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* CHAPTER IX.
RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS OF THE COUNTY-THE PRESBYTERIAN CONGREGATIONS-THE ROMAN CATHOLICS-THE EPISCOPAL METHODISTS - BAPTIST ORGANIZATIONS - THE CHRISTIANS -THE COLORED CHURCHES.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CONGREGATIONS.
The oldest church society in Daviess County, and, in fact,one of the oldest religious organizations in the State of Indiana, is the Presbyterian Church of Washington. Its history dates back to the year 1811, when meetings of members of the Presbyterian Church were held in private houses in the vicinity of the spot that Washington now occupies. The history of the early struggles of the society are very meager, as no record can be found, if indeed,any was kept. Rev. Samuel Scott, whose home was near Vincennes, made occasional visits to the little society here in 1811, and preached to them in the dwelling of the late Richard Steen. The Indian war that ended with the battle of Tippecanoe sadly interfered with the worship of the congregation, and they were obliged to fly to the forts for protection from the marauding bands of redskins, and for a long time the spiritual adviser, the Rev. Mr. Scott, was compelled to remain at home because of the fierce and cruel savages then infesting this part of the country. As soon as the excitement and danger attending the Indian outbreak had died away, the forts were deserted, and traveling missionaries of the Presbyterian and 'Congregational faith made occasional visits to their followers here. The first Presbyterian minister to settle here was the Rev. Robert Davis, who preached and taught school here in 1813. Mr. Davis was succeeded by Rev. John Dickey, to whom is due the credit of bringing about the building of the first Presbyterian Church of Daviess County. This building was erected in 1814, and stood on the bank of Palmer's Creek, two and a half miles southwest of Washington. An old settler thus describes the building:
It was built of round logs, each from ten to twelve inches in diameter, and was eight logs high, with a roof of clap= boards, rib and weight-pole fashion. The clapboards were four feet long, and from six to eight inches wide. This kind of roof was made without rafters, sheeting or nails. The house had neither chinking nor daubing between the logs. It was destitute of floor, except the ground, and had neither fire-place nor window, the openings between the logs being sufficiently large and numerous to admit both light and air. The house had but one door, which was in the south end and directly opposite the pulpit. The building was a rude affair."
During August, 1814, the church was regularly organized, and the following elders were chosen and ordained: Joseph Selsoe, Ninian Steele and Ephraim Thompson. Rev. John Dickey was a son-in-law of Ninian Steele. The first sacrament of the Lord's supper was at the log church in 1814, and was conducted by Rev. James McGrady. Rev. James McGrady, and. others, whose names cannot be learned, supplied the society with preaching until 1828, when Rev. Ransom Hawley, father of the present pastor, took charge of the church, and remained here for six years, organizing a Sunday-school and a temperance society. during the time. Mr. Hawley was followed by Rev. John C. Butler, and the Revs. Adams, Martin, Campbell, Wall and Henry L. McGuire, in the order named. Mr. McGuire was the pastor in 1849, and remained during the time of the terrible cholera epidemic, and until 1852, when Rev. Samuel C. Taylor became the pastor. Following Mr. Taylor came the Revs. John L. Martyn, A. T. Hendricks, and H. B. Scott. During the latter's pastorate, which closed in 1860, there was a large accession of persons to the church who have proven among the most valuable members. Rev. Francis Lynn was the next pastor, and after him Revs. S. V. McKee, Cornelius McCain, Augustus Taylor, Hugh H. Carson, Alexander Sterrett, E. C. Trimble, E. Burnett, John Gerrish, D. D., and the present pastor, Ransom E. Hawley, who has had charge of the congregation since 1880. The log church was abandoned soon after its completion, and in 1815 a frame building was erected on the lot in Washington where the Christian Church, now stands. This building was eventually supplanted by a brick house, which was afterward sold to the Christian congregation, and in 1869 the present church edifice, on the corner of Walnut and Second Streets, was completed at a cost of $5,000, the lot-being donated by the late Philip Cruse. The present membership of the church is 200, and the Sunday-school, which is in a most prosperous condition, 125. Following are the names of the elders and deacons of the church from the date of its organization to- the present time: EldersóEphraim Thompson, Joseph Kelsoe, Ninian Steele, John Allen, Esek Hopkins, David Logan, James. Graham, James Calhoun, John Aikman, John Stringer, Samuel Jr Kelsoe, John S. Allen, Levi Williman, Ira McCloskey, William Long, Hiram Williman, Zelek Hopkins, William Helphenstine, David H. Kennedy, Adam Greenfield.,James Aikman, David Kribs and Peter Farnwald. DeaconsóJames Aikman, William \McAdams, David A. McCloskey, Moses Allen, Hugh Aikman, Jacob Hoffmaister, George Keith, John M. Taylor, N. H. Jepson, Hiram Hyatt, Thomas J. Axtell.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES.
Daviess County has a large Roman Catholic population. The finest churches, the largest congregations and the only private schools belong to the Catholics. We shall treat of these congregations in detail. The Church of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, is the youngest of Daviess County's Catholic societies. For several years previous to 1870 it was evident that, for the good and convenience of the German Catholics of Washington, a church building, in which German services could be held, was necessary, but it was not until the year mentioned that any definite steps were taken. In 1870 forty German families determined on building a church for German Catholics exclusively. Preparations were at once made to begin the erection of a church building. In January of 1872 the society was formally organized by Rev. John P. Sassel. His first work was to start a German school, and the wisdom of his course was apparent. The church building was begun in the spring, and the corner-stone was laid in August. December following the building, although unfinished, was used for church services. It was completed at a cost of $13,000, and is an imposing brick building, situated at
the corner of West Second and Van Trees Streets. Father Sassel labored with heroic self-denial for the good of the little congregation until his death, which occurred on the 10th of August, 1879. To its first pastor this church owes its prosperity. He was devoted to his work, and the privations he endured in the prosecution of his labors probably were the means of bringing about his early death. Father Sassel was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. L. M. Burkhardt, who was called to the charge in September; 1879. The society now owns, besides the church edifice, a two-story brick school building, that was erected in 1881 at a cost of $4,000, and a handsome rectory, which cost $3,000, and was built in 1885. The schools are conducted by the Sisters of Providence, and have an enrollment of 140. The church has a membership of 110 families, and is in a highly prosperous condition. St. Simon's Catholic Church, in Washington, is one of the strongest religious societies in this part Of the State, and owns considerable valuable church property. It has a membership of some 200 families, and is prosperous to a very flattering degree. It owns two large brick school buildings, one for boys and a day and boarding school for girls, and a commodious hall, which is used for festivals, fairs, etc., but is now occupied as a church room, and will be so employed until the magnificent new church edifice, -now in course of erection, is completed. The new building will be the finest church in the county. It will cost in the neighborhood of $25,000, and will be ready for occupancy in the fall of 1886. The foundation was laid during the fall of 1885.
When Bishop Flaget visited Washington, in 1819, he found a few Catholic families in the county. In 1821 Michael, James, Dennis and John Murphy, four brothers from Ireland, came to Washington, and one year later Francis X. Spink, from Kentucky, made the vicinity of Washington his home. These were among the very first Catholic families in the county. Spink then occasionally attended church at -Vincennes. In June, 1829, Father Abell spent several days in Washington, preaching the Jubilee. In 1830, and for several years afterward, a few of the Catholic families attended church at St. Peter's, Montgomery. During this period mass was occasionally said at the residences of Judge Richard Clements, Thomas Brown and Francis Spink,who were early members. Among other pioneer members were George Ballow and Patrick M. Brett. Rev. Simon P. Lalumiere was placed in charge of the little congregation in 1837, and one year from that time a substantial brick church was built. This building was used until last year, when its walls were torn down to make room for the new church. Father Lalumiere made frequent visits to New Orleans and Baltimore, soliciting aid for his church, and in each city he was successful. In 1840 twelve pews accommodated the entire congregation, but a few years later the building of the Wabash & Erie Canal brought an influx of Catholic families to the county, and since that time the society has prospered greatly. Among the pastors of St. Simon's since Father .Lalumiere were Rev.. Anthony Parrott, until 1844; Rev. H. Dupontavice, until 1847; Rev. John McDermott, until 1850; Rev. P. Highland, until 1855; Rev. J. B. Chasse, until 1866; Rev. John Gueguen, until 1874; Rev. Hugh Peythieu, until 1879. Rev. John W. Doyle is the present pastor. St. Mary's Catholic Church is situated in Barr Township, one-half mile west of the Martin County line, and a mile and a half north of the Ohio & Mississippi Railway. The first Catholic services in the vicinity of St. Mary's were held in the house of Nathaniel Spaulding, in 1828, by Father Lalumiere. A few years later, about 1833, a small log church was erected and consecrated by Bishop Brute, who named it St. Mary's, the name it has proudly borne since that time. When the little log chapel was dedicated, according to Bishop Brute there were about 150 Catholic families in the neighborhood, most of whom were from Kentucky. - The first resident pastor of St. Mary's was the Rev. Maurice De St. Palais, afterward bishop, who took charge of the congregation in 1836, and remained three years. During this period a new brick church was constructed, the log church being entirely too small to accommodate the rapidly growing. congregation. Rev. john. Guegnen became the pastor in 1839, and continued until 1848, when he was succeeded by Rev. J. P. R. Murphy. Father Murphy also had charge of Mt. Pleasant,, in Martin County, an.d built a- church there. Rev. John Mo-agin resided. at St. Mary's from 1858 to 1860, and was succeeded by Rev. J. Leblanc; who attended the charge until 1873. Rev. G. M. Ginnsz came next, and was the pastor until 1875. He was followed by Revs. John W. Doyle, L. M. S. Burkhardt and Timothy O'Donahoe, who is the present pastor. Father Doyle made preparations for a new church building, and it was completed by Father O'Donahoe in 1881, at a cost of $9,000. The church is a handsome structure, 55x110 feet in size, one story in height. It is built of brick, and is well furnished. This church owns twenty-three acres of land, valued, exclusive of improvements, at $1,300, a frame school building, a frame church and brick pastoral residence, and has a membership of 600.
St. Patrick's Catholic Church is situated in Section 30, northwestern part of Reeve Township. The Rev. Father Lalumiere secured ground near the place called Glendale at an early date. Rev. Julian Delaune succeeded Rev. Lalumiere, and erected a log church, which was a missionary church, and continued so until 1870. Revs. Dupontavice, Sorin and Ducaudrey had charge from 1840 to 1847. The Rev. Piers, pastor of St. Peter's, visited St. Patrick's as a missionary from 1847 to 1870, a period of twenty-three years, during which time he changed the location of the church in 1860, which at that time was in Harrison Township, but one and a half miles east, and built a brick church, where services are now held. Rev. William Doyle, who was the first resident minister, was appointed in 1870. In 1875 he built a pastoral residence. In 1880 Father Doyle resigned on account of ill health, and in August, 1883, died. at St. Vincent Hospital, at Indianapolis, Ind. He was born twelve miles south of Pittsburgh, Penn., in 1834. His parents settled in Indiana, and he entered the seminary at Vincennes in 1842. He was ordained by Bishop Bazin, December 18, 1842; was at St. Vincent, Shelby-County, previous to his appointment at St. Patrick's. His funeral sermon was preached by Bishop Chatard, who delivered a masterly tribute to the illustrious dead, for he had long been on. missions of Indiana, and possessed a great mind and memory. Rev. Father G. M. Ginnsz took charge January, 1881, and was the pastor till September, 1885, during which time he made the finishing repairs of the church and premises. In September, 1885, the Rev. Charles Curran was transferred from St. Martin's,Martin County, to Patrick's, of which he is at present the pastor. St. Patrick's is among the oldest congregations of the county, and has prospered under its able and Christian pastors. During the early mission the congregation was but a families, and services were held in a small log church. Now they have a beautiful, large and substantial brick building, with a congregation of 125 families, or 600 souls, and is in a prosperous condition at present, having paid for their church and pastoral residence, which speaks well for the small but thriving and truly Christian congregation.
St. Peter's Church, at Montgomery, is an old and strong congregation. At present it numbers about 600 members, has a large, substantial brick church building that cost in 1869 about $8,000 to build, and a good, two-story brick schoolhouse that was completed two years ago at a cost of $5,000. St. Peter's Church was organized about the year 1818, and was attended at that time by Rev. Anthony Blanc, later archbishop of New Orleans, who then resided at Vincennes. The church at that time was called Black Oak Ridge Church, and was a small log affair about a mile west of the place where Montgomery is now located. Bishop Flaget visited the place in 1829, and confirmed forty-seven persons. In 1834 Rev. Simon P. Lalumiere attended this church, and for about six years later the log church was abandoned and a new brick building constructed, and called St. Peter's. The church was used until the one occupied at present was erected in Montgomery in 1869. Rev. Bartholomew Piers has been the pastor of St. Peter's Church continuously since 1847, he having been ordained that year by Bishop Bazin. For nearly forty years he has stood at the same post of duty, and every man, woman and child in the large and growing congregation has the highest reverence for the aged pastor. Among the predecessors of Father Piers were Revs. T. Courjault and L. Ducondray.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Washington was organized in 1816. At that time the hamlet of Washington had a population of less than seventy-five souls, and the few devoted followers of John Wesley met in private houses to worship. Among the dwellings used for the purpose were those of Samuel Miller and Thomas Meredith. Rev. John Shrader had charge of the circuit that included Washington at that time. He preached here once each month. The society increased slowly but surely and added new names to its list of membership each year. Two members of the church in 1822, Robert Stephens and Mrs. Elizabeth Meredith, are living at this writing, but both are aged and invalids. Another member of the society in 1822 was the late William Pratten, who was the class leader. The worship was conducted in private residences, and sometimes in the schoolhouse or court house, until 1827, when a small brick church was erected at the corner of Hefron and First Streets. This building was only used two years, as on account of having been poorly constructed, it had to be abandoned. The dwellings were again resorted to for eight years, when a lot at the corner of Third and Flora Streets, upon which stood a small dwelling, was purchased by Lewis Jones, John Fryer and William Bratten, who remodeled the dwelling and made it a church. It 1837 it was dedicated by Rev. John Wood. The membership of the church at that time was about 125. In 1858 the building now in use was erected under the direction of Rev. James F. McCann, and dedicated by Rev. Calvin Kingsley, afterward bishop. The building is frame and cost about $2,000. In addition to the church the society owns the parsonage adjoining. An effort is being made to erect a costly brick church, and it is probable that the work on it will be began in a short time. Some notable revivals have taken place in this church, the largest of which was in 1863, at the time Rev. Stephen Bowers was pastor, and 200 conversions occurred. Following are the names of the ministers who have had charge of the church since its organization: Revs. John Shrader, James Slocum, James McCord, W. H. Smith, E. Ray, Miles Huffaker, E. P. Farmer, H.Vanderburg, J. Whiten, John Julien, J. Taylor, Isaac McElroy, Silas Rawson, J. R Williams, Elijah Long, A. W. Striker, Daniel Cloud, Jacob Miller, D. Williamson, Stephen Ravenscroft,- Nathan Schumate, John Talbott, Thomas Ray, L. Forbes, George W. Walker, M. W. Benton, T. Alexander, T. A. Whitted, James F. McCann, James. M. Hamilton, H. B. Ribbon,I. M. O'Fling, T. A. Long, Stephen Bowers, W. F. }lamed, Daniel McIntire, Aaron Turner, Hayden Hayes, Francis Walker, John Walls, F. A. Friedley, J. H. Ketchum, W. McK. Hester, John A. Ward, W. Underwood and T. C. Danks. The present membership is about 285, and the society is in a highly prosperous condition. The Sunday-school is flourishing, and is one of the largest and most influential in the county. The church pays its pastor $1,000 per year and the use of a dwelling house.
The Maysville Methodist Episcopal Church has been in existence for thirty-five years. The large and commodious church building at present in use was erected in the spring of 1851, under the direction of Rev. John W. Julien, pastor, and is worth about $1,000. It has a neat parsonage in connection with it. This society owes much to its first pastor, the Rev. Mr Julien, who is yet living, a superannuated member of the Indiana Conference. The laymen who aided in the construction of the Maysville Church Building were Solomon Thomas, William Thomas, Wiley Wright, Solomon Frank, Joseph Lyndall, John Bachelor, W. T. Ballow, J. H. Wright and Thomas A. Long, all of whom have gone to claim their eternal reward except the last :two named. The pastors of this church since its organization have been Revs. J. W. Julien, Daniel Cloud, A. W. Stryker, M. W. Benton, Amasa Joselin, G. W. Walker, T. A. Whitted, Thomas Alexander, J. F. McCann, J. B. Hamilton, S. W. McNaughton,ē N. J. Bell, Levi Johnson, W. W. Puett, R. B. Martin, J. H. Lester, T. H. Willis, J. M. Baxter, David Swartz, J. W. Kinkaid, R. A. Kemp and Elias Gaskins. There are at present 100 members. The Sunday-school has been in working order since 1865, and is in a highly prosperous condition.
Morris Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church is situated on the Bedford road, in Barr Township, six miles from Washington.
The building is a frame one, and was erected in 1870 at a cost ofabout $1,000. It was first called Shiloh, but the name was after
ward changed to Morris Chapel, because of the existence of a church called Shiloh in Van Buren Township. The minister
who dedicated the church was Rev. John J. Haight. Among the original members were Reuben Bennington, Samuel Carpenter,
Sparks, and John Honey. John Everett was the first class leader. This society belongs to the Loogootee Circuit. It is not prosperous, and only occasional services are held here.
The usual summer Sunday-school of the country churches is kept up.
A Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at Elnora, in Elmore Township, a few years ago by Joseph itinnaman, William Myers, and others, and a church building was put up that year. Just about the time the building was completed it was burned by an incendiary, and this unfortunate circumstance left the society in desperate straits. However, an effort is being made to build a new church.
Fifty years ago a society of Methodists was organized in the neighborhood of Epsom, in Bogard Township. The organization was effected by Revs. Miller and David Williamson, and among the members were George Tomey, Jacob Groves, Peggy Groves, Joseph Myers, Pauline Myers and Charles Groves. A log church was built in 1847, and called Talbert's Chapel. In 1870 the old log church was abandoned and a frame one constructed at a cost of $1,200, which still stands. It is located about one mile south of Epsom. The church was named in honor of the first minister who attended itóRev.. John Talbert. It is one of the oldest church societies in the township, and many pleasant memories of the pioneer Methodists cluster around the hallowed spot. The membership at present numbers about sixty. In the summer a Sunday-school is kept up.
Pleasant Union Methodist Episcopal Church, which adjoins. the farm of William Fulbright Myers, in Bogard Township, one and a half miles east of Epsom, was originally organized in 1836, under the direction of Rev. James Williams. This organization was effected by the consolidation of the Widow McGinnis and Johnny Doherty classes, and a log church was built. In 1862 the log church was supplanted by a frame structure that cost $800, and is yet standing. Among the early members of this church were John Groves and wife, Isabel Smith, Betsy Gabbed, John Hinkle and wife. At present the society is weak, the membership being only about forty.
Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal Church is situated in Bogard Township, two miles northeast of Cornettsville. It is a log church, and has been built thirty years. It has now about seventy-five members, and a summer Sunday-school. Among the pioneer members of this church were Benjamin James, Jack Bray and family, Jeff and Mack Carroll, and Daniel Slinkard.
The Odon Methodist Episcopal Church was originally organized in 1858, by Jesse Trueblood (who was the first officer of the church), Charles Correll and wife, Howard Crooke and wife, Roe Crooke and wife and others. The first minister was Hayden Hayes. At that time the presiding elder was Rev. H. Woody. The society did not put up a church building until 1881, when a commodious frame structure was completed at a cost of $1,700. The minister in charge at the time the church was built was Rev. J. W. Payne. The present resident minister is Rev. George W. Culmer. The membership numbers about eighty. The Sunday-school has an enrollment of 127, and is highly prosperous. Goodhope Methodist Episcopal Church, one mile north of Odon, was built in 1860 at a cost of .$1,400. It is a frame building. The society is not so strong at present as in former years, many of its members leaving it to join the Methodist Episcopal Church of Odon. Among the prominent members of the Good-hope Church have been John, Jacob and Andy Shaffer and William Boyd, and their families. Wesley Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, three miles northeast of Odon. in Madison Township, is the old stronghold of Methodism in the northeastern part of Daviess County. A society was organized there in 1845, and a log church was built, the first Methodist Episcopal Church in this part of the county. About twelve years ago a new church building was put up at the site of the old Wesley Chapel: It cost about $1,200. Among the early members of Wesley Chapel were Susan Webster, Solomon Joseph Summers and wife, Emsley Odell and wi e, VBEam 6:ell and wife and others. The society is in a prosperous condition, and has a membership of about 100. The Methodist Episcopal Church at Raglesville was first organized in 1837, or 1838, by Ozias Crooke and wife, Nancy Wadsworth, Peter Ragle and wife, Sylvan-us Lee and others. The first minister was Rev. John McElroy, and after him were Revs. James Forbes, Joseph Williams, Thomas Ryan and others. Among the prominent members of the present day are Rev. Thomas Wadsworth, Jesse Trueblood, Peter Wadsworth, Peter Ragle, James Myers and wife and Dr. William P. Hobbs. A church building was put up at Raglesville in 1852. This building burned in 1871, and the following year a new house was erected at a cost of $1,200. This church has eighty members. A Sunday-school is conducted in it during the summer months.
Mount Zion. Methodist Episcopal Church was organized about 1861, and shortly after a church building was put up a short distance west of Cornettsville in Bogard Township. This building is a frame, and is valued at about $800: The society is in a tolerably prosperous condition. The Methodist Episcopal Church at Glendale has been in existence since 1859, the organization having been effected by Retta, John and William Clark, Harrison and Freelove Bivens, Mary Webber (nee Gregory), and others. The class has never been very large, and now numbers some twenty-five members. This church does not own a building, but holds an indefinite lease on the lower story of the Odd Fellows' building. The Odd Fellows do not charge the church any rent for the building This is in the Maysville Circuit Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Church, which is located two and one-half miles southwest of Glendale, in Harrison Township, was organized more than forty-five years ago, and among the early members were Thomas, William, Frank and John Bald--win, Henry Stone, who was a local preacher, Priscilla Stone, Randolph Delk, William Wallace, John T. Everett, another local preacher, and his wife, Elizabeth Everett. About 1841, or 1842, a log church was built, which did duty until 1878, when a new frame church building was erected at a cost of $1,200. This has always been a prosperous society, and now has a membership of about sixty. The Methodist Episcopal Church at Hudsonville, Harrison Township, has a membership of about eighty, and is very prosperous. The society was organized about 1851, by John and David Jackson, William Wratten, William Wilson, George W. Glover, William Woods, Dr. John S. Mitchell, Thomas Coleman, John Ragsdale and others. A log church was built and used until 1875, when a new frame building was erected at a cost of $1,000, and the old church sold to the Christian congregation for $25.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Alfordsville has been built some six years, and it cost about $700. The society was organized about 1865, but prior to the building of the new church, services were held in the Sugar Creek Union Church. Among the early members of the church were the Jackman family and Joseph Kelsey. This church now has sixty members, a Sunday-school, and a parsonage worth about $600.
During the war a Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at High Rock, in Reeve Township, and called Mount Zion. Among the early members were Capt. Sam Slicer, Fleming Ballow, 'Squire Ballow and Thomas Scales. A frame church was built and occupied until 1881, when a new building was erected, costing $600. The present membership of this church is about forty.
The First Baptist Church of Washington forty-six years old, its organization having been effected in 1840. The society is in a good financial condition; is out of debt, has a handsome balance in the treasury, owns a $4,000 church building that was put up in 1860, on Walnut Street, in a fashionable part of the city. The church membership is 150. The meeting for the organization of the society was held February 4, 1840, in the old Presbyterian Church. The council was composed of Elders William Reese and John Graham, and four members of the Veal Creek Church. The first named was appointed moderator, and James Johnson was elected clerk. The Articles of Faith, which are *printed below, have the following names attached: William Stansil, Celia Stansil, W. G. Cole, Margaret Cole, Reason W. Brand, Frances Brand, John Brand, Mary S. Clapp, Louisa McDonald and Eunice W. Packhard:
ARTICLES OF FAITH OF WASHINGTON BAPTIST CHURCH.
We whose names are annexed, having given ourselves to the Lord, and believing it to be the bounden duty of all those who hope for salvation through Christ to make a public profession of His name, do voluntarily agree to unite and live in peace together, under the following Articles of Faith, to wit:
ARTICLE 1.óWe believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are of divine authority, and the only rule of faith and practice.
ART. 2.óWe believe that there is one God, the Creator of all things that exist, who is infinite in all His perfections.
ART. 3.óWe believe that there is a Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and a unity in God, but how distinct and how one is to us unknown.
ART. 4.óWe believe that God created man upright, and his will, though mutable, set only to good, but by his transgression of the divine command his affections became corrupt and his will averse to holiness, and in this situation are all his natural posterity.
ART. 5.óWe believe that according to the determinate council of God, and in Order to fulfill the conditions of the Covenant of Grace, the Son of God took on Himself humanity, honored by His presence this earth, which had been defiled by sin, and by the sacrifice of Himself which He offered on Mount Calvary, made full atonement to the divine government for all that shall reign with Him in glory.
ART. 6.óWe believe that God has chosen a people to everlasting life, not for any peculiar merit in them, nor to the exclusion of any other from the benefits of salvation, but that His name might not cease from the earth, and that all may have an opportunity of coming to the knowledge of the truth.
ART. 7.óWe believe that that divine wisdom which laid the plan and provided the means for calling the heirs of glory, will guide them in the way of holiness, and that power which wrested them from the grasp of Satan will guard them during the whole of their pilgrimage till they arrive at the heavenly Canaan.
ART. 8.óWe believe that, as mankind are by nature enemies to God, that their nature must be changed before reconciliation can take place, and that this change is produced by the immediate operation of the Spirit of God.
ART. 9.óWe believe that there will be a general resurrection of the dead, and that all mankind shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ, when those that have done good shall enter into full possession of the joys of Paradise, and those who have done evil shall be shut up in the regions of despair.
ART. 10.óWe believe that the joys of the righteous and the miseries of the wicked will be of equal duration, and both commensurate only by eternity.
ART. 11,óWe believe that none but baptized believers can be membersē of the visible church of Jesus Christ, and that the word baptize signifies to immerse, and was so understood and practiced in the days of Christ and his Apostles, and that believers were the only subjects.
ART. 12.óWe believe that God has appointed one day in seven for rest and religious worship, and that the first day of the wetk ought to be observed as such in resting from our worldly concerns, excepting works of necessity and mercy.
The new church was called the "Washington Baptist Church," and Elder William Stansil was chosen pastor. The first member received by baptism was John Kennedy, and the first by letter was Ann Sanford.- Among the other pastors of the church have been Revs. G. W. Harpole, John Graham, B. B. Arnold, Hamilton Robb, T. N. Robinson, J. R. Phillips, T. R. Palmer, R. M. Parks, Hillory Head, W. L. Boston, E. R. Pierce, William McNutt, Charles L. Garten and J. B. Cheirs. Rev. Mr. Palmer was a printer as well as a preacher, and associated with Mr. Stephen Belding in 1867 in founding the Daviess County Democrat. The most prosperous time with this church was during the pastorate of Rev. R. M. Parks, the four years following July, 1869.
During the early history of the church the meetings were held sometimes in private houses, in schoolhouses and the court house. The Baptist Union Association was held in this place in 1842 on the farm of the late Thomas Hyatt, two years after the organization of the church, whose history we are attempting to record. The Sunday-school was organized in 1866. Its present membership is 100 with an average attendance of fifty.
Mount Olive Baptist Church, No. 1, is situated on an acre of ground in Section 31, Barr Township, donated by A. T. and S. C. Morgan. A society was organized here in 1825, but after a short-lived existence disbanded on account of some internal dissensions. In 1844 a reorganization was effected, and among the members then were John McCracken, Jesse Morgan, William McCracken, Solomon Webber and their wives, and L. C. Morgan, Sarah J. McCracken, Charles and Richard Gehee, Roland Sutton and others. The present membership is seventy-two. The present building is a one-story frame structure, capable of seating 300 people and cost about $700. Many residents of the neighborhood, although of different faith, contributed liberally toward the erection of the church building, and the society is in a fairly prosperous condition.
Mount Olive Baptist Church, of Madison Township, was organized January 30, 1875, with thirty-nine members, at the schoolhouse in District No. 6. Rev. J.-Cornelius was the first pastor; following him in the order named were Revs. R. M. Parks, D. Manley, J. C. Warriner. Since the latter the church has had no pastor and at the present writing is on the decline. The membership is eighty-one.
Aikman Creek Baptist Church was organized in 1844. Seventeen persons met in a schoolhouse near Aikman's Creek, in Harrison Township, and organized the Baptist congregation that has since been known as Ai km an Creek Baptist Church. Among those present at this meeting were J. W. Harpole, William Stansel, Thomas Donaldson, Benjamin Fitzgerald and William Cole. Elder John Graham became the pastor of the new church that year, and he was succeeded by Elder William Stansel, in 1848, who resigned two years later. The pastors since that time have been Elders F. Slater, Lewis Loveless, D. L. Crane, who died in 1873, H. Head, W. McNutt, J. W. Hannamack and P. H. Evans, Rev. D. Manley is the present pastor. The church building is a frame structure and has been built about twenty years. It cost $1,000. The church's present membership is 150, and it has the following officers: DeaconsóW. W. Jones, W. Akester, T. Smith ; trustee óJob Fully; clerkóThomas Smith.
Friendship Baptist Church in Elmore Township was constituted in 1865. At present the society has a membership of eighty-seven, and is occasionally attended by the Baptist minister, who resides at Odon. D. J. Ktfichum is the clerk, and among the prominent members are William Clinton and wife, J. C. Warner, Robert Herron and J. C. Ferguson.
The Sugar Creek Baptist Church in Reeve Township was constituted in 1841, and among the early members were Michael Truelove and Charley Allen. The present membership is ninety-four. The Church building was a union house until 1879, when the Baptists became the sole owners. This building was erected. in 1859, and is worth about $700.
The Christian Church at Oden was organized in 1845. Some of the old members of the church were John Hastings, Charles Kilgore, Rowel Hastings, Robert Cunningham, Golman Cunningham, Abraham Curran and their families. A small frame church building was erected in 1856. It was used for a few years, and finally was sold because it was too small to accommodate the congregation. In 1867 the building that is now used was put up at a cost of $1,000. It is a frame structure. The church is in a fairly prosperous condition. and has a membership of about seventy-five persons. During the summer months a Sunday-school is maintained.
The largest Christian Church society in the county is the Owl Prairie Church, in Elmore Township, one-fourth of a mile north of Elmore. It has a membership of 200, and is, of course, highly prosperous. It was organized in 1858. An organization previous to that time, the date of which is lost, was suffered to go down. The organization grew rapidly after 1858, and nearly all the church-going people for a circuit of five miles around belonged to it. The church building was erected about the year 1879, is a frame, and cost $1,000. It was built under the administration of Rev. A. Elmore. Among the early members of Iihis church were Stephen Elmore, William D. Elmore. Wilson Gadberry, John A. Gadberry and their families. Some of the members since that time, and who are yet belonging, are Rev. William E. Ritter, Celia A. Ritter, Alfred Kinnaman, J. J. Smiley, H. S. Stalcup, Amos Stalcup, William Slump, James H. Moore, Harvey Manning and others. A Sunday-school is maintained during the summer months.
Just on the edge of Barr Township, six miles a little north of east from Washington, is Antioch Christian Church, which was built on 1868, on a small lot of land donated by Capt. Green McDonald, at a cost of $1,000. It is a frame, and is surrounded by a graveyard, in which lie the bones of many of the pioneer citizens of this neighborhood. The trustees of the church at the time the building was put up were Green McDonald, Thomas H. Jones and Frank McDonald. The minister in charge at the time was the Rev. Wayne Alford. Some of the early members were William and Zedick Dickerson, Asenath McDonald, Ruth Jones and Ziporah McDonald. The organization has been suffered to relapse until it has almost passed out of existence, though occasional services are held there. A Sunday-school sometimes runs for a short time during the summer season.
Liberty Christian Church is located near Henry Shively's, in Van Buren Township, on the Bedford road. It was organized thirty years ago and the building was put up about that time. Among the early members were William Wilson, Joseph Wilson, Henry Shively and John Perkins. The organization is yet maintained but it is very weak.
Concord Christian Church is located about one mile northeast of Epsom in Bogard Township. The society was organized in 1867, and among the first members were James Prewitt, Joseph Hastings, Starling Sims, Thomas Allen, John Littell and others, The membership now numbers forty-seven. The church building, which is a substantial frame, was built in 1874 and cost $1,200.
Bethany Christian Church, in Barr Township, about five miles east of Washington, was organized on the 3d day of January, 1830, and the members at that time were John Davis, George Morgan, Benjamin Fitzgerald, William Faith, David Hixson and wife and Sarah Bogard. Private houses were used as places of worship until the society had grown from a little band of seven to such a number as to necessitate the building of a church house, which was done. The building, a modest frame one, cost $500 and will seat 250 persons. The present membership of the society is 150, and it is in good working condition.
The Christian Church at Alfordsville was organized forty years ago; Franklin, T. J. and Wayne Alford, Joseph P., Elmer and Benjamin Gilley, William Harmon, Henry Edwards, Alfred Wayne and Joseph Wilson being among the first members. A church building was put up in 1860 near Alfordsville. Three years ago this was abandoned, and a new one erected in Alfordsville, costing $700. This is a strong church and has a membership of 180.
Hudsonville Christian Church was organized in 1878 by Elliott Chappell, Squire Samuel C. Taylor, Winnie Colbert, Tollive Colbert, John Brown and others. The log church that belonged to the Methodists was purchased and is still used. The present membership is sixty.
CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES.
There are two Cumberland Presbyterian societies in Daviess County and three church buildings. The oldest is located in Washington. It was organized fully sixty years ago, but the early church records were lost. About 1825 the Cumberland Presbyterians had a camp-ground in the McTegart woods adjoining Washington, where summer meetings were held. Among the early members of this church were Frederick Myers and wife, William Ward and wife, Edward Streepy, Friend Spears, Ashbury Alexander and Jesse Crabb. The first church was built in Washington in 1854. It is still in use. It is a one-story frame, situated on the corner of First and Hefron Streets and cost $2,500. Prior to this time the meetings were held in the court house, schoolhouses and in the old Presbyterian Church. The present membership of the church, including the class at Mt. Olivet, is sixty-five. There has been no regular pastor at this church for several years, and services are only occasionally held. The Sunday-school, which was organized in 1855, is still kept up and has a membership of forty.
Mt. Olivet Cumberland Class is a branch of the Washington Church. Among the first members of this class were Hanley Singleton, Henry Scudder, John Davis, John Scudder, William F. Wood and William Ragsdale. The church building used by this class is a neat frame, worth $1,000, and situated three miles south of Washington on the Petersburg road.
Shiloh is a log church situated two miles west of Raglesville. It was built by the people of the neighborhood, and belongs to no particular denomination. It was put up about sixteen years ago. For a while it was used by the Winebrenarians, and is occasionally occupied by a Baptist minister.
The Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church near Glendale, in Harrison Township, formerly belonged to the Washington congregation, but a dissolution was effected in 1879. The first church built was burned in 1885, but a new one was immediately erected and dedicated in November, 1885, by Rev. H. C. Yates. The new church cost $1,200. There are fifty-six members at present. Among the early members were William, Richard, and John Clark, F. A. Ward, Hamlet Robinson, James Mattingly and John Russell.
UNITED BRETHREN CHURCHES.
Mud Pike United Brethren Church, in Elmore Township, was organized in 1876, Joseph M. Boyd and Abraham Weaver being among the first members. A frame church building was put up the year following the organization. It cost $1,000. This church has a present membership of about seventy-five.
The Odon class of United Brethren has a membership of sixty, and a Sunday-school. It was organized in 1866 by a Rev. Mr. Turner. The church building was put up by the Methodist Episcopal and United Brethren congregations jointly, and occupied by them until the new Methodist Episcopal Church was completed, and the United Brethren became owners of the old church, which is worth $1,000.
Pleasant Hill United Brethren Church, three miles north of Odon, in Madison Township, has been organized twenty-seven Years. Jacob Winklepleck was one of the founders of the church. In 1860 a frame building, costing $800, was put up. This class at present numbers seventy-five members.
New Bethel United Brethren Church, in Bogard Township, is one of the strongest in the county, the membership being 100. The society organized in 1879, and built a splendid church that cost $1,200. Absalom Myers was the minister in charge, and among the early members were Alex. and Andy McCall, Alfred Peachee and Samuel Bair. This is a very prosperous class. There is a class of United Brethren in Barr Township, near Montgomery, that has an existence of eighteen years, but no church house. Mount Olive Baptist Church is used for their Meetings. There is a talk of building a church at Montgomery
In the fall of 1861 a United Brethren Church was organized at Raglesville by John Young and wife, John Y. Clark, and Absalom Myers and wife. The class now has forty members and own a one-third interest in the Methodist Episcopal Church building.
McCord United Brethren Church, two and one-half miles southeast of Alfordsville, Reeve Township, was organized in 1859, and a log church was built. Among the early members were Henry McCord, James Gilley and Fielding Gilley. This society is weak in numbers at present.
THE COLORED CHURCHES.
There are two church societies of colored people in the county, both of which are located at Washington. The African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest. It was organized in the fifties by Jacob Hawkins, and among the original members were Charner and Charles Hawkins, Jesse Perkins, John Thomas, Eli Hawkins and Manny Ballow. The first church building was a frame one, built in 1853, one mile west of Washington. This building was afterward converted into a schoolhouse, and a new church was erected alongside of the old one in 1867. Two years later both buildings were destroyed by fire. The next building to be erected was a brick edifice put up in the city of Washington in 1883 at a cost of $1,100. It is situated in the West End. The present membership is seventy, and Rev. Zack Roberts is the pastor in charge.
The Second Baptist Church (colored) was organized in 1867 by Caleb Naylor, Taylor Lyons, Andrew Sullivan, and others. A church building was erected on the sand hill adjoining the city of Washington in 1880. It is a frame building, and cost about $600. The present membership of the church is thirty-five, and the pastor is Rev. E. H. Fletcher.
This information is the research of many people across the United States and may contain errors. It is presented as the best information to date. Like all of those whose work I have incorporated herein, my research is a work in progress and subject to change without notice. A special thanks to Marlene Ricci of CA, Dwayne Meyer of CA, Jacqueline Bean of TX, Debbie Dick of IN, Milus Miller of IL, Carol Hendricks Miller of IN, Clarence Miller of IN, and Harold Glen Miller of IN. There are numerous others too; many of which are unknown, but their findings and stories are still much appreciated. Much of this would not have been possible with out their information. Also this website includes historical facts gathered from Washington County History, Indiana History, Rowan County and Salisbury North Carolina Historical sources and other US Historical sources.
James A. Miller- Great -Great -Great -Great Grandson of Adam Miller and Hannah Sheets.
©2007 The Millers of Washington County
Last Updated 12/17/10 03:40:48 PM -0800