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Rushford, New York Churches

Rushford Baptist Church, photo courtesy of Linda Schwind
Rushford Baptist Church
contributed by Linda Schwind

First Baptist

The First Baptist Church of Rushford was organized as the Caneadea conference, November 7th, 1815. The following are the names of the original members:

Elder Beckwith was the presiding member at the meeting. James McCall was chosen standing moderator and Eliab Going church clerk.

January 29th, 1816, the society was constituted the First Baptist Church of Rushford. Jonathan Going was chosen moderator, Eliab Going church clerk and Levi Benjamin deacon.

The Lord's Supper was first celebrated by the church June 30th, 1816. The first minister was called March 1st, 1817, and Elder Titus Gillett was settled as the first salaried pastor in June, 1818, previous to which time the church had been supplied occasionally be missionaries and pastors of other churches.

The first Baptist church of Rushford united with the Holland Purchase Baptist Association March 24th, 1821, and Elder D. D. Powers, a missionary, was engaged to preach half of the time, and Elder Eliab Going was secured to minister to the congregation the remainder of the year. About 1832 Elder Absalom Miner settled as pastor, and remained until August 1842. Elder C. Wardner came that year. In December, 1845, Rev. E. L. Harris was called to the pastorate, and was dismissed in August, 1850. Rev. E. J. Scott settled as pastor in April, 1851, and remained until April, 1854. In June 1854, Elder Ira W. Simpson came. He remained till January, 1863. In September, 1863, Rev. A. T. Cole settled as pastor, and was dismissed October 11th, 1868. Rev. C. Warder returned in January, 1869, and was dismissed May 15th, 1872. August 31st, Rev. A. V. Eddy was called to the pastorate, and closed his labors in April, 1876. October 17th of the same year he was succeeded by Rev. M. Livermore, who has since continued pastoral relations with the church.

The present officers are as follows:

The present membership is one hundred and thirty-five.

It is generally understood that the Holland Land Company gave the society one hundred acres of pine land in the east part of the town, but no allusion to any such donation appears in the records of the church. Yet it is assumed by leading members that the church did own such a lot, from which lumber was obtained to build the first church edifice, which was erected in 1818. the present house of worship was built in 1838, and remodeled in 1859, at which time the lecture room was added.

The church was sent out ten or twelve licentiates to preach, and has ordained several of its pastors.

Source: History of Allegany County, N.Y. 1806-1879, F.W. Beers, 1879, p. 332

The first record of trustees is dated February 20th, 1817. There were five appointed, in three classes, as follows:

First ClassJames McCall
Second ClassJonathan Going
Jeremiah Rappleye
Third ClassJ. Freeman
J. L. Delano

The Baptist Church of Rushford was organized in 1815 with the following members:

Elder Beckwith presided at the meeting which was held November 7th, and James McCall was chosen standing moderator, Eliab Going church clerk and Levi Benjamin deacon.  June 29, 1816, the Lord's Supper was first celebrated. The first minister was called in March, 1817. The first salaried pastor, Elder Titus Gillett, was settled in June 1818. The salary was “house rent, one-fourth of an acre of land for a garden, horse and cow kept, and seventy five dollars.” In 1821 the church united with the Holland Purchase Association, and Elder W. W. Powers was offered $150 in produce to preach one-half the time but did not accept, and Elder Eliab Going was engaged for the other half. Eliab Going's salary was to be “at the rate of $12 per month for the time he stayed, and to be paid in produce, wheat $1 and corn 62 1/2 cents.” Elder Going preached occasionally until 1829, most of the meetings being held at Peter Freeman's or at the schoolhouse. In 1829 Elder Absalom Minor was settled and remained pastor till 1840. The Holland land Company gave the church 100 acres of land (where A. W. Litchard's farm is). Turner says the first church edifice was built in 1817. It must have been a very small and rude affair. In 1838 the present edifice was built. It has been remodeled from time to time to keep pace with the times, and is now a convenient place of worship. Since 1840 the pastors have been,

Revs. C. Warner, E. L. Harris1851-54
E.J. Scott1851-54
Ira W. Simpson1854-63
A.T. Cole1863-68
C. Wardner1869-72
A.V. Eddy1872-76
M. Livermore-
P.S. Everett-
W.L. Munger-
C.B. Smith-
Alfred R. Spencerpresent incumbent

The membership is about 100. The property, including parsonage, is worth $4,500 and free from debt. A Sunday school of 175 pupils has A. M. Taylor as superintendent. The library has 262 volumes.

Source: John S. Minard, Allegany County and its People. A Centennial Memorial History of Allegany County, New York, W. A. Fergusson & co., Alfred, N.Y., 1896, p. 801-802

Rushford Methodist Episcopal Church, picture courtesy of Linda Schwind
Rushford Methodist Episcopal Church
contributed by Linda Schwind

Methodist Episcopal

The Methodist Episcopal church of Rushford was organized with ten members, by Rev. E. Metcalf, in 1816. The first pastor was Rev. C. Story; the present pastor is Rev. C. S. Daley.

The church edifice was erected in 1854, at a cost of $6,000, and will seat eight hundred and fifty persons. The property of the church is valued at $8,000.

The following are the names of the officers at the present time:

TrusteesJohn Persons
N. J. Kingsbury
I. Thompson
J. B. Gordon
D. C. Woods
Charles Benjamin
W. F. Woods
H. B. Persons
G. M. Pratt
StewardsI. Thompson
Alexander L. Litchard
W. F. Woods
G. M. Pratt
H. B. Persons
W. A. Litchard
C. H. Ives
Paul Dow
District StewardW. F. Woods
Class-LeadersJ. Persons
D. C. Woods
A. C. Weir
William Swift
S. S. Swift
Paul Dow
L. Williams
A. W. Litchard
H. Lanning

Source: History of Allegany County, N.Y. 1806-1879, F.W. Beers, 1879, p. 332

Methodist Episcopal Church. -- Rev. Elijah Metcalf preached the first Methodist sermon, and in 1816 organized a Methodist Episcopal Church, with 10 members. He was a missionary on the Holland Land Purchase and preached till his death in 186. In 1826 or 27 a small church was erected west of the creek. In 1854 the present large house of worship was erected.

Rev. Cyrus Story1820
M. Preston
Mr. Hazen
D. Shepardson
Elijah Boardman1827
Mifflin Hooker
J. Wiley
D. Anderson
John Cosart
Philo Brown
S. W. Wooster
Wm. D. Buck
Fuller Atchinson
Alvin F. Walker
Francis Strand
Augustus Anderson
H. M. Seaver
Mr. Bell
Mr. DuBois
Albert Tury
C. S. Balker
A. F. Comfort
Nathan Fellows1843
C. D. Burlingham1845
David Nichols1847
Charles Shelling1850
B. T. Roberts
Mr. Chaney
Sanford Hunt
Milo Scott1855
Jason Miller1857
Geo. W. Terry1859
W. S. Tuttle1860
John McEwen1862
Major Lyon1863
M. H. Rice1864
E. A. Rice1867
Buel Blake1869
E. L. Newman1870
C. C. Wilbur1872
R. S. Pierce1874
A. M. Leggett1876
C. S. Daley1878
Wm. Magavern1879
W. B. Wagner1881
A. H. Johnson1884
R. C. Grames1887
J. E. Wallace1889
J. A. Gardner1891
T. W. Chandler1891
W. H. Manning1895

The membership is 95. A large and flourishing Sunday school is conducted, of which A. W. Litchard is superintendent, and all the different church interests are well looked after. The church is an aggressive and prosperous one.

Source: John S. Minard, Allegany County and its People. A Centennial Memorial History of Allegany County, New York, W. A. Fergusson & co., Alfred, N.Y., 1896, p. 801-802

Newspaper Clippings

Quarterly Ticker of Miss Ellen E. Gordon

The evangelistic meetings in Rushford, N.Y., under the direction of the Olean District Ministers' Quartet, consisting of Rev. W. A. Stackhouse, pastor in Rushford; Rev. F. M. baker, of Andover; Rev. M. J. Hill, of Belmont; and Rev. F. E. Leavitt, of Bradford, has proved a blessing to the church-- Thirty-one converts having thus far united with the church.  Rev. W. A. Stackhouse believes in having a revival throughout the year.  Every department of the church is loyal to the pastor. January 3rd, the Epworth League gave the converts a reception in the church parlors.  The 10th a banquet was given to the men of the community who are not members of any Sunday school, in view of organizing a Men's Bible Class, the Ladies' Aid Society of the church furnished the supper.  Rushford has not had such a spiritual awakening in many years, and our hearts go out in prayer to the heavenly Father that the work will continue, till there be none left to say, “Know ye the Lord.” E. E. G.

Rushford, Rev. W. A. Stackhouse, pastor.  About 40 people professed conversion recently during the series of meetings conducted by the Quartette.  Nearly all those who started have united with the church.  Old Rushford hasn't seen the like in many, many years-- and pastor and people rejoice over the prosperity that has come to his historic church.  [Dec. 7th to the 20th, 1912]

Men's Banquet a Success.  The Mens Banquet held last Friday evening in Agricultural Hall was a success in every sense.  Over fifty men sat down to a well prepared banquet to which they did ample justice.  Rev. W. A. Stackhouse acted as toastmaster, and in a few well chosen remarks stated the purpose of the gathering, and introduced Rev. F. M. Baker of Andover, who responded in a happy and pleasing manner to the toast “Team Work.”  Rev. L. D. Woodmancy of Wellsville was the other speaker form out-of-town, and gave a very impressive response to the toast.  “The Spirit of the Age”.  Home talent was represented by Alex. Brady on “Class No. 7,” and Greydon Davis on the “The Troup in Teens.”  A male quartet consisting of Dr. Kilmer, W. H. Thomas, D. Will Woods and Rev. Stackhouse, furnished the music.  A Brotherhood Class was organized in connection with the sunday School of the Methodist Episcopal church, which will be taught by the pastor, Rev. W. A. [Jan 10th 1913]

Rushford and Caneadea, N.Y.   The church in Caneadea under pastoral care of Rev. W. A. Stackhouse assisted by the three other members of the Genesee Conference quartet REv. M. J. Hill, of Belmont, Rev. F. M. Baker, of Andover and F. F. Leavitt of Cuba, have just closed two weeks of beneficial evangelistic meetings.  The membership has been more than doubled. As a result of the convincing sermons preached by each member of the quartet fifty persons were led to accept Christ as their personal Savior.  A class of probationers has been organized with fifteen members.  A Junior League has also been organized with Miss Swan, one of the converts as leader.  An adult Bible class was formed recently with Mr. Wingert as teacher.  More than one hundred persons have been led to Christ during the year in the two churches.

Rushford, W. A. Stackhouse, pastor.  The baccalaureate sermon to the graduates of the Rushford High School was delivered Sunday evening, June [ ] by the pastor.  The church was prettily decorated and the service was most effective.  The pastor preached on “The Four-Square Man”  basing his sermon on “And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”  He declared that the four square man must be strong physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.  The music including a hymn by the Junior vested choir was excellent.

Genesee Conference, Rushford, N.Y., Rev. Nathaniel Harris, pastor.  Rushford has been having an old-time revival following the preaching and teaching of Rev. Harris, who is an old time Methodist preacher, holding up entire sanctification as the keynote in his sermons.  Miss Ruth Harris wrote her father that if he and the church would like Rev. David Anderson and she would hold evangelistic meetings in the Methodist episcopal church at Rushford; beginning November 20.   The church was in just the state for such meetings.  Rev. Anderson has no red tape business or organizing to go through in order to get ready for business.  Sunday morning he began by preaching the Bible and nothing else in the old-time methodist style.  He is a forceful speaker with a gift of oratory that holds the attention of his listeners every instant.  He “hews to the line-- let the chips fall where they may.” The plain gospel truths and the Holy Spirit doing His office work, reached the hearts of the unconverted, convincing many of their need of pardon and leading backsliders to return to their first love.  The second Sunday morning at the close of the sermon he asked the Christians who were anxious for the blessing of entire sanctification to come to he altar.  Forty members of the church went, many sought and received the blessing, some were gloriously saved.  The usual song service preceded the sermons, led by Miss Harris, who has a very pleasing manner which added to the attractiveness of the meetings.  Miss Harris is blessed with a beautiful voice which she uses for the glory of God. She sang two solos at every service.  Rev. Mr. Anderson sang the Indian song a number of times, which was much enjoyed.  His sermon upon the mantle of Elijah falling upon Elisha, made a great impression upon the people, many were brought to the altar and were converted.  Rev. Anderson, aside from the evening discourses, held Bible meetings in the afternoon.  Miss Harris held meetings for the girls of the High school in the afternoon.  At the close of the third week there was such interest that a rising vote was taken asking the evangelists to remain another week, which they did.  The last sunday morning the subject of tithing was talked upon.  At the close of the sermon an expression of the church members was taken to see how many would adopt the tithing system.  The most of the members pledged to tithe. The Free Methodists united with the Methodist Episcopal church in the meetings. A number of husbands and their wives were among the converts.  A good sized class came into the church on probation after the morning sermon the last Sunday of the meetings.  There are others to follow.  The offering taken for the evangelists was a very liberal one.  [Pastor 1917-1918]

[Source:  Family History Library microfilm 1378829, Rushford, Allegany, N.Y. Methodist Episcapol Records]

Rushford Methodist Episcopal Church Records

First Presbyterian

The Rushford First Presbyterian Church was organized April 16th, 1838, with the following consituent members:

The society was formed under the direction of Rev. Lemuel Hall, Rev. Phineas Smith and Rev. A. S. Allen. The first officers were as follows:

EldersEarl Baird
Joel Griffin
Lyman Congdon
ClerkAlfred Bell

The first pastor was Rev. Royal Twitchell. The newly organized church was received under the care of the Presbytery of Angelica April 17th, 1838. Rev. C. W. Gillam and Rev. Samuel A. Rawson were early supplies, under the patronage of the American Home Missionary Society. We are without data from which to write of the successive pastorates. In 1840 the church reported twenty-eight members to the presbytery; in 1843 eighty-three, and in 1846 one hundred and sixteen. Rev. Mr. Gillam in 1843 reported a revival in the place, resulting in “the hopeful conversion of about forty individuals” In consequence of this revival the number of the members of the church was much increased. The present membership is about twenty, and the church is without a pastor.

The house of worship was erected in 1842 at the cost of about $2,000. It will seat two hundred persons, and, with other church property, is valued at $3,000.

The present officers of the church are as follows:

David ThomasDeacon
A. L. Adams
W. T. Galpin
A. L. Adams
O. T. Stacy
E. F. McCall
William T. GalpinClerk

Source: History of Allegany County, N.Y. 1806-1879, F.W. Beers, 1879, p. 331

The First Presbyterian Church. -- April 16, 1838, after a public notice, a meeting was held in the schoolhouse in the west part of the village where a Presbyterian church or society was organized. Rev. Lemuel Hall of Centreville, Rev. A. S. Allen of Cuba, Rev. Phineas Smith of Portageville, and James R. Bell and James Simons, elders of the Presbyterian church in New Hudson, were present. The members were: Eneas Gary, Esther Garey, Earle Baird, Ruth Baird, Joel Griffin, Clarissa Griffin, Submit Griffin, Sarah McDonald, Warren McKinney, Betsy McKinney, Alvin Congdon, Roana Congdon, Lyman Congdon, Fanny Morrison, Rosina McCall, Alfred bell, Juliette Bell, Huldah McCall and Lyman Congdon, elders. Alfred Bell was chosen clerk and Earle Baird, Joel Griffin and Electa McKinney. Alfred Bell was chosen clerk and Earle Baird, Joel Griffin, and Lyman Congdon, elders. A resolution favoring temperance was adopted unanimously. In June a committee was appointed to obtain a minister at each communion and raise funds to defray expenses. the records say nothing of the erection of a church edifice, but Aug. 20, 1842, mention is made of the first meeting “in their new church,” and Rev. C. W. Gillam the next day administered the Lord's Supper. In 1853 it was changed to a Congregational church, and in 1867 changed back to its present form, Presbyterian.

Pastors: Rev. C.W. Gillam, I. Rawson, Doolittle, MIller, Henry, Johnson, Lane, Frost, Ballard, Cofrin, Spencer, Ward, Watkins and Cone. For some years no pastor has been settled over this church. The membership is small and growing less.

Source: John S. Minard, Allegany County and its People. A Centennial Memorial History of Allegany County, New York, W.A. Fergusson & co., Alfred, N.Y., 1896, p. 802-803

First Free Methodist

The First Free Methodist Church of Rushford was organized by Rev. J. W. Reddy, the first pastor, in 1861. the following are the names of some of the constituent members: James Gordon, Abigail Gordon, George Worthington, Levanchia Vanduzen, Charles English, Ophelia Vanduzen, Robert English, Adelia Clement, Elijah Metcalf, Saloma Metcalf, Elijah Metcalf, jr., Cornelia Metcalf, Levi Metcalf, Harris Gilbertand Rev. J. W. Reddy and Mrs. J.W. Reddy. It is stated that there were two other original members. Their names we are unable to obtain.

The following are the present members, thirty in number: Mosher Marriatt and Levi and Elijah Metcalf (local preachers), Samuel Lefevre (exhorter), Charles English (steward), Cornelia Metcalf, L. B. Metcalf, Eliza Metcalf, Rachel Metcalf, Saloma Metcalf, De S. Damon, Mary Damon, Emeline Kingsbury, Henrietta Maxson, Maria Benjamin, Loretta Cook, Frances English, Robert English, Rhoda Baker, Thomas Damon, Sarah Damon, Sophronia Gordon, Lucy Gordon, Alinda Alderman, Amanda Lefevre, Harriett Bray, Libbie Burgess, Mary Ryan, Nettie Burgess and Charles W. Worden.

The pastor in charge is Rev. A. A. Burgess.

The first house of worship of the society was purchased in 1861 and was subsequently burned. The present one, which will seat two hundred and fifty persons, was dedicated in 1871.

Source: History of Allegany County, N.Y. 1806-1879, F.W. Beers, 1879, p. 332

The First Free Methodist Church. -- This church was organized in 1871 by Rev. J. W. Reddy. Some of the original members were, James Gordon, Abigail Gordon, Charles English, Lavanche Van Duzen, George Worthington, Ophelia Van Duzen, Adelia Clement, Robert English, Elijah Metcalf, Cordelia Metcalf, Elijah Metcalf, Jr., Saloma Metcalf, Cornelia Metcalf, Harris Gilbert and Levi Metcalf. Their first house of worship was the old M. E. church, used for a music school. this was afterwards burned. The present one is the old Universalist church, which was purchased, repaired and rededicated in 1873. It will seat 250 persons. The pastors have been, Revs. J. W. Reddy, T. B. Catton, C. C. Eggleston, A. H. Bennett, M. E. Brown, Thomas Slocum, Noah Palmer, Mr. Rowley and G. D. Mark

Source: John S. Minard, Allegany County and its People. A Centennial Memorial History of Allegany County, New York, W. A. Fergusson & co., Alfred, N.Y., 1896, p. 802-803

Universalist Church

Unversalist Church. -- In the forties a Universalist church was organized and in a few years a church edifice was constructed and dedicated. Isaiah Lathrop, Mr. Leavens and Mr. Colburn were early Universalists. Early preachers were, Nathaniel Stacy, Wm. Gowdy, I. B. Sharp, J. B. Saxe, J. J. Brayton. Owing to deaths and removals, and lack of others to take their places, the church declined and meetings ceased to be held and the church building was sold to the Free Methodists.

Source: John S. Minard, Allegany County and its People. A Centennial Memorial History of Allegany County, New York, W. A. Fergusson & co., Alfred, N.Y., 1896, p. 803


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