Originally Cromwell was part of Middletown and was called “Middletown Upper Houses.” The “Little River” formed a natural division between the two parts of Middletown. In January 1703, it was agreed “that the people of the Upper Houses might form a society of their own, provided that they settled a minister and built a meeting house within twelve months of that time.” The General Assembly of Connecticut incorporated the North Society the following May. Twelve years passed, however, before they built a meeting house “northeast of the old burying ground.”
At first they employed candidates to preach to them, “hoping that their minds and hearts would be so united that they might call a man to be their pastor and settle him.” On January 5, 1715 the church was organized, numbering twenty-three members, twenty of whom had belonged to the church in Middletown, one to another church and two on profession of faith. On the same occasion, Joseph Smith was installed as pastor.
The records of this early period were kept by the minister in a small note book which became worn out and was discarded, but not before the Reverend Edward Eels, who succeeded Joseph Smith, had made a faithful transcript of the records, including the names of the charter members.