The History of Otsego County, New York
D. Hamilton Hurd
Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia
This church as organized Sept. 17, 1805, with the
following members, viz., Ashael PACKARD, David OGDEN,
Susannah OGDEN, Mary OVERHIZER, Zenas GOODRICH,
Mary GOODRICH, Christian GOODRICH, Daniel KNAPP,
The organization was effected at the house of Abraham
BLAKELY. The meeting was opened by prayer, and a
sermon was preached by Rev. Abner BENEDICT, after which
he was chosen as moderator, and Ashael PACKARD, who
had been a deacon in the Franklin church, was continued in
the same office; Daniel KNAPP was chosen deacon and
Ashael PACKARD clerk. During the first two years the
church was doubtless without a stated minister. On Aug.
12, 1807, they chose Rev. Wm. BULL to the pastoral office,
who served two years, and it was during this period that a
house of worship was erected. This structure was thirty-two
feet square, and for several years during its occupancy it
was only inclosed, the seats were without backs, and it
was furnished with no stove or fire. People brought their
foot-stoves and hot bricks until 1816, when the building
was completed and ready for occupancy. The church
worshiped in this old building until 1830, when the present
church edifice was commenced, and in 1833 dedicated. It
was erected at a cost of $2908.
In 1820 the church in Butternuts became divided, and
sixty-seven of its members united with this church. Soon
after, the trouble having been settled, the greater part of the
number returned. In 1852 some changes were made in
the interior of the church, and a bell was also purchased.
In 1867 the church was thoroughly repaired and painted,
at a cost of $1900. It is now in a prosperous condition,
with the following officers: P. J. BURNHAM, pastor; A.
ARNOLD, G. N. WELLS, C. OLMSTEAD, and C. S.
SMITH, elders; C. S. SMITH, clerk.
The BAPTIST church was organized April 4, 1816, at this
place, then called Unadilla, with the following persons, viz.:
Abraham BLAKELY, Benjamin GREEN, William THOMAS,
John BIRDSALL, Phineas ST. JOHN, Silas P. HYATT, Eli
PLATT, Jerusha BIRDSALL, Mary BIRDSALL, Sabra HUNT,
Lydia GREEN, Polly THOMAS.
Prior to the erection of the church building services
were held in school-houses, private houses, and barns in
various portions of the town. A. BLAKELY was the first
treasurer and deacon, and William THOMAS clerk. Aug.
15, 1818, Elder Daniel ROBINSON was chosen pastor, and
served for eight months for a salary of $50. The church
edifice was erected in 1829, and rebuilt in 1854 at a cost of
$2000. The present officers are as follows, viz.: Rev. Albert
Henry NEWLAND, and Levi COBURN, trustees.
This church was organized Jan. 12, 1857, by Elder ST. JOHN,
who was chosen first pastor. The first trustees were Gilbert
BUNDY, John SMITH, and G. M. FRENCH. First church
clerk, James BUNDY. The church as a present membership
of about fifty.
IMMANUEL Church (By W. BIRDSALL)
Immanuel Presbyterian Episcopal church of Otego was
organized at the house of Thaddeus R. AUSTIN, in Otego,
Nov. 10, 1834, with the Rev. John F. MESSENGER as
chairman. James ROBINSON and John S. ROCKWELL were
nominated to certify to the proceedings of the meeting, ad
at the same time Daniel R. POPE and Jesse S. HEWETT were
elected wardens; Thaddeus R. AUSTIN, James ROBINSON,
John S. ROCKWELL, George F. AUSTIN, Abel BOSTWICK,
Elisha S SAUNDERS, James FOLLETT, and Henry S.
AUSTIN, vestrymen. At the same time Wednesday, in
Easter week, was fixed upon as the day on which future
elections should be held.
At the organization the following were members: Mrs.
Thaddeus R. AUSTIN, Daniel R. POPE and wife, Jesse S.
HEWITT and wife, James ROBINSOIN and wife, and Henry
On Aug. 13, 1835, ground was broken and the cornerstone
laid for a house of worship. The church was built of stone,
40 by 50 feet, with tower, and was completed early in 1836
at a cost of some $2500. Of this amount Trinity church of
New York, contributed $750; the balance was raised by
subscription, which was largely obtained through the efforts
of Henry S. AUSTIN.
The lot on which the church stands was donated by
Thaddeus R. AUSTIN, who also headed the subscription
with a liberal amount.
Previous to the organization of the church services were
occasionally held in the school-house by the Rev. Mr. FOOTE,
and after the organization, up to the completion of the church,
at the same place services were held by the rector, the Rev.
Mr. MESSENGER, or in his absence there was lay reading
by Henry S. AUSTIN.
The church was consecrated in June, 1936, by the Right
Rev. Bishop ONDERDONK, and admitted into the convention
of the diocese of New York the same year.
The Rev. Mr. MESSENGER remained with the church only
for a short time, and, on his leaving, the Rev. John V. HUGHS
took charge of the parish till 1840, when the Rev. Andrew
HALL was called as minister, and remained some two years,
and on his leaving the Rev. Mr. HUGHS again took charge
of the parish, holding occasional services up to 1865. In
1847 the church was sold under execution, and the Rev.
Mr. HUGHS, by his own exertions, raised the money and
redeemed the property.
In 1865-66 the church was repaired, enlarged, and
furnished, at a cost, in all, of some $3000. On Easter
Tuesday, 1865, an election for officers (the first in several
years) was held, when Daniel POPE and Dr. George W.
COOK were elected wardens; Dr. Elisha S. SAUNDERS,
Samuel R. FOLLETT, William E. ARNOLD, Charles S.
WILLIAMS, Franklin M. BILTS, Thaddeus A. BIRSALL,
Le Grand B. STONE, and William BIRDSALL, vestrymen.
In 1865 the Rev. Mr. GODDARD held services once a month.
In March, 1866, the Rev. Geo. W. FOOTE, of New York,
was called as rector, and took charge June 1, remaining only
about one year, when he was called to Salt Lake City, where
he built the first Protestant Episcopal church in that territory.
In May, 1867, the Rev. George W. FERGUSON was
called, and remained some two years, when he was called to
Waterford, N.Y. On the Rev. Mr. FERGUSON leaving, the
Rev. Mr. HUGHS again took charge of the church, and in
April, 1870, was called as minister, and it was while the church
was in charge of this venerable and good man (now gone to
his long rest), in the spring of 1870, that one of Meneeley's
best bells (1043 pounds), with the inscription "Immanuel
Church, Otego, N.Y., Easter, 1870," was raised in the tower,
and on Easter morn pealed forth its first notes of joy and
gladness over a risen Saviour of mankind.
In April, 1871, the Rev. Mr. HUGHS resigned his charge,
and from that time until April, 1872, there were held only
occasional services. In April, 1872, the Rev. Joel DAVIS
was called, and remained one year, when he was called to
Harpersville, N.Y. In May, 1873, the Rev. John H.
FITZGERALD was called as rector, and took charge of
the parish, holding the same till Sept. 1, 1875, when he
was called to New Haven. In September, 1875, a call was
extended to the Rev. William C. GRUBBLE, which was
accepted, and he entered upon his duties October 1, and is
now in charge of the parish, with thirty communicants. The
present officers are Charles BLAKE and Eugene PHILLIPS,
wardens: William H. PARKER, Dr. A. B. COSSART, W H.
LINES, F. E. SHEPHERD, George GOODMAN, John
STILSON, and George W. SHEARMAN, vestrymen. During
the Rev. Mr. HULL's [HALL's?], Rev. Mr. FOOTE's, Rev. Mr.
FERGUSON's, and Rev. Mr. FITZGERALD's pastorate of
Immanuel church, they had most of the time the charge of
the Oneonta parish in connection with it, they residing in
Otego; and during the Rev. Mr. DAVIS' and the Rev. Mr.
GRUBBLE's pastorate they had in connection with it the parish
at Franklin, making Franklin their residence.
The FIRST CHRISTIAN church of Otego is located on the
west branch of the Otsdawa, four miles north of the present
village of Otego, and was organized on June 10, 1830, at the
house of Abner WEAVER (located just below the present
house of worship), by Elder Joshua HAYWARD, by adopting
the following church covenant, viz.:
We, whose names are hereafter written, having previously
given ourselves to God, have this day given ourselves to one
another by the will of God. And do take the New Testament
of Our Lord and Saviour "for the rule of our faith and practice."
And determine to extend our arms of charity to all the "Saints
of God" who give evidence of walking in newness of life and
new obedience. And, exclusive of all other, to take upon and
own the name by which the Disciples were called at Antioch,
namely, "Christians." As such we are publicly confessed by
Joshua HAYWARD, elder of the Church of Christ.
Name of first minister, Joshua HAYWARD.
Charter members.-Peleg BURDICK, Elizabeth BURDICK,
Abner WEAVER, Jane WEAVER, Nancy GRIFFITH, Caleb
C. WELLS, Isabel WEAVER, Truman TRASK, Louise
CHURCH, Polly WEAVER, Christina VAN DUSEN, Betsey
The first Christian meeting-house was erected in the year
1835, at a cost of $1200; size 30 by 38 feet.
The fellowship-meetings were established and held once
a month regularly, "and were characterized by love, union,
and heavenly sittings in Jesus."
The present officers are as follows: Geo. R. BROWN,
H. S. TRASK, and Chas. HOAG, trustees; T. J. MARTIN,
church clerk; George R. BROWN, treasurer.
The present minister is Elder H. LENARDSON, M.D.
The church record furnishes no authentic account of the
labors of the first ministers. Among the first were Joshua
HAYWARD and C W. MARTIN. In 1835, Reuben
BURGESS commenced his labors for an indefinite period.
In 1853, Rev. S. B. HAYWARD was chosen pastor, and
served one year. In 1855, Rev. A. HAYWARD was chosen
pastor, and served also one year. January, 1856, Rev. John
COOK was called, and held the pastorate successfully for
four years, closing the same in March, 1861. April, 1862,
Rev. Daniel GRANT accepted the pastoral care, and served
the church about three years. April, 1865, Rev. C. E. PEAKE
as called to the pastorate, and held the same for two years,
the church prospering. April, 1867, Rev. E. THORN was
chosen pastor, and held the same for one year. April, 1869,
Rev. C. E. PEAKE was recalled, and held the position for
one year. April, 1870, Rev. Wm. CASE was chosen pastor,
and continued for three. During one year of this time he was
sick, and the ministering brethren of the New York Eastern
Christian conference (of which he was a member) gave each
a Sabbath's services to aid him supplying his pulpits; the
churches (First and Second Christian churches of Otego)
paying his salary and caring for him until he was restored
so as to resume his labors. April 1, 1873, Rev. Elias JONES
commended pastoral labor, being called to that position, and
served for three years. April 1, 1876, Rev. H. LENARDSON,
M.D., was called to labor as pastor, and is the present
incumbent, including in his field of labor the Second
Christian church of Otego.
The number of present members is 116; whole number
since its organization, 221; deaths, 42; dismissed by letter,
removals, etc., 63.
The society has but one church building, which was
remodeled and improved, adding ten feet to its length, adding
on steeple, etc., at a cost of $800. This was done in the
year 1874. Its present size is 30 by 48 feet.
The First Christian church of Otego, in connection with
and associated with other churches at that early day, adopted
the following distinctive principles: Christ our head and
lawgiver; the Bible our creed; the right of private judgment;
Christian our name, a name given by divine appointment;
Christian character our test of fellowship, receiving all who
give evidence that Christ has received them, believing a life is
more than a creed, and that Christians are one in the sense our
Saviour prayed, as recorded in the seventeenth chapter of the
gospel of St. John. Christ prayed for unity or oneness of all
who should believe on him-"That the world may believe,
thou hast sent me."
"In the year 1835 the record dates a glorious revival
under the labors of Reuben BURGESS, who was subsequently
ordained by the following elders, John HOLLISTER, Wm.
CUMMINGS, Isaac SOULE, and Stephen SOULE; and at a
meeting held in J. H. WILSEY's barn, June 26, 1835, quite a
number were added to its membership."
The first annual meeting was held Jan. 5, 1857, to elect
a ministerial committee, etc., who were instructed by vote
of the church whom to secure as pastor, adding as a
congregational body independently. Those annual meetings
are kept up regularly.
The next general revival was under the two year's pastorate
of Rev. C. E. PEAKE. "During this time many additions were
made to the church, and some of them heads of families and
men of means."
The record of the church speaks of Rev. E. JONES'
pastorate as successful. "Several additions were made, and
the work of temperance reform and the Sabbath-school were
carried on with marked success."
Another item in its history is the fact that the present
pastor during the first year of his work has carried forward
the temperance reform so nobly begun by Rev. E. JONES,
having organized a strictly Total Abstinence Temperance
society under the auspices and patronage of the church,
with constitution and by-laws requiring monthly meetings,
with a pledged membership of nearly one hundred and fifty
members, pledged to use their influence by social moral
suasion and a prohibitory law-voting as they pray-in order
to stay this giant evil, intemperance (or drive it from our
midst), perpetuated by using alcoholic stimulants as a
beverage, by the drinking usages of society, and by a license
law that fosters and clothes it with authority and protects
the traffic, receiving in return a meagre revenue for the
same; the society bearing a constant testimony against this
evil by its public position on this important question.
The SECOND CHRISTIAN church of Otego was organized
at Centre Brook by Revs. C. E. PEAKE and Allen HAYWARD,
in the northwest part of the town of Otego, six miles from the
village of Otego.
Its first officers were as follows: Ira PEARCE and J. C.
EMMONS, deacons; J. C. EMMONS, clerk; G. A. BARTON
(one year), Wm. BAILEY (two years), Leander PEARCE
(three years), trustees. The first minister was Rev. Wm. CASE.
The first members were J. C., EMMONS, Delia E. EMMONS,
Wm. BAILEY, Elizabeth BAILEY, Ira PEARCE, Hannah
PEARCE, Abigail PEARCE, Edwin PEARCE, Adelbert
EMMONS, Burton EMMONS, J. E. TRUMAN, Alice
TRUMAN, R. O. ALLEN, B. A. BARTON, Caroline
BARTON, Irving WOOD, Margaret WOOD, Esther POTTER,
and George UTTER.
The church building was erected in 1870 at a cost of
$1400. It was dedicated Oct. 18, 1870, the services being
conducted by Revs. C. E. PEAKE, D. GRANT, B. F.
SUMMERBELL, William CASE, A. HAYWARD, and J. WELLS.
The present officers are J. C. EMMONS and Ira PEARCE,
deacons; J. C. EMMONS, clerk; Walter WOOD, Leander
PEARCE, and Wm. BAILEY, trustees. The present pastor
is Rev. H. LENARDSON, M.D.
The first pastor, Rev. William CASE, served the church
three years. His successor was the Rev. E. JONES, who
also served three years. The present pastor, H. LENARDSON,
is now in his second year of pastoral service. The number of
present members is 43.
This church is an outgrowth of the First Christian church
of Otego, on the West Branch of the Otsdawa. Thus far the
two churches have been united under the same pastor-in the
morning preaching to the First church, in the afternoon to the
Second church. Otherwise they are independent in their
METHODIST EPISCOPAL church
The first class in the village of Otego was formed March,
1847, with Wm. T. BROADFOOT as leader, and Morgan
LEWIS as steward. The preacher's name was Henry HALSTED.
The members were as follows: Wm. T. BROADFOOT, Salmon
BALDWIN, Mary BALDWIN, Orrin ROBERTS, Harry
DODGE, Betsey DODGE, Luther CURTIS, Charlotte
CURTIS, Sally TURNER, Julia HOAG, Mirilla JAY, Daniel
BIRDSALL, John CURTIS, Calista CLYDE, John PALMER,
Anna PALMER, Adelia DODGE, Lydia M. THORP, Morgan
LEWIS, Lina LEWIS, Ira TOLES, Mary TOLES, John WINN,
Polly WINN, Hannah BATES, Harriet SPOOR, Hannah
TRACY, and Cynthia TRACY.
The first church was erected in 1852,-Rev. Wm.
BURNSIDE pastor,-at a cost of $2000. Service were held
previous to building in the Baptist church and school-house.
The following have served the church as pastors: Henry
HALSTED, one year; E. DENISON, one year; R. O. BEEBE,
one year; A. R. WELLS, one year; Wm. BURNSIDE, two
years; A. QUEAL, two years; Wm. C. McDONALD, two
years; Wm. SOUTHWORTH, two years; A. E. DANIELS,
two years; Wm. R. LYNCH, two years; Samuel HILL, two
years; Austin GRIFFIN, two years; John PILKINTON, two
years; Wm. G. QUEAL, two years; Robert PEEBLES, one
year; John MEVIS, three years; Wm. HILLER, three years;
Eugene C. HERDMAN, present pastor.
The present membership is 140. There is no other
Methodist Episcopal church in town.
They have had a number of very interesting revivals since
its organization. The first occurred during the winter of
1849-50,-the result of a female prayer-meeting,-and continued
all winter. It was carried on without any clerical help, and
some twenty-five of the converts united with us. In the winter
of 1851-52, under the labors of William BURNSIDE, they
had another season of refreshing, and some thirty was added
to the church. Other important revivals occurred in 1855-56,
1864, 1868, 1873, and 1875.
The church is now in a prosperous condition. The present
officers are as follows: Wm. T. BROADFOOT, Anson WARD,
and J. R. THORPE, trustees; L. E. BOWE, John HUNT,
B. COOK, George DUEL, M. LEWIS, J. THORPE, E. E.
BOWEN, and A. WARD, steward; Morgan LEWIS, recording
steward; J. R. THORPE, steward; W. T. BROADFOOT,
E. E. BOWEN and Joseph DAVIS, class-leaders.
The FREE-WILL BAPTIST church of Otsdawa as organized
by Rev. S. S. CADY and Deacon E. C. HODGE, consisting
of twelve members, as follows: John H. WHEELER, Lavinia
WHEELER, J. K. HATHAWAY, Polly HATHAWAY,
Charles FIELDS, Mary FIELDS, E. W. SMITH, Anna
SMITH, Seymour PERKINS, Cynthia PERKINS, Electa
JENKS, and William JENKS. S. S. CADY, minister; J. H.
WHEELER, deacon. It was organized in an old school-house,
where services were held until the fall of 1854, when a church
building was erected, 32 by 50 feet, at a cost of $1200. J. H.
WHEELER, deacon; Richard STENSON, deacon and clerk.
T. A. STEVENS, first minister; S. S. CADY preached nine
years; Peter SCRAMLING, five years; E. C. HODGE, eleven
years; Henry BELDEN, one year; H. G. MEKER, two years;
W. Jay, two years; T. A. STEVENS, eight months.
The present members number 56.
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