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Our section for the town of Minden continues to grow. Below are links to the Hamilton Child 1869-70 Directory, the 1870 profile of the township, excerpts from "The History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, N.Y.", by F. W. Beers & Co., pertaining to early businesses, and Abram I. Quackenbush's Memoranda Book. The directory is very long and in table format, so please be patient while it loads into your browser. If you've researched ancestors in Minden or its small villages, please consider sharing your photos, newspaper articles and obits, wills, cemetery lists, info about your own ancestors, etc.

Boyd's 1872-73 Business Directory of Minden
Minden Voters 1926-1927, District 1, Surnames A - L
Minden Voters 1926-1927, District 1, Surnames M - Y
Fulton/Montgomery Farm Directory 1939

1800 Census of Minden
1825 NYS Census Index, Town of Minden - link to another website
Walraths in the 1865 NY State Census
Walraths in the 1892 NY State Census

The Town of Minden, The French and Indian War and Minden's Church History:
Ministers of Freysbush M.E. Church 1812-1912
Fort Plain, New York, a 1914 Booklet
1915 Eastern Star Convention at Ft. Plain
Old Fort Plain Postcards
Montgomery County Universalist Church Incorporations - Ft. Plain, Minden, Mindenville
1891 Catalog of Clinton Liberal Institute, Fort Plain NY

Early Minden Business: Selections from "The History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties"

Memoranda Book of Abram I. Quackenbush, 1863-1864: Part 1  Part 2

Baptisms at Freysbush Methodist Church 1869-1902
Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals of Rev. Samuel Van Vechten of Ft. Plain
Baptisms for Sitts/Suts and Walter/Walts at the Ft. Plain DRC
Death Records for Walter and Sitts/Suts at the Ft. Plain DRC
Marriage Records for Sitts/Suts and Walter/Valter/Walts at the Ft. Plain DRC

The Date Book of Charles Z. Brandow of Fort Plain, NY
Early Documents of the Dygert Family
1801 Will of Peter S. Deygert (Dygert)
The Jacob Fake and Henry Lansing Fake Families
Obits of the Gros Family
1839 Will of John A. Lipe
Miller & Zoller Families of Minden, N.Y.
Minch Family Records From Ft. Plain Lutheran Church
Please visit or inquire of the Montgomery Dept. of History and Archives for all other surnames.
Minch Family of Montgomery County
Bio of William Philip Minch
John Smith Family of Freysbush
Misc. Papers Related to the Van Deusen Family
The Ancestry of Josiah Walrath
Woodards of Minden

Kneeskern Cemetery
Mindenville Cemetery
Sanders Cemetery
Still More Sanders Cemetery
Some Small Cemeteries: Town of Minden: Geisenberg Cemetery, Sitts Graveyard, Seeber Cemetery, Un-named Aaron Farm, Un-named Bowman Farm
Ft. Plain Cemetery Partial Readings
Walraths Buried in the Fort Plain Cemetery: a link off-site to Jerome A. Walrath's listings
(Important! Walrath surnames were abstracted by Jerry for his own research when traveling to NY State. Please inquire of the Montgomery County Dept. of History and Archives for all other surname listings in this cemetery or visit the Archives in person.)

The Civil War Pension Abstract of Martin Minch
Civil War Soldiers George and Martin Minch
The Revolutionary War Pension Application of Henry Wiles
The Revolutionary War Pension Application of Anna Moyer/Myers
Surviving Civil War Veterans and Widows from the 1890 Census

updated7/4/15 Official Town of Minden Govt. Website
updated7/4/15 Fort Plain Museum and Historical Park
updated7/4/15 Fort Plain Museum Facebook Page

Fort Plain, NY

A View From Prospect Place, Fort Plain, N.Y. 1906

From the Gazetteer and Business Directory of Montgomery County, N.Y. 1869-70

Minden was formed from Canajoharie, March 2, 1798. Danube, Herkimer County, was taken off in 1817. It lies upon the south bank of the Mohawk and is the most western town in the County. Its surface is principally an undulating upland, with steep declivities bordering upon the streams, the chief of which are the Otsquaga, and its tributary the Otsquene. Prospect Hill, called by the Indians, Ta-ra-jo-rhies which is said to signify "Hill of Health", or "For on a Hill", lies upon the Otsquaga, opposite Fort Plain. The soil is a fine quality of gravelly and clayey loam and is especially adapted to grazing. The dairy products of this town are very large, surpassing those of any other town in the County.


Fort Plain, (p.v.) incorporated April 5, 1832, is situated on the Mohawk River and Erie Canal, about sixty miles from Albany. A bridge across the Mohawk connects it with the N.Y.C.R.R. It contains many wealthy citizens and more fine residences than any other place of the same size in this vicinity. It has four churches, viz., Methodist, Universalist, Dutch and Dutch Reformed; a commercial college, a very extensive steel spring and axle manufactory, a printing office, various mills and manufactories, and about 2,500 inhabitants. It received its name from "Fort Plain", a block house formerly situated on the hill a little west of the village.
(Photo: 1920s Postcard of Old Bridge Crossing the Mohawk at Ft. Plain)

Mindenville, (p.v.) on the canal in the west part of the town, contains a hotel, a store, a shoe shop, a blacksmith shop and about 25 dwellings.

Ford's Bush (Minden p.o.) is in the extreme west part of the town, about eight miles from Fort Plain, and contains two churches, viz: Universalist and Lutheran, a store, a blacksmith shop, a wagon shop, a school and about twenty dwellings. There is a fine cemetery belonging to the village.

Frey's Bush about two miles south of Fort Plain, contains a cheese factory, two blacksmith shops, a shoe sop and about a dozen houses. It received its name from John Frey, a lawyer and leading patriot, who resided here during the Revolution.

Hallsville, (p.o.) about four and a half miles west from Fort Plain, on Otsquaga Creek and the Cooperstown gravel road, contains a sawmill, a gristmill, a blacksmith shop and about a dozen dwellings.

Hessville is a hamlet about five miles south of Fort Plain.


In this town are found the remains of one of those ancient fortifications which are so common in Central and Western New York, and throughout the Western States, indicating that it was inhabited long prior to the advent of the Indians. These mounds are the most easterly of any of the kind yet discovered. They are about four miles south of Fort Plain, on a tongue of land formed by the valleys of Otsquaga Creek and one of its tributaries. This tongue is one hundred feet above the streams, and the declivities are very steep. Across the tongue, at its narrowest part, is a curved line of breastworks, 240 feet in length, inclosing an area of about seven acres. A gigantic pine, six feet in diameter, stood upon one end of the embankment, showing that the work must have been of great antiquity. During the Revolutionary war a fort was erected upon the high plain, near the site of the present village. Though a sort of defense was erected in the early part of the war, the Fort proper was not erected until 1778. Its form was that of an irregular quadrangle, with earth and log bastions, embrasures at each corner, and barracks and a strong block-house within. The block-house (scale model in photo ) was erected in 1780 under the supervision of a French engineer, employed by Col. Gansevoort. It was octagonal in form, three stories high and constructed of hewn timbers fifteen inches square. The first story was thirty feet in diameter, the second forty, and the third fifty, each story projecting five feet over the next lower. In the first story three or four cannon were placed and all were provided with port-holes for musketry. In the floor of each projection were port-holes for firing upon an enemy below. There was a stockade about two miles south-west of Fort Plain, called Fort Clyde, in honor of Colt Clyde of the Tryon County Militia; it was on land now owned by H.G. Nellis & Sons. Another was situated about the same distance north-west, called Fort Plank, or Blank, as it stood upon land owned by Frederick Blank. The latter and Fort Plain have been confounded.

In August, 1780, Brant with about 500 Tories and Indians made an attack upon the settlement while most of the troops under Col. Gansevoort were absent guarding provisions which were on their way to supply Fort Schuyler. Taking advantage of this, Brant made a circuit through the woods, reached their rear and fell upon the Fort. On their approach a cannon was fired from the Fort by a woman, women and children being the principal occupants. In their approach they burned every barn and dwelling, destroyed the crops and carried off everything valuable. The house of Johannes Lipe was saved from plunder and fire by the coolness and courage of his wife. She had been busy carrying her most valuable articles from her house to a place of concealment and had made several deposits there. The last time she returned, she met at the gate two Indians. Being familiar with their language, she inquired if they knew anything of her two brothers who were among the Tories that fled to Canada. Fortunately the Indians had seen them, and supposing her to be a Tory they walked off and the house was saved. The church was burned, and a brass ball upon the spire attracted the eager gaze of the savages, who supposed that it was gold. When it fell they rushed for the prize, scattered the burning timbers, and seized the glittering ball, but soon learned at the cost of blistered hands that "all is not gold that glitters." In a letter to Gov. Clinton, dated August 6th, 1780, Col. Clyde gives the following account of the devastation. (Note: we are splitting up the original long paragraph here).

"On the second day of this inst. Joseph Brant, at the head of about four or five hundred Indians and Tories, broke in upon the settlements, and laid the best part of the district in ashes, and killed sixteen of the inhabitants, that we have found, took between fifty and sixty prisoners, mostly women and children, twelve of whom have been sent back. They have killed and driven away with them upwards of three hundred head of cattle and horses; have burnt fifty-three dwelling houses, besides some out-houses and as many barns; one very elegant church, and gristmill and two small forts that the women fled out of. They have burned all the inhabitants weapons and implements of husbandry, so that they are left in a miserable condition. They have nothing left to support themselves but what grain they have growing, and that they cannot save for want of tools to work with, and very few to be got here."

Among the incidents of this incursion, the following is related by Mrs. Dunckel, mother of John P. Dunckel, who now resides at Frey's Bush, near the site of Fort Clyde. Peter Dunckel, the grandfather of Mrs. D., came from Germany in 1766 and settled where his descendants now reside. Two uncles of Mrs. D., Peter and Franz, were splitting timber for a wagon, about half a mile from the block house, when suddenly the Indians fired upon them and rushed forward with uplifted tomahawks to comlete the massacre. Peter was wounded and captured, but Franz, unharmed, started for the Fort, which he reached in safety, but fell exhausted at the entrance and was dragged in by the inmates. The women of the Fort, by their energetic defense, deceived the attacking party and they withdrew. Peter D. was taken to Canada, where, after a year's captivity, he was exchanged. A Mrs. Pletts was taken at the same time. Her house was near the Fort, and while seated under a tree near by, she was surprised by the approach of the Indians and ran, pursued by a single savage. Being closely pursued she endeavored to escape by running around a tree, but the Indian stopped and she ran into his open arms. She was taken to Canada and treated quite well; was assigned to the duty of cook for her captors. She returned at the close of the war, and after the death of her husband, married Peter Dunckel, her fellow captive. When taken prisoner she left a baby six months old, which was overlooked by the Indians.(Note: we are splitting up the original long paragraph here).

In one of Brant's incursions into the Mohawk Valley, he came down through what is known as Dutch Town, in Minden, and with torch and tomahawk laid waste the country. After an attack upon Fort Nellis, a block house near St. Johnsville, they crossed over to Fort Willett, a block house built by the Lipes, Countrymans and Windeckers, on land now owned by William Timerman. An old tree near the residence of D.T. Timerman is pointed out as the spot where the wife of Dr. Frame was killed. Their house was back of Timerman's and would probably have been passed by unseen, but Mrs. F. hearing the yells of the savages, started for the Fort; she was discovered, tomahawked and scalped. At the stone house of Henry Seeber, on Sand Hill, above Fort Plain, a boy, John A. Lipe, was doing picket duty. When the alarm was given, the women fled to the Fort, followed by the men, who were at work in the field. Dinner was already prepared and upon the table ready for the laborers; this the enemy disposed of and then set fire to the house. The wood work was burned out and the walls remained until purchased by Mr. Lipe, who rebuilt it. In 1848 it was taken down to make way for the house now occupied by Mr. Adam Lipe.

The early settlers of this town were Germans, among whom were the Devendorf, Wagoner and Gros families, Andrew Keller and Henry H. Smith. John Abeel, an Indian trader, settled here in 1748. In his previous intercourse with the Indians, Abeel had married the daughter of a Seneca chief, after the Indian fashion, and the offsping of this marriage was the famous chief, Cornplanter. Abeel afterwards married a white woman, and at the commencement of the war was living on his farm. During the incursion of 1780 he was taken prisoner, and while expecting death at the hands of the Indians, Cornplanter addressed him as father and assured him of his safety. He was given his choice to accompany the Indians under the protection of his son or return to his white family. He chose the latter. After the war, Cornplanter visited him and was received by his Fort Plain relatives with all the civilities due to his rank and his manly bearing.

Henry Hayes, a German, kept the first school in the town; Isaac Countryman built the first grist mill after the war, and Isaac Paris kept the first store about the same time.

The population of the town in 1865 was 4,637, and its area 29,458 acres.

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Last Updated: 7/4/15
Copyright ©1997 - 2015 M. Magill / L. Slaski
Steel engraving of the Moses Smith Farm from:
"The History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties"
Digitally-colored interpretation of Moses Smith image ©1997 - 2015 M. Magill
Original Photo of model of Ft. Plain blockhouse Copyright © 1997 - 2015 M. Magill
All Rights Reserved.