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Source: Lake County, Indiana, 1884 : an account of the semi-centennial celebration of Lake County, September 3 and 4, with historical papers and other interesting records prepared for this volume
Authors: T H B; E H Woodard; Tuthill King; Charles W Cathcart
City of Publication: Crown Point, Ind.
Publisher: Printed at the Lake County Star Office
Date: 1884
Transcribed by K. Torp




Our local situation gives us a pre-eminence. We stand as the door to Chicago for access to all the Atlantic cities. This places us, for railroad facilities, at the head of all the counties in our state, and also of most counties in our land. Of the ninety-two counties in Indiana, only four approach us in miles of road-bed, viz: Allen, Marion, La Porte, and Porter. While we have two hundred and twelve miles of road in daily use, there are four counties in our state not yet touched by a railroad, viz: Brown, Ohio, Perry, and Switzerland. There are also eleven others that are only intersected by one road. The three best roads in our state, and great thoroughfares in the nation, pass through Lake county, and are assessed for taxation at twenty thousand dollars for each mile of road-bed, viz: Michigan Central, Michigan Southern, and the Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne. The Joliet cut off, Grand Trunk, and Baltimore and Ohio are assessed at ten thousand dollars per mile, only a little below the three second best roads in the State. The railroad property in our county is assessed at nearly three millions of dollars, and pays thirty-four and one half per cent, of the money that goes into our county treasury, and no delinquent list. To give a better idea of the rank we hold as a railroad county, let us state some facts. We are a little above the average of the ninety-two counties in territory, but we have one twenty-fifth of the railroad miles imbedded on our soil, and more than one eighteenth part of all the railroad property in our state is tributary to our county treasury. Another peculiarity is that one or more of our eleven railroads intersects each township in our county, so that but few families are more than live miles from some railroad station. We have no city as a railroad center, though one (Hammond,) has just sprung into life, accommodated by four roads. Some of our roads are among the oldest in the state. The Michigan Central found its way through our county into Chicago in 1850. The last road to make a home with us, (the I. I. I.) came quietly creeping up the Kankakee marsh in 1883. Many of our roads have received material aid from the citizens of the county, and I trust all have their good will. There should be no conflict between the two. The one is dependent on the other to a certain extent. Railroads would be worthless without patronage, but it would be a dire calamity to be thrown back fifty years, and be dependent on the old mode of travel and transportation. Companies build railroads for profit, but many fortunes are sunk in their construction, and very many roads go into the hands of receivers. Yet all persons use them more or less for convenience and economy. For statistical purposes, I append the report of the state Board of Equalization on Railroads for 1884.
(Transcriber's Note: I've omitted this table)


The Calumet region of the county of Lake is formed by a little, winding sluggish, grassy stream of clear, pure water, which rises in Porter county, and flows, mainly westward, across the county of Lake into Illinois; and then, turning back from the large Blue Island bluff: in Cook county, flows again mainly eastward, nearly across Lake county. The strip of sand ridges, low narrow valleys and of marshes, between the two channels, is from two to three miles wide. That strip of land is, from east to west, sixteen miles in length, and varies but little anywhere from being three miles in breadth. Following the natural windings of the stream the whole river course in the county is, in round numbers, fifty miles. The area of the space between the two currents is nearly fifty square miles. To this area there is properly to be added twelve square miles between the river and Lake Michigan, and as much as eight square miles south of the lower channel, making, in all, an area of seventy square miles included in the term Calumet Region. The mouth of this stream on the shore of Lake Michigan is two miles from the spot where it enters the county, and from that spot to this mouth, by the channel of the river, around by Blue Island, must be seventy-five or eighty miles. It is not common to find a river, large or small, that having made some twenty-three miles of westing, three of southing, and then seven of northing, doubling upon itself, flows back, making twenty-one miles of easting.

It was said that the water of this stream is clear and pure. It is thus in its natural condition, inviting the lone loiterer along its margin, in summer time, to take a refreshing bath in its gently flowing, reedy, limpid waters; but a large slaughter house and some factories have largely injured, of late years, the purity of the water, of the upper channel. But with these, and the immense ice houses along this river which seven great lines of railroad cross, this paper has nothing to do. Its subject is the Indian and trapper history of this peculiar region. About six hundred feet above the sea level, the comparatively low, flat land through which this river flows, the many marshes, large and small, the grass roots, pond lily roots, and other herbage in the waters, have made this region, through all its known history, a thriving home for small fur-bearing animals. It has also been a favorite resort for wild water fowl. In low water, in the summer, children can ford the southern channel in many places; but in spring, or in the winter time, when the melting snow and heavy rain falls fill to the brim the low banks, (where there are any,) the overflow covers a large amount of surface, justifying then the expression of the early geographers that the country around the extreme south bay of Lake Michigan has the appearance of the sea marshes of Louisiana." The earliest knowledge concerning the Indian tribes of all this region, now Indiana and Illinois, comes to us from the French explorers of two hundred years ago. Detroit is said to have been settled by the French as early as 1683, and it soon became a center for the American fur trade, a great fur market it has ever since continued to be. Through all of this region fur traders passed, furnishing the Indians with manufactured articles and buying up their fur. Indian authority is said to state, that, about one hundred years ago traders had a fur station on Deep River near the place where was afterwards our first county-seat called Liverpool. No minute particulars seem to be now accessible in regard to our earlier Indians along the Calumet. Such particulars there may be where this writer has not looked. In 1825 Che-chee-bing-way, or Blinking Eyes, having the English name of Alexander Robinson, became their principal chief. He was in the employ or service of John Jacob Astor, and saw to the transportation of corn around the head of Lake Michigan as well as to the purchase of fur. This corn, raised by the Pottawatomies, was carried "in bark woven sacks on the backs of ponies."

In August of 1812, not yet their principal chief, this enterprising man, with Indian, French, and English blood in his veins, was making a canoe voyage to Fort Dearborn around the bend of the lake, was warned from the shore of the danger he would incur by continuing his voyage, and he landed at the mouth of the Calumet. He lived the next winter as a hunter somewhere on the Calumet. He afterwards married in the Calumet region: but whether in our portion of it or in what is now Cook county, Illinois, has not been ascertained. These facts and incidents will give us a glimpse into the Indian life of those years. We can see the wigwams on the sand ridges and along the river and lake shore, among the pines and cedars and oak trees, then abundant there, and the "squaws and the children carrying on the simple wigwam life, dressing the deer skins, attending to the fur, preparing the corn and game for the simple meals, while the men are trapping, or hunting, or fishing. The writer of this article had an opportunity to visit the Indian wigwams on the shore of Lake Michigan in the summer and fall of 1837, to see the squaws at their work, the children at their play, the fires in the centers of their frail structures, and the hunters as they had returned from a successful chase. He saw their roasted venison and had an opportunity to partake of it. He saw their large birch-bark canoes and the Indian boys of his own age spearing fish. He often saw parties of Indian men and squaws, with the pappooses in their blankets behind their mothers, riding on their ponies one after the other in true Indian file; and he saw some of them in the attitude of mourners beside some graves at a little Indian burial ground. Something therefore of the reality of peaceful Indian life not far from the banks of the Calumet he has seen. A similar life, with some quarrels and strife, some scenes, perhaps, of war and of bloodshed, we may suppose the Red Men' to have passed for the last two hundred years. For them the Calumet region must have been peculiarly attractive as furnishing so many musk-rat and mink for fur, so many fish and water fowls for food. The opening of a channel from the Calumet between the present Wolf and Calumet lakes, by pushing their canoes through a soft and muddy region is attributed to the trapper Indians who were here nearly a hundred years ago. This gave them a new and shorter outlet to the great lake. Of the number of Pottawatomies who claimed their special home along our fifty miles of river channel no accurate estimate can now be made. The probability is that there were only a few hundred. The large body of this tribe, then numbering some five thousand, met in Chicago in 1836, received presents from our Government, and led by their chief, Chee-chee-bing-way, left this attractive region for their western reservation. Their chief returned and died some twelve years ago at his home on the Des Plaines River, supposed then to be more than a hundred years of age.

White trappers succeeded the Indian trappers, with canoes and paddles and blankets and tents, with somewhat better outfits, on this same winding river, engaging in the same exciting wild life of capturing the fur-bearing- animals. For the last fifty years, in the fall and spring, some of this class of men have been along this river. The amount of fur taken can only be estimated. It can never be fully known. One trapper and his son caught this last fall some fifteen hundred musk-rats and mink. The same trapper has taken in one trapping season, including fall, winter, and spring, about three thousand. From twenty thousand to forty thousand have been taken in a season in past years by the different trappers. The number of these animals living along a few miles of this river is surprising to those who have never investigated the habits and ways of wild "animal life. It was estimated by those who had experience as trappers that in the fall of 1883 there were forty thousand rats on the lands claimed by the Tolleston Club Company. The number of rats and mink trapped and speared in the last fifty years along this fifty miles of river in our county, would be if actually known quite astounding. The annual value of the fur taken here, would be at a low estimate, five thousand dollars; and at this rate, for fifty years, the amount would be for Calumet fur alone two hundred and fifty thousand or one quarter of a million of dollars. (The income from the immense quantities of ice shipped from this river every year cannot here be estimated.)

To leave for a few moments the Calumet, the intelligent citizen of Lake will remember that we have along our southern border, on some twenty miles or more of the Kankakee River and on fifty square miles of that noted marsh, a still richer fur producing region even than this which has just been noticed. And when it is recalled to mind that in early days, when the pioneer settlers came, Deep River and our three large creeks and the Lake of Cedars were all abounding in these fur-bearing animals, that not only musk-rat and mink, but many otter and some beaver used to be found here, and large numbers of raccoon,- the statement having come to some of those pioneers that three Indians caught here in one season thirteen hundred raccoon which they sold for sixteen hundred and twenty-five dollars-and that our small marshes were then, as some even yet continue to be, the abodes of the musk-rat,-it will be evident that it would be difficult to find in all that then was called the West a richer furbearing region than was included in the present county of Lake. Venturing still to continue this digression it may be stated here that in the Kankakee trapping region of our county there are two rows of trapper grounds; the lower along the Kankakee River, the upper comprising wet marsh land that does not lie on the river. One of the trappers on this upper range, whose "claim" covers some two square miles, or twelve hundred acres, obtained from his grounds fifteen hundred and forty rats in one season. Taking the two lines of trapper camps across the county and the annual yield of Kankakee fur may be placed at thirty thousand musk-rat skins, and several hundred mink skins. The musk-rat skins sell at an average of fifteen dollars a hundred, making four thousand five hundred dollars received by these trappers each year for musk-rat alone. Some eighteen years ago mink skins were sold for ten dollars apiece. Now they do not sell for more than one dollar apiece. Five thousand dollars annually is not a high estimate for the Kankakee fur of the county; and this for the fifty years now past would make another quarter million of dollars; which added to the value of the fur in the Calumet region, from which region this long digression was made, this flight to the Kankakee, in order to bring up this other two hundred and fifty thousand dollars-this united sum of a round half million of dollars, makes a fair income as received by the trappers, with but small outlay in capital for the annual outfits. We are now again in the Calumet region, and while we may not make the acquaintance of the individual trappers, who here spend several months each year, we see how abundant are the furbearing animals, and how remunerative is the employment. Musk-rats, the trappers say, are quite prolific. One pair will have three litters in a year, averaging six in each litter. These would amount to eighteen. Then the three pair in the spring litter will each have ordinarily a full litter of six each. This will make eighteen more, or in all thirty-six as the increase from one pair in one year. One pair would thus produce, if left undisturbed by mink and trappers, more than thirteen thousand rats in three years. These animals, the trappers say, have houses of three kinds: breeding houses, feeding houses, and excrement houses. The first are comparatively large; the other two varieties are smaller.

It may be added here, as another digression from the assigned subject, that fowlers find this Calumet region attractive as being a great resort for water fowls. There have been shot here by a very few sportsmen three thousand ducks in a season. Two wagon loads of ducks have been sent away from one of the noted sportsmen's resorts on the river, each load containing six hundred ducks, the result of two days' shooting. Further figures have not been obtained; but these are sufficient to show the abundance of water fowl in that trapping region. The Grand Calumet being now navigable to Hammond, and likely to be made so as far as Clarke, this river channel will in the future bear the white sails of commerce where the mink paddled in the grassy brink; but the Little Calumet may yet continue for many years to invite the trappers as in former days.

This paper was placed in the hands of the Historical Secretary to be read at the celebration, September 3d and 4th; and is inserted here, in its place, with the other prepared papers, in its full form. T. H. B.


At a former meeting of this Association it was recommended that for the purpose of securing a full review of our past fifty years history, different persons, who for a part or all of this time have been residents of the county, should write articles connected with its history. To myself was assigned the subject: "The Kankakee River -Its Peculiarities-Its Marsh Lands and Islands- Swamping." The source of the Kankakee River is in St. Joseph county, this State, and from its source to where it crosses the State line at the southwest corner of our county, is about seventy-five miles. It is a slow sluggish stream with a fall of from one to one and one half feet to the mile in this State. It being very crooked and the land on either side being low and marshy, the water moves off very slowly, and these low lands, forming: what is familiarly known as the KANKAKEE MARSH, are for quite a period of time each year covered with from one to three feet of water. About six sections of this marsh land in the southeast corner of our county are covered with timber, composed mostly of ash and elm with some sycamore and gum trees. The balance of these wet lands, running west to the State line, is open marsh, covered with a luxuriant growth of wild grasses, wild rice and flags. It is the home of the water fowl and musk-rat, and a paradise for hunters. The number of acres of this wet land in the Kankakee valley in Lake county is about sixty thousand, and in the seven counties through which the Kankakee river flows in this State is about six hundred thousand. Various projects have been proposed for draining this vast body of rich land, but up to this time but little has been accomplished. Messrs. Cass and Singleton now have two large steam dredges at work in this county on these lands, and it is expected that much good will result from their work. It is only a question of time when these lands will all be drained, as the Kankakee valley has a main elevation of ninety feet above Lake Michigan and one hundred and sixty feet above the waters of the Wabash river, and lying as they do at the very doors of Chicago, the greatest stock and grain market in the world, it would be strange if they long remain in their present almost worthless condition. Some portions of these lands are high dry ground, like an island in the ocean, and as they are often entirely surrounded with water they are called islands. The most prominent of these in Lake county are Beach Ridge, Red Oak, Warner, Fuller, Ridge, Brownell, Lalley, Curve, Skunk, Long White Oak, Round White Oak, South Island, Wheeler Island, and many smaller ones. These islands have all once been covered with a heavy growth of timber; but the farmers living on the prairies north of the marsh have stripped most of them of all that is desirable. This hauling timber from these islands and from the ash swamp further east, a few years ago was the farmers' winter harvest, and was called swamping. I think the lives of many of the early settlers were shortened by exposure and overwork in some of our bitter cold winters on these marshes. Cheap lumber and barbed wire now almost entirely take the place of the swamp timber for fencing, etc., and but little swamping has been done for a number of years. Many of the islands where the timber has been cut off are now excellent grazing land and nearly all of the larger islands have one or more families living on them who keep stock, and some good farms are already under cultivation. Many old land marks go to show that these lands bordering on the Kankakee river were, before the white man came, the favorite stamping grounds of the Indians. Many of the islands have their mounds and burying grounds, and on some of them are plats of ground which still hold the name of the Indians' gardens. I have never seen larger or finer grapes grown anywhere than some which I have gathered on these islands and which were planted by the Indians. On Curve Island on the W. of the N. E. Section 21, T. 32, R. 8, is the old Indian Battle Ground (so called). The entrenchments or breastworks cover a space of from 3 to 4 acres and are almost a perfect circle, with many-deep holes inside the same. All this can be plainly seen to-day; but when it was made or who did the work the oldest settler has not even a tradition.

In a high sand mound a few rods southwest from the Battle Ground can be found by dicing a few feet down plenty of human bones, old pottery, clam shells, flints, etc. Could these old mounds and relics of the past speak, they would no doubt tell a story well worth hearing. Fifty years from now, when the citizens of Lake county meet to celebrate our county centennial, these old land marks will be all obliterated, and the Red Man who once was the only human here will be forgotten except in history. And we too, who meet here to-day to celebrate this our semi-centennial, will then have left the shores touched by that mysterious sea that never vet has borne on any wave the image of a returning sail.


I was requested to prepare a statistical table of the exports of Lake county, to be exhibited at the semicentennial meeting of Old Settlers. I find the task a difficult one, and indeed impossible to arrive at anything like accuracy. When we take into account that we have eleven railroads running through the county, with perhaps from thirty to forty stations from which produce is shipped, with other railroad stations near our borders both east and west, with the other modes of transportation, you will readily see the impracticability of arriving definitely at the amount of our exports. I have availed myself of the best and most reliable sources of information to obtain facts, and believe the following report approximates to actual exports, and is sufficient to show great prosperity in a county settled only fifty years. We are living in an eventful age of progress and improvemeut unparallelled in the world's history, and to live and act, and act well and wisely our part in such an age, is sublime. Truly we may say (financially), "The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad





Wheat, 1882

47,885 bushels

$ 47,385

Corn, 1882

1,158,132 "


Oats, 1888

1,000,000 "


Potatoes, 1888

150,000 "



19,857 "


Clover seed

2,000 "


Timothy seed

3,000 "


Hungarian seed

9,000 "


Millet seed

4,500 "



799 "



4,629 "



544,529 pounds



220,000 "



3,000,000 "



26,553 "



785,000 gallons



16,526 head


Beef cattle

8,000 "


Stock cattle

8,000 "


Milch cows sold

1,000 "



1,000 "


Horses shipped

1,500 "



4,397 dozen



200,000 "


Timothy hay

35,893 tons


Mixed hay

30,000 "



20,629 pounds



65,900 tons



23,000 car loads


Brick and Tile



Cattle slaughtered & shipped

130,000 head



100 car loads


Moss shipped from Miller's



On ice and sand shipped from Clarke station in business months the freight is $150 per day, or $3,600 per month, at $8 per car load.

Gross weight of freight forwarded from Crown Point in 1877 21,144,796 pounds. An average year: Hay, 460 cars; grain, 320 cars; stock, 175 cars ; various, 75 cars


The history of any country is not complete when its discovery, settlement, natural resources, advance in agriculture, commerce and the arts, and sciences are all told. Man is a fourfold being; physical, mental, moral, and spiritual; and although his physical nature demands his first attention, to achieve the satisfaction of this, his mental faculties must, be developed. Then, for the proper enjoyment of both physical and mental, his moral nature, which teaches the practice of virtue, comprising his duty to himself and his fellow men, must be cultivated. Not satisfied with these, his spiritual nature craves food to nourish it and beget a hope, that when these temperal things pass away, and all his obligations to man are redeemed, that vital spark that he feels can never be quenched may know an endless felicity.
Many of the pioneers of Lake county had left in their former homes, the sanctuary, for which "their souls longed nay even panted." But knowing that God is not confined to place, they confidently looked forward to the time, when the way would be opened, and the Herald of Salvation would lift up his voice, even in these western wilds. And they did not hope m vain, nor wait long; for in 1836, only two years after the first white man had planted his household tree here, a M. E. Missionary named Stephen Jones was sent by the presiding elder residing at South Bend to seek for sheep who might have wandered away that far. Finding his way into this county he preached in the cabin of Thomas Reed, two miles south of Crown Point, and at some other points. This county was then attached to the Northwestern Mission taking in a circuit of five hundred miles; and consequently it was impossible to reach the several appointments oftner than once in six weeks. After six months' labor the first M. E. class was organized at Pleasant Grove at the residence of E. W. Bryant. This society consisted of six members: E. W. Bryant and wife, John Kitchel and wife, and one Mendenhall and wife, with E. W. Bryant as leader. Two of that society yet survive namely: E. W. Bryant, who has kindly furnished some of the facts for this sketch. (He now resides in Iowa to which place he removed in 1855, and where Mrs. Bryant died in 1858, in full assurance of faith.) Mrs. Kitchel, the other living witness of the formation of Methodism in Lake county also lives in Iowa, still trusting in the promise to those only, who are faithful to the end. In 1837 H. B. Beers came to the work, which in this year was confined to Lake and Porter counties, and was called the Deep River Mission. In 1838 Jacob Colclazier followed Rev. Beers. In this year the first quarterly meeting in the county was held in the dwelling house of William Payne, Bishop Roberts conducting the meeting. In 1838 Ephraim Cleveland and wife and A. Clark and wife came from York State, bringing with them letters from the church there, and cast in their lot with this class, adding much to its strength. Mr. Cleveland was a man of extraordinary Christian character, but was cut off by death in his early manhood in 1845. This sudden blow was not only felt deeply by the church, but by all the community. This early church was not only sustained by the adult members of the families of the settlers but the children, as soon as they were old enough to understand their duty to God, gave themselves to him and to the church; and it was no uncommon thing to hear children as young as ten or twelve giving testimony to the saving power of God.

About this time the Lafler family came to Pleasant Grove and joined the little band of christians there, and soon a great revival commenced, until the class was divided under two leaders. The work also was prospering in different parts of the county. In the later part of this year Rev. Stagg took charge of the work, and under his ministry the M. E. church of Crown was organized, Aaron Wood being presiding elder. A. Wood, though an old veteran, is yet sounding the gospel trumpet. In 1839 Robert Hyde, being a local preacher -and residing at Pleasant Grove, supplied this appointment and met with great success in his labors, and many were added to the church. After the year's work was done he continued his home with us, doing good work for many years as a local preacher, and by a life that ornamented his profession. He died in Chicago in 1883. From 1839 to 1843 Rev's. Green, Wheeler, Posy, Forbs, and D. Crumbacker, had successive charge of this work. After a few years Mr. Crumbacker located, and in 1848 became a citizen of Crown Point, where many can yet testify to his profitable labors as a minister and helper in the church. He removed to Washington city during the Rebellion, and was holding a clerkship there at the time of his death. To his labors may be attributed much of the success of early Methodism in Lake county. His grave may be seen in the Crown Point cemetery.

In 1843 Major Allman came from Michigan to Crown Point. He was a local preacher of more than ordinary ability, and being an Englishman by birth he entered into all his duties with all the fervor which characterizes his nationality, adding much to the strength of the church, preaching almost as often as many salaried ministers do now; traveling over the entire county, with but the love of souls for a stimulus, and the blessing of the Lord in crowning his labors with success as a reward. He was instrumental in the organization of the first M. E. Sunday-school in Crown Point. Thus he labored faithfully until 1856, when he returned to Michigan, where he ended this life in 1858. He came to his death as a shock of corn fully ripe for the harvest. In 1843 the good work was fast spreading, and it was as when the Lord spoke to Samuel in an audible voice, "the word of the Lord was precious" and the spiritual, famishing souls flocked from far and near to hear it, and it was not as seed falling on a barren waste, or rocky ground, nor yet among the gay but poisonous flowers of pleasure. It found a lodgment in the hearts of the honest, truth seeking people, and a foundation worthy to build upon was laid. In this year the cabins of the settlers and the scattering school houses were found insufficient, in the southwestern part of the county, to accommodate those who sought membership in the church. There was therefore a church building erected in lower West Creek, in the Hathaway neighborhood. Rev. Cozad having charge of the circuit at that time, all of Lake county being included in this work.

In 1844, a church was built at Hickory Point, where was perhaps the largest class in the county, Rev. J. Early having charge of the circuit this year. This class from change of inhabitants, by removal and death of many of the old members of the church, was long since abandoned. Until 1847 the Methodist as well as all other denominations in Crown Point had held their meetings in the old log court-house. These interchanges of services were harmoniously made, and all availed themselves of every service without regard to name. But at this time a felt need of a house of their own in which to worship, possessed the minds of this branch of the church; so with the liberal aid of the citizens, the first M. E. Church of Crown Point was built. Rev. Samuel Lamb was at this time preacher in charge of the circuit. It was then that pioneer ministers as well as people, bravely endured hardship, and privation, that they might bequeath to their successors a better inheritance. From this date up to 1853 a succession of ministers, Rev's. Salisbury, H. B. Ball, Strite, Gary, L. More, and C. S. Burgner, followed, with an onward march of the church. During the years 1852 and 1853 the Pleasant Grove church was built near Sanger's corners, where a strong membership gathered, and a wide religious influence was exerted. The labors of the regular workers were much aided by several local preachers who ever held themselves ready for service, some" of whom have been already mentioned. Besides those there were G. W. Taylor, who located in Pleasant Grove in 1845 remaining until 1849, when he removed to Valparaiso, and in the same year died, and although cut off in the prime of life, with the prospect of many years of usefulness before him, he felt the assurance of scripture " Yea saith the Spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them" to light up the gloom of the grave. Rev. Smith Tarr, a farmer in the south part of the county, also a local preacher, for several years assisted in spreading the word of life, while Rev. Thompson, of South East Grove, testified and held up the banner of the cross from 1845 to 1850. Then Father Barton, who lived at Centerville, well remembered and loved by many yet, not only preached by word, but by a life worthy the name of the Master he proclaimed. He died at his post in 1871, testifying to the grace of God which is able to give victory over death. All these bore their part in laying the foundation of Methodism in Lake county, and diffusing the knowledge of Christ. In these early days distance was no hinderance. Ten or even twenty miles was easily traveled on extra occasions, such as quarterly meetings, so zealous were the members of this church in the cause they loved. And often when they thus met together the usual places of worship were too small to accommodate the people. So they remembered that "The groves were God's first temples;" their songs of praise and words of prayer and exhortation stirred the calm of nature, while hearts were also moved to obedience and this work grew, so that in 1853 the county was divided into two circuits., and R. B. Young was put in charge of the Crown Point circuit, and Rev. D. Dunham of the Lowell circuit; which comprised Pleasant Grove, Orchard Grove, Plum Grove, Cedar Lake, West Creek, and some other irregular appointments; while Crown Point circuit took in Centerville, Deer Creek, and Prairie View, with other occasional preaching places. After R. B. Young had served as regular pastor of the Crown Point work for one year he located and became a citizen of this place, but not to rest from his labors in the church. While through the week he attended to his daily avocations, on the Sabbath his place was never vacant in the church, if not in the pulpit, which he was often called to fill both at home and elsewhere in the county. Thus he lived until 1880, when he passed from the church militant to the church triumphant.

From 1853 to 1855 the Rev. D. Dunham had charge of the Lowell circuit. In 1854 D. Crawford, and in 1855, F. Cox, then quite a young man, was sent to Crown Point; then Rev's. Heath, Brown, and J. W. Green, each (except the last) for one year filled the Crown Point appointment; while C. B. Mock, McDaniels, W. J. Forbes, A. Haze, and J. H. Cissel, successively labored on the Lowell work; and although the number of appointments was not increased the membership gradually increased and the church was made stronger.

In 1860 Crown Point was made a station, to which J. W. Green was returned, whose two years of labor were crowned with success, being years of great revival, by which many were added to the church, all built up and strengthened in the Lord. In the year 1860 the present church was built in Crown Point, and so great was the religious interest manifest that even its spacious walls were often found insufficient to contain the people who flocked to hear the pure simple words of truth which fell from the lips of that earnest man of God. We are glad to know that Bro. Green is yet spared to call sinners to repentance. He has for several years been a P. E. in the Indiana Conference. In 1861 Rev's. Morris and Robinson, each after laboring a few months, retired on account of failing health, and died shortly afterward, leaving the year to be filled out by R. B. Young; after which until 1872 the Crown Point station was filled by J. H. Claypool, H. C. Fraley, J. W. Newhouse, B. H. Bradberry, S. P. Colvin, T. C. Stringer, and M. M. Stoltz; while the Lowell circuit was supplied by W. W. Jones and Brook, J. H. Claypool, Unsworth, W. T. Jones, D. Winegar, Rev. Vicars, E. W. Lawhon, J. J. Hines, R. B. Young, and J. Harrison; each of these leaving their impress on the church and carrying the work onward in a greater or less degree.

In 1870 the M. E. church of Lowell was built, and accordingly the Pleasant Grove church was abandoned and all concentrated in this new one in Lowell. Also on this circuit a new church building was put up on West Creek, on the site of the old one in 1869.
Turning to the Northern part of the county, we find the work also spreading although heretofore more neglected. A church organization having been made in Hobart, Centerville was detached from Crown Point and together with Hobart, and Wheeler Station in Porter county, was formed into a circuit, and in 1866 N.B. Wood was given charge of the new work; after whom Rev's. Vicars, J.W. Crane, Stafford, Taught, Jackson, and C. S. Burgner, held successive ministration; and although the membership was weak in numbers yet the true spirit of Christ characterized these societies, and work flour-ished, and souls were saved. In 1879 a neat and comfortable church was erected in Centerville, and although several of the old members of the class withdrew and joined the Mission Band, which held a series of grove meetings there, they yet sustain a thriving society, having taken in a number of new converts.

From 1873 to 1877 F. Taylor, T. Webb, and W.G. Vessels, filled the Crown Point appointment, the labors of the last having been crowned with success. The Lord poured out his Spirit in a wonderful manner and many were converted and added to the church at the different appointments, which were at this time Crown Point, Prairie View, and Deer Creek. From 1878 to 1880 O.C. Haskel ministered to the church of Crown Point. Mr. Haskel was a man of unusual urbanity of manner, and thus won the love of his entire people as well as of society at large, all finding alike a friend in him. During his labors the Deer Creek church was built and the membership was largely increased at this appointment through a revival of the last year of his work. He was followed by Rev. A. J. Clearwaters in 1881. During this year the Crown Point church was repaired and rendered not only much better in appearance but far more comfortable. The following year Rev. Stafford filled the Crown Point appointment, and then in 1883 and 1884 F. Cox returned to the field which (now much smaller in circuit) he filled twenty-nine years ago, and although his hair is whitened by the years that have intervened he yet possesses the spiritual vigor of those youthful days. But few are left now to whom he preached then; yet the story of the cross is the same, and Christian experience is the same, and sinners are yet to be saved, and we bid him a sad farewell as he goes to another field of labor and G. Streeter fills his place.

In 1873 B. H. Beal had charge of the Lowell circuit, after whom D. F. Baker, who remained three years. In his hands the work of the Lord prospered and many were converted and added to the church. A new organization was made at Creston under his ministry, and during his last year a church building was erected in this place, which however was not finished until the next year by Rev. R. Sanders and dedicated by R. liter, P. E. From 1878 to 1884, H. Vencill, F. M. Stright, and Wm. Crapp, each for two years ministered to the Lowell circuit.

Besides the sons and daughters which the M. E. church of Lake county has reared to stand fast by her interests, build up her walls and fight the battles of the Lord against sin, she has sent forth a number to stand on the walls of Zion and preach salvation to the world. Of these we find Levi Tarr, who came here with his father in 1851, while yet a boy, and whose Christian life soon gave promise of usefulness. Accordingly in 1855 he was licensed to preach and having finished his course of study he joined the N. W. Indiana Conference in which he labored successfully for several years, when he was transferred to Michigan, where he still proclaims the truth of God. Soon after Levi, his brother Charles also, a sterling young man and zealous Christian, feeling that there was work for him in the same field, being recommended by the church and in obedience to the command "Go preach my gospel to every creature" is now telling the story of the cross among the golden hills of California.
Reuben Sanders, (son of Esq. Sanders, of Winfield township,) who was brought up and converted at Deer Creek, has also been a traveling preacher in the N. W. Indiana Conference for many years.

O. J. Andrews, who came to Crown Point as teacher in the public school, and whose labors in the church so won the confidence of his brethren that in 1877 he was licensed to preach, and although he yet continues his occupation as a teacher, proclaims the word of life whenever opportunity affords.

William Babbitt, once a sailor, exposed to all the temptations attendant on that occupation, in verification of the promise, the vilest sinner may return, found this salvation though late in life. He wishing to redeem the time if possible accepted the call of God and the church, and was authorized to preach in 1883 at Crown Point.

Edwin Shell who came to Crown Point when a small boy, was converted at the age of fourteen, and notwithstanding his light and hilarious disposition ever evinced a strictly Christian character, always observing all his duties in the church and Sabbath school with scrupulous attention, thus developing a talent that was not lost sight of by the church, but encouraged and strengthened by those who had charge of his spiritual training. At the age of twenty-one he was licensed to preach and although not yet through his collegiate course has charge now for the second year of the youthful church of Hammond and gives promise to be one of whom the church will be glad to say, he is my son.

The Hammond church, the last organized in the county, was established by Rev. Mr. Vinal, of Evanston, Illinois, in the winter of 1882, and in 1883 this little society by the aid of those of other denominations, who had no church of their own there, and those who had no church membership anywhere, built a house for worship where all unite for the present. This church was dedicated by the. Rev. Dr. Nine, of Evanston University in December, 1883.

And now we come to sum up the work and success of this branch of God's church in Lake county. From that little class gathered at Pleasant Grove in 1837 with preaching only once in six weeks, there are now in 1884 eight church edifices, four regular pastors with twelve appointments, and seven Sabbath schools under their care. The membership in the county is five hundred and fifty-seven, and it might with propriety be asked, why, after all the exertions put forth all these years, the number is not much larger. Why are there not more Christians of all the different denominations in the county. It is because as in the days of Job" the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord that Satan came also.'"

In preparing this sketch, brevity has necessarily been studied. Many interesting incidents have been omitted or slightly mentioned, as a work of this kind would not admit of detail. Many strong minded, humble hearted, and useful Christian men and women, have been numbered with this church and borne their part in making it what it is, whose names may never be mentioned in the annals of earthly history, but will have their reward in the better land.


There are in the county four German Methodist churches; one in Hanover township on the western part of Lake Prairie, known as the Cedar Lake church; one in Crown Point; one in Hobart, and one in Hammond. The oldest and the largest is the Cedar Lake Ger-man Methodist church. The settlement where this church is situated was commenced by the Beckley family about the year 1845. Other families soon came, settling on the Prairie and in the West Creek woodland, and in 1851 George Krinbill became a resident in that neighborhood. A church organization was formed and a church building was erected about 1853. For more than thirty years the German Methodists have been an important part of the religious element of the county. They have had excellent pastors, they have kept up good Sunday-schools, and there has been vitality in their religion. The church at Crown Point was built in 1874. The church building at Hobart was erected about the same time. At Hammond the organization is new, and they hold their meetings in the American church building. From the west side of Cedar Lake many of these families have removed westward. Present number of members in the county about one hundred and fifty. They keep up four Sunday-schools. Some of the young ladies of the congregation and school at Crown Point are becoming good organists.


In the year 1855 an organization of Christian workers, called The Evangelical Association, commenced missionary work west of Cedar Lake. A church was organized under the labors of the Rev. G. Vetter, and a building for public worship was erected. The house is no longer used for worship, but the society is still in existence.
In 1867 the Rev. L. Willman began labors as missionary in Crown Point and its vicinity. In 1874 a church was organized at Crown Point, and a church building was erected the same year in the eastern part of town on Northstreet. The building was afterward removed to the corner of East and North, where, on East street, a neat parsonage has been erected adjoining the church.

The missionary and resident pastors in this county have been commencing in 1856, one for each year unless otherwise specified: G. Vetter, H. Rodemund, H. Hintze, A. S. Heilman, ---- McLaen, A. Gayle, S. Tobias, J. Kiest, two years, L. Keller, two years, L. William, 1867, P. Wengert, two years, C. Burkhart, L. Glaeser, two years, J. Wellner, O. Schuster, P. Zahn, 1875, B. Ruh, two years, W. Gross, A. Riemenschneider, three years, C. J. Frey, two years, F. Schwartz, 1884.

A branch church or class was formed at Deer Creek in 1860 and the organization continued until 1880, "but at present there are only a few members left." The church at Crown Point is prospering. It maintains a Sunday-school. Number of members of this church in the county forty.


Belonging to the earlier religious history of our county is a denomination not now having any preaching or any congregation within our limits, the United Brethren or Moravians. There were but few members here at any time. One minister of this denomination, an excellent Christian man, resided for several years in the county, the REV. PHILLIP REED. He enlisted in the Union army, became first lieutenant in Company A, 73d Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, and died January 3d, 1863. The preaching places of the Brethren were mainly at Deer Creek, at the Adams, and, probably, at the Vincent school house, occasionally at Cedar Lake, and at Lowell. At Deer Creek and afterwards on Eagle Creek Prairie, they had an organization for a few years of some twenty-five or thirty members. The preachers, except Brother Reed, came from without the county. The Brethren have had no preaching regularly in the county for many years. A few only are left of the early members. Good that is done does not die.


In 1840 Rev. J. C. Brown, the pastor of the Presbyterian church of Valparaiso, visited Crown Point and conducted union services in the log court-house, and from that time continued to come regularly, once in three weeks. He was acting as a home missionary, having several stations within this county. As the county was very thinly settled, he was in the habit of calling at each cabin as he passed, thus gathering together his little groups of listeners by whom he was much loved and respected. Early in 1844 Lake Presbytery authorized him to organize a church. Accordingly on April 27, 1844, after public services, a church of eighteen members was organized and Messrs. C. W. Mason and Elias Bryant were chosen Ruling Elders. Seven members were added during 1845.

A church edifice was now deemed necessary and sufficient funds were raised to begin work in 1845. But money was very scarce, the country wild, with very few roads or horses. Lumber was hard to get, and must be brought on ox-carts from Chicago or Porter county. Rather a slow and difficult method of transportation we should say now. The church was not completed till 1847, although it was used during warm weather before that time. Mr. Brown rendered valuable aid in this work, and when completed the property was valued at three thousand dollars. It was situated on the lot owned by the organization and extending from Main to Court street; It has been used continually since its completion and, as it was becoming unfit for further use, it has just been torn away and a veneered brick church, costing about four thousand and five hundred dollars, is to be erected on the west half of said lot. The last services were held in it Sabbath morning August 10, 1884, nearly forty years from its opening.

In 1846 regular services were desired and William Townlev became pastor and so continued for ten years or until 18-56. During this time the church steadily increased, there being seventy accessions of whom only nineteen came by certificates from other churches. At the time of his departure the entire number of members received since the organization was one hundred and ten. But the highest number of communicants during any one year was fifty-six, there having been withdrawals, deaths, etc.

From 1857 to 1859 Mr. Schultz occupied the pulpit. In December, 1859, Lake Presbytery met at the Presbyterian church, of Crown Point, and ordained and installed Rev. J. L. Lower pastor, in which capacity he continued until November, 1862. During this pastorate thirty-nine were received into membership, twelve coming by letter. Soon after his resignation Rev. A. Y. Moore, an evangelist in the church under the employment of the Presbytery, was called and became pastor, which capacity he filled from 1866 to 1869. From 1870 to 1871 Rev. Samuel McKee preached to the congregation.

On June 1, 1871, Rev. S. Fleming took charge of the church, but was not duly installed pastor until August, 1872. He resigned in October, 1874. In the summer of 1875 William J. Young, a student of the Theological Seminary of Chicago, preached here
and continued to take charge until he graduated. In April, 1877, the Presbytery again met with this church to ordain and install Rev. W. J. Young pastor, in which capacity he continued till the summer of 1878. During his pastoral work much interest was manifest, and fifty-seven were added to the church of whom only ten came by letter. At this time the actual yearly membership was one hundred.

In the autumn of 1878 Mr. J. McAlister, a student of the Seminary at Chicago, took charge of the church and so continued till April, 1879. For about one year there was no regular minister. In the spring of 1880 Mr. Carson took the pulpit; and in 1881 Mr. B.E.S. Ely, also a student, was employed. He continued to preach, and in the autumn of 1883 the Presbytery met here and ordained and installed him pastor of this church. The present membership is not far from seventy.


(Transcriber's note - someone has made written changes to this section. The organization date is changed to 1856, Harry Austin's name has one of the "r"s removed and the line about there being no church records is crossed out.)

The Presbyterian church in the south part of this county, Lake Prairie church, was organized November 9,
1836, as an Independent church, by Rev. John Sailor, of Michigan City, with twelve members: Abiel Gerrish, Eliza Gerrish, Thomas Little, Myra Little, Sarah Little, Samuel Ames, Emily Ames, Henry Peach, Betsy Peach, Peter Burhans, Harry Austin, and Henry Austin. The records have not been preserved, and hence there is very little that can be obtained regarding the church history. Rev. Hiram Wason became pastor in 1857 and remained in charge seven years, during which time twenty-three were
added to the membership by letter and thirty-one by profession. In 1864 Rev. Benjamin Wells became pastor and continued in charge four years; and for two years, the church was without a regular pastor, when Rev. Edwin Post came and remained two years. Up to this time services had been held in the school house. During Rev. Post's pastorate a house of worship was erected at the cost of fifteen hundred dollars and dedicated in the summer of 1872. For some five years the pulpit was supplied for short periods by different ones, the people having no regular pastor. Rev. Homer Sheely came in 1877 and remained a little more than three years. Since then the people, having no resident pastor, have been supplied in various ways; part of the time having services in the afternoon, and usually keeping up a Sabbath-school. Resident pastors preached at the church in the morning and at Buncombe and Blaney school-houses each alternate Sabbath afternoon, necessitating about ten miles drive between services, Rev. Wason many times going on foot (as the roads were sometimes most impassable,) rather than disappoint the people. The church building now is somewhat dilapidated, but still in use, and the pulpit now supplied by Rev. Harris, from Illinois. Present membership about forty.


There is in the county no church organization of this denomination; but ministers of this church have had congregations here, and preached, occasionally or regularly, for almost fifty years. The first regular minister was the Rev. Wilson Blaine. He was succeeded, about 1852, by the Rev. J. N. Buchanan, who has preached once in four weeks at South East Grove for many years. The church home is at Hebron. Some fifteen or twenty members reside in the county.


In the eastern part of the county and around Le Roy, several families of this denomination have resided in past years, having their church home in Porter county, yet having occasional preaching at Le Roy. Some of these families have removed, the four McKnight families are the principal ones now left. Membership about twenty.


Several years ago an Episcopalian minister held for a time regular meetings at Hobart, where were a few Episcopalian members. No church building of that de-nomination was erected, and the meetings were at length discontinued. At Crown Point also, about sixteen years ago, perhaps in 1868, Episcopalian meetings were held occasionally in Miss Knight's school-house, then on East street; a bishop was sometimes present, and church life commenced. But these meetings were soon discontinued, as there were very few members to sustain them. Occasional preaching has commenced again this year, in the Main street Baptist church, but Episcopalian church members are few in this county, and as yet there are no indications of any permanent church work. Those whose training and tendencies have been in this direction generally find homes with the other denominations.


From the days of John the Baptist until now, wherever the Gospel has gone forth among the nations, some have been found, so Baptists claim, in all these nineteen centuries, holding their denominational views. Numbering as this denomination now does two and a half millions in our country, it is not strange that some of these, with the Roofer Williams' spirit, came into this region with the early pioneers. They chose for their residences lands lying on the west, on the east and northward, of the Red Cedar Lake. There were three Massachusetts families and two from tlus state of New York. They commenced holding reliofious meetings in a few weeks after their arrival, and on June 17, 1838, formed themselves, according to their denominational usage, into a church of Christ, Elder French, a Baptist minister from Porter county, acting as their chairman or moderator. They chose for their church clerk Hervey Ball. They selected three places for holding Sabbath meetings, one north of the lake, one on the east side, and one on the west side, agreeing to hold their church or "covenant" meetings monthly; and thus the two Warriner, the Church, Cutler, and Ball families, became the first Baptist church in Lake county. They held meetings for five Sabbaths, according to their arrangements, when the severe and continued sickness of 1838 and the visitations of death, prevented their meeting together for worship. They resumed their covenant meetings and relations in March, 1839, choosing N. Warriner as "stated moderator," and presenting their church letters. They were then nine in number. They soon received six others by letter, and then, fifteen in number, on Sunday, May 19, 1839, in the grove on the west side of the lake, near the residence of Hervey Ball, in front of the large log-school-house which had been erected under the shade of the majestic oaks which then were standing on that long slope, they were publicly recognized, standing together in a circle with clasped hands, as a Baptist church of Christ, by a "council" of six brethren from Porter county and from La Porte, Elder Sawin, of La Porte, having preached and giving the address to the church, Elder French giving to them the right hand of fellowship. Dropping the word Red, they took the name The Cedar Lake Baptist Church. On that same afternoon, May 19, 1839, under the blue sky that, except the leafy shade, was alone above them, in the sun light, the ordinance of the Lord's supper was for the first time observed by Baptists in the county of Lake. July 20, 1839, they licensed one of their number, N. Warriner, to preach, and September 8, they gave their first letters of dismission, dismissing brother and sister Waggoner, "to join the church in Chicago." May 30, 1840, they appointed their first delegates to attend the association, and on June 27, 1840, they had with them in session, by invitation, an ordaining council and ordained Norman Warriner as a Gospel minister. These were the first ordination services held in the county. The ordaining ministers were Elder Alpheus French, Elder Benjamin Sawin, Elder Alexander Hasting, Elder Charles Harding, and Elder William Rees, five of the substantial, devoted ministers of the state of Indiana, all of whom long ago closed their earthly labors.

The first baptism in Cedar Lake, as administered by Elder Warriner, was on July 20, 1840.

In the spring of 1848, the church numbering some forty members, five were dismissed to unite with others in the West Creek Baptist church which was organized May 6, 1848.

Seven members were not long afterwards dismissed to form a church at Thorn Grove, in Illinois.
December 11, 1851, ten members were dismissed to form a church at Crown Point.

January 20, 1856, was constituted the Lowell Baptist church with thirteen members; the Crown Point church having been organized with the same number.

January 17, 1856, ten members being present, (population changing, a church having been organized at Crown Point and one considered as already organized at Lowell.) the Cedar Lake church, having existed seventeen years, formally disbanded. It began with nine members, it received by letter forty-three, by experience and baptism forty-two, and was disbanded with ten members present, three of them being of the first nine. It had from first to last one clerk and its record book was well kept. It had as pastors, Norman Warriner, William T. Bly, Alexander Hastings, Thomas Hunt, and Uriah McKay. It had as occasional supplies Elders French, Sawin, Kennedy, Brayton, Hitchcock, and Steadman.

A number of short statements will now be sufficient to complete the object of this historic paper.
About 1855 a Baptist church was organized in Hobart through the labors of Elder Bartlett. This church was disbanded or died a number of years ago.

In 1862 the Eagle Creek Baptist church was organized through the labors of Elder G. F. Brayton. Forty-four were baptized there in a short time, and a church of sixty-four members was soon gathered at Eagle Creek. This church was disbanded September 6, 1868.

The West Creek Baptist church had been disbanded January 19, 1856, at the time of the organization of the Lowell church. It was, in effect, a removal of the former to a new center.
April 23, 1871 the North Street Baptist church was organized. Number of constituent members twelve.

December 22, 1877, was organized by the Rev. R. P. Stevenson, the Plum Grove Baptist church.
In all eight churches, have been organized, four having been disbanded many years ago.
The Baptists have three church buildings, one at Lowell and two at Crown Point. They are all small. Value of church property, Lowell church, $1000; North Street church, $1500; Main Street Church, $5000.

The following summary will show what has been the Baptist membership.
1. The Cedar Lake Baptist church -- 94
2. The West Creek Baptist church -- 20
3. The Crown Point Baptist church before its division, in 1869 -- 61
4. The Hobart Baptist church -- 20
5. The Eagle Creek Baptist church -- 64
Total ------------------------------------------------ 259

3. The Crown Point Baptist church of the present.
6. The Lowell Baptist church.
7. The North Street Baptist church.
8. The Plum Grove Baptist church, in 1878, membership, thirty-two.
Membership of the last four, or present membership in the county, fifty.
Membership in the county in fifty years, three hundred and thirty.
Number baptized in fifty years, two hundred.
Baptized in Cedar Lake, fifty-six.
Three pastors ordained, N. Warriner, at Cedar Lake, June, 1840. T. H. Ball, at Crown Point, December 30, 1855. G. W. Lewis, at Lowell, January 18, 1866. One pastor has died in the county, Thomas L. Hunt, who died July 21, 1853, being only thirty-one years of age.

Bancroft, the historian, says, speaking of the Rhode Island colony, see his Hist. U. S. Vol. 2, page 459- and of the principles of "the party" in Germany, its principles, secure in their immortality, escaped with Roger Williams to Rhode Island: and his colony is witness that naturally the paths of the Baptists are paths of freedom, of pleasantness, and peace."

Comparatively few as the Baptists have been in this county, very few as they are now, their record in behalf of general improvement, of enterprise, of the cause of temperance, of education, of Sabbath-schools, is one of which they have no need to be ashamed. The present ministers are, John Bruce, preaching once in two weeks at Lowell, residing on his farm one mile and a half west of Lowell; and T. H. Ball, who preaches at Crown Point, Plum Grove, South East Grove, Cedar Lake, and Winfield, residing at Crown Point.


The followers of the Saviour who call themselves as a designation only "Christians," called sometimes by others, "Campbellites," forming a portion of the large Baptist family, were first known as such in Virginia in the time of the Rev. Alexander Campbell, who was one of the best religious disputants in the United States. His discussion held with the noted skeptic Robert Owen, nearly sixty years ago, may well be placed among American masterpieces. There has been in this county but one congregation of this variety of Christians. The place of meeting was, for a number of years, some two miles south of Lowell, in private houses or in the school-house, and of these early times there seems to be no record. According to a published statement to which I have been referred as authority the church organization dates 1841, the constituent members having been Simeon Beadle and wife, William Wells and wife, Thomas Childers and wife, and J. L. Worley. The last named of these only is now living, the present President of the County Sunday-School Association. It seems a little singular that each of these women mentioned above bore the given name of Sarah.

The organization took place at the home of William Wells, the Rev. Nathan Coffinburg being the minister present. Lewis Corner, John Sergeant, and Lemuel Shortridge, are named as among the earlier ministers. In 1869 the congregation commenced the erection of a brick church edifice in Lowell, which was used for worship in February, 1870. This building cost nearly four thousand dollars, of which sum Henry Dickinson gave twelve hundred dollars. A Union Sunday-school meets in this church every Sunday morning. Present membership about sixty.


In the summer of 1876 a number of evangelists began to hold religious meetings at the village of Ross.

They came from Chicago, were English by birth, they resembled some of the English non-Episcopal Methodists in their teachings, they claimed no denominational connection, but called themselves a "band." So this religious movement among us is known as the Band movement. The names of these evangelists were: Hanmer, Andrews, Martin, Flues, Cooke, Mrs. Cooke; and soon after others were associated with them.

Their modes of working were new here. Quite an interest was awakened at Ross, and soon a number professed conversion. Similar meetings were held in the grove at Merrillville, at Hobart, at Lowell, and at Crown Point. A new and peculiar interest was excited, over the central and southern portions of the county, by this new movement. Never before had so many active and zealous workers united to carry on religious meetings. Never before, in the county, had such large numbers attended such long continued revival meetings. Never before had so many in so few months professed conversion and been baptized. Nearly all these band baptisms were immersions.

These meetings at Crown Point began in the fall or early winter of 1876. A ware-house, near the depot, was provided with seats and arranged for night services, to which was given the name "tabernacle. Here for a time daily meetings were held and large numbers attended. But it was difficult to make this building comfortable for a large night gathering in the cold of winter; so the use of Cheshire Hall was secured, and in that large audience room, night after night and day after day, was held, for weeks and for months, the most singular series of religious meetings belonging to our history. The recognized leader of the meetings was the Rev. W. G. Hanmer. After a series of prayers and Gospel songs, a short, earnest discourse would be given, followed by an exhortation, and then by a "testimony" meeting, and then invitations were given for persons to come forward for prayer. During these prayer seasons, lasting some considerable time, many of the Band, passing" through the assembly would hold conversations with various individuals, urging them forward for prayer, or urging them to profess Christ. For a time, and through this series of meetings, denominational or church-building work was disavowed. The professed object was to produce or secure conversions, and these, it was taught, were mainly to be expected during the prayers of the large praying circle gathered around those who went forward for prayer. Generally there would be a dismission, after considerable time had been spent in this prayer circle; and then there would be held a "second meeting," for the benefit of those who as "seekers" had not been that evening converted, and for all others who might remain. These meetings would be continued until eleven o'clock, at night, or later. This series of meetings continued for some three months at Crown Point. The citizens of Crown Point, of all classes, attended. Hundreds thronged Cheshire Hall nearly every night. It was a cold winter, the sleighing was quite good, and people came from the country, who resided many miles distant, devoting their time largely, through that winter, to religious interests.

Of the real good accomplished, of the genuineness of the singular interest that kept hundreds in Cheshire Hall till so late an hour each night, for weeks and months, it is not for an annalist to speak. He is to deal with facts, not to express opinions.

Quite a large number did profess conversion, and many were afterwards baptized. On the other hand, many citizens of Crown Point did not yield to those influences and are not now the professed followers of the Saviour.

After the grove, tent, and hall meetings closed, in the different places already named, and the converts had been baptized and gathered into local bands, the leaders of the movement found themselves obliged, by the force of circumstances, to change the plan they had at first proposed to carry out; and they now formed these local bands into church organizations, thus commencing a new denomination. At Crown Point the local band obtained the use of the North Street Baptist church building for their regular meetings, two or three times a week, which meetings did not come at the hours of the regular Baptist service and Sunday-school gatherings; and in this
audience room was constituted, ___ 1877, the Band church at Crown Point, Rev. W. G. Hanmer acting as the organizing elder or presbyter, the members uniting together in church relationship; and the ordinance of the Lord's Supper was administered. The following copy of a record will show the frequency of their meetings for some time. "Crown Point Band began to occupy the North Street Church, Wednesday evening, June 20, 1877. Meetings: "June 20, 24, 27, 30; July 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29; August 1, 5, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29; September 2, 5, 9-12, 12, 16, 19, 26, 30; October 3, 7, 10." Here this record ends, but the occupancy continued some time longer. Similar
organizations were formed at Ross and at Hobart, and in Porter county. The work became quite systematic and was regularly carried on for a few years. The following is a journal record published in October, 1880: "A business meeting of the Band was held at Ross on Monday last. There was a good attendance from the different societies, the Rev. Mr. Dickinson, their superintendent from Chicago, being also present. Rules for the government of the societies were presented by the committee previously appointed, which were adopted. These rules are to be furnished the different societies, who will vote for their adoption or rejection, as they may think proper. The name decided upon is the "Union Mission Church," at Ross, or either of the points where there may by a society. It is expected that the Rev. Mr. Westerdale will be engaged as pastor at Crown Point and Handley."

Church buildings were erected at Ross and at Hobart, and steady work seemed to be going forward. But ministers of the Free Methodist denomination came among them, and many of these Union Mission church members of the Band church concluded to unite with the Free Methodists. The organization at Crown Point was merged in a Free Methodist society, the one at Hobart was not kept up; and the Band church at Ross remains alone in this county as originally constituted. The Rev. W. G. Hanmer and other Band ministers, became Free Methodists and left the county. As the result of the Band movement, therefore, we have left, the church at Ross, with a good brick building; some scattered members around Hobart, with a wooden building, the Hobart tabernacle; and the FREE METHODIST church at Crown Point, with a small, neat brick building, keeping up
regular services every week and maintaining a Sunday-school. Membership about thirty. Number baptized in the county by the Band preachers about one hundred and fifty.


The congregation of professed Christians known by the above designation, at Crown Point, owe their origin here to a man of the name of Ross, who is said to have been "Superintendent of the North-east-coast Mission of Scotland for eighteen years and a recognized minister of the Free Presbyterian church during that time." Giving up that position and denominational relationship, and laying aside the ministerial title "Reverend," he traveled in Scotland for several years holding prayer meetings, and exhorting the people in hamlets and villages, where small congregations could be gathered. He now became connected with a small body of people "who rejected all existing forms of worship and aimed to copy the simplicity of primitive Christianity." In 1878 he left Scotland, went to Chicago, and there, and in the state of Illinois and in Indiana, commenced, and continued for some years., the organization of congregations similar to those in Scotland, congregations which date back in England to about 1830. He came to Crown Point in 1878 and held meetings in the Presbyterian church. He came afterward, in 1879, with a tent and for a number of days and evenings held tent meetings on Sherman street. These meetings resulted in the bringing together of a congregation from the Band congregation, from the Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist churches, a congregation that met first in private houses and afterwards in halls hired for the purpose of holding religious meetings. Judge Gillett, of Valparaiso, often met with them and held what they call Bible readings. Their meetings are now held in Abram's hall, and the congregation numbers about twenty-five members. Some of their views are: a membership of those only who are assured of their salvation; the immersion of such, and of such only, in water, as Christian baptism; the celebration of the Lord's Supper on every first day of the week; no ordained ministry, in the ordinary sense of the word ordained; a separation from the world, as far as possible, and from "all other existing religious denominations and forms of worship;" to be subject to the civil power, to pay taxes, to pray for rulers, but to take no part in "politics;" and to have no " hired preacher," to have no "hired choir," to use in worship no instrumental music. They object to being called a "sect;" although as the word is defined by Webster, "a body of persons who have separated from others in virtue of some special doctrine, or set of doctrines, which they hold in common," the term seems to be as fully applicable to them as to other bodies of Christian believers. They claim, not to have originated in England some "fifty years ago," but "maintain that they originated in the year A. D. 33." Thus, like that large sect or denomination known as Baptists, they claim their origin in the Holy Land in the days of the apostles.
The reader will notice that the Baptists, the "Christians," of whom the number should have been eighty, and the Believers, are all Immersionists.


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