Saturday, November 22, 2008

History of Cobleskill

There are several stories of how Cobleskill got it’s name. Versions of Cobleskill’s name included “Cow-bell Kill”, “Cobble Kill”, and “Cobus Kill”.

Johannes Schaeffer bought 600 acres near today’s village, and Judge Brown’s brother built a mill nearby. Judge Brown’s brother, Christian, was saved by a bird repeatedly landing on his shoulder while Indians were approaching.

The first time the British invaded was June of 1778, under Brant with 200 Indians, and skirmished with Patriots in what is now Richmondville. The Indians burned many buildings before retreating. Some of those, whose homes were burned, fled to other towns, while others like Captain Brown and Henry Shafer had to outrun Indians to safety.

After the war, two drunk Tories boasted of their crimes, and a patriot whipped them and had them pull a carriage with stones in their pockets shouting “king’s money”.

In 1781, under threats from the enemy, citizens of Cobleskill built a fort surrounded by a moat. Tories and Indians attacked the fort the same year.

In 1867, a brick schoolhouse was built in Cobleskill. Abraham Lawyer owned a hotel, the United States Hotel. His father was killed by a rolling log.

Cobleskill had four churches, three of which were Protestant and one Catholic. The Lutheran Church still stands today, built in 1796. One citizen was a Hessian soldier that exclaimed for King George, and was burnt by a patriot and nearly died. Little hamlets sprung up outside Cobleskill only after the Revolution, when the threat of war passed.

Howe’s Caverns was a popular tourist destination, second only in New York State to Niagra Falls. The caves were found by Lester Howe in the early 1800s, and soon the caves were open to the public. Punchkill is nearby the caves, and other hamlets of Cobleskill are Mineral Springs and Lawyersville.

Captain James Dana fought in both the Revolution and against the Barbary Pirates. He was appointed Brigadier General, the first man to accomplish that in Schoharie County. Dana attended George Washington’s funeral in 1799. William Elmandorf fought in the War of 1812, and died at the age of 96.

Henry Smith was elected Speaker of the State Assembly in 1872. Reuben and Minard Harder bought the Empire Agricultural Works created by David Anthony around 1850.

The First National Bank of Cobleskill was created in 1864, with a pool of $60,000. Cobleskill was incorporated in 1868. The most common names of Supervisors were Shafers and Lawyers.

Charles Holmes was born in 1826. He was elected a Member of Assembly and was selected as Judge in 1871.

Jebediah Miller was born in Massachusetts in 1782, and descended from the pilgrims. He was elected to the assembly in 1819 and 1820. When he died, he had no living relative left.

Joseph Ramsey was born in Sharon in 1816. He was elected to the assembly in 1854, and pushed for legislation for what would be the Susquehanna railroad, and was elected Vice President, and later President of the Albany Iron Manufacturing Company.

Thomas Lawyer was born in Schoharie in 1785. He was a lawyer and was elected to the U.S. Congress from 1817 to 1819. He died in 1868.

Charles Courter was born in Schoharie in 1808. He was an esteemed business man and was an Elector in a Presidential election. He died in 1879.

James Tanner was born in 1844. He joined the Union army in 1861. He lost both legs at the Second Battle of Bull Run, and was captured by the Confederates. He later worked in the war Department and was next to Abraham Lincoln when Lincoln died. Tanner was named Commander of all forces in New York, and was still alive in 1882.

Philip Wieting was born in 1800. He was a reverend in life and helped push for a church in Lawyersville. He died in 1869.

Going through the list of names at the end, there are plenty of Vromans, Shafers, Bellingers, Lawyers, Beckers, and a few Murphys.

I wonder how many pages it would take to write a history of New York City.

No comments: