Wayne County, Indiana
West Grove (Friend's) Meeting.This church was organized in 1815, and
its first Monthly Meeting was held in the woods in that year. A log
structure, without a chimney, but with a fire-place in the center, in
which a charcoal fire was kept up, was soon erected and used as a
meeting-house. This was situated about three miles northwest of
About 1831 the log meeting-house was torn down and the present edifice
took its place. Among the early preachers were: Jesse Bond, Hannah
Baldwin and Daniel Williams. Early members: Robert Commons, William
Hastings, Benjamin Maudlin, Jacob Griffin, James Townsend, William
Harvey, Exum Elliott, Obed Barnard, Edward Benbow, Abraham and Joseph
Cook, Jehu Wickersham, John Brumfield, John
Maxwell, John Harvey, John Copeland, Robert Harvey, George Russell,
Charles Canaday and Nathan Overman. The society is still in existence;
its membership is now about 125.
A school was maintained by the Friends near the church for many years.
Centerville M.E. Church was organized in 1823. The class then formed
consisted of seven members : Israel and Mary Abrahams, Peter Ringo and
wife, Mrs. Martha Talbot, Sarah Booker and Mrs. Hart, known as "Mother
Hart." Sarah Reed joined a short time after the class was formed.
Israel Abrahams was the Class-Leader. There had been preaching by
Methodists in the town from 1820. The meetings were generally held in
the court-house. Some of the early preachers were : Revs. Bigelow,
Strange, White, Haven, Wiley and Gath, some of whom were afterward
noted as ministers and bishops. Members who connected themselves with
the church early in its existence were: Elisha and Samuel King, Edward
K. Hart, John Scott and wife, Mrs. Theresa Finch, Alfred Carter and
wife, Ephraim J. Merritt and
wife, and others. Mrs. Ham, of Centreville, is the oldest member of the
congregation now living, and in the absence of any early records has
furnished the writer most of the data for this sketch. About two years
after the first class was formed Israel Abrahams, who was then a
merchant in the town, erected a building for a store and residence
(part of which is still standing), and fitted the upper portion of it
the use of the society. Here worship was held for nearly two years. A
frame church was then erected in the eastern part of the town, and in
it the first Sabbath-school in Wayne County was organized in 1827. The
first conference ever held in Centreville was also held in this house
later, Bishop Morris presiding. The present brick church was erected in
1842 and dedicated in October of that year. Just after the dedication
the last conference ever held in the town convened in it.
Very interesting sabbath schools were held for several years succeeding
by the M. E. and Cumberland Presbyterian churches together. When the
new church was built the congregation had nine classes, the smallest of
which numbered twenty-one members. In March, 1884, the church had 125
members and about 140 Sabbath-school pupils ; value of church property,
$4,000. Wm. Boston is the present pastor;
G. W. Gates and A. D. Bowers, Stewards; G. W. Gates, Dr. Wm. Reed, A.
J. Rambo, Chas. Bertsch and Dr. Hosea Tillson, Trustees; A. D. Bowers
and Hayman Dobbs, Class-Leaders.
Baptist Church. A Baptist church was formed in the township as early as
1820, but ceased to exist many years ago. A meeting-house was built
near Olive Hill. Among the first members were: Isaac Cotton and Samuel
Taylor, who were preachers; John Stigleman, Richard Cheesman and Isaac
Voorhees. There was also an early Baptist church in Centreville, which
erected the house' which was afterwards
used by the Christians.
Centreville Christian Church was organized about 1839, principally
through the efforts of Elder Samuel K. Hoshour. Elder James McVay held
a series of revival meetings which prepared the way for an
organization. Many of the members came from the Baptist-and Freewill
Baptist denominations, both of which had organized many years previous.
Among the original members were: Jesse Thomas and wife, Mrs. Judith
King, Mrs. Lucinda Eliason, John Winder and wife, Mrs. Roundtree, Mrs.
Sally Dewey, Mrs. Patsy Thomas, Daniel Crow and wife, Mr. Tallhelm and
wife, Elder Daniel Winder and wife. Joshua Eliason is the oldest member
now living. Meetings were first held in the seminary and in the
court-house. Then the church came into possession of a house previously
erected by the Baptists at the north end of town, which was used until
the present brick house was built in 1878. The new church cost about
$5,000. The church now has nearly 100 members. Among the pastors have
been Elders S. K. Hoshour, James McCullough, A. I. Hobbs, Van Bushkirk,
R. T. Brown, R. L. Howe, Wm. J. Howe and J. B. Ludwig, the present
The Cumberland Presbyterian church, of Centreville, was organized by
Rev. Le Roy Woods, in December, 1842. The original members mere: John
B. Stitt, James Woods, Eliza A. Bolander, Sarah Garthwaite, James H.
Hudson, Susan Hudson, A. F. Danham, Francis Smith, Henry Brown, Francis
Smith, E. C. Seaton and Mary Stitt. The house of worship was erected in
1849. Among the pastors were: Revs. L. Woods, E. McCord. G . Black,
Chas. Bond and H. D. Onyett. The organization, once flourishing, has
become extinct and its church property was recently sold to the Friends.
Presbyterian. A Presbyterian church was formed in Centreville, April
14, 1866. Rev. James A. McKee and Rev. L. W. Chapman were present at
the organization. Among the members were: John McFarland, Wharton
Lyman, John M. Coyner and Samuel Wilson, with their wives; Michael
Wilson, Elizabeth Young, Elizabeth Huston, Caroline Dickey, Jane Rowan,
Kate Johnson, Louisa A. Cunningham. and Jane Doughty. The first Elders
were: McFarland and Coyner. Pastors: Rev.F.L. Senour, S. S. Potter,
Eben Muse and supplies. The congregation is small and has had no
regular services for some time. The church edifice, a good brick
building, was erected in 1868.
Centreville Meeting. The Friends organized a meeting in Centreville, in
March, 1854. There had been meetings held for a year preceding, but no
organization. There are about, fifty members belonging to this meeting,
which is under the charge of the Whitewater Monthly Meeting. For their
services they have purchased for $320 the church in Centerville, built
by the Cumberland Presbyterians.
The History Of Wayne County, Indiana Vol. 1, 1884
Contributed by Brenda Wiesner