HISTORY OF DULING METHODIST CHURCH
KNOBLEY CUT-OFF ROAD

Special thanks to Brad Duling for submitting this article. "Kel" (Achilles) Duling who is mentioned in the article is his g.g.g.grandfather.
Also, thanks to Tom Chapin, Chief Editor of the Mineral Daily News-Tribune for granting permission to use this article on the Mineral County USGenWeb Page.

Printed: Thursday, Oct 8, 1953
News-Tribune, Keyser WV
Written by Rev H Edgar Suite

While very few records of the early history of the Duling Methodist Church are in existence, through many of the older residents of the community and also through church membership records available, dating from 1875, the following data have been assembled:
Records are not available that help us to pinpoint a date as to the beginning of our church. "Uncle" Dave Arnold, one of the oldest residents of the community, relates that the "Duling Meeting House" was one of the early churches of this area.
We have two dates with respect to the establishment of the church. The first is in a reference to the "Duling Meeting House" in some old deeds. The dates on these are 1809 - 10. These deeds refer "to a corner on North side of road leading to Duling Meeting House". Uncle Dave is in possession of these deeds. The second date with respect to how long the church has been established is in the arly 1820's. When Alec Riley and Isobel Kelley were married in the early 1820's, the church was well established. These were Uncle Dave's grandfather and grandmother.
The first church was an old log building, which was closer to the Knobley Mountain cutoff road than the present structure. It was taken down and moved sometime in 1855 or 1856, the time when the present building was completed. It was moved about 1/3 of a mile from the cut-off road toward New Creek. A double sycamore tree stands directly in what was the front of the site of the old building. The old church was then rebuilt and used as a hay barn. It was filled with alfalfa hay, some of the first in the area. During the Civil War, this building served as an outpost for the Northern Army for the fort at New Creek which is now Keyser.
When, in 1915 or 1916, the old barn was finally torn down, it was found that many of the hewed white oak logs were still in good condition. They were then used as sills, in a building that is now standing near the home of J S Arnold, Jr. It was then used as a peach packing shed.
Also poplar boards in the old log church, being in good shape, were used to make a clothes chest. This chest was made by J Sloan Arnold, father of J S Arnold, Jr. The chest is now in possession of Mrs. John Sanders, who lives on New Creek Drive, just below the cut-off road.
There were no services held in the new building when it was completed. Soldiers occupied the building, which prevented its use as a church. J Henry Tasker, a late resident of the community, wrote an article for the Keyser paper several years ago, entitled "History of Duling Church". In this article he wrote of his mother's death. It happened on Oct 17, 1861, add they were unable to use the church because of soldiers occupying the building.
As to whom the ground belonged on which the building now stands, there is a difference of opinion. The deed recorded in the Mineral County Court House says that Jacob and Nancy Knabenshue had title to the ground previous to when the church was built. This is dated Oct 5, 1869. The article as written by Mr. Tasker stated that the land was owned by Kel Duling, who lived a short distance north of the church. It is not the business of this write to say which is correct, except to say that Duling was a family name in the area. Many to whom the writer talked felt the church was named after this family name.
Uncle Dave amusingly told of how those who attended church would wear their old shoes till they got in sight of the meeting house, then they would put on their good shoes.
In 1875, earliest church records available, there were four churches on the Romney Circuit -0 Romney, Headsville, Ridgeville and Duling. They were known as classes one, two three and four respectively. This continued till Nov 30, 1898, when Ridgeville as an appointment was ordered closed by the Quarterly Conference. The members were then transferred to Duling. After this, Duling became known as class number three.
Records of this 1875 era required that the residence of the individual be very specific. The residence of some were listed as "on N W Grade," "At Caldwell's Mills," "On Bank N Cheek," "At foot Alleganies." After the name of Jacob Guseman, "The Lord knows where " was listed as his residence.
While D B Winstead was listed as being the minister in 1875, records show that Margaret Chamberlain was received into the membership as early as 1830, by a Rev. Kemp. Other minsters found and the dates, other than those listed as pastors after 1875 are:
O P Winkman, 1845
Horace Hollin, 1847
Rev Butler, 1849
Maberry Goheen, 1851
Rev Rescall, 1852
Rev Beatty, 1854
O P Wingman, .

Pastor Suite, 1859
Walsh, 1868
McNemar, 1869 - 70
John Edwards, 1873.
O P Wingman had the distinction of being the only minister of any denomination that remained all through the Civil War.
In the article "History of Duling Church" already referred to , Mr. Tasker states that in the fall of 1865, a Rev Crosfield was sent tot Keyser, the New Creek. The church there had been burned by The Southern soldiers. He had appointments at Duling and Romney.
Your writer in conferring with Uncle Dave Arnold, read the list of men and women that made up the class of 1875. After reading the name of Joseph Duncan, Uncle Dave said, "He was old an wore a beard like Abe Lincoln. He was as ugly as Abe. He was easy talking. He could pray for 20 minutes, and so loud that you could hear him all over the neighborhood."
The members that made up the 1875 - 76 class under the leadership of William W Smith were:
Martha Smith
Edmund Duling
John Tasker
Ann M Wirkman
Joseph Chamberlain
Henry Tasker
Adam Knabenshue
Sarah Parris
Hiram Tasker
Sarah Tasker
Elizabeth Tasker
? Caldwell,
Belle Caldwell
Charles Caldwell
Hiram Liller
Joseph Duncan
Rebecca C Duncan
Maggie R Caldwell
Laura Saylor
Sallie C Saylor
Rosa R Saylor
Nannie Duling
Wm Rafter
Joseph Tasker
Sarah Welch
James H Trout
Susan Trout
Jacob Guseman
John Kane.
To the best of your writer's knowledge, Sallie C Saylor, who now resides on S Main ST, in Keyser, is the only living member of this class.
Thirty nine ministers have served from 1875 to the present time>
Their names and dates are:

D B Winstead, 1875 -77
C Ed. Young, 1877 - 80
H P West, 1880 - 83
Frank G Porter, 1883 - 85
H C McDaniel, 1885 - 88
J M Pasco, 1887 - 88
William Harris, 1888 - 89
W A Carroll, 1889 - 90
Henry Mann, 1890 - 93
John F Dayton, 1893 - 94
J N Davis, 1894 - 96
J I Winger, 1896 - 97
M L Beall, 1897 - 99
C F Bonn, 1899 - 1901
J A Haugh, 1901 - 04
P W Metheny, 1904 - 07
W W Wagner, 1907 - 09
U S Landstreet, 1909 - 12
J Halpenny, 1912
Robert H Bartlet, 1912 - 13
C K Lewis, 1913 - 15
John A Shockey, 1915 - 17
M A Kesecker, 1917 - 18
Charles W Lanham, 1919 - 20
W C Brian, 1920 - 21
Charles H Mead, 1921 - 24
J L Kesecker, 1924 - 26
Rev Tune, 1926 - 29
Cyril J Hoover, 1929 - 32
L L Bartlett, 1932 - 33
J H Cooley, 1933 - 36
W E Thomas, 1936 - 40
Frank A Johnson, 1940 - 43
W W Beale, 1943 - 45
Walter Bowman, 1945 - 46
Ray Wilson, 1946 - 47
R D Marshall, 1947 - 48
Howard Hall, 1948 - 50
H Edgar Suite, 1950 - present.
Duling Church has sent one into the field as a minister. The WV Annual Conference of the Methodist Church assigned Howard Ellifritz to the Jarvisville Charge in the year 1952.

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