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History of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) online

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up the organization altogether. I place here for permanent record some
of the results of its short but useful existence. A church school of
primary grade was established and carried on for three full terms with
a degree of success that was unlooked for and with most beneficial effects.
The school is now continued in charge of a thoroughly competent teacher
and the attendance is limited only from lack of room. Other members
of the Union gave their special attention to the decorations of the
altar. No Sunday or festival has gone by without giving some evi-
dence of their care and devotion. A super-frontal and red and white
frontals, all beautifully embroidered, have already been obtained. The
work on the white frontal, all done by one hand, is particularly beau-
tifid, a fit ornament for the holy place. The Union has paid neces.sary
repairs on the furnace and contributed liberally towards buying a new
one. Under its direction also the Christmas decorations were prepared
and a splendid Christmas tree for the children of the parish. Alto-
gether the Union has raised for parish purposes $396.2.3 of the amount
reported above." (.$3,553.85.)

In 1871 Rev. Geo. P. Schetky, D. D., became rector. He reports to
the convention as follows: — "A new organization has recently been in-
stituted, under the name of 'The Ladies Church Aid of Trinity Parish.'
This society is instituted for the purpose of aiding its members, through
mutual co-operation, prayer and advice, in doing with system and order,
under the direction and guidance of the divinely appointed ministry,
such works of love for Christ's Church as poor and Christian women
may engage in. As a part of such works, a committee has been appointed
to collect weekly mite subscriptions for the parsonage fund. A bi-
monthly paper is issued by the rector as a Parochial Record having
for its object the increase of a general interest in all Parochial matters,
and an incitement to the more earnest and united work in all things
connected with the church. It is also designed to serve as a medium for
communicating matters of information and suggestions in regard to
parochial affairs and interesting items of diocesan and missionary infel-



HISTORY OF CALIIOUX COIXTY 297

ligeuce. Tliere are gratifying indications of the Divine Blessing upon
the several departments of pastoral and parochial work. The parish is
united aud harmonious and all its affairs are in a prosperous condition.
The attendance of Holy Communion during the last six months has
averaged more than one-half of all the communicants. 'Cottage Lectures'
were held weekly at private houses during Lent, with large attendance,
and we trust spiritual benetit. On the first Sunday after Easter the rector
opened a mission school at the Fourth ward school house, Capitol Hill.
There has been an average attendance of fifty pupils, aud the enterprise
is increasing in interest. The teachers assisting the rector are all mem-
bers of the Bible class. ' '

Li the rector's report to the convention of 1872 is the following: —
"By an exchange of the old organ which had been in use nineteen years,
and from the avails of a legacy by the late ^liss Harriet M. ilann, we have
purchased a new and superior instrument, full, rich and powerful in
tone, as well as pleasing in (juality and built with reference to en-
largement at some future time. The mission school in the Fourth ward
is steadily increasing in interest. The faithful labors of tliose associated
with me in the good work are evidently appreciated by the class of
children whom they are instrumental in training in the ways of our
Holy church."

Our congregation very generously contributed an amount exceeding
five hundred dollars in addition to supplies in large quantities of pro-
visions, wearing apparel, etc. for aid to the sufferers by the calamitous
tires in Chicago, Wisconsin and our own state.

In the year 1873 one of the most important conventions of the
diocese of Michigan was held in Trinity Chui-ch, Mai-shall. By a vote
of the clergy of 39 to 16 and a vote of the lay delegates of 53 to 17 it
was decided to divide the diocese of Michigan into two dioceses.

In the rector's report to this convention is the following: — "The
larger proportion of removals from the parish finds its cause in tiie
transfer of the railroad shops to Jackson, which occurred shorth' before
the convention. A still further reduction from the same cause may be
expected, but with the introduction and establishment of other branches
of mechanical skill (of which there is now some expectation) we may
hope for accession and a proportionate return for our losses. It wiil
be seen from the foregoing statement of contributions that the Ladies
Church Aid Society has been actively employed during the past year in
adding to the parsonage fund. The mission school under the superin-
tendence of 'SI. H. H. Meriam (whose removal from among us we
greatly regret) has continued to exercise a very happy influence upon
the children who are evidently much interested in the instruction
imparted by the faithful corps of teachers who there aid me in that
truly missionary work."

The rector reports to the next convention as follow.s — "The year
past has been one of continued disaster to the parish in the losses we
have sustained by removals. Our finances have been, as a natural con-
secjuence seriously affected, and plans for church work, especially tlie
erection of a parsonage, have been suspended. The pari.sh is free from
debt. In our vei-y interesting mission-school I have had the assistance



298 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

of several j'oung ladies of the parish. In years to come the labor in that
field, bestowed in humble faith, must produce blessed results."

Dr. Schetky resigned from Trinity church, Marshall, to go to Bay
City and he was succeeded by Rev. H. B. Whittemore who remained
until June 30, 1880. The wardens made the following report to the
convention of this year: "The Rev. II. B. Whittemore resigned the
rectorship of the parish June 30, 1880. Rev. ]\I. S. Woodruff officiated
for us for the first month. We then had lay reading for three months
in the morning and Rev. J. T. ]Maerath officiated for us at evening
service save one Sunday each by Rev. H. J. Cook, Rev. M. Noble and Rev.
J. E. Walton. The Rev. J. E. Walton entered upon his duties as rector
the first of November.

J. H. M.

C. P. D.

Wardens

The rectorship of Mr. Walton was the longest, most peaceful, most
happy, most prosperous and the most spiritually uplifting of any within
the writer's memory. It was indeed a benediction to have him walk the
streets of IMarshall. His influence upon the church and in the com-
munity will be felt for many years to come in the lives of those who
were so fortunate as to have been under the benign influence of his
eloquent and soul-inspiring sermons. It was not only the scholarly
preaching that moved one, but it was the consciousness that behind the
sermon was a life that was living every word that he uttered and this
fact made his sermons ablaze with pentecostal fire.

During his rectorship in 1885 the pretty and commodious rectory
was built at a cost of $3,400.00.

Rev. J. E. Walton remained until 1887 when he resigned, much to
the regret and against the wishes of the parish but from a belief on his
part that a change would be for the best interests of the parish.

Mr. Walton was succeeded by Rev. Wm. Morrell who remained as
rector until 1890 when the Rev. Wm. H. VanAntwerp became the
rector. The rectorship of Dr. VanAntwerp was a very successful one
from every point of view, the church prospering under his leadership.

Dr. VanAntwerp was succeeded in 1894 by the Rev. Sidney Beck-
with who remained until 1898 when the vestry again called back their
former beloved rector, Rev. J. E. Walton.

Rev. Mr. Walton's second rectorship lasted until 1902 when the
Rev. C. 0. S. Kearton took charge of the parish. In 1904 Rev. Mr.
Kearton received a call to the diocese of Albany and having resigned
the parish the Rev. W. J. W. Bedford-Jones became the rector. During
the rectorship of Rev. Mr. Bedford-Jones the beautiful chapel and parish
house were built (1905 ) an account of which is given a little later in this
sketch.

In the year 1908 Rev. Frederick Hewitt took charge of the parish
and had a very prosperous rectorship of three years. During his rector-
ship the parish house debt was paid off and the Way Memorial organ
placed in the church. Mr. Hewitt was succeeded in 1911 by the Rev.
John Hartley, Ph. D. Of this unfortunate period in Trinity's history



HISTORY (»K CAMIOIX corXTV 299

the less said the licttci-. Dr. Hartley's resignation took effect September
30, i;)12. and it is iKipt'd that the parish will speedily regain its former
position after that date in spite of the terriiile condition liotli spiritn-
ally and temporally in whieh he left it.

No sketeh of Trinity church would be complete without a rcrcrencc
to the various and numerous beautiful memorials ei-ected therein hy the
faithful supporters and builders of the parish. In so far as I am able
I win mention these memorials in the order of their presentation to the
church though it is largely from mcmoi'v that T do so, as I have no data
at present at hand.

The first memorial placed in the church (it has been there as far
back as 1 can remember) was the Schuylei- memorial window, probably
placed when the church was built. It was placed in memory of Anthony
Dey Schuyler and Sarah A. Schujder, his wife, and given by their sons
and daughters. Rev. Montgomery Schuyler D. D., the second rector of
the parish, was one of the sons as were also Wm. R. and Anthony 1).
Schuyler, who were active in the work and growth of Trinity church
and were members of the vestry and delegates to the Diocesan conven-
tion. The window is of rich stained glass and contains several churchly
symbols in colore.

During the rectorship of Rev. Dr. Schetky, his daughter Lena passed
away. The doctor, when the chancel was being rearranged, rebuilt the
prayer desk and gave it as a memorial of his daughter, who had been
a great deal of help to him in his work at the Mission Sunday school
on Capitol Hill. It is made of black walnut and is now placed in the
chapel.

The beautiful decorations of the chancel of the church, the carved
oak reredose, the handsome chancel windows, are the gift of the Dibble
family in memory of their beloved father, who was one of the original
subscribers to the new church, and who served as vestryman and junior
warden for many years. Their reredose is a beautiful piece of oak
carving, very churchly in design (it was designed by ]\ir. Lloyd of
Detroit, the architect of the church) and is surmounted by handsome
stained glass windows, each of the windows representing by symbols
one of the four gospels, ilatthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Dibble
family also contributed a perpetual fund of .$2,000.00 (by the care-
ful management of Jlr. W. J. Dibble now amounting to .$2,400.00), the
income of which, after keeping the chancel in repair, is to be applied
in the running expenses of the church as directed by the vestry. This
fund is known as the Hetty J. Dibble Memorial Fund, and was given
in her memory. There is also a most beautiful and artistic window to
the memory of .Mrs. Hetty J. Dibble, and represents Christ among the
doctors in the temple in one of the windows, and the raising of the
daughter of Jairus in the other window. Tiie coloring in this window
is especially beautiful.

In the year 1884 .Airs. .Mary T. Curtiss left by will .$1000.00 toward a
rectory. $1000.00 towarti a chapel, and $l()0().0b, the interest on which
was to be divided equally between mi.ssions and the poor of the parish.
The $1000.00 for the rectory was used during the rectorshij) of Rev.
, J. E. Walton by the vestry toward building a rectoiy for that beloved



300 HISTORY OP CALHOUN COUNTY

rector. The interest on the second thousand dollars has been used
annually for missions and for the rector's alms fund equally.

By the careful management of Mr. W. J. Dibble, for many years
treasurer of the church, the chapel fund increased so that in 1905 it
amounted to considerably over five thousand dollars, when the vestry
called a special meeting of the parish, at which time they were authorized
to proceed with the building of a parish house and chapel. ]Mr. J. M.
Eedfield was employed as architect and drew the plans and the beauti-
ful building used as a parish house and chapel was constructed of stone
from the same quarry that supplied it for the church. The corner
stone of the parish house was laid by Bishop Gillespie on Sunday, May
6, 1905, at 4 p. m. On the platform were the vestry, Sunday school, work-
men on the building and ]\irs. J. C. Prink and Mrs. Mary Wheeler. Mrs.
Prink was present in a similar way when the corner stone of the church
was laid in 1861. The contractor for this building was Mr. 0. J. Reniger
who, under the careful and painstaking supervision of Mr. Geo. H.
Southworth, brought the building to a splendid finish. As a token of
their appreciation of his work the vestry, acting for the parish, presented
Mr. Southworth with a slight token.

The children and widow of Dr. J. H. ^Montgomery presented the
parish as a memorial to that beloved physician and for many years
senior warden of the parish, a very expensive and handsome lecturn.
It is made of solid brass and is in the form of an eagle. They also pre-
sented a beautiful solid silver alms-basin most exquisitely carved.

A sterling silver paten and chalice having a solid gold bowl was
given by the daughters and widow of Dr. Anthony D. Schuyler, in
memory of one who was foremost among the workers in the church and
who served many years on the vestry.

The handsome marble font and baptistry, situated near the chapel
entrance to the church, was given by Misses Anna S. R. Eastman and
Grace R. Eastman, to the memory of their mother Anna Louise Schuyler
Eastman. It is a beautiful piece of marble carving.

The massive brass pulpit was the gift of C. S., L. S., C. R. and P. S.
Joy, and is given in the memory of their father and mother. Dr. Henry
L. Joy and Caroline Schuyler Joy, and their brother Dr. Douglas A. Joy.

The exquisitely carved and handsome white marble altar was given
in memory of ilar.y R. iloutgomery, wife of Dr. J. H. ilontgomery, by
her daughters Anna Louise Montgomery Fisk, ]Mary R. Montgomery
Livingston and her son Charles II. ilontgomery.

There is a beautiful memorial window, representing Jesus, Martha
and Mary, Mary at Jesus' feet taking the better part, which is given in
memory of Manlius Mann and his wife, Parmelia Mann, presented to
the church by the daughters, j\lrs. VanVechten and Mrs. George Perrett.

The credence table was given by the Misses Sarah and Grace Schuy-
ler in memory of their sister, Helen Schuyler, who died when a little
girl many years ago.

The magnificent and expensive organ, which is very beautiful in tone,
having 28 speaking stops and two manuels and a console with pneumatic
action, was given in 1906 by Mr. Edwin C. Way to the greater gloi-y
of God and in loving memory of James A. Way (for many years a leader^



HISTORY OF CALIIOI'X (OrXTV 301

of the choir and a iiU'iiUn-r of the Vfsti-y) iiiid Anna .M. Wa.v. ilir paiviits
of the donor.

The beautiful little solid hrass prayer desk was given \>y Mr. and
Mrs. George R. Perrett, in loving memory of their young son Richard,
who died at the age of seven years.

One of the last niciiiorials to lie i)laced in Trinity is the artistic win-
dow, placed there hy .Mrs. .Mary Wheeler ]Miller in memory of her mother,
Mrs. Mary Eliza Brewer Wheeler. The window was matle in Kngland
and represents Christ the Good Shepherd. He has left the flock (ninety
anil nine I in the wilderness and i.s returning with the one lost on his
shoulder. The coloring is beautiful and is a tit companion with the nu-
merous other memorials in the church.

A little over a year ago. 1911, the church was left by the will (t! the
late Miss Susan M. Jones the sum of $2,000.00, to be invested by the
vestry and the proceeds to be used for the assistance of the poor of
the parish. This legacy has not been received as yet, owing to a contest
of the will by a distant relative. But as there is no apparent foundation
for breaking the will, the vestry of the church are looking Idi'ward to
receiving the legacy in the not distant future.

First Presbytari.vn Church uf M.ussh.vll

Contributed

The First Presbyterian church of Marshall was organized in "Mar-
shall Academy" June 26, 1841, by Rev. Elias Child, of Albion "a mem-
ber of Marshall Presbytery."

This church was the outgrowth of a Congregational church organized
Maj', 1832, bj' Rev. John D. Pierce and over which he presided until
1836 when he was appointed superintendent of jniblic instructioln.
Marshall was then a hamlet of about ten families.

In 1841 this church dissolved and thirty-si.K of its communicants be-
came charter members of the newly organized Presbyterian church.

For a time the new church found a- home in the coui't house.

The first elders elected were Laban J. Aylsworth, Joseph J. J^ord and
Ira Nash, the last two named being also chosen deacons, and Mr. Ayls-
worth being elected permanent clerk of the session.

The moving spirit of the organization of the church was Rev. John P.
Cleveland, D. D., of the First Prcsbytci'ian church of Detroit, who was
a kinsman of the late Ex-Presiden) (;r(i\er Cleveland.

It was the intention of Di-. Clcvilaiid to found a college in .Marshall.
but it never reached beyontl the prcjjaratory department.

After two years of faithful service as pastor, and being suddeidy
bereft of a loving and faithful wife, he resigned, and was followed by
Rev. Charles E. Lord, a good man, but very eccentric and absent minded,
of whom it is said that he once forgot when the Sabbath ila.v came, and
remained at home weeding his carrots and onions, while his pious parish-
ioners solemnly assembled for public worship and siicnt an houi' wmidei-
ing what had become of their under-shepherd.

His oddities were a perennial source of amusement, especially to the



302 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

more uugodly part of the community. Rev. Samuel H. Hall, a man of
winning personality and of splendid executive ability, wras the next
pastor, and his nine years of faithful service outranks in length all who
preceded or have come after him. During his pastorate the old church,
the cornerstone of which had been laid May 11, 1843, was completed, and
the debt incurred thereby was finally paid after much hard work.

Next came Rev. James H. Trowbridge, who remained two years
(1854-56), and he was followed by Rev. James Vincent, who remained
about one year.

Rev. William A. McCorkle, D. D., was the next pastor, and four
years later he was succeeded by Rev. Livingston Willard, who served the
church until October 18, 1868.

Then came Rev. F. F. Ford, a brilliant preacher, a man of pronounced
literary acquirements and of reputed great wealth, who remained about
two years, being followed by Rev. Francis M. Wood.

It was during J\Ir. Wood's pastorate that the present stately church
edifice was erected, and was then considered to be the finest church in
Michigan, out-side of Detroit. The corner was laid July, 1872, and the
building was completed and occupied two years later.

Following Mr. Wood came Rev. William A. Rice, who remained a
little more than a year being compelled to resign on account of ill health.

Rev. E. P. Johnson was then called, and was with the church six
years, his pastorate being one of the most successful and fruitful in the
history of the church. Dr. Johnson at the present time is, and for many
years has been, connected with Rutgers' College, New Brunswick, New
Jersey, as an instructor.

He was followed by Rev. H. M. Morey, who was a strong and vigorous
preacher, especially successful among young men. For two yeai-s, and
beginning in 1890, Rev. W. W. Curry was the pastor, and was followed
by Rev. E. W. Rankin, a very talented and scholarly young man, who
served the church two years and resigned to take a post-graduate year
at Princeton Seminary.

In 1895, Rev. George F. Hunting, D. D., ex-president of Alma Col-
lege, became pastor and so continued until 1899, when, owing to failing
health, he was compelled to resign, sadly realizing that his active work
for the Master was forever done.

Of Dr. Hunting it has been said that "he had the simplicity of a
child, but the intellect of a giant. He was possessed of the rugged
strength of a man united to the sympathetic tenderness of a woman. In
his early life he was an officer in the regular United States army and
received the high encomium of his superior officers as being "the ideal
Christian soldier."

His death occurred in Marshall in April, 1891.

Then came Rev. Joseph Hamilton fresh from Princeton Seminary, a
.splendid specimen of muscular Christiauity — genial, happy hearted,
hopeful and helpful, a prince of good fellows and a successful fisher of
men, who resigned in 1903 to accept the larger responsibilities of the
Memorial church of Newark, New Jersey.

During his pastorate a magnificent $2,500 organ was purchased and



IIISTOKY OF CALlIorX COINTY 303

placed in the chnreh, the women of tlie church (of course) being the
inspiring cause and moving spirit in the enterprise.

Kev. J. R. .Mitchell. D. D., followed Mr. Hamilton and faithfully
served the church until 190t), when he resigned, taking a pastorate at
Manistique.

Soon after the removal of Dr. Metchell, Rev. S. Conger Hathaway was
installed and still remains pastor of the church, his efficiency being evi-
denced by the fact that he has added to the membership nearly one hun-
dred names, and the financial condition of the church is good.

During the 71 years of the life of this church, there have been seven-
teen pastors and forty-eight different elders, the present eldership con-
sisting of the following named persons : Joseph Cunningham, Henry J.
Day, Dr. Geo. B. Gesner, Cyrus J. Goodrich, Geo. A. O'Keefe, A. H.
Washburn, H. E. Winsor and William J. Gregg the last named being
clerk of the session.

FiR.'^T ^Iethodist Eri.^ct>p.\i- Chirch of .M.vkshall

Bij Mrs. Mary F. B. Stcphrnsoii.

Sidney Ketehum is the recognized pioneer of Calhoun county. He
was a man of great energy and determination. Having come to its loca-
tion in the summer of 1830 from central New York, he was among those
who strove to build \ip Marshall by every means at his command and
was the original proprietor of the village. He surveyed and laid out the
upper village of Marshall and was one of the four owners of the lower
village. In the early part of August, 1831, the family of Sidney Keti-hum
arrived, as also dicl Randall Hobart, a carpenter by trade and a local
preacher of the ]\I. E. church.

On the 14th of August ]\Ir. Hobart preached in the log house of Sid-
ney Ketehum, which had neither doors nor windows, and only partially
floored with split planks. His text was I Peter, ii chapter, verses 4-5.
"At the session of the Ohio conference in September, 1831, Elijah H.
Pilcher and Ezekial S. Garrit were appointed to Tecumseh circuit
which, starting at Ann Arbor, went to ]Marshall, thence south to Cold-
water, thence east to Clinton, thence north through Manchester and
Saline to Ann Arbor, making nearly four hundred miles of travel to be
performed every four weeks, and to preach '27 times regularly at the
same time." I quote from the journal of the preacher: (Bro. Pilcher)
"Oct 4th, rode 23 miles to ^larshall. a new place. Today, in crossing
marshes, my horse got mired down twice, so that I had to get into the
mud and water and help him out. I had to cross one creek, which was
so narrow, that a man could step across it in most any place, where it
was not worn by teams crossing it, but when I rode into it my horse
sank into the mire and water, so that the water came over the top of the
saddle. Reached Marshall late in the afternoon, wet cold and tired.
October 9. Preached twice in the private residence of Sidney Ketehum.
This is the first visit they had had from an itinerant ; through Randall
Hobart, a local preacher, had been here a few weeks and had preached a
few times. He has come to settle here." Mr. Pilcher was followed in two



304 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

weeks by his colleague, Mr. Garrit. On the 6th of November, at Mr.
Pilcher's next visit, he organized a class of the Methodist Episcopal
church, with the following members: Randall Hobart, leader; Ruth Ho-



Online LibraryWashington GardnerHistory of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) → online text (page 38 of 74)