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.


Another name for the place is "Middletown", and in the earlier records the church is often given this name. The sugar maples abounding in the vicinity naturally suggest the origin of the name of the place. Jacob Ehle and Joseph Knox were settlers here in 1791. Mr. Knox died in 1809, Mr. Ehle in 1850. Services were held as early as 1793, but the organization was not perfected until September 12, 1801, the meeting for the same being held at the tavern of Elisha Taylor and presided over by Rev. Isaac Labagh, who at the time was preaching in the churches of "Sand Hill" (Canajoharie), Stone Arabia, and Sharon. Jacob Ehle is mentioned in the 1801 Fonda records as a trustee. A full consistory was chosen and services were continued in the homes of the members until 1805, when the first house of worship was erected. Jacob Ehle, Ebenezer Hibbard, Jacob S. Keller, Daniel Van Hoesen and Ebenezer Lathrop were the first consistory. The first pastor was Rev. John Calvin Toll (Tol), who had studied under Livingston, and on his ordination in October, 1803, assumed charge of this church, preaching also at Bowman's Kill (Buel) and Westerlo (Sprakers). Mapletown renewed its call November 3, 1807 (approved in Classis May 31, 1808), and again renewed in December 20, 1817. The 1807 call is signed by Peter Clement, Elijah Taylor, Ebenezer Hebberd and John R. Van Evera, elders, and Luke Wesseley, James Day, Peter Deremer and Garett Van Valkenburg, deacons. The 1817 renewal is signed by Peter Deremer, David Huguarin, L. Van Dervolgen and James Dey, elders, and Peter Clute, Rudolphus Dingman, John Davis and William Smith, deacons. After a pastorate of some eighteen years Mr. Toll left the denomination and joined the "True Reformed Church" ("Wyckofite"), and organized a church of this name at both Westerlo and Middletown, and spent a second eighteen years in these two fields. He died at Glenville in 1848. During his pastorate at Mapletown (1803-1821) he married two hundred couples and baptised six hundred and fifty infants and received one hundred and seventy members into the church. Rev. Toll was born in 1780 and died in Glenville in 1849 at the old Toll homestead. His father was Adj. Carl H. Toll of the 14th Regt. N. Y. Militia. Rev. Toll was chaplain in Lieut. Col. John Roof's regiment of Montgomery county. His wife was Annatje, daughter of Barent Mynderse of Guilderland (a Lieut. Col. in the war of 1812), whom he married in 1802. During 1820 and 1824 Rev. Samuel Van Vechten occasionally preached here. After an interim of a few years, with a Rev. Alonzo Welton supplying one of them, Rev. Douw Van Olinda, a native of Charleston, became the pastor (1827). Rev. Buckelew, pastor at Mapletown (1851-1854) in an article in the "Christian Intelligencer" says that Van Olinda was pastor in 1824, but this can hardly be so, since on graduation from New Brunswick in the class of 1824 Van Olinda spent a year in missionary work at Johnstown, Mayfield and Union, and in 1825-1827 he was the pastor at Palatine (St. Johnsville). (Perhaps this is an error. There is no record of Van Olinda in the St. John's Reformed Church (St. Johnsville) church records. Elsewhere Van Olinda is referred to as serving a Johnstown church.) Mr. Van Olinda's pastorate closed in December, 1831. After serving the church at New Paltz (1832-1842), he returned to the Classis (1844) and was pastor at Caughnawaga until the time of his death in 1858. In 1831 the custom of electing deacons was discontinued and trustees were elected. In 1883 the Board of Trustees was disbanded and a return made to election of deacons.

Rev. Jacob W. Hangen came next to the church from Columbia (cf) and was installed March 14, 1832, and remained four years. He served Currytown while pastor here. Consistorial meetings were held monthly and a fine of fifty cents was imposed on the members who were either absent or tardy one hour. During Hangen's pastorate the name of the church was changed from "Middletown" to that of Mapletown. Hangen had several other pastorates in the Reformed church, then entered the German Reformed church, preaching in Pennsylvania, where he did (died?) at Trappe in 1843. A brief pastorate of two and a half years followed by Rev. Harrison Heermance, who came September 25, 1837. After several years in the active work of the Presbyterian ministry, Heermance became an army chaplain. He died in 1883. From 1842 thro 1848 there were no consistorial records kept. Rev. Thomas Frazier was pastor in 1840 thro 1843, of whom we know nothing further except that he died in Montreal, Canada, in 1884. Jasper Middlemas succeeded him in 1844 and acted as a stated supply thro 1846. The next pastor was Rev. John H. Carle (1847-1851) whose ill health compelled him to give up the active ministry. Rev. William D. Buckelew was next called and began his ministry in this church in 1851, and spent forty-two years in the pulpit, his death occurring in 1893. He was four years at Mapletown. During Buckelew's ministry a new church was built. The last service in the old church was held Sunday, May 30, 1852. The church was taken down during the following week. The corner stone of the new church was laid July 8, 1852, by Rev. J. C. Van Liew of Stone Arabia. The church was finished in October, 1852. Rev. John J. Quick's pastorate extended over seven years (1856-1862). He also preached at Currytown, which was frequently joined with this church in pastoral work. Rev. Richard M. Whitbeck succeeded Quick, was ordained and installed by the Montgomery Classis but remained only two years, 1863 and 1864. After a few more years he left the active ministry to enter educational work and lived a retired life for many years at Hudson, N.Y.

Rev. James M. Compton was next called and stayed four years or until 1868, but to remain in the Classis for twenty-five years at Stone Arabia and Ephratah (1868-1870), Columbia and Henderson (1870-1875), Union (1875-1876), Sprakers (1878-1883), Mapletown again during 1882, and finally, Columbia again from 1888 to the time of his death at the latter place, December 12, 1891. Josiah Markel supplied the Mapletown pulpit from the summer of 1869 thro the summer of 1871. His death occurred at Albany, N.Y., in 1898. He had not been in the active ministry for twenty-five years. Two years the pulpit was occasionally supplied by different men, and until Rev. George Sharpley became pastor in 1874 who resigned in 1880. He was licensed and ordained by Montgomery Classis. A son of this pastor, Giles H. Sharpley, after studying at Rutgers and New Brunswick (1888-1889) entered the ministry of the Episcopal church, graduating from the General Theological Seminary in 1897. In 1880 from May to December the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Dewey Jones. Rev. John Minor was installed in 1882 and remained thro 1884. Later Mr. Minor supplied several Presbyterian churches and died November 20, 1890, while supplying the Fort Herkimer church (cf). Rev. Garrett Wyckoff succeeded Mr. Minor, coming to the church in 1886 and stayed two years, to be followed by Rev. Henry H. Sangree (1888-1893). Sangree entered the ministry of the German Reformed church and later still that of the Presbyterian and is now in Philadelphia, Pa. The last installed pastor at Mapletown was John A. Thomson (1894-1902). Since leaving this charge Mr. Thomson has been pastor at Middlebush, N.J. Following Mr. Thomson, Rev. E. M. Forest supplied for a year, after which the Rev. Frank R. Shepherd (Presb.) supplied for three years (July, 1903-March, 1906). Beginning September 30, 1906, Rev. Sybrandt Nelson of the Buel Presbyterian church began a supply which continued until October 23, 1912. During the summer of 1913, Mr. Charles Stube, a New Brunswick Seminary graduate, supplied the church. The present supply, Rev. Elmer E. Frederick,has had charge of the Buel Presbyterian church of of Mapletown since the fall of 1913.

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