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EARLY HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS GROUPS

Town of Elbridge

Submitted by Kathy Crowell

The following excerpts appear in Onondaga's Centennial by Dwight H. Bruce.  Boston Publishing Co., 1896:


Congregational:

"....Religion was forwarded by the organization on October 30, 1800 of the 'First Congregational Society of the Town of Camillus, of the 'First Congregational Society of the Town of Camillus,' among whose original members were Hezekiah Freeman, Moses Fulton, and John Healy (the first clerk).  In 1804 Mr. Freeman and Mr. Healy were chosen the first deacons.  The first minister was Rev. Seth Williston; Rev. Benjamin Bell officiated from 1810 to 1818 and was followed by Revs. J. Pool, Jabez Chadwick, Stephen Porter, Timothy Stow, Medad Pomeroy, and others. Services were held in private dwellings and school houses until 1823-24, when a church was erected on a site donated by Nathan Gorman in Elbridge village, at a cost of $3,600, the society having been incorporated December 24, 1822, at which date Jacob Campbell, Levi Clark, Nathan Munro, Charles Lombard, Jedediah Richards, and Hiram F. Maher were trustees.  In 1845, in 1862, and again in 1889 this edifice was repaired and remodeled.  On December 27, 1829, the name Elbridge was substituted for Camillus, and in 1834 a parsonage was built at a cost of $1,600.  In 1806 seven members of this society were dismissed to form the church at Sennett, Cayuga county, and in 1829 fourteen withdrew to organize the Jordan society.  Among other prominent members of this church may be mentioned Gideon Wilcoxon, Hon. James Munro (State senator 1851-53), Henry E. Van Vliet, Bradley Bennett, and Dr. Wheeler, all deceased," pp. 689-690.

Baptist:

"During the period of the war of 1812-15 the Baptists took measures to form a society of their denomination in town, and on May 1, 1813, the Baptist church of Elbridge was organized at the school house near Squire Munro's.  Rev. Israel Craw was the first pastor, and continued as such until October 18, 1817, at a salary of $100 per year, preaching also a part of the time at Marcellus.  The church was recognized by council May 20, 1813, and in 1816 an edifice was built in Elbridge village.  Through the liberality of Deacon John Munroe this structure was superseded in 1858 by another church, which cost $14,000 and to which parlors were added in 1875 at an expense of $2,500.  Among the early members were Squire Munro, Nathan Munro, Isaac Hill, Lemuel Crossman and Ichabod Tyler, and of the pastors may be mentioned Rev. Sylvanus Haynes, Cyrus Fuller, Alonzo Wheelock, D. D., and Thomas Rogers.  The Skaneateles and Jordan churches were organized largely from this society," p. 690.

"By 1835 the Baptists in Jordan had become so numerous as to require a separate organization, and on November 10 a church was formed from about thirty-three members of the Elbridge Society.  Rev. E. D. Hubbell was the first pastor, and Tobias Clements and A. Case were chosen the first deacons.  Subsequent pastors were Revs. Henry Davis, H. J. Eddy, W. R. Webb, F. D. Fenner, D. P. Pope and others.  In 1836 the society was received into the Cayuga Baptist Association, and in October, 1837, their church edifice was dedicated.  It is still standing in a remodeled form," p. 699.

Presbyterian:

"Contemporary with the completion of the (Erie) canal the Presbyterians inaugurated religious services in Jordan under the pastor of their church in Elbridge, and on June 9, 1829, the First Presbyterian Society of  Jordan was legally organized at the brick school house on the academy lot, which was later occupied by the Nicholas Craner dwelling.  Dr. Aaron Pitney presided and Lemuel B. Raymont acted as secretary.  The first trustees were Dr. Pitney, Edmund W. Botsford, Herman Jenkyns, James W. Redfield, Eben Morehouse and Sidney M. Norton (clerk).  On July 2 of the same year the church was incorporated with Alva D. Botsford, Ebenezer Daggett, Salmon Greene, Pomeroy Tobey, William Newall and Ebenezer Morehouse as elders, and with eighteen members, among whom were Thomas L. Carson, Delatus Frary, William Nickerson and Thomas and John Stevens.  An edifice was built in 1830-31 at a cost of $4,000, and was dedicated June 30, 1831.  Among the pastors have been Revs. Washington Thatcher, Richard Dunning, Cyrus M. Perry and J. Edward Close," p. 692.

Methodist:

"Methodism had already secured a footing in the growing settlement, a class having been organized about 1820.  An M. E. Society was formed in 1830 or 1831, and in 1832 a church was built on the corner of Chapel and Mechanic streets in Jordan, at a cost of about $3,000.  This has since received many improvements.  During its erection Rev. Roswell Parker was pastor, but prior to him Rev. Seth Mattison, Father Purdy, Herman Judson, Revs. Barnes and Harris and others had served on the circuit.  Among the early members of the society were:  Luther Huntington, Father Rhinus, Daniel Pickard, Benjamin Rider, Mrs. Harry Barr, Mrs. Anna Graves, Rev. Nathaniel Salisbury and sister, Mrs. Eunice Sands, Mrs. Goodrich, Henry Miner, Mrs. Maria Bates, Sarah Holway,  Father Crysler, Isaac Fowler and wife, Ruloff Fuller and wife, William Gibbs, Benjamin H. Brown, Hollis Knowlton, Henry Allen, Simon Converse, Michael Oglesbie, Jared Whiting and Mrs. James Rodger (died in 1894).

James Rodger was an officer of this church from 1842 until his death, a few years ago.  In 1886, under the pastorate of Rev. M. Wheeler, their church edifice was remodeled at a cost of $11,000, and was rededicated in March, 1887.   This society was followed by a class at Peru, where a church was organized about 1850, by William Prior, George Stickles, Alanson Barnes and others.  In 1852 an edifice was built at a cost of about $1,500, the pastor at that time being Rev. Charles H. Austin.  When the M. E. class at Elbridge became a station in 1850 it contained fifty members, and at that time and until 1852 was under the pastoral care of Rev. E. S. Bush.  The brick edifice in the village was erected in 1850," pp. 698-699.

Episcopal:

"By the year 1840 Episcopalians had gathered numerical strength sufficient to form a church of their faith in Jordan and on November 30 Christ Parish was organized with James Riggs and Cyrus Andrews wardens, and Lemuel B. Raymond, William Porter, jr., David Pierson, Samuel Tucker, Holland W. Chadwick, Daniel K. Green, Alonzo Wood, and George A. Mason, vestrymen.  The first rector was Rev. Thaddeus Leavenworth, who was followed by Rev. Isaac Swart, Mason Gallagher, O. P. Holcomb, Beardsley Northrop, and others.  The latter on July 27, 1845, baptized the first adult persons in the parish--Mr. and Mrs. Henry Daboll, of Van Buren. On December 23, 1845, the contract to build a church was let to William Gibson, for $1,157; the building was partially enclosed by July 11, 1846, when it was blown down; it was rebuilt and consecrated January 20, 1847, by Bishop De Lancey.  A new brick edifice was completed and dedicated December 29, 1863, under the pastorate of Rev. J. G. Webster, and in 1887 it was partly reconstructed and refitted.  The rectory was purchased December 13, 1875, for $2,600," p. 704.

Catholic:

"St. Patrick's Roman Catholic church in Jordan was built in 1864-65 by Father William McCallion of Camillus; at the same time a cemetery was opened.  The parish now contains about eighty-five families and has always been connected with the Camillus charge," pp. 705-706.


Submitted 1 July 1998