Information was obtained from the “History of Oswego County, New
York", 1789-1877, published
Clifford Methodist Episcopal Church
Not organized until 1860, although a class existed there for more than a quarter of a century prior to that date. The site for the church edifice was purchased in 1958. The church was incorporated as the “Anti-Slavery Methodist Episcopal Church”, etc. and is now known as such. The first trustees after the organization were Freeman Waugh, Alexander Flint, and David L. Brown, Esq. Among the prominent early members were David Andrews and wife, Alexander Flint and wife, Henry Lansing and wife, Charles Conkling and wife, Father Morris and wife, David L. Brown and wife, E.L. Wallace and wife, Stephen Melvin and wife, Henry Cole and wife.
The house of worship was erected and dedicated in 1860. The present officers are William B. Ellsworth, Wm. Cusack, and Aaron Keller, trustees; Sanford Willis and Aaron Keller, stewards; Rev. L.R. Grant, pastor. Present membership, forty-six.
The Sunday School connected with the church has a membership of sixty teachers and scholars. The officers are J.Y. Wilcox, superintendent; Miss C. M. Graves, assistant superintendent; Miss Eunice Lansing, secretary; Miss Cora Lansing and Millard Brown, librarians. There are one hundred volumes in the library.
1871 – 1966
The Upsons church was building was erected in 1880, under the pastorate of G. P. York.
1861 – 1962
During the year 1861 the Methodist Episcopal society at Peat’s Corners erected their church. The trustees were Job Bradford, S.D. Coon, Gilson Goodwin, F. Richardson, Jr. and A. Scudder. There is at present one trustee on file, namely A. Scudder. Among the first members of the society were L. Scudder, Sr. and wife, Nathan Miller and wife, L. Goodwin and wife, Rev. Elijah Munger and wife, Peter Howe and wife, Joseph Ure and wife, Elom Thomas and wife, and Andrew Parsons. The present membership of the church is sixty-eight; number of members in the Sabbath-school, fifty-eight. Superintendent, William H. Eggleston; Assistant Superintendent, Mrs. Mary Bunn; Secretary, Amos Wood.
1840 – 1966
Organized about 1840 and the church edifice erected in the neighborhood of thirty years ago. Among the first members of the society may be mentioned Rev. Asel Harrington, Benjamin Spencer, D.C. Coe, Burt Harrington, James Harrington, Ezekiel Lewis, and Martin Campbell. The present trustees are Henry Davis, Henry Phillips, and G.P. Sayles.
There is a Sunday School connected with the church, having a membership of seventy teachers and scholars. Superintendent, Henry Davis, Assistant Superintendent, John Knowlton; Secretary, Albert Green.
1817 – ?
Was organized in 1817, with Elder Enoch Ferris, pastor, and the following named persons as constituent members; Elder Asaph Graves, Phineas Chapin, Rachel Chapin, Henry Chapin, Harriet Chapin, Hannah Williams, Jonathan Munger, and Rachel Munger. The place of holding public worship was near Palermo Center, in private dwellings and in the schoolhouse. The preachers from the organization to present have been Elders Enoch Ferris, John Evans, George Hills, Asaph Graves, and Rev. Mr. Merrit.
The society was legally organized in 1835, and commenced at once the erection of their church edifice, which was completed in 1836. It is located near Palermo Center, is of wood and its dimensions are twenty-four by thirty feet.
The first deacon of the church was Asaph Graves. The present deacons are Harvey Whitmore, Samuel Hart, Cyrus Graves, Albert Graves, Alanson Graves and John Hills.
There is no Sabboth school at present connected with the church, it being temporarily suspended.
The building at Sayles Corners was erected about 1849. On the 1875 state census, it is listed as closed. The building was used as a school at a later time, at least as late as 1905.
In 1864 the Methodist of Roosevelt and the southeast part of the town erected a church edifice. The trustees were A.G. Clark, Lyman Treadwell, and R.T. Harris. The present trustees are A.G. Clark and R.T. Harris. The membership of the society is nineteen; Sunday School teachers and scholars, sixty-two. Superintendent, L.D. Harris; Assistant Superintendent, Mrs. Peter Day. Among the early members were Father Sherman and wife, L.D. Harris and wife, Chauncey Hamilton and wife, Rufus Harris and A. G. Clark and wife.
The pastor of these appointments is Rev. L.R. Grant.
The history of this church is somewhat complicated, hence we deem it expedient to subjoin the following sketch prepared by Mr. Jacob Kendall of Volney, and furnished us by Mr. J. L. Getman, of Palermo:
“The First Congregational church of Volney was organized in June, 1812. The church record prior to December 20, 1817 is missing. On that date I notice the name of Obadiah Albe, w ho had previously united with the church. Stephen Blake’s name is also mentioned as member. At this time the church adopted the Presbyterian form of government, and remained under such for nine years, when it again adopted the Congregational polity. I see by the record that as early as 1819 our church held meetings at the Jennings Corners, calling it a branch of the church. Stephen Blake and Seymour Coe were chosen ruling elders by this part of the church on the 3rd of August, 1823. This branch of church requested to be set off as a distinct church, when Stephen Blake, Charity Blake, Miles Dunbar, Triphosa Dunbar, Seymour Coe, Phoebe Coe, Zenas Dunbar, Lydia Dunbar, Obadiah Albe, Silas Bellows, Mary Coe, Hannah Gaines, Hannah Jenningss, Laura Blake and Hannah Harding were constituted the church of Palermo. This church held its organization till the Congregational Union church at Dention’s Corners was formed, when the members voted to change their organization, and with others form that church. The first officers at Jennings’ were Oliver Leavitt, pastor; Miles Blake and Seymour Coe, ruling elders, and I think, also deacons.”
The pastors of the church at Denton’s Corners have been A.C. Lord, Norris Day, David Davis, Geroge Blossom, Olney Place. The present incumbent is Rev. Mr. Day. The present officers are J.L. Getman, Peter Tooley, Beuben Benton, William H. Crible, and Geroge M. Tooley.
The church edifce was erected in 1838, meetings having been previously held in the log schoolhouse. Its size is thirty by forty feet.
The first Sabbath-school was organized in 1816 by Seymour Coe, who was its superintendent. The school was held in his log dwelling house.
The following is a chart of the history and activities of the Methodist Churches in the Town of Palermo.
Clifford was active from 1858 - 1966, Upsons was active from 1871 -
1966, Peats was active 1861 - 1962, Vermillion was active from 1840 - 1966.
Sometimes they were different alignments within the churches. Vermillion
and Clifford were usually in the same charge but Peats and Upsons were
with other charges during the many years of their service. The Palermo
United Methodist Church was officially opened in 1968 and all of the small
churches were closed. It was felt that the bigger church would be
of more service to the area and be able to meet the needs of the people.
Even the people that agreed with the idea had some feeling about the churches
being closed. While their time may have come and gone, it is still
very hard to let go of things that have meant so much to so many people.
In the categories listed in the following chart, you will notice that the
salary looks very low most of the time. Usually the salary was divided
between two or three churches and often subsidized by Conference because
of the small number of members in each church. It would have been too hard
for the people to pay for the minister if each church had to pay the full
PALERMO UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Palermo United Methodist Church was teamed with Pennellville and Caughnoy from 1968 until 1975, with Pennellville only from 1975 until 1983, with North Volney until 1993, and a single charge church starting in July of 1993. The church was dedicated June 2, 1968. The site of the church, formerly known as Cider Mill Hill, was bought from Gurdon Trimble. Years before the building had been moved by Frank H. Jennings and used as an addition to his barn.
From the 1875 Census:
Vermillion Methodist Episcopal Church
Dentons Corners Methodist Episcopal Church
Roosevelt Methodist Episcopal Church
East Palermo Methodist Episcopal Church
Dentons Corners Union Church
Sayles Corners Baptist Church
Jennings Corners Baptist Church
1999 Town Historian - Beverly Beck