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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has been said of many other towns in Western New York, may also be said of
Italy, that the first denomination to obtain a prominent foothold therein was
the Methodist. In this town,
conceded to be one of the largest in settlement in the county, a class was
formed in Italy Hollow as early as 1813. Robert
GRAHAM, Caleb CROUCH, Henry ROFF Sr., Philena EDWON, Bazaleel EDWON, Amos
ARNOLD, Adolphus EATON , Orison GRAHAM, Worcester BURK, Benjamin BARTLETT, James
SCOFOELD, nearly all of them heads of families, together with members of their
families, and others as well, were prominently associated with the class at that
time and in years following, prior to 1823. The church edifice was erected in 1856 and in its steeple
placed the bell of the older church at the county seat.
Italy Hill Methodist class was formed and organized at Jerusalem in 1828, and in
1842 was moved to the Hill. Three
years 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.
1816, under the ministration of Elder Jehial WISNER, the Baptist church of Italy
Hollow was organized. The early
meetings were held in schoolhouses, but about the year 1825 a church home was
provided. In May 1841 a Baptist
society, a branch or offshoot of the organization last named, was formed by the
Baptist brethren in Italy Hill. Early
in 1842 steps were taken toward the erection of a house of worship, the trustees
to 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 1844
the church was built, and dedicated during the fall of that year.
Free Will Baptist society was formed in the town in 1826, by Elder Samuel WEARE*.
Among its more prominent members were the ARNOLDS, the MARSHES, the
HOWARDS, the FISHERS, the DOUGLASSES, the CROUCHES and others.
The society never became prosperous; never built a church, and gradually
passed out of existence after about sever or eight years.
History & Directory of Yates County, NY
Volume 1, Published 1873
pg 443 - 447
As early as 1813 the Methodists 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 the itinerants who traveled the large circuits of those days. The same preachers mentioned in the preceding chapter had appointments once in two or four weeks in Italy, and their meetings then were characterized by the same fire and fervency that was common to the Methodism of the early days. The early members of the class in Italy Hollow were Robert GRAHAM and Mary Ann, his wife, Caleb CROUCH and Eunice, his wife, Henry ROFF, senior, Philena EDSON, Bazaleel EDSON, Amos ARNOLD and Lucy, his wife, Mrs. David BURK, Adolphus EATON and wife, Mrs. Abigail PACKARD, Mrs. Fanny GRAHAM, Orison GRAHAM, Worcester BURK, Benjamin BARTLETT, and James SCOFIELD. These were all members before 1823; afterwards Jeremiah W. NICHOLS and Clarissa, his wife. After the death of Robert GRAHAM in 1835 Adolphus EATON was class leader several years, and John ANDRIDGE and wife, Mrs. John F. HOBART, Potter CARD and wife, Israel HOBART and wife, Stephen MUMFORD and Mary A., his wife, and Fidelia and Amy GRAHAM were members of the class. After Adolphus EATON, Stephen MUMFORD was class leader till 1848. Among the members of this period were Mrs. Lois ALBRO, Joel GUERNSEY, Enoch BARKER and Mary his wife, Isaac BARKER and Martha, his wife, Lewis B. GRAHAM was class leader 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. The Church edifice was erected in 1856. The old bell in the first Methodist Church in Penn Yan is in its steeple.
The Baptist Church in Italy Hollow was organized in 1816, by Elder Jehiel WISNER. The constituent members were William GREEN and Polly, his wife, Judith REED, mother of Truman and Josiah REED, 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 minister settled over the Church was Amos CHASE, who remained with them from 1817 to 1823. He gave the first Fourth of July Oration in Italy in 1822 at the house of Samuel H. TORREY, senior. He was succeeded by Elder Stephen WILKINS, who occupied 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 the church, 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 and others were added to the church. Elder Isaac D. HOSFORD became their minister in 1826, and remained three years. He and his wife were both distinguished school teachers and both taught schools in Italy. Elder Libbeus WISNER, son of Elder Jehiel WISNER, was pastor of the church from 1829 till 1832, and was succeeded by Dr. Caleb LAMB who remained till 1835. Elder William MOORE followed and remained till 1837. Elder William DYE was the pastor till 1841, and was followed by Andrew WILKINS who remained till 1845. His successor was Norman B. JAMES, who was pastor of the church till 1849. Elder Charles C. PARKE followed and remained till 1856. After him Elder Albert DE GROAT remained till 1861. William BROOKS followed and left in 1863. Vincent L. GARRETT served three years and left in 1867. James G. MOORE followed and served two years. Among official members have been 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 the preaching of Elders Thomas SHEARDOWN; another in 1854 under the preaching of Elders PARKE and FORBES; another in 1857 under Elder DE GROAT; another in 1866-7 under Elder A.C. MALLORY and V.L. GARRETT. The church numbered sixty members in 1869.
A Free Will Baptist Church was 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, William FISHER and wife, William DOUGLASS and wife, and Artemas CROUCH and wife were among the original members. This organization lasted six or seven years. Its meetings were held in private dwellings and school houses. The Methodist class at Italy Hill was organized in west Jerusalem in 1828 and the first class leader was John COLEMAN. Among the earlier preachers were Manly TOOKER, Palmer ROBERTS, Thomas WRIGHT, James L. LENT, and Elder HEUSTIS. In 1842 the location of the class was moved to Italy Hill. The church edifice was erected in 1845, by William FOSTER; the cost of the building $2,200. The first trustees were Joel ANSLEY, 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, Chauncey W. BEEMAN, Meli TODD, Rowland CHAMPLIN, Jr. Among the preachers in charge have been 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 visited this church were William BURCH, Mr. HEMINGWAY, and Asa ABELL. Albert R. COWING was 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 trustees are William P. HIBBARD, George PULVER, and L.B. BLOOD. The class numbered ninety members 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 chosen chairman, Jesse MCALLASTER, clerk, and John RAYMOND and John WATKINS, Deacons. There were also present William GREEN, Clark STANTON, Levi WOLVIN, William KNAPP, Ezra SQUIER, Jacob MARKS, and others. A branch of the Italy Hollow Baptist Church was then established. In the autumn of 1841 Elder J.H. STEBBINS held a meeting of eighteen days and fourteen persons were baptized and united with the church. In February 1842, nine trustees were chosen to select a site for 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 dedicated in the fall. Among the constituent members were Christopher COREY and his wife Mary and daughter Diana, Butler MINER and wife, Joseph STURDIVANT, Clark STANTON, James WILCOX, and John RAYMOND. Among those who joined afterwards, Abraham WATKINS, son-in-law of WILCOX, James and John WATKINS, his brother. The pastors have been Sherman DECKER, H. HUSTED, Norman B. JAMES, A.B. CHASE, Peter COLEGROVE, 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 at Italy Hollow. The present trustees are Christopher COREY, Absalom C. LARE and Isaac WILCOX. The number of members from the first have been 180; present number 21. Abraham WATKINS is the present clerk. William RAYMOND, son of Deacon John RAYMOND, became a Baptist preacher.
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* Spelling should be Elder Samuel WIRE, per Barbara Wire