FISHKILL (Village)
Chapter XLIV
(History of the Town of Fishkill)

(Part Two)

MERCHANTS -- The first merchant of whom we have information was John (Johannes) SWART, who, with his son, was doing business prior to and during the Revolution, in the building which was afterwards many years the residence of Judge Joseph I. JACKSON, in the northwest part of the village, which was known for many years as SWART’S Corners. He discontinued his mercantile business soon after the close of the Revolution.

Early in the century Cornelius VAN WYCK built a store on the vacant site next west of WAKEMAN’S drug store. It was a two story building and was for a long time the largest store in the village. It was afterwards torn down and a fine hall with stores below, erected on its site by James E. VAN STEENBERGH. That building was destroyed by the fire of 1873, and was not rebuilt. In May, 1827, Henry D. and Samuel HAYT, brothers, and natives of PATTERSON, PUTNAM COUNTY, engaged in business under the name of H. D. and S. A. HAYT. In 1867, Samuel, who had succeeded to the business, sold out to his son Wm. B. HAYT and F. R. BENJAMIN, continuing his residence in the village to the present time. Messrs. HAYT & BENJAMIN, the former of whom is a native of FISHKILL, and the latter of BEEKMAN, dissolved and divided stock in 1871, both continuing business, HAYT, till the spring of 1880, and BENJAMIN, to the present time, dealing in dry goods, groceries and crockery.

The present merchants, besides Mr. BENJAMIN, are: H. F. WOLCOTT, hardware dealer, who is a native of RHODE ISLAND, came here from NEW YORK CITY and established himself in the clothing business in 1845. In 1867, after having kept the UNION HOTEL for some years, he established his present business. Augustus HUGHSON, dealer in stoves and tinware, who has done business here since 1846; H. B. ROSA, furniture dealer and undertaker, who commenced business in 1860, succeeding his father, John H. ROSA, who carried on the business from 1827, till his death Sept. 11, 1860; DeWitt C. SMITH, druggist, a native of FISHKILL, who commenced the hardware business in Jan. 1864. In the spring of 1866, Mr. SMITH purchased of Wm. PELHAM the building which occupied the site of the present location, and started the grocery business in company with Mortimer COOPER, whose interest he purchased after about seven months. In 1875, Mr. SMITH added drugs to his stock; Geo. E. EVERETT, grocer, a native of WAPPINGER, who commenced business in October, 1879; Jarvis Washington CARY, grocer, who commenced in the winter of 1880-’81; and Wm. F. WAKEMAN, druggist, a native of POUGHKEEPSIE, whence he came to FISHKILL in the spring of 1881.

PHYSICIANS -- The earliest physicians in FISHKILL, it is believed, were the OSBORNS, James, Peter and Thomas, three bachelor brothers, and sons of Cornelius OSBORN, an Englishman, and likewise a physician. Cornelius was born July 13, 1723, and was a surgeon during the Revolution. He died just after peace was assured, Aug. 23, 1782. The OSBORN residence was a half mile north of FISHKILL VILLAGE, on what is still known as OSBORN HILL. The house was the residence of the late Wm. ANTHONY. Cornelius OSBORN had eight children, five of whom were girls. The three boys were James, born Aug. 13, 1748, Peter born March 4, 1759, and Thomas, born July 27. 1764. All three were born in this county and practiced medicine in this vicinity. Dr. HUNTING was in practice here at the beginning of the century and resided here till his death in advanced years, having retired from practice some time previous. He lived where Edmund LUYSTER now resides. John PINCKNEY was a contemporary practitioner at LOW POINT.

Dr. Bartow WHITE, one of the most distinguished physicians in the County was born in YORKTOWN, Westchester county, Nov. 7, 1776, and came to FISHKILL in 1799. This was his first field of practice, which continued until an attack of epilepsy disqualified him some fifteen years before his death which occurred Dec. 12, 1862. He represented this County in Congress in 1825-’7, and was a Presidential Elector in 1840.

Dr. Lewis H. WHITE, a native of SOMERS, Westchester county, and son of Dr. Ebenezer WHITE, studied medicine with his father and his brother, Dr. Bartow F. WHITE. He attended lectures at YALE in 1826-’7, and was licensed by the Medical Society of Westchester county, afterwards receiving the degree of M. D. from the University of NEW YORK. He commenced practice in JOHNSVILLE, in EAST FISHKILL, Nov. 17, 1828 continuing there nine years, when he removed to and has since practiced in this village. His son. Dr. Howell WHITE, who was born in this village in 1856, and studied medicine with his uncle Dr. Oliver WHITE, of NEW YORK, graduated at BELLEVUE HOSPITAL, February 27, 1879. In October, 1879, he established himself in practice in this village.

Mr. J. CONKLIN, who was born in CORNWALL, N. Y. in January, 1846, studied medicine with his father, Dr. Peter E. CONKLIN, of CORNWALL, and after he death with Thomas HEATON, of that place. He graduated at the Medical Department of the UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK in 1870, and established himself in practice that year in this village.

Many others have practiced here a few months or years.

LAWYERS -- Joseph I. JACKSON was the first lawyear in FISHKILL village. He was born near NEW HACKENSACK, October 24, 1783 and admitted to the bar about 1805, but did not continue long in the active duties of his profession. Though nominally a farmer, he was always an active public man. He was Master in Chancery; a Member of Assembly from this County in 1820-’21; and for sixteen years an able Judge of the County Court, first as associate, and afterwards as presiding judge, having been appointed to the latter office in 1840. He died at his residence in this village of heart disease, August 2, 1863. His son, of the same name, was a lawyer in POUGHKEEPSIE. James W. OPPIE, from PEEKSKILL, opened an office in FISHKILL soon after 1827, and was for many years the only lawyer in the village. He stood high in his profession, and had an extensive practice in this and PUTNAM counties, continuing till his death, about 1862. A man named WALDO practiced here a short time, till his death. John K. LISTON practiced several years, and died here about 1853-’4. Milton A. FOWLER, from CLAVERACK, came here immediately after the death of OPPIE and practiced until 1868, when, having been elected Surrogate in 1867, he removed to POUGHKEEPSIE, where he is now a prominent practitioner. Ward EMIGH, a native of UNION VALE, was in practice from about 1858, till his death, Feb. 16, 1869. Wm. R. THOMPSON, from NEWBURGH, practiced a few years and went to POUGHKEEPSIE. Gideon HILL, from ELLENVILLE, came here first as a principal of the UNION SCHOOL in 1867. He opened a law office about 1870 and practiced some four or five years. He is now practicing in NEWBURGH. The present attorneys are. Wm. E. DEAN and Wm. H. WOOD. Mr. DEAN is a native of FISHKILL, and son of James E. DEAN, also a native of FISHKILL. He was admitted at ALBANY in May, 1880, having graduated the previous day from the ALBANY LAW SCHOOL. Mr. WOOD is a native of STANFORD in this County. He was admitted Dec. 12, 1879, and opened an office in FISHKILL, forming a law partnership with Frank G. RIKERT, of MATTEAWAN, in January, 1880.

The Fishkill Manufacturing Co., was incorporated May 17, 1881, with a capital of $15,000, for the purpose of making paper bags. The first trustees and officers were: James E. DEAN, President; James P. FOSTER, Treasurer; Sidney J. EVERETT, Secretary. There has been no change. The buildings were erected in April, 1874, by AVERY & WEST, the latter of whom invented the machine with which the bags are made, but died before the works were got in operation. Chas. E. ROGERS afterwards acquired an interest with Mr. AVERY, and the business was conducted under the name of T. N. AVERY & CO., for a year or two, when it was sold to Chas. FITTS, who soon after sold to N. E. CLARK, his bookkeeper and superintendent, who continued it till the spring of 1881, when he sold to the present company, who employ about fifteen persons, two-thirds of whom are females, and make daily about 200,000 bags, mostly manilla, for grocers and millers use.

The Fishkill Savings Institute was incorporated Feb. 25, 1857, with a board of twenty-seven directors, of whom only one -- Adolphus VAN DEWATER -- is now a member. The first officers were: Alex. HASBROUCK, President; James E. VAN STEENBERGH, Treasurer; Samuel H. MEAD, Secretary. Mr. HASBROUCK was President until his removal to POUGHKEEPSIE about 1861. He was succeeded by T. V. W. BRINCKERHOFF, and the latter Jan. 16, 1869 by Richard Henry BRINCKERHOFF, who filled the position till his death, June 12, 1869. Oct. 23, 1869, James E. DEAN was elected to that office and has since held it. VAN STEENBERGH was Treasurer till his death, Dec. 4, 1868. Alex BARTOW was elected to that office Jan. 16, 1869, and held it till January, 1877, when James DEARING, the present incumbent was elected. Edward H. BEDFORD was elected Secretary March 13, 1858, and held the office till his death, Jan. 21, 1872, when Chas. E. BARTOW, the present incumbent, was elected.

The Bank of Fishkill was incorporated June 1, 1850, with a capital of $120,000; and was converted to a national bank April 1, 1865, under the name of National Bank of Fishkill, with a capital of $200,000. Samuel A. HAYT was the first President. He was succeeded by Joseph I. JACKSON, whom he succeeded at the expiration of a year. Dr. Lewis H. WHITE succeeded to the office a few years before the suspension in 1877 -- at which time Alex. BARTOW was the Cashier. He succeeded James E. VAN STEENBERGH, the first Cashier, at his death in 1868. The failure involved the loss of the capital $200,000, and an additional seventy per cent of that sum assessed on the stockholders.

to be continued . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Part Three will include Press, Hotels, Schools and Churches)

Typed and submitted by Virginia A. Buechele
Ginny's Genealogy Page

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