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HISTORY

^.y

liERKi/ncR County

NEW YORK

ILLUSTRATED WITH PORTKAFTS OF MANY OF ITS "IZ^ V.s

GEORGE A. HARDIN

ASSISTKU HV

FRANK H. WILLARD

SYRACUSE, N. Y.: D. MASON & CO., Publishers. 1893.

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To the Citizens of Herkimer County

When the publishers, in 1892, declared their intention to publish another history of Herkimer County, they made inquiry as to the unbound volumes of the history prepared by Judge Benton, and issued in 1856. Such information as they desired was furnished them on that subject, and then they asked if consent would be given to aid and assist in supervising their proposed publication.

As a century had passed since the organization of the County, and thirty- six years had elapsed since the publication of " Benton's His- tory," it was believed that many events not noticed in that work could be collected, and that, with the multitude of events transpiring since that time, the proposed work would be welcomed. Therefore consent was given to aid in gathering material; in advising as to events known; in suggesting sources from which facts could be obtained worthy of being recorded.

After such consent was given, it was found necessary to have an immediate assistant to look after details, and to prepare descriptions and outlines of events worthy of notice. For such puipose Mr. Frank H. Willard was mentioned and engaged by the publishers, and he has with fidelity performed the work assigned to him.

It was known that the late Samuel Earl had collected much valuable information concerning early events and written many articles record- ing them. An application was suggested and made to his son, Robert Earl 2d, and to his brother. Judge Earl, who promptly and cheerfully gave access to all the articles written and information gathered by Mr. S. Earl, and the same have been valuable aids in preparing the following pages.

12 PREFACE.

Valuable information has also been furnished by W. T. Loomis, Esq.; by Mr. William G. Milligan and manj' others, to whom grateful ac- knowledgments are due, and therefore given.

The County bears a patriot's name, and it is hoped that the reader may find in these pages evidences that its citizens have in times past and passing, honored tlie hero of the battle of Oriskany.

The bench and bar, as well as many distinguished members of the legal and other professions who have had their origin in this Count}', have been given extended notice.

The manufacturing industries developed in the County have received, as tliey justlv merit, considerable attention.

The portraits found in the work, with biographical sketches accom- panying them, serve to illustrate the character of citizens who have had their homes within the bounds of the County, and it is believed they will furnish interesting features of the work.

The publishers have given painstaking attention to every detail in the mechanical preparation of this volume. The engravings have been carefully executed by artists of well-known ability, and the letter-press, binding and gilding are in excellent style.

Vigilant eftbrts have been made to trace authoritatively the events narrated, and give reliable information as to the scenes and deeds which have given the County a worthy position in the Empire State.

To its citizens the work is submitted, in the hope that it will meet with their approbation.

Respectfully,

George A. Hardin.

Little Falls, N. Y., May, 1893.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

DESCRIPTIVE OF THE COUNTY, 17

CHAPTER H.

EARLY SETTLEMENTS 27

CHAPTER in.

THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR, 40

CHAPTER IV. THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD, 47

CHAPTER V.

GROWTH AND PROGRESS 86

CHAPTER VI. THE CIVIL WAR PERIOD, 94

CHAPTER VH. HISTORY OF CHEESE DAIRYING IN HERKIMER COUNTY, 110

CHAPTER Vni. TEE COURTS, THE BENCH AND THE BAR OF HERKIMER COUNTY 131

14 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IX. THE r^ERKTMER COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY, 155

CHAPTER X. THE TOWN OK G ERMA N FLATS, 175

CHAPTER XI. THE TOWN OF HERKIMER, 213

CHAPTER XII. THE TOWN OF LITTLE FALLS, 242

CHAPTER XIII. THE TOWN OF FAIRFIELD, 301

CHAPTER XIV. THE TOWN OF SALISBURY, ........315

CHAPTER XV. >) THE TOWN OF MANHELM 328

CHAPTER XVI. THE TOWN OF DANUBE 343

CHAPTER XVII. THE TOWN OF STARK, 348

CHAPTER XVIII. THE TOWN OP WARREN 354

CONTENTS. 15

CHAPTER XIX.

THE TOWN OF COLUMBIA 361

CHAPTER XX.

THE TOWN OF WINFIELD 368

CHAPTER XXI. THE TOWN OF LITCHFIELD 382

CHAPTER XXII. THE TOWN OF FRANKFORT 387

CHAPTER XXIII. THE TOWN OF SCHUVLER 397

CHAPTER XXIV.

THE TOWN OF NEWPORT 405

CHAPTER XXV. THE TOWN OF NORWAY .412

CHAPTER XXVI.

THE TOWN OF RUSSIA 434

CHAPTER XXVII.

THE TOWN OF OHIO

CHAPTER XXVIII. THE TOWN OF WILMURT

16 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXIX. BIOGRAPHICAL 453

PART II,

FA M I LY SKETCH ES 1

INDEX 251

INDEX TO FAMILY SKETCHES 267

HISTORY

HERKIMER COUNTY.

CHAPTER I.

DESCRIPTIVE OF THE COUNTY.

NEARLY three-quarters of a century had passed after the first ad- vent of permanent white settlers into the valley of the upper Mo- hawk river a period made historically memorable by the occurrence of many important events and the enactment of deeds of valor and heroism before Herkimer county existed as a subdivision of the State of New York. The original ten counties of the colony were created November i, 1683, and named Albany, New York, Dutchess, Kings, Orange, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, Ulster, and Westchester On March 11, 1772, Montgomery county was created, under the name of Tryon (changed in 1784), and embraced nearly the whole of the cen- tral and western part of the State. Herkimer county was erected from Montgomery February 16, 1791, and received its name in honor of the distinguished general, Nicholas Herkimer. As first formed the county embraced a vast extent of territory, extending from its eastern boundary westward to the eastern boundary of Ontario county, exclusive of the territory of Otsego and Tioga counties, which were erected at the same date with Herkimer. The boundaries of the county as originally given were as follows ; All the territory bounded north by Lake Ontario, the

18

HISTORY OF HERKIMER COUNTY.

river St. Lawrence, and tlie north bounds of the State ; easterly by the counties of Clinton, Washington and Saratoga, as they then were ; south eriy by the counties of Montgomery, Otsego and Tioga. From this large tract of country Onondaga county was set ofif in 1794 ; Oneida in 1798 ; Chenango, from Herkimer and Tioga, in 1798 ; and these counties have been variously subdivided at later dates. In 18 16 parts of the towns of Richfield and Flainfield, in Otsego county, were taken, with a part of Litchfield, Herkimer county, to form the present town of Winfield. (See chapter 5 of the Laws of 1817, and chapter 228 of Lawsof 1816.) In 1817 the towns of Salisbury and Manheim, and all that part of Min- den (Montgomery county) now comprised in Danube and Stark, were annexed to Herkimer county. (See chapter 184 of Laws of 18 17.) This county as it now exists covers an area of 1,370 square miles, and is bounded on the north by St. Lawrence county ; on the east by Ham- ilton, Fulton and Montgomery counties; on the south by Otsego coun- ty ; and on the west by Oneida and Lewis counties.

The present county comprises within its limits the following tracts and parts of tracts of land granted by tlie crown before the Revolution, and by the State since the treaty of 1783 :

NAMES OF PATENTS OR TRACTS.

Adgate's Tract, '-.. Bayard's Patent,'..

Brown's (John) Tract,*-

Cosby's Manor, ' ._

Colden's (A. ' Patent

Frank (Conrad) & Go's Patent,.

Fall-Hill Patent. --

Glen's Purchase

Hommedieu's (I/) Patent,

Henderson's Patent,"

Hasenclever's Patent,

Johnson's (Guy) Patent,

Jersey field Patent,"

Kass's Patent,

Lindsay's Patent,

Livingston's Patent,'

Lispenard's Patent,'

Lansinjr's Patent,' .,.

McComb's Purchase.'

McNeil's Patent,

Match in's Patent,' _.

Nobleborough Tract,'. _

Moose River Tract,"

NAMES OF ORIGINAL PATENTEES.

Petrie's Purchase,.- i 1740

Royal Grant |

43,907 j Mathew Adgate.

50,000 ; William Bayard, Alexander Ellis, and fifty-three j others.

I A part of i,Q2o,ooo acres granted to Alexander Ma-

I comb.

g,4Do Johan Joost Petri, and ninety-three others.

3,000 Cadwallader Colden, the younger, and Coenradt

I Ryghtmeyer. 22,000 Joseph WoiTell, William Cosby, and nine others.

4,000 Alexander Colden. and three others.

5,000 Coenradt Frank, and five others.

2,324 I Johan Joost and Hendrik Herchkeimer. 25,076

4,000 I Kzra L'Hommedieu and Nathaniel Piatt.

6,000 James Henderson, and two others 18.000 I Peter Hasenclever, and seventeen others.

2,000 Guy Johnson. Forfeited by attainder of G. J. 94,000 Henry Glen, Alexander Ellis, and ninety-two others

1,100 Johan J[urgh Kass. and his children.

3,000 I John Lindsay and Philip Livingston. 20,000 I Philip Livingston, and nineteen others.

9,200 Leonard Lispenard, and thirteen others.

6,000 Jacob and Abraham Lansing, and Jacob GleD.

j Alexander Macomb.

4,000 I John McNeil, and three others.

1,600 Thomas Matchin. 40,960 ! Arthur Noble.

i Owned by the State, except 13,080 gfranted ini847 to

j Anson Blake.

6,000 John Tost Petrie, and two others.

! Sir William Johnson.

DESCRIPTIVE OF THE COUNTY.

t

2

o3

NAMES OF PATENTS OR TRACTS.

08

NAMES OF ORIGINAL PATENTEES.

Henry Remsen and three others.

Snell and Timmerman'sPatent-.

3,600

Jacob Timbernian and Johan Joost Schnell.

1755

34,000

Nicholas Herchkeimer, and fifteen others.

Schuyler's Patent ..

Abraham Lynsen, and twenty-one others.

Totten and Crossfield Patent •-.

Vrooraan's Patent,*

9,760

Isaac Vrooman.

do ---

T7R6

Isaac \ rooman.

1790

«3

Isaac Vrooman

Van Driesen, Peter,. . _

Petrus Van Driessen.

Van Driesen, John ,. ..

1786

428

Johan Van Driessen.

Van Home's Patent,'..

8,000

Abraham \ an Home, and three others.

Vaughn's Patent

1770

8,000

John Vaughn, and seven others.

Watson's James Tract,* .

A part of Macomb's purchase.

Winne's Patent,

2 000

Peter Winne.

Walton's Patent, -.

,7fiR

12 000

William Walton, jr., and eleven others.

Young's Patent,*

1752

14,000

Theobald Young, and ten others.

This mark (') denotes that the lands indicated are partly in Herkimer, and partly in other counties.

The foregoing table indicates that the title to most of the lands in the county was granted by the crown before the beginning of the Revolution, and those grants were recognized as valid by the constitution of 1777; but at the same time the State was left free to protect itself against treason or hostility by any person holding under the grants, as hereafter shown.

In explanation of the table the following details are of interest :

The original evidence of ownership of the Burnetffield lots were certificates given the grantees in the winter and spring of 1723. The next transaction in land in the county was the purchase of the Kast patent in 1724 by the family of that name, who were among the Burnetsfield patentees. John Jurgh Kast and his son of the same name had each received a thirty-acre lowland and a seventy-acre upland lot, and the family now bought a tract of 1,100 acres on the river in Schuyler, half way between East and West Schuyler villages. Next came Lindsey's purchase, covermg 3,000 acres in oblong form, beginning on the south bank of the Mohawk, a mile and a half below Little Falls, taken by John Lindsey and Philip Livingston in 1730 ; then Van Home's, made in the following year by Abraham Van Home and three others, the tract consisting of 8,000 acres about the Canajoharie castle.

The next tract taken up was the famous Cosby 's Manor, granted in 1734. The part of this tract within Herkimer county formed a block about seven miles square, beginning just west of Frankfort village (about two-thirds lying south of. the river), and surround- ing East's patent. The chief patentee was Governor William Cosby. The property passed into the hands of Lady Grace Cosby, and was the subject of a correspondence between herself, her agent, Sir William Johnson, and Oliver De Lancey, the latter of whom in the summer of 1762 bought the tract for himself and Janie.^ Jauncey, Peter Remsen and Goldsbrow Banyar, paying £6,000 currency.

Next to Cosby 's Manor in date of granting was the tract of 1,000 acres on the north bank of the river, just east of Little Falls, purchased by Rev. Peter Van Driesen

20 HISTORY OF HERKIMER COUNTY.

in 1737. Ill the next year Cadwallader Golden took 3,000 acres in a strip a mile and a quarter wide running south from Van Home's patent to Otsquago Creek.

One of the most important of the earliest patents was Glen's purchase, so called from Jacob Glen, the patentee. The tract of land involved consisted of 25,076 acres, occupy- ing, in general terms, the eastern part of the town of Herkimer, the southern half of Fairfield, Little Falls north of the river, and the western part of Manheim. The Indian title was extinguished in 1734.

In 1738 five of the lots were granted to Patrick McClaughry and Andrew McDowell, and eight to James De Lancey, John Lindsay, and Abraham Glen. In 1739 three were granted to Lendert Helmer, two to Jacob Glen, three to Archibald Kennedy, three to John Schuyler, jr., three to Arent Brant, and three to Philip Schuyler. In 1761 three were granted to Samuel Auchunity, three to William Mitchell, and three to William Ogilvie.

Henderson's patent of 6,000 acres was granted to James Henderson, his son of the same name, and John Kelly, 1739. Most of it is embraced in the town of Warren. In 1741 Peter Wiime bought 2,000 acres on both sides of West Canada Creek; except where bounded by the Burnetsfield patent on the south, this tract was surrounded by the Hasenclever patent. The southern part of the town of Warren is embraced in Young's patent, granted in 1752 to Theobald, Adam, Frederick, and Andries Young, and seven others. In the same year Joban Joo.st and Hendrick Herkemer bought 2,324 acres on the south bank of the river, extending from Lindsay's purchase to the eastern- most Burnetsfield lots. Lansingh's patent was granted in the following year to Jacob and Abraham Lansingh and Jacob Glen. The part of it in Herkimer county lay in the south of Danube and the northwestern part of Stark.

A strip along the southeastern side of Winfield was part of a tract of 43,000 acres granted in 1755 to Daniel Schuyler and twenty-one others and called Schuyler's patent. Snell and Timmerman's tract, 3,000 acres, in the southern part of Manheim, was granted in the same year. In 1755 were also granted Staley's first and second tracts, so called, containing 34,000 acres. The patentees were Rudolph Staley, Johan Joost Herkimer, jr., Nicholas Herkimer and fifteen others. The first tract, together with the river, sur- rounded all the Burnetsfield lots south of the Mohawk, except the easternmost five, and extended south far enough to take in most of the present towq of German Flats. The second tract included almost all of the town of Columbia. Between the two, in narrow form, lay Staley's third tract, also called Frank's patent, from Conrad and Frederick Frank, who were interested in it.

In 17C1 John McNeil and three others bought wliat has been called McNeil's patent, in the southern part of Stark. In this year, too, Alexander Colden, William Willett, Stephen De Lancey and Christopher Blundell procured the patent called by the name of the first of these gentlemen. It consisted of 4,000 acres, mostly on the north side of the river, filling the space between Burnetsfield and Cosby's Manor ; eight small lots south of the river embraced the site of Frankfort village.

Livingston's patent, part of which occupied the southeastern corner of Stark, was granted in 1702. In 1765 Guy Johnson bought 2,000 acres, now about equally divided between the southeastern corner of German Flats and the adjoining portion of Little

DESCRIPTIVE OF THE COUNTY. 21

Falls. Walton's patent ran along the western county line from Cosby's Manor to Wes-t Canada Creek, with a breadth of two and a half miles ; it was granted in 1768. In the following year Peter Hasenclever and seventeen others bought what has since been called Hasenclever's patent. It consisted of 18,000 acres, all but a small portion of which was bounded by Cosby's Manor, Walton's and Alexander Colden patents and West Canada Creek.

The Royal Grant (so called) comprised a large tract of land lying between the Can- ada Creeks which was acquired by Sir William Johnson from his Indian friends in 1760, and for which he received a patent from the government in 1769. The tiact embraced about 66,000 acres and lay back of the lands previously granted.

In 1770 8,000 acres, comprising most of Little Falls south of the river and the west- ern corner of Danube, were granted to John Vaughn and seven others, forming the Vaughn patent. In the same year the Jersey field patent was made to ninety-four per- sons, 1,000 acres to each, bounded by the Royal Grant, West Canada Creek, the line which forms the northern boundary of Salisbury, and the eastern county line. Bayard's patent, purchased by two brothers of that name and fifty-three others in 1774, embraced most of the towns of Litchfield and Winfield. In 178G Isaac Vrooman bought 4,000 acres, and in 1790, 10,193 acres in a narrow strip extending across Danube and parts of Manheim and Stark. The other 428 acres of Manheim were taken in 1786 by John Van Driesen. In the same year Thomas Matchin bought 1,600 acres on the north side of West Canada Creek in the town of Russia. The Totten and Crossfield purchase was made in that year, and included 25,200 acres, part of which was in the northeast- ern corner of the county. In the same year Ezra L'Hommedieu and Nathaniel Piatt bought the 4,000 acres remaining in the northwest part of Stark and the southern part of Little Falls. In 1787 theNobleborough tract was patented to Arthur Noble and comprised 41,000 acres, lying at the angle in the southeastern line of Wilmurt ; and in the same year 48,000 acres southwest of the above, bounded on the south by West Canada Creek, were purchased by Henry Remsen and three others. In 1792 the State granted to Alexander Macomb an immense tract of land in the great northern wilder- ness at a nominal price, of which the John Brown and the Watson tracts are parts. The Guy Johnson tract was conveyed by Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, Jacob G. Klock, and Henry Oathoudt, commissioners of forfeitures of the western district of New York to Benjamin Tallmadge, major in the array of the United States, June 7, 1784, and by Tallmadge to Caleb Brewster, July 9, 1794. Matthew Adgate in 1798 patented 4.3,907 acres now in the southern part of Wilmurt. The latest patent in the county was for 13,080 acres of the Moose River tract granted to Anson Blake in 1847.

The titles of the Indians to lands in the Mohawk valley, as well as those of the white settlers who adhered to the crown in the Revolution, were destroyed by that event, through the Attainder Act of 1770.

The Attainder Act of 1779 embraced fifty-nine persons, three of whom were married females, and they were also declared convicted and at- tainted with their husbands of offenses against the act. This manner of procedure was warranted by the fact that many women were in posses-

DESCRIPTIVE OF THE COUNTY. 23

sionin their own right of large tracts of land. The Legislature passed an act on the I2th of May, 1784, directing the prompt sale of confiscated and forfeited estates, requiring the proceeds to be applied to the sinking and discharging of public securities created for prosecuting the war. This was the first step taken to dispose of these estates, and the functions of the commissioners ceased in 1788. The act of 1784 designated the kind of money and certificates or bills of credit issued by the State, which might be received in payment for lands sold. In the course of the trans- actions thus effected there ensued a heavy depreciation of public securi- ties, which was severely felt by the people who were forced to accept them from the government. The purchasers of the public domain, how- ever, were in no respect losers by their operations. Having purchased these securities at the current specie market price, or at the sum fixed by the continental scale of depreciation, they exchanged them in most in- stances for some of the best lands in the State, at a price per acre a little more than nominal, and thus accumulated large fortunes for themselves and their descendants. The titles were, moreover, guaranteed in all re- spects by the State.

The commissioners of forfeiture of the western district of the State sold and deeded between September, 1784, and September, 1788, ninety- three lots in the first allotment of the Royal Grant; ninety-one in the second allotment; 130 in the third allotment; and 137 in the fourth allotment. This proceeding on the part of the State was founded on the attainder of Sir John Johnson, by the act of 1779.

The map made by Lawrence Vrooman in 1797, and reproduced here- with, shows that Sir William Johnson gave by his will to six of his natural children by Molly Brant (or Brandt), 15,000 acres of this grant as follows: To Margaret, 2,000 acres; George, 3,000; Mary, 2,000; Susan, 3,000; Ann, 3,000; Brandt, 1,000; and to William 1,000. The portion of this tract thus devised adjoins the East Canada Creek, and is in the present towns of Manheim and Salisbury. The lots as numbered on the map are: 166 in the first allotment ; 102 in the second ; 136 in the third; and 143 in the fourth. These are the highest numbers, but in several instances intervening numbers below are not found. ^

' The late Samuel Earl left among his historical memoranda the following : " As Mary Brant and her eight children, Peter, Elizabeth, Magdalene, Margaret. George, Mary, Susanna, and Anne, and young Brant Kaghnectayo of Canajoharie, and William Tagawinente of C^najoharie, were inca-

24 HISTORY OF HERKIMER COUNTY.

A specific half of eighteen lots in Jerseyfield patent was also sold and deeded by the commissioners of forfeitures, within the periods above mentioned. The original patentees of this large tract were mostly of the Dutch extraction, not German, and residents in Albany, Schenecta- dy and the lower Mohawk valley. None of these names appears in the Attainder Act of 1 779. Some party, known to be obnoxious to the pen- alties of the act, must have been proceeded against by indictment for treason against the State, and the lands declared forfeited on inquisition found. The whole of five lots and a specified half of four others in Liv- ingston's patent were also sold and conveyed by the commissioners. Peter De Bois, who was attainted by the act of October 22, 1779, was one of the patentees of this grant, and the sales probably covered his interest, or what remained of it, in the whole patent.

A part of Glen's purchase seems to have been owned by some one ob- noxious to the law of attainder. James De Lancey was one of the three joint patentees of several lots in this purchase. He was attainted by the act of 1779. (See chapter 25, of the Laws of 1779). Six small lots in that tract were sold and deeded for ;^i,095. New York currency, on the 27th of August, 1788, to replenish an exhausted treasury. James Caldwell purchased five of the lots and Michael Myers one of them. Johan Jurgh Kast's little patent of 1,100 acres in Schuyler contributed $500 to pay war expenses. One lot in that patent seems to have been sold to make compensation for treason against the State. " Surely none of the de- scendants of that sturdy old Palatine could have been recreant to his country and a traitor to humanity." ^

A portion of the Bayard patent is held under title from the commission- ers of forfeitures, two of the Bayards having been attainted by the act of of 1779. In regard to the Johan Joost Herkimer property, Judge Ben- ton wrote as follows:

Diligent search and examination has been made in the proper quarter to find some evidence of grants under the authority of the State, of the Johan Joost Herkimer prop-

pable of taking' and holding lands by reason of their being Indians, the several devises in the will of Sir William Johnson lo them were inoperative and void, and the lands and estate devised to them respectively upon the death of Sir William, descended to and became vested in Sir John Johnson as heir at law, and by his attainder became vested in the State as a portion of his inherit- ance. No tribunal competent to determine the law as it was at the death of Sir William or the attainder of Sir John has decided anything contrary to or in conflict with the foregoing prop- osition."

2 Benton's " History of Herkimer County."

DESCRIPTIVE OF THE COUNTY. 25

erty, but without success. Some part of the Herkimer property came into the hands of Alexander Ellice, soon after the Revolution. The preci.se time has not been ascer- tained by the writer, nor has he been able to lay his hand upon any papers showing the title to have come from the State. This, however, must be so, for Mr. Ellice, be- ing a British subject, would not have been allowed to hold forfeited lands except by a grant from the State.'

In respect to that part of the Royal Grant, devised by Sir William to his Indian children, the sale by the commissioners could not be sustained, and consequently was abandoned in regard to some of them, who had not committed any overt act of treason or offense against the statute. One of these children, however, did bear arms against the colonies, and may have been proceeded against under the Attainder Act, by indict- ment. The present titles of a portion of the grant are therefore derived from Sir \\ illiam's will, through his Indian children, but all the remainder, which passed to Sir John John- son, as heirs at law, is held under the State by virtue of his attainder.

Natural Characteristics. Tlie surface of Herkimer county may be called a hilly upland, with a series of ridges extending in a generally north and south direction. The beautiful Mohawk River flows easterly across the southerly part of the county, through a valley that is broad from its westerly end to near Little Falls at the easterly side of the county, where the stream breaks through a mountainous ridge, the naked rocks rising on either side from 500 to 600 feet. From this point to the eastern boundary of the county the river flows through a valley bordered by high and precipitous hills. The East Canada Creek rises in Hamilton county, flows southward and empties into the Mohawk; it forms the eastern boundary of the county from the Mohawk to the northeast cor- ner of the Royal Grant. The West Canada Creek rises in the northern part of the county and in Hamilton county, flows southwesterly and discharges into the Mohawk near the village of Herkimer ; part of it forms the boundary between Herkimer and Oneida counties. The Moose, Black and Beaver Rivers, which flow northward to Lake Onta- rio, have their sources in the northerly part of the county, where numer- ous lakes and ponds of pure water are found, many of them still in the forest fastnesses of a large region that has been left almost wholly in its native state, the surface and soil rendering it of little value for culti- vation.

The geological features of the county are of considerable interest. The portion of the territory lying north of a line extending west from

' For further reference to titled and leases from Ellice. see subsequent history and maps ot Little Falls.

26 UISTORY OF HERKIMER COUNTY.

Brockett's Bridge (now Dolgeville) is covered with primary rocks granite, gneiss, feldspar, and hornblende. The same formation out- crops also at Little F"alls. Rising successively above the primary are the Trenton limestone, appearing in Norway and Russia, the Utica slate, appearing upon the summit of all the hills immediately north of the Mohawk ; the Frankfort slate appearing immediately south of the river; the Oneida conglomerate and Clinton group, extending in a belt through near the center of the south half of the county; the Onondaga salt group, waterlime, Onondaga and corniferous limestones, appearing in thin layers next south ; and the Marcellus shales and limestones of the Helderberg range, covering the summits of the southern hills. These rocks yield an abundance of lime, waterlime, and building material, and are extensively quarried. Useful minerals are few in number, among them being beautiful crystals of quartz. The soil of the county is diversified, comprising sandy and argillaceous loams, based on limestone, sandstone and primitive granite gneiss; calcareous loam, sandy and clay loam. Rich alluvial flats are found in the Mohawk valley, that are as productive, perhaps, as any lands in the State. The soil north of the Royal Grant is light and sandy, better adapted to grazing than to tillage.

In the early history of the count)' the lands were tilled and the pro- ductions comprised wheat, corn, rye, barley, peas, bea'ns, oats, hay and potatoes. Wheat and barley constituted the chief articles of export to the Albany market. With the opening of the Erie canal in 1825, the heavy grain producing section in the western part of the State became a rival against which the Mohawk valley could not successfully contend. Between 1820 and 1830 the prospects of the Herkimer county agricul- turist were not encouraging. Insects destroyed the wheat year after year, and it has been stated that in 1820, " if all the personal or mova- ble property in the county had been sold at a fair appraisal, it would not have produced sufficient means to pay the domestic debt of the county, and probably not more than half of it. After the opening of the canal, the attention of the community was gradually turned toward grazing and the dairy, and for many years past the latter interest has given the county a national reputation. The dairy products of the county will be further alluded to in subsequent town histories.

The lumber interest of the county was extensive in former years, and is still carried on with success in its northern parts.

EARLY SETTLEMENT. 27

CHAPTER II.

EARLY SETTLEMENT.

ONE hundred and seventy years ago, when the sturdy German emi- grants, fleeing from their native country on the Rhine to escape a cruel vassalage, planted themselves in the wilderness within and around the territory of which this volume treats, they found it occupied by one of the Six Nations of Iroquois Indians the Mohawks. These nations (exclusive of the Tuscaroras, who were practically amalgamated with the Oneidas) were established across the territory of the State of New York, beginning with the Mohawks on the east, with the Oneidas, On- ondagas, Cayugas and Senecas next in the order named. Their central council fire was with the Onondagas. But limited as was this country wherein these nations had their permanent abiding place, their unexam- pled and reckless bravery in war; their statesmanship as demonstrated in the system of government devised by them ; their indomitable per- severance and unyielding persistence in extending their power, gave them practical domination over the greater part of the continent and earned for them from one of their admirers the title of " The Romans of the New World." The records of the deeds of the Iroquois Indians are found upon thousands of pages in words from gifted pens, while their personal characteristics and civil and domestic history have no less faithful chroniclers. This fact renders it wholly unnecessary to attempt in these pages more than a simple statement of their occupancy of the soil, to be followed with the history of their relations with the white settlers of the county.

Through the settlement of the French in what is now Canada early in the sixteenth century; the nearly simultaneous establishment of the Dutch in the vicinity of the Hudson river, and the subsequent domina- tion of the English, a long series of bloody wars was inaugurated, which did not cease until the final extinction of French power in 1763. There was strife from the beginning to gain the fealty of the Indians. They

28 HISTORY OF HERKIMER COUNTY.

were not onl\' extremely useful as fighters in the service of either power, but their friendship was equally desirable for purposes of trade. Of course they were regularly swindled by either party toward which they leaned. As far as the Mohawks were concerned they were always on terms of amity with the Knglish. The influence of Sir William John- son over them was boundless, and at his death the)' transferred their affections to his family, a fact which was the cause of untold woe to the colonists in after years.^ King Hendrick, as he was called, was a celebrated Mohawk chief who was at the height of his power when the Mohawk valley was opened for settlement. He was an intimate friend of Sir William Johnson ; adopted and wore the English costume, and never faltered in his allegiance to that nation. He resided much of the time at the upper Mohawk castle in what is now the town of Danube. He was killed at Lake George, September 8, 1755.

To the religious wars that swept over Europe early in the seventeenth century may be directly attributed the emigration from Germany which ultimately led to the first permanent settlement of the upper Mo- hawk valley by white people. Germany was a battlefield of religious war for nearly a hundred years. The peasantry generally embraced the doctrines of the Reformation, in which they received the sj-mpathy of Protestant Englishmen. The affinity existing between the sovereigns of England and the German Palatinate, led to the application bj' the suffering Germans to Queen Anne, in 1708, to send the Palatines to her then colony of New York. To escape from what they would not

' ^' . -. ,■ twenty-three was sent to the

M"- -le. who was a British admiral.

Tht ssful in their cnltivation. sale.

sto' r .^^Ti-!, : r; ,-,: hc became connected with tv

riir ' permanently in the Mohawk vallej'. and applip

him .Mininjr the friendship and confidence of the fu

iliai It I '.1111 Ml. St. me mansion which he called Fort Johnson, and

wh' W.1S entrusted with the sole management of the Indian

mill v.'ellerit service. He was appointed a colonel in the British

•"" colonial troops and the Indian warriors, the

nm devastation by the French and their allies.

ct. Joseph Brant, which gave him additional

: —'-.- under appointment as major-g-eneral, he led the

:tnd was rewarded by a baronetcy and 5,000 pounds from

' 'nccat Fort Johnson in the eastern part of Montprom-

'■ -moved to Johnstown, where he built his stately

^:e nth of July, 7774- His remains were buried

''torred while repairs to a church were being

.. ,.w i.i. ■■■■'• "■"■ 'tincf place.

EARLY SETTLEMENT. 29

endure in their own country, they fled to another where their religious faith might be cultivated and enjoyed free from persecution.

On the loth of May, 1708, Joshua Kockerthal, a minister, with forty others from the Lower Palatinate in Germany, reached England. They were in a condition of destitution. The English Lords of Trade vouched for their good character and " humbly proposed " that they " be sent to settle upon Hudson's River, in the province of New York, where they may be useful to this kingdom, particularly in the produc- tion of naval stores, and as a frontier against the French and their In- dians." On the lOth of August following the provincial governor was directed to provide subsistence for Joshua Kockerthal and forty- two German Protestants, and " to grant him 500 acres of land for a glebe with liberty to sell a suitable portion thereof for his better maintenance till he shall be able to live by the produce of the remainder."

These Palatines probably arrived in New York about the close of the year 1708, and an order was made in the Provincial Council at New York May 26, 1709, to continue the relief promised by the queen until the expiration of twelve months from the date of their arrival; this re- lief included clothing, mechanical tools and materials to work with. It is known that this company, or the greater part of it, settled permanent- ly in what is now Ulster county; and, as has often happened in similar cases, the emigrants met with much difficulty in securing the promised aid from England. The tools were, however, supplied them, as agreed. ^

The second immigration of Palatines, and by far the larger in num- bers, arrived at New York shortly before June 14, 1 7 10. In the Coun- cil, the president (Mr. Beekman) " informed the Board that the ship Lyon is arrived in this port, having brought a considerable number of Palatines for whom her Majesty has commanded him to Provide Lodg- ing and Provisions and desired the Gentlemen of the Councill to give their opinions what measures are proper to be taken with them." More than 3,000 emigrants came over at this time, and there being con -

1 The following lists of tools and names of their recipients are interesting : Joshua Kockerthal— I Barrel of Lime. 3 Gouches, 2 formers, i Grindingstone, i square, i Rule, i Compass, and several pieces more- Hermanns Schuneman— 2 Handsaws, 1 Great Saw, 3 Gouches. 2 Agors. besides several pieces more. Michael Wiegand—i, great file, i smaller dito, 1 mortising chisel, i Joynter, i Agor, besides several pieces more. Andreas Volk— i Cross Cut Saw, i Smooding plain, i wiping saw, an- other set of gouches, besides severall pieces more. Peter Rose i Glupott. i Whimplingpitts, i hatchet, i little hamer, 2 Agors, i Joynter, besides severall pieces more. These lists are continued in Doc. Hist. New York, vol. HI, pp. 550-51.

30 HISTORY OF HERKIMER COUNTY.

tagious disease among them, they were quarantined at Nutten Island (now Governor's) where they were maintained in liuts at pubhc ex- pense.i Many died on the passage over.

This body of Palatines came over under the special charge of Governor Hunter, who had particular directions where to settle them, with the view of their aiding in protection against the French and Indians. For this purpose the commissioners designated " a tract of land lying on the Mohaques river, containing about fifty miles in length, and four miles in breadth, and a tract of land lying upon a creek [evidently the Scho- harie] which runs into said river, containing between twenty-four and thirty miles in length. This last mentioned land is claimed by the Mo- haques, but that claim may be satisfied on easy terms." ^ Reference is made by the commissioners to the obstruction in the river at Cohoes, but they thought that should be but little hindrance. In the spring of 1710 Hunter ordered the survey of lands on the " Mohaks " river, and particularly in the " Skohare to which the Indians had no pretence." But owing to the remoteness of the Schoharie lands, and their supposed unfitness for agriculture, with the scarcity of pine timber. Hunter finally purchased " a tract of land on Hudson's river from Mr. [Robert] Liv- ingston, consisting of 6,000 acres, for ;^400 of this country money, for planting of the greatest division of the Palatines." He also informed the Board of Trade that he had found an ungranted tract near by on the west side of the river where he had planted the remainder of the Pala- tines, or intended to do so soon. On the i6th of June, 1710, in prob- able anticipation of what would naturally occur, the Board expressed the opinion " that a Proclamation doe Issue to prevent Exactions and Extortions in the price of Bread & other Provisions whereby the Pala- tines may be the better and easier Provided therewith." The sequel justified this measure, for the contractor who supplied flour, etc., cheated the poor immigrants in weight ; and they complained bitterly to the home government that the conditions under which they came to New York were not fulfilled. The number of Palatines on Livingston's man-

' " It is the opinion of this Hoard thereupon that Nutten Island is the properest place to put the Palatines on and that Huts should be made for them." The huts were built by two of the Palatine carpenters, Johannes Hebon and Peter Williamse.

2 The board also designated lands on the " Hudson's river, where are great numbers of Pines, fit for Production of Turpentine and Tarr, out of which Rozinand Pitch are made."

EARLY SETTLEMENT. 31

or and on the opposite side of the Hudson river in 171 1 numbered about 1,800.

Many Palatine children, some of whom were orphans, were taken un- der direction of the governor and bound out as apprentices to the inhab- itants of the colony. 1 Some of these afterwards became conspicuous in the history of the State. About eighty children were thus apprenticed.

Among the volunteers who accompanied Colonel Nicholson on his expedition to Canada in 1711, are found the names of several that afterwards became familiar in the Mohawk valley, as follows :

Hen. Hoffman, Warner Dirchest, Fred. Bellinger, Hen. Wederwachs, Frantz Finck, Martin Dillenback, Jacob Webber, William Nellis, George Dacbstader, Christian Bauch, Mich. Ittick, Melch. Folts, Niclaus Loiix, Hartman Windecker, Hans Hen. Zeller, Jno. Wm. Finck, Jno.