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History of Ontario Co., NY  

Published 1878

 Manchester Churches  pg  181 - 182


FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH of Manchester, dates to February 13, 1797, as we have elsewhere said.  A council was held in Farmington.  Elder L. IRISH presided at the meeting which ultimately gave fellowship to the church.  It clams priority in point of organization over all other churches of the denomination west of Cayuga lake.  Until 1810, early meetings were held at various localities, primarily at the residence of John MC LOUGH.    At the date assigned, a log meeting house was erected upon a lot bought by Oliver PHELPS for the purpose.  In 1815, a stone chapel was built upon the same lot.  A lot was bought in the village of Manchester during 1849, and upon it a handsome church edifice was erected.

THE SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH was organized in 1813.  The first pastor of this society was Elder William ROWE.  Among the first deacons who stood connected with the organization were Messrs. GAINES, HOWELL, and Isaac OLDS.  The first services were held within a school house at Plainsville, at Marbletown and in a schoolhouse  on the New Creek road.   The needs of the society made the erection of a church very desirable; accordingly, we find that in 1833 a subscription was started for the erection of a church.  A building was duly constructed, and its dedication too place during the same winter.  The services on this occasion were performed by Elder SMITH.  The stone built edifice stands in Gypsum, and is an interesting old structure, with good interior and a commodious and convenient basement.  The church has a present membership on the rolls of 93 persons, and its present pastor is Rev. P. OWENS.


THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH at Clifton Springs ws organized in 1808.  Meetings had been held more especially under the direction of Mr. BAGGERLY up to this time and later.  By his influence and exertions, a building had been erected, which bore his name.   The first trustees of the society were Hezekiah BAGGERLY, Peter BAGGERLY, William FERGUSON, Robert FERGUSON and Jared KNAPP.  Among the first members, besides the names of trustees, we give those of: Hester FERGUSON, Ann FILLOTT, Rev. John BAGGERLY, Rev. Calvin COATES, Joshua COATES, L. B. FERGUSON, Joshua GIDDINGS, John COST, Robert BAGGERLY, Richard SHEKELL and Benjamin SHEKELL and wife.  The Episcopalians had on their hands an unfinished church, which the Methodists purchased about 1810.  This building burned down about 1841.  The society then reorganized on March 1, 1846, having during the years 1843-44, erected a brick church at a cost of some $3,000.  The building was dedicated by Rev. Manly TOOKER, and stood through the mutations of a score of years.  At reorganization the following trustees were elected: Jesse COST, John COST, Levi B. FERGUSON, R. H. SHEKELL, A. J. HANNA, J. COATES, Thomas C. BARKLEY, Richard GIDDINGS and Gideon D. BAGGERLY.  It was called the Third Methodist Society in Manchester, Clifton Springs.  The membership consisted of about 60 persons.  The first preacher in this organization was Rev. Wilson OSBORN.  Subsequent pastors have been William M. FERGUSON, Calvin COATES, David FERRIS, J. M. BULL., Thomas STACY and C. C. GARDNER, besides others not remembered.  In 1867 the old church had become too small to accommodate the congregation and after various measures had been suggested, it was resolved to build a new house.  The old one was torn down, and on the site the cornerstone of the new one was laid in May 1867, with appropriate ceremony, by Rev. Thomas STACY.  Various articles were deposited in the stone, in accordance with custom.  

The edifice was dedicated to the worship of God in February 1868.  The sermon was delivered by Bishop SIMPSON.  The structure is the finest in the village and does credit to the builders.  The cost was some $17,000, a large portion of which was defrayed by Dr. FOSTER.  The present membership of the society is 130, and the pastors are Rev. J. T. GRACEY and Rev. George LOOMIS.   Connected with the church is a flourishing Sunday school, now attended by about 100 persons, - 10 teachers, 90 scholars; E. D. COPP, superintendent.  


THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH of Manchester, had its origin in class meetings held at the house of Sharon BOOTH.  When in time, a school house was built, the meetings were held therein.  The present church edifice dates from 1841, at which time it was completed and the services of dedication performed by Manly TUCKER, the residing elder.  the resident minister was the prime mover to getting a society formed, and his efforts were ably seconded by Moses LEMMONS, Sharon BOOTH, Joseph SAWYER, Benj. ARMINGTON, John LATHBURY and Thomas HORNSBY.  The first steward in the society was Joseph SAWYER, and the first class leader, Thomas LATHBURY.  The original membership was about 40; it is now about 90.  The pastor in charge is Rev. Joseph DE LORNA.


THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH -  In the year 1857, there was organized in the stone school house at Shortsville, through the efforts of William YOUNG, a Presbyterian Sabbath school.  Assistance was given in this work by Roswell STAFFORD, Hiram LAND, Calvin P. BROWN, Dr. Thomas A. BROWN and others.  During December following, a meeting was held in the school house and at that time was organized what has been known as the First Presbyterian Society of Manchester.  The Rev. Charles H. CHESTER, of Geneva, was called by the society to hold a weekly service at the aforesaid school house.  At the expiration of a year, he was succeeded by the Rev. William J. STOUTENBURGH, who officiated with marked ability and success until 1860.  It was during the winter of 1858-59 that efforts were put forth to raise funds wherewith to build a meetinghouse, and not without success.  On the 26th of January 1860, a committee, appointed by the presbytery of Geneva, organized the society as the First Presbyterian Church of Manchester.   The following named persons constituted the original membership: Dr. Thomas A. BROWN, Mrs.. Emily BROWN, Hiram L. BROWN, Mrs.. Hester BROWN, Leonard WARFIELD, Mrs.. Elvira WARFIELD, Mrs.. G. C. HILL, Mrs. Cornelia E. BROWN, Joel CROFUT, Roswell SHEFFER, Mrs.. Mary SHEFFER and Mrs.. M. L. HILLARD.  The first elders of the church were Hiram L. BROWN and Dr. Thomas A. BROWN.  The first deacon was Leonard WARFIELD.  We have said that as appeal to the liberality of the community had been made for building funds, and in 1859 work upon a church edifice had begun, which was brought to a completion during March 1860, and dedicatory services were held therein by Rev. Ira INGRAHAM.  About June 15, Rev. Richmond JAMES was employed as supply, and officiated in that capacity until November 1869, with the exception of the last year of the civil war, when he served as an army chaplain.  During his absence the pulpit was supplied by students from the theological seminary at Auburn.  Rev. James M. HARLOUGH was pastor form September 11, 1871 to September 16, 1873.  The Rev. Chester C. THORN, the present pastor, took charge of the society February 1, 1873.  The society is in a prosperous condition, and the church building, located on the main street, evinces taste, presents a fine interior and has a full seating capacity for its growing congregation.  


ST. JOHN'S CHAPEL (Episcopal church) - The Rev. Davenport PHELPS, a noted pioneer missionary of the Protestant Episcopal church in western New York, was the first to gather a congregation of that communion at Clifton Springs.  The organization was effected as early as 1806-07, with the following named officers: John SHEKELL and Samuel SHEKELL, wardens; Darwin SEAGER, William WARNER, George WILLSON, Archibald H.  BEALE, David WILLIAMS, Thomas EDMONSTON, Alexander HOWARD and William POWELL, vestrymen.  This early effort was not attended with permanent results.  Although a church edifice had been erected, it was, while yet unfinished, sold to the Methodists, by whom it was long occupied.  Following the extinction of the parish, only occasional services were maintained, at long intervals, until a recent period.  At the close of 1866, Rev. William B. EDSON settled at Clifton Springs and revived the missionary work.  A new building was erected and duly consecrated  by Bishop Arthur Cleveland COZE, on Ascension Day, May 1871, under the name of St. John's Chapel.  The building is of wood, built in gothic style, with seats for 150.  On September 15, 1874, the parish was incorporated, and admitted to union with the convention of New York.  It is in contemplation by the parish to erect a permanent stone church on another site.  The present rector is the Rev. William B. EDSON.  The wardens are John L. TIFFANY and John A. SUTHERLAND.  the vestrymen are Isaiah TIFFANY, Irving W. COATES, Charles REDFIELD, and Richard E. BULL, and the parish has about 65 communicants.  


THE ST. AGNES ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH at Clifton Springs has had an existence of a score of years.  The Catholic population of this section held mass with their church at Vienna, or Canandaigua, until the month of June 1856, when Rev. Edward O'CONNOR said mass at this village for the first time.  The assembly was held in the district school house and on the same day a meeting was held and arrangements made for building a church.  The work was begun and the edifice completed in the fall of 1856.  At this date the mission was attached to Geneva, and was attended by the Rev. Father O. FLAHERTY.  In 1857 it was again attend from Canandaigua.  The first resident pastor was the Rev. J. MC DERMER, in the year of transfer.  The mission was then united to Vienna and Rushville, under pastoral charge of Rev. Francis CLARK, who remained till March 1862, when he was succeeded by Rev. LEE, the present pastor.  This clergyman bought a parsonage, and enlarge the church, which is now a neat, simple edifice, built with taste and having a seating capacity of 250 persons.


THE FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH of Clifton Springs was originated April 1, 1852.  The first members of this society were Horace GOODALE, Edwin WARNERS, S. C. HERSEY, Otis BIDDLECOME, Samuel CUER, Francis WOOD, Chauncey SPEAR, Thomas BIDDLECOME, Joshua VAN DUSY, William THOMAS, Thomas WARFIELD, William H. POST, Charles SEVERANCE, George L. SPEAR, E. B. DEWEY, Alonso TEACHOUT, Lyman CRAIG, William HANNA, Miles BAKER and Thomas M. BIDDLECOME.  Sylvenus HENEY was appointed moderator at the meeting for organization, and George L. SPEAR, clerk; R. P. MC BRIDE, treasurer, Lyman CRANE, E. B. DEWEY and Edwin WARNER were chosen trustees.  The erection of a building was begun in 1852, and completed February 1853, when it was dedicated.  This church cost $2,200.  A church organization was formed February 14, 1858.  E. B. DEWEY and Horace GOODALE were the first deacons, and H. L. VAN DUSEY the first clerk. There were 13 members on the original formation.  The church now numbers 51 members.  Rev. E. B. DEWEY continues to serve the church as deacon.  A. L. VAN DUSEN is his present associate.  The pastors of  this society have been Revs. L. I. BRAYTON, Asa SAXE, D.D., I. M. ATWOOD, B. L. BENNETT, G. W. MONTGOMERY, D.D. and E. S. CORBIN.  The last named settled as pastor in August 1873.  The Sunday school was organized in 1856.  In present superintendent is Charles H. GILLETT.






 MANCHESTER CHURCHES    pg 346 - 347

History of Ontario Co., NY     Pub.  1893 

The First Presbyterian Church of Manchester was in fact organized in January. 1860, although meetings were held and an effort at organization several years earlier. A Sunday-school of the Presbyterian Society was started in the village in 1857. In 1859 and '60 a church edifice was completed, which was replaced in 1884 by the present beautiful structure which now adorns Main street, near the center of the village. This church is by far the largest and most influential in this part of the town, numbering about 265 members, while the Sunday-school has about 250 pupils. Since the organization the pastors and supplies in succession of this church have been as follows: Revs. Charles H. CHESTER, William J. STOUGHTENBURGH, Richmond JAMES, James M. HARLOW, Chester C. THORN, E. G CHEESMAN, W. O. CARRIER, J. C. LENHART, W. I. COBURN, and John T. CRUMRINE, the latter being the present pastor, who was called to the church in December, 1892.

The other church societies of Shortsville are the Protestant Episcopal, the Methodist Episcopal, and the Roman Catholic, each of which are of comparatively recent organization, and neither of which has a resident pastor. Trinity Church was built about 1884, and is a small chapel edifice standing on Main street. The Methodist Church is organized and beyond the condition of a mission, and its pastorate is supplied by Rev. J. E. SHOWERS. St. Dominick's Church and parish was organized about ten or twelve years ago, and holds monthly services under the charge of Father Patrick LEEL, of Clifton Springs.


Churches In Clifton Springs  pg 336 - 337

St. John's Church at Clifton Springs dates back in time to an organization effected as early as 1806-7, with which event were prominently connected the SHEKELLS, John and Samuel, Darwin SEAGER, William WARNER, George WILSON Archibald BEALE, Davis WILLIAMS, Thomas EDMONSTON, Alexander HOWARD and William POWELL. A church edifice was begun at once, but before completion was sold to the Methodists. Following this the parish of St. John's became extinct, and was not revived until 1866, followed in 1871 by the consecration of a new edifice by Rt. Rev. Bishop COXE. The parish and congregation of St. John's are small, the communicants few, and at present the church is without a rector.

The Methodist Episcopal Church at Clifton Springs was organized in 1808, under the missionary labors of Rev. John BAGGERLY, and soon afterward the society purchased the edifice built by the society of St. John's, which they occupied from 1810 to 1841, when the building was burned. Another church house was built in 1843-44. In 1846 the society was reorganized and called the "Third Methodist Society in Manchester." In 1867 the large brick church edifice superseded the old home of the society. The congregation and membership of this church are large. The present pastor is Rev. J. V. BENHAM.

The First Universalist Church of Clifton Springs was organized April 1, 1852, with twenty original members, and under the pastoral care of I. I. BRAYTON. The full church organization was completed in 1858. The first house of worship was erected in 1852 and '53. The membership and congregation of this society are not large. The last pastor was Rev. G. B. RUSSELL.  For many years the pastorate of this church was filled in connection with the Universalist Church at Geneva.

St. Agnes' Roman Catholic Church at Clifton Springs was organized, and the parish also, in 1856, and during the same year the church edifice was built. For several years this church was an out-station, and Father McDERMER was the first resident priest. The present priest is Father Patrick LEE.

The Baptist Society of Clifton Springs is the youngest of the several religious organizations having an abiding place in the village, its formation dating back only a few years. The church edifice is located on the hill in the east part of the village and is a very attractive structure. The present pastor is Rev. H. F. COPE.



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