(now Beacon)
Chapter XLIV
(History of the Town of Fishkill)

(Part Two)

Merchants, Physicians, Lawyers

MERCHANTS - The general hegira from New York in 1776, brought with it to the LANDING several merchants, and made it an active business center during the Revolution. Here too, was located the storehouse of John FISHER, who, during much of that period was commissary to the American army. Jacob VAN VOOHRIS, Jr., who was afterwards a merchant in New York, had a store at Major Daniel TERBOS’, in the summer of 1779, and at the house of Mrs. HAIGHT in 1781, in which year as appears from the New York Packet of Feb. 8, 1871, he married “the amiable and agreeable Miss Martha HAIGHT, of FISHKILL LANDING.” IN 1782 he was doing business here with Abraham MESIER, under the name of MESIER and VAN VOOHRIS. Egbert BOGARDUS was also engaged in mercantile business at the upper landing during the Revolution, in a building which stood near the foot of Main Street, and continued there till his death, having been associated after the war with a man named STURGESS. He also was a commissary for the American army.

In 1824, William TELLER, Jacob BARTLEY and William BRETT were engaged in Mercantile business here. TELLER, in 1852, associated with himself as partner William A. BAXTER, to whom he sold his interest in February, 1871. In the spring of 1871, Mr. BAXTER formed a co-partnership with Charles E. MARTIN, with whom he has since done business under the name of BAXTER & MARTIN.

John NELSON, who had carried on blacksmithing at MATTEAWAN, was engaged in the mercantile business here some forty-two years ago. He was the father of Hon. Judge Homer A. NELSON, of POUGHKEEPSIE.

The merchants now doing business here are: Thomas LESTER, clothier; Stephen MAPES, druggist; Samuel UNDERHILL, grocer, who is a native of ULSTER county, and established himself in business her some thirty years ago, having been associated with his son, Charles C. UNDERHILL, in 1872-’73; S. G. & J. T. SMITH, dealers in dry goods, carpets and boots and shoes; M. E. DIETRICH, jeweler; A. Theodore MOITH, chemist and druggist; W. H. ROGERS, dealer in hardware and stoves; Melanchthon HEROY, boot and shoe dealer; STOTESBURY, Bros. & Co., grocers; H. MEMBER & Sons, wholesale and retail dealers in groceries and dry goods, and dealer in hay, oats and feed; Nicholas HOPPER, furniture dealer; George ROOT, crockery dealer; and H. RITTER, jeweler.

PHYSICIANS - The physicians at FISHKILL extended their practice to this place at an early day, and probably supplied it for many years of this century. We do not know who was the first physician to locate here. Roderick ROYCE came from MONTICELLO, Sullivan county, about 1832 or ‘33 and practiced her some years, when he returned to MONTICELLO. He was the father of William ROYCE, a dentist in Newburgh. He also kept a drug store in the building now known as the Revere House. Rev. James HARKNESS, M. D., who was born in Roxburyshire, Scotland, March 3, 1803, graduated at the University of Edinburgh, and subsequently studied medicine. He became a Presbyterian minister, and practiced medicine considerably among the members of the churches with which he was connected. He was pastor of the Presbyterian church of MATTEAWAN in 1843-’5, and afterwards founded the Presbyterian church at FISHKILL LANDING. In 1840 he became a homeopathic physician and soon after located at the LANDING, where he practiced several years. James Sykes RUMSEY, who was born July 9, 1800, finished his education in France, and married into the VERPLANCK family, was in practice here in 1846 and continued till his death, Nov. 1, 1872. Valentine VERMILYEA graduated at the New York Medical College about 1840, and located at FISHKILL LANDING, where he practiced till about 1850. William P. BELL, who was born in Gettysburg, Penn., Feb. 25, 1822, and had practiced in Ohio, came here about 1850, and practiced till his death, Dec. 4, 1869. Dr. PEARSON was contemporary with BELL for three or four years. He removed to the western part of the State.

The present physicians are: Henry SLACK, who was born in Albany, June 10, 1831, graduated at Yale in 1848, and at the Albany Medical College in 1851, completing his medical studies by a two years’ course in hospital clinics in Paris. He commenced practice in 1856, in New York, and removed thence in 1865 to this village; Chas. M. KITTREDGE, who was born in Mt. Vernon, N. H. in 1838, graduated at Amherst in 1862, and at Harvard Medical College in 1867. He was physician in the Insane Asylum in Hartford, Conn., for three years immediately succeeding his graduation, at the expiration of which time he established himself in practice at Hyde Park in this county, removing thence in 1870 to FISHKILL LANDING, where he established that year his home (RIVERVIEW HOME) for nervous invalids, which he has since conducted with gratifying success, extending his practice also to the village patronage, and making a speciality of nervous diseases. Dr. KITTREDGE purchased the King CHANDLER property, which he improved and adapted to its present use. It occupies a sightly location, overlooking the Hudson and the city of NEWBURGH, and has accommodations for four to eight patients. Dr. KITTREDGE is a pioneer in this specialty -- the treatment of cases bordering on insanity -- and his “home” is among the first opened in this country; Julius Edgar MOITH, who was born in FISHKILL LANDING in 1857, and graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York in 1879; and Walter D. O. K. STRONG, who was born in Owasco, N. Y., Aug. 10, 1823, graduated Buffalo University April 19, 1849, and removed to this place in the spring of 1880, and engaged in practice with his son, Jacob R. STRONG, who was born in Sennett Nov. 22, 1853, studied medicine with his father and Dr. Benj. LANSING, of RHINEBECK, and graduated at the Homeopathic Medial College of New York in the Spring of 1880.

LAWYERS - John OWENS, from WESTCHESTER county, was in practice here in 1850 and continued four or five years. He went to New York, where he practiced and died. Contemporary with him was Edwin R. BOGARDUS, a native of the place and son of Matthew A. BOGARDUS. He practiced here but a few years. He went to New York about 1851 or ‘52, and was then a young man. A man named SLOAN preceded them and had an office where Dr. MAPES’ drug store now is. He was a highly conscientious man, but did not practice more than a year or two. He went to New York City thirty-eight years ago.

The present attorneys are: Henry H. HUSTIS, who was born in COLD SPRING, N.Y., March 9,1829, educated at AMENIA Seminary, read law at NEWBURGH with Wm. FULLERTON, the great criminal lawyer of New York City, Judge Jno. J. MONELL and Thomas GEORGE, all of NEWBURGH, and was admitted in September, 1852. He opened an office in this village January 3, 1853, taking the place of John OWENS. J. Hervey COOK, a native of Warren County, N.J., and a lineal descendant of Francis COOK, who came with his son John among the Mayflower passengers, received an academic education at the Suckasunny Academy and was instructed in the classics at the Chester Institute. In November, 1865, he entered the Law Department of the University of Albany and graduated in November, 1866. He opened an office in this village in May, 1867; Jno. F. SCHLOSSER, who was born in POUGHKEEPSIE, Aug. 22, 1839, graduated at Union College in 1874, read law with H. H. HUSTIS of this village and E. A. BREWSTER of NEWBURGH, was admitted in 1876, opened an office here July 5, 1876, and was elected School Commissioner of the 1st District, in the County in 1878; George H. PORTER, who came here from New Jersey in the summer of 1879; and Samuel B. ROGERS, a native of FISHKILL, son of Wm. H. ROGERS, who was educated at AMENIA Seminary and spent three years at Union College, graduated at the Albany Law School in 1879, and opened an office in this village in the spring of 1880.

to be continued . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Part Three will include Manufactures, Press, Churches)

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

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