By James H. Smith
Chapter XXI.

Part Five

This section of the country is rich in iron ore. Numerous valuable mines have been opened and worked, the iron yielded being particularly adapted to certain of the mechanical arts. The DAKIN Ore bed, one of the most prominent of those found in this section, was discovered in 1846 by Henry and Gideon DAKIN, sons of Orville DAKIN, on land owned by the later. They at once sunk shafts for mining the ore, and a company was formed to develop the industry, under the title of Dutchess County Iron Company, under the management of Moses C. WELLS, Phineas CHAPIN (The founder of Chapinville Furnace), Charles C. ALGER. On the ten acres of land adjoining the ore bed sold to them by Orville DAKIN, this company built in 1848 the furnace now in operation there. The furnace was run by them until 1850 or ‘51, when the company failed, and the furnace was sold to Orville DAKIN who conducted the business until 1856. He failed through the mismanagement of his partner, and the property was sold to Silas HARRIS, Henry C. MYERS, Cornelius HUSTED and George BARTON. They sold the furnace to George MORGAN who worked the ore bed from 1858 to 1860 or ‘61, the furnace in the meantime lying idle. The entire property was then sold to Caleb S. MALTBY who has since conducted the business. The ore bed has proved to be very valuable. The principal production of the furnace is a fine grade of carwheel iron.

The COUCH mine, in the northeastern part of the town, leased and discovered and now being worked by Orville and Gideon DAKIN, is another valuable mine. The DAKIN brothers also purchased, in 1872, a farm known as the LLOYD farm in the northern part of the town, and there developed a profitable ore bed which is now being successfully worked and which contains perhaps the richest iron ore in the Oblong.


One of the first settled localities in the town was that portion known as SPENCER’s Corners, a little north of the old time Amenia. The place derived its name from Philip SPENCER, father to the Hon. Ambrose SPENCER, who lived there many years. He came to North East previous to 1769, and even at that time this section had become quite an old settlement. In 1773 the place was known as “SPENCER’s Clearing.” Before that date even, art and science had to some extent flourished therem rapid advancement had been made in agriculture, and it is recorded that there were in existence there some fine orchards in 1744. (“Field notes of the Survey of the Oblong.”--Vol.43.)

Elder Simon DAKIN, who came from the vicinity of Boston, previous to 1751, located here, where he organized a Baptist Church, of which for many years he was pastor.

An earlier settlement in the town was known as "Sichem." How the name was derived is not known. The place was established earlier than 1750 and in 1797 it was numbered among the places that the forefathers once knew, but for many years even then had known no more. In M0RRIS' American Gazeteer, 1797, Sichem is described as "formerly a settlement of the Moravians on the east line of New York State, twenty-five miles southeast of Kingston, on Hudson's River."

After the white settlers had driven the Moravians and the Christianized Indians from their settlement at Sha-ca-me-co, (See history Town of Pine Plains.) the Indians formed a colony at Wechquadnach on the eastern border of Indian Pond, and a congregation of them was formed under the charge of the Moravians. David BRUCE, a Scotchman, was appointed to the station, and here he died July 9, 1749, and was buried on the scene of his labors. From this mission also, the Indians were driven, and after their dispersion the white settlers established a congregation on the western side of Indian Pond, in North East, on land owned by Hiram CLARK. Here they built a church which in after years was converted into a school-house. After the dispersion of the Indians, Rev. Joseph POWELL, one of the missionaries, ministered to a congrgation of the early settlers in this vicinity. He died and was buried here in 1774. Rev. Abraham REINKE, another of the Moravian brethren, ministered to the people in different parts of this town and Amenia.

Of the Moravian mission house no vestige remains, and its site is now covered by fields of grain. Even the tombstones, which in an adjoining burial ground once designated the graves of some of those early missionaries, have disappeared from view. One indeed a few years since was reset, in a slate rock, near the former site of the Mission house, but unprotected except by the fences enclosing the pasture field in which it stood, the "unconcious herd" in time displaced it, and in its fall was broken in fragments. In 1859 a monument was erected to the memory of David BRUCE and Joseph POWELL, a short distance from the eastern border of Indian Pond, near the site of the ancient settlement of Wechquadnach. The monument bears this inscription on the north side:--

" Joseph POWELL, a minister of the Gospel in the Church of the United Brethren, born 1710, near White Church, Shropshire, England, Died September 22, 1771, at Sichem, in the Oblong, Dutchess County, New York."

On the south side:--
"David BRUCE, a minister of the Gospel in the Church of the United Brethren, from Edinburgh, Scotland, Died July 9, 1749, at the Wechquadnach Mission, Dutchess County, New York."
The west side bears the following inscription:--
"Erected by the Moravian Historical Society, October 6, 1859."
On the east side is a selection from Isiah.

The more modern settlements are neither large or numerous.


Mount Riga is a small hamlet. The postmaster here is Abram B. COUCH. A general merchandise business is conducted here by Ward B. GREY, of Millerton.


Shacameco is a station on the railroad. The postmaster is R. D. BERTINE, who has held that office some four or five years. He also runs a store and a coal yard.


Coleman Station, on the Harlem Railroad, has the depot and post-office, the latter kept by Oliver BARRETT.


Winchells, on the Newburg, Dutchess & Columbia Railroad, is merely a stopping place. The postmaster here is James M. WINCHELL who has held the office some eight years.


Iron Junction is at the junction of the Connecticut Western, Poughkeepsie & Eastern, and Rhinebeck & Connecticut Railroads. The postmaster and sole merchant is James CAMPBELL.


Irondale contains a few houses, and the population consists chiefly of those who work in the mill and furnace, the sole business features of the place. The postoffice was established here some six years ago. The present postmaster is Charles H. WATSON, appointed in 1879. The buildings of the Millerton Iron Company were erected in 1854 or '55, by Julius BENEDICT, now an iron manufacturer in New York. He sold to BARNUM & RICHARDSON, the former of whom is now president of the company. The mills employ about one hundred and fifty hands. The ore is procured from the immediate vicinity, and is peculiarly adapted to the making of car wheels. A general store is also run by the Company. The grist mill here, controlled by the MILLERTON Iron Company, was built in 1880. The old mill which stood here previously, and which gave way to the present building, was that built by James WINCHELL about 1803. After his death in 1834, the property went into the hands of Charles PATERSON. Then Bailey BOWDITCH, then Curtis POTTER, then Julius BENEDICT were owners, and it is now owned, as stated, by the company owning the furnace.


Millerton, in the northwestern part of the town, is the largest and most important of the villages. It derived its name from Sidney G. MILLER, one of the contractors and builders of the extension of the New York & Harlem Railroad from Dover Plains to Chatham. (The meeting of which the village was named was held in the house of Walter WAKEMAN in 1851.) It is on the Harlem Road, thirty-six miles from Chatham on the north. The Dutchess, Newburg & Conn., the Poughkeepsie & Eastern, and the Connecticut Western railroads also touch here.

In 1851 there were no houses where the village of Millerton now stands. The place now contains a population of six hundred. The village was incorporated June 30, 1875. The first officers were Nathan C. BEACH, President; Orrin WAKEMAN, Hilem B. EGGLESTON, Ward B. GREY, Trustees; John M. BENEDICT, Treasurer; William E. PENNEY, Secretary.

The postmaster here is John H. TEMPLETON, who was appointed in 1879; William E. PENNEY deputy, who has acted in that capacity ten years. The office was established here thirty years ago. The first postmaster was Selah N. JENKS. Harvey ROE, Henry BUNNELL, Edward W. SIMMONS and Ward B. GREY, make up in the order named the succession of postmasters. The building in which the postoffice is now located, was the first erected in Millerton. (Built in 1851.) In that building E. W. SIMMONS was probably the first to keep a store. He traded until four years ago when he was succeeded by the present merchant, James FINCH. The other merchants now doing business here are:--BEACH, HAWLEY & Co., (Nathan C. BEACH, Cyrus F. HAWLEY, Elias B. REED and Alonzo A. BATES,) general merchants, in business here fourteen years,--another store at Sharon is also conducted by this company; Ward B. GREY, a native of Pine Plains, born May 19, 1832, general merchant, in business here since 1867, and who also has another store at Mt. Riga, which was established in 1880; EGGLESTON Brothers, (Hilem B. and William T. EGGLESTON,) general merchants, (The store was built by them in 1873.) in business eight years; Levi P. HATCH, druggist, in business here nine years; Charles P. SUYDAM & Co., general merchants, who began business in April 1879; Dwight STENT, dealer in stoves, tinware and house-furnishing goods, establishing the business in February, 1879; John M. BENEDICT & Son, dealers in lumber, lime, brick, etc., in business since 1878; James R. PAINE & Son, general hardware, in business as a firm since February, 1879; Sylvester TRIPP, a native of Schoharie county, born in 1837, jeweler, in business here since 1865; L. A. KNICKERBOCKER, harness and horse-furnishing goods, in business some four years; Thomas DYE, merchant tailor, in business since 1872, suceeding his father, Thomas DYE, who established the business in 1869; Sarah HULL, millinery, in business here four years; L. A. BROWN, confectionery and fancy goods, in business ten years; Charles P. CAPRON, photographs, in business since 1865; Bernard CARNEY, marble works, in business since 1876, succeeding William COON; Joseph HARRIS, merchant tailor, in business since July 15, 1875; STILLMAN & HOAG, (Sidney STILLMAN, Arthur F. HOAG,) druggists, in business since August, 1879.

HOTELS.--The village contains three hotels. The Millerton Hotel was built in 1852 by Alexander TROWBRIDGE, Alexander HOLLEY and James M. WINCHELL. The first to keep it as a hotel was George COLE, who remained six months or a year; James M. WINCHELL then conducted it for two years and a half, and then sold it to Harrison GILBERT in 1855, who kept it until 1862, put on the addition where the store now is, and built the barn. He sold to Hoffman SWEET, who probably ran it three years and sold to Ebenezer SHERMAN, who conducted it a short time and died. The property then went into the hands of Norman E. WHEELER, and so remained three years, when he sold to Myron PITCHER, who kept it two years and sold it to Elias B. REED. In his possession the property remained five years, Noah G. CLARK running the hotel as lessee. The later then purchased it, kept it five years and sold to BEACH, HAWLEY & Co., who now own the property. The present landlord is Noah G. CLARK, the lessee.

The Planet Hotel was built in 1859, by Edward SHINNERS. James BIRD was the first to keep hotel in the building, running it a year or more. Henry DAYTON then purchased the hotel, and, in company with his son-in-law, James PAINE, conducted it two or three years. An addition to the building was built by DAYTON in 1861. Sterling MORE and Marshall DOTY were the next successors in line, each remaining but a short time. The hotel went into the hands of William CARD, who run it some ten years, and the property was then sold under mortgage to Myron HAMLIN, who is the present owner. The hotel is now kept by Perry LOUCKS, who has been its landlord three years.

The Brick Block Hotel was errected by James CONLAN in 1872. (James CONLAN died in 1873.) The first to keep a hotel here was Charles A. CORREY, who remained two years. Michael ROWE succeeded him, and is the present landlord. The store which occupied the site of this hotel was built by James M. WINCHELL in 1856, and was burned down on the night of July 4th, 1871.

The Central Hotel was built in 1865, by George GREATHEAD, (a native of Yorkshire, England, born April 20, 1830, came to America in 1849, and to Millerton in 1854. For some years he was prominent as a speculator and merchant.) and was used until 1871 as a storage house. The building was moved to its present site in 1872, and was run as a hotel by Mr. GREATHEAD from the spring of 1873 until the spring of 1876. ROWLAND and Eugene SIMMONS, Seymour L. BUCKLEY, and______ BARNUM, were the successors in line. The present proprietor (1881) is Frank SILVERNAIL, who has been here two years.

NEWSPAPERS.--The Millerton Telegraph, a weekly newspaper, was established in 1876, by Cooley JAMES, who conducted it some three months and sold to VAN SCRIVER & DEACON, the present editors and publishers.
Webotuck Lodge No. 480, F. and A. M., was organized June 11, 1860. The Charter officers were:--Lucius P. WOODS, W. M.; Samuel L. BAGLEY, S. W.; J. Curtis SMITH, J. W. The present Secretary is Levi P. HATCH. The lodge meets every other Friday.

NORTH EAST LIBRARY ASSOCIATION.--The village contains a fine library under the control of the North East Library Association, which had its origin in the Millerton Reading Room Association, organized January 10, 1876. It was changed to the present association, April 10, 1876. The first officers were Andrew J. COPP, President; Mrs. Jeremiah W. PAINE, General Walter PHELPS, Jr., Darius PENNEY, Vice Presidents; William E. PENNEY, Treasurer, Secretary and Librarian. The library contains about 350 volumes.

PHYSICIANS.--Among the past physicians of the town was, Curtice J. HURD, who practiced here from 1820 to 1834 or '36, and who had an extensive patronage. He went to Manilus, Onondaga County, N. Y., about 1837, and praticed for some time there, where he died a number of years after. Two of his sons, George and Darwin, were also physicians, and for a short time practiced here. Both are now dead. Dr. Samuel ROBERTSON, a native of Windham, Greene County, N. Y., practiced here from 1830 until 1846 or '47. He went to near Albany, and in 1881, was living in Canisteo, N. Y. Dr. BULL was also a prominent physician here previous to 1820. Other physicians were Dr. NORTHROP, previous to 1864-5; Dr. TIBBLES, 1865-'67; Dr. CHAMBERLAIN, 1870, died 1873; and Dr. James F. PRESTON, who practiced here from the fall of 1878 to 1880, and removed to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The physicians now in practice here are, Dr. Sidney STILLMAN, who graduated from the Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Mass., in 1837, and who came to North East, July 4, 1846.
Dr. Henry A. HART, a native of New Britain, Conn., born in 1828, graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, in 1853-4, and came to Millerton in 1874.
Dr. Arthur F. HOAG, a graduate from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, 1879.
William SELLECK, M. D., a native of Dover Plains, graduated from New York Homeopathic College in 1875, and came to Millerton in 1880.
Frank G. HUGINS, a native of Sheffield, Mass., Surgeon Dentist, came to Millerton in 1881.
Dr. Frederic V. CLARKSON, a native of New York, graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of that city in 1852, and came to North East in 1865.

LAWYERS.--The lawyers are Edward W. SIMMONS, a native of North East, born in 1816, admitted to the bar in 1867.
Collins SHELDON, a native of Copake, Columbia County, admitted to the practice in May, 1862, and came to North East in February, 1863. He is Surrogate of the County, to which position he was elected in 1877.
William R. SMITH, a native of Ancram, Columbia county, born in 1827, became a resident of this town in 1868. He was admitted to the bar in 1873.

CHURCHES.--Millerton contains four churches, the Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and Roman Catholic. The history of the Baptist Church embraces a period of a century and a quarter. The organization was begun on the 6th day of November, 1751, when nine persons, who had been baptized on a profession of their faith, entered into church relationship. The names of the original nine members are as follows:--
Simon DAKIN, Elijah CALKIN, Josiah BAKER, Maltheo ROWLEE, Reuben CLOOS, Barzillai KING, Stephen PEPPER, Elisha COLE.
A church covenant and articles of faith were adopted, and these nine disciples became the "Baptist Church of Phillips' Patent, Government of York." (Phillips' Patent, in which the church was first located, was a tract of land in Westchester county, 20 miles square, lying south of a line running due east from the mouth of Croton River. It was granted by Charles II., of England, to Frederic PHILLIPS, who settled upon its western limits in 1680.) There were at that time less than fifty Baptist churches in North America, with a membership of less than 4,000. But few then could be found to sympathize with Baptists, and the movement was generally regarded as the illustration of a fanaticism that would soon expend itself. The church appears to have been destitute of a settled pastor until 1753. In that year an invitation was given to Simon DAKIN, one of the nine constituent members, to assume the pastoral charge. He accepted the call, and at once began his labors as the first pastor of the Baptist Church of Phillips' Patent. He was ordained by a council, and for fifty years was a faithful minister in that denomination. Up to 1761, the society was without a house of worship, but in that year a beginning was made, and in the following year the house was finished and dedicated. At this time the membership had become increased to thirty-three. In 1770, the society joined the Philadelphia Association of Churches, and had then a membership of sixty-five.

In 1773, they were invited to remove to the section of the country lying north of them, known as the "North East Precinct of Dutchess County." Owing to the numerous difficulties, and the invitation to removal being so cordial, they decided that the change should at once be made. Previous to removal, however, they dismissed some of their number to form another church in the same county, over which Nathan COLE was ordinated as pastor. By the last of April the removal was effected, and on the first of May, 1773, they held their first covenant meeting in North East, at the house of Rev. Simon DAKIN, the pastor, near "Spencer's Clearing." During 1774, seven were baptized and ten received into membership. In 1775, Rev. Elijah WOOD, a Congregational minister over a church in Amenia Precinct, (See History of Bapstist Church in Amenia.) was baptized and received into the Baptist Church. During this year the severance of the colonies from Great Britain was declared accomplished. The storm of patriotic indignation burst, and every day added intensity to its force. The patriots of Dutchess County called a meeting at Poughkeepsie, and a pledge was adopted "that under all the ties of religion, honor and love to country, they would adopt and carry into execution whatever might be reccommended by the Continental Congress."

Continued in Part 6

Typed and submitted by Janice Sanford

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