Obituary of Christiana Newkirk
Donated by Nancy Robinson
A Mother and Child Drowned
Last Sunday morning, Mrs. Catherine Newkirk, wife of Isaac Newkirk, Ft. Hunter, in company with her daughter aged 12 years, went on foot to Van Dorn's Mills to visit her son, Alonzo Wicks. During the journey they waded the Schoharie Creek, as Mr. N had done many times before. Having finished their visit the mother and child started for home about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. When they reached the creek (about two miles above Ft. Hunter) it was three feet higher than when they left it in the morning. But, apprehending no danger, with no one in sight to give assistance in case it might be needed, the mother started across, probably carrying the child or leading it by the hand. It is supposed that the child in some way escaped from her grasp and that while endeavoring to save it both were drowned. The body of Mrs. N. was seen near the old ferry house, Ft. Hunter, by two boys named Mickel about 4 o'clock the same afternoon, floating on the water, being held up by the clothes. William Fisher pulled it ashore. At last count the body of the child had not been found. A watch is kept at the dam, near Ft. Hunter, to keep the body from going over it. Mrs. Newkirk was 44 years old. She was the aunt of Mrs. Schuyler DeForest, of this village. Coroner Alonzo Putman accompanied by Dr. Robb went up yesterday for the purpose of holding an inquest.
According to census records, Isaac Newkirk had two wives: 1) Catherine who d. bef 1860 & 2) Christiana who was the actual subject of this article. The daughter was Catherine Newkirk who would have been about age 9 or 10 at the time of her drowning.
1850 US Census Florida Twp., pg 95
1860 US Census Florida Twp, pg 77
1870 US Census, Florida Twp., PO: Charleston Four Corners, Page 68
1880 US Census, Florida, Montgomery, New York
Christiana (Denmark) Newkirk was the widow of Lansing Wick of Port Jackson, Florida Twp who died 3 Oct 1860 at the age of 33 and is buried in Green Hill Cemetery.
1788-1898 Marriage Records of Royden Woodward Vosburgh
As for the "Mickel" boys, I found John Mickle b. abt 1854 & Joseph Mickle, b. abt 1860, on the 1880 census, Florida Twp. who might have been the ones referred to in this piece. It appears they were from an Irish family whose children worked as servants in various homes.
The wife of grocer Schuyler DeForest was Blandena Newkirk, b.18 Feb 1833, d. 4 Feb 1906. Blandina was the daughter of Peter I. Newkirk and Angelica Fonda.
There were two men on the 1880 census by the name of William Fisher, both close in age, one living in Florida Twp., the other in Amsterdam.
According to the 1880 Amsterdam census, William H. Robb and Alonzo Putman were Amsterdam physicians as was Dr. Putman's wife, Anna.
Information about Schoharie Creek:
The Schoharie Creek flows northward from the foot of Indian Head in the Catskill Mountains to the Mohawk River. Ft. Hunter lies at the confluence of Schoharie Creek and the Mohawk River. The writer most likely was referring to upstream as above. The 1868 map of Florida places Isaac Newkirk's farm on the east side of Schoharie Creek, south of Ft. Hunter & north of Millpoint. Below are photos taken by me on a recent visit.
Page Created: 3/8/07
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