Ontario County Organized Churches

History of Ontario Co., NY     



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History of Ontario Co., NY     Pub. 1878     pg 264 - 265

Naples Churches


In 1792, the Rev. Zadoc HUNN, from Bristol, preached the first sermon in what is now Naples.  The services were held in a log barn, and attended by every person in the place.  A missionary, named WILLISTON, preached the second sermon.  The early settlers were strict in Sabbath observance, and when not provided with a minister a sermon was read by one of their number.  The service was announced by Captain Nathan WATKINS blowing a sea conch-shell on or before time for meeting, and again when people had assembled.  During the first revival Jedediah BUSHNELL was the preacher.  The missionary, Rev. Samuel FULLER, organized a church on February 1, 1800, composed of the following members, viz: Nathan WATKINS, Sarah WATKINS, Edward and May KIBBE, Timothy MADDEN, Mary CLARK, Mrs. PARRISH, Samuel and Susanna, Mark and Lydia WATKINS, Lemuel BARBER, and Martha CLEVELAND.  The church was of the “Congregational” order, and the Rev. Mr. FISH officiated until the installment of Rev. Solomon ALLEN, on December 15, 1803.  Rev. Silas HUBBARD served the society, and then Rev. Lyman BARRETT was installed June 26, 1815, and took his dismissal October 4, 1826.  John C. MORGAN, commencing his labors in the church in 1827, organized a Sabbath-school of about 50 scholars in May of the year.  The first temperance society was organized, as stated, in 1826, and July 4, 1832, the church temperance society and the older organization merged in one, with Mr. MORGAN president, and Waldo CURTIS secretary.  Mr. MORGAN was installed August 27, 1829, and was succeeded by Rev. John BURBANK.  The next pastor was Rev. Mr. WHITE, who served until MORGAN’s return in 1834.  Mr. MORGAN then officiated until 1839, and was followed by Henry MORGAN.  Rev. Mr. EVERETT next occupied the pulpit, and was succeeded by G. T. EVEREST.  The Rev. Mr. ROULETTE, from Chicago, preached for a time, and gave place to F. S. GAYLORD, who preached the last sermon in the old church in December, 1850.  The Rev. B. T. MILLARD officiated the most of the time until Rev. Miles B. GELSTON preached his first sermon in the new church on March 15, 1855, and he was remained until the present pastor of the church.  The highest number of members reported in the early day was 85.  It received aid for 12 years from the American Home Missionary Society.  A subscription for building their first meeting-house was started May 1, 1823.  Liberal subscriptions were made in “cash, grain, stock, lumber, and labor, to the amount of $3500.”  Each subscriber was credited in the meeting-house journal for lumber, $5 per thousand feet; common boards, $8.00; house lumber, $10, clear, and $1 per thousand for warranted shingles; $1.25 a day for team, and 50 cents a day for common labor.  The best mechanics received $1 a day, from sun to sun.  Good cows were taken on subscription at from $10-$14 each; beef at four cents, and butter at eight cents per pound.  The contract was let to Lyman CUMMINGS, who completed the work substantially and elaborately.  The heavy frame was raised June 17, 1824.  Many of the best raisers came from adjoining towns, and three days were occupied at the task.  Two adventurous men, Henry CHAFEE and Anson PARRISH, ascended the steeple, and stood with a foot upon the top of the spire.  The dedication took place in December, 1825, and the sermon upon the occasion was preached by Rev. James H. HOTCHIN, of Prattsburg. 

THE METHODIST CHURCH was represented in 1826 by two itinerant preachers, who came to Middletown and found no welcome.  Their dress was plain and their zeal great.  Captain CLEVELAND was the first to open his house for them, and there they began to hold meetings.  Finally a small church was organized in the year, named by Rev. Mr. GILMORE as the Methodist Episcopal church.  The successive changes of ministers has made a long and yet lengthening list, from which the following are taken: Rev. Messrs. DOBSON, ROBERTS, STORY, PIERSALL, McKINNEY, BROWN, PINDAR, McELHENNY, PENDRY, ASHWORTH, BIBBINS, JONES, TUTTLE, BROWNELL, J. T. WISNER, PARKER, CLARK, WHEELER, REQUA, and HITCHCOCK.  A church was erected in 1851, on the corner of Vine and Main streets.  The society have, in connection, an elegant parsonage.  Early converts were E. CLEVELAND, BILLINGS, CLARK and Luther GOODRICH, Clara PARRISH, Lena WILEY, M. TENNY, Chas. LEE, Amanda and Electa HOLCOMB, Samuel WING, Ann HOLCOMB, Dennis LEE, Phineas P. LEE, Mrs. Warren CLARK, Angeline LYON, Harriet HINCKLY, and Hester Ann GRINNELL. 

In 1850 the PRESBYTERIAN SOCIETY at Naples erected a church edifice, in extent 44 by 66 feet, upon the east side of Main street, near the centre of the village.  The cost of the structure was $6,000.  It was burned by accident during March, 1874, and the society immediately rebuilt with brick, and put up a handsome and substantial house.  The value of church property is estimated at $6,000. 

The CHRISTIAN CHURCH dates from 1820, when Rev. David MILLARD, Joseph BADGER, James McGREGOR, and David BUZZEL of this order came to Naples and held meetings in barns and school-houses.  A society was formed at West Hollow in 1826.  The early members of this church were Mrs. Jemima SUTTON, Mrs. Judith SUTTON, Mrs. Ruth PORTER, Mr. Stephen SAYLES, Mr. Abraham SUTTON, Mrs. PARKER, Mrs. PETTIBONE, Mrs. Betsey SUTTON, Mrs. Desdemona PORTER, John PORTER, and Mrs. Eben COVEL.  The society afterwards merged into one which sprang up in Naples village, and rapidly increasing, was organized in 1842.  The Rev. J. J. BROWN was ordained, and was the first to preach to an organized church in the place.  He was followed by S. N. SUMMERBELL, J. C. BURGDURF, Rev. H. BURNHAM, Rev. FULLER, Ira DEYO, Rev. M. WORDEN, O. P. SELLON, Jabez CHADWICK, Rev. Geo. F. SEARLES, W. B. BEACH, Rev. M. LETTS, the present incumbent.  The society built a good house, 35 feet by 50 feet, in 1845.  Subscriptions were made by citizens in general.  S. H. SUTTON had supervision of the work.  The house was raised, October 25, 1845, on a foundation built for school purposes.  The church building and hall complete cost $5,000.  In 1875, the church edifice was removed to Lyon street and remodeled, and a fine parsonage erected on the site of the church. 

NAPLES BAPTIST CHURCH -  The initial movement that resulted in the establishment of a Baptist church in Naples dates to 1823.  The Rev. Eli HASKELL being invited by some of the citizens of Bristol to preach to them as opportunity should be given him, Mr. and Mrs. GILBERT, Mr. and Mrs. FOX, and Mr. and Mrs. INGRAHAM were induced to place themselves under the care of No. 9 Baptist church of Canandaigua.  Next came the Second Baptist church of Bristol, at Shotwell POWELL’s barn.  Elder COLE, an aged Baptist minister, began preaching at the town school-house, about one mile west of the village of Naples, and effecting a partial organization, drew to the village the Baptists of Naples.  In the fall of 1843, the present organization of the Baptist church and society of Naples was effected.  They met in the Congregational house, located on Main street, a short distance below the present site of the Baptist church, and permanently organized.  They soon after bought the Congregational church, and called to the pastorate Rev. David OLNEY, who served two prosperous years.  The congregation was large, and the members increased to 50.  Rev. M. TUTTLE followed for a year, and E. A. HADLEY had a like term.  There were no baptisms during these pastorates.  Rev. H. INGRAHAM appears on the minutes as the next pastor, and through the labors of Rev. Amos CHASE three persons were baptized.  A new era dawned upon the church with the pastorate of Rev. Edward TOZER, beginning June, 1840, and closing same month, 1855.  As a condition of settlement, the present church lot was purchased at a cost of $350, and the house of worship removed hither and neatly repaired.  A precious revival in 1858, at the Tenny school-house out-station, resulted in two baptisms and 12 accessions by letter the same year, bringing the membership from 47 in 1840 to 108 in 1852.  The increased attendance-necessitated the erection of a larger house of worship.  The present house was erected in 1850, at an expense of $5,000, involving the church $1300, which, after years of effort, was canceled, in the brief space of an eight months’ pastorate in 1861.  In 1855, Bro. TOZER suspended pastoral labor, yet supplying the pulpit for the two following years.  In 1857, Rev. W. F. PURINGTON, of Prattsburg, accepted a call, and served three years.  In 1861, Rev. Edward TOZER served the church again for the time noted.  In 1862, Rev. R. H. TOZER served one year, and baptized four persons.  In 1864, Rev. S. J. DOUGLASS succeeding served two years, and baptized three persons.  In 1867, Rev. M. H. DEWITT was called, and served three years, baptizing seven persons.  In January, 1871, Rev. L. Q. GALPIN became pastor, and served several years.  Some 250 have been connected with the church since its organization in 1843.  Of these, from 1847, 77 have been added by baptism. 

The health of Naples compares favorably with that of other towns in the county.  The temperature is higher in summer and milder in the valleys than upon the hills, yet the cool mountain breezes are refreshing and the air is pure and bracing in the uplands.  Everywhere are found pure springs of water, and the scenery is varied, romantic, grand.  The physical aspect of the town is a succession of hill and valley.  The highest hill measures about 1,000 feet above the level at its base.  The town is known by several sectional names, given during the period of early settlement.  These are Hunt Hollow, Garling House, West Hollow, West of Naples Flats, and Naples Flats, near the centre, a mile wide and about 4 ½ miles long, and containing Naples village.  The flats contain about 3,000 acres of alluvial deposit, through which runs the lake inlet.  The village is about 2 ½ miles long.  The main street bears east, with parallel streets on each side, and crossed by several streets at nearly right angles.  South End lies adjoining the Steuben county line, and resembles an amphitheatre, with an exposure opening to the northeast, in which direction streams run.  There are several smaller neighborhoods, as Eel Pot and Hickory Bottom.  High Point and Hatch Hill are well-known and familiar landmarks.  The inlet of Honeoye lake runs northwest through Hunt Hollow, and this and Canandaigua inlet originate in several springs a mile west of the town’s centre.  The soil is varied; in the flats is alluvial, on the side hills is shale or decomposed rock.  The uplands are clay, loam, and gravel.  It is adapted to grain, grass, and fruit raising, with eastern and protective exposure from the cold winds of the north and west.  At an early day timber was abundant and the brooks were filled with trout.  Naples contains 16,600 acres of improved land.  Upon the hills is a scattered growth of oak, pine, and chestnut, and in some localities the primal forest-trees yet stand.  The hay crop of Naples in 1865 was 5,192 tons.  The attention is largely directed to fruit-growing, which was proved profitable.  Trees and vines grow with vigor.  Full 500 acres are planted in grapes which are in full bearing, and as many more acres in apples, peaches, and pears.  The grape crop of 1875 is safely estimated at 120 tons, which found ready sale, or was used in the manufacture of wine.  Grain-growing is a second pursuit, and stock-raising is no inconsiderable business.  The hills, standing as battlements against the northern winds, are so many exhaustless magazines for constant replenishment of soil, and years to come, when the farmers elsewhere will be taxed to renew their land, the farms and vineyards of Naples will have known no change.  The county celebrates its centennial of independence, and a few aged men survive in Naples to tell the story of early hardship and courageous endurance.  To the researches of S. H. SUTTON, Esq., we are indebted for the basis of this our history of a healthful land and an intelligent people.



History of Ontario Co., NY  Pub. 1893      pg 385 - 386

Naples Churches

The church and religious history of Naples has an interest equal to its civil and political records, yet may be briefly narrated. The town now has three and possibly four active church societies, the fourth being St. Januarius Roman Catholic, which had it organization soon after 1880, but has had a resident pastor only a short time Father EGE is the present incumbent. The church edifice stands on Tobey street, in the north part of the village. The other churches referred to are the Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal and Baptist.

The present Presbyterian church and society of Naples are the outgrowth of the still older Congregational society, the latter dating its history back to the pioneer days of the town. That indefatigable Christian worker and organizer, Rev. Zadoc HUNN, conducted religious services in this town as early as 1792, but not until 1800 was there any formal organization. On February i of that year, Rev. Samuel FULLER completed the organization with these members: Nathan and Sarah WATKINS, Edward and May KIBBE, Timothy MADDEN, Mary CLARK, Mrs. PARRISH, Samuel, Susanna, Mark and Lydia WATKINS, Lemuel BARBER and Martha CLEVELAND. Rev. Mr. FISHALS preached for a time. Rev. Solomon ALLEN was the first regular pastor, installed December 75, 1803, and was followed in the same capacity by Revs. Silas HUBBARD, Lyman BARRETT, John C. MORGAN, John BURBANK, Mr. WHITE, John C. MORGAN, Henry MORGAN, Mr. EVERETT, G. T. EVEREST, Mr. ROULETTE, F. S. GAYLORD,  B. F. MILLARD, Miles B. GILSTON,  W. L. AUSTIN and B. F. MILLARD, the latter being the present pastor.

The first services were held in a log barn and afterward in the log school-house on the square. In 1823 the society began raising a fund for the erection of a church home, and in December, 1825, the edifice was completed and dedicated. However, during the course of its history this church changed its form of government and became Presbyterian. In 1850 a new edifice was built, but was burned in March, 1874. It was soon afterward replaced by the handsome structure now in use. This church has a membership of 151, and a Sunday-school of 270 pupils.

Methodist Episcopal services were first held in Naples as early as 1826, but not until several years later was a class formed and an organization effected. A church edifice was first erected for the society in 1851, at the corner of Vine and Main streets. From a small beginning this society has grown into one of the most numerous and influential in the region. Rev. E. G. PIPER is the present pastor.

The Naples Baptist church was organized in 7843, yet as early as 1826 preaching service of this society was held in the town. After organization the society purchased the Congregational edifice, and being thus provided the Baptist society became one of the permanent institutions of the town. Elder Cole, an aged Baptist minister, had much to do with the early, history of this society, and among others who followed him in pastoral work were David OLNEY, M. TUTTLE, E. A. HADLEY, H. INGRAHAM, Amos CHASE, Edward TOZER, W. F. PURINGTON, R. H. TOZER, S. J. DOUGLASS and others. The present pastor is Rev. Eugene ANTHONY.

The Christian church of Naples is now a thing of the past, the society having forfeited its property and 'the same reverted to the general conference. The church in Naples was organized in z 826, the first meetings antedating that event by several years. The society transferred to the village and reorganized in 1842, and Rev. J. J. BROWN was its first pastor at the latter place. The church edifice was built in 1845, and removed to its present location in 1875.

In the same connection mention may also be made of the Methodist Episcopal church and society at Garlinghouse in the township, of which D. A. PARCELLS is pastor; of the Free Will Baptist church society, which is under charge of Rev. LINDSAY, and of the Methodist Episcopal society at Hunt's Hollow, over which Rev. E. G. PIPER exercises pastoral care.



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