History of Madrid, NY


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THIS was the third town erected by an act of the Legislature passed March 3, 1802. It embraced the original township No. 4, lying on the St. Lawrence; also was to hold jurisdiction over the territory (Potsdam) lying in the rear.

The first town meeting, according to tradition, was held in the open air, about the 1st of April, near the village of Madrid, the presiding officer seated on a pine stump, when the following persons were elected: Joseph Edsall, supervisor; Jacob Redington, clerk; Cyrus Abernethy, Reuben Field, Alex. Brush, Henry Erwin, assessors; Henry Erwin, constable and collector; Jonathan Tuttle, Solomon Linsley, overseers of the poor; John Sharp, Isaac Bartholomew, Ephraim S. Raymond, commissioners of highways; Asa Freeman, Jonathan Allen, Cyrus Abernethy, fence viewers; Edward Lawrence, pound-keeper; Jonathan Allen, Alexander Brush, Thomas Rutherford, Oliver Linsley, Solomon Linsley, overseers of highways. The town was formerly bounded, northerly by the River St. Lawrence, westerly by the town of Lisbon, southerly by the township of Potsdam, and easterly by the township of Louisville. The surface of the town is comparatively level, or sufficiently rolling to ensure drainage. The town is watered by the St. Lawrence, numerous brooks, springs, and Grass River, which flows diagonally across the southerly part of the town, on which are falls at the village of Madrid sufficient to afford a fair power for manufacturing purposes. The soil on the low lands is loam, with more or less gravel or sand on the higher parts. The forest growth of timber was good, such as pine, hemlock, maple, beech and birch on the high lands, white oak on the marl slopes, and black ash, cedar and pine on the low grounds. The only valuable mineral thus far discovered is bog iron ore, which was found in small quantities on Grass River, about two miles below Madrid village. It was used in the forge or furnace at Waddington in 1835, for a few years only, which produced good cast iron.

The first permanent settlement within the boundaries of the present town of Madrid (it having been divided in 1859,
see history of Waddington) was made in 1801 by Silas Abernethy, who took up his home on the west side of the Grass River, about two miles below the site of Madrid village. His brother, Ezekiel, came with him and made his home on the site of the present village. The descendants of these pioneers subsequently became prominent citizens. Solomon Lindsley also settled on the site of the village in 1801 and Ephraim S. Raymond in the Abernethy neighborhood. Jesse Goss located at the site of the village at about the same time.

Judge Joseph Edsall was the agent for the sale of lands of David A. and Thomas L. Ogden in this town, and the land was sold at the first from two to three dollars an acre.

The effect of Mr. Ford's advertising the advantages to be obtained by settlers coming to St. Lawrence county raised the cry in the Green Mountain State: "Westward Ho!" when many of Vermont's bravest sons and loveliest daughters were induced to break away from the ties of old associates that they might make for themselves homes in a far less rugged land. St. Lawrence county, but more especially Madrid, was largely settled at first by Vermonters. Among the first to emigrate was Samuel Allen, who, with his wife and little son, George R., also his father Joseph, cousin to Ethan Allen of Revolutionary fame, in company with Joseph Newton, Daniel Akin, William Powers, William Lockwood, John Speers, Daniel Myres, Samuel Lytle, John Akin, William Sprowles, John Farewell, Joseph Powers, and with their families, started out with ox teams and sleds. Their route lay down Lake Champlain, thence to the St. Lawrence, where they crossed to the north side, thence up along the river and recrossed the St. Lawrence near the site of the Red Mills in Lisbon, arriving in the last days of February, 1797. Here the families soon became scattered through the northern parts of the townships. Samuel Allen, however, located below the Red Mills, and in 1801 sold out his improvements and moved to Madrid, where he settled on a piece of land between Buck's Bridge and Columbia village. The place at the time was occupied by Asa Lord and Mr. Hepburn. In 1810 Mr. Allen sold out and took up a piece of wood land six miles east of Columbia village, where he lived and died at the ripe age of ninety years. His son, George B. Allen, when a lad of eighteen years, enlisted in the war of 1812, under a call for troops to protect the frontier. He was enrolled at Madrid by John Blanchard on July 15, 1812, into a company under the command of Captain Castle, with headquarters at Waddington. He was in the brush with the British at the Red Mills, the details of which will be found in the history of Lisbon. The company was known as the "Floodwood," that is, a company of men each dressed in his own homespun suit or according to his own fancy, with no regular arms. He was in the battle at Ogdensburg, and when the American troops retreated he, with others, being in citizen's clothes, was ordered to remain and look after the wounded and scattered arms. He was taken prisoner three times that day and taken before the commanding officer, who, finding that he was not taken under arms, and having no evidence that he was a United States soldier, was discharged. The last time he was taken to the barracks he found them all drunk, when he managed to escape to Lisbon, and on the way collected several guns, when he took them to Heuvelton and turned them over to the quartermaster, who was there with a squad of soldiers. The next day they broke camp and started for Sackett's Harbor, and while there he enlisted in the cavalry service and was sent to Fort George. One day while out on picket duty he saw a small dog cross in front of him. He knew that meant Indians and Indians meant business, and that he or the Indian would get a sudden call to visit the happy hunting-ground. That instant he caught sight of a feather, then a head moving slowly out from behind a tree. A quick motion on his part decided the question as to who should be called, when Mr. Allen remained to tell the tale, but the Indian has been a good Indian ever since. Mr. Allen was in the battle of Lundy's Lane, Fort George, Queenstown Heights, Fort Erie, Oswego, and many skirmishes leading up to these battles. On return of peace his company was sent down from Lewiston to Fort Covington, where they were discharged.

In the fall of 1815 Mr. Allen married Mary Sullivan, who died in June, 1829. In 1831 he married Susan Pamelton, who also died a number of years later, when finally he made his home with his nephew, E. J. Cady. He drew a pension of eight dollars per month, which was insufficient to keep him, when General N. M. Curtis, M.C., secui-ed the passage of a bill to grant him a special pension of twenty-five dollars per month. He was one hundred years old this 12th of January, 1894, now awaiting the roll call and orders to report to "headquarters above."

Among the settlers who came in 1802 were Samuel Chipman and Joseph Freeman. In the following year Seth Roberts and a Mr. Clark built a saw mill on the river at the site of Madrid village. This fact is established by a record of December 3, 1803, which described the laying out of a road, beginning in the highway northerly of " La Grasse" River, about fifteen chains from "Roberts & Clark Mill," and thence southerly to the Potsdam line. Two other roads were laid out in the same year, one running northeasterly to the Louisville line and the other beginning at E. S. Raymond's place and running thence northerly "to the center of the Big Road."

Other early settlers who deserve mention are Dan Simonds, grandfather of the late George E. Simonds. He came in on horseback in the fall of 1803, with his son, from New England to St. Regis, crossed the St. Lawrence, rode up the Canada side, recrossed to what is now Waddington, and then lined his track through the woods till he found a site that pleased him about two miles northwest of Madrid village. In a bark hut which they immediately put up the son suffered through an attack of measles; but during the four weeks while they remained there they cut down about two acres of timber and built a log house. In the following March they brought in the remainder of the family.

Seth Cogswell, father of the venerable Enos L. Cogswell, came in 1805 and built a house near where his son afterward resided, and then returned to Vermont. In March, 1806, he came again with his hired man, accompanied by his daughter Laura, only twelve years old, who rode on horse-back, crossing the rivers on the ice, and kept house for her father during the summer. In the spring of 1807 the remainder of the family came in.

As early as 1803 Seth Roberts built a grist mill, and the settlement took the name of "Roberts's Mill." It was also called by some "Grass River Falls," but previous to the War of 1812 was changed to "Columbia Village." The first tavern there was kept by Gould Fancher; this was undoubtedly the first public house in the town. Nathan Smith afterwards kept the house, which stood on the site of the present McCall's Hotel. A little store was opened there in the early days by J arah Meach. The first school in the town was probably taught at the little village by Dollie Fields. The first couple married in the town were Ezekiel Abernetl'iy and Wealthy, daughter of Solomon Lindsley, who were united in 1803. Their son, Jared, was born in 1804, and was probably the first child born in that part of the town.

In 1808-9 a distillery was built by Ely and Nathaniel Hamblin on the river below the mill; it was used until about 1830.

By April, 1807, there were 116 voters in the town, if not more, and by 1812, 208 votes were cast for assemblymen. Down to that year the following were among the settlers in what is now Madrid: Joseph Erwin, Nathan Smith, Seth Gates, Daniel Green, John Montgomery, Daniel Wright, John, Ira and Alanson Hawley, Samuel Robertson, Daniel C. Haskell, William Wright, Caleb Butterfield, Capt. John Doran, M. C. Murray, David Brooks, Jeremiah Boynton, Levi Lockwood, Stephen Smith, William Lockwood, Roderick E. Hepburn, Sirene Woodbridge, Solomon Stone, Daniel Whitney, Richard Blood, Solomon Grey, Windsor Goulding, Asahel Stone, Levi Bristol, Asa Low, Valentine Lovely, Canfield Averill, and Joseph Orcutt. Henry Richardson came in 1810, and was justice of the peace about forty-five years. Dr. Robert McChesney began practice at the village in 1810.

The inhabitants of this town suffered much anxiety on account of their unprotected frontier. A company called the South Madrid Militia was frequently summoned, and took part in several skirmishes along the St. Lawrence, and also guarded public stores kept in the mill at the village. The officers were: captain., Jesse Goss; lieutenant, Richard Blood; ensign, Daniel Richards. In the summer of 1813 a lot of goods, public and private, were captured on a British ship and stored at the village. In the following winter a squad of British soldiers came out and retook a part of the goods and carried them away.

In the summer of 1814 a lot of cattle which had been purchased in the town by secret agents of the British, were captured by the Amencans as they were about to cross at Massena Point. The cattle were scattered among the farmers to be kept until needed. Later in the season a detachment of British soldiers, accompanied by one of the spies, made a raid through one of the river towns, gathering up these government cattle. There is, however, evidence in existence that feelings of friendliness were maintained between the British soldiers and the private citizens of the town, whose property was generally respected.

A Mr. Thomas came into Madrid and settled in the southerly part of the town, in the spring of 1813, with his wile and young son, John. He remained there a few years, then engaged to Mr. Isaac Ogden to go to his island as gardener. While there a daughter was born, the first white child born on the island. She eventually became the wife of Alfred Goss, of Madrid woolen mill fame, who afterwards went West and became a millionaire. The son, John Thomas, was in the Windmill battle in 1838; sent to Van Dieman's Land, and after nine years of menial service was pardoned, and returned to Madrid. He enlisted in the One Hundred and Sixth New York Volunteer Infantry; went through the campaign safely, and was honorably discharged at the close of his enlistment. He applied for a pension after he became too feeble to labor, and received one year's pension in arrears, $72.00, which, he said, was the largest sum of money he ever had at one time. He died May 12, 1892, at the age of eighty years.

After the war, immigration, which had been somewhat checked, resumed its activity. Among the incomers were many of the industrious Scotchmen who made their permanent homes in the town.

The celebrated cold season of 1816 caused the usual amount of distress among the people of the town. Scarcity of money and high price of provisions caused the people to largely use venison, which was easily obtained.

One of the chief sources of raising money was the sale of potash, which was made in considerable quantities. A little cash was also obtained by drawing cedar logs on to the ice of Grass River in the winter and floating them to Montreal in the spring floods. This kind of work led in the winter of 1817-18 to one of the saddest calamities that ever happened in this vicinity. When the ice went out of the river in April, 1818, many logs that had been drawn upon it lodged against the island, just above the bridge at the village. The bridge stood on its present site, but the dam was farther up, one section crossing the main branch at the head of the island and the other crossing a smaller branch farther down. On the 9th of April two canoe-loads of men went out to loosen these obstructed logs. After loosening most of the logs at the head of the island, Mr. Lord and the men with him attempted to run their boat broadside to the current across to the southeastern shore. But the rapid torrent was too much for them, and the frail craft was swept over the dam. Striking one of the piers of the bridge, the canoe split nearly in twain, when Daggett, Read and Seavey were thrown out, the other four still clinging to the canoe. The other boat was promptly unloaded of all its crew excepting Mr. Hawley and Mr. Rickerson, who steered their canoe to shoot over the dam, in the hope of saving their companions. Of the three first thrown out, Read and Daggett were overconic by the icy flood and drowned; Mr. Seavey reached shallower water and escaped. Meantime the second boat with its two oarsmen dashed on after the other four, Asa Lord, Abraham and Joseph Loomis, and Ezra Bigelow, who had clung to the boat. Strange as it may seem, and in spite of all efforts, the whole four were overcome by the cold flood and drowned. Within a few days all the bodies were recovered.

Within the next twelve or fifteen years great improvements were made throughout the town. Many of the farmers had paid, or partly paid, for their homesteads; frame barns and later frame or stone houses took the place of the earlier rude buildings, and prosperity reigned.

The Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Road, which runs for about five and a half miles through the southern part of the town, crossing Grass River nearly a mile above the village, has proved a great benefit to the people. A depot was established west of the village and near the Madrid Springs, where settlement became active and gradually extended until the locality has become substantially a part of the village proper. The springs alluded to were not discovered and made known to the public until just after the War of the Rebellion. Their waters are strongly impregnated with iron and other ingredients. and are said to be beneficial in many human ailments. A hotel is kept at the springs by James Reed, and a post-office named "Madrid Springs" is established there with C. A. Chandler as postmaster. The latter also has a store and a feed mill.

The time at length arrived when the people at Waddington village, which had become a considerable center of trade and population, were reluctant to travel to "Columbia," or Madrid village, to transact town business, and the proposition for a division was agitated. The people in the southern part of the town were not averse to the project, and accordingly on the 22d of November, 1859, an act passed the Legislature erecting the northerly half of Madrid into a new town called Waddington. This left Madrid a rectangle, ten miles by five, except that in the northeast corner the Waddington line diverges and runs for about two miles along the center of Grass River.

The breaking out of the War of the Rebellion found the inhabitants of this town unanimously responsive to the calls of patriotism. Not only did the citizens volunteer with enthusiasm to fill the quotas under the various calls, but the authorities also made liberal provision for the payment of bounties: In 1862 a town bounty of about $50 was voted to every volunteer. In December, 1863, a bounty of $300 was voted to each volunteer, without a dissenting voice; and in several town meetings held in 1864 and 1865, other bounties of from $300 to $1,000 were voted, and usually without dissent,

Since the close of the war the town has steadily advanced. Its agricultural interests have been conserved by her progressive farmers, particularly in dairying. The production of butter in factories is largely followed, and the character of the product ranks high in the markets. A creamery was built at the village in 1877 by Thomas Coats, who sold it in 1880 to W. R. Boynton & Co. (the company is J. E. Boynton), and the firm makes a ton of butter per day, which is shipped to Boston. They are now enlarging their facilities, There have never been extensive manufactures in the town, and those now in activity are described in the village history. A fine town hall in Madrid village was erected in 1871 at a cost of $6,000. It is of brick, seventy by forty feet, with one lofty story and a basement.

Following is a list of the supervisors of the town from its formation to the present time, with the years of their service: Joseph Edsall, 1802-5; ; Asa Freeman, 1806-7; Alexander Richards, 1808; Asa Freeman. 1809; Joseph Freeman, 1810-12; William Meach, 1813; Joseph Freeman, 1814-15; Jason Fenton, 1816-22; Joseph Freeman, 1823-28; J. S. Chipman, 1829-32; George Redington, 1833-37; Richard Blood, 1838; Walter Wilson, 1839; George Redington, 1840; Alfred Goss, 1841-42; A. T. Montgomery, 1843-44; T. Sears, 1845-46; A. T. Montgomery, 1847-48; Jesse Cogswell, 1849-50; Richard Edsall, 1851; Francis Fenton, 1852; Austin J. Goss, 1853; John S. Chipman, 1854; Jesse Cogswell, 1855; Cyprian Powell, 1856; Charles C. Montgomery, 1857-59; (division of the town); Charles R. McClelland, 1860; Cyprian Powell, 1861; William S. Reed, 1862-64; Henry N. Sweet, 1865-73; John H. Robinson, 1874-80; Ira L. C. Lockwood, 1881-90; John A. Haig, 1891-93.

The first bridge built in Madrid was of logs across the Grass River, on its present site, a few rods below the saw mill of Roberts & Clark in the winter of 1803-4. This bridge has been renewed twice since and at various times repaired. In the years of 1880 and 1881 the people of Madrid discussed the bridge question very thoroughly as to the propriety of building a new bridge in place of the old one, either of wood, iron or of stone. At a special town meetingheld in April, 1882, the question was settled to build of stone, when a committee consisting of H. C. West, W. O. Sweet and Ralph Aitchison was appointed to act with the highway commissioners, M. A. Gilbert and John A. Meeker. The plan and specifications were procured of Hinds & Hodgkins of Watertown, N. Y., and the contract to build of stone work given to M. L. & M. A. Cleveland of the same place. The contract for the iron railing was awarded to Gates Curtis of Ogdensburg. The stone was raised in a quarry at the end of the dam. The piers rest on the solid rock in- the bed of the stream, six feet wide and twenty-six feet long. There are nine arches, one thirty-two, one thirty-six, and seven thirtyeight feet span, making the length of the bridge about 400 feet. The arches are about one-third of a circle, which leaves a space under the center of about fifteen feet. The west end is a trifle over twenty feet high and the east eighteen feet.

The bridge was commenced on Monday, August 23, 1882, and the work continued without delay or any serious accident, and was completed in the short space of three months. The cost of the structure, including grading, etc, was nearly $17,000. The event of its completion was celebrated by the tax payers and their families with music, speeches, and an elegant dinner served in the town hall.

Madrid VilIage.- The early mills that have been mentioned as established at the village site were destroyed by fire in 1814, when they were owned by Jarah Meach, to whom the property had been sold by the firm of Lord & Price, who purchased of the builder. After the fire the site and water-power were purchased by Timothy Reed, who erected a grist and saw mill under one roof. An old resident a few years ago gave her memory of the village at that time as comprising a tavern kept by a Mr. Bigelow, four or five frame houses and eight or ten log ones. Captain Goss probably had a store at the time. Again in 1823 Dr. Caleb Price, who settled in that year, described the village as not much, if any, larger; but there was then the cloth-dressing mill of Captain Goss, with two stores kept by Samuel Greenough and Charles McFarland; and there were two small taverns. In 1826 Jesse Cogswell settled in the village and opened a grocery, but the village at that time had very little additions since 1823, except the distillery and a number of dwellings. Still, nearly all of the business of the southern part of the town was centered at "Columbia village." Anson Chamberlain kept a tavern and sold some goods at what was then known as

"Chamberlain's Corners," but that passed away long ago. In 1852, judging by Mr. Hough's statement, the village had grown considerably and was probably more active in its business interests than it is at the present time. He reported two taverns, six stores, one drugstore, four groceries, one book store, two shoe stores, a tannery, besides the mills and various kinds of shops. The present building used for clothmaking was erected by Alfred Goss in 1833. This property passed on the 20th of March, 1893, to possession of the Madrid Woolen Mills, a stock company organized for the manufacture of cloth and pants. The capital of the company is $27,000, and the officers as follows: President and treasurer, A. D. Whitney; F. J. Merriman, secretary; Dr. E. C. Walsh, vice-president; D. D. Bryson, manager. The old store formerly occupied by Mr. Goss is used for the manufacture of pants, of which it is expected 100 pairs a day will soon be turned out. Thirty hands are employed. The old tannery property has been purchased, new machinery put in, and electric lights and other modern machinery are contemplated to be put in next season. The directors of the company, besides the officers before mentioned, are M. A. Whitney and R. N. Walsh.

One-half of the mills built by Timothy Reed, as before stated, was sold by him to Safford & Horton. The property was finally sold on execution and Hiram Horton bid it in. The mill burned about 1856, and Horton built the stone grist mill standing opposite the saw mill, and subsequently sold to G. M. Douglass and his brother. The latter failed, and after one or two other changes the property passed to Smith & Hall (B. B. Smith, W. H. Hall) in May, 1893, who now operate it. Mr. Douglass now runs the saw mill under a lease. The tannery once operated here was long ago discontinued, as was also a flax-mill. J. N. Pike carries on a furniture factory.

The Columbia House, which has been mentioned as once standing on the site of McCall's Hotel, was burned in the destructive fire of 1878. The house built on the site was called the Madrid House, which was taken and given its present name in 1893 by H. W. McCall.

The mercantile interests of the village at the present time are drugs and groceries by J. M. K. Horsford, A. T. Hepburn and John Haig; dry goods and groceries by I. L. C. Lockwood, A. W. Abernethy, J. C. Gage & Son, and J. H. Robinson; hardware by John Sullivan & Son, Bullard & Keenan; shoe store by F. H. McCormick; furniture store by John Aitchison; besides which there are the usual blacksmiths, tailors, wagon makers, harness makers, etc. The present postmaster is F. W. Robinson.

Madrid has long been noted for its schools and their excellence. There are ten districts, besides several others, parts of which are in this town and parts in others. Madrid Union Free School, District No, 1, was organized April 24, 1867, by the union of old districts Nos. 10 and 20. For several years schools were kept in the two houses, one being on each side of the river. In the summer of 1873 a handsome two story brick school house was erected on the north side of the river and a graded school established. The cost of the building, site and furnishing was $8,000. The twenty-sixth annual announcement of this school gives the faculty as follows: Erwin L. Hockridge, A.M., principal; Lilian Hadley, principal's assistant; Lilian McBrien, intermediate department; Mary Hadley, primary department. The present Board of Education are A. T. Hepburn, Dr. E. C. Walsh, and A. D. Whitney.

Religious Societies.- The first christian organization in town was a Congregational Church, which was formed February 17, 1807, with ten members, by the assistance of the missionary, Rev. Amos Pettengill. The church was supplied for a number of years by missionaries, when, in 1811, Rev. John Winchester was engaged for three years at a yearly salary of ninety-one dollars cash and $274 to be paid in wheat at market price.

In 1824 the members pledged themselves to set apart certain patches of ground and to cultivate the same in raising corn, potatoes and onions to be disposed of for the support of the church. This plan proved so profitable to the society that in 1825-26 they built a stone church forty six by fifty feet, at a cost of $4,000. Many of the members furnished labor or materials for its construction. The society was incorporated May 8, 1820, with Salmon Grey and five others as trustees. The free use of intoxicants were increasing among the members to such an extent that in 1829 an attempt was made to pass a total abstinence vote, which failed to carry, when ten members signed a total abstinence pledge, which was the first temperance movement in town, and which proved a blessing to the chureh. In 1850 a bell costing $300 was purchased for the church by a general subscription. The following named ministers have served this church: Rev. Joseph Huribut, in 1829; Rev. James Taylor, in 1833; Rev. S. M. Wood, in 1840; Rev. J. Burchard and Rev. A. Wicks, evangelists, between 1841 and 1848; Rev. B B. Parson, in 1849; Rev. Mr. Williams. in 1882, and several others. In the summer of 1889 the church was thoroughly overhauled, furnished with new circular seats, the walls and ceilings decorated and stained glass windows. On September 26, just before it was occupied, it took fire from Other burning buildings and was consumed. The people nobly rallied at the call of their pastor, Rev. F. A. Hatch, and built the following year the present beautiful wood church at a cost of about $7,000. The membership is nOW about 150, under the care of the Rev. George H. Hancock, pastor. This was the first Congregational Church organized in the county.

Baptist Church.- The first Baptist church was organized September 7, 1808, with ten members, by the assistance of Rev. Samuel Rowley. He preached for them several years, and was succeeded by various elders and missionaries. The first regular pastor was Rev. Solomon Johnson, who began in 1818. In 1829 the hand of fellowship was withheld from Free Masons. A small frame church was built at the village in 1836, which was used until 1869, when Capt. Hugh Smith negotiated with the trustees for the property and it was sold to the Catholic society for $2,000. Shortly after A. R. Peck and J. F. Murphy, two of the trustees of the Baptist society, purchased a frame building which had been erected for a union church at Madrid Springs, with the expectation that a village would be built there and the society accept of the house. But the other trustees and the larger portion of the society preferred to remain in the village of Madrid, when in 1872-3 a handsome brick church was erected at the village at a cost of $11,000. This church was burned in the fire on the 26th of September, 1889. A new brick church was built on the old site the following year, at an expense of $14,000.

The Universalist believers in this town effected an organization in 1814, and employed Rev. John Foster, who preached to them until some time in 1816. The little society struggled for nearly ten years, but afterwards experienced a revival of interest, and in 1838 a reorganization Was effected, with William Richard, Ansel Pain, Charles Bartholomew and Thomas Hesseigrave as trustees. In 1842 the society built a frame church at a cost of $3,000, and a parsonage was built in 1851. For many years there has been only desultory preaching. The church is not used at present.

The First Methodist Church.- Prior to 1847 the services in this faith had been supplied only by itinerant preachers. On the 3d day of June in that year a society was organized at Buck's Bridge called "The Society of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Columbia Village," with Solomon S. Martin, Stephen F. Palmer and William S. Reed, trustees. Measures were at once adopted to have regular services at the village, and Rev. Mr. Blackburn supplied the pulpit two years. In 1852 the society bought the store building of Alfred Goss, which was fitted up and used as a house of worship. In 1868 a beautiful brick church was built, at a cost of $14,000, and afterwards a parsonage was built costing $1,200. The church was always prosperous, but it met a disaster in the great fire of 1878, when it was burned to the ground. But the members did nobly respond to a call to rebuild, and promptly erected the present handsome wood edifice. The present pastor is Rev. A. J. Felshaw.

The Church of St. John the Baptist (Catholic).- A mission church with the above name was established at Madrid village in 1869. Capt. Hugh Smith, one of the trustees of the society, purchased the old church property of the Baptist society for the sum of $2,000. The building was remodeled and otherwise greatly improved at an additional expense of $3,000, which accommodates the congregation of fifty. five families of that parish. The Rev. Father John Varriety is the present officiating priest.

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