John Hanna was born in Galloway, Scotland in 1744. He died in Ellistown, N.Y. on Apr. 28, 1845. He was 101 years old. John served in the Revolutionary War. After he came to this area, he bought 1,000 acres of land, encompassing acreage from East Waverly to Barton, which he later sold to people who wanted to settle down and farm in the area.
After John and his wife settled in Barton, they had the first church meeting in the area in 1805 in his barn and the Waverly Methodists attended this first meeting. Later, John donated the land and lumber for the church outside Waverly and Emory Chapel became the mother church for the Waverly United Methodist Church as we know it. It was named for John Emory, the 10th Bishop of the Wyoming Conference. Emory Chapel is the second oldest church in Tioga County.
Emory Chapel was incorporated into the Methodist Church on November 13, 1882 in the Schoolhouse of Ellistown, District # 2.
The church was built in 1833. It was remodeled in 1907 according to an old newspaper article. It again became the focus in 1971 of a larger remodeling effort. It was felt the church originally had balconies around three sided, with the pulpit being elevated on the fourth side in it's original state, and had been changed in the 1907 remodel.
The proposed focus was on the history involved around the area, in an attempt to make it a tourist attraction. The board planned on having the Chapel restored to it's early historical days appearance. In the basement a statue based on a theme of a Revolutionary " Drummer Boy " honoring John Hyatt, a drummer boy who is buried in the cemetery, along with veterans of seven wars was to be placed.
It was felt crafts instruction and exhibits would give added liveliness, making use of the old time material that was hoped to obtain for a small museum.
The Sanctuary was planned on being kept for special meetings and services. The DAR had an interest in doing this phase, including tours through the building. It was estimated at that time the whole remodel would cost $50,000 to have the Church restored completely. The church was sold to Tioga County Chamber of Commerce in October 1970 for $1.00 so the effort could go forward.
An effort to have the Church placed on the National Register of Historic Places was initiated in 1972..
The DAR and Ladies Aid Society are credited with most of the work of the upkeep of the building up to it's remodeling in 1971/72.
This letter was found in the file, which shows how important this Church was to it's members.
Dear Mrs. Holdridge;
Since my return home I often wondered how much and what progress has been made in making repairs to Emory Chapel. One can't turn an old friend down in the time of need, especially when she gave so much to me when I was young and growing up.
If only Emory Chapel could speak, what stories she could tell. Once she was the center of spiritual help and social activity for young and old alike. People were married there and they went out to build a family life with God's blessing. In the cemetery rest some of the chapel's greatest supporters. Down through the years, from the beginning she stood on a hill, white and majestic. May she always be so.
When we moved upon the farm, I remember my Mother going to the Ladies Aid. It was a society of women of the church who were always active in raising money for the preachers salary, collecting clothing for the missions or helping the needy. In the summer they held a strawberry festival and ice cream socials and in the fall Harvest suppers. People came from far and wide to enjoy these events. Everyone in the community participated in these social occasions.
At Christmastime, the two schools joined in having their recitations and plays at the church. Sometimes they would have a box social where the highest bidder had a chance to eat the lunch with the lady who made it. Now this was fun. I remember once they put on a comedy play to raise money and we all enjoyed it.
For people who like to sing, there was a choir and they usually met at least once a week to practice a new song.
While under the Methodist Conference the preacher had three charges; Barton, Emory Chapel and Lockwood. Every Sunday was a full day for him.
How many lives have been affected because they came to Emory Chapel? She never turned anyone away.
Let's remember the Golden Rule " Do unto others as you want others to do unto you." I hope there will be others with second thoughts and send another contribution. Enclosed is mine.
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Ernie Miles...... This page was updated Wednesday, 26-Mar-2008 06:34:15 PDT.