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Full text of "History and reminiscences of the Mesier family of Wappingers Creek : together with a short history of Zion Church"

RFYNOLDS HISTORICAL 
CJENEALCX^Y COLLECTION 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 1833 03222 6885 



HISTORY AND REMINISCENCES 

OF THE 

MESIER FAMILY, 

-OF. 

WAP PI NGERS CREEK. 



TOGETHER WITH 



A SHORT HISTORY OF ZION CHURCH. 



" Hope writes the poetry of the boy, Memory that of the man. 



HENRY SUYDAM 



Privately Printed. 



1838159 



To the present dwellers in the Home at Wappingers Creek, this short 

History of what the writer remembers of the Homestead — of events he heard 

told, the pleasures he enjoyed, and the good he received there — is, with esteem 

and love, dedicated by 

THE AUTHOR. 



PREFACE. 



"The impressions we receive in the effer\'escence of youth, when everything 
has a tinge of freshness, we like to hold fast upcn, to engrave them on our 
memory, and to carry them to the autumn and winter of life." 



''T^HE writer, an old man, strays in thought to 
the banks of the Wappingers, where in child- 
hood he plucked the first flower and caught the first 
fish. Nowhere since has the sun shone so mildly as 
there, where he drank its beams, so fresh, so beauti- 
ful, that it seemed he then began to know of nature. 
But the scene of former days has been changed: 
progress and wealth have so altered the features 
of its native purity, that the recollection of what it 
once was leaves a sad reflection of change ever 
chanorincr. • 

Now, in the winter of life, the writer looks for- 



6 

ward to some other bright world, where he hopes 
to have joys that "shall be greater and more lasting 
— a world of sentiment and divine feeling. Clear- 
ing away the snow of time from the mirror of his 
memory, the writer sees the fair years of his boyhood 
uncovered, fresh and green ; standing afar off, he has 
attempted to narrate something of those who have 
lived and were born in the good old Home. 

HENRY SUYDAM, 

51 West Twenty-second Street, 

New York City. 
May, 1882. 



HISTORY OF THE MESIER FAMH.Y. 



FROM the list of members of the Dutch Church 
in the city of New York, in the year 1686, 
pubHshed from a manuscript of Domine Selymus 
(see Valentine's " History of New York"), the fol- 
lowing names appear: Peiter Jansen Mesier en. zgn. 
h. V. Marretze Willemie. 

Amonor the list of citizens admitted as freemen 

o 

between the years 1683 and 1740, we find the name 
of Peter J. Mesier, 1724; Abraham Mesier, 1728; 
Peter J. Mesier, 1734. 

On a map showing the location of the different 
estates in the city, as they existed about 1685, a plot 
is marked out as Mesier's Millot, and called "Court- 
land." 

Peter Mesier, the ancestor of the family of which 
we now write, held the office of alderman of the 
West Ward, of New York City, in 1759, 1760, 1761, 
1762, and 1763. He was a person of distinction 



s 

(see Valentine's " History of New York"), as shown 
by his election for a succession of }'ears. These 
facts we hnd recorded in the proceedings of the 
Common Council for those years. " Peter Mesier, 
by will dated October 2, 1765, proved June i, 1784, 
gives to his eldest son Abraham IMesier, a corner 
house and lot where he now lives. He gives to his 
son Peter Mesier, Jr., the corner house and lot of 
ground where he now lives, and tu Jacob Van Voor- 
his, Jr., and John Van Voorhis, children of his daugh- 
ter Catherine, the house and lot of ground on the 
south side of Cortlandt Street, and he directs the 
remainder of his property, real and personal, to be 
divided into four equal parts, one-fourth to Abraham 
Mesier, one-fourth to Peter Mesier, Jr., one-fourth 
to his daughter Elizabeth, one-fourth to his grand- 
children Jacob Van Voorhis, Jr., and John Van 
Voorhis ; appoints as his executors Abraham Mesier 
and Peter Mesier, Jr." 

No IE. — We are indebted to Mr. Elias Van Voorhis for this 
information in his " Notes on the Ancestry of Major Wm. 
Roe Van Voorhis." 

In 1776 there was a large fire, which extended 
trom the Battery up Broadway to Vesey Street, on 
the west side, and it is stated in Mrs. Lamb's " His- 



tory of New York " that Peter Mesier had fifteen 
houses burned. Mrs. Lamb further remarks that the 
loyalists, of whom Peter Mesier was one, suffered 
very much by the fire. The mother of the writer 
has often spoken of our grandfather's having lived in 
Cortlandt Street, and of the fire destroying a large 
amount of his property. His business w^as that of 
a merchant, being engaged in the East India trade, 
importing tea, etc. 

After the fire he moved with his family to a large 
tract of land, fourteen hundred acres, in Dutchess 
County, at the falls of Wappingers Creek. 

Wappingers Creek was then a stream that passed 
over a gravelly bottom, through many acres of beau- 
tiful meadow land ; it descended, for an eighth of a 
mile, one hundred and twenty feet over large rocks, 
making, as it tumbled on, a beautiful fall of water; 
then it quietly took its course of about two miles, 
between high banks covered with forest, and emptied 
into the Hudson River, at a point where the Dutch, 
in 1616, had formed a settlement for trading with the 
Indians, which they had called New Hamburg. 

It was here that I first felt the influence of the 
beautiful in nature. When the stream was full after 
a rain the falls were indeed somethin*^ to admire. 



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At the base of the falls on one side of the creek 
echo would answer to our voices on the hills amono- 
the trees. At a short distance below the falls, the 
stream spread out wide, and with the rising of the 
tide from the river, it formed a beautiful sheet of 
water for sailing, rowing, and fishing. Large quan- 
tities of striped bass came up the creek to feed, of 
which some, taken in nets, weighed twenty-five 
pounds. Trolling could be enjoyed with great suc- 
cess. The dye from the print works has long since 
driven the fish to seek other feeding ground. There 
were two mills on the creek for the grinding of 
wheat. Dutchess County had the best wheat land 
then contiguous to the city, by the Hudson River. 

There was a farm house on the estate, to which 
Peter Mesier and his wife, Catherine Sleight, re- 
moved with their then small family. Having 
some tea on hand, of his own importation, he took 
that with him and disposed of it to the few tea- 
drinkers of that day. There he resided ever after, 
and children were born there, during the Revo- 
lution and after. Grandfather and grandmother 
Mesier made a visit to my father and mother at No. 
4 Broadway, about 1807 or 1808, after which they 
returned to Wappingers Creek. They died, I think. 



T I 

soon after, leaving- eiorht children, three sons and 
five daughters. I will describe these sons and 
daughters and their families, as I remember them. 

Peter Mesier. — He was called by his brothers 
and sisters " the Alderman" — a position of some sig- 
nificance inf those days, — he havini^^ been alderman of 
the First Ward, in the years 1807 to 1814 successive- 
ly, and again in 18 19. He gave dignity to the office, 
being a gentleman of the old school and a classical 
scholar. He had a portly hg-ure, wore powdered hair 
with a queue tied up with black ribbon; shorts and 
shoe buckles also contributed to his attire. Uncle 
Peter was one of a committee — with Colonel Nicholas 
Fish and General Jacob Morton — to introduce Com- 
modore Hull to the Common Council, previous to a 
banquet given to Commodores Hull, Decatur, and 
Jones, December 26, 18 12. On this occasion De Witt 
Clinton, the Mayor of the city, addressed Commo- 
dore Hull, the guest of the occasion, presenting him 
a diploma and a gold box, with the freedom of the 
city. Also on another occasion he served on a com- 
mittee with Augustus Lawrence and P^lisha King- 
(Mrs. Lamb's " History of New York") to arrange 
a banquet to Captain Lawrence, May 4, 18 13. The 



affair took place in Washing^ton Hall, then standing 
on the present site of Stewart's store, corner of 
Chambers Street. Mrs. Lamb, in the " History of 
New York" gives a full description of both entertain- 
ments. He then lived at 25 Beaver Street, in the 
First Ward, near the P)attery and Bowling Green. 

Aunt Margaret, his wife (Miss Hoffman), was 
a lady of the old school. She was never known 
to do any kind of needle or house work, but was 
always happy and pleased to see her friends, to 
whom she was very courteous and agreeable. Occa- 
sionally two nieces of Aunt Margaret's would spend 
some time with her — Julia De Vaux and Augusta 
De Vaux, daughters of Colonel De Vaux, of North 
Carolina. The former was considered the most beau- 
tiful woman in the city. When on a visit to Ballston 
Springs with her Aunt and Uncle Peter and my father 
and mother, she met John Hare Powell, of Philadel- 
phia, and after an acquaintance of ten days they were 
married, and went to Philadelphia to live. Augusta 
De Vaux married Philip Verplank, of Verplank Point, 
on Hudson, from my father's house, No. 4 Broadwa)-. 

After a short time Aunt Margaret and Uncle 
"Alderman " moved up to Wappingers Creek and 
occupied one of the large houses on the estate. 



.Xl.'i. ' 



13 

Subsequently when on a visit to the city to his 
brother-in-law, David Lydig-, then living on Broad- 
way on one of the lots now occupied b)- the 
Astor House, he was taken sick in the night and 
died the next morning. Aunt Margaret then took 
up her abode with her nephew, Philip Verplank, who 
afterward sold the property at the Point and bought 
other at Newburg. When I last called upon her 
there, about 1851, she was still, the same pleasant 
lady, spending her time m reading; during our 
conversation on that occasion she told me of thino-s 
that had occurred in the city of which I had never 
heard or read. In a year or two after that visit I 
heard of her death, which was as quiet as her life. 
She went to bed perfectly well, and fell asleep, but 

" E'er the sun illumined the eastern skies, 
She passed through Glory's morning gates, 
And walked in paradise." 

Matthew Mhsier.— Uncle Matt, as we called 
him, was judge of Dutchess County, and was held in 
high esteem by all who knew him. The brothers- 
in-law regarded him as authority on all subjects of 
general interest, as he had a cultivated mind and 
was a good classical scholar. 



U -■i\r 






14 

He was an excellent farmer, and understood the 
manufacture of flour, which was a very important 
business in those days, as very litde flour then came 
from the West. The brand of " Wappingers Falls 
Mills" was esteemed among- the best that came to 
the city. When the counties on the Hudson River 
were projecdng a turnpike road from New York 
to Albany, Uncle Matt was solicited to take some 
stock in the company ; but his friend, Chancellor 
Livingston, advised hini not to do so. The Chan- 
cellor gave as his reason therefore, that Robert Ful- 
ton was building a steamboat, in which he felt much 
confidence, and he was convinced that it would be 
able to carry passengers to Albany with comfort 
and despatch, which would render the road an un- 
profitable investment. Subsequent events proved the 
correctness of his opinion. This fact Uncle Matt told 
me, and I have remembered it from my boyhood. 

After the death of his parents, Uncle Matt oc- 
cupied the homestead, with one bright spirit, his wife. 
Aunt Joanna (Joanna Schenck), who shed a lustre 
upon all around her. I cannot pretend to say all the 
good that she did while living. " She will ever be re- 
, membered by what she had done," by all who came 
within her influence, because of the Christian ex- 



15 

ample she exhibited on all occasions. Her children 
and grandchildren, every one, have shown by their 
course in life that her teaching and example moulded 
their thoughts, minds, and principles. Visitors who 
came to pass some time, especially young people — 
friends of the crirls — also derived benefit from beinof 
there. Her presence, example, and conversation 
seemed to exercise a religious influence over the 
minds and hearts of every one, guests and family 
alike, and made their impress on their future tastes 
and pursuits in life. There are some now living who 
experienced her influence, as they knelt with her at 
morning and evening prayer " to Him from whom 
all blessings flow." 

Wappingers Creek w^as a favorite resort for the 
first visit of new4y married couples, who always met 
with a cordial reception from Aunt and Uncle Matt, 
with kind congratulations and good wishes for happi- 
ness and success in life. Yes, Aunt Joanna's memory 
will live long in the minds and hearts of every one 
• who had the happiness to see and know her : 

"Yes, like the fragnance tliat wanders in freshness, 
When the flowers it came from, are shut up and gone. 
So will she be, to this world's weary travellers, 
Sweetly remembered, by what she has done." 



i6 

Let our homes be like an earthly paradise and it 
will help prepare the minds of its members for the one 
above. The memory of a beautiful and happy home 
and a sunny childhood is one of the richest legacies 
that parents can leave to their children. Their hearts 
will never forget its hallowed influence. The simple 
lessons of home are so enamelled on the memory of 
childhood that they defy the rust of years and outlive 
the less vivid pictures of after days. Such a memory 
is a constant inspiration for good and a restraint from 
evil. How strongly the memory clings to the name 
of Mother : 

" We breathed it first with lisping tongue, 
When crkdled in her arms we lav ; 
Fond memories round that name are hung, 
That will not, cannot, pass away." 

Abraham Mesier. — He was the third son ; he 
never married. He resembled his brother Peter in 
features and complexion. He was a fine-looking 
man, gentlemanly and courteous, fond of society and 
of literature. He owned the mill at the foot of the 
Falls where the print works now stand. His property 
was mosdy on the north side of the creek (including 
the present Channingville), as far as the road that 






■.^l. toil 



I? 

goes over the hill called the Donaldson road, and 
.south along the creek as far as the old storehouse, 
which was used for the storage of flour ready for 
market. He had a large sloop for the shipping ot 
the flour. There were no dwellings on the other side 
of the creek until after the property was sold, and 
the writer has seen wheat and oats growing there, four 
to five feet Ki^h. He lived in the house, still standinor 
with a pointed portico of four columns ; the surround- 
ings were very much as they are now. Myself and 
brothers used to pass our summer vacations — of about 
two or three weeks — there, and he took pleasure in 
providing us with fishing tackle to exercise ourselves 
in piscatorial exploits, of which we made great ac- 
count. On Sundays he would take us to church at 
Fishkill village, in what was then called a curricle — 
a two-wheeled carria^-e built like what we call a 2:1^ 
■ — drawn by two horses that were harnessed to a pole 
between them, which was suspended by a plated bar 
that passed over the backs of the. horses, and was 
secured by passing through turrets on the saddle of 
the harness. It was a very stylish vehicle, and 
would be so, even now. Uncle Abraham died about 
the year 1822, at Wappingers Creek, and was buried 
at Fishkill village. 



>;. ff-^'!.''' 



lo 



Catherine Mesier, the oldest of the daughters, 
married her cousin Peter A. Mesier, son of Abraham 
Mesier, brother of Peter Mesier my grandfather. He 
was in the stationery business. He was very much 
esteemed by all the brothers-in-law ; they resorted 
at noon to his place of business, in Wall Street, 
where they heard all the news and gossip of the 
day. He was always a pleasant companion and was 
universally liked b)- all his acquaintance ; he was fond 
of shootinor and was considered a cfood shot. His 
love of shooting continued late in life. Uncle Peter 
A. was especially a favorite with the young people, 
and he would join with them on shooting excursions 
and other pleasures that he thought would contribute 
to their good. Aunt Catherine survived him many 
years ; she lived until she was over ninety years old. 

Maria Mesier, the second daughter,, married 
David Lydig ; they had only one child, Philip M. 
Lydig. Aunt Lydig had a country seat on the river 
Bronx, in Westchester County, which was a great 
attraction for the young people; she and Uncle Ly- 
dig took great pleasure in seeing their nephews and 
nieces enjoy themselves, as indeed every one did who 
went out there. A large number of friends now living 



19 

can look back with pleasure to the spot, where there 
was always a feast of orood things. Uncle Lydig 
was the oracle of the family; his memory was wonder- 
fully stored with narrative and events. During the 
first yellow fever in the city, when he was attacked 
with it he went on board his sloop and sailed to But- 
termilk Falls, on the Hudson River near West Point, 
where he had flour mills — the sloop was used for 
the purpose of bringing the flour to the city. He 
lived on board the sloop until he recovered, and he 
then visited Wappingers Creek, remaining there un- 
til he gained his usual good health. He predicted 
the coming of the cholera to this city, soon after its 
appearance in Europe. At his own table he gener- 
ally led the conversation, seldom the topics of the 
day, and it was such as would always command 
hearers. He wore glasses always; he had dignified, 
composed and easy manners, w^as never hurried or 
excited, and his w^alk and step were indicative of his 
character. 

Jane Mesier (my mother) was the third daugh- 
ter; she was born at Wappingers Creek. She mar- 
ried John Suydam, my father, then thirty-eight (his 
marriage was a surprise to his family, as they thought 



\1 1^ 



iJ. 



he would have lived a bachelor). He had excellent 
business qualifications, which gave him much influence 
in the mercantile world at that time. He was the 
oldest of his brothers, of whom there were four. His 
judorment in all affairs of life was valued by the family. 
When I was ten years old, my mother and father 
took me to Wappingers Creek in order to place 
me at school in Poug-hkeepsie, where Joanna and 
Margaret Mesier were ; Philipina Slosson, after- 
ward Mrs. Frederick Boardman, and Peter Jansen 
Mesier, the oldest brother of Joanna and Mar^^aret 
Mesier, were also at the academy. At Poughkeepsie 
we all boarded in the same house, and found the 
hours when out of school very pleasant ; the girls 
were great favorites with every one and had many 
admirers. I remember on one occasion I unwittingly 
committed a gallantry, as follows : the lady with whom 
we boarded having just had a fresh supply of home- 
made bread, before the old was all consumed, de- 
clined having it eaten until the old was gone ; I had 
a fondness for stale bread, of which they were not 
aware, and I voluntered to eat all the stale bread, 
if the fresh bread could be given to the .girls ; this es- 
tablished me forever in their good graces. Peter 
Jansen Mesier was a very promising youth. He after- 



ward came to the city and entered Columbia College ; 
Jie lived with his Uncle Peter Mesier at 25 Beaver 
Street, and died there about r 8 16 or 18 17. It was a 
great grief to his parents. I was with him during all 
his sickness. 

It was an academy of high reputation, of which 
Mr. Barnes was the principal ; it had many distin- 
guished graduates — among them the two Bishops 
Potter, who were then at school. 

There was one who took an important part in the 
events that took place at Wapplngers Creek — that 
person was Dr. Schenck, the brother of Aunt Joan- 
na (Mrs. Matthew Mesier). At the home he was 
always spoken of and called Uncle Doctor. He was 
a fine-looking man with a commanding figure, dark 
piercing eyes, a jovial manner, and was very much 
liked ; he had the entire practice of the country for 
some distance around. There was seldom any pleas- 
ure excursion that he did not inaugurate and partici- 
pate in. He was very fond of playing on the flute, to 
the delight of all, and the flute generally went with 
the excursion party ; one of these pleasure excursions 
that I call to mind gives a specimen of, the fishing in 
the creek. In those days, there was a large freight 
scow^ used by the mill, which he engaged, and invited 



t\i 



22 

all the visitors then at the Home to join in a tisliino;- 
party, about twelve to fourteen in all. We anchored 
the scow at the foot of the falls, over a very deep 
hole, and fished for about five hours ; we had chairs 
to sit upon, and when we became tired, we could 
stroll about the scow ; upon counting- the fish we had 
taken we found we had nearly three hundrecl. They 
were white perch, yellow perch, and sunfish. It was 
indeed a very memorable catch, as the fishermen say. 

Dr. Schenck was fond of rowinq-, and would make 
excursions from the falls to the other side of the 
Hudson River. He would sometimes take visitors 
going to New York, by the way just described, row- 
ing down the creek and then crossing the river to 
meet the steamboat at Hampton, on the opposite 
side of the river, as the boats would not stop on the 
New Hamburg side as they now do. He died, I 
think, in 1831, when about thirty-five years old. 

Among the events at Wappingers Creek of 
which my mother told me, was the story of the 
Knocking Girl. At the house of Dr. Thorn, in Hack- 
ensack, there was a servant-girl about seventeen 
years old. A continual knocking was. heard on the 
floor where she was. It made the home of Dr. Thorn 
very unpleasant, but he did not see proper to send 



23 

her away. The circumstance excited the curiosity 
and creduHty of the country people, far and near ; 
many came to see her from all parts of the country ; 
Dr. Wright Post and Dr. David Hosack, then the 
highest authorities in the medical profession, visited 
her from the city of New York. It could not be 
accounted for, and it made the girl very unhappy. 
She was brought to the Home at Wappingers Creek, 
and the knocking there was very violent; my mother 
told me she saw one of the leaves of the hall table 
fly up as she passed by it. She was taken upon the 
ice in the creek, 'and still the loud knockinof was 
heard. The mystery could not be solved ; none 
doubted but that she was possessed of a devil. 
These are facts that many then living can testify to. 
The house of Dr. Thorn is still standing in Hacken- 
sack. When Mr. P. M. Lydig and myself were on 
a shooting excursion in 1833 in that vicinity, we 
made inquiry of several farmers if they had ever 
heard of the Knocking Girl, and from every one we 
were told it was a well known fact and generally 
believed for many miles around. 

The children of all that generation. have heard it 
from their parents, and of course believe, because 
they could not doubt what their parents told them. 









..J 



24 

There have been several knocking g-jrls since, but T 
beheve all were found to be impostors. The one of 
whom we speak was the true knocking girl, and 
we believe the first ; she was cured of the infirmity, 
but how no one knew positively ; there were many 
rumors of what was the cause of her being so pos- 
sessed, and likewise how the cure was effected. 

The wTiter reflects with pleasure on his school- 
days at Poughkeepsie, as it wa<^ his first acquaintance 
with the Home at Wappingers Creek, which has 
ever seemed to him his starting-point in life. 

Phcebe Mp:sier, the fourth daughter, never mar- 
ried. She became blind when about ten years old. 
Uncle Matt and Aunt Joanna volunteered to take 
charge of her, and thereafter she always lived with 
them. She employed her time in knitting, which she 
did to some good purpose ; she was always pleased 
at the visits of her sisters and friends. Her life 
seemed to be a happy one, notwithstanding her 
want of sight ; she died comparatively young. 

Eliza Mesier was the youngest; ;she came to 
New York and lived with Aunt Lydig. She was 
fond of painting and drawing in water colors ; there 



25 

are several views of the Lydig- place in Westchester 
County which she painted, now in the possession of 
some members of the family. While living- at Aunt 
Lydig's she met Thomas Goelet, an old beau of 
hers, whom she married. After their marriage, Mr. 
and Mrs. Goelet moved up to Wappingers to live, 
and a portion of the farm was given to Aunt Eliza. 
Thomas Goelet built a house on her portion of the 
farm, in which they lived ; his brother Philip Goelet 
lived with them. At Aunt hliza's death she left two 
children. Thomas Goelet died soon after his wife, 
leaving- his wife's property and his own to his 
nephew, Peter Goelet, of New York City. Peter 
Goelet placed the children under the care of Doctor 
Remsen, with whom they remained until their deaths 
a few years after. Peter Goelet, very soon after the 
death of his Uncle Thomas Goelet, sold all the 
property at Wappingers Creek to Mr. Clapp. 

Up to this period, notwithstanding the apparent 
distance from New York compared with the present, 
the Home at Wappingers Creek w^as a favorite place 
to visit, for all the family. 

A young gentleman from Philadelphia made a 
visit to the Homestead, by invitation of P. M. Lydig, 
a cousin of the Mesiers. He had come on to New 



26 

York for the purpose of embarking- in one of the 
Liverpool packets, and made a short visit before he 
sailed for Liverpool. His name was George B. 
Reese ; he won the hearts of all with whom he be- 
came acquainted, by his agreeable manners and con- 
versation. It was through I\Ir. Gould Hoyt that 
P. M. Lydig made his acquaintance ; he made a deep 
impression on Mr. Lydig, who at once formed a 
strong affection for him. Mr. Gould Hoyt married 
Catherine Sheaf, a sister ot G. H. Reese's mother. 
The other sisters of Catherine Sheaf were Mary 
and Debby Ann Sheaf; the latter married Mr. John 
Glover, and the former remained sinnrle. Mr. Sheaf, 
their father, was a prominent citizen of Philadelphia, 
a relative of Mr. David Lydig ; the Sheaf sisters 
called him Uncle. 

Cousin George, as P. M. Lydig called him, em- 
barked in a vessel commanded by Captain Graham, 
with whom he became a ereat favorite. 

On his return from England, he made a visit to 
Wappingers Creek, and soon after another visit. In 
a short time his engagement with Margaret Mesier 
was announced, upon which all his friends con- 
gratulated him. 

On his next visit to Enorland, he took his bride 



27 

with him, together with his sister Rosina Reese as 
a companion for her. They hved at Plymouth Grove, 
Liverpool, and received all their American friends. 
I have often heard people describe the good time 
they had at Plymouth Grove. 

Wappingers Creek he sincerely loved ; it seemed 
to have great attractions to him ; that spot was of all 
others to him the brightest. Fishing was his de- 
light, and he inspired others with the same love for 
it. Many happy hours were passed in this recrea- 
tion on the creek and on the river. He always had 
some marvellous story of fishing to relate, and the 
secret of his success was perseverance. " One turn 
more, boys, before we go," and that turn always 
brought the long-sought-for game. He told every 
one of the wonders of the creek, and even beguiled 
his old friend Captain Graham to make it a visit. ' 
His faculty of convincing others of the benefit of 
doing any thing he might ask of them, was the means 
of his obtaining several large donations from Mr. 
Gould Hoyt, David Lydig, and John Suydam, for 
Zion Church, which was building about the time of his 
first trip to Liverpool. (I need not further narrate 
what is fresh in the minds of his children, which their 
parents have often described, and no doubt know 



much of what has been said, but there are other 
members of the family now Hving to whom these 
facts may in time become interesting-.) 

The mantle of her mother seemed to have fallen 
upon Margaret Mesier, and it seems to have cov- 
ered all her children, who now live as a bright illus- 
tration of what a pious mother can do by her example 
and teaching, and I feel certain that they, in thank- 
fulness, do all experience and acknowled'^e it. 

Having narrated this family history and narrative 
as concisely as he could well do, the author has at- 
tempted to express in verse the depth of his feelino-s 
about the Home at Wappingers Creek. In so doing 
he is inspired with thankfulness that his lot was cast 
among such kind relatives and friends, amid the 
pleasant and green pastures beside the waters of 
the Wappingers. He can truly say, " Surely good- 
ness and mercy have followed me all the days of my 
life, and I hope to dwell in the house of the Lord for- 
ever." Here in closing this part I would only add 

O gentle ^Icmory — bid me not farewell 
Those youthful days I loved so well, 
■ Yet Hope— still radiant with thy joys, 

As thoughts of Heaven my mind employs. 



wappiin:qe:k'S gtRvE^k. 

" Ttore iff X. spdl; which ofttimes-cofH^s, 
E^ei iiv. our- i^ayest hours ; 
And inaifries spring: to Ufe^tid light, 
As a xmmei buds- to flowers." 

The good old ho rnes- of Dutchess, 

Ah ! very few now stand, 
As progress and weakli in gorgeous dress 

Ride trampling o'er th.e land. 

I sing of one of those- where peace 

Was found in ancient days ; 
Which bids m)- soul rise up and bless 

My God for all my ways. 



30 

Within that dear old home 

Where peacefully some now dwell, '" 
Who love its tall ancestral trees 

That mark the house so well. 

I love the good old home 

Where mother dear was born, 

And yet these tall ancestral trees 
Still welcome in the mom. 

I remember now so well 

With mother first I came 
And saw these old ancestral trees, 

Which still appear the same. 

Another dear and sainted mother. 
Whose Light so shone around, 

It seemed that these ancestral trees 
Belonged to holy ground. 

Fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers, 
Each have been called away ; 

Yet the old oaks and stately elms 
Show no symptoms of decay. 



31 

Five generations call it home ; 

Three li\-e now near b)-. 
Who, like the old ancestral trees 

Look up to Him on high. 

The merchant and the clergy 

Were cradled in this home ; 
Among these old ancestral trees, 

God's name was early known. 

Long years have now gone by; 

I wonder — if I will ? 
Like those old, tall ancestral trees, 

Keep green as they do still. 

Should they ever withered be. 

The dear ones all be flown, 
Who ? who ? would wish to inhabit then- 

This good old home — alone ! 



GENEALOGY. 



First and Second Generations. 

Peier Mesier's (died about 1784) and wife's children: 

Peter Mesier, Jr. ; Abraham Mesier ; Catherine 
Mesier — married Jacob Van Voorhis, February 2, 
1750, See page 121 of " Ancestry of Major Wm. 
Roe Van Voorhis," by Elias \V. Van Voorhis, of 
New York City. 

Third Generation. 

Peter Mesier's and wife's (Catherine Sleight) chil- 
dren : 

Peter Mesier, married Margaret Hoffman. 
Matthew Mesier, married Joanna Schenck. 
Abraham Mesier, unmarried. ' 

Catherine Mesier, married Peter A. Mesier, 
Maria Mesier, married David Lydig. 
Jane Mesier, married John Suydam. 
Phebe Mesier, unmarried. 
Eliza Mesier, married Thomas Goelet. 



.n 



•^^''^ \>Ht^'\ 



33 

FoiirtJi Gencratioji. 

Matthew Mester's and wife's (Joanna Schenck) chil- 
dren : 

Peter Janscn Mesier, died aged sixteen years, 1817. 

Joanna Mesier, unmarried. 

Maria Mesier. unmarried. 

Margaret Mesier, married George B. Reese. 

Abraham Mesier, married Rebecca Chester. 

Henry Mesier, married IClizabeth Wetmore. 
CATtfERiNE Mesier's and Peter A. Mesier's children: 

Abfaha-pn Mesier, unmarried. 

E4\varrd Mesier, married Miss Cowman, second wife 
Miss H'yslop. 

S^^^-r Mesier, unmarried. 

Sarah Mesier, married John Van Wyck. 

Margaret Mesier, married J. Colony. 

Mary Mesier, unmarried. 
Maria Mesier's and David Lvdig's child : 

Philip M. Lydig, married Catherine Matilda Suydam. 
Jane Mesier's and John Si vdam's children : 

Catherine Matilda Suydam, married Philip M. Lydig. 

Ple-iYfy Suydam, married Mary Reese. 

Peter M^^-sier Suydam, unmarried. 

John R. Suydam, married Ann Lawrence. 

David Lydig Suydam, unmarried. 

Maria Louisa, died when two years old. 

Maria Louisa, married Jacob Reese. 



34 

Letitia Jane Suydani, married Charles Jeffrey Smith. 
EHza Suydam, was drowned at Trenton Falls. 
James Augustus Suydam, died at North Conway 
while on a sketching tour. 

Fifth Generation. 

Margaret Mesier's and George B. Reese's children : 

Jacob Reese, merchant, married Clara Jaffray. 

George B. Reese, clergyman, married Elizabeth S. 

Irving, second wife Augusta Strange. To^j-u^ - J-f^^ir*; 

Livingston Reese, clergyman, unmarried, '^v-.>f t^^*^ - ^'^'■ 

Henry Reese, banker, married Mary Augusta Willis. 

Josie Mesier Reese, married Edward Satterlee. 

Catherine Reese, married Amos Newbold. 

Mesier Reese, merchant, married Caroline Birch, and 
second wife Emily Corlies. 
Henry Mesier's and Elizabeth WetiMore's children : 

Alethia Mesier. 

Joanna Mesier. 

Henry Mesier. 



1838159 



ZION CHURCH, WAPPINGER'S FALLS. 

A SHORT history of Zion Church may here be 
ofiven, as it beloncfs to the events that arose 
from the Mesier Home, as they were the projectors of 
the church. About the year 1C3G, the Rev. George 
B. Andrews settled in the neighborhood, buying a 
farm near Hughsonville. As there was no place of 
worship for the Episcopal Church, he volunteered to 
preach, if they could find a room, for the small number 
of worshippers of the denomination in that vicinity. 
A room on the south side of the creek was provided 
and service was held there for a short time. But it 
not being suitable, a building was engaged on the 
north side of the creek. It had formerly been occu- 
pied as a shop by a tinsmith ; it was a low one-story 
wooden building, afterward used as a school house ; 
it is still standing, in the rear of the brick building on 
the corner of Main and Church Streets. It was there 
I first heard the Rev. G. B. Andrews, then a young 
married man. The conorrei^ation numbered about 



36 

twenty. He continued to preach there without any 
salary until the present Zion Church was built. 

Zion Church was finished in 1833; Mr. Matthew 
Mesier gave the ground in perpetuity for a church. 
As soon as the church was finished a regular Sun- 
day-school was organized by the members of the 
Mesier family ; it soon began to increase, and other 
teachers volunteered their services ; the school was 
held in the church before the morning and afternoon 
services. It was found inconvenient to hold the Sun- 
day-school in the church, and about 1847 the base- 
ment was made suitable for the Sunday-school, which 
still continued to increase. Mr. Andrews had re- 
mained up to this time without any stated salary ; that 
need was supplied by contributions which were 
promised him by certain members of the congrega- 
tion. The worshippers began to feel that they would 
like to have another clergyman, who, they thought, 
would do more good for the church ; so they asked 
Mr. Andrews to resign his charge, which he de- 
clined to do. He immediately took measures to 
keep himself there, by having an election for vestry- 
men, keeping the polls open all day and taking the 
votes of all who had been in the church or had had a 
child baptized. The result was that none of the 



37 

former vestrymen were elected and he established 
himself with a new vestry. Mr. Andrews showino- so 
decidedly that he would sta}', those who had pro- 
posed his leaving, began to regret their action and 
thought it had been unwise to ask him to resign. 
The new vestry failed to take any part in church 
matters, and the old vestry was soon reinstated, and 
the affair was forgotten. Mr. Andrews sold his farm 
near Hughsonville and bought of Mr. James Lenox 
about two or three acres of thickly wooded land, 
upon which he built a cottage, in which he and . Mrs. 
Andrews lived to the time of their death. Mrs. 
Andrews died there after but a short residence in it. 
When the health of Mr. Andrews began to decline, 
it was thouq-ht best to have some one to assist him 
in his parochial duties. 

The writer had recently made the acquaintance 
of a young graduate from the seminary, Mr. Henry 
Y. Satterlee, and he proposed him to the vestry, stat- 
ing that he thought he had every qualification to take 
the charofe — a youne man, ordained, that would also, 
in social life, be an acquisition to the, at that time, 
small circle of our societ}'. 

It has often been a pleasant reflection to the 
writer that he was directly the means of bringing to 



38 

Wappingers Creek one, who has been a spiritual 
strength and a blessing to the neighborhood. 

The vestry at once gave a call to Mr. Satterlee, 
to come and assist Mr. Andrews, which he kindly 
consented to do. Mr. Satterlee had just been or- 
dained, and it was his first call, while yet unmarried ; 
he soon became a favorite and induced many to come 
to the church. It was soon found that the building 
was too small for all that wanted to worship there, 
and it was finally decided to enlarge the church. 
Being about the close of the war, every thing requi- 
site for building was very high in price ; a certain 
amount was however raised by contribution, that 
was thought sufficient. In the winter of 1867 and 
1868 the work was accomplished ; during which time, 
worship was held in the basement of the church. It 
was completed in May, 186S. The changes in the 
church building had been made in accordance with 
the means that the church then had at its disposal. 

Before worship was held in the church, the pews 
had a valuation put upon them and were taken, by 
the congregation as suited their convenience. This 
was the first time that a specific revenue was raised, 
and salaries were given accordingly. 

The writer heard Mr. Andrews say he hoped to 



39 

live to see the church enlarged, and at one time the 
subject was discussed at a vestry meeting ; when the 
undertaking- looked doubtful at the meeting, Mr. 
Andrews offered to give up his salary toward ac- 
complishing the work, which of course could not 
have been taken, as he could not do without it. The 
writer only mentions this fact to show the disposition 
of the good old Rector. 

For some years after the enlargement of the 
church he had the satisfaction of preaching; this he 
continued to do persistently in spite of his failing 
powers, until he was finally obliged to give up. He 
received an injury from his coachman Robert, whom 
he continued in his service, notwithstanding his 
friends remonstrated against it. He lingered in his 
solitary house for two or three years, becoming more 
and more feeble ; his mihd also wandered, so that 
it was distressing to hear him converse. Finally his 
labors ceased and he " entered into that rest that 
remaineth for the people of God." 

He was esteemed and beloved by every one who 
knew him or heard others speak of him. His funeral 
was such as showed the estimation in which he was 
held by his followers. After the death of Mr. 
Andrews, Mr. Satterlee became the Rector of Zion 



40 

Church, " and many were daily added to the church, 
of such as shall be saved.'' 

The labors of the parish soon required that the 
new Rector should have some help, and Mr. Wm. 
Monta^i^ue Geer became the assistant, which he con- 
tinued to be until he was called to take charge of a 
parish at Oyster Bay, Lonc^ Island. 

The next important event that took place was a 
voyage to Europe by the Rector, in 1S79, for the 
benefit of his health ; he was absent a year. Mr. 
Charles A. Pyne supplied the pulpit during the ab- 
sence of Mr. Satterlee, and gave entire satisfaction. 

During the absence of Mr. .Satterlee, two ladies 
of the congregation conceived the idea of raising a 
sum of money to present to Mr. Satterlee on his re- 
turn, to be used for the erecting: of a buildincr suit- 
able for the purposes of a Sunday-school, as the 
basement of the church, then being used, had be- 
come too small and uncomfortable. The ladies had 
often heard Mr. Satterlee express a wish for such a 
building, and they inaugurated the movement, with 
the express understanding that none of the con- 
crreoration should inform Mr. Satterlee of what was 
then preparing for him as a surprise. 

The project was cordially approved, and Mrs. 



41 

Irving Grinnell and Mrs. Samuel W. Johnson, the 
ladies to whom the parish are indebted for the benev- 
olent idea, proceeded to put it into a reality by 
their efforts in bringing it to the minds and hearts 
of the congregation, rendering it not only a pleas- 
ant source of enjoyment but a very profitable one 
for the parish. The result was, an amount was 
raised sufficient to warrant the erection of a hand- 
some and commodious building, suitable for all the 
purposes of a Sunday-school and a lecture room. 
The architectural design and beauty of the Sunday- 
school house redeem the old church for its want of 
the same, and altogether they make a beautiful group 
of buildings indicative of the cultivation of the in- 
tellect and the worship of a Supreme Being, "God 
over all and blessed for ever." 

Since the above was written, and while in the 
hands of the printer, the Rev. Henry G. Satterlee 
accepted a unanimous call of the Vestry of Calvary 
Church, of New York City. On Sunday morning, 
April 23, 1882, he preached to a very large congre- 
gation a sermon suited to the occasion, together 
with an address to the people of the parish. In it 
he expressed with much humility his sentiments 



42 

and feelings on taking upon himself the call to a 
parish which had been before supplied by such 
able and distinguished ministers of the Gospel. He 
hoped, however, with the congenial support of all 
the members of the Parish, and the blessing of 
God, that he might be able to fulfil with Christian 
love all the requirements of the situation. 



THE END. 



N. MANCHESTER. 
INDIANA