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Oliver Hazard Perry Archer was born in New York City in 1825. He was the son of Jonathan Archer of Tarrytown who died in 1832. O. H. P. Archer’s father was an intimate friend of Commodore Perry, and named his son after the naval hero. Oliver made his entrance into the world of affairs at the unusually young age of ten. While still a clerk, he bought an express business, and then a second. Shortly after that, he left his clerkship to manage both. His business became the first baggage express delivery on The Hudson River Railroad, and he was very successful in that endeavor. He eventually was chosen by Jay Gould to become Vice President of the Erie Railroad. In 1873, he retired from the Erie Railroad and devoted his time to his other interests.


He became a large owner of real estate, and built a summer home for himself and family in Allendale. His land holdings in Allendale at one time encompassed what today is known as Archer Church as well as Guardian Angel Church. He also was for many years a Trustee of Syracuse University, as well as the manager of the Board of Home and Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He had built Archer Memorial Church in memory of his father, Jonathan Archer. He and his wife eventually donated the church and land, along with Archer Hall (and the parsonage) to the Trustees of the church which he founded.


O. H. P. Archer married in 1845 to Mary Dean and they had five children. Mr. Archer died in 1899 in Allendale, and his funeral was held at Archer.


Archer Memorial Methodist Church was built in 1876 by the Honorable Oliver Hazard Perry Archer for the Methodists of Allendale. Between the years of 1876-1886 Archer Hall was built and in 1893 the church was enlarged by Archer. In 1968 when the Methodist Churches and the Evangelical United Brethren Churches merged, the name was changed and Archer Church became Archer United Methodist Church.

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