THE CHURCHES OF ORWELL, PENNSYLVANIA
(Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodist, Federated)
Retyped & Submitted by Diana Moilanen
No Unauthorized Commercial Use May Be Made of This Material
This View of Potterville on the eastern boundary
of Orwell Township, was taken
August 11, 1999 by Joyce M. Tice
The minute book of the session of elders indicates that the church had difficulty with the Presbyterian doctrine of predestination.On February 28, 1830, the elders unanimously passed a confession of faith by striking out the words, “God hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass,” and insert in lieu thereof, “God for his own glory worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”The minutes were signed by C. Frisbie, Clerk.
On March 2, Rebecca Newell was received in the communion of the church by examination.On April 22, several persons were examined with a
Mrs. Pamela Sloate, wife of William was received a member by certificate July 4, 1830.Her son Albert was baptized.On the same day Hampton Champlin and his wife Lucretia (formerly widow Pitcher) were admitted by profession and baptism.Their children, Frances Louisa, and Hampton, were also baptized.The Champlins came from Norwich, Conn.
The Rev. Samuel Henderson commenced preaching at Orwell in April, was installed as pastor in September, 1832 and remained until July 1836.
In May the following became members by examination as to their faith:-Czar Roberts (son of Libbeus), Lucy Ann Roberts, wife of Czar (had children – Alford B., Amanda M., and Mary E.), Patty L. Bostwick; Mrs. Louisa Avery, (dismissed to Rome, March 8, 1857) wife of George; Miss Polly Ann Darling, (5th child of Theron and Sarah Russell Darling, born March 8, 1810, was a milliner, lived with her mother and died 1867); James D. Newell; Miner Taylor, and Ellen Taylor.
James D. Newell married Lycena Grant, had son, Josiah J. Newell, eldest of 5 children, born April 8, 1831, a surveyor and veterinarian, who married first, Charlotte Ellsbree who died in 1857, second Amanda M. Cowles, had 2 children who died in childhood and 2 sons:Henry G., born June 13, 1868, died March 14, 1947; and James W., born December 27, 1869, father of John J. Newell of Cold Brook Harbor, N. Y., who married Gertrude E. Yetter, and has two children”(1) James L. Newell, born December 20, 1936; and (2) Constance J. Newell, born July 6, 1942.
Nathan Payson and his wife were granted a letter of dismissal August 11, 1832 to the church at Warren.
In 1833 the Presbytery recommended that this church lay aside its written constitution and adopt that of the Presbyterian Church in the United States.The matter was deferred for consideration.Mr.Joseph Ellsbree and his wife Mary were granted a certificate of dismissal to the Warren church.
On September 2, 1834, the session voted to give a call to Rev. Mr. Henderson to become pastor for the whole time, and the Rev. Mr. Harris was to be invited to be with the officers Monday, September 15th, for that purpose.He served as pastor till 1836.
In November, Miss Betsey Lovett (married William Nelson Darling (1806-1841) and second, June 12, 1844, Solomon Spalding of Rome; Mrs. Jarvis Buttles (Alma Cowdrey –See Heverly, Patriot and Pioneer Families, Vol. II, P. 269) and Mr. And Mrs. Comfort B. Chaffee were received as members by certificate; also on examination, Elijah Alger, Miss Elizabeth Alger, Eliza Matteson, Ralph Bostwick and his wife Lucy, Elizabeth Cook (daughter of Uri, married Mr. Blook), Lucina Ranny and Adaline Darling, who was Adaline H. Darling, 6th child of Col. Theron and Sarah Russell Darling, born May 28, 1811, married John Beardsley of Warren Township, died August 31, 1879; had two children, Randolph Leet and Sarah Catherine (Mrs. Sydney Pitcher).
On May 3, 1835 Darwin Cook, afterward pastor at Rome; and Lucetta A. Payson (afterward Mrs. Horace Lounsberry) were received on examination.
Darwin Cook, son of Joel and Polly Russell Cook, when twenty-one years of age, about 1836, rode a raft from Owego down the Susquehanna River, then took the new canal and car drawn over the mountains by a cable from a stationary engine out to Pittsburg, to take up land near Bloomington, Indiana.He met a group of ministers traveling by canal to one of the first annual General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church at St. Louis.
This decided him to become a minister.He worked on a farm near Pittsburg to earn his fare back and started in at the newly founded Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.Mrs. Helen C. Mitchell of Millbrook, N.Y., has a diary of this trip.She also has letters written to Darwin by Joel Cook, Jr., his father, and copies of diaries of Darwin Cook when minister at Merryall near Camptown, Pa.Several letters from Joel to Darwin were addressed to Conyngham, Pa., where he was serving as minister.According to Darwin’s diary, he was at Osceola, May 3, 1866, and baptized Miss Alice Kennedy, later the bride of Frank I. Champlin.Under date of April 1, 1869, he wrote, “My birthday, 54 years old.Have baptized 100 since I came here (Merryall), received to membership about 38, and in Herrick as many more, having delivered 366 sermons and addresses, in eleven years and prepared for college 13 young men”, including Milton L. Cook.In 1865 Darwin wrote that Milton “goes to Towanda (to the Susquehanna Collegiate Institute) with provisions for the boys, apples, potatoes, meat.God take care of the children, preserve them from vice, make them useful, happy, pious, industrious.”In January next, Darwin took 20 pies and 14 loaves of bread, etc. for them.
On August 1, 1835, Ruby Goodwin, (who became the wife of Dennis R. Darling, son of Theron) joined on examination and also John Vought and his wife Mervil, who later became charter members at Rome.The Voughts were baptized August 2, 1835.Other Baptisms were: - June 29, 1834, Infant child of C. B. Chaffee; August 10, 1834, Ann Matilda, child of J. D. Newell; Wilber Erskine, child of L. Frisbie, Jr.; William Lawson, child of Zebulon Frisbie; Sylvester Cook, child of J. Potter; June 7, 1835, William Grant, child of M. Taylor; June 14, 1835, Rachel Ann, child of Johnson Cowles’ September 13, 1835, Charlotte, child of S. Matthews.
At a meeting of the session held December 14, 1836, with the following present:Rev. Isaac Todd, moderator, Elders Uri Cook, Theron Darling, Potter and Frisbie, examination was made of Nelson Fletcher, who was admitted a member of the church.The name of Mrs. Jane Snath is in the roll of members preceding that of Nelson Fletcher.Mr. Todd served as stated supply for three fourths of his time from October 1836 to November, 1838.
In 1837 upon a complaint by Samuel Matthews against Josiah W. Grant for malicious slander, the session summoned Mr. Grant to answer the complaint.At a meeting of the session a month later he confessed that he was guilty of charges brought against him and professed to be penitent and asked forgiveness.The session being satisfied voted to proceed no further with the case.He was suspended July 10, on a charge on which he did not appear for defense.
Aaron G. Matthews was admitted a member by examination, together with Miss Sophia Patience Alger, April 4th.Mrs. Lorena Green “expressed a desire to place herself under the watch and care of this church and was received.”Later on August 7th, she and her husband, Daniel Green, who was baptized on that date, were received into full communion.Their children, Mary Ann Fitch, Catherine Lorena, and Zipporah Orilla, were baptized October 8, 1837 by the Rev. Mr. Todd.Miss Emily Almira Humphrey (daughter of Dr. Dudley Humphrey) joined also on August 7th.At this time, George Todd, infant child of Samuel and Betsy Matthews was baptized.
Susan, infant child of Benjamin and Betsey Lyon was baptized August 10, 1937.
William Ellis, infant child of Hampton and Lucretia Champlin was baptized September 30th.
Mrs. Betsy Blanding Lyon was received a member by letter from the Congregational Church of Attleborough, Mass., and Mr. And Mrs. Wareham Curtiss from the Plymouth, Conn., Congregational Church.
Miss Loana Frances Payson being present December 6, 1837 expressed a desire to unite with the church.After examination it was voted that she stand propounded to be received on Sunday, the 17th.Mr. Henry W. Hine and May, his wife were received on certificate from the Presbyterian Church of Middletown.On the 17th Miss Payson came forward and assented to the articles and was received in full communion as a member of this church.(Born Dec 25, 1818, she died August 27, 1853.)
Mr. Edward C. Bull and Cynthia (Chubbuck) Bull, were received on certificate from the Congregational Church of Plymouth, Conn. on April 12, 1838.
On May 28th, Chauncey Montgomery, infant child of Zebulon and Polly Frisbie was baptized by Mr. Todd, and also Solomon Artheton and Jerome Comfort, children of Comfort B. and Theodocia Chaffee.On July 3, 1838, James Edwin, infant child of Henry W. and Mary Hine was baptized by Mr. Todd.
On February 15, 1839, Mrs. Julia Seely, wife of Joseph, was received by letter from the Congregational Church in Vergil, N. Y.
On April 29th, Samuel Lyon and his wife Asentha, became members by examination, and had their children, Samuel and Carolin baptized by Rev. John Mole.Also baptized were Miles Isaac, child of E. C. Bull; Laura Pamelia, child of Levi Frisbie, Jr., and William child of A. G. Mathews.
Children baptized by Rev. C. C. Corss were : - Eliza Maria, infant daughter of A. Frisbie, March 8, 1840; Hannah, daughter of Benj. Lyon, April 5, 1840; Mary, daughter of C. B. Chaffee, May 3, 1840; Zenas Uri, son of A. G. Mathews, Helen Minerva, daughter of E. C. Bull; Sarah Catharine, daughter of John Beardsley, September 20, 1840.
The Rev. Charles C. Corss, residing at Athens, Pa., supplied the pulpit every fourth Sabbath from December, 1838 to January, 1841.He was the author of the book “Susquehanna Presbytery”.James D. Humphrey became a member by examination July 28, 1839, and on April 4, 1839, Benjamin Lyon, William Darling, Mrs. Champlin, Cerinda Cook (died young) and Fanny Cook (daughter of Uri, married Potter) were admitted on examination.On June 7th, Joseph Seely was received as a member, and Mr. And Mrs. Wareham Curtiss were voted a letter to Candor, N. Y.Under date of September 19, 1840, Mrs. Salome Humphrey asked for a letter of admission to the church of Pike, and her request was granted.
Mr. Wyllys Brownson was given a letter to the church in Towanda June 16, 1841, the Rev. John Mole (also spelled Moule) serving as moderator of the session and stated supply from May 1841 to May 1843.
At a meeting of the church held July 10, 1841 Elder Cook expressed the desire to resign from the duties of elder on account of impaired health.James D. Humphrey was elected in his place.Theron Darling also asked to be relieved of his duties on account of his age and infirmities.Levi Frisbie, Jr., was elected in his stead.Samuel Matthews was elected an additional elder, and Edward C. Bull, deacon.The elders were ordained July 17, when Ira Bronson and his wife Laura and their daughter, Laura E., were received members by letter from the Congregational Church in Burlington, Conn.
The Rev. Mr. Mole baptized the following children:Joseph Austin, son of Levi and Chloe Frisbie, June 27, 1841; Grazilla, child of Willys and Laura Bronson, July 18, 1841; Lydia Ann, daughter of Hampton and L. Champlin, July 18, 1841; Olivia Louisa, daughter of A. G. Matthews, November 14, 1841; Georgiana, daughter of Rev. J. and M. Mole, November 25, 1841; William Henry, son of D. and R. Darling, and Polly Ann, daughter of P. A. Darling, January 16, 1842; Charles Edward and Henry Julian, sons of Miner Taylor, March 19, 1842; Margaret St. Leon and Ellen Elizabeth, daughters of J. D. Newell, March 25, 1842; Henrietta Mole (daughter of Rev. John Mole) was baptized by Rev. Mr. Huntling in June, 1843.
Under date of February 26, 1842 the session met and received by examination into the communion of the church the following:Christopher Avery, Isaiah Potter, Alonzo Potter, Asabel Woodford, Lyman H. Bronson, Zeri Cook, Theophilus Humphrey, William Cowles (son of John), Polly W. Cowles (formerly Mary Woodruff Russell, married William Cowles), mary Jane Darling, Cynthia Ann Bronson, Emiline Potter, William Cowles, Asabel Woodford, Polly W. Cowles, and Mary Jane Darling accepted baptism.
Of this number, Theophilus Humphrey, born Feb 6, 1823 in Orwell, was the youngest son of Dr. Dudley Humphrey, married there July 4, 1843 a little over a year after joining the church, Cynthia Ann Bronson, who was born January 10, 1821, daughter of Dr. Samuel S. and Ursula (Humphrey) Bronson.In 1862 he became a Lieutenant-Colonel of a regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers, and came out of the war without loss of limb.He engaged in business in the Pennsylvania oil industry and lived at Reno, Pa.He later received a pension.His son, Welling Eugene, died from drowning at Walnut Pond, Pa., at the age of 16 years.Theophilus Humphrey retired to a veteran’s home in Topeka, Kansas.At his death, his nephew George Frisbie, son of Hanson, formerly of Orwell, and living nearby gave him kindly attention and furnished burial in the plot of George Frisbie.
In November 1842, Mrs. Lucina (Ranny) Middleton was given a letter to the Wysox Church, and Isaiah Potter was voted one to the Presbyterian Church of Cincinnatis, N. Y.
The Rev. Nanie Bogardus was stated supply in connection with Pike (LeRaysville) from July 1843 to July, 1844.He ordained as deacon, James D. Humphrey (1813-1865).
In a letter dated October 29, 1843, now owned by Mrs. Genevieve Cowles Smith, written by Joel Cook, Jr., to his daughter Mary, then teaching in Stewartsville, Warren County, New Jersey, it is stated the Rev. Mr. Bogardus preached that afternoon (Sunday) on the text, “Except ye have the Spirit of Christ, ye are none of His.”“It was one of the most powerful sermons
I have heard from him and I am told the Discourse drew tears from old Esquire Darling.The Communion (was announced) next Sunday in Pike (LeRaysville) in two weeks here.”
The letter continues, “Mr. Cook sings here this winter sixteen evenings for twenty dollars.I mean to give the boys all the chances I can to learn.”
“Mr. Cook was here and gave them a night last week and meets them tonight again.He is going to sing in Warren and wishes to sing here and in Pike.He told me today that if he taught here this winter they would have a better choir than they have in Warren.Candace, Ralph, Philip and Seth’s Dog have gone tonight.Seth has worked about three weeks for Pitcher.”
Philip became a minister and chaplain in the Civil War, afterward a physician in Kingston, Pa.Others of the family were:Darwin, Presbyterian minister; Cyrus, prominent farmer, married Caroline Ellsworth; Seth, married Miss E. C. Peneleton, lived on Cook homestead; Joseph, and his wife, became Presbyterian members.Ralph died at age of 20 years, Joel died May 13, 1886.
On January 7, 1844 Mrs. Mariame Mole, wife of the minister, was given a letter to the church in Sing Sing, N. Y.they had two children whose baptisms are recorded at Orwell;Georgiana, November 25, 1841; and Henrietta, June, 1843.Mr. Samuel N. Bronson was received a member on examination March 2, 1844.the Rev. Mr. Bogardus baptized three children:Ira Bronson, son of J. D. Humphrey, September 17, 1843; Ruby Hannah, daughter of Zebulon and Polly Frisbie, October 1, 1843; Phebe Amelia, daughter of A. G. and Sally Mathews, October 1, 1843.
The Rev. William Huntting (or Huntling) served as stated supply from September 1, 1844 to 1849.
Miss Candace R. Alger and Miss Lucy D. Alger applied on October 5, 1844 for admission and were accordingly examined and received as members.Lydia Abigail, child of Leonard and Sophia Alger, was baptized October 6, 1844 by Mr. Huntting.
Ten days later a committee made up of L. Frisbie and J. D. Humphrey reported they had examined the church roll and found the following persons apparently removed from the bounds of the Orwell Church without receiving letters of dismission:Ralph Bostwick, Lucy Bostwick, Patty L. Bostwick, Adeline Darling, Nelson Fletcher, Lorene Green, Milton Humphrey, Alvin Humphrey, Elizabeth Humphrey, Lucius T. Humphrey, Diana Humphrey, Parmela Sloate, Rebecca Tompkins and Betsy Wade.It was voted to ask them if they would transfer their membership to their places of residence.Later a letter was received from Mrs. Wade saying she was a member of the Congregational Church of Fort Atkinson, Jefferson County, Wisconsin.Margaret Ellen, child of Miner Taylor was baptized January 4, 1845.Mrs. Olive Blanding was examined and accepted as a member February 20; she was baptized in April.
At the date of Mrs. Wade’s letter was reported, March 19, 1845, four persons were accepted by examination for membership; Mrs. Maria Matteson, Miss Phoebe M. Frisbie, Mr. Hanson Z. Frisbie, and Mr. Elizur Potter.On April 5, Miss Mary Cook (daughter of Joel, Jr.) was received from the church in Greenwich, N. Y.
Mrs. Maria Matteson was Sally Maria Alger before her marriage to Thomas Jefferson Matteson, and daughter of Elijah and Martha (Kennedy) Alger who came from Ellington, Conn.She was the grandmother of Mrs. George Manchester and Mrs. Earl Farrar of Orwell.
Phebe M. Frisbie and Hanson Z. Frisbie were children of Chauncey and Chloe (Howard) Frisbie.Elizur Potter became the first postmaster of Potterville, 1852.He was teaching school in 1839.
Mrs. Louisa Bliss was dismissed to the church in Troy, August 31, 1845.
Mr. Eliab M. Farrar and wife, Emily A. Farrar, were received by certificate from the Congregational Church in Harford, Pa.She was born a Humphrey September 4, 1819, the daughter of Dr. Dudley Humphrey.Eliab and Emily Farrar had six children:(1) ElizaAlmira, born July 11, 1841 at Gibson, Pa., married January 28, 1863, Zenas Matthews, a fruit grower, Hammond, N. J.; (2) CarrieStanley, born November 7, 1843, Franklin, Pa., married June 6, 1866 at Orwell, William Bolter Purdy, a naval veteran of the Civil War, had children:Charles Humphrey, Wilfred Bolter, and Mary Emily Purdy; (3) GeorgeChauncey, born March 26, 1845, Orwell, lived at Upper Lehigh, Luzerne Co., Pa. In 1884, had children:Robert Farrar, Dudley Humphrey, Kate Farrar; (4) Dudley Humphrey, born September 28, 1849, is said to have fallen out of bed and broken his back, died August 28, 1852; (5) Frederick Humphrey, born March 13, 1853, Towanda, married in September, 1880, at London, Louie Marie Hodgson, lived in 1884 at Cheyenne, Wyoming had children:Bertram P., and Lillian L. Farrar; (6) Charles Sumner, born February 11, 1857, at Towanda, lived unmarried in 1884 at Denver, Colorado.Mrs. Emily Humphrey Farrar died August 14, 1868 at Orwell.
“After a long and painful illness, she passed away, having furnished a bright illustration of true Christianity.She trusted implicitly in the satisfaction of Christ for justification in the sight of God, and in union with this, she endeavored to live holy…The graces of meekness and patience shown brightly in all her sufferings…”
Eliab M. Farrar married, second, Charlotte Howe, daughter of Earl and Lulienne (Dennison) Howe, and had two children who grew to maturity:Reverend William Henry Farrar, and Earl H. Farrar.
Orrin Goodwin, son of Zebulon Frisbie, was baptized October 4, 1845; Also, Arthur Dudley, son of Alonzo Potter.On October 5th, Julia Celestia, child of Joseph Seely, was baptized.(See author’s History ofPresbyterian Church, Rome, Pa., Page 47)
Laura W. Cook presented herself as a candidate for church membership December 23, 1845, and was accepted.She was a daughter of Uri Cook. Mrs. Betsy Spalding (formerly Betsey Lovet) was dismissed to the new church
at Rome, organized in 1844, where her husband Solomon was a charter member.Mr. Henry W. Hine and his wife were given a letter of dismission to Rome, April 7, 1846.The minutes record that monthly collections were being taken “for foreign and domestic missions.”The Presbytery met that year, August 26th at the Warren church.
On April 4, 1846, Phema Serinda, child of A. G. Matthews was baptized; on June 27, 1846, Charles Dudley, child of J. D. Humphrey; Peter Thatcher, Olive, Bethia, Elizabeth, children of Thomas Blanding, were baptized.
On September 22, 1846 Major B. Darling, Perintha Payson (first wife of John W.) and Lucetta M. Matthews (daughter of Samuel) were accepted as members.Mrs. Mary Gredly was received October 3rd, and was dismissed to Oneida Castle November 19, 1848.On October 10, 1846 note was made of the death of Samuel Matthews in his 51st year, an elder ordained July 17, 1841 and a member since May 2, 1830.He was grandfather of Mrs. Newell G. Corbin of Potterville, R. D. 1, Rome, Pa.
Cynthia Avery, Anne E. Potter, and Phebe Ann Sutliff united with the church March 18, 1847.The latter was baptized April 4, 1847.On April 3, 1847, Adelia Ursala, Cynthia Ann, children of J. W. and P. Payson; Frank Howard, child of H. Z. Frisbie; George Chauncey, child of E. M. Farrar, were all baptized.
The minutes of the session were approved in Presbytery at Orwell, September 1st, 1847, Samuel F. Colt, Reverend Moderator.
Chloe Catharine Frisbie became a member January 1, 1848.She was the daughter of Levie Frisbie, Jr. and his wife Chloe Chubbuck, and was baptized as an infant December 7, 1830.She married Stewart Line.
Elder Chauncey Frisbie requested January 17, 1848 that he be permitted to cease acting as a ruling elder.His request was granted and Nathan Payson, Aaron G. Matthews and James d. Newell were elected.They were ordained March 26th.Elder James D. Humphrey was elected clerk of the session.