Conneautville Churches 1885

Crawford County

In the spring of 1829 seven persons, Jesse Danley and wife, Thomas Landon, wife, and daughter Esther, George Nelson and grand-daughter, Margaret Nelson, became the original members of the Conneautville Methodist Episcopal Class organized by Rev. Joseph W. Davis, then of Erie Circuit. Early meetings were held in the schoolhouse. In 1837 thirty-two persons subscribed $556 to erect a house of worship. The contract to build was let for $875. Meetings were held in the new frame church in 1838, but it was not finished until 1840. It stood on the southwest corner of Walnut and Main Streets. In 1877 this building was superceded by a handsome brick structure with stone trimmings erected at a contract price of $8,300, exclusive of cost of lot, on the northwest corner of Water and Walnut Streets. Conneautville Class was made a part of Springfield Circuit in 1829, and in 1833 of Summerhill Circuit, changed in 1834 to Harmonsburg Circuit. In 1842 Harmonsburg was divided into Conneautville and Evansburg charges. In 1861 Conneautville was divided and Harmonsburg reformed. In 1868 the former became a station. The pastors of Conneautville Society have been since 1828, Samuel Ayres and Daniel Richey, 1829; Samuel Ayres and John C. Ayres, 1830; Theodore Stowe and W.R. Babcock, 1831; Jacob Jenks and a supply, 1832; Theodore Stowe and Reuben Peck, 1833; Gustavus Hills and Philander S. Ruter, 1834; G. Hills and C.D. Rockwell, 1835; Benjamin Preston and Warren Griffith, 1836; Daniel Richey, C.R. Chapman, 1837; L.D. Prosser, John Deming, 1838; Isaac Schofield, John Deming, 1839; Joseph Leslie, Stephen Heard, S.C. Freer, 1840; Lorenzo Rogers, T.D. Blinn, Albert Norton, 1841; I.H. Tacket, S.C. Thomas, 1842; William Patterson, Potter Sullivan, 1843; J.M. Plant, R.M. Bear, 1844; Fortes Morse, William McCormick, 1845; A.L. Miller, Ira Blackford, 1846; A.L. Miller, D.M. Stever, 1847; John Graham, E.T. Wheeler, 1848; John Graham, B.F. Langdon, 1849; William Monks, H.M. Chamberlain, 1850; William Monks, Stephen Hubbard, 1851; J.K. Hallock, W.P. Bignell, 1852; J.K. Hallock, T.S. Bennett, 1853; W.C. Henderson, G.W. Staples, 1854; R.M. Bear, James Gilmore, 1855; Jonathan Whitely, S.S. Stuntz, 1856; Jonathan Whitely, A.J. Merchant, 1857; Allen Fouts, A.J. Merchant, 1858; Isaiah Lane, W.H. Mossman, 1859; J.H. Tagg, W.H. Mossman, 1860; J.H. Tagg, 1861; D.M. Rogers, 1862; J.C. Sullivan, 1863-64-65; Frank Brown, 1866-67; G. Dunmire, 1868-69; N.H. Holmes, 1870-71; Henry Sims, 1872; Ira. D. Darling, 1873-74-75; A.R. Rich, 1876; W.H. Mossman, 1877-78-79; W.W. Painter, 1880-81-82; Francis H. Beck, 1883. The present membership of the church is 136.

The First Presbyterian Church at Conneautville was organized with nine members by Rev. Peter Hassinger, October 31, 1835. John Craven was the first Elder elected. The congregation was supplied by Rev. R. Lewis, Rev. D. Waggoner and others until October 4, 1843, when Rev. J.W. Dickey was ordained and installed the first pastor in connection with Harmonsburg and Evansburg, serving until 1847. From 1848 to 1850 Rev. L.P. Bates supplied Conneautville and Harmonsburg, and a little later Rev. James Coulter was supply. Rev. George W. Zahniser was installed pastor of Conneautville September 7, 1853, and was released April 13, 1859. Rev. N.S. Lowrie became pastor October 23, 1863; Rev. R.L. Stewart was installed July 6, 1869, and was dismissed in December, 1872; Rev. M.D.A. Steen was installed June 5, 1873; Rev. G.W. Zahniser was supply for one year commencing July 1, 1875, and Rev. W.W. McKinney, the present pastor, was installed May 22, 1877. For eleven years the congregation was divided into two branches, but they were re-united in 1865. The first church was a frame, erected in 1838 on the southwest corner of Washington and Locust Streets. After the division the New School built a church on High Street, used until destroyed by fire in 1867. The present edifice, which has a seating capacity of 400, was dedicated June 14, 1871. It is a handsome brick structure, with stone window-caps and corners and spire 140 feet high, and cost in construction $17,000. The present membership is large. The present session consists of Alexander P. Foster, installed March 6, 1859, Charles S. Booth, Moses W. Oliver, Jr., installed April 8, 1877, and Robert Montgomery, installed January 14, 1883. Past Elders have been: George G. Foster, Prosper A. Booth, John Craven, Moses W. Oliver, John T. Hubbard, William Borden, Howell Powell and Comfort Hamilton.

The First Universalist Church of Conneautville was organized May 13, 1843. It started with nineteen members, including Charles Rich, S.G. Krick, Mary A. Krick, William Walker, Sallie Walker, Freedom Lord, Jr., Louisa Lord, Thomas Slayton, Elvira Slayton, H.S. Sweet, Wicks Parker, B.F. Hitchcock and Aurelia M. Hitchcock. Early meetings were held in the old schoolhouse and the Baptist Church. About 1846 the building of a frame church was commenced at the north extremity of Pearl Street. The structure was not completed until several years later, and is still in use. Rev. B.F. Hitchcock was the founder. His ministerial successors have been: Revs. Ammi Bond, C.L. Shipman, H.C. Canfield, W.S. Bacon, I.K. Richardson, J.H. Campbell, L.F. Porter, J.G. Porter, H.M. Merrill, J.S. Gledhill and C.L. Shipman. This society purchased the first church bell in the village and the first organ. Its membership has been greatly depleted by removals, and now numbers about seventy.

St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church held its first meetings in the barn of Thomas Henrietta in 1850. Services were held in private houses until the early purchase of a small frame schoolhouse in the south part of the village, where they were conducted until the purchase of the academy about 1871, at the north end of Washington Street, where services are now held. The congregation was attended for many years from Crossingville by Fathers Quinn, Smith and O’Branagan. The resident priests have since been: Revs. James Kearney, Snively, Michael Tracy, Martin Meagher, John Donnelly, Patrick McGovern and John J. Ruddy. The last-named became pastor in February, 1878, and still serves. He also officiates at Linesville and in Summit Township. The membership of St. Peter’s includes about forty-five families.

Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church is a frame structure, erected in 1870 at a cost of $5,000 and consecrated by Rt. Rev. J.B. Kerfoot, of Pittsburgh. Rev. Samuel T. Lord as early as 1850 held occasional services at Conneautville, and several years later regular services were commenced and continued to about 1860, when they were discontinued. About 1868 Rev. S.B. Moore, a missionary, reorganized the parish, and the following vestry was elected: C.B. Power, W.L. Robinson, D.D. Williams, H.A. Brinker and F.M. Robinson. An old Baptist Church on the north side of the Diamond was rented, repaired and occupied until the completion of the present structure. Rev. Moore resigned the rectorship February 1, 1871, and his successors have been: Revs. William Bollard, William J. Miller, John Graham, E.D. Irvine and D.F. Hutchinson. The membership has suffered greatly through removals from this vicinity, and is at present about twenty.

History of Crawford County 1885


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