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.


The village was first called "Voorhistown," and, later, and until 1860, "Voorheesville." It s present name came from Jacob S. Glen, who owned most of the land where the village is now situated. In 1740 Sir William Johnson brot eighteen Irish families to settle at Glen, but they remained only a short time, returning to their native land. The first permanent settlers were from New Jersey, and were Hollanders or of Holland descent. Originally the church stood in a dense forest. The earliest consistory or congregational record is dated July 5, 1794, while the first consistorial book was begun in 1804. In those early days one reads often the names of Conover, Ostrom, Mount, Van Derveer, Hoff, Voorhees, Edwards, Vrooman, Vedder, Pruyn, Wood, Enders, Putman, etc. It is difficult to decide on the date of the organization of the Glen church, but inasmuch as a congregation existed as early as July, 1794, and on February 6, 1795, it was agreed to buy an acre of land for the church of Daniel Lane, it would seem as if we might put the organization of the church as early as 1793, tho we are disposed to think that the New Jersey folks who settled here, especially being of Holland extraction, did not long wait to organize their church. On July 15, 1797, the consistory appointed a committee to meet with another committee appointed by the villagers to arrange for a new church building, thus evidencing the fact that a congregation and church had already had a long time existed if it required a new building. The church committee consisted of Pearly Brown, Timothy Hutton, and John Ballard. After a brief time the committee were successful in erecting a new edifice at a cost of $1,100, which served the congregation for seventy years. There is a record that on March 15, 1806, John and Mrs. Ann Ostrom deeded the land on which the church stood to the organization, which deed is recorded at Fonda, November 28, 1839. Ezekiel Belding's survey of this church lot, which was a part of Lot No. 14 of the Glen Patent, and, contained an acre and a half, is dated, Charleston November 18, 1800, and it is specified on this survey as the lot that John Ostrom and his wife, Nancy, have deed to the church. A parsonage was soon added to the church property, built sometime prior to 1814 when repairs were made to the same. The church, too, was repaired in 1814. The first pastor of the Glen church was Rev. Henry V. Wyckoff (1799-1803) who, later, became interested in the "Wyckofite" movement, or "True Dutch Reformed Church" as those who seceded from the Dutch church styled themselves. One of the Notes gives a brief history of this defection from the denomination. Following Wyckoff, who went to the newly organized Second Charleston church, came Rev. Peter Van Buren (1804-1814), who at the same time was preaching in the First Reformed church of Charleston (cf). He was ordained by Montgomery Classis and was installed over Glen, February 19, 1805. He remained more than ten years, going to Schodack in 1814. He died in 1832. The next to occupy the pulpit was Rev. J. R. H. Hasbrouck (1814-1826), who was, also, the supply of the First Charleston congregation, and what was known as the Canajoharie field which embraced Mapletown and Westerlo (Sprakers). Revs. Hasbrouck and Wyckoff in time went to extremes over their varying opinions and this resulted in weakening both the churches at Charleston and the Glen church. From Glen Rev. Hasbrouck went to the Root (Currytown) church (1826-1830). For ten years the church felt the influence of this enmity between Hasbrouck and Wyckoff. Hasbrouck died in 1854.

Rev. Jonathan F. Morris whose name is frequently met with in the annals of the Classis of Montgomery was the Classical Missionary for his day, serving in this capacity the churches of Ovid, Fayette, Poultneyville, Amsterdam, Stone Arabia, Ephratah, Asquach, Herkimer, and for two or three years the Glen church (1827-l829). He died July 11, 1886, aged eighty-five. He was followed in this work by Rev. Alanson B. Chittenden (1831-1834), who had previously supplied the Glen church occasionally. Chittenden's last pastorate was at Sharon. He died in 1853 at Schenectady. During 1836 the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Adam M. Leckner, of whom we know nothing further. Rev. Charles Jukes followed (1838-1844), going next to Stone Arabia (cf) and Ephratah. Rev. Jas. P. Fisher, a Union Seminary man, supplied the pulpit during 1845 and 1846. Mr. Fisher died in 1865.

It was during Rev. Juke's pastorate that the sheds were built and extensive repairs made on the old church. The entrance faced the highway, and in the vestibule were stairs leading to the galleries, extending round the three sides of the auditorium. The west gallery for the older youth of the church. In the eastern gallery were reservations for the colored folks. In the west gallery behind parted scarlet curtains were the choir and chorister, the music of which was led by a bass viol for which the church had paid $18. Box family pews with doors were on the three sides, and so built that a portion of the family had their backs to the preacher during the services. A central section of pews was built higher than the others. The pulpit was built for one person, reached with a long flight of steps. Originally there was a sounding board over the pulpit, as in the German Flatts church of today.

Rev. Garret L. Roof was the next settled pastor at Glen. He had been a practicing attorney at Canajoharie before entering the ministry. This was Roof's first charge, to which he came in December, 1616, and remained thro October, 1850, when he accepted a call to the recently organized church at Port Jackson (Amsterdam). He was followed by the Rev. Adam H. Van Vranken (October, 1851 1865), who was ordained by the Classis when installed over this church After another pastorate of equal length at Centreville, Mich., Mr. Van Vranken died in 1880. A brother of the pastor, Rev. Francis V. Van Vranken next took up the work in January, 1866, and remained thro a part of 1874. He, later, became pastor at Fultonville (cf), and is at present living at Albany, N. Y. It was during this pastorate that a village lot was bot for $500, and a new church, the present one, was built at a cost of $13,000. The frame of the 1795 church is being used as a wagon house. Mr. Van Vranken was followed by Rev. Joseph P. Dysart who was a United Presbyterian minister, and who was installed at Glen, November 11, 1874, remaining on the field until Julie 1, 1879, when he entered the Troy Presbytery. Rev. Richard L. Schoonmaker succeeded Dysart (1880-1882). He was the son of Rev. Jacob Schoonmaker (1777-1852) and grandson of Rev. Henricus Schoonmaker (1739-1820), two of the most renowned ministers of the Dutch church. Richard L. Schoonmaker died while pastor at Glen in 1882. Rev. Sydney 0. Lawsing became pastor in January, 1883, and stayed thro 1888. Mr. Lawsing was born in Amsterdam. He has been pastor of the Kiskatom church since 1910.

After Mr. Lawsing came Rev. Joseph B. Thyne, who supplied the pulpit from December, 1888, thro May, 1894. Mr. Thyne spent his last years at Broadalbin where he died November 10, 1910. Rev. Jasper S. Hogan, now of New Brunswick, N. J., was called to the pastorate in 1894, and was ordained and installed over the church by the Classis. Here he remained for three years, going next to Pompton Plains, N. J. and later to the Lafayette church in Jersey City, N. J. Rev. Hogan published a history of the church in 1905, one chapter of which gives a succinct account of the "Wyckofite" movement, which still clings to the Glen field. Rev. Raymond A. Lansing was ordained by the Classis and installed over the church in 1897. He died in 1903. Rev. Henry Smith came to Glen in September, 1901, and resigned in November, 1903. Rev. Louis F. Sauerbrunn was installed pastor (1904-1905), going to Ghent in October, 1905, then to Schodack Landing in May, 1908, and in December 1902, to the Presbyterian church of Chester, N. J. Rev. Edward J. Meeker was installed in May, 1910, and resigned in November, 1914, to enter the work at Lodi (cf). During the interval between Rev. Sauerbrunn and Rev. Meeker, the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Chas. A. Conant of Schenectady (November, 1905-April, 1909). After Mr. Meeker the pulpit was occasionally supplied by the Classical Missionary, Rev. W. N. P. Dailey, and Rev. Henry G. Dean (Presb.) of Schenectady

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