The History of Otsego County, New York
D. Hamilton Hurd
Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia
ST. MATHEW'S church.
St. Mathew's parish was organized on the first day of
November, 1809, by the election of Josiah THATCHER and
Abijah H. BEACH as wardens, and Isaac HAYES, William
SMITH, Stephen BENTON, Abel CASE, Solomon MARTIN,
Curtis NOBLE, Nijah CONE, and Sherman PAGE, as vestry-
men. This was the first church organization in the town, and
erected the first house of worship. For its early organization
it was much indebted to the venerated "Father NASH," who
held services at this place a number of years. In January,
1810, the vestry purchased a location for a church edifice,
and also ground for burial purposes. In the following March a
contract was let to Sampson CROOKER for the erection of a
building 34 by 50 feet, but in consequence of a lack of means
the frame only was erected, and remained in that condition
until April 6, 1813, when the parish having received a
donation of $1400 from the corporation of Trinity church of
New York city, they were able to inclose and complete it. In
December of the same year Goldsborough BANYER, of
Albany, deeded to the vestry 116 acres of land about two
miles from the church site, which subsequently became a
source of revenue to the church.
The church edifice was completed in the year 1814, and
Sept. 11 of that year was consecrated to the service of
Almighty God, by the Rt. Rev. John Henry HOBART, bishop
of the diocese of New York. The church was erected at a
cost of $2000. In 1817 a bell was placed in the tower, which
was cast in London in 1816, and was the first church bell in
the valley between Cooperstown and Binghamton.
The first rector in charge of the parish was Rev. Russel
WHEELER, from Watertown, Conn., who remained in charge
from the spring of 1814 to August, 1819, from which time,
until December following, lay reading was held in the
church, when Rev. James KEELER was called to the parish,
and remained until November, 1820, when Rev. Marcus A.
PERRY succeeded to the rectorship, and continued in
charge until November, 1825. Norman H. ADAMS, then in
deacon's orders, took charge of the parish in December,
1825, dividing his time with St. Peter's parish, of Bainbridge,
Chenango Co., N.Y. In 1837, this parish having increased in
strength, the rector ceased his labors with the latter parish
and devoted his time entirely to St. Mathews.
The church edifice was remodeled and greatly enlarged
in 1845, at an expense of $1500, and was consecrated Aug.
18, 1846, by the Rev. William Heathcote De LANCEY,
bishop of western New York. Mr. ADAMS continued the
beloved rector of the church until his death, which occurred
Oct. 23, 1853. In March, 1854, Rev. Samuel H. NORTON
became rector of the parish. Soon after he began his
ministrations it became evident that an enlargement of the
church edifice would be necessary to accommodate the
rapidly-increasing congregation, and in 1855 an addition of
26 feet was made to the church at a cost of $1200. Mr.
NORTON remained rector until April 11, 1859. He was
succeeded in December by Rev. Edward F. BAKER, who
officiated until April, 1963. During the rectorship of Mr.
BAKER some beneficial changes were made in the church
furniture, and an organ was purchased at a cost of $1000.
Rev. James H. KIDDER, from Eastport, Me., became rector
of the church in 1863, and during his labors a rectory was
added to the church property. He resigned July 29, 1868.
After his resignation the parish was without a rector until
September, 1860. During the interim lay reading was had,
and also an occasional sermon by Rev. James A. ROBINSON
of Bainbridge, N.Y. In August, 1869, Rev. Michael SCOFIELD
became rector of the parish, and remained until August, 1875.
The parish was without a rector from that time until February,
1876, when the present incumbent, Rev. Charles S.
PELLETREAU, assumed the rectorship.
The parish is now in a prosperous condition, and has one
hundred and twenty communicants. The present officers are
as follows: Wm. J. THOMPSON and Lloyd L. WOODRUFF,
wardens; David P. LOOMIS, Frank B. ARNOLD, J. Fred
SANDS, Alex. P. GRAY, Wm. H. HESLOP, Andrew J. LEWIS,
Geo. B. FELLOWS, and O. L. IRELAND, vestrymen.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN church.
This church was organized April 23, 1823, by Revs.
Edward ANDREWS and Abel COLWELL, with the following
named persons a members: Uriah HANFORD, Rhoda
HANFORD, Jesse R. HOVEY, Mary HOVEY, Holly SEELY,
Garret MUNFORE, Sarah MUNFORE, John EELLS, Sophia
BOTTOM, Daniel CASTLE, Philo L. PHELPS. Holly SEELY
was chosen to the office of deacon; Garrett MUNFORE,
Jesse R. HOVEY, and John EELLS to serve as elders. Service
was held on Sabbath morning, sometimes at a private
residence, but usually in the school-house. The hymns of
Isaac WATTS were sung, and the music, then new, of the
afterwards celebrated Thomas HASTINGS. Garret MUNFORE
was the leader. The church very soon engaged the services
of Rev. Isaac FLAGLER, a man highly esteemed by those
who remember his ministry. He remained about two years,
during which time 44 persons were recorded as in communion
with the church.
The general assembly of our church, at its meeting in
1790, appointed Rev. Nathan KER and Rev. Joshua HART
to act as missionaries on the frontier settlements of New York
and Pennsylvania. Unadilla is mentioned among other places
visited by these men. John EELLS when quite a young man
removed from Walton to this place. He was an earnest
Christian worker. It is perhaps just to say, in the words of
a citizen who knew him well, that "for a long time he was
the head and front of the Presbyterian church." He was
no doubt one of the most active at the time of its formation.
An old record of Oct. 23, 1822, states that a number of
the inhabitants of Unadilla, being desirous of forming
themselves into a society, met for that purpose. Stephen
BENTON was called to chair. Calvin GATES, Daniel
CASTLE, and Holly SEELY were elected trustees. They
then proceeded to give name to the society, and made
choice of the name Harmony Society of Unadilla.
Under date of Feb. 2, 1825, the following records occur:
"Voted, that the society have and use a common seal."
"Voted, that a seal which has on the face of it [H. S. U.]
impression be received and used as a common seal for
said society." March 16, 1824, as the records says,
"Proceeded to take the sense of the people whether
Presbyterian preaching was desired." When decided in
the affirmative, Rev. Isaac FLAGLER was unanimously
chosen as pastor. In 1825 an effort was made to raise
funds for the purchase of a site and the erection of a house
of worship. A location thought to be desirable was
selected, and the society authorized its trustees "to purchase
a lot formerly known as the Livingston." It is described
as "a part of lot No. 94, Wallace's patent, nearly opposite
Mrs. EDSON's house." Financial strength, however, was
lacking, and it was not until 1840 that the society came
into possession of its present site. In 1841 a change of
name was deemed advisable. "Harmony" was dropped,
and the present corporate name, "First Presbyterian Society
of Unadilla," adopted. The church edifice was erected and
ready for use in June, 1844.
One year after the organization of the church four
permanent elders were elected, viz.: Sherman BARTLETT,
John EELLS, Garrett MUNFORE, and Holly SEELY. In
1844, Ithamar SPENCER and David HANFORD were
chosen to fill vacancies in the original number. In 1859,
John MYERS and Horace B. EELLS were similarly
chosen. In 1870 the church, contemplating the "term-service"
plan, elected N. W. BARSTOW for three years. In 1873
the representative system was fully entered upon and three
additional elders were chosen, viz.: R . M. SOUTHWICK,
W. D. EDSON, and S. E. WEBB. The vacancy caused by
the death of R. M. SOUTHWICK was filled by electing
to the office Theophilus REDFIELD.
The following persons have officiated as pastors of the
church from its organization to the present time, viz.: Revs.
Saml. GAYLORD, Wm. C. BOICE, S. B. JERVIS, Josiah
HAWES, C. H. FORCE, Wm. H. SMITH, S. S. GOODMAN,
A. V. H. POWELL, R. A. CLARK, A. B. ROBINSON,
W. C. GALPIN.
The present officers of the church are as follows: Wright
C. GALPIN, pastor; Horace B. EELLS, Samuel E. WEBB,
Daniel HANFORD, Robert STENSON, Geo. B. BURGIN,
and Wm. D. EDSON, elders; E. C. BELK NAP, and Robert
STENSON, trustees; W. D. EDSON, clerk.
This church was organized in October, 1843, by Rev.
Lewis RAYMOND, pastor, with the following members:
Moses OLMSTED, Lydia OLMSTED, Edwin OLMSTED,
Lewis RAYMOND, Anna RAYMOND, Elisha THOMPSON,
Harriet THOMPSON, Amos N. BENEDICT, Simeon BIDWELL,
Jacob BIDWELL, James HUGHSTON, Lavina SMITH,
Matilda CROOKER, Esther GREENMAN, Martha BIDWELL,
Phoebe WRIGHT, Mary WRIGHT, Sherman PAGE, George
R. PORTER, George CRANDALL, Jasper OSTRANDER,
John OSTRANDER, Lawrence OSTRANDER, Jacob
OSTRANDER, Clark BALDWIN, Caleb BATTERSON.
The following has served this church as pastors: July,
1845, Rev. J. P. COOK; April, 1849, Rev. John LAGRANGE;
from April, 1853, to July, 1856, Rev. Elijah BALDWIN;
from March, 1857, to March, 1858, Rev. Henry ROBERTSON;
from April, 1858, to September, 1859, Rev. Nathan WRIGHT;
from September, 1863, to March, 1864, Rev. S. F. WITTER;
from December, 1865, to August, 1866, Rev. F. FLETCHER;
from January, 1868, to February, 1870, Rev. D. F. LEACH;
from March, 1870, to March, 1871, Rev. John SMITH.
There was no regular pastor from that time until Aug. 1, 1875,
when Rev. D. VAN FRADENBURGH was called, who is
still with the church. The present membership is 40. The
present church edifice was dedicated in February, 1849.
FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL church, of Unadilla, was
organized by Rev. Lyman SPERRY, on the 6th day of
December, 1854. The first officers were as follows: P.
HUBBEL, David LEE, Samuel G. CLEVELAND, Daniel
BULLOCK, William H. EMORY. The first pastor of the
church was Rev. Lyman SPERRY, who officiated for a
period of four years. The first church edifice was erected
in 1856, at a cost of $2700. The present church officers are
as follows: William H. EMORY, James WHITE, Jr., Edward
BARTHOLOMEW, Daniel W. WILMOT, William LOBDELL,
Lyman SPERRY, Cornelius FULLER, D. K. AVERY, John
OSBORN, Daniel COOPER, Wesley MUMFORD, Willet
SMITH, and Peter G. PENNEY.
The following named persons have served this church as
pastor from the resignation of Rev. Mr. SPERRY to the
present time, viz.: Robert TOWNSEND, one year; Leonard
BOWDISH, two years; William G. QUEAL, one year; Laren
V. ISMOND, two years; Thomas P. HALSTED, three years;
James N. PLATT, one year; George M. PECK, two years;
William A. WADSWORTH, two years; Willis L. THORPE,
one year; S. C. FULTON, one year; E. C. HERDMAN, one
and a half years; C. D. MEAD, half-year; J. W. NEVIS,
present pastor. The church is now in a prosperous condition
and has a membership of 100 persons.
A Free Methodist class was organized Dec. 19, 1874, by
Rev. William GOULD, and consisted of the following persons:
James E. MEEKER, Mary E. MEEKER, Martin BEARDSLEY,
D. A. LOOMIS, S. A. LOOMIS, Maranda FREAR, Rufus
FREAR, Rachael E. ADAMS. The following were members
on probation: Seth O. MERRITT, Mary R. MERRITT, Phebe
FREAR. The first board of trustees was organized Feb. 19,
1875, and consisted of the following persons, viz.: James
MEEKER, Rufus FREAR, Martin BEARDSLEY, G. W.
GRISWOLD, and D. A. LOOMIS. The first pastor was Rev.
E. E. ADAMS. He was succeeded by Rufus COONS, who
remained until March 1, 1876, when Rev. William GOULD
became pastor. He was succeeded by the present pastor,
George E. FERRIN, who assumed control of the charge Oct. 1,
1876. The present board of trustees is as follows: James
MEEKER, James LAMB, Henry PALMER, Rufus FREAR,
D. A. LOOMIS.
The METHODIST CHURCH, Richardson's Hill.
A class was first formed on Richardson's Hill, Nov. 10,
1854, by John MARBLE, a local preacher of the Methodist
Episcopal church of Oneonta, who, in conjunction with D.
C. DUTCHER, the preacher on the Laurens charge, held a
series of meetings, which resulted in the conversion of
thirty souls. The first pastor was D. C. DUTCHER, and
J. G. RICHARDSON, leader. The first members in full
connection were as follows: Justus G. RICHARDSON,
Daniel RICHARDSON, Sally RICHARDSON, Elizabeth
RICHARDSON, Benjamin RICHARDSON, Samuel H. PEET,
Amy A. PEET, Edwin PEET, Benjamin TRAVIS, Mary
TRAVIS, Charlotte PEET, Charles T. GIFFORD, Sally
RICHARDSON, Mary COOLEY, Henry R. GIFFORD, and
Andrew RICHARDSON. The church had sixteen members.
The church building, 30 by 40 feet, was erected in 1856,
at a cost of $1200. H. S. RICHARDSON was the preacher.
The following have served the church as pastors from its
organization to the present time, viz.: D. C. DUTCHER, from
Nov. 10, 1854, to July, 1855; H. S. RICHARDSON, two
years; S. M. STONE, one year; Leonard BOWDISH, one year.
The class was then transferred to Oneonta charge, and D. L.
PENDELL was pastor for two years, and George PARSONS
two years. It was then transferred back to Laurens charge,
and Austin GRIFFIN was the pastor for one year; L. E.
MARVIN, one year; B. B. CARRUTH, two years; J. W.
MEVIS, three years; H. N. VAN DUSEN, three years; J.
SOUTHWORTH, three years; and Benj. RIPLEY is now in
his second year.
The present officers are H. R. GIFFORD, clerk; Willis
ACKLEY, J. G. RICHARDSON, Simon GREEN, Jonathan
RICHARDSON, and Nathaniel SLINGERLAND, trustees.
The present membership is forty-one.
WELLS' BRIDGE BAPTIST church.
The movement for the organization of this church was
started by C. W. MALLERY, Esq., who called a meeting of
the inhabitants in the vicinity Dec. 26, 1874, for the purpose
of considering the feasibility of forming a church and
erecting a church edifice, at which meeting $1000 as
raised, and at a subsequent meeting, called by Mr. MALLERY,
March 8, 1875, the society was organized, and on November
24 following, the church was organized with eighteen
members. On the 14th of the ensuing December the church
was reorganized with the following members, viz.: Rev. H.
R. DAKIN, Mary DAKIN, Uri BIDWELL, Malvina BIDWELL,
Jas. M. WHITNEY, Mary A. WHITNEY, Alma WHITNEY,
Charlotte C. RADCLIFF, Susan RADCLIFF, Catharine
RADCLIFF, John DOUGHERTY, E. V. HUYCK, Mary HUYCK,
Eli BUCKLEY, Ursula BUCKLEY, O. H. BUCKLEY, Helen
L. BUCKLEY, Lucinda SHERWOOD. The first trustees were
as follows, viz.: C. W. MALLERY, J. B. YOUMANS, and
E. B. HANKS. The present trustees are J. B. YOUMANS,
and J. M. WHITNEY; C. W. MALLERY, clerk. The church
building was erected in 1875, which, together with the land
and fixtures, cost $3266.92. It is a neat and substantial edifice,
and was dedicated Dec. 15, 1875. The following have served
the church as pastors, viz.: Revs. H. R. DAKIN, L. E.
WHEELER, and G. E. FLINT, the present pastor.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL church of Wells' Bridge
In April, 1867, Rev. C. G. WOOD, the pastor of the
Methodist Episcopal church, revived the project of erecting
a suitable building for the people of his charge at this place.
The trustees placed the enterprise almost wholly under his
management, and the result was the erection of a neat and
commodious house of worship, 32 by 50 feet in size, with
an alcove 6 by 12 for the pulpit. The edifice cost, with
fixtures, $1579. It was dedicated on Jan. 31, 1878, the
following clergymen being present: Revs. C. G. WOOD,
of Wells' Bridge; S. G. HERNARD, of Sidney Plains; J. W.
NEVIS, of Unadilla; E. C. HERDMAN, of Otego; W. B.
WESTLAKE, of Oneonta; W. M. HILLER, of Cooperstown;
D. BROWN, of Oneonta; and H. R. CLARKE, P.E.
The METHODIST church at Unadilla Centre was organized
in 1830, and a house of worship was erected the same year
at a cost of $500. The church edifice is capable of seating
about three hundred. The value of church property is
estimated at $1500.
The METHODIST EPISCOPAL church at Sand Hill was
organized in 1830, by William S. BOWDISH, who became
the first pastor. The following constituted the membership
upon its organization: Captain Seth ROWLEY and wife,
Joseph BENEDICT and wife, Hiram FOWLER, Abel C.
ROWLEY, Cyntha ROWLEY, and Lucy SAUNDERS. The
present officers are J. H. YORKE, clerk; S. DEVOL, S.
SMITH, J. H. WEBB, J. H. CUNNINGHAM, and P. D.
CHAPMAN, trustees; S. DEVOL, S. LADU, and J. H. YORKE,
The first church edifice was erected in 1856, at a cost of
$1500, and was dedicated by Rev. William BIXBY. The
church has a present membership of forty persons, and is under
the pastoral care of Rev. C. G. WOOD.
BAPTIST church, Sand Hill.
This church was organized March, 14, 1838, at a meeting
of which Rev. D. B. CRANE as moderator and Rev. N.
WATTLES clerk. The first offices were W. J. HUGHSTON,
clerk; Daniel WILBER and Nathaniel SHERWOOD, deacons;
Daniel WILBER, N. SHERWOOD, Simeon BIDWELL, H.
HICOCK, L. LATHROP, E. BUCKLEY, and N. MALLORY,
trustees. The first members were as follows: N. SHERWOOD,
Mary SHERWOOD, J. THOMPSON, D. WILBER, H. WILBER,
H. WILBER, T. Y. DAVIS, H. CARR, E. BUCKLEY, N.
BUCKLEY, T. BUCKLEY, A. DAVIS, P. SISSON, P.
CUNNINGHAM, P. YOUMANS, H. CRANSTON, W.
CRANSTON, C. WILBER, S. KING, L. A. LATHROP, E.
BEARS, H. CARR, Jr., B. LOCKWOOD, and A. FINCH.
The church edifice was erected in 1844, at a cost of $900.
The first pastor was Rev. N. SHERWOOD, who remained
until 1849, since which time the following have officiated, viz.:
Rev. Russel SPAFFORD, six years; Rev. B. A. RUSSELL,
five years; Rev. S. A. DOUGLASS, one year; Rev. E. WRIGHT,
one year; Rev. Thomas BABCOCK, three years; Rev. Mr.
HOGEBOOM, three years; Rev. A. THOMAS, one year; Rev.
H. C. LEACH, six months; Rev. F. D. LEACH, one year; Rev.
T. THOMPKINS, four years; Rev. W. H. BIRDSALL, five years;
Rev. R. DAKEN, one year; Rev. A. THOMAS, two years.
The present officers of the church are as follows:
Nathaniel SHERWOOD and J. B. YOUMANS, deacons;
Walter SMITH, H. L. HAWKES, and N. SHERWOOD,
trustees; and R. L. HUGHSTON, clerk. The present membership
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