1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Herkimer

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HERKIMER, a village and the county-seat of Herkimer county, New York, U.S.A., in the township of the same name, on the Mohawk river, about 15 m. S.E. of Utica. Pop. (1900) 5555 (724 being foreign-born); (1905, state census) 6596; (1910) 7520. It is served by the New York Central & Hudson River railway, a branch of which (the Mohawk & Malone railway) extends through the Adirondacks to Malone, N.Y.; by interurban electric railway to Little Falls, Syracuse, Richfield Springs, Cooperstown and Oneonta, and by the Erie canal. The village has a public library, and is the seat of the Folts Mission Institute (opened 1893), a training school for young women, controlled by the Women's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Herkimer is situated in a rich dairying region, and has various manufactures. The municipality owns and operates its water-supply system and electric-lighting plant. Herkimer, named in honour of General Nicholas Herkimer (c. 1728-1777), who was mortally wounded in the Battle cf Oriskany, and in whose memory there is a monument (unveiled on the 6th of August 1907) in the village, was settled about 1725 by Palatine Germans, who bought from the Mohawk Indians a large tract of land including the present site of the village and established thereon several settlements which became known collectively as the “German Flats.” In 1756 a stone house, built in 1740 by General Herkimer's father, John Jost Herkimer (d. 1775) — apparently one of the original group of settlers — a stone church, and other buildings, standing within what is now Herkimer village, were enclosed in a stockade and ditch fortifications by Sir William Johnson, and this post, at first known as Fort Kouari (the Indian name), was subsequently called Fort Herkimer. Another fort (Ft. Dayton) was built within the limits of the present village in 1776 by Colonel Elias Dayton (1737-1807), who later became a brigadier-general (1783) and served in the Confederation Congress in 1787-1788. During the French and Indian War the settlement was attacked (12th November 1757) and practically destroyed, many of the settlers being killed or taken prisoners; and it was again attacked on the 30th of April 1758. In the War of Independence General Herkimer assembled here the force which on the 6th of August 1777 was ambushed near Oriskany on its march from Ft. Dayton to the relief of Ft. Schuyler (see Oriskany); and the settlement was attacked by Indians and “Tories” in September 1778 and in June 1782. The township of Herkimer was organized in 1788, and in 1807 the village was incorporated.

See Nathaniel I. Benton, History of Herkimer County (Albany, 1856); and Phoebe S. Cowen, The Herkimers and Schuylers, 1903).