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August 24, 2013

Revolutionary War vet founded Van Hornesville in the 1790s

(Continued)

It was in August 1928 when nearly 200 descendants of Abraham Van Horne came to Van Hornesville to pay tribute to the founder of the village. The Oneonta Herald reported how on Wednesday, Aug. 22, a bronze tablet, mounted on a large granite boulder was unveiled, bearing Abraham’s name. The marker was placed on property then owned by another Van Hornesville icon, Owen D. Young. The marker is still on the site today.

Those on hand learned a lot about Abraham Van Horne before moving to his new home. Warrensbush was in today’s town of Florida, in Montgomery County. Van Horne was a staunch Whig and it was rumored that an attempt was about to be made by the Tories and Indians to massacre him and his family in 1775.

According to the 1928 Herald report, “A neighboring Tory was appointed to go at night and shoot him in bed through the window, but providently on the fatal night their child was sick and Hannah had got up and built a fire in the big fire place and nursed the child, but had now laid down on the front side of the bed with the child, when the neighbor came to the window. When he saw he could not shoot him without killing her, his heart failed him, as she was a noble woman and had nursed the sick even in his own family. The man’s report leaked out and a block house was built for the immediate defense of the family and the neighborhood, which was guarded by a few soldiers. He was a member of the State Assembly from 1777 to 1781, and was appointed High Sheriff of Tryon county May 22, 1781.” (Montgomery County formed later from Tryon County.) “In 1783 he moved to Cansdebanak Church, near Fort Plain, and from here afterwards moved up the Otsquago creek and built a mill.”

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