Many thanks to Judy Dolanski, typing volunteer.
(Judy is descended from the first minister of the church, Dominie Dysslin)
Historical Documents; St. John's Reformed Church
An extensive examination of various sources of historical information, during which at least one hundred pages of notes have been taken has failed to reveal any satisfactory documentary date, from which the early history of this church can be compiled. The absence of the records of the church (if any early records ever existed, and I have yet to be convinced about this), the failure of the early Mohawk settlers to place upon record the deeds and maps relating to their lands, and the destruction of almost all of the Historical manuscripts concerning this locality, in the fire at the State Capitol, have all combined to render this task more difficult. From the abstracts of the Historical manuscripts taken from the published calendars, it can be seen that it is only recently that the last clues concerning this church have finally been lost. If the numerous historians who have written of this church had consulted these manuscripts, instead of spending their time in collecting inaccurate recollections from the local inhabitants, in all probability, the story of this church would have been materially improved. It would be useless to recite in detail the various narratives that have been gathered from traditionary sources, as very few of them agree, unless one historian has quoted from another. The versatility of the tales can well be illustrated by quoting twice from the same author: Jeptha R. Simms in the "Frontiersmen of New York." If the same person can publish two versions of the matter which differ materially, and publish them in successive years, what can we expect from different historians writing perhaps a generation apart. In preparing this history, I find myself confronted by the same difficulties that my predecessors have encountered:- namely, the absence of records. To fill in the gaps in my story, I must either draw upon my opinion and my imagination; or I must confess that I do not know. Although I trust but little in local tradition, I shall introduce a number of items of the character, which may be fully as unreliable as those mentioned by others.
As there have been numerous changes in the names of the settlements, districts and towns, it has been thought best to indicate the geographical divisions, and changes of the county lines, of the territory in the vicinity of
the church. Tryon County was formed from Albany County, on March 12, 1772; the name was changed to Montgomery County, on April 2, 1784. Herkimer and Otsego Counties were set off from Montgomery County, on April 2, 1784. Fulton County was formed from Montgomery County, on April 18, 1838. Tryon County was divided into six districts. "These districts were Mohawk, adjoining Albany (County). Canajoharie on the south side of the Mohawk, and Palatine on the north, extending up the river to Little Falls, German Flats and Kingsland, still farther up the river, and Old England District, west of the Susquehanna. The first 5 of these districts were formed March 24, 1772. On the 8th of March 1773, the original name Stone Arabia was changed to Palatine. "* Within a few years, the names of German Flats and Kingsland Districts, were exchanged through the misunderstanding of a map-maker.
The site of
this church was within the limits of the Palatine District. This district was
formed as the town of Palatine, on March 7, 1770; it embraced the territory
on the north side of the Mohawk, extending from Anthony's Nose to Little Falls,
and reached northward to Canada. The town of Manheim was set off from Palatine,
on March 3, 1797; on April 7, 1817, it was annexed to Herkimer County. The western
part of what remained of Palatine, usually spoken of as the "Upper" part, was
formed into the town of Oppenheim, on March 18, 1808. When Fulton County was
formed, the new county line, bisected the town of Oppenheim; the most northerly
two thirds of the town retained the name and became a part of the new county.
The remainder, on April 18, 1838, was formed into the town of St. Johnsville;
the name of this town was taken from the Postal Village of St. Johnsville, the
principal settlement within the town.
The map of Harrison's Patent, which is reproduced on the next page, is from the maps prepared from the Commissioners of Forfeitures; the names of the lot holders are as they appear upon the map, and are as they stood after the close of the Revolutionary War. The southerly part of a patent granted to George Klock, William Nellis and others, on Dec. 21, 1754, is also shown upon this map. Lot No. 33 of the Klock and Nellis Patent, probably contained the site of the first Youker's Bush Church, of which more will be said later. Attention is also called to "F. Van Dreecen's Patent", as it appears upon this (text continues on page 4)
*See French's Gazeteer of the State of New York, page 409.
Memoranda from Map No. 865, in the Land Bureau, Department of the State Engineer and Surveyor. (Maps from the Commissioners of Forfeitures.) Names of the Lot holders in the Harrison Patent, as they appear written upon each lot, in the map of the patent.
|5. P. Warenmoth & Waggoner||13. Geo. G. Klock & Jacob Klock|
|6. P. Waggner||14. Timmerman & Veeling|
|7. Ph. Fox & Geo. Fox||15. Timmerman & Veeling|
|8. L. Helmer & H. W. Nellis||16. J. G. Klock|
|9. Hess & Bellinger||17. Adam Woolradt & Geo. Klock|
|10. Phi. Nellis & Jo. Hess||18. Timmerman & Veeling|
|11. Johs Klock||19. Elizebeth Johnson|
The items below are copied from an explanation appearing on the map. "Explanation of Klock's purchase granted 21 Dec. 1754 to"
are not the names of the original Patentees, as implied by the explanation.
George Klock (GK); William Nellis (WN); Jacob Klock (IK); Christian Nellis (CN); Johannis Klock (IOK); Severenius Dygart (SD); Henry Klock (HK); Leonard Helmer (LH); Konradt Klock (KK); Johannnis Hess (IH); Godfried Helmer (GH); Casper Koch (CK); George Windecker (GW); Jacob G. Klock (IGK); Johannis Shauman (IS); Henry G. Klock (HGK); Warner Digart (WD); Frederick Bellinger (FB); Adam Klock (AK); Johannis Dygart (ID); Teobald Nellis (TN); Leonard Helmer, Jur. (LHj); Adolph Walrath (AW); Johannis Windecker (IWD); Henry Walrath (HW); Joseph Klock (JoK); William Fox (WF); Philip Pier (PP); Philip Garlag (PG); Carl Garlag (CG); Johannis Nellis (IN); John Hadcok & Adam Gray (IGH); Johannis Bellinger (IB); James Wallace (IW); Henry Nelllis (HN).
banks back to the "Fall" on Canada Creek, was a patent of 428 acres, granted in the year 1786, to John Van Driessen, the grandson of Dominie Petrus Henrious Van Driessen. For a map of John Van Driessen's Patent, see land Paper, Vol. XLII, page 122. Among the papers belonging to the St. Johnsville Church, are two statements from Rufus A. Grider, written in 1894, in which he attempts to show that the site of the first church edifice of the Congregation, was upon the Petrus Van Driessen Patent. That Mr. Grider was influenced in giving his imagination free play, from reading Simms' Frontiersmen of New York, can be seen by the similarity of the dates given by both, as to the length of the ministry of the Rev. John Henry Dysslin. This subject can be dropped with the statement, that no reputable historian of the Mohawk Valley has ever failed to locate the Van Driessen Patent, where it is shown upon this map.
The origin and history of the Harrison Patent, follows in abstract form.
Land Papers, Vol. VIII, page 107.
Jan. 22, 1722. License to Francis Harrison and others, to purchase 12,000 acres of vacant land in ye Mohacks country of the Indians. See petition, Jan. 18, 1722, page 106, ibid.
Sec. of State, Deeds, Book 11, page 509.
Indian deed from 12 Indians, dated Sept. 3, 1722, to Francis Harison Esqr., Lewis Morris Esqr., John Spratt, John Schuyler, Abraham Wendell and John Haskoll. Consideration, 700 Beavers.
Land Papers, Vol. VIII, page 194.
Oct. 3, 1722. Petition of Francis Harrison, Lewis Morris Jun. and others, praying for a patent for 12,000 acres, purchased by them under a license, laying on the north side of the Mohacks river, beginning at the northwest bounds of the land belonging to Abraham De Peyster and Harmen Van Slyck, running thence along the river to a place where the river makes a turn eastward, at which place there are two or three islands, which is little above the castle called Dekagjoharone, and back into the woods five miles.
Land Papers, Vol. IX, page 21.
Jan. 11, 1723. Petition of Francis Harrison and others, praying that the 12,000 acres may be taken up in three patents.
Land Papers, Vol. IX, page 40.
Mar. 16, 1723. Description of a survey of six tracts of land within the bounds of a tract, on the Maquas river, purchased by Francis Harrison and others, of the Indians, containing in all, 12,000 acres, surveyed for the purchasers, by Cadwellader Colden, survr. Genl.
Land Papers, Vol. IX, page 45.
Mar. 16 and 17, 1723. Certificate and Warrent for a patent for six tracts of land, of 2,000 acres each. See also, L. P. IX, pp. 50, 54 and 55.
Patents, Vol. 8, pp. 494-510.
Mar. 18, 1722/23. Patent granted to Francis Harrison, Lewis Morris Junr. Esqrs., John Spratt, John Schuyler, Abraham Wendell, and John Haskoll, Gentlemen, consisting of 12,000 acres; patent divided into six tracts of 2,000 acres each.
The survey and division of the Harrison Patent into six great lots was never effective. On Aug. 8, 172? a partition of the entire tract was made, a new survey having been made in the interval. The purpose of this new partition appears to have been, to divide the land in such a way that three nineteenths of it could be awarded to the Patentee who represented Gov. William Burnet. Further references follow, but only to Lot No. 13, within which the site of the first church edifice was located.
Albany County Deeds, Book 7, page 89 et sq.
Memorandums from deed. Part of description of the Harrison Patent, giving the last course of the base line, and the course to the Mohawk River at the mouth of East Canada Creek, (rest of description omitted here). * * * "thence N. 68 degrees W 136 chains, then S. 48 degrees W 172 chains to the said Maquas river at the mouth of the Creek called by the Indians deiagjoharows where it falls into the river, near several small Island * * * * * and then down the stream of the said river to the place of Beginning." Upon partition of the Harrison Patent, Lot No. 5 and Lot No. 13, fell to the share of Harmanus Wendell; deed of release dated Aug. 8, 1723. Harmanus Wendell, by deed dated Aug. 26, 1725, sold to Christian Haus and Hendrick Clock, Lot No. 13, "that is to say to each of them one full mojety or undivided half part of the whole in two Equall parts to be devided," excepting one acre of low land in a square, which was to be chosen by said Harmanus Wendell. Description of Lot No. 13. From said Beginning point of same Lott number 13 running N 55 degrees 30' W to the Maquas river, thence N 55 degrees 30' E to the rear line of said 12,000 acres, thence along the same S 43 degrees E untill the beginning point of this lott bears S 60 degrees Nbeing nearly 45 chains 50 links, and from thence running 60 degrees W to the Maquas river, thence up the river to the place above mentioned S 55 degrees 30' W course to the river, containing in the whole about 650 acres, for which Tract of Land the aforesaid Christian House and Hendrick Clock were to pay unto the said Harmanus Wendell * * * L-250, upon which the deed was to be executed. Harmanus Wendell died before the deed conveying land was executed, and devised the land to his eldest son Jacob Wendell to perform the covenant mentioned, "and whereas the said Jacob and Anna Wendell have released unto Hendrick Clock one undivided or moiety of the before recited Lott No. 13", and whereas the other one half of the land was deeded by Jacob Wendell and his mother Anna Wendell, by deed dated Aug. 24, 1732 to Hendrick Walrat, and said Walrat on Apr. 8, 1745, deeded the one half part of Evert Harm. Wendell. Now this Indenture, dated April 16, 1757, from Evert H. Wendell, conveys the one half of the said land to George Clock, "together with all and Singular the Buildings thereon erected (to witt) house, outhouse, Barn, Stable, orchard and the Reversion etc. Consideration L- 300. (probably English pounds)
The important points of this preamble and deed are as follow: Hendrick Klock, the father of George Klock, obtained a deed for one half of the lot, from Jacob and Anna Wendell, after the death of Harmanus Wendell. Title to the other half of the lot was secured by George Klock, on Apr. 16, 1757, at which time THERE WAS NO CHURCH BUILDING UPON THIS LOT. Notice that an UNDIVIDED HALF is conveyed in each deed; this removes the possibility of the church being located on the other half of the lot which had been previously conveyed to Hendrick Klock.
A tradition exists that George Klock built the first church edifice of this congregation, in the year 1756. The earliest mention of this alleged fact that I have been able to find, occurs in French's New York State Gazetteer, page 417; this is generally regarded as a reliable authority. The loss of the Colonial documents in the Albany fire, has removed the possibility of investigation of data which might throw more light upon this tradition. It is further alleged that George Klock built this church for an Indian mission. If this statement is to be believed, we must regard George Klock as one of the first "malefactors of great wealth" in this country; and we must regard this church as George Klock's "conscience offering to the retribution fund." That George Klock was continually cheating the Indians and despoiling them of their land, is a fact that can be clearly determined by consultation of various sources of documentary information, which it is not thought necessary to refer to here. All references showing any possible connection of George Klock, with events pertaining to religious matters are given below; these are obtained from three different sources and they are arranged in chronological order.
Calendar Of Calendar Page Original Vol. & P.
Sir Wm. Johnson Manuscript 99 24 53 Aug. 23, 1739. John Caspar Lappius to Wm. Johnson, congratulations on taking Fort Niagara
Mss.English 725 XC 19 Sept. 9, 1761. Petition, John Casper Lappius, minister,
William Seeber, and Adam Young of the congregation of the German Reformed Church
at Cannojoharie, for a license to collect money to build a church.
Council Minutes 454 25 390 Sept. 9, 1761. Brief to collect money for building a church at Connajoharie granted upon petition of John Casper Lappius minister of the German congregation there, Wm. Seeber and Adam Young. MESSRS BLEECKER HAVE GIVEN THE LAND FOR IT. (See note below.)
Council Minutes 456 25 414 Dec. 23, 1761. Letter from Sir Wm. Johnson complaining of George Klock referred.
Sir Wm. Johnson Manuscripts 123 24 119 Jan. 7, 1762.
Deposition of Conrad Timmerman and Daniel Miller regarding base action of Urie (George) Klock and connivance of Justice Tillebach in matter of Domine Lappius's salary; sworn before Sir William Johnson.
Typist's Note: The capitals here are mine. As the name Canajoharie was in early days, applied to lands on both sides of the Mohawk. The names of the donors of the land settles definitely the locality of the church. This is the German Reformed Church of Canajoharie, which was located upon Sand Hill, near Fort Plain. The land was in the Otsquago patent, granted to Rutger and Nicholas Blecker and others, on Sept. 22, 1729.
Calendar of Calendar Page Original Vol. & Pg.
Sir Wm. Johnson Manuscripts 123 24 118 Jan. 11, 1762. Rev. John Caspar Lappius story of outrageous treatment at the hands of Ury Clok, Justice Tillebagh and others.
Council Minutes 456 25 418 Feb. 17, 1762. George Klock to appear Minutes before the council on complaint made and papers sent by Sir Wm. Johnson.
Sir Wm. Johnson Manuscripts * 5 214 Mar. 15, 1762. Sir William Johnson to William Corry. In a letter, among other things, states that Dominie Lappius and his family must perish, if those who promised to pay his salary do not meet their obligations. Asks if they can be compelled to pay. (See note.)
Sir Wm. Johnson Manuscripts * 5 204 Mar. 18, 1762. William Corry to Sir William Johnson. Reply to above letter, states that all who signed the subscription paper for the salary of Dominie Lappius can be made to pay. If the amounts are under L-4 (four pounds?) they can be collected through Peter Canine the Justice; if the amounts are over L-4, William Corry, the writer, will make them pay.
Sir Wm. Johnson Manuscripts 128 5 204 Mar. 18, 1762. William Corry, considering advantage to tenants of proclamation concerning Indian Lands and of summons to Clock to appear before Council, suggesting that the Livingstons be allowed to know that fraudulent purchase will be laid before Lords of Trade, considering collection of Dominie Lappius's salary, and advising means of obtaining for "Europians" a share in provisional offices.
Historical Mss. English 730 XC 106 Apr. 2, 1762.
Petition, George Klock, of Canajoharie, charged with misconduct with respect to the Canajoharie Indians, for copies of the affidavits and the substance of the conferences on which the charges are founded, and further time to make his defense.
Council Minutes 457 25 439 Apr. 2, 1762.
Order on petition of George Klock.
Council Minutes 457 25 440 Apr. 7, 1762. The attorney general ordered to prosecute George Klock by information for procuring Indian deed by fraud and to take proper measures for restoring the lands to the Indians.
Council Minutes 459 25 459 Sept. 15, 1762. Report of the attorney general concerning George Klock's land transactions received.
Council Minutes 459 25 459 Sept. 29, 1762. Order for hearing on the complaint of the Connajoharie Indians against Geo. Klock.
Council Minutes 459 25 462 Nov. 3, 1762. Indian testimony in re George Klock to be taken before Sir Wm. Johnson and justices of Albany County.
Note: This letter and the reply to it were abstracted directly from the original manuscripts, which are the only ones relating to these matters, which remain after the fire. The portions of the letter that refer to Dominie Lappius, are the only parts abstracted. For abstract of the letter of William Corry as it appears in the Calendar, see fifth item of this page.
Calendar of Calendar Page Original Vol. & Pg.
Sir Wm. Johnson Manuscripts 196 8 69 Dec. 29, 1763. Rev. Joh: Casp: Lappius, describing his poverty and illness and asking for brandy and raisins and credit for clothing, mentioning the wickedness of Ury Klock, and wishing Sir William Temporal and eternal blessings.
Copy of a portion
of the letter, abstracted above; see Doc. Hist. N. Y. 8vo, Vol. 4: 335-6; or
4to, Vol. 4: 214. "I furder must Complaint to your Honour out of my Lazareth
that Wicked Ury Clok has puzzled into the kears of some people upon the land
called the Switzer mount, that your Honour had ordered me to make them all sign
a bond for all the Costs which would arise from that Action, under the Name
of a petition, which your Honor know as wel as I that never such a thing has
been don, the ignorant people have most Eaten up my little flesh and bones,
which I thought they would tare in pieces, would it not been good that Clok
should be paid once for his Devilish seditious humour?"
Sir Wm. Johnson Manuscripts 355 14 174 May 4, 1767.
Peter M. De Garmo, to say that he had married the relict of the late Rev. Mr. Lappius and to ask if his spouse's portion from Germany has yet come.
The foregoing extracts are the essential part of what I have been able to gather concerning George Klock and the church. And drawing my conclusions from them, I state that it is my opinion that George Klock built no church in the Palatine District, in 1756 or at any time during the lifetime of Dominie Lappius.
Two more extracts relating to George Klock follow, among the last that appear in the records.
Historical Mss.English 826 C 122 July 8, 1774.
Deposition. George Klock, of Canajoharie, relative to the robbery of his house by Joseph Brant and a number of other Indians of that place.
Historical Mss. English 829 CI 6 November 4, 1774.
Letter. George Klock to the governor and council, claiming protection from Joseph Brandt and his Indians.
I now state that it is my opinion that George Klock never built a church in the Mohawk Valley, before the Revolutionary War and that if he had, that the Indians would have destroyed it at the time that they burned the churches at Fort Plain, Manheim and Stone Arabia. Bear in mind the fact that no one has ever claimed that this alleged church was built of anything but wood.
THE SITE OF KLOCK'S CHURCH
It seems to be clearly established that the first church edifice of the St. Johnsville Congregation was located upon Lot No. 13 of the Harrison Patent, the land (text continues on next page)
originally purchased by Hendrick Klock and his son George. In order to trace to the present time, the ownership of this lot No. 13, it would be advantageous to have some knowledge of the relationships in the Klock family. But I have no such data available, nor have I time to look the matter up. However, in order to piece together the matters of record concerning this lot, let us assume that Hendrick Klock had three sons George, Johannes and Jacob. Johannes settled upon Lot No. 11 of the Harrison Patent; he had a son named John, whose will dated Dec. 27, 1810, bequeathed his land and homestead to his son Adam J. Klock. The old stone house known as Fort Klock, was his homestead; this lot of land has often been confused with the original Klock lot, which descended from the father Hendrick Klock, to his sons George and Jacob. Jacob was probably the youngest son of Hendrick Klock; he was the Col. Jacob Klock of the Revolutionary war.
It can be seen from the deed abstracted on page vi, that Lot No. 13 in the Harrison Patent, originally contained about 650 acres. From an examination of the maps on pages xii and xiii, I estimate that the holdings of Col. Jacob Klock in this Lot No. 13, amounted to about 460 acres at the time of his death. This was the southeasterly moiety or part of the whole lot; about one third of the lot, being the northwesterly part, nearest to St. Johnsville, belonged to other Klocks. Some confirmation of this will be found in the second Mortgage abstracted on the next page; and further reference to this subject appears on page xix. According to the map of the Commissioners of Forfeitures, at the close of the Revolutionay War Lot No. 13, was owned jointly by Geo. G. Klock and Jacob Klock. In the year 1820, the northwesterly part of the original Lot No. 13, belonged to Joseph G. Klock. Under the terms of his will, Col. Jacob Klock devised his land in Lot No. 13, to his grand-daughters, Eva and Anna. Matters of record in Montgomery County, as they refer to Col. Jacob Klock's land in Lot No. 13, follow in abstract form.
Montgomery County Wills, Book I, page 159. Will of Jacob Klock of Palatine, dated May 8, 1798. Wife Catharina. "I give & devise unto my Grand Child Anna Dyeslin the wife of Reverend (John) Henry Dyeslin" 100 acres from the farm upon which I now live, on the easterly of my said lot, "to begin at the Mohawk River, Running into the Woods, along the division line of Christian Nellis Esq. and myself, to a patent granted to George Klock, William Nellis and others * * " To my Grandchild Eva Klock, the wife of Christian Klock, "the remainder or westerly part of my said farm above mentioned, and the Improvements that are on said part as above devised, to be held by said Eva Klock." To my son Adam Klock, the farm on the south side of the Mohawk River, where he now resides. Grandsons, John March, Peter March and Henry March. Executors, John L. Bellinger, Adam A. Walrat and Robert Anderson. Will recorded, June 27, 1798.
Montgomery County Mortgages, Book 3, page 218
Mortgage, dated Dec. 27, 1801. John Henry Dysling and Anna his wife of the town of Palatine to John L. Bellinger. Consideration, $405. 98. "All that certain 100 acres of Land which is known and being part of the South Easterly half or Moiety of Lot No. 13, in a patent granted unto Lewis Norris, Junr., Francis Harrison and others * * * which said 100 acres of land (is Butted and Bounded as follows) on the north west line of Lot No. 12, on the Mohawk River and on the rear line of the said patent and so far in Breadth as to include 100 acres of land. Recorded, Feb. 10, 1802. Satisfaction, dated Apr. 11, 1807; recorded, Nov. 25, 1807, in Book 5, page 256
Book 3, page 219. Mortgage, dated Dec. 27, 1801.
Christian Klock and Eve his wife, to John L. Bellinger. Consideration, $533.00. All that certain 225 acres of land, being part of the Southeasterly Moiety or Half of Lot No. 13, of the Harrison Patent, "which said 225 acres of Land is Butted and Bounded as follows, on the North and North East to the rear line, on the North West to the Northwest Moiety or half Part of said Lot. No. 13, on the South and South West to the said Mohawk river, and on the South East so far as to include 225 acres of land." Recorded, Feb. 10, 1802. Satisfied, Dec. 14, 1802; recorded, Nov. 2, 1820. Book 13, p. 81.
It is unnecessary
to abstract all of the deeds transferring land in Lot No. 13, as the main purpose
is only to show the deeds relating to the particular part, where Klock's Church
stood. The maps which follow on the next two pages, will be of aid in following
these transfers. The most northerly part of lot No. 13, Harrison Patent, is
the first to be eliminated. On June 23, 1820, Christian Klock and Eve his wife
sold 50 acres of the lot to Jacob Sanders. In the map dated Dec. 16, 1836, this
lot is shown as Lot No. 9, the remaining part of it having been sold to Adam
Nellis. In the second map, this tract of land is entirely eliminated from the
map, and it is not further considered. On June 28, 1826, 40 acres were sold
to John H. Zimmerman. In the 1836 map, this land is shown as Lot. No. 7, and
belongs to Joshua Webster. On Dec. 5, 1835, a tract of land supposed to contain
about 180 acres was sold to John A. Veeder; it consisted of Lots No. 2, 3, 6
and 8 as shown on the map of 1836. An abstract of the deed follows.
Book 38, page 371. Deed, dated Dec. 5, 1835.
Christian Klock and Eve his wife, to John A. Veeder. Consideration, $5, 400. All that land being part of lot No. 13, in Harrison Patent, beginning on the north bounds of the Utica and Schenectady R. R., at a stake in the division line of lands of Robert Nellis and from thence N 59 degrees E 121 chains 93 links to the division line of Jacob Saunders, thence N 46 degrees W 15 chains 85 links to the lands of Joshua Webster, thence S 52 degrees W along lands of said Webster 36 chains 34 links, thence N 46 degrees W 10 chains to the lands of Joseph G. Klock, thence along said J. G. Klock's land 52 degrees W 74 chains 60 links to the center of the Mohawk Turnpike, thence S 72 degrees E 4 chains 85 links to the easterly bounds of the lands of John H. Zimmerman, thence S 52 degrees along said Zimmermans land 17 chains 90 links to the U. & S. R. R.,and thence down the rail road to the place of beginning, containing 189 acres 3 rods and 26 perches. Reserving 2 acres hertofore sold to Josiah Loomis Jun. (Lot No. 5). Also 3-1/2 acres heretofore sold to Robert Nellis. Also 4 acres 1 rod & 26 perches (Lot No. 4) bounded as follows, Beginning at the south east corner of said Loomis lot and runs thence S 66 degrees E ? chains ?? links to a balm of Gilead tree, thence N 52 degrees E so far as to include the above named 4 acres 1 rod & 26 perches reserving also one-half of a certain spring of water being the same I now use with the privilege of conducting it to my reserved premises forever. Recorded Dec. 23, 1835.
The reservation in the last deed abstracted on page xi, was to except the homestead of Christian and Eva Klock; and which, I am informed by Sheldon W. Klock, was also the homestead of Col. Jacob Klock. Upon a resurvey of the land, it was found that more than 180 acres had been conveyed; consequently, a part of the land was returned by Veeder. The deed of this returned land follows; for its location, consult the map dated April 21, 1842.
Book 48, page
213. Deed, dated April 21, 1842.
John A. Veeder and Sarah his wife to Christian Klock. Consideration, $950. Part of Lot No. 13 in Harrison's Patent. Beginning at a stake standing in the corner of the stone wall, being the north east corner of the lot on which the said Christian Klock now resides, and runs from thence S 66 degrees E 6 chains 82 links to a pine stake and sones marked C. K. & J. A. V. 1842, thence S 66 degrees 30' W 15 chains 79 links along the west bounds of a three and a half acre lot of Robert Nellis to the north bounds of the turnpike road, thence N 28 degrees W 4 chains 96 links along the north bounds of the turnpike road to the S E corner of Christian Klock's lot, thence N 55 degrees E 11 chains 16 links along the east bounds and stone wall of Christian Klock's lot to the place of beginning, containing 7 acres and 72/100 of an acre of land as surveyed this day. This conveyance is made because at the time of the sale of the 189 acres by Klock to Veeder, it was agreed that if upon survey it was found that more than 180 acres (net) were conveyed, then the over plus was to be set off adjoining Christian Klock's land. Upon survey the plot was found to contain 208-1/2 acres after deducting 11-31/100 acres as in said deed; this 208- 1/2 acres being 17 21/100 acres over and above what the deed conveyed. But as the piece now conveyed is more valuable as to quality and location, it is now accepted by the said Klock in full satisfaction of all further claims. Recorded, Apr. 30, 1842.
The lot conveyed by this deed, contains the site of Klock's Church and the old burying ground that was adjacent to it.
Book 60, page 387. Deed, dated April 24, 1850.
Christian Klock and Eve his wife, to Melchior L. Pauter. Consideration $850. Conveys above described premises, "excepting to said Chirstian Klock one half of all the water in the spring in the orchard * * * And that the said Melchior L. Pauter and his heirs and assigns are not to cultivate and disturb the burying Ground on said land as mentioned in his written agreement of this date. Recorded , Oct. 23, 1850.
Here we have the first mention in an instrument of record, of the burying ground, which supports the belief that there was a Church upon this lot. The sole and only mention of the church that I have been able to find, is a receipt for an account against the church, from Jacob G. Klock, dated Jan. 4, 1805, for which see page 100. Jacob G. Klock was the son of George Klock, the elder; he married Anna Nellis on Apr. 7, 1763, which marriage together with the baptisms of some of his children are recorded in the record of the German Reformed church at Stone Arabia. He was the owner of lot No. 16 of the Harrison Patent, and the creek flowing through this lot was first known as Klock's creek.
Book 60, page
388. Deed, dated Oct. 18, 1850.
Melchior L. Pauter to Abigail Smith, his daughter. Consideration $300. Conveys the above described 7.72 acres, (text continues on next page)
subject to a Mortgage dated April 24, 1850, given by Pauter to Klock, which Abigail Smith assumes. Contains the same reservation as to the burying ground. Recorded, Oct. 23, 1850.
Mortgages, Book 39, page 33.
Mortgage, dated April 24, 1850. Melchior L. Pauter to Christian Klock. Amount, $850. Covering the above described premises. Recorded Aug. 6, 1850. The satisfaction of this mortgage not found on record.
Book 66, page 416. Deed, dated July 30, 1855.
Abigail Smith to Moses Quinbey. Consideration, $1,300. Conveys above described 7.72 acres. Contains same reservation as to the burying ground. Recorded, Aug. 3, 1855.
Book 96, page 18. Deed, dated Aug. 15, 1876.
Martha P. Quinby to James D. Nellis and Reuben Nellis. Consideration, $3,000. Conveys the above described premises, with the same reservations as before. Recorded, Aug. 16, 1876.
James D. Nellis and Reuben Nellis were sons of Robert Nellis. James D. Nellis died about 1889, leaving as his only heirs, two sons under 21 years of age, Homer and Milo. His estate was settled on May 14, 1894. Before the guardianship accounts of the minors were settled, Homer Nellis died, leaving Milo Nellis as his only heir. Milo Nellis arrived at the age of 21 years, on Dec. 18, 1897, and the discharge of John S. Vossler as his Guardian was entered on Jan. 4, 1898.
Book 132, page 245. Deed, dated Apr. 23, 1898.
Milo Nellis and Luella Snell Nellis, his wife, to Reuben Nellis. Quit claims several parcels of land, among them the 7.72 acres above described, "excepting and reserving to the parties of the first part one quarter of all the water in the spring in the orchard on said lands. This deed contains no reservation as to the burying ground. An undivided half interest in land is conveyed. Recorded, April 28, 1898.
Reuben Nellis died in 1913 and the property is now in the hands of his son Leslie Nellis. Additional information concerning the Nellis property a part of Lot No. 13, in the Harrison Patent, has been omitted because of lack of room.
I express below my opinion as to the approximate date of the erection of Klock's Church; I do not wish this date to be regarded as an historical fact. I am aware that this date does not confirm to tradition related in Appendix I and II. Letters of Administration for the estate of George Klock of Palatine, were granted, on Oct. 19, 1795; see Montgomery County Letters of Adm. Book 1, page 55. I assume this was Urrie Klock, or George Klock, the elder; the alleged builder of the church and the man that was continually in trouble with the Indians, in the early days. The Administrators of his estate were his sons, Jacob G. Klock and George G. Klock. In the map of the Harrison Patent, George Klock is shown as part owner of Lot No. 17 (text continues on next page)
next to the lot owned by Jacob G. Klock, as the wife of George Klock was Maria Catharina Walraad (or Woolradt). It would seem that before his death, he removed from his homestead and took up his residence on land, acquired through the family of his wife. I place the date of the erection of Klock's church as in the year 1786. It is possible that George Klock, the elder, may have had something to do with its erection, but it is my opinion that it was more likely his son George Klock, the younger, and Col. Jacob Klock. The record of the incorporation of the church follows.
Montgomery County Deeds, Book 1, page 459. County of Montgomery, Palatine District, March 13th 1787. We the subscribers, returning Officers in pursuance of an Act of the Legislature of this State passed the 6th day of April 1784 entitle "An Act to enable all the religious Denominations in this State to appoint Trustees who shall be a Body corporate for the purpose of taking care of the temporalities of their respective Congregations and for other purposes therein mentioned", of the reformed Calvinist Congregation in the upper part of Palatine District do herby certify that Jacob Klock, Jacob G. Klock, Jacob Fehling, Peter Schuyler and Christopher Fox were in pursuance of the said Law, duly and legally elected to serve as Trustees of the said Congregation; And that the said Trustees and their Successors shall for ever herafter be called distinguished and known, by the Stile Name and Title of the Trustees of the reformed Calvinist Church of the upper part of Palatine in the County of Montgomery. Given under our Hands and Seals the 20th day of March 1787. Johan A. Walrath (Seal) George Fox (Seal) Acknowledged before Jacob G. Klock, Esq., March 27, 1787. Recorded, August 3, 1787.
is mentioned by the Rev. John Taylor, in his missionary tour through the Mohawk
and Black River Countries, in 1802; see Doc. Hist. N. Y. 4to ed, Vol. III, page
July 26th (1802). * * * "4 miles west of Stone Arabia, in the same town of Palatine, is a reformed Lutheran Chh, to whom Mr. Grotz (Philip Jacob Grotz, the Lutheran Pastor at Stone Arabia) preaches part of the time. 4 miles west of this is a Dutch reformed chh or presbyterian congregation. The Revd. Mr Dosly, a German, pastor."
from Stone Arabia to the Palatine Stone church is correctly given as four miles;
but the distance along the road from the Stone Church to the site of Klock's
Church is only two and a half miles; the distance of St. John's Church in the
village of St. Johnsville is three and a half miles. The distances as reported
would seem to indicate that the church referred to by Mr. Taylor, was St. John's
Church, and I believed this to be so for a time. The documentary evidence in
the Treasurer's account book seems to me to indicate clearly that St. John's
Church had not been erected in July 1802. Furthermore, I believe that if there
had been two churches, that Mr. Taylor would have mentioned both of them. Hence,
I regard "4 miles" as an error in distance made by Mr. Taylor.
KLOCK'S CHURCH BURYING GROUND
At the present day, the burying ground at the site of Klock's Church, is the strongest argument to support the belief that a church stood there. I copied the inscriptions on the gravestones in this burying ground, on May 3, 1914. A considerable number of the graves are unmarked; and there are many roughly hewn limestones, not even shaped like gravestones, which bear no traces of inscriptions. The burying ground occupies the central part of the 7.72 acre lot, indicated on the map dated April 21, 1842; it adjoins a private burying ground in the rear part of the 3.60 acre lot of Robert Nellis. The ground is now occupied by an orchard. On the rear of the seven acre lot, are several stone terraces extending one above the other along the rising ground. These terraces were constructed while Moses Quinby owned the property, and were used in the cultivation of grape vines. In my opinion, the orchard was set out by Moses Quinby, or if not by the Nellis brothers. To the rear of the orchard, on the southeasterly side, is a space about eighty feet square, on level ground where there are no trees. Near the center of this space are two stones, broken off or else sunken deep in the ground, evidently the head and feet stones of a grave, which faced in an easterly direction. Tradition has it that the Rev. John Henry Dysslin was buried under the pulpit of Klock's Church. Mr. Leslie Nellis pointed these stones out to me, as marking the spot where the Rev. Mr. Dysslin was buried; he stated that his grandfather, Robert Nellis, was the authority for this statement. And added that in his opinion, this grave marks the spot where the pulpit of Klock's Church stood. I am willing to believe that Mr. Dysslin was buried at the spot, over which the pulpit of the church once stood, but not that he was buried inside of a fast decaying edifice that was soon to be pulled down. It is my opinion that Klock's Church was pulled down before Mr. Dysslin's death
As the grave stones which were copied seem to be pretty well grouped, it was not thought necessary to indicate their location upon a map. Particularly as if a map had been made, it would have consisted principally, of unmarked graves. The numbers opposite the inscriptions, refer to notes which follow after them. There are between 75 and 100 graves, that are now visible.
1. Here-lies the body-of Margaret Klock-widow of-Johannes Klock, deceased-who departed this life-January 14th 1800-aged 87 years, 1 month-and 11days.
2. (Next inscription illegible; limestone.
3. In-memory-of Anna Klock-wife-of Jacob I. Klock-who was born-February 15th 1752-and departed this life-October 17th 1804-aged 52 years 8 months-and 2 days.
4. Here-lies the body-of Dorata Klock-daughter of John I. Klock-she was born, the 20th day of September 1777-and departed this life the 4th day of Feby. 1800-aged 22 years 4 months-and 14 days.
5. Dd. THIS LIFE-JO. KLOCK-1822
6. *-BETTY KLOCK Dd. IN 1831-& HER AGE 27 YER-1 M. & 22 DAYS
7. By. K. (Footstone to No. 6.)
8. *-Do. Klock-Dd. 1805-FIRST W. TO JGK
9. *-1802-EVE KLOCK-AGED 3 YEARS-6M & 6 DAYS
10. *-Wm. KLOCK-AGED 3 M. 18 DAYS
11. *-Eth KLOCK-Dd. 1836. 4th-WIFE TO J. G. K.
12. CMG KLOCK-Dd. IN 1817-3d W TO JGK
13. *-J. G. KLOCK-DEPARTED THIS-LIFE 1846 HIS-AGE 87 YEARS----MONTHS 10 DAYS
14. N. KLOCK-Dd. 1828 HER-AGE 17 (?) Y. 6 M. 23 D.
15. In Memory-of Elizabeth wife of-George Putman-who died, Feb. 1st 1830-AE 34 years, 5 months-& 4 days.
16. In memory of-Catharine wife of-Ashbel Loomis-Died May 28, 1831-in her 41 year.
17. C. L. (Footstone to No. 16.)
18 Dewitt C.-Son of-David & Lydia-Hose-died Feb. 13-1847. AE 2 yr's-3 mo's & 26-days.
19. D. C. H. (Footstone to No. 18)
20. ELISABET D. NELLIS-WAR GESTORBEN MAY-16 IN JAHR 1793 ALT-WORDEN 66 JAHRS 3- MONT
21. (Next stone similar in appearance to No. 20; limestone, inscription illegible.)
22. HIER RUHET IN GOTT-ELISA. BEDARABOL-1ST GEBOREN IN JAHR-1756 UND GESTORBE-N DEN 18 MERDZ. ANNO 1790
23. ------------- CHRISTIAN NE------, -------------GESTORBEN ANO 1771 (?) AET-WORDEN 74 JAHR
24. (Companion stone to No. 23; inscription illegible; limestone
25. Here ley-H. K.-1760-92
26. Here lies the-Body of Asher Cox-who departed this-life June ye 30th 1771 in the-28th year of his Age- (Verse, not copied.)
27. Here-Lies the Body of-Shepherd Cox who De-parted this Life June ye 3d-1749 in ye 23 year if-his Age
28. From the private burying ground of Robert Nellis.
28. Robert Nellis-Born-May 4, 1785-Died Oct. 4, 1868
29. Katie Dysslin-wife of-Robert Nellis-Born July 2 1793-Died Nov 22, 1868
Notes to inscriptions on gravestones.
1. Gravestones No. 1, 3 and 4 are of red sand stone, the type that lasts so well. The inscriptions are perfectly preserved.
5 to 13. This appears to be a group of one family. The stones are of rough limestone, of no particular shape. The most pretentious stone is No. 13, which has been cut in the shape of a gravestone. Three of the wives of Joseph G. Klock are buried here.
8. The inscription on this stone is copied exactly as it appears.
13. On page x, I have already alluded to my lack of reliable data, concerning the Klock family. This is the gravestone of Joseph G. Klock, who was probably the son of George Klock, the elder. He was elected a Trustee of St. John's Church, on Dec. 26, 1804. He succeded Andrew Zobriskie as Treasurer of the Board of Trustees, on Aug. 22, 1807. At the time of the incorporation of July 6, 1816, he was the senior Elder.
According to the deed from Christian Klock to Jacob Saunders, dated June 23, 1820, but not fully abstracted on page xi, Joseph G. Klock was the owner of the northwesterly part of Lot. No. 13, in the Harrison Patent; the part which lay to the west and northwest of Christian Klock's land. The gravestone of Joseph G. Klock, although of comparatively recent date, is difficult to read as to the dates, because these dates were evidently carved by an amateur and because the stone never had a smooth surface. In making the copy, I was unable to distinguish between the figures "8" and "6". At first, I decided that the date of death was "1848"; but later, from an examination of the Surrogate's records, I found that Joseph G. Klock died on June 11, 1846. It will therefore be seen that a doubt is thus created, as to his age at the time of his death. I believe that I am correct in reading his age as 87 years. And with this in mind, I assume that he was a son of George Klock, the elder. If he was 67 years of age at the time of his death, he was more likely the son of George G. Klock; this would explain the passing of the title of the land from George G. Klock to him. There was no Joseph G. Klock, a soldier in the Revolution; however there was a Joseph Klock. My reason for supposing Joseph G. Klock to be a son of the elder George Klock, is that I consider a man of an age between 25 and 30 years, was too young to have been on the Board of Trustees of the church, from 1804 to 1807. As a matter of fact, I do not know which George he was the son of. If he was the son of the elder George, he was probably the youngest child, for Jacob G. Klock was married in 1763.
18 & 19. This grave was the last interment that took place in the burying ground. It is in a group of old rough limestones, which appear to be among the oldest in the burying ground. This burial was evidently made on top of old graves.
20. Elisabet D. Nelles has died May 16, in the year 1793, was aged 66 years, 3 months
21. This stone and No. 20 are isolated and by themselves; only one other grave near them.
22. Here lies in God, Elisabedar Abel. Is born in year 1758 and died the 18th March, year 1790. Refer to the copy of the inscription for the name of this person. I am unable to say definitely, where her first name ends and her last name begins.
23. Christian Ne(llis). Died year 1771. Was aged 74 years. Several words are illegible on this stone. I believe this to be the gravestone of Christian Nellis, Senior. The year date 1771 is fairly legible.
24. This is a small rough limestone, with inscription fairly legible. It is of the same general type and appearance as the stones in group 5 to 13. And by comparison with them, it could easily have been erected about 1800 or 1820. I do not believe that a limestone erected in 1760, would have a legible inscription upon it now. Possibly this is the gravestone of a person born in 1760, and who died in 1792. I considered this possibility when I examined the stone; but concluded that there was little evidence upon the stone to warrant the supposition that the figures "17" had been obliterated. I believe this to be a commemorative gravestone, erected after the year 1800, to mark the grave of Hendrick Klock. I know of no person with initials "H. K." who could have died in 1760, at the age of 92 years, unless it was Hendrick Klock, the pioneer settler.
26 & 27. These two gravestones are by themselves and are not near No. 25. They are large and pretentious in appearance; the inscriptions have been carved upon them by a stone cutter, and differ materially from the rude inscriptions which have every appearance of amateur work. The stones are of limestone and appear to be in about the same state of preservation as other limestones bearing dates after 1800. The surface of the stones is not so rough as the rudely carved stones. The dates are clear; no mistake has been made in copying them. Still, I cannot bring myself to believe that those stones were erected in the years shown upon them. If the stone cutter has made a mistake in cutting the date 1749 and it really was 1794, it is possible that my doubts would not have arisen
According to Simms, * George Klock, the elder, had a daughter, who married Col. Ebenezer Cox, who was killed in the battle of Oriskany, in August 1777. Abstract of the will of Ebenezer Cox, of Tryon County; see Calendar of Wills, page 79.
Wife Elizabeth, sons and daughters. Real and personal estate. Executors, Robert Cox, Jacob G. Klock and John Frey. No witnesses. Will proved by testimony of William Petrie of Kingsland District, Tryon Co., Physician, and Jacob G. Klock of Palatine District, same County, esquire as to handwriting. Dated Feb. 18, 1777; proved, March 26, 1779.
Elisabeth Klock, daughter of Jurrie (or George) Klock and Maria Catharina Walraad, was baptised in 1750; see Stone Arabia German Reformed records. The above may to some extent explain the presence of these two Cox gravestones, in the Klock graveyard.
28 & 29. These two gravestones are at present lying flat upon the stone wall which separates the Klock burying ground from the private Nellis burying ground, which has been mentioned on page xvii. The graves are the only ones left in the Nellis burying ground. All the other bodies have been removed, to the village cemetery at St. Johnsville. According to Mr. Leslie Nellis, Robert Nellis was twice married. When a young man, Robert Nellis was by trade a tailor; Mr. Leslie Nellis has in his possession, a book of accounts kept by his grandfather, showing charges for coats and other articles, that were made for his customers. Katie Dysslin was a daughter of the Rev. Henry Dysslin; for her baptism, see page 78; for her marriage to Robert Nellis, see Vol. II, page 8.
I have copied all of the gravestones in this burying ground, because of the influence that they may have, in forming conclusions as to the date of the erection of Klock's Church. In my opinion, this was a private burying ground similar to many others in the neighborhood, that about the year 1786, the church was erected in the burying ground; and that after that, it became the burying ground belonging to the church
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH
The site of this church is in the village of St. Johnsville, about one mile west of the site of Klock's Church. Besides the church lot now in possession of the Congregation, there was formerly adjoining the church lot in the rear, a Glebe lot, containing about seven acres. The burial grounds of the church were situated at the westerly end of the Glebe lot, and extended on both sides of Zimmerman's Creek. All the land in question, was within the bounds of Lot No. 15, of the Harrison Patent. According to tradition, this lot was owned by Jacob Timmerman (or Zimmerman), a Revolutionary soldier, who wished to have the church near his homestead, and accordingly gave the land with the understanding that a new church should be erected upon it, to supersede Klock's Church. There is no instrument of record, showing that the title of the Church lot and the Glebe lot, was transferred to the Congregation. About, 1850, the ownership of the land was questioned, and a lawsuit was narrowly averted. Fortunately, it is not necessary to rely wholly upon tradition, for the historical facts concerning St. John's Church. Certain positive facts are briefly conscrated below; the authority for them is the Treasurer's account book, parts of which are transcribed in this volume, and to these reference can be made for further details.
The church land was paid for either partly or wholly, by a note to Jacob Zimmerman the owner of the land, given by the Trustees and dated March 5, 1792; the amount of the note was $49.52. The note was purchased by John L. Bellinger, and charged off by him in his accounts of money expended towards building the new church; see page 97. In my opinion the work upon this new church edifice, had not proceeded far enough in July 1802, for it to be noticed by the Rev. John Taylor, when on his missionary tour; see page xvi. The church was partly completed, on June 6, 1803, at which time John L. Bellinger opened his accounts in a new book, obtained for that purpose; see accounts, page 96 to 100. A meeting of the Congregation was held, "in the New Church" on January 2nd 1804, when Trustees were elected; see page 114. The seats and pews in the church were sold, on June 15th and 23rd 1804; see pages 105 and 106. A new salary list was made out for the Rev. John Henry Dysslin, presumably to cover his services in the new church; his salary commenced on June 1, 1804; see page 107. In my opinion, the date when this church may be said to have been completed was June 1, 1804, and I consider that this date is proved by the facts
just stated. John L. Bellinger settled his accounts with the trustees, on March 11, 1806, at which time most of the debts of the church had been paid; see page 114. Particular attention should be paid to the fact that this church was erected during the pastorate of the Rev. John Henry Dysslin. I am firmly of the opinion that the village of St. Johnsville received its name from this church. Some historians, who claim that the village was named after the surveyor Alexander St. John, have been obliged to place the date of the erection of the church as between 1815 and 1818, in order to give more color to their claim. From the fact that repairs to the parsonage was necessary in the fall of 1806, it seems probable that Mr. Dysslin did not live in the village near the new church, but that he remained on his farm, which his wife had inherited, under the will of Col. Jacob Klock. And that he died there, and was buried near where he died, on the spot where the pulpit of Klock's Church had formerly stood. In the year 1848, during the pastorate of the Rev. Joseph Knieskern, $2,000 was raised for the renovation of the church edifice and it was newly furnished. For further particulars concerning these repairs, see the Rev. Albert Dod Minor's historical sketch. Appendix 11, page xiv. In 1853, $500 more was subscribed and an organ was purchased. Again in 1856, as a still further evidence of the energy, and prosperity of the Congregation, another subscription list was circulated, and over $400 was secured for painting the church and building a fence. All the subscription lists referred to here, with dates etc. will be found completely copied, in the back part of the second volume of the transcript.
Reference to the church land in the village of St. Johnsville, have been found in the following deeds, which are briefly abstracted.
Mont. Co. Deed, Book 18, page 286. Aug. 29, 1818. Jacob Timmerman and Magdalena his wife to Henry Failing Junr. Conveys part of Lot No. 15, in the Harrison Patent. "Beginning in the west side of the creek in the South Bounds of the Glebe land * * * to a stake near the church to the south bounds of the Glebe land, thence along the same * * *
Book 27, page 292. Jan. 2, 1829. Jacob Zimmerman and Lany his wife to Henry Failing Junr. "Beginning at the southeast corner of the Glebe lot belonging to St. John's Church * * * "
Jacob H. Failing owned land, bordering on the Glebe Lot. Later, Henry Failing leased a part of the Glebe Lot, for many years, which was used as a brick yard.
Book 41, page 56. April 1, 1837. Daniel Zimmerman and Lavina his wife, to John W. Riggs. Conveys several parcels, among them "that certain piece of land on which the grist mill of Daniel Zimmerman stands.
bound southerly by the Glebe Lot and a public road, westerly by said Glebe lot, and the lands of Jacob H. Failing and northerly by lands of the Messrs. Averills and easterly by lands of Jacob Zimmerman * * * "and said parties of the first part also convey all their interest and right to all other lands and every interest therein, that they or either may have derived from Jacob Zimmerman, and father of said Daniel the granter, by Deed or Will." Note: this deed signed by Daniel Zimmerman, only. Recorded, May 22, 1837.
Book 41, page 57, April 1, 1837. Jacob Zimmerman and Elizabeth his wife, to John W. Riggs. Conveys several parcels; one "subject to a lease which John Dysslin holds of a small Turning Shop near the said saw Mill." The deed also contains the same clause of conveyance of interest, "derived from Jacob Zimmerman, the father of said Jacob the granter" etc. Recorded, May 22, 1837.
Book 41, page 59. April 18, 1837. Quit claim deed from Daniel Zimmerman and Lavina his wife, of the town of Le Roy, Jefferson Co. N. Y., to John W. Riggs. Same as deed recorded on page 56, but signed by Daniel Zimmerman and Lavina Zimmerman and conveys her right of dower. Recorded, May 22, 1837.
All these conveyances are subject to the rightful claims of Magdalena Zimmerman, the widow of Jacob Zimmerman Sen., deceased, and of her daughters Christina and Eve. By a series of other transfers, which it is not thought necessary to tabulate, the property came into possession of Azel Hough, before the year 1850. By virtue of the "conveyance of interest" clauses in the Zimmerman Deeds, Azel Hough, in the year 1852, claimed to own the Church land. At a meeting of the Consistory, held on March 15, 1852, resolutions were passed concerning the claim of Azel Hough, and a Power of Attorney was given to H. Baker, to take the necessary legal steps to compel a determination upon this claim. The case never came to trial. Soon after, on Oct. 18, 1856, Azel Hough died.
The first parsonage of St. John's Church stood near the center of the Glebe lot; the Rev. David Devoe was the first Pastor to occupy it. In 1874, the Glebe lot was sold, by virtue of an order of the Supreme Court. In the petition for the sale, it is stated that the disposal of the Glebe lot was deemed necessary, because funds were required to liquidate the debts of the church and to erect a new parsonage. Furthermore, that the old parsonage was not in a convenient location for the church, and that it was in such poor condition, that to renovate it would cost as much as a new building. On July 11, 1874, bids were opened for the erection of the new parsonage; the highest bid was $490.67 and the lowest was by John H. Knieskern, amounting to $3387.,(?) to whom the contract was awarded on July 13th. The deed of sale of the Glebe lot was dated Aug. 1, 1874. An abstract of it follows on the next page.
Book 93, page 393. Aug. 1, 1874. Trustees of the Dutch Reformed Saint John's Church in the town of St. Johnsville, sell the Church Glebe Lot, to William H. Saltsman and Clark H. Markall, pursuant to order of the Supreme Court, dated April 27, 1874, and entered April 29, 1874. Lot contains about 7 acres. The rights of School District No. 2, excepted, subject to the terms of their lease. The burial grounds situate at the westerly end of premises, on both sides of the creek, are also excepted, unless the bodies shall be removed by their relatives, in which case and then, the land occupied by the burying ground is conveyed.
Since the execution of this deed, all the bodies have been removed from the old burying ground on the Glebe lot, to the village cemetery; and now in the year 1914, nothing remains to indicate the spot where it was.
The funds derived from the sale of the Glebe lot amounted to $6025.00. At a meeting of the Trustees held on March 4, 1876, a report was presented showing how these funds had been expended.
|Glebe Lot sold for||
|Parsonage building cost||$3948.82|
|Paid Rev. J. Knieskern old notes||$500.00|
|Paid G. Timerman & E. Bauder old note||$396.72|
|Paid Difference on exchange on land||$25.00|
|Note to balance acct. given by Saltsman Bros||$1154.46|
that parsonage fund can be legally used to build barn & parsonage fences.
Jacob H. Markell, L. Pettit, Geo. J. Van Este: Committee
The new parsonage, which cost approximately $4,000, when finished, is a substantial brick residence, which stands upon the church lot just east of the church, and faces on Main Street. The present church edifice, also built of brick, was erected in the year 1881, during the pastorate of the Rev. Albert Dod Minor. The demolition of the old church was commenced on March 28, 1881.
RECORD OF INCORPORATION
The records of the incorporation of this church follow; those that are given elsewhere in this transcript, are summarized, with reference to page where the complete copy can be found.
March 13, 1787. Trustees of the Reformed Calvinist Church of the upper part of Palatine; see page xvi.
Jan. 2, 1804. The Trustees of the Dutch Reformed Congregation of Saint Johns Church in Palatine Town; see page 114.
July 6, 1816. The Dutch Reformed Saint Johns Church in Oppenheim election of officers. Joseph G. Klock, Conrad Helligas, and John F. Bellinger, Elders; Joseph J. Klock, Jacob A. Walrath, Junr, and George G. Klock, Deacons. For a complete copy, see Vol. II, page 2.
Montgomery County Church Corporations, Vol. I, page 55. Jan. 29, 1820. The Dutch Reformed Church in the town
of Oppenheim. Election of officers. Christian Klock, Henry Failing, Junr., Jacob J. Failing, John C. House, Elders; Henry Walrath, John J. H. Failing, Henry H. Hose, Frederick Shaver, Deacons. Signed by George C. Klock and Abraham Shafer. Certificate that the officers were ordained on Jan. 30, 1820, signed by David Devoe, V. D. M. Acknowledged, Jan. 31, 1820; recorded, Feb. 3, 1820.
After the town of St. Johnsville was formed in 1838, the name of the church was changed to the Dutch Reformed Saint John's Church in the town of St. Johnsville. The northern part of the Congregation of the St. Johnsville church, worshipped for many years in the church at Youker's Bush, a church which was in Collegiate relationship with St. Johnsville. The incorporation records which follow, tell the story of this church, as it appears in the county records.
Montgomery County Church Corporations, Vol I. page 62. Meeting held on Nov. 28, 1821, at the house of Peter Kline, in Oppenheim. The Second Reformed Dutch Church at Oppenheim, organized. Officers elected, David H. Phipps and Frederick J. Bellinger, Elders; Henry P. Cline and Philip Craymer, Deacons. Signed by Peter Cline and Thomas Wilbur. Officers ordained at the house of Peter Kline, on Jan. 4, 1822, by David Devoe, V. D. M. Acknowledged, Jan. 5, 1822; recorded, Jan. 29, 1822.
Montgomery County Church Corporations, Vol. I page 105. Sept. 25, 1830. Meeting held at the new Meeting house, situated on the land of John F. Bellinger near Nicholas Smith and John House. Organized, the Lutheran Congregation of Euquersbush (Eukers) in the town of Oppenheim. Trustees elected. Nicholas J. Smith, Warner Nellis and Joseph Diesler. Signed by Peter Smith and Adam Thumb. Acknowledged, Mar. 4, 1831; recorded, Mar. 14, 1831.
Fulton County Church Records, page 40. State of New York, Montgomery County. We, the undersigned, two of the Members of the Church hereafter named, do certify that on the 15th day of May, 1855, the Male members of full age belonging to a Church in which divine worship is celebrated according to the rites of the Reformed Dutch & Lutheran Churches & not already incorporated, met at the place of public worship heretofore occupied by said religious association, in the town of Oppenheim, Fulton County, N. Y., for the purpose of incorporating themselves & did then and there elect by plurality of votes, Christian House, Christopher Bellinger & Benjamin Groff as Trustees of said Church; and the said persons did then & there also determine by a like plurality of voices, that the said Trustees & their Successors in office should forever be called & known by the title of the Trustees of the Reformed Dutch & Lutheran Church. And it is & was further agreed that the denomination subscribing the greater sums shall have the right to select the hour of the day when they will respectively worship, to be determined at each & every Annual Meeting for the purpose of electing Trustees. And the property of said church shall belong to each denomination, in proportion to the amount of Stock each denomination shall own at the time of the dedication of said church. Signed, sealed and witnessed, this 15 day of Dec. 1856. Joseph Kneiskern ( L S) Christopher Flander (L S). Witnesses acknowledged, Oct. 3, 1857; recorded, Oct. 6, 1857.
THE YOUKER'S BUSH CHURCH
From 1830 to 1887, this church was a Collegiate church, in connection with the St. Johnsville Church, and was under the control of the St. Johnsville Consistory. The organization of this church was accomplished by the Rev. David Devoe, when he organized the Second Reformed Dutch Church of Oppenheim, in the year 1821. As the Second Church, it had a precarious existence in the central part of the old town of Oppenheim, and never had a church edifice. It is presumed that divine services were held in the homes of the members; and possible occasionally in the Free Communion Baptist Church and Society of Oppenheim, which was organized on May 27, 1820. From the Minutes of the General Synod, June 1822, page 13; under the head of report of the Committee on Missions, the following appears;
"Early in October last, a letter was received from the Rev. David Devoe, reequesting to be appointed to labour a part of his time in the employment of the Committee, which appointment was made * * * he has organized a church in the north part of the town of Oppenheim, in the county of Montgomery, distinguished as the Second Reformed Dutch Church in Oppenheim. A petition has been received from the officers of said church, imploring missionary aid."
Extracts from the Reports of the Missionary Society of the Reformed Dutch Church in North America, 1823-1830:
Rep. 1823, page 7. Mr. John C. Vanderveer, a licentiate, visited churches in the Classis of Montgomery; he commenced his tour on Sept. 21, 1822. "The church at Oppenheim (2nd) he found very small in numbers, composed principally of new settlers, and those thinly scattered over a population belonging to the Methodist and Baptist denominations. Here he continued three weeks, preaching as opportunity offered, and visiting daily from house to house."
Rep. 1830, page 25. Report of the General Agent, Rev. John F. Schermerhorn, to the Board of Managers. Vacant churches which need assistance, in Classis of Montgomery: Johnsville, Eukersbush, Palatine S. Church. * * * * Page 28. "Johnsville in connection with Eukersbush, and Palatine Stone Church, offers to be an eligible settlement, and should a popular man be sent there, very little, if any aid would be required from the Missionary Society. It is very important that these places should be occupied immediately."
The members of the Lutheran Body united with the members of the Second Reformed Dutch Church, and together they erected a Meeting House at Youker's Bush, which in the Lutheran articles of incorporation, is referred to as being "new" in the year 1830. Thus, the approximate year date of erection is obtained. This church stood about a mile and a half east of Crum Creek, and half a mile north of the town and county line, as it is at present, and which separates the towns of St. Johnsville and Oppenheim. The spot is about two and a half miles due north of upper St. Johnsville, and southeast of Twin Church Hill. The site of the church was probably within the bounds of Lot No.
33, of Klock and Nellis' Patent. It was on the Dievendorf farm. This farm of 100 acres was purchased from the Diefendorf's by John F. Bellinger, and in 1839, it was conveyed by him to Christopher Bellinger. No deed could be found on record, showing conveyance from John F. Bellinger, of the land occupied by the church. The burying ground adjacent to the site of this church is still in existence. It is kept in good order and is regarded by the neighborhood as inviolable. Within the last few years, a Mr. Amos Hays has built a new fence around the plot.
The Lutheran part of this Society was incorporated, on Sept. 25, 1830. The organization of the Dutch Reformed part of the Youker's Bush Church was perfected, on Jan. 1, 1831, when, at a meeting of the Consistory of St. John's Church, the number of officers of the church was increased to six elders and six deacons, one half from St. Johnsville and the other half from Youker's Bush. The Youker's Bush Church is not mentioned at all in the records of the Classis of Montgomery, as it was considered a part of the St. Johnsville Congregation. So far as I have been able to ascertain, the ownership of the Youker's Bush property was vested in the Lutheran Trustees, although it is probable that the members of the Dutch Reformed Body, were represented on the Board. The St. Johnsville Consistory was equally divided between St. Johnsville and Youker's Bush, until Jan. 1, 1839. At that time the representation of Youker's Bush, was reduced by one elder and one deacon, four of each of the officers being elected from St. Johnsville. The Lutherans seem to have been the predominating influence in the first Youker's Bush Church.
On Dec. 15, 1856, the Youker's Bush Congregation met at the church, and incorporated themselves into a new Society, for the purpose of erecting a new church edifice. The location of the new church was about a mile and a half east of the site of the first Youker's Bush Church. The church was erected on the northeast corner of the four corners, where it now stands; it is about three miles north by east of St. John's Church. Deeds dated in the year 1858, relating to adjacent property, mention the road leading east and west past the new Dutch Reformed Church and the red School house, now the school of District No. 5, in the town of Oppenheim. The new church was erected in 1857, and it is evident that in this church the balance of power was vested in the Dutch Reformed Body;-another monument to the ability and zeal of the Rev. Joseph Knieskern. For further details, see the articles of incorporation on page xxv.
When the Rev. George J. Van Neste was called to St. Johnsville, on Aug. 9, 1875, his salary was $1250; of this amount the Youker's Bush Church paid $225. The preaching at Youker's Bush was on alternate Sunday afternoons, approximately one quarter of the services. When the Rev. Albert Dod Minor was called in 1879, his salary was $750; $600 paid by St. Johnsville and $150 paid by Youker's Bush. Towards the close of Mr. Minor's pastorate, about the year 1887, the Youker's Bush Church dropped, and the Dutch Reformed services there ceased. At that time the Youker's Bush Church united with Grace Christian Church of St. Johnsville, a Society that had been organized in 1874. The edifice is still in the hands of the Christian Church Body.
The reproduction of the title page of the first volume of this record, shows that the Rev. John Henry Dysslin, was the pastor of three German Reformed churches: Palatine District (now St. Johnsville), Canajoharie Castle and Snell's Bush. The Canajoharie Castle Church was the Indian Castle Church, which is still standing in the town of Danube, Herkimer County, near the village of Indian Castle. This church was erected in 1769, by Sir William Johnson, who personally paid for the entire cost of the building, which amounted to (English pounds) 459:1:11, or $1,150. although others had promised him assistance. Sir William built the church as a mission of the Church of England, its purpose being to foster religion among the Indians who lived at the Upper Mohawk Castle. The Rev. Mr. Hall declined to accept a call to the church and in a letter dated Oct. 2, 1772, Sir William Johnson writing to the Rev. Dr. Burton, complains that the church is vacant and that he can find no one to supply it. In later years services were held in this church by various denominations, each occupying it on different Sundays; among them Dutch Reformed, German Reformed, Lutherans and Presbyterians. The Congregation was so heterogeneous that they could never agree upon a pastor. The Rev. Mr. Dysslin may not have supplied this church during his entire pastorate at Palatine or St. Johnsville. On Mar. 12, 1800, the Reformed Dutch Church at the Castle was Incorporated, with the Rev. Diederich Christian A. Pick as minister; see Montgomery County Deeds, Book 7, page 191. The Rev. Mr. Devoe appears to have supplied the Indian Castle Church frequently, as his record of baptisms will show; it was also supplied by the Rev. Joseph Knieskern.
The Snell's Bush Church was supplied by Revs. Dysslin, Devoe, Murphy, Myers, and Knieskern, all while at St. Johnsville. While space will permit but
little, a number of extracts concerning the Snell's Bush Congregation follow. This church is located in the village of Manheim Center, town of Manheim. No early records of the church can be found. The Minutes of Consistory begin in 1850; Members, 1860; Baptisms, 1860; and Marriages, 1872. No time is available to verify the information contained in the following extract; see page 342, History of Herkimer County, by Hardin and Willard, 1892.
"For several years previous to the Revolution, Suffrenus, Peter, Joseph and Jacob Snell, of Snell's Bush, made a donation of seven acres of land for a church lot and twelve acres for school purposes. A church was built there and burned in the Revolution, but was afterwards rebuilt. It stood until 1850, when it was taken down and the present edifice erected; it is known as the Reformed Dutch church. The school-house in that district occupied the school lot, but eleven and one half acres of the latter were transferred by the Legislature to the church. Rev. Caleb Alexander made a missionary tour through the county in 1801, and wrote: "Between Fairfield and Little Falls is a Dutch settlement called Manheim; rich farms, a meeting-house and a minister."
The Snell's Bush Reformed Calvinist Church was incorporated, on Dec. 8, 1792; see Montgomery County Deeds, Book 4, page 84. The Rev. John Taylor mentions this church in his Missionary tour in the Mohawk, in 1802; see Doc. History of New York, 4to, Vol. III, pages 674 and 686.
"Manheim, the last town in the County of Montgomery, --extent 6 by 6--vacant; not a large congregation."
"Manheim, 8 miles from the Stone chh. in Palatine. This town is about 7 miles square. One Dutch Reformed ch. Vacant. Mr. Dysling supplies about half the time in this town and half in Palatine: a Swiss, and a good character, and a man of learning."
The Manheim church, known as St. Paul's Church, remained a German Reformed church until 1822. The authorities for this statement follow. From the Minutes of the General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church. June 1821, page 10; abstracted from the Report of the Committee on Missions.
Isaac Ferris, a Licentiate, was on Aug. 4, 1820, appointed Missionary for two months to labor within the bounds of the Classis of Montgomery. He commenced his missionary labors at Manheim, on Sept. 6, 1820. "The German Reformed Church in that place, has no ecclesiastical connecion with the Classis of Montgomery." His services continued there, until Nov. 5, 1820.
From Minutes of the Classis of Montgomery, Vol. B, page 77. Sept. 17, 1822. "The following Communication was received from St. Pauls Church Oppenheim (should be Manheim). "Resolved unanimously that application be made to the Classis of Montgomery to be received under their watch and care. And that the Elder Jacob Markle be authorized to sign the Formula in such case made and provided. Signed Isaac S. Ketcham, Preas.; Jacob Markle, Clark."
St. Pauls' Church of Manheim received under the watch and care of the Classis; also the Congregational Church at Salisbury. A call presented from these churches on the Candidate, Isaac S. Ketcham; he was examined and his examination was sustained. In August 1823, Mr. Ketcham reported to the Classis that he had given up Salisbury; after which it was supplied by Rev. David Devoe; see Mts. Cl. Mont. Vol. B, p. 99.
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH BECOMES DUTCH REFORMED
A peculiar situation arises from an examination of the records, concerning this matter. It will be noticed that the word "Dutch" appears in the articles of incorporation, for the years 1804, 1816 and 1820. In the Ref. Chh. Manual, 2nd edition, published 1869, Dr. Corwin states that the church became Dutch Reformed, in 1812. It can readily be understood that when this edition was printed, authentic records were not so readily obtained as at present; but why this date has been allowed to pass unchallenged, for so many years, is not so easily explained. According to Prof. James I. Good, D. D., the historian of the German Reformed Church, the Palatine or St. Johnsville church, had no connection with the Pennsylvania Coatus, or with the early German Reformed synods. Nor have I been able to establish any such connection, by examination of the published records of the German Reformed Church. The most curious part of the whole situation is, that though Mr. Devoe was installed by the Classis of Montgomery, as pastor of St. John's Church of Oppenheim and St. Paul's Church of Manheim, "to perform such farther duties as is commonly performed by Ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church," neither of his churches were Dutch Reformed. Another feature is, that in 1821, Mr. Devoe organized the SECOND Reformed Dutch Church in Oppenheim, a church which is regularly reported in the Minutes of the Classis of Montgomery, when at the time there was no FIRST Reformed Dutch Church in Oppenheim. Mr. Devoe was a regular member of the Classis of Montgomery, and in the usual rotation, he held the offices of Stated Clerk and President. But his churches were not represented in Classis and made no reports. On a number of occasions, when making out the list of members present at the meetings of Classis, the words "without charge" appear after Mr. Devoe's name, instead of Oppenheim. Mr. Devoe's call was approved on July 9, 1816, at an extra session of the Classis of Montgomery, held at the house of Jacob Heese in Palatine. Extracts follow from the original Minutes of the Classis of Montgomery, in support of the foregoing statements.
Meeting, Jan. 7, 1817. Present, Rev. David Devoe and Joseph G. Klock, Elder, from St. Johns and St. Pauls churches in Oppenheim & Manheim.
Meeting, May 6, 1817. Questions. "The following question proposed by the Revd Jacob R. H. Hasbrouck is hereby referred to the Part. Synod for their decision. 'Has any Classis a right or power to install any one of their members a pastor in a congregation which is not subject to their jurisdiction or the jurisdiction of the Dutch Reformed church.'"
From Minutes of the Particular Synod of Albany. Oct. 8, 1817. Report of the Committee appointed to answer the above question. The Committee, "Report, as their opinion, that there is no impropriety in installing a Minister as Pastor over any congregation whatever, because the very fact supposes a certain degree of content to such connection in the congregation, i. e., a willingness to enjoy the word and ordinances of life under the administration of our church, tho' in all things not a full ecclesiastical standing as a component part of the church. Instances of this description have been known to exist in other bodies and have ended in bringing much congregations into full jurisdiction. The consent of the congregation, either tacit or explicit, being wanting, there can, in the opinion of your committee be no right or power to proceed to such installation. John M. Bradford, James Murphy, Garret Putman."
The report of the Committee was adopted by the Synod.
Minutes of the Classis of Montgomery. Meeting, Sept. 2, 1817. Statistical reports. * * * * "The Congregation served by the Revd. David Devoe are not under the care of Classis & made no report." * * * * The installation of Mr. Devoe was reported at this meeting.
Oct. 24, 1821. Present, Rev. David Devoe, withouth charge.
Sept. 17, 1822. St. Paul's Church of Manheim, admitted; see page xxix.
Feb. 1824. Statistical report. Vacant, 2nd Ch. Oppenheim.
Sept. 1825. Petition to the Particular Synod of Albany, to divide the Classis of Montgomery. To be in Classis of Montgomery, Douw Van Olinda: Palatine, Osquack, Danube; David Devoe: Oppenheim, Indian Castle, Le Ray; Isaac S. Ketcham: Manheim; (others not copied.)
Feb. 14, 1827. David Devoe to supply 2nd Church Oppenheim.
Feb. 11, 1829. Classis convened at St. Johns Ville Church, Oppenheim. Receiving Churches. "Mr. Christian Klock laid on the table of Classis an application from the church at St. Johns Ville for reception under the watch & care of this Classis. The application being found duly authenticated & regular it was resolved on motion that such application be granted on condition that the delegated Elder subscribe the formula of Classis."
Mr. Christian Klock signed the formula on the above date. This is the last time that Mr. Devoe's name appears in the Minutes, while he was connected with the St. Johnsville Church.
Thus it can be seen that, as it was hoped and expected by the Committee of the Particular Synod, the installation of Mr. Devoe in the St. Johnsville Church, brought the church into full communion with the Dutch Reformed Body. Prior to Feb. 11, 1829, the church was an independent German Reformed Church, not in connection with the Pennsylvania German Reformed Synod.
PASTORS OF THE CHURCH
The dates that follow the pastors' names cover the periods that they served the St. Johnsville Church.
1. JOHN HENRY DYSSLIN, July 13, 1788 to 1812. The approximate date that Mr. Dysslin's pastorate ceased can be determined from his salary receipts, copied on page 113. It would appear that his salary was paid to about Sept. 1, 1812. The phrase "Late Minister" appearing in the last receipt, is not conclusive proof that Mr. Dysslin was dead in March 1812, as the same phrase was applied to Andrew Zobriskie, who was styled as the "Late Clerk" when he turned over his accounts to his successor. However, to my mind, it is reasonably certain that Mr. Dysslin died in the fall of 1812. References to Mr. Dysslin, will be found on pages xvi, xxix and 2, which need not be repeated here. Mr. Dysslin married Anna Klock, the granddaughter of Col. Jacob Klock. His name appears once in the Land Papers; see Vol. LII, page 15, ibid., as follows.
"To the honorable the commissioners of the land office of the State of New York. Gentlemen, I propose to purchase of you all that certain tract of land which lies vacant between Canada Kill, a tract of land granted to John Brackan, another tract granted Petrus Van Driesen & another tract granted to George Klock, William Nellis and others, that said lands are situate in Palatine District in the county of Montgomery, for which land I will pay at the rate of four shillings per acre in six months from the date hereof. Dated, New York this 7th day of Sept. 1791. John Henry Dysslin at Palatine District County of Montgomery."
On July 16, 1814, Letters of Administration were granted to Ann Dysslin, relict of the late John Henry Dysslin, of Oppenheim, to administer his estate; see Montgomery County Letters of Administration, Book 2, page 142. Mr. Dysslin's widow married again before 1819, to Henry Beekman; see Vol. II, page 65. Letters of Administration for the estate of Henry Beekman were granted on May 4, 1827, to Anna Beekman and Henry Markell. The unrecorded will of Anna Beekman is now among papers belonging to Mr. Leslie Nellis. The will is dated Sept. 12, 1848. It states that she lives with her daughter Catharine, the wife of Robert Nellis, who is appointed her Executrix; bequests to three of her granddaughters, the daughters of said Catharine Nellis; for record of her funeral, see Vol. II, page 163. The Rev. John Henry Dysslin left a numerous family, as can be seen by an examination of the vital records of the St. Johnsville Church.
JOHN JACOB WACK. On Aug. 21, 1814, he installed a Consistory: see page 116. He probably supplied this church after the death of Mr. Dysslin. He was pastor of the churches at Stone Arabia and Fort Plain (Canajoharie) from 1805 to
1828. Subsequently he preached at the Tillaborough Dutch Reformed and Lutheran Church in Ephratah; he died at Ephratah, N. Y., May 26, 1851.
2. DAVID DEVOE, May 3, 1816 to Feb. 13, 1830. These dates are taken from his record of baptisms. His call was dated July 9, 1816; and he states in the record that he commenced preaching under the call, on July 28, 1816. The name of Mr. Devoe is first mentioned in the Minutes of the General Synod, in the year 1806; see meeting of June 1806, page 355, ibid.
"Church of Beaver Dam." "A petition and memorial was laid on the table of Synod from the Consistory and a number of the members of the Congregation at the Beaver Dam, and ordinances, unless they be administered in the German language, and praying that a certain Mr. Devoe, who has a competent knowledge of said language may be licensed as a preacher of the Gospel, and be sent to them as their pastor."
Page 357. "Church of Beaver Dam." "The petition and memorial of the Consistory, and a number of the members of the congregation at the Beaver Dam, was taken up, and the following resolution, after mature deliberation, was adopted, viz: The General Synod consent, in this instance, to dispense with what may be found deficient in the preparatory studies of Mr. Devoe, and therefore refer him to the Classis of Albany, and instruct that Classis be examine, and, according to his qualifications and proficiency, either license him, or appoint a course of private studies, as they may judge most for edification, agreeably to Article VIII, of Church Government."
The Minutes of the Classis of Albany for this period are missing, but the information concerning Mr. Devoe was obtained from the Minutes of the Particular Synod of Albany, from which it appears that after about two years more study, Mr. Devoe qualified himself sufficiently for licensure
From minutes of Particular Synod of Albany, Oct. 11, 1808. The Classis of Albany report that since their last session, they have examined and licensed Mr. David Devoe as a Candidate for the Holy Ministry.
At the meeting of the General Synod, June 1812, Mr. Devoe was Secundus to the Rev. Cornelius Bogardus, from the Classis of Albany. In the minutes his name appears as "the Rev. David Devoe"; presumably, he was ordained about this time.
Meeting of the Particular Synod of Albany, Feb. 17, 1813. "The Classis of Albany reported that since the last session of Synod, Mr. David Devoe a Candidate belonging to their Body, has been regularly ordained in the congregation at the Beaverdam &since that time dismissed from them to join the Classis of Montgomery."
When Mr. Devoe was dismissed to the Classis of Montgomery, his pastorate of the Beaver Dam Church did not terminate, for that church transferred with him. Abstracts follow, from the Minutes of the Classis of Montgomery.
May 25, 1813. A call laid on the table from the church of Middleburgh for the Rev. David Devoe. The Rev. David Devoe received as a member, dismissed from the Classis of Albany. Call accecpted.
Sept. 28, 1813. Beaverdam reported as belonging to Classis of Montgomery. Rev. David Devoe, Minister of Beaverdam and Middleburgh.
May 31, 1814. Rev. Winslow Paige reported that he had installed Mr. Devoe at Middleburgh.
Sept. 26, 1815. Mr. Devoe suspended for 3 Sabbaths; he had been found guilty of indiscretions with a person in his Middleburgh congregation. Trial at Middleburgh, Aug. 26, 1815.
May 28, 1816. Mr. Devoe produced a certificate of dismission from the congregation at Beaverdam which was approved.
July 9, 1816. "A call was laid on the table of Classis, from the Congregations of Oppenheim and Manheim for the Revd. David Devoe, which was read and approved * * * The Revd. David Devoe presented a certificate of his dismission from the Congn. of Middleburgh, which was also read and approved."
On Nov. 28, 1821, Mr. Devoe organized the Second Reformed Dutch Church at Oppenheim. By Sept. 17, 1822, his connection at Manheim had been dissolved because at that meeting of the Classis, Manheim called Isaac S. Ketcham, a Candidate. At this same meeting of the Classis, the Reformed Dutch Church of La Ray was admitted, having been organized by Mr. Devoe. Reference has been made in the first extract on page xxvi, to a missionary trip made by Mr. Devoe in the fall of 1821. The report of the Committee on Missions, in the Minutes of the General Synod, 1822, mentions that Mr. Devoe had organized churches at Fayette, Seneca county, and at Le Ray, Jefferson county. Furthermore that on this trip Mr. Devoe had preached 58 sermons, visited 145 families, and traveled 1254 miles; he was paid for his services, $120, on June 5, 1822. Some extracts follow, from the Reports of the Missionary Society of the Reformed Dutch Church, 1823-1830.
Rep. 1825, page 19. "The Rev. David Devoe was appointed by the Board on the 15th day of November last (1824), to labour for one month in the church at Le Ray, and to visit other churches in its vicinity, formerly organized by him, and to be allowed agreeably to his request, two thirds of the usual compensation. No report has yet been received as to the fulfillment of this appointment."
The Treasurer's account shows no payment to Mr. Devoe.
Rep. 1827, page 14, abstracted. The Rev. David Devoe, in May 1826, visited Martinsburg, Lewis County and Leray or Laraysville, Jefferson county. He received $24, in the accounts of the Treasurer.
Rep. 1828, page 18, abstracted. The Rev. David Devoe visited Leray in July and November, 1827; also Martinsburg and Turin. On Nov. 20, 1827, he was paid $46.
The total amount received by Mr. Devoe from the Missionary Society for all his services during its existence, was $100, according to the Treasurer's final summarized report.
For a complete list of the places in Central New York, visited by Mr. Devoe, his record of baptisms had best be consulted. When Mr. Devoe gave up his
charge at St. Johnsville, his salary was in arrears.
In February 1831, he is reported by the Classis of Montgomery, as without charge. Then for several years, his name disappears from the record of the Classis. On April 15, 1834, a letter was read by the Stated Clerk, from Rev. David Devoe, containing his apology for not attending Classical Meetings. Classis resolved that the reasons assigned in said letter were satisfactory and that he be excused. On Sept. 16, 1834, he was reported as Stated Supply at Columbia. At this same meeting, Mr. Devoe was appointed to preach at Osquack, and to reorganize the church there if expedient. At the meeting of Feb. 25, 1835, he reported to Classis that he had found no encouragement at Osquack. At this meeting, he was reported as Stated Supply at Columbia and Warren. He is last reported at Columbia, at the meeting of Feb. 7, 1838. On Feb. 7, 1838, it was "Resolved that application be made to the Board of Domestic Missions for an appropriation of $100, in behalf of the Rev. D. Devoe labouring in Leray, Jefferson County, N. Y." Thereafter in the yearly statistical reports, made out in the month of April each year, he is reported as follows. In 1840, "labouring in the western part of this State". In 1841, at Houseville, town of Turin, Lewis County; in 1842, 1843 and 1844, absent, without charge. At the meeting of the General Synod in June 1844, the death of the Rev. David Devoe of the Classis of Montgomery, was reported; see ibid. page 313. A summary of the leading events of his career follows.
Licensed by the Classis of Albany, 1808; ordained by the same, 1812. Beaverdam, 1808-1816; Middleburgh, 1813-1816; St. Johnsville, 1816-1830; Manheim, 1816-1822; S. S., 2nd Oppenheim, occasionally, 1822-1827. Also S. S., Danube (Indian Castle), occasionally, 1816-1830. Laboring for the Missionary Society, 1822-1827. S. S., Columbia and Warren, 1834-1837. S. S., Leray, Turin, etc., 1838-1841. Without charge thereafter; died in 1844.
3. ABRAHAM H. MYERS, Aug. 1, 1830 to Nov. 6, 1831. He was born July 4, 1801. Graduated from Union College, 1827; New Brunswick Seminary, 1830. He married Hannah Blanchard, before graduating from the Seminary. Licensed by the Classis of New Brunswick. On Sept. 14, 1830, at a meeting of the Classis of Montgomery, a call was presented to Classis by Elder E. Failing, from the Reformed Dutch Church in the town of Oppenheim, on the Candidate Abraham H. Myers. On Oct. 12, 1830, Mr. Myers presented his letter of dismission from the Classis of New Brunswick. After his examination, which was sustained
he was ordained and installed as pastor in the church at St. Johnsville on Oct. 26, 1830. On Oct. 29, 1831, "the Rev. A. H. Myers having received a call from the Reformed Dutch Church of Berne, Albany county, and having obtained the consent of his Consistory to his removal, requested dismission to the Classis of Schoharie. His life continued under his second pastorate.
NOTE. Owing to lack of time, the records of the remainder of the pastors have been but partly compiled from the various Classical records. Therefore I have been obliged to refer to the Manual of the Reformed Church, for the dates of a number of their charges; the dates taken from the Manual are marked *; and they have note been verified.
4. HERMAN B. STRYKER, May 1, 1832 to May 1, 1834. He was born April 2, 1794. Graduated from New Brunswick Seminary, 1822; licensed by the Classis of New Brunswick, 1822. From Report of the Missionary Society, 1823, page 5, (abstracted). In the month of August last (1822), Mr. Herman B. Stryker, a licentiate, was appointed Missionary for two months, to the congregations of Athol, Caldwell, Johnsburgh and Warrensburgh, in Warren county, N. Y. He arrived in Caldwell, on Sept. 15, 1822, where he found a Presbyterian Missionary in charge. Then he proceeded to Johnsburgh, where he remained two weeks. He also visited a small settlement recently formed in the 14th township and preached the first sermon delivered there. In reporting on this trip, it is stated that there is but one Dutch Reformed Church in the territory visited, and that the field is largely being covered by the Presbyterian Missionary at Caldwell. Before coming to St. Johnsville, Mr. Stryker's charges are reported in the Manual were as follow: Fairfield, N. J. and Missionary to Little Falls, N.J. 1823-1827*; General Agent of the Missionary Society, 1826-1827*; Union Church in Amsterdam, 1827-1833*; also Missionary at Johnstown, 1830*. From Minutes of the Classis of Montgomery, May 1, 1832. Present, Henry Failing, Elder of St. Johnsville. "A call was presented by the Elder from St. Johnsville upon the Revd. Herman B. Stryker, which was read and approved." He was installed at St. Johnsville, on Feb. 5, 1833. The following is abstracted from the Minutes, Apr. 29, 1834:- Report from St. Johnsville. The pastor, Rev. H. B. Stryker, has been engaged a considerable time in a Mission in the Mohawk valley for establishing Sabbath Schools, during which time the church has been supplied by Rev. Peter Stryker, father of the pastor. As it seemed to be for the best interests of the congregations, to allow St. Johnsville and Manheim to unite, the pastoral relation with Rev. H. B. Stryker was dissolved, to take effect May 1, 1834.
On Feb. 3, 1835, the Rev. Mr. Stryker was dismissed to the Classis of Schenectady, from the Classis of Montgomery. His subsequent charges follow: Glenville 2nd (Scotia), 1834-1837*; without charge 1837-1861*; Huguenots, 1861-1871*. I assume no responsibility for the dates from the Manual, as it can be seen that at least two of them do not agree with the records of the Classis of Montgomery. From the Christian Intelligeneer, Dec. 21, 1871, page 2, (abstracted.) Rev. Herman B. Stryker was born at Port Richmond, Staten Island, Apr. 2, 1794, where his father was pastor at the time. He died at Huguenot, Staten Island, on Dec. 11, 1871. His funeral took place from the church at Huguenot, on Wednesday Dec. 13th. He was the son of the Rev. Peter and Elizabeth Stryker. He united with the North Dutch Church, of New York City, in the eighteenth year of his age. He was married to Blendina Cadmus, on Feb. 26, 1818; she died Sept. 23, 1871. In 1823, he was ordained and installed pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church of Fairfield, N.J. From 1837 to 1861, he was without charge on account of ill health, during which time it was his delight to preach for this brethren and in vacant churches, as frequently as he was able. For a period of more than ten years, he was stated supply and pastor of the Reformed Church of the Huguenots, in which charge he entered into rest.
PETER STRYKER, Supply, 1833 and 1834. While the Rev. H. B. Stryker was engaged in his Sabbath School mission work, his pulpit was supplied by his father, the Rev. Peter Stryker. From Manual, 4th edition, page 762; He was born in New York City, Dec. 23, 1763. Studied under Livingston; licensed by Synod of Reformed Dutch Churches, 1788. North and South Hampton, Sept. 15, 1788-Aug. 19, 1790*; Staten Island, 1790-1794*; Belleville, 1794-1809*; S. S., Stone House Plains, 1801-1809*; Amboy Presbyterian, 1809-1810*; Belleville and Stone House Plains, 1810-1814; S. S., Stone House Plains, 1818-1826*; Missionary to Berne, 1827-1829*. A. M. Columbia College, 1804*; died 1847*.
5. JAMES MURPHY, May 1, 1834 to July 5, 1837. He was born near Rhinebeck, in 1788*. Graduated from New Brunswick Seminary, 1814; licensed by Classis of New Brunswick, 1814. Rochester, Wawarsing and Clove (High Falls), 1814-1825*; Glenville 2nd (Scotia), 1826-1834*; also Missionary at Rexfordville, 1830*. From Minutes of the Classis of Montgomery, Apr. 29, 1834. Calls presented from St. Johnsville and Manheim, on the Rev. James Murphy, which were accepted. Mr. Murphy presented a letter of dismission from the Classis of Schenectady, and was received as a member. Calls to be effective, on
May 1, 1834. Third Tuesday in Sept. 1836, the pastoral relation between Rev. James Murphy and Manheim was dissolved. The reason was that in the summer and fall of 1835, Mr. Murphy had promised to come and reside at Manheim, if certain repairs to the parsonage were made, which was accordingly accomplished. Mr. Murphy's excuse for not going there to reside, as he had promised to do, was, that he had received a new call from St. Johnsville, for all of his services, which he felt that it was his duty to accept. May 10, 1837, a call on Rev. James Murphy, to set as Collegiate pastor at Herkimer, was approved, and his pastoral relation with St. Johnsville was dissolved on July 5, 1837. He was Collegiate pastor at Herkimer, with Dr. Spinner, for three years; at the end of this period, Dr. Spinner was dropped. Sept. 18, 1838, petition to Classis to organize church at Mohawk; Dr. Spinner and Mr. Murphy appointed a committee to undertake it. Statistical reports: Apr. 16, 1839, Herkimer, J. P. Spinner and J. Murphy; Frankfort, J. Murphy. Apr. 21, 1840, Herkimer, J. Murphy and J. P. Spinner; Frankfort and Mohawk, J. Murphy. Apr.21, 1841, Herkimer, Frankfort and Mohawk, J. Murphy. Apr. 20, 1842, Herkimer and Mohawk, J. Murphy; Frankfort, vacant. May 18, 1842, pastoral relation with Herkimer, dissolved and Mr. Murphy dismissed to the Classis of Albany. He was pastor of the church at Coeymans, 1842* to 1843. Mar. 28, 1843, a call from Herkimer on Dr. Murphy was approved and he was received, dismissed from the Classis of Albany. May 14, 1849, pastoral relation dissolved. Sept. 18, 1849 to Sept. 17, 1850, without charge; Sept. 15, 1851, S. S. at Columbia; Apr. 20, 1852, without charge; Apr. 15, 1853, absent (Columbia vacant); Sept. 20, 1853 and Apr. 18, 1854, present from Columbia. Aug. 2, 1854, the Church at Frankfort requested to be recommended to the Board of Domestic Missions for aid, to enable them to settle their Pastor elect; request granted. Rev. James Murphy, called by Frankfort, and signified his acceptance to take effect Sept. 1, 1854. The pastoral relation with Frankfort was never dissolved by Classis, it being terminated by Mr. Murphy's death. His active service at Frankfort ceased in July, 1856; see 25th Annual Report of the Board of Domestic Missions, page 9.
From Minutes of Classis of Montgomery, Oct. 7, 1856. "IX. Sustentation Fund." "Whereas this Classis have before them the circumstances of the Rev. James Murphy D. D. who in consequence of age and protracted illness has become entirely unable to perform his professional duties, Therefore Resolved, that the Rev. James Murphy D. D. be recommended to the Board of Direction for aid from the sustentation fund to the amount of at least one hundred dollars."
The second installment of the appropriation for the Rev. Mr. Murphy, amounting to $25, was paid on Jan. 2, 1857; see Minutes of the General Synod, 1857, page 140. No further installments were paid, as the Rev. James Murphy, D. D. died at Herkimer, on Jan. 13, 1857. His funeral took place at the Reformed Church in Herkimer and was largely attended by his clerical brethren of the Classis of Montgomery, as well as by a goodly number of his former parishieners of the Church of Herkimer. The Rev. Joseph Knieskern, of St. Johnsville, took part in the service. Commemorative resolutions on the death of Dr. Murphy were passed by the Consistory of Herkimer, and were published in four newspapers, among them the Christian Intelligencer, for which see his obituary, published Jan. 29, 1857, on page 122. The obituary states that he commenced his ministry in the twenty seventh year of his age.
Summary of his charges after 1834. St. Johnsville, May 1, 1834 to July 5, 1837; Manheim, May 1, 1834 to Sept. 1836; Herkimer, July 1837 to May 18, 1842; Frankfort, 1839 to 1841; Mohawk, 1840 to 1842; Coeymans, 1842 to 1843; Herkimer, Mar. 28, 1843 to May 14, 1849; S. S. at Columbia, occasionally, 1851 to 1854. Pastor at Mohawk, Sept. 1, 1854 to July 1856; died Jan. 13, 1857. (He spelled his name Murphey; in the records it is Murphy.)
6. ABRAHAM H. MYERS, Nov. 1, 1837 to Nov. 3, 1844. After the close of his first pastorate, Mr. Myers served the following churches: Beaverdam and Berne, 1831-1833*; Belleville, 1835-1837*. On Nov. 21, 1837, the Rev. Abraham H. Myers was received by the Classis of Montgomery, dismissed from the Classis of Bergen. He accepted a call from St. Johnsville, and was duly installed as pastor, on the same day, Nov. 21st. On Sept. 17, 1844, the pastoral relation was dissolved, to be effective on Nov. 1, 1844, and Mr. Myers was dismissed to the Classis of Washington. His subsequent charges were: S. S. Schaghticoke and Berne, 1844-1848*; Manheim, 1848-1852*; Glenville 1st, 1852-1854*; North Esopus (Port Ewen), 1855-1856*; Germantown, 1856-1862*; S. S. at Esopus, 1862-1865*; Saddle River, 1866-1872*; Easton, N. Y., 1872-1875*; Linlithgo (Livingston Memorial Church), 1875-1878*; after which, emeritus. From the Christian Intelligencer, Mar. 17, 1886, page 13. "Rev. Abraham H. Meyers, one of the oldest ministers of our Reformed Church, died at Port Ewen, N. Y., March 2, 1886, in the 85th year of his age. He was born at Westerlo, N. Y. July 4, 1801. * * * He ministered to thirteen different churches, including Port Ewen and the adjoining Church of Esopus. His last charge was at Linlithgo, which he
resigned in 1878, and was declared emeritus. * * * His Master called him very suddenly. Stricken with paralysis, he was never conscious, but quietly fell asleep in Jesus. His funeral took place in the Port Ewen Church, and was largely attended. * * * His mortal remains were buried in the cemetery at Port Ewen."
7. JOSEPH KNIESKERN, May 31, 1845 to Sept. 21, 1872. A call from St. Johnsville, on the Rev. Joseph Knieskern, was approved by the Classis of Montgomery on Sept. 16, 1845, upon which day he was received as a member, dismissed from the Classis of Albany; his installation was set for the second Tuesday in October. The greater part of the Rev. Joseph Knieskern's life work, was spent in the St. Johnsville Congregation. He was an earnest worker, a zealous and popular pastor. His pastorate was the longest ever enjoyed by the St. Johnsville Congregation, only being approached in length by that of the Rev. Mr. Dysslin. During the first half of his pastorate, he accomplished great results for the temporal benefit of his congregation. He rebuilt and refurnished the church at St. Johnsville, and installed an organ, at a total cost of nearly $3,000, which was raised by subscriptions. He was chiefly instrumental in causing the erection of a new church edifice at Youker's Bush. The Spiritual needs of his congregation were equally well cared for. He conducted a number of revivals:- a particularly notable one in March 1859, when 40 new members were received into the church. In his youth he was poor, and was a beneficiary of the Board of Education, in preparing himself for the ministry. He returned all the money that he received from the Board, the last payment being made shortly before his death. He married Emily S. Williams. His obituary notice, as it appears in the Minutes of the General Synod, June 1896, page 488, is copied in full. This notice is largely compiled from a longer notice, which appeared in the Cortland Evening Standard, and which was copied by the Christian Intelligencer, issue of Sept. 18, 1895, page 8, to which reference can be made for further information.
"Joseph Knieskern, died at Cortland, N. Y., September 7th, 1895. He was born at Berne, N. Y., April 10th, 1810. He graduated from Rutgers College in 1838, and from the Theological Seminary at New Brunswick in 1841. The same year he was licensed to preach by the Classis of Schoharie, and ordained and installed pastor of the Second Reformed Church of Berne and Knox. In 1845 he accepted a call to the Reformed Church of St. Johnsville, where he remained
as pastor for twenty-seven years. A severe cold, contracted at a burial service, resulted in permanent injury to his voice, which later compelled him to resign his charge. It was through struggles that he entered the ministry, receiving aid from the Board of Education. This fact is mentioned for the sake of witnessing to his character; as he was not content until the last of the entire sum had been repaid; the final payment bringing him one of the happiest hours of his life. His ministry at St. Johnsville was quiet and uneventful. He was faithful and earnest in the discharge of the many duties of his office. His people remember him there as an interesting and instructive preacher; a faithful and effectionate friend and pastor, commanding the respect and confidence of the entire community. While at St. Johnsville, he supplied for several years the churches of Manheim and Indian Castle. After resigning his charge he removed to Cortland, N. Y., and regularly supplied the Presbyterian Church in Virgil for several years until infirmities of age and voice terminated his service. He, however, continued to labor as teacher of a men's Bible class in the Presbytarian Sabbath school. About two weeks before his death, he was stricken with paralysis of the lower limbs. He looked toward the end quietly and trustfully until he fell asleep.
8. EDWARD LODEWICK, Dec. 10, 1872 to Feb. 23, 1875. He was born at East Greenbush, N. Y., on Feb. 25, 1846. He was baptised in the Reformed Church there on Apr. 13, 1846; parents, Henry C. Lodewick and Sarah Ann Van Sindren. His mother was a granddaughter of the Rev. Ulpianus Van Zinderin, who in 1746, became minister to the "Five Churches on Long Island." He prepared for college at Albany and New Brunswick. Graduated from Rutgers College, in 1869; New Brunswick Seminary, in 1872. At the end of his second year in the Seminary, he was engaged during the summer, by the Congregational Home Missionary Society, and labored successfully during the vacation period, at Northfield, Washington county, Maine, where 33 souls were converted through his efforts. Upon graduating from the Seminary, he married Miss Mary Elizabeth Mettler, of New Brunswick. He was licensed by the Classis of Rensselaer, in 1872.
The Classis of Montgomery met at St. Johnsville, on Dec. 10, 1872. The Licentiate Edward Lodewick appeared, and presented the following papers: A professorial Certificate from New Brunswick Seminary, Certificate of Licensure from the Classis of Rensselaer, and a letter of dismission from Rev. Mr. Anderson of the Church at East Greenbush. His letter of dismission from the
Classis of Rensselaer, arrived before the close of the meeting of Classis. Mr. Lodewick signified his acceptance of a call from St. Johnsville, which was exhibited. His examination proceeded forthwith, and it was sustained. He was ordained and installed as pastor of the church in St. Johnsville, in the evening of the same day, Dec. 10th. He was pastor of the Church of Pascack, at Park Ridge, N. J., 1875 to 1903, for nearly twenty-nine years. Ill health compelled him to resign the charge in 1903, and he removed to Bound Brook, N. J., where he died on Tuesday night, Sept. 14, 1909; his wife survived him. See Minutes of General Synod, June 1910, page 828, from which a part of the foregoing had been copied.
9. GEORGE JAMES VAN NESTE, Sept. 1, 1875 to Dec. 29, 1878. His charges, as reported in the Manual, follow: licensed by Classis of New Brunswick; Bound Brook, 1847-1853*; Lodi, 1853-1865*; West New Hampstead, 1865-1869*; Little Falls, N. J., 1869-1875*; Kiskatom, 1879-1886*; Flatbush, Ulster Co., N. Y., 1886-1888*; Pottersville, N. J., 1888-1892*. His call to St. Johnsville was dated, Aug. 9, 1875. From an obituary by the Rev. David Cole, in the Christian Intelligencer, issue of Feb. 2, 1898, page 8.
Rev. George J. Van Nest, died on Jan. 18, 1898. He was of the seventh generation from Peter Van Nest, who emigrated from Holland and settled on Long Island in 1647. The grandson of the original settler, also named Peter, was called to Somerset county, N. J., by a business appointment in 1694, and in 1712, he bought lands at points near Millstone, N. J., this locality in the early days being called Van Nest. His parents were John G. Van Nest and Sarah Wortman; they were married at Weston, April 14, 1814. The Rev. George James, who was their fourth child, was born at Weston, N. J., Sept. 22, 1822. He was prepared for college in the Classical Academies at Millstone and Somerville. He graduated from Rutgers College in 1842. He entered New Brunswick Seminary immediately after his graduation and expected to enter the ministry in 1845. His course was interrupted however, by the death of both his parents, at the beginning of his third Seminary year. His father died Nov. 29, 1844; his mother, Nov. 30, 1844. He finally graduated from the Seminary in the class of 1846. On Sept. 23, 1845, he married Margaret Ann Buckelew, the daughter of Peter Buckelew of New Brunswick, just before entering his last year at the Seminary. She died on March 24, 1892. The funeral of the Rev. Mr. Van Nest was from the Reformed Church at Millstone. See also Minutes of
the General Synod, 1898, page 238; and Manual of the Reformed Church, 4th edition, page 837. This closes the list of Pastors of the St. Johnsville Church, for the years covered by the two volumes of the Church Records, which have been transcribed.
NOTE. The extracts which follow, have not been copied for the purpose of adding any historical facts, to the data which has already been presented; but merely to bring out certain points already referred to. To those who have read the foregoing pages, the errors that follow, will be easily discernible. Those who have not read the foregoing pages, are advised to skip these pages also.
From the Frontiersmen of New York, by Jeptha R. Simms. Vol. I, p. 285.
"The First Church at St. Johnsville. In this connection I should mention the fact that a German Reformed church was erected at St. Johnsville, then known as "Zimmerman's" in 1770. This structure was built of wood, was of good size, and stood not far from its burying ground, yet to be seen about a mile eastward of the village. It was finished with a sounding board, as were nearly all churches at that period. When erected it was intended also to benefit the Indians in the neighborhood, having seats for them and the slaves of the white citizens. This edifice was demolished about the year 1818, near which time a church was erected to subserve its purposes within the present village. The first labored in this church I am unable to state. Rev. John Henry Dysslin, a man of good repute, was its pastor from 1790 to 1815, when he died. The Rev. David Devoe was its pastor from 1816 to 1830, during which time the old church was demolished, and the one in the village erected. The second edifice gave place to a new one constructed of brick in 1861."
From the Frontiersmen of New York, by Jeptha R. Simms. Vol. II, p. 383.
"The dwelling of Old George Klock, as called to distinguish him from his son, I infer, stood not far above John Klock's, and was perhaps best known as Fort Klock. He had two sons, Col. Jacob and George, and a daughter Margaret*, who married Col. Ebenezer Cox--and after his death at Oriskany, married Hunter Quackenbush. Col. Klock, who married a daughter of Christian Nellis--then a widow Helmer--lived where Jonas Snell now lives, three-fourths of a mile below the village. The place has never been out of the Klock family, and Mrs. Snell was a Klock. On the land of one of the Klock's was erected
Note * The name of the wife of Hunter Quackenbush, was Elizabeth; see pg. 27
at an early period, a Reformed Dutch church, a small edifice built of wood. It had neither a steeple or bell, but had the sounding board of the times, over its one-man pulpit. This church had some seats to accomodate Indian hearers. Dominie Gros occasionally preached in this church before the Revolution. Rev. Henry Dysslin, reputed a good scholar, was one of its last pastors. George Bauder, a Stone Arabia boy of the Revolution, assured the writer that the first Sabbath after his marriage in Kringsbush, he took his wife to this church. He thought the edifice was demolished about the year 1818. He died at Palatine Bridge, 1857 or 1858. -- Henry Smith and others."
NOTE by Ed. In the above quoted volume, page 386, it is stated that Henry Smith was 94 years old in the year 1862. He (Smith) said that he attended school in the old Reformed Dutch church below St. Johnsville, at the age of 8 or 9 years. The school was taught by Henry Hees. If this statement can be believed, it makes Henry Smith attend school in the years 1776 or 1777, in the church which I have called Klock's Church. According to Mr. Sheldon E. Klock, as related to me, on May 2, 1914, the first School-house in this vicinity has been erroneously located, as being near the house of Adam Klock; Lot No.11, Harrison Patent (see page x). Mr. Sheldon E. Klock stated that the first school-house, was located just west of his residence which is built upon the site of the homestead of Col. Jacob Klock (see map of Apr. 21, 1842, page xiii.) He said that this fact was told him by one of the elder Klocks (I think it was a son of Joseph G. Klock, but I neglected to note name), at a time when through digging, the foundations of this school-house were brought to the surface. I mention this here along with the rest of the tradition; I consider it to be fully as reliable as 94 year old Mr. Smith's recollections. Possibly Mr. Smith did go to school in a building on this spot, in 1776 or 1777; again the building may have been used for religious purposes, in case a minister happened to be in the locality. But bear this in mind:- the site of the school-house and the site of Klock's Church are at least 10 chains apart; anyone doubting this can go there and make the measurements!
Historical Sketch, by Rev. Albert Dod Minor, copied from Vol. III, St. Johnsville Church Record.
"In 1756, George Klock, the great-grandfather of our deacon, Morris Klock, built a church a little north of the late residence of Jonas Snell, about a
mile east of the present site of our church. The clergyman who first ministered in this church, was a Rev. Mr. Rosenkrants, without doubt, the Rev. Abram Rosenkrantz, a clergyman of the German Reformed Church, who was settled at Canajoharie, 1756-1758, and subsequently at other points in this valley.
There was no church organization until 1770. In that year, this church was organized as a German Reformed Church. The name of the church, as given in the early records, was St. John's Church of Oppenheim. (The territory now covered by this village was originally included in the town of Oppenheim.) The village that has grown up around the St. John's Church, undoubtedly has taken its name of St. Johnsville from this church. In 1790, the Rev. John Henry Dysslin became the pastor of this church. As nearly as can be ascertained, this same year, 1790, was about the time that the church built by Mr. Klock was abandoned, and the second building was erected. The father of our Elder, George Timmerman, assisted in preparing the timber for the edifice. It was built upon the site that it occupied at the time of its demolition but facing the east, thus standing with its side to Main St. It was ten feet shorter that at the time that it was abandoned, had an old-fashioned high pulpit, which was opposite to the doors, instead of between them, and had a gallery around three sides.
In 1812, this church organization withdrew from the German Reformed Church, and entered into connection with the Reformed Church in America, then known as the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church.
In 1816, the Rev. Mr. Dysslin was succeeded by the Rev. David DeVoe; he, in 1830, by the Rev. Abram H. Myers; he, in 1833, by the Rev. Herman B. Stryker; he, in 1834, by the Rev. James Murphy; in 1837, the Rev. Abram H. Myers became the pastor of this church a second time; in 1845, he was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph Knieskern.
During Mr. Knieskern's pastorate, in 1848, the church building was turned so as to face Main Street; ten feet were added to it length, six to the front, and four to the rear; the Pulpit was lowered and placed between the doors, and the pews were reversed; the gallery was taken down from the right and left sides of the building. At the time the church was newly furnished. In 1853, the organ was purchased.
In 1872, the Rev. Mr. Knieskern was succeeded by the Rev. Edward Lodewick; he, in 1875, by the Rev. George J. Van Neste; and he, in 1879, by the Rev. Albert Dod Minor.
Of the ten pastorates of this church, that of Mr. Knieskern was the longest, being of twenty-seven years duration; and that of Mr. Dysslin the next longest, extending over a period of twenty-five years.
Upon only four occasions have more than ----- been added to the church at any one time, upon the confession of their faith; viz. in Nov. 1838, 31 additions; in Nov. 1842, 28 additions; in March 1859, 40 additions; in April 1870, 16 additions.
The demolition of this second church building (erected about 1790, and renovated in 1848) was begun on the 28th of March 1881. " Albert Dod Minor.
"The materials for the above sketch were principally obtained from members of the church, and are believed to be reliable. A. D. M."
Note by Ed. In justice to Mr. Minor, it must be said that he wrote the above sketch, without the Treasurer's Account book, which I believe was discovered during the pastorate of the Rev. Philip Furbeck, 1888-1892. Mr. Minor's description of the second church edifice, and of the alterations made in 1848, were probably secured at first hand from the church members, and in my opinion, they can be regarded as the most authentic in existence. I should have copied this description in my introduction, if I had not intended to reproduce this whole sketch here.
In which some thirty different localities mentioned in the first volume, were identified and discussed, has been omitted on account of lack of room. Other subjects, omitted for the same reason, were title searches of Sheldon E. Klock property, from will of Christian Klock, 1849, to present; Lot No. 12, Harrison Patent, from Christian Nelles Sr., 1767, to Jacob C. Nellis, 1843; Lot No. 11, Johannes Klock to Adam J. Klock, about 100 years; Robert Nellis property, commencing with as unrecorded Quit Claim deed from Henry Beekman and Anna his wife, to Jacob Dysslin, dated Apr. 5, 1822, showing disposition of 50 acres of the 100 acres willed by Col. Klock to Anna Dysslin. Also a large mass of data on the Van Driessen Patents, to prove that no church was ever erected upon them; and more or less tradition about the Dysslin family.
CERTIFICATION OF COPY
State of New York
County of New York
Minnie Cohen, of the City and State of New York, being duly sworn, says that she is the official stenographer in the employ of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society; that she copied the following record of the Dutch Reformed Saint John's Church in the town of St. Johnsville, Montgomery County, N. Y., from the original first volume of the Church Record thereof, when the said original record was in the office of the Society, and that the within copy is a correct and accurate transcript therefrom and the whole of the said original record, to the best of her knowledge, information and belief.
Sworn to before me this 16th day of June, 1914
George S. Evans
Notary Public, No. 1006, N. Y. County, Register No. 5010.
I, Royden W. Vosburgh, of the City and State of New York, Archivist of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, hereby certify that I have compared the within copy of the first volume of the record of the Dutch Reformed Saint John's Church in the town of St. Johnsville, Montgomery County, N. Y., with the original first volume of the Church Record thereof, when the said original record was in the possession of the Society, and that I have found the same to be a correct and accurate transcript thereof and the whole of the said original record.
IN TESTIMONEY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused to be affixed the seal of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, this 16th day of June, in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and fourteen.
Royden W. Vosburgh
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