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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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of guests sleep in tents pitched in a convenient part of the sanitarium
grounds. In the year lf)ll the sanitarium leased from the National
Trade and AVorkers Association their beautiful five-story stone building,
situated two hundred yards from the sanitai-ium itself. This, added to
the capacity of 725 attendance afforded by the main building, cottages
and East Hall, gives a further acconnnodation for 325 making a total
rooming capacity of 1,050 patients. But the relief is only temporary and
the growing popularity of the institution will make further arrange-
ments necessary at an early date.

The sanitarium has always taken a keen interest in the welfare of
the comnninity. The doors are alwa.ys open to the pid)lic, entertainments,
lectures and other exercises being quite as much for the benefit of the city
as for the sanitarium itself. Every helper at the sanitarium is proud of
the city in which it resides, and maintains a feeling of genuine loyalty
to the spirit of progress, which it represents. The thousands of patients
who visit the institution every year, become scarcely less attached to
the community, many of them remaining with us for months, and their
patronage affording a very considerable source of revenue to the
merchants of the city.

Nichols Memorial Hosprr.vL and The Charitable Union

The above named institutions are so intimately associated with each
other that no complete liistory of either could be given without in-
cluding both.

It was during tlie mouth of January, 1887, a coiiimittt'c nf women
of Battle Creek arranged for a charity ball, the ]iroceeds to be used in
the work of assisting the sick and unfortunate of the city and its vi-
cinity. This first venture netted $232.75, and to provide for the expen-
diture of the money judiciously and systematically, an invitation was
extended to the various churches and benevolent organizations of the
city to meet with them to consider the advisability of forming a per-
manent organization of Associated Charities. After much consideration,
it was decided that the membership should consist of two delegates from
each church and from each fraternal societ.y desiring representation.

The name determined upon was The Charitable Union of Battle
Creek, iliehigan, and its first ofificers were: Mrs. Caroline Kingman,
president ; ]Mrs. Love, vice-president ; Mrs. J. Larkin, secretary ; Mrs.
:\Iartha Pugsley, treasurer. A set of by-laws for governing The Chari-
table Union was adopted by the first board of trustees numbering twenty
women. Soon the necessity of a place where the sick could be fully eared
for became evident and definite action to this end was taken in January
1889, when an executive committee consisting of ]\lrs. Helen Nichols
Caldwell, Mrs. M. B. Parker, .Mrs. Fannie Alvord, Jlrs. Abbie R. Flagg,



and Mrs. Almon Preston were elected and instructed to take the pre-
liminary steps towards securing a proper location for a hospital and to
make a selection of a matron and other help for the institution.

The Chadvvick house on College street was secured at a rental of
$12.00 per month and the name Union Home adopted. Mrs. Eva Cobb
was installed as matron and Mrs. Julia Griggs as nurse. A call was
made through the daily papers for room furnishings, which met with
prompt response, and the I'nion Home under the control and direction
of The Charitable Union opened on Feb. 4, 1889. Within six months,
this building was filled to overflowing and the commodious residence of

Nichols ^Memorial Hospital

Walter Clark on West Van Buren street was leased at $25.00 per month.
This soon became inadequate and the need of a permanent and com-
modious building and grounds was very urgent.

Many meetings of the executive committee were held to discuss the
needs and possibilities and several locations were visited. At a meeting
held at the residence of Mrs. Kingman, the president of the associa-
tion, Mrs. Helen Nichols Caldwell, told of her desire to have her father,
Mr. John Nichols, found a memorial hospital in memory of her daugh-
ter, Fannie Caldwell Abel, and she said that after thinking it over,
she had sent for her father and told him what was so near her heart
and that he listened for a moment in silence and then with tears in his
eyes said, "Of course I will do that. I would rather do it than any-
thing I can now think of. I only wonder T never thoi.ght of it before

inS'roUY OF (WlJIorX COINTY :'.'.ll

myself." Tliis was the starting of flie Xit-hols .Memorial lIosi)ital,
aud later when it was suggested that other coiitrihiitions l)e re-
ceived for the purehase of a lieating i)lant, Jlr. Nichols iiit'orined the
assoeiation that he wished to do it all himself and to pay all the hills
saying, "All I ask of the people is to take eare of it after it is tinished."
The plaee selected and purchased hy him for the hospital was what
was then known as the L. H. Stewart property, corner of West Van
Buren and Tompkins streets and fronting on West Main street. The
hospital buildings were hiiilt during the summer and formally dedi-
cated September 17. 1890. The property was placed in the hands of
The Charitable Union for its free use and management so long as they
should support it properly and do the charitable work. A year or so
later Mrs. Xaney C. Nichols and her daughter, Jlrs. Helen Nichols
Caldwell, made a large addition to the hospital building, providing
twenty-four more rooms. On the first of February, 1901, Mr. Edwin
C. Nichols and his sister, ]\Irs. Helen Nichols Caldwell, made the formal
deed of conveyance of all the hospital property to The Charitable
Union of Battle Creek (a corporation existing under the laws of the
state of ilichigan) thus vesting the entire fee and title in The Charita-
ble Union, but subject to the provision that the institution should
always be known as the Nichols Memorial Ho.spital and used only as
a public and charitable hospital for necessary and proper medical pur-
poses for the eare of the sick and afflicted, and that whenever from any
cause said property should cease to perform and to carry on said work,
then the conveyance to be void and the property to revert to the grant-
ors, their heirs or assigns.

This gave The Charitable Union a permanent and commodious
hospital building and grounds and Mr. Nichols and his sister, ilrs.
Caldwell, have since continued to give it generous financial support.
The various organizations and many citizens have also contributed well
to the maintenance of the hospital, and the city of Battle Creek ap-
propriates a small sum each year towards it.

The hospital contains sixty rooms exclusive of halls, toilet rooms
and closets, and with two large, pleasant verandas. There are forty-five
beds for patients ; fourteen rooms for nurses and help ; three operating
and auxiliary rooms ; one treatment room ; one laboratory, together with
suitable office, reception, dining, kitchen, laundry and store rooms.
Two graduate nurses and twenty pupil nurses are employed besides
the necessary house help. The family averages seventy-five in number
and the patients cared for the past year numbered seven hundred and

The Nichols ^Memorial Training School of Nurses was organized
during the year 1899, the medical staff consisting of prominent local
physicians and surgeons who give their time and talent in lectures and
instructions to the classes and have greatly assisted in the regular
school work. The nurse's course is a three year one and graduates of
this school are received and accepted by the State Medical As.sociation
equally with any or all of the other hospitals in the state.

The Charitable Union is organized primarily to administer the
affairs of the Nichols Memorial Hospital or such other hospitals as it


may or shall conti-ol, by receiving and caring for therein botli medically
and surgically such sick and deserving persons, with or without com-
pensation therefor and for such length of time and under such cir-
cmnstances as the board of trustees shall in their discretion determine.

Its secondary object is to dispense aid to the worthy poor of the
city and vicinity in a way not to supersede the poor officers of the
county or of any benevolent society, but to co-operate therewith in all
such work.

Its membership is composed entirely of women, viz. : Two from each
church and two from each fraternal society desiring representation.

At is annual meeting eleven trustees are selected, from which num-
ber the officers for the ensuing year are chosen. The present board of
trustees are: Mi-s. Abbie R. Flagg, president; Mrs. Alary Anderson,
first vice-president; Mrs. Lillie Ranger, second vice-president; Mrs.
Lottie B. Whipple, recording secretary; Mrs. Angle Keet, financial
secretary ; ]\Irs. Martha Welil), treasurer general fund ; Airs. Ida Wat-
tles, treasurer relief fund; Airs. Alary Bell; Airs. Leila Penner; Airs.
Emma J. Evans; Airs. Phoebe Rogers; Aliss Elizabetn Lee, superin-
tendent ; Miss Elsie Russ, surgical nurse ; Aliss Lulu N. Young, office

No member of The Charitable Union receives any pay or remunera-
tion whatever for work or services. They labor loyally and heartily
for the good of humanity and are justly proud of their past record and
duly hopeful for the future. From the small beginning of a few j'ears
ago the.y have wrought out a great and beneficent institution carrying
its message of love, charity and Christian helpfulness into the hearts
and homes of hundreds and thousands of suffering and afflicted people.
But the need for still greater room and increased and improved hospital
facilities is most urgent and the ways and means are now being con-
sidered for making these additions and improvements and greatly
enlarging the work and extending the blessings of this truly Christian
charitable hospital.

The excellent work done and the beautiful spirit shown by The Char-
itable Union have received recognition on the part of many good people
by way of bequests and endowments, of which the following are e.s-
pecially mentioned: Airs. Charlotte Stillson Rogers, bequest of $20,-
000.00 ; Air. and Airs. George Davis, bequest of .$15,000.00 ; Airs. Ange-
line Phillips, bequest of $1,500.00; Airs. Jane Wakelee, bequest of
$500.00 ; Airs. Alta Clark, bequest of $300.00.

The money realized through the above beciuests is to be used for the
enlargement of the hospital and for building a new Nurses' Home and
the improvement where possible in the means and appliances for the
extension and betterment of the work.

The people cannot but feel deeply grateful to those whose hearty
support and generous contributions have helped to encourage and
maintain this great institution. It is the hope and expectation of the
trustees that as time goes on the capable administration of its affairs by
the Charitable Union will be more and more appreciated and under-
stood and will lead others to make simifer liequests to the hospital fund.

The Nicholas Alemorial Hospital is pre-eminently "of the people,


for the people and by the people." Administered as it is In- its corps
of self-saerificing and devoted women who give of their time and eflFort
freely and without fee or reward, non-sectarian, but warmly sympathetic
and deeply religious, not dependent upon nor controlled by local physi-
cians and surgeons or by any medical school, they are free to adopt such
modem ways and improved means as appeal to the conscience and
judgment of its trustees. It opens its doors night and day to the vic-
tims of disease, the injured, the sick and suffering, without distinction
of class or color and equally to the rich, the poor, the high and the
lowly, freely and lovingly to each and to all.



The First Presbyterian Church — First Baptist Church— St. Thom-
as Church — First Methodist Episcopal Church — Maple Street
M. E. Church — Upton Avenue M." E. Church — The Seventh-Day
Adventist Tabernacle — Independent Congregational Church —
First Church op Christ Scientist — Immanuel Apostolic Holi-
ness Church — German Evangelical St. Paxil's Church — Literary
AND Secret Societies op Battle Creek (by W. R. Wooden) — The
Woman's League — Young Men's Christian Association (by Wil-
liam S. Potter) — Women's Christian Temperance Union (by Mrs.
W. S. Keet, Calhoun).

Battle Creek has an unusual number of well-supported churches and
societies for a place of its size, as will be seen by the followdng sketches.

The First Presbyterian Church

By W. S. Potter

The First Presbyterian church of Battle Creek was organized May
27, 1883, by eighty-nine persons, the majority of whom had withdrawn
for doctrinal reasons from what was then known as the Congregational-
Presbyterian church of this city. The congregation worshipped in vari-
ous halls and in the old Dutch Reformed church building for about two
years until the present lot was bought and a commodious chapel erected.
For about a year and a half the pulpit was supplied by various ministers,
especially by Professors Loba and Daniels of the faculty of Olivet college.
In the latter part of the year 1884, the Rev. George F. Chipperfield was
called as the first pastor, who remained four years. In November, 1888,
the Rev. William S. Potter succeeded Mr. Chipperfield and continued as
pastor for nearly twenty-three years, when on August 1, 1911, he re-
signed to take a vacation from his church labors, but maiutainiug his
residence in the city. When he took charge of the church in 1888, there
were about one hundred and seventy-five members and when he resigned
there were seven hundred. A new church building was erected during
his pastorate, the dedication taking place in Februai\y, 1896. The his-
tory of this church has been especially marked by a firm, yet broad and


HISTORY OK oALiioiN coiN'i'V ;;'.i:i

charitable, atiherence to sound eveiigelical doctrine; by I Ik- unil.s jiiid
loyalty of its people; by eatholieity of spirit and nady i()-o|m ratimi
with other churches and christians; by constant participation in move-
ments for reform and civic betterment; by the prompt disciiargc of all
its financial obligations; and in general by a high and uuirked moral in-
fluence on the community. The growth of the church in membcrslnp. in
influence, and in usefulness is worthy of special renuirk.

Upon the resignation of Mr. Potter the church was fortiuiMlc in sr-
curing a successor, after in interval of oidy three months, in the person
of the Rev. J. F. Horton, district seci-etary of the American Hilile Society,
for Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, who already gives decided promise of
continuing and carrying forward successfully the work previously ac-

The First B.vptist CiirKcii

The early records were lost. In ISTS the clerk, ('. G. Conklin lound
to of the nineteen charter members of the church and leaiiicd tlie follow-
ing items from them: The church was organized in April, 188"), in a log
sehoolhouse over the race, the first and only one in town at that time.
Robert Adams was minister for ten years after it was organized till his
death. The town was then called Milton. Changed to Battle Creek in
1843. In 1844, a house of worship was begun. In 1848, it was enclosed
and the basement finished for worship. At that time there were forty
scholars in the Sunday-school and eight teachers and they were favored
with the laboi-s of a pastor one-half of the time. Wm. Carter was clerk
for ten years or more. As delegates to the various associations in the
early days we read the names of Wm. Betterly, E. McGowen, and Rev.
John Harris, who labored in the a.ssociation without interruption for
twenty years. He was a faithful helper in educational work especially
in Kalamazoo college. It has been said that he and Judge Eldred, Hon.
Nelson Eldred 's father, walked to Kalamazoo to attend counnittee and
board meetings many times. In 1850, the first meeting house was com-
pleted and during that year one hundred members united with the
church. In 1852, there was a Sunday school of one hundred mendiers.
In 1864, there was talk of enlarging the house of worship. . In 1866,
there were sixty-seven additions to the church. In 1867, a movement
to raise funds for a new meeting-house was started. In 1871, the old
church was torn down to give place to the present edifice. Nineteen
pastors have served the church since its organization, and many men
prominent in the community have been associated in its work. The
names of R, S. Poole, Alexander Wattles, Harmon Bradley, William and
George Betterly and Peter Hoft'master are among the members of the
church who did much for its upbuilding. Hon. Nelson Eldred and
Charles Willard were members of the congregation who contributed much
to the church in the way of wise council and liberal gifts. Mr. Willard
presented the church with the substantial brick building adjoining the
meeting hou.se on the east as a memorial gift in memory^ of his daughter,
Mrs. Laura Willard. The present membership of the church is seven
hundred and twenty-three with about six hundred enrolled in the


Sunday-school. The present pastor Rev. B. Frank Taber was settled in
1905. In 1911, a building was erected to the west of the house of worship
mainly for the use of the men of the church, the Baraea class for men
numbering one hundred and fifty. The church has a valuable property
fronting on Main street, and is one of the most active religious bodies in
the city.

St. Thomas Church

We shall attempt, to touch, only, upon those incidents in the early
history of St. Thomas church with which the present generation are

Preaching and services according to the doctrine of the Episcopal
church was held in this locality as early as 1839 by the Rev. F. H. Cun-
nin, D. D., and piiblic worship was later conducted by the Rev. Samuel
Buel, who was entertained at the homes of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel W.
aieCamly and Mrs. Barton, at that time the only Episcopalians in the

Again, in 1841, the Rev. Montgomery Schuyler visited the village and
held services, which were largely attended by the townspeople, and much
interest was manifested.

On April 21, 1842, the Rt. Rev. Samuel A. McCoskry, Bishop of the
Diocese, visited the place and administered confirmation to six persons.
This gave an impetus to the work, an'd things were in such a hopeful state
that it was deemed advisable to organize a parish. The work was in the
hands of Rev. Mr. Schuyler, who saw his laboi-s rewarded by the organi-
zation of a parish on August 7, 1842, under the name and title of St.
Thomas Church of Battle Creek, Michigan.

The following year a call was extended to the Rev. R. G. Cox. He ac-
cepted the same, l)ut remained for only a few months, being succeeded
by the Rev. R. S. Adams on May 1, 1845. Mr. Adams remained for near-
ly three years as Rector, during which time a neat and substantial
church was erected and dedicated to the service of Almighty God.

This church was used, and from time to time improved, during a
period of twenty-five years, until 1875, when it was torn down to give
place for the present church building.

Among those who were prominent in carrying out the work, were the
following: William Andrus, C. Wakelee, J. M. Ward, Edward Cox, M.
D., C. F. Bock, ]\lrs. A. T. Havens and Mrs. J. S. Townsend.

The plan and design was by Mortimer S. Smith of Detroit, and the
building was erected at a cost of about $20,000. At that time, and for
many years afterwards, it was the most costly church edifice in this city,
and now, after many years, it is universally admired for its solidity and
splendid proportions.

The corner stone of the new church was laid by Bishop Gillespie, on
Wednesday, June 14, 1876, with appropriate ceremonies. The address on
the occasion w^as delivered by the Rev. Dr. McKurdy, of Niles. The con-
secration of the church occurred on February 27, 1878, with very im-
pressive ceremonies. The ceremony was by Bishop Gillespie, who
preached au eloquent sermon on the occasion. A large crowd attended,


and in additiou to the laity, the following clergy were present : Bishop
Gillespie, Rev. A. Bush and Rev. J. I). Webster, Detroit; Rev. G. E.
Petei-s, Albion; Rev. H. J. Cook, Coldwater; Rev. II. B. Whitteniore,
Marshall; Rev. J. F. Conover, Kalamazoo; Rev. S. R. Jieekwitli, Grand
Rapids; Rev ^V. Raymond and Rev. John T. MeGratli, Reetor.

The eonseeratiou service was at 10 :30, followed by a sumirtuous ban-
([net at Centennial Hall in the afternoon, at which three hundred and
fifty persons were present. Thei-e was a second service in tlie evening,
with addresses by the visiting clergy, and altogether it was a day long
to be remembered.

Memorial windows were placed in the new church, and with these
were associated the names of: John K. Lothridge, Sylvester Reed, Na-
thaniel Tapscott, John Stuart, James and Alice Townsend, Allan T.
Havens. Among other gifts presented was a handsome lectern given
by Mrs. A. T. Havens' Bible class.

The Rectoi-s who have followed the Rev. R. S. Adams were :

Rev. H. Safford, who served the parish from June 14, 1849, to Feb-
ruary 18, 1852. I). B. Lyon, from June 1, 1852, to April 1, 1855. George
Willard, from April 15, 1855, to April 9, 1860. Augustus Bush, from
September 23, 1860, to August, 1866. Charles Ritter, from October 1,
1866, to October 27, 1867. Josiah Phelps, from February 4, 1868, to
February 17, 1871. George W. Wilson, from June 1, 1871, to March 15,
1872. 1. E. Jackson, for a few months only, in 1874.

Each of them faithfully served tlie parish, and each one contributed
his share to its upbuilding.

The parish was then vacant until the Rev. John T. McGrath came as
Rector on December 17, 1877. His services were appreciated, and he
labored with success until September 10, 1879, when he accepted an
urgent call to a parish in Philadelphia. Rev. Dr. Corbett followed in
March, 1880, and remained for four years, being succeeded in August,
1884, by Rev. W. W. Taylor. In 1887, Rev. A. P. Greenleaf became
Rector, and was succeeded in 1892 by Rev. Preston Barr. After Mr.
Barr's departure the parish remained without a Rector al)out nine
months, although during that time occasional services were held as well
as lay meetings and Sunday-school. At the close of 1893, a call was
extended to the Rev. Lewis Brown, B. D., of St. Luke's, Cincinnati, and
he entered on his duties as Rector on Ash Wednesday, February 7, 1894.
His work was ver\- successful.

The handsome and commodious Rectory was built in 1891, during the
incumbency of Rev. A. P. Greenleaf. The parish hall, in the basement
of the church, was built in 1902, with funds created by a bequest from
the estate of ilrs. Jane Wakelec. Mrs. Wakelee's life wa.s one of service
to the church, and her work lives on in the spacious I'ooms provided by
her thoughtfulness and love for St. Thonuis church. The parish rooms
were dedicated on October 28. 1902. The vestibule of the church was
decorated and beautified with funds left by Jlrs. A. T. Havens. JIi's.
Havens left many things about the church that will slaiid as iiiniiunieiils
to her memory as an earnest Christian woman.

The fiftieth anniversary of St. Thomas cliuivli was eelt'lir.iti'd with


ceremonies covering five days, from Wednesday, June 13, and ending
Sunday, June 17, 1894. The Rt. Rev. George D. Gillespie, D. D., Bishop
of Western Michigan, conducted the evening services Wednesday, preach-
ed a sermon and confirmed. This service was followed by an informal
reception at the home of Mrs. George Willard, by the Daughters of the
King. Thursday, June 14, was taken up by carriage drives to Goguae
Lake and about the city. At 8 :00 in the evening, an historical meeting
was held. Friday, June 15, a banquet was held at the Auditorium from
6:00 to 10:00 P. M., at which Dr. A. T. Metcalf acted as toastmaster.
Saturday, June 16, there was an entertainment by the Sunday-school,
and on Sunday, June 17, Rev. Lewis Brown, the Rector, delivered the
baccalaureate sermon before the graduating class of the high school.
This M'as followed by an evening service at 7 :45, and installation of
Daughters of the King.

The Rev. W. H. Osborn became Rector in 1900, and remained until
October, 1905. He was succeeded by the Rev. Chester Wood, January 1,
1906. :Mr. Wood served the parish until June, 1909. The following Sep-
tember the Rev. George PauU Torrence Sargent was called to be Rector.

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 48 of 74)