History of Burke, New York
FROM: HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF FRANKLIN COUNTY
AND ITS SEVERAL TOWNS
BY: FREDERICK J. SEAVER
PUBLISHED BY J. B. LYON COMPANY, ALBANY, NY 1918

CHAPTER X
BURKE

Burke was erected from Chateaugay April 26, 1844, being the final partition of Chateaugay, which was mother to all of the towns now comprising the county. It was proposed to call the new division Birney, in honor of the Liberty candidate for President in 1844, but the Legislature evidently preferred the name of the English statesman, and so, disregarding the prayer of the petition, substituted Burke. It is one of the smaller towns in area, assessed as containing 27,463 acres. The population in 1845 was 1,285, which increased to 2,240 in 1860, declined to 1,920 during the civil war, gained two hundred, in the next ten years, and then remained practically stationary until 1892, when another decline began. In 1910 the population was only 1,772, but in 1915 had increased to 1,835. Until it was erected into a town the place had been Imown as West Chateaugay.

Burke is watered principally by brooks and the Little Trout river, which enters the town from Bellmont at the extreme southeastern corner, and takes a northwesterly course into Constable. The Chateaugay river cuts across the extreme northeastern corner of the town, and Trout river across the extreme southwestern, corner — hardly iuore than a mile of each being in Burke. The Rutland Railroad runs through the south third of the town, and has a station nearly midway between the Chateaugay border on the east and Malone on the west. An improved county highway, extending from Malone to Chateaugay, passes through the town in the southern part, and a State road follows the so-called north route, running through Burke Center and Thayer’s Corners. Burke was one of the first towns in the county to undertake for itself the construction of stone roads, and has done some excellent work under this system.

Burke’s surface is undulating, as no one familiar with its nomenclature or its topography would ever doubt. The locality near the railroad station is the “Hollow;” half a mile distant is the “East Hollow;” a mile north is “Taylor’s Hollow;” and a mile or two west of that is “Hawks’s Hollow;” while in other districts, wherever a river or a brook flows, there are hollows almost innumerable, but not distinguished by names. The soil, while not the most productive in the county, is yet of so good an average that intelligent farming is profitable, and consequently the general condition of the people prosperous.

The principal settlement in the town is near the railroad, extending both north and south of the station. Formerly, if not more populous, it was more important industrially, as at one time it had a sawmill, tannery, starch factory and a planing mill, which now are all out of existence. There remain a school house, a hotel, a creamery, a milk shipping station, a feed mill, two or three small shops, a half dozen stores, and a small group of dwelling houses, a Grange hail and an Odd Fellows’ hail, and a Methodist and a Catholic church. The residences are generally of a better type and better kept up than are commonly found in so small a place, and testify in their appearance to enterprise and comfortable circumstances on the part of the owners. The place has been greatly improved from its former estate, when pretty much everything was centered either in the “Hollow” or in the “East Hollow,” whereas now, the mills having disappeared and stores, hotels and dwellings there having been burned, almost everything is on the hill on the east side. of the river, a vastly better location. The hamlet has a gravity system of water works and it and even the farming sections are electrically lighted from the power development in Chateaugay. The population is probably at least three hundred.

At Burke Center, where it seemed until the railroad was built that the larger settlement might be, there are the town house (built in 18.51 and 1852), a Presbyterian church, the store of Lorenzo W. Thayer (the same structure built by Joseph Goodspeed in 1828), and a half dozen dwelling houses.

Sun represents merely the center of the activities of George and Henry Jordan a few years ago, when they did a driving business at that point — conducting a large farm, a creamery, a store, shops and a steam sawmill. Nothing now remains except a milk skimming station, the store kept by J. W. Taillon, and two or three residences.

Thaver’s Corners lies directly east of Burke Center, near the Chateaugay line. Formerly the Sons of Temperance had a two-story building here, with the first floor used for religious meetings and the second as a lodge room, hut now burned. There are ten or a dozen dwelling houses in the locality, and a store. At one time there was a Baptist church, but the society is no longer alive.

The first settlers came mostly from Vermont earlier than 1800, or nearly a half century before the town was erected, and even before the district was known as West Chateaugay. A few came a little later from Canada, and settled principally in the north part of the town. Gates Hoit, who was in Chateaugay in 1800 or before, undertook some years afterward to make a list of all who had been in the township at the time of his arrival, but omitted a number. This list included Jehial Barnum, Jr., Azur Hawks, John S. and James S. Allen, Noah Lee and. Warren Botsford. To these I am able to add Moses Eggleston, Rufus Jones, Samuel Haight, Israel Thayer, Benjamin and Lewis Graves, Simeon Reed, Jr., and Ira Smith as having been there in 1800 or having arrived soon afterward. Deed dates are not conclusive, of course, for in the period in question settlers usually held their lands only under contract from their initial occupancy until payments under the contracts had been completed, when actual conveyance would be made. Yet John Allen received his deed in 1798, Benjamin Graves in 1799, Mr. Thayer and Mr. Hawks in 1801, Mr. Reed in 1802, Reuben Allen in 1803, and Mr. Smith and Lewis Graves in 1805, while Mr. Thayer, Mr. Hawks, Mr. Haight and Mr. Lee had given mortgages as early as 1798, proving that the section which is now Burke had settlement earlier than any other part of the county except Chateaugay itself. Mr. Barnum was the son of Jehial Barnum, who settled in Bangor about 1807, and came directly from Vermont. He is understood to have been the first settler, probably in 1797, and owned several hundred acres of land—a single sale made by him in 1805 having been five hundred and twenty acres. He was uncle to Phineas T. Barnum, the showman. In the dozen or fifteen years following 1805 arrivals included James Hatch, Ira Covey, Dorastus Fitch, Erastus and Newman Finney, Dr. Stephen F. Morse, Joshua Nichols, James Brewer, John Mitchell, Joel Andrews, Timothy Beaman, Ezra Stiles, Joseph Goodspeed, Reuben Smith (a brother of Ira), William Hilliker, John Twaddle, Peter Bush and Nathaniel and Orada Day, and doubtless others whose names are not recalled. In checking up these lists the contrast with conditions in Bangor is both striking and melancholy. Where Bangor shows a notably large number of descendants of the original stock still abiding there, Burke has scarcely any. Allen, Morse, Fitch, Finney, Jones and Smith are almost, or quite, the only names borne by the early settlers to be found now upon the election registers or assessment rolls of the town, and some even of these perhaps do not trace their lineage to the pioneers, the families of whom have become extinct or removed elsewhere. Like the pioneers in other towns, they were mainly strong, manly men, fitted to found and manage the affairs of a community upon orderly lines, and give it enterprise and character.

Azur Hawks resided for a long time at the forks of the Fort Covington-Malone road, which locality thus dame to take the name “Hawks’s Hollow,” and was a lieutenant in the State militia in 1808 and a captain in 1809. James S. Alien was the first clerk of the county of Franklin, in 1808. Noah Lee removed to Malone and then to Bangor at an early day. Moses Eggleston lived near Thayer’s Corners, and is said to have come from Vermont on horseback, carrying money in a bag, and armed with a pitchfork for its defense. He was an ensign in a militia company in 1808, a captain in the war of 1812, and. a lieutenant-colonel in 1818. His company in 1814 appears to have been recruited in Chateaugay, and to have seen no service except for a few days on the march to and from Plattsburgh, which was not reached until after the battle had been fought. The route taken was south from the Chateaugay four corners to near the Bennett place, whence it led east through the forest along a mere trail to the Roberts tavern stand, eight miles east of the four corners. The turnpike was thought to be too near Canada to be safe against attack by the enemy. Of the company’s members who resided in the territory now embraced in Burke there were Israel Thayer, first lieutenant, Warren Botsford, Jehial Barnum, Jr., Simeon Hawks and Nathaniel and Orada Day. Addis K. Botsford, formerly school commissioner and until his death a practising lawyer at Saranac Lake, and Elmer Botsford, a prominent attorney at Plattsburgh, as well as Ray Perrigo of Burke, are grandsons of Warren Botsford. Ira Smith had no sons, but Reuben had Samuel, Benjamin, Arthur and John, each of whom left male descendants; and yet the only ones of this line bearing the name Smith now in the town are George A., his three sons and a grandson and his brother Samuel. At one time Reuben and his son, Samuel, owned almost all of the land in and about Burke Hollow, and were proprietors of nearly all of the business concerns there — store, shops, sawmill, etc. Arthur Smith (father of Fred Smith of the Smith House, Malone) and Abram G. Smith (the latter of another family) owned most of the little not in the hands of Reuben and Samuel. Rufus Jones was the grandfather of George, now a merchant. Ezra Stiles, who had been an officer in the war of 1812, was the Methodist class leader in Burke, was one of the early merchants, and later removed to Fort Covington, where he became customs officer and a militia colonel. He was an unsuccessful candidate for State Senator in 1871, and was an uncle of Ezra Goodspeed, now of Chateaugay, to whom the writer is indebted for a good deal of The information contained in this sketch. Mr. Goodspeed is also a grandson of Jehial Barnum, Jr. Mr. Reed, though married four times, has no known descendants. The only descendant of Israel Thayer, for whom Thayer’s Corners was named, now residing in Burke, is Smith W. Thayer, though the latter’s father, Lorenzo W., now living in Malone, continues in the mercantile business at Burke Center, and Warren T. Thayer, a grandson of Israel, lives in Chateaugay, and was elected to the Assembly in 1915, 1916 and 1917. Mr. Morse was the first physician in the town, and was the grandfather of A. Cady Morse, former county superintendent of the poor. Joshua Nichols was first judge of the court of common pleas in 1815, and Mr. Mitchell was sheriff in 1822, and a militia lieutenant in 1819. He it was who executed Videto, the county’s first murderer, and it is told that upon the occasion he wore his full regimentals, and, mounted on a white horse, sprung the trap with the point of his sword, and then rode straight for his home in Burke. Benjamin Graves was an unsuccessful candidate for the Assembly in 1804. He removed to Plattsburgh. and was three times sheriff of Clinton county. John Twaddle came early from Canada; John B., who is in trade in Malone, is his grandson. Ira Covey also came from Canada, locating in the northwestern part of the town, at the point since called Coveytown/ Theodocia Thayer and Alfred Deuel are the only surviving descendants in Burke of Lewis Graves, and Mrs. Lydia McMillan and Mrs. Fred Wood of Joel Ancirews. Smith VT. Thayer is a great-grandson of Newman Finney, and Austin Finney a grandson. Except for these instances, I think that none of the early settlers have descendants now living in the town.

Later years added a considerable number of stirring and sterling men, among whom it is not easy to overlook Elisha Marks, Abram G. Smith, Martin B. Durkee, Sidney A. Paddock, J. W. and Levi J. Looker, Seymour Brown, Milo Baldwin, Allen Ellsworth, Ezra S. Goodspeed, George B. Smith, L. D. and E. P. Deming, John McKenzie, Edward Mallon, Nathan Mason, John P. Badger, John Featherston, George T. Scovel, George B. Greene, Thomas B. Kane, Robert, John and Nelson W. Johnston, Sheldon A. Ellsworth, William McKenzie, Thomas S. Crawford, Corydon S. Chapman, Isaac B. Farrar, and Everett Brothers — men who with their sons and the sons of the pioneers established or operated the industries, the hotels and the merchandising of the town for a long period. They filled, too, the town offices generally, and with. such carefulness and efficiency that taxes remained low.

Particular mention should be made of the three men identified with the town who attained, to greater distinction than any other of its residents, viz., John P. Badger, Fernando Beaman and Philander Deming. Mr. Badger had. no prominence and had achieved nothing of consequence until he was approaching forty years of age. He came to the county with his parents from New I-Iampshire, and in his younger manhood learned. the carpenter’s trade. Later he was lumberman, merchant and manufacturer of starch. At about the age of thirty-fiv& years he began to take an active interest and part in politics, and almost at once became recognized as the Republican leader in Burke. The town had always been strongly Democratic, but by personal argument and organization Mr. Badger soon converted enough of the electors to Republicanism so that that party gained control, and has held it ever since. Not until Mr. Badger was thirty-six years old did he begin the study of law, and after 1872, in which year he was elected to the Assembly, he completed his course in the Albany Law School, and was admitted to the bar. He served three years in the Assembly, and. then located at Malone, where he continued to reside until his death in 1912. He had a suave and engaging manner, never antagonized any one with bitterness, and always gained his ends by diplomacy and compromise if it was possible to do so without sacrifice of principle. In 1877 he was elected district attorney and held the office for six years. In. 1891 he was a candidate for the Republican nomination for justice of the supreme court, and failed of success by reason of a deadlock in the convention, which continued for weeks. Mr. Badger came to be regarded as one of the strongest lawyers in the county, and prohab]y the very best before a jury.

Fernando Beaman, a brother of Timothy, who for a long time was one of Burke’s most prominent men, died in Michigan in 1882. He was a lawyer, and became a member of Congress. He was appointed United States Senator, but declined the office because of ill health.

Philander Deming, son of Rev. R. R. Deming, who was pastor of the Burke Presbyterian church from 1850 to 1856, was identified with the town only as a resident during his youth and later as a summer visitor to his brothers, Lucius D. and Edward P. He had a decided literary bent, and was the author of a number of short, captivating Adirondack stories, most of which were first published in the Atlantic Monthly, and then in book form. He became a stenographer, made his home in Albany, and, attending a law trial there, took the evidence in shorthand for practice. During the course of the case a dispute arose concerning some point in the testimony, and the trial judge called upon Mr. Deming to read his notes on the question. That was the beginning of stenographic court reporting, the incident having demonstrated the importance and value of the practice, which was almost immediately thereafter instituted, and has ever since been continued. It would be deemed impossible now to conduct court business without it, and Mr. Deming was its originator. He himself was appointed. a court reporter, and so served at Albany for many years — his literary work having been performed in leisure hours or during vacations. He was a gentleman of fine character and striking presence, liberally educated, a graceful writer, and an interesting companion.

But with good citizens bad ones came also or developed there, and at one period the hamlet of Burke, known also as the “Hollow” and for a time as Andrusville, was exceedingly tough. That condition did not continue for a great while, however, and latterly there has been no town in the county with a higher reputation for good citizenship, sobriety and morality. Though it has had few men who attained to eminence, the number proportioned to the entire population who are recognized as notably intelligent, useful in their several walks of life, and trustworthy in anything and everything is decidedly large.

The industries of Burke never included any large establishment, and have consisted almost altogether in such mills and shops as used to he common in every settlement. They have included only a grist mill, saw mills, tanneries, asheries, starch factories, brick yards and stone quarries. With the disappearance of the forests and the discontinuance of the manufacture of potato starch, even these have gone out of existence with the exception of the grist mill and the quarries; and since concrete came into so common use the quarries are idle, or are worked only on a small scale. In addition to the industries above indicated, in years so remote that information on the matter is almost impossible of procurement, Burke had an iron foundry, situate on the Little Trout river about a hundred rods below Hawks’s Hollow. It was built by Reuben Allen and Amos Chipman, and is believed to have made, among other wares, stoves and caidron kettles. An attempt was made after abandonment of it as a manufactory to move the building up the hill. Thirty yoke of oxen were employed in the undertaking, which nevertheless proved a failure. The structure was then taken apart, moved piecemeal, and made into a barn. The history of the establishment as a foundry can not now be ascertained with any definiteness, but it was probably operated for only a short time.

A vague impression apparently prevails that at one time Daniel Smith & Sons had a pottery in Burke, but I have been unable to obtain information decisively confirming it, and, so far as I know conclusively, the only clay product here was brick. Both John Collins and Seymour Brown, and possibly others, operated brick yards years ago.

The first saw mill was probably built by Alexander Church, as he sold a half interest in it in 1811 to James Hatch. It was located nearly west of Burke Center, or about a mile and. a half northwest from where the railroad station now is; subsequent operators of it were Simeon Hawks, Walter Dimick and Joseph Goodspeed. It went out of existence in 1858. Other saw mills were: One built by Samuel Smith in the Hollow, at the bridge, which was run afterward by Day & Badger, Day & Greene and William E. Walker; one just below Hawks’s Hollow, built by George Keep about 1848 or 1850, and abandoned after two or three years because it was not profitable; one a half a mile farther down the stream, built by William Beaman about 1848 or 1850, and owned later by Talmadge Spencer; one yet farther north, built by David Darling between 1850 and 1855; one in the extreme southwestern part of the town, known as Skeelsborough, probably built by Moses Hutchinson about 1850, and since 1859, until it was carried off by a freshet, owned and run by Sidney A. Paddock, who sold Al hethlock dimension stuff in 1864, delivered in Malone, at seven dollars a thousand feet — which price was nevertheless more than double that realized by Mr. Goodspeed a dozen or fifteen years earlier; one just south of the railroad, built by Gibson Smith; one built by George S. Adams about 1865, near the tannery., a short distance above the railroad, which was operated afterward for a considerable time by Elisha A. Hare, with Corydon S. Chapman as a partner for a couple of years; one, a gang mill, a mile and a half south of the railroad, built by Henry B. and Elisha B. Smith, of Chateaugay, about 1855, and afterward owned and operated by Mr. Hare; one built in 1860 by Joseph Featherston as a part of the tannery, near the Adams mill, and owned by Sidney VT. Gillett, of Malone, from 1864 to 1869, when it burned; one in the extreme southeastern section, built by John McKenzie, of Burke, and James Jordan, of Chateaugay, about 1864 or 1865, and burned in 1871; one on the same site as the last preceding, built by James Danford about 1873, and from which the machinery was removed to Beilmont something like twenty years later; one north of Thaver's Corners, built by Martin B. Durkee about 1853: one just north of Durkee, built by Amos Aldrich, and operated from 1857 to 1862; a steam mill, built by George and Henry Jordan in the north central part about 1897, and run until 1905; and a small portable steam mill south of Thayer’s Corners, operated by Otis S. Witherell and John W. and Daniel Mitchell from about 1884 to 1900. At the present time there is not a single saw mill in Burke.

Martin Durkee was the father of Colonel Charles Durkee of Malone. He was big (weighing nearly three hundred pounds), bright and. bluff — his language upon occasion being picturesque, not to say lurid. A brother, Charles, residing in the West. was a United States Senator from Wisconsin, and Governor of Utah. He died in 1870, and a few years ago the Malone Durkees had expectation of realizing a part of the fortune which he was supposed to have had, hut the securities which he had been reported to own could never be found. Judge Adams was a Bangor man, and was elected county judge by the Knownothing party in 1855. Simeon Hawks is said to have been engaged with James Hatch in smuggling cattle into Canada for the British in the War of 1812, and the story is told that upon one such expedition, being obliged to cross the Chateaugay river and unable to swim, he was towed over by clinging to the tail of one of the steers. He became a militia ensign in 1817 and a lieutenant in 1820. Joseph Goodspeed was for many years the political boss of Burke, holding the town securely in the Democratic column, and dictating all nominations and the town’s affairs generally. He was the lieutenant and representative here of Henry B. Smith, of Chateaugay, and never lost his grip on the town until John P. Badger contested supremacy with him and his son, Ezra, and won against them, though infrequently the Republicans had previously carried it.

With the exception of the feed mill of Hill & Darling near the railroad, which is of recent date, Burke has had only one grist mill. It was built in 1832 by Jehial Barnum, Jr., and Joseph Goodspeed, and is now operated by William McKenzie. Intermediate owners or operators include Eli Goodnow. Samuel Starks, T. L. & Harry Douglass, Albert Stebbins and John McKenzie. The last named (as good a man and as expert a miller as the county ever had) bought the property in 1860, and ran it until 1877. Just below this mill there had been a building, erected by Mr. Goodnow for a stave mill, and used later by John W. Marks and John P. Badger as a furniture factory, which Mr. McKenzie converted into a mill for making pearl barley. This building was burned.

Burke has had four starch factories. The first was built in the Hollow in 1846 by Elisha Marks for his brother, Ira. Elisha afterward acquired ownership, and ran the mill. Subsequent owners were Myron Derby, and Andrew Day in partnership at different periods with George B. Greene, John P. Badger and Everett Brothers. It was burned under the latter ownership in 1887.

The Sidney Paddock factory in the southwestern part of the town was built prior to 1854, probably by Andrew J. Day. In 1867, when the latter was operating the Marks mill, he invaded the Paddock territory for stock, and the rivalry thus provoked jumped the price of potatoes to forty-five cents per bushel, creating no little excitement and alarm among manufacturers in other towns. The statutes against combinations in restraint of trade had not then been thought of, and a meeting of all the manufacturers in the county was held at Malone to consider the situation. It was finally agreed that Paddock and Day might fight out their own battle as they liked, but that elsewhere forty cents should be the maximum price. Starch sold in that year at better than seven cents a pound.

A factory was built in 1857 east of Burke Center by A. J. Day and William G. Dickinson of Malone. It burned in 1862 or 1863, and was rebuilt by the original owners. It was owned and run later by George T. Scovel alone and in partnership with W. W. & H. E. King of Malone, and with George B. Greene; then by Greene & King, Grant Wilmarth and Morse & Walker, who tore it down.

A fourth factory was built by J. J. Jameson in the northern part of the town, but was run for only a few years. It burned in 1878.

There were asheries of course in an early day; four in all; one by John Mitchell in the northeastern part of the town; one by Daniel Mitchell, near Thayer’s Corners; one by Colonel Stiles, near Burke Center; and one by Lewis & Andrus on the Canadian frontier. These bought black salts from the farmers, converted it into pearl ash, and sold the product in Montreal. It was for a long time the only commodity that was equivalent to cash.

The town had tanneries, too, but apparently not as soon after the first settlements as was usual in most places. Nathaniel Day had one in the vicinity of Thayer's Corners, the date of which I have been unable to ascertain. Nathaniel Witherell also had one later in the same locality, and Hezekiah Olin built one about 1850 in the Hollow, east of the bridge, and on the north side of the turnpike, where Hiram Cartwright afterward had a shop and planing mill, and still later James rroland had a cheese factory. A half mile distant, in the East Hollow, Joseph Featherston built one about 1858, which burned in 1860, when lie built another south of the railroad, near the Adams saw mill, and combined a saw mill in the same building, together with a shoe and harness shop. This property, which was sold in 1864 to S. W. Gillett of Malone, burned in 1869.

Earlier than 1850 Moses Keefe and George Jordan had a cabinet shop in Taylor’s Hollow, east of Burke Center, and at about the same time and in the same vicinity John Taylor had a chair factory, while from 1845 to 1849 Taylor & Baldwin operated a bedstead and wooden bowls factory below the Hawks saw mill, near where Sheldon A. Ellsworth now lives. The bedsteads were the old-fashioned post and rail variety, with seventy-two feet of rope in place of the modern slats and springs. E. F. Bellows had a tub and wheelwright shop near the Hollow, which was burned in 1885, when James Danford built a planing mill on the same site. This was also burned about 1900.

Two quarries of a handsome, durable sandstone have been opened — one in the extreme southwestern and the other in the southeastern part of the town. The former was worked as early as 1850 for stone in building the old Northern Railroad, and then lay idle until 1876, when Sidney A. Paddock, its present owner, proceeded to develop it, and filled large orders from St. Albans, Vt., and from Chateaugay, Saranac Lake, Malone and other places — getting out great smooth flags, window sills, foundation facings, etc. The other was formerly owned by Daniel Crippen, and now by his sons, Martin and Fred. It was worked extensively a few years ago by “Jack” Anderson as lessee, whose principal market was Montreal. At present the Crippens themselves get out fine stone in limited quantities as orders come to them. But with the prevalent use of concrete for walks, curbing and even walls the quarries can not be operated profitably except on special orders where price is less a consideration than appearance.

Burke’s hotels have been numerous. The first one was built probably by Charles Dunham, as he had a liquor license in 1805 and 1806, issued by the town authorities of Chateaugay, and James Constable’s diary of his visits to our county in 1805 notes that he stopped there on two occasions. Its location is not determinable, and probably it was not long in existence, as it had no license after 1806. Mr. Constable refers to it in one place as eleven miles from the southeast corner of the town of Constable and five miles from Chateaugay four corners, and elsewhere as if it were near the western border of Burke. Another inn of about the same period was built by James Hatch at least as early as 1806, as he was licensed in that year. It was located at the top of the hill west of the Hollow, and still stands, being occupied at present by William Porter as a residence. Other landlords there after Hatch were John Smith, Samuel Smith and Abram G. Smith, by whose estate the property is now owned. James Hatch was the father of Harry B. Hatch, a pioneer in the town of Franklin, the grandfather of Mrs. O. W. Moody and Harry Hatch of Malone, and the great grandfather of Charles H. Moody of the Franklin House, Malone. He was a militia lieutenant in 1817 and a captain in 1820. He removed to Ellenburgh about 1829, and kept a hotel there until his death.

Moses Eggleston had a hotel early east of the Hollow, and Norman Percy one in North Burke between 1840 and 1850. Joshua Beaman had one at a very early date a half mile west of Thayer’s Corners, and Rufus Jones one in a log house just across the road. Chateaugay’s town meeting was held in the latter in 1813, and the general election in the former in 1828 and 1832. Joseph Goodspeed had a tavern from 1831 to 1851 near the Center, and during a part of the same period Hiram Miner kept a temperance house where Fred Countryman now resides, about a third of a mile west of Goodspeed’s. The sign, “Temperance House,” is still partly traceable on the front of the building. Mr. Miner was the father of the wife of Rev. Andrew M. Millar. Prior to the time of Miner this house had been kept by Stephen Cook, and then by Nelson Cook.

Reuben Pike, Sr., had a hotel a mile west of the Hollow, at what is now the Fred Baldwin place. In 1844, as once since then, campaigning was carried on by parties traveling through the county with a fourhorse rig, and a stop was made at this hotel. William A. Wheeler was one of the campaigners, and the party “refreshed” at the bar, when the best that the house afforded was served; and out of the incident grew the expression “Pike’s best,” which everybody used to call for thereafter.

Samuel Smith built a hotel in 1847 or 1848 in the Hollow, on the east side of the river, kept it himself for a time, and had. as successors, Hank” Smith, George S. Adams, Henry Lord, Reuben Pike, Jr., David Schryer and Mary Wilson; the latter the same woman who kept the Hotel Wilson on Catherine street, Malone, when it was burned in 1913 with so awful a loss of life. The house was at times of a character that was very offensive to the good people of the place, and it burned during the tenancy of Mrs. Wilson.

Other hotels that have been located at the Hollow include one south of the railroad, kept by R. P. Shandrew; one in the N. W. Johnston house, since burned, on the site of Thomas Crawford’s present residence, kept by William Heading; one called the Eagle Hotel, the first door east of the Maple Leaf Hotel, kept by Mrs. Arthur Smith, mother of Fred Smith of the Smith House, Malone; and the Maple Leaf Hotel, at the top of the hill on the east side of the river, kept by Henry Lapier. The last named is at present the only hotel in the town.

Burke has had at least nine creameries and two cheese factories. The first of the creameries was built in 1874 a mile west of north from the railroad station by Henry VT. Bellows, and others, located in all districts of the town except south of the railroad, by Ralph N. Bassett, C. C. Mason, Eli Darling, Bromley & Cooper, George and Henry Jordan, Woodbury Wentworth and Ketcham & Bassett.. One that was at the Hollow, which was afterward the Toland cheese factory, and one in the eastern part of the town are out of existence. The second cheese factory is a feature of the milk shipping station at the railroad, where at the height of the season a million and a half pounds of milk are received per month, and at one time fifty to sixty thousand pounds of cheese made. The establishment’s product now is candy. Some of those who have been proprietors of creameries additional to those who were builders are: Finney & Bromley, Wallace Pearson, Wallace Lyman, Jerome Coonley, Roy Clayton, the Columbia Creamery Company, Marshall White, Fred Turner, Myron Avery, A. H. Fay, Judson Santamo, Willard D. Williamson and Karl Walbridge. Fifteen to eighteen years ago the value of the product of these creameries a:veraged perhaps twelve to fifteen thousand dollars each per year, which the business of the milk shipping station must have lessened a good deal.

Probably the first store in Burke was that of Joseph Goodspeed near the Center, built in 1828, though Ashbel N. Sanford is sometimes credited with having preceded him. If Sanford was in fact in trade it was before 1815, at a point west of Thayer’s Corners. John Mitchell had a store on the Canadian frontier, in the extreme northeastern part of the town, but I think not until as late as about 1837. The place, hut not the building, is the same that Minnie Perkins lately occupied, with no enviable reputation. Since Mitchell’s time there have been, and are now, other “line” stores to the west, the buildings being partly in Canada and partly in New York. These have been kept by many different parties — Soper & Gurley, J. J. Jameson, Lewis & Andrus, Seymour L. Wyman, Leonard and John Bush, Cartwright & Perrigo, George Anderson and John Helm and others. The Bush store was burned some years ago, but four remain, viz.: J. J. Jameson’s, John Patterson’s, John B. Flynn’s and Minnie Perkins's, now closed because she is in prison. Some of these were altogether respectable and legitimate in their business, though always when the profit seemed greater than the risk were a cloak for smuggling operations by their customers — which, of course, is not necessarily a reflection upon the proprietors. Others of these stores, whose stocks consisted largely of “Kentucky hardware,” were now and again mere drinking resorts, and an offense to the community.

Merchants at Burke Center, besides Mr. Goodspeed, have included Ezra Stiles, Ezra Goodspeed, Thomas Williams, Dr. William Golding, Finney & Scovel and Lorenzo W. Thayer, whose store building is the same that Mr. Goodspeed erected ninety years ago; and at the Hollow, where there was little trading until 1848, Joseph Goodspeed. Samuel Smith and Elisha Marks as partners, and later Taylor & Mitchell, Marks & Derby, Lewis Arthur, Ezra S. Goodspeed, Day & Badger, Soper & Adams, Warren Clark, Lyman Brown, Everett Brothers, George B. Greene, William Day and Harvey Harrington. George A. Smith and George Jones are merchants there at the present time.

Daniel Mitchell had a store at Thayer’s Corners, which the tornado of 1856 demolished, and which was rebuilt to be “storm proof.” The same building is there yet, and is occupied by Daniel Gillett.

Burke has known at least two days of great excitement one June 30, 1856, and the other July 4, 1861. The story of each is unusual and stirring. In the afternoon of the date first stated the storm known as the Chateaugav tornado, which has never been equaled in the history of this section except by the whirlwind that tore through the wilderness in the southern part of our county in 1845, developed near the western border of the town, but did little damage west of Hawks’s Hollow. An eyewitness of its origin told afterward how he saw two clouds forming, one in the northwest and the other in the southwest, and, rapidly converging, meet with a resultant wind which swept eastwardly to Lake Champlain, but with diminished fury after it had passed Chateaugay. It’s path was narrow, but within that limit it wrought awful havoc. Fences, buildings and forests were leveled. A count made two days later showed nearly two hundred buildings between the west line of Burke and Chateaugay four corners blown down, unroofed or moved from their foundations; and this included only the structures that had been practically destroyed. From the Constable line to Burke Center the damage was less than from the latter point east, hut at the Center the store of Keeler & Stewart and the school house were unroofed and several dwelling houses wrecked. Thence the wind seems to have taken its course at a higher level until it neared Thayer’s Corners, where it trended lower, and the store of Daniel Mitchell was utterly destroyed and its contents scattered. Some of the goods that it had contained were found later in the town of Clinton, ten miles or more east. From Thayer’s Corners on beyond Chateaugay village hardly a building escaped. The only person killed was Jeremiah Thomas at Thayer’s Corners, who was struck by a timber from Daniel Mitchell’s store. He had only recently sold his farm, and was about to move west.

The other day in question was when Hiram Cartwright and other sympathizers raised a secession flag at the Hollow. The flag had been painted by William Hollenbeck. The time was when the Hollow was deemed one of the hardest places in the county, and the day was doubtless the wildest that Burke ever knew. It is said that there were two hundred men drunk there on that day, and drunk in no ordinary degree, but ravingly so. The men who were back of the flag raising armed themselves, assembled at the foot of the pole, and declared that they would shoot any one who should attempt to haul down the flag. Word of the affair reached Malone, and a company of sober men, quite as thoroughly in earnest as the rabble at Burke, was recruited, largely from the railroad machine shops, to go to Burke for the purpose of tearing down the rag. Time was necessarily consumed in making preparations and in waiting for the train, and in the meantime William B. Donihee, then a law student, was sent to Burke by Francis P. Flanders to warn the crowd of what was Impending, and with admonition to lower the flag. By furious driving Mr. Donihee arrived in time, and just as the train pulled into the station Cartwright and his friends had felled the pole, when the flag was removed, and secreted in a drain pipe in Cartwright’s cellar. Any other course would undoubtedly have precipitated bloodshed. It is pleasant to be able to note that the emblem was never again displayed.

Burke has a lodge of Odd Fellows (Shiloh No. 750), organized in 1896, which has a present membership of sixty-eight. its hall, near the railroad station, owned by the order, was burned a few months ago, but has been rebuilt on larger and better lines than the original structure.

Burke Grange, No. 932, was organized in 1902, and has nearly two hundred members. Its building, owned by the organization, is located near the railroad station.

Presbyterianism or Congregationalism in Burke was one with that of Chateaugay until 1845, when, upon. the erection of Burke as a town, twenty-six members of the mother church (which had been formed in 1816) were granted letters of dismission to form a Congregational church in the new town. Previous to this separation, and, indeed, for a few years following it, the same pastor served both societies — the usual place of worship in Burke having been the Morse school house, near the Center. In 1850 work was begun upon a house of worship in the same vicinity, which was dedicated in 1853. It was the first church building in the town, and it was improved in 1860, and again in 1872. It was struck by lightning and burned June 22, 1901. A year later the present edifice, finished in natural woods and with memorial windows — a very attractive church home — had been reared in its place. The membership of the church is now about one hundred and fifty, of whom one-third are non-residents. The form of organization was changed from. Congregational to Presbyterian in 1875. For a few years the old Free Will Baptist Church in North Burke has been in the possession of the Presbyterians, and services in it are held regularly by the pastor of Burke Center.

The history of early Methodism in Burke is also interwoven with that of Chateaugay — Burke having been within the Chateaugay circuit or a mission for more than forty years before it became an independent charge, which status was surprisingly late as measured by the establishment of similar relations in other towns no more important. While there is no conclusively sure record bearing upon the point, it is believed that Methodist services were held in West Chateaugav (now Burke) in 1802 by a circuit rider, though probably there was no approach to regularity of visitation until about 1831; and it was not until 1869 that the place had a conference appointment of a resident preacher, who must have regretted the assignment, for in 1872 he (Rev. Waly P. Hall) was charged with scandalous conduct, and subjected to a most annoying prosecution. The court, however, fully exonerated him. A church building near the railroad was erected in 1870, and was remodeled in 1903. From 1869 to 1885 the pastor here served the church at Bellmont Center also, and for the past twenty-five years or such a matter has officiated at Coveytown, which has a separate church organization, incorporated in 1890.

The Baptist church was an offshoot of the society of the same denomination which was formed in Chateaugay in. 1817, though not incorporated until 1848. Between these dates the organization had only a languishing existence, and was without a pastor for considerable periods. In 1848 the membership in both towns was eighty-eight, two-thirds or more of whom were in Burke. These formed a new society, and in 1852 began the erection of a church edifice at Burke Center. The building burned in 1855, and was at once rebuilt of brick, though not finished until 1859. The membership showed little loss or gain for several years, but in 1864 the society reported that “as a church we are spiritually dead,” and that it had had no preaching for two years In 1867, however, there seemed to be a revival of interest and activity for two or three years, following which the number of members decreased, and twenty years later they numbered hardly more than a score. The membership when the society was strongest having been located largely in the eastern part of the town, the church building at the Center was sold. in 1874 to the Roman Catholics, following which services were held for a time in Temperance Hall at Thayer’s Corners. In 1877 the stone building erected by Daniel Mitchell, after the tornado, for a store was purchased, and converted into a church, finished and dedicated. in 1879. The society having gone out of existence about 1901, the building has become a store again.

A Free Will Baptist Church was organized in 1870 in the northern part of the town, within a half a mile of the Canadian line, and Elder Richard Parks of Dickinson was its first pastor. Rev. Marshall White, since removed to Virginia, also served it for a number of years. Services were held at first in the school house, hut a church building was soon erected. The society grew to a membership of about forty, but became inactive nearly thirty years ago, and finally died altogether. Its church building is now in possession of the Presbyterians, and services are held in it regularly by the pastor at Burke Center.

The Wesleyan Methodists have had two church organiations in Burke — one joined with the Bangor and Burke circuit (which included also districts in Fort Covington, Moira and Westville), and the other the North Burke and Chateaugay Wesleyan Methodist Church. The former worshiped at first in the school house near Coveytown, but now have a little chapel of their own in the same vicinity, where Carlos Hill, a local preacher, has officiated ever since it was erected. The other Wesleyau church was about midway between Thayer’s Corners and the Canadian frontier. It was built in 1875, and was blown down in 1888, when the organization was practically abandoned — its members affiliating with a society of the same denomination at Powers Court, Que.

St. George’s Church (Roman Catholic) was formed in the early part of 1874 through the activities of Rev. Father De Pauw, then of Chateaugay. The church at the Center, theretofore occupied by the Baptists, was purchased at a cost of eight hundred dollars, and was remodeled in 1898. From 1887 to 1918 Burke was combined with Constable as a mission, the rector residing at the latter place, but is now an independent charge. The church building at the Center was abandoned and demolished in 1906, and a fine new edifice erected at Burke proper, which was dedicated in 1907. There are one hundred and five families in the parish.

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