Samuel W Durant.

History of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

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was purchased, the inside of the building remodeled, and' put in
thorough repair for school purposes. In September, 1874, the' build-
ing was first occupied by 2 teachers and 122 pupils. In January,-
1875, the new building on Third Street, in East Rome; was opened,
and the old one on Dominick Street passed into the hand^ ofthe
common council for fire departrfient purposes. In 1876 the West
Rome building was repaired and improved, and new seats were added
for the accommodation of 80 pupils."

During the present season (1878) a new brick school
building has been erected at the corner of Thonaas' and
Jay Streets, at a cost of about $8000. It is two stories in
height, aud fitted, for , two departments, primary and inter-
mediate. The total value of the school property in the
Union Free School District is about $90,000.

The departments are : Primary, requiring four years to



complete ; intermediate, three years ; preparatory, three
years; and academic, — t]ie latter having three courses, viz.,
English, three years, modern classical, three years, and clas-
sical, three years.

The cabinet belonging to the academy contains about
1100 specimens, and is very fine; value, §500. The library
has an extensive circulation, and is valued at $1200. The
total value of the academy property is $24,000. Up to
the 1st of January, 1877, its graduates since 18G9 num-
bered 76. The enrollment for the year 1876, in the various
schools, was as follows, viz. :

Boys. Girls. Total.

Academy 77 103 ISO

Liberty Street School 365 355 720

Thomas Street Scbool 202 181 38.?

James Street School 234 198 432

East Eoine School ]113 94 197

AVcst Rome School 39 32 71

South Jamffi Street School 57 C3 120

Grand Total 2103

The Board of Edncaticm for the years 1875, 1876, and
1 877 consisted of the following .persons, viz. : James Aikin,
John Reifert, term expired October, 1877 ; G. H. Lynch ;
J. Graves, term expires October, 1878 ; B. W. "Williams;
E. L. Stevens, term expires October, 1879. OfBeere of the
Board : President, B. W. AVilliams; Clerk, John Reifert;
Superintendent, 0. C. Harrington.


This church has for its corporate title " The First Re-
ligious Society of Rome."

In the first book of records we find the following coven-
ant was adopted :

" Unmbly sensible we are not our own, but the Lord's, who hath
made, preserved and redeemed us, we do in u serious and solemn
manner, before angels and men, present oar bodies a living sacrifice
unto God, and give ourselves wholly to him with purpose of heart,
and to glorify him by religiously observing all things whatsoever he
hath commanded us. AVe do also take the Lord Jehovah for our Lord
and all sufficient portion ; Christ we take for our Prince and Saviour ;
the Divine Spirit for our Sanctifier; and the word of God, contained
in the Bible, wc take for our rule in faith and practice. We do also
give ourselves toone another, and covenant to watch over one another,
and submit one to another, according to the laws of Christ's visible
kingdom, and as becometh metntters of a Christian church. We also
promise to attend the public worship of God, and the ordinances of the
gospel together, while God in his providenceshall give us an opportu-
nity therefor. We do also give our respective households to God, and
will use our best endeavors that they shall be brought up in the nur-
ture and admonition of the Lord.

" In testimony of our cordial assent to the preceding articles of
faith, and of our solemn covenanting with God and one another, we
have hereunto subscribed our names.

"Rome, Sept. 25, 1800.

(Signed) "Ebenezer Wright,

" Grace Wright,
"Joshua Hathaway,
"Daniel W. Knight."

On the succeeding Sabbath, Sept. 28, 1800, the society
was organized, according to the usages of the Congregational
Church, by the Rev. Simon Waterman, of Plymouth, Conn.,
and the following-named persons, fourteen in number, signi-

* Historical sketch in the manual of this church for 1874.

fied their assent to the covenant, and constituted the original
membership, viz., Ebenezer Wright, and his wife Grace
Wrin-ht ; Matthew Brown, and his wife Molly Brown ;
Joshua Hathaway, and his wife Elizabeth Hathaway ;
Solomon Rich, and his wife Mrs. Solomon Rich (her fiist
name is not in the record) ; Daniel W. Knight, Mi-s. Sa-
rah Colt, Mrs. Philomela Wright, Mrs. Esther Colbraith,
Mi-s. Zilpah Gilbert, Mrs. Elizabeth Hays.

This organization occurred at the liouse of Mr. Ebenezer
Wright, in Wright's Settlement, three miles from Rome.
Subsequent meetings were held in Rome, first in a barn,
then successively in a ball-room, a store-room, and a school-
house, until the year 1807, when the fii-st house of worship
was erected.

The church enjoyed the occasional services of Rev.
Messrs. Simons, Marcy, Knight, Fish, and Taggart until
Oct. 14, 1807, when Rev. Moses Gillett was ordained and
installed pastor. Mr. Gillett was converted under the
preaching of the celebrated Dr. Edward H. GriflBn, pur-
sued his classical studies at Yale College, and studied theo-
logy under Rev. Asahal Hooker, of Connecticut. At the
time of his installation there were 34 members connected
with this church. His pastorate continued for the space
of 30 years. During this period there were added to the
church 807 persons, of which number 709 were admitted
by confession of fiiith. In the year 1826 there was a great
revival, attributable, under God, to the faithful preaching of
Mr. Gillett and the evangelistic efforts of Rev. Charles G.
Finney. It is estimated that 500 persons were coiiverted
in connection with the services then held. It appears from
the records that 184 united with this church March 12,
1826, of which number 176 were admitted by profession
of fiiith.

After his resignation Mr. Gillett spent a few years in the
western part of the State. In 1843 he returned to Rome,
where he died, June 4, 1848, and is buried in the new

This church connected with the Oneida Association in the
year 1812, but transferred its ecclesiastical relation to the
Oneida Presbytery in the year 1819.

After Mr. Gillett's resignation the pulpit was supplied
by Rev. Messrs. D. Cary, B. W. Dwight, and E. 0. Dun-
ning, each oflnciating for a short period. March 10, 1841,
Rev. Selden Haines was installed pastor. During his pas-
torate there were received to this church 142 members, 82
of them by examination, and 60 by letter.

A second church was organized January 12,1831. Rev.
Jacob Helifenstein was installed its first pastor, in July,
1831, and resigned in July, 1833. He was succeeded by
Rev. Avelyn Sedgwick, who was installed August, 1833,
and remained until September, 1836. In May, 1837, Rev.
Theodore Spencer commenced his labors with the second
church, and continued until September, 1838. He was suc-
ceeded by Rev. Herman Norton, who labored until Octo-
ber, 1839. Rev. Benjamin H. Campbell was installed pastor
March 4, 1840, and resigned his office in February, 1841.
In July, 1841 , Rev. Charles Jones became pastor, and main-
tained this relation until June 22, 1843. He was suc-
ceeded by Rev. George S. Boardman, in July, 1843, who
continued his labors in this field until June, 1846.

'^^^S'^,-^ ^

R. S. Doty was born in Norway, Herkimer Co., N. Y., on
the 26tli day of Novemter, 1808. His paternal grandfather,
Samuel Doty, was born in Saybrook, Conn., in 1730; raised
a company of volunteers and joined the Eevolutionary army,
and served nearly all through the war, and with his son,
Danforth Doty, who had enlisted in his company when only
seventeen years of age, was in the battle of Saratoga, at Bemis'
Heights, at the time of Burgoyne's surrender. He was a,
farmer by occupation.

His father, Danforth Doty, was born at Stephentown, Eens-
selaer Co., N. Y., in 1760; was married in 1792, and settled
in Russia, Herkimer Co., N. Y., then a wilderness; raised a
family of six children, four sons and two daughters, of whom
the subject of this notice only survives.

In the year 1800 the father removed to Norway, in the
same county, and where for many years he was a successful
farmer, but by unfortunately lending his name to assist
friends lost his property. Was in the war of 1812, and
marched for the defense of Sacket's Harbor. Unassisted
pecuniarily, Mr. R. S. Doty went into the busy world at the
age of seventeen, to meet its obstacles and carve out a fortune
for himself. Impressed with the idea that education was the
great lever to turn the scale in his favor, and having at that
time had only six months' schooling in the district school, he
began by working on a farm in the summer ; and, through the
assistance of a kind lady, so applied himself to books by study-
ing nights as to be able the following winter to teach a school,
which he did in Oneida County.

The following spring, 1826, he entered a store at Rome as
clerk, and remained there until 1830, when he commenced
business on his own account, and his subsequent career has
fully illustrated that his time in early life was not idly passed
away, or his education and development of business capacity
entirely neglected.

Por some twenty jears Mr. Doty remained in the mercan-
tile business in Rome, a part of the time under the firm-name
of Mudge & Doty, and during this time engaged also largely
in dealing in real estate, and was active in carrying forward
all public improvements for the benefit of the village. He
WHS a stockholder and director in one of the iirst plank roads
built in the State (from Rome to Oswego), and director of the
Bank of Rome for several years.

Mr. Doty always interested himself in the cause of educa-
tion, and was a subscriber to the building fund of the Rome
Academy, and connected with it as trustee, treasurer, and
president of the board for many years. He assisted in build-
ing the Presbyterian Church at Rom'o, and was several years
one of its trustees. He was connected with the Oneida
County Agricultural Society as treasurer, and afterwards as its

president ; and in 1850 was one in the organization of the Ex-
change Bank (now First National) at Rome, and was the first
vice-president and manager for several j'ears, during which
time he had full charge in the erection of the gas-works of
that place, and was for several years president of its board of

In the year 1855, Mr. Doty went to Rochester, and was
cashier of the Manufacturers' Bank of that city, and there
he invested quite largely in manufacturing interests, which,
during the panic of 1857, proved an unfortunate investment.
In 1859 he was appointed deputy United States marshal under
Marshal Jewett. In the year 1860 ho removed to New York,
and engaged in the produce commission business, which he
carried on to a large extent, amounting to nearly one and a
half million of dollars a year.

Thus Mr. Doty, as with other self-made men, rapidly rose
from penury and want while a young man to become one
of the largest operators of the metropolis in middle life ; and
while successful in his career financially, he did not forget the
many who were striving against poverty in the country and
the deserving and needy, but was largely interested in
benevolent institutions, and contributed for their support.
He was for ten years one of the first active managers of the
National Temperance Society and Publication House ; was a
member of the Chamber of Commerce; of the New York
Historical Society ; president of the Wayside Industrial
Home, and warmly attached to the day-school and mission
Sabbath-school for poor children.

Ever kind to those needing aid, Mr. Doty^ in trying to
assist his friends, lost largely, and gave up his business in New
York, and took up his residence in the village of Oneida,
Madison Co., where he now resides. It is worthy of note,
in writing this sketch, that while Mr. Doty was in business in
Rome, and president of that village, he had the honor of intro-
ducing the world-renowned Kossuth (who was then traveling
through this country) to the people assembled to .=ce him iis
lie passed through ; and that, while a resident of New York,
lie sewed on the grand jury that first investigated the
ring frauds of that city, and was for three and a half months
one of the jury that found bills against William M. Tweed
and others, and at the time advocated very earnestly the ques-
tion of taking up these frauds and giving them a just but
thorough investigation.

For his first wife he married, in 1832, Miss Cynthia Mudge,
of Rome, N. Y., by whom ho had eight children, five of whom
i-till survive. His wife died in the year 1872. And for his
second wife he married Mrs. Eliza, widow of the late Elon
Comstock, of Rome, who was formerly editor of the Journal
of Cummcrce of New York City.



After an existence of over fifteen years, in which a large
number of persons had been enrolled in church member-
ship, it was voted, for financial reasons, that the second
church should merge itself into the first church. To facili-
tate this movement the pastors of the two churches — Rev.
Drs. Haines and Boardman — resigned their respective
charges, and the union was effected June 12, 1847. The
church edifice belonging to the second church, situated on
Washington Street, was sold to and has since been occupied
by the Welsh Church.

The reunited church was .supplied during the vacancy in
the pastorate by Rev. Messrs. George C. Lucas, George
Bushnell, and W. F. Williams. Aug. 2, 1848, Rev. Wm.
E. Knox was installed pastor. The present large and com-
modious house of worship was dedicated Jan. 19, 1853.

The church having at a previous meeting voted to sub-
stitute eldership for the standing committee, April 2, 1852,
elected eight men to serve as elders on the rotary principle :
two of them to serve one year, two to serve two years, two
to serve three years, and two to serve four years.

Rev. Dr. Knox having received a call from the First
Presbyterian Church of Elmira, resigned his charge Nov.
5; 1869. There were admitted to church membership
during his pastorate 516 persons, 228 of them by profes-
sion and 2^8 by letter. After the resignation of Dr. Knox
the pulpit was supplied for nine months by Rev. Howard
Kingsbury. Rev. Peter Stryker, D.D., began his labors as
pastor in October, 1870, and was installed November 16

Upon the list of members of this church are found the
following names of persons who, up to 1874, had become
ministers of the gospel, — some of whom are since deceased :
Rev. Albert Barnes, late pastor of the First Presbyte-
rian Church, Philadelphia, Pa. ; Rev. Thomas Brainard,
D.D., late pastor of Pine Street Presbyterian Church, Phil-
adelphia, Pa. ; Rev. Horace Bushnell, missionary in Cin-
cinnati ; Rev. Albert Bushnell, missionary in Gaboon, Af-
rica; Rev. E. P. Goodwin, D.D., Chicago; Rev. Isaac P.
Stryker, New York City ; Rev. John Barnard ; Rev. Daniel
H. Butts ; Rev. J. Mills Gillett ; Rev. Henry A. Sackett ;
Rev. John J. Slocum ; Rev. Erastus Willard ; Rev. Alfred
C. Lord ; Rev. R. S. Billings ; Rev. Frank A. Johnson.
The present pastor of this church is Rev. James H. Taylor.
The membership, according to the last report to the General
Assembly, was 483. A large and flourishing Sunday-
school is sustained, with A. G. Benedict superintendent;
it has 11 officers and teachers, and an average attendance
of 223. The church is located on the north side of Court
Street, between James and Washington.


From the records of this church the following facts are
ascertained :

"In the summer and autumn of the year of our Lord 1817, several
of the members of the different Bnptist churches, residing in Rome
and its vieinity, became impressed with the idea that it would promote
the declarative glory of God, the honor of the Redeemer's kingdom,
and their own happiness, if God, in his providence, should so order
as to have a church formed amongst them."

A conference was held in the school-house at Wright
Settlement Oct. 23, 1817, and the result " was that there

appeared to be ground to build upon, and material with
which to build, without interfering with any other church
or society."

" Weditenday, Nov. 19.— Met according to appointment. Toted to
send to Whitestown, Floyd, Trenton, and Western churches for
counsel. Blder Dyer Starks being present, was invited to attend j
and that they meet at the house of Joseph Briggs, on the 10th of
December, at ten o'clock a.m.

" Dec. 10, 1817. — The conference met according to request, and,
after making inquiries sufficient to satisfy themselves, voted to give
the brothers and sisters fellowship as a sister church, in token of
which Elder Elon Galusha, in behalf of the council, gave the right
hand of fellowship."

The church thus constituted consisted of seventeen mem-
bers. Elder Dyer Starks became the first pastor, and contin-
ued in charge for several years. Following him came Elders
Jacobs and Douglass and David Morris, the latter contin-
uing with the society for ten years. The pastore since
then have been Elders John Gibbs, Emerson Andrews,
H. C. Vogell, David Bellamy, J. M. Harris, and H. H.
Peabody, the latter having been in charge since 1870.

The corner-stone of the first church belonging to this
society was laid Sept. 13, 1826, and for more than forty years
meetings were held in that house when completed. The
corner-stone of the present fine structure, on the corner of
Geoige and Embargo Streets, was laid Sept. 13, 1872. The
material of which this church is built -is the Potsdam sand-
stone. The main audience-room will seat 700 persons.
The membership in July, 1878, was about 330. A Sab-
bath-school is sustained, having for its superintendent Cyrus
D. Prescott.

ZION CHURCH (episcopal).*

" Several of the inhabitants of Rome, anxious to have in
their midst the church of the living God, agreeably to the
ordinances of the Protestant Episcopal Church, met at the
court-house of the said town on the 15tb day of August,
1825." Rev. Algernon S. HoUister was made chairman,
and Hiram Denio, Esq., secretary. An act of incorporation
was drawn up and a society organized by the name and title of
" Zion Church, Rome." Jay Ilatheway and Henry Hayden
were chosen wardens, and Numa Leonard, Hiram Denio,
Horatio N. Carr, James B. Read, James A. Canfield, Rich-
ard Butler, and Peter White, vestrymen. Rev. A. S. Hol-
lister, missionary, took pastoral charge, preached in the
court-house, and continued his services for the ensuing
year. The original communicants numbered three, viz. :
Mr. Butler, Mr. Canfield, and Miss A. L. Hatheway. The
lower story of the Masonic Hall, corner of Liberty and
Washington Streets, was soon engaged for the use of the
church for eight years. Three hundred dollars were raised,
and the room was furnished in a plain manner. At the
opening of this chapel, on a Sunday early in 1826, Rev.
Marcus A. Perry preached, and the next day Right Rev.
John Henry Hobart, bishop of the diocese, which then
included the whole State of New York, preached in the
chapel, confirmed fourteen persons, and baptized two chil-
dren. Mr. Perry took charge of the congregation Aug.
1, 1826, and preached one year alternately with Holland

* From historical sermon by its rector, Rev. H. L. M. Clarke, and
notes by J. Hatheway, late a member, now deceased.



Patent. Zion Church Sunday-school was organized June
3j 1827,, with Rev. M, A. Perry in charge. ' Thirty-five
scholars were in attendance, and the teachers were Jay
Hatheway, M. Rowley, and L. Hatheway for boys, and A.
L. Hatheway, R. Judd, A. Gates, and M. Healy for girls.

It Seems that although Rev. Mr. Perry was at first en-
gaged for only one year, his services were continued here
until some time in 1832, when he resigned, and was suc-
ceeded by Rev. George Fiske. In 1833, the Rome Lodge,
the lower story of which had been in use as a chapel, was
purchased, the building enlarged and fitted up for a church,
and opened for divine services on Sunday, July 25, 183S,
with a sermon by the Rev. Parker Adains, of New Hart-
ford. The church was consecrated the 15th of the follow-
ing August, by Bishop Benjamin T. Onderdqnk, successor
to Bishop Hobart. The vectors at this time preached under
a missionary stipend, and in September, 1834, Rev. Wil-
liam W. Niles was accepted by the society to share the
stipend with Mr. Fiske, and alternate with him in holding
services at Rome and Oriskany. Mr. Fiske resigned in
the following December, and Mr. Niles assumed sole charge.
The rectors since have been the Rev. Nathan B. Burgess,
from November, 1836, to November, 1839 ; Rev. Hobart
Williams, deacon ; Rev. Henry Lockwood, from November,
1840 to May 10, 1842; Rev. Stephen Battin, June, r8+2,
and ordained priest Dec. 19, 1843; Rev. Scth Davis,
April 1, 1845, resigned Oct. 4, 1845, to establish a school
at Buffalo; succeeded by Rev. Almon Gregory, who re-
mained till November, 1849; Rev. Henry B. Whipple,
Dec. 2, 1849, to 1857; he was a portion of the timfe in
Florida, on account of ill health, and during his absence
his place was supplied by Rev. Gordon M. Bradley. Mr.
Whipple resigned March 10, 1857, to accept a call from
Chicago. He was succeeded bj' Rev. N. Barrows, who re-
signed March 5, 1864. The next pastor was the present
one. Rev. Hugh L. M. Clarke, who assumed charge May
1, 1864, and has since continued his labors here.

During the rectorship of Mr. Whipple the lot on the
corner of Liberty and Washington Streets was purchased,
and the corner-stone of the present frame church laid Sept.
5, 1850. The new edifice was opened for service on
Sunday, August 16, 1851, and consecrated by Bishop De
Lancey, Sept. 25, of the same year. During the sum-
mer of 1867 the church was enlarged to its present dimen-
sions, at a cost of nearly $10,000.

The present membership is about 400. Rev. 5Ir. Clarke
is superintendent of a large Sabbath-school, which has 30
teachers and an attendance averaging 220.


Tlie first Methodist Episcopal society in the tpwn of
Rome was organized about. three miles north of the then
village, on the Turin road, in 1799, and worshiped in thai
locality until 1803, when it removed to what is now known
as the " Ridge." This region was then embraced in the
Philadelphia Conference. The first Methodist preachers
who labored in the Mohawk Valley were Revs. Jonathan

; ^ From historical sermon delivered at dedication of the new church
in 1S69.

Newman and Philip Wager, the form3r having preached iu
the town as early as 1791 ; he was recollected by Judge
Hatheway as 'hixving been an energetic and able- minister.
Among the preachers who traveled the circuits and'preached
occasionally in this and neighboring towns were William
McLanahan, Bishop Whatcoat, Lorenzo Dow, Charles Giles,
Ebenezer White, Bishop Asbury, Peter Vanest, and B. G;
Paddock. In 1810 the Genesee Conferetice was organized:
In 1812, Rome, Western, Floyd, Lee, and Steuben wei-o
made into a two weeks' circuit, and supplied by CharleS
Giles as preacher and William Chase as presiding elder.
In 1814, Gile^ was made presiding elder of the Oneida dis-
trict, which embraced in the main the counties of Oneida,
Otsego, Herkimer, Oswego, Jjfferson, and St. Lawrence, aS
far as Ogdensburg, Among his preachers were James
Kelsey, Abner Chase; Zenas Junes, Ira Fairbanks, Chandler
Lambert, Lette Mattesen, Goodwin Stoddard, Nathan B.
Dodson, Isaac Pufier, and George Gary. From 1814, and
for, twelve or fourteen years afterward.^, there, labored in this
and adjoining towns Joseph Willis, George Hannon, B. G,
Paddock, William Chase, Zach. Paddock, Ephraim Hall,
Matthew Van Duzen, Asa Cummins, John Arnold, John
E. Kenbrack. In 1828, Lyman Beach was appointed fb
this circuit, and during this year the First Methodist Epis-
copal Church, at the east end of. Court Street, was erected
and dedicated by him, assisted by Rev. Alexander Irwin.
In 1829 Rome wiis made a station, and has since been
served by the following-pastors, viz. : Andrew Peck, Charles
Giles, Isaac Stone, Calvin Danforth, Albert D. Peck, Na-
thaniel Salisbury, V. M. Coryette, E. W. R. Allen, Aaron
Adams, Isaac L. Hunt, W. W. Ninde, John Alley, Hiram
.Matteson, George Lawyer; F. H. Stanton, James Irwin,
L. D. Stebbins, Burehus Holmes, J. P. Jennings, T. Spicer,
I. S. Bingham, B, S: Wright, W. X. Ninde, J. B. Footc,
Wesley Mason, S. R. Fuller, 0. P. Hard, M. D. Kinney,

Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 110 of 192)