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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service of various church societies have from time to time been conducted in the
town of Torrey, but of the many denominations that have had a temporary
existence 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 during
the early years of the century, the Methodists appear to have been the pioneers
in making church. But of course
from this statement must also be excepted the Society of Friends, who built a
log meeting house in 1791.
1827 Dresden was made an appointment in the Crooked Lake Methodist Episcopal
circuit, 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 free
church, 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 came
along and made appointments. The
Sunday-school of the Methodist Episcopal church was organized in May 1833.
1839, March 21, the Methodist Episcopal society of Dresden was organized
according to law. The trustees then
chosen were Daniel DEAN, Russell BROWN Sr., Smith BEERS, Lewis N. BEARD, John R.
MC LEAN, and H. H. HAZEN. The
society made an effort to purchase from Aaron REMER the church built by the
BOGARTS, which had passed to REMER by purchase, and for this purpose several
hundred dollars were collected together; but Pastor BEERS absconded with the
money. Mr. REMER, however, gave permission to the society to use the
church. This society continued with
varying success and strength until 1841, when it became practically
Baptist 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.
First Methodist Episcopal Church of Dresden was duly organized on the 21st
of March 1848, being in part a revival of the old West Dresden society above
referred to. The new trustees were
Henry LARZELERE, Daniel CASTNER, Luther HARRIS, William E. BELLOWS, George W.
GAVES, Caleb J. LEGG and A. H. CONDIT. The
society first leased and occupied the Presbyterian Church, but in 1849 the
trustees 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 was
dedicated. In 1854 the parsonage
was purchased. In 1867 arrangements
were 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.
Presbyterian Church of Dresden, or, as organized, the First Presbyterian Church
of West Dresden, is the almost direct outgrowth of the mother church known as
the First Presbyterian Church of Benton. The
latter was formed through the efforts of Stephen WHITAKER during the latter part
of the year 1809, and numbered its membership many of the substantial residents
of what is now Torrey. In
January 1823, the members voted for a division of the society, a part coming to
the Penn Yann church, while about eight of its membership formed a
Congregational society in Torrey in November 1830. In 1834 the First Presbyterian Church of West Dresden
supplanted and superseded the Congregational organization, and has since been
one of the institutions of this town. The
first house of worship was erected in 1834 and dedicated on November 24 of that
year. In 1868 it was materially
enlarged and improved, at an expense of about $3,000, and was rededicated
December 24 of the same year. The
office of pastor has been filled by these incumbents: Linus W. BILLINGTON,
George T. EVERT, J. PETRIE, Stephen PORTER, D. A. ABBY, Robert MC MATH, Calvin
CHASE, C. H. CHESTER, Frederic GRAVES, Allen TRAVER, E. W. BROWN, David A. BLOSE,
John CAIRNS, H. H. LIPES and Samuel C. GARLICK.
St. Johnís Church and parish were the outgrowth of the early mission services conducted first about 1860, by Rev. Timothy WARDWELL, during his rectorship of the church of Penn Yan. The parish was 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 about forty-one communicants. A parish building was erected in 1889 costing about $600. The rectors of St. Johnís Church have been Rev. Timothy WARDWELL, Cameron MANN, William ATWELL, H. S. DENNIS, H. B. GARDNER, Jeremiah COOPER and William H. LORD. Since 1885 the parish has been without a rector, services being held during the time from that until the present under the direction of the Convocation, either by a clergyman or lay reader.
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