Illinois Genealogy Trails History Group

Clark County Illinois
Genealogy and History


Chapter 15


The History of Crawford and Clark County
W. H. Perrin, O. L. Baskin & Co., 1883

Transcribed by Kevin Ortman and Barbara Z.



" Where nothing dwelt but beasts of prey, Or men as fierce and wild as they."

IN the year 1832 Joseph Martin came to Clark County and settled on section 7 of town 10 and built a house on the National Road, which at that time was in process of construction.

Subsequently he laid out a village, which he named for himself, Martinsville. At the time the county went into township organization, the precinct in which the village was situated, took its name from the town. The limits of the township thus organized, concluded with the limits of the congressional survey, and contained the regular thirty -six sections.

In 1859, on the formation of the township of Auburn, three sections from the northeast corner were taken for that purpose, and subsequently, to equalize the contribution of the various towns to the construction of Auburn, four and a half sections were added to the northern boundary of Martinsville from Dolson, making the township somewhat in the form of the letter L and containing in all thirty -seven and a half square miles of territory. The township originally was pleasantly diversified with prairie and woodland. The prairie portion is made up of Parker Prairie, which occupies the northwest corner, and Dolson Prairie, which extends through the central part of the township from the northern to the southern boundary. The surface of the prairie is gently undulatory, and when first pressed by the feet of white men was covered with a dense growth of tall grass, interspersed with numerous flowers of almost every hue, which gave the country the appearance of a vast garden.

The original condition of the soil was wet and slushy owing to the hard clay subsoil, beneath which the water could not penetrate. This moisture, together with the vast amount of decaying vegetable matter which had rotted upon the ground for centuries, proved the prolific source of many of the malarial diseases with -which the early settlers were afflicted. As the country became populated artificial drainage was resorted to, and the parts that were formerly looked upon as next to worthless have been reclaimed, and are now the best farming districts in the township. The soil is a rich black loam, varying in depth from fifteen inches to two feet, and can not be excelled for agricultural purposes. The broken parts of the township are confined principally to the eastern and western parts, and were originally heavily timbered with oak and hickory. Along the water courses, walnut was found in limited quantities, and elms of gigantic sizes were to be seen at intervals; much of the best timber land has been cleared, and the ground put in cultivation. The soil in the timber and on the more elevated portions is light and largely clay mixed. It is far inferior to the prairie soil for farming purposes but yet by careful tillage it returns fair crops of wheat, oats, corn and the other cereals.

The township is drained by a number of water courses which traverse the country in various directions. The chief of these streams is the North Fork which enters the township near the northwest corner, and takes a southerly course through the western part.

It receives a number of small tributaries in its course and leaves the township from section 19. Along this stream the country is very broken and abrupt, and poorly adapted for agricultural purposes. Willow Creek, the second stream in size, has its source in section 16, and flows a southeasterly direction and passes in its course through sections 12 and 20, and crosses the southern boundary of the township from section 35. During the greater part of the year this stream is very small, but in rainy seasons it frequently becomes a raging torrent, and often overflows its banks for considerable distances on either side.

A tributary of Mill Creek known as Blackburns branch rises near the central part of the township, and flows an easterly direction through sections 15, 23 and 24. Stockwell Creek flows through the northern part of the township in a southwesterly course and unites with North Fork, about one half mile west of the village of Martinsville in section 18. All the streams enumerated receive a number of small affluents which meander through various parts of the township. The early condition of the country presented but few inducements to the pioneer, and it was not until a number of years had elapsed from the date of the first settlement in the eastern part of the county that any settlement was made within the present limits of the township. A number of squatters whose name could not be ascertained, located in an early day, along the North Fork, but made no improvements further than erecting a few rude cabins, and clearing small spaces of ground around them. They were allured to the county in quest of game, which at that time was very plenty and easily procured. These transient citizens remained but few years, and left for other parts at the appearance of the permanent settlers who entered and improved the land.

The first permanent settlement in the township was made in the western part on the present site of Martinsville village, about the year 1829. The principal attraction to this point was the National Road which had been surveyed through the country a few years previous, and at the time referred to was in process of construction. A large number of men were employed on the work, which necessitated the erection of boarding houses for their accommodation. Several of these were erected at different places, but, unfortunately the names of the proprietors have been forgotten. John Chancellor was the first permanent settler of whom anything definite is known. He immigrated to this State from Kentucky and built his first house, which was a small cabin, a short distance west of the main part of the village in the spring of 1829. The following year he erected a more commodious structure, a large two-story log house, which he opened for the accommodation of the workmen and such transient guests as found it convenient to accept his hospitalities. He appears to have been a man of some prominence and made a number of improvements during the period of his residence in the township. He entered the land where the town of Martinsville was laid out in the year 1832. It was about this time that the first native accession was made to the settlement in the person of John M. Chancellor, whose birth occurred the latter part of the above year. Chancellor died at his home in the year 1881, at an advanced age. The old homestead is at present occupied by his daughter, Mrs. Montgomery. Joshua Abney, a brother-in-law of Chancellor, came about the same time and located in section 7, a short distance west of the village. He was a Kentuckian also, but had lived in Coles County several years prior to his moving to this township. He became the possessor of forty acres of land, which ho occupied until the year 1832, at which time he sold to Benjamin Dolson and moved to Indiana. Dolson came to Clark County as early as 1824, and settled in Melrose township. He moved to Martinsville six years later and erected a two story hewed log- house on the National Road, a short distance west of the Chancellor farm, which he opened for the benefit of the traveling public. This house became a very popular resort and was a favorite stopping place for travelers for a number of years. The generous hospitality of the landlord and the abundance of the fare attracted the passersby and the tavern was never in want of paying guests. It was extensively patronized until the year 1843, when it was discontinued on account of Dolson's death.

Among the earliest settlers in the same locality, was Amos Potts who immigrated from Ohio in the year 1830. He located on section 7 and erected the first house on the original plat of Martinsville. Potts had the reputation of being a shrewd trader and was induced to settle at this point through a spirit of speculation. Not realizing his anticipated fortune, he sold his land to David Weisner and Benjamin Dolson, after occupying it about eighteen months, and moved with his family further west. In the year 1832, the little settlement was increased by the addition of the following persons: Jacob Chriss, Isaac Chriss, Jerry Chriss, David T. Weisner and Thomas Scholfield. The Chriss family wore from Ohio. The father, Jacob Chriss, was one of the earliest pioneers of Miami County in that State and lived there until quite an old man. Like all the early settlers in this country they came west to make their fortunes which they supposed could be realized in a very short time. Isaac Chriss settled about two miles north of the village of Martinsville on land which is at present in possession of the widow Ullery. Jerry located a short distance east of the village on land which has since been added to the town plat. The father made his home with his sons until his death which occurred a short time after their arrival. The Chrisses were men of roving tendencies and remained but few years in this part of the country, when they sold out and moved overland to Oregon.

Isaac died in that State in the year 1853. Jerry subsequently moved to Texas, since which nothing has been heard of him. David Weisner was a native of the District of Columbia. He immigrated to Clark County some time prior to 1825 and settled in York township where he achieved considerable notoriety as a pugilist. At the breaking out of the Black Hawk War he enlisted in the company of volunteers raised at York, and was one of the few soldiers from this part of the State who saw any real service in that struggle. He entered land in this township, in 1832, on which he moved the latter part of the same year. He achieved a very unsavory reputation while a resident of Martinsville and appears to have been engaged in many of the rows and drunken brawls so common in the early history of the village. His favorite theme was politics, which he talked almost constantly, and when his arguments failed to convince an adversary he frequently backed them with something more forcible, his first. Being a very Hercules in strength, but few cared to gain his ill-will and he was generally allowed to have his own way. He subsequently moved to Cumberland County, where, it is said, ho reformed from his many evil habits and ways and became a respectable and well-to-do citizen. Thomas Scholfield moved to Illinois from Ohio, about the year 1838 and settled in Melrose township where he lived until 1833. He moved to Martinsville some time during the latter year, and acquired forty acres of land lying a short distance west of the village. He improved a portion of this land, and occupied it until the year 1835 at which time he sold to Benjamin Dolson and David Weisner and removed two miles further west into the adjoining township of Cumberland. Scholfield was a good man, and did much in a quiet way to advance the interests of the community in which he resided. He moved to Oregon in the year 1856 and at the present time is living in that State. His son, Judge Scholfield, a man of State reputation and the leading lawyer of the county, resides in Marshall. The following year witnessed the arrival in the township, of William McGahan and Amos Bixby. McGahan located here for the purpose of working on the National Road. He entered forty acres of land near Martinsville, which he sold, on the completion of the road, and joined the tide of immigration which at that time was making its way to Oregon and California. Bixby was an unmarried man, or to express it in more terse English, an old bachelor. He entered land a few miles west of the village, in this and the adjoining township of Cumberland. He was a man of ample means and continued to add to his original tract of land until he became the possessor of more than six hundred acres. A good portion of this land  was rented to early settlers on their arrival in the county, before they had time to improve farms of their own. Bixby was a man of intelligence and considerable business tact, but possessed many peculiar characteristics. His conduct at times was very singular and he seemed to labor under the weight of some secret trouble which gave rise to the question of his sanity. He built a good house on his farm which he fitted up with great care for his own use. The morning after its completion, he went to a neighbor near by and borrowed a gun for the purpose, he said, of killing a deer. No sooner did he get the gun than he returned to his house, entered and securely fastened the door. He then placed the muzzle of the gun beneath his chin, discharged it with a stick and killed himself instantly. The manner of his death left no doubt in the minds of the people as to his insanity. Among others who settled in the township prior to 1834 were Green Redman and Joshua P. Cooper. The former was a native of Kentucky, and, after his arrival here became an active politician. He was a man of considerable talent and possessed the happy faculty of telling what he knew, which he often did in such plain English, as to offend his political opponents. He was chosen justice of the peace at the first election held in the precinct, and served the people in that capacity for several terms. In the year 1840, he sold his possessions in Martinsville and moved to Clay County. From there he went to Missouri a few years later, and subsequently became a citizen of Kansas. He took an active part in the Kansas agitation, and was a member of the Lecompton Constitutional convention. He was afterward elected a member of the Legislature of that State and made himself obnoxious to the anti-slavery members by his vigorous outspoken pro-slavery sentiments. Cooper's native State was Pennsylvania, which he left in early manhood and went to Indiana. He moved to Illinois and settled near Martinsville in the summer of the year alluded to, but made no improvements. He was an attorney, and might have become a rising man but for his innate love of low things, which made him many enemies in the community. He was one of the principal actors in till! formation of the village of Martinsville and took a lively interest in its growth and development.'' He afterward moved to Martinsville. During the succeeding year the following persons settled within the present limits of the township: Albert Kitchell, David Chancellor, James Wright and Samuel Dolson. Later came Asa Starks, Addison Spenny, Lemuel S. Claypool and Willis
Doughetee. Starks, of whom but little is known, immigrated from the State of New York and located a short distance east of the present site of Martinsville. He remained but few years when he sold out and left the township. Spenny came to Illinois from Ohio in company with his father and settled a few miles south of Martinsville. A brother, Morrison Spenny, came about the same time and located in the same vicinity. He was, like many of the early settlers in and around Martinsville village, a politician. He served one term as sheriff and shortly after the expiration of his term, became involved in.some domestic difficulty and left the county. Addison Spenny subsequently moved to California, where, at the last account, he was still living.

Claypool came to this township from Melrose, where he had settled several years previous. He was one of the earliest schoolteachers in the county, and taught the first term in this township, the same year of his settlement. He entered forty acres of land in section 17, which he occupied for a number of years.

Willis Doughetee came to Clark County from Peoria, Indiana. His native State was Kentucky, and he left his early homo with the expectation of making a fortune in the newly developed country of the Hoosier State. Not realizing his expectations where he was induced to move to this State, owing to the flattering accounts of the country ho heard on every hand. He entered land in section 9, and improved a very good farm. His distinguishing characteristic appears to have been an inordinate love for public positions, and he was what might be termed a chronic office seeker. His official career commenced when he was chosen justice of the peace, the duties of which office he discharged with all the dignity of a Supreme judge. Later he was appointed postmaster, at Martinsville, and in 1849 was nominated by his party for the Legislature, and elected by a handsome majority. He was a prominent and enterprising citizen, but possessed a love of self, which was developed to an abnormal degree. It is related that upon one occasion, he submitted to a public examination, at the request of an audience, to have his character delineated by a phrenological lecturer. After speaking of his many good qualities and characteristics, the lecturer proceeded to tell in what vocations of life the subject would best succeed.  He possesses many qualifications of a chief justice, but has peculiar fitness for the army, and would make a brilliant general. As a soldier, you could always find him in the front rank—in a retreat." A few years after the expiration of his term in the Legislature, he sold his farm to a man by the name of Shailinor, and moved with his family to one of the Western States. He returned to Illinois a few years later and purchased land on Parker Prairie in the adjoining-township.

Shortly after the foregoing settlers arrived, James O. Hedges, and his son, James V. Hedges, settled in the township, on land which is situated a little west of Martinsville village. They came here from Ohio, and for a number of years were prominently identified with the history and growth of the township. The names of many other settlers could be added to the list enumerated, but the, limits of this chapter forbid a further mention. But few of these who came in when the county was a wilderness, remain to tell the story of their struggles and hardships; of their many trials while laying the foundation of the homes where their descendants now live, surrounded by circumstances calculated to make life happy. The pioneers in this part of the county found no  royal pathway to affluence—for many years their lot was anything but enviable." Hard work was the duty of each day, in order to keep the hungry wolf from the door. The first crops were principally corn, which afforded the chief means of subsistence for a number of years. The settler's rifle, which was one of his most valuable pieces of property, furnished the table with meat; tliis was easily obtained, as deer and other game were so plenty as to prove very troublesome. Deer would come close enough to the cabin to be shot from the door, while large numbers of prairie chickens made their roosting places on the roofs of the houses. Much of this game was shot during the fall season by a band of Kickapoo Indians, who had their camp on Turkey Run and North Fork. At the time the first settlers made their appearance, there were five hundred of these Indians in the country. They would leave at the beginning of winter and remain away until the following fall, when they would return on their annual hunts. Tliev were not troublesome, but, on the contrary, showed a great deal of friendship toward the settlers. and would bring moccasins, beads, and various other articles into the settlement, and exchange them for calico, pork, tobacco and whiskv, of which every settler always kept a supply. These annual hunts were finally discontinued, and, since 1836, no Indians have been seen in the township. Owing to the lack of natural facilities in this part of the country, there was little indictment to erect mills of any sort, especially as the older communities of Marshall and the eastern part of the county were easily accessible. Situated in the western part of the county, considerably removed from the early lines of business activities, the country developed no tendency for mercantile pursuits.

The stores of Marshall and elsewhere supplied such articles as were necessary, and the settlement was for several years purely a farming community. In the year 1832, however, Joseph Martin came to the county and located in section 7, on the National Road. Ho was a native of Ohio and a man of no particular enterprise and drifted to this point without any definite motive. The land where he settled had originally been entered by John Chancellor, who subsequently sold it to Amos Potts. Martin purchased the land in about the year 1833. A short time afterward Joshua Cooper, with some genius for speculation, suggested to Martin the plan of platting a village on part of the property which was done in the year 1833 under some arrangement of partnership by the two men. The platting of the town attracted a small settlement, the out-growth of which was the erection of a little log cabin where a small stock of groceries and more whisky, were offered for sale. This little store, or gin-shop rather, was started by Fitch & Redman and was the general rendezvous of the entire neighborhood. The community which early gathered here, consisted largely of a floating class of people whose practices gave the place a very unsavory reputation. The people were chiefly characterized by their dissolute habits and general lack of thrift. Sunday was especially devoted to horse-racing and carousing, a system of things which continued to characterize the place for several years. In the year 1836, John Stockwell and a Mr. Chenoweth came from Darwin and moved a stock of goods into the little cabin that had been used by Redman & Fitch for a grocery. About the same time Willis Doughetee commenced the erection of a home building near the central part of the town, for the purpose of engaging in the mercantile business, but sold the house to Stockwell & Chenoweth before its completion, who transferred their stock to it. This firm was composed of men of high character and active business abilities and gave the village a new lease of life. From the time of their advent, a better class of citizens was attracted and society began to amend at once. Their stock of goods consisted of a miscellaneous assortment of merchandise and represented a cash value of about $3,000. Their business kept pace with the development of the country and their trade became very extensive and lucrative. They continued the business as partners until the year 1810, when they closed out their stock at public auction. A second store had been started in the meantime by Messrs. Hunt & Gamble, who kept a small stock of general merchandise and a liberal supply of " firewater." They did business about eighteen months, when, finding that they could not cope with the larger and more successful store of Stockwell & Chenoweth, closed out their goods and retired from the field. Stockwell again engaged in business about the year 1841, with McClure as a partner. They continued the business very successfully together until the year 1846, when McClure purchased the entire interest. McClure ran the store on an extensive scale until about the year 1856, at which time he sold to other parties and removed from the village. The Preston brothers erected a store building about the year 1842, just opposite the Nicholas hotel. They stocked it the same year with a large assortment of clothing, dry-goods, groceries, etc., to the amount of $5,000, and soon acquired a very extensive trade. William Lindsay purchased this store in 1853, increased the stock and continued the business until the year 1856.

A number of other business houses sprang up from time to time and the place soon became noted as a permanent trading point. One of the principal factors which gave character to the town, was the National Road, which offered the only means of communication with other points. The increasing travel over this thoroughfare necessitated the opening of hotels, and one was built shortly after the village was laid out. Joseph Martin kept the first public house in a little cabin which stood near the Vandalia Railroad. His place was not very well patronized, however, and he discontinued the business soon afterward. Oliver Hall succeeded Martin about the year 1836, but did not realize a fortune in his "role " as landlord. The first regular hotel was built about the year 1837, and stood where the Nicholas House now stands. It was a large hewed log building and was first kept by a man named Jenkins. He kept a stage stand also, and his house was a favorite stopping place for travelers on the National Road. Major Caldwell succeeded Jenkins in the management of this hotel, and had charge of it until the year 1850. At that time the building was torn down and replaced by a more substantial and convenient brick structure which is still standing. It was built by Jacob Anderson who kept it for some years. Another early hotel was built by Willis Doughetee in 1810 and was known as the Rocky Mountain House. Doughetee kept the house for a number of years and it became a very popular resort. The building is still standing, near the Pan Handle depot, and is used at the present time for a dwelling.

The first mechanic who came to the village was Cornelius Jenkins. H.; built a blacksmith shop near the central part of the village where the Knapp store building stands, in the year 1838. He was joined the same year by Joseph Dixon, and together they operated the shop Tor several years and did a very good business. Among other early blacksmiths, are remembered, William Gordon and James Wilson, both of whom worked at their trade prior to the year 1842. A very small space will be sufficient in which to notice the early manufacturing interests of Martinsville. The absence of facilities prevented the erection of mills and factories in an early day and it was not until the year 1854 that a manufacturing establishment of any kind was put in operation. In that year, Messrs. Davis & McMurray erected a carding machine in the eastern part of the village which proved a moderately successful venture. The building was frame and the machinery was run by steam. It was in operation about five years, when the building was torn down and used in the remodeling of Cooper's flouring mill.

The latter mill was built in the year 1854 at a cost of $14,000. The original building was three stories high and stood in the northeastern part of the village. The machinery was operated by steam and the mill became extensively patronized. It was purchased by G. W. Cooper, the present proprietor, in the year 1806, who afterward remodeled it, enlarged the building and added new and improved machinery. . It is at present three stories and a half high, has ten run of buhrs, and a grinding capacity of about two hundred and twenty-five barrels of flour per day. It is one of the largest mills on the line of the Vandalia railroad and ships flour to all parts of the country.

Another steam flouring mill was erected in the town in the year 1868 by Samuel Macy. It stands in the southern part of the village, and is at present run by W. L. Roberts. The Sallee brothers erected a large steam sawmill near the railroad in the eastern part of the town in the year 1880. This mill does an immense business and manufactures large quantities of lumber.

In the meantime the business interests of the town had increased, and the completion of the Vandalia Railroad in 1871, gave the place a permanency it did not before possess. Since that time a number of good store buildings have been erected, and the village has taken upon itself the dignity of an incorporated town. Its business is represented by the following exhibit: Three large dry goods stores kept by Charles Douglass, W. G. Delashmuth and Elizabeth Vaughn; J. Ishler keeps a general assortment of merchandise. Grange Store kept by Levi Williams; Black & Fasig, Tichenor & Bro. and John Gamble, druggists; Henry Randal and Benjamin Welch make groceries a specialty. There are two large hardware stores kept by the Lindsey brothers, and Martin Flenner, John Sanderson and Martin Taggart, harness-makers. There are in addition to the above, two restaurants, an agricultural store, one wagon shop, two millinery stores, two warehouses, one shoo shop, two barber shops and one livery stable. The present town board is composed of the following persons: W. H. Randal, John Deahle, W. G. Delashrauth, F. J. Johnson, J. T. Sanderson and O. D. Germain, Trustees; B. H. Welsh, clerk.

Clark Lodge No. 603, F. and A. M. was organized Oct. 6, 1868, with the following charter members: A. G. Fetter, Thomas Milligan, Samuel Medkiff, George Stevens, Charles Duncan, John Gamble, Alexander Ryan, G. W. Ewalt, J. Fulton and John F. Alexander. First officers were A. G. Fetter, W. M.; Thomas Milligan, S. W.; and Samuel Medkiff, J. W. The present officers are Jerry Ishler, W. M.; H. Gassoway, S. AV.; William Barbee, J. W.; John Gamble, Sec't; W. H. Randal, Treas. There are forty-five members belonging to the lodge at present and it is reported in good working order. The meetings are held in Odd Fellows' Hall.

Martinsville Lodge No. 134, I. O. O. F. was instituted February 28, 1853, by J. W. Ellis, G. M. The following names appear on the charter. Benjamin McKeen, B. F. McClure, Jonathan Rains, George Conger, T. B. McClure, William Lindsey, Daniel Gard, Morrison Spenny and Jacob Anderson. The present membership is about thirty-six. The hall in which the lodge holds its meetings was erected in the year 1854. It is a good substantial building and belongs to the organization. The present officers of the lodge are Isaac Ishler, N. G.; Carey Winterowd, V. G.; J. T. Sanderson, Sec't.; J. C. Porter, Treas.; Thomas Troughton, R. S. N. G.; Walter Mc-Cleary,L. S. N. G.

The Martinsville Encampment was instituted in the year 1838 by the Paris Encampment. The original membership was fourteen. The present officers are Isaac Ishler, Chief Patriarch; J. T. Sanderson, Scribe; J. P. Spahr, High Priest; J. C. Porter, S. W.; S. A. Fasig, J. W.; and John Deahle, Treas. There are about twenty-one members belonging at the present time. A Lodge of K. of H. was organized in the year 1874 with a membership of fourteen which has since increased to twenty.

They hold their meetings in Odd Follows' Hall. The present officers are D. W. Tibbs, P. D.; Levi Williams, D. ; H. Bradshaw, V. D.; Thomas Murphy, Ass't D.; F. J. Harris, Rep.; H. Gassoway, F. R.; Jerry Ishler, Chaplain; B. H. Welsh, Guide; O. D. Germain, Guardian; and C. B. Waterford, Sen't.

The first school in Martinsville was taught about the year 1834 by Lemuel S. Claypool in a little cabin which stood a short distance west of the village. The house had been previously used as a residence by a squatter. Claypool taught here several years but did not seem to give very good satisfaction. The second school was taught by Salmon Rice some time later. Unlike many pioneer teachers. Rice was a man of culture and brought with him to his work the advantages of a collegiate education. He was a man of extensive information but was marked by many eccentricities among which was his aversion to society. He was an unmarried man and lived in a small cabin by himself and mingled but little with his fellow men. Among the early pedagogues was Seth Hitchcock. He was a dwarf in stature, but possessed the strength of a giant which he did not hesitate to exercise upon any pupil who had the temerity to violate any of his iron-clad rules. He had but one finger on his right hand but with it he could wield the rod with such force as to bring the most obdurate to speedy terms. Absalom Hurley, Oliver Hall and Robert Williamson taught schools in the village during the early years of its, history. The old Methodist church building was used jointly for church and school purposes from 1843 until 1853. In the latter year a frame school- house was erected in the south part of the town near the Vandalia depot. It was used until the year 1871, at which time the present handsome and commodious brick structure was erected. This building stands on an eminence in the south part of the village and is one of the most complete school edifices in the county. It is two stories high, contains four large size rooms, and was built at a cost of $10,000. The schools at the present time are under the efficient management of Prof. L. S. Kilbourn, principal, assisted by Jasper Bennett, Laura Arbuckle, Mattie Sutherland and Lucy Ryan. The average attendance throughout the year is about three hundred pupils.

The first religious services in Martinsville Township were held at private residences, and conducted by missionary preachers of the Methodist church. The early settlers, whatever their beliefs or lack of belief, were generally ready to open their doors to these missionaries. The early community of Martinsville, however, seems to have been an exception to tills general rule, and in 1834 John Chambers, the pioneer preacher of this section found it impossible to hold services because of the people's unwillingness to open their cabins for that purpose. Nothing daunted by the inhospitable treatment, he arranged to hold a meeting in a grove near by, the novelty of which served to bring out quite an audience. A little later several Methodist families moved into the community, and services were regularly he'd thereafter. Among the early ministers are remembered, Jesse Hill, John Strange, _____Bundall and  _____McGinnis, all of whom preached to the little band of worshipers " without money, and without price." None of these preachers were men of brilliant scholastic attainments, but they all possessed a rude and forceful eloquence which suited the needs and appreciation of their hearers. In the year 1838 Rev. Mr. Chenoweth, was sent to Martinsville by the Paris circuit for the purpose of organizing a society. With the assistance of Rev. Holland James, and William Wilson, an organization was effected the latter part of the same year with the following members: John Stockwell and wife, Oliver Hail and wife, Wesley Low and wife, Walter Hill and wife, and Miss Hill. Services were regularly held at the residences of the different members until about the year 1843, when a small hewed log house was erected on the National Road, in the eastern part of the village. The society was attached to the Livingston circuit the same year in which the organization took place. The first pastor was Lewis Amdson, who served one year. He was succeeded by Samuel Burr who preached the same length of. time. L. Oliver followed J Burr and remained one year. Then came Jesse Hail who had charge of the congregation for one year. Hail was a native of North Carolina, and a man of fine education. He traveled extensively over the greater part of the western country and was widely known on account of his many peculiarities. Rev. Joseph McMurtry succeeded Hail, and preached one year. He was followed by William C. Blundell, who remained the same length of time, and was, in turn, succeeded by Thomas C. Lopez. The last named was an able preacher, and did much toward building up the church during his pastorate. The names of other pastors were not learned. The old log house served as a meeting place until the year 1854, at which time steps were taken to build a house more in keeping with the growth of the congregation. The present edifice was erected the latter part of that year, and is still a comfortable house of worship. It is a substantial, frame structure, and cost about $1,200. The church has increased rapidly in numbers and is now one of the best appointments in the Martinsville circuit. A flourishing Sunday school is maintained in connection with the church, and is well attended. The present pastor is Rev. Mr.

The Old School Baptists had a small congregation in Martinsville at an early day, but its existence was of short duration. Their preachers were Richard Newport, Stanley Walker and ___Shields.

The Church of God at Martinsville was established in the year 1847. The members comprising it were all from Richland County, Ohio, and their names are as follows: H. Rupp, Sarah Rupp, William Fasig, Betsy Fasig, Henry Fasig, Elizabeth Fasig, Christian Fasig, Catherine Fasig, John Suavely, Eliza Suavely, William Taggart and Sarah Taggart. The first minister, was Elder Henry Rupp, a German preacher, of the Ohio Eldership. His zeal, and devotion to right principles, gave him a firm hold upon the people, which he still retains, at the age of 77 years. It is said that he has officiated a in more funerals than any other preacher in the society. The second pastor was Elder J. Blickenstaff, under whose pastorate large accessions were made to the society. The next pastor was Elder Geo. Sander, who was sent out by the East Pennsylvania Eldership, as a home missionary, in the spring of 1851. He served the church ten or twelve years at different intervals. Elder S. N. Miller, came next in the line of pastors. He was an old and tried man and served the church with great acceptance. Elder R. H. Bolton, present secretary of the General Board of Missions, preached for the congregation from 1861, until 1867. His son, Cyrus Bolton, assisted him in the work during the last year of his pastorate. Elder A. J. Fenton succeeded Bolton, and preached very acceptably for two years. Elder J. W. Neely acted as pastor two years. He was a physician of extensive practice and a fine theologian. Elders W. B. Lewellen and E. Hart, each served the church acceptably as pastors. The present pastor is Elder R. Perry. Their house of worship was built in the year 1858. It is a good frame building and cost $I,000. The present membership is seventy-five. Their Sunday school was organized in the year 1859, with J. Manaus, as superintendent, a position he held for over fourteen years. Henry Ishler, is the present superintendent. The school has ten teachers and an average attendance of seventy-five scholars.

The Island Grove Baptist Church dates its history from the year 1858. It was organized by a council, appointed for the purpose, of which Elder Linus Gilbert was moderator and Rev. Daniel Harbert, clerk. At the first meeting, the following names were presented for membership: Gideon Stafford, Sarah Stafford, Samuel Midkiff, Agnes Midkiff, Jolin Cooper, Elizabeth Cooper, Martha Stevens and Phebe Nichols. Rev. Daniel Harbert was chosen pastor, a position he filled but a few months, when he resigned, on account of poor health. He died a short time afterward. Rev. Eli Frey was called in 1859 and served the church until the year 1870. He was succeeded by Rev. F. M. Doty, who ministered to the congregation until 1872. The fourth pastor was L. W. P. Gilbert, a native of Ohio, and graduate of Granville college. He was a very able preacher, and remained with the church until the year 1875. Rev. T. J. Thornton, was next employed, and preached acceptably for three years. Then came Rev. T. J. Neal, who served from 1878 until 1881. The seventh, and present pastor, is Rev. S. T. Reynolds, who was called to the pastorate in the year 1881. The present church edifice is a frame structure thirty by forty feet, and was erected at a cost of $1,260. It was built in 1873.

A Sunday school is maintained during the greater part of the year, and is at present under the management of Mills Huckabee, superintendent.

The Methodists have two churches in the southern part of the township, both of which are strong organizations and in flourishing condition. They have good, substantial houses of Worship, and are known as the Saint Paul, and Shiloh churches. Their present pastor is the Rev. McElfresh. The Methodist Church South maintains two organizations in the township also. They were organized about twelve years ago, and at present, are ministered to by Rev. J. D. R. Brown.

The United Brethren have a strong society in the western part of the township, known as the Lincoln church. Their church edifice is a good, brick structure—a model of neatness and was erected at a cost of about $2,000. The pastor in charge at the present time is Rev. E. Hanley.

There is a small society of the Adventists in the township, a few miles south of Martinsville. They have a neat frame building, and are at present under charge of Rev. M. Taggart, pastor.

The Baptist Church of Martinsville was organized February 22, 1879, by a council consisting of Elders F. J. Thornton, John Bratton, and others. The original members were the following: John Roberts, Lucinda Kemper, Nannie Randal, Lucy Laingor, Catherine Howell, Julia Grey and Martha Maxwell. The first pastor was Rev. T. J. Thornton, of Westfield, who served six months, when he resigned. The church was without a pastor for one year, when Elder J. L. Parker, of Casey, was called. He served one year, and was succeeded by Elder S. T. Reynolds, who served the same length of time. At the expiration of Reynolds' term as pastor, T. J. Thornton again took charge of the church, and is the present pastor. The membership is about twenty-eight.

The Christians have an organization in the village, and a neat, brick house of worship. Their number, at one time quite large, h is diminished considerably during the last few years, and at the present time, they do not maintain a pastor.

The Mount Pleasant Christian Church was organized in 1879, by Elder C. W. Hill, with fourteen members. Soon after the organization, a good, hewed log house was erected, in the southeast corner of section 14. The present membership is about twenty-five. The pastor in charge, is Rev. James Hill.


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