Friends were among the earliest immigrants into central and western New York after the region was opened to non-Indian settlement following the signing of treaties between the United States and the Iroquois. Quakers had come to Farmington, in Ontario County, in 1789, and their meeting was officially recognized as a Preparative Meeting by Saratoga Monthly Meeting in 1799. By 1810 Friends meetings were sufficiently numerous to require the establishment of Farmington Quarterly Meeting. Ricketson’s map of 1821 shows eight monthly meetings in the quarter (Scipio, Junius, Farmington, Hartland, Eden and Concord) with fifteen preparative meetings attached to them. In 1825, Scipio Quarter was set off from Farmington.
The Effects of Division
The religious controversies of the first half of the 19th century had long lasting impacts in Farmington-Scipio Quarters. Following the Hicksite/Orthodox separation of 1828, Orthodox Friends were further divided by a Wilburite separation in 1847-1848, and the Wilburites were subdivided into Kingite and Otisite branches in 1859. During the 1860s and ‘70s there were four different bodies called Scipio Monthly Meeting: Hicksite, Orthodox, Kingite and Otisite. The Wilburites later reunited and affiliated with Canada Yearly Meeting (Conservative). In 1834, Hicksite Friends in Farmington, Scipio and Canada were set off from New York Yearly Meeting to form Genesee Yearly Meeting. Genesee Yearly Meeting was weakened in 1848 by the withdrawal of a group of radical Friends who set up a Yearly Meeting of Congregational Friends centered in Junius.
Unified Yearly Meeting
During the 20th century the trend was toward unity. New monthly meetings were established. Scipio Quarter became a united meeting in the 1930’s, affiliated with both the Hicksite and Orthodox branches of New York Yearly Meeting. In 1955 when the New York Yearly Meetings reunited, there were two quarterly meetings: Farmington Quarter with Batavia, Collins, Farmington, and Hartland Monthly Meetings; and Scipio Quarter with Alfred, Buffalo and Niagara Falls, Elmira, Finger Lakes (Geneva), Ithaca, Mohawk Valley, Perry City, Poplar Ridge, Rochester and Syracuse. Subsequently Orchard Park, (formerly East Hamburg, Hicksite, Genesee Yearly Meeting,) and Fredonia joined Farmington Quarter; Finger Lakes (Geneva) and Batavia were laid down, Mohawk Valley shifted its affiliation to Butternuts Quarter.
Farmington-Scipio Regional Meeting was created in 1975 by a merger of the two Quarters with thirteen constituent meetings. A new monthly meeting, Central Finger Lakes (Penn Yan) was accepted in 1987. Genesee Valley Executive Meeting was later formed out of Alfred Meeting. Worship groups in two prisons, Attica and Auburn now meet under the sponsorship of the Farmington-Scipio Region. Summer meetings are held at Chautauqua under the care of Fredonia and at Hector (Jacksonville) under the care of Ithaca.