CHURCHES.- The first house of worship built in the village of Lockport was the log meeting house of the Society
of Friends; it cost $300 and stood on the lot now bounded by Main, Market and Elm streets, containing two acres,
which was purchased for $24. Under the regulation of the Holland Company this religious society was entitled to
a donation of one hundred acres of land for building the first church in the town. The society, however, declined
the donation, on the ground that it would act as a payment for preaching, to which they were opposed.
The First Presbyterian church was organized chiefly through the efforts of Rev. David M. Smith, who was installed
pastor of the church in Lewiston in 1817. The society which had been organized at Lockport was taken in charge
of the Niagara Presbytery in 1823, when there were twenty- nine members. A small church was built on thc court
house square and the society availed itself of the offer of the Holland Company, which had been declined by the
Society of Friends, and selected a tract of land two miles south of the city which was afterwards sold for $1,000
and the money used for the building. The first settled pastor was Rev. Abatus Kent, who began his service early
in 1823. Within the next few years the membership greatly increased, and in 1830 the society built a brick church
on the corner of Ontario and Church streets, the site of their later edifice. In 1832 the membership had reached
355. Between 1834 and 1838 two distinct elements were developed in the society which it seemed impossible to harmonize
The disagreement culminated in the minority asking letters to form another church, which were granted, and they
organized the First Congregational church. Under the long pastorate of Rev. William C. Wisner, who began in May,
1842, the congregation was most prosperous and outgrew the old church. In 1855 the present spacious edifice was
erected on the site. Gardner Memorial chapel, in rear of the church, was built and dedicated in 1890.
On the 13th of April, 1816, John Uptold, a missionary from the Hamilton Baptist Missionary Society, visited the
vicinity of Lockport, where five believers in that faith met and formed the nucleus of a church; the society was
regularly organized with twelve members in March, 1817. In the next month the name Carnbria Baptist church was
adopted and Samuel Alvord was licensed to preach. During a number of years the meetings were held in divers places;
the first one held in Lockport was on December 6, 1824, when the membership was about fifty. On the 30th of July,
1825, the name of the church was changed to the Lockport Baptist church. A committee to select a site for a church
edifice was appointed in August, 1825, but the work was postponed several years. In 1833 a stone church was erected
on Pine street, costing about $5,000. Discord was caused in this society a little prior to 1850 through the lectures
of a Mr. Miller on the second advent and their acceptance by the church pastor, Rev. Elon Galusha. The trouble
culminated in 1851, the church withdrew the hand of fellowship from a part of the members, gave letters to the
remainder and soon afterward disbanded. At a meeting held in November of the same year a portion of those holding
letters, about thirty, organized themselves under the name of the Second Baptist church of Lockport, with Rev.
S. R. Mason, pastor. The society now became more harmonious and the membership increased. In 1867, it having become
necessary to have larger accommodations, measures were adopted for building a new church. The site of the present
edifice was purchased and the building erected. The reorganization mentioned was void in law and in order to properly
transact business the name of the society was changed by legislative act April 23, 1867, to the Baptist church
In the year 1816 Rev. Daniel Shepardson traveled through Western New York and during his journeys he preached Methodism
about once a month in the school house two and a half miles east of Lockport, and also near Warren's Corners. In
1823 Lockport was included in the Buffalo and Lewiston circuit, and in October of that year a society was incorporated
with Samuel Leonard, Austin Atchinson, Ira Smith, Peter Aiken, William Hattan and Laban Smith, trustees. This corporation
was subsequently dissolved, but a reorganization was effected April 30, 1827. A small church building was erected
in 1824, on what is now Genesee street, between Pine and Cottage. This building was soon enlarged to accommodate
the increasing congregation, but it ere long became inadequate and the site now owned by the society was purchased.
A new edifice was completed in 1833 at a cost of about $10,000. Agitation of the slavery question caused a division
in the church in 1840, and a second organization was made, which continued until 1846, when the dissenters disbanded
and its members united with the former society. In 1854 the church edifice was burned; the society was in debt
and only about $7,000 could be raised toward building another. After prolonged and discouraging labor, however,
the new house of worship was completed in 1857 as it now stands.
The church edifice of St. John the Baptist (Roman Catholic) was commenced in August, 1834, on land donated by Edward
Bissell and Joel McCollum; Lyman A. Spalding gave the church another lot which was sold for its benefit. The edifice
was completed at a great deal of sacrifice and was enlarged to its later size prior to 1842. A stone house was
also built for the pastoral residence. The initial steps toward building a new church were taken in 1856, and during
the pastorate of Father Gleason, beginning in 1860, the edifice was erected. In 1866 the bishop opened the old
church, which had been occupied by the Sisters; they removed to the land purchased for their school on Church street.
Under the pastorate of Father Byrnes, beginning in 1867, the old church was improved and made suitable for services.
It is still in use by the St. John's society. Rev. M. J. Darcy has been pastor of this church for the past twenty
years, and under him the edifice was completed in its present form. A successful parochial school is maintained
in a building adjoining the church St. Patrick's society was organized and the church erected in 1856, but was
completed in its present form under the pastorate of Rev. P. J. Cannon, who has served more than twenty years.
The German Catholic parish of St. Mary's was organized in 1860 and used first a frame church in Buffalo street;
this was superseded in 1885 by the present brick structure.
The First Free Congregational church of Lockport was organized June 7, 1838. The word "Free" indicates
the convictions which the church held respecting the question of slavery. The first house of worship was dedicated
July 23, 1840, on the site of the present building. It was destroyed by fire November 2, 1854. On October 15, 1857,
the present stone structure was dedicated. The following have been the pastors and supplies of the church:
Rev. William Bacon, 1838-41; Rev. W. Rosevelt, 1841-42; Rev. William Curry, 1842-44; Rev/ Edgar Perkins, 1844-49:
Rev. Edward W Gilman, 1849-56; Rev. J. D. Potter, Rev. F. W. Brauns and others supplies during 1857: Rev. Joseph
L. Bennett, 1857-1871; Rev. James W. Cooper, 1871-78; Rev. Ezra Tinker supplied for one year. Rev. Edward H. Furbish,
1879-89; Rev. J. W. Bailey, 1890-97.
The pastor, Rev. John W. Bailey, was born in Galesburg, Ill., November 25, 1854, In 1875 he graduated from Blackburn
University, Carlinville, Ill. From the same institution three years later he received the degree of A. M. After
graduating he entered a business house in Alton, Ill., in the capacity of bookkeeper. After this he was appointed
principal of one of the ward schools in Alton, and later became the superintendent of public schools in Carlinville,
Ill. He entered Lane Theological Serninary at Cincinnati, O. graduating in 1882, and was immediately ordained by
the Presbytery of Columbus, 0. He then accepted a call to the pastorate of the First Presbyterian church in Cambridge
City, Ind. In 1886 he was called to the First Congregational church in West Rutland, Vt., and in 1890 accepted
a call to become the pastor of the First Congregational church in Lockport, which position he still holds in 1897.
What was formerly the Second Presbyterian church of Lockport (now the Second Ward Presbyterian), was organized
June 5, 1832. The society worshiped about five years in a building on Market street. In 1836 trouble arose in the
church through the alleged teaching by the pastor (Rev. Samuel Beaman) of certain doctrines of perfectionism, and
in February, 1837, the Presbytery of Niagara prescribed some articles of faith to test the soundness of the church.
Only seven persons, six of whom were women, subcribed to them, and these seven were then declared to be the church.
Mr. Beaman soon removed to New York city. The stone church on Van Buren street cost about $5,000 and was dedicated
January 8, 1838. In December, 1846, the name was changed, the church property was sold for debt and bought by a
member of the society for $900. The society has passed through periods of great trial, but is now in better condition.
The Clinton Street Methodist church was organized October 16, 1855, when the following were appointed stewards:
D. W. Ballou, W. R. Ford, D. B. Ingraham, J. McDonald, D. Thurber. Work upon the church edifice was soon begun
and it was finished in 1856 at a cost of $4,000. It is still in use.
Missionaries of the Universalist faith first preached in Lockport about 1835. The first minister here of whom there
is a record was Rev. Job Potter, who preached in the winter of 1836-7, holding meetings in the court house. A society
was organized at about that time under the name of the First Universalist Society of Lockport, but interest flagged
and regular preaching was soon abandoned. In the summer of 1841 Rev. Charles Hammond, of Rochester, came to Lockport
determined to form an active society. Meetings were held in the court house and in a hired hail, and were largely
attended. On April 11, 1842, a society was organized with the following trustees: Daniel A. Van Valkenburgh, Harlow
V. Wood, Samuel C. Stevens, David S. Crandall, Stephen B. Ballou, Abial Eastman. Preparations for building a church
were begun, a lot was bought, corner of Church and Ontario streets, and between that time and the fall of 1843
the building was finished
In May, 1877, certain persons met in the southeastern part of the city for consultation regarding religious affairs
in that section. As a result the South Street school house was obtained and there Rev. E. P. Marvin preached in
the Presbyterian faith for one year. in October the congregation purchased that school house, and in the following
month the Calvary Religious Society was organized. Soon afterward the building was enlarged fifty feet in its length.
On May 5, 1878, the society was regularly organized as Calvary Presbyterian church.
The Free Methodist church was organized in 1862, with twenty-five members. Rev. C. D. Brooks was the first pastor.
Meetings were held in dwellings and halls until i866, when the house of worship was completed.
The First Evangelical Lutheran church was organized in 1837, with about one hundred members and Rev. John Selsmer,
pastor. in 1838 a brick edifice was built on West Main street. This was occupied until 1850, when the present church
was erected. St. Peter's German United Evangelical church was organized in 1862, and in the following year a church
edifice was built on the corner of Locust and South streets. It is still used by this society.
The East Avenue Congregational church has a handsome brick edifice erected in 1890-91. The society was organized
previous to that time and until the church was erected worshiped in a hall. The society is an offshoot of the First
Free Congregational Society.
The German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity church was organized and built its edifice, corner of Saxton and Lagrange
streets, about two years ago. Rev. Arthur Michel is pastor.
The colored people of Lockport have a religious organization in the A. M. E. United church, with a church building
on South street.
The Protestant Episcopal Church in Niagara County.- The beginning of religious work in the county of Niagara, N.
Y., by the Episcopal church, dates from 1823. At that time faithful and self sacrificing men, sent by the General
Board of Missions of the Diocese of New York, are found ministering at the then two most promising settlements
in the county-Lockport and Lewiston. From these centers occasional ministrations were given to Royalton and Manchester
(now Niagara Falls). At that time and up to 1838 the entire State of New York comprised one diocese under the title,
"Diocese of New York." At the time this history begins the diocese of New York was under the Episcopal
care of its third bishop, the Rt. Rev. John Henry Hobart, D.D., who died September 10, 1830; he was succeeded November
26, 1830, by the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk, S. T. D.; resigned in 1852. Since the year 1868 the State
of New York has comprised five dioceses. The first to be set off from the parent diocese was the diocese of Western
New York, organized in 1838. It comprises the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston,
Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates, in the State of New York. Square
miles, 11,345. First bishop, the Rt. Rev. William Heathcote De Lancey, D.D., LL.D., D.C.L., born October 8, 1797.
Consecrated May 9, 1839. Died April 5, 1865. Second bishop, the Rt. Rev. Arthur Cleveland Coxe, D.D., LL.D. Consecrated
January 4, 1865. Died July 20, 1896. Present bishop, Rt. Rev. William D. \Valker, D.D., LL.D., D.C.L.
A detailed history of the Episcopal church in this county is best told by an account of the several parishes in
the order of their establishment.
It was on the 23d of February, 1829, that a number of men desirous of maintaining the services of the church, having
had for a short time the ministrations of the Rev. Burton H. Hickox, organized themselves into a society under
the title of "The Minister, Wardens and Vertrymen of Grace Church of Lockport." This, it will be observed,
was a month before the village of Lockport was incorporated. The organization lapsed, owing probably to its inability
to maintain the stated services regularly.
In the Convention Journal of the Diocese of New York for the year ending October 1, 1830, the Rev. Lucius Smith,
then rector of St. John's church, Batavia, says: "Held one service in Lower Lockport, where the service was
performed for the first time, and where there is great solicitude expressed for a clergyman of our church, to whom
a liberal compensation would be paid for his services." Unfortunately the date of this service is not given,
but the probability appears to be that it was held in the summer of 1830.
In February, 1831, the Rev. David Brown, of Albany, settled in Lower Lockport; on August 19 of the same year he
presented six persons for confirmation to Bishop Onderdonk, who on the same occasion laid the corner stone of the
old Christ church. on its present site, corner of Market and Vine streets. The parish was organized, it is stated,
in April, 183!, but the certificate of incorporation is dated September 28, 1832. In October, 1833, it was admitted
into union with the diocese. The church-of the old meeting-house style of architecture-had been finished for some
time when on August 18 of that year Bishop Onderdonk consecrated it. It was but a few months after this that the
Rev. Mr. Brown left Lockport to go to Florida, and was succeeded, July 26, 1834, by the Rev. Orange Clark The parish
was burdened with debt, discouraged, but under the new rector made rapid strides in prosperity and growth.
This brings us back to Grace church. How long the first organization mentioned at the outset continued, we have
no means of knowing; as said before, it lapsed. But the church people of Upper Lockport resolved on a second effort,
and by the kind assistance of the new rector of Christ church, who presided at the meeting, they formed a parish
ever since known as Grace church. This was February 9, 1835, in "the long room over George H. Boughton's store,"
which was their place of worship for some time after, until a wooden church, 35 by 56 feet, erected on the corner
of Buffalo and Saxton streets, was ready to receive the growing congregation. It was on August 12, 1838, that Bishop
Onderdonk, on what proved to be his last visitation, consecrated the new church, and afterward went to Christ church
to advance to the priesthood the Rev. Ebenezer H. Cressey, rector of that parish.
Their were the two parishes organized, provided with houses of worship, and started on their career of usefulness
side by side. "Upper Town" and "Lower Town" were almost two distinct places, and in the course
of the next thirty years the latter seemed to become more and more the center of the weaith, and of the business
and social life in Lockport. Since then the process has again been reversed, and to day old Market Street, with
its quaint and stately look, speaks of the past more than the future.
It is eminently fitting in this connection to record the names of those who in each of these parishes labored as
clergymen, and as prominent laymen in their time. The roll of rectors and minister in charge for Christ church
is as follows:
Rev. David Brown, 1881-1833; Rev. Orange Clark, 1834-1836: Rev. Russell Wheeler, 1836-1837: Rev. Ebenezer H. Cressey,
1837-1841; Rev. Origen P. Holcomb, 1841-1843; Rev. Erastus B. Foote, 1843-1845; Rev. Henry Stanley, 1846-1849;
Rev. Orlando F. Starkey, 1849-1855; Rev. Andrew Mackie, 1856-1857; Rev. I. Foote and Rev. E. R. Welles, 1858-1859;
Rev. Martin Moody, 1859-1860; Rev. Albert Lewis, 1661-1863; Rev. James Abercrombie. D. D., 1863-1874: Rev. Frederick
S. Hyde, 1874-1877; Rev. George W. Southwell, 1877-1888; Rev. C. Graham Adams, D. D., 1889-1890; Rev. John H. Perkins,
1890-1894; Rev. William F. Faber, 1894-
The rectors of Grace church have been the following:
Rev. Beardsley Northrup, 1835-1836; Rev. George Denison, 1837-1841; Rev. Lloyd Windsor, 1842-1846; Rev. Charles
H. Platt, 1846-1849; Rev. William A. Matson, D. D., 1860-1866; Rev. Lawrence S Stevens, 1866-1870; Rev. Charles
G. Gilbert, Ph. D., 1870-1875; Rev. Foster Ely, 1875-1885; Rev. Charles W. Camp. 1885-1893; Rev. William F. Faber,
To follow in detail the history of each parish would require more space than is available.
The first wardens of Christ church were Edward W. Raymond and Dr. Josiah K. Skinner; the first vestrymen, Nathan
Dayton, Henry Waibridge, Lot Clark, Seymour Scovell, Edward Bissell, Leverett Bissell, Joel McCollum, and George
Fields. There seems to have been no parish register kept by the first rector. The first recorded marriage is that
of Washington Hunt (afterward governor of New York) and Mary Waibridge, November 20, 1834. Mr. Hunt was confirmed
in 1841, and continued to the last his benefactions and personal devotion to the parish, which his widow, now resident
in New York, still maintains with unabated affection. The first list of communicants, made in 1835, contained thirty-eight
names, among them that of George W. Merchant, since become famous as tile founder of Merchant's Gargling Oil Company.
Mr. Cressey's rectorship of four years is spoken of as one of great prosperity. Tile number of communicants rose
to sixty seven.
A church school for girls was founded, of which Bishop De Lancey spoke with enthusiasm. Prominent men were confirmed.
It was during this rectorship that the diocese had been divided, Rev. William H. De Lancey, D.D., being chosen
at Geneva, November 1, 1838, as first bishop of Western New York
In 1848 a new communicant list was made, which contained only six of tile thirty-eight names of the list of 1835,
the whole number now being seventy. This fact may serve to show the fluctuating character of tile population in
those early days.
The rectorship of Rev. Orlando F. Starkey is noteworthy as being that in which the present church was erected.
Mr. Starkey had felt the need of a new edifice, and during his travels abroad he ' got his mind full of what he
would like." Tile project seemed utterly visionary to the people, but Grace parish was just erecting its handsome
stone church, and so, after some agitation, a committee circulated a subscription, and a building committee consisting
of the rector with Messrs. James Denniston, William Norman, John Bous and John Craine went to work. The result
we know. November 16, 1854, Bishop De Lancey consecrated the beautiful Gotllic church, whose erection excited so
much comment and even ridicule in a generation as yet unaccustomed to churchly architecture. The cost of the building
The period which followed witnessed a retrograde movement, until 1861, when under Revs. A. C. Lewis, James Abercrombie,
D.D, and F. S. Hyde, great numbers were baptized and confirmed, the communicant list in 1877 numbering (in spite
of many removals) iio. Dr. Abercrombie is remembered with grateful affection as the rector of longest incumbency
up to that time, and as the builder of the rectory.
The efficient and faithful pastorate of Rev. G. W. Southwell extended over eleven years. He witnessed the progress
of the decline of Lowertown, and foresaw that the movement of population and of business would continue to be unfavorable
to that part of the city; but he labored on and brought the parish up in many important respects. The last work
he undertook and brought to completion was the building of a parish house in 1888, at a cost of $2,200, of which
$900 was a legacy left by Mrs. Walbridge and $500 a gift by Mrs. Mary H. Hunt.
In November, 1894, the parish being vacant, the vestry asked the rector of Grace church to take charge of the work,
and in the following year elected him rector. June 1, 1896, the Rev. G. Sherman Burrows came as vicar of Christ
church and assistant at Grace church, the two parishes being bound together in this way under one head and deriving,
it is hoped, a greater efficiency and moral strength from such union. At the present time, January, 1897, there
is a list of eighty communiCailts and a Sunday school of about sixty. Tile wardens are Joseph Dumville and John
Hawkes; the vestrymen Joseph Bewley, Martin L. Stevenson, John Drew, Richard Bewley, Hon. Charles Peterson and
Jesse H. Clark. Tile property consisting of church, parish house and rectory, all of stone, is valued at $13,000.
There is no debt.
The first entry on the parish register of Grace church is that of the baptism of Emma Hickox and Caroline Hart
Boughton, children of Mr. and Mrs. George H. Bougilton. The date is June 28, 1832. The burial of tile former of
these two children is entered October 25, 1832.
These entries give conclusive evidence of the existence of the parish, at least in outward organization, for three
years after the first corporation was formed, and within three years of the second and permanent organization.
The first wardens after the reorganization, February 9, 1835, were Edward W. Raymond and John Bagley. The first
vestrymen were Hezekiah Thomas, Lathrop Fellows, Edward I. Chase, Elias Ransom, jr., Alexander Ralston, John S.
Shuler, Stephen B. Bond and George Boughton.
Severe struggles marked those early years. Trinity church, New York, whose benefactions aided so many young parishes
in the State, had given Christ church $1,000 toward its building, but was appealed to in vain for help in erecting
the wooden "Grace church" on Saxton street in 1836. The necessary $4,000 were raised among themselves,
and soon the building had to be enlarged. Again they outgrew it, and now a conference was held between the vestries
of the two parishes as to the feasibility of joining in the erection of a suitable church for both congregations.
That was in 1847. The first overtures came from Christ church. After a full and very friendly interview it appeared
impracticable to unite, the obvious difficulty being a suitable location. So tile question of a parish church for
Upper Town was still pending, and became daily more urgent. The Rev. Charles H. Platt was a man of energy and practical
leadership. His name will be forever honored as that of the rector who built tile present Grace church on a scale
worthy of tile growing parish and city. The enterprise was undertaken in 1852; May 2, 1853, the corner stone was
laid, on the new site, Genesee and Cottage streets; two years, nearly, the church was in building; August 12, 1857,
it was consecrated by Bishop De Lancey, the last indebtedness being paid. It was a great work, and the history
was one of severe struggle, of many discouragements, of genuine heroic faith. Gillet Bacon, George W. Davis, S.
Caverno were the subscription committee; Solomon Parmlee, Daniel A. Van Valkenhurgil, George W. Davis the building
committee. The cost far exceeded the original sum contemplated, $12,500, though we have no means at present of
ascertaining the exact amount. The old church was sold to the German congregation of Roman Catholics, and as "St.
Mary's" continued until 1885, when it was removed to make way for a new brick church. The thirteen years of
Mr. Platt's rectorship were years of intense effort and activity, and of corresponding progress in numbers and
in all other ways.
The next rector, Dr. Matson, inaugurated the movement to secure a rectory, which, under his successor, Rev. L.
S. Stevens, was realized in the purchase of a house on Pine street at a cost of $7,000.
Dr. Gilliat's rectorship is worthy of remembrance, among other things for the beginning of a project long in abeyance.
"the building of a free church or chapel in the southeastern part of the city."
The Rev. Foster Ely, D.D., secured not only large additions to the membership of the parish, but very extensive
repairs and improvements to the church, beautiful and churchly furnishings, without which we of to-day should hardly
recognize the interior of Grace church as the same place. He also founded the "Guild," whose work has
been invaluable from that day to this, through whose hands have passed in twenty years more than $24,000, largely
spent in building improvements, repairs and additions to the church property.
During the rectorship of Rev. C. W. Camp the splendid parish build. ing was erected at a cost of $12,000, and a
fund secured for a fine Hutchings organ, costing some $6,ooo. This necessitated other changes in the chancel; a
large vested choir was introduced, and the entire interior of the church redecorated. The last improvements were
made in the first year of the present rector.
The parish has now some 440 communicants, and a Sunday school of about 260. The wardens are Hon. John E. Pound
and William A. Williams; the vestrymen, Hon. David Millar, C. M. Van Valkenburgh, Francis N. Trevor, A. H. Ivins,
C. G. Sutliff, Francis P. Weaver, Hon.
J. T. Darrison, Wallace I. Keep, Edward H. Boynton. The property is valued at $62,500, which includes the beginning
of an endowment fund.
In May, 1896, a plan was definitely formulated to obtain a chapel for the new and growing southeastern district
of Lockport. The Hon. Ambrose J. Beverly learned about the situation and the project, and unbeknown to his rector
bequeathed to the latter "$1,000 for his missionary work in Lockport." On Mr. Beverly's death, June 24,
1896, the bequest was made known, and was very kindly paid with the utmost promptness, so as to be available for
the erection of the chapel. An additional sum was freely contributed by many churchmen in Grace parish, and numerous
memorial gifts served to furnish the place in a very beautiful and churchly manner. "All Saints' Chapel"
at the corner of Walnut and Vine streets, stood complete All Saints' Day, 1896, and was opened with the services
of the church. Three weeks later a Sunday school was formed, which has now a membership of 135. The congregations
at evening prayer are large. No parish organization is contemplated; All Saints' is simply a "chapel-of-ease,"
primarily to furnish the services to church families living in that district. The property stands valued at $2,400;
there is no debt.
St. Paul's church, Lewiston, N. Y.- Lewiston, after having been served by missionaries of whose work no records
have been kept, received as resident missionary the Rev. J. M. Robertson. He came under the authority of "The
Education and Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New York," on December
11, 1831. The church was formally organized on January 16, 1832. Mr. Robertson resigned August 23, 1832, and on
December 1 1832, the Rev. Robert Davis was appointed. He left in August, 1833. Efforts to erect a building for
worship were made by Messrs. Robertson and Davis, but in vain, a cloud having come over the prospects of the church.
On November 27, 1834, the Rev. Samuel McBurney took charge of Lewiston and Niagara Falls; but the church of Lewiston
had only a nominal existence. Holy Communion was administered for the first time on Christmas Day, 1834, to ten
persons, six only of whom belonged to tile parish.
On Easter Monday, April 21, 1835, tile wardens and vestry were chosen anew, for the first time since the organization
of the parish. July 23, 1835, witnessed the laying of the corner stone of a church by the Rev. Henry J. Whitehouse,
D. D., of Rochester. in April a Sunday school was organized with about thirty scholars.
After the retirement of Mr. McBurney in 1835, the parish was vacant till April, 1836, when the Rev. Rufus Murray
succeeded him. Mr. Murray remained until August, 1845. He was followed on September 5, 1845, by Rev. A. C. Treadway,
who resigned in October, 1832. Rev. L. W. Russ labored from June 26, 1853, to February 26, 1856.
The first comfirmation on record was by Bishop De Lancey on May 6, 1856.
Rev. J. H. Haven became rector of the parish October 13, 1861, and Rev. George W. Knapp, October 1, 1878. Mr. Knapp
retired November 1, 1881. Rev. John S. Seibold labored from 1882 to July, 1886, when he became chaplain in the
U. S. Army, and was sent to Dakota.
DeVeaux College masters supplied the parish till May 5, 1887, when the Rev. E. Stewart-Jones, came from Niagara,
Ontario, Canada, to be rector. Mr. Jones, after a remarkably useful and popular incumbency, died on February 12,
1890. His death was due, no doubt, to exposure while superintending the renewal and remodeling of the church.
At the suggestion. and by the request, of Bishop Coxe, the Rev. James Roy, LL.D., who had been supplying Scottsville,
N. Y., became the incumbent of the parish from May 5, 1890, to August 31, 1891. Dr. Roy, while engaged in educational
work at Le Roy, N. Y., came to Lewiston during September. He was followed in 1891 by the Rev. John Evans, who resided
at Youngstown, on the purchase of a rectory there. Since his time the parish has been supplied by occasional visits
of clergymen, the weakened condition of the Lewiston congregation rendering the support of a rector an impossibility.
A handful of faithful people struggle, amidst almost hopeless discouragemeut, to maintain occasional services in
their beautifully appointed little church of St. Paul's.
St. Luke's, Royalton.- The records of St. Luke's church, Royalton, are of a very meager character. It first appears
as a missionary station under the pastoral care of the missionary at Lockport. It is in the list of one of the
three organized parishes in the diocesan reports of 1839. In 1840 Bishop De Lancey reports an official visit "to
the newly organized congregation of St. Luke's church, Royalton," and holding a service "in the Academy."
In the same year " the Rev. Stephen Douglass (deacon) was received into the diocese, and appointed the missionary
at Medina and Royalton."
The report of the parish to the Convention of the Diocese was made this year (1840) by Rev. Ebenezer A. Cressey,
rector of Christ church, Lockport, under whose care the parish had been, in which he says: " I have given
occasional services to this parish during the year. Divine service has been maintained by lay reading on the mornings
of each Sunday, to which I have been able generally to add the evening service, and a sermon. One infant baptism.
The communion administered once, at which there were present fifteen communicants."
On the i4th of May, 1841, Bishop De Lancey made his second official visit to this parish, preached in the academy,
and confirmed five persons. The bishop adds, in his report to the Convention: "On this day was used a form
of prayer, prescribed by me under authority of the Canon, as suitable to the day set apart by recommendation of
the civil authority as a day of humiliation and prayer, in reference to the death of the late William Henry Harrison,
president of the United States, the deep gloom of which event was relieved by its proving an occasion for calling
forth the religious sensibility of the nation, and revealing to many despondnnt minds how powcrful still is the
great under current of religion throughout our land, notwithstanding the surface of society is polluted by so much
that is calculated to alarm and dishearten the faith and piety of the Christian."
In the following year, 1841, the parish is reported as vacant. At the Convention of the Diocese held in St. Paul's
church, Syracuse, Henry Hill is present as a deputy and presents the report of the parish, by the warden: "
Services have been held twice on each Sunday in the academy, which have been regularly attended; communicants,
nineteen; Bible class and Sunday school organized." On the ioth of July, 1843, Bishop De Lancey again visited
this parish and officiated in the academy.
The next parochial report is in March, 1844, by the Rev. Philemon E. Coe, missionary at Medina and Royalton. He
reports: Twelve families, sixty individuals, fifteen communicants, twenty-five services on Sundays, one marriage.
On the 8th of May, 1845, Bishop De Lancey preached in the Methodist chapel and confirmed three persons. In 1846
the missionary, the Rev. T. E. Coe, reports ten families, fifty individuals, fifteen communicants, eighteen services
on Sundays, one burial. In the following year a less encouraging report is made by the same missionary. In 1848
Chauncy H. Whitney was present at the Convention of the Diocese as a deputy from this parish. In this year the
bishop again visited Royalton and officiated in the M. E. chapel, and again on the 9th of July, 1849, and on the
17th of May, 1850. The last record of an Episcopal visitation to this parish was May 30, 1854, by Bishop De Lancey.
after which no reports of this parish appear in the diocesan journal. The parish, after a hard struggle for life,
having lost much by removals of its members, in the year following gave up its charter and ceased to exist.
St. Peter's Church Niagara Falls.- From an early date, up to 1840 and afterwards, the original settlement at the
Falls was known as Manchester. Occasional services of the Episcopal church were held here as early as 1823 by the
Rev. Mr. Hopkins, and by the Rev. Mr. Bennet in 1828.
As early as 1829 a union meeting house was built at the Falls, in which church services might be held from time
to time, in proportion to the number of Episcopalians contributing to the erection of the building. In this house
Bishop Hobart, third bishop of New York, once held service, and there is yet preserved a Bible and prayer book
which he presented to this first congregation.
Of the original members of this parish, Samuel De Veaux and his wife Sarah were confirmed in Trinity church, New
York city, April, 1829, by the Rt. Rev. John Henry Hobart, D. D., bishop of New York.
The first class confirmed at the Falls was by the Rt. Rev. Benjamin T. Onderdonk, S. T. D., who was consecrated
the fourth bishop of New York November 26, 1830, Bishop Hobart having died September to, 1830. This class consisted
of Mrs. Sally Woodruff, Mr. William G. Tuttle, Mary A. Tuttle, Abel M. Swallow, Christiance Hooker, Mary Merry,
Christiance Hooker, second, Rachel Hooker. In January, 1829, the congregation of church people was organized under
the legal title of " The Parish of Christ Church, Niagara Falls, N. Y.," and the following officers were
elected: Wardens, Messrs. Samuel De Veaux and Samuel Hooker; vestrymen, Messrs. Gad Pierce, Ambrose Thomas, Stephen
Chapman, Lorin Gerington, William G. Tuttle, John Smith, Abel M. Swallow, Thomas Chapin.
The population of the Falls fluctuated so much that at the end of 1835, it is said, only one church family (Judge
Samuel De Veaux) remained, and for five years after that date no church services were held.
Occasional services were held 183 1-2 by the Rev. Dr. Shelton while rector of St. Paul's church, Buffalo; in 1832,
by the Rev. Mr. Robinson, minister in charge at Lewiston; 1833-4 by the Rev. Mr. Davis, minister in charge at Lewiston;
1835-40 by the Rev. Mr. McBurney, rector of Lewiston. For a short time in the early part of 1840 "Manchester
(Niagara Falls) is served by the Rev. Rufus Murray of Lewiston," and later in the same year the Rev. George
S. Porter became the "missionary at the new station of Niagara Falls and Tonawanda."
On Sunday morning, October 4, 1840, Bishop De Lancey made his first visitation of this mission and officiated in
the " Union Meeting House," and again on the i8th of May, 1841, the bishop was present, baptized the
infant child of the missionary, the Rev. George S. Porter, preached, and confirmed two persons.
The first report of this mission was made at the Diocesan Convention of 1841 by the missionary, the Rev. George
S Porter, in which he reports nine communicants, three marriages, two burials, public services fifty-seven, and
records his obligations for two dozen prayer books from the Rev. Dr. Shelton, rector of St. Paul's church, Buffalo,
N. Y. January 1, 1842, the parish is reported vacant.
On the 25th of July, 1843, Bishop De Lancey visited the mission, and preached in the Presbyterian house. In 1845
the Rev. A. C. Treadway, missionary at Lewiston and Niagara Falls. reports to Convention, holding a service at
Niagara Falls at 4 o'clock every Sunday afternoon; communicants fifteen, increasing congregations; the prospects
of soon having a house of worship of "our own ;" generous subscriptions by several gentlemen and the
gift of two lots on First street near Falls street, one for a church, the other for a rectory, with a substantial
subscription therefor by " a young lady," viz.: Miss Elizabeth Porter.
The following year (1846) Bishop Dc Lancey gave his canonical consent to the organization of a parish at Niagara
Falls, and the Rev. Mr. Treadway reports to Convention for that year, he having continued holding afternoon services
at the Falls, as having organized a church there by the title of St. Peter's, and the contracting for the erection
of a church building.
Judge Samuel De Veaux, Mr. Telyea and others exerted themselves in securing subscriptions and furthering on the
work. Bishop William H. DeLancey, D. D., LL. D., D. C. L. (the first bishop of Western New York), having decided
that the old organization of "Christ church" was now null and void, measures were taken for a new organization,
which were perfected on the 28th day of December, 1846, in the legal title of "The Rector, Church Wardens
and Vestrymen of St. Peter's church, in the Village of Niagara Falls, in the County of Niagara and the State of
New York." The officers then elected were: Wardens, Messrs. Samuel De Veaux and George W. Holley, Vestrymen,
Messrs. Christopher H. Smith, Michael Walsh, John Telyea, Abel M. Swallow, Hollis White, Cyrus F. Smith, Walter
E. Hulett, Richard H. Woodruff. The church building was vigorously urged forward, so that the first service in
the new St. Peter's church was held July 16, 1848, and at the time of Bishop De Lancey's visitation. The building
was not entirely completed till March 4, 1849, when it was formally opened for divine service. The parish was at
this time under the care of the Rev. Sylvanus Reed, deacon, who remained six months, having previonsly engaged
to go to "The Church of the Holy Innocent," Albany, when it should be completed. He was succeeded by
the Rev. Edmund Roberts, deacon, June 15, 1850, who remained two years. Next in succession was the Rev. Joseph
M. Clark, deacon, who took charge of the parish August 8, 1852, and who was ordained priest the following year.
The consecration of St. Peter's church took place May 3, 1853, by the Rt. Rev. William H. De Lancey, D.D., LL.D.,
D. C. L., bishop of Western New York. The Rt. Rev, the bishop of Toronto (Strachan) preached the consecration sermon.
After a very useful pastorate the Rev. J. M. Clark resigned as rector August 1, 1858. He was succeeded March
20. 1859, by the Rev. W. 0. Jarvis, who held the rectorship until February 22, 1863. The Rev. 0. F. Starkey having
been elected to the vacant rectorship, entered upon his duties June 1, 1863. His work was of a most excellent and
substantial character and lasted till his resignation December 1, 1869. During his rectorship, and through his
efforts, the brick building adjoining St. Peter's church was purchased to be used as a school for young ladies.
It was given the title, "The Jerauld Institute." The Rev. M, A. Johnson succeeded as rector February
23. 1870. In 1871 the project of a new site and new church was commenced. In 1872 a building committee was appointed
consisting of the rector and the Messrs. D. J. Townsend, D. R. Jerauld and S. M. N. Whitney. Mr. Henry Dudley of
New York was chosen architect, and the new site, corner Second and Union streets, was purchased, and on September
16, 1872, ground was broken for the new foundation by the rector in the name of the Triune God. On Ascension Day,
May 22, 1873, the corner stone of the new church was laid by the Rt. Rev. A. Cleveland Coxe, D.D., LL.D., bishop
of Western New York, assisted by the rector and a number of visiting clergy. The topmost cross of the tower was
set in its place by the rector in the name of the Undivided Trinity, July 15, 1874. Externally the building was
complete, but for financial reasons the interior remained unfinished. But finally having completed everything,
and every debt paid, the first service in the new and imposing building was the service of consecration held All
Saint's Day, November 1, 1880. The Rev. M. A. Johnson resigned his rectorship November 1, 1874, and was succeeded
November 29, 1874, by the Rev. Edward Ingersol, D. D., late rector of Trinity church, Buffalo. He continued in
charge until March I, 1878. On the same date the Rev. Stephen H. Battin, by appointment of the bishop, became rector,
which office he resigned May 1, 1880. August 22, 1880, the Rev. Robert B. Wolsely entered in charge of the parish.
During his term of office the last service, November 1, 1880, was held in the old church, and the new church consecrated
the same day. By his earnest efforts a vested choir was introduced, and in the fall of 1881 a choral festival of
united vested choirs was held in St. Peter's church. His health failing him, he was compelled to resign as rector
September 10, 1882. The present rector, the Rev. George Frederick Rosenmuller, formerly rector of Sayre, Pa., entered
upon his duties All Saint's Day, November 1, 1882. The parish is in possession of an elegant and valuable property,
consisting of church, chapel and rectory, representing $70,000. 'Within recent years a fund for the erection of
a parish guild house, and an endowment fund for parish purposes have been started. This latter fund is in charge
of three trustees, one of which is elected annually by the congregation. The list of actual communicants now numbers
270. The officers of the corporation are from among the leading men of the city. They are, beside the rector Messrs.
S. M. N. Whitney and L. W. Pettebone as wardens. The vestrymen are the Messrs. John S. Macklin, W. Caryl Ely, Peter
A. Porter, Joseph Sturdy, W. A. Brackenridge, Richard F. Rankine, F. L. Lovelace, H. Neilson. The congregation
is one of the largest in the city, and is a prominent factor in every good work for the general good.
February 9, 1896, Rev. George F. Rosenmuller, the rector of St. Peter's church, Niagara Falls, began holding services
at Echota every Sunday afternoon, which, with the intermission of the summer months, has been maintained. From
the above date to July 19, 1896, these services were held at the home of Mr. Lafferty, No. 8, A street, and from
December 4, 1896, they have been regularly held each Saturday afternoon in the Town HalL A Sunday school, started
the latter part of 1895, by Mrs. Allen and her daughter, Miss Maud, in their own house, but since December 4, 1896,
held in the Town Hall, has been continued without intermission from its beginning with most encouraging results.
St. Mark's Church, Tonawanda.- The first report of church services according to the Episcopal ritual, in Tonawanda,
are made by Bishop Delancy, 1840 in his annual address to the Convention of his Diocese (Western New York), in
which he names the Rev. George S. Porter, teacher of a private school in Buffalo, as having been appointed "missionary
at the new station of Niagara Falls and Tonawanda, Niagara County." To that same Convention the missionary,
the Rev. George S. Porter, reports having commenced his work there in June, 1840. He says, "Never before my
going there had they been visited by a clergyman of the church. Population estimated at 500 or 600. No denomination
is organized but the Methodists, and that but lately, and they only hold public worship once in two weeks. Communicants
five, baptisms two. My services seem acceptable considering the times in which we live."
May 19, 1841, Bishop De Lancey made his first official visit to Tonawanda, preached, and confirmed one person.
The missionary, the Rev. George S. Porter, reports to the convention of 1841 having held services there every other
Sunday. At the end of this year, the Rev. Mr. Porter having resigned his charge, no services appear to have been
held at Tonawanda till 1851 when the Rev. Joseph M. Clark, rector of St. Peter's church, Niagara Falls, reports
having provided services for Tonawanda, and to the next Convention of the Diocese (1852), he reports having held
twenty-six services at Tonawanda, baptized three adults and six infants, presented six for confirmation, and administered
the Holy Communion once to eight persons. Through the following year (1853), regular services were continued by
the Rev. Mr. Clark, who reports ten communicants. For the year 1854 he reports having held but few services at
Tonawanda, where "the strength of the church is much diminished by removals." Thereafter the same clergyman
reports occasional services held by him at Tonawanda up to the time of his resignation of St. Peter's, Niagara
Falls, August 1, 1857.
From the above date, last named, services were suspended until September 26, i868, when the Rev. George Pennell,
A. M., rector of St. James's church, Buffalo, renewed the services of the Episcopal church, in the M. E. church
of North Tonawanda. During the three months succeeding, thirteen services were held in the same place by the same
clergyman, chiefly on Sunday afternoons, at other times on Friday evenings.
At the end of this period it was resolved by a number of those regularly attending the services to secure the exclusive
use of a Suitable building in which to hold the services of the church, organize a parish and obtain a resident
minister. Accordingly Washington Hall was rented, the Rev. Fred. W. Raikes (deacon) was called as assistant to
Rev. Mr. Pennell, beginning his pastoral labors January 18, 1869, and on Wednesday, the 17th of February following,
the male members of the congregation met in said hail and organized themselves as a parish to be known in law as
"The Rector, Church Wardens and Vestrymen of St. Mark's Church, Tonawanda, Erie County, N. Y." The certificate
of corporation was duly signed and the following day registered in Buffalo. The names of those who were elected
wardens were George W. Sherman and Col. Louis S. Payne. The names of the yestrymen were Calvert G. Lane, Garwood
L. Judd, Decimus R. Burrowes, William H. Vickers and James Sweeney. The Rev. Mr. Pennell resigned as rector September
1. of the same year, and the Rev. Mr. Raikes was appointed minister in charge. The only members of the first vestry
living and residents are Col. L. S. Payne and Hon. G.
L. Judd; Mr. James Sweeney now resides in Buffalo and is a member of the vestry of St. Paul's church.
The Rev. Mr. Raikes resigned the charge of the parish April 25, I 870. His successor, the Rev. Albert Wood, entered
upon his duties as rector the following January, and continued in that relation to April, 1875. On the following
October the Rev. Henry A. Duboc (deacon) was called to take pastoral charge and served in that capacity to May,
1883, at the same time conducting a school for girls Mr. Duboc was succeeded the following July by the Rev. J.
H. Barnard, who served as rector till January, 1892. On March i following the Rev. Evan H. Martin, the present
rector. commenced his labors.
The edifice in which the services of the church have been held since February, 187', is situated on the corner
of Tremont and Marion streets, North Tonawanda, the lot having been donated by George W. Sherman, warden, on condition
that the name of the church be St. Mark's, and remain unchanged. It was built at a cost of about $2,500. The lot
also contained a dwelling house which was purchased for a rectory, but has not been used for that purpose by either
of the last two rectors. In 1893 the small chancel of the church was removed and a large chancel 24 by 32 erected
in its place, handsomely furnished with oak; altar, and choir stalls for a vested choir of thirty-six voices. At
the same time a two- story guild house was constructed on the same lot adjointng the new vestry room, and a robing
room for the choir erected at the northwest corner of the church, the whole at a cost of $3,000.
Since the organization of the parish there have been baptized 372 infants and adults, and there have been 276 confirmations.
There are at the present time about 175 communicants. No permanent missionary work has been carried on by the church.
Though the church was originally incorporated in Erie county, it was last April incorporated in Niagara county,
when the new diocesan canon regulating the date and manner of election of wardens and vestrymen, was adopted by
St. John's Church, Youngstown.-In the early days church people of this vicinity depended upon St. Paul's church,
Lewiston, for public worship. The first service here (1838) was conducted by the Rev. Mr. Murray, then rector of
Lewiston, in the old school house. He held other services occasionally for some years following.
From the year 1861 down to 1867 there was public worship with more or less regularity, the following clergymen
Revs. G. M. Haven, R. 0. Page, Treadway and Russ, all of whom were rectors at Lewiston. These services were held
in the " brick church" originally built as a union meeting house.
On the second Sunday in February, 1867, there began a regular fortnightly service in the above place holden in
the afternoon, the Methodist Episcopal society occupying the building in the morning.
The officiating clergyman was Rev. G. M. Skinner, rector of St. Paul's church, Lewiston. The Rt. Rev. A. Cleveland
Coxe, D.D., LL.D., bishop of the diocese, visited this mission in i866, confirming three persons, and also in 1867
confirming four persons.
A meeting of persons interested in the church assembled in the brick church according to call on April 27, i868,
for the purpose of organizing a parish. The canonical notice had been read on the two preceding Sundays. Wardens
and vestrymen were elected as follows: Benjamin M. Root,John Carter,wardens; Charles M. Pyne, S. Parke Baker, Lewis
Leffman, James S. Lawrence, Francis 0. Dee, Thomas Balmer, William Mendham, Robert Patterson. The name of St. John
was chosen as the name of the parish, and the Rev. G. M. Skinner, then a missionary in these parts, was elected
rector. In the following June the public worship became weekly, and on August 9, the Holy Communion was administered
for the first time, seventeen persons receiving. The rector continued his services for about the space of three
years. It was evident that Youngstown alone could not afford a proper support for a clergyman. Upon his resignation
the paiish decayed and for seven years nearly no public worship was maintained.
With a view to reorganization a meeting assembled July 27, 1878. Those present were former members and others interested
in maintaining regular services. The only member of the former vestry in attendance was S. Park Barker, and he
was made chairman. it is to be noted that active influence for the renewal of church life came from the garrison
at Fort Niagara. Upon the commissioned and non-commissioned officers of the post and their families the parish
relied largely for support and personal service in carrying on the work, and this service has been rendered effectively
by some of the various garrisons from that day to the present. Gen. G. A. De Russy, Lieut. Edward Davis and Ord.
Sergt. Lewis Leffman were chiefly instrumental in reviving the parish at this time.
A new vestry was elected Easter Monday, April 22, 1878, and the next day a lot upon which to build a church was
deeded to the trust fund of the diocese. The donors were Mr. arid Mrs. Leffman. A building committee was appointed
immediately in the persons of Lieutenant Davis, Thomas Brighton and William Ripson. The corner stone was laid May
16, 1878, by Bishop Coxe, assisted by a number of the clergy. On September 28, the church was consecrated by the
same bishop. Other clergy present were Archdeacon McMurray, of Niagara-on-the-Lake; Dr. Spalding, Connecticut;
Dr. Ingersoll, Van Dyck, Henderson, Knapp, Buffalo; Patterson and Payne, De Veaux College; Batten, Niagara Falls;
Raikes, Suspension Bridge.
October 2 the vestry, in conjunction with the Lewiston vestry, called G. W. Knapp, of Buffalo, to the joint rectorship.
He was in charge for three years. Rev. J. S. Seibold succeeded him in March, 1882, and remained until July, 1886.
The rectorship was vacant till the next May, there being occasional services. May 1, 1887, Rev. E. Stewart Jones
accepted the charge of the parishes, coming from Niagara, Ont. He died in February, 1890 The Rev. James Roy, LL.D.,
became rector April 14, being chosen for one year, but continued till August 31, 1891.
All rectors heretofore had residence in Lewiston. Dr. Roy was the last joint rector. St. John's vestry having purchased
a house for a rectory after his resignation. The Rev. John Evans, the next rector, November, 1891, resided in Youngstown
and officiated occasionally for the Lewiston parish. He resigned October 31, 1895. The Rev. E. J. Babcock became
rector November 4, 1895, and. is the present incumbent.
The church is built of wood, has a seating capacity of 196, with a very neat and pretty interior finished in natural
wood. The plans were furnished by Upjohn, the celebrated architect of New York. There are three memorial windows
in the apse of chancel. Beside these are handsome memorials in polished brass, viz., altar, cross and vases, chancel
rail, angel lecturn, and a mural tablet in the nave to Rev. Mr. Jones.
Church of the Epiphany, Niagara Falls.- In 1857 the building of the Suspension Bridge having brought a number of
families to what was then known as Niagara City, but later, Suspension Bridge, they held cottage services conducted
by lay readers or some one of the clergyrnen of De Veaux College, that institution having been opened in May of
that year. Their numbers increasing, they held services for a time in what had been the book store of Mr. George
Hackstaff on Main street, but what is now occupied as a grocery by Mr. Thomas Hannan. That room also proving inadequate,
Colt's Hall was rented at the rate of fifty dollars a year.
In the fall of 1857, the Rev. Isreal Foote, D. D., then a professor in De Veaux College, took charge of the services
and the congregation was incorporated in accordance with the canons of the church and the laws of the State, with
the sanction and approval of the bishop of the Diocese, the Rt. Rev. William Heathcote De Lancey, D. D., LL. D.,
On tile 6th of January, 1858, a meeting was called for the purpose of electing two wardens and eight vestrymen,
with the following results: Wardens, J. H. Cramp, Anthony W. Hecker; vestrymen, J. W. Dunklee, Rodney Durkee, A.
D Lampkins. R. B. Monroe, R. D. Cook, H. S. Stewart, D. H. Thomas and G. P. Heap. Dr. Foote presided at this meeting.
The congregation from the season of its organization was to be known as the Church of the Epiphany. Not one of
the officers of the church elected at that time is now living.
The parish being unable to pay a stated salary to a clergyman, tile Rev. Dr. Foote and Rev. E. R. Welles, deacon,
and tutor at De Veaux College, offered their services, receiving for their labors whatever the congregation might
be able to raise. The services were continued in Colt's Hail for one year, when the vestry engaged the Congregational
place of worship for one.half day every second Sunday for three months. This time having expired, the same place
was engaged for six months more, for one-half day service each Sunday, and the use of the Sunday school room. The
Sunday school numbered at this time about fifty scholars. Dr. Foote and Mr. \Veiles both resigned their positions
in De Veaux in 1858. The last named clergyman afterwards became bishop of Wisconsin in 1874, and died in 1888.
The services were subsequently conducted at different times by the Rev. Mr. Stevens, Rev. Dr. Van Rensselaer and
other clergymen from De Veaux College. The Rev. Henry F. Nye, deacon and teacher at De Veaux was called to the
rectorship of the parish at Easter, 1862. He officiated in the house of worship on Niagara street, corner of Tenth,
owned by the Presbyterians, who had built a new church at the Falls. The Rev. Mr. Nye remained for nearly a year,
when he removed to Canada. The services were then held every Sunday afternoon by the Rev. Dr. Van Rensselaer until
November, 1864, when the Rev. W. W. Walsh became rector of the parish. January 24, 1864, Bishop Coxe confirmed
the first class of the Church of the Epiphany. It numbered sixteen persons.
In this same year a subscription list was started to build a new church.
Two lots were given for that purpose on the corner of Lockport street and what is now Main street. One of these
lots was given by James and Henry W. Ford, of Albany, N. Y., and the other by Mrs. Marietta Wallace. The rubble
stone for the building was given by Mr. Jacob Vogt. The excavating was begun on July 12. On August 8 the Rt. Rev.
A. C. Coxe, D. D., LU D., attended by seventeen of the clergy, laid the corner stone of the Church of the Epiphany.
At the ceremony a new service arranged by the bishop was used for the first time, and this was also the first corner
stone laid by the bishop. This beautiful stone edifice, of early English architecture, was completed by tile 19th
of December, 1866, a few days less than nine years from the founding of the parish. Tile opening services were
held December 30, 1866, the first Sunday after Christmas, the bishop officiating, assisted by the rector, the Rev.
Dr. Van Rensselaer and Rev. F. R. Winne, of De Veaux. Seven persons were confirmed at this service. The following
gifts were presented to the new church: The bishop's chair, by the Rev. Dr. Van Rensselaer; the font, by Col. Charles
B. Stuart, of Geneva, N. Y.; the pulpit, by Messrs. H. J. and G. W. Walsh; the credence-table, by the Rev. George
Worthington. On June 29, 1868, St. Peter's Day, the church being free from debt, tile bishop of the Diocese consecrated
the building to its sacred purpose. On March 29, 1869, Easter Monday, the Rev. W. W. Walsh resigned the rectorship
of the parish after a faithful service of over four years.
The Rev. G. W. Knapp became rector on July 18, 1869, remaining until December 5, 1872. During his term of service
the small pipe organ still in use was placed in the church. Tile "Prince" melodeon that it replaced was
purchased at this time, and is still owned by Joseph H. Willis, junior warden of the church. The Rev. G. H. Patterson,
Rev. James Van Voast and Rev. W. Van Gantzhorne, all of De Veaux, served the parish until June 12, 1873, when the
Rev. Walter North, deacon, of De Veaux, was assigned to that duty by tile bishop. He became rector and remained
until May 15, 1875. During his administration a drain was laid, a new furnace put in and altar cloths presented.
A month from his resignation, the Rev. Gabriel A. Mueller, deacon, of De Veaux, became minister-in-charge, remaining
till January, 1877. For three months the church was again dependent for services upon the clergy from De Veaux,
Rev. Messrs. Long, of Rochester, and Moore of Middleport. Tn April the Rev. F. W. Raikes, of Honeoye Falls, became
rector, resigning July 26, 1880. He was succeeded by Rev. James Stoddard, who remained about two years. The Rev.
Sidney Wilbur then became rector for about three years. His successor in 1886 was Rev. H. S. Huntington, who resigned
in June, 1892, after six years of hard and faithful duty.
The church was then closed for six months to undergo much needed repairs. A bequest of $2,000 having been left
to the church by the late Mrs. Eliza Griffin, it was deemed best to use this fund toward the erection of a guild
house. The building was finished and opened in 7892, and proves to be most useful in carrying on the work of the
church. In 1886 Mrs. Griffin built the tower, and gave the bell as a memorial to her sister. Mrs. Lucia Roebling.
Mrs. Griffin also placed the fence around the church property and gave the communion service, besides being a generous
supporter of all the interests of the parish. Mention also must be made of two other devoted workers and generous
givers, Mrs. Marietta Wallace and Mrs. Priscilla Buttery, " whose works do follow them." The beautiful
alms basin now in use was given as a memorial of their parents by tile daughters of Mrs. Buttery.
The illuminated texts in the chancel were given by Mrs. H. E. Woodford, as a memorial to their father, Mr. Hoffman.
The oak chair in the chancel was presented at Easter, 1895, by the King's Daughters.
The past year a beautiful rectory has been built next the church on land purchased by means of a legacy of $500,
left by the late Thomas Vedder.
The parish has a most efficient Woman's Guild, a branch of the Woman's Auxiliary, a branch of the King's Daughters,
a Society of Willing Workers, composed of. little girls, a Junior Auxiliary, and a Chapter of the Brotherhood of
St. Andrew. The church membership now numbers 719. The Sunday school numbers about 150.
The present rector, Rev. James Roy, LL. D., entered upon his duties on February 1, 1893.
Trinity Church, Middleport, N. Y.- The services of the Episcopal church were first introduced into the village
of Middleport in 7864 by Rev. W. A. Watson, D.D., and Rev. J. Ahercrombie, D.D., both of Lockport, and the Rev.
R. D. Stearns of Medina, N. Y., who officiated alternately on Sunday evenings during summer and autumn of that
year. Some of the leading citizens became interested, and the services of the Rev. G. W. Southwell, the then rector
of Christ church, Albion, were engaged by Messrs. A. S. De Lano, and W. H. Comes. Rev. Mr. Southwell began permanent
work January 1, 1865. At that time there were but two communicants in the village, Mrs. W. H. Comes and Mrs. George
Sage. The first baptism was that of Mrs. A. S. De Lano I)ecember 4, 1864, by Rev. J. Abercrombie. Tile first confirmation
was held by the Rt. Rev. A. C. Coxe, D.D., LL. D., the newly consecrated bishop-coadjutor of this Diocese. January
20, 1865, when Mrs. A. S. De Lano, Mrs. E. B. De Lano, and Mrs. C. B. Lane were confirmed. Thirteen more persons
were confirmed during the year. In January, i866, there were eighteen communicants.
August 1, 1866, the parish was organized under the name of "Trinity Church," when A. S. De Lano and C.
R. Blakslee were elected wardens, and James Lobbett. J. Cornes, A. F. Pierce, J. Biddick, H. Pierce, W. S. Fenn,
E. H. Wood worth, and F. B. De Lano were elected vestrymen. For four years the services had been held in the Presbytetian
house of worship, but in the year 1868 they decided to re establish their services and retain the use of their
church exclusively to themselves. The last service was held there December 27, 1868. The members under the able
leadership of the Rev. G. W. Southwell immediately began planning to procure a building of their own. Plans were
procured from H. Dudley, of New York, and on May 31, 1869, the corner stone was laid by Bishop Coxe. The lot was
the gift of Mrs. A. S. De Lano, wife of the senior warden. The church was completed in 1873 at a cost of $9,600,
built of brick with stone trimmings, gothic in architecture, with a seating capacity of 250.
November 18, 1866, the Rev. Mr. Southwell held a service in the afternoon at Hartland Corners in the Methodist
church, and December 23, 1866, at Johnson's Creek, in the Baptist house of worship. This was the beginning of a
mission station at that place. A hail was procured in a brick building owned by Gordon Rowe, and services held
for the first time in the afternoon of January 27, 1867. The first baptisms were Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Denel, October
73, 1867. Bishop Coxe held the first confirmation April 14, 1868. In 1868 the work seemed encouraging and a parish
was organized June 16, by the name of St. James's church, Hartland, with C. F. Paul and Alfred Denel, wardens,
and George Crouse, Jesse Gladding, E. O. Seaman, and W. C. Butterfield as vestrymen. In June, 1870, an effort was
made to buy a lot and build a church, but money not coming to hand, the plan was abandoned. Many of the families
moved away, and in the winter of 1870, Rev. Mr. Southwell, because of ill health, was unable to continue services.
In 1873 Mr. Southwell resigned the rectorship of Trinity church, Middleport. Tile Rev. J. H. Dennis succeeded him,
when occasional services were renewed at Hartland Corners. Rev. Mr. Dennis resigned in September, 1874. The Rev.
A. Wood became rector February, 1875, remaining two years. Rev. Mr. Southwell again assumed the rectorship in 7877,
in connection with his work at Christ church, Lockport, and by him occasional services were held at Hartland. April
1, 1881, Mr. Southwell resigned the rectorship, and in the same year Mr.
F. E. Easterbrooks was appointed lay-reader for the parish, March 4, 1882. Mr. Easterbrooks was ordained deacon
in the parish church, and on April 25, 1882, St. Mark's Day, the church was consecrated by Bishop Coxe. Rev. Mr.
Easterbrooks resigned June 16, 1883. He was succeeded by tile Rev. Nobel Palmer.
January 14, 1884, a terrible calimity befell the parish in tile destruction of the church by fire There was but
a small insurance on the building and its contents, but the small vet devoted band of churchpeople, nothing daunted,
went immediately to work, and raised funds for a new building, which was erected and formally opened by Bishop
Coxe, November 14, 1884. The Rev. Nobel Palmer resigned the rectorship June 1, 1888. March 30, 1889, the Rev. G.
W. S. Ayres occupied tile rectorship and began his duties the first Sunday in May. During his rectorship services
were renewed at Hartland Corners, T. W. Atwood serving as lay reader. For a few years this mission again flourished,
in 1892 numbering twenty-five communicants. Rev Mr. Ayres resigned the parish October 20, 1893, from which date
there ekisted a vacancy till July 1, 1894, when the Rev. H. S. Gatley occupied the rectorship. During this time
Mr. W. Sterritt, senior warden, as layreader, conducted the morning service each Sunday, and in the afternoon at
In 1896 the parish was in excellent condition, having a communicant list of seventy-two and forty-five families.
A vested choir of fifteen young girls, under tile leadership of Dr. H. A. Wilmot and wife, has added greatly to
the services. The parish has a good theological library, presented by the founder of the parish, the Rev. G. W.
Southwell. The foundations which Mr. Southwell laid in the early days of the parish are now bearing fruit. The
parish is on a sound financial basis. It has a flourishing Sunday school of sixty children. Tile present rector
is the Rev. H. S. Gatley, A. M. The wardens are Messrs. W. J. Sterritt, and G. W. Eddy; the vestrymen : Messrs.
Robert Pearce, T. W. Jackson, H. A. Wilmot, M. D., Samuel Blaxall, F. A. Coon.
No mention is made in this account of the Episcopal church in Niagara county of occasional services held at odd
times in some of the smaller settlements of this county, nor of those maintained at De Veaux College, from its
foundation to the present time, inasmuch, as such account will more properly appear in connection with the history
of that institution.
Part 1 - General History
Part 3 - Lockport home for the Friendless, Schools, Gas Lighting, Mills, Supervisors
of the City of Lockport.