Town of Orwell,
from Hugh F. Murray’s History of the Town of Orwell from 1806 to 1887 published
in 1887 at Pulaski, NY, donated by an Oswego researcher.
The following extracts from the church records summarize the history of
the Presbyterian Church of Orwell from its first organization in 1819 to
its re-organization into a Congregational Church in 1858.
The Rev. Messrs. Oliver Leavitt and David K. Dixon being present, the 1st
Presbyterian church in this place was constituted, consisting of thirteen
members, and the above articles of faith and covenant were adopted.
The following persons
presented certificates of church membership:
The following expect
Judah Wheelock, John Brooks
The following were received on
Orpha Burkett, baptized
After the solemnities were concluded, Jonas Thompson was elected tothe
office of deacon in the church. Sometime in 1819. Jonas Thompson
was solomnly set apart to the office of deacon by the Rev. John Davenport.
March 16, 1820. Admitted Joseph Wheelock; by letter, Judith Wheelock.
(They were parents of Rev. Rufus A. Wheelock.)
May 30th, 1827, according to a previous appointment, the members of the
1st Presbyterian Church and congregation met at Timothy Balch’s.
Mr. Withington took the chair.
Resolved, that we form ourselves into a branch society auxillary to the
home missionary society, according to the plan recommended.
Wm. Withington, Clerk
The membership inceased until in
1833 it numbered 29. Four years later the church formed itself into
an Ecclesiastical Society, according to statue laws, as will be seen from
Records of the first Presbyterian
Society of Orwell.
A meeting was held April 5, 1837, according to notice, for the purpose
of organizing the first Presbyterian society, of Orwell. The meeting
was opened with prayer by Rev. S.W. Leavitt. Daniel Pratt was chosen
moderator; Elon Stowell, scribe. They proceeded to organize the society
under the name of the First Presbyterian Society, of Orwell, Oswego Co.,
N.Y. They choose for their trustees the following persons:
Ebenezer Knight, Daniel
Pratt, one year.
Up to 1845
they had no regular pulpit supply, only Communion Services being kept up.
In 1843 the church was built and dedicated in February 1844. The
first year thereafter the pulpit was supplied by the Missionary Association.
The following three years Rev. J.B. Wilson preached alternatively here
and at Sandy Creek, both places being missionary fields.
Samuel Stowell, sen., Elon Stowell,
George Knight, three years.
Elon Stowell, clerk.
Elon Stowell, Clerk
copy of a subscription list for Rev. J.B. Wilson in 1847, shows who were
the supporters of the Presbyterian church at this time:
|James F. Davis
|E. S. Barnes
|O. B. Olstead
|H. F. Ackley
|H. M. Knight
|Samuel Stowell, jr.
The ministers in charge up to 1858 were Messrs. Wilson, Wheelock and Webb.
March 13th, 1858 the Presbyterian church re-organized itself into a Congregational
church by adopting the following resolutions.
Resolved, 1st. That we do hereby dissolve our association with the
Oswego Presbytery, and all connection with the Presbyterian church.
2nd. That we hereby organize ourselves into a congregational church
and pledge ourselves to God and to each other to conduct our affairs according
to the rules and usages of strictly Congregational churches.
The following persons thus became members of and constituted the church.
Cornelius Acker, David Hollis, Elon Stowell, Ruth Acker, B. Maria Beadle,
Frances Beadle, Orpha Burkett, Melinda Groat, Laura Hollis, Jane Potter,
Abigail Stowell, Celinda Stowell, Temperance Ann Stowell.
The church had become reduced by death and removals, to the original number
thirteen, and of the original members, Orpha Burkett was the only one who
entered into the organization of the new church.
At the next meeting new articles of Faith were adopted, and six members
added to the church: Mrs. Mary Stowell, Mrs. Harmony Baker, Allen Campbell,
Leander C. Preslar, Otis E. Stowell, Rhoda Ann Stowell.
church then voted to apply for admission to the Black River Convention.
The officers were Rev. Jacob R. Shepherd, pastor; Elon Stowell and David