This is a continuation of the 1930 article by Willis Baldwin. How amazing is it that he had the foresight to put in writing what he remembers.
Willis Baldwin, in 1930, said that the town is a cosmopolitan town and can accommodate any faith or practice. He speaks of a few families of Baptists and Congregationalists, but they are few and merge into the other churches. There are six Methodist churches and chapels, two Presbyterians, three Episcopalians, three Catholics, and three Synagogues.
Baldwin talks often of Colonel William Edwards and his son William W. Edwards. He said, “They were fine brainy men of high moral character as shown by the church record book of the Presbyterian Church. Colonel Edwards soon began holding religious service on Sundays led by himself and fitted for regular service.” This continued until Mr. Edwards gave the land, and through his gifts and influence the present building was erected in about 1822.”
Baldwin said one of the great events to Hunter was the railroad’s coming and making Hunter the terminal of the line. “The train arrived in the summer of 1882 and caused one of the greatest demonstrations Hunter had ever seem. A trainload of people came from Kingston; officers of the railroad, interested citizens and people from all the surrounding towns. A grand dinner was served in the grove near the station with a band nearby, providing music. After dinner and speeches, a procession was formed, parading back and forth through the Main Street. It was a great occasion for a little village like Hunter.”
Tidbit by Baldwin. “It is men and people that make history, and perhaps a more detailed note of the active men of affairs I have known for the past 75 years will make good history.”
Baldwin spoke of Colonel Edwards, Charles, and William Sedgwick (owners of a blacksmith shop), the Reverend John F. Ingersoll, pastor of the Presbyterian Church for eight years from 1838 to 1846. During his pastorate, the church record shows he performed 70 marriages. The Rev. organized the railroad branch of the Young Men’s Christian association. In this work, he traveled over much of the United States. He met many prominent men, solicited funds, and organized a band of high-grade men to continue the work. Another Ingersoll (no information on the relationship with the Rev.), Edwin D., became superintendent of schools in Greene County. Baldwin noted that an old lady told him (Willis Baldwin) that one thing that impressed her as a young girl was that Edwin D. Ingersoll had fine table manners. He was the first person she had ever seen that ate his entire meal with a fork. Justus and David Ingersoll (no information) were prominent in the business section of the village. There was a Doctor Ingersoll who was the town physician for many years, later moving to Catskill. Doctor Hurd was another medical doctor. There was also Doctor Rogers and a Doctor J.H. Mead, at one time Dr. Mead being the town supervisor. The Beach family was prominent here for many years and active in a variety of affairs. General George Beach was a lawyer and politician and well known. Marcus Beach was a businessman and became wealthy through the cattle business. The Burtis family were prominent here, arriving in about 1860 from Washington County. He later built and conducted the Breeze Lawn Hotel, one of the first and largest summer hotels. (This later burned and was rebuilt as the St. Charles Hotel).