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


MANHEIM, named from Manheim, in Baden, the native place of the first settlers, was formed from Palatine, Montgomery County, April 7th, 1817. It lies on the north bank of the Mohawk, upon the east border of the County. The surface gradually rises from the flats along the Mohawk, to the north border, where it attains an elevation of 500 feet above the river. East Canada Creek, called by the indians Ci-o-ha-na, forms the east boundary. Cathatachua Creek flows south, through near the center, and Bennett Brook flows south-east through the north-east corner. There is a series of cascades upon East Canada Creek, about one mile above its mouth, where the water descends 180 feet in three fourths of a mile. The soil is a gravelly loam upon the upland, and a fine, fertile alluvium in the valleys.

Brocketts Bridge, (p. o) situated upon East Canada Creek, in the north part, contains two churches, viz: Methodist and Free church, a tannery, a cheese factory and about 250 inhabitants.

Inghams Mills, (p. o.) on East Canada Creek, three miles below Brocketts Bridge, contains a grist mill with two runs of stones, a saw mill, a church and about 100 inhabitants.

East Creek (p. o.) is a station on the N. Y. C. R. R., near the mouth of East Canada Creek.

Manheim Center is a post office. A short distance south-east of this place is a Reformed Dutch Church, that was organized before the Revolutionary war.

This town was settled at an early day, probably as early as 1756, by Germans. A grant of 3,600 acres was made 1755 to Jacob Timmerman and Johan Jost Schnell, commonly known as Snell and Timmermanís Patent. Suffrenus, Peter, Joseph and Jacob Snell, four sons of one of the patentees, made a donation of seven acres of land for a church lot, and twelve acres for school purposes. They and their neighbors continued to meet and work upon the land Saturday afternoons until it was cleared and fit for cultivation. A church was erected on the land designed for that purpose, and remained until 1850, when it was replaced by a new one. The school house in the district stands on the donated lot. Nine of the Snell family went into the Oriskany battle under Gen. Herkimer, seven of whom were killed. Henry Remensneider and Johannes Boyer settled on Glenís Purchase, a few miles north of Little Falls, previous to the Revolution. Among the other early settlers who located in the town before the Revolution were the Keysers, Van Slykes, Newmans, Shavers, Klocks, Adlesands, Garters, all of whom suffered greatly during the struggle for Independence.

This, like other settlements in the Mohawk Valley, suffered severely from the attacks of the Indians. On the 3d of April, 1780, a party of about sixty Tories and Indians attacked Remensneiderís Bush, a settlement a few miles from Little Falls, burned a grist mill and carried away nineteen prisoners. They took John Garter and his son John prisoners at the mill, and captured three men in the road near by, one of whom was Joseph Newman. Among the other prisoners were John Windecker, Henry Shaver, George Adle, Cobus Van Slyke and ____ Uker. Twelve of the prisoners were taken in one house by less than half their number of Indians, no effort being made to escape or resist. All but two of the prisoners returned after the war, John Garter having died in Canada and George Adle having escaped and returned previously. There was a block-house in this neighborhood called Remensrieiderís Fort, to which the inhabitants were accustomed. to resort at night for safety and protection. After this visit from the Indians most of the families retired to the lower valley and abandoned their farms. John U. Snell, while looking for cattle in the woods, was surprised and shot through the body by the Indians. He recovered and lived to a good old age.

John Beardslee, a native of Sharon, Conn., a practical mechanic and civil engineer, came to the Mohawk Valley in 1787, and erected mills at Whitestown, where he remained until 1792, when he was employed by the State to build a set of mills for the Oneida Indians. About this time he erected the first bridge across the Mohawk at Little Falls, and the old red mill at the same place. Bridges and mills were erected by him at various places in this and adjoining counties; among them was a bridge over West Canada Creek, another over East Canada Creek, and a grist and saw mill and cloth dressing works about half a mile north of the present Mohawk turnpike bridge. The bridge across East Canada Creek was paid for by Montgomery County, and in order to obtain the necessary timber, he purchased a hundred acre lot west of the Creek and adjoining the site of the bridge, for which he paid 330 pounds New York currency, in March 1774. He subsequently erected mills which were in operation the next year. The mills attracted emigrants, and in 1800 there was quite a village, containing two stores, two tanneries, a blacksmith shop, a nail factory, a cooperage and a brewery. After a successful business life, Mr. Beardslee died on the 3d day of October, 1825.

The first church in this town, built in 1774 or Ď5, was burned during the war but was rebuilt soon after.

The population of the town in 1865 was 1,831; its area is 18,034 acres.

There are eight school districts, employing nine teachers. The number of children of school age is 405; the number attending school 306; the average attendance 155, and the amount expended for school purposes during the year ending September 30, 1868, was $2,333.12.



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