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

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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 2 of 27)
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Alfred Harrison — Mrs. Richmond — Calvin Fletcher, Esq. — Rev. Joseph Mar-
see — Morris Morris — Gen. T. A. Morris — Relative Strength of the Churches
in the City — List of Appointments to Indianapolis from 1821 to 1842 —
Washington, Daviess County — Organization of the Society — First Church
built — Revivals — Lafayette ; by Rev. N. L. Brakeman — First Methodist
Sermon — Preaching-places on Crawfordsville Circuit in 1828 — Logansport
Mission formed — Church organized in Lafayette — First Quarterly-meeting —
Anecdote of Mr. Strange — Present Church built — Ninth-street Church —
Colored Methodist Church — Sixth Ward Methodist Episcopal Church —
Trinity — Chauncey Church — Present Strength of Methodism — South Bend —
Account of John Brownfield, Esq. — First Methodist Prayer-meeting — First
Class organized — First Sunday-school — First Board of Church Trustees —
Church built — Portage Chapel built — Second Charge — Enterprise of the
"Ladies' Mite Society" — Value of Church Property — Anderson; by Rev.
W. H. Goode, D. D. — First House of Worship — Present Church Buildings —
Numerical Relation of the Church Membership to the Population — Peru —
First Class formed — First Church built — Main-street Church — St. Paul's
Church — Terre Haute — First Mention in the Minutes — Minister's Ap-
pointed — Boarding-school for Young Ladies — Anecdote of Mrs. Locke —
Sketch of Methodism in Terre Haute, by Col. Thomas Dowling — First
Church Organization — First Ministers — Present Church erected — Early
State of Society — Ministers appointed to the Charge — Matthew Simpson —
Church Statistics — Madison — Early Methodists — Mr. MTntire — Gamaliel
Taylor — Radical Controversy — Wesley Chapel — Roberts Chapel — St. John's —
Church Statistics — Vincennes — Value of Church Property — Number of


Members — Fort Wayne — First Class formed — First Snnday-scliool — Pres-
ent Statistics — Fort Wayne College — Origin of the College — Value of Prop-
erty — Names of Presidents — Etansville — Circuit Preaching established —
Present Charges — Statistics pages 173-240


Social Achievements of Methodism — Hon. Amos Lane — Hon. Henry
Blasdell — Hon. John H. Thompson — Rev. Samuel Brenton — Hon. James
Whitcomb — Hon. Joseph A. Wright — Hon. Elisha Embree — Hon. R. W.
Thompson — Hon. Henry S. Lane — Hon. A. C. Downey — Hon. Will Cum-
back — Mrs. Larrabee — Mrs. Locke — Mrs. Julia Dumont — Father Stock-
well — Hon. W. C. De Pauw — John C. Moore — Indiana Missionaries — Joseph
R. Downey — Elect Ladies — Eveline Thomas — Lydia Hawes.. .pages 241-246



Rev. A. Wood, D. D. — Rev. Joseph Tarkington — Rev. Enoch G. Wood,
D. D. — Rev. John Schrader — Rev. John Miller — Rev. Amasa Johnson — Rev.
Asa Beck — Rev. James Scott — Rev. Elijah Whitten — Rev. Henry S. Tal-
bott — Rev. Richard Hargrave — Rev. Robert Burns — Rev. John W. Sulli-
van — Rev. David Stiver — Rev. James T. Robe — Rev. Charles Bonner —
Rev. John Kearns — Rev. John C. Smith — Rev. John A. Brouse — Rev.
James Havens — Rev. Calvin W. Ruter — Rev. Allen Wiley — Rev. Augustus
Eddy pages 247-276



Rev. W. H. Goode, D. D.— Rev. Cyrus Nutt, D. D.— Rev. W. C. Larrabee,
LL. D.— Dr. Tefift— Rev. T. H. Lynch, D. D.— Rev. John Wheeler, D. D.—
R6v. T. A. Goodwin, A. M.— Rev. Philander Wiley, A. M.— Dr. Benson-
Rev. Wm. M. Daily, D. D.— Geo. W. Hoss, A. M.— B. T. Hoyt, A. M.—
Prof. Joseph Tingley, Ph. D. — Prof S. A. Lattimore — Rev. Daniel Curry,
D. D.— Dr. Nadal— Dr. Bragdon— Rev. B. F. Rawlins, D. D.— Albion Fel-
lows, A. M.— J. P. Rouse, A. M.— Rev. B. W. Smith, A. M.— Rev. W. R.
Goodwin, A. M.— Rev. 0. H. Smith, A. M.— Wm. H. De Motte, A. M.— Rev.
Thos. Harrison, A. M.— Rev. J. P. D. John, A. M.— Rev. Jno. W. Locke,
D. D.— J. M. Olcott, A. M.— Rev. J. H. Martin, A. M.— Rev. S. R. Adams,
A. M.— Miles J. Fletcher, A. M.— Rev. L. W. Berry, D. D.— Rev. Thos.
Bowman, D. D. — Rev. Erastus Rowley, D. D. — Rev. G. W. Rice — Rev. A.
Gurney— Rev. R. D. Utter pages 277-316




Early Educational Funds controlled by Presbyterians — Effort to amend
the Charter of the " State University " — The Legislature memorialized —
"Indiana Asbury University" founded — First Meeting of the Board of
Trustees — First Commencement — "New Albany Seminary" — "De Pauw
College" — "Fort Wayne College" — "Whitewater College" — "Brookville
College" — "Moore's Hill College" — Educational Record for Indiana —
Names of Institutions pages 317-323



Bishop R. R. Roberts — Licensed to Preach and admitted into the Con-
ference — Circuits and Stations filled — Elected to the Episcopacy — Fact
leading to his Election — Removes to Indiana — His Personal Appearance —
His Manner — Extract from "The Fallen Heroes of Indiana Methodism,"
by Hon. R. W. Thompson — Example of his Kindness and Forbearance —
Account of his Preaching, by Hon. Mr. Thompson — Funeral Services at
Greencastle — Erection of a Monument — Bishop Matthew Simpson — Enters
the Ministry — Elected President of "Indiana Asbury University " — Elected
Editor of the "Western Christian Advocate" — Elected Bishop — His Services
in tke Cause of Education — He visits Europe — His Services during the
War — Bishop E. R. Ames — His Ancestors — His Early Life — Opens a High
School at Lebanon — Elected "Corresponding Secretary of the Missionary
Society" — Elected President of "Indiana Asbury University" — Elected
Bishop — His Personal Appearance — Manner of Preaching pages 324-337


FROM 1870 TO 1872.

Fortieth Session of the Indiana Conference — Death of B. F, Terr and
Thomas A. Whitted — Delegates to the General Conference of 1872 — Con-
gratulations between the Electoral Conference and the Annual Conference —
Statistics and Contributions — South-eastern Indiana Conference — Lay and
Clerical Delegates to the General Conference — Thomas Ray — John W.
Dole — William T. Saunders — Members — Church Property — Contributions —
Largest Churches— Sketch of S. T. Gillett, D. D.— Twentieth Session of
the North-west Indiana Conference — Electoral Conference — Resolutions
against a Change in our Church Economy — Delegates to the General Con-
ference — Members — Contributions — Educational — Twenty-ninth Session of
the North Indiana Conference — Members — Contributions — Electoral Con-
ference — Delegates to the General Conference — Resolutions on Conference
Boundary — Lay Delegation — Thomas Bowman, D. D pages 338-360



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 Representatives — Governor's Message — Convention to
form a Constitution for the State of Indiana — First General Assem-
bly of the State — Indiana admitted into the Union — First Senators
elected — Early Public Men — Hugh Cull — Dennis Pennington — Ezra
Ferris — James Scott — Influence of the Early Itinerants.

THE first white settlements in the territory of Indiana
were made by French traders. The villages of the
Miamies, which stood at the head of the Maumee River,
the Wea Adllages, situated about Oniatenon on the
Wabash River, and the Piankeshaw villages, which stood
near the present site of Vincennes, were regarded by the
early French fur-traders as suitable places for the estab-
lishment of trading-posts. As early as 1719, temporary
trading-posts were erected at the sites of Fort Wayne,
Oniatenon, and Vincennes. The Romish Church, with
a zeal and perseverance which must command our
highest admiration, are found on the frontiers of civil-
ization. The missionary of the Church was close on the
track of the fur-trader and the trapper. The first
Church in the territory was established by a Romish

2 17


missionary by the name of Meurin, at the Piankeshaw
village, in 1749, where the city of Vincennes now is.
In 1750 a small fort was built at the same place, and
another slight fortification Avas erected, about the same
time, at the mouth of the Wabash River. Vincennes
received considerable accessions to its white population
in 1754, 1755, and 1756, by the arrival of emigrants
from Detroit, Kaskaskia, Canada, and New Orleans.
On the division of the territory of the United States
north of the Ohio River, by the act of Congress of May
7, 1800, the material parts of the ordinance of July 13,
1787, remained in force in the territory of Indiana, and
the inhabitants of the new territory were invested with
all the privileges and advantages granted and secured to
the peo]3le by that ordinance. The seat of Government
was fixed at Vincennes.

On the 13th of May, 1800, William Henry Harrison
was appointed Governor, and on the next day, John
Gibson, a native of Pennsylvania, and a distinguished
pioneer, to whom Logan, the Indian chief, delivered his
celebrated speech, w^as appointed Secretary' of the Ter-
ritory. Soon afterward John Griffin, Henry Vanderburg,
and William Clark were appointed Territorial Judges.
The civilized population of the territory was estimated
in 1800 at 4,875. Governor Harrison and the Territorial
Judges held their first meeting at Vincennes, January
12, 1801, for the purpose of adopting and publishing
"such laws as the exigencies of the times" required,
and "for the performance of other acts conformable to
the ordinances and laws of Congress, for the government
of the Territory." The Territorial Judges commenced
the first session of the General Court of the Territory
of Indiana at Vincennes, March 3, 1801. The first
grand jury impaneled in the territory consisted of nine-


teen persons, as follows: Luke Decker, Antoine Mar-
chal, Joseph Baird, Patrick Simpson, Antoine Petit,
Andre Montplaiseur, John Ockiltree, Jonatha.n Marney,
Jacob Tevebaugh, Alexander Valley, Francis Turpin,
Fr. Compaynoitre, Charles Languedoc, Louis Severe, Fr.
Lan2:uedoc, George Catt, John Bt. Barois, Abraham
I5ecker, and Philip Catt. It will be readily inferred
from these names that a large per cent of these early
settlers were Frenchmen. The members of the first
Legislature of the Lidiana Territory convened in Vin-
cennes, pursuant to the proclamation of the Governor,
on the 29th of July, 1805. The members of the House
of Representatives were Jessie B. Thomas, of Dearborn
County, Davis Floyd, of Clark County, Benjamin Park
and John Johnson, of Knox County, Shadrach Bond and
William Beggs, of St. Clair County, and George Fisher,
of Randolph County. In his message, delivered on the
30th of July, 1805, the Governor congratulated the mem-
bers of the General Assembly "upon entering on a grade
of government which gave to the people the important
right of legislating for themselves." The Convention to
frame a constitution for the State of Indiana held its
session in Corydon. The Convention was composed of
clear-minded, practical men, -whose patriotism was above
suspicion, and whose morals were fjiir. The first General
Assembly, elected under the authority of the State Con-
stitution, commenced its session at Corydon, then the
capital of Indiana, on the 4th of November, 1816. The
Territorial Government was thus superseded by a State
Government, and the State formally admitted into the
Union by a joint resolution of Congress, approved on
the 11th of December, 1816. On the 8th of Novem-
ber, 1816, the General Assembly, by a joint vote of
both Houses, elected James Noble and Walter Taylor


to represent the State of Indiana in the Senate of the
United States.

Although the history of Fort Wayne and Vincennes
date back to the time of Louis XIV, when missionaries
and traders led small colonies far from the homes and
comforts of civilized life, and ambitious statesmen sent
military forces across the ocean and along our northern
lakes; and although the Swiss have cultivated the sunny,
slopes of the Ohio, in the vicinity of Vevay, from the be-
ginning of the century, it was not until after the close of
the war with Great Britain and the suppression of Indian
hostilities that population began to flow into the terri-
tory of Indiana. Although the representatives of nearly
all nations are found among us, yet a large majority of
our people are of the sturdy English stock, which, under
the extraordinary influences consequent upon the stirring
events of the seventeenth century, spread along the
Atlantic coast, from Maine to the region of the tropics.
Our populatian is truly composite. Like some grand
piece of mosaic, in which all the colors are united, to the
obscuring of none and the enhancing of the luster of
each, the typical Indiana man is dependent on every ele-
ment for completeness, yet as a whole is dissimilar to any
part. He is neither German nor Scotch, nor Irish nor
English, but a compound of the whole. The conqueror
of our forests and the plowman of our prairies is pos-
sessed of a spirit of personal independence that may be
sharpened into insolence or educated into manly self-
respect. Quite a number of the early public men of
Indiana were men of high moral character, and not a few
of them were men of decided piety; and they left their
impress upon general society. Hugh Cull, one of the
delegates from the County of Wayne to the Constitu-
tional Convention, to frame the first Constitution for the


State, was a local preacher in the Methodist Church,
lived to the extraordinary age of one hundred and one
years, retaining his faculties, his untarnished Christian
character, and the esteem of all who knew him, to the
last. He lived to see the county which he represented
in the first Constitutional Convention of the State, be-
come the empire county of the State, and a garden-spot
both in physical and moral culture, and the population of
the State increase from a few thousand to a milHon and
a quarter of inhabitants. Dennis Pennington, from
Harrison County, was also an active and influential
member of the Methodist Church. He served a number
of years in the State Legislature under the Constitution
which he had helped to frame, and died at a good old age,
having served his generation faithfully and well. Ezra
Ferris, a member of the Constitutional Convention from
Dearborn County, was a Baptist preacher of a liberal
spirit and great Christian influence. He resided in Law-
renceburg till the close of his life, which occurred near
the age of eighty years. James Scott, from Clark
County, who was subsequently, for a number of years,
one of the Supreme Judges of the State, was an exem-
plary and earnest Christian, a member of the Presbyte-
rian Church, but in hearty sympathy with all Christians.
He also lived to a good old age.

Such were some of the men that framed the first
Constitution for the State of Indiana. A high responsi-
bility is devolved upon, and rare opportunities are en-
joyed by, the men who lay the foundations of society,
whether civilly, socially, or ecclesiastically. Society, like
the individual, has its educational period, during which
it takes on those characteristics by which it is afterward
distinguished and known. History teaches us that social
and intellectual peculiarities are almost as transmissable


as physical traits. John Knox yet lives in the Psalm-
singing and rugged Calvinistic theology of Scotland.
Every country furnishes illustrations of this truth; and
that community is highly favored whose early leaders
possessed the requisite intellectual, social, and moral qual-
ities. A decidedly religious impression was made upon
the minds of a large proportion of the early settlers in
Indiana by the preaching of the Methodist itinerants, and
the value of their services is recognized by men of all
parties. Our itinerant system carried the means of grace
to the remotest settlements, gathered the people into
societies in the country, as well as in the toAvns and vil-
lages, and went far toward molding the minds and morals
of the people. Preaching every day in the week, they
lived among the people, sharing their privations and en-
joying their scanty but cheerful hospitality. Under
their labors "the wilderness and the solitary places have
been made glad, and the desert has blossomed as the
rose." It is fitting that the means, the processes, and
the agencies by which Methodism has wrought out her
work in Indiana, should be a matter of permanent



First Protestant Sermon preached in the Territory — First Methodist
Society formed — Mr. Cartwright's Encounter with the Shakers —
First Pastoral Charge in the Territory — First Methodist Meeting-
house — Whitewater Circuit — Indiana District organized — Indiana
District in 1809 — First Protestant Preaching atVinceniies — William
Winans — Indiana District in 1810 — Prominent Members of the Con-
ference — William M'Kendree — Charles Holliday — John Collins —
Leander Blackman — John Sale — James Ouinn — Solomon Langdon —
William Burke — James B. Finley — John Strange — James Axley —
Division of the Western Conference — Missouri Conference or-
ganized — 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 Clark
County by Rev. Geo. 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 New-lights — Memorable Revival in
1819 — Illinois Conference held at Charlestown in 1825 — Both Bish-
ops M'Kendree and Roberts attend and preach.

AMONG- the first Methodist sermons ever preached
in the territory of Indiana were those preached by
the venerable Peter Cartwright in 1804. Some Meth-
odist families had removed from Kentucky, and settled
in Clark's Grant, now Clark County, north of the Ohio
River, nearly opposite Louisville. Among them were the
Robinsons and Prathers, who settled near the present
town of Charlestown, the county-seat of Clark County.
This Avas in 1803. In 1804 Benjamin Lakin and Peter
Cartwright traveled Salt-river and Shelby Circuits in
Kentucky, and Mr. Cartwright, in his "Autobiography,"


saj^s that he and Mr. Lakin crossed over the river that
year, and preached at Robinson's and Prather's. This
was between two and three years before the organization
of Silver-creek Circuit by Moses Ash worth.

Mr. Cartwright has also the honor of organizing the
first Methodist society in the south-western part of the
state, at a place known in the early history of the state
as the Busroe settlement, which, for a time, was the
stronghold of Shakerism. We will let Mr. Cartwright
tell the story of his encounter with the Shakers in his
own language :

"1 will here state a case which occurred at an early
day in the state of Indiana, in a settlement called Bus-
roe. Many of the early emigrants to that settlement
were Methodists, Baptists, and Cumberland Presbyte-
rians. The Shaker priests, all apostates from the Bap-
tists and Cumberland Presbyterians, went over among
them. Many of them I was personally acquainted with,
and had given them letters when they removed from
Kentucky to that new country.

"There were then no Methodist circuit-preachers in
that region. There was an old brother Collins, a local
preacher, who withstood the Shakers, and in private
combat was a full match for any of them; but he was
not eloquent in public debate; and hence the Shaker
priests overcame my old brother, and by scores swept
members of different Churches away from their stead-
fastness into the muddy pool of Shakerism. The few
who remained steadfast, sent to Kentucky for me, pray-
ing me to come over and help them. I sent an appoint-
ment, with an invitation to meet any or all of the Shaker
priests in public debate; but, instead of meeting me, they
appointed a meeting in opposition, and warned the be-
lievers, as they called them, to keep away from my


meeting; but, from our former acquaintance and inti-
mate friendship, many of them came to hear me. I
preached to a vast crowd for about three hours, and
I verily believe God helped me. The very foundations
of every Shaker present were shaken from under him.
They then besought me to go to the Shaker meeting
that night. I went; and when I got there, we had a
great crowd. I proposed to them to have a debate, and
they dared not refuse. The terms were these : A local
preacher I had with me was to open the debate, then
one, or all of their preachers, if they chose, Avere to
follow, and I was to bring up the rear. My preacher
opened the debate by merely stating the points of dif-
ference. Mr. Brazelton followed, and, instead of argu-
ment, he turned every thing into abuse and insulting
slander. When he closed, Mr. Gill rose; but instead
of argument, he uttered a few words of personal abuse,
and then called all of the Shakers to meet him a few
minutes in the yard, talk a little, and then disperse.
Our debate was out in the open air, at the end of a
cabin. I arose, and called them to order, and stated
that it was fairly agreed by these Shaker priests that
I should bring up the rear, or close the argument. I
stated that it was cowardly to run ; that if I was the
devil himself, and they were right, I could not hurt
them. I got the most of them to take their seats and
hear me. Mr. Gill gathered a little band, and he and
they left. They had told the people, in the day, that
if I continued to oppose them, God would make an ex-
ample of me, and send fire from heaven and consume
me. When I arose to reply, I felt a sense of the ap-
probation of God, and that he would give me success.
I addressed the multitude about three hours, and when
I closed my argument, I opened the doors of the Church,


and invited all that would renounce Shakerism. to come
and give me their hand. Forty-seven came forward,
and then and there openly renounced the dreadful de-
lusion. The next day I followed those that fled ; and
the next day I went from cabin to cabin, taking the
names of those that returned to the solid foundation of
truth, and my number rose to eighty-seven. I then or-
ganized them into a regular society, and the next Fall
had a preacher sent them; and perhaps this victory may
be considered among the first fruits of Methodism in
that part of the new country. This was in 1808. They
were temporarily supplied with preaching until 1811,
when they were regularly included in the Vincennes Cir-
cuit, then under the care of Thomas Stillw^ll as preacher
in charge."

The first entire pastoral charge in the territory of
Indiana was Silver-creek Circuit, in Clark's Grant, now
Clark County, under the ministry of Rev. Moses Ash-

The first Methodist meeting-house in the territory
was built in what was then, and is still, known as the
Robertson neighborhood, near Charlestown. Mr. Ash-
worth was an enterprising, energetic man. Three meet-
ing-houses were built on this circuit during the first year
of its history, and, although they were necessarily cheap
log-houses, they evidenced the piety and liberality of the
people. They made provision for the public worship of
God, as good as they were able to make for the comfort
of their own families. Mr. Ashworth returned, at the
end of the year, one hundred and eighty-eight members.

"Whitewater Circuit, 'on the eastern, border of the
state, and lying then principally in the state of Ohio —
though that part of the circuit lying in Indiana retained
the name — had been organized the year before under the

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 2 of 27)