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The Roman Catholic.—The state census returns show that the Roman catholics have a church and 600 members in this town. I am not aware that there is any lay organization attached to this church, or that the temporalties are held or supervised by any corporate body known to the laws of this state. The church or chapel on John street was erected in 1847, under the charge of the Rev. John McMinamia and enlarged I think in 1853. It is a wooden building. A very neat and apparently commodious brick house, adjoining the church, was built in 1854 and finished in 1855, for the use of the priest having charge of the church. There is also a school house attached to the church, built in 1852, in which a school has been kept a portion of the time since it was erected. I speak from personal recollection, I have no other means of information, when I state a Catholic priest has resided here continually more than ten years past in charge of this church. The census marshals must have made a mistake when they returned the whole number of aliens in the town at 623. There are more than 23 and even more than 100 Protestant aliens in the town, and there are not ten, if there is one, native in the town attached to the Roman Catholic church, or should be numbered as such.
The Protestant Methodists.—A society attached to this denomination was organized in Pain's Hollow in this town in 1833, under the provisions of the statute relating to religious incorporations. In 1840, the society built a church, sufficiently capacious for the accommodation of the inhabitants of the vicinage, and have called and settled a pastor who administers the services of religion regularly every sabbath, according to the established rites of this church. A flourishing Sunday school has been organized and is kept up, and the society have a library of more than one handred volumes.
§ 8. Litchfield
Contains that part of the county, bounded northerly, by Frankfort; westerly, by the bounds of the county; southerly, by Winfield; and easterly, by a line beginning at the southeast corner of Frankfort, and running thence south thirty degrees west, to the northeast corner of Winfield.
A part of Bayard's patent, and small portions of Staley's second tract, and Conrad Frank's patent, lay in this town.
This town was visited by the New Englanders, soon after the close of the revolutionary war, as were most of the other towns in the county, back from the river. None of the German population had fixed themselves within its limits, previous to that period. Elijah Snow, a native of Westbury, Massachusetts, seated on what is now called Whelock's hill, in 1786. This place was formerly known as Snowsbush. William Brewer, of Worcester, Mass., Ezekiel Goodale of Mass., John Andrews, Christopher Rider, from Connecticut, Ebenezer Drewry and John Everett, from New Hampshire, and John and Eleazer Crosby, from Connecticut, came into the town about the year 1787; Mr. Brewer is still living, and is the oldest inhabitant. A son of John Andrews, named after John C. Lake of New York, was the first child born in the town. Samuel Miller, from Connecticut, came into the town in 1788, and James Gage and Nathaniel Ball, from New Hampshire, arrived about the same period. Selah Holcomb, from Simsbury, Connecticut, settled in this town, in February, 1791. He died June 18th, 1854, aged 86 years. I have not been able to obtain any of the particulars relating to the lives of these pioneers, who opened the forests of Bayard's patent, except in respect of Capt. Holcomb. He was a farmer, sustained a good character, and exerted a good deal of influence among his townsmen. By a long life of persevering industry and economy, he accumulated considerable wealth. He was frequently elected to the local town offices. He exhibited all the traits of an excellent New England farmer. Litchfield may properly be called an agricultural town. The iron foundry, formerly established in this town several years ago, carried on for some time a pretty large business, in the manufacture of hollow ware, which in times of monetary pressure, was used in the barter trade of the country, and notes payable in iron ware of the Litchfield furnace were not unfrequent. There is now no necessity of resorting to this mode of traffic.
Cedarville, which is partly located in Columbia, and partly in this town, is the only village of which Litchfield can boast. Wealth and thrift surrounds the population of this town, in an equal degree with our other towns, where the pursuits of the farmer have been directed to grazing and dairying.
§ 9. Manheim
1 Contains that part of the county bounded easterly by the east bounds of the county; southerly, by the Mohawk river ; and westerly, and northerly, by the line beginning at the east end of the easternmost lock of the old canal, on the north side of the Mohawk river, at the Little Falls, and running thence north as the needle pointed in 1772, until as east line strikes the northwest corner of a large lot, number fourteen, in a tract of land called Glen's purchase; then easterly to the east corner of Glen's purchase; and then east to the bounds of the county.
Six of the large lots in Glen's purchase, a part of the fourth allotment of the Royal grant; the whole of John Van Driesen's andSnell and Timmerman's patent, and part of Rev. Peter Van Dreisen's; a part of Vrooman's patent, and some other small grants made by the state, are situated in this town.
The grant of 3,600 acres made in 1755, to Jacob Timmerman and Johan Jost Schnell, commonly known as Snell and Timmerman's patent, is near the central part of the town on an east and west line, and south of the Royal grant. Manheim was settled by German emigrants before the revolution, and the date of this patent may be assumed as pretty near the period when that event took place. The Snells and Timmermans, descendants of these patentees, are still quite numerous in the town, owners of the soil through a long line of inheritance, granted to their own persecuted and always patient and toiling ancestors.
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. But this was not all. They and their neighbors met upon the lands every Saturday afternoon, and worked at the sturdy forest until the lands were cleared and rendered fit for cultivation.
A church was erected on the lot designed for that purpose, and that ancient edifice was replaced by a new one in 1850-1. The school house in the district stands on the donated lot. Eleven and a half acres of the school lot were transferred by an act of the legislature to the church. How could this be done without the consent of the parties interested?
There were nine men of this Snell family, and among them were Peter, Joseph and Jacob, who went under Gen. Herkimer into the Oriskany battle, and only two of them returned, of whom Peter was one; the other seven were killed. An aged and respectable member of this family, now living, states that these three men were very active and
John Beardslee was born in Sharon, Connecticut, in November, 1759, and died in Manheim, October 3d, 1825, where he had resided more than thirty years. His father, John Beardslee, Senior, was a native of Norwalk, Conn., born about the year 1725, and married Deborah Knickerbocker, in 1748, who numbered among her family connections the Hoffmans and Rosevelts of Dutchess county and New York city. The subject of this notice married Lavinia Pardee, of Sharon, Conn., in 1795, who survived her husband a quarter of a century, and died in Manheim, in 1854, aged 85 years. Miss Pardee was connected with the Brewsters, Goulds, Waldos, Ripleys and Bradfords, of Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Mr. Beardslee left his father's residence in Connecticut, in 1781, not like Coslebs in search of a wife, but B young New Englander in search of a fortune, which he aimed to accomplish. He was a practical mechanic, architect and civil engineer. He stopped at Sheffield, Mass., worked one year on the farm, and then went to Vermont, commenced working at his trade, and bought and paid for a small farm, but soon lost it by a defect in the title. Soon after he went to Vermont, he spent a fall and winter on Lakes George and Champlain, fishing and hunting, in company with Jonathan Wright, who afterwards came into the north part of this county, and was known as old Jack Wright, the trapper. Mr. Beardslee then turned his face westward, built a bridge at Schaticoke, and a meeting house in Schoharie. In 1787, he went to Whitestown, then being settled by eastern emigrants, and engaged
zealous in urging Gen. Herkimer to a forward movement on the 6th of August, 1777. They had resolved to fight the enemy, and how fatal was the consequence!
Henry Remensneider, or Rhemensnyder, and Johannes Boyer were the first settlers on Glen's purchase, a few miles north of the Little Falls. They came on to the tract several years before the commencement of the revolutionary war. John Boyer was born near New York; his father emigrated from Ebos in Germany. John was in the Oriskany battle and lost his team of horses and wagon in that bloody affray. He was the immediate ancestor of the Boyer families, once so numerous in this town. His youngest son, Henry, now 75 years old, is still living, and several of his descendants are found in the county, although emigration has somewhat diminished their numbers. Among other German settlers who had seated themselves in this town before the revolution, were the Keysers, Van Slykes, Newmans, Sha
with White & Whitmore to build mills on shares. He afterwards sold his half at a good advance. He remained at Whitestown till 1792, having been employed by the state to build a set of mills for the Oneida Indians. He completed his contract without returning to the white settlements, after he had commenced it. By humoring the Indians, joining in their sports of hunting and fishing, and exciting their curiosity to see the results of his labors, they cheerfully assisted him in his enterprise, which contributed to make the job quite profitable.
At this time there resided in the neighborhood of the Indians, two well educated, gentlemanly Frenchmen, but perfect recluses, the relic of French colonists, and of that splendid colonial French empire, already struck from the French crown, and which had cost so much of blood and treasure to establish and uphold. Between 1790 and 1796, he built the first bridge across the Mohawk river, at Little Falls, the old red grist mill at that place, the first bridge over the gulf, east of the academy, mills for Richard Van Horne, at Van Hornesville. and for Col. Freye, at Canajoharie, a bridge over the West Canada creek, and the court house and jail, which were burned up in 1833 or 1834, a bridge across the Mohawk river, at Fort Plain, and a bridge over the East Canada creek, a grist and saw mill and fulling works, about half a mile north of the present Mohawk turnpike bridge.
The buildingof this bridge led to his seating himself at Manheim permanently in this wise. The bridge was erected at the expense of Montgomery county, or paid for by it. In order to obtain the necessary timber, he purchased a