The following Herkimer County/Towns portions of French's Gazetteer was made available to you through the efforts of Shirley Farone of Ashland, Ohio. Shirley is a native of Jefferson County, N. Y. and now lives in Ashland, Ohio. She has been interested in our county ever since reading Drums Along the Mohawk at the age of 13, at that time not realizing her ancestors lived here. She writes:

"Like so many of you, my family tree has roots in Montgomery County, N. Y. Four of my ancestral families - Padgetts, Lingenfelters, Winnes, and Van Burens - lived in this county. As far as I can determine, their period of residency spanned from the Pre-Revolutionary times to 1838."

"For those of us whose ancestors lived along the Mohawk, French's Gazetteer of New York State should not be overlooked as a very good informational source. Its pages have provided me a deep insight as to what life was like in this area during the county's early period. After reading French's accounts (mostly in the footnotes), I marveled that my ancestors even survived - a miracle indeed. I then felt a huge sense of respect and admiration for people whom I only knew thru that intangible called "heritage."

"So, in order that my grandchildren may someday be so enlightened, I decided to type this out for inclusion in my Family notebook. Yes, it could have been copied, but that would have been cumbersome and difficult to read, to say the least. After I finished the project, it occurred to me that perhaps other people would enjoy it via the Internet and the Montgomery County site, if only Martha would agree to post it. I'm most grateful to Martha for her acceptance and the work she has done in order that it may appear. We hope that you will enjoy what we've brought you and I know you will refer to it often."

"One more thing - if you're a descendant of my families - Padgetts, Lingenfelters, Winnes, or Van Burens, I'd very much like to hear from you. My fellow Lingenfelter researchers, of whom there are only three, need help in determining a relationship, if there was one, between the New York Lingenfelters and those from PA and MD. We have read that our New York line came from Germany, but from where in Germany did they emigrate? Did they come directly to the Kayaderosseras/Sacandaga Patents? Maybe you can help us. I'd love to find some new cousins, too. Thank you."

Shirley C. Farone
April 4, 1998



from the


by J. H. French

Published by R. Pearsall Smith
Syracuse, N.Y. 1860

Bracketed material in most cases represents that which appeared in the form of footnotes.

This county was formed from Montgomery, Feb. 16, 1791 (This name was originally "Erghemar," and it has been variously written, as Herchkeimer, Hareniger, Herkemeir, Herchamer, Harchamer, Harkemar, and Herkimer. -- Benton's Herkimer, p. 150.} Onondaga was taken off in 1794, Oneida and a part of Chenango in 1798; the present territory of Hamilton co. was taken off and annexed to Montgomery in 1797; parts of Montgomery co. were annexed April 7, 1817; and parts of Richfield and Plainfield, Otsego co., were annexed in forming Winfield in 1816. It is centrally distant 80 mi. from Albany, and contains l,745 sq. mi. Its surface is a hilly upland, with a series of ridges extending in a general N. and S. direction. Mohawk River flows E. through the co. in a deep valley which cuts the ridges at right angles and separates the highland into two distinct parts. A broad ridge extends from the S. border to the Mohawk, and thence N. of that river along the W. bank of East Canada Creek to the N. line of the co. The Hasenclever Mts., another broad ridge, lie along the W. border of the co., N. of the Mohawk. From the Mohawk the highlands rise toward the S. in a series of hills, the declivities of which are steep and their summits 500 to 1,000 ft. high. North of the river the surface gradually rises to a height of 1,000 to 1,500 ft., where it spreads out into a rocky and broken plateau region, the highest summits being 2,500 to 3,000 ft. above tide.

Mohawk River breaks through a mountain ridge at Little Falls, the valley forming a natural channel of communication between Lake Ontario and Hudson River. At this place the mountains on each side of the river are masses of naked rock rising nearly perpendicular to a height of 500 to 600 ft. An intervale, with an average width of 2 mi., extends along the river W. of the pass, and from it the land rises on each side in gradual slopes. East of this point the Mohawk flows for some distance through a valley bordered by steep and nearly perpendicular hills. The river receives from the N., Sterling, West Canada, Cathatachua, and East Canada Creeks; and from the S. Furacee, Browns Hollow, and Nowadaga Creeks. East Canada Creek {West Canada Creek was called by the Indians Tengh-Tagh-ra-row, and the East Creek Ci-o-ha-na.} forms a portion of the E. boundary of the co., and receives as tributaries Trammel, Spruce, and several other small creeks. West Canada Creek flows S.W. through Wilmurt, Ohio, and Russia, thence S.E. along the W. border of Russia, thence S. through Newport, Fairport, and Herkimer, to the Mohawk. It receives from the E. Black, White and North Creeks, and from the W. several small brooks. Several small streams take their rise in the S. part of the co. and form branches of the Unadilla. The N. part of the co. is yet an unbroken wilderness. It is a wild, mountainous region, with very little land suseptible of cultivation. The streams, usually flowing in deep, rocky ravines, form headwaters of Black, Moose, Beaver, and Oswegatchie Rivers.

The portion of the co. lying N. of a line extending W. of Brocketts Bridge, on East Canada Creek, is covered with primary rocks. {The rocks peculiar to this region are granite, gneiss, feldspar and hornblende. Calciferous sandrock is found associated with gneiss at Little Falls.} This same formation also outcrops at Little Falls on the Mohawk. Rising successively above the primary are the Trenton limestone, appearing in Norway and Russia; the Utica slate, appearing upon the summits of all the hills immediately N. of the Mohawk; the Frankfort slate, appearing immediately S. of the river; the Oneida conglomerate and Clinton group, extending in a belt through near the center of the S. half of the co.; the Onondaga salt group, waterlime, Onondaga and corniferous limestones, appearing in thin layers next S.; and the Marcellus shales and limestones of the Helderbergh Range, covering the summits of the S. hills. These rocks yield an abundance of lime, waterlime, and building material in nearly every part of the co.; and for these purposes they are extensively quarried. Drift is found in deep deposits in many parts of the co. The useful minerals are few in number. (Gypsum is found in small quantities; and this co. is said to be the most easterly point in the State where it can be obtained. The discovery of small particles of anthracite, found associated with sandstone near Little Falls, has led to the erroneous supposition that coal might be obtained in the vicinity. Among the other minerals found are crystals of quartz, adapted to optical instruments, iron sand, iron and copper pyrites, lead ore, heavy spar, graphite, alum, and alum slate.)

Agriculture forms the leading pursuit. The hilly character of the surface particularly adapts this co. to pasturage; and dairying has long been the leading branch of industry. (The amount of cheese produced in this co. is three times as great as in any other co. in the State.) Hops are largely produced. At Little Falls, and a few other localities, considerable manufacturing is carried on.

The county seat is located at the village of Herkimer. {The first courthouse of the co. was located at Whitesboro, now Oneida co. The first courthouse and jail at Herkimer was burned Jan. 25, 1834. The first co. officers were Henry Staring, First Judge; Michael Myers, Hugh White, and Abraham Hardenburgh, Judges; Jonas Platt, Clerk; William Colbreath, Sheriff; and Moses De Witt, Surrogate.) The courthouse is a fine brick building fronting Main St., near the center of the village. The jail is a stone building, on the opposite side of the st. from the courthouse. The clerk's office is a fireproof brick building, upon the courthouse lot, fronting Court St. The poorhouse is located upon a farm of 65 acres 6-1/2 mi. N. of the courthouse. The average number of inmates is 130, supported at a weekly cost of $1.30 each. The farm yields a revenue of about $700. A school is taught about 6 months in the year. The institution is in good condition and seems to be well managed. (The two main buildings of this institution are of stone, and are each 30 by 46 feet.) The works of internal improvement within the co. are the Erie Canal and the N. Y. Central R. R., both extending along the valley of the Mohawk.

Four weekly newspapers are now published in this co.

The Telescope was commenced at Herkimer about 1802 by Benj. Corey. It was purchased by David Holt and J. B. Robbins and discontinued in Jan. 1805.
The Farmers' Monitor was commenced in the same office in 1805 by Holt & Robbins. It was discontinued in 1807.
The Herkimer Pelican was commenced in 1807 or '08 by Benj. Corey, and was discontinued about 1810.
The Herkimer American was commenced in 1810 by J. H. & H. Prentiss. Wm. L. Stone afterward became the publisher. In 1813 or '14 he sold it to Edward P. Seymour, who continued its publication until 1831, when it was discontinued.
Bunker Hill was commenced at Herkimer in 1810 by G. G. Phinney. Its name was changed in 1812 to
The Honest American, under which title it was published a few years.
The People's Friend was commenced at Little Falls in Sept. 1821, by Edward M. Griffin. It was successively published by Joseph A. Noonan, Horatio N. Johnson, and E. G. Palmer & H. N. Johnson. In 1830 it was published as The People's Friend and Little Falls Gazette. In July, 1834, it passed into the hands of N. S. Benton & Co., who changed its name to
The Mohawk Courier, under which title it is now published by A. W. Eaton.
The Herkimer Herald was commenced in 1828 by John Carpenter. It was removed in a few years to Oswego.
The Republican Farmers' Free Press was commenced at Herkimer in 1830 by ___ Holt; B. B. Hotchkin, editor. In 1834 it was removed to Little Falls and its name changed to
The Herkimer County Whig, under which title it was published about 2 years by Larned W. Smith.
The Inquirer was published a short time at Little Falls by Larned W. Smith. The Herkimer County Journal was commenced in Dec. 1837, by a company; J. C. Underwood, editor, E. P. Seymour, printer. In 1838 it passed into the hands of O. A. Bowe, and in 1849 to Orlando Squires, who removed it to Little Falls. He was succeeded by Daniel Ayer, by whom the paper is now published.

Key of David.
Eclectic Bulletin.
(Small papers. A few numbers were issued in 1853 or '54 by O. Squires. The latter paper was designed as a daily, but was issued only tri-weekly.)

The Watchman was issued by Squires about 6 months in 18__.
The Democratic Vindicator was issued by Squires about 2 weeks in 18__.
The Enterprise was issued at Little Falls in 1839 by E. M. Griffin. In 1841 it was succeeded by
The Mohawk Mirror, semi--mo., which was discontinued in 1844.
The Tribune and Spirit of '98 was published at Little Falls a short time in 18__ by H. N. Johnson.
The Herkimer Freeman was commenced at Little Falls in July, 1844, by O. A. Bowe (?). In 1850 he removed it to Mohawk and changed the name to
The Mohawk Times. It was soon after discontinued. The Frankfort Democrat was commenced in 1842 by J. M. Lyon & W. B. Holmes. In 1844 it was removed to Herkimer and its name changed to
The Herkimer County Democrat. In 1848 Mr. Lyon was succeeded by Robert Earl. In 1850 C. C. Witherstine became interested in its publication, and in March, 1854 he became the sole proprietor. In Sept. 1854, J. L. Hayes was associated with Mr. Witherstine, and in Dec. 1855, the name of the paper was changed to
The Herkimer American. In May, 1856, Mr. Hayes withdrew; and in July following, the paper passed into the hands of R. W. Crain & J. T. Stevens, who changed its name to
The Herkimer County Democrat. __ Witherstine soon after became proprietor; and in June, 1859, it was sold to H. O. Crouch, its present publisher.
The Illion Independent was commenced in Jan. 1855; G. W. Bungay, editor. Wm. L. Fish & H. W. Lyman, publishers. In Jan. 1858 it was removed to Utica.
The Mohawk Valley Sentinel was commenced at Mohawk in Jan. 1855, by L. W. Peters & G. W. Gould. In May following Mr. Peters became sole proprietor, and is its present publisher.
The Standard Bearer was commenced at West Winfield in June, 1859; W. H. Dixon, publisher.

The lands of this co. adjacent to the river were granted mostly in the first half of the last century, and the greater portion now settled are conveyed before the Revolution. The N. portion and small tracts in other sections remained in possession of the State Government until conveyed to Macomb and others.

NOTE: Below the listings of newspapers and elsewhere in the layout of the text, there appeared several charts which have not become a part of this production. Included in these renderings was "List of Patents, Tracts, and Grants of Land in Herkimer County." These very informative charts appear elsewhere on this site.

The first settlements were made upon the river intervales above Little Falls, about 1722, by a colony of Palatinates. Accessions were made to their number from time to time, and up to the close of the Revolution they constituted almost the sole inhabitants of the co. During the French War of 1756, this colony was twice invaded, and numbers of the people were killed or carried away prisoners. (See accounts in Towns Portion). During the Revolution also it was repeatedly invaded: the buildings and crops were destroyed; and at last the inhabitants were obliged to abandon their homes and seek protection in the lower part of the valley. The German Flats were invaded by a body of 300 tories and 152 Indians, under Brant, in Sept. 1778. This party burned 63 dwellings, 57 barns, 3 gristmills, 2 sawmills, and killed or took off 235 horses, 229 horned cattle, 269 sheep, and 93 oxen. Only 2 persons lost their lives; and the forts were not attacked. A party of militia pursued them on their retreat, but without effecting anything. Andrustown, in Warren, was burned in July of the same year. A stockade fort was built at the German Flats, and another at Danube, a short time previous to the commencement of the French War. In 1776 another fort was built at Herkimer, N. of the Mohawk; and strong blockhouses were erected in several other parts of the co. (Fort Herkimer was built in the French War, and Fort Dayton just before the Revolution. The former stood around the present stone church and other buildings in German Flats, and the latter a few rods from the site of the present courthouse, in Herkimer Village. At the time of the Revolution there were but about 70 dwellings near these forts, but there was a large population for the number of dwelling in the country around.)

This co. shared in the loss of men at the battle of Oriskany. Gen. Arnold came as far as German Flats in the summer of 1777, on the way to relieve Fort Schuyler; and from this place was sent the tory Han Yost Schuyler, to spread alarm among the savages in St. LegerÕs camp and hasten the abandonment of the siege.

After the war settlements rapidly spread, and within 15 years over 10,000 persons from New England and the eastern cos. of the State located in the central and S. portions of the co. From that time its progress has been gradual and continually prosperous.


COLUMBIA (1) -- was formed from Warren, June 8, 1812. It lies on the S. border of the co., W. of the center. Its surface is rolling and moderately hilly, with an average elevation of 500 to 600 ft. above the Mohawk. The streams are small brooks, a portion of them flowing N. to the Mohawk and the remainder flowing S. to the Unadilla. The soil is a clayey loam and generally fertile. Columbia Center (Columbia p.o.) contains 98 inhabitants; Cedarville, (p.v.,) on the line of Litchfield, 2 churches, a tannery, and 145 inhabitants. South Columbia, in the S.E. part, is a p.o. The first settlement was commenced before the Revolution, by families from the Mohawk; (2) but their improvements were abandoned during the war. The first religious services (Ref. Prot. D.) were held at an early period. Abram Rosegrantz was the first preacher. (3)

1 This town embraces Staley's Second Tract, --except 1-1/2 tiers of lots on the W. --a small triangular piece from the N. W. corner of Henderson's Patent, and all of the patent to Coenradt Frank and others, except 7 lots on the S.
2 Among the early settlers were Conrad Orendorf, Conrad Frank, Conrad Fulmer, Frederick Christian, Timothy Frank, Nicholas Lighthall, Joseph Moyer, and Henry Frank. The settlement was named "Coonrodstom" at an early day. -- Bentons Herkimer, p. 390.
Philip Ausman taught the first school, (German) in 1795, and Joel Phelps an English school, in 1796. The first store was kept by David W. Golden and Benj. Mix, in 1796. The first gristmill was built in 1791-92, by Andrew Miller and Geo. Bell, at Millers Mills.
3 There are 2 churches in town; Ref. Prot. D. and F. W. Bap.

DANUBE (1) -- was formed from Minden, (Montgomery co.,) April 7, 1817. Stark was taken off in 1828. It lies on the E. border of the co., S. of the center. Its surface is hilly in the center, rising 400 to 800 ft. above the Mohawk, and is broken by ravines on each side of the valley of the creek. Fine flats extend along the Mohawk on the N. border. The principal stream is Nowadaga (2) Creek, which flows N. E. through the town near the center. The soil is gravelly in the N. and a sandy loam in the S. In the N. part are two sulphur springs. Newville (p.v.) contains 1 church and 20 houses, and Indian Castle (3) (Danube p.o., a hamlet) 1 church. Settlements are supposed to have commenced as early as 1730; but no records have been preserved. During the Revolution the settlements were broken up, and did not commence again until about 1780. (4) The first patents are dated 1730-31. (5) A mission church was established here by Sir William Johnson in 1768. This church had a bell, which the Indians attempted to carry off in the war, and for that purpose secreted it. Search was made in vain. After sufficient time had elapsed the thieves, on returning by night to bear away the coveted treasure, had their presence and business betrayed by the unruly member which they neglected to muffle. As it was borne along on a pole, its ringing brought the Germans to its rescue with such weapons as they in their haste could snatch, and the bell was recovered. The present church occupying the site of the old Mission Church is known as the "Indian Castle Church." There are 2 union churches in town. This town was the residence of King Hendrick (6) and Joseph Brant, (7) the celebrated Mohawk chiefs, and of Gen. Nicholas Herkimer. (8) King Hendrick sustained a high character for sagacity and integrity, was warmly attached to the English, and especially to Sir Wm. Johnson, whom he accompanied to Lake George in the summer of 1755, where he was killed. He was recognized as a chief as early as 1697.

1 Named from the river Danube.
2 Called by the Indians In-cha-na-do.
3 Named from the upper Indian castle, or fort, built in 1710 on the flat just below the mouth of Nowadaga Creek. It was built as one of the chain of defenses that guarded the approach to Canada, and was armed with small cannon. The Indians lived in clusters of huts around it.
4 An inn was kept by Cornelius C. Van Alstyne, in 1795, and a store by Peter Smith, at the same time. Andrew Nellis built the first gristmill, near the mouth of Nowadaga, in 1800.
5 Small portions of Fall Hill, Vaughan's, and L'Hommedieu's Patents, the whole of Lindsay's, and parts of J. Vrooman's, C. Colden's, Van Horne's, and Lansing's Patents are in this town.
6 The dwelling of King Hendrick stood upon the high ground near the site of the present Indian Castle Church. On one occasion he remarked to Sir William Johnson that he had dreamed a dream. On being questioned, he related that the English agent had in his slumber appeared to present him a suit of new clothes. Johnson fulfilled the dream, and not long after had in turn a dream to relate to the chief, in which he thought the latter had presented to him a large tract of land. The Indian was caught in his own trap. He, however, gave the necessary title, but hinted, as he conveyed the lands described, that they would have no more dreaming. The tract was afterward known as the Royal Grant.
7 Brant lived in the same place that had been occupied by Hendrick. Fort Hendrick stood on land now owned by Abram Owens, W. of the Nowadaga, on a small eminence overlooking the flat. The fort was built in the French War.
8 General Herkimer's house is still standing, 3 mi. below Little Falls, S. of the canal. It is of imported brick, and was built in 1763, at a cost of $7,500 to $8,000. Some of the rooms were finished in panel work and were plastered on the brick walls; and in its day the house was surpassed by none in the section. It is now owned by Daniel Conner. Efforts were made to burn it in the Revolution by throwing combustibles upon the roof; but further attempts of this kind were prevented by covering it with a layer of clay. Gen. Herkimer's grave is 25 rods S. E. from the house, on a knoll, and is marked by a plain white tombstone inscribed as follows: --

Aug. 17, 1777

Ten days after the battle of Oriskany, in which engagement he received wounds which caused his death."

Attempts have been repeatedly made to obtain the means to erect a suitable monument; but, notwithstanding the resolution of Congress on the 4th of October 1777, "that the Governor and Council of New York be desired to erect a monument, at Continental expense, of the value of $500, to the memory of the late Brigadier Herkimer, who commanded the militia of Tryon co., in the State of N. Y., and who was killed fighting gallantly in defense of the liberty of these States," this order has been neglected, and the citizen chief lies forgotten by the country for whose cause he gave his life. He was chairman of the Tryon co. committee of safety. At the time of his death he was about 50 years of age.

FAIRFIELD (1) -- was formed from Norway, Feb. 19, 1796. A part of Newport was taken off in 1806, and a part of Little Falls in 1829. It lies in the interior of the co. near the center. Its surface is a hilly upland, the center rising into a ridge 800 to 1,000 ft. above West Canada Creek. (2) The streams are small. West Canada Creek flows S. on the W. border. The soil on the uplands is mostly clay, and in the valleys it is gravelly, with local drift deposits of sand. Several fine quarries of limestone are found in different parts. (3) Fairfield, (p.v.,) near the center, contains 3 churches, an academy, (4) a cheese box factory, and 60 houses; Middleville, (p.v.,) on the line of Newport, 1 church, a woolen factory, tannery, (5) chair factory, grist and saw mill. Pop. 295. Settlements were first made in 1770, by 3 German families named Maltanner, Goodbrodt, and Shaffer, who located upon the Royal Grant. (6) The first preacher was Rev. ____ Fields, (Presb.,) in 1791. (7)

1 This town included nearly all of the Glen Purchase and the first allotment of the Royal Grant.
2 The S. W. corner of the old college building is l,276.8 ft. above the tidewater at Troy. The chapel threshold is 727 feet above low water at W. Canada Creek at Middleville, and Barts Hill is 1,177 feet above the same.
3 Near Middleville are found beautiful crystals of quartz. Most of them are perfectly transparent; and sometimes they inclose a few drops of water or small pieces of anthracite coal.
4 Fairfield Academy was established in 1803. A medical department, incorp. as the College of Physicians and Surgeons, was founded in 1809, and continued until 1840. A conditional college charter was granted to the academy in 1812, under the name of "Clinton College," but the conditions were not complied with.
5 This establishment manufactures $40,000 worth of calfskins and upper leather annually.
6 These settlers, though Royalists, were attacked by the Indians in 1779. Two members of the families were killed, and others were carried into captivity. Families named Keller, Windecker, and Pickert settled near the Manheim line, and others settled on the Glen Purchase, before the war. Cornelius Chatfield settled in March, and Abijah Mann in May, 1785. Josiah, David, and Lester Johnson, John Rucklin, Benj. Bowen, John Eaton, NathÕl and Wm. Brown, Sam'l Low, David Benseley, Elisha Wyman, Comfort Eaton, Jeremiah Ballard, Wm. Bucklin, __ Arnold, Daniel Venner, Nathan Smith, Nahum Daniels, Amos and Jas. Halle. __ Neely, and Peter and Bela Ward, all from New England, settled soon after. The first store was kept by Smith & Daniels, in 1792-93. The first gristmill was built by __ Empie, and the first sawmill by Samuel & Paul Green. A school was taught in 1795, by Wm. D. Gray; but others had been previously taught in the S. part of the town.
7 There are now 6 churches in town; 2 M. E., Bap., Prot. E., Presb., and Cong.

FRANKFORT (1) -- was formed from German Flats, Feb. 5, 1796. It was divided in the formation of Oneida co. in 1798, and a part annexed to Deerfield. It lies on the W. border of the co., S. of the Mohawk. Its surface is a broad intervale, rising into hills of moderate elevation on the S. W. border, the highest points being about 500 ft. above the river. The Mohawk flows S. E. on the N. border. The streams are small brooks and creeks. The soil on the uplands is a clayey and slaty loam, and on the flats an alluvial loam. Limestone ledges are found in the S. W. The most important of these is called Horsebone Ledge. The stone is whitish and makes excellent lime. Slate and calciferous sandstone are also found in some places. Frankfort, (p.v.,) in the N. E., near the Mohawk, contains 4 churches, 1 bank, a grist and saw mill, woolen factory, and distillery. Pop. 1,150. New Graefenberg (p.o.) is the seat of a water cure, 4-1/2 mi. from Utica. Howards Bush (Frankfort Hill p.o.) is W. of the center. Jacob Fults made the first settlement, on Lot 3, Burnetsfield Patent, before the Revolution. (2) The census reports 7 churches in town. (3)

1 Named from Lawrence Frank, an early settler. A large part of Cosby's Manor, 1-1/2 tiers of great lots of Bayard's Patent; 4 lots in Burnetsfield Patent, 1/2 of 1 lot in Frank's, 4-1/2 lots in Staley's, and a part of Colden's Patents, are in this town. -- Benton's Herkimer, p. 400.
2 Among the other early settlers were Conrad Folts, Andrew Piper, David Dederick, Aaron James. __ Morgan, Evan Evans, Joseph Harris, John Morris, John Myers, and Adam Weber. Several Welsh families settled about 1800. The first inn was kept by John Myers, in 1795; the first sawmill was built by John Hollister, in 1794; and the first gristmill by Adam J. Campbell, in 1808.
3 M. E., Bap., Ref. Prot. D., and Univ.

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Last Updated: 6/30/98
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