Beers Churches Windham

Town of Windham Churches 

As Identified in J.B. Beers' History of Greene County, published in 1884

Retyped by Arlene Goodwin

Big Hollow Presbyterian Church
The second church of Windham, or East Windham Presbyterian church, was formed by a committee of the Northern Associate Presbytery, which convened for that purpose December 10th 1822. The ministers present were Revs. Seth Williston, James Jewell, and David Harrower (the last by invitation). The laymen present were David Baldwin, of the first Presbyterian church in Durham, and Benjamin Hubbard, of the second church in the same town.

The original members were: William Evans jr., Harriet Evans his wife, Lemuel Hitchcock, Patience his wife; Theron Hough, Tryphena his wife; Susannah Payne, Samuel Chapman, Samuel Atwater, Eli Palmer Robinson, Molly Saxton, his wife; Samuel Bagley and wife; Lemuel Hitchcock jr., Hannah Hitchcock his wife; Antrim Hitchcock, Lois his wife; Zalmon Hitchcock, Sally Root, Rowena Hitchcock, and Abigail Chapman.

Ruling elders were chosen by the church, and ordained by Rev. David Beers, who was appointed by the Presbytery for the purpose, as follows: Lemuel Hitchcock, Harry R. Avery, Lemuel Hitchcock jr., Samuel Bagley, and Zalmon Hitchcock.

In 1826 this church, which had belonged to the Albany Presbytery, was connected with Columbia Presbytery. Several of its members were set off to the church in Jewett (Lexington Heights) by the committee of the Albany Presbytery, without the knowledge or consent of the church at Big Hollow.

Rev. Mr. Durfee, of Hunter, preached occasionally in this church until Rev. Alfred Gardner (who is still living, in Wisconsin) was ordained, September 23d 1830. The meeting-house was burned February 3d 1833, but was soon rebuilt. Rev. Mr. Gardnerís pastorate continued till 1854. His successors in the ministry were: Revs. John B. Fish, 1855-61; William Johns, 1862-65. After which the church was supplied, in part, by the pastors of the Windham village church, Revs. B. P. Phillips, Charles Kendall, and others.

Since 1875 Rev. Dubois Wyckoff has been the pastor, till 1882, when he returned to his former work in the foreign missionary field.

This church has been active in benevolent and Christian work. Though hemmed in by mountains, it has not forgotten the wants of the world outside, but has been a constant and liberal contributor for charitable purposes, as well as for the work of the denomination with which it is connected. In doing this it has but perpetuated and reflected the spirit of Deacon Lemuel Hitchcock, the pioneer of Big Hollow, to whom the establishment and maintenance of the society is to be largely attributed. 

Presbyterian Church of Windham
The Center Presbyterian church of Windham was organized on the 29th day of April 1834, with the following constituent members who received letters of dismission from the first Presbyterian church of Windham for the purpose of organizing this church.

Merritt Osborn, Clark Finch, William R. Robinson, William Doty, John M. Robinson, E. E. Kisttal, Stephen S. Keeler, Curtis Mattoon, Roma R. Ives, William Young, J. N. Cornell, Eli P. Robinson, Isaac N. Reynolds, James O. Gates, Alexander Reynolds, Reuben Smith, George Robertson, Elijah Fuller, Abijah Stone, Henry Osborn, Nathan Osborn, Orrin Stimson, Consider Camp, Thomas H. Southal, Julia O. Chapman, Rebecca Osborn, Alethea Stone, Sally Osborn, Lucretia Finch, Ruth Dunham, Fanny Hinman. Mary Robinson, Amelia Keeler, Julia N. Doty, Elener Osborn, Harriet Barney, Anna Reynolds, Loretta Reynolds, Desire Mattoon, Mary Osborn, Lydia Fancher, Rebecca Stimson, Mary Stimson, Jemima Smith, Mary Miller, Sally Sherman, Maria Robertson, Catherine Southal, Dredama Brockett, Lois Beers, Phebe Stimson, Emily Stimson, Lydia Barney, Keziah Goodrich, Eunice Robinson, Charry Henson, Electa Lamoreaux, Clarinda Ives, and Sally Ann Young.

The present house of worship was dedicated January 1st 1835. On the 13th of the same month Rev. Leonard B. Van Dyck was chosen the first pastor, and entered on his labors on the 15th of February. His pastorate continued till the last Sunday of December 1860, a period of 26 years, when he was released at this own request, on account of the failure of his voice. His successor was Rev. William Addy, whose pastorate commenced July 4th 1861, and continued during five years. His successor was Rev. B. T. Phillips, who was succeeded by Rev. Rufus King, and he by Rev. R. G. McCarthy, whose pastorate commenced October 1st 1876. The present pastor is Rev. Benjamin Parsons, whose labors commenced at the beginning of 1884.

There have been admitted to this church since its organization, 210 by profession of faith, and 200 by letters from other churches. The present membership is 146.

The society has a parsonage, and the total valuation of the church property is $10,000. The church has no debt. 

Methodist Episcopal Church of Windham
In the absence of any records of this society, it can not be learned when it organized, or who were the original constituent members. A society existed here more than 40 yeas since, and worshipped in the school-house that stood on the present farm of Daniel Tibbals. This was their place of meeting till the erection of the present church building in 1843. This stands on the main street, a short distance east from the bridge. It is a wooden building, with a seating capacity of 200. It was remodelled and beautified in 1867. The parsonage of the society was built for a hotel by Merritt Osborn, The estimated value of the church property is $7,000, and the society has no debt.

The following is a list of the ministers of the Methodist Episcopal church in what is now East Jewett, as nearly as can be ascertained. For many years that place (East Jewett) was connected with other places, forming a circuit bearing the name of one of these places. It is said that Windham was a part of Albany circuit in 1805, and it is supposed that East Jewett was connected with it. The name given herewith after 1823, when Durham circuit formed, are thought by Rev. Mr. Osborn, of New York, to be correct; and as the earlier names were taken from printed minutes, they are nearly, if not quite, correct:

1805, Seth Cowell, Henry Stead; 1806, Andrew McLain, Griffin Sweet; 1807, Zenas Covel, John Finnigan; 1808, Datus Ensign, Samuel Howe; 1809, Nathan Bangs, Isaac B. Smith; 1810, John Crawford, Samuel Merwin; 1811, John Crawford, Ephraim Sawyer; 1812, A. McKain, Jesse Hunt; 1813, Henry Stead, John Kline; 1814, John B. Mathias, William N. Stilwell; 1815, Luman Andrus, John B. Matthias, ____ _____, and John Crawford, 1816, Phineas Rice, Isaac Lent; 1817, Arnold Schofield, James Youngs; 1818, Andrew McKain, Bela Smith, 1819, Gresham Pierce, John Crawford. The following ministers were appointed by Albany circuit, which it is supposed, included Windham and vicinity. In 1820, the circuit was called Coeymans: 1820, Gresham Pierce, J. D. Moriarty; 1821, Daniel I. Wright, John D. Moriarty; 1822, F. Draper, Daniel I. Wright; 1823óthis year Durham circuit was formed. 1823, Thomas S. Barrett, ___ ___ ___ ___; 1824, Jesse Hunt, Elisha Andrews; 1825, Jesse Hunt, Ira Ferris; 1826, Moses Armidon, Alexander Calden; 1827, Moses Armidon, David Poor; 1828, Cyrus Stillman, David Poor; 1829, Cyrus Stillman, Orrin Pierr; 1830, John Bangs Hiram Wing; 1831, John Bangs, David Terry; 1832, Eli Denniston, David Terry; 1833óthis year, Windham appears on the minutes as the name of a circuit, with Henry W. Reed and Samuel M. Knapp, as ministers; 1834, I. Broadhead, W. W. Reed, D. Bullock; 1835, Philip L. Hoyt, Joseph H. Frost; 1836, Egbert Osborn, Goodrich Horton; 1837, Joseph D. Marshall, Goodrich Horton; 1838, Joseph D. Marshall, Goodrich Horton; 1838 F. W. Sizer, D. B. Turner; 1839, D. B. Turner, O. W. Munger; 1840, O. W. Munger, Russell Scott; 1841, O. G. Hedstrom, William F. Gould; 1842, William Lull, William F. Gould; 1843, William Lull, John Davy; 1844, Daniel I. Wright, Daniel Bullock; 1845, Daniel I. Wright, C. T. Mallory; 1846, Ezra S. Cook, C. T. Mallory; 1847, Ezra S. Cook, William B. Mitchell; (Windham and Lexington are both put together on the minutes in 1848 and 1849) 1848, Luther W. Peck, William B. Mitchell; 1849, G. C. Bancroft, W. F. Gould; 1850, Silas Fitch, Robert Kerr; 1851, Jason Wells, ____ _____; 1852, Jason Wells, Noble Lovett; 1853, James W. Smith, William Hall; 1854, James W. Smith, Asahel M. Hough; 1855, Aaron Rogers, Asahel M. Hough; 1856, William Goss, James M. Berger; 1857, William Goss, G. Woodworth; 1858, J. H. Champion, George Woodworth; 1859, East Jewett was set off and W. F. Gould appointed; 1860, G. B. Grippen; 1861, G. B. Grippen; 1862, J. P. Burgar; 1863, J. P. Burgar; 1864, J. G. Slater; 1865, W.W. Taylor; 1866, Aaron Rogers; 1867, Supplied by Elder; 1868, G. W. Martin; 1869 and 1870, Robert Kerr; 1871 and 1872, Joseph Elliott; 1873, 1874, 1875, O. R. Bouton; 1876, 1877, S. Merchant. Rev. J. P. Burgar came in spring of 1882.

The North Settlement Methodist Episcopal church was built in 1826.

The Windham village Methodist Episcopal church was built in 1837. 

Episcopal Mission
St. Paulís Chapel, a mission of Trinity church, Ashland, was built in 1850-51-52. The most active persons in the erection of this chapel was Friend, Lot, Homer, Orator, and Carlos Holcomb. These brothers were the most liberal contributors toward the erection of this chapel, as well as active members of the congregation. Especially was this true of Orator. None of them are living. The building was consecrated about 1857, by Bishop Potter. Services were conducted in the chapel by rectors of Trinity church, till about 1870. In 1871 the building was sold to the Free Methodist society of Windham.

Free Methodist Church of Big Hollow
This society was organized June 24th 1871, with the following charter members: Ezra Holcomb and wife, Robert Winter and wife, Francis Maynard and wife, B. A. Ferguson and wife, Nelson Hitchcock and wife, John McGlashan and wife, Sarah Barker, Susan Mills, Monroe Mallery, Sally Rood, Isaac Chapman, Chauncey Johnson, Homer Barker, and Sylvester Winchell.

The church building was erected in 1875. The first officers of the society were: G. A. Ferguson, John McGlashan, Homer Barker, and Sylvester Winchell, Stewards: Francis Maynard, class leader. The first quarterly meeting was held in the grove in Big Hollow, June 8th , 9th and 10th 1871.

The following preachers have served this congregation: Revs. George Edwards, 1871; O. V. Kettles, 1872; G. E. Ferrin, 1873, 1874; George Eakins, 1875, 1876; Frederick Wurstin, 1877, 1878; James Bradbrook, 1879; and O. D. Seward, 1882, 1883. 

The Hensonville M. E. Church
This church was built in 1874 and was dedicated February 17th 1875. The site cost $100, and the building $4,500.

The establishing of a church at this place was accomplished through the earnest efforts of Rev. Seney Martin and it stand a monument to his memory.

The pastor in charge at the time of the dedication was Rev. H. F. Odell. He remained here two months, then Rev. C. H. Travis assumed the charge till 1878. Rev. G. W. Woodworth was pastor from 1878 to 1881; Rev. A. B. Barber, 1881-84.

The church bell was bought by the Hensonville Ladiesí Aid Society and presented to the church. It cost $300.

A prosperous Sunday-school, under the supervision of Mr. Albert Chase, is connected with this church. 

Free Methodist Church of Windham Village
This is a branch of the North Settlement and Big Hollow circuit. The society was founded in 1871. Not having a house of worship, it bought St. Paulís church at the west end of the village during the same year for $850.

Rev. George Edwards was the first pastor, followed by Revs. John Banta, George Ferrin, Frederick Wooster, James Bradbrook, and O. D. Stewart. The latter is still pastor of this society.

This church has a membership of about 20. 

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