People of Importance, The First Hundred Years
Abraham Wing was the founding father of Queensbury. Born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts on August 4, 1721, he later moved to Dutchess County at The Oblong with his mother and brothers. He grew up in the Quaker community and practiced the faith. On May 20, 1762, he and others acquired the Queensbury Patent from David Prindle and other land speculators. Wing saw the 23, 000 acres of land as good for agriculture and settlement. The following year he and Zaccheus Towner arrived and met Jeffrey Cowper, the first white settler in the township. The two men surveyed the patent dividing it into forty four 10 acre lots and one hundred and one 250 acre lots. Land for the village was laid out near the blockhouse by Halfway Brook. The next year Wing brought his band of 23 followers to Queensbury to begin the settlement. This early effort was interrupted by the Revolutionary War in which many of the settlers’ possessions were taken and they fled for their lives. After the war the town began in earnest. Wing built his sawmill on the Hudson River with homes soon emerging nearby creating the village of Glens Falls. The original village did not develop as planned. Wing began the town government serving in the office of supervisor for 15 years. He also held positions as moderator, poundkeeper, treasurer, fence viewer, forester, commissioner of highways and pathmaster, overseer of the poor, and assessor. With his wife Anstis Wood, he had 9 children. Wing died on May 3, 1795 at age 73. In 1962, Dorothy Wing, a descendant of Abraham Wing, presented the original Queensbury Patent to the town . Today it remains as the town’s oldest archival document.
Moses Harris, Jr.
Moses Harris, Jr. was born on November 8, 1746 in Goshen, Connecticut . Moving to Dutchess County, he learned the art of surveying and was recognized for his talents as a woodsman. He was a man of education and wealth. He enlisted as a Minute Man in 1775 and was made a First Sergeant in 1776. He was later engaged by General Philip Schuyler to aid colonists in breaking the north-south system of communication established by the British. He successfully infiltrated the British camp as a double spy and agent for the patriot cause and delivered to General Washington significant information which brought to an end British General Burgoyne’s campaign to divide the colonies . He was awarded a stipend and annual pension of $91.61. In 1787, he moved to Queensbury, surveyed and purchased the former John Lawrence Patent to which he added numerous parcels which became the hamlet of Harrisena. He was responsible for all of the early road surveys for the town of Queensbury, as well as, the area identified as Glens Falls. Moses, Jr. married Grace Stevens (1753-1813) and had ten children. He married second to Isabelle Chevalier (1780-1840). He died on November 13, 1838 at age 89 yrs., 11 mos., 24 days. A monument to his memory was erected by his grandson John J. Harris at Harrisena Cemetery.
Thomas Hammond was the storekeeper for whom The Oneida or Oneida Corners was named. He was said to be half Oneida Indian by heritage and he was born ca. 1775- 80 . He and his sister Dinah were brought up by Captain Green of Whipple City, now Greenwich, Washington County, NY. Some time prior to the outbreak of the War of 1812 he removed to Queensbury and opened a store of general merchandise in a building which is still standing on the corner of Ridge and Sunnyside Roads opposite Bean’s Country Store. He carried on an extensive trade along with a lumbering business. From the expressions often stated at the time, “Let’s go up to the Oneida’s”, “I bought this at the Oneida’s” or “We must send down to the Oneida’s”, the hamlet in Queensbury is now called The Oneida. Hammond was married to Keziah Reynolds on 26 March 1806 at the home of Solomon Reynolds by Judge William Robards. The census indicates that the couple had five sons and three daughters. Overcome by his appetite for alcohol (the redman’s curse) Hammond failed in business and moved to French Mountain. He died in poverty sometime between June 1830 and December 19, 1831.
David Sanford was born in 1769 in Connecticut of a family that came from England in 1631. Sanford moved to New Milford where he later migrated to Queensbury in 1795. He settled on the ridge which bears his name. Here he had a mercantile shop, ashery, and smoke house. On the corner of Sanford’s Ridge he built a federal style home with curved details and a palladium window which he brought from Connecticut. This home is on the National Register and is owned by Carolyn and Robert Rudolph. A large barn was built next door in the mid 1800s. By 1820 the house was sold to Sanford’s nephew Gould Sanford. During the War of 1812, David Sanford along with his neighbors Thomas Carpenter and Fones Green sold supplies to soldiers who were stationed in the area . The troops carried the spotted fever epidemic here where the three entrepreneurs contracted the disease and died. No known burials have been found for the three men. Their offspring were minors and their guardianship records have been found. David Sanford married Amy Hartwell and had seven children – Rachel, Rebecca, Delia Maria, Emily Francis, Amy Emeline and two sons. Amy later married Elisha Folger. Sanford founded the Methodist Church at the ridge which stands today. He and his wife also contributed to the Presbyterian Church in Glens Falls. Sanford served as town clerk from 1802 to 03, as superintendent of schools in 1805 - 07 and 1810-11, an overseer of the poor in 1806, a pathmaster in 1798 and 1806, and a poundkeeper in 1811. He had a wide influence and was held in high esteem in the area. He died at age 43 .
Dr. Asa Stower
Dr. Asa Stower was born in 1769 in a border town in Massachusetts. His childhood was passed at or near New Lebanon, N.Y. His father embraced the Shaker faith and died of small pox after which his mother, a Presbyterian, moved the family back to their farm . Here the boys helped pay for the home. Asa and his brother attended the district school where Asa became interested in botany. At age 18 he commenced the study of medicine. At age 21 he finished his studies and with a horse, saddle and bridle and a pair of saddle bags filled with medicine he started out to seek his fortune. He came to Queensbury in 1790 as the town’s first physician treating many people over many miles. He operated a medical school for young interns from his Federal/Greek style home on Ridge Road. He remained a bachelor and was seen as a little odd. He became a citizen of means and purchased several farms on the Ridge. His last place was the Staples Farm which passed down to Ned Crislip who placed the residence on the National Historic Register. As a community member Dr. Stower served as a Town Supervisor over many years (1798-1835), a Justice of the Peace in 1817, 18, a Pathmaster in 1805, a Commissioner of Common Schools from 1812-1842, and an Inspector of Common Schools in 1817, 20, 22, 26, 27. Dr. Stower died in 1848. He is buried in the Sunnyside Cemetery. After his death his sizeable estate of twenty thousand dollars did not have enough left after the greed of his heirs at law to pay for a gravestone. His neighbors took up a subscription to pay for a plain marble slab which reads: “DR. ASA STOWER, Died May 25, 1848, Aged 79 years. He lived respected in society.”
James and Amanda Sisson
James and Amanda Sisson lived in a house at Glen and Bay Streets which was built at the close of the Revolutionary War by Edward Wing and later occupied by his son, Joseph. The house (later on next to the Church of the Messiah) was sold by Wing to Abram Ranger. Two years later Royal Leavens acquired the property and expanded it to two stories and removed the big chimney. By 1834 James Sisson had married Gulielma Wing the daughter of Joseph Wing. Against advise of friends he purchased the house for $3,000 and his wife enjoyed being in the home of her ancestors and the scene of her childhood until she died in 1858. James became a merchant retiring in early middle age after he had what he considered a competency of $20,000. James married second Amanda Ferris. In 1867, the two of them deeded a piece of land at Glen and Bay to the Town of Queensbury for the Queensbury Soldiers Monument to be a tribute to those who served in the Civil War. When James died in 1879 the house was sold to William Spier with 1/2 of the land sold to make room for the Glens Falls Insurance Company. The Sisson homestead was then demolished.
Quartus Curtiss came to Queensbury in 1844 and established a large business in sheep farming and woolen manufacturing. The Curtis Woolen Mill was built at the foot of Factory Hill just north of Ridge and Sunnyside Roads on Halfway Brook which was a good source of water power. He employed 4 men with 3 boys and 4 girls under 18 yrs. of age. The average wage for men was $26 per month and for women $14 per month. By 1855 Curtiss’s sheep produced 80,000 pounds of wool valued at $9600. Curtiss was born in 1816 in Massachusetts. He married Sarah Elvira --------- who died in 1856. With his second wife, Martha he raised five children. He served as postmaster, proprietor of a sawmill, speculator and farmer. In 1863, he served as President of the Warren County Agricultural Society. The sheep population eventually dropped and the woolen mill went out of existence.
Roger Haviland, Samuel Miller, and Stephen Goodspeed
Early settlers acquired significant parcels of valuable land which became the site of settlements as they sold off parcels to those who came later. By 1805, the Havilands owned the largest real estate parcels in Queensbury. As family members married the lands were divided and passed on making the lands in and around Haviland Road the home to many Havilands. Samuel Miller was born in Ireland and moved to Queensbury in 1830. He and his wife settled in a tavern at the crest of what is now called Miller Hill. The land was gradually sold off for building lots, farms and Pineview Cemetery. Stephen Goodspeed was born in Warrensburg in 1810 and later learned the trade of blacksmithing which he pursued in Glens Falls until 1845. Upon retiring he purchased a farm in lot 95 of the Queensbury Patent and began subdividing the land into lots which formed a community which he called West Glens Falls and the residents called it Goodspeedville.