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 25 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 25 of 27)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

of the University, reinterred in the college campus.
The religious services were conducted by Rev. John
Miller, which were followed by an appropriate address
by Professor W. C. Larrabee. The preachers of the four
Indiana conferences united in erecting a beautiful marble
monument over his grave, at a cost of four hundred and
twelve dollars. The monument was erected by J. W.
Weir & Brother, of Indianapolis. The work having been
completed according to contract, its erection was cele-
brated on the 18th of May, 1859, in the following order :
A procession was formed at the " First Church," in Green-
castle, under the direction of Professor Miles J. Fletcher,
and marched to the college campus, where a platform
and seats had been prepared. The music was led by an
excellent choir. Appropriate portions of Scripture were
read by F. C. Holliday. Prayer was offered by Profes-
sor Cyrus Nutt and W. C. Smith, and an appreciative
and richly historical funeral address was delivered by
Rev. Aaron Wood. The mortal remains of the bishop's
wife, w^ho survived him several years, sleep by his side,
and through the liberality of J. S. M'Don^ld, Esq., of
New Albany, a substantial iron fence incloses their last

From the commencement of his ministry, and down
to his election to the episcopacy, Mr. Roberts filled a
class of prominent appointments, including the cities of
Baltimore, Washington City, and Philadelphia. For
twenty-seven years as a bishop he traveled over the set-
tled portions of this country, when the facilities for trav-


eling were far different from what they are now. He
was a model Christian gentleman, alike at home in the
parlors of the wealthy and in the cabins of the frontier
settlers. His qualities of person, mind, and heart fitted
him well for his position as a Methodist bishop, whose
diocese was a continent. He was " given to hospitality,"
and he showed his appreciation of learning by making
" Indiana Asbury University " his heir, so that what little
means he had accumulated will continue to promote the
interests of sanctified learning as the years roll by.


Rev. Matthew Simpson was elected to the episco-
pacy in 1852. Although his father died when he was
young, yet, acting upon the advice of judicious friends,
and prompted by a strong desire for learning, he suc-
ceeded in securing a collegiate education. He was con-
verted in his youth, and, yielding to his convictions of
duty, he entered the traveling ministry, in the Pittsburg
Conference, in 1833. In 1839, he was elected President
of Indiana Asbury University, which position he con-
tinued to occupy until 1848, when he was elected editor
of the Western Christian Advocate. He filled this position
until 1852, when he was elected bishop.

Dr. Simpson, as President of Indiana Asbury Uni-
versity, did the cause of Methodism in general, and
Methodist education in particular, in Indiana, a very
great service. Denominational education among us in
Indiana, as has been noted elsewhere, was the result of
an inveterate prejudice against Methodism. Dr. Simp-
son's attainments as a scholar, and his ability both as a
platform speaker and a preacher, gave him great influ-
ence throughout the state as a representative man, and
enabled him utterly to destroy many of the erroneous





impressions that designing men had made on the public
mind. As President of the University, Dr. Simpson dis-
phiyed great financial skill and executive ability. For
some time the endowment was inadequate to meet the
current expenses of the institution, on the most econom-
ical scale : but such was the popularity of the Faculty,
under the leadership of Dr. Simpson, that the income
from the endowment fund was cheerfully supplemented
by contributions for current expenses, from nearly every
pastoral charge in the state. His influence over the stu-
dents was almost unbounded. They not only respected
and admired him — they loved him ; and when absent
only a few dnys they would, on his return, make some
public demonstration of joy. As editor of the Westetm
Christian Advocate, he met the largest expectations of the
Church. The Church w\as fortunate in selecting him as
one of her bishops. He brought to the duties of the
episcopal office the same tireless energy, comprehensive
plans, and singleness of purpose, that had characterized
him as President of the University and editor of the
Western Christian Advocate. A prince of preachers.
Bishop Simpson's fame is more than national. His visits
through Europe, as the representative of American Meth-
odism, enabled him to make a profound impression on the
public mind, and his sermons were every-where regarded
as models of pulpit eloquence, combining, in a larger de-
gree than almost any other man, scholarly culture, logical
accuracy, and impassioned delivery. The bishop retains
his habits of study. His versatility of talent, and his
ability and willingness to work, are equaled by few.
American Methodism has thus far been pre-eminently
fortunate in the selection of her bishops. The office and
the times have called for remarkable men, and the
Church has furnished them. Bishop Simpson rendered


great service to the cause of the Union by his public lec-
tures, his personal influence, and his wise counsels, dur-
ing the War of the Rebellion. He contributed largely to
the efficiency of the sanitary measures inaugurated by
the " American Christian Commission " during the War.
He is admired and beloved by the whole Protestant
Church ; for, without abating any of his devotion to his
own Church, he cultivates the truest Christian charity
among all Christian people.



Edward R. Ames Avas born in Amesville, Ohio, May
20, 1806, and spent his childhood and youth upon a
farm, where he developed a remarkably vigorous phys-
ical and mental constitution. Mr. Ames descended from
an old Puritan stock. William Ames, originally of Som-
ersetshire, England, came to America with his family,
and settled in Braintree, New Plymouth Colony, Massa-
chusetts, in 1643. He died in 1654, leaving behind him
one son and six daughters. From this son descended a
numerous posterity. Several of his descendants figured
conspicuously in the scenes and events of the American
Revolution. Fisher Ames was one of the most fiery
and effective orators of his day. Bishop Ames's parents
removed from Massachusetts to the North-western Ter-
ritory in 1798. Of course young Ames's literary op-
portunities w^ere limited in so new a country. It so
happened there was an excellent circulating library in
the neighborhood, to which he had access; and the
bishop has often remarked of that library, as Carlyle
of his attendance at the English University, that it gave
him a taste for reading. His father died in 1823. At
the age of twenty, he left the farm and entered ns a stu-
dent in the Ohio State University at Athens, where he


spent some three years, supporting himself chiefly by
his own exertions. During his attendance at the Uni-
versity he experienced an evidence of sins forgiven. At
the solicitations of Bishop Roberts, in 1828, he accom-
panied him to the seat of the Illinois Conference, which
met that year in Madison, Indiana. There young Ames
became acquainted with Rev. S. H. Thompson and John
Dew, from Illinois; and, under their persuasions, he was
induced to go to Illinois, and open a High-school in Leb-
anon, which was so successful as to become the germ of
M'Kendree College. Mr. Ames remained in Lebanon
until 1830, when he entered the itinerant ministry in
the Illinois Conference. When Illinois Conference was
divided, and Indiana Conference was constituted, Mr.
Ames was included in the Indiana Conference. In 1810,
he 'was chosen a delegate to the General Conference,
which met in Baltimore, and by that body elected Cor-
responding Secretary of the Missionary- Society for the
South and West. In that capacity he had supervision
of the Indian missions, and his duties required an im-
mense amount of traveling. It was before the era of
railroads. The office was one of great labor, but right
nobly and efficiently were its duties performed. During
his four years in this office, he traveled some twenty-
five thousand miles. During one tour he passed over
the entire frontier line, from Lake Superior on the
north to Texas on the south — of course being com-
pelled to camp out during most of the route, and for
a part of the way so destitute of provisions that him-
self and fellow-travelers subsisted several days on maple-
sugar and water. He gathered a vast amount of in-
formation that was made available, both by the Church
and the Federal Government. He systematized the
missionary work, took an inventory of the missionary


property, and got valuable grants from the Government
for educational purposes among the Indians. The Gen-
eral Conference of 1844 abolished the office, and Mr.
Ames took his place among the ranks of efficient itin-
erants in Indiana Conference. In 1849, he was elected
to the Presidency of Indiana Asbury University, but
declined the position. In 1852, he was elected to
the episcopal office on the same ballot with Levi Scott,
M. Simpson, and Osmon C. Baker. He was the first
of our bishops to visit the Pacific coast, and was pre-
pared by his counsels and experience to aid the breth-
ren in laying wisely the foundations of our Church in
that wonderful land. Bishop Ames is a man of close
observation, of breadth of thought and comprehensive-
ness of view. His plans are far-seeing and statesman-
like. Something above the medium size, and a little
inclined to corpulency as age comes on, with an intel-
lectual cast of countenance, and a dignified bearing, his
personal presence as a presiding officer is much in his
favor. He is eminently a business man. His plans are
practical. Few men can secure a more rapid and intelli-
gent dispatch of business by an annual conference than
he. Intensely patriotic, he gave the whole weight of his
personal and official influence in favor of the Govern-
ment in suppressing the late. Rebellion. He was the
first of our bishops to enter the Southern territory and
reconstruct the old Church in our reconquered territory.
As a preacher, he is eminently instructive. His man-
ner is calm, dignified, and collected. He has that quiet-
ness of manner that indicates conscious strength. His
sermons, though not written, are carefully thought
through. His style is a model of terseness and perspi-
cuity. His sentences are never involved or obscure.
His hearer is never in doubt as to his meaning. With-


out any display of rhetoric, he talks up into the higher
regions of thought and feeling. While his sermons are
richer in thought, and equally pure in diction with those
of his earlier days, perhaps his most popular sermons
were preached while presiding elder of a Western dis-
trict, when, at his camp-meetings, thronging thousands
would hang on his words, and be moved by his impas-
sioned eloquence, as the forest is swayed by the wind.
While the bishop is an ardent Methodist, he cultivates
and disseminates the broadest and truest Christian cath-
olicity ; and, while laboring to build up his own Church,
he enjoys the confidence and friendship of the Protestant
clergy from one end of the continent to the other. While
he is a positive man, and, when occasion calls for it, can
assume the functions and prerogatives of his office with
remarkable promptness, he has, nevertheless, a great
deal of the suaviter in modo, and he seems to take it on
more and more. Indeed, the gentler Christian graces
shine out more and more conspicuously as age comes on.




(FROM 1S70 TO 1872.

Fortieth Session of the Indiana Conference — Death of B. F. Torr and
Thomas A. Whitted — Delegates to the General Conference of
1872 — Congratulations 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 Rev. S. T. Gillett, D. D.— Twentieth Session of the
North-west Indiana Conference — Electoral Conference — Resolu-
tions against a Change in our Church Economy — Delegates to the
General Conference — Members — Contributions — Educational —
Twenty-ninth Session of the North Indiana Conference — Mem-
bers — Contributions — Electoral Conference — Delegates to the Gen-
eral Conference — Resolutions on Conference Boundary — Lay Dele-
gation — Rev. Thomas Bowman, D. D., elected to the Episcopacy —
Sketch of Bishop Bowman.


THE Indiana Conference held its fortieth session in
the city of New Albany, beginning on Wednesday,
September 13, 1871. Total number of preachers com-
prising the Conference, 122. Of these, 111 were full
members, and 11 probationers; 104 in the active work
of the ministry, 17 superannuated, and 1 supernu-
merary. Bishop Clark, to whose episcopal supervision
the Conference had been assigned that year, having
died. Bishop Scott presided. Rev. S. L. Binkley was
elected principal secretary, and 0. H. Smith, J. H.
Clippinger, and R. B. Martin, assistant secretaries.

Two members had died during the year ; namely, B.
F. Torr and Thomas A. Whitted. Brother Torr was
admitted into the Conference in 1860. He was for


some time a student in Asbiiiy University. He was a
young man of decided ability and marked individuality
of character. Faithful and fearless in the discharge of
duty, he was firm in his adherence to what he believed
to be right. His last appointment was to Roberts and
M'Kendree Charge, New Albany. He died November
4, 1870.

Thomas A. Whitted was a native of North Carolina.
He was licensed to preach by the Bedford Quarterly
Conference, in 1844. He traveled for several years as
a supply, under the direction of the presiding elder. In
1853, he was admitted on trial in the Indiana Confer-
ence. He was an earnest, faithful preacher, and met
death triumphantly, March 31, 1870.

The increase in the membership within the bounds
of the Conference, during the year, was 2,759 ; the total
membership, including probationers, was 21,007; local
preachers, 224 ; number of churches reported, 3331,
valued at $694,800 — the two most costly churches in
the Conference, and perhaps in the state, being Merid-
ian-street Church, Indianapolis, and Trinity Church, in
Evansville. There were 73 parsonages reported, valued
at §74,500. The contributions of members for Church
purposes were as follows :

For the support of the Ministry $77,784 38

For the Superannuated Preachers 1,287 04

For Missions 8,992 41

For Church Extension 347 90

For Bible Society 1,570 15

For Sunday-school Union 204 85

Expenses of Sunday-schools 6,382 71

For Tract Cause 58 45

For the Freedmen's Aid Society 235 28

Total $96,863 17

To which should be added the personal donation of $2,000, from that
large-hearted and earnest Christian layman, W. C. De Pauw, Esq., of New


The provisional plan for the introduction of lay del-
egates into the General Conference, having received
more than the requisite number of votes, both from the
ministry and the laity, the delegates from the several
charges within the bounds of the Conference met, pur-
suant to the provisions of said plan, on the second day
of the Conference, September 15, 1871, and duly organ-
ized by calling Hon. R. W. Thompson to the chair, and
appointing F. M. Thair and Hughes East, secretaries.
Hon. R. W. Thompson and Washington C. De Pauw
were elected delegates to the ensuing General Confer-
ence, to meet in Brooklyn, in May, 1872, and Asa
Iglehart, Esq., and Colonel T. J. Smith were elected
reserve delegates.

The Annual Conference adopted the following reso-
lutions, which were formally presented to the Electoral
Conference, by a committee appointed for that purpose :

" Whereas, the last General Conference, after careful deliberation, did,
in its godly judgment, send forth to the Church a ' Plan of Lay Delegation,'
for the godly consideration of the ministers and people of the Methodist
Episcopal Church ; and, whereas, the ministers have, by vote in the Annual
Conferences, accepted of such plan, and the laity of the Church have also,
by vote, expressed themselves; and, ivhereas, by the provision of this plan,
the quarterly conferences in the bounds of this Annual Conference have
elected delegates to the Electoral Conference, to meet in this city Sep-
tember 15th, to elect delegates to the General Conference of 1872; now,

" 1. Resolved, That the Indiana Conference acquiesce in this great
movement, as thus far consummated, and prays for its peaceful and wise
consummation at the approaching General Conference.

'■ 2. Resolved, That we welcome our brethren, the laity, to the councils
of the Church, in the confident belief that their love for the Church, and
their interest in her prosperity, and their practical skill, will only add
strength to our Zion, and enable her more fully and rapidly to accomplish
her great mission in 'spreading Scriptural holiness over the land.' In this
more intimate relation, we do most devoutly implore God's blessing alike on
them and us.

" 3. Resolved, That the following members of this Conference be a
committee to bear our fraternal greetings to the Electoral Conference, on
Friday, the 15th inst., namely: C. Nutt, John Kiger, Wm. Meginnis, W. V.


Daniel, John Schrader, H. S. Talbott, W. C. Smith, J. C. Smith, H. Hays,
S. Ravenscroft, J. R. Williams, and G. W. Walker."

H. S. Talbott presented the resolutions, and, on be-
half of the Annual Conference, congratulated the Elec-
toral Conference, and bade them a God-speed in their
work. Hon. R. W. Thompson responded on the part of
the laymen, and the utmost cordiality and confidence
were manifested by all. Thus harmoniously and peace-
fully was this radical change effected in the organic law
of the Church.

The ministerial delegates to the General Conference
of 1872 were, J. J. Hight, Wm. K. Hester, Cyrus Nutt,
and John Kiger. W. F. Harned and B. F. Rawlins
were elected reserve delegates.


The South-eastern Indiana Conference met in Wall-
street Methodist Episcopal Church, in Jeffersonville,
Ind., September 6, 1871. George L. Curtis was elected
secretary, and E. L. Dolph, W. S. Mahan, and A. N.
Marlatt, assistant secretaries, Bishop Scott presiding.

The Laymen's Electoral Conference held its session
on the second day of the Conference. J. C. M'Intosh,
Esq., was elected president, and J. H. Stewart secretary.
E. K. Hosford and J. C. M'Intosh, Esq., Avere elected
delegates to the ensuing General Conference, to be held
in Brooklyn, N. Y., in May, 1872. J. H. V. Smith,
Esq., of Indianapolis, and D. G. Phillips, Esq., of Mad-
ison, were elected reserve delegates.

The ministerial delegates, on behalf of the Annual
Conference, were, Enoch G. Wood, Sampson Tincher,
and F. A. Hester; and the reserve delegates were W.
Terrell and F. C. Holliday.


Three members of the Conference had died during
the year, namely : Thomas Ray, John W. Dole, and W.
T. Saunders. Father Ray joined the Indiana Conference
at its session in Madison, in 1833. He had been for a
few years on the superannuated list at the time of his
death. He was killed by the express train, on the rail-
road, at Inwood, the place of his residence, January 31,
1871. From some cause, he did not observe the ap-
proaching train, as he was crossing the track, until it
was too late for him to escape, and he was instantly
killed. He was a good man, and doubtless "the chariots
of Israel and the horsemen thereof" were in waiting to
convey him to his heavenly home.

Rev. John W. Dole entered the traveling connection
in the Missouri Conference, in 1835. He maintained a
good Christian and ministerial character till the day of
his death. He came to Indiana in 1845, and was iden-
tified with the work in Indiana from that time till the
close of his life. He had been for a few years on the
superannuated list. He was a good man, and met death

Rev. W. T. Saunders was a young man of i^romise.
He entered the ministry, in the South-eastern Indiana
Conference, in the Fall of 1859. He died in Madison,
July 29, 1871, in the thirty-fifth year of his age.

The number of members and probationers, reported
this Conference, was 24,390. The ministerial force com-
prised one hundred and twenty-one traveling preachers,
twenty-one of whom were either on the superannuated
or supernumerary list.

Number of churches 290

Their probable value ....$768,500

Number of parsonages 45

Their probable value $47,750


The Church collections were reported as follows :

For the support of the Ministry $70,405 06

For the Superannuated Preachers, etc 1,282 77

Amount collected for the Missionary Society 7,218 49

Amount collected for Church Extension 683 70

Amount collected for the Tract Society 256 71

Amount collected for the Bible Society 888 75

Amount collected for Sunday-school Union 220 67

Amount collected for support of Sunday-schools.... 4,627 80

The most expensive churches in the Conference are,
Roberts Park Church, Indianapolis, of which Rev. J. H.
Bayliss is the present pastor, and the First Church, in
Greensburg, of which Rev. S. T. Gillett, D. D., is pastor.
Roberts Park Church, when completed, will be the
most elegant, and perhaps the best-arranged, Protestant
church in the state. It is located in the center of an
acre lot, fronting on Delaware and Vermont Streets,
with alleys on the other two sides of the lot. The
building is of white limestone, from the EUettsville
quarries, carved and rubbed, and edges beveled, and is
one hundred and twenty-one feet long and seventy wide.
The lecture-room, class-rooms, and parlors are on the
first floor. The lecture-room will accommodate about
eight hundred persons, and the main audience-room will
seat about thirteen hundred.

The First Church, in Greensburg, is also a two-story
edifice. It is built of brick, capped and trimmed with
limestone. Its arrangements for Sabbath-school, class,
and prayer meetings are excellent. The church-tower is
something over one hundred and seventy feet high.

Rev. S. T. Gillett, D. D., the present pastor of the
First Church, in Greensburg, Indiana, is a native of the
state of New York, and came to Indiana with his father's
family, in 1818. They landed at Old Fort Harrison, near
where the city of Terre Haute now stands. They as-
cended the Wabash in a family flat-boat, which was pro-


pelled by hand-power all the way from the Ohio. His
father died in ten days after their landing, from sickness
brouffht on by imprudently leaving the boat without his
coat, to greet the Indians lining the bank, many of whom
remained in the country to receive their annuity, accord-
ing to treaty stipulations. Sickness prevailing exten-
sively on the prairies, the widow, with her children, took
refuge in the healthy wooded country near the present
citj^ of Rockville, in what is now Park County. Al-
though the lands had been sold by the Indians to the
General Government, yet many of the Indians remained.
Among these, a mission school was formed, by Elder
M'Coy, of the Baptist Church, and here young Gillett
received a portion of his early education. In 1819, he
removed to Madison, Indiana, and became a member of
the family of his half-brother, Colonel N. B. Palmer, and
while there, pursued a classical course, preparatory to
the study of medicine. As a life among the sick was
uncongenial, he made application, through Hon. Wm.
Hendricks, United States Senator from Indiana, for an
appointment in the Government service, and received
that of midshipman, dated December 1, 1826. In March
following he was ordered to active duty at New York, and
was attached to the steam-frigate Fulton, which, after-
ward, was blown up, with the loss of a large portion of
her crew. His first cruise at sea was in the United
States steamer Lexington, stationed in the Mediterranean,

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 25 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 25 of 27)