TOWN OF BALLSTON.
The town of Baliston comprises the so-called “five-mile square,” with a small
addition to the south. It is bounded on the north by Milton, on the east by Malta, on the south by Clifton Park
and Schenectady county, and on the west by Schenectady county and Chariton. The Revised Statutes define the town
The town of Ballston shall contain afl that part of said county comprehending the tract of land commonly called
the five mile square, and the west line of the same extended south tothe bounds of the county; then along the bounds
of the county to a line run from the south end of Long lake1 south fifty-three degrees west; then along that line
and the east shore of said lake to the south bounds of the said five-mile square.
The surface of Baliston is gently undulating. The Mourning kill rises in the western part of the town and flows
northeasterly through Ballston and Malta into the Kayaderosseras. The outlet of Ballston lake flows northeasterly,
finally emptying into Round lake. Gordon creek is a small tributary of the Kayaderosseras rising in the northwestern
part of the town and flowing in a northeasterly direction. The Schenectady branch of the Delaware & Hudson
Canal company’s railroad extends through the town from Baliston Lake station to Baliston Spa. The first settlement
was made in 1763 by two brothers named Michael and Nicholas McDonald, who located near the west bank of Baliston
lake. In 1770 Rev. Eliphalet Ball, with his three sons—.John, Stephen and Flamen — and several members of his congregation,
removed from Bedford, N. Y., and settled in the vicinity of Academy Hill. Mr. Ball was induced to settle here by
a donation of 500 acres of land from the proprietors of the five-mile square. He was the pastor of the first religious
society formed in town. His father and Washington’s mother, Mary Ball, were first cousins. Soon after the arrival
of the Ball family a large number of settlers came from New Eügland, New Jersey, Scotland and the north• of
Ireland. Among these were General James Gordon, George Scott, Judge Beriah Palmer, Judge Epenetus White, Edward
A. Watrous, Captain Kenneth Gordon and others. The Scotch families settled in Scotch Bush and Paisley Street. The
first church in town (Presbyterian) was organized October 6, 1792. Ezekiel Horton was an early tavern keeper at
Baliston Spa is the principal village in the town. The larger portion of it lies within the limits of Milton. Christ
Protestant Episcopal church stands just south of the Milton town line, in Baliston. V corners is a hamlet half
a mile further south. Ballston Lake is a hamlet at the west side of the south end of Ballston lake. Burnt Hills
lies a mile west of Ballston Lake. East Line is a small hamlet about two and a half miles south of Ballstoñ
Spa, on the Malta town line. Ballston Centre is in the centre of the town.
The Presbyterian church at Ballston Centre, the first church in town, was established September 22, 1775; Calvary
Protestant Episcopal church at Burnt Hills May 7, 1849; the Baptist church of Burnt Hills about 1791; the Christian
church of Burnt Hills about 1848; the Episcopal church at East Line (now extinct) in 1876, and the Christian church
of East Line (also extinct) in 1858.
October 16, 1780, a party of four hundred regulars and Indians from Canada, under
the Tory Major Munroe, attacked the Ballston settlement, killed one man and took twenty-four prisoners, including
General James Gordon. The prisoners were taken to Canada, whence they subsequently escaped. In May, 1781, the notorious
Joe Bettys, with about thirty refugees, captured several prisoners and carried them to Canada. They also afterward
escaped. Bettys was subsequently captured and hanged as a spy at Albany.
Baliston was named in honor of Rev. Eliphalet Ball, and was originally called Ball's Town. In 1775 the district
of Baliston was formed from Saratoga. In 1785 it became a town of Albany county, and ineluded (as it also did as
a district) the present towns of Baliston, Milton, Charlton, Gaiway, Providence, Edinburgh and a part of Greenfield.
Chariton, Milton and Gaiway were set off in 1792. The records of the district from 1775 to 1778 are not in existence,
as far as can be learned. The first known are those of 1779, in which year these officers were chosen:
Supervisor, James Gordon; clerk, Berish Palmer; collector, Dr. Elisha Miller; assessors, Captain Elisha Benedict,
Jabez Patchin. John Rogers, Beriah Palmer, jr., John Taylor; constables, Isaac Stow, Daniel Taylor; fence viewers,
Lieutenant John Ball, Lieutenant Nathaniel Weed; overseers of the poor, Hezekiaii Middlebrook, Jabez Hubbell; pathmasters.
Nathaniel Weed, Jabez Hubbell, Elisha Benedict, Jabez Patchin, James Adams, Sunderland Sears, Nathan Raymond, Isaac
Following is a list of the supervisors of Baliston since 1779:
1779-80, James Gordon; 1781—83, none elected, on account of the war; 1784, Uriah Benedict; 1785, Andrew Mitchell;
1786, Benjamin Andrews; 1787—89, James Gordon; 1790—91, Beriah Palmer; 1792, Uriah Benedict; 1793, Seth C. Baldwin;
1794—96, Edward A. Watrous; 1797, Jabez Davis; 1798, Henry Walton; 1799, Beriah Palmer; 1800, Seth C. Baldwin;
1801, John McCrea; 1802-04, Nathaniel Booth; 1805-08, Samuel McCrea; 1809—10, Samuel Young; 1811, Ebenezer S. Coon;
1812—13, Samuel Young; 1814, Abijah Hubbell; 1815, S. D. Hollister; 1816 -23, James McCrea; 1824— 35, Jesse Robertson;
1836-37, Anson Seeley; 1838, William G. Verplanck; 1839, Anson Seeley; 1840-41, Ansoü Buell; 1842—43, William
H. Satterlee; 1844, Stephen Merchant; 1845, Anson Buell; 1846—48, Cady Hollister; 1849, Anson Seeley; 1850, John
P. Roe; 1851. Henry P. Woolley; 1852, William H. Wendell; 1853-54, Abel Meeker; 1855, John P. Roe; 1856—57, John
Vibbard; 1858—59, John Wait; 1860—80. George G. Scott; 1881—90, Robert 0. Davis; 1891, George L. Thompson; 1892—93,
Robert O. Davis; 1894-97, Douw F. Winney; 1898, George C. Valentine.