Evangelical Church. Indiana Conference.

Historical data and life sketches of the deceased ministers of the Indiana Conference of the Evangelical Association, 1835 to 1915 (Volume 1) online

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relation to Conference.

His later life was that of a farmer. Selling his farms, he
purchased one near Prethy Lake, Plymouth, Ind., and here he
spent the remainder of his days. He seldom preached in these
later years because there was little opportunity to exercise in t'le
German. Brother Oakes says of his preaching, "It was earnest,
unctuous, eminently biblical." In character he was upright and



uncompromising; in his work methodical, in his convictions fixed.
His life was well spent, and his reward well earned.

On April 16, 1889, after a short but painful illness, he slept
the final sleep of death. Brother D. S. Oakes officiated at the
funeral, assisted by J. M. Dustman and W. S. Tracy. He lies bur-
ied near his farm at Prethy Lake, Ind.

J. M. CONDO (1845-1870)

Brother Condo was born in Indiana, Jan. 7th, 1845, and died
in Greencastle, Iowa, March 23rd, 1870. He was converted Jan.
15, 1863, and united with the Evangelical Association. He was
elected as exhorter during the same year. Sept., '64, he was
licensed as preacher on probation, by the Indiana Conferenece,
and sent to Fulton Circuit. He traveled only four weeks when he
had to resign on account of sickness. In '66, he moved to Iowa,
locating in a place where the Evangelical Association was not
represented, and there united with the Methodist Episcopal
Church. As his health somewhat improved, he traveled under the
Methodist Episcopal Presiding Elder a few months. In '68, he
visited his relatives in Greencastle, and reunited with the Evan-
gelical Association, and took work again. He was appointed
with B. Monischmit to travel Winterset and Afton Mission. Here
he labored seven months with great success. At the session of
'69, he was received by the Iowa Conference and assigned to the
Des Moines Mission. But his health soon failed, and he was com-
pelled to locate again. After a few months he took Greencastle
work, where he seemed to improve in health for a while, but ere
long he again had to lay down the work. He lived a pious life.
With praises he looked into the beyond. Rev. H. J. Bowman, of
our church, conducted his funeral services. Interment was made
at Greencastle, Iowa.

ELI E. CONDO, 1846-1880

Brother Condo was born July 12, 1846, in E. Germantown,
Ind., and was killed by a cyclone in Marshfield, Mo., April 18,
1880. He was buried at Freeport, 111. He was reared in an Evan-
gelical family. His mother died in his infancy. He was converted
to God, March 15, 1863, and joined the Evangelical Association.
In 1866 he was licensed to preach by the Indiana Conference, and
was sent with Wm. Bockman on Elkhart Circuit. In 1867 he
served on Fulton Circuit. In 1868 he was ordained deacon, and



was sent on Twin Lake Circuit alone. In the fall of 1869 he
filled a vacancy on the Naperville Mission in the Illinois Confer-
ence, and joined this Conference in the spring of 1870, and was
assigned to Freeport Mission, serving it two years. In the fall
of this year he was married to Esther Dreisbach, of Carthage,
Mo., daughter of J, E. Dreisbach, then Superintendent of the
Orphan Home at Flat Rock, O., with whom he lived happily until
his tragic death. In 1873 he moved to Carthage. Mo., and united
with the Kansas Conference, serving Carthage 3 years as a supply.
In 1876 he joined the Des Moines Conference and served Des
Moines Mission one year, and again returned to Missouri, in Dec,
1877, and united with the St. Louis Methodist Episcopal Confer-
ence. In the spring of 1878, he was sent to N. Springfield, Mo.
In 1879-80 to Marshfi.eld. The closing scene of his life was as
follows given by D. B. Beyers, of the Illinois Conference: "On
April 18, Sunday A. M., he preached a very impressive sermon
on 'The Goodness of God,' as if to prepare his own heart for the
coming tragedy. In the afternoon he taught his colored Sunday-
school class. Two hours later, when selecting hymns for the even-
ing service, having already selected 'What a Friend We have in
Jesus,' he heard the awful sound of the approaching cyclone. He
rose quickly, walked out of the door, gathered his family under a
large peach tree in the front yard, putting his arm around them,
out of fear of them being carried away. In an instant the crash
came ; all was as if it had been chafi" before the cyclone. After the
furious blast was over he inquired, 'What does all this mean?'
He was much mangled and injured. His wife was brought to him
bleeding profusely. He asked, 'Is she hurt much?' He was so
much concerned for the welfare of his family that he said to the
doctor, 'Let me die, and save my family.' In two hours he passed


This servant of God was born in Richland Co., Ohio (now
Ashland) , July 19, 1834. He was converted in his 19th year, and
at the age of 20 joined the United Brethren Church, in which
church he entered as a minister and was ordained as deacon and
as elder.

His father seems to have been a wicked man, a drunkard,
and kicked Timothy down a flight of stairs when but a child of
eight years, injuring him so that he became afflicted with the
"white swelling," which caused his lameness. His childhood was



anything- but pleasant, which, without doubt, occasioned his silence
concerning his childhood days. His father was a cooper by trade.
Timothy attended public school but six weeks in his life, yet by
hard Study at home he became a well-read man.

He preached in the United Brethren Church in the North
Ohio and Auglaize Conferences for 39 years, and gave very ac-
ceptable service. In '66, he united with the Evangelical Associa-
tion and was received into the Indiana Conference. He labored
earnestly and faithfully in the Indiana Conference on the follow-
ing fields: Berne Circuit, '91; Wolcottville, '92-93; N. Paris, '94,
which he served until the Lord called him, June 15th, 1894.

He fell at his post. He was a man of strong and positive
convictions, a loyal defender of the faith. Of him it was said :
"As a preacher, he was sound in doctrine, clear, practical, deeply
spiritual, possessing a deep emotional nature, which was often
manifest in his preaching. He lived a consistent life. He gave
himself to the Lord, to his church and to his family. He was pro-
nounced against sin in every form, and took an active part in all
reform movements. His sufl'ering was brief, and his end peace."
The funeral was held at New Paris, Ind., in the Evangelical
Church. D. Martz preached the sermon, the brethren Scheidler,
Evans, A. Geist, Albert and Bockman assisting. His wife, a Julia
Ann Smith, whom he married in '69, and two sons and one daugh-
ter survived him..

JOHN CAUFFMAN (1816-1889)

This brother was born April 25th, 1816, and died near Silver
Lake, Kosciusko Co., Ind., Aug. 18th, 1889. He was converted to
God at the age of 16 years, and united with the Evangelical Asso-
ciation. He lived an earnest life to the end. He was licensed to
preach in '36, and traveled 31/^ years, thereafter serving in a local
relation. It was said of him that he possessed more than ordinary
talents as a sermonizer.

During the last eight years of his life, on account of impaired
health, he could not attend divine services very often. He was
married to Leah Swartz, July 22, 1839, and became the father of
seven children, of whom three died. In '54 his wife died also, and
in Jan., '56, he was married a second time to Eva Zellars, and to
them were born nine children. His wife and eight children sur-
vived him.

His home was a true home to weary itinerant preachers. He
had a warm reception waiting for them. He was also a good sup-



porter of the church and the missionary cause, which lay near to
his heart. He held the respect of young and old, and his name was
honored in his community.

His end was peaceful and in the Lord. Brother Wales preached
his funeral sermon in the Gospel Church, near Silver Lake, near
which place, also, his body is entombed.

ADOLPH DASSEL (1830-1863)

Born March 3rd, 1830, at Hanover, Germany, he died in the
full assurance of the faith, April 25, 1863. He was converted,
March 5, 1853, and united with the Evangelical Association. He
was licensed to preach by the Indiana Conference, Sept., 1862.

As a young man he came to America with his parents, and
located near Warrenton, now Tabor, Indiana. Here he soon was
brought under the preaching of the Evangelical Association, and
yielded to the wooings of the Holy Spirit, repented and was born
again. By a true and faithful life he won the confidence of the
people of his community. He had a fair German education, and
possessed natural gifts necessary to ministerial success. Soon
after his conversion he became conscious of his call to the Gos-
pel ministry, but, like many others, resisted for a time. As the
call grew more urgent, and the society became convinced that he
should preach the Word, and advised him to give himself to the
work, the class at Warrenton recommended him to Conference,
and he was licensed ; but, having more applicants than were
needed to supply the fields, he did not take work until Sept., 1863.
Carmi was assigned to him, which he served with great satisfac-
tion. His Presiding Eider said of him that, in his short career,
he made warm friends of his members, and with his faithful vis-
its among German families, and by his consistent life and kindness
to all the people, he won the respect of nearly everybody
within the circle of his mission. That he was meek, obliging,
pious, modest, and possessed of excellent talents. His sermons were
not overpowering, but yet permeated with the Holy Ghost, and that
he insisted upon experimental religion. Shortly before his de-
cease he said to his wife, "I am going home." He was survived
by his wife and five small children. The church lost by his death
a promising young man, and the family an indulgent father. In-
terment was made in Carmi, 111. His death was the result of in-
flammatory rheumatism.




This man of God had a very eventful life, which ended as
tragically as it was eventful. Born Feb. 3, 1826, of humble par-
entage, on a farm near Cambridge City, Indiana, the 5th of 17
children, he fared all the hardships of those early days. His
school privileges were very limited, yet fair, compared with the
times in which he lived. He made use of every opportunity for
intellectual advantage that was presented him, and his achieve-
ments were marvelous.


His parents were staunch members of the United Brethren
Church, and, as such, knew the grace of God. However, when
but 16 years of age, Samuel attended a camp-meeting conducted
by Chr. Augenstein, one of our Evangelical ministers, which
camp-meeting M^as held on John Dill's farm, near his home, and
it was here that he came under deep conviction of sin and was
converted. He was baptized and united with our church, where-
upon his parents also transferred their membership to our church.

Immediately he became very active in the work of the Lord,
and it was not very long until he heard the voice of God calling
him to the work of preaching. Having a dishke for farm life,
he followed his natural bent and learned a trade. While working
at his trade, he gave himself to the study of the Scriptures, and
even at times, while at his work, the Sacred Book lay open before
him. Thus he acquired a fund of knowledge that stood him in
good stead in the years to follow. At the age of 20, he abandoned
his vocation and turned wholly to preaching the Word.


The Illinois Conference gave him license to preach, June,
1846, and sent him to the Des Plaines Circuit. His first year was
one of success and blessing, and laid the foundation for a useful
career. In 1847 he served DeKalb Mission in Indiana ; in 1848,
Elkhart Circuit; in 1849, Mt. Carmel Circuit. In all these places
he worked with visible results. In 1850 he was elected to the
office of a Presiding Elder, in which office he continued for the
greater part of his remaining ministry.

At the organization of the Indiana Conference, in 1852, he
became a charter member, and one of the first Presiding Elders.
In 1857 he resigned his office, and returned to the Illinois Confer-
ence, whereupon he assumed a local relation, and moved to Iowa.
However, he served Green Castle Mission during the winter



months of this year, and at Conference time entered the active
service again. He was stationed on Naperville Circuit, and won
great success. In this one year he had 150 conversions and many
accessions. This was phenomenal for this circuit. In 1860, he
was again elected Presiding Elder, in which capacity he served
three years. In 1863 he served Spring Creek Circuit, in 1864
again elected Presiding Elder, in which office he remained until
his resignation in 1870. For two years he served St. John's Church
in Chicago. In 1873-75, 1877, he was appointed special financial
agent for the Institute at Naperville, in which office he acquitted
himself very nobly. The other fields that he served were : Naper-
ville Station, 1876; Des Plaines Station, 1878-9; Sheffield Mis-
sion, 1879-0; Twelfth St. Station, 1880-1, when he w^as again
elected Presiding Elder, in which office he laid down his life.

As a man, Brother Dickover was an earnest, devout Chris-
tian. He possessed a great and winning personality, a conserva-
tive spirit, and an unusual capacity for hard work. He was gifted
in many ways, which gifts proved a great asset to him in his
great work for the Master. He did not hide his talent in a nap-
kin, but put it to use in the King's business, and gained other tal-
ents. He was possessed of good executive ability ; in cerem.onies he
was a master. As a preacher he was sound and biblical, a power
in the pulpit, a great winner of souls. He also was accomplished
in song, and had the ability to lead others. He was highly hon-
ored among his brethren, who keenly felt his loss.

He was honored with many offices. A Presiding Elder for
nearly 20 years ; six times a delegate to General Conference ; Con-
ference Treasurer a number of times; a member of the Board of
Pi.blication, and also of the Board of Missions.


In 1852, Brother Dickover found a life companion in Elenora
Fisher, who became a true helpmeet to him. Their home life was
one of great blessedness, and as a father he was greatly con-
cerned for the welfare of his family. Nine children were given
to them, and these were reared with great fidelity and earnestness.
Even in his death his only concern was for his "dear wife'" and
children. He longed that they might be converted, one and all,
and be able to meet him in yonder world.


His death was tragic. On Friday, November 16th, 1883,
about noon. Brother Dickover and Ludwig Gruner were riding on



a C. B. 0, passenger train near Otter Creek Bridge, Ottawa, Illi-
nois. While stopped on the treacherous bend that lies in this
place, in order to await the removal of a stalled sand train, they
were run into by a fast freight, which demolished the rear pas-
senger coach, killing all but 4 or 5 of the 15 passengers. Among:
them were Dickover and Gruner. Fully ten minutes elapsed be-
fore anyone had the heart to extricate them from the debris.
Brother Gruner was the first to be liberated, and he pleaded with
them that they would rescue his Presiding Elder. When Dickover
was finally freed, it was found that he was fearfully scalded,
bruised, crushed and lacerated. Death was inevitable. He was
hastened to the home of Rev. Strickfaden, our missionary in Ot-
owa, where every possible thing was done to alleviate his fearful
sufferings. His end came very soon, even before he could see his
wife, from whom he parted so reluctantly. He gave repeated
assurance of his going home to God, and amidst untold physical
tortures, but inward peace, took his leave to a world where suffer-
ing and death are no more.

The obsequies were held Tuesday, Nov. 20th. Friends and
ministers gathered from all parts of the district to show their last
respect to him whom they loved as a brother. Bishop R. Dubs
preached the sermon, Bishop Esher gave a eulogy of his life and
work, Brother Augenstein officiated at the grave. Interment was
made at Naperville, 111.

He died in the work and gained a well-earned reward as a
servant of the Cross of Christ.


Edmund was the son of Lutheran parents, and was born near
Bremen, Ind., Nov. 24th, 1870. His young days were spent upon
the farm, attending public school during the winter months. When
of age, he worked in a saw-mill, close by his home. In the spring of
1894, he attended a United Brethren revival at Bremen, and was
" born again," uniting with the Evangelical Church, of which his
mother had become a member. He ascribed great praise to his
mother for her Christian influence, and the training she gave him,
often saying, " My conversion was due to her earnest prayers, and
all that I am, I owe to her and to the grace of God."

He became a very active worker in the church, and soon heard
God's call to preach the Gospel. He naturally shrank back from this
sort of a life, being timid and having but a limited education.
But, after it was clear to him that God really wanted him in His




vineyard, he yielded. He had a re-
markable dream that gave him great
encouragement in his call. He
dreamed one night that he was out
on a large body of water in a boat,
sitting idly by, while all around him
there were people in the water strug-
gling and reaching out their hands
toward him, and calling him to help
them into the boat. This dream made
him feel that God had a special work
for him to do. At this time he was
working at a creamery. He gave no-
tice of his intentions, gave up his
work, and went to North-Western
College. Here he put in nearly six
years of hard study, graduating from
the Evangelical Seminary, and if his health had not been impaired,
he would have also graduated from the college in another year.


He came home, and received his license and was assigned
by the Indiana Conference in 1902 to San Pierre, where he re-
mained for three years. In 1905 he was assigned to Terre Haute,
Indiana, where he served five years. In 1910, he was sent to Peru
and nearly completed the year when the call of God was heard,
appointing him to higher service. In each place he had souls for
his hire. His preaching was practical. Scriptural, unctuous, bring-
ing forth fruit unto eternal life. His sermons were well prepared
and ably delivered. He was above the average in sermonizing.
He also was a frequent contributor to the Evangelical Messenger.
While yet in the very prime of his life, unexpectedly he passed
away at Peru, Indiana, March 8th, 1911. He was recovering from
a severe siege of typhoid fever, when an unlooked-for relapse
overtook him, and he went to his reward. He left behind him a
young widow, a Clara Berger, of Bremen, whom he married in
1902. His body was interred in the cemetery at Bremen, Indiana.

FRED M. FINKBEINER (1827-1904)

Fred Finkbeiner was born, Rudersoll, Wuerttemberg, Germany,
April 28th, 1827. His father was a sawyer by trade. When three years
old his parents immigrated to America, settling in Hagerstown,Md.



In '36 they moved to Marshall, 111., and were among the first set-
tlers here. Fred never had much schooling, and as his parents
w^ere poor, they often only had corn-bread with molasses to eat.
There were twelve children, of which Fred was the oldest, and,
consequently, he had to help make a living for all, clearing away
timber, splitting rails, building fences, and making and hauling
saw-logs. His parents were Lutherans, who carefully reared
their children in this faith, and Fred was duly confirmed. When
G. G. Platz, a pioneer preacher of the Evangelical Association, came
to this place, his parents attended his services and were led to
repentance. They then united with the Evangelical Association,
becoming charter members of the Zion society of Marshall, and
helped to build the first church of our denomination in this country.

At the age of 12 years, Fred, with his brother Christian,
went to a camp-meeting, held near his home, in 1839, with the
avowed purpose of throwing stones upon the people in the meet-
ing; but the mighty preaching of the Gospel by these men of
God gripped them, and they were brought to their knees at the
altar. After a mighty struggle, resulting in a glorious victory,
they united with the Evangelical Association. Fred rapidly de-
veloped in his newly found life, and was elected as class-leader,
and later on as exhorter. He revealed proficiency in these offices,
and was recommended by his class and licensed as a probationer
in '59. He traveled as assistant on Marshall Circuit one or two
years, but thereafter remained in the local relation until 1878,
when he again began active work in the South Indiana Confer-
ence. He served Lancaster, '78 to '80; Tabor, '80 to '84; Camp
Creek and other fields to 1893, when the South Indiana Conference
was reincorporated with the mother Conference, he served three
years more. In all 20 years of work. He built the Emmanuel
Church on the Camp Creek Circuit. He had worked on it for 40
days when a nail flew into his eye and destroyed its sight.

His preaching was earnest and unctuous. He became greatly
enthused by the support his wife would give him, while in his
discourse. She would endorse his statements with "Amen, praise
the Lord." This encouraged him and fired his soul. He fearlessly
denounced sin wherever he found it, and urged holy living and full
salvation upon the people. His fruits remain unto this day. Three
young men were converted under his labors, who later entered the
ministry, namely, I. H. Griesemer, of the Indiana Conference, O.
L. Markman, now of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Rev.
Landis, of the Free Methodist Church.

After the death of his first wife, Sarah Oakes, he was mar-



ried a second time to Barbara Beck, who proved a great help to
him, and who, with seven children, also survived him. His end
came May 25, 1904, at Marshall, and his burial was in the Big
Creek Cemetery of the Marshall Circuit. Rev. J. Mundorf offi-
ciated. - .. - ..-. - - •

HENRY L. FISHER (1828-1880)

Rev. H. L. Fisher first saw the light of the world near Lebanon,
Lebanon Co., Pa., March 18, 1828. His parents lived on a farm, and,
early in the history of the Evangelical Association, became con-
verted and united with the church. They were very pious Chris-
tians. Their home was made a delightful stopping place for many

a weary traveling minister of the
Evangelical Association. In such
a Christian atmosphere and relig-
ious environments the person of
this sketch was nurtured into

He says in his own day book
concerning his childhood training:
"I was soon taught what I had to
do to be saved. In my twelfth year
I was convicted of sin and felt a
strong desire to become a Chris-
tian ; but I did not yield. These
feelings continued until my six-
teenth year, when, to a certain de-
gree, the feelings left me until my
twenty-first year, when, under the
labors of Rev. W. Meier, Jan. 17,
1849, I was gloriously saved." At
once the minister and the class-
leader put him to religious work.
Already in the first year of his conversion he was elected exhorter,
which meant vastly more in those days than now. He soon filled
many appointments for the ministers with general satisfaction.
His geniality and sociability greatly fitted him to gain access to
the people's hearts and win their confidence.

In 1849 he entered the matrimonial life with Angeline Schnei-
der and lived one year with her on the farm of his parents. Their
matrimonial life continued happy for thirty-one years Vv^hen death
separated them. His wife was first converted to God and united




with the Evangelical Association. At first he was opposed to her
conversion, but soon thereafter, by the wooings of the Holy Spirit,
he became convicted of the error of his way, and yielded.

The leading men in the church soon saw the possibilities and

Online LibraryEvangelical Church. Indiana ConferenceHistorical data and life sketches of the deceased ministers of the Indiana Conference of the Evangelical Association, 1835 to 1915 (Volume 1) → online text (page 12 of 37)