History of Danube, NY
FROM: Gazetteer and Business Directory
OF Herkimer County, N. Y. For 1869-70.
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child, Syracuse, NY 1869


DANUBE, named from the river Danube, in Europe, was formed from Minden, Montgomery County, April 7, 1817. Stark was taken off in 1828. It lies on the east border of the County, south of the center. The surface in the center is hilly, rising from 400 to 800 feet above the Mohawk, and is broken by ravines on each side of the valley of Nowadaga Creek. Along the Mohawk, on the north border, are fine fertile flats. The principal stream is Nowadaga Creek, flowing north-east through the town near the center. The SOil is gravelly in the north and a sandy loam in the south. There are two sulphur springs in the north part.

Newville, (p. v.) situated in the south-west part of the town, contains a union church, which is occupied by the Lutherans, Baptists and Universalists, and about twenty dwellings. The cheese factory of the Newville Association is 40 by 100 feet, and three stories high; the annual product is about 27,500 pounds.

Danube (p. o.) is a hamlet in the north part, containing one church.

This town embraces small portions of the Fall Hill, Vaughn’s and L’Hommedieu Patents, most of Lindsey’s and parts of J. Vrooman’s, C. Colden's, Van Horne's and Lansing’s Patents. Settlements commenced about 1730, but no records of them have been preserved. They were all broken up during the Revolution and were not commenced again until 1780.

A mission church was established here in 1768, by Sir William Johnson. During the war the Indians attempted to carry off the bell upon this church and succeeded in concealing it for a time, so that the search for it by the settlers was fruitless. After a time the Indians returned for it and were bearing it away upon a pole, but that unruly member, the tongue, which has betrayed so many, betrayed them, and the well known tones of the bell which the Indians had neglected to muffle, aroused the settlers, and with guns, pitchforks, axes and other weapons, they pursued the thieves and recovered the bell. Long afterwards this church was known as the “Indian Castle Church.

This town was the residence of “King Hendrick,” a Mohawk Chief, and the home of the notorious Joseph Brant and the patriot General Herkimer. The residence of King Hendrick stood upon the high ground near the Indian Castle Church.

The following anecdote with slight variations has been handed down to us: King Hendrick, on one occasion, while visiting Sir William Johnson, related a dream to the effect that Sir William gave him a suit of clothes. Of course the dream must be fulfilled, and Hendrick received his clothes. A while after this Sir William visited Hendrick and had a dream which he related to his host. He dreamed that King Hendrick gave him a tract of land lying between the East and West Canada Creeks and embracing about twelve miles square. Hendrick gave him. the land, but requested that there be no more dreaming. This tract was afterwards known as the Royal Grant. King Hendrick sustained a high character for sagacity and integrity, and was ardently attached to the English, and especially to Sir Wm. Johnson, whom he accompanied to Lake George in the summer of 1755, where he was killed. He was recognized as a chief as early as 1697.

General Nicholas Herkimer was a resident of this town at the time of his death. He was a son of Johan Jost Herkimer, one of the patentees of Burnetsfield. The General received a commission of Lieutenant in the company of Captain Wm. Woodworth, on the 5th of January, 1758. The commission was signed by “James DeLancey, Esq., His Majesty’s Lieutenant Governor, and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Province of New York, and the Territories depending thereon in America.” General Herkimer received a commission of Brigadier General, September 5th, 1776. In the disastrous battle at Oriskany he was wounded so severely as to make it necessary to amputate one of his legs. This was done in so unskillful a manner as to cause his death a few days after.

An inn was kept in this town in 1795, by Cornelius C. Van Alstyne, and a store by Peter Smith about the same time. Anarew Nellis built the first grist mill, near the mouth of Nowadaga Creek, in 1800.

The population of the town in 1865 was 1,343; its area is 17,337 acres.


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