Newberry Meetinghouse

Newberry Meetinghouse

Set up by Sadsbury Monthly Meeting by 1739, having being in existence as an Indulged Meeting for several years.  A minute from the records of Sadsbury Monthly notes some of the early history of the meeting:

“At Sadsbury Monthly Meeting, March 7, 1739: There being divers families of Friends of late settled on the west side of the Susquehanna, some of them have produced certificates of this meeting from Kennett meeting, where they formerly dwelt, there being four mentioned in one certificate bearing date February 10, 1738, viz., Nathan Hussey and Ann his wife; John Garretson and Content, his wife; John Day and Ann, his wife; and another certificate from the same place bearing the date May 14, 1738, recommends Joseph Bennett and Rebecca, his wife, all of whom this meeting receives in membership with us. The Friends of that settlement being desirous of a toleration from this meeting to keep meeting of worship every first day and fourth day of the week for six months time, which request is granted.”

In 1746, John Day and Williamson Garretson were approved as overseers for the meeting.

In 1770, the meeting was made a part of   Warrington Monthly Meeting. Apparently, by this time, there were some issues to be resolved at Newberry, but it is not clear from the records exactly what those problems were and how they were resolved.

Warrington minutes note:

At Warrington Monthly Meeting 2-9-1771. “This meeting received written answers from each of our preparative meetings except Newberry; and it appears that the care of this meeting towards that meeting is necessary, which is left under consideration until next meeting.”

A committee was appointed Fourth Mo, 13, 1771, to visit and assist Newberry Preparative Meeting. Throughout 1771 the concern continued. On Fifth Mo 9, 1772, the following minute was made:  

“Part of the committee appointed to visit Newberry Preparative reports that they have performed that service and also reports that they decline to answer the queries, as they apprehend that it will cause a breach of unity amongst them, which is to be noted in the report to the quarterly meeting for their advice and assistance.”

The disturbance continued, and  William Willis, Benjamin Underwood, Ann Steer and Miriam Hussey, “solid Friends”, were sent “to sit with them” and report. On 1-9-1773 another minute of Warrington Monthly Meeting records “The case of Newberry meeting left under consideration.” 

In 1792, the meeting had replaced its  original meeting house, which is believed to have been a log structure, with a stone structure which bears a date stone in its eastern gable. But, by 1810, the meeting was looking for a new home, in a more central location, and they requested approval to sell the old meeting house and its surrounding lands in order to purchase property about two miles to the west. This action was approved and the meeting was relocated to its new home, generally known as Redlands. The original meetinghouse is now a private residence in Newberrytown. The original burial ground lies on the opposite side of the road, just past the fork in the road.

In 1780, Warrington Monthly had grown large enough that it was decided to separate two of its preparative meetings, Huntington and Menallen into a new monthly meeting to be called Menallen Monthly. When the Warrington Monthly was laid down in 1861, the members of Newberry and Warrington preparative meetings were attached to Menallen Monthly.

The graveyard for the meeting is under the care of Menallen Monthly.

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