History of Kent, New York


As we have before stated, this town was a part of the “Fredericksburgh Precinct,” which originally embraced the whole of the County. After the organization of the "Philips' Precinct,” which embraced nearly one-third of the west end of the County, the former contained this town, Carmel, Patterson, and Southeast.

By the Act of the 7th March, 1788, the term “Precincts” was dropped, and “towns” substituted; and an additional town organized, which was called Southeast.

By that Act, this town, including the now towns of Carmel and Patterson, was called FREDERICK’S TOWN.

About the time that Carmel and Patterson were taken from it, it was christened by the Legislature with its present name in honor of the Kent family, who were early settlers in this County, and greatly distinguished for their talents, intelligence, and manly virtues.

A large part of this town is rough and unproductive; the western part of which is covered by the central Highlands. There is, however, some excellent land, which is under a good state of cultivation. The eastern part is hilly, and well adapted to grazing, to which the farmers generally, we believe, give their attention. It is centrally distant from New York about 60, and from Albany about 101 miles. Farners’ Mills and Coles’ Mills, are the only villages in it; the former in the north-west, and the latter in the south part of the town.


This town was settled by the Boyds, Smallys1 Wixons, Farringtons, Burtons, Carters, Meritts, Barretts, Luddingtons, with a few others from Massachusetts and Westchester.

Zachariah Meritt settled in this town about 1750, and built a log-house in the meadow just east of the residence of Stiliman Boyd, Esq. He planted himself, as it were, in the very midst of the Indians, who had a settlement there. We have been informed by the Hon. Judge Boyd, that he has ploughed up on the same meadow, more than two bushels of oyster-shells and arrow-heads.

During the Revolution, Meritt took the British side of the question, and his land was confiscated by the State.

About this time a family of the name of Jones settled in Peekskill Hollow, where John Barrett now resides.

The Boyds are of Scotch descent. The greatgrandfather of this family in this town came from Scotland to New York City; and from thence to Westchester.

Ebenezer Boyd, grandfather of Bennet and Stiliman Boyd, came from Westchester, and settled where Stiiman Boyd now lives, about 1780. There were three brothers who emigrated from Scotland to this country during the “Rebellion” of the partizans of the Stewart dynasty in 1745. One of them settled at Albany, known as Gen. Boyd, and died at the ad
vanced age of 114 years.

Another settled in the lower part of Westchester, and was great-grandfather of the family in this town. The other brother settled at New Windsor, in Orange County, and was the ancestor of the Boyd family in that County.

A man of the name of Joseph Farrington was about the first settler at Farmers’ Mills. During the “hard winter,” a man of the name of Burton, put up the first grist-mill at that place.

About 1760, James Smally, Reuben, Robert, and Pelick Wixon, came from Cape Cod to this town, and settled about a mile east of Stiliman Boyd. They were of English descent. A family of the name of Cole were also early settlers, as we are informed; but are unable to say at what time they came.

Col. Henry Luddington, or “Luddinton,” as it was formerly spelt, made a settlement in this town about 1760. He was born in Connecticut; but his father emigrated from England. He settled, where his son still resides, in the north-west part of the town, known in the Revolution as “Luddinton’s Mills.” A man by the name of Carter had settled at the same place a few years before.

Col. Luddington was one of the most active, energetic, and unflinching patriots that was found in this part of the country during the Revolution; and much do we regret our inability, from the want of materials, to do justice to the character and sterling virtues of this Revolutionary patriot. The governmental records, however, show him, in connexion with the Barnums, Cranes, and a few others, to have been one of the bold defenders of our country’s rights. He left six Sons and six daughters; of whom only two of the former and one of the latter are now living.

Extract from “Fredericksburgh Records A.”
“April ye 7th Day and first Tuesday 1747.

Matthew Roe, Clark
Supervisor Chosen Samuel Field
Constables Chosen Viz:
Joseph Jacocks John Dickeson
George Huson William Bruster

Nathan Taylor Senr - Colloctor
Joseph Lane - Seesser
Capt : James Dickeson - Seessor

High Way Masters Chosen viz:

Jacob Vandweel

James Seers

Joseph Husted

Joseph Crane

Richard Curry

Samuel Field

Isaac Rhoades

Daniel Townsend

George Curry

Uriah Townsend

William Gee

____ Barttlett

William Sweett

Caleb Heason

Pounders chosen viz
Thomas Kirkkuri John Gee and Amos Dickeson

Fence Viewers chosen viz

Daniel Townsend

Isaac Roads

Amos Dickeson

Isaac Three Hill

Abraham Smith

John Rogers

The following named persons appear to have been in the Fredericksburgh Precinct in 1747, who were freeholders, or occupying land as tenants. We first remark, however, that this precinct included, at this time, all of the towns now embraóed in Putnam County, viz.: Kent, Patterson, Carmel, Southeast, Putnam Valley, and Philipstown. In 1772, Philips’ Precinct, embracing both Philipstown and Putnam Valley, was erected; and, in 1773, the Southeast Precinct was organized. By the Act of’ March 7th, 1788, “for dividing the counties of this State into towns,” the Precincts were changed to towns; and hence Philips’ Precinct became Philipstown; Southeast Precinct, Southeast town; while the remaining part of Fredericksburgh Precinct was called Frederick’s town, embraced the new towns of Kent, Patterson, and Carmel. Barber, in his Historical Collections, says, that Southeast was organized in 1795; but this is evidently a historical mistake, as the Act, above alluded to. shows.

Cristoph Fowler,

Joseph Lane,

William Gee,

Amos Dickinson,

William Taylor,

James Kirkun,

Thomas Kirkun,

James M. Creedy,

John Drake,

Uriah Hill,

Rickeobus Cartwright,

George Curry,

Samuel Field,

Edward Ganong,

John Ryder,

Richard peters,

Jeremiah Calkin,

John Williams,

John Moherry,

Andrew Roble,

George huson,

Ephraim Smith,

Jsaac Roads,

William Smith,

Benjamin Brundage,

William Drake,

Vallentine Perkins,

Zedekiah Kirkun,

Dan’l Townsend,

Thomas Kirkun,

David Paddock,

George Scott,

Uriah Townsend,

Isaac Rhoads,

Will Hunt,

John Names,

Old Cole,

Joshua Hamblin,

Abraham Smith,

Joseph Hopkins,

Abraham Lock,

Isaac Merrick,

Caleb Heaz,

David Merick,

Michell Sloat,

John Harick,

Elijah Tompkins,

John Thorne,

Daniel Parish,

Schirran Travis,

Edward Gray,

Joshua Parrish,

John Dickinson,

Jacob Parrish,

Absalom Smith,

John Ganong,

Sam’ll Hunt,

Joseph Dewey,

Jonathan Lane,

Noah Burbank,

Jonathan O’Brien,

David Sturdeuant,

Isaach Horton,

Thomas Crosby,

Richard Cory,

Pelig Baley,

Thomas Devenport,

Isaac Barton,

Joseph Mead,

Thomas Coiwell,

Thomas Paddock,

Matthes Burgus,

Gabriel Knap,

Israel Taylor,

Joseph Chatoren,

James Bell,

Bartlit Crondy,

William Stone,

John Backer,

Edward Rice,

Israel Smith,

John Sprag,

Thomas Townsend,

Isaac Smith,

Benjamin Jacox,

Richard Rodes,

Nehemiah Horton,

Thomas Philips,

Cornoloes Tompkings,

Jonathan Briant,

Elisha Cangs,

John Tarbe,

James Akely,

William Deusenberry,

David Smith,

Solomon Jenkins,

Isah Jacox,

Josiah Forgason,

Isaac Treehill,

Dan’l Crawford,

Cristefor Alley,

Stephen Faronton,

Moses Dusenberry,

John Landon,

Jeremiah Jiffers,

John Mead,

Isaac Finch,

John Meeks,

Andres Barger,

Gilbert Travis,

George Feelds,

Joseph Stateer,

Amos Fooler,

Nehemiah Wood,

francis Beacker,

John Heaus,

Robert fooler,

David Sears,

John Larnce,

Joseph Coiwell,

Joseph Ganong,

Jacob Ellis,

Elisha Cole,

Regam Parrish,

Elnathan Gregry,

Bethnell Balleau,

William Sturdeuant,

John Addams,

Nathan Birdsall,

Ase Parrish,

Jabez Berry,

Nathaniel Nickerson,

Benamin Jackish,

Zenis Nickeson.

Matthies Burns,


There were others, doubtless, who resided in this Precinct, whose names are not found on the town book. Beside other sources of information, we are satisfied from the names given above, that Fredericksburgh Precinct, at this time, embraced the whole of Philipstown under its original organization.

In the above extract from the Precinct Book, we find the names of Thomas Pevenport, who, at that time, resided at Cold Spring, on the Hudson; and John Rogers, who kept a tavern a little south of Justus Nelson’s mill, on the old post-road.

In the above extract of names, we have written them as spelled in the Record, using the same kind of letters, as are there found in the commencement of the christian and surnames.

Farmers’ Mills.— A hamlet eight miles from Carmel, on the road leading from Cold Spring to Patterson. It contains 2 or 3 stores, 2 taverns, a Post-office, a grist, saw, fulling-mill, and a tannery. Its name is owing to the fact, that the first mill was erected for the accommodation of farmers in that vicinity; no sale-work being done there at that time for other parts of the country.

Coles’ Mill.— A small collection of houses on the road from Cold Spring to the village of Carmel, about three miles west of it. It contains a grist mill, saw mill, and fulling mill. It is named after the family of Coles who settled the place. One of the west branches of the Croton runs through it.

Dick Town.— A small district of country lying south of the Cold Spring turnpike, near Justice Forshay’s. A large number of persons of the name of Richard resided there. The nickname of Richard is Dick, by which they were generally called, and owing to the multiplicity of the name, their neighbors called it “Dick Town.”

Smalley Hill.— An eminence about half a mile east of Stilirnan Boyd’s, and is named after the Smalley family.

White Pond.— A beautiful sheet of water about half a mile east of Farmers’ Mills. It is nearly a mile long and half a mile broad, and named after a family by the name of White.

Forge Pond.—This pond is about sixty rods east of Farmers’ Mills. Forty years ago, a forge was erected at the west end of it at its out-let; and hence its name. It was formerly a marsh. The White Pond runs into it. It is about one-fourth of a mile long and fifty rods wide.

China Pond.— A handsome body of water, nearly circular, one mile south of Farmers’ Mills; and nearly a half a mile in length. The reason for its being so called, we are unable to give, but believe it was owning to the fact, that a small basket full of Chinaware was thrown into it by a wife, to spite her drunken husband.

Pine Pond is about one and a half miles south of White Pond, three-quarters of a mile long and half a mile wide. Its margin was covered with pine timber, and hence its name.

Dean Pond is about one mile south of Samuel Townsend’s, and almost round, being about 60 rods in length and breadth. It takes its name from the family of Deans, who lived near it. The above named ponds contain perch, pickerel, with the more common kinds of fish; and are resorted to in the summer season by the amateurs of the fishing-rod.

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