Cooperstown, Otsego, NY
Churches, Part V
Christ's Church, Part II
By Holice and Debbie

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Christ Church, Part II

The historic records, as compiled by Rev. Mr. Battin, extend to September, 1853. At the election of wardens and vestry, at Easter 1854, the following were chosen, viz.: Henry Scott and Theodore Keese, wardens; Hon. S. Nelson, W. H. Averill, G. A. Starkweather, R. Cooper, R. David, G. W. Ernst, W. A. Comstock, and H. Miller, vestrymen In September, T. Keese, S. Nelson, and G. W. Ernst were appointed delegates to the diocesan convention. At the Easter election in 1855, L. C. Turner was chosen vestryman in place of H. Miller. T. Keese, S. Nelson, and W. H. Averill were elected delegates to the diocesan convention in September. In 1858, J. S. Sprague was chosen vestryman in place of G. A. Starkweather.

In May, 1858, Rev. Mr. Battin resigned the rectorship, to take effect Aug. 1. In august, 1858, Rev. S. H. Synnott, assistant minister of St. Peter's Church, New York, was elected rector. In September of the same year, Theo. Keese died, and at the elections in the following year, Hon. S. Nelson was elected warden in his place, and G. Pomeroy Keese vestryman.

The records of the church are incomplete during the rectorship of Mr. Synnott, the minutes of the clerk not being entered on the register.

During the summer of 1859 a number of the members of the congregation replaced the old windows of the church with new ones of stained glass, at a cost of $400. In 1860 the present chapel within the church grounds was built, at a cost of $1000, the amount being raised among the congregation at large. During the summer of 1865 the enlargement of the church, which had become a necessity, was undertaken, and completed by November. The nature of the alterations consisted in taking down the stone addition erected about twenty-five years previously, and building two transepts, each 12 by 20 feet, and extending the chancel 10 feet in the rear. The arch of the ceiling was raised 5 feet.

In November, 1866, Rev. Mr. Synnott resigned the rectorship of the parish and in February, 1867, the Rev. D. Hillhouse Buel accepted a call he entered upon his duties at Easter. The Rev. W. S. Williams had temporary charge of the parish during the season of Lent.

In 1868 the following officers were chosen: Henry Scott and Samuel Nelson, wardens; W. H. Averill, G. W. Ernst, W. A. Comstock, G. P. Keese, J. P. Sill, J. R. Worthington, H. M. Hooker, and A. A. Jarvis, vestrymen. During this season the roof of the old part of the church was tinned, and other repairs and improvement made, at a cost of $550. The delegates to the diocesan convention in September were G. Pomeroy Keese, Edward Clark, and Geo. W. Ernst.

The primary convention of the new diocesan in northern New York was held in Albany, in December of this year. G. W. Ernst, G P. Keese, and J. P. Sill were elected delegates to the same. The sum of $800 was raised in the parish at this time as its contribution towards the endowment of the episcopate in the new diocese of Albany. In 1869, Messrs. Ernst, Keese, and Alfred Clarke were chosen delegates to the diocesan convention. Oct. 31, resolutions of sympathy and respect, on the occasion of the death of Alfred Clarke, were passed by the vestry. During 1870 about $400 were spent in improvements and repairs, including the introduction of gas into the chapel. Messrs. Ernst, Keese, and Sill were chosen delegates to the diocesan convention. In 1871, Messrs. Worthington, Ernst, and Keese were chosen delegates to the diocesan convention. Nov. 23, resolutions were passed on the occasion of the death of Dr. W. A. Comstock. Dr. F. U. Johnson was elected vestryman in place of Dr. Comstock. .

Rev. D. H. Buel resigned the rectorship, to take effect May 1. July 2, Rev. Phillip A. H. Brown, an assistant minister at St. Paul's chapel, Trinity parish, New York, was elected rector. July 17, a legacy of $1000 by the late Theodore Keese was presented to the vestry of the parish by his son, G. Pomeroy Keese; the same was accepted, to be known as the "Keese Fund."

Messrs. Ernst, Keese, and Johnson were chosen delegates to the diocesan convention. In August 1873, resolutions of respect to the memory of Mr. W. H. Averill were adopted. In November, Mr. Edward Clark was elected vestryman in place of Mr. Averill. Dec. 14, resolutions of respect on the death of Judge nelson, warden of the parish, were adopted. Dec. 21, resolutions on the death of Henry Scott, senior warden, were adopted.

In April 1874, the following officers were chosen: G. W. Ernst and J. R. Worthington, wardens; J. P. Sill, Edward Clark, G. P. Keese, C. R. Burch, H. M. Hooker, C. N. Hendryx, and S. W. Nelson, vestrymen. Easter, 1874, a new organ was placed in the church, at a cost of $2500, and a middle aisle and two side aisles in place of the former arrangement. This with other improvements were made at a cost of $500. In September of this year the Rev. Mr. Brown resigned the rectorship, to take effect Oct. 15.

In November, Rev. Brady E. Backus, an assistant minister of St. Peter's church, New York, was called as rector. A silver alms-basin and alter-vases, which had been in use in the parish since Trinity Sunday, were presented to the vestry by Mr. Keese. The same were the gift of non-residents interested in the parish.

In 1875, at the vestry elections, the following officers were chosen: G. W. Ernst and J. R. Worthington, wardens; Edward Clark, A A Jarvis, J. P. Sill, H. M. Hooker, W. T. Bassett, H. Sturges, S. W. Nelson, and C. R. Burch, vestrymen; G. W. Ernst, H. Sturges, and J. R. Worthington, delegates to convention.

Feb. 24, 1876, Rev. B. E. Backus resigned the rectorship. The family of the late Judge Nelson requested permission to erect a memorial tablet in the church to the memory of Judge and Mrs. Nelson. This was soon after placed in the church. In March a call was extended to Rev. John W. Kramer to the rectorship, which was after wards declined. In June a call to the rectorship of the parish was given to the Rev. W. Lord, D. D., late of Vicksburg, Miss. The delegates to the diocesan convention were H. Sturges, G. P. Keese, and Edward Clark.

In 1877 the following officers were elected: G. W. Ernst, and J. R. Worthington, wardens; H. M. Hooker, A. A. Jarvis, E. Clark, H. Sturges, W. T. Bassett, G. P. Keese, D. A. Avery, and F. L. Palmer, vestrymen; H. Sturges, G. P. Keese, and A. A. Jarvis, delegates to the diocesan convention.

In January 1878, resolutions on the death of J. R. Worthington, late warden, were adopted. April 23, the following officers were elected: G. W. Ernst, and H. Sturges, wardens; H. M. Hooker, A. A. Jarvis, W. T. Bassett, G. P. Keese, D. a. Avery, Edward Clark, F. L. Palmer, and J. Worthington, vestrymen.

Easter, 1874, two memorial windows were placed in the transept, by Mrs. W. L. Cater, to the memory of the late W. H. Averill and Mrs. Averill. Easter, 1875, a memorial window was placed in the church to the memory of the late Henry Scott, senior warden. Christmas, 1876, the children of the parish placed a circular window in the tower of the church. Ester, 1878, a memorial window was placed in the church to the memory of the late Jedediah P. Sill. The cost of the windows now in the church has been upwards of $3000.

The church is now in a prosperous condition, and numbers about 175 communicants. (The History of Otsego, NY, by Duane Hamilton Hurd, 1878)

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Transcribed by Holice B. Young

Copyright Debbie Axtman and Holice B. Young

December 24, 1999

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