History of Patterson, New York
FROM: THE HISTORY OF PUTNAM COUNTY
BY: WILLIAM J. BLAKE, ESQ.
CONSELLOR-AT-LAW
PUBLISHED BY: BAKER & SCRIBNER, 146 NASSAU STREET, NY 1849




TOWN OF PATTERSON.

This town, as we have before remarked, was originally named Franklin, when organized in 1795. The back short lot of Beverly Robinson embraced nearly its whole area. Its population in 1840 was 1,349, and in 1845, 1,289. Situated in the north-east part of the county, its farmers are further removed from Peekskill in Westchester, where the eastern section of the county have heretofore, we believe, done their “marketing,” than those of Putnam Valley,Carmel, and South East. This inconvenience will soon be obviated by the New York and Harlem Railroad, which passes through this town, and which will afford a speedy transportation of the farmer’s produce to the great metropolis of the country. Its surface is hilly, and with few exceptions, the high grounds are cultivated and productive. Those parts which we visited seemed better adapted to grazing than for grain, although some with whom we have conversed pronounce it well-nigh equally suited to both. Every variety of agricultural product is raised, and the soil, generally, is as productive as any in the county.

The streams are not numerous; the east branch of the Croton furnishes the greatest amount of hydraulic power, and that, at certain seasons of the year, is small. There are but two ponds in the whole town. It is bounded on the north by the south line of Dutchess county; on the east by Connecticut; on the south by Southeast and Carmel; and on the west by the town of Kent.
We should think that the agricultural wealth of this
town, in proportion to its size, is equal to that of any other in the county. The soil in the vicinity of Patterson village is loam and sand: in other parts loam and gravel predominate.

We made but a flying visit to this town, and that was to “The City.” We confess we are poorly prepared to do it justice. Its distance from our abode, and the wearisome ride necessary to be taken across the central Highlands over a bad road, must be our apology for the brief and imperfect notice it receives at our hands.

EARLY SETTLEMENT.

This town was principally settled by Scotch families, or their descendants. Some few came here from Westchester and New York, but the greater number were from Massachusetts and Connecticut. A large number of families from Cape Cod came into this town, Southeast, and Carmel, about the same time.

William Hunt, the grandfather on his mother’s side of Daniel Hams, Esq., came from Rhode Island and settled down about three miles north of Haviland’s Corner, in 1745. A tavern is kept there now by a man of the name of Sill. He had three sons, Samuel, Daniel, and Stephen, and one daughter, Deborah.

His brother Daniel, came about two years afterwards, and located about a mile and a half from him. Stephen, the youngest son, was a lieutenant in the Continental army, and was engaged in the battle at White Plains. After the war, he settled down along the Mohawk, and died there. The other two brothers were tories, and took the “King’s side ;“ after the war, one went north, probably to Canada, and the other settled in the southern part of Ulster County.

Shortly after Hunt’s arrival, two men by the name of Bobbin and Wilmot, settled at Patterson Village; the former was a blacksmith, and the latter a saddler. When the war broke out, they both went to New York, and joined the British Army.

About this time, Capt. Daniel Heacock, and the grandfather of James Towner, Esq., made a settiement in the vicinity of the village, but at what particular time we are not informed. Asa Hams, who had served three years in the French War, at its termination, came to this town and settled where Reed Aiken now lives, about a mile east of Haviland’s Corner. Previous to which, however, he lived about two miles south of it. He was born in Rhode Island, and came from thence to Long Island where he enlisted in the English army; and was ordered to the north. He had five sons, Enoch, Charles, William, Archibald, and Daniel, of whom the two latter are now living, and five daughters, Lucy, Abigail, Deborah, Sarah, and Betsy. Two of whom, Abigail and Betsey, are still living.

About 1748, Daniel Close settled at Haviland’s Corner. Where he came from, we have not been able to learn. About the same time the Jones and Crosbys came and settled in the southern part of the town. Roswell Wilcox, settled about a mile south of Patterson Village at an early day, but whether before or after the old French war, we are not informed.

A few years before the French war, Matthew Patterson, grandfather of James Patterson, Esq., came from Scotland to New York city, and at the age of eighteen enlisted as a captain of a company of artificers in the British army, under Gen. Abercrombie. After the war he went back to the city, and a few years thereafter he removed to where his grandson, the above-named James Patterson, Esq., now resides. He was a member of the State Legislature nine years in succession, and for several, a County Judge.

He had three sons, John, James, and Alexander, and four daughters, Martha, Jane, Susan, and Margaret. All are now dead! He was a member of the Legislature when Col. Beverly Robinson’s land in this county was confiscated. Having voted for the measure, probably it accounts for his refusal to become a purchaser under the Act, from feelings of delicacy as a legislator. He purchased, however, from one who had derived his title from the State, 160 acres, on which his gentlemanly descendant now resides.

About the same time, one Capt. Kidd, who came from Scotland, settled between Patterson Village, and Haviland’s Corner.

At the time Burgoyne was attempting to force his way down the Hudson, Washington moved three brigades into this town, where they were encamped, in order to reinforce Gates, had he been forced to retreat, and check the enemy. They were encamped on the lands now owned by Judge Stone and Benjamin B. Haviland. An aged citizen asserts that one brigade was from Pennsylvania, one from South Carolina, and one from Georgia; the two latter we are inclined to think were from New Jersey or Connecticut, or from the latter and Massachusetts. Washington, with his life-guards, had his head-quarters where Legrand Hall now lives.

The few facts that we have hastily gleaned concerning the early settlement of this town, so hastily flung together, we have obtained from Daniel Hams, Esq., and James Patterson, Esq. Mr. Hams wants but a few days to being eighty-four years of age; and a more active, healthy, and sprightly old man of his age it has never been our fortune to encounter. His healthful and vigorous appearance did not more surprise us than the business we found him employed at. And what, reader, do you suppose it was? Some of you, perhaps, who suppose a man must necessarily be old at forty, and bed-ridden at fifty, will answer, “in the house, or in his bed;" you might, probably, long before you reach his age be found there. The simplicity that marked the age and mode of living, when he commenced life has long since disappeared, and luxury, with its untold evils in its train, is sapping the health and shortening the lives of the present generation. We found this old gentleman on a hill-side, so steep as to require some exertion to ascend it, with a crow-bar in his hand, engaged in raising or digging out stones and rocks. He told me that he was very near-sighted and somewhat deaf, but in all other respects felt perfectly well.

He is a remarkable man, and we can state a fact concerning him which probably cannot be said of any other living man in the county; and it is this: He has seen five generations of his own family—his grandfather, father, himself, his children, and grandchildren. His wife, who is still living, is about his own age, and when we saw her, she moved about the room unassisted by stick or cane with as much apparent ease as a woman of fifty. Alas, for the degeneracy of our times! but few of us can hope to reach the good old age already attained by this venerable couple. We live too fast, and more for show than ibr health and happiness. Judging from appearances, they have as good a chance for living ten or fifteen years longer as any of us.

EXTRACT FROM THE TOWN RECORD.

“At the first town meeting of the Freeholders and inhabitant& of Franklin held at the House of James Phillips on Tuesday the 7th day of April 1795.
Voted That Samuel Cornwall be town Clerk.
Voted that Samuel Towner be Supervisor.
Benjamin Haviland, Nehemiah Jones, Assessors.

Stephen Heayt,

 

David Hickok, Senr.,

 

Jabez Elwell,

Overseers of the Poor

 

 

Solomon Crane,

 

Elisha Brown,

 

Abner Crosby,

Commissioners of Highways.

 

 

Abel Hodges,

Collector and Constable.

David Barnum,

Constable.

Path Masters.

 

George Burtch, Esqr.,....

Joseph Rogers,

Benjamin Lane,

Stephen Yale,

James Birdsell,

Abel Hadges,

Jabez Elwell,

Isaac Crosby,.

Daniel Haynes,

Blackleduck Jessup,

John McLean,

Elisha Brown,

Samuel Coiwell,

Abner Crosby,

Abraham Mabee, Sr.,

Jacob Read,

Solomon Fowler,

Elisha Gifford.

Fence Viewers.

 

Jabez Elwell, Junr.,....

Roswell Willcox,

John Tweady,

David Hickok,

Zachariah Hinman,

Peter Terry,

Thomas Bircisell,

Enos Ambler,

Abijah Starr,

Simon Perry,

Elijah Stone,

Nathaniel Foster.

Pound Masters.....

 

John Tweady,

Roswell Wilicox,

Silas Burtch,

Amos Rogers.



Voted That the next Town Meeting shall be held. at the Presbyterian Meeting House.

Voted that the sum of sixty pounds be raised for the maintenance of the Poor of this town."

Patterson Village.— This village, sometimes called Patterson City, during the Revolution and previous thereto was called Fredericksburg, and lies in a rich agricultural district in the valley of the Croton. It is about eight miles north-east of Carmel, and one mile south of the Dutchess county line. The Post Office, which formerly was located here, was removed to Haviland’s Corner, a little more than a mile east of it, by the Hon. F. Stone, when he was appointed Post Master a few years since. The country in the vicinity and suburbs of the village is charming. The land bears evidence of a neat and enlightened husbandry, with taste in the appearance presented by the houses and their appendages. The gently rolling surface of the land, its freedom from stone, stumps, and bushes—the rich verdure of the fields. and substantial fences enclosing them—the smooth, excellent roads— all combine to make a ride through this portion of the county extremely pleasant and agreeable to a lover of rural scenery. The New York and Harlem Railroad runs between this village and ilaviland’s Corner.

It was named after the Patterson family, which early settled in the town, the descendants of which are still found here.

Haviland’s Corner.— This place is about one and a fourtl mile east of Patterson village; and is named after Benjamin Haviland, Esq., who resides there. A Post Office is kept here. On the Post Office Register it is called “ Haviland’s Hollow.” The Hollow is about one and a half miles in length, and one hundred rods in breadth, running east and west.

Towners.— This place was formerly called the "Four Corners,” but is now known by the above name, from James Towner, who lives there, and keeps a public-house. A post office and a store is also kept here. Two roads, intersecting each other at right angles, caused it to be called the Four Corners. It is about two miles south of Patterson Village, on the road to Cannel Village.

Cranberry Hill is a small eminence about half a mile east of Judge Stone’s residence, over which runs the Birch road. It lies in the east part of the town, and is partly cultivated. Cranberries grew on it; and hence the name.

Pine Island.— This rocky ledge or eminence lies in the middle of the Great Swamp, about fifteen rods west of Croton river. This swamp traverses nearly the whole length of the town, and is narrower at the south than at the north end of it. The Island covers about thirty acres of the Swamp, which is about one mile wide. This ledge of rocks rises about two hundred feet above the level of the swamp. It abounds in pines, and hence its appellation.

Hinckley Pond.— This large body of water lying in the south-west part of the town, is one mile long and half a mile broad. It contains excellent perch, pickerel, and other kinds of fish. Its west bank forms the west line of the Harlem railroad. It is named after the Hincklev family.

Little Pond— This sheet of water is in the southeast part of the town, about four miles from the Hinckley Pond, and contains the same kind of fish. It is about half a mile long, and a little more than half a mile in breadth. Its name is the consequence of its being the smallest of the two ponds in this town. The Croton river runs through this town from north to south, and the town of Southeast, ere it receives the main west branch with its smaller tributaries.

REVOLUTIONARY HOUSES STILL STANDING.

1. The old house in which James Patterson, Esq., now lives. It was built by his grandfather, Matthew Patterson, a Judge of the Common Pleas, of Dutchess County, who kept a tavern in it, in the Revolution.

2. The old house now occupied by James C. Hoyt, in Patterson Vilage.

3. The house now occupied by the widow Dean, about half-a-mile west of Patterson Village.

4. The old house now occupied by Cyrus H. Fletcher, between Patterson Village and ilaviland’s Corner.

Beverly Robinson, Jun., who was Lieut.-Col. of the Regiment commanded by his father in the British Army, called the “Loyal American Regiment,” at the beginning of the Revolution occupied a farm in this town, which was located in Haviland Hollow, and now owned in part, we believe, by George Stokum, Esq. It was appropriated by the Commissioners of sequestration as a rendezvous for military stores, and keeping cattle, which were collected for the use of the American Army.

“Monday Afternoon, April 21, 1777.
“The Convention met pursuant to adjournment.
Present—Col. Van Cortlandt, Vice-President; Mr. Van Cortlandt, Mr. Harper, Mr. Bancker, Gen. Scott,

Mr. Dunscombe— New York.
Mr. W. Harper, Mr. Newkerk—Tryon.
Colo. De Wilt, Major Tappen, Mr. Cantine-Ulster
Mr. Abm. Yates, Mr. Bleecker, Mr. Cuylcr. Mr. Ten Broeck. Colo. Livingston, Mr. Gansevoort—Albany.
Mr. G. Livingston—Dutchess.
Cob. Williams, Major Webster—Charlotte.
Mr. Smith, Mr. Tredwell, Mr. Hobart—Suffolk.
Judge Graham, Colo. Drake, Mr. Lockwood—Westchester.
Mr. Stevens—Cumberland.
Colo. Allison, Mr. Clark—Orange.

“General Scott, to whom was referred the letter from Hugh Hughes, deputy quarter-master-general, relative to the farm of Beverly Robinson, Junior, reported as follows, to wit: That they are of opinion that, as a very considerable lodgment of stores in the quarter-masters department is formed at Morrison’s Mills, in Fredericksburgh, in the county of Dutchess, to and from which there will be much carriage, a proper farm in in its vicinity, for supporting the cattle that may from time to time be employed in that department of service, will be absolutely necessary; and that the farm lately in the occupation of Beverly Robinson, Junior, will be very convenient for that purpose. It is therefore the opinion of your committee, that the commissioners of sequestration in the county of Dutchess be directed to lease the said farm for one year to the said deputy quarter-master-general, at such rent as they shall think proper, notwithstanding any treaty for the same that may have been in agitation between the said commissioners and any individual person, for the use or occupation of the said farm.

“Resolved, That this Convention doth agree with their Committee in their said report..”

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