History of Greenbush, New York


The town of Greenbush, called by the Dutch Greene Bosch, from the pine woods covering the flats, is bounded on the north by the town of North Greenbush, on the west by the Hudson river and on the east and south by the town of East Greenbush. The Indians called the territory embraced in the limits of the town Petuquapoern and Juscum catick. Later on it was known as De Laet's Burg, named after the historian De Laet, one of the original co-directors of Rensselaerwyck. The town as originally laid out contained about sixty-four square miles and included all of the present towns of East Greenbush, North Greenbush, a part of the town of. Sand Lake and a small portion of the territory which was annexed to Troy in 1836.

Just when the towp of Greenbush was first settled is not positively known, but settlements existed there as early as 1628, and were very nearly contemporaneous with those made on the west side of the river; or in Albany. Three years later than this date, or in 1631, it is known that Gerrit Tunnis De Reue2 occupied a farm in Greenbush, but how long he may have been settled there it is impossible to determine. In all probability settlements were made on the east side of the river as early as upon the west side, making Greenbush coeval in its settlement with Albany.

Among the first settlers were several families who came over in 1630 from the Texel in Captain Jan Brouwer's ship Eendracht. Soon after others, who came over in the ship Rensselaerswyck, located here. They included Van Buren Maessen and Catalyntje Martensen, his wife, and Cornelis Maessen. Van Buren had five children, Hendrick, Martin, Maas, Steyntje and Tobias, the first of whom was born on the voyage to America. Van Buren Maessen had a farm on Papsknee island. Tennis Cornelissen Van Vechten came over in 1637 and eleven years later lived on a farm in the southern part of Greenbush. At the same time Teunis Dircksen Van Vechten, who came over with his wife and child in the Arms of Norway, had a farm north of that of the former. As early as 1642 a brewery was in operation in Greenbush by Evert Pels Van Steltyn. Before 1649 Gysbert Cornelissen Van Wesepe, sometimes called Gysbert op de Berg, occupied a farm in the southern part of the town, which subsequently became the property of Joachim Staats. Most of the records for the next century are missing. Sometime before 1767 farms located on the present site of the village of Greenbush were rented of Van Rensselaer by Peter Douw, John Witbeck, Henry Cuyler and others. A large farm including most of the site of the village of Greenbush was purchased July 27, 1780, by Van Rensselaer, of the Indians. This territory was called by them Semessick. Seven years later he purchased more land, mostly south of his first purchase, giving him a property of over 700,000 acres.

The records show that as early as the year 1642 a ferry was established by Hendrick Albertsen running from the mouth of Beaver Creek on the west side of the river to the spot now known as the south ferry in Greenbush. Gerrit Smith, who was commissioned schout or sheriff of Rensselaerwyck in 1652, was a resident of Greenbush from the start. Reference to the records on file in the office of the Albany county clerk show that he had several neighbors. Other records extant show that some of the, inhabitants had engaged in commercial pursuits and even in manufactures before he arrived at Greenbush. In September, 1657, Cornelis Cornelissen and Jan Witmoudt sold at auction their brewery in Greenbush, the same being purchased by William Brouwer for 1,207 guilders, for which sum Cornelis Wincopp became surety. The records of the colony also show that Jan Janse Oothout was a brewer in Greenbush about the same time. He left three sons and three daughters. One of his daughters marriea Cornelis Hendrikse Van Ness, who came to Beverwyck in 1642. By this marriage Van Ness had three sons, Hendrick, Jan and Gerrit. He married the second time Maritie Dameus, a widow.

February 8, 1661, Anderies Herbertsen and Rutger Jacobsen purchased of the Indian owners- Maghsaput, alias Machackniemanauw, Sansewanenwe, Paneenseen and a squaw named Pachonakellick, "being among the chiefs of the Mahikandus" (Mohegans)-" a certain island named Pachonakellick, lying in the river obliquely opposite Bethlehem and by the Dutch named the Long or Mahikanders' Island."

At a convention held at Albany August 24, 1689, this resolution relato Greenbush was adopted:

The 24th day of August, 1689, Resolved that ye inhabitants of ye county be informed of ye alarm, which was last night at ye Green Bush occasioned by some malitious Persons fyreeing of several guns with Baale threw ye door and house of John Witment, which was done by letters accordingly.

August 28, 1689:
Resolved yt Barent Gerritse of Bethlehem, who is suspected to have had a hand in ye late disturbance, yt was at Green Bush, or least privy to it, give 50 pounds security to answer when he shall be called to be examined about yt Bussinesse.

November 25, 1689, it was recorded:
Capt. Bull arrived at ye Green Bush with 87 men from New England; on Tuesday following marched with flying Collors into Citty, where he was Rec'd by ye Mayr & alderman, at ye Gate, and bid welcome; he drew up his men in ye middle of ye Broad Street, gave three volleys, was answered by three gunns from ye fort; ye men were orderly, quartered in ye Citty, and extremely well accepted.

Chap. 59, laws of 1792, "An act for dividing the several towns therein mentioned," covering towns in several counties of the State, contained this clause:

That all that part of the town of Rensselaerwyck, which lies north of a line to be drawn, from a point on the east bank of the river Hudson, eight miles distant from the south west corner of the town of Rensselaerwyck, and running from thence east, to the west bounds of Stephentown, shall be and is hereby erected into a separate town, by the name of Greenbush; and that the first town meeting in Greenbush shall be held at the dwelling house of Abraham M. De Forest. in the said town.

And that all the remaining part of the town of Rensselaerwyck, shall be. and remain a separate town by the name of Rensselaerwyck; and that the first town meeting in Rensselaerwyek, shall be held at the dwelling house of John I. Miller in the said town.

Chap. 20, laws of 1795, "An act to divide the town of Rensselaerwyck, in the county of Rensselaer," read as follows:

Passed the 17th of March, 1795. Be it enacted by the people of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly That all that part of the town of Rensselaerwyck, bounded as follows. Beginning at the southwest corner of the town of Troy and running thence easterly along the southern boundary line of the said town, to the western bounds of the town of Petersburgh thence southerly along the western bounds of the towns of Petersburgh and Stephen Town six hundred and thirtytwo chains thence south eighty six degrees and forty eight minutes west as the needle now points into Hudsons river thence northerly along the said river to the place of beginning, and including such of the islands in the said river as are nearest the east side thereof and are adjacent to the said last mentioned line shall, from and after the first Monday in April next, be erected into a separate town, by the name of Greenbush and that the first town meeting in Greenbush shall be held at the dwelling house of David M. De Forest in the said town and that all the remaining part of the town of Rensselaerwyck shall be, and remain a separate town by the name of Schodack and that the first town meeting in the town of Schodack shall be held at the dwelling house of John I. Miller in the said town.

And be it further enacted That the freeholders and inhabitants of the said towns respectively shall be and hereby are empowered to hold town meetings and elect such town officers, and enjoy all the privileges that the freeholders and inhabitants of the other towns of this State may do by law.

And be it further enacted That as soon as may be after the first Tuesday of April next the supervisors and overseers of the poor of the towns aforesaid shall by notice to be given for that purpose by the supervisors of the said towns meet together and apportion the poor maintained by the said town of Rensselaerwyck previous to the division thereof between the said town of Schodack and the town of Greenbush in an equitable manner and if the supervisors and overseers of the poor cannot agree upon such division of the poor as aforesaid then and in such case the supervisors of the county shall at their next meeting apportion and divide the poor maintained as aforesaid, in such manner as shall appear to them or a majority of them just and equitable and the said towns shall thereafter respectively maintain their own poor.

By the general law dividing all the counties of the State into towns, passed April 7, 1801, the bounds of the town of Greenbush were described as follows:

Beginning at a point on the east bank of Hudson's river, sixteen miles distant from the southwest corner of the county, and running thence east to the western bounds of the town of Petersburgh, thence southerly along the western bounds of the towns of Petersburgh and Stephen town, six hundred and thirty two chains, thence south eighty six degrees and forty eight minutes west as the needle pointed in the year 1795. unto the county of Albany, thence northerly along the same to the place of beginning and including such of the islands in Hudson's river as are nearest the east side thereof, and are adjacent to the last mentioned line.

The village of Greenbush was originally laid out on a tract of land one mile square, which is that portion of the village between Partition street and Mill street. This was purchased in May, 1810, by William Akin, Titus Goodman and John Dickinson of Stephen Van Rensselaer and Stephen N. Bayard, assignees of John J. Van Rensselaer. A mortgage was given in part payment, which contained a stipulation that either of the purchasers upon paying his proportion of the additional sum should be entitled to a discharge of his portion of the estates from the effect of the mortgage. Mr. Akin discharged his obligation, but Mr. Goodman and Mr. Akin failed to pay their share, consequently the patroon, Stephen Van Rensselaer, would not release Mr. Akin. Foreclosure suits were begun against Goodman and Dickinson and most of the land apportioned to them was retaken. John J. Van Rensselaer endeavored to recover possession of that portion of the land for which Mr. Akin had paid, but the courts sustained Mr. Akin's title.

In 1810 the village was surveyed and a map made, but Greenbush was not incorporated until 1815. In the former year many lots were sold at auction, but few buildings were erected until the following year. The founder of the village, William Akin, descended from an old Scotch family, his grandfather being William Akin, the first of the family who settled in Fair Haven, Conn. His son David, the father of William, removed from Fair Haven to Pawling before the Revolutionary war and was a leading citizen at his home. William Akin was the youngest of ten sons and settled on Greenbush in 1810. His death occurred in 1841.

Among those who lived in Greenhush prior to and about this time beside those whose names have been mentioned were Mrs. Yates, Volkert P. Douw, Gerrit Van Vechten, Gysbert Van Denbergh, Alex Cummings, Harrow Gale, John Staats, James Rockwell, John W. Rockwell, John Van Rensselaer, Colonel Vischer, Rebecca Yates, M. Fryer, H. Van Housen, A. Van Deusen, John Van Schaick, James Smith and Isaac B. Fryer. Smith was the proprietor of a tavern located on the site of the old Broadway house and came to Greenbush before 1820. Fryer, a son-in-law, succeeded him as proprietor. On the opposite side uf the street on the old Staats place a hotel was kept at the same time by Abram P. Staats. The old hotel known late in the nineteenth century as the Rensselaer house, for many years owned by Simeon Lodewick, was built bfa man named Rockwell. As to the early stores, one was occupied in 1814 by Henry Starks on the corner of Broadway and Columbia streets. Others were maintained by John Smith, Richard P. Herrick and Sheppard & Tufts. From 1802 to 1829 James Lansing kept a store at East Greenbush, removing to Greenbush in the latter year and engaging in business there, most of the time upon Columbia street, until his death, which occurred in 1852. His son, William Lansing, began business as a merchant in Greenbush in 1829.

One of the earliest physicians in Greenbush was Dr. Jacob S. Miller, a brother of Dr. John S Miller of East Greenbush, who located here about 1820 and for many years was the leading physician in a large territory. He subsequently removed to New York, and soon after Dr. Isaiah Breaky and Dr. Charles Hale settled in the town. Dr. Leverett Moore, who ultimately removed to Baliston Spa, Saratoga county, was also an early practitioner. Among those who located there later on were Dr. Andrew C. Getty, Dr. L. C. Frisbie, Dr. Francis B. Parmele, Dr. S. V. R. Goodrich and Dr. Charles S. Allen. Among the earliest lawyers were Walter Kinney and Samuel S. Cheever.

Cantonment Greenbush, which for many years was one of the most historical spots in the town, was located about a mile and a half east of the village and was constructed in 1812. The tract of land on which it was located was the farm leased by Stephen Van Rensselaer to Christopher Yates, August 16, 1790. Gen. Dearborn, the agent of the gov. ernment, in making the purchase May 8, 1812, supposed that the sellers held the land in fee simple, but their conveyance was only that of a tenancy under one of the Van Rensselaer manorial leases, and it was not until September 4, 1813, and after the erection of the buildings thereon, that a perfect conveyance was obtained from Mr. Van Rensse. laer. The Cantonment was the headquarters of a division of the American army during the War of 1812. The troops which first arrived were quartered in tents, but the construction of permanent buildings was immediately begun. The buildings were of wood, substantially built upon stone foundations. There were eight of them, 252 feet long, 22 feet wide and two stories high, and they were arranged four upon each side of a parade ground. The quarters of the regimental officers, of which there were four, ninety feet long and two stories high, were ranged at right angles with a soldiers' barracks, On the north of this group of buildings near by stood two large commissary store houses, and the barracks master's dwelling. A short distance to the east of the storehouses stood the brick arsenal, a fire proof building, and on the summit of the hill commanding a view of the entire camp, as well as extensive range of country on either side, were the general's headquarters, the hospital and surgeons' headquarters, three large twostory buildings each 90 feet log. Besides the buildings enumerated, there were a number of buildings of smaller size, among which were the ordinary and provost guard houses, seven large detached cooking houses and several medicine shops. There were also extensive stables and other less important buildings. The structures were all painted white and in their elevated positions were very conspicuous.

At the close of the war the necessity for keeping a large force convenient to the northern frontier ceased, but for several years thereafter a few soldiers were stationed at the cantonment; but upon the reuuction of the army in 1822-23 this guard was withheld and the place was left in charge of a deputy quartermaster, Capt. H. A. Fay The government sld the property May 2, 1831, to Hathorn McCulloch of Albany, who resided on the place until his death in 1859. In 1843 the original tract purchased by Mr. McCulloch was divided into two parts, one of which he conveyed to his son, Wm. A. McCulloch, who immediately erected a dwelling upon it. The other portion of the original tract is held by Wm. H. Kirtland, a grandson of Mrs. Augusta G. Genet, wife of George C. Genet, ganddaughter of Hathorn McCulloch. George C. Genet is a son of Edward C. Genet, who was the French minister to the United States in 1783.

The following account of the execution of a deserter at this place was written by an officer of the United States army, and is contained in a history written before 1850:

In 1814 I was stationed with a detachment of United States troops at Greenbush. in the State of New York. One morning several prisoners, confined in the provost guard house, were brought out to hear the sentence which a court-martial had annexed to their delinquencies read on parade. Their appearance indicated that their lot had already been sufficiently hard. Some wore marks of long confinement, and on all the severity of the prison house had enstamped its impressions. They looked dejected at this public exposure and anxious to learn their fate. I had never seen the face of any of them before, and only knew that a single one of them had been adjudged to death. Soon as their names were called and their sentences pronounced, I discerned by his agony and gestures the miserable man on whom that sentence was to fall, a man in the bloom of youth and the fullness of health and vigor.

Prompted by feelings of pity, I called next morning to see him in prison. There, chained by the leg to a beam of the guard house, he was reading the Bible, trying to prepare himself, as he said, for the fatal hour. I learned from him the circumstances of his case. He was the father of a family, having a wife and three young children thirty or forty miles from the camp. His crime was desertion, of which he had been three times guilty. His only object in leaving the camp in the last instance was to visit his wife and children. Having seen that all was well with them, it was his intention to return. But whatever was his intention, he was a deserter, and as such taken and brought into the camp manacled and under the guard of his fellow soldiers. The time between the sentence and his execution was brief; the authority in whom alone was vested the power of reprieve or pardon distant. Thus he had no hope, and only requested the attendance of a minister of the gospel and permission to see his wife and children. The first part of his request was granted, but whether he was permitted or not to see his family I do not now remember.

Dreading the hour of his execution, I resolved, if possible, to avoid being present at the scene. But the commander of the post, Colonel L., sent me an express order to attend, that, agreeable to the usage of the army, I might in my official capacity as surgeon see the sentence finally executed.

The poor fellow was taken from the guard house to be escorted to the fatal spot. Before him was his coffin, a box of rough pine boards, borne on the shoulders of two men. The prisoner stood with his arms pinioned between two clergymen; a white cotton gown, or winding sheet, reached to his feet. It was trimmed with black, and had attached to it over the place of the real heart the black image of a heart, the mark at which the executioners were to aim. On his head was a cap of white, also trimmed with black. His countenance was blanched to the hue of his winding sheet and his frame trembled with agony. He seemed resolved, however, to suffer like a soldier. Behind him were a number of prisoners, confined for various offenses; next to them was a strong guard of soldiers with fixed bayonets and loaded muskets. My station was in the rear of the whole.

Our procession was formed, and with much feeling and in low voices on the part of the officers we moved forward with slow and measured steps to the tune of the death march (Roslyn Castle) played with muffled drums and mourning fifes. The scene was solemn beyond the powers of description. A man in the vigor of life walking to the tune of his own death march, clothed in his burial robes, surrounded by friends assembled to perform the last sad offices of affection, and to weep over him in the last sad hour; no, not by these, but by soldiers with bristling bayonets and loaded muskets, urged by stern command to do the violence of death to a fellow soldier. As he surveys the multitude he beholds no look of tenderness, no tear of sensjL biltty; he hears no plaint of grief; all, all is stern as the iron rigor of the law which decrees his death.

Amid reflections like these we arrived at the place of execution, a large open field, in whose centre a heap of earth, freshly thrown up, marked the spotof the deserter's grave. On this field the whole force then at the Cantonment, amounting to many hundred men, was drawn up in the form of a hollow square, with the side beyond the grave vacant. The executioners, eight in number, had been drawn by lot. No soldier would volunteer for such a duty. Their muskets had been charged by the officers of the day, seven of them with ball, the eighth with powder alone. Thus prepared they were placed together and each executioner takes his choice. Thus each may believe that he has the blank cartridge, and therefore has no hand in the death of his brother soldier; striking indications of the nature of the service.

The coffin was placed parallel with the grave and about two feet distant. In the intervening space the prisoner was directed to stand. He desired permission to say a word to his fellow soldiers, and thus standing between his coffin and his grave warned them against desertion, continuing to speak until the officer on duty, with his watch in his hand, announced to him in a low voice: "Two o'clock, your last moment is at hand; you must kneel upon your coffin." This done the officer drew down the white cap so as to cover the eyes and most of the face of the prisoner, sti]l continuing to speak in a hurried, loud and agitated voice. The kneeling was the signal for the executioners to advance. They had before, to avoid being distinguished by the prisoner, stood intermingled with the soldiers who formed the line. They now came forward, marching abreast, and took their stand a little to the left, about two rods distant from their living mark. The officer raised his sword. At this signal the executioners took aim. He then gave a blow on a drum which was at hand. 'rhe executioners all fired at the same instant. The miserable man, with a horrid scream, leaped from the earth and fell between his coffin and his grave. The sergeant of the guard a moment after shot him through the head with a musket reserved for this purpose in case the executioners failed to produce instant death. The sergeant, from motives of humanity, held the muzzle of his musket near the head; so near that the cap took fire, and there the body lay upon the face, the head emitting the mingled fumes of burning cotton and burning hair. 0 war, dreadful even in thy tenderness; horrible in thy compassion!

I was desired to perform my part of the ceremony, and placing my hand where just before the pulse beat full and life flowed warm, and finding no symptom of either I affirmed "He is dead." The line then marched by the body, as it lay upon earth, the head still smoking, that every man might behold for himself the fate of a deserter.

Thus far all had been dreadful indeed but solemn, as it became the sending of a spirit to its dread account; but now the scene changes. The whole band struck up and with uncommon animation our national air, "Yankee Doodle," and to its lively measures we were hurried back to our parade ground. Having been dismissed the commander of the post sent an invitation to all the officers to meet at his quarters, whither we. repaired and were treated to a glass of gin and water. Thus this melancholy tragedy ended in what seemed little better than a farce a fair specimenthe former of .a dead severity, the latter of the moral sensibilities which prevail in camp.

Probably the only duel ever fought in Rensselaer county occurred in the town and village of Greenbush. It was fought June 7, 1813, by two soldiers of the army of the War of 1812.- Captain Clark and Lieutenant Bloomfield. The latter was killed and buried where he fell, on the bank of Hudson river in the northeastern corner of the village.

The village of Greenbush was surveyed and mapped out in 1810 but was not incorporated by act of the Legislature until April 14, 1815. A new charter was granted April 5, 1828, which was amended March 22, 1854, and April 29, 1863. All acts were consolidated by the Legislature April 25, 1871, when the present charter of Greenbush was passed. The first section of the act reads as follows: All that district of country in the county of Rensselaer comprised within the following boundaries, to wit: Beginning at a point in the Hudson river opposite the city of Albany, on the division line between the counties of Albany and Rensselaer, on a line running one hundred and fifty feet north of the northerly line of Catharine Street; thence running easterly, parallel to, and one hundred and fifty feet north of, the northerly line of said Catherine Street, to its terminus; thence easterly in the same parallel, across the lands now owned by Dr. James McNaughton, to a point one hundred and fifty feet east of the westerly line of the lands known as the Mason farm; thence southerly, one hundred and fifty feet east of the westerly line of the said Mason farm, to a point one hundred and fifty feet south of the southerly line of Partition street; thence westerly parallel to and one hundred and fifty feet south of the southerly line of Partition street, to a point one hundred and fifty feet east of the easterly line of Cottage Hill Street; thence southerly, parallel to and one hundred and fifty feet east of the easterly line of Cottage Hill Street, to a point one hundred and fifty feet south of the southerly line of Mill Street, to a point where said line will intersect the west bounds of the county of Rensselaer ; thence north along said west bounds to the place of beginning, shall be known and distinguished as the village of Greenbush, and the inhabitants residing in said district are hereby declared to be a body politic and corporate by the name of the village of Greenbush and as such shall have perpetual succession, and may sue and be sued, complain and defend, in any court of law and equity; may take, hold, purchase, and convey real estate, as the purposes of said corporation may require; may make and use a common seal, and alter the same at pleasure, and may exercise such other power as is or shall be conferred bylaw, or as shall be necessary under this act, to carry the powers conferred on such corporation into effect. The officers shall be a president, eight trustees, clerk, street commissioner, and treasurer, and three inspectors of election in each ward.

The charter of 1871 provided for the establishment of the village fire department under the direction of the board of trustees. Since that time the village has maintained an excellent fire department with two steam fire engine companies. A board of police commissioners was established by an act of the Legislature passed May 6, 1870, under which the police regulations of the village have since been maintained.

The first newspaper in Greenbush was established in August, 1856, by A. J. Comstock, and was called the Greenbush Guardian. A postoffice was also established at an early day, one of the earliest post-masters being Storm T. Vanderzee. During the term of Postmaster Philip Cornell Greenbush was made a sub-station of Albany, since which time the mail has been delivered in the village by carriers from the Albany post-office.

The East Albany Banking and Trust company was founded in 1873 by W. P. Irwin, and was located in a brick building erected by the founder. A few years later Mr. Irwin died and the company ceased to exist.

Greenbush contributed her full quota of soldiers upon the opening of the War of the Rebellion. Besides this- the town raised large amounts of money for bounties and other expenses of the war. Those of her soldiers in the civil war who died in the service were:

George Hatch, Thomas Manny, William Schultz, Nicolas Mooseman, Joseph Schinfer, John Slocum, George Brightmeyer, John Fryer, Philip Brightmeyer, William Snyder, Jefferson Kinsley, Andrew Finlay, John Marshal, Charles Warner, Conradt P. Gester, John McElroy, Augustus Smith.

Greenbush has excellent transportation facilities. The railroads running through the town and village have been described in the history of the county. They are the New York Central & Hudson River, the Boston & Albany and the Troy & Greenbush. Beside this the city of Albany is reached by two bridges, one at the lower part of the village and one at the upper part, which in recent years has been known as East Albany. Beside this steam ferry boats make regular trips to Albany.

The industries of Greenbush, aside from the shops of the Boston & Albany railroad and one or two other good-sized concerns, are not very large nor very extensive. The old round house and machine shop of the Boston & Albany railroad were built in 1848 and replaced by the present structures in 1872. The car shops were established in 1880. In both large numbers of expert workmen are employed. The coaling dock south of the railroad was erected about 1883. T. Miles & Co. established extensive saw mills in 1863. In 1870 C. C. Lodewick established a grain, flour and feed store which has been run by his sons since his death. There-are several other smaller industries in town in addition to those referred to in preceding pages.

The East Albany Congregational church had its inception in a Methodist Sunday school established about 1850. The Sunday school prospered and in 1870 a Methodist Episcopal church was organized in connection with the church at Bath. Three or four years later it was discontinued in deference to the wishes of the presiding elder of the district, who thought it inadvisable to have three Methodist churches on the east side of the river. Various attempts were made to reorganize as a Methodist church, but finding no encouragement from the mother church a Congregational church was organized March 19, 1879. A new church was constructed, in which the first services were held December 25, 1879. March 30, 1880, Rev. Benjamin Staunton became pastor. His successors have been: Rev. Dwight Edwards Marvin, 1881-1884; Rev. D. C. McNair, 1884-1887; Rev. N. J. Gulick, 1888- 1892; Rev. C. W. Harclendorf, 1893 to the present time.

The First Presbyterian society of Greenbush was organized in the summer of 1823. Services had been held for some time in the upper room of the district school house, and these were continued until 1827, when a building was erected for the use of the congregation, being dedicated August 1 of that year. September 26, 1827, a church was organized by the Presbytery of Albany, with twenty-two members. The first church of this society was the first erected in what is now the town of Greenbush. A school building was erected in the rear of the church in 1850 and was used in connection with the Sunday school until 1885, when the present school building was erected at a cost of $3,300. The church edifice was enlarged and remodeled in 1894, the rededication taking place October 29 of that year. The first pastor was the Rev. Thomas S. Wickes, who began his labors about 1826. His successors were: 1830, Joseph Wilson; 1832-1837, supplied by Jared Dewey, J. H. Martyn and Leonard Johnson; 1837, James G. Cordeli; 1844, Rev. Samuel Fisher (supply); 1850, J. H. Northrop; 1851, William A. Miller (supply); 1854, E. M. Rollo; 1861, Stephen Bush; 1864, William Whittaker; 1866, J. R. Young; 1868, F. S. Jewell; 1874. Edward' Stratton; 1884, R. A. Davidson; 1893, Edwin F. Hallenbeck.

The first religious services held by the Methodists in Greenbush were in 1828. Three years later a class was formed, which was connected with the Division Street church in Albany, and in 1833 a regular organization was formed. In the same year the church, a wooden building, was erected and dedicated June 11, 1834. Rev. James Walker, a local preacher in Greenbush, served the society from 1831 to 1836, and in the latter year the Rev. Joshua Poor was chosen as the first regular pastor. A new house of worship was erected in 1853 a short distance south of the site of the first one.

The Greenbush Baptist church is the outgrowth of a mission founded by the Albany Baptist Missionary union. The organization of the church was effected in 1870 and the first pastor, the Rev. Ralph H. Bowles, was installed February 1, 1870. From 1873 to 1874 the church was without a pastor, but in the latter year the Rev. Adoniram Waterbury accepted a call and was installed.

St. John's Roman Catholic church, was founded about 1850 by the Rev. John Corry, formerly of St. Peter's church, Troy, who afterwards became the first resident priest. A temporary edifice was erected in the rear of the church built in 1857. The latter cost $12,000.

Before his death in 1863 Father Corry erected the convent of the Sisters of Mercy in East Albany. During the pastorate of the Rev. Cornelius Fitzpatrick, who served from 1867 to 1875, the pastoral residence and school house in the rear of the church were built. -

The Church of the Messiah, Protestant Episcopal, was founded in 1851, and though the house of worship on the cbrner of Third avenue and Washington street in Greenbush was not erected until two or three years later, the Rev. Robert Lowry, the first rector, began his duties upon the organization of the society. One of the principal promoters of the early church was Dr. Jeremiah Van - Rensselaer, who was senior warden from the date of the organization of the church to his death.

The Church of the Epiphany of East Albany, Protestant Episcopal, is the outgrowth of a mission established in 1871 by Bishop William Croswell Doane of Albany. The first services were held in the old Baptist church at Bath. Church organization was effected in 1873 and the society moved to East Albany. The house of worship on the corner of Third and Catharine streets was erected in 1875. The Rev. Richard Temple was the first rector.


1795-97, J. Van Alstyne; 1798-1799, L. Gansevoort; 1800, John Stevens; 1801, Daniel Brown; 1802-1806, Asa Mann; 1807, Daniel Coons; 1808-1812, C. Thompson; 1813-1814, John D. Woods; 1815-1819, Martin De Freest; 1820-1822, M. Van Alstyne; 1823-1838, James Wood; 1839-1842, H. Goodrich; 1843, Rinier Van Alstyne; 1844, Samuel S. Fowler; 1845-1849, Abram Witbeck; 1850-1853, John I. Fonda; 1854, Abram Witbeck; 1855-1857, Henry Goodrich; 1858-1860, John L. Van Valkenburgh; 1861-1862, James H. Miller; 1863-1867, Martin Miller; 1868, James H. Miller; 1869-1871, Charles Melius; 1872, Alfred F. Snyder; 1873, Cyrus Waterbury; 1874, Lawrence Rysedorph; 1875-1876, John J. Cassin: 1877-1878, James Murphy; 1879, William Smith; 1880-1882, records missing; 1883, William T. Miles; 1884-1886, Thomas J. Neville; 1887-1888, Cornelius A. Ryan; 1889-1890, John B. Miller; 1891-1892, Charles J. Quinn; 1893-1896, John Winn.


1843, Martin D. De Freest; 1844, Rutger Van Denburgh; 1845, Elijah Dygert; 1846-1847, Harvey S. Raymond; 1848, Martin Miller; 1849, Thomas B. Simmonds; 1850-1854, John Ruyter; 1855-1856, John S. C. Goodrich; 1857, John Ruyter; 1858-1860, James H. Miller; 1861-1863, John S. Hamlin; 1864, James Hickey; 1865, George T. Diamond; 1866, Frederick A. Reynolds; 1867, George H. Curreen; 1868-1869, Wm. McGarvey; 1870, Burnham Reynolds; 1871, J. S. Callender; 1872-1873, Gilbert Van Valkenburgh; 1874, Wm. J. Miles; 1875, John Russell; 1876, Wm. Smith; 1877, Charles H. Noyes; 1878, Wm. J. Smith; 1879, Daniel H. Ryan; 1880-1882, records missing; 1883-1884, William H. Heffern; 1885, J. J. Sullivan; 1886-1888, Michael J. Ryan; 1889-1890, Philip Beresford; 1891-1892, Daniel H. Ryan; 1893-1895, James J. Riley; 1896, James L. Wiltse.


Date of election.-1843, Abram Witbeck; 1844, Peter L. Hogeboom; 1845. Henry Frazer; 1846, Henry Goodrich; 1847, Elijah Dygert; 1848, Abram Miller, John E. Van Alen; 1849, Henry Frazer; 18.50, Henry Goodrich; 1851, John P. Luther; 1852, Frederick R. Rockafeller, Wm. Witbeck; 1853 Henry Frazer; 1854, Henry Goodrich; 1855. Jonas Whiting, Richard C. Hamblin, James M. Albright; 1856, R. C. Hamblin, Jonas Whiting; 1857. Isaac Binck, R. C. Hamblin; 1858. Henry Goodrich, Sylvanus Parsons; 1859, George Clark; 1860, Cyrus Waterbury; 1861, Hazard Morey, John Butler; 1862, Henry Goodrich; 1863, John Butler; 1864, Cyrus Waterbury; 1865, Evert G. Lansing; 1866, Henry Goodrich; 1867, Sylvester I. Delany; 1868, Edwin S. Norton; 1869. E. G. Lansing; 1870, Luke Slade; 1871, J. F. Giliman; :1872, R. J. Hermance; 1873, Duncan MacFarland; 1874, Luke Slade, Evert G. Lansing; 1875, Jabez F. Giliman; 1876, R. J. Hermance; 1877, L. L. Conley; 1878, Luke Slade; 1879, Jabez F. Gillman; 1880, Murtaugh Dempsey; 1881, Michael Vaughn; 1882, Luke Slade; 1883, Cyrus Waterbury, Sr.; 1884, Alonzo Sliter; 1885, Michael Vaughn; 1886, Luke Slade; 1887, Cyrus Waterbury, sr.; 1888, Alonzo Sliter; 1889, Michael Vaughn; 1890, Luke Slade; 1891, james Clark; 1892. Alonzo Sliter; 1893, Michael Vaughn; 1894, W. K. Waterbury; 1895, James Clark; 1896, D. Oscar Dennison.

The village records from 1850 to 1868 are missing. As far as can be ascertained the principal officers of the village have been filled as follows:


1868, F. S. Fairchild, jr.; 1869, John S. Hamlin; 1870-1871, Duncan MacFarland; 1872, J. N. Ring; 1873, Martin Miller; 1874-1875, Merritt H. Waterbury; 1876, Thomas Miles; 1877, George H. Simmons; 1878, A. J. Dings; 1879-1882, records missing; 1883, Benjamin Evans; 1884, George H. Russell; 1885, George C. Redden; 1886, William T. Miles; 1887, Daniel H. Sheil; 1888-1895, William Smith; 1896, Charles S. Allen.


1828-1829, James Hallenbeck; 1830, William H. Thomas; 1831, William Lansing; 1832-1834, Alexander Morris; 1835, William Lansing; 1836; Martin Miller; 1837, B. N. Jordan; 1838, Martin Miller; 1840, Joseph H. Mathews; 1841-1842, Thomas Walker; 1843, R. H. Northrop; 1846-1848, Henry Goodrich; 1849, Martin Miller; 1850, Henry Goodrich; 1868, Charles Harris; 1869-1871, Alexander D Schutt; 1872, William F. Burnham; 1873-1874, C. P. Crouch; 1875, W. J. Miles; 1876. William T. Smith; 1877-1878, Thomas McAvoy; 1879-1882, records missing; 1883, John J. Hart; 1884-1885, Willard K. Waterbury; 1886, Thomas J. Fitzpatrick; 1887-1888, William H. Heffern; 1889-1891, James A. MacDonald; 1892, James D. Glenn; 1893- -, C. A. Ryan.

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