Biography of Richard Church

Richard Church came in from Brattleboro, Vt., in the fall of 1788, and settled on the east side of the river, one-half mile below Afton, on the place now owned by the heirs of Levi Church and Andrew Johnston and Joseph Angell, the latter a son-in-law of Billings Church. He was a son of Col. Timothy Church, a Vermont sufferer, who did not settle here, but acquired land as such, on 300 acres of which Richard settled, and which, after the latter’s death, in the spring of 1813, was divided between two of his sons, Billings and Levi, Billings’ portion being that now occupied by Andrew J. Johnston and Joseph Angell, and Levi’s that occupied by his heirs. Richard brought with him his family, consisting of his wife Polly, daughter of David Pollard, and one child, Billings, then an infant. Billings married Nancy, daughter of Ebenezer Landers, and settled on the homestead, where he lived till advanced in years, when, in the spring of 1857, he sold his place to his nephew, Devillo C. Church, and went to live with his daughter Frances, wife of Enos M. Johnston, with whom he died January 7, 1871, aged 82. Richard’s children, who were born after he came here, were: Col. Ira, who married Angelia Atherton, sister of Cornelius Atherton, and settled about a half mile above Afton, on the east side of the river, on the farm, a portion of which is owned by Stanton T. Donaghe, afterwards purchasing the Peck farm, about a mile below Afton, on the east side, now owned by Ransom Merrill, and subsequently the farm which forms a part of the Ives farm, which he subsequently turned over to his sons, and removed to Morris, where he resided till his death, March 12, 1861, aged 70, his wife having died July 15, 1847, aged 56; Rufus, who married Phebe Turner and settled in Afton, and afterwards removed to Orleans County and died there; Polly, who married Dr. Gaius Halsey, of Kortright, Delaware county, where she lived and died; Warren, who married Saloma C. Hall, who died May 2, 1849, aged 37, who was of a roving disposition, and moved and died out of the county, December 24, 1857, aged 57, and Esther, his second wife, April 1, 1858, aged 39; Levi, who married Elathea, daughter of Joseph Works, and settled and died on the homestead; Permelia, who married Ezra Corbin, and is still living in Bainbridge; Rhoda, a maiden lady, who died in the town April 2, 1866, aged 66; Richard, who died, young and unmarried, of small-pox, June 2, 1828, aged 20; and Wilson, who married Eliza Ann Jones and settled in Afton, on the east side of the river, where he now resides, with his second wife, Fanny Nevins. Numerous descendants are living, ten in this county, viz: Devillo C. Church, a banker, Richard, Rush, Clara, wife of James Corbin, Frances, wife of Enos M. Johnston, and Polly, wife of A. E. Estabrooks, in Afton; George Corbin, Eunice, wife of Charles J. Humphrey, and William Corbin, in Bainbridge; and C. A. Church, in New Berlin. Dr. Gaius L. Halsey, a prominent physician in Unadilla; Dr. Richard Halsey, a prominent physician at White Haven, Pa.; Frank Church, Road Agent for the U. S. Express Co. at McGregor, Iowa; Alonzo S. Church, formerly Cashier of J. M. Little’s Bank of Mason City, Iowa; Lafayette Church, who keeps a livery at McGregor, Iowa; Gaius H. Church, a prominent farmer at Cresco, Iowa; and George M. Church, a speculator at McGregor, Iowa, are grandchildren of Richard Church’s.



Smith, James H. History of Chenango and Madison Counties, New York. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co. 1880.

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