Church History of Broadalbin, NY
From: History of Fulton County
Revised and Edited by: Washington Frothingham
Published by: D. Mason & Co. Syracuse, NY 1892

This is part of the History of Broadalbin.

The Baptist Church of Broadalbin and Mayfield. - The Baptists were probably the first religious denomination to organize a society in the present town of Broadalbin. As was the custom in those early times, in the absence of any stated house of worship, the services were held wherever time and opportunity seemed most fitting. This was often at the homes of the members and sometimes in barns and sheds. Nothing definite is known of the meeting of this society prior to October 18, 1792, at which time a church organization was made, under the name of "The Baptist Church of Mayfield and Broadalbin." The following is taken from the records made at that time:

" Oct. 18th, 1792.
A Number of Members as Delligates from North Galloway Baptist Church, being convened at the house of Caleb Woodsworth in Mayfield together with Elder Butler and Br. french in a single capacity, form into a council to hear the Request of a Number of Members in Jesus Christ which is to Be feloshipt as a church in gospel order. Members of Council Elder Butler, french Elder finch Samuel Halsted Lemuel Cavil Stutson Benson. after gaining an acquaintance of the adoption Gifts and qualification of the above said Members we Do feloship you as a church in Gospel order. Joel Butler Md. Stutson Benson, Clerk." The names or the number of members is not known, but it is supposed the greater share of them were residents of this town. The first deacons were Robert Ryan and Seth Pettit, chosen December 15, 1792. The first additions to this church were made on January 5, 1793, when Mrs. Rebecca Marsh and Mrs. Daniel Mory united. Rev. John Finch who was then pastor of the First Baptist church of Providence, Saratoga county, was the first to minister to this society, which he did as circumstances permitted. On December 15 the church voted "to give Elder Finch five pounds in grain, meat, flax, wool, and cloth, and forty shillings in work." Hezekiah Gorton was also one of the early ministers. He was one of the first members of this church, and was licensed to preach as early as 1795, for on January 2, 1796, the church agreed to raise "eight pounds by the first day of June next" for his services. He was ordained January 31, 1798, by a council consisting of delegates from the Baptist churches of Galway, Providence and Stephentown, and also Alex. McQueen, David Gorton, and Caleb Woodworth from this thurch. In June, 1796, the church united with the Shaftsbury Association, the first delegates to which were Hezekiah Gorton and Consider Fox. The number of members at that time was 33. In September, 1797, a meeting of the church and society was held at Fonda's Bush, at which it was decided "to build a meeting house." Alexander McQueen and Nathan Brockway were appointed a building committee, and the erection of a frame church edifice was soon after commenced in the village. A report from Nathaniel Perkins, Alexander McQueen, and Caleb Woodruff, trustees, shows that up to May 17, 1798, the sum of £261 12s. 3d. had been expended on the structure. The building was so far completed in the summer of 1798 that it was occupied for worship, but eight years more elapsed before the temporary pulpit and rude seats were replaced by permanent ones.

The Saratoga Baptist Association was formed from a part of the Shaftsbury Association, August 8, 1804, by a convention of churches held at Milton, and the Broadalbin church united with it August 21, 1805.

Elder Gorton, after his ordination, remained with and ministered regularly to the congregation, but did not assume the pastoral charge of the church until January 3, 1807, when he became the first regular pastor, which relation he maintained until 1813. He then removed to the western part of the state, where he remained until his death. In August, 1813, the church employed Rev. Jonathan Nichols as preacher, retaining him about three years. He was an Arminian in faith, and succeeded through his influence in causing the church to withdraw from the Saratoga Association, June 1, 1813, but upon the installation of his successor, Rev. William Groom, in 1818, the society reunited with that body.

A new house of worship was begun January 24, 1833, about twenty rods to the eastward of the first one, on laud purchased by the society from Dr. E. G. Rawson. It was a frame dwelling, 43 by 30 feet in size, and was built by Elijah Roberts. On August 3 following the trustees, Gideon Tabor, Chauncey C. Alvord, and Ephraim Wetherbee, obtained leave from a Court of Chancery, held at Saratoga Springs, to dispose of the old church property and apply the proceeds towards the completion of the new building, which was finished and dedicated in 1835.

Elder Groom's pastorate continued until July 9, 1836, at which time he resigned, but by request he remained as a supply until January 1, 1837. After being released from this charge he retired to private life and later on moved from the village. In 1873 he returned to his old home in Broadalbin, where he died in the summer of 1876. On February 1, 1837, James Delany, a licentiate, came as a supply. He was ordained and installed as pastor of this church January to, 1838, and was succeeded in June following by Rev. William B. Curtis, of Norway, who remained until April, 1842. During his pastorate of less than four years, 120 converts became members and received baptism. This church adopted the revised constitution of the Saratoga Association February 15, 1841. Rev. Lodowick Salisbury, of West Winfield, assumed pastoral charge June 20, 1842, and was succeeded in September of the same year by Rev. G. C. Baldwin, of Hamilton, who supplied the congregation for about fifteen months. On December 23, 1843, Rev. Charles A. Chandler, of Elba, Genesee county, N. Y., accepted a call from this church at a salary of $400 per annum, but did not commence his labors until April 1 following. The pulpit was filled during the interval by Rev. H. H. Rouse. Mr. Chanidler remained until April, 1849, being succeeded by Rev. William W. Smith, from Jersey City, who continued three years, resigning in April, 1852. Rev. William Garnett, from Providence, Saratoga county, became pastor in May, 1852, and remained until August 18, 1855. The church was then supplied for a short time by Rev. E. Wescott, and in March, 1856, Rev. G. W. Abrams, from the Oppenheim church, took charge of the pastoral duties and remained about six months. In the early part of 1857 Rev. Frederick S. Park began his pastorate, remaining more than five years, and preaching his farewell sermon February 10, 1863. He was succeeded the following April by Rev. Joseph L. Barlow, a native of New England, who continued in the pastorate until October, 1868.

In the fall of 1868 and the spring of 1869 about $2,400 was expended on the church in repairs. In April, 1869, Rev. W. F. Benedict assumed the pastoral charge, and continued in the position until the latter part of July, 1872. He was succeeded January 1, 1873, by Rev. Hardin Wheat, who remained for one year only. Rev. J. K. Wilson, from Philadelphia, came in June, 1874, and resigned March 20, 1875. On April 13 of the same year, a unanimous call was extended to Rev. A. K. Batcheldor, of Schenevus, Otsego county, N. Y., which he at once accepted, commencing his labors in May following, and continuing until May 29, 1877, when he removed to Burnt Hills, Saratoga county.

On November 18, 1877, nearly six months after his resignation, the church building was destroyed by fire, caught from adjacent buildings. The society realized about $4,300 of the insurance on the building and immediate steps were taken towards the erection of a new house of worship. On January 22, 1878, a building committee was appointed, consisting of Reuben Halsted, Lewis Phillips and Denton Smith on the part of the church, and James L. Hagadorn and William Vail on the part of the society. The result of their efforts was the present handsome brick edifice on Main street, which was built by Rev. Jacob Gray, of Schenectady. The total cost of the building when completed and furnished was about $7,000.

In October, 1878, before the present church was finished, a call was extended to Rev. R. D. Grant, who came and served the congregation until the latter part of 1881. John G. Dyar filled the pastorate for about one year from January 22, 1882, and was followed in 4883 by W. J. Quincey, who remained until the fall of 1883. A. J. Wilcox, of Noank, Conn., assumed pastoral charge in February, 1887, and continued this relation until July 31, 1889. In November, 1889, M. H. Coleman became pastor and remained until March, 4892. The society is at present without a minister.

The church was reincorporated May 13, 4879, under the state law governing religious organizations, as "the Baptist Church of Broadalbin and Mayfield," and the following trustees elected: Samuel B. Thompson, C. J. Wetherbee, Lewis D. Phillips, William Vail, Denton Smith and W. W. Finch.

The present deacons are E. G. Kasson, Addison A. Gardner, J. E. Lasher, William W. Hays, Lewis M. Lee, Thomas Benedict; trustees, James P. Rosa, Denton Smith, George E. Manning, William M. Grinnell, James Granger, William Satterlee; treasurer, F. S. Hawley; clerk, A. A. Gardner; superintendent of Sunday school, William Sheldon. Present membership of the church is 295 and the Sunday school has 140 scholars.

The First Presbyterian Church of Broadalbin. - This church was at first organized by the Dutch Reformed Classis of Albany, about the year 1792, and was called "The Dutch Reformed Church of New Haerlem." Its members were principally immigrants from other parts of the country. The society continued in a very feeble condition, without any pastor or house of worship for about seven years, having preaching only occasionally and holding prayer and conference meetings among themselves in private houses. Towards the latter part of this time, however, they were favored with a revival of religion, which strengthened and encouraged them so much that they resolved if possible to procure a stated pastor. The first consistory was composed of Rev. Coanrod Ten Eick, moderator; Dirk Banta, Samuel Demarest, elders, and Abraham Westervelt and Peter Demarest, deacons. Among the original members were Ashbal Cornwell, Isaac and Abraham Cole, Jacobus and Peter Demarest, Thomas Vickory, David, Peter, Abraham, and Garnet Westervelt, Dirk Banta, Peter Van Nest, John Bant, and Samuel Demarest. The first church edifice was built at Vail's Mills, then called "Lower Bush," about 1800. Rev. Coanrod Ten Eick remained in charge until the end of the year 1811, after which the church was without a pastor for nearly four years, during which time the meetings of the consistory were suspended until September 2, 1815, when Rev. Sylvester Palmer, who came from Susquehanna, Pa., acted as moderator. He remained until 1818, the last consistory meeting at which he officiated being held in January of that year. On October 1, 1822, Rev. Alexander McFarlan, from the Albany Presbytery, was engaged to preach every other Sunday for six months. On the 13th of January, 1823, the church was incorporated under the name of the First Presbyterian Church of Mayfield, and Lucas Demarest, Peter Carmichael, Samuel H. Munro, Samuel Bant, William Woodworth, and Chauncey Foot were the trustees at that time. The church withdrew from the Dutch Reformed Classis of Montgomery in August, 1823, and united the following October with the Presbytery of Albany, conforming to the discipline of that body and changing its name to "The First Presbyterian Church of Mayfield." Rev John K. Davis, of Troy, N. Y., began his duties as pastor in February, 1824, and the sacrament was administered for the first time on the 23d of the following May. On the 19th of August, 1828, the Presbytery of Albany met with this church. Rev. Mr. Davis, after eight years' service, terminated his pastorate in March, 1832, and was succeeded on the 15th of June following by Rev. Loring Brewster, of Potsdam, St. Lawrence county, N. Y. Mr. Brewster remained until April 1, 1835, and for two years thereafter the congregation was without a minister, but meetings were held regularly every Sunday, and there was occasional preaching by ministers from other churches. In May, 1837, Rev. Lot B. Sullivan was engaged to preach and remained one year. Rev. Wm. J. Monteath was regularly installed October 4, 1838, although his connection with the church as minister began July 1st, of the same year.

The venerable house of worship now occupied by this society on Main street, dates back to the year 1839. On June 21st of that year the church and society obtained a deed to the lot from Dr. E. G. Rawson, then a prominent physician of the village. The present frame structure was built upon it and dedicated January 7, 1840, the services being conducted by Rev. Hugh Mair, of Johnstown.

The church obtained a new charter February 8, 1850, at which time the name was changed to "The First Presbyterian Church of Broadalbin." The trustees elected at that time were: Enoch Cornwell, and Hiram Van Arnam, for one year; John E. Hawley and Jeremiah V. Marcelis, for two years; Samuel E. Curtis and James L. Northrup, for three years. Mr. Monteath remained as pastor for nearly eighteen years, preaching his last sermon June 22, 1856, after which he removed to Wisconsin. His successor was Rev. Charles Milne, who was installed June 8, 1857. His pastoral relations with this church were dissolved July io, 1858, after which the pulpit was supplied by different ministers until January 1, 1859, when the Rev. James Ireland entered upon his pastoral duties with the society. He remained four years, his farewell discourse being preached on the first Sabbath in February, 1863. He was followed in April by George A. Miller, who remained one year. In July, 1864, Rev. Mr. Ingalls became minister, and, after a short stay, was succeeded by John Garrotson, a licentiate, who was ordained and installed in October, 1868. He remained until his death, which occurred September 3, 1839. Rev. R. Ennis came to the society January I1, 1870, and was released May I I, 1871. His successor was J. G. Cordell, from Schenectady, who was employed at a salary of $800 per annum. He remained until January 1, 1873, being succeeded by Rev. Cyrus Offer, who resigned after about two years' service. The next pastor was Rev. P. J. Burnham, who officiated until October, 1876, after which the church was supplied by various ministers, among whom was Willard K. Spencer who only remained sixteen weeks. H. L. Hoyt, a licentiate from Saratoga county, began his labors in November, 1877, and tendered his resignation October 26, 1879. The pastors who have regularly filled the pulpit of this church since the termination of Mr. Hoyt's pastorate have been as follows: David M. Hunter, October 26, 1880, to the fall of 1882; H. T. Hunter, 1882-84; J. H. Trussell, August 23, 1885, until December 9, 1888; W. J. Thompson, November to, 1889, until January I, 1891; Isaac O. Best, April, 1891, until the present time. Mr. Best is an able minister and a zealous Christian worker. Among those who have been elected ruling elders of this society from time to time, with the dates of their ordination, the following may be mentioned: Ashbal Cornwell, Ira Benedict, Enoch Cornwell, December 17, 1823; Samuel Root, John M. Benedict, October 24, 1824; William Monteith, September 1, 1827; Duncan McMartin, Peter Carmichael, May 30, 1834; Daniel Cole, October, 1838; John E. Hawley, Peter McFarlan, October 5, 1851; John A. Richards, Arthur Smith, November 5, 1871.

The present elders are James P. McFarlan, Archibald Argotsinger, J. W. Cleveland; trustees, J. P. McFarlan, David Frank, A. H. Van Arnam, Lindsey Herrick, J. T. Bradford; clerk, J. W. Cleveland. The church has a membership of seventy and the Sunday school forty. The superintendent of the latter is George M. Briggs. Lizzie Chapman acted in the capacity of organist for several years and was succeeded by the present one, Gertrude Best.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Broadalbin. - Thisurch was formally organized and incorporated March 9, 1824, at the house of Tristam Dunham in the village of Broadalbin, but a considerable society of this denomination had existed in the town for some time prior to that date. The trustees then elected were: Charles Mitchel, Tristam Dunham, Dodridge Smith, Reuben Thayer, and William Chambers. Among those who were original members of this society may be mentioned Stephen, Asa and Fitch Fenton, Fernando Mudge, Reuben Thayer, Ralph Mead, Josiah Hunt, William Chambers, Chauncey North, Derrick Banta, Dr. Rosa, Edwin Wilcox, C. B. and C. S. Wait, Isaac Osborn and John Gordon. The need of a proper house of worship soon became apparent and work was begun without delay on a frame church located on a lot obtained from Dodridge Smith. As originally built the structure was 35 x 40 feet in size, and was finished and dedicated in 1825. In 1840 it was repaired and enlarged, and in 1868 a convenient and much needed lecture room was formed by raising the building and utilizing the basement. The present size of the church is 4o x 60 feet, and the property, together with the parsonage, is valued at $7,500.

Rev. William S. Pease was the first pastor stationed here by authority of the conference, being appointed in 1825. The pastors from that time until 1877, named as near as possible in the order of their coming have been as follows: Revs. William S. Pease, J. D. Moriarty, Jacob Beeman, Samuel Covell, Joseph McCreary, Ephraim Goss, Cyrus Meeker, James H. Taylor, Peter H. Smith, Oliver Emerson, Roswell Kelley, Joseph Ames, Joel Squier, James Quinlan, William Ames, Seymour Coleman, Robert Patterson, J. Parker, Charles Pomeroy, O. E. Spicer, P. P. Harrower, J. G. Perkins, Alexander C. Reynolds, D. B. Wright, B. M. Hall, - Rose, J. G. Perkins, - Wade, and R. G. Adams, the latter coming from Chatham, Columbia county, in '877. The ministers who have occupied the pulpit of this church regularly since the departure of Mr. Adams in 1879 have been as follows: S. W. Coleman, 1879-1882; W. W. Cox, 1882-1885; D. M. Schell, 1885; F. R. Sherwood, 1886-1889; H. M. Boyce, 1889-1891. The present pastor, Rev. E. J. Guernsey, began his pastoral relations with the society in 1891.

The church has a membership of 210, and the Sunday school, of which George Fenton is superintendent, has 250 scholars. The present stewards of the church are: D. D. Crouse, George Fenton, Oscar Horton, Lynas Jennings, Matthew Cunning, Edward Vosburgh, M. H. Vosburgh, Matthew Leversee, William Lincoinfelter, James A. Burr, R. H. Schoonmaker; recording steward, Edward Vosburgh; trustees, D. D. Crouse, J. A. Burr, George Fenton, and William Atty.

The Roman Catholics have erected, recently, a church edifice in the village in which frequent services are held.


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