THE CHURCHES OF RUSH COUNTY
The church ever is in advance of government, such is the impulse of the missionary spirit. It therefore may be taken for granted that formal religious services had been held in various parts of the territory now comprised within the confines of Rush county some time before this county had been organized as a separate civic unit. As has been pointed out in previous chapters there were numerous settlers in the eastern and southeastern part of the county prior to the date of organization and it is undoubted that these settlers had been enjoying, at least periodically, the ministrations of the messengers of the gospel, for the local missionary spirit was strong in those days and the "itinerant" preacher occasionally would be found wherever "two or three'' could be gathered together to hear the message he had to bring. In mild weather meetings would be held at a convenient point in the woods at the crossing of the trails and in inclement weather some settler would be found who gladly would open his cabin to such of his widely separated neighbors as would come to hear the gospel upon notice that some missioner was due to be heard in that neighborhood. It was these early meetings in the cabins that have created the confusion regarding statements with relation to the first church in the county, the claim to this distinction being made by several communities in the county. There is a difference, however, between these neighborhood meetings held on the call of the itinerant missioner of the period and a formal church organization with a settled pastor and officers of the church, a definite meeting place and recognized connection with a ruling body, and this difference ought to be taken into account in a consideration of the several claims along this line. However, it is certain that the church was early in evidence. The people would not have had it otherwise. The pioneers of this community were, with an occasional exception to prove the rule a god-fearing, upright people with proper impulses toward the right and their rules of conduct were based upon the book of discipline of the church of their fathers. While they differed widely and sometimes fiercely in matters of minor interpretation of the Book which was their general guide, the same book guided all and was the foundation rock of the church, whatever the denomination or sect thus represented. And the church was the paramount interest in their lives. As the late John F. Moses wrote concerning the pioneers of Rush county: "That they were a deeply religious people is evidenced by the remarkable fact that they first organized a church before they had set in motion the machinery of their local civil government; and by the further fact that within a year or two after their first settlement they had dotted the country with meeting houses. They were order-loving and law-abiding. Hospitality was part of their religion, and the interests of their neighbors largely their own. Mutually dependent, they were mutually helpful. There was no cabin standing in its little clearing which did not bear the marks of the handiwork of all the men within reach at its building, and they stood as monuments to the feeling of neighborly good will that was then the rule. The more formal and far more selfish usages of our own time might with profit borrow something from the free-handed, hearty and generous spirit that animated the men and women of those older days."
Along this same line the late Rev. Jacob B. Blount, of whom it was written in his day that "probably no man in Rush county is more prominently or more favorably known," commented in a review of the work of the churches in this county written by him more than thirty years ago, when he said that "the first effort that was made in a new territory usually was to plant the religion which the settlers brought with them, either by the work of some minister who accompanied them or by the citizens themselves. Many times the 'laity' formed themselves into a body and worshiped God according to the doctrine carried with them from their former homes. Many of the old landmarks, the first meeting houses, were the result of this kind of work, erected by the people in the absence of, and without the aid of, the preacher. The primitive houses were of logs planed down or hewed before placed in the building, and as was the house so the worship, in the simplicity and devotion of a humbleness that has long since lost itself in the gaudiness and flourish of the modern temples." Continuing in this strain, Mr. Blount declares that "probably no county in the state can record greater achievements in church work than Rush, nor a greater victory for religion. Religious sentiment and conviction have urged and almost compelled morality of her citizens from her settlement up to the present, until she can boast of the very broadest influence possible of the faith contained in the testimony of the Scriptures. It will not be said too strong when the statement is made that Rush county contains a more universal religious influence than any other county in the state, and according to her population has more professors of religion. This is not claimed because of the superior intelligence of her citizens, of this she does not boast, nor because of deep piety, but because of the persistent effort to establish in the hearts of the people the doctrine of respective church orders. Each seemed to vie with each other and Rush became a theological battlefield in which was fought many hard and long continued battles, the end of which was not particularly the establishment of any particular doctrine or especial religious theory, but to impress the hearers" with the fullness and profundity of religions facts and truths. By these discussions many truths were developed and hundreds of the citizens imbibed them, and at a very early day religious conviction upon one or another of the doctrines overshadowed nearly the entire populace."
A REVIEW OF THE CHURCHES OF THE COUNTYThere are at present in Rush county fifty-six "going" churches, that is, churches that continue to maintain a definite organization. Besides these there are several rural churches that formerly were active bodies but by reason of local influences of one sort and another have been abandoned, the congregation merging with other congregations in contiguous territory or altogether giving up the struggle against altered conditions. The automobile and the creation of a general system of excellent highways throughout the county have caused the abandonment of several of the rural churches, it having been found better to give up the attempt to hold certain rural congregations together in these days of easy and convenient access to stronger churches of the county seat and the several villages of the county. These fifty-six churches are distributed as follows: In the city of Rushville, twelve—Methodist Episcopal, Christian, Baptist (two), Presbyterian, United Presbyterian, United Brethren, Church of God, Catholic, African M. E., colored Baptist and Salvation Army; Anderson township, three—Methodist Episcopal, Christian and United Presbyterian at Milroy; Center, three—Center Christian. Little Blue River Church of Christ and United Presbyterian at Mays; Jackson, two—Christian at Sexton and United Brethren at Henderson; Noble, three—Little Flat Rock Christian and the Methodist Episcopal and Methodist Protestant at New Salem; Orange, three—Christian at Moscow, Methodist Episcopal at Gowdy and Big Flat Rock Christian; Posey, six—Christian and Methodist Episcopal at Arlington, the Franklin M. E., the Wesleyan M. E., the Blue River Friends and the Hannegan Christian; Richland, two—the Methodist Episcopal and the United Brethren; Ripley, seven—the Friends (two), Carthage and Walnut Ridge, the Methodist Episcopal, Christian, United Brethren, African M. E. and colored Baptist at Carthage; Union, seven—Plum Creek Christian, Ben Davis Christian, Fairview Christian, Methodist Episcopal at Falmouth and Methodist Episcopal. Christian and United Presbyterian at Glenwood; Walker, five—Christian and Methodist Episcopal at Manilla, Baptist and Christian Union at Homer and Goddard M. E.; Washington, three—the Christian church at Raleigh, the East Fork Baptist and the Ebenezer Presbyterian.
Regarding the contention concerning the first church organized in Rush county, perhaps there is no better authority along that line than the statements contained in a review of the churches of the county written by the late John F. Moses in 1907, in which it is stated that "a claim has been made that a little congregation formed in 1820 at John Morris's house in what is now Noble township was afterward transferred to Fayetteville (now Orange) and became the foundation for the present Christian church in that village. But Elijah Haddeman's diary gives precedence to the Little Flat Rock Baptist church and says that it grew out of a meeting held in Conrad Sailor's store the second week in April. 1821." Happily, the minute book of this early church has been preserved, and is now one of the priceless possessions of the Rushville public library. The book is in an excellent state of preservation, and its faded blue pasteboard cover and 150 time-stained pages hold the record of the church for a period of nearly ten years, the last entry in it being dated August 20, 1831. Unfortunately the first four pages of the old minute book have been cut out, the marks of the cut pages showing evidence of care having been taken in the mutilation, the purpose of which at this date can only be conjectured but not satisfactorily explained. The inside cover has the familiar name of Conrad Sailor, who was the agent of the state in the creation of Rush county, scribbled on it in ink a couple of times. The minutes open at Page 5 with the continuation line "her stated meetings from the first Saturday in the month to the third." The next paragraph follows: "A request of the brethren on Clifty for help to constitute a church: agree to send Elder John Blades and Brother Abraham Hackleman. Elder John Blades was chosen standing moderator. Adjourned to the third Saturday in November, 1821. (Signed) Robert Thompson, elk. L. F. R. C." The second entry follows: "Saturday, November 17, 1821—The church of Little Flat Rock met agreeable to adjournment and after prayer by Elder John Blades, Brother Benjamin Sailor laid in complaint against himself for rioting and drunkenness and was excluded." A minute dated September 18, 1824, notes that "the committee that was appointed to look out a suitable spot of ground for meeting house, they came forward and reported that they had found a suitable place in the southwest corner of Jacob Hackleman's land, and the church was agreed to the place of ground to build their meeting house upon. The church located two acres of land of the said Hackleman, and the brothers, Conrad Sailor, Elias B. Stone and William Milner to act as trustees in the survey and reception of the deed for said place of land. On motion the church took up the business of building a meeting house. They agreed to build a hewed log meeting house, the size here described: thirty feet in length and twenty-six in width, with a roof of joint shingles, the house to be twelve feet between the sill and plate; the house to be built by subscription and Brother Conrad Sailor to superintend the business." Brevity marks most of the entries in the old book and each minute invariably shows that "brethren of sister churches were invited to seats," and that "a door was opened for the reception of new members." In formal phrase they note the taking in and dismissal of members, the appointment of brethren to admonish the negligent to perform their church duties, complaints of lapses and the citing of offenders before the church. One militant brother was thus haled before that body for "unadvisedly whipping a man in Rushville," and at another time "for wanting to fite." The complainant was his own brother. In several cases the offenders manfully lodged complaints against themselves, mostly for intoxication. A brother, self-accused of "committing the sin of amusing himself in a merry company by frolicking and dancing," professed repentance and the church resolved "to bare with him." Elder Thompson became standing moderator and Abraham Hackleman writing clerk. An entry on August 15,1822, shows that "$6.18% was raised by subscription to pay the necessary expenses of the church for the year 1822." Certainly this was not prodigal. The old church was heated in cold weather by means of a "hearth of brick about four feet square in the center of the house, upon which charcoal was placed and fired up when required. The house was built by the joint efforts of members, who turned out en masse and made nothing else their business until it was completed." Through Elder Thompson's efforts Baptist churches were organized in different parts of the county. "All went on smoothly and swimmingly for about five years, when mutterings and rumblings began to be heard in the distance of the coming storm of the Reformation." In 1828, after consulting with his leading members, Mr. Thompson went to Kentucky to annihilate the new doctrine. Like Saul of Tarsus, he was converted by the way and returned home to champion it and to lead a majority of his members, not very long after, out of the Little Flat Rock church. The old minute book notes (April 2,1830) the difficulties over matters of doctrine and the division of the church. A little table furnishes the facts in brief form. It enumerates: "Dismissed by letter, 6; Thompson's party, 31; total amount, 55." This would leave only eighteen. On the preceding page it gives "the names of the parties that left us" as follows: John P. Thompson, Priscilla Thompson, Simeon B. Lloyd, Mary Lloyd, Abner Hackleman, Elizabeth Hackleman, Roderick Talbott, Margaret Stephens, William Moor, Rebecca Moor, John Heaton, Hester Heaton, Phoebe Heaton, Thomas Heaton, Margaret Williams, Mary McDaniel, Rebecca Garrison, John McDaniel, Katherine McDaniel, Jacob Coon, Margaret Coon, James Frazee, Katherine Frazee, Ebenezer Thompson, Mahalia Taylor, John Hawkins, Nancy Hawkins, Elizabeth Maple and Elizabeth Moore. The minutes of the next meeting of the old church in May, 1830, use a new title, "the Regular Baptized Church of Christ on Little Flat Rock." John Blades signs as moderator and Thomas Sailor as clerk pro tem. The Thompson faction was granted the use of the church "on the first and fourth Saturdays and Sabbaths of each month" for one year, and there was a settlement for its part of the work done on the new building. On Sunday, May 23,1830, Elder Thompson organized the Little Flat Rock Christian church. In 1822 he organized a Baptist church in Rushville, whose old brick house of worship long stood on the southeast corner of First and Perkins streets.
Regarding this contention as to historic precedence Mr. Blount's review points out that "whether the organization in the house of the pioneer Morris or the one at Little Flat Rock can claim the honor of first existence is not so vital, since it is not the fact of beginning so much as the fact of development that is important. The Flat Rock has precedence so far as continuity of place is concerned. It began in 1827, under the inspiration of Elder John P. Thompson, who having formed the Flat Rock Association of the Baptist church, when he was brought into the light of the teachings of the Scriptures as urged by Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, B. W. Stone and others, himself turned to that faith of the Church of Christ and carried his recently constituted Flat Rock Association with him and organized them anew upon 'the Bible and the Bible alone' as the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice. This motto became the battle cry and indeed is the 'shibboleth' of this religious order today... The work so well begun by Elder Thompson was greatly aided by that wonderfully fearless and aggressive pioneer, John O. Kane, who came to this county in 1832."
During the height of his missionary career Alexander Campbell visited this field and was warmly received in Rush county, those here who had accepted his doctrines welcoming him with a feeling almost akin to veneration. One of the families that entertained him during that tour was that of the pioneer Ephraim Frazee, who lived at the eastern edge of Rush county in Noble township and who for years was the "local" preacher in the Christian church at Orange. One of Ephraim Frazee's daughters, Catherine, married Doctor Lindsay and moved to Springfield, Ill., where Vachel Lindsay, the poet, was born. In his "Golden Book of Springfield" Vachel Lindsay, who is a frequent visitor to the old Frazee homestead in Rush county, makes occasional references to Indiana. In an introductory chapter to his main narrative he talks of Alexander Campbell. Ultra modern followers of Campbell, he says, hang in libraries with unlimited pride a certain remembrances lithograph of that great man, "an heirloom that is now quite rare, and to be classed in its Southern way, as the spinning wheels and old Bibles of the Mayflower are classed in a Northern way." This lithograph is the enlargement of the engraving of the Richardson biography, but much color and magic have been added. "Out of the darkness emerges a smooth shaven, high-bred, masterful physiognomy more like that of the statesmen who were the fathers of the republic than a member of any priesthood. Campbell's cheeks and eyes are still fired with youth and authority militant. He has a head bowed with thought, crowned with gray hair, and beneath his chin is the most states-manlike of cravats, with a peculiarly old-fashioned roll. Thus he must have looked at the height of debate with the infidel. I can never forget the copy of the lithograph that hung over my grandmother's front room fireplace in the patriarchal Frazee farmhouse in Indiana. Under it I heard the proverbs from Campbell every summer from the time I can remember anything. All those sayings were mixed up with stories that came with my people along the old Daniel Boone trail from Kentucky and Virginia. And when the old frame house was new and novel, and most other dwelling houses near were log cabins. Campbell had been a guest received there with breathless reverence. Under that picture I was personally conducted through all the daguerreotypes and records pertaining to the Kentucky pioneers of our blood."
In his review of the work of the Methodist Episcopal church in this county Mr. Blount observed that "the honor of the pioneer work in religious teaching in the county lies between this order of worshipers and the regular Baptists. It cannot be definitely determined which denomination has the precedence. As early as 1821 James Havens preached the Methodist Episcopal faith in the southern part of the county, and at nearly the same period John Linville organized a class in the southeast corner. They mention among their early laborers in the county B. Beggs. James Havens, Joseph Tarkington, William Evans, John Strange, A. Cummins, Allen Wyley, Calvin A. Rutler, B. F. Griffiths, G. K. Hester and others who were indefatigable in their labors to establish the cause. Perhaps the best known, at least the name of widest repute in this county, as well as in other portions of the state, is James Havens. His strong and vigorous constitution, his profound mental organization and unlimited energy, coupled with an almost unparalleled religious zeal, made him an emphatic 'planter and waterer' of the young church for which he expended his very best energies." The year that Methodism was introduced into Rushville. Indiana belonged to what was then known as the Missouri Conference, and all the fields of labor that had been formed within the bounds of the state, belonged to the Madison district. In 1824, Rev. John Strange was appointed to the Madison district, and Rev. James Havens was appointed to the Connersville circuit. Sometime during the year, James Havens visited Rushville, formed the first Methodist society and received it into the Connersville circuit as a regular preaching place. The first class was composed of nine members, and John Ally, Sr., was the leader. At the close of this year, Rushville, with a large portion of the surrounding country, was set off in a separate field of labor, with a membership numbering 324. This was the last year that Indiana was included in the Missouri Conference. "In point of numbers/' continues Mr. Blount's review, the Baptists stand third. They established themselves here in a very early period of the county's history, almost if not quite simultaneously with the Methodists. As early as 1821 there was an organization of the people known as the Flat Rock Church. John P. Thompson, who figures in the foregoing, was the founder of that church, and made monthly visits to them. This church established itself in Rushville in 1822, and has the honor of locating the first religious organization in the beautiful capital of Rush county. There were several organizations of this people at this early date, and nearly every organization had a local preacher. These were greatly aided by Wilson Thompson, John Sparks and George Harlan, from Fayette county. The split in the Regular Baptist church in Rush county took place in August, 1845, on the ground where the new (1888) church house, erected by the Christian church, near Raleigh now stands. There was at that time a meeting house known as the Zion Church, which belonged to the Whitewater Association standing on this site. The controversy, which ended in division, began at the East Fork church. Elder Sparks began to advocate conditional salvation and Elder Hatfield, a local preacher for that congregation, op¬posed with such offensive criticism as to cause Elder Sparks to prefer charges against him, which resulted in the withdrawal of fellowship from Hatfield. Mr. Hat-field appealed to the Whitewater Association for redress and the hearing took place on the date above stated. Wilson Thompson defended Hatfield and David Drummonds supported the church in its action in excluding Hatfield from its fellowship. The ground upon which the house stood belonged to Mrs. Nancy Cook, and she was appealed to as to which party should have possession. She decided in favor of Elder Thompson, whereupon Elder Sparks called upon his friends to know how many would follow him to a grove about one mile south. The trial was held on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday much the larger party went with Elder Sparks to the grove. The rights of property were finally tested in the civil courts, and by a kind of compromise measure East Fork was given to the Sparks party and Zion to the Thompson."
Regarding the Presbyterians Mr. Blount's observations point out that "this order made its first effort in Rushville in January, 1825.... They have never been a very aggressive people, and this fact may account for their not having increased in numbers to a greater extent. Being among the first to plant their faith in the county, they have become identified with all the county's interests .... Among the pioneer preachers of this order one now remains as a tower still, though chiefly in memory. I refer to the venerable D. M. Stewart. No minister in Rush county has done more than he, nor has had a greater interest in the moral and religious growth of society. He has been identified with nearly every measure which looked to the elevation and the protection of society, and for the last fifty years his name has been a household word in the county." (Written in 1888.)
The recollections of Dr. John Arnold also carry some interesting observations regarding some of the earlier ministers and the organization of churches in this county. Of the Rev. K C. McDill, who began his labors here in 1852, and was for fifty years thereafter a tower of strength in the United Presbyterian church, Doctor Arnold says that he "was in many ways one of the most remarkable men of the Rush county clergy. When he began his labors with Richland church he was a young man of exceedingly delicate health, and it was not supposed, even by the most sanguine, that he could long endure his arduous task." Of James Havens, mentioned above, Doctor Arnold observes that "he was a remarkable man. Possessed of a powerful mind, clear and logical in its deductions, though unpolished by education and uncultured by extensive reading, his earnest convictions, tireless energy and indomitable will exactly fitted him for the wild and new country in which he labored. He was of that heroic type that commanded the respect and won the love of the honest and brave pioneers.... He was bold and aggressive, and perhaps even harsh sometimes in his attacks on sin and error, but his honesty of purpose gave to him a success that milder and more polished men failed to attain. His early education was very limited and for a time he felt no need of a higher culture, deeming it unnecessary for a successful exposition of Scripture truths; but a riper experience and wider observation showed him his error, and in after years his character received the polish of extensive reading, and the iron hand of argument, though encased in a velvet glove, had lost none of its pristine power to seize and crush error. With age he became milder and less exacting, more tolerant and compassionate of the mistakes of others, and in his mature Christian character there was much to love and but little to censure.'' In his published recollections along this line Doctor Arnold further observed that "the pioneer preachers of all denominations endured many hardships and much labor in proclaiming the gospel in a new and unsettled country; but none could compare in these respects to the Methodist itinerant. With perhaps from twenty to thirty preaching stations to be visited each month, these places being widely scattered through the almost pathless wilderness, no mode of travel except on horseback, through swamps, overflowing streams, and the dense forest—these men necessarily endured danger, suffering and privations that the souls of sinners might be saved. These men were truly moral heroes, whose enthusiastic devotion to their high calling enabled them cheerfully to endure all these trials and to rejoice that they were called to do so. Many a valuable life was sacrificed, but the triumphant spirit felt no regrets." Along this same line Doctor Arnold pointed out that "Wilson Thompson was regarded as the undisputed leader of the Calvinistic Baptists. Originally of meager education, without any of the advantages of literary culture, he became a powerful preacher, even able and willing to defend his views against the assaults of all opponents. He was extremely popular in his own denomination, but like all aggressive and able men, was proportionately unpopular with those whose favorite theological ideas he attacked. He was to the Regular Baptists what James Havens was to the Methodists, and John O'Kane to the Disciples. John Sparks and George Harlan were able expounders of their doctrines, but did not possess that combative spirit which never omitted an opportunity of attacking the supposed errors of other denominations."
In his observations concerning the organization of the Carthage Meeting of Friends Doctor Arnold concluded that "the Society of Friends has ever been distinguished for its unswerving advocacy of temperance, education and the rights of man. They were far in advance of all other denominations in their conscientious, consistent and earnest opposition to slavery." Of John O'Kane, who first made his appearance in Rush county in 1832, and whose name, together with that of John P. Thompson, is inseparably connected with the history of the Christian church in this section of the state, Doctor Arnold notes that "he was a splendid specimen of a man physically, tall, erect, dignified, with a broad, high fore¬head. He was eloquent, argumentative, persuasive and sarcastic. He possessed a kind of magnetism that swayed the minds of his congregations in a wonderful manner, and he opened the way that made the advance of the other leaders of the reform easy." From the older chronicles it also is noted that John Morrow was a zealous preacher, and at times strong. His elocution was not very fluent, but his strong common sense made him very acceptable to his congregation. He had but one fault; he carried no watch, and sometimes, in his zeal, would forget the time of day. While Oliver H. Smith was a candidate for Congress, he met Father Morrow and several other Methodist preachers at Conwell's store, in Decatur county. They were on their way to conference. Their horses were feeding, dinner not ready and they took a short walk to the spring, under the shade of some spreading elms. Father Morrow proposed that Smith should make a speech. The motion was seconded by all the preachers, and the candidate addressed them for about two hours, with as much sound as if he had been speaking to thousands. At the close Father Morrow remarked that he liked the speech, but it was a little too long. '' Ah, Father Morrow, I thought it was my last chance to punish you a little for what I have suffered "under your long sermons," said Mr. Smith. The other preachers smiled, and he was told the remark was like seed sown on good ground.
James Havens was called by Oliver H. Smith, who knew him well, the Napoleon of the Methodist preachers of Indiana. "He seemed to be made for the very work in which he was engaged," was Smith's observation. "He had a good personality, a strong physical formation, expanded lungs, a clear and powerful voice, reaching to the verge of the camp ground, the eye of the eagle, and both a moral and personal courage that never quailed. His powers as a preacher were of a very high order. The great characteristic of Mr. Havens as a preacher was his good common sense. He could distinguish his audience so as not to throw his pearls before swine. He could feed his babes with the 'milk of the Word' and hurl the terrors of the law at old sinners." The sculptured face of James Havens on the strong but simple monument which marks his grave in East Hill cemetery is its own perpetual commentary on the vigor of this pioneer preacher. The sculptor's deeply graven lines show something of the rugged power that characterized the labors of the missioner, and are their own continuing memorial.
SOMETHING ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL CHURCHESIn compiling this chapter relating to the churches of Rush county an effort has been made to obtain specific information regarding each and every church in the county. Inquiries have been made in competent quarters seeking details of organization and development of each of the congregations. Some of these inquiries met with prompt and helpful responses. Others have been wholly ignored. With the material at hand the compilers have endeavored to give as comprehensive a review as possible of the church field in Rush county. Under the circumstances this review is admittedly incomplete. No doubt also its accuracy in places is open to criticism. This is admitted without apology. The limitations of time in the compilation of such a work as this precludes further research. In most cases where the criticism possibly may lie a just conception of the situation would reveal the fault to be due to failure to supply the definite information sought. This, however, as it may be; an effort has been made to present such details as may be informative to future generations, and if the following pages shall serve some future historian as a basis for further and more comprehensive research their mission will have been accomplished.
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCHESThe Main Street Christian Church at Rushville has had a continuous organization since May 23, 1830, when Elder John P. Thompson, whose activities in the early field here have been noted, began to preach to those at Rushville who had espoused the cause he then was so vigorously promoting in this section, but it was some time before a church building was erected and a definite organization effected. Among those who helped in this cause at Rushville were Joel Wolfe and William B. Minn, who kept alive the movement and on August 15,1841, under the leadership of Elder John O'Kane the congrega¬tion formally was organized with twenty-four charter members. On March 30, 1844, Joel Wolfe, George H. Caldwell and Reuben D. Logan were appointed trustees with a view to buying a lot for the erection of a house of worship, but conditions arose which deferred the plans of the little congregation, and it was not until six years later, in 1850, that a meeting house was built, the building committee having been William Lockridge, Amon Johnson, Samuel Barber and William B. Flinn. This was under the continued ministrations of Elder O'Kane, who in 1852, was succeeded by Elder George Campbell, who served at a salary of $300 a year. Among the later pastors were J. R. Frame, David B. Simpson, Benjamin Franklin, "Billy" Wilson, Joseph Lucas, Daniel Franklin, Rolla B. Henry, Thomas J. Murdock, L. L. Pinker-ton, John Shaekleford, Land, Pritchard, Downey, Van Buskirk, Conner, Brewer, Gilbert and others whose names in other days were familiar in the councils of the Christian church. The Rev. John H. McNeil, who was called in 1888, did much toward the work of organizing the congregation along its present progressive lines. He served as pastor for four years, and it was under his direction that the Christian Endeavor Society was organized, and a general impetus given to the departmental work of the church. It also was under his direction that the present handsome church edifice was erected in 1893-94, at a cost of $30,000, and was dedicated on February 4,1894. The present pastor is the Rev. L. E. Brown, and all departments of the work of the church are reported in a flourishing condition.
The Plum Creek Christian Church—The Plum Creek Christian Church, in the northeast corner of Union township, was organized in December, 1833, at a little neighborhood meeting of the settlers holding this faith, among these being included the families of Martin Hood, Baldwin Coppage, William Scruggs, William Gordon, William Davis, Davis Rich, William Cult, Aaron Mock and Ellis Fox. For ten or twelve years after the organization of this society of Christians meetings were held for praise and worship in the homes of the respective members, but in the year 1844 or 1845, a church building was erected near Shawnee creek at a point a little less than two miles northeast of the present church. This building sufficed the congregation until about the year 1874, when a desire for a new location arose, the leading spirits in the movement being John T. McMillin, John E. Smith, Charles Ertle, Philip Ertle, Henry Hall, Jesse Kirkpatrick, James H. Hays and John T. Hinchman, and this movement resulted in the purchase of the old Methodist Episcopal church frame building which stood on the site of the present Plum Creek church, and this building continued to answer the needs of the congregation until about 1909, when it was felt that a new and modern edifice was required. This feeling developed until at a meeting of the congregation, on August 8,1911, a committee, consisting of Willet L. Hall, W. H. McMillin and D. T. Kirkpatrick, was appointed to let the contract and superintend the erection of a new building. John A. Gordon and E. A. Billing constituted the committee to solicit funds for the building and George H. Myer was appointed treasurer of the fund. Early in the fall of 1912 the new edifice was completed, and the dedicatory services were held on December 8, 1912, Brother Rains officiating. This new church is a modern brick edifice, the ground floor consisting of assembly room, baptistery, choir space and gallery, the basement containing hot air furnace, well and pump, kitchen and toilet rooms. The edifice is lighted by electricity, and its decorations are in keeping with the other modern appointments. Upon the erection of the little pioneer church on Shawnee creek back in the '40s, there was some trouble in securing the services of a settled pastor, and for a time the Methodists occupied the church, conducting services there for about three years. Some of the pioneer ministers of the Plum Creek congregation were Butler K. Smith, Gabriel Mc-Duffie, Samuel Hendricks, Jacob Daubenspeek, Drury Holt, John B. New, Henry R. Pritchard, George Campbell, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Franklin, Samuel Harshour and Charles Blackman. Some of the later ministers are Aaron Walker, Noah Walker, J. B. Blount. Joseph Franklin, A. W. Conner, James Parsons, Elder Treat, E. B. Schofield, A. L. Crim, J. Walter Carpenter, L. E. Murray, A. Burns, Albert Brown, I. N. Grisso and the present pastor, the Rev. F. P. Smith. The Plum Creek Christian Church has a membership of 175, and a Sunday school enrollment of 200. The trustees of the church are E. A. Billing, D. T. Kirkpatrick and W. H. McMillin; elders, Willet L. Hall, Luther Nixon and W. H. McMillin; deacons, Elbert Gordon, Eddie Myer, Aaron Kennedy and Thomas Logan; treasurer, Will Whitton; usher, W. H. McMillin, and secretary and clerk, W. H. Fry. The church has two auxiliaries: the Christian Woman's. Board of Missions and the Aid Society, both of which are doing an active and useful work. Omer Hall is the superintendent of the Sunday school; assistant, Jesse Brooks; chorister, Charles Hires; secretary, Russell Rees; assistant, Stella Carson; second assistant. W. H. McMillin, and all departments of the work of the church are reported in flourishing condition.
The Ben Davis Christian Church in Union township is one of the historic old churches of the county, having rendered more than ninety years of active and continuous service in the neighborhood of which it long has been the social center. This was one of the early church organizations in this part of the state, having been organized on June 20,1829, as the Union Baptist Church, with the following charter members: Martin Hood, Rhoda Hood, George Hittle, Michael Furry, Hiram Westover, Mary Morgan, Ann (ring, Susan Watson, Barbara Watson, McCormack Zion, Mary Zion, Andrew Gilson, Susanna Hittle, Susanna McMillin, Polly Newhouse, James Hinchman, Moab Matthews, Jacob Daubenspeck, Francis Wright, John Furry, John Miller, Minerva Westover, Elizabeth Daubenspeck, William Watson, Rosanna Watson, Mary Hittle, Margaret Hinchman, Jane Gilson, Mary Gray and Nancy Hinchman. In 1832, this congregation reorganized as the Church of Christ and the pioneer congregation enjoyed the ministration of several of the pioneer ministers of the Christian church whose service was extended into this section of the state, but a confusion or loss of the early minutes of the congregation make it impossible to supply a complete list of these. Beginning in the '60s there was a succession of the strong ministers of this time and place, including such men as the Rev. Benjamin Reeve, the Rev. George Campbell, the Rev. Henry R. Prichard and the Rev. Mr. Shaw. The present pastor of the church is the Rev. H. R. Hosier, under whose ministrations the work of the congregation is reported to be flourishing, the membership numbering 150, with a Sunday school having an average attendance of about thirty-five. The missionary society has forty-four members and other auxiliaries to the work of the church are the Mission Band Society and the Light Bearers Society. The current officers of the church are as follows: Eldeis, Oscar Rees and Charles Foster; deacons, John W. Mauzy, Walter Gray, J. E. Wynn and Guy Bussell ; clerk, Jesse W. Peters; treasurer, Elwood Kirkwood. The little log building which served as a meetinghouse for this congregation following its organization presently gave way to one of a bit more pretentious character, and this was succeeded by the present church building, which was dedicated by the Rev. J. K. Frame on June 8,1853.
The Fairview Christian Church was organized in the year 1843, with a membership of forty, including such prominent residents of the Fairview neighborhood as William Shawhan and family, John Thrasher, Sr., and family, W. W. Thrasher and family, Josiah Piper and family, Jacob Parish and family, John Bates and family, Samuel Shortridge and family, Donovan Groves and Ephraim Clifford. Prior to the formal organization of this congregation William Shawhan had, in 1842, given a plot of ground near Fairview on the Rush county side of the dividing line between Rush and Fayette counties with the understanding that a building to be used for church purposes should be erected thereon and in the fol¬lowing year, upon the formal organization of the congregation, these terms were complied with, the first board of trustees of the church being Ephraim Clifford, John Thrasher, Sr., and Jacob Parish, with the following elders: Donovan Groves, William Shawhan and John Thrasher. The frame building erected at that time supplied the needs of the congregation until 1872, in which year it was replaced by a substantial brick building of one room, which was dedicated by the Rev. Daniel Franklin, the elders of the congregation at that time having been W. W. Thrasher, Henry Lucas and Ezekiel Parish. In 1906 this building was remodeled, a vestibule, belfry and other improvements being added, and it was rededicated on September 26, of that year by the Rev. Mr. Burkhart.of Connersville, the trustees at that time having been Harley Wikoff, James Rees and Robert Saxon. Of these Messrs. Wikoff and Rees are still serving, Erban B. Vickery being the third member. The first pastor of the Fairview Christian Church was the Rev. Arthur Miller, the successors in this pastoral relation including Bird Byfield, John O'Kane, John Longley, Samuel K. Houshour, John P. Thompson, Benjamin Reeves, Peter Wiles, Jacob Daubenspeck, George Campbell, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel V. VanBuskirk, A. R. Benton, John A. Campbell, Eugene Schofield, I. S. Hughes, Barzilla Blount, J. B. Blount, Henry R. Pritchard, Walter Tingley, John Thomas, S. W. Pearcy, A. W. Conner, M. Y. Yokum, G. C. Waggoner, William Gard, J. L. Parsons, J. H. O. Smith (1882), W. A. Hopkins, James Connor, S. M. Hawthorne (1906), Charles Schultz (1910), Emery Kuhn (1911), N. D. Webber (1912), Elmer Oldham (1913-14), and the Rev. G. F. Powers, who was installed in 1915, and is still serving as resident pastor, preaching half time for the Fairview congregation. The congregation numbers 250, and maintains a Sunday school with an enrollment of eighty or more, Glen Smelser, superintendent, and Erban Vickery, assistant. The attendance so frequently exceeds the capacity of the present edifice that the congregation is planning for additional room.
The Christian Church at Arlington was organized in September, 1835, by Elder Gabriel McDuffie, at a meeting held at the dwelling of John Six, in the vicinity of the village then called Burlington, those subscribing their names to the articles of association being Thomas Collins, who was chosen deacon; Delilah Collins, Gabriel McDuffie, Priscilla McDuffie, John Six, Polly Six, Thomas Brent (a minister), Mrs. Thomas Brent, Obediah Meredith, Nancy Meredith. Jeremiah Gard, Mrs. Jeremiah Gard, Elizabeth Allender, Mahala Jackson, Elizabeth Williams, Christina Beckner, Elizabeth Collins and Polly Collins. For seven years or until the first meeting house was erected, this little congregation held meetings in the houses of its members, in barns or in the grove, according to occasion "and as permitted by the weather." Then in 1842, a church building was erected on the site now occupied by the grade school in Arlington. This little church building was of undressed material and was used by the congregation for ten years, or until the growth of the membership necessitated a larger chapel, and in 1852 a new building was erected. This building was erected almost entirely without the expenditure of money, logs having been subscribed by some; hauling by some, and sawing and other services by others. The building was 25x30 feet in dimension, and in it there was visible no dressed timber save the pulpit and the seats. It was voted a great improvement over the old building, "solid, handsome and roomy." The first minute book of this congregation has been lost, but on page 1 of the book used from 1835 to 1890, there is a copy of the old articles of association, and a roster of those who subscribed to the same. Apparent lapses in the record leave some points in doubt, but what is thought to be a practically complete list of those who have served the Arlington congregation in a ministerial capacity has been made out, including Daniel Franklin, J. B. Blount, Walter S. Tingley, J. P. Finley, J. M. Land, A. I. Hobbs, Knowles Shaw, Henry R. Pritchard, Benjamin F. Reeve, Butler K. Smith, Walter S. Campbell, Drury Holt, Lafayette Thomas, Elder Murdock, Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Franklin, Jacob Daubenspeek, James Matthews, Willis Storms, George Campbell, D. R, VanBuskirk, Milton B. Hopkins, Elder Blackman, James Smith, B. M. Blount and others whose names are not recorded, the new book opening in 1890, when Walter S. Smith was pastor, his successors being William A. Gard, C. A. Riley, W. F. Folks, C. A. Johnson, J. C. Hall, A.W. Conner, B. L. Allen, Harvey W. McKane, W. H. Willoughby, Alfonso Burns, Erastus W. Conner, John B. Bare, David L. Milligan, Mrs. J. A. Bennett, A. M. Hootman, C. C. Perrin, G. I. Hoover (district evangelist,) W. T. Crawley, G. H. Lawton and the present pastor, the Rev. 0. Ross Keran. The present handsome church edifice was begun under the pastorate of the Rev. Alfonso Burns, the corner stone having been laid on July 4,1909, and was dedicated on May 1,1910, the Rev. Erastus W. Conner then being pastor. This building cost, exclusive of the site, which the church owned, and also exclusive of the bell and certain other furnishings and equipment, $16,000, and is one of the county's most substantial church buildings. In 1920 the church elected to erect a parsonage on a lot adjacent to the church, and a committee consisting of Frank Offutt, John A. Nelson and Arthur C. Lee raised about $5,000 to this end, the parsonage thus being paid for when completed. The Arlington Christian Church has a membership of about 350, with a Sunday school of about 125, and the Christian Woman's Board of Missions and the Helping Hand Society are valuable auxiliaries to the work of the church, all departments of which are making progress.
The East Street Christian Church of Carthage was organized in May, 1895. with the following charter members: John Siler and wife, D. W. Kirkwood and wife, James Souder and wife, Oren Souder and wife, Jefferson Kennedy and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Sebrest, D. M. Michael, Mrs. Mary C. Hinton, Mrs. Conrad Kiser, Mrs. M. T. Lovett, Mrs. T. Benton Henley and Mrs. William DHL William Gard was the first pastor, and until a church building was erected in the fall of that year services were held in the old Newsom hall. The church on East street was dedicated on October 13, 1895. The successive pastors of this church, following Mr. Gard, have been F. J. Hall, W. L. Willoughby, Jacob Hall, Omar Hufford. M. V. Foster, Carl Berry, William Evans, Ira P. Harbaugh, D. E. Hanna and the present pastor, the Rev. Frank W. Sumner. The church has a growing Bible school, and all departments of work are reported to be in flourishing condition.
The Sexton Christian Church has had an effective organization since the spring of 1914, when the old Anti-Means Baptist church building was moved from its historic site about two miles distant and placed on a new foundation at Sexton. Trustees were elected and during that summer a Sunday school was held in the building. In September of that year the Rev. G. I. Hoover, evangelist of the Eastern Indiana district, held a series of meetings in the church, which resulted in the accession of sixty members, and on the final day of the series the house of worship was dedicated to the uses of the congregation, which was organized by the election of a full complement of officers, 0. C. Thompson and J. L. Lewkirk being the first elders. This church has had in round numbers one hundred members, and is well supported by its Sunday school, its Ladies' Aid Society and its Woman's Missionary Society. Pour pastors have served the church, namely: The Rev. G. I. Hoover, of Indianapolis, for three years; Moody Edwards, now a missionary in Mexico, two years; Lyman Hoover, a student of Butler College, one year, and Walter Crawley, of Laurel, the present pastor. Following are the officers of the church: Elders—J. L. Newkirk, 0. C. Thompson and Carl Grubbs; deacons, S. D. Kirkpatrick, Ode Winkler, Will Wright, George Kindell and Harry Land; trustees, S. D. Kirkpatrick, George Kindell and E. W. Kiser; treasurer, Carl Grubbs; clerk, 0. C. Thompson; superintendent of the Sunday school, 0. C. Thompson; president of the Ladies' Aid Society, Mrs. V. T. Longfellow; president of the Woman's Missionary Society, Mrs. M. L. Pratt.
Center Christian Church was originally organized as a Free Will Baptist church, at a meeting held in 1837, in John Walker's barn on the farm now (1921) owned by John Kirkpatrick, the leaders being a little colony of set-tlers in that vicinity who had come here from Wilkes county, North Carolina. The first minister of this pioneer congregation was John Walker and among the other charter members were Iley Reeves, William Walker, Thomas Stanley, John Felty, Hiram Bitner and wife, Rebecca Hamilton, Claracy Mock, John Clark, Rebecca Clark, James Clark, Betsey Death, Peser Hall, Dan Bailis, Liddy Bailis, John Death, Sarah Bowles, Polly Hill, Harrison Hall and wife. About the year 1840, the congregation divided over differences in views regarding foreordination, and Alexander Campbell's followers con¬tinued to worship at the Walker barn for twelve years, at the end of which time Stephen Wandle donated a tract of ground upon which to erect what is known as the old Center church, about a mile and a quarter south of the present edifice in section 30, township 15, range 10. The next building was erected in 1861, on the site of the present building. It was under course of erection when the Civil war was declared, and J. R. Henry, who was work¬ing on the building, is still living to tell how he climbed down from the roof to enlist his services in behalf of the Union. In 1920 the church was completely remodeled and is now one of the best rural churches in the county. The present membership of Center Christian Church is about 250. Able ministers have served this congregation and good work is being done in all departments.
The Church of Christ at Little Blue River in Center township was organized on March 1, 1830, by Elders James Smith, Jacob Daubenspeck, McCormick Zion, James Conner and George Hittle, the charter membership of the congregation including George W. Leisure, Drury Holt, Nathan Leisure, Sarah Leisure, Henry Haywood, Winifred Haywood, Lucinda Leisure, Maria Porter, Catherine Porter, Sarah Holt, James Hinton, Elizabeth Hinton, Benjamin Kendall, Julia Kendall and others who came in from time to time until a considerable congregation had been organized. This congregation continued to worship in a house erected for the purpose on the east line of Posey township, until 1869, in which year a parcel of ground was secured by George W. Leisure and Benjamin Kendall from Alfred T. Morris, the same being deeded to Messrs. Leisure and Kendall as trustees of the Church of Christ at Little Blue River. The church building, erected there in 1869, was maintained as a house of worship by the congregation until the fall of 1907, when certain members of the congregation, desirous of introducing innovations into the ancient form of service, organized themselves into what has since been known as the Hannegan Christian Church, and denied the use of the house to those who still persisted in recognizing no name than that of the Church of Christ at Little Blue River, which had been the official name of the church since the time of its organization in 1830. Those who objected to the innovations met for a time in the homes of members and in the neighborhood school house until in the spring of 1908, when they caused to be erected a house of worship about one mile north of the old church in Center township, and there have since worshiped, continuing to bear the name of the Church of Christ at Little Blue River. The early minutes of the Hannegan congregation seem to have been lost, the first record of officers of the church being in 1862, when William M. Downey, George W. Leisure and Jacob Cross were elders and Thomas Ayers and Benjamin Kendall, deacons. In 1879, there is a minute of the resignation of George W. Leisure and Benjamin Kendall as trustees, and of the election as their successors of John Leisure James Gray and Henry Leisure. The present officers of the Church of Christ at Little Blue River are as fol¬lows: Elders, Jesse A. Leisure and John P. Downey; deacons, Harry R. Leisure and P. F. Linville; trustees, Harry R. Leisure and P. F. Linville. The present pastor of the church is the Rev. J. L. Hatfield, of Owensburg, who has been ministering to the congregation on the third Sabbath of each month since in January, 1918. Among the early ministers of this historic old church were Daniel Franklin, Jacob Daubenspeck, Drury Holt, Jacob B. Blount, B. M. Blount, J. C. Hall, William Gard, E. B. Schofield, A. W. Harvey and S. D. Baker. The church has a membership of thirty and a Bible school is maintained with an enrollment of twenty-five or more, John P. Downey, leader.
The Hannegan Christian Church, above referred to, maintains itself as the parent organization, with a present membership of about 140, and a Sunday school enrollment of about seventy-five. The Rev. Eugene Lewis, of Clarksburg, is the present pastor, preaching on alternative Sundays. The elders of the church are George Adams, Henry Addison, Scott Ward and Chester Addison; deacons, O. C. Leisure, Dayton Stewart, Oliver Haywood, Gilbert Cooley; trustees, William Leisure and Orville Stewart; Sunday school superintendent, Chester Addison. This church bears its present name from the fact that many years ago there was a postoffice at that point, called Hannegan and the church at that place became popularly known as the Hannegan church instead of the Little Blue River church, and has since maintained that name.
The Christian Church at Milroy dates practically from about the year 1840, when a number of persons in the village and vicinity who professed that faith began to hold household meetings from time to time, but it was not until about ten years later that a formal organization was effected with a charter membership of twenty-four persons, including Mrs. Samuel Barber, Hugh C. Smith and wife, Austin K. Smith, Eli Elstun and wife, Abbie Rardin, William Benton, William Mount and wife, Nathan Tompkins and wife, Nathan Ballinger and wife and Senaca and Nancy Smith. The first pastor of this flock was the Rev. John B. New, who was succeeded in turn by Jacob Wright, Benjamin Reeve, Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Franklin, George Campbell, Robert Sellers, Henry Pritchard, Love H. Jameson, George Hicks, Samuel K. Hoshour, H. H. McKane, A. J. Hobbs, A. W. Conner, O. F. Hargue, Jacob Blount, John A. Roberts, James Grant, T. E. Andrews, B. F. Treat, G. W. Campbell, D. R. VanBuskirk, Jacob Vincent, Joseph Taylor, C. A. Brady, W. F. Folks, W. B. Bartle, R. B. Givens, D. H. Patterson, M. O. Foster, W. H. Oldham, H. F. Phillippe, Thomas H. Adams, W. R. Cady and the Rev. Dr. Reubelt Pearcy, the present pastor. The congregation erected their first church building in 1851, a substantial structure, which endured the tests of time and the needs of the congregation until 1916, when the present handsome modern edifice was erected, one of the most attractive church buildings in the county. The various departments of the work of this church are well organized and progress is reported along all lines.
The Christian Church at Manilla was organized on "the Saturday before the fourth Lord's day," September, 3859, under the ministerial direction of the Rev. Daniel Franklin, who served the congregation as their first pastor, the following names being attached to the articles of association: Mrs. Zach Westerfield, Mrs. Alexander, James Hill and wife, Mrs. Frances Hill, J. J. Inlow and wife, Japhet Thomas, Alonzo Swain and wife, John A. Spurrier and wife, Isaac Inlow, Mrs. Louisiana Inlow and Mrs. Catherine Trees. The congregation, in 1860, erected a church building which was dedicated by the Rev. Butler K. Smith. This church was extensively remodeled in 1900, and in 1915 a baptistry was erected. In 1917 the church building underwent another remodeling, which amounted practically to a rebuilding of the edifice along somewhat more modern lines, and is now a handsome and commodious edifice. The membership of the Manilla Christian Church is stated to be 181, and all departments of the work of the church are reported to be in a flourishing condition, excellent progress being made under the present pastorate of the Rev. J. W. Mars. Among others who have served this congregation, besides those mentioned, are James Lucas, A. I. Hobbs, T. J. Murdock, Samuel and David Mathews, J. W. Farrell, H. R. Pritchard, John Brazelton, J. M. Canfield, Chester Bartholomew, J. L. Parsons, W. S. Campbell, W. S. Smith, J. A. Roberts and H. H. Neslage.
The Christian Church at Raleigh was organized about 1870 under the leadership of Rev. Charles Blackman. The church was reorganized in 1885 and the following members of the old organization became the charter members of the new: Margaret Burgess, Rachel Black, J. P. Bales, Sarah Bales, Rhoda Bunker, Caroline Brown, Permelia Blount, Sarah Canady, Elizabeth Canady, David Canady and wife, Elizabeth, Eliza Canady, Editha Crawford, Mary A. Dyer, Sarah Ecigar, Grace Fink, Clarissa Gay, John Herron, Retta Helms, Savannah Loder, Jennie Miles, Minerva Price, John and Mary Redding, William and Amanda Rich and Ellen Prine. Meetings were held in the township hall at Raleigh until the present church building was erected in 1887. The Rev. J. B. Blount was the first regular pastor of the new organization and the succeeding pastois have been J. A. Thomas, O. P. Snodgrass, Rev. Bartell, Bra-zilla Blount, Rev. Sheritt, Rev. Stevens, R. B. Givens, T. H. Kuhn, Carl Berry, H. J. Buchanan, E. H. Clifford, G. E. Scott, B. L. Allen, E. S. Lewis and the present pastor, the Rev. G. F. Powers. The church has a membership of 110 and the Sunday school an enrollment of 175.
The Little Flat Rock Christian Church in Noble township had its beginning, as set out in the introduction of this chapter, in 1830, when Elder Thompson led his Baptist flock there into the Christian fold. In the little log meeting house erected by the congregation shortly after its organization, and which has been described, services were held until the summer of 1846, when the congregation erected a better and larger meeting house, on the site of the present church building, and this edifice served until 1869, when a new church was erected, which served until the present modern and substantial building was erected in 1920. To mention the ministers who have served this congregation would but repeat the names of those already mentioned, whose names have been made familiar in the Christian communion throughout this part of the state. The congregation is numerically strong and spiritually active, and is carrying on in this generation the work so long ago undertaken there by the fathers of that community, and which has never lagged during all the years. A vigorous Sunday school and an earnest Christian Endeavor Society aid in the work of the church, and the Woman's Missionary Society and other aids to the pastor are equally vigorous and enthusiastic.
The Big Flat Rock Christian Church in Orange township was one of the congregations organized by Elder Gabriel McDuffie, whose missionary activities here about in pioneer days did so much to add to the strength of his cause in that day. This church was organized in April, 1851, and has been maintained ever since, a strong influence for good in the community it serves. The congregation has a substantial house of worship and the several departments of the work of the church are alive to the needs of the day.
The Christian Church at Homer was organized on December 6, 1886, and the early pastors of the church included such names as W. Campbell, J. Z. Taylor, J. L. Parsons, E. B. Schofield, Jacob Blount, Walter Smith and others whose names already have been made familiar to the readers of this chronicle. The Homer congregation have an excellent meeting house and from the very beginning of the organization have been active in maintaining the cause to which they are devoted, all departments of the work of the church being reported in flourishing condition. There also is a well-organized Christian church at Moscow.
THE SOCIETY OF FRIENDSCarthage Meeting of Friends—In the history of Ripley township presented in a previous chapter reference is made to the early settlement in that township of a colony of Friends, who had come into this section of the then new state of Indiana, seeking an escape from the incubus of slavery, which had settled upon their own state of North Carolina. It was in 1821 that Joseph Henley, of North Carolina, in company with Robert Hill, of Richmond, Ind., on a prospecting tour, purchased land on the east side of Blue river in this county, perhaps the first in the limits of Carthage Meeting. In the years until 1829 or 1830, the land was rapidly taken up by families of Friends, among these being the following: Jesse Hill, John Clark, Thomas Henley, Luke Newsom, Jonathan Pier son, Henry Newby, Abraham Small, Elias Henley, Tristram Coggshall, Henry Henley, John Newby, Hezekiah Henley, William Binford, Jonathan Jessup, John Winslow and others. In 1827, a Preparation Meeting was established at Walnut Ridge, on the west side of Blue river, and all these Friends made that their "religious home" until 1839, when a request was sent in to Walnut Ridge, which had now become a Monthly Meeting, from these Friends on the east side, asking for the establishment of a Preparatory Meeting to be known as Carthage, also for the appointment of a committee to assist in the selection of a suitable location for the meeting house. This committee reported in favor of granting the request and suggested the northwest corner of Joseph Henley's and the northeast corner of John Clark's farms as a suitable place for grounds to be used for school and meeting purposes, and in 1840 deeds from these landowners stated that "for love and the better maintenance of society we transfer this ground to the trustees in succession of said body." Soon afterward a good frame house with two rooms, connected by sliding shutters, was erected. This served the congregation until 1866, when its capacity was doubled by building on the west. This building then served until 1881, when the present substantial brick structure was erected, the Endeavor room on the north being added some years later. These facts with relation to Carthage Meeting have been furnished by Owen S. Henley, who also has made a record of the following ''charter" members of the Meeting: Herman Allen and family, William Binford and family, Tristram Coggshall and family, John Clark and family, Mary and Anna Draper, Jesse Hill, Joseph Henley and family, Thomas Henley and family, Henry Henley and family, Elias Henley and family, Hezekiah Henley and family, Thomas Jessup and family, Jonathan Jessup and family, William Johnson, Richard Johnson and family, John Morris and family, Henry Macy, Francis B. Macy and wife, John Newby and family, Henry Newby and family, Luke Newsom and family, Nathan Overman and family, Jonathan Pearson and family, Abraham Small and family, Eli Stratton and family, Jonathan Stratton and family, C. Barnabas Springer, Sarah Small and family, Sarah Thornburg and family, Simeon Wiltsie and family, Levi Stratton and family and John Winslow and family. Education claimed the very early attention of these Friends and the action taken by the Carthage Meeting with respect to a local school is set out in the chapter relating to schools elsewhere in this work. That the influence of this school was strong and effectual is attested by the statement made by Mr. Henley that no fewer than ninety teachers "have gone out from Carthage Meeting and taught longer or shorter periods of time. Eternity can only reveal what this influence has been.'' Farther on in his review of the history of Carthage Meeting Mr. Henley observes that "in the migration of Friends from the South a number of colored families came with or soon followed them.... The Friends gave them the privileges of their schools and many of their children acquired a good education. These families also were links in the chain of activities that Friends and others assumed on the 'underground railroad,' and many a poor fugitive found liberty and safety by way of the Carthage route to Canada. The sentiment against slavery was so strong that in 1857 Henry Henley opened a 'free-labor' store in the town, but the scarcity and difficulty in securing goods was so great that the enterprise was abandoned in a year or two. The Meeting was so well united on the slavery question that no difficulty whatever arose. Temperance of the members seemed to be a 'loaded' question, and differences as to procedure arose, but no serious friction occurred and all are united in rejoicing at the great victory achieved. Carthage Meeting has always arisen to meet the public needs. Two Friends, John Clark and Henry Henley, laid out the town of Carthage in 1834 Henry Henley was the first postmaster and other Friends to hold the office were Francis B. Macy, John A. Hunnicutt, Lizzie Connaway and Enos Coffin. Friends holding the office of township trustee were Henry Henley, David Marshall, Owen S. Henley, Jesse M. Stone, Joseph Publow, Cyrus B. Cox, Aaron 0. Hill and Jesse Henley. Jesse M. Stone has been county auditor; Benjamin Hill joint representative and director of the state prison (south) ; Rowland H. Hill joint senator; William J. Henley, appellate judge. The public schools have nearly always had one or more Friends on the board of trustees, such as William Bundy, Owen S. Hill, Joseph L. Hubbard, Walter P. Henley and others. The Meeting has conducted tent meetings at different points during past years, Sabbath schools in school houses, etc., and had a part in all church union activities. The first minister recorded was William Binford—possibly recorded in Walnut Ridge Monthly Meeting—David Marshall, Jared P. Binford, Henry C. Aydelott, Mary N. Henley, Rhoda M. Hill and Herschel Folger. Robert Knight and William J. Thornburg came with sojourning minutes at different periods. Ministers coming in with removal certificates were Sarah J. Hill, Mary A. Huestis and Keturah Miles. Elwood Scott was the first pastor under the system introduced about 1881, succeeded by Mary Nichols, Thomas W. Woodward and others for short terms; Alpheus Trueblood, Charles 0. Whitely, J. Edgar Williams, Harry Hole, Fred Lebert and Albert J. Furstenberger. Charles S. Winslow is a resident minister. Bible school work was organized from 1845 to 1850. There seems to have been opposition to holding it in the meeting house, and the school house was used, two classes only organized. Teachers for adults were William Johnson, David Marshall and Joseph W. Young; primary class, Amanda Thornburg, Ann Henley, Jemima Henley and others. About the year 1860 the school was removed to the church, rapidly grew in numbers, and was well organized along standard lines. Christian Endeavor has claimed the attention of the Meeting with varying success as the generations come and go. Missionaries sent out were as follows: Lizzie Hare, to Mexico in 1894; Rupert and Helen Stanley, to China in 1914. This report of Mr. Henley's reviews also the work of Carthage Meeting during the time of America's participation in the World war, pointing out that fifteen of "our boys" were in service, about half of this number seeing overseas service. The Meeting also was active in Friends relief service and in Red Cross work. During the Civil war several members were in the army. "The Meeting, after considerable discussion, decided to take no action against those who were in the army and continued them as members," says the Henley review.
The Walnut Ridge Friends Meetingdates back to about the year 1826, when a church was organized and a log house erected near the site of the present meeting house, a frame building being erected a few years later. The original members of this meeting have been set out in the story relating to Carthage Meeting, this latter meeting having been created out of Walnut Ridge about 1839. In 1864 the meeting house at Walnut Ridge was destroyed by fire, valuable records of the meeting being consumed in the flames, and in 1866 a large brick building was erected on the site at a cost of more than $10,000, with 800 sittings. In the following year a notable revival in Walnut Ridge Meeting attracted so much attention among the Friends over the state and throughout the country as to lead to a general movement in that communion toward something more of a revival spirit in its services than formerly had been the rule. Among the early ministers at Walnut Ridge are mentioned Samuel Edgerton, Anna Thornburg, Jared Patterson, Elizabeth Patterson, William Binford, Mary Hodson, Melissa Hill, Luther Gordon, Eliza Butler, Mahlon Hocket, Jane Jones, William Thornburg, Robert Knight, Anna Davis and Rufus King. Walnut Ridge Meeting is flourishing: all departments of work well organized and it continues to maintain the fine wholesome influence on the community thereabout that it has steadily maintained for nearly a hundred years.
The Little Blue River Meeting of Friends (called Quakers), in the southwestern corner of Posey township has had an organization since the year 1833, when a company of Friends in that vicinity erected a little log meeting house on the line between Rush and Shelby counties, three miles north of the present village of Manilla, and associated themselves together for worship and praise. This pioneer meeting house was erected by Thomas Macy, Moses Coffin, Asa Barnard, Thomas Swain, Zaccheus Stanton and William Worth, who with their respective wives, Rebecca Macy, Phoebe Coffin, Hulda Barnard, Lydia Swain, Elizabeth Stanton and Phoebe Worth, constituted the first congregation. The first sermon in this meeting house was preached by John Kinley, whose text was "Behold, the Lord is in this place and I knew it not," The little log meeting house sufficed the needs of the Meeting for ten years or more, or until about 1845, when a frame meeting house was erected nearby the log house, the growth of membership demanding larger quarters. This frame house was built with two rooms, shutters separating the rooms, the men holding their business meetings on one side the shutters and the women assembling on the other side, a messenger being selected in each Meeting to report business that concerned both Meetings, this arrangement continuing until about the year 1885, when the Meetings united and men and women thereafter assembled together. Up to the year 1884 Carthage Meeting and Little Blue River Meeting held their Monthly Meetings alternately, then a regular Monthly Meeting was established at Little Blue River, Franklin Barnard being appointed clerk of the same. In the year 1886 a frame meeting house was erected just across the road from the old meeting house, the new house thus being in Rush county. In 1918 an addition was built on to this house to provide four additional Sunday school rooms, and a furnace was put in the basement. The church property consists of two acres of ground besides a half-acre devoted to cemetery purposes. The house is in admirable repair, and the grounds and cemetery are well kept. From the time of the organization of this Meeting meetings for worship were held twice a week, besides business meetings as the needs required, and this program was maintained until about the year 1900, when the midweek meetings were "laid down." In the first week in the first month, 1835, an Indulged Meeting was established by authority of Duck Creek Monthly Meeting, the following committee being sent for that purpose: Gabriel Ratliff, Thomas Hill, John Winslow, Thomas Henley, Micajah Binford, Pearson Lacy, Samuel Stafford, Anna Thornburg, Nancy Clark, Tamar Hill, Rachel Stafford and Sarah King. The Sabbath school was not organized until the year 1880, the average attendance in the first year of the school being twenty-eight. The average attendance in 1920 was seventy-six. The Meeting now has 160 members, with sixty-four associate members. From the time of the organization of Little Blue River Meeting until 1888 different ministers would visit the Meeting; after that date the Meeting had regular pas-tors, as follows: Simpson Hinshaw, James Mills, Rhoda Hare, John M. Binford, Henry McKinley, William M. Smith, Esther Cook, Fleming Marten, Thomas Inman, Alvah 0. Hinshaw, Frank Roads, Joseph Young, Ella Pegg, Luther E. Addington, Elwood Hinshaw; resident ministers—Martha Barber, Anna M. Moor, John Ralston and Alvah H. Swain.
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHESSt. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Churchat Rushville really dates its organization back almost to the days of the beginning of a social order in the then new county seat town, for it was not long after the settlement was organized until the Methodists, of whom there were quite a number among the first arrivals on the site of the county seat, began to hold organized services, and from that day to this the standards of the Methodist Episcopal communion have been held aloft there. The labors of the pioneer Methodist missioners, such men as James Havens, James Linville, Aaron Wood and others, have been mentioned in this narrative. They were among the early laborers in the field at Rushville. In an old review of the introduction of Methodism in Rushville it is stated that "the year that Methodism was introduced into Rushville, Indiana belonged to what then was known as the Missouri Conference and all the fields of labor that had been formed within the bounds of the state belonged to the Madison district. In 1824 Rev. John Strange was appointed to the Madison district, and Rev. James Havens was appointed to the Connersville circuit. Some time during the year James Havens visited Rushville, formed the first Methodist society and received it into the Connersville circuit as a regular preaching place. The first class was composed of nine members and John Alley, Sr., was the leader. At the close of this year Rushville, with a large portion of the surrounding country, was set off in a separate field of labor, with a membership numbering 324." James Havens was the installed pastor of the Rushville church in 1827-28, and again in the '40s and his home was established in Rushville, his body being laid in East Hill cemetery when his long labors ceased. In 1843 Rushville was made a separate "station" with 248 members. The first meeting house erected by the Rushville Methodists was a log structure, which stood at the southeast corner of Third and Julian streets. The second edifice, erected in the '50s, was the old brick building now standing at the southwest corner of Third and Morgan streets, the walls of which are still intact, and which long ago was remodeled to serve as an office building. The cornerstone of the present handsome edifice at the southeast corner of Morgan and Fifth streets was laid on August 4, 1886, and the building was dedicated on June 27,1887, in the presence of a counted congregation, numbering 1,440. This edifice cost $18,000, not including the organ and furnishings, which with the substantial parsonage, bought in 1906, represents a property value of around $40,000. During the nearly one hundred years in which the Methodists of Rushville have maintained services they have been ministered to by seventy or more ministers, and to give a roster of these would be but calling the roll of the best known names in the Conference during this period. Under the ministration of the present pastor, the Rev. Clyde S. Black, all departments of the work of the church are flourishing and its membership is individually as active and earnest as at any time in the long history of the church. The present membership of the church is 800; Sunday school enrollment, 500; Epworth League, 120; Junior League, 58; Ladies' Aid Society, 156; Woman's Home Missionary Society, 120; Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, 60.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Carthage was formed in 1857 by dividing the old Burlington (Arlington) circuit, the places then set off being Carthage, Balls Chapel, Cowgers and Sharon, of which Carthage alone now continues active. The Rev. G. W. Winchester then was in charge of the circuit, and the Carthage society consisted of eight members, John Walker, Cynthia Walker, Abraham Weaver and wife, George Weaver and wife, Euclid Stockley and Huldah Tullis, with Cyrus Ball, of Balls Chapel, as class leader. As a result of the first year's work ninety-four members were added to the Carthage society, and ever since the congregation has flourished. This congregation has a substantial modern meeting house, and all departments of the work of the church are reported flourishing under the present ministration of the Rev. Arthur Jean.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Glenwood was organized in the '40s, and for some time thereafter services were held in the homes of members, these including Charles and Mary Griffin, James and Rebecca Mitchell, John Pike and wife. Doctor Mapes and wife, Samuel Durbin and wife and Matthew Mitchell and wife. In 1861 there was a great revival and seventy were added to the church. The first church building, a frame structure, was supplanted by a larger building, erected in 1862, which served until the present handsome brick church was dedicated in the fall of 1920. Since that time this congregation has maintained a steady organization and has been a continuing force for good in the community. It has a well-organized Sunday school, an active Epworth League, and other effective agencies for the assistance of the pastor.
The Falmouth Methodist Episcopal Church holds the place of the old Wesley Chapel, which formerly stood one-half mile west of Fairview. This class was organized as early as 1822, the first service being held in the home of Elder Robert Graves, a local preacher there, some of the other members of that pioneer congregation having been Mr. Isles and wife, John Smith and wife, William Amber and wife, Mr. Dunavan and wife, Margaret Powers and daughters and James Grillam, the latter of whom was the class leader. In 1844, a meeting house was erected, and this continued to serve as Wesley Chapel until in 1882 it began to be regarded as unsafe, and it was decided to abandon the old chapel and transfer the class to Falmouth, where a new church was erected under the pastorate of the Rev. J. W. Dashiell on a lot donated for that purpose by J. H. Oglesby. Since then the church has maintained a steady growth and is doing well in its field of action.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Milroy is one of the strong churches of this communion in the county. From the days of the beginning of a settlement in that neighborhood Methodists have been represented, the homes of many of the first settlers thereabout having been opened to services in the early days, among these houses having been those of John Harcourt, the Ben¬netts, the Lees, Blades, Thomases, Morrows, Smizers, Ferees, Bakers, Jacobs, Zimmerlys and Manns. Samuel McGinnis was the first class leader of the Milroy society, and the first church was a well-built frame, which in time was supplanted by a brick church, which served its purpose until replaced by the present substantial brick edifice, erected about ten years ago.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Richland was one of the early congregations of that communion in the county, evidence pointing to the probability of an organization there as early as 1825, when Elder John Strange was the presiding elder of the Madison district of the Methodist Episcopal church, then having jurisdiction in this field. It was not until about the year 1837, however, that a meeting house was erected, just east of Richland, and this continued as the house of worship until 1852, when the present house was built.
Balls Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church in Posey township (now defunct), above mentioned, was organ-ized in the summer of 1831 by John K. Dawson, a local preacher, the Balls, the Elswicks, the Kelsoes, the Carters, the Wells, the Burtons, Beards, Bagleys, Nobles. Souders and Glendennings being among the leading families in the congregation, with H. W. Glendenning as class leader. With the development of larger churches in the vicinity and the dwindling of population the congregation became so depleted that in the late '90s the church was abandoned. The church was on the east side of Little Blue river near the east line of the southeast quarter of section 9, township 14, range 9.
The Bethesda Methodist Episcopal Church, once a flourishing congregation but now abandoned, was organized at a service held at the home of Steven Sharp, on what afterward became the Duncan farm, about the year 1823, and a hewed log meeting house was erected presently, which pioneer edifice served as a place of worship for about forty years, or until 1844, when, under the pastorate of the Rev. Williamson Terrell, a substantial frame building was erected. Among the original members of Bethesda church were the Stevenses, the Sharps, the Isaacs, the Lyonses, the Davises, the Morrows, the Ruddles and the Cains, early settlers in that neighborhood.
Mt. Olivet Methodist Episcopal Church was organized early in the '20s at the Julian home, a mile or so south of where the meeting house later was erected. In 1848 a frame meeting house was erected on ground donated from the Camerer farm, in the southwest corner of the northwest quarter of section 10, township 12, range 9, the site being marked by a beautiful beech grove in which camp meetings used to be held in the days of the great popularity of that form of assemblage.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Raleigh was organized in August, 1859, the class being instituted by G. W. Winchester and R. Roberts, then in charge of the Carthage circuit. The charter members of this congregation were William and Sarah Beard, William Beard, Jr., Lucinda McCann, Israel McCann, Lawrence Nixon, Elizabeth Schafer, Catherine Legg, Dr. Will Bartlett and Elizabeth Bartlett. In that same year a revival meeting was held in the village hall, and the accessions gained during that meeting gave an impetus to the work of the congregation which resulted in a definite organization, but a meeting house was not erected until 1870.
The Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Church at Gowdy has an almost continuous history running back for more than ninety years, this congregation being the successor in this generation of the church society that was organized in that neighborhood about the year 1830, following the preaching of the Rev. Robert MeDuffee, a "local" preacher of the Methodist Episcopal church, wha had come up here from Kentucky, and had held a series of meetings in a barn on the farm now (1921) owned by Robert A. Campbell, half a mile east of the village of Gowdy. This pioneer preacher also held prayer meetings in the homes of the pioneers of that vicinity and as a result a church society was formed in accordance with the regulations of the Conference and a building some time later was erected as a house of worship less than a mile south of where the village later was platted. The land on which this building was erected was deeded to the church by John Andis, and the notation on the deed showing that it was received for record on March 4, 1840, in the hand of Job Pugh, then recorder of Rush county, has the significant additional note, "fee donated," showing that the recorder's heart was well inclined toward the church. In those days the recorder pocketed the fees. Should the recorder of today "donate" the fee for recording an in-strument he would have to take it out of his own pocket. This old deed notes that "Whereas the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Orange township, Rush county, in the state of Indiana, are in want of a place of land on which to erect and build a meeting house for the use and benefit of said Methodist church, now therefore know ye that I, John Andis.... do give and grant unto the members of the said Methodist Episcopal Church the following parcel or tract of land to the exclusive benefit, use and behalf forever, to contain an acre in the northwest corner of the said John Andis's land in section 7 in township 12, range 8 east, in the district of land sold at Brookville; in testimony whereof the said John Andis does hereunto set his hand and seal this 29th day of January, 1839. (Signed) John (his mark) Andis." The instrument was witnessed by William Self and Milton L. Waggoner, and was acknowledged before William Self, justice of the peace. This first Ebenezer church is recalled as a little frame building ceiled on the inside, with a pulpit requiring several steps to ascend and surrounded by a tight railing, the door of which was fastened on the inside, designed—it is narrated—to keep dogs and children out. Among the families which were numbered among the charter membership of this church were the Wagoners, the Redenbaughs, the Machlans, the McGinnises and the Wrights, and services were held there with greater or less regularity until in 1867, when the church was abandoned and the membership transferred to the church at Moscow, which had meanwhile been growing in numbers. Among the pioneer ministers who served this old church beside Rev. McDuffee, who has been mentioned, and Rev. Sheldon, who followed him, were W. C. Dandal, G. P. Jenkins, N. Kerriek, J. W. T. McMullen and Patrick, Caslin. For about seven years after the abandonment of Ebenezer the field about Gowdy lay dormant, or until the year 1874, when the Rev. Asbury Wilkinson, then pastor at Moscow, held a series of meetings at the school house (now Gowdy), and during these meetings created such a degree of interest that a new society was formed, ground was purchased, and a new church was erected across the road from the school house, the trustees and building committee thus acting being composed of Benjamin Machlan, Aris T. Wagoner, Philip Redenbaugh, Harrison Brookbank and Lloyd McGinnis. This church building was dedicated on February 10, 1875, by the Rev. Reuben R. Andrews, D. D., then president of DePauw University, and was appropriately named Ebenezer, in memory of the pioneer church of which it was the lineal successor. This building was destroyed by fire on December 24,1897, and the next year a new and more commodious edifice was erected on the same site. The present pastor of Ebenezer church is the Rev. M. E. Abel, and among his predecessors have been the Revs. Wynegar, Winchester, Maupin, Renolt, Ullery and Godwin. As an instance of the influence this church has had upon the community it may be noted that four of the young men reared in the church have gone out as ministers of the Methodist Episcopal church, these having been J. T. Scull, Sr., John Machlin, Merritt Machlin and John Carpenter. Ebenezer church now has a membership of one hundred, and has a Sunday school with six classes and an enrollment of forty. It is attached to the Manilla circuit of the Rushville district of the Indiana Conference. The trustees of the church are George Hilligoss, J. T. Scull, Bert Reed, C. D. Alter and J. H. Yernon, while the stewards are George Hilligoss and David O. Alter.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Manilla was organized about the year 1835, and a log building was erected by the little congregation in which services were held until in 1853, when a frame church was begun, but for lack of funds work was temporarily suspended. In 1855, the Rev. Ninarod Kerrick was appointed to the Arlington circuit and by the most strenuous efforts he succeeded in finishing the Manilla church before the conference in 1856. In this latter house the Methodists of Manilla and vicinity worshiped until in November, 1902, when the building was razed to make way for a new church, in the meantime, pending the erection of the new building, the congregation accepting the invitation of the Disciples to worship in their church. The present handsome church building occupied by the Methodists at Manilla was dedicated on February 1,1903. The cost of the building was $6,750, exclusive of the lot, which was valued at $500 and was the gift of Frank and Leonidas Mull. Mrs. Josephine Mull, daughter of the Rev. Nimrod Kerrick, and her family were liberal contributors to the building fund. The present pastor of the church is the Rev. M. E. Abel.
The New Salem Methodist Episcopal Church—This church at New Salem has an excellent house of worship, and all departments of its work are well organized under the present pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Pickett. The congregation organized as a definite church society on May 17, 1891, under the direction of the Rev, G. C. Clouds, then in charge of the Glenwood circuit) with the following charter members: Rev. John Green and wife, John C. Humes and wife, George Churchill and wife, Elijah Matney and wife, John Fulton and wife, Rhoda Bartlett, Ida Bartlett, Hester King, Mary A. Beaver, Harriet Beaver, Nancy Emmett, Mag¬gie Carlisle, Eliza Hoffman, Emily Brooks, Allen Brown. Marinda Brown, John C. Brown, Lora Brown, Clinton Weston and Mattie Weston. The next year seven were added to the class and two years later thirty-six further accessions were made in the membership, the church by that time becoming fully established, and in 1894 a church building was erected, the trustees at the time being J. C. Humes, John Green, George Churchill, Daniel Mitchell and J. W. Anderson. This church building was erected under the pastorate of the Rev. J. T. Scull at a cost of $2,300, and was dedicated on December 9, 1894, by the Rev. D. H. Moore, editor of the Western Christian Advocate, and afterward a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church. In February, 1895, an Epworth League was organized and has continued a helpful agency of the church. The Sunday school also is well organized and all departments of the work of the church apparently are flourishing.
The Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church, south-west of Arlington, occupying a site in the northwest corner of the southwest quarter of section 35 in Posey township, at a point formerly known as Simmer postoffice, maintains an active organization. The Goddard Methodist Episcopal church is one of the circuit of charges at present under the care of the Rev. M. E. Abel. It is well organized and has an Epworth League and a Ladies' Aid Society.
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHESThe Presbyterian Church at Rushville was organized on January 25, 1825, under the leadership of the Rev. John F. Crowe, D. D., then president of Hanover College, it not having been long after the establishment of the county seat here until it was found there were a sufficient number of persons holding to the Presbyterian faith here¬about to effect a formal organization. The first session of this pioneer church was composed of Elders James Walker, Thomas Downard and William Junkin, the other charter members of the congregation being Horatio G. Sexton, William Bell, William Beale and Elizabeth, his wife, Mrs. Sarah Jackson and Mrs. Sarah Perry. This little congregation worshiped for some years in a small brick building, which they caused to be erected, and which supplied their needs until in 1845, when under the pastorate of the Rev. D. M. Stewart a more commodious edifice was erected. It is narrated that Mr. Stewart burned the brick which entered into the construction of this edifice, and with his own hands helped to lay the walls. This old building is still standing, and with remodeling is serving as the lodge hall of the local lodge of the Improved Order of Red Men, 211 West First street. In 1832, under the pastorate of the Rev. George A. Beattie, the present handsome church edifice was erected, at a cost of about $25,000. It was during the long pastorate of the Rev. D. M. Stewart that a "split" occurred in the church, Mr. Stewart resigning to take charge of a congregation which was organized at Pleasant Grove, about four miles west of Rushville. This latter body, however, was not long lived, and in time merged with another congregation of Presbyterians that was organized at Homer, but which ceased its activities some fifteen years or more ago. The Rushville church years ago, under the pastorate of the Rev. J. D. Thomas, organized a mission church in West Rushville, erecting a small building for the purpose in the vicinity of Reed's elevator, but after several years of service it was abandoned, the dwindling attendance not warranting its continuance. The Presbyterian church at Rushville has a membership of 347, and a Sunday school enrollment of about 300, with more than twenty classes and twenty-six officers and teachers. The church session consists of the minister and six elders, the deacons and the trustees being the other officers of the congregation, and all departments of service are well organized. The church records show that the first pastor was the Rev. James H. Stewart, who served, however, but a few months, and was succeeded by the Rev. William Sickles, who remained four years, he being succeeded in turn by J. S. Weaver, Thomas Barr (who died in 1835), David M. Stewart, who served until the "split" in 1854 and was followed by the Rev. H. H. Cambern, who was succeeded in turn by Robert Sutton, John Wiseman, Eberle W. Thompson, A. E. Thompson, George H. Britton, J. D. Thomas, W. H. Sands. George A. Beattie, Thomas H. McConnell, J. L. Cowling, J. B. Meacham, D. Ira Lambert, George F. Sheldon and the present pastor, the Rev. Walter L. Kunkel. The several auxiliaries of the work of the church are well organized and progress is reported along all lines of endeavor. It has been written of the old building on Noble (First) street that "it was the scene of many precious revivals. Forty-four members were received at one time. Among the members of the church in those early years was Governor Samuel Bigger.He was an active worker and led the singing. Rev. Stewart, speaking of him, said: 'It was a grand sight to see him stand out in front of the congregation and leading them in the sonorous hymns known and sung by all.' " Besides the members of the original session of this church, mentioned above, the following have served as elders of the congregation: William B. Laughlin, Robert Robb, William Beale, Duncan Carmichael, Samuel Stewart, Samuel Bigger, Robert English, W. H. Martin, J. W. Junkin, Samuel Banner, J. D. Carmichael, W. B. Leech, T. J. Meredith, William A. Pugh, Eli Buell, Elisha Bodine, Charles B. Bodine, Virgil H. Bodine, John Carmichael, David Graham, Ulysses D. Cole, William Beale, William A. Cullen, William W. Arnold, L. M. Carmichael, Joseph L. Cowing, Heber H. Allen, Edward A. Junken, John D. Megee, John F. Boyd, James W. Hogsett, Richard Fleehart, William S. Meredith and Charles Liddle. In a "souvenir" sketch of this church written some years ago it was noted that "the church is well organized in all its departments of work, and in better condition financially and spiritually than ever before in its history. It is now one of the leading churches in Whitewater Presbytery, and is regarded as one of the best in the state. It has a noble band of women; a faithful corps of Sabbath school teachers, while the board of deacons, trustees and the session are composed of men who not only stand high in the community, but are recognized as earnest Christian men."
The only other Presbyterian church in the county is the Ebenezer Presbyterian church in section 4 of Washington township, which is attached to the Lewisville charge and which has been maintained by the Presbyterian families of that vicinity since it was organized in October, 1831, under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Moreland, Robert Mitchell and wife, Thomas Hayden and wife and John Maple and wife being the original members, Robert Mitchell being the first ruling elder. In January following the membership was doubled, and George Maple was elected elder. The congregation grew until at one time it was one of the strong rural churches of the Whitewater Presbytery, but removals and other incidents of the changing times have in recent years seriously depleted the numerical strength of the church. Those who have long been identified with Ebenezer church feel, however, that the church has been a great power for good in the neighborhood.
THE UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHESThe United Presbyterian Church at Rushville—As previously has been pointed out, the elements of that branch of the Presbyterian family known as the United Presbyterians, which took their name following the union of the old Associate (Seceders) and Associate Reformed Presbyterians in 1858, were found in this section of Indiana at an early day in the settlement of this region, Tennesseans, Kentuckians and South Carolinians who came here to escape the incubus of slavery which had attached itself to those states. The church at Clifty, just over the line in Decatur county, is said to have been established as early as 1825, and settled its first pastor, James Worth, in 1830. This church first was known as New Zion and later as Spring Hill. From that congregation of Associate Reformed Presbyterians and others of the same faith living in Anderson township, another church was organized in 1835, called Flat Rock, afterward Bethesda and later Milroy. The Rev. John N. Presly, an energetic young man from South Carolina, became the pastor of that church in 1837, and also of the Shiloh church, which had been organized in 1835 in Center township, the nucleus of this latter church having been the Hudelson families from Kentucky. In 1857, the Rev. J. F. Hutchinson, who had come here from Ohio, was installed in these charges, making his home in Rushville, and later was in charge of the church at Glenwood, his colaborer
in this field having been the Rev. N. C. McDill at Richand. The first steps looking toward the organization of a congregation of the United Presbyterian church in Rushville, were taken on the evening of August 25, 1879, at a meeting called at his then residence, 611 North Harrison street, by the Rev. J. F. Hutchinson, D. D., who at that time was pastor of the joint congregation of Milroy and Glenwood. Meetings for conference and prayer were held regularly every week until October 1, 1879,' when the congregation was officially organized by a commission appointed by the Presbytery of Indiana. The commission consisted of the Rev. N. C. McDill, D. D., and elders Prof. Robert Gilmore and James P. Brown, and the exercises were held in the old Presbyterian church, located on First street, now owned and occupied by the Improved Order of Red Men. Following are the names of the charter members of this church: George H. Puntenney, Mrs. Josie Puntenney, Joseph L. Pinkerton, Mrs. Sarah Pinkerton, Prof. David Graham, Mrs. Caroline Graham, Miss Anna J. Graham, Miss Minnie R. Graham, George W. Young, Mrs. Nancy Young, James W. Mitchell, Mrs. Jennie Mitchell, Thomas M. Green, Alexander Gibbony, Mrs. Jennie Hudelson, Mrs. May Gibbony and Margaret Henry. The first session was as follows: George H. Puntenney, Prof. David Graham and Joseph L. Pinkerton, and the following made up the first board of trustees: James W. Mitchell, George W. Young and Thomas M. Green. The following is a list of the pastors of the congregation: Rev. A. P. Hutchinson, Rev. S. R. Frazier, Rev. N. L. Hidges, Rev. W. H. French, D. D., Rev. E. G. Bailey, D. D., Rev. W. P. McGarey, Rev. W. H. Clark, Rev. A. W. Jamison, D. D., Rev. John T. Aikin, and the present pastor, Rev. E. G. McKibben. The first building was a brick structure, located on the site now occupied by the First Missionary Baptist church on Morgan street, and was dedicated April 25,1880. The second building and the one now occupied, corner of Harrison and Seventh streets, was dedicated on October 28, 1906.. The membership at this time (1921) is 200; Rev. E. G. McKibben, pastor; clerk of session, Thomas M. Green; clerk of congregation, Byron C. Wainwright; treasurer, Wash Allen. The session consists of the following: A. C. Brown, R. A. Innis, Wash Allen, B. L. Trabue, Dr. J. T. Paxton and Thomas M. Green. Trustees—Samuel H. Trabue Harry A. Krammer, W. O. Frazee, George Green, John Davis and H. E. Barrett. The Sabbath school has an enrollment in the main school of 214, and in the cradle roll of 22. Superintendent, Thomas M. Green. The Young People's Christian Missionary has an enrollment of about forty; Byron Wainwright, president. There also is an active Woman's Missionary Society, and a Ladies' Aid Society.
The United Presbyterian Church at Milroy is the successor of the old Associate Reformed Presbyterian congregation of Bethesda, which was organized in 1835, and which some time after the memorable "union" of 1858, whereby the differences long existing between the Associate Presbyterians (Seceders) and the Associate Reformed Presbyterians had been reconciled and the two assemblies merged into one, since known as the United Presbyterian, took on the new name and has ever since been known as the United Presbyterian Church of Milroy. The Bethesda congregation was organized on October 15,1835, under the ministry of the Rev. John N. Presley, with the following charter membership: Alexander Innis and wife, James Innis and wife, John Innis and wife, Joseph Innis and wife, James W. Stewart and wife, David Askren and wife, John Campbell and wife, Nathaniel Campbell and Martha Innis. The building erected by this congregation on the west side of Little Flat Rock, just south of the present cemetery, sufficed until 1879, when it was destroyed by fire, and was replaced by a new and much more commodious edifice, erected in Milroy, and this latter in turn was supplanted in 1912 by the present handsome church edifice erected by the congregation at Milroy. The church at Milroy has a present membership of fifty, with a Sunday school enrollment of ninety-three, and the present pastor is the Rev. James McMichael. of Spring Hill, in Decatur, pastor also of the church at that place. During the years which have elapsed since the organization of the old Bethesda church some of the strongest figures in the Indiana Synod of the United Presbyterian church have served in the pastorate at Milroy, these ministers including the Rev Nathan C. McDill, whose work there and at Richland and in connection with the old Richland Academy endeared him to all in his generation, and the Revs. James I. Frazier, William A. Hutchinson, J. G. Freeborn, Alexander E. Rankin, J. F. Hutchinson, Ainsworth Hope, F. W. Schmunk and Paul Stewart. Unhappily the old records of the congregation were destroyed by fire some years ago, and much valuable historical material of interest to the community thus was lost. This church some years ago was strengthened by the abandonment of the old United Presbyterian church at Richland, which succumbed to removals and the growing importance of the neighboring village of Milroy and the members remaining in the Richland congregation merged with the Milroy congregation or assumed other ecclesiastical connections. The Richland congregation originally had been a congregation of the Associate Reformed Presbyterians and they held to their basic tenets until some time after the Associate and Associate Reformed Assemblies had adjusted their differences in 1858, as will be witnessed by the following copy of a resolution, dated March 26, 1866, on' file in the office of the county recorder, and which was received for record two days later: "The following preamble and resolutions were adopted: Whereas, the Associate Reformed church has united with a sister church, and on account of this union there has been a change of name to the United Presbyterian church; and, Whereas, the legislature of the state of Indiana has passed a law for the benefit of churches thus uniting, therefore, Resolved, that our organization be under this law and henceforth be known under the name of the United Presbyterian church of Richland, and as such elect our officers." Richland congregation was organized in April, 1839, as a means of giving those members of the Spring Hill congregation who lived in and about Richland a more accessible place of worship, and at the outset had twenty-two members, mostly Kentuckians of the Associate Reformed faith, who had settled in that neighborhood, and upon its organization was united in one charge with the Associate Reformed (Bethesda) congregation at Milroy, the Rev. John N. Presley serving both stations. Mr. Presley served for ten years and in June, 1851, was succeeded by the Rev. Nathan C. McDill, then just licensed, who conducted his first service and pronounced his first benediction at Richland, where his beneficent ministrations were so long to continue, and whose service in connection with the old Richland Academy has been referred to in the chapter on schools in this work. For seven years Mr. McDill gave half time each to Richland and Milroy and then Richland required all his service, a labor of love that was continuous in that community for more than forty-five years. Among the ministers of the United Presbyterian church who were sent out from the Richland congregation were R. E. Stewart, J. P. Cowan, T. B. Stewart, W. M. Butler, S. H. McDill. D. C. Stewart and E. B. Stewart, all of whom attained excellent charges. Mention has been made elsewhere of the company of young men from Richland congregation and from Richland Academy, which Captain McKee led into service during the Civil war, and many of whom did not return. Miss Mary Logan, long a missionary to India, represented the congregation in the foreign mission field. "But after all," as Doctor McDill observed in a review of Richland church written by him in 1895, "the great part of those who have been the bone and sinew of this and all such congrega-tions, are the fathers on the farm and the mothers in the home, who toil and labor and pray and finish their work and die."
The United Presbyterian Church at Glenwood, also an outgrowth of the old Associate Reformed connection, was organized on September 11, 1847, the leaders in the movement having been Archibald F. Martin and wife, James Gray and wife, John McKee and wife, James McKee and wife, Thomas Ochiltree and wife and others. Martin and Gray were the first elders. A church building was erected in that same year and is still serving the needs of the congregation, which now numbers about forty, but is without a pastor. The elders of the congregation are Mareus Kendall and James Ochiltree. Among the early elders who served this church are mentioned Robert McCrory and Hugh Gray. The first pastor was installed as pastor, he also serving the Shiloh church, congregation. In May, 1857, the Rev. J. F. Hutchinson was installed as pastor, he also served the Shiloh church. Other ministers who served at Glenwood were James I. Frazer, Adrien Aten, A. R. Rankin and W. H. French. The old Shiloh United Presbvterian church, here mentioned, for years exerted a wholesome influence in the neighborhood in the northeastern part of the county, but in the '90s was absorbed by stronger churches. It was organized as a congregation of the Associated Reformed faith on September 16, 1832, with John Hudelson and Samuel Maze as ruling elders, the organization having been effected in the home of the former, who was a Kentuckian, and who resided on the line between Rush and Henry counties. The first pastor of this congregation was the Rev. John N. Presley and others who thus served the congregation were Mathew Lind, Samuel Miller, R. E. Stewart, J. F. Hutchinson, Henry W. Crabbe, Thomas P. Dysart, Samuel A. Bailey, John Pollock and George I. Gordon.
THE BAPTIST CHURCHESThe First Baptist Church of Rushville was organized on January 14, 1908, under the ministry of the Rev. E. C. Myers, who became the first pastor of the congregation which now numbers 185 resident members, with seventeen officers and a Sunday school with an enrollment of 125; six officers and eight teachers. The charter members of the congregation were Mrs. Nancy Norris, Milton Perry and wife, Frank Early and wife, James Gartin and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Younger and Mr. and Mrs. Palmer. After effecting an organization the congregation secured the old United Presbyterian church building on the site of the present edifice on the east side of North Morgan street, fronting Sixth street, and services were held in that building until it was replaced by the present edifice, which was erected in 1916. The Rev. E. C. Myers was succeeded as pastor by the Rev. J. S. Arvin, and he in turn by the Revs. Markland, S. G. Huntington, C. J. Bunnell and the Rev. Reno Taeoma, the present pastor. The Ninth Street Baptist church, on North Morgan street, was abandoned several years ago, and its house of worship was sold to the congregation of the Church of God.
The East Fork Baptist Church in Washington township is one of the pioneer churches of the county, the same having been organized at a meeting held at the home of William Jackson in that township on July 21,1827, Elder Caldwell serving as the first pastor of the congregation. During the following year the congregation erected a meeting house of logs at a point near the present site of the East Fork cemetery, and in that humble edifice worshiped for years, or until the present house of worship was erected on the acre of ground which had been donated to the congregation for that purpose. The present membership of East Fork church is given at twenty-three, the Rev. Charles W. Radcliff, of Connersville, pastor. During the winter months the church is closed, services being held only during the spring, summer and fall. William T. Dobbins, George H. Sweet and Fred Jackson are the trustees of the church.
ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCHThe only Catholic church in Rush county is St. Marv's Catholic Church at Rushville, which under the present pastorate of the Rev. F. E. Shaub, is well organized in all its departments of work. St. Mary's parish at Rushville dates back to November, 1868, when the Rev. D. J. McMullen, of Richmond, Ind., became the first resident pastor. Prior to that date the Catholic families in and about Rushville had been receiving ministrations from the Rev. Father Peters, who visited this point from his parish in Connersville. Father McMullen was succeeded in September, 1872, by the Rev. Leo Adams, who remained until January 1, 1875, when he was succeeded by the Rev. E. J. Spellman, who was succeeded in turn by the Rev. J. J. Mackie, the Rev. T. N. Logan and others until the coming of Father Shaub. Beginning with a mere handful of communicants, who were wont to gather for mass at dwelling houses on the occasion of calls from visiting priests, St. Mary's parish has grown until it is one of the strong and influential parishes in the diocese. St. Mary's church and parish house occupy an admirable site at the corner of Perkins and Fifth streets. A parochial school is conducted in connection with the other activities of the parish. The Catholics also have a cemetery, situated to the north of East Hill cemetery. The various departments of the work of the parish are well organized and flourishing. These include, incidentally, a local council of the Knights of Columbus.
There is a German Lutheran church in the southwest corner of the northwest quarter of section 27, township 12, range 8, and a United Brethren church near the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of section 20, township 12, range 11, a cemetery adjoining the church.
The Church of God of Rushville was organized on April 12, 1917, when five persons holding to the faith of this denomination effected an association under the ministry of the Rev. E. A. Ball, who still is pastor of the little flock, which meanwhile has grown in numbers to about eighteen. The congregation maintains a Sunday school with an average attendance of about thirty and helps to support home and foreign missionaries of the denomination. The Church of God bought the old Baptist church on West Ninth street and is using it as a house of worship. There also is a congregation of the Church of God at Williamstown on the south edge of the county.
SOME OF THE COUNTY'S ABANDONED CHURCHESIn the foregoing pages mention has been made of some of the abandoned churches in Rush county, organizations that formerly provided social centers in their respective communities, but which long since have given way to changing conditions. Among others that deserve mention are the two Baptist churches that formerly stood in Center township within a mile of each other, one on the southeast corner of the northwest quarter of section 30, and the other in the northwest quarter of section 31. In Ripley township the Riverside Friends meeting house formerly stood on the southeast corner of section 34. In that same township there also was the Franklin Methodist Episcopal church, which stood near the southwest corner of section 36. There is a colored Methodist Episcopal church, known as "the Beech" in that township, in the east half of the southeast quarter of section 12, in which meetings are held once a year in order to hold for the colored community there the grant of land which many years ago was given for church purposes with a provision calling for reversion in case of abandonment. In Posey township there still are memories of the old Pleasant Grove Presbyterian church, which stood on the John K. Gowdy farm at the southwest corner of the northeast quarter of section 29, but which long ago was abandoned. In Jackson township there was the Sharon Methodist Episcopal Church near the northeast corner of section 2, which was abandoned near a quarter of a century ago. In Union township there also formerly was a Methodist Episcopal church, the building of which still is used as a chapel for funeral services in the cemetery in the southwest corner of the southeast quarter of section 4, town-1 ship 14, range 11. In that same section there also years ago was a Christian church, the congregation of which was transferred to Falmouth. In Noble township there once stood on the south side of the Rushville-New Salem road near the northwest corner of the northeast quarter of section 22, township 13, range 10, the Friendship Methodist Protestant church, long since abandoned. In the same township, in the southwest corner of the north-west quarter of section 28, there once stood a Methodist Episcopal church which commonly was known as the "Pinhook" church. There also formerly was a Regular Baptist church adjacent to the cemetery in the southwest quarter of section 27 in that township. Sills Chapel was a Christian church in Walker township, but long since was abandoned. It stood on the west half of the northeast quarter of section 12, township 13, range 8. What was known as the Vienna Methodist Episcopal Church formerly stood on the county line in the southwest corner of section 15 in Orange township. There also years ago was another Methodist church, known as the Mt. Garrison church, at the northwest corner of the east half of the northwest quarter of section 24 in that township. There was a "Newlight" Christian church in Anderson township, the same having occupied the northwest corner of the northeast quarter of section 23, township 12, range 9, and in that same township, near the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of section 29, township 12, range 10, was the Bethesda Methodist Episcopal church, long since abandoned. On the lower edge of that township there is a church at Williamstown, occasionally used by the folks of the Church of God, in that vicinity. There is a church in Richland township, occupying a site adjacent to the cemetery in the northeast corner of section 9, township 12, range 11, which was erected by the Regular Baptists and which still is occasionally used.