T. H. (Timothy Horton) Ball.

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

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marriages and burials, and now the time came
when he was to administer for the first time
the ordinance of baptism. His loved niece,
Carrie, was ready to profess her faith in the
Saviour. No place was thought of but Cedar
Lake. Not only was water abundant there,
but there were the Baptist associations and
remembrances clustering, since 1838. It was
a beautiful day in August. The members of
the church and many others repaired to that
bright sheet of water. The remaining mem-
bers of the Cedar Lake family were present.
The father was there to witness the first bap-
tism performed by his son. And lake neigh-
bors and friends of youth were there. With


feelings of gratitude and joy, with the throng-
ing memories of that lake vivid within his soul,
and with the ordinary feelings of a pastor ren-
dered intense by the earthly relationship and
the surroundings, the pastor led that trusting
girl out into the gradually deepening water and
then buried for a moment her yielding form in
the yielding water of that crystal lake into the
name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit. And then with deep joy of soul they
returned to the shore while a baptismal hymn
was sung by glad voices beneath that blue
summer sky.

Sorrow treads so often close in the path of

And now was coming to the home occupants
at Cedar Lake their heaviest grief. The soldier
son and brother Lieutenant Charles Ball, whose
regiment had been retained in the South to do
guard duty, now, when the sun of peace was
soon to shine over all the land, returned once
more to his home. He came a soldier, sick
and on furlough, to the parsonage at Crown
Point. There the old joy returned for a mo-
ment as he met his "sister Martha'' and as
the two little children and Carrie again met
that loved "uncle Charlie." His brother,
with the young Vermont teacher who had just
arrived, Miss Baldwin, accompanied him to


the prairie home ; and the light again came to
his eyes and the ever cheerful tone to his voice
as again he caught, through the green woods,
a glance of the lake. His father and mother
and brother James were rejoiced at his return ;
but alas ! he entered that beloved home to go
but once more out. He came, but to lie down
and die. Ml was done that could be done to
retain that precious life. He had been for
two years on the tented field ; he had faced
danger in varied forms ; at home upon his
bed, sharing a mother's and a sister's care, it
was his lot to die. To all it seemed too hard
thus to give him up. And yet they were glad
that his manly form, unmarred by shot or shell,
was lying in their home. From the depth of
that fearful grief his father never fully rallied.
And life, to none of that household, was prob-
ably ever after what it had been before.

The church book record is brief.

Charles Ball, "died 12th Sept. 1865, three
o'clock a. m., at his paternal residence, being
a member of the 12th Indiana Cavalry sta-
tioned in Mississippi, at home on furlough."
The citizens of Crown Point were very kind
and attentive to the wants of the family in this
their great grief.



The neighborhood which bears this name,
the name being derived from a little grove of
wild plum trees once furnishing abundance of
good fruit, is located on the southern limit of a
large prairie and along the Kankakee meadow
lands, distant a few miles, in a southeasterly
direction, from the Lake of the lied Cedars.

It became the home, in 1852, of Mrs. M. J.
Dinwicldie, and through her influence and that
of others who from time to time seconded her
efforts, it became and continued to be a Baptist

As early as October, 1852, a union Sunday
school was organized in the neighborhood by
Rev. William Townley, then the Presbyterian
pastor at Crown Point.

In November J. W. Dinwiddie, who since
1817 had been in business at Crown Point, re-
turned with his family to his farm at Plum
Grove, and Mrs. Dinwiddie became immedi-
ately identified with the school. The first
superintendent was J. Bray of South East
Grove. Afterwards Dr. Brownell, and also
Allen Hale, were for a time superintendents.
About 1856 Mrs. Dinwiddie began to take the
charge of the school, others failing to attend or
to be prompt ; and she has had the principal


charge, with at times some good assistants,
ever since. Her husband was not a church
member, although a highly respected and ex-
cellent man, and one who did much for the
good of the community.

"He was county commissioner; was recog-
nized as one of the most energetic, and prudent,
and thorough business men and farmers in the
county, an excellent manager, firm in principle,
and successful in carrying out his plans, and
was rapidly advancing in the accumulation of
property, when sickness came unexpectedly
upon him, and then death. He died April 12,
1861, being forty-seven years of age. His death
was deeply felt in the community."

Mrs. Dinwicldie was left with the manage-
ment of an estate of about three thousand and
five hundred acres of land, which has since
been valued at one hundred and twenty-five
thousand dollars ; and with the care of five

As the Dinwiddie family became as early as
1852 a prominent Baptist family, to continue
on with the Ball family in cultivating this por-
tion of the "vineyard," even to the date of
this writing, 1880, —the Church, Cutler, and
Warriner families soon after 1852 leaving the
county — it is fitting that a more particular ac-
count of this family and of their home should
be given.


The father, John W. Dinwiddie, was a de-
scendant of one branch of that old family rep-
resented in colonial times by Gov. Dinwiddie
of Virginia.

Interesting records and facts have of late
been obtained from a member of the same fam-
ily, now living in London. The k mother, who
was Miss M. J. Perkins of Rome, New York,
was in her earlier life a teacher and came as
such into Illinois, Aug. 19, 1843.

They were married August 19, 1844.

In 1861, the time when we are to take the
first look into this home, the children were five.
These were, Oscar, then sixteen years of age,
Jerome, Frances, Edwin, commonly called Ed-
die, and the then little Mary ; three brothers
and two sisters. The children were fond of
reading, and a good supply of choice literary
and religious works, and of periodicals, was
always on hand. They were furnished with
the best of Sabbath school papers. The oldest
and the youngest sons excelled in their amount
of reading. (Eddie Dinwiddie, born at Plum
Grove, and Herbert S. Ball, born at Cedar
Lake, about equal in age, and having during
each year kept along about the same in height
and in weight, have also kept very nearly
together in doing a large amount of home read-
ing. Some of that reading has been the same,
but much of it has been different.)


The Plum Grove home is pleasantly situated.
It is on section twenty- three, in township thir-
ty-three, in range eight west, six miles directly
east from Lowell, and about twelve miles from
Crown Point. It is on a slope of a large prai-
rie that very soon terminates in that broad strip
of fertile lowland which borders the north side
of the Kankakee river. The distance from the
river is five miles. The location of little groves
on the east, on the north, and on the west, the
broad expanse of prairie northward to Crown
Point, the stretch of level meadow and lowland
southward, terminated by the bine line of tim-
bered islands which marks the windings of a
singular river, aid in making up a beautiful
prairie prospect. ~No mountain ranges, no dis-
tant hills, break the full sweep of vision ; but
when the sky is blue above, whether flooded
with sunshine or the stars of night appear in all
their glory there, it requires no very vivid im-
agination to fancy that this is indeed a part of
a smooth, round world, which is whirling on
through space. As, many and many a time ;
by day and by night ; in sunshine, in storm, in
starlight ; in summer and in winter ; taking the
full sweep of the coldest of prairie winds, or
under the burning heat of a midsummer sun,
with no shade or shelter ; the former missionary
of the county, the Baptist pastor at Crown


Point, has gone back and forth between Plum
Grove and Crown Point ; he has seen probably
all the varieties in the various phases of nature
here, looking up sometimes into the height of
a blue seeming to reach Paradise, and seeing
far up the shining of those gossamer- threads
spun by the flying spiders in October's loveliest
days, and again in the deep mud and the mid-
night darkness, feeling .rather than seeing his
slow way along, or trusting entirely to the
instinct of his faithful horse ; and he has a
good right to know the outward peculiarities of
this prairie home. And as he has seen some-
thing of that home life ; has known something
of those sweeping fires along the Kankakee
lowlands, calling the family out at any hour of
day or night to protect the long lines of fence,
and the large stacks of hay and grain ; has had
a glance at the care of such a large estate ; has
seen the children grow up and form connections
in life ; has seen the successful management of
their mother, with her rare ability and sterling
weight of character; he has felt that the ele-
ments for some rich, romantic story were around
him at Plum Grove. To collect these elements
is not a part of the design of this work.

It is needless to say that this home is one of
great abundance. On the home farm is one of
the largest and best orchards in Lake county,


and the dairy and farm products are in great

The years pass on. The children are growing
up. The Sabbath school is prosperous. Church
life in the neighborhood is commenced. And
now we leave Plum Grove for a time, and re-
turn to the pastor at his work in Crown Point.

Pursuing the line of teaching commenced in
the fall of 1864, an academic boarding school,
known as the Crown Point Institute, was
opened in the fall of 1865, Septr. 11th. A build-
ing was erected and furnished at a cost of some
five thousand dollars. This building was occu-
pied January 1, 1866.

The school was quite prosperous for several
years. In one of these years there were sixty

Most of the teachers and some of the students
boarded with the pastor's family. The students
were from the families of Jews, Catholics, Lu-
therans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists,
and Spiritualists. They made, during term time,
quite an addition to the Sabbath congregation.

Two months after the first baptism, in Octo-
ber, 1865, two others had been baptized at
Cedar Lake. These were John Yanhouten and
his sister Ellen Yanhouten, who became also
students at the Institute.



The pastor ^at Crown Point having his time
fully occupied, brother G. W. Lewis had been
obtained to supply -the church at Lowell, and
once more a resident pastor made his home with
the family at Cedar Lake. He had a small fam-
ily and after a few months a house was obtained
and he removed to Lowell. The Lowell church
soon requested his ordination and a council was
accordingly called, which met in the brick meet-
ing house at Lowell Jany. 18, 1866. G. F.
Brayton, J. M. Whitehead, J. Higby, and T. H.
Ball, were the ministers invited, but only two
were present.

Crown Point church was represented by H.
Ball, T. H. Ball, and three female members of
the church. The Baptist church at Momence,
Illinois, was represented by Rev. J. Higby,
Wm. Gordinier, and Julia Gordinier. All the
members of the Lowell church were invited to
take part in the council, also a visitor present,
brother Smith of Brandywine Baptist church,
Pennsylvania. Hervey Ball was, on motion of
Elder Higby, chosen Moderator, and T. H.
Ball Clerk. The examination proceeded in the
usual order. The ordination sermon and prayer
by Elder Higby, the charge and hand of fellow-
ship by Rev. T. H. Ball. This was the third


ordination in Lake county. The record says,
U A pleasant and profitable interview."

Rev. J. Higby, then, and probably now, an
Illinois pastor, was in 1835 and 1836 a teacher
in a school district in what is now Holyoke,
Massachusetts, where Hervey Ball was then
teaching a select school in the heart of the old
parish, as a successor for a time of " Parson
Rand ' ' of venerable memory. At this school
T. H. Ball, then nine years of age, was study-
ing Greek and some other branches, and saw
occasionally at his father's house at the social
prayer meetings, and at the literary society
meetings, the teacher, J. Higby. He recol-
lected him very distinctly. And now, thirty
years afterwards, the three representing such
different phases of life — Judge Ball prepared
for college by Father Rand before the War of
1812, and acquainted with the old West Spring-
field life from the beginning of the Nineteenth
Century, J. Higby, a true New England Bap-
tist, transplanted upon the Grand Prairie of
Illinois, and T. H. Ball, the New England child,
the student-hunter of Cedar Lake, whose tastes
and views had been formed amid the almost
boundless freedom of the West, — the three thus
met in an ordination council at Lowell ; and the
three, in regard to their views of Christian
experience and Bible doctrine, were found to


agree almost exactly. This was to these three
a very pleasant meeting.

We return to the Baptist life at Crown Point.

At length came to the students boarding with
the pastor who was also Principal of the Insti-
tute, a time of special religious interest. The
prayer meetings, held sometimes in the Insti-
tute building, sometimes in the meeting house,
were well attended, and some of the youngest
girls were learning to trust in the Saviour.
Among these was Eva Weatherbe, about twelve
years of age, a member of a remarkable family ;
herself sprightly, beautiful, intelligent, capri-
cious, witty, wayward ; a girl that one might
easily love or easily dread. She was among
the first, probably the very first, at that season
of precious influeuces, to express an interest in
her spiritual welfare. Others soon followed.
The weeks of this spring time were indeed a
season of refreshing. There were now ten, all
quite young, ready for baptism. These were,
Jerome Dinwiddie, Willie Weatherbe, Irving
Cutler, Asa Coplin, Alice Barber, Frances
Dinwiddie, Eva Weatherbe, Carrie Sigler,
Emma Millis, and Helen Granger. The first
Sabbath in June, 1867, was the day appointed
for the baptism. Eva's father, himself a stanch
Baptist, then a widower who had sought a safe
home for his daughters, came from Chicago to


be present at this time. Mrs. Dinwiddie came
up from Plum Grove. Again the church and
congregation repaired to Cedar Lake, and again
they met there the family of the lake and the
old neighbors and friends. Judge Ball was
becoming quite feeble, but his interest on such
an occasion was sufficient to make up for the
want of strength. It was the opening of sum-
mer, in the lovely month of June ; but a light
wind was curling the waves on the eastern
shore. The first baptisms were on the west
side, the next on the south side, the last
on the east side, which was nearer to Crown

Uniting the two relations of pastor and
teacher the administrator entered heartily into
the spirit of this solemn ordinance. The spot
selected at this time was further south than be-
fore, where the outlet leaves the lake. The
older ones of this group without any hesitation
were buried beneath the then rolling waves,
out from the shingly shore ; but Eva's father
suggested, as she was so nervous and sensitive,
that the waves might startle her, so just in the
current of the outlet as it begins to leave the
lake a suitable spot was found where there was
a smooth surface to the flowing water. It was
in the lake and yet in the current. And there,
in obedience to the command, in imitation of


the example of her Saviour, her beautiful child
form was trustfully laid beneath the surface of
the water. Peculiarly sensitive and excitable,
she was now perfectly serene, and when her
form was raised up to the emblematic new life,
again coming into the air and into the sunlight,
a remarkable glow of light and love, of peace
and joy, illuminated that serene countenance
the moment it left the water, as though it was
about to shine with an angelic radiance. In
the same smooth flowing water some others of
the young girls were also baptized, probably
Alice Barber, so trustful so dove-like in her
patience and earnestness, and Frances Dinwid-
die, so full of life and cheerfulness, with the
cheery nature* that is attributed to the robin,
and Carrie Sigler, young, grave, and thought-
ful, the last one of that group who had come
to a determination joyfully to obey. In a few
precious moments the ten had all "put on
Christ" by baptism. They had been planted
together in the likeness of his death ; they
had been raised up again to walk in newness
of life. Where are they now? Some, it is
to be feared, have not been faithful to their
baptismal vows ; but of nearly all he who then
baptized them has great hope that he and they
will meet in Paradise. One, the patient, gen-
tle Alice, soon went to Kansas with her parents.


and one morning they found her in her bed


"Asleep in Jesus ! Blessed sleep !
From which none ever wake to weep."

Frances Dinwiddie, with a husband and four
children, lives near her mother's Plum Grove
home. And her brother Jerome, living still
nearer home, has a family growing up around
him. They are yet members of the Plum
Grove Sabbath school. Eva has a husband
and children and a home on Prince Edward's
Island. An interesting letter from her arrived
not long ago. Willie is in the Far West.
Emma, an accomplished teacher of music, the
daughter of a Baptist pastor, is yet in her
father's home in the state of Hew York. Ir-
ving is a physician in Illinois. And the others
still live. If it was to them a reality, a sacred,
solemn act of obedience to Jesus Christ, then
often must they look back to their baptismal
day in the month of June, and to the eastern
shore of the Lake of the Red Cedars.

Once more, in the October following, they
came to that lake for baptism, and then they
built a font. Seventeen were baptized that
were students at the Institute. Many others
of these pupils received religious instructions
and impressions. The school continued to
prosper until the close of this period of thirty


years. The public schools of the State were
improving and academic instruction, to quite
an extent, ceased in various parts of Indiana.
A change became desirable at Crown Point and
the pastor and principal of the school, who had
become sole proprietor, taking out the musical
instruments and some furniture, sold the land
and building to the town of Crown Point, for
public school purposes, for three thousand and
six hundred dollars, August 1, 1871. His loss
on the property was about one thousand dol-
lars. His stimulus to effort, it is to be hoped
was, that which is attributed to some early ISfew
England toilers, "the beautiful hope of doing
good." Of this mingling of intellectual with
religious culture, so characteristic of those from
whom there come to him long lines of descent,
he might fittingly inquire,


And he would hardly need to search very pro-
foundly into the laws of the human mind, and
into the mysterious nature of human influence,
and into the enduring vitality of religious
truth, to obtain a cheering answer.

He might say even with trembling, of his

writing on minds and hearts, for the thirty

years during which he has scarcely known rest,

from 1850, when he commenced work at Dan-



ville, until this day in 1880, which finds him
without any apparent stopping place busy at
Crown Point, — with eyes that can read the
finest print without any artificial help, with
lungs and vocal organs in perfect health and
vigor, with feet that carry him over many a
long mile, as they used to do in his hunting
days, with his Huguenot endurance, — he might
say what a weak and temporizing ruler once
said : "What I have written, I have written."

For good or ill such work must live.

Associated with him as teachers during the
different years of the life of the Institute — the
special years not here noted — were Miss Mar-
tha E. Baldwin of Vermont, a Baptist girl with
whom the principal became acquainted when
exploring Coos county, N. H., as a Sabbath-
school missionary of the American Sunday
School Union in the summer vacation of 1861 ;
Miss Mary Jane Ball, Mrs. F. A. Abrams, Miss
Lizzie V. Foster, Miss Sallie J. Walker, Miss
Maggie Yanhook, Miss N". A. Bees, a daughter
of Elder Bees from Delphi, Miss Mary Pelton,
Charles P. Post, Miss Mary A. Davis, and
Miss Carrie B. Jarvis ; and in music or orna-
mental branches, in drawing and painting, Mrs.
Almond Foster, Mrs. K C. Cornell, Brof.
Julius, Mrs. Mann, now teaching in the public
schools of Chicago, Miss L. B. Weston, and


Miss Osgood. Some of those named taught
only in the primary department, some taught
only music, some drawing, painting, and music,
some drawing and mathematics and penman-
ship. Of course but a part of those named
were connected with the school at the same
time. The register of the Crown Point Insti-
tute, kept by Miss Mary Jane Ball, is a model
for fine penmanship. The hundreds of names
of students there recorded cannot be tran-
scribed. Many of them are active business
men and energetic women now, prominent in
social life. Some are on the Atlantic, some on
the Pacific coast ; some are in the South ; some
in the central states of the West. In this world
they will never meet again.

Of one family a few words in this connection
will not be out of place. It has been said that
Eva Weatherbe was a member of a remarkable
family. This family came from Nova Scotia.
They lived for some time at Madison, Wiscon-
sin, where Mrs. Weatherbe died. They after-
wards had lands at Lansing in Illinois. The
family had been wealthy and were still well off.
There were in all some sixteen children, and,
some remaining in Nova Scotia, some born in
the United States, they never all met together ;
of those living and grown up some never saw
the others. Three of the daughters and three


of the sons, as has been said, found a home at
Crown Point, and at length their father, mar-
rying a very estimable lady of Chicago, estab-
lished at Crown Point the family home. He
was absent in the West locating land, and at
Kansas City in endeavoring to escape from a
burning hotel, he received injuries which soon
terminated his life. His remains were brought,
in a metallic case, to Crown Point, for burial ;
the services were conducted by Kev. T. H.
Ball ; a large concourse of people, as might be
expected, assembled ; and quite a large gather-
ing of the family then took place. Three mar-
ried daughters came, one of them from Lexing-
ton in Kentucky ; the oldest son came from
Halifax, N". S., who is now Judge Robert
Weatherbe, a man of means and position.
Ten of the children therefore met together
then, and one son from Michigan, out of the
reach of telegraph lines, came and called on
Mrs. Ball some weeks afterwards. Soon there
was a breaking up of that new home, and few
of those ten have ever met since. Eva's home
on Prince Edward's Island with her husband
and children has been mentioned.

Belle is now Mrs. B. S. Barnes, in Washing-
ton, D. C. Alice is Mrs. T. G. Brown, the
wife of a banker in Louisville, Kentucky.

Charles Weatherbe is a lawver at Atlanta,


Georgia, where lie has married a fine Southern

William C. Weatherbe is at Apache Pass,
Arizona Territory.

Dr. Ernest Weatherbe, who has traveled over
many states and territories, who graduated at
New Orleans, is a dentist having an office in
Chicago where part of his time is spent.

In January, 1868, an editorial in the paper
published by the Institute contained the follow-
ing, after mentioning that Eva had gone to
Halifax: "May peace be with thee, Eva, and
blessings on thy young head rest. Not forgot-

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Online LibraryT. H. (Timothy Horton) BallThe lake of the red cedars ; or, will it live? Thirty years in Lake → online text (page 9 of 19)