Washington Gardner.

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

. (page 39 of 74)
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 39 of 74)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

bart, his wife ; Sidney Ketchum and Catherine, his wife, and Seth and
Eliza Ketchum, six in all. Curtis Goddard was P. E. on the district, which
included all of Michigan, and was called Detroit. Meetings were held, and
divine service performed at the house of S. Ketchum until June of the
following year, when they were removed to the school house, then partl.y
finished. The first love feast and communion service held in the county
was at a two days' meeting held in this school house June 16 and 17,
1832, by E. H. Pilcher, preacher in charge, assisted by Rev. Wm. Fowler
of Genesee conference of New York, who was made an elder and conse-
crated the elements, Mr. Pilcher being only a deacon. The original class
had been strengthened by additions by letter and on trial, so that at the
time of the conference in September, 1832, there were fifteen members.
This was a very large increase, considering the circumstances, for the
settlement had been almost depopulated by the cholera, which had pre-
vailed so fearfully at this place during the early summer of 1832. At
the Ohio conference of 1832 the circuit was divided, and this part was
called Calhoun and Branch. Andrew Dixon was appointed missionary,
and James Gilruth P. E. In September, 1835, E. H. Pilcher and Fred-
erick A. Leborn were appointed missionaries, but E. H. Pilcher did not
travel it for want of health. This year the circuit was confined prin-
cipally to Calhoun county. The district was also divided, and Henry
Colclazer made its P. E. The society in Marshall had continued to wor-
ship in the school house, dividing the time with the Presbyterian society.
In the month of November, 1835, a meeting was called to take into con-
sideration the propriety of building a Methodist church in Marshall.
At the meeting it was resolved to attempt to raise $3,000 to build a
brick church, -40 feet by 50 feet in size and one story high, with basement.
Sidney Ketchum subscribing $1,000, and giving the lot on which to
erect the church. Subsequently it was resolved to increase the sub-
scription to $5,000. Mr. Ketchum subscribing $2,000. In the spring
of 1836 the Michigan conference was created. In the summer of 1836,
nothing having been done toward erecting the church, further than ob-
taining a subscription for part of the amount proposed, Sidney Ket-
chum commenced the church and enclosed the same at an expense of be-
tween $8,000 and $10,000 and donated it together with the lots on which
it was erected, to the Methodist Episcopal church. Of Sidney Ketchum
the ^Methodists of ilarshall can ever say, as did the elders of the Jews of a
certain centurion, "he is worthy, for he loveth our nation and hath built
us a synagogue." In September, 1836, Elijah Crone was appointed to
the circuit, it no longer receiving support from the missionary fund.
Marshall appears in the conference minutes for the first time in 1837.
Previous to that time is was embraced in Calhoun mission, taking the
name of the county rather than the village. In the year 1837, the Pres-
byterian society having completed for themselves a house of worship,
left the occupancy of the school house to the Methodists. In December,
1838, the ]\Iethodists occupied the basement of the new church, which
was located .iust east of the present brick one. It had a long flight of


steps ou the outside, which the worshiper had to eliiub in order to reaeh
the main entrance to the auditorium. At each end of the vestibule were
narrow winding stairs, leading to the choir loft or gallery, which ex-
tended across the end of the church. Instead of a pipe or cabinet organ,
it was a little nielodeon that furnished the instrumental music. The
basement had one entrance, and that, an outside one, on the east side of
the church. In the northwest corner of the basement was one small
room, which served as class room, primary room and kitchen. In 1869
this stone church was remodeled at an expense of $9,000. The people
pledged liberally and sacrificed much in order to meet their ol)ligations.
It was dedicated October 16, 1869, and burned the following Februaiy.
The only relics saved was the pulpit, five pulpit chairs, the little nielo-
deon and the bell, which fell among the ruins, but did not break. The
real cause of the fire still remains a mystery. There was a rumor of a
choir-rehearsal on that evening, and a dog, belonging to one of the mem-
bers of the choir, was seen to escape from the church during the tire.
The dog was supposed to have been accidentally left in the church with
a lighted lamp, and in its efforts to make its escape, tipped over the lamp,
which exploded and caused the fire. The ^Methodists then met and wor-
shipped for one year in the Academy of Music, now known as the Em-
pire theater. In the meantime, with the $6,000 insurance they received,
they commenced building the present brick church. As soon as it was
enclosed and the basement ready for occupancy, they worshiped there
until the auditorium was completed and dedicated, June 29, 1873. The
church cost $12,000. After purchasing a small pipe organ for $500, they
then had an incumbrance of $4,000 in the form of a mortgage, with inter-
est at ten per cent. The ladies held socials and suppers semi-monthly,
served dinners at the fair grounds during the county fair, labored and
sacrificed in many ways to pay the annual interest of $400 on the mort-
gage. This trial lasted for seven long, weary years. In 1880, not being
able to pay the interest, the holder of the mortgage foreclosed and the
church was closed. Five of the brethren, anxious to save the furniture,
(which was not included in the mortgage) went in the shades of evening,
and with hayracks conveyed it into the country, where they stored it
against a time of need. The church without the furniture was of no use
to the one who held the mortgage. The land was given by Sidney Ket-
chum, on which to build the Methodist Episcopal church, and, when
not needed for tliat purpose, was to be given back to his heirs. Even the
parsonage could not lie rented, as the deed took in the upright and one
foot into the sitting room. The Methodists had a minister, but no house
in which to worship. The Baptists had a church, but were without a
minister at that time, and kindly olfered to house the Methodists, if they
would minister unto them. The offer was accepted and the two socie^^.'cs
met and worshiped together until JIarch, 1881, when the ^lethodists
moved back into their church and began soliciting pledges from
citizens and from the more prosperous societies of the district. They
also prayed daily for one hundred days, that their efforts might he at-
tended with success. Jesse Gillett, the .janitor, rang the bell for prayer
every day at noon — once the first day, twice the second day, and so on
for the one hundred days. The one hundredth day was Sunday, July


4, 1881. On that day the people assembled for the morning service, after
which the roll was called, and they responded by placing the amount they
had pledged on the altar. $4,500 was laid on the altar and later taken
over to one of the banks and placed into its vaults for safe keeping,
until the following Monday, when the mortgage was paid, the church
financially redeemed from all indebtedness. In 1893, the Methodists
were again tried by fire. This time it was their parsonage. It caught
at high noon from a bonfire, set in the yard just back of the parsonage.
The wing was badly damaged. They sold what was left of it for $100,
and with that, and the $400 insurance, and pledges of money and labor,
they built the present commodious parsonage at a cost of $1,700.

On Chrismas morning, 1904, their organ failed to respond and Rev.
Adam Clarke suggested that each member make a Christmas offering
or some pledge that morning toward a new organ. They complied with
his request, and on Sunday, preceding Easter, dedicated a new pipe
organ, (costing $1,500) without a cent of indebtedness. Their member-
ship is 265.

Catholic Church


The first priest to minister to the Catholic settlement in Marshall
was Rev. Father Morrissey, who came about eight or ten times a year on
horseback or stage from Jackson, Ann Arbor and Detroit. His first
visit was the time of the organization of the village, October 28, 1837.
The population of Marshall at that time was about two hundred, the
Catholics numbering twenty-five. It was on this occasion that the first
mass was said in Marshall, in the house of Michael McKenna, East Green
street. When Father Morrissey was transferred from Northfield to Wis-
consin, Rev. Thomas Cullen was appointed to care for the extensive ter-
ritory, with headquarters at Ann Arbor. At various intervals Father
Cullen came to ilarshall, saying mass in different places, notably in
the court house, an old Congregational church and an old oil mill. In
1850 there were over one hundred Catholics in Marshall, and the necessity
of a new church was realized. The site of the present church buildings
(Eagle and Green streets), was procured. A contract was made to
build a new church at a cost of $1,800. Pews were added to the church
furnishings in a short time. An altar, which is now in the chapel of St.
Mary's cemetery, was purchased from St. Ann's Parish, Detroit.

In the fall of 1852 Father Hennessy, who had lieen assisting Father
Cullen, was appointed the first resident pastor of .Marshall. To his care,
besides the parish of Marshall, were committed the missions of the sur-
rounding country. The chief of these were Albion and Jackson to the
east, Eaton Rapids and Charlotte to the north. Battle Creek and Kalama-
zoo to the west. The same territory is now, in the year of 1912, cared for
by sixteen resident priests. In 1S53 the church was dedicated by Rt.
Rev. Peter Paul LeFever, of Detroit, under the title of the Immaculate
Conception of the Blessed Virgin i\Iary. The expected definition of the
dogma of the Immaculate Conception was at that time claiming the at-
tention of the world, and hence the appropriateness of placing the church


uudor that title as a six'cial iiianitVslatidii and prnrlainali.iii of tin-
Catholic faitli.

May 15. 185'), Father Ilciuicssy was called to Detroit, and assumed
charge of St. Patrick's I'ai'ish, which had .just been erected in that city.
Father Hennessey was succeeded by Father P. C. Koopinans, a native
of Belgium.

About May 16. lS5ti. Fath.-r Knopmans piuvlias,.,! and .•nmplctcd an
unfinished building for a parochial school. The school was opened Octo-
ber 7, of the same year. Miss Ann Ilannigan being the first teacher.
Mrs. M. A. Staee. Arthur Stace and Francis A. Stace were later teachers.

September 28, 1864, three Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of ]\Iary
from ^lonroe, Mich., assumed charge of the school. January 15, 1867,
Father Koopmans resigned the parish and .joined the Jesuit order. Dur-
ing Father Koopmans' regime a plot of sixteen acres for cemetery pur-
])oscs was purchased for $800. The land w'as bought in 1866. Father
Koopmans was succeeded by Rev. C. ^I. Frain. Father Frain remained
in charge until October 15, 1868, and was succeeded by Rev. Desire
Callaert. pastor of Stoney Creek, near Monroe. In 1874-75 a neat brick
church, costing $4,000, was built in the mission of Albion. In 1876 tlif
Sisters of Providence began teaching the parish school, succeeding lay
teachers and the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They re-
mained in charge until 1880, and were succeeded by lay teachers, return-
ing September 1883.

January 1, 1877, Rev. AVm. Fierle took charge and remained pastor
until ^lay 1879, when Father Callaert again became pastor. He was
transferred to Manistee, Mich., September, 1881, and was succeeded by
Rev. :\I. P. Milligan, who resigned in April 1882. Rev. P. A. Kaart,
S. T. L., then took charge and continued as pastor until the time of his
death, February 12, 1908. To his zeal and energy the parish is indelited
for all its present buildings. Church, school, rectory and hall were all
built by him.

Father Baart's administration was by far the most successful in the
history of the parish. A practical man in temporal affairs, fearless in
his undertakings and indomitable in courage, withal simple in manner,
kindly but firm in his relations with his people, his personality and work
will remain impressed upon the parish for years to come.

Outside the city of ]\lai-shall he en.joyed a national and to a ccitain
extent international fame as Canonist. His counsel in ecclesiastical law
was sought by bishops and priests from all parts of the country. Even in
Rome he was held in high esteem ftt the time of his death. It 1883
Father Baart completed the new parochial lirick school. In 1884 he built
the pastoral residence. June 13, 1888, work was begun for the erection
of a new church. October 21, of the same year the corner stone was laid,
and October 27, 1889, the church was dedicated. In July, 1890. St.
;\lary's church of ^Marshall was made an irremovable rectorship. Father
Baart being its first irremovable rector. Henceforth, when the parish
becomes vacant, the pastor to be appointed must stand an cxaiinnation
before the diocesan examiners.

During Father Baart's rectorship, he was assisted li>- Kcvs. .S. O'llarc.
1884; L. Brancheau. 1886; R. J. Sadlier. 1887; Thomas Ilcnncssev,


1887 ; M. Fleming. 1890. In 1900, Father Baart with the assistance of
a few friends and without any cost to the members of the parish, erected
a beautiful brick hall for entertainments. This stands today as a pre-
cious memorial of his love and devotion to the parish. His remains
rest beneath the chapel in St. ilary's cemetery.

His successor was Rev. James Cahalan, who was transferred from
Hillsdale 1908. All the affairs of the parish have been moving smoothly
and successfully since his appointment. There is a membership of about
180 families.

First B.\ptist Church.


lu January 1840, the few Baptists of ilarsliall and ^larengo held a
meeting at the residence of James Winters, in Marengo, to consider the
practicability of founding a church. At this meeting six persons were
present. Another meeting was called at the house of Calvin Sudden,
in ilarshall, on the first day of February, and the same persons were
present. Subsequently meetings were held at the same place on P"'ebru-
ary 15th and 29th, and a conclusion reached to hold another meeting at
the old school house on Mansion street, on the 7th day of March, which
was attended by 22 persons, who then concluded to organize a church.

Rev. T. Z. R. Jones, a missionary, was present and assisted in the

The following are the names of the constituent members of the
church : D. N. Salter and his wife Sophia ; Calvin Sudden and his wife
Louise ; J. Rundel and his wife Fanny ; Josiah R. Hendryx and his wife
Eveline ; Charles Rodes and his wife Betsy ; Ebenezer N. Narramer and
his wife Sarah : Suraney Sudden, ^Mary J. Shaw, Harriet Dannis, Salina
Walker, Elmira Willard, Julius F. Sudden, Rachel Banksan, Minera
Calkins, Smith Senns and Content Sudden.

At this meeting Rev. T. Z. R. Jones was requested to become pastor
and accepted the call.

A resolution was passed, calling a council for recognition, and the
following churches were invited to send delegates: Canstock fnow Ka-
lamazoo), 1st and 2d; Milton, (now Battle Creek), South Battle Creek,
Concord, Albion, Jackson, Jonesville and Climax. The council convened
on the 8th day of April and recognized the church, installed ilr. Jones as
pastor of the church and elected David N. Salter and Edwin McWithy

At this time the church had no place for holding their meetings.
Their services seem to have been held at the court house and at the
school house on Mansion street and in private homes. The prayer and
conference meetings were very generally held in private houses, until
after the completion of the church in 1851.

The Sunday-school did not become a permanent organization until
some years afterwards. From the organization of the church until
December, 1841, the Sabbath meetings of the church were held alternate-
ly in Marshall and Marengo. On December 12, Mr. Jones resigned the
pastorate, and Rev. W. A. Bronson was called, who accepted at a salary
of $300.


During the year 1842 iiieetiugs were held in an old scliool house on
Mansion street. In January, 1843, it was decided to hold weekly Sun-
day services in ^lai'shall, and a building was secured, which was erected
as a Congregational clnii'cli and stood on the south side of Green street,
between Eagle and Jctl'cr.son streets.

On the 20th day of May, this year, the name of the church was
changed to the Baptist Church of ^larshall, the brethren at Marengo
taking letters and organizing a branch at that place, which aftenvards
became extinct.

Rev. :Mr. Bronson resigned on July 15, 1843, and the church had no
regular pastor until i\Iay 1, 1846. During this time about fifteen women
and five men attended the services. On June 16, 1844, a Sunday-school
was organized, and J. L. Johnson, a teacher in the public schools, was
elected superintendent. Josiah R. Hendiyx, ^Mary J. Shaw, Alzina Rich
and George Ingersoll were the teachers.

Beginning in the month of ^lay, 1845, meetings were held for a year
in an old brick school house, now standing west of the residence of
William Martin.

In May, 1846, Rev. Wm. Dickens became pastor of the church and re-
mained until August 26, 1848. In April, 1847, the church changed its
place of holding meetings to the second story of the building now known
as the Tontine hotel. In June, 1848, the church had a membership of 45.

After the resignation of Mr. Dickens in 1848, the church had no
regular pastor until 1850. During this time Rev. Dr. Comstock, state
superintendent of public instriiction, often supplied the pulpit.

In July, 1850, Rev. L. II. Moore, l)eeame pastor at a salary of $200
from the church and $200 from the home missionary society on the con-
dition, that the church should proceed to build a church edifice.

This was the beginning of substantial prosperity for the church. In
1850 a lot was secured and the building, which the church now occupies,
was commenced and enclosed the same .year and completed the following
year at a cost of $7,000, but leaving thechurch with a debt of $3,000.

The completion of the church was an occasion of much re.i'oicing, al-
though it took ten years to pay off the debt. In the year 1853 the church
became selfsupporting without the aid of the home missionary society.

In May, 1854, the members living at or near Ceresco asked for letters
of dismission and organized a church at that place. This was the second
colony sent off by the Marshall church.

In September, 1856, Rev. L. D. Palmer became pastor of the church
at a salary of $500.

In August, 1862, Rev. Palmer resigned to accept a call to the Jackson

The church en.ioyed a season of prosperity under the administration
of Mr. Palmer, and additions to the membership were frequent.

The last of the church debt was paid in December, 1864. while the
church had no pastor. After the resignation of Mr. Palmer the church
was without a regular pastor most of the time, until June, 1869, when
Rev. S. R. Gilbert became pastor of the chui-ch and remained until June.
1871. This was followed by the pastorates of Brethren Ferris, Srashall,
Pattergill. Taber, Dunn, Whitcomb. Burnstead; Tate, Smith and Bailev.


Rev. H. D. Allen became pastor of the church January 1, 1902, and
remained until May 30, 1904. Rev. I. N. DePuy was called as pastor
of the church December 1, 1904, and resigned November 6, 1910, to
accept the pastorate of a Chicago church.

The present pastor of the church. Rev. A. W. Brown, was called to
act in that capacity January 1, 1911. Rev. Brown, who was formerly
assistant pastor of the Fountain street church of Grand Rapids, is
doing an excellent work here, the church being united and prosperous,
and enjoying a slow but steady growth.

The present officers of the church are as follows : Pastor, Rev. A. W.
Brown ; church clerk, Charles O. Miller ; church treasurer, W. A. Powell.
Deacons: George S. Woolsey, Daniel A. Osborn, Chas. 0. IMiller, Loyal
Williams, Mrs. C. H. Vasy and Maria Leusell. Trustees: E. E. Simmons,
Henry Kratzer, Clarence McMillan, W. A. Powell, E. B. Stuart and E.
L. Perrin. Sunday-school superintendent: Henry Kratzer. Presi-
dent of the Aid Society : Mrs. C. E. Easterly. President of the Women's
Mission Society : Inez L. Miller. President of the Dorcas Society : Mrs.
Clara Treadwell. President of the B. Y. P. U. : Miss Nettie Thunder.

The present membership of the church is 220.

First Evangelic.vl-Lutheran Zion Church

The Evangelical Lutheran Zion congregation at Marshall was or-
ganized in 1856 by the Rev. Spring, ^vith about 40 Lutheran families.
In 1860 the congregation purchased the Episcopalian church and prop-
erty, and after making several changes in the church edifice, it was
dedicated as a Lutheran church to the service of the Divine God.

In 1901 the congregation erected the present magnificent church
building, for the sum of about $12,000.00 — corner Eagle and Green

The parsonage was built in 1867 and remodeled in 1910 with all
modern facilities.

In 1906 the church celebrated her fiftieth anniversary with appro-
priate services.

The congregation supports the missions of the German Evangelical-
Lutheran Synod of jMissouri, Ohio and other states.

It now has a membei-ship of about 90 families, making nearly four
hundred baptized and confirmed members. Sunday-school, 85 pupils;
teachers, 10; Ladies' Aid Society, 110 members.

The services are being held in both the German and English lan-

The church accepts all canonical books of the Holy Scripture as the
revealed word of God, making it her rule of faith and life.

Since 1897 the present Pastor, Rev. Chr. Hidenreich. has had charge
of the church.



Sands McCamley and Ezra Convis — The First School in Battle
Creek — Chi-rches — Manufacturing Interests — Battle Creek
Sanitarium — Railroads — Fire Department — Battle Creek and
Its Municipal Government — Battle Creek A City — Postoffice
(1877-li)12) — The Public Schools of Battle Creek (By Eva
Warriner) — The Battle Creek Press (By George B. Willard) —
Early Bar (By Charles E. Thomas) — The Charles Willard
Library (By ^Irs. Fannie Brewer) — Battle Creek in the Civil
War (By A. B. Simpson) — Farragut Post, G. A. R. — Farragut
Relief Corps No. 4 (By Mrs. Jennie Jones)

Battle Creek, wliieli at this time, (1912,) contains within her mu-
nicipal boundaries fully one-half of all the people living in Calhoun
county, owes its location to the confluence of the Battle Creek and
Kalamazoo river at this point. It was the water power and its possibili-
ties together with the generally attractive appearance of the vicinity that
determined Sands ilcCamley, conceded to be the foremost as well as one
of the first pioneers in this city, to locate here.

It was in June. 1831, in company with George Redfield, that McCam-
ley went to the Land Ofifice, which had been opened that month at
White Pigeon, to make an entry that should cover at least a part of the
site where this city now stands. On arriving there he found that others
besides himself had been favorably impressed with the location of the
future city and that J. J. Garnsey, together with Lucius Lyon and
Robert Clark, the last two government surveyors had marked it for
entr^-. Lyon and Clark would sell their claim for one hundred dollars.
As between Garnsey and ]McCamley it was agreed that the former should
enter eight hundred and thirty-seven and forty and one hundredth
acres, all lying within what now constitute the township and cit.v of
Buttle Crick. The purchase price was at the rate of one dollar and
twiiity-livc c-uts per acre. It was further understood and agreed that
Siiiiils ,M((';iinley and Daniel G. Garnsey, the latter a former member of
congress from the .state of New York and who later became a prominent
citizen of Rock Island. Illinois, were to share it equally with him on
payment of their proportion of the cost. They, with their families, were
to meet in Detroit the following October when J. J. Garnsey was to
Muit-elaiiii to tlie otliei' two and give to each a title t.i an limlivided



third of the whole. It was further agreed that all should come on and

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 39 of 74)