CHURCHES OF HILLSDALE, COLUMBIA COUNTY NEW YORK
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF HILLSDALE
by Captain Franklin Ellis8
This church was organized August 16, 1831, by Rev. Timothy Woodbridge, of Green River, assisted by Rev. Gardener Hayden, of Egremont, and Rev. Leonard B. Vandyke, missionary. It was then composed of fourteen members, whose names were Jehiel Anable, Laban J. Aylesworth, Bethia Nooney, Lydia Bristol, Cornelis Kenneda, Nancy Knapp, Sylvia Vosburgh, Eliza Van Deusen, Mary Aylesworth, Nancy M. Knapp, Nancy M. Nooney, Cynthia Van Deusen, Susannah M. Van Deusen, Charlotte Williams. The eight first named joined on profession of faith, while the other presented letters from the churches of which they were formerly members.
Jehiel Anable and L. J. Aylesworth were chosen as the first elders, and also to perform the duties of deacons.
The first house of worship was erected on the present site in 1832. It was a frame building, whose dimensions were thirty-six by forty-eight feet, and cost $2000. In 1850 it was repaired and remodeled, at a cost of $1800, and in 1877 it was thoroughly repaired and refitted, at an expense of nearly $1700. The parsonage was built in 1857, on lands purchased of Theodore Nash. It was built under contract by Philip Becker, and cost $1600. This was exclusive of the site and some work done on the foundations before the lot was purchased. The present valuation of the church and parsonage is respectively estimated at $3000 for the church and $2000 for the parsonage; total, $5000.
The pastors in the order of their ministrations have been Revs. Amos W. Seeley, George R. Entler, Winthrop H. Phelps, Joseph N. McGifert. The pulpit has also been supplied for longer or shorter periods by Revs. Mr. Osborn, John S. Himrod, Robert W. Landis, J. W. Larimore, L. M. Gates, Joshua Collins,-------Millard, J. H. Mitchell, J. F. Grimes, and James A. Clark, who has been connected with the church since June 1877.
The church has had much to contend against, and has maintained its existence throughout in the face of many discouraging and unfavorable circumstances. It has, however, steadily increased in numbers, and (what few of our modern churches can boast) is practically free from debt. The membership at present is seven males and forty-one females; total, forty-eight.
The present officers are as follows, viz.: Trustees, Walter B. Ten Broeck, Elisha W. Bushnell, John E. McAlpine, Edward Best, Henry L. Coon; Elders (who also act as deacons), Walter B. Ten Broeck, Levi Coon.
There has been a Sabbath-school at times during the entire existence of the church. For the last three years it has been continuous. The membership is no about seventy-five. Levi Coon is the present superintendent; Walter B. Ten Broeck, assistant superintendent; Thomas S. Hayes, secretary; Arthur Wagoner, librarian; Walter Lambert, assistant librarian. The library contains two hundred and twenty-four volumes.
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