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History of Ontario Co., NY  

Published 1878

Richmond Churches  pg 231 - 232

THE CHURCHES OF RICHMOND - constitute no inconsiderable portion of its history; they represent the permanently progressive element of the population, and bring to prominent mention the best class of citizens.  The first sermon in the new settlement was preached in 1792, by Rev. Samuel MILLS.  In 1795, Rev. Zadoc HUNN was engaged by Captain PITTS and his sons to preach in his settlement 1/8 of his time, till his death.  Occasional services were held, but not regularly, until 1798, when Deacon Nathaniel HARMON moved in from Vermont.  There was a revival in 1799, attended by several conversions. 

THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH of Richmond was organized by Rev. Joseph GROVER and Rev. Jacob CRAM, November 4, 1802, with 11 members.  On the following Sabbath three others joined them, making 14, whose names were, Peter PITTS, Nathaniel HARMON, Oliver BUTRICK, William WARNER, Elias GILBERT, Joseph M. GILBERT, Abiel HARMON, Lina CHIPMAN, Polly GILBERT, Candace GILBERT, Phebe CHAMBERLAIN, Ebenezer COBURN, Abigail PITTS, and Rebekah REED.  Nathaniel HARMON and Elias GILBERT were the first deacons.  The first regular meeting of the society was held May 24, 1803, at the house of Elias GILBERT, and on June 14 following the church was received in connection with the Ontario association.  It was voted at the annual meeting, in 1804, to purchase of David CROOKS 10 acres of land, located in the centre of the town, for a �burying-ground and meeting-house green.�  The purchase was effected, but no steps taken to erect a building.  Meanwhile, arrangements were made to build a commodious school-house, which should be serviceable for Sabbath meetings. 

On March 6, 1806, the society voted to pay the trustees of the Centre school $200, to assist the district to build a school-house sufficiently large to answer the society as a house of worship.  The church became Presbyterian after the dissolution of the association, and was placed in care of the Geneva presbytery September 20, 1810, and when the Ontario presbytery was organized, was assigned to it.  In 1843 the church returned to the original mode of government, and, August 27, 1844, was struck from the roll of churches belonging to the presbytery. 

About 1828 several members were dismissed, to form the church of South Richmond.  Members of this and other churches formed an independent church, on ultra-abolition principles, and held services at Honeoye.  For a number of years the members of the church have mainly attended at Honeoye, and been formally connected with that church.  The church, in 1825, had 106 members, and in 1837 121.  Revivals added heavily to the strength of the society. 

They increased the body in 1817 by 50, in 1827 by 37, and in 1831 by 59.  After the organization of the church Rev. Abijah WARREN was a stated supply for � of the time.  During 1805, Rev. Samuel FULLER, ministering � his time, was called to the pastoral charge, and declined.  In 1808, Rev. Aaron C. COLLINS was asked to become pastor, and accepting, was installed by the Ontario association, and did not resign till August, 1816.  In September following, Rev. Warren DAY, from Sharon, Vermont, began to serve the church; ordained and installed March 3, 1819, and resigned October 28, 1828.  He was succeeded by Rev. Orange LYMAN, 1828 to 1834.  Revs. H. B. PIERPONT and Jacob BURBANK served for brief periods.  Rev. Linus W. BILLINGTON was installed November 11, 1835, and dismissed May 5, 1841.  Revs. BENEDICT, DARWIN, CHICHESTER, and Sydney MILLS officiated till July, 1845.  Other parties have served as follows: Rev. Warren DAY, 1845 to 1849; Rev. L. W. BILLINGTON, 1849 to 1852; Rev. Lyman MANLY, 1852 to 1858; and Rev. Milton BUTTOLPH, 1858 to 1861.  During Rev. COLLINS� pastorate the society erected an ample and substantial house of worship; it was completed and dedicated at the close of 1818; the audience-room was about 44 feet square.  A parsonage was built, in 1835, at the centre of the town.


The FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH of Honeoye was organized in November, 1854, by Rev. Cyrus PITTS, of Honeoye, assisted by Rev. Mr. FISHER, of West Bloomfield, and consisted of the following members: Cyrus PITTS, George W. PITTS, D. Leonard HAMILTON, Dennis PENNELL, Mrs. Cyrus PITTS, Mrs. George W. PITTS, and Mrs. Dennis POWELL.  George W. PITTS and D. Leonard HAMILTON were chosen deacons. 

During the fall months of 1862 measures of organization and of greater church efficiency were undertaken, and articles of faith and covenant were adopted.  The first house of worship was small and limited in accommodation.  In 1861 the society erected a neat, tasteful church edifice, and gave it considerable enlargement and improvement in 1869.  Up to 1871, the whole number who had been members of the church was 108.  Died, nine.  Dismissed, 11.  Present number, 91.  Forty-eight joined on profession of faith, and 60 upon certificate from other churches.  The succession of ministers has been as follows: Rev. Cyrus PITTS, November, 1854, to May, 1855; Rev. R. W. PAYNE, 1855 to 1858; Rev. Milton BUTTOLF (ministering also to the Centre church), 1858 to 1861; Rev. Isaac N. ELY, August, 1861, to April, 1862; and Rev. S. Mills DAY, from April, 1862, to the present (October, 1876).  A Sabbath-school has been connected with the church for several years, and is in a flourishing condition.  It numbers 167 in attendance, and is superintended by Rev. S. Mills DAY. 

A BAPTIST CHURCH was organized about 1808, with 40 members.  The first meetings were held in the school-house near Mr. WILSON�s.  They built a church edifice in 1832.  The members have connected themselves with a church in Livingston county, and no society now exists in the town.


The PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH of Honeoye has an early origin and interesting history.  In 1808, Davenport PHELPS, an English clergyman of the Episcopal faith, came through this county on a mission tour.  Preaching at various places, he labored to organize a church at Allen�s Hill.  His efforts were seconded by Orra CLARK, of Geneva.  The church was organized, and the first regular annual meeting held, April 19, 1813.  The following officers were their elected: Samuel WHITNEY and David CRAWFORD, wardens; David AKINS, Lemuel CHIPMAN, William SMITH, Eli HILL, Dennis WHITNEY; James HENDERSON, Orra AKINS, and Peter ALLEN, vestrymen; and William SMITH, clerk.  The first settled minister was Alanson W. WELTON, who began in and about 1815, and remained several years, not only serving the church, but doing mission work in various localities.  Meetings were held in the hotel hall of L. CHIPMAN until the church was built, in 1814-15.  The architect and builder was Colonel SMITH, of Livonia.  The building was finished by L. CHIPMAN and N. ALLEN, and accounts audited show the cost to have been $1,822.19.  A record as �St. Paul�s church,� dates April 7, 1817, when, at the annual meeting, James SIBLEY was clerk, and William SMITH had retired from the office.  The church was consecrated September, 1817, by Bishop HOBART, then of New York city.  Sixteen members were confirmed, one of whom, Warren PIERPONT, of West Bloomfield, is the sole survivor.  On October 30 a meeting was held, and November 25 appointed for the sale of the 42 pews of the church at auction, the payment to be in quarterly installments, the first falling due March, 1818.  The sale occurred, and each purchaser received a warranty deed of his pew.  The highest amounts paid were by Lemuel CHIPMAN and Nathaniel, $250 each.  The persons buying pews are named as follows: L. CHIPMAN, N. ALLEN, Gideon GATES, Samuel WHITNEY, Lyman WHITNEY, Uriel AKIN, Dennis WHITNEY, James SIBLEY, Titus WELTON, David PIERPONT, Cyrus WELLS, Orra AKIN, Daniel HOLMES, Lemuel C. CURTIS, Samuel TAGGART, Reuben HICKOX, Alanson W. WELTON, Thomas WILSON, Benj. BOYD, John JEROME, Daniel V. BISSELL, Daniel BISSELL, and Nathan HICKS.  ALLEN, GATES, PIERPONT, CURTIS, TAGGART, D. BISSELL, and HICKS were not church members.  Unsold pews were disposed of February 23, 1818.  Pew No. 4 was reserved for the family of the clergyman; Nos. 9, 10, 12, and 13 were �reserved for other persons,� referring to seats for visitors.  The amount realized by sale of pews was $3,394.50.  Land for a church and cemetery was given by Nathaniel ALLEN.  A �bee� was made to clear the grounds for the cemetery.  William SMITH and Captain STEWART remained to finish after the rest had departed.  It was near night of a day in May.  One said, �Who do you think will be the first to be buried here?  Perhaps it may be you.�  The other said, �It is just as likely to be you.�  It proved to be not one, but both, for Captain STEWART was laid to rest within a month, and William SMITH in August following.  At an adjourned meeting, held January 8, 1823, wardens and vestrymen were voted to obligate themselves to pay the pastor, Rev. George H. NORTON, $300 salary, the same to be raised by subscription.  Rev. Mr. NORTON, here mentioned as commencing his pastorate, continued for about 20 years.  Originally strong, the church has now become weak my removals and deaths.  Judge Harry SMITH is one of the oldest members.  The old church edifice, repaired and repainted several times, yet stands.  The officiating clergyman is Rev. Henry H. BROWN, of East Bloomfield, who preaches in both parishes.


The METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH in Richmond was organized at the house of William BAKER, who, with Tilness BENTLEY, were prominent members.  The house of worship was erected on land now owned by D. A. PIERPONT, and deeded by Joshua PHILLIPS.  It was quite a large structure, and, in accordance with the times, was constructed with galleries, sloping, and built along the sides.  A reorganization took place January 24, 1859, at the old edifice.  J. D. BENTLEY, Nelson OGDEN, and Jesse Lee STOUT were elected trustees, and the house continued to be used till near the completion of the church at Allen�s Hill.  The society moved to the new building with unchanged organization.  The construction of the new church was begun in 1860, by George I. BROWN and John OGDEN, the contractors.  It was completed and dedicated July 6, 1861, by Rev. William H. GOODWIN.  The building is a frame, 35 by 50 feet in dimensions, and is supplied with a belfry and bell.  Among pastors may be named Robert HANCOCK, Jonathan BENSON, George W. CHANDLER, J. T. ARNOLD, Alonzo SHURTLIFF, John J. WILSON, H. O. WOODS, J. S. LEMON, G. H. DRYER, and S. D. PICKETT.  These have mostly remained but short periods.  A. T. WEST is the present pastor.  Membership of the church, 71.  A Sabbath-school has for years been connected with the church. 

THE FIRST METHODIST PROTESTANT CHURCH has a more recent history.  About 1830, Dr. COVILL came out from the city of New York, and began to hold meetings in the old tavern ball-room at Honeoye.  Later, meetings were held at the school-house.  A revival resulted, and, numbers authorizing, a church was organized in 1832, with quite a large enrollment, among whose names are found those of John PENNELL, Abram PENNELL, Caleb ARNOLD, Isaac DE MILL, Asa BISHOP, John G. BRIGGS, Thomas BARKLEY, Job COBB, Cheney ABBEY, Ira ALLEN, Artemus BIGGS, John PENNELL, Sr., Peter PITTS, Jr., Joshua COLBURN, their wives, and Oliver ADAMS.  Dr. COVILL was the first pastor.  He was succeeded by Isaac FISHER; then came Rev. ANDREWS and James GAY. 

A church edifice was erected in 1832, at a cost of $3,000.  It was 36 by 40 feet, and seated comfortably 300 persons.  A bell weighing 900 pounds was purchased, at a cost of $250.

In February, 1869, the church was burned, and this was a crippling blow.  The society gradually became reduced in numbers; those remaining sold the site, upon which a dwelling now stands; and the organization has completed its existence.




RICHMOND  CHURCHES    pg 455 - 457

History of Ontario Co., NY     Pub.  1893 


The public properties at Honeoye are the school house and the Congregational and St. Mary's Roman Catholic churches. The First Congregational Church at Honeoye was organized in November, 1854, by Rev. Cyrus PITTS, assisted by Rev. FISHER, with less than ten original members, most of whom were formerly connected with the mother Congregational Society of the town. The church was built in 1861, and stands at the corner of Main and North streets. The succession of pastors is as follows: Revs. Cyrus PITTS, R. W. PAYNE, Milton BUTTOFF, Isaac N. ELY and S. Mills DAY, the latter being the present pastor.

St. Mary's Catholic Church at Honeoye is of recent organization and is under the pastoral charge of Rev. J. W. HENDRICK.

The First Methodist Protestant Church and Society was organized in 1832, and in the same year a church edifice was built. In 1869 the building was destroyed by fire, an accident that so crippled the society that it soon afterward passed out of existence.

Richmond Center is a small hamlet situated near the center of the town, the early occupants of which have been mentioned in this chapter, but the place at this time has no business interests worthy of mention. It is the location, however, of the original Congregational Church of the town, organized November 4. 1802, and including in its membership a number of the prominent pioneer families of the vicinity. In 1804 the society purchased land of David CROOKS to be used as a burying ground and also a site for a meeting house. About 1810 the Presbyterian form of government was adopted, but in 1843 the society returned to Congregationalism. The large edifice was built in 1817-18, and the parsonage in 1835. Among the early supplies and pastors of this church were Revs. Joseph GROVER, Jacob CRAM, Abijah WARREN, Samuel FULLER, Aaron C. COLLINS, Warren DAY, Orange LYMAN, H. B. PIERPONT, Jacob BURBANK, L. W. BILLINGTON, Lyman MANLY, Milton BUTTOFF. This society is not now in active existence.

Allen's Hill is located in the northeast part of the town ..... are located the Protestant Episcopal and Methodist Episcopal churches.

The Protestant Episcopal Church (St. Paul's) was organized in the town in April, 1813; and during the next two years an edifice was built. The parish organization has always been maintained though the church has experienced many vicissitudes. Its membership is small and there is no resident or regular rector in the parish.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Richmond which is located at Allen's Hill was organized about 60 years ago, and reorganized in January, 1859. The first church edifice was in the eastern part of the town, but after the reorganization a larger and more suitable structure was built at Allen's Hill, and was dedicated July 6, 1861. The present pastor of this church is Rev. D. C. NYE.

The only church society which has had an active existence in Richmond was the Baptist, organized about 1808, and which built a church house in 1832. The society was dissolved many years ago.





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