1st Congregational Church Windham

Centennial Of The Old First Congregational Church, Windham, New York  1803 – 1903
June 16th , 1903

The History of the Old Church, with Shorter Histories of The Daughter Churches of
Windham, Jewett and Ashland, And Other Historical Matter,
By Rev. Henry Martyn Dodd, A. M.
Windham, N. Y.

Windham Journal Print, 1903

Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin from the original pamphlet located in the Catskill Public Library

A History of the Old First Congregational Church of Windham, N. Y.
By Rev. Henry Martyn Dodd, A. M.

In the gathering here, to-day, my friends, we find ourselves in circumstance and surroundings that appeal strongly to the sentimental in our natures, and even to the poetical. Here we are, very near the graves of the fathers. Some of you can say our fathers, and nearly all of you can say our kindred. In yonder grave-yard sleep most to the pioneers who settled this valley, and transformed its primreview wilderness into fruitful fields. Near by in a corner of the grave-yard was a log school-house, probably the first in Windham, where meetings of various kinds were held. *(this house was succeeded by the one that so many years stood under the elms, at the North Settlement road.) In full view in our front in the new part of the present cemetery, about 70 feet from the center of the turnpike and facing the road, stood the "old meeting-house," built little by little as they were able. And in that house a hundred years ago, March 21st, 1803, was organized the old First Congregational Church of Windham, which, though not the first organized in town, was yet among the first, and for a long time the strongest. As we look down onto the ground where it once stood, we can almost imagine we be hold the ox teams and single horse rigs hitched to the trees close by, and see the people gathering for worship on Sabbath days, morning and afternoon, and on week days, for town meetings, political, and secular affairs, and enjoying their noonday lunch in summer under the trees of this very grove perhaps. And to this old sanctuary and meeting-place they came and went for forty years, till the daughters moved out, and the old mother church went to live with one of the daughters, and the old sanctuary was left desolate.

Very few of those who ever attended service in the old meeting-house still remain, and fewer still of them are here to-day. But the three daughter churches, with their children and grandchildren, are here to-day, a goodly company, to honor the memory, decorate the graves, and celebrate the Centennial of the Fathers, into whose inheritances, spiritual as well as temporal, they have entered.

It has been assigned to me to prepare a historical address for this occasion. To do this has been for me a labor of love, for I enjoy history and genealogy and I love the church I serve.

I regret to say that the materials for history are scanty. The Society records did not begin till 1808, and are in fair shape. The Church records begin in 1803, but are very brief, and missing altogether, from 1813 to 1826, a most flourishing period. But from what the books do furnish, and from Rev. Oscar B. Hitchcock’s work, Col. George Robertson’s History of Windham Church, and Rev. H. H. Prout’s admirable sketched of "Old Times in Windham," with items from other sources, I have gleaned the material which I have woven into the narrative I now present to your kind attention.

Although the organization, as such, dates back only to March 21st, 1803, yet any adequate history of it must treat of the events and conditions that preceded it. Who could fully exhibit the life and fruitage of the tree, who did not examine its roots, and the soil in which it grew! No more could I fully write the history of the old Church, without going back to the conditions that gave it birth.

Twenty years before 1803 these valleys and mountain sides were covered with a primreview forest, chiefly hemlock. They had no settlers, and were visited only by forest rangers, roving Indians, tory refugees, and occasional land prospectors. It was not till after the Revolutionary War that it was safe to settle so far back from the Hudson River. Peace came in 1783. By 1785 it was safe to begin settlements. Deacon Jedediah Hubbard’s tombstone says that he was "the first deacon" and "the first settler." But the probability is that Captain George Stimson, the father of Rev. Henry B., was a little the first as a permanent settler. He came here as the agent of Robert Livingston, a large land owner, to take charge of his herds pastured on his mountain lands. The same year, 1785, Elisha Strong came and built a log cabin, cut some grass and went back to Connecticut for the winter. There may have been one or two others who came, but these we know about.

Capt. Geo. Stimson and his son Henry, a boy of 13, arrived in 1785. They spent the first night in the open air beside the high flat rock at the west end of Windham village. There they built a cabin of logs and brush, the rock serving for one side of the hut, and for its chimney also. Later this cabin was burned, but at once rebuilt in much the same manner.

The Captain and the boy Henry spent the winter of 1785-6 here. Their stores got low, and the father went to Claverack, near Hudson, where the nearest mill was, to get food. He expected to be gone but a few days, and left Henry alone. But the ice in the Hudson made his return crossing impossible for six weeks, during which time the boy Henry had to live in the hut alone, among wolves, bears, panthers, and other dangers, with no kind guardian except the Heavenly Father, whose care for His people never ceases.

An incident worth relating, occurred at that time. One night there came along a man on horseback,--a stranger,--who spent the night and shared with Henry his potato breakfast, and tried to persuade the boy that the return of his father was very doubtful, and that he had better go with him to a safer place. The boy, however, would not leave the place, and so the traveler started on. Soon he returned, fearing that the boy would starve if left alone, and evidently thinking it his duty to save him, tried to force him to go, whereupon Henry ran and hid in the woods, and the man had to go on without him, after all.

Many years afterward, the Rev. Henry B. Stimson, at a Presbyterian meeting, was accosted by an aged gentleman who said, "You are from the Batavia, are you not?" "Do you know a little boy who years ago lived in a hut there and was left alone?" Mr. Stimson replied. "I am that boy," a statement which melted all to tears.

It would be an interesting chapter of local history if I had time to sketch the settlement of this region, and tell you how during the next ten or fifteen years, family after family came in and located themselves, some in the valley, some "on the mountain," or Jewett, and built their log cabins and began their little clearings, and tracked out their roads,--the Hubbards, Strongs, Stimsons, Rices, Buels, Chases, Ponds, Tuttles, Claflins, Stones, Steeles, Ives, Pratts, Miles, Pecks, Baldwins, Munsons, Barlows, Babcocks, Reynolds, Chamberlains, Johnsons, Robinsons, Beaches, Coes, Prouts, Cargils, Martins, Chatfields, Turneys, Smiths, Tichenors, Arnolds, Hosfords, Osborns, Baileys, Thomsons, Robertson, Hitchcocks, Houghs, Whites, Kinsleys, Parson, Hensons, Holcombs, Stanleys, Camps, Halls, Atwaters, Brays, Parkers, Distins, Beers, Austins, Norths, Harrington, Averys, Snows, Blakeslees, Cobbs, Bronson, Goslees, Hulls, Merwins, Andrews, Woolcots, and many more equally worthy people whose names I have no record of. With the exception of a few Dutch families on the Schoharie, it was a purely New England community, mostly from Connecticut, and as thoroughly Puritan as any other of New England origin. The farms were about all taken up and the community had become about what it was to be. Its character was formed in those first years.

Of course shelter for themselves and families, and their animals was the first thing of all. The log school-houses were built, in which they could assemble for more public purpose. They would also meet at the hotels or private houses, to have religious exercises, or hear an occasional preacher. Rev. Jesse Townsend, pastor at Durham, quite often visited the settlement and held meetings.

The time had now come when they might think of church organizations; but where could ministers be found, or money to keep them. Hitherto, they had all worshipped together, informally, in private houses and school houses, but now they began to think of church organizations. There were some Baptists, some Reformed, a very few Methodist, a considerable number of Episcopalians, and a large majority of Congregationalists and Presbyterians. The very first church organization of all seems to have been to O. S. Baptist Church of Lexington, formed Oct. 25th, 1790.

The second church organized was the Reformed Church *(The first settlers on the Schoharie, at Prattsville, were mostly of the Reformed Dutch communion, and the Reformed Church was organized there in 1798. The county history says their minister at first was "Rev. M. Lopaugh," but this is, I’m sure, a misprint, and that the true name is Rev. Peter Labagh, who, from 1798 to 1809, was the pious and beloved pastor of the Reformed Churches of Leeds and Oak Hill. They built a house in 1804, and rebuilt it on another site in 1834. This house is till in use. The succession of "dominies" has been 1798, Rev. Peter Labagh; 1803-29, Rev. Cornelius D. Schermerhorn; 1814-27 Rev. Winslow Paige; 1829-33, Henry B. Stimson; 1833, Rev. Hamilton Van Dyck; 1836-40, Rev. T. B. Gregory; 1841-46, Rev. Ephraim DePuy; 1846-51, Rev. A. V. Wyckoff; 1852-54, Rev. Eben S. Hammond; 1855-59, Rev. Wm. Johns; 1861-66, Rev. A. F. Gilbert (who died there.); 1866-70, Rev. Thomas S. Dusenberre; 1870-75, Rev. William H. Carr; 1875-77, Rev. James C. Garretson; 1877-79, Rev. E. N. Sebring; 1881-85, Rev. Norman F. Nickerson; 1885, Rev. F. F. Wilson; 1889-91, Rev. Fred W. Ruhl; 1896, Rev. Robert Neale; 1897-06, Rev. Charles M. Dixon. This church was the Reformed Church of Windham till the town of Prattsville was formed, in 1833. Two of Prattsville’s most distinguished men were from this Society—Zadoc Pratt from the Jewett, and Burton G. Morss from the Ashland portion. Mr. Stimson became their pastor after he left here for four years. After the old church was removed to Ashland and became feeble, it was dependent on Prattsville for ministers, from 1869-1890. These circumstances have made the relations of the two churches more than usually intimate and cordial.) Prattsville, in 1798. The next year, 1799, Trinity Parish (Episcopal) *(Trinity Church (P. E. ), whose life and history has touched ours in so many ways for a whole century, was formed May 20th, 1799, by Rev. Philander Chase, who afterward became Bishop of Ohio. The Act of Incorporation was signed by Samuel Gunn, Norman Collins, Silas Lewis, Ebenezer Osborn, Eli Osborn, John Tuttle, Benjamin Johnson, Samuel Goodsel, Eliphalet Wheeler, Almon Munson, Amasa Tuttle, Orange Munson, Jehial Tuttle, Jabez Barlow, Samuel Merwin, Enos Baldwin, Samuel Woolcott, Ebenezer Johnson, Elisha Stanley, Samuel Chatfield, and William Tuttle. They had no regular minister till 1803, when Rev. Joseph Perry became such. He continued till 1817 and was succeeded by Rev. Samuel Fuller, and Rev. James Thompson; 1831, Rev. O. P. Holcomb; 1843, Rev. Thomas S. Judd; 1857, Rev. Charles Purviance; 1858 Rev. Mr. Judd again; 1863, Rev. E. N. Goddard; 1867, Rev. H. H. Prout (brother of Mr. Darious Prout); 1871, Rev E. A. Edgarton; 1873, Rev .Jon A. Clarke; 1878, Rev. H. C. Hutchins; 1880, Rev. F. A. Todrig; 1884, Rev. E. J. Roke; 1886, Rev. S. T. Brewster; 1893, Rev. W. B. Hall; 1897, Rev. L. C. Morgan; 1899, Rev. G. N. Mead; 1900, Rev. J. B. Sill, 1902, Rev. E. M. Skagen. Their first house was dedicated in 1818, cost $2,200. It was rebuilt in 1879 and is now a beautiful edifice of Gothic style. It is worthy of note that the Rev. Samuel Fuller, named above, was the same one with whom Mr. Stimson studied theology, and who preached at his ordination. He had become an Episcopalian. He always lived at Rensselaerville, but ministered to quite a number of Episcopal churches in the region around. Space forbids me to give more of this history, for which see Mr. Prout’s "Old Times in Windham." His contributions to local history deserve our lasting gratitude, as well as his missionary zeal our admiration.) was organized, and three years later, in 1802, a Congregational Church in Big Hollow. Thus we see that in Old Windham there were at least four churches, regularly organized before this. And yet it seems probable that the Congregational Society was really the first. They had begun a meeting-house "on the Batavia" as early as 1799. There must have been some sort of organization then for the purpose, and perhaps some years sooner, and they doubtless had the right to name themselves as they did, "The First Society of Windham." And their church the First Congregational.

As already stated, the people in 1799, had begun to build a meeting-house. It is a well authenticated tradition that some of the Prout family reached this valley on the last day of the last month of the last year of the last century (1799), and as they passed by they saw the people raising the frame of the old meeting-house, for which Medad Hunt gave the land. The portly Esq. (Silas) Lewis stood on one of the plates. A year later, 1800, or in 1801, the people in Jewett began a house, and organized the Second Congregational Society in Windham. The Reformed Church at Prattsville was built in 1804, the Episcopal Church in 1818, the Big Hollow Church about 1822.

It seems to be the fact that when the old meeting-house was built, it was in some sense a union house, to whose erection all contribute, and it was used as such for a number of years. But, as usually happens in union societies, trouble arose. The two ministers made appointments that conflicted, and the Episcopalians deeming themselves shut out, withdrew and used the house no more.

In the summer of 1802, there was a remarkable revival of religion among the 13 families that then lived in Big Hollow. Seven years before it had been first settled by Lemuel Hitchcock and his sons, who took up a square mile of land. Mr. Hitchcock was a very religious man, who kept up meetings in the Hollow with much earnestness, and by and by there were tokens of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Rev. Jesse Townsend, of Durham, came and held special services, with much success. In Nov., 1802, he and Rev. Beriah Hotchkin, of Greenville, formed a Church of 22 members, 21 of them on profession of faith. They baptized eight adults and fifteen children. What became of this church I am unable to determine. There is no other record, and no tradition. It is not the present church *(The present church at Big Hollow was organized by Dr. Williston, Rev. David Harrower, Rev. James Jewell, and Dea. Hubbard, a committee of the Northern Associated Presbytery, Dec 11th, 1822. Mr. Harrower preached from Ps. cxxxiii,1. It took the name Second Congregational Church of Windham. Four years later it united with Columbia Presbytery (Sept. 27th, 1826), and was reorganized Nov., 1826, as a full Presbyterian church, which it has been ever since. Its members when reorganized, were William Evans, Jr., and Harriet his wife, Lemuel Hitchcock and Patience his wife, Theron Hough and Tryphena his wife, Susannah, wife of Isaac Pain, Samuel Chapman, Samuel Atwater, Eli Palmer Robinson and Molly his wife, Samuel Bagley and L____ his wife, Lemuel Hitchcock, Jr., and Lois his wife, Zalmon Hitchcock, Sally Root, Rhoena Hitchcock and Abigail Chapman. A number of these had been members of the old First Church, and Mr. Stimson had preached there often. It might perhaps have been proper to include Big Hollow among the daughters of the old First Church. The ministers have been: 1822-30, Rev. Mr. Durfee and other supplies; 1830-53, the long pastorate of Rev. Alfred Gardner. Since then, owing to weakened condition, there have been many and short supplies; Rev. Mr. Smith 1 year; Rev. J. B. Fish, Rev. William Johns, Rev. Charles Kendall 1 year, Rev J. J. Buck, Rev. B. T. Phillips, 1 year. Rev. R. G. McCarthy, 1 year, Rev. B. Dubois Wyckoff, Rev. W. N. P. Dailey 2 summers, Rev. Charles E. Herbert 2 years, Rev. Daniel I. Morrison 1 years, Rev. James Bain, Rev, George Bergen, Rec. Henry M. Dodd, March, 1896 – Sept., 1900, Rev. Samuel Bowers, Rev. Henry H. Lipes 1 ½ years, Rev. John McNab, Rev. Charles E. Herbert, Nov., 1903.) for that was organized in 1822. I suspect it was given up. They could not afford a minister. The early families in Big Hollow were largely transients. Tradition says that Mr. Stimson preached to them sometimes as an outstation. I find on our roll, some years later, the names of several from Big Hollow.

By the summer of 1802, the *(Description of Meeting-House.—The meeting-house stood about 70 feet from the center of the turnpike, and about 80 feet east of the west line of the new cemetery. It was 38 feet wide, and either 42 or 44 feet long—nearly square. It stood side to the road. The principal entrance was on the south side, in the center. There was no vestibule. There was another door at the east end. The bell tower built later, was on the west end. Inside, the pulpit stood opposite the door, on the north side of the room, and was approached by a center aisle. Galleries ran around on three sides, stairs to which were inside, to the left as you entered. At first there was neither lath nor plastering and only slab seats, but by 1814 it had been finished, and square pews built. The pulpit was a circular affair boxed in, and closed with doors. Some of those doors are still in use in the old Stimson home, and a part of the pulpit is there, too.) house on the Batavia had been covered, and it was possible to hold meetings in it. A house in Jewett was begun a year or two later and stood near the residence of D. Noble Chase. This house was sold at auction for $50, to Elisha Thompson, who gave it to the society. It is now the parsonage barn. In 1804 another house was begun where the present meeting-house stands. This remained unfinished for a number of years.

There was not only a meeting-house but a minister in sight. Henry Bowen Stimson, one of their own boys, and son of Capt. George Stimson, the first settler, had been fitting for the ministry of the blessed gospel. He had come here a boy of 13 with his father, the first settler, as already related; assisted in supporting the large family till of age; then for nine years had studied at Claverack and Kinderhook, paying his way by working at cabinet making. His thoughts had been turned to the ministry by Rev. Mr. Townsend, Durham, with whom he had studied some; and finally he studied *(When Mr. Stimson decided to study theology he consulted the ministers about going to college. The advised him not to go, on account of his age, 28. But Williams College gave him the honorary degree of A. M., in 1814.) theology with Rev. Samuel Fuller, of Rensselaerville, whose wife’s sister he afterward married. He was licensed to preach June 3d, 1802, by the Northern Associated Presbytery, at the house of Rev. Stephen Fenn, in Harpersfield, after a "full and thorough examination." The license, which is still in existence, is signed, Beriah Hotchkin, Moderator; John Morse, Scribe.

The people were not slow to secure for their minister one so well and favorably known to them. He commenced preaching for them that Summer or Fall, 1802. On the 13th day of October, a meeting was held at the meeting-house in Batavia, at which a committee was chosen to hire Mr. Stimson, and to circulate a subscription for support,--he to preach alternately in the Valley and at Jewett for six months, which was signed by 20 persons on the Batavia. This will be found in the Appendix.

*(It seems proper, also, to record that there is an old cemetery on the "Old Road," about three miles from East Windham, where once stood a union meeting-house, in which ministers of all names preached, as occasion served. One preacher who preached there more or less regularly was Elder Hervey, a Baptist minister, son of the man who gave Hervey Street its name. This house was probably built between 1810-20, and was almost identical in its plan with the one on the Batavia. It was never finished inside and always had slab seats. It had a huge round, goblet-shaped pulpit, imported, painted white. The house was finally bought by Col. Robertson, who took it down, and used the material in his tenant House. It was this union church that gave the name Union Society to the neighborhood and post-office, established 1816. The new turnpike was opened in 1826.) The order of services in those days seems to have been, sermons morning and afternoon, with intermission for lunch at noon. There were no evening services in the meeting-house, but the minister held social meetings or preached in school-houses and private houses. The Sabbath day services were held on Sabbath at "The Batavia," the next "on the mountain." There were choirs, but no instruments, till later. Tradition says that in later times there was at one time two choirs, who each had their part in the singing.

The time had now come for a formal organization, and the next Spring it was effected. I quote the amount given on the fly leaf of the Church Record Book:

"A record of the First Congregational Church formed in Windham, County of Greene, State of New York, March 21st, 1803, by Beriah Hotchkin, pastor of the church in Greenfield, and Samuel Fuller, pastor of the church in Rensselaerville."

"The persons whose names are hereunto annexed, were agreed in a publicly professed to believe the following Articles of Faith, and entered into the Covenant affixed to the same."

The Articles of Faith are 14 in number and will be found in the appendix.

The Covenant, too, will be found in the appendix.

These Articles and this Covenant were solemnly adopted and assented to by 28 persons—11 men and 17 women—who have the honor, the distinguished honor, of being its Original Members. Their names are as follows: Elisha Strong, Samuel Ives, Jedediah Hubbard, Timothy Hubbard, Amos Hubbard, Jared Rice, Ichabod Brown, Elijah Strong, Samuel Crocker, Increase Claflin, George Stimson, Lydia Baldwin, Lois Lockwood, Lowly Ives, Martha Hubbard, Dolly Hubbard, Dolly Hubbard, Jr., Abigail Snow, Hannah Morison, Abigail Stimson, Sabara Hubbard, Esther Rice, Betsey Crocker, Rebekah Tuttle, Anna Buel, Sarah Rice, Sarah Claflin, Experience Stone.

They chose George Stimson, son of Capt. George, Clerk of the Church. Jedediah Hubbard appears a little later, to be called "deacon." If he had been chosen here the record was not made. Timothy, his son, also appears as deacon, later.

The next September, Mr. Stimson *(From Conn. Evang. Mag., 1803,p. 199.—Was ordained in the meeting-house at Windham, County of Greene, and State of New York, on Wednesday, the 11th day of Sept., 1803, the Rev. Henry B. Stimson to the pastoral charge of the church in that place. The several parts were performed by the following gentlemen: Rev. David Harrowar of Walton, Delaware county, made the introductory prayer; Rev. Samuel Fuller of Rensselaerville, Albany county, preached the sermon from 1 Cor. 1:21; Rev. David Porter, late of Spencertown, and now preaching at Catskill, made the prayer during the imposition of hands; Rev. Beriah Hotchkin of Greenfield, gave the charge; Rev. Jesse Townsend of New Durham, gave the right hand of fellowship, and Rev. Ezekiel Chapman, late Missionary to New Connecticut, and now preaching at Canton [Cairo], made the concluding prayer. It is pleasing to remark that a large concourse of people were present on the occasion, and appeared especially attentive and solemn during the whole transaction. [The sermon was published, but I have never seen it—H. M. D.] ) was ordained and installed, six ministers being present and a large and interested congregation. The installing body is not named, but it was without doubt the Northern Associated Presbytery, and the church was no doubt taken under their care, if not at that time, yet certainly by March 9th, 1808, when the church voted. "to ask Presbytery for a copy of its proceeding." and "to allow the pastor and delegate their extra expenses whenever they attend Presbytery, from the church treasury."

Concerning this Northern Associated Presbytery, a few words at this point may be in order. There were four of these Associated Presbyteries, the Morris County in New Jersey, Westchester, Northern and Saratoga in New York. In their ideas of church government they were a cross between Congregationalism and Presbyterianism. They adopted the forms of the Presbyterian order, had presbyteries, sessions, elders, & c., & c., But they objected to the idea of "authority" in the relations of one church to another, and to the use of mandatory terms like "order," "enjoin," "direct," in ecclesiastical proceedings. They would only "advise," "recommend," "counsel." They also allowed standing committees instead of sessions, and permitted "deacons," and even laymen to sit in Presbytery as delegates. In their theology they were strongly Calvinistic, many of them Edwardean, and even Hopkinisian. They were men of great piety and holy zeal, and their body furnished most of the missionaries, who looked after the spiritual destitution’s of their region, and founded new churches. A prominent man among them was Rev. David Harrowar, a strong thinker, and tireless worker, who was second pastor at Jewett, 1821-26. Even more conspicuous was Rev. Seth Williston, D. D., pastor at Durham, 1810-1829. He was an eminently holy and useful man, and an apostle to the new settlements of New York State. The Northern Associated Presbytery founded nearly all the churches in this section.

But to return to the story of our own church. It grew slowly, at first. About 1807, there was a great revival . Those were trying times in those early days, says Col. Robertson. But Mrs. Theophilus Peck, Mrs. Lockwood, and Mrs. Brockett, who lived on the Heights, agreed to meet at a certain log in the woods between their homes, to pray for revival of religion, which they did from week to week and month to month, till a revival commenced, and a large number of heads of families and many others were converted and unite with the church.

About the same time the Methodist itinerant preachers began to make occasional visits to this region. Dolly Hubbard joined them, and when called to account for forsaking her own church, sent Mr. Stimson a defiant letter, for which she was disciplined.

March 19th, 1807, at a "Church Convention," it was voted "to meet quarterly to join the concert of prayer," for what object does not appear. March 9th, 1808, the quarterly church meeting was appointed to be held alternately "on the mountain," and "in Batavia." Sept. 13th, 1808, it was voted to examine those who brought church letters. Thus they could shut out unsound and unworthy members.

Up to this time the society that built the meeting-house seems to have had not legal organization, and if they kept any records, none remain. For nearly ten years they had gone on so, but Oct. 10th, 1808, a meeting for incorporation was held at the meeting-house in Batavia, of which Perez Steele was Chairman, and Noah Pond, Clerk. They proceeded to organize under the State law of March 27th, 1801, and took the name of First Society of the Town of Windham." And chose Noah Pond, Philetus Reynolds, Nathan Osborn, Timothy Hubbard, Elijah Strong and Jairous Munson, Trustees. The certificate of incorporation, duly attested, was laid before Munson Buel, one the lay judges of the County Court. It was approved by him and is recorded in the Greene County Clerk’s Office. Oct. 24th, 1809, Vol. 1, page 21,22. Sept. 28th, 1808, the society voted Rev. Mr. Stimson a settlement of $150, on condition that "if he left without the consent of the society, he should pay it back." This money was paid to Mr. Stimson the next June.

In October, 1809, the society adopted what is called the "permanent" subscription plan, in which each subscriber bound himself to pay the sum opposite his name, every year in future, unless he moved away or joined some other church. More than 50 signed this and it is still in existence, with it autograph signatures. They also voted to fence the church-yard. In 1811 a committee was appointed to "promote singing." Was it a singing school?

It was almost 14 years before the meeting-house *(Mr. Pecks’ Incident.,--Mr. Erastus Peck, of Windham, who reached the ripe age of 95, May, 1903, remembers attending meeting in the old house when he was a small boy, in the charge of his grandfather, Richard Peck, who was a member of the church. The house was then unfinished and the seats were hemlock slabs, with wooden legs, bench fashion. Mr. Peck’s legs were too short to quite rest on the floor and he swung them energetically to keep them warm. A good women seeing his discomfort came and put a footstove under them, by which they were both warmed and supported.) was fully finished. In 1811 they voted to let the finishing of the house, and the putting in of pews to any party who would take for they pay the rest of the pews, until they got their pay.

A pleasing incident *(Another incident of a different kind is preserved by Col. Robertson. He says: The Government having called for one hundred thousand volunteers for the War of 1812, and the spirit of ’76 still living in the hearts of the people, the militia held a meeting in reference to the call. Capt. Eli P. Robinson stepped out in front of the company and said, "I will go. Who will go with me?" Most of them volunteered at once, manifesting a determination to maintain our rights at all hazards. Just before leaving for the war, the troops assembled a the church to listen to an address by Rev. Henry B. Stimson. Before entering the church, Capt. Robinson ordered them, the company, to stack their arms, and commanded Aaron Taylor to guard them. Seth Beers took a gun from the stack, and refusing to replace it the guard stabbed him. Mr. Stimson prayed earnestly with and for the soldiers, and the country.) of that time is the fact that when the A. B. C. F. M. was formed, in 1810, Rev. Mr. Stimson caught the missionary spirit and imparted it to his people. They had little money, but Mr. Stimson gathered about 30 sheep and lambs as gifts to the cause, and with two of his boys, drove them to Catskill, 30 miles away. Passing the tollgate, he asked to go through free, because says he, "They are the Lord’s sheep." He had to pay the toll, however, but had not gone far before he found the exact sum in the road. At Catskill he sold the sheep for $1.00 a head and sent on the money.

The portion of the church residing on the Heights, had become by 1812, a more distinct community. They had a meeting-house of their own, a society of their own, known as the "Second Congregational Society of Windham." And were just about becoming a new town, named Lexington. They were now able to pay a minister themselves, and they began to talk of a church of their own. There are signs that there had been occasional friction between the two portions of the church. Nov. 24, 1812, it was voted "that the church residing on the mountain have liberty to hire a candidate to preach to them for the term of four months, from the 1st of December next." December 8th a petition was presented, signed by 69 members of the society, to be set off as a separate church. In January, 1813, the old church agreed to it, "provided the difficulties be removed." What these "difficulties" were, I have not been able to find out. They also voted to ask the advice of Presbytery, and if Presbytery deemed it best to divide the church, to send a committee to effect it. If not, to appoint a council, which met April 28th, 1813, and after surveying the situation, decided to organize the new church, which they proceeded at once to do. *( For a fuller account of this event, I would refer you to the first volume of the Jewett Records, where it is given in the lucid style and elegant hand writing of Judge Munson Buel, the first clerk of that church.)

The old church had already voted that in case of division, the deacons should divide the communion furniture and the money in the church treasury. This the deacons did. They "met and divided the temporalities of the church."

Thus, my friends, was born into a separate church, lift the oldest daughter of our common mother, under the name of "First Congregational Church of Lexington." I judge that she took a good half of the old church and of its families. In the next six years her 69 became more than 160 and she is here to-day, a strong, vigorous, fruitful church, and an honor to the mother who bore her.

Of course this division would not materially affect the congregations on the Batavia on the Sabbath. But now Batavia must raise the whole of Mr. Stimson’s salary, and they found it no easy task, as subsequent records show.

Before the division was consummated the church had voted to observe March 13th, 1813, as a day of fasting and prayer, and "That we will consider ourselves disciplinable if we allow ourselves or any of our families to commit any servile labor on said day." It was also voted to purchase four cups, one platter, and one cloth, for the church. In 1814 the "Standing Committee," which had been chosen annually from the first, was increased from four to six. Also a cup-board and chair were bought.

We got glimpses of the same old problem that puzzles churches, to-day; how to raise the minister’s salary. I judge that Mr. Stimson’s salary had been at first $400. He lived in his own house, which he built in 1805. He had married Becca Pond, Oct. 2d, 1803. The society had given him $150 as a "settlement" in 1809. In 1815 his salary was fixed at $500, perhaps owing to high prices. By 1815, the pews had been put in and paid for and the rents were thereafter used for salary, and perhaps they thought they could pay more. By 1818 the arrearages amounted to $400, $200 of it on the preceding year. They proceeded to raise the arrearage and then adopted a heroic plan. A subscription was drawn up in full legal verbiage and form, in which it was provided, (1) that Mr. Stimson’s salary should be $400; (2) that the pew rents should be applied to the salary; (3) if the pew-rents were not sufficient, the balance should be assessed on the subscribers, according to the assessment of each on the Town Roll, by a regular tax collector’s warrant, with power to sell goods an chattels, and enforce collection if necessary. Provision, however, was made for releasing the subscriber, if he joined another church or moved more than 5 miles away. This subscription is still in existence and has the autograph signatures of 32 of the principal men of that day.

How this heroic plan worked I cannot say, but not very well, I judge. Many had not signed it and the next year a strong committee was raised to devise a new plan. Something better, I judge, was found, for by 1822 they raised the salary to $460, but if the trustees were unable to raise it, they were to notify Mr. Stimson. In 1823 they voted $400 and 30 cords of wood, if they could raise it. The same was done in 1824.

Up to this time the horses and ox teams on meeting days had to stand out in the open air, or under nearby trees. In 1823 it was voted that "the lands about the meeting-house be lotted out for sheds and sold a vendue," and that some person build the shed, and take his pay in shed rents, till paid for, after which they would belong to the society. The trustees were authorized, if they thought best, to obtain land and put the sheds on the south side of the road. Those on the west and north were built.

By this time (1824), there seems to have arisen a state of things tending to bring to an end this long and useful pastorate. Mr. Stimson did not favor the "new measures" in revival work, and tradition says that some wearied of the frequency with which he preached the distinctive points of his strongly Calvinistic system. After several meetings it was finally decided that the pastorate should be dissolved, which was done Jan. 19th, 1825, by the Northern Associated Presbytery, which met at Windham. The church belonged to that Presbytery, but Mr. Stimson to the Columbia Presbytery, which he had joined Oct. 14th, 1823. His farewell sermon, the text of which was taken from the passage, 1 Sam. 12:1-5, "Whose ox have I taken? Or whose ass have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded?" &c., was a vigorous and characteristic effort suited to the situation, and talked about for many years afterward.

Mr. Stimson seems to have preached more or less after his dismission. *(Presbytery gave Mr. Stimson the following strong testimonial: "This may certify that the Rev. Henry B. Stimson has been dismissed from his pastoral relation to the first church of Christ in Windham by the Eastern section of the Northern Associated Presbytery without any allegation brought against his moral or ministerial character by church or society, but merely on account of their being unable to raise his support, and he is hereby cheerfully recommended to be further employed in the Gospel ministry as an orthodox and faithful minister of our Lord Jesus Christ. David Baldwin, Scribe. Seth Williston, Moderator.) It was voted in January, 1826, "that an effort be made to hire Mr. Stimson under existing circumstances," and a large committee of leading men was chosen to wait upon him. That he did preach some seems probable, but in a few months a new minister was on the ground.

Mr. Stimson’s, or Priest Stimson, as he was usually called, work here lasted 24 years—almost a quarter of a century we celebrate. It was foundation work, too, and it was well done and goodly was the structure he reared. By all accounts he was a man of remarkable personality and dominant influence. *(Mr. Stimson continued to reside in Windham to the end of his life. From 1825 to 1829 he was in the employ of the Bible Society. In 1829 he had a call from the Reformed Church, Prattsville, and was their pastor about four years. He joined Classis and so continued to the end. His health failed and he was laid aside in his later years. Born March, 12th, 1772, he died April 2d, 1851, aged 79 years.) His children, like himself, were intelligent, pious, and useful, and in other spheres of action have made their mark. Only one of his 11 children, Mrs. Mary Lynde, remains, and we are glad to have her here to-day to share this feast. We all remember the daughter, Rebecca, whose whole life was spent in our midst and given in beautiful devotion to the care of her aged and venerable father. We also rejoice that some of the third generation are here, and that we are to hear from his distinguished grandson, Dr. Henry A. Stimson of New York city. The name of Henry B. Stimson *(His pastoral field extended over 20 miles, but he was used to hardships, and often preached nine times a week. Three extensive revivals prevailed during his ministry, and tradition says he received into the church more than 500 souls.) is indelibly carved on the foundation of the old church, and is till honored by the generations that survive.

Let us now resume the history. In the Fall of 1826 a new pastor appears,--Rev. Clark H. Goodrich, of Delaware county, N. Y. The church was received under care of Columbia Presbytery, Oct. 26th, 1826, at Greenville. They adjourned to Windham and ordained and installed Mr. Goodrich, Oct. 28th, 1826, who began his eight year pastorate. With his coming a revived interest in church affairs was apparent. The records he kept are fine.

The first entry made under his pastorate shows that a very important event in the church history had occurred. There is now a "Session," and "Ruling Elders," and the church is denominated "First Presbyterian Church." The records henceforth are minutes of session meetings. How all this had been done, we do not know. The book is silent. We know, however, that about this time, by common consent, the Northern Associated Presbytery was given up, and most of the ministers and churches belonging to it joined the Columbia Presbytery. The churches became fully Presbyterian. In their church there were indications that there had always been a party who preferred Presbyterianism. As early as 1808, a committee had been appointed to examine the Presbyterian standards, but nothing further was done then. In 1812, a committee "to draft articles of disciplines" was appointed, but discharged the next November. In Oct., 1826, the society appointed a committee, of which Clark H. Goodrich was Chairman, "To draft a Constitution and Covenant" for the society. I believe that Mr. Goodrich was a Presbyterian, that he reported in favor of adopting their standards, that his report was adopted, and elders were elected and ordained, and the church was recognized by the Columbia Presbytery they reorganized Big Hollow that same Fall and Jewett the next year. The first session meeting under the new regime was held Nov. 14th, 1826.

The pastorate of Mr. Goodrich *(Mr. Goodrich, (who had been a lawyer before becoming a minister,) was a member of the church of Walton, and was examined, received and licensed, April 19th, 1826, without the usual preparatory study, "because his was an extraordinary case." He was much opposed to the division of the church, and left when it took place. He was dismissed April 16th, 1834. His farewell sermon was from the text: "I know that after my departure, grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock, etc.,"—and appropriate text under the circumstances. He moved to Stamford and resumed law practice.) was one of renewed activity. The next Spring (1827), they voted (1) not to divide the society; (2) to repair the meeting-house; (3) to paint the meeting-house; (4) to build a steeple and to expend $450 in these improvements. This was done by three men, one of whom built the steeple, another bought a bell and another presented a pipe organ. By 1831, it became necessary to build a parsonage, to cost $1,000. For this a subscription was raised that footed $992. It may interest you to know that some of these subscriptions were in hemlock lumber at $4 a thousand. And it was also provided that in case the church was divided the parsonage should be sold and the money divided among the original subscribers. This house was built and used by Mr. Goodrich and his successors. It was afterwards used by George Tuttle, father of Bishop Tuttle. It is the place now occupied by Mr. Pratt Brewer.

In 1832 the people had got tired of a meeting-house without fires in winter other than the women’s foot-stoves. It was voted January, 1832, "that we have two box stoves and a drum in the center placed in the meeting-house." Tradition says that there was much opposition to this move on the part of some, and that they declared that the heat of the stoves was insupportable.

The Society also gave permission to Deacon Osborn, H. Hubbard, H. R. Potter, A. Steele, C. H. Goodrich, A. Stone, C. Camp, J. Tuttle, Dr. King, H. Osborn, H. Kinsley, S. Steele and J. Robertson to build horse-sheds, commencing at the north-west corner of the meeting-house and running along the west line, and to any other persons, to begin at the north corner and run east. These sheds were built, but after division part of them were removed.

Mr. Goodrich’s pastorate lasted till the division of the church in 1834, about eight years. It was a time of great spiritual prosperity, not only here but through all the churches of our State. It was the time when Finney and Nettleton and other great revivalists did their wondrous works. The in gatherings which had been increasing for ten years from 1820-1830, culminated in the ever-memorable year of grace 1831. In that year ninety and nine were received to the old church, raising its roll in January, 1832 to 205 members. In 1831 was the high water mark in the history of the church. *( Presbytery’s report of the state of religion that year says: "It has been a year of the right hand of the Most High. Revivals in Catskill, Windham, Greenville, Lexington, Green River, Durham West, Windham East, also gatherings in Spencertown, New Lebanon, Canaan Centre, Hudson First, Hudson Second. About one thousand hopeful converts within our bounds the past year." )

And now I approach the greatest event in the history of the old church, viz.: The Windham division, which was the beginning of the end.

When the meeting-house was first located in this valley there were no villages anywhere. The place chosen was central, and it was anticipated that a village would grow up on the flat nearby. A man named Morss had intended to put in a mill where the stream from North Settlement issues from the ravine. He died before the mill was established. But gradually villages grew up at "Osbornville," now Windham, and "Scienceville," now Ashland. These places were about five miles apart. Still they all went to meeting in the old house half way between them. It was inevitable that as they grew stronger they should each desire a church home in their own village, and when either party felt strong enough a house was built.

There had been for several years a deal to talk about division, as far back as 1825. In January, 1834, things culminated. It was voted at a society meeting, that if there shall be a Presbyterian meeting-house built at Osbornville the inhabitants of that village shall have their proportion of the property whenever this house should be abandoned as a meeting-house of the First Society and cease to be their regular place of worship. Similar votes were passed in favor of Scienceville, and the Center and North Settlement. The proprietors of the new sheds were also given the privilege of moving them whenever they might feel disposed.

Matters progressed rapidly and April, 1834, 66 members asked for letters to form a new church at Osbornville. April 11th, 1834, Session granted the request, and with the proviso "that Session do not express any opinion with regard to the propriety of having a church formed at Osbornville, but leave the question open for discussion and decision by the Presbytery." Presbytery sent a commission which decided that it should be formed, and it was organized April 29th, 1834, Rev. David Porter, of Catskill, preaching the sermon, assisted by Rev. Mr. Durfee, of Hunter. The house of worship was dedicated Jan. 1st, 1835.

You will learn more of the history of the Windham Center church from another, and I can only say, that they took fully one-half of the old church both in numbers, working force and money. They have grown stronger and stronger, and have had an honorable career, and we all rejoice at their prosperity. As often happens, the child has become stronger than the mother that bore her.

The withdrawal of the Windham people made a terrible hole in the old tree—in fact split it down the middle—to the very roots. The portion left was that living along the valley and at Scienceville. They were in possession of the legal succession, the records, the house, the grave-yard, and so filling up the offices vacated, they went forward, trusting the God of their fathers, to guide them in the dark paths of an uncertain future.

Jan. 11th, 1835, they called Rev. Augustus T. Norton, *(Mr. Norton graduated at Yale, in 1832, and was licensed by Columbia Presbytery Sept. 17th, 1834. And ordained and installed April 1st, 1835. Rev. Mr. Durfee preached from Acts 10:44. The charge to the pastor was given by Rev. H. B. Stimson. The reason given to Presbytery for his resignation was "that he might become a Missionary on the Valley of the Mississippi." He was also dismissed to the Presbytery of Illinois. Mr. Norton became a distinguished frontier minister. He received the degree of D. D. from Wabash College, in 1868, and died in 1884.) who was ordained and installed April 1st, 1835. His stay was brief—not more than six months—for Aug. 11th, 1835, he was dismissed by Presbytery, and closed his labors the next Sabbath.

After Mr. Norton left, the church was in trouble. They sent a letter to Presbytery, complaining of four things, (1) the way Mr. Norton was dismissed; (2) the failure to be notified of some special meetings of Presbytery; (3) That the Presbytery did not hear their remonstrance when the church was divided, and (4) that the Presbytery did not regard them with proper attention. A commission to visit Windham was sent, who reported Oct. 14th, 1835, that they think that they succeeded in convincing the church that they had no legal ground for complaint, unless for the fact that their remonstrances against the division were not heard. "The congregation in Windham, the report continues, are in an unhappy and divided state. The occasion was the dismission of Mr. Norton." They are commended to "the prayers of Presbytery." Arrangements were also made to help the church, by having the members of Presbytery west of the River supply each one Sabbath in turn.

In a few months another pastor had been found, and July 17th, 1836, a call was made for Rev. Lewis Rema Lockwood. Mr. Lockwood was here two or three years, but there were circumstances unfavorable to the success of his ministry, and little progress was made. He was installed. *(Mr. Lockwood was from Harpersfield, was brought up a Methodist, studied law in Durham, and theology middle years at Auburn, 1828-29, was licensed by Northern Associated Presbytery, ordained as an evangelist by Columbia Presbytery Nov. 28th, 1832. He married for his second wife Clarissa Tuttle, daughter of John Tuttle. She died here. He removed to the West and died in 1880.) After Mr. Lockwood, for two or three years, Mr. Crispus Wright, a licentiate, served the church and appears to have been here as late as 1840. *(footnote on page 24 says this refers to Crispus Wright, one of the ministers. Mr. Wright was born in 1809, in Westford, joined Dr. Kirk’s Church in Albany, graduated at Oneida Institute, took middle year at Auburn, 1836-7, was ordained by Chenango Presbytery June, 1842. Served Meredith, Windham and Coventryville. Died at Exeter, July 5th, 1852.) In 1841 Rev. Josiah Hawes was employed and was the pastor when they moved to Ashland. These were dark days for the meeting-house, for a new one was building at Ashland to claim its worshippers. Tradition says, Mr. Wright and Mr. Hawes were married and resided there.

This is probable, for in 1836 they had voted to sell the parsonage, which was done a year or two later. Aaron Steele was authorized to collect the money and divide it among the original subscribers. They also gave permission to remove the sheds, which was done in several cases.

And now the end draws near. At the annual society meeting Oct. 31st, 1842, it was voted "that the place of worship be removed to Scienceville," and the meeting adjourned to meet in Scienceville next year. Tradition says the last sermon was preached in the old house by Rev. Austin G. Morss, one of the sons of the church, from the text, "Your fathers, where are they?"—a most fitting text for such an occasion.

The old house, left unused, soon became desolate. The furniture was scattered, and the bell, bought about 1827, hung unused in the steeple. Windham and Ashland each claimed that in equity, if not in law, they were entitled to the bell, in the division of property. Each wanted it to put in their own new church tower. So high did the strife rise, that some to the more zealous ones in each village planned to remove the bell secretly, and without "due process" to their own village. A company from Ashland went by night, lowered the bell, and brought it home. The Windham people thereafter always accused Ashland of stealing the bell.

Before we say good-bye to the old meeting-house let us for a moment call up to our minds some of those who for 40 years had gone in and out as worshippers. It was a fine congregation, and among them were some of more than local fame. Two of those boys, in later years, became Governor of New York State, Washington Hunt, son of Sanford Hunt, *(Sanford Hunt at one time kept a store in Ashland, where the Methodist parsonage now is. His son, Washington, the future Governor, is described as "a peculiarly gentle boy, of almost feminine grace of feature and sweetness of voice. " His later years did not belie his youthful promise. The family removed to Niagara county about 1817.), in 1857, and Lucius Robinson, son of Eli P. Robinson, in 1877. Two became Congressmen, Zadoc Pratt, 1837, 1843; Rufus H. King, 1855. Several were to sit as members of the Assembly of the State Legislature, Perez Steele, 1808,1813; Albert Tuttle, 1849; Henry Kinsley, 1852; George Robertson, 1855; Daniel B. Strong, 1858; Burton G. Morss, 1876. Two were to be Electors of the President, Zadoc Pratt, 1836, 1852; and Rufus H. King. 1860. Two or more were to be Sheriffs of the county, Sidney Tuttle, 1826; Nathaniel Ormsbee, 1853. Several became ministers of the Gospel, among whom I note Austin G. Morss, son of Foster Morss; Edward P. Stimson, eldest son of Rev. Henry B. Stimson; David Steele, son of Stephen Steele, a prominent Methodist ministers and educator; Sylvester S. Strong *(Dr. Sylvester Strong was born at Ashland, Sept. 14th 1813, became a christian at the age of 15, united with the Methodist church, obtained an academic education, an began to preach. He was ordained in 1835, and was an eloquent and successful minister. After 17 years his health failed, and he had to give up active work. He studied medicine with his brother, Dr. Samuel Strong, in Ohio, and graduated in medicine at the University of New York. He founded the Remedial Institute at Saratoga, and made it a great success. His piety and zeal never left him, but to the end he was the same apostolic soul. Dr. Theo. Cuyler and he were great friends. His sister, Dorcas, was the last wife of George Robertson.) son of Elijah Strong, and Oscar B. Hitchcock, *(Oscar Blakeslee Hitchcock was one of the most gifted sons of the old church. He was born May 24th, 1828, and died July 7th, 1897, of paralysis. He fitted for college at Delhi, Wilbraham (Mass.) and Amenia Academies and graduated from Union College in 1852. He studied theology at Yale and Andover, where he graduated in 1856. He was licensed Jan. 6th, 1857, by Essex South Association. He had a short pastorate at Owasco Lake and Whitney’s Point, N. Y., but ill health led him to return home, where care of his mother detained him. Still he preached more or less and was active in the war as chaplain and in hospital work. His war addresses were notable for their force and power. He traveled in Europe much and wrote a very fine history of Windham and Ashland. He was a poet of no mean talent. He does not seem to have ever been ordained—at least diligent search fails to find any record of ordination. Though he and his father belonged to Windham Center church, after the division, he still cherished a lively interest in the old church at Ashland, and beside several liberal gifts during life, he left it $500 in his will. He also left $100 to the cemetery, small sums to Freedmen schools and the bulk of his property, about $30,000, to Union College.) son of Sylvester Hitchcock, and perhaps others whom I have not learned about.

Besides these named there were many more just as worthy of mention, but omitted for lack of space, who became physicians, teachers, lawyers, bankers, soldiers, officials, and men of mark in their respective communities. Among the prominent laymen were Col. Geo. Robertson, son of James Robertson, and his brothers and sisters, and his son, Loring Robertson, who left a fortune of several millions; also Zadoc Pratt, the man who gave name and fame to Prattsville; also Burton G. Morss, who made Red Falls, now deserted, a hive of industry at one time also the Strongs at Ashland, tanners and merchants; the Stimson, brothers and sisters of Henry B., who lived in the parish, the Hitchcocks of Big Hollow, the Steeles on the Batavia. The Osborns, who made Osbornville, the Tuttles, the Whites, the Munsons, and dozens of others, who in early life attended meeting at the old meeting-house, and felt its moulding influence. Surely it was a fine congregation, and has its full quota of names on the rolls of honor and fame.

And how many distinguished men from elsewhere at some time had been seen and heard within its walls who can tell. It is a fact, that Horace Greeley once spoke there. A discussion had been arranged between him and Silas Wright, on the subject of the Tariff. Wright did not appear and D. K. Olney, then of Windham, took Wright’s place, and answered Mr. Greeley very ably.

I must not close without a word as to what became of the old meeting house. It had been deeded, tradition says, to the Church, with a provision in the deed, that when it should cease to be used as a place of worship it should revert back to the original owners. The farm from which it was taken, was then owned by B. G. Morss. He took possession of it, boarded up the windows, took down the bell tower, stripped it of its pews and galleries, and made it into a barn. And in that condition it remained till February, 1896, when it was taken down by Albert B. and John W. Steele, the present owners of the farm.

The sight of the old deserted house, converted to such secular uses, methinks must have often stirred the feeling of passers by, who themselves had been wont to worship there, or whose fathers or kindred did, and also of the traveler who had pious regard for a sanctuary. The sight sometimes moved those who had a poetical talent, as well as a pious reverence. A lady, a Miss Harvey, who spent a few weeks in the place, was so moved that she wrote the following poem about the old house, and with this flowery wreath to posey I will finish my narrative. And decorate the memory of the Old First Church:

The Catskill’s leafy range stretched far away,
Sheltering the noble Hudson’s glassy breast;
While in the distance its blue summit rose,
And seemed commingled with the azure sky.
Nearer, the waving foliage woo’d the eye;
Beech, birch, and maple, silver aspen too;
The hemlock dark, and tasseled pine between,
Adding fresh beauty to the light and shade;
And fellow-travelers look’d with awe and love,
As on the features of an old and dear
Familiar friend, still bright in memory.

Beside the road, a velvet grassy lawn
Stretched on our left, and there a stately fane
In silent grandeur stood-deserted-lone:
The path o’ergrown with weeds-no footprint there-
No step to echo thro’ the ruin’d aisle.
Not e’en the sound of merry bird was heard,
Except upon the far-off mountains side.
Yet here, once rose to Heaven, the fervent prayer—
The song of praise—the Christian’s ardent love:
Here God’s own minister, His message bore,
And bade the burden’d sinner cast his cares
Beneath the reeking cross, and be forgiven.
Here lips of wisdom urg’d to holy deeds;
The bread of life was broken—and the blood
Of Christ was drunk in sad remembrance.

Here pious parents gave their little ones
To God in baptism from the holy font;
And here the blushing maid and happy youth
Pronounced their vows, in wedlock’s solemn bands,
Yes—a lov’d Father in these hallow’d walls,
At times has stood—his Master’s will and power
Proclaiming. Alas, alas! that voice is blushed,
Those lips are mute, that breath’d a blessing there!
See the lone pulpit, and the altar still!
Mementoes of the past. How silent all!!
Awe-struck we gaze, while through the broken lights,
The mournful winds alone a requiem sigh.

And he, the shepherd of the scatter’d flock,
Whose noblest powers were garner’d for their weal;
Who kept the watch-tower half a century—
Where is he now? Let the cold earth reply,
Who claimed his body for her own at last,
But not the soul, the immortal spirit,
That forsook its frail and earthly casket,
And rose on seraph wings, above to God.

Twice rolled the sun his changing annual round,
While that lone body linger’d on, without
The kindly spirit—mind had fled!
The semblance of a man, without a soul!
Thus that old ruin’d fane may prove a type
Of him who labor’d there—the good and great.
Sad lesson this, that all of earth must die!
* * * *
I pass’d again the lone deserted church.
O! what a change, since last, with holy thoughts,
And tearful eyes, I saw the sacred spot,
The fine old ruin desecrated now!
Man’s hand had ventured there, enclosing all—
The windows boarded up—to serve for use!
I turn’d away with sad and sickening heart:
‘Twas sacrilege.

List of Officers, Elders, Members, & c.
Note: Some of these served several time. The year given in that of their first election.
1803 - 1826


1803 Jedediah Hubbard

1808 William Hubbard

_______ Beach

Nathan Osborn

1807 Gideon Hosford

1817 George Babcock

Church Clerks

1803 George C. Stimson

1813 Luman Squires

1808 Noah Pond

1813 Robert M. Turney

1812 Erastus Beach

1826 A. Stone

The Standing Committee

1807 George Stimson

1812 William Beach

Jonathan Beach

1813 Jairus Munson

Israel Thompson

Timothy Hubbard

Isaiah Babcock

1814 James O. Gates

1809 Theophilus Peck

George Babcock

Nathan Osborn

Joseph Hamilton

Munson Buel

1817 Elijah Strong

Perez Steele

John Tuttle

1826 – 1842


Timothy Hubbard

1834 Jairus Munson

1837 Argalus White


Ruling Elders

1826 Timothy Hubbard

Austin Strong

Nathan Osborn

Aaron Steele

James Robinson

1828 James Robertson

Robert M. Turney

1833 Buel White

Argalus White

Abner Berry

Abijah Stone

Henry Osborn

Jairus Munson

Consider Camp

1837 Nathaniel Stimson



1808 Noah Pond

Josiah Chatfield

Philetus Reynolds

1822 Clark Finch

Nathan Osborn

Nehemiah Lewis

Timothy Hubbard

1823 David Arnold

Elijah Strong

Curtis Mattoon

Jairus Munson

1825 Bennett Osborn

1809 Perez Steele

Buel White

1810 Ephraim Turney

1830 Austin Strong

Argalus White

1831 Henry Kinsley

1811 James O. Gates

1832 Eli P. Robinson

Nathaniel Stimson

Albert Steele

1812 Robert M. Turney

1833 Halsey Hubbard

Levi Babcock

Albert Tuttle

1813 Joseph Hamilton

1834 Charles Voose

James Robertson

Stephen Steele

1814 Orange Munson

1835 Chauncey Hubbard

1815 John Tuttle

1836 Elisha White

Aaron Steele

1837 Sylvester Hitchcock

1816 Jairus Strong

Daniel B. Strong

1817 Benjamin Kinsley

George Arnold

Enoch Blakeslee

Lawrence Winnie

1818 George Babcock

1840 George L. Morss

1819 Aaron Claflin

1842 E. S. White

1820 Abijah Stone


Communicant Members
1803 – 1826

Original Members

Elisha Strong

Esther Rice

Sabara Hubbard

Samuel Ives

Ichabod Brown

Rebekah Tuttle

Lowly Ives

Elijah Strong

Anna Buel

Jedediah Hubbard

Samuel Crocker

Increase Claflin

Timothy Hubbard

Betsey Crocker

Sarah Claflin

Amos Hubbard

Lydia Baldwin

George Stimson

Martha Hubbard

Lois Lockwood

Experience Stone

Dolly Hubbard

Abigail Snow

Hannah Morison

Dolly Hubbard, Jr.

Abigail Stimson

Sarah Rice

Jared Rice


Added Subsequently.

Abraham Dudley

Noah Pond

Molly Robinson

Benjamin Chamberlin

Mary Pond

Gilbert Saxson and wife

William Chamberlin

Simon Pratt

William Beach and wife

Mary Chamberlin

Abigail Fitch

James Coe and wife

Sarah Brown

Isaac Miles and wife

Asahel Baldwin

Hannah Munson

Daniel Miles and wife

Lucy Baldwin

Richard Peck

Samuel Baldwin and wife

Joseph Hamilton

Betsey Peck

Ebenezer Johnston and wife

Woman Squire

Elihu Rogers

Samuel Peck and wife

Truman Hinman and wife

Elizabeth Rogers

Harvey Baldwin

Sylvester Miles

Lucy Hull

Isaiah Babcock and wife

Sally Miles

Edward Pond

Alanson Saxton and wife

Nathaniel Stimson

Woman Pond

Philetus Reynolds

Sarah Stimson

Adoniram Miner

Patience Miner

Becca Stimson

Mrs. Boardman

Caleb P. Ives

Jonathan Beach and wife

Orange Munson and wife

Whiting Rice

Deacon Beach

John Rich and wife

Albert Tuttle

David Johnston and wife

Esther Chatfield

George White

Theron Hough’s wife

Mrs. Stimson

Derrick Conine

Zadoc Pratt’s wife

Joseph Atwood and wife

John Sturges

Rockwell Strong

Mrs. Mary Ann Barlow

Ephraim Chamberlain

James. O. Gates

Mrs. Timothy Baldwin

Sally Stimson

James Robertson

Mrs. Lydia Baldwin

Sally Skiff

James Saxton

Mrs. Aaron Steele

Stephen Johnson’s wife

Theron Hough

Mrs. Jacob Hitchcock

Rebecca Osborn

Lemuel Hitchcock

Mrs. Cherry Burnham

Widow Tichenor 1806

Phebe Hitchcock


Theophilus Peck’s wife

Widow Parsons

Mrs. Panel Tyler

Theophilus Peck Feb. 1807

Henrietta Claflin

Mrs. Abram Cargill

Sally Claflin

Mrs. Nathan Osborn

Sylvia Strong

John Tuttle, Jr.

Mrs. John Ives

Cynthia Claflin

Hannah Tuttle

Mrs. Peter Lewis

David Arnold and wife

Polly Tuttle

Mrs. Polly Bush

Perez Steele and wife

Buel White

Mrs. Laura Hale

Gideon Hosford

Jairus Strong

Mrs. Freeman Snow

Samuel Hubbard

Selina Hough

Mrs. Rachel Beers

Josiah Chatfield and wife

Ruth Smith

Mrs. Samuel Smith

Reuben Smith and wife

Andrew Hubbard, 1816

Mary Strong

Samuel Henson and wife

Hudson Kinsley

Mrs. Dumah Tuttle

Docia Strong

Mrs. Benjamin Morss

Halsey Hubbard

Mrs. Buel White

Freeman Snow

Susannah Prout

Mrs. Nicholas Hummel

Lucinda Wears

Cornelius K. Benham

Mrs. Samuel Hubbard

Nathan Osborn

Zalmon Hitchcock

Mrs. Charles Voise

Jairus Munson and wife

Abijah Stone and wife

Mrs. Charles Graham

Mandana Hamilton

Mrs. Josiah Brainard

Mrs. Allen

Martha Hubbard

Mrs. Nathaniel Stimpson

Loly Ives

Olinda Munson

Mrs. Ebenezer Beers

Samuel Baldwin

Mrs. Lucy Steele

Mrs. Widow Stimpson

Aaron Claflin

Benjamin Kinsley

Mrs. James Robinson

Robert M. Turney

Benjamin Morss

Mrs. Polly Stimpson

Betsey Steel

Henry Van Slike

Mrs. Elias Fanncher

Nancy Stone

James Wears

Mrs. Bennett Osborn

Deborah Stone

Charles Voise

Mrs. Henry Osborn

Levi Babcock and wife

Ephriam Turney

Mrs. Stephen Steele

George Babcock

Argalus White

Mrs. John Sturges

Timothy Bailey and wife

Aaron Steele

Mrs. Austin Strong

Elisha Thompson and wife

Nathaniel Stimson

Mrs. Sally Edmonds

Anna B. Tuttle

Ebenezer Beers

Welthy Hubbard

Anna Hitchcock

Curtis Mattoon

Suca Prout

Enoch Blakeslee

Betsey Stone

Merrit Osborn

Lydia Robinson


1826 – 1830

Mrs. Hannah Barber

Huldah Turney

Roma R. Ives

Mrs. Polly Strong

Keziah Goodrich

Emily Hubbard

Mrs. Sally Osborn

Eli P. Robinson and wife

Mrs. Archibald Bronough

Gurnsey Osborn and wife Mariah

Lydia Robertson

Albert Tuttle and wife Minerva

Austin Morss

Mrs. Hannah Beame

Mrs. Sally Ann Youngs

Mrs. Lois Beers

Margaret Matthews

Mrs. Barer (aged 82)

Elenor Osborn

Loring Andrews

Mrs. Frayer

Eliza Shipman


Joined in 1831.

Dr. Consider King and wife Lucina

Lawrence Winnie

Clarissa Thorp

Milton Robinson

Hannah Beam

William Hubbard

Gilman Morss

Dorcas Strong

Albert Steele and wife

Walter Southerland

Aurelia Strong

Aaron B. Steele

George Arnold

Elvira Strong

Alvin Smith and wife

Horace Hubbard

Louisa Strong

George Robertson and wife

Harmon Hitchcock

Elvira Hitchcock

Levi Tiel

Abigail Stephens

Thomas Southard

George L. Morss and wife

Henry C. Stimson

Fanny Hinman

Chauncey Hubbard and wife

Nathaniel Stimson, Jr.

Emily Osborn

Benjamin Morss Jr.

Fanny Hubbard

William Robinson and wife

Samuel Robinson

Martha Wears

Ornan Stimpson

Nancy Tuttle

Consider Camp and wife

Mrs. Sidney Tuttle

Adeline Tuttle

Mrs. Halsey Hubbard

Mary Tuttle

William Young and wife

Mrs. Bennet Osborn

Clarissa Tuttle

Mrs. Daniel Hunt

Julia Tuttle

Horace Graham

Mrs. Fanny Loomis

Mahala Tuttle

Humphrey R. Potter and wife

Mrs. Julia Camp

Jane Ann Ives

Mrs. Polly Turney

Thursa Chidester

Almos M. Babcock and wife

Mrs. Lydia Lovejoy

Eliza Ann Morss

Mrs. John Rose

Florilla Kinsley

Abner Berry and wife

Mrs. Roma R. Ives

Marian Lake

Eugene Bump

Mrs. Lemuel Stimson

Harriet Barney

Lyman Bigelow

Mrs. Eugene Bennet

Mary B. Stimson

Isaac Cornwall

Mrs. Harry Kinsley

Silva Doty

Joel Brandow and wife

Mrs. J. M. Job

Eliza Ann Robertson

William Doty and wife

Mrs. Clarissa Williams

Laura Goodrich

Elisha White and wife

Arinda Arnold

Eunice Osborn

James W. Lamoreaux

Diodema Voose

Clarissa Munson


1832 – 1842

Electa Mattoon

Nancy Etsall

Mrs. Eliza Stevens

Laban A. Hubbard and wife

Cynthia Carndell

Stephen S. Keeler and wife Amelia

Sally Sherman

Mrs. Lydia Goodrich

Alexander Palmer

Mrs. Lorinda Hitchcock

George Goodrich

Eliakim Stannard and wife Frances

Mrs. Jane White

Philander M. Smith

Harriet Hubbard

Alexander Reynolds

Antoinette Stannard

Mrs. Mary Atwood

Isaac N. Reynolds

Harriet Stannard

Mrs. Sarah Turney

Mrs. Ann Reynolds

Mrs. Lucy Osborn

Joel Peck and wife

Elijah Fuller

Mrs. Desire Mattoon

Mrs. Anna Reynolds

Mrs. Lucy Osborn

Elizabeth Peck

Loretta Reynolds

Elias Kirtland

Mrs. Allen Smith

Mrs. Mary Miller

Mrs. Lucy Steele

Mrs. Samuel Ormsbee


Note:--there were probably a few others who were members before 1827, whose names are not in the above list, owing to deficient records. Some females, perhaps, appear twice, both under their maiden and married names.

By Rev. Henry B. Stimson

Sept. 26th, 180_, Chancy Hubbard and Anna Brainard.

Mar. 28th, 1804, John Sneathen to Mrs. Doolittle

Apr. 5th, 1804, James Robertson to Miss Betsey Rogers.

By ________

Jan. 1st, 1830, Alvin Smith to Aletta Bell.

June 217th, 1830, Harman Parker to Loiza Shipman.

The First Congregational Church of Lexington Heights—Now Jewett Presbyterian.

A  Short History

The material for a full history of this church are in existence, but space forbids the giving of more than a brief outline here. Some future historian will doubtless do the subject justice.

In the History of the old Windham First Church (of which this church was a part previous to 1813), will be found some items of its history before that time. The division was effected April 20th, 1813, and the new church organized by a "Council of the Northern Associated Presbytery," Sixty-nine members joined in the petition. They adopted 15 Articles of Faith and a Covenant, and chose Munson Buel, Clerk. The "candidate they had liberty to hire to preach after Dec. 1st," was no doubt Daniel Beers. He was called April 13th, 1813, and ordained and installed Sept. 13th, 1813, by the same Presbytery. His "salary was $300, and use of parsonage lot worth $600." He seems to have left by 1819. During this period the Church seems to have grown to about 160 members. The care they took of the flock in those days is seen by the fact that they appointed a committee whose duty is was "to trace wrong reports to their origin and put them in train for settlement." They also decided to "meet Friday before communion to catechise the children." They also adopted 13 "Articles of Discipline."

The Church and Society records for the next eight years are missing, but from Mr. Harrowar’s Farewell Sermon, Presbytery records and other sources, we glean that from 1819 to 1821, they were supplied, probably, by Rev. Henry B. Stimson, who was still pastor of the Old Church. Mr. Stimson was often their supply in later years, when they needed temporary supplies. Rev. David Harrowar in Nov., 1821, became their minister, and preached his farewell Nov. 26th, 1826. He was installed by the Northern Associated Presbytery. In his ministry he preached three times each Sabbath and fourteen converts united with the church. Mr. Harrowar was one of the zealous home missionaries of that day who traveled far and near. He was an able sermonizer, a close reasoner, and fervent in piety. In doctrine he sympathized with the Hopkinsian school.

After Mr. Harrowar there was no regular minister for a while. The next summer, 1827, the Rev. Asahel Nettleton, D. D., the famous evangelist, came from Durham, where he was staying for his health, and spent a month, and under his preaching there was a great revival, with 40 or 50 conversions. A letter he wrote about this revival is printed in his Memoirs.

About this time many Congregational churches adopted Presbyterian government and the Lexington church decided to do the same in the Spring of 1827. They elected elders, and were received by Columbia Presbytery July 3d, 1827, thus changing their ecclesiastical relations. For some reason they did not think it necessary to ask the Northern Associate Presbytery for a dismission. That Presbytery complained, and two or three years after they got their letter, and were regularly received by Columbia Presbytery, Sept. 20th, 1831.

The next pastor was the Rev. William Johnson, who was on the ground as early as April, 1828, was installed by Columbia Presbytery, Sept. 28th, 1828, and dismissed April 25th, 1832, on account of ill health. There were some difficult discipline cases in those years. This church also shared in the great revival in gatherings of 1831. *( It seems proper to record at this point the fact that there was once a Presbyterian church at Lexington Flats, which lived but a little more than two years. Feb. 1st, 1832, "liberty to unite with it when formed" was granted to Richard Peck and wife, Chauncey Peck and wife, John Peck and wife, and Walter L. Barber. Later Lydia Chamberlain was also dismissed to it. April 18th, 1832, the newly formed Church was received by Columbia Presbytery. Mr. Timothy Edwards was the Commissioner. Their minister for a short time was Rev. William Frazer, from the "United Secession Church of Scotland." Then they were supplied for six months once a month, by Presbytery in turn. April 15th, 1834, the Church had leave to dissolve. This Church was doubtless due to the efforts of Mr. Edwards, who was a brother of William Edwards of Hunter, and grandson of the famous Jonathan Edwards. He for some years had a tannery at Lexington.)

After Mr. Johnson came Rev. Charles Jones, and Englishman, who made a good impression at first, and was engaged as a supply. But after a time it was evident that his old country ideas on clerical deportment and drinking were not strict enough for this Church, and the people became divided over him. A majority of the Church were opposed to retaining him, but a majority of the Society favored him and so he continued to preach. The matter was taken to Presbytery and they notified the ecclesiastical body in New York to which Mr. Jones belonged, which declined to act. The Presbytery could only pronounce his ministrations "Irregular." The matter was finally referred to a committee of neighboring ministers and elders, who sustained the Church. He stayed till the fall of 1833. *(Soon after Mr. Jones’ time the M. E. Church was started, and in the year 1848, they erected their meeting-house, on the Presbyterian Church lot, on a site for which they paid five dollars. They continued to flourish for many years, but gradually declined until they ceased to hold regular services about 1892. In 1901 they sold their house at auction. It was bought by the Presbyterians and fitted up for social uses. The Presbyterian records state that in 1858—D. Noble Chase, for himself and his Methodist brethren," asked the privilege of holding union prayer meetings with the Presbyterians, which was granted on conditions, that the rules and usages of the Presbyterians were observed, and their doctrines were not to be attacked. The record does not state whether the union was made.

The next pastor was Rev. Augustus L. Chapin, who came from Delaware Presbytery, and remained here 8 years. He was here as early as Oct., 1833, was installed Nov. 13, 1833. He was a good man and did a good work, and left the Church, which he found divided, in a more united state.

The successor of Mr. Chapin was Rev. Seth Williston, D. D., who resided in Durham, but supplied about two years, 1841-1843, and had a fruitful ministry.

The next pastor was Rev. J. J. Buck, who began his labors Oct. 15, 1843. He was installed by Presbytery of Columbia (O.S.), May 1, 1844, and dismissed by Catskill Presbytery, April 24, 1867, a period of 23 years and six months, the longest pastorate in the history of the Church. Early in his ministry, in 1847, occurred one of the most extensive and thorough-going revivals in the history of the Church—40 being added that year, some of whom still survive and are now pillars in the Church. There were several other revivals in Mr. Buck’s time, notably in the years 1858,1862,1865. Discipline was faithfully attended to. Some dissatisfied members, who would not walk with the Church, were kindly dealt with. Mr. Buck preached and practiced the giving of a tenth, which he did in spite of his eight children, small salary and lack of capital. And he trained his people to give too. *(This country Church, composed entirely of farmers and located on mountain lands, with about 100 members, between the years 1843 – 1864, contributed to Missions and benevolent work, outside their own church expenses at home, no less than $14,095, and average of $671 a year. One year it was as high as $1,235.)

One prominent member we are sorry to record, embraced the Mormon faith, and went to Utah. He was excommunicated. In 1850 the name of the church was changed to Jewett, to correspond with the changed town name. Mr. Buck was a good preacher, a diligent pastor, and lived a blameless life. He loved his people and was respected and loved by them. But unfortunately in the latter part of his ministry, in the Civil War times, his silence on the issues of the war caused dissatisfaction which finally resulted in his dismission, in 1867.*(After Mr. Buck’s dismission he continued to reside in Jewett. One year he supplied Big Hollow. His friends in Jewett provided for his needs as long as he lived by an annual subscription. Finally they bought for him, for $600, a place near Glasco, to which he removed and he died there April 26th, 1870. He was buried in Jewett cemetery and sleeps among the people he loved and served.)

After Mr. Buck ceased preaching in April, 1867, there was an interval of a year or two, in which Rev. Silas McKinney supplied, tradition says about three months. A move was also made to call Rev. A. D. Barber, but it was not done. In 1869 Rev. Andrew Montgomery became the minister, and remained about two years. He was here in April, 1871, but in September the record says "We have no pastor." The "present supply was not yet ordained." About this time Rev. Timothy Williston, son of Rev. Seth Williston, D. D., who lived at Ashland, supplied for a time. He was an able sermonizer and sound in doctrine. By Jan. 3d, 1872, Rev. Nathan Leighton was here. He was called March 18th, 1872, and installed. He remained about six years. During his ministry the meeting-house was enlarged and remodeled. There was a fine revival which enlarged the Church numerically and spiritually, 19 being added, 1st Sabbath, January, 1873.

The next minister was Rev. Frederick F. Judd, who came in 1877 or 1878, and remained four years. Under his ministry there was another revival which still farther strengthened the Church. In September, 1881, his health was so poor that he thought of resigning, but was advised by Session to continue. He left in 1882.

The next pastor was Rev. William S. Long, who began his labors October 1st, 1882, was ordained May 30th, 1883, and called March 7th, 1886, installed June 2d, 1886, remained till May 27th, 1900, more than 17 years, the second longest pastorate in the history of the Church. Mr. Long was a good pastor and Sabbath School worker. Many were added to the church by his labors. The Christian Endeavor Society was organized in 1888. Under the labors of Rev. Lester Leggett, the "Mountain Evangelist," Feb. 9-24, 1894, there were many converted. Mr. Long’s labors will long abide in the history of the church.

Our present pastor, Rev. Seneca McNeil Keeler, was called Oct. 2, 1900, and installed Nov. 13, 1900. He is in the fourth year of his able ministry. The meeting house built in 1848, was extensively repaired and decorated in 1901. The parsonage built in 1844, was enlarged in 1896, and with the 10 acres of land, is a comfortable minister’s home.

It is right in closing that we make greatful mention of the financial help given us by our summer guests for 30 or 40 years past, which of late years has been from $200 to $400 a year. May these generous christian friends be abundantly rewarded for their gifts and labors of love, and may they and we all meet, with our sainted dead gone before, the General Assembly of the Church above.

List of Officers.
The Date is the Year of Election


1813 Theophilus Peck

1834 Charles Peck

William Beach

1855 Schuyler B. Coe

Munson Buel

1897 Elmer E. Atwater

Standing Committee
1813 Ebenezer Johnson David Johnson Samuel Baldwin

Ruling Elders.

1827 Munson Buel

1855 Aaron Pond

Luman Squire

Hervey North

Norman Ticknor

1865 Justin Morse

Elisha Bailey

David Pond

Hl. V. Beach, M. D.

1872 James Harrington

Oliver Coe

Schuyler B. Coe

Ambrose Baldwin

Lucius North

Charles Peck

1883 James A. Race

1829 Theophilus Peck

George H. Chase

Samuel Osborn

Brainard O. Peck

Amos Peck

Judson B. Pond

1842 Ezra Pratt

1897 Melvin E. Johnson

Jared Johnson

Orville T. Bailey

Ransom Distin



The Presbyterian Church of Windham Centre—Now Windham.
A Short History by Oswell R. Coe.

I am asked to tell you what has been accomplished by the Windham branch of the Old Church, that swarmed out and became a new hive of christain industry (as a bee keeper would express it). In answer, I cannot do it. It cannot be described.

Had I been asked to tell you what a Napoleon or a Washington had accomplished, there is history with all the data to draw from. Not so of the work of Church had done, as that is a work that is only begun here and reaches into eternity, and sacred writ says: "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man the things God hath prepared for them that love Him." No one can tell what the feeblest church is accomplishing. Much less can we tell of the work of a church that has caused hundred to turn their faces Zionward.

A church well supported may be the very upbuilding of an entire community. The lack of one may result in its undoing.

Within the recollection of those now living, La Porte and Denver each aspired to become the capital of Colorado. Denver had its churches; La Porte had none. Denver was a long ways—many miles—from any pass by which one could enter into and get over the Rocky Mountains, while La Porte was out on the plains, just where the Cash La Poo River brakes from its rocky fastness and forms a natural gateway or pass into and over the great mountain range—an ideal location for a great city.

Look at them to-day. La Porte is the same little town with its many drinking places and no church there. Denver is a great city, the very metropolis of the whole Rocky Mountain region, with its many great churches.

God only knows how much the old first Church did for Denver, and how much the lack of one injured La Porte.

In 1834, what is now the village of Windham, having become a thriving community, and many of the supporters of our Mother Church (we meet to honor to-day) living there, deemed it best to swarm out and establish a new Church.

Accordingly, on April 29th of that year, under the moderatering of David Porter, D. D., what is now known as the Center Presbyterian Church, was organized with a membership of 54 names, that was dismissed by letter from the old to the new Church. The erection of a new church building was at once begun and completed the same year, and, on the next New Years day, Jan. 1st, 1835, appropriately dedicated to the public worship of God. Thirteen days later a unanimous call was extended to Rev. Leonard B. Van Dyck. That he accepted, and was installed pastor the following month, remaining as such for 25 years. Rev. Wm. Addy succeeded him and was pastor from May 12th, 1861 to 1865; Rev. Chas. Kendall was from May, 1866, to 1873; Rev. Benjamin T. Phillips from April 23, 1874, to Jan. 1st, 1876; Rev. Rufus King from April 2d, 1876, to Sept. 1st 1876; Rev. Richard G. McCarthy from Oct. 1st, 1876, to Dec. 16th, 1882; Rev. Benjamin Parsons from Jan. 1st, 1884, to March 3d, 1889; Rev. Hiram H. Kellogg from May 1st, 1889, to Jan. 1st, 1891, and the Rev. Chester C. Thorne from Feb. 1st, 1891, up to this time our present minister.

Those who have been chosen Elders are: Consider Camp. Henry Osborn, Nathan Osborn, James Robertson, Abijah Stone, George Robertson, Charles Stedman, G. Huntington Doty, Alfred Atwater, S. Henry Atwater, John A. Newell, Humphrey Potter, Dwight B. Hitchcock, Monroe W. Carr, Lawyer Mellen.

There have joined our Church on profession of faith 347 person, and by letter 238, making 585 members. Our present membership is 121.

As the country feeds our great cities, so she sends many of our best church workers there, thus weakening us who need their help, and building up churches already much stronger than ourselves—a kind of swarming out that we do not appreciate. Had I the time I could name over a long list of names well-known and of extended influence who have been granted letters of dismissal and recommendation to our city churches from our branch of the Old Church.

We are told, "Money answereth all things." Money is required in doing effectual church work, and therefore I take great pleasure in saying to you that our Church has contributed during the past 12 years to Home and Foreign Missionary and the other Boards of our Church $7,197; for pastor’s salary and other home Church work $16,963, making a grand total of $24,150, during the pastorate of Mr. Thorne. I regret to say, I am unable, from the uncomplete records of the other 69 years, to more than estimate the amounts. If, however, they have averaged as large (some years they were larger) as the past 12 years, they would foot up, including the past 12 years, the grand total of $163,012. The original cost of the church building, with the addition and improvements, has been $8,000, and of the parsonage property $3,925, all of which has been fully paid up, and our Society has now a fund on hand of over $3,500. These are magnificent tokens of the generosity and practical christian benevolence of our people. But, as I told you in the beginning, nothing can measure or describe a work that is only begun here on earth and reaches out into eternity. A bit of history may illustrate my meaning.

About 1793, Dr. Thomas Benham, having broken a twig from a tree to use as a riding switch, (the doctors all went horseback in those days) gave it to his son, Jacob, who thoughtlessly stuck it in the ground, where it remained until it had taken root and finally grew into a great Lombardy poplar, giving shade and comfort to may people long after father and son had passed into the great beyond. So a little kind act or a small contribution may take root and grow long after the giver shall have passed away.

When this whole region was overrun with wolves and bears, a godly preacher began his sermon one day with the words, "There is a Lion in the Way," with hand extended towards the open door. So realistic was his method of address that it was said to have so startled the congregation that a large part of them turned as if to see the animal.

At a later day Rev. Austin Morse here in the Old Church took for this text, "Your fathers, where are they?" and many eyes were turned toward yonder cemetery, as if to respond, "There they are." If that were a truthful responding inference then—60 years ago—how much more so to-day, when the ever increasing number of those who have passed on before, has required the enlarging, and then again enlarging the bounds of yonder burial ground. But methinks it was not true of the fathers then and is not true of them now. For I believe if we could but part the very thin veil that separates us from our godly parents who have passed over the River, we would not see them there, but here, near at hand. They cannot come to us, but we can and I trust will, go the them. God grant that we may always be ready to go.

It is of the children of those early days that they had their parents in such good subjection that they would not even allow them one Sunday at home, but insisted on always going to church each Sunday.

Those in a newly settled country seem to appreciate church privileges. A few years ago, in the far West, I saw, Sunday after Sunday, whole families (not small ones either) coming into the city to church in lumber wagons. (I sometimes enjoyed a ride with them.) How may of us think you would be regular attendants at church if the old lumber wagon were the only means of conveyance to get there in? You need not answer. I don’t want to know.

We are told that the mid-week prayer meetings were well sustained in those early days, not withstanding the dark, lonely roads that were little more that paths through the forest. Think of a godly father and other each on horseback, with a child in front and behind each of the, (three on each horse,) a not unusual sight in those days. History tell of godly mothers who met in the forests week after week to pray with not even a tent to shelter them.

If I had the courage I would say shame on the present generation who so frequently stay away from church services and the mid-week prayer meetings when we have our comfortable spring wagons and good roads to use in getting there, when our forefathers overcame such obstacles, that they might meet together in public worship, and unite in prayer and praise.

There are those now who hold the worship of God so sacred that they will not allow the use of an organ in church worship. We smile over their scruples, forgetting that for years the Old Church was used without any fire in it to make it comfortable during the every long services of those days in winter, and the seats were only rude benches made from slabs. I presume they would have thought it wrong to prepare and use the comfortably cushioned pews of to-day. *(We are indebted to Mr. Erastus T. Peck, now in his 96th years, for the following incident: "The meeting house was occupied for quiet a number of years before it was finished, outside or in. It had no steeple, and rude slab benches took the place of pews. The three wealthiest and most prominent members of the Society were Bennett Osborn, Sidney Tuttle and Foster Morss. Mr. Tuttle said to Mr. Morss, "I will build a steeple if you will buy a bell." Mr. Osborn said: "If Mr. Morss will buy a bell, I will buy an organ." To these propositions assent was given. The steeple was built, a bell was purchased and hung, and an organ was placed in the gallery. Ever after Mr. Tuttle was known as ‘Stepple Tuttle’, Mr. Morss as ‘Bell Morss,’ and Mr. Osborn as ‘Organ Osborn.’")

History tells of those less than a century ago who believed it very wrong to warm and make comfortable a church during services, and it was not until 1817 that a majority consented to the use of a stove in a church, and even then there was much bitter opposition, and the first Sunday after a stove had been provided for a certain church and set up (although no fire had yet been kindled) we are told of two who fainted away and were carried outside to recover from the (to them) irreligious heat caused by the stove, but on learning that it was their imagination that had overcome them, they ventured back and remained comfortably during the remaining service.

My great-grandfather, Munson Buell, familiarly known as Judge Buell, (having been County Judge,) was a very great lover of music. The night on which he died my father, Schuyler B. Coe, sat up with him, and just before his ears were closed to the music of earth he asked father to sing a familiar church hymn, and father did it with all the statement and feeling at this command, after which grandfather passed away. Father often talked about that night of music and death. Can we doubt that they now unite in singing the songs of the redeemed in Heaven. *(In those early days, ministers, deacons, elders and members all were considered good temperance men if they only drank liquor in moderation, while to-day it would be much curtailed if it were known that they were habitual users of intoxicating liquors even in moderation. A grandson of Foster Morss relates the following incident: He says that at a Society meeting in the old church when business did not progress satisfactorily, his grandfather said: "If any one will go over to Gun’s Hotel and get a gallon of whiskey, I will pay for it." James Robertson responded: "I will do it," and did so, and it was drunk, and under its exhilerating effect, the business was easily and satisfactorily completed.)

The First Presbyterian
Church Ashland
A Short History by Rev. Henry Martyn Dodd, A. M.

It is proper to say at the outset, that the Ashland Church in reality is the old First Congregational Church of Windham, which became Presbyterian in 1826, moved to "Scienceville" in 1842, and has ever since been know as the "Presbyterian Church of Ashland." We have the legal succession, the organization, and the records. But while we are historically and legally the old church, yet practically we are a new and daughter church dating back to the time when we established ourselves at Ashland.

The name "Scienceville" was given to Ashland at first, because at that village there were some families of more than ordinary education, who paid especial attention to having high schools, and cultivated learning. When the town was set off from Windham in 1848, it was named Ashland in compliment to the home of Henry Clay, who had some warm friends in this place.

The old Society, Oct. 31st, 1842, voted "to remove the place of worship to Scienceville." Their minister was Rev. Josiah Hawes, who had come in 1841. The elders were Argalus White, Jairus Munson and Abner Berry. There is no records that Mr. Hawes was installed pastor. The new meeting house at Ashland had been built by individuals or a local committee in 1841-42, and was still unfinished in 1843. How much they used it before removal, I cannot say. Before this both the Presbyterian and the Methodists had used the school-house, which had been enlarged to hold meetings in. They had had some difficulty over its use, and each society began to build a house for themselves. The M. E. church was built in 1843.

There was "an interesting revival of religion" in 1842, with about 40 conversions, and a good addition to the church. In 1843, the time for the annual society meeting was changed from October to April. Mr. Hawes remained till 1844 or 1845. *( Mr. Hawes was a Congregational minister for New England, a native of Warren, Conn., and a graduate of Williams College. He was ordained March 14th, 1805, pastor at Cornwall, Conn., and later at Lyme. He did not unite with Presbytery till Sept. 18th, 1844, when he came by letter from the Middlesex Association, and he continued a member of Presbytery till his death in 1851, aged 72. Ashland seems to have been his last charge.)

The next pastor was Rev. Samuel Sandford Potter, just graduated from Union Theological Seminary, who came in the Spring of 1845, introduced by a classmate. He was ordained, but not installed, by Columbia Presbytery, May 27th, 1846. A gentle revival occurred the first Winter. He left in the Fall of 1846, on account of his fear of the climate and the need for him at his parents’ home. *(Mr. Potter, after a long and busy life as pastor, teacher, chaplain in the army, and editor, mostly in Ohio, died Jan. 22d, 1899, in his 85th years. Mr. and Mrs. Potter were both from New Providence, N. J. Her maiden name was Phebe Riggs, an she was a sister of the Rev. Elias Riggs, D. D., a noted misssionary to Constantinople. Her sister married Dr. Monfort of the Herald and Presbyter. Mr. and Mrs. Potter both wanted to be foreign missionaries, but the way was hedged up for them. They gave a son, however, Rev. J. L. Potter, D. D., missionary to Persia.)

The next pastor was Rev. Harrison Otis Howland. *(Mr. Howland was a Massachusetts man; born Jan., 25th, 1813; Amherst College, 1841; Union Seminary, 1844. After leaving Ashland, he served churches at Warren, N. H., Girard, Pa., and Ellington, N. Y. He died at Kinderhook, N. Y., Feb. 13th, 1872.) He was called Nov. 23d, 1846, ordained and installed Dec. 23d following. He staid about four years, and was dismissed Sept . 17th, 1850.

In 1847 the time for the Society meeting was changed back to October, where it had been from the first. In 1848 the members numbered 44. The church adopted April 20th, 1849, "A short Confession of faith and Covenant approved by the Northern Associated Presbytery and recommended to their members to be used in the admission of new members and of infant members to full communion." This was printed, but I do not find any copies of it now.

When Presbytery dismissed Mr. Howland it appointed Rev. Phinehas Blakeman "to declare the pulpit vacant the next Sabbath." In Oct. 1850, at Society meeting, it was voted "to sell the slips of one year to hire Mr. Blakeman." If he stayed, it was not long. He is not remembered as having been here. A year later, the record says, there "was no minister and the pews were not sold."

Between the years 1850 and 1855, the tanning industry in this region failed completely, owing to the exhaustion of the hemlock bark. The cotton and woolen mills also suffered severely from their inland location, causing high transportation charges. There was a great business decline in this region, and the churches were much weakened by the loss of members and supporters. The Ashland church, not strong at any time since its separation from Windham, had become unable to support a minister alone. They were therefore obliged to resort to the plan of hiring the minister of some neighboring church to supply them with an afternoon service, and as such pastoral work as he could. This plan began about 1852 and lasted with a couple of exceptions till 1892—about 40 years. The church has not prospered as it might otherwise have some, under this supply system. There is nothing so good for a church as a resident pastor, and full pastoral care.

But to go back to the history. The next minister was Rev. E. S. Hammond, who was the Reformed minister at Prattsville from 1852-55. How much of that time be preached at Ashland, I do not know, but most of it I think,--about three years. *(Rev. Eben S. Hammond, born July 25th, 1815; Rutger’s College, 1839; Seminary, 1842; ordained by Classis, Long Island, 1842; exercised his ministry in the Reformed Church in several different places. He died in 1873. For fuller particulars of Mr. Hammond and the other Reformed ministers in this history, the reader is referred to the very complete "Reformed Church Manual" of Dr. Corwin.)

In 1855 the church undertook to have a minister of their own again, and in July, 1855, Rev. Edward Stratton *(Mr. Stratton, born in Philadelphia, Pa., 1830; Union College, 1852; Union Seminary, 1855; was ordained and installed at Ashland, June 11th, 1856, by the Presbytery of Catskill; sermon by Rev. Mr. Hovey; ordaining prayer, Rev. L. H. Fellows; charge to pastor, Rev. L. B. Van Dyck; charge to people, Rev. T. F. White. After leaving Ashland Mr. Stratton had a long and useful ministry, serving at Greenport, Port Jefferson, Tom’s River, N. J., Fayetteville, Greenville and Valatie. He died Aug. 9th, 1903.) began his four years’ ministry here, living with his family in the parsonage, which was built for him. His first year was marked by a gracious revival and a goodly addition of members. He did a good work and left the field September, 1859, resigned in November and was dismissed April 24, 1860.

The successor of Mr. Stratton was Rev. Charles H. Holloway, who had married Mr. Stratton’s sister. He was a teacher in the Seminary and supplied about two years, from Sept., 1859, to Nov., 1861. He lived with his family in the parsonage—the last minister to occupy it. *(Mr. Holloway, born in Philadelphia, Pa.; Amherst College 1852; Union Seminary 1857; was ordained as an evangelist Sept. 23d, 1857, by Catskill Presbytery, at Greenville. Besides Ashland, he served the churches of Rensselaerville, Salem Center, Tom’s River and Shelter Island. For many years he taught in academic schools. Owing to deafness, he is now retired.)

There seems to have been no regular supply after this for a time. The Presbytery the next Spring, 1862, arranged supplies for Ashland from May 11th to Sept. 21st, 11 Sundays.

About 1860 Ashland had suffered a further business depression from the closing out of the hat making industry, which had come in after the tanning went out. A still greater loss was the burning of the Seminary in January, 1861, built a few years before, about 1855, which would have done much for the town had it continued. No effort was made to rebuild and its teachers all left. The church was so weakened by losses that they resorted again to hiring the Prattsville minister as a supply.

Rev. A. F. Gilbert was at Prattsville from 1861 to 1866. Just when he began at Ashland I cannot tell, but before April, 1863. In January, 1866, Mr. Gilbert held a protracted meeting here, which was much blessed, for April 2d, 1866, 19 substantial converts united on profession. Later in the same season, Mr. Gilbert broke down while holding a protracted meeting in Prattsville and died of spinal meningitis. His last sermon in Ashland was preached May 21st, 1866, and his funeral was attended June 17th, Rev. Charles Kendall preaching from the text, "There is but a step between me and death." Mr. Gilbert was very much esteemed and lamented. *(Archibald Falconer Gilbert, born in Stamford, N. Y., May 31st, 1825; fitted at Williston Seminary, Easthampton, Mass; Amherst College, 1850; Principal of Female Seminary, Mercersburg, Pa., 1850-54; studied theology with Rev. Dr. Creigh; was ordained by Classis. He early entered into his Master’s joy.)

Mr. Gilbert was soon succeeded by another Prattsville minister, Rev. Thomas Dusinberre, *(Rev. Thomas Sproull Dusinberre, born at Warwick, N. Y., Oct. 18th, 1833; Rutger’s College, 1861; Seminary, 1864. After leaving Prattsville, served Linlithgo 19 years, New Hempstead 9 years, and is now retired.) who continued about three years, till some time in 1869. During this period the Columbia Presbytery met in Ashland, April 27th, 1869.

About 1869 the bell, which had been bought from the old meeting house ("stolen" the Windham people always claims) became cracked. The trustees took it to the bell foundry at Troy, N. Y., and exchanged it for a new bell, paying a large difference. Some years later this latter bell was also cracked by violent blows in tolling to try to get the people out to a meeting, and was sent to Troy and recast. It lost considerable weight in this process.

I have already mentioned that a parsonage was built just west of the meeting house, about 1855,--a good house suitable for the purpose. But since Mr. Holloway left in 1861, there had been no resident minister, and it had been rented to various tenants. It then seemed doubtful if the Society would ever need it again. Hon. Albert Tuttle, a prominent member, whose wife was a Strong, wanted it for a residence, because it adjoined the old Strong homestead,--the brick house. Many were opposed to selling, but it was finally decided to sell for $800. The Society reserved the right of building a shed on the east side of the church building, and of driving around the church for the purpose of repairing it. Mr. Tuttle was also to build a fence on front of the church whenever the Society builds a fence on the east side of the church lot and their shed. This action was taken at a special meeting Oct. 24th, 1868, and was ratified at the annual meeting Jan. 4th , 1869.

This house was repaired and used by Mr. Tuttle until his death in 1883. It was later moved a little distance and is now [1903] the main part of the house of Mr. Thomas W. Jeralds.

The $800 was used to pay debts, get the bell exchanged and build sheds. The bell took about $200, and the sheds cost $350. Some went for the cabinet organ which was bought about that time, and the balance for minor work.

But to resume the history. After Mr. Dusinberre they secured Rev. Charles Kendall, the Windham minister, as supply, who preached till his death, March 19th, 1873. He, too, like Mr. Gilbert, was much esteemed, and much lamented. *(Mr. Kendall, born in Westminster, Mass., Feb 19th, 1813; Amherst College, 1839; Union Seminary, 1842; was ordained by Council Jan. 24th, 1844. Before coming to Windham, he served churches in Massachusetts, at Bernardston 12 years, Royalton 1 year, Petersham 3 years, and Auburn 7 years.)

The next supply was from Prattsville. He was Rev. William H. Carr, who served from May 1st, 1874, to early in 1875. *(Mr. Carr was born at Kinderhook, N. Y., 1812. His early ministry was in the Presbyterian church. He was at Centerville 1867-70, and served Reformed churches at Sharon and Gallupville, N. Y. He was Chaplain of Fourth N. Y. Volunteers from beginning to end of War, and was honorably discharged. He died Aug. 7th, 1890.)

He was succeeded in the Spring of 1875, by Rev. James Cortelyon Garretson, also a supply from Prattsville, who staid about a year. *(Mr. Garretson, born Aug. 8th, 1857; Rutger’s College, ’71; Seminary, ’74; went from Prattsville to Taghkanick, where he served 14 years. Since then he supplies churches, as opportunity offers.)

In the Summer of 1876, from May to September, they were fortunate enough to secure as a supply Rev. C. O. Day, a student of Andover Seminary. He did a good work during his brief stay, reuniting the church which had been divided over the election of an elder and initiating the repairing and reshingling of the meeting house. *(Charles Orrin Day was one of the Day family of Catskill, and a great grandson of Rev. David Porter, D. D., he was born Nov. 8th, 1851, graduated at Yale College 1872 and Andover Seminary 1877. His work in the ministry has been, one year in a Mission Chapel, Montreal, five years at Williamsburg, Mass., 13 years at Brattleboro, Vt. He also spent a year in Europe and two in post-graduate studies. He was Chaplain of a Vermont Regiment, and went to the Spanish war with her regiment in 1898. He then became Secretary of he Congregational Education Society. In 1901 he became Dean and Professor of Practical Theology, in Andover Theological Seminary, one of the most honorable positions in the Congregational body.

The next supply was Rev. E. N. Sebring of Prattsville, who served (I judge) two or three years, between 1878 and 1881. In January, 1879, it was voted that the church be used during the ensuing year only for religious purposes. A similar vote was passed the next year and the year after that. The object was to shut out political meetings. *(Elbert Nevins Sebring was born at Ovid. N. Y., Sept. 22d, 1836. He graduated at Rutger’s College, ’62; Seminary, ’65. He served Reformed Churches at Second Ghent eight years, Fairfield four years, Prattsville two years, Middleburgh five years, Leeds five years. He died at Leeds Oct. 12th, 1889. His obituary speaks of him as an amiable man, a devoted christian, a zealous minister and excellent sermonizer, and as such he is remembered here.)

Feb 2d, 1881, Rev. Norman F. Nickerson became stated supply, preaching at Prattsville morning and evening, and at Ashland in the afternoon. For four years Mr. Nickerson cultivated this field with characteristic zeal and fidelity. *( Norman Fred Nickerson was born Nov. 26th, 1836. He was a lawyer and teacher for several years. Feeling called to the ministry, he graduated at Union Seminary ’74. He was ordained by St. Lawrence Presbytery Oct. 7th, 1875. His ministry has been a varied one, partly Presbyterian and partly Reformed. His field have been Evan Mills, Hughsonville, Malden, Prattsville, Glenville, Prairie City, So. Dakota, Britton, Mich., and Presbyterial Missionary of Maumee Presbytery, Ohio.)

After Mr. Nickerson departure, Feb., 1885, for about two years the ministerial service was very irregular, and at times there was no meeting. In the summer of 1885 the pulpit was supplied by Rev. W. N. P. Dailey, a student of Hartford Seminary. He lived that summer here. He also supplied the next summer, 1886, living at Big Hollow. *(Rev. William N. P. Dailey, born in Schenectady, July 28th, 1862; Union College, ’84; Hartford Seminary, ’87; licensed by Middlesex Association, ’87; ordained by Utah Presbytery, ’87; Mission work in Utah, ‘87-’91; 3d Reformed Church, Albany, ‘91-’98; Athens, ‘98-’02; Chaplain Orphan Asylum 2 years, now pastor Trinity Reformed Church, Amsterdam.)

Rev. Timothy Williston, a resident retired minister, quite frequently supplies as he had done at intervals for a number of years. His sermons were very able and doctrinally sound. *(Rev. Timothy Williston, only child of Rev. Seth Williston, D. D., graduated at Williams College. He taught in high grade schools in New York city several years., then studied theology with his distinguished father, and was ordained by Columbia Presbytery as an evangelist, Nov. 3d, 1846, at Hunter. His ministry was exercised in various churches in New York State and the West. He spent his last years in honorable retirement at Ashland, where he died Dec. 21st, 1893. In his 89th year.)

Rev. Oscar B. Hitchcock, who lived in town, on North Settlement, also preached occasionally. Of him I spoken at length in the Old Church history. He took a lively interest in the Ashland church—the church of his father and his own earlier life. In 1888 he furnished paint to paint it twice outside. He also gave many smaller gifts, and remembered it with a legacy at his death in 1897.

So weak and unpromising did the Ashland church appear about this time, and so remote from Presbyterian churches with which it might be united in a field, that the suggestion was seriously made in Presbytery, that it be advised to disband. To this suggestion it was replied with spirit by its friends, that it evidently wanted to live, that it had a right to live and that if helped to live, it might yet regain its lost strength and have a resident pastor, --a prophecy which had been fulfilled.

This view, I am happy to say, prevailed in Presbytery. About this time Columbia Presbytery determined to do something for its weak mountain fields, and appointed Rev. Charles E. Herbert of Sunside, to preach at Ashland every other Sunday, in conjunction with Mitchell Hollow and Big Hollow. The first Summer service was at 3 P. M., but in the Fall it was changed to evening. Mr. Herbert continued three years, and such was his activity and efficiency among the mountain churches, specially in pastoral work and financial effort, that he was sometimes styled "Bishop of the Catskills." A choir was organized a that time, with Mr. A. B. Munson as leader, and Miss Helen C. Brainard as organist, which has continued pretty much the same till now and furnished unusually fine music for all occasions. In passing we must not forget to record the famous incident of the great blizzard, March 13th, 1888, in which Mr. Herbert, returning from Ashland on Monday morning, was snowed in with some very old and poor people on the turnpike next house beyond Soper’s bridge, and had to go in search of food for them and himself. He was five days getting home to Sunside. Mr. Herbert is remembered with most cordial feelings by all in Ashland. *(Charles E. Herbert, son of Rev. C. D. Herbert, was born April 7th, 1860; graduated Amherst College, ’78; Yale Seminary, ’82; licensed April 30th, 1884, and ordained April 28th, 1886., by Columbia Presbytery. He was a Centerville six years, 1883-89, Galway 1889-94, Genoa and Ludlowville 1894-99, and returned to Centerville 1902. On his present circuit, comprising Sunside, Big Hollow and Mitchell Hollow, he preaches at each place every Sabbath, and drives 30 miles, 20 of it on the Sabbath, including the mountain climb.)

After Mr. Herbert, in May, 1889, came Rev. Daniel I. Morrison, Mr. Herbert’s successor at Sunside, who took up the same fields, and served them till August, 1891. Mr. Morrison was also a good, faithful workman, whose early death is lamented sincerely. *(Rev. Daniel Isaac Morrison, a native of Nova Scotia, who had studied at Dalhousie College and graduated at Auburn Seminary 1889, was ordained by Columbia Presbytery Sept. 18th, 1889. He was at Sunside four years, Salem two years, East Meredith four years, Syracuse (Westminster church ) eight months. He died June 3d, 1900, aged 40 years.)

July 4th, 1891, Rev. James Bain, also sent by Presbytery, arrived in Ashland and took up the work. He also preached at Big Hollow and Mitchell Hollow, returning to Ashland for the evening. He resided here,--the first Presbyterian minister to resided here in 30 years. May 12th 1892, the C. E. Society was organized, and had a useful career, till it was suspended in 1901, owing to lack of support. Mr. Bain continued till the Fall of 1894, about three and one-half years. He was an able, earnest man, but his Scotch brogue impaired his popularity as a preacher. We have been saddened to hear of his recent death, at the age of 49 years. *( Rev. James Bain, born in Greenock, Scotland, April 20th, 1852, came to this country through the influence of Dr. McCosh. He graduated from Glasgow University 1881, and entered Princeton Seminary in 1882, but did not graduate. He was ordained Sept. 22d, 1885, by Presbytery of Saganaw. He had served the churches at Harris, Mich., and Hillsdale, N. Y., before this. His health gave way after leaving here, and he died after a lingering and painful illness, Jan. 18th, 1901, at the Presbyterian Hospital, N. Y.)

In January, 1895, Rev. George Bergen, introduced by Synod, moved here with his family, and took part of the house of Mr. E. B. Dodge. He also preached at Mitchell Hollow and Big Hollow. He staid just a year. During his stay the service in the morning was resumed. In the Winter of 1894-95, the town had been greatly moved by a revival in the M. E. church, under the labors of Rev. Lester Leggett, than a lay preacher. Over 100 had asked for prayers, and ours received some valuable accessions, which have added greatly to its strength as a working organization. *(Rev. George Bergen, from Washburn College, Kansas, ’87, and Union Seminary, ’90, was ordained by Hudson Presbytery Sept. 16th, 1890. He served the churches of White Lake, Carlisle and Redfield before coming here, and Mitchell Hollow, Hillsdale and Lyundhurst, N. J., after leaving here. He is now at Slack, Wyoming, a home missionary. He is married again.)

In 1891 the town had, after years of bitter experience as a "whiskey place," gone "no-license," and put an end to the open sale of liquors. This and the great revival of 1894-5, produced a marked change in the moral and religious condition of the town. Another fruit of the revival was the Y. M. C. A., which was organized March 29th, 1895, and flourished for two or three years, but was suspended in 1901 for lack of support.

Mr. Bergen was succeeded by Rev. Henry Martyn Dodd. *( Mr. Dodd, son of Rev. John Dodd, was born Aug. 6th, 1839. His early life was in a parsonage. He was educated at Bridgton Academy, Maine, ’58, and Genesee and Wyoming Seminary, New York, ’60; Hamilton College, ’63; Auburn Seminary, ’70. From ’63 to ’67 he taught in Cortlandville Academy, N. Y. He was licensed by Cayuga Presbytery, ’69; ordained by St. Lawrence Presbytery Jan. 2d, 1873; supplied Reformed church at Canastota, May, ’69, to April ’70; served as pastor elect at Manilus, May, ’70 to May, ’72; pastor at Dexter and Brownville, December’ 72, to September, ‘84; Augusta, September, ’84 to March, ’96, and Ashland since.) He was introduced by Synod; reached here as a candidate Jan. 12th, 1896; was called to become pastor Feb. 19th; began labor March 8th; and was installed pastor June 1st, 1897. He removed his family here in May, 1896, and moved into the parsonage just bought at a cost of $800, Miss Louisa Strong paying half. This house stands on the site of the old brick store of the Strongs, opposite the brick house. It has since been improved by the outlay of between two and three hundred dollars. Mr. Dodd had also Big Hollow once in two weeks, and later Mitchell Hollow early in 1900, and Big Hollow the next Fall, and to confine his labors to Ashland alone. In September, 1898, the former members of this church living elsewhere united to buy and give a pulpit, three chairs, tables and stand. In 1900 the fine stone flagging walk to the church was laid. In 1902 the ladies, by fine effort, paid for new shingles, which were laid by the men on both church and shed, and the liberality of the church as a whole is noteworthy, not only in home outlays, but in its missionary offerings. But best of all is the revival in the Spring of 1903, when Mrs. Maggie Van Cott was in the M. E. church and later in March Rev. Alexander Alison, D. D. (sent by General Assembly’s Committee), preached here for two weeks. On the 3d of May, 14 were received, 12 on profession.—a most valuable accession.

One other matter should be recorded, and that is the change of name. The lot on which the church stands was given by the Strong family. The deed was made to the "Presbyterian Society of Ashland," the name by which, in later years, the Society had been commonly called. But the legal name, as recorded in the County Clerk’s office was "First Society of Windham." It was a case of what in law is termed a misnomer. In 1897 proceedings were taken to correct the deeds in the manner prescribed by law. Also, after the deed had been corrected, proceedings were taken to change in legal form, the name of the Society from "First Society of Windham" to "First Presbyterian Church of Ashland," which better expresses the facts, and guards against mistakes in names. The name of the church had been changed to Presbyterian as far back as 1826, and to Ashland, by usage, about 1860.

And I must not forget to mention the names of some who, dying, have shown their love by leaving small sums for the benefits of the church, viz.: Elder George Lent, who died in 1890; Rev. Oscar B. Hitchcock, who died in 1897, and Miss Ellen F. Tuttle, who died in 1900. Others have done nobly while living, and should also have the praise for generous giving. By their sacrifices we enjoy the institutions we have.

We rejoice that our influence for good has extended beyond our own town, and that two of our young men have become ministers of the blessed gospel. I refer to Irving E. White *(Rev. Irving E. White was the son of Elisha White, and grandson of Argalus White, who was Elder from 1826 to his death March 10, 1861. Born in Ashland in 1849; converted and joined the church in 1866; graduated at Princeton College, 1876; Union Seminary, 1880; ordained and installed at Hobart, N. Y., June, 1880, by Presbytery of Otsego; pastor there six years. and in Peekskill 2d Church 10 years, and minister at Portchester since 1897, and pastor there since May, 1902. He is still actively and fruitfully serving the Master, in the Church of his ancestors, in whose Faith and Order he was trained.) and Albert H. Ormsbee, *(Rev. Albert Hall Ormsbee, son of Nathaniel Ormsbee and Lucinda Buel, born Aug. 5th, 1838, was brought up in the Episcopal Church. When 19 he experienced a religious awakening and united with the Presbyterian church in Ashland. Late, while teaching in Dutchess county, he was led to examine the claims of the Episcopal church and he became convinced of the soundness of her historical position, and was confirmed. He entered St. Stephens College, 1864, graduated, 1869; Gen. Theo. Seminary, 1872; was ordained deacon, 1872; priest, 1873, and has served 31 years in the Episcopal churches mostly in and about Utica.) neither of whom are with us to-day. Mr. White had fully intended to come, but was prevented by a funeral, much to our sorrow.

I cannot close this history without a word of praise for the faithful few who amid the sore discouragements of later years, have been steadfast, and kept the church going, and the altar fires burning. I have been told that they have always kept up the prayer-meeting, minister or no minister. And I can but rejoice in the improved outlook with which we enter the second century. I am told by one competent to judge that the church is now in the best condition spiritually and financially that it has been at any time for 30 years. Let us than all rejoice, and reconsecrate ourselves to the work of the Lord in this old vineyard of His where our lots in life are cast, which is our Church Home now, and is to be in future.

"For her my tears shall fall,
For her my prayers ascend;
To her my cares be given,
Till toils and cares shall end."

Lists of Officers, Deacons, Ruling Elders, Trustees, Members, &c.

1834—Jairus Munson 1837—Argulus White

Ruling Elders.

1826—Argalus White

1876—George Lent

Jairus Munson

Romanyn L. Parsons

1833—Abner Berry

1895—George W. Clark

1843—Lawrence Winnie

Francis L. Dodge

1856—Anson Bela Brisack

1897—M. Watson Richmond

Peter I. Stanley, M. D.

James Campbell

1859—John Munson


Sylvanus Parker



1841—Albert Steele

1862—Jesse Ingraham

1842—E. S. White

1863—Romayne L. Parsons

Albert Tuttle

1867—James Stambridge

Stephen Steele

John Munson

Henry Kinsley

1871—Hiram B. Clark

1843—Daniel B. Strong

Egbert B. Dodge

Abraham Parker

David Brainard

1844—Allen Smith

1874—Reuben Powell

1845—Henry Hart

1876—Walston Ferris

1849—Lawrence Winne

1878—George Sylvester Lewis

185_--Peter I Stanley

1881—Daniel L. Lewis

1859—Jerome Smith

1884—Daniel L. Lewis

A. B. Brisack

1884—Francis L. Dodge

Communicant Members:
Note: For some of the names which belong here,--of those who were members at the time of removal. –the reader is referred to pages 29-31, where they will be found scattered along the Roll of the old church. It was not practicable to cull them out for this list.

United Under Rev. Josiah Hawes.




Mrs. Benj. Kinsley

Mrs. Matilda Winnie

Lamira Decker

Mrs. Josiah Hawes

Benajah B. Hosford

Miss Helen White

Mrs. Henry Hart

Mrs. Abraham Parker

Elihu Smith

Mrs. Daniel B. Strong

Mrs. Abigail Ives

Everts Decker

Miss. Mary Ann Coles

James Frayer


Miss Mary Ann Hawes

Miss Susannah Tuttle    

Under Rev. S. S. Potter.



Mrs. Phebe Potter

Abraham Parker

  Miss Lucina P. Tuttle
  Miss Adaline White

Under Rev. H. O. Howland.



Mrs. Harrison O. Howland

John L. Cammer

Mrs. Eunice Kinsley

Mrs. Sarah Beebe

Mrs. William Littabrant

Clark A. Beebe

William Littabrant Mrs. Nathaniel Ormsbee

Under Rev. E. S. Hammond




Sandford Tuttle

Alvin V. Vrooman

John L. Cammer

John J. Brandow

Mrs. Alvin Vrooman

Mrs. Cynthia Cammer


Peter I. Stanley, M. D.

Mrs. Sarah Stanley

Under Rev. Edward Stratton


Mrs. Susan Parsons


Mrs. Edward Stratton

Mrs. Elizabeth Bushnell

Mrs. Rebecca P. Halloway

Sylvanus Parker

Mrs. Almira Morris

James Stambridge

J. Buel Parker

Mrs. Elizabeth B. Jaynes

Mrs. James Stambridge

Mrs. J. Buel Parker

Miss Demis Annable

Jesse Ingraham

Mrs. Margaret E. Stratton

Miss Caroline Tuttle

Albert H. Ormsbee

John Munson

Miss Lydia Parker

George Lent

James Brandow

Mrs. Alanson Mallory

Mrs. Sarah Belinda Lent

Jerome Smith

Miss Antoinette Hyatt


Mrs. Melvina Smith

Albert Steele

Romayne L. Parsons    

Under A. F. Gilbert


Howard A. Clark

Frances Bennett

Charles E. White

Irving E. White

Miss Eva Brandow

Mrs. Lisandra White

Miss Jennie D. White

Miss Hannah Brainard

Reuben Powell

William Smith

Miss Lucinda Ives

Mrs. Reuben Powell

Miss Ellen L. Tuttle

Miss Martha Winghart

Hiram B. Clark

Miss Fidelia Smalling

Mrs. Cynthia Waterman

Mrs. Hiram B. Clark

Mrs. A. Z. Allen

Miss Emily E. Romayne

Under Rev. T. S. Dusinberre



Miss Mary Williston

Mrs. Rosannah Tompkins

Walston Ferris

Daniel B. Strong

Mrs. Emelissa Rogers

Mrs. Phebe Ferris

Egbert B. Dodge

Under Rev. C. O. Day


Miss Lizzie Clark

Mrs. Aravesta Smith

Mrs. Sophronia Lee

Miss Jerusha Martin

Mrs. Sarah White

Mrs. Helen Brainard

Miss Ella Burroughs


Under Rev. Timothy Williston


Maitland Rogers

Miss Nettie Smith

Georgia Sylvester Lewis

Charles Parsons


Under Rev. E. N. Sebring


Francis L. Dodge

Under Rev. Charles E. Herbert



Miss Carrie Thorpe

Miss France Brainard

Miss Harriet Lewis

Under Rev. D. I. Morrison



David Brainard

Miss Helen C. Brainard

Mrs. Albert B. Steele

Under Rev. James Bain

1892 Mrs. Elizabeth Wiltsie

1893 Mrs. Caroline Weeks


Under Rev. George Bergen


John Wesley Steele

Mrs. Eunice German

George W. Clark

George Thorpe

Miss Lettie Brezee

Under Rev. H. M. Dodd


Mrs. Rose Ding

William Thorpe

James A. Campbell

Lynn S. Munson

Sherman Munger

Mrs. Ada Campbell


Miss Mildred E. Brandow

Mrs. Maria W. Dodd

David Henry Conine

John Thomas Ding

Mrs. Mary C. Dodge


Augustus B. Munson

Miss Lucy Hayward

Daniel L. Lewis

Addington Brandow

M. Watson Richmond

Miss Etta May Payne

Mrs. Catherine Brandow


Frank A. Munson

Samuel Chauncey Clark

Miss Ella A. Dodd

Harry A. Steele

Mrs. Elizabeth Clark

Mrs. Mary E. Richmond

Miss Florence C. Dodge



Note:--Only a few of them have been recorded, which are given below.

Harriet Augustus Hart, March 31st, 1847

Egbert B. Dodge, Aug. 10th, 1869

Charles Bissel Hart, Sept. 5th, 1847

Helen Clark Brainard, April 20th, 1890

Isadore Newell Parker, Sept. 5th, 1847

Mrs. Mary Steele, April 20th, 1890

Addison Tuttle Brandow, Dec. 31st, 1847

Mrs. Elizabeth Wiltsie, ____, 1892

William Bailey Howland, Aug. 31st, 1849

Lettie Brezee, March 17th, 1895

Amy Ann Augusta Hart, Sept 2d, 1849

William Henry Lewis, May 16th, 1895

George White Stratton, June 10th, 1856

Mrs. Eunice German, May 16th, 1895

Clara Jane Parsons

Harry Addison Steele, Nov. 7th, 1897

Edward Doane Parker

Florence Clark Dodge, Nov. 7th, 1897

May Ella Stanley

Daniel Lennon Clark, May 3d, 1903

Mary Ella Stanley

Samuel Chauncey Clark, May 3d, 1903

Adah Stanley

Elizabeth Buel Clark, May 3d, 1903

Belle Stanley

John Thomas Ding, May 3d, 1903

Josephine Stanley

William Thorpe, may 3d, 1903

Sidney Smith

Mildred Eunice Brandow, May 3d, 1903

Dwight Smith

Sherman Munger, May 3d, 1903

Eldora Smith


Nelson Smith




Addie Smith


Marriages—By Rev. S. S. Potter

June 14th, 1846, Seymour A. Whitcomb and Miss Catherine Jones

June 30th, 1846, Sandford Tuttle and Miss Lucina P. Tuttle

July 6th, 1846, Elisha P. Strong and Miss Caroline Peck.

Sept. 16th, 1846, John J. Brandow and Miss Susannah P. Tuttle.

List of Baptisms

[The following list is found in the Old Church Record book. It is copied as nearly exact as possible. Its publication will make accessible, a valuable record,--one of interest not only to the families named, but to the general public. The dates opposite each name are dates of birth. The parent’s names are in Italics]


"The names of children baptized and by that ordinance made members of the first Congregational Church of Christ in the town of Windham, State of New York.

"March 21st, 1803."

Samuel Crocker [adult] bapt. March 21st, 1803

PrattSimon [adult?] bapt. Sept. 18th, 1803

George Stimson

Polly Hulzard, May 6th, 1791
Jeremy, Jan. 10th, 1793
Sally, March 10th, 1795
Samuel, Feb. 5th, 1799
Nathaniel, April 4th 1803

All bapt. May 6th 1803, except Emily, bapt. Dec. 26th 1813.

Exp. Stone

Jeremy S.
George S.

All bapt. Sept. 18th, 1803

S. [orT.] Hubbard

Sophrona, Jan. 31st, 1799
Sally, Dec 22d, 1799

Both bapt. May 6th, 1803

Abram Dudley

Lemuel N.
Joseph T., May 4th 1806

All bapt. Sept. 18th, 1803, Joseph bapt. June 22d, 1806

J. Rice


All bapt. May 8th, 1803

E. Strong

James R.
Anna Eliza

All bapt. Sept. 26th 1803, Samuel, Jan. 18th, 1807.



All bapt. May 8th, 1803


Sally Rice, born 1785, bapt. Sept. 21, 1803

M. Buel

Artamesia, bapt. May 8th, 1803

Samuel Crocker

Lucy, Oct. 22d, 1792
William, Dec. 1st , 1794
Abigail, Aug. 22d, 1796
Betsey, Nov. 30th, 1801
Charlotte, May 3d, 1806

Charlotte, bapt. June 22d, 1806


Jedediah, Dec. 17th, 1789
Sarah, Jr., Jan, 31st, 1792
Harriet, March 2d, 1794
Uriah R., March 23d, 1796
Lucretia F., July 4th, 1798
Caroline, Feb. 17th, 1801
Henry, Feb,. 18th, 1803
Lorinda, Aug, 3d, 1803

All bapt. (except first and last) July 10th, 1803.

Joel Tuttle

Alvin, age 18
Anna Bierce, age 17
Dumah, age 15
Julius, aged 13
Sophia, age 10

All bapt. July 10th, 1803

Amos Hubbard

Justin, June 15th, 1803

Samuel D., Sept. 1st, 1807

Justin bapt., July 10th, 1803

Samuel, July 27, 1807


Sally Orilla, Jan. 6th, 1793

Abi, Oct. 18th, 1794

Alonson. Sept. 14th 1796

Diadamy, Sept. 25th, 1799

All bapt. Oct. 18th, 1807

Increase Claflin

Names no given, bapt. July 10, 1803

Samuel Peck

Clarracy, Feb. 13th, 1790
Loly, April 28th, 1792
Chancey, Oct. 30th, 1793
George, Feb. 22d, 1796
Esther, May 6th, 1798
Philo, June 8th, 1801
Lucy, Aug. 4th, 1802
John, March 2d, 1805
Susannah, April 26th, 1807

The last four, and perhaps all bapt. Sept., 1807

Timothy Hubbard

Laure, Nov. 29th, 1789
Lusina, Nov. 11th, 1792
Alphred, June 26th, 1796
Weltha, May 7th, 1799
Halsey, Sept. 6th, 1802

Laure bapt. And perhaps all the rest

George Babcock

Abel Simmons, Sept. 30th, 1807
Herman Briggs, April 21st, 1809
Hiram Steele, May 12th, 1811
Horace Havens, June 10th, 1813

Samuel Baldwin

Lydia, July 25th, 1788
Hilon Dec. 27th, 1790
Haerlem Dec. 27th, 1790
Wait Hill, Feb. 8th, 1793
Ambrose, June 1st, 1795
Lucy, June 17th, 1797
Ira, April 11th, 1802

Samuel Baldwin

Henry De Grasse
Fanny Caroline

Both bapt. June, 1812

Aaron Claflin

Polly, bapt. Feb. 1st, 1807

Robert M. Turney

Anne M., Nov. 27th, 1806
Lusina P., Nov. 9th, 1808
Sally, Sept. 10th, 1810

Simon Pratt

Fanny (?), Dec. 2d, 1784
Luther, April 28th, 1787
Experience, Oct. 26th, 1790
Ruth, March 6th, 1792
Lucretia, Nov. 12th, 1794
Ephraim, July 24th, 1794
James. Dec. 3d, 1802
Sally, May 3d, 1804

Luman Squires

Cynthia, Dec. 30th, 1803
Edward, July 16th, 1806
William, June 3d, 1808
Mary Burr, Dec. 4th, 1810

Cynthia and Edward bapt. Oct. 4th, 1807

Rockwell Strong

Meriam Rockwell, bapt. June 7th, 1807

Perez Steel, Esq.

Calista (?)
Hannah, July 1st, 1799
Harriet, Aug. 13th, 1801
Julia (?)

Hannah and Harriet bapt. Sept. 27th, 1807

James Coe

Sylva, March 13th, 1799
Luman, April 12th 1801
Norman, Feb. 6th, 1804

All bapt. June 29th, 1805

Samuel Hanson

Martha, Jan. 29th, 1793

Sarah, March 9th, 1795

Samuel, Jr., March 28th, 1797
Experience, June 9th, 1799
Clarissa, Aug. 17th, 1801
Maria, March 2d, 1804
Sylvester, Dec. 24th, 1808

The last three bapt. June 1809 and perhaps the others.

Asahel Baldwin

Sally, July 11th, 1804
Eliza, Oct. 7th, 1806

Sally bapt. 1805, Eliza, June 14th, 1807

Luman Stanley

Frederic, Oct. 22d, 1807 bapt. June 14th, 1807

[So in Record. Probably born 1806]

Joseph Hamilton

Joseph A., July 12th, 1803
Ax___?, Jan 12, 1807
Ax___?, bapt. June 21st, 1807

Benajah Tichnor

Benajah, May 22, 1788
Luther, March 9th, 1790
Heman, March 17th, 1792
Norman, Nov. 30th, 1793
Almon, March 17th, 1796
Myron, Feb. 12th, 1798
Hiram, March 21st, 1801
Sophia Bingham, June 12, 1802
Caleb. Oct, 16th, 1804

The five youngest bapt. Sept. 5th, 1806, and perhaps all.

Erastus Beach

Charles Lahatt, April 26th, 1808
Edmond, Feb. 24thy, 1810
Charles, bapt. June, 12th, 1808
Edmond, June, 1810

David Arnold

Betsey, March 5th, 1793
Ashbel. Oct. 9th, 1795
Milo, Jan. 15th, 1802
Clarissa, Feb. 113th, 1804
Orinda, Feb. 6th, 1808

Clarissa, bapt. In 1807

Timothy Parsons




Joseph Porter



Some bapt. 1809

Joel Peck

Seth, Sept. 1812, bapt. Nov. 8th, 1812

Jairus Munson

Leverett, Nov. 1st, 1790
Carisa, July 15th, 1793
Alva, June 9th, 1795
Bede, April 25th, 1802
Lemuel H., May 29th, 1806

W. Distin

Ranson Wolcott

Reuben Smith

Louisa Hutchinson, Nov. 12th, 1791
Jemima Hourd (?) June 13th, 1793
Reuben Hendrick, Aug. 18th, 1795
Almira, Jan. 19th, 1800
Philander Milton, Jan. 15th, 1802
Betsey Allen, Aug. 16th, 1805

Almira, Philander and Betsey, bapt. 1809. Perhaps the others

Elnathan J. Pond

Rebecca, June 22, 1800
Jenet, Mach 10th, 1802
Edward J., Jan. 20th, 1806
Samuel W., April 10th, 1808
Gideon W., June 30th, 1810
Ruth, Jan. 7th, 1813
Noah S., July 5th, 1815

Last four bapt., perhaps more


Cynthia, Dec. 30th, 1803
Edward, July 16th, 1806

Both bapt. Oct 4th, 1807

Abijah Stone

Burrit O., bapt. No date

Harry Hosford

Jane V., 1812, bapt. Nov. 8th, 1812.


Rev. Austin G. Morss

Rev. Austin G. Morss, son of Foster Morss, was born June 15th, 1808; educated at Williams’ College. His first charge was at Camden, N. J., and he had a long pastorate at Oaks Corners, N. Y. He died at Geneva, N. Y., Jan. 15th, 1877.

His father, Foster Morss, though not a member of the church was deeply interested in it and was one of its most liberal supporters. On his death bed he requested Rev. A. T. Norton to stay promising him $100 a year and a house rent free, with land enough to keep a horse and cow. Mr. Morss was born in Methuen, Mass. March 27, 1774, died in Ashland, Feb. 27, 1835.

The Stimson Family

As a sample of the stock of people which first settled this section, we will give a little account of Capt. George Stimson, the first settler, and father of Rev. Henry B. Stimson. He brought 10 of his 11 children with him from Massachusetts, and the five sons and five daughters, who married and settled here, made the Stimson a prominent element in the community.

Capt. George Stimson came here at the age of sixty. He had been a soldier in the French War and he was in the Revolutionary War from the beginning to the end. The tradition is that he hurried to Lexington, when he heard the sound of battle, with a pitch-fork fastened to his musket for a bayonet. He placed his private fortune at Washington’s disposal for the support of the troops, and found himself at the close of the war with only a trunk full of worthless government paper. This was the reason for his removal to the West. One of his brothers was in the "Boston Tea Party." His son Henry B., remembered seeing the British red-coats evacuate Boston. He was then but five years old.

Capt. George had inherited this patriotic and soldierly spirit. His grandfather, also named George, had been a soldier in Captain Daniel Appleton’s company, who defeated Canonchet in King Philip’s War, and destroyed 2,000 Indians in Rhode Island in 1675. He was left for dead on the field, but finally recovered.

Capt. George Stimson was born Nov. 8, 1726, and died Nov. 8, 1796, and is buried in Ashland. His wife, Abigail Clark of Newton, Mass., born July 10, 1732, died Jan. 7, 1804. His children were :

  1. Jeremy, a doctor, who remained in Mass. and married there.
  2. Abigail, married Abijah Fitch
  3. Experience, married Abijah Stone
  4. Henrietta, married John Claflin
  5. George, married Sally Weslick
  6. Nathaniel married, (1) Sarah Elliot (2) Phebe Pond
  7. Sally, married Increase Claflin
  8. Ephraim, married Mary Benham.
  9. Henry Bowen, married Becca Pond
  10. William, married Phebe Wright
  11. Betsey, married John [should be Samuel, I believe. H. M. D. ] Crocker

His eleven children, with their husband and wives, and 60 grandchildren made the Stimson family an important one in Old Windham.

Family Groups Among the Original Members.

We are able to trace the Hubbards, Dea. Jedediah and his sons, Amos and Timothy and four Hubbard women; the Strongs, Elisha and his son Elijah; the Rices, Jared. Esther and Sarah; and the Stimsons, Abigail widow of Capt. George and her children, Henry B., George, Betsey and Samuel Crocker, Sarah and Increase Claflin, Experience Stone. A little later we find Abigail Fitch, Nathaniel and Sarah, Becca, and Sally, George’s wife, in all 14 Stimson.

Rev. Albert Barnes’ Mother.

One of the early worshippers, who lived on North Settlement, was Benjamin Baldwin. He had married a widow Frisbie, who had a daughter, Anna. Anna Frisbie had been engaged in Connecticut to a young man named Barnes. Barnes had gone to Rome, N. Y., to make himself a home, and she had come with her people to Windham. In some way she had failed to hear from her lover, and after a silence of two or three years, she gave him up, and was about to marry a man in this vicinity. Mr. Barnes having got his place near Rome ready, returned to Connecticut to claim his bride. He found that she had moved to Windham. He hurriedly followed her thither, and arrived just as she was about to be married. She preferred her first love, and matters being satisfactorily arranged, she became Mrs. Barnes, and went with him to Rome. She became the mother of the famous Presbyterian divine and commentator, Rev. Albert Barnes, D. D.

The Parsonage Subscription.
(see page 20)

We whose names are hereunto subscribed promise to pay the Trustees of the First Presbyterian Society of Windham, or their order, the sums respectively set to our names on or before the first day of April next, for the purpose of purchasing a lot of land to be situated west of Esq’s Steele’s and east of Sidney Tuttle’s and building thereon a dwelling house, barn, suitable outhouses, fences, &c. for a parsonage fore the use of the minister of said society, the whole to cost about One Thousand Dollars, said lot to be deeded to the trustees of said society, to be held by them together with the buildings thereon &c, when erected for the use and purposes afore mentioned, so long as said society shall remain undivided. But if said society shall at any time hereafter divide for the purpose of erecting a house, or houses, for public worship at any other place or places, then and in that case the said lot together with the buildings and appurtenances thereon erected as afore mentioned shall be sold at private sale, or at public auction, and the proceeds of said sale shall be divided an paid over to the respective individuals who subscribed and paid towards said parsonage, or to their heirs, according to the respective sums they so subscribed and paid. Dated Windham, Sept. 23d, 1831.





Sidney Tuttle


Eugene Bennett


Bennett Osborn


Benjamin Kingsley


Foster Morss


Levi Babcock & Amos Babcock


John Tuttle & Son


Orin Robinson


Austin Strong


Curtis Mattoon

(on sashes)


Timothy Hubbard


Humphrey R. Potter

(in painting)


Consider King


Nathaniel Stimpson


Harvey Camp


F. L. H. Graham

(in work)


Dumah Tuttle



(1000 feet of lumber)


H. Kingsley


Alvin Smith


Clark Finch


Ebenezer Beers

(in lumber)


Robert M. Turney


Schuyler _____


Aaron Steele

(in lumber)


Thomas H. Southard

(f8ve dollars to be paid in Hemlock lumber


Abijah Stone


Henry Osborn


Jairus Munson


Josiah Brainard


Merrit Osborn


Munson Brockett


Consider Camp


Silvester Hitchbock


Charles Vorse


John L. Durin


Buel White


Z. P. & S. Strong

(300 feet hemlock lumber)


Chauncey Hubbard

(In timber)


Elisha S. White


Roma R. Ives


Stephen Steele


Joseph Atwood

(one thousand feet scantling)


David Arnold

(paid in carting)


James Robertson


Samuel Hubbard

(in work)


George Robertson


Abner Berry

( in work0


Wm. Dota


Isaac Southerland


Eli P. Robinson


William Young


Daniel Hunt


Wm. Robinson


George Stimpson


J. W. & J. W. Lamoreaux


Lawrence Winna



Total $992.00

The Original Subscription for Mr. Stimson.
(see page 13.)

"Agreeable to a meeting held at the meeting house in Batavia, on the 13th day October, 1802, and there being chosen by a majority, Mr. Jacob Hitchcock, Timothy Hubbard and Ichabod Brown, as a committee to confer with a committee of Windham, for the purpose of agreeing with Henry B. Stimson to preach the Gospel for six months alternately her and in South Settlement and to hold subscription papers raising the money for that purpose. There fore we whose names are underwritten do promise to pay the said committee the several sums annexed to our names, the same to be paid, the one equal half at the expiration of three months and the other half at the expiration of said time." Signed by Enoch Blakeslee, Jacob Hitchcock, Miner Cobb, John and Abijah Stone, Benjamin Baldwin, George and Mary Squires, Nathan Osborn, Amos Smith, Jacob Snow, Joel Tuttle, Nathan Osborn, jr., Samuel Chatfield, Jesse Bronson, Zachariah Cargill, Jairus Munson, and Alanson Barlow.

Their paper perhaps might be found among the papers of Rev. Oscar B. Hitchcock. What is believed to have been the subscription in the "South Settlement" [Jewett] is given below. It is in an old memorandum book in the possession of Mr. David Pond. The sums named seem small to us, but they were large for the times and circumstances.

List of Names on the Subscription—amounts subscribed.









Samuel Goodsel



Ralph Fowler




Thomas Wheeler



Nathan S. Mills




Eliphalet Wheeler




Roger Holcomb




Thomas Merwin




Zaacheus Covil




Daniel Merwin




Samuel Merwin




Theron Huff




Isaac Buel




Isaac Buel



Thomas Merwin Jr.




Benjamin Baldwin



Samuel Woolcot




Caleb Hubbard



Asahel Hull




Jacob Snow



Isaac Davis




Silas Fowler




Israel Whitcomb




Amherst Andrews




William Parker




Walter Munson



Samuel Hanson




Silas Lewis



Adna Beach




Ichabod Andrews




George Miles




Simeon Fowler




Uri Cook



Samuel B. Fowler




Theophilus Peck



Titus Heaton




Abel Holcomb



Isaac Doolittle




Henry Goslee



Henry Jacobey




Cornelius Duken



Jonathan Rice




Ira Rice



Chester Hull




Asa Brown



Munson Buel




Justus Coe



Reuben Hosford




Moses Kelar



Elisha Thompson




Asa Brown




Benajah Rice





Register of District School Taught By The
Rev. Henry B. Stimson, 1807.

The church not being able at that time to pay Mr. Stimson and adequate salary, he was obliged to supplement it by teaching school. The tally sheet of one school is still in existence and is here given. It is an old fashioned unruled foolscap sheet, ruled by hand, with pen and ink, the entries are in a neat business-like style and elegant chirography. The school began May 24th, 1807, and lasted 36 school days. It was suspended three days, marked, "Three days at Court." The parents names are in small capital. The spelling is preserved. The sign (?) means doubt as to the exact writing. The school house was at the north end of Ashland village.


Saphia Higgins

Anthony Springsted

Russel Hubbard

Nancy Higgins

James Springsted

Lyman Hubbard




Olinda Munson

Hudson Kinsley

Marrila Strong

John Munson

Leonard Kinsley

Ruby (?) Strong


Harry Kinsley


Marilla Hovey


Lyman Morse

Haley Hovey

Austin Strong

Harris Morse

Clara Hover

Oliva Strong




Benjamin Bowers

Patty Brines

Rodney Clark

Zachariah Bowers

Edward Brines

Syrus Clark


Asahel Brines


Laura Hubbard

Liman Brines

Sheldon Goodsel

Lucina Hubbard

Halsey Brines

_____POST (?)

Sapprona Hubbard


Ginna (?) Post

Sally Hubbard

Lucy Prout


Weltha Hubbard

Desire Ives

Chany Clark

Justin Hubbard

Caleb Ives

Hiram Ives

Alfred Hubbard


Edwin Ives

Halsey Hubbard

Peggy Benham



John Benham

Russel Farrinton

Betsey Arnold

Kimber Benham

Harvey Farrinton

Ashbel Arnold

Polly Benham


Milo Arnold


Elizabeth Brines

Clarissa Arnold

Buel White



Beulah White

Hezekiah S. ___

James Strong

Lavinna White

Parnal ___

Charity Morison (?)

George White

Rachel Spring

Anna Liza Strong


Polly Hood


Sally Springsted

George Crook

George W. Higgins


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