ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 1833 03222 6885
HISTORY AND REMINISCENCES
WAP PI NGERS CREEK.
A SHORT HISTORY OF ZION CHURCH.
" Hope writes the poetry of the boy, Memory that of the man.
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 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
Now, in the winter of life, the writer looks for-
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.
51 West Twenty-second Street,
New York City.
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
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-
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
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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-
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."
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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-
On his next visit to Enorland, he took his bride
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.
" 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.
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.
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 !
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.
Peter Mesier's and wife's (Catherine Sleight) chil-
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.
Matthew Mester's and wife's (Joanna Schenck) chil-
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
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.
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.
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 :
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.