History of Claverack, NY (Part 1)
From: Columbia County At The End of the Century
Published and edited under the
auspices of the Hudson Gazette
The Record Printing and Publishing Co.
Hudson, New York 1900

THE TOWN OF CLAVERACK.

On March 24, 1772, all that part of Albany county lying south of Kinderhook and King's district and north of the Livingston manor was formed into a district under the name of Claverack. It then included what is now the town of Hillsdale, which was set off in 1782, all the territory west of Claverack Creek, which in 1785 became the City of Hudson, and a large portion on the northern side, set off in 1818 to form the town of Ghent. The derivation of the name Claverack is ascribed to the white clover fields which covered the bluffs along the Hudson at the time of settlement and were called Klauvers or Klauvers rachen - clover reach or field - which has been corrupted into Claverack.

On the 7th of March, 1788, Claverack was erected into a town, and after the reduction in its area by the formation of Ghent in 1818, contained 30,224 acres. All this territory was comprised in the tract purchased by Killian Van Rensselaer in 1630. In 1704 Van Rensselaer conveyed to his brother Hendrick an extensive tract in the southern part of the manor, said to have been 170,000 acres; this was erected into what was called the Lower manor, to distinguish it from the old manor, by John Van Rensselaer, son of Hendrick, who became the first proprietor of Claverack. Settlers were provided with lands under perpetual leases, which system in time generated a vast amount of trouble.

The only stream of importance in the town is Claverack Creek, which enters the town from Ghent on the north, and is joined by Taghkanic or Copake Creek from the southeast near Claverack village, and which forms a portion of the western boundary line of the town. Thence the Claverack runs northward and unites with the Kinderhook Creek at the village of Stockport. Eastern or Agawamuck Creek is a tributary of the Claverack, rising in Hillsdale, and is notable as affording some waterfalls of great beauty, and furnishing an extensive water power, which is utilized by large factories at Philmont. Hoffman's Pond, in the southeast corner of the town, has an area of seventy five acres, and discharges its flow into Taghkanic Creek. There are several small tributaries of the Claverack Creek, upon which in early days primitive mills were erected, but which now do not contain sufficient water to be of use.

The surface of the town is diversified by low hills, spreading into small plateaus, and numerous intervales, and taken together is one of the most attractive regions in that part of the State. The soil along the creeks is alluvium, easily cultivated and very fertile. The uplands are of a loamy character, with some clay in the western part, and produce good crops of grass and the common cereals.

There are no data by which the first settlement of this town can be fixed with even comparative accuracy. From a journal kept by the two Labadist priests, who traversed this section in 1680, it is learned that at that time there were fine farms under cultivation in the vicinity of Claverack village. But as to who these "boors" (farmers) were, or whence they came, none can say. It is reasonably supposed that they may have been stragglers from the bodies of early immigrants to New Netherlands, who sought homes and independence in this then wilderness; and it may also be considered certain that the ancestors of some of the present residents of the town were descended from these pioneers.

It is evident that the settlement of the town was very slow, for even in 1714, after John Van Rensselaer had taken active measures to induce people to occupy his lands and offering liberal inducements for them to do so, there were in the whole town, according to a census taken that year, but two hundred and sixteen persons, of whom nineteen were slaves, with an unusual proportion of children.

The Van Rensselaers were early and active factors in the settlement and development of the town. After receiving from Patroon Killian Van Rensselaer the conveyances for his purchase, Hendrick Van Rensselaer, with his family and such of his Albany acquaintances as he could induce to go with him, took up his residence upon his lands. He did not assume all the privileges attached to the lordly grant, and did much in a material way to improve the condition of the settlers who had begun to make homes on his lands. He was active in establishing a church, and in many other ways showed his interest in the welfare of his tenants. John Van Rensselaer, his son and successor, less modest than his father in the exercise of those privileges which descended to him with the estate, became known as the proprietor of the town, and although he adhered to the then manorial system, was very active in increasing settlement and advancing the material progress of the new settlement. One of his sons, John I. Van Rensselaer, succeeded to the manorial rights, which he finally sold out of the family. He was father of Gen. Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer. Other members of the family settled on the site and in the vicinity of Stottville, where they held large tracts of land. A portion of this on the Union turnpike in the town of Claverack, was owned in recent years by Jacob F. Van Rensselaer, of the sixth generation, the only piece of land in this section of the original grant that had never passed out of possession of the family. The manor house erected by the Van Rensselaers, a mile east of Claverack village, is still standing, the property of the widow of Allen S. Miller,

In 1710 Jacob Esselstyne settled upon a farm near the center of the town. His ancestors had come to this country fifty years before. He had several sons, one of whom, Richard, was a major in the Continental army; another son, Jacob, remained on the homestead, now occupied by the widow of his grandson, Tobias Esselstyn, who was of the sixth generation of the family to occupy the property and which had never been held in any other name. Another brother was Cornelius, some of whose descendants became prominent in the county.

Among the Palatines and others who removed to Claverack from the Livingston manor in 1715, presumably to obtain more liberal leases and privileges, were the Conyns. A prominent member of this family was Casparus Conyn. He was a captain in the provincial troops, and when the Revolution broke out, was an active supporter of the colonists. He built a large brick house, which after a century of use was in good condition. Another family who came with the Palatines was the Van Deusens, who settled near the Conyns. Cornelius, of this family, was killed by the anti renters in 1761. The family name has many representatives in the county at the present time.

One Cornelius Stephanis Muller (This name was originally "Muldor.") obtained a lease of one thousand acres of land on the east of Claverack village in 1718. He was the progenitor of the Millers of Claverack and Hudson of today, and considerable of his original leasehold is still in possession of his descendants. Four of his sons, Jeremias, Stephanis, Christophel and Killiaen, came with him to Claverack, and took up homes in various sections of the town. From Jeremias is descended the John I. Miller branch. A son of Stephanis was Cornelius S., who was a member of the Committee of Safety during the Revolution. His farm was on the southern side of Claverack village, and the house thereon is now occupied by Anthony Van Rensselaer. This house was built in 1767 and the cellar beneath it was used as a prison for tories during the Revolution. A son of Cornelius S., Stephen, was captured by the Indians and held a prisoner by the British for six months, when he escaped. He afterwards lived on the Van Wyck place, and was the ancestor of Judge Theodore Miller, John Gaul and Henry C. Miller ; the latter gained local renown while sheriff in 1844 by arresting the anti rent chief "Big Thunder" Christophel was the great grandfather of Killian Miller, well remembered as a prominent attorney.

Another family of Millers settled in the eastern part of the town, whither they had come from down the river, and their descendants are now numerous in that locality. There was also another distinct family of Millers who settled in the town, descendants of whom reside in the vicinity of Mellenville.

One of the earliest families in the town was that of Ten Broeck, one of whom, Samuel, married the daughter of Hendrick Van Rensselaer, and was the grandfather of Adam Ten Broeck, a soldier who served all through the Revolution. Another of the family, Cornelius, was killed by the anti renters on June 26, 1766.

The Philip family came from Germantown. There were four brothers - George, William, Henry and David. From them have descended many bearing that name. George was a captain in the Continental army and commissary of subsistence. A family of Hortons came from England and became connected with the Philips by marriage. One of them, Michael, held a commission in the army during the Revolution, and served at Saratoga.

One of the most important additions to the settlers of Claverack was the Hogeboom family, who descended from Killian Hogeboom, a native of Holland, who emigrated to America in 1712, bringing with him his infant son, Jeremiah. Another son, named Johannes, was born in Claverack, and was the progenitor of the Hogebooms who later removed to Ghent. Jeremiah Hogeboom was a colonel in the provincial army in 1772, and his son, Capt. Stephen Hogeboom, was the father of Killian who had the post office at Claverack soon after the Revolution, and grandfather of James Watson Webb. Peter, another son of Jeremiah, settled in Hudson and became a prominent man there. Johannes Hogeboom had a son, Cornelius, who was an early sheriff of the county and was killed while in the discharge of his duties during the anti rent troubles, on October 22, 1791. He left a son, John C., who became one of the most prominent men of the State, and whose son was Henry Hogeboom, one of the leading judges and jurists of the country. There are still descendants of this family in the county.

The Mesick family was another and prominent one in the early history of the town. Peter Mesick held a lieutenant's commission in the provincial troops, and was an officer during the Revolutionary war.

In the northern part of the town were the Vanderpoel, Van Ness, Harder, Storm, Sagendorph, Ostrander and Jacobie families, all the successive generations of which have been prominent and substantial people, and whose representatives may be found in various parts of the county. South of Claverack village and on the flats were the Hardicks, Vandecarrs, Delamaters and Van Hoarsens. The place occupied by the latter became known in later years as the Mosely place, and the house now on it was built about 1700. Judah Paddock lived near the Van Hoesens in a house resembling that of the latter, and of about the same age. This place passed to the possession of Robert Morris some time before 1800, whose son, Robert H., was a lawyer of high standing in New York city. Richard Morris, the grandfather of the last named, settled in Claverack in 1776 on what has since been known as the Waldo farm. This Morris family was a noted one, and being ardent patriots, was obliged to leave New York after the beginning of the Revolution. The state of the country about this time is graphically portrayed in the following letter from Richard Morris to "His Excellency George Clinton, Esq., att Albany:"
"August 25, 1777.


"My Goon Sir. - When I heard you was going to Alby. I flattered myself a Little that my Cottage might possibly Entertain you one night, which would have given infinite pleasure both to Mrs. Morris and myself. I am sett down upon a farm about two miles north of the town of Clavarack, but I think too near the river, not being above half a mile from it, where, if it is possible in your return, I must begg to see you. I would sett out in the morning to pay my respects to you at Albany, but I am really afraid to leave my House at night for fear of those Rascally tory Robbers that are Rambling about the country. I have had a very bad opinion of our Affairs to the North, and had some thoughts of sending some of my things south again, but when I heard you was moving North, I was Determined to wait till I heard your sentiments and Advice in the matter. Mrs. Morris joins me in our best Respects to Mrs. Clinton when you see her, and be Assured, my Good Sir, among your many friends none is more Really pleased with the Honbie Testimony your Country bears for you than your Affe.
Hum. Servt.,
RD. MORRIS.

"If I cannot see you, do Lett me have the pleasure of Hearing from you.

"Direct to the Care of Henry Ludlow, jr., at Clavarack."

The Ludlows settled in Claverack village about the same time that the Morrises came, and have descendants there. In the southern part of the town Christopher Hagadorn, John Anderson, Frederick Prosseus and Johannes Rossman are recorded as early settlers, before 1750, and in a few instances the lands they settled upon are yet owned by their descendants. (Much information concerning this old town has been compiled from the brochure entitled "Claverack by Mr. F. H. Webb, which gives a succinct account of many matters of interest in the town and village.)

Others who are said to have been residents in the town before the Revolution, were the Hess, Williams, Martin, Race, Spoor, Ham, Plass, Whitheck, Melius, Gardner, Monell and Vosburgh families. Representatives of most of these families, in the fifth and sixth generations, are still living in the town, and have all been estimable people.

In the early muster rolls of the militia given in earlier pages of this work, and also the civil list at the end of this chapter, may be found the names of other residents, who did their part in making the town of Claverack one of the leading civil divisions of the county. Among these may be found the names of Robert Van Rensselaer, Peter Van Ness, Isaac Vosburgh, John Van Alen, W. H. Ludlow, Richard Esselstyne, Henry Dibble, Martin Krum, Abram Carley. The records of the churches of old Claverack give us the names of many men of whom today no other information can be obtained. Particularly is this true of the first church formed in the town, in the records of which are inscribed the following names, printed with the same spelling used in the records:' Samuel Ten Broeck, Cornelius Martense Esselstyne and Jeremiah Miller were the building committee, and those signing the roll were: Henderick Van Renssalaer, Isaac Van Duse, William Isselsteen, Stiffanis Muller, Kasparis Conyn, Gloudie D. lamatere, Isaack D. lamatere, Rarpert V: Duse, Arent Van Der kar, Jacob Isselsteen, Richard Moor, Jacob Essewyn, Robbert Van Duse, Joris Decker, Killnien Muller, Cornelis Muller Junior, Matthewis Is: V: Duse, Isaack Isselstyn, Kasper Van Hose, Matthewis V: Duse, Jan Bont, Isaack V: Arnim, Hendrick Bont, Kristoffel Muller, Tobyas Van Duse, Bartholomewis Hoogeboom, Juries Adam Smit. In the records of 1767 are the names of Hendrick Ten Broeck, Hendrick Van Rensselaer, Jeremiah Ten Broeck, Jacob Philip, Robert Van Rensselaer, Casparus Conyne, sr., Jacob Harter, Johannis Muller, John Legghart, William Van Ness, Jacobus Philip, Johannis Haltsappel and John Van Rensselaer. A church record of 1793 gives the names of William Melius, William Becker, Jacob Carner, John Rossman, Peter Miller, Simon Michael, William But; Frederick Flint, V. Miller and Peter Lowry. Coming down to 1830 the names may be added of James Philip, Joseph Horton, Philip Bloom, Isaac A. Pinney, Aaron O. New, George F. Tator, David S. Ten Broeck and Jeremiah G. Philip.

Mr. S. V. C. Van Rensselaer has preserved many documents of great historical value, one of which is here reproduced as having direct bearing upon this locality; it is a record of a court martial, and is as follows:

"At a General Court Martial held in Claverack, in the county of Albany, at the house of Mr. Cornelius C. Muller, on the twentieth day of June, one thousand seven hundred and eighty, whereof Henry I. Van Rensselaer, then Maior and now Colonel, was President, for the trial of the Delinquents of the then Colonel Robert Van Rensselaer's Regiment, now Brigadier-Gen'l Van Rensselaer; at which Court the following Delinquents were tried and sentenced, which trials and sentences have been approved by the Hon'bie Briga'r-Gen'l Ten Broeck, in manner and form following:

NAMES OF DELINQUENTS

How Many Pounds Fine.

Months in Service.

Cornelius C. Muller

£200

2

John Laet

100

2

Barent Lynch

300

3

John Morris

200

2

John Waman

100

1

Tobias Hogeboom

100

1

George Davis

200

2

David Auer

200

2

George Americh

200

2

Francis Mantel

150

1 1/2

Wilhelmus Groat

100

1

Peter Ashley

100

1

Cornelius De Lamater

300

1

Jacob I. Vosburgh

400

4

Jacob I. Meesich

500

5

Joshua Broeck

100

1

Jeremiah Smith

400

4

John C. Smith

100

1

Jonas Helm

300

3

Jonas Reys

100

1

Dirck Vosburgh

400

4

Alexander Patterson

100

1

Jonathan Reys

200

2

John Harvey

1000

6

Christian Hillegast

400

4

David Bonesteel, jr

500

5

John Ioghtaling

500

5

Tennis Hoghtaling

1000

6

John Coons, jr.

300

3

George Zufelt

100

1

Peter Clapper

200

2

Peter Hardick

200

2

 

£8,753

83


" The General having approved and confirmed the proceedings of the Court, orders Colonel H. I. Van Rensselaer to carry the same into execution.

" By order of GENERAL TEN BROECK.
" Albany, 23d Nov. 1780.
" Jeer. Lansingh, Maj. Brigade."


Before the formation of Claverack into a district, in 1772, civil affairs were, generally speaking, in the hands of the patroon, and committees composed of the leading men. At a later period, when the struggles of the Revolution were going on, these committees became what were called Committees of Safety, who looked after civil affairs of the district, and incidentally inaugurated measures to suppress the tories. None of the transactions of these committees has been preserved, and by their destruction much valuable matter relating to the early days in the town has been lost. In 1788 the town was erected, and civil officers elected. No records of the town are in existence earlier than 1834; therefore the historian is deprived of a source pregnant with facts, methods and transactions which would be of extreme interest today. A list of the principal officers of the town has been obtained, although in the early years it is not complete. It will be found at the end of this chapter.

The first record of road building in the town now available is dated in 1773, when commissioners were appointed to lay out roads through the district. The report of the first survey was made June 22, 1773, and reads as follows: "One certain road, beginning at the now dwelling house of Bartholomew Heth; thence northerly so as the road runs now along the east side of the meeting house to the now dwelling house of John Mcliinstry, and so running into the Albany road." This rather bewildering description is much more definite in its terms than those of some other highways located by this committee; and later records are even more obscure. The old "Post road," which was the Albany road above referred to, was a well known and important thoroughfare, in existence at a very early day. It ran along the higher land about a mile and a half east of Claverack Creek, and it is said that during certain seasons of the year it was lined with vehicles transporting the products of the northern towns to New York. But the establishment of river transportation and the building of railroads have diverted from it the traffic that at one time made it a busy thoroughfare. There were other turnpikes crossing this road at points in this town, among them the Union, from Chatham to Hudson, and the Columbia, running east from Hudson, through Claverack into Hillsdale and thence into Massachusetts. In early days this was one of the principal highways to the east, and was the outlet of the eastern part of the county and western Massachusetts to Hudson for produce of various kinds, as well as for passenger travel. Another early road ran along the north branch of the Claverack Creek on the north side. Most of these roads were dotted with toll gates for many years, but at present the toll system has been abandoned. There is no town in the county where the roads are kept in better condition than in Claverack. It is a matter of pride with the inhabitants to have their highways as good as they can be with the means at their control, and of late years much interest has been manifested in this direction under the stimulus of recent State laws relating to "good roads."

As previously intimated, agriculture in this town has been successfully followed for a century or more by an intelligent and progressive class of farmers. Many of the old homesteads are widely known for the quality and quantity of their products and the condition of fertility which has been maintained on the broad acres of their owners. Many of these are more fully noticed in the second volume of this work. The old style of general farming and the growing of mixed crops has prevailed in the town down to comparatively recent years and is to some extent still followed. Market gardening and small fruit growing have been taken up in some sections and with near by markets has been made profitable. The breeding of excellent stock also has been made an important feature on some of the farms.

Among the successful farmers of the eastern part of the town at the present time are found the names of Richard and Marshall Snyder, whose father, Peter J. Snyder, was a lifelong resident; David L. Nash, Stephen Barton, Richard Rossman, Anthony Michael, John Haywood. The ancestors of nearly or all of these were farmers and the same is true of those that follow. In the southern part of the town among leading agriculturists are or have been B. S. Mesick, P. M. Merrifield, Lester Bashford (former member of assembly), David C. Neefus (father of Ruluf Neefus, of Hudson, and postmaster at Hollowville about thirty five years), Stephen K. Barton (who operates the grist mill at Martindale), Benjamin S. Jordan, Morehouse Nash, E. A. Best, Benjamin Saunders (who has an extensive market garden from which he ships to New York), Myron Van de Boe, William Shaw, T. A. McKittrick, P. P. Ham, who handles lumber, etc., at Stone Mills; Martin Platner, Jacob Van de Boe, son of Peter C. Van de Boe. In other parts of the town among leading farmers are or have been Christopher S. Miller, Loren Pullman (deceased), Jeremiah Sagendorph, Alan Sagendorph, Richard Storm, David Carpenter, John I. Shufelt, Henry Tator, Linus and Norman New, Edward L. Demarest, Allen S. Miller, Andrew L. Pulver, Henry Avery, Cornelius Esselstyn, William Esselstyn, Harvey Miller, Jacob Mesick, Homer Miller, H. W. Rogers, Myron Hess, and many others who are elsewhere mentioned.

Those pioneers who settled within the bounds of the old town of Claverack could have found no fairer spot in all their domain for founding a village that was eventually to become the county seat of Columbia county, than that selected by them on the elevated land above the flats of Claverack Creek. It might have been foreseen that when the village should come into competition in the line of industries requiring power for their successful prosecution, with other localities where rapid running streams existed, Claverack would be left behind. On account of this lack of water power, which always had so great an influence in the upbuilding of pioneer communities, Claverack village has never contained any purely manufacturing establishments. There were in early times the usual grist mills and saw mills, which contributed in no small degree to the comforts and convenience of the inhabitants for many years; but most of these have passed away in the great changes of modern times. A mile east of the village were located the old Van Rensselaer mills, which once included woolen mills, saw mills, a satinet factory and later a flouring mill; the long well known Red Mill was originally built by Gen. Jacob R. Van Rensselaer. After various changes, enlargements, and improvements of the machinery this old mill has come down to the present time in continued operation; it is now owned by the widow of Theodore Lampman. In what is now the village of Claverack there were extensive tan yards, and for many years Robert Neefus carried on the manufacture of hoots and shoes, employing a considerable number of men and shipping goods to order to distant parts of the country. He enjoyed a wide reputation for honest work, and may be reckoned amongst the pioneers in that business which now employs many millions of capital in this State alone. South of the village and in the extreme southwest corner of the town were built in early years the well known Stone Mill, now owned by H. C. Spengler, around which gathered a small hamlet which now has a post office named Humphreyville; this place is further noticed in the later history of the town of Greenport. Soon after the introduction of modern knitting machinery, as noticed further on, Robert Aken established what was known as the Claverack Hosiery Mill in 1857, a little southwest of the village. It is said, also, that Dominie Gebhard,while pastor of the old church here, invented and successfully operated a press for extracting oil from the castor bean, which was cultivated in this vicinity to a considerable extent. Breweries abounded in the pioneer days in this part of Columbia county, and Cornelius Miller, with other members of that family, produced the beverage for the early inhabitants.

One of the earliest stores in the village was kept by Stephen Miller; it was situated on the hill nearly half a mile from the center of the place. Like many other pioneer merchants, he established an ashery to which the thrifty farmers of this section drew their surplus ashes that accumulated from the burning of logs in clearing land, to be manufactured into crude potash. In return for the ashes, as well as for other farm products, the store supplied the farmers with their household goods. Mr. Miller carried on a large and prosperous trade for those days. Stephen Van Wyck was another early merchant here, and on the hill, where the later stores were established, George Harder carried on trade, and was followed at a later date by Thomas Sedgewick, and others. Two stores are maintained at the present time, one conducted by P. W. Heermance, who has been in business many years, and the other by members of the family of George Craver.

Claverack was an important point in early years for the purchase and shipment of grain, and other farm products of the rich agricultural district. For the storing of grain large buildings were erected, some of which have stood to recent years. William Henry Ludlow, who came to Claverack just before the Revolution, was largely engaged in this business after the war, and was followed by others until such traffic went to Hudson. The Bristol Brothers are extensively engaged in buying, pressing and shipping hay, etc.

Public houses were numerous in the village many years ago, as well as at various points along the turnpike. Even these were frequently insufficient for the accommodation of travelers during the first decade of the century, and many private houses made a practice of opening their doors to the public. About a mile from the village still stands the old Traveler's Rest, which was one of the first on the Columbia turnpike, the sign bearing the date, 1796. It is a tradition that a man named Gordon as early as that date kept a famous inn in the village. The site of the Columbia House, now kept by W. H. Beardsley, has been occupied the greater part of a century by a hotel. The old house here was kept many years by Phineas Freeland from not long after the beginning of the century. The house had various proprietors before it was burned in 1869, at which time it was occupied by John H. Moore. Within a few years Henry Lawrence erected a large hotel on the site, and furnished it in first class style. Like its predecessors, this was also burned in 1876, and again a hotel was erected.

On the opposite corner is the fine residence of Mrs. George Du Bois, which was during many past years a public house and had various proprietors.

The reader has already learned in an earlier chapter devoted to the legal profession, that when Columbia county was erected in 1786, Claverack was selected for the county seat and the location of the court house and other public buildings. This fact alone is an indication of the importance of the village at that time, Claverack Landing (which became Hudson in course of time), while important as a point for shipment and receipt of produce and goods by way of the river, did not for some years begin to overshadow in a business sense the older village. Steps were taken for building the first court house at a meeting of the supervisors held at the house of Gabriel Esselstyne, and two thousand pounds were voted for the purpose; the committee to expend this money consisted of William B. Whiting, Abram I. Van Alstyne, John Livingston, Henry I. Van Rensselaer, Matthew Scott, Seth Jenkins, and William H. Ludlow, all prominent citizens of the county, and several of them residents of this town. The sum of sixteen hundred pounds was subsequently appropriated, and the building was not wholly finished until 1798. It was erected in the western part of the village, north of the Columbia turnpike, and was a nearly square structure, without ornament.

Although it was ocoupied for court purposes only until 1805, many important trials were held within its walls, and numerous eminent attorneys were there heard before court and juries. In the last trial conducted there Alexander Hamilton appeared on one side of a case between the patroon and some of his tenants, In 1803 Dr. Crosswell was tried before Chief Justice Lewis for a libel upon President Thomas Jefferson and found guilty. Elisha Williams, James Spencer, Francis Silvester, William W. Van Ness, and other distinguished lawyers, frequently appeared in trials in the old court house. The old house and its spacious grounds finally became a private residence. John Bay, an attorney who is noticed more at length in the chapter before mentioned, had his office in Claverack in 1785, and during that year and the next, Ambrose Spencer studied in his office. William W. Van Ness, a brilliant member of the legal profession and an eminent jurist, was born in Claverack in 1776, and also studied with Mr. Bay; he opened an office in the village in 1797. Gen. Jacob R. Van Rensselaer was also a native of the town, born in 1767, became a prominent lawyer in Claverack and had as students Ambrose L. Jordan, Joseph D. Monell, and others of lesser mark. Mr. Monell, born in Claverack in 1781, became one of the foremost lawyers of this section. Among others who were born in Claverack and became distinguished in their profession were John C. and Henry Hogeboom, Killian Miller, and William P. Van Ness. John P. Van Ness was born in Claverack in 1770, practiced here in 1792, and removed to Washington. The lawyers followed the courts to Hudson and Claverack is now without a representative of the profession.

The medical profession has always been represented in Claverack, and several physicians of eminence found their homes and large practice in and near by the old village. One of the very first was Dr. Walter Vroonian Wimple, who was a surgeon in the Revolutionary army in 1776, and settled in Claverack a few years later; here he kept his home until his death in 1798. Dr. George Monell was in practice here as early as 1780 and continued a number of years. Dr. Joseph Mullins and Dr. William Bay were in practice at about the beginning of the century, and after 1800 Drs. Abram Jordan, Gerry Rowan, John H. Cole, and S. A. McClellan settled in the village. At a later date came Drs. William Wright, Abram R. Van Deusen, James F. Philip, Thomas Wilson, and W. S. Gardner.


Continued in part 2.


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