Fernandez C. Holliday.

Indiana Methodism : being an account of the introduction, progress, and present position of Methodism in the State; and also a history of the literary institutions under the care of the church, with s online

. (page 1 of 27)
Online LibraryFernandez C. HollidayIndiana Methodism : being an account of the introduction, progress, and present position of Methodism in the State; and also a history of the literary institutions under the care of the church, with s → online text (page 1 of 27)
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DOWN TO 1872.





Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873,


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.



TN writing the following account of Methodism in In-
■^ diana, I have desired not only to rescue from oblivion
valuable information that would soon be lost, but also to
pay a feeble, but justly merited, tribute to the heroic
pioneers and founders of Methodism in our state. The
record of their toils is found chiefly in the numerous and
flourishing Churches that have sprung up all over the
state, in the multitudes of living witnesses to the truth
and power of the Gospel that they preached, in the
schools of learning which they founded, in the vigor
of the benevolent institutions which they fostered, and
in the educational effect produced by their earnest and
evangelical preaching on the public mind and conscience.
The pulpit is always a popular educator, and its
teachings are the basis of doctrinal belief, to a great ex-
tent, in every Christian community. This is especially
true in a community where books are scarce, and in a
state of society where the opportunities for reading are
limited. Such was necessarily the case with the early
settlers in Indiana.



Methodism, with its itinerant system, and its extem-
pore method of preaching, found ready access to the
people. Its doctrinal basis, so consonant with reason
and revelation, was readily accepted by the masses.
Total depravity — not total in degree, but in its univer
sality as to the powers of the soul — universal redemp-
tion, the duty of immediate repentance, justification by
faith, regeneration, and perfect love, were the grand
themes upon which they dwelt. They preached expe-
rience doctrinally, and they preached doctrines experi-
mentally. They were too busy to Avrite the results
of their labors. Their work was grander than their
estimate of it; they planned and builded wiser than
they knew. The function of the pulpit as a popular
educator is grand. Its mission, always glorious, is pre-
eminently so in a new country.

The founders of Methodism in Indiana were, many
of them, great preachers. Had the sermons of Allen
"Wiley, James Armstrong, Calvin W. Huter, George
Locke, James Havens^ and Richard Hargrave, been
reported as they preached them, when, in the days
of their vigor, the multitudes that were gathered from
far and near attended their camp-meetings and quar-
terly-meetings, they would have been regarded as grand
specimens of pulpit eloquence. They would have com-
pared favorably with the productions of the pulpit in
any age or country. The pulpit with them was a sort
of telegraph-office, and the people were so many wires
in the hand of the preacher. They put themselves in
fuU sympathy with their hearers j their words vibrated


from nerve to nerve. There is a power in human sym-
pathy that is ahnost irresistible. They were men of
deep, earnest convictions, and loving hearts. And who
can resist the fascination of a loving nature? They
were the prophets and pioneers of a better day.

Their ministry was not only characterized by deep,
earnest convictions, and true human sympathy; it had
clearness, knowledge, force — convincing the judgment,
arousing the conscience, establishing faith, nourishing
earnestness, sustaining zeal, and satisfying the felt wants
of the soul. They felt an agonizing determination to
speak the words of truth to their fellow-men at all
hazards. They were impelled by yearnings of super-
human import. And while the modern pulpit has gained
some in breadth and culture, some in refinement and
surface acquirements, it is well if it has lost nothing
of the earnestness and honesty of the early days.

The mission of the pulpit is the same to-day that it
has ever been. It is the grand instrument, the Divinely
appointed instrument, of the world's evangelization. And
if the pulpit in our day has rare opportunities for use-
fulness, it is also beset Avith remarkable difficulties.
The platform is no mean rival to the pulpit. Popular
lectures on current themes engross a large share of pub-
lic attention in towns and cities, and command much
of the attention of the better educated classes. And
thus the platform becomes a rival to the pulpit. If the
pulpit would retain the pre-eminence that it should, the
sermon must have as much freshness and culture, as
much breadth of thought and ease of manner, as the


lecture, and it must have superadded the unction of the
Holy Ghost.

The modern pulpit has another rival in the press, and
especially in the style of modern literature. The paper,
the magazine, and many of our books, are written in the
most fascinating style. This is a reading age, and for
the pulpit to retain its hold upon the popular mind, the
sermon must be as interesting as the paper, the mag-
azine, or the book. No book can perform the peculiar
office of the pulpit. The pulpit is missionary in its char-
acter j its office is to dig in the garden of the soul, to
excavate a road for moral manhood, to indicate a path-
way to moral attainments. No book can so well arouse
flagging and exhausted powers, no book can .so well
grapple with wandering convictions, no book can so well
quicken generous and active impulses, and no book can
rebuke vice with the same withering, scathing force, as
the voice of the living preacher. And while we honor
the Fathers, and claim that theirs was an efficient min-
istry, and adapted to the times, we can not admit that
the pulpit, upon the whole, has lost any of its power.
Some of the early founders of Methodism in Indiana yet
remain with us, most of them suffering from the infirm-
ities of age, while a few, as Dr. A. Wood, of the North-
western Conference, and Dr. E. G. Wood, of the South-
eastern Conference, retain much of the sprightliness and
vigor of their earlier years, with the ripeness and ma-
turity of age. The spirit of Methodism is retained in
its vigor, while its modes of*(?peration have been mod-
ified to suit the changed condition of society.


Thus the large circuit system has been superseded
by smaller charges, and week-day preaching has nearly
disappeared. Church interests and ministerial cares
have greatly increased as Church institutions have mul-
tiplied, and while long journeys and physical exposure
have greatly diminished, intellectual exertion and moral
responsibility have greatly increased.

No notice has been taken of a number of ministers,
who, for various causes, have seen fit to leave the minis-
try, some for positions in other Churches, and some for
secular pursuits. Such cases have been few, and subse-
quent history will do them justice. It is enough at
present to say that none of them have profited by their
changes, and that the men who have remained faithful
to their ministerial vows have been the men of the
largest influence and the greatest success.

Many interesting details in the history of Methodism
in the state have been necessarily passed by, and much
local history has been omitted for want of room. A
full history of Indiana Methodism would fill three vol-
umes of the size of this. What has been aimed at in
this volume, is to make such a record of the introduction,
progress, and present position of Methodism in Indiana,
as will convey to the mind of the reader a just estimate
of what Indiana Methodism is, what it has achieved, and
the circumstances under which it has wrought out its
results, without attempting a minute and consecutive
history. It is hoped that the plan of the work will be
acceptable to the majority of readers.

I am indebted to the kindness of brethren in differeftt


parts of the state for valuable information. I have had
free access to the Journal of Dr. A. Wood, and he
has also furnished many valuable items from his own
memory. The difficulty, and in many cases the failure,
to obtain needed information, can not be appreciated,
except by persons who have labored in the same field.

Elliott's "Life of Bishop Eoberts," Cartwright's "Au-
tobiography," Smith's " Indiana Miscellany," " The Life
and Times of Wiley," the Indiana School Journal, " The
Census of the United States," and Dillon's "History
of Indiana," have been consulted in the preparation of
this work. Where local history has been written by
parties on the ground, the names of the writers appear
in connection with their articles.

This work has been written under the pressure
of ministerial duties, and does not claim to be invul-
nerable to criticism. With devout thanks to God that
the writer has been enabled to complete his self-im-
posed task, and with a sincere prayer that the work
may, to some extent, be useful, it is submitted to the


Indianapolis, J^ime 5, 1872.



Early Civil History — First Romish Church built in the Territory — First
Governor and Civil Officers — First session of the " General Court of the
Territory of Indiana" — First Grand Jury — Members of the House of Rep-
resentatives — Governor's Message — Convention to form a Constitution for
the State of Indiana — First General Assembly of the State of Indiana —
Indiana admitted into the Union — First Senators elected — Early Public
Men — Hugh Cull — Dennis Pennington — Ezra Ferris — James Scott — In-
fluence of the Early Itinerants pages 17-22


First Protestant Sermon preached in the Territory — First Methodist
Society formed — Mr. Cartwright's Encounter with the Shakers — First Pas-
toral Charge in the Territory — First Methodist Meeting-house — Whitewater
Circuit — Indiana District organized — Indiana District in 1809 — First Prot-
estant Preaching at Vincennes — William Winans — Indiana District in 1810 —
Prominent Members of the Conference — William M'Kendree— Charles Hol-
liday — John Collins — Learner Blackman — John Sale — James Quinn — Sol-
omon Langdon — William Burke — James B. Finley — John Strange — James
Axley — Division of the Western Conference — Missouri Conference organ-
ized — Introduction of Methodism into Decatur County — First Prayer-
meeting in the County — First Class formed — Anecdote of Mr.. Garrison —
Preaching established in Greensburg — Thomas Rice — Salaries of the Early
Preachers— Illustration — First School taught in the Territory — Geo. K.
Hester's account of the School — Sketch of the Introduction of Methodist
Preaching into Clarke County by Rev. George K. Hester — First Traveling
Preachers sent to the Grant — Benjamin Lakin and Ralph Lotspiech — First
Society formed — Silver-creek Circuit organized — Camp-meeting held near
Robertson's — Revivals — The Newlights — Memorable Revival of Religion in
1819— Illinois Conference held at Charlestown in 1825— Bishop M'Kendree

and Bishop Roberts both attend and preach pages 2;)-39'




Allen Wiley and C. W. Ruter admitted on Trial in the Ohio Confer-
ence — Friendship of Wiley and Bigelow — Incidents — First Camp-meeting
held in Indiana — Incidents of the Meeting — First Camp-meeting held near
Madison — Allen Wiley preaches — Results of the Meeting — Camp-meeting
near Cochran — Impressive Closing Services — Remarks on Camp-meetings —
Charges in Indiana in 1818 — John Schrader's Account of his Early Labors —
He is appointed to the Silver-creek Circuit — Administers the Sacrament for
the first time in New Albany — Appointed to Spring-river Circuit, Arkansas
Territory — Preaching under Difficulties — Manner of grinding Grain — Ap-
pointed to Corydon Circuit, Indiana — Organization of the Missouri Confer-
ence — He is appointed to Missouri Circuit — First Camp-meeting at Boone's-
lick — Heroism of the Early Preachers — Early Jesuit Missionaries — Roman-
ism and Protestantism contrasted — Number of Methodists in Indiana in
1810 — Number in 1820 — Charges in Indiana — Memoir of Samuel Parker —
James Havens admitted on Trial — William Cravens received into the Mis-
souri Conference — His Hatred of Slavery — An Incident — Remarks on the
Labors of Havens and Cravens — Anecdote — Appointments in Indiana in
1821 — Cravens appointed to Indianapolis — Connersville Circuit organized —
Extract from the Journal of the Quarterly Conference for Connersville
Circuit in 1822 — Support of the Pioneer Preachers — Appointments in In-
diana in 1823 — Dr. A. Wood's Account of his Journey to his New Circuit —
Account of his Year's Work — Division of Missouri Conference — Appoint-
ments in Indiana in 1824 — Appointments on Madison Circuit.... pages 40-62


First Session of the Illinois Conference — Charges in Indiana in 1825 —
Appointments made at the Illinois Conference for Indiana — Preaching-
places in Vincennes District in 1825 — Remarks on Circuits and Stations —
Sketch of Rev. William Beauchamp — His Eloquence — Incident — Second
Session of the Illinois Conference in 1826 — Number of Members returned
for Indiana — Appointments made in Indiana — Preaching-places in Indian-
apolis Circuit in 1825 — Honey-creek Circuit in 1825 — Paoli Circuit in
1826 — Appointments for Indiana at the Third Illinois Conference — Radical
Controversy at Madison — Indiana Members reported at the Illinois Confer-
ence in Madison, 1828 — Extent of Madison District — Revival in Lawrence-
burg District — J. V. Watson — Indianapolis Station — Fall-creek — Camp-
meeting at Pendleton — Incident connected with the Meeting by Wiley —
Illinois Conference at Edwardsville, Illinois, 1829 — Incidents concerning
John Strange — Illinois Conference in Vincennes in 1830 — Number of Mem-
bers reported — Indianapolis District organized — Fort Wayne Mission or-
ganized — South Bend Mission formed — Division of Illinois Conference—


First Session of the Indiana Conference — Number of Membei-s reported —
Incident of Allen Wilej — Meeting held in Fort Wayne pages 63-76


Retrospective View — First Settlers — First Preachers — Settlement of
Clarke County — Quaker Settlements — Vincennes District in 1811 — "Rang-
ers" of 1812 — New Harmony Colony — First Methodist Preaching in Vigo
County — Incident — Introduction of Methodism in Harrison County — Early
Men of Note — Dennis Pennington — "Uncle Walter Pennington" — "Uncle
Billy Safl'er" — Edward Pennington — Early Methodists in New Albany —
Peter Stoy, Aaron Daniels, and Others — First Society in Jefifersonville — So-
cieties in Charlestown and Madison — Methodist Preaching in Rising Sun —
Manner of Introduction — First Class formed — Lawrenceburg Circuit organ-
ized — Mr. Bartholomew — Isaac Dunn — Rev. Elijah Sparks — Mrs. Amos
Lane — Isaac Mills — Jacob Blasdell — Rev. Daniel Plummer — Rev. A. J.
Cotton — Samuel Goodwin — Rev. Augustus Jocelyn — Hugh Cull — White-
water Circuit formed — Israel Abrams — Camp-meeting near Saulsbury —
Methodism established at Moore's Hill — Adam Moore and Others — John
C. Moore — Moore's Hill — Origin of the Name — Influence of Local Preach-
ers — Names of Noted Local Preachers — " Sketch of Early Society in Indi-
ana," by Rev. A. Wood — The Missionary District in 1832 — First Camp-meet-
ing in Laporte County — Introduction of Methodism into Elkhart County —
First Camp-meeting in the County — Local Preachers in Connersville and
Whitewater Circuits — James Conwell and others — An Old-fashioned Quar-
terly-meeting — Dr. Benjamin Adams — John Strange — Account of his La-
bors — Letter of John Schrader — Facts in the Early History of the Church —
Preaching in Bar-rooms — Incident — "Characteristics of the early Indiana
Settlers," by Rev. A. Wood pages 77-101



Rev. Edwin Ray — His Life and Labors — Benjamin C. Stephenson —
Indiana Conference in 1833 — Sketch of John Strange — Anthony F. Thomp-
son — Indiana Conference in 1834 — George Locke — Reminiscences of his
Labors — Sketch of James Armstrong — Nehemiah B. Griffith — James Arm-
strong appointed Missionary — His Personal Appearance and Manner of
Preaching — First Societies formed in the State — Elkhart Circuit formed —
Indiana Conference in 1835 — Origin of the "Preachers' Aid Society" — Ed-
ward R. Ames, Agent — Indiana Conference in 1836 — Indiana Asbury Uni-
versity located at Greencastle — John C. Smith, Agent — Camp-meeting on
Rushville Circuit in 1837 — Memorable Storm — Anecdote connected with
Ames and Smith — Indiana Conference in 1837 — Scene on a Steam-boat —
George Randle — John Decker — \Vm. Evans — Eli P. Farmer and Others —
Asa Beck — James Scott — Thomas S. Hitt and Isaac N. Ellsbury — Robert


Burns, Joseph Oglesby, and Others — Anecdote of J. V. Watson — Wm. H.
Goode appointed President of New Albany Seminary — Is succeeded by
George Harrison — Founders of the Institution — Indiana Conference in
1838 — Traveling to Conference in Early Times — Incident — Indiana Confer-
ence in 1839 — Indiana German Mission established — First Missionaries —
Contributions to Missions in 1835 and in 1840 pages 102-126


FROM 1841 TO 18S6.

Indiana Conference in 1841 — George K Hester — Thomas Gunn — Isaac
Kelso — Indiana Conference in 1842 — E. W. Sehon and Edmund S. Janes
address the Conference — Embarrassment of Janes — Indiana Conference in
1843 — General Conference in 1843 — Indiana Delegates — Indiana divided
into two Conferences — Indiana Conference in 1844 — John A. Decker —
Ebenezer Patrick — North Indiana Conference in 1845 — Peter R. Guthrie
and Daniel S. Elder— Growth of Methodism from 1832 to 1843— Division
of the State into four Conferences — Benjamin T. Griffith — Walter Prescott —
James E. Tiffany — Wra. C. Hensley — Francis F. Sheldon — Emmons Rut-
ledge — Isaac Crawford — Hosier J. Durbin — Isaac Owen — His Life and
Labors — Calvin W. Ruter — His Character and Services — James Jones — Seth
Smith — George M. Beswick — John H. Bruce — Statistics for 1856 — The Early
Circuit System — Results of relinquishing Week-day Preaching — Effect of
building Churches too close together in the Country pages 127-138


Sketch of Samuel C. Cooper — Samuel Brenton — Indiana Conference in
1857 — George W. Ames — Transfers — Wm. H. Metts — Time of holding North
Indiana Conference changed — Increase in Membership in 1857 — North In-
diana Conference in 1859 — Joseph R. Downey appointed Missionary to
India — South-eastern Indiana Conference in 1859 — Delegates to General
Conference — Indiana Conference Delegates — North Indiana Conference
Delegates — North-west Indiana Conference Delegates — Churches in Indiana
in 1860, from "United States Census Report" — Methodist Liberality — Allen
Wiley — His Character and Labors — Sessions of the Indiana Conference
down to 1850 — Annual Increase of Ministers and Membership from the
organization of the Conference to 1851 — Growth of North Indiana Confer-
ence from its organization to 1851 — Aggregate Membership in the State in
1850— Number in 1860 pages 139-147


Prosperity of the Church during the Civil War — Increase in Church
Property — Loyalty of Indiana Methodists — Remarks on the Origin of the
War — Election of Mr. Lincoln — Peace Convention — Significance of Mr.


Lincoln's Election — Bombardment of Fort Sumter — Call for Volunteers —
Indiana's Response — The Political Value of Methodism to the Preservation
of the National Life — Remark of Chief Justice Chase — Estimate of Meth-
odist Voters in Indiana — Number of Methodist Voters in the Loyal States — •
Moral Compensations of the War — Retrospective View of the Church — Early
Circuits — Location of the Places of Worship — Church Architecture — The
Vested Funds for Church Purposes in Indiana — Preachers' Aid Societies —
Amount Paid for Ministerial Support — Benevolent Contributions — Meth-
odism and Population — Statistics of African Methodist Episcopal Church —
Methodism among the Germans pages 148-159


Retrospect of the Conferences — Indiana Conference : Number of
Preachers — Presiding Elders — Members — Value of Church Property — Num-
ber of Sunday-schools, Officers and Teachers — Superannuated Members of
the Conference — Sessions of the Conference from 1832 to 1851 — Time,
Place, Presiding Bishop, Principal Secretary — North Indiana Confer-
ence : Number of Preachers — Presiding Elders — Church Members — Sunday-
schools, Officers, and Teachers — Value of Church Property — Superannuated
Preachers — Sessions of the Conference from 1844 to 1871 — South-eastern
Indiana Conference: Preachers, Church Members — Value of Church Prop-
erty — Sunday-schools, Officers, and Teachers — Benevolent Contributions —
Presiding Elders — Superannuated Members — Sessions of the Conference
from 1852 to 1871 — North-west Indiana Conference: First Session —
Number of Preachers — Superannuates — Presiding Elders — Statistics of the
Conference — Institutions of Learning under the care of the Conference —
Missionaries connected with the Conference — Sessions of the Conference
from 1852 to 1871 pages 160-166


Sabbath-school Cause — Sabbath-school organized by Bishop Asbury in
1786 — Resolutions passed by the General Conference of 1824 — Organ-
ization of the " Sunday-school Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church " —
Rules of the Discipline relating to Sunday-schools in 1828 — In 1832 — In
1840 — Reorganization of "Sunday-school Union" — "Sunday-school Advo-
cate" Established — Sunday-school Convention in 1844 — Superintendents
admitted into the Quarterly Conference — Rules of the Discipline on Sun-
day-schools in 1861 — Sunday-schools in Indiana — Statistics... pages 167-172


Methodism in some of the Principal Towns of the State — Jefferson-
ville; by Rev. R. Curran, M. D. — First Society formed — Persons com-
posing It — Quarterage paid — First Quarterly-meeting held — Preacher's


Salary — Mention of Prominent Female "Workers — Early Class-leaders — First
Record of Church Property — First Church built — Erection of Wall-street
Church — Dedication — Celebration of the Centenary of Methodism — Present
Statistics — New Albany — First Church built — Sacrament administered for
the First Time — Number of Churches at the Present Time — De Pauw Col-
lege — Mission Churches — Richmond; by Rev. Thomas Comstock — First
Settlement of Wayne County— Hugh Cull— Arrival of Mr. Elliott— First
Sermon preached — First Society formed — Whitewater Circuit formed — First
Church built — Incident of Mr. Cull's Preaching — Meek's Meeting-house
built — First Camp-meeting — Temperance Pledge — First Sunday-school in
Wayne County — Introduction of Methodism into Richmond — First Meth-
odist Church built in the Town — Two-days' Meeting — First Sunday-school
in Richmond — Brick Church built — Formation of Second Charge — Grace
Church built — Third Charge formed — Present State of the Churches —
Indianapolis — Indianapolis Circuit organized — Anecdote concerning Rev.
Jesse Hale — First Place of Worship in Indianapolis — First Society formed —
First Sermon preached — First Sunday-school — Wesley Chapel built — East-
ern Charge organized — Asbury Chapel — Strange Chapel — California-street
Church — Trinity — Third-street — Ames — Massachusetts-avenue — German
Methodists — S. N. Phipps — Mrs. Paxton — Mrs. Given — John Wilkins — Mrs.

Online LibraryFernandez C. HollidayIndiana Methodism : being an account of the introduction, progress, and present position of Methodism in the State; and also a history of the literary institutions under the care of the church, with s → online text (page 1 of 27)