Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The History of Montgomery Classis, R.C.A.
by W.N.P. Dailey,
Recorder Press, Amsterdam, NY 1916
To which is added sketches of Mohawk Valley men and events of early days, the Iroquois, Palatines, Indian Missions, Tryon County, committee of Safety, Sir Wm. Johnson, Joseph Brant, Arendt Van Curler, Gen. Herkimer, Reformed Church in America, Doctrine and Progress, Revolutionary Residences, Etc.

Churches of Cayuga and Geneva Classes (Unrecorded Elsewhere)

ABBE The Reformed church at Clymer (Chautauqua Co.) was called the Abbe church in memory of Mrs. L. M. Abbe of Albany, who gave a large sum of money toward its erection. Clymer, formed in 1821, was named after Gen. Clymer, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Organized in 1869, it is today prosperous church in the Rochester Classis of two hundred and fifty members. (The Clymer Hill church is another organization of 1853.)

ARCADIA This church was also called "Fairville" (Wayne Co.) and was organized in 1835 by the Classis of Cayuga. Among the pastors were Rev. Elbert Nevins (1835-1836), the famous missionary to Borneo; Rev. William E. Turner, (1841-1848),John Whitbeck (1850-1852), Benj. F. Snyder (1855-1856), and Rev. W. E. Turner (second pastorate, 1862-1866). In 1870 the organization was abandoned. The Second Reformed church of Arcadia (near Newark) was organized in 1833 and is today a church of a hundred and eighty members in the Rochester Classis.

ATHENS, PA. This was a Bradford county (Pa.) organization of 1858 with a reported charter membership of ninety five. Its pastors were Rev. Augustus F. Todd (1858-1865), Rev. Philip Berry (1865-1872), Rev. John F. Shaw (1868-1870).

AURELIUS This was a Cayuga county church, organized in 1813 by Rev. Conrad Een Eyck, who served the church fourteen years. There were nearby organizations at Sempronius, where Rev. George W. Brinkerhoff was prior to 1812, and Sterling (named after Lord Sterling). Rev. David De Fraest was pastor at Sterling during 1825-1828. The 1855 census gives the Dutch church at North Sterling. Aurelius was the former name of the town of Owasco and was three miles west of Auburn.

CATLIN This was a Cayuga county church, organized in 1831 and served for two years (1832-1833) by Rev. Leonard Rogers, who was at Owasco Outlet nearby for two years (1833-1834). He died in 1838. Nothing further is known of the Catlin church.

CLAY The New York Gazetteer (1849) says that.the first church organized in the town of Clay was a Dutch Reformed body, whose meeting house was in the northeastern part of the town of Clay. Smith's "Pioneer Times in Onondaga County" also refers to this early Reformed Dutch church.

CLEVELAND The Reformed church of Cleveland (Oswego Co.) was organized in 1850, but after a few years, during which it was ministered unto by Rev. David B. Hall (cf Columbia) and Rev. Nathan W. Jones. It went over to the Presbyterian body in 1856.

CLEVELAND, O. Originally this Holland church was in the Classis of Cayuga, when it was organized in 1864. Rev. A. K. Kasse was licensed by the Geneva Classis, and after a pastorate at Pultneyville (1851-1861) and one at Buffalo (1861-1864), he went to Cleveland, from which he went to the Second Church of Paterson, N. J. in 1868, and died as pastor of that church in 1874.

GENEVA One of the churches taken from Montgomery to form the Classis of Geneva. It was organized in 1831 (Ontarion? Co.) and for a quarter of a century did splendid work. At the time that it was the strongest church in the Classis of Geneva it was disbanded, its one hundred thirty members dismissed, and the church building and property, worth $10,000, was sold to the city of Geneva for $4,000 to satisfy a claim of the Collegiate church of New York. The city later sold the property to the church of Rome. General Synod met at Geneva in 1867, and at the time there were a hundred and seventy-eight members who gave $701 for benevolence the previous year. Its first pastor was Rev. Henry Mandeville (1831-1834), who later went to Utica (cf). Following him were Rev. Gustavus Abeel (1835-1849), Rev. James Romeyn (1850-1851), who died as the pastor emeritus in 1859, a Boanerges in the pulpit of his day; Rev. Henry V. Voorhees (1851-1854), Rev. Jos. A. Collier (1855-1859), a most successful pastor, especially with the young; Rev. Charles Wiley (1859-1865) and for ten years in the Utica church (cf); Rev. Samuel J. Rogers (1865-1872), who later was pastor at Fort Plain (cf); Rev. William W. Brush (1872-1878), ordained by the Geneva Classis in 1866 and installed over the Farmer Village church (cf); Rev. Oppie (1878-1879), who died in 1880; Rev. William H. Nasholds (1880-1882), who went to Farmer Village next (cf); and Rev. Thomas C. Strong (1882-1885-S. S.), who became a Presbyterian in 1871 at the close of his pastorate in the Ithaca church (cf) that became Congregational in 1872. Dr. Strong was President of Wells College during 1871-1875, and of the Pennsylvania Female College at Pittsburgh during 1875-1878. He was the Cor. Secy. of the Board of Publication (1859-1868) and President of General" Synod at both Geneva and Albany in 1867, when the present name of the denomination was fixed.

GORHAM This place was first called "Easton" then "Lincoln." Organized in 1843 the church at Gorham had but a decade of existence, during which time it was pastored by Rev. Abram G. Ryerson, Rev. Aaron Lloyd and Rev. Israel Hammond (cf Owasco).

ITHACA The Reformed church of Ithaca (Tompkins Co.) was organized on April 2, 1830, with forty members. A month after the formation of the church the people were worshipping in their new edifice, an humble imitation of the Parthenon, which served them for forty years-the span of life for the Ithaca Reformed Dutch church. With the coming of Rev. Dr. Charles M. Tyler in 1872 to the pastorate, the church went over into the Congregational body. Pastors at Ithaca were Revs. Alexander M. Mann, John C. F. Hoes (cf Chittenango), James V. Henry, Charles H. A Bulkley, Joachim Elmendorf, John W. Schoenck, Francis N. Zabriskie and Thomas C. Strong. Rev. Dr. W. E. Griffis (N. B. Sem. '72) served the Congregational church ten years, from 1893. Ground for the original church was given by Simeon De Witt, the founder of Ithaca. A memorial tablet in the handsome new edifice of the Congregational body records the names of the pastors of the Reformed Dutch church. Rev. Mann was the first pastor at Ithaca (1831-1837) who, later had a twenty year pastorate in the First Church of Poughkeepsie, his last charge. Rev. Hoes' pastorate was from 1837 through 1845 in which year he went to Kingston for his last twenty years work. Here at Kingston he built the stone church. He came to Ithaca from Chittenango (cf). Dr. Hoes died in 1883. Rev. James V. Henry succeeded Dr. Hoes, coming from a seven years' pastorate at Ossining. He remained at Ithaca during the years 1846-1849. Rev. Henry died at Jersey City, N. J., March 14, 1873. Rev. Charles H. A. Bulkley, a Presbyterian followed who supplied the pulpit through 1850-1852. Rev. Joachim Elmendorf began his ministry in 1853, remaining upwards of three years. Other pastorates of his were at Saugerties, First Syracuse, Second Albany and in the Harlem Collegiate of New York. Rev. John W. Scheneck (1855-1863), who died while pastor of the Claverack church in 1881, at the close of a ten year pastorate; Rev. Francis N. Zabriskie (1863-1866), who later was connected with the "Christian Intelligencer," and was followed by Rev. Thomas C. Strong of whom we have spoken at length under Geneva (cf), who was the last Dutch pastor (1870-1871).

JAMESVILLE An Onondaga county Reformed church, organized about 1833 (P. S. A. Min.). It was short lived, Rev. E. Evans serving it in 1836, and Rev. Thomas A. Amerman from 1838 through 1840.

JAPAN "The First Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Japan" is reported in the 1866 General Synod Minutes under the Classis of Cayuga. It had a membership of twenty-nine, two hundred and fifty under Bible instruction, and reported six hundred and seventy-four in the Sunday schools. Rev. Samuel R. Brown (cf Owasco Outlet) and Rev. Guido F. Verbeck were in charge of the work.

LAMSONS This place in Onondaga county, was settled in 1793. A New York Gazetteer of 1855 refers to this church Elijah and Solomon Toll were among the first settlers, John Toll being the first child born here.

LYSANDER Organized in March, 1828, in a small town of Onondaga county by Rev. James Stevenson, through half a century it did good work. On its organization it took in the Second Presbyterian church, which was organized in 1820, but had no building. Rev. John Davenport was the missionary here. Dissension soon arose, followed by litigation, the original Dutch church winning in the courts. In 1833 a Presbyterian church was built and until 1877, both churches prospered. About this time, however, a union of the two was perfected, forming the Lysander Congregational church. Rev. James B. Stevenson (cf Florida) through 1827 and 1827, and Rev. James E. Quaw during 1829 and 1830 did missionary work on the fields. Other men who were pastors or supplies were, Rev. Aaron A. Marcellus (1830-1831), Rev. Melanchton B. Williams (1834-1855), Rev. Richard W. Knight(1846-1848), Rev. J. W. Bradford 1849-1855), Rev. Francis V. Van Vranken (1861-1866), Rev. J. H. Enders (1866-1869), who was later at Chittenango (cf), and Rev. William A. Wurts (1871-1876), who was also a pastor at Hagaman (cf). Of these men Rev. Quaw lost his life on Lake Erie in 1845; Mr. Marcellus spent most of his years in teaching; Mr. Williams is unknown after leaving Lysander; Mr. Bradford in his last years lived retired at Marathon, where he died March 3, 1874.

MINA A Chautauqua county church, called also Mina Corners, organized in 1856 and was active for a quarter of a century, though its name was not dropped from the roll of the Geneva Classis until 1887. Rev. John W. Dunnewold while pastor at Clymer Hill Congregational church (1851-1868) supplied the church until 1860, and then became pastor 1860-1868). He was followed by Rev. Jacob Weber and Rev. John Boehrer (cf West Leyden). Clymer Hill was in the Congregational body, but joined the Classis in 1851, along with its pastor.

OVID The story of this church, in Seneca county, is told in connection with Lodi, into which in 1830, it was merged. An important institution of learning was here for many years. The Ovid Presbyterian church was dismissed to the Classis in when Mr. Brokaw was installed.

PIFFARDINA A Livingston county Reformed church, organized in 1847, and served for a couple of years by James M. Compton, who spent most of his ministry in Montgomery Classis (cf Columbia). Its name is dropped from Classis after 1852.

PLAINVILLE The Onondaga county history refers to the Plainville Reformed Protestant Dutch church, situated in the town of Lysander, and as late as 1850, speaks of it as being still at work.

PULTNEYVILLE There was an early organization at Pultneyville in 1824, to which Rev. J. F. Morris ministered, but the present church (Rochester Classis) was organized in 1851. It has a membership of 141.

SEMPRONIUS and STIRLING were out station of Aurelius (cf).

MILE CREEK A Cayuga Classis organization of 1827, which SIX had but a single pastor, Rev. Garret Mandeville, who served the church for three years from 1831, when be retired from the active ministry though he lived until 1853. Received from Albany Presbytery in 1819.

TYRE This church, also called the "Malcolm Church," was organized in 1836 by the Cayuga Classis. It is now in the Rochester Classis and has a membership of thirty-eight.

WOLCOTT Another name for this church, which at first was in Cayuga then in the Geneva Classis, was "Fair Haven," and was organized in 1847. Gov. Wolcott of Connecticut was sponsor for first name. Rev. Richard W. Knight (cf Owasco) was the first pastor (1849-1852), and was followed by Rev. John Muller (1854-1857), who later became President of Pleasant Prairie Academy. Rev. Cornelius Gates was pastor during 1857-1859 (of Amsterdam); Rev. Thomas G. Watson (1862-1864),who died in 1900, while pastor of the Brighton Heights Presbyterian church. Rev. Benjamin A. Bartholf was the next pastor (1864-1868), whose ministry was partly spent in the Presbyterian church. Rev. James L. Southard succeeded Bartholf (1869-1881), and afterwards was ten years at Buskirks, and died at Griggstown, N. J., in 1906. He was the last Reformed pastor, the church becoming Presbyterian in 1882.

Copyright 1998, -- 2003. Berry Enterprises. All rights reserved. All items on the site are copyrighted. While we welcome you to use the information provided on this web site by copying it, or downloading it; this information is copyrighted and not to be reproduced for distribution, sale, or profit.

Contents Introduction Links Home