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connection. There were German inhabitants in nearly every direction around the present village before the revolution, but only one habitable dwelling and a gristmill within the present corporation limits. The present remarks should therefore be taken as a history of the village locality rather than that of the town. The gristmill destroyed during the revolution was located on the river near the bed of the old canal, and was fed by Furnace creek and the river. The dwelling house referred to was occupied by the miller and his assistants, and probably by persons employed at the carrying place. The road or path used for taking boats and their cargoes by the river falls, was located very nearly on the site of the old canal. The red gristmill, to supply the one destroyed, was erected in 1789, and the old yellow house west of Furnace creek, and near the north bank of the old canal, was built a short time before that period. Mr. John Porteous came to this place in 1790, and established himself in mercantile business. He occupied the yellow house, then the only dwelling within the present village limits. Its attracted the admiring gaze of the traveler by stage, canal and rail road, was erected and enclosed about the year 1796, though not finished so as to be occupied at all seasons of the year as a house of religious worship, until nearly a quarter of a century afterwards, which is shown by the following memorial deposited in the ball of the steeple:
"This house was erected in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six, under the direction of John Porteous, Abraham Neely, Nicholas Thumb and Henry J. Klock, Esqrs., and completed in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, under the superintendence of
Doct. James Kennedy, )
William Girvan and > Building Committee.
John Dygert, Esqrs., )
Joseph Dors and ) M BuMers.
William Loyland, J-"1TM*"'"''
Rorert Wharry, ) A-..-" „„
The Bevd. HEZEKIAH N. WOODRUFF,
Pastor of the Church and Congregation,
Littlo Falls, 23d April 1818.
In hand writing of Josiaii Parsons."
But where is that old pile of antique device and rustic architecture? Its lofty pulpit, its pews and singing gallery, where are they 1 Alas! alas! Gone, swept away by the hand of modern improvement. And the venerable Concord society, not always harmonious as its name imported, the trustees of which were seized of the temporalities for the term of their lives, one of which is not yet extinct, what has become of it 1 Dead by a nonuser of its corporate franchises, and no longer held in remembrance. I am strongly inclined to perpetrate rhyme, or quote a couplet of poetry, but I repress the feeling. History is much too grave a subject to be mixed up with fabulous tales and poetic fictions.
And the long tin horn used by master Case, to summon the playful and unruly school children to their daily tasks; and on more grave occasions, when God's word was to be dispensed at the village school house, by some itinerant missionary of the cross, then were its notes heard through the confined valley, and echo after echo, in the still sabbath morning, notified the hour of meeting, on the day of rest, for prayer and praise: that, too, has been nearly forgotten, and few now remain to repeat from memory, the amusing story of the tin horn, which schoolmaster Case used to blow with great dexterity and varied note. This horn or trumpet was about four feet long, and there were but few who could blow it.
William Alexander, was a native of the city of Schenectady, and came to the village with or soon after Mr. Porteous, with whom he was several years connected in business. He was an active, intelligent merchant, and exerted himself to promote the prosperity of the place. He died January 3d, 1813, aged 37 years, of an epidemic fever, which prevailed pretty extensively in the county, and carried off a great many of the adult inhabitants. His loss was long regretted by the people of the village, who survived him.
Eren and Washington Britton were brothers, and natives of Westmoreland, New Hampshire. Eben settled in the village in 1792, carried on the tanning business many years, and died August 28th, 1832, aged sixty years. He survived his brother more than twenty years.
While strolling through the cemetery, north of the village, taking notes from the memorials of the dead, my attention was arrested by a broad headstone of white marble, tall and erect, and I transcribed the affectionate testimonial of the wife, who had consigned to the grave the loved and cherished companion of her long and varied life. These are the words spoken by the widowed and stricken heart.
"Died, on the 29th of October, 1842, in the 83d year of his age,
His widow erected this humble
stone, to commemorate his private worth,
but his nobler monuments are the battle
fields of the American revolution, in
letters of blood. These shall perpetuate his
public virtues when this tribute of a wife's
affection shall have crumbled into dust,
and no human hand can point out the
spot where the hero sleeps."
The old Octagon church was always regarded as one of the curiosities of the place, and was noticed by the Rev. John Taylor, when on a missionary tour through the Mohawk and Black river countries, in 1802. He made a rough sketch of it, which is preserved in the Documentary History of the state. He says, "this parish (Little Falls) contains six or seven hundred inhabitants," and " in this place may be found men of various religious sects. They have a new and beautiful meeting house, standing about forty rods
Yes, venerable and afflicted matron, I will aid thee to keep in remembrance the final resting place of one who served his country with unyielding fidelity, and remarkable bravery, through the whole eventful struggle of the revolution. He entered the army when only seventeen years old, in one of the New England continental regiments of the line, after some desultory service in detached corps of militia, and remained till the close of the war. He was present when Washington assumed the command of the American forces, at Cambridge, and witnessed his departure from New York in December, 1783. He was in nearly all the battles on the seaboard, from Bunker's Bill to Yorktown. He was active when in the prime of life, and well formed. His constitution was vigorous, and until nearly the close of life, he enjoyed excellent health. Let me perform my promise. He was interred in one of the west tiers of burial lots, in the cemetery at the Little Falls—on ground consecrated by the valor of himself and his compeers to the repose of freemen.
William Feetek.—Col. Feeter was a native of the territory now embraced in Fulton county. His name, before it became Anglicized, was written Veeder or Vedder; and in 1786, when he was commissioned an ensign in the militia, it was written Father. In 1791, he was appointed a justice of the peace in this county, under the name of William Veeder. Although the name he bore at an early day indicated a low Dutch origin, this was not the fact. His father was a native of Wittenberg, Germany, and at the commencement of the revolution, the family was settled in the neighborhood of Johnstown, and was so much under the influence of the Johnsons, that all of them, except William, then quite a young man, followed the fortunes of Sir John, and went with him to Canada.
The colonel, in his youthful ardor, felt more inclined to give young America a trial, than to follow the cross of St. George into the wilds of Canada; and on all occasions when the invaders came into the Mohawk valley, for the purposes of plunder and slaughter, he was ever among the first and foremost to volunteer his services to drive them away. On one occasion, in 1781,
back on the hill, built in the form of an octagon." His observations, however, convinced him it was not improved. But I will go back a few years. One of the two lots 12 and 13 Burnetsfield, embracing all the water power on the north side of the river, was owned, before the revolution, by one of the Petrie family, who erected the first grist mill on Furnace creek, and was engaged in the carrying business. The following are the names of some of the persons who settled at this place between 1790 and 1800, and who remained here permanently until death: John Porteous, William Alexander, Richard Philips, Thomas Smith, Joel Lankton, Richard Winsor, William Carr, William Morales, Washington Britton, Alpheus Parkhurst, John Drummond, Eben Britton, Josiah Skinner.
The construction of the old canal and locks, by the Western inland lock navigation company, gave an impetus
when a party of Indians and tones made a descent upon a settlement in the Palatine district, for the purpose of plunder and murder, the subject of this notice took an active part in punishing the lawless intruders. It appeared that the object of the enemy was to plunder and murder a family related to one of the tory invaders, which was not quite agreeable to him ; he therefore gave himself up, and disclosed the nefarious intentions of the enemy, who, finding themselves betrayed, made a rapid flight to the woods. Col. Willett did not feel disposed to let them off without a severe chastisement; he therefore ordered Lieutenant Sammons, with twenty-five volunteers, among whom was William Feeter, to go in pursuit, and they moved so rapidly, that they came upon the enemy's burning camp fires early the next morning. Feeter and six other man were directed to keep the trail, and after a rapid pursuit of two miles in the woods, a party of Indians was discovered lying flat on the ground. The latter, when they saw Feeter approach, instantly arose and fired; but one of the enemy being grievously wounded by the return fire of the Americans, the whole gang of Indians and tories fled precipitately, leaving their knapsacks, provisions and some of their arms. The result of this affair was, that three of the enemy were wounded in the running fight kept up by Fester and his party, and died on their way to Canada; one surrendered himself a prisoner, and the wounded Indian was summarily dispatched by his former tory comrade, who had joined in the pursuit.
Colonel Feeter seated himself upon Glen's purchase, within the present limits of Little Falls, soon after the close of the revolution, and opened a large