History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Frontiersmen of New York
by Jeptha R. Simms
Albany, NY 1883
Volume I, Page 434
A Plucky Landlord.-In the war of 1812, a tavern at Little Falls standing on the turnpike was kept by a man named Crane. At some period of the war a company of State troops, on its way to the Canadian frontier, halted for dinner at this tavern. At this time the village was erecting a school-house on "Church Hill," near its church edifice, which was then in use for school purposes, while the former house was constructing. Three little boys aged eight or ten years, one of whom was my informant, Reuben Barber, while on their way to school, attracted by its military visitors, entered the hall of the inn; and, as they did so, a lieutenant, whose uniform attracted their notice, went into the dining-room and ordered a few men still at the table out of the house, as the company was forming in the street. His manner was haughty and tyrannical, and the men seemed in no haste to obey him, observing which he drew his sword, and, at the end of terrible oaths, math. sundry threats of vengeance if he was not instantly obeyed.
The loud voice of the officer arrested the attention of "mine host," who sprang into the room to remonstrate with him, telling him they had not commenced to eat as soon as the rest; that they had paid for their dinner, and should be allowed to finish it. The man in epaulettes waxed insolent and unreasonable, and swinging his sword over his head he turned in defiance upon the landlord, who proved himself more than a match for the braggart. He told the latter that he couldn't scare anybody, and that the men should have what they had paid for; and seizing him by the collar, in spite of his resistance, he walked him out of the dining-room through the hall to the front stoop, and, placing a foot in his rear, he very unceremoniously assisted him to a landing in the muddy street, with a parting admonition that, if ever he entered his house again, he should do it with better manners. The soldiers were allowed to finish their dinner in peace; and the boys, who were a little frightened at first, saw the landlord bring the men into the street, heard the roll called, saw them depart with the company, and hastened on to school, having learned on their way thither, as the reader will admit, a short lesson in war's grave history.
A Robber, how Foiled.-There is an old wood dwelling near the railroad, half a mile to the westward of the Fort Plain depot, which was erected before the Revolution, and at a period when the river road ran below it. It was owned and occupied by John Walrath directly after the war, and had been during that period. I elsewhere relate an event which transpired there at the close of the war-say in 1784 or 1785-when an Indian lost his life. Between the years 1795 and 1800, as believed, the following circumstance transpired there : Walrath was keeping tavern, and had a river ferry and a blacksmith shop. Many people from New England were then journeying to and from Western New York on horseback, and one of that number stayed at this inn over night. This class of tourists were usually more or less armed; and the gentleman in question had a pistol, which, on retiring for the night, he left in care of the landlord, who, for safety, placed it in the bar.
In the morning, as the traveler was to resume his journey, and his horse was brought from the stable, it was found to be very lame; and on being taken into the blacksmith shop, one Reynolds, the Vulcan of the period, soon found the cause of lameness. One account says a small wire had been twisted around the fetlock; but the general belief is, that a nail was so driven under the shoe as to make the horse quite lame. The suspicion of the smith who relieved the horse was aroused, and he asked the stranger if he was armed. He replied that he had a loaded pistol. Said Reynolds, perhaps you had better examine it. He did so, to find that the charge of powder had been drawn, and a charge of ashes substituted for it. After carefully putting the weapon in order for duty, he resumed his journey westward; but had scarcely proceeded a mile, when a masked footman sprang from the hazelnut bushes that thickly skirted the road, seized the bridle-rein, and demanded his money. The tourist now divined why his horse had been lamed and his pistol had been tampered with, and drawing and cocking it, he exclaimed: Hands off; you rascal, or I will shoot you! Said the robber, still demanding his money, I am not afraid of your pistol! In the next instant it was discharged, and the robber relaxed his hold upon the horse and vacated the road, having received a very delicate wound. The Yankee resumed his journey, and was not again molested.
The assassin was cared for by friends, and, although laid up for some time, he was cured of his wound, which the multitude supposed he had received by falling upon a hay-fork in the barn. He certainly had received a life-lesson that sent him into a path of rectitude, and he became a useful citizen.-Facts from George Wagner, Livingston Spraker, and others.
The First Getman Family in Tryon County.-John Frederick Getman came from Germany to .this colony about the year 1730. His wife was a daughter of Johannes Bierman, but where he married her is unknown. He at first secured 300 acres of land in the Stone Arabia patent, in the present town of Ephratah, and in three other purchases he added 400 acres more, giving him 700 acres in a body. He had four sons and one daughter, viz.: Christian, George, John, Frederick and Anna. The sons all rendered service in the colonial army under Sir William Johnson in the war of 1755. George Getman, above named, and grandfather of my informant, married Delia, a daughter of John Shoemaker, of Stone Arabia, and remained on the homestead, where informant was also born, lived and died. George Getman also had four sons and one daughter, viz. : Frederick, Thomas, John, George and Mary. Frederick married Anna Frank, Thomas married Elizabeth Helmer, John married Margaret Loucks, and George married Elizabeth, a daughter of Peter House, who was killed in the Stone Arabia battle in 1780. George and Mary were twins, and were born in 1757. Mary married Lewis Kring. The four brothers, sons of George Getman, were all soldiers in the Revolution.
George Getman, the youngest son of his father, and the father of my informant, had six sons and one daughter, viz. : George, Peter, Joseph, Benjamin, Christopher, William and Mary. George married Elizabeth Empie, Joseph married Elizabeth Rickard, Benjamin married Mary Van Antwerp, of Johnstown, Christopher married Polly Miller, William married Catharine Charlesworth, and Mary married William Nellis. The six sons of the second George Getman were all soldiers in the war with Britain in 1812. My informant also had six sons, who were all liable to a draft in the late rebellion. A part of the numerous Getman family may here trace its genealogy.-Facts from Benjamin Getman, who was born June 1, 1791, and died at the age of nearly 90.
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