History of East Palmyra
Methodist Episcopal Church
Wayne County, N.Y.
The following historical sketch comes from Vol. 124, 1939-40, pp. 468-470, of the bound
miscellaneous New York State records of the Daughters of the Revolution. The original onionskin typescripts of these records are available for your personal viewing at three locations: the New York State Library in Albany, NY, the New York City Public
Library (Research Library at 5th Ave. & 42nd St.), and the National D.A.R. Library in Washington, D.C.
IMPORTANT: Everything below this line was compiled by D.A.R. member Mrs. W.F. Garlock of Port Gibson, NY, back 65
years ago. This contains obvious spelling and punctuation errors, words crammed together, typos, and there were
manual typewriter strike-outs on the original typescript. For historical accuracy and integrity, errors were left
alone when typing it up for on line. This article appears to be compiled from several sources - from the inside cover of an old church register, from a book
about the Genesee Conference of the M.E. church, and from Mrs. A.G. Post's 1887 reminiscences of the church's history.
History of the East Palmyra Methodist Episcopal Church. Found written on the inside of cover
of the Church Register.
Facts furnished by Dr. S.D. Sherman, Lyons, Wayne Co., N.Y., 1822. Page 180 History Genesee
Conference, N.Y. State.
Names of the early pastors not chronologically arranged; Allen Steel, Cyrus Story; John Easter;
Wilson Osburn; E.C. Hall; Chancy Baker; Wm. Manderville; J.M. Bull; Alpha Wright; John Manderville.
Esq. Hiram Schutt, Port Gibson, N.Y. Historical Adviser. Wm. Beal, E. Palmyra; Abram Pepper,
Marion, N.Y.; Meade Allerton, Newark, N.Y.; John Balverson, Dr. Smith, James Kelsey and Abner
Chasewerer stationed at Lyons, N.Y.
The Society (East Palmyra, Wayne Co., N.Y.) in Parker neighborhood was started in the year 1822. Dr.
Samuel Moore was practicing in Marion and being called to Parkers neighborhood Aug. 22, arranged for
meetings. He was a local preacher. Thence arose regular meetings in Parkers S.H. (Probably School House)
and a great revival. The first Methodist Ep. class and society were formed there about the Spring of 1823, by the
above named minister from Lyons circuit. About Aug. 1823 Wilson Osburn local preacher and Samuel Moore commenced
holding meetings in E. Palmyra in the house of Alex Sherman (father of Durfee Sherman of Newark) house opposite Soper's
Here the following winter the continued to hold meetings, when a great revival occured. P. 556 Genessee Hist.
Zina J. Buck lived in 1823 where now Albert G. Hathaway lives. He was converted in 1824, probably early in the year.
Samuel Sherman and wife; Gideon Sharmans wife; Israel Perry and wife; Ambrose Salisbury and wife; Jacob
Howell and wife; Zina J. Buck's wife and Stephen Sherman and wife; Caleb Beal and wife; Sylvanus Rowley and
wife; and many others were fruits of that revival. In 1824 probably Rev. Wm. Snow and Rev. R. M. Everett then in
the Lyons circuit formed the E. Palmyra Society. About that time came the Rev. Roger Benton, local elder from
Newark (Note father of J.W. Benton) helped make these years render great service and held meetings in the Hopkins
Schoolhouse. Now No.7 of Palmyra. This was then an appointment belonging probably to Genessee Conf. On. t Dist. from
which Lyons and E. Palmyra were served. About 1825 the society purchased the Hawthorn house and lot about 3 acres. south of the
school house at the foot of the hill. Note; now occupied by Wm. Father of Albert Hathaway of possibly by Henry Wood.
The upper story of the Hathaway served to accomidate the congregation. The lower part being occupied by Mr. Hathaway,
who cared for the house as Sexton.
Rev. Geo. Lane 1824 was the first Presiding Elder and Abner Chase the second Presiding Elder 1825. In 1825 a
camp meeting was held on Caleb Beal's Sr. land a little south of where Wm. C. Beal now lives. One of the preachers at
the camp meeting William Hoag about 19 years old preached so distinctly as to be heard one mile away one evening by
Stephen Sherman sitting on his plaza where Caleb Beal and family now lives.
Elisha House was the Presiding Elder in charge. In 1829 Glesen Filmore was Presiding Elder in Ontario Dist. Lyons had
Richard Wright and J.B. Alvelrson as preachers, Ontario and Palmyra, Seth Mattison and Joseph Tompkins. When Parkers
neighborhood was set off from Palmyra I cannot say. In 1830 Glesen Filmore was superceded by Abner Chase on the Ont. Dist.
p. 313 Hist. Gen. Conf. On Lyons charge were Richard Wright; J.B. Alverson; Supt. Joseph Tompkins. In 1831 Allen Steel
and Ira Fairbanks p. 335 were circuit preachers on the circuit then embracing much territory. In 1832 circuit was named by
Ira Fairbanks and two others. 1833 Robert Birch was presiding Elder on this District.
The Hudson Society now Curtis p. 368-385 Hist. Gen Conf. for the interval. The Hudson Society divided a part going
to Port Gibon and part to E. Palmyra. (see deed)
John Easter was pastor in 1833. In 1835 the first church was didicated by Wilbur Hoag at Port Gibson from the deed to
the erection of the church. in 1843 meetings were held in the school house where it stands, next to the Presbyterian Church.
In 1837 Rev. Octavius Hanson was pastor. Geo. Paddock and Wilson Osburn were preachers in the church there. J. B. Alverson
was Presiding Elder. In a letter dated Sturgis Mich. Jan. 25, 1878 to H. J. Foster, E. W. Hudson says, He was the 1st S.S.
Superintendent in the 1st. church building. In the spring of 1846, Rev. J. Manderville the Pastor made and appeal
to the class meeting to inaugerate a Sunday School but Dr. Hubbell and others did not then respond. Myself conducting
the one in Port Gibson not offering for that reason. He stated that incontrovertable proposition that "No Society could long
exist which would neglect the denominations education of her children."
Time sped at a party at Z. Hansons in the following winter, unexpectedly a portion of the guests arrayed themselves on the
floor for a dance. This had been unusual you know for E. Palmyra young folks. I felt indignant, first thought was myself and
other of like proclivilier, had about as good a right to open then and there a prayer meeting, but finnally concluded to go
at once to wor [Typist's note: probably "work"] and see how many of the Methodist members would agree to aid in opening a S.School.
Several present assented and I have no doubt but that Emily Sherman was one of the members. So in the spring of 1847 it was duly
opened, the writer as superintendant, as such I served 2 years. He adds, "The E. Palmyra Temperance Society work in 1849 was
followed by the most sweeping revival I ever knew." That converted all the Distillery hands according to a document signed in the
presence of Dewitt Parshall by Samuel Moon and Jacob Howell.
Extract from Reminisences of the Old Methodist Parsonage written by Mrs. A. G. Post, Oct. 28, 1887 at the end of usefulness of the
old parsonage and the opening of the new.
The old Methodist Parsonage was built in 1856 on land deeded by Luther Sanford. 1st Pastor Rev. J. W. Putnam; 2nd. W.H. Runner;
Wesley Corcoran; J. W. Hitchcock and bride; W. W. Runyan; T. R. Green and bride; Porter McKenstry; N. B. Randall; Married his bride in
Parsonage Oct. 1875 note; he manufactured soap and marches. W. H. Rodgers; Oct. 1876. L. T. Hawkins 1879; W. J. Mills; M. Wheeler
(Only two Sundays;) J. C. B. Moyer; Mrs. Whitney; C. M. Eddy; C. W. Lane.
D. Smith lived in Newark, so did J. B. Alverson. The later used to preach at Curtis School House.
Caleb Beal as the leader. He was looked to as head. He also held meetings at Hopkins barn. Tinney's house and Job Sherman's
barn, half brother to Samuel Sherman. Once when Caleb Beall was exhorting he began to pull out a pocket handkerchief and it
was a white stocking.
Samuel Moore, widower used to come to meetings and to see widow Ruth Sherman, widow of Stephen Sherman.
Mrs. Sherman started first, reading the Bible she was wrought up and called upon Caleb Beal to pray for her. She and
brother SAmuel had been several night's to meetings before she started. She and Samuel with several others were baptised
by immersion at "Town Line Bridge" at this time. It was warm weather. Brother Sherman says he knew nothing about the Bible at
that time. On a path across the swamp from his house Alexander Sherman's house one evening after meeting Samuel, said to his
wife, "Let us Pray." It was before he got religion and he could not pray, she prayed.
Rev. Preston R. Parker died Dec. 1, 1858 at his residence, in Arcadia, Wayne County N.Y. age 64. He was born Suwgy Cheshire
County, New Hampshire in the year 1795. In 1803, the family emigrated to Ruthland Jefferson County, N.Y. In 1812 he moved to Palmyra,
N.Y. In 1815 was married to Mis Lany Sanford, dau. of Luther Sanford of Palmyra. and settled in Arcadia. In 1824 "having passed
thru the mazes (I give his own language) of Universalism, Deism, and Antheism, I found Jesus to the joy of my soul by repentance
towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ." He soon joined the M. E. Church and in 1826 was licensed to exhort in 1828 was autherised
to preach. In 1832 was ordained by Bishop Hedding.
Samuel Parker Sr. thinks that Brother Kent (father of Lucy Beal) baptized the Parker neighborhood converts.
The Baptizim was by immersion in Mud Creek, near the bridge at Slab City.
Hiram Wilcom says Port Gibson, N.Y. was formed into a church in 1830 by John Parker of E. Palmyra, N.Y. Wayne Co.
Copied by Mrs. W.F. Garlock, Port Gibson N.Y.
Col. Wm. Prescott Chapt. D.A.R.
All spellings and misspellings of names and common words are exactly as given in the original text and won't be changed.
The site coordinators have no information about East Palmyra Methodist Episcopal Church history. For information about
persons and events in the above article, we thank you in advance for directing ALL questions and research inquiries
to the Office of the County Historian in Lyons, NY.
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