The BAPTIST CHURCH.
The Baptist church located at Springfield Centre was
organized at the middle village, by Elder W. BENTLEY, in
1787, and was the first religious organization in the town of
Springfield. This organization was effected at the house of
N. DIKE, and among the first members were J. WINTER,
J. HETH, S. WAY, H. STONCIL, and N. DIKE. J. WINTER
was the first church clerk. The first pastor was Elder William
FARMAN. The following have served this church as pastors
from 1803 to the present time. The date given is the time of
beginning of pastorate: Elder Calvin HULBURT, July 14,1803;
Rev. Jacob KNAPP, April 23, 1805; Elder Stephen HUTCHINS,
June, 1829; Elder John SAWIN, June, 1830; Elder William B.
CURTIS, June, 1833; Elder Daniel ROBINSON, July 27, 1834;
Elder Wm. WOOD, June 12, 1840; Elder H. H. HUFF, Feb. 11,
1843; Elder G. W. GATES, June 28, 1845; Elder Charles
PURETT, Sept. 30, 1847; Elder A. C. WILDER, Nov. 25, 1848;
Elder L. CASLER, May 29, 1852; Elder M. BRUNSON, April
28, 1855;; Elder H. HAMMON, April 1, 1856: Elder -----
SAGE, April 1, 1858; Elder O. EASTMAN, April 1, 1860;
Elder W. C. GUN (date not given); Elder S. J. DOUGLASS,
April 1, 1869; Elder L. CASLER, April 1, 1875. The church
is now in a prosperous condition, with a membership of 84,
and is under the pastoral care of Rev. L. CASLER.
The UNIVERSALIST church.
This church was organized at Springfield Centre, in the
year 1854, with 15 members. Among those instrumental in
its organization were John LOSEE, O. SHIPMAN, and D.
The first pastor who officiated for this church was the
Rev. Mr. SAGE. The society was without a church edifice
until the year 1857, when a house of worship was erected
at a cost of $3500.
The FIRST PRESBYTERIAN church of Springfield* was
organized in about the year 1796. It was occasionally visited
by missionaries from Connecticut, prominent among whom
was Jedediah BUSHNELL, who remained with the little
church several months, and his labors were greatly blessed
by an outpouring of the Divine Spirit. In his report to the
trustees of the Connecticut missionary society, in the year
1800, he speaks of a fruitful revival having been held here, etc.
Thus it is clear this church was in existence prior to 1800,
and in its infancy was nourished by the visitation of the Divine
Spirit. Probably the church was formed several years before.
It is now in a state quite removed, spiritually, from a church
at its organization. As evidence of an earlier origin, we
find in the records of the Baptist church, under date of Sept.
13, 1798, the following entry:
Chose Deacon Bond BIGELOW, Deacon TENANT, and
Brother Benjamin ALLEN as a committee to meet a committee
of the Presbyterian order, to agree on what part of the time
each one shall occupy the meeting-house.
Also on the records of the Presbyterian church of Cherry
Valley under the date of Jan. 4, 1797, the following minute:
Met, agreeable to a notification, to consult whether the
society will consent that Rev. Mr. NOTT (their newly-elected
pastor) shall preach any part of the time in Springfield: Rev.
Mr. SPAULDING was voted chairman. A letter from the
trustees of Springfield addressed to the trustees of Cherry
Valley was read, requesting the consent of this society that
Mr. NOTT should preach at Springfield, not exceeding half
the time, in which a vote was taken whether the society would
accept the proposals of Springfield society, which was not
carried in the affirmative. Voted, that the trustees be requested
to return an answer to the people and trustees of Springfield.
Among the first members were John McKILLIP and his
wife, Mrs. Fanny Young McKILLIP, John YOUNG and wife,
William THOMPSON and wife, James YOUNG, Robert
FERGUSON, Mrs. Jerusha GRIGGS, James KELLY and wife,
and Mrs. Gitty VAN VOST. The first settled pastor was Rev.
Andrew OLIVER, a native of Scotland, who was installed in
1806. A movement was soon after started for the erection of
a church edifice, in the circulation of a subscription paper,
and in 1807 the sum of $1507.46 had been pledged, and in
1809 a building 50 by 55 feet square was erected. This edifice
fronted the east, with a steeple 13 feet square, surmounted
by a tower 46 feet in height. The land on which this building
stood was donated by Major John TENNANT and Dr. LITTLE.
In less than two months after Mr. OLIVER's installation,
Dec. 2, 1806, a CONGREGATIONAL church was organized at
the school-house in the west village, of twenty-four members,
and commenced the erection of a house of worship at nearly
the same time with the Presbyterians. It, however, was never
fully completed by them. It stood on land near the residence
of Mrs. A. C. WINSOR, and was sold to the Baptist society
in 1813. The church had but one minister, the Rev. Mr.
WILLIAMS, who was installed by an ecclesiastical council,
June 30, 1807. He remained but a short period. In 1813 the
church gave up its separate organization, and its members united
with this congregation.
In the record of this Presbyterian society, under the date of
July 15, 1811, we find a singular minute indicating a regard
for church behavior not always cherished, and a mode of
punishing offenders not over terrible. It is as follows:
At a meeting of members of session, trustees, and a number
of members of the First Presbyterian society at the meeting-
house, Robert LOTHRIDGE was appointed to return to the
minister the names of all such young persons who behave
unbecoming in the gallery during the time of worship.
An event quite small in itself, yet indicative of great
progress for the times, and helpful in religion, was the purchase
of a church bell in 1816. This, I am told, was chiefly owing
to the influence and exertions of Captain Ishi PARMELE,
late from Killingsworth, Ct. For several years the town
appropriated money by vote to have the church bells ring
at nine in the A. M., at twelve N., and at nine in the evening.
Before this there was no church bell in the more pretentious
surrounding towns, nor indeed in all this region. Mr. OLIVER's
ministry continued near thirteen years, the church growing
in strength and stability; and though no special seasons of
revival were enjoyed, there were ninety-seven admitted to
the church during his ministry; fifty-five of whom were on
profession of their faith. He was a man sound in doctrine,
and faithful in preaching, and, by catechetical instructions to
the youth, impressed truth as he had opportunity. Mr. OLIVER
had many warm friends, faithful to the last. He was honorably
dismissed by Otsego presbytery, in the year 1819, and continued
to reside in town until his death, March 24, 1833, at the age
of seventy-one years.
The following have served this church as pastors from its
organization to the present time, viz.: Andrew OLIVER, Aaron
PUTNAM, Edward FAIRCHILD, James C. HOWE, Oren
HYDE, Lumand WILCOX, Richard Montgomery DAVIS,
Samuel MOSELEY, Solomon J. TRACY, Charles F. BEACH,
Daniel VAN VALKENBERG, Samuel N. ROBINSON. The
church is now under the efficient pastoral care of Rev. P. F.
SANBORNE, who commenced his labors in 1869. Mr.
SANBORNE has manifested a lively interest in the affairs
of this church and people, and its present prosperity is
largely due to his untiring energy.
In these historical reminiscences of this Presbyterian
church, special mention ought to be made of those members
that have served as ruling elders. During the period of eighty
years of this church's existence there have been twenty-three
of them, and none of them unwisely chosen, none of them
proving on trial unworthy of their office, or so faulty in any
degree as to lose the confidence of the brethren and come
under censure for crime or immorality. The mention of their
names will stir very pleasant memories in many minds, and
incite those who now occupy that responsible position "to
use their office well." I will name them in the order of
their ordination: John McKILLIP, Esq., John YOUNG,
William THOMPSON-the session at the organization;
George OLIVER, 1808; James KING, 1811; Eliakim
SHELDON, James KELLEY, 1814; Jedediah BEACH,
Benjamin BARRETT, William HAMILTON, 1822;
James WHIPPLE, 1830; Richard B. SIKES, Benjamin
RATHBUN, Charles FITCH, Asahel S. BROWN, 1835;
Benjamin JACOBSON, Geroge BURNHAM, 1841; James
R. FERGUSON, 1859; Elisha W. STANNARD, James E.
BUELL, 1866; James N. DURFEY, Ephraim O. BEACH,
James HOOD, 1875. A goodly catalogue indeed, three of
them serving more than thirty years, viz.: Messrs. McKILLIP,
SIKES, and BURNHAM. Is there a church in the country
that for eighty years can show a better record of its ruling
elders, for integrity; good judgment, harmony in counsel,
and sympathy in co-operation for Christ's kindgom, soundness
in the faith, and elevated piety?
Though the first ministers, and the first elders, and the
first generation of members have nearly all died and passed
to their long account, the church still lives.
One family-we dwell in him; One church-above, beneath;
Though now divided by the stream-The narrow stream of death.
One army of the living God, To his command we bow;
Part of the hosts have crossed the flood, And part are crossing now.
OLIVER has long since gone, and PUTNAM, and
FAIRCHILD, and HOWE, and HYDE, and WILCOX, and
DAVIS, and MOSELY, and VAN VALKENBERGH, from
the ministers; and from the ruling elders, McKILLIP, YOUNG,
THOMPSON, OLIVER, KING, SHELDON, KELLY, BEACH,
BARRETT, HAMILTON, WHIPPLE, SIKES, RATHBUN,
FITCH, BROWN, JACOBSON, and several hundred that in
less conspicuous, but quite as serviceable ways, prayed and
struggled in all the experiences of private membership in
this church of God.
* Abridged from History of Presbyterian Church, by
Rev. P. F. SANBORNE.
[see First Presbyterian church of Springfield]
METHODIST EPISCOPAL church. *
The earliest definite trace found of any Methodist Christian
in this vicinity is that of the first WILLSEY family, which
settled on the hill that now bears the family name. They
came from Washington county not far from 1790, though
probably a little earlier. And this family were, when they
came into their new wilderness-home, of the sect every-
where spoken against." And, though coming into the forest
to found a pioneer home, they continued faithful to their
sympathy for "circuit preachers." It does not appear whether
Mr. WILLSEY was then a "member of that society," but his
wife, Sally, was, she having been converted and joined while
living in Washington county. Other families of the same
way of faith were soon there, one of which was Mr.
At this time "Otsego circuit" is named in the general
minutes, and reported with 80 members, Freeborn GARRETTSON
presiding elder, with P. WAGNER and Jonathan NEWMAN
circuit-preachers. It was without doubt a circuit of
some four hundred miles in extent, over which each preacher
was to pass once in four weeks, thus giving preaching in
every place once in two weeks. In 1792, GARRETTSON was
still presiding elder, with J. NEWMAN and James COVELL as
subordinates, and that year 207 are reported in society.
This increase in numbers indicates that some efficient work
had been done, for 127 persons brought into the folds of
Christ is no unworthy success for two preachers for one
year. The following year Thos. WARE was presiding elder,
and Zebulon KANKEY and Moses CRANE were on this circuit,
while J. NEWMAN and D. BARTINE were on the Herkimer
circuit. This evidences that the work was increasing and
that circuits were coming to be less extended as to area, but
increasing as to "preaching places" and number in society
The general course in those days was for the preachers
to make a plan as to "preaching places," and be as regular
as the stars in their orbits in filling those, and no new point
was to be taken into the plan until a conference of the
preachers interested could be had; yet, if any one had
strength, and there was a new opening, he was permitted to
add to his labors, but first he must fill his plan. And it
would seem that if it were possible for men to do works of
supererogation, surely these men would have accomplished
them. For, while filling the plan they were continually
going into new sections, prospecting for a more elaborate or
more efficient plan. So that every year saw large efforts to
increase the fullness of the work of God.
In the year 1794, Thos. WARE was still presiding elder
with S. WEEKS, E. CANFIELD, and J. WOOSTER as preachers.
And this year there was reported 324 members. The following
year there was but little change.
In the years 1796-97, John McCLASKEY was presiding
elder, and in this last year J. EGBERT and Jonathan NEWMAN
appear upon the circuit, reporting 378 members. And
in this report we find authentic data, which, joined to the
remembrances of Aunt Rachel HARDY, give us assurance that
the home of Peter I. WALRATH was one of the "preaching
places" in Springfield at that time. John McCLASKEY was
not in this section after the year 1797, and Mother HARDY
was then a little girl of eight years of age, and very
definitely remembers Mr. McCLASKEY, and describes
his personal appearance, especially his hair, which was
long and having an outward curl at the ends. This
preacher was presiding elder, and came to her father's
house to preach and to attend quarterly-meeting.
The name of NEWMAN is also associated with
Methodism in this immediate section, and in fact is more
so than any other of the early preaches, which arises from
the fact that he lived in a house that formerly stood a little
northeastward from Mr. WALRATH's home. This Mr.
NEWMAN also taught school in the district, preaching at
the same time. His wife also taught in the district school;
and our aged sister, as does also Mr. Nicholas GENTER,
remember him as teacher, they attending school together.
The remembrances of Mr. GENTER are very clear
regarding the preachers, and the services which were
statedly held at Mr. WALRATH's. And as Mr.
NEWMAN's name does not appear on the minutes later
than 1799, in connection with this section, we may safely
say that Methodism was quite well rooted in this soil,
and in hearts in Springfield, early in the history of this
community. And we may be doubly assured of this when
we know that the earliest recollection of the children of
Peter I. WALRATH is of their father and mother being
Christian people, and manifesting it daily by family
worship. So also the testimony of Mr. Nicholas
GENTER, who had his home in the family for three years
in his boyhood. Mr. GENTER told me but the other day
that he remembers very well that at that early day Mr.
WALRATH's home was called a Methodist tavern, from
the fact that the "circuit-preachers" were so frequently
entertained. And I just that all will be ready to admit that
he was not a whit poorer for his Christian hospitality.
That there was a class-society at this point as early as
1795, or before, is more than presumable. For in those
days wherever two who believed in God and loved
Methodism usages were found they were formed into a
class, for the faith was strong, and works heroic, and they
expected the little one to grow. And the probabilities are
that here were more than two, for Mr. GENTER's mother
was also of those who feared the Lord, and lived a life of
prayer, and loved the Methodists.
Adolphus and Coonradt PICKARD's homes were also
very early places of worship. And the barn belonging to
Mr. Jerry DAVY, and standing some little way north of
his house, has seen many Methodist meetings at this early
time. There also must have been places on Willsey hill
where the same kind of service was regularly had. One
day when Hiram, who is now near eighty-five, was a
small boy, being with his father, who was working in the
woods near a bridle-path which led from this section,
suddenly heard a clear, strong voice singing, and, looking
in the direction of the sound, he soon saw a man coming
towards them from the south, who asked Mr. WILLSEY if
he knew where there was a place near there where a
Methodist preacher was to meet an appointment, and was
answered "yes, at my house," and they immediately went
home. Services were held in the evening, the preacher
using as his text the words, "Awake, thou that sleepest,
and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."
Hiram says that, little boy as he was, he was deeply
affected by the earnestness of the preaching. This minister
traveled at this time on foot, having a portmanteau fitted
round his neck, one part of it resting forward and the
other resting behind, in which would have been found a
Bible, hymn-book, and no doubt a few books of close
theologic lore. For, though it was rare to find one among
these early workers who had been even through a
classical building, there were many who, being so soundly
converted, saw that it was necessary to drink deep
draughts of wisdom from the works of the Christian
fathers. Any many a one of those old veterans were so
untiring in their pursuit of knowledge that they
outstripped many who, in these latter days, receive their
diplomas from the hands of college presidents. And
there were not a few, even in those days, who were
giants in the presence of those who then felt glad of the
honor which their Alma Mater had conferred upon
them. But however much or little they had of the wisdom
which may be gathered from books, it was rare to find
one who had not received large measures of the wisdom
which God has promised to give liberally and upbraid
Now, having fixed the fact of the early advent of
Methodism in this community, it will not be advisable to
continue year by year, and will just say that, having a list of
preachers and presiding elders who served in regular order,
as the years passed by, and reading this list to Mrs. HARDY,
Mrs. GENTER, they remembered some name in every year,
and some of the persons they recall with great distinctness.
I may say that Mr. WALRATH was quite a helpful man in
all these means of grace, being a class-leader and taking
considerable of a leading position in the singing of those
earnest services, and was also licensed as an exhorter, but as
to exercising himself as such, I have found but little
information. In 1804 the Rev. Benj. BIDLACK and J. P.
WEAVER were on the circuit, both of whom are
remembered; Mrs. HARDY remembering Mr. WEAVER
because he would talk to the young folks about their souls'
salvation, and this in the presence of the family, which she
now candidly says she did not like. And most other young
people are just the same, especially when spoken to in the
presence of others. In this year I find in a memoir of one of
the old workers a reference to a class in Warren, consisting of
Robert HEUSTIS and wife, and his son Jonathan, Elijah
PEAK and wife, Elizabeth PADDOCK and her son Benjamin.
Here was a class of seven persons, adn Mr. Robert HEUSTIS
was leader. Young HEUSTIS had been converted somewhere
about this time, as was also Benj. G. PADDOCK; and both
of them came to be efficient preachers, and served this circuit
in the after-years.
The names of Benoni HARRIS, a relative of John
HARRIS, of Springfield, C. GILES, Peter VAUNEST, Isaac
PUFFER, Wm. JEWETT, Samuel ROSS, and Asa
CUMMINGS are definitely remembered, all of whom, and as
many more, served this circuit previous to the year 1813,
when it was reported with 390 members, though the circuit
had been narrowed down very much since its early day of
twenty years before. During these years there has been
conversions at every preaching place throughout the plan, and
in many cases marked revivals. Sinners who had been given
over by established churches as nearly if not quite reprobates,
were brought under the power of the truth, and by the Holy
Ghost were transformed by the renewing of the mind, sot hat
he who was called Legion was frequently sanctified and
clothed, and came to his right mind. And many of these saved
men came to be marvels of spiritual power, and unfrequently
set down by the "settled pastors" as incorrigible fanatics.
Such was the case with Benj. G. PADDOCK, as is manifested
by this extract from his memoir.
Mrs. PADDOCK was a member of the Baptist church, but
her son having been converted among the Methodists, at
Augusta, Oneida county, and returning home she could but
rejoice; and one day when Rev. Mr. HOLCOMBE, the pastor
of the Baptist church, which was then in Warren, called to see
the family, she expressed herself so greatly pleased at now
having one of the family to go to heaven with her. When,
naturally, he inquired who? And she answered, "My son
Benjamin!" When he answered, with a smile of contempt,
"Benjamin! I have as much again hope for the conversion of
any half-dozen of the wickedest men in the town as I have for
that of Benjamin, for they may be brought in by sovereign
grace but he has the poison of Arminianism so ingrained in
his heart that it will be impossible to get it out of him." And
in a little time after this, when the young man was being deeply
exercised about his call to the ministry, he went to this same
elder, earnestly inquiring for light and instruction; and after
he had tremblingly opened his heart to him, the elder
answered as follows: "Well, Bennie, I advise you to go home
and ask your mother to make you a good strong cup of tea,
when your head will doubtless feel better." Closing his
advice with a laugh. Mr. HOLCOMBE was not the only
elder who acted the same. But this elder afterwards
apologized to Benjamin, when he had heard him preach a few
times. PADDOCK and HEUSTIS were among the first of
the many strong men who went out into the Methodist ministry
from this circuit and county.
From 1813 to 1833, twenty years, I have been able to find
only a bare shred of authentic history of our church. There are
facts and figure, but I could not get the books involving the
conference minutes. But I do find that, in 1816 and 1817,
Abner CHASE was on this circuit, and I find the testimony of
his successors gives evidence that during his occupancy of
the circuit there was a glowing interest at all the preaching
places. For, as Rev. John HAMILTON and B. G. PADDOCK
came to succeed him, they found, including probationers, 551
members, which, as compared with 390, four years before,
shows a very worthy increase. It is at about this time that that
very eccentric preacher Lorenzo DOW came through these
parts. An appointment was announced for him in the old
Presbyterian church, and it was packed to its utmost capacity,
and many were outside. A little misunderstanding as to who
should preach then arose, when DOW turned on his heel,
saying, "We will repair to the grove," and suiting the action
to the word, got out of a window, and the people following
en masse, sat on the ground and on boards and planks brought
along for the purpose. And there, under the shade of the
Parmelee woods, DOW standing on a stump, preached, as I
am told, from these words: "In the midst of the street of it
and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life,
which bare twelve manner of fruit, and yielded her fruit every
month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the
Whether this meteor-like, eccentric man was ever through
this section more than once, I have not had the means of
learning. This earnest man was related to the ancestors of
Mr. D. BURLEY, of Springfield. But Methodism, while
having had men who were quite exceptional in their modes,
had depended upon methodic, earnest workers, and expected
all to do their part to carry forward the great work of saving
souls. So much was this the case that one writer of those
times says that "everybody who came into the societies at that
time was expected to be a worker. Another resolute
preacher, by the name of ERKENBRACK, was efficient in
the work on this circuit, and evidences are numerous,
showing that among Methodist societies where he labored
there were revivals almost yearly.
In 1819 Mr. PADDOCK, being stationed at Cooperstown,
was greatly instrumental in helping in a marked revival
which took place there. Mr. PADDOCK and the Presbyterian
pastor worked together like Christian brothers, and seeing
above a hundred added to each church. At this time revivals
of great power took place al through the Methodist
connections. During about this time another marked man was
on this district,-Rev. George GARY,- who was born in
Middlefield, Otsego County, but born again in the state of
Connecticut, under the labors of Rev. Mr. SABIN, a
Methodist preacher, and began to preach when he was
sixteen, and, though a boy, was a marvel of holy eloquence,
and he is still remembered with high appreciation by those
who are aged.
During these years school-house preaching came to be very
common, and not a few circumstances arose where envious
or hating spirits sought to lock the doors and keep out the
preacher and the people, and nearly every school-house in
Springfield, especially in this eastern part, has been at some
time locked against them. All these years Methodist
preachers had been more intent on saving souls and forming
societies than in building church edifices. And thousands,
yea, millions of souls will rise up on the last day and bless
God that in the time of pioneer life these unwearied men of
undaunted courage and mighty faith were among the cabins,
the barns, and the school-houses, calling men everywhere to
repentance, and saying the kingdom of heaven has come nigh
unto you. And though while this kind of work was being
done, and the workers were called by some people anything but
ministers and Christians, yet as soon as any persons
converted by their labors were found with the least desire of
entering into another denominational fold they were greeted
with a welcoming smile and a ready hand, and not
unfrequently with the patronizing remark, "that it was wise
of them not to stay among the fanatic sect." Yes, many a
church would have died long ago but for the impulse in spirit
and number it has received from a log cabin, a barn, or a
school-house revival, wrought by the power of God through
the unselfish labors of the circuit-riders. But the time came
when Methodism began to build, for she had taken root to
stay; and so it was in Springfield. And at this time many of
the old family names of Springfield are found on the scanty
records f those early times. The HARDYS, GRAYS,
BASINGERS, BURLINGAMES, CARROLS, COOKS,
PARMELEES, ARNDTS, DOLPHINS, FIELDS, FRANCIS,
GENTERS, JOHNSONS, RATHBONES, STOCKLEYS,
STOCKERS, SHAULS, VAN AUKINS, PIINCKNEYS,
WILLSEYS, SCOTTS, and score of others. Scores of these
remain; but most of these names are now represented by their
But building time came; a meeting was called in harmony
with the statues of the State to organize a legal ecclesiastical
body, and plan for the building of a church.
The meeting then called was to convene at the school-house
at East Springfield, on April 8, 1833. And on that day it
did convene and methodically attended to the work, and
during the year following the church was erected. From
this time forward we have definite records of our progress as
a church. Of the meeting for organization, Peter I. WALRATH
was made chairman, and Abram I. ARNDT was secretary;
and this resolution was passed: That the church be
called the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Springfield,
and that five trustees be appointed for the society. The
trustees elected were: Benj. HUNTINGTON, Benj. STOCKER,
Samuel B. MERRIL, Richard W. TURNER, Samuel BREWER.
And the building committee consisted of Levi GRAY, Samuel
BREWER, and Brewster CONKLIN.
I do not find figures definite enough to enable me to
specify the numbers in the various classes making up the
society at that time. But it is very certain that the strength of
the society was such as to make it flourishing, at least if we
may judge from the standing of the minister who was
appointed to serve the organized charge. Rev. Lyman
SPERRY as the first preacher serving from 1834 to 1836,
Andrew PECK being presiding elder, and during this
incumbency there was a very marked revival, and a large
increase in numbers. There are many who remember him.
Andrew PECK was from a Middlefield family which gave five
strong men to the ministry, one of whom is now a bishop in
our church. Mrs. GROUT is a descendant of this family.
Mr. SPERRY was followed by Benijah MASON, serving two
years, and a marked revival on Willsey Hill took place at this
time, transpiring in June of one of his years. Meetings were
held in a large barn, now owned by Mr. Henry VAN AUKIN.
From 1838 to 1840 Henry HALSTEAD was pastor, and Z.
PADDOCK presiding elder. Here was another son of this
section brought up and converted at Warren; and his father
and mother were buried in one of the Warren cemeteries.
The mother of the two strong men-B. G. and Z. PADDOCK-
loved her old familiar Bible so well that she instructed that it
should be placed beneath her head in the coffin. Revival
blessed the community under Brother HALSTEAD, who was
followed by Rev. Leonard BOWDISH, from 1840 to 1842.
Then Edward W. BRECKENRIDGE held the pastorate two
years, and was the means of an extensive revival. He was
followed in the pulpit by Lucius Cary ROGERS, and the
succeeding two years were filled by Henry HALSTEAD
again, and Lyman SPERRY as the presiding elder. And the
society must have been pleased and profited by seeing these
men once more.
Next in order we find A. E. DANILES, two years, revival
and all; then Moses L. KERN, two years, revival also. And
during these years just mentioned most of the present older
members were converted. D. C. DUTCHER occupied the
pulpit one year, 1853, followed by George C. ELLIOTT. The
members who are now fifty years old and above, speak of
these years just mentioned as years when the society was in
strong estate and large prosperity. This was the time of its
marked success. At this time the parsonage tangle began, and
its effects are not fully ended yet. How wise and firm and
unselfish the counselings and administration of the church
Rev. Joseph SHANK, a man of marked ability, as pastor
one year. Then Silas COMFORT from 1857 to 1858. He
was followed by Rev. George PARSONS, a genial, earnest,
faithful man and minister, who was followed by Rev. W. C.
McDONALD, a resolute and vigorous minister from 1861 to
1862. Rev. James WEEKS filled one year and was
re-appointed the second, but was by ecclesiastical consent
changed for I. O. BOWER, and with no advantage to the
society. Rev. George PARSONS again appointed, 1865-67,
who labored faithfully in the interests of the church and with
marked success. Rev. L. E. MARVIN served two years,
1868-69. At this time the plan and labor of remodeling the
church took place at an expense of about $3500. After this, in
quick succession, followed as pastors Revs. G. MEAD, L. B.
GRAY, Father HOUGHTON, Frederick GATES, and L. E.
MARVIN, again; and lastly, Rev. G. B. FAIRHEAD,
1875-77. The presiding elders who have served during these
later years, and who have rendered their measure of counsel
and help to our Zion, are Revs. I. PARKS, Wm. BIXBY, J. T.
WRIGHT, A. B. GREGG, and the present incumbent, A. E.
CORSE, who closes his very acceptable quadrennial with
this year. During these last years the society has had
something of a struggle. But everybody now in relation
with the society feels that the church is again heading out to
sea, well manned, and having a good prospect of a
No doubt it will be desirable to give the statistics of the
society at present and in the more recent past. At the close
of Brother MARVIN's last year, there are reported in the
minutes 69 members in full connection and 47 on probation,
making a total of 116. And in the same report we find four
children and fifteen adult baptisms. The next year shows 91
in full membership and 51 probationists, a total of 142. The
last year 120 members in full and 10 probationists, total of
130, which shrinkage arose from the fact that some of the
probationers had left the charge, and a few had received
letters, and a few had died. The present figures stand:
probationers, 16; members in full, 116; total, 142. The
increase of membership of these more recent years was the
result of the revival during the last year of Brother
MARVIN's administration, in which Revs. P. and L. B.
GRAY rendered much assistance. These two ministers were
reared in this town and received their first license from this
church, and a revival in the following year which began
under the labors of Rev. O. PARKER, an earnest evangelist,
whose labors were blessed to many hearts. He conducted
services three weeks at the Presbyterian church, the
Methodist church fully uniting, after which the series of
meetings were continued in the Methodist church for the
period of three weeks or more. From these efforts both
churches were considerably strengthened.
The present officers of the church are as follows: Rev.
S. SALISBURY, pastor; Rev. L. E. MARVIN, supernumerary;
Rev. E. EVERETT, local deacon; Wm. E. HARDY, V. C.
SNYDER, and D. W. GRAY, stewards and trustees; E. S.
FRANCIS, Charles GRAY, C. C. GENTER, T. L. GROUT,
and D. BUCKUS, stewards; Wm. MARKS, L. W. RATHBONE,
A. COOK, and E. BUSH, trustees; T. L. GROUT, Sunday-school
* Abridged from Rev. G. B. FAIRHEAD's "History of
Methodism in the Town of Springfield"
ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL church.*
The only church of this denomination the town is located
at East Springfield, and was organized at a meeting held on
the 25th of January, 1871, Rev. D. L., rector Grace church,
Cherry Valley, presiding. The following were chosen first
officers: James H. COOKE and Sheldon A. YOUNG,
wardens; H. H. DAVY, G. H. FOWLER, S. SEWARD, T. L.
GROUT, Daniel GILCHRIST, G. W. BRANCH, John
SCOLLARD, and Robert WALRATH, vestrymen. The first
rector after the organization of the parish was Rev. D. L.
SCHWARTZ, who was soon succeeded by Rev. E. F.
BAKER, the present rector.
The church was erected during the summer of 1874 at a
cost of about $3500, and was consecrated by Bishop Wm. C.
DOANE September 17, the same year.
Services had previously been held in Seward's Hall for
a period of nearly eight years; the rectors of Grace church,
Cherry Valley, Flavel S. MINES and D. L. SCHWARTZ, and
Charles SYKES, of St. Luke's Richfield Spa, officiating.
The present officers are H. H. DAVY, and J. H. COOK,
wardens; John SCOLLARD, H. H. DAVY, G. R. FOWLER,
Robert WALRATH, S. A. YOUNG, T. S. FITCH, J. H.
COOKE, and Daniel GILCHRIST, vestrymen. The names of
the present members are Mrs. L. WHIPPLE, Mr. and Mrs. R.
WALRATH, Mrs. W. S. GUARDINEER, Anna B.
SINCLAIR, T. S. FITCH, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. COOLE, Mrs.
G. W. BRANCH, Mrs. R. BIGELOW, Mr. and Mrs. John
SCOLLARD, Mrs. E. F. BAKER, Susie and Nellie BAKER,
Mr. and Mrs. H. H. DAVY, E. E. DAVY, J. H. DAVY, Mr.
and Mrs. S. A. YOUNG, and Mr. and Mrs. A. E. KEENE.
* By J. Harvey Davy, of East Springfield