Francis Edward Marsten.

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Francis E. Marsten, Pastor.





^Attend, ye people, lieare and learne,

E'en of our fathers old.''
• The just shall live by faith.'"




Thanks are extended to W. D. Brickell, Esq., for
permitting the use of five of the illustrations of this
volume, and for other courtesies.

c/Oli¥^- ^

I. fOESS i?irM'0}HI(J S-{ATE 50klRN*L. ,



Introduction 5

Historical Sketch 10

The Early Church 14

Pastors of the Church 14

Ruling Elders 20

Outgrowths of the Church 23

Revivals 26

Relation of Church to City 28

Church Music 31

Women of the Church 33

Church Edifices 35

Memorial Sermon 41

Faith of the Founders 55

Obligations of Our Heritage 59

Former Pastor's Greeting 63

Monday Services 68

Greeting from Sister Churches 59

Letters 71

Reminiscences 75

History of Sunday School 78

Tuesday's Exercises 86

Introductory Remarks 87

Sketch of Isaac Dalton 88

Letters 91

The Ladies 99

Greeting from Second Church 102

Greeting from Westminster Church 106

Greeting from Hoge Church 110

Collegiate Church Ill

Eldership of Twenty-five Years Ago Ill

Trustees of Twenty-five Years Ago 113

Bits of History 113

Letters from Former Pastors 117

Bequest of the E3ghtieth Year 123

Greeting from First Congregational Church 123

1806. 1886.



First Presbyterian Church,


O^zM-n^oca^n^JL St-ll^^ JSS6.


The First Presbyterian Church of Columbus, Ohio, -was

orga7iized February 8th, 1806, by the

Rev. yames Hoge, D. D.


After Eighty Years.

IN its issue of Monday, February 8th, 1886, the
Ohio State Journal, of Columbus, said :

" Yesterday was a memorable day in the history of
the First Presbyterian Church, and the services were
devoted exclusively to the commemoration of the
eightieth anniversary of the organization of the
church. For years — in fact, ever since its establish-
ment — the First Church has been one of the leading
bodies in the city, and its members and congregation
have always numbered many of the most prominent
and cultured people of the Capital City. Thirty
years ago the semi-centennial was celebrated in a
most happy manner, and the arrangements for this
anniversary were prepared with the same degree of
care. It is the intention to continue the memorial
gathering or reunion through to-day and to-morrow,
the social feature being set for Tuesday evening."

The church was appropriately decorated with ever-
green. The memorial tablet erected to the memory
of Dr. Hoge was surrounded with a wreath of ever-

6 Eight Decades in the Life of the

green, above which was the date " 1806," and on
the opposite side the date " 1886."

The following was the order of exercises observed
on Sabbath morning, February 7th :



Te Deum Laiidamus.

Scripture Lesson, 90//J Psalm :

Lord, Thou hast been our dweUing-place in all

Before the mountains were brought forth, or
ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Thou turnest man to destruction ; and sayest,
Return, ye children of men.

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as
yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Thou carriest them away as with a flood ; they
are as a sleep ; in the morning they are like grass
which groweth up.

In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up;
in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

For we are consumed by thine anger, and by
thy wrath are we troubled.

^^ Old First Church" in Coiutnbus.

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our
secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

For all our days are passed away in thy wrath :
we spend our years as a tale that is told.

The days of our years are threescore years and
ten ; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore
years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow ; for it is
soon cut off", and we fly away.

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even
according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

So teach us to number our days, that we may
apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent
thee concerning thy servants.

O, satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we
may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Make us glad according to the days wherein
thou hast afiiicted us, and the years wherein we have
seen evil.

Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and
thy glory unto their children.

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be
upon us; and established thou the work of our hands
upon us ; yea, the work of our hands, estabUsh thou it.

Eight Decades in the Life of the


O, God of Bethel, b)' whose hand

Thy people still are fed ;
Who, through this weary pilgrimage,

Hast all our fathers led.

Our vows, our prayers, we now present

Before Thy throne of grace ;
God of our fathers, be the God

Of their succeeding race.

Through each perplexing path of Hfe
Our wandering footsteps guide ;

Give us each day our daily bread,
And raiment fit provide.

O, spread Thy covering wings around.
Till all our wanderings cease.

And at our Father's loved abode
Our souls arrive in peace.

Prayer, by Rev. Robert J. Laidlaw.

Hymn 435, Presbyterian Hymnal :

" Our God, our help in ages past."

Historical Sketch by the Pastor.

Memorial Sermon, Rev. R. J. Laidla^v.


Original Hymn, written by Francis E. Marsten.

Old First Church'''' in Columbus.

Tine — Louvaii.

Beneath the shadow of Thy wing,

Great God, we bow with song and prayer^
Tribute of grateful hearts we bring

For all Thy providential care.
We thank Thee for our heritage

Of faith and hope, and love and truth^
Of holy church and open Page

To guide our feet in age or youth.

Our fathers trod the wilderness ;

And 'mid the primal forest vast,
In wintry hardship and distress,

Where Hand Divine their lot had cast,
They reared to Thee the sacred shrine ;

And kept the faith, Thy wisdom willed ;
With Heavenly grace Thy house did shine,

As psalm and prayer its precincts filled.

Our fathers' God, we serve Thee, too ;

Thy covenant our hope ; and may
We all, O Christ, our Master true,

Fresli graces gain from day to day.
As Thou hast blessed for fourscore years

The saintly work performed of yore,
So let Thy Church, through smiles and tears,

Grow by Thy Spirit evermore.


10 Eight Decades in the Life of the



On such an occasion as this it is well to recall the
founders of this institution and the foundation upon
which they built it. The Apostle Paul declares,
"According to the grace of God which is given unto
me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the founda-
tion." These words have a pecuhar fitness to this
hour, from their association in the annals of the First

Thirty years ago this church celebrated the semi-
centennial of its organization and of the pastorate of
Dr. Hoge, its beloved shepherd. That it was an oc-
casion of great joy, the written history of the event,
and the lively memories of those still living among
us who participated in the festival, alike fully testify.
This text was used on that occasion, and woven into
one of the many beautiful devices prepared by Mr.
Joseph Sullivant, a descendant of one of the original
members of the congregation, for that festival. I
reproduce it because of the history which it contains :


"According to the grace of God which is given unto me,
as a wise master-huilder I have laid the foundation." —
[l Cor. iii. lo.

"First Presbyterian Church," organized in Franklin-
ton February 8, 1806. Pastor, James Hoge ; elders,

'•'■Old First Church" in Columbus. 11

Robert Culbertson, William Read; trustees, Joseph
Dixon, John Dill, Daniel Nelson, William Domigan,
Jos. Hunter, Lucas SuUivant. The original members
of the congregation and their families — Robert Cul-
bertson, Wm. Read, David Nelson, Wm. Shaw. John
Turner, Edward Livingston, John Dill, William
Domigan, Joseph Dixon, Lucas SuUivant, Samuel
King, Luther Powers, Samuel G. Flenniken, William
Stewart, John Lisle, Joseph Parkes, David Jameson,
John Hunter, George Skidmore, Joseph Hunter,
Wm. Brown, Wm. McElvain. To these may also be
added the thirteen original members of the church —
Robert Culbertson and v/ife, Wm. Read and wife,
David Nelson and wife. Robert Young and wife,
Mrs. Margaret Thompson, Mrs. Susannah McCoy,
Michael Fisher and wife, and Miss Katherine Kessler.

It may be seen that even then the women were
by far the better half of the church. To that appro-
priate motto to which reference has been made, Mr.
SuUivant added :

'Lift up thine ej-es round about, and see; all they gather
themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall
come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy
side." — [Isaiah Ix, 4.

And as the generations have roUed on, how truly
has this promise of Holy Writ been verified unto this

12 Eight Decades in the Life of the

It is interesting to notice what led the young
James Hoge, in the providence of God, to begin his
life-work in Ohio. A slight sketch of his history may
enable us the better to appreciate the motives which
governed him in seeking the then distant frontier,
with its privations, its sparse settlement, its dangers
from savages, border wars and ruffianism.

James Hoge, his biographer writes, was bom at
Moorfield, Hardy county, Va., on the 4th of July,
1784. His parents were both natives of that state.
Their ancestors were of good old Scotch stock, who
came to America in the latter part of the seventeenth,
or early in the eighteenth century. His father was a
man of considerable eminence in the Presbyterian
Church. From his induction into the ministry, until
1806 he was pastor of several Presbyterian churches.
At that time he was called to the Presidency of
Hampden and Sydney College, which position he
held at the hour of his death, in 1822.

The future home missionary was educated mostly
at home, though some years were passed under the
training of the Rev. Dr. Priestly, who was eminent as
an educator of that day. During 1803-5 Mr. Hoge
taught school in Virginia, and studied theology pri-
vately; for there were no theological seminaries in
reach of the young man then. He was licensed to
preach on the 17th of April, 1805, by the Presbytery

'•'•Old First Church" in Coltimbns. 13

of Lexington, Va. In October, 1803, he made a
journey to Ohio, to see a tract of land in Highland
county. So much interested in the region did he be-
come during his visit, that he determined to make it
his future home. After he was Hcensed to preach he
apphed for, and obtained an appointment as itinerant
missionary in Ohio, from the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church in 1805.

From how small beginnings what great results flow
in the providence of God ! When James Hoge
started out into the great State of Ohio, it was thought
by some of his friends that he could not Hve more
than a few months, for already the hectic flush had
mounted to his face. But the youth who seemed so
feeble was destined to a long life, and to lay the
foundations of great works for the abiding good of
many generations. The General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church in the United States of America,
assembled at Philadelphia, set apart James Hoge to
proceed to the State of Ohio to preach the gospel ;
and in order to define carefully the territory over
which this bishop was to exercise jurisdiction, the
commission included the parts thereunto adjacent.
It is not stated whether the fathers thought this parish
small enough for a sick man or not.

Here he wrought for God and humnnity ; and here
his descendants and their families are continuing the
good work he so well began.

14 Eight Decades in the Life of the


In November of 1805, James Hoge arrived in
Franklinton, then the prominent settlement in Cen-
tral Ohio. He, according to his commission, and
with his wonted enthusiasm in proclaiming the gospel,
began at once to preach. His first services were held in
a two-story frame house, an engraving of which is care-
fully preserved among the historical relics of ye olden
time. Those were primitive in Ohio. tt e

little was known about the region, especially as to its
possible development. It was the day of small
things. He continued to preach, and on the 8th of
February, 1806, the First Presbyterian Church was
organized, and on the next Sabbath the Lord's Sup-
per was administered to thirteen members and com-
municants. TJiis was the first church of atiy
denomination that was organized within these limits,
now known as the city of Columbus.


Following is a copy of the first call extended by the
church to Rev. James Hoge :

" The congregation of Franklinton being on sufficient
grounds well satisfied of the ministerial quafifications
of you, James Hoge, and having good hopes from our
past experience of your labours, that your ministra-
tions in the gospel will be profitable to our spiritual


"'Old First Church''' in Columbus. 15

interests, do earnestly call and desire yon to under-
take the pastoral office in said congregation, promis-
ing you, in the discharge of your duty, all proper supv-
port, encouragement and obedience in the Lord, and
that you may be free from worldly cares and avoca-
tions we hereby promise and oblige ourselves to pay
to you the sum of three hundred dollars in half yearly
payments annually for three-fourths of your time until
we find ourselves able to give a compensation for the
whole of your time in like proportion during the time
of your being and continuing the regular pastor of
this church.

" In testimony whereof we have respectfully sub-
scribed our names this '25th day of September. Anno

Domini 1807.

Robert Culbertson,

William Reed,


Joseph Dickson,

John Dill,

David Nelson,

William Domigan,

Joseph Hunter,

Lucas Sullivant,


" That t.his call was ))repared and forwarded for Mr.
Hoge, with the knowledge and at the earnest request

16 Eight Decades in the Life of the

of the whole congregation of FrankHnton, is attested
to by Robert G. Wilson."

When it was deemed best to transfer the church
from the West to the East Side, ^vith the con-
sent of Presbytery, it was formally accomplished on
November 19, 1821, calling him to the Columbus
pulpit. He accepted the call in January, 1823.

In 1850, at Dr. Hoge's request, a co-pastor was
elected — Dr. Josiah D. Smith, then of Truro. He
was installed in December, l.'S50, and resigned Jan-
uary 16, 1854, to accept a call to the Westminster
Church, of Columbus, O.

On December 24, 1855, Rev. David Hail, of the
Presbytery of Allegheny, was called as co-pastor, and
entered upon his duties in Februar)-, 185G. He re-
signed in April, 1857.

The congregation met February 28, 1857, to take
into consideration the resignation of their pastor.
The Rev. Dr. Smith, of Westminster, being present
was invited to preside as Moderator ; Mr. Joseph
Sullivant then offered the following preamble and
resolutions, which were unanimously adopted :

" Whereas, This congregation has been notified
that their pastor. Rev. James Hoge, has asked leave
of the Presbytery of Columbus to resign his charge
over this church and congregation, on account of
advanced age, and consequent infirmity ; and where-

" Old First Church " in Columbus. 17

as, in the long and intimate acquaintance that has
existed between us and our beloved pastor for more
than half a century, none but feelings of the warmest
affection, s\mpathy and respect have had a moment's
place, we are pained at the thought that our long
continued connection must be dissolved, and the fond
hope relinquished that it should continue as long
as our beneficent Father should spare his most
useful life; but in this event, as in all that has oc-
curred in our previous intercourse, it is the desire of
the congregation to defer to the expressed wishes
and better judgment of our beloved pastor. There-
fore, be it

'•'•Resolved, by the First Presbyterian Church and
congregation of Columbus, That we do hereby ac-
cede to the request of our pastor, Rev. James Hoge,
preferred to the Presbytery of Columbus, to resign
his pastoral charge of this congregation ; and that his
relation therewith be dissolved by the Presbytery at
the ensuing spring meeting.

•' Resolved, That in thus consenting this congrega-
tion yields to a belief, reluctantly admitted, that his
advanced years and enfeebled health imperatively
demands relief from care and constant labor; while
submitting to this necessity we yet hope and pray
that he may long be spared to exemplify, as hereto-
fore, the Christian doctrine in our midst, and before

18 Eight Decades in the Lift of the

the people of this city and State, and that so far as
is practicable we may not be deprived of his enhght-
ened counsel in the congregation, but as a 'father in
Israel,' he may still go out and in amongst us, teach-
ing us by his life of faith, and filling our pulpit from
time to time whenever he may be able to proclaim
the unsearchable riches of Christ.

'■'■Resolved, That in looking backwards we now
clearly recognize the hand of Providence in raising up
a man of eminent prudence and ability, and sending
him forth to plant the church literally in the wilderness ;
and we acknowledge with fervent feelings of unfeigned
gratitude the kindness and benevolence of the 'Great
Head of the church' in continuing his very able and
acceptable ministrations among us for such a length
of time, and for the great measure of success and
influence that has attended the same ; an influence
not confined to the pulpit or this congregation, but
which has been constantly operating on this com-
munity for now more than fifty years.

" Resolved, That our prayers and our sympathies
shall still accompany our pastor ; that his memory
shall be warmly cherished, and that we will teach his
name to our children, and to our children's children,
as one endeared to us during numberless occasions of
sorrow and of joy, 'who instant in season and out of
season,' has so faithfully and kind'y siiown i;s the

'•''Old First Church" in Columbus. 19

path of life, and nobly entitled to the plaudit of his
Lord, ' Well done, thou good and faithful servant.'

" Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions, duly
attested, be presented to the Clerk of Columbus Pres-
bytery, and to our beloved pastor.

"J. D. Smith, Moderator."

The Rev. Edgar Woods, of Wheeling, Virginia,
having for some time preached to the congregation,
and performed other ministerial duties with great
acceptance, he was elected to fill the vacancy of Dr.
Hoge, which was appointed to take effect on the 30th
of June, his salary fixed at fifteen hundred dollars,
and the session and trustees were directed May 4th,
1857, to make out a call and prosecute it to comple-
tion according to the rules of the church. Sabbath
day, June 28, 1857, Dr. Hoge preached the closing
sermon of his ministry as pastor of this church, after
a connection of over half a century.

Tuesday, June 30th, 1857, Rev. Edgar Woods,
pastor- elect of this church, was installed by a com-
mittee of Columbus Presbytery, consisting of Rev.
James Hoge, D. D., J. D. Smith, D. D., G. L. Kalb
and Washington Maynard, and Elder William Blynn.
Rev. Edgar Woods resigned his charge February,
1862, with the intention of returning to Virginia j
and under date of February 27th, 1862, we find the
following record of the session :

20 Eight Decades in the Life of the

"The pastor, Rev. Edgar Woods, having resigned,
the session, after consultation, agreed to visit Rev.
James Hoge, D. D., this day in a body, to state to
him our condition and solicit his adv'ice. The kind
doctor received us. Elders Abbot, Cherry, Dalton,
Thomas and Awl, at his residence at four o'clock in
the afternoon, in the most cordial and affectionate
manner, showing the deepest interest in the welfare
of the congregation, and giving us the full benefit of
his mature judgment and excellent counsel. He is
now in the .seventy-eighth year of his age, and in the
full enjoyment of all his strong faculties. We had a
profitable and most delightful interview.

" William M. Awl, Clerk."

In the following October Rev. W. C. Roberts, of
Wilmington, Del., was called, and was installed No-
vember 11, 1862. The venerable and beloved Dr.
Hoge died on September 22, 1863. In December,
1864, Mr. Roberts resigned. A call was extended
to Rev. William R. Marshall in February, 1865, who
accepted, and was installed as pastor the following
month. Dr. Marshall resigning December 20, 1869,
the church remained without a pastor until the spring
of 1871, when it called Rev. Robert J. Laidlaw, of
Milton, Canada, who was ordained and installed Sep-
tember 22, 1871. Mr. Laidlaw resigned in April,
1875. In July of the same year Rev. Edward P.

^^ Old First Church" in Columbus. 21

Heberton, of Minnesota, was called, and entered
upon his ministrations September 5, 1875. He re-
signed February 21, 1877, and on May 28, 1877,
Rev. Willis Lord, D. D., was called and remained as
a stated supply for two years and six months. Rev.
John W. Bailey, D. D., of Sparta, III, was called
December 21, 1880, and continued to supply the
pulpit as pastor of the church for two years.

I have carefully looked over the records of these
pastorates, so far as preserved, and from a peru-
sal of the minutes of the congregational meetings
of the church, the historian and antiquarian will be
struck by the redundance of almost superhuman vir-
tues and angelic traits of character that adorned
each individual of them.

The present pastor was installed by the Presbytery
of Columbus, October 4, 1883.


since organization are as follows:

Robert Culbertson Ordained February 9, 1806.

Judge Wm. Reed " "

Michael Fisher " January 11, 1808.

William Stewart " Feb. 20, 1819.

Robert Nelson " "

John Laughry " " "

James Johnson Installed Feb. 12, "

22 Eight Decades in the Life of the

Hugh Forster Ordained February 12, 1819.

William Patterson " August 20, 1821.

John Long " " "

N. W. Smith Records of time lost.

James Robinson " •'

Samuel G. Flenniken... " "

Samuel M. Kilgore " "

William Clayvough " "

Ral]jh Osborn " "

Dr. N. M.Miller

John Barr . .Ordained and install'd, 1835.

Abrel Forster " " "

Isaac Dalton " " "

William Sterritt .... " " "

Lawson McCullough. . .Ordained April 1, 1840.

Walter x\mos " " "

James Cherry " " "

George Mclvlillan " June, 1849.

H. F. Huntington " May 4, 1846.

Thomas Moodie " " "

James S. Abbott " June, "

William Blynn

William M. Awl, M. D . . " April 19, 1857.

*Alfred Thomas " "

James H. Pooley, M. D . " Nov. 19, 1876.

Thomas Robinson " " • "

*Charles Albert Bowe.. " "

'■^ Old First Church" in Columbus. 23

Orlando E. Lewis Ordained September, 1883.

*John N. Eldridge •' "

*Foster Copeland " "

*Edward M. Doty " October, 1885.

*VVilliam Enfield

*Charles E. Denton " "

*Henry E. Brooks " "

These '•■ compose the present session.


The following Church organizations liave grown
out of this parent Church :

"Truro Presbyterian Church," organized Janu-
ary 4, 1827.

" Second Pre.sbyterian Church of Columbus,
Ohio," organized January 29, 1839.

"The Westminster Presbyterian Church of
Columbus," organized April 19, 1854.

'"The Hoge Presbyterian Church," organized
January 22, 1870.

The " Truro Church," eldest daughter of the
old mother, was organized by the Presbytery of Co-
lumbus January 4, 1827. It began with about thirty
members, having William Patterson and John Long as
Ruling Elders. In its days of greatest prosperity it
numbered nearly one hundred members. From the

24 Eight Decades in the Life of the

Truro Church came the Rev. J. D. Smith, so long
and so favorably known in Columbus.

In tlie summer and autumn of 183S, the subject of
colonizing was agitated among a portion of the mem-
bers of the First Church. It was the intention at the
time to form a Congregational Church. A prelimi-
nary meeting for this purpose was held January 22,

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Online LibraryFrancis Edward MarstenAfter eighty years, → online text (page 1 of 7)