Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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North Church, Wells Township, Bradford County PA
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Transcribed and submitted by J. Kelsey Jones
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The North Church of Wells

 at State Line, Wells Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania

Church Organization and Membership 1836-1876

 The North Church of Wells was constituted at the State Line, November 22, 1836, by Rev. John Frost of Elmira and Rev. Egbert Roosa of Wells, and consisted of the following twelve persons: Philip, George, Mary Ann, and Catharine Bartholomew; David M., Nathan, and Sylvia Sayre; Catharine and Elizabeth Ann Roosa; Jerusha Tillinghast, Ann Humphrey, and Mary Wilson. Philip Bartholomew and David M. Sayre were chosen and ordained Elders. Besides the above 12, there have been 108 members enrolled, viz: Joanna, Lydia, Robert and Joseph Roy, William and Jane Shepard, Lois and Martha Frost, Polly and Elizabeth Bartholomew, Partial Mapes, Margaret and Albert Seeley, Hannah and Rebecca Miller, Ziba and Syrena Bisby, Sophronia Merrill, Polly and Lydia Ann Jackson, Walter and Mary Dickson, Julia K. and Julia Lewis, Seth M., Sarah, Alanson A. and Kate White, David P. and Augustus P. Roosa, Garret, Mary, Lovina, Theodore, Elizabeth, William and Daniel Compton, George M. Humphrey, Martha Ann, Sarah and Patience Kinner, Joel Harvey and Emily G. Jones, Samuel W. and Electa Deming, William and Jane E. Atherton, Thomas, Ruth, and Richard J. Owen, Warren S. Barrett, F. S. and Margaret Rhoades, Orr, Huldah A., Sarah, Nathaniel, Grace A., Frances B. and Sophia Smith, George and Eleanor Buchanan, Elvira G. Baker, Henry B., and Sarah Ann Knapp, Elizabeth Casseda, Eleanor and Ann Kelly, Sarah Credit, Tamar Jane Haynes, Mary Evans, Mary Cleveland, Maria and Charles Tillinghast, Huldah VanHouton, Henry Hillficker, Henry B. Benedict, Festus A. jnr. and Sarah I. Webb, Elias C., Harriet and William N. Sayre, Catharine Hoffman, John and Clarissa E. Roberts, Wright and Bithiah Dunham, George B., Sarah and Clarissa Wilson, Shadrach, Aurelia and Huldah A. Thompson, John and Maria Wells, Mary Ann Copley, Aaron, Eliza and Ann Maria Pidcock, Amy Burley, Sarah Johnson, Jacob Weaver, and David Meeker.

Rev. Egbert Roosa ministered here (and at Wells and Columbia) from 1836-1840 and frequently afterwards. He was not considered a great preacher; but was a polite, devoted active energetic servant of the Master; a descendent of the Huguenots and afterward worked himself to death as a Colporteur.

Rev. Henry Ford supplied this society (in connection with Wells and Columbia) from 1842 to 1844. Father Ford did not possess great oratorical powers; but he was a very instructive sermonizer, and a laborious pastor; while his daily life corresponded with his profession and ranked him among the most excellent on earth. He spent his last years as a Colporteur, in the service of the American Tract Society.

Rev. Joseph L. Riggs was stated supply from 1845 to 1854 (part of the time including Wells and Columbia). His health utterly failed, and he retired from active service to Elmira, where he waited, in the patience of hope, the higher call of the Master. He was a good man, and ready to the extent of his ability for every good work. A small but convenient House of Worship was completed during the first year of his ministry here. The membership when he came was but 34, and increased to 64 when he left. He was longer on the ground than any other minister, and also appeared to be more sucessful. We notice that the Society raised in 1847, $8.39 for the monthly tract distribution, and $9.27 for American Messengers. Br. Riggs died at Elmira, N. Y. August 20, 1865, at the age of 55.

 Rev. Isaac Adams supplied this church from 1856 to 1860; at which time the membership was 47. Mr. Adams was a rather feeble man, and the last regular stated supply. He Honorably retired from the pulpit, and died in Norwich N. Y., Nov 23, 1876, in his 75th year.

 The Ruling Elders have been Philip Bartholomew, from 1836 to 1849; David M. Sayre, from 1836 to the present time; Partial Mapes from 1837 to 1869; Garret Compton, from 1845 to 1854; Dr. F. S. Rhoades, from 1845 to 1851; William R. Shepherd, from 1845 to 1856. Indeed although his residence is elsewhere, his name is still here.

 This church has had a great variety of light and shade, hope and fear, joy and sorrow. Its greatest source of grief arose in consequence of intoxicating liquors. Therefore, in 1851, the Church resolved that candidates for admission, be hereafter required to give their assent to a thorough going Temperance Pledge.

Rev. Joel Jewell, and other Presbyterian ministers of the Wells & Columbia church, have occasionally had appointments here, but without any marked effect for the better.

 It is impossible to know what the providence of God may have in store for this people; but at present the prospect is unfavorable. The last Report gives but five resident members, consisting chiefly of the aged Deacon Sayre, "and the church in his house."


  1. Jewell, Rev. Joel. History of the Presbyterian Church of Wells, The
North Church of Wells, the Presbyterian Church of Wells and Columbia, the Presbyterian Church of Columbia Crossroads, the Presbyterian Church of Sylvania. 1876. Manuscript in possession of Presbyterian Historical Society.

Note - The North Church of Wells (Presbyterian) was situated at the state line in Wells township on the west side of the main road (now Route 328) next to the state line and next to the State Line Hotel (which later became a grange, which is still preserved and which is situated on the New York side of the state line). When the house of worship was built is unclear, but certainly before 1858 when it appears on a map of that date. The church building was removed from the state line very late in the year of 1869 about two miles south to the Village of Wells (now Mosherville) for the use of all evangelical worshippers where the original portion of this church is still preserved (1997) with additions and alterations. The church membership did not all transfer to Mosherville, became greatly reduced in numbers and held service in the home of David M. Sayre.

J. Kelsey Jones


This article submitted by and printed with permission of J. Kelsey Jones .
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 23 NOV 1997
By Joyce M. Tice

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