Pierre (Pieter) Cornu was born in France in about 1707. His parents are not known.
Pierre was living in Schenectady by the early 1730s.
Pierre married Elisabeth Toll on 01 December 1734 in Schenectady. Elisabeth was the daughter of Carel Hanse Toll and Lysbet Rinckhout.
In 1738, Pierre is said to have owned a house on the south side of State Street, where the New York Central railroad now [in 1873] crosses. He also had land at Toweraune, inherited from his father-in-law, a portion, or all of which he conveyed to his brother-in-law, Johannes Van Eps.
Pierre was a carpenter by trade. He built the Preeck-stoel [pulpit] in the church of 1734, for 20 pounds. (See below.)
Pierre Cornu died in 1774 in Schenectady.
As time went on and as the need arose, there was built a series of buildings to house the meeting for the Dutch Reformed Church of Schenectady. The building for which Pierre Cornu constructed the pulpit was the third one
. . . . before the church erected in 1703 had stood thirty years, the population had outgrown its capacity and it became necessary to erect a larger.
This matter began to be agitated soon after Domine Erichzon became pastor, and instead of appealing to their neighbors for aid as in the former case, the congregation was able not only to build a house which for the times was both substantial and spacious, but also to furnish it with a bell and clock.
After thorough preparation the work was begun in the spring of 1732. Hendrick Vrooman was Baas [boss] of the men of whom seventeen were carpenters, besides masons, glaziers, &c. His wages were seven shillings a day; the others were paid from five to six shillings. The Preeck-stoel [pulpit] was built by Pieter Cornu for 20 pounds; and Gysbert W. van den Bergh of Albany contracted to do the mason work for 80 pounds.
This house was dedicated Jan. 13, 1733/4, on which occasion Do. Erichzon preached in the morning. In the afternoon Do. van Driessen of Albany preached.
This third house was situated in Church Street at its junction with Union Street, and was eighty feet in length north and south and fifty-six feet wide. The trustees of the town conveyed to the church not only this site but also the land around the same ten feet in width, except on the west side, where by reason of the narrowness of the street, it was limited to five feet. The building material was blue sandstone or greywacke from the quarries east of the village. It had two entrances, one on the south end, [and] the other on the east side, over which was built a porch with a staircase leading to galleries. The roof was in the gambrel style, a few specimens of which still remain in the city. The belfry and clock tower stood on the north end. As seen from the east end of Union street it presented a pleasing and imposing appearance. The tub shaped pulpit fixed upon a narrow pedestal and surmounted by a conical sounding board, was built against the west wall, in front of which an open space was railed in called the Doop-huisje [baptism cottage]. Here the Domine stood while administering the rite of baptism.