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Middletown Town

Middletown Town Hall is located at 42339 State Highway 28, Margaretville NY 12455; phone: 845-586-1775.

Beginnings [1]

The town of Middletown was incorporated in 1789, as a part of Ulster County, being formed from the towns of Woodstock and Rochester. It took its name from its central location most of the population of the state being in the territory drained by the Hudson, Delaware and Susquehanna rivers, of which the Delaware was the middle valley and the town of Middletown contained nearly all that part of Ulster county lying within the valley. Middletown is one of the original and one of the oldest towns in Delaware county, and formerly covered all the territory of the present towns of Roxbury, Bovina, Middletown, Andes, Colchester, Hancock, nearly all of Stamford, a large part of Delhi, Hamden, Walton and Tompkins, and a small portion of Shandaken in Ulster county, comprising more than half of the whole county of Delaware. By division it has been reduced to a territory of 58,000 acres, with a population of about 4,000 inhabitants. The East branch of the Delaware river flows through the central part of the town, with the Bataviakill, Bushkill, Dry Brook, Mill Brook and Plattekill streams as tributaries, draining fertile valleys, and along which are located the thirteen settlements of the town. This extraordinary number of post offices can better be appreciated directly after a presidential election or before a town caucus. The history of the permanent settlement of this mother of towns; properly begins with the advent of the Dutch in 1763, though the Canadian French were here about the time of the French and Indian war, and still earlier there was a Tuscarora Indian village called Pakatakan just above the present village of Margaretville, and the above Indian name Pakatakan is still used to designate a company of Margaretville firemen. Of this original occupancy of the town by the Indians the Indian mounds and burying grounds on the old Dumond farm attest, and the large number of arrow heads and flint axes that have been found in this vicinity is an additional proof. Still further, there are in all probability many who have heard the authentic but hair raising stories told to this day in Middletown of the wonderful exploits of Tom Quick and Tim Murphy, the Indian slayers whose favorite haunts were the valleys of the Delaware, stories more wonderful than the "good times coming" prophecies of the Republican politicians. I made mention above of the first permanent settlers being Dutch they were with one exception, to my knowledge, and this was my maternal great-great-grandfather O'Connor, who, while he could speak nothing but the Dutch language, yet he was a full-blooded Irishman, born in Ireland. These Dutch settlers at first consisted of only four families from Ulster county, who bought four farms on Great Lot No.7, on the Middletown flats, receiving deeds therefore dated April 9, 1763. Five more families joined them during the next eight years, and all maintained friendly relations with the Indians until the time of the Revolution, when the friendly and timely warning of an Indian named Teunis, who afterwards lived in Bovina, alone saved them from being massacred. As it was they were forced to return to Ulster County, being followed by the Indians as far as Shandaken. However, the settlers afterward returned and were never afterward disturbed, the Indians being driven westward.

  1. Murray, David, LL.D. (ed.), Delaware County New York, History of the Century: 1797-1897, William Clark Publisher, Delhi NY, 1898.
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