The Hobart publishing Company.

History of Darke County, Ohio, from its earliest settlement to the present time .. (Volume 1) online

. (page 23 of 57)
Online LibraryThe Hobart publishing CompanyHistory of Darke County, Ohio, from its earliest settlement to the present time .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 23 of 57)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

September, 1864, Rev. T. P. Bucher of Dayton, preached
here to a large congregation. This meeting was followed by
others conducted by Rev. \\'illiam McCaughey and Rev. A.
Wanner, and on September 19, 1864, a society was organized
at the home of Mrs. Clara Bartling on East Main street with
the following members : Philip Hartzell and wife, Mrs. Clara
Bartling. Solomon Creager, Mrs. E. E. Baer and Mrs. Mar-
garet Webb. Rev. William ^IcCaughey was called as the
first pastor. In the spring of 1866 a building committee was
appointed and in October of that year the old Christian
church on Walnut street was rented for six months. In 1869
the Old School Presbyterian church building on the north-
west corner of Fourth and Broadway was purchased for.
$4,000.00. This seems to have been a premature venture as
most of the purchase money had been borrowed and in Feb-
ruary, 1870, this property was sold at auction. Previous to
this the lot on the southwest corner of Third and Vine streets
had been purchased from John Harper. This also was dis-
posed of and on May 30, 1870, some forty-five feet by seventy
feet ofif the rear of lot 29 on the west side of Sycamore street
between Third and Fourth streets was purchased for $1,000.00.
An active canvass for funds was soon commenced and the
building of a church edifice pushed. In 1872 the new building
was completed at a cost of some $5,400.00, and the Rev. David
Winters of Dayton and others assisted the pastor in the dedi-
catory services. The building was constructed of brick on a
stone foundation, with tower, pitched roof, buttresses and
pointed art glass windows in the Gothic style of architecture,
was frescoed, carpeted and neatly furnished, making it prob-
ably the best appointed church in the town at that time.

On February 16, 1873, the first communion was observed in
this church. Rev. McCaughey served this church for a period
of ten years, preaching his farewell sermon on September 6,
1874. He was succeeded by Rev. R. B. Reichard who served
from December, 1874, till July, 1876. Other pastors were Rev.
Jesse Steiner, spring of 1876 to the fall of 1877 ; Rev. Samuel
Mease, 1880 and 1881 : Rev. G. H. Sonder, 1882 and 1883 : Rev.
J. C. Beade, 1883 to 1886; Rev. J. M. Kessler, July, 1886, to
February. 1887; Rev. William E. Ludwick, April, 1887. to
June. 1898; Rev. ■\^'illiam H. Shults, November, 1898, to spring
of 1900; Rev. J. Wolbach. December, 1900, to October, 1901.

During this period of the church's existence many difficul-



ties were encountered and its growth and progress were com-
paratively slow until the pastorate of Rev. W. E. Ludwick,
vsfhen the church made considerable gain financially and

Rev. Joseph Pierce Alden. a graduate of Ursinus School of
Theology, was called to the pastorate and in July, 1902, came
to the church. He is still filling that position in a very ac-
ceptable manner. During his incumbency the membership
has increased, the organization of the church and Sunday
school has been greatly strengthened and a feeling of har-
mony and co-operation has prevailed. In June, 1910, the west
half of lot No. 37 on the northeast corner of Third and Syca-
more streets was purchased for six thousand dollars. A good
eight room parsonage with modern improvem.ents is situated
on the rear of this lot, facing on Sycamore street. Lot No.
28 on the southeast corner of Third and Sycamore streets,
was purchased from Miss McCaughey in May, 1914, for
$8,250 and with a $5,000.00 gift set aside by Mr. Jacob New-
baurer in memory of his wife, Emma, recently deceased, who
was a devoted member of the congregation, as a nucleus, it is
proposed to commence the erection of a modern and con-
venient church and Sunday school on this site this year, it
being the fiftieth anniversary of the organization of the
church. The building committee appointed for hhis purpose,
comprises the following members : C. M. White, E. T. Wag-
ner, F. E. Wilson, H. P. Hartzell, Chalmer Brown, Mrs. W.
W. Teegarden and Gertrude Ditman.

The present members of the Consistory are : Rev. J. P.
Alden, president ; Elders S. C. Vantilburg, L. S. P.roAvn and
C. M. White ; Deacons, C. O'Brien, Jesse Bruss and F. E.
Wilson (clerk) ; church treasurer, Gertrude Ditman.

President of the Ladies Aid Society, Mrs. E. T. Wagner.

President of the Woman's Missionary Society, Mrs. J. E.

President of the Y. P. S. C. E., Omer Brodrick.

The present church membership is 158.

The Sunday school has an enrollment of about 150 mem-
bers and has been largely instrumental in building up the
church and strengthening its finances. It is graded according
to modern standards, and has also three regularly organized
classes, a cradle roll, a home department, a missionary and a
temperance superintendent Jesse Bruss is superintendent


of the school ; Elsie Black, secretary ; Paul Warner, treasurer
and ^Myrtle Slonaker, missionary superintendent.

There are now (1914) congregations at East Zion (two
and one-half miles east of Greenville), West Zion (near
Baker's), Hill Grove and Beech Grove (three and one-half
miles west of Arcanum), under the pastorate of Rev. Scott V.
Rohrbaugh of Greenville. There is also a church at Arcanum.
Like other denominations, the Reformed church attempted
to plant congregations in ill-advised localities, with the result
that these have been discontinued after a short history of
struggle and sacrifice. Among these were the congregations
at Beamsville, Pikeville, St. John's, j\lt. Pleasant, Bethel and
New ^Madison. An efifort is now being made to retrieve these
losses by a stronger and more efificient organization of the
remaining rural churches. By a careful survey and canvass of
the field of the East Zion church this congregation has been
reorganized and strengthened and is attempting to solve
some of the pressing problems which now confront the rural
churches, here and elsewhere, and threaten their existence.
These problems have arisen largely on account of the moving
of the land owners to the county seat, and their sons to the
cities, leaving the affairs of the church to disinterested ten-
ants, and also to the ill-advised competition of various denom-
inations endeavoring to plant churches where thev are not
needed. These facts are being carefully considered b}- va-
rious denominations which are now advocating co-operation
instead of competition, and are strixing to meet the changed
conditions of rural life.

The Church of Christ.

This denomination, sometimes called Disciples, at others
Campbellites, and in the west known as Christian, challenged
the attention of the Christian world about one hundred 3'ears
ago under the preaching of Alexander Campbell, who had orig-
inally been a Presbyterian, as a protest against sectarianism
and the extreme doctrines of Calvinism.

The church has no regularly formulated or written creed,
except the Bible, but requires of candidates for admission a
statement of belief in Jesus Christ and Him crucified as a per-
sonal and all sufficient Sa\ior. Baptism by immersion is also
required and the members partake of the sacrament of the
Lord's Supper frequently.


The local church was organized early in 1898 when services
were held in the city hall. Among the charter members were
Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Smith. ]\Ir. and Mrs. F. M. Payne, Mr. and
Mrs. Mile Smith, Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Beanblossom, Mr. and
Mrs. Nelson Batten. Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Hindsley, Mr. and
Mrs. S. Victor and daughter Elsie, Mrs. Morton and sons For-
est, Walter and Earnest, iNIr. and Mrs. Geo. B. Dively and
daughter Lou, Mrs. Geo. \\'. McClellan, Emma Deardoff,
Sarah Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Harnish.

Rev. P. O. Updike, who had been sent by the State [Mis-
sionary Board, organized this church and became its first pas-
tor, serving about two years. A lot was purchased September
9, 1898, on the south side of East Main street, between Ludlow
and Locust streets, and a substantial brick church erected
thereon and dedicated Sunday, January 1. 1899.

The pastors who have ser-\-ed this church since L'pdike
were: W. B. Slater, A. T. Shaw, ^^"illiam Hough, A. Baker,
Clarence Baker. Gerry Cook, W. A. McCartney, Adam Adcock,
Rev. Hill and Charles W. Perry.

The present membership is about seventy-fi\'e.

The superintendent of the Sunday school is Bon Logan.

The trustees in 1913 were: J- ^^^ Browder, president: F. M.
Payne, clerk: W'illiam 'SI. Wenger. Xelson Batten, Aaron
Kerst, Samuel Harnish.

Elder, J. A. Deweese.

Deacons : W. M. Wenger, J. H. Hoover, Perry Stonerock,
Albert Batten.

Other churches — Carnahan ( on the Winchester pike, one
and one-half miles west of Sharpeye). The original Carnahan
church was built by John Carnahan. a farmer and preacher of
the Campbellite faith, who settled in the neighborhood about
1830. It was built of logs and was located about one-fourth of
a mile west of the present structure, which was erected in
1867. Palestine, Burkettsville, Yorkshire.

The Mennonite Church.

One of the latest denominations to enter the Darke county
field was the Mennonite, and as a consequence its doctrines
and customs are not as well known here as are those of other
sects. This body is an outgrowth of the Anabaptist movement
which followed the Reformation and now numbers in its vari-
ous branches about a quarter of a million adherents of whom


some 55,000 are in the United States, being mostly located in
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and Virginia. They hold to
the cardinal Protestant doctrines, but are opposed to taking
oaths, to military service, to theological learning and to infant-
baptism, and practice simplicity in life and worship. The local
church governs itself.

The Greenville church was organized by Rev. D. Brenne-
man, the presiding elder, in February, 1900, as the outgrowth
of a mission which had been held for three or four years pre-
vious on South Broadway.

Among the charter members were, Robert \\'right and wife,
Curtis Swabb and wife and Wesley Gorsuch. Rev. F. C. Rudy
was the first pastor. A neat brick church was built on the
southeast corner of Warren and Hall street, convenient to the
residents of the east end of the city. Several pastors have
served this church for brief periods since its establishment,
among whom were William Huffman. J. J. Hostetter, H. F.
Beck and the present incumbent, Clarence F. Moore. The pres-
ent church enrollment is about seventy, and the membership
of the Sunday school about one hundred. S. D. Hinegardner
is the superintendent of the latter organization. There is an-
other church of the Alennonite Brethren in Christ which holds
services in the Union church at the Beech, a few miles south
of Gettysburg.

Other Denominations.

Besides these more or less well established denominations,
there are representatives of the Christian Alliance, the Holi-
ness Sect, Christian Science, and the Old Order River Breth-
ren (sometimes called Yorkers). The latter live in a well de-
fined community between Horatio and Bradford, where they
commenced to settle at an early date. They are the most con-
servative in practice of all the various denominations, living a
simple, primitive life, and having no church, building. Among
the early families of this sect were the Etters and Boyers. At
present there are only about fifteen families in the county.
The colored peoj-.k also have two churches in their settlement
in western German townslii]) near the state line.

County Sunday School Association.

The first recorded Sunday school in the history of Darke
county was organized early in 1834 at the home of Abraham
Scribner, later called "Scribner's AMiite House," on West Main


Street. Eleven persons enrolled representing three or four de-
nominations. Several accessions were soon made and within
three years the number of members had increased to probably
one hundred and seventy-five. About this time separate de-
nominations began to organize their own schools and the
school was disbanded. William Barrett, a Methodist, was the
first superintendent ; Herman Searles. a Congregationalist, was
the first secretary; and the Presbyterian and Episcopalians
were also represented in the teaching force, which included
such workers as Mrs. Bell. Mrs. Sexton, Mrs. Briggs, Mrs.
Barrett and Miss Evaline Dorsey. As noted in the separate
church sketches, each denomination later strove ^to develop a
denominational consciousness. This condition continued until
about 1870 when some of the most enthusiastic Sunday school
workers saw the propriety of holding annual conventions and
promoting co-operation among the schools of the county, re-
gardless of denominational affiliation. W. J. Birely was presi-
dent ; J. R. Robinson, secretary ; and William McCaughey, H.
S. Bradley, J. L. Gourlay, J. T. Martz, J. T. Lecklider. John
H. Martin, Rev. Wainwright, John Clark and P. H. Davis
prominent workers in 1871. Conventions were held at Ver-
sailles and Arcanum during that year. j\Iuch enthusiasm pre-
vailed for awhile but the organization finally discontinued.
Darke county was reorganized February 11, 1882. by S. E.
Kumler, of Dayton, Ohio, and held its first convention at
Greenville, May 18-19, 1882. The Rev. William :McCaughey
was the first president, and H. K. Frank the first secretary.
The interest lapsed until 1885, when \\'. B. Hough became
president, no convention being held in 1883-4. During the
Hough administration from 1885-88, there was an- awakening
and several townships were organized. L. F. Limbert, of
Greenville, was district secretary in 1888-9. In 1890, Superin-
tendent John S. Royer, of the Gettysburg public schools, came
upon the scene and organized all the townships in the county,
except Adams, which had not lapsed, and York, which had but
one school in it, but he and James Stewart organized York in
1894. This enthusiastic worker drove all over the countv in
the summer of 1890, enduring exposure and hardships, paying
his own expenses and receiving no pav for services. In 1893
he organized eleven counties in southern Ohio, under the di-
rection of Marion Lawrence, and that made Ohio a banner

In 1910 Mr. Royer reached the climax in bringing Darke


countv into the front-line rank ahead of all the other counties
in the state. We quote from the general secretary's report to
the State convention at Dayton in June. 1911 :

"Of the 373 front-line schools in Ohio. 243 are in twelve
counties and about one-sixth of these are in Darke county,
which has seventy-four schools, and forty-one are proven-up
front-line. This remarkable record has been achieved largely
through the plans and labors of Professor Royer, who philo-
sophically reasoned that the pathway to front-line townships
and to front-line county was bv making all the schools front-
line. It is therefore not surprising to find that of Darke
county's twenty townships, ten are front-line. This record
could be duplicated in every county in Ohio if the county offi-
cers would seek to make both the townships and the county
front-line by working the problem from the end of the front-
line school."

Some Workers in the Revival of 1890.

Adams— S. D. Kissel. J. T. Hershey. P. B. Miller. James H.
Stoltz, J. C. Harmon.

Allen — A. J. Bussard, S. A. Ross, Philip Heistand. William
Ewry, Joseph Zerbe.

Butler — Calvin Xorth, Jose])h Jordon, r\[rs. Harvev Fellers.

Brown — O. F. Johnson, R. P. \'ernier. P. C. Zemer, E.
Schmidt. George Rahn, John Gauge.

Franklin-^Monroe — .\. A. Penny. E. E, Beck, Levi Minnich.

Greenville— A. J. Mider, I. X. Smith. ^^'. D. Brumbaugh, A.
B. Maurer, Lloyd Brown.

German — William Ludy, H. H. ^^'ebb. Elijah Wilco.x, Lee
Woods, Ellen Perry.

Harrison — Isaac Wenger. R. E, Thomas. ^^■. C. Mote. D.
W. Threewits, J. W. Ketring.

Jackson — William B. Foutz, M. F. Oliver, A. A. Hoover.
William Arnold.

Mississinawa— Ed Miller. Gabriel Reigle. C. R. Reprogle.
David Minnich.

Neave — Fred Wagner, John North.

Patterson— J. W. Keckler, Dottie Meek (Miller), H. Swal-
low, J. N. Supinger.

Richland— M. L. Shafer. James Reed, G. H. Mills, B. F.
Beery, Dennis Shafer.

Twin — Ezra Post, S. Rynearson. B. F. Keller, Ella Town-


Van Buren — V\'illiam Albright. J. C. Trick, James Routsong.

Washington — E. C. \Miite, C. E. Daubenmire. B. F. Skid-
more, William Weidman.

Wayne — J. S. Wade, M. A. Stover, Horatio D3-e, James T.

Wabash— C. A. Sebring. L. M. Carter, F. M. Birt, Job

Since the revival of 1890, J. S. Royer, I. S. Wenger, Ezra
Post. W. D. Brumbaugh, C. B. Douglas, F. M. Shuks, D. T.
Bennett, J. A. Pantle, William Underwood, A. L. Detrick and
others have acted as superintendent ; while Mrs. J. C. Turpen,
Mrs. John H. Martin, Mrs. E. M. Miller, O. E. Harrison. Ella
Calderwood, Norman Selby, Mrs. E. Foutz and Fannie Hayes
acted as secretary. Annual meetings have been held mostly
in the towns throughout the county, in which state workers
have taken a prominent part. Mrs. C. J. Ratcliff of Greenville
has been the efficient and enthusiastic secretary for several
years. The officers at present are:

President — A. L. Detrick, Rossburg.

Vice-President — A. F. Little. Bradford.

Secretary— Mrs. C. J. Ratcliff.

Treasurer — P. B. Moul, Gettysburg.

Superintendents of Departments — Elementary : Airs. M. M.
Corwin, Savona. Intermediate : Odessa Bussard, Ansonia.
Adult: J. A. Westfall, Bradford. Teacher Training: Dr. J. A.
Detamore, Hill Grove. Missionary: Airs. Lewis Erisman,
Gettysburg. Home and Visitation : Mrs. A. L. Neff, Green-
ville. Temperance : Dr. W. B. Graham, Arcanum.


From the "Darke County Boy."

The editor of this work has been led to compile a chapter
under the above heading from the voluminous contributions of
George W. Calderwood, the far-famed "Darke County Boy,"
who has written articles for the Greenville Courier, of which
he was once editor, at irregular intervals for over thirty years,
writing probably fifteen hundred or two thousand columns to

Mr. Calderwood is the son of the late Judge A. R. Calder-
wood, a brother of Mayor E. E. Calderwood of ^Greenville, and
of John Calderwood, editor of the Courier, and a brother-in-
law of the late Barney Collins and Samuel R. Kemble. He
was born in 1848 at Matchetts' Corner, about seven miles
south of Greenville, and was raised in the county seat. He
was a vigorous and jolly boy, keenly enjoying the sports of
the days of his youth, and a close observer of the people and
customs of those interesting times before the war. He pos-
sesses a versatile mind, is gifted with humor, pathos and a
remarkable and retentive memor3% making his writings a ver-
itable mine of information and a source of much sentimental
enjoyment to others. George was a drum-major when but
thirteen years old and acompanied his father with the Fortieth
Ohio which was largely recruited in Darke county. He also
served in the One hundred and fifty-second and One hundred
and ninety-third regiments, and knows the ups and downs of
soldier life.

As a temperance orator for the National Prohibition organi-
zation he attained an extended reputation.

In build he is stout and stalky and bears a striking resem-
blance to his distinguished father.

As a sentimental lover of the comrades and associations of
bygone days, and a fluent, ready and persistent writer of pio-
neer lore he has no equal in the county.

Accordingly this chapter is dedicated to him by one who
knows the meager appreciation accorded the unselfish chron-
icler of local history.


On account of the diversity of topics treated, the matter
selected can only be roughly classified and is accordingly ar-
ranged under the following heads:

Winter Sports.

We will now have an old-time winter talk :

All Mud creek is overflowed and frozen up from Tecumseh's
Point to far above Bishop's crossing.

Hundreds of muskrat houses are to be seen stretched along
the way. The ice is covered with snow, and rabbit tracks are
seen galore. Greenville creek is also frozen up from Dean's
mill to Knouflf's dam and beyond.

Skaters everywhere. The snow isn't deep enough to annoy
any one.

Pete Marks leads off, because he is the "champion skater of
the west." George Smith is next, then comes his brother Ben.
Hen Tomlinson swings in fourth, followed by Bill Creager,
Tip King, Dave and Bob Robey, George Coover, Les Ries,
Clay Helm, Ed Connor, Ike Kline, Jerry Tebo, "Jont" Gor-
such. Jack Clark, Ike Lynch, Ed Tomlinson, Gus Rothaas, Bill
Collins, Frank (Alex) Hamilton, and a dozen others.

Every muskrat house is assaulted and several animals are
dead and lying on the ice. Bonfires are blazing and rabbits
are being roasted. A lot of fish have been killed either by the
snare, or stunned by the pole of an ax. The day is one of
feasting, and fun of all kinds is on tap.

Supper time finds everybody at home, but none so tired but
that they can take in the Thespian or the dance in \\'eston &
Ullery's hall.

If the snow is deep enough, the older boys will be out sleigh-
riding with the girls, while we smaller kids can be seen coast-
ing down the hill towards Greenville bridge, but scooting off
to the right of it and plunging down onto the ice in Greenville

On moonlight nights the hill behind Robey 's house (now the
Bause home on Sweitzer street), found us coasting down it,
the sleds often running as far nut in the prairie as the old race

One thing the boys wore in those days that I seldom see
now, and that is knit comforts of red, yellow, green and blue.


The boy that had the most colors in his neck com'ort was en-
vied by all other boys. Neither do I see so many fur caps.

A rabbit skin cap or a squirrel skin cap was not to be sneezed
at in those days.

The boy whose parents were rich enough to buy him a pair
of buckskin gloves, or "mits" was envied by all boys who had
to wear the "mits that mother knit'" or go without.

The "holidays" in the 50"s lasted from Christmas until New
Year. That was the great dance and "festival" week — oyster
suppers at the churches and other places. It was the great
coming out season for boys who could afiford overcoats, fur
caps, skates and neck comforters. Later on it became fashion-
able or rather aristocratic for boys to wear gloves — tur gloves
at that — and the way they would put on style was a caution.
Bear's oil was the favorite grease for the hair, provided it had
plenty of cinnamon drops in it. Nearly every boy in town
wore a round-a-bout. Long-tailed coats were for men only.
Not every boy in town was accustomed to a pocket handker-
chief. His coat sleeve was good enough. He would use first
one sleeve and then the other. That kind of boy seems to have
gone out of fashion.

Singing School.

Every community in Darke county had a "singing teacher"
and O- course a "class" of singers — or those who felt that they
had voices that should be heard around the world.

The first thing to learn was the scale :


That was about all they sang the first night. Most of the
teachers had a little steel prong that they would tap on a ta1)le
in order to get the right "pitch." Holding this to his ear the
teacher would open his mouth as wide as the room would per-
mit and then out would come his voice until the whole room
was full of music. Organs and pianos were scarce in those
days but melodious were plenty. As soon as the class was
drilled sufficiently a concert would be given, the receipts of
which went to the teacher as payment for his valuable ser-
vices. He would then visit another neighborhood and "get up
a class" and so on throughout the county. These teachers did
lots of good and seldom anv harm.


"School Brats."

All those who were "school brats" from 1865 backward are
requested to brmg their "McGuffey's Readers," "Webster's
Elementary Speller," "Ray's Third Arithmetic," "Stoddard's
Mental Arithmetic," "Mitchell's Geography," "Bullion's Gram-
mar," and "Payson's Copy Book." Of course each one is ex-
pected to bring a slate and a pencil. Don't forget your lunch
baskets. See that they are well filled, as you may want to eat
a bite at recess.

The "girls" will be expected to wear sunbonnets, gingham
aprons, short dresses (ladies', or course) and pantalettes with
ruffles at the bottom. Those that have coppertoe shoes should

Online LibraryThe Hobart publishing CompanyHistory of Darke County, Ohio, from its earliest settlement to the present time .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 23 of 57)