Copyright
T. H. (Timothy Horton) Ball.

The lake of the red cedars ; or, will it live? Thirty years in Lake online

. (page 2 of 19)
Online LibraryT. H. (Timothy Horton) BallThe lake of the red cedars ; or, will it live? Thirty years in Lake → online text (page 2 of 19)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


fruits, and were ready before that year closed to
enter upon their Cedar Lake home. At City
West they had become acquainted with the
Morse and Bigelow and Hobart and Bradley
and Muzzall families, besides a few others, and
with some of these named there were social ties
formed that lasted through many after years.
But from that young city on a great lake the
family removed to an inland prairie home on a
beautiful little lake, where when the year 1837
closed there were the father, mother, and five
children, and other members of the household.
Another New England family was transplanted.



BAPTIST SETTLEMENT. 23

It has been already said that two Warriner

families found homes in this same year at a little
distance from the east bank of the lake.

These three Baptist families found in a short
time that three, miles north of Cedar Lake on
Prairie West were two other Baptist families.
These were the large family of Richard Church
and of his son-in-law, Leonard Cutler from the
state of New York. And soon to these were
added the small household of Mrs. Elizabeth
Owen, then a widow, a native of Wales, and the
family of Mrs. Leland, also a widow with several
sons.

These seven families were the Baptist pioneers
of the county of Lake.

There were also, among the first residents
around the lake, two brothers by the name of
Witherell, the sons of a Baptist minister in the
state of ISTew York. One of these was also a
minister, Orrin Witherell, and without much
doubt he was the first Baptist who ever preached
in Lake county. He may have preached twice
in the winter of 1837 and 1838 ; but these two
brothers were very slightly identified with the
religious interests and activities here, and soon
left their claims and went elsewhere.



From the published volume of the "Centen-
nial Celebration of the town of West Spring-



24 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

field," held in March, 1874, the following facts
are taken in regard to ancestral and family
names of the New Englanders settling at Cedar
Lake :

"In April, 1707, the land on the west bank
of the river " was " assigned by lot " to the male
inhabitants who were twenty-one years of age.

Of these there were then seventy-three, and
among them were Samuel Warriner, Lest Ball,
Samuel Ball, and Francis Ball. Among the
town Moderators are these names, Maj. Gad
Warriner, 1806, Dr. Timothy Horton, 1811, 1818,
Charles Ball, 1814. Among the delegates to
Constitutional Convention are in 1820 Dr. Tim-
othy Horton. Among the Selectmen are, Charles
Ball, 1777; Maj. Gad Warriner, 1797-1799 ; Dr.
Timothy Horton, 1800-1824; Lewis Warriner,
1827-1829; Charles Ball, Jr., 1833, 1834.
Among the Representatives are these names,
Maj. Gael Warriner, 1805, 1809, 1814, 1815 ;
Lieut. Charles Ball, 1806, 1808, 1809, 1811,
1812, 1815, 1816, 1820, 1827; Dr. Timothy
Horton, 1807, 1810, 1811 ; Norman Warriner,
1827 ; Lewis Warriner, 1830, 1831, 1833, 1836.
Of Dr. Horton the volume named says, page 74,
he " had a good reputation as a physician and
as a public man. Having sufficient means of
living, he was noted for the extremely small
charges for his medical services." "He was



BAPTIST SETTLEMENT. 25

a man of good sound judgment, and was much
respected and esteemed by his fellow citizens."
Two others only among the representatives for
a hundred years were representatives at Boston
as many times as Lieut. Charles Ball. Among
the Selectmen for the hundred years no one
except Dr. Horton held office for twenty-five
years. From this Centennial Volume therefore
it appears that the New England settlers at
Cedar Lake were from families accustomed in
JN"ew England to public positions.



CHAPTEE III.

THE CEDAR LAKE CHURCH.

Five of the families named in the former
chapter soon commenced holding, religious
meetings at their homes, as school-houses had
not yet been erected; and as among these
were men and women of more than ordinary
intelligence and cultivation, and all of them
manifesting fervent piety, the meetings were
well sustained with no lack of interest although
no ordained minister was yet among them.

Before coming West Lewis Warriner had
represented his town in the Massachusetts leg-
islature. His family comprised his wife, two
sons, and two daughters. Norman Warriner
had resided for a time in Ohio. He was a
teacher, had been an active church member,
and was well grounded in the Scriptures. He
had also a wife, who was active in religious
duties, and two sons and two daughters. Her-
vey Ball now forty-three years of age, was a
graduate of Middlebury College, had studied
law, had been a teacher and for many years
a successful lawyer with a large practice, and
had been licensed to preach by the first church



THE CEDAR LAKE CHURCH. 27

of which he became a member. He had
continued however his professional duties as a
lawyer. His wife, Mrs. Jane Ayrault Horton
Ball, was educated in the city of Hartford at
the best schools which that city then possessed,
was thoroughly accomplished in many branches,
and had also had some experience in teaching.
The New York Baptists were also intelligent
and active workers. It thus appears that the
elements for an intelligent, substantial, grow-
ing, church organization were now existing
around Cedar Lake. Following the example of
the Christians in their line of faith during the
eighteen hundred y years of Christian history,
these individual elements soon formed them-
selves into a Gospel church.

RECORDS.

"June 17, 1838.

A meeting was this day held at the school-
house at Cedar Lake, according to previous
agreement, by a few professing Christians of
the Baptist denomination settled in this part
of the country, desiring to enjoy Gospel priv-
ileges and to maintain the ordinances of our
Saviour and to walk in obedience to his com-
mands.

The brethren and sisters present were, Nor-
man Warriner and wife Marilla Warriner, Lewis



28 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

Warriner and wife Sabra Warriner, Richard
Church, Sarah Church, Mrs. Cutler, Hervey
Ball and wife Jane A. H. Ball. Also Elder
French of Porter county.

Elder French led in prayer and the business
exercises.

It was resolved that we will maintain the
observance of the Sabbath by meeting together
and conducting the worship of God by the im-
provement of such privileges as we may be
favored with; also that we will hold regular
covenant meetings monthly, and that we will
endeavor to watch over each other in love as
brethren ; hoping that a door will soon be
opened in Divine Providence for our being
regularly organized as a church of Christ.

Hervey Ball was chosen stated clerk.

Sabbath following Elder French preached to
a small and attentive congregation.

Meetings on Sabbath appointed to be held
at Prairie West, Center Prairie, and H. Ball's
alternately.

Note. — Meetings were held according to ap-
pointment five Sabbaths, Elder Witherell Sen.
present at one meeting and preached. Meetings
interesting and profitable. At the succeeding
appointed covenant meeting sickness prevented
an attendance. From continued distressing sick-
ness no meetings were held until the latter part
of winter."



THE CEDAR LAKE CHURCH. 29

The summer and fall of 1838 were noted in
Lake comity for excessive drouth and severe
sickness. The sickness was not generally fatal,
but death entered the home of one of the New
England families, and one of those named
above, Mrs. Sabra Warriner, the wife of Lewis
Warriner and mother of Edwin B., of Fanny
C, and of little Sabra Warriner, was soon re-
moved from their new home. She died August
24th, 1838, leaving in that home a vacancy
never to be filled. The little Sabra, her moth-
er's namesake and the household pet, died
in the summer of 1839, and the brother Edwin
B., then twelve years old, and his sister Fanny,
who was about nine years of age, were left to
grow up to manhood and womanhood without
a mother's care or a young sister's love. For
them it seemed to be a sad and dark visitation
of Providence, but He who, some one has said,
tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, watched
over and provided for them. A father, and an
older brother, Lewis F., and an uncle and aunt
and cousins, yet remained. In those days of
childhood the two motherless children knew
not their great loss. No memorial monument,
no grey stone covered now with moss, marks
the resting place, within a little sunny hillock
near the water's edge, on the east side of the
lake, north of Cedar Point, almost exactly op-



30 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

posite the west side home, of the first Baptist
dead of the county of Lake. But here are
tenderly recorded the names of the two Sabras,
mother and daughter, natives of the Connecti-
cut valley, who soon found, in sight of the
resting place of the red warriors and children,
their place to repose in the dust beside the
Lake of the Ked Cedars.

Mrs. Sabra Warriner died August 24, 1838,
in the prime of life, on the very threshold of
new experiences in a Western home.

Little Sabra Warriner, about five years of
age, also went to sleep in death and rests beside
her mother. The light of a bright morning
will fall sometime upon their lone resting place
and a voice from above these waters will rouse
them from their peaceful slumbers.

Leaving for a time the church records, and
the sickness and suffering on the east side of
the water, we may glance for a short time into
the west side home.

Sickness in that form so common in the new
West, ague and fever, visited this home also,
but the often prevailing westerly winds, com-
ing from the wilds of the Grand Prairie of Illi-
nois, seemed during all the years of the family
residence to render that spot more than com-
monly salubrious, and the roses of health soon
returned to the pale cheeks.



THE CEDAR LAKE CHURCH. 31

In the summer of 1838 the grandmother of
the children in this home, Mrs. Elizabeth Hor-
ton of Agawam, who had spent a year with her
only son in the city of New York, where she
had three young grand-daughters, Louisa Jane,
Georgianna, and Adelaide, came to reside for
the remainder of her days with her only daugh-
ter, Mrs. J. A. H. Ball, where she had five and
afterwards seven grandchildren. The older
children remembered well her once pleasant
home, on a high hill, three miles west of
Springfield hill on which stood the United
States Armory, and now as she was to follow
them into the wilds of the West they tried to
make the new home appear as attractive as
possible. They found beside the lake some
wild columbine. These they transplanted
placing them beside the house where their
grandmother could see their blossoms. They
found also some wild rose bushes and placed
them beside one of the windows that their fra-
grance might enter the room. They sent to
New England for some dandelion seed that
these familiar yellow blossoms might be around
their home, reminding them all of the Con-
necticut valley meadows. Then no such plant
was to be seen, but now they are very abun-
dant in Lake county. About the first of
August their grandmother came, in company



32 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

with their uncle who soon returned. The two
travellers had reached the village of Chicago,
where now there is a city, in some kind of
public conveyance ; and there they fortunately
found a livery stable and obtained a convey-
ance to Cedar Lake, by way of the Torrey
bridge across West Creek, making a journey
of about sixty miles from Lake Michigan.
The children were delighted to again meet
their grandmother, and also with the choice
presents which their uncle brought from the
city of New York. And as afterwards at dif-
ferent times they rece.ived remembrances and
visits from that dear uncle, they were always
glad that they had a city uncle and aunt and
cousins, and never will they forget that ever
good and faithful friend that uncle, Hiram H.
Horton, the prosperous merchant of Division
street, New York. Many a box of good things
came to Cedar Lake, in those years of new
country life, from the then far oif city. How
much that grandmother added to the home life
those only can know who have had such a
grandmother. Of Huguenot descent, of New
England training and cultivation, accustomed
to the best of social privileges and advantages,
for long years mistress of a home of abundance,
fond of flowers and birds and beauty, indus-
trious and cheerful and hopeful, she added yet



THE CEDAR LAKE CHURCH. 33

another treasure to the home and to the Baptist
community.

RECORDS, CONTINUED.

The following is the next entry in the church
book.

"1st Saturday in March 1839.
Covenant meeting held at br. Ball's. Intro-
ductory prayer by br. N. Warriner. Br. N".
Warriner chosen stated moderator.

It was resolved unanimously that we will
resume the covenant obligations which we have
heretofore entered into, and that we will now
receive letters of membership from all who are
willing to unite in the formation of a church.
Letters were presented and members received
as follows :

Eichard Church and wife Anny Church of
Oakflekl church, K Y.

Leonard Cutler and wife Yalona Cutler of
Oakfield church, F..Y.

Norman Warriner and wife Marilla War-
riner, Ashtabula, Ohio.

Hervey Ball and wife Jane A. H. Ball, 2d
Westspringfield, Mass.

Elizabeth Horton, Weathersfield, Conn.
Adopted a summary of faith and practice
and covenant recorded on a preceding page.
Agreed to hold covenant meetings on the
3



34 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

Saturday before the first Sabbath in each
month. H. Ball, Clerk."

The next meeting, April 6, was held at Br.
Cutler's.

Eeceived by letter Azuba Leeland from Ann
Arbor Church, Michigan, and Sally Church
from Oakfield church, 1ST. Y.

"Resolved to invite a council of ministers
and brethren of neighboring churches to meet
with us on the third Saturday in May to take
into consideration the propriety of recognizing
us as a church of Christ. Agreed to invite
Elder French of Porter county, Elders Bolles
and Sawin of Laporte county, and Elder Hin-
ton of Chicago, with such brethren from their
several churches as may be appointed. Closed
with prayer. H. Ball, Clerk."

The neighboring churches at this time, it
seems, were, in Porter county about thirty
miles away, at Chicago, forty miles away, and
in Laporte county, about fifty miles away. H.
Ball and his oldest son had called at Elder
Hinton's village home in Chicago the summer
before.

At the May meeting, May 11th, letters were
presented by Lewis Warriner, 1st church West-
springfield, Massachusetts.



1245135

THE CEDAE LAKE CHURCH. 35

Hannah Caroline Warriner, a daughter of
Norman Warriner, Ashtabula, Ohio, and Har-
mon Waggoner and wife Angeline Waggoner,
of Olive Street church New York city.

N. Warriner and H. Ball were appointed to
represent the church before the council.

The grass on the prairie again began its un-
checked growth. There were no great herds
of cattle then to crop it as it grew. The May
flowers again appeared in the woodland beside
the lake, and the time set for the council came.
The following is the record.

"May 18, 1839.

Church meeting at Cedar Lake school house.

Council of brethren convened at same place.

Members of Council.

1st church Salt Creek,

Elder A. French,

Br. Wm. Young,

Br. James Witham :

1st church La Porte,

Elder Benjamin Sawin ; Church La Porte
Village,

Br. John H. Evans,

Br. Elnathan Gregory.

Elder Sawin chosen moderator, and br. Greg-
ory clerk.

After mature deliberation council reported to
the church that they had resolved unanimously



36 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

to recognize the brethren and sisters who had
covenanted together as a church and to fellow-
ship them as a church of Christ. The council
appointed Elder Sawin to address the church
and Elder French to give the right hand of fel-
lowship.

The meeting was opened by singing, and
prayer by Elder French. Elder Sawin preached
in the afternoon.

Sunday, 19. Preaching in the forenoon by
Elder French.

Afternoon service. Preaching and address
by Elder Sawin and recognition of the church
and right hand of fellowship by Elder French.
The Lord's supper was administered in the
afternoon. The congregation was large for
this thinly settled country and the preaching
and other exercises very impressive."

There was now a recognized Baptist church
in the county of Lake, which became known in
the following seventeen years, in Northern In-
diana and in other parts of the land, as the
Cedar Lake Baptist Church.

remembered incidents.

Elder French was accustomed to ride an
Indian pony. He had said when he first came
to the Cedar Lake home to preach, in reply
to some inquiry that had been made about



THE CEDAR LAKE CHURCH. 37

him, as he was reported to be a "hard shell"
or anti-mission Baptist, "I have come to let
you know what kind of Baptist I am." He
was quite a pleasant man, a true pioneer. His
pony was placed in a pasture. He said it
could find water for itself if there was any
there.

Elder Sawin came out from La Porte county
in a buggy drawn by a nice gray pony. A
delegate from La Porte came in a two horse
buggy with a pair of fine grays. These two
conveyances were sent down early Saturday
morning of May 18th to pass out upon the
prairie around the south end of the lake in
order to aid in conveying some of the families
there to the meeting. On account of wet bor-
der land, this was a journey of several miles.
One of the children of the lake family went
as guide. He enjoyed riding after those fleet
grays, of which their owner may have been a
little vain ; but when near the turning point
from whence the drivers could find their way
alone and meeting there one of the brethren
who was going on foot up to the place of meet-
ing it was suggested that the young guide
should jump out and walk back so as to give
all the buggy room to the women and chil-
dren. So he trudged back on foot, over the
grassy mead, and along the lake shore wood-



38 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

land, with an agreeable companion, it is true,
but probably with not as great enjoyment as
while he marked the speed of the nimble
grays. Himself ever fleet of foot he enjoyed
seeing animals having speed and endurance.
One incident in the council, which was an
open meeting not a secret session, made a
lasting impression upon the mind of one of
the children present. When the session was
closing one of the ministers offered prayer.
The clerk of the council probably had not
finished his record, and while the child accord-
ing to his custom closed his eyes reverently
in prayer, as he supposed that at least all
religious persons did, the pen of that clerk
moving over the paper was in his ear painfully
audible. He was led in his child simplicity
to wonder what sort of a Christian that clerk
could be, a man who would write in a religious
meeting in prayer time. He has learned since
then, to his surprise and shame, that some
professed Christians not only do not shut their
eyes but do much worse things than that in
prayer time. How little do such careless Chris-
tians know what indelible impressions they
may be making, not much to their honor, not
much sometimes for the good of the cause they
profess to love, upon young and observing
minds.



THE CEDAR LAKE CHURCH. 39

The recognition service on Sunday afternoon
was in the grove just outside of the school-
house, where seats had been arranged, and as
the brethren and sisters of that little band
arose and formed a circle, under the thrifty
young oaks, on that level grassy spot, near a
sloping hill-side, while the. hand of fellowship
was given and they were publicly recognized
as a church of Jesus Christ, solemn and sacred
impressions must have been made in more
than one young heart. So fresh and beautiful
was everything in nature around, so little trace
of their existence had the Indians left, that it
seemed not difficult to believe that human feet
had never trodden on that soil before, and
peculiarly beautiful and impressive was the
scene, as that choice band for the first time
there, and the first time as a church, "took
the sacred emblems of blood stained Calvary."

Not long afterwards a public man, not a
common politician, who chanced to address a
large public gathering, — a man whose home
was not in Northern Indiana, — alluded to the
recognition services and said he was glad that
the banner of the cross was unfurled at Cedar
Lake.

And truly that banner was there unfurled.
Across the lake many a boat load went to
attend religious meetings on one side or the



4:0 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

other. At that Baptist home the first Pres-
byterian sermon in the county was preached
by Dr. Brown of Valparaiso ; and there, with-
out much doubt, was preached the first Lu-
theran sermon in the county, by a Lutheran
teacher and preacher Francis A. Hoffman, who
afterward became a wealthy banker in Chicago
and lieutenant-governor of Illinois. And in
that home resided for a time as teacher of
German, an inquiring Catholic, W. Schuler,
who obtained there new ideas and deeper im-
pressions in regard to evangelical, personal
religion, who went to Canada and became, it
is believed, a zealous, useful, Christian laborer.

RECORDS CONTINUED.

July 20th, 1839.
"Church meeting at school house. Elder
French and also Elder Otis of Henry county,
Illinois, were present. Elder French acted as
moderator." At this meeting N. Warriner was
licensed to preach the Gospel, and was request-
ed to lead in the exercises of the church.

September 8th.
Brother and sister Waggoner were "dismissed
to join the church in Chicago."

May 30, 1840.
At the meeting held this day delegates were
appointed to attend the association, and these



THE CEDAR LAKE CHURCH. 41

were empowered to invite ministers and breth-
ren to attend another council at Cedar Lake.

Of that council the following is the record :

" June 27th.

u A council convened with the church this day
for the purpose of ordaining brother N. Warri-
ner. Delegates : From Salt Creek Church,
Elder Alpheus French, bros. ¥m. Young, Jon-
athan Hough ; Kingsbury Church, Elder Ben-
jamin Sawin ; Rolling Prairie, Elder Alexander
Hastings ; Laporte Church, Elder Charles Har-
ding, J. H. Evans ; also Elder "William Rees,
agent of the General Association of Indiana.
The council organized by choosing Elder French
moderator and Elder Hastings clerk. On hear-
ing the examination of br. Warriner the council
resolved to ordain him to the ministry of the
Gospel. Ordination sermon by Elder Hastings,
ordaining prayer by Elder Rees, right hand of
fellowship by Elder Harding, charge by Elder
Sawin, address to the church by Elder French."

This was the first ordination in the county of
Lake. It was an important occasion for the
new church. The ministers present were five
as substantial, as reliable, as good, as devoted
to the cause of truth, as have ever been in the
state of Indiana.

Elder French was at this time somewhat ad-
vanced in life, but was a man of vigorous frame



42 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

and capable of much endurance. He was prob-
ably in early life under the influence of anti-
mission sentiment ; but he found the atmos-
phere of Northern Indiana unfavorable for the
growth of such ideas. He united with the
Northern Indiana Association. He was re-
spected by his brethren, and his name is insep-
arably connected with the first Baptist labors in
the county of Lake. He died many years ago
at a good old age.

Elder Sawin, known generally in Northern
Indiana as Father Sawin of La Porte, was a
very different man both physically and mentally.
He was from the East ; was tall, slim and feeble ;
yet one who performed a large amount of min-
isterial labor ; a man remarkably mild, meek,
conciliatory ; of an excellent, loving disposition.
He too died a number of years ago, and the
N. I. Association proposed to erect for him a
suitable monument. In his labors, confidence,
and love, the Cedar Lake church shared ; and
while their records remain his name too will
live. He cared very little for monumental mar-
ble, but he lived and labored in view of that
time when, of all faithful Christian workers,
" shall every man have praise of God."

Elder Hastings will be again mentioned in
this record. He was for many years a promi-
nent minister in Northern Indiana. Yery strong



THE CEDAR LAKE CHURCH. 43

in doctrine and sound in the faith, he was a vig-
orous expounder of the Scriptures. "He too
sleeps in death."

Elder Rees was known over all the state of


2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Online LibraryT. H. (Timothy Horton) BallThe lake of the red cedars ; or, will it live? Thirty years in Lake → online text (page 2 of 19)