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Rev. William Lewis Benedict

Family reference:

Born Born 27 Jun 1814 Orange County, New York
Married Married 26 Feb 1835 Phoebe Burt
Died Died 20 Jul 1882 at Location


  • William Lewis7, (William6, James5, James4, James3, John2, Thomas1)


  • Father:Benedict, William1779
  • Mother:Wood, Martha1781


  1. Eliza Benedict; 1835-1917 m Charles B Hornby
  2. Charles Edward Benedict; b. Nov. 8, 1837 m Sarah Bertholf
  3. Thomas Edsall Benedict; b. April 3, 1839
  4. Francis Aloaton Benedict; b. Feb. 25, 1841. Unmarried
  5. James Burt Benedict; b. 27Jan1843. Unmarried
  6. Clara, b. Oct. 5, 1844. m Nathaniel A Baird, 6 chd born: Wm ca 1872, Ernest ca 1874, Howard ca 1876, John ca 1880, Mabel ca 1882, Percy M, ca 1885
  7. Gilbert Hartwell Benedict; b. July 10, 1846
  8. Howard Melville Benedict; b. April 27, 1848.
  9. William Wallace Benedict; b. Dec. 6, 1849.
  10. Elmira, b. Oct. 5, 1851. Unmarried. Town of Elmira NY named after her.
  11. Frederick Lee Benedict; b. July 29, 1853.
  12. Fanny H., b. July 31, 1855. Unmarried
  13. Lewis Randolph Benedict; b. Aug. 13, 1857.
  14. Elizabeth, b. June 16, 1859.
  15. Clarence Edward Benedict; b. March 9, 1863.
  16. Mabel Benedict; b. May 3, 1865. Unmarried

The Family of Phoebe Burt

Phoebe's parents were Benjamin 1786-1835 and Elizabeth (Ketchum) 1794-1836 Burt.

Old Warwick Valley and the Ways of Its People. By Donald M. Barrell (grandson of Eliza (Benedict) Hornby, son of her dau Mary), Warwick Valley Dispatch. July 16, 1975

The Benjamin Burt and Elizabeth Ketcham Family consisted of nine children and all lived to an old age. They were Mary, Hannah, Phoebe, Elizabeth, Cordelia, Thomas, Grinnell, Monroe and Coe. Mary married first to Joel Benedict then to William Herreck. Hannah never married. If she had we might not have had our story for she is our heroine. Phoebe married William L. Benedict and Elizabeth never married. Cordelia married a Mr. Abbie who was minister. Thomas, for many years, was treasurer of the Warwick Savings Bank and Warwick Cemetery Association. Grinnell was a builder of the Warwick Valley Railroad and associated with railroads all his life. He was also on the commission that built the Poughkeepsie railroad bridge and on the board of control of the State Hospital at Middletown. However his pet was the Warwick Valley Railroad. Monroe was on the Fremont Expedition to the northwest and kept a diary describing the terrible hardships of the party. It was in a little black book about 3 x 4 written in lead pencil. It was in the possession of his daughter “May” who married Mr. Will Jessup of Florida, N.Y. [Ed. note: attempts have been made to find this journal, but we have been unable to document his presence on any Fremont expedition to date. However, he traveled to California during the gold rush, and was a founded and named the city of Oroville, CA. Articles written about him appeared in the newsletter “Diggins” of the Butte County Historical Society, and copies have been placed at the Albert Wisner Public Library—2004, sg]

During the early summer of 1824 a party of relatives started on an ox drawn covered wagon trip to visit the family of Benjamin Burt of Cheminy. Sally Benedict, sister of William L, was in the party. She was a very little girl for her age, about 16 and our only record came from her. The trail was so rough no one could ride and they had to walk both ways it took twelve days each way. Their provision wagon was attacked every night by animal after their meat. The town of Elmira was named for Benjamin Burt’s little daughter. As a little girl someone gave Sally Benedict a sheet of paper about 6 x 8 and of good quality. She thought it was beautiful and never had an occasion important enough to use it. It was among her treasures 70 years later when she passed away. As a young man William L. Benedict joined the old Thirtieth New York Regiment. It was no doubt one of those regiments formed by the action of the Provincial Congress of August 22, 1775. It required that every county, city and precinct be divided by the local committees so that each district should have a company of men between the ages of eighteen and fifty years and to consist of eighty-three men. It contained one captain, four corporals, one clerk, one drummer and one fifer. A regiment was to consist of not more than ten companies or less than five. In it one Colonel, one Lieutenant Colonel, two Majors, one Adjutant and one quartermaster.

Children of Rev William Lewis and Phoebe (Burt) Benedict

  1. Eliza Benedict 1835-1917
~The Annotated~ Under Old Rooftrees by Eliza Benedict Hornby. With Notes on the Identity of Persons Mentioned. Supplied by Descendents of the Author.

Today’s reader must keep in mind that Eliza in 1908 was publishing stories that she had recorded over a long lifetime. She was over 80 when the book was published, and had started when she was young. The stories are thus the preserved memories, in some cases, of Warwick’s citizens who had been born in the 1700’s, and eyewitnesses to many of the events of Revolutionary times and the early Republic. Eliza Benedict was born November 26, 1835, in the old homestead on the edge of the village, and was connected by ties of blood with many of the families whose history stretches back into the early days of Warwick and its environs. From her earliest years she manifested those qualities which she carried with her to the grave—love of nature and humanity, a talent for friendship, a sunny, romantic disposition, bright, intuitive mind, and a rare social gift, which brought her into quick sympathy with all, whether young or old. She died upon the birthday of Francis Aloaton Benedict, that soldier brother whom she loved devotedly, and whose letters, transcribed by her, became a valuable record of the war experiences of the one Hundred and Twenty-fourth regiment, N.Y.V.,-- the “Orange Blossoms” of this county.

The eldest of a family of sixteen, ten sons and six daughters, of William Lewis Benedict and Phoebe Burt, all of whom grew to maturity, she earned a place in the hearts of each that can be epitomized by but on word—“Sister.” She truly was the ideal “elder sister. Her sympathy and charity were boundless and her one thought in any difficulty was of instant aid and soothing. Her joyous nature and talent for social harmony made her the life of family and neighborhood affairs, her circle far-reaching with the gathering of years.

No occasion was complete without Eliza and her attendant band of handsome, gay young kinsmen, among them her eldest brother, Charles Edward, (called “Prince or Lord Charlie” by his intimates), her cousins, James W. (later Major) Benedict and his brother Hubert, and talented and witty Peter Burt, son of “Young Squire James,”, humorous, artist and writer, whose productions Mrs. Hornby cherished to her latest day. In her home Eliza’s presence as a young woman was that of a singing bird. She had a clear, sweet voice and a natural talent for music, and in her early day sang constantly. The Warwick of Mrs. Hornby’s early days was a primitive community, but far from being bucolic. The spirit of the Warwick of the ante-bellum period was best represented in the foundation of the Warwick Institute, leased by her father in 1856 for school purposes, at the same time he purchased the old Ward House as a home for boarding students and teachers. Eliza was first pupil and then teacher in the Institute. The curriculum in the middle fifties might seem odd at this time. It embraced Latin, French, mathematics, painting, drawing, music, rhetoric, surveying, elecution and the English branches. The principal was always a college man and the subordinate teachers chosen for their special experience and intelligence. There was a literary quality in the Institute and the community. Eliza easily became a leader. Her pen was a facile as her mind. Generously, she was always ready to help those less highly endowed with a puzzling literary task, and many were the occasions that called for the exercise of her gift. Warwick had its musical society and conventions, famous lecturers came to the village, and it had its own literary and debating societies. Many of Mrs. Hornby’s brightest poems, still cherished in the hearts and homes of the families of that day, were written at this time. From a manuscript book of poems, dated 1856, we take two verses, signed “Eliza”, which are s significant of Mrs. Hornby’s mental attitude toward life even in her last days that it is a pleasure to copy them: The following highlights and quotes are presented in recognition of the fact that few copies of this rare book are available. Reading the entire text as written by an eyewitness to the events offers far greater appreciation of the war than these few notes can, and is very much recommended. The "primary document" portions below are the indented sections in quotes, which are directly from the account written by the commanding officer. The Civil War had already lasted a year, and for many in the North much effort, money, and human life had been sacrificed to very little effect. The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was apparently failing in its mission of bringing the South back into the Union and complying with the abolition of slavery. Belief in the cause of the war had waned to barely a flicker, and supporters of the South's claims were heard ever louder. Then on July 1, 1862 President Lincoln called for 300,000 volunteers to sign up for "the long haul"-- three years of service to help advance the cause abolition, and to protect the North, which was now in danger of invasion from the exuberant Confederacy. A committee to raise volunteers was formed in Orange County, including John Cowdrey and Thomas Welling of Warwick. The main recruiters for Warwick were James W. Benedict and Daniel Sayer. At first it was very difficult to find volunteers from the dispirited residents. Men were reluctant to make a commitment for three years: who would provide for their families when they were gone, and how would the pay due to the soldiers make its way back home where it would be needed? Then local activists began raising money to support needy families of those who should volunteer, and the North began to rally as the very real threat to the south made an impact. By August 23rd, the regiment was fully enlisted and organized under Captain A. Van Horne Ellis. Most of the volunteers from Warwick were organized into Company D, "The Warwick Boys", and mustered at Goshen on August 16th, 1862. Joining the Army of the Potomac On Thursday, August 26th, the ladies of Orange County presented the colors (flag) they had sewn to the regiment. A great crowd gathered that day at Camp Wickham in Goshen to bid farewell to the recruits, and stuff their knapsacks with extra provisions and keepsakes. After a brief wait, the regiment departed on Sept. 6-- still without arms, which had just arrived for them in New York. "We moved through throngs of weeping ones to the depot...and at 2 PM the heavily laden train, with wild shrieks to warn away the clinging multitudes, moved off, and we were on our way to the seat of war...At every depot crowds with loyal hearts sent after us shouts of approbation, and ever and anon as our train shot along, we would catch from the sweet voices familiar notes of patriotic songs." (p. 32) After an arduous journey of hot marches with too much weight, finding troop train connections, and sleeping on city streets, the regiment reached Washington and for the first few nights camped on Capitol Hill, among the granite blocks that were waiting to become the Capitol's north wing. (p. 34). At Washington they assisted in guarding the capitol. The troops were as yet so 'green' that they did not recognize the bugle call for "Strike Tents" when it came, and several fights erupted when more seasoned soldiers began pulling down the regimental tents. After a brief time they were ordered to join the Army of the Potomac under General McClellan?, to replace troops lost at Harper's Ferry and Antietam. The troops had their first sight of what had been a battleground in October, less than a month after the battle: "South Mountain battle-ground was not far away, and one day several of us visited it...Arriving on the field we came to a board fence near a road. This fence was pierced full of bullet-holes; in some places they were so close together we covered seven and eight at a time with the palm of one hand...The Federal battle-line must have stood just behind this fence, for the graves of our men were thickest there; and the pieces of cracker-boxes, with the names of those who slept beneath them written, sometimes in ink, sometimes with pencil, and occasionally roughly cut in, were sticking from the ground in all directions." (p. 49) It was a miserable, wet fall and winter in the South that year, and the troops had been sent without adequate food and shelter: "On the 18th we pushed on again through the mud and rain, making about twelve miles, and halting, just before dark, near Hartwood church. This was in many respects the severest march we had made-- all were exhausted and as wet as the rain could make us. At nearly every halt those who wore boots pulled them off and poured water out of them...the men threw themselves on the wet ground, and had they been permitted most of them would have laid there until morning without putting up tents, building fires, or cooking any food, and not a few of them did lay in that condition until daylight." (p. 58) Fredericksburg The first time the Orange Blossoms came under fire was at Fredericksburg: "About ten o'clock the sun broke through, dispelling the the sky cleared, the guns on the opposing heights opened with a terrible fury: while from the left came the crackling of musketry, which increased suddenly to heavy prolonged volleys, and ere long settled into a continuous roar that spread along the front and soon seemed to come from every direction, telling that the work of death had begun in earnest...we lay down awaiting the order to charge. But fortunately for the Orange Blossoms, it never came. Our time was not yet...All day the battle raged and the deafening roar continued; but as night came on it gradually slackened, and finally almost entirely ceased. At dusk were yet lying on the ground in front of the enemies batteries." (p. 67) That ill-fated offensive, which Gen. Burnside pursued for many days, ended in disaster as artillery and troops mired in mud at the river. Confusion reigned as the troops eventually pulled back, having lost 13,000 men. A group of four men of Co. A. were not informed of the withdrawal, and were left at their post and trapped: "Just after daybreak the enemy advanced a heavy line of skirmishers, and after firing two rounds we concluded to fall back to our main line; but when we got where it was, it wasn't there. Then we started for the reserve, but they too had gone, and so we made for the bridge, but that also had disappeared. At first I thought I must have fallen asleep at on my post, and was dreaming, but just then I saw several Johnnies advancing toward us, and heard one of them shout, 'Halt, you d---- Yankees, or we will blow your brains out.' I don't know what became of the others, but I was the farthest away from the gray-backs, and jumped down the river bank on which I was standing, ran half a mile up the shore, and hid in some brush...As soon as I made my appearance on this side of the river, I was arrested by some of the Second corps pickets, marched off to their corps head-quarters, and taken before the General...who ordered his provost-marshal to let me go." (p. 78) The continued cold, wet, and lack of shelter of that action took its toll, and at its conclusion half of the 850 of the 124th needed a doctor's care. Nearly 100 were put on the sick list, many of which never returned to duty. Later on, members of the regiment attributed their survival to the inferior arms they carried-- heavy, old-fashioned rifles ("blunderbusses") which had resulted in their not being called to a charge. (p. 80) The account notes that on January 29th, five months after enlisting, the army paymaster visited for the first time and gave the troops one and a half months of the pay due them. After Gen. Burnside was removed from command and replaced by Major-Gen. Joseph Hooker on Jan. 26th, immediate improvements to their situation were made: they withdrew from the riverside mud, went to higher ground, and made winter quarters of log cabins. After waiting the rest of the winter out in relative comfort, on April 8 President Lincoln visited to inspect the Army of the Potomac. Of all the troops assembled that day-- 40 regiments of infantry plus mules and supply personnel-- there were only three regiments that Lincoln commented on as being especially pleasing to him. The 124th was one of them. New Recruits and Later Battles By mid July, a group from the 124th had been sent north to recruit new soldiers, as the ranks had been decimated by prior battles. Among the recruiters was G. Bertholf of Company D. The recruiters understandably had difficulty in finding volunteers, and most were never able to return to active duty with the regiment (p. 215) Eventually a number recruits were found to fill in some of the spaces left by fallen and wounded comrades. Eventually some replacements would be found to better fill the ranks. By now the 124th was a veteran force, known for its bravery, resourcefulness, and high casualty rate, and "The Warwick Boys" had become part of a grimly determined group of seasoned soldiers. The regiment participated in numerous smaller battles, campaigns and skirmishes during the rest of the war. For almost two years after Gettysburg they marched, charged, froze, and hung grimly on. They fought in the Wilderness campaign, Spottsylvania Court House, and Petersburg. We hear of two officers of Company D, arriving at the field hospital where Weygant was being treated, after the battle of Spottsylvania Courthouse in May of 1864. "On arriving at the hospital I found that a vanguard of wounded Orange Blossoms had preceded me, and following close after came a score or more of others. Lieutenant Houston, of Co. D., came staggering in with a bloated face, the blood running from his mouth and trickling from a hole in either cheek. He was one of the most brave, and had always been regarded as the most unassuming and quiet officer in the regiment. But now he could not talk if he would, for a bullet had passed through his face and his jaw was terribly shattered. Then came Captain Benedict of the same company, borne on a stretcher-- his swarthy complexion, which had never faded in battle, now almost fair from loss of blood. He had been shot through the hips-- the bullet entering one side and coming out at the other. There he lay as helpless as an infant; and it was the general opinion of those who saw him that he could not survive his injuries. One of his brother officers, however, naively remarked 'Oh no, old Whortleberry is too contrary to let a bullet kill him, he will come around, you will see;' and he was right. James Benedict's place as captain of his company 'D', of which he was justly proud, was not to be declared vacant while the war lasted..." [p. 331] In the last part of the war in Virginia, the Confederate army sought to hold its bastions of Petersburg and Richmond. The land before the besieged Petersburg took on a nightmarish quality as the Orange Blossoms and their fellow regiments sought safety in trenches and earthworks: I wish I could give you a correct idea of the face of the earth about Petersburg, but that is impossible to me with a pen. I really believe it would cost at the present price of labor, a thousand dollars an acre to level and prepare the ground for agricultural purposes again. Immense furrows follow each other over a strip of ground nearly a mile wide, and the principal ones are about fifteen miles in length. I have seen a line of works that would reach from Newburgh to Cornwall and back (10 miles) built in a single night. This belt of earthworks is fringed with road pits which run back toward the rear, and are built in a zigzag fashion, like rail fences at the north, with the dirt thrown up on the side toward the enemy. They have been made for the protection of the [wagon] trains..." The massive confusion of the last months is made plain by the description Weygant gives of taking refuge in a wooded area when wounded: "The farther we went the harder it rained and the darker grew the night. Every few moments we would pass or be passed by a little band of men who, like ourselves, were wandering they knew not where. A little later a considerable body of mounted men came along, but I did not like the sound of their voices and moved out of their way. It turned out afterward that these woods were filled with the wounded men and straggles of both armies. A little farther on I heard another body of horsemen approaching, and on listening attentively recognized the voice of Captain Benedict. The captain...was not able to walk...and by talking continually we managed to keep together (on horseback)...The rest of the party were strangers and for aught we knew half of them were Confederates..." As the year wore on and the war stretched interminably and impossibly through another winter, the Orange Blossoms received a valuable and much treasured gift: "About Christmas, we received from the 'Ladies of Orange' a case containing upwards of five hundred sleeping caps, which were greatly appreciated by all, not only for the reason that they added to our comfort, but because they assured us that our sacrifices and sufferings for our country were appreciated, and that we were yet kindly remembered by friends from whom many of us had been long separated." [p. 403 The morning of April 9th brought with it word that Grant and Lee were arranging terms for the South's surrender: "As strange as it may seem, no one shouted, but instead many a stalwart fellow turned pale. All believed the report but yet wanted it officially confirmed...Our old commander's face for once wore a smile. Behind him cheers like the mingling din of battle settled into one continuous roar, but in his front men held their breath until they heard from him the assurance that Lee and his followers had lain down their arms. The scene in our brigade after General Meade passed was absolutely indescribable. Men shouted until they could shout no longer, the air above us was for full half and hour filled with caps, coats, blankets, and knapsacks, and when at length the excitement subsided, the men threw themselves on the ground completely exhausted." (p. 442) The Orange Blossoms headed home triumphant, only to receive a last horrifying blow from a rebel sympathizer in the early morning hours of April 15: "About two A.M. I was aroused from my slumbers by Travis, and, on opening my eyes, saw him standing in front of me, with a candle in one hand and a paper in the other. His face was colorless, and in a tone of voice expressive of deep anguish, he was repeating over and over again these words: 'My God! can it be, can it be!' Grasping the paper, I read: 'President Lincoln and Secretary Seward have been assassinated, and it is reported that General Grant has also been murdered." During the following day it was confirmed that Seward would live and that Grant was safe, but the death of Lincoln made bittersweet the surrender of one after another of the posts and armies of the failing Confederacy. Finally, on Tuesday, June 13th, the Orange Blossoms, what remained of them, arrived home to Orange County on the decks of the Mary Powell: "When the Powell reached the Cornwall dock the enthusiasm of the boys began to be stirred afresh...When the cannon on the long dock began to roar the boys involuntarily set up a shout of delight...Every place which commanded a view of the river seemed to be crowded with eager spectators. Flags were flying, bells ringing, cannon booming, innumerable handkerchiefs waving...The boys looked on all this display with undisguised delight, and gave vent to their feelings in repeated cheers." (p. 448) It was reported in contemporary papers that day that of the original force of over 850 that had set out so gaily three years before, only 130 were marching in the regiment when it returned. (p. 452) Of the 91 "Warwick Boys" that had set out in Company D, it appears that only about 25 escaped the casualty or wounded lists; every man in the regiment who survived had been through one of the most horrifying conflicts the world has known.

When Mrs. Bradley’s fashionable seminary for young ladies was opened in Goshen, Eliza Benedict accepted there a position as a teacher of French, history, botany and drawing. Her gift of rhyme became quite as conspicuous in Goshen as at home, and when the poem “All Quiet Along the Potomac” appeared signed “E.B.” (Ethelinda Beers) Miss Benedict received several letters of felicitation from friends who thought it a production of hers. At Mrs. Bradley’s seminary she met Charles B. Hornby, teacher of music there, and organist of St. James’s Church opposite. Mr. Hornby was an Englishman, son of Dr. Thomas and Mary Anne Tynley Hornby, of Tuxford, Notts. His immediate ancestors were Yorkshire men, and many of the family lie buried in the glorious York Minster (Cathedral) and in the quaint old St. Michael le Belfrey, Petergate, York. Mr. Hornby left Goshen to become master of the regular army band at Governor’s Island, N.Y. Harbor, and soon claimed his bride thereafter. They were married at the Warwick homestead, March 25, 1861, and settled down to home life in Amity (now West 3d Street) one block south of Washington Square, and next to old St. Clemet’s Church. This section lies close to that long known as the “Old Greenwich Village,” now coming back to its former prestige. n the same house at the same time boarded Thomas Hovenden, destined to become famous as a painter, whose “John Brown on the Way to Execution” is one of the treasures of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was a poor struggling young Irishman, and kept a small shop for artists’ materials on lower Sixth Avenue. He chose at that period sacred subjects in pure kindness of heart, Mrs. Hornby often posed for him, because he could not afford to hire a model. He painted her, with her eldest child, later, as a Madonna for an altar piece, now in place in one of the Roman Catholic Churches. Those were the days of the Civil War Those were the days of the Civil War, and the city was full of excitement and ferment, which manifested itself in mob-violence and turbulence. The “Draft Riots” especially brought terror to the city dwellers, the foreign element when forced into war service, venting its rage on the Negro race, hanging them wherever found. In the backyard of the house next to St. Clement’s was found one evening a poor, terror-stricken colored girl, with her baby, nearly dead from fright and exposure, having been hidden three days behind a pile of lumber. She was cared for by the ladies of the household for three weeks before she was permitted to venture forth into the street. Many other reminiscences of this time were often retold by Mrs. Hornby to her children. Only a few months after the marriage, Mrs. Hornby had the war brought her near to her by the enlistment of her two brothers and husband, the latter of whom became bandmaster to a city regiment. He remained in service nearly two years and while stationed at one of the forts back of Alexandria, Va., played the organ in Old Christ (Washington’s) Church, in that city. A sunstroke during the excessive heat of a Virginia summer incapacitated Mr. Hornby for work on his return to the front, and he went to England for treatment. Mrs. Hornby was left with three young children, the third four weeks old, to take up life along. She very naturally turned to her early vocation and through the influential relatives on the Board of Education, joined the teaching force of the Institute, by then a public school. The “White School House,” by the cemetery gate, was made in the early ‘70’s, a part of the Institute school system, and Mrs. Hornby appointed teacher. It was a long way from her home, but she bravely breasted the suns of summer and the storms and snows of many old-fashioned winters to fulfill her teaching task here on the village outskirt. In this connection, she often spoke of the unfailing goodness and kind thoughtfulness of the late Thomas Welling, Esq., who lost no opportunity of ministering to the comfort of the young schoolmistress and her little charges, stranded in the then desolate spot, with old-time schoolroom equipment. At night, often till the small hours, Mrs. Hornby toiled at writing for magazines and newspapers all over the country, from Maine to Illinois, augmenting her income materially by her industry. Plays,--several produced in Warwick, small stories, children’s tales and rhymes, poems and all kinds of literary material flowered from her pen-point. He constitution was naturally strong, her energy resistless and her spirits buoyant and pictures taken at this time reveal a bright, earnest countenance, surcharged with an expression in intense purpose and determination. By strict economy Mrs. Hornby managed to save a small capital and started a private school, which venture met with success. Later she went into business in New York City and prospered fairly well for several seasons. since early youth she had religiously treasured all the reminiscences of family and town life that came to her, preserving it in written notes with methodical care and precision. A book to embody all this valuable lore was her constant though in later years, and finally, about 1908, with the help and encouragement of her young brother, Louis Randolph Benedict, her dream became a reality, and “Under Old Roof Trees,” a collection of the lore of old Warwick, appeared. Her delight and gratification in her book was unbounded, (although she felt it was far from perfection and said so,) and the interest it excited a never-failing source of happiness. Two other books were prepared by her later, and it is to be hoped they will see the sun through type at some future day. Mrs. Hornby did not claim to be a genius, but often said her success as a historian was attained by saving what others threw away. Well we know that whatever talent she had was never allowed to rust, but kept bright to extreme age by constant use. In dark days of struggle, toil and unending disappointment she turned to her love of letters and found comfort. Time she defied and youth was in her soul to the last. Incessantly in her last hours she called the names of the friends and relative of her almost infant days. We believe there (sic) hands were even then stretched forth to meet hers. And so, having surmounted the last hard barrier, she floated over the boarded into Paradise, to behold the blossoming of her ideal, with all its world trammels and befoggings forever blown to the far winds. With the sometime lost, now found, her striving spirit makes its home, free and unchecked in its Fathers house. Several brothers and sisters, and three children, Mary, Francis Alfred and Claire Virginia, survive their sister and mother.

Old Warwick Valley and the Ways of Its People. By Donald M. Barrell. Warwick Valley Dispatch, July 16, 1975 (Donald Melvin Barrell, great grandson) For some years William L. Benedict and Gabriel Wisner had thought that the district schools were not carrying their courses high enough. In the latter part of 1855 they planned a home school for higher education. The Wawayanda Hotel had been closed since Tim Ward’s death and seemed a likely place. Both men had large families and felt certain other families would favor such a project. The idea got under way much more rapidly that was expected and development was not recorded, so there is an element of mystery. Perhaps some furniture was left in the old hotel, and some donated, but they seem to have been in operation that autumn. Its success was so phenomenal that it really outgrew itself. To last two years and become the Warwick Institute and rated high. It later became the public school system of today. There must have been eight teachers at the start, but we have no record of all of them. Charles E. Benedict, William L’s son, was principal and taught higher mathematics at the age of 22. Eliza Benedict, his sister, taught French, Botany, drawing and etiquette. There was a Miss Fannie Hastings, whose father was a minister and composer of our popular hymns.

This and That

Old Warwick Valley and the Ways of Its People. By Donald M. Barrell. Warwick Valley Dispatch, July 16, 1975 (Donald Melvin Barrell was his great grandson) William L Benedict (7) was the son of William (6), James (5), James (4), James (3), John (2), Thomas (1), the first Benedict in America in 1638. On Feb. 26, 1835, William L. Benedict married Phoebe Burt, third daughter of Benjamin Burt and Elizabeth Ketcham of Bellvale. They had sixteen children, Eliza, Charles, Thomas, Frances, James Burt, Clara, Gilbert, Howard, William, Almira, Fredrick, Fannie H., Louis, Elizabeth, Clarence and Mabel. All grew to manhood and womanhood. Two boys died in the Civil War.

The Warwick Company at this time, a part of the 30th Regiment, was known as the New York State Thirtieth Regiment of Militia, 19th Brigade, Fifth Division Infantry. It was commanded by Colonel William Houston. William Lewis Benedict was appointed Adjutant of the Warwick Company. His commission was signed by Governor William L. Marcy. Among Mr. Benedict’s papers at death was found this old Muster Roll of 1837 for the Warwick Company. Muster Roll 1837: “The company will convene at the home of J. C. Welling in the Village of Warwick on August 25th and at Edenville on September 25th for important instruction in military discipline.

  • William L. Benedict, Adjutant
  • James B. Wood, Captain
  • Abner Benedict, Lieutenant
  • Thomas S. Edsel, Dr. Master
The original of this list in the handwriting if Adjutant William L. Benedict was deposited in the Warwick Historical Society’s archives by Mrs. Mary H. Barrell about 1935 (dau of Eliza Benedict Hornby). This was known as General Training and was continued for a long time. In the summer months it was held outside with formation marching, charges and much activity.

William L. was elected to the New York Assembly in 1846. He was ordained Nov. 22, 1866 as a minister, 101 years after the ordination of his great grandfather Rev James Benedict, and by the same church.

Final Years

Warwick Cemetery, Orange County, New York Benedict, William Lewis (Rev), b. 27 Jun 1814, d. 20 Jul 1882, s/o William Benedict & Martha Wood, h/o Phoebe Burt

Warwick Cemetery, Orange County, New York Benedict, Phoebe Burt, b. 15 Jul 1827, d. 19 Sep 1890, d/o Benjamin Burt & Elizabeth Ketchum, w/o Rev William Lewis Benedict.

NOTE: Cemetary records for Phoebe list b 1827, but census records give b ca 1818-which works for mother of children

The only dates for Phoebe (Burt) Benedict in the Warwick Cemetery records (book 1, p.75) are her age at death of 73 yrs-2 mos.-4 days and a date of death of 19 Sep 1890; there is no mention of 1827. B in A, as well as two published Burt genealogies, all have 15 Jul 1817 as her date of birth. A calculation based the 73-2-4 cemetery record will also result in 15 Jul 1817.


Rev. William Lewis Benedict's biography is in Henry Benedict on p. 150.1 and Elwyn Benedict on p. 146.2

From Benedicts of America, Vol I, Pg 1501:
Rev. WILLIAM L., b. June 27, 1814; m Feb. 26, 1835, Phoebe, dau. Benjamin Burt. He was elected, Nov., 1846, to the assembly of N. Y.; ordained, Nov. 22, 1866, by Warwick Baptist church, as a minister, just one hundred and one years after the ordination of his great-grandfather by the same church. Res. at Warwick, Children:

  1. Eliza, b. Nov. 26, 1835; m. March 23, 1859, C. B. Hornby.
  2. Charles E., b. Nov. 8, 1837; m. Jan. 10, 1860, Sarah T., dau. James Bertolph of Hampton. He was appointed principal of the Warwick Institute, March 1, 1858. In April, 1860, became editor of the Putnam County Courier. Aug., 1862, enlisted in Co. D, 124th N. Y. Vols., and died in the service, Nov. 2, 1862. Children born: I. Grace, b. Oct. 22, 1860. II. Harrold, b. Oct. 22, 1862.
  3. Thomas E., b. April 3, 1839; m. Jan. 1, 1867, Frances M. Frea of Napanoch. He early engaged in the teaching of music, and is now successfully practising his profession at Montgomery.
  4. Francis A., b. Feb. 25, 1841. Enlisted, Aug., 1862, in Co. D, 124th Regt. N. Y. Vols.; fell at Chancellorville, Va., May 3, 1863. His captain wrote: "A braver and truer soldier never followed the flag." His body was interred on the battle field.
  5. James B., b. Jan. 27, 1843; res. Volcano, West Va. d 1896 unmarried
  6. Clara, b. Oct. 5, 1844.
  7. Gilbert H., b. July 10, 1846.
  8. Howard M., b. April 27, 1848.
  9. William W., b. Dec. 6, 1849.
  10. Almira, b. Oct. 5, 1851.
  11. Frederick Lee, b. July 29, 1853.
  12. Fanny H., b. July 31, 1855.
  13. Lewis R., b. Aug. 13, 1857.
  14. Elizabeth, b. June 16, 1859.
  15. Clarence S., b. March 9, 1863.
  16. Mabel, b. May 3, 1865.

1860 US Federal Census: Warwick, Orange County, New York; Roll: M653_833; Page: 0; Image: 457. Dwelling 1907. 27Aug1860.

  • Benedict, W.L., age 46, male, white, farmer, value of real estate: 8,400, personal: 1500, b NY
  • Benedict, Phebe, age 43, female, white, b NY
  • Benedict, Eliza, age 24, female, white, teacher com school, b NY
  • Benedict, James B, age 17, male, white, farmer, b NY
  • Benedict, Clara, age 15, female, white, b NY
  • Benedict, Gilbert, age 13, male, white, b NY
  • Benedict, Howard, age 12, male, white, b NY
  • Benedict, William, age 10, male, white, b NY
  • Benedict, Elmira, age 8, female, white, b NY
  • Benedict, Frederick, age 6, male, white, b NY
  • Benedict, Fanny, age 4, female, white, b NY
  • Benedict, Lewis, age 3, male, white, b NY
  • Benedict, Elizabeth, age 1, female, white, b NY
  • Howell, Elizabeth, age 15, female, white, domestic, b NY
........Next Door........
  • Hobby, Jas B, age 38, male, white, farmer, value of Real Estate: 2000, Personal: 200, b NY
  • Hobby, Martha, age 79, female, white, b NY
  • Benedict, Sarah, age 52, female, whtie, b NY (sister of Wm L)

1870 US Federal Census: Warwick, Orange County, New York; Roll: M593_1070; Page: 624; Image: 332. Post Office: Bellvale. 20Jun1870

  • Benedict, Wm L, age 55, male, white, farmer, value of real estate: 12, 000, personal: 3,000, b NY
  • Benedict, Phebe, age 52, female, white, keeps house, b NY
  • Benedict, Clara, age 25, female, white, at home, b NY
  • Benedict, Howard, age 22, male, white, at home, b NY
  • Benedict, Ella, age 18, female, white, at home, b NY
  • Benedict, Fred, age 16, male, white, at home, b NY
  • Benedict, Fanny, age 14, female, white, at home, b NY
  • Benedict, Lewis, age 12, male, white, at home, b NY
  • Benedict, Lizzie, age 10, female, white, at home, b NY
  • Benedict, Clarence, age 7, male, white, b NY
  • Benedict, Mabel, age 5, female, white, b NY
  • Hornby, Eliza, age 34, female, white, at home, b NY
  • Hornby, Mary, age 8, female, white, b NY
  • Hornby, Alfred, age 5, male, white, b NY
  • Hornby, Jennie, age 3, female, white, b NY
........2 DOORS DOWN........
  • Hobbie, James, age 49, male, white, farmer, value of real estate: 3,000, personal estate: 400, b NY
  • Benedict, Sally, age 61, female, white, keeping house, b NY (sister of Wm L)


  1. "Genealogy of the Benedicts in America", by Henry M. Benedict; 1st pub. 1870; orig. avail. at Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, DC.
  2. "Genealogy of the Benedicts in America", Vol. II by Elwyn E. Benedict; 1st pub. 1969; orig. avail. at Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, DC.


Hannah S Benedict does not show up in any family or census records, however, per Warwick Cemetery, Orange County, New York Benedict, Hannah S, b. 25 Dec 1850, d. 7 Feb 1919, d/o Rev William Lewis Benedict & Phoebe Burt

Dau Clara m Nathaniel A Baird, son of John b 1820 NY and Mary Baird b ca 1823 NJ. They resided Warwick, Orange County, NY, then 1900 census finds them in Paterson Ward 8, Passaic County, New Jersey. Nathaniel was a farmer in NY, a clergyman in NJ. They had 6 children, all b NY, probably Warwick. William b ca 1872, Ernest b ca 1874, Howard b ca 1876, John b Jul1880, Mabel D b Mar1882, Percy M b Oct1885. 1910 census finds Clara, widow, living with her son Percy M and his wife Ruth and dau Mabel D back in Chester, Orange County, NY. 1920 census shows her living with her dau Mabel and son in law Warren S Green in Northumberland, Saratoga County, NY.

Dau Almira per Benedicts of America, is Elmira in all other records. aka Ella

Dau Fanny H unmarried.

  • 1900 census indicates boarder, living in Newark Ward 1, Essex County, New Jersey perhaps with Louis and Frederick, sons of brother Frederick Lee Benedict?

In 1900 Fannie H. Benedict, single and head of household, is living in Jersey City, not Newark. Her sisters, widowed Elizabeth Hornby and single Elmira Benedict as well as niece Mary H. Barrell and her two children Donald M. and Charles W. make up the household.

  • 1910 census, she is living in Ramapo, Rockland County, New York with sisters Mabel and Elmira (Ella)
  • 1920 census she is living in Sugar Loaf, Chester, Orange County, New York with relative Percy Baird and family as well as Donald M Barrell, grandson of her sister Eliza Hornby
  • 1930 census she is living in Chester, Orange County, New York with relative Percy Baird and family as well as Donald M Barrell, grandson of her sister Eliza Hornby

Dau Elizabeth aka Lizzie in 1880 census was living with her brother Frederick and his wife Mervina at 3rd Street, New York (Manhattan), New York City-Greater, New York and was a dressmaker.

-- SandeeToo - 17 Jul 2008
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Benedict.WilliamLewisBenedict1814 moved from Benedict.BenedictWilliamLewisRev on 22 Dec 2008 - 04:46 by JimBenedict - put it back
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