People

 
 

John Kane

An Irish immigrant, John Kane served as a precinct supervisor for Dutchess County from 1771 to 1773, overseeing the tenant farmers who lived in the area, and would go on to join William Prendergast during the Anti-Rent Rebellion of 1776. A Tory, he was accused during the Revolutionary War of having British sympathies, and in 1777 he was jailed in Poughkeepsie on suspicion of treason.

His release was contingent on signing an oath pledging not to maintain any “traitorous” correspondence with the British Army, and to appear when called upon for military service. Freed and allowed to return to his home, he avoided signing the oath, and escaped with his two sons and thirteen other Loyalists across enemy lines on August 1, 1777. As his grandson, Judge John K. Kane, would later write, “He was a Colonel of the American militia, became disgusted at an insult to his patriotism, abandoned his property to confiscation and moved into British lines.”

When George Washington brought his army to Pawling, he chose as his headquarters the former home of the traitor John Kane, which has since been preserved as a historical site. After the war, John Kane returned to Dutchess County—but not to Pawling, where he was still hated.

For more  information look here:

National Register of Historic Places listings in Dutchess County, New York

Historical Society of Pawling and Quaker Hill

 

Wappinger People

The Wappinger people lived along the eastern bank of the Hudson Valley, mostly in what is now Southwestern Dutchess County, across Putnam and northern Westchester counties, and into Connecticut. Their exact range was not entirely known, in part because nineteenth century white historians such as E. M. Ruttenber claimed the existence of a “Wappinger Confederacy” that had no basis in fact. Nonetheless, the Wappingers had strong ties to the Mahicans—both economically and politically—and as their numbers thinned out they would eventually join the Mahicans at Stockbridge in western Massachusetts.

To learn more about the Wappinger People...

Wappinger Indians  and

Wappinger History

Albert J. Akin

Albert Akin lived through all this change and sympathized with it. He took part in it, not as an original mind, inventing or discovering, but as a seer, understanding and interpreting truly, and profiting by what he saw; preparing all the time the means whereby the coming era might be made serviceable to his own well beloved community at Quaker Hill.       —Rev. Warren H. Wilson

No one was as instrumental to the history and development of the Town of Pawling and Quaker Hill as Albert J. Akin. Born in 1803 to a prominent Quaker family, Akin had moved to New York City and established himself as a successful businessman before poor health forced him to return to his native Quaker Hill. Understanding that the town’s future lay in the railroad, in the 1840s Akin raised $100,000 to extend the New York Central Railroad line from Croton Falls through Pawling on its way to Dover Plains. The railroad changed the layout of the town, and in time helped to bolster its dairy and other agricultural interests.

Akin was also instrumental in the founding of the Mizzen Top Hotel, as a friendly rival to the Dutcher House in town. In addition to these commercial interests, he was instrumental in the creation of the Akin Hall, and the library that also bears his name, as well as the philanthropic Akin Hall Association. He died in 1903 at the age of one hundred.

Albert Akin a Tribute by Rev Warren H. Wilson

John B. Dutcher

What Albert J. Akin was to Quaker Hill, John B. Dutcher was to the Village of Pawling.

Born in Feburary of 1830 in the nearby town of Dover, Dutcher held of a number of local and state offices throughout his life. In 1857 he was elected a Supervisor of Dover, and in 1858 a Justice of the Peace; in 1861 and 1861 he was a member of the New York State Assembly, and from 1864 to 1865 he was a member of the New York State Senate. He became the first president of the Village of Pawling when it was incorporated.

A tireless civic and economic booster of Pawling, he served as the president of the National Bank of Pawling after Albert Akin resigned, and was appointed director of the New York and Harlem Railroad in 1864. Among his numerous business ventures was the Dutcher House, a luxury hotel in the heart of Pawling Village which served to anchor the community and draw wealthy visitors from the city.

The Dutcher House In Pawling N

HISTORY OF THE VILLAGE OF PAWLING From HISTORY OF DUTCHESS COUNTY, NEW YORK By James H. Smith 1882

 

John A. Wood

The leading architect of the mid-Hudson region throughout the middle years of the nineteenth century, John A. Wood began his practice in Poughkeepsie, where he established himself in the early 1860s with several buildings around the Vassar College campus. In addition, Wood designed the Grand Hotel of Highmount, New York, in the Catskills—a rival to the Mizzen Top, which he also designed. Wood was known for his Moorish Revival style, featuring ornate minarets, domes, and cupolas—as with the Tampa Bay Hotel, his most famous work. In addition to the Mizzen Top, Wood was selected by Albert Akin to design the Akin Free Library, which would also feature his Moorish Revival style in its ornate copper dome for its roof

J.A. Wood

 

Lowell Thomas 

The Hill was in a somnolent state. I didn’t wake it up intentionally, but I’m full of surplus vitality.

            —Lowell Thomas

One of the great journalists and radio personalities of the twentieth century, Lowell Thomas was known for dozens of fabulous exploits, including his role in popularizing T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia), and his broadcast career that stretched over four decades. He hosted a nightly news program on NBC and later on CBS in the 1930s and 40s, anchored the first live telecast of a political convention in 1940, hosted a travelogue program called High Adventure, and, later in his life, also hosted a PBS series Lowell Thomas Remembers, cataloging his many exploits through the years. As Norman R. Bowen wrote of Thomas, “No other journalist or world figure, with the possible exception of Winston Churchill, has remained in the public spotlight for so long.”

In 1926 Thomas bought a home on Quaker Hill; called Clover Brook Farm, it was the beginning of his long love affair with the town of Pawling and its environment. An Albert Akin for the twentieth century, Lowell Thomas’s impact on Quaker Hill is difficult to overstate. He founded the Quaker Hill Country Club, and eventually acquired over a million dollars in Quaker Hill real estate, which not only made Thomas a major figure in Pawling, but led to him urging his many friends and contacts to move up to his idyllic hamlet. Thomas helped convince Thomas E. Dewey, Edward R. Murrow, and Charles Vincent Peale, among others, to relocate to Quaker Hill. The New Yorker would refer to Quaker Hill as Thomas’s “hand picked colony,” adding that Thomas “sets the social and intellectual pace for the colony.”

New York Times Obituary

Marist College Lowell Thomas Collection

 

Lowell Thomas 

The Hill was in a somnolent state. I didn’t wake it up intentionally, but I’m full of surplus vitality.

            —Lowell Thomas

One of the great journalists and radio personalities of the twentieth century, Lowell Thomas was known for dozens of fabulous exploits, including his role in popularizing T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia), and his broadcast career that stretched over four decades. He hosted a nightly news program on NBC and later on CBS in the 1930s and 40s, anchored the first live telecast of a political convention in 1940, hosted a travelogue program called High Adventure, and, later in his life, also hosted a PBS series Lowell Thomas Remembers, cataloging his many exploits through the years. As Norman R. Bowen wrote of Thomas, “No other journalist or world figure, with the possible exception of Winston Churchill, has remained in the public spotlight for so long.”

In 1926 Thomas bought a home on Quaker Hill; called Clover Brook Farm, it was the beginning of his long love affair with the town of Pawling and its environment. An Albert Akin for the twentieth century, Lowell Thomas’s impact on Quaker Hill is difficult to overstate. He founded the Quaker Hill Country Club, and eventually acquired over a million dollars in Quaker Hill real estate, which not only made Thomas a major figure in Pawling, but led to him urging his many friends and contacts to move up to his idyllic hamlet. Thomas helped convince Thomas E. Dewey, Edward R. Murrow, and Charles Vincent Peale, among others, to relocate to Quaker Hill. The New Yorker would refer to Quaker Hill as Thomas’s “hand picked colony,” adding that Thomas “sets the social an

Lowell_Thomas

Clover Brook Farm Home to Famous Broadcast Journalist