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Population, 1,500 - Square Acres, 17,230
Beekman was formed as a
town by act of March 7 1788, and embraced land granted to Col. Henry Beekman. The Precinct
of that name was formed December 15, 1737, and Pawling Precinct was set off in 1768, A
part of "Freedom" (now Lagrange) was taken off in 1821, and the greater portion
of Union Vale in 1827. It derives its name from the Beekman family.** At the death of
Col.Henry Beekman, the tract was divided into lots one mile wide running from the Rombout
Patent to the Oblong, and the lots divided among his heirs.
**Note at bottom: The derivation of this name is thus given by noted writer: "This great dignitary was called Mynhor Beekmah, who derived his surname, as did Ovidius Nase of yore, from the lordly dimensions of his nose, which projected from the centre of his countenance like the beak of a parrot. He was a great progenitor of the tribe of Beekmans, one of the most ancient and honorable families of the province, the members of which do gratefully commemorate the origin of their dignity, not as your noble families in England would do, by having a glowing proboseis emblazoned on their escutchcon, but by one and all wearing a right goodly nose stuck in the very middle of their faces (Irving's Knickerbacker list, NY)
From: General History of
Duchess County, From 1609 to 1876, Inclusive,
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Transcribed by Debbie Axtman
Copyright Debbie Axtman
September 24, 1999