Yates County, New York

Churches for the Town of Torrey

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

pg 440- 442


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TorreyChurch History  

Religiousservice of various church societies have from time to time been conducted in thetown of Torrey, but of the many denominations that have had a temporaryexistence in the town, but three have found here a permanent abiding place. With the possible exception of the first Presbyterian church of Benton(from which town Torrey was in part formed), which had its organization duringthe early years of the century, the Methodists appear to have been the pioneersin making church.  But of coursefrom this statement must also be excepted the Society of Friends, who built alog meeting house in 1791. 

In1827 Dresden was made an appointment in the Crooked Lake Methodist Episcopalcircuit, at which time Dennison SMITH and Jacob EARLY were circuit preachers,and conducted semi-monthly services in the schoolhouse. In 1831 the first class was organized, Alfred LYMAN being its leader. In 1829 Herman H. and Isaac BOGART built at their own expense a freechurch, in which all denominations were permitted to worship. Services were held in this edifice on occasions by Methodists,Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed, Baptists and Universalists, just as they camealong and made appointments.  TheSunday-school of the Methodist Episcopal church was organized in May 1833. 

In1839, March 21, the Methodist Episcopal society of Dresden was organizedaccording to law.  The trustees thenchosen were Daniel DEAN, Russell BROWN Sr., Smith BEERS, Lewis N. BEARD, John R.MC LEAN, and H. H. HAZEN.  Thesociety made an effort to purchase from Aaron REMER the church built by theBOGARTS, which had passed to REMER by purchase, and for this purpose severalhundred dollars were collected together; but Pastor BEERS absconded with themoney.  Mr. REMER, however, gave permission to the society to use thechurch.  This society continued withvarying success and strength until 1841, when it became practicallyextinguished.  

ABaptist society was organized in the town about 1845, with Josiah C. SWARTHOUT,Alpheus VEAZIE and Seymour TRACY as trustees. They bought the old BOGART church from the REMER estate.  Rev. A. VALENTINE was the first pastor of the society. But the Baptist Church of Dresden and Torrey, was also of short life. 

TheFirst Methodist Episcopal Church of Dresden was duly organized on the 21stof March 1848, being in part a revival of the old West Dresden society abovereferred to.  The new trustees wereHenry LARZELERE, Daniel CASTNER, Luther HARRIS, William E. BELLOWS, George W.GAVES, Caleb J. LEGG and A. H. CONDIT.  Thesociety first leased and occupied the Presbyterian Church, but in 1849 thetrustees purchased the Baptist Church property at a cost of about $450. The next year the church building was completed at a further cost of$400.  In 1851 the edifice wasdedicated.  In 1854 the parsonagewas purchased.  In 1867 arrangementswere made for repairing and reseating the church. The building committee for this work comprised Daniel DEAN, W. LONGWELL,J. D. JACOBUS, L. B. DUNNING, and C. W. BROWN. Funds to the extent of $1,500 were raised for the work. All was accomplished and the church rededicated on May 20, 1868. The cost of the recent work was $3,800. 

ThePresbyterian Church of Dresden, or, as organized, the First Presbyterian Churchof West Dresden, is the almost direct outgrowth of the mother church known asthe First Presbyterian Church of Benton.  Thelatter was formed through the efforts of Stephen WHITAKER during the latter partof the year 1809, and numbered its membership many of the substantial residentsof what is now Torrey.    InJanuary 1823, the members voted for a division of the society, a part coming tothe Penn Yann church, while about eight of its membership formed aCongregational society in Torrey in November 1830.  In 1834 the First Presbyterian Church of West Dresdensupplanted and superseded the Congregational organization, and has since beenone of the institutions of this town.  Thefirst house of worship was erected in 1834 and dedicated on November 24 of thatyear.  In 1868 it was materiallyenlarged and improved, at an expense of about $3,000, and was rededicatedDecember 24 of the same year.  Theoffice of pastor has been filled by these incumbents: Linus W. BILLINGTON,George T. EVERT, J. PETRIE, Stephen PORTER, D. A. ABBY, Robert MC MATH, CalvinCHASE, C. H. CHESTER, Frederic GRAVES, Allen TRAVER, E. W. BROWN, David A. BLOSE,John CAIRNS, H. H. LIPES and Samuel C. GARLICK. 

St.John�s Church and parish were the outgrowth of the early mission servicesconducted first about 1860, by Rev. Timothy WARDWELL, during his rectorship ofthe church of Penn Yan.  The parishwas organized and the church erected about 1869 or 1870. It is of brick, and has a seating capacity for 180 persons. In the parish are thirty-two families, while the church has aboutforty-one communicants.  A parishbuilding was erected in 1889 costing about $600. The rectors of St. John�s Church have been Rev. Timothy WARDWELL,Cameron MANN, William ATWELL, H. S. DENNIS, H. B. GARDNER, Jeremiah COOPER andWilliam H. LORD.  Since 1885 theparish has been without a rector, services being held during the time from thatuntil the present under the direction of the Convocation, either by a clergymanor lay reader.

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