History of the
Town of Stephentown

The following information is from Gazetteer and Business Directory of Rensselaer County, N. Y., for 1870-71, by Hamilton Child, 1870. Ray Brown's website Ray's Place has town histories as published in Landmarks of Rensselaer County by George Baker Anderson (Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1897). For Chapter XXV, Town of Stephentown, click here.

Stephentown, named in honor of Stephen Van Rensselaer, was formed from Rensselaerwyck, March 29, 1784. Petersburgh was taken off in 1791, and parts of Berlin and Nassau in 1806. It lies in the southeast corner of the county. The surface consists of two rocky, mountainous ranges, separated by the valley of Kinderhook Creek. The highest summits are about 1,800 feet above tide. The principal peaks are Round Mountain, and Whitney and Butternut Hills, east of the valley, and Brockway Hill and Webster mountain on the west. Extensive forests cover a portion of the town. The principal streams are Kinderhook and East Creeks, Black River, Black and Roaring Brooks. The soil is hard and sterile among the mountains, but a gravelly loam in the valleys.

The village of Stephentown situated on Kinderhook Creek, contains two churches and about twenty dwellings.

Stephentown Flats, on the same stream, contains a cotton batting factory, a machine shop and about twenty-five dwellings.

Mechanicsville, on Black River, contains a church, a saw mill, a grist mill, a brush factory, four turning shops and about twenty-five dwellings.

West Stephentown, North Stephentown and South Stephentown have post offices.

The first settlement of this town was commenced about 1766. Asa Douglas, his son William, and his grandson Benjamin, Nathan Rose, Elnathan Sweet and Joseph Rogers settled near the center of the town, and Joshua Gardner in the east part, at a very early day. Edward Carr settled near Kinderhook Creek, and John Mills, _____ Husted, _____ Lewis, _____Berry and others settled in the north part. Most of the early settlers were from Rhode Island.

The first child born in the town was William Douglas, a grandson of Asa, one of the first settlers. He afterwards married the first white female born in the town. The late Hon. Stephen A. Douglas was a descendant of the first settler. The first church (Baptist) was organized in 1782, under Rev. Justus Hall. Rev. Robert Miles was the first pastor.

The population of the town in 1865 was 2,026, and its area 33,538 acres.

The number of school districts is fifteen, employing the same number of teachers. The number of children of school age is 717; the number attending school 536; the average attendance 214, and the amount expended for school pusposes during the year ending September 30th, 1869, was $3,528.57.

The following information is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

Stephentown, named in honor of Stephen Van Rensselaer, was formed from Rensselaerwyck in 1784. Asa and William Douglas are thought to be the first settlers. Special interest is afforded this couple, not because they were the first settlers, but because they were the great grandparents of Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, the "Little Giant" from Illinois. He was Abraham Lincoln's opponent in the presidential contest of 1860. The senator's father was born in Stephentown, but the senator was born in Brandon, Vermont.

Stephentown had carding mills, which eventually became satina mills, a flannel factory and a brush factory. Potash and charcoal were also made there. There was a Masonic order from 1802 to 1830, when it became under the jurisdiction of the Unity Lodge of Lebanon.

Revolutionary War Soldiers
Brockway, Justus.
Brown, Maj. Daniel, who participated in the battle of Bennington.
Douglas, Capt. William.
Horton, John.
Platt, Capt. Israel.
Tanner, Daniel.
Williams, Nathan.

War of 1812-1815 Soldiers
Babcock, Samuel.
Cranston, John.
Douglas, William B.
Kittle, Peleg.
Morton, Eleazer.
Morton, Ichabod.
Ross, Capt. Leonard.
Swan, Warren.

Civil War Soldiers
Allen, Shadric, enl. Jan. 7, 1865, 169th Regt.
Andrews, Wm. B., enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 125th Regt.; died Jan. 4, 1865 at Salisbury prison.
Atwater, Daniel A., enl. Aug. 26, 1862, 169th Regt.
Atwater, Wm. H., enl. Feb. 23, 1864, 164th Regt.
Bakeman, George W., enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 125th Regt.
Beebe, Lorenzo D., enl. Aug. 15, 1862, 125th Regt.
Benjamin, Henry, enl. Sept. 1861, 8th Ill. Cav.
Berry, Peter, enl. Aug. 30, 1862, 44th NY Regt.; died July 8, 1864 at Gettysburgh.
Blake, John W., enl. Aug. 14, 1864, 125th Regt.; died July 20, 1864 at New York City.
Bligh, John H., enl. Feb. 8, 1864, 169th Regt.; wounded in left arm.
Brainard, David, 3d sergt., enl. Aug. 15, 1862, 125th Regt.; pro. to 1st lieut.
Briggs, Joseph, enl. Oct. 5, 1863, 20th NY Regt.
Brimmer, Wm. H., enl. Sept. 5, 1864, 21st Cav.
Brockway, Arnold, enl. March 1, 1864, 169th Regt.
Brown, Andrew G., enl. Aug. 30, 1862, 125th Regt.
Burke, Wm., enl. Dec. 18, 1863, 16th NY Regt.
Chapel, Charles F., enl. May 1, 1861, Navy flagship "Wabash;" died Oct. 1, 1863 in Charleston Harbor, SC.
Chase, Elizur G., enl. Nov. 9, 1861, 31st Mass. Regt.; pro. to corp.; died April 8, 1864 at Sabine Cross-Roads.
Clark, Andrew J., enl. July 7, 1864, 69th Mass. Regt.
Coleman, J. De Witt, 1st sergt., enl. Aug. 21, 1864, 125th Regt.; pro. to 1st leiut.; died July 16, 1864 at Petersburg.
Cooms, George, enl. Aug. 18, 1862, 125th Regt.
Corey, John L., enl. Nov. 1861, 31st Mass. Regt.
Coutan, George, enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 125th Regt.; died April 1864 at Andersonville.
Crissey, John L., enl. Sept. 5, 1864, 95th Regt.
Daboll, Amos J., enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 125th NY Regt.; pro. to sergt.; died May 19, 1865 at Stephentown.
Daniels, Charles S., enl. April 6, 1864, 57th Mass Regt.; died June 20, 1864 at Philadelphia.
De Rau, Erasmus, enl. Aug. 29, 1864, 61st Mass. Regt.
Dimond, George, enl. Jan. 18, 1863, 41st Regt.; died Feb. 18, 1864 at New York City.
Dimond, Wm. C., enl. Sept. 1862, 169th Regt.
Doty, Albert, enl. Jan. 18, 1861, 34th Mass. Regt.
Evans, David H., enl. Jan. 13, 1864, 13th H. Art.
Evans, Jonah M., enl. Sept. 12, 1864, 13th H. Art.
Fitzgerald, John, enl. Aug. 15, 1862, 125th Regt.
Gibson, John, enl. Nov. 9, 1861, 31st Mass. Regt.; died Jan. 14, 1862 at New Orleans.
Goodrich, Alexander, enl. Aug. 15, 1862, 125th Regt.
Gould, James, enl. Sept. 1, 1862, 44th Regt.
Green, Oliver H., enl. Sept. 20, 1863, 21st Cav.
Harris, Henry, enl. July 7, 1864, 69th Mass. Regt.
Hassan, James O., enl. Aug. 11, 1862, 125th Regt.
Heyes, Calvin, enl. Aug. 15, 1862, 125th Regt.
Hinkley, Albert E., enl. Oct. 1, 1862, 15th Mass. Regt.; died Oct. 14, 1864 at Bristoe Station.
Hunt, Stephen, enl. Aug. 15, 1862, 125th Regt.
Kerlin, John, enl. April 1865, 125th Regt.
Kingsley, Chandler R., enl. Sept. 12, 1864, 14th Regt.
Kittle, Ebenezer, 1st corp., enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 125th Regt.; died Aug. 11, 1864 at Andersonville.
Lister, James, enl. Sept. 1862, 169th Regt.
McFester, Barney, enl. Dec. 15, 1863, 34th Mass. Regt.
McFester, Denis, enl. Apr. 1, 1865, 125th Regt.
McGee, John, enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 125th Regt.; trans. to 21st Vet. Res. Corps.
McGrath, Michael, enl. Aug. 4, 1864, 69th Regt.
Miller, Herman, enl. Oct. 16, 1861, 7th Cav.
Nye, Daniel, enl. Jan. 2, 1864, 99th Regt.
Pierce, Russell H., enl. Jan. 1864, 21st Cav.
Pratt, Franklin, enl. Aug. 15, 1864, 125th Regt.
Rogers, Edwin A., enl. Aug. 17, 1862, 125th Regt.
Rollo, John A., sergt., enl. July 25, 1862, 12th Battery; re-enl. April 1866, 5th US Inf.
Sedgewick, Enoch W., enl. Sept. 1864, 61st Mass. Regt.
Sedgewick, Daniel A., enl. Sept. 1864, 61st Mass. Regt.
Sedgewick, Philetus A., enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 125th Regt.
Swan, Nelson A., enl. Nov. 8, 1861, 31st Mass Regt.
Sykes, Jonas, enl. Nov. 1862; died Jan. 1, 1863 at Harper's Ferry.
Sykes, Wm., enl. Jan. 1864, 50th Eng. Corps; had previously served in 125th Regt.
Van Derbogert, Henry, enl. Sept. 3, 1864, 99th Regt.; wounded.
Veil, Michael, enl. Oct. 7, 1863, Navy ship "Mellicourt."
Warren, Aaron, enl. Aug. 15, 1862, 125th Regt.
Waters, Daniel, enl. Aug. 14, 1864, 125th Regt.; died Oct. 19, 1866 at US hospital.
Weaver, David H., enl. Aug. 15, 1862, 125th Regt.
Webster, Isaac, enl. Jan. 1864, 1st Mass. Regt.
Weight, Warren C., enl. Aug. 14, 1862, 125th Regt.
Wheeler, Zopher, enl. Jan. 18, 1864, 169th Regt.; died Dec. 5, 1864 at Washington, D. C.
Whitman, Justis, enl. Oct. 1862, 35th NY Regt.; died Feb. 28, 1864 at Mound City hospital.
Williams, Abner, enl. Mar. 15, 1864, 99th Regt.; died Sept. 29, 1864 at Newbern, NC.
Williams, James H., enl. Jan. 2, 1864, 99th Regt.
Wooden, Harvey, enl. Nov. 9, 1861, 34th Mass. Regt.
Woodward, Horace D., 1st sergt., enl. Aug. 14, 1862; died Dec. 7, 1864 at Philadelphia.

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