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writing, he still holds the last named position, and represents the
Bethel interests in this city. He is yet strong physically and
intellectually, and bids fair to give to the good cause many
additional years.

Oshkosh was the next place visited. Instead of finding, as in 1845, a
few small cabins, I now found a respectable village and a
flourishing Church.

The first Methodist sermon delivered in Oshkosh was preached by the
veteran pioneer, Rev. Jesse Halstead, at the residence of Mr. Webster
Stanley, in 1841. The place was now taken into the list of his
appointments, and was supplied by Brother Halstead with considerable

At a subsequent visit he was accompanied by his Presiding Elder, Rev.
James R. Goodrich. The services were again held in the residence of Mr.
Stanley, and at this meeting, which was held in the fall of 1841, the
first class was formed. The members were: Ira Aikin, Mrs. Aikin, his
mother, Rachel Aikin, his sister, Mrs. Chester Ford, Miss Ann Brooks,
and Mrs. Electa Wright. Brother Aikin was the first Leader, but soon
after Brother William W. Wright and his wife becoming members, the
Leadership passed over to Brother Wright. Before other provision was
made, the meetings were held at the residences of Mr. Stanley, Mrs.
Electa Wright and William W. Wright, but subsequently they passed to the
school house and ultimately to the Court House.

In 1842, Rev. John P. Gallup was appointed to the Winnebago Lake
Mission. His plan of labor gave to Oshkosh every fourth Sabbath, and the
intervening time was filled by Rev. Clark Dickinson, a highly esteemed
Local Preacher, and others. A revival occurred this year that brought
into the Church the larger portion of the people living in Oshkosh
and vicinity.

Rev. Harvey S. Bronson was the Pastor in 1843, and was succeeded the
following year by Rev. Joseph H. Hurlbut. The first Church edifice was
erected under the Pastorate of Rev. Robert Everdell in 1851. Being the
Presiding Elder of the District at that time, the writer performed the
dedicatory service. The building was enlarged in 1856 and again in 1861.
Under the Pastorate of Rev. Wm. P. Stowe there were large accessions,
and he found it necessary to enlarge again, when in 1870 the writer was
called to preach the re-opening sermon.

The mother charge at this writing ranks among the leading stations of
the Conference, and rejoices in the companionship of two promising
daughters. The first is located on the South Side, where a lot was
purchased and the contract for a building let, under the Pastorate of
Rev. J.M. Walker, in 1868. The charge was organized the following year,
and under the successive Pastorates of Revs. C.W. Brewer and Joseph
Anderson, the Church was completed and the station assigned an honorable
place in the Conference. The other, located in the Western part of the
city, was erected into a separate charge at the last Conference session,
a Chapel having been previously built.


Fond du Lac District Continued. - Green Bay. - First Settlement. - Rev.
John Clark. - First Sermon. - First Class. - Col. Ryan. - First
Methodist. - First Church Enterprise. - Good Society. - Heretical
Bonnet. - Various Changes. - Rev. R.P. Lawton - Church
Disaster - Purifying the Temple - Rev. S.W. Ford. - Oneida Indian
Mission. - Oneidas. - Missionaries. - Quarterly Meeting. - Council. - "Chief
Jake." - Interpreter. - Rev. Henry Requa. - His Dying Message.

Green Bay, the next point visited, is the oldest town within the bounds
of the Wisconsin Conference. Its site was explored by Jean Nicollet in
1639, but its settlement did not begin for more than a century
thereafter. In 1785 it contained seven families, and in 1816 there were
one hundred and fifty inhabitants located in the village and its
vicinity. The population now began to increase more rapidly, and in 1819
there were sixty dwellings and five hundred inhabitants.

Green Bay was made a United States trading port in 1815, with Col. John
Bowyer as Indian Agent. And on the 16th of July of the following year,
Col. John Miller commenced the erection of Fort Howard. The first frame
house built, and perhaps the first in the State, was erected in 1825, by
Col. E. Childs.

Col. Samuel Ryan came to Green Bay in 1826 and was the first Methodist,
as far as I have been able to ascertain, who settled within the bounds
of the Wisconsin Conference, and was probably the first in the State.
From the time of his arrival until 1833, the religious Meetings were
held in the Garrison school house and in an old Commissary store.
Thereafter, and until a Church was erected, the services were held in a
new yellow school house, or in the Garrison building at Fort Howard.

At the General Conference, which was held in Philadelphia in 1832,
action was taken looking to the extension of the Missionary work of the
Church in the Northwest. In furtherance of this object, Rev. John Clark,
then of the New York Conference, was sent out as Superintendent of the
work. This eminent Minister and able administrator, whose special record
I need not enter in these pages, as his Life has been published, arrived
at Green Bay July 21st, 1832. Immediately after his arrival he began his
labors, preaching the first Methodist sermon within the limits of the
present boundaries of the Wisconsin Conference. The sermon was delivered
in the Fort, to both soldiers and citizens.

The first class was formed by Brother Clark immediately after, the
services being held also in the Fort. This class consisted of four
members, as follows: Col. Samuel Ryan, Sen., Mrs. Sherman, Mrs. Gen.
Brooke, and a young man whose name cannot be given. Mrs. Brooke was the
wife of the Commandant of the Fort, and Col. Ryan was the Leader.

Col. Ryan was born in Ireland, May 22d, 1789, and in early youth entered
upon the military profession. He was in the engagement between the
Shannon and Chesapeake off Boston Harbor, fought June 1st, 1813, and
during the conflict was severely wounded. He was converted at Sackett's
Harbor, N.Y., under the ministry of Rev. Mr. Irwin, in 1821. In 1822 and
'23, he resided at Sault St. Marie, and while there was Leader of a
class. During the year there was no Minister at the Sault, but Brother
Ryan held religious services regularly among the soldiers, and as the
fruit of his labors, seventy souls were converted. On coming to Green
Bay, as above stated, in 1826, he resumed his labors, and continued to
devote himself to the good work in that locality for twenty-six years.
The Land Office, in which he held the first place, being now, 1852,
removed to Menasha, he also took up his residence in that village.

Brother Ryan was a man of ardent temperament, full of vivacity, and not
a little eccentric, but a true soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ. As in
his youth his dauntless spirit never cowered in the presence of an
earthly foe, so, in maturer years, he was a fearless champion for the
spiritual reign of the Master. Honored by all, the Patriarch is now,
"leaning upon the top of his staff," with his dimned eye looking across
the river, ready to move on at any moment.

One of the early laborers at Green Bay was Rev. George White, who came
from Oneida Conference, N.Y. He was stationed at Green Bay in 1835,
Brother Clark having been assigned to the Presiding Eldership. Under the
labors of the new Pastor, the work continued to prosper. On the 2d day
of February, 1835, Brother Clark reported to the Christian Advocate and
Journal as follows: "Brother White is in the spirit of his work, and the
Lord is blessing his labors in the conversion of souls, both in the Fort
and among the citizens."

The first Church enterprise was entered upon in 1836, when a lot was
donated to the Society for the purpose of erecting a Church edifice. The
Deed was given on the 6th day of September, 1836, by John Jacob Astor,
Ramsey Crooks, Emily Crooks, Robert Stewart and Eliza Stewart, and was
executed by James Duane Doty, their attorney. The Trustees of the
Society, to whom the Deed was made, were Philip W. Nicholas, Francis
McCarty, George White, Thomas P. Green, William White, Edwin Hart, and
John P. Gallup. The edifice was completed during the year, but in the
effort the Society became seriously involved, and were compelled to
mortgage the property. The indebtedness hung as an incubus on the
Society for ten years, and finally, through some strange mismanagement,
the property was sold at a great sacrifice to the Roman Catholics.

At the session of the Illinois Conference, held Sept. 27, 1837, Rev.
Philip W. Nicholas was sent to Green Bay, and Rev. Salmon Stebbins was
assigned to the District. The congregations had now become highly
respectable both in numbers and position. Hon. M.L. Martin had settled
at Green Bay, and his good lady, who was a Methodist, had become a
member of the Society. Sister Martin had been raised in affluent
circumstances, and was a lady of fine culture and rare judgment. Her
husband, a member of the legal profession, and subsequently a Delegate
to Congress and Member of the Constitutional Convention of the State,
was a man of good attainments and superior abilities. His family not
only formed the nucleus of cultivated society, but also furnished a
pleasant home for the Itinerant.

Besides this excellent and cultured family, the congregation embraced
Col. Ryan and family, as before stated, Mrs. Gen. Brooke, and Mrs. Capt.
Kirby Smith, whose husband was killed in the Mexican War, she being now
the wife of Gen. Eaton, Quartermaster General of the U.S.A. In addition,
Gov. and Mrs. Doty were constant attendants upon the Chapel, as were
also Gen. and Mrs. Marcy, whose daughter, Mrs. George B. McClellan, was
born here, and the most excellent of all the officers, Capt. Merrill and
his young wife.

Referring to the class of society that constituted at first the class
and congregation at Green Bay, reminds me of a case of Church discipline
which occurred there about the days of which I am now writing. It
happened on this wise:

One of the young members of the class, and perhaps the youngest, for she
had but recently come West as the bride of a distinguished citizen whose
name has already been mentioned, had become the owner of a new bonnet.
The lady herself had never, though fashionably raised, shown a fondness
for gaudy apparel, but, being obliged to send to Detroit for all
millinery accommodations, she sometimes felt constrained to wear
articles that were not selected in harmony with her tastes. The new
bonnet fell somewhat into this category. If I were gifted in that line,
I would attempt a description of the new comer, but, as I am not, I will
simply say it was made in the height of the then fashion, with a small
crown and a very high, flaring front, with ornaments atop. On the
Sabbath following its arrival, the good sister put on her bonnet as
innocently as in childhood she had ever said "Our Father" at her
mother's knee, and went to Church. She walked modestly to her seat,
bowed her head as usual, and the services proceeded. She certainly felt
devout, and she had not the remotest idea that there was anything in the
Church that could disturb the devotion of others. But alas! for poor
human nature. A horrible nightmare was that moment lurking under the
wings of the beautiful dream of our innocent sister. In that highly
respectable congregation, there were evil eyes that could not look at
the Minister or close in prayer. They were fixed upon the gaudy bonnet.

At the close of the services comment was rife. Some of the good plain
people christened the newly arrived, "The Methodist Flower-Pot," while
others looked exceedingly unhappy. But there was one resolute brother
who could not permit matters to go on in this way, and hence the case
was brought before the Church. The zealous brother stated the case and
declared that if Mr. Wesley's rule in regard to "high heads and enormous
bonnets" meant anything, this was "the time to put it to the test and
prove its efficacy." He further stated that it was "better to begin at
the top round of the ladder and work down, rather than take up some
offending sister from a lower round as an example." Of course all things
were now ready for a decapitation, but judge of the surprise of the
brother, when the good sister showed herself not to be very
"high-headed," though big-bonneted, by offering the offensive article to
her accuser, to manipulate into orthodox form, if he were pleased to do
so, otherwise it would have to remain, like Mordecai at the King's gate,
steadfast and immovable.

The bonnet was not manipulated, and the good sister continued to wear
what neither her accuser nor any other person in Green Bay could put
into another form.

Before the expiration of his second year, Brother Nicholas gave up the
Pastorate of the charge, and his place was supplied by Rev. Stephen P.
Keyes. In 1839, Rev. F.A. Chenoweth was appointed to the charge, and
Rev. Julius Field was assigned to the District. In 1840 Green Bay was
left to be supplied, and Rev. Boyd Phelps was employed as the supply,
and the charge was assigned to Platteville District, with Rev. H.W. Reed
as Presiding Elder. The following year, 1841, the Green Bay District was
formed, with Rev. James R. Goodrich as the Presiding Elder, and his name
appears also as Pastor of the charge, but it is probable that Brother
Phelps also assisted him in the Pastorate as a supply. In 1842 the
appointments remained the same, but in 1843 Rev. G.L.S. Stuff was
appointed to the station. Brother Stuff and Brother Keyes are remembered
with great pleasure at Green Bay, as men of sterling qualities and
marked ability, but as their labors have mostly fallen within the Rock
River Conference, their record will doubtless be made in connection with
that field. In 1844, Rev. Wm. H. Sampson was appointed to the District,
as stated elsewhere, and Rev. C.N. Wager to the station. He was followed
in 1845 by Rev. T.P. Bingham, and the year following by Rev.
R.P. Lawton.

Brother Lawton entered the Rock River Conference this year, and in this,
his first appointment, acquitted himself creditably. As this good
brother, who may be set down as one of the pioneers of the Conference,
began his labors, so he has continued to the present hour. His
appointments after leaving Green Bay, have been Dixon, Ill., Delavan,
Mineral Point, Waukesha, Reed Street, Milwaukee, Palmyra, Grafton, Root
River, Elkhorn, Delavan, East Troy, Evansville, Rosendale, Wautoma,
Plover, New London, Hart Prairie, Utter's Corners, Footville, and
Jefferson, where he is located at this writing. Brother Lawton is a good
preacher, has a genial spirit, and is devoted to his work. He has passed
over the greater portion of the Conference, and has a host of friends
wherever he has been stationed.

Rev. A.B. Randall was sent to Green Bay in 1847, and it was during this
year that the Church edifice was sold. This Church was dedicated,
doubtless, by Rev. John Clark, and had been used for ten years for
religious purposes, yet it is surprising to find how much of time and
labor it required to purify it after it fell into the hands of the
Catholics. I am told that they spent days of labor and nights of vigil,
exhausted miniature rivulets of holy water, and pounds of precious
"gems, frankincense, and myrrh," exorcising the devils and scattering
the Methodist imps of darkness from the holy place.

The balance of the money, after paying the indebtedness, was applied to
the purchase of the Second Church, which was still in use at the time
of my visit.

On coming to Green Bay I found Rev. Seth W. Ford as Pastor, who was
commencing his second year on the charge. He was in the midst of a
revival, and the charge appeared to be in a prosperous condition. The
Quarterly Meeting passed off very pleasantly, and gave me the
opportunity to share the hospitality of Hon. M.L. Martin and his
excellent family. I also visited the Fort, and had the pleasure to enjoy
the companionship of Col. Ryan and his family.

Brother Ford entered the Conference in 1845, as a classmate of the
writer, and passed with him through the course of graduation. I have
referred in a former chapter to the seven sessions through which we
passed between the upper and nether millstones. Whether the result was
flour or bran in the estimation of the Committee would have been forever
hidden from us, doubtless, had not the good brethren, after our election
to Elder's orders, moved that Brother Ford and myself be a Committee to
examine those of the class who had not been before the Committee. With
our own experience fresh in our minds, I have no doubt the balance of
the class had an easy passage.

Brother Ford's fields of labor had been Hamilton Grove, Macomb, and
Oneida Indian Mission. In each he had made a good record, and was now
rapidly rising in his Conference. Since he left Green Bay he has
continued to hold good appointments, and has served his Conference six
times as its Secretary. Though slender in form, and apparently not
vigorous in health, he has nevertheless taken his full share of work
and is highly respected by his brethren.

The Oneida Indian Mission, lying twelve miles to the northwest of Green
Bay, next claimed my attention. Seated in my buggy, I was soon at the
Parsonage, where I found Rev. Henry Requa, the Missionary, and his
kind family.

The Oneidas came from the State of New York. A few of them came as early
as 1821, but through some hitch in the negotiations with the Menomonees
for the lands constituting the Reservation, the removal did not become
general until 1832. Meantime, a Mission had sprung up among the western
branch of the nation. In 1829 a young Mohawk, who had been converted in
Canada, began the good work and established meetings. Among the early
Missionaries the names of Rev. Mr. Poe and Rev. John Clark are
especially fragrant, but I have been unable to find satisfactory data
until 1840, when Rev. Henry R. Colman was appointed to the Mission.

Brother Colman remained until 1845, when he was succeeded by Rev. C.G.
Lathrop. Brother Ford followed next, and remained until 1850, when he
was succeeded by Brother Requa. Meantime, the old log church had given
place to a respectable frame edifice. There was also a good frame
Parsonage, occupied by the Missionary, and a school house, in which a
school was kept either by the Missionary or some one employed by him.
The membership at this time numbered one hundred and twenty-five.

The Quarterly Meeting was held on Saturday and Sabbath, as on the other
charges. On Saturday the Quarterly Conference was held, composed of the
official members, but it was somewhat unique in its method of
transacting its business. The Conference was opened with singing and
prayer. The next thing in order was an address from the Elder, or "Big
Missionary," as he is called. The address simply expressed the
gratification of the Elder with his visit, and the encouraging things he
has heard of the good work of God among them, and then suggested such
items of business as would require their attention. This done, I took my
seat, for what more could I do. The business must now be done in a
strange language, and in the method of the red man. After sitting in
absolute silence for some minutes, the head Chief of the Nation, "Big
Jake," as he is called, being one of the Stewards, turned to a brother
on his right and spoke a few words, and received a reply. Then turning
to another, he did the same, and thus continued to address each
personally, until all had been consulted. At intervals there were long
pauses, indicative, as I judged, of the gravity of the matter to be
considered. At the end of an hour the Council had completed its work.
The Chief then arose in a very dignified manner, but without
ostentation, and, calling to his aid an interpreter, proceeded to reply
to the opening address. He began his speech by expressing thanks, on
behalf of himself and people, that the "Big Missionary" had come once
more to see them. He next referred to the good work that had been
performed by the Missionary, and the special blessing of God upon his
people. And in conclusion, he reported the items of business they had
considered, and the action taken in each case. If anything further was
desired at any time, it was always presented in a most respectful
manner. In this case it was represented that they needed some repairs on
the Church, and a bell, and they desired that the Missionary might be
permitted to go abroad and raise the necessary funds. Permission was
granted, and the Missionary, taking several fine singers of the Nation
with him, went to New York, Boston, and other places, and secured the
needed help.

At the close of the public services came the hand shaking. The
Missionary understood the matter and detained me in the Altar for a
moment, Commencing with the ladies and ending with the children, every
person in the Church came forward and shook hands with the Elder.

I was greatly pleased with "Chief Jake." He was a man of stalwart frame,
standing with head and shoulders above the people around him. That giant
frame supported a large head, adorned by an expressive face. His
movement was dignified simply because he was a born nobleman, and did
not know how to appear other than like a prince. He was benevolent and
tender to all who were trying to do right, but he was a terror to
evil-doers. Standing for his people or the rights of the oppressed, he
was absolutely invincible.

Brother Requa entered the Conference in 1847, after having been employed
one year as second preacher at Waupun. He was appointed to Brothertown
in 1847, to Lowell in 1848, and Fond du Lac in 1849, Here his health
partially failed, and, in consequence, he was sent to Oneida. From the
first, Brother Requa attracted attention as a Preacher. The first time I
heard him was at the Camp-Meeting at Sun Prairie, in the summer of 1846.
He had only recently been converted, and was now called out to exhort at
the close of a sermon. He had been known in the community as an Infidel,
which greatly increased the interest felt by all when he arose to speak.
But the first utterance of his eloquent tongue, so full of feeling and
so decided in its tone, disarmed all criticism. As he advanced, he threw
off restraint, until he was master of himself and the congregation.
Once free, he seemed to lose sight of all but the condition of a
perishing world. With lost men he reasoned, expostulated, entreated,
until it seemed that the whole audience was moving towards the Altar.

While at Oneida, as before stated, he went East to raise funds for the
Mission. Wherever he went, he was recognized as a man of rare eloquence.
Throngs followed him from Church to Church, and, as might be expected,
his mission was a great success. On his return with the bell, the people
were overjoyed. For the first week after it was hung in the steeple, it
was kept going, almost night and day. The friends came from every part
of the reservation, and no one was satisfied until his own hand pulled
the rope. And so high did the enthusiasm run that one man said, "As soon
as we get able, we will put one on every house in Oneida." After Brother
Requa left Oneida, he served one year as Agent of Lawrence University,
and was specially engaged in raising an Indian Scholarship Fund. His
appointments subsequently were: Janesville, Fond du Lac District,
Oshkosh, Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan, Brandon and Ripon. In March, 1865,
his second year at Ripon, he went as a Delegate of the Christian
Commission to the army. His field of labor was Little Rock, Ark. While
here he was taken ill with the chronic diarrhoea, and on the 19th of May
departed to his home above. During his illness, he was attended by his
old friend, Brother A. B. Randall. Just before he died, he requested his
attendant to bear this message to his brethren of the Wisconsin
Conference: "Tell them that Henry Requa died at his post." He then
added, "Take my ashes back to be interred among my brethren. I have
labored with them for twenty years past, trying to preach Jesus. My
present acceptance with God is a great comfort to me now. I am very
unworthy, but I believe there are some in glory who call me father. In
looking over my whole life I cannot see an act upon which I would risk
the salvation of my soul; the best of them need washing in the blood of
Jesus. I know I have a home in glory. How precious Jesus is. Jesus, I
love thee for what thou hast done for me. I will praise thee forever."

Brother Requa was a man of ardent temperament, and at times impulsive,
but he was a true man and a faithful minister. His attachments were

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