The Adventurous Life of Jacob Conklin
Originally appearing in "The Human Story of Long Island," by Verne Dyson 1969
     Romance, adventure, and beauty have been contributed to central Long Island by the Half Way Hollow Hills, one of the most picturesque and attractive portions of Paumanok. A glance at the map of the old Town of Huntington will disclose the origin of the name. Just about half way between the Sound and the Atlantic Ocean is a pleasant wooded valley to which was given the name of Half Way Hollow. This delightful vale divided two groups of hills - Dix Hills on the north and Half Way Hollow Hills on the south. Many noted people have lived in the alluring southern uplands. The first of these was Jacob Conklin.
    The distribution of the proceeds received from the sale of town lands is recorded in the Huntington records for 1713.
    One of about 150 who had received allotments of land was Jacob Conklin of Huntington, the son of Timothy Conklin. The grand, hill-top residence built by Jacob in 1710 was the first home erected in the Wyandanch area and one of the oldest in the southern part of the town. This property is marked "Goshen Purchase 1706" on a map drawn by Silas Wood (1769-1847), the noted historian. Jacob Conklin had an exciting personal history.
    The adventurous young man was impressed on board the ship of Captain William Kidd (c. 1645-1701) and served him on one of his piratical voyages. On Kidd's return from his last cruise and while his vessel, the San Antonio, lay in Cold Spring Harbor, Conklin and several other members of the crew deserted. Usually it is stated that Conklin was sent ashore to obtain water, but according to one of the numerous Conklin legends, his mission was to bury treasure for Kidd; instead he escaped with the chest and from the proceeds bought the estate in the Half Way Hollow Hills.
    Jacob Conklin was born in Huntington (correction from orig text), about 1675. He died at his home in the Half Way Hollow Hills in 1754. His wife was Hanna Platt of Huntington. One of their sons, Platt, married Phoebe Smith, and their son, Nathaniel Conklin (1768-1844) was a contemporary of Silas Wood, the historian, who no doubt knew him and visited at the Hills estate. "These early Conklins were unusually prosperous, owning lands both north and south in the Town, as well as vessels whose trade enriched their masters and share-holders."
    Four generations of the Conklins occupied the mansion in the hills. Later owners included General James J. Casey, sheriff of Suffolk County, a brother-in-law of General U. S. Grant, and the latter's son U. S. Grant, Jr. General Grant, while President, often found in visits to the old Conklin home the peace and quiet he desired.
    Near-by were several fine springs of water, one of them containing medicinal qualities. The water of this spring was commercialized by the Colonial Mineral Springs Company, but the firm was not of long duration.
    In 1918 while unoccupied, the home was destroyed by fire. The site of the early mansion is now owned by Brosl Hasslather. On a near-by hill is the Conklin cemetery wherein rest the remains of Jacob Conklin and many of his descendants.
    Romanah Sammis gives this sympathetic description of the Conklin home in Huntington-Babylon Town History:
    "Among the early farm homes of the Half Way Hollow Hills, the Jacob Conklin house unquestionably was the finest. Built in 1710 and destroyed by fire in 1918, only photographs of it remain to us, but for these we are grateful. It stood on the western slope of the southern hills, and its site is easily found.
    "Going south from Melville on the Pinelawn Road and looking across to the hills to the east, the light of the afternoon sun falling on the gravestones in the old Conklin burial plot on a hilltop, you behold one of the highest points in the town of Babylon; and down the steep slope from the burial place, is a broad opening of comparatively level ground where great oaks and walnut trees stand. Here Jacob Conklin built his home."
    "It faced the south, the one story below its long, lean-to, rear roof looking up the hill behind it, while before it was a gentle slope to the valley and a wide outlook to west and south. A porch extended across the entire front, its roof edged with a low balustrade."
    There it is, the old Conklin duck pond hidden in the backwoods at the bottom of the hills, lined with tall oak and maple trees, some of them well over a hundred years old. It's an old, dreamy and quiet place, as nature in its undisturbed glory can be. The old duck pond is steadily fed by numerous small, crystal-clear mineral springs. It's mighty restful there under the shade trees and near the placid pond.
    The high grass and some reeds around the old duck pond provide ideal protection and hiding places for a breeding ground for wild ducks. Regularly every spring, they return to this natural breeding ground and nestle down for their seasonal life. Occasionally one can see there a beautiful blue or white crane perched in a tall tree.
    Woodpeckers hammer lustily a song-like rhythm. The place is alive with birds of all kinds. It's a veritable sanctuary. It is a convenient watering place for deer with their hidden paths through the woods, and a happy hunting ground for nocturnal carnivorous animals like the raccoon, the possum and the red fox.
    It's a beautiful spot, the old duck pond in the back woods with its romantic old atmosphere, and the present owner, the writer's good friend, Brosi Hasslacher, is doing his best to preserve its original character. The old duck pond is somewhat a mystery but it still remains with us with all its hidden secrets of an old and glorious past; yes, it is still there at the foot of the hills, as cozy as ever, while the immediate area is getting stocked with new life.
    Although the trees are ages old, the pond itself is older yet; for centuries life passed it by. Only the mineral springs feeding the old duck pond stay forever new, alive and sparkling clear; and new and bright, too, is the tall grass which sprouts anew with every spring.
    Alanson Ketcham of Farmingdale, N. Y., informs us that his ancestors came to Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1635, then migrated to Huntington in 1657, and later married into the Conklin family.
    Mr. Ketcham has a picture of his great-great-grandmother, Charity Conklin. She is buried in the Conklin cemetery. He. has one relic from Jacob Conklin who once owned 3,500 acres in the Half Hollow Hills -- a small hide-covered chest.

Capt. William Kidd, Pirate
10 September 1696
Articles of agreement between Capt. William Kidd, commander of the good ship Adventure, and John Walker, Quartermaster. Subscribed and agreed to by the ship's company: 
Starboard Watch
Robert Bradinham
George Bollen
Alexander Milberry
Wm. Beck
John Torksey
George Sinkler
John Wier
Samuel Bradley
Peter Hammond
Archibald B. Bohanan
William Skines
Edward Colliness
Edward Roberts
Peter P. Rouse
Ellis Strong
Yoer oovrall
Thomas Hobson
John Pears
Joseph Budden
William Rowls
Jan Spons
John Jonson
Hendrick Albert
John Browne
Cornelius Orvyn
John Marten
Nicholas Jennings
Andries Jeaniszen
Wm. Wellman
Charles Bathurst
John Davis
Thomas Fletcher
Edward Buckmaster
William Hunt
Harculis Bredsteed
Jan de Roodt
John West
John FLing
Daniel Mokoricke
Henry Sanders
Edward Graham
Aldris Saerdenbreech
George Tarpole
John Burton
Ebenezar Miller
James Alger
William Percy
Nicholas Tredgidgen
Phillip Conninghame
James Carr
Robert Hunt
John Hunt, Jr.
William Whitley
William Arnett
Isaac Ambros
John Hunt, Sr.
William Weakum
Jacob Conklin
Benjamin Franks
Isaac Dernes
Samuel Aires
John de Mart
Simon de Woolf
John Parerick, negro
John Roberts
Govert Baners 
Larboard Watch
Henry Meade
John Warker (Quartermaster)
Henry Olive
Wm. Moore
Alex. Gordon
John Finely
Joseph Palmer
John Smith
Barnet Higgins
William Bowyer
William Turner
Walter King
Edward Spooner
Robert Smithers
Thomas Purdeg
John Kemble
Hugh Washington
Robert Ruderford
Richd. Basnet
Jacob Cornelijs
Morgan Harriss
Peter Lee
Michael Calloway
Ery Geyselar
John Fletcher
Clexfflders (sic)
Humphry Clay
Jacob Horran
John Watson
Henry Bainbridge
Nicholas Tuder
Harman Buger
Bernard Looman
Hendrickus Cregier
Peter de Roy
James Betles
Henry Pieterson
Casper Spreall
David Carsson
Noah East
James How
David Mullings
Samuel Taylor
John Collings
Henry Evertse
Joseph Hill
Richd. Willdey, Sr.
Wm. Willdey, Jr.
Tho. Wright
Peter Smith
Gabriel Loffe
Alex. Mumford
William Holden
Patrick Dinmer
Wm. Bowyer, Sr.
Peter Fewlo
Robert Clem
Mich. Evens
Andrew How
English Smith
Aba. Coucher
Andrew Calwell 

11 April 1700
A list of the pirates taken to England in H.M.S. Advice from New England. 

Associates and Accomplices of William Kidd
Edward Davis
James Kelley alias Gillam Gabriel Loffe
Samuel Arris
Hugh Parratt
Robt. Lamley
Wm. Jenkins
Richd. Barleycorn
Jos. Palmer 

Associates and Accomplices of Joseph Bradish
Tee Withered
Jno. Lloyd
Thomas Davis
Robt. Knox
Thomas Dane
Cornelius Larkin
Thomas Read
Aylmer Clarke
Jno. Westby
Robt. Amsden
Robt. Mason
Jno. Pierve
Andw. Martin
Thomas Simpson
Rowland Martin
Willm. Griffin
James Vennen
Edwd. Hamm
Jno. Parrat
Thomas Edgehill
Thomas Hewes 

Headlam, Cecil, ed., Calender of State Papers, Colonial Series (Volume 18), America and West Indies, 1700, Preserved in the Public Record Office (Vaduz: Kraus Reprint Ltd., 1964) First Published London: HMSO, 1910. pp. 162, 199-200.