History of Stanford, NY
From: General History of Dutchess County
From 1609 to 1876, Inclusive.
By Philip H. Smith
Published by the author 1877

POPULATION, 2,209. - SQUARE ACRES, 31,581.

STANFORD was formed from Washington, March 12th, 1793. This town was included in the Great Nine Partners Tract. Its surface is a broken and hilly upland. The hills generally admit of being cultivated to their summits. Slate crops out in numerous places along their declivities, and boulders and waterworn pebbles are thickly strewn over a considerable portion of the surface. Hunns and Uptons Lakes, are the principal bodies of water. Wappingers Creek is the principal stream. The soil is a good quality of gravelly and slaty loam. Stanfordville, Bangall, Stissingville, and Attlebury are hamlets. An immense spring of pure cold water near the latter place has considerable local notoriety. Smith Thompson, U. S. Circuit Judge, was a native and resident of this town.

Bangall is a station on the line of the Duchess and Columbia Railroad. It has several stores and factories, post-office, flour, feed, and saw mills; also three neat and comfortable churches. The origin of its name is thus given; A Yankee pedlar was traveling through here in the prosecution of his business. His goods consisted of a stock of tin ware, which he carried about the country in a rickety cart, drawn by a. superannuated horse. This vicinity was at that time noted for its roystering lads, whose mad-cap pranks kept the community in a continual uproar. Our pedlar unfortunately fell into their hands. After tantalizing him to their hearts' content they ended by knocking the poor old horse in the head, leaving the animal dead in the road. The pedlar was now in a dilemma. His horse was dead; he was far from home, with no means to buy another. He contemplated the fallen beast a moment, and then broke out in a Yankee phrase "That bangs all!" From that expression the place is named. We may add that the mischievous fellows who killed his faithful animal, and who were connected with the best families of the vicinity, made amends to the poor pedlar by presenting him with another horse, and a much better one than he had before.

Bare Market - incorrectly spelled Bear Market on some of the maps, is a cluster of houses located near the west borders of the town. The name was given it from the following circumstance: An old gentleman formerly kept a grocery here, and also disposed of considerable liquor. One night a company assembled at his place of business, drinking and carousing, and prolonged their stay until a very late hour. They imbibed so freely that they drank up all the liquor the old man had; but not yet satisfied, they besought him to go off and get some more. This he told them he could not do, as he was very lame, and unable to travel. This was to them a sore disappointment, thus to have their joy nipped off without warning. They therefore named the place "Bare Market," the place was "bare" of liquor - a cognomen which it has retained to this day. As the history of the First Baptist church of this town dates back to a very early period, we may as well give it a notice here.

In 1755, a few Baptist brethren, who were settled in this wilderness, thought it needful to meet together. Others joined them; and in October, 1759, a church was constituted by Elder Jabez Wood and Robert Wheaton, of "Swansea, County of Bristol, Massachusetts Bay." Ephraim and Comer Bullock were chosen to administer the ordinances of the Gospel to them, and Richard Bullock, Jr., was elected deacon. There is no further record of them until 1770-2, when we read on the church'minutes: "Just at this time we were informed that our mother church sang by rule, and used Watts' Hymns, and we labored with them some time to forbear; but they continued, and we withdrew ourselves from them. Then sometime after that some of us grew uneasy, because we had broken union with them about singing, viz: Richard and Ellis Bullock; and some time after, Elder Comer Bullock grew so much uneasy, that we thought it our duty to make our recantation to that church for what we had done, believing that the psalm, or tune, was not a sufficient thing to break union upon. Some of the brethren made a request that they might sing Watts' Psalms, and were denied altogether." Twenty four of the brethren dissented from the church and did not meet with them for some time. In 1778, another organization was effected of those "willing to walk together in the order of the Gospel, with singing of psalms and hymns as a part of Divine worship," with Comer Bullock as pastor. He continued to preach for them until his health failed, and is said to have baptized over one thousand persons during his ministry. Elder Luman Burtch became pastor in 1806, continuing with them about fifteen years; then, after an absence of about four years, returned, and again preached to them.

April 1st, 1780, the church being together at the house of Comer Bullock, were called upon to confer in respect to special, when two of the brethren said they had made a new discovery, viz: "That there should be an equality in the church in the payment of taxes."

The following is from the records: "April 28th, the church being assembled at the house of the pastor, one of the brethren gave his new discovery of duty, which he proposed to carry out the more easily by the following method: "To plow, plant, and hoe the Elder's corn, mow and secure his hay; plow and prepare the fallow ground for sowing wheat for him, judging it most convenient for us, in our low circumstances, to redeem what time we can in order that the Elder might dedicate to the Lord all such redeemed time in work pertaining to his ministerial functions."

"At the request of brethren at Dover, and places adjacent, Elder Bullock and the messengers of the church visited those quarters, and preached the Gospel there, baptizing both men and women." September 29th, 1787, there was an invitation sent to the church from the neighborhood of Mabbettsville, for the. Elder to come and administer the ordinance of baptism. He went and baptized nearly forty, and the following year they were constituted a branch of his church A branch at Kinderhook, another at Noble Town, and still another "near Jacob Lawrence's," are spoken of in the records. "Deacon Canfield expressed a dissatisfaction that the church consisted of so many branches that the mother church was destitute of preaching the greater part of the time." In June, 1790, the people at Hudson sent a messenger to the church, asking them to send their Elder to administer the ordinance of baptism.

Notwithstanding the great amount of pastoral and ministerial work performed by Elder Bullock in those primitive days, no record can be found of his ever having received even so much as a penny by way of salary. He did, on one occasion, receive a contribution, and for so doing he was called an hireling; whereupon the church very promptly voted that he had a perfect right to receive any gift the people were disposed to make him.

On the 28th of August, 1790, the church voted that the Elder and a licentiate should attend meeting at Oswego at the house of Bro. Fowler, once every month for twelve months. Soon afterward, the church voted that the Elder should preach for them three Sabbaths in each month for one year; the fourth Sabbath at the village and at the branch east of Mabbettsville; and when there were five Sabbaths, he might go wherever be thought best. In 1798, a messenger presented a request from some candidates in Rhinebeck, wishing baptism, and asking the church to send an administrator. Accordingly, May 19th, Elders Bullock and Hopkins, and Deacon Canfield, met at the house of Robert Scott, at Rhinebeck Flats, and heard the experience of four candidates. On the following Sunday Elder Hopkins preached and afterwards baptized them.

In 1799, a proposition was made to have a stove in the meeting house, which was voted down. It appears from the records that nearly all the meetings were held at the pastor's house, especially in cold weather. The dwelling house then owned by the Elder, and for many years the rallying point of the Baptists in this section of the country, is still standing we believe, having at a recent period been rebuilt, and is located about three miles north of the present church edifice.

The last record of Elder Bullock is that he presided at a church meeting held in his own house, Feb, 29th, 1804. Two years previous, the church had called Elder Hopkins to preach for them one half of the time for three months, and voted to give him twenty shillings a Sabbath. Elders Petit and Arnold are spoken of as supplies. Such is the history, for the first fifty years, of the early gathering of the Baptists in this town, while it was yet a wilderness. Up to this time they h id established branches at eight different places, viz: Kinderhook, Oswego, Noble Town, Dover, the branch east of Mabbettsville, known as Daniel Jones's, West Branch, Southwest Branch, and Rhinebeck. June 14th, 1806, a Baptist Council was convened, consisting of Elders Leland, Wood, and Johnson. The day following they ordained Brother Luman Burtch. Among the first that the latter baptized were Samuel Sackett and Asa Thompson. A new house was raised in July, 1814; in August the following year, the church first met in this house, which is located about one fourth mile south of the first. The following Elders are mentioned as having been pastors over this church: Doty, David Fradenburgh, Elijah Lucas, J. Holman, and E. C. Ambler.

The second house of worship was occupied about fifty years. In this house the first session of the Duchess Baptist Association was held in 1835, October 14 and 15, Rev. T. Winter, Moderator. In the fall of 1867, a survey was made for the Duchess & Columbia Railroad, which passed through the pulpit, so that the house, had to be removed a little more than the width of it to give way for work on the road. In December, the agents offered $1650 for the church building, which was accepted, and the present house built.

A Quaker Church was built at Stanfordville about the year 1800. It was sold a few years since, and is now occupied as a public hall, with apartments for families below. As the church was erected before the separation of that sect, both the Hicksite and Orthodox divisions received their proportionate share of the purchase money, and both gave their deed for the. property.

On what is loollly known as Bangall Lane, between. Bangall and Stanfordville, a large Biblical School has been established, under the auspices of the Christian denomination. David Clark, of Conn., was one of the principal movers in its establishment, and contributed $35,000 to found it.

One of the earliest settlers in this vicinity was Paul Upton, an emigrant from Lynn, Mass. He located in the beautiful valley on the borders of the romantic lake which bears his name. The annexed is a representation of his residence, which is still standing. A large addition has been since built, but that is not shown The house had originally a large chimney, with three fire places below, and one on the second floor. Paul Upton was a Quaker; as he lived near the meeting house, his house was usually thronged at the time of the Quarterly Meetings; as many as forty people have been entertained at one time over night in this little dwelling.

Paul Upton and his wife once attended a yearly meeting on Long Island. This was in the time of the Revolution, when the British had possession of that part of the country. They rode the whole distance on horseback, much of the way through an almost unbroken wilderness. Arriving at their destination, they put up at the house of a friend. One morning, after the close of the meeting, their horses were brought up to the door, and while they were engaged in leave taking, a British officer stepped up, took the horses by the bridle, saying, as he did so, that he had use for them. The honest old Quaker eyed the officer for a moment, and then addressed him in measured terms: "Friend, would thee consider what thee is doing? We are far from home; my wife is unable to walk that distance; neither can I in my enfeebled state; if thee takes our horses, we shall have no means to get back." And thus the old gentleman plead with him, until the heart of the officer relented. Letting go the bridles, he bade the honest Quaker and his wife depart in peace, and went on his way, followed by their benedictions.

Paul had a son born to him about the time the British ship "Asia" left New York and anchored in the lower Hudson. This vessel was regarded with dread by the inhabitants of the river country, and was the object of a bitter hatred. Paul christened the child Asa; which sounded so much like the name of the hated vessel, that many Whigs living in the vicinity, who were generally unlettered, but who were excessively jealous of any semblance of loyalty to the King, thought the boy was named in honor of the vessel. This smacked too much of Toryism; and a committee was forthwith appointed to enquire into the matter. The good old Quaker had little difficulty in explaining to them that "Asa" and "Asia" were two distinct appellatives, and they departed evidently satisfied.

Paul was by trade a tanner. The farmers used to carry hides to him to be made into leather. On one of his tours to Long Island, he was taken prisoner by the enemy. He stated his case to the officers in charge, depicting the loss that would be incurred were he to be retained. Said he "I am a tanner by trade. I now have in my vats thousands of dollars' Worth of hides. If I am not allowed to care for them, they will all be damaged. Many of my customers are friends to the King they will suffer if I am kept here." The officer inquired about the length of time that would be necessary to secure the hides. "About three months," was the answer. The officer thought a moment, and then said: "We will let you return home on condition that you will give us your word of honor that in three months from this day and date you will report yourself at Kingston." The Quaker gave his word, and was suffered to depart. The time expired just after the British had left Kingston, after the capture of Burgoyne at Saratoga. True to his word, Upton presented himself at Kingston on the day 'appointed, but as there was no British officer to take charge of him; he returned home.

Near where is now located Willow Brook Station, on the Poughkeepsie and Eastern Railroad, there stood in Revolutionary times, a tavern. A number of noisy fellows had gathered there one day, who were carousing finely. At last it was arranged that each one should in turn sing a song. One Of the revelers was named Marvin. When it came his turn to sing, he gave them a Tory song. This put a sudden stop to the proceedings; and so full were the rest of bad continental rum, that they did not stop to consider the consequences; but all fell upon the poor fellow, and killed him. After he was dead, one of the 'men by the name of Obey Smith took the body upon his shoulder, put it into Marvin's sleigh, and started the horses for home, With no one in it but their dead driver, where they arrived soon after. Obey Smith used to go about with:his head drawn to one side. It was currently reported that the deformity was caused by his carrying the dead body of Marvin upon his shoulder.

A man once lived in this town - name withheld - who made a wager with a colored man living with him, betting a bay mare against the negro's wages. The negro won, and mounting his property, rode gaily away. His employer was greatly chagrined at being thus fairly beaten, and out of revenge had the darkey arrested for theft. As the latter could furnish no proof, except his own word, of the manner in which he came in possession of the mare, he was adjudged guilty of the crime of which he was accused, sentenced to be hung, and was afterwards executed. His employer was present at the execution. Just before the noose was placed about his neck, the negro made some remarks, a part of which were addressed to his accuser. "You know, very well," said he, "that the mare was mine", and that I came honestly by her, and you will stand there and see me hung, innocent of what I am accused. May God forgive you, as I do, of the crime of willful murder which will rest upon your soul.

Esq. Sam. Arnold was anciently a noted magistrate. During his term of office a law was passed making it a finable offence to allow a dog to run loose without a ring about his neck bearing the name of his owner. As one half of the fine went to the informer, a man named Quick thought this would be a favorable opportunity to make a little money. Relived near one John Bailey, for whom he worked; and taking the names of all those who had not complied with the law, he appeared before the magistrate with a goodly list. That functionary promptly commanded the delinquents to appear before him on a certain day and answer to the charge. In the meantime the accused had made common cause against their informer, and had arranged to retaliate upon him for meddling with their affairs. They caused a heavy iron collar to be forged, which was to be secured by a rivet, on which were the words: "I am John Bailey's dog, whose dog are you?" This. they designed placing around the neck of Quick.

One night they surrounded Quick's house, and were about effecting an entrance, when one of them looking through the key hole caught sight of him just as he was going up stairs. He called out "Here he is," and everybody rushed for the front door. This afforded a chance of escape for poor Quick, who jumped from a rear chamber window, and was lost to view in the gloom of the adjacent wood. He fled the country, and never afterward showed himself in the neighborhood. The collar is yet in existence, having done duty different from that for which it was made.

Once a band of Tories had secreted themselves in a dense swamp, in this vicinity, where they were supplied with provisions by their wives and sweethearts, who went there for that purpose at night. A report having spread that the British had recently met with a brilliant victory, and were penetrating the county in the neighborhood of Fishkill, the Tory band boldly sallied forth to meet them. When near Salt Point, they were informed that the report was false; whereupon they made all haste for the swamp, before they could be intercepted.

The writer was informed that when the Stone Church at Clinton Corners was being built, about forty men were engaged upon it. During an alarm, these men were called upon to assist in repelling the invaders, but they all fled to the neighboring woods except an old man, who boldly kept at work, and who was pressed into the service. Tradition says that a number of muskets were thrown into the body of water known as the Pond Gut in the Revolution, by some Tories who were endeavoring to escape pursuit; in proof of the truth of this it is asserted that but a few years since one or two muskets, of ancient pattern, were found in it.

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