The Watch

If you found a watch lying in the street, what would you do?  If you were poorer than a church mouse, would you say, “God is Good, He just gave me a new watch?”  If you were greedy, would you say, “too bad sucker, it’s mine now?”  If you were rich, would you just leave it there for some other lucky person to find?

Jessie Belle (White) Dayton

Do you know what our gramma, Jessie Belle Dayton, did?  Our gramma Jessie, who WAS poorer than a church mouse?  She went to the newspaper office with her “widows’ mite”, purchased a classified advertisement hoping she could find its owner and return it.  How many people do you think would do that?  Was she nuts?  Had she gone off the deep end?  Or was she someone with exceptional integrity?  Someone with exceptional generosity?  She probably used grocery money to pay for the ad.  Thank you, gramma, for walking like you talked.  You taught us well.

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Janice Waters Dayton (1936-2020)

Janice Dayton, 83, of Lincoln, NE went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Janice was born on May 4, 1936 to Nelson “Pete” and Edith (Chase/Niles) Waters in Hague, NY, where she was raised and graduated high school. Janice married Roger Dayton of Corinth, NY on April 25, 1958. They later divorced. They had three daughters, Tamara, Lydia, and Katie. Janice was a longtime resident of Corinth. She also lived many years in central California, and most recently, for 18 years in Lincoln, NE.

Janice was a woman of many gifts, talents, and great faith. Her passion in life was to use the talents that God gave her to glorify Him and share His love with others, whether by sewing, quilting, crocheting, baking bread, pies or other goodies, or singing God’s praises. She raised her three girls to love and serve both God and others. She believed “Whatsoever you do, do it all to the glory of God.”

Janice was preceded in death by both parents, and her brothers, Francis Waters, Matthew Waters, and Rev. Nelson P. Waters. She is survived by her three daughters, Tamara Dayton of Billings, MT, Lydia Dayton and her husband, George Conner of Norfolk, NE, and Katie Malcom and her husband Jerry Malcom of Avondale, AZ, her sister, Judith (Waters) Kenna of Van Etten, NY, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, three sisters-in-law, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

No service will be held at this time. Family will gather to celebrate Janice’s life at a private burial of ashes which will be held at a later date, when she will be returned home to her beloved Adirondack Mountains.

NOTE FROM JIM: Janice lived in Corinth when I was a teenager there too. I remember her beautiful singing voice, and every once in a while she would let loose. She sang in discantus style to such hymns as Lily of the Valley, and Everybody Ought to Know. She was always the echo, and boy could she echo! I asked Tamara and Lydia what her mom’s favorite hymns were and they said “… every hymn was her favorite.”

As suggested in the obituary, Janice loved her Adirondacks. She wrote of her bond to the mountain’s grandeur in verse seen elsewhere in this tribute.

William Flansburg Pedigree

In this final Flansburg post, we’ll view our ancient Dutch pedigree starting from our ancestor, Rev. William Flansburg, and strecthing back to the earliest days of the founding of America and the incorporation of New Amsterdam (present day New York City). If you will recall, Jessie Belle White, was Anna Alma Flansburg’s daughter, and Anna was William Flansburg’s daughter. William was the start of the following pedigree seen below.

William’s parent’s and grandparent’s were from the Albany (Fort Orange), New York area. Prior to arriving at Fort Orange, they moved up the Hudson River from New York. The Dutch explorer, Henry Hudson, had discovered the Hudson River in 1609. Henry was actually born in Germany, but border wars and redrawing of borders, give him a Dutch heritage according to family tradition. Perhaps his Dutch comes from his mom and the many Dutch women on the Flansburg side of the family. Click on download to view the pedigree.

The Cigar Cutter

Rev. Charles Alexander Dayton, my Uncle Chop, was a man who was bigger than life.  He was the Paul Bunyan of Upstate New York country pastors.  But in his younger days he was the Huckleberry Finn of the upper-Hudson River. Todays story is a tale of a childhood prank gone bad as told by his younger brother Chip [Chester]….the master story teller.

Earlier American Flansburgs

Jessie Belle White’s great-grandfather, Matheus Flansburgh, (Mattheus1, William2, Anna3, Jessie Belle White4) was an early founder of the town of Day, Saratoga Co., NY.  Matheus was born in 1763 in Guilderland, Albany Co., NY.  He was the eighth of eleven children.  He married Maria Clute (Cloët) in 1792 in Norman’s Kill, Schenectady Co., NY.  Shortly thereafter, he and Maria moved to the “land of opportunity” north of Ft Orange (Albany) on the Sacandaga River.  In Nathaniel Sylvester’s THE HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY NEW YORK, 1609 – 1878, Everts & Ensign, Philadelphia:1878, Sylvester writes, “Matthew Flansburg came from Guilderland, Albany County, in 1802, and settled on lot 35 of the Glen and Yates Patent.  There were but few settlers, no roads, and an almost unbroken forest.  After clearing a sufficient space he planted his crops and waited for the harvest.  The following winter he went to Schenectady, a distance of forty miles, on foot after a half-bushel of salt, which he brought back on his shoulder.  He came from Albany via Schenectady, Fish House, and Beecher’s Hollow.  He had six children, four of whom are still living in the county.  Peter, the oldest, lives in Day, aged eighty four years (in 1878).  Catherine Mosher lives in Day; William H. lives in Hadley, and John in Ballston.”

Three years earlier, Matheus’ brother Nicholas, had settled in Day.  Sylvester writes, “In the spring of 1799, Nicholas Flansburgh, a resident of Schenectady county, came – via the Fish House (Northampton) – down the river (Sacandaga River) in a dugout, and, landing on the south bank of the river, nearly opposite Day Centre, settled on lot 3, great lot 21 of the John Glen Patent.  He built a log house, and clearing up the land as quickly as possible, planted his crops.  Wild animals were quite plentiful at that time.  The deer had a herding-place or yard at a large rock on the hill near Mr. Flansburgh’s.  Bears were frequently seen, and sometimes, grown bold by pressing hunger, would come and carry off a calf, sheep or pig, and often the poor settler, lacking powder and ball, was forced to see his property destroyed without remedy.    Sometimes the tables were turned, and Bruin himself helped to fill the meat-barrel.  The barking of foxes and the howling of wolves was frequent, and the blood-curdling shriek of the panther was occasionally heard.”

Maria died in 1852, and Matheus died 6 years later at the age of 95.  Both are buried in marked graves in the West Day Cemetery.  The flag on Mathew’s grave is testimony to his military service in the American Revolution.  He was a Capt. In Jurinan Hogan’s Company, Col. Henry Quakenboss’ regiment, Albany Co., NY Militia.  [You may contact Deane Dayton to inquire about joining the SAR.]

Matheus’ father was Joseph VLENSBURGH, b. October 14, 1720 in Albany.  Four of Joseph’s sons (Matheus, Dirk, William and Anthony) were American Patriots who saw action in the American Revolution.  Son Dirk was probably the most prosperous.  He was a Tavern Keeper in Half-Moon (just north of Albany on the Hudson River).

Joseph’s father was Matheus VLENSBURGH, born About March 1687/88 in Albany. His occupation was turner and blockmaker.  In politics, he was Assistant Councilman. “He had a lot near the Horse Guard blockhouse; corner of Hudson and Green Streets in 1718. [SOURCE: Genealogies of the First Settlers of Albany, Pearson, p. 48].

Matheus’ father was Jan Jansen VAN FLENSBURG, born before 1672 in probably Holland.

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

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.