Mission 225! This Week In St. Paul’s History

August 5, 2022

Church News

This year marks the 225th Anniversary of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ!  Our congregation has accomplished a lot over the past 225 years!  We plan to honor our forebears in faith, celebrate the present, and vision our way into the future throughout the remainder of 2022.  Periodically, we will feature a St. Paul’s moment in history in our weekly update and bulletin.  Here’s our first moment…how it all got started!  A special thank you goes out to Helen Brown and Andra Snyder for spearheading this effort!

Peter Ankeny is regarded as the pioneer Reformed settler in the area now known as Somerset and Bedford Counties.  (At one time, parts of now Somerset County were considered Bedford County).

Peter and his brother Christian crossed the Alleghenies from Washington County, Maryland, in 1772 or 1773.  Peter acquired a tract of land south of the town of Somerset, known as the Hugus farm.  The following spring, Peter returned to Maryland for his wife and child; their belongings, including a ten plate stove weighing about 400# were conveyed to their new home on pack horses.  Peter became one of the owners of the land on which the present town of Somerset was built.  In 1795, he donated two lots to the Reformed and Presbyterian churches “for church and burial purposes”.  These two lots are now known as Ankeny Square.  The stone pillars were originally part of the old courthouse.  It is believed that the first building was a log structure, followed by a stone church built in 1810.  Father Henry Giese was the Reformed church minister from 1796 to 1818; he is buried in Berlin, PA.

Source document:

Pastors and People of the Somerset Classis

The Reformed Church in the United States

Copyright 1910

L. Nevin Wilson


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