Addison - Churches

Submitted by Pam Davis


was organized in the month of September, 1832, by a committee of the Presbytery of Bath, consisting of Rev. A. Donaldson and Rev. E. D. Willis.      The original members were Porter Phelps, Mary Ellen Phelps, Elihu Whittenhall and Eliza Ann Whittenhall, William Hoyt, John Shumway and Mrs. Mary Scofield.

Porter Phelps and Elihu Whittenhall were elected ruling elders.  The first meetings were held at the Curtis schoolhouse, at the east end of the village, until the erection of the present church edifice.  The church edifice was erected in the year 1838, at a cost of about $3500.  James Turk was the constructor and builder.   The building originally cost about $2000.  It has since been enlarged by an addition of twenty feet to the rear end.

List of Ministers
1835-39 Rev. Daniel B. Butts  1864-65 Rev. S. S. Sturges
1840-42 Rev. Lewis Hamilton 1866-67 Rev. D. F. Judson 
1842-45 Rev. Darius Williams 1867-70 Rev. W. G. Parrott
1845-55 Rev. A. H. Parmelee 1870-72 Rev. C. Simpson 
1855-56 Rev. William Kidder 1873-74 Rev. J. V. C. Nillis
1857-63 Rev. D. F. Judson  1875  Rev. A. R. Olney 


  Porter Phelps removed from Addison in May 1835.  Elihu Whittenhall left here in 1843, and now resides in Kansas.  John P. Shumway and Joel d. Gillett were elected elders in 1836.  Mr. Shumway removed to Minnesota in 1844.  Mr. Gillett still resides here, and has been elder of the church forty-two years, and still fills that office.   William Tarbell and William McDowell were elected in 1840.  Col. Tarbell removed to Pennsylvania and died there.  Mr. McDowell also removed to Westfield, Pa., and died there in 1875.  Dr. Bradley Blakeslee was elected an elder in 1845, and still continues to officiate in that capacity.  E. Van Tuyl, now residing Binhamton, for some time officiated as an elder of this church; he was chosen in July 1857.  Calvin Cowley was elected elder in April 1862, and died in 1876.  Seth Mullion was elder from 1857 to 1862.  In January 1872, David B. Winton and Martin Wilber were ordained elders, and still hold that office.  Mr. Joel D. Gillet has been clerk of the church and society ever since 1836.  Present membership of the church, 112; Sunday School, 110.  E. L. Richardson, superintendent.


The first services of the Episcopal Church were held in this village about 1847, by Rev. Gardner M. Skinner, then a missionary at Corning.  At different intervals during a period of seven or eight years thereafter, services were held by the clergyman, by Rev. Levi H. Corson, of Bath, and by Rev. Augustus A. Marple, of Wellsborough, Pa.  During this the bishop had also made a visitation at the place.  Such was the interest manifested during the latter part of these occasional visits that an effort was made to raise a subscription to build a church edifice;  but the church people were few and widely scattered, and the movement for the time being was unsuccessful.

In 1853, Rev. Robert N. Parke, of St. James' Church, Hammondsport, being informed of the interest and spirit here manifested, make a visit to the place and arranged to hold service during the same month.  At the second visit he preached in the Methodist house of worship to a large and attentive congregation, and was engaged conditionally to come and officiate for the six months beginning in January, 1854, in order to test the practicability of organizing a parish.  The conditions being complied with, he came accordingly on the third Sunday in January, 1854, and commenced his duties in Addison as missionary for Addison and Rathboneville, holding service for some weeks in the district school house of District No. 1.

Early in the spring permission was granted by the trustees of the Academy to hold services in that building, and on the 18th of April, being Tuesday in Easter week, a meeting was held in the Academy, at which the parish was duly incorporated and the first wardens and vestrymen elected:  SENIOR WARDEN, L. Griswold; JUNIOR WARDEN;  Z. L. Webb; VESTRYMEN, James S. McKay, David Darrin, H. J. Fonda, William R. Smith, Thomas Paxton, Stephen Lewis, H. W. Rathbone.

On the 20th of March, 1854, 18 members, whose names appear below, were received by the rector, Rev. Robert n. Parke, upon the following instrument in writing:

                  "Addison, March 20, 1854
"We the undersigned, citizens of Addison, county of Steuben, situate in the Diocese of Western New York, do hereby attache ourselves to the rectorship of Rev. Robert N. Park,

" N.B. Lawney W. R. Smith
Henry M. Smith James Whittenhall
William A. Smith Henry Sherwood
P. S. Bell Z. Lewis Webb
L. Griswold H. W. Rathbone
D. Darrin John W. Dininny
Wm Stradella E. H. Ames
J. S. Lyon R. P. Brown
Stephen Lewis H. J. Fonda
"This is to certify that I, Robert N. Parke, Rector of the Episcopal Church in Addison, above mentioned, do receive and recognize those persons whose names are herein recorded as belonging to the church now under my charge.           "Robert N. Parke.
"Addison, March 20, 1854."

On the 30th of June, 1858, a subscription was started for the purpose of raising money to build a church edifice.  The building was finished, and consecrated by Rt. Rev. William H. De Lancey, Bishop of the Diocese of Western New York, on the 5th of April 1860, with every dollar of indebtedness paid.  It is furnished with an organ and a bell, and with every comfort and convenience for the worshipers and for the vestry and other meetings of the parish.  The church now numbers 88 communicants, 48 families, and 55 in the Sunday School.

The rectors who have officiated in the church since its organization are as follows:  Rev. Robert N. Parke, about four years; Rev. A. R. Van Antwerp, about two years; Rev. De Witt C. Loop about two years; Rev. Albert Wood, about eight years; Rev. F. F. Rice, the present rector, since 1871.


Religious service were held in a school house below where the academy now stands, and near Mr. Montgomery's house, forty-two years ago.

On Wednesday evening, Sept. 3, 1835, a meeting was held at that school house, and the Second Methodist Episcopal Church of Addison was duly organized.  Rev. Thomas Wheat and Mr. Henry Wombough were chairmen of that meeting; Erastus Brooks was secretary.  Thomas Wheat, Samuel Miles, James Turk, James Allen, Henry Wombough, John Thompson, Amos Carr, Llewellyn A. Jones, and Jerathmeel Powers were elected trustees of the society.

Two days after, the board met, organized, and appointed two committees; one to select a site for a church, the other to prepare and circulate a subscription paper.  No church edifice of the society, however, was erected till 1841, as the Methodists co-operated with the Presbyterian society in the erection of their church and for several years used it in common.

On the evening of Nov. 24, 1841, another meeting for organization was held in the red school house.  The first Methodist Episcopal society of Addison was legally organized.  Rev. Jerathemeel Powers and Rev. R. T. Hancock were chairmen.  Israel B. Persons was secretary.  James H. Miles, Warren Starkey, James Turnk, Myron S. Curtis, Israel B. Persons, John Thompson, Russel Root, Jr., Elnathan G. Brown, and Vincent B. Hathaway were elected trustees.  This meeting took immediate action towards building a church.  Five years afterwards, while Samuel Nichols was pastor, M. S. Curtis, David Turk, Wm. Price, and Vincent B. Hathaway, trustees, Ensign Allen put up the frame to a church building on a lot above where Mr. H. Ross H. Jones' house now stands.  Three years after that the congregation (having occupied the basement during that time), occupied the audience room of the church.  After a struggle of fourteen years Methodism was anchored in Addison.  Then followed a quarter of a century of uninterrupted church life, --a period of blessing and of trial.  Then came the fire and swept away the church building, which had been built by struggle, sacrifice, and prayer.

The next period of Methodist history begins with the dedication of a new brick church, on April 21, 1876.  This church was built during the pastorate of D. D. Cook, John Mitchel, John Orr, L. D. Coburn, P. W. Orr, Gen. Crane, trustees.  It is a substantial structure, tasteful in its design, and convenient for general church work.  Its total cost was $14,000. To some it seemed unwise to build a building of its style and cost, but as time goes by the wisdom of the counsels which finally prevailed will become more apparent.  It was an act of faith, which the Great Head of the Church will bless.

Since the pastorate of Rev. D. D. Cook in 1875-76, Rev. E. E. Millspaugh, Rev.____ Canfield, and Rev. _____ have served successively as pastors.


The First Baptist Church of Addison was organized May 6, 1869, under the missionary labors of Rev. C. W. Brooks.  Rev. S. D. Merrick, the first pastor, settled over the church in October, 1869, and remained four years and a half.  During his pastorate the present house of worship was built, known as the Baptist Chapel.  When he came here the church numbered about 30 members; when he left, it numbered 130, and the church property was valued at $7500.  At the organization the following persons united:  Rev. George Crocker, Rev. Charles W. Brooks, Mrs. Elsie A. Brooks, Miss Anna Thurston, George W. Whitehead, Mrs. Julia A. Whitehead, D. C. Daniels, Jane Daniels, Kate Daniels, George I. True, Daniel J. Chittenden, Elizabeth G. Chittenden, I. G. Balcom, John C. Shutts, Jesse G. Wooser, Doratha Darrin, Jane Stephens, DEACONS, Daniel J. Chittenden and Jesse G. Wooser; CLERK, Daniel J. Chittenden.

The pastors have been Rev. S. D. Merrick, Rev. E. M. Blanchard, and Rev. P. Reynolds.  The latter resigned in May, 1878, and the church at this writing (September, 1878) is without a settled pastor.  Present membership 108; Sunday School, 80, C. W. Sackett, Superintendent.


St. Catharine's church, of Addison was organized or built in 1854, by Rev. Father Cunningham, the pastor of St. Mary's, Corning, who had charge of it and several other missions in Steuben and Chemung Counties; visiting and holding services most generally once a month, until the community was able to purchase and build the present frame building known as the above church.  Since then St. Catharine's Church was variously attended from different missions, until the Rev. Father Bradley assumed pastoral charge of the mission and became its first resident pastor in 1886.  He continued on such till 1873, when Rev. J. Brady its present pastor, assumed charge.

Its present membership numbers 140 families.  The church since then has undergone various repairs and additional improvements, according to the wants or growth of the community.  It stands in a very prominent place, and is one of the chief attractions of the public square.  It is built in a plain style of architecture, and can seat about 350 persons comfortably.


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Last Update February 20, 2020