From the Cooney Archives: THIS DAY IN HISTORY … On May 29, 1827, An attempt by Judge Sanders Lansing, who represented the Ellice Estate, to write a second charter in 1826 was aborted. Judge Nathaniel Benton drew up a new, less restrictive third charter, in which a majority of trustees must be freeholders. This was adopted, and at an election on this date at the stone school, Benton was chosen as the first village president. The total to be raised by taxes was limited to $300.



Sanders Gerritse Lansing was born on the 17th of June in 1766, in Albany, New York, into the distinguished Dutch family of Gerrit Jaocobse and Jannetje Waters Lansing. Sanders was the youngest of his siblings and was educated in law in Albany and Claverack schools.

Sanders married Catharine, daughter of Abraham and Annatje Ten Eyck, on December 9, 1789. The Ten Eyck family were prominent merchants and landowners in the Albany area. The Lansing’s had eight children throughout their marriage, namely, Jane Anne (19 Aug 1790-10 Jan 1807); Abraham Ten Eyck (12 Aug 1792-10 Feb 1842); Maria (10 Jan 1797-died in infancy); Hon. Robert (2 Feb 1799); Maria (13 Feb 1801); Frances (3 April 1803-never married); Hon. Frederick (30 May 1806) and Edward (13 June 1808).


A Lansing family tragedy occurred on a Saturday afternoon, the 10th of January in 1807, on Schodack Creek, about ten miles south of Albany. A horse-drawn sleigh traveling from Albany to Schodack broke through the ice as it crossed the creek and sank immediately. The sleigh contained Gerrit Yates Lansing (Sander’s twenty-four-year-old nephew, who served as Judge of the New York State Probates from 1816-1823 and served in Congress from 1831-1837)) and Jane Ann Lansing (Sander’s oldest child) and two other young girls. Jane Ann, at the age of seventeen, drowned in this accident.


In 1799, Sanders was a partner in the Great Western Turnpike: First Company, which built a toll road from Albany to Cherry Valley, known as the First Great Western Turnpike.
Sanders practiced law in Albany and was appointed the register in the office of the Master Chancery of the Supreme Court, filling the position left vacant by his older brother John, who was promoted to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In 1829, John left his motel room to post a letter and was never heard from again. It is believed John was murdered by political opponents.


Sanders was appointed as an Albany Court Probate Judge in 1816. He came to Little Falls as a representative of the Ellice Estate in 1820 and had charge of several land agencies. In 1821, Sanders was appointed Herkimer County Judge, holding this office until 1828.


In 1826 Judge Sanders Lansing, while representing the Ellice Estate, drew up a second charter for the Village of Little Falls at a meeting held in the old stone schoolhouse. This, however, was like the original village charter, allowing only property owners to become trustees, which limited the five offices to James Etheridge, Robert Hinchman, David Petrie, Lansing, and George Feeter.

Sanders was a fireman with the first organized fire company in Little Falls, which was formed on the 14th of June in 1827, with the company purchasing twelve fire buckets.


Nearing his retirement, Sanders served as a New York State representative in Congress from 1831 to 1837.


According to the Cooney Archives: THIS DAY IN HISTORY …” On September 19, 1850, Sanders Lansing, who came to Little Falls as a representative for the Ellice Estate, passed away today. County Judge from 1821 to 1828 he built the house at 22 Church Street in 1826.”

Sanders Gerritse Lansing’s death occurred in the town of Manheim at the age of 83 years. His beloved wife soon followed in death on September 23rd, at the age of 80. The Lansing family lost four dear family members over one week in September with a grandson of Sanders also succumbing to death on the 20th and a granddaughter on the 24th.


According to the Cooney Archives: THIS DAY IN HISTORY …” On July 7, 1891, the great candle in Anderson & Houghton’s jewelry store at 550 East Main Street is to be lit. A contest is being held to guess the length of time it will burn. General William Fox Lansing, great-grandson of Judge Sanders Lansing, was the winner of a gold watch with a guess of 4 days, 4 hours, 3 minutes, and 3 seconds. The actual time was 4 days, 4 hours and 17 minutes.”


In 1820, when Lansing arrived in Little Falls, the atmosphere of the village was controlled by the estate of a very influential and wealthy Scottish family, the Ellice’s. Alexander Ellice, the family patriarch, purchased 12,000 acres at the falls with the help of Sir William Johnson before the American Revolution. Alexander died in 1805, leaving the land deeds at Little Falls to his children, all of whom resided in England. His eldest son Edward headed the Ellice Estate, which controlled the village mills for grain and lumber and owned the trading post, the Yellow House of John Porteous, along with all the land holdings at the falls, controlling the water rights for industry.

According to the Cooney Archives: THIS DAY IN HISTORY …” On September 18, 1805, on this date Alexander Ellice died in Bath, England. The Ellice Estate, headed by his son Edward, an influential member of the British House of Commons, maintained a tight grip on water rights along the river at Little Falls, and other aspects of the life of the community. Ellice had acquired a valuable mill site at Little Falls from Sir William Johnson.”


Lansing’s sister, Catherine, married Barent Bleecker, a lawyer and land agent for the Ellice Estate who oversaw all the Ellice’s land holdings in the United States. Bleecker in turn, employed Lansing to act as a lawyer and agent for the Ellice Estate at Little Falls, which was why Lansing left Albany for Little Falls in 1820. Edward Ellice tried to persuade Lansing to accept the position of village president in 1826, which he graciously declined.

In 1826 Sanders built a family home at 22 Church Street while retaining a country home, the Lansing Homestead, a family farm in Manheim, NY. He acquired Church Street lot #4 in his son Robert’s name on the 11th of April in 1826 for the sum of $100, being the 4th lot sold by the Ellice Estate. (B18/P237) The house was built in the Federal Style and wasn’t altered until 1944. The original kitchen was in the basement, with the family utilizing a dumb waiter on the second floor.

The Lansing House was visited by former President Martin Van Buren on the 12th of September in 1839, leaving behind his nightcap. Please see below for the full story on Van Buren’s Visit.


Robert, a son of Sanders, a second-generation Lansing, was born on the 2 of February in 1799 in Albany, New York. At the age of eighteen, Robert left Union College, not as a graduate, and relocated to Watertown, New York. He studied law under Egbert Ten Eyck, a relative, and was admitted to the bar in 1820.
In 1826, land lot #4, 22 Church Street, was conveyed in Robert’s name from the Ellice Estate. He was the first Lansing to hold the deed to the property.

From 1826 through 1833, Robert served as a District Attorney of Jefferson County. He married his first wife, Maria Hubbard, in 1831. Their only child who lived to maturity was John, born in 1832.

Robert was a New York State Senate member from 1832 through 1835. After leaving this position, he formed a law partnership with his brother-in-law, George C. Sherman, and served as a director of the Jefferson County National Bank of Watertown.
In 1839, he lost his first wife and married his wife’s younger sister Cornelia in 1841. His only daughter, Cornelia, was born in 1843.

He was again District Attorney of Jefferson County from 1845 to 1846; First Judge of the Jefferson County Court from 1847 to 1851; Supervisor of the Town of Watertown in 1852; and again was a member of the New York State Senate in 1854 and 1855.


The third-generation of the Lansing family to reside in the Lansing House was Sanders’ grandson, Samuel “Stewart” Lansing. Stewart was born on the 12th of December in 1823 at Waterford, NY, at the home of his maternal grandparents, General Samuel and Content Douglas Stewart. Stewart was the son of Abraham Ten Eyck and Jane Ann Stewart Lansing.
In 1826, at the age of three years, Stewart came to live with his grandparents, Sanders and Catherine Ten Eyck Lansing, in their newly built Church Street home in Little Falls.

Stewart married Catherine Fox in 1854. Catherine Fox Lansing inherited the Fox Block from her father, Captain Jacob Eacker Fox, on the northeast corner of Main and Second Streets. Catherine’s great-uncle, George Eacker, shot Phillip Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton, in a dual in 1801, in almost the same spot on the New Jersey shore in Weehawken, where Alexander himself fell before Aron Burr in a duel three years later.

For the past forty-seven years in the history of the Lansing House, the original deed to 22 Church Street had remained in Robert Lansing’s name (Sander’s son), while he resided in Watertown. Robert (Stewart’s uncle) sold Catherine (Stewart’s wife) the 22 Church Street residence on the 4th of October in 1873, for the sum of $10,000 (B102/P254). Catherine had become the second owner of the 22 Church Street property.
Stewart farmed the Lansing Homestead located five miles east of Little Falls in Manheim, near Indian Castle, where he raised purebred Holstein cattle. He served as vice president of the Herkimer County Bank, a supervisor for the Township of Manheim in 1865 and 1866, and as president of the Village of Little Falls in 1875 and 1876.

Stewart’s death came on the 15th of July in 1891 at his home at 22 Church Street. He had suffered a paralyzing stroke the year before, from which he had never recovered, and is buried in the Church Street Cemetery.


In 1891, after the death of Samuel Stewart Lansing, his wife Catherine Fox Lansing, continued to live at 22 Church Street with their two sons, Edward Ten Eyck Lansing and William Fox Lansing.

In 1905, Catherine in turn, conveyed the deed to 22 Church Street to her son, William Fox Lansing, on the 23rd of February for the sum of $1 (B190/P193), making William F. the third owner of the property. She also sold “River Farm,” which contained the Fox Cheese Factory that had belonged to her father, the late Jacob Eacker Fox, in Danube, NY to her son William on the 23rd of February in 1905 for the sum of $1 (B190/P194).

Catherine conveyed her childhood home, the Old Fox Farm in Danube to her son, Edward Ten Eyck, on the 23rd of February in 1905 (B190/P192). Also, on the 23rd of February in 1905 she conveyed the Lansing-Fox Block at 542-546 East Main Street to her grandchildren, Edward Ten Eyck Jr, Catherine Fox, Yates, and Mary, being the children of her son Edward Ten Eyck (B358/P416).

Catherine Fox Lansing’s death came on the 17th of May in 1906 and is buried in the Church Street Cemetery.


Edward Ten Eyck, a fourth-generation Lansing to reside in the Lansing House on Church Street, being the youngest son of Samuel Stewart and Catherine Fox Lansing,, born in 1861 at the Lansing Homestead in Manheim.

Edward entered Harvard University in Massachusetts in 1877 and graduated with the class of 1884. He engaged in the N.Y.M.& R.S. Railroad of New York City from 1882-1883; engineered the Little Falls sewage system from 1883-1886; was an engineer for the Little Falls Water Works from 1886-1888; engineer at Lansingburgh Water Works in Troy, NY from 1888-1889; was the corporate engineer of Little Falls from 1889-1890; Justice of the Peace at Little Falls from 1885-1889; and re-elected in 1889 for another term; and he also authored several articles on professional subjects in engineering Journals. In 1890 he opened an office in the Lansing-Fox Block at 542 East Main Street.
Edward married Marianne Yates Pearson Magown from Hudon, NY on the 14th of June in 1900. They had six children throughout their marriage, namely, they are Catherine Fox (est. birth 1901); Yates (est. birth 1903); Mary H (est. birth 1904); Content D (est. birth 1906); Elizabeth (est. birth 1908); and William Fox (est. birth 1910). Edward’s children were the fifth-generation of the Lansing family to reside at 22 Church Street.
Edward Ten Eyck’s death came on the 28th of October in 1910 at the age of 49 years at the Lansing Homestead while he was helping thrash harvested oats, suffering a fatal heart attack. Edward was buried in the Fairview Cemetery beside his in-laws.
After the death of Edward Ten Eyck in 1910, his wife Marianne was left with six children under the age of nine years to raise on her own. Marianne moved with her children into a house of their own at 60 Burwell Street. She died on the 22nd of September in 1944 from intestinal cancer at Lower Moreland, Pennsylvania, and is buried in the Fairview Cemetery.


William Fox Lansing, also a fouth-generation Lansing to reside at 22 Church Street, as he was Edward Ten Eyck’s older brother and a son of Stewart and Catherine Lansing. William was born on the Lansing Homestead in Manheim, on the 29th of July in 1856, being the 4-x great-grandson of Andreas and Margaret Eacher (Archer) Fink. Andreas was the son of Major Andreas Fink.

William attended the district school until the age of twelve, continuing his education at the Little Falls Academy until the age of sixteen in 1872. He continued his schooling in Schenectady, NY, and studied for the next two years at a preparatory school, the Union Classical Institute, which was affiliated with Union College. After completing his studies at the institute, he continued his education at Union College, graduating in 1878. He went on to study law with Hon. Austin A. Yates at Schenectady. He entered the law office of Judge Rollin Smith at Little Falls in 1879. William was admitted to the bar in 1880, after graduating from Hamilton College with a LL.B. degree, “Legum Baccalaureus.”

William spent from the fall of 1880 through 1882 at the Wall Street law firm of Evarts, Southway & Choate. From 1882 through 1884 he spent time as a ranch hand in Colorado, where he was interested in the raising of livestock. He returned to Little Falls in 1884 to open a law office within the village. In 1886, William partnered with Edward J Nelson in a knit goods business in Middleville, NY.

He frequented state government campaigns and public debates, taking part in Democratic politics, with Hon. Titus Sheard in the late 1870s and early 1880s. In 1888, William served from the 1st of January through the 12th of September as colonel and as aid-de-camp on the staff of Governor David B. Hill. From that position, he was promoted in 1889 to quartermaster general of the State of New York, with the rank of brigadier general. He retired from this honorable position in 1892.

His partnership in the knit goods industry was dissolved in 1890. By 1891, William had helped organize the Little Falls Electric Light and Power Company. He held the positions of secretary, treasurer, and manager for the newly formed company. He also dealt in real estate at Little Falls.

Willam married Eleanor G. Robinson of Philadelphia in 1895.

According to the Cooney Archives: THIS DAY IN HISTORY …”On June 18, 1895, a private driveway was made through the Lansing property, which connects Church and Lansing streets.”
General Lansing was very involved in the civic affairs of his community, being the first president of the Little Falls Automobile Club and a member of the Little Falls Country Club, Merchants and Manufacturers Association, the Little Falls Masonic Lodge, Country Farm Bureau, and the Little Falls Grange. He was also the first exalted ruler of the Little Falls Elk’s Lodge.

In 1916, the deed to Lansing House was put into the names of William’s nieces and nephews, being Edward Ten Eyck’s children and Sanders’ great-great-grandchildren, having ownership of the deed to the property. The children were the fourth owners of Lansing House.

William Fox Lansing’s death came on the evening of the 26th of September in 1916 at his county house, the Lansing Homestead. He suffered an acute attack of indigestion earlier that afternoon and was seen by his physician, Dr. W.D. Garlock (previous owner of the Thomas Burch- Knights of Columbus House, present-day location of Rock City Centre) Dr. Garlock had left the Lansing residence at 8:30 pm and a half an hour later William succumbed to an affliction of the heart, believed to have been brought on by the attack of indigestion.


By 1916, after the death of her husband William Fox, Eleanor became the last member of the Lansing family to reside at 22 Church Street. She remained living alone in the Lansing House for the next twenty-eight years.

Eleanor, along with her husband before his death, had worked in the real estate industry and was very involved with the Herkimer County Humane Society, leaving the society $800. in her will for the purchase of a new animal ambulance. Amongst her other civic activities, Eleanor was president of the Little Falls Hospital Board for 18 years, with her death taking place on the 21st of December in 1944.


The Lansing House provided a home for five generations of the Sanders Lansing family from 1826 through 1944. It was sold by Sanders’ great-great-grandchildren in 1946 to John Viskup, the fifth owner of the 22 Church Street property. The house then became known as the Viskup-Lansing House.

The article below was copied from a historic newspaper from the Cooney Archives, dated April 1942:


From the Cooney Archives: THIS DAY IN HISTORY …” On September 12, 1839, President Martin Van Buren arrived in Little Falls in a barouche drawn by four white horses to the applause and cheering of a large crowd of citizens. After a speech and festivities, Van Buren spent the evening at the Lansing residence at 22 Church Street. He left behind his red night cap which is now a treasured souvenir of the Lansing family.”
In the spirit of President Martin Van Buren wonders where his nightcap is, he can find it at the home of Mrs. William F. Lansing, 22 Church Street. It was left there when the then-president spent the night in the Lansing home, on September 12, 1839.

Imagine the excitement in Little Falls in the early 1830s when it was announced that President Van Buren was to spend the night here. “Who would meet him?” “What entertainment should be provided?” “Where would he stay?” Meetings were held, committees appointed, and plans were laid long before the eventful day.


The President arrived in the afternoon at Herkimer, where he was received by a local committee. He was brought to Little Falls in a brouche drawn by four snow-white horses and riding with him were N.S. Benton, G.H. Feeter, and Solomon Petrie, three of the more outstanding citizens of this village. Preceding him was this escort: Marshal, Col. A.G. Rosencrantz; assistant, A.G. Casler; Maj. H. McHeath, S.W. Stinson, and a cavalcade of citizens on horseback, and the Astoonga Band, on horseback.
As he entered town and was driven through the principal streets, cheering crowds bid the President welcome. At Ann and First Streets, a platform had been erected and here the honored guest was addressed by Arphaxed Loomis on behalf of the citizens. The next stop was the Franklin Couch Hotel, which has been gone for many years from Second Street, but at that time was an elite place. Here the President graciously received citizens until he left to spend the night at the Lansing home.

The home was occupied shortly after 1895 when Lansing and his new bride, the former being a nephew of Frederick Lansing. Mrs. William GF. Lansing, who survives, still lives in the house so intimately connected with the early history of this city.


Early local history shows that the various members of the Lansing family played a prominent part in the civic affairs of Little Falls. An additional honor befell William F. Lansing, who earned the title of “General” when he served as a member of the governor’s staff in Albany.


Before retiring, the guest conversed with Benton and the next morning departed for the East. It was after he had gone that it was discovered that he had forgotten his red-knitted nightcap, which was a prized heirloom in the Lansing family since that memorable occasion.

At the time of the President’s visit, Frederick Lansing (Sander’s son, who had married Catherine Alexander- daughter of Catherine Porteous and William Alexander (granddaughter of Johan Jost Porteous, sister of Henry Porteous Alexander, and half-sister to Charles Girven, and sister-in-law to William G. Milligan, former bank president of the old stone bank, a New York State congressman and senator) resided in the home at 22 Church Street. Few people know that he was the one who planted the majority of beautiful trees in Western Park.

*From The Cooney Archive’s: This Day In History by Louis W. Baum JR, Digitizing of historical photos by Gail & Mike Potter, Article written by Darlene Smith.

The Little Falls Historical Society Museum is open for FREE TOURS for the summer season on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1-4pm. The museum is also open on occasional Saturdays from 9am- 12pm. For an appointment for after hours, please contact either Louis Baum @ 315-823-3527, Mary Ann Terzi @ 315-823-1502, or Jeffery Gressler @ 315-823-2799 to schedule an appointment.