414 MONTGOMERY COUNTY.
soon after it was secured, and was probably the first white inhabitant of the town. About 1740,
16 Irish families, under the patronage of Sir Wm. Johnson, settled on Corry’s Patent, a few mi. s.w.
of Fort Hunter. After making considerable improvements, they abandoned their location and
returned to Ireland in consequence of threatened Indian disturbances.1 The first church (Ref.
Prot. D.) was formed at Glen; Rev. Henry Y. Wyekoff was the first pastor.2 This town was the
scene of many interesting incidents connected with the war. It furnished its full proportion
of victims at the battle of Oriskany, and sustained an equal share in the losses and sufferings
from Indian incursions.3 The last council within the co. previous to the Revolution was held
between the Indians and Americans Oct. 13, 1775, on the farm now owned by John S. Quacken¬
boss, on the Mohawk Flats, 2 mi. e. of Fultonville.
MOTDEJS’—was formed from Canajoharie, March 2, 1798. Danube (Herkimer co) was taken
off in 1817, It lies upon the s. bank of the Mohawk, in the extreme w. part of the co. Its surface
is principally an undulating upland, with steep declivities bordering upon the streams. The
principal streams are the Otsquaga4 and its tributary the Otsquene. Prospect Hill, called by the
Indians “ Ta-ra-jo-rhies,’’3 lies upon the Otsquaga opposite Fort Plain. The soil is a fine quality
of gravelly and clayey loam, and is particularly adapted to grazing.5 Fort Plain, (p. v.,)
incorp. April 5, 1832, is situated upon the Mohawk, in the e. part of the town. It contains an
academy,6 bank, printing office, and 4 churches. Pop. 1502. Mindenville, (p.v.,) on the
Mohawk, in the w. part of the town, contains 30 houses, and Fordsfooroiig'll, (Mindenp.o.,)
on the w. border, 25. Hallsville,7 (p.o.,) Freystmsli,8 (p.o.,) and Hessville, are hamlets.
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, showing that the eo. was
inhabited long prior to the advent of the Indians.9 During the French War, Fort Plain was
erected on the summit of the hill, half a mi. n. w. of the village.10 During the Revolution, several
other forts were built to protect the people from the sudden attacks of the Indians.12 The first
settlements in this town were among the first in the co. The early settlers were Germans, among
whom were the Devendorf, Waggoner, and Gros families, Andrew Keller, and Henry H. Smith.13
John Abeel, an Indian trader, settled here in 1748.14 In common with the other valley towns,
these settlements were ravaged by Brant and Johnson in 1780. At the time of Brant’s incursion
the men were mostly absent, and the women were shut up in the forts for safety. Upon the
a tongue of land formed by the valleys of Otsquaga Creek and
one of its tributaries. This tongue is 100 ft. above the streams,
and the declivities are almost precipitous. Across the tongue, at
its narrowest part, is a curved line of breastworks 240 ft. in
length, inclosing an area of about 7 acres. A gigantic pine, 6 ft.
in diameter, stands upon one end of the embankment, showing
that the work must have been of great antiquity.—Smithsonian
Contributions, Vol. II. Art. 6.
11 This fort was built by a French engineer for the Government,
and was the finest fortification in the valley. It was octagonal,
3 stories high, each story projecting beyond the one below. In
the lower story was a cannon, which was fired in cases of alai'm
to notify the people of danger.
12 Fort Plank was situated about 2 mi. n. w. of Fort Plain, on
the farm now occupied by C. House. Fort Clyde was situated 2
mi. s. w. of Fort Plain, near the l'esidenoe of Peter Devendorf, at
Freyshush. Fort Willett was w. of Fort Plank.
18 Henry Hayse, a German, taught the first school; Isaac
Countryman built the first gristmill, soon after the w-ar, and
Isaac Paris kept the first store, about the same time. A large
stone dwelling was erected here for the sons of Gov. Clark in
1738, hut was soon abandoned. It obtained the reputation of
being haunted, and was given away, 50 years ago, on condition
that it should be demolished.
14 In his previous intercourse with the Indians, Abeel had
married the daughter of a Seneca chief, after the Indian
fashion. A child of this mari-iage was the famous chief Corn-
planter. Abeel subsequently married a white woman, and at the
commencement of the war was living upon his farm. During
the incursion of Oct. 1780, Abeel was taken pi'isoner by a party
of Indians, and, while momentarily expecting death, Coni-
planter addressed him as father and assured him of his safety.
He was given his choice either to accompany the Indians under
the protection of his son, or to return to his white family. He
chose the latter; and after the war Cornplantei- visited him, and
was received by his Fort Plain relatives with the civilities due
his rank and manly hearing. The chief died at his residence in
Penn., March 7,1836. Stone, in his Life of Rrant, says that
Cornplanter was more than 100 years old at the time of liis
death. Mr. Webster, of Fort Plain, a descendent of John Abeel,
states that Abeel did not make his appearance in the Indian
country until 1748, and that Cornplanter was horn about 1750.
This would make his age about 30 when he accompanied the ex<
pedition that took his father pi-isonex', and but 86 when he died.
A son of the first settler married Annie, daughter of Capt.
John Seott, the patentee, and settled on the. site of the present
co. poorhouse. Their son John, bom about 1725, was the first
white child born on the s. side of the Mohawk, between Fort
Hunter and German Flats. Cornelius Putnam settled at Ca-
daughrity, Richard Hoff 1 mi. w. of Glen, Nicholas Gardinier and
John Van Eps on the Mohawk, and Charles Van Eps at Fulton¬
ville. Near the house of the Van Eps a small blockhouse was
erected toward the close of the Revolution. Jno. Hazard taught
the first school, at the house of J. S. Quackeriboss; Wm. Quacken-
hoss kept the first inn at Ani'iesville, in 1797, and John Starin
one still earlier at the present village of Fultonville. Jer. Smith
opened the first store in Glen, in 1797. A. D. Quackenboss kept
a store on the Mohawk, e. of Fultonville. Peter and Simon Mabie
built the first sawmill and carding machine, in 1797, and Peter
Quackenboss a gristmill, on Anries Creek, soon after.
The census repsrts 4 churches in town; 2 Ref. Prot. D., M. E.,
8 In the fall of1779 George Cuck, a noted tory, who had often
led scalping parties of Indians to the homes of his old neigh¬
bors, was seen lurking about, and at one time was fired upon
and narrowly escaped. It was supposed that he had returned
to Canada; but toward spring it became known that he was con¬
cealed at the house of John Van Zuyler, a kinsman and brother
tory. A party surrounded the house, dragged Cuck from his
hiding place and shot him, and arrested Van Zuyler and sent
him prisoner to Albany. In the fall of 1780 the whole settle¬
ment was ravaged, and many of the people were murdered. One
day Isaac Quackenboss, while out hunting, discovered three hos¬
tile Indians sitting upon a log. He fired, and killed two, and
mortally wounded the third.
Mohawk, Osquago, signifying “under the bridge.”
« The dairy products of this town are greater than those of any
other in the co. Hops are also largely cultivated.
The “ Fort Plain Seminary and Female Collegiate Institute”
is supported by the patronage of all denominations. The
academic building is a fine structure, situated upon a command¬
ing eminence overlooking the village and valley.
. 8 Named from Capt. Robext Hall.
Named from John Frey, a lawyer and leading patriot who
resided here during the Revolution.
These mounds and ruins are the most easterly of any of the
kind yet discovered. They are situated 4 mi. s. of Fort Plain, on