About the year 1786 a post office was established in Claverack, and on the 13th of July of that year Killian
Hogeboom, postmaster, published the first list of letters in the county. The early mails were brought over the
turnpike, which accounts for the fact that Hudson had to look to Claverack for its mail until 1793. On July 31,
1792, the station was made a regular post office and Elihu C. Goodrich was appointed postmaster. At a later period
Jacob R. Van Rensselaer received the appointment, and placed the office in charge of Thomas Seclgewick. It has
been impossible to get from the department a list of those who subsequently served in that capacity. George Rivers
is the present incumbent.
With the transfer of the county seat to Hudson, the rapid development of river commerce, and the building of early
railroads, Claverack village soon lost its importance as a business center, and settled down into the beautiful,
rural settlement that it has ever since remained. Education, religion and morality have always been fostered in
the community to an exceptional degree. Washington Seminary, of which a history is given in another place in this
volume, was founded twenty years before the beginning of the present century and has to the present day exerted
a widespread influence for good. A reading room and library was established in January, 1891, which has had a flourishing
existence to the present time. It has received generous support from many of the more prominent residents of the
village and now owns a building which was purchased at a cost of $3,500. It is managed by a board of eleven trustees
of which Dr. Thomas Wilson was chosen president; Rev. J. H. Wyckoff, first vice president; A. H. Flack, second
vice president; Miss A. Crane, secretary; treasurer, Julia Cole. The president for 1900 is A. H. Flack; vice president,
H. A. Crane; secretary, Mrs. A. H. Flack; treasurer, P. W. Hermance. The library contains about 1,500 volumes and
receives aid from the State in making additions. There was a library society organized here on December 29, 1829,
among the members of which were many prominent citizens. Its career of usefulness continued some years, but details
of its history are wanting.
But if Claverack village has lost forever its business importance, it retains in all its past prodigality the natural
and artificial attractions that have rendered it an ideal place of residence. Streets shaded by ancestral trees,
stately old mansions, and spacious grounds please the eye on every side. Many of the old homes are rich in historical
interest and sheltered their inmates during nearly or quite a century.
The Claverack Mutual Insurance Company is a local institution, organized in April, 1857. The first board of directors
was composed of Frederick S. Miller, William E. Miller,William M. Miller, F. R. Miller, John Conklin, Abram Martin,
W. W. Merrifield, E. L. Dunn and Adam Sagendorph. The company has been prudently managed, and is in a prosperous
condition. The president in 1900 is Almon C. Miller, who has filled the position for twenty three years.
The beautiful and enterprising village of Philmont is situated in the northeastern part of the town, a mile east
of Mellenville, on the high ground that rises from the valley of the eastern branch of the Claverack Creek (bearing
the Indian name, Ockawamick or Agawamuck). This stream comes tumbling down from the east, falling about two hundred
and fifty feet within a distance of half a mile, supplying immense water power, which many energetic men have utilized
in turning the wheels of various manufactories. In early years a small hamlet gathered here around the grist mill
which was owned by a Mr. Gifford, and a small satinet and carpet factory operated by James Philip & Co., farther
up the stream; this industry served to give the place the local title of Factory Hill. The auspicious beginning
of the later development of the place was due almost wholly to George P. Philip, the first syllable of whose surname
is perpetuated in the name of the village. Mr. Philip began his operations in 1845, by erecting a large dam above
the high fall, and digging a canal from there along the hill slope, at an angle with the course of the stream,
thus obtaining a succession of water powers with a fall of about two hundred feet. The water privileges of the
stream were placed in control of a company composed of the later mill owners, each one having a franchise for the
number of feet fall represented in his mill property. To provide against possible seasons of drouth, a reservoir
covering fifty six acres was constructed a mile and a half above the village, and a second one at the village covering
thirty six acres, with a combined capacity of 37,000,000 cubic feet. It may be added that the upper reservoir has
recently passed to P. M. Harder, while the lower one remains in possession of the association of manufacturers.
George W. Philip became the owner of the satinet factory before mentioned, which was converted into the Ockawamick
Hosiery Mills for the manufacture of underwear. The building was burned in 1876 and a larger and more substantial
brick structure was erected on the site, in which were placed six sets of machinery for the manufacture of underwear.
In comparatively recent years this property passed to the Summit Knitting Company, and is now run by the receiver
of that corporation.
About the year 1847, and early in the period of his improvements, George P. Philip built a large factory on what
is known as High. Rock, and supplied it with machinery for the manufacture of fine woolen goods. These were successfully
produced, but the business was not satisfactorily profitable, and in 1868 it was converted into a hosiery mill.
The property subsequently passed to William A. Harder & Co., who later failed. P. M. Harder & Son then
became the owners, and a few years later 'William A. Harder, jr., acquired an interest, the firm style becoming
P. M. Harder & Sons. The mill was burned in 1875 and in 1879 P. M. Harder & Sons built the present extensive
mills and equipped them with six sets of machinery for manufacturing underwear; the capacity was enlarged to nine
sets in 1887, and to ten sets in 1900. In 1890 the High Rock Knitting Company was organized with P. M. Harder,
president; C. N. Harder, treasurer; F. B. Harder, secretary. The capital of the company is $90,000, and about three
hundred and twenty five hands are employed.
Intimately and prominently connected with the manufacturing interest of Philmont have been several members of the
Aken family. Nelson P. Aken was a native of the town of Claverack, born in 1839. His father was James Aken, who
was a native of Ireland, born in 1816, and came to this country in 1824, settling at Philmont, which was then a
mere hamlet, with one small woolen mill in operation. He soon obtained employment with James Philip & Co. in
the woolen mill, and later worked for A. & W. Van Hoes, woolen manufacturers at Stuyvesant Falls. In 1835 he
took charge of what was known as the Huntington mill, near Claverack village, where carpet yarns were made. After
five years there he was employed until about 1845 in the Tivoli woolen mill at Albany, owned by the Van Rensselaers.
About this time the first knitting machinery, as an improvement on the old English hand frame, was brought out
by Egberts & Baily, of Cohoes. Those machines were crude and demanded an especially smooth yarn in order to
work successfully. The firm found in Mr. Aken a practical man whose knowledge of the business and ingenuity enabled
him to fill the requirements of the new business, and he was employed by the firm as superintendent, in which capacity
he remained two years. He was then induced to settle in Philmont by his old friend, George P. Philip, and there
for seven years he devoted his energies as the practical man in their business. The financial depression of 1853-1
caused heavy losses to the firm and Mr. Aken withdrew to become a member of the firm of Root & Parsons, who
purchased a mill and began manufacturing knit goods. From that time until 1878 Mr. Aken was connected with this
industry in Rensselaer county; but in the mean time, in 1862, he aided his son, Nelson P., in establishing a knitting
mill in Philmont, building a small frame structure on the site of the later lower mills, and placing therein two
sets of machinery. The business was successful from the start, and in 1865 the large lower mills were erected,
the main part being one hundred and sixty by fifty feet in dimensions, four stories, with a tower of six stories.
A knitting and finishing building was also erected, one hundred and twenty by thirty six feet and three stories,
with large machine shop, bleaching house, etc. It had been James Aken's intention to retire from active life in
1878, but in that year his son died in Europe and he was compelled to change his plans. The property then known
as the Philmont Hosiery Mills came into his possession, and he continued to operate them with remarkable success
down to about the time of his death. In order to more fully share the responsibilities of the large business with
others, he, in 1888, formed the stock company known as the Aiken Knitting Company, he taking the office of president.
The amount of capital was $225,000, which continues the same. Mr. Aken was president until his death, December
15, 1898, and was succeeded by his son in law, W. S. C. Wiley; the present vice president is Ernest E. Weiskotten,
and M. G. Thomas is secretary and treasurer. The large product of these mills is mostly fleece lined goods, and
from four hundred and fifty to five hundred operatives are employed.
Among the other manufacturing industries established by George P. Philip, was a paper mill, which was built about
1855 and was operated until 1859, when it was burned. Horton Harder erected its successor, which was successfully
operated in the manufacture of fine straw wrapping paper until after the close of the war, since which time it
has been idle. The property is owned by the widow of Charles N. Harder. What was formerly known as the Philmont
paper mill was built on the site of the old Gifford grist mill about 1858 by Samuel Rogers. This is now known as
the Agawaimuck Paper Mill and is owned by H. W. Rogers and operated by the firm of Collier & Leggett. Straw
wrapping paper is made.
What is now known as the Midland Hosiery Mill was built by John F. Ellsworth for a machine shop and foundry about
1860. Paper mill and woolen machinery were made there extensively, and the business was subsequently conducted
by C. F. Ellsworth and Edward Herrick. Still later it was operated by George Tobias and George M. Harder, who carried
on the business of a general machine shop and a manufactory of knitting needles. In 1886 the property was sold
to John Hayes, who enlarged the buildings and equipped them for making flat and fleece lined underwear. Mr. Hayes
has made the business very successful and now employs one hundred operatives and turns out a product annually valued
at about $100,000.
An industry that has passed away was established as the Philmont Scale Works by George H. Snyder, who removed here
from Troy in 1877. He manufactured all kinds of platform scales and also did some foundry work. The business was
not continued long. Also, E. F. Connolly established a needle factory on the hill in 1876, where he made about
100,000 knitting needles per month for a time, but this too was abandoned. This line of business is now carried
on extensively by David J. Ames. Besides these important industries the village has the usual mechanic shops of
various kinds and a thriving mercantile trade.
The stores of the various kinds are too numerous to mention in detail, but they include three drug stores, five
or six general stores, two hardware stores, one furniture store, two stores where hats and furnishing goods are
sold, and about twelve groceries.
The medical profession has always been ably represented in the village; among recent and present physicians are
Drs. George M. Vedder (recently deceased), R. A. Woodruff, J. W. Lockwood, and Conklin.
On the site of the present Vanderbilt House a hotel has been kept since the war period. It is now well conducted
by L. O. Mansfield, who succeeded Mrs. Dexheitnan, whose husband formerly kept the house a number of years. The
Empire House was built about 1891 and is kept by Robert Hermans. Richardson's Hotel is kept by heirs of S. W. Richardson,
who died in 1900; the house was erected about 1883. The Hopkins House has been kept from the time of its erection
by Thomas Hopkins.
The municipal history of Philmont is brief, the incorporation having been effected in 1891. Village ordinances
were drawn and adopted in the usual form and the government of the community has since been effectively administered.
The first president of the corporation was George Baker, and he has been followed by George W. Moseley, Dr. R.
A. Woodruff, Charles E. Aken, George Fox, and William H. Neal. The post office here was, established in 1858, when
Cornelius N. Horton was appointed postmaster.
Among the many improvements that have been effected in this village since its incorporation is the waterworks,
which give the inhabitants a splendid supply of pure water for domestic and other purposes and provide a means
of extinguishing fires that could not be improved. The water is taken from Forest Lake, situated about a mile from
the hamlet of Martindale in the east part of the town, from which it flows by gravity with about three hundred
feet fall to the village This gives an immense pressure upon the pipes and the thirty hydrants in use. The cost
of the works was about $33,000. Previous to the establishment of this system the only means of extinguishing fires
was a bucket brigade, as it was called; but the village escaped serious conflagration. A hook and ladder truck
and a hose cart have been purchased since the incorporation and a volunteer company have both in charge.
A commodious public building was erected in 1899, at a cost of about $3,200. Apartments on the lower floor accommodate
the fire apparatus, while the upper story is used for village offices. A village police is maintained, the office
of police justice being held in 1900 by Frank B. Lindsey, who has the honor of being a 32d degree Mason.
The village of Mellenville has a history that dates farther back in regard to its industries than that of Philmont.
It is pleasantly situated at the confluence of the Claverack and Eastern Creeks, and is a station of the Hudson
branch of the Boston and Albany Railroad. In early years it was known as Centerville, but took its present name
in 1837 from a family named Mellen, the head of which was instrumental in building the railroad through this immediate
vicinity. The families of Miller, Storm, Philip, Harder and Horton were prominent among the settlers in the vicinity
and their descendants still live in various parts of the county. The village had little business importance until
after the construction of the railroad, George Philip and Stephen Miller were among the earliest merchants and
had a store in the lower part of the village; they were succeeded by their sons, and William Philip was subsequently
long in business. The firm of Storm & Miller, Jeremiah Groat, and Harman Best were also in trade. Other merchants
at different periods were Colonel Decker, Jeremiah Storm, George Southard, Charles Southard, A. Miller, M. &
C. A. Miller, A. Daniels, John Clawson, G. J. Anderson, and Samuel Magee, a number of whom are still in trade.
A grist mill was established here in early years, the building of which was converted into the Mellenville Hosiery
Mills in 1872 with S. D. & Almon Miller, proprietors. About 1878 S. D. Miller became sole proprietor, who soon
afterward sold a half interest to his son. The mills were burned in 1882, were rebuilt by S. D. Miller & Sons,
who continued the business to 1895 and failed. The property was sold under a mortgage to J. A. Pulver and is now
William A. Harder built a grist mill here about 1860, which with additions was subsequently converted into a hosiery
factory. This burned in 1862 and Mr. Harder rebuilt it and continued the manufacture of knit goods. A company was
formed to carry on the business, which ultimately failed. The property was taken by P. M. Harder, who operated
it until it was bought by Smith & Philip, who continued the business a few years. After another failure and
several changes the property was taken by the present A. P. Pitcher Company, who manufacture men's knit underwear
and overshirts. A. P. Pitcher is president of this company and Horatio A. Allen, secretary and treasurer.
Farther below Thomas Storm had a grist mill many years ago, which in 1867 was converted into a paper mill by William
Smith and his brother. It is now operated by Leonard Smith. Adelbert L. Traver is engaged in the manufacture of
inventions of his own in connection with mill machinery, for which there is a good demand,
The post office at Mellenville was established about 1840 with Harman Best, postmaster. Among others who have held
the office are A. W. Ostrander, George Southard, Jacob P. Fassett, and others, with George H. Philip, the present
One of the first public houses in the village was kept by George Philip, and there have been many changes in landlords
since that time. The Union Hotel is now kept by Bert Reynolds, who succeeded Bert Pulver. The White Hotel, near
the railroad station, takes its name from the family who conduct it.
The schools of Philmont and Mellenville are ample for the needs of this region and are efficiently conducted.
In Philmont, which is included in district No. 6, there is a good brick school building of two stories, in which
is kept a Union school, which includes a section of the town of Ghent; seven teachers are employed. Mellenville
is included in district No. 8, in which is taught a graded school with three teachers. The town of Claverack forms
a part of the first school commissioner district of the county, and according to the last published report of the
superintendent of public instruction, contains thirteen districts with school houses, in which are employed twenty
one teachers. The whole number of children attending school is seven hundred and eighty three, and the value of
school buildings and sites is $26,950; the assessed valuation is $2,614,882, and the money raised by local tax
amounts to nearly $7,000. A public library containing about 1,200 volumes is maintained in Philmont, of which George
A. Lockwood is president of the board of trustees. It receives the usual percentage of State aid in the purchase
of books and is cordially supported by the families of the village.
Martindale, in the eastern part of the town, and a station on the Harlem Railroad, took its name from John Martin,
grandfather of Ambrose Martin. John had three sons, Asa, John and Agrippa, and the family became very successful
farmers. Asa was the father of Ambrose. A post office was established here about 1849, with Martin Ham, postmaster;
he also kept the first store. A store was subsequently kept by the Haywood Brothers for some years. West of this
point was formerly a grist mill, erected nearly a hundred years ago by Agrippa Martin, and which became known in
later years as the John Martin mill; it is now in ruins. The present grist mill is run by Stephen K. Barton.
The hamlet of Hollowville (formerly called Smoky Hollow), was settled mainly on account of the water power supplied
by one of the larger affluents of Claverack Creek. The Columbia turnpike passes through the place, which aided
in early years in giving it considerable business importance. The building of railroads in comparatively recent
years, leaving it about midway between two lines, and making it an inconvenient shipping point, served to lessen
the volume of business in the place. In early years a number of public houses were opened on the turnpike in this
immediate vicinity to share in accommodating the traveling public; one of the first of these was kept by William
Z. Holsapple in the lower part of the settlement, and another stood on the higher ground which was kept at different
periods by David Blunt, John M. Smith and other proprietors. In 1844 this house was kept by Jonas and Simeon Miller
and was the scene of the shooting of young Rifenburgh in connection with the anti rent difficulties, as described
in an earlier chapter. A third tavern was built here by William P. Snyder, which subsequently became a private
dwelling. In 1900 there are two hotels, one of which is conducted by Otto York and the other by Stephen Bashford.
Mercantile business began early in the Hollow, Adam Van de Boe opening the first store; this was followed by another
in which John Freeland carried on business. Among others who have been in trade are Ezra Averill, David Carshore,
Levi Miller, David Rose, John W. Van Hoesen, Mathias Michael, David C. Neefus, who began business in 1866 and continued
many years, and William Wildemuth, who is now in business.
Taking advantage of the water power here, Sela Hill established wool carding and cloth fulling at an early day,
and Martin Bailey was in the same business at a later date. Still later Edward and Christopher Gernon manufactured
satinets when those goods were popular, and flannels; but in course of time the factory was changed into a hosiery
mill by Christopher Gernon. The buildings were carried away in a freshet in 1869 and a saw mill erected on the
Farther up the stream Matthew N. Burdick built a grist mill about 1838, which has had various owners and is now
operated by Otto York, Other early industries that were prosecuted here with varying success were a trip hammer
operated by William P. Snyder; the manufacture of guns by Peter Snyder, a manufactory of grain cradles by Peter
I. Anderson and Jacob A. Shaver. These have all passed out of existence. A short distance east of Hollowville stood
the old overshot mill which was widely known from about the beginning of the century, when it was erected by Jacob
Hoffman; this also has gone into ruins. West from Hollowville, at a point that has been locally called Buttermilk
Falls, a few houses were built long ago around the industries that were carried on by aid of the water power of
a small brook. A woolen factory was operated a number of years, and Jacob R. Van Rensselaer had a distillery here.
These interests long ago disappeared.
The post office at Hollowville was established in 1833, with the name, Smoky Hollow, and John N. Smith was the
first postmaster; he kept the office in his tavern. The name was changed to Hollowville in December, 1867. Among
those who subsequently held the office were Ambrose Root, Jacob Holsapple, Christopher Gernor, Peter L. Decker,
Jacob I. Platner, and others. The present official is David C. Neefus.
Away down on the southern line of the town is the hamlet of Churchtown, where a post office was opened about the
middle of the century, with Albert Sheldon, postmaster. Here was formerly several business interests, the trade
of which has been largely diverted to other more central points. Some of the early families who settled in this
immediate vicinity were those of Frederick Houser, Jonas Rossman, Nicholas Roat, Aldrich Sours, the Hagadorns,
and others. A part of the hamlet lies across the town lines of Livingston and Taghkanic.
Richard Bortle was one of the very early merchants here, carrying on business in a building that subsequently became
a tavern. The only business interests of the place at the present time are public houses kept by Robert Myers and
Andrew Ham, and one store.
The Reformed Protestant Dutch church of Claverack is the oldest religious body in the town, and one of the oldest
in the county. The following notes concerning this society are compiled from a history of the church by Rev. F.
N. Zabriskie, which was prepared from the records. As stated in earlier pages of this chapter, Hendrick Van Rensselaer,
the owner of nearly all the lands of the town, was active in establishing this church, and his name appears first
among the signatures to the "compact" upon which the society was founded. The first entry in the records
of the church bears date of February 7, 1727, but it is probable that steps had been taken for the organization
of a society some time previous, for the church building was completed and was dedicated on February 7, of that
year, by Dominie Van Driessen of Albany. Rev. Zabriskie thus describes the building:
"The building was erected near the spot where the court house was afterwards built. There were just twenty
six pews in it, six of them being long pews ranged all around the walls and occupied by the men, and twenty others,
mostly facing the pulpit, occupied by the women. Each male and each female member of the congregation had his [or
her] own appointed seat, allotted to him [or her] by a committee. So primitive was this ancient edifice that the
pulpit was reached by a ladder."
From February 7, 1727, the baptismal and other records began. On June 18, 1727, is recorded an "Election of
Consistory," when the following were placed in office (the spelling of the names conforming to the record):
"Cornelis Martense Isselstein, Robert Van Dewsen, Jeremias Muller, elders; Casparis Van Housen, Samuel Ten
Broeck, Isaack Van Dewsen, deacons." In the covenant made with the Consistory and signed by the entire membership
of the church are the following agreements:
"The elders and deacons are to be promoters of God's word and exhort the people to true liberality. If any
controversy shall arise between the consistory and congregation relating to a misunderstanding of God's word, and
they shall be accused of false doctrine, both parties shall be bound to refer the case to the neighboring Reformed
church; and if the consistory be found guilty and will not retract, the people shall have the privilege, in full
assembly, to choose others in their places."
Rev. Johannes Van Driessen, a brother of the Albany dominie, became the first pastor of the church. He divided
his time between Claverack and the churches of Livingston and Kinderhook, having his residence at the latter place.
A controversy arising over a matter of church government limited his service to about a year, and also resulted
in the church being without a pastor for the following twenty eight years. In the mean time, however, the society
was supplied with preaching by neighboring churches. In 1756 Rev. Johannis Casparus Freyenmoet was secured as a
pastor. He remained until 1770. In 1767 a new house of worship was erected, over which there was much contention
on account of a change in the location. Two years after the erection of this meeting house the church became involved
in a quarrel, resulting in the retirement of Dominic Freyenmoet. The next pastor was John Gabriel Gebhard, whose
service began during the troublous times of the Revolution and lasted for fifty years. Richard Sluyter, who had
been the colleague of Dominic Gebhard for ten years, succeeded him, and the record of his service to the church
is replete with good works and the utmost industry in promoting its welfare. His service was closed by his death
in 1843. In January, 1844, Rev. Ira Condiet Boice began his pastorate of fifteen years; he did much to improve
the temporal affairs of the church, and it was mainly through his efforts that the Hudson River Institute was founded.
He was followed in 1859 by Rev. A. P. Van Giesen, who remained with the church until 1865, succeeded by Rev. F.
N. Zabriskie, who was pastor until 1872, when Rev. John W. Schenck became connected with the church. He was followed
by Rev. W. S. Leggett, and he by Rev. J. H. Wyckoff whose pastorate began in 1890. He remained only a short period,
but his labors were marked with zeal and his influence was powerful. It was chiefly due to his forethought that
a loan exhibition was held in 1891 in behalf of the project of erecting the Memorial Chapel to commemorate the
125th anniversary of the church. The last and present pastor is Rev. G. H. Burrill, whose labors have thus far
been most acceptable to his flock.
The Evangelical Lutheran church of St. Thomas, at Churchtown, originated as early as 1750. Rev. John F. Ries was
the first pastor of this church, from 1760 until his death in 1791. Rev. John F. Ernst was his successor in 1793,
after which date there were numerous changes. The first meeting house was an unassuming building, which was used
until 1836, when the present structure was erected; in 1860 this was thoroughly modernized and considerably enlarged.
The Second Reformed church at Claverack, situated at Mellenville, was organized in 1838, with a membership of one
hundred and twelve, ninety one of whom withdrew from the church at Claverack for the purpose of forming this church.
Rev. Richard Sluyter served the church until 1842, then Rev. P. S. Wynkoop for a few months, followed by Rev. John
C. Van Dervoort. He was succeeded in 1845 by Rev. John S. Himrod until 1851, and in 1852 Rev. John H. Pitcher was
installed as pastor and served until 1861. In 1862 Rev. A. J. Sebring became the pastor. The present pastor is
Rev. George C. Collier. A plain meeting house was built at Mellenville and dedicated in 1838, which was extensively
remodeled in 1868 and at an expense of $3,000; the society also owns a parsonage, which was greatly improved in
1874. A branch of this church was established in Philmont in 1893, and is served by the pastors of the Second Reformed
The West Hillsdale Baptist church at Martindale (in Claverack) had its inception in a body of eight members, who
organized at Craryville in 1803; but it was not until 1833 that the society was incorporated, which, twenty years
later, erected the house of worship in use at Martindale. The society has always been prosperous, and retains an
interest in chapels in Philmont and Hillsdale.
The Philmont Methodist Episcopal church was organized in 1842 under the title of the Mellenville M. E. church.
A frame church building was built the same year in Mellenville, which was demolished in in 1872, some of the material
being used in the construction of the house of worship at Philmont. At this time the corporate name of the society
was changed to its present form. In 1880 Philmont was made a separate charge and Claverack a station. The first
trustees of the society were Adam Miller, Jeremiah Jones, A. P. Whitney, John W. Knapp and Daniel B. Stone.
The Methodist Episcopal church of Claverack grew out of services held by Rev. J. Y. Bates, of Mellenville, in a
school house, in 1857-58. A class of forty was formed in 1859. It was resolved to build a church, which was done,
and the edifice dedicated in November of that year. The rapidity with which this was accomplished was due to the
efforts of Professor Flack, head of the Hudson River Institute. The church was legally organized in 1860 with twenty
members. The society has a comfortable but unassuming house of worship, costing about $7,000. Methodist preaching
had been irregularly held in Claverack village as early as 1837, the church at Mellenville absorbing the Methodist
interest in Claverack during a number of years. The following pastors succeeded Rev. Mr. Bates, whose term of service
expired in 1860: Revs. J. M. Shaffer, C. W. Lyon, W. S. Bouton, W. E. Clark, J. Collin, T. Lamont, C. W. Knapp,
G. S. Townsend, R. H. Travis, D. W. C. Van Gaasbeck, W. F. Hatfield, G. B. Borey, J. G. Van Petten, J. H Lane,
E. Tinker, Dr. Buck, R. E. Wilson, S. A. Dean, Joseph Long, H. F. Brown, Foster Coons, James M. Cox, and Arthur
M. Griffin, the present pastor.
Trinity Protestant Episcopal church of Claverack was formed in 1856, with Rev. Fred. T. Tiffany, rector; Daniel
B. Stow and Jabez Parsons, wardens; and John Rowley, John A. Labagh, Horatio G. Adams, Isaac L. Shaw, Fred Mesick,
A. K. Hadley, W. H. Clark and Daniel Crego, vestrymen. Occasional Episcopal services had been held for a number
of years previous to the organization of the church, and in 1853 a mission was started in Claverack by Rev. Fred
T. Tiffany, which grew into the church. In 1858 a convenient chapel was erected at a cost of $5,000, which was
consecrated in 1866. Rev. Mr. Tiffany continued with the parish until 1863, and for two years the rectorship was
vacant. In 1865 Rev. Frank Harrison became the rector, remaining two years, and succeeded by Rev. John Downie until
1870, who was followed by Rev. William C. Prout, who served until 1877. In October of the latter year Rev. Joseph
Hooper was called; he was followed by Revs. Kennedy, Larum, Rainey, Elmer Miller, and Geo. G. Carter. The first
church edifice was burned on a Sunday morning in April, 1891.
St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal Church at Philmont was erected in 1885. For some time before that date services
had been held in a room over a store. In 1892 an elegant parsonage was built, and also a guildhall. Rev. Clement
Theophilus Blanchet became the rector in 1895, succeeding Rev. Henry Dyer.
The Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart at Philmont was organized about 1882, and the house of worship was
erected at the same time. Father Thomas McLaughlin was succeeded by Father P. F. Harrigan, the present priest.
The Union Cemetery Association was legally organized August 20, 1860. The first trustees were Cornelius Clum, Jacob
P. Shufelt, S. Rossman, Jeremiah Stever, Cyrus Groat, F. S. Miller, and G. P. Philip. The cemetery embraces about
ten acres of ground at Mellenville, and is neatly kept, substantially fenced, and laid out with care.
There is an old cemetery, dating from 1767, in Claverack village, controlled by the Consistory of the Reformed
Protestant Dutch Church. Its area has been increased since the original plot was assigned for the purpose. It contains
the graves of many members of the early families, and is of historical interest.
There are also small burying grounds at other points in the town, and a number of private burial plots. The latter
are not in use so much as formerly, but in some cases are preserved with great care.
The following figures give the population of Claverack from 1825 down to 1892, as reported in the census tables
of the different years: 1825, 2,970; 1830, 3,058; 1835, 2,840; 1840, 3,056; 1845, 2,034; 1850, 3,208; 1855, 3,363;
1860, 3,477; 1865, 3,353; 1870, 3,671; 1875, 3,825; 1880, 4,347; 1890, 4,518; 1892, 4,631.
1787-90. Stephen Hogeboom.
1791-98. George Monell.
1799-1800. J. C. Hogeboom.
1801-06. George Monell.
1807-16. Peter Mesick.
1817-23. Anthony Boucher.
1824. John Martin, jr.
1825-26. Jacob P. Mesick.
1827. John Martin.
1828. Abraham Jordan.
1829-30. Leonard Freeland.
1831-36. Philip W. Pulver.
1837. Stephen Storm.
1838-39. John Martin.
1840. John Milham.
1841. Wm. W. Rockefeller.
1842. Samuel Rowley.
1843-44. Ambrose Root.
1845-46. Milton Martin.
1847-48. Ambrose S. Russell.
1849. Obed Gardner.
1850. Frederick Mesick.
1851. Obed Gardner.
1852-53. Peter Poucher.
1854-55. Anson Martin.
1856-57. Edw. L. Demarest.
1858. Samuel M. Miller.
1859-67. Peter Mesick.
1868. Allen S. Miller.
1869-70. Nelson P. Aken.
1871-72. Peter S. Pulver.
1873. Henry P. Horton.
1874. Edw. L. Demarest.
1875. Henry P. Horton.
1876. Nelson P. Aken.
1877. John Sagendorph.
1878. Peter S. Pulver.
1879-83. Henry P. Horton.
1884-87. George A. Lockwood.
1888. Henry P. Horton.
1889-93. Almon Miller.
1894. John I. Spoor.
1895. (Did not vote for supervisor or town clerk,
incumbents held over.)
1896-98. Lester J. Bashford.
1899-1900. Reuben Ham.
1834. Ambrose Russell.
1835. E. W. Stannard.
1836-37. Cornelius Race.
1838. John P. Mesick.
1839. Stephen Storm.
1840. Jerome B. Tuttle.
1841-42. William J. Miller.
1843. David C. Neefus.
1844-47. Fred. N. Mesiek.
1848-52. David C Neefus.
1853. John H. Dickie.
1854. Ebenezer F. Bartlett.
1855-56. F. Van Rensselaer.
1857. James J. Studley.
1858. Nicholas S. Race.
1859-60. James J. Studley.
1861. Charles G. Melius.
1862-63. William H. Melius.
1864. Charles G. Melius.
1865. Wm. H. Van Tassell.
1866-67. Robert Bennett.
1868. A. R. Van Deusen.
1869-70. Ruluf Neefus.
1871-72. A. W. Lasher.
1873. William H. Melius.
1874. Ruluf Neefus.
1875-77. William H. Melius.
1878-79. George M. Harder.
1880-81. Robert Bennett.
1882-83. P. W. Heermance.
1884-85. Charles H. Southard.
1886-87. Eugene Gardner.
1888. Louis A. Bristol.
1889. Edward C. Connor.
1890. Charles Smith.
1891. Edward C. Connor.
1892-95. George S. Park.
1896-97. John Connor.
1898-1900. John Magley.
Return to part one of Claverack history.