A HISTORY OF THE

Reformed Church of Fonda, N. Y.

BEGINNING WITH THE OLD CAUGHNAWAGA CHURCH,

BY

LILLIAN DOCKSTADER VAN DUSEN.

PUBLISHED BY THE LADIES AID SOCIETY 1925




Great ConsistoryActing Consistory
Douw A. FondaGeorge H. Dockstader
Aaron WempleHenry H. Dockstader
John VeederSimon I. Veeder
Jacob F. DockstaderMyndert D. Wemple
Adam ZielyJohn Campbell
Philip P. GraffHenry Spanenburgh
Ephraim WempleWilliam T. Sammons

Building Committee.
Rev. Andrew Yates, Chairman
Peter H. FondaJesse D. DeGraff
Jacob V. A. WempleJohn J. Davis

The church faced the railroad, and was enclosed by a fence. The pulpit was in front of the church and the choir in the rear. A gallery ran around the entire room to which one ascended by stairs from the entrance. The building was heated by means of hugh box stoves at each side, whose pipes extended the whole length of the room to the chimney. As the stoves were in the end of the room near the Dominie, it was rather hot and uncomfortable for him, and for those in the front pews, but cold for the rest of the congregation, especially the floor. Later the stoves were removed to the halls. It is said that the wood was not always prepared for the fires before it was needed, and that there being no place to keep it stored, it was often brought into the hall of the church and there the cord wood lengths were sawed in two for the stoves. The pews faced the entrance, and the people coming into church had to face the congregation until they reached their own pew, which was said to be rather a trying and embarrasing (sic) ordeal. The pews had doors, kept shut by means of a small wooden button, except that of Mr. Borst (the same gentleman who sold the land for the church), who kept his pew locked, and woe be unto the individual who happened to enter his pew.

Over the entrance hall was a long narrow room where the prayer meetings were held and the consistory met. In the pulpit was the same beautiful mahogany davenport that graces our pulpit today, used then as a seat for the minister, instead of the chairs used today.

The church had a belfry but no bell, so the sexton went to the Court House and rang the bell there to call the congregation to worship.

The new church was dedicated during the latter part of October, 1843, but no account of this has been preserved. It was resolved at this time to have services in the new church in the morning and in the old Caughnawaga church in the afternoon, as long as it was comfortable and owned by the congregation and a suitable audience attended. The Sheriff's deed of the property had not yet been given.

Rev. Douw Van O Linda was the first pastor. He was said to be a man of great ability, fine personal appearance and genial manners. In the pulpit he was noted for gracefulness and ease of manner, elegance of diction and eloquence of thought. The time of the Sheriff's Certificate of sale of the old church had now expired and as the congregation did not redeem the property, Rev. Jacob Fonda, who had taken it for the debt the congregation owed him, sold and assigned his rights to Rev. Douw Van O Linda. The last services in the church were held during the summer of 1844. The latter part of that year, Rev. Van O Linda converted the building into an academy, with Jacob A. Hardenburgh, a graduate of Rutgers, as principal. The consistory of the church agreed to leave the bell for the use of the academy, which, although beginning with flattering prospects, became a failure, through lack of support.

Soon after this, the interior of the building was again altered to become a dwelling by Van O Linda, and his son, Henry, married Virginia Haggert and went housekeeping in the old church. So, instead of the psalms of the Sabbath resounding within its walls, there was the buzz and hum of a busy household.

The last days of the old church are indeed sad. The property was sold in 1861 to Henry Veeder, he being then rather advanced in years and in poor health. The roof of the church was in need of repairs, or a new one, and this seemed so great a task to him that rather than undertake it, he decided to have the building torn down. When this became known it caused great consternation and much discussion. People went to see him, trying to persuade him to leave the old church standing, but he would pay no attention even to his best friends. Even Governor Seymour of New York state offered a large sum of money for the property, but this was refused, Veeder saying that it was his property and that he would do with it as he pleased. Strength of mind is a wonderful trait of character when rightly used, but in this instance it seemed a sacrilege. The church of his fathers, the feelings of others, the pleas and prayers of his friends - all were sacrificed to his stubborn pride. Even though it was his property by purchase, it belonged to the community by something more than purchase, and his act of tearing it down is an unforgivable one.

It is said that the building was so firmly built that it was almost impossible to tear the stones apart. The disposal of the stones is a much debated subject. The wall in front of the Banker property is built from some of them, and several cellar walls in the village. Mr. J. A. George remembers drawing some of them for the cellar of his father, the late Augustus L. George, now the property of James Bump.

The bell of the old church was sold to Daniel Shull of Stone Arabia, who used it for a dinner bell, and it thus began its old task of calling the hungry. In spite of much urging and many offers Mr. Shull refused to either sell the bell or give it to any one. Finally it passed through a fire and the fragments have been used toward the making of the memorial tablet to the members of the County Historical Society who had a part in the World War.

Thus there disappeared an old land mark of the past, the building in which for eighty years God's children had worshiped (sic), which by a faithful people and a still more faithful God had been preserved (in) times of severest trial; where prayers and praises had commingled at a common alter (sic) and where God and man had held sacred converse, a building whose very walls would seem to have been possessed of a silent eloquence. And yet, this building, so precious by reason of its historic memeories (sic) and which on account of its substantial structure had stood for one hundred and five years, a silent memorial of the past, has disappeared from view. It is said that the people wept, as they beheld the demolition of this sacred edifice; but as they had nothing better than tears to give, tears nor any sum of money could not purchase the property, and so it is gone forever.

Meanwhile affairs in the new church seemed to have been progressing favorable, with large congregations attending the services. In 1852 the records show that the south end of the church was strengthened by stays and props under the floor, a fence was built and sidewalk laid on Railroad street, a platform built at the south end of the church and the building painted white.

In 1863 an important action was taken by the church, which materially changed the policy of its government, when a Board of Trustees was established who was hereafter to have the control and management of the temporal affairs of the church including the edifice and appurtenances. This was no reflection upon the ability of the Consistory to manage the church affiars, but a division of labor so that the work could be more efficiently carried on.

In 1864 an effort was made to persuade the new pew holders to convey the title of their pews back to the church so that they could be rented by auction yearly to the highest bidder. This was soon after accomplished.

By 1868 the church was becoming dilapidated, thorough improvements were deemed necessary. The building was too small, the noise from the trains annoying, and the crossing of the railroad was thought to be dangerous to life. A meeting of the pew owners, pew holders and members of the congregation was held on Sept. 15, 1868, at which time it was decided to remove the church building to a lot on the corner of Broadway and Prospect street, which was then available. The lot was purchased of D. V. Berry and wife for the sum of $2,300, by Messrs. George F. Mills, Simeon Sammons, Alfred DeGraff, Cornelius Veeder, Charles Young, Peter Conyne, and Jacob Hees acting as a building committee.

Once again the congregation met in the old Court House for services and work was immediately begun toward moving the church. Mr. John Burnap of Canajoharie, being the contractor. Large rollers were placed under the building, and strong chains fastened to it and then attached to a large capstan and sweep. A horse hitched to this sweep and driven round and round, winding the chains around the drum, moved the church slowly along. When the entire length of chain was wound around the drum, the chains were unwound, the capstan and sweep moved a distance ahead and the operation repeated. In this way the church was moved from its foundation into Center street, down this street, then along the street back of the jail, turning at the corner of the street that leads to the railroad and finally as far as the railroad. Notice was given the congregation to be on hand Sunday morning to move it across the railroad then consisting of two tracks. Between 10 and 11 o'clock an order was given to halt the trains, the telegraph wires were taken down and everything was in readiness. Then Mr. Burnap, contractor, said "all ready, go ahead men." They got the church on track No. 2, and the boss called to them to stop. Colonel Sammons yelled, "Go on boys, send her along." And they did, never stopping until the edifice was in front of the Fonda Hotel. There were plenty of workers and a large crowd to watch. So careful were they that not even the plaster inside the church was cracked. After it was across the tracks, the people went to church. This was on the Sunday morning after Thanksgiving, 1868.

When the new foundation was ready for the church to be placed upon it, the children of the Sunday school marched around on it, carrying flowers and singing.

The building was raised, the galleries and plaster, about which they had been so careful in moving, were torn out, the whole church was remodeled, with audience room above, and prayer meeting and Sunday school rooms below. The doors to the pews discarded, and were used in wainscoting the room now used for Sunday school. The whole cost of removal and repairs exceeded $9,000, exclusive of nearly $800 raised by the ladies. The old church site was sold for $1,250, which had been purchased in 1843 for $300. On Aug. 22, 1869, the church was dedicated in the presence of a large congregation, Rev. John C. Boyd being the pastor. The congregation manifested their approval of the work done by cancelling (sic) the balance due for repairs of $3,300.

In 1871 the house and lot adjoining the church was purchased for a parsonage of Messrs. George F. and Alexander H. Mills for $3,000. This is said to have been an old tavern and stood facing Main street. "Aunt Belle" Booth remembers going with her mother to pay a visit to a sick woman there, and of the stage coaches driving up before the entrance in the early days. After this building was purchased, it was sawed in two, and half of it was sold and moved to Court street, where it was remodeled by the late Barney Vrooman, being his home for many years. It is now the home of ExSheriff (sic) Elmer Folmsbee. Mrs. Folmsbee remembers that when her father took out the old doors to replace them with new ones, that they were lettered "Room A.". "Room B." etc. The part of the building that remained on the lot was improved and remodeled for a parsonage.

In 1872 by joint action of the Consistory and Board of Trustees the name was changed from that of the Reformed Dutch Church of Caughnawaga to the Reformed Church of Fonda, which action was confirmed by decree of the County Court, May 16, 1883.

In 1873, the church edifice was enlarged by the addition of 30 feet to the length and improved at a cost of about $4,600. Col. Simeon Sammons was instrumental in raising $2,500 in pledges during the services one Sunday. At the same time the old organ was traded toward the present pipe organ. It was built by Mr. Augustus Beach of Gloversville, who brought it in sections to the church, there assembling the parts with great care to get each pipe in its proper place. Rufus Merihew, a merchant, is said to have been the first organist at the new organ. Soon after 1900 the organ was moved from the rear of the church to its present position. At the same time that the organ was purchased, the pulpit chairs, desk and communion table were purchased also. All these repairs and improvements took place during the pastorate of the Rev. Thomas W. Jones. During the period from 1870 to 1873 improvements amounting to over $11,000 had been made, all of which had been paid with the exception of $3,600. There had also been a great revival of spiritual interest, four hundred new members uniting with the church, so that when this much loved pastor resigned his pastorate, he left the church strong in numbers, strong in courage, and strong in resources.

During the week of Dec. 27, 1908, the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of this church was observed, proving of great interest and enjoyment to every one. At the Sunday morning service, the Rev. Thomas W. Jones was the chief speaker, the auditorium being filled with his old friends eager to hear him once more. On Monday evening, Rev. J. Collins Caton, another much loved pastor of the church was the speaker to a large assemblage. On Tuesday evening the ladies served an anniversary supper, and on Wednesday evening a prayer and praise service was held. The concluding services were in the nature of an Old Folks Concert held on Thursday evening, which was thoroughly enjoyed.

The pew letting system was in use in the church until Oct. 1917, when the budget system was adopted and has since been in use, proving very satisfactory. In 1901, electric lights were installed in place of the oil lamps, and since that time attractive new fixtures have replaced those used at first. A beautiful Tiffany window, "The Benediction," has been placed in the end of the church toward the street, the gift of Mr. J. Ledlie Hees. The old pews were replaced with new oak ones in 1903 and at the same time the new carpet was laid. The carpet and baptismal font were the gifts of Mrs. Alfred DeGraff.

In 1916 the interior of the church was redecorated and new memorial windows installed, and in May 1923 the exterior of the church and parsonage were painted so that the church both inside and out presents a pleasing and attractive appearance.

The church today is in good financial condition. It is free from debt, the property is considered valuable and the location, central and convenient. All departments are active and work in harmony so that it is regarded as a substantial Christian church.

It can be counted a privilege to attend worship in this splendid old church today. A church whose history goes back nearly one hundred and seventy-five years, whose founders were the pioneers in this valley, and which stood for many years the only church in this vicinity. Through days of war, and through days of peace, days of plenty and days of struggle, days of unrest and days of dissatisfaction among the congregation, and days of happiness; through all of this the organization has come forth triumphant, a monument to the faith of our forefathers. Many descendants of the founders are numbered among the congregation, but there is always room for more whether they are old residents, or new comers withing the bounds of the congregation.

And when the bell ring out its summons for services, does it not seem to say in the words of the Dutch inscription over the doorway of the old Caughnawaga Church, "Komteyea, laett ons op gaen tot den bergh des Heeren, to den huyse des Godes Jacob; op dat hy ons leere van syne wegen, en dat wy wandele in syne paden." "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths." And shall we answer in the words of that grand old hymn:

"Faith of our fathers, living still,
In spite of dungeons, fire and sword,
Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
When-e'er we hear that glorious word.
Faith of our fathers, Holy Faith.
We will be true to Thee till death."




PASTORS OF THE CHURCH

Rev. Barent VroomanA supply from Schenectady 1758-1770
Rev. Thomas RomeynFirst stated pastor 1771-1794
Rev. Abraham Van Horne1795-1833
Rev. Isaac S. KetchamCo-Pastor 1832
Rev. Robert A. Quinn1833-1835
Rev. Jacob D. Fonda1836-1842
Rev. Andrew Yates Acting Pastor 1842-1844
Rev. Douw Van O'Linda1844-1858
Rev. Philip Furbeck1859-1862
Rev. Washington Frothingham Supply 1864-1864
Rev. John C. Boyd1865-1870
Rev. Thomas W. Jones1870-1882
Rev. John A. DeBaunDeclared Pastor Emeritus 1883-1900
Rev. John C. BoydSupply 1900-1902
Rev. J. Collins Catcn (sic) 1902-1904
Rev. William J. Lonsdale1904-1910
Rev. Henry C. Cussler1911

FIRST CONSISTORY.
Ouderlingen (Elders)Deaconen (Deacons)
Peter ConyneAdam Fonda
Johannes KittsLewis Clement
Johanis VeederSamson Sammons
Frederic DoxtederCarel Van Eps.

FIRST TRUSTEES
John Campbell, Jr.Samuel H. Conklin
Barney J. MartinJohn I. Davis
Hamilton SchuylerHenry Veeder
George F. MillsCharles Young.
Douw A. Fonda




CHURCH EMBLEM.


The seal of the Reformed Church in America dates back to 1556, and is built upon the seal or shield of Prince William of Orange, the leader of the Reformation in the Netherlands. The present shield goes back to its official use in 1826, when the pillars were added to give it an ecclestical bearing. The stars at the top of these pillars suggest the heavenly life. The motto on the top is Latin and means, "Without the Lord all is vain," while the nether ribbon is in Dutch, meaning, "Union makes Strength." The various armorial bearing on the three shields originate from the fact that the Princes or (sic) Orange were also lords of other principalities. When a number of Provinces came under one leadership the right to make use of the emblem of all centered in one person. Thus we have on the large shield the four shields of Nassau, Katzenelnbogen, Vianden, and Dietz. On the small shields at the centre, composing the second shield, are those of the united provinces of Cahlons and Orange, while the very smallest shield, which is divided into squares, is there by reason of the marriage of Jane of Geneva to one of the princes of Orange. It is interesting to note that the first quarter of the large shield bears the arms of Nassau, the capital of which was the birthplace of William the Silent, Prince of Orange. It has a lion rampant, surrounded by seventeen billets, representing, it is said, the union of the ten states of the Netherlands with the seven states of Holland, under the rule of William. The Princes of Orange received a recognition from the Emperor, Charles V, which permitted them to place the Imperial crown above the helmet, which is the emblem of bravery in time of war. The Coat of Arms is now the accepted emblem of the denomination. The armorial device fittingly recalls the glorious work of William the Silent, founder of freedom. Its Latin motto reminds the church of its entire dependence on Almighty God, while its Dutch motto bespeaks man's needed help, and its pillars direct our thots (sic) to the stars and beyond them to the hills from whence cometh our help.-From History of Montgomery Classis.

REV. W. N. P. DAILEY




SIGNATURES ON THE FIRST SUBSCRIPTION LIST

DATED JULY 24, 1790.


Jelles FondaFrederick Sammons
Frederic Fisher Anthony Van Vechten
Adam FondaHarmanis Connelly
Volkert VeederAaron Ptman (sic)
Peter Hanson's mark (x)Nicholas Dockstader
Henry Vrooman's mark (x)Hial Bingham
J. O. YoungJonas Smith
Cornelius SmithHarmanis Smith
Peter ConyneJohn Van Everats
Simon VeederDerick Clute
Abraham Van Vechten Arent Smith
Henri B. VroomanBenjamin Van Vechten
Frederick F. DockstaderStephen Hall
C. SweetJohn E. Wemple
Gerrit S.'s mark (x) George Lotridge
Van BachelenJohn Leonardson
Abram VeederCornelius Wemple
Joseph's mark (x) Douw Wemple
HallPeter Hardenbergh
Myndert QuackenbosMartan Vanslye
John D. FondaAbraham Veeder
Francis PutmanWilliam Brower
Thomas SammonsJacob Shuck's mark (x)
Nicholas HansenAdam Chisler's mark (x)
Cornelius Wemple's mark (x)Richard Frewer's mark (x)
William WempleRichard Sutpin's mark (x)
Barent WempleAbram Kent
James Davis, jun'r. Daniel Graft's mark (x)
Gilbert Van DusenRichard Hanson
Abe Vrooman Handrick Vanderbilt
Myndert B. WempleCristeyan Sutch's mark (x)
George Voorheis Andrew Ten Eick
Frederic LighthallHenry Philis
Jacob WilsonJohn Skitts, Jr.
Henry PawlingReuben Eearl (sic)
Jacob Graft John Prume's mark (x)
Abram ConyneHenry Yanney
Ralph SchenckJacob Kick
Jacob HardonberghJohn Barrens
Walkert GardinierJohn Van Antwerp's mark (x)
Benjamin SammonsIsaac Davis
James LansingJohn Yates
Jacob Frederick David Quackenboss's mark (x)
Abraham VosburghJohn Veeder, jun'r.
John Van Antwerp



THE LADIES' AID SOCIETY.

The first mention of any activity of the ladies in the temporal affairs of the church, is in the year 1852, when the ladies asked permission to raise funds to alter the pulpit and to purchase an organ, $301 being raised at this time.

On July 26, 1853, a business meeting of the ladies was held, at which time, Mrs. Robert Van Husen acted as Chairman, and Miss Asceneth Veeder as Secretary. A committee of young ladies was appointed to solicit subscriptions for a new carpet, the following being names: Misses Mary Booth, Jane Van Husen, Asceneth Veeder, Josephine Draper, Sarah M. Van O Linda. Mrs. Robert Van Husen and Mrs. Robert Campbell were appointed a committee to superintend the improvements to church.

This was the beginning of the organization known as the Ladies' Mite society. This society met weekly during the year 1869, at various homes and was attended by both men and women. From Jan. 8, 1869, to Feb. 16, 1870, the receipts were $947.45. the largest amount was taken in at the home of Matthew Van Dusen on the Sand Flats in the year 1868, the sum being $56.23, and the next year $67.54. This money was used for carpet and cushions, etc., for the church after it was removed from across the railroad.

Again in 1872-73 the Mite Society raised about $700 to pay for repairs to the parsonage.

When the Rev. Thomas W. Jones became pastor, he suggested that the name be changed from the Mite Society to the Ladies' Aid Society, which suggestion was adopted and the Society has since been known by that name.

The ladies are very active meeting regularly the first Friday of each month and contributing a great deal toward the church expenses.

A harvest supper is served each year during October, and the Men's Banquet during March. Food sales are held during the year and a Church Fair each year during December. One year cook books were printed and sold. All these affairs bring the society goodly financial returns.

The church kitchen is very well equipped with every convenience and modern improvement. The society owns tables, dishes, silver, linen and glassware enough to set up tables for 200 persons.

During the past five years the society has raised over $4,500. Out of this money, the ladies have purchased and paid for a new large kitchen range, an electric blower for the organ, dishes, linen, cacuum (sic) cleaner, large sink, recovered the pulpit furniture, redecorated the basement and installed a new furnace for the parsonage. They have papered and painted the parsonage interior and have painted the exterior of both parsonage and church. In addition they have paid a Bank Note of $500 and given $50 yearly to the choir for the past 20 years.

For the past few years, instead of electing a President as had been the custom heretofore, a Board of Managers was chosen, to consist of five members, two of which are elected each year for a term of two years. This arrangement has proven very satisfactory.




NOTES OF INTEREST.

The official colors of the Dutch church are orange and black.

The Classis of Montgomery is planning to hold in this church on Sept. 15, a meeting to observe the one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the first meeting of the Classis in the Caughnawaga Church, Sept. 2, 1800.


The Reformed Church in America is the oldest evangelical body on (sic) the western hemisphere.


The Rev. H. C. Cussler, present pastor of the Church, was elected vice president of the Particular Synod of Albany, at the meeting of Synod held in Catskill in May of this year. He is serving also, a five year term of office As a member of the Board of Superintendents of the Theological Seminary of New Brunswick, N. J.


The elm tree standing on the church corner was planted by Mr. D. V. Berry, who sold the lot to the Trustees, when the church was moved from across the railroad.


When the pipe organ was first installed, a boy was paid $6.00 per hour to pump it. Now an electric blower does the trick.


The choir in the church across the railroad was once composed of Mrs. A. H. Mills, then Miss Gale, who often visited here; Miss Belle Booth, Mr. Augustus L. George, and Mr. Orlando Merihew. Miss Agnes Gale, a sister of Mrs. A. H. Mills, sometimes played the new pipe organj, as well as Mrs. Jones the wife of Dominie Jones.


The bell for the church was purchased from the Presbyterian church of Amsterdam, and was hoisted to the belfry at the time the church was repaired after it was moved in 1868.


A large sign placed at the railroad crossing near the church where the people crossed, read: "Look out for the cars when the bell rings." A similar sign was placed at the crossing near the Fonda Hotel.


"Aunt Belle" Booth remembers her baptism in the old Caughnawaga Church. She was then six years of age.


Generals Schuyler and Herkimer camped around the old church with their armies, Jan. 18, 1776. They were sent here to disarm Sir John Johnson and other loyalists, and to arrest all suspicious persons.


Caughnawaga Chapter D. A. R. has marked the site of the Caughnawaga Church with a boulder and bronze tablet.


Caughnawaga Day was celebrated at Fort Johnson by the Montgomery County Historical Society in October 1922, when the following Caughnawaga Church relics were presented to the society: The baptismal font, three pew doors, the double Dutch front doors, two pilasters, a post which supported the balcony, and a piece of wood with a bullet imbedded in it. In June of this year the keystone from the arch over the doorway was loaned by Caughnawaga Chapter, D. A. R.


Three volumes of church records have been transcribed from the original Dutch records, and are of great assistance to those searching for family history.


Mr. John A. George has been a member of the Board of Trustees for thirty-seven years as treasurer.


The story is told of one of the Deacons, of the early days, Richard Houghtaling, who was called "The Silent Deacon" due to the fact that he never took part in the prayer meetings. At one time he built the fires, swept the walks, and was the custodian of the sacraments for the Communion Service. He kept a jug of wine, for that purpose in a cupboard in the church, and some of his friends, wishing to have some fun, substituted a jug of vinegar for the jug of wine. The deacon did not observe the change, and the vinegar was served to the congregation, who drank and then made very wry faces but said nothing. It finally came to a man named Haggart, who after tasting the cup, exclaimed loudly, "vinegar!"


The pews in the old Caughnawaga church were about five feet square with seats around three sides. The grown folks sat facing the Dominie and the children at the sides or with their backs to him. An official walked up and down the aisle, and kept the sleepy ones awake by means of a long stick with which he tapped each one on the head.


The small foot stoves taken in the pews contained charcoal, live coals or candles. These were for the women. The men had nothing to keep their feet warm except to wiggle their toes in their boots.


The ministers salary often did not exceed more than $125.00 in cash. The rest was in donations of food and fuel. Many of the early subscription list show but a small amount of the pledges paid.


When Mr. Shull of Stone Arabia bought the bell from the Caughnawaga church, it was cracked. He took it with an ox team to Troy to have it mended. Quite a journey to Troy and back with a yoke of oxen.


When the church was moved across the railroad two hours were allowed by the authorities for crossing the tracks, but it was accomplished in half an hour. Two or three yoke of oxen were used and Mr. Jacob Hees was appointed to "Yaw Hee" the oxen. Each time he "Yaw Heed" the oxen responded and the man working with the rollers, made things move lively.


Although Dominie Van Horne was called the "Marrying Dominie" because he married so many couples it is very certain that he did not get rich upon the marriage fees. The legal fee was $1.00 but it was not always paid. He journeyed one bitter cold winter evening about the year 1820 to marry a couple at Fort Hunter. After the ceremony and feast, the happy young bridegroom handed the Dominie fifty cents. The Dominie turned it over a few times in his hand, observed that the night was cold and that he had traveled quite a distance for so small a fee. The young man went down into his pocket again and brought out an additional quarter. "Well, well" said the Dominie scanning the still small fee, as he passed it into his pocket, "perhaps that will do." So that was all he received for his long cold ride, for which he had to hire a conveyance.


The Young People's Christian Union was organized in the church Dec. 17, 1872 with the following charter members: Thomas W. Jones, Peter A. Graff, John A. George, Jacob Hees, Henry Sharp, Frank Spitzer, Henry L. Sizer, Joseph George, Charles Pearsoll, Arthur Benze.

The objects of this Union were to hold a weekly prayer meeting every Tuesday evening, to sustain a free Reading room and to secure during the Fall and Winter months a course of Lecturers. This society was especially active in seeking strangers and getting them to become members as well as church attendants, and raising money which was turned over to the repairs and improvements to the church. The prayer meetings were well attended and a leader for each meeting was procurd (sic) from the society without any difficulty. This organization was active until 1885, the list of members including many well known residents of the town.


The material for this publication has been taken from the church records as transcribed from the original, and from the minutes recorded in the Trustees book. "Aunt Belle" Booth, Mr. A. H. Mills, Mr. John A. George, and Mr. E. Corning Davis have been of great assistance in recalling events and anecdotes of the days of long ago.




All spelling and punctuation are given exactly as in the original book.




The little Caughnawaga Church book was typed by Contributing Editor Linda Jasztal. Linda recently typed up our readings of Green Hill Cemetery and the Caughnawaga Cemetery. Always researching Youngs in Montgomery, Herkimer, Cayuga and Onondaga Counties, she looks forward to hearing from others researching the same.

"I am researching the Young and Harrington Families in Montgomery and Herkimer Counties. My g-g-g-g-grandparents, Elias Young and Charlotte (Harrington) Young were married 2-18-1818, at St. John's Episcopal Church, Johnstown, Montgomery County, N.Y. Elias was born 6-05-1795, Caughnawaga, Fonda, Montgomery County and is the son of Manuel Young and Maria Wager. Sometime before 1850, Elias and Charlotte located in Skaneateles, Onondaga County, N.Y., where their daughter Elizabeth married Lewis Sarr 9-07-1854. Both Charlotte and Elizabeth were born in Herkimer County. Charlotte, who was listed as a widow on the 1875 Owasco, Cayuga County Census, was living with Elizabeth and Lewis Sarr. Lewis remarried before the 1880 Owasco census; there is no further mention of Elizabeth, Charlotte, Elias or any of their other children".

Linda Jasztal




Back to Town of Mohawk Section

Back to Herkimer/Montgomery Counties GenWeb





Created: 4/25/00
Copyright © 2000 M. Magill/ Linda Jasztal
All Rights Reserved.