From the History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, N.Y., by F.W. Beers & Co., 1878


On the 7th of March 1788, a town was formed from a large part of the Palatine district of Montgomery county, taking the same name, from its pioneers having been Palatines. Other towns were subsequently formed from portions of Palatine. Thus Salisbury, Herkimer county, was taken off in 1797, and Stratford, Fulton county, in 1805; also Oppenheim, Fulton county, which then embraced the town of St. Johnsville, in 1808. Again, in 1827, it was still farther reduced by the taking off of Ephratah, a small part of which was re-annexed in April, 1838. It was somewhat irregular in shape, extending about eight miles and a half east and west, and seven miles north and south. It is bounded on the north by the towns of Mohawk, while the Mohawk river forms its western and southern boundaries.

The Garoga, in the northwest, and the Kanadarank, in the southeast, are its principal streams, while Fink's Flat and Mill creeks, and several smaller rivulets flow in different directions through the town.

The surface is chiefly an upland, from 200 to 500 feet above the Mohawk, slightly undulating, broken occasionally by narrow ravines which descend irregularly toward the river. A rocky range of hills runs across the southeast corner of the town, terminating very abruptly at the river's edge in a high, narrow bluff, called the "Nose." The soil is principally a dark clayey loam, inclining to the gravelly order in some parts; it is very fertile, well adapted to grazing, and, with proper cultivation, yields remunerative crops of most cereals.

Dairying is carried on to quite an extent by a majority of the inhabitants. There are, at present, nine cheese factories in the town, most of which are owned by stock companies, manufacturing from 750,000 to 1,000,000 pounds of cheese annually. Dwight D. Smith, who became a resident of Palatine in 1839, erected a factory and commenced the manufacture of cheese in 1862. This is said to have been the first establishment of the kind in Montgomery county.

Palatine contains within its present limits an area of 22,893 acres, four-fifths of which are under improvement. The population in 1875 was 2,706. The number of taxable inhabitants in 1877 was 483. The assessed valuation of property in 1877 was: real estate, $617, 881; personal estate, $18, 200.


PALATINE BRIDGE, situated on the north bank of the Mohawk, on the south line of the town, is the principal village. It consists of a store, a post office, a hotel, the cider mill and vinegar factory of Beach and Cory, and fifty or sixty dwellings. Some of the business men of Canajoharie, opposite, have residences here. It is made a station of importance on the Central Railroad, and is the home of Hon. Webster Wagner, the inventor and proprietor of the Wagner palace or drawing-room cars. The first bridge across the Mohawk, west of Schenectady, was constructed here, about 1798, from which fact the village probably took its name.

STONE ARABIA, situated near the center of the town, contains two churches, German Lutheran and Reformed, two hotels, the cheese factory of Andrew Nellis, and about a dozen dwellings, principally of farmers.

NELLISTON, so called from the numerous families of Nellises located in the vicinity, is situated on the west line of the town, opposite Fort Plain. It is comparatively a new village, having grown up within the last twelve or fifteen years. Wm. P. Swan built the first store and hotel here in 1865, combining both branches of business in the same building. The place now contains two stores, three hotels, and about 400 inhabitants.

PALATINE CHURCH, a small hamlet in the northwestern part of the town, contains a church, a store, a grist-mill, and a few dwellings. When the Mohawk turnpike was constructed, in 1803-4, this was a place of considerable importance, being the largest village in the town. Spafford's Gazetteer published in 1813, says of this place: "Palatine village has about 35 dwellings, some stores, &c., and a stone church."

CRANE'S LANDING, In the early part of the present century, Josiah Crane located at the mouth of the Garoga Creek, on the north bank of the Mohawk, near Palatine Church, and became a heavy dealer in lumber, establishing an immense lumber depot for the northern country. From here, it was rafted down the river to Albany and other points. This place came to be known as Crane's Landing, and from about 1814 to 1830 was a place of considerable importance. But little now remains to mark its existence.


Enough of the records of 1803 remains to show that Jacob Eckler was supervisor and Peter C. Fox town clerk for the year.

On April 3d, 1804, at a town meeting held at the house of Isaac N. Oothout, the following officers were elected, viz:

  • Peter Gramps, Jr., supervisor
  • Peter C. Fox, town clerk
  • John J. Nellis, Jost Spraker, Peter N. Smith, Henry Beekman, and Martinus N. Nestle, assessors
  • John Eisenlord, Rudolph Dygert and Michael W. Bauder, commissioners of highways
  • Joseph Wagner and Joseph G. Clock, overseers of the poor
  • Peter J. Nellis, collector
  • Henry Cook, Henry Beekman, John L. Bellinger, John J. Klock, Wm. Altenburg, Rudolph Dygert, Samuel Bently and John Dillenback, fence-viewers and pound-masters
  • Peter J. Nellis, Jonas Reis, John J. Failing, Samuel Frame, John Fralick and Samuel Bliss, constables

These excerpts from the "History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties" were typed up by Beverly Crim, who looks forward to corresponding with any and all Crim descendants.

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