Captain Franklin Ellis


The History of Columbia County

Everts & Ensign



Page 372




     In early times the dead were buried in private or family burying-grounds, of which there were over forty in this town.  Some of these, being conveniently located, grew to considerable size, but most of them have been neglected, obliterated, and forgotten as the years rolled on.

     Among the older cemeteries now in existence are the ones at North Hillsdale and at Green River.  The latter is situated on the south bank of the brook that empties into the Green river at that place.  It is called the Hatch burying-ground, and has been somewhat encroached upon by a change in the course of the stream.  The oldest stones containing any inscription are slabs of slate rudely carved, and many of them much broken and defaced.  The oldest inscriptions now to be found read as follows, viz.:


     "Mrs. Isabel, wife of Mr. Elisha Hatch, died July 23d, 1767, in her 43d year."

     "Mr. Elisha Hatch, died April 15th, 1770."

     "Mary, wife of Mr. James Stevenson, died Jan. 1st, 1783."

     "Lieut. Willard Shepard, died March 2d, 1784."


     The North Hillsdale cemetery was originally one acre of ground, set apart by the patroon Van Rensselaer for a burying-ground for his tenants.  It has been enlarged by three successive purchases until it now contains about four acres of ground, pleasantly situated on a sloping rolling side-hill, with a southeastern exposure.  It is well fenced and shaded.  Among the oldest stones bearing inscriptions we find the following, viz.:  Robert, Archibald, and Phoebe Lamont, buried respectively in 1789, 1795, and 1799; three Tealls, and Christian names undecipherable, one dated 1769 and another 1795.


     "Lieut. Robert, son of Mr. William and Mrs. Hope Orr, died Feb. 1780."

     "--------, Spalding, died June --, 1782, in ye 56 year of his age."

     "------g, son to Jeremiah and Abigail Shaw, -----June 20th, 1779."

     "Thomas, son of Ensign Joshua and Mrs. Hannah Whitney, died March 20th, 1771."


     The oldest and most ornate of all is still in a good state of preservation, and was evidently in its day considered a very pretentious piece of workmanship.  It reads,--


     "In memory of Lieutenant Thomas Whitney, who died June 26th, 1767, in his 38th year."


     This cemetery was incorporated Nov. 27, 1865, with the following officers:  President, Nathaniel House; Vice-President, Orville McAlpine; Secretary, Major M. Bullock; Treasurer, Cyrenus F. Tyler; Superintendent, Egbert House;; Trustees, Jackson Palmer, Nathaniel House, George M. Bullock, Orville McAlpine, Cyrenus F. Tyler, Richard Bartlett, Ambrose L. Overhiser, Grosvenor A. Knox, Egbert House.

     The present officers are Major M. Bullock, president; Thomas S. Hayes, vice-president; Ambrose L. Overhiser, secretary; Austin Morey, treasurer and superintendent; Allen B. Downing, Egbert House, Grosvenor F. Stickles, John White, Orville McAlpine, Austin Morey, George M. Bullock, A. L. Overhiser, Grosvenor A. Knox, trustees.

     Near Hillsdale there were two small burial-grounds, commenced a little before 1800, which became so full that it necessitated the providing of another cemetery, and on Nov. 28, 1865, a meeting was held at the Methodist Episcopal church in Hillsdale, and the "Hillsdale Rural Cemetery Association" was organized, and incorporated with the following board of trustees:  Quincy Johnson, John F. Collin, Morris M. Brainard, Quincy Collin, John Q. Johnson, Henry Burton, Horace G. Westlake, A. Frank B. Chace, Edward L. Snyder.

     The first officers were Morris M. Brainard, president; Henry Burton, vice-president; Walter B. Ten Broeck, secretary; George Sornborger, treasurer.  The cemetery lot consists of about five and one-fourth acres, and was purchased of Dr. Henry Cornell for $1200.  It lies in a pleasant location about one-half mile northeast of Hillsdale village, and is well fenced and graded, and a good supply of shade-trees have been set out.  The ground is divided into four hundred and forty-four plots, and numerous fine monuments and headstones have been placed in them.  The association owns a fine hearse, which was the gift of Mrs. Eveline Johnson.  There is a hearse-house and a receiving-vault in the cemetery grounds.

     The present officer are John Q. Johnson, president; Peter J. Becker, vice-president; Walter B. Ten Broeck, secretary; Owen Bixby, treasurer; John Q. Johnson, Peter J. Becker, Walter B. Ten Broeck, Henry Cornell, Cortse Shutts, Philip Becker, George Sornborger, P. B. Hollenbeck, Quincy Johnson,* trustees.






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