THIS town lies on the southern
border of Fulton county, next west of Johnstown which forms its eastern boundary. It is bounded on the north by
the towns of Caroga and Stratford, on the south by Montgomery county and on the west by Oppenheim. Its surface
is mostly a hilly upland, 400 to 1,500 feet above the Mohawk river. The soil in the central and southwestern portions
consists of a sandy loam, partaking more of a clayey nature in the southeast, and light sand in the northwest,
while in the northeastern part high rocky hills tower above the surrounding country. The town is noted for its
numerous and rapid streams, many of which have their source among the hills of the north and flow with great velocity
through deep valleys, finding an outlet in the Mohawk or its tributaries. This is particularly true of Garoga creek
which flows in a southwesterly direction through the town, in a deep valley, the hills on either side rising about
8oo feet above the water. Among other streams in different parts of the town are the Kiock, the Zimmerman, the
North, the Sprite and the Sponable creeks. They furnish abundant power for mill purposes, and in former years when
lumbering was carried on quite extensively many saw-mills were driven by their power, but the greater portion of
the valuable timber has been cleared away, and now the farmers of Ephratah have turned their attention to agricultural
pursuits, in which dairying is the leading feature.
Ephratah was formed from Palatine, March 27, 1827, but a part of the town was reannexed to Palatine on the erection
of Fulton county, April i8, 1838. The first land grant within its present bounds was the Stone Arabia patent, consisting
in all of 12,700 acres, which was granted October 19, 1723, and included nearly all the land south of Garoga and
Sponable creeks. It is claimed that the town was named by Anthony Beck, who selected the Bible name of Ephratah,
which signifies abundance-bearing fruit. Beck claimed the power of seeing into the future and of describing coming
events, and there were many persons of such superstition as to give credence to his prophecies. He made the assertion
that he was able to penetrate coming events, however remote, and many years prior to the invention of locomotives
or the application of steam power, he claimed to have seen it, and he took delight in describing moving, things
similar to modern railway trains, called by him "smoking wagons" which rushed through the country, passing
through what is now the village of Ephratah, for which he prophesied a great advance. He also claimed to have seen,
at midday, from " Spook Hill," (a high piece of ground about a mile east of the village) a large and
wealthy city, full of business and active life, the scene of this vision being the site of the present village
Early Settlement.-The southern
part of the town was among the earliest settled portions of Fulton county As early as 1720 Frederick Getman, Johannes
Bearman, Frederick Empie, John Shoemaker, Johannes Schell and Honnas Reed, all from Germany, came and located in
the southern part of what is now the town of Ephratah. They were followed prior to the revolution by others, among
whom were Jacob Frey, Gerrit Marcellus, Michael Strayer, Christian Blopper, Nicholas Rector, Lodowick Herring,
John Herdick, Phillip Kreitzer, William Cool, Henry Hart, Zechariah Tripp, John Casselman, Peter Schutt, Nicholas
and Henry Smith, John Sponable, Richard Young, Richard Coppernoll and William Duesier.
In 1743 Frederick Getman (written Kittman at that time) and Johannes Bearman purchased jointly from Hendrick Sic,
lots 92, 94, 96 and 98, of the Stone Arabia patent. Mr. Bearman's interest in the land was afterwards purchased
by Mr. Getman. The latter had four sons born here, namely: Frederick, Jr., George, John and Christian, all of whom
took part in the French war prior to 1757. During the revolution Christian Getman became captain of a company of
Rangers. George Getman, who succeeded his father in the possession of the homestead, had five sons, all of whom
did service in the American cause during the revolution, one of them, George, jr., holding a lieutenant's commission
under Colonel Willett. The old farm came to him as a legacy, and mention may be made of the remarkable fact that
of his five sons, each bore arms as soldiers in the war of 1812. One of them, Frederick, lived to an advanced age
on the old farm. He was the father of Oliver Getman, once sheriff of the county and for many years a respected
resident of Ephratah village.
Frederick Empie came in and settled on lots 86 and 88 of the Stone Arabia Patent, in 1743. The farm came into the
hands of the son of each successive generation and finally into the possession of John F. Einpie, of Ephratah village,
who was born there in 1821. His grandfather, John Empie, was a soldier in the revolution, and another member of
the family, Philip Empie, was captured by the Indians, who started with him for Canada. He suffered the torture
of being bound at night with a rope, the ends of which were placed beneath the bodies of two or more savages, who
laid down upon either side of him. As remarkable as the fact may appear, he succeeded in loosening the cords that
bound him without disturbing or awakening his captors and made his escape.
Nicholas Rector settled a short distance north of Georgia village, on the farm more recently owned by Sanford Snell.
He was captain of militia during the revolution, and his family passed through some very trying and painful experiences.
Upon one occasion when they were attacked by the Tndians, a son who was working in a sugar bush, unaware of the
proximity of the savages, returned to the house and was brutally killed. Mr. Rector escaped without further injury
than a wound in the wrist, and his wife, after receiving a painful wound in the leg, displayed heroic courage by
walking to Stone Arabia. It is related that while on her journey thither she discovered the body of a white man
who had been killed and scalped by the same band of Indians, and that she took the shoes from his feet and wore
them to the fort.
Henry Herring came in and settled on the place afterwards occupied by Benjamin Snell, and Philip Kreitzer and William
Cool settled about two miles northwest of Ephratah village. Henry Hart took up his residence two miles northeast.
Nicholas Smith and his brother, Henry, both soldiers of the revolution, came in at an early day, the former settling
where Wallace McLaughlin afterward lived, and the latter on the place more recently occupied by Daniel Smith. Richard
Richard Coppernoll were also soldiers of the revolution, and settled in what is now the town of Ephratah prior
to the close of the war. The former lived on the farm owned in recent years by Hiram Lighthall, and the latter
on the place afterwards occupied by Stephen Gray. Francis Lighthall, grandfather of Hiram Lighthall, did gallant
service at the battle of Oriskany, was captured by the Indians and was taken to Canada, where he remained in imprisonment
three years. Richard Putnam also took part in that famous battle, avenging the death of Captain Davis, by whose
side he was standing when that officer received his death wound. Henry Saltsman and James Keith also did service
in the revolutionary war. John Argersinger, who died in Ephratah about 1830, fought in the revolution when only
seventeen years of age. He was engaged in the fight near Johnson Hall with Ross and Butler, in which battle he
received a slight wound.
Sir William Johnson owned considerable land south of Garoga and Sprite creeks, and in 1770 built a stone grist
mill on what is now the site of Wade's. tannery, in the village of Ephratah. This mill was attacked and burned
during the revolution by a party of Indians and tories, and William Cool, who happened then to be in the mill,
was killed and scalped. Ozias Krep, the miller, was taken prisoner and carried to Canada. Prior to this he had
concealed in the stone walls of the mill some specie. Returning after the close of the war, in company with George
Getman, he went to the spot and succeeded in finding his hidden treasure, which was an amount sufficient to comfortably
support him during the remainder of his life.
Another grist, mill was erected prior to the revolution by Johannes Winkle, on the site now occupied by Yauney's
woolen mill, in Ephratah village. This mill was also destroyed by fire during the war, but was afterwards rebuilt
by a man named Shull, and was subsequently purchased by Henry Yauney. William Duesler, one of the pioneers, was
a carpenter by trade and built on the farm afterwards owned by James Yauney, a barn, which withstood the effects
of time and storm for more than a hundred years.
Within a few years after the close of the revolution many new settlers made their way into the present town, and
peace naturally brought prosperity and progress. Farms were worked with a confidence that bountiful crops would
be reaped as a reward for labor, and homes wcre established with a consciousness of safety from invasion which
up to that time had been unknown. This was the inception of the thriving agriculture, and the active manufactures
and busy villages of the present day. In 1794 Isaac Everest, a native of Connecticut, settled on a farm about two
and a half miles south of Caroga, the place afterwards coming into the possession of Andrew Christman. Everest
brought with him his son, David C., who remained on the old place until 1856.
Mention may be made of the interesting fact that the first survey of a road was made by Christian Getman, under
the direction of Sir William Johnson, the lines being made with a pocket compass. The road began near Johnson Hall
and passed through the central part of the town of Lassellsville. The first school in the town was kept by a man
named McLean, and the first store by Johannes Winkle, the latter being located in what is now Ephratah village.
An inventory of Winkle's effects was made after his death, and the document bears the date 1789. It afterwards
came into the possession of the Getman family. A German school was taught by Honnas Moot at an early day, being
located about a mile south of Ephratah village. John Empie conducted the first tavern, and the old sign, made in
1809, is yet in the possession of his son, John F. Empie.
Probably the first marriage in the town was that of Christian Getman to Anna Timmerman, a widow lady, who prior
to her marriage with Getmati, had experienced a miraculous escape from death during the French war, having been
shot and scalped by Indians. She survived, however, and afterwards became the happy mother of four sons
Ephrath village is situated on Garoga creek in the southern part of the town.
The foundation for the present village was laid by Henry Vauney in 1803, who owned a grist-mill that occupied the
site of the present woolen-mill. In that year he made a purchase of 100 acres of land adjacent to the mill and
laid a portion of it out into building lots. In 1808. he erected a saw-mill on the creek, and in 1832, having removed
the grist-mill, he built a woolen-mill on the same site. During the war of 1812 he was captain of a troop numbering
eighty, and known as the "Tillaborough Company." He afterwards became a major of New York State Militia.
Thomas A. Benedict built and conducted a store in the village in 1810, and a distillery was erected by George Getman
and Stephen Cogswell in 1812. They also opened a store. Nicholas Gray built and operated a tannery in the village
at an early date, this being the first one in the town. John Gray built the first blacksmith shop. Peter Schram
built and conducted a tavern or inn at a very early day. Philip Empie, a second cousin of John F. Empie, was one
of the first proprietors of the hotel now conducted by Reuben Saltsman. Among other proprietors of this hotel in
years gone by, may be mentioned Professor Hill, Hiram Putnam, Nicholas Fancher, and Henry Quackenbush, during whose
ownership the house was partially rebuilt and greatly improved. Reuben Saltsman bought the property and opened
the house in January, 1890. Another old hotel stood where John E. Van Voast now lives. Abijah Eldridge kept it
for a time, as did John H. Allen. It was burned about 1852, while being conducted by John K. Fuller.
A post route was established between Canajoharie and Ephratah village at an early day and Christopher Getman was
appointed the first postmaster. Alexander Ercanbrack was postmaster about 1860, and he was succeeded in about two
years by James G. Van Voast, who held the office for many years, being followed by his son, James E. Van Voast.
Charles Yauney, the present postmaster, received his appointment July 10, 1882.
Among the present business men of Ephratah may be mentioned Garret Snell, who
keeps the store conducted for many years by James E. Van Voast; Charles Yauney, who keeps a general stock of merchandise;
Lester Getman, an old and highly respected resident, and Norman Snell. Levi Yauney conducts a large woolen mill
at the foot of Mill street, connected with which is a fully equipped saw-mill. The knitting and fulling-mill of
Abner Yauney is also located in the village. It is amply fitted with modetn machinery, but is not in operation
at present. Mortimer Wade, for many years a resident of Ephratah, but now of Johnstown, owns and operates a tannery
in the eastern part of the village. This tannery occupies the site of the old stone grist-mill erected by Sir William
Johnson and burned during the revolution. Wilson Sanderson has a steam planing and cider-mill about one-half mile
northeast of the village.
Rockwood is picturesquely situated on Garoga creek, near the east line of the town, amid about a mile south of
its northern boundary. The first settlers in the vicinity of this village came in about the year 1800. Among them
were famlies of Pettits, Herringtons, Garfields and Niclovs. They were followed within a short time by others,
the family names of some of which were Orton, Simmons, Halstead, Potter, Phillips. Dye, Durfee and Dennis. The
first saw-mill in the village was built in 1805 by Mr. Halstead, and the first carding-mill in 1815, by Abram Durlee
and Ira Simmons. During the following year Joseph Dennis built the first grist-mill. The first store was opened
in 1826 by Azel Hough, and in 1831 Thomas Simmons built and conducted the first hotel. The first physician in this
part of the town was Dr. Whitney, who settled a mile or more southwest of the place in 1807. The little village
was originally called Pleasant Valley, but when the postoffice was established there in 1850 the name was changed
to Rockwood. The present postmaster is Asa Benjamin, who also conducts a store. The Rockwood House, a large and
commodious hotel, and the Cottage Hotel, adjoining, are owned by C. A. Long. One of the principal industries of
the village is the straw board manufactory of Stahl & Martin. Levi Stahl the senior partner, also conducts
a saw-mill and lumber business with his son Charles, and a grocery store with his son Whitney.
Lassellsville is situated near the west line of the town about midway between its northern and southern boundaries.
The first settlement there was made prior to the revolution by a man named Flander. He was subsequently followed
by Daniel and Henry Phye and a number of others. The village contains two churches, two stores, a hotel, a mill,
a cheese factory, amid about two hundred inhabitants.
Garoga is a small village situated on the creek' from which it derives its name, about one mile south of Rockwood.
The chief industries of the place are the manufacture of cheese and straw board.
Church History -The "Tillaborough
Church lot," a piece of land containing one hundred acres, located on a hill about two miles north of Ephratah
village, was the first land set aside for religious purposes within the present town of Ephratah. The name "Tillaborough"
is said to be a corruption of "Dillenburgh," a place in Germany from whence a large number of the early
settlers of this neighborhood are supposed to have come. The lot was No. 13 of the Magin purchase, and was given
by " Rev. John Ogilvie, clerk, and Isaac Lowe, mer chant, both of the city of New York," by deed in trust
to Johannes Winkle, Jury Frey, Hendrick Herring and Philip Cool, to be used for church and school purposes, September
1, 1757. The conditions of the deed were " that a church edifice be erected thereon within seventy years,
for the worship of God according to the usage of any of the reformed Protestant denominations in Europe or these
provinces," further stipulating that if the land was not thus used it was to revert to the heirs of the donors.
A school-house was erected on this lot early in the century, and on April 7, 1823, a meeting was held there and
a religious society formed, bearing the title of "The United Reformed Dutch and Lutheran Church of Tillaborough,
in the Town of Palatine." The trustees elected upon this occasion were Nicholas Smith, Philip Cool, Jacob
Cool, Jacob Duesler and Peter Smith. A church was built upon the lot in 1827, and during the first few years of
its existence the society was supplied by Lutheran and Reformed ministers from Stone Arabia. For ten years following
1830 the congregation received the services of Rev. John J. Wack, and lie was allowed the rentals of the land.
At the end of that time he was ejected, and for many years the building was seldom used and the rents accruing
from the land amounted to very little. As a matter of form, however, trustees were elected each year for several
years, but the society finally became inactive. With the idea in view of forming a new Lutheran and Reformed church,
an organization was perfected February 1, 1866, and an attempt was made to take and control the lands that were
in the care of the previously elected trustees. Litigation ensued, resulting in favor of the former trustees, who
continued to hold the lot and the new organization soon afterwards became extinct. On March 13, 1876, the Supreme
Court of the state of New York granted a permit to the trustees to sell the lands, invest the proceeds and expend
the interest therefrom for religious services in the school-houses in Districts Nos 4 and 11 of the town of Ephratah.
The board of trustees at that time consisted of Benjamin and Edward Duesler, Henry Cretser, Philip Cool, and Wallace
McLaughlin. Solomon Gray was treasurer and Nathaniel Chrisman, clerk. The original house of worship had long since
been in ruins, and there was no church nearer than Ephratah village. The inhabitants of the neighborhood, however,
felt that another church should be erected on the lot, and this sentiment resulted in the building of the present
frame church, which is a convenient structure, and was completed in 1882. Services are now held there every other
Sunday by the Reformed church pastor of Ephratah. The present trustees are Eli Duesler, Edward S. Duesler, Peter
Dockstader, Wallace McLaughlin, and Avery Duesler.
Among religious societies that have once had an organization in Ephratah, but are no more, may be mentioned the
"Six Principle Bap-. tist" Society formed at Pleasant Valley, now known as Rockwood, May 2, 1818. It
was probably the first organization of a religious nature in the present town. This body had its origin in Rhode
Island abcut the year and takes its creed from the six things mentioned in Hebrews, vi. 1-2, namely: Repentance
from dead works, faith toward God, the doctrine of baptism, of repentance, fire and suffering, laying on of hands,
resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. The denomination flourished during .the first half of the present
century, and at one time had thirty-nine churches in this country, including five in New York. In 1867, however,
the number had decreased to eighteen churches and about 3,000 members. At the present time there are no churches
of this denomination in Fulton county. . The Rockwood society was formed as the "Palatine Branch " of
a church of similar faith located at Amsterdam; and for a number of years the congregation received the services
at irregular intervals of Revs. Ezra Allen, James T. J oslin and William Groom. A reorganization as an independent
church took place June 10, 1830, consisting of thirty nine members, who adopted the title of" The Six Principle
Baptist Church of Christ." The first regular pastor of this society was Rev. William Thompson, who began his
services January 29, 1831. The new organization was not destined to be of great permanence, as many of its members
soon afterward expressed a desire to join the regular Baptist denomination, and upon the formation of the Otsego
Baptist Association, March 20, 1834, the Six Principle Baptist church of Pleasant Valley (with the exception of
two dissenters), joined that body, changing for conformity their name and articles of faith. From that time until
the present the society has been known as the Baptist Church of P]easant Valley. Erastus Miner was ordained and
installed as pastor of this new and distinct organization, in December, 1835, and the congregation continued to
hold their services in the Union church building, alternating with the Methodist Episcopal Society until 1842,
after which the house of worship was improved and kept in repair by the Baptists, who occupied it exclusively.
Among the pastors of this church from the time of the departure of Rev. Mr. Miner until within recent years, may
be mentioned the following: Daniel Robinson, James S. McCullum, E. G. R. Joslin, Joseph K. Barry, Homer Clark,
E. D. Towner, George W. Abrams, Hezekiah West, William Brown, Roswell Collins, R. D. Pierce, David Peck and a few
The Union Society of Pleasant Valley was organized January 24, 1834, at which time the election of officers took
place and resulted in the selection of Joseph Dennis, Rouse Simmons, Dutee Joslin, Robert Weaver, Chauncey Orton,
and Azel Hough as trustees. The society was soon afterward incorporated and included among its members, four religious
denominations, as follows: Six Principle Baptist, Methodist Episcopal, regular Baptist and Presbyterian. The Union
Church was erected in 1833 and it appears in the records that the Six Principle Baptists were to occupy the building
every Sunday forenoon; the remainder of the day being apportioned as follows: To the Methodist Episcopal Society,
22 Sundays in each year; to the Baptist, 18; and to the Presbyterian, 12. This arrangement was not of many years'
duration, as the Six Principle Baptists afterwards merged into the regular Baptist Society, and the Presbyterians
diminished in number until they became extinct ; while the Methodists erected a church for their own use. The Baptists
therefore continued in sole occupation of the building, but the title to the property remains unchanged.
The Methodist Episcopal church of Rockwood.-The early history of Methodism in Fulton county is so well known to
the reader who has reviewed foregoing pages of this work, that its renewed detail here would seem like repetition.
The adherents to this faith who lived in the neighborhood of Ephratah and Rockwood were wont to assemble on the
Sabbath for worship at the dwellings of some of the members, and at different times were favored with preaching
by ministers from Johns town and Gloversville. This continued until 1833, when regular services were held in the
Union Church of Rockwood. The first pastor was Rev. Stephen Parks, who also filled appointments at Ephratah village,
Keck's Centre, Garoga Lake and North Bush.
The present organization, as well as that of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Ephratah village, was perfected
January 24, 1842, and comprised forty-five members, of whom the following were chosen trustees George Jeffers,
Giles S. Day, Peter Simmons and Peter R. Simmons. Incorporation took place immediately under the name of the"
Methodist Episcopal Church of Pleasant Valley." The erection of a church was at once begun, the consecration
taking place in the same year. Rev. S. L. Stillman, of Albany, officiated upon this occasion. The first pastor
of the new church was Rev. James Connor. Among his successors have been Dillon Stevens, M. Townsend, J. Quinlan,
A. Mosher, B. Isbell, 0. E. Spicer, Henry Williams, James Tubbs, C. A. Anderson, N. Whitman, L. Warner, J. C. Walker,
A. Robins, T. F. Hannah, E. E. Taylor, William J. Sands, Henry White, Milton Taylor, M. D. Jump, H. Harris, Joel
Hall, Legrand Jones, and D. M. C. Schell, who remained until 1880.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Ephratah village is virtually one and the same with that at Rockwood, its organization
having been effected under that name. The present house of worship was erected in 1861 as a result of the efforts
put forward by a building committee appointed at a quarterly meeting held at Rockwood January i8, of that year.
This committee consisted of W. Randall, S. Peters, A. Coolman, J. Getman, and Adam Getman. The pastors of this
church have also officiated at Rockwood, the parsonage being located at Ephratah. Those who have received appointments
to this charge since 1880 are as follows: H. Vandecar, 1880; H. S. Rowe, 1881; ; W. J. Sands, 1883; Robert Washburn,
1884; Samuel McChesney, 1884; Samuel H. Kirkbridge, 1886; C. A. Beaudry, 1888; H. B. Shires, 1889. Samuel W. Snow,
the present pastor, came in April, 1891. The present stewards of the church are Ambrose Coolman, Willard Snell,
Jacob G. Snell, Ervin Smith, Charles Yauney, and Israel Underwood. The present membership is about forty, and the
church maintains an active Sundayschool of which Charles Yauney is superintendent. The trustees are Thomas Wakeman,
Nelson Everest, Lorenzo Broolcins, Jeremiah Smith, D. M. Durfee and Loren A. Green. Jacob G. Snell is recording
steward and D. M. Durfee, district steward.
The Reformed Church of Ephratah.-The organization of a religious society, of which the present church is an outgrowth,
took place at a meeting held in the school-house of district No. 9, in the town of Palatine, March 17, 1823. Peter
G. Getman, Thomas Davies, James Getman, Philip Kring, William Lassell, Jonathan Selter, Timothy Riggs, Chauncey
Hutchinson and Caleb Johnson were elected trustees, and James W. Johnson, clerk. The society was incorporated the
following week under the name of" The First Presbyterian Church and Society of the town of Palatine."
Rev. Elisha Yale, who was at that time pastor of the Presbyterian church at Kingsboro, came to Ephratah occasionally
during the first year of the new society's existence and preached for the congregation. The first regular pastor
was Rev. Caleb Knight, who began his labors June 20, 1824. His first meeting was held in the school-house at Lassellsville
and his salary was fixed at $275 per annum for three-fourths of the time. A subscription paper was circulated to
raise this amount, the greatest donation to which was $10 and the smallest a bushel of rye. Services were held
in the various schoolhouses during the next two years, at the end of which time Mr. Knight took his departure.
The members seemed to lose interest in their meeting after their pastor had gone and the society became very inactive,
finally discontinuing all services, the last one being held in September, 1827. As an indication that there was
yet a spark of hope existing among some of the members, it is recorded that in 1829 Dr. Solomon Cummings, who had
acted as the last clerk of the old society, engaged with a few others in the erection of a house of worship in
Ephratah village. This led to the organization of a new society on July 2, 1832. It was composed largely of the
members of the original body and was organized under the name of" The Presbyterian and Reformed Dutch Church
of Ephratah." The first elders were John S. Lasher, John Jacob Snell and Christian Suits; the first deacons,
Peter Putnam and Moses Suits. The first pastor was Rev. Isaac S. Ketchum, of Stone Arabia, who came and preached
every Sunday afternoon. This he continued until 1836, being succeeded the following year by Rev. B. B. Westfall,
who remained until 1838. John Robb was the next pastor, beginning his labors in 1841 and continuing about eighteen
months. In 1844 a call was extended to Rev. Charles Jukes, who came and preached for this society and the one at
Stone Arabia. His successor was Rev. John C. Van Liew, who came in 1850. In April of the same year the society
was incorporated as " The Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Ephratah." The consistory at that time
included James G. Van Voast, Peter G. Getman and Peter Putnam, elders ; James Yauney and James Edwards, deacons.
Mr. Van Liew continued his pastoral relations with the church until 1856 and was succeeded in 1857 by Rev. John
P. Westervelt who remained until 1859. The society was then without a pastor for a period of five years, but was
occasionally supplied by Revs. George H. Hewhings, Miles G. Merwin and James Abell. The next regular pastor was
Rev. W. H. Smith, who came in 1864 and was succeeded in 1868 by Rev. G. M. Compton. He was followed in 1872 by
Rev. W. B. Van Benschoten, during whose pastorate many new members were added to the church. His successor was
Rev. Rufus M. Stanburgh, who preached his first sermon on the third Sunday in June, 1881, and remained with the
congregation until 1884. Rev. William W. Whitney came in January, i886, and remained until February, 1889. The
present pastor, Rev. Peter Q. Wilson, began his pastorate in December, 1891.
The church was thoroughly repaired and greatly improved during the summer of 1890, the work being done by John
F. Empie. The rededication took place in March, 1891, the Revs. Philip Furbeck and Henry H. Sangree officiating
at the time. The church has a membership of sixty-five and an active Sunday-school, of which Daniel W. Duesler
is superintendent. The present elders are James E. Van Voast, Richard Getman, Hiram Lighthall and John Yauney;
the deacons are Seymour Snell, Peter Dockstader, James H. Hager and Norman Saltsman.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Lassellsvilie.-The present church was built and dedicated in 1852. The first
structure was built early in the present century and stood directly opposite. Prior to 1884 this church belonged
to the St. Johnsviile charge ; since that time it has formed a charge together with the society at Oppenheim. Rev.
Mr. Hawkins was one of the early pastors and has been succeeded in recent years by Rev. Mr. Van Valkenburgh, S.
M. Kelley, Richard B. Robbins, S. L. Littlefield, and the present pastor, George F. Armington, who began his labors
in April, 1892. The church has between sixty and seventy members and a well attended Sunday-school, of which Daniel
Bronk is the superintendent. Mrs. Julia Barker is the recording steward of the charge. The present trustees are
H. F. Butler, Cyrus Suonabie, Ezekiel Brown, Z. B. Dempster and Moses Keck.
Lassellsville Union Church-The present church was built by the members of the Dutch Reformed, Baptist and Universalist
societies of Lassellsville, and dedicated in January, 1852. Half of the expense was borne by the Dutch Reformed
society, and a quarter each by the Baptists and Universalists. The building has been used by these and other denominations,
chief among which have been the Lutherans. Among the pastors that have officiated at this church may be mentioned
Rev. Jonas Dievendorif, Rev. Mr. Robinson and Rev. Mr. Francisco, the latter of whom afterward went to reside in
tile western part of the state. The present trustees of tile property are Edward McLaughlin, Philip Michael, and
one vacancy, caused by the death of Orlando Handy in tile spring of 1891.
Town Officers-The legislative
act passed March 27, 1827, that created the town of Ephratah also provided that the officers elected shortly prior
to the division should continue to serve in the same capacity for the territory to which they belonged. Accordingly
at the time of its formation Ephratah had the fo]lowing officers : Supervisor, Thomas R Benedict; town clerk, Edward
Burdick justices of the peace, Chauncey Hutchinson, Joseph Getman, Peter Smith amid Edward Burdick. A special town
meeting was held at the house of Philip Empie, Ofl tile last Tuesday in April, 1827, and resulted in the organization
of a complete board of town officers, as follows: Assessors, Joseph Getman, Henry Souls and David C. Everest ;
overseers of tile poor, John Empie, sr., and Caleb Johnson; collector, George Beck ; commissioners of schools,
Peter W. Saltsman, and John McLaughlin ; commissioners of highways, James Caldwell and Chauncey Orton; inspector
of schools, Samuel R. Dudley; poundmasters and fence viewers, Michael Dorn, jr., Joseph Dennis and Phillip Young.
The first regular town meeting did not take place until the first Tuesday in March, 1828. It was held at the house
of Philip Empie, and the following officers elected: Supervisor, Thomas R. Benedict; town clerk, Charles Getman;
assessors, Henry Souls, Daniel S. Gray and David C. Everest; overseers of poor, John F. Empie, Sr., and John Shaver;
collector, Joseph Scouten; commissioners of highways, Peter W. Saltsman, Edward Burdick and James Hall; commissioners
of schools, James C. Ott, Philip Kring and Samuel R. Dudley; inspectors of schools, Henry Edwards, Caleb Johnson
and Solomon Cummings.
The supervisors of the town since 1855, with the exception of a few years when no return was made by the town clerk,
have been as follows: Mortimer Wade, 1855 ; Richard Murray, 1856-7; Mortimer Wade, 1858-9; George Keith, 1860-1;
P. H. Burnap, 1862; Hiram A]len, 1863; Daniel Lassell, 1865; ; Isaac M. Everest, 1866; John F. Empie, 1867-71 ;
Daniel M. Durfee, 1872-75 ; Levi Yauney, 1876; Alpha Nellis, 1877-8; Ralph Sexton, 1879-82; Eli Gray, 1883 ; John
P. Darby, 1884; James H. Yauney, 1885; John P. Darby, 1886-7; Levi Yauney, r888; Richard Dorn, 1889-90; Abner Yauney,
Town Clerks.-Daniel Snell, 1855;
; John H. Shults, 1856; Ezra Van Slyck, 1857-8; John H. Lassell, 1859; J. E. Van Voast, 1860; William Spencer,
1861; ; James W. McLaughlin, 1862 ; H. D. Trumbull, 1863; Oscar Ercanbrack, 1865; Nicholas Fancher, 1866; Jacob
C. Duesler, 1867; Oscar Ercanbrack, 1868; Amaziah Duesler, 1869; Jacob C. Duesler, 1870; Zalmon Gilbert, 1871 ;
VeederCaidweil, 1872; Ezra Van Slyck, 1873 ; Alfred Dorn, 1864; Darius Getman, 1875 Frederick Baum, 1876; Thomas
R. Rossiter, 1877; Oscar Ercanbrack, 1878; James Y. Jukes, 1879: Benjamin F. Soules, 1880; Byron Walrath, 1881;
; Edgar Shibley, 1882; Daniel W. Duesler, 1883-4; Norman A. Lasseil, 1885-7 ; Benjamin F. Soules, 1888 ; Richard
McLaughlin 1889; Eugene Bradt, 1890; Henry Leroy, 1891.
The present officers of Ephratah are as follows: Supervisor, John E. Standing; town clerk, Byron J. Wairath; justices
of the peace, H. V. Berry, Z. B. Dempster, D. F. Snell and W. J. Stahl; assessors, Peter Dockstader, William Foster,
Alfred C. Everest; collector, Peter Smith.