REV. ISRAEL NEWTON TERRY, D. D.
During a period of fourteen years, dating from September, 1876, the Rev. Israel Newton Terry filled the
pulpit of the Presbyterian church of New Hartford, this being the longest pastorate in the ministerial career of
this good man which was terminated by death on the 16th of July, 1908. Mr. Terry was born in South Weymouth, Massachusetts,
on the 20th of February, 1851, and was descended from a long line of Puritan ancestors. His parents were the Rev.
James Pease and Catherine (Matson) Terry, the father being a direct descendant of Major Ephraim Terry of Continental
army fame. He was eighth in descent from Governor William Bradford of the Mayflower.
The son of a minister the Rev. Israel Newton Terry was reared amid environments which were naturally conducive
to the adoption of the church for his life vocation. His early education was acquired in the public schools of
his native village, after the completion of which he entered Amherst College, graduating in 1871, when he matriculated
at the Hartford Theological Seminary at Hartford, Connecticut, from which he was graduated. Later he took a post
graduate course at Union Theological Seminary at New York city. Possessing mental powers of more than average ability
and being of a studious nature Mr. Terry continued his studies all through life and was a man of broad general
information on all secular as well as theological subjects. In May, 1876, he was called to fill the pulpit of the
Presbyterian church of New Hartford, which position, as mentioned above, he most capably filled for fourteen years.
His scholarly instincts and innate refinement and culture, as well as his broad views and tolerance for the ideas
of others, whether or not they coincided with his own made him a charming friend and delightful companion as well
as popular minister. During the fifteen years that followed his withdrawal from the church of New Hartford Doctor
Terry was acting pastor at the Whitesboro Presbyterian church for six months and at the First Presbyterian church
at Utica for nearly two years, but most of his work was given to the Presbyterian church at New Hartford and Westminster
church at Utica, where together twenty five years of his life were spent. He served seven years as associate pastor
with Dr. Thomas J. Brown at the Westminster Presbyterian church in Utica, after whose demise he was installed pastor
continuing his work there up to the time of his death, July 16, 1908. In 1897 Hamilton College of Clinton, New
York, conferred upon him the degree of doctor of divinity. Although he was only fifty seven years of age when he
died he had been a member of the Utica Presbytery since 1876.
For a wife and helpmate Doctor Terry chose Miss Emily Huntington Butler, their union being solemnized in New Hartford,
on the 28th of September, 1880. Mrs. Terry was a daughter of Francis and Harriette (Sherrifi) Butler, and a direct
descendant in the paternal line from Eli Butler, who was a captain in the Continental army. Doctor Terry held membership
in both the Sons of the Revolution and the Society of the Mayflower Descendants. Although it has been more than
twenty years since he was a resident of New Hartford Doctor Terry is remembered, the impress of his personality
upon those with whom he came in contact being so strong that his influence could not be lost in any community where
he might have presided.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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