Part of the American History and Genealogy Project




Churches of New Castle, New Castle Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware

Presbyterian Church, Pastors, Elders
Emanuel Protestant Episcopal Church, Pew-Holders, Wardens
Nazareth M. E, Church
Methodist Society, Ministers
New Castle Baptist Church
St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church
Union American Church
Salem M. E. Church

The majority of the early Swedish settlers were imbued with a respect for Divine worship, and this piety led them to establish places of worship, soon after their own homes were erected, in which accredited ministers expounded the Gospel. Among the first to serve in this connection was Rev. John Campanius, who came over with Governor Printz, in 1642. He preached in the settlements along Christiana Creek and the Delaware River. The tenure of the Swedes being so uncertain, but few churches were built under their occupancy. Under the Dutch more places of worship were established. Coming in colonies, it was invariably arranged that one of their number should be a man of piety, in full communion with the Reformed Dutch Church, to teach school and assist in public worship, often discharging the duties which pertain to the minister's office when there was no regular minister. About 1657 a regular Dutch Church was organized at New Amstel by Rev. John Polhemus, who stopped here on his way from Brazil to New Amsterdam, where he settled and died. This interest was placed in the care of Schoolmaster Evert Peterson; but the following year Rev. Evardus Welius came from Amsterdam as the first ordained settled minister of the town. He died in 1659. Again schoolmaster Peterson, who was also distinguished for his piety, assumed the ministerial functions. In 1662, Rev. Warnerus Hadson was sent from Holland to take his place, but died on the voyage. In 1678, Rev. Petrus Tasschemakers settled here and was pastor for several years, being probably the successor of the unruly Dominie Fabricius, who was deposed from the ministry. The meetings were held in a small wooden church, which stood between the market square and the river, and near the site of the old fort. By some it is supposed that the present Presbyterian Church occupies a part of the site of the old Dutch Church, and which appears to have been abandoned before 1700. Notwithstanding a number of Huguenots had settled at New Amstel, and a French clergyman died here in 1684, who may have been the minister, the church was not prospering and in the year last named the Classis of Amsterdam sent a pastoral letter in which the dissensions which had arisen are deplored and the congregation was exhorted to promote the Gospel and to secure a minister. The people were then under English rule, and although it had been expressly stipulated ''that the people be left free as to the liberty of conscience in church as formerly," after having taken the oath of allegiance to the British crown in civil matters, there was such a lack of harmony that the church appears to have lost all its influence. The people continued to worship in the old church as an independent congregation, but with diminished numbers, and there was a laxity of public morals, consequently, inconsistent with former practices. Through the influence of the Quaker element there was a demand upon the public authorities for the better observance of those laws which pertained to the sanctity of the Sabbath. In the court records of September 6, 1680, appears this minute:

''Whereas the frequent shooting of Partridges within this Towne of New Castle, on ye Sabbath or Lord's day, doth match tend to ye Propbaning of ye sd Lord's day. Itt is therefore this day, by the Court, ordered that for ye future noe person Inhabiting within this towne of New Castle shall presume on ye Lord's day to go on hunting or shooting after any Partridges as well without as within this Towne; or any other game upon a penalty of fyne of 10 Gilders for ye first time, 20 gilders fur ye second and ye loss of ye Gun for ye 3rd of Tens, of which all persons to take notice."

''Whereas the frequent shooting of Partridges within this Towne of New Castle, on ye Sabbath or Lord's day, doth match tend to ye Propbaning of ye sd Lord's day. Itt is therefore this day, by the Court, ordered that for ye future noe person Inhabiting within this towne of New Castle shall presume on ye Lord's day to go on hunting or shooting after any Partridges as well without as within this Towne; or any other game upon a penalty of fyne of 10 Gilders for ye first time, 20 gilders fur ye second and ye loss of ye Gun for ye 3rd of Tens, of which all persons to take notice."

Soon after the proprietorship of William Penn, steps were taken to establish a Friends' Meeting. This purpose was fully carried out, in 1684, by the Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia, under whose direction the meeting at New Castle became permanent. The Friends constituting it were few in numbers, and for a number of years they assembled at the houses of the various members, the first church being built in 1705. Fifteen years later a board of trustees is mentioned, and in October, 1720, they obtained title to a lot of ground, one hundred and twenty by three hundred feet, on Beaver and Otter Streets, the conveyance being from George Hogg, Sr., cordwainer, to John Richardson, Mahala Meers, George Hogg, Jr., and Edward Gibbs. In 1752, John Richardson deeded the property to another board of trustees, consisting of Benjamin Scott, John Leuden, Joseph Leaden, Eliakim Grarrettson and Joseph Rotheram. In 1758 the Meeting was ''raised'' finally and the members thereafter attended at Wilmington, the property ultimately passing into the possession of that Meeting, which sold it. What was known in later years as the Quaker meeting-house stood on the corner of Pine and Railroad Streets, and the ground extending to Union Street was set aside for burial purposes. This small plain brick building, antedating the Revolution, was demolished in 1886. Many years previously it stood unused, after having been occupied first by a white congregation and later by colored people.

About the time the Friends' Meeting was established it became apparent that the Dutch Church could only maintain its existence by adapting its services to the new class of settlers in New Castle. The English language was accordingly substituted, in most of the services, and continued to be used until the church ceased to be known as a Reformed Dutch body. Many of the new arrivals were from Scotland and the North of Ireland, where they had been nurtured in the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church, and the transition from one to the other was very easy.

The Presbyterian Church of New Castle is probably the successor of the old Dutch Church. Rev. John Wilson, a Presbyterian, preached here prior to 1708, as in the year named he is spoken of as having been gone half a year. He preached in the courthouse, and after his departure there was a desire for his return, and an expectation that a congregation could be permanently organized. He did return and commenced to make preparations for erecting a house of worship on lots purchased from John Brewster and Thomas Janvier. These deeds bear date August 15, 1707, and were executed "to Roeloffe De Haes, Sylvester Garland and Thomas Janvier, merchants and undertakers, or agents for erecting and building a Presbyterian Church or house of worship in the town of New Castle." The house built proved too small to accommodate the growing congregation, and in 1712 eighteen feet of ground adjoining was bought of John Brewster in order to enlarge it. Soon after the minister, Mr. Wilson, died, leaving a wife who received the generous support of the church during her life. His field of labor extended to White Clay Creek and to Appoquinimink. A short time before his death White Clay Creek sent a petition to the Presbytery to have the ordinances of the Gospel administered with more convenience and nearness to the place of their abode, promising withal due encouragement to the minister that shall be appointed to supply them. To this proposition New Castle objected, alleging that it would prevent a number of persons from attending the meetings in their town to worship, and would thus weaken their congregation. The statement made such an impression on the minds of the Presbytery that it decided not to grant the petition for separation; but immediately after Mr. Wilson's death the field was divided into three, and Rev. James Anderson became the pastor of the New Castle Church. One of the most important events of Mr. Anderson's ministry was the division, September 19, 1716, of the Philadelphia Presbytery into three separate Presbyteries, of which one was the Presbytery of New Castle. This embraced the churches of New Castle, Christiana Creek, Welsh Tract, Appoquinimink, Petuxen and Patapsco. The first session was held in the church at New Castle March 13, 1717, and the home church was represented by Elder David Miller, who served with the Huguenot, Thomas Janvier, in that office, the latter being the first elder. The same year the pastoral relation of Mr. Anderson was terminated by his removal to New York.

The third pastor of the congregation was Rev. Robert Cross, a native of Ireland, who was ordained and installed September 19, 1719. This was the first service of the kind in the church, and the first of the New Castle Presbytery. Thomas Janvier was the representative elder.

The ministry of Mr. Cross continued until the fall of 1722, when he became the pastor of the Jamaica (L. I.) Church, and later of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia.

In 1727 some of the members of the congregation residing in the country, below New Castle, sent commissioners to the Presbytery to request its concurrence in the building of a meeting-house in the centre of their neighborhood. This privilege was granted them, on their promise to continue members of the New Castle congregation, and a house was erected on Pigeon Run, near Red Lion. For many years it was used as it was designed to be, a chapel of ease to the church at New Castle."

The congregation at New Castle was served many years in connection with White Clay Creek, but, after 1756, a union was formed with Christiana Bridge, which was long continued, and, in 1769, Rev. Joseph Montgomery became the pastor. A distinguishing feature of his ministry was a plan for educating pious young men for the ministry, whereby a fund was to be raised by the joint efforts of pastors and members. The first student educated by this means was James Wilson, who was taken under the care of the Presbytery, in 1773. The labors of Mr. Montgomery were much disturbed by the breaking out of the war, and, in October, 1777, he resigned to become a chaplain in the American army. From this time until the settlement of Rev. Samuel Barr, in 1791, the pulpit was vacant, although occupied occasionally by supplies sent by the Presbytery.

In August, 1800, Rev. John E. Latta was installed as pastor and remained for twenty-four years. On February 3, 1808, the church through his efforts, became an incorporated body.

In 1842, Rev. John B. Spotswood became the pastor and continued until 1883. His ministry was one of the most important in the history of the congregation, as it embraced the building of the present fine church edifice, which was begun in 1851, but was not dedicated until 1854. The material is brown sandstone, arranged in Gothic architecture, and cost about twenty thousand dollars. It was erected under the direction of Charles M. Black, Andrew C. Gray and Dr. James Couper, who comprised the building committee. In the fall of 1884 Samuel M. Couper presented the old Black homestead to the congregation for a church manse, and two years later the cemetery and church property were improved at an outlay of five thousand dollars. The entire church property is valued at fifty thousand dollars, and the trustees are J. I. Taggart, J. D. Janvier, W. J. Ferris, G. W. Turner, J. J. Black, M. D., William McCoy and Henry Holschumaker.

The congregation had an active membership of over one hundred and the Sabbath school one hundred and seventy-five members.

Since its organization the pastors and supplies of the church have been the following:

Rev. John Wilson 1700-12
Rev. Janes Anderson 1713-17
Rev. Robert Croes 1710-28
Rev. Gilbert Tennent, S.S. 1726-27
Rev. Hugh Stevenson 1727-28
Presbyterial Supplies 1728-46
Rev. John Dick 1746-48
Rev. Daniel Thane 1757-63
Rev. Mr. Magaw, S. S. 1763-64
Rev. Joseph Montgomery 1765-77
Presbyterial Supplies 1791
Rev. Samuel Barr 1791-96
Rev. John B. Latta 1800-24
Rev. Joshua N. Danforth 1825-28
Rev. Wm. P. Alrichs, S. S. 1829-30
Rev. John H. Dickey 1830-32
Rev. James Knox 1832-34
Rev. John Decker 1835-42
Rev. John B. Spotswood 1842-83
Rev. Wm. P. Patterson 1884

The ruling elders, as far as can be ascertained, have been:

Thomas Janvier 1709
David Miller 1717
Sylvester Garland 1719
Thomas Moore 1770
William Scott 1796
Robert Bryan 1796
Samuel Barr 1796
William Aiken 1796
Samuel Ruth 1796
Alexander Duncan 1796
William Ruth 1800
James Couper 1800
C. Bridge 1800
Richard Hambly 1800
C. Bridges 1800
James Caldwell 1800
C. Bridge 1800
Dr. R. L. Smith 1800
C. Bridge 1800
George Pratt 1800
C. Bridge 1800
Robert Barr 1802
Charles Thomas 1802
Jacob Belville 1802
Hugh Gemmill 1806
Dr. James Couper 1816
Kensey Johns, Jr 1816
John Belville 1816
Nicholas Van Dyke 1815
Matthew Kean 1826
James McCullough 1830
James Smith 1830
Elijah Start 1889
John Gordon 1839
William F. Lane 1857
David Stewart, Jr., M. D 1886
Wm. D. Greer 1885

Although the history of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New Castle properly begins with the year 1703, when the movement was successfully inaugurated which afterward resulted in the founding of the Emanuel congregation, it appears that a quarter century earlier a congregation of the Church of England existed in New Castle for a few years. With regard to this particular religious element the records are not full, and as there was not any mention of it at the organization of Emanuel Church, the presumption is that it was disbanded some years prior to the beginning of the eighteenth century, and that it used the old New Castle Church as a place of worship. On April 4, 1677, the court "further considering that the Late and Church Warden, Marten Rosemond, being deceased, some fit persons ought to be appointed to supply and administer the said place of said Church Warden in this Town of New Castle. Have therefore thought fitt to appoint Mr. Hendrick Williams and Mr. John Harmens to bee said Church Wardens in the Roome of the deceased for and during the space of one yeare now next ensuing this date."

The Emanuel Protestant Episcopal Church of New Castle was founded early in the eighteenth century. On August 11, 1703, some of the inhabitants of New Castle petitioned the Bishop of London ''to take compassion on their deplorable condition and to supply preaching by a person in holy orders." Having received a favorable answer, measures were taken to build a house of worship. This purpose led to the establishment of the church in 1704, about twenty families being friendly to the movement. Through the assistance of citizens of Philadelphia and the Presbyterians of New Castle, the church was opened in 1706, with solemn services, Rev. Charles Rudman, Swedish minister at Oxford, Pa., preaching the sermon. At this time the church was described by the Rev. Evan Evans, of Philadelphia, as ''a large and fair structure."

In 1705, Rev. George Roes came as the first minister, being sent by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parte. Three years later the congregation was much diminished by deaths resulting from an epidemic, which discouraged Mr. Ross, and led to his removal to Chester, in 1709. For this action he was recalled by the society, and ordered to return to England. While on his way to that country he was captured by a French cruiser February 9, 1711, carried to Brest, stripped of his clothes and treated in an inhuman manner. On being released he returned to Chester and again resumed his missionary labors at New Castle. During his absence Revs. Robert Sinclair and Jacob Henderson occasionally preached. Mr. Rosa remained with the congregation until his death, in 1754. The next three years Rev. Aaron Cleveland, a friend of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, was the minister, and died at his house August 11, 1757. Rev. Aeneas Ross, a son of the first minister, now assumed the duties of a rector, serving the parish from 1757 to 1782.

After a short interval Rev. Charles Henry Wharton began a ministry which extended from 1784 to 1788. His successor was the Rev. Robert Clay, who became the rector in 1788, and continued until 1833. The successive rectors were Rev. Stephen Wilson Prestman, 1888; Rev. George W. Freeman, 1843; Rev. Benjamin Franklin, 1856; Rev. Richard Wittingham, 1864; Rev. Charles Sidney Spencer, 1867; Rev. P. B. Lightner, 1886.

On the 4th of December, 1716, Richard Halliwell, one of the members of the church, devised by will a glebe of sixty-seven acres, which has ever since been used for the benefit of the church. A later benefactor was John Janvier, who bequeathed the income of $5850.10 for the good of the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches and Sabbath-schools. The instrument bears date March 23, 1846, and the fund he left was placed in charge of trustees.

In 1724 a gallery was built in the church to accommodate the growing congregation. Four years later the pew-holders were Richard Halliwell's family, Joseph Wood, John Strand, Samuel Kirk, Thomas Dakeyne, John Land, Peter Jaquett, Cornelius Kettle, Richard Grafton, William Read, Samuel Lowman, Yeates & Custis, Zophar Eaton, John Wallace, Thos. Gassel, Richard Reynolds, Peter Hance, James Sykes, John Cann.

In 1802 money was subscribed to repair the church, but it was not until 1818 that extensive repairs were actually begun, and completed in 1822. The citizens united in purchasing a town clock, which was placed in the tower, in charge of the Common's trustees. They retained control and kept it in order until June, 1887, when it was transferred to the trustees of Emanuel Church.

About this time the congregation notably increased in numbers. On October 28, 1822, the pew-holders of the church were the following:

Jess Moore
George Pierce
John Gordon
John Stockton
John Wiley
James Frazier
John Springer
William Guthrie
David Paynter
Samuel Carpenter
Cornelius D Blaney
Isaac Grantham
Capt Lemuel Hawley
Kensey Johns, Jr
John Wiley, Sr
Nicholas Van Dyke
Thomas Janvier
John Janvier
Rev Robert Clay
Evan Thomas
Joseph Roberts
Jeremiah Bowman
Dr Henry Colesberry
Richard Lexton
James Rogers
Wm T Read
James Booth, Jr
George Read, Jr
James R Black
George Read
James Booth
Kensey Johns
Kensey, Van Dyke
Charles Thomas
Thomas W Rogers
John D Eves
John Riddle
Isaac G Israel
James McCalmont
Richard B Smith
John Duncan
Morcia O Ross
James Copeur
John Ocheltree
John Duncan
James Thompson
James McCullongh
James Le Fevre
Wm T Israel
Jacob Welsh
Hugh W Ritchie
John Bellville

In the spring of 1848 a fine cross, six feet high and covered with copper, was raised on the spire of the church, and two years later the chancel was beautified. In the summer of 1860 the church was enlarged and improved, and other repairs were again made in 1880.

In 1869 a frame chapel was built in the northern part of New Castle, at a cost of $2166.86. In the spring of 1887 a very fine rectory was completed, at a cost of six thousand dollars. In 1887 the vestry was composed of Alfred C. Nowland and John McFarlin, wardens; John H. Rodney, Thomas Holcomb, Eugene Rogers, Benj. R. Ustick, Michael King, J. E. V. Piatt and Lewis E. Eliason, vestrymen.

The following is a list of wardens of the church and the years of their election:

Richard Halliwell 1710
James Robinson 1710
John Land 1715
Edward Jennings 1715
John Earl 1715
James Sykes 1718
William Bead 1720
James Merriwether 1721
Richard Grafton 1722
James Sykes 1729
James Merriwether 1729
Jehu Curtis 1730
William Read 1731
Richard Grafton 1731
Henry Gonnill 1734
Nicholas Jaquett 1739
John Vangezell 1746
Jehu Curtis 1762
John Stoop 1762
Richard McWilliams 1763
Jacob Grantham 1763
William Till 1759
Joseph Enos 1762
William Stubey 1766
Alexander Harvey 1767
John Stockton 1784
Joseph Tatlow 1785
Thomas Aiken 1786
John Wetherel 1786
William Clay 1797
Thomas Bond 1798
Michael King 1800
Kensey Johns 1802
Michael King 1803
Thomas Bond 1806
Henry Colesberry 1808
William T. Read 1820
James Booth 1824
Bran H. Thomas 1833
William T. Bead 1834
Geo. B. Rodney 1866
James B. Booth 1867
Alfred C. Nowland 1873
John McFariln, 1884

Nazareth M. E, Church
As early as 1769, Captain Thomas Webb, a pensioned officer of the British army, came to New Castle and preached as a Methodist minister. His teachings were received with so little favor that the doors of the Court-House were closed against him, though open to various forms of frivolity. Under these circumstances, Robert Furness, a tavern-keeper, opened his house for preaching, notwithstanding he was fully aware that he would lose much of his custom. Later he joined the Methodists, and preaching continued to be held at his place. In 1780, while Benjamin Abbott was the minister, and was preaching in the public-room of the house, "a pack of ruffians attempted to take possession, and one stood with a bottle in his hand, swearing that he would throw it at the minister's head. But Furness placed himself at the door and prevented such an act, while Mr. Abbott continued to proclaim the truths of the Gospel."

About this time a Methodist Society was formed in New Castle, but did not last long. A second was also disbanded after an experience of a few years, and after having promised to be more permanent than like societies organized in neighboring towns. They declined because New Castle had, at that period, no increase of population, and most of the old inhabitants had their church preferences well fixed in their minds. Neither were the meetings held with any great regularity on account of the scarcity of ministers. Those occasionally preaching were Revs. John King, Robert Williams, Richard Boardman, Joseph Pennor, Richard Wright and Francis Asbury, whose itinerancy extended over a large area of country.

The present society was formed in 1820, and was composed of twenty-one members, with Thomas Challenger as leader of the class. The same year a small church was built in the grave-yard now used by the society, at New Castle, and was dedicated in the spring of 1821. Thomas Challenger, Noah Morris, Samuel Wood and John Hays were the first trustees. In 1863 a new house of worship was erected upon the same lot, which was enlarged in 1876 by the addition of the chapel in the rear, used for classrooms and a church parlor. The church is valued at seventeen thousand dollars. In 1883 a parsonage worth three thousand five hundred dollars' was built on the opposite side of the street, and in 1887 both were controlled by a board of trustees, composed of S. Atwood Steward, John B. Manlove, Henry W. Frazier, James E. Biggs, Robert C. Gordon, George Williams, Elwood L. Wilson, Isaac Sutton and George W. Vandegrift.

After being successfully established, the church entered upon a career of prosperity. The membership is about two hundred and seventy, in addition to a Sabbath school of four hundred and fifty members.

In 1820 the church was supplied, in connection with Newport, by Revs. Joseph Rusling, Ezekiel Cooper and James Smith. In 1822 the service was, with Asbury Church, Wilmington, and the ministers were Revs. Lawrence Lawrenson and John Henry; 1823, with Newport, Rev. Henry G. King; 1825, with Cecil Circuit, Revs. John Goforth and Edward Page.

In 1837 the church became a station. The ministers have been:

Rev. Pennell Coombe 1837
Rev. James H. McFarland 1839
Rev. John D. Long 1841
Rev. J. L. Taft 1843
Rev. Nicholas Ridgely 1844
Rev. Samuel G. Hare 1846
Rev. Arthur W. Milby 1846
Rev. Thomas Miller 1847
Rev. Peter Halliwell 1848
Rev. Andrew Manship 1849
Rev. J. H. Wythes 1860
Rev. Wm. B. Walton 1862
Rev. J. N. King 1854
Rev. J. 8. Lane 1856
Rev. Wm. J. Paxton 1866
Rev. John O'Nell 1868
Rev. John W. Pierson 1869
Rev. Thomas Montgomery 1861
Rev. M. H. Sisty 1863
Rev. S. N. Chew 1866
Rev. Daniel George 1867
Rev. Leonidas Dobson 1868
Rev. Wm. B. Wharton 1870
Rev. H. H. Colclazer 1873
Rev. J. B. Mann 1874
Rev. Geo. B. Bristor 1877
Rev. David O. Ridgeway 1879
Rev. Madison A. Richards 1880
Rev. Geo. B. Bristor 1881
Rev. Nicholas M. Brown 1882
Rev. Thomas B. Terry 1885
Rev. Edward L. Hubbard 1887

The New Castle Baptist Church was organized at a meeting held in the court-house September 30, 1876, when fourteen persons united in church fellowship as follows: Mrs. Margaret Davis, Sallie M. George, Susan Harrington, Caroline La Boub, Edward Dalby, J. C. La Boub, Joseph Pyle, J. N. Taylor, Joseph H. Whitsell, Sillie Q. McMullin, Anna Whitsell, Mattie V. Pedrick, Alice Pyle and Ellen Pyle.

The meetings, which resulted in this organization, were held by Revs. W. H. Young and B. MacMackin, students of Crozer Theological Seminary at Chester, and the latter afterward served as the first regular pastor. He remained until May, 1885, when Rev. J. Miller was called and preached until October. Rev. W. W. Ferris next served from the early part of 1886 until March, 1887. At this time there were forty-six members, and Edward Dalby and William Sutton were deacons; W. H. Volk, clerk. Other clerks have been Taeo. White, C. F. Lancaster, John P. Garber and J. H. George.

In June, 1877, a board of trustees was elected, consisting of Edward Dalby, Nehemiah Davis, J. C. La Boub and S. Pederick, and measures were taken to build a chapel, which was completed December 19, 1879. It is a very neat brick structure, valued at six thousand dollars. '

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church . Catholic services were held at New Castle as early as 1804, by visiting priests from Wilmington; and the church founded soon after stood in the relation of a preaching-station to that city for many years. In 1807 an effort was made to erect a small brick church, but several years elapsed before it was completed, when, through the efforts of B. Murphy and others, it was finished. To assist in this work, au act was passed by the Legislature, February 3, 1808, to enable John Bird, John Janvier, Samuel Barr, James McCalmont and Evan Thomas, as managers, to raise a sum of money not exceeding two thousand dollars by lottery; but it does not appear that this means was successfully employed. The old church was used more than sixty years, and until 1828 Father P. Kenney was the principal priest. Fathers George A. Correll and P. Reilly were later ministers.

In 1854 Father Cobbin came to New Castle as the resident priest, and served a parish which embraced all the other Catholic Churches on the Peninsula. In 1868 the church ceased to belong to the diocese of Philadelphia, and became a part of the new diocese of Wilmington, with parish bounds much restricted. Still later all other churches were separated from it excepting Delaware City, which is still connected as a mission.

Father Cobbin was pastor until 1864, when he was succeeded by Father Cajetan Sorrentina, who continued until 1866. The same year Father B. A. Baumeister was pastor for four months, and was succeeded by Father George Borneman, whose ministry extended over a period of eighteen months. Father E. A. Connelly was the pastor for nearly a year. In the new diocese Father John Daily was the first priest, remaining until his death, September 5, 1374, and his remains were buried under the church. It was he who began the present edifice in 1870, and who labored unceasingly to complete it. The church was consecrated May 27, 1876, when the present cardinal of Baltimore officiated. The following year the fine pastoral residence adjoining was erected. Bath buildings are of brick. The property is worth thirty-five thousand dollars.

The successor of Father Daily was Father Benjamin J. Keiley, who remained until 1880, when Father Francis J. Rebman was pastor until September, 1884. Since the latter period the priest of the parish has been Father Edward L. Brady. The church has one hundred and fifty families in communion. Of the several societies connected with the church, St. Peter's Beneficial Society is one of the most important. It was organized in 1867.

The Union American Church is a plain brick building, having a seating capacity for several hundred persons, and was erected in 1863. The society occupying it is an offshoot of Mt. Salem African M. E. Church and was organized in 1836. The same year eighteen persons withdrew from the membership and established worship of their own, meeting for a time in the old Quaker meeting-house. In 1839 they built a small frame church which was used until the present building took its place. It is worth several thousand dollars and the trustees are William Butler, Joshua Ayers and Edward Handy. The membership of the church was fifty-six in June, 1887, and Asbury Smith was the pastor in charge.

ML Salem M. E. Church (Colored) is a brick edifice costing $2000, and was erected in 1878. The society first worshipped in various parts of the town and after 1857 in a small frame building of its own. Isaac Young, a local preacher, was pastor. In 1857 it had a membership of fifty persons with the following officers: Trustees, Parker Balon, Nelson Murray, Benj. H. Harrison, Alexander Terry, Jesse H. Guy, Noah Townsend and Douglas Black. In the new church the regular ministers were Revs. I. H. White, Thomas M. Hubbard, James H. Scott, Wm. Taylor, James K. Adams and James H. Scott.

The New Castle Y. M. C A. was organized in 1883 and at one time had forty members. D. C. Spafford and Dr. David Stewart were presidents. A reading room was opened and much benevolent work was under-taken, but a declining interest and removals caused the organization to disband.

An auxiliary branch of the Women's Christian Temperance Union was organized at New Castle in 1880 by Frances Willard and others. Twelve ladies became active members and ten sustained an honorary relation. Mrs. Mary P. Challenger was the first president, but since 1882 Mrs. A. E. Davidson has filled that position. The society has disseminated a great deal of temperance literature and accomplished much missionary work. Since 1884 it has been active in religious, prison and charitable work.

New Castle County

Source: History of Delaware, 1609-1888, Volume I, by J. Thomas Scharf, L. J. Richards & Company, Philadelphia, 1888.

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