USGenWeb Logo


THE TOWN OF St. JOHNSVILLE

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, NY

[Edward Bates residence]



Hi! I'm Allyn Hess Perry, your Town of St. Johnsville Coordinator. I became interested in genealogy after being given a packet of information about my HESS family that I never knew existed, as well as some very old family photographs. Having been born in Ilion, I decided to devote myself to trying to make the Herkimer half of this website as complete as possible. However, I recently learned that 3 lines of my family were at one time in St. Johnsville: Martin KECK, d.o.b. 1820 and his son Andrew d.o.b. about 1840. Then there is Salem C. CLEMONS 1856 -1929 and finally, William Stewart Hess, 1842 -1921, who was married to Sarah Lassell, 1846 - 1896. I was distressed to discover that there was very little information about St. Johnsville and am in hopes that people will check their attics for literature, etc. relating to the area, so we can post it on this page.




St. JOHNSVILLE DIRECTORIES
GAZETTEER AND BUSINESS DIRECTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY FOR 1869-70: St. JOHNSVILLE
Boyd's 1872-73 Business Directory of St. Johnsville
Fulton/Montgomery Farm Directory 1939


HISTORY OF St. JOHNSVILLE
Regarding the "Dutch" of the Mohawk Valley
St. Johnsville Train Wreck of 1883


St. JOHNSVILLE CENSUS
1855 NYS Census Index, Town of St. Johnsville - link to another website
1840 Census of St. Johnsville
Walraths in the 1892 NY State Census


St. JOHNSVILLE FAMILIES AND PERSONS OF NOTE
The Letters of Joseph G. Klock:
Introduction    Part 1    Part 2    Part 3   
Part 4    Part 5    Part 6    Part 7 (finale) 

The Klock letters consist of 19 early 19th century letters written by Joseph G. Klock to two of his daughters and their husbands, who had left the old family home to strike out for themselves in Chautauqua County. Many of Joseph's neighbors and other members of Joseph's extended family are mentioned.

Profile of Rugene Walrath
1891 Will of Juliann Walrath
1884 Will of Martin Walrath


St. JOHNSVILLE CEMETERIES
St. Johnsville Cemetery Partial Reading
Klock's Church Burying Ground
Small Cemeteries of St. Johnsville
More Small Cemeteries of St. Johnsville
Small Farm Cemeteries of St. Johnsville - this is a link to another website and will open in a new window.


St. JOHNSVILLE MILITARY
Peter J. Keck of the 115th NY Volunteers


St. JOHNSVILLE LINKS
Historic Ft. Klock Restoration Site: a large site, including the book "Town of St. Johnsville Sesquicentennial 1838-1988" and Benton's "History of Herkimer County", Ft. Klock School, Charles Gehring's "Agriculture and Revolution in the Mohawk Valley", 1853 map of St. Johnsville, John C. Devendorf's "Battles & Raids 1609-1804", generations of the Klock Family, Town of St. Johnsville Sesquicentennial History, Jacob Zimmerman's Mill, vital records, and other great articles. Truly awesome. Schedule of events at the Fort as well as photos of recent events. This is a link to another site.

St. John's Reformed Church, St. Johnsville, NY - site about the church now and through it's long history, including the 1970 book "A History of St. John's Reformed Church, Formerly The Reformed Calvinist Church of The Upper Part of Palatine In The County of Montgomery", with history, extensive church vital records lists, and more. This site is a must-see if you had early Montgomery County ancestors. This is a link to another site.

Grace Congregational Church (UCC) of St. Johnsville, NY

St. Johnsville New York

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Park, 
St. Johnsville, N.Y.

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Park, St. Johnsville, N.Y.




PROFILE AND EXCERPTS ABOUT THE TOWN OF ST. JOHNSVILLE
From the History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, N.Y., by F.W. Beers & Co., 1878



THE TOWN OF ST. JOHNSVILLE

St. Johnsville was formed as a town at the division of Montgomery county on April 18th, 1838. Previous to that time it formed a part of Oppenheim, Fulton county, which joins it on the north. Its organization was completed at a special town meeting held at the house of Christopher Klock, about one mile east of the village of St. Johnsville, on the 1st day of May, 1838, at which its first officers were elected, "to fill the vacancies occasioned by the division of the county," as follows: Town clerk, Barney Becker; justices of the peace, Peter Klock, Daniel Ayers, Josiah Lomis; collector, Daniel C. Fox; assessors, Peter Radley and Simeon Klock; commissioners of highways, Joseph W. Nellis and John F. Bellinger. The number of votes polled was 271. The first regular town meeting was held at the same place on the 5th day of March 1839, at which a complete list of officers were elected, as follows: Supervisor, John W. Riggs; town clerk Jesse R. Curran; justice, George Lake; collector, Daniel Failing; assessors, George Chaugo, Peter Radley, Simeon Klock; commissioners of highways, Jacob H. Flander, Jonas Klock and Benjamin Groff; commissioners of common schools, Andrew R. Groot, Chauncey Nellis and Martin Walrath; overseers of the poor, John G. Klock and Joseph I. Klock; school inspectors, John G. Edwards, John Wilson and Joseph Hawes; constables, James Best, Christian Flander, Hiram Jennings, John P. Staring.

St. Johnsville is situated in the northwest corner of Montgomery county, on the north bank of the Mohawk. East Canada creek flows along its western border. The Crum, Klock, Zimmerman, Caldwell and Mother creeks all flow in a southerly direction across the town, and are absorbed by the Mohawk. Upon East Canada creek there is a succession of falls and rapids, descending seventy-five feet in as many rods. The surface of the town consists a broken upland, descending gradually to the south and terminating in the broad river flats. This soil is a fine quality of gravely loam well adapted to grazing and farming, and very productive along the river. Three distinct mineral veins have been discovered near East Canada creek, in the western part of the town, known as the lower, middle and upper mines. The lower vein consists principally of lead, with a very small sprinkling of gold; the middle vein is a mixture of copper, lead and zinc; and the upper vein is mostly copper.

The first settlement of this town probably begun as early as 1725, though the precise date is not known. Until 1808 it belonged to Palatine. The early settlers were Germans, from whom many of the present inhabitants have descended. Among them were families named Hellebradt, Waters, Getman, Van Riepen, Walrath and Klock. The first settlement at the village of St. Johnsville was made in 1776, by Jacob Zimmerman, who built the first grist-mill in the town soon after. George Klock built another in 1801. As early as 1756 a church was erected in the eastern part of the town, by Christian Klock. The Rev. Mr. Rosenkrantz was the first preacher, and John Henry Disland the second. A German school was taught by Henry Hayes at an early day. Lot Ryan, an Irishman, taught the first English school in 1792. Christopher Nellis kept a tavern in 1783, and a store in 1801.


THE VILLAGE OF ST. JOHNSVILLE

The village of St. Johnsville is situated on the north bank of the Mohawk, near the mouth of Zimmerman creek, and near the center of the town, east and west. It is a station of considerable importance on the New York Central Railroad and Erie Canal. The Mohawk turnpike also runs through it.

Some authorities assert that the village derived its name "from St. John's Church, erected there at an early day." This is incorrect as no St. John's or any other church had existed here at the time the name was applied to the place. The nearest was a Dutch Reformed church (never called St. John's) built about 1756, nearly a mile below, which about 1818, was torn down, and the present Reformed church erected in its stead. The name originated in this wise: On the 4th of April, 1811, an act was passed to "lay out a new turnpike road from the house of Henry Gross, in Johnstown, to the house of John C. Nellis, in the town of Oppenheim," terminating in the Mohawk turnpike near St. Johnsville. The commissioners named in the act were "John McIntire, of Broadalbin; Alexander St. John, of Northampton; and Wm. Newton, of Mayfield." St. John was a surveyor of good repute. He not only surveyed the road, but, as commissioner, took almost the entire charge of its construction, and being much at "Timmerman's" --as St. Johnsville was then called-- he became familiarly and favorably known to the leading citizens. When, subsequently, a post office came to be established at this place, through the instrumentality of Henry Lloyd and Chrisitan Graff, jr., then merchants here, the name of St. Johnsville was given to it, in honor of Alex. St John, the surveyor and commissioner.

The place was incorporated as a village Aug. 1st, 1857, and its organization completed at an election of officers held at the "Franklin House" Aug. 29th, 1857, which resulted as follows: Board of trustees, Wm. Kingsbury, Elisha Fox, Absalom Thumb, Gordon Hough and Truman Tabor; president, Storm R. Haight; clerk, Peter Heleger; assessors, Daniel Vonker, Matthew F. Wilson and George Adams; collector, John B. Churchill; treasurer, John B. Fisher. The whole number of inhabitants at that time within the corporate limits of the village was 720. The present population is about 1,500. St. Johnsville contains 3 churches, 3 hotels, a grist-mill, a woolen and cheese factory, a bank, 3 dry goods, 2 hardware, 2 drug, 3 furniture, 2 clothing, 2 boot and shoe, and 10 grocery stores, and a proportionate number of other stores, shops, offices, occupations and professions.


MILLS AND MANUFACTORIES

Over one hundred years ago Jacob Zimmerman commenced the first settlement and laid the foundation for a village, by erecting a grist-mill near the creek which still bears his name. In 1801, George Klock built another, and David Quackenbush erected the third grist-mill in 1804 and operated it until 1832 when it was closed. Six years after, it was converted into an iron foundry by Adam Thumb and others. It was subsequently re-modeled into a saw and planing-mill by Thumb and Flanders, who own and operate it as such at present. In 1825, James Averill built a stone grist-mill and distillery. These were twice burned and rebuilt, and continued to be operated as at first by Mr. Averill and his successors for twenty-two years, after which the mill was abandoned and the whole establishment used for distilling purposes. It was thus run at irregular intervals for nineteen years, Messrs. McNeil, Nagel, D. C. Cox, and Stuart following the business in the order named. The property latterly fell into hands of H. H. Healy, and was afterward converted into a paper-mill by D. C. Cox, who still continues the business of manufacturing board paper for boxes.

The St. Johnsville Woolen Mills are located on Zimmerman creek, in the northwest part of the village. They were erected in 1840 by Hough, Riggs & Adams, and afterward leased and operated by Winegar & Yonker. In 1857 they were purchased by Sidney Smith, the present proprietor, who is actively engaged in the manufacture of a variety of woolen goods, exclusively for the home market.

The St. Johnsville Agricultural Works are owned by M. Williams & Co, who commenced the manufacture of threshers and horse-powers in 1867. This establishment also turns out a variety of other implements useful to the farmer. M. Walrath, jr., is the business manager.

Upper St. Johnsville, situated on Klock's creek, about one mile west of St. Johnsville, contains the three-story stone flouring and custom mill of Beekman Brothers.

In 1870 Conover & Kent commenced the manufacture of fifth wheels for carriages at St. Johnsville, continuing till 1876, when Chas. W. Scudder & Co., purchased their factory and succeeded them in the business. The firm is at present manufacturing this one article to the amount of $12,000 worth annually, employing eleven men, and using seventy tons of American and Norway iron. This is the only establishment of the kind in the county, and there are but few others in the United States.


JOURNALISM-BANKING-MASONRY


On the 14th of July, 1875, The Interior New Yorker, edited and published by Wm. I. Palmer, made its first appearance. Mr. Palmer was succeeded, at the end of six months, by Wheeler & Haslett, who finished the first volume, when it was discontinued. The Weekly Portrait  soon after sprung up, phoenix-like, from the ashes of the New Yorker, with Thomas J. Haslett as the editor and proprietor, who still publishes it successfully.

The first National Bank of St. Johnsville was organized in June, 1864, with D. C. Cox president, and A. Zimmerman cashier. Upon the death of Mr. Zimmerman in 1873, J. W. Cronkhite became president and D. C. Cox cashier. Mr. Cox was succeeded in 1876 by N. G. Dodge.

The Masonic Lodge, No 611, of St. Johnsville, was organized in 1866, with Charles Buckingham as master, which position he still holds. The present membership is 85. Regular meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays of each month.


CHURCHES

The "Christian" church was organized in 1874, by the Rev. C. E. Peake, who is its present pastor. The membership, which was but thirteen originally, now numbers sixty persons. The Sunday-school connected with this church was organized in 1873 by C. M. Knox. It now has 125 scholars in regular attendance, and a library of 500 volumes. M. Williams is the superintendent.

The Union church was built in 1849, principally by the Lutheran and Methodist denominations. The grounds were generously donated by Azel Hough, with the condition that the edifice, when completed, should "be open and free to the use and occupation of all moral, christian and religious denominations." The first trustees were Adam J. Klock, Azel Hough, Nicholas J. Smith, Leonard Winegar, Enocy Snell, Nelson Rockafeller and James H. Eagan. The dedication services took place February 7th, 1850 Rev. H. L. Dix (Lutheran) officiating.




The 1878 profile of St. Johnsville was typed by volunteer Joan Veeder.




Is anyone looking for Stewart Nellis of St Johnsville? There are many Nellis's in our directory as his likely father. These associated names came from a list of burials in Albany Rural Cemetery (I don't know the location.) It says "Albany Cemetery Assoc." on the bottom of the page.

Emerson/ Kenyon/ Van Buren Plot, Lot 104 Sec 100 A
Wife Sarah J. Wands Visscher Worth Nellis b. 26 Dec 1860, Jackson, IN; d. 31 Aug 1927, Scotia, NY
Husband Edward James Worth b.1850; d.12 Apr 1906
Mary Worth b. 25 Mar 1886; d. 13 Sep 1973
Edward Charles Worth b. 23 Aug 1888; d. 8 Aug 1919
Husband Stewart Nellis b.1861, St Johnsville, NY d. 29 Apr 1909, Albany
Emma C Van Buren b.1869, Plattsburgh; d. 31 Oct 1904, Albany


Back to Montgomery County NYGenWeb




Created: 7/1/97
Last Updated: 8/26/10
Copyright ©1997 - 2013 Allyn Hess Perry, Town of St. Johnsville Coordinator
Copyright ©1997 - 2013 M. Magill/ Joan Veeder
Steel engraving of residence of Edward Bates of St. Johnsville from:
"The History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties"
Digitally-colored interpretation of image ©1997 - 2013 M. Magill
All Rights Reserved.
This page is part of Montgomery County NYGenWeb, part of NYGenWeb, and proud to be part of the USGenWeb Project.