Ontario County Organized Churches
History of Ontario Co., NY
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Kindly transcribed by Deborah Spencer
History of Ontario Co., NY Pub. 1878 pg 264 - 265
RELIGION IN NAPLES
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
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.
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