There is a series of book called "Valley Tales" by Rev. Ernest D. Smith, which chronicle some very interesting folk tales from Stephentown, New Lebanon, Petersburgh, Berlin, New York and the surrounding areas. I have enjoyed reading them and now would like to share some of them with you. Please let me know if you enjoy them as much as I do.
"Henry Green and His Wife of One Week!"
Young Henry Green was beside himself. Yes, sir, he was baffled, dismayed and frustrated. He had just gotten married. Now, this is enough to frustrate any yound man, but Henry had more reason for bewilderment. He had married the wrong girl.
Now, in the Bible when Jacob married the wrong girl and got Leah instead of Rachel, he solved his problem by working seven more years for Rachel and he then had two wives, but times had changed and so had the laws. Henry couldn't have two wives at one time. He had to get rid of one to get the other. Let's see what Henry did. First, let me tell you a little of the background.
In the Seventh-Day Baptist Cemetery in Berlin, New York, just off Route 22, can be found a large monument about ten feet tall and better kept than most of the other monuments in that cemetery. What makes this particular stone different is that it was erected by the citizens of Berlin and maintained by them so that the memory of a pretty, young girl who died in February of 1845 might always by kept alive.
The girl was a dancer and an actress in the play, "The Reformed Drunkard" which was being put on by a wandering troupe. Her name was Mary Ann Wyatt. In those days, small towns could not believe that yound actresses could possess purity and virtue. Mothers and fathers certainly didn't want their sons marrying these "shady ladies", but Henry Green, a weathly young fellow in Berlin didn't care what his mother thought. He had met Mary and she was very beautiful, and he would marry her. Mary herself wasn't too keen on marrying Henry because she knew that a mother-in-law in a small town could spell real trouble. On the other hand, she did love Henry, so she consented and they married quietly in Stephentown on February 10, 1845.
Eight days later, she was dead. What really happened? In those days, sleigh rides in the winter were popular and full of fun, especially at night in the hard snow-packed roads with several young people of both sexes packed into the sleigh. There were no street lights or sand trucks to contend with and nothing disturbed the innocent action under the warmth of the heavy blankets. As a poem puts it, "The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh o'er the white and drifting snow."
Henry asked his new bride to go on one of these sleigh rides, but he also asked a former girl friend named Alzina Godfrey. Some of the old-timers in Berlin say her name was Priscilla Brownell. Well, you take your pick. There were others of the sleigh, and Alzina was heard to say to Henry, "Why did you marry Mary? I would have married you in the end." Apparently she had been asked but had said "No" once too often.
Now, Alzina (or Priscilla) was very beautiful herself and she was quite wealthy, high in society and loved to cuddle and "maul" her man. When Henry found out he could have married her, he began to have second thoughts about Mary. He really wanted to other girl.
Worse, however, was his mother, who started rumors about the bad morals of all actresses and inferred that Mary's morals were probably like the rest.
Poor, weak, rich, mindless, stupid Henry. He couldn't take it all, so the next day after the sleigh ride, he made a trip to the doctor, where he obtained some opium pills, for a "slight indispostion" of his wife. Somehow, without her knowledge, he placed in her food an overdose that was enough to settle the destinies of ten people. This would have served the bridegroom's purpose had not Mary gone into a fit of vomiting which rid her of the poison. Then Henry go some arsenic and on Monday, the eighth day of her marriage, Mary Ann died; but Henry never go to marry Alzina.
Henry was tried for murder in Troy in July of 1845 and being found guilty was hung on the gallows on September 10th. Only fifty people saw the hanging but thousands came from the Berlin-Stephentown area to cheer it on. Justice was done, but Berlin would never forget. They erected the beautful monument with the story engraved on it and someone wrote a ballad. It originally had twenty-eight verses, but all I could find are parts of twelve. The words seem lost as is the Green family and sweet little Alzina.
Come listen to my tragedy, you people young and old;
I'll tell you a story that will make your blood run cold.
Concerning a young lady, Miss Wyatt was her name,
Who was murdered by her husband, and he hung for the same.
This lady was beautiful, not of a high degree.
Young Henry Green was wealthy, as you shall plainly see.
He said, "My dearest Mary, if you will be my wife,
I'll guard you at my peril throughout this gloomy life."
She said, "My dearest Henry, I fear that ne'er can be;
It's you have rich relations; I'm not as rich as thee;
And when your parents come to know, they would spurn me from their door,
They'd rather you would wed someone had wealth laid up in store."
He said, "My dearest Mary, why thus torment me so?
For if you longer me deny, I vow I'll take my life,
For I no longer wish to live unless you are my wife."
Belieiving all he said was true, she thus became his wife.
Oh little did she think, poor girl, or e'er did she expect
He'd take away the life of one he'd just sworn to protect!
They had meen married scarce a week when she was taken ill,
Or was it e'er expected he meant his wife to kill.
Great doctors they were sent for, and none of them could say;
Soon it was proclaimed by them she must go to her grave.
Her brothers, hearing of the same straight unto her did go
Saying, "Sister dear, you're dying; the doctors tell me so."
Saying, "Sister dear, you're dying, your life is at an end.
Say, have you been murdered by the one you think your friend?"
"It's as I'm on my bed of death and know that I must die,
I'm going to my Maker, the truth shall not deny.
I know that Henry poisoned me, but brother, for him send,
For I do love him now as well as when he was my friend."
When Henry go the tidings, he sent his wife to see.
She said, "My dearest Henry, have I e'er deceived thee?"
Three times she said, "Dear Henry!" then sank into death's swoon,
He gazed on in indifference, and in silence left the room.
An inquest on her body held according to the law,
And soon it was proclaimed by them that arsenic was the cause.
Green was apprehended, lodged down in Troy jail,
There to await his trial-the courts could not give bail.
On the day of his trial, he was brought on the stand
To answer for the blackest crime committed on our land.
Judge Parker read the sentence, he 'peared to be unmoved;
He said he was not guilty, although it had been proved.
He said he was not guilty, and he did her friends defy;
He pled that he was innocent, although condemned to die.
Henry and Mary Ann and buried in Berlin. Henry is buried in the Reeve burying ground. Henry was the grandson of John Reeve. Henry's epitaph is simple:
Henry G. Green, Born Dec. 30, 1822, died Sept. 10, 1845
"Prepare to meet thy God"
Mary A. W. Green, Died Feb. 17, 1845, in the 23rd year of her age.
"This monument is erected by the citizens of Berlin in Memory of Mary Ann Wyatt, wife of Henry G. Green, who was married Feb. 9, 1845, and on the 14th day of the same month was poisoned by her husband with arsenic without any real or pretended cause.
Beautiful, intelligent, and virtuous, she was wept over by the community, and the violated law justly exacted the life of her murderer as a penalty for his crime?"
Mary Ann Wyatt's monument,
erected by the people of Berlin.
I did a brief genealogy of Henry, because of the Green family prominence in Berlin/Stephentown. For those interested, here is Henry's ancestry, minus dates:
Henry G. son of George and Sally or Sarah Reeves (daughter of John Reeves);
George, son of Langford and Abigail Thomas;
Langford, son of Joseph and Phebe Langford;
Joseph, son of John and Mary Allen;
John, son of James and Elizabeth Anthony
James, son of John (of Warwick) and Joan Tattersall.
America's First Bread Wrapper
As a child, I lived on Old Post Road, in Lebanon Springs, New York, in a two family house that was always referred to as "Clark's House". Our landlord was Arthur (Art) Clark, a very nice, older man, even then in the late 1950's. He lived upstairs and though friendly, he kept to himself. I was quite young at that time, and it never occurred to me to ask about the house, or the big building on the side of the house that we all called "The Bake Shop". I never even knew why it was called that until thirty years later. Here is the story of the bake shop:
Clark's Bakery was located a few feet east of the bridge that carries Old Post Road over Wyomanock Creek. It was built by Art Clark's father, Andrew, and was well equipped with ovens and all the equipment that is
needed in a good and busy bakery. Art had been born and brought up on upper West Street, but lived on Old Post Road in a large square house just east of the bridge crossing for many years. Just before he died in 1976, he took Rev. Ernest D. Smith down to the Bake Shop, and told him the story of the bakery.
"An old Methodist Camp Meeting had been located in a grove of large pine trees across the Wyomanock from the bakery shortly after the Civil War. Arthur's father, being a wise businessman, noted that the people who came here on the nearby railroad stayed in the grove for several weeks each year. Most of them carried tents and lived under the trees doing their own cooking over open fires.
Old Mr. Clark got to know most of the people and asked if they would like him to bake their bread daily in his nearby ovens for a small fee. He got orders for hundreds of loaves the very first day and had to hire many people from the community to help him.
The only trouble with this business was that it didn't provide steady employment. When the camp meeting closed about September 1st, the bakery had to close.
Noting that the railroad passed near the bakery and realizing that the towns along the railroad had nothing in the way of bakeries, Andrew and Arthur decided to go south on the railroad to Chatham and north on the same line to Bennington, Vermont, to see if they could create a business. The demand was very great and Clark's Bakery became well known.
They shipped the bread in large trunk-like boxes with Clark's name printed on each. The bread was unwrapped at first, but train locomotives being what they were in those days, gave off great clouds of cinders which settled on the boxes and the dust got inside and settled on the loaves as the cars were in transit. Folks didn't seem to mind brushing a few cinders from their bread, so there were few, if any, complaints.
But the Clark's were not satisfied; Arthur said that they wanted their bread to be the best, with no cinders embedded in it. So Arthur took his father's team and went to a couple of places where newspapers were printed and bought all the old used and back copies that they could find. Back at the bakery, Arthur took a single sheet of the newsprint and wrapped each loaf separately, packed them in the boxes and sent them off on the train. This solved the cinder problem, but created a new one. Buyers at Chatham and Bennington would unwrap the bread only to find that last week's news was printed on the crust. Andrew Clark decided that he would have to buy plain paper.
Bakers from everywhere in American began to copy the Clark's idea. As far as we know, on one had ever wrapped a loaf of bread for sale before this tiem, which is why bread wrapping by Clark's Bakery had become know as a 'New Lebanon First'. As progress was made, it was found that waxed paper did a better job preserving the freshness of the loaves. Today's sliced bread comes to us often in plastic bags, and its makers brag and boast about the softness. We sometimes pay as much as a dollar for a loaf of air with a little dough in it.
Arthur was proud of his accomplishments in the bakery as he showed me around. He took over the business upon his father's death. After Arthur's death in 1976, the old and famous bakery was razed to the ground and is no more; but I still have a large box with all the printing on it in which the bread was shipped. It will be given soon to the Lebanon Valley Historical Society."
Clark's House on Old Post Road
It is still there, a bit worse for wear. I imagine that it was a pretty elegant house at one time.
By the time my family moved into the house, (pictured here on the left), in the mid-1950's, the old bake shop had been turned into a greasy garage, which Arthur used to fix things. He would let us play in there, which pleased all of the young children who lived around there at the time. There were alot of hiding places and funny looking old tools. I wonder now how many of those old shipping boxes we jumped over and never gave a second thought to!
We used to walk on the old railroad tracks, and throw cinders at each other, and though we knew that there hadn't been a train through there on any day that we could remember, we never asked about the days that there were trains. I think about it now, and I am amazed that such an important part of Lebanon's history took place there on Old Post Road. If only the walls of that old Bake Shop could talk.
Andrew and Carrie Clark, sitting on porch of house on Old Post Road, in 1930. The room to their right would eventually become my parent's bedroom.
MRS. CARRIE CLARK
DIES AT HOME
Lebanon Springs, NY - Mrs. Carrie S. Clark, 90, widow of Andrew H. Clark, and the town's oldest resident, died this moring at her home following a long illness. She suffered a stroke Saturday.
She was born February 27, 1860, daughter of Arthur and Hannah Sennett in Darien, Wis. At the age of six she traveled with her parents across the palins to Virginia City, Montana, in the days of the gold rush. In 1880 she married Mr. Clark and 10 years later she settled in Lebanon Springs, where she lived until her death.
Surviving are one son, Arthur H. Clark, of Lebanon Springs, with whom she lived, and a niece, Mrs. Harry W. Decker of New Lebanon. The body rests at the home of Mrs. Decker where friends may call tomorrow afternoon and evening. The funeral will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 from the Congregational Church in New Lebanon with Rev. Raymond E. Gibson officiating.
Burial will be in the Cemetery of the Evergreens. - Printed in November 14, 1950 issue of Berkshire Eagle
Andrew Clark also made ice cream and sold it to the same people every day except Sunday. No Methodist would buy ice cream on the sabbath.
Story from "Along the Wyomanock Creek" and "Valley Tales" vol. 2 by Rev. Ernest D. Smith
The Romance Of The Traveling Salesman and The Farmer's Daughter
By Rev. Ernest D. Smith
These darned ole mules are mightly independent today," thought Edwin Lawless as he tried to drive them through the little hamlet of Garfield in South Stephentown. "They seem to know where they want to go and it doesn't make much difference what I want." Edwin Lawless, being the kind of man he was and being in a new territory, decided that one road was as good as another and let the mules pick whatever road they would, it was all the same to him. He sat back in the wagon to enjoy the scenery and the few people about, not knowing that he had just made the greatest decision of his life. The mules kept on plodding slowly, seemingly knowing exactly where they wanted to go.
The year was 1915, and young Edwin Lawless, who had just turned twenty-two, had already made a reputation for himself as a very successful salesman of the Home Comfort Stove. It was his practice to load his wagon with two stoves from the railroad warehouse in Chatham and take off for the country. He would keep going until both stoves were sold, then he would go back for more. He had been doing this for several years already, since his father had died when Ed was little more than a baby, in Brooklyn, New York.
On this particular day when the mules were in
utter revolt. Ed had loaded up as usual and had already sold one stove in Rensselaerwyck. He was now headed for Stephentown and the road was dry and dusty. He was feeling good because the stove had cost him $59.00 and he had sold it for $74.00. In fact, he felt as independent as a millionaire.
The mules came up to the old Methodist Church in Garfield, hesitated a moment, then turned left. Ed just relaxed. They wandered up the road until they came to Route 43. Here they consulted one another in mule language and again turned left, entering Stephentown Center, where they took a right and wandered down the road, coming eventually to West Road where another left was taken. Ed just didn't stop them. He sensed that they knew where he could unload the next stove. It was now beginning to draw toward evening and Ed like a good bed at night time. Somehow he conveyed this thought to his mules and they came to a stop on West Road in front of a farm where Ed jumped out. He was sure that the divinely-given wisdom of the mules had brought him to a good sale, and he was right.
But for the life of him, he couldn't sell the owner a stove. Mr. Carpenter, (Alton Carpenter) the man of the house, wouldn't buy. However, he told the young salesman he could stay the night and that his son, Fred, would care for the mules. He called his daughter, Ruth, to get some food for the stranger. Freddie liked mules and was giving them the best of care and Ed looked at the farmer's daughter and like what he saw and decided to give her the best of care.
Her name was Alice Ruth, but everyone called her Ruth. She loved music and was attending school in Poultney, Vermont, though right now she was visiting at home. Her seventh sense was warning her of the effect she was having on the traveling salesman. She looked him over and absolutely wanted no part of him at all, so she stayed out of sight all evening while Ed and brother Fred became fast friends.
Next morning, Edwin Lawless harnessed his mules and took off up the road, thinking only of Ruth.
The mules stopped. Ed didn't know it, but he was at the home of Frank Carr. He entered and sold the second stove for another $74.00. He doesn't know how he did it because he wasn't thinking of stoves at all. In his jubilation, he turned the mules around and headed back for Carpenters.' He was so excited that he feel off the wagon and so injured his foot that he had to stay another night with them.
"What's he hanging around for?" Ruth asked her father. She found out two years later when upon graduating from Poultney she invited Ed to the graduation. For some reason, the Carpenters were absent that day and Ed thought to himself, "Here's where I corner her. Her folks aren't here. I'll ask her to marry me." He did, but all he got for an answer was, "Thanks, but I'll ask my parents first."
No, Edwin Lawless was a true saleman and he never gave up. The farmer's daughter didn't have a chance once the traveling salesman saw her. It was ust a matter of time. The sooner she would say "Yes," the better it would be all around, so they were married on October 7, 1917.
The The neighbors on West Road were filled with despair. "I can't understand Ruth Carpenter marrying a salesman," they said. "It won't last. Why, he'll have someone else in the next town where he sells stoves." The neighbors are mostly all gone now, but after 61 years, Ed and Ruth are still happily together. (This was written in 1978, when Ruth was still living)
Ed Lawless on his wagan, selling the Home Comfort Stove. With him, on the right is Clarence Carpenter, Ruth's brother. The photo on the right is the Home Comfort Stove.
"What was the most interesting sale you ever made?" I asked Ed one day. Now, Ed has been selling for all his long life of 85 years. First it was stoves, then it was Hoyt's Cosmetics, then it was day-old bread and cake from Ward's Baking Company, then real estate - just about everything. Ed thought for just a moment and then he answered, "The most interesting sale I ever made in my life was when I sold myself to her," pointing to Ruth, "and the farmer's daughter got sixty years of faithful service."
"Yes", said Ruth from her chair beside the oxygen tank that she needed almost constantly, "he would sell you anything, whether you wanted it or not. He was very convincing."
The years have come and gone but the romance of the saleman and the Farmer's daughter has been in constant bloom. While he made sales, she played the organ at her church for forty years. It all goes to show that the mules knew best.Salute to Edwin Theodocius Lawless, Super Saleman of all Time
In 1915 there came a wonderful change,
To find sitting in our kitchen a
New HOme Comfort Range.
Was brought on a horseless wagon,
the driver so bright and gay,
His name - Edwin T. Lawless - he drives both night and day.
Tell you how you'll know him as
he drives by your door.
He whistles and sings all the way-Home Comfort Range, forevermore.
He stops at every farmhouse - talks to you in vain.
To tell you Quality of the New Home Comfort Range.
His team resembles large rabbits - his wagon resembles a barn.
His tongue resembles a steam engine - and goes off like an alarm.
The mules' names are Topsey and Turvey, they could hit up quite a gait,
And the number of his wagon - 888.
(Story from "Valley Tales" Volume Two 1980)
Edwin T. Lawless was born September 24, 1893 and died on May 3, 1980 in Stephentown at the age of 86 years. Ruth Carpenter Lawless was born December 27, 1894 and died in 1978. She was the daughter of Alton Carpenter and Minnie Palmer Carpenter. They are both buried in Stephentown Association Cemetery. Photos are from Stephentown Heritage Album.
by Rev. Ernest D. Smith
The family of Rachael was very religious and so on Sunday afternoon it was quite customary to stay quietly at home after returning from church services in Stephentown, N.Y. This particular Sunday was no different from others, and as little Rachael played quietly with her toys, suddenly a tremendous commotion was heard out on the street. Many of the farm boys living back in the hills were having their Sunday afternoon drunken brawl. It seemed that the families would come to town in their sleighs with their milk cans for the creamery, and then would stay for church services, but only the women would go home in the sleighs because the boys wanted to visit awhile in the Vanderbilt House where they would get roaring drunk for the long walk home hours later.
The little girl, Rachael couldn't understand this and would ask her father, Charles Aldrich, "Why do the men go to church and then get drunk?" Her father would sit with her and they would have one of their intimate talks that Rachael loved so much.
Rachael's mother had died in childbirth when Rachael was only nine years old. She was a full blooded Mohawk Indian from the Reservation in the Addirondacks. Her marriage to Charles was quite a story in itself.
Charles Jerry Aldrich belonged to the very wealthy New York Aldrich family. He was half Mohawk himself as his father had found himself a lovely Mohawk bride, but Charlie had more interest in religion than in money and when his father wanted him to take more interest in his millions, he ran away and entered a Canadian monastary for eight years. Then he went as a missionary to the Mohawks where he caught a glimpse of Mary Ann Morse. From that moment, he lost all interest in the doctrines of celibacy and the priesthood.
Mary Ann was a princess. Her father was the Chief of his Mohawk tribe, but in an uprising on the Reservation, her father and mother were both killed and Mary Ann narrowly escaped with her life. As she grew into young womanhood, she mastered the art of gasket making and became an expert on the use and value of yellow corn. All her knowledge in basket making and in raising corn was nother, though, as compared to her expertise in making the young missionary, Charles Aldrich, forget his calling. They were married and soon afterward moved to Stephentown where Rachael was born.
The Shakers on Mount Lebanon knew how to make baskets, but when they saw the work of Mary Ann, the princess, they were filled with envy, and contracted to send a carriage each day to Stephentown to carry Mary Ann and baby Rachael to Mount Lebanon, ten miles down West Street, where she taught basket making to them. They would carry her home again at night.
One day, Princess Mary Ann heard of Teddy Roosevelt eating white corn at the Four Pillars in New Lebanon Cener. She made some yellow corn meal and took it to the President. According to the records, one couldn't get yellow corn meal in those days because the white people thought yellow corn was only for animals. After the princess provided yellow corn meal for the President, he would have nothing to do with the white corn meal any more. The Adams Mill had to grind yellow corn for human consumption after that, and so it was that Rachael's mother, the Indian princess, was the first to introduce Mohawk yellow corn to New York State as food.
Rachael was the fifth of seven children that Charles and Mary Ann had. During her childbearing years, between 1886 and 1912, Mary Ann would help other women in deliveries, and she taught Charlie how to do it. On one occasion, in 1888, when Charlie was "way back in Goodrich Hollow building a house, he sensed a storm brewing, so he fastened on his snowshoes and started for home.
The great blizzard of '88 settled down on him until he was forced to take refuge in an isolated farmhouse. It was well that he did because a young mother was about to give birth. Compliications were making things difficult and Dr. Chanlor had not arrived because of the storm. Charlie Aldrich took over at once, and remembering everything that his princess wife had taught him, he saved both the baby and the mother. The doctor arrived a little late but in time to have hot tea with the exhausted Charlie.
What a small world! 'Way up on a high hill in Maine, on a hill called Freeman Ridge, stands a beautiful, large, white house and barn overlooking the Town of Strong. A man by the name of Warren Brackley lived there until his death recently His wife, Ruth Brackley in 1944. When Warren was a young man he came to Stephentown to work at Estey's Mill. It was here he met Ruth who was the other sister of Rachael and married her and took her back to Freeman Ridge. This writer knew the Brackleys well and loved their farm, and spent much time in the old one-room schoolhouse where Ruth's daughters, Bernice and Irene taught.
in 1919, when our Mohawk Indian, Rachael, at the age of sixteen went to Maine to attend the funeral of another sister, Grace, she had the scare of her life. Her father, Charlie, had given her plenty of money and sewed it into the lining of her coat, but in Portland she missed her train and had to spend the night in a hotel. This was her first trip alone out of Stephentown, and all night long she listened to the city noises. She barricaded the door with a dresser and chairs, and lay on the bed all night, fully clothed, expecting to be robbed by the Maine citizenry. The sun finally arose and Rachael had not been robbed. She realized that she was among humans who had long ago discarded such uprisings as that which took the lives of her grandparents on the Mohawk Reservation.
Rachael married George Williams in 1952. He was of Indian descent also and died in 1963, but Rachael is still with us, one of a scant five thousand Mohawks still living in this world, a once proud and fierce people of Upstate New York. (Story written about 1980)
The Roosevelts In New Lebanon
By Rev. Ernest D. Smith
A great name associated with the presidency of the United States is the name of Roosevelt. Also, strange as it may seem, both me who have been presidents with this name have also associated with New Lebanon, one through his stomach, the other by ceremony. Let us look at the more colorful "stomach" president first.
Teddy Roosevelt had just eaten some corn muffins so delicious that he ordered his chef in the White House to make some more. "I can't," said the chef, "until you some more of that particular kind of corn meal." "Wouldn't any kind of corn meal be all right?" said Teddy. "No, Sir," said the chef. "Only the kind that is produced in a little town in New York State called New Lebanon can be used to make these muffins." "Then order some immediately," said Roosevelt.
The days lengthened into weeks, and the corn meal had not arrived. Whenever the president thought of the muffins and of New Lebanon, his mouth watered and his stomach growled. Oh, how he ached for those light muffins that could only be made from corn meal turend out by the Gilbert Grist Mill, by a man named Morris Bowman who worked there.
Teddy Roosevelt decided to find out for himself. He couldn't wait any longer for the slow freight. Boarding a train and coming to our little town, he made straight for the old building which still stands in New Lebanon Center. "How come you make the tastiest corn meal in all the world?" he asked Bowman. "Well, Mr. President, you will have to see for yourself," said Morris.
Then he showed him what made his grist mill different from any other grist mill in the world. The great stones which ground out the corn meal turned slower than any other place; the meal was in contact with the stone for a much longer period of time. "You get more of the stone flavor than you do in any other place," said Morris.
Teddy Roosevelt bought all he could transport with him and left to go back to Washington, a very happy man. As long as he lived, he might run short of other things like sugar, flour or milk, but he never permitted his pantry to get low on New Lebanon-produced corn meal.
Years later, another Roosevelt, soon to become President, visited our town. He was then the Governor of New York State - Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The date was August 14, 1930 and the occasion was the dedication of the High School. There were to be other speakers, but Governor Roosevelt was to be the main speaker. Most of the dignitaries taking part then are gone now, but one remains (written about 1978). He is our verteran teacher and friend, Joseph Salls who, though trying to listen intently to what was being said, could not really do so. He was thinking of the fact that Eleanor Roosevelt, the Governor's wife, had remembered him from a previous meeting that they had both been attending. Joe, who has quite a memory himself, couldn't get over the fact that with all the people she constantly met, she could remember him. (Though after all, once one has met Joe Salls, who could forget him?). Joe heard the District School Superintendent, Stanton Smith, speak. He heard the School Board, A. Ross Rider, Harry Crego, Earl Hemingway and Harvey Sackett introduced, and he heard Franklin Roosevelt speak, but it was Eleanor Roosevelt who captivated him on that day in her wonderful memory.
The Governor spoke well that day, and the school still stands as a reality to a vision of great educators. Many of us who were not here in 1930, however, were soon to become aware of the charming personality of the Roosevelts as they communicated with us through their "fireside chats" after Franklin became President Roosevelt.
Note from Tina: Having spent many of my growing up years in New Lebanon, I was aware of Eleanor Roosevelt's connection to New Lebanon, because of her life long friendship with Mrs. Fayerweather. However, it was just a few years ago, in reading Rev. Smith's Valley Tales, that I found out that Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt had been at my high school, upon it's dedication. (see the story above, with a picture of the Roosevelts on the stage of the school). It was 38 years later, that I too was on that same stage in the auditorium, to receive my high school diploma. Though I had been on that stage many, many times over the years, for school plays, variety shows, etc., the ceremony of graduation made that occasion most special. And in the audience that day, watching yet another New Lebanon Central School senior class received their "keys" to the world, was Mr. Joseph Salls. By that time, he was not young anymore, but just as feisty!! I will always remember watching him walk the halls of NLCS, making sure that everyone got to class on time and that no girl's skirt was too short. I never had him as a teacher, but everyone I know who did say that they learned more in his class than all the other classes combined.
I did have his wife Ethel in Secretarial Practice and Typing. I credit her, still after all these years, for my ability to type these words. She was a task master, but you got out of her class knowing the subject.
They are both gone now, but not forgotten by those who knew them.
Tilden Pharmaceutical Company
By Rev. Ernest D. Smith
The very earliest people of the eighteenth century who chose to live in New Lebanon were mostly inhabitants of the mountain heights. They lived on Bird Road in Lebanon Springs and on West Hill Road in New Lebanon. They lived on Lebanon Mountain. Very few people inhabited the valleys. The reasons being mostly because of the more healthy climate of the mountains and the lack of fevers and diseases that filled the lowlands. But these people began to move down into the Valley before the Revolutionary War because of the high fertility of the soil, and because they were learning even then how to conquor the diseases and fevers.
As more people entered the farming business, agriculture did not present opportunities enough for this energetic population. New Lebanon became an organized town in 1818, and very shortly thereafter several happenings drew the attention of the inhabitants to areas of living which were other than tilling the soil. In 1824, the Tilden Company was founded and was soon hailed as the oldest pharmaceutical house in the nation. In 1825, General Marquis Lafayette made his triumphant tour through the land and lodged at Columbia Hall in Lebanon Springs for some time while doing repair work on his ailing coach. French clothing, cooking, customs and the naming of babies with French names became popular; and for a hile, the French way of life sprung up. the traditions and customs of the farm lad were giving way to the more broadened mind of other customs and ways of life.
In 1827, a great revival of religion took place in the Old White Church that touched and changed the lives of nearly everyone living here as Evangelist Charles Finney came to town and his lawyer-like reasoning about Christianity and a personal relationship with God silenced all opposition. But although all these activities were slowly changing the way of life of the New Lebanon farm lad and lass, it was the Tilden family that seemed to do the most to affect the youth.
Founded in 1824, and once hailed as the oldest medicine producer in the country, it continued to be a force in the world of health and happiness for 139 years until in 1963 it was sold to the Yates Pharmaceutical Company of New York City. A few short months, the doors were closed and the employees were saddened. The genius of the Tildens is gone and the site of the factories, just off Route 20, has been replaced with new eating places, antique shops and flea markets. The first Tilden factory was replaced by Jimmy D's Restaurant, while the second Tilden factory across the road was replaced by the Hitchingpost Cafe and novelty shops. The atmosphere of industry that some of the locals can remember with the driving of motors and the clang of tools and the shouting orders of foremen has long since given way to frightening soundlessness.
Elam Tilden, a good family man and a founder of the old White Church just across the street, was the founder of the company. He was born in the historic town of Lebanon Connecticut. Upon coming here with his parents, he was immediately impressed with the many beneficial poultices and brews made by the herb-growing Shakers on Mount Lebanon. They seemed so beneficial to man that he undertook their manufacture and sale.
Elam had three outstanding sons: Moses, Henry and Samuel. Moses carried on the farm work of his father, while Henry concerned himself with running the factory for his father, and Samuel got involved in politics and served as governor of New York from 1974 to 1876 when he ran for the presidency of the United States. Henry was a genius in his field and helped his father build the Tilden Company to national prominence.
In 1848, Henry introduced the first alcoholic fluid extract. He brought to his staff some of the finest minds in the world including Pierre Kauhpe who invented the first gelatin capsule, and also Prof. Henri Dussance who left the French Government's laboratories to devise many of the Tilden "firsts." In the 1850's, Henry, himself, removed the caffeine from coffee and made it into the powder. It became a great drink by adding sugar and dehyrated milk. This was sold to the Union Army during the Civil War.
In the years of the war, Mr. Tilden's operatives were discovered running the Union blockade into Confederate territory with consignments of "instant coffee" for the rebels. As a result, the Army of the Potomac cancelled its contract with the Tilden Company. No other source of powdered, bitterless coffee could be found and Henry Tilden was later begged by the Union quartermasters to resume the contract. Tilden replied that even if the government was to pay him $2 in gold for every pound, he still wouldn't provide the coffee.
In the meantime, up on Mount Lebanon a man by the name of Gail Borden had invented evaporated milk using the equipment for evaporation that the Shakers had devised. It staggers me to think of the leadership in foods that New Lebanon has provided American and the world.
The Tilden Company was not the first to make medicines in this area. They were first made in quantity by the New Lebanon Shakers who settled here following the Revolutionary War. This religious group was granted the status of "conscientious objector" in the days of warfare; but they spent much of their time serving their country in another way, that of finding herbal remedies for sickness. They literally found hundreds of plants that had medicinal value.
While the Shakers were able to produce the herbs and som eof the medicines, they lacked the knowledge of how to market the products. At this time a remarkable relationship occurred. Elam Tilden, one of the greatest salesmen in this country, came to know what the Shakers were doing because his land adjoined the Shaker land in their productive valley. Realizing the great potential of his new finding, he arranged to buy all the herbs the shakers could produce, and in turn he would sell them under his own name. Everyone propered and in time both the Shakers and the Tildens became failly rich.
Elam built a factory by permission on Shaker land exactly on the spot where Jimmy D's Restaurant is now located, while the office to the factory was in a separate building located across the main road at the junction of West Street and Route 20. This small building is standing today and houses the flower shop called Angels Trumpet. A third building was built close to the factory made of stone with iron bars across all the window openings. This gave the building the appearance of a jail and many living today thought that it was truly a jail, but it was where the drugs were stored while awaiting shipment to the railroad station first located at Edward's Crossing Station in Canaan, then later at the Harlem Division Station in New Lebanon as the track was extended to this station when the Corkscrew Division was extended here. People would steal drugs then as now, and this building was designed to prevent such activity.
Time has distorted the entire original Tilden plant. In 1893, this pharmaceutical manufacturing house was incorporated. Shortly after incorporation, it was found that a larger laboratory was needed; so in the winter of 1897-98, trees were cut from the Tilden property and sawed into lumber. Land was prepared for a new site across Route 20 at the spot where the small plaza called The Tilden Shops sits today. The timber was stored here.
When it came time for raising the framework of the new large laboratory, a "bee" was held and over 500 men and women came from everywhere in the Valley to help out. This proved to be the last bee ever to be held in this town. The workers were divided into two teams, each with a captain. One group quickly raised their side of the frame and added to it timber by timber. Thinking they were far ahead of the other group, they began to feel triumphant. Then they discovered that their opponents had fitted their frame together on the ground and were putting it up completed.
When the carpenters completed their work in the fall of 1898, Colonel Samuel Tilden II, son of Henry Tilden, put on a complimentary dance on October 6 in the second floor of the new laboratory attended by 800 guests. Music was furnished by a six-piece orchestra from Pittsfield. The first floor of the building was loaded with food and drinks, but no intoxicating liquor was permitted. The dancing continued until daylight the following morning. This was one of the three great festivities ever to be held in New Lebanon. The other two were: 1) in 1825 when General Lafayette was honored in Columbia Hall as he toured America at the expense of Congress for his part in fighting the Revolution; and 2) when Miss Eveline Hatch, the founder of the Wyomanock Seminary for Girls in 1858, was finally retired. The Hatch party began at the Congregational Church, and then because of the lack of space, it was moved to Columbia Hall and lasted all night. It must be getting near to the time when the people of New Lebanon will throw another of these super parties in honor of some outstanding citizen.
The laboratory of Tilden and Company lasted until 1963 when it was sold to the Yates Drug Company, Inc., of New York City and much of the local operation was moved to their place on 303 Lafayette Street.
When the New Tilden laboratory finally was finished in 1898, there was room to move the entire office from the old small building across from the firehouse to the laboratory. The finished products could be stored in a vault in the new building making everything much closer to the railroad station for global shipment. The stone building across Route 20 was abandoned. In time the office building was given to the Lebanon Valley Protective Association and the stone house was purchased by Jim Liles, dismantled and moved stone by stone to a place further back on Shaker Road where it was incorporated into his home and can be seen today.
In 1963 the Yates Drug Company sold the main laboratory to Hugh Spahn, a G.E. executive. He in turn sold the property to Mr. Donald Milne of New Lebanon, who planned to convert the plant for use in the manufacture of furniture. All these plans were dashed to pieces when in August of 1970 fire destroyed the entire plant. The last structure to be removed was the great water tank that stood nearby but was not hurt by the fire. It was razed by a bulldozer operated by Ralph Chittenden, a local contractor. The little office building across Route 20 from the modern fire station is all that remains today of the old Tilden Company buildings. Of course they stood for 173 years."
From "Along the Wyomanock Creek" by Rev. Ernest D. Smith
Beyond Stephentown: A One-Armed Fisherman
by Joyce Vanderbogart Stanga
Here’s a story my grandmother told me about her father, John Richard Smith, known as Dick. In the winter of 1889-1890, Dick injured his arm cutting ice. It became infected, and the following spring the doctor prepared to operate on it. Dick had an anesthesia, but when he woke up there had been no operation. The doctor told him, “we need to amputate that arm.” Dick replied, (in my grandmother’s words) “Why the H--- didn’t you do it then?” So he had a second anesthesia and the arm was removed.
Dick did not let the loss of an arm keep him from his favorite pastime of fishing. His cat Martha would go with him, and whenever Dick caught a fish, Martha would hold it with her paw while he removed the hook.
My grandmother then showed me an old newspaper clipping.
Mr. J.R. Smith of Lebanon has one arm only, but he is pretty good at trout fishing. It's no joke to fish with only one arm. People with two sometimes get tangled up in the bushes. Then, often times, they don't get any trout.
Now, Mr. Smith never gets tangled up in the bushes, and he always gets trout. He holds the record for one-armed trout fisherman.
He was out on Kinderhook creek the other day with a companion. He caught thirteen big trout all weighing over a pound.
He manages the pole and line with great skill and casts into the trout pools accurately. When he gets a big trout on the hook, he pulls the fish out of the water and catches the trout between his knees. Long practice has made Mr. Smith an expert at this.
Then he drops the pole, and skillfully unhooks his prize, baits the hook, and goes at it again.
Mr. Smith's companion only got four small trout. Mr. Smith with his one arm always catches more and bigger trout than most men with two.
Then she explained the joke to me. The “thirteen big trout” all put together weighed a total of one pound.
New Lebanon Glass Company
"The Town of New Lebanon, where the New Lebanon Glass Works is located, on the Harlem Extension R.R. (New York and Montreal), in direct communication by rail with Albany, Troy, Boston, New York, and all the principle cities of the east and north".... so says a booklet printed in 1873 entitled "Glass-Ware."
Continuing on in the small catalogue, we quote,"Possessing every convenience for the manufacture of glass-ware in any color or style desired, and having access to the best sand mine in the country for the manufacture of glass, and having also a practical knowledge of the business, we feel confident of being able to meet the demands of the trade.
We would call special attention to the beauty and brilliance of our Green Glass which will equal, if not excell, any others manufactured in the country."
The New Lebanon Glass Works was located on what is today called Tilden Road. this is a short, dead-end road extending off the north from Route 20 behind the New Lebanon Library. At the very end of this road is the house of old Arthur Brown. Within 200 feet of the Brown house is the "muck hole," now called Brown's Pond. this was the site of the glass factory from 1873 to 1876.
The Tilden Shops made glass bottles long before 1873 for their own use in shipping, but that year the New Lebanon Glass Works apparently took over the bottle business of the Tilden Company although precise data is lacking. There was a freight house adjacent to the muck hole. The Glass Works had six furnaces and pots installed and employed fifty men making a capacity of 5000 to 6000 bottles a day in blue and natural aqua glass. It was the third and last glass factory in town.
The glass enterprise apparently failed and was taken over for a few years after 1876 by William H. White, who operated it until 1883, a period of seven years. On March 24, 1883, the Tilden Glass Works burned down and was never rebuilt.
I recently purchased the above bottle on an Ebay auction. This is a very large bottle, about 12" tall. The label is partially gone, but still quite readable. It reads "Nephritica" (above that looks like it might say "Tilden's", but that part of the label is gone). The words "trade mark" are next, followed by a drawing of the Tilden Factory. Then "The Tilden Company New Lebanon, N.Y. followed by Branch: St. Louis, MO"
The bottom of the bottle has, in raised letters, TILDEN. The cork is partially present, broken off at the edge of the top.
"The earliest days of Begordius Hatch are lost in history. He was among the first white men to come to this town to live, but there were many before him. He came here in 1762, only six years after James Hitchcock was carried here to bathe in the spring, Montepoole, for healing. Many others had come to this place because the soil was rich for farming.
Begordius was born near Old Fort Ticonderoga where his parents were massacred by Indians when the boy was only about four years old.
These Indians who were so warlike and so quick to use the tomahawk were not of the peaceful Mohican tribe which we have found on the Hudson, but were of the aggressive tribes who remained in Canada and joined with the French against the early American settlers.
Beforgius escaped the massacre with an older brother whose name has been lost, but who was believed to be about age 14. We are without any information where the children went after the massacre or who took care of them, but the family history does give the older boy credit for accepting the responsibility of caring for his brother until the age of fourteen. At that time the youner was "bound out" to a man by the name of Daniel Griffin, who had built a house on West Hill in what would someday be New Lebanon. To be "bound out" in those days was similar to being sold as a slave.
The orphaned Begordius worked for Griffin until early in 1775 when the first reports reached him of the battles at Lexington and Concord. That same fall, as he became more and more exasperated with the slave-like treatment given him by "Old Griffin," he heard that a recruiting officer was in Albany signing up volunteers for the armies of General George Washington.
One morning a short time late, Griffin handed the youth a three-dollar Continental note and told him to walk to Pittsfield, nine miles away, and purchase a pair of hand-cards for opening and breaking flax, a common practice in every household at that time. This young patriot, however, walked down the lane (which West Hill was at that time), cut a stick, split it at the top, inserted the bill in the split, and placed the stick in the ground where Griffin could readily see it. With that done, he began walking to Albany, 25 miles away, to enlist in the Continental Army.
Later that afternoon, Griffin went into what is now New Lebanon Center where he learned that Begordius had been seen walking toward Albany. Griffin lit out after him on horseback and about 3 p.m. found his servant in a recruiting office already enlisted and enjoying the acquaintance of several other volunteers in an inn at what is now Rensselaer, waiting for transportation to New York.
The furious Griffin threatened the proprietress of the inn with legal proceedings for harboring a runaway minor whose services had been bound tohim and demanded a key to a room wherein he locked Bogordius. The boy's friends called Griffin a Tory and threatened him with bodily harm until the youth intervened and told them of an easier way out of the difficulty. Griffin would get drunk if someone treated him. This they accordingly did, took the key from Griffin's pocket, released their friend, and that evening sailed down the Hudson on a barge to New York.
The fall found Begordius Hatch on the hills overlooking Boston, and when the British evacuated that city for New York in March 1776, Begordius marched with General Washington's army to intercept them. Half of the army entrenced on Brooklyn Heights and the other half, under General Sullivan, was sent by Washington to hold back the British advance from Staten Island. Begordius Hatch was with the latter unit. The Americans were overwhelmed by about 25, 000 British but most of them, including young Hatch, escaped at night across the river during a dense fog. Also about this time, Hatch went to see his married sister living in New York but found her to be such a furious Tory that she would not let him into her home.
Then followed the battles of White Plains and the retreat across New Jersey; Brandywine, where he was slightly wounded; Germantown; the corssing of the Deleware; more fighting at Princetown and Tenton; and the terrible winter at Valley Forge. Begordius Hatch played an important part in the battle of Trenton when, after crossing the Delaware, an officer asked for 300 volunteers but did not say for what purpose. When no one responded, Hatch stepped forward and the rest soon followed. These 300 went out ahead of the main forces, caught 300 Hessians napping and captured them before Washington arrived; thus starting the Continentals on their way to an overwhelming victory that not only revived the drooping spirits of the Americans, but alarmed the British as well.
At this point during his army service, hatch was reported to have come across a group of soldiers attempting to right a cannon that had been upset. When they were unsuccessful, the sotry is told that the powerful young Hatch singlehandedly lifted the cannon into an upright position so it could be moved. He was also present at Monmouth when General Washington removed General Charles Lee from command in the midst of battle for traitorous conduct, and Begordius said later that Washington's words 'were anything but pious.'
After the cannon incident which was witnessed by Washington, it is reported that the General used him for a personal bodyguard. Hatch so loved freedom that everytime his short-term enlistments expired, he in turn re-enlisted despite his being poorly and infrequently paid. Victory finally came at Yorktown in 1781 and he was mustered out in 1782 after seven years service, leaving without his final pay.
After being mustered out, hatch walked 160 miles back to the Lebanon Valley where he married his childhood sweetheart, Deborah Gray. It was said that his inventoried assets at the time of marriage were only two suits of clothes, an everyday suit and a wedding suit. (Married about 1792 in Canaan)
As wife and mother, Deborah was a noble woman and she had a noble husband. They became parents of thirteen children - Dorastus, Eli, Edward, John, Philander, Solomon, Eber, Lucy, Chloe, Alma, Civiah, Luena and Polly. Begordius was a hard-working farmer, and in time new feats of tremendous strength were attributed on him. On his farm, back from West Street, still exists a well 70 to 80 feet deep said to have been dug by his own hand and lined with cobblestones. Another time he is reported to have replaced a boulder on a stone boat after two men with iron bars had bailed to budge it. Again at a barn raising, when he was well advanced in years, some of the men present agreed that when it came time to life a heavy beam they would all pretend to do so, but they actually let all the load fall onto the broad shoulders of Begordius. to thier astonishment, he lifted it into place as easily as could be with an admonition about 'having fun at the expense of other people.'
Begordius Hatch died May 24, 1836, and his wife expired May 6, 1841. Both were buried in a small private graveyard a quarter mile north of their home, and their remains along with 21 other members of the family were reinterred in the present site in 1857. For years the little plot was neglected, the stones toppled and brush overgrew the graves. Then a Watervliet school teacher started a campaign in which thousands of school children contriubted a penny toward restoration of the plot. This was accomplished in 1941 by Lebanon Valley state and county officials with the assistance of teachers, clergy, and a Troy contractor.
Today, one can still read the epitaph over the last remains of this giant Revolutionary hero - 'Begordius Hatch, died May 24, 1836, aged 74 years, 9 months and 24 days. He was a soldier of the Revolution, a life how useful to his country led, how loved when living, how revered now dead.'
There were many heroes of the War for Independence; George Washington, Nathan Hale, Lafayette, and John Paul Jones. Begordius Hatch is entitled to be classed with them.
In a little booklet on Bogordius written by his grandson, Henry J. Rowley, I found the following, and I quote, 'My life thus far, has been hard, perilous, disheartening, Father and Mother massacred. A bound-out slave to a man whose only interest in me is what my unrequited labor profits him. What are these brawny arms and these strong legs for, but for myself? Whoever had a better right that I to own myself; and what he earns. The law that binds me to servitude, shall hold me no longer. 'The wages of sin,' as the old chopped saying goes, 'may be death' but the wages of life, thus far to me, are not worth the living. Besides, my country wants liberty, and so do I. So, good-by old Griffin. I will see you later. And he died."
This historian has tried to give you a little of the life of one of the earliest residents of New Lebanon, He was honest, patriotic, hard-working, and true to the best that any community could produce in those days. His children seem to be of the same mold. Their 13 children have been previously named. Their children would be third generation. There was Dorastus, born Feb. 13, 1786; he married Deborah Knapp and they had nine children: Alpha L. b. June 24, 1808; Amanda M. born January 23, 1810; Delincia P. born March 1, 1812; Lucy S. born February 25, 1814; Esther S., born January 18, 1816; Erastus B., born July 7, 1818, Prudence A., born May 16, 1823; Joseph M., born June 3, 1821; and Carolina born March 15, 1825; these were all grandchildren.
The second child of Begordius was Eli; he married Esther Haskell and they had four children; Joseph, William, Lucy Ann and Maryette. All except Lucy Ann died early in life.
The third son, Edward married Margaret Alger and they had six children: Matilda, born September 11, 1814; Edward N. born June 26, 1817; Deborah R., born March 5, 1819; Louisa A. born January 6, 1823; Maria M. born November 26, 1829; and John Eber, born May 26, 1832. All died early in life without leaving great grandchildren.
The fourth son, John, married Polly Tyler and they had ten children named: George W., James B., John Henry, Nathan, Orcelia, Mary Ann, Harriett, Rachel, Nellie, and Nettie. four of them died very early in life.
John's son John Henry b. 1845 d. 1885; m. in 1870 to Hattie Jenks of Stephentown. Their children were: Walter of Lebanon Springs and George of Lebanon Springs.
The fifth son, named Philander, married Polly Conklin and they had six children: Edward, John, William Henry, Mary, Nancy and Lucy. John and William live to older age.
Philander died April 26, 1876 at 74 years old. Polly died June 27, 1852 at 50 years. They are both buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery, in Stephentown.
Philander's sons appeared on the 1880 Stephentown Census -
John C. 48; Lucy Ann 42; Nora 10; Berton 6; Ida M. 4.
William H. 42; Louisa 40; William K. 9.
The sixth son, Solomon, married Lucy Rudd. There were only two children: Marcellinus and Cynthia Eveline. Marcellinus died quite young in life, but Cynthia never married. She became known throughout the field of education as a remarkable teacher and scholar. In New lebanon she founded the Wyomanock Seminary for Girls, of which we will learn more later.
The seventh son, Eber, married a Gillette girl and they had two children, but both died early.
Begordius and Deborah had six daughters as well as the seven sons. The first daughter, Chloe, married an Owen and they had five children named Joseph, Franklin, John Anson and Emeline. All died early.
The second daughter, Alma, married another Owen by name of Solomon. They had five children: Ira, Silas, Caroline, Elvira and Didama. Only Silas and Didama lived any length of time. There were other grandchildren, but I have not been able to find them all. As the years have passed, most of the Hatch's that stayed in New Lebanon did not move far from West Street and West Hill. Most of the children who attended the District School on West Hill were related or descendants of Begordious. As of today in 1996, a Hatch of the 6th generation lives with his wife on West Hill named Ward Hatch, a prosperous businessman of this town. Many Hatch's live in the surrounding towns of Canaan, Stephentown and Nassau.
The Hatch best known to this author lives in Brainard by the name of Florence Roberts. She is a seventh generation from Begordius and Deborah. No other early family has contributed more people to this area than have the Hatch's. A book could be written of their accomplishments."
NOTE FROM TINA: As a high school student, I would catch the school bus, along with many of my neighbors, at the corner of Route 22 and Lover's Lane. That is also the corner where Ward Hatch's appliance store was and still is. During the winter, Mr. Hatch would open his show room to all of us, so we could be warm while waiting for the bus to pick us up. It is a kindness that I have never forgotten.
Dr. Moses Younglove was born in Connecticut but moved to New Lebanon here in 1783. He married Polly Patterson whose sister was the grandmother of Samuel J. Tilden. He relocated to Hudson, NY, where he set up his practice. He was an early advocate of smallpox vaccination and built a "pest house" for sufferers of the disease. While Dr. Hosack and Dr. Waterhouse received the publicity and fame for the develpment of smallpox vaccination, Dr. Younglove had already been experimenting along these same lines for a considerable period of time. He was a member of the assembly and legislature. As a soldier he fought in the Mohawk War and was at the side of General Herkimer when Herkimer was wounded. The General gave him his sword. He is buried in Hudson, NY. (from Lebanon Valley Historical Album, Volume II 1986)
The following account comes from Moses Younglove's Declaration to the Continental Congress, Dated December 29, 1777 and was signed by John Barclay, Chairman
Moses Younglove, surgeon of General Herkimer's Brigade of Militia deposeth and saith that being in the Battle of said Militia above Oriskie (sic) on the 6th of August lst, towards the close of said Battle surrendered himself prisoner to a savage who immediately gave him up to a serjeant of Sir John Johnson's Reg. soon after which a Lieutenant in the Indian Department came up in Company with several other Tories when said Lieutenant, McGinnis by name, drew his tomhawk(sic) at the Deponent and with a great deal of persuasion was hardly prevailed on to spare his life, he then plundered him of his watch, buckles, spurs and other Tories following the example stripped him almost naked with a great many threats while they were stripping and massacreeing (sic) prisoners on every side. That the deponent on being brought before M. Butler Senior was asked what he was fighting for to which the Deponent answered for the Liberty that God and Nature gave him and to defend himself and dearest Connections from the Massacree of Savages to which Butler answered you are a damn impudent rebel and so saying immediately turned to the Savages encouraging them to kill him and if they would not do it, the deponent and the other Prisoners should be Hanged on the Gallows then erecting. That several Prisoners were then taken forward, toward the enemies Head Quarters with frequent scenes of Horror and Massacree in which Tories were Active as well as Savages and in particular one Davis formerly known on the Mohawk River. That ieut. Singleton of Sir John Johnson's Reg. being wounded entreated the Savages to kill the Prisoners which they did accordingly and as nigh as the Deponent can Judge about six or seven.
That Isaac Paris, esq. was also taken and led by the savages the same road, without receiving from them any remarkable insult except stripping untill some Tories came up who kicked and abused him, after which the Savages thinking him a Notable Offender murdered him barbarously. That those of the prisoners who were delivered up to the Provost Guard were kept without Victuals for many days and had neither clothes, blankets, shelter or fire while the guards were ordered not to use any violence in protecting the prisoners from the savages who came every day in large companies with knives and feeling the prisoners to know who was the fattest. That they dragged one of the prisoners out withthe most lamentable cries, tortured him for a long time and the deponent was informed by both Tories and Indians, that they eat (sic) him as appeared they did another on an Island in Lake Ontario by bones newly picked found there just after they crossed the Lake with prisoners. That the prisoners who were not delivered up were murdered in considerable numbers from day to day round the camp some of them so night that their shrieks were heard. That Cap. Martin of the Barreau Men was delivered to the indians at Oswego on pretnece of his having kept back some useful intelligence. That the Deponent during his confinement as well as his fellow prisoners were almost starved for the want of Provisions, and what they drew was of the worst kind such as spoiled flour, biscuit full of maggots and mouldy, and were not allowed any soap to clean themselves, and the deponent further says that they were insulted, struck and harred (sic) without mercy by the guards, and no provocation given them by the prisoners. That a Hessian Corporal in New York Harbour beat this deponent and several other prisoners with a large club, and on being reproved for so doing by a prisoner in the German language, answered that it was nothing in comparison of the flogging the prisoners were continually exposed to in the City, and this Deponent farther (sic) says that he was informed by several Serj. Orderly on Gen. St. Ledger that twenty dollars were offered in Gen. orders for every Sculp. (sic) of the Americans.
Signed Moses Younglove
Sworn before me in Committee
Albany 29th December 1777
John Barclay, Chairman
Maybe you have a "tale" that you would like to share. Please let me know if you do, and I would be happy to add it on this page.
If you have a recollection relative to any HomeTown Tale I have here, please sign the guest book and let us know about it.
This is the story as we have it from a great I don't know how many times, grandaughter written in 1975. Jonas Odell ( born 14 Feb 1773) was born somewhere near Albany. New York. His father was Jackson (or Jonas) Odell born about 1733 in Stephenson (I think this is supposed to be Stephentown as there is no Stephenson New York) and married to a Mary/. Jackson, (or Jonas) born 1733, we think Stephentown, had two small sisters, names unknown. He had seen his parents scalped by the Indians and their cabin burned in the early days of New York. He and his two little sisters were kidnapped. The little girls were put into an empty feather tick and slung over the horses back. The boy, Jonas (or Jackson) was tied on the horse. They were forced to travel day and night in this manner. Miraculousely, Jackson (or Jonas), escaped and made his way back to a white settlement by traveling at nght and sitting in the branches of trees high above the ground during the day to avoid detection. He lived on berries and roots. He was the only survivor of his family for his little sisters were never heard from again.
For our Jonas born 1773, we have no record of any other brothers or sisters, nor do we for his father Jackson (or Jonas) born in Stephentown. We think the father of Jackson (or Jonas) was Jonas married to Hannah but we do not know their history or exact dates or places. What we do know is that our Jonas born 1773 in we think, Cambridge, Albany, New York, did marry a Lucy Matilda Weaver from the Rhode Island Weavers in 1783 in Cambridge, Albany, New York. They had a family( including my ancester Phoebe Odell who marries Samuel Merrill ) and he, Jonas, died in Genesee, Albany, New York in 1804, killed by Indians. Lucy was pregnant with their last child, another Jonas. I know this isn't much to go on....but if anyone knows how they might tie into Odell's in the cemetary there in Stephentown....I would love it. I just can't imagine that if they were born there, that in a town that small, there is not a connection. I did find a Jonas Odell family living in Oneida, Westmoreland, New York in the 1800 US Federal Census, that seems to have the same children, boys to girls and wife's ages etc. to fit our Jonas born 1773, and Oneida is in line with their movement west across the state, but I can't be sure. Cross your fingers for a memory, Jeanie
Miss Hatch and the Wyomanock Seminary
Wyomanock Seminary is now only a memory, but it was just about 100 years ago that this little town, New Lebanon, had one of the most famous female seminaries in the whole country. Had fire not struck when it did, the area around the residence of Harold Hicks in West Lebanon would today be noted not for a lumber yard, but for its ivy covered college campus with the winding Wyomanock making its way through the center of the grounds, and college students lazily studying in the campus chairs on either bank.
We nearly had such a place, but a permanent college was not to be. Our ever present enemy, fire, settled the matter.
In 1858, before the Civil War, and with Shakerism at its height, a little lady was seen to ride throughout the Valley. No one could remember seeing her before. She was dressed in a long skirt which hung to the ankles and she had on that old-fashioned bonnet which was old even a hundred years ago. She dressed always with white gloves, but she washed them daily because those horse reins were always sweaty. For the next twelve years, it was a common sight to see this lovely little lady riding in her wagon behind her horse as she enjoyed what she called the greatest little valley on earth.
With her own funds, she bought the land on which now rests the West Lebanon Fire House. Thank God she wasn't encumbered with zoning and ordinances designed to keep the Valley exclusive, and so she had built a little building in which she boarded twelve girls and had twelve more as day students from the Valley area. Miss Hatch's School was started. Her name was Eveline Hatch, no relation to the Hatches here now (NOTE: probably an assumption on the author's part). She never married, but in a sense was married to her school. During the Civil War, while the boys went off to battle, the girls learned culture and social ability as well as reading and math. This place began to rival Columbia Hall for its social events.
Harold Hicks could not have kept his mind on his work had he lived there then, because on either side of the dirt road in front of the school, there were cedar rail fences on which the girls like to play. The top rails were always being knocked off as the girls frolicked with their teeter boards. Pictures of the old days show the girls teetering on these boards hung across the cedar fence.
After the war, Miss Hatch incorporated her school as Wyomanock Seminary and built a very large addition to the building. It now was a scene of weekly activity to which the boys returning from the North-South conflict were invited under strict rules. The dances were the great highlights of the life of the community, which had become accustomed to the pale social life of the Shaker influence. Ransom Gillet's father, and the Rev. John McVey of the Congregational Church were appointed trustees, and gave the school a high prestige.
In January of 1867, fire changed everything. Miss Hatch lost her great love. No lives were lost although it was in the dead of winter and in the middle of the night. Tribute was paid to one of the girls who awakened and smelled smoke. She very calmly got up and finding the fire, went up and down the halls on every level, awakening the girls with the subdued statement, “Girls, this building is on fire.” Howard Gillet, who was living when this tale was written (and then the oldest member of the Congregational Church in New Lebanon), remembered his mother telling how that girl remained so calm. She would say that it was because of her that no lives were lost.
Then, who should come to the rescue but the Tilden family. They made their home across from the Church. That house was the birthplace of Samuel Tilden, the Governor of New York at one time and the house was where the Unity Lodge now stands. The place was made available to Miss Hatch, but the school was never the same. The building was too small, and in 1869 the school moved to a brick building, but the schoolteacher in the beloved bonnet resigned. Her love had died.
She was given a going away party attended by all the town, a party which has seldom been matched. It was called “Literary Festival” of its day. All day the people partied and gave her tribute at the beautifully decorated White Church (Congregational Church), and then in the evening the scene changed to Columbia Hall (in Lebanon Springs) where the great of the day paid tribute and danced to her honor under the candlelit chandeliers.
Miss Hatch traveled for ten years in Europe and in America but in 880, she returned to her school which had been operating with other leaders. Some who had graduated were Susie Tilden, Mary Finch, Emily Mosher, Sarah Haight, Addie Tilden, Ella Gazlay and Mary Wood. Olive Hand enrolled in 1880.
However, in 1885, unable to fully recover from the effects of the fire, and with the death of devoted leaders, the nationally-known school had to close. From around the world letters came with gifts to keep the school open, but the spirit and love of Miss Hatch could not be matched, and it was this spirit which was needed.
The social life of the girls' school is gone, so also are the hard working, anti-social Shakers. The Tilden mansion burned, Columbia Hall was razed and the big brick second home of the the Seminary has given way to a bank. All that is left with any connection with Miss Hatch is the establishment of the church, and that almost passed away, but history is here, and with a new generation perhaps will come a new Miss Hatch, with a different bonnet but with the same spirit.
(Valley Tales II by Rev. Ernest D. Smith)
A Lifetime Of Conservation