THE TOWN OF CANAJOHARIE
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, NY
Our Canajoharie offerings were contributed or prepared
by a handful of volunteers who are regular site visitors. Bonnie Monahan prepared the 1869 profile and two anecdotal articles from "The History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties". Skip Duett contributed the Mapletown Cemetery and Sandi Burns added the 1824 profile to our Montgomery 1824 gazetteer section. Jon Franchino sent in the Revolutionary War pension application of his ggggg-grandfather Leonard Ackler,
and Judy Dolanski created one of her marvelous interpretations of the 1790 census.
As always, short items about your Canajoharie ancestors would be welcome additions to this section. Please contact the coordinator if you have something to share with other researchers.
GAZETTEER AND BUSINESS DIRECTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY FOR 1869-70:
CANAJOHARIE: a long 3-part directory
Boyd's 1872-73 Business Directory of Canajoharie
Fulton/Montgomery Farm Directory 1939
Minor Villages of the Town, and Revolutionary Strongholds: selections from "The History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, N.Y." by F.W. Beers & Co., 1878
Old Postcards of Canajoharie, N.Y.
Canajoharie Village Officers 1829-1929
Canajoharie Historical Pageant Participants, 1929
June 30, 1938 Canajoharie Courier Newspaper
Old Newspaper Photos of Church Street
1874 & 1880 The Radii Newspaper Items
1790 Census of Canajoharie
8/26/10 1825 State Census Index, Town of Canajoharie, Election District 1 - link to another website
8/26/10 1825 State Census Index, Town of Canajoharie, Election District 2 - link to another website
Walraths in the 1865 NY State Census
Walraths in the 1870 US Census
Walraths in the 1892 NY State Census
CANAJOHARIE FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS OF NOTE
Rufus Grider, Artist of the Mohawk Valley
Some Montgomery County Deaths, 1893-1905
Rescued Personal Letters & Documents
Land indenture of Adoni, Chloe and Thankful Hills to Asa Kilbol
1861 Petition of Will of Jacob Walradt
1826 Letter of Administration for Abraham Walradt
Dunlap Family Papers
Mercantile Journal of John Highwill Dunlap 1866 - 1867
1837 Will of George Fox
1890 Will of Phoebe M. Hammond
The Abeling Family of Canajoharie
Marriage Records of the Presbyterian Church at Bowman's Corners, 1825-1833
Marriages of Rev. W.N. Scholl and Rev. F.W. Brauns, 1840-1852
Ames Cemetery Burial Registry
Ames Cemetery Surnames Index
Canajoharie Falls Cemetery
Canajoharie Falls Cemetery Lot Owners Index, 1897-1938
Canajoharie Falls Cemetery Civil War Veterans Headstones
1st Presbyterian Church Cemetery at Buel
6/25/13 Morris Family Burial Ground
Prospect Hill Cemetery, Partial Readings
Some Small Family Cemeteries: Fox Farm Cemetery, Button Farm Cemetery, Robinson Farm
The Revolutionary War Pension Record of Leonard Ackler
The Revolutionary War Pension Application of Anna Moyer/Myers
Canajohary: The Archeology of Mohawk River Trade and Transport in the 1790s
Canajoharie-Palatine Chamber of Commerce : 1/9/11 - please take note that this is a new URL for the Chamber and re-set your bookmarks to see this beautiful site!
Zieley Family of America: don't miss the little link
at the bottom of the page to "next page" to read David Zieley's (1824-1913) journal
1847 & 1848 Canajoharie Birth Records
PROFILE AND HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF CANAJOHARIE
from the Gazetteer and Business Directory of Montgomery County, N.Y. 1869-70
CANAJOHARIE was formed as a district, March 24, 1772, and as a town March, 1788. Minden was taken off in 1798, a part of Root in 1823 and a part of Minden in 1849. It was called by the Indians Gana-jo-hi-e, and said to signify "a kettle shaped hole in the rocks," or "The pot that washes itself," and refers to a deep hole worn in the rock at the falls on the creek, about a mile from its mouth. It lies on the south border of the County, west of the center. The surface consists of the flats along the Canajoharie Creek, and the undulating uplands from 200 to 600 feet above the valley. The soil is a gravelly loam, derived from the disintegration of the underlying slate, in some places intermixed with clay. Agriculture is the principal pursuit of the inhabitants, though there is a limited amount of manufacturers.
Canajoharie, (p.v.) incorporated April 30, 1829, is situated in the north part of the town, on the Mohawk River and Erie Canal. A substantial bridge connects it with the village of Palatine Bridge, a station on the N. Y. C. R. R. The village contains six churches, viz: Episcopal, Reformed, Methodist, German Lutheran, English Lutheran and Roman Catholic; a printing office, several mills and manufactories and about 2,000 inhabitants.
Arkell & Smith's Paper and Cotton Flour Sack Manufactory is one of the most important establishments in the village. The business was started in 1860 and gives employment to seventy-five hands. They have two large paper mills in Troy, N. Y., for the manufacture of the manila paper. The works are run by water, which has a fall of nearly forty feet. The sacks are made chiefly by machinery at the rate of 120 per minute on each machine. Three drum cylinder printing presses print in colors at the rate of 40,000 per day. Every sack is counted by machinery as it is printed.
A Flour, Feed and Plaster Mill, 40 by 60 feet, and five stories high, is run by a steam engine of 45 horse power. The capacity of the mill is 100 bushels per day. The sales amount to about 50,000 bushels of corn per year and 1,000 tons of plaster. An elevator, 35 by 50 feet, with a storage capacity of 25,000 bushels, is connected with the mill.
M. L. Smith's Malting House , in the west part of the village, is of brick, 62 by 106 feet, and uses 30,000 bushels of barley per year.
Knox & Yates' Malting House was erected in 1863 on the south bank of the canal. It is built of limestone, 50 by 116 feet, and three stories high. A frame building attached for storage is 52 by 40 feet. About 45,000 bushels of barley are used during the season.
Ames, (p.v.) in the south part of the town, contains two churches, viz:, Methodist and Baptist; an academy, a hotel, a saw mill, a grist mill, several mechanic shops of various kinds and about 200 inhabitants.
The Methodist Church was organized in 1809, with Rev. Benjamin Paddock as the first pastor. The present membership is 94; Rev. Charles T. Moss is the pastor.
The Baptist Church was organized at an early day and their house of worship erected in 1834. Rev. George Elliott was the first pastor. Rev. Mr. Crandall is the present pastor.
Buel, (p.v.) in the south-west part, on Bowman's Creek, contains a Presbyterian church, a wagon shop, a store, a grocery, a blacksmith shop, a large cheese factory and about twenty-five dwellings. The cheese factory is owned by the Buel Cheese Manufacturing Association. The capital invested is $5,000, and the milk of 700 cows is used.
The old homestead of General Keys is still standing in the east part of the village of Ames. It is a one story building, surrounded by trees and shrubbery.
Sprout Brook, (p.o.) in the south-west part of the town, contains a Methodist church, a hotel, a store and about a dozen dwellings.
Vandeusenville is located a short distance south-east of Sprout Brook, and contains a woolen mill, a saw mill and a large cheese factory.
Marshville, (p.o.) near the center, contains about a dozen dwellings.
Mapleton and Waterville, in the south-east part, are hamlets.
The settlement of this town was commenced at a very early day, long before the breaking out of the Revolutionary war. As early as 1764 an Indian school was taught here by Philip Jonathan. During the Revolution the people generally were warm supporters of the cause of the Colonists and were among the greatest sufferers of the Mohawk Valley. At the battle of Oriskany many of the prominent citizens of the place were killed. Among them were Col. Cox, Lieut. Col. Hunt, Maj. Van Slyck, Capt. Henry Devendorf, Robert Crouse, Jacob Bowman, Andrew Dillenback, Capt. Jacob Leeber, Charles Fox and Lieut. William Leeber. While marching to join Gen. Sullivan in 1779, General Clinton made this place his headquarters for several weeks. While here two notorious Tories, Henry Ware and William Newbury, were arrested and executed as spies. They had formerly been citizens of the town. A deserter named Titus was also shot here. With the other towns in the County, Canajoharie suffered from incursions of the Tories and Indians and the inhabitants were often driven to the greatest extremities. Several small forts were built which afforded some protection to the people. A fort was erected here at an early day as one of the chain of fortifications to Oswego. It was 100 feet square and fifteen feet high, with bastions at the angles, and was armed with several small cannon. In 1781 the house of Philip Van Alstyne was palisaded and named Fort Van Rensselaer. It is now call Fort Washington, and is in the south part of the village, on the east bank of the creek, nearly opposite the dwelling of Mrs. Gertrude Moyer. It was constructed of limestone. At the Indian burying ground in Canajoharie village, skeletons have been found in a sitting posture, with hatchets, arrow heads, beads and other articles used by the Indians. In excavating for clay to line the Erie Canal, among other articles found was a gold cross about two inches in length. As the skeleton found in connection with this appeared to have been buried in a horizontal position, it was supposed to be that of a Jesuit missionary. The lands adjacent to the village were occupied by a small tribe of Indians belonging to the Mohawks, and Canajoharie Tribe. Most of the flats were cleared when first discovered by the whites, and were cultivated with corn, beans and squash. The hills abounded in apple trees.
The first grist mill in this town stood east of the creek, near where the present mill dam is located. It was owned by a man named Scrambling. The next one was built by Col. Hendrick Frey, who owned a large tract of land extending to Frey's Bush. He was postmaster and lived at this mill site. On the lot now owned by Charles W. Knox was a house occupied during the Revolution as a fort, and in which the Committee of Safety of Tryon County held their meetings. In 1795 Archibald and James Kane established themselves as merchants at this place, and for many years were the principal merchants in this part of the State. Their early trade consisted largely of potash, grain and furs, for which they exchanged dry goods, groceries, &c. In 1799 their purchases of potash and wheat amounted to $120,000. They had a small canal cut from the river to their store to admit the passage of flat boats.
The story of the "Yankee Pass," so often told, is too good to be lost, and is in substance as follows: Judge Henry Staring, a magistrate of Herkimer County, saw a man coming from the west on horseback one Sunday morning, and as traveling that day was a violation of the statutes of the State except in certain cases, the Judge called the traveler to an account. Not receiving any satisfactory excuse for his conduct, the Judge fined him six York shillings. After paying the fine, the traveler, who was a New England Yankee, asked for a pass, that he might not be called to account by other magistrates. The Judge could not refuse a request so very reasonable and told the traveler to write one and he would sign it. This being done, the stranger proceeded on his way. A few months after this the Judge visited the store of Messrs. Kane and was requested to pay an order of twenty-five dollars that he had previously drawn on them. Being very much surprised at this he at first denied having given the order, but the signature was in his own handwriting and could not be denied. Upon further inquiry with reference to the person who presented the order, the Judge came to the conclusion that it was the Yankee Pass, that he had signed without reading.
The village was at first called Roofville, from Martin Roof, the postmaster, who kept a drug and book store near the present bridge. John Roof purchased the farm of Scrambling, who built the first mill and a stone house where the Eldredge House now stands. A hotel was kept in this house for many years, and it was a rendezous for recruits in the war of 1812-15. The first physician who settled in the town was Dr. Eights, who afterwards went to Albany. Drs. John Atwater and Libbeus Doty afterwards opened offices in the village.
Among the early settlers, whose names are remembered by some still living, are Rev. Jonas Gross, Col. Yates, John Seeber, Conrad Seeber, General John Keyes, Capt. Roger Mills, Ebenezer Hillard, Frederick Mills, Charles Powell, Noah Dodge, Col. Elisha Daniels, Dr. Simeon Marcy, Abijah White, Joseph Jessup, Deacon Kimball, Rev. George Elliot, Gideon Elliott, John St. John, Elisha Taylor, James Knox and Jacob Ehle. Gen. Keyes, Capt. Mills and Ebenezer Hibbard purchased one thousand acres of land where the village of Ames is now situated, at three shillings per acre. At that time there was no clearing on the land except at a place known as Taylor Hill. Taylor had cleared about fifty acres and made other improvements, having some twenty years previously purchased of a Squatter. These new purchasers came on and endeavored to expel him by force, but not being disposed to be ejected in that way they finally bought him off.
Jacob Ehle and James Knox settled near Mapleton, in 1791, on the farm now occupied by Aaron Ehle. They paid $2.62 an acre for their land. John White, born in the town in 1785, is the oldest person now living in the town who was born there. Benjamin Button settled just after the close of the Revolution, on the farm now occupied by Amos Button. He was a soldier in the war. Thomas Conklin settled where William D. Watson now lives, and kept a store there for forty years. Samuel Tillotson settled in Ames in 1781; Esquire Hill, a soldier of the Revolution, settled where S. Hill now lives; Adam Garlock, a Revolutionary soldier, was taken prisoner, afterwards settled where his grandsons Reuben and Adam now live. George Dunkle settled previous to the Revolution where Henry Dunkle now lives. He purchased four hundred acres of land, served in the army, was shot in the left eye, the ball coming out behind the left ear. He died in the town in 1845. Adam Flint settled before the Revolution, where Levi Flint now lives. Nicholas Van Alstyne settled east of the Round Top, was a Lieutenant in the war, drew a pension and finally died in town.
Among the interesting trials that have taken place in this County was one that occurred in 1828. Henry Garlock brought an action for trespass against Henry J. Failing to recover the value of his negro slave, Jack, who, it was alleged, the defendant had wrongfully and maliciously killed. Garlock had a deed of the negro, the consideration being $350. Failing admitted killing the negro but that it was through a mistake. The circumstances as they were proved in Court were as follows: On the night of the homicide the negroes had a gathering near the river below Dutchtown, became intoxicated and broke up at a late hour. Jack and one of his companions started for home, on the road passing defendant's house. During the night a black man called at Failing's house saying that he had seen a bear a short distance from the house. Failing took his rifle and, accompanied by his dog, started in search of the bear, which he soon discovered sitting upon his haunches about ten rods distant. The dog refused to advance, and Failing could see by the dim starlight the eyes of the bear. Taking good aim between the eyes he fired. A terrible groan, a struggle and all was still. A light was procured, and on proceeding to the spot there lay Jack, stone dead. It appeared that the negro had taken a keg from a trough where it had been placed to soak, and seated himself upon it in the middle of the road, with his back towards Failing, who mistook the bright buttons upon his coat for the eyes of a bear. Eminent counsel were employed on both sides, and the result was a verdict for the plaintiff for $250.
In 1798 a duel was fought between Barney Roseboom and Archibald Kane. The affair had its origin at the gaming table. The parties were the two combatants and Henry Frey Cox. During the playing Kane became indebted to Roseboom for $100, and Cox to Kane for the same amount. Kane proposed to cancel his indebtedness by a transfer of the obligation of Cox to Roseboom. This Roseboom refused to accept, and Kane, considering himself insulted, challenged him to mortal combat. The duel was fought upon the hill near Kane's dwelling, and the weapons used "horse pistols." Kane was wounded in the arm at the first fire. The combatants then made up and became warm friends afterwards.
Among the early incidents related is the following account of a marriage in which Esquire Bowman officiated. While working in his hay field a couple came to his house on horseback to be married. The party were sent to the hay field where they found the Esquire upon a load of hay. Wishing to dispatch the business with as little trouble as possible he requested the parties to join hands. He then said, "Hans, you dake dis voman to be your vife?" "Ya," replied the expectant groom. "Lisbet, you dake dis Hans to be your husbant?" "Ya, ich will." "Den I make you one vlesh and one peefe. Now vat man has put togedder let not Got put asunder." Thus ended this marriage ceremony.
The population of the town in 1865 was 4,248, and the area 24,764 acres.
Note: In re: Capt. Jacob Leeber and Lieut Wm. Leeber - the compilers of the directory appear to have interpreted the letter "S" as the letter "L".
The 1869 profile of Canajoharie was typed by volunteer Bonnie Monahan. Neither Bonnie nor myself have any further information about the persons mentioned in the article above. Further information about specific individuals should be requested from the Montgomery County Dept. of History and Archives.