Churches of the Town of Arcadia

Wayne county, NY

Source: "Landmarks of Wayne County, N.Y."
Edited by Hon. George W. Cowles of Clyde, N.Y.
Assisted by H.P. Smith & others
Syracuse, N.Y.: D. Mason Company Publishers 1895

Pages 377-381

The present town of Arcadia originally comprised a part of the old Seneca Circuit of Methodism, which dates back to 1796, but the first ministers that traversed our limits probably came in 1801, their names being James and Josiah Wilkinson. Smith Weeks and John Billings were the circuit riders of 1802-03, and Roger Benton (the blacksmith) and Sylvester Hill performed these duties in 1804-05. In 1805 Mr. Benton's health failed and in 1806 he settled permanently in Newark, in which year the Lyons circuit was formed and his house became and continued a regular appointment until 1815, when the first M.E. church in town was erected on his farm on the site of the present Newark cemetery, the frame being raised October 1, of that year, under the circuit pastorship of Rev. Daniel Barnes. The edifice was dedicated June 22, 1816, and the builders were: Roger Benton, Jeremiah Lusk, the families of Luce and Stansell, Ezra Lambright, Henry Cronise, and Messrs. Winter and Aldrich. The structure was used for about twelve years, when it was converted into a dwelling and a second building erected near the center of the village, among its builders being Roger Benton, John L. Kipp, Joseph Miller, Henry Cronise, Minor Trowbridge, L. Bostwick, William Stansell, Pinkham Crommett, and Oliver Morley. In 1854, under the pastorship of Rev. J.K. Tuttle, the nucleus of the present church was built on Main stret and dedicated. At this time Henry Cronise, Peter P. Kechor, Oliver Morley, John W. Benton, and L.J. Benton were trustees. The edifice was remodeled and rededicated February 1, 1888, by Charles N. Sims, D.D., L.L.D., chancellor of Syracuse University. The first parsonage was built on Mr. Benton's farm in 1824. The society now has about 375 members under the pastoral charge of Rev. J.E. Allen.

The First Presbyterian Church, of Newark, was constituted at the village school house on the 20th of April, 1825, by Rev. Francis Pomeroy and H.P. Strong, with sixty-three numbers, of whom thirty-seven were from the Presbyterian Church at East Palmyra. Peter Cook and John G. Kanouse were the first elders. In November, 1826, the first pastor, Rev. Alfred Campbell, was installed and served until September, 1828, when Rev. Peter Kanouse took charge. Among his successors prior to 1850 were Revs. James Boyle, Henry Snyder, J.K. Ware, George W. Elliott, David Cushing, and G.R.H. Shumway (for twenty five years). The present pastor, Rev. A. Parke Burgess, D.D., assumed charge in March, 1874. The first church edifice, a wooden structure, was erected on the site of the present building in 1827, and to extinguish the indebtedness incurred by its construction Elder Pliny Foster mortgaged his farm for $500. In 1852 this edifice was replaced by another foundation, on which new walls were slowly reared until June, 1853, when a conflagration reduced them to ashes. Rebuilding was immediately commenced and the present structure was completed at a cost of about $18,000, the basement being first occupied January 1, 1854. In 1875 it was enlarged at an expense of $12,000. A Sunday school was organized by members of this denomination in Newark as early as 1814. The society has about 450 members.

The Baptist Church of East Newark was organized as the Lockville Baptist Church in July, 1834, with twenty-four members. The first pastor was Rev. Moses Rowley. In 1836 a site was purchased, upon which a brick edifice was erected at a cost of $2,500. When the name of that part of Newark village became Arcadia the name of the church was changed to correspond, and in December, 1864, when many of its members united with a new society located at the more populous center, the first named title was adopted. The division left sixty-three members; in 1869 the number was eighty. The pastors succeeding Rev. Mr. Rowley were Revs. John Dudley, R.P. Lamb, Joseph Spoor, David Bellamy, L.O. Grinnell, William Roney, Sidney Wilder, and Joseph B. Vrooman, under whom the division occurred. The society eventually went down and the property was sold to the Dutch Reform Church.

The First Universalist Society of Newark was organized August 7, 1837, with forty-nine members. The same year a brick edifice was erected at a cost of $5,000. The church was legally organized in May, 1842, by D.K. Lee, with twenty-one members, and the house of worship was used until January, 1871, when it was sold. That year the present structure was built at an expense of $15,000, and dedicated March 13, 1872, the first pastor officiating being Rev. George B. Stocking. The pastors of the old church were Revs. Kneeland Townsend, Henry Roberts, D.K. Lee, E.W. Locke, J.J. Austin, D.C. Tomlinson, C.A. Skinner, S.L. Rorapaugh, A. Kelsey, R. Fiske, L.C. Brown, C. Fleuhrer, and W.B. Randolph. The society has about sixty members under the pastoral care of Rev. James P. Curtis.

The Reformed Dutch Church of East Newark was organized prior to 1844, at which time Rev. William Turner was pastor, and in which year it numbered thirty members. The society finally weakened and disbanded, but a few years since was reorganized under the same name as a missionary field belonging to the Classis of Rochester and in charge of the Board of Missions of the Reformed Dutch Church of America. The old brick Baptist Church was purchased, and in it both English and Holland services are held regularly. Rev. Jacob Dyk is pastor-elect. The society has about 100 members.

The German Evangelical Association Church of Newark was organized with twenty-seven members in 1845 by Rev. Philip Miller. Their house of worship was erected on Miller street in 1864 and consecrated by Rev. M. Fitzinger. The first pastor was Rev. M. Miller, and among his earlier successors were Revs. Jacob Siegrist, Jacob L. Jacoby, M. Lane, August Holzworth, and Charles Wissman. The present pastor is Rev. Fred Lahmeyer and the society's membership numbers about 100.

St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal Church of Newark was legally organized at the house of Esbon Blackmar on July 22, 1851, by Rev. Dr. Bissell, of Geneva. The first officers were Thomas Davis and Ebenezer Cressy, wardens; Esbon Blackmar, Fletcher Williams, George Perkins, David Mandeville, John Daggett, Clark Mason, A.W. Marsh, and Joel H. Prescott, vestrymen. Episcopal services had been held in Newark as early as 1830 by Rev. T.F. Wardwell, of Lyons, and the organization was made possible by the confirmation of a class by Bishop De Lancey in the old M.E. Church. August 15, 1851, a contract was let to George Perkins for a church edifice to cost $1,725, exclusive of the spire, which was to be built by Fletcher Williams for $200. The building and lot cost $3,174.27, the bell $300, and the organ, the gift of the Ladies' Society, $450. The church was consecrated by Bishop De Lancey on December 28, 1852; the building committee consisted of Esbon Blackmar, Fletcher Williams, and Joel H. Prescott. Rev. Charles W. Hayes was installed the first rector September 19, 1852, organized a Sunday school October 3, with Joel H. Prescott as superintendent, and continued in charge until 1854, when Rev. Charles W. Homer assumed charge. Under him the first Christmas tree in Newark was uncovered at the rectory in 185-(paper damaged). Among his successors were Revs. William O. Gorham, John H. Rowling, P.T. Babbitt, W.J. Pigott, and John Leach. In 1876 a rectory was purchased for $3,000. The parish has about eighty members with Rev. L.D. Van Dyke, D.D., as rector.

The Roman Catholic Church of Newark was established with about forty members in 1855, mainly through the efforts of Rev. Father Purcell, who was followed by Fathers Clark, Lee, Charles, S.M. Rimmels, and others. A frame edifice was built in 1855. The present pastor is Rev. D.W. Kavanaugh, of Lyons.

The First Baptist Church of Newark was first a removal and afterward a reorganization of the society of this denomination in East Newark, previously detailed. The removal occurred in 1864, and in 1865 a church edifice was built at a cost of several thousand dollars. It stands on the south side of Miller street and was originally designated "Hope Chapel." In December, 1874, the society was reorganized under its present name, the first officers being Josiah Failing, Clark Phillips, Marvin I. Greenwood, Jesse G. Pitts, William Fisk, and T. Hunt, trustees; Clark Phillips, president; M.I. Greenwood, secretary; William Fisk, treasurer. A parsonage was purchased for $1,700, and the pastor at the time of reorganization was Rev. V. Wilson. The society has about 190 members under the pastoral charge of Rev. F.W. Kneeland.

The German Lutheran Church of East Newark was organized March 27, 1872. The original membership numbered twenty-seven, and the first meetings were held in the Baptist Church by Rev. C.C. Manz, a missionary, once in two weeks. The society has thirty-five of forty members with Rev. Robert T. Vosberg as pastor. The Sunday school has an average attendance of forty scholars.

The Presbyterian Church of Fairville was constituted with eighteen persons March 31, 1860. Rev. Mr. Cushing, of Newark, had preached here in the school house and later in the M.E. Church, and was followed in 1859 by Rev. Mr. Holcomb. July 20, 1860, John Aiken executed a deed of the present lot to Elon St. John, John Bockoven, William H. Van Inwagen, Franklin Koffman, and Charles E. Crandall, trustees, for $200. The building committee consisted of Elon St. John, John Bockoven, Marvin Lee, William H. Van Inwagen, and Charles E. Crandall. The contract was let August 24, 1861, to Elon St. John, for $2,500, and the corner stone was laid by Rev. Mr. Holcomb on October 2, 1861. The edifice was dedicated October 16, 1862, by Rev. Charles Hawley, of Auburn. January 1, 1866, the church was legally organized by the Presbytery of Lyons with eighteen members, and with William H. Smith and Henry West as ruling elders. The first pastor was Rev. Mr. Young, the present incumbent being Rev. J. W. Lowden. The society has about seventy members.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Fairville was organized at a comparatively early date, and a house of worship erected in 1857. The society has about seventy-five members and a Sunday school with an average attendance of fifty scholars. The pastor is Rev. Joseph Maxwell.

Contributor: Sandy Burdick of Battle Creek, MI - Thank you for this surprise in the snail mail!

Volunteer Typist: Martha Perry Magill

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