George Washington Cowles.

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This society existed but one year, for on December 14, 1833, it asked
to be received back into the church at Kent's Corners, which was done.
Rev. Mr. Richards, the pastor, thenceforward preached in the High
School building in Palmyra every alternate Sunday until February 1 1,
1835, when a mutual separation was agreed upon and tw r o distinct


churches were formed — the old society to retain the property and change
its name to the First Baptist Church of Macedon, and the new one to
become the First Baptist Church and Society of Palmyra. This latter
organization consisted of seventy-eight members, who chose R. C.
Jackson, William Rogers, and Stephen Spear, trustees; R. C. Jackson,
William Parke, and E. R. Spears, deacons; and Denison Rogers, clerk.
Their first pastor was Rev. Henry V. Jones, who was installed April
26, 1835, at a salary of $250 per year. The old town hall, located on
the old burying ground, a little north of the Methodist parsonage, hav-
ing been vacated in 1834 by the Presbyterians, was occupied by the
Baptists until it was burned in April, 1839, when Horton's hall (after-
ward known as Williamson's hall) was secured and used as a place of
worship. September 19, 1838, "Deacons R. C. Jackson, Stephen
Spear, S. B. Jordan, and Samuel Palmer were appointed a committee
to look up a site for the location of a meeting house," and February 24,
1839, it was voted to "exchange the lot owned by Hendee Parshall for
the lot cornering on Main and Canandaigua streets, and owned by R.
Nichols, by paying him $400." This indicates that Deacon Parshall had
given the church a lot, which was exchanged for the present one.
Denison Rogers, Stephen Spear, S. T. Horton, S. B. Jordan, Alanson
Sherman, Hendee Sherman, Samuel Palmer, and D. J. Rosman were
constituted a building committee. The structure was built of stone
and dedicated January 28, 1841, by Rev. W. I. Crane, a former pastor.
April 18, Rev. A. H. Burlingame assumed the pastorate. In June,
1868, a parsonage was purchased for $5,000. In 1870 the old stone church
was demolished and the present brick edifice erected on the site at a
cost of $20,000; it was dedicated March 29, 1871. October 23, 1881,
$13,000 were contributed to liquidate the indebtedness, leaving a small
sum for repairs. The society has received a total of over 1,000 mem-
bers since its organization. It was received into the Wayne Baptist
Association at its first annual meeting, at Rose, in 1835, and now com-
prises a membership of 335. The present pastor, Rev. J. R. Henderson,
assumed charge in September, 1885, and is also superintendent of the
Sunday school, which numbers about 275 scholars and officers. His
pastorate is the longest in the history of the church, to which he lias
added 112 members. The first parsonage, purchased in 1807, stood on
the corner of Jackson and Canandaigua streets ; the second was located
on the corner of Main and Liberty streets; the third and present one
stands on the north side of Jackson street.



The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Palmyra had its inception
in a class of this denomination that was founded as early as L811. It
was connected with the Ontario Circuit of the Genesee Conference, and
for several years worshiped in barns, dwellings, school houses, and
-roves. In 1822 a society was organized and incorporated, and a church
built near the cemetery on Vienna street, where services were held for
twenty-five years or more. In 1832 the membership numbered 155
persons, of whom the last resident survivor was William F. Jarvis.
In 1S4? the meeting house was moved to Cuyler street, south of the
Jarvis block, where it. was enlarged and remodeled and still stands, now
the property of the Dutch Reformed Church. At the time of the re-
moval Rev. B. McLouth was pastor and when a new edifice was pro-
jected, about 1864, Rev. Thomas Tousey occupied the pulpit. The,
latter secured a fund of $15,000, and July 23, 1866, .ground was broken
for the present structure, the corner stone of which was laid on August
21 of that year. It was dedicated during the pastorate of Rev. C. S.
Fox on October 31, 186?, on which day $6,000 was raised to remove all
indebtedness. It stands on the corner of Main and Church streets and
cost complete $30,000. It is of brick with stone trimmings, and will
seat 600 persons. The society has 260 members and is within the bounds
of the Geneva district of the Central New York Conference. Rev.
James H. Rogers is pastor and G. A. Tuttle superintendent of the Sun-
day school, which numbers 235 scholars and officers. The parsonage
just north of the church was formerly the old Washington hall.

Zion Episcopal Church of Palmyra was organized as a parish June 23,
1823, under the ministry of Rev. Rufus Murray, who had been elected
to the charge in 1822, prior to which occasional services had been held
here by Rev. Davenport Phelps. In 1824 Rev. John A. Clark became
rector and was succeeded in 1826 by Rev. Ezekiel G. Geer. The next
rector was Rev. John M. Guion in 1829, and was followed in 1830 by
Rev. Burton H. Hickox. Originally the services were held in the school
house situated near the site of St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church. Sep-
tember 28, L827, the corner stone of their first edifice was laid, and on
February 1, 1829, it was consecrated by Rt. Rev. Bishop Hobart. It
was of wood, 40 by 55 feet, with galleries on three sides, and would seat
200 persons. In 1852 a chancel was added with other improvements,
and it served its purpose until 1872, when the present handsome struc-
ture was commenced. It is of Medina sandstone, in the early English
style of ecclesiastical architecture, and graced by a tower and spire, the


latter being 125 feet high and built at the cost of the late George W.
Cuyler as a memorial to his deceased children. It was consecrated by
Rt. Rev. Bishop A. Cleveland Coxe July 22, 1873. The name of the
church, formerly in white, was embellished with mural decorations in
October, 1890. During the rectorship of Rev. Charles T. Coerr a pipe
organ was put in by the Young Ladies' Society and a reredos of quar-
tered oak and mural decorations in the chancel were added by Mrs.
Heminway in memory of her husband, Albert G. In 1831 a bell was
procured and through the liberality of two members a rectory was built
which was enlarged in 1854. In 1851 Rev. George D. Gillespie became
rector, and during his pastorate the Gillespie fund, intended to endow
the parish against adversity, was started ; he resigned in 1861 and be-
came bishop of Western Michigan. The first wardens were Joseph Colt
and Benjamin Billings. Their successors have been William Chapman,
Martin Butterfieid, George W. Cuyler, Benjamin Billings, jr., George
Capron, Isaac G. Bronson, William H. Farnham, and Christopher Til-
den. Truman Heminway was a vestryman thirty-two years; he died in
1864. The parish has about 120 communicants and a Sunday school of
150 scholars and officers with H. P. Knowles as superintendent. The
present rector, Rev. Leonard Woods Richardson, assumed charge in
August, 1886.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of East Palmyra was legally incor-
porated May 8, 1834, with Samuel Moore, A. Salisbury, Olien Evans,
Samuel E. Hudson, Caleb Beal, sr. , Samuel Sherman, and James Hub-
bell, trustees. The certificate of incorporation was signed by Samuel
Moore and Jacob Howell. Its organization was due to a series of meet-
ings held in August, 1823, at the house of Alexander Sherman, sr., by
Samuel Moore and Wilson Osborn, local preachers, and among the first
members of the class were Ambrose Salisbury and wife, Samuel Sher-
man and wife, Jacob Howell and wife, Stephen Sherman and wife, Is-
rael Perry and wife, Harry Rowley and wife, S. I. Buck and wife, Syl-
vanus Rowley and wife, William and Washington Beal, Marcus Swift,
Gideon Osborn, Wilson Osborn, William Fowler, I. Foster, andWillard
Chase, seven of whom became Methodist preachers. The organizers
were Revs. R. M. Everetts and William Snow, and meetings were held
for a time in the Hopkins school house in East Palmyra. In 1825 the
society bought the Hawthorne house and lot, just south of that building,
and fitted it up for a place of worship. July 21, 1866, it was burned,
and the present edifice was erected on the site and dedicated December


29, L867, by Rev. B. I. Ives. The society was successively connected
with the Lyons, Palmyra, Marion, and Port Gibson charges, and in 1852
it became a separate station. There are now about 130 members under
the pastoral care of Rev. C. E. Hermans.

St. Ann's Congregation (Roman Catholic Church) of Palmyra was or-
ganized by Rev. Edmund O'Connor, pastor of St. Mary's Church,
Canandaigua, about 1848. He occasionally celebrated mass in William-
son's hall, and about 1840 he purchased from William Aldrich the old
brick academy building and lot on Church street. This was used for
worship until 18G4, when, on July 26, the corner stone of the present
edifice was laid by Rev. Michael O'Brien, vicar-general of the diocese
of Buffalo, and then pastor of St. Patrick's Church, Rochester. The
old building was demolished. The new structure was blessed by Bishop
Timon in February, 1861, completed in 1870, and dedicated by Rt. Rev.
Bernard J. M. McQuaid on October 23, 1S70. The earlier pastors were
Revs. John Toohey, Michael Gilbride, James Donelly, and Thomas
Walsh. Rev. William Casey was appointed to the charge August 1,
1855, and served until May 20, 1893, when he was succeeded by the
present pastor, Rev. James E. Hartley. Rev. Father Casey was very
active in extending the work and founded several churches in neighbor-
ing towns, among which were those at Macedon, Ontario, Fairport, etc.
In September, 1850, he purchased of George G. Jessup for $2,000 two
lots, with house and barn, south of the old church. This parsonage has
been twice remodeled, the last time in 1873 at a cost of $3,000. In L868
he bought of Carlton H. Rogers three and one-fourth acres of land
southeast of the village cemetery, which he consecrated and laid out into
lots for a Catholic burial ground. The parish now has about 180 fami-
lies or 850 souls.

The Reformed Dutch Church of Palmyra was organized August 15,
1887, with thirty-four members. The first pastor was Rev. W. G Baas,
who began March 21, 1888, and served until January, 1890, when he
was succeeded by the present incumbent, Rev. Wietze Lubach. The
society now has about 160 members and a Sunday school, of which the
pastor is superintendent. The Presbyterian Church was used for wor-
ship until March 19, 1890, when the old frame M. E. edifice on Cuyler
street was purchased of Pliny T. Sexton for $1,700. It was repaired
and has since been occupied by this society. In May, 1894, a frame
parsonage on Jackson street was bought of Messrs. Allen Brothers.



The town of Sodus lies upon the northern border of Wayne county,
with Lake Ontario on the north, Wolcott on the east, Lyons and Arcadia
on the south, and Williamson on the west. It comprises the northeast
part of the old "District of Sodus," 2 which was organized on or about
the same day the Legislature created the county of Ontario — January
27, 1789. At the formation this " District " embraced what are now the
towns of Sodus, Lyons, Arcadia, Marion, Walworth, Ontario, and Will-
iamson. Williamson (then including Ontario, Walworth, and Marion)
was set off February 20, 1802, and Lyons (then including Arcadia) on
the 1st of March, 1811 ; a narrow strip was subsequently taken from the
west side of Williamson and annexed to Sodus, leaving this town with
its present area of about seventy- three square miles. It includes town-
ships thirteen and fourteen of the first range of the Pultney estate, and
that part of the " Gore " lying east of them.

The northern part of this town is mostly level, inclining towards the
lake. The "Ridge " forms the southern boundary of this level portion,
and south of that the surface is considerably broken by ridges extending
from north to south. The eastern part belongs to the great basin of

1 The editor hereby acknowledges his indebtedness to the masterful labors of Prof.
Lewis H. Clark, of Sodus Academy, who has long been an indefatigable collector of
local history. Professor Clark has rescued from oblivion quantities of interesting
matter pertaining to the town and county, and in the preparation of this and other
chapters of this volume his efforts have been of material aid.

3 Authorities differ as to the derivation of the name Sodus. On Governor Tryon's
map the large bay is designated " Asserotus " (an Indian word meaning "silvery
waters"), while Little Sodus Bay is called Sodus. In Clark's History of Onondaga
County the former is given as " Osenodus." Rev. H. L. Beauchamp, of Baldwins-
ville, N. Y., suggests the last three syllables of " Te-ga-hone-sa-o-ta " ("place of the
beautiful rivers ") as significant; another writer states that the Seneca Indians called
the great inlet " Seadose," but early in the eighteenth century it was known as the
" Bay of the Cayugas." The French, however, termed it Sodus Bay, and this desig-
nation was applied to the district or town upon the organization of the latter.


Sodus Bay, which washes the northeast corner. The largest streams
of the town are Salmon and Second Creeks, the former emptying into
the lake at Preston's Mills, and the latter into the bay at Nicholas Point.
There are many smaller streams which flow into the lake.

To Briscoe's cove on the shore of Sodus bay is attached a pathetic
tale In 1791 a party of surveyors was sent to this region to lay out cer-
tain lines, and just as they had finished, one of their number, a man
named Briscoe, sickened and died. His companions buried the remains
at the water's edge of an indentation of the coast, which became ever
afterward Briscoe's cove. About 1843 the Fourierite Association, desir-
ing the site for a saw mill, removed the bones to the high bluff near by.
Constant splashing of the waves finally wore the bank away, and the
exact location of the grave is now unknown. In August, 1877, a rude
flat stone was picked up and found to bear this inscription; "A. N.
Briscoe, May 22, 1791.

The soil in the northern part of the town is a clay and sandy loam and
in the southern a gravelly loam. The limestone formation, which has
been described herein, extends across the town line and has been ex-
tensively manufactured at various points. Iron ore is found on Salmon
Creek, and many years ago was worked in a small way. In the south-
west part the quarrying of red sandstone was formerly quite an impor-
tant industry. Sodus forms a part of the excellent apple and pear pro-
ducing district of this county.

In 1858 the town had 29,961 acres of improved land, and produced
25,396 bushels of winter and 207,539 bushels of spring wheat, 5,073 tons
of hay, 30,847 bushels potatoes, 70,448 bushels apples, 177,259 pounds
butter, 9,756 pounds cheese, and 779 yards domestic cloth; it also had
1,616 horses, 2,516 oxen and calves, 1,846 cows, 15,525 sheep, and 3, L49

Salt springs exist on First Creek and at other points in the northern
part of the town, and salt was once produced in considerable quantities.
At what is known as "Salt Hollow," or Salt Works, the manufacture
was begun about 1831 by Charles Field and his brother, but they con-
tinued it only a few years. The business was revived about 1886 by the
Sodus Manufacturing Company, of which Manley Sturges was presi-
dent. Wells were sunk, but the industry proved unprofitable.

The R. W. &0. Railroad (formerly the Lake Ontario Shore Railroad)
was finished through the town east and west in 1874, with stations at
Alton, Wailihgton, and Sodus. The Sodus Bay division of what is now


the Northern Central Railway, running- from Sodus Point, southwardly
through Wallington and Sodus Center, to Stanley, Ontario county, was
projected in 1851 ; but several years passed before it was finished. It
was opened for traffic July 4, 1873. The construction of these railroads
had a marked influence on the development of the town; they created
new markets and brought into existence new industries.

The road leading from Sodus to Lyons was surveyed. by Samuel Sut-
ton and was recorded August 14, 1799. In 1803 Sodus (including Lyons
and Arcadia) had eight road districts. The old " Sodus road " from the
Point to Palmyra was laid out by Capt. Charles Williamson in 1794 and
cost him a total of $757 ; it was cut through by Messrs. Lovell and Phil-
lips. In 1794 Mr. Williamson also laid out the old Geneva road from
Sodus Point to Lyons, nearly on the line of the present Lyons road
through Wallington. A system of highways was inaugurated about 1800,
and the town now has 108 road districts.

The earliest record of a Sodus town meeting is dated April 2, 1799,
ten years after the formation of the district of Sodus. The town or dis-
trict meeting was held at the house of Evert Van Wickle, a mile or
more northwest of Lyons village, on the present Rogers farm, and the
following officers were chosen : Supervisor, Azariah Willis, of Alloway ;
town clerk, Joseph Taylor, Lyons; assessors, Norman Mary, Sodus
Point, Samuel Caldwell, Marion, Charles Cameron, Lyons; highway
commissioners, Moses Gill, Sodus Point, Evert Van Wickle, Lyons,
Timothy Smith, Marion; constables, David Sweezey, Marion, Joseph
Wood, Lyons; pound master, Samuel Nelson, Arcadia; collector, David
Sweezey, Marion; fence viewer, John Van Wickle, sr. , Lyons; poor-
masters, William White, Williamson, Reuben Adams, Marion. At a
special town meeting in 1799, held at the house of John Riggs, John
Perrine, Timothy Smith, and Samuel Caldwell were chosen school com-
missioners. Sheep marks were registered by Robert Miller, John Per-
rine, Thomas Cole, David Sherman, Evert Van Wickle, Joseph Taylor,
William Patten, Samuel Soverhill, Charles Cameron, William White,
and John Miller.

There was at this period on the tax roll the names of fifty persons,
some of whom were non-residents; the settlers were doubtless located
in Lyons village, on the road from there to Sodus Point, at the Point,
and on the Palmyra road, with very few exceptions. Following is the.



Evert Van Wickle.
John Van Wickle.
Samuel Nelson.
John Perrine.
Charles Cameron.
Joseph Wood.
John Riggs.
Henry Beard.
Joseph Taylor.
George Carr.
Ralph Gregory.
Robert Miller.
Elijah Brown.
Ephraim Cleveland.
Henry Lovewell.
Amos Richards.
Daniel Towle.

Azanah Willis.
Moses Sill.
Jabez Sill.
Stephen Bushnell.
Norman Mary.
Leonard Stewart.
Leonard Aldrich.
Andrew Hillett.
Timothy Smith.
William Cogshall.
Reuben Adams.
Moses A. Blakely.
David Sherman.
Lydia Cady.
Robert Springer.
William Cook.
Wanton Morey.

William White.
David Sweezey.
Samuel Caldwell.
Daniel Russell.
Robert Martin.
Abraham Pratt,
Nathan Stewart.
Charles Williamson.
Richard Williams.
Sanford Williams.
David Trowbridge.
John Taylor.
Francis Dana.
William Dunn.
William Cogshall.
Benjamin Wisner.

In 1799 the district gave Charles Williamson and Nathaniel Norton
each twenty-five votes for the Assembly. In 1800 Thomas Morris had the
unanimous vote of the district (sixty-eight) for Congress. It has been
stated that only twenty-five families were living in the whole town in
1799, and of the fifty persons on the tax roll, six were assessed for per-
sonal property. In 1800 $2.00 were voted for wolf scalps "with the
skin thereon;" and it was also voted that "hog yokes be eight inches
above the neck." It was also voted that Elias Dickinson "be allowed
$">.oo for opening town meetings two years past." William Sheppard,
Lemuel Chapin, William Dunn, and Nathaniel Norton were candidates
for the Assembly ; Samuel Caldwell was town clerk. The town meeting
for 1800 was held at the dwelling of Moses Sill at Sodus Point, and that
of 1801 at the house of Timothy Smith. In this year thirteen path-
masters were chosen, and the territory of the present towns of Wil-
liamson, Marion, Walworth, and Ontario was set off to form a separate
school district. Mr. Caldwell was again chosen town clerk.

In 1802 the district held no meeting, but three justices of the county —
William Rogers, Darius Comstock, and Ezra Patterson — met at the
house of Oliver Kendall and appointed John Perrine, supervisor, and
Richard Jones, town clerk; the latter served until 1806.

In 1803 the annual town meeting was held at the house of William
Gibbs in Lyons, and the pound was located at that village. In 1806
Ezekiel Price was elected town clerk, and served until 1811. In 1807
the wolf bounty was increased to $5.00, and was discontinued in 1808.


The town meeting- of 1809 was held in Lyons at the dwelling of
Ezekiel Price; a pound thirty feet square and eight feet high was voted
to be built at Sod us, and a tax of $25 was voted for the town poor. In
1SU) a bounty of $10 for wolves and panthers was voted, and the towns
of Lyons and Arcadia were set off.

The first town meeting of the present town of Sodus was held in isi l
at the house of Daniel Arms, nearWallington, and the following officers
were chosen: Nathaniel Merrills, supervisor; Joseph Hathaway, town
clerk ; Jenks Pullen, Daniel Arms, John Holcomb, highway commis-
sioners; Daniel Arms, Daniel Hart, Mark Johnson, assessors; Jenks
Pullen, collector; Daniel Hart and Stephen Bushnell, overseers of the
poor; Jenks Pullen and Dan H. Harvey, constables. In 1813 the first
school inspectors were elected, as follows: Enoch Morse, Thaddeus
Bancroft, William Danforth, William N. Lummis, Daniel Arms, and
Peter Failing; and the school commissioners for that year were: John
Holcomb, Byram Green, and William Wickham. In the same year the
town was divided into eleven school districts ; a wolf bounty of $25 was
voted, and a fine of $5.00 was to be imposed on any person permitting
" Canada thistles to blossom on his farm or the highway adjoining."

The first town meeting held at Sodus village was in 1815, and since
that year that has been the regular place of meeting. The first justice
of the peace was probably Thomas Hathaway, although Williamson
held a sort of judicial appointment in Ontario county. In 1827 the fol-
lowing were elected : Byram Green, one year ; Alanson M. Knapp, two
years ; Thaddeus Bancroft, three years ; James Edwards, four years.
The supervisors of Sodus have been as follows :

1799, Azariah Willis, 1842, Byram Green,

1800-1, Timothy Smith, 1843-44, Alanson M. Knapp,

1802-3, John Perine, 1845, Alexander B. Williams,

1804-6, Daniel Dorsey, 1846, Jerry C. Rogers,

1807-10, Gilbert Howell, 1847, Thomas Wickham,

1811-13, Nathaniel Merrills, 1848, Jedediah Allen,

1814-24, Enoch Morse, 1849, Andrus A. Whitbeck,

1825-26, Jonathan L. Powell, 1850, Alanson M. Knapp,

1827, Byram Green, 1851-52, Jerry C. Rogers,

1828-32, William Danforth, 1853, Alanson M. Knapp,

1833-34, James Edwards, 1854, Aldice P. Warren,

1835-37, Robert A. Paddock, 1855, Noadiah M. Hill,

1838-39, William Edwards, 1856-58, David Poucher,

1840, Byram Green, 1859-60, Merritt Thornton,

1841, Charles W. Rees, 1861, Levi Gurnee,


1862-64, Durfee Wilcox, 1881-83, Lewis H. Clark,

1865, George W. Tillotson, 1884-86, John A. Boyd.

1866-67, Lewis Bates, 1887-89, Aldice W. Brower,

1868-71, George W. Tillotson, 1890, Lewis Bates,

1872-74, Louis Bates, 1891-92, Edward H. Sentell,

is::,, David Poucher, 1893, E. J. Gatchell,

1876, Charles D. Gaylord, 1894, John A. Boyd.
1877-80, Rowland Robinson,

The town officers for 1894 are: John A. Boyd, supervisor; Frank D.
Gaylord, town clerk; E. W. Kelly, Charles C. Wright, C. O. Brundige,
Albert Harris, George Emery, justices; George Van Antwerp, Stephen
Turner, John T. Pearsall, assessors; John B. Bayless, jr., collector;
Charles Emery, David Yaudy, overseers of the poor; P. Riggs, Charles
M. Sentell, S. V. Hewelt, highway commissioners.

From time immemorial the Indians gathered about Sodus Bay to
hunt and fish, and as white settlements crowded them westward they
long clung to its old associations by occasional visits. From 1725 to
] ;.",(> the French government was frequently advised by its emissaries
to built a fort here. In 1759 a force of English and colonial troops,
moving westward for the capture of Fort Niagara, stopped one night
at the bay. Other expeditions often made it their rendezvous, all of
which* have been properly noticed in earlier pages of this volume. The

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