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 20 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 20 of 27)
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men, and reflect that they are yet on the watch-towers,
strong men for duty, preaching the same Gospel as of


old, and that I have been spared through the lapse of
forty-five years to Avitness the achievements of these he-
roes, I thank God and take courage.

"At the Conference in Vincennes, in 1830, I was ap-
pointed to Vevay Circuit. It was during this year that
the wonderful camp-meeting on Crooked Creek, above
Madison, was held. The good results of this meeting
were felt in that part of the country for many years
thereafter. About one hundred and forty persons were
converted to God, and the power manifested in the con-
viction and conversion of these persons was a marvel in
the eyes of the stanchest believers. Fear and trem-
bling seized sinners as soon as they came within the sa-
cred influence, and a yielding to God seemed inevitable.

" In the Fall of this year I was married by Allen
Wiley, the presiding elder, to Maria Slawson, who has
traveled the path of life by my side ever since. It was
customary among those in high life, in that day (and we
were of that respected class), to enjoy wedding tours, in
order that the young couple might begin life under as fa-
vorable auspices as possible ; consequently, we took our
wedding-tour. We did not go to Niagara and to the
White Mountains, nor to Lake Superior or to California,
but we went to Conference. We were married in Switz-
erland County, spent our first Sabbath at the noted camp-
meeting on Crooked Creek. At its close, we resumed our
travels, resting the first night near Columbus, taking a
late breakfast at this place. Next morning we started
west to Bloomington, via Brown County. Shortly after
we started, it commenced raining, and continued all day
long. To my suggestion that we had better stop at some
house until the rain ceased, my spirited young bride an-
swered, that she could stand the rain if I could. So we
rode along all day, single-file along the trail, until night


overtook us. Arriving near the old salt-works, on Salt
Creek, we found three little cabins, one-half mile apart.
Stopping at the first one, we were told they could not
accommodate us ; going on to the second, we found all
the family sick ; and when we got to the third one, the
woman informed us that she had nothing at all to eat ;
that her husband was then gone to the settlements for
food, and that she could do nothing for us. In this ex-
tremity, we returned to the first cabin and asked the»wo-
man if we could not come in out of the rain. In an-
swer, she said we must first go over to the salt-works
and ask her husband. Leaving my bride waiting in the
dark and rain, I made my way as best I could to the
works, and after our situation was fully stated, the hus-
band agreed that we might stay with them, but as he had
no place for our horses it would be necessary to build a
pen for their accommodation. He soon arranged a torch,
by the light of which we built a high fence around the
horses, cut a few stalks of green corn from his little gar-
den-patch, and then we went into the house, carrying our
saddles with us, and we were heartily thankful we had a
roof over us. We were soon warm and comfortable ;
and, after holding family prayer, in which we remem-
bered at a Throne of Grace the kind family who were en-
tertaining the benighted strangers, we retired, occupying
the only bed in the cabin. The bedstead was constructed
by driving two pins into the wall, with boards laid across
them, and then the straw bed. It was the best they
could do, and we were content. My bride had in her
pocket a biscuit brought from home, and the great ques-
tion was, which should eat it. We finally compromised
by dividing it. In the morning we found the horses all
right, and we were soon on our way. When we arrived
at Bloomington, where we had expected to have broken


our fast, we concluded to wait until we got to Stanford,
where our relatives were glad to receive us ; and at two
o'clock in the afternoon we sat down to our first meal
since breakfast the preceding day. And now, as I write
of the experience of that trip, my young bride knitting
at my side, her hair much lighter now than then, gives it
as her opinion that, while love is essentially necessary
and very sustaining under ordinary circumstances, yet,
for long bridal trips on horseback, she advises the newly
married pair to depend mostly on a diet more substantial.
"In the above sketches of my early life I have not
written much of my own success in preaching the Gos-
pel. I am glad, however, to remember many pleasant
seasons I have enjoyed while trying to do my duty to
God in pointing sinners to the Savior; and I am ex-
pecting to enjoy the reunion of many friends in the
better country, in the blest 'by and by.' I have seen
the Church in its infancy, have witnessed its privations
and discouragements, as also its successes and achieve-
ments. I bless the Lord, that while I can boast of know-
ing the simplicity and earnestness of the former times, I
have delighted in the glory and grandeur of the latter
days ; and my strong faith is, that if our Church is only
true to herself, the golden day of her power and use-
fulness is yet in the future. So mote it be."


Enoch G. Wood entered the traveling ministry in the
Illinois Conference in 1827, at its session in Mount Car-
mel, Illinois, and his first appointment was to Charles-
town Circuit, Indiana, as junior preacher, with George
Locke and C. W. Ruter; the latter being on the super-
numerary list. Brother Wood has been on the effective
list of itinerants ever since. In youth he drew the


m\fM: Eo(S.\^y(!i'^;.:^:


Gospel sword, threw away the scabbard, and has main-
tained his position in the front of the army of invasion
for forty-four years, and still claims to be a young man.
He is young in heart, young in enterprise, and young in
mental vigor, although mature in years and in expe-
rience; and having spent the whole of his ministerial life
in Indiana, and half of it in the presiding eldership, he
deserves to be ranked among the fathers of the Confer-
ence. Dr. Wood is an able preacher. His style is
argumentative, and his sermons instructive. He lights
the sanctuary with "beaten oil." He does not sacrifice
to God that which cost him nothing. His sermons give
evidence of close thought and careful preparation ; and
yet he uses the pen sparingly, if at all, in his pulpit
preparations. Most of his sermons would do to go to
the press just as delivered, and yet it is doubtful if he
ever wrote a sermon in full. He has been a practical
and earnest friend of education, giving much attention
to the building up of the literary institutions under the
care of the Church. Few men have given themselves
as unreservedly to the work of the ministry as Dr.
Wood, and prosecuted that work with equal zeal and
singleness of purpose for so many years. Dr. Wood has
ever enjoyed the full confidence of his brethren. He
has been four times elected to represent his Conference
in sessions of the General Conference.


John Schrader is now the oldest minister in Indiana.
He entered the itinerancy in the Tennessee Conference
in 1813, and has traveled large circuits in Indiana, Illi-
nois, Missouri, and Arkansas. He preached the first
sermon in New Albany, organized the first class, and
administered the sacrament of the Lord's-supper to theim


for the first time. That was in the Spring of 1818. He
had been removed in the middle of the year, and placed
on Silver-creek Circuit to supply the place of John
Cord, Avho had to leave the circuit in consequence of
having his house consumed by fire ; and, as the circuit
was not able to make up his loss, and meet the pressing
demands of his ftimily, Mr. Cord had to leave the circuit,
and devote his attention for a season to secular pursuits.
In taking charge of the circuit, he organized a few
new preaching-places, one of which was New Albany.
A few members had organized themselves into a class.
To these Mr. Schrader preached in a tavern kept by a
Mrs. Ruff, and administered the sacrament of the Lord's-
supper; doubtless the first time that the ordinance was
ever administered in that city. Upon the organization
■of the Missouri Conference in 1816, Mr. Schrader was
included within its bounds. Upon the organization of
the Illinois Conference, he fell within its bounds; and
lupon the organization of the Indiana Conference, he was
included within its territory. His name has been long
on the superanuated list in the Indiana Conference, but
the vine which he helped to plant in this virgin soil has
sent out its branches, and overshadowed the land. He
has seen "the wilderness blossom as the rose;" has lived
to see "a little one become a thousand, and a small one
a strong nation."


John Miller was received on trial in the Missouri
Conference in the Fall of 1823, when that Conference
included the settled portions of the country, from the
•western border of the Ohio Conference to the then prov-
ince of Texas. His first appointment was to Sangamon
Circuit, in Illinois, in Illinois District, with Samuel H.


Thompson as presiding elder. His second appointment
was to Indianapolis Circuit, in 1824 ; the Missouri Con-
ference having been divided, and the work in Indiana
and Illinois included in the Illinois Conference. Indian-
apolis was included in Madison District, and John Strange
was the presiding elder. His third appointment was
Paoli. His fourth appointment was Illinois Circuit. His
fifth appointment was Vincennes Circuit. His sixth ap-
pointment was Washington Circuit. In 1829, he was
appointed to Mount Carmel Circuit, and, in 1830, was
reappointed to the same charge. In 1831, he Avas ap-'
pointed to Corydon Circuit. At the organization of the
Indiana Conference, in 1832, he was included in the In-
diana work, and was appointed to Charlestown Circuit;
and henceforward his name is connected with the work
in Indiana. Brother Miller has traveled our largest
circuits, filled some of the best stations in his Confer-
ence. He has been a presiding elder, and a delegate to
the General Conference, and has been ever true and
faithful in all the relations he has sustained. For the
last few years he has been on the superanuated list. His
ministerial record is remarkably faultless. A man of
large heart, warm sympathies, true friendships, unaf-
fected modesty, and genuine piety, he was greatly loved
by the people whom he served. In the days of his
vigor he had a musical voice, which he knew well how
to manage, for he was a charming singer.


Amasa Johnson was received on trial into the trav-
eling ministry at the first session of the Indiana Confer-
ence, in 1832, and was identified with the work of the
ministry in Indiana till the close of his life. Of him
Hon. R. W. Thompson said, in his discourse before the


Indiana State Methodist Convention, on the "Fallen
Heroes of Methodism :" " Having been received into the
Church by Amasa Johnson, I should do injustice to my
own feelings if I did not avail myself of this occasion
to bear testimony to his self-sacrificing devotion, his un-
questioned purity, and wonderful native abilities. Few
men have entered the ministry with less education ; and
yet his great sagacity, extraordinary memory, and fine
fund of common sense, enabled him to overcome his
early disadvantages ; so that he at last became one of
the most ejQPective and convincing preachers I ever heard.
He made no attempt at oratory in its highest sense ; but,
as he drew all his illustrations from familiar things, he
never failed to reach both the judgment and the heart.
If beauty is the greatest when unadorned, then his elo-
quence was of no inferior kind ; for it wore none of that
clothing which a cultivated imagination gives; it was
direct, impressive, and irresistible — the true eloquence
of Nature. He had a keen and just sense of responsi-
bility to God, and followed after truth for its own sake.
Such men as he deserve far more of the world's respect
than they generally receive, because -the world loves
show and ornament ; but those to whom his ability and
sterling worth are best known, will remember him, as I
do, with sincere admiration for his memory."


Asa Beck was admitted on trial in the Illinois Con-
ference in 1828, and traveled successively Columbus,
Fall-creek, Wayne, Connersville, and Franklin Circuits.
At the organization of the Indiana Conference he was in-
cluded in the work in Indiana. He has traveled many
of the largest circuits in the Conference, and was for
many years an efficient preacher; and his labors were


blessed to the conversion of many souls to God. Father
Beck has been for a number of years on the reth*ed


The name of James Scott first appears in connection
with the work in Indiana in 1826, when he traveled
Madison Circuit ; and from thenceforward for many years
he is found among the active and laborious itinerants who
preached the Gospel and planted Churches in the new
settlements throughout Indiana. He possessed a keen,
analytical mind, and in his early ministry was fond of
debate. Several champions of Universalism had reason
to remember the clearness of his logic, and the keenness
of his satire, as well as his thorough familiarity with the
Bible. Age and growing infirmities compelled him to
superannuate a number of years since.


Elijah Written was admitted on trial in the Indiana
Conference at its first session in 1832. He had embraced
religion a few years previous to this date, in Cincinnati,
in the great revival in that city, under the ministry of
Bev. Dr. Wilson. Whitten soon found that Calvinism
was opposed to his clearest convictions of truth, and that
the doctrines, usages, and general spirit of Methodism
better accorded with his convictions and tastes ; and he
accordingly united with the Methodist Church, entered
the itinerant ministry, and devoted himself with unusual
energy to the work of the ministry, until failing health
compelled him to superannuate. In the days of his
vigor, few men could present the doctrines of Christian-
ity in a clearer or more forcible light than he.



Henry S. Talbott was admitted on trial in the Illi-
nois Conference in the Fall of 1830. In the division of
the Conference, he fell in the Indiana Conference, and is
still identified with the itinerancy in the Indiana Confer-
ence. He resigned the practice of medicine for the work
of the ministry. He was a man of considerable culture,
and an excellent preacher. He filled a number of respon-
sible appointments, including that of presiding elder and
delegate to the General Conference, and deserves to be
ranked amono; the fathers of Indiana Methodism.


Richard Hargrave entered the traveling connection
in the Fall of 1824, and has been identified with the
work of the Methodist ministry in Indiana ever since.
In the days of his vigor he was the prince of preachers.
With a dignified and impressive personal presence, a
clear, full voice, a distinct and ready utterance, and a
thorough fiimiliarity with Bible themes and Bible doc-
trines, and a heart in full sympathy with his work as a
Christian minister, his sermons were listened to with in-
terest, although of unusual length. His sermons were no
brief essays on distinct topics, as is quite too much the
style of the pulpit now, but they were elaborate discus-
sions of the grand doctrines of revelation. For nearly
fifty years he has occupied a prominent place among the
pulpit orators of the land. He has given to the public
an excellent volume of sermons. Age and growing in-
firmities have compelled him to superannuate, although
his heart is in full sympathy with the itinerant work.



Robert Burns entered the traveling ministry in the
Illinois Conference in the Fall of 1826, and was a zeal-
ous, laborious, and successful traveling preacher. He was
gifted in exhortation. His appeals to the consciences
and understandings of his hearers were searching and
powerful. He continued effective until age and physical
infirmities compelled him to locate.


John W. Sullivan entered the traveling connection
on trial, in the Indiana Conference, at its session in Mad-
ison, in the Fall of 1833, and has been connected with
the itinerancy in Indiana ever since. He has been emi-
nently useful, haAdng had numerous revivals under his
ministry. In his earlier ministry he was an excellent
singer, and often powerful in exhortation. He was an
excellent manager of revival meetings, and a good pas-
tor. He has filled a number of important charges in his
Conference with great acceptability. For several years
past he has been Moral Instructor to the Southern Indi-
ana State-prison at Jeffersonville.


David Stiver was admitted on trial in the Indiana
Conference in 1832, and labored efficiently for a number
of years, and was appointed presiding elder on Center-
ville District in 1838. Owing to unfortunate domestic
troubles, he desisted from the active work of the minis-
try for a number of years, but maintaining his Christian
and ministerial standing as a local preacher. But yield-
ing to his convictions of duty, and the judgment of his


brethren, he re-entered the Conference, and continued to
labor until age and failing health compelled him to super-


James T. Robe entered the traveling connection in the
Illinois Conference in 1831, but on the organization of
the Indiana Conference the ensuing year, he fell within
its bounds, where he labored faithfully for a number of
years, and finally located in the state of Michigan, where
he has continued as a local preacher, rich in Christian
experience, and ripening for the heavenly garner.


Charles Bonner was admitted on trial in the Illinois
Conference in the Fall of 1828, and appointed to Fall-
creek Circuit, in the vicinity of Indianapolis. His subse-
quent fields of labor were in Indiana ; and, upon the di-
vision of the Illinois Conference, and constituting the In-
diana Conference, he was included in the bounds of the
latter, where he continued to labor efficiently for a num-
ber of years, when he located, entered into secular busi-
ness, was unfortunate in trading, went to California, and
met a sad death by being pierced through the body by
the prongs of a pitchfork, as he was getting off from a
load of hay. Charles Bonner was a good man, and,
while in the work of the ministry, an efficient preacher.
He was a remarkably industrious man, but that industry
Avas directed more to manual labor, in improving parson-
age and church property, cultivating his garden, and
chopping his own wood, than in intellectual labor for the
better prosecution of his work as a minister. The Church
is always the loser when her ministers have to give their
attention to manual labor or secular pursuits ; and no man


can be eminent as a minister, or long sustain a respecta-
ble position in the ministry, who gives his time and
strength to outside duties. Charles Bonner was a true
friend and an admirable colleague, in the days of the old-
fashioned circuits with two preachers, when the circuits
had from twenty-four to thirty appointments to be filled
by each preacher once in four weeks. He gathered many
into the Church, and his memory is cherished by his co-
laborers in the ministry.


John Kearns joined the Illinois Conference in 1827,
and labored some twenty odd years in Indiana, filling a
number of important stations, and serving for some time
as presiding elder. He finally transferred to Minnesota,
for a change of climate, where he continues an efficient
minister of the Gospel.


John C. Smith was admitted on trial into the travel-
ing connection, in the Illinois Conference, at its session
in Vincennes, in the Fall of 1830, and appointed to
Rushville Circuit with Amos Sparks. His next appoint-
ment was Lawrenceburg Circuit, where he remained two
years; and in the organization of the Indiana Confer-
ence he was included within its bounds, and early took
high rank as a gifted and zealous minister. For a num-
ber of years he Avas recognized at the head of the young
men of his age in the ministry in Indiana. No young
man had entered the ministry in Indiana, at that day,
whose educational advantages were superior to those of
brother Smith. His style of preaching was popular,
and through his labors multitudes were gathered into the
Church. One of the most extensive revivals of religion


ever enjoyed by the Church in Indianapolis, was under
his ministry while pastor of Wesley Chapel, on the cor-
ner of Meridian and Circle Streets, in 1836 and 1837.
Some years since, impaired health induced him to retire
from the active work of the ministry.


John A. Brouse was admitted on trial in the Indiana
Conference in the Fall of 1833. He traveled several
large circuits, filled some important stations, was presid-
ing elder for several terms, and once a delegate to the
General Conference, and one year an agent for Asbury
-University. The financial demands upon him necessary
to the support and education of a large family, induced
him to retire from the active work of the ministry, and
give his attention to secular pursuits.


Few names are more familiar in Methodist circles in
Indiana than that of James Havens. He entered the
traveling connection in the old Ohio Conference in 1821.
He came to Indiana a few years later, and settled in
Rush County, two miles west of Rushville, where he
raised a large family, and where the family continued to
reside until the children Avere all grown. Notwithstand-
ing his family was located, Mr. Havens was emphatically
an itinerant, traveling large circuits and districts, and
often absent from home for weeks at a time. Mr. Ha-
vens's early education was defective, and he could barely
read when he joined the Conference; but he had an
energy that no obstacles could break down, a persever-
ance that never abated until its end was reached, and an
ability for both mental and physical exertion that en-
abled him to accomplish what to most men would have


been impossible. He arose to a front rank in the min-
istry, and made an impression upon general society that
has been abiding. His knowledge of human nature was
wonderful, and he read the character of those with whom
he came in contact by a sort of intuition, and he rarely
ever made a mistake. His reproofs were scathing ; and,
in the early settlement of Indiana, he was for many years
emphatically a terror to evil-doers. The stories of his
encounters with the roAvdies and roughs that were wont
to disturb the early camp-meetings, and his uniform vic-
tories over them, would constitute a volume of thrilling
interest. And, although fearless as a lion in the presence
of danger, he was, nevertheless, a man of the tenderest
sympathies and warmest friendships. The results of his
labors are seen in the social order and the general
respect for religion which every-where prevail through-
out our state, as well as in the multitudes that were
converted to God through his ministry. The fathers
labored, and we are entered into their labors. Mr, Ha-
vens secured a good general education, and was well read
in theology and Church history. He was a delegate to
several sessions of the General Conference. His sermons
Avere well prepared, though never written. When asked
why he did not use the pen in preparing for the pulpit,
his reply was : " Do n't you think the devil can read
writing? I do n't intend that he shall either forestall
me or flank me." During a large part of his ministry
he filled the office of presiding elder, and exerted a com-
manding influence, both among preachers and people.


Calvin W. Ruter was admitted on trial into the
traveling connection in the old Ohio Conference in 1818.
His ministerial labors were spent in Indiana. Upon the



organization of the Missouri Conference he was a mem-

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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 20 of 27)