Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pelham Town Supervisor Benjamin Hegeman Who Served from 1862 Until 1873

Benjamin F. Hegeman was a resident of City Island who served as the Town Supervisor of the Town of Pelham, New York from 1862 until 1873.  See Barr, Lockwood Anderson, A Brief, But Most Complete & True Account of the Settlement of the Ancient Town of Pelham Westchester County, State of New York Known One Time Well & Favourably as the Lordshipp & Manour of Pelham Also The Story of the Three Modern Villages Called The Pelhams, p. 172 (The Dietz Press, Inc. 1946) (Library of Congress Control Number 47003441, Library of Congress Call Number F129.P38B3). 

According to family genealogists, Benjamin Hegeman was born March 2, 1827 in Bayville, Queens County, Long Island, NY.  He died at the age of 46 on April 23, 1873 on City Island, Town of Pelham, Westchester County, New York.  

Benjamin Hegeman married Elizabeth Craft on December 30, 1851 in Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY.  Elizabeth Craft Hegeman was born on August 19, 1828 in Locust Valley, Queens County, Long Island, New York.  Elizabeth lived to the age of 87 and died on February 27, 1916 on City Island, Borough of The Bronx, New York.  The couple had a large family of twelve children, all of whom were born on City Island in the Town of Pelham, County of Westchester, NY.  Their children included:

1. Ada A Hegeman,  b. 17 Apr 1853, Pelham, Westchester, New York,  d. 14 Feb 1904, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 50 years)

2. Alice C Hegeman,  b. 8 Sep 1854, Pelham, Westchester, New York,  d. 19 Apr 1928, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 73 years)

3. John B Hegeman,  b. 4 Mar 1856, Pelham, Westchester, New York,  d. 23 Mar 1864, Oyster Bay, Queens Co., LI, NY  (Age 8 years)

4. Hannah M Hegeman,  b. 14 Jul 1857, Pelham, Westchester, New York,  d. 9 Mar 1911  (Age 53 years)

5. Georgiana A Hegeman,  b. 15 Aug 1859, Pelham, Westchester, New York,  d. 8 Jun 1933  (Age 73 years)

6. Grace Hegeman, b. 15 Nov 1861, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 4 Oct 1862, Oyster Bay, Queens Co., LI, NY  (Age 10 months)

7. Herbert A Hegeman, b. 8 Mar 1862, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 19 Apr 1937, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 75 years)

8. John B Hegeman, b. 24 Sep 1864, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 9 Mar 1928, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 63 years)

9. Cora G Hegeman, b. 8 Apr 1866, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 7 Mar 1877, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 10 years)

10. Sarah E Hegeman, b. 24 Oct 1868, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 1 Oct 1926  (Age 57 years)

11. Charlotte Hegeman, b. 9 Aug 1870, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 22 Nov 1948, Torrington, Litchfield, Connecticut  (Age 78 years)

12. Benjamin H Hegeman, b. 8 Mar 1873, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 5 Mar 1892, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 18 years).  

In addition to his service as Town Supervisor of the Town of Pelham for a decade, Benjamin Hegeman was a founder of Pelham Masonic Lodge No. 712 on City Island in the Town of New York in 1871.  According to one account of the history of that lodge:

"The history of Pelham Lodge extends back to 1871, when Pelham Lodge No. 712 was founded. The history comes in two parts. The first part I obtained from a copy of the 1971 100th Anniversary Celebration journal, written by W:. James O. Payne and the second part from R.W:. Donald P. Mattson, which he has written himself.

A group of City Island Masons on or about 1870 decided to form their own lodge.  Thereafter, Grand Lodge sent them a dispensation and Pelham Lodge was born.  The charter members were: D.W:. Billar, Jerome Bell, John Bowman, Wm. F. Billar, Oswald Bergan, David Carll, John O. Fordham, James Hyatt, Benjamin Hegeman, Stephen D. Leviness, Frederick Price, Charles H. Stringham, and A.B. Wood. 

The first meeting, attended by 12 members and 1 visitor, was held on Saturday, February 4, 1871 with John O. Fordham as Master.  By-laws were drafted and it was voted to meet every Tuesday night.  A dispensation cost of $80.00 was paid and Pelham Lodge became part of the Ninth Masonic District.  The lodge rooms were over a carpenter shop south of where the Island Pub is now located, in a building owned by a Mr. Baxter who later became a Brother.  Rent was $100.00 a year without heat and the cost of coal was $6.00 per ton. 

At the fifth meeting on February 28, 1871, By-laws were adopted, and at the eighth meeting, Pelham held its first Master Mason's Degree, at which 3 candidates were raised.  The first application to be received was that of Edward L. Wooden, age 25, teacher at City Island's one-room, one-teacher schoolhouse. 

During Pelham's first year, 13 Brothers were raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, making a total of 31 members, 2 Fellowcrafts, and 3 Entered Apprentices.  W:. Bro. John O. Fordham was re-elected Master for another year on December 19, 1871.  The second Worshipful Master of Pelham Lodge was S. D. Levenap, elected December 24, 1872.  Elections were held for the offices of Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, Secretary, and Treasurer. 

On April 25, 1873, a special meeting was called to arrange for a suitable steamboat to carry the remains of Brother Benjamin Hegeman to its resting place in Bayville.  The Steamboat HARLEM was chartered, piloted by Captain Longstreet. 

W:. John O. Fordham was installed as Master for the coming year at a public installation on December 26, 1873. After the Civil War, the Grand Master of the State of New York asked for a donation to help the Masonic Brothers of the South.  Thirty dollars was raised and forwarded to the Grand Secretary and subsequently a letter acknowledging the receipt of this money was received from Louisiana Relief Lodge #1. 

There were no meetings from May 13th to December 23rd, 1884, as there was a fire in the building that housed the lodge.  The first destroyed some of the furniture, for which the lodge collected $375.00 on an $800.00 policy. 

On December 6, 1887, Pelham Lodge was notified of its indebtedness to the Grand Lodge of New York for $275.00 for building the 23rd Street Masonic Temple.  To pay this amount, Pelham Lodge took out a loan, putting up the lodge furniture for security. 

On January 7, 1888, the members of Pelham voted to move to Booth's Hall, its present location, and requested the Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master to inspect the new lodge rooms before they completed the deal.  Rent was $10.00 a month for 10 months each year.  The lodge rooms were dedicated on April 15, 1890.At the meeting of February 19, 1895, the lodge was nine months behind in its rent and decided to give up its rooms.  February 26th of that year they reconsidered this action and decided to stay. 

In 1897 [shortly after City Island was annexed into The Bronx], Pelham Lodge had 23 members and was placed in the Eighth Manhattan District."

Source:  The Bronx Masonic District:  Pelham Lodge No. 712 <http://www.bronxmasons.com/Lodges/712.htm> (visited May 22, 2014).  

Map of Town of Pelham with Inset of City Island, 1868.
Source:  Beers, F.W., Atlas of New York and Vicinity, p. 35
(NY, NY:  Beers, Ellis & Soule, 1868).

*          *          *         *

To facilitate research as well as full text search, below I have transcribed various resources that contain brief references to Benjamin Hegeman. 

Dec. 16, 1872:  Served on  Board of Supervisors Committee on County Treasurer.  See PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Dec. 20, 1872, Vol. XXVIII, No. 35, p. 2, col. 3.  

On December 17, 1872, Hegeman presented to the Westchester County Board of Supervisors an "application of the Town Clerk, Justices, and Commissioners of Highways of the town of Pelham to borrow $2,000, on the credit of said town, for the construction of a road known as Wolf lane, which was referred to the Judiciary Committee."  Source: 
PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Dec. 20, 1872, Vol. XXVIII, No. 35, p. 2, col. 4.  

On December 18, 1872, Hegeman presented to the Westchester County Board of Supervisors the following:  "Resolution by Mr. Hegeman -- To levy $1,000 upon the county of Westchester to aid in building a bridge over East Chester creek between the towns of Pelham and East Chester on the West Chester turnpike and postroad, in pursuance of the Revised Statues [sic], &c.  Referred to the Committee on Roads and Bridges" 
Source:  PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Dec. 20, 1872, Vol. XXVIII, No. 35, p. 2, col. 4. 

On December 18, 1872, Hegeman presented to the Westchester County Board of Supervisors the following:  "Resolution of Mr. Hegeman -- That a Committee of Three be appointed by the Chairman of this Board to inquire into and report to this Board as to the propriety and expediency of purchasing the City Island bridge, connecting said City Island with the mainland, in the town of Pelham (Laid over under the rule.)  Source:  PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Dec. 20, 1872, Vol. XXVIII, No. 35, p. 2, col. 4.

"MR. CAULDWELL called the attention of the Board to the death of Benjamin Hegeman and Joseph Leggett, and presented the following preamble and resolutions:

Whereas, Since the last annual session of this Board, it has pleased an all-wise Providence to remove from our midst, two old and respected members, who had for a long series of years represented their respective towns in our councils, with credit to themselves and their constituents; and

Whereas, it is due to the memory of our deceased friends and late associates, that we should place on record some testimonial of our sincere regret for the loss we have sustained, and of our appreciation of the faithful service of the deceased, as members of this Board.  Therefore, be it 

Resolved, That this Board has, with profound sorrow, learned of the death of Benjamin Hegeman, late supervisor of the town of Pelham, and Joseph Leggett, late supervisor of the town of Mount Pleasant, the former having represented his town in this Board for a period of ten years and the later [sic] for a period of five years, and to which positions both were re-elected and re-endorsed by their respective constituents last March.  

Resolved, That we deplore the loss of their valuable services as supervisors, and their association as friends and co-laborers, and that we most cordially testify to their honorable character and sterling worth in their public capacity, and to their high standing as citizens of Westchester County.  

Resolved, That we deeply sympathize with the families of our late associates in their great bereavement, and assure them that those whom they mourn will ever be kindly remembered by all who were ever associated with them in the Board of Supervisors of this county.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions, signed by the officers of the Board, be transmitted to each of the families of deceased, and that this preamble and resolution be entered in full upon the minutes."

Source:  Johnson, Charles E., Clerk, Proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Westchester For the Year 1873, pp. 32-33 (NY, NY:  James Sutton & Co. 1874).  

"Westchester County Elections.

Mr. Benjamin F. Hegeman, Democrat, the present Supervisor of Pelham, was re-elected by 77 majority over Mr. Billen, Democrat.  James Hyatt was elected Town Clerk of the same town. . . . "

Source:  Westchester County Elections, NY Times, Apr. 1, 1870.   


There are scarcely enough Republicans in this town for seed.  BENJAMIN HEGEMAN, Democrat, was re-elected Supervisor, without opposition.


Supervisor - Benjamin Hegeman.

Town Clerk - James Hyatt.

Assessor - James A. Grencebeck.

Commissioner of Highways - James A. Grencebeck.

Collector - Joseph B. Horton.

Justices of the Peace - William S. McClellan (full term), Robert M. Mitchell (vacancy), Benjamin Hegeman (vacancy), Joseph Lyon (vacancy).

Constables - David Lyon, Alexander Rolfe, Chas. Baxter, Charles Lockwood.

Overseers of the Poor - Joshua Leviness, Joseph Lyon.

Inspectors of Election - Elisha Booth, James Hyatt.

Pound Masters - George W. Horton, Charles McClellan."

Source:  PELHAM, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Mar. 31, 1865, Vol. XX, No. 48, p. 2, col. 5. 

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home