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Groton and Peruville Methodist Episcopal Church Records

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Methodist Episcopal Church (Groton, N.Y.)
Title: Groton and Peruville Methodist Episcopal Church Records
Inclusive Dates: 1835-1965
Quantity: 1.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the the Methodist Episcopal Churches of Groton (1836-1966) and Peruville (1835-1964) in New York State. Collection includes Groton church record books (1879-1938); Board minute books (1915-1965); Ladies Aid Guild record book (1913-1916); Sunday School record book (1906-1907); quarterly conference minute books (1888-1940); and Peruville church record book (1835-1920).
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

The Groton and Peruville Methodist Episcopal Churches, located in Tompkins County, New York, were originally part of a circuit that included Peruville, McLean, East Groton, South Hill, Groton Village, and Lake Chapel in the Oneida Conference. The full administrative title was "Methodist Episcopal Church, Central New York Conference, Ithaca District, Groton Charge." In later years the Groton and Peruville churches were ministered to as churches with different ministers appointed to them and as part of a two-church charge served by one minister. From about 1921 both churches were served by the same minister. The Groton charge continued until 1966. In 1966 the Groton Methodist Church merged with the Groton Congregational Church and the First Baptist Church of Division (Groton) to form the new Groton Community Church. At the time the Groton Methodist charge ceased to exist it was part of the Ithaca District, Central New York Conference of the United Methodist Church.

On July 18, 1836 the first meeting of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Groton Village was called into existence by Rev. L. K. Reddington and local preacher Justus P. Pennoyer. The first church was built in 1842; in 1853 a house and lot were purchased and used as a parsonage until 1899. Then a new parsonage was built on the church lot. A newer auditorium was completed in 1832 and remodeled in 1899. The church was torn down after the merger with the two other churches in 1966.

The Peruville Methodist Episcopal Church began about 1835 and ended about 1964. There is no available information about the Peruville church property or its history among the records of this collection.

Ministers of the Groton Methodist Episcopal Church, Tompkins County, New York

    Ministers of the Groton Methodist Episcopal Church, Tompkins County, New York
  • April 1866 - William E. York
  • April 1869 - Richard H. Clark
  • April 1872 - Marvin S. Wells
  • October 1875 - John Easter
  • October 1876 - Henry Giles
  • September 1877 - William A. Ely
  • September 1878 - W. M. Henry
  • September 1880 - T. B. Richardson
  • October 1882 - David Keppel
  • October 1885 - Michael Coyle
  • May 1886 - Milton Rees
  • December 1889 - J. H. Potter
  • October 1890 - J. W. Terry
  • October 1892 - Emory A. Baldwin
  • October 1896 - Edward S. Armable
  • October 1898 - Joseph H. Zartman
  • October 1900 - Howard I. Andrews
  • October 1904 - Loren Eastwood
  • October 1907 - Sevellon A. Brown
  • October 1911 - Cassius L. Myers
  • May 1915 - John E. Rhodes
  • October 1915 - Hiram G. Burley
  • October 1917 - William P. Miller
  • December 1918 - Henry E. Crossley
  • October 1920 - C. S. Dopp
  • October 1921 - Martinus D. Foster
  • October 1923 - Edward W. Hargrave
  • October 1925 - Joseph T. Bradburn
  • October 1928 - John R. Redden
  • October 1929 - Howard L. Rixon
  • October 1932 - George Herbert Holyoke
  • October 1936 - Chauncey D. Ellison
  • 1938 - Rev. Weaver
  • 1939 - E. W. Collins
  • 1944 - A. E. Weaver
  • 1949 - Rev. Bugbee
  • 1950 - Rev. Barrett
  • 1953 - Rev. K. E. Traxler
  • 1954 - Rev. Murdock
  • 1956 - Rev. Kinner
  • 1963 - Rev. Kelsey

Ministers of the Peruville Methodist Episcopal Church, Tompkins County, New York*

    Ministers of the Peruville Methodist Episcopal Church, Tompkins County, New York*
  • April 1866 - William E. York
  • 1874 - J. W. Jenner
  • 1877 - W. M. M. Benjer
  • 1879 - A. G. Wheeler
  • 1882 - W. F. Britman
  • 1883 - R. S. Stilwell
  • 1885 - S. W. Andrews
  • 1887 - N. M. Wheeler
  • 1888 - James A. Roberts
  • 1889 - C. A. Wilson
  • 1897 - Paul Allen
  • 1899 - J. H. Zartman
  • 1911 - Cassius L. Myers
  • 1916 - S. G. Houghton
  • 1920 - H. E. Crossley
  • 1921 - C. S. Dopp

*These were names of ministers given in the Church Record Book - Peruville, 1935-1920.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Groton and Peruville Methodist Episcopal Church Records includes Groton church record books (1879-1938); Board minute books (1915-1965); Ladies Aid Guild record book (1913-1916); Sunday School record book (1906-1907); quarterly conference minute books (1888-1940); and Peruville church record book (1835-1920).

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Arrangement of the Collection

Items are arranged chronologically in a single series.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

The Groton Historical Society of Groton, New York has records of the Groton Methodist Church and transcripts of other records.

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Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

Methodist Episcopal Church (Groton, N.Y.) -- Archives.
Methodist Episcopal Church (Peruville, N.Y.) -- Archives.


Church records and registers -- New York (State) -- Groton.
Church records and registers -- New York (State) -- Peruville.
Church records and registers -- New York (State) -- Tompkins County.
Methodists -- New York (State) -- Groton.
Methodists -- New York (State) -- Peruville.


Tompkins County (N.Y.)

Genres and Forms

Church registers.
Minute books.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Groton and Peruville Methodist Episcopal Church Records,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: JAB
Date: 1985
Revision history: 3 Jun 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Record books and minutes
Box 1 Church Record Book 1879-1891
This book is mostly information about the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Groton, Tompkins County, New York. Its inscription dates the book as 1878-1892. Contents of the record book include:
A. Historical Record - no information given
B. Chronological Record of Officers - 1888-1892 trustees, Sunday School superintendents, stewards, recording secretaries
C. Pastoral and Statistical Record - 1877-1889 name, when appointed, when removed, salary, estimated salary, received members (white/colored), probationers, deaths, local preachers, baptisms (adult and children), church properties (value/amount improved), benevolent contributions, Sunday School statistics
D. Chronological Records of Official Members - 1874-1888
E. Class Records, 1879-1891
F. Probations' Records, 1878-1893
G. Marriage Record, 1877-1892, 1948-1953
H. Record of Baptisms, 1879-1891
I. Appendix - Discipline Committees are listed for 1883-1886, 1890-1893
Note that some marriages for 1948-1953 are entered in this book.
Box 1 Church Record Book 1892-1914
Penciled inside are the dates 1892-1914. Also rules regarding the use of the horse sheds behind the church. The record book contents include:
A. Record of Pastors, 1892-1914
B. List of Official Members, 1896-19Q3'4-
C. Alphabetical Order of Members in Full Connection
D. Record of Probationers, 1893-1914
E. Records of Marriages, 1892 -1914
F. Record of Baptisms, 1892-1914
Box 1 Church Record Book 1914-1938
Under the Historical record section there is a list of Groton pastors from 1866 to 1936. All these entries are in the same handwriting. The contents of this record book include:
A. Historical Record - 1866-1963
B. Record of Pastors
C. Pastoral and Statistical, 1917-1923
D. Record of Official Members, 1913-1917; 1925
E. Record of Probationers, 1912-1935
F. Record of Baptized Children, 1917-1935
G. List of Tithers to 1921; then a list of those enrolled during a contest
M. Records of Members in Full Connection, 1915-1936
I. Records of Baptisms, 1915-1936
J. Record of Marriages, 1114-1940
K. Funerals, 1915
Three file folders containing loose material from these books is in a folder labeled with the Record Book it was in. These materials include a will, a historical clipping about the church, and membership transfers.
Box 1 [Miscellaneous] - loose material from each book (3 folders)
Box 2 Official Board Minute Book (Volume 4) October 12, 1915 to November 24, 1928
This volume has inscribed on the first page: Property of the M. E. Church. Record of the meeting of the Official Board, beginning with the years 1915-1916 Included in this book are Official Board meeting minutes from 1915 to 1928. Union services were held with the Anti Saloon League in 1916. In 1923 the Groton M. E. Church moved to permit Rev. E. B. Hargrave to go to Peruville when convenient. Particularly interesting is a letter written by the board to the District Superintendent Dr. V. S. Britten warning him that he was pressing their minister, Mr. Hargrave too much about the World Service campaign. Other material deals with the condition of church property, church membership and planning for future events.
Box 2 Official Board Minute Book (Volume 5) December 16, 1928 to November 22, 1953
Inscribed on the fly leaf of this book is "This book was purchased at Cortland; N. Y. in Mullen's Supply Store by Rev. J. N. Redden, pastor of Groton M. E. Church" During these years the Official Board met every three to four months. Items discussed were finances, youth attendance, and church property conditions.
Box 2 Official Board Minute Book July 14, 1954 to September 15, 1965
Meetings were held almost quarterly during this time. Joint ventures between the Methodist, Baptist, and Congregational churches were mentioned in regard to youth activities and summer services. At the meeting May 2, 1965 a merger committee was proposed to study the formation of a community church (Baptist, Congregational, and Methodist). The last recorded Meeting was February 23, 1966 of the Groton Methodist Church in this record book.
Box 2 Ladies Aid Guild Record Book 1913-1916
The Ladies Aid Guild books traces the activities of the Ladies Aid Guild of the M. E. Church, Groton, New York. The records show the members names, dues, and officers. Each month the group met at a different lady's home. Their fund raising activities included quilt making, chicken pie suppers, and collections at their meetings. Little mention is made of specific church projects or missionary activities. One function of the group seems to have been socialization.
Box 2 Sunday School Record Book 1906-1907
The Methodist Church was built upon the concept of classes led by lay persons. Between circuit rider visits these classes and their leaders formed the unit to hold the congregation together. In the record book there was evidence of nine classes being conducted in 1906-1907. Addresses, ages, attendance, collections, and a list of periodicals used by the classes were given. In 1907 the secretary Edna Conner wrote comments about the weather alongside each Sunday's report. In this book there was a handwritten history in pen of the Groton Church. It was entitled "Methodist Episcopal Church History from the Historical Souvenir of Groton by Mr. and Mr. E. M. Avery in 1899."
Box 3 Quarterly Conference Minute Book (Volume 3) December 14, 1888 to May 1, 1919
Quarterly conferences were given four times a year. The District Superintendent presided at each conference. A written-report included names of church elders, preachers, stewards, etc. and their activities for that quarter. 3y 1888 the Groton M. E. Charge was considered part of the Ithaca District, Central New York Conference. Of special interest were the salaries preachers received and various church expenses.
Box 3 Quarterly Conference Minute Book July 18, 1921 to September 15, 1940
There are quarterly reports about the Groton-Peruville charge. Included are more reports about the value of church property, the issue of pensions, and church activities where women and youth are mentioned. Ministers seemed to stay about two to three years according to those mentioned in various reports.
Box 3 Church Record Book, Peruville 1835-1920
Using the list of pastors from 1877 to 1921 there are many instances when the Groton and Peruville Methodist Episcopal Churches were served by different preachers. It seems that around 1921 the list becomes almost identical so that a certain times a single pastor may have served both churches before 1921. These records date back to 1835 and include birthdates of many early members as well as their places of residence. Other areas covered in this book are:
A. Record of Pastors 1875-1888, 1911-1921
B. Members of Full Connection
C. Record of Probationers
D. Records of Marriages
E. Record of Baptisms

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