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History of Kinderhook Township
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History of Kinderhook Township
Contributed by edmad709008
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Newspaper Date:

September 24 1936
Newspaper Article:

The first settlers in Kinderhook Township were David Cold, Bird Brewer, Mr. Lyle, Amasa Shinn, Thomas McCraney, James Hull, Charles Smith, Charles and James Stratton, C. Devol, Thomas Orr and others.

To these pioneers great credit should be given for their perseverance and labor in the effort to settle and improve the county for future generations and future posterity.

They were exposed to danger not only from Indians, but from wild animals that roamed through the woods and over the prairie.

These pioneers lived in log cabins with chimneys made of sticks and mud, puncheon floors and often with no windows. The first settlers had to go to Bear Creek above Quincy to get milling done. Later a mill was run by oxen on Hadley Creek two miles above Kinderhook by W. M. Blair.

The first white settler in Kinderhook Township was Thomas McCraney, who came here from Massachusetts. He made some improvement on land near a stream west of Kinderhook. This creek is now known as McCraney Creek. He made these improvements in 1825 on Section 11. He afterward went to Quincy. All of this group of early settlers left here except Smith Hull, Henry Oney and Thomas Orr. Mr. Oney taught the first school in 1833.

Reverend Hunter of the Methodist denomination preached the first sermon in the home of Charles Stratton in 1830. The first school house was built on Section 10 in 1833 and was used for both church and school.

Thomas Hull was the first supervisor, Michael Blain was the Justice of peace.

Another early settler was Chester Churchill, Grandfather of the late H. S. Churchill who came here from New York in the early part of the century. He became the owner of considerable land and owned and operated a saw mill on Hadley Creek on what now is the S. S. Gaines place. He dammed the creek with huge logs and used the waterpower to turn his mill there yet as late as 1889 and until about 20 years ago the place on the hill down which they rolled their logs was quite a base. Butternut logs 40 feet long were sawed here were used in the barn recently torn down by Otto Reinhardt on the old Churchill place. This barn was more than one hundred years old.

Mr. Churchill raised onions on the land near his mill and took them to New Orleans on raft. He also took stock there in the same manner. He started south with a raft load of mules and never returned. The last trace of him was in Tennessee. It was supposed the raft sank or that he met with foul play. In 1833 his son came here from New York but returned the next year. He came back in 1836 and became the owner of the farm west of town where H. S. Churchill lived for many years. The first land he bought he secured by giving a cloth overcoat for his claim on the land. Among others who were prominent and influential in the township were these men and their families: Alec Anderson, Thomas Fitzpatrick, S. B. Gaines, Samuel Clark, Alexander Clutch, John Clutch, Samuel Colgrove, Joseph, Timothy and Chas. Colvin, John Cook, David Devol, John Gose, father of C. B. and A. A. Gose, Barney Hinds, Thomas Hull, Chas. Hull, David Hull, James and Rufus Murray, Dr. Charles Sprague, William Talbert, I. N. Thomson, J. A. Walch, Smith Hull and Dr. Penick.

To these we owe a debt of gratitude for their untiring efforts to improve conditions for future generations.

A walnut grove located across the street from the old John Cook was the place where the social activities of the community were held. Political meetings, Sunday school picnics, dances and ball games were held there. It is said a platform was built on which eight sets of square dances could be accommodated at one time.

Some years ago a lime kiln was in operation near the old Hadley Creek Bridge but was burned when the creek went on a rampage in 1896. Walter Wilson and Joseph Fitzpatrick were actively connected with the kiln for a long time.

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