Afton, N. Y. 691
Afton, N. Y.
Union Valley, North Afton (Ayreshire), and Afton (South
Bainbridge) formed a part of the old Bainbridge Circuit until
formed into a charge in 1858 bearing the name of South Bain-
bridge. It took the name of Afton in 1859. Union Valley re-
mained a part of Afton charge until 1876, when it was put with
We are unable to give the circumstances connected with the
formation of the class at Afton, and any date we might mention
would be conjectural. The society held services in the village
schoolhouse prior to going into the church, and became incor-
porated at a meeting held in the schoolhouse on November 24,
1851. Jesse C. Flagg and Dorr Stowell presided, and Dorr Sto-
well, Charles W. Griswold, Samuel C. Bump, Luman C. Pollard,
and Isaac Furgason were elected trustees of "The First Metho-
dist Episcopal Society of South Bainbridge." On April 12, 1852,
Damaris Garrett deeded the society forty-four rods of land, in
consideration of $150. The church was built on this lot, at a
cost of $1,500, and was dedicated in September, 1852, by Rev.
William Reddy. This church was thoroughly remodeled in 1880.
One thousand dollars was spent in building an alcove back of the
pulpit, reseating the auditorium, and changing the entrances to
the building. At this time Mr. George Knight presented the
church with a bell. In 1899 the building was thoroughly rebuilt.
The tower, and an addition to the left of the building, 15x52 feet,
were built. The addition can be opened so as to add to the seat-
ing capacity of the auditorium when needed, and also serves for
social purposes. The walls were substantially repaired and an
excavation made to hold a furnace. The pulpit was placed in the
northeast corner of the auditorium, which was seated with cir-
cular pews, wainscoted, walls papered and decorated. Stained-
glass windows replaced the old ones, the floor was carpeted, and
the room lighted with gas. These, with some minor improve-
ments, cost $1,906.34. The church was reopened on Thursday,
January 11, 1900. Rev. M. S. Hard, D.D., conducted a love feast
at 10:30, after which Rev. T. F. Hall preached a sermon on the
692 Wyoming Conference
theme, "A Good Foundation." In the afternoon Dr. Hard
preached the dedicatory sermon from Isa. xxxv, 8-10. Following
the sermon, $618.46 was raised. The service closed with the ded-
icatory service, which was conducted by Rev. T. F. Hall. In the
evening Rev. A. W. Hayes, D.D:, preached from "It is finished."
The first parsonage was purchased of Lyman Lesuer, on March
9, 1865, for $1,450. It was located on Spring Street, a couple of
blocks above the church, and was sold to Truman Green in 1893.
On April 28, 1894, the society secured a property on Pleasant
Street for $2,250, from Mary E. Barrett. This was used until
going into the present house, in the fall of 1901. The lot on
which the parsonage now stands was secured by deed from Lo-
AFTON CHURCH [photo]
villa Stewart, on April 3, 1895, for $500. On this a house and
barn were built in 1901, costing about $2,200, most of which was
provided for in the sale of the Pleasant Street property.
North Afton is about two miles above Afton. That the class
was vigorous at an early day is evidenced from the fact that the
society was incorporated on February 17, 1829, at a meeting held
in the storehouse of Benjamin Jacobs, taking the corporate name
of "The Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church and Congre-
gation in Newton Hollow," in the west part of the town of Bain-
bridge. The first trustees were Cooley Wilkins, Charles Curtis,
Lewis Weeks, Thomas Newton, Peter Bridgman. By failure to
elect trustees the charter became invalid. Accordingly, the so-
ciety met at the chapel on September 10, 1833, and incorporated
North Afton, N. Y. 693
again as "The West Bainbridge Methodist Episcopal Church."
Edward Z. Hyde and Reuben Reynolds presided at this meeting,
and Dana Post, Button Stowell, William Cleveland, Wesley
Cleveland, and Edward Z. Hyde were elected trustees. The house
of worship was erected in 1829, at a cost of $1,500. This society
was one of the earliest formed on the old Bainbridge Circuit. This
house stood just off the main road, on the road leading from
North Afton to Coventry, and but a little ways from the corner.
The lot on which the present church stands was secured by deed
from George F. Hard and wife Mary, and Daniel S. Hyde and
wife Vitella, on January 29, 1864, for $100. The trustees at this
time were Joseph H. Fletcher, Abijah Cornell, and William Kel-
ley. The church was built about this time. The building was
repaired in 1873, at a cost of $1,200, and in 1897 was completely
renovated, at an expense of $800.
Russell Hill was supplied with preaching from Afton for some
The Ladies' Aid Society at Afton and North Afton have been
important factors in work at both places.
The charge has experienced many revival seasons.
Some old-time camp meetings were held in a grove midway
between Afton and North Afton, owned by Elija,h and Chauncey
Hyde, later owned by Mr. Mahew and Mr. Balcolm. Meetings
were held a couple of years, 1845 and 1846, ortthe west side of
the creek, and subsequently several years on the east side of the
creek. The meeting of 1850 was one of especial power.
1858-59, J. W. Mitchell; 1860-61, W. G. Queal; 1862-63, L.
Bowdish; 1864-66, B. H. Brown; 1867-69, W. W. Andrews;
1870-72, B. B. Carruth; 1873-75, T. P. Halstead; 1876-77, H. N.
Van Deusen; 1878-79, N. j. Hawley; 1880-82, J. F. Williams;
1883-84, A. F. Chaffee; 1885-86, A. J. Cook; 1887-91, N. B. Rip-
ley; 1892, C. D. Shepard; 1893-95, C. B. Personeus; 1896-98,
J. L. Thomas; 1899-1902, C. E. Sweet; 1903, E. L. Jeffrey.
Bainbridge, N. Y.
The beginning of Methodism in the town of Bainbridge was at
Searles Hill, in the northwest corner of the township, and about
1810. The class was organized, and preaching services held in
the log house of Abner Searles. Soon after this a schoolhouse
was built on Searles Hill, when the society went there with its
694 Wyoming Conference
Methodism was introduced to Bainbridge village by Charles
Curtis, who began holding services irregularly in 1816, using any
place he could secure to hold them in.
"The First Episcopal Methodist Society of the Town of Bain-
bridge" was incorporated on March 25, 1816, with Samuel Banks,
Israel Stowell, and William Banks trustees. The next incor-
poration was on February 11, 1833. Charles Curtis and Reuben
Reynolds presided at the meeting, and Charles Curtis, William
BAINBRIDGE OLD CHURCH [photo]
Banks, David Scott, John Newton, Joseph Badger, and Ambrose
Lyon were elected trustees of "The North Bainbridge Society of
the Methodist Episcopal Church." The society was again incor-
porated on June 1, 1853. Charles Curtis and Levi Scott presided
over the meeting, and Ansel Phinney, Charles Curtis, and Leroy
Scott were elected trustees of "The North Bainbridge Village
Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church."
The society began to agitate the building of a church in 1825,
but five years passed before the building began to materialize.
"The first stick of timber drawn for the church was given by
Samuel Carpenter, who lived near what is now Afton Lake.
Bainbridge, N. Y. 695
Nearly all of the lumber entering into the construction was do-
nated, as was also much of the manual labor — working at odd
times, several one day, none the next. It was July, 1830, before
the frame was ready to raise. This was to the people of those
days what the laying of the corner stone of modern edifices is to
present-day gatherings, except that it called for more hard work
and danger. The raising of the main portion of the church was
accomplished without difficulty, but when the framework for the
steeple was being placed in position one of the main supports
fell, precipitating a dozen men into the basement amid the falling
timbers. Four were seriously hurt, Briggs Lyon, who lived a
mile or two west of the village, being the most seriously injured.
His fractures and bruises were so severe that it was necessary
to improvise a litter to carry him home, there not being the spring-
wagons and good roads of the present day. On the shoulders of
four men, who were frequently relieved by their companions, the
wounded man left the labor of love to return to his home. He
lived for several years, but never fully recovered his health. The
other three who were injured were Alson Searles, of Searles
Hill, Rufus Burlingame, of Afton, and Ephraim Bixby, of
"This accident naturally delayed the work of construction, and
it was not until late in the fall that the building was ready for
occupancy. Even then it had no arrangement for heating, and
when services were held during the ensuing winter small indi-
vidual foot stoves were used, such as were common in those times,
in which fire was made. The interior of the church was of the
style of the day, having a high pulpit and galleries on three sides.
The building was without paint, either outside or in, and no
changes were made except by the elements until 1853."
The lot on Evans Street, upon which the old church stands,
was deeded to the society on May 4, 1854, by Charles Curtis and
wife Permelia, in consideration of $400.
In 1865-66 radical and extensive repairs were made on the
building. The galleries were torn out, the old pulpit cast aside,
an addition built on the rear, and the steeple enlarged, making
the building more modern. Mr. William Cooley, of Yaleville,
had the contract for the work, which cost $4,000. The church
was reopened on Thursday, March 1, 1866, Rev. William Searls
preaching in the morning and Rev. William Bixby in the even-
ing. The sum of $1,500 was raised during the day.
In 1874 some minor changes were made, chief of which was
the change in location of the choir. It was removed from near
696 Wyoming Conference
the entrance and placed on the left side of the pulpit. Gaylord
S. Graves served as choir leader thirty years.
In 1890 $1,300 was spent in changing the plan of seating,
making two aisles and two entrances, papering and painting the
The site for the present church was deeded to the society on
October 14, 1898, by Mrs. Dr. Copley, for $1,200. The corner
stone was laid on August 23, 1902, by Rev. T. F. Hall, D.D., and
Rev. J. S. Crompton. Addresses were made by Revs. T. F. Hall,
C. E. Sweet, A. R. Burke, C. M. Olmstead, and J. S. Crompton.
The stone contained the following: Bible, Hymnal, Discipline,
BAINBRIDGE NEW CHURCH [photo]
Conference Minutes, Epworth League Year Book, New York
Advocate, Northern Advocate, Epworth Herald, Bainbridge Re-
publican and Express, Lesson Quarterly, League Topic Card,
lists of officers and members of the Senior and Junior Leagues
and the Ladies' Aid Society, and an historical sketch of the
The building, including organ $1,000, bell $200, seating and
other furnishings, cost $10,000. The windows are all memorial.
The Epworth League bought the organ, and the Ladies' Aid
Society raised about as much money for the project.
The building was dedicated on Friday, May 8, 1903, Rev.
John Krantz, D.D., preaching in the morning from Psa. xxxi, 8,
and managing the finances of the day. In the afternoon Rev.
Union Valley, N. Y. 697
Edgar Brown, D.D., preached from Mark ii, 3. The evening
service was a platform service addressed by pastors of the local
churches and visiting clergymen, and closed with the dedicatory
service, conducted by Rev. T. F. Hall, D.D.
When Bainbridge appeared among the appointments in 1822
it was a circuit of considerable dimensions. About 1830 it in-
cluded North Bainbridge (Bainbridge), East Guilford, Searles
Hill, Turnpike (now West Bainbridge), Coventry, Coventry-
ville. South Bainbridge (Afton), Nineveh, Harpursville, Wind-
sor, Vallonia Springs, Lanesboro, Page Brook, Perch Pond,
Melondy Hill, Sanford, Masonville, Sidney, and numerous small
schoolhouse appointments. In 1841-42 the circuit included North
Bainbridge, Ireland's Schoolhouse, Searles Hill Schoolhouse,
Coventry (church), West Bainbridge (church). South Bain-
bridge Schoolhouse, East Masonville Schoolhouse, Masonville
Schoolhouse, Log Schoolhouse, Tompkins Schoolhouse, Me-
londy Hill Schoolhouse, Morse Schoolhouse, Plains Schoolhouse,
and North Windsor Schoolhouse. The parsonage was at Mason-
ville. Bainbridge subsequently became the home- of the pastor.
In 1833 Rev. Reuben Reynolds was one of the preachers on
the circuit. He was hired by the bridge company to keep the
tollhouse, for which he received one dollar per week. His family
did the work while he was absent on the circuit.
Searles Hill continued to be an appointment until its absorp-
tion in Union Valley in 1852.
The parsonage lot was bought of Nelson Humphrey in 1883
for $900, and the parsonage erected the same year at a cost
In 1842 there were two hundred conversions on the circuit,
and in 1851 there were three hundred.
In 1892 an $800 debt of nine years' standing was paid.
Union Valley receives its name from the fact that the societies
at Searles Hill, Turnpike, and the Bush Settlement united to
form this church. On March 9, 1852, the members of the north-
west part of Bainbridge Circuit met at the house of Peleg Ferris
for the purpose of incorporation. Lyman J. Bush and John H.
Post presided. Samuel H. Bush, Nelson Ireland, John H. Post,
Lyman J. Bush, and George Blanchard were elected trustees of
"The Union Valley Methodist Episcopal Church of Bainbridge."
On November 11, 1850, in consideration of $1, Job Ireland and
his wife Ursula deeded the society one fourth acre of land, upon
which the church was built in 1852 at a cost of $1,200. It was
698 Wyoming Conference
dedicated by Rev. William Reddy some time in 1853. On Sep-
tember 26, 1860, Philander Loomis and wife Phoebe sold the so-
ciety nine and one third rods of land adjoining the above for
$11.62, and on November 7, 1860. Job Ireland and wife sold the
society twenty-one rods of land adjoining the first purchase for
$26.25. These last purchases were for the purpose of building
From the time of the formation of Afton charge until 1876
Union Valley formed a part of Afton charge.
1822, Joshua Rogers; 1823, John Griffing; 1824, Isaac Grant,
Elijah King; 1825, H. G. Warner, Herota Barnes; 1826, Mark
Preston, Benjamin Shipman; 1827, Henry Peck, George Evans;
1828, George Evans, R. Lumry; 1829, J. M. Brooks, M. Ruger,
1830, J. M. Brooks, E. Colston; 1831, Morgan Ruger; 1832, E.
L. Wadsworth; 1833, C. G. Hapgood; 1834, D. Fancher; 1835,
R. Ingalls, D. Fancher; 1836, T. D. Wire, S. B. Yarrington;
1837, T. D. Wire, A. D. Burlingame; 1838, A. D. Burlingame;
1839, J. D. Warren, A. Brown; 1840, J. D. Warren, F. P. Cleave-
land; 1841-42, Jacob Brooker, R. S. Rose; 1843, P- Bartlett,
Benjamin Ferris; 1844, George Evans, B. Ferris; 1845, G.
Evans, Atchinson Queal; 1846, E. P. Beecher, W. G. Queal;
1847-48, E. W. Breckinridge, A. R. Wells; 1849, E. P. Beebe,
W. G. Queal; 1850, E. P. Beebe, L. D, Brigham; 1851, E. D.
Thurston, S. S. Weber; 1852, E. D. Thurston, B. B. Carruth;
1853, R. S. Southworth; 1854, F. P. Cleaveland, R. S. South-
worth; 1855, H. Halstead, W. Peck; 1856, J. Davis, T. J. Bissell;
1857, J. Davis, R. Townsend; 1858, T. P. Halstead; 1859-60,
William Southworth; 1861-62, D. L. Pendell; 1863-64, L. Sperry;
1865, A. C. Smith; 1866, L. Sperry; 1867-68, L. V. Ismond;
1869-71, A. J. Cook; 1872-73, W. B. Thomas; 1874-75, A. B.
Richardson; 1876-77, N. S. Reynolds; 1878, A. F. Brown;
1879-81, J. Ryder; 1882-83, J. N. Lee; 1884-85, G. A. Place;
1886-8814, H. B. Cook; 1888½-90, W. T. Blair; 1891-94, T.
F. Hall; 1895-96, E. Kilpatrick; 1897-1900, C. H. Sackett;
1901-03, J. S. Crompton.
COOPERSTOWN, N. Y.
One writer states that Philip Wager and Jonathan Newman
were the first Methodist preachers to preach in Cooperstown.
It might be a fair conjecture that these men who were on Otsego
COOPERSTOWN, N. Y. 699
Circuit in 1791 reached this place during the year. However,
this is simply conjecture. We have no evidence that they did.
It is also claimed that Cooperstown supported a pastor in 1795.
This is highly improbable, as the class in 1816 had only twenty
members. Further, Rev. D. W. Bristol, who was pastor here in
1838, claimed that Methodism was introduced to Cooperstown in
1810 or 1812.
The following were members in these early days: Amos Berry,
P. Butts, George Roberts, Daniel McLeland, Joseph Perkins and
COOPERSTOWN OLD CHURCH [photo]
wife, Asher Campbell, Justus Hinman, B. Eaton, Ezra Crane and
wife, Andrew Petty and wife, Benjamin Allen and wife, Mr.
Potter and wife, A. Jarvis, and H. Knowlton.
At a meeting of the society held in the schoolhouse on October
22, 1816, at which Rev. Seth Mattison and Daniel McLeland pre-
sided the society became incorporated as "The First Incorporated
Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Cooperstown,"
George Roberts, Daniel McLeland, Asher Canfield, Joseph Per-
kins, and Justus Hinman were elected trustees.
Meetings were held in the courthouse, schoolhouse, and private
700 Wyoming Conference
dwellings until 1819, when a church, 35x45, with fifteen-foot posts,
and no tower or steeple, was erected on a building lot donated by
James Averell and wife Marcy. This lot contained one rood or
thirty perches and was situated on the west side of Chestnut Street
about one hundred and seventy-five feet above the corner of the
present church lot on the corner of Chestnut Street and Glenn
Avenue. It was ultimately absorbed in the lot occupied recently
by the Cooper House. The deed was executed on April 13, 1824,
to David" Marvin, Asher Canfield, Asa Ransom, Ezra Crane, and
Benjamin Allen as trustees. The deed contained a clause stipu-
lating that should the society cease to use the lot for church pur-
poses it should revert to the Averell estate. Notwithstanding
this fact, after the church was moved off the lot, the trustees
(Romeo Bowen, Harry Knowlton, Zadock Fitch, and Alexander
H. Cooper), on December 2, 1839, deeded the lot to William H.
Averell, son of James, in consideration of $50.
In the Memoir of Rev. Benjamin G. Paddock we learn that in
1818 he was appointed to Otsego Circuit, the senior preacher
living at Cooperstown. A place of worship had already been
commenced. It was thought best in 1819 to make Cooperstown
a charge, segregating it from the circuit. P. G. Paddock was
appointed to the place, though he was supernumerary. Through
his leadership the chapel was completed. He was the promoter
of a great revival, in which Rev. John Smith, the Presbyterian
pastor, heartily cooperated. From June 1, 1819, to March 1,
1820, one hundred and one members were added to the Presby-
terian church. It is not known how many united with the Metho-
dist church. At the end of the year Mr. Paddock reported one
hundred and fifty-five members. It is presumed that the churches
shared about equally in results. However, a writer twenty-one
years later claimed that most of the converts went to the Presby-
terian church, largely on account of the location of the Methodist
After Mr. Paddock's pastorate Methodism began to decline
until in 1838 the society had but fifteen members, "and they were
quite poor." At the close of Mr. Bristol's pastorate there were
sixty-two members. In the next year about forty were added
to the number.
The location of this church was unfortunate, as it was outside
the cluster of dwellings, on the outskirts of the town. A writer
to the Northern stated that it was deserted about 1838 for re-
ligious purposes, meetings being held in private houses or the
schoolhouse. On December 6, 1838, Ellery Cory and wife Phoebe
COOPERSTOWN, N. Y. 701
and Holder Cory deeded the society a lot on the north side of
Elm Street for $250. This lot had sixty feet front, and it was
about 216 feet from the corner of Elm and Pioneer Streets to
the center of the lot. Buckingham Fitch, Zadock Fitch, Russell
Brownell, Henry Bowen, and Romeo Bowen were the trustees at
the time. Either in 1838 or 1839 the church was moved from
Chestnut Street to the lot on Elm Street. Rev. D. W. Bristol
took a position at one end of a roller, and did vigorous work in
moving the building. The cost of removal and repairs was about
$850. To raise this amount Mr. Bristol "was dispatched in
various directions to raise funds." A subscription book is in ex-
istence showing that his visits to various charges secured $263.50.
The local society probably raised about $236.50.
After removal and extensive repairs the building was dedicated
by the presiding elder, D. A. Shepard. In this removal a debt of
$350 was incurred, which was carried until 1847 before being
paid. In 1846-47 the building was remodeled, a basement being
built and an uninviting tower constructed, and on March 27,
1848, the society secured additional land from the Corys, at a
cost of $200. The total outlay was over $1,000. Of this amount
$559 was raised by the society, and the balance was secured out-
side the congregation.
On May 1, 1872, Luther I. Burditt and wife Eliza deeded the
society a lot on Eagle Street for $500, upon which a house was
built costing about $1,000.
In 1875 the church passed through its last transformation. The
basement was eliminated, the old steeple gave place to a more
inviting one, a lecture room was built on the rear of the church,
and memorial windows put in. The large rose window in the
tower was put in by ministers who had entered the work from
Otsego County. In these repairs $3,800 was spent. The building
was rededicated on November 10, 1875. Bishop R. S. Foster
preached in the morning from Isa. ix, 6, and Rev. Henry
Wheeler in the evening from Gen. xxviii, 17. Twelve hundred
dollars was asked at the close of the bishop's sermon, and $1,500
raised. At the close of the evening sermon a statement was made
to the congregation that a church in Schenectady would sell its
pipe organ, costing $2,200, for $800. The congregation at once
raised $500, which, with the excess of the morning, bought the
In 1885 a debt of $600, which had been carried nine years, was
paid, and in the following year $500 was spent in recarpeting the
church, buying a new furnace, and decorating the lecture room.
702 Wyoming Conference
In 1897 $600 was expended in painting, papering, and carpeting
On March 10, 1902, John Pank deeded the society the property
on the corner of Chestnut Street and Glen Avenue for $4,600,
taking as part payment the Eagle Street parsonage at $2,500. The
house on this last-purchased lot was moved on to the lower side
of the lot and nicely fitted for a parsonage. On the corner of the
lot there is being erected a church which will cost about $13,000.
When finished the society will have one of the most attractive
properties in the Conference.
The Oneida Conference was entertained by this society in
In the days when the society was very weak it received $150
per year from the Missionary Society for several years.
Hyde Park was a part of this charge from the time of organiza-
tion until it was put with Hartwick in 1902.
Prior to 1819 part of Otsego Circuit; 1819, B. G. Paddock;
1820, Elias Bowen; 1821, Dana Fox; 1822 (Otsego and Coopers-
town), Orin Doolittle, Eli Allen; 1823-27, probably a part of
Otsego Circuit; 1828 (Otsego and Cooperstown), Isaac Grant;
1829 (Cooperstown alone again), Henry F. Rowe; 1830-37, part
of Otsego Circuit again; 1838-39 (an appointment again), D. W.
Bristol; 1840, V. M. Coryell; 1841, William Bixby; 1842, Lyman
A. Eddy; 1843 (Otsego and Cooperstown), L. A. Eddy, J. Shank;
1844-45, (alone again), Cassius H. Harvey; 1846-47, B. W. Gor-
ham; 1848-49, D. W. Bristol; 1850-51, E. G. Andrews; 1852-53,
Charles Blakeslee; 1854, S. Comfort; 1855-56, M. C. Kern; 1857,
Joseph Shank; 1858, J. T. Crippen; 1859-60, J. L. Wells; 1861-62,
G. W. Bridge; 1863, R. Townsend; 1864, J. Pilkington; 1865-67,
I. D. Peaslee; 1868-70, W. L. Thorpe; 1871-72, H. M. Cryden-
wise; 1873, W. A. Wadsworth; 1874-76, A. S. Clarke; 1877-79,
W. M. Hiller; 1880-81, J. C. Leacock; 1882-84, A. J. Cook; 1885-
87, A. F. Chaffee; 1888-90, T. F. Hall; 1891-93; W. T. Blair;
1894-98, B. P. Ripley; 1889-1900, E. Kilpatrick; 1901-03, J. H.
On May 8, 1876, a meeting of the people of Colliersville and
vicinity was held in the schoolhouse. Rev. H. B. Cook, who was
pastor of Oneonta Plains and Colliersville, presided at the meet-
ing, which was largely attended. Jerome H. Talmadge, Alonzo B.
Cooperstown, N. Y. 703
Every, J. P. Barnes, A. E. Thurston, George German, G. M.
Pendell, James Badeau, Abraham Diefendorft, and F. M. Fox
were elected trustees. R. M. Roundy was elected secretary and
treasurer of the new society. A building committee was appointed
consisting of Alonzo B. Every, F. M. Fox, G. M. Pendell, and
Jerome H. Talmadge. On May 29, 1876, Merritt and David
Multer deeded the Methodist Episcopal Church of Junction and
Colliersville forty-nine and a half square rods of land for $180.
The church was built upon this lot by day labor, J. P. Manning
being the foreman. The building cost $2,777.50, which was raised
during the summer and on the day of dedication, which was
November 2, 1876.
There were a number of Baptists in the community who were
interested in church work and they were given the use of the
church afternoons a number of years. A diminution of their num-
bers prompted them to discontinue their services here.
Through the kindness of Dr. D. E. Siver, the Cooperstown and
Susquehanna Valley Railroad Company gave the society a lot
adjoining the church lot, containing forty-nine rods, the deed for
which was executed on November 7, 1898. During the summer
and fall of 1898 a house valued at $1,500 was erected on this lot,
$1,000 in money being raised for that purpose and $500 in labor
being contributed. The following year the barn was built.
The society was incorporated as "The Methodist Episcopal
Society of Junction and Colliersville" on April 11, 1900, with
Lester Howe, W. J. Barnes, and A. B. Every trustees.
In 1892 the society was greatly strengthened by a revival.
From 1876 to 1878 this society was served by the Oneonta
Plains pastor, and from 1879 it has been with Portlandville, the
charge taking the name of Cooperstown Junction in 1891.
Portlandville is four miles north of Cooperstown Junction.
Work was established here at an early day. The church was
dedicated on January 16, 1849. Rev. Lyman, Sperry, the presid-
ing elder, preached at 11 a. m. and Rev. D. W. Bristol in the
afternoon. In the evening the Otsego District Ministerial Associa-
tion convened in the church.
In 1867 $3,000 was spent in repairs. The building was raised, a
basement constructed, a bell purchased, and the auditorium refur-
nished. The building was reopened on Thursday, August 1, 1867,
Rev. William Bixby preaching in the morning and Rev. C. D.
Mead in the evening.
The society became incorporated on October 28, 1852, as "The
704 Wyoming Conference
First Methodist Episcopal Church of Portlandville." Thomas
L. Wakefield and George Bowers presided at the meeting for
incorporation, and Thomas L. Wakefield, Erastus Soule, and
Lorenzo Lane were elected trustees.
The lot upon which the church was built contained a quarter
of an acre, and was deeded to the society on August 8, 1855, by
Kachel Lane, Lorenzo Lane and wife Marcia, William Lane and
wife Harriet, Philander Lane and wife Evaline, Nelson Lane and
wife Lavantia, Caroline Cronkite, Caleb J. Paul and wife Emaline.
The purchase price was $40. By two subsequent purchases, one
in 1868 and one in 1873, additional land was purchased.
The class was first a part of Otsego Circuit, and when Milford
became an appointment formed a part of that charge, where it
remained until it became an appointment in 1879. Westville
was for a while connected with Portlandville.
1879 (Portlandville and Junction), H. B. Cook; 1880, M. D.
Sill; 1881-82, C. W. Babcock; 1883, W. Burnside; 1884-86, N. B.
Ripley; 1887, B. B. Carruth; 1888-89, W. H. Alger; 1890, R. P.
Green; 1891 (Cooperstown Junction), A. W. Loomis; 1892-93,
C. E. Sweet; 1894-95, D. R. Smith; 1896, S. A. Luce; 1897-98,
F. A. Mattison; 1899-1900, B. L. Hess; 1901-02, A. E. Potter;
1903, C. A. Frear.
Davenport, N. Y.
Methodism has been prominent in this section ever since
its introduction into the Charlotte Valley. The territory of this
charge, and of Davenport Center, was first reached by the preach-
ers of Delaware Circuit, and subsequently formed a part of
Charlotte Circuit, which was taken from Delaware Circuit in
1834. Charlotte Circuit included Charlotteville, Russ Hill, Dug-
way, South Worcester, Fergusonville, East Davenport (now
Davenport), Davenport Center, Briar Street (now East Mer-
edith), West Davenport, and the Hemlocks.
When Olaf G. Hedstrom was appointed to the circuit in 1835
he made his home in a building which had been used for a wood-
house and wash-shed. "When he moved into the building it was
without furniture, save an old cracked stove. The preacher had
no money with which to buy; he therefore took some rough
boards, and sticks from the wood pile, and made a table, a bed-
stead, a cupboard, and a few benches for seats. When the work
Davenport, N. Y. 705
was done he knelt and thanked God that he was in possession of
so comfortable a home."
The territory has been visited with some notable revivals. In
the winter of 1844-45 occurred one of special interest. "A ball
had been announced to be held at the hotel on the evening of the
Methodist prayer meeting, which was held in the church, not far
from the hotel. One object of the ball was to break up the
Methodist services, if possible. Rev. A. C. Fields, who was then
preacher in charge of the circuit, suggested that special prayer
should be made for the rioters and dancers who had already
gathered at the hotel. It was done. The prayer of faith was
speedily answered. Long before midnight the ballroom was
vacant, and the persons who had proposed to break up the prayer-
service were in the church loudly and earnestly seeking for mercy.
Many who had intended to spend the night in dancing spent it
in prayer. The meeting continued with great power all night, and
before dawn many were saved. An extensive revival followed
which gave much strength to the church." Memorable revivals
occurred during the pastorates of Elliott, King, James W. Smith,
Richmond, the Burgars, Morehouse and others.
In 1853 the Davenport Circuit was formed, which included
Emmons, West Davenport, Prosper Hollow, Davenport Center,
Briar Street, East Davenport, South Hill, Fergusonville, Mary-
land Hill, and South Worcester, the last two places being in
Otsego County. In 1862 the circuit was divided, the places above
East Davenport constituting a charge taking the name of Fer-
gusonville; remaining appointments continuing under the name
This charge came into Wyoming Conference from the New
York Conference in 1894.
The name of this charge was changed from Fergusonville to
Davenport in 1899.
John Bangs, brother to the gifted Nathan Bangs, was one of
the preachers on Charlotte Circuit in 1837. He was a strong
preacher and referring to the contrast between himself and his
brother he said: "My father had a great memory, and my mother
a poor one. Nathan inherited my father's, and I my mother's."
The Davenport church was built in 1883, and was dedicated
on February 1, 1884, by Chaplain McCabe and Rev. Lucius H.
King. It is Gothic in style, having a basement under the whole
church well equipped for social work, and in its tower swings a
bell weighing one thousand and seventy pounds.
In 1892 the building was repaired and the interior beautified.
706 Wyoming Conference
The parsonage was located at Fergusonville many years. In
1895 it was sold and the present parsonage at Davenport pur-
chased, costing $2,000.
The charge was blessed by gracious revivals in 1894 and 1895.
Fergusonville is three miles northwest from Davenport, and
early became an important point on the Charlotte Circuit. The
church was built in 1835, costing $1,400. It was extensively re-
paired in 1869.
In 1848 Rev. Samuel D. Ferguson, a distinguished member of
the New York Conference, founded an academy at Fergusonville
which, because of its environment, salubrity of the climate, and
Mr. Ferguson's ability, proved a success. Mr. Ferguson died in
1855, and the school was transferred to James Oliver. It has
long since ceased to exist, and part of the buildings have been
In 1851 Davenport and Fergusonville were swept by revivals.
In the latter place, it is said, every family was reached except
a Catholic one.
(Delaware Circuit:) 1794, Robert Dillon, David Buck; 1795,
David Bartine, Jeremiah Ballard; 1796, Zenas Conger, Daniel
Crouch; 1797, Anthony Turk, John Robinson; 1798, John Robin-
son, William Vredenburgh; 1799, Daniel Higby, Nathan Smith;
1800, Thomas Dodson, Jonathan Newman; 1801, John Leach,
Benjamin Bidlack, William Williams; 1802, Matthias Swaim,
Stephen G. Whitehead; 1803, Zenas Covil; 1804, Henry Steele,
Andrew McKean; 1805, John Crawford, Jesse Davis; 1806,
Alexander Martin, Nehemiah U. Tompkins; 1807, Joseph WiUis,
William Snow; 1808, Nathan Bangs, Robert Dillon; 1809, Hugh
Armstrong, Cyprian H. Gridley; 1810, John Kline, Abner Chase;
1811, Samuel Fowler, Elijah Hibbard; 1812, Bela Smith,
Alexander Dunbar, Hawley Sanford; 1813, John Finnegan,
Elisha P. Jacob, Henry Hobby; 1814, Stephen Jacob, Beardsley
Northrup; 1815, Stephen Jacob, Heman Bangs; 1816, Bela
Smith, Horace Weston; 1817, W. M. Stilwell, Isaac Lent; 1818,
Arnold Schofield, James Young; 1819, A. Schofield, Henry Had-
field, Nathan Rice; 1820, John Finnegan, James Quinlan; 1821,
John Finnegan, Roswell Kelly; 1822, Jesse Pomeroy, Quartus
Stewart; 1823, John Bangs, Ira Ferris; 1824, John Bangs, Beza-
leel Howe; 1825, Cyrus Silliman, Bezaleel Howe; 1826, Cyrus
Silliman, Philo Ferris; 1827, Friend W. Smith, Philo Ferris;
1828, Friend W. Smith, Paul R. Brown; 1829, Alexander Calder,
Davenport Center, N. Y. 707
Paul R. Brown; 1830, Orin Pier, Harvey Brown; 1831, Harvey
Brown, Rodman Lewis; 1832, Noah Sullivan, John Bangs; 1833,
Elbert Osborn; (Charlotte Circuit:) 1834, Harvey Brown; 1835-
36, Olaf G. Hedstrom; 1837, Matthew Van Dusen, John Bangs,
sup.; 1838, Daniel Bullock, George L. Fuller; 1839-40, John
Carver; 1841-42, Eben S. Hibbard; 1843-44, Andrew C. Fields;
184S, Daniel Bullock, Abraham Davis; 1846, Addi Lee, John
Bangs, sup.; 1847, Russell S. Scott, John Bangs, sup.; 1848,
Russell S. Scott, Samuel D. Ferguson; 1849, Hiram Lamont,
Moses L. Pendell, S. D. Ferguson, sup.; 1850, Hiram Lamont,
Joseph Elliott, S. D. Ferguson, sup.; 1851, Lucius H. King,
Noble Lovett, S. D. Ferguson, sup.; 1852, L. H. King, Robert
Kerr, S. D. Ferguson, sup.; (Davenport Circuit:) 1853, David
Gibson, Asahel M. Hough; 1854, David Gibson, Royal Court-
right; 1855-56, James W. Smith, George Hearn; 1857, James M.
Burgar, John F. Richmond; 1858, James M. Burgar, Orin P.
Dales; 1859, Alonzo C. Morehouse, J. P. Burgar; 1860, Alonzo C.
Morehouse, Sanford L Ferguson; 1861, Nehemiah O. Lent, San-
ford L Ferguson; (Fergusonville:) 1862-63, Robert Kerr; 1864-
65, Robert. H. Kelley; 1866, Charles W. Lyon; 1867, W. W.
Shaw; 1868 (Fergusonville and Charlotte two years, when the
charge is Fergusonville again), W. W. Shaw, L. S. Brown; 1869,
W. S. Winans, E. F. Barlow; 1870-71, W. S. Winans; 1872-74,
E. White; 1875-76, J. H. Wood; 1877, John Keogan; 1878, C. H.
Travis, 1879-80, Thomas Elliott; 1881-83, C. Palmer; 1884-85,
(Fergusonville and Charlotteville two years), C. H. Travis, 1886-
87 (Fergusonville and Davenport to 1897), S. Merchant; 1888-
92, G. W. Martin; 1893, Samuel Bullen; 1894-98, C. E. Sweet;
1899-1902, Joshua Brundle; 1903, J. L. Serviss.
Davenport Center, N. Y.
The early history of this charge is involved with the history of
the Davenport charge. Its pastors are to be found in Delaware,
Charlotte, and Davenport Circuits. At the division of Davenport
Circuit in 1862 one part (see Davenport) continued the name
Davenport, and carried the name until 1895, when it was changed
to Davenport Center.
This charge came into Wyoming Conference from the New
York Conference in 1894.
The church at Davenport Center was built in 1835, at a cost
of $3,000, and was extensively repaired in 1876.
The parsonage is located at Davenport Center.
708 Wyoming Conference
West Davenport is two and a half miles west of Davenport.
The church was built in 1852 at a cost of $1,100, and was
thoroughly repaired in 1874 at a cost of $1,600, at which time
the bell, which cost $300, was purchased. The building was
again repaired in 1891 at an expense of $600.
A good revival occurred at this place in 1850-51, and in 1885
there were over one hundred conversions.
1862, Nehemiah O. Lent; 1863, Edwin B. Pierce; 1864, Amos
N. Mulnix; 1865, Peter V. Schermerhorn; 1866-67, Wilham D.
Fero; 1868-69 Joseph Elliott; 1870-71, Lorenzo G. Niles; 1872,
Adelbert Gaylord; 1873-74, William W. Taylor; 1875-76, Milo
Couchman; 1877-78, Edward P. Crane; 1879-81, Edwin Hunt;
1882-83, T. Carter; 1884-86, A. B. Barker; 1887-88, A. H.
Haynes; 1889, George L. McLane; 1890-91, L. S. Brown; 1892-
93, M. S. Buckingham; 1894-95, C. H. Reynolds; 1896-98, C. D.
Shepard; 1899-1901, S. A. Terry; 1902, A. J. Neff; 1903, W. S.
Decatur, N. Y.
The first society organized in this town was a union affair with
the following members: Timothy Parker, Biger Wright, Stiles
Parker, Jesse Davis, Martha Howe, James Parker, Martha Davis,
Sarah Maple, Parker, J. Lewis, N. Lewis, Samuel Howe, P.
Parker, and Elijah Parker.
The first church building was erected in 1807, at a cost of $500.
On January 17, 1823, a meeting was held at the house of Justus
Lewis, when "The Decatur Union Society" became incorporated,
with Jesse Davis, Chauncey Parker, and Sheubel Bullock trustees.
The Methodists used the "Society House" until they went into
their own church.
As early as 1836 Decatur formed a part of Westford Circuit.
About this year, at a Quarterly Conference held on June 23 and
24, this motion was passed: "Resolved, That Decatur Hollow be
allowed the privilege of circulating a subscription paper in order
to ascertain the practicability of maintaining a station preacher,
and report their success to the presiding elder." The same record-
ing steward's book states that a church was dedicated at Decatur
on March 16, 1837, Rev. D. A. Shepard preaching the sermon
and dedicating the church.
Biger Wright was the first class leader.
Decatur, Elliott Hill, and Red Schoolhouse are not mentioned
Decatur, N. Y. 709
again in the Minutes of Westford Circuit until February, 1841,
when the preachers of the circuit were requested to supply those
places. Nor do the Minutes of Conferences give any hint as to
how the places were supplied with preaching. The July Quarterly
Conference of 1841 passed the following: "Resolved, That Deca-
tur Hollow, Elliott Hill, and West Worcester be set off as a
station." From this time on Decatur appears among the Confer-
While the preceding is decidedly fragmentary, it is very sug-
gestive, and by reading between the lines we may see the growth
of the society.
In 1871 $2,700 was spent in repairing the building. The gal-
leries were removed, a tower built, bell purchased, and other im-
provements made. The church was reopened on Thursday,
November 30, 1871. Rev. W. N. Cobb preached in the morning
from Psa. cxvi, 12-16, and after the sermon raised $1,300. Rev.
J. V. Newell preached in the evening.
In 1890 the building was papered, ceiled, and carpeted, at a
cost of $500.
The old church was torn down, and a new one built in 1901
costing $2,000. It is of modern design and has eleven memorial
windows. It was dedicated on January 30, 1902, by Rev. T. F.
Hall, D.D., $1,950 being raised on the day of dedication.
The first parsonage was bought in. 1840, and sold about 1880,
when the present parsonage was built on the lot by the church.
Anticipating a new house, the society bought a half acre of land
of William Cipperly in April, 1874, for $500. This lot was sold,
and on October 2, 1875, the lot upon which the parsonage stands
was bought of G. M. Starkweather for $175.
Between January and April, 1842, there were over two hundred
conversions at Decatur. A good revival occurred in 1869, and in
February and March, 1886, one hundred and five were converted.
Elliott Hill formed a part of this charge until about 1887, when
it was placed with East Worcester.
South Valley is about four miles northwest of Decatur. For
many years this society worshiped in a building which was
jointly owned by the Episcopal and Protestant Methodists. The
society sold its interest in the church for $300. Delos Easier pre-
sented the society with a fine lot, upon which a church costing
about $2,000 was built. It was dedicated on July 25, 1895. Rev.
L. B. Weeks preached in the morning, Rev. C. H. Sackett in the
afternoon, and Rev. H. B. Benedict in the evening. The sum of
71O Wyoming Conference
$300 was raised during the day. The dedicatory service was con-
ducted by Rev. A. J. Van Cleft.
A bell costing $200 was purchased in 1902.
1841, A. E. Daniels; 1842-43, C. Starr; 1844, S. C. Phinney;
1845-46, E. Dennison; 1847-48, E. L. North; 1849, George Parsons,
R. O. Beebe; 1850, George Parsons; 1851-52, D. C. Dutcher;
1853-54, W. Burnside; 1855-56, S. M. Stone; 1857, A. E. Daniels;
1858-59, W. R. Lynch; 1860, P. Hughston; 1861-62, D. Potter;
1863, H. E. Rowe; 1864-65, J. N. Piatt; 1866-68, C. G. Wood;
1869, A. S. Clark; 1870, H. A. Blanchard; 1871, S. H. Hill; 1872-
74, W. R. Cochrane; 1875, A. W. Barrows; 1876, A. G. Bar-
tholomew; 1877, S. H. Wood; 1878, W. Edgar; 1879-80, L. B.
Weeks; 1881-83, R. C. Gill; 1884-86, C. B. Personeus; 1887-88,
A. W. Loomis; 1889-90, E. H. Truesdell; 1891-92, R. P. Green;
1893, G. N. Underwood; 1894, L. V. Wood; 1895, G. H. Bent;
1896-99, W. S. Adams; 1900, William Mountenay; 1901, W. H.
Horton; 1902, Asa A. Callendar; 1903, W. S. Adams.
East Worcester, N. Y.
The society was formed about 1823 or 1824. Mrs. Elizabeth
Champion, wife of John Champion, called a meeting at the school-
house, situated near the Comers, on a certain Sunday evening,
and sent for a local preacher named Depew, living at Elliott Hill
to come and preach for them. The large audience was disap-
pointed. Mrs. Champion spoke to the people explaining the teach-
ings of Methodism. After praying and exhorting she asked those
who were willing to join her in holding prayer meetings to signify
it. Two responded. Meetings followed in which Mr. Depew
assisted. Preaching services were established. Rev. Messrs.
Depew and Jeremiah Simmons alternating in preaching. Revival
work followed with success. Next year this class forms a part of
The class met in the schoolhouse in district No. 1, in the town of
Worcester, on April 10, 1838. Rev. A. E. Daniels was chairman,
Silas Devol secretary, and Silas Devol and Aaron Champion
acted as judges of election. At this meeting "The Methodist
Episcopal Church of East Worcester" was incorporated, and Silas
Devol, Aaron Champion, Eli P. Bruce, Jonathan Jennings, and
John Rockefeller were elected trustees.
The society was again incorporated on August 2, 1886. E. R.
East Worcester, N. Y. 711
Thurber and Elanson Snow presided, and Giles C. Dana, Aaron
Hollenbeck, and Adam Eckerson were elected trustees.
On July 24, 1838, Leonard Caryl and wife Mary deeded the
society a lot, located on the road to South Hill, for $1. He also
subscribed liberally toward the building of the church. To this
man and Messrs. Aaron and James Champion the building of the
church was chiefly due. It was put up prior to 1839. A writer
says: "It was a heavy tax on a few persons, and when the com-
mittee were soliciting contributions they called on John Champion,
the 'hotel preacher,' as he was extensively known, for aid. He
promised to pay a certain amount if they would grant him the
privilege of preaching the first sermon in it after its completion.
This was readily agreed to. At the dedication, when the prelim-
inaries had taken place, and all were ready for the sermon by the
presiding elder. Uncle John left his seat and started for the pulpit.
All eyes were turned on the old gray-haired veteran, and those
in the pulpit seemed to hesitate, not knowing what was going to
occur. Many of the auditors knew what was coming. One of
the sons attempted to persuade him to relinquish his plan, as it
might disturb the proceedings. He pushed his son aside, with
the remark that he knew what he was about to do. On reaching
the altar, he addressed the ministers, and related, in a clear voice,
the contract made, and said that he was ready to fulfill the last
of the bargain on his part. The ministers stood aside, the old
gentleman took his text, and for twenty or thirty minutes ad-
dressed the crowded house in a manner never before nor since
known. It almost seemed as if St. John, the apostle, were speak-
ing in his own flesh and blood. He concluded by trusting that
those who were to occupy the sacred desk would preach only
from the Holy Bible before him, with love to all, laying aside all
bigotry, superstition, intolerance, or fanaticism, to the end that
all might become better, and prepared to occupy another temple
not made with hands; also thanked all concerned, walked back to
his seat, and the dedicatory exercises proceeded."
The building was enlarged in 1866 and rededicated on Thurs-
day, February 7, 1867, Rev. William Bixby preaching both
morning and evening. In 1883 $800 was spent in repairing and
improving the church.
In 1895 a parsonage was built costing $1,600. It was formally
opened on December 28, 1895, by a reception. The following
Sunday morning Rev. J. E. Bone preached, and after the ser-
mon raised $500 to finish paying for the building. On January 10,
1896, in consideration of $245, Eliza A. Sullivan deeded the
712 Wyoming Conference
society half an acre of ground — the lot on which the parsonage
The charge has been visited by a number of gracious revivals.
The charge was formed in 1853, but from 1855-82 it was with
Worcester, and became a charge again in 1883.
Elliott Hill was a part of Westford Circuit as early as 1836,
and became a part of Decatur charge at its formation. On May
19, 1880, James H. Skinner and his wife Mary deeded to the
Methodist Episcopal Church of Elliott Hill, in the town of De-
catur, a quarter of an acre of ground, receiving $1 therefor. The
church was built in 1880. About 1887 this society became a part
of the East Worcester charge.
1853, E. Dennison; 1854, Wayne Carver; 1855-82, with Wor-
cester (which see); 1883, G. H. Prentice; 1884-85, W. R. Turner;
1886, G. H. Prentice; 1887-89, J. W. Mevis; 1890-91, R. C. Gill;
1892-94, E. E. Pearce; 1895-96, L. A. Wild; 1897-1900, W. M.
Shaw; 1901-02, W. S. Wilcox; 1903, W. S. Adams.
Fly Creek, N. Y.
Prior to the creation of Fly Creek charge this territory formed
a part of Otsego Circuit.
Not long after the year 1800 a "meetinghouse" was built upon
the spot now called the "old chapel burying ground," situated
about one fourth of a mile north of the village. This was built by
The class was organized about the year 1810 by the Rev. Seth
Mattison, with the following among the first members: Benjamin
and Celinda Gallap, David Marvin, George Roberts, Eleanor
Williams, Sally Rutember. The society used the chapel, spoken
of above. In time it came to be called the "old Methodist chapel."
On March 31, 1834, the society met in this chapel and became
incorporated as "The First Methodist Episcopal Society in Fly
Creek. David Marvin presided, and Russell Brownell acted as
clerk. Russell Brownell, Zadock Fitch, David Marvin, Philip
Moses, and Henry Fish were elected trustees. For some reason,
not now known, the society met in the same place on April 23,
1835, and again incorporated, using the same name as before.
Russell Brownell presided at this meeting, and Jasper Denslow
acted as secretary. David Marvin, Bennajah Comstock, Joseph C.
Marvin, Warren Babbitt, Zadock Fitch, Russell Brownell, and
Fly Creek, N. Y. 713
Philip Moses were elected trustees. At this meeting the trustees
were authorized to secure a site and circulate a subscription for
a church. Some funds, however, had already been raised for
On July 31, 1835, David Marvin and his wife Eleanor deeded
the society one rood and fourteen rods of land for $50. The
church, which was 40x60 feet, was built on this lot, and dedicated
in 1839 by Dr. Elias Bowen.
This building was remodeled in 1874 at an expense of $2,500.
The galleries and high pulpit were removed, and other radical
FLY CREEK CHURCH AND PARSONAGE [photo]
changes made. It was reopened on Thursday, February 25, 1875.
Rev. H. Wheeler preached in the morning from Gen. xxviii, 17.
After the sermon the congregation was asked for $600, and $900
was given. Rev. H. V. Talbott preached in the evening. The
society used the Universalist church while the repairs were in
The bell in this church was purchased as a community affair,
but for years, by virtue of possession, it has been considered the
property of the church. For years it rang at exactly noon, the
janitor priding himself on his accuracy. It was also used to ring
for curfew, which prevailed many years ago in the village.
The ground upon which the Old Chapel used to stand was
leased to the society for nine hundred years, the owner reserving
the right to pasture sheep between the graves. The lot was
subsequently deeded to the society.
The first parsonage was built on half an acre of ground deeded
714 Wyoming Conference
on December 31, 1835, to the trustees of Otsego Circuit, by-
Buckingham Fitch, for $5. The parsonage was not paid for until
about 1854. The pastors resided in this house until the present
property was bought, when it was sold. On June 17, 1901,
Henry C. Babcock and wife Mary H. deeded the society the
present property beside the church, which contains three quarters
of an acre of ground, for $2,000.
Fitch Hill class was organized about 1813. Its first members
were Jonah and Esther Sprague; Reuben and Elsie Whipple, son
and daughter; George and Alice Roberts and George, Jr.; S. R.,
Sophia, and Sally Roberts; Joseph and Alice Perkins; William
Holavert; and Amos Babcock and wife.
On May 9, 1835, the society met at the house of B. Fletcher, in
the town and county of Otsego, for incorporation. William T.
Tanner presided and Eleazer Boiden acted as clerk. Eleazer
Boiden, William T. Tanner, Zadock Fitch, David Marvin, and
Buckingham Fitch were elected trustees of "The Third Methodist
Episcopal Society in the town of Otsego, State of New York."
A church 24x30 feet was built in 1835, and was extensively
repaired in 1881. It was dedicated on Thursday, February 2,
1882, Rev. F. L. Hiller preaching in the morning and Rev. J. C.
Leacock in the evening.
No services are held here now, having been discontinued in
Fly Creek Valley is six miles north of Fly Creek and two miles
from Fitch Hill.
On August 28, 1882, Leander Weldon and wife Mary, in con-
sideration of $1, deeded to Alonzo House, Menzo Bourne, Gorton
Shaw, Fayette T. Shant, and Louis Hinds, trustees of "The Fly
Creek Valley Methodist Episcopal Church," forty-one rods of
land. The church, which cost $2,000, was dedicated on Thursday;
January 3, 1884, by Rev. A. J. Cook.
Toddsville formed a part of this charge until placed with
Hartwick in 1898.
1853-54, A. R. Wells; 1855-56, George Parsons; 1857-58, D. L.
Pendell; 1859, S. Comfort; 1860, S. Comfort, H. F. Rowe; 1861-
62, William Watson; 1863-64, William C. McDonald; 1865-67,
J. W. Rawlingson; 1868-69, H. V. Talbott; 1870-72, George
Parsons; 1873-74, H. A. Blanchard; 1875, A. J. Cook; 1876-78,
J. Ryder; 1879-80, H. G. Harned; 1881-83, B. P. Ripley; 1884,
Harpursville and Nineveh, N. Y. 715
P. R. Tower; 1885-87, A. Wrigley; 1888, H. E. Wheeler; 1889-
90, J. S. Southworth; 1891, H. A. Williams; 1892-93, J. L.
Thomas; 1894-96, A. M. Colegrove; 1897-1900, E. E. Pearce;
1901-02, E. L. Jeffrey; 1903, R. E. Wilson.
Harpursville and Nineveh, N. Y.
From 1842 to 1857 the territory in this charge formed a part
of Page Brook Circuit, which contained the following preaching
places: Page Brook, East Page Brook, New Ohio, Harpursville,
Wakeman's, and Elliott. In 1844 three other appointments were
The first Quarterly Conference held in Harpursville was held
at the schoolhouse on February 10, 1844. On March 12, 1844,
the society met for incorporation, when Hartson Humaston,
Darius W. Pearsall, and Albert Pratt were elected trustees of
"The First Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in
On July 5, 1845, land was purchased of Robert Harpur, and
the church was built the same season, being dedicated on October
16. Rev. J. M. Snyder preached from James i, 17, and after the
sermon raised $50 to liquidate indebtedness. After an inter-
mission Rev. T. H. Pearne preached from Gen. xlix, 22-24. The
society at this time had fourteen members.
The parsonage was built in 1867.
When Harpursville charge was formed it contained the fol-
lowing preaching places: Harpursville, New Ohio, Nineveh,
Coles Hill, Perch Pond, Schonton, Nurce Hollow, and Welton
Nineveh class was organized in 1852. On March 21, 1853, the
society met at the schoolhouse, the usual place of worship, for
incorporation, when R. S. Run, John Padgett, H. W. Mahew,
Jeremiah Pular, and Daniel Stone were elected trustees of "The
First Methodist Episcopal Church of Nineveh."
The church was built in 1855. In 1892 $380 was spent in
improvements, and in 1900 Mr. Reuben Lovejoy presented the
society with a bell costing $240. In the same season the interior
of the church was somewhat improved.
Nineveh became an appointment in 1873, and was served by
the following pastors: 1873, T. C. Roskelly; 1874-75, A. Brown;
1876-77, S. Wood; 1878, L. Frutchman; 1879-80, F. L. Ketchum;
1881, E. Andrews; 1882-83, C. H. Marsh. In 1884 Nineveh
returned to its former relation with Harpursville.
716 Wyoming Conference
During the pastorate of L. F. Ketchum a contention arose. He
insisted on preaching on territory belonging to Harpursville
charge. This eventually caused a rupture and Ketchum left the
Church, taking some members with him, and organized a Re-
formed Methodist society, only two miles from Harpursville,
which society still continues.
Perch Pond is a schoolhouse appointment about four miles
east of Harpursville. This has been a thrifty appointment for
Harpursville charge has been favored with a strong line of
local preachers — Revs. S. Parsons, father of Rev. F. H. Parsons,
of this Conference, John Moon, Adam Yeager, Billy Way. Revs.
L. Alexander, E. H. Truesdell, and John Hurlburt went from
this charge and did supply work. A. Estes was licensed in 1859
and entered the pastorate. M. D. Matoon was licensed in 1861
and is now doing supply work. R. W. Van Schoick was licensed
in 1866 and entered the Conference.
W. W. Cowdry served as recording steward from 1842 to
January 10, 1863, being present seventy-two sessions out of
eighty-four, and during ten successive years did not miss a session
of the Quarterly Conference. S. B. Monroe served ten years, and
C. W. Hare has been recording steward since 1880.
(Page Brook:) 1842-43, A. G. Burlingame; 1844-45, Philip
Bartlett; 1846-47, Henry Ercanbrack; 1848-49, Levi Pitts; 1850,
T. D. Wire; 1851, M. Ruger (Ruger died, E. Puffer filled out the
year); 1852, E. Puffer; 1853, W. Round; 1854, W. Round, E.
Puffer; 1855 (Harpursville alone), W. Roberts; 1856, A. C.
Sperry, W. Roberts; 1857, A. C. Sperry, E. Puffer; (Harpurs-
ville:) 1858, P. G. Bridgeman; 1859-60, G. A. Severson; 1861-
62, A. W. Loomis; 1863, P. Holbrook; 1864, L. Pitts; 1865-66,
A. Brigham; 1867-69, S. Barner; 1870-71, C. D. Shepard, G. E.
Hathaway; 1872, W. H. Gavitt, G. E. Hathaway; 1873, W. H.
Gavitt; 1874-76, I. P. Towner; 1877-78, George Pritchett; 1879,
A. F. Harding; 1880-81, C. H. Jewell; 1882-83, F. P. Doty; 1884-
85, N. J. Hawley; 1886, J. G. Stephens; 1887, G. H. Prentice;
1888-89, J- H. Taylor; 1890-93, A. M. Colegrove; 1894-95,
Joshua Brundle; 1896, James Benge, A. W. Phillips (Benge died,
Phillips filled out the year); 1897-98, A. C. Olver; 1899-1900,
H. E. Wheeler; 1901, William Mountenay; 1902-03, W. H.
Hartwick, N. Y. 717
Hartwick, N. Y.
Very little has been gleaned concerning Hartwick. Lying, as
it does, but a few miles up the valley from Mount Vision, it would
be fair to presume that the itinerants of Otsego Circuit in reach-
ing Mount Vision would not overlook this place nor pass it by.
It formed a part of Exeter Circuit in 1843. There is a tradition
that Methodist preachers held services in an old stone schoolhouse
seventy-five years ago. It is also claimed that the church was
raised on May 29, 1839.
On June 21, 1842, the society met for incorporation. E. R.
Van Home and Joshua Duly presided, and Caleb F. Smith,
Lyman Green, Russell Benjamin, Frederick H. Bissell, and E. R.
Van Home were elected trustees. The corporate name of the
society is "The Trustees of the First Methodist Episcopal Church
Upon application of Rev. Nelson Rounds, D.D., the presiding
elder of Chenango District, to the faculty of Cazenovia Seminary,
E. G. Andrews, now bishop, went to Hartwick and taught a select
school in the winter of 1843, in the basement of the Methodist
Episcopal church. This winter he received an exhorter's license
from Rev. Calvin Hawley, then preacher in charge of Exeter
Circuit, which included Hartwick, and later a local preacher's
license signed by Dr. Rounds. His first sermon was preached in
a schoolhouse three or four miles south of Hartwick.
The building was repaired in 1866, at a cost of $3,400. It "was
reopened on Wednesday, February 13, 1867, Rev. William
Bixby preaching morning and evening. It was again repaired
in 1880, at an expense of $800, and again in 1902, at a cost
Mount Vision and Hartwick formed a charge many years.
There is a parsonage at each place. It was customary for years
for the pastors to alternate in their place of residence. Should one
pastor live at Hartwick, the next would live at Mount Vision. In
1898 the places were separated, each becoming an appointment.
Toddsville is five miles east from Hartwick. The class here
was for many years a part of the Fly Creek charge, and worshiped
in a union church. This class became a parrof Hartwick charge
in 1898. On June 20, 1902, in consideration of $1, Leon D. Pope
and wife Bertha, Frank Peck and wife Kate, and Nathaniel Finch
and wife Adelia deeded a building lot to the Methodist Episcopal
Church of Toddsville. The Church Extension Society made pos-
718 Wyoming Conference
sible a church by donating $250 to the society. The church has a
fine basement, with furnace room, kitchen, and dining room, and
the auditorium and League rooms can be thrown together. It
has memorial windows and is neatly finished throughout. It cost
$2,200, and was dedicated on September 28, 1902, by Revs. T. F.
Hall, D.D., and M. S. Hard, D.D.
Hyde Park is three miles below Cooperstown, and but a short
distance from Toddsville. Some time before the church was
built meetings were held in the schoolhouse at Hope Factory, in
the stone schoolhouse across the river, below Phenix, and in the
house of Cornelius Teachout (now occupied by his son-in-law,
Henry C. Winsor). Students from Cooperstown Seminary used
to preach here frequently. The class formed a part of Coopers-
town charge from its origin until 1902, when it became a part of
The class was organized in 1858 by Rev. John T. Crippen. On
February 26, 1859, the society met at the home of Cornelius
Teachout for the purpose of incorporation. E. Swartwout and
George Kirby presided, and Andrew Losee, George Kirby, and
Cornelius Teachout were elected trustees. The corporate name
of the society is "The Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church
of Hyde Park." On October 10, 1859, Cornelius Teachout and
wife Eliza deeded the society the lot on which the church was
already built for $1. The church cost about $800. It is claimed
that Mr. Teachout not only gave the lot, but drew the lumber,
boarded the workmen, and contributed about $500 toward the
enterprise. The building was dedicated on October 13, 1859,
Rev. J. Shank preaching in the morning. Rev. J. T. Crippen in
the afternoon, and Rev. J. L. Wells in the evening.
Several gracious revivals have stirred the community and added
strength to the society.
1848-49, William Bixby; 1850-51, J. T. Wright; 1852-53, W.
Southworth; 1854-55, J- Shank; 1856-57, Lewis Hartsough;
1858, L. C. Queal, P. Hughston; 1859, L. C. Queal; 1860, W. C.
McDonald; 1861, S. Comfort; 1862-63, L. H. Stanley; 1864-65,
W. R. Lynch; 1866-68, Austin Griffin; 1869-70, L. Cole; 1871,
J. L. Wells; 1872-74, J. V. Newell; 1875, J. C. Shelland; 1876-78,
A. J. Cook; 1879-80, A. F. Brown; 1881-83, H. G. Harned; 1884-
86, R. C. Gill; 1887, C. C. Vrooman; 1888-90, E. Kilpatrick;
1891-93, A. Wrigley; 1894-97, H. A. Greene; 1898-1903, A. D.
Lanesboro, Pa. 719
Lanesboro Circuit was detached mainly from the Bainbridge
Circuit in 1833, and held its last quarterly meeting June 14, 1851,
supplemented by a meeting of the official board on July 19, 1851.
The circuit included the eastern part of Broome County, N. Y.,
the northern part of Wayne County, Pa., and the northeastern
part of Susquehanna County, Pa., and was about thirty miles in
length, from north to south, and fifteen miles in width. It had
eleven appointments at formation, each to be filled once in two
weeks. Schoolhouses and private houses were used as places of
worship. This necessitated five week-day appointments which
were usually at 4 p. m. in summer and at "early candle light" in
There being no church of any kind on the circuit, the first
quarterly meeting was held outside of its limits, in the village of
Windsor, N. Y., as was the case with the first quarterly meetings
for the years 1834 and 1835.
Palmer Owen was a local deacon, and one of the stewards of
the circuit for about ten years. He was a good and useful man.
He, however, became dissatisfied, and subsequently he and several
other members identified themselves with the Protestant Meth-
odist Church. On June 17, 1842, he was expelled for disorderly
In 1833 Joseph Dow, Jr., was advanced from exhorter's to
local preacher's rank. He was a good speaker and singer and a
useful man, and became a local deacon. In 1845 he signed the
following statement: "I, Joseph Dow, do firmly and sincerely
disbelieve in the doctrine of the endless punishment of the human
family, and also the existence of an evil and powerful spirit or
personal being called the devil, as is generally supposed to exist,
and that the above doctrines are taught in the Bible." Of course
he was tried and expelled from the Church. He subsequently
became an avowed infidel. However, in his old age, he returned
to his former faith and "died in the Lord."
John Dickinson, an exhorter, became a Protestant Methodist
William Wooley was received from this charge into the Oneida
Conference. He married injudiciously, and retired, went West,
and labored under the elder a few years, returned, and sought
admission to the Conference. Failing to be admitted, he united
with the Presbyterians and preached for them.
Another official of these early days was John Comfort, Esq.,
720 Wyoming Conference
of Lanesboro, father of Dr. Silas Comfort; grandfather of George
Comfort, the educator, of Rev. George Comfort, for many years
in Montana, and of Rev. James H. Cargill; father-in-law of Dr.
Nelson Rounds and Dr. William Reddy; and grandfather of Rev.
G. H. Blakeslee. He was a wise and incorruptible magistrate, and
given to hospitality. He was accustomed to say on quarterly
meeting occasions, "Send as many to my house as I have boards
in my floor." He was the first recording steward of the circuit.
In 1840 three Sunday schools existed on the circuit, one of
which was at Tallmansville (Lake Como), which had been in
existence several seasons. In this year Nathaniel Lewis's name
appears as a local preacher. He was an elder, ordained by Bishop
LANESEORO CHURCH AND PARSONAGE [photo]
Asbury, and the society with which he was connected was this
year taken from the Brooklyn Circuit and connected with this
circuit. In his younger days Lewis was known as an industrious
and intelligent young man. He lived on that side of the Susque-
hanna River now embraced in Oakland, and near the Great Bend
line. The place where he lived was called Susquehanna, and was
three miles down the river from Lanesboro. Lewis was employed
a great deal by John Holborn, who was led to admire his religious
zeal. He accordingly advised Lewis to procure a license to
preach in conformity with the rules of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, Mr. Lewis being a firm believer in the doctrines of
Methodism and fully competent to teach. He did so, and became
a power in this territory. He was talented, laborious, and had
much to do with the planting of Methodism in these parts.
Lanesboro, Pa. 721
The wealthiest member of the class to which Lewis belonged
was Isaac Hale, whose daughter Emma married Joseph Smith,
the founder of Mormonism.
In 1846 the circuit comprised "Lanesboro, a small place about
three miles farther up the river, Starrucca in a ballroom, Thomp-
son in a schoolhouse, Ararat, Tallmansville, Scott, Hale's Eddy,
Woodmansee, Little York, etc., twelve places in all." This year
the pastor sold $1,000 worth of Book Concern publications on
A short time before Rev. C. V. Arnold's death we asked him
to give us the circuit as he served it. Here it is: Lanesboro
Church, Susquehanna Schoolhouse, South Harmony Schoolhouse,
Maple Grove Schoolhouse, South Windsor Schoolhouse, Mc-
Kune Schoolhouse, Jenkins Schoolhouse, Ararat Schoolhouse,
Hine's Corners Schoolhouse, Ira Cargill's house, Starrucca
Church, Tallmansville Schoolhouse, Woodmansee Schoolhouse,
Lake Como at Lakin's house, McClure Church, Gulf Summit
Schoolhouse, Creek Settlement Schoolhouse, Bettsburg Springs
Schoolhouse, Hill Lake Schoolhouse, and Starrucca Stone
In 1851 Lanesboro and Susquehanna became a separate charge,
and the Lanesboro Circuit went into history, Sanford Circuit
becoming its successor. In 1855 the present Lanesboro charge
The following charges have been formed from the old Lanes-
boro Circuit: Susquehanna, Thompson, Ouaquaga, Hale's Eddy,
Lake Como, McClure, Sanford, and Lanesboro.
At Lanesboro meetings were held in barns in summer and
private houses in winter until the log schoolhouse was built, when
it was used for worship until the church was built.
The names of the original class, which was formed as early as
1812, cannot be given with certainty. However, it is known that
John Comfort and wife, Nathaniel Lewis and wife, Isaac Hale
and wife, Marmaduke Salisbury and wife, and James Newman
and wife were members of it.
The church at Lanesboro was built in 1837, and first used for a
quarterly meeting service on February 10 and 11, 1838. The
building was erected by the community in general, but Mr. Lane,
the largest contributor, advised deeding it to the Methodist
church, because that was the only church organization in the
vicinity. Until December, 1847, this was the only church within
the bounds of the circuit.
In 1872 the building was repaired at a cost of $700, and was
722 Wyoming Conference
reopened on October l0, 1872, Dr. H. R. Clarke preaching in the
morning and D. D. Lindsley in the evening. The sum of $300
was raised during the day. In 1895 it was again repaired, this
time at a cost of $1,125. It was reopened on Thursday, December
5, 1895, Rev. J. O. Woodruff preaching in the morning and Rev.
H. H. Wilbur in the evening.
In 1841 a parsonage was built about a half mile from the
church. This became dilapidated and was sold about 1877 for
$600, at which time the present parsonage by the church was built,
Bethel Hill is one of the appointments of this charge and has a
comparatively new church.
Stevens Point is another appointment of the charge. A new
church was dedicated here on November 19, 1896, which cost
1833-34, D. Torry; 1835-36, P. G. White; 1837, King Elwell;
1838, Alanson Benjamin; 1839, A. Benjamin, A. Calder; 1840-41,
Philo Blackman; 1842-43, P. G. Bridgeman; 1844-45, David
Davis; 1846, P. Bartlett; 1847, P. Bartlett, G. W. Leach; 1848,
N. S. De Witt, G. W. Leach; 1849, N. S. De Witt; 1850, C. V.
Arnold; 1851-54, with Susquehanna; 1855-56, S. G. Stevens;
1857, A. Brigham; 1858, W. Roberts; 1859, F- L- Hiller; 1860-
61, G. R. Hair; 1862, F. Spencer; 1863-64, S. Barner; 1865-67,
J. W. Hewitt; 1868-70, N. S. De Witt; 1871, R. J. Kellogg; 1872-
73, A. F. Harding; 1874, S. W. Spencer; 1875, S. W. Cole; 1876-
77, C. H. Jewell; 1878-79, J. W. Hewitt; 1880-82, J. R. Wagner;
1883-85, T. C. Roskelly; 1886-87, William Bixby; 1888, P. R.
Tower; 1889-92, C. L. Rice; 1893-94, H. L. Hubbard; 1895-97,
C. C. Vrooman; 1898-99, D. C. Barnes; 1900-03, D. L. Meeker.
Laurens, N. Y.
Methodism sprang up here in the days of the Otsego Circuit,
and when Otego Circuit was formed became a part of that circuit.
In 1828 the Methodists and Presbyterians united in building a
church in which the society worshiped until going into its own
church, when it sold its interest in the union church to the Pres-
On January 22, 1844, the society met in the schoolhouse for
incorporation. John Phillips and Elkanah Johnson presided, and
Elkanah Johnson, John Phillips, William Mosher, Samuel Patten-
Laurens, N. Y. 723
gill, and George W. Powell were elected trustees of "The Laurens
Methodist Episcopal Society." On February 23, 1844, Gideon
Cornell deeded the society thirty-one rods of land, in consider-
ation of $100. The church was built on this lot the same season,
In 1868 the building was remodeled, galleries removed, and the
pulpit put in the opposite end of the church, with some minor
improvements. It was reopened on November 12, 1868, Rev.
William Bixby preaching in the morning. Rev. J. L. Wells in the
afternoon, and Rev. W. G. Queal in the evening. In 1884 $1,350
was spent in building an alcove for the pulpit, reseating, and
other improvements. It was reopened on December 11, 1884, Rev.
H. M. Crydenwise preaching in the morning and Rev. J. N. Lee
in the evening and conducting the dedicatory service. During the
day $300 was raised. In 1899 $300 was spent in recarpeting, etc.
The parsonage is across the road from the church, and was
built in 1871 on land purchased of William Strong for $400.
On June 4, 1888, the society reincorporated. A. Davis and J. F.
Newell presided at the meeting called for that purpose, and J. N.
Mead, A. S. Allen, A. G. Davis, J. F. Newell, and L. A. Sergent
were elected trustees of "The Methodist Episcopal Church of the
Village of Laurens."
Stephen Strait and J. N. Mead have been members and officials
here about fifty years.
Glorious revivals were experienced just after the church was
built, and in 1850, 1882, 1889, and 1896.
John Phillips, Dexter Johnson, Jacob Richardson, George
Brightman, and Philander Camp were among the members of the
church when it was built.
Oneonta Plains is about seven miles south of Laurens and two
miles west of Oneonta. We know nothing very definite about
Methodism's early days here. The society is supposed to have
been formed about 1820. The church was built in 1843 on a lot
bought of Lyman Toles for $150, and cost $1,800. Prior to the
erection of the church the society used barns in the summer and
private houses in the winter.
In 1878 $1,000 was expended in removing the galleries and
other improvements. The reopening occurred on Thursday,
December 12, 1878, Rev. G. W. Izer, of Cortland, preaching at
10.30 A. M.
The society met for incorporation on September 18, 1867. San-
ford Shepherd and James C. Sheldon presided, and John M.
724 Wyoming Conference
Packard, Sanford Shepherd, and James C. Sheldon were elected
trustees. The corporate name of the society is "The Trustees of
the Oneonta Plains Methodist Episcopal Church."
This class probably formed a part of Otsego Circuit, and sub-
sequently a part of Otego Circuit.
From 1877 to 1882 it was a charge and served as follows: 1877-
78, E. W. Lockwood; 1879, M. Dorr Sill; 1880, W. F. Albrecht;
1881, N. P. Ripley; 1882, E. B. Olmstead. In 1883 it was placed
Henry Shepherd and Aaron Richard have held official positions
over thirty years.
Extensive revivals were experienced in 1870 and 1891.
Richardson Hill, now called Wilbur Lake, is about three miles
from Laurens. The society is the result of a revival promoted
by John Marble, a local preacher from Oneonta, assisted by his
brother James, and Edward Shove, from the same place. The class
was organized on November 10, 1854. Among the first members
were Justus G. Richardson, Daniel Richardson, Sally Richardson,
Elizabeth and Benjamin Richardson, Samuel, Amy A., and Edwin
Peet, Benjamin and Mary Travis, Charlotte Peet, Charles T. Gif-
ford, Mary Cooley, Henry R. Gifford, and Andrew Richardson.
On July 7, 1856, in consideration of $50, William Richardson
and wife Polly deeded to Simon Green, Justus G. Richardson, and
Edwin Peet, trustees of "The Methodist Episcopal Society of
Laurens, Oneonta, and Milford," a site for a church. The building
30x40, was dedicated the first Tuesday in January, 1857, and was
erected mainly through the influence of Simon Green and Justus
G. Richardson, and cost $1,200. Justus G. Richardson was the
first class leader.
In 1900 it was recarpeted and otherwise improved.
The class formed a part of the Laurens charge from its founda-
tion until 1859, when it was placed with Oneonta, where it re-
mained until 1863, and then returned to Laurens. Since 1883
it has held Quarterly Conference relations with Laurens, but its
pulpit has been supplied by Rev. Henry Gifford, a local preacher
who is now living at Oneonta, and who has been a member of the
society many years.
In 1870 the society was visited by an extensive revival.
1848, G. C. Elliott; 1849, G. C. Elliott, E. Dennison; 1850-51,
William Southworth; 1852-53, C. G. Robinson; 1854, D. C.
Dutcher; 1855-56, H. S. Richardson; 1857, Samuel M. Stone;
McClure, N. Y. 725
1858-59, L. Bowdish; 1860-61, R. Townsend; 1862-63, A. Griffin;
1864, L. E. Marvin; 1865-66, B. B. Carruth; 1867-69, J. W.
Mevis; 1870-72, H. N. Van Deusen; 1873-75, J- S. Southworth;
1876-77, B. P. Ripley; 1878, A. S. Clark; 1879-81, H. A. Blanch-
ard; 1882, A. F. Chaffee; 1883-84, E. B. Olmstead; 1885-86, H.
B. Benedict; 1887-89, D. Personeus; 1890, W. M. Shaw; 1891-
93, W. H. Alger; 1894, M. S. Buckingham; 1895-96, E. E. Pearce;
1897-99, G. G. McChesney; 1900-02, W. S. Adams; 1903, J. R.
McClure, N. Y.
The information secured concerning this charge is very meager
indeed. It is claimed that there was an appointment at Alexander
Hill, not far from the McClure church, as early as 1830, perhaps
earlier, and that the present society is the outgrowth of the class
formed there. The territory formed a part of the Lanesboro Cir-
cuit until it became a charge in 1851, and was known as the San-
ford charge until 1887, when it took the name of McClure.
A camp meeting was held at McClure Settlement in 1839 by
Rev. George Peck, at that time presiding elder on Susquehanna
On September 11, 1843, at a meeting over which P. G. Bridge-
man and Henry Bunker presided, the society became incorporated
as "The First Methodist Episcopal Church in the Town of San-
ford," and elected Henry Bunker, John W. Sheldon, Calvin Shel-