Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The History of Montgomery Classis, R.C.A.
by W.N.P. Dailey,
Recorder Press, Amsterdam, NY 1916
To which is added sketches of Mohawk Valley men and events of early days, the Iroquois, Palatines, Indian Missions, Tryon County, committee of Safety, Sir Wm. Johnson, Joseph Brant, Arendt Van Curler, Gen. Herkimer, Reformed Church in America, Doctrine and Progress, Revolutionary Residences, Etc.


Auriesville was formerly called "Auries Creek," and there are many references to the place both in the county records as well as in the State's documents. Tradition tells us that the name is a corruption of the Indian word "Ograckie," which is found in the Fonda records as a boundary line in the Shucksburg Patent of 10,000 acres which was on both sides of Auries Hill in the town of Glen. We are also told of an old Indian, by name "Aurie," which is the Dutch for Adrien or Aaron, who lived near the mouth of the creek, after whom the place was called. In N.Y. Doc. History is a list of King's County assessments, dated 1675, the name "Arie" appears as a Christian name six times, and "Ariaen" once. Doubtless the name came from some settler bearing the Christian name of "Arie," since changed to "Aurie" who lived near the place about the beginning of the eighteenth century. "Ograckie" has no meaning of itself, but is probably a corruption of the word Osarakie, which means "at the beaver dam." The word occurs in the John Scott Patent (1722) as a boundary point. Auriesville is the supposed site of the lower Mohawk Castle, which Domine Megapolenssis, on his visit in 1664 called, "Asseru," and which Father Jogues called "Osseru." When Arent Van Corlaer visited the place in 1635 he found the name of the ruling sachem to be "Adriochten." The word Aurie or Arie is the Dutch for Adrien or Adrianus, the meaning of which is the "sea." Here near Auriesville Father Jogues was killed by the Indians in 1646. Gen. John S. Clark after an exhaustive study approved the location of this Papal shrine, but since this approval the Arent Van Curler Journal has come to light with much data that might change this determination. At Auriesville the Mohawks had their castle from 1635 thro 1666, at the close of the latter year being driven out by the French and settling across the river at Caughnawaga where remained until 1693, when the French again drove them away, the tribe going to the west side of the mouth of the Schoharie creek.

The Reformed Protestant Dutch church of Auriesville was organized March 19, 1839, under the title of "The Second Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in the town of Glen, Montgomery County." The trustees elected on March 19 were John C. Servoss, Henry C. Cady, David Wood, Erastus Holmes, and Abraham V. Putman. Henry C. Cady gave the land for the church, adjoining the old cemetery and the edifice was built by Peter Wiles. The Dutch church of Albany gave a $100 toward this. The first consistory was John C. Servoss and Erastus Holmes, elders, ordained by Rev. Jukes in November, 1839. The first pastor of the church was Rev. Chas. Jukes who was born in England in 1788 and came to this country in 1830. His first charges were in the Presbyterian churches of Edinburgh and the Fish House, and, later, he was pastor for five years of the Presbyterian church at Amsterdam. His first work in the Reformed church was at Glen to which he came in 1839, the year of the organization. He preached here for nearly five years, going in the latter part of 1844 to the collegiate pastorate of Ephratah and Stone Arabia, where he remained until 1850, in which year he entered the work of the Rotterdam church near Pattersonville, where he died in 1862. It was during Jukes pastorate that the church was built which was burned in 1876. Some of the descendants of Rev. Jukes are living in Fulton county. From July, 1845, to October, 1846, the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Douw Van Olinda, pastor at Fonda (cf).

The second pastor at Auriesville was Rev. Garret L. Roof, who followed Jukes after an interim of a couple of years and was ordained and installed over the church December 1, 1846. Leaving Auriesville in 1850 he became the first pastor of the newly organized church at Port Jackson, now the First Reformed church of Amsterdam. On the occasion of the fifty-sixth anniversary of the Battle of Stone Arabia (October 19, 1780), and the erection of a monument to the memory of Col. John Brown, who lost his life in that battle, Mr. Roof made a brilliant oration. This was on October 19, 1836. His pastorate at Amsterdam ended in April 1855, and his next church was at West Troy (Watervliet) where he remained from 1855 thro 1864, when he accepted a call to the Lowville Presbyterian church which he served for ten years. He now retired from the active ministry, residing at Troy, where he died in 1891. The records speak of a Rev. I. P. Burnham being called September 30, 1851. When called to the ministry Mr. Roof had already been practicing law at Canajoharie for a decade or more. Nothing further is known of him except that he came to the church in some capacity. During his supply the church voted to quit the denomination and join the "Old School Presbyterian Church of Albany," but a later consistory repudiated this action. From 1854 thro 1855 Rev. Adam H. Van Vranken of Glen supplied the pulpit, and from 1858 thro 1860 the Rev. Ransford Wells of Fultonville did the same.

The next minister was Rev. John Nott, son of Rev. Dr. Nott (President of Union College for sixty-three years). Mr. Nott taught at Union for nearly a quarter of a century, and then, for more than ten years served the 2d Rotterdam ("Cobblestone") church, after which eh spent some years in the south. Returning in 1861 he took up his residence at Fonda and began a supply work at Auriesville which lasted for upwards of seventeen years, or until 1878, the year of his death. In 1875 Hon. John H. Starin of Fultonville gave the church organ, and in 1876, when the church burned, he gave $500 toward rebuilding. The new church cost $3,180, and was dedicated December 6, 1876. Rev. Joseph Dysart of the Glen church (cf) began to supply the pulpit in September, 1878, continuing for three months.

Rev. Francis M. Kip was the next supply (cf Fultonville), coming in 1879 and remaining thro a part of 1883, serving for a while after he had resigned his charge in Fultonville. His next and last field of work was Harlingen, N. J., where he spent twenty years in the active ministry. He died in 1911. Rev. John C. Boyd of the Fonda Church (cf) was the next supply. He began in 1884 and continued until 1899. He died October 12, 1901. Mr. J. Abrew Smith, formerly at Fort Herkimer (cf) supplied the church in 1900, and Rev. J. H. Enders (cf Chittenango) in 1901, and Rev. John P. Faber,who had been a pastor at Stuyvesant Falls (1899901901), and was pursuing a course of medicine at Albany, supplied the pulpit in 1901, while living at Auriesville. He is now a resident physician at Schenectady. Rev. Peter A. Wessels began a supply in 1901 which continued till 1909 when Rev. E. J. Meeker of the Glen church began to fill the pulpit and remained until November, 1914, when he accepted a call to the Lodi church. Mr. Wessels' first work was in the western missionary fields, followed by a two year pastorate at Columbia (cf). Next he went to South Glens Falls and in 1903 took up the work at Auriesville. W. H, Kroeger, a layman, now supplies.

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