From the time of their arrival in the town, the STILLWELLS played a prominent pan in the history of s'Gravensande. The first of the family to live there was Nicholas, originally of Surrey, England. When he immigrated to Virginia, he made a name for himself as early as 1639 and was later called "the valiant STILLWELL." He owned propeny on the York River but forfeited it rather than give up his personal freedom. In the quarrel between the Claiborne and Calvert factions over land, STILLWELL followed Claiborne, who lost. When he and his followers were forbidden to leave their lands by the General Assembly, STILLWELL fled to New Netherland where he bought a house and lot in 1645. Later, he moved to Deutal (Turtle) Bay. In 1649, he left Manhattan and took his family to s'Gravensande, where he bought property, and was made a schepen. In 1655, he moved to Amersfoort where he also served as schepen. But he soon went back to s'Gravensande and resumed his civil office. It is said that he was Lady Deborah's wisest adviser in her governing of the town. He was interested in his fellow men for he was one of thirteen who, on 12 April 1660, signed a petition addressed to STUYVESANT and his council asking that a minister be sent to s'Gravensande in order "to restrain the licentious, the people becoming worse than heathen." In 1663, he was made a lieutenant in the Dutch anny, raised a company of men and led them in an attack against the Esopus Indians at Wiltwyck (Kingston). When the English seized s'Gravensande in August 1664, Lieutenant STILLWELL remained loyal to the Dutch government to which he had pledged allegiance and fled, first to Amersfoort and then to New Amsterdam. Sometime after the surrender of the province, he took his wife "Mistress Anne STILLWELL" and the younger children and settled. in Old Dorp, once in a while called Dover, Staten Island where he died in 1673. His second son, Nicholas STILLWELL (about 1640 - 1715) remained in Gravesend where he was a magistrate for many years and an officer in the local militia. He was married to Elizabeth HUIJBENS, widow of Charles MORGAN, by Justice James HUBBARD on 29 August 1671 and had a son Richard (b. 11 May 1675 - d. 6 February 1758) who married Mary GOULDING (b. 26 July 1678 - d. 10 October 1776). Richard's son Nicholas (b. 2 December 1709 - d. 5 October 1781) married Aeltje VAN BRUNT on 22 December 1733 and had a son Joost (b. 23 December 1742 - d. 21 February 1827). Joost married Ann WILLIAMSON (b. 1 June 1748 - d. 2 September 1843) on 18 September 1765 and about that time bought a farm from Rem VAN CLEEF on which he built the house now, 2945 Avenue T. There is a tradition that this house was raided after the battle of Long Island. Joost's children : Aelte, Nicholas, Rutgert and John were taught to save their pennies which they kept in the kitchen closet. One day a group of Hessians, out for loot, entered the house, found the money and made off with it while the children, their faces red with anger, stood helplessly by. Many years later, John, who inherited the house, told about the theft to his granddaughter Phebe (1827- 1918) who in turn repeated it to her granddaughter, Mrs. Stephen VORIS of Brooklyn. The house remained in the STILLWELL family until 1930 when it was sold. Since that time, it has been very much altered. Next Chapter..ELIAS HUBBARD RYDER HOUSE DUTCH Houses..Index Main Return to TOWN Index Main Return to BROOKLYN Index Main