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Death Records 1860-1894
Pardon T Jewell
Delos E Lyon
Searl and Storrs
Park Square and Fairs
Hotels and Inns
Brown Eagle Hotel
Businesses and Industry
West Park Square Drug Store
Churches and Buildings
Morgan (Town) Hall
The Miners Cabin
In the Public Trust
Mt Prospect Cemetery
This information came from the files of Joie Wilson, formerly the Franklinville Town
Historian and the section editor for Franklinville on the Cattaraugus County website.
If you have information about Franklinville, or have a question,
contact Joie at [email protected]
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As early as 1813 there was a church established in this area which
was still known as a part of the Town of Ischua. The Rev. John Spencer,
sent out by the Connecticut Mission Society in 1807 is credited with the
first organized effort at spreading the Word of the Lord. A
Congregationalist minister. he traveled on horseback, preaching wherever
there were people to listen. If he could find six Christians in one
location who desired to organize, he would help them create a church.
One of the notes referring to his activities in this regard says
"Should have communed but could not obtain wine." Even proper worship
services were difficult to conduct in those days. Since most of the
earliest settlers came from the New England States originally, and since
Rev. Spencer was a Congregationalist minister, the churches he helped to
form were Presbyterian.
The following information is from a history written by Rev. Adrian Mumford
when he was the Pastor of First Baptist Church in the mid 20th-Century:
"The First Baptist Church of Franklinville, N. Y. organized on
October 20, 1825. There were only seven original members, hardly enough
to form a church but '....they saw a definite need of a Baptist witness
and desired to fellowship together. Those first members were all young
people in their twenties."
"They probably went to church in lumber wagons drawn by oxen.
Taking their dinners with them, and eating between services, these early
members spent most of the Sabbath Day at worship. The early records
state that the Pastor preaqched twice and sometimes three times with a
sermon lasting an hour in length."
"On March 2, 1950 the church voted to purchase the lot on which
church now stands. The land was purchased from William S. Newton and
consisted of 1.58 acres more or less."
"The meeting house erected was a frame building nearly square
a steeple on the front."
"The front door in the middle of the house opened into a
which extended the whole width of the church. There was a gallery over
the vestibule where the singers sat. This made it necessary for the
people when they stood, to turn around and face the choir. The house was
heated by two stoves which stood by the doors in the corners." This
became known as the White Schoolhouse because it was used as such, as
well as being used for worship.
"The Baptistry was the Ischua Creek which was often used. Many
times in the coldest weather it was necessary to cut holes in the ice
for the candidates to get in and out of the water."
Services in those days were real spiritual experiences.
When R. L. Curtis wrote his history of Franklinville, it was
published in the Chronicle Journal in serial form. (R. Leigh Curtis
studied law with his father Henry R. Curtis and later entered Cornell
University College of Law, being admitted to practice in March 1904. He
then practiced with his father in a firm under the name and style of
Curtis & Curtis.)
The following is quoted from that work found on an old clipping
from the May 16, 1912 issue with regard to what eventually happened to
"When the Baptist church was built this was moved away and used as
a hardware store by Mr. Salisbury until 1880 when it was destroyed by
"A house of worship was erected in 1842-3, the second built by the
society. In 1868 one thousand dollars was expended in repairs. On March
12, 1869 the house burned. A new building was immediately put up at a
cost of $9,000 and this with many changes and additions is still used."
The Free Methodist congregation originally organized in the East
Hill schoolhouse in 1863. In 1875-76 they built a church on South Main