Yates County, New York
Churches for the Town of Starkey
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From the History & Directory of Yates Co., Vol. 2
published 1873, by Cleveland
pg 1079 - 1105
Phineas CLARK, a Baptist preacher residing
at Ovid, was the first man that preached in Eddy Settlement.
He crossed the Lake occasionally for that purpose, beginning in 1802, and
continuing two or three years, if not longer.
A conference was formed in 1803, and a church organized in 1804, in the
log house of Caleb KEELER, one of its members, residing where Dennis W. DISBROW
now lives, about one mile south of Eddytown.
It was called the “Reading Church,” and was immediately recognized by
a council of ministers and delegates. The
sermon was preached by Rev. David IRISH of Aurelius, Cayuga County.
At the close of the sermon three persons related their Christian
experience, and about midnight of the same day were baptized in Seneca Lake by
Elder John GOFF of Vernon.
Elder Phineas CLARK was the father of 11
children, three of whom, Elisha, Phineas and William, have already been
mentioned as pioneer settlers of Starkey.
In 1805, Elder Abner GRIFFIN settled on
Lamb’s Tract, just north of the residence of Stout SMITH, where the Baptists
erected for him a hewed log house. He
preached to the little church of about 12 members in a log school house, erected
in 1802 near where Starkey Seminary now stands, a building used for a town house
as well as a school and meeting house. The
next minister was Elder Samuel BIGELOW, who preached in the settlement a number
of years. Elder Simon SUTHERLAND came there on foot through the woods
to hear Elder CLARK preach, the first time losing his way in the forest.
He left an appointment to preach himself, and continued to preach there
occasionally several years. Small
as this church was, it became divided and did not prosper, but its organization
was maintained, and in 1826 its name was changed to Plainville.
In 1831 the society erected a house of worship in Dundee, and it was
built by Benjamin B. BEEKMAN. In
1839 its name was changed to the “Dundee Baptist Church.”
In 1853 they erected a larger and more costly church edifice, which was
built by William CLOSE and Samuel SPICER. This
was destroyed by fire in 1855. A
new one was erected again in 1856. Herschell
W. PIERCE was the builder, and it cost $8,800.
Among the earlier members of this church
were Andrew RAPLEE, Warren NICHOLS, David HAY and his wife, Betsey DAVIDSON,
Levi FRENCH, Isaac CORWIN, Simeon ROYCE, Moses LITTLE, Sarah VESCELIUS, James
READING, Matthew HAUSE, Abner SKIFF and his wife Mehitable, Hans CUMBACK, Sarah
MOSS, Ann PERRY, Margaret LAFEVER, Luther McCONNELL, Joel HAYES, Thomas ROSWELL,
Richard TOWNSEND, Constantine VAUGHN, Henry OBERT, Henry OSMAN, Minor LAFEVER,
James CLARK, John J. SMITH, Elias PERRY, Edwin W. MARTIN, David PETERSON, Luther
HAIR, Christopher WHEELER, Abram SHELDON, Ephraim HAY, William McCONNELL,
Bartholomew TURNEY, Samuel CHAMBERS, Jedediah CHAMBERS, Gibson ROYCE, Daniel
WILSON, Thomas HOWARD, David B. BARTHOLOMEW, Ebenezer HOLLEY, Reuben LAFEVER,
Doctor MILLARD, Lewis LAFEVER, Ephraim BENNETT, John BEERS, Alonzo W. SUNDERLIN,
George FITZSIMMONS, Stephen VAN ORDER, Jacob
SMITH, Abiah KETCHUM, Robert and Albert WILSON, Joseph KIRKHAM, Samuel BIGELOW,
Matthew HAUSE, Israel COMPTON, John ROYCE, Gilbert F. TURNER, Anson CLARK,
Theophilus EVELITH, Hope CARPENTER, Jacob Y. CARPENTER, Sarah ROYCE, Hannah
CHAMBERS, Mary HAY, Elizabeth McCONNELL, Rhoda CLEMONS, Phebe KIRKHAM, Sybil
DIXON, Ann SPINK, Zuba LYBOLT, Martha PALMER, Elizabeth HAY, Catharine RAPLEE,
Anna ROSWELL, Elizabeth and Marah BIGELOW, Sophia HAYNES, Fanny McCONNELL, Joana
HAUSE, Damaras McCONNELL, Lydia SWARTHOUT, Nancy LITTLE, Lydia FITZSIMMONS,
Phebe MAWNEY, Mary Ann and Ruth VAUGHN, Abigail VINING, Ann SPINK, Elizabeth
BASKIN, Sarah OBERT, Martha KELLOGG, Eunice OSMAN, Hannah and Sarah VESCELIUS,
Ann SWEEGLES, Susan and Zernah TOWNSEND, Nancy and Julia SMITH, Susan HAIGHT,
Celinda MARTIN, Mitty Ann PETERSON, Eliza FRENCH, Mary HAIR, Mary Ann O’NEIL,
Eliza LANNING, Diantha WHELPLEY, Catharine BARTHOLOMEW, Catharine REEDER,
Catharine TUNISON, Theresa, Mary and Miriam BEERS, Millison TOMPKINS, Mary Ann
SUNDERLIN, Elizabeth, Nancy and Catharine TURNER, Ann POORY, Mary Ann SPINK,
Abigail NICHOLS, Abigail and Waity COREY, Ruth THOMPSON, Zuba EVELITH, Esther,
Elizabeth and Betsey CLARK, Temperance HAY, Margaret, Nancy, Sophia, Huldah and
Mehitable LAFEVER, Elizabeth READING, Martha WHEELER, Lucy CURTIS, Jane and
Fanny McCONNELL, Margaret WESTBROOK, Martha VANCE, Amy CURTIS, Ann HOLLY,
Philotte ROSE, Patty, Cornelia and Caroline CLARK, Sally WILSON, Elvira MILLARD,
Phebe and Mary CARPENTER, Elizabeth SOUTHWELL, Jane KIRKPATRICK, Phebe GREEN,
Thankful DAVIDSON, Esther CORYELL, Jemima BENNETT, Artimesia WEBB, Abigail
SWARTS, Mary WINTERS, Mary Jane MOORE, Clara CLARK, Martha PARKER, Deborah
KETCHUM, Sophia HULSE.
Among the names of later members are the
following: Lewis RANDALL, Harriet PUTNAM, Elizabeth RANDALL, William PLUMMER,
Levi G. MOSIER, Allen SMITH, James D. BOOTH, Henry C. TOMS, Dorcas DISBROW,
Charles J. MILLARD, Leonard WILKIN, William
POTTS, Mary POTTS, Harriet CHUBB, Martha TITSWORTH, Alfred BARTHOLOMEW, Mark
SHANNON and Abigail his wife, John LANNING, Serepta TURNER, Daniel MILLER,
Benjamin VAUGHN, Gifford J. BOOTH, Evan M. POTTER, Ogden SHERWOOD, Andrew
BENJAMIN, Lucy RIKER, Madison RAPLEE, William B. HAMLIN, Charles HAUSE, John
COOLBAUGH, Cornelius BODINE, Harrison SHANNON, Hugh HULSE and Rachel his wife,
James M. HALL, David E. BEDELL and Theodosia his wife, Daniel WINTERS and
members of his family, Lewis J. WILKIN, Jarvis BAILEY and Lydia his wife, Henry
MALCOLM, William HARRINGTON, Elizabeth BASKIN, Wilmer CONKLIN, Alexander M.
LAWRENCE, Vermilyea T. BROUWERE, Lorenzo STANTON.
The number of members in this church in 1828
was 20 males and 50 females. The
whole number in various years was:
The clerks of this church have been:
Warren NICHOLS in 1825 and 1826; Moses S. LITTLE from 1827 to 1832; John
BEERS from 1832 to 1854; and Uriah HAIR from that time to the present, 1872.
The deacons, so far as appears from existing
records, have been: Lewis LAFEVER and Moses S. LITTLE, both chosen in 1832;
Alonzo W. SUNDERLIN, chosen in 1833; Smith HULSE, in 1838; Jacob Y. CARPENTER,
1842; Lewis J. LAFEVER and John BEERS, in 1850; Uriah HAIR and Mark SHANNON in
1854; Horace J. KIDDER and Dr. George Z. NOBLE in 1859; Julius STANTON, 1868.
The pastors have been: Samuel BIGELOW, who
served till 1831. Edward W. MARTIN
followed the same year, and remained 10 years.
Cyrus G. SMITH succeeded two years.
Philander SHEDD four years, resigning in 1849.
Oreb MONTAGUE took charge in 1850, staid two years, and was followed by
John J. SEELEY, who resigned in 1855. Frederick
GLANVILLE was the next pastor, and was followed in 1857 by T. Spencer HARRISON,
who continued till 1862, when he became Chaplain of the 126th
Regiment N. Y. V., and followed its fortunes through its entire service. His successor was David TAYLOR, who was followed in 1866 by
L. C. BATES, and he in 1867 by William CORMAC, who remained till 1870.
George W. ABRAMS succeeded in November, 1870, and resigned in January,
Elder Samuel BIGELOW, whose long and
laborious service laid the foundations of this church, did his work for very
little pay. It would probably be
just to say that he received an average of less than $100 a year for his
preaching. The records show that
his successor, Elder MARTIN, received $250 a year and his firewood, and his
successor had the same. Elder
FULLER had $200 and firewood. Elder
SHEDD had $300, firewood and house rent. Elder
SEELEY had a salary of $500, and Elder HARRISON $450, with parsonage and
donation. In 1850 an estimate of
the property of the members of this church amounted to $75,000.
The name of the church was changed from
Plainville to Starkey in 1834.
The building committee for the erection of
the meeting house in 1831 was Andrew RAPLEE, Doctor MILLARD, Thomas ROSWELL and
Levi FRENCH, 2d. The building was
36 feet by 56, with gallery and steeple. It cost $1,400, and was furnished with a bell.
At its dedication John B. CHASE preached the dedicatory sermon.
The building committee for the erection of
the church edifice in 1853 was William B. HAMLIN, David B. BARTHOLOMEW and John
BEERS. This house was dedicated in
1854; sermon by Charles MORTON.
The committee in 1856 was Samuel SPICER,
David E. BEDELL, and Madison RAPLEE. The trustees that year were Madison RAPLEE, Mark SHANNON,
David E. BEDELL, Vermilyea T. BROUWERE and Robert WATSON. The church was dedicated in 1857; sermon by David B. OLNEY.
Alonzo W. SUNDERLIN was licensed by the
church to preach in 1835, Smith HULSE in 1844, and William PRENTISS in 1847.
The choristers in 1831 were Reuben LAFEVER
and William HARMON, in 1833 Moses S. LITTLE and Doctor MILLARD, in 1835 Smith
HULSE, in 1838 Enos PERRY.
At a church meeting held April 14, 1840,
“William PLUMMER declared a non-fellowship for the church, became some of its
members had espoused the cause of Abolition.”
A few months later he ceased to be a member of the church.
At a church meeting July 17, 1857, a
resolution was adopted setting forth that Deacon John BEERS had been one of the
pioneers of the church and one of its main pillars, a prominent, practical and
useful member for 25 years, and that the fullest sympathy of the church was
extended to him on the decease of his wife, Eliza LEONARD.
John BEERS resided in Barrington, and was a son of Silas BEERS, an early
settler at Big Stream Point. He is
still living in 1872, in Ohio.
Elder MARTIN, who was long held in high
esteem by the church, died in 1850, at 62.
His first wife and the mother of Charles H. MARTIN, merchant of Dundee,
was Eliza LA HATT. His second wife
and the mother of Eliza and Mary F. MARTIN, was Celinda WALL, who resides in
Dundee, her daughters living with her. Mary
F. is the wife of Leonard TRIMBLE.
Lewis FAFEVER, one of the early deacons of the church, was also a licensed preacher. He settled before 1811 in “Canada Settlement.” Reuben and Lewis J. LAFEVER, mentioned in these records, are sons of his.
Previous to 1806 a number of ministers of
the Presbyterian faith had been at Eddy Settlement as missionaries.
On the 26th of October, 1806, a society of eight persons was
organized by Rev. Jedediah CHAPMAN of Geneva.
They were Caleb FULKERSON and Deborah, his wife, Cornelius OLMSTED, a
blacksmith of Eddy Settlement, and wife, Sarah, wife of Robert BIGGER, Martha,
wife of Richard LANNING, Isaac ANDREWS and wife. Isaac ANDREWS was a surveyor
and an elder in the church. They
held their meetings in the log school house near the site of Starkey Seminary.
To their number two more were added the next year, Salmon STILLSON and
wife. The church did not flourish,
and became virtually extinct. It
was reorganized in 1817, by Rev. David HIGGINS, Caleb FULKERSON and wife, Hiram
TITSWORTH and Charity his wife, and Clarkson MARTIN and Nelly DeWITT
constituting the membership. It was
taken under the care of the Presbytery of Bath in 1817, and was called “The
First Presbyterian Society in Reading.” It
was changed to Starkey in 1829. In
1821, Oct. 29, a meeting of the Society was held at the house of George PLUMMER,
for the purpose of incorporating itself, John O. COOK and Clarkson MARTIN
presiding, when it was voted that John O. COOK, John TAYLOR, Richard LANNING,
George PLUMMER and Timothy HURD be the trustees of the society.
James TAYLOR was then chosen clerk, and Clarkson MARTIN collector and
treasurer. In 1822 Benjamin CHEEVER
and appointed a trustee. In 1823,
James TAYLOR; in 1826, Isaac LANNING; in 1829, James H. WICKES; in 1831, Aaron
PORTER; in 1833, Frederick A. KING; 1835, Wilhelmus M. HIMROD, James M. REEDER
and Hiram TITSWORTH; 1836, John NOYES and John MITCHELL; 1838, Harvey G.
STAFFORD and Clarkson MARTIN; 1841, Joseph B. GANO and William G. FULKERSON;
1843, David LACY; 1846, William R. KELSEY; 1849, Abiel BALDWIN and Marshall J.
COWING; 1856, Nathaniel K. BEARDSLEE and James McMILLAN.
The trustees in 1872 are James M. REEDER, Abiel BALDWIN and Wallace W.
MILLSPAUGH. Many of these men were
re-elected from time to time for many years.
The clerks have been James TAYLOR, Dr. Enos
BARNES, Isaac P. SEYMOUR and James M. REEDER.
The elders have been John TAYLOR, John O.
COOK, Clarkson MARTIN, Dr. Enos BARNES, James NORTON, Patrick BRODERICK, Isaac P. SEYMOUR,
James H. WICKES, Hiram TITSWORTH, James M. REEDER, Abiel BALDWIN and James OTIS.
The preachers who have officiated in this
church have been:
Joseph CRAWFORD, who was ordained pastor of
the church and that of Wayne in 1821. He
remained two years. In 1825 Samuel
WHITE was installed, and served the church very effectively till 1831.
Linus W. BILLINGTON followed two or three years, and B. Foster PRATT two
or three more. Absolom K. BARR
labored with the society for some time. The
ministers subsequently preaching for this society have usually been those
employed at the same time at Rock Stream or at Dundee.
In 1828 a building committee, consisting of
Patrick BRODERICK, Benjamin CHEEVER, Samuel L. BIGELOW, Isaac LANNING, Dr. Enos
BARNES, John O. COOK and James TAYLOR, were designated, and they proceeded with
the work and erected a house of worship in 1825.
Patrick BRODERICK was the builder, assisted by Samuel L. BIGELOW.
It was the first church edifice erected in Starkey.
Before the steeple was finished it was blown down by a violent gale.
The house was furnished with a fine-toned bell.
The building was a good one for its day, and appears well yet, though it
has never been remodeled externally. The
bell in this meeting house was among the first within the present boundaries of
Yates County. The house was
dedicated in 1829, and Rev. Jabez CHADWICK preached the dedication sermon.
Isaac LANNING fabricated the iron spire, 18 feet long, surmounting the
steeple, also the lightning rod, making a present of both to the church.
In 1825 the church numbered 54 members; in
1826, 82; 1832, 169; 1846, 85. The
present number is quite small, owing to the contiguity of two other Presbyterian
Churches in the town. A revival
occurred in 1831, by which 80 members were added.
Among the early members of this church were Clarkson MARTIN, Mary HALL, Jerusha BOOTH, Hannah PLUMMER, Patrick BRODERICK, Sarah MARTIN, Peter HARPENDING, Micajah DEAN, Cornelia DEAN, John COOLBAUGH, Mary COYKENDALL, Matilda CLARK, Mary B. STEELE, Sarah ACKERSON, Rebecca BARNES, Lydia MORSE, Arvilla KINNAN, Phebe WILKIN, Elizabeth O’DANIELS, Mary HAYES, Elizabeth READING, Jacob DOREN, Abigail DOREN, Rebecca ARMSTRONG, Mary LANE, Pardon GIFFORD, Margaret SINSIPAUGH, Henrietta WHITE, Maria BELL, George REEDER, a blind man and a brother of Stephen and Josiah REEDER, Charlotte WEIDMAN, Delila PLUMMER, Mary LANNING, wife of Robert LANNING, Moses DEAN, James TAYLOR, Maria TAYLOR, Fanny REEDER, Sarah HURD, Susan HONEY, Nathaniel RUSCO, Silas WICKES, Morgan S. JOHNSON, Elizabeth TITSWORTH, James NORTON, James H. WICKES, Catharine BRODERICK, Letitia FULKERSON, Joel JOHNSON, Maria WICKES, Alice B. DEMOREST, Esther LANNING, Sophia BILLINGTON, Warren NORTON, Amanda C. KING, Samuel W. WILLIAMS, Eliza CHEEVER, Margaret FIELDS, Jonathan ABEL, Ansel BENHAM, Frederick A. KING, James M. REEDER, Joseph HALL, Harvey G. STAFFORD, Lavina GIFFORD, Helen SCHENCK, Catharine SCHENCK, Coe S. REEDER, Andrew BOOTH, Esther BOOTH, Eliza STAFFORD.
DUNDEE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The Presbyterian Church in Dundee has
descended from the Eddytown organization, from which most of its members drew
off in 1832. At a meeting of the
male members of full age belonging to the Presbyterian congregation at
Harpending’s Corners, assembled at the school house April 11, 1832, for
incorporating the congregation according to law, Aaron PORTER and John TAYLOR,
elders, presided; Hiram BELL, Joseph IRETON, James H. CARMICHAEL, Aaron HARWOOD
and Myron HAMLIN were chosen trustees, and it was further voted that the society
be called the Second Presbyterian Church in Starkey.
At a meeting a few days later, Myron HAMLIN was elected clerk and
collector, and Hiram BELL treasurer. James
T. GIFFORD was made a trustee in 1834; Dr. Hervey SMITH and Ezra D. COOK in
1835, Thomas WILSON in 1836, Nehemiah RAPLEE in 1839, Robert FERRIER in 1840,
Alonzo DeWOLF and John E. BLIVEN in 1841, Joel A. TAYLOR in 1844, James HOLDEN
in 1845, Alanson GABRIEL in 1846, (in which year the name of the church was
changed to Dundee), Valentine OLDFIELD in 1847, Allen ANDREWS and Benjamin B.
BEEKMAN in 1850, Joseph B. GANO and Dr. ROSCIUS MORSE in 1852, Joseph R. BELL
and John T. RAPLEE in 1853, Baltus TITSWORTH in
1855, Hiram CORNELL in 1857, Ira S. DISBROW in 1860, L. R. GAYLORD in 1861, John
BACHMAN and James HUNTINGTON in 1864, John COOK in 1870.
Many of these have been often re-elected.
The present trustees in 1872 are Benjamin B. BEEKMAN, Valentine OLDFIELD
and Baltus TITSWORTH. Since Myron HAMLIN the clerks have been Ezra D. COOK, Alonzo
DE WOLF, Nehemiah RAPLEE and Valentine OLDFIELD, the latter having held the
office 25 years. The original
members were, Elizabeth HARPENDING, John O. COOK, Sarah TAYLOR, Nancy PIERCE,
Thomas WILSON, Eunice LITTLE, Hiram BELL, Mary VAN GORDEN, Minerva RAPLEE,
Catharine IRETON, John TAYLOR, Elizabeth LONGSTREET, Martha WILSON, Jane DEPUY,
Susanna KRESS, Huldah HAIR, Eliza HAIR, Catharine LITTLE, Betsey READING,
Asenath KEYES, Rebecca DAVIS, Mary HARPENDING, Andrew HARPENDING, James H.
CARMICHAEL, Helen Maria DE WOLF, Nancy CARMICHAEL, Alonzo DE WOLF, Pamelia
GABRIEL, Alanson GABRIEL, Susan HARWOOD, Sarah WILSON, Hannah M. COOK, Aaron
HARWOOD, Sarah Ann TAYLOR, Nancy IRETON, Maria LITTLE, Martha SMITH, Aaron
PORTER, Sally PORTER, Mary Ann HAMLIN, Sarah L. PORTER, Abraham VAN GORDEN, Jane
LE MUNYON, Triphena HOLCOMB, Ruth DIXON, Elizabeth PURDY, Elizabeth HOWARD,
Philo HATCH, Jerusha HATCH, Joseph H. IRETON, Mary BELL.
The elders of this church have been Araon
PORTER, John TAYLOR, James M. CARMICHAEL, Ezra D. COOK, Isaac P. SEYMOUR.
Benjamin B. BEEKMAN and Hiram CORNELL.
The ministers have been, quite generally,
the same that served at Eddytown. B. Foster PRATT, David I. PERRY, Absolom K. BARR, A. V. H.
POWELL, preached there before 1848. Orris
FRASER, William BRIDGMAN, W. W. COLLINS, Mr. WARNER, John C. MOSES and Walter S.
DRYSDALE have been preachers in this church since 1848.
Mr. MOSES served the society upwards of 12 years, at two different
periods, leaving the last time in 1871. He
was an accomplished man, and took much interest in educational affairs.
This society first worshiped in the school
house, and afterwards in a building which was the first store of John STARKEY
subsequently converted into a meeting house.
A church edifice was built in 1844, where the old meeting house stood, on
Main street. Harvey GALLAGHER was
the architect. The edifice is 35
feet by 60, with an enclosed porch and basement rooms, and a modest steeple; is
furnished with a bell, and is a commodious house of worship.
It cost originally $1,400, and was remodeled in 1857, at an expense of
$1,000. The original building committee was Benjamin B. BEEKMAN, Ezra
D. COOK, and James H. CARMICHAEL. Samuel
SPICER was the contractor. Herschell
and Levi S. PIERCE were the builders. The
house was dedicated by Rev. Alfred EDDY. The present membership is 89.
Benjamin B. BEEKMAN came from the city of
New York in 1830, and his wife was Lydia COMPTON of that city.
He has been 38 years a member of this church, and 36 years a deacon in
1872. It is fair to state that he
has been one of the principal pillars of the society.
This church is also an offshoot of the
Eddytown Society, and was organized as the Third Presbyterian Society of
Starkey. It was organized February
25, 1833, by a committee consisting of Rev. Ethan PRATT, Samuel WHITE and Elders
John P. COUCH and Myron COLLINS. The
same day, after preaching by Rev. Ethan PRATT, the following persons were
admitted by letter: Dr. Enos BARNES, Daniel H. JOHNSON, Philander NORTON, Festus
DEMOREST, Harry R. BARNES, Thomas L. VROOM, Catharine DEMOREST, Elizabeth
HATHAWAY, Achsah VAN COURT, Mary L. LORD, Margaret DEMOREST, Mary VROOM,
Catharine VOSBURG, Betsey BACKER, Eliza, Delia M. and Woodruff L. BARNES, from
the Eddytown Church, David ABBEY, Nancy ABBEY, Tyler H. ABBEY and Horatio G.
ABBEY, from the Dutch Reformed Church at Olive, Ulster County, and Leah VAN
COURT from the Dutch Reformed Church of Norwich, Orange County.
The following resolution was passed at the
same time:-- “Resolved, That in view of the light which is thrown from the
Word of God and by His Providence on the subject of ardent spirits, the Third
Presbyterian Church of Starkey do adopt the principle of total abstinence from
the use of ardent spirits, and also from the traffic in the article, except as a
medicine. And also that a
compliance with this regulation be required as a term of membership of all who
shall hereafter offer themselves to be received by this church.”
A similar resolution was passed the preceding year, by the parent church.
At the first session meeting in March, 1833,
Patience SHARP, Charlotte WEIDMAN and Celinda C. NORTON were admitted by letter
from the Eddytown Church. Jane,
wife of Alonzo SIMMONS, was admitted by letter from the Presbyterian Church at
Whitehall, NY. Calvin SHARP was
also admitted at that time.
At a meeting of the society held April 1,
1833, at the school house at Rock Stream, David ABBEY and Dr. Enos BARNES
presided. It was voted that David
ABBEY, Garrett HARING, Daniel H. JOHNSON, Alonzo SIMMONS and Enos BARNES be the
trustees of the society. Enos
BARNES was the first clerk. In 1834
Stephen HURD was chosen a trustee. In
1835 Jonathan E. ABBEY, son of David ABBEY, was chosen a trustee; in 1836 David
C. SWEEZEY; in 1839, Gilbert V. SWEEZEY and Horace P. SLEEPER. George
T. EVEREST was then chosen clerk. In
1840 John ROSS was made a trustee, and in that year the church took the name of
Rock Stream. In 1841 George W. RUSCO was chosen trustee and Stephen HURD
clerk. In 1842 Benjamin CHEEVER and
William HILLIMAN were made trustees, in 1845 Adna AYRES, in 1846 George ROBERTS,
in 1847 Dr. Newman ABBEY, son of David ABBEY, in 1848 David C. HILLIMAN, in 1850
Charles W. BARNES. He was also
chosen clerk the next year, and has held the place ever since.
In 1851 Ralph ALLEN was chosen a trustee, in 1856 Nathaniel PENNY, in
1857 James H. WICKES, in 1859 Alvah M. NEWCOMB, in 1862 George A. REEDER, in
1865 Calvin SHARP, in 1868 Amos H. ARNOLD.
Several of these have held the office many years.
The deacons of this church have heretofore
been David ABBEY, Dr. Enos BARNES, Stephen HURD, Luther CLEVELAND, James H.
WICKES, Adna AYRES, Dr. Harry R. BARNES, Amos H. ARNOLD, and they were elected
in the order named. The deacons of
1871 were Jared W. SLEEPER, Frank DE MUNN and Calvin SHARP.
The elders of this church have been David ABBEY, Dr. Enos BARNES, Luther
CLEVELAND, Adna AYRES, Dr. Harry R. BARNES and Amos H. ARNOLD, the four latter
holding the office in 1871. Luther
CLEVELAND, who was long one of the pillars of the church, and over 30 years a
ruling elder, was a resident of Reading, a faithful Christian, and a good
citizen. He died in January, 1872, at 71.
The ministers of this church have been:
Linus W. BILLINGTON, a few months. Samuel
WHITE, from August, 1833, one year. Egbert ROOSA in 1835. B.
Foster PRATT in 1836. George T.
EVEREST in 1838; succeeded by Absolom K. BARR in 1841.
Elijah J. WOOLAGE in 1843. Ethan
PRATT in 1846. Orris FRASER in
1850. W. W. COLLINS in 1862.
Ashbel OTIS and D. C. SACKETT in 1865.
It is now supplied from Auburn Theological Seminary.
Its present membership numbers 65 in 1872.
A call has just been accepted by Charles T. WHITE, D.D., to serve as its
In 1834 the society erected a church
edifice, 1 ˝ stories high, with an arched roof.
Gilbert HATHAWAY, Sr., gave the land.
In 1864 that building was removed opposite the store of Charles W.
BARNES, and is used as a store-house. A
new edifice was erected on the same spot in 1864, in Gothic style; audience room
34 by 50 feet, and seats for 200, with two enclosed porches and a tall steeple.
It was built by George H. GILBERT and William W. DEAN, under the
direction of Charles W. BARNES, George A. REEDER, Ralph ALLEN and Adna AYRES.
It is a very neat structure, and was dedicated in May, 1865; the
dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy M. HOPKINS of Geneva.
James H. WICKES, who was a cunning worker in wood, devoted much time and
performed many days’ labor, gratuitously, as a finisher and builder, in the
construction of the new edifice.
The following is a copy of the subscription
on which the Presbyterian Church at Eddytown was built.
It was drawn by James TAYLOR:
“Whereas, it is in contemplation to erect a house of public
worship in the village of Eddytown, so called, and opposite or nearly so of the
dwelling house of James TAYLOR, and being willing and desirous of promoting an
object promising so many good and lasting benefits to ourselves, our children,
and to society at large; we do therefore, in consideration thereof, severally
promise to pay to the Trustees of the First Presbyterian Society in Reading, or
their successors in office, for the purpose aforesaid such amounts as may be
annexed to our names respectively hereunto affixed, at such time or times and in
such manner as shall be particularly expressed by us.
Dated 26th April, 1823.
HURD, $200, half in building lot, half lumber and team work.
REEDER, $50, labor, team work, materials.
R. KELSEY, $50, carpenter and joiner’s work.
SILSBEE, $50, cabinet furniture.
TAYLOR, $50, labor, materials, notes of hand.
CHEEVER, $50, to be paid in merchandise.
LANNING, $50, half lumber, half cash.
L. BIGELOW, $50, to be paid in labor.
QUIN, $25, leather or notes of hand.
GIFFORD, $25, to be paid in lumber.
FIELDS, $25, to be paid in tailor work.
C. LEONARD, $40, to be paid in hats.
H. WICKES, $25, cabinet work or painting.
P. SEYMOUR, $50, to be paid in merchandise.
TOMPKINS, $25, to be paid in shoemaking.
HURD, $35, to be paid in lumber.
GABRIEL, $25, to be paid in work.
MARTIN, $75, to be paid in lumber.
BOOTH, $50, to be paid in team work and lumber.
ACKERSON, $20, to be paid in lumber.
HURD, $30, to be paid in lumber.
PETERSON, $10, lumber.
W. BRYNER, $25, to be paid in shoemaking.
VESCELIUS, $20, to be paid in lumber.
ORR, $20, half lumber, half shoemaking.
HURD, $10, in lumber.
BARNES, $50, materials, labor or notes.
NORTON, $25, in lumber.
Twenty others subscribed $320, to be paid in
“goods of some store in Reading,” lumber, stock, hats, board, shingles,
shoes, carpenter or joiner work, team work and grain, “cash or wheat,”
&c. Their names are torn off
the original subscription, except Francis LITTLE, $10, to be paid in lumber;
Isaac YOUMANS, $5, in mason work; David S. WICKES, $15, in notes of hand; John
ROBERTS, $5, in stock; and Richard HURD, $10, in lumber.
STARKEY METHODIST CHURCH
On the old Lyons Circuit, there was
preaching as early as the year 1806, every two weeks, at the house of Andrew
HARRISON in Eddy Settlement. But
there is no record or tradition that can be ascertained of the existence of any
class within the limits of Starkey previous to 1820. In that year a class was organized at Reeder’s Corners, and
John STARKEY was the first class leader. The
original members, so far as can be learned, were: John STARKEY and wife, Joshua
TUTHILL and wife, Timothy HURD and wife, Samuel KRESS, Sr., and wife, David
SEMANS and wife, Samuel KRESS, Jr., and wife, Noadiah SHANNON and wife, Anna,
wife of Andrew KINGIN, Harry HURD and wife, Andrew HARRISON and wife, Caleb
COWING, Abigail, wife of Dr. Walter WOLCOTT, Henry BROWN and wife, Mary, wife of
Among later members are: John J. KRESS and
wife, Susan DUNN, Daniel VAN ALLEN and wife, Russell A. HUNT and wife, Benjamin
TUTHILL and wife, Charles G. TUTHILL and wife, John W. HYATT and wife, Daniel D.
VAN ALLEN and wife, George W. VAN ALLEN and wife, Matthew HAIR and wife, George
S. WHEELER and wife, Mrs. Elijah HUSON, Burgess TRUESDALE and wife, Adna SAWYER,
George VAN LEW and wife, Harry H. KINGIN and wife, Hiram and Amanda NEWCOMB,
Jonah G. HYATT and wife, Nancy HYATT, Homer W. DUNN and wife, Edward HOTCHKISS
and wife, James L. WICKES, Leverett GABRIEL and wife.
This society held its meetings in the school
house near Starkey Corners till 1828, when a church was erected.
The first trustees were John STARKEY, Joshua TUTHILL, Samuel KRESS, Sr.,
and Elisha CLARK. The
church was remodeled in 1846. Joel
G. SIMONSON did the work. The
society was reorganized and incorporated the same year.
The meeting for this purpose was held August 8th, and Nathan
FELLOWS and Joshua TUTHILL presided. Trustees
were chosen as follows: Russel A. HUNT, William ELLIS, George W. VAN ALLEN, Adna
SAWYER, Charles G. TUTHILL, Matthew HAIR and James L. KETCHUM.
Other members of this Society have been:
Thomas B. CURTIS and wife, Frances CURTIS, Elijah CASTERLINE and Sarah M., his
wife, George W. DENSE and wife, William HULSE and Mary E. his wife, Montgomery
McLOUD and Sarah his wife, Wallace W. MILLSPAUGH and Mary his wife, George MOORE
and Lovina E. his wife, Fanny DUNN, Mrs. J. Wells TAYLOR, Mrs. Daniel ELLIS,
Mrs. John STOUT, Ann, wife of Jonathan BAILEY, Mrs. Ira FOWLER, J. Elbridge GANO
and wife, Alzada GABRIEL, Sarah INGALSBE, William PERRY and Ellen his wife, John
SHOEMAKER and Mary his wife.
Among the later trustees have been: William
PERRY, Clinton C. BACKUS, John W. HYATT, Elijah CASTERLINE, Thomas B. CURTIS,
Montgomery McLOUD, Homer W. DUNN, Peleg BRIGGS, Daniel ELLIS, Nelson SEMANS,
George McMILLAN, J. Wells TAYLOR, J. Elbridge GANO, William HULSE.
Among the class leaders have been: Joshua
TUTHILL, Daniel VAN ALLEN, Benjamin TUTHILL, George W. VAN ALLEN, Charles G.
TUTHILL, Jonah G. HYATT, George McMILLAN, Montgomery McLOUD.
An adjunct of this church was a class which
originated from a revival that occurred in 1833 in the “Beartown” school
house, southwest of Eddytown. Anthony
B. RYAL and David SMITH conducted the meetings, and a class of 75 members was
formed, of which Richard HUSON, 2d, was made the leader.
Among the members were Elijah HUSON and wife, John RICH and wife, Abner
SKIFF and wife, George T. HUSON, Harriet, William E. and Maria GABRIEL, Alzada
HUSON, Allen SMITH and wife, Martin WHEELER, Sarah PIERCE, Benedict GABRIEL,
Oliver Minerva SAWYER, Jane FULKERSON, Polly STAFFORD, Nelson HUSON and wife.
In 1835 Anthony B. RYAL and David SMITH
conducted a revival in the “Stone School House,” east of Shannontown, and a
class of 60 persons was organized. James SHANNON was made teacher.
Among these were: Jared WOODIN and wife, William ELLIS and wife, Daniel
S. McLOUD and wife, Mrs. William KETCHUM, Joshua T. KINGIN and wife, Lewis A.
MIZNER and wife, Mrs. John H. KINGIN, Elijah DENSE and wife.
A revival took place at Starkey Corners in
1852, conducted by Calvin L. BOWN and Samuel B. ROONEY, and a considerable
number were added to the church. The present number of members is 60.
In 1850 the Starkey circuit was composed of
the Starkey Corners church and that at Dundee, together with the class at Big
Stream. At a later period the
Starkey Corners and Reading societies were associated under one charge, and
Dundee and Barrington another, as they now remain.
In 1850, Russell A. HUNT, George W. VAN ALLEN, Thomas B. CURTIS, Leverett GARBRIEL, Hiram NEWCOMB and Samuel F. EMBREE were stewards of the Starkey Corners Church. Since 1854, Thomas B. CURTIS, Russell A. HUNT, John W. HYATT, Elijah CASTERLINE, George McMILLAN, Adna SAWYER and George MOORE have served as stewards. Thomas B. CURTIS has been recording steward since 1854.
DUNDEE METHODIST CHURCH
This church was organized in 1831 as “the
Plainville Methodist Episcopal Society of Starkey.”
At a meeting held July 28, 1831, at the school house at Harpending’s
Corners, Asher SPICER and Burgess TRUESDALE presided, and Samuel KRESS, Jr.,
Burgess TRUESDALE, Asher SPICER, Thomas SWARTOUT, Abel PIERCE, Ezekiel BLUE and
Samuel KRESS, Sr., were elected trustees. Burgess
TRUESDALE was also chosen clerk. In
1832 Samuel KRESS, Jr., Burgess TRUESDALE and Asher SPICER were appointed a
building committee for the erection of a house of worship.
In 1833 a church edifice was built at a cost of $1,500 on a lot given by
Samuel HARPENDING, on Union street. The
house was 25 by 45 feet in size, and had a gallery and
steeple, and finally a bell. Benjamin
B. BEEKMAN was the builder. This
structure has served as the Dundee Academy since 1849, in which year it was
replaced on the same ground by a new edifice of brick, 44 by 70 feet in
dimensions, and costing, $4,000. The
architect and builder of this house was Charles V. BUSH of Penn Yan, and it is a
building of modern and convenient style, with steeple and bell.
The building committee that officiated at its construction were William
McLEAN, Samuel PIERCE, James WRIGHT, John CATON, Joseph BARTHOLOMEW, Samuel
KRESS, Jr., Alvah WRIGHT and Herschell W. PIERCE, acting with the trustees, who
were, Chillion STOLL, Isaac H. MAPLES, David SMITH, John CATON, Lewis M.
MILLARD, and Harry S. DUNN.
Other trustees of this church have been:
Edward J. SMITH, Abel PIERCE, Thomas FERRIER, Loren BARNES, Arch STROBRIDGE,
Tewalt SWARTS, 2d, Anthony B. RYAL, George W. SIMMONS, Valentine OLDFIELD, Harry
TERRILL, Stephen TOBEY, James WATSON, John SMITH, James SHANNON, John D.
CARPENTER, Nathaniel W. BARNES, Joseph HORTON, Lewis BENEDICT, Lewis BEAM, Aaron
STILLSON, Smith SHOEMAKER, George W. KINGSLEY.
Some of these have been repeatedly re-elected.
The clerks since Burgess TRUESDALE have
been: Samuel KRESS, Jr., Cyrus MILLER, Harry S. DUNN, John CATON, Russel H.
LITTLE and Nathaniel W. BARNES.
The class leaders, so far as ascertained,
have been: Abel PIERCE, Solomon WHEELER, Samuel PIERCE, Edward J. SMITH, David
SMITH, James WRIGHT, Squier MILLARD, Cyrus McALLASTER, Russel H. LITTLE, Isaac
H. MAPLES, James SHANNON, Nathaniel W. BARNES, Lewis M. MILLARD, Smith
Among the members of this church composing
its original organization were: Moses HARTER and Mary A. his wife, Charles
CHANDLER and Mary his wife, Mr. and Mrs. GILES, Burgess TRUESDALE and wife and
mother, Alvin TRUESDALE, Ira FISHER and wife, Calvin L. EASTMAN and wife, Tewalt
SWARTS, 2d, and wife.
At a period anterior to the organization of
the Dundee Church, a class existed in the PIERCE neighborhood, of which Abel
PIERCE was the leader. Among its
members were: Samuel and Abner PIERCE and their wives, Mrs. Abel PIERCE,
Deliverance SAWYER and wife, Asher SPICER and wife, and several others;
including quite a number of women. This
class was the principal source from which the Dundee Church was derived.
In 1832 the Methodists had a revival of
three weeks duration, the meetings being held in the Baptist Church at Dundee.
William JONES, Allen STEELE and Ira FAIRBANKS were the preachers engaged
in the work, and a large number of conversions took place.
Among those added at that time to the society were Nash SAWYER and wife,
Edward J. SMITH and wife, Harry TERRILL and wife, David SMITH and wife, Mary
PLUMMER, Thomas C. SMITH and wife, George S. WHEELER and wife, Jacob SMITH, 2d,
and wife, John D. CARPENTER and wife.
Among later members are: Lewis LOCKWOOD,
Samuel LAZEAR, Peter HOUCK, CLARK SMITH, Herschell W. PIERCE, Levi S. PIERCE,
Aaron STILLSON, Lewis BEAM, Oliver R. HALL, Henry DUTCHER, Joseph BARTHOLOMEW,
Ira Chamberlain, Jonathan GREGORY, Leverett GABRIEL, David C. HUSON, Calvin
HONEY, George HUTCHINS, John RHOADES, Miles SWARTS, Thomas STEDWELL, Samuel H.
TENNANT, Samuel WALLING, George WADE, Samuel H. WRIGHT, and their wives.
Also, Benjamin H. OSBORN, Andrew LITTLE, Maria, Sarah, Mary and Averill
OSBORNE, Andrew L. PUTNAM, Henry CAMPBELL, Lewis BENEDICT, Pamelia HAZARD,
Elizabeth H. ELLIS, Mary R. MAPLES, Sarah A. BENJAMIN, Cynthia STEDWELL, Delia
CHAMBERS, Eliza FORESTER, Phebe KINGSLEY, Sarah HOVER, Catharine SHOEMAKER, Mary
LAZEAR, Mary YOST, Martha BROWN, Elizabeth CATON, Vella TRIPP, Mary J. CHURCH,
Dorothea CATON, Caroline ELWELL, Mary A. FRANK, Amelia H. GAY, Hannah HUSTED,
Phebe HUSON, Mary H. KRESS, Sabra KING, Harriet KETCHUM, Mary LAYTON, Adaline
MALCOLM, Clarissa MEAD, Mary PAGE, Mary Ann SOVEREIGN, Semantha PORTER, Emeline
PAULDING, Mianda PAGE, Alice RINGER, Eliza ROSS, Zillah WRIGHT, Mary A. TUTON,
Orvilla WELLER, Mary E. WILKINSON, Harriet and Helen WHEELER,
Mary WOLCOTT, Jerusha Maria BRUNER, Mary A. WHITAKER, Mary
The stewards on the Starkey circuit in 1850
were: John D. CARPENTER, Abel PIERCE, Joseph BARTHOLOMEW, Loren BARNES, William
McLEAN and Harry S. DUNN. Subsequent
stewards were: Ira CHAMBERLAIN, John CATON, Adna SAWYER, Thomas B. CURTIS,
George W. ROGERS, Nash SAWYER, Lewis BENEDICT, James SHANNON, Joseph HORTON,
George W. KINGSLEY, Russell A. HUNT, Alfred G. BARTHOLOMEW, Eli S. PIERCE, Lewis
BEAM, Herschell W. PIERCE, Cranston HEWITT, Benjamin FREEMAN, John OVENSHIRE,
Levi ARMSTRONG, Aaron STILLSON, Levi C. KNAPP, Smith SHOEMAKER, George LAZEAR.
The present Recording Steward is Alfred G. BARTHOLOMEW.
In 1834 Joshua TUTHILL, Samuel CASTNER, Abel
PIERCE and Arch STROBRIDGE were stewards on the Starkey circuit.
Among preachers who have served in Starkey
have been, Chester V. ADGATE, Gideon LANNING, Gideon DRAPER, Jonas DODGE, Asa
STORY, Abner CHASE, Manley TOOKER, William P. DAVIS, and many others whose names
have long been familiar in the annals of Methodism in this region.
Those who have been stationed in Dundee since 1849 have been: Thomas
STACEY in 1849-50; Thomas TONSEY, 1851; John N. BROWN, 1852-3; George WIKINSON,
1854; Thomas McELHENNY, 1855-6; N. A. DEPEW, 1857; E. H. CRANMER, 1858-9;
Charles M. GARDNER, 1860-1; Thomas B. DICKINSON; 1862; Calvin L. BOWN, 1863; N.
N. BEERS, 1864-5; William W. WOHLGEMUTH, 1866-7-8; James LANDRETH, 1869-70;
Charles J. BRADBURY, 1871-2.
John W. BROWN is in 1872 preacher in charge
on the Reading and Starkey circuit.
The report of members for 1871 was 120 for
Dundee and 47 for Barrington.
Among those who preached in this region as
early as 1806, was James SMITH, who had charge of the circuit.
William CURRY was a local preacher, who settled in 1811 on Lamb’s Tract
and on what is known as the TUTHILL place.
He lost his improvements on the land by the unexpected appearance of a
claimant to the title, which had been supposed extinct.
The first preaching in Bennett’s
Settlement was by James PARKER, one of the Friends, then a Freewill Baptist, who
remarked that “if his preaching was not very good it was not very clear, as he
charged nothing for his services.”
METHODIST CLASS AT ROCK
In 1826 a Methodist class was formed at Rock
Stream, to which belonged, in the course of its existence, Enoch WILBUR and
wife, and his sons Frederick and Alfred, Isaac E. VOSBURG, and wife, Moses HURD
and wife, Isaac STILSON, Rochester HURD, Hiram and Amanda NEWCOMB, Chester
FRANCIS and wife, Judah WEEKS, his wife and daughters Adaline and Freelove,
Granville PECK, Cyrus BATES and wife and daughters Laura and Amanda, Lucy PECK,
Enos VAN TROSS and wife, Harry HURD and wife, John D. CARPENTER and wife, Lucy,
Phebe, and Maria HOWE, Adaline HURD, Maria ACKERSON, Jane SEARS, Mary FRANCIS,
Abner HURD, George W. LOVELESS and wife, Matthew RUTLEDGE, James BUCHANAN and
wife, Chidsey FIELDS and wife and Lucy FIELDS, Samuel F. EMBREE and wife and
daughter Letta, Benjamin DYKEMAN and wife, Jared WOODIN and wife, Nelson HANMER,
At one time the class numbered 60 and upwards. In 1848 a revival occurred, which added largely to the number. The meetings were originally held in the school house at Rock Stream, which stood opposite the tavern of Benjamin E. JONES in the triangular common at that point, and subsequently in the school house built on another site, southwest of the common. After the revival of 1848, the additions being largely at Big Stream Point, a change of location was effected. The revival had taken place as the result of meetings held by David SMITH, William McLEAN and James WRIGHT, at the Point. A small church edifice was erected in 1848, on land given by Timothy HURD, “between the streams” near the residence of Cyrus BATES, who was chiefly instrumental in getting the work accomplished. The building cost about $300. John D. CARPENTER, Matthew RUTLEDGE and Samuel F. EMBREE were the trustees and building committee. Alfred SOFIELD and Stephen KIMBEL were the builders. John W. NEVINS preached the dedication sermon in the fall of 1848. Calvin L. BOWN was the preacher in charge of the Starkey circuit at this time, and was effective in the work thus accomplished. Elder Abner CHASE baptized 32 persons one day at Big Stream Point, about this time. The present number of members is quite small. The class leaders in this society have been: Isaac E. VOSBURG, Moses HURD, Isaac STILSON, Rochester HURD, Hiram NEWCOMB, Samuel F. EMBREE, Chester FRANCIS, who was also a local preacher, Jared WOODIN, Nelson HANMER and Lewis BRIDGMAN. The preachers here have usually been those who served at Dundee and on the Starkey circuit.
In 1818 Joseph G. ANDERSON, a native of
Saratoga, came into Wayne, now Barrington, where he still resides at the age of
79 in 1872. He was a preacher of a
form of faith then quite new and closely allied to the Unitarian, but taking the
simple designation of Christian. They made considerable inroads into other sects, and were
bitterly fought, especially by the Methodist ministers.
Of their fold Reuben and Benjamin FARLEY, living near Hopeton, Martin
PIERSON in Benton, James POTTER in Jerusalem, Stephen LAMPHIER, Ephraim ANSLEY
and William CURRY in Reading, were imbued with the new heresy.
They were expelled from the church for unsoundness of doctrine, and no
little commotion was excited thereby. Elders
Oliver TRUE and Allen CROCKER soon afterwards visited the Lake Country and
expounded the new doctrine. They
gathered a church at Hopeton, another in Jerusalem, another in Wayne, and still
another in Reading. In 1819 a two
days meeting was held on the farm of Robert BUCKLEY in what is now Torrey, at
which Elders David MILLARD, Joseph BADGER and Elijah SHAW were present, and on
this occasion Benjamin FARLEY, James POTTER and Stephen LAMPHIER were ordained
elders. Reuben FARLEY had been
ordained to the ministry while a Methodist.
The Hopeton church was broken up largely by emigration, but left a strong
impress on that community. Among
other early ministers “belonging to this people, and who have labored in Yates
County in building up and sustaining the cause,” were: Ezra CHASE, Lorenzo D.
FLEMING and Jabez CHADWICK.
The principal fruit of this church in Yates
County is the erection and continuance of Starkey Seminary, which owes its
origin and support chiefly to this denomination.
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF
STARKEY AND READING
This church was organized by Elder Reuben
FARLEY in 1819, as the First Christian Church in Reading.
The following are names of members belonging to this church in its
earlier years: Andrew EDGERTON and wife, Enos ALLEN and wife, Timothy E. JONES,
Levi FRENCH, Buell NEWCOMB and wife, Dr. John WARNER and wife, James MARSHALL
and wife, Philip WARD and wife, Horace HENDERSON and wife, Harriet EDGERTON,
James M. EDGERTON and wife, Stephen KIMBEL and wife, Electa, wife of Alfred
SOFIELD, Joseph TUNNICLIFF, George W. WILMOTT, Huldah, wife of Ezra MARVIN,
Phebe HARING, Hannah HETFIELD, Betsey EDGERTON, and Hiram A. NEWCOMB.
Among later members have been: Hannah Jane,
wife of Hector L. LEE, Alletta, wife of William L. SHARP, Eliza Ann, wife of
John ROBERTS, 2d, Hannah EDGERTON, Eleanor, wife of Moses HETFIELD, Esther
FRENCH, Maria J. WILLMOT, Peleg H. SIMPSON, John WASHBURN, Tempe Ann WASHBURN,
W. R. PECK, M. E. PECK, Mrs. P. M. MARGESON, Daniel WASHBURN, Mrs. E. L.
WASHBURN, Philemon R. SELLEN, Lois S. SELLEN, Jane LINEON, Oscar F. INGALSBE,
Sarah WALDRON, Hector L. LEE, Shadrach CONKLIN, Albro SIMPSON, Obed P. NYE,
Isaac and Ferris HOBBIE, Linus H. FRENCH, Albert AYERS, Hester AYERS, Adelia
JONES, Maggie McMANNERS, Mary Ann MARSHALL, Jane GUSTIN, Mary A. JONES, George
W. LOVELESS, Sarah A. LOVELESS, Joseph BRIGGS, John L. BRONSON, Elizabeth
MARVIN, Ebenezer and Amanda SHEAR, Ann LATIMORE, William SAMPLE, Horace HOWE,
Harvey DRAKE, George SMITH, Sarah ELWART, Harrison S. HYATT, Phebe J. CRANDALL,
Elsie HENDERSON, William G. SLAWSON, Susannah MONROE, Enos BATES, Wakefield
JONES, Stephen HOBBIE and Sarah his wife, Isaac W. WILMOTT, John M. WARNER and
Mary his wife, William MARSHALL and Martha his wife, Buckley JOHNSON and Martha
his wife, Harriet H. EDGERTON, Maggie JOHNSON, Mary Jane TOWNSEND, Reuben B.
HENDERSON and Eliza his wife, Benjamin and Emma BABBITT, Chidsey FIELDS, Timothy
J. TERRILL, Elizabeth M. FOX, Sarah HILLIGUS, Isaac CONKLIN, Miranda CONKLIN,
Isaac LANNING and Emeline his wife, Edmund CHADWICK and Adaline his wife,
Matthew ROYCE and Jane his wife, Eliza GABRIEL, Julia CLAPP, Nancy S. ORTON,
Hannah M. JONES, Margaret FIELDS, Olive M. HAIGHT, Ezra, Catharine and William
McALPINE, George CONKLIN, Lizzie WARNER, Ella, Eugenia and Warner HETFIELD.
The church was reorganized about 1835, as
the First Christian Church of Starkey and Reading, and a chapel was built soon
after at Rock Stream, which was completed a year or two later, and dedicated.
Elder David MILLARD preached the dedicatory sermon.
It is a very commodious house of worship, is a substantial structure of
wood, 32 by 40 feet, and has a gallery. Andrew
EDGERTON gave the land.
The preachers of this faith at Rock Stream
have been: Stephen LAMPHIER, Ira BROWN, David MILLARD, Ezra MARVIN, Seth MARVIN,
Daniel BOYER, Oliver E. BRYANT, Alva COBURN, John H. CURRIER, George H. KELTON,
William B. HAIGHT, William B. H. BEACH, and Samuel S. BOWDITCH, who is the
pastor in 1872.
The deacons of this church have been: Andrew
EDGERTON, Joseph TUNNICLIFF, Isaac LANNING, Chidsey FIELDS and Ezra McALPINE.
The last two named are deacons in 1872.
Among the trustees have been: Horace
HENDERSON, James M. EDGERTON, Stephen KIMBEL, Hector L. LEE, John W. WARNER,
Joseph TUNNICLIFF, William L. SHARP, Reuben B. HENDERSON, Ezra McALPINE.
The three last named are trustees in 1872.
The clerks have been: Hiram A. NEWCOMB,
Horace HENDERSON, Reuben B. HENDERSON, John W. WARNER, George J. EDGERTON.
The latter is clerk in 1872.
The present membership, in 1872, is about
FIRST CHRISTIAN SOCIETY OF STARKEY AND BARRINGTON
In 1828 a society was organized with the
designation at Harpending’s Corners, which gathered in the former church in
Wayne; and in 1832 a fine chapel was erected for their use, which cost $2,400,
and was then the largest house of worship in Yates County.
Much public aid had been given to the erection of the church then held by
the Baptists, with the understanding that it should be free to all of whatever
form of faith. The Baptists had
obtained control, and naturally disliked to open the building to the dreaded
schismatics of the Christian denomination.
Taking advantage of their refusal, a feeling was aroused among the people
which caused the speedy erection of the Christian Church in Dundee, generally
known as the Free Church. The
subscription was started in September, 1832, and on the following 4th
of July the dedication sermon was preached by Rev. Joseph BADGER, who was
followed the same day by Rev. David MILLARD.
Both of these men were able champions of their faith.
The land on which the church stands was given by Samuel HARPENDING.
The trustees were: Daniel HUSTED, Daniel RAPLEE, Isaac LANNING, Jesse S.
LAYTON, Samuel HUSON, Nehemiah RAPLEE, Jacob HACKETT, Benjamin NICHOLS and
Samuel HARPENDING. The house was to be free and open to all religious sects and
denominations, when not occupied by the regular appointments of the Christian
At a meeting of the society held at the
school house at Harpending’s Corners on the 23d day of October, 1832, at which
Ira BROWN and Matthew ROYCE presided, the trustees before mentioned were
appointed, and were also authorized to act as a building committee, and attend
to all matters of business for the society.
The house was erected 40 by 60 feet in size, and has a steeple, bell and
gallery. John WHEELER was the
The preachers of this faith at Dundee have
been: Ira BROWN, David MILLARD, Ezra MARVIN, James M. WESTCOTT, Seth MARVIN,
Charles MORGRIDGE, Charles G. WARD, Jonathan BROWN, John H. CURRIER.
The deacons of this church have been Isaac
LANNING and Allen BASSETT.
Among the clerks of society, Daniel HUSTED
was first chosen, and was retained in that position till 1840, when he was
succeeded by John ROYCE, who served eight years.
Dan TOMPKINS was clerk from 1848 till 1853.
David M. GARDNER followed three years.
Ezra McALPINE, A.J. SWART, Daniel A. JENISON and Palmer H. BASSETT have
since been clerks.
The trustees, aside from those already
mentioned, have been: Addison B. LEWIS, Allen BASSETT, William SNOOK, John
ROYCE, Daniel SHANNON, Jr., Cornelius SICKLES, Thomas PORTER, D.G MALTBY, Moses
GUSTIN, Samuel S. BENHAM, Daniel A. JENISON, George S. BAILEY, James M.
Among the members of this church have been
following: Allen BASSETT and wife, Isaac LANNING and Catherine his wife, David
M. GARDNER and Susan his wife, Patience YOST, Clarinda, wife of James LONGOOR,
Thomas PORTER and Polly his wife, Elizabeth, wife of Jesse G. ANDREWS, Rachel,
wife of Samuel HUSON, Matthew, John and Simeon ROYCE and their wives, Lucinda
CHAPMAN, Sally BISHOP, sister, and Polly, wife of Hiram BISHOP, Orrin BISHOP and
Julia his wife, Mrs. Daniel SHANNON, Jr., and Lydia SHANNON, Cornelius SICKLES
and Angelina his wife, Moses MILLER and his wife, Deborah, wife of Rev. Ira
BROWN, Mary, wife of Elder James M. WESTCOTT, Semantha, wife of Joshua NORRIS,
Calvin BROWN and Susan his wife, Eliza, wife of James WILSON, Mr. and Mrs.
Stephen SPRAGUE, Rev. Joseph G. ANDERSON and Deborah his wife, Dan TOMPKINS and
his wife, Lydia MYERS, Benjamin VAUGHN and wife, Zenecia T. BASSETT, Mary Ann
and Elsie EDDY, William SNOOK, John HAGGERTY, David SPENCER and wife, David
ANDERSON and wife, Matilda ANDERSON, Polly CHAMBERS, Noah CORWIN, Henry FOWLER,
Uriah SMITH, Caleb C. ROYCE, Benjamin HAYNES, Bryant R. HURD.
The three last named were all natives of Starkey, and became effective
ministers of the Christian church.
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF
On the 13th day of February,
1869, Isaac LANNING and Emeline his wife, Mrs. Geraldine WAITE, widow, Mrs.
Mary, wife of Elder George W. FULLER, Mrs. Sarah, wife of Elder William B.H.
BEACH, Emily BEACH, Mrs. Elizabeth, wife of Daniel SHANNON, Almeda SHANNON,
David WILKIN, Daniel A. JENISON and Martha his wife Mrs. Lydia, wife of George
Seeley BAILEY, Oscar F. INGALSBEE and Sarah C. his wife, and Mrs. Martha GANO,
widow, met in the chapel of Starkey Seminary for the purpose of organizing a
Christian Church. Elder William B.H.
BEACH was the officiating minister, and the organization was perfected the
following day. Mrs. LANNING was
chosen Clerk and Mrs. BAILEY Treasurer. The following is a copy of the church covenant adopted by
“We the undersigned, having given
ourselves to the Lord, do now give ourselves to each other, uniting in church
organization and adopting the following covenant.
This church shall be called the First Christian Church of Starkey.
“We accept the name Christian as divinely
appointed, to the exclusion of all party names.
We receive the Bible as our rule of faith and practice, rejecting all
creeds of human invention, but not the truth which in any creed may be found.
Our test of fellowship is Christian character, a life produced by the
belief and practice of the truth given to the world in the sacred volume;
recognizing them as brethren who do the will of our Father in Heaven.”
At a subsequent meeting, March 20, 1869,
Isaac LANNING and Daniel A. JENISON were appointed deacons.
Mr. Beach continued with the church as
pastor till April, and was succeeded by Elder Lorenzo F. ABBOTT, who remains in
1872. The church had a revival in
1871, and 15 were baptized. Their
meetings are held in the chapel of Starkey Seminary.
From the History of Yates County, NY
published 1892, by L.C. Aldrich
pg. 391, 394-404, 406-407
year 1831 was noted for a new impetus given to building and other interests in
the village (of Dundee). The first
church (Baptist) was built in 1832, and in the year 1833 the Methodist and Free
Church (now Catholic) were erected. An
old Eddytown merchant once told the writer that the decline in business in that
place dates from the building of the churches in Dundee.
would be interesting if we could trace the religious movement back to the early
times when the settlers, few in numbers and poor in purse, congregated in their
log cabins for prayer and praise and when the larger congregations were gathered
together in barns and groves to hear the preached word.
Unfortunately the pioneers have passed away.
The march of time has wiped out all those old landmarks, and the memory
of those times, treasured in many hearts, but scantily recorded, have passed
away with them beyond any hope of recovery, and there are few traditions that
would give us much light on the happenings of those long ago times.
We must begin at a later date and tell what has happened under our own
year 1830 we find the Methodists strongly entrenched at Starkey’s Corners.
Their church edifice, now standing, was built in the year 1821, and from
that time the church has flourished and grown until it has become one of the
strongholds of Methodism in the county. Among
the members were numbered the TUTHILLS, VAN ALLENS, HURDS, SEAMANS, TRUESDELLS,
HUNTS, PIERCES and HYATTS, of blessed memory.
time the village and church were at their zeniths; since then there has been a
gradual decline of both. The
village has disappeared and the church has been weakened by deaths and other
causes until it has become one of the weaker churches in the connection.
has been said of the Methodist church would in a degree apply to the
Presbyterian. They had selected
Eddytown as their base and had become a strong body.
The Eddytown church was organized in April 1822, and the church edifice
was built soon after. The church
was strong in numbers, and among its members, James TAYLOR, was a leading member
of the bar of Yates County, and afterward a resident of Penn Yan.
Other names were John O. COOK, John TAYLOR, James H. CARMICHAEL, Hiram
TITSWORTH, Isaac P. SEYMOUR, Hon. James NORTON, P. BRODERIC, Harvey WEEKS,
Clarkson MARTIN, Benjamin CHEEVER, Dr. Enos BARNES, Nathaniel ROSCOE, Thomas
WILSON, Pardon GIFFORD. The Rev. Charles WHITE officiated either as pastor or
“supply”. Mr. WHITE was a ripe
scholar, and after his connection with the church was dissolved, was for years
principal of Ovid and Prattsburgh Academies.
first Baptist organization was in 1812, at Eddytown, which at the time was in
the extensive town of Reading, and was called the “Baptist church of
Reading”, finally re-named the “Baptist Church of Starkey”.
The church did not flourish there; it was overshadowed by the
Presbyterians, so it drifted away, stopping for a while at Beartown school
house, but finally settling at Harpending’s Corners, where it obtained a
permanent foothold, and there, under a new organization, it has remained.
Harpending’s Corners at that time was considered of little importance,
and for several years its possession was not disputed by other denominations.
Elder Samuel BIGELOW was a zealous man of great energy, just the man for
the times. His ministrations were
scattered over a great deal of territory, and there effects cannot be as easily
estimated as they could be if they had occupied less space. There is a class of unrecognized benefactors; their service
is none the less because it is unrecognized.
Elder Simon SUTHERLAND often lent a helping hand.
In his old age, with tremulous voice, he loved to tell in his quaint way
of his journeyings from Second Milo to Eddytown and Harpending’s Corners,
through the wilderness, guided by marked trees (there were few roads in those
days), taking his chances against wild beasts, the terror of the forests, to
dispense the everlasting Word. Of
the unrecognized benefactors, Rev. Simon SUTHERLAND deserves a high position.
His ministerial labors extended over a series of fifty years, for which
he not only never asked but refused to receive any compensation.
labor of those fathers in the ministry have never been appreciated as they
deserve. It is a pity that more is
not known of them, their privations and hardships.
This is a busy world now a days, and it does not pause to inquire of what
does not concern it. Theirs is a
common story, often told. All
labor, all self-denial, little else; a small pittance given grudgingly and
called charity. It seemed to make
no difference with those pioneer preachers or their labors.
They were encouraged and buoyed up, not by what they had or expected to
have here, but by the anticipation of what was to come in the future.
Like the great apostle they labored with their hands for their support,
and after a day of toil would return to their poor homes and taking the Bible
from the shelf perhaps would read that “It is easier for a camel to pass
through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of
Heaven”, and they would thank God devoutly that they were not rich.
Or they might read of the beautiful city with streets of gold and
foundations of precious stones. This
was their inheritance, this was durable riches.
They were positive in these possessions.
To others it might be romance; to them it was real, and so they labored
and prayed and went to their reward, and the world was better for their having
lived in it.
preaching of those days would not have been acceptable in these times, neither
would the present style have pleased the pioneers.
They were stalwarts and required strong spiritual food and a good deal of
it, including hard doctrinal sermons. There
was more fire and brimstone than love in sermons of those days.
year 1832 was a notable one in the religious history of the village.
In that year the first church edifice erected in Dundee was completed
(The Baptist). The Presbyterian
Church was organized and the first class of the Methodist Church was formed.
The Presbyterian Church was a icon from the Eddytown church.
Its beginnings were exceedingly small; a mere handful, so to speak, were
organized into a church that year. The
church supplied with preaching from the parent church.
The Rev. William BILLINGTON supplied both pulpits, preaching in the
morning here, and in the afternoon at Eddytown.
proportion of the salary paid by the Second Presbyterian Church of Starkey (I
believe that was the title), was $100 a year.
Even this small sum was not raised without difficulty. Mr. BILLINGTON was very popular with both congregations, and
his removal was generally regretted. He
moved to the western part of the State, and a short time ago was living at a
very advanced age. So far as
remembered the male members of the church as organized were: John TAYLOR, James
H. CARMICHAEL, Aaron PORTER, Mr. HATCH, Joseph IRETON, Thomas WILSON and Alonzo
DE WOLF – a very small number. Mr.
BELL was a very liberal giver to the church, and among the gifts was the lot
upon which the parsonage was erected. Joel
A. TAYLOR, Ezra D. COOK, Benjamin B. BEEKMAN and Baltis TITSWORTH came into the
church a few years later, and were active and efficient members.
To the latter two, thee late Mr. BEEKMAN and our esteemed citizen, Baltis
TITSWORTH, the church is under many obligations.
Both have done good service and have tided the church over many
difficulties. Without the help and
the generosity of these families the present beautiful structure would not have
been erected. John TAYLOR and James
H. CARMICHAEL were ruling elders in those early days of the church. How readily the picture of those worthies comes up before me,
seated on a bench, one on each side of the preacher’s desk, calm, sedate and
dignified. A smile in church would
to them have been a sin. Grand old
men they were, long since gone to their reward.
the early years of the church, the late Myron HAMLIN and Nehemiah RAPLEE
contributed liberally to its support. Soon
after the church was organized, the present site of the new church edifice was
purchased. On the lot at that same
time was the building formerly built and occupied by John STARKEY as a store, an
old dilapidated concern, “painted red”.
The building, repaired and added to and seated with benches, was used on
Sundays as a place of worship, and on week days was rented for school purposes.
For about ten years it was the meeting place of the church, when it was
removed, and the building demolished about five years ago, was erected in its
place. The price paid for the lot
and building was about $400, and the repairs about $150 more, making an
aggregate of $550. From the best
information obtained this is the only church building that was completed without
debt, except the Baptist Church, which was built and donated by H. SHANNON.
The building was not elegant, but it was comfortable and served the
purposes of the church until a better one could be afforded.
are the names of the ministers who have served as pastor of Dundee Presbyterian
Church, with the date of their terms of service:
William BILLINGTON, 1832; B. Foster PRATT (first time), David Perry, B.
Foster PRATT (second time); Avon H. POWELL 1845-1848; William BRIDGEMAN,
1848-49; MR. FRAZER, John C. MOSES (first time), 1852 – 1857; J. K. WARNER,
1857 – 1859; W. W. COLLINS, 1859 – 1861; J. C. MOSES (2nd time),
1862 – 1871; Walter S DRYSDALL, 1871 – 1872; S. A. RAWSON, 1873-74; Nathan
BOSWORTH, 1874 – 1883; W. H. TRACY, 1884 –1887; Stanley B. ROBERTS, 1887 –
latter part of 1830 the Baptists called the Rev. F. W. MARTIN of Geneva to be
their pastor. This pastorate
continued until 1841 or 42, and is the longest on the records of the church
under its present organization. It
would probably have continued longer had it not been for the anti-slavery
question. During all those years
the spirit of peace and harmony brooded over the church.
Its membership was largely increased and the foundation was laid for its
present commanding position.
early months of 1831 the question of building a “meeting house” was
agitated. Such a house had become a
necessity, and a subscription was circulated to raise the necessary funds for
considerable portion of those subscriptions were payable in labor and materials.
Andrew RAPLKEE headed the list with a gift of $100.
He also gave a large amount in timber for which there was no charge.
Samuel HARPENDING donated the lot and $100. These were the largest subscriptions on the list.
Excepting the above, which were cash, no amount appears on the paper over
$50. It was no easy matter to raise
the comparatively small amount needed to build the church edifice proposed.
It required a resolute and patient effort, and after obtaining all
possible by subscription, there was still a deficiency.
The building of the church was commenced in the spring of 1831.
Benjamin B. BEEKMAN was the contractor.
There were the usual delays, and it was not completed until some time in
June 1832. the building, as
compared with the present edifices in this village, was a small affair, but it
averaged well with the same kind of buildings at the time.
It cost less than $2,000 but small as that amount appears it was too
large for the subscriptions, and a deficiency was reported of $300 at date of
dedication. This seeming small
amount, which nowadays would be paid for a pair of diamond earrings or a
seal-skin sack without much consideration, remained unpaid for some years and
was a grievous burden. The members
were poor, with a few exceptions, and the greater number were in debt for their
farms. The aggregate wealth of the
church did not exceed $40,000 and was probably less.
The debt was a source of annoyance to pastor and people.
At a meeting called for the consideration of “ways and means” for
payment, the pastor proposed to allow $50 a
year to be deducted from his meager salary, to be applied to extinguish the
indebtedness. This offer was accepted and that amount for three years was
regularly deducted from his yearly stipend.
a deed was given for the lot a defect was discovered in the organization of the
church. It was considered doubtful
whether by that organization it was legally entitled to become owner and holder
of real estate. The machinery of
the Baptist Church is so extremely simple that this defect was easily remedied.
The male members met at the pastor’s house and organized the “Baptist
Church of Plainville”. The
meeting in a private house was a common occurrence.
The ordination services of Elder BIGELOW were held in his dwelling.
The schoolhouse during the secular days of the week were used for school
purposes, hence the necessity of resorting to private dwellings.
The regular Sunday service was sometimes held in private houses.
The writer remembers one held at the dwelling of Thomas ROSZELL. At the close of the service there was a general invitation
for the congregation to remain to dinner, and the greater part accepted.
The tables were bountifully spread with good things, and the most pleased
of the party were host and hostess. At
the time of the organization of the Baptist Church of Plainville, the male
members were Andrew RAPLEE, Thomas ROSZELL, Dr. Millard DEACON, Moses S. LITTELL,
John BEERS, Levi FRENCH, Deacon Lewis LA FEVAR, father of the late Deacon LA
FEVAR, Samuel CONKLIN, Ephraim BENNETT, Abram SHELDON, Henry OSMAN, Joel HAYES,
David PETERSON, Daniel MILLER, Alonzo W. SUNDERLIN (afterward ordained a
minister), David B. BARTHOLOMEW, Abia KETCHUM, David HAYES Sr., Richard
TOWNSEND, John HARMON and Daniel WILSON.
year 1834 the name of the church was changed from Plainville to Dundee.
Of the members of the Baptist Church of Plainville at its organization,
not one is now living. The
following is a complete list of the pastors that have served the Baptist Church
since its first organization: Samuel BIGELOW, Baptist Church, Reading, 1812; E.
W. MARTIN, Plainville, later Dundee, 1831-1842; C. S. SMITH, 1841-1843; J. J.
FULLER, 1843; Philander SHEDD, 1845-1850; O. MONTAGUE, 1850-1852; J. L. SEELEY,
1852-1855; F. GLENVILLE, 1855-1856; T. S. HARRISON, 1857-1862; Daniel TAYLOR,
1863-1866; L. C. BATES, 1867-1869; William CORMAC, 1867-1870; G. W. ABRAMS,
1870-1871; William H. PEASE, 1873; James MULLEN, 1873; W. N. TOWER, 1876;
William WENTWORTH, 1880; Isaac B. THOMPSON, 1881-1883; W. F. BENEDICT,
1883-1886; Jesse A. HENGATE, 1886-1890, R. H. COLBY, 1891.
year 1833 a band of Christian ministers invaded Dundee for the purpose of
holding a series of meetings and if sufficiently encouraged, of forming a
church. Among the number were the
Revs. Ira BROWN, Millard BADGER, and Dr. HOLLAND (whether it was the “Timothy
Titcomb” HOLLAND or another person of the same name, the writer does not know;
some persons who made his acquaintance aver that it was the veritable Timothy).
The ministers applied to the Baptist trustees for the privilege of
holding the meetings in their church. The
request was refused.
one standpoint the refusal was unwise. It
alienated friends and exasperated nearly the whole community.
In those early times the people in all matters of difference usually
“took sides” and so a fierce and bitter controversy was the result, and the
church was placed in a wrong position, on the defensive.
And so it came to pass from the refusal of the trustees came the building
of the Free Church. The ministers
secured the use of a large barn belonging to Jacob HACKETT, located on a lot now
owned by Mr. OLDFIELD. In that barn
they held their meetings of several days duration, and in it was organized the
Christian Church of Dundee.
the dissatisfaction at the refusal of the Baptist trustees was highest the
project of building a free church was agitated, and a subscription to
raise the necessary funds was circulated. The
responses were liberal and there was soon enough to warrant the commencement of
the undertaking. Samuel HARPENDING
came down with his usual subscription of $50 and the building lot.
The terms of the subscription were curious.
After reciting the grievances it went on to say in substance that the
proposed church should be absolutely free to any or all sects, denominations or
individuals, that no one should ever be debarred from its use on account of
religious belief, whether Pagan, Mahometan, Jew or Christian.
The terms of the subscription paper gave to the infidel, deist or
atheist, or the disciple of Buddah, the same rights and privileges as those of
the most orthodox sects. The terms
of the subscription were never repudiated while under the control of the free
church or Christian trustees. From
its pulpit, Christians, Presbyterians, Methodists and Universalists have
proclaimed their doctrine and dogmas.
Christian Church organization was continued for many years. The building of Starkey Seminary diverted the attention of
the church to that place, and the organizing of the church at Rock Stream so
weakened this church, that it ceased to exist.
As was the case with the other churches, the subscriptions for the
building of the free church were insufficient and the curse of debt rested upon
it. For the payments of the debt,
it was mortgaged, and as time went on and the excitement that brought it into
existence, was forgotten, no provision for the payment of the debt having been
made, the mortgage was foreclosed, and at the sale of the church was bid off by
Daniel SHANNON, who donated it to the Christian Church.
There was a proviso in the deed given for the lot that when it ceased to
be used for religious purposes it should revert to the original owners.
The Christian Church having abandoned it, the lot became the property of
the Harpending estate and was sold with the building to the present owners, the
Methodists from the smallest beginning numerically have become the largest in
the village. The first Methodist
class was formed in the year 1833. It
was the outcome of a “protracted meeting” held in connection with the
Baptists the previous year. The
class numbered but a few members. I
can remember only the three PIERCE brothers, Abel, Samuel and Abner, Arch
STROWBRIDGE, Thomas SWARTHOUT, Asher SPICER, Nash SAWYER, Dill SAWYER, Isaac H.
MAPLES, Edward J. SMITH, Burgess TRUESDELL, Charles CHANDILER.
If there were any others among the male members, their names have escaped
my memory. The wives of males named
were all members. An effort was at
once made to secure subscriptions for the building of a chapel.
The chapel was built by donations of labor, timber and other materials,
but still there remained a debt on it that harassed the society for a number of
years. Samuel HARPENDING donated a
lot and $50, his usual subscription. In
1835 the quarterly conference made a recommendation to liquidate the debt.
This chapel was used until 1849, when it was moved off the lot and used
for an academy and other purposes, and is now a part of the Casino.
brick church was built on the same site. It
is a singular coincidence that each of the three Protestant churches have built
three houses of worship. The chapel
was queerly arranged, being long and narrow, with galleries on two sides and one
end, a single aisle running form the door to the alter, with long benches
running from the aisle to the wall. The
aisle separated the sexes, the men and women sitting on different sides.
This was at the time the custom in all churches.
The benches were not ornamented, but for comfort were an improvement over
pews of the churches of the times and the other churches of the village.
the conspicuous and active members who came into the church in those early days
were David SMITH, Lewis MILLARD, Loren BARNES, and James WRIGHT, and afterward,
William MC LEAN. These with the
older members formed a band of earnest workers.
The church began to be heard from the first, and its meetings both for
preaching and prayer were largely attended and the church soon became a power in
preaching was “served” by circuit preachers.
These preachers were hard workers and poorly paid.
Three sermons on Sunday, with a ride of miles between their appointments,
were their usual work. A few
specimens will illustrate how small was the amount paid for their services.
The circuit was very large, covering most of Yates County and part of
Steuben and Schuyler. The three
ministers received that year (1826) $231.71.
The succeeding year, Abner CHASE was still presiding elder, and Dennison
SMITH and Nathan B. DALSON were the circuit preachers and received $345.56 for
1830-31, R. M. EVARTS and C. STORY served the circuit and received for their
services $388.72, including presiding elder’s claims.
Who remembers the Methodist circuit preachers of olden times?
There was a tacit regulation in their dress and equipage.
The sulky, the clerical coat, unusually of indigo-blue broadcloth, the
white neck cloth, and summer or winter, the inevitable tall white beaver hat.
They always drove fine horses, and it was generally understood that the
circuit preachers were good judges of horse-flesh. There have been greater preachers than those poorly paid
ministers of the circuit, but the list of names in one that any church might be
proud to recognize. Some of them
became eminent in there denomination. Many
of the churches for the first few years had a hard struggle for existence, and
had it not been for the fidelity and devotion of the early members would have
perished in their infancy. The
circuit system was good for those early times, but he country has outgrown it,
and except in newly settled portions it has bone into disuse.
The name of Abner CHASE often appears in the early history of the church.
He honored the office of presiding elder for two or more terms. His record is one of fidelity and confidence –fidelity on
his part to his duties and obligations to his church, and confidence on the part
of those over whom he presided. Outside
the church he was respected and reverenced for his sterling worth.
the great moral questions of the times the Methodist Church has been on the
right side. Early in its history
stringent temperance resolutions were passed and it was strongly anti-slavery.
The building of the last church gave it an impetus and its future looks
brighter than ever before.
great religious awakening of the century occurred in the years 1831-32.
Never since the times when Wesley and Whitfield preached repentance
throughout the length and breadth of the land, has there been anything
comparable to it in extent and interest. In
the years mentioned, Rev. Charles G. FINNEY (afterward president of the Oberlin
College) preached and held revival meetings in this and adjoining States.
The interest created by those meetings spread and widened until it
reached the smaller villages, the hamlets, and the school districts.
The additions to the churches during those years were numbered by
fall or early winter of 1832, there was held in what is now Dundee, then
Plainville or Harpending’s Corners, the first “protracted meeting”. My recollection is that the meeting was projected by the
Methodists, and after its commencement the Baptists joined and made it a union
meeting, or it may have been union form the commencement.
It was held in the Baptist Church. The
Methodists were represented by their circuit preacher, the Rev. W. JONES, and
the Rev. Dr. COMSTOCK, of Trumansburg, and the Baptists by their pastor, Rev. E.
W. MARTIN and the Rev. Joseph SHEARDOWN, an evangelist of considerable local
fame. The meeting was continued 22
days and the converts numbered considerably more than 100.
As a result of these meetings the churches received numerous additions,
and from the converts and others the first Methodist class was formed.
results of that period may be of sufficient importance to warrant a few lines,
more or less, to be added to those already written.
Who would have ventured the prediction of New Year’s day of 1885, that
on New Years’ day of 1888 there would have been built within three years, four
beautiful churches, at an aggregate cost of $40,000, nod that three good
buildings of the same kind would have been demolished to make room for new and
better ones. The Rev. William TRACY
commenced his labors as pastor of the Presbyterian Church eight years ago, with
a membership of 65. The church had
then been organized fifty-two years. During
his pastorate of four years there were added ninety members.
The number at the time of his resignation was 147, after deducting for
deaths and removals nearly one and one half of the original number.
There was but one communion while he was pastor, in which there was no
addition. Mr. TRACY was followed by
Rev. Stanley B. ROBERTS four years ago, who had just closed his pastorate and
removed to Utica. During Mr.
ROBERT’s labors there were added 110. The
pulpit is now supplied by their new pastor, the Rev. Augustus FREDERICK.
HUNGATE closed his four years’ pastorate with the Baptist Church and accepted
a call from the Baptist Church of Hornellville.
Mr. HUNGATE’s labors were acceptable to his people and his removal was
very much regretted. With the past
eight years the Methodist Episcopal Church has had phenomenal additions and the
other churches report satisfactory gains.
Catholic Church has been organized about twelve years.
It numbers about 125 members. Service
is held once in three weeks. Father
Eugene PAGANI, the priest, is very popular with his church, and has made hosts
of friends outside of his own pastorate. At
the present time he is under treatment for disease of the eyes, which has nearly
deprived him of sight. All who know
him wish him a speedy recovery.
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