Dietz, Johan Jost

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Johan Jost Dietz NW Dutch Barn


Col. Johan Jost Dietz was born on Sep 19, 1760 at Foxes Dorf, Schoharie, NY. His parents were William Dietz. Esq. (1720-1782), who emigrated from Vielbach, Germany c. 1734, and Dorothea Wanner (1717-1782) of Huntersland, Schoharie, NY.

His father, William, had a 229 acre farm in Beaverdam on the Switzkill, and later was a blacksmith in Schoharie, Schoharie, NY, while son Adam W. ran the farm. Johan Jost was one of seven children. The others were Maria Elizabetha, Peter W., William Jr., Lt Col. Johannes, Adam W., and Eva.


Col.Johan Jost Dietz was a farmer, a storekeeper and businessman. He was confirmed on Aug 8, 1779 at Schoharie Lutheran Church, Schoharie, NY. He served in Capt. Christian Strubrach's Company, 15th Regiment of the Albany Country Militia, at the Old Stone Fort during the Revolutionary War, according to his pension application of Feb.5, 1834, made at the age of 73. He continued with local military training after the War in the NY State militia , and earned the rank of Colonel. (He was later known around Bernville as Col. Dietz). By 1787 he had married and inherited or purchased the 166 acre farm at Beaverdam, Albany,NY, that his Uncle Adam(brother of William)had homesteaded in 1740 on the Foxenkill between present day Berne and West Berne. (His Uncle Adam had died leaving no living children).His house at 393 Rock Road is currently(2009) owned by Steve and Amy Anderson and sons. In 1812, Col.Johan Jost and partner Jacob Settle opened a store on the Colonel's property. They were very successful at exporting potash to NYC and selling other goods to the local population. The census of 1800 shows he had five slaves. One slave, Jacob (Jack) Deitz, is buried near a monument at nearby Beaverdam Cemetery, Berne, Albany,NY. In 1835, a bank of yellow clay on his farm was used to make bricks for the new St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Berne, Albany, NY. He invested heavily, with other Bernville citizens , in the Daniel Simmons Axe Factory in 1825. Bernville prospered until 1833 when Simmons moved the factory to Cohoes. Col.Johan Jost and others lost much from that and a second investment in a Bernville Acadamy and female seminary planned to begin building just before the axe factory closed. Col. Dietz was active in public service. He served the community as collector in 1792, assessor in 1795, commissioner of excise in 1803 and 1805, overseer of the poor in 1805, and supervisor in 1797-98, 1812-13, and in 1818.

Marriage & Children

Johan Jost Dietz married Eva Hilts (daughter of George Hilts and Elisabeth Bellinger of Gallupville ,after the War, on Dec 15, 1783 and moved onto the Beaverdam farm of his deceased Uncle Adam by 1787. They had the following six children:

  • Elisabeth Deitz-b. Jun 3, 1784. She died before 1787 at probably, West Berne, Albany, NY.
  • Dorothea Dietz-b. Jan 29, 1786. She married Matthias William Schultes, son of William Schultes and Catherina Post, on Oct 15, 1808 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Schoharie, Schoharie, NY.
  • Elizabeth Jos.Dietz-b. Sep 2, 1787. She married Jacob Adam Schell, son of Adam Schell and Maria Salsburg, on May 31, 1807 at the Reformed Church, Berne, Albany, NY.
  • Peter Ives Deitz-b. Apr 15, 1791.
  • Maria Deitz-b. Mar 22, 1796. She married John Sidney.
  • Jacob J. Dietz -b. May 21, 1798.


Col. Johan Jost Dietz died in 1841 at his farm,at Beaverdam, Town of Knox, Albany, NY. It is believed he was buried at Beaverdam Cemetery, Berne, Albany, NY. No grave marker remains today.

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