Delivered before the Herkimer County Historical Society, May 13, 1905.

Steuben, Frederick, William, Augustus, Baron General of the American Revolutionary army. November 15, 1730-November 28. 1794, born in Magdeburg, Prussia. He was educated at the Jesuit's colleges of Niesse and Breslau; and at the age of 14 served as a volunteer, under his father at the siege of Prague.

In 1747, he was appointed a cadet of infantry, and in 1758 had risen to Adjutant General. He was wounded in the battle of Kunersborf, in 1761 was conducted a prisoner of war to St. Petersburg, but was soon released.

In 1762, he was appointed Adjutant General on the staff of the Prussian King, (Frederick the Great) effected important reforms in the Quarter-masters department and superintended an academy of young officers, selected for special military instructions.

At the close of the seven year's war, he traveled in Europe, and was appointed Grand Marshall and General of the guard of the Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen. Visiting Paris in 1777, where the American colonies in rebellion were favored by the government, he was invited by the Count St. Germain, Minister of war, to go to America.

He arrived at Portsmouth, Virginia, December first 1777. (Jones annals of Oneida county says, Portsmouth, New Hampshire) and offered his services to General Washington, which were joyfully accepted, and he joined the army then in the most deplorable condition, at Valley Forge. He was appointed Inspector General, prepared a manual of tactics for the army, remodeled its organization, and improved its discipline. He was one of the officers who composed the court martial at the trial of Major Andre. In the campaign of 1780, he had a command in Virginia, and was on the staff of General LaFayette at the seige of Yorktown. Generous and noble in character as he was capable as an officer, he spent his whole fortune in clothing his men, and gave his last dollar to his soldiers.

Congress made tardy reparation, and in 1790, voted him an annuity of $2500, and a township of land in New York, both of which he divided with his fellow officers. He died on his estate near Utica, N. Y. (Alden's manifold Cyclopedia, now published by Ganeston, Cox and Co. as the Columbian). The new Americanized Cyclopedia Britanica says that Congress granted him land in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. (Some quotations follow from Frost's American Generals).

"At the commencement of the war between Great Britain and her colonies, Steuben was in condition of gentlemanly affluence, and he was regarded by the Prussian government as one of their most able officers".

"In 1777, Steuben at forty seven years of age, on his way to England stopped at Paris to have an interview with the Count St. Germain, the French Minister of war, and one of his intimate friends."

"It was well known that France was then, secretly, aiding the Americans, both by advice and military stores. At the meeting, St. Germain represented the ultimate prospects of the colonist as flatering; that France and probably Spain, would eventually aid them, but their army needed disciplinarians, which want the Baron could well supply. These proposals were seconded by the Spanish consul and two French noblemen, but the Baron refused to give a decisive answer until an interview could be had with the American envoys. The latter were unable to give the assurance required, and after abandoning his intention of visiting England, Steuben soon after returned to Germany. On his arrival at Rastadt, he found letters from the Count, informing him that a vessel was about sailing for America, in which he could immediately embark, with a prospect of having every difficulty adjusted."

"Having received from Dr. Franklin letters of recommendation to General Washington, and the president of congress, he embarked on the 26th of September, 1777, under an assumed name, and after a rough voyage, landing in Portsmouth, N. H. December 1.

"His first care was to address his recommendation to General Washington, at the same time requesting admission into the service. The close of his letter is worthy of preservation thus: 'I could say moreover, were it not for fear of offending your modesty, that your excellency is the only person under whom, after serving under the King of Prussia. I could wish to pursue an art to which I have wholly given up myself'.

Washington referred him to congress, as the only body empowered to accept his services; and accordingly in February he laid his papers before that body. A committee of five was appointed to wait upon him.

In his interview with them, the Baron stated what he had left to engage in the American service, offered them his service, without any other remuneration than the amount of his expenses; but, that while he expected no reward, should the final result be unsuccessful, yet in case of the Americans gaining their independence, he would expect an indemnity for the offices he had resigned in Europe, and a reward proportionate to his services. Congress returned him thanks for this disinterested offer, and requested him to join the army.

The American main body was at that time wintering near Valley Forge. The suffering endured by the troops, their privations and diseases during that terrible winter, were long remembered as forming the darkest page of our revolutionary history. At the sight of them, the astonishment of one who had been accustomed to the well provided armies of Europe, may be conceived; and Steuben declared that under such circumstances no foreign army could be kept together a single month.

He was appointed inspector-general and intrusted (sic) with the difficult task of forming from such material, an army disciplined after the European system. Disheartening as were these prospects, and heightened too, by Steuben's ignorance of the English language, he entered upon his duties with ardor. An interpreter was found and the great work of giving efficiency to the army of Washington commenced. This was something new to the sufferers of Valley Forge, and the strictness of the old soldier together with his perfect familiarity with the most difficult military movements, astonished even the Commander himself.

The great services rendered by the Baron, as exhibited in the rapid improvement of the army, did not escape the notice of either Washington or congress; and at the recommendation of the former he was appointed permanent inspector general, with the rank of major-general.

By his great exertions he made this office respectable, establishing frugality and economy among the soldiers.

In discipline, both of men and officers, he was entirely impartial, and never omitted an opportunity to praise merit, or censure a fault."-Frost's American Generals.

As if by magic, his wise discipline and indefatigable zeal, soon wrought wonders with the undisciplined, but ever heroic Americans, and in an incredibly short time, he evolved a splendid organization in all branches of the service. His services in placing the American army in a splendid condition of military efficiency, were of the utmost value to the American cause, Washington fully recognized his great qualities and incomparable services, and to his dying day regarded him as one of the most worthy and most helpful Generals of the war. He was a military genius, a trained and heroic soldier.

The first manual of tactics for the American army was prepared by the Baron under the title "Regulations for the order and discipline of the troops of the United States", and this became the law and guide of the army, and was the basis of military regulations of several of the various states.

A little incident illustrates the widespread knowledge and popularity of Steuben's tactics. Captain Brandt (he was known as Captain in the British army) with a strong force of Tories and Indians, on the 2nd day of March 1781, was prowling about Fort Stanwix. He succeeded in capturing 15 men and a corporal named Betts, and then made his way for Niagara. (That was their rendezvous, and winter headquarters). Before arriving there an incident occurred illustrative of the caprice of the savage chieftan. Brandt ordered Corporal Betts to exercise his men and see if they understood the tactics of Baron Steuben. Betts either doubting the ability of his men to do justice to the Baron's system, or feeling disinclined to such an exhibition in his unpleasant surroundings and disheartening condition, wished to avoid the performance, but Brandt peremptorily commanded obedience. Betts drew out his men, dressed them in line, and then went through the manual exercise, a la Steuben, much to the satisfaction of Brandt. Some of the Tories, however, were disposed to ridicule the manner in which the Yankee had done the thing, but Brandt put a stop to their fun by a terrible frown, saying at the same time, that "The Yankee went through it a slight better than they could, and that he liked to see the thing done well, although it was done by an enemy".

"Steuben saw active service in New Jersey, notably at Monmouth, and also in Virginia. He joined LaFayette there in June. On the 16th of July the Marquis LaFayette met Cornwallis near Jamestown, and a slight engagement took place, in which the Americans behaved remarkably well, notwithstanding the great inferiority of numbers.

"The enemy gained some advantage but did not pursue it; and soon after the Earl Cornwallis marched to Yorktown, which he began to fortify.

"On the 28th of September, the main allied army of French and Americans under Rochambeau and Washington, aided by the fleet of De Grasse, sat down before the place. The seige (sic) lasted until the 18th of October, during which time Steuben bore his full share of toil and danger. His exact scientific knowledge rendered him extremely useful. Washington assigned him a command in the line. His services are honorably noticed by that great man, in the general orders subsequent to the capitulation.

"After this happy affair the Baron returned with the main army to the middle states, where he remained until the treaty of peace.

"On the day that Washington resigned his office as commander-in-chief, he wrote the Baron a noble and affectionate letter, the last clause of which is. "This is the last letter which I shall write while I continue in the service of my country. The hour of my resignation is fixed at twelve today, after which I shall become a private citizen on the banks of the Potomac, where I shall be glad to embrace you, and testify the great esteem and consideration with which I am, my dear Baron &c."

"The neglect with which many of the brave men who had bled in our cause were treated by congress, will ever remain a stigma to that body. Among them was Steuben; for seven years he made ineffectual efforts to obtain a notice of his claims, but in vain. He had left affluence and baronial dignity among the monarchs of Europe to waste his life in our struggle, and now when the great object had been reached, he was poor, homeless and unprovided (sic) for.

"At last through the strenuous efforts of Washington and Hamilton, congress was induced to acknowledge his claims.

"In 1790 they granted him an annual sum of twenty-five hundred dollars. Other grants, principally of land had been made by Virginia and New Jersey, and on the 5th day of May 1786 the New York assembly voted him sixteen hundred acres. Determined not to revisit Europe he built a log house upon this land, rented some portion to tenants and with a few domestics, lived there until his death, excepting an annual visit to New York in the winter.

"He spent his time in reading, gardening and in cheerful conversation with his faithful friends, Walker and North, who remained with him until death. Occasionally he amused himself by playing chess and hunting.

"On the 25th day of November 1794, he was struck by paralysis, and the 28th his long and active life closed. He died in full belief of the truth of christianity (sic) which for some time had been his consolation and support.

"His body was buried in his military cloak, to which was attached the star of knighthood, always worn during life. His servants and a few neighbors buried him. His grave was in a deep forest, which being afterward crossed by a road occasioned a reinterment (sic) on a spot about a quarter of a mile north of his home. Walker performed this duty and afterward placed an iron railing around the grave.

"A stone, with the inscription, "Major General Frederick William Augustus, Baron DeSteuben" marks the hero's resting place.

A tablet in memory of him was placed in the Lutheran Church, Nassau Street, New York, where he always attended when in that city. This was done by Col. North.

"By his will the Baron left his library and one thousand dollars to a young man of literary habits, named Mulligan, whom he had adopted, and nearly all his property to Walker and North."

The above from Frost's American Generals was copied from a book published in 1851.

Baron Steuben previous to his death had selected a spot for his burial. His wish was carried out. His Aid-de-camp, adopted son and executor, Col. Walker had the remains re-interred where they now repose, and deeded or leased (both statements have been made) fifty acres of land to the First Baptist society of Steuben, on condition that five acres including the grave of the Baron should be kept fenced and in a state of nature, in deep forest.

In 1824 a plain monument was erected over the grave, which was replaced in 1870-71 by the imposing one which now marks the resting place of the patriot.

Steuben was a bachelor, and it has been said that there was no female service rendered in his log house in the woods. It had been his purpose to erect a large mansion on his possessions, but death prevented the consummation of his plans.

The 16,000 acre patent constitutes a lare (sic) part of what is now the town of Steuben, and I think extends somewhat into Remsen.

The first person to take up a permanent residence on the patent was Samuel Sizer, who came about 1789, to take charge of the improvements contemplated by the Baron. As the Baron had opportunity he leased his land tract of 100 acres at $10 to $20 per year. At the time of his death he had about twenty families living on the patent.

On the fourth of July 1790 he gave a dinner to all the people on his lands and neighboring settlers. It is recorded that whenever he found a worthy soldier he would present him a farm of forty to one hundred acres.

The town of Steuben was first organized by an act of the legislature passed April 10, 1792. The amount of territory included with-in its bounds would be considered formidable at the present day.

Steuben was all that part of Whitestown (then in Herkimer County) beginning at the mouth of the Nine Mile Creek, running thence north-easterly to the northeast corner of Holland Patent; thence northerly along the east bounds of Steuben's Patent to the northeast corner thereof; thence due north to the north bounds of the state, and also from the place of beginning due west to the line of the Oneida Reservation; thence northwest along said line to fish creek; thence due north to the north bounds of the state.

The first town meeting was held on the first Tuesday of April 1793, at the house or (sic) Seth Ranney near fort Stanwix (now Rome). Roswell Fellows was chosen Supervisor and Jedediah Phelps town clerk.

The late Hon. D. E. Wager of Rome, in his history of Oneida county, stated that this grant of land to Baron Steuben was from the state in 1786 for 16,000 acres, which corresponds exactly with the statement before mentioned from Frost's American Generals. Of course, some one is in error, either the Cyclopedia or historians. I suppose our state records will verify the above as to the state grant.

Not long after receiving the grant, the Baron cut a road through the forest all the way from Herkimer, over twenty miles directly to his land. The remarkable feat of the Baron in opening the road at that time and under such circumstances might be considered formidable and its chief historic interest. It was then in Montgomery County. The grant was two years before the reorganization of the towns of Herkimer, German Flatts and Whitestown, and five years before the organization of Herkimer county. There were no roads of importance anywhere abouts. It was seven years or more to the opening of a road from Little Falls, west on the north side of the Mohawk river.

The Steuben road on the line the Baron cut through, is now open and much traveled nearly the whole way. Some portion is closed, notably a section of about three miles long on the highest range of Hassenclever, in the town of Newport. It is very direct and with that closed portion open. would be a short and only direct carriage road from Steuben and old Trenton (now Barneveld) to Herkimer.

According to a statement of the Rev. Caleb Alexander, the father of Fairfield Academy, Herkimer about that time, 1791-92 contained two dutch (sic) houses only. Old fort Schuyler (now Utica) had very little more. Previous to 1793, there was no wagon road for general travel on the north side of the Mohawk east of Herkimer. There were no bridges over the two creeks, east and west Canada; the travel to and from Albany was on the south side, passing over Fall hill to the south of Little Falls.

In 1793 there was an appropriation for two bridges, one over East Canada on the road from Tribes Hill to Little Falls, the other over the West Canada on the road from Little Falls to fort Stanwix, Herkimer and old fort Schuyler (Utica) were not mentioned.

Herkimer got its name through an ignorant blunder in 1788. It had been German Flatts for fifty years or more, through two wars and it was not intended that it should be changed. The two towns of German Flatts and Herkimer were being organized in the legislature, and the question asked which side of the Mohawk river is German Flatts, on the right bank or the left bank? The answer was the right bank, and the record was thus made, Herkimer was recorded on the left bank, north side. It was in Montgomery county three years, until Herkimer County was organized in 1791.

There seemed to be a tradition that Steuben road did not start out of Herkimer, as the so called road now does, but that it started west of the village, near a little creek that crosses the road (Old Mohawk turnpike, German street) near the old cheese factory, and east of the late homestead of George W. Pine. That creek comes a long way down through the pasture of the late Col. F. P. Bellinger. The late Hon. Robert Earl, about 1898 said that his grandfather, Dr. William Petrie, had a house, barn, and grist mill, up that creek about half a mile, burned by Brandt's marauders in 1778, at the same time that German Flatts was destroyed, and that the foundations were then visible. About 1870, my children found old timbers in the creek up there supposed to be mill timbers. Timber does not rot in water. It seems very natural to conclude that a road went there in early days. It is a very easy way to go into the road as it is now about a mile from German Flatts.

Since writing the above I have received additional traditional testimony as to the road going up through by Dr. William Petrie's place. The evidence is all that way, I have received no other. In six years 1868-1874, I lived in col. Bellinger's house adjoining that pasture. I now recall an old track up through there. Then I had not thought of Baron Steuben's road. In 1872 went that way across to Aaron Harter's.

Having examined the Government Typographical map of the Geological Survey, will take for a starting point, the corner of Court and Washington streets near the site of old Fort Dayton, the highest altitude in the village of Heerkimer (sic), the figures on the map are 406 feet. Thence for about three miles up the hill the general course is north-westerly. Passing two roads that run westerly into Schuyler and continuing on north a mile and a half farther, we come to a third road on the town line, leading also into Schuyler. The altitude at this point is 1,257. A quarter of a mile north is the Elliston place at four corners, a road crossing from Osborne Hill. This Elliston place has been a large farm, an old one, in the family about a century. A tavern has been kept there, and it is now in possession of H. Duane, a son of Jacob and grandson of Henry Ellison. The place has been of some note, it is about five miles straight as a pigeon flies from starting point. Below, south, from the Ellison corner half a mile, William (Bill) Watson, something of a sportsman and lover of good horses did live, and here, the road being even and somewhat level, there was a race track in the road. North from the Ellison corner about a half mile the alitiude is 1,420 feet, and a little beyond that a road at the left runs to Minott Corners, a mile and a half distant. Continuing on north we come to the State road crossing; over this road has been the route by way of the County House, through Schuyler, from Middleville to Utica. At this corner was the Houghton homestead for many year from 1835. They commenced in a log house and later built a substantial frame one. They raised a family of fifteen children. About 1850 it was known as the Widow Houghton's Continuing on north we come to Bennett Morris' on high ground, sun from all directions. A little further on, the road turns westerly across a small corner of the town of Schuyler and then we come to a road that comes up over the hill from the West Canada creek at the old bridge place, a mile above Middleville, near the late residence of Nicholas, and later his son Alonzo G. Smith. This crossing in the corner of Schuyler is some eight miles or more as the road runs from Herkimer, and the ascent is considerable steady climbing all the way.

A noticeable feature in the ascent of the road from Herkimer through the town to this crossing in the corner of Schuyler, is that it seems to be on a ridge; that the streams flow either and both ways from it to the valleys below, and where any cross the road they were mere rivulets that were easily fixed with corduroy, and did not need bridging.

To me that old bridge place and the road from it over the hill into Schuyler, is of historic interest. It was perhaps the first bridge on the creek, certainly it was the first above Herkimer. It was there early in 1790, and was the crossing from the Royal Grant over the hills south about the same time that Steuben opened his road.

There was nothing at Middleville then, Sheffield Kenyon, father of the late V. S. Kenyon, merchant, bought the land for the place in 1806. The town of Newport was organized in 1806, and the description in the town boundary makes this bridge a landmark; thus, on the east line next Fairfield running south "to the bank of the west Canada creek, by the bridge, near the house of Obediah Kniffin,'" He lived in Newport on the south side of the creek. In my recollection in 1835, there were two Kniffins, besides the one mentioned the other was John, also near the bridge in Fairfield, the house only a very few rods east of the late residence of the Smiths before mentioned. At seven years of age, in 1836, I was living at my grandfather Johnson's at the corner of the road over the hill north, now Dexter's. The bridge place and Obediah Kniffins on the south side in Newport was in plain site from grandfathers. It was then my father told me how the bridge was carried away by the ice in a flood and none built to replace it. Middletown got its name in 1808 and a bridge in 1810, and the inference is that the first bridge above mentioned was in place at that time.

Smith built his new house about 1840 or 42. The old John Kniffin house was there until 1857; Aunt Polly Smith, Alonzo's mother did the cheese making there. A few years later Walter P. Griswold built a new house on the Obediah Kniffin place, that later has been Myrick Jones'. It is a little up from Jones' crossing on the railroad. My wife's father, George Buell of Fairfield, told me of crossing there in 1790 and 98, and going up by the Bullard schoolhouse and Marvin's over the hill as before mentioned into Schuyler and on through Deerfield to the county seat. Where? Not old fort Schuyler (Utica) but Whitestown. It was the county seat of Herkimer County from its organization in 1791 to 1798, when Oneida County was organized and the county seat was changed to Herkimer. The old record books for those seven years I have seen in the Oneida County clerk's office in Utica, where they are kept. The travel from the Royal Grant to the county seat at Whitestown was over that bridge and road mentioned.

In 1800 the Mohawk turnpike was chartered and then the boom began in Herkimer. German Flatts had been destroyed, wiped out twice by war, by the French in 1757 and by Brandt with his Indians and Tories in 1778, twenty-one years later.

The Rev. Caleb Alexander, before mentioned was in Herkimer in 1801. On the 23rd of November he wrote in his diary: "On the flats in the town of Herkimer is a handsome street, a meeting house, a court house, a jail, a printing office, merchant stores, about thirty elegant dwellings and several machine shops. Tuesday 24th took the stage at Herkimer and passed through the German Flatts and Minden to Canajoharie twenty-six miles distant."

Resuming our task of tracing the old Steuben road, we commence again at the road crossing before mentioned in the northeast corner of the town of Schuyler and proceed immediately across the town line into Newport and over the high range of Hessenclever, at an altitude of 1600 feet, and along down the north side in a northwesterly course to Martin Corners, about four and one half miles father down to an altitude of less than 1,100 feet. It is five miles straight from the corner of Herkimer. In this distance is the closed section and there are two roads crossing it. The crossing at Martin Corners is on the direct road from Newport to Utica, over Honey Hill, Bell Hill and Smith Hill.

John Richards, a wealthy farmer in the town of Newport, lived on the old Steuben road a mile or so east of Martin Corners, and near the western end of the closed portion. Richards raised a large family there; two sons, Sidney and LaFayette, now live on the old Mohawk turnpike a little west of the Frankfort station on the New York Central railroad. They together agreed that the old track grade along down the side hill is very plain and direct, and that the closed portion through the breadth of four or five farms, is at least two and one half miles. The map appears to be abundant evidence of this. Some have in winter drawn wood on the old track grade.

About 1860 some people foolishly got an idea that the Baron had buried treasures on that hill, and went in the night and dug holes to find it on Lovett farm not very far from the line of Schuyler. They didn't know his character and habits. Three holes were dug about two feet deep and several feet wide down to hard clay, and then the job was given up for a bad one. Charles H. Buell of Frankfort, whom I have known over fifty years, was then living about a mile away, and went and saw the holes.

What about the Hessenclever (sic), who gave it that name? I did not know until I got to be an old man, although born and grown up since for many years have been right in sight of it.

It is seen not only from the West Canada Creek valley at Newport village and below, but all over the highlands of Norway and Fairfield and particularly along the state road through both.

Soon after the French war, about 1764, Peter Hassenclever (sic), a German of great intelligence, enterprise and more enthusiasm than good judgement came to this country in the interests of a London company of which he was a member, to engage in the production of pig iron, hemp and pot and pearl ashes, and he imported a large number of Germans with their families to work for him as miners, carpenters and others. By the end of the year 1776, he had in operation in New Jersey and on the Hudson River, furnaces and forges and in the present town of Schuyler, this county, a pot and pearl ash manufactory. He had obtained about 6000 acres of Crosby's Manor and at about the present site of East Schuyler he built two frame houses, and thirty-five log houses, which he called New Petersburg. He began the cultivation of flax, hemp, madder and the production of pot and pearl ashes.

In 1769, he with his associates obtained the patent to the tract of 18,000 acres known as the Hassenclever patent, which lies partly in the towns of Herkimer, Schuyler and Newport, running out northerly over the range into the valley of the West Canada. The conditions were unfavorable and through various misfortunes and misadventures, all his enterprises in this country came to grief and he became bankrupt. He returned to Germany and died in 1792 much lamented.

The large house of the Widow Martin, at Martin's Corners looked old when I first saw it, about 1840. It was built in 1806, after 1840 it was repaired and looked new for awhile, but old again in 1860. I last saw it in 1875, I suppose it is still there.

I was born in a log house on Honey Hill, Newport, about two miles northeasterly of Martin corners. Continuing on from these corners with the Steuben road in the same northwesterly direction, a half a mile or so on a much traveled road, we cross the town line into Deerfield and continue the same northwesterly course through the town to the old Miller place five miles from Martin Corners in the town of Trenton, at a junction of a road from Newport through North Gage, that Miller place may have been known as Kniffin place after 1840. Russell (Russ) a son of John Kniffin in Fairfield, at the old bridge place above mentioned, married a daughter of old Mr. Miller and went there to live. In coming through Deerfield, we have crossed two important roads, the well known Walker road, and south of North Gage what was for some time after 1850 known as the Russia plank road; here is an offset at right angles for half a mile or so, and it is hereon the Russia plank road, crosses the Nine mile creek, normaly (sic) a small stream easily crossed with a little corduroy. It might be called at this crossing simply a brook but is the only considerable one on the whole route. It is possible that at this crossing and offset, which is half a mile or more at right angles, the road may have been changed for a short distance. The main line however is very direct.

The Baron had no important bridges to build. Five eighths of a mile from the junction, and what we will call the Kniffin place, is a junction in Toad Hollow with a road from Russia over Comstock bridge on the West Canada, less than a mile and a half away east. In Toad Hollow, Henry Miller, a brother of Mrs. Kniffin, made a fine home; he set out willow trees, they grew vigorously and it became Willow Grove, and later nearby was the Willow Grove cheese factory. Miller was an old man when I saw him in 1857.

Less than a half mile north from this road junction is the Steuben creek which comes straight from Steuben valley, through old Trenton village to near here where it makes a right angle turn and enters the West Canada, which is a short curve less than a mile away east. Near the cheese factory is a fine brook crossing the road. From this point on through I surmise that the road as opened by the Baron went direct and straight to his land, along and not very far away from the Steuben creek and that from Toad Hollow to Trenton it may have been closed, nearly or quite all the way. It seems a natural conclusion, this Russia to Rome road, through Holland Patent and Floyd, crosses the Black river turnpike at the old "Dave" Wooster place, later Joy's Hotel, and the travel from Toad Hollow to Trenton is that way by the Black River turnpike. After these roads were laid so many were not necessary, and this section of the Steuben road closed. From old Trenton village there is a road directly up the Steuben valley.

In the New York Tribune about January 18, 1905, was the following; "Washington, Jan. 17-A call has been issued for the Von Steuben and McClellan statue commissions to meet in Secretary Taft's office on Feb. 6th. This will be the first meeting of either commission within a year. It has been decided that the Von Steuben statue, for which congress appropriated $50,000, shall be placed in LaFayette square; two available corners now remain there. The German officer who fought with the American army will probably occupy one of these places, while on the other facing Senator Depew's house, the statue of Pulaski, for which an appropriation of $50,000 was also made, will eventually stand".

In 1899, Col. Albert D. Shaw, of Watertown paid a visit to the grave of Baron Steuben in Oneida county, and wrote an article for the Watertown Times in which he said: "I had the pleasure yesterday of visiting the site of the log house on the heights back of the village of Remsen, where Baron Steuben lived in summer for many years, and in which he died, and not far from which he was buried. There is no trace left of the humble abode of the famous general, but a painted notice is fixed to a post on the spot where the house stood. Col. Walker who was the Baron's chief legatee, gave a Welsh Baptist society in the immediate vicinity, a lease of 50 acres of land, including the five acres of the burial plot, in consideration that the five acres be kept substantially fenced forever, and no cattle or other animals suffered to go within its bounds, and the title to fall whenever the lessees shall fail in the performance of the stipulations. The time has come when some drastic action should be taken to put this plot in better condition. The Church society holding the lease is merely a society in name. The church building is rapidly going to decay. No service has been held in it for years. The glass in the windows has been broken out, and the whole surroundings and appearances are decidedly unattractive. There is no road leading to the monument from the highway as there should be, and the five acre plot should be put in better condition by removing fallen timber and making it as it can be inexpensively, a lovely place, fit for the purpose for which it is reserved.

The Oneida Historical society should take this matter in hand and secure legislation to avail themselves of the original lease, and so properly look after this precious burying ground of one whose splendid service was given to the nation, in the throes of its birth, so romantic and so important, deserves the fullest appreciation in every possible way, of the part of succeeding generations. His history is linked with two great nations, and his grave should be the easy point for all who can to visit under the best natural attractions, and made beautiful through proper attention."

Under date of May 10th, 1905, the corresponding secretary of the Oneida Historical society informs me that the society has had much to do in matters connected with the Steuben Monument, and not long ago got an appropriation from the legislature which pertained to this monument, and which was expended in that direction.

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. For further information about persons mentioned, please visit or order a search from the Herkimer County Historical Society or check with societies mentioned on the Oneida County NYGenWeb page.

Again thank you to Contributing Editor Linda Jasztal, who worked on this while on vacation. Recently Linda typed up several long assignments - Green Hill Cemetery, Caughnawaga Cemetery, and the History of Fonda Reformed Church. Linda is researching Young(s) in Montgomery, Herkimer, Cayuga and Onondaga Counties.

"I am researching the Young and Harrington Families in Montgomery and Herkimer Counties. My g-g-g-g-grandparents, Elias Young and Charlotte (Harrington) Young were married 2-18-1818, at St. John's Episcopal Church, Johnstown, Montgomery County, N.Y. Elias was born 6-05-1795, Caughnawaga, Fonda, Montgomery County and is the son of Manuel Young and Maria Wager. Sometime before 1850, Elias and Charlotte located in Skaneateles, Onondaga County, N.Y., where their daughter Elizabeth married Lewis Sarr 9-07-1854. Both Charlotte and Elizabeth were born in Herkimer County. Charlotte, who was listed as a widow on the 1875 Owasco, Cayuga County Census, was living with Elizabeth and Lewis Sarr. Lewis remarried before the 1880 Owasco census; there is no further mention of Elizabeth, Charlotte, Elias or any of their other children".

Linda Jasztal

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Created: 5/1/00
Copyright © 2000 Linda Jasztal/ Martha S. Magill
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