METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
CATSKILL, N. Y.
1800 – 1914
Transcribed by Dianne Schnettler from the original booklet in the collection of Sylvia Hasenkopf
The center photo was taken in 2007 by Sylvia Hasenkopf. The church is currently the Second Baptist Church of Catskill.
Pastor, J. W. TETLEY
CHARLES E. BASSETT JOHN A. FOOTE
GEORGE W. HOLDRIDGE J. CLARK SALISBURY
ORLIFF T. HEATH RICHARD VAN HOESEN
WILLIS A. HAINES J. LEWIS PATRIE
CYRUS E. BLOODGOOD* (Deceased)
HENRY VAN BRAMER EUBERTO AUSTIN
B. C. SANDFORD WILLIAM T. THORN
ELIAS LASHER HERBERT W. TERWILLIGER
RAYMOND E. SMITH ELMER E. WHITCOMB
H. G. BATES EDWIN C. HOCMER
N. L. KING SILAS EMBREE
O. A. FREER GEORGE F. MOON
Sunday School Superintendent ADDISON C. MYERS
President Epworth League RUTH MARSHALL
President Ladies’ Aid Society MRS. NELSON MATTICE
President Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society MRS. VAN GELDER
President Woman’s Home Missionary Society MRS. GEORGE HOLDRIDGE
Organist MRS. WILLLIAM DRISCOLL
Chorister GEORGE PARKS
The Official Board feels that this record will not be complete without a word of recognition for the writer, Mr. J. A. Foote. His long record as a member of the Church and its Official Board, his service for many years as Choir-master, his activity in securing for the Church its pipe organ, and his service as Secretary of the Official Board, which position he now holds, gave him an intimacy with our Church life which eminently fitted him to prepare this record – a work of permanent value. For this service the Official Board desires to record their appreciation and thanks.
Paper read at the Semi-Centennial celebration, Nov. 8, 1914.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
CATSKILL, N. Y.
The earliest record of which we have any account shows that Freeborn Garrettson, in 1788, assisted by twelve young men, commenced his gospel labors in the State of New York. On Thursday, May 18, 1789, Conference met in New York. John Crawford was received on trial and appointed to Coeymans Patent, having a membership of 12 persons. After much discouragement he found a private house opened to him, for a preaching place and here laid the foundation of Methodism in this section of country. Rev. John Crawford was so successful that in 1791 a stone church was built at Coeymans. From this church Methodism branched out in its influences and in some way, unknown to us, reached Catskill about the commencement of the year 1800. The first mention we have in is 1806, when a class is reported at Catskill with Aurie Ferguson as leader. After this, Catskill is regularly mentioned as a preaching place on Coeymans and Albany circuits down to 1823, from which time our own records furnish us quite a complete history. During the period of 1806 to 1819, Dr. Thomas S. Barret, and English local preacher and physician, made Catskill his home and engaged in wool carding and dyeing in the old building that still stands on the corner of Main and Cooke streets. He seems to have been full of zeal for God and Methodism, for tradition says that immediately on his arrival in Catskill, he sought a place to preach, and that his first sermon was in the Protestant Episcopal Church of Catskill. After this the lower story of the Court House (now Masonic Temple) was procured as a preaching place. On the 13th, of April 1823, Richard Field deeded to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Catskill N. Y., for the consideration of one hundred dollars, a lot on Thomson street, nearly opposite the entrance to the Irving School Building. The deed was recorded in the County Clerk’s office, in Book H of Deeds, page 97, between the tenth and seventeenth of April, 1824. On this lot was a small schoolhouse, which was called the Academy, and which henceforth was used for the double purpose of schoolhouse and a place in which the social and business meetings of the church were held. Early in 1824, the talk about building a church began to take form, and at a meeting held March 17, Caleb Elmer was duly authorized to circulate a petition for the purpose of raising money to build, and was allowed a reasonable compensation for his time.
At a meeting held July 19, 1824, a committee consisting of Caleb Elmer, Curtis Graham and William Adams, was appointed to purchase five feet more of land of Peter Bogardus, and to procure material for foundation and cause the same to be built. This committee purchased the five feet on July 27th, 1824, for $37.50, the deed for which is recorded in Book H, page 225. In July of this year a contract was made with Thayer & Sherman for a building 34 x 44 feet, with fourteen feet posts. It was to be erected, enclosed, prepared for lathing, baseboards down and without seats or pulpit, and was to cost $600. The contract of Thayer & Sherman was completed early in December, the plastering done, and Mr. B. Gidions, to whom the contract had been awarded, had completed a stoop in front of the church.
The church was now without seats, and the same Mr. Gidions was employed to make pews, from the seats that had been made for use in the Court House, as it was decided to make them answer their needs.
In 1831 Catskill and Saugerties became a circuit with J. Tackabury and D. Poor as preachers.
In 1834 it was found that the funded and floating debt was accumulating and had increased to $557. Systematic effort was again put forth and the result was that the floating debt of $107 was paid.
In 1836 Mr. Alfred Foote made his home in Catskill, and immediately identified himself with the small and struggling Church. He was then a young man of twenty four years and had recently been converted. He was a good singer and was placed at the head of the choir, which place he occupied until his death in May, 1994. He was possessed of good business qualifications and was wisely made as soon as possible, a member of the board of trustees.
On the 11th of September, 1839, the Episcopal Church of the village was destroyed by fire, and the official board expressed their sympathy for the members of that church in their loss, and tendered to them the use of our house of worship on each Lord’s Day, and if desired on other occasions for the purpose of celebrating Divine worship according to the ritual of said church. The invitation was gratefully accepted. For about a year the Episcopal Rector occupied the pulpit morning and evening, and the Methodist Episcopal Minister in the afternoon.
This was also the first centennial of Methodism. On the 12th of May, 1739, the foundation of the first Methodist Episcopal Church in the world was laid with prayers and songs of praise at Bristol, England. It was considered a good time to make an effort to pay the indebtedness of the church. The financial effort proved a success, and made the first centennial of Methodism a bright spot, in the history of the Catskill Methodist Episcopal Church.
It was in this year that Benjamin Wiltse came to Catskill to engage in the foundry business. He was an enterprising young business man, had been converted and was an earnest worker, and an official member of the M. E. Church in Hudson. He immediately joined the church here, accepting a position in the official board, and remained a steadfast worker and one of its most liberal supporters for 45 years.
In 1846 Valentine Buck was the presiding elder, and Eben S. Hubbell and Abram Davis were the preachers. Catskill and Coxsackie were then the head centres of the circuit, each paying $155 per year for the support of the preachers and presiding elder, and had the service of the preacher every alternate Sunday afternoon. The responsibility for raising the preacher’s salary, rested on the class leaders, who were Alfred Foote, Barnet Ruland and C. Stewart.
In 1848 Stephen Martindale became presiding elder and Philip Hoyt and Samuel G. Stevens, preachers.
We have no definite information as to the time when the Methodist Episcopal Sunday School was organized. It was probably about 1840.
Tradition says the first superintendent was Mr. Andrews. The first Sunday School report was made to the Quarterly Conference in 1845, in which eleven teachers, thirty-one scholars, and two hundred volumes in the library are reported.
In 1852 Catskill, Coxsackie, High Hill and Leeds were formed into a circuit, with Revs. James Birch and William Hale for preachers. The Rev. James Birch resided in Catskill and William Hale in Coxsackie.
From 1854 to 1860 but little of interest transpired, except that in 1855 Catskill, Leeds and Sandy Plains were formed into a circuit. Rev. Thomas Lodge, being the preacher, it was doubtless the result of his effort.
The preachers for a period were, in 1856, J. W. Macomber; 1857, Wm. Stevens; 1858-9, C. M. Eggleston; 1860-61, James Birch, he being the only minister, who has served Catskill Church for two terms; 1862-3, O. P. Matthews; 1864-66, S. I. Ferguson.
The society had grown to the feeling that a new church was needed and the village was informally canvassed over and over again for a suitable lot on which to build. That occupied was too small and could not well be enlarged, and the location on the hill side was so unfavorable for teams, that the propriety of moving the site seemed beyond controversy. In an official meeting held March 26, 1862, it was stated that a legacy of $1,000, left by Mr. A. Wicks, was about to be paid over, and in due form it was decided to offer that amount to the heirs of Dr. Greene for the lot near the head of Main St. known as the Greene lot. This offer was accepted with the conditions that they should occupy the premises until the first of the following May, and then have the privilege of removing the building from it. This acceptance brought things to a crisis, and when the five trustees met on the 30th of June, 1862, to take a final action in regard to the premises, S. B. Ahreet and Benjamin Wiltse voted in the negative, Alfred Foote and John B. Foote in the affirmative. H. L. Jennings was in the chair, and having the casting vote gave it with the affirmative, and the lot was purchased.
There is no further record of a meeting until April 14, 1863, when arrangements were made to circulate subscriptions, and procure plans for immediate operations. The five trustees were the building committee, and to them were added the pastor, Rev. O. P. Matthews, R. Ferrier, and John Clow. B. Wiltse, R. Ferrier and John B. Foote were appointed a committee to visit New York City, consult architects and examine churches in order to secure a plan. Under the direction of Orange Judd, Esq., they visited a church at Flushing, L. I., and returned home with so favorable a report, that Mr. Wm. G. Van Loan was sent to take measurements and draw a plan substantially after that church. This plan with a few modifications was adopted October 1st, 1863.
The contract for the mason work was given to L. S. & Wm. Smith, and the carpenter work to Wm. G. Van Loan. The contract for the mason work on the lecture room was given to L. S. & Wm. Smith, and the carpenter work to John Clow.
The amount expended on church and lecture room was $12,000. About one year was occupied in building, so that on the 10th day of November, 1864, the church for which the society had waited with fond anticipation was dedicated by Bishop Simpson. Rev. J. B. Wakely was present, and as the bishop was late, he began the service, and was in the midst of the service when the bishop arrived.
The bishop preached in the afternoon from Romans 14, 7, “None of us liveth to himself.” In the evening Rev. R. S. Foster, who afterward became bishop, preached from Genesis 49, 10, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until shilo come.”
Efforts were put forth to free the new church from indebtedness, but without avail. The old church and lot were sold to Mr. Hiram Bogardus for $1,155, the deed of which sale is recorded in Book 64, page 227, in the County Clerk’s office, but the trustees were compelled to give a mortgage of $2,500 on the church.
Two years later occurred the centenary of American Methodism, and it was decided to celebrate the occasion by the purchase of a parsonage. After due deliberation a contract was closed February 1st, 1867, with Mr. Francis Sayre, by which the parsonage in the rear of the church was purchased for the moderate sum of $2,000. The house was enlarged to its present capacity during the pastorate of Rev. J. K. Wardle.
Until 1864, Catskill was joined with High Hill, and had preaching only in the afternoon and evening, but at this date it was made a station, and Rev. Sanford I. Ferguson being pastor, soon established regular morning and evening preaching. The opening of the new church was the introduction of the third era in the history of Catskill Methodism. The minister grew in favor, the congregation increased, and during the winter of 1867 there occurred a blessed revival, during which many were brought into the church.
In the Spring 1867, Rev. Z. N. Lewis was appointed to Catskill. During his ministry, an Albany Praying band visited the church, but their visit was not followed by a general revival interest. In 1870 Rev. J. Millard became the pastor. The indebtedness on the church now increased to about $5,000. It had been a constant source of annoyance, so the pastor and people heroically determined that it should be canceled. The effort proved successful and the entire amount was raised.
In 1873, Rev. George Clarke became pastor. He was genial and fraternal and entered heartily into an arrangement for a union revival meeting. The result was that many were gathered into the different churches.
In 1876, Rev. Thomas Lamont became the pastor, and the record of his faithfulness and the purity of his character as a minister and a man lingers in the memory of all who knew him.
In 1879, Rev. J. K. Wardle was appointed to Catskill. He was a good preacher and an earnest worker. Under his ministry many young persons were converted, and many needed improvements were made to the parsonage during his pastorate.
At the Conference of 1882, the Rev. Edmund Lewis was sent to Catskill. They gave the pastor a hearty welcome and put forth united effort to aid him in making his ministry among them a success. During the first year about $1,000 was spent in improvements on the parsonage and church. Those on the latter consisted in rebuilding the front fence, erecting a massive retaining wall on the north-west side of the church, painting the front, and building fences, both at the side and rear of the lot, and some little work in the interior of the church.
In April, 1883, the young men of the church organized themselves into a Y. M. Christian Association of the Catskill Methodist Church. They asked and obtained permission to hold a prayer meeting an hour before the Sunday evening service. They met in the lecture room, and sought to attract to themselves other young men. They soon felt the need of a room more neat and attractive in which to meet, and asked of the trustees the privilege of raising a subscription of one hundred dollars or more, and spend it upon a carpet, chairs, etc., for the old lecture room. When they had secured the needed amount and were about to cut the carpet and otherwise proceed with their improvements, the feeling in favor of a new lecture room had so increased that they were requested to wait until its reality and depth might be tested in an official meeting. Accordingly, a meeting was called for June 11, 1883.
On June 11th, 1883, at a meeting of the official board, it was decided to build a new lecture room, provided the report of the committee on plans be accepted. Some plans which had been prepared were rejected, and on motion of D. C. Mull, John B. Halcott, an architect of Albany was employed to draw up plans for a one story building, and include in the plans a place for a pipe organ in the rear of the pulpit. The plans and specifications were duly drawn and placed in the hands of different contractors for estimates. At a meeting of the full board, held on the 27th of August, 1883, James H. Van Gelder offered a resolution “that it is the sense of this official meeting that the church trustees be instructed to proceed immediately to build a new lecture room according to the plans and specifications already adopted.” This resolution was adopted and the trustees, in a day or two, met and proceeded to open bids for the contract. That of William Ruland was $3,175, or $25 below either of the other two, and to him the contract was awarded. Early in September the work of tearing down and excavating was commenced, and after the first Sunday in November, the church was vacated, it was supposed for two weeks, and the pastor given a vacation for that length of time.
The Athenaeum Society, which had been in existence about two years, and had accumulated about $800, arranged to purchase the organ, contracting that when paid for, it should become the property of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Catskill. They first made a contract with Mr. Davis, in Buffalo, for $1,745, but through the failure of the firm the organ was not completed, and a new contract was made with Steere & Turner of Springfield, Mass., for $1,850, and the organ was set up about the middle of February, 1884. The Ladies’ Aid Society had on hand between $300 and $400, which was spent for cushions, pulpit furniture, etc.
The spirit of progress increased until it was decided to paint the interior at an expense of $550, and put in a steam heater costing $1,000. As these improvements were foreshadowed it was seen that the church could not be used for some time, so the society procured Cowles Hall, and held the regular morning and evening service in it for seven Sundays, or for the remainder of the year 1883. As the lecture room was completed it was occupied for preaching after the first of January for seven Sundays, and the church re-opening and dedication of the lecture room fixed for Sunday, February 24.
Bishop Harris and Rev. A. K. Sanford, the presiding elder, arrived on Saturday evening, and met with the official brethren and pastor, remaining in session until eleven o’clock discussing the situation.
It was found that the improvements aggregated $8,000, and that about $3,800 remained unprovided for. It was decided to raise this amount, and to this the brethren subscribed liberally. Sunday was clear and beautiful, the congregation large and enthusiastic, and the bishop gave an excellent gospel sermon, after which the pastor presented the financial condition, and Rev. Dr. Sanford presented the collection, which soon amounted to over $3,400. In the afternoon the lecture room was filled to overflowing. The opening prayer was offered by Rev. B. B. Gibbs of the Baptist church, and fraternal addresses were made by Revs. Dr. Howard of the Presbyterian Church and Dr. Thompson of the Reformed Church. Money was solicited and about $225 raised to which the three Churches represented each gave $25.
After this Mr. Alfred Foote, in behalf of the trustees, presented the new room to the bishop, who dedicated it to the worship of God.
In the evening a large congregation again assembled, and listened to a good sermon by Rev. Dr. Sanford, after which the congregation was asked to contribute $200, still in arrears. In a short time $400 was pledged, the Doxology was sung and happy greetings were exchanged by glad and thankful hearts. The church was pronounced beautiful by all who saw it. The congregation increased, a spirit of unity pervaded the church.
On the 24th of May, 1884, brother Alfred Foote was buried from the church. He was great beloved in the community and many gathered at his funeral to lament the death of one who for more than two score years had carried the interest of the church upon his heart. As the pastor’s term drew to a close he received an invitation to Rhinebeck, and Rev. Alfred Coons was appointed to Catskill at the Conference of April, 1885.
The Rev. Alfred Coons succeeded the Rev. Edmund Lewis in 1885, according to the annual appointment. The year was a gracious one, both in the spiritual upbuilding of the membership, and the ingathering of souls. Surely the Master poured out a great blessing at the hands of a faithful servant. Full of the love of Christ, with zealous mind, and untiring energy, he led the special revival meetings, successive nights, week after week, still saying if there seemed to be no other penitents, that “there are still other souls to win” until more than one hundred seekers had found their way to the altar. Of this number about one hundred were received o the usual six months probation, and with those received by letter, and those whose term had expired, one hundred new members were received into the church. This is the largest accession, for the same period, in the history of our church. Need we say, “well done, good and faithful servant:” There was also a corresponding increase of interest in all the means of grace, a number of conversions occurring since the close of the revival and during the year 1886.
The interest in the Young People’s Meetings may be estimated, in a measure, from an average attendance of about 80; while the Sunday School will show an average attendance of about 200, the highest mark being 230.
During 1886, there has been added to the church property, a conventient [sic] lot, on which have been erected a number of sheds, at a cost of $2,000, a much and long needed improvement. The Y. M. C. A. of the church also increased its numbers very largely, and was a large and harmonious body of young men, active in the various departments of Christian work.
During the last year that the Rev. Alfred Coons was pastor (1887) Rev. W. S. Winans came to Catskill to reside, also Rev. John W. Gorse, a retired minister from Asbury. They were both very helpful and took an active part in all the services of the church. At the Conference held in the spring of 1888 the Rev. Angelow Ostrander was sent to Catskill, and served as pastor 1888-1889-1890.
He was a successful pastor, and during the time he was here, the Presbyterian, Reformed and Baptist Churches united with our own in securing the services of the evangelist, J. Wilbur Chapman, and union meetings were held successfully for a time, and there were many converts; a number joining our own church.
1891-1892-1893 David Mc Cartney was pastor. He was a very earnest and faithful pastor, and during his pastorate, the lecture room was decorated at a cost of $200. John B. Foote and M. C. Clay were the committee, who had the work in charge.
In the spring of 1894, Rev. Chas. A. Holla was sent to Catskill by the Conference, and served during the years 1894-1895-1896. He was an earnest and eloquent speaker, and during his pastorate many improvements were made to the church property, in all about $2,000. During September, 1894, the stained glass windows were put in, at a cost of $500. They were purchased of John Morgan & Son, New York. Galvanized wire netting to protect them was purchased of Wooley & Co., at a cost of $37.23.
George W. Holdridge was employed to build a stone wall in front of the church, and Lawrence W. Brooks was appointed a committee to have an iron fence placed upon it. He took a great interest in having the work properly done, and presented the lamp which adorns the arch over the steps. The work was so satisfactorily done, that a vote of thanks was extended to both of these brethren. In December, 1894, Joseph Keeler had placed a tablet in the church tower, which he presented to the church, with the inscription, Methodist Episcopal Church.
He was presented with a vote of thanks by the Official Board.
On June 11th, 1895, Mrs. William S. Van Brocklin, representing the parsonage committee appeared before the Official Board and said the ladies thought the time had come, we should have a new parsonage, either to buy one already built or secure a suitable lot on which to build one. The board at once appointed a committee to take the matter under consideration, consisting of W. Van Brocklin, John A. Foote, Orliff Heath, and Chauncy Smith. On June 11th, 1895, the pastor was granted a vacation of two months for a trip abroad, and was presented with $250 as part of his expenses. Most of the time during the pastor’s absence the pulpit was acceptably filled by the Rev. J. K. Wardle of Hudson. On return of the pastor he gave the church the benefit of a course of lectures descriptive of his travels abroad which netted the church $250.01. On May 10th, 1896, the pastor was granted a vacation of two weeks in which to attend the General Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, and in order that his wife might accompany him, a sum of money was given him for that purpose. J. B. Foote also attended the general conference that year as an alternate, the regular delegate being unable to attend. January 29th, 1897, Pastor Holla reviewed the work of the year 1896 from which we glean a few items of interest. “First, the highly commendable work of the King’s Daughters, Ella Fuller, President. These young ladies have on their own account distributed food, clothing, and fuel to many destitute and needy families, and on Christmas afternoon gave a dinner and Christmas tree to 33 poor children to whom otherwise the day would have been a cheerless one. The Junior Epworth League under the direction of Miss Lillian Bassett, is also filling an important mission in the church. It has an enrollment of 137 children with an attendance of 100. The average attendance at prayer meeting is about 70. The Sunday school has now an attendance of 235 with John B. Foote as Superintendent, and a corps of over 30 teachers and officers.”
On April 1st, 1897, the Trustees sold the parsonage in the rear of the church to Frank S. Mackey for $2,000.
On April 2nd, 1897, the committee appointed to select a suitable site for the new parsonage reported in favor of the James Ford property on Summit Ave., adjoining the Charles A. Nicoll’s place, and it was purchased for $1,000. John B. Foote, Lawrence Wl Brooks and Orliff T. Heath were appointed the building committee for the new parsonage. The contract for the same, was given to S. J. Mott to do the carpenter work, and Geo. W. Holdridge to do the mason work. The new parsonage was completed in October, 1897, and the Ladies’ Aid Society having furnished it throughout, Pastor Bell moved in. The parsonage committee reported the entire cost of the parsonage, including lot $5,008. 84. It is considered one of the best on the Kingston District.
At the annual conference of 1897, Rev. Richard E. Bell was appointed to Catskill, and served 1897-88-99. He was a very able speaker, and beloved by all. May regrets were expressed by the members of the church and congregation when he was sent to another charge.
As there was an inquiry for more church sheds, the trustees ordered ten more new ones built, and Lawrence W. Brooks and Chauncey Smith were the committee who had the work in charge. During the fall of 1898, a new boiler for heating the church was installed.
At the Annual Conference held in New York, April 4th, 1900, and Rev. Edmund L. Hoffecker was to Catskill to succeed Brother Bell who went to Tarrytown. He served as pastor for one year and at the 1901 Conference was transferred to Saugerties, and the Rev. Frank Beale was sent to Catskill, and served as pastor, 1901-02-03. He was kind hearted, successful as a pastor, and well liked in the community.
In August, 1902, the roof and attic of the parsonage was burned, but the loss was fully covered by insurance. The fire was supposed to have been caused by a defective, electric light wire. At that time the Church records were destroyed.
At the Conference of 1904, Rev. Frank Beale was transferred to Hudson and the Rev. Robert Knapp to Catskill, where he served for four years, 1904-07. He was well liked, and worked for the interest of the Church, and it was with regret we learned that he had been sent to another charge. He was a splendid financier, introduced the “Penny a Day Plan,” when he first came to Catskill and worked it very successfully during his pastorate.
It was reported at the official meeting held May 6, 1904, by Mr. O. T. Heath, that Mrs. Mary Brolley had presented the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Catskill, with $3000, and that the amount was already placed to their credit in the Catskill Savings Bank. The Official Board in a series of resolutions thanked Mrs. Brolley for her very generous gift.
On September 12, 1905, Brother John B. Foote, died at his residence on Jefferson Heights, in his eightieth year. He was born in Franklin, Delaware County, October 11, 1826, and came to Catskill at the age of fifteen. For fifty-six years he was engaged in the work of the Sunday School and for thirty-six years was its Superintendent. During a period of over sixty years he was church trustee, steward, recording steward, president of the Board of Trustees, class leader and reserve delegate to the general conference of 1896.
Kindness, cheerfulness, loyalty and faithfulness were among the virtues of his life and these qualities commanded the love and respect of the Church and community.
April 10th 1906, Rev. John W. Gorse entered into rest.
December 31st, 1905, new hymnals for the church were purchased at a coat of $235.50.
November 11th, 1907, Mrs. Lawrence W. Brooks presented the Church in memory of her husband, with a beautiful individual Communion Service, and also the embroidered linen. Resolutions of appreciation were sent her by the Official Board. At a meeting of the Official Board held January 13th, 1908, the pastor, Rev. Robert Knapp was granted a vacation for the month of February and was presented with $100, for the purpose of visiting his wife who had gone to Florida for the benefit of her health. During the pastor’s absence, Rev. O. D. Ramsey, and the Rev. Foster A. Coons supplied the pulpit.
In December, 1908, there was paid to the church treasurer $1,000 by the executors of the last Will and Testament of Brother Lawrence W. Brooks. This sum was given in trust and the income is paid annually to the running expenses of the church,
Another bequest was made to the church of $1,000 by Brother James D. Mattice. This was also given in trust, the income of which annually must be paid to the poor and needy of the village.
At the Annual Conference of 1908, Pastor Knapp was transferred to Tarrytown, and the Rev. Clark Wright was sent to Catskill, and served as pastor 1908-09. He came to Catskill under a great sorrow, having just lost his wife, and within the year, his only daughter. He was a very fluent speaker, kind and courteous, and made many friends, not only in the church, but in the community as well. Dr. Wright was ill the latter part of his pastorate, and at the Conference in 1910 retired from the active ministry, and now resides in Yonkers.
At the Conference of 1910, Rev. H. Y. Murkland was sent to Catskill, and served as pastor 1910-12. He was an eloquent speaker, and commanded the attention of his audience. He made friends throughout the community and was concerned in all that pertained to the best interest of the village.
The Rev. William S. Winans entered into rest Sunday, October 27th, 1911. He was buried from the church during the session of the District Conference.
In June, 1911, $160.07 was expended for caps and gowns for the vestured choir. During the summer of 1912, about $2,800 was laid out in improvements. A new steel ceiling was put in, the lighting system was changed from gas to electricity in the church proper, new maple flooring put down and polished, the interior of the church painted, velvet carpet put down in the aisles and on the pulpit platform, cushions re-upholstered, new pulpit furniture and communion table, and pews newly varnished. The front vestibule was also newly painted, and a maple floor put down. The lecture room was also calsomined and other improvements made.
We were sorry to lose Brother Murkland, who at the Conference of 1913, was transferred to the Central Church, N. J., but was very glad when the Conference sent to us Rev. J. Wilbur Tetley, who has already served one year, 1913, and is on his second year. We hope there will be many more to follow. Under the direction of Brother Tetley, every department of the Church is in a flourishing condition. Special mention should be made of the Ladies Aid Society, which has been of great assistance to the Church, financially and socially, under the presidency of Mrs. Richard Van Hoesen for many years, and Mrs. Nelson Mattice.
July 10th, 1913, the church sheds were partly destroyed by fire, and were damaged to the extent of $700. As the insurance was for only $300, the loss to the Church was $400.
In looking back over the fifty years just closing, we find that the Church has had eighteen pastors, during that time. Seven of these have already entered into rest.
They are Revs. Sanford I. Ferguson, Z. N. Lewis, J. Millard, J. K. Wardle, Edmund Lewis, Angelo Ostrander, David Mc Cartney. Those living are Revs. George Clark, Thomas Lamont, Alfred Coons, Charles A. Holla, Richard E. Bell, Edmund L. Hoffecker, Frank Beale, Robert Knapp, Clark Wright, H. Y. Murkland, and J. W. Tetley.
The Catskill Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated Nov. 10th, 1864, and the fiftieth anniversary was held on Sunday, Nov. 8th, 1914, which day marked another golden milestone in our history.
Special music was rendered by organ and choir, and large congregations were present at the morning, afternoon, and evening services. At the morning service after the organ prelude and congregational singing, Rev. George Clark, who was former pastor here 1873-75, offered prayer, after which Rev. Charles A. Holla, who was pastor of the Church in 1894-96, preached an eloquent sermon from the text found in Philippians 4th and 8th.
At the afternoon service held at 2:45, a history of the Church from the year 1800 down to the present time was read by John A. Foote. Addresses were made by Drs. Clark, C. Holla, and reading of letter from former pastors unable to be present.
Greetings from Dr. C. G. Hazard of the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Maurice Hamm of the Baptist Church, and Rev. John A. Dykstra of the Reformed Church completed a most inspiring afternoon. In the evening Dr. T. H. Baragwanath, District Supt. Of the Kingston District preached the sermon to a large audience.
JOHN A. FOOTE, Com.