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.


AMSTERDAM A Union church was organized in 1822 and existed for eight years. Rev. Sylvanus Palmer (cf Maple town) established the work and was its only pastor, remaining here for eight years. Palmer had become a "Wyckofite" after his suspension from the ministry and also was at Mayfield and Broadalbin.

CANAJOHARIE An independent organization continued in the "Wyckofite" church, was started here by Rev. John J. Wack in 1819 after his being dropped from the Montgomery Classis in 1814. An incorporation of this church is found in the Fonda records. Mr. Wack preached in this church for more than ten years and was followed by Rev. John C. Toll (1827-1842), when the church became extinct. The building was in the eastern part of the present village, and some years ago, it was torn down, its timber being used in the construction of the dwelling now owned by 0. C. Van Evera. The trustees were Henry I. Frey, Alfred Conkling, Isaac Hees, John Garlock, Jacob Hees and George Gartner, all found in the membership of the later Reformed church, organized in 1827. A church was built which remained for many years after the services were given up. Prominent in the work were Hugh Mitchell, Gloudy Van Deusen, Rudolph Dingman, Anthony, Daniel and Wessels Cornue, Nicholas and John Sweatman, Dr. Jonathan Shineman, Bartholomew Van Alstyne, Uriah Wood, Lewis and Abraham Putman, Peter and Martin Van Deusen and John Davis. What was known locally of the "True Reformed Dutch church" was an organization made up of certain persons who seceded from the old "Sand Hill" church to become followers of Rev. Wack. They organized this church May 26, 1825, the preacher also supplying a similar church at Westerlo (Sprakers) and Middletown (Mapletown). Rev. John C. Toll was the pastor of this church for five years (1822- 1827), when he became the pastor of the new or Independent church referred to above, and remained till his own death and that of the church in 1848. The first consistory were, Hugh Mitchell, Garrett Van Valkenburgh and Martin Van Deusen, elders, and Rudolph Dingman, Jr., Henry Smith and J. G. Van Deusen, deacons. We have gone through the records of these churches, the main portion of which has to do with the discipline. In 1773 a "Lower Canajoharie" church is found recorded.

CATO Corwin's Manual refers to a seceding church at Cato, organized in 1827, a defection from the Dutch church of the same place.

CHARLESTON During the years 1797 through 1830 no less than five Reformed churches were organized in this town (Charlestown), two of which are spoken of under

These churches are given a place in this record for the reason that the organizations were defections from the Dutch church, and in most cases the men serving them were ministers of the Dutch Reformed church. These churches were of brief life, except those that Wyckoff and McNeil served.

the "extinct churches." A seceding church was started by "Wyckofites" in 1822, and from this a second church seceded in 1; and, finally, in 1829, an Independent church was established.

DANUBE This was another name for "Indian Castle" (cf) in Herkimer county. Rev S. Z. Goetschius, suspended in 1824 by Montgomery Classis, organized a church at Danube and on its decline in 1828, he reentered the Dutch church, supplied Canastota (cf) for three years from 1836, then went west. He also preached at Osquak and Westerlo. Rev. Goetschins furnished the "Wyckofite" Synod material for a tedious trial on strictly moral lines of conduct.

GLEN The Fonda records show the incorporation of what has al ways been known as the "Wyckofite" >church of Glen, formed in < 1830. Rev. Jasper Hogan wrote an informing chapter on this secession in his "History of the Glen Church," and it is also treated in the "Bergen Classis History." The compiler of this wont has recently filed in the Seminary at New Brunswick an almost complete set of all the printed documents (some manuscripts) of the "True Reformed church." Corwin's "Manual" refers to an independent Reformed church at Glen of which Rev. Christian Paulison (N B. Sem. '26) was the pastor, who had seceded from the Reformed church in 1831, and, later, was suspended from the "Wyckofite" Classis (there never were but two classes, and each in time dissolved the other). The church building erected in 1831 is still in good condition, and is generally known as the "White" church. Services are held monthly in this church.

JOHNSTOWN A "Wyckofite" church was formed at Johnstown in 1822, and was served by two pastors for more than thirty years, first by Rev. A. B. Amerman (Asso, Refd. Sem. '16), who while serving Johnstown and Mayfield (1817- 181) was both suspended and restored, and continued at Johnstown, and Mayfield through 1843; and second, by Rev. J. P. Westervelt (1845-1855). Both of these men later united with the Presbyterian church, The Johnstown church soon after Westervelt's pastorate disbanded.

MAYFIELD An "Independent" Reformed church was organized in 1821, and served by Revs. Amerman and Westervelt of the church of the same character at Johnstown (cf Johnstown above). In the County Clerk's records at Fonda is shown the incorporation act, dated April 12, 1832, of the "True Reformed Dutch church of Mayfield." Besides these there was a Union Religious Society incorporated at Mayfield on April 5, 1813.

OSQUAKO There was a "True Reformed" church organized by Rev. S. Z. Goctschius at Osquako ("Asquach" or "Osquak"), in the town of Minden, about 1823, but it survived only a few years.

OVID After serving Ovid (organized 1808 and in 1828 merged into Lodi, organized in 1800) for fourteen years, Rev. Abram Brokaw became a "Wyckofite," and was suspended by the Montgomery Classis. He at once organized a "Wyckofite"" church at Ovid (1822), and probably supplied it for a while. In 1838 Rev. Archibald McNeil became the pastor of this church, and served it thirty years, the church dying with its minister. The General Synod of the True Reformed church met here in 1840.

OWASCO A secession from the old church at Owasco took place in 1823, the first pastor to serve it being Rev. Archibald McNeil (cf Ovid), who remained five years, and was succeeded by Rev. William Johnson, and after a lapse of ten years, who remained with the church for more than a quarter of a century

OWASCO A second secession from the Owasco church took place in 1879 when Rev. Alfred E. Myers, pastor, and some members of the church withdrew and formed the Owasco Presbyterian church, which Myers served six years (1879-1885). The church erected has become the home of the Owasco Roman Catholic Church. Rev. Horace Chadsey and Rev. Mr. Hoyt were other pastors this Church.

SPRAKERS BASIN What was called a "Canajoharie" church was formed by the union of Sprakers Basin ("Westerlo") and the Middletown (Mapletown) secessionists, who were pastored by Rev. John C. Toll for twenty years (after his suspension by Montgomery Classis in 1822).

TRIBES HILL A "True Reformed Church" was formed and incorporated at Tribes Hill in 1840. The record is on file at Fonda. This was probably a development of the Glen "Wyckofite" church. Beyond the County Clerk's record nothing is known of it.

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