Athens County Ohio
History of Bethel Church
(off of Rt 7 in Coolville)
Submitted by Jamie Riggle
Bethel Church was organized May of 1824 with David Waterman, B.B. Lotteridge, Jonas Smith, Simeon Cooley, Isaac Humphrey and William Pilcher transacting the deed. A log cabin with a large fireplace was the first meetinghouse. One of the early circuit rider preachers was Rev. George Gatch (from 1828-1829). A complete list pf his texts used during that time has been donated by his great granddaughter Virginia Gatch-Markham. The Bethel Cemetery is located on the old Jacob Humphrey farm (at that time joined the Waterman farm that the church ground was taken from) and the first burial recorded as being 1805. Jacob and Mary (Spracht) Humphrey married in 1804, and on Waterman Hill, Athens County, in Troy Township. Their son John was the first child born in Troy Township. Samuel Humphrey, founder of the Athens-Meigs family, came to the United States from England in 1776 and was arrested for disturbing the peace after shouting "Glory to God!" after landing in Philadelphia. He was happy to be in a land of freedom, but the police thought he was crazy. He came to Waterman Hill about 1800 and died in 1829. Samuel was the father of Jacob Humphrey. Samuel's wife was Hannah. David Waterman was a Revolutionary War veteran. Simeon Cooley also helped found the Coolville Methodist Church. The Lotteridge family founded the village of Lotteridge. Jonas Smith was one of the very large land owners in the area. William Pilcher was a trustee of Troy township, a Justice of the Peace, and a business man. At one time a settlement was located near Waterman Hill called Bethelhem and is listed as such on the earliest maps. The present building of Bethel Church was erected in 1854 and 1855 Rev. Jacob Young tels in his "Autobiography of a Pioneer" (1860), "I passed a place called Waterman's Hill where, in days of other years stood an old log meeting house, called Bethel, where I had been in the habit of preaching and holding quarterly meetings for the last 40 years; I found the old house entirelymoved away and a beautiful new edifice standing in its place. On the Lord's day, I dedicated that fine building to the worship of the Almighty God. It was a high day on Waterman's Hill." In the pioneer days the circuit preacher would hold an annual two-day meeting and the people came long distances on foot, horseback, and wagons to attend church. At some services, persons were admitted by ticket, and the crowds filled the church. Bethel was originally on the Coolville charge, later transferred to the Lawrence circuit, finally merged with the Reedsville charge. Bethel has always been a power of good in the community and its influence during its 150 years (as of 1974) has spread over the United States. Today, 1974, we dedicate this service to the memory of those pioneers who hewed out the first logs for a building on this land, and those first circuit riders who braved the wilds to bring the Gospel to the people, that we today might be free to worship God! --- [Source: This was compiled by Mrs. Jane Whiteman of Barrackville, W.V and also by Agnes C. Hill., c. 1974 - transcribed by Jamie Riggle]
[the David Waterman mentioned is David B. Waterman (1798-1851).]
David B. Waterman to B.B. Lottridge & others
This Indenture made this 22 day of May in the State of Ohio, Athens County, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty four (1824) between David Waterman of the one part, B.B. Lotteridge, Simeon Cooley, Isaac Humphrey, Jonas Smith, William Pilcher of the other part.
Witnesseth that the said David Waterman for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars specie to me paid in hand, at and upon the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath given, granted, bargained, sold, released, confirmed and conveyed and by these presents doth give, grant, bargain, sell, release, confirm and convey unto them the said trustees and their successors in trust for the uses and purposes hereinafter mentioned and declared, all the estate, right, title, interest, property claim, and demand whatsoever, either in law or equity which he the said David Waterman into or upon all and singular a certain lot or piece of land, situate, lying, being in the State of Ohio, Athens county, Troy township, bounded and butted as follows, to-wit:
Beginning at the N. B. corner of Section No. 31, thence West one hundred rods to the corner of Jonas Smith's land, thence South forty rods to a stake; thence East eight rods;thence South ten rods, thence West eight rods; thence North ten rods to the place of beginning, containing one-half acre of land, together with all and singular the houses, woods, waterways, privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining:
To have and to hold all & singular the above mentioned and described lot or piece of land, situate lying and being as aforesaid, together with all and singular the houses, woods, waterways and privileges belonging or in anywise appertaining unto the said Trustees and their successors in office forever, for the sole purpose of erecting a house or place of worship for the use of the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America and their regularly authorized ministers, and the said David Waterman doth by these presents warrent and defend all and singular the before mentioned and described lot or piece of land with the appurtenances thereto belonging, unto them the said Trustees and successors in office chosen and appointed as aforesaid from the claim or claims of all persons whomsoever.
In Testimony Whereof the said David Waterman hath hereto set his hand and seal the day and year aforesaid.
Sealed and delivered in the presence of us.
David B. Waterman
John W. Fellows
N.B. Sixteen lines from the bottom these words were inverted before the signing and delivery of these presents "Troy Township."
Sate of Ohio, Meigs county, ss.
This day personally came David Waterman, the signer and sealer of the foregoing instrument before me, John W. Fellows, one of the Justices of the Peace of Meigs County, and acknowledged the same to be his free voluntary deed and act and that he signed and sealed the same for the sole purpose therein expressed.
Given under my hand and seal this twenty-second day of May in the year of our Lord 1824.
John W. Fellows, Justice Officer
Entered and recorded the 20th day of September, A.D. 1824.
Attest: C.F. Perkins, Recdr.
Recorded in Volume 5, page 299 Deed Records of Athens County, Ohio.
[Transcribed by K.T.]
Bethel Church Members
Members as of Nov. 3, 1993:
Warner, Dorothy (my great-grandma)
Warner, Wilbur (my great-grandpa)
this was just a list my grandma had (it was typed and looked like something members had)
Coolville United Methodist Church
located on Rt 7 on the edge of Coolville and Tuppers Plains.
[Submitted by Jamie Riggle]
MEMBERS AS OF NOV. 3, 1993:
Alloway, C. Jim
Alloway, C. Jim Jr.
Caudill, G. Wayne
Cody, Mary Belle
Coulais, Nancy Elthridge
Frey, Linda (my grandma's cousin)
Frey, Tracy (Linda's daughter)
Gillilan, David (my grandma's cousin, Linda Frey's brother)
Gregg, Robin Russell
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