Universalist Church of Herkimer, NY
The Universalist Church Society was organized in this village in 1881, under the influence and leadership of such staunch men as hon. Amos H. Prescott, Dean Burgess, and Hon. Ezra Graves.
Previous to this time the Universalists of the village attended services at Mohawk. Their first pastor was Rev. J. J. Brayton, who preached in the Court House before and during the erection of this imposing edifice. he was followed by Revs. W. S. Hill, G. W. Powell, C. E. Fisher, B. B. Gibbs, and J. W. Carter, the present pastor. The cornerstone of the edifice was laid in 1882, and the church was completed the following year at the cost of $12,000. Extended improvements have from time to time been added, and today the structure stands an eloquent tribute to the devotion oand self-sacrifice of the many who have contributed to sustain it.
The Church today is represented by 180 families, many of whom stand among the first in wealth and influence in the Mohawk Valley. In its own peculiar dogma it stands in the town a lonely sentinel and the only teacher of the "Larger Hope," but in philanthropic work, and the things that stand for the best life of the town, it takes its place among other churches in the vantage ground of truth, and is a great power for good. It has always raised high ideals, has deepened the spirituality, and has broadened the religious life of the town and valley.
From year to year numerical strength has been added, until it has become the imposing home of a happy religious family. Many of the noble men and women who once loved this Church have gone on to the "Larger Experience," yet their children were builded into it and for many years to come we hope will stand the monument of this sacrifice, and the religious home of unborn generations.
A Note from Lisa:
The Universalist Church of Herkimer, NY still existed in 1967 when one of my mother's cousins was married in this church. However, it has been disbanded since (I don't know exactly when) and in driving around the village of Herkimer, I didn't find any evidence of the building photographed in this 1900 publication. The current Universalist societies in all parts of the US are now part of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Copyright © 2000 Lisa K. Slaski
All Rights Reserved.