THE TOWN OF LIVINGSTON.
The territory which is now the town of Livingston was formerly a part of a tract of land extending from a point
five miles south of Hudson, twelve miles along the river, and eastward to the Massachusetts line, about twenty
miles. The general history of the great Livingston Manor has been narrated in early chapters of these volumes ;
but it may be briefly stated here that the tract which constituted the original town was also covered by the Livingston
patents constituting the Livingston Manor. The titles covering the tract were briefly as follows: An Indian purchase
made July 12, 1683, by Robert Livingston, of 2,000 acres lying along the Hudson and Roeloff Jansen's Kill, confirmed
by a patent by Governor Dongan, November 4, 1684. A second Indian purchase by him of 300 acres of meadow land in
Taghkanic territory, August 10, 1685, patent issued August 27 the same year. Last, a grant to Robert Livingston
by Governor Dongan, July 22, 1686, of all the remaining and adjoining lands of what finally constituted the Manor,
the entire tract containing about 160,240 acres. The Manor included the present towns of Clermont, Germantown,
Livingston, Gallatin, Taghkanic, Ancram, and Copake. On March 24, 1772, Livingston was formed into a district and
in 1786 became a part of the new county of Columbia, and was organized as a town on March 7, 1788. The territory
of Germantown was purchased by Mr. Livingston in 1710, as a settlement for part of the Palatines. The town of Clermont
was formed from the Manor in March, 1787, and Aucram and Taghkanic (then including the present towns of Copake
and Gallatin), in March, 1803.
In topography and soil this town presents varied aspects. In the western part are elevations of noticeable height,
the principal one being Oak Hill, near the Greenport line; from this point the surface slopes south and west towards
the river. To the eastward are Blue Hill and other ranges of hills, in which are mineral deposits, chiefly iron
ore. In the central part is an undulating plateau, all combining to form an attractive landscape. Copake Creek
flows through the northeastern part and the Kleina and Dove Kills flow westerly south of the center into Roeloff
Jansen's Kill, the latter forming the southern boundary of the town, There are other small brooks, giving good
drainage, and in the southeastern part are the Twin Lakes. The soil varies from sandy loam to clay, the latter
frequently mixed with gravel, with occasional ledges of limestone and slaty rock. Originally the land was covered
with timber, principally pine and oak.
On the 26th of October, 1694, Robert Livingston sold to Derick Wessels Ten Broeck 600 acres of land lying on the
Hudson River, and 1,200 acres on both sides of Roeloff Jansen's Kill, east of the site of Clermont village; on
the 29th of September, 1710, he sold 6,000 acres to the crown for the use of the Palatines, as elsewhere described.
The remainder of the extensive domain passed to heirs in the Livingston family. In 1715 Mr. Livingston, under his
privileges as the first lord of the Manor of Livingston, was empowered to elect a member of the General Assembly
and two constables. He was the first representative, and served as speaker of the Assembly from 1718 till 1725.
Robert Livingston was born in Ancram, Scotland, December 13, 1654, and married on July 9, 1679, Aida Schuyler,
widow of Rev. Nicholas Van Rensselaer, by whom he had nine children, five of whom lived to maturity; these were
Philip, Robert (second), Gilbert, Margaret, and Joanna. He became wealthy and retired to private life in 1726;
two years later he died at his home and was buried in the vault under the church at Linlithgo. Gilbert Livingston,
the youngest son, became a resident of Poughkeepsie. To Robert, the second son, his father bequeathed all that
part of the manor lying south of Roeloff Jansen's Kill, excepting the land belonging to the Palatines and others
named in his will, dated February 10, 1722. This tract became the town of Clermont. (See history of that town.)
Philip, the oldest son, became the second lord of the manor, and had children, Robert, Peter Van Brugh, John, Philip,
Henry, William, Sarah, Alida, and Catharine. Of these children Philip became a distinguished merchant in New York
city and was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The sixth son, William, became governor of
New Jersey and held the office in Revolutionary times, during which he was faithful to the American cause; he was
father of Brockholst Livingston, who became chief justice of the United States.
One of the daughters of the second lord of the manor married John Van Rensselaer, of Claverack. (See history of
that town.) Philip Livingston did not live at the manor house, but made his home in New York and Albany. He succeeded
his father in many of the public positions he held and became a member of the Council in 1725; he died in 1749,
and was buried in the family vault. Robert, son of Philip, born December 25, 1708, was the last lord of the manor
and continued so until the Revolution; his children were Peter R., Walter, Robert C., John, Henry, Mary, Mrs. James
Duane, Alida, Mrs. Valentine Gardiner, Catherine, and Mrs. John Patterson. Peter R. was a New York merchant, but
met with reverses and retired from business, returning to the manor, where he began rebuilding "The Hermitage,"
during the Revolution. By the terms of Robert Livingston's will, executed May 31, 1784, the major portion of the
manor which would have fallen to Peter R., his oldest son, was devised to the children of the latter. The oldest
of these was Robert Thong Livingston, who inherited the old manor house, and it was he who erected the later manor
house. The property has always remained in the Livingston family.
Walter T. Livingston, another son of Peter R., built what was known as the Joseph Miller house, and later in his
life lived on the Ten Broeck place in Clermont. His brother, Moncrief, was long a prominent citizen. A fourth son
of Peter R. was James S., whose home was east of the Blue Store, the house antedating the Revolution.
Robert Livingston, the last lord of the manor, in his will before mentioned, devised his land lying east of the
post road to his four other sons, Walter, Robert C., Henry, and John, each receiving about 28,000 acres; each received
also a part of the domain to the west of that road. On an elevation between the Kleina and Roeloff Jansen's Kills,
Walter Livingston built a massive and imposing mansion before the Revolution, which still stands, and is occupied
by the Crafts family. One of his daughters married Robert Fulton, of steamboat fame, and after his death in 1815,
she resided in the mansion with her three children. She afterwards married an Englishman named Charles Augustus
Dale. One of Mrs Fulton's daughters married Robert Ludlow, of Claverack.
Henry W. Livingston, a son of Walter, settled in the northern part of the town, where he built before the beginning
of the century a residence that was famous for it architectural beauty, large proportions, and attractive surroundings.
He died in 1808, leaving a widow, Mary, who survived until 1855. She was a native of Allentown, Pa., and was widely
known as " Widow Mary." Her husband dying young, she reared a large family, extended generous hospitality,
entertaining many distinguished people, and was a woman of excellent judgment and universally beloved. Robert C.,
before mentioned, became a New York merchant and was not identified with the history of Columbia county. John settled
a little south of Johnstown, known as Livingston, which was named after him, and there built the mansion afterwards
occupied by Philip L. Hoffman, grandfather of the late Governor Hoffman; later it was the home of Gen. Henry Livingston,
brother of John. After John sold that property to Mr. Hoffman he moved to Oak Hill.
As the reader has learned in earlier pages of this volume, settlement on the Livingston Manor was gradual during
many years. In 1714 there were only three houses in what is now the town of Livingston, the Manor house, and Whitbeck's
and Bruise's, in the neighborhood of the site of Glenco Mills. The number of settlers had somewhat increased by
1720, when the names of Killian Wirme, Claas Brusie, Nicholas Whitbeck, Coenradt Ham, Conradt Schureman, Johannes
Pulver, Bastian Spickerman, Nicholas Smith, Johannes Rossman, Hanse Jurie Proper, Junie Decker, Jacob Stever, and
Fitz Mezigh, are found in a list of freeholders then living in the northern part of the town. (The spelling is
from the records.)
A list of the residents of this town in 1790 has been preserved and is as follows, though it probably is not entirely
complete: In the north western part and north of Johnstown were families named Crawford, Benham, McLean, Tator,
Shults, Decker, Ten Eyck, Rice, Morrison, Shaver, Kallor, Pattie, McKinstry, Herder, Rockefeller, Spickérman,
Covert, Best, Pulver, Stevers, Stahl, Ham, Rowe, Gardner, Silvernail, Melius, P. Smith, P. Barringer, A. Fonda,
Haver, Bates, Jager, Tiel, and C. and J. Rossman. From the Blue Store southward to Elizaville were families of
Frier, Rowe, Best, Hood, Shaver, Feller, Swarts, Blatner and others. Many of these families still have descendants
in the town, who with their immediate ancestors have contributed to the general public welfare in various ways.
The Benham mentioned in the list was Dr. Peter Benham, a physician many years in the vicinity of Oak Hill. The
McKinstry was Col. John, a Revolutionary veteran with an honorable record. An early settler was Samuel S. Myers,
who carried mail at an early day. Allen Myers was a soldier in the war of 1812. Conrad Patrie was a Revolutionary
soldier, whose name is in the foregoing list.
The story of settlements is a little further extended from the records of the Reformed Church of Linlithgo, in
the organization and first membership of which in 1722 are found the names of Robert Livingston, Jacob Vosburgh,
and Cornelius Martense, elders of the church; Tobias Ten Broeck, Robert Van Deusen, and Wilhelm Hallenbeck, deacons;
Johannes Sparr, Johannes Scherp, Andries Brusie, Jochem Radelift, Solomon and Mary Schutt, Alida Livingston, Doretha
Vosburgh, Maritje Ten Broeck, and Cornelia Decker, members. It is probable that most or all of these lived within
the present bounds of Livingston. A month after the organization of the church, Lendert Konyn, Jan Decker, Johannes
Cool, Killian Winn, Johannes Spoor, jr., and Peter Cool joined the church. To this list of members there were added
in 1725, Johannes Dyckman and his wife, Dirck Hallenbeck, Christoffel Milder, Claas Brusie, Andreis Rees, Conradt
Ham, Johannes Shutts, Matthaus and Robert Van Deusen, Gysbert Osterhout, Jan Vosburgh, Johannes Petri, and Peter
Haver. Johannes Spoor, Jacob Decker, and Philip Spickerman became members a little later. This church had in 1755
a membership list of one hundred and ninety five, but probably the actual membership was much less. Among the names
of elders down to that date were, besides those already named, Jeremias Miller, Johannes Cool, Abram Vosburgh,
Rieger and Jacob Schermerhorn, Samuel and William Hallenbeck, Hendrick Mesick, Jochem Van Valkenburgh ; among the
names of deacons for that period were Lawrence Knickerbocker, Johann Conradt Petri, James Gardner, Henry Mesick,
Martin Ham, Michael Schmidt, Casper Ham, Hendrick Stever, Johannes Best, and others whose names have been mentioned.
The Lutheran Church was organized about 1764, and among the names connected with it previous to the end of the
century are a number that add to our knowledge of the early settlers of the town. Johannes Michael Muchler and
Johannes Erchenbrecht were the first elders, and Nicholas Schirtz and Philip Bortel were the deacons. In these
two offices within a year or two were Frederick Proper, Bartholomew Simon, Michael Wolf, Augustus Schmidt, Jacob
Proper, and Balthasar Simon. In the list of members previous to 1770 were the following men; it is probable that
the membership of these two churches comprised a very large part of the inhabitants of the town: Wendel Pulver,
Johannes Bortel, Wilhelm Tator, Philip Erchenbrecht, Clement Lehman, Adam Schafer, Adam Decker, Henrich Ham, Benjamin
Decker, Jacob Kuhn, Christian Haver, Wilhelmus Lehman, George Minckler, Andreis Schaurman, Johannes Proper, Peter
Herder, Nicholas Wielder, Christophel Blatner, Henrich Stahl, Hannes Ham, Samuel Miller, Jorus Cook, Johannes Schermerhorn,
Hannes Luyek, Jacob Hoffman, Nicholas Bonesteel, Matthaus Race, Nicholas Dyckman, Stoffel Hagailorn, Henrich Riefenburgh,
Hermanus Jacobi, Conrad Jager, Wilhelrnus Schneider, Diedrich Shutts, Michael Hallenbeck, Jacob Kilmer, Heinrich
Wagner, George Finkle, Johannes Spickerman, Jacob Mickler, Johannes Schanrman, Johannes Mickle, Veit Rossman, Johannes
Mohr, Jacob Blatner, Heinrich Ostrander, Conradt Meier, Bastian Jacobi, Michael Fingar, Peter Hess, Jacob Best,
Andreas Mohr, Jonas Miller, Samuel Lasher, Dirck Van Dyck, Heinrich Tiel, Petrus Schmidt, Wilhelmus Wiederwax,
Andreas Scherp, Jacob Rossman, Wilhelmus Becker, Jacob Geretsie, Heinrich Dunspaugh, Jan Vosburgh, Johannes Silvernagel,
Tiel Ham, Thomas Mesieg, Jacob Fredenburgh, and Wilhelm Becker.
Other names of prominent early residents of this town will appear as we proceed. When the town was divided into
twenty six road districts (which have been described in an earlier chapter), the list of those assessed for highway
labor includes a number of names of inhabitants not yet given. Among them are Peter Fries, Jacob H. Hand, John
Stever, John A. Fonda, John Si] vernail, Hendrick Weaver, S. D. Gardner, John Tator, Nicholas Decker, Jacobus Decker,
John Barringer, L. McDermott, Roger Patterson, Marcus Platner, Peter Wagner, Myndert Van de Bogart, Jacob Mecghley,
William Melius, George Potts, Tiel Ham, John Hoot, William Snyder, Peter Bush, John Lupe, Hendrich Younghani, N.
Palmetar, Peter W. Herder, James Warring, Thomas Swart, Leonard Ten Broeck, John Gordon, Henry Rowe, John I. Lasher,
Eli Mills, Arnold Kenyon, E, Covert, Jonathan Peacock, Jacob Gutrack, Christian Patrie, Peter Benham, John C. Cole,
Barent Ten Eyck, A. Luddington, Nathan Sheldon, Elijah B. Park, Joseph Finkle, Daniel Post, Jacob Spaunsbergh,
Thomas Duncan, William Garretson, Reuben Gage, John P. Showerman, Frederick Flint, Martin Mather, Daniel Hoffman,
William Huddleston, William Conroe. These several lists give a quite comprehensive knowledge of the settlers and
residents in Livingston previous to the beginning of the century.
The town of Livingston was favored with water power which was of great benefit to the early settlers, as well as
more or less profit to those who improved it. Mr. Livingston was prompt in establishing both a saw and a grist
mill on Roeloff Jansen's Kill, near its mouth, from which the Palatines were supplied with meal and flour, and
lumber was provided for buildings. These mills were built about 1710 and were long known as the Manor Mills. They
were in operation more than a hundred years, and a carding machine and fulling mill were operated at the same place
many years. The power at that point was last used about 1820 in operating a shop for manufacturing ship tackle
blocks. While Mr. Livingston was furnishing supplies for the Palatines he carried on a bakery and a brew house,
all of which were sources of profit to him.
Half a mile up the stream and on the Kleina Kill at its mouth, George W. Moseley operated a mill for the manufacture
of board for book binders and box makers; it was built in 1875, the power being supplied by a rapid in Roeloff
Jansen's Kill, some distance away, where a dam was constructed. It has not been operated since 1896, and the machinery
has been removed. The property is now owned by the Albany and Hudson Railroad Company.
On the same stream John Richmond erected a woolen factory in 1810. About 1835 it passed to a Mr. Ainslee who continued
it some years. Nothing but ruins are left of the property.
Still farther up the same stream the Livingstons erected what were known as the Good Hope Mills earlier than 1780.
This property passed to Jacob Blatner in 1784 and about 1800 was operated by Marcus Blatner. John Van Deusen became
the owner about 1820 and operated the mill many years. Later owners were L. R. Miller, John Pierce, and in 1871
Charles E. Bingham, who continued a number of years. In 1896 the machinery was removed, and the property passed
to the Albany and Hudson Railway Company.
Below the upper falls was once a woolen factory operated by Asahel Andrews, and later by others, which was subsequently
converted into a hosiery factory; it was burned in 1862 and was rebuilt as a grist and cider mill. It is now owned
by the Albany and Hudson Railway Company, and is operated by Oscar Weaver.
The power at the lower falls was first improved about 1850 by the erection of a paper mill by Jacob Rossman. Some
years later Baker & Burgert purchased the property and added a second mill just below the grist mill. This
property passed to C. E. Bingham and became well known as Bingham's Mills, where a large business was conducted.
Water power on Copake Creek, near the east line of the town, was improved about 1825 by Reed & Watson, for
a cotton factory. The propperty subsequently passed to Samuel G. Wheeler. The building was ultimately burned. The
Livingstons had a forge at or near this point before the beginning of the century, as a part of their development
of the iron business. The post office of Glenco Mills was established in 1856 with Henry P. Heermance, postmaster.
In 1842 Mr. Heermance purchased the water power here and built a grist mill, which in 1865 was owned by Edward
Livingston, who remodeled and improved it. Later owners were William Miller, Martin L. Potts, who conducted it
as a paper mill, and in 1893 sold it to Douglass H. Weaver. A cider mill and evaporater is situated on the same
stream about a quarter of mile below, which is owned and operated by Douglass H. Weaver; he was preceded by Newton
Schermerhorn and he by Cyrus Barringer, whose father, John Barringer, built the mill. Mr. Heermance opened a store
about 1845, and James Bogardus, Milton Shanrman and others followed in trade. A hotel was built about 1850 by Stephen
H. Ham, in which numerous landlords succeeded him. Ira Williams has conducted the only store here since 1850, and
has been postmaster since 1861, with the exception of six years. A short distance below this point a cotton batting
factory was formerly operated by Herman & Bennett. Later John B. Barringer built a carding mill and tow factory.
On Copake Creek near the north line of the town, Robert Livingston erected mills about 1780. Later owners were
Abraham Burdick, Abram Briggs, and Samuel Fox; the latter enlarged the mill building and converted it into a hosiery
factory. A few years later he removed the machinery and again operated it as a grist mill, giving it the name Linlithgo
Mills. In 1870 the property passed to Jacob H. Proper, who is the present owner. The mill is idle.
On the Kleina Kill, in the southwestern part of the town, was a very early grist mill which was owned by Moncrief
Livingston at about the beginning of the century. In 1820 Eleazer Smith established cloth and clothing works here
which he sold in 1832 to Henry Walker. He established a grist mill in 1835, which took the name of Walker's Mills
and have been long owned by members of that family. George B. Walker is the present owner and operator.
There are four post villages in Livingston, the largest of which is Johnstown, the name of the post office being
Livingston, as there is another Johnstown in the State. Johnstown is situated east of the center of the town and
took its name from John Livingston, who was active in the settlement and development of the place. The Catskill
turnpike and the old post road intersect at this point. The business interests of the place were begun by John
Van Deusen, who built a store about 1800 and was in trade about forty years, accumulating wealth. Jonathan Lane
had a small store probably earlier than the opening of the Van Deusen store; later merchants on this site were
Henry A. Du Bois, John Whitbeck, Philip Smith, Samuel Cole, and N. Hallenbeck. Mr. Hallenbeck was succeeded by
Philip Snyder, the building being owned by Solon Smith.
In 1827 Herman Livingston erected a store opposite the one described, in which the firm of Bonesteel, Broadhead
& Co. began business; they were followed in 1830 by Henry Baker. Henry Smith, Samuel Shutts, Philip Link, Jacob
H. Vosburgh, and Gilbert E. Link occupied the store in succession, the latter now being in trade.
At about the time of the opening of the Van Deusen store, a hotel was erected by the Livingstons, in which Jacob
M. Fonda was the first landlord. Others who kept the house at later dates were George W. King, Peter Smith, Henry
Hare, Peter Van Deusen, Reuben Van de Bogart, Edward Heermance, and Walter Haynor, the present proprietor.
Milo C. Marshall has carried on blacksmithing here for thirty years and Daniel Eittemann has another shop. Edward
Holsapple has had a harness shop for twelve years. The Elgin Creamery is a stock company incorporated in 1898 with
capital of $4,300.
In the lower part of the village was a public house in Revolutionary times, where a man named Pulver presided,
and after the Revolution William Huddleston and Henry I. Barringer kept it. This was long a popular stage house;
it was converted into a tenement about 1825. The old stage houses were numerous in this town in early times, the
number of licenses granted in 1805 being twenty.
The post office here was opened April 1, 1805, with Jonathan Lane in charge; he held the office many years. Among
later officials have been Killian Miller, Robert H. Morris, Walter Patterson, John Whitbeck, John Van Deusen, Frederick
Best, Peter I. Bachman, Henry Baker, Henry DuBois, Samuel Cole, Simeon Clark, German Fingar, James Rossman, Jacob
H. Vosburgh, Philip Snyder, Mr. Vosburgh again, and Philip Snyder, the present official.
The town of Livingston has contributed to the bar of the county a number of prominent attorneys. Killian Miller
practiced here from 1807 to 1833. Robert H. Morris was attorney for the Livingstons a number of years; he removed
to Hudson and from there to New York, where he held the offices of mayor and judge. He was succeeded by Josiah
Sutherland as attorney for the Livingstons. Charles Esselstyn settled in Johnstown as a young attorney in 1820
and practiced until he was elected surrogate. Robert H. Andrews practiced here for a time and removed to Hudson.
John M. Welch was also in practice here and removed to Hudson. John Whitbeck practiced in the town many years,
and Robert Hood located in the place in 1866. George R. Carhart is the only attorney in the town at present, and
Dr. R. W. Bell and Dr. Joseph E. Vigeant practice medicine.
Blue Store is the name of a small settlement near the southwest line of the town, where the Highland turnpike intersects
the post road. A post office was opened here May 22, 1871. The place takes its name from a store and tavern which
were built in early years and painted blue; W. T. Livingston and Leonard Ten Broeck were proprietors in early times,
and the place was one of the many popular stopping places for stages. Henry Baker was an early merchant. The tavern
passed to Caleb Washburn in 1836, and in 1840 was demolished and the present hotel built; it has been kept since
1846 by Wm, H. Washburn. Mr. Washburn owns the store, the hotel, the blacksmith shop and is the present postmaster.
The mill property at Bingham's Mills has been noticed. Van Deusen & Reed were the first merchants here, beginning
about 1830. Later merchants were S. Ten Broeck, John Weaver, Philip L. Link. A new store was opened in 1878 by
Bingham & Story.
Linlitligo is the site of the old Livingston Manor House and received its name from Mr. Livingston's old home in
Scotland. There was formerly a small mercantile business and a public house here, but most of it has been diverted
to Livingston Station, half a mile west, on the railroad. A landing has long been in existence here and it is an
important freight shipping point. D. & R. Miller engaged in shipping about 1860, when the depot was built,
and were succeeded in 1866 by Proper & Washburn, and in 1869 by Washburn & Co. A large business was built
up, a store established, with coal yards, lumber, etc. The post office here was opened in 1857, with Robert Washburn,
The hamlet of Union Corners is situated in the extreme northeast part of the town, and partly in the town of Gallatin.
A little settlement was first made on the north side of Roeloff Jansen's Kill a short distance below the present
hamlet. Mills and shops were established on the Clermont side of the stream and the name, Elizaville was given
to the place. A little collection of houses had been built as early as 1790, and in one building John Manny had
a store and a tavern in 1800. John A. Coon was the last merchant at Elizaville and his store was converted into
a dwelling. John Crawford was in trade in 1810, and later merchants were the Alexander Brothers, John Steager,
Jabez Parsons, Robinson F. Peaster, Jacob and William Elkenbergh, and E. & N. Coons. The mills were destroyed
by a freshet in 1869 and business became centered at the upper part of the hamlet. Here Thomas Swart had a store
in 1803, and later Punderson & Wheeler were in trade. The building was later converted into a tavern and called
the "Union Corners House," from which the place finally took its present name. John B. Latham was one
of the early landlords, and the building was finally occupied as a residence. In 1830 Michael Delamater built a
store and was in trade for a time. In 1854 Z. P. Smith was in trade on the same corner, and removed his buildings
in 1864. John H. Garner was a later merchant. In 1874 Z. P. Smith opened a store and tavern, and a few years later
he was succeeded as a merchant by William M. Hapeman. The building was burned in 1899 and Mr. Hapeman is rebuilding.
Alma Stickles conducts a store in a building which she erected in 1895. John A. Detell carries on blacksmithing.
What is now the Twin Lake Hotel was formerly a residence and still earlier was a hotel conducted by Michael Phelps
and then by Zachariah P. Smith, who was succeeded by Samuel Baker. W. N. Snyder afterwards kept the house and in
1899 Silas J. Miller purchased it from the German Fingar estate and is the present proprietor.
The post office with the name Elizaville was opened about 1840, with Peter Robinson, postmaster.
The Hudson River Ore and Iron Company was organized by non resident capitalists with capital of $1,250,000. The
property of the company is situated at Burden, and comprises iron mines, a store, machine shop, about sixty dwellings,
and a railroad from the works to the Central road and to their docks on the river. The company owns about 1,000
acres of land. The plant has been idle since 1898. Previous to that about 1,200 tons of ore were mined daily, employing
five hundred and fifty hands. The property is all in the town of Livingston.
The Livingston Farmers' Aid and Fire Protection Association was organized in 1857, by the selection of John Haver
as president, and Robert Decker secretary, The State insurance law having been enacted meanwhile, the association
was organized tinder its provisions, June 26, 1858, as the Livingston Mutual Insurance Company. The directors chosen
were John L. Potts, president; Robert Decker, secretary; Henry L. Potts, David Miller, and Samuel Shunts. The business
of the company the past twenty years has been very successful, the policies now representing about $1,500,000 of
The presidents have been: 1858-59, John L. Potts; 1860-61, German Fingar; 1862-63, Thomas Miller; 1864-66, Adam
Fingar; 1867-72, Henry L. Potts; 1873-74, German Fingar; 1875-76, Stephen O. Potts; 1877-81, Adam Fingar; 1882-86,
Walter Moore; 1887-91, Adam Fingar; 1892, Theron Moore; 1893-98, P. Snyder; 1899-1900, E. B. Wagner. Secretaries:
1858, Robert Decker; 1859-66, Henry Shear; 1867-98, Samuel Shutts; 1899-1900, Stephen Shutts.
In Chapter X something has been written of the efforts made by Robert Livingston as early as 1722, to provide for
education of children on his manor; but beyond that there is very little information to be gained regarding schools
in this town during the next hundred years. At the beginning of the century there were good schools in existence
and the town was divided into ten districts which were in existence in 1822; at that time there were 580 children
between the ages of five and twenty one years. In 1860 there were twelve districts and the number has since remained
the same. The town now forms a part of the First School Commissioner District of the county, and contains twelve
districts with school houses, in which twenty four teachers are employed; the value of school buildings and sites
is $7,475; amount of money raised by tax, $3,177.73; amount received from the State, $1,537.14; number of children
While there was undoubtedly missionary work done on the Livingston Manor as early as 1720, no attempt was made
to organize a church until 1720. The burden of the undertaking fell mostly upon Robert Livingston, but he was granted
in writing by Governor Burnet the privilege of receiving from "all Churches and Charitable People within the
Provinces of New York and New Jersey, 'in America," all the "free and voluntary charity and contribution
of any of the inhabitants," to aid him in the work. Contributions were reasonably generous, and were increased
from his own means, with which a church was erected in the southern part of Columbia county in the fall of 1721.
It was first occupied for meetings by Dominic Petrus Van Driessen, the Albany pastor, on January 13, 1722. The
meeting house was a plain building and stood on the sight of the Memorial chapel at Linlithgo. Beneath the church
was constructed the Livingston family vault, which was used for many generations, and adjoining the church was
laid a burial ground. In the will of Robert Livingston he set aside forty acres of land opposite the church for
a minister's home, and sixty acres farther east, the use of which was to be devoted to paying a minister. He also
built a house on twenty acres of land east of the church yard, which was bequeathed for the use of the church clerk,
whose duties included the instruction of the youth of the manor. The formal organization of the church took place
July 4, 1722. Dominic Van Driessen continued his missionary labors with the church about fifteen years, and his
brother, Johannes, supplied the pulpit regularly in 1728; but until 1756 the congregation depended on ministerial
supplies and the services were irregular. Pastors who served thus down to the year 1814 were Revs. J. W. Mancius,
in 1748; Theodore Frelinghuysen, in 1751; Johannes Casparus Freyenmoet (the first regular pastor in connection
with the Kinderhook and Claverack churches), 1756 to 1770; Rev. Gerhard Daniel Cock, John H. Livingston (until
the summer of 1781); Nicholas Lansing (in connection with the Ancram and Taghkanic churches) to 1786; Jeremiah
Romeyn to 1804, and Herman Vedder to 1814, when the church was removed to Johnstown. Here a neat brick edifice
was erected which was consecrated in November, 1815, and was occupied until the present building was erected in
1854. Pastors from 1814 were Revs. Andrew N. Kittle, to 1827; Edwin Holmes, to 1835; John H. Van Wagenen, to 1841;
J. D. Funda, to 1847, in connection with the Greenport church; C. E. Crispell, to 1857; C. I. Shepard, to 1867;
F. M. Kipp, jr., to 1869; Thomas S. Dusinberre, to 1889; J. W. Vaughan, 1889, 1900. The first parsonage was built
in 1833, and was superseded by a new one in 1889. A new cemetery association was formed in 1891 with the title
Livingston Cemetery Association. Dr. John H. Allen was the first president and Philip H. Snyder, secretary, both
of whom are still in those offices.
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church. - About the year 1764 a Lutheran church was organized in this town by Rev.
John F. Ries, pastor of the Churchtown society. The official board elected in that year consisted of Elders Johannes
Michael Muchler and Johannes Erchenbrecht, and deacons Nicholas Schirtz and Philip Bortel. A list of many of the
members who joined the church previous to 1790 is given a few pages back. A frame meeting house was built on the
post road which was occupied until after 1820; this was commonly called the Pict Bush Church. In 1821 a new church
was built about two miles east of Blue Store and named St. John's. A board of trustees chosen at that time consisted
of David Prossius, Adam Weaver, John D. Feller, Mathias Hoot, Henry W. Snyder, and George Rowe. This meetinghouse
was occupied until 1861, when the present edifice was erected, nearly opposite the site of the second one. A parsonage
and a cemetery are connected with the church. During a quarter of a century or more the services were conducted
in the German language. Among the pastors of the church have been the following: 1764-91, John F. Ries; 1791-1800,
Johann F. Ernst; 1800-15, Frederick H. Quitman; 1816-48, Augustus Wackerhagen; 1849-51, William B. Askam; 1851-58,
H. Wheeler; 1858.60, S. Curtis; 1861-63, William H. Emerick; 1863-64, W. J. Cutter; 1865 67, J. Selmser; 1868-69,
William H. Emerick; 1870- 72, J. D. Wert; 1872-75, J. S. Griffith; 1875-77, James Leffler; 1877-84, J. A. Rosenberg;
1885-86, T. J. Yost; 1887-98, Walter Miller; 18981900, W. H. Shutts.
The Reformed Church at Linlithgo was organized November 8, 1870, by the Hudson classis with six members. The consislory
consisted of Elders John N. Hover and Thomas Miller, and Deacons William H. Hover and John H. Harvey. A plain brick
house of worship was built in the same year at a cost of $6,000, on the site of the original Linlithgo church and
over the Livingston vault. It was erected mainly at the expense of surviving members of the Livingston family and
was named the Livingston Memorial Chapel. Rev. Harvey D. Schermerhorn was the first pastor and remained until 1872.
His successors have been Revs. B. F. Snyder, Cornelius S. Van Santvoord, A. H. Meyers, Cornelius R. Blauvelt, Cornelius
S. Van Santvoord, George LeFevre, J. P. Emerick, W. W. Whitney, T. K. Shield, D. M. Williams, T. K. Shield, the
present incumbent. A parsonage was erected in 1879. Connected with the church is the Linlithgo Cemetery Association.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Glenco Mills was built in 1869 by Isaac Shaurman and presented by him to the
Ebenezer M. E. Society. The trustees elected in September of that year were Ira Williams, Norman Niver, John H.
Schermerhorn, Jonas W. Rockefeller, Solomon Avery, R. A. Rorabeck, Simeon Decker, Samuel L. Myers, and Abram M.
Myers. It has been connected with the church at West Taghkanic.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Union Corners was organized at Pleasant Vale in 1849; prior to that date the
class here was connected with West Taghkanic. Jeremiah Niles was leader. In 1854 a frame church was built, with
which was afterwards connected a burial ground and a parsonage. The building was repaired and improved in 1877,
The population of the town of Livingston, as given in the census reports from 1825 to 1892, was as follows: 1825,
1,988; 1830, 2,087; 1835, 2,206; 1840, 2,119; 1845, 2,083; 1850, 2,020; 1855, 2,064; 1860, 2,014; 1865, 1,904;
1870, 1,938; 1875, 1,960; 1880, 2,060; 1890, 2,080; 1892, 1,795; 1900, 1,710.
The supervisors of Livingston from 1787 to 1900 have been as follows:
1787. John Livingston.
1788. William Rockefeller.
1789. John Livingston.
1790. John A. Fonda.
1791-92. Henry Livingston.
1793-94. Philip L. Hoffman.
1795-96. John A. Fonda.
1797-98. Peter Bishop.
1799-1800. Henry Livingston.
1801. Moncrief Livingston.
1802. Henry Livingston.
1803. Robert T. Livingston.
1804-08. James S. Livingston.
1809-11. Henry Livingston.
1812-25. John Van Deusen.
1826. Walter Patterson.
1827-28. Christian Patrie.
1829. Killian Miller.
1830-32. John McKinstry.
1833-35. Henry A. DuBois.
1836-37. Henry Baker.
1838. Peter R. Livingston.
1839-40. Charles Esselstyne.
1841. Henry Dunspaugh.
1842-43. Peter Van Deusen.
1841. Henry A. DuBois.
1845. Thomas Best.
1846. Elias Lasher.
1847. John H. Smith.
1848-49. Thomas Best.
1850. John Pierce.
1851-52. William H. Snyder.
1853. Jacob L. Potts.
1854. Robert Washburn.
1855. Walter Shutts.
1856. Peter L. Bachman.
1857. David Miller.
1858. Walter Shutts.
1859. Samuel Ten Broeck.
1860. German Finger.
1861. John Whitbeck.
1862. Walter Sheldon.
1863. Jacob H. Proper.
1864. Reuben Van De Bogart.
1865-66, Rensselaer Proper.
1867. Wilson Potts.
1868-71. Jacob H. Proper.
1872. John Whitheck.
1873. Rensselaer Proper.
1874. Stephen 0. Potts.
1875. Wilson Potts.
1876. Jacob H. Proper.
1877. Samuel Shutts.
1878. Henry Younghanse.
1879. Andrew Hallenbeck.
1880. James W. Ham.
1881-82. Jacob H. Proper.
1883-84. Reuben S. Miller.
1885. James W. Ham.
1886-87. John Van Tassel.
1888 91. Joseph B. Wagner.
1892-93. Newton Schermerhorn.
1894 97. Jacob Raynor.
1898-1900. H. C. Harvey.
The town clerks have been:
1787-1801. Records destroyed.
1802. Jacob C. Decker.
1803. James S. Livingston.
1804. James S. Livingston, jr.
1805-11. John Van Deusen.
1812-15 John McClellan.
1816-18. Christian Patrie.
1819-20. Charles Robinson.
1821-22. Jacob Baringer.
1823-28. Killian Miller.
1829. Jacob Baringer.
1830. Charles Esselstyne.
1831-32. Henry Baker.
1833. James S. Livingston.
1834. Henry Baker.
1835. Herman Best.
1836-37. Jacob Baringer.
1838. Henry M. Whitbeck.
1839. Henry Shear.
1840. Jacob Baringer.
1841-42. Henry Shear.
1843. Jacob Baringer.
1844. Robert Humphrey.
1845-47. Jacob Baringer.
1848-50. Henry Shear.
1851. Jacob Horton.
1852. Ira Williams.
1853-54. Milo C. Marshall.
1855. Ira Williams.
1856. Austin Washburne.
1857. Nathan Sagendorph.
1858. Lewis Potts.
1859. Jacob Horton.
1860-62. Edwin Bachman.
1863. Peter F. Potts.
1864. Philip Smith.
1865-66. John H. Patrie.
1867. Samuel Shutts.
1868-69. Walter Stickle.
1870. Henry Smith.
1871. Walter Stickle.
1872. Benedict A. Weeks.
1873. Mark Methuen.
1874. Jacob H. Decker.
1875. Mark Methuen.
1876. Walter Stickle.
1877-80. Nelson Hallenbeck.
1881. Henry Shear.
1882. Emory Roraback.
1883. Charles E. Brown.
1884-87. George R. Carhart.
1888-89. George A. Miller.
1890. George R. Carhart.
1891. F. B. Horton.
1892-95. Philip Snyder.
1896-97. John E. Stickles.
1898. H. C. Harvey.
1899-1900. Jesse L. Rowe.