Niagara Gazette

Columns

December 30, 2013

HIGGS: Methodist beginnings in Niagara

Niagara Gazette — Pete Ames came to the rescue again as well as former pastor Calvin Babcock. Pete loaned me his copy of the 25th anniversary booklet of the St. Paul’s Methodist Church - 1788-1948, and Cal dropped off “a short history of St. Paul’s.” This church was next on the list of established congregations at the time the various villages merged and became the city of Niagara Falls in 1892. From these documents we will get a look at early religious life in our city.

Back in 1788, Methodist missionaries held preaching services throughout the Niagara area. As many as 77 Methodist preachers traveled the local circuit. Some held meetings in private homes. Following the War of 1812, when things settled down in 1815 the first two Methodist Societies were started in Manchester (now Niagara Falls) in what is believed to be in the parlor of a private home and in Olcott.

The Holland Land Company holds the record of the first existence of this church organization by deeding to the Methodists 100 acres of land on what is now Lockport Street which was in the Town of Niagara at the time.

The first building was purchased in 1824 and was used as a preaching center. It was located where the former Gorge Terminal Building was built on Falls Street in later years. It was known as the Union Chapel and later as the Methodist Chapel. The society met there for 25 years and the first Sunday School was organized in 1839 with 78 pupils and 11 teachers. The Rev. John Cannon (1835) was the first regular pastor of he church. One of the preachers during 1839 in Union Chapel was the Rev. Ebenezer Cleveland Sanborn.

Rev. Sanborn was married to Almira Smith and they had six children. After Almira died he married Elizabeth “Betsy” Randall, one of 10 children of Methodist Minister, the Rev. Stephen Randall and Mary “Molly” Rice Randall. He and Molly had two children, Lee Randall Sanborn and Francis Emery Sanborn, and they settled in Lewiston. Lee Randall Sanborn was the postmaster of South Pekin which he succeeded in renaming to “Sanborn” in honor of his father.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Spring tune up and summer prep for your car The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: New York still delays decision on hydrofracking Many people across the state remain puzzled why the decision to allow hydrofracking has been delayed for so long.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page