FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, WATERLOO, NY

"Manual of the Churches of Seneca County with sketches of their pastors, 1895-96", compiled and published by the Courier Printing Co., Seneca Falls, NY 1896.This transcription courtesy of Dianne Thomas.

.       The Methodist Episcopal Church Society, of Waterloo, like many of its sister Societies, is the outgrowh of that peculiar feature of Methodism, known as the circuit system. In the past, as also in the present, when the Methodist Church seeks to establish itself in a newly settled portion of the country, it sends out its pioneer preachers or missionaries, who travel over a large territory, gathering the inhabitants together in the Court House, the school house, the home of some settler, or even in the forest, for religious service, and then forming them into classes which meet for worship by themselves in the intervals between the visits of the preacher. With such a beginning, the Rev. James Hall and a few laymen duly called and conducted a meeting of the Methodists in Waterloo, on February 27, 1833, and organized what they called the Fletcher Society of the Methodist Church of Waterloo. The Society was at once recognized by the Genesee conference, and was placed upon the circuit plan as a regular preaching place. At first the Society held its meetings in the Court House, but in November, 1835, they purchased the lot at the corner of Virginia and Elisha streets, where their old church now stands.
      Upon the newly purchased lot, the Methodist Society erected its first church, and on the 14th day of August, 1837, the congregation held another meeting in their new place of worship, and reorganized their society, dropping the word "Fletcher" from their name, and calling themselves the Methodist Episcopal Society of Waterloo, and elected trustees under the general act for the incorporation of religious societies. Under this organization and name the church has continued to this day. Immediately after the reorganization, the Genesee conference made this church a regular appointment, and sent them their first stationed preacher. At that time two years was the limit of time in which any preacher might remain in one place. This limit was afterwards extended to three years and later to five years. In 1841, several years after building of the first church, the Rochester and Auburn railroad was constructed. The line of the road ran across the south end of the church lot. In proceedings to condemn a right of way for the railroad, the commissioners awarded to the church five hundred dollars as the value of the land taken and eight hundred dollars as the damage to the church property from the construction of the railroad. This money received from the railroad was used by the society in paying off an indebtedness which had remained from the erection of their church. About this time the society purchased the property upon Church street, which they occupied for many years as a parsonage, but which they sold several years ago.
      In the later part of August, 1843, this first church, with all its contents, except the Bible, was destroyed. There was an insurance of two thousand dollars upon the church, but at the time of the fire it was doubtful whether the insurance company would be able to pay. The Society, however, without waiting to see whether they could collect their insurance, decided to rebuild at once; and so earnestly did they push their work that before the following winter set in, they had the second church enclosed, and then completed it during the early part of the winter and dedicated it in March, 1844. No description of the first church remains, but doubtless the glory of the second church far surpassed the glory of the former. The church grew and prospered. In 1843, the Society purchased a strip of land off from the ends of the lots next north of the church lot and extended the church building about eighteen feet, and this is the second church, as it now stands. In 1871, the railroad acquired by purchase another small piece off from the south end of the church lot.
      By the last will of Urania Dill, who had for many years been a most devoted member of this society,, the church received a fund of nearly five thousand dollars toward the purchase of a new site and the building of a new church. Soon thereafter the society began to look for a place in which to build a new church, away from the annoyance of the railroad, and selected the place upon which the church is now built; but the owners of a part of it would not sell it for a church, and so the society selected, and in 1882 purchased, with a part of said funds, the property east of Church street, which is now used by them as a parsonage, as the place to build the new church. In the following year, however, they succeeded in buying the lots which they had at first selected, but it remained for the year 1895 to see the work of building this new church actually begun. Early in January, 1895, under the leadership of Rev. Grove E. Campbell as pastor, Chauncey C. Rowe, Andrew J. Smith, Charles E. Zartman, Thomas C. Wilber and George K. Marshall, as trustees and building committee, the society decided to begin the building of its new church. Plans were prepared under the direction of the trustees by Martin L. VanKirk, architect, and the work placed in the hands of Messrs. Edson Bros., as builders. So successfully did the work progress that on the 17th day of August, 1895, the corner stone was laid with imposing ceremonies. Within the stone were placed the official list of the church, copies of local and church papers, two large copper cents and a silver half dollar dated 1833, the year of the organization of the society, a silver dollar and dime of 1883, the years of the purchase of the site, and a half dollar, quarter dollar, nickle and cent of 1895. The church was completed and dedicated March 27, 1896, by Rev. Bishop Fowler, D.D., L.L.D, Rev. C.H. Payne, D.D., Rev. L.C. Queal, D.D., and Rev. R.D. Munger, presiding elder of the district. The building is 113 feet long by 73 feet wide. The auditorium proper is 48x65 feet, with a seating capacity of 476. The floor slopes toward the pulpit, and the chairs, which are upholstered, are arranged in semicircle form. The Sunday school room, which opens into the church by means of sliding doors, is 30x34 feet, adding 300 sittings to the church capacity. The ceiling is of steel. The decorations are buff and gold are and very tasty. The windows are of stained glass, and are beautiful in effect. The building is heated by steam and brilliantly lighted by the Wellsbach gas system. The organ, costing $1,000, was provided by the ladies, largely through the energy of Mrs. Dr. J.W. Day. There are classrooms, library, kitchen and parlors. The entire cost of the church and site is $25,000, and the entire amount is provided for by subscriptions and donations.
      Previous to 1837, Waterloo was served as an appointment by the preachers of the Seneca Circuit. Since then the pastors and terms of service has been as follows: Rev. O.F. Comfort, 1837-38; Rev E.G. Townsend, 1838-40; Rev. A.N. Filmore, 1840-41; Rev. William Fergerson, 1841-42; Rev. William Hosmer, 1842-43; Rev. John Dennis, 1842-44; Rev. F.G. Hibbard, 1844-46; Rev. William Stacy, 1846-47; Rev. John Mandeville, 1847-49; Rev. A.C. George, 1849-50; Rev. McMahon, 1850-51; Rev. Parker, 1851-53; Rev Ferris, 1853-1855; Rev. A.N. Filmore, 1855-57; Rev. Trowbridge, 1857-59; Rev. Martin Wheeler, 1859-61; Rev. Gulick, 1861-63; Rev. Tuttle, 1863-66; Rev. R. Hogoboom, 1866-69; Rev. William Manning, 1869-72;; Rev. M.S. Leete, 1872-73; Rev. E.J. Hermans, 1873-74; Rev. R.C. Fox, 1874-77; Rev. R. Redhead, 1877-80; Rev. Andrew Roe, 1880-82; Rev. I.M. Foster, 1882-84; Rev. A.N. Damon, 1884-86; Rev. R.D. Munger, 1886-91; Rev. Thomas H. Sharp, 1891-92; Rev. J.F. Beebe, 1892-94; Rev Grove E. Campbell, 1894. Rev. Mr. Foster served only two and one-half years of his time and Rev. Mr. Sharp three-fourths of a year. The balance of time was supplied by the Rev. Luther Northway and the Rev. Mr. Babcock, respectively.
      The officers of the church are: Bishop, Rev. Edward G. Andrews, D.D., L.L.D.; presiding elder, Rev. R.D. Munger; pastor, Rev. G. E. Campbell; trustees, Chauncey E. Rowe, Charles E. Zartman, Andrew J. Smith, George K. Marshall, Thomas C. Wilber; stewards, Philip J. Kist, Frederic W. Glauner, John H. Bowers, George S. Lawrence, Walter A. Marshall, George K. Marshall, Isaac Belles, John Larzelere, Thomas C. Wilber, Henry Selmser, George E. Zartman; class leader, Henry Knight; president Epworth league, C.C. Rowe; Sunday school superintendent, George S. Lawrence; assistant superintendent, C.C. Rowe; president of Woman's Foreign Missionary society, Mrs. Robert Baster; vice-president, Mrs. G.E. Campbell; secretary, Mrs. John Blake; treasurer, Mrs. Good; president of the Ladies' Social Union, Mrs. G.E. Campbell; vice-president, Mrs. George Zartman; secretary, Mrs. Mary Arthur; treasurer, Mrs. Leonard Story, president of the Knights of the Cross, Orary C. Birdsey; first vice-president, Ernest Barrett; second vice-president, Ernest Soule; third vice-president, Edward Bond; secretary, Jesse Dysinger.

LIST OF MEMBERS [in 1896]

     
Auton, Eliza J.     Beach, Sarah A.     Culbertson, Julian
Auton, Mary A.     Blake, Martha     Christler, Lottie M.
Allen, Sarah     Bennett, Jay W.     Crider, Charles Mrs.
Andrews, George     Bigelon, Elvira     Crider, Charles
Andrews, Ann     Boss, Mary     Chapman, Hepzibah Mrs.
Andrews, Florence     Boots, Lida     Christian, Emma
Armitage, Jessie     Brown, George      Caldwell, Fred
Archer, Margaret     Bromley, Ida      Caldwell, William
Archer, Seth     Burbridge, William      Campbell, Ida L.
Archer, Martha     Burbridge, Anna      Crobaugh, Charles
Armitage, Lillian     Bowers, John      Day, Dr. J.W.
Batelle, Rolly     Bowers, Mary      Day, Elizabeth
Batelle, Olive     Bowers, Ethel      Dickinson, Helen
Baird, Jean     Bowers, George     Demond, Anna
Baird, Anna     Byer, Kate     DeForest, Jennie F.
Barbeau, Susan A.     Cram, Eleonar     Drake, Edith D.
Beardsley, Suan     Cram, J.F.     Dysinger, Lillie
Baster, Anna H.     Cram, Nellie M.      DeYoe, Helen M.
Belles, Uriah D.     Carman, Mary E.      Dutcher, Jersey
Belles, Lizzie P.     Caldwell, Caroline      Edwards, Thomas S.
Belles, Isaac     Christopher, Daniel      Edwards, Samantha
Belles, Emma     Church, Nellie M.      Ellsworth, Mary
Belles, Ida C.     Clark, William H.      Eskenor, Sarah
Beedles, George     Christopher, Sarah B.      Edwards, Harry
Beedles, Phoebe     Cuddeback, Alice      Edwards, Ethel
Emerick, Bertha     Knight, Theo Ella     Price, Phoebe
Fullmer, Joseph     Knight, William B.      Poffenburg, Warren
Fullmer, Mary J.     Knight, Sarah     Poffenburg, Carrie
Fullmer, Sara A.     Knight, Lucinda      Pullman, Satie
Faundrich, Ella     Knight, Sarah E.      Pasco, Howard
Fortier, Francis J.     Knight Laura      Pasco, Mary I.
Fortier, Sarah J.     Kist, Phillip J.      Reed, Chester
Fisher, J.T. Mrs.     Kist, Jennette      Reed, Ester
Haigh, John     Kuney, Sarah     Reed, John F.
Haigh, Ann     Kuney, Elistia     Rowe, Chauncey C.
Haigh, Lucy     Kemp, Stanley     Rowe, Alice
Harrington, Mary     Lawrence, George S.      Rowe, Emily A.
Hammond, Elizabeth     Lawrence, Emma      Reynolds, Maggie
Hammond, Ina     Lawrence, Pomessan      Rowe, Vernie
Hayner, Cora     Larzelere, John     Roblin, Mr.
Hopper, Mary C.     Larzelere, Amanda      Roblin, Mrs.
Hopper, Sarah     Larzelere, Blanche      Schott, Emma
Hulbert, Maria     Larish, Anna      Schott, Catherine
Hulbert, Ella     Loucks, Moses      Selmser, Henry
Hulbert, Lydia     Loucks, Mary E.      Selmser, Olive
Hull, Happy     Lumb, Mary     Sackett, Margaret
Hull, Julientia     Loucks, Avery     Scotney, John
Horsley, Nancy     Larzelere, Charles     Scotney, Elizabeth
Husted, Louisa Mrs.     Martin, Julia      Shorter, Addie M.
Hopkins, John Mrs.     Marshall, Samuel      Shorter, Jane
Hardie, Anna     Marshall, Phoebe      Storey, Helen
Husted, Lousia Mrs.     Marshall, George K.     Stephenson, Ann
Husted, Louisa J.     Marshall, Emma      Stephenson, Olive
Husted, Mr.     Marshall, Estelle      Smith, Andrew J.
Hennings, Sarah     Marshall, Nattera      Smith, Abbie B.
Haunington, Grace     McArthur, Ida      Smith, Ella
Haight, Martha     McGraw, Mamie      Smith, Frank B.
Jarvis, George     McGraw, Celia      Smith, Matilda
Jarvis, Harriet     McGraw, Sarah M.      Smith, Lottie M.
Jarvis, Job     Miller, George H.     Smith, Lydia
Jarvis, Mary C.     Miller, Eliza J.     Strayer, Mary A.
Jarvis, Frederick     Miller, Mary A.     Tobey, Phoebe J.
Jameson, James     McGuire, Francis E.     Tittsworth, Charles W.
Jameson, Lottie     Morehouse, Mrs.     Tenksburg, W.H.
Jameson, Nettie     Mahoney, Lottie J.     Tenksburg, Mary E.
Jenkins, Stella     Mahoney, Anna E.     Tenksburg, William H.
Jones, Minnie     Montague, Lucy     Titsworth, Laura
Jolley, Mrs.     Manning,      VanDemark, Laura
Johnson, Walter     Nease, Elizabeth     Vair, Hettie
Jenkins, Frances     Parker, David     Vair, Elias
Jenkins, Lydia     Parker, Mary R.     Vair, Susie
Jenkins, Cornelia     Payne, John W.     VanKirk, Adelia M.
Keeler, George W.     Philis, William E.      VanRiper, Emma
Keeler, Eliza     Pontius, James A.      Walters, William H.
Knight, Henry     Pontius, Mamie     Walters, Eliza
Knight, Julia     Pullman, Betsy     Watcher, Albert
Watcher, Lillie     Wolfe, Carrie Mrs.     Young, Ella
Webber, Alice     Wooledge, Mary E.     Zartman, Lydia
Wilber, Thomas C.     Wolfe, Nellie     Zartman, Charles E.
Wood, Harriet     Watus, Ruby     Zartman, Ella
Wood, Lizzie     Walters, Catherine     Zartman, George E.
Wood Electra     Wolfe, Leita     Zartman, Ellen
Woolloon, Mary A.     Walters, Mame     

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