Many of the early settlers in Catlin Hollow originated from Chenango County in New York State including the Catlin Family, and evidently possessed their Christian faith via a Methodist heritage for as early as 1850. A number of people conducted Methodist services with the help of the Methodist minister from the Wellsboro church. This Methodist group prospered and increased until they felt the need for a church. Until 1854 they continued to meet together sometimes in their homes and more often in the schoolhouse. At the same time period a Baptist group organized and began to hold meetings in Catlin Hollow. In this important year of 1854 these two Christian groups cooperated together in the establishment of a Union Church because the original document of incorporation filed in record book # 25, page 144 at the Court House in Wellsboro bears these words: The subscribers feeling the importance of erecting a suitable building or house for the worship of Almighty God in Catlin Hollow, in Charleston Township, Tioga County, Pa, near the school house and the line between L. Potter and Dexter Catlin, are desirous of obtaining a charter of incorporation under the following articles:
Article I: This house shall be called by the name of The Methodist and Baptist Union House for the use of Methodist and Baptist Churches.
Article II: The house shall be built by joint stock of $10.00 per share, to be transferred at pleasure by the owners there of and each share holder having the right to cast as many votes for officers or any other business as they hold shares.
Article III: The Methodist Church shall have the right to occupy said house half the Sabbath each week, and the Baptist Church shall have the right to occupy said house half the Sabbath each week, the one society occupying the hose in the forenoon of the Savant and the other congregation occupying it in the forenoon of the next Sabbath, and so on alternately.
Article IV: Referred to the church meetings.
Article V: The stockholders shall hold an annual meeting on the first Monday in January for the purpose of electing officers for the ensuing year. The officers for the year 1854 shall be:
President: Henry Baily
Secretary: Dexter Catlin
Treasure: Edward McInroy
Wardens: Cyrus Catlin
Names signed to this indenture are:
Cyrus Catlin, Henry Markham, William Borden, John Vancise, Nelson Catlin, Ezra Swope, Edward McInroy, Charles Austin, Levi Davis, Joel Catlin, Henry Bailey, Samuel Catlin, Dexter Catlin, E. M. Brown, and William Dewey.
We have in our possession as part of the records of the Catlin Hollow Church a Trustees record of all these annual meetings from 1854 thru 1890.
In the year of 1855 the trustees of this new organization purchased a lot from Cyrus and Maria Catlin for the sum of $25.00 upon which they proceeded to build a church. This deed was recorded in Book #25, page 583 on the 5th day of November 1855.
According to the record book which we have, the union house or church was built in the year of 1854 or 1855 for the trustees meeting was held in the schoolhouse on January 6, 1855, but on January 7, 1856 "The Trustees and Stockholders of the Union House in Catlin Hollow was called and held at the same house". The minutes of a meeting in January or February (it is hard to determine) 1855 show that the pews were sold to the families of the church. We wondered why each family bought two pews but that is explained when we discover that the men sat on the north side of the house and the women on the south side. As far as we can determine the church that was built in 1855 is the same church, which stands today.
In the year 1881, on the 14th day of May, a charter of incorporation was granted to The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Catlin Hollow and the names signed to the petition are: G. L. Borden, Lorenzo Catlin, Joshua Rouse, W. L. Sasxbury, William Fisk and Rosel Gile. We have the original document dated May 1891 in which the Baptist members relinquished all their rights, shares, and interests in the Union House of Worship. C. N. Austin witnessed the signatures of these Baptist members. In the same year of 1891, the members of the Methodist Society filed an indenture in Tioga County Court in Wellsboro for Articles of Association, which was recorded July 1, 1891 in Record Book #93, page 389. On the 18th day of July the trustees of the Methodist and Baptist Union House deeded to the Catlin Hollow Methodist Episcopal Church the lot of land, the church building and the church sheds for the sum of $50.00.
Rev. A. W. Decker was the minister during this period and with his help and the support given by members of the congregation, the church was greatly changed and many improvements were made. Nathan Austin supervised the carpenter work and did much of it himself. He and Floyd Erway replaced the low ceiling of the church with the beautiful woodwork, which is the ceiling of the church today. Mrs. Nathan Austin was president of the Ladies Aid while this work was being done. During the rebuilding of the church, a New England supper was held at the church. The new addition of a Sunday school room was added and new pews purchased. These pews are the pews, which still are in use today. In the year of 1892 the people held a rededication service and enjoyed the religious festival of singing and preaching and testifying.
The Catlin Hollow church shared their minister with other churches and during their history; they have been part of the Wellsboro Charge, The East Charleston Charge and the Whitneyville Charge. In the year 1935 while Rev. Clifton Swearingen was pastor to the Whitneyville Charge, they observed their 81st anniversary with a three-day festival on August 30, 31 and September 1. It was while Rev. Swearingen ministered to the Whitneyville Charge that the Rountop and Coolidge Hollow Churches became part of this Parish.
In the year 1950, during the spring months, the men of the community met together and painted the church buildings. It was a well-known fact that none of the men wanted the job of painting the bell tower, but Burt Goodwin finally volunteered to do the painting. The men also prepared the church lawn for landscaping with shrubs and trees. In May, with the help of the Tioga County Agricultural Extension Service, we held a planting demonstration at the church and set out shrubs and trees, which beautify the property today. In 1953, the interior of the church, including sidewalls and floor, pews were redecorated and the church stands ready to be rededicated again in 1954 at its Centennial for the worship and service that can be rendered to God.
Since 1953, the Catlin Hollow Methodist Church has been a part of a cooperative Parish with five other churches and employs the services of two ministers – Rev. Marion C. Finch and Rev. Marlowe Potter. Rev. Finch has been the minister for the last nine years.
This church today is still an active church. We have a fine Sunday school with Kenneth Spencer as Superintendent with classes for all age groups. We have a Women’s Society of Christian Service with Mrs. Margaret Kimball as President. We have an active Youth Fellowship with Kathy Goodwin as President. The Official Board is well organized and meets quarterly. The church has been able to meet its expenses and is completely free from any debt or encumbrances. This year the church sponsored an every member canvas and the expenses of the church and its ministry is met with the offerings, which the people offer as an act of worship to Almighty God.
So a hundred years has transpired and today we meet to observe a hundred years of progress and service of a church to a community. We become a part of that which goes before us, and a part of that which follows after us. Let us remember the words found in the 11th Chapter of Hebrews: "God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect".
Active Members of Catlin Hollow Methodist Church September 5, 1954:
|Dwight Austin||Mary Ely||Mary Meadows Grant|
|Floyd Austin||Daisy Ely||Robert Mattison|
|Harold Austin||Addie Ely||Nate Niles|
|Gladys Austin||Charles Ely||Edna Niles|
|Dorothy Austin||Waunita Ely||George Paris|
|Clara Austin||Edna Fuller||Mrs. George Paris|
|Mrs. Loren Bell||Floyd Goodwin||Sybil Reese|
|William Compton||Delilah Goodwin||Beverly Stafford|
|Myrtle Compton||Burt Goodwin||Fred Smith|
|Truman Compton||Ethlyn Goodwin||Emily Spencer|
|Verna Compton||Dora Gilliland||Kenneth Spencer|
|Fred Compton||Edytha Keeney||Barbara Spencer|
|Irwin Clark||Margaret Kimball||Catherine Wilcox|
|Elwin Ely||Doris Lyons||James Wilson|
|Agnes Ely||James Meckes|
Members of the Official Board
Trustees: Nate Niles, Burt Goodwin, and Kenneth Spencer
Commission of Education: Fred Smith, Ethlyn Goodwin, and Edna Fuller
Commission on Membership and Evangelism: Fred Smith, Ethlyn Goodwin, Margaret
Kimball, Edytha Kenney
Commission of Missions: Margaret Kimball, Jimy Wilson, Edna Niles and Catherine
Commission on Finance: Edytha Kenney, Burt Goodwin, Ethlyn Goodwin, Floyd
Goodwin, Delilah Goodwin, Edna Fuller, Nate Niles, Margaret Kimball, Jimmy
Wilson, Kenneth Spencer, and Dwight Austin
Church Treasurer: Edytha Kenney
Ministers of the Catlin Hollow Methodist Church:
Little knowledge is available about the early ministry of the Catlin
Hollow Church. We do know that for a time prior to 1860 that the minister
from the Wellsboro Methodist Church officiated. R. I. Stillwell was the
minister assigned to the East Charleston Charge in 1861 and since Catlin
Hollow Church became a part of that charge in 1860 it could be supposed
that he was the minister at Catlin Hollow also. No one remembers that name,
but some people do remember a minister named Howe how followed Rev. Stillwell.
These are the names of the ministers:
|1861 – R. L. Stillwell||1902 – E. A. Anderson|
|1862 – L. F. Howe||1907 – J. E. Tallent|
|1863 – J. Shaw||1910 – E. W. Collins|
|1864 – C. Weeks||1913 – Joseph Clark|
|1867 – W. Statham||1914 – A. V. Wright|
|1871 – G. S. Transue||1917 – F. P. Simmons|
|1874 – H. C., Moyer||1919 – W. E. Wells|
|1875 – G. W. Howland||1920 – G. W. Doane|
|1877 – J. Y. Lowell||1925 – G. J. Porter|
|1878 – M. S. Kymer||1926 – J. A. Robinson|
|1881 – C. N. Patterson||1931 – C. E. Swearingen|
|1881 – F. D. Goodrich||1938 – H. E. Blish|
|1883 – G. W. Howland||1940 – Roland Osgood|
|1885 – A. G. Cole||1942 – Paul S. Miller|
|1887 - H. J. Owen||1945 – Harold Sherman|
|1889 – A. W. Becker||1946 – Marion C. Finch|
|1892 – F. A. Peterson|
|1896 – W. L. Clough|
|1899 – David White|
This information was taken from the bulletin that was passed out to the congregation at the Centennial Service in September 1954. Our family has very special memories of our church. Sunday School and Church each Sunday, where Mother, (Ethlyn Goodwin) played the piano each Sunday. The special community events that were held at the church, ice cream socials, Easter Sunrise Services, Christmas Exercises, with a visit from Santa Claus, one time played by Daddy, (Burt Goodwin). Santa always gave each person a box of hard candy with one cherished chocolate drop in the top. That candy was savored all winter long, with a few pieces being saved, just in case someone caught cold and had a cough, a piece of hard candy was just what was needed. I also remember that we did not have indoor plumbing at the church, so it was a trip to the outhouse if need be. My parents had donated the outhouse, as we did have indoor plumbing.
I was the last person to be married in the Catlin Hollow church in 1960 and the church was officially closed several years after that. Our family all started attending the Lutheran Church in Wellsboro. Gone were the community outings. A piece of history gone, but not forgotten.
By Kathy E. Kyte