HISTORY of CLIFTON PARK, NY
FROM OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
A DESCRIPTIVE AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
SARATOGA COUNTY
NEW YORK
PREPARED AND PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF
THE SARATOGIAN
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 1899




THE TOWN OF CLIFTON PARK

Clifton Park is one of the most southerly towns of the county. It is bounded on the north by Baliston and Malta, on the east by Halfmoon, on the south by Albany and Schenectady counties, and on the west by Schenectady county and the town of Ballston. In the Revised Statutes the town is thus described:

The town of Clifton shall contain all that part of said county bounded northerly by Ballston and Malta, easterly by Half Moon, southerly and westerly by the bounds of the county.

The surface of the town is gently undulating. A line of rugged clay bluffs borders upon the Mohawk river in the southern part of the town. There are several small brooks in the town. The Erie canal enters the town at Rexfordís Flats and flows southeasterly and easterly along the bank of the Mohawk river. The main line of the Delaware & Hudson Canal companyís railroad passes through the extreme northeastern part. The Schenectady branch of the same railroad runs through the northwestern corner. The Schenectady and Mechanicyule branch of the Delaware & Hudson railroad and the main line of the Fitchburg railroad extend through the northern half of the town.

The first settlements in Clifton Park were made near the Mohawk river before 1700. The exact date is unknown. In 1723 there were at least twenty inhabitants in the town, and probably more, as a census taken in that year shows that number of residents in the section then called Canastigione. Nicholas Fort kept a public house at Fortís Ferry before the Revolution. It is related that George Washington was ferried across the river at this point and stopped at Fortís tavern while on his northern tour in 1783. Eldert Vischer established the ferry which still bears his name, before the Revolution. Edward Rexford. settled at Rexfordís Flats before the Revolution. Saw mills and grist mills were established at an early day, many years before the Revoltation.

Clifton. Park village lies on the eastern boundary of the town, partly in Halfmoon. Vischerís Ferry, Fortís Ferry and Rexfordís Flats are located on the Erie canal. Grooms Corners is in the southwestern part and Jonesville (or Elnora) is in the northern part. At the latter place there flourished for many years a noted academy. At Rexfordís Flats the Erie canal crosses the river froze Schenectady county by means of an aqueduct of considerable size.

The Reformed church of Amity (Vischerís Ferry) was organized in 1802, the Baptist church of Clifton Park in 1795, the M. E. church at Groomís Corners about 1828, the M. E. church at Rexfordís Flats in 1833, the M. E. church at Jonesville in 1825, and the M. E. church at Clifton Park in 1842.

Clifton Park was formed from Halfmoon March 3, 1828, as "Clifton." Its name was changed to Clifton Park March 31, 1829. It is the last town organized in Saratoga county. The first town meeting was held in 1828, when the following officers were elected:

Supervisor, Ephraim Stevens. Clerk, Henry Clow. Collector, Michael Weldon. Assessors, Joseph Reed, Abram Pearse, Isaac E. Garnsey. Overseers of the poor, Joseph Arnold, Teunis Cragier. Highway commissioners, Jacob Voiwider, Elisha King, Stephen H. Wakeman. Committee of common schools, Cornelius Failing, Seth W. Higgins, Solomon C. Peck. Inspectors of common schools, Leyi Garnsey, William E. Noxon, Leonard Shepherd. Constables, William H. Brown. James Knight, jr., John Cole. Pound keepers, Ephraim Stevens, Eleaser Rexford. Fence viewers, Andrew Evans, David Garusey.

Since that time the supervisors of Clifton Park have been as follows:

1828, Ephraim Stevens. 1829, Nathan Garnsey. 1830, Ephraim Stevens. 1831, David Garnsey. 1832-34, Ephraim Stevens. 1835, William Gates. 1836-37, James Groom. 1838-39, Joseph Arnold. 1840.41, Henry Clow. 1842.44, Roscius R. Kennedy. 1845-46, John Peck. 1847-48, Christopher C. Hegeman. 1849, John Peck. 1850, J. W. Van Vranken. 1851, Harvey H. Rogers. 1852-53, William Shepherd. 1854, Nanning F; Vischer. 1855, Nelson Cole. 1856, Isaac Schauber. 1857, Roscius R. Kennedy. 1858. Nicholas Vischer. 1859, David W. Wait. 1860, Gradus Vischer. 1861-66, Cyrus W. Rexford, 1867.69, Nicholas J. Clute. 1870, Garret Craiger. 1871, Cyrus. W. Rexford. 1872, N. J. Clute. 1873-74, Barney R. Caldwell. 1875, Hiram Parker. 1876-80, Adam Mott. 1881-83, Samuel Groom. 1884, John C. Losee. 1885-87, William H. Van Vranken. 1888. George Losee. 1889, Wallace L. Hubbs, 1890.91, Hiram A. Champion. 1892-96, Emmor J. CaldwelL 1897-98, J. Howard Arnold.

The town clerks have been:

1828, Henry Clow. 1829, William Shepherd. 1830-1831, Solomon C. Peck. 1832-1835, James Groom. 1886, John Thomas. 1837-1838, William Hollister. 1839, James E. Jones. 1840, William L. Potter. 1841-1842, Thomas M. Peters. 1843, Joseph S. Wood, 1844-1845, William A. Peters. 1846, John Arnold. 1847, Aaron Wood. 1848, Silas H. Sweatland. 1849, Francis N. Viseher. 1850-1851, Lorenso H. Sprague. 1852, Staats V. S. Fonda. 1853, Hiram P. Jones. 1854, William P. Rogers. 1855, John Arnold. 1856, Nicholas Viscber. 1857, John Peck, 2d. 1858, Edwin Lyon. 1859-1860, John Peck, 2d. 1861-1864, Samuel Groom. 1865-1868, John Peck. 1869, Samuel Groom. 1870, Henry J. WetzeL 1871-1876, Samuel Groom. 1877-1879, Edward S. Hubbs. 1880, W. H Van Vranken. 1881-1882, C. R. Sheffer. 1883, Michael Dennis. 1884-1885, George H. Smith. 1886-1888, T. F. Bryar. 1889-1890, George H. Smith. 1890.1893, C. E. Carruth. 1894-1898, Richard Carr.

The justices of the peace for Clifton Park since 1830 have been:

1830, John Clute. 1831, Cornelius Failing, Samuel B. Edwards. 1832, Joseph Reed. 1833, Cornelius Hegeman, Henry Clow. 1834, Henry Clow. 1835, Solomon Brown. 1836, Seth W. Higgins. 1837, Samuel Wilber. 1838, Henry Clow. 1839, Benajah D. Arnold. 1840, Abijah Peck, Nelson Cole. 1841. William L. Potter. 1842, Henry Clow. 1843, Thomas N. Peters, Nelson Cole. 1844, Abijah Peek. 1845, Thomas N. Peters. 1846, Henry Clow. 1847, John Phio. 1848, Aaron Wood. 1849, Abijah Peck, Thomas N. Peters. 1850, Henry Clow. 1851, Nelson Cole. 1852, Urias Williams, Abram V. Fowler. 1853. Norman B. Prentiss, John W. Van Vranken. 1854, William A. Potter 1855. Nathan D. Garnsey. 1856, Silas P. Shepherd, Benjamin Howd. 1857, Abram V. Fowler. 1858, Elijah F. Reed. 1859, Nelson Cole, 1860, Silas P. Shepherd. 1861, Rufus Palmer. 1862, Adam Mott. 1863, Norman B. Prentiss. 1864, Samuel Langdon. 1865, John W. Van Vranken. 1866, Adam Mott. 1867, Cyrus W. Rexford. 1868, Samuel Langdon. 1869, Tunis C. Pearse, Samuel Langdon. 1870, Adam Moth 1871, William E. Rogers. 1872, James Edwards. 1873, Tunis C. Pearse, John Peck. 1874, John Peek. 1875, William E. Rogers. 1876, Julian Fish. 1877, Tunis C. Pearse. 1878, John Peck. 1879, M. A. Doughty. 1880, Julian Fish. 1881, Tunis C. Pearse. 1882, S. M. Turner. 1883, M. A. Doughty. 1884, John J. Best. 1885, Tunis C. Pearse. 1886, John Peck. 1887, Emmor J. Caldwell. 1888, E. R. Forte. 1889, Tunis C. Pearse. 1890, T. F. Bryar. 1891, Emmor J. Caldwell. 1892, E. R. Forte. 1893, W. H. Van Vranken. 1894, T. F. Bryar. 1895, Jeremiah Sheldon. 1896, E. R. Forte. 1897, W. H. Van Vranken. 1898, T. F. Bryar (full term), E. D. Wait (to.fill vacancy.)

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