Methodist Episcopal Church
Pickard Hill
Ellery, Chautauqua County, NY

Return to Chautauqua County Gen Web page.

In the spring of 1819, James Pickard, known in after years as "Esq. Jim," came into Ellery and settled on Pickard Street in the central part of Lot 21, and west of the Stom house.
    He was a Justice in 1821, and held this office for 20 years.  In religious faith, he was a Methodist and soon after his arrival in Ellery was ordained a local preacher in the Methodist Church.
    The first religious meeting in the northern part of Ellery was held at the house of John Pickard in 1819.  The preaching was by Rev. John Haskin from the west part of Ellery, assisted by James Pickard, at that time an exhorter.  The stirring appeals of James Pickard to his hearers was, to "flee from the wrath, to come and lay hold on Eternal Life."  So earnest was he for the cause of his Master that he was not deterred from what he thought his duty, though frequently obliged to stand before the people bare footed and in his tow frock and pants.  He died on his old farm on Pickard Hill where he first settled, September 21, 1859, age seventy-three years, four months and nine days.
    The Methodist Episcopal Church at Pickard Hill was organized in 1830, with Rev. John C. Ayers the first pastor.
    The United Brethern Church of Pickard Hill was organized in 1869, by the first pastor, Rev. Lansing McIntyre, with eight members.
    In 1871, the Methodist Episcopal and the United Brethern Societies united and built a Union Church at a cost of $3,000.  It would seat 300 persons and was owned and occupied jointly by both societies.
    The church was dedicated November 12, 1872, by Prof. Marvin of Meadville, Pa.  In 1873-74, the society numbered twenty-two members and their pastors were: Rev. T. P. Warner and Rev. Job Miller.
    The 11th quarterly Sunday School congregation of the Town of Ellery was held at this church Saturday, December 11, 1897.  The program closed that evening with an illustrated lecture by C. C. Hunt, entitled "The Footsteps of Jesus." The officers were: President, Dr. E. A. Scofield; Vice President, Mrs. Helen Hale; Secretary, George M. Hale; Treasurer, William O. Bownell.  New officers were elected at this meeting for the following year:  President, Dr. Earl A. Scofield; Vice President, G. W. Hotchkiss; Secretary, George M. Hale, and Treasurer, Mrs. Belle Pickard.  The 12th quarterly meeting was held at Bemus Point in March 1898.
    On Feb. 15, 1905, a social for the benefit of the church was held with Mr. and Mrs. John F. Pickard on Wednesday evening.
    In 1932, this church had not been used for several years, at which time it was sold to Benjamin Joslyn and Eugene Taylor.  The church was divided down the center with Mr. Joslyn taking the east half and Mr. Taylor and his son, Sidney, taking the west half.  Mr. Joslyn built a corn and grain barn with his lumber on his farm on the Joslyn-Fenner Road.  The Taylor's farm was sold before they used their lumber and it was sold at the farm auction.  Mr. Sidney Taylor gave the pulpit to the Church of God at South Stockton, which they used for many years.
    Part of the old foundation and the cement slab which was in front of the door still remain to mark the site of this old church.  It was located on the north side of Pickard Street, near the old school house No. 12, east of the Slide-Fenner Road.
    The Pickard Street Cemetery was located on Lot 22, Township 3, Range 12, beside the Pickard Street Church.  There were at least five graves.  Three were moved to the Red Bird Cemetery.

SOURCE: Material submitted by Loraine C. Smith, 2002.