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Town of Pompey

Submitted by Kathy Crowell

Source:  Dwight H. Bruce (ed.), Onondaga's Centennial.  Boston History Co., 1896, Vol. I, pp. 600; 626-627.

Our forefathers generally believed that religion and education should go hand in hand.  It was a distinguishing characteristic of the pioneers, whatever may have been said to the contrary, to look well after the morals of the various communities.  The first church organization in the town bore the title, "The First Congregational Church of Pompey," which afterwards became known as the First Presbyterian church.  The organization was effected October 19, 1796, by Ameni R. Robbins, pastor of a church in Norfolk, Conn.  The first membership comprised twenty-two persons, named as follows:  Ebenezer Butler, Desire Butler, Dorothy Butler, Benjamin Butler, James Olcott, Molly Jerome, Joseph Shattuck, Trueworthy Cook, Selah Cook, Lucy Cook, Freelove Cook, Ichabod Lathrop, John Jerome, Amarilla Jerome, Lucy Jerome, Susannah Carol, Levi Jerome, Hannah Griffis, Moses Lilly, Zeruiah Catlin, Daniel McKeys and Louisa Butler.

Here we find the names of many of the pioneers, men and women.  The early meetings were held in the school house on the green, and later in a room in the academy building.  When the congregation became too large for such quarters, the present church was built in 1817-18 and dedicated in the following year....

Besides the First Congregational church...there was organized in Pompey a Baptist church in the year 1817.  Meetings of the people of this faith were held for a period in barns and dwellings, and in 1819 or 1820 they built a church edifice and for a number of years the society was very prosperous.  But for several causes the congregation gradually diminished and finally the organization ceased its existence.  Many of its members ultimately joined with the church of the Disciples of Christ, which was formally organized on May 3, 1834, with the following thirty-eight members:  Calvin Peck, Asa Wells, Thomas M. King, Alson Nearing, Charles Little, Malcom Bennett, A. H. Squires, Uriel Wilson, jr., Samuel Talbott, Harry Knapp, Willard Hayden, Darius Wilson, Jacob Bush, Alvin Talbott, J. I. Lowell, Mary P. Lowell, Eliza Nearing, Polly Wilson, Mary A. Bush, Temperance Wilson, Paulina Talbott, Mindwell Thomas, Harriet Pratt, Catharine Bennett, Betsey Wright, Rhoda Parsons, Polly Thomas, and Mary Knapp.

Within the year in which the church was organized this society numbered fifty members, and at the close of 1835 it had ninety-three members.  In 1837 the society built a church which they occupied until 1868, when they erected a new edifice, selling the old church for a school house to take the place of the one burned February 11, 1868.  The first pastor of the church was J. I. Lowell, and the first elders were Calvin Peck, Asa Wells, and Thomas M. King.  Deacons, Alson Nearing and Charles Little.

The inhabitants in the vicinity of Oran were favored at a very early day with religious services by missionaries from Connecticut, the first of whom was a Rev. Mr. Perry, who preached in James Scoville's barn, and in other barns in that neighborhood.  On January 27, 1806, Rev. Hugh Wallace organized a society there, which was reorganized later in the same year under the title, the Second Congregational church of the town of Pompey.  Punderson Avery, Jedediah Cleveland, and Joseph Bartholomew were elected the first trustees.  There the first frame house of worship in the town and the third one of any kind in the county, was built in 1807-8.  In later years the Universalists, who had become quite numerous in that section, occasionally occupied the church and formed a large part of the congregation.

It is not known just when the Methodists organized a class or society, but one was formed early in the neighborhood west of Pompey Hill, where a church was built and occupied some years.  About the year 1839 the society erected a church in the village, and the society has maintained a reasonably prosperous existence every since.

The following subscription relating to the organization and building of the Protestant Episcopal church in Pompey is self-explanatory:

Pompey, August 25, 1828.

We, the undersigned, promise to pay to a building committee hereafter to be chosen from among ourselves, the several sums affixed to our names, for the purpose of erecting an Episcopal Church, at the four corners, formerly called Clapp's corners; one-fourth to be paid by the first of March next, and the remainder in November, 1829.  This church when erected shall be under the care of Wardens and Vestrymen and be governed according to the rules and regulations of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States.  The sum subscribed by each individual may be applied on payment in the purchase of a pew.

John Sprague, $100; Isaac V. V. Hibbard, $100; Moses Hinsdale, $125; John Clapp, $100; Samuel Hibbard, $100; Carleton Clapp, $40; Marovia Marsh, $50; Samuel Clement, $75; Chester Clapp, $75; Chauncey Hinsdell, $126; Anson Sweet, $100; James Lusk, $100; Rhoda Gold, lumber, $20; Philemon French, $50; Kneeland Sweet, $130; Anson Sprague, $20; Jacob R. De Puy, $10; Milton Slosson, $25; Horace Sweet, $25; Ansel Judd, $32; Adolphus Sweet, $50; Joel B. Hibbard, $20; Heman Murray, $20; Ira Curtis, $20; James Carr, $25; Lucius Cook, labor on building, $10; Reuben Murray, $25; Truman B. Stanton, $10; Seymour Marsh, $50; Joseph W. Bostwick, $10; Ephraim Salmon, $10; Jacob Hadley, 2 chairs for vestry room and Communion Table, $10.

Submitted 7 August 1998