Yates County, New York

Churches for the Town of Italy

From the History of Yates County, NY
published 1892, by L.C. Aldrich

pg 485- 486


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Ashas been said of many other towns in Western New York, may also be said ofItaly, that the first denomination to obtain a prominent foothold therein wasthe Methodist.  In this town,conceded to be one of the largest in settlement in the county, a class wasformed in Italy Hollow as early as 1813.  RobertGRAHAM, Caleb CROUCH, Henry ROFF Sr., Philena EDWON, Bazaleel EDWON, AmosARNOLD, Adolphus EATON , Orison GRAHAM, Worcester BURK, Benjamin BARTLETT, JamesSCOFOELD, nearly all of them heads of families, together with members of theirfamilies, and others as well, were prominently associated with the class at thattime and in years following, prior to 1823.  The church edifice was erected in 1856 and in its steepleplaced the bell of the older church at the county seat. 

TheItaly Hill Methodist class was formed and organized at Jerusalem in 1828, and in1842 was moved to the Hill.  Threeyears later, and at an expense of more than $2,000, the church was built. The first trustees of the Hill society were Joel ANSLEY, James HAIRE,Stephen MUMFORD, Albert R. DOWING, Dr. Elisha DOUBLEDAY, Benjamin STODARD,Rowland CHAMPLIN Jr., Bazaleel EDSON and Nathan BENEDICT. 

In1816, under the ministration of Elder Jehial WISNER, the Baptist church of ItalyHollow was organized.  The earlymeetings were held in schoolhouses, but about the year 1825 a church home wasprovided.  In May 1841 a Baptistsociety, a branch or offshoot of the organization last named, was formed by theBaptist brethren in Italy Hill.  Earlyin 1842 steps were taken toward the erection of a house of worship, the trusteesto accomplish that work being Hiram T. STANTON, Levin WOLVIN, Edward SQUIER,Joseph STURTEVANT, Asa B. MINER, Abel GURNEY, Christopher COREY, Thomas B.SMITH, and Luther B. BLOOD.  In 1844the church was built, and dedicated during the fall of that year. 

AFree Will Baptist society was formed in the town in 1826, by Elder Samuel WEARE*. Among its more prominent members were the ARNOLDS, the MARSHES, theHOWARDS, the FISHERS, the DOUGLASSES, the CROUCHES and others. The society never became prosperous; never built a church, and graduallypassed out of existence after about sever or eight years. 

* Spellingshould be Elder Samuel WIRE,  not Weare, per  BarbaraWire



History& Directory of Yates County, NY 

Volume1, Published 1873

pg 443 - 447

As early as 1813 theMethodists had a class in Italy Hollow, of which Robert GRAHAM was the leader.The preaching was at private houses and school houses for several years by theitinerants who traveled the large circuits of those days. The same preachersmentioned in the preceding chapter had appointments once in two or four weeks inItaly, and their meetings then were characterized by the same fire and fervencythat was common to the Methodism of the early days. The early members of theclass in Italy Hollow were Robert GRAHAM and Mary Ann, his wife, Caleb CROUCHand Eunice, his wife, Henry ROFF, senior, Philena EDSON, Bazaleel EDSON, AmosARNOLD and Lucy, his wife, Mrs. David BURK, Adolphus EATON and wife, Mrs.Abigail PACKARD, Mrs. Fanny GRAHAM, Orison GRAHAM, Worcester BURK, BenjaminBARTLETT, and James SCOFIELD. These were all members before 1823; afterwardsJeremiah W. NICHOLS and Clarissa, his wife. After the death of Robert GRAHAM in1835 Adolphus EATON was class leader several years, and John ANDRIDGE and wife,Mrs. John F. HOBART, Potter CARD and wife, Israel HOBART and wife, StephenMUMFORD and Mary A., his wife, and Fidelia and Amy GRAHAM were members of theclass. After Adolphus EATON, Stephen MUMFORD was class leader till 1848. Amongthe members of this period were Mrs. Lois ALBRO, Joel GUERNSEY, Enoch BARKER andMary his wife, Isaac BARKER and Martha, his wife, Lewis B. GRAHAM was classleader from 1850 to 1856, and after him Daniel HOWARD, whose wife Hannah,together with Gilbert GRAHAM and Mary Ann, his wife, Charles CLARK and Vesta,his wife, Aaron MATHEWS and Mary Ann, his wife, were members of this period.After Daniel HOWARD moved away, Gilbert GRAHAM was class leader till 1867. TheChurch edifice was erected in 1856. The old bell in the first Methodist Churchin Penn Yan is in its steeple.

The Baptist Church in ItalyHollow was organized in 1816, by Elder Jehiel WISNER. The constituent memberswere William GREEN and Polly, his wife, Judith REED, mother of Truman and JosiahREED, Mrs. Henry ROFF, Henry ROFF, jr., and his wife, John CROUCH and Elizabeth,his wife, Olive P., wife of John GRAHAM, senior, Rachel, wife of John GRAHAM,jr., and others. The original records are unfortunately lost. The first ministersettled over the Church was Amos CHASE, who remained with them from 1817 to1823. He gave the first Fourth of July Oration in Italy in 1822 at the house ofSamuel H. TORREY, senior. He was succeeded by Elder Stephen WILKINS, whooccupied the new church. Before this meetings had been held in school houses.During the year of Elder WILKINS service many new converts were added to thechurch, among whom were Deacon Eldridge R. HERRICK, Hugh BURNS and Jonas HARRIS.He was succeeded by Elder LAMB, and under his ministrations William S. GREEN andothers were added to the church. Elder Isaac D. HOSFORD became their minister in1826, and remained three years. He and his wife were both distinguished schoolteachers and both taught schools in Italy. Elder Libbeus WISNER, son of ElderJehiel WISNER, was pastor of the church from 1829 till 1832, and was succeededby Dr. Caleb LAMB who remained till 1835. Elder William MOORE followed andremained till 1837. Elder William DYE was the pastor till 1841, and was followedby Andrew WILKINS who remained till 1845. His successor was Norman B. JAMES, whowas pastor of the church till 1849. Elder Charles C. PARKE followed and remainedtill 1856. After him Elder Albert DE GROAT remained till 1861. William BROOKSfollowed and left in 1863. Vincent L. GARRETT served three years and left in1867. James G. MOORE followed and served two years. Among official members havebeen James FOX, William GREEN, George NUTTEN, Jeremiah KEENEY, William S. GREEN,Alden D. FOX, Nathaniel OLNEY, John CROUCH, Thomas TREAT, Eldridge R. HERRICK.They had important revivals in 1816, 1823, 1829, and again in 1842, under thepreaching of Elders Thomas SHEARDOWN; another in 1854 under the preaching ofElders PARKE and FORBES; another in 1857 under Elder DE GROAT; another in 1866-7under Elder A.C. MALLORY and V.L. GARRETT. The church numbered sixty members in1869.

A Free Will Baptist Churchwas organized in Italy in 1826, by Elder Samuel WIRE. Ebenezer ARNOLD and wife,Stephen MARSH and wife, Adolphus HOWARD and wife, James FISHER and wife, WilliamFISHER and wife, William DOUGLASS and wife, and Artemas CROUCH and wife wereamong the original members. This organization lasted six or seven years. Itsmeetings were held in private dwellings and school houses. The Methodist classat Italy Hill was organized in west Jerusalem in 1828 and the first class leaderwas John COLEMAN. Among the earlier preachers were Manly TOOKER, Palmer ROBERTS,Thomas WRIGHT, James L. LENT, and Elder HEUSTIS. In 1842 the location of theclass was moved to Italy Hill. The church edifice was erected in 1845, byWilliam FOSTER; the cost of the building $2,200. The first trustees were JoelANSLEY, James HAIRE, Stephen MUMFORD, Albert R. COWING, Elisha DOUBLEDAY,Benjamin STODDARD, Rowland CHAMPLIN, jr., Bazaleel EDSON and Nathan BENEDICT.The principal contributors to the construction of the Church were Albert R.COWING, Elisha DOUBLEDAY, Luther B. BLOOD, Joel ANSLEY, William P. HIBBARD,William RUNNER, Benjamin STODDARD, Nathan G. BENEDICT, Bazaleel EDSON, ChaunceyW. BEEMAN, Meli TODD, Rowland CHAMPLIN, Jr. Among the preachers in charge havebeen George WILKINSON, G. LANNING, Carlos GOULD, J.N. BROWN, Chandler WHEELER,Martin WHEELER, E.H. CRANMER, J. CHAPMAN, Samuel PARKER, Charles DAVIS, A.H.SHURTLEFF, William PINDAR, U.S. HALL, E. TINKER, T. JOLLY, W. BRADLEY, A.G.LAMAN, J.W. PUTNAM, N.N. BEERS. Among the presiding Elders who first visitedthis church were William BURCH, Mr. HEMINGWAY, and Asa ABELL. Albert R. COWINGwas for some years class leader in this society, and has been followed by R.THAYER, William GENUNG, Joel ANSLEY, and Luther B. BLOOD. The present trusteesare William P. HIBBARD, George PULVER, and L.B. BLOOD. The class numbered ninetymembers in 1835 and has now about forty.

At a meeting held May 15,1841, in the district school house at Italy Hill, Rev. William DYE was chosenchairman, Jesse MCALLASTER, clerk, and John RAYMOND and John WATKINS, Deacons.There were also present William GREEN, Clark STANTON, Levi WOLVIN, WilliamKNAPP, Ezra SQUIER, Jacob MARKS, and others. A branch of the Italy HollowBaptist Church was then established. In the autumn of 1841 Elder J.H. STEBBINSheld a meeting of eighteen days and fourteen persons were baptized and unitedwith the church. In February 1842, nine trustees were chosen to select a sitefor the erection of a church. These trustees were Hiram T. STANTON, Levi WOLVIN,Ezra SPUIER, Joseph STURDIVANT, Asa B. MINER, Abel GENUNG, Christopher COREY,Thomas B. SMITH and Luther B. BLOOD. The church was built in 1844, and dedicatedin the fall. Among the constituent members were Christopher COREY and his wifeMary and daughter Diana, Butler MINER and wife, Joseph STURDIVANT, ClarkSTANTON, James WILCOX, and John RAYMOND. Among those who joined afterwards,Abraham WATKINS, son-in-law of WILCOX, James and John WATKINS, his brother. Thepastors have been Sherman DECKER, H. HUSTED, Norman B. JAMES, A.B. CHASE, PeterCOLEGROVE, H.R. DAKIN, Abel PATCHJ, A.C. AGOR, W.P. OMANS, V.L. GARRET, T.R.CLARK. Preaching is at present supplied by Elder George W. ABRAMS, pastor atItaly Hollow. The present trustees are Christopher COREY, Absalom C. LARE andIsaac WILCOX. The number of members from the first have been 180; present number21. Abraham WATKINS is the present clerk. William RAYMOND, son of Deacon JohnRAYMOND, became a Baptist preacher.


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