By Capt. Franklin Ellis313
The village was incorporated under the general act of 1847, on a petition presented to the court of sessions of Columbia County, reciting that the place contained 1355 residents, living in about equal numbers in the towns of Chatham and Ghent. The area comprised within the stated bounds was reported as eight hundred and fifty-two acres. The petition was granted Feb. 15, 1869, and an election ordered to be held March 18, following, to vote on the question of incorporation. Two hundred and eighty-four votes were polled, of which number eighty-six were opposed to incorporation. The petition proposed the name of Chatham for the new corporation; but, as another place in the town had a prior claim to this name, the title became, and now is, Chatham Village.
The first municipal election was held April 24, 1869, with the following result: Trustees, William A. Woodbridge, Abram B. Pugsley, John Wing, Mark Mealy, and George L. Morris; Clerk, Abram Ashley, Jr.; Assessors, Richard H. Bump. Joseph P. Hogeboom, Samuel Jerkowskie; Collector, Enos C. Peak; Treasurer, James T. Shufelt; Poundmaster, Hiram Allen.
The trustees selected William A. Woodbridge as their presiding officer for the year. Dr. James T. Shufelt was appointed health officer.
After the second meeting, in 1870, the trustees determined their tenure of office by lot, the terms varying from one to five years. William C. Daley was chosen police justice, and George C. Burrows and George E. Kenworthy police constables
The present village hall was purchased this year, at a cost of $5500. It is located near the centre of the village, and is well adapted for its purposes. The hall is triangular in shape, of brick, three stories high, with a front tower containing a good clock and bell. In it are the engine-house, rooms for the police court, firemen's hall, and a hall for the village meetings.
The corporation has been active in locating and improving streets, and maintains an efficient fire department. The appearance of the place has also been greatly beautified, and Chatham village promises soon to become, through the measures of the board, one of the finest villages of this part of the State.
The presidents and clerks since its incorporation have been as follows:
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