In November, 1737, the Crown granted a Patent of twenty-five thousand acres of land to Wm. Corry, George Clark and others. This land was in the present towns of Glen, Charleston, and Root (some in Schoharie County). Corry sold his share which was later confiscated by the State because the owners were Tories. The earliest known settlers were Jacob Dievendorf, Sr., Rudolph Keller, David and Fred Lewis, Jacob Tanner, John Lipe, and the Bellinger, Mowers and Myers families.
As early as 1790 a church was built at Westerlo, as Sprakers or Spraker's Basin was at first called. This was not agreeable to the folks at Currytown (called after William Corry, a patentee) who wanted the church built nearer their hamlet. When this was not done the Currytown people continued to worship as they had been doing for some time, in the barn owned by Jacob Devendorf. Once a month they were served by the ministers at "Sand Hill", or Caughnawaga, or Stone Arabia, domines Wack, and Van Horne, and Pick.
The Curry's Bush church organized in 1790, was given an acre of land October 25, 1792, which deed is recorded at Fonda under date of June 5, 1794. Under date of January 31, 1794, trustees were elected for the "Associate Congregation of Currie's Bush and Remsen's Bush" (Florida or Minaville). This church belonged to the Associate Reformed Synod in which Rev. Jas. Proudfit, of Salem, Rev. John Dunlap of Cambridge (Saratoga Co.), and Rev. James Mairs of Galloway (Galway) were members. It was probably these two churches that were accustomed to be supplied by the pastors of the First Presbyterian church of Schenectady. Rev. Alexander Findley of Schenectady had both Currie's Bush and Remsen's Bush as his charges as early as 1770 and thro 1781.
On July 9, 1781 "Currietown" was destroyed by a band of five hundred Indians and Tories, the latter being commanded by John Dockstader. As soon as Col. Willett heard the story he set out from German Flatts in pursuit of the enemy, whom he scattered at Sharon, captured the army duffle and recovered the spoil taken in this raid. The enemy had taken nine of the settlers prisoners - Bellinger, Dievendorf, Keller, Moyer, Stowitts, Myers, Suits and others. When Willett's forces drew near these prisoners were tomahawked. Later they were buried but Jacob Dievendorf, tho scalped and supposedly dead had enough vitality left to work himself out of the trench grave and lived for many years. Currytown was again invaded on October 24, 1781. This force was under Ross and Butler. At Fort Hunter the British Regulars joined them, Col. Willett pursued, and at Johnstown engaged them in battle October 25, 1781 (the last battle of the Revolution). For thirty miles he pursued them as they retreated until he had driven the remnant into the wilderness.
The Currytown Reformed church was formally organized in 1790, and in 1806 three trustees were appointed a building committee who had the frame of the church up in 1808, and completed the edifice by Septebmer, 1809. The grounds for the church and parsonage were given by Jacob Devendorf, Sr., and John Mount, each contributing an acre. At one time this church marked the boundary line between the towns of Charleston and Canajoharie. Since 1823 when the town of Root (named after Erastus Rot of Delaware county) was formed, the church has been called the Root church, and later the Currytown church (from the Curry patent). On September 9, 1809, the church was dedicated before an audience of a thousand, Rev. John J. Wack preaching the morning sermon in German, Rev. Peter Van Buren the afternoon sermon in English, and Rev. Abram Van Horne of Caughnawaga the evening sermon. Rev. Van Buren of Glen (cf) had conducted services for a long time before this in private houses.
In October, 1814, Rev. Jacob R.H. Hasbrough of Esopus was called to the churches of Currytown and Glen. Originally this church was in the Classis of Montgomery, but was put into the Classis of Schoharie, and in 1831 was brot back again into the Montgomery Classis. Mr. Hasbrouck finished his work here in 1829 having served Currytown, Charlestown, Mapletown (Middletown), Glen, and Canajoharie during fifteen years. He was without charge for the last twenty years of his life and died in 1854.
Early in 1830 the Rev. John Gray was installed and in a year and a half received forty-one members. Rev. Jacob W. Hangen who was the pastor at Columbia (cf) was installed March 15, 1832, and remained until 1837. Forty-eight members were received by him. A parsonage was built in 1833 costing $700. Rev. Harrison Heermance took up the work in 1837 and preached here thro 1840. As Chaplain of the 128th Regt. N.Y.V. Mr. Heermance contracted a weakness that followed him for twenty later years. He lost a son in the war, and he died in 1883, at Rhinebeck.
Rev. Thomas Frazer was pastor for the next four years (1840-1843). He died in Montreal in 1884. Rev. Jasper Middlemas supplied the pulpit during 1844 and thro 1847. He entered the Presbyterian church, later coming into the Reformed, but returning in 1825 and for twenty five years, or until he came to Currytown, remaining in that denomination. He resigned in 1851 after a four years pastorate. Rev. William D. Buckelew came in 1851 from New Brunswick, and was ordained by the Classis of Montgomery. His last pastorate was in the Palisades church (1889 -1893) in which field he died in the later years. Including Buckelew's pastorate the Currytown church had been associated with the Mapletown church for twenty-five years.
Rev. John J. Quick succeeded Buckelew, coming to Currytown in 1855 and remaining thro a part of 1862, which was followed by a two years at Mapletown. He also supplied Fort Herkimer in 1867 and 1868, while living at Canajoharie without charge.
Rev. R.M. Whitbeck supplied thro 1863 and 1864 until Rev. J. M. Compton came the first time to preach here. Mr. Whitbeck while preaching at Currytown also supplied the Presbyterian church at Buel. After a four years pastorate in the Tyre church he entered school work at Lenox, Mass. for a few years.
Mr. Compton's firt work at Currytown was from 1864 thro 1868 while he was also preaching at Mapletown. Rev. D.K. Van Doren followed in 1869 and remained five years, preaching also at Sprakers. Mr. Van Doren had a number of other pastorates in the Dutch church, besides spending a decade in the American Bible Society work. He died in 1908.
Rev. Edward G. Ackerman took up the work during the holidays of 1874, and continued until the Spring of 1879. He held several other charges in the church and died while pastor of the Clover Hill, N.J. church in 1899, December 1st. Mr. Compton again came to Currytown, spending three years this time, or until May, 1882, at the same time supplying the Sprakers, and for six months in 1882 supplying Mapletown. Mr. Compton spent a number of years at Columbia (cf).
Following Compton came Rev. John Minor in November, 1882, who supp;ied at first Mapletown, but for the last years or more Sprakers in connection with this charge. During this pastorate the old church, which had stood for seventy-four years, was taken down and on May 1, 1884, the present edifice was dedicated free of debt. It cost $7,000. Mr. Minor resigned May 1, 1885. Garret Wyckoff, now of Red Bank, N.J., was here from February, 1886, to September, 1887. Rev. Henry Hudson Sangree began the work in February, 1888, and remained until June, 1893, also preaching at Mapletown (cf). Rev. Peter S. Beekman was installed on November 9, 1893, resigniing August 25, 1901. He has now for some years been pastor at Johnstown.
Rev. Ephraim W. Florence was called and took up the work here and at Sprakers on New Years day, 1902. From here he went to the Philmont, N.Y. Reformed church, next going into the Canadian Presbyterian church, and has now for some years been in the Episcopal church, for a while in Canada, then at Trinidad, California, and now at Sidney, Nova Scotia.
Rev. James B. Campbell was the next installed pastor, this occurring in February, 1905, in the Sprakers church. Mr. Campbell resigned in April, 1907. Mr. Campbell spent forty years in the ministry ere he died in 1911 while pastor of the 2nd Port Jervis church - a man of great power in prayer and success in winning a great multitude of souls to Christ.
From November, 1907, thro February, 1909, a Mr. E. L. Wade, son of a Gloversville Lutheran minister, conducted services in the church and at the Sprakers church. Rev. C. V. W. Bedford was the next stated supply, serving the church from June 1909 until New Years, 1912, when he took up the work of the Hagaman church. Mr. Harry A. Eliason occasionally supplied during 1912, then regularly thro 1913, and until July, 1914, when he was ordained to the ministry and installed as pastor of the church, and of that at Sprakers.
Source: "The History of Montgomery Classis R.C.A. To which is added sketches of Mohawk valley men and events of early days, the Iroquois, Palatines, Indian missions, Tryon county committee of safety, Sir Wm. Johnson, Joseph Brant, Arendt Van Curler, Gen. Herkimer, Reformed church in America, doctrine and progress revolutionary residences, etc." , by W.N.P. Dailey (William Nelson Potter). Published by Recorder Press, Amsterdam, New York, 1916.
Back to Montgomery County NYGenWeb
Last Updated: 7/1/97
Copyright ©1997 M. Magill
Thank you to "The Anonymous Angel"
All Rights Reserved.