freedom. Its 
Latin motto reminds the church of its entire dependence on Almighty 
God, while its Dutch motto bespeaks man's needed help, and its pillars 
direct our thots to the stars and beyond them to the hills from whence 
cometh our help. 



The Dutch Church in the Mohcnvf? Valley 

The Reformed Church in America is the oldest evangelical body 
on the western hemisphere. As the pioneer, therefore, of those 
doctrines,- and form of government, believed to be the most in har- 
mony with the Scriptures, and the American constitution, she oc- 
cupies a unique place in the annals of the States. While the Holland 
Dutch first came to the New World in 1609, and at once established 



157 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

their church and school, it is noteworthy that all elements of the 
Reformed churches of the American continent — from France and 
Switzerland, and the German Palatinate — the churches of the Reform- 
ed faith established in Virginia (at times meaning the Atlantic coast 
lands), and Maryland, and Pennsylvania — all turned to the Classis 
of Amsterdam (Holland) for men and money. The archives of this 
Classis, from 1582 to 1816, contain a voluminous correspondence from 
all these fields. From 1609 to 1664 the religion of the Dutch church 
was the recognized religion of the country. Even up to 1693 it was 
the most respected of all of the denominations because of its Christian 
tolerance and charity to all. In 1693 the Colonial Assembly of New 
York passed an act whereby the Protestant Episcopal church became 
the religion known to the law, and from 1693 to 1776, besides sup- 
porting its own ministry, the Dutch church was forced to contribute 
to the support of the church of England. In prior years the Dutch 
churches were always accessible to the clergy of the English church 
who conducted the Anglican services in them. The act of the New 
York Colonial Assembly was the result of the alliance of the Church 
of England with the Royal Cause. As a secondary result it was the 
rebellion of the colonists to the church of England that ensued in the 
rebellion of the colonies against the English government. It was not 
so much a religious as a political rebellion. The church of England 
wanted a hierarchy in America under foreign domination, and in New 
York and Virginia was as intolerant as in the mother country. When 
the Revolution broke out every clergyman of the established church 
in New York, New Jersey and New England was an out-and-out Tory, 
and this was probably true of all the other colonies. It was due to 
their inherited reverence for distinction of rank. In New York the 
antagonism was so great that in a sense the Revolution was a re- 
ligious war, the members of the established church being loyalists 
and the dissenters all whigs. Altho Washington was a member of 
the Church of England all his army chaplains were dissenters, and 
thro the war he attended their meetings. After the war all this was 
changed. 

The development of the Dutch church in New Netherlands, as 
Manhattan was first called, is an interesting story. The church was 
organized in 1628 by Rev. Jonas Michaelius, and a small structure 
built within the Fort at the lower end of what is now New York City. 
The first minister at Fort Orange or Beverwyck (Albany) was 
Johannes Megapolensis, who arrived in 1642. He was the first 
Protestant missionary among the Indians in America, antedating John 
Eliot's work in New England by several years. He learned the 
Mohawk language, regularly preached to them, received them as mem- 
bers into his church, and was on the friendliest terms with them, both 
in their tepees and in his own home. In the Mohawk valley proper 
the first settement of the church was at Schenectady, an out-station 
of the Albany church from 1662 to 1670, when the first definite or- 
ganization there is recorded. The first established minister at Sche- 
nectady was Rev. Petrus Tesschenmacher (1684-1690), a graduate of 
Utrecht, who was killed at the burning of Schenectady by the French 
and Canadian Jesuits on February 8, 1690. Schenectady was the most 
remote settlement from Albany at this time, being founded by Ar.ent 
Van Corlear in 1662. For a hundred years the little congregation 
at Schenectady was exposed to the ravages of the French and 

158 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

Canadian fanatics, twice suffering almost total extinction. For a 
century the street now called "State," under whose pavements lies 
the dust of the early settlers, was called after 1690 the "Street of the 
Martelaers" (Martyrs). In other Notes we have spoken of the Iro- 
quois, the efforts made to educate and evangelise the Indians, the 
various missions among the Amerind, and in the main portion of the 
book the work of the churches west of Schenectady. Ten years 
after the first massacre there the Rev. Barnardus Freerman, for so 
he wrote his name, became pastor of the church, and did a great work 
among the Mohawks, especially. He remained six years, but so 
great was his kindness and so successful his work among the Indians, 
that five years later we find the Mohawks petitioning the Governor 
of the Province for his return to their castle. For some reason the 
treatment accorded the Dutch ministers by these Aborigines was far 
different from that given to the Jesuit priests. The first church build- 
ing at Schenectady was destroyed in 1690, the second, built in 1703, 
was converted into a fort in 1734; the third, built of stone, as its 
predecessors, had the high pulpit and sounding board, raised seats 
tor the men, lowly ones for the women. For eighty years this building 
was used, when in 1814 a fourth structure was built of brick, which 
was burned in the fire of August, 1861, when the present edifice, one 
of the finest in the country, was constructed. The ministers of this 
church often itinerated in the Mohawk valley. 

Reformed Church in America — Doctrine, Confession, Custom 

The Reformed Church in America is a product of the European 
revival known as the Reformation. Other articles in this book speak 
of its history in general, and in the Mohawk Valley in particular, and 
of its progress or development in America. In this note we want to 
refer, very briefly, to its doctrine, its confession, and its customs. 
The basic belief or creed of the Church is to be found in the Word 
of God, which is its rule of faith and conduct. Other expressions of 
faith are accepted merely as guides for the culture of the individual 
soul or as aids toward the administration of the kingdom of God in 
the church. A trinity-statement of belief forms the ground-work of 
the doctrines and confessions of the church. 

The Belgic Confession, formed in 1561, puts in an orderly fashion 
our belief in God, the Trinity, Faith, the Church, Salvation thro 
Christ, and the Judgment. Since 1619 it has been tenaciously adhered 
to by the Reformed Church in America. While Calvanistic in its 
conceptions of the truth, its focus is on Jesus Christ, the world's 
Saviour, Who alone can impart the divine life. 

The Canons of Dort is an after-growth of the controversy that 
ensued the adoption of the other two — the church's interpretation of 
the Confession and Catechism. It dates back to 1618 when repre- 
sentatives of the Reformed Church of Europe met at Dordrecht to 
define more clearly certain statements of the Belgic Confession. 
What is generally known as the "Five Points of Calvanism" was the 
result of this conference, and was adopted, later, by the Reformed 
Church in America. In these Canons of Dort is expressed the firm 
belief of the Reformed Church in God's absolute sovereignty, in man's 
original sin which can only be done away with by divine regeneration, 

159 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

in the necessity of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, and in God's plan of 
salvation. 

The customs of the Reformed Church in America are, mainly, 
peculiar to its organization, settled fixtures of its constitution and 
forms of worship. The General Synod has oversight of the ad- 
ministration and worship, the latter being semi-liturgical. Conse- 
quent with the changing years and the varied environment of the 
church, the Constitution, as well the forms of worship have under- 
gone change, yet there has always been a reverent deference paid to 
the originals, and any change has always first received the approval 
of the entire church. Among the usages made prominent in the 
Church is the established order of worship, including the responsive 
reading of the Psalter and Commandments, and the use of the Lord's 
Prayer and Apostles Creed. For three centuries now the ministry, 
besides declaring their belief in and acceptance of the doctrines of 
the church, have obligated themselves to preach on the Heidelberg 
Catechism. The elders who have the spiritual oversight of the 
church often sit together near the pulpit, visit the congregation with 
the minister and must always be present when the sacraments are 
conducted. The entire service or worship of the church is centered 
in the sacraments, the Lord's Supper and Baptism, regarded as signs 
and seals of Christ's covenant with His people and their expression 
of love and loyalty to Him. Other forms are prescribed for the 
ordination of the ministers, elders and deacons, reception of mem- 
bers, catechetical instruction arranged for, and other organizations 
meet the varied social and spiritual needs. The weekly prayer ser- 
vice is intended as a school of Christ wherein piety, personal service 
and brotherly love is taught. From the inception of the church 
there has always been a charitable spirit of toleration toward all 
other sects, and a cordial co-operation wherever possible, with every 
evangelical force making for righteousness. 

Reformed Church in America — Development and Progress 

The Collegiate Reformed (Dutch) Church of New York City is 
the oldest Evangelical church in America, having been organized in 
1628 by Rev. Jonas Michaelius, tho in the coming of the Dutch to 
Manhattan in 1609, religious work was immediately begun. A third 
of a century later (1664) when New Amsterdam surrendered to the 
English, there were eleven Dutch churches in the Province. The 
denomination has today more than seven hundred churches and 
about a hundred and fifty thousand members whose gifts for all 
purposes last year were nearly two and a quarter million dollars. 
The story of the development of the church thro its three centuries 
is punctuated with tragedy and triumph, with some errors of judg- 
ment, mayhap, but withal a large-hearted tolerance and a genuine 
devotion to the interests of the people as a whole. Not long after 
the foundation of the work on Manhattan an effort was made by the 
English to establish an official church. Domine Megapolensis, and his 
son, Rev. Samuel, who had to do with the terms of surrender, saw 
to it that the rights of the Reformed church were protected, and 
religious liberty guaranteed to the Province However, tho by far 
the stronger body, the Dutch church was compelled to pay tribute 

160 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

to the Church of England in addition to supporting their own. They 
had brot from the Netherlands their traditionary love for religious 
freedom, and when the English, and German, and French came, they 
accommodated themselves to these peoples, gave them the free use 
of their churches, and afforded them services in their mother tongue. 
In return the English Governors gave their Church favorable grants, 
and made the existence of the Dutch church a very hard task. 

Another impediment in the progressive development of the Dutch 
church was the administration of all affairs by the Classis of Holland 
which ruled with rigidity for a century and a half. The discussion 
that naturally ensued over this condition ranged ministers and 
churches into opposing camps, and much turmoil and strife was 
engendered. Perhaps the chiefest obstacle to the progress of the 
church was the set determination of the older element to cling to the 
preaching in the Dutch language, notwithstanding the large influx 
of English speaking immigrants. One's sympathy is with the Dutch 
of that day whose antipathy to whatever was English was natural, 
considering how they had been treated by the Established Church 
of England or those who represented that church — and considering 
how the war lords of England conducted their campaign against the 
settlers, in the Hudson and Mohawk valleys, with the aid of the 
savages. And this suggests that the prescribed environment of the 
field of the Dutch church had not a little to do in the way of re- 
tarding its development, since it was around New York city, in New 
Jersey, and in the Hudson and Mohawk valleys, that the brunt of 
the Revolution was felt, with the French Wars preceding and the 
Border Wars following. The men who made up the Colonial army 
at Oriskany, and the members of the Committee of Safety of Tryon 
County, were almost wholly identified with the Dutch church. There 
were twelve of these churches in the Mohawk valley to four of the 
Lutheran and two of the Church of England. The conditions pre- 
vailing in America during most of the eighteenth century had a 
tendency to check the Holland immigration which had begun so 
auspiciously in the seventeenth. 

After the Revolution radical changes followed; the domination 
of the Church of England ceased; the General Synod was formed for 
the administration of affairs in the homeland; later on a new tide of 
Holland immigration set in and the Reformed Church began to ex- 
pand in the west, notably in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. One 
of the very first establishments in Manhattan was the organization 
of a public school whose teachers taught the rudiments of education 
and at the same time comforted the people in their sorrow and 
practically did the work of the minister until his coming in 1628. 
This school is now the Collegiate Institute of New York City. Edu- 
cation was to be the handmaid of their religion, which is evidenced 
to this day in the educated ministry that has thro these centuries 
been one of the cardinal features of the Reformed Church. Some 
historians point to the names of the English on the first charter of 
Queens (Rutgers) but it was the petition of the Dutch ministers that 
caused Queens to be founded. After whatever English names appear 
might have been put ex-officio. It was the English who burned the 
college buildings soon after they were erected. Rutgers College, 
Hope,College, New Brunswick Seminary, Western Theological Sem- 
inary, and the other colleges and academies, in the home land, and 

161 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

on the foreign fields, where the Reformed Church is working, testify 
to the consistent attitude of the Church toward education and religion 
in their co-ordinate relations. Its missionary spirit has been keen 
from the very beginning. It was the first to preach the Gospel to 
the Red Men, while in these latter days of Indian Mission work, the 
name that stands above every other, both in the councils of the 
Indian as well in the mind of the church, and in the opinion of the 
Government is that of Walter C. Roe. Within a decade after the 
Declaration of Independence the Reformed Church began a definite 
work for Domestic Missions. From 1602 the Reformed Church of 
the Netherlands prosecuted foreign missions both in the East and 
West Indies. Modern Foreign Missions began toward the close of 
the eighteenth century, and the Dutch Church of America, uniting 
with the Presbyterian and Baptist churches, began an aggressive 
campaign at once. Later (1820) a union was made with the American 
Board. In 1832, while co-operation was still maintained with the 
American Board, there was a separate Board of Foreign Missions in 
the Dutch Church, and in 1857 it became independent. Its principal 
fields of operation are China, Japan, India, and Arabia. 

"True Reformed Dutch Protestant C/iurc/i" 

The only defection that the Reformed (Dutch) Church in Ameri- 
ca has had for its more than two centuries of existence (except the 
Christian Reformed church) was the schism known by the above title, 
but so small and so devoid of influence was this secession that it 
was hardly worth while to call it a division. There were but two 
classes organized, one in New Jersey and the other here in Mont- 
gomery county, popularly called the "Wyckofite" church because one 
of the separatists was Rev. Henry V. Wyckoff whose personality for 
a generation kept the schism alive, tho for the most part thro the 
years it had but little more than a name. Its inceptor was Rev. Solo- 
monmon Froeligh of Hackensack, N. J., a professor in the church 
seminary recently founded, joined with whom were Revs. Abram 
Brokaw of Ovid, N. Y., Sylvanus Palmer of Union (Montg. Co.) N. 
Y., Rev. H. V. Wyckoff of the Charleston, N. Y. church, and Rev. J. C. 
Toll of Mapletown, N. Y., both in Montgomery county. The schism 
came in 1822 and was brot about largely by theT)(limited atonement" 
preaching of Rev. Conrad Ten Eyck of Owasco, formerly of the Re- 
formed churches of Amsterdam, Mayfield, and Johnstown. It resulted 
in the suspension of the above ministers from the Reformed Dutch 
church ministry. In 1820 General Synod (R. P. D. C.) had re- 
solved that the Particular Synod of Albany should organize a 
new classis of Sharon, Rhinebeck, Johnstown, Mayfield, Westerlo, 
Middletown, Fonda's Bush, Albany Bush, Ovid, and the Second 
Church of Charleston, but this the Synod of Albany refused to do 
in 1821, because of the "disrespect and insubordination" shown by 
several of the pastors of these churches of the Dutch church. 
Nothing daunted, the dissenters met and moved to suspend 
the whole ministry of the Reformed Dutch church which 
action begun was not carried out. Later in ecclesiastical differences 
ensuing between these two classes each suspended the other and in 
terms that are not current in the language of religious bodies of this 

162 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

day. In New Jersey the spirit of contention was centered- in the 
Schraalenberg church where one of two pastors had obtained un- 
fairly a title from the Governor to certain church property. Manu- 
script evidence is in hand of the writer to show that these men, 
headed by Prof. Froeligh, were preparing for some time for the 
break. We have gone thro the private correspondence of one of 
the malcontents, and have also looked thro the printed pamphlets 
and reports of their General Synods which were kept up for a quarter 
of a century, and we have failed to discover any logical basis for 
separation or any work the "Trues" did that was worth while. The 
General Synods were gatherings largely of a two-fold nature, to 
discipline and collect assessments with which to pay the traveling 
expenses of the delegates. 

In the articles of their organization they solemnly declared that 
the "Reformed Protestant Dutch church" was unsound from its head 
to its feet, and after excoriating the entire church, they de- 
livered them over to Satan until they should repent. The church 
in 1825 numbered a score of churches or congregations and about half 
as many ministers. The preaching was exceedingly long and extreme- 
ly dogmatic. Secret societies were virulently attacked. It believed 
in an unalterable reprobation. The printed arguments for its rise 
have a great deal to say of the evils of Antinomianism, Arminianism, 
Erastianism, Deism, Arianism, Hopkinsianism, Socinianism, Univer- 
salism, Lordly Episcopacy, and Papal Despotism — terms of frequent 
discussion in their assemblies and of prolonged development in their 
publications. We have examined the records of the churches at 
Middletown (Mapletown), Westerlo (Sprakers), and Canajoharie, 
where Rev. J. C. Toll was pastor for ten years or more and find them 
almost wholly devoted to discipline and trouble in the congregation. 
The Union Classis (Montgomery Co.) was so small that sessions 
were only held once in two or three years. There were congregations 
at Owasco, Ovid, Danube (Indian Castle), and Mount Morris (Liv- 
ingston Co.), N. Y., in addition to the above. While churches were 
not always built there was preaching also at Tribes Hill, Amsterdam, 
Glen, Osquako, Mayfield, and Johnstown. In 1830 the secession came 
to its climax in strength and later joined the Christian Reformed 
church. There is a church at Glen, N. Y., where services are held 
monthly and an occasional service is still conducted at Johnstown, 
N. Y. 



163 



HISTORICAL NOTES 



S historical jl?ote0 1 

on rt)e fl@ot)atoft Pailep 



The Iroquois 

In Van Ortelius "Universal Geography" (published in 1570) is 
to be found a map of New France which comprised all that was then 
known of North America. The land was divided into nine provinces 
or districts, and what is now Northern New York, including the 
Valley of the Mohawk was called "Avacal." On the map of the New 
Netherlands (1616) the country lying on both sides of Lake Cham- 
plain was called Ir-o-coi-sia, the hereditary land of the Iroquois. 
This vast region as is well known is almost entirely surrounded by 
water, on the north the St. Lawrence, on the east the Hudson, on 
the south the Mohawk and on the west Oneida Lake and Oswego 
river. The Indian paddled his canoe around it excepting two short 
carrying places, one at Fort Edward to Wood Creek s^^- 
and the other at Fort Stanwix to the other Wood Creek that empties 
into Oneida Lake. When the white man first explored this region, 
early in the seventeenth century, Northern New York was a part of 
the territory and hunting grounds of the great Indian Confederacy, 
called by the French, the "Iroquois," by the English, the "Five 
Nations," and by themselves the "Ho-de-no-sau-nee," the "People of 
the Long House," or the "People of many fires." Another name the 
Iroquois applied to themselves was the "On-gue-hon-we," that is, "the 
men surpassing others" — "the real men." The rest of the Amerind 
were practically without knowledge or genius ,and possessed nothing 
of ability, or influence, or appeal, such as characterized the Indians 
of this League. In 1715 the Confederacy adopted into their league 
the Tuscaroras who had lost a thousand of their tribe thro wars in 
North and South Carolina. Thereafter they were known in England 
as "The League of the Six Nations." 

The country of the Iroquois, called by them, "Ho-de-no-sau- 
nee-ga," extended from the Hudson to Lake Erie, from the St. 
Lawrence to the valleys of the Delaware, the Susquehanna and the 
Alleghany, the whole of Central and Northern, and large parts of 
Southern and Western New York. The territory of Northern New 
York belonged principally to the Mohawks and Oneidas, the Ononda- 
gas owning a narrow strip along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. 
The New York league of the Amerind, as their name signified, were 
of a superior type of red men. They matched the European in 
diplomacy, while in knowledge of human nature and sagacity, they 
were superior. Man to man the Iroquois matched the white man. 
In a certain sense civilized, yet at heart barbarous, cruel, savage, 
rapacious, treacherous. The Indian had no peer in oration. The 
conviction of his free birth made him a proud man, and everywhere 

These Historical Notes are added because they illumine the storfcf of the 
Mohawk Valley, as well indicate the part played by the Dutch Church in 
those stirring days of Settlement and Revolution. So long as the Mohawk 
flows the Iroquois, the Palatines, and this Valley will never be forgotten. 

164 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

his ability was recognized. Here in the wilderness of what has be- 
come the Empire State the Iroquois built up the strongest con- 
federacy that existed in America north of the Aztec monarchy in 
Mexico. It was an ideal condition of Aboriginal life that the white 
man found when he came over the seas to dwell in this western 
land. Up to the time of Sullivan's expedition (1779) which was the 
direct resultant of the Cherry Valley and Wyoming massacres in 
1778, the Iroquois had ruled their vast unknown territory, undisputed- 
ly, for five centuries They held the gateway that opened into the 
great west, and this made them arbiters between the great nations 
of the Old world who in that day were fighting for supremacy in the 
New. 

Among all the Amerind of the New World there were none so 
politic and intelligent, none so fierce and brave, none with so many 
germs of heroic virtues mingled with their savage vices — as these 
people of the Long House. All other nations feared them. They 
overrun the country of the Hurons in 1650, in 1651 utterly destroyed 
the Neutral Nation, in 1652 exterminated the Eries, and in 1672 made 
the Andastes a slave nation. As far west as the Mississippi and as 
far south as the great gulf was their war-cry heard. The tribes along 
the Hudson and the nations in New England paid tribute to them. 
They were the Conquerors of the New World, the "Romans of the 
West," of whom Father Ragueneau wrote in 1650, "my pen has no 
ink black enough to describe the fury of the Iroquois." They built 
their castles (villages) on the banks of the streams, lived in long 
narrow houses and raised vegetables and tobacco. For more than 
two hundred miles along the narrow valley of the Mohawk stretched 
their "long house." The Mohawks (Ga-ne-a-ga-o-no, i. e. "People 
Possessors of Flint") guarded the eastern door of this "long house" 
while the Senecas (Nun-da-wa-o-no, i. e. "Great Hill People") kept 
watch at the west. Between these doors of their country dwelt the 
Oneidas (O-na-yote-ka-o-no, i. e. "Granite People"), the Ononodagas 
(O-nun-do-ga-o-no, i. e. "People on the Hills"), the Cayugas (Gwe- 
u-gweh-no-no, i. e. "People at the Mucky Land") and the Tuscaroras 
(Dus-ga-o-weh-o-no, i. e. "Shirt-Wearing People"). Of their system 
of government, their festivals and religious beliefs, and their social 
life it is not our purpose to speak. 

Arent Van Corlaer (1638-1667), and Peter Schuyler afterwards 
were on the friendliest terms with these Aboriginies. Indeed the 
earliest history of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of America 
is replete with the splendid service record of the ministers in the old 
churches at Manhattan, Fort Orange, Schenectady, and elsewhere, 
who ministered unto the Indians, visited them in their forest homes, 
and welcomed them to the privileges of the parsonage and the worship 
of the church. After 1744 and for thirty years Sir William Johnson 
wielded a great influence over the Iroquois. In the paragraph de- 
voted to the education and christianizing of the Indians there conies 
out in striking illustration the marked attitude of the Indians thro 
all the century and more before the Revolution between the Dutch 
settlers and the French, or even between the Dutch and the English 
settlers. The three castles of the Mohawks were all on the south 
side of the river, and in 1693, March 8, were captured by a French- 
Indian band of six hundred. As early as 1665 De Curcelles with 1,300 
made an expedition against the Mohawks and burned five of their 

165 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

palisaded villages. In 1669 La Salle took possession of Lakes Erie 
and Ontario and built Fort Niagara (destroyed in 1689). In 1673 
other Frenchmen erected Fort Frontenac at what is now Kingston, 
Ont. The French sought to win the Indian over, first by Jesuitism, 
and later by force of arms. With the English it was different. They 
sought the aid of the Indian to help the crown put down the re- 
bellion, to match the plodding settlers of the new world with the 
wonted savagery of the forest. All the while the colonists wrought 
with the Indians to remain neutral, well knowing what would happen 
both to the Indian and the colonist if they were brot into the conflict. 
Just before the Revolution, on his visit to London, Brant entered 
into an agreement with Lord George Germaine who was Lord 
North's cabinet member who had charge of the war in America, 
whereby the Indians were to receive in lieu of their loyalty to the 
crown, and as an exchange for their savage service, immediate re- 
wards together with future care, no matter which side won. It was 
also stipulated that for every prisoner taken they were to receive 
eight dollars, but the scalps of the prisoners would also be honored 
at this price. Is it any wonder that for generations it was not thot 
to be a crime in the valleys of the Mohawk or Schoharie to kill an 
Indian. Under the floor of the old church at German Flatts, whose 
erection was begun about 1740, the settlers buried their dead that they 
might save their bodies from mutilation by the savage. England 
broke every promise it made to the Indian, vacated the treaty made 
with them in 1683, and at the close of the war utterly forsook them. 
The Iroquois paid dearly for their allegiance to the Butlers and the 
Brants, to the Johnsons and the Tories, and to England. Capt. Dal- 
ton, Supt. Indian Affairs of the Government, himself a prisoner for 
several years among the Indians, under date of August 5, 1783, 
estimates the number of Indians engaged by the British during the 
Revolution as a few short of 13,000. The most of these were Uchip- 
weys (3.000), Sues (1,300), Creeks (700), Choctaws (600), Senecas 
(600), Cherokees (500), Kackopoes (500), Delawares (500), Sokkie 
(450), Plankishaws (400), Chickasaws (400), Ononodagas (300), Shaw- 
anaws (300), Mohawks (300), Ottaways (300), Puyons (350), and 2,500 
from the other eleven tribes. 



Indian Border Wars— 1 662-1 7 J 3 

In 1614 a Dutch trading post was built at Fort Orange (Albany). 
The Five Nations held all the land north and west of this point to the 
St. Lawrence and the Lakes. They scourged and terrified their 
neighbors, and from 1615 to the close of the French war in 1763, they 
kept up an intermittent warfare with the Canadian French. At the 
same time they were at peace with the Dutch and English, but always 
distrusted by both because of the Indian's fickle nature. He depended 
on the white man for his powder, and rum and camp duffle. Hence 
arose the necessity for protecting the settlements that were always 
apprehensive of impending danger. Among the settlements thus 
fortified were Claas Gravens Hoek (Cranesville), Post Jackson (Am- 
sterdam), Caughnawaga, Canajoharie, Palatine, and German Flatts. 
During the years of 1688 to 1760, when the French power ceased to 
create alarm in America, the New York Province was more than 



166 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

half the time in a state of war or of imminent danger. Never but 
once (1690) did any formidable body of the French ever cross the 
Mohawk, but skulking bodies of their Indian Allies made constant 
reprisals from the settlers. The expedition of M. De Courcelles 
against the Mohawks December 29, 1665, is referred to elsewhere. 
In 1669 another battle was fought on the western edge of the town. 
The River Indians (Mahikanders) attacked the stockade village of 
the Mohawks at Caughnawaga. After repulsing them the Mohawks 
followed and gave battle to their foe on Towereoune Hill, near 
Hoffmans. During the last quarter of the seventeenth century Eng- 
land and France were at peace with each other, but their provinces 
in America were at the same time at the point of war with each other. 
In December, 1688, King James, failing to make England a Papal 
nation, abdicated the throne and joined Louis, his royal ally, in 
France. In America Governor Andros was imprisoned and Leisler 
headed a popular anti-papal government. At Montreal in August, 
1669, the Five Nations sacked the city and held it until October. 
A French attack on the Mohawk and Hudson settlements was looked 
for by all. The blow fell first upon Schenectady, February 9, 1690. 
In April following the French Indians attacked Canastagione (Nis- 
kayuna), killing some ten persons. In 1693 the French attacked and 
took the first three Mohawk castles and burned them. In 1695 there 
were many conflicts between the Five Nations and the French. In 
July, 1696, the French attacked and burned the castle of the Oneidas. 
The Onondagas, too weak to fight the French, burned their own 
castles and retreated. Schenectady was greatly alarmed when a party 
of French Indians on September 17th, 1696, killed some settlers. The 
anticipated raid of the winter of 1696-1697 did not occur but in the 
spring of 1697 small bands of Indians harassed the settlements along 
the Mohawk. On September 20, 1697, terms of peace were signed 
(Peace of Ryswick) between England and France. But the Canadian 
French remained openly imimical to the Five Nations, and preserved 
their army intact, while the fortifications and soldiery in the valley 
were neglected. In 1709 Governor Lovelace received orders from 
England to prepare for an attack upon Canada and Nova Scotia. A 
Naval Squadron and five regiments were to be sent over, with whom 
1,500 of the New England Militia, the Five Nations and the River 
Indians were to join forces. Like the 1691 attempt, the whole thing 
fell through. England sent her force to Portugal. During the 
English-French war (1701-1713) the neutral Five Nations became cor- 
rupted, and lost much of their former spirit of loyalty to the English. 
In 1771 another attempt was made to conquer Canada, which also 
ended in failure. These abortive attempts had the effect of increas- 
ing the marauding spirit of the Indians in the Mohawk Valley. From 
1712 until the "Old French War" (1744) there was peace between 
England and France and comparative peace in the New York 
province, especially in the Mohawk Valley. 

Missions Among the MohaTvI( Valley Indians 

Rev. Johannes Megapolensis, the first Reformed Dutch pastor at 
Rensselaerswyck (Albany) from 1642 to 1649 was the first Protestant 
Missionary to the Indians in America, antedating by several years 

167 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

the work of John Eliot in New England. Even the Jesuit missionaries 
who had been in the Mohawk country, but for a short time before 
his coming, and whom Megapolensis and Van Curler rescued, were 
captives in the country. Megapolensis was born in Holland in 1601. 
He came of a Romanist family, but early in life espoused the cause of 
Protestantism. His coming to America in 1643 was purely a religious 
impulse on his part, tho the Patroon, Kilian Van Rensselaer, who was 
behind the movement financially, and who had established Rensse- 
laerswyck in 1637, doubtless, saw a good deal of profit commercially. 
Megapolensis' ministry in America included forty years, half of which 
was spent in the New Amsterdam church. He was a man of splendid 
scholarship, energetic character, and devoted piety. He saw the in- 
fancy of the Dutch Province, watched its growth, and witnessed its 
surrender. Indeed he got into no little difficulty when he advised 
Stuyvesant to surrender to the English in 1664, when he saw that there 
was no defense they could make and to hold out inevitably meant a 
great loss of life — and of property. Megapolensis' father was a 
minister at Egmont on the sea, and, later at Koedyck and Pancras 
in North Holland. His youngest son, Samuel, also became a minister 
of the Dutch church, and with his father, went out to meet the fleet 
that were menacing the city, and was one of the commissioners to 
prepare the terms of surrender and saw "to it that the rights of the 
Dutch church were well guarded, and that the separation of church 
and state was fully established. Megapolensis learned the heavy 
language of the Mohawks and wrote an interesting story of the Mo- 
hawks and their country which was published in Holland. The 
domine freely mingled with the Indians, received them into his 
church as members, lived with them in their tepees, and kept his own 
Dutch manse always open for their welcome. And this was true of 
all who succeeded him in the old Dutch church at Albany, and of the 
ministers in the old Dutch church at Schenectady. 

Megapolensis had left Albany in 1649 and spent twenty years 
later in New York but his work for the Indians at Albany was con- 
tinued by his successors, Rev. Gideon Schaats, who spent forty years 
in the Dutch church at Fort Orange, frequently supplying Schenec- 
tady. During his pastorate in Fort Orange, Gov. Andros compelled 
him to receive Van Rensselaer, an Episcopalion, as a colleague, but the 
friction ensuing was ended after two years by the death of the latter. 
Following him Godfreidus Dellius gave sixteen years to definite 
Indian mission work. Gov. Leisler and Dellius were inimical to each 
other. Immediately on Leisler's illegal execution (1691) Gov. Slough- 
ter sent Dellius as a missionary among the Indians, and, like the Dutch 
predecessors (and successors) he had great influence over them. Both 
Father Milet and Father Dablon, Jesuit missionaries, wrote Dellius, 
proferring thanks not only, but pecuniary gifts for his kindness to- 
ward them. When he went with Peter Schuyler to Canada in April, 
1698, to confer with Frontenac, he took nineteen French prisoners 
with him. Some writers severely censure Dellius and others of his 
day because of the large areas of land they secured from the Indians, 
some of the tracts being fifty and sixty miles long and several miles 
wide. But the crown was behind these transactions, the purpose of 
which was to prevent Jesuit occupation. A super-abundance of letters, 
documents, etc., to be found in the State archives, and in the history 



168 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

of the church of the day show that Dellius was right and that the 
giddy headed governor (Bellomont) was all wrong. 

Rev. John Lydius spent ten years (1700-1709) with the Mohawks 
and brot many of them to a high state of civilization. In later years 
his son, John Henry Lydius, a counsellor of Sir William Johnson, also 
for some years a governor at Fort Edward, gave the best years of his 
life (he died near London in 1791, aged ninety-eight) to the cause of 
the Indian. Another great worker among the Indians was Rev. 
Bernardus Freeman of the Dutch church at Schenectady, who was a 
missionary by Gov. Bellomont's appointment to the Iroquois, and who 
obtained a better understanding of the dialects of the Indians than 
even Dellius. His Book of Common Prayer translated into the Mo- 
hawk language for the use of the Indians in the vicinity of New York 
(printed in 1715) is one of the rarest books in the class of American 
linguistics. This was but one of many such publications that he put 
into the Mohawk tongue. The list of the men who befriended the 
Indians of the Mohawk valley up to the time of the Revolution would 
include every pastor, especially, in the Albany and Schenectady 
churches, at first the Dutch, and later, also, the Episcopal. References 
to the work of Ehle and Van Driesen will be found in the Stone 
Arabia church history. 

Among the first Jesuit priests who were found among the Indians 
were Jogues, and Bressani, Poncet, and Goupel. This work goes 
back to 1644 when Arent Van Curler (cf Note) urged by Megapolensis, 
made a trip into the Mohawk company to rescue certain Jesuits who 
were about to be martyred. Van Curler failed to rescue these priests 
but he obtained the promise of the Indians that they would not be 
killed. Later Jogues escaped, was secreted for a while by the 
Dominie, then shipped to France. Returning to the country in 1646 
he was killed by the Indians, his books and clothes being brot to 
Megapolensis at Albany. Father Le Moyne, after peace had been ne- 
gotiated between the Mohawks and the French in 1653, began a work 
in central New York which resulted in the establishment of a string 
of Jesuit missions from Fort Orange to Lake Erie. But so soon as 
the gifts from Canada began to fail the Indian piety began to wane. 
Le Moyne (April, 1658) tried to bring Megapolensis back into the 
papal fold, to which effort the domine wrote in the Latin a treatise 
on Popery, which aside from its polemic nature is remarkable as an 
exhibition of the learning and ability of this famous old divine. Le 
Moyne urged him to weigh his arguments in the scales of the sanctu- 
ary, and the minister said he had, but could not fish out anything to 
establish the claims of Rome. To the list of popes sent by the Jesuit, 
the dominie asks why Joanna was left out, who was well attested by 
papal historians, and calls him to account for daring to put Christ 
and Peter at the head as if they stood for some of the doctrines of the 
church of Rome. In reference to the councils Megapolensis thinks 
Le Moyne must be laboring under some hallucination if he thinks 
God's promises are limited to the papal church, and are not meant for 
the Holy Catholic church. He refers to Rome as the Babylonian 
harlot that had become drunk with the blood of the martrys. And, 
further, Le Moyne could not be ignorant of the fact that popes and 
councils had frequently contradicted each other. Le Moyne named 
Judas as the arch heretic and let Calvin bring up the rear. Mega- 
polensis, however, showed how Judas rejected Christ's doctrines and 

169 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

became his enemy, while Calvin vindicated the Christ, His Word, and 
His spirtual body and brot back the doctrine of Christ's merits. Mega- 
polensis declares that Le Moyne would have made out a better list 
of heretics if he had omitted some he had named and inserted various 
orders of monks, which he names, and some of the orders of nuns. 
Finally he takes issue with Le Moyne baptising Indians on their 
ability to make the sign of the cross and sometimes even when they 
were half dead — a profanation, for no such ceremony could cleanse the 
soul. The Jesuit missionaries ceased to be devotees of Rome and 
became agents of the King of France. The work of the Jesuits con- 
tinued for more than forty years when it was suddenly halted by 
Gov. Dongan, himself a Romanist (1684), in the interests of British 
trade. Gov. Dongan asked the Indians not to receive the French 
Jesuit priests, promising them Protestant missionaries instead. Both 
the Crown and Gov. Dongan decided it would be best to keep the 
priests of France' out of the country, and in 1700 an act was passed 
forbidding the Jesuits or any Popish priests to work with the Indians. 
This spirit was in keeping with the original laws of Georgia, for- 
bidding Rominists to colonize, and with that of New England pre- 
scribing the death penalty if caught there, and with that of Virgina, 
which refused Lord Baltimore and his colonists to land there owing 
to their being Romanists. 

Six years later, Kryn, "the great Mohawk," who had conquered 
the Mohegans, having become a Romanist, led the band of "praying 
Indians" to attack Schenectady in 1690, inciting them to the highest 
pitch of fury just before the massacre. Louis XIV of France and his 
morganatic wife, Madame de Maintenon (the widow of the crippled 
poet, Scarron) were told, later, by Monseignat of the extermination 
of the heretics at Schenectady, and the story went the rounds of the 
salons of Versailles and Paris and London. It was this same Louis 
XIV that drove the Palatines from their homes at the beginning of 
the eighteenth century. It was the French Jesuit priests, who "con- 
verted" certain Indians of the Mohawk valley, and took them away 
into Canada, who twice descended upon Schenectady to massacre the 
Dutch Protestant settlers there. The descendants of these Indians, 
the St. Francis tribe, are living to this day at Caughnawaga, formerly 
called La Prarie, and now called Sault Saint Louis. The church of 
England began a work among the Indians along about 1700, and in 
the following years we find the names of Revs. Smith, Thomas 
Barclay, William Andrews (first rector at St. George's in Schenec- 
tady), who kept the work going until 1719. After six years' work 
among the Mohawks and Oneidas, begun in 1712, Rev. Andrews writes 
his English society that the Indians were heathen and incapable of 
being anything else. But Megapolensis, and Eliot, and Kirkland had 
other opinions of the Red men. Queene Anne was influenced to aid 
the Indian cause thro the visit (1710) to the court by Gen. Peter 
Schuyler, formerly mayor at Albany, who had with him four Indian 
chiefs, among these the husband of Joseph Brant's mother. 



"*e 



Rev. Mr'Tiarclay was at Fort Hunter 1708-17 10<wrrKg*|fsm*erfl 
wrxr1t--a-t-''Sc"rfeTrefeta4y_Jii--4 J ^ St. George's church wasMiot 

built and completed until 1769 ("Smith's Journal," 1769). J ^r-^tTJ t 
Rev. John Miller visted the Mohawks, while in 1733 it was reported 
that there were but few unbaptised among them. Rev. John Ogilvie 
(rector at St. Peter's church, Albany in 1748) came in 1750, his work 

170 



HISTORICAL NOTES 



being especially among the Mohawks, Oneidas, and Tuscaroras. He 
served up to the time of the Revolution. Rev. John Stuart came to 
the Fort Hunter Indian mission in 1770, following Rev. Henry Munro. 
He also served Johnstown occasionally. Fort Hunter was an im- 
portant military post in early times, having been erected by Capt. 
John Scott in 1710. The post was surrounded by walls twelve feet 
high and enclosed about a hundred and fifty square feet. Rev. 
Thoroughgood Moor was the missionary during 1704-1707. Rev. 
Thomas Barclay was stationed here during 1708-1712, and, later, his 
son, Rev. Henry Barclay, was stationed here 173^-174(5"" He then went 
to Trinity church in New York where he died in 1761. A chapel 
built within the walls, endowed by Queen Anne, was called "Queen 
Anne's Chapel." During the Revolution, the fort having become di- 
lapidated, the chapel was fortified with heavy palisades and block 
houses. The chapel was taken down in 18:3(L,to make room for the 
Erie canal. The stone rectory, aixo erected^ w^ffmathe walls is still 
standing. In 1860 it was sold by the Trinity Episcopal church of New 
York city for $1,500. The Indians had given Rev. Barclay three 
hundred acres of land for the support of the missionary, who, in re- 
turn, sold it to the English society that was supporting the work here. 
When Rev. Mr. Stuart of the mission, in keeping with the spirit of all 
the clergy of the Province, refused to give up his allegiance to the 
King, Gen. Herkimer promised Brant at the Unadilla interview that 
he would be given safe conduct into Canada. After the Revolution 
Stuart preached for some years at Grand River, Can. On the going 
of Stuart in 1775 the Indian work was given up. Aided 
by Brant, Rev. Stuart wrote the Gospel of Mark and a part of Acts, as 
well as a short history of the Bible, in the Mohawk tongue. While 
the title of the rectory and glebe was with Trinity Episcopal church 
in New York city, yet, when these properties were sold ($3,000) both 
the Johnstown Episcopal church, which Sir William Johnson caused 
to be built in 1764, and the St. Ann's Episcopal church of Amsterdam 
incorporated as the Episcopal Church of Florida in 1S30 and re- 
incorporated as St. Ann's Episcopal Church of Port Jackson in 1835, 
were made beneficiaries. The bell of the old mission went to the 
Johnstown academy. The Moravians began mission work among the 
Onondagas in 1740, Rev. David Zeisberger being at the head of the 
movement. He was the author of many works or translations in the 
Indian tongue. The mission, however, was of short duration. Other 
names in the work were Rev. Ashley,. Crosby, Peter Avery, Henry 
Avery — all before Kirkland began his work. 

The first permanent Protestant 
mission among the Oneidas was at 
Oneida Castle, begun by Rev. Samuel 
Kirkland in 1766, whose final efforts 
(he became both blind and crippled 
in his latter years) ensued in what 
aft .ward; became Hamilton College 
which was projected and founded by 
Kirkland for the special benefit of the 
Oneida Indians. In 1764 Kirkland, 
guided by a young Mohawk, came to 
William Johnson, who sent him for- 
Rev. Samuel Kirkland ward on January 17, 1765, escorted 




171 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

by two friendly Senecas, on a journey of two hundred miles, thro a 
wilderness to a people whose language he did not know. He spent 
eighteen months with the Senecas, and then, in 1766, he entered upon 
his life work among the Oneidas. In 1780 he married Jerusha Bing- 
ham, niece of Rev. Dr. Wheelock, who founded Dartmouth. Both 
gave literally their lives to these Oneidas. On July 1, 1794, Baron 
Steuben, with Stephen Van Rensselear, Col. North, Maj. Williams, 
and Chief Skenandoah — all aided Kirkland, the patriot missionary, 
to lay the corner stone of Hamilton Academy (named for Alexander 
Hamilton) which, later, grew into Hamilton College. Both the Kirk- 
lands, and Skenandoah, are buried in Hamilton College cemetery. On 
Skenandoah's monument (1706-1816) is his own written epitaph, — "I 
am an aged hemlock; the winds of a hundred winters have whistled 
through my branches; I am dead at the top. The generation to which 
I belonged have run away, and left me." Other names deserving 
mention are Rev. Elihu Spencer (1748) who later became President of 
Dickinson College; Rev. Mr. Hawley (1753) and Rev. Mrs. Ash- 
ley. Modern work was done among the Oneidas by Rev. Daniel 
Barnes (1829), and Rev. Daniel Fancher (1841). 

Palatines of the Rhine 




The Palatines have played 
so important a part in the 
settlement and development 
of the Mohawk Valley, to 
which they came about 1720, 
from the Hudson River set- 
tlements and the Schoharie 
Valley, and because they al- 
most wholly made up the 
Committee of Safety of Try- 
on County and the forces 
that won the Battle of 
Oriskany, we have deemed 
it of importance to speak of 
them in this work. The term 
"Palatine" (in use in America over three centuries) in English and 
early colonial history meant a "lord" or "proprietor." In the times 
of the Merovingian Kings, the first Frankish dynasty in Gaul (fifth 
to eighth centuries) was an officer called "comespaltii," who was the 
master of the royal household. The king also gave his like authority 
to provincial rulers, to act for him in their province, and who were 
called Count Palatine, and the province Palatinate. Among the 
provinces into which Germany was divided in the J 6th century, one 
of the most extensive, fertile and prosperous was known as the lower 
Palatine, or the Palatine of the Rhine. Its chief city, and the seaport 
of its government, was Heidelberg, where the Catechism, one of the 
three doctrinal standards of the Dutch church, was published 350 
years ago. Manheim was the next city of importance. Into this 
Palatine country Protestantism did not enter to any large extent until 
late in the period of the Reformation, and when the controversy was 
fully developed. Being on the border, the country formed an easy 



172 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

asylum for a great number of Calvanistic refugees from Holland and 
France, with the natural result that the Rhine country became a com- 
mon battlefield on which the hostile armies of Rome and Protes- 
tantism were wont to meet for the settlement of religious and terri- 
torial disputes. And it came to pass that many of the Palatines of 
the Rhine, tenacious of personal liberty, as their Teutonic forefathers 
were, and emulating their Puritan predecessors, who a century before 
fled the violence of persecution in the old land, began to dream of 
liberty and freedom to worship God in another land. Toward the 
close of the 15th century the Germans of the Rhine country, in large 
numbers, began to settle in London, and soon became an actual 
burden to the English government. In less than three months 10,000 
of them had come. During 1708 and 1709 they had cost England 
nearly £136,000. 

To relieve herself of the cost of supporting these refugees, Eng- 
land planned to send at first 3,000 of them to her American colonies, 
but with this double ulterior motive, namely — that she might curb 
the threatened French-Canadian invasion of the province of New York 
with a human barrier at the outposts of civilization, and secondly that 
she might develop a great tar industr)' for British naval and com- 
mercial purposes. And so it came to pass that the Palatines who left 
their vineyards in the dear old Rhineland, so often laid waste by cruel 
war, were destined for a still more savage one in the American wilder- 
ness. But "man proposes and God disposes." The German Palatines 
became an unconquerable human barrier to the progress of British 
colonization in America, while the "tar bondage," conducted by that 
modern Pharaoh, Governor Hunter, scatterd these German white 
slaves throughout the Schoharie and Mohawk valleys, and wrought 
out of them the advance guard of the white man's supremacy in this 
northern wilderness. We have been profoundly surprised in our 
researches for this address, to discover that many of the best works 
on American history hardly mention this early German immigration. 
More surprised yet have we been in discussing this story of the 
Palatines with their descendants here in this valley, to find how little 
they know of the early struggles and privations and hardships their 
fathers and mothers had to suffer, or of the patriotic services they 
rendered during the first birth of the republic. And among the 
historians who do speak of them there is a difference of opinion as to 
their character — Mrs. Lamb placing them on a par with the Coolies 
of the Pacific coast, while Macauley (1829) says that their genius 
and industry was such as to enrich any land fortunate enough to 
afford them an asylum. In Mrs. Grant's "An American Lady" (pub- 
lished in London in 1808), which is the autobiography of an English 
woman living for some years during the middle of the seventeenth 
century at Albany, and frequently meeting the Palatines in their homes, 
we find this comment — "The subdued and contented spirit, the simple 
and primitive manners, the frugal and industrial habits of these 
genuine sufferers for conscience sake, made them an acquisition to 
any society which received them, and a most suitable leaven among 
the inhabitants of this province." 

The Palatines were Of the same importance to New York as the 
Puritans and Pilgrims were to New England. They chose to become 
the farthest outpost of white men in the country of the fiercest 
aborigines, the Iroquois confederation. They braved all the dangers 

173 



i 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

of the Wilderness and settled in the midst of the Mohawks, the most 
war-like of all the Indian tribes. The Palatines, moreover, were the 
founders in this country of a free press. John Peter Zenger of P44ku 
d erpirta , a Palatine, was jailed because he dared to criticise Governor 
Ofosby the King's representative, in his paper^'Thye.^Veekly Journal." 
He was defended by j= an* ss Jvlojiana lSif^ Hamilfli)ii.^ < ~His acquittal was 
one of the greatest victories for law and freedom ever won on this 
continent. Prof. Fiske, the eminent historian, says "that the most 
obstinately fought and bloodiest battle of the Revolution was that of 
Oriskany," the most sanguinary battle of the Revolution, wherein 200 
Palatines lost their lives. The presence of so many former neighbors 
on both sides made it a fratricidal contest. You will recall that 
"Honikal" Herkimer, who was the general in command, was of German 
descent, and his army was made up almost wholly of Palatines 
(cf Note on "Tryon Co. Com. Safety"). Despite the stupid idiocy 
of his officers (cf Note on "Battle of Oriskany"), the wounded Herki- 
mer fought this battle to a finish and won the victory over St. Leger 
and the savages, which meant so much to the cause of liberty in this 
western land. Bennington prevented the arrival of Burgoyne's sup- 
plies and Oriskany his expected reinforcements. This decisive battle 
of the Revolution resulted in the turning back of St. Leger to Canada 
and in the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga, in the union of the 
northern colonies and in the final evacuation of the Hudson and 
Mohawk valleys by the British. The battles of Oriskany and Stone 
Arabia were as great contests as Concord and Bunker Hill. At the 
close of the struggle there were upwards of four hundred widows 
in five districts of Tryon county. 

The very first known Palatines that came to America (they 
numbered fifty-five) were conducted hither by Rev. Joshua Kocher- 
thal, a Lutheran minister, born in 1669, who came to America in 1708 
and for two or three years was a pastor at West Camp. The 
Quassaic (Newburgh) Colony came over with Kocherthal. After be- 
ing denizened in England by royal order, August 25, 1708, they were 
later sent to America with Lord Lovelace. The work of Brown 
puts the date of their coming a few months before coming to New 
York. Kocherthal visited England in 1709 in the interest of the 
colony. Kocherthal died in 1719 and is buried at West Camp. Kocher- 
thal's first wife died in 1713, December 6. His second wife who sur- 
vived him married Rev. W. C. Berkenmeyer, a Lutheran missionary, 
who was the first pastor of the Palatine Lutheran Stone church 
(1733-1743). The first Germans from the Rhine Palatine who came 
in any considerable numbers to New York, arrived June 14, 1710, and 
numbered three thousand, the largest of any single immigration to 
America up to that date. This date, June 14, was religiously ob- 
served for many years by the early settlers, and might well be 
annually kept now in unison with Flag Day which falls on the same 
day. Before the Palatines left England they had heard of the wonder- 
ful valley of the "Schorie" (an Indian term for drift wood), Schoharie, 
and longed for this "promised land." But the statesmen of Queen 
Anne's time thought that the Palatines ought to repay some of their 
"keep" in England as well their transportation, so they conceived a 
plan whereby these Germans were to get out timbers for the royal 
navy and pitch and turpentine and resin, needed naval stores. Great 
Britian had furnished $40,000 and out of his own fortune Gov. William 

174 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

Burnet furnished $140,000. They were settled at Livingston Manor 
on the Hudson, and set to work. It proved to be a modern effort of 
making "bricks without straw," and after years of vain pleadings to 
be allowed to go to the promised land in the Schoharie valley, they 
finally rose up, rebelling against "Pharaoh" Hunter and left the tar- 
less pine trees for the rich, alluvial soil of the Schoharie, tho not 
a few went into Pennsylvania. 

About the time of the German exodus from the Hudson settle- 
ment not a few of the Palatine families found their way into the 
valley of the Mohawk, at least one-third of all the Germans in the 
Schoharie valley coming into this community between 1722 and 1725. 
To these were added iHU££ a goodly number who had just entered the 
country, among tnemT^cnolare Herkimer of Oriskany fame, who came 
to America in 1722. England now began to grant great tracts of land, 
among them being the Governor William Burnet's Patent, land 
bought of the Mohawks in 1722 — consisting of all the country on both 
sides of the river from Little Falls to Frankfort, 100 acres being 
given to each of the 70 persons named in the patent settling there, 
subject only to quit rent to be paid forever to the Crown. German 
Flatts (Fort Herkimer) was once called "Burnetsfield." On October 
19, 1^23, another patent, similar to this one of Burnet's, officially re- 
corded in the office of the Secretary of State, was given at Stone 
Arabia, consisting of 12,000 acres, and costing $750 in Indian goods 
(all but a small portion being in the town of Palatine), was disposed 
among twenty-seven Palatine families who entered upon the land in 
the spring of 1723). Simms' "Frontiersmen" gives the names of the 
men). The Mohawks just previous to this had given deeds of lands 
to certain settlers who began to locate near the Palatine Stone 
church. For twenty-five miles the Mohawk is a Palatine or German 
river, as witness the towns — Palatine, Oppenheim, Frankfort, Man- 
heim. Newkirk, etc. This district had the fewest Tories because the 
German settlers, while they were of inestimable value to England in 
the war with France, were the most ardent patriots, and toryism did 
not flourish in such an environment. At Stone Arabia, in the tavern 
of Adam Loucks, who lies buried in the cemetery adjoining, was 
held the first meeting of the "Tryon County Committee of Safety," 
August 27th, 1774, whose deliberations and activities counted so much 
for the independence of the colonies. New York led all the colonies 
in their bold stroke for freedom, while Tryon county (Montgomery) 
led all New York in the spirit of independence displayed by its 
citizens. Like the Star of the East, which led the wise men to the 
Khan of Bethlehem, where the World's Redeemer was born, the 
vision of liberty was filling all the sky of the seventeenth century, 
and by its light the mightiest men that ever peopled the earth were 
led to the cradle of freedom in this western land. There were the 
Holland Dutch, the English Puritans (who also came from Holland), 
the Scottish Covenanters, the Pilgrim Fathers, and last, but not least, 
the Germans of the Palatine. These were the five tribes of God's 
Israel, who laid the foundation of Christian civilization in America, 
who were the founders of our institutions, the builders of the republic, 
and all alike caught their inspiration and won their victories through 
their genius for religion and their unwavering faith in the Almighty 
God. 



17: 



HISTORICAL NOTES 
Committee of Safety of Tryon County 

The occasion for the appointment of the Committee of Safety of 
Tryon County was dictated by the stirring events transpiring in those 
days just prior to the Revolutionary War. Among the colonies in 
the north there was no section where the Royal cause was so deeply 
intrenched or in which the loyalists were so numerous or of greater 
influence than in the Valley of the Mohawk. The only exception to 
this was in the Palatine section where Toryism was not healthy. Not 
only over the Iroquois but over the western Red men beyond, Sir 
William Johnson had absolute power, and was regarded by the Indians 
as the supreme arbiter in all their councils, and with whom also the 
white settlers knew they must reckon. Sir William Johnson died, 
suddenly and suspiciously, on June 24, 1774, at his baronial mansion 
in Johnstown, and the estate fell to his son, already a baronet, Sir 
John (child of his German housekeeper), of morose temperament and 
exceedingly irascible. Associated with him as the new Superintendent 
of the Indians was Col. Guy Johnson, an Irish nephew of Sir William, 
who had married his cousin Mary, one of John Johnson's sisters. 
He was an irresponsible character of uncontrollable temper, but with a 
great mental void. His secretary was Walter Butler, the fiend 
incarnate of all the Tories. At this time most of the settlers in the 
valley as far as Caughnawaga were the Dutchmen who had come 
from Manhattan and Fort Orange, while west almost as far as Utica, 
were the Palatines, who had begun to settle in the valley about 1720. 
Neither of these elements welcomed the change from the sagacious 
and politic Sir William, with his generous treatment of all, to the 
overbearing, aristocratic, and domineering attitude of Sir John and 
Col. Guy Johnson. Matters would have come to a crisis sooner than 
they did, had it not been for the influence of Mistress Molly and her 
big brother, Joseph Brant, who cautioned the Johnsons and indirectly 
ruled the Iroquois. Tryon county was ready to resent the tyrannical 
spirit of these men, and when word at last had come from Lexington 
and Concord, the first Independents in the North began to formulate 
their plans. After Sir John had removed Kirkland from his mission- 
ary work among the Indians, he went with the Butlers and Brants 
to a great Indian conference at Montreal, and came back to organize 
his Romanist Scotch Highlanders and fortify Johnson Hall. In his 
absence in Canada the patriots, or Whigs, as they were called, or- 
ganized the Committee of Safety, deposed Sheriff White, the Tory, 
and put John Frey in his place. When, later, White arrested Jacob 
Fonda the committee went to the Johnstown jail and liberated the 
prisoner amid an exchange of shots, the first of the Revolutionary 
War fired west of the Hudson. Later, White was sent a prisoner 
to Albany. 

The late J. Howard Hanson of Amsterdam and S. L. Frey of Pala- 
tine Bridge, thro the generosity of the late Stephen Sanford of Am- 
sterdam, in 1905, reissued in printed form the correspondence and acts 
of the Tryon County Committee of Safety, originally written by 
Christopher P. Yates (b. 1750-d. 1815), the best educated member of 
said committee, Montgomery's first county clerk, assemblyman, mem- 
ber of Provincial Congress, Major in N. Y. State Militia, and Regent 
of N. Y. State. William W. Campbell, who wrote "The Annals of 
Tryon County," at a celebration at Cherry Valley, July 4, 1840, said 

176 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

that he had found the original correspondence many years before that 
date in the garret of Maj. John Frey, and had them removed and 
deposited with the New York State Historical Society. These original 
Minutes have for many years been in the possession of S. L. Frey 
of Palatine Bridge. Among the members of the committe from the 
Palatine District were, George Eker, Jr., Anthony V. Frechten, Har- 
mon V. Slyke, John Frey, Christopher P. Yates, Peter Waggoner, 
Isaac Paris, Andrew Finck, Jr., Daniel McDougall, Andrew Reber, 
and John Klock. From the Canajoharie district there were, David 
Cox, John Rickert, Michel Heckimer, William Seeber, John Moore, 
and Ebenezer Cox. From the German Flatts district there were Wil- 
liam Petry, Edward Wall, Jacob Weaver, Marcus Petry, Duncan 
McDougall, and John Petry. From Kingsland there were George 
Wents, John Frank, Augustinus Hess, Michel Ittig, George Her- 
chheimer, Frederick Ahrendorf, and Frederick Fox. Adam Loucks 
was a Palatine at whose Stone Arabia Inn the committee was formed. 
Isaac Paris had a palisaded house (Fort Paris) on what is now the 
Cramps farm. His son Peter was killed at Oriskany and himself a 
prisoner, tortured to death. His youngest son married a sister of 
Washington Irving. John Frey was a grandson of the first settler 
in the Palatine section who bought land on the Mohawk in 1689. 
John Frey's second wife, Mrs. Gertrude Wormuth, was a niece of 
Gen. Herkimer. Frey served as Major under Herkimer at Oriskany, 
was an assemblyman and N. Y. State senator. Andrew Fink, whose 
grandfather was one of the Stone Arabia patentees, was an assembly- 
man and, later, state senator. He was a captain in the N. Y. militia, 
and was in the Battle of Saratoga. Peter Waggoner was a Lieutenant- 
Colonel in the Tryon county militia at Oriskany, with three sons. 
Webster Wagner, whose old home and workshop was at Ephratah, 
where the parlor and sleeping cars were planned, was a descendant 
of Peter Waggoner. Nicholas Herkimer, the genera', son of John 
Jost, had twelve brothers and sisters (all married but one). Five 
Herkimers were in Col. Bellinger's regiment. Next to the Johnsons, 
the Herkimers were the most influential family in the Mohawk valley. 
Gen. Herkimer was a man of many parts, fairly well educated, a Bible 
student, a man of sterling character, and a high born patriot, who 
gave his all including his life to the cause of liberty. Ebenezer Cox 
and William Seeber were killed at Oriskany. Dr. William Petry was 
a surgeon in Col. Harper's regiment at Oriskany, and attended Gen. 
Herkimer after the battle. There were fifty Fondas, twelve Shoe- 
makers, and seventy-five men by the name of Vedder or Veeder, who 
saw service in the Revolution. These Veeders and Vedders were de- 
scendants of both Lucas Vetter of Germany and of the Holland 
Vedder family. Rudolph Shoemaker was a Captain at Oriskany tho 
only fifteen years old. Adam Bellinger, a lieutenant in Col. Klock's 
regiment, a grandson of Peter Bellinger, married Delia Herkimer. 
Major John Frey's brother, Bernard, was in the English army. Col. 
Hendrick Frey, the Tory, married a sister of Gen. Herkimer, while 
his patriot brother, Major John Frey, married the general's niece. 
Christopher P. Yates' wife was the youngest sister of Major John 
Frey. Among other patriots, German and Dutch, among whose fami- 
lies occurred many marriages, may be mentioned these — Feeter, 
Helmer, Nellis, Fox, Gros, Eisenlord, Nestell, Roof, Dievendorf, 



177 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

Visscher (Fisher), Quackenboss, Van Epps, Wemple, Hanson, Groat, 
et. al. 

Great credit is due the men of this Committee for the way in 
which they conducted the patriotic cause in the valley, and their work 
and the influence of their lives counted immensely in the final in- 
dependence. Early in 1776 Sir John Johnson surrendered himself, 
his Hall and all his belongings to Gen. Schuyler, who gave him his 
parole under the care of Col. Herkimer. When this parole was brok- 
en by the Tory baronet, Col. Dayton was dispatched to arrest Sir. 
John, but loyalist friends apprised him of the danger, enabling him 
to escape to Montreal. His estate, the largest ever held by one man, 
with one exception, was sold at auction, while Lady Polly Watts 
Johnson was removed to Albany as a hostage for the peaceful con- 
duct of her recreant husband. Sir John became the Colonel 
of the Royal Greens, and Brant and Butler were made Captains 
in the English army. A captain's commission was on Butler's 
person at his death. Swearing bloody vengeance against their former 
neighbors in the valley of the Mohawk, this triad of fiends incarnate, 
under the approval of the English and with the aid of the savage, 
wreaked their venomous hatred on the people of the valley, sparing 
neither age nor sex. The ancient British theory still held that all 
land acquired by settlement or conquest remained the property of the 
King, and the occupant must share its profits with the crown. More- 
over the commerce and industry of the colonists must not compete 
with that of England. Trade restriction and taxation without re- 
presentation were the rocks of offense on which the home govern- 
ment foundered in its dealings with the colonists. In a country but 
sparsely settled, separated from the Hudson river by a powerful 
Indian tribe, and surrounded by a large and influential body of well 
organized loyalists — the Tryon County Committee of Safety mani- 
fested a courage and determination unparalleled even in that day of 
self-sacrifice and heroic devotion to the cause of freedom. Almost 
two years before the Declaration of Independence was signed (July 
4, 1776), the Independents of Tryon County (August 27, 1774) calmly 
but bravely asserted their rights and bound themselves to abide by 
the regulations of the First Continental Congress. Unless we accept 
the Declaration of Independence formulated at Mendon, Mass., March 
1, 1773, the Tryon County Committee of Safety were the first or- 
ganized body of Independents in the colonies. 

The war lords of that day met in London and planned the battles 
for the extermination of the rebellious colonists. Burgoyne was to 
fall on northern New York and St. Leger was to scourge the valley 
of the Mohawk, the victorious commanders meeting in Albany, and 
go down the Hudson valley to enjoy the fruits of Arnold's treachery. 
Burgoyne was a successful leader, St. Leger had already proven 
his worth while Brant the savage leader, hired by England 
under the promise of eight dollars per scalp turned in, was the 
ablest strategist of all the Iroquois. But what irony of fate, that the 
Palatines, whom England had generously passaged over into this new 
land should be the battering ram that would tuurn aside St. Leger 
in the bloodiest battle of the Revolution, prevent his coalition with 
Burgoyne, and thus make sure the land of freedom. Some day the 
story of these Palatines will be written in such fast colors that this 
nation of ours will never willingly let their memory die out. In 

178 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

February, 1788, France formed its alliance with the colonies on the 
sole condition that never again would they acknowledge the su- 
premacy of Great Britain. In 1779 Spain declared war against Eng- 
land with the hope of obtaining Gibralter. In 1780 Russia organized 
a neutrality league of the northern states to resist England's attempt 
to search the ships of neutral countries. Holland so opposed this 
attitude of the British that in 1790 England declared war against Hol- 
land. With the surrender of Cornwallis, October 21, 1781, the War of 
the Revolution ended with the colonies, while both France and Spain 
won in their struggle with England. It is a fact worthy of constant 
emphasis that the Revolution was fought by the classes — that the 
educated, conservative, elegant and well-to-do were practically all on 
the British side. Notable exceptions were Washington and Sullivan. 
In the case of the latter he so impoverished himself, and Congress 
so neglected him, that when he died the sheriff attached his corpse 
for debt, which had to be released prior to burial. Many of the Dutch 
and Palatines could not write their names, tho they had ingenious 
"marks" to verify the signatures made by others for them. It was 
these ignorant, oft-discouraged and broken hearted ones, the "rabble," 
who bought our liberty with the price of their blood. When the 
Revolution was over Parliament made terms with four thousand 
Tories who were conspicuous in their alliance with England and dis- 
tributed among them sixteen millions of dollars. Thus the Britons 
gave to the Tories vastly more than Congress gave to the ragged 
Continentals who had won the country's freedom. 

But tho Cornwallis surrendered and a Peace Treaty was signed 
September 3, 1783, England still controlled New York city, Charles- 
ton, and Savannah. The War meant a practical separation from Eng- 
land but Independence did not really and fully come till 1815. Eng- 
land broke the terms of the Treaty by retaining her military posts 
in the west which she promised to give up, and the new Treaty of 
1795 she ignored by instructing her navy to capture American ships 
trading in French ports. England also trickily tried to use' Napoleon 
as a pawn whereby she might forever destroy the possibility of Ameri- 
can commerce. In the south Cornwallis, forgetful of the spirit of 
Washington shown at the surrender, burned and ravaged, especially 
venting his spite on the people of Presbyterian faith, whose churches 
and Bibles he burned. The Revolution cost $135,000,000 and 232.000 
men were engaged. It cost England thirteen provinces, four islands, 
a hundred thousand men, and $350,000,000. In 1812 Congress de- 
clared war against England, protesting its claim of a half century 
that it owned the seas. In the conflict, which did not open auspicious- 
ly, the United States overwhelmingly defeated England. During 1812 
thro 1814 in several engagements, near and within Canada, England 
again resorted to the infamous use of the savages who were urged 
to carry on their atrocities. This war cost thirty thousand lives and 
a hundred million dollars. 

Border Wars 

General Sullivan's Campaign or raid into the Iroquois country 
(1779), which resulted in the destruction of their villages, was the 
immediate result of the Wyoming and Cherry Valley massacres. 

179 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

Washington's orders to Sullivan were strictly carried out — the de- 
vastation of the Indian settlements, but the expedition failed in its 
main purpose which was to suppress the Indian raids, since most of 
the injury done in the Mohawk valley was subsequent to the Sullivan 
campaign. In no other part of the country was so great damage in- 
flicted on the non-combatants. In Tryon county twelve thousand 
farms were idle, two thirds of the population had either been killed 
or fled, and of the remaining one-third three hundred were widows 
and two thousand were orphans. The Province of New York at the 
time of the Revolution was wholly governed by Loyalists, appointed 
thro London. But not in any less measure was the Mohawk valley 
dominated by the Johnsons. Sir. William's loyalty was made keen thro 
generous and continuous gifts of the crown, while that of his success- 
ors wrought itself out in satanic savagery. And this was all ably 
abetted by the English government. Gen. Burgoyne (a noted play- 
wright in England) in June, 1777, in his Crown Point proclamation 
threatened the "outcast" rebels with Indian butchery if their "frenzied 
hostility continued" and believed he said, that "God would approve 
the execution of such vengeance." Indeed to prevent desertion from 
his English ranks he announced orders to each regiment that he had 
enjoined the savages to scalp any runaway British soldiers. 

Oriskany can hardly be classed among the Border Wars, tho it 
often is. We may more reasonably regard it as one of the causes, if 
not the chief cause, leading up to these wars. About the middle of 
July (1777) St. Leger landed at Oswego where he was joined by the 
Johnsons, and Brants, and Butlers. His plan was to devastate the 
Mohawk, join Burgoyne at Albany, to which place Gen. Clinton was 
expected to come after subduing the Hudson valley. Burgoyne had 
a numerous body of the savages with him when he started out from 
the north but all had deserted before the Saratoga battle. Barry St. 
Leger had more and these were in charge of Brant and Butler. The 
Indians were promised that rum would be as plentiful as the waters 
of Lake Ontario, presents were bestowed and the English government 
offered a reward for prisoners or scalps at eight dollars each. For 
years England sought to enlist the services of the Iroquois against 
the colonists, while the latter urged the Indians to remain neutral, 
well knowing the true type of their aid. In July, 1775, Sir Frederick 
Haldemand in the presence of Col. Guy Johnson, the Indian agent for 
England, said to the gathered savages, "now is the time for you to 
help the king * * * whatever you lose the King will make up to 
you when peace returns." And the Earl of Dartmouth in the same 
month wrote Col. Johnson from London that it was King George's 
pleasure "that he lose no time in taking such steps as may induce the 
Indians to take up the hatchet against his majesty's rebellious sub- 
jects in America." Before Oriskany St. Leger offered the Indians 
twenty dollars for every American scalp. 

Oriskany ("Nettles") is a tragic story of haste, insubordination, 
cowardice, — but a wondrous story also of more than human bravery 
and of splendid victory, tho dearly bot. The Palatine Germans, the 
English white slaves, became a human barrier against the rising tides 
of feudal aristocracy in this new soil of America. The plan of Herki- 
mer, the man of the hour in this contingency, was to crush the forces 
of St. Leger with a front and rear attack, the latter to be made by 
Col. Gansevoort of Fort Stanwix. But his impetuous officers, big with 

180 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

bluster and ignorant of conditions nagged their general, taunted him 
with cowardice, and against his better judgment he moved his forces 
on to what became the bloodiest battle of the Revolution, if not the 
pivotal struggle of the war. Hearing of the coming of Herkimer thro 
Sir William Johnson's pale faced mistress widow' — Molly Brant (who 
on the baronet's death was sent back to the tribe of her birth). St. 
Leger dispatched Sir John Johnson with his royal Yorkers, and Capt. 
Walter Butler with his Rangers, Col. Claus and his Canadian 
troops, and Lieut. Bird with a force of Regulars, to ambush the Tryon 
county militia if possible. For five hours the battle raged, three 
hundred were killed, as many taken prisoners. Major Stephen Watts, 
Johnson's brother-in-law was killed, and Col. Paris of Stone Arabia, 
taken prisoner, was later slowly tortured to death. John Frey was 
a prisoner, whose brother, a Tory, tried hard to kill him. Jacob 
Gardinier and a few men annihilated a whole platoon of the British, 
Gardinier receiving thirteen wounds, but crawling into the hollow 
trunk of an old tree, and sending a German lad out on the field for 
the weapons of the fallen, he kept up the fight till exhausted. He 
lived to a good old age. During the battle Col. Willett led a sortie 
from Fort Stanwix, and captured twenty-one wagon loads of the 
British camp duffle, including all of Johnson's and Leger's papers, 
etc. This sortie had the effect of ending the back woods fight, and 
left Herkimer, propped against a tree directing the battle, the victor. 
Lieut. Col. Gansevoort ran the captured British standards aloft, and 
^^g ffiffi them he placed for the first time the Stars and Stripes, adopted 
by congress a short time previously, the emblem being made from the 
white of a shirt, the blue of a soldier's jacket, and the red from the 
petticoat of one of the women in the garrison. /S-aJ$s: ?*r<-^+-- CL^^. 3,l~) 7~) 

The civilian population suffered no less than the actual com- 
batants. Fields were devastated, homes and provisions ruthlessly 
burned, mothers murdered and daughters outraged by a villainous, 
licentious soldiery. Led captives into a howling wilderness women 
had their babes snatched from their breasts while the savages scalped 
them for gold, and later tomahawked the mothers. In other parts 
of the great colony of New York settlers pursued their work un- 
molested, while here in the valleys of the Mohawk and Schoharie 
rapine ran riot for a half a century. The major blame for this 
treatment of the colonists of these valleys must rest on the shoulders 
of England, whose emissaries, the Johnsons, and Butlers, and Brants, 
out-Heroded Herod in their cruel carnage, while most of the other 
Tories were scarcely less savage than the savages. All but about 
half of the Oneidas of the entire Iroquois Confederacy were allied 
with the British army in the Revolution, and many of the Indians 
were later used along the Canadian border against the Americans 
in the War of 1812. Under date of Albany, Mar. 7, 1782, Capt. Gerrish of 
the New England Militia writes to his commander of the spoil taken 
in an expedition into the Indian country. In the booty were eight 
packages of scalps consigned to Col. Haldiman, the British Governor 
of Canada, accompanied by a letter written from Tioga by one Capt. 
Jas. Craufurd, giving the detailed history of these scalps which were 
to be forwarded to England for the Crown's reward. In these pack- 
ages were the scalps of three hundred and fifty-nine farmers, two 
hundred and eleven girls, a hundred and ninety-three boys, a hun- 
dred and five women, forty-three soldiers, twenty-nine infants, one 

181 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

minister, and a hundred and twenty-two mixed. Each was definitely- 
marked by Indian signs and rings, etc., to denote the sex, age, occupa- 
tion, manner of death, etc. It is singular that after the Battles of 
Oriskany and of Saratoga that these Border Wars should have oc- 
curred. New York Province ought to have settled down to peace and 
prosperity and industry. The main issues of the war had been trans- 
ferred to Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina. And it is worth 
noting that most of the province did settle down and the people quiet- 
ly pursued their agricultural and other work. But here in the Mohawk 
and Schoharie valleys rapine and bloodshed ran riot for several years. 
The sequel of it in part may be traced to Oriskany where the duped 
Indians got a thirst for bloody revenge which took years to assuage. 
To the English government must also be given the credit for setting 
in motion those forces which ensued in such satanic savagery toward 
the settlers in the new world. But conspicuous among the agencies 
that wrought a diabolism that was never known before in so-called 
Christian lands, are the lives and the deeds of the Johnsons, and 
Brants, and Butlers. 

Battle of Stone Arabia 

The Battle of Stone Arabia occurred October 19, 1780. It was 
a fierce conflict between a large part of the forces of Sir John John- 
son's "Royal Greens" and Indians, and a detachment from the 
stockaded garrison known as Fort Paris, near the Stone Arabia cross 
roads. Sir John with his hired savages had appeared in the late 
Spring quite suddenly at sunset on May 21 at Johnson Hall, Johns- 
town, evidently seeking the silver plate, papers, etc., which he had 
left behind some months previously in his hurried flight into Canada 
when Gen. Schuyler had dispatched Col. Dayton to arrest him for 
having broken his parole, given in the early part of 1776 when he 
surrendered to Gen. Schuyler. On the following morning he attacked 
Caughnawaga and Tribes Hill, 500 Indians and Tories being in his 
company. All Summer long the settlements were harassed and de- 
vastated by the foe whose commanders, or leaders, were Sir John 
Johnson, Col. Guy Johnson, the Tory Captain, Walter Butler, Corn- 
planter the Seneca chief, Joseph Brant the Mohawk, and others. The 
force totaled about 2,000. In February German Flatts was attacked, 
and in March Palatine was visited. In April Harpersfield was burned, 
and further depredations were committed in Ulster county. Then 
came Johnson by way of Lake Champlain to Johnstown, harassing the 
north side while Brant and Butler were busy on the south side of the 
river. In July Brant and GOO Indians cut off intercourse between Fort 
Stanwix and German Flatts. On August 2 Brant attacked Canajo- 
harie with 450 Indians, killing fourteen and taking half a hundred 
captives. In September Brant visited the Schoharie valley with Sir 
John Johnson and Cornplanter, the entire force numbering 1,500. 
They attacked the Middleburgh Fort, but were unable to take it. On 
both sides of the Mohawk they ravaged the country. The home of 
Jelles Fonda at Palatine worth $65,000 was burned. Fonda was 
absent and his wife made her way to Schenectady on foot, twenty- 
six miles. 

On October 19, 1780, Sir John sent a force to attack Fort Paris, 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

a stockkaded store at Stone Arabia. Because of the ravages of the 
Indians and Tories Gen. Robt. Van Rensselear was dispatched with 
companies from Claverack, Albany, and Schenectady, to the relief of 
the settlers. Gov. Clinton was with the expedition. Capt Robt. 
McKean, having joined the Van Rensselaer force, urged the com- 
mander to hasten up the valley, but the general seemed bound to de- 
lay his march. On the evening before the battle Van Rensselaer's 
force, with two hundred Oneidas encamped on a hill near the Stanton 
place in the present town of Florida, less than fifteen miles of John- 
son's camp (Sprakers). Van Rensselaer had sent word to Col. John 
Brown stationed at Fort Paris to engage the enemy at the front and 
he would fall on their rear. In the Burgoyne campaign Col. Brown 
had liberated a hundred American soldiers and made prisoners of 
three hundred of the enemy. Van Rensselaer's forces (1,500) twice 
that of the enemy, reached Sprakers just after Johnson's forces had 
crossed. Col. Brown, relying on Van Rensselaer's word, started out 
to engage the foe. He brot along the message sent him by Van 
Rensselaer, but before entering the battle sent it back to the fort. This 
message was not found after the battle. So sure was he of the rear 
attack that he had covered two-thirds of the distance to the river 
before he met the enemy. Van Rensselaer could see the smoke and 
hear the noise of the battle, yet he refused to cross. McKean (who 
had challenged Brant to fight alone or with an equal number of men, 
and was refused by the Mohawk) begged Van Rensselaer to let him 
and Lt. Louis the Indian commander of the Oneidas under McKean 
to cross, but they were refused. 

When, however, they heard of Col. Brown's death, and knowing 
the enemy were exhausted by their long march and fiendish labors, 
Capt. McKean with his eighty Oneidas and Lt. Col. Louis, the Oneida 
chief, rushed their forces in pursuit across the river, only to be re- 
called by Van Rensselaer, who ordered a halt while he went off to 
Fort Plain to have dinner with Gov. Clinton. He did not return until 
four in the afternoon and then began a tedious crossing of the river 
by means of wagons. Col. William Harper remonstrated with the 
general and Lt. Louis shook his sword in his face and denounced him 
as a Tory. It was later discovered that the forces of Sir John were 
utterly fatigued and were expecting to surrender to the fresh troops 
of Gen. Van Rensselaer, whose relationship to Sir John Johnson was 
said to be the reason for the cowardice if not treachery displayed. 
Col. Brown and some thirty of his men lost their lives. Capt. Cassel- 
man urged the Colonel to keep his force under cover as the Indians 
were, but Brown was impetuous and relied on the rear attack and 
pushed forward. After the enemy had left the field Joseph and Con- 
rad Spraker, Warner Dygert and William Waffles returned to the 
scene and found Col. Brown's body and those of his soldiers, naked 
and scalped. They were buried in a trench beside an immense 
boulder (now suitably marked) behind which they had fought. Later 
the body of the Colonel was reinterred in the Reformed church burying 
ground, and on October 19, 1836, the fifty-sixth anniversary of the 
battle, a monument was erected by his son over the spot. Rev. Abram 
Van Home of Caughnawaga preached the sermon, and an address was 
given by Attorney Garret L. Roof of Canajoharie. In October, 1915, 
the Fort Rensselaer Chapter D. A. R. of Canajoharie, aided by some 
of Col. Brown's descendants, repaired the monument and en- 

183 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

circled it with an iron fence. Col Brown is also remem- 
bered as the brave accuser of Benedict Arnold, against 
whom he had repeatedly made charges, both to the commander of the 
American army as well as to Congress. Three years before the West 
Point affair Brown had publicly posted fresh charges against him, 
among them this — '"Money is this man's God, and to get it he would 
even sacrifice his country." After the battle the enemy scattered, de- 
vastating the country on all sides. Van Rensselaer crossed the river 
at Fort Plain and overtook the enemy on the north side above St. 
Johnsville near Klock's block house. Johnson retreated to a point 
of land jutting out into the river. Col Harper and Col. Du Boise 
urged an immediate attack but Van Rensselaer refused and the enemy 
moved out during the night at their leisure. Capt. Duncan of John- 
son's forces, after the war, while visiting at Schenectady, said that 
the officers under Johnson had made all preparations for surrender, 
but Gen. Van Rensselaer gave them no chance to capitulate. Gen. 
Van Rensselaer was court martialed in March, 1781, for his action 
but was acquitted because of conflicting testimony. Washington 
wrote the Continental Congress that this raid was planned by the 
Johnsons and Brants in the belief that Arnold would succeed at West 
Point, of whose plans the enemy probably knew. The wonder is if 
either Johnson knew at the time that Arnold had failed or if Brown 
knew of the treachery of his former commander and consistent 
enemy. 

Revolutionary Residences Now in the Mohav>l? Valley 

The primitive homes in the Valley of the Mohawk were the 
conventional log structures, made from the woods of the virgin 
forests, in which they were built and barren of the comforts or 
conveniences of the modern house. Once the land was cleared and 
a bit of prosperity had come thro trade the settlers began to build 
better houses, of brick, or frame, or stone, and usually patterned 
them after the homeland dwellings. This note deals very briefly 
with those residences built before or during the Revolution that are 
still extant. 

Mount Johnson, called Fort Johnson after it was stockaded in 
17M, was built by William Johnson in 174:2. In its day it was a 
magnificent building, and the years since have but added to its solid 
dignity and grandeur. Constructed of stone, with broad and straight 
architectural lines, and of massive material, it is today the proud 
possession of 1®!/ Montgomery Historical Society. About a mile east 
of Fort Johnson Sir William built in 1766 what is now known as 
Guy Park Mansion, a home for his daughter, Mary, the wife of his 
nephew, Guy Johnson. The land attached to it, a mile square, was 
part of the Hoofe Patent, granted in 1727. It was built of wood, 
originally, but rebuilt, after a fire, of stone. In construction it is 
similar to the baronial hall at Fort Johnson, with its irregular blocks 
of limestone, massive walls and timbers, deep recessed windows, wide 
halls, spacious rooms and broad starcases. 

The General Herkimer home in the town of Danube was built 
about 1700. It has lately been purchased by New York State and 
thoroly renovated and in the repair strict accuracy has been main- 

184 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

tained of the original dwelling. It is characteristically colonial. 
There are five fireplaces of Holland brick, quaint mahogany stair 
rails and newel posts, floors of wide boards that have been trod for 
a century and a half, deep window-seats, broad piazzas, stately halls 
and rooms, spacious attic and large stone-floored cellars. 

In the town of Palatine is the stone house built by John Peter 
Wagner, to whose family reference is made in the Ephratah church 
history. Not far away is Fort House, built about the same time 
(1750) by Christian House. Fort Ehle, near Fort Plain, was built 
in two parts, first the small stone wing on the west, then the larger 
addition on the east. The west end was built by Rev. John Jacob - . 
Ehle and for many years was the mission house. The other part was^*^ 
fett+k which ' became the home of Dr. John Cochran, a surgeon general 
in the Revolutionary War. Much of the fine mahogany furniture 
that once adorned this home was given to Dr. Cochran by General 
Washington who had used it in his Newburgh headquarters. On 
the Sand Flats beyond Fonda is the old Dockstader house, first 
built as an inn. It is on the Indian trail leading to Stone Arabia, and 
has the double Dutch doors and beamed ceilings. Dockstader was a 
Tory. 

Johnson Hall in Johnstown was built by Sir William Johnson in 
17G3 and was the baronet's home for the last decade of his life. Two 
stone block houses were built nearby. The Hall is of frame con- 
struction, rooms wainscotted with much decoration, mahogany balus- 
trades, one rail of which is scarified by hatchet-marks, signs of safety 
in that day to the Indian, broad halls and large rooms, and great 
cellars where, originally, the horses were stabled. The building is 
owned by New York State. Another old house in Johnstown is the 
Drumm home, built for the schoolmaster by Sir William Johnson. It 
was not, however, the first public school in the province, as some 
assert, since some years before Rev. Jonas Michaelius came to New 
Amsterdam (1628), a school system was established, which has been 
continuous thro three centuries and is now known as the Collegiate 
Institute of New York City. An old house not far from Johnstown 
is called the "Black Horse Tavern." For a great many years the 
Yauney's conducted a tavern here. It is referred to in the Ephratah 
church history. 

The square gambrel roofed Glen-Sanders house was built in 1713, 
its predecessor of 1659, the first house built north of the Mohawk 
west of Schenectady, having been rendered untenable by the en- 
croaching Mohawk. The present house is well preserved and con- 
tains many relics of the past, and is visited by hosts of people every 
year. Lofty ceilings, large rooms, spacious attic and cellar, extra 
thick stone walls, massive dove-tailed timbers, and many other re- 
minders of olden days are present. The Abraham Yates house, 
Schenectady, on Union street near the First Dutch church, dates 
back to about 1730. Probably at first of frame construction it was 
later brick fronted, and additions built on. There are several other 
houses in and about Schenectady, built prior to and during the 
Revolution which have been modernized, as the old home of Gov. 
Yates, at 26 Front street, now occupied by Alonzo P. Walton. 

The Mabie house was built on the south bank of the Mohawk, 
seven miles above Schenectady, sometime before 1706 — perhaps as 
early as 1670. Constructed of heavy stones taken from the neighbor- 



HISTORICAL NOTES 

ing hillside from which rose the peaked roof of Dutch architecture. 
The heavy floor of the attic forms a planed ceiling for the second 
story. The Brant house, near the Schenectady Pumping Station 
is given the date of 1736, but is probably older, and is built of brick, 
the latter being laid in characteristically Dutch style. The Schermer- 
horn house in Rotterdam has been occupied by the same family and 
their descendants for two hundred and fifty years. The Van Guysling 
frame house in Rotterdam dates back to 1664, making it the oldest 
house in the Valley, while the Johannes Peek house was built in 1711. 
The Queen Anne parsonage goes back to 1712 and is built of rough 
stone two stories high. The Butler house on Switzer Hill, a mile 
from Fonda, was built in 1743 by Walter Butler, father of Col. John 
Butler, father of Walter Butler. It is built of oak and has the usual 
broad dimensions. 

The General William North residence at Duanesburgh was built 
in 1784. His wife was Mary Duane, daughter of Judge Duane, who 
gave her a thousand acres. Hereon a splendid mansion was built, 
the native woods, pine and maple and birch being used. Here noted 
men frequently met among whom were Baron Steuben, whose aide 
General North was. The later Duane Mansion, built at the close of 
the eighteenth century, was the meeting place of Lafayette, Webster, 
Madison, Jay, Jackson, Calhoun, Joseph the King of Spain, and his 
brother, Jerome Bonaparte. The Duanesburgh Episcopal church, 
built by Judge Duane, is the oldest church edifice of that denomina- 
tion in New York state. The old stone house near Palatine Bridge, 
where Major John Frey was born, was built in 1740 and later 
palisaded and garrisoned. 



<8> 



186 



Arendt Van Curler 

Arendt Van Curler was one of the earliest Europeans to visit 
the valley of the Mohawk, and had the confidence and respect of the 
Indian, as perhaps no one else, not even Sir William Johnson, ever 
held. So great was the regard of the Indian for him that we find 
them addressing the Governors of New York as "Corlaers" long after 
his death. The Iroquois word "Kora" comes from Corlaer, a term 
applied to the Dutch Governors of Orange and New Amsterdam, and 
to the English Governors of Albany and New York, and to all the 
Governors of New England, The Mohawks of Canada still refer to the 
Governor-general as "Corl," and they were accustomed to speak of 
Queen Victoria as "Kora-Kowa," i. e. the "great Corlaer." Van 
Curler came to America in 1638 as an agent for his cousin, Kilian 
Van Rensselaer, who, tho he owned some seven hundred thousand 
acres of land, including all of Albany, and most of Columbia and 
Rensselaer counties, and considerable in the Black River country, 
never left his home in the Netherlands That this Van Rensselaer 
manor was the only successful of the several manors laid out was 
due to the genius of Van Curler, born of noble blood, a sterling 
character, of great strength, physical and mental, and of a high morrl 
nature all of which combined to win him the love of the civilized 
European as well of the uncivilized Indian. There were three 
Van Curlers, the least important one being immortalized by 
Washington Irving — a Jacobus Van Curler, a New Netherlands 
school master, and Arendt. It was Van Curler's broad states- 
manship and his practical common sense wisdom that won 
him the esteem of the Iroquois, the most powerful con- 
federacy of Indians over known; it was his high ideals of peace and 
friendship that acted as a defense against French aggression, it was 
the Dutch blood coursing in his veins that led the colonists finally 
to liberty and self-government, and away forever from the French 
ideals and traditions; it was Van Curler who prevented the French 
from Sver possessing the Hudson and Mohawk valleys, gateways 
alike to the ocean and the great west. Van Curler was a true 
humanitarian. He was opposed to the feudal system imposed on all 
land sales by the Van Rensselaers. In 1642 he leaves Albany and goes 
as far west as Fonda — apparently to save the French Jesuits who 
were marked for martyrdom by the fierce Mohawks. And he suc- 
ceeded. In his letter to the patroon, June 16, 1643, he describes the 
Valley of the Mohawk as "the fairest land the eyes of man ever 
rested upon." In July 1661 he bought a great tract of land of the 
Mohawks and founded the present city of Schenectady. In 1667, 
while crossing Lake Champlain to visit Gov. Tracy of Canada, he 
was drowned. His widow continued to live in Schenectady until her 
death in 1675. 



187 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 



Sir William Johnson — Bart 




Sir William Johnson, 
the son of Christopher 
and Anna Warren John- 
son, was born in the 
county of Meath, Ireland, 
in \1\ST At the age of 
twenty he came to Ameri- 
ca to act as an agent for 
his uncle, Peter Warren. 
Admiral Warren had 
married the daughter of 
Stephen De Lancey, a 
wealthy aristocrat of the 
provincial metropolis, and 
built there a new home, 
now known as No. 1 
Broadway, later the head- 
quarters of Generals 
Howe, Clinton and Carle- 
ton. It was from this 
home that Major Andre 
set out on his mission to 
aid Arnold, with whom he 
had been intimate for 
years, to consummate his 
his treachery. At the time 
of Johnson's coming Capt. 
Warren had acquired 
a title to a tract of fifteen thousand acres of land in the present town 
of Florida (Montgomery Co.). In correspondence his uncle Peter 
speaks of William as a wayward youth in the home land who is 
being sent out to the new world in the hope that its experience will 
discipline him. One of the elements, perhaps the chief one, that 
called for this chastisement was his attachment to an Irish colleen 
which met the serious objection of both his parents and his uncle. 
Thus it happened that when the lad was ready to take up his new 
work in America he left behind him in the port town of Drogheda a 
broken-hearted girl, to whom, however, he pledged a sure return for 
marriage. But the girl knew that it was to break up this alliance that 
he was being sent away and instinctively she felt that they would 
never see each other again. We shall see how this incident colored 
the whole after life of William Johnson and gave him an unenviable 
reputation among the settlers of those days. Soon after the arrival 
of Johnson he was made the agent of the English government for the 
Iroquois or Six Nations. This was in June, 1738, the birth year of 
King George III. He began an extensive fur trade with the Indians 
and in various ways secured large tracts of land. He adopted not a 
few of the customs of the Mohawks, learned their language, and in 
1746, was formally adopted into the tribe and given the title, Wa-ra- 
i-ya-ge, — i. e. "chief director of affairs." While advancing his own 
personal interests he kept the Amerind loyal to the English cause. 
His alliances, first with Caroline Hendrick, daughter of "King" Hen- 



188 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

drick, and later with Molly Brant, sister of Joseph Brant the noted 
Indian leader, and his intimacy with many of the wives of the chiefs 
of the various tribes, gave him increasing power over the Red men, 
and until his death made his name a tower of strength and influence 
in the valley in the dealings of the Indians with the white settlers and 
in their relations to the home government. 

Johnson's first settlement in the new world was on the land of 
his uncle, to which he gave the name of Warren's Bush. This settle- 
ment was about half a mile below what is now (south) Amsterdam, 
and as late as 1795 was known as "Johnson's Settlement." Johnson 
lived there five years and here his first son, John, was born. A plan 
was devised whereby a homestead was to be given to the first five 
hundred families emigrating from Europe. In the first five years he 
had disposed of more than two-thirds of all his uncle's holdings, these 
being on the south side of the Mohawk and west of Schenectady. It 
was while Johnson was settled at Warren's Bush that his alliance with 
Catherine Weisenberg began. Two miles below Johnson's store was 
a tavern kept by Alexander and Hamilton Phillips at what is now 
called Phillips' Locks. The Groat brothers (cf Amsterdam) were 
living on the north side of the river at what is now Cranesville 
("Adriutha"). Simms the historian of the Mohawk and Schoharie 
valleys gets his information from persons who were very close to 
these occurrences, indeed witnesses of much that he narrates, hence 
their historic credibility and authenticity. He says that Lewis Groat 
suggested the desirability of marriage to William Johnson, but the 
latter said that he wanted to marry a girl in the old country, but his 
folks prevented it. He had determined that he would never marry, 
but, he added, that he proposed to raise a numerous progeny. Even 
if one doubts the conversation there is an abundance of evidence to 
prove that Johnson carried out the spirit of this determination. 

Johnson's first mesalliance was with Catherine Weisenberg, a 
"High Dutch" girl, then a Palatine orphan, whom he had met at the 
Phillips' tavern. Her passage money had been paid by Alexander 
Phillips, to whom she was bound out by the captain of the sailing 
vessel for a term sufficient to meet this indebtedness. It was a com- 
mon custom of the time. Phillips protested against giving up the 
girl but Johnson finally won out, paid the passage money, and took 
her to his settlement to be his housekeeper. One historian says 
Catherine was the daughter of Rev. Jacob Weisenberg, a Lutheran 
pastor at Schenectady, who was appointed by Governor Clinton 
in 1745, an Indian commissioner. It is said that the baronet 
availed himself of the Iroquois custom, still prevalent among 
certain Mexican tribes, of allotting to distinguished visitors their 
choice of maiden or squaw during their stay among the tribe. Hence 
William Johnson in the years raised up a numerous progeny among 
the Indian women, who were proud of the honor thus bestowed up- 
on them. This policy was the practice of the French colonists, urged 
on them by the French King. It is a significant fact that while the 
men friends of Sir William Johnson frequently called on him at Fort 
Johnson and Johnson Hall the women acquaintances and the wives 
of the men mentioned seldom if ever went to his home, owing to this 
well known unmoral attitude of the Indian commissioner. In 1743 
Johnson bought a large tract of land upon the north-west bank of the 
Mohawk on both sides of the Kayaderosseros creek. In 1742 he built 

189 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

a grist mill and the stone house now called Fort Johnson, the first 
colonial mansion in New York state. He had brot sixty Scotch- 
Irish families to this estate, all Romanists, and had settled them in 
Perth, Broadalbin, Galway, and Johnstown. It was from these 
families that Sir John Johnson, after the death of Sir William, re- 
cruited his body-guard of one hundred and fifty at Johnson Hall. In 
1745 the baronet was importing breeding horses and stock; in 1746 
he was shipping flour to the West Indies, and was the largest slave 
holder in the Province. In 1769, five years before his death, the crown, 
on the request of Sir William, gave him what is called, the "Royal 
Grant," an estate of sixty thousand acres of land, the tract extending 
between East and West Canada creeks, on the north side of the Mo- 
hawk. It included the present site of Herkimer and Little Falls. The 
tradition of Johnson securing this land from "King" Hendrick thro 
dreams is as fascinating as it is fanciful. Sir William was always keen 
on futures, both for himself and his families, and he had a lot of folks 
to remember in his will, and wanted his property and lands to go 
around. 

Sir William's first residence on the north side of the river was at 
what is now Fort Johnson. Because of certain grants of land by 
Ethan Akin to the N. Y. C. H. R. R. the place for many years was 
called Fort Akin but in 1912 this was changed to Fort Johnson. The 
old baronial home has now for several years been the headquarters 
of the Montgomery County Historical Society. East of Fort Johnson, 
or "Mount Johnson" as it was first called, Sir William built a two 
story stone house for his daughter Mary (born in 1744) who married 
her cousin, Guy Johnson, a nephew of Sir William. And about midway 
between this residence and his own home he built another house for 
his daughter Nancy Anne (born 1740), who married Col. Daniel 
Claus. There was a tract of land about a mile square attached to 
each of these two residences. 

Mrs. Nancy Claus went to Canada in 1776 and died there 
soon afterwards. A child of this marriage, Mary, married Lord 
Clyde, better known as Sir' Colin Campbell of British fame, whose 
Highlanders raised the seige of Lucknow. When Sir William re- 
moved to Johnstown, named for Sir William's oldest son, in 1763, he 
left his son, John Johnson, in the home at Mount Johnson. The 
Johnson family were to all intents and purposes the ruling family of 
the valley of the Mohawk, living as aristocratic nobles, surrounded 
by a sort of feudal system borrowed from the old world, but ex- 
ceedingly offensive to the liberty loving German and Dutch settlers. 
An estate of two hundred thousand acres, the largest in the world 
at the time, was not in accord with the growing spirit of democracy 
in the new world. The house Sir William built for Mrs. Claus was 
soon afterwards accidentally destroyed by fire, but the Guy Johnson 
house, Fort Johnson, and Johnson Hall at Johnstown are well pre- 
served. The last was built in 1763. Of the alliance of Sir William 
with Catherine Weisenberg, three children were born, Mary (Mrs. 
Guy Johnson), Nancy (Mrs. Claus), and John Johnson (born in 1742), 
Mrs. Grant, to whose work we have referred in the article on the Pala- 
tines, visited the home of Sir William Johnson, and writes most in- 
terestingly of the life at Mount Johnson, especially emphasizing the- 
strict seclusion under which these first daughters were kept. John John- 
son was born Nov. 5, 1742. The mother, Catherine Weisenberg, died in 



190 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

1745, and was buried near the baronet's house at Fort Johnson, tho 
in later years the grave was completely lost track of. There is no 
extant evidence that Sir William Johnson was ever married — to this 
woman, or to Molly Brant, whom he refers to even in his will as a 
"housekeeper," or to Caroline Hendrick (niece of King Hendrick) 
or to any of the others who bore him children. His son, John John- 
son, was knighted a year or more before his father's death, and at the 
personal solicitation of the father who must have known that the 
question of legitimacy might have thwarted this honor after the 
decease of the baronet. And, again, we have too keen a respect for 
the ability and shrewdness of Mollie Brant to believe that if she were 
the lawful wife of Sir William, as some writers assert, that she would 
have allowed herself and her eight children to be driven back to the 
savage conditions of her Indian tribe. 

Besides these homes we have mentioned Sir William also had 
others on his great estate, one at what is now known as the Fish House 
(Fulton County) a woody summer resort under the care of 
the two Wormwood women. Another home, with its attendant fur- 
nishing was built at Broadalbin. Caroline Hendrick, to whom refer- 
ence has been made, died in 1752, and Molly Brant was then brot to 
Mount Johnson to care for Caroline's three children. One of these, 
William of Canajoharie, whose Indian name was Teg-che-un-to, and 
who was killed at the Battle of Oriskany, is mentioned in the baronet's 
will. Two daughters, Charlotte and Caroline, had already received 
their dowry at their marriage. Charlotte married Henry Randall, a 
young British officer who, later joined the Continentals and fell at 
the Battle of Monmouth. Caroline married Michael Byrne, who 
clerked for Sir William. He was one of Butler's Rangers and was 
killed at Oriskany. His widow married Mr. McKin, a Canadian 
Indian agent. Francis Parkman, the eminent historian, refers to an 
alliance that Sir William had with one Eleanor Wallaslous, but does 
not quote any authority. The marriage of Sir William Johnson Bart 
to Elizabeth Cleland on March 10, 1757, published in the "Gentleman's 
Magazine" and the "London Magazine" in 1757, refers to another 
family of another name. Molly Brant the "tribal wife" of Sir William 
went to Fort Johnson in 1752 and lived with Sir William until the 
time of his death in 1774. She was the half-breed step-daughter of 
"Nickus Brant," at whose place Johnson always stopped when visiting 
Canajoharie. Her mother was a Mohawk squaw. Jared Sparks the 
noted historian of the Revolution, and other annalists say that Joseph 
Brant was the natural son of Sir William by this Mohawk squaw, 
which might account for the baronet's faithful attention to Joseph. 
It is a singular commentary on the influence of this baronial home 
that after so long a period of contact with the best that there was in 
that day in the valley, Molly Brant, the close companion of the 
baronet, and her halfbreeds all reverted to savagery, except possibly 
one son, Peter. The mother died in Canada in 1805. In 1757 because 
of his part in the battle of Lake George wherein the French were de- 
feated, Sir William was knighted and given a reward of five thousand 
pounds Sterling. Johnson was also in command at the fall of Fort 
Niagara in 1759, and in the surrender of Canada in 1760 he led a thous- 
and Iroquois against Montreal. Johnson was vigorous of body and 
fertile of mind, tho coarse in conduct and unmoral in action. He 
made the most of an opportune period and quickly rose from the 

191 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

ranks to be commander of the army, and from colonist to 
baronet. Almost invariably the histories of the valley refer to his 
generosity toward all Christian work. Up to the time of his death 
he seems to have been the prime mover in every religious undertaking 
of the valley, no matter what the denomination. This is what the 
books say and later writers who follow the books. Doubtless he did 
a great deal toward establishing his own communion, the Church of 
England. But amid all the lists of donors to the erection of the Dutch 
churches, as at German Flatts, Herkimer, Stone Arabia, St. Johnsville, 
Fonda, Manheim — enterprises of his day, we have never seen his name, 
tho these lists contain many of the names of the settlers of the Mo-' 
hawk and Schoharie valleys. And it was natural that he should 
favor his own church, the Church of England, whose ministry and 
membership in their entirety were inimical to the colonists in theirr 
struggle for Independence, and whose persistent and seditious efforts 
to establish a foreign hierarchy in America precipitated the American 
Revolution. When Queens College (Rutgers) was founded by royal 
charter in 1766 upon the petition of the ministers and members of the 
Reformed Dutch church in America, Sir William Johnson, represent-' 1 
ing the interests of England, was made one of the forty-one directors, 
the Governor, Chief-Justice, and Attorney General of the New Jersey 
Province, heading the list. The college buildings constructed were 
burned by the British in 1778. Johnson's correspondence shows that, 
in £h e- -b-e g- i n n iag— . at-4^»st he was in league with England's policy of< 

6Mfcfc^T7iJnatinff-t4ie_ 1 i)-iP,P^y=rh-rsziiig r rd^rrr^K^txL-j4n - ' Mnl i J ml -j/ allay In 

1746 Capt. Warren Johnson of the Royal Army, the baronet's brother, 
visited him at Fort Johnson, bearing important message from General 
Clinton. On March IS, 1747, William Johnson wrote Gov. Clinton, 
complaining that the government was likely to ruin him for lack of 
blankets, and paints, and guns and cutlasses, commodoties promised 
their copper colored allies who were bringing in prisoners and all 
sorts of scalps to Mount Johnson. In May, 1747, he writes of the 
youth, Walter Butler's successful scalping expedition. He refers 
to a party of six Mohawks who had just brot in seven prisoners and 
three scalps and adds "this is very good for so small a party." Fort 
Johnson in those days must have afforded a gruesome sight with its 
walls plastered with the scalps of the men, women, and children of 
the valley. Johnson, European and Mohawk, colonist and baronet, 
was also the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of pre-Revolutionary times. 
Sir William Johnson died at Johnston Hall, Johnstown, on July 
11, 1774. The troubles between the Colonists and the Indians and 
between the Colonists and the mother country were beginning to tell 
upon him. We credit him with prophetic vision, for he must have 
seen the clouds of conflict gathering; he must have been keenly 
alive to what would happen when the savages were once unfetterd; 
he knew only too well the determination of the colonists, the liberty- 
loving Dutch, and the Palatines with half a century of unjust oppres- 
sion behind them in the valleys of the "Schorie" and "Mohaque," he 
doubtless felt that England would play a losing game with the In- 
dependents; he had received lavish gifts of gold and honor from his 
mother land, and at the same time, had cemented here in the valley 
privileged fellowship with these hardy pioneers who represented him 
and were guided and helped by his never failing counsels. The year 
before his death he had been to England and he knew the mind of 

192 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

the ministry there, or, at least, he knew the plans of those who would 
have charge of the war, if the conflict once came. In vision fearful 
he saw the slaughtered tribes of Red men, the devastated homes of 
the settlers, all of whom were his friends. Was there a premonition 
of his death in the reported conversation with John B. Van Epps of 
Schenectady, or Lewis Groat of Cranesville, or Mr. Campbell, to 
whom it is said he remarked in some such words as these — "I see 
the conflict coming, but I will never live to see it." On the day of 
his death he was attending the Tryon county court at Johnstown. He 
was wearied with the conferences he had held with the Indians. A 
package of personal correspondence had just come from England. 
He took it, left the court room, went to his home, and in an hour or 
so Sir William Johnson, Baronet, was dead. What choice he would 
have made in the impending struggle — between his beloved England 
and his beloved friends, the latter both Colonists and Iroquois, is 
only conjectural. His last word was spoken in the Mohawk tongue to 
Brant, "Joseph, control your people, I'm going away." 

Sir William Johnson was buried a few days later beneath the 
altar of the stone church at Johnstown which he had caused to be 
erected in 17G4. The body was first placed in a mahogany casket, then 
sealed in a lead container. During the Revolution this lead covering 
was removed and run into bullets. Campbell says that the body was 
taken up in 1806 and the "bones re-interred," but he does not say 
why this was done. But we know that there was a time in the early 
years of the past century when St. John's church was much neglected 
and falling into ruins. The church, after the Revolution had been 
used by the Presbyterians, except for eight Sundays in each year, 
when the Episcopalians might hold worship therein. The boys of the 
day found their way into the building and one tells how they used to 
get into the vault where they would read the brass-nailed inscription 
on the casket of Sir William, and when the waters of the Cayadutta 
broke their bounds and overflowed into the vault they watched the 
casket floating around. 

In the fire of 1836 when the church was destroyed they re-cased the 
body before a second (or third) burial, but hung the coffin-lid with its 
brass inscription in the chancel. In the second fire, which burned out 
the church interior, this was consumed. When the church was re- 
built after the fire of 1836, the vault was without the edifice, and it 
was not until 1862 that it was discovered, and the bones again in- 
terred with a monument marking the spot. We do not know in all 
American history such an illustration of the complete overthrow in 
so short a time of the great ambitions, and the well-laid plans, and 
the consummate skill that was embodied in the establishment of a 
magnificient kingdom in this New World under the leadership of Sir 
William Johnson. Within a few months the vision splendid, which 
had a most substantial basis of fact, had crumbled into dust. The 
world's greatest honors were his, untold wealth, a land-kingdom of a 
hundred and seventy thousand acres, houses of stability that are still 
with us after a century and a half, the men of the old and new worlds, 
his friends and admirers. Studiously, prophetically he devised this 
vast estate, binding all the heirs that it should remain intact. But 
in a short time the eldest son is an exile and an object of infamy, while 
today instead of the boundless feudal kingdom there is a great free 
State with a multitude of farms, and villages, towns, and cities. Not 

193 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

much more than a name remains to recall the story, while the in- 
fluence of the lives of the men and women who loved God first and 
liberty afterwards still abides in the increasing devotion of their de- 
scendants to God and Home and Native Land. 

Sir John Johnson 

Sir John Johnson, the eldest son and heir of Sir William John- 
son and Catherine Weisenberg, was born at Warrenbush, November 
5, 1742, and died at the age of eighty-eight at Montreal, January 4, 
1830. He is referred to elsewhere in this history under Sir William 
Johnson, Border Wars, Iroquois, etc. When Sir William left Mount 
Johnson in 1763 to found Johnstown, named after the heir, Sir John 
took up his residence at what is now called Fort Johnson. The 
mistress of this baronial mansion for a decade was the beautiful Clara 
Putman of the Mohawk valley, by whom Sir John had several 
children. Then a new love came into his life in the person of Mary 
("Polly") Watts, the daughter of a wealthy New York Loyalist, and 
forgetting his promise of marriage to Clara Putman he married Mary 
Watts June 30, 1773, who died August 7, 1815. On his return to the 
mansion Sir John had Clara Putman and her children removed, first 
to the town of Florida, then to Schenectady, where it is said he bot 
a home for her, and where she lived until 1840. At this time Sir John 
held a Colonelcy in a Regt. of Horse in northern New York, and 
afterwards served the King as Maj. General, and as Lieut. Colonel 
of the "Royal Greens." Sir John and Mary Watts Johnson had eight 
children — William (borne in 1775), who married Susan de Lancey; 
Adam Gordon, who became a third baronet; James, Stephen, Robert, 
Warren; John, who married Mary, the daughter of Richard Dillon of 
Montreal; Charles Christopher, and Archibald Kennedy (born in 
1792). Now and then writers have carelessly interchanged the names 
and work of Sir John with those of Guy Johnson who married his 
sister, Mary, and who became the Indian Agent on the death of Sir 
William, and who was an irresponsible officer of the British Crown. 
The life and character of Sir John are best revealed in the stirring 
times prior to the Revolution, and during it, and in the Border Wars 
after the Treaty of Peace had been signed, and in his alliance with 
the Indians to annihilate the Colonists and devastate the Valley of 
the Mohawk. 



General Nicholas Herkimer 




Herkimer House 
Built in 1764 



Gen. Nicholas Herkimer was the 
foremost American in the Mohawk 
Valley, if not in the Province of New 
York, during the quarter-century pre- 
ceding the signing of the Declaration 
of Independence. He was the eldest 
son of Johan Jost and Catherine Her- 
kimer and was born, as were his 
twelve brothers and sisters, in the 
log house, built in 1721 by his father 
when he settled at Burnetsfield. 
Documentary proof is lacking as to 
the racial ancestry of the Herkimers, 



194 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

but the preponderance of opinion is that the General's father, Johan 
Jost, and his grandfather, Jurgh (George) Herkimer emmigrated to 
Holland from the Lower Palatinate, and came to America in 1710, and 
to the present Fort Herkimer in 1721. His first house was of logs, 
just east of the village, but about 1740 a stone structure was built 
about fifty rods west of the present Dutch Reformed church. It was 
forty feet wide, seventy feet long, with walls two feet thick, two 
stories, with steep roof covered with three foot long shingles. This 
house was torn down about 1812, many of the stones being used in 
the second story of the Fort Herkimer church which at that time was 
enlarged. The earliest name of the place was Kouari (Oquari), a 
Mohawk term for "bear." When the 1740 Herkimer house was forti- 
fied (about 1756 when Sir William Johnson also fortified the church) 
it was called Fort Kouari, later Fort Herkimer. The General Herki- 
mer home (shown in illustration) was built in 1764. Here General 
Herkimer died in 1777, aged fifty, ten days after the Battle of 
Oriskany. His brother, Captain George Herkimer, and, after his 
death in 1786, his widow, Alida Schuyler Herkimer and her sons, 
Major John and Joseph Herkimer, lived in this house until 1817, in 
which year it passed out the family. In 1914 it was bot by the 
State of New York. In 1848 Warren Herkimer (son of Joseph), who 
died at Janesville, Wis., in 1878, marked what he believed to be the 
grave of Gen. Herkimer, and in 1896 an obelisk sixty feet high was 
placed on the spot by the U. S. Government. Herkimer was the 
personification of a fearless Independent, the living embodiment of 
a sturdy American, the most prominent among the first contenders 
of those democratic ideals that in time created out of the colonies a 
Nation that today stands first among the world powers. 

Joseph Brant 

Joseph Brant was born about 1742, but 
whether, as some historians say, on the 
banks of the Ohio, a pure native Indian, 
or at Canajoharie, where the mother of 
Joseph and Mollie Brant lived, after the 
death of her first husband in the west, 
and where Sir William Johnson spent 
much of his time, it is difficult to say. 
Sparks and other annalists of that day 
do not hesitate to attribute his birth to 
Sir William Johnson, and refer to the un- 
usual attachment and personal concern of 
the baronet to the youth because of this 
paternity. His Indian name was "Thay-en-da-ne-ge-a" which means 
a "bundle of sticks," that is, "strength." An Indian named "Carrihoga" 
had married the mother of Joseph, to whom the settlers gave the 
name of Barent (Brant). Elsewhere Molly Brant is referred to as 
the Mistress of Mount Johnson. Joseph was sent to the Indian 
school of Dr. Eleazer Wheelock at Lebanon, Ct. (which ensued in 
Dartmouth College) with the purpose of training him for a missionary 
among the Mohawks. He served in this capacity for a few years 
under Kirkland, who sought to get him to remain netural as the 

195 




BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

Revolution approached. But Sir William Johnson's relationship and 
influence overcame this. Joseph Brant visited England in 1775 and 
1783, and entered into certain agreements with the Crown. He held 
a Colonel's commission from the king. Brant married a daughter of 
Colonel Croghan in 1779, the ceremony being performed by former 
Justice of the Crown, John Butler, father of Walter Butler. An 
Erie county town is called after him. He died November 24, 1807, 
aged sixty-five. One of his sons was in the British army in the war 
of 1812, and a daughter married W. J. Kerr of Niagara in 1824. He 
lies buried in the Mohawk churchyard near Brantford, Can. After 
Brant's death efforts were made to "better" his character, principally 
because English aristocracy had feted him, the crown had honored 
him, and, because he had not always killed. But such wanton murder 
as that of Lieut. Wormed at Cherry Valley, an intimate friend of 
Brant, whom the latter himself tomahawked, and many other like 
incidents stand in the way of this. 

Walter Butler 

Walter Butler was the son of Colonel John Butler, a Justice 
of the King's Court of Tryon. Both father and son held commissions 
in the English army and were with St. Leger at Oriskany. The 
Butler estate (old house still standing) included lands in the present 
site of Fonda, upon which land the old Caughnawaga church was 
built, which fact saved it from destruction in the October, 1780, raid. 
Robert Chambers has given us in his "Cardigan" a graphic account 
of the part played by Butler in the valley, whose name is the most 
odious in all the history of the Mohawk and Schoharie country. He 
outsavaged the savage in his diabolical treatment of all who were 
not English. In his youthful scalping expeditions Sir. William John- 
son in correspondence compliments him. After Oriskany he visited 
German Flatts with fourteen Tories and tried to get the settlers there 
to ally with the King. He was arrested, condemned to death as a 
spy, imprisoned at Albany, and escaped later thro influence, and 
reached Canada where he joined his father's regiment of "Butler's 
Rangers." To Colonel Willet fell the privilege of ridding earth of 
this incarnate fiend. On October 24, 1781, Willet set out from Fort 
Rensselaer (near Fort Plain) for Fort Hunter, twenty miles distant, 
in pursuit of the British force of 600 under Major Ross, and to 
fight later the Battle of Johnstown. October 25, 1781. The enemy 
were soon in flight, Willet pursuing them, Tories and Indians (500), 
across West Canada Creek, north of Herkimer, where the stream 
leaves Oneida county. Here Capt. Butler dismounted, and while in 
the act of drinking, oblivious to the nearness of the American forces, 
was shot by Anthony, a Mohawk. As the demon fell, the Indian 
crossed the stream and fell upon his quarry, who plead for quarter. 
Anthony, it is said, appealed to Col. Willet who signified that the 
prisoner belonged to the Mohawk, who at once scalped Butler with 
the promise of "Cherry Valley Quarter," and left the body to 
be food for the wild beasts. Col. Willet, whose force rid 
the valley of its scourge, lived to be ninety years old, and died 
on the anniversary of the Battle of Johnstown, August 22, 1830. The 
body was encased in a coffin made of woods which the Colonel had 
gathered from Revolutionary battlefields. 

196 




In the gathering of material for these Ecclesiastical Studies of 
the Montgomery Classis churches we have consulted the Clerk's 
Records of the counties in which they are situated in order to verify 
incorporation dates and secure other data of interest. The published 
County Histories insofar as they refer to the Reformed churches 
have been read. The Minutes of the Coetus and Conferentie, pre- 
decessors of the General Synod, and the Minutes (printed) of both 
General and the Particular Synod of Abany to date were examined. 
Most of the churches now in Classis have had their records carefully 
read, and in a few cases we have read historical sermons based upon 
these records. In the case of the extinct or merged churches we 
obtained information from the men who formerly served these 
churches or from the oldest members. Other works or records which 
have been examined in the preparation of this history are as follows: 
"Annals of Tryon County" (Campbell, 1831); "Biographical Records" 
Auburn, New Brunswick, Princeton, and Union Seminaries; Union 
College "Alumni Record"; Minutes of General Assembly of Presby- 
terian Church; "Documentary History of New York State" (-1 vols.); 
"Ecclesiastical Records" of New York State (6 vols., 1901-1905); 
"Geographical History of New York" (Mather, 1851); "History of 
Schenectady County" (Pearson, 1883); "History of Schenectady 
County" (Halsey, 1887); "History of New York State" (Macauley, 
3 vols., 1829); "In the Mohawk Valley" (Reid, 1901); "Old Fort 
Johnson" (Reid 1906); "Indian Names in New York" (Beauchamp, 
1894); "Manual of the Reformed Church" (Corwin, 1869, 1879, 1902); 
"Old New York Frontier" (Halsey, 1902); "Joseph Brant" (Stone, 
1838); "History of Schoharie County" and "New York Border Wars" 
(Simms, 1845); "The Frontiersmen" (Simms, 1878); "Committee of 
Safety Minute Book of Tryon County" (1905); "Story of the Pala- 
tines" (Cobb, 1897); "Fathers of the Reformed Church" (Harbaugh, 
2 vols., 1854); "History of New York" (Smith 2 vols., 1814); "History 
of an American Lady" (Mrs. Grant, 1808, London); "History of the 
New York Iroquois" (Beauchamp, 1905); "Gazeteer of Mohawk 
Valley" (Childs, 1869); "Mohawk Genealogy" (Reynolds, 4 vols., 
1911); "Delaware County and New York Border Wars" (Jay Gould, 
1856); "Eminent Americans" (Lossing, 1855); "Van Curler's Journal" 
(Wilson); "Greycelaer a Mohawk Romance" (Hoffman, 2 vols., 1840); 
"Colonial New York" (Schuyler, 1885); "Sir William Johnson and the 
Six Nations" (Griffis, 1891); "The Hudson River" (Bacon, 1903); 
"Onondaga" (Clark, 2 vols., 1849); "Colonial Period" (Andrews, 1912); 
"Colonial Homesteads" (Harland, 2 vols., 1899). Articles in Nation, 
Harpers, Century, Lippincott, bearing on the Mohawk valley, etc. 



197 



ADDENDA 

The beginning of the work at Currytown is uncertain. 
The 1796 organization, tho recorded at Fonda, is not 
mentioned in Classis record. The present church was in- 
corporated May 7, 1806, and the land deeds bear this date, 
but were not recorded until April 18, 1849. On January 
29, 1811, the churches at Sprakers and Mapletown com- 
plained to Classis that Currytown had "ceceded" from 
them and formed a separate congregation. Currytown 
was received into the Classis May 31, 1814. The Tryon 
County Committee of Safety Records show thirty-one 
meetings, fourteen of which were held at the Gosen 
Van Alstyne stockaded house at Canajoharie, the present 
home of the Fort Rensselaer Club. H. B. Stryker, a 
licentiate, was a missionary of the Classis at Athol, Cald- 
well, Johnsburgh and Warrensburgh, in Warren county, 
in 18^2 and 1823. 

Page 18, line 51, read "descendant"; page 27, line 8, 
read "Robert" for "Harvey"; page 28, line 28, read 
"taken"; page 30, line 28, read "1796"; page 44, line 34, 
read "log"; page 105, line 41, read "proved"; page 107, 
line 39, read "1885"; page 117, line 25, read "True"; page 
149, line 10, read "1760-1765"; page 149, line 26, add Pater- 
son, N. J.; page 152, line 12, read "Cincinnati, O." for 
"Auburn, N. Y."; page 158, line 39, read "Auburn"; page 
164, line 12, omit ????; page 164, foot note, read "story"; 
page 185, line 12, reads: "The other part was built in 1756*- 
by Peter Ehle. It is still owned by the Ehles. Before 
the Revolution an old-fashioned square house within sight 
of the Lutheran Stone church was built, which became 
the home of Dr. John Cochran," etc. 



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