A SKETCH OF SOME OF THE PROMINENT FAMILIES
OF THE TOWN OF DANUBE
AN ADDRESS BY WILLIAM IRVING WALTER OF ST. JOHNSVILLE, N.Y.
Delivered Before the Herkimer County Historical Society, April 11, 1903.
The first settlers at Newville were Isaiah and Nathan Wilcox who came from Rhode Island in 1791.
The Wilcox family were of Welsh and English descent, some of their ancestors having emigrated from
Wales as early as 1661. The brothers came from Rhode Island with ox teams and spent the summer here,
returning in the autumn for their families. These brothers and their relatives fill so large a space
in the annals of Danube that the room that I can devote to them seems miserably inadequate.
Nathan Wilcox died at Newville, August 25, 1843, aged 76 years. His wife, Nancy, daughter of
Hezekiah Lewis survived until June 17, 1843, aged 74 years, her mother, Mrs. Anna Lewis having
died the preceeding June, aged 96 years. The following were the children of Nathan and Nancy
Wilcox: Nancy, wife of Thomas, son of John M. Stafford, died 1833; Sally, wife of Ezra Holmes
removed to Fulton, Oswego county, died 1881; Nathan born 1795, he was a Free Will Baptist
clergyman and died if we are rightly informed in Texas in 1878; Betsey B. married Stafford Dawley,
died at Clinton in 1871; Polly married Elijah Champion of Starkville, died in Cortland County;
Mercy married Jonas Winegar, died at Sharpie, Wisconsin. A son, Lieutenant William Winegar, of a (sic) in 1884; Hezehiah died at Waukegan, Ill., 1889; Amanda married Amos Reed, a brother of Thomas Reed, died in Hancock County, Iowa in 1880; Isaiah removed to West Eaton, New York in 1853, died there in 1884; Hezekiah died at Maukegan, Ill., 1889; Amanda married Ralph Simms, died at Newville, October 1887. Concerning Isaiah Wilcox first and family we have less definite data. His son, Asa Wilcox resided for many years at the cross roads north of Newville, now the property of Mrs. Moses Champion where he conducted a country store. He represented the second district of Herkimer County in the assembly in 1849. The following year he disposed of his farm to Sanford Lepper of Oppenheim and removed to Little Falls where he died in 1863, another son, William Pendleton Wilcox, was at one time Speaker of the Pennsylvania Senate, a grand son, Isaiah B. Brown is at present time secretary of Internal affairs of that commonwealth. Ralph Simms who married Amanda, the youngest daughter of Nathan and Nancy Wilcox was born in Centerbury, Connecticut, September 9, 1802, died at Newville August 13, 1877. His great grandfather came from England early in the eighteenth century, his grandfather served under General (then Captain) Israel Putnam in the seven years war. His father's name was Benjamin Simms, a twin brother, Joseph being the father of Jeptha R. Simms, the pioneer historian of the Mohawk Valley. Ralph Simms came to Herkimer county in 1827. After teaching school several terms he began farming, living where W. P. Jones now lives. After several years he removed to Newville where he kept a general store until 1859, also part of the same time manufacturing potash from wood ashes. During this period Ralph Simms was the most influential man in Danube. In 1835 he was elected supervisor and in 1837 Justice of the Peace. When the anti-slavery took political form he was recognized as the leader, first of the Liberty then of the Free Soil and finally of the Republican party of Danube. He also steadfastly upheld by precept and example the temperance cause. His later religious views inclined to the liberal school. The great majority of the New England settlers were of Free Will Baptist persuasion and a society of that denomination flourished at Newville for some time, the last services in the church being held in 1861. Mr. Simms gave in his adhesion to the Universalist faith but never allowed his own views to become an excuse for religious or rather irreligious intolerance for the faith of others. His son, Edward Simms was County Clerk during 1874-9, his younger son, Charles R. Simms owns the farm located by his grandfather, Nathan Wilcox on his arrival in the Nowadaga Valley, and to Edward R. Simms, son of Charles R. Simms, I am indebted for data without which this sketch would be still more imperfect than it is.
Hezekiah Lewis, a brother of Mrs. Nathan Wilcox was of Welsh extraction, his ancestor, John Lewis arriving in Rhode Island in 1661. His father was also named Hezekiah Lewis, his mother's name being Ann Main. He married Mercy Wilcox, a sister of Nathan and Isaiah Wilcox who survived until July 1879, having entered her ninetieth year. We have no record of the date of the arrival of Mr. And Mrs. Lewis in Danube. Mercy Lewis, the eldest child of this family, married William G. Mixter who died in 1890 in his eighty-second year. Mrs. Mixter died in 1901 at the age of eighty-eight. She was the last surviving member of the Baptist Society of Newville. Of the other children, Enoch Lewis went west and his subsequent fate is unknown. Nathan W. Lewis removed to the vicinity of Buffalo, Betsey C. married Bernard Roorback and died in Illinois in 1856. A son of Bernard Roorback, Emmet Roorback, is the proprietor of the Mather Creek cheese factory between St. Johnsville and Fort Plain. The New England immigration to Danube extended over nearly half a century, the last to arrive being Jared Lewis and his son, Francis and family, and Mr. and Mrs. Chester Andrews, Charles Lewis, a son of Jared having preceeded them. Jared Lewis died in Stark in 1858 in his ninety-first year, while Samantha, wife of Chester Andrews, the last of the original New England settlers died in 1891, aged seventy-five. Samuel Houpt came from Bucks County, Pennsylvania about 1797. Having engaged in mercantile business he had suffered from French depredations on our commerce, and came to the wilderness of Central New York to recoup his fortunes. He first located in the western part of Minden but finally came to Newville. Here he made large investments, established saw and grist mills, a tannery, a distillery, an iron foundry and a lime kiln. He erected a dwelling house which for those days was considered a protentious mansion, it is now the property of T. and R. D. Jones. The stone grist mill built in 1834 is still used for that purpose although with modern machinery. Mr. Houpt politically favored the Whig party, although he paid more attention to business that to politics, theologically he affiliated with the old school Lutherans, his wife becoming a member of the Newville Lutheran congregation. Mr. Houpt died in 1850, Mrs. Houpt having died two years previously. The homestead was bought by Benjamin Jones in 1852, and has since remained in the Jones family. Henry Houpt, son of Samuel Houpt, married Agnes Sloughter, daughter of Cornelius Sloughter of Stark, who had a seat in the Assembly of 1829 as a colleague of Abijah Mann Jr. He gave most of his attention to agriculture, although for a time engaged in mercantile business to agriculture, although for a time engaged in mercantile business at Newville. He was supervisor of Danube in 1860-1, and died very suddenly in April 1870. His children all passed their lives in Danube, Louis H. dying in 1877, Elizabeth wife of Dr. Tibbitts in 1901, and Chauncey in 1903, Lewis, son of Samuel Houpt married Carolin, daughter of Thomas R. Benedict of Ephratah, and died in 1853. His family left Newville in 1867. Of the three daughters of Samuel Houpt, Nancy married John Dyslin, a descendant of Rev. John Henry Dyslin, a native of Switzerland who officiated as a clergyman of the Reformed Church in Montgomery County during the latter years of the eighteenth and opening years of the nineteenth centuries. Mr. Dyslin became a follower of William Lloyd Garrison in his extreme political views and abstained from exercising the right of suffrage for years, until the presidential election of 1864 when he cast his ballot for Abraham Lincoln. The following year Mr. and Mrs. Dyslin removed to Illinois. The other daughters both married physicians; Catharine married Dr. Morris of Utica and Eliza, Dr. Church of Springfield, Mass.
The Jones family were of Welsh ancestry and came to Danube from Nova Scotia. Richard Jones settled on a farm in the "Hollow" southeast of Newville. His son, Benjamin inherits the farm removing to Newville in 1852, and died there in 1863. His first wife was a member of the McChesney family referred to earlier in this paper, his second wife who survived him until 1890 was a very estimable lady from Montgomery County. For some years in the fifties Mr. Jones and his sons conducted an extensive business at Newville, dairying, hopgrowing, a saw-mill and a grist-mill, all being managed by them. Philip Jones removed to Little Falls in 1865 and died there in 1833. He married Joanna Reed, sister of Thomas and Amos Reed before mentioned. His son Stuart P. and his grandsons, Charles H. and Welford P. still retain the farm. Mrs. Randolph Landt of Little Falls was a daughter of Philip Jones. Marvin A. Jones of Indian Castle is a member of another branch of this family.
Hon. Daniel Bellinger came from German Flatts in 1809. His father, John Bellinger was one of
those heroes who threw themselves into the breach and changed the course of history on that fateful
August day in 1777 in the marshes of Oriskany. Mrs. Daniel Bellinger who died in 1873 was a daughter
of George Lotridge and Maria Seeber of Little Falls, the latter being a member of the Palatine family
of that name which made for itself so excellent a record during the Revolution. Mr. Bellinger was a
man of the old school. In politics he was a Jacksonian Democrat, in religion he embrace the
doctrines of Universalism. A free Mason from his youth he adhered to the fraternity throughout
the anti-masonic excitement. In all his views he was uncompromising. The honor of being the
pioneer cheese maker of Danube is claimed for him. In 1840 he represented the second district of
Herkimer County in the Assembly; he was supervisor of Danube in 1832 and 1852, and in 1858 he led the
forlorn hope as Democratic candidate for County Clerk. He died in the spring of 1877. His son,
George R. Bellinger (1824-1892) was for some years the aggressive leader of the Danube democracy.
Daniel B. Bellinger, son of John P. Bellinger (1819-1883) now occupies the Bellinger homestead, John Doxtater owned the farm now the property of the Henry A. Cramer estate north of the Newville cheese factory. It was sold to Mr. Cramer by John Doxtater's son, Abram in 1867, and Abram Doxstater and family removed to Hannibal, Oswego County in 1870. The descendants of a brother of Abram Doxstater reside in the Indian Castle neighborhood.
John B. Dillenback settled in Danube in 1792, undoubtedly coming from the settlements to the east. His son, John Dillenback (1796-1865) was one of the most respected citizens of the town. He was twice married, both wives being of the Walrath family. His son, Luther Dillenback was elected supervisor of Danube by the democrats in 1871. He died while on a western trip in 1885. The Dillenback homestead is now the property of Mrs. Alonzo C. Dingman, the daughter of Luther Dillenback.
Eliphalet Covell came from Connecticut by the way of Schoharie County, arriving in Danube in 1805, locating in what is termed the "Paradise" neighborhood. His son, Enos was at one time a Free Will Baptist clergyman but afterward united with the Lutheran denomination. He removed to Salisbury with his son, Enos, Jr., where he died. His son, Eliphalet left Danube for Jefferson County in 1853, going there in 1870 to Tompkins County where he died in December, 1877. Daniel Covell, son of Eliphalet, Sr., was born in Connecticut in 1874, died in Danube in 1862. At his funeral there were present one son, three grandsons, and two nephews of his wife who were members of the 121st and 152nd regiments, N.Y.S.V. then in the progress of equipment for the Civil War. Of these his son, Benjamin Covell and Swift Roorback of Dolgeville never returned. Elijah Covell, son of Daniel, died at Little Falls in 1901, aged 74. John F. Van Allen who married a daughter of Daniel Covell came from Fulton County and settled near his father-in-law. He was an active democrat. Daniel T. Overacre, another son-in-law of Mr. Covell and the last of a family at one time prominent in the tow survived his father-in-law but a few weeks. He was town clerk at the time of his death.
David Champion, for many years a respected citizen, was born in Connecticut in 1793 and came to Starkville with his father, a pioneer settler of Stark in 1800, and removed to Danube in 1836, dying there February, 1873. He was a consistent member of the Free Will Baptist denomination, an unswerving abolitionist, and advocate of abstinence.
Teunis Roorback was born in 1768, died 1839. Of him we have no further record. John Roorback was the second husband of one of Gen. Herkimer's sisters, but we know nothing more of him. Peter Roorback, son of Teunis, resided in Newville until his death in 1863. The last survivor of the family was Cornelia, widow of Daniel Covell who died in 1881; her sister, Catharine, wife of John Spoor, having died the preceding year. Philip Baum, Sr., resided on the farm adjoining the Schuyler farm, now owned by his grandson, Hamilton Baum, whose father, Philip Baum, Jr. died there in 1889.
The Walter family came originally from Wurtenburg, Germany. There is a family tradition that three brothers came from Germany, one of who remained in New York State, one went to South Carolina (where there is a locality known as Walterboro) and one to Pennsylvania. John Walter who served in the Revolution, came to what is now Danube in 1795, and settled one mile south of Newville in 1797, where he died in 1819, aged 59 years. His wife was Anna Bettinger (1766-1830) daughter of Martin Bettinger and his wife, Magdalena Keller, a member of the same family as the Kellers of Manheim and Fairfield. Martin Bettinger who was also a native of Wurtenburg, resided in Minden. While absent from home serving in the militia in 1780, his family was captured by the Indians but were released by Joseph Brant with the exception of one daughter who was taken to Canada and remained there. The descendants of Martin Bettinger are quite numerous in Herkimer, Montgomery, Jefferson and Onondaga Counties. Of the sons of John Walter, John died at Clay, Onondaga County in July, 1859, Martin at Theresa, Jefferson County in March, 1874, Jacob resided on the home farm, April, 1881, George in Warren in 1845, and William near Newville, November 1895. Of the daughters, Catharine, widow of Jacob I. Shaul, died in Columbia in 1880; Magdalena, widow of Stephen Maxfield in Stark in March, 1888 and Christina, widow of Peter Ostrander in Springfield in April, 1874. One daughter, Ann Eliza, widow of Alexander Ford of Orleans, Jefferson County, and the last surviving granddaughter of Martin Bettinger resides at Little Falls. Jacob Walter married Catharine, a daughter of Lodawick Springer, who came to Stark from Renssalaer County in 1801 and died June, 1857, aged 83 years. Jacob Walter cast the first anti-slavery vote in the town of Danube, and was a member of the convention which organized the F. E. L. synod in 1837. He was supervisor of Danube in 1862 and in that capacity aided in raising the 121st, and 152nd, regiments. His brother, William Walter was a charter member of the Lutheran congregation of Newville, organized in 1834.
David Frederick Bakeman who died at Freedom, Cattaraugus County, April 5th, 1869, aged 109 years, being the last surviving soldier of the Revolution, at one time resided in Danube. Three of his grandchildren survive; Andrew Monk (himself a veteran of the Civil War) and Mary, widow of William Walter of Newville and Margaret, wife of Amos Fralick of German Flatts.
John Harder Sr., and Robert Spoor came from the Hudson River country in 1802. They were brother-in-laws, Mrs. Spoor being a sister of Mr. Harder. They bought a tract of land in common and lived on it together until 1805. Robert Spoor was born in 1767, died in 1849. His son, S. G. Spoor now owns nearly all of the original Spoor and Harder Purchase. The Spoor family is of Fresian origin, the original immigrant having been Jan Wybesee Von Harlingen who came to the New Netherlands prior to 1662. He first settled in the Catskills and afterwards in Niskayuna. One of his daughters was a victim of the Schenectady massacre in 1690. Isaac, the father of Robert was born April 15, 1741, married Christina Van Deaser March, 1763, died April 19, 1789. Isaac Spoor, eldest son of Robert, died in Danube, unmarried in 1870. John who was a charter member of the Lutheran church at Newville and a delegate to the first session of the F. E. L. synod in 1837 died at Newville in 1885. Gilbert died near that place February, 1897. Mrs. Christina Hitchcock, the oldest daughter, died in Michigan in 1789. Magdalena, the second daughter at Newville in 1893, aged 91, Elizabeth, the next in order, near the same place in 1890. The other daughters were Mrs. John Sharpe of St. Lawrence County, Mrs. John Mesick of Wayne County and Mrs. Peter Dingman and Mrs. Dionysios Miller of Freysbush.
John Harder, Sr., or Captain John Harder, born in 1780, as he was known disposed of his farm after the death of his wife in 1842 and resided with his son-in-law, David Johnson until his death, which took place in 1867. He was a lifelong democrat and was supervisor of Danube in 1830. John Harder, Jr., his son removed from the farm now owned by Calvin Harder to Monroe County in 1853 and later to Illinois where he died in 1877. Jacob Harder who resided a Newville, died some time in the thirties. His son, Anson Harder is a prominent and influential citizen of Redwood, Jefferson County.
David Johnson settled on the farm now owned by Sanford Johnson in 1800. He died in 1826, aged 67. His son, Silas Johnson, removed to Clay, Onondaga County where he spent his life, His son, David Johnson, born 1813, father of Ex-Supervisor Sanford Johnson, was for many years the most noted figure in Danube. He was Supervisor in 1850-1. He died very suddenly in the early part of 1883. Messrs. Spoor and Harder purchased this farm of Andrew Smith and John Shaver, Jr. The farm where G. W. Spoor now resides was afterwards purchased by Robert Spoor from a family named Dygert who removed to New York Mills. The last of this family, an aged lady named Jane Dygert, died in the State Hospital at Utica, in 1892.
Other early settlers over the hill south of Newville were Young and Siver. The Spoors, Harders
and Johnsons were all of the "Low Dutch" or Netherland origin. William Ostrander, another
of the same nationality came from Columbia County in 1797 and settled on the farm now owned by S.
Ostrander of Mohawk. Here he established a hotel and for some years after the separation of Danube
from Minden it was a town center, elections and militia musters being held there. The Low Dutch
settlers were high church calvanists and in 1816 Rev. Jethro C. Tull,
organized a society of the "True Dutch Reformed" denomination among them. This society never erected a house of
worship, its last services being held in the school house in 1850 by Rev. Demorest of New Jersey.
William Ostrander died about the middle of the century and his son, John possessed the homestead
until his death in November, 1866. Jeremiah Ostrander, an active democratic politician died at
the homestead in February 1886. Henry Ostrander settled on an adjoining farm where he died in
1854. Two other brothers, William and Jacob, removed to Jefferson County. Thomas J. Mesick, a relative of Mrs. William Ostrander, came from Columbia County in 1818 and located on a farm adjoining that of Mr. Ostrander where he resided until his death in 1868 at the age of 82, and where his son, Henry now resides. Before coming to Herkimer County he had served in the state militia, and during the war of 1812 he was for a time stationed at New York City. He was elected Justice of the Peace in 1830 and Supervisor in 1837. He was throughout his life a staunch democrat and a firm adherent to the Calvinistic faith. Peter Abram Smith who was related by marriage to Thomas I. Mesick was born in Columbia County in 1760 and came to Herkimer County in 1790. His son, Peter P. Smith, who succeeded him the ownership of the farm, died about 1890. He acted with the Whig party until its disruption in 1854-5 when he affiliated with the democrats. He was Supervisor of Danube in 1846. John Englehardt Wagner, son of George Wagner of Weisbach, Baden came to America about the middle of the eighteenth century and located in the Canajoharie district. His son, Jacob served during the Revolution, a part of the time under Colonel Willett. He was one of the survivors of Oriskany, and was also one of the American soldiers in pursuit of the Tories and Indians, when after the battle of Johnstown, Walter N. Butler was killed. In 1784 he married Salome Bronner of the Stark family of that name, and settled in what is now Danube where he died in 1833, aged 71 years. His second son, Abram, was born in 1798 and died 1880, the third Felix was born in 1802 and died in 1885. Both of these were prominent Free Soil and Republican politicians, and active members of the Lutheran church of Minden. Abram's wife (died in 1877) was Catharine Walrath, and Felix married Leah, daughter of George Pickard of Minden, and granddaughter of Martin Bettinger. She died in 1875. John, the youngest son died in Schoharie County. Henry Moyer, David Moyer and Albert Walrath also came from Minden in the early part of the century but of them we have little data. Cornelius Delong was another prominent citizen concerning who I have been unable to obtain satisfactory data. He resided on the farm in the Ostrander neighborhood now owned by the heirs of C. E. DeLong. He died in 1853. Among his children were Charles of Jacksonburg; Cornelius, Jr. of Oswego County; Abram of Onondaga County and Polly, wife of Martin Walter of Jefferson County. The latter was the last survivor of a large family, dying 1896, having entered ninety-seventh year. Mr. DeLong was known as Squire DeLong but must have earned his title prior to the separation of Danube and Stark in 1827. Cornelius C. DeLong owned the homestead until his death in 1873, when it passed to his son, Chauncey E. who died in October, 1901.
Andrew Dingman came from the vicinity of Claverack early in the century and settled in Danube near the Minden line. Some time about 1835-8 he removed with his son, John to the town of Minden. Deputy County Clerk, Alonzo C. Dingman, is a grandson of John Dingman who died in 1853. Peter Dingman who married a daughter of Robert Spoor removed to Freysbush and died there in 1860. Rev. Chester Dingman, a son of Peter Dingman, was recently a resident of Little Falls. He is a clergyman of the M. E. Church. Edward Dingman, a grandson of John Dingman, is a Lutheran clergyman at West Hoboken, N.J. Of the daughters of Andrew Dingman, Elizabeth married John Harder, Jr., and died in Danube in 1846; Annan died in Danube, unmarried in 1866 and Catharine married John Walter, Jr., and died in Clay, Onondaga County. Eliza Jenkins the descendant of another daughter, died in Danube in 1893. The Dingmans were of Netherland origin.
Peter Monk, Sr., married a daughter of Jacob Wagner and died in 1874. The family is now represented in Danube by George H. Monk, Jr. John J. Countryman, another resident of this vicinity was noted for his extreme religious views. Together with his brother, Issac of Stark, he withdrew from the Lutheran denomination, holding that church organizations were not only unnecessary but sinful. He was the father of eight sons, four of whom married sisters, daughters of Felix Wagner. The majority of his sons removed to Illinois. He died in 1866.
The Cramers were also originally from the Low countries; John Cramer was born in Minden in 1760; his son, Abram in the same town in 1797 and died in Danube in 1862, his widow surviving him about twenty-five years. Of his three sons, Henry born 1822, died at Newville in 1893; Abraham A. born in 1829, died on the home farm, between Newville and Indian Castle in 1884; Peter, the youngest son, removed to Minden and was accidentally killed there while harvesting in 1873. Of the daughters of Abraham Cramer, Mary Ann, the eldest married Philp Baum, Jr., of Danube, and died Schoharie County in 1896; Celinda married John Fake of Danube, (died 1866) and is still living as is Mrs. Jerome Uhle of Little Falls. John Cramer settled in the south part of the town where he died in 1853, his widow, a daughter of Jacob S. Moyer of Stark, surviving until 1871. Of his three sons, Jeremiah died in 1857, Adolphus in 1881 and James M. in 1893. Of his surviving daughters, Mrs. Lodema Cramer resides at Fort Plain, Mrs. George O. Pitcher at St. Johnsville, Mrs. Hamilton Mickle at Nelliston and Mrs. Reuben Mickle at Starkville. Of the sisters of the elder John Cramer, one married James Welden and one Abraham Roof of Cramers Corners, Stark. David and Reuben Klock were members of the Klock family of St. Johnsville. Nehemiah Klock, another member of this family was killed by the kick of a horse in 1850, at his residence near Indian Castle.
Solomon Sanders was born in Minden and settled in Danube about 1800, and died in 1866. His son,
Henry S. Sanders was born in 1814 and died in 1896. He married a daughter of John Dingman.
John Sanders, a son of Solomon, removed to Minden where his descendants now reside. It is said
that nine of the Snells of Snells Bush entered into the fateful fight at Oriskany of whom but two returned. One of these was Peter whose descendants still own the Snell homestead in Manheim. His wife was a member of the Kilts family. His son, Conrad, born in 1777, removed to Danube where he died in 1864. Of his children, Isaac resides on the farm. Jacob removed to Minden where he died in 1896. Peter B. removed to Palatine, and Lewis became a Universalist clergyman. In 1866 the buildings on the Snell farm were entirely destroyed by fire. Two members of another branch of the Snell family resided near Newville, John and David, sons of Joseph Snell of Stark. John, who resided on the farm now owned by Supervisor W. S. Barrigan who married Mr. Snell's granddaughter, died in 1879, his wife was sister of Henry Link of Little Falls. David, who came to Danube in 1855 died in 1858. He was from many years an official and an active member of the Lutheran Church of Newville. Henry Miller, the son of Henry Miller and his wife, Elizabeth Zoller of Minden, lived on the river road east of the Indian Castle Church. His wife was a daughter of John Davy, Sr., He was an active politician and was the first Republican Supervisor of Danube in 1857-9. He was Captain of the "Wide Awake" marching club in 1860 and the first internal revenue assessor for Danube and Stark under the act of 1862. He died April, 1868. A cousin, Abram Miller lived about a mile west of Newville where he died in 1884. He was a native of Stark, and his wife was a member of the Link family.
Jeremiah F. Landt was born in Holland in 1755, and when a child of five years came with his parents to Columbia County. In 1793 he with his wife (born Elizabeth Dederick) came to Danube and settled on the farm now owned by Milo Fake where he died in 1823. His wife, who was Nellie G., daughter of William Ostrander, died in Iowa in 1877. Mr. Landt was at one time engaged in mercantile business in Newville. Three children still reside in Herkimer County, Randolph Landt of Little Falls, William Landt, M. D. of Mohawk and Mrs. Calvin Harder of Danube.
Alvan Decker, father of supervisor E. V. Decker of Little Falls, and who was related to the Spoor and Roorback families, was born in Columbia County in 1807 and came to Danube in 1828. At one time he kept the hotel at Newville. It was during the Canadian disturbances and Mr. Decker was a member of an organization of sympathizers with the Canadian "patriots." He afterwards engaged in dairy farming, combining with it the business of dealing in dairy produce. Politically he affiliated with the free soil and republican parties and was Supervisor of Danube in 1874-5. He died in May 1882, his wife who was Lydia M. Vanderberg of Saratoga followed him in December 1885. One daughter, Mrs. A. G. Weatherwax resides at Newville.
Cornelius Cronkhite, who was of low Dutch extraction came from Dutchess County in 1785. Two of his sons, Henry C. and John C. settled in Danube, and one, William in Minden. J. W. Cronkhite who resides at Little Falls was a son of the latter. Henry C. Cronkhite was born in Dutchess County in 1788, died in 1842. His widow (born Sally DeLaVarge) died in 1873, aged 84 years. Daniel Cronkhite, their son was supervisor of Danube in 1876-7 and at one time was a prominent official of the State Grange. James H. Cronkhite who now resides at Fort Plain was Justice of the Peace in Danube about twenty years. Cornelius H. Cronkhite died at Fort Plain in 1861, and John H. Cronkhite at Minden in 1886. Of Henry C. Cronkhite's daughters, one married David Shaul, one Isaac Countryman, Jr. of Stark, and one William E. Rickard. John C. Cronkhite died very suddenly on the highway in 1860. His wife was a member of the Walrath family of Minden. Rev. B. E. Fake, D. D. of Hartwick Seminary is a grandson. His son, Jonas Cronkhite died in 1902. A younger son, Reuben Cronkhite died in Minden in 1892. Two children of George Fake resided in Danube, John H. Fake who died very suddenly in 1866, and Mrs. Hiram Fake.
There are many others who deserve a mention here but I am not laboring under the delusion that I
can exhaust the subject. The Deuslers, Adolph Walrath, Lawrence Fox and family, George Countryman,
Dr. Abram Snyder and many others may possibly deserve more space than I have allotted to some who
have comparatively more mention than they merit. To extend this sketch with no more data than I have would make but a barren record of names and dates. Hoping that some abler hand will take up this matter and arranging these disjointed memoranda into something like order and clothe these skeleton names and dates with a living flesh of historical record, I submit to you this imperfect and unsatisfactory result of my investigations.
Source: "Papers Read Before the Herkimer County Historical Society Covering the Period From September 1902 to May 1914, Volume 3"
Compiled by Arthur T. Smith, Secretary of the Society
Citizen Press, Herkimer, 1914
Donated by Laura Perkins, Town of Frankfort Editor, and Coordinator of Oswego County NYGenWeb.
This article was carefully proofread and all odd spelling, punctuation and grammatical structure are given exactly
as in the original. Mr. Walter's history presents quite a cast of interesting characters. For further information about
families mentioned, please visit or order a search from the Herkimer County Historical
New information from Jeannie Howard Hello, I want to
thank you for all your effort on the Herk/Mont web site. For
those of us that live in far off places (Iowa) and don't hope to be there any
time soon, it is a welcome tool in finding our family roots. My connection to
Herkimer Co. is Mercy Wilcox and James Winegar. Jonas may well bemy Grandfather's original name
but he is known and recorded on many documents as James Winegar. Also,there is no Sharpie,
Wi, but there is in Rock Co. Wi. where they lived a Shopiere, Wi. Both Mercy and
James are buried in Emerald Grove Cemetery, Bradford Twp., Rock Co. Wisconsin. James Winegar
is my 4th Great-Grandfather. Please leave his name as Jonas because as I say, it may well be
correct, but all the paper work and family oral history I have seen or heard, says his name
is James, so yes I guess you should state that he is known and recorded as James. Thank you
again for helping my family (known and unknown to me!) find our ancestors!
Our thanks for typing up the long Danube historical sketch goes to Rita Gros Parish. Rita says she
enjoyed typing it up, finding her Walter family, the Bettingers, and a few other good leads!
"I am a descendant of Captain Lawrence and Maria Failing Gros. Our tree is
connected to the Moyer, Smith, Fort, Fox, Bronner, Fetterly, Kinter, Snyder,
Dingman, Countryman, Dockstader, Nellis, Backus, Reese, Warner, Harwick,
Loucks, Abeel, Schuyler, Snell, Dygert, Knouts, Gray, Bellinger, Hall, Walter
and Kast families. Like all genealogy enthusiasts, I am finding cousins and
connections I never realized growing up in the Mohawk Valley."
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