Ontario County Organized Churches

from History of Ontario Co., NY     





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Kindly transcribed by  Deborah Spencer



History of Ontario Co., NY  

Published 1878  pg  258 - 259

Canadice Churches


The first resident of the town to make profession of religion was Rev. Ebenezer INGRAHAM, who preached the first sermon in the little log school-house that stood near the elm tree, on the farm of Thomas H. COSTELLO.  This was in 1809.  The next school-house in that district was near the burying-ground.  There, in January, 1812, Elder Abijah WRIGHT held the revival, the first in town.  In the summer following he baptized the wife of Pitts WALKER in a pond made in the outlet, above the log bridge that spanned the stream at the present highway.  This was the second baptism in town, the first having been that of Albert FINCH, by Elder KETCHUM.  The elder was from Bristol, and preached during the summer in the log school-house on the NUTT farm.  Other early ministers were Caleb BRIGGS, of Richmond; Warren DEY of the same town; Jehiel SPICER, Ira SPENCER, Silas REYNOLDS, Isaac SERGEANT, Bartlett CLARK, Uriel SPENCER, Elder WALKER, Andrew INGRAHAM, James CAHOON, Archelius MAKER, Homer BLAKE, Daniel PEABODY, William SMITH, Sylvester EVENS, Cyrus PITTS, James STERLING, Elder HADLEY, and Benjamin BLAKE.  These were residents for various periods, and preached more or less as occasion served, besides those on the circuit or sent by conferences. 

The PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH of Pittstown, afterwards Richmond, was organized in 1801, and a branch was formed in Canadice in 1828.  It was enrolled as a church, in care of the presbytery of Ontario, August 25, 1829, and was denominated the church of South Richmond, or “Richmond Second Church.”  In 1832 it took the name of Canadice.  It was reported yearly as vacant, its organization was transient, and its numbers were not named.  No meeting-house was ever erected.  Meetings were held in the DOOLITTLE school-house.  It gradually declined.  Most of the members moved to Ohio, some joined the Methodist Episcopal church, until it became so reduced as to be dissolved January 15, 1839.  It was organized by Elder DAY, who preached to the society on alternate Sundays, until Elder James CAHOON came to town.  William CHAMBERLIN was its deacon.  The only members recalled were W. CHAMBERLIN and wife, and two sons, John BECKER and Thomas DOOLITTLE, and their wives. 

A CLOSE COMMUNION BAPTIST CHURCH was formed by Elder Caleb BRIGGS, of Richmond, at the KIMBALL school-house, on April 12, 1834, the preliminary meeting having been held on March 1 preceding.  The persons who composed the church when formed were James HYDE, Ezra SMITH, Daniel PURSEL, Robert ARMSTRONG, and their wives, John and Edmund PURSEL, Elias WELCH and Arnold GREEN.  It was called the “Regular Baptist Church of Canadice.”  Members were added from time to time, until it numbered 39.  On the last Thursday of May, 1835, it was resolved by a council composed of Justin HUDNOT and SMITH, of Lakeville; CLARK and DONALDSON, of Nunda; Sabin, Phillips, and Wolcott, of Bristol; ADAMS and SUTHERLAND, of Richmond; and Elder BRIGGS, Benjamin and Josiah FULLER, of this church, to “Fellowship this church as a Church of Christ in gospel order.”  It was taken into the Genesee River association on June 27, 1835, and into the Livingston County association on June 24, 1848.  Its last regular meeting was in September, 1849, when it reported 19 members in good standing.  Elder BRIGGS was the pastor for a number of years.  Regular meetings were maintained during its existence, except in the months of January and February, 1839, when the snow-drifts made roads impassable.  Its first baptisms were Charles and Charlotte ELLIS, on June 11, 1834.  John PURSEL was the first and only deacon; he now resides in Springwater.  The only living members are John PURSEL and Almira, his wife, John McCROSSEN and Rachel, his wife, and Lucy KINGSLEY (INGRAHAM). 

A CONGREGATIONAL SOCIETY was formed through the activity of the Rev. Isaac SERGEANT, who came into town as a Unionist.  He preached at the KIMBALL school-house; held a revival, at which many “forsook their evil ways, and bowed the knee to the mild sceptre.”  The society was soon dissolved, and no records exist. 

The “WESLEYAN METHODIST CONNECTION OF AMERICA” organized a church at the BUSH school-house, in March, 1845, after a protracted effort and revival conducted by Israel D. TREMBLY.  His first sermon, and the first one by a minister of that denomination in town, was delivered in November, 1844.  The original members were Andrew INGRAHAM, Joseph YOST, William SMITH, Eli SHAW and wife, Jesse WESTBROOK, John WINCH, Benjamin and Jane BLAKE.  William SMITH was the first class-leader, Jesse WESTBROOK the second, and A. W. DOOLITTLE the third and last.

The greatest number of members at one time was 34.  It closed its labors as a church in 1864.  The different ministers who labored with them are Revs. TREMBLY, KITCHEL, BIXBY, BOOTHE, HAVENS, DAVIS, FINNEY, YORKS, PAINE, and BROADHEAD.  A class of the denomination was formed on Kimball Hill, in 1856, and has no available record. 

The CHRISTIAN CHURCH of the towns of Canadice and Springwater held meetings for year in the WAITE school-house.  The meetings were chiefly for prayer, and occasionally Ira SPENCER or Daniel PEABODY would speak to them, but regular organization was not effected till 1830.  It was then formed by the Rev. Amos CHAPMAN, who preached regularly to them for many years.  About the same time, meetings were held at the WILLIAMS school-house in Springwater.  The two united, and on April 18, 1834, the name now borne was given.  On July 19 and 20, 1834, a general meeting was held at the horse-barn of Stephen WALBRIDGE.  The church edifice was erected during 1836-37, and dedicated in October of the latter year.  The ministers present were Oliver BARR, Joseph BAILEY, Sylvester MORRIS, BARTLETT, and GILMORE.  It was repaired in the fall of 1871, and rededicated in 1872.  The first ordination was of Sylvester MORRIS, Jr., on July 18, 1847, when S. MORRIS, Sr., Joseph BADGER, Asa CHAPIN, and Samuel CROSS were present.  The different preachers have been W. MUNROE, Dr. HENDRICKS, RUTHERFORD, FANCHER, HAINES, RICE, STEARNS, NEWEL, CHAMBERS, WELTON, MOREHOUSE, LAMONT, and HEBARD.  The church has its periods of death and prosperity.  It has no regular preaching at present. 

As earlier stated, first preaching was by the Methodists.  Elder INGRAHAM in 1809, Revs. BARTLETT and CLARK in 1811, Jehiel SPICER in 1812, Silas REYNOLDS in 1816, and Elder WALKER in 1808 were the first preachers in town on that denomination.  A class, composed of Jabez NORTHRUP, Robert COLLISTER, Jonathan WATERS, Daniel KNOWLES, and their wives, was formed in 1817, on Ball Hill.  NORTHRUP was their first class-leader, and COLLISTER the second.  The date of origin of the class from which sprang the present church is not known.  It is ascertained that Albert FINCH was baptized in 1812, James ANDERSON and family, devout Methodists, came in during 1815, Silas REYNOLDS and wife in 1816, and a class was probably formed consisting of ANDERSON, REYNOLDS, and their wives, Aloin and Orrin ANDERSON, and their wives, Jehiel SPICER and others; but there is no positive information on this point.  Meetings were held in barn and school-house.  The first of many protracted meetings since held was by Elder WRIGHT, in 1812.  One was held at the J. B. HOAGLAND born in 1829, and revivals took place in 1830-33, and since.  Camp-meeting was held on Ball Hill, upon the HOPPOUGH farm, in 1833.  The church was organized by the election of trustees in December, 1831.  The meeting-house was built in 1833, and dedicated in December of the same year.  Other early members, besides those named, were Uriel SPENCER, one of the first trustees, Andrew INGRAHAM and wife, Henry HOAGLAND and wife, the HUFFS, and Elias WESTFALL.  The church is now in a prosperous state. 

The cause of temperance has found ardent supporters in Canadice, and a great change from the tansy-bed and the whisky-bottle has been effected.  There have been but two different distilleries in the town.  The first was erected on the SLOUT farm, and the second was started by Julius BIGELOW in 1825, on the C. F. V. BARBER farm on Ball Hill.  The petty taverns retailed whisky at three cents a glass.  The numerous asheries were a kind of grocery, also, where sugars, teas, tobacco, and like necessaries were kept, and etiquette required that customers be treated.  The licensed liquor-sellers of the early day are thus recalled.  The first was John PHILLIPS, in 1817, on the KIMBALL farm; then Shadrach WARD, on the WRIGHT farm, from May 4, 1819, to 1833.  His sons, Andrew and Jerry, continued the traffic.  Peter BARNARD and John WING were on the G. W. OWEN place.  L. O. DAVIS, John PETITT, Halsey WHITAKER, Victor PUTNAM, and E. COYKENDALL, on the Harvey BROWN farm; John WINCH, H. LEWIS, and G. O. SPENCER, on the HOAGLAND farm; and in other places, venders were J. COYKENDAL, L. SPENCER, W. SMITH, O. WETMORE, D. NORTON, P. WETMORE, A. GOODRICH, T. DOOLITTLE, I. CHAMBERLAIN, J. W. SPENCER, J. FOX, J. KING, E. HALL, Joseph KING, and Jacob SNAPP,--a list which amply demonstrates universal custom and reputable estimation at that period.  The truthful delineation of the effect produced by so general a traffic would show many a drunken vagrant prowling about for drink, while his family suffered at home for food and clothing.  Not unfrequently, death closed the sad drama, and friendship drew the veil of oblivion.  The justice’s docket indicates the effect of intemperance.  Robert ARMSTRONG, in office five years, left a record of over 400 closely-written pages.  Andrew WARD was in four years, and his docket lengthened to 343 pages.  William CHAMBERLIN, three years, and his writings cover 160 pages, and this in a town less than four by six miles in size.  Those days are past; justices have served whose records for five years will not cover as many pages of an ordinary account-book.  L. A. DAVIS became a strenuous temperance man.  Henry HOAGLAND was one of the most conscientious advocates of reform.  He desired to raise an addition to his log house in 1824, and no help would come without whisky.  He exchanged some corn for the liquor, and solemnly vowed it was the last exchange,--and it was. 

Maurice BROWN, a temperance justice, was elected in 1837.  He was elected supervisor in 1848, filled a vacancy on the excise board, and for the first time licenses were refused by Thomas DOOLITTLE voting with BROWN, and so making a tie.  The question of “license” or “no license” was first carried by “no license” men in 1853, when D. BYRON WAITE was elected justice by a majority of nine.  The law was changed vesting the power to grant license in commissioners.  Under that law Joel COYKENDALL took out a license; since then no applications have been made, and the people are known as temperate, honest, and Christian.




History of Ontario Co., NY     Published  1893  

Of the many church and religious organizations which have from time to time been formed and found an abiding place in Canadice but one is now in existence. During the early history of the locality the people found time to attend to spiritual as well as temporal matters, and although they had no regular organization their primitive gatherings were none the less sacred or worthy. Rev. Ebenezer INGRAHAM frequently held meetings as early as 1809 in the log school-house, and three years later Elder Wright conducted a successful revival. Other early ministers held frequent services, and in 7828 the Presbyterian church of Richmond formed a branch society in the south part of the town, which, in 1832, became known as the Canadice Presbyterian Church. Its meetings were held in school-houses and other convenient places, but no church home was ever provided for it. The society was weak and gradually passed out of existence.

The Regular Baptist Church of Canadice, commonly called Close Communion Baptist, was organized in the town about 1835, and numbered among its first members James HYDE, Ezra SMITH, Daniel PURSEL, Robert ARMSTRONG and their wives, and John and Edmund PURSEL, Arnold GREEN and Elias WELCH. The organization was accomplished at the Bush school. house, and while the society prospered for a time, it afterward declined, and, having no place of meeting of its own, gradually passed out of existence.

In March, 1845, a Wesleyan Methodist Society was formed in Canadice, and, like some preceding it, flourished for a time and then ceased to exist. Of the same character and final ending was a Congregational society which once had an organization in Canadice.

The Christian Church of Canadice and Springwater was the outgrowth of early meetings in the towns named, but not until 1830 was any organization effected. Six years later a church edifice was built, and dedicated in December, 1837. In 1871 the building was repaired, but after ten years more the membership and congregation became so much reduced that regular services were abandoned. The early ministers of this church in Canadice were Revs. MUNROE,  HENDRICKS, RUTHERFORD, FANCHER, HAINES, RICE, STEARNS, NEWELL, CHAMBERS, WELTON, MOREHOUSE, LAMONT and HEBARD.

The Methodist Church and society alone has found a permanent foothold in this town, and indeed this may be said to be the mother church of Canadice, as the first religious gatherings were of that denomination. The class was formed in 1817, and the early meetings were held in school-houses and occasionally in barns. The first trustees were elected in 1831, and two years later the church edifice was built and dedicated. Among the early ministers of this denomination were Elder IINGRAHAM and Revs. BARTLETT, CLARK, SPICER, REYNOLDS and WALKER. The church is located at Canadice Corners, and is now under the pastoral charge of Rev. Walter DYNES.




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