The Buckhout family of Buckout Road can be traced all the way back to Jan Boeckhout (likely Jan der Nosper von
Bocholt/Bocholte)whom left Leyden, Holland on the ship De Purmerlander Kercke (Pumberland Church) and arrived in New
Amsterdam in February 1663 with his wife and five children – including his son Captain Matthys Janszen Boeckhout. Matthys
married twice and raised a large family from his first wife. They lived for many years on land included in the Philipse Manor,
Philipsburgh, Westchester County.
Matthys Janszen Buckhout was born in Leyden in about 1649. He bought 50 acres at George Point in Yonkers on February 22,
1670 from Joseph Hadley, which he then sold to Frederick Philips in 1694. He married Elizabeth Elsworth on June 9, 1675,
and lived for some years in New York. Matthys was living in Wysquaqua in 1688; he was elected constable and collector for
Major Philips’ “Upper Mills” on December 1, 1691. Some time later he returned to New York where he married, October 10 ,
1696, Magdalena Rudgers widow of Joris Walgraf. He is recorded as a member of the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow NY.
Matthias was one of the earliest settlers in the area first known as Wysquaqua, now known as Dobbs Ferry & Hastings.
“Captain Jan Buckhout, son of the sea captain Matthys Janszen Buckhout, was born about 1682. He settled in Irvington
Harriman Road. He was a captain in the militia in and before 1758. His second wife whom he married in 1753 was the widow
of Thomas Lawrence of Eastchester whose younger children Jan brought up. According to his gravestone at The Sleepy
Hollow Cemetery, he died April 10, 1785 aged 103, leaving 240 descendants. One can only regret that we have not a complete
list of them.”
The two main Buckhouts associated with Buckout Road are John F Buckhout and Isaac Van Wert Buckhout.
There is a little-known story of a two-day skirmish that took place between the Colonists and the Redcoats at the Horton
Grist Mill, off Lake Street. If you refer to the 1867 FW Beers Atlas map you can see J Buckhout‘s name near where the Mill is
It is recounted in a diary kept by a Colonial soldier, one Isaac Bates. The diary is stored in the Shaker Museum in North
Chatham, New York and related to the engagement that took place when British soldiers attempted to raid George
Washington’s supplies stored in the Mill. Bates was a fifer in charge of ammunition and attached to the Flying Corps, and tells
that during the battle, Mr. Horton, owner of the Mill, was felled by a cannon shot, but Mrs. Horton continued to fire cannon
shots until her husband recovered sufficiently to help man the gun.
The hills and dales of historic West Harrison were covered with hiding places suitable for the storage of ammunition which
Colonial soldiers ferried by boat up the Hudson River to Tarrytown and across the county by ox cart. People have found
buttons, bullets and cannonballs on these sites. Some evidence of the Mill foundations may still be seen at the south end of
St. Mary’s Lake where Lake Street crosses over the White Plains City Line.
Jacob Buckhout Sr served as a Corporal under Captain George Comb and was a member of the Westchester Militia. Jane
Hammond was 77 yrs of age in 1846 and living in Greenburgh, Westchester. They were married Jan. 11, 1787 in the
Reformed Dutch Church Tarrytown, Westchester County. Their son, Jacob, was 51 years of age in 1846, also living in
Westchester. During the Revolution, British and Heesian soldiers were encamped on the Odell and Buckhout farms after the
Battle of White Plains in 1776. By war’s end, according to Washington Irving’s history, “hardly a tree, fence or building was
left standing in this vicinity”.
In the early 1700’s, most of West Harrison, then known as Silver Lake, was owned by Daniel Merritt, who sold out to John
Horton (of Horton’s Grist Mill) in 1732. The following century, the Horton family sold property to a Mr. Underhill in 1833, who
again sold to a Mr. Gainsborg in the 1890’s. Mr. Gainsborg developed early West Harrison into a resort area, and many
old-timers remember that before World War II, West Harrison had a hotel, a casino and an internationally known ski jump.
Isaac Van Wert Buckhout was wealthy man, an accomplished violinist, and a reportedly a misogynist who brooded over the
perversity of women.He lived with his wife Louisa Ann, who owned the house in which they resided. The house was not on
Buckout Road in White Plains like the urban legend says, but in another Westchester town. Louisan Ann was a woman of
considerable wealth with extensive real estate holdings which she managed herself. By their mid 40’s they had not produced
any children which grieved Isaac. He was suffering of months of depression and suspected his wife was cheating on him,
perhaps with their good friend Alfred Rendell, who was a wine importer in New York City. On New Years Day 1870 Alfred and
his 26 year old son Charles Rendell were invited to the Buckhout home. Isaac excused himself, went to his bedroom, then
returned with a double barreled shotgun. He shot and killed Alfred with multiple buckshot wounds in the head. Charles
suffered wounds to the face losing an eye and an ear as well as permanent facial disfigurement. Louisa attempted to escape
but Isaac crushed her skull with blows from the gun. Isaac then walked several miles to the Democratic Hall in Tarrytown NY
where he was arrested about an hour later by Constable Alfred Lawrence.
Isaac’s wealth and prominence insured that his trial would not be as abbreviated as those of the men who had preced him to
the gallows. He was tried three times. The first two trials, in March of 1870 and March of 1871 had ended without the juries
being able to agree on a verdict and Buckhout might have gone free but for the persistance of District Attorney Jackson O
Dykman and a hotile press which spewed forth venomous attacks on the defendant. He was brought to trial again in July of
1871 and this time he was convicted of First Degree Murder after 15 hours of deliberation. Some of the jurors had their
doubts about Buckhout’s sanity leading the jury to temper its judgement with a recommendation for mercy. However the
Court which included Joseph F Bernard of the Supreme Court ignored the jury’s request.
Barnard sentenced Buckhout to hang on September 1, 1871, but a series of appeals which were conceived and argued by
his attorneys delayed the execution for more that five months. These three trials cost Westchester County $40,000.
Buckhout was hanged by Sheriff Robert F Brundage at 11:41am on February 16, 1872 in the pressence of over 200 witnesses
including members of the press, county officials, and invited guests. Hundreds of request for admission to the scene had to
be denied since there was only a limited amount of space available. Two 25 foot high fences had been erected on either side
of the gap between the courthouse and the jail in White Plains.
Buckhout had many friends and relatives in the area and rumors were plentiful during the days prior to his execution that
there would be an assault on the jail to free him. No such assault took place, however the 3 Regiment of the New York
National Guard, a posse of police, and all of the available deputy sheriffs plus other peace officers from the County guarded
the jail and the scene of the execution.
Buckhout’s body was turned over to his relatives and buried quietly, but decently in the Friends Cemetery in Chappaqua.
Buckhout was the last person hanged in White Plains , which served as the County seat of Westchester.