The History of Otsego, NY
TOWN OF SPRINGFIELD - continued
The Baptist Church of Springfield Centre - Universalist Church, Springfield Centre - Presbyterian Church of Springfield - Methodist Church of Springfield - Episcopal church of East Springfield - Evergreen Lodge, F. and A. M. - Rising Sun ledge, F. and A. M.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH
The Baptist church located at the middle village, by Elder W. Bentley, in 1787, and was the first religious organization in the town of Springfield. This organization was effected at the house of N. Dike, and among the first members were J. Winter, H. Heth, S. Way, H. Stoncil, and N. Dike. J. Winter was the first church clerk. The first pastor was Elder William Farman. The following have served this church as pastors from 1803 to he present time. The date given is the time of beginning of pastorate:
THE UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
This church was organized at Springfield Centre, in the year 1854, with 15 members. Among those instrumental in its organization were John Logee, O. Shipman, and D. Franklin.
The first pastor who officiated for this church was the Rev. Mr. Sage. The society was without a church edifice until the year 1857, when a house of worship was erected at a cost of $3,500.
THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF SPRINGFIELD
This was organized in about the year 1796. It was occasionally visited by missionaries from Connecticut, prominent among was Jedediah Bushnell, who remained with the little church several months, and his labors were greatly blessed by an outpouring of the divine Spirit. In his report to the trustees of the Connecticut missionary society, in the year 1880, he speaks of a fruitful revival having been held here, etc.
Thus it is clear this church was in existence prior to 1800, and in its infancy was nurtured by missionaries, and increased by the visitation of the Divine Spirit. Probably the church was formed several years before. It was now in a state quite removed, spiritually, from a church at its organization. As evidence of an earlier origin, we find in the records of the Baptist church, under date of Sept. 13, 1798, the following entry:
Also on the records of the Presbyterian Church of Cherry Valley, under the date of Jan. 4, 1797, the following minute:
Mr. Nott (their newly-elected pastor) shall preach any part of the time in Springfield. Rev. Mr. Spaulding was voted chairman. A letter from the trustees of Springfield addressed to the trustees
of cherry Valley was read, requesting the consent of this society that Mr. Nott should preach at
Springfield, not exceeding half the time, in which a vote was taken whether the society would
accept the proposals of Springfield society, which was not carried in the affirmative. Voted that
the trustees be requested to return an answer to the people and trustees of Springfield. Meeting dissolved.
Among the first members were John McKillip and his wife, Mrs. Fanny Young McKillip, John Young and wife, William Thompson and wife, James Young, Robert Ferguson, Mrs. Jerusha Griggs, James Kelly and wife, and Mrs. Gitty Van Vost. The first settled pastor was Rev. Andrew Oliver, a native of Scotland, who was installed in 1806. A movement was soon after started for the erection of a church edifice, in the circulation of a subscription paper, and in 1807 the sum of $1,507.46 had been pledged. And in 1809 a building 50 by 55 feet square was erected. This edifice fronted the east, with a steeple 13 feet square, surmounted by a tower 46 feet in height. The land on which this building stood was donated by Major John Tennant and Dr. Little.
In less than two months after Mr. Oliver - s installation, Dec. 2, 1806, a Congregational church was organized at the school-house in the west village, of twenty-four members, and commenced the erection of a house of worship at nearly the same time with the Presbyterians. It, however, was never fully completed by them. It stood on land near the residence of Mrs. a. C. Winsor, and was sold to the Baptist society in 18113. The church had but one minister, the Rev. Mr. Williams, who was installed by an ecclesiastical council, June 30 1807. He remained but a short period. In 1813 the church gave up its separate organization, and its members united with this congregation.
In the record of this Presbyterian society, under date of July 15, 1811, we find a singular minute indicating a regard for church behavior not always cherished, and a mode of punishing offenders not over terrible. It is as follows:
At a meeting of members of session, trustees, and a number of members of the
First Presbyterian society at the meeting-house, Robert Lothridge was appointed to return
go the minister the names of all such young persons who behave unbecoming in the
gallery during the time of public worship.
An event quite small in itself, yet indicative of great progress for the times, and helpful to religion, was the purchase of a church bell in 1816. This, I am told, was chiefly owing to the influence and exertions of Captain Ishi Parmele, late from Killingsworth, Ct. For several years the town appropriated money by vote to have church bells rung at nine in the A.M., at twelve M., and at nine in the evening. Before this there was no church bell in the more pretentious surrounding towns, nor indeed in all this region. Mr. Oliver - s ministry continued near thirteen years, the church growing in strength and stability; and though no special sessions of revival were enjoyed, there were ninety-seven admitted to the church during his ministry, fifty-five of whom were on profession of their faith. He was a man sound in doctrine, and faithful in preaching, and, by catechetical instructions to the youth, impressed truth as he had opportunity. Mr. Oliver had many warm friends, faithful to the last. He was honorably dismissed by Otsego presbytery, in the year 1819, and continued to reside in town until his death, March 24, 1833, at the age of seventy-one years.
The following have served this church, as pastors from its organization to the present time, viz.: Andrew Oliver, Aaron Putnam, Edward Fairchild, James C. Howe, Oren Hyde, Lumand Wilcox, Richard Montgomery Davis, Samuel Moseley, Solomon J. Tracy, Charles F. Beach, Daniel Van Valkenburg, Samuel N. Robinson. The church is now under the efficient pastoral care of Rev. P. F. Sanborne, who commenced his labors in 1869. Mr. Sanborne has manifested a lively interest in the affairs of this church and people, and its present prosperity is largely due to his untiring energy.
In these historical reminiscences of this Presbyterian Church, special mention ought to be made of those members that have served as ruling elders. During the period of eighty years of this church - s existence there have been twenty-three of them, and none of these unwisely chosen, none of them proving on trial unworthy of their office, or so faulty in any degree as to lose the confidence of the brethren and come under censure for crime or immorality. The mention of their names will stir very pleasant memories in many minds, and incite those who now occupy that responsible position "to use their office well," I will name them in the order of their ordination: John McKillip, Esq., John Young, William Thompson - the session at the organization; George Oliver, 1808; James King, 1811; Elakim Sheldon, James Kelley, 1814; Jedediah Beach, Benjamin Barrett, William Hamilton, 1822; James Whipple, 1830; Richard B. Sikes, Benjamin Rathbun, Charles Fitch, Asahel S. Brown, 1835; Benjamin Jacobson, George Burnham, 1841; James R. Ferguson, 1859; Elisha W. Stannard, James E. Buell, 1866; James N. Durfey, Ephraim O. Beach, James hood, 1875. A goodly catalogue indeed, three of them serving more than thirty years, viz.: Messrs. McKillip, Sikes, and Burnham. Is there a church in the country that for eighty years can show a better record of its ruling elders, for integrity, good judgment, harmony in counsel, and sympathy in co-operation for Christ - s kingdom, soundness in the faith, and elevated piety?
Though the first ministers, and the first elders, and the first generation of members have nearly all died and passed to their long account, the church still lives.
One family - we dwell in him;
One army of the living God.
Oliver has long since gone, and Putnam, and Fairchild, and Howe, and Hyde, and Wilcox, and Davis, and Mosely, and Van Valkenbergh, from the ministers; and from the ruling elders, McKillip, Young, Thompson, Oliver, King, Sheldon, Kelly, Beach, Barrett, Hamilton, Whipple, Sikes, Rathbun, Fitch, Brown, Jacobson, and several hundred that in less conspicuous, but quite as serviceable ways, prayed and struggled in al the experiences of private membership in this church of God.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The earliest definite trace found of any Methodist Christian in this valley is that of the first Willsey family, which settled on the hill that now bears the family name. They came from Washington County not far from 1790, though probably a little earlier. And this family were, when they came into their new wilderness home, of the "sect everywhere spoken against." And, though coming into the forest to found a pioneer home, they continued faithful to their sympathy for "circuit preachers." It does not appear whether Mr. Willsey was then a "Member of the society," but his wife, Sally, was, she having been converted and joined while living in Washington County. Other families of the same way of faith were soon there, one of which was Mr. Pinckney - s.
At this time, "Otsego circuit" is named in the general minutes, and reported with 80 members, Freeborn Garrettson preaching elder, with P. Wagner and Jonathan Newman circuit preachers. It was without doubt a circuit of some four hundred miles in extent, over which each preacher was to pass once in four weeks, thus giving preaching in every place once in two weeks. In 792, Garrettson was still presiding elder, with J. Newman and James Covell as subordinates and that year 207 are reported in society. This increase in numbers indicates that some efficient work had been done, for 127 persons brought into the folds of Christ is no unworthy success for two preachers for one year. The following year Thos. Ware was presiding elder, and Zebulon Kankey and Moses Crane were on this circuit, while J. Newman and D. Bartine were on the Herkimer circuit. This evidences that the work was increasing and that circuits were coming to be less extended as to area, but increasing as to "preaching places" and numbers in society or class.
The general course in those days for the preachers to make a plan as to "preaching places," and be as regular as the stars in their orbits in filling those, and no new point was to be taken into the plan until a conference of the preachers interested could be had; yet, if any one had strength, and there was a new opening, he was permitted to add to his labors, but first he must fill his plan. And it would seem that if it were possible for men to do works of supererogation, surely these men would have accomplished them. For, while filling the plan they were continually going into new sections, prospecting for a more elaborate or more efficient plan. So that every year saw large efforts to increase the fullness of the work of God.
In the year 1794, Thos. Ware was still presiding elder, with S. Weeks, E, Canfield, and J. Wooster as preachers. And this year there was reported 324 members. The following year there was but little change.
In the years 1796-97, John McClaskey was presiding elder, and in this last year, J. Egbert and Jonathan Newman appear upon the circuit, reporting 378 members. And in this report we find authentic data, which, joined to the remembrances of Aunt Rachel hardy, give us assurance that the home of Peter I. Walrath was one of the "preaching places" in Springfield at that time. John McClaskey was not in this section after the year 1797, and Mother Hardy was then a little girl of eight years of age, and very definitely remembers Mr. McClaskey, and describes his personal appearance, especially his hair, which was long and having an outward curl at the ends. This preacher was presiding elder, and came to her father - s house to preach and to attend quarterly-meeting.
The name of Newman is also associated with Methodism in this immediate section, and in fact is more so than any other of the early preachers, which arises from the fact that he lived in a house that formerly stood a little northeastward from Mr. Walrath - s house. This Mr. Newman also taught school in the district, preaching at the same time. His wife also taught the district school; and our aged sister, as does also Mr. Nicholas Genter, remember him as teacher, they attending school together. The remembrances of Mr. Genter are very clear regarding the preachers, and the services which were statedly held at Mr. Walrath - s. And as Mr. Newman - s name does not appear on the minutes later than 1799, in connection with this section, e may likely say that Methodism was quite well rooted in this soil, and in hearts of Springfield, early in the history of this community. And we may be doubly assured of this when we know that the earliest recollection of the children of Peter I. Walrath is of their father and mother being Christian people, and manifesting it daily by family worship. So also the testimony of Mr. Nicholas Genter, who had his home in the family for three years in his boyhood. Mr. Genter told me but the other day that he remembers very well that at that early day Mr. Walrath - s home was called a Methodist tavern, from the fact that the "circuit preachers" wee so frequently entertained. And I judge that all will be ready to admit that he was not a whit poorer for his Christian hospitality.
That there was a class-society at this point as early as 1795, or before is more than presumable. For in those days whenever two who believed in God and loved Methodist usages were found they were formed into a class, for the faith was strong, and works heroic, and they expected the little on to grow. And the probabilities are that here were more than two, for Mr. Genter - s mother was also of those who feared the Lord, and lived a life of prayer, and loved the Methodists.
Adolphus and Coonradt Pickard - s homes were also very early places of worship. And the barn belonging to Mr. Jerry Davy, and standing some little way north of his house, has seen many Methodist meeting at this early time. There also must have been places on Willsey Hill where the same kind of service was regularly had. One day when Hiram, who is now near eighty-five, was a small boy, being with his father, who was working in the woods, near a bridle-path which led from this section, suddenly heard a clear, strong voice singing, and, looking in the direction of the sound, he soon saw a man coming towards them from the south, who asked Mr. Willsey if he knew where there was a place near there where a Methodist preacher was to meet an appointment, and was answered "yes, at my house," and they immediately went home. Services were held in the evening, the preacher using as his text the words, "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Hiram says, that, little boy as he was, he was deeply affected by the earnestness of the preaching. This minister traveled at this time on foot, having a portmanteau fitted round his neck, one part of it resting forward and the other resting behind, in which would have been found a bible, lymn-book, and no doubt a few books of close theologic lore. For, though it was rare to find one among these early workers who had been even through a classical building, there were many who, being so soundly converted, saw that is was necessary to drink deep draughts of wisdom from the works of the Christian fathers. And many a one of those old veterans were so stirring in their pursuit of knowledge that they outstripped many who, in these latter days, received their diplomas from the hands of college presidents. And there were not a few, even in those days, who were giants in the presence of those who then felt glad of the honor which their Alma Mater ha conferred upon them. But however much or little they had of the wisdom which may be gathered from books, it was rare to find one who had not received large measures of the wisdom which God has promised to give liberally and upbraid not.
Now, having fixed the fact of the early advent of Methodism in this community, it will not be advisable to continue year by year, and will just say that, having a list of preachers and presiding elders who served in regular order, as the years passed by, and reading this list to Mrs. Hardy, Mrs. Genter, they remembered some name in every year, and some of the persons they recall with great distinctness.
I may say that Mr. Walrath was quite a helpful man in all these means of grace, being a class-leader and taking considerable of a leading position in the singing of those earnest services, and was also licensed as an exhorter, but as to exercising himself as such, I have found but little information. In 1804 the Rev. Benj. Bidlack and J. P. Weaver were on the circuit, both of whom are remembered; Mrs. Hardy remembering Mr. Weaver because he would talk to the young folks about their souls - salvation, and this in the presence of the family, which she now candidly says she did not like. And most other young people are just the same, especially when spoken to in the presence of others. In this year I find a memoir of one of the old workers a reference to a class in Warren, consisting of Robert Heustis and wife, and his son Jonathan Elijah Peak and wife, Elizabeth Paddock and her son Benjamin. Here was a class of seven persons, and Mr. Robert Heustis was leader. Young Heustis had been converted somewhere about this time, as was also Benj. G. Paddock; and both of them came to be efficient preachers, and served this circuit in the after-years.
The name of Benoni Harris, a relative of John Harris, of Springfield, C. Giles, Peter Vaunest, Isaac Puffer, Mr. Jewett, Samuel Ross, and Asa Cummings are definitely remembered, all of whom, and as many more, served this circuit previous to the year 1813, when it was reported with 390 members, though the circuit had been narrowed down very much since its early day of twenty years before. During these years there had been conversions at every preaching place throughout the plan, and in many cases marked revivals. Sinners who had been given over by established churches as nearly if not quite reprobates, were brought under the power of the truth, and by the Holy Ghost were transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that he who was called Legion, was frequently sanctified and clothed, and came in his right mind. And many of these saved men came to be marvels of spiritual power, and unfrequently set down by the "settled pastors" as incorrigible fanatics. Such was the case with Benj. G. Paddock, as is manifested by this extract from his memoir.
Mrs. Paddock was a member of the Baptist church, but her son having been converted among the Methodist, at Augusta, Oneida County, and returning home she could but rejoice; and one day when Rev. Mr. Holcombe, the pastor of the Baptist church, which was then in Warren, called to see the family, she expressed herself as greatly pleased at now having one of the family to go to heaven with her. When, naturally, he required who? And she answered, "My son Benjamin!" When he answered, with a smile of contempt, "Benjamin! I have as much again hope for the conversion o any half-dozen of the wickedest men in the town as I have for that of Benjamin, for they may be brought in by sovereign grace, but he has the poison of Arminianism ingrained in his heart that it will be impossible to get it out of him" and in a little time after this, when the young man was being deeply exercised about his call to he ministry, he went to this same elder, earnestly inquiring for light and instruction; and after he had tremblingly opened his heart to him, the elder answered as follows: "Well, Bennie, I advise you to go home and ask your Mother to make you a good strong cup of tea, when your head will doubtless feel better." Closing his advice with a laugh. Mr. Holcombe was not the only elder who acted the same. But this elder afterwards apologized to Benjamin, when he had heard him preach a few times. Paddock and Heustis were among the first of the many strong men who went out into the Methodist ministry from this circuit and county.
From 1813 to 1833, twenty years, I have been able to find only a bare shred of authentic history of our church. There are facts and figures, but I could no get the books involving the conference minutes. But I did find that, in 1816 and 1817, Abner Chase was on this circuit, and I find the testimony of his successors gives evidence that during his occupancy of the circuit there was a glowing interest at all the preaching places. For, as Rev. John Hamilton and B. G. Paddock came to succeed him, they found, including probationers, 531 members, which, as compared with 390 four years later, shows a very worthy increase. It was at about this time that very eccentric preacher Lorenzo Dow came through these parts. An appointment was announced for him in the old Presbyterian Church, and it was packed to its utmost capacity, and many were outside. A little misunderstanding as to who should preach then arose, when Dow turned on his heel, saying, "we will repair to the grove, - and suiting the action to the word, got out of a window, and the people followed en masse, sat on the ground and on boards and planks brought along for the purpose. And there, under the shade of the Parmalee Woods, Dow standing on a stump, preached, as I am told, from those words: "In the midst of the street of it and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruit, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for healing of the nations."
Whether this meteor-like eccentric man was ever through this section more than once, I have not the means of learning. This earnest man was related to the ancestors of Mr. D. Burley, of Springfield. But Methodism, while having had men who were quite exceptional in their modes, had depended upon methodic, earnest workers, and expected all to do their part to carry forward the great work of saving souls. So much was this the case that one writer of those times says that "everybody who came into the societies at that time was expected to be a worker. - Another resolute preacher, by the name of Erkenbrack, was efficient in the work on this circuit, and evidences are numerous, showing that among Methodist societies where he labored there were revivals almost yearly.
In 1819 and 1820, Mr. Paddock, being stationed at Cooperstown, was greatly instrumental in helping in a marked revival which took place there. Mr. Paddock and the Presbyterian pastor worked together like Christian brothers, and seeing above a hundred added to each church. At this time revivals of great power took place all through the Methodist connections. During about this time another marked man was on this district,--Rev. George Gary, --who was born in Middlefield, Otsego County, but born again in the state of Connecticut, under the labors of Rev. Mr. Sabin, a Methodist preacher, and began to preach when he was sixteen, and though a boy, was a marvel of holy eloquence, and he is still remembered with high appreciation by those who are aged.
During these years school-house preaching places came to be very common, and not a few circumstances arose where envious or hating spirits sought to lock the doors and keep out the preacher and his people, and nearly every school-house in Springfield, especially this eastern part, has been at some time locked against them. All these years Methodist preachers had been more intent on saving souls and forming societies than in building church edifices. And thousands, yes, millions of souls will rise up in the last day and bless God that in the time of pioneer life these unwearied men of undaunted courage and mighty faith were among the cabins, the barns, and the school-house, calling men everywhere to repentance, and saying the kingdom of heaven has come nigh unto you. And though while this kind of work was being done, and the workers were called by some people anything but ministers and Christians, as soon as any persons converted by their labors were found with the least desire of entering into an another denominational fold they were greeted with a welcoming smile and a ready hand, and not unfrequently with the patronizing remark, "that it was wise of them not to stay among that fanatic sect." Yes, many a church would have died long ago but for the impulse in spirit and number it has received from a log cabin, a barn, or a school-house revival, wrought by the power of God through the unselfish labors of the circuit-riders. But the time came when Methodism began to build, for she had taken root to stay; and so it was in Springfield. And at this time many of the old family names of Springfield are found on the scanty records of those early times. The Hardys, Grays, Basingers, Burlingames, Carrols, Cooks, Parmelees, Arndts, Dolphins, Fields, Francis, Genters, Johnsons, Rathbones, Stockleys, Stockers, Shauls, Van Aukins, Pinckneys, Willseys, Scotts, and scores of others. Some of these remain; but the most of these names are now represented by their descendants.
But building time came; a meting was called in harmony with the statutes of the State to organize a legal ecclesiastical body and plan for the building of a church. The meeting then called was to convene at the school-house at East Springfield, on April 8, 1833. And on that day it did convene and methodically attended to the work, and during the year following the church was erected. From this time forward we have definite records of our progress as a church. Of the meeting for organization, Peter I. Walrath was made chairman, and Abram L. Arndt was secretary; and this resolution was passed: That the church be called the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Springfield, and that five trustees be appointed for the society. The trustees elected were: Benjamin Huntington, Benj. Stocker, Samuel B. Merrill, Richard W. Turner, Samuel Brewer. And the building committee consisted of Levi Gray, Samuel Brewer, and Brewster Conklin.
I do not find figures definite enough to enable me to specify the numbers in the various classes making up the society at that time. But it is very certain that the strength of the society was such as to make it flourishing, at least if we may judge from the standing of the minister who was appointed to serve the organized charge. Rev. Lyman Sperry was the first preacher, serving from 1834 to 1836, Andrew Peak being presiding elder, and during this incumbency there was a very marked revival, and a large increase in numbers. There are many who remember him. Andrew Peak was from a Middlefield family which gave five strong men to the ministry, one of whom is now a bishop in our church. Mrs. Grout is a descendant of this family. Mr. Sperry was followed by Benijah Mason, serving two years, and a marked revival on Willsey Hill took place at this time, transpiring in June of one of his years. Meetings were held in a large barn, now owned by Mr. Henry Van Aukin. From 1838 to 1840 Henry Halstead was pastor, and Z. paddock presiding elder. Here was another son of this section brought up and converted at Warren; and his father and mother were buried in one of the Warren cemeteries. The mother of the two strong men - B. G. and Z. paddock - loved her old familiar Bible so well that she instructed that it should be placed beneath her head in the coffin. Revival blesses the community under Brother Halstead, who was followed by Rev. Leonard Bowdish, from 1840 to 1842. Then Edward W. Breckenridge held the pastorate two years, and was the means of an extensive revival. He was followed in the pulpit by Lucius Cary Rogers, and the succeeding two years were filled by henry Halstead again, and Lyman Sperry as the presiding elder. And the society must have been pleased and profited by seeing these men once more.
Next in order we find A. E. Daniles, two years, revival and all; then Moses L. Kern, two years, revival also. And during these years just mentioned most of the present older members were converted. D. C. Dutcher occupied the pulpit one year, 1853, followed by George C. Elloitt. The members who are now fifty years old and above, speak of these years just mentioned as years when the society was in strong estate and large prosperity. This was the time of its marked success. At this time the parsonage tangle began, and its effects are not fully ended yet. How wise and firm and unselfish the counselings and administration of the church should be!
Rev. Joseph shank, a man of marked ability, was pastor one year. Then Silas Comfort from 1857 to 1858. He was followed by Rev. George Parsons, a genial, earnest, faithful man and minister, who was followed by Rev. W. C. McDonald, a resolute and vigorous minister, from 1861 to 1862. Rev. James Weeks filled on year and was re-appointed the second, but was by ecclesiastical consent changed for Bower, and with no advantage to the society. Rev. George Parsons again appointed, 1865-67, who labored faithfully in the interests of the church and with marked success. Rev. L. E. Marvin served two years, 1868-1869. At this time the plan and labor of remodeling the church took place, at an expense of about $3,500. After this, in quick succession, followed as pastors Revs. G. Mead, L. B. Gray, Father Houghton, Frederick Gates, and L. E. Marvin, again; and lastly Rev. G. B. Fairhead, 1875-77. The presiding elders who have served during these later years and who have rendered their measure of counsel and help to our Zion, are Revs. I. Parks, Wm. Bixby, J. T. Wright, A. B. Gregg, and the present incumbent, A. E. Corse, who closes his very acceptable quadrennial with this year. During these last years the society has had something of a struggle. But everybody now in relation with the society feels that the church is again heading out to sea, well manned, and having a good prospect of a prosperous voyage.
No doubt it will be desirable to give the statistics of the society at present and in the most recent past. At the close of Brother Marvin - s last year, there are reported in the minutes 69 members in full connection and 47 on probation, making a total of 116. And in the same report we find four children and fifteen adult baptisms. The next year shows 91 in full membership and 61 probationers, a total of 142. The last year 120 members in full and 10 probationers, total of 130, which shrinkage arose from the fact that some of the probationers had left the charge, and a few received letters, and a few had died. The present figures stand: probationers 16; members in full, 116; total, 142. The increase of memberships of these more recent years was the result of the revival during the last year of Brother Marvin - s administration, in which Revs. P. and L. B. Gray rendered such assistances. These two ministers were reared in this town and received their first license from this church, and a revival in the following year which began under the labors of Rev. O. Parker, an earnest evangelist, whose labors wre blessed to many hearts. He conducted services three weeks at the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist church fully uniting, after which the series of meeting were continued in the Methodist church for the period of three weeks or more. From these efforts both churches were considerably strengthened.
The present officers of the church are as follows: Rev. S. Salisbury, pastor; Rev. L. E. Marvin, supernumerary; Rev. E. Everett, local deacon; Wm. E. Hardy, V. C. Snyder, and D. W. Gray, stewards and trustees; E. S. Francis, Charles Gray, C. C. Genter, T. L. Grout, and D. Buckus, stewards; Wm. Marks, L. W. Rathbone, A. Cook, and E. Bush, trustees; T. L. Grout, Sunday-school superintendent.
ST. PAUL - S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The only church of this denomination in the town is located at East Springfield, and was organized at a meeting held on the 25th of January, 1871, Rev. D. L. Swartz, rector Grace church, Cherry Valley, presiding. The following were chosen first officers: James H. Cooke and Sheldon A. Young, wardens; H. H. Davy, G. H. Fowler, S. Seward, T. L. Grout, Daniel Gilchrist, G. W. Branch, John Scollard, and Robert Walrath, vestrymen. The first rector after the organization of the parish was Rev. D. L. Schwartz, who was soon succeeded by Rev. E. F. Baker, the present rector.
The church was erected during the summer of 1874 at a cot of about $3,500, and was consecrated by Bishop Wm. C. Doane September 17, the same year.
Services had previously been held in Seward - s hall for a period of nearly eight years; the rectors of Grace church Cherry Valley, Flavel S. Mines, and D. L. Schwartz, and Charles Sykes, of St. Luke - s, Richfield Spa, officiating.
The present officers are H. H. Davy and J. H. Cook, wardens; John Scollard, H. H. Davy, G. R. Fowler, Robert Walrath, S. A. Young, T. S. Fitch, J. H. Cooke, and Daniel Gilchrist, vestrymen. The names of the present members are Mrs. L. Whipple, Mr. and Mrs. R. Walrath, Mrs. W. S. Guardineer, Anna B. Sinclair, T. S. Fitch, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Cooke, Mrs. G. W. Branch, Mrs. R. Bigelow, Mr. and Mrs. John Scollard, Mrs. E. F. Baker, Susie and Nellie Baker, Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Davy, E. E. Davy, J. H. Davy, Mr. and Mrs. S. A. Young, and Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Keene.
EVERGREEN LODGE, NO. 63, F. AND A. M.
This lodge opened by dispensation at Warren, Herkimer County, Feb. 1, 1855. Its first officers were as follows: A. L. Starkweather, W. M.; Rufus W. Crane, S. W.; Charles De Long, J. W.; Henry M. Beach, Sec. This lodge was subsequently moved to Springfield Centre, its present home. The present (1877) Master is s. W. Stewart.
RISING SUN LODGE, NO. 135, F. AND A. M.
now obsolete, was organized at West Springfield. Its charter was granted march 5, 1806, and the first meeting was held on the 19th of the following august, at which the following officers were chosen: Alexander Sprague, W.M.; Anson Green, S. W.; Jos. McGee, J. W.; Nathaniel Kimball, Sec.; Samuel Crafts, Treas.; Daniel Hewes, S. D.; Aaron Bigelow, J. D.; John Tennant, Jr., Steward; Daniel Gilchrist, Steward; Spencer cone, Tyler.
This charter was granted by General Jacob Morton, Grand master; Cadwallader Colden, S. G. W.; Martin Hoffman, Esq., D. G. M.; Hon. Philip S. Van Rensselaer, Esq., J. G. W. This lodge continued in existence until some time in the year 1825, when it suspended, and its charter and jewels are now in the possession of Evergreen Lodge.
Transcribed by Holice B. Young
Original website created by Debbie Axtman
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