CHURCHES OF CANANDAIGUA 

History of Ontario Co., NY     Published 1893  pg 229 - 235

CANANDAIGUA

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The First Congregational Church.--In the year 1799 two zealous clergymen named Zadoc HUNN and John ROLPH organized the church whose name stands at the head of this article.  The original members were Enos HAWLEY, Abraham ROOT, Phineas BATES, William SHEPARD, Thaddeus and Israel CHAPIN, William W. WILLIAMS, Harvey STEELE, Joshua GEDDINGS, Esther BATES, Dorothy TAYLOR, Abigail WARREN, Abigail CHAPIN, Betsy WILLIAMS, Susanna HUBBARD, _____ MATHER, Naomi BATES, and Phebe STEELE.  Three licentiates, in whose presence the organization was perfected, were Jedediah BUSHNELL, Amasa JEROME and Timothy FIELD.  The first deacon of the church was Enos HAWLEY, elected at the time of organization and who continued in that office until his death, August 11, 1807. 

The church edifice of this society was erected during the years 1812 and 1813, and was repaired and enlarged in 1848.  It is an attractive brick structure, retaining it is said much of its original appearance, and may be justly considered a beautiful edifice still, an additional attraction and interest attaching to it on account of its age.  In 1872 and 1873 the stone chapel was built adjoining the church edifice. 

The pastors of the church have been as follows: Timothy FIELD, February, 1800, to June, 1805; Henry CHANNING, January, 1808, to May, 1811; William T. TORREY, February 9, 1813, to January 5, 1817; Evan JOHNS, October 24, 1817, to June 9, 1823; Ansel D. EDDY, January 1, 1824, to July 3, 1835; M. L. R. P. THOMPSON, spring of 1836 to May, 1844; Oliver E. DAGGETT, January 30, 1845, to October 16, 1867; Frederick B. ALLEN, April 2, 1868, to April 2, 1873; Frank T. BAYLEY, September 3, 1873, to January 3, 1878; William ADAMS, July 11, 1878, to December 9, 1880; Samuel E. EASTMAN, November 16, 1881, to September 23, 1886; Newell M. CALHOUN, the present pastor, was called September 26, 1887, and entered upon his duties January 1, 1888. 

The deacons of the church with date of election have been as follows; Enos HAWLEY, 1799; William SHEPARD, January 11, 1809; Harvey STEELE, January 11, 1809; Israel CHAPIN, June 24, 1810; Walter HUBBELL, January 15, 1824; Henry W. TAYLOR, November 28, 1828; Robert ANTIS and Samuel H. ANDREWS, April 29, 1837; Francis J. CASTLE, February 28, 1845; George WILLSON 2d, Noah T. CLARKE and W. Mynderse CHIPMAN, June 30, 1848; Edward G. TYLER, December 30, 1853; Joseph Byron HAYES, January 2, 1863; Levi B. GAYLORD, December 30, 1870; Cyrus W. DIXSON and Teneyck MUNSON, January 11, 1882; Daniel SATTERTHWAITE, March 5, 1887.  The foregoing were elected for life, but in March, 1888, this church adopted the term of five years for the office of deacon, under which rule Mark S. SMITH and J. Carlton NORRIS were elected May 4, 1888; A. Eugene COOLEY, January 4, 1889; John H. JEWETT, March 1, 1889. 

The present church officers are as follows: Pastor, Newell M. CALHOUN; deacons, Edward O. SMITH, Cyrus W. DIXSON, Daniel SATTERTHWAITE, Charles T. MITCHELL, F. H. WISEWELL, A. Eugene COOLEY and John H. JEWETT; treasurer, Chas. T. MITCHELL; clerk, Edward O. SMITH.  Present membership, 398. 

As early as September, 1793, the Rev. James K. GARNSEY, of Massachusetts, came to Canandaigua and was for at least a year engaged in missionary work.  The Congregational missionary societies of Massachusetts were deeply interested in the missionary cause in Ontario county, and through their instrumentality many of the settled pastors were induced to temporarily leave their charges and spend portions of the summer season in active duties in Western New York.  Bekiah HOTCHKISS received $34.36 for "services as a missionary to the westward in the summer season, 1798."  Under date of May 29, 1799, Rev. Joseph AVERY was empowered to receive "$40 on condition that you go and faithfully perform the duties of a missionary 12 weeks in the county of Ontario and its vicinities, in the course of the summer season following."  Receipts of Joseph AVERY May 29, 1796, $30; September 24, 1799, $10 "in full for my services as a missionary to the county of Ontario."  Up to May 28, 1802, the editor has seen receipts from the following persons for missionary work performed, comprising from four to twelve weeks, most of it in Ontario county, and some of them dated at Canandarque: Revs. Timothy WOODBRIDGE, Samuel FULLER, Jacob CATLIN, Abiel JONES, David PERRY, Aaron BASCOM, Samuel LEONARD and Rev. Aaron KINNE.

The following is extracted from the history of Berkshire county, Mass.:  "The Rev. Zadock HUNN was called to the pastoral office (Congregational church in Becket), September 20, 1770, and ordained June 5, 1771.  He was dismissed in October, 1788, and subsequently removed to the county of Ontario, NY, where he labored faithfully and usefully among the new settlers who were then crowding into that region.  He died at Canandaigua May 12, 1801.  He was born in Wethersfield, Conn., and graduated at Yale College in 1766."

St. John's Church (Protestant Episcopal).--Previous to 1795 there was neither Episcopal church or mission in all Western New York.  The first missionary services of this church in Canandaigua were begun by Robert G. WETMORE in 1796, and on February 4, 1799, a mission was founded by Philander (afterward Bishop) CHASE, and the result was the later parish and church of St. John's.  The persons prominently associated with the early history of the church in this village were Ezra PRATT and Joseph COLT (both first wardens); John CLARK, Augustus PORTER, John DICKENS, Nathaniel SANBORN, Benjamin WELLS, Jones FIELD, Moses ATWATER and Aaron KENT, who were likewise first vestrymen. 

The early efforts to establish the church in Canandaigua were beset with many difficulties and discouragements, and not until 1814 was the parish completely organized, and not until 1816 was a church house provided.  Services in the mean time were held in the "Town Hall," Alanson W. WELTON being the first officiating rector or missionary, succeeded by Mr. ONDERDONK, who afterward became Bishop of Pennsylvania.  In 1816 the society determined to build a church and on the 16th of May, following, laid the corner-stone.  In December the edifice was consecrated, under Bishop HOBART.  The old pioneer church building continued in use from the time of its erection until 1872, and was then replaced with the beautiful stone edifice which now adorns the main street of the village, and is an honor to the parishioners who assemble within its walls. 

The succession of rectors of St. John's has been as follows: Alanson WELTON; Rev. Dr. ONDERDONK, appointed 1815; William BARLOW, January 13, 1820; Augustine Palmer PREVOST, 1836; Joseph WAYLAND, 1844; T. M. BENEDICT, Alfred B. BEACH, George N. CHENEY, George T. RIDER, Walter AYRAULT, B. H. HICKOX, C. S. LEFFINGWELL, Eugene J. BABCOCK and Charles John CLAUSEN, the latter being the present rector of the church and parish, and whose ministry began in December, 1892. 

St. John's church has a membership of communicants numbering 185.  The present church officers are as follows: Wardens, James C. SMITH and D. R. BURRELL; vestrymen, Wm. H. ADAMS, H. W. NICHOLS, George T. THOMPSON, W. S. BALL, W. H. TUTTLE, M. C. BEARD, C. F. BOOTH and F. W. CHESEBRO. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Canandaigua Village had its origin indirectly in the older classes formed at Centerfield and Sand Hill, but the first meetings which resulted in the village society had their beginning in 1811, and were held in the old court-house.  A class was formed in 1815 by Rev. Gideon LANNING and William BOUGHTON, the latter a local preacher, and in 1817 a chapel was built on Chapel street, the same being completed and ready for dedication in July, 1818. 

On the 4th of February, 1823, the First Society of the M. E. Church in the Village of Canandaigua was incorporated, and David BENHAM, Wm. C. GOODING, Levi BROCKELBANK, Ebenezer BENHAM and Silas BENHAM were elected trustees.  In 1834, during the pastorate of Wilbur HOAG, it became desirable for many reasons to change the location of the church building; therefore a lot was purchased on Main street, and in the new edifice the conference of 1836 was held.  In 1855 and the year following the building was materially repaired and enlarged at a cost of $8,000. 

The preachers on the circuit and pastors of this society, since 1817, have been as follows: Benjamin PADDOCK, William BALCOM, Israel CHAMBERLAIN, Wm. BARLOW, J. B. ALVERSON, Loring GRANT, George HARMON, Gideon LANNING, James HALL, Seth MATTISON, Gideon CUMMING, Richard WRIGHT, Ira FAIRBANKS, John PARKER, John EASTER, Wilbur HOAG, Philo E. BROWN, Gideon D. PERRY, Thomas CARLTON, Thomas CASTLETON, Wm. H. GOODING, John COPELAND, Wm. R. BABCOCK, John PARKER, J. T. ARNOLD, Manley TOOKER, E. G. TOWNSEND, S. W. ALDEN, J. T. ARNOLD, K. P. JERVIS, Porter McKINSTRY, F. G. HIBBARD, J. K. TUTTLE, D. D. BUCK, F. G. HIBBARD, John ALABASTER, Charles Z. CASE, Augustus W. GREEN, George VAN ALSTYNE, Wm. R. BENHAM, Luke C. QUEAL, Manley S. HARD, Theron COOPER, Theron GREEN and Edmund B. GEARHART, the last mentioned being the present pastor.  The M. E. Church numbers about 500 members. 

The First Baptist Church.---In 1800 a Baptist society was organized at Cheshire, and in 1826 another at Centerfield, and both of these were afterward transferred to Canandaigua village and merged in the society there formed.  The first meetings were held in the town hall, and in December, 1833, the new organization secured a lot from James D. BEMIS, and in 1835 the church edifice was built, being dedicated in December of that year.  The old building was of brick, 40 by 50 feet in size, and served the purposes of the congregation until 1879, when the present large edifice was erected on the old site. 

The pastors of the church, with dates of ordination, have been as follows: John B. POTTER, November 5, 1833; Marvin ALLEN, July 5, 1834; Lewis RANSTED, October 8, 1837; J. G. HASKINS, January 10, 1840; W. R. WEBB, December 20, 1840; S. WOOD, April 9, 1843; S. ADSIT, January 4, 1844; D. BARNARD, September 9, 1845; Leonard WHITNEY, November 2, 1845; A. S. KNEELAND, May 15, 1847; W. H. DOUGLASS, December 2, 1849; W. C. PHILLIPS, June 20, 1852; A. BOWLES, April 23, 1853; M. P. FORBES, January 15, 1856; A. H. LUNG, May 7, 1858; H. G. DE WITT, supply while Mr. LUNG was in the army; S. W. TITUS, January 16, 1865; J. N. TOLMAN, October 28, 1866; A. WILKINS, September 25, 1870; J. B. FORD, March 15, 1874; W. H. SLOAN, July 21, 1878; C. E. HISCOCK, December 14, 1879; S. A. McKAY, January 20, 1877; H. C. TOWNLEY, D.D., the present pastor, who was called October 27, 1889. 

St. Mary's Church  (Roman Catholic).--The first missionary services which led to the founding of St. Mary's Church and parish were held in Canandaigua during the early part of 1848 by Father Bernard O'REILLY.  In December of the same year the mission became a parish under the pastoral care of Father Edward O'CONNOR.  In 1849 the church was built, and is still standing, although it has been twice enlarged and repaired.  The succession of pastors has been as follows: Fathers Edward O'CONNOR, Charles McMULLEN, Michael PURCELL, James EARLY, Joseph McKENNA, and Dennis ENGLISH.  Father ENGLISH came to the parish in May, 1869, and has been in charge of the church since that time. 

St. Mary's Orphan Asylum and Academy is a worthy institution having a connection with the church in the village.  It was incorporated October 6, 1855, and was for nearly 20 years maintained near the church.  In April, 1873, the trustees of the church purchased, at a cost of $20,000, the desirable GRANGER property, situate at the corner of Main and Gibson streets, upon which the academy has been built, while the old and beautiful mansion is used as an asylum for Catholic orphan children, and also as a place of abode for the sisters of St. Joseph, in whose care is placed the affairs of the large parochial school and guardianship of the orphans at the asylum.

The First Presbyterian Church was organized May 15, 1870, by the withdrawal of a number of persons of that denomination who had formerly been assiciated with the Congregational society.  A few also of the original membership of the new organization were drawn from other churches of the village.  The first public meetings were held in the court-house, and on May 15, 1870, Rev. E. A. HUNTINGTON, of Auburn Theological Seminary, organized the society, 57 persons then uniting in the original membership, 46 of whom came from the Congregational church.  John S. WORTH, Harlow L. COMSTOCK and William H. LAMPORT were chosen elders, and George HILLS and Daniel F. ALVERSON deacons.  The Sunday school was organized at about the same time. 

The corner-stone of the present large brick church edifice was laid May 30, 1871, and the dedicatory services were held January 26, 1872.  The first pastor, Samuel H. THOMPSON, was installed in November, 1870, resigned January 30, 1873, and was succeeded by Rev. George C. CURTIS on October 16, 1873.  During the summer of 1875 the chapel was erected on the church lot.  Mr. CURTIS resigned the pastorate in April, 1884, and was followed by Rev. Wm. RICE, June 3, 1884.  He resigned in October of the next year, and on the 1st of February, 1886, the present pastor, Rev. Joseph H. FRANCE, D.D., entered upon his duties.

The Wesleyan Methodist Church of Canandaigua was erected in 1888 through the generosity of John CARRINGTON, and was by him presented to the connection as a free and voluntary gift.  The society of this church was organized during the year 1891, and is under the pastoral charge of Rev. Sheldon F. FRAZIER.  The church property is situated near the corner of Bristol and Main streets. 

 

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