CAPTAIN GEORGE HENRY BELL, the patriot and hero in the battle of Oriskany, brought home with him a gun which he took in a hand to hand struggled with a British officer whom he killed. He was wounded there and afterwards placed on the invalid pension roll. He was commissioned a justice of the peace in 1778, and held the office until his death. He had two sons in the battle, Joseph and Nicholas. The former was killed. Nicholas was afterwards killed by the Indians about a mile from his father's home, on the road passing over Fall Hill. My mother related to me the circumstances of his death. He had some business to transact with Peter Klock on the north side of the river, and uncle Peter Bellinger accompanied him. They took their rifles and started down the road. They were cautioned to keep a lookout, as Indians had been seen prowling around. On arriving at a ravine a little west of the house now owned by Mr. Abeel on the road leading to Jacksonburg, they had occasion to stop a moment. On either side of the road were clumps of bushes and grapevines. When about to start, the report of a rifle was heard, and Bell fell dead. Uncle Peter Bellinger in an instant took Bell's gun, and when he saw two Indians coming he fired, dropped the gun and ran. After going a few rods he turned around and discharged his rifle at the foremost Indian, and ran to Campbell's fort, which stood near the white bridge crossing the canal on the Abeel farm. On his arrival he gave an alarm, and immediately four man took their rifles and started in pursuit of the Indians. On arriving at the place where Bell lay dead, they found the trail of the Indians which they followed by the blood which came from the wounded Indian. They went about a mile without overtaking them, and concluded to give up the pursuit. They returned to the scene of the shooting and took Bell's remains to his home. Uncle Peter Bellinger and Bell were cousins. Besides two sons Capt. Bell had two daughters. One of them married Henry I. Walrad and the other Peter Waggoner. The late Col. Joseph Bell was the son of Nicholas, and the father-in-law of the late Gen. Abram G. Rosencrantz, his daughter being his only child.
For the information of my readers, I will give the names of some of the lineal dscendants of General Nicholas Herkimer's brothers and sisters who live in this vicinity. There are no descendants of Henry living here. The descendants of his brother George are, Emily, a granddaughter, mother of our esteemed townsman, Alonzo H. Greene; Ann Eliza Green and Alida Herkimer, who married Volney Eaton, are also grand-daughters. John died without issue. There are no male members of the Herkimers now living in this county, nor can I find any descendants of John Jost. Emily, daughter of John Herkimer and wife of Isaac Vincent, is also a grand-niece of General Nicholas Herkimer.
Of the descendants of Elizabeth Barbara, who married Peter D. Schuyler, I can name the late George N. Schuyler, Felix Schuyler and Nicholas Schuyler of Danube.
Of Lana, wife of Warner Dygert, there are quite a number of descendants in this vicinity. The late Esquire John and Daniel left no children. Warner's descendants are quite numerous, Joseph and Daniel, Emory, Wellington, Nancy, wife of William Abbott. Hendrick, father of the late Colonel Henry and John Uhle, married Lana. Jerome Uhle and sisters, of Fall Hill, and John of Mohawk, are children of Colonel Henry. Henry M., of Herkimer, Hobart, Lucinda Cunningham, Helen, widow of the late Edward Chapin, and Delia, who married Charles Casler, are children of Esquire John. Lana's second husband was Nicholas Snell. Abram and the late Sanford Snell, and their brothers and sisters are their descendants.
The descendants of Catherine who married George Henry Bell, were Nancy, who married General Abram G. Rosencrantz. Their children were Joseph B. and Catherine, who married Peter A. Staring. The children by this marriage are Nancy, who married Halsey W. Warren, Mellissa, who married John T. Walrath, Catherine N., and Frank P.
Gertrude, who married Rudolph Shoemaker, had a few descendants, and none are living here. Daniel, who married Sally, a sister of Henry Heath, left children now living in the western part of the state. Abram Shoemaker of Canastota, is a descendant.
Anna, who married Peter Tenbroeck, left few descendants. Not any are living here.
Anna Maria, who married Rev. Abram Rosengrants had for descendants George, whose children were General Abram G., and three daughters, who were the wives of the late Rudolph and Marks Casler and Peter Klock. George, George H., and Levi R. Klock are descendants.
Elizabeth, who married Colonel Hendrick Frey, did not live in this vicinity. The descendants of this family are not numerous. Some of them live in Palataine, Montgomery county. Mr. Frey was a noted surveyor.
The descendants of Delia, who married Colonel Peter Bellinger, are more numerous than all the other sisters. Among them are the Caslers, Bellingers, Heaths, Vroomans, Eysamans, Kingsberrys, Weavers, Petries, Harters, McChesneys, Skinners, Arnolds, LeBarts, Leighs, Vosburgs, Dagers, Gross's, Perrys, Carrolls, Reids, Thomases, Lowers, Kennas, Stewarts, Wagors, Budlongs, Farnhams, Shoemakers, Gibbs and Sponenbers.
It is quite interesting to note the intermarriages of the Herkimer sisters' children. The families have frequently intermarried. I mention a few cases: Nicholas Tenbroeck married his cousin Delia Bellinger, daughter of Delia Herkimer, wife of Col. Peter Bellinger. General Abram G. Rosencrants married Nancy Bell, a third cousin, daughter of Captain Joseph, and granddaughter of the noted patriot, George Henry Bell. General Nicholas P. Casler married Delia, a second cousin, daughter of Gen. Christopher P. Bellinger, and granddaughter of Delia Herkimer, wife of Colonel P. Bellinger. Peter E. Bellinger, a son of Henry H. and Gertrude Casler Bellinger, and a great-great-grandson of Delia Herkimer Bellinger, married Uhle, a great-great-granddather of Lana Herkimer, wife of Warner Dygert. Abram E. Bellinger, now justice of the peace, son of John C. and grandson of Joseph Bellinger and great-grandson of Delia Herkimer, wife of Colonel Peter Bellinger, married Maria E., daughter of Henry H. and Gertrude, daughter of Peter B. Casler, granddaughter of Gertrude, wife of Nicholas Casler, a daughter of Delia Herkimer, wife of Colonel Peter Bellinger. Frank Bellinger, son of Peter E. and Lana C., grandson of Henry H. and Gertrude Casler Bellinger, daughter of Peter B. Casler and granddaughter of Gertrude, wife of Nicholas Casler, and daughter of Delia Herkimer, wife of Colonel Peter Bellinger, married Minnie Bellinger, daughter of Peter, son of John C., a son of Joseph, a son of Delia Herkimer, wife of Colonel Peter Bellinger. Charles Bellinger, son of Robert, grandson of Daniel, great-grandson of Johannes, whose second wife was Katie, daughter of Delia Herkimer, wife of Colonel Peter Bellinger, married Jessie M., daughter of Joram, a son of John C., grandson of Joseph, great-grandson of Delia Herkimer, wife of Colonel Peter Bellinger. Col. Henry McLean Heath married Sabrina Casler. Both were great-grandchildren of Delia Herkimer, wife of Colonel Peter Bellinger. Emily Eaton, daughter of Alida Herkimer and Volney Eaton, a descendant of George Herkimer, married Erwin C. Munson, grandson of Margaret Petrie, daughter of Delia Herkimer, wife of Col. Peter Bellinger. Mrs. C.G. Brig, an estimable lady of Fort Plain, informs me she is a descendant of Elizabeth Herkimer, who married a Bellinger, and claims relationship with Robert Shomaker, son of Rudolph, and Gertrude Herkimer his wife.
Came from the county of Surrey, England, and settled in Lebanon, Connecticut, in 1700. Joseph Heath was a volunteer under Col. Nicholson, in an expedition against Montreal, in 1710. Bartholomew Heath was born in 1710, and by a record in an old bible now in possession of parties in Utica, was the son of William. Bartholemew and Joseph might have been brothers. Bartholomew with his son Thomas, left Lebanon in 1740, and settled in the town of Sharon, where David, Hezekiah, and four daughters were born. One of the daughters married Cornelius Knickerbocker, another a Beardsley and two of them Corkins. The name of one was Calvin.
HEZEKIAH HEATH settled in the town of Little Falls in 1801. His sons were William, Henry, Joseph, Samuel and Bailey. The daughters' names were Catherine, Sally, Lucretia and Margaret. None of them are now living. The military title has existed without interruption in the Bellinger, Casler and Heath families, for 140 years.
General William Heath of revolutionary fame was a near relative.
I was commissioned Colonel, July, 1841, and was rendered supernumary by an act of the Legislature in 1845, and am probably the only field officer in the state holding a commission for that length of time. I intend to report to the Adjutant General at Albany, for duty.
The aqueduct was built in 1822. Henry Heath had the contract to quarry the stone on the farm of John Bellinger, father of the late Levi Bellinger. They were brought from the quarry on sleighs. William Girvan, a merchant on the corner of Main and Ann streets, took the measurement of the number of the face stone, as they were hauled up in front of his store.
The old stone arch bridge was built in 1832 by James Sanders and Robert Stewart, masons, and William Chase, carpenter.
In 1825 the Erie canal was completed from Albany to Buffalo. Cannons were taken from the Watervliet arsenal, Troy, and placed at intervals of eight miles on the bank of the canal, and fired in honor of the event. The firing commenced at Buffalo, and took an hour to reach Albany. The first boat that passed through the canal was called the Young Lion of the West, with Governor DeWitt Cinton and staff on board. The aqueduct was arched with evergreens and the sidewalk carpeted. A cannon placed on the east side, fired a salute in honor of the event. Dinner was served in the old stone hotel kept by John McKinster.
In 1837 the first train of cars on the Utica and Schenectady railroad, ran through this village.
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