February 2003, Issue #19

My First Glimpse of Fort Klock
by Willis Barshied Jr.
Stone Arabia, NY
Dec. 22, 2002

My first glimpse of Fort Klock was about 50 years ago. I knew it existed long before that, but had never ventured close. As I neared the old building it was almost inaccessible due to the tangle of trees and brush which had grown up around it. In places the silent stone walls crumbled, reminiscent of a hero of old who had been brought to his knees by a conquering foe. Fort Klock had fallen to it’s knees, the result of an enemy called time and neglect. I walked through the door ways who’s doors had been wrenched from their hinges by vandals. Window glass from long broken windows mixed with leaves and trash covered the wide board floors. Black char covered some beams in the cellar where intruders had built fires on the cobblestone floors. The roof had begun to leak, which was a sure sign that the old buildings days were numbered, someday soon to become only a clouded memory.

What comes to mind when walking through a deteriorating building that housed generation after generation of families. Sounds of earlier times flood ones imagination. We might hear excited words in another language totally foreign to our present day visitors. Words of those first settlers as they studied the site of their future home. The sounds of builders steel tools that helped to wench to stone from Mother Nature to build the walls. The sounds of the axe as trees, rooted long before the white man set foot in our valley, were brought to earth to become timbers, floors and shingles. The sounds of the animals, sheep and cattle who first grazed the land, quietly sweep across our imagination. The most audible of these sounds come from the members of the family who lived thought the centuries and experienced the whole gamut of existence, joy that arrives with the birth of a child, the sadness at the passing of a family member, satisfaction of a bountiful harvest, the roar of musket fire in nearby fields as shifting allegiances brought fear and determination to those pitted against one another and finally the satisfaction of founding a new nation. Intermingled with all of these sounds from the past, another voice prevailed, the voice of this ancient structure itself. The message it brought was “ help to preserve me so that I can carry a message of determinations of yesterday down to today and onward to the future.”

Fort Klock remains today because numerous people through the last 50 years have struggled to preserve it. It has been done largely by volunteers much the same as the building would have been erected in it’s beginning. From the start of the efforts to preserve Fort Klock some things should have been done differently if we had possessed more expertise and more funds. The heartaches common to man have persisted though this last have century for those who have struggled to preserve Fort Klock. Members have come and went and each contributed to our effort. The joy of friends made and the heartbreak of friends lost have both visited us in 50 years as happens in all ventures, fortunately the positive have far outweighed the negative.

What will the future of Fort Klock be? As the torch is passed, who will seize it and go forward? Fort Klock does not belong to whoever’s name is on the deed. It belongs to all who cherish our past, not because it is the past but because it is a guidepost to what is and what will be. May all of the readers help preserve Fort Klock and others remnants of the past to help keep them from becoming fallen heroes.

Thanks for all your hard work over the last 50 years in preserving this piece of history. As a descendant of Johannes Klock, I cannot tell you how much Fort Klock means to me. It is more that just an old stone house. Within it’s walls the past comes to life. We can see and more fully understand how our forefather lived. I really feel our ancestors sleep more peaceful today with the knowledge that their life and their sacrifices they made for freedom are not forgotten

Vernon R. Klock

In a recent e-mail, Tim Klock from New York, informed me of a death in his family. “Vern was very sick with cancer and was doing great, unfortunately it finally took a toll on him. He did have a great holiday with his family and for that we are thankful, “ Tim wrote.

My sincere condolences go out to you and your family. Dave Klock

Vern’s line back to Hendrick Klock goes like this: Vernon Klock, Kenneth Klock, Sherman Klock, Jacob Klock, Luther Klock, John J. Klock, Johannes Jost Klock, Johannes Haymer Klock and Hendrick Klock

His Obituary from the Little Falls Evening Times follows:

Vernon R. Klock, 60, of 5 High St. Little Falls, passed away unexpectedly Monday, December 30, 2002 at his residence after a long battle with cancer. He was born on March 22, 1942, in Herkimer, son of the late Kenneth and Rose M. (Michols) Klock. He was a graduate of Herkimer High School, class of 1959. He was united in marriage to the former Janet M. Benson on July 30, 1966, at the United Methodist Church, Herkimer. Vern is survived by his wife, Janet M.; a son Vernon R. Klock Jr. and his wife Earlene of Herkimer; three daughters, Jean Marie Fowler and her husband Adam of Ilion, Michele Maiorano and her husband Michael of Herkimer and Robin Kilmacek and husband John of Little Falls; two brothers, Howard Klock and his wife Catherine of Herkimer and Kenneth Klock and his wife Joyce of Maine; two sisters June McPherson and her husband Robert of Mohawk and Rose Rockwell and her husband Ronald of Herkimer. He was the devoted grandfather to eight grandchildren, Marisa and Cory Fowler, Joshua Klock, Eva Mairorano, John and Nicholas Klimacek and Paige and Jacob Klock and is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by two brothers, James and William Klock, a sister Sharon Herringshaw. Funeral services will be held on Friday, Jan 3, at 10 am from the Chapman-Moser Funeral Home, Inc. 42 N. Ann St., Little Falls, with Rev. Wrightson Tongue, paster of the United Methodist Church, Herkimer, officiating, Interment will take place in Mt. View Memorial Gardens, town of Little Falls in the spring. Relatives and friends are invited to pay their respects at the funeral home on Thursday, January 2, from 5-8 p.m. and to attend the funeral services memory of Vern be considered to the American Cancer Society, Oneida and Herkimer Counties, 430 Court St, Suite 250, Utica, NY 13502. Envelopes are available at the funeral home for this purpose.


Reverend William “Bill” Klock and Family

William A. Klock, (Richard Thomas, George Edward, William Edward, Edward E., John David, David, Jacob Conrad, Conrad, Hendrick Klock,) is a Chaplain for the Lewis & Clark Chapter of the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) in Beaverton, Oregon.

The Lewis and Clark Chapter was instituted April 4, 1992 and is the youngest chapter in the Oregon State Society. It started with 15 members and has grown to nearly 100 members today.

Father Bill is a ordained minister for the Reformed Episcopal Church, an offshoot of the Episcopal Church. He works a few hours each month as Chaplain for the SAR., he is Associate Pastor at St. James Reformed Episcopal Church in Bellevue, Wa. He is working with a group of Reformed Episcopal members to start a new branch in the Portland area. Father Bill is hoping that his duties with the Reformed Episcopal Church will become full time in the next few years as the new church is built.

Bill works full time as an Apple Certified Systems Engineer for a local Apple/Macintosh dealer. Bill has a B.A. in Pre-modern European history from Washington State University and a Masters in Christian Studies in the Old Testament and Biblical Languages from Regent College, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. He met his beautiful wife, Veronica, while attending seminary in Vancouver. Veronica was raised in central British Columbia, is a homemaker, and Bill and his wife have one child, Alexandra, who is 4 ½.

Bill is a cyclist, a stamp collector, does genealogy work and likes to read. Father Bill also has a great Home Page on the Internet with a lot of genealogy. You can check it out at:


Robert Klock Smith

Last month I did an article on a lumber town that was know as Klock’s Mill. The Lumber Mill, owned by R.H. Klock, was on the Ottawa River in Mattawa, Canada. The mill is gone now. The land was flooded with the building of the Holden Dam about fifty years ago and little remains Klock’s Mill today except a few pictures.

Last week I found an article on Robert Klock Smith on the Internet, I search the net all the time for genealogy information and for interesting stories for this Newsletter. I found an article about Robert Klock Smith. The article was in the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. Roll of Honour II. I checked my family tree to see if I had a Robert Klock Smith. I had Robert H. Klock that owned the lumber mill. ( Klock’s Mill ) I checked back and Robert H. Klock father’s name was Robert Klock. Robert was married to Catharina Starhring and they had two children, Maria and Ira Klock. After Catharina died he married Elizabeth Bell and they had three children, Robert H., Nancy and James. I do not know who Nancy married so I am assuming she married a Smith and Nancy Klock was his mother.

According to the article Robert Klock Smith was born in Ontario in 1859. His father died when Robert was thirteen years old. Robert moved to Aylmer, Quebec to work for his uncle at the lumber mill. Robert was a bookkeeper and telegraph operator. (Klock Mill did have a Train Station, which had a Stationmaster and a telegraph office.) While working at lumber mill, Robert became fluent in the French Language.

In 1882 he moved to Winnipeg and then to the Maskawata district, where he filed on the CPR quarter. He worked in the woods at Rainy River and Portage La Prairie, built a house and became a farmer. In 1889 he married Margaret Smith. Robert and Margaret had seven children, five boys and two girls.

In 1903, Robert was one of thirteen farmers selected by the Immigration Minister, Clifford Sifton, to travel to Britain to encourage immigration. Robert had one of the first horse powered threshing machines. Later he bought two steam engine machines and traveled the area with his machine, harvesting crops. He had the first gas engine threshing machines in the District. According to the article he was instrumental in forming the Oak Lake Agricultural Society and served as secretary for many years. He was chairman of the local School Board. Robert assisted in building the Ryerson Methodist (United) Church. Robert also kept a diary on the weather, politics, and on farm live in the mid 1880’s to 1931.

Now Robert Klock Smith’s name is on the Honour Roll of the Agricultural Hall of Fame in Manitoba, Canada.

The Hessian Soldiers of Germany

It is believed Hendrick Klock came to the American Colonies about 1704 from the province of Hesse-Cassel in Germany. It is interesting to note that Hesse-Cassel was the source of most of the Hessian mercenaries that came to America to fight for the British during the Revolutionary War.

“Of course, Hendrick Klock had been here a long time already by then- but I found it interesting that all those Klock’s on the Colonial side were opposing Hessian mercenaries from the same region in the Old Country that they came from!” Mark Henshaw told me in a resent e-mail. Mark is a descendant of Hendrick Klock Mark sent me a link to The Global Gazette, an Online Family History Magazine. The information for this newsletter article comes that magazine.

Hesse-Cassel supplied a large number of troops for George III of Great Britain. George III, in 1775 and 1776 was desperately seeking to retain control of the British North America signed treaties with a number of German states to supply troops to defend the English interest in the American Colonies. Approximately 17,000 Soldiers were sent to American from the Hesse-Cassel region. This represented about ¼ of the able bodied men of military age of the population of that state. The Hesse-Cassel troops were considered superior to those of other German states. They were will trained and in good health. George III signed a treaty with Frederick II, the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel. Frederick II would be paid an estimated 3,000,000 English Pounds over an eight-year period for the services of his army. Hesse-Cassel sent 15 Infantry regiments consisting of 650 Officers and men, 4 Grenadier Battalions, two Yager companies and 2 Field Artillery Companies. The forces spent most of their time in the 13 Colonies. They arrived in New York in August of 1776. The Hessel-Cassel troops participated in every major battle of the war, including the battle of Trenton where many were killed, wounded or captured in the American victory. In 1779, the British, fearing an attack on Quebec ordered the troops to Canada. The fleet was struck by a severe storm and many ships were lost or captured by the Americans. The remainder of the fleet found it’s way to Quebec the following spring. Approximately 6000 soldiers never returned to Germany and settled in North America 2400 remained in Canada, about 1400 Hessians settled in Quebec and about 1000 in the Maritime Provinces of Ontario. About 3600 settled in the United States. ____________________________________________________________________

Catharine Zimmerman

Catharine Zimmerman (Catharine Nellis, Barbara [Barvalis] Elisabeth Klock, Hendrick Klock) was born about 1745 in Stockbridge, Madison Co., New York. On March 4, 1766 she married Frederick Snell, Jr. who was born about 1741. Frederick Snell enlisted in the military when he was 18 and fought it the French and Indian war and fought in the Revolutionary War under Col. Jacob Klock. Frederick was killed in the battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777. Frederick and Catharine had seven children. Catharine was an even-tempered woman and made a good pioneer’s wife. On April 30, 1780, after the death of her husband, she was fixing pancakes for her children when there was an Indian Raid on Shell’s Bush. Freddie, the son of Frederick and Catharine, saw the Indians coming and hid in the bake oven. The Indians broke into the house and helped themselves to the food. They made Catharine sit against the wall with her children. The Indians made her watch as they killed her children… Catherine was later found on the road by soldiers, who were hot on the trail of the Indians, she was scalped and senseless. She survived the attack, but two of her children died. She later married Bastian Stamm and she had one more child, Magdalena Stamm and they moved to Jefferson County, New York.

From the Family Tree of Kimberly L. (Thompson) of Baldwinsville, NY. Kim sent me her family tree last December. While I adding her information to my tree and saw this story. I though I would share it with you.

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