Rev. William Flansburg Tribute

Rev. William H. Flansburg, the subject of this sketch was born at Day Center, Saratoga Co., NY, Jan. 30, 1809 and passed to his reward Sept 4, 1897, aged 88 years, 7 months and 4 days. His early life was passed on a farm either at or near his birth place.

Somewhere near the age of 40 years he was converted to God and soon after commenced preaching among the Free Will Baptists. In 1853 he came to the Champlain Annual Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist connection of America, then convened at North Ferrisburg, Vt, and was ordained and elder and received into the conference.

He received his first field of labor among us at Johnsburg, NY. The next year he went to the Warrensburgh charge. From 1858 to 1859 he was stationed at Brandon and Goshen, Vt. In 59 – 60 he was stationed at Hadley, NY and had Associated with him Rev. O.F. Putnam the father of the writer, then a young man just entering the ministry. In 1861 he was stationed at Creek Center and in 1862-63 at Warrensburgh and Hadley. In 1864 he served Warrensburg and Horicon. In 1865 he was returned on the roll of conference as having withdrawn. The next mention of him on the conference roll was in 1869 when he was returned as being on the unstationed list, which position he held until 1878, when his name was placed upon the superanusted (?) list of the conference.

He spent the latter part of his life as a farmer, while able to work and preaching as opportunity offered. Brother Flansburgh was married three times. By the first wife he had four children, two boys and two girls, of whom a son and daughter are still living. Both sons server their country during the civil war and one was killed a Cuspin’s Farm. By his second wife, he had five children, two sons and three daughters all of whom are living. His last wife still survives him.


My acquaintance with Brother Flansburgh began when as a young man entering the ministry I commenced my first pastorate on Corinth and Hadley. At that time Brother Flansburgh lived near the Hadley Church where I preached on Sunday afternoon once in two weeks. I always found a warm welcome in the home of Brother Flansburgh. ……….his place and fit his wood for the stove notwithstanding he had passed his 80th milestone.
After Brother and Sister Flansburgh became too feeble to care for themselves they went to the home of her son, where they were cared for until he became helpless and she nearly so after which Brother Flansburgh went to the home of his son, Charles in Luzerne where he spent the last years of his live kindly and tenderly cared for by loving children.

I had the privilege of visiting him a few days before his death. He was sitting in his chair by the window which commanded a view of the street, river and railroad. He turned himself partly around in his chair and recognized me and gave me a hearty greeting. His eyes was not dimmed and he retained his memory of the past. He evinced a keen interest in the work of the last annual conference, especially the appointments, inquiring where different pastors whom he had known were stationed. He said he wanted to depart and be with Christ and wondered why the Lord was keeping him here, but also said he was willing to wait for the Lord’s time. Once again we had the privilege of joining our voices in prayer as we had done so many times before. I little thought it was my last visit. His sickness was short, not more than three or four days, apparently some acute bowel trouble. The funeral service was conducted by the writer at the home of his son using Phil 1:23 for his text. The interment was at Day Center.

Written by O.D. Putnam

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Rev. William Flansburg Bio

William FLANSBURG, grandfather of Jessie (WHITE) DAYTON, (William1 Flansburg, Anna2, Jessie Belle3 WHITE) was a pure-bred Dutchman.  He was born January 30, 1809 in the Town of Day, Saratoga Co. NY.  His parents Matheus (Matthew) FLANSBURG and Maria CLUTE were early settlers of the Town of Day.

William was married three times.  His first wife, Lydia Lucretia DEMICK, died before 1850 leaving four children.  William was about forty years old.  He remarried to Charity Rosina JOHNSON, our ancestor, about 1850.  Rosina’s parents, Robert JOHNSON and Anna ELLIS are buried in the ELLIS Cemetery in Hadley.  William and Rosina had five children (Charles, Mary, Anna (Jessie’s mother), James, Harriet).   Rosina died before 1875, but we don’t know the exact date.  William remarried a third time to Sara ELLIS. 

William had a born-again Christian experience at about the age of 40. This was also about the time of his first wife’s death. 

After his conversion, he was called to the ministry.  After a brief pastorate in the Free Will Baptist Church in Hadley, William was ordained in the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1853.  He was one of the early pastors of the young Wesleyan Methodist denomination that was founded primarily because of its members’ opposition to slavery about ten years earlier.

His daughter Anna once said that her dad, William, corresponded with Abraham LINCOLN and that the President encouraged him to “preach against slavery from the pulpit and I’ll preach against it from the White House.”  (Wilber Jr recalled seeing the letter in Anna’s trunk when he was a kid).

William served as pastor to congregations in Johnsburg NY, Warrensburgh NY, Brandon, VT; Goshen, VT; Chester NY, Hadley NY, Stony Creek NY, Corinth NY, Forestdale, VT and probably other locations.  He is listed in the 1870 Saratoga County Business Directory as Wesleyan Methodist Minister and Farmer in Corinth, NY.

He had two sons that fought during the Civil War (Henry and James).  James enlisted at age 24 in 1862, just after his own wife had died.  James was despondent over her death, and he was killed in battle at Fort Harrison.  William died September 4, 1897 and is buried in a numbered grave in Day Cemetery.

Wonderland By Night

NOTE: The following is not family history, but I thought you might enjoy it. Next week is a post about William Flansburg.

Maybe once per winter, maybe less, weather conditions converge to change the countryside into a wonderland by night.  Whenever it happens, I celebrate its brightness by turning off my headlights and driving by moonlight.  It always happens after a snowstorm moves out and arctic high-pressure moves in to take its place.  The moon is at least three quarters full and the countryside is open pastureland.  The sun’s radiation from that day is just warm enough to put a slight glaze of ice on top of the newly fallen snow. 

When this concoction brews, the moon robs the night of its black veil, and the fields sparkle like millions of diamonds.  Each snowflake is a mirror that beams its tiny ray of light into the darkness.  In concert, the symphony of beams brightens the night into day.  The beauty of the light cannot be replicated, not even by sunsets which are masterpieces of light of a different sort. 

The majesty and wonder of this sparking event reminds me of the omnipotence of God.   It also reminds me of how much God has to say about darkness and light in the scriptures.  In heaven, there will be no darkness.  We’re all aware of that and we accept it as a treasure from God.  But the fact that God’s glory will be the light (Rev 21:23) speaks to the quality of the light.  It will not be earthly; not florescent nor incandescent, not a sunset nor even a wonderland by night.  It will be of a radiance so pure that even though its brilliance will be infinite, it’s intensity will not harm our glorified eyes.  It will be the most pleasing light we have ever seen.  It will be infinitely more magnificent and pleasing than the prettiest sunset or the winter wonderland by night.

Anna Maria Alma Flansburg

Anna Marie Alma Flansburg C 1890

Anna Flansburg, Jessie Belle [White] Dayton’s mother, was born in Chester, NY, April 3, 1855.  She was one half-Dutch.  Her father, William Flansburg, was a pure-bred Dutchman, and he came from a long line of colonial American Dutchmen in the 17th century New Netherlands colony.  Anna was a preacher’s kid.  After having six children; Will, Jessie, Bertha, Martha, Alexander and Anna, she was widowed 3 times.  Her first husband, and father of all her children was Alexander White, who died when she was 51.  She remarried to Frank Ramsey in 1907.  Frank owned the Henry Dayton homestead on Hadley Hill, so the newlyweds occupied the same farmhouse that her son-in-law, Wilber Dayton Sr., had run as an orphaned teenager.  Chester “Chip” Dayton recollects visiting his Grandma (Flansburg) (White) Ramsey at the “Dayton place” as a very young child before it burned in the early part of the 1900’s.  Chip had an eerie feeling about the old house and was afraid to venture upstairs.  Chip also recalls that Anna was a skilled trapper of wild game. She also enjoyed fishing.  When her husband, Frank, died, Anna married Warren Dingman in 1916.   In their last days, she and Warren lived with daughter Jessie, and son-in-law Wilber Dayton, in Corinth.  Warren pre-deceased her in April 1935 and she died three months later on July 26.  She is buried next to her first husband, Alexander White, in the Blackwood Cemetery, on Hadley Hill.