A. D. (Amos Delos) Gridley.

History of the town of Kirkland, New York (Volume 1) online

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times recalling the history of his connection with the
people of this town ; sometimes exhorting them to in-
creased activity in religious duty ; and always assuring
them of his love for the church and his desire for their
temporal and spiritual welfare. And so his later years
passed away, cheered by the recollection of a long life of
usefulness, and by the hope of an endless life in heaven. 1

1 The following sketch of Rev. Wayne Gridley (the only deceased pastor
since Dr. Norton) was prepared by Professor Edward North, Necrologist of the
Society of Hamilton Alumni, and is inserted here by request: —

" Rev. Wayne Gridley, the oldest son of Deacon Orrin Gridley, fur many
years a prominent citizen of Clinton, and long a Trustee of Hamilton College,
was born in Clinton, November 12, 1811. At the age of twenty he was received
into the Congregational church. At the graduation of his class from Hamilton
College in 1836, he pronounced the Valedictory oration. He completed his
theological studies at Andover; and, in accordance with a long-cherished pur-
pose, was ordained in Clinton, as a Foreign Missionary, September 25, 1839. He
was kept from his field of missionary labors by the financial embarrassments
of the American Board, and on the 26th of February, 1840, was installed as
pastor of the Congregational church in Clinton. Here he labored faithfully
and with great success for five years. During his brief pastorate, one hundred
and five were added to the church. In 18-15 he was compelled by tailing health
to give up the duties of the ministry. A year of foreign travel checked the prog-
ress of his disease only for a time. After struggling for a year with increasing
infirmities, he died in Clinton, November 23, 18-46.

He was married to a daughter of Dr. Seth Hastings, of Clinton, and was the
father of a daughter who still lives."*



The history of the Methodist Episcopal Church in
Clinton cannot be traced previously to the year 1818.
Early in that year a " Class " was organized, consisting
of Mr. and Mrs. John Gregory, Mr. and Mrs. Walter
Gillespie, and Mrs. Triphena Butler, who resided in
the village, together with several persons living in the
vicinity. This " Class " belonged to what was known
as the Westmoreland Circuit, which included Augusta,
Vernon, Verona, Paris Hill, Marshall, and Westmore-
land. At that time there was no Methodist preaching
in this village. There was a regular service, however,
at Mr. Butler's, two miles distant, on the hill road to
New Hartford, and at Malachi Barker's and Mr. Ely's,
four miles south of the village. In the summer of 1819,
preaching was established on a week day, in the village,
at the residence of John B. Gregory, where it was con-
tinued for eight years. There was occasional service
in the school-house at the foot of College Hill, and at
Clinton Factory, when about thirty were converted in

one revival.

In the year 1831, Dr. Joseph Cornell became a resident
of this town, and proved a valuable addition to the little
society. Meetings were now held in the school-house,
and shortly after in the session, room of the Congrega-
tional church. About this time a site for a church edi-
fice was purchased by Dr. Cornell and Mr. Gillespie, for
$1500. A subscription of 1800 was secured, but very
much less than that amount was realized from it. The
enterprise would have failed had not Father Gillespie

i This paper was prepared by the Rev. M. G. Bullock, pastor of said church
from April, 1870, to April, 1873.


assumed the responsibility, and by his personal efforts
and sacrifices completed the building. It was dedicated
in 1842, by Rev. Zachariah Paddock, presiding elder of
the district. At this time the society, owing to removals
and deaths, numbered only thirty members. Rev. John
H. Hall became pastor in 1842, remaining two years.
He was followed by Rev. S. G. Lathrop, Rev. William
Loomis and Rev. A. J. Dana. Under Mr. Dana's pas-
torate, a successful effort was made to free the church
from debt. In 1849-50, Rev. Richard Cooke's labors
were blessed with a gracious revival, some fruit of which
yet remains. Mr. Cooke was a very energetic man, and
through his efforts the church edifice was thoroughly re-

A parsonage was purchased in 1858, situated on Col-
lege Street, which was afterwards sold and one obtained
on Fountain Street. Rev. S. Stocking was instrumental
in this good work. Rev. D wight Williams was appointed
pastor at the Conference which met in the spring of 1864,
and remained in charge for the following three years.
Mr. Williams was very successful in winning the affec-
tions of the people of all denominations, and his earnest
but quiet labors did much to prepare the way for the
revival that soon followed. Mr. Williams was a preacher
of fine talents, and had also more than ordinary ability
as an amateur poet.

Rev. M. S. Hard succeeded Mr. Williams, in April,
1867. At that time the church edifice was very much
in need of repair, and the time had evidently come for
the Society to put on new strength, and take a higher
position. Mr. Hard was the right man for the emer-
gency, and under his energetic leadership the church
was enlarged at an expense of $5600. It was dedicated


January 8, 1868. Soon after, a very precious work of
grace began, which extended to the other churches. The
membership of the Society was almost if not quite
doubled, and Methodism took a better position. A new
parsonage was built in 1868, adjoining the old one on
Fountain Street. Mr. Hard was very popular as a pas-
tor, and was favored with abundant success.

In April, 1870, Rev. M. G. Bullock became pastor,
and held this office for three years. Successful efforts
have lately been made to free the church and parsonage
property from all debts. The present membership of
the church is one hundred and forty.

The following is a list of the several pastors of the
church since its organization : —

John G. Hall, 1842-43 ; S. G. Lathrop, 1844 ; William
Loomis, 1845 ; A. J. Dana, 1846 ; H. F. Rowe, 184T-48 ;
Richard Cooke, 1849-50 ; L. H. Stanley, 1851 ; S.
Stocking, 1852-53 ; L. Bowdish, 1854-55 ; John H. Hall,
1856-57 ; T. Pilkinton, 1858 ; T. J. Bissell, 1859-60 ;
William N. Cobb, 1861-62; M. G. Wadsworth, 1863;
D wight Williams, 1864-66 ; M. S. Hard, 1867-69 ; M.
G. Bullock, 1870-72.

Rev. Orlando C. Cole was appointed the minister of
this congregation, April, 1873.


The present Universalist Society in Clinton, was origi-
nally a part of the Universalist Society of New Hartford.
This latter society, established in 1805, mainly through
the labors of Rev. N. Stacey, included in its membership
the believers in universal salvation residing in all the re-

1 This historical sketch was prepared by Kev. William P. Payne, pastor of
the society from September, 18G3, to July, 1871.


gion round about, to the distance of eight or ten miles.
Several of the most influential and devoted supporters of
the society lived in or near Clinton. This fact secured
at an early day in this village occasional services. In the
autumn of 1818, under the direction of Stephen R.
Smith, then pastor of the New Hartford Society, these-
meetings assumed a much more permanent character.
Under the earnest labors of Mr. Smith, the Clinton
branch society grew rapidly in numbers and interest. So
much so, that in 1821 it assumed an independent exist-
ence ; and through the commendable sacrifices of many,
but principally through the large liberality of Joseph
Stebbins, Esq., was enabled to erect its first church edifice,
at a cost of about §2500. It was built of brick, fifty-
two feet by forty ; and, when completed, was doubtless
the comeliest house of worship belonging to the denomi-
nation in the State of New York. It still stands on Utica
Street, though now used for secular purposes.

Though always in reality a Universalist Society, the
church when built was designated a Free Church, and
the society worshipping in it as the Free Church Society
of Clinton. By articles of compact and the title of the
ground on which it stood, the church was free for the oc-
cupation of all christian sects, when not in use by its act-
ual proprietors. At first, it was so occupied, to some
extent, by the Methodists and Baptists of this town. 1
The society maintained this unsectarian character with

1 Mr. Gaius Butler informs me that the brick-work of this church W8S built
by Harry Butler. It was understood at the time that the Methodists were to
have a certain share in the use of the house. Nathaniel Butler, father of the
builder, and a devout Methodist, selected the Scriptural motto carved on the
marble tablet inserted in the front wall of the church, which was understood by
some to favor, by a double reading, the distinctive views of both the Metho-
dists and Universalists. This motto, takenj'rom the Acts of the Apostles x.
34, is, " Then Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God
is no respecter of persons," etc. A. D. C.


varying fortunes until June, 1831, when it assumed, by
legal process, the name and title of the First Universalist
Society of Clinton. From this date until the present
time, the society has had an uninterrupted existence, and
preserved its denominational name and character.

The society has had but four settlements that have
been of any considerable permanence. These have been
the pastorates of Rev. Stephen R. Smith, Dr. Timothy
Clowes, Rev. T. J. Sawyer, D. D., and Rev. W. P. Payne
Mr. Smith's settlement began in November, 1821, and
continued till September, 1837, with the exception of an
interval of three years, from 1825 to 1828, which he
spent in Philadelphia, and during which the society was
without a pastor. He was the founder of the society, and
his name is held in grateful remembrance. Dr. Clowes,
in connection with his labors as Principal of Clinton Lib-
eral Institute, succeeded him, and remained four or five
years. Dr. Sawyer, while in charge of the Institute and
of the theological school in connection Avith it, preached
for the society most of the time from 1845 to 1852, and
again from 1861 to 1863. Reverends M. B. Smith, H.
B. Soule, D. S. Morey, H. C. Vose, J. A. Aspinwall, and
Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins, have had brief settlements. Dr.
Dolphus Skinner, and Rev. C. C. Gordon have preached
for the society for considerable periods, though residing
in Utica.

Rev. William P. Payne took charge of the society in
September, 1863. During the last five years the society
has manifested new life, and with the aid of denomina-
tional friends throughout the State, and of the Oeneral
Convention of Universalists, has erected a new, commo-
dious and beautiful church on Williams Street, a credit
to the people who carried forward the work, and an
ornament to the village in which it is located. Its


value, with the grounds, is about $18,000. Its style is
Romanesque, it has three hundred and fifty sittings, is
provided with a superior organ, and is appropriately
furnished throughout. Its architect was H. N. White,
of Syracuse, and its builders Piatt & Osborn, of Clinton.
The corner-stone was laid with fitting ceremony, June
. 29, 1869, and the work was completed in the autumn
of 1870. On Sunday, October 9, 1870, the society, with
appropriate services, took leave of their old church, dedi-
cated the new one on October 12th, and enjoyed Sab-
bath worship therein for the first time, October 16th.
At the present time the prospects of the parish are
encouraging, more so perhaps than ever before. Rev.
Mr. Payne resigned his office July, 1871. The present
minister, Rev. W. R. Chamberlain, commenced his ser-
vices in October, 1872.


The church in Hamilton College was organized April
20, 1825, with the Presbyterian form of government. It
was maintained in all its functions until the year 1831,
when, owing to the depressed condition of the college, it
was disbanded.

In December, 1861, it was reestablished, and since then
it has been quite prosperous. When reorganized, it was
thought expedient to modify the conditions of membership,
so as to allow of the admission of christians of all evan-
gelical denominations. The pastor of the college is ex-
officio pastor of this church. The elders are six in number,
and are chosen one from each of the college classes, and
two from the faculty. Their term of service is two years.
In October, 1862, this church was received into the fellow-
ship of the Presbytery of Utica, to which ecclesiastical
body it still belongs, and sends regular delegates.



On the 16th day of August, 1831, a few Baptist
brethren met at the house of Mr. Clark Wood, in Clin-
ton, to consider the expediency of organizing a church
of their distinctive faith. After a prolonged and prayer-
ful consultation, a committee of five was appointed to
draft Articles of Faith and Practice for such a church.
At their next meeting, August 25, said Articles were
adopted and subscribed to by all present. Arrangements
were then made, also, for a final organization of the

On the 21st of September, 1831, delegates, invited and
appointed from a number of neighboring churches, con-
vened in the Brick Meeting-house of this place, and
organized the new church, to be known as the Baptist
Church of Christ in Clinton.

The following are the names of the members of said
church of seventeen members : John H. Parmele, John
Foot, Jr., William H. Hubbard, and Emily his wife,
Clark Wood, and Amanda his wife, Lewis M. Wood,
and Adaline his wife, Simeon Russell, and Asenath his
wife, William S. Richmond, and Nancy his wife, Phineas
Smith, Samuel L. Hubbard, Eunice Ann Parmele, Eve-
line Edwards, Susan Nichols, Mary Ann Nichols, Lucinda

A desire was soon felt of having a Meeting-house, and
accordingly the present site was purchased, and a build-
ing commenced. The edifice was finished at a cost of
12,000, and dedicated November 9, 1832. The ser-
mon on the day of dedication was preached by Rev.

1 This historical sketch was prepared by Rev. C H. Johnson, pastor of said
church frcm 1867 to 1872.


Nathaniel Kendrick, D. D., of Hamilton, from the text,
Psalm xxvii. 4.

The first minister was Rev. Daniel Putnam, who com-
menced his labors May 27, 1832, and closed them Dec.
15, 1833. During his ministry eleven persons were
received by baptism, and twenty-three by letter. In
June, 1833, a Sunday-school was established ; and on
September 4, of the same year the church was admitted
to the Oneida Baptist Association.

The second pastor of the Baptist Church was Rev. J.
P. Simmons, who entered upon his work January 1, 1834,
and retired February 8, 1835. During his ministry here
twenty-four were received by baptism, and twenty-two
by letter. Rev. P. P. Brown began preaching here April
4, 1835, and ended his labors in September of the same
year. He received three members by baptism, and eight
by letter.

For the next year and longer, the pulpit was supplied
by several preachers. Among them was Rev. Mr.
Wheeler, of Madison University.

Rev. Reuben P. Lamb was installed pastor December
4, 1836, and served until September 29, 1838. He re-
ceived forty-three persons into membership by baptism,
and twelve by letter. Rev. William Thompson preached
here from March 2, 1839, to March, 1840. He added to
the membership three by baptism, and eleven by letter.
Rev. Horace Jones preached from June, 1840, to Decem-
ber of the same year. Rev. A. H. Stowell, from Decem-
ber 5, 1840, to April 3, 1841. Rev. J. Corwin, from
February 5, 1842, to December 1, 1844. Rev. A. Ken-
yon, from December 1, 1844, to December 1, 1847.
Rev. Harry White, from September 5, 1847, to May,
1849. Rev. Hiram Main, from September 1, 1849, to


August 31, 1850. Rev. Dennison Alcott, from October
5, 1850, to July 31, 1852. Rev. Carlos Swift, from Feb-
ruary 5, 1853, to March 15, 1856. During Mr. Swift's
ministry, the Meeting-house was repaired at a cost of
$367.54. In June, 1857, Rev. John G. Stearns became
pastor, and served until October l x 1862. From this
time onward, for several years, the church became so re-
duced in numbers and strength, as to be unable to em-
ploy a settled pastor. Occasional supplies were obtained
as follows: Rev. L. D. Gal pin, from October, 1862, to
March, 1863, and Rev. William A. Wells, from April,
1863, to October, 1864.

From October 2, 1864, to December 1, 1865, the Meet-
ing-house was closed. On the first Sunday in December,
1865, Rev. Charles H. Johnson commenced preaching
here, and served till October, 1866. From that time till
November, 1867, the pulpit was filled by various preach-
ers. Rev. C. H. Johnson resumed his labors here, No-
vember 1, 1867, and served until January 1, 1872. Dur-
ing his ministry he received eighty-one members by
baptism, and thirty-two by letter ; eight also were re-
stored. The house of worship was remodeled and much
improved, at a cost of $6500. At the time of his
resignation the members numbered one hundred and
thirty-one. The present pastor, Rev. C. H. Ayers, was
installed April 1, 1872. The actual membership of the
church at present (1873), is about one hundred.


In the year 1816, the cotton factory was built at Man-
chester, under the superintendence of Mr. Warren Con-
verse, who was also the general agent of the factory for
many years afterward. The following year, in cooperation


with a few others, Mr. Converse established a Sabbath-
school, chiefly for the benefit of the children and youth
connected with the mill. Shortly after this, provision
was made for holding religious meetings in the bvick
school-house. Occasionally, also, ministers of different
denominations held preaching services in the same build-
in c ".

In the year 1834, the present house of worship was
built ; it was dedicated early in the ensuing year. A Con-
gregational church was organized at the same time, and the
Rev. Dr. Norton, formerly of the Congregational church
at Clinton, was, for a short period, its stated minister. The
Rev. Seth Williston, D. D., succeeded Dr. Norton. After
these, the pulpit was occupied for brief periods by Rev.
Hiram H. Kellogg, Rev. Salmon Strong, Rev. Mr. Pratt,
and Rev. Mr. Page. Rev. Samuel W. Raymond, who
was the only settled pastor of this church, was installed
in 1846, and continued in the service nearly five years.
Since his resignation the church has had the ministrations
of Rev. Benjamin W. Dwight, LL. D., Professor William
S. Curtiss, D. D., Rev. Mr. Loomis, and Rev. John Bar-
ton. Rev. James Dean, of Westmoreland, has been the
stated supply of this church for the past five years.


The records of this church were not kept with much
care at the first, and consequently this sketch of its his-
tory must be meagre and brief.

Rev. William C. Coughlin made his first professional
visit to Clinton January 6, 1851. He celebrated Mass
at the house of Mr. John Reilly, January 14, 1851.
The number of the congregation at that time was six-


The erection of Saint Mary's church edifice was begun
in May, 1852. The building was finished and dedicated
October 25, 1854, the Right Reverend John McClosky,
Bishop of Albany, officiating.

Rev. Edward Bayard succeeded Rev. Mr. Coughlin,
in August, 1862, and remained one year. The Rev.
P. O. Reilly succeeded him, and has remained pastor of
the congregation until the present time.

Within the few years past, the church edifice has been
enlarged, and is now valued at about 812,000. The
present congregation numbers about two thousand. The
new parochial residence, on Marvin Street, was built
under the care of Father O'Reilly, and cost, with the
lot on which it stands, $15,000.


From the year 1841, Bishop De Lancey, when making
visitations to parishes in adjacent towns, occasionally
appointed and held services in Clinton.

In the year 1854, a Sunday-school was organized, its
meetings being held in the Odd Fellows' Hall.

Regular services were maintained throughout the year
1855, the Rev. William T. Gibson, D. D. (then rector
of Grace Church, Waterville), officiating frequently.
During this year, a melodeon, a set of prayer-books, and
a Sunday-school library were obtained.

In the year 1856, services were often held by the
rector of St. Paul's Church, Paris Hill ; by the rector
of Calvary Church, Utica ; the Rev. H. A. Neely (now
Bishop of the diocese of Maine), and by the rector of
Zion Church, Rome.

1 This paper was furnished by the Rev. H. H. Loring, minister of this
parish in 1873.


In the year 1858, services here were discontinued, and
not resumed until 1862. In January of this year, regu-
lar services were commenced by the Rev. Henry Stanley,
of Whitesboro', and were maintained chiefly by the
clergy of the Oneida Convocation. At their solicitation,
the use of the Masonic Hall (over Mr. Owston's ware-
room) was secured. The Rev. C. W. Hays, of New
Hartford, the Rev. Wm. Alger, of Paris Hill, Rev.
W. T. Gibson, D. D., the Rev. Dr. Goodrich, and Dr.
S. H. Coxe, of Utica, officiated at different times. At
the end of this year, there were two male and eight or
ten female communicants. In May of this year the
parish was organized.

The corner-stone of the present church edifice was
laid on the fifth day of June, 1863, by the the Right
Rev. William H. De Lancey, D. D. The building was
not completed until March, 1865. On the 16th of
March, the first service was held within its walls.

The first rector of this church was the Rev. Mr. Saun-
ders, who commenced his labors in February, 1863, and
closed them in October of the same year. The second
rector was the Rev. H. R. Pyne, his term of service
beginning November 1, 1864, and ending April, 1866.
The third rector was the Rev. I. B. Robinson, who came
in May, 1866, and left in August, 1867. The Rev.
R. A. Olin, then a deacon of the church, commenced
his labors here July 19, 1868. In January of the year
1869, the church edifice was consecrated by the Right
Rev. F. D. Huntington, D. D. On the same day, follow-
ing the consecration of the church, the minister in charge
of the parish (the Rev. Mr. Olin) was advanced to the
Priesthood by the Right Rev. Bishop present. The
clergy in attendance from adjoining parishes, joined in


the laying on of hands, according to the usage of this

In January, 1872, the Rev. Mr. Olin resigned the
rectorship of this parish. Since July, of the same year,
the parish has been supplied by the Rev. H. H. Loring,
of the diocese of Pittsburgh, Pa.

The present church edifice, built in 1863-65, cost, with
the lot on which it stands $7,000. The rectory ad-
joining was built a few years afterward, and cost
$3,000. The number of communicants in this church
at the present time (1873), is sixty.



In the biography of the missionary Kirkland, we find
that as early as the year 1790, he was meditating a plan
for the education of the Indian tribes of central New
York. In the year 1792, he had matured his scheme so
far as to include within it a system of primary schools
for native children, and an Academy for English youth,
together with a select number of older Indian boys from
the various tribes of the Confederacy. Three of these
primary schools were established, and continued in
efficient operation for several years. For the convenience
of both parties, he proposed to place his academy near
what was then the boundary line between the white
settlements and the Indian teri-itory. The project was
well-approved everywhere, but perhaps it found its
warmest friends among those intelligent families which
had recently emigrated from New England an$ settled
in the adjoining towns.

Of the preliminary steps taken by Mr. Kirkland in
procuring a charter for his academy and funds for its
endowment, I have already sjDoken in the sketch of
the missionary's life. The gifts of money to the acad-
emy, at this time, were few and small ; the donations

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Online LibraryA. D. (Amos Delos) GridleyHistory of the town of Kirkland, New York (Volume 1) → online text (page 9 of 17)