Typed by Laurie Birks Dean.
CHURCHES AND BENEVOLENT ORGANIZATIONS
Churches and Religious Societies of the County and City - First Sabbath
School In Wheeling - Children's Home of the City of Wheeling.
Rev. John Brice and Rev. James Hughes were two among the first Presbyterian ministers who preached in this part of Virginia. As early as 1782 there was an appointment made by Redstone Presbytery for preaching at Ohio Court House; at that time Washington county, together with Fayette and Greene and a large portion of Allegheny and Westmoreland, were claimed by Virginia and considered as a part of West Augusta county, Virginia.*
Shortly after the attack on Fort Henry in the year 1782 Rev. Thaddeus Dod preached in the fort, where he was received with gladness. The memories of Dod, McMillan, Smith, Brice and other early Presbyterian ministers are a priceless legacy to the churches of western Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Rev. Dr. McMillan was appointed at a meeting of the presbytery to supply at Ohio Court House (West Liberty) and a year afterward Rev. Joseph Smith was sent as a supply to the same place, which then went under the name of Short Creek, which name it retained for fifteen or twenty years, when it took the name of the village--West Liberty.
Brice and Hughes were two of four candidates who were licensed by the presbytery of Redstone to preach the gospel. Brice settled at "Three Ridges" (West Alexander), and Hughes at Short Creek and Lower Buffalo, of which latter place Hughes was installed pastor April 21, 1790. In these congregations Hughes labored upwards of twenty-four years with great acceptance and encouraging success. He resigned his charge on the 29th of June, 1814, and was dismissed to join the presbytery of Miami. He was an early and decided friend of missions, and an active member of the board of trust of the Western Missionary Society for a number of years.*
*See "Old Redstone," page 318 and note.
*See Elliott's life of Macurdy, page 246
In July, 1775, Rev. Dr. McMillan preached at Chartiers on the fourth Sabbath in August, and on the Tuesday following at Pigeon Creek, Washington county, Pennsylvania. During the following fall and winter he was directed by the presbytery to supply the rest of the time until the spring meeting of that body in Augusta county, Virginia, and Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. At the meeting of the presbytery in April, 1776, he accepted a call which was presented to him from the congregations of Chartiers and Pigeon Creek and was dismissed to connect himself with the presbytery of Donegal, then the most western presbytery of the church. He was ordained at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania June 19, 1776, in reference to the pastoral care of the churches whose call he had accepted, but did not remove his family to the West until the fall of 1778, on account of the unsettled state of the country and the exposure of the frontier settlements to the hostile incursions of the Indians. He himself, however, visited his congregation as often as practicable, ordained elders, baptized children and performed such other acts of pastoral labor as circumstances would permit. He was the first minister who settled as a pastor west of the Alleghanies. He was one of the original members of the presbytery of Redstone and was its first moderator.
Rev. John Brice was a native of Harford county, Maryland, and was licensed to preach by the presbytery of Redstone April 15, 1788, and was ordained and installed pastor of the congregations of "Three Ridges" and the "Forks of Wheeling" April 22, 1790. He labored in these congregations until about the year 1807, when on account of ill health the pastoral relation was dissolved. He died August 26, 1811, at the age of fifty-one.
In the month of October, 1802, at West Liberty, there was a wonderful manifestation of God's presence in which great mental misery and bodily weakness was experienced by numbers by reason of conviction of sin. The church at the time was under the pastoral care of Rev. James Hughes, a native of York county, Pennsylvania, who was licensed to preach by the presbytery of Redstone April 15, 1788.
John Baird, a Scotchman and a ruling elder in the Presbyterian church at the "Forks of Wheeling," was on one occasion in the brick school house called upon to pray, when, it is said, he gave expression to the petition: "Lord, save the people, as they are in the very scuttle hole of hell."
The "Forks of Wheeling" and "Three Ridges" are probably the two oldest church organizations in this section of the country. The former has for a great many years been popularly known as the "Stone" church, while "Three Ridges" has long been officially changed to West Alexander.
The records of the "Forks of Wheeling" run back about one hundred and twelve years. The church was organized in the year 1787,--a year somewhat memorable in the annals of our history as the year in which the convention that framed our national constitution met in Philadelphia. It was in this year, also, that the great Northwestern territory was organized. This territory comprised all the national domain lying northwest of the Ohio River, being at that time an unbroken wilderness.
Just after the close of the Revolutionary War and before the government was formed on its present basis, the country was in a confused, unsettled condition. "Shays' Rebellion" was in full blast in Massachusetts, and a few years later the "Whiskey Insurrection" broke out in Pennsylvania. The unsettled state of things was especially felt by those living "west of the mountains." To other sources of irritation there were added frequent attacks by the Indians. The bloodthirsty savages delighted in taking the frontier settlements by surprise, killing men, women and children and destroying their property. The pioneers were obliged to take their guns with them when at work in the fields, and with rifle in hand to stand guard over their wives and daughters while they milked the cows and performed other out-door duties.
We are therefore prepared for the record in the old Congregational book before us. It refers to the period prior to the organization of the church, and is as follows:
Ohio county no sooner began to be settled than the settlers provided for themselves a place of public worship, and obtained the preached gospel even in perilous times, receiving the spiritual bread with the weapons of defense in their hands to protect themselves from a ruthless savage.
Among the first things they did was the putting up of the "Meeting House." In this work they had no aid from architect or contractor; had no use for either.
The whole neighborhood took a hand in it, the neighborhood in those days embracing a much greater extent of country than a neighborhood does now. They all came together, each felt an interest in the work, each was identified with it and each helped to do it.
Soon after the organization of the church in 1787 Rev. John Brice was settled as the regular pastor over the "Forks of Wheeling," and "Three Ridges," spending one-half of his time alternately between the two congregations. He continued to labor in this field until his death. His children remained in the region, and, intermarrying with other families, quite a numerous family connection is found throughout the country.
After the death of Rev. Brice, according to the record, Rev. Joseph Stevenson accepted a call from these two congregations and for some years gave each congregation on-half of his ministerial labors. "Three Ridges" desiring the whole of a minister's time, the union between the two congregations was dissolved, and the "Forks of Wheeling" left vacant.
Just at this time Rev. James Hervey was licensed and on invitation of the congregation commenced in 1812 preaching to them as a licentiate. His ordination and installation took place on the 20th of April, 1814, as appears from the following extract of the minutes of Ohio Presbytery:
Extract of the minutes of Presbytery,
(Signed) John Anderson, Clerk.
The presbytery sent a supply to preach in this village, then the county seat of Ohio county, in 1782, and the church was formally organized in the year 1788. In April, 1790, the presbytery met in this place and ordained the Rev. James Hughes, whose pastorate extended over twenty-four years. Rev. Andrew Wylie, president of Washington College, Pennsylvania, succeeded Mr. Hughes, and he was succeeded by Rev. William Wylie, who had charge of this and the First Presbyterian church, giving each the half of his time.
Rev. James McKennan was pastor from 1828 to 1834 and then, after Rev. Shotnall's pastorate of about fifteen years, Rev. McKennan again became pastor in 1858 and remained as such for several years. After this it was either supplied temporarily or had pastors who remained but a brief period. In 1864 Rev. J. A. Brown became pastor and continued for about eleven years. He was followed by Rev. D. B. Rodgers. The last pastor was Rev. J. R. Garvin, who continued as such for several years, and resigned by reason of ill health, which, to the regret of the congregation, he was compelled to do with a view of seeking a more congenial climate. The church is now supplied by a student from the theological seminary at Pittsburg.
The first church building was erected about the year 1790. It was a frame building and remained until 1855, when it gave place to a brick structure. The present building was dedicated December 11, 1873, and is located a short distance north of the site of the old Court House.
The history of the church shows much earnest work by its pastors and their sessions. At an early day a female prayer meeting was conducted for a number of years. During the pastorate of Rev. William Wylie a missionary meeting was called at the suggestion of a female member of the church, at the first meeting of which they raised $60 for missionary purposes. In 1824 a female and male were joint superintendents of the Sabbath-school. The women of the church are deserving of much praise, as they were among the most persevering and successful in raising funds for the new church.
The first Presbyterian church erected in Wheeling was a small brick building, and the audience room was surrounded with a plain gallery. It was enclosed in its front with a white paling fence. The penchant for whittling in those days was as strong as in the present, and it was not long before the fence showed much evidence of the practice of the artist in this particular line.
The Sabbath-school was held in the gallery of the church until an addition on the east was made, when a room was constructed above the vestibule and the school was then held there. The sessions of the school were held at two o'clock P.M. Sometime prior to this there were two sessions of the school held respectively in the morning and afternoon of the Sabbath. There were but few days schools at the time of the inauguration of the Sabbath and hence the method of teaching adopted was different in some particulars from that of the present. Then the children were taught elementary branches of the English language, such as the alphabet, spelling and reading, together with the study of the Bible. Rev. Wylie, the pastor of the church, lived on a lot to the east of the church in a two-story frame house, the gable end of which fronted the street and it had a porch on the south side. The house referred to occupied the present site of the Carroll Club. The Sabbath-school at attached to this church had formerly met in the Lancasterian Academy building, which was located but a few feet north of the present church building, but when the church building was prepared for its accommodation it was removed to that structure. It was then that a library was procured for the use of the scholars and teachers. This was the first Sabbath-school library introduced into the town, and was for a time a matter of great public interest and awakened general pleasure, as it was an acquisition which was hailed with delight by the entire community. In those days the literature possessed by this section was not extensive as compared with that of the present, not only was it more limited, but it was also more select. It took some time to arrange the books in order and to adopt a proper system for their distribution, all of which, however, was finally accomplished to the general satisfaction under the direction of Dr. Archibald S. Todd, who was the first librarian. Reddick McKee, Esq., was the superintendent and during the warm Sabbath afternoons he would discard his coat and go about in his shirt sleeves while attending to his duties.
Regular Presbyterian services were commenced in Wheeling in the year 1812, prior to which time they had occasionally been held in the school house which formerly stood on Market Square, and in private houses. Rev. Dr. Hervey in this last named was called to preach on-half of his time. A short time after this arrangement was made with Rev. Dr. Hervey, several prominent male members united with the church, among them being Messrs. Laughlin and Templeton. These gentlemen had moved to Wheeling after Mr. Hervey had commenced his regular ministrations. At this period Messrs. List, Booth and other members of the Methodist church were in the habit of regularly attending the Presbyterian prayer meetings, as the Methodist denomination at the time had no regular prayer meetings.
Rev. Dr. Hervey continued as pastor under the arrangement mentioned until the year 1825, at which date Rev. William Wylie received a call for two-thirds of this time, the members having concluded that they were financially able to pay for more extended regular services and that they ought to have them.
At the time of the call for the services of Rev. Wylie he was preaching in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. This arrangement threw Rev. Dr. Hervey out of a portion of his stipulated time and thereupon he resigned, and gathered a congregation to which he preached in the Court House. This movement caused a division in the congregation. These differences continued to exist for five or six years, when the two congregations came to terms and agreed to reunite on the basis that they would dismiss both Mr. Hervey and Mr. Wylie and call another minister in their place, which was accordingly done, and Rev. Henry Weed, D. D., was called about one year after the happening of the foregoing occurrences.
On one occasion when irregular Presbyterian services were held in Wheeling a Presbyterian minister was expected, who it had been announced would hold services in the Court House on a certain night specified at an hour indicated. A large congregation had gathered at the appointed time and was anxiously awaiting his advent, but for some unavoidable reason he was prevented from filling his appointment.
Many of those present becoming restless, and the hour growing late, a movement was made by some present to leave, when a person, a stranger in the town, announced that he would supply the place of the absent minister, and at once took the stand and began to descant upon the merits of the Swedenborgian doctrine, when both he and the congregation were suddenly startled by an individual who arose and shook his cane threateningly at the speaker and at the same time declared in the most emphatic manner that he was preaching falsehood and not gospel truth, and indignantly insisted that the congregation should adjourn; suiting the action to the word, he deliberately walked out and was followed by almost the entire audience. The name of this gentleman was Isaac Kelly, a relative of the late A. W. Kelly. He was a stanch Presbyterian and a prominent member of the church at the "Forks of Wheeling."
In the year 1807 there were four members of the Presbyterian church residing in the then village of Wheeling, named, respectively, Mrs. Realf, Mrs. Ralston and William McConnell and his wife. These last named persons were the father and mother of the late James H. McConnell, Esq. It was then customary at the time for some one to go from house to house and notify the inmates that a meeting would be held at a certain place and time, which, as we have before said was in a private house, in the school house or in the Court House, as it might be. Several families whose leaning was in favor of Presbyterian doctrine and teaching attended and contributed of their means to the encouragement of this form of worship, among whom were the following families, to-wit: Capt. George Knox, Zachariah Sprigg, Joseph Caldwell, William Irwin and John Ewing, the latter the father of the late James Ewing, deceased. William Irwin was the father of the late Isaac and Samuel Irwin, both of whom are deceased.
The nearest regular places of preaching at this time were at the "Stone" meeting house and at West Alexander, Pennsylvania. Services at the "Stone" meeting house were held regularly every two weeks, and members in Wheeling and others were accustomed to attend them statedly. In those days the services were regarded as sacred privileges which were highly appreciated, and neither cold nor heat, wet nor dry weather were permitted to interfere to such an extent as to preclude those early Presbyterians from enjoying them.
Communion services were held twice a year, alternately at the "Forks of Wheeling" and at West Alexander, on which occasions it was customary for the entire family to make their arrangements to be present, leaving their homes on the Friday preceding communion services and remaining until Tuesday of the following week, camping out beneath the trees when the weather permitted in a similar manner as the Methodists now do, with this difference, that then it was a necessity as some of those who attended were compelled to come a distance of 20 and 30 miles. Moreover, the services of the Sabbath were followed by services on Monday. On such occasions sanctified social intercourse and communion awakened pleasant sympathies, and developed a pure and holy friendship and welded devoted attachments. The regular minister who alternately officiated at these churches was Rev. Stevenson.
Rev. Henry Weed was installed as pastor of the First Presbyterian church in June, 1835, and for twenty-five years continued to discharge his duties as pastor, when on account of the infirmities of age he resigned his office as such in January, 1860. In the following year Rev. Baker accepted a call from the church in the capacity of co-pastor, but remained but four months, at the expiration of which time he tendered his resignation. In the early portion of the year 1862 Rev. Daniel W. Fisher received and accepted a call as pastor. He resigned the pastorate of the church in 1876, his period of service having covered fourteen years, and shortly after he accepted the presidency of Hanover College, Indiana.
The present pastor, Rev. David A. Cunningham, D. D., LL. D., was installed as pastor in October, 1876. For a quarter of a century he has preached the pure gospel to the people of his charge and has greatly endeared himself to all with whom he has come in contact in and out of the church. He has been a faithful, discreet and conscienctious minister of the Lord Jesus Christ and his walk and conversation have been godly.
The ground occupied by the church building was donated by Noah Zane, who generously donated other lots of ground to different denominations for church purposes.
This church is an off-shoot of the First Presbyterian church. The services of this church were first temporarily held in the third story of Ott & Greer's hardware store, located on the northwest corner of Twelfth and Market streets.
In 1848 a building committee was appointed and also a committee to solicit subscriptions. The church was regularly organized in 1848. The Sabbath-school was organized in the same year and Reddick McKee was selected as superintendent.
The church edifice stands on the residence and grounds of the late William Chapline on the corner of Twentieth and Market streets. The church was erected in the year 1850.
The first pastor of the church was the Rev. Cyrus Dickson, who resigned to accept a call to a church in Baltimore. During the eight or nine years of his pastorate the church rapidly increased in membership. The vacant pulpit was supplied for several months by Rev. Samuel J. Wilson, who was called, but declined acceptance of it for another position.
In 1857 Rev. R. V. Dodge, of Springfield, Illinois, was called and was installed in October, 1857. He remained as pastor for five years and resigned in October, 1862. Rev. Dodge was followed by Rev. John Moffat, of Bellaire, Ohio, who entered upon his labors in 1863, but who after eight years was compelled by physical disability to cease his labors. He was succeeded by this son, Rev. James D. Moffat, as co-pastor, now the president of Washington and Jefferson College, of Washington, Pennsylvania, where his work has been crowned with great success. In 1875, on the death of his father, he became sole pastor. He was followed by Rev. Cooke, who died in the course of a few years, and was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. Joseph Speers.
This church was organized in 1849, when Rev. Alfred Paull became its first pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. Edgar Woods, who remained its pastor for several years. It was supplied for some time by Revs. Boyd, J. V. Dodge and others. For two years Rev. Marcus Wishart was pastor. In 1866 Rev. Jonathan Cross was its pastor and remained such until 1873. He was followed by Rev. A. G. Eagleson. In 1875 Rev. Daniel Williams, then pastor of the Fourth Presbyterian church, with the consent of his session and the presbytery, gave it half of his time. In 1876 he found he could not serve both churches fully and acceptably and gave it up. He was followed by Rev. Lyle, who died during his pastorate. After frequent changes the present pastor, Rev. R. R. Bigger, received and accepted a call. Under his ministrations a number have been added to its membership and the church edifice has been greatly repaired and improved. Mainly through the efforts of the pastor, ably seconded by those of the members of the congregation, between four and five thousand dollars were raised to defray the cost of the addition to the building. the Sabbath-school of this church is the largest in numbers in the city. At present its superintendent is Isadore Fulton, whose time and attention is given to its success and prosperity, and who is ably and faithfully seconded by his pastor in his labors.
The original members of this church colonized from the First Presbyterian church.
October 6, 1851, they applied to the presbytery requesting to be organized as a Presbyterian church, which request was granted, whereupon at a meeting held in November, 1851, five trustees were elected, viz: William Clark, John Goshorn, Michael Edwards, Finley McNaughten and James Todd. Services were held in the First Ward House until the completion of the church building in the year 1853. The services of Rev. Alfred Paull were secured as pastor. A lot had been purchased from N. McNaughten for the sum of $1,300, payable one-fourth in cash February 1, 1852. The lot was purchased by the aid of Rev. Henry Weed, D. D., and a stipulation in the deed provided that when it ceased to be used for Presbyterian purposes the same was to revert to Rev. Alfred Paull, a son-in-law of Rev. Dr. Weed, or his heirs. Rev. Alfred Paull was pastor of the church until January, 1864, when he resigned and Rev. Edgar Woods was elected as a supply. Before the expiration of a year this latter resigned and removed to eastern Virginia. He was followed by Rev. John R. Hamilton as stated supply, who remained about a year, when he resigned. Rev. J. D. McIntyre followed him as stated supply, but before the laspe of a year the latter resigned. In April, 1868, a call was extended to Rev. R. V. Dodge, which was accepted and he continued as pastor until April, 1869, when he was called to the church in Madison, Wisconsin, which call he accepted. In October, 1869, Rev. Bellville Roberts was called and accepted the pastorate. He remained for about three years, when Rev. Daniel Williams was called, who for four or five years preached, when, the church finding itself unable to pay the salary of a pastor, he resigned. These constitute the names of all the pastors in their regular order.
Thomas G. Culbertson and John Moore were the first ruling elders. In 1853 J. Caldwell and Thomas Tood became members of the session and Messrs. McCombs, Chalfant and McGinnis were elected elders. In 1865 vacancies in the session were filled by John H. Armstrong and Ralph Arkle. In 1866 T. R. Laird was elected a ruling elder. In 1869 G. L. Cranmer was elected and ordained a ruling elder. The foregoing is a correct list of the eldership.
A few months afterward, the church was dissolved by the presbytery.
This congregation was originally organized under the name of the Associate Reformed church. After several years of effort a union was accomplished between the Associate and the Associate Reformed churches, which formed what is known as the United Presbyterian church. The Reformed Presbyterian church held aloof from this union and still continues as a distinct organization. The United Presbyterian church was styled the Associate Reformed church and such was its name until the year 1858, since when it adopted the name of the United Presbyterian church. In 1828 Rev. William Wallace, D. D., was pastor of the charges of West Middletown and Short Creek.
A few persons were at the time living in Wheeling whose preferences were in favor of the Associate Reformed church; they were: Thomas Johnston, Sr., and his wife and Mrs. Isabella Garden. These individuals constituted the first members of the church.
The first church building was erected in 1832, and it was occupied in 1833. It cost about $4,500 and was occupied for about thirty-five years.
The regular organization took place in the year 1843, when Thomas Sweeney and James Waddle were ordained and installed as ruling elders. Another member of the session was Thomas Johnston, Sr., who was also installed, having previously been ordained in the Short Creek congregation. Wheeling at this time was regarded as a mission field, and as such was under the care of the Short Creek church, of which Dr. Wallace was the pastor, and Waddle and Johnston were ruling elders. Forty persons were received into membership prior to the organization, and at its organization four more names were added, making the membership to amount to 44.
At the beginning of Rev. J. T. McLure's pastorate, which was in March, 1850, the congregation consisted of not more than 75 members. Since then a strong and flourishing congregation has grown up.
In 1866 the present church building on Chapline street was erected, and in the respective years of 1874 and 1901 the church building was repaired, some changes having been made which have added greatly to its beauty and attractiveness.
Upon the death of Rev. J. T. McLure, the beloved and honored pastor, after an interval a call was extended to and accepted by Rev. Robinson, of Baltimore, whose ministrations are highly acceptable, and under his auspices and the blessings of God they look forward to great prosperity in the future.
The Second United Presbyterian church, located on the corner of Fourteenth and Chapline streets, was organized on the evening of November 21, 1900. Until that time there was but one church of this denomination in the city.
On account of conditions obtaining in the First United Presbyterian church a very large majority of its members, believing there was ample room for two churches of their denomination in the city, withdrew from the First church and proceeded in an orderly manner to organize the Second church.
The first public services for worship were held in the A. O. U. W. Hall at the corner of Fourteenth and Market streets on September 23, 1900, where the congregation continued to worship until they entered their neat and beautiful chapel on the corner of Fourteenth and Chapline streets.
When it began to appear from existing conditions that a Second church should be formed, a number of meetings of the men were held for consultation. When they had determined on a course of action, a public meeting was held on September 26, 1900, in a hall of the Hub building. At this meeting a petition addressed to Wheeling Presbytery, asking for the organization of the Second church, was unanimously adopted and signed, and the following officers were elected: Treasurer, Andrew S. Hare; trustees, John B. Garden, Samuel Nesbitt, Jr., James L. Sawtell, Sam. B. McKee, John Crockard, George W. Breemer, John Beckett, William D. Robertson and David A. Morgan.
The petition, which was adopted, was presented to the presbytery at its meeting held at High Ridge October 26, 1900, and after examination it was grated. In receiving and granting the petition the presbytery recognized those who had been members of the First church as being now no longer members of the First church, but as being members of the organization for which they ask and which was granted. A commission was then appointed by the presbytery to carry the organization to completion.
On November 11, 1900, the commission met,and after a sermon by the Rev. J. H. Littell, an election was held which resulted in the following persons being chosen to the office of ruling elder: Edward J. McDonald, S. P. Parker, Thomas M. Garvin, Frank T. Hare and John C. Paul. On the evening of November 21, 1900, the commission, consisting of Rev. J. H. Littell and Elders Thomas J. Orr and Daniel A. Giffin, of Roney's Point congregation, met with the new organization, and after public services, which were held in the I. O. O. F. Hall, the organization was completed by the ordination and installation of the elders elected.
Being now perfectly organized, the congregation proceeded to the calling of a pastor. A congregational meeting was held for this purpose on February 26, 1901. Rev. Thomas Balph, D. D., of St. Clairsville, Ohio, moderating the call, which resulted in the unanimous choice of Rev. J. H. Littell. For more than six years Mr. Littell had had the pastoral care of this people in the First church. It was a happy consummation when he was now to be placed over them again. He was installed pastor of the Second church on March 21, 1901. The congregation grew steadily and before completing the first year of its history it had become the largest in the presbytery.
The question of a permanent church home became a serious one which gave the people no little anxiety. No location could be found that was suitable and available. But as if providentially arranged, while in the midst of their anxiety, the property at the corner of Fourteenth and Chapline streets was offered at public sale. It was a beautiful and central location, one of the best in the whole city. They determined to purchase it, and John B. Garden was nominated to that duty with the limitation that he was not to exceed $16,500 in his bidding. The property was sold to J. T. Stone for $18,100, and the hearts of the people sunk within them. Another effort was made, as the people seemed unwilling to abandon the place upon which one and all seemed to center their desires. On March 20, 1901, the deal was closed. The property of the Second United Presbyterian church, and the hearts of the people rejoiced.
There are two buildings on the front end of the lot which have not been distrubed, which ar suitable for offices. But there is space enough on the reer end of the lot and facing on Fourteenth street for a neat chapel, which was erected at a cost of $1,800. The chapel, which has a seating capacity of 250, was dedicated free of debt on July 17, 1901. Rev. Thomas Balph, D. D., preached the dedication sermon.
The congregation, now a little more than a year old, numbers 226. It has a large Sabbath-school and every department of the church is in good working order. It also has a mission under its care in the town of Moundsville, which is soon to be organized into a congregation.
The Second United Presbyterian church is composed of an harmonious, earnest, working and happy people, and under the leadership of their efficient pastor, who has been well tested, is destined to become a strong moral and spiritual force in the city.
This church was organized in 1832 by Charles Ensell and others. About 40 persons met together at the residence of Mr. Ensell in East Wheeling. The first regular meetings were held in the school-room of William McKay, familiarly known as "Father McKay," and which was situated on the east side of Market street between Jefferson and Adams streets. Services were conducted by the elders of the church. Prior to this time the society met at different private houses. They met in McKay's school -room about two years, whence they removed to the Lancasterian Academy, where they remained until it was torn down. In 1855 a small frame church was erected on the west side of Market street in center Wheeling, just below Twenty-first street, where they remained for twenty years, when they purchased St. John's Episcopal church. This purchase was made in 1875. There they have been permanently located since. The Sabbath-school connected with this church has always been in a prosperous condition.
A great many sacrifices have been made by this congregation and they have been involved in considerable of a pecuniary struggle. St. John's Episcopal church was purchased by them at a cost of $10,100, and they realized $2,500 from the sale of their old building. There are probably none of the original members of the church now living.
The first general conference of this denomination was held at the call of Rev. Freeborn Garrettson and others. About 60 intinerant ministers of unorganized Methodism gathered for consultation on Friday, December 24, 1784, in the historic "Lovely Lane Chapel," in Baltimore, Maryland. Deeming it best to become an independent body, these preachers organized themselves into an organization, authorized by John Wesley, to which they gave the name of the "Methodist Episcopal Church." Francis Asbury was elected and consecrated as superintendent. The session lasted until January 3, 1785.
The second general conference was held in Baltimore, November 1-15, 1792, and was composed of all preacher in full connection. Bishops Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury, who had substituted the title "bishop" (for which action they were rebuked by Wesley), presided. Regular general conferences were ordered held every four years. The discipline was revised, and provision made for election, consecration and trial of bishops. The conference also defined the duties of presiding elders, and provided for their appointment by the bishops. The term of the presiding elder was limited to four years.
The third general conference began October 20, 1796, and continued two weeks. It was held in Baltimore. About 100 members were present and Bishops Coke and Asbury presided. The boundaries of six annual conferences were determined, and rules respecting slavery and spirituous liquors were adopted. Provision was made for the licensing, ordination, payment and trial of local preachers.
The fourth general conference was held in Baltimore, May 6-20, 1800, the time being changed from October because of the prevalence of yellow fever. Salaries of preachers were increased, and fixed at $80. Richard Whatcoat was elected bishop, to have equal jurisdiction with Bishop Asbury. The bishops were authorized to ordain colored local deacons. The motion to make the general conference a delegate body was lost.
The fifth general conference, with 107 members, was held at Baltimore, May 7-23, 1804, and sat with closed doors. Bishops Coke, Asbury and Whatcoat presided. Bishop Coke was given leave to go to Europe to return when requested.
The sixth general conference was held in Baltimore May 6-20, 1808, and was presided over by Bishop Asbury, Bishop Whatcoat having died in the interval and Bishop Coke being absent. William McKendree was elected bishop, and delegated body was provided for, the ratio of representation being not more than one for every five members of an annual conference, and not less than one for every seven. Thus by limiting the election of members of the annual conferences practically disfranchised lay preachers, those who had been ordained elders up to this time having been recognized as entitled to membership in the general conference.
The first delegated general conference was held in John Street Methodist church, New York City, May 1-22, 1812. Bishops Asbury and McKendree presided. Local deacons were made eligible to elder's orders and the motion to elect presiding elders was lost after a heated debate of two days. Eight conferences were represented by 90 delegates. One conference--the New England--had elected three reserve delegates. Their right to seats was challenged, but they were admitted,--the votes being 56 for and 22 against.
The second delegated general conference was opened by Bishop McKendree in Baltimore May 1-24, 1816, Bishop Asbury having died near Fredericksburg, Virginia, March 31, 1816. His remains were interred in Eutaw Street church in the presence of the general conference May 10th, Bishop McKendree preaching the funeral sermon. The ration of representation was changed to one for every seven in each annual conference. Enoch George and Robert R. Roberts were elected bishops. A depository was authorized to be opened at Pittsburg and the publication of a Methodist missionary magazine was recommended.
The third delegated general conference with 89 members was held May 1-27, 1820, in Baltimore. Bishops McKendree, George and Roberts presided. The missionary society which had been organized the year previous was indorsed by this conference, and the book concern at Cincinnati was established. Joshua Soule was elected bishop, but, because he believed it unconstitutional for the presiding eldership to be elective, he declined the episcopal office.
The fourth delegated general conference with 125 members held in Baltimore May 1-28, 1824, elected Joshua Soule and Elijah Hedding bishops. This conference decided that "lay delegation" was inexpedient.
The fifth delegated general conference with 176 delegates present was held in Pittsburg, May 1-24, 1828. Bishops McKendree, George, Roberts and Hedding presided. The motion for elective presiding elders was laid on the table. Nathan Bangs was elected editor of the Christian Advocate and Journal,which was first issued September 9, 1826.
The sixth general delegated conference with 220 members was held in Philadelphia, May 1-28, 1832. bishop McKendree, Roberts, Soule and Hedding presided. Bishop George having died in August, 1828, Bishop McKendree preached a funeral discourse. A new ration of representation was established, being one for every 14, and not less than one for every 30. James O. Andrew and John Emory were elected bishops.
The seventh delegated general conference with 151 members met in Cincinnati May 2-27, 1836. Bishops McKendree and Emory had died during the quadrennium. The slavery question was discussed and two members were censured by a vote of 120 to 14 for lecturing at an abolition meeting in Cincinnati during the conference session. Bishops Roberts, Soule and Hedding were given permission to travel at their discretion. Beverley Waugh, Wilbur Fisk and Thomas A. Morris were elected bishops, but Fisk, who was absent in Europe at the time of his election, afterward declined the honor. This was the only case of the bishopric being declined after election. Nathan Bangs was elected first corresponding secretary of the missionary society.
The eighth delegated general conference was held in Baltimore May 1-June3, 1840, and 143 members were present. The six bishops were present and presided. The Woman's Magazine,which afterward became the Ladies Repository, was recommended. The Christian Apologist, with William Nast as editor, was made an official paper.
The ninth delegated general conference, which was the longest in the history of the church, was held in New York May 1- June 10, 1844. Five bishops were present, Bishop Roberts having died. A debate on slavery covering many days made this a notable conference. The decision of the Baltimore conference, suspending F. A. Harding for holding slaves, was sustained by a vote of 117 to 56, and Bishop Andrew, because his wife owned slaves, was requested to desist from exercising his office while the impediment remained. Leonides L. Hamline and Edmund S. Janes were elected bishops.
The tenth delegated general conference was held in Pittsburg May 1 - June 1, 1848, with 151 members present. Five bishops were present, Bishop Soule and Andrew having gone with the M. E. church, South, organized in 1846. Dr. Lovick Pierce, delegate from that church, was invited to a seat in the conference; commissioners from that church were also present to adjust property claims. Book agents were authorized to arbitrate with the church South regarding such claims, if legally possible, but afterward a law suit followed which was decided in favor of the church South. Annual conferences not having concurred in the "Plan of Separation," it was declared null and void.
The eleventh delegated general conference was held in Boston May 1 - June 1, 1852, with 178 members was presided over by Bishops Waugh, Morris and Janes. Bishop Hedding had died and Bishop Hamline had resigned on account of ill health. This is the only case of the resignation of a bishop in the history of the church. Levi Scott, Matthew Simpson, Osmon C. Baker and Edward R. Ames were elected bishops. Lay delegation was again brought up and pronounced inexpedient. The discipline was changed to permit pews and to allow men and women to sit together. The tract society was organized.
The twelfth delegated conference was held in Indianapolis May 1 - June 4, 1856, with 220 members and the seven bishops present. The extension of the pastoral term for more than two years was deemed unwise. Change in the ratio of representation to one for every 45 in annual conferences was recommended. The election of a missionary bishop for Africa was authorized and Francis Burns, who was elected by the Liberia conference in January, 1858, was afterward consecrated to this office October 14, 1858. There was a long debate on slavery.
The thirteenth delegated general conference was held in Buffalo, May 1 - June 4, 1860, 221 members and six bishops were present, Bishop Waugh having died. The chapter on slavery was altered after a long debate and buying, selling or holding slaves was condemned. Lay delegation in general conference was approved when the church desired it, and it was submitted to the annual conferences and the male membership over twenty-one years of age. The ration of representation was made one for every 14 members and not less than one for every 45.
The fourteenth delegated general conference was held in Philadelphia May 2-27, 1864, with 216 members and six bishops present. Two assistant missionary secretaries were elected. Provision was made for the observance of the centennary of American Methodism in 1866. The pastoral term was lengthened to three years. Davis W. Clark, Edward Thomson and Calvin Kingsley were elected bishops.
The fifteenth delegated general conference was held in the First M. E. church, Chicago, May 1 - June 2, 1868, with 243 delegates. The plan was adopted for submitting the question of lay delegation to a vote of the ministers and members and for the election of provisional lay delegates to the general conference of 1872, in case the ministers cast the necessary three-fourths vote in favor of lay delegation.
The sixteenth delegated general conference was held in Brooklyn, New York, May 1 - June 4, 1872. There were 292 ministerial and 129 lay delegates. The ministers of the annual conference having cast more than the three-fourths vote for the proposed change in the restrictive rule in favor of admitting lay delegates, the general conference itself by a vote of 283 for and six against concurred with the annual conferences in the proposed change. The lay delgates were admitted to their seats. At this conference Drs. Bowman, Harris, Foster, Wiley, Merritt, Andrews, Gilbert Haven and Jesse T. Peck were elected bishops. The episcopal residences were specified for the first time. The Woman's Foreign Missionary Society was recognized. Secretaries and book agents were declared henceforth to be of equal authority.
The seventeenth delegated general conference was held in Baltimore May 1-31, 1876. There were 355 delegates, 222 of whom were ministerial and 133 were lay. Twelve bishops were present, Bishop Morris and Missionary Bishop Roberts having died. The change from Ladies Repository to National Repository was authorized. A committee on ecumenical council, to be held in London in 1881, was ordered.
The eighteenth delegated general conference was held in Cincinnati May 1-28, 1880, and was composed of 248 ministerial and 151 lay delegates, in all 399. Bishops Janes, Ames and Haven having died, but nine bishops were present. The question of abstinence from tobacco was inserted in the form for receiving preachers. Drs. Warren, Foss, Hurst and Eratus O. Haven were elected bishops.
The nineteenth delegated general conference, May 1-28, 1884, was held in Philadelphia. The total delegation was 417, of whom 261 were ministerial and 156 were lay. Ten bishops were present. Bishops Peck, Scott Erastus O. Haven had died. The licensing and ordaining of women was deemed inexpedient. Drs. Ninde, Walden, Mallalieu and Fowler were elected bishops, and William Taylor was elected Missionary Bishop for Africa.
The twentieth delegated general conference held in New York May 1-31, 1888, had 288 ministerial delegates and 175 lay. Twelve bishops were present. Bishops Simpson, Wiley and Harris had died. Seats were refused Frances E. Willard and four other women, and the eligibility of women to seats in the general conference was referred to the church and conferences for vote in 1890 and 1891. The pastoral term was lengthened from three to five years and that of presiding elders from four to six years. Dr. Thoburn was elected Missionary Bishop for India and Malaysia.
The twenty-first delegated general conference was held in Omaha May 2-26, 1892. Ministerial delegates, 315; lay, 189; total, 504. The lay delegates for the first time sat apart from the ministerial. The centennial of the general conference observed. The Epworth League was adopted. The American University was approved.
The twenty-second delegated general conference was held in Cleveland, Ohio, May 1-28, 1896. The delegates consisted of 338 ministerial and 200 lay. The eligibility of certain women who had been elected delegates was challenged. The question was referred to a special committee, which reported a compromise, referring the question to the constitutional vote of the ministers, but permitting women delegates to occupy seats in the general conference without the right to vote. The time of the general conference was changed to the first Wednesday in May. Bishops Bowman, Foster and Taylor were made non-effective. Drs. C. C. McCabe and Earl Cranston were elected bishops and Dr. J. C. Hartzell Missionary Bishop for Africa. The date of convening of conference was changed from May 1st to the first Wednesday in May.
Such is the story of the general conferences of the Methodist Episcopal church and which, though not strictly in the line of local history, indirectly is of local interest, and hence the reason why we give it by way of introduction to an account of local Methodism.
One of the most eccentric Methodist ministers in early days in Ohio county was one Jacob Ruber, sometimes called Jacob Gruber. He was born in the Cumberland Valley and came to Ohio county in the early years of the nineteenth century. For four years he was presiding elder of the Short Creek circuit. His eccentricity was markedly manifested in his apparel. In those early days the Methodists were as pronounced in their dress as were the members of the denomination known as Friends.
The female portion of the community, young and old, wore caps destitute of ruffles, which were a forbidden display, and these caps fitted closely to their heads. They also wore a style of bonnets called scoops, wanting in ornaments such as ribbons or flowers, which were too worldly. They were not permitted to wear jewelry of any kind, as rings, earrings and breastpins were looked upon as unseemly.
The males wore broad-brimmed hats, shad-bellied coats, short breeches minus suspenders, and other articles of dress corresponding to plainness and all absence of display, and all cultivated gravity of speech and circumspection in demeanor and conduct.
The individual we have mentioned was frequent in his denunciation of any departure from the regulation dress and did not hesitate to publicly reprove the offender. As illustrative of his peculiarity of his it is related of him that on a certain occasion he was attending a camp meeting in the vicinity of Philadelphia, and in passing along he met a company of women richly dressed in silks and satins engaged in singing hymns, the last couplet of one of which was--
The first building of this church was a one-story brick which stood on an elevated sand or gravel bank which occupied the site of the present church edifice. It had a small gallery in the eat end. The church faced to the west, where its entrance was located, which was reached by wooden steps leading up to it. AT night services it was lighted with tallow dips. Rev. John Waterman was, we believe, the minister in charge at this time.
The congregation having greatly increased in numbers, it was necessary to erect a more commodious edifice for their accommodation, and hence the Second church building was erected in 1832-33, a large brick building capable of accommodating from 1,500 to 2,000 persons. This building had large galleries and was the most capacious building in the city at the time of its erection. It was dedicated December 24, 1833, by Rev. Dr. Ruter, of Pittsburg. In 1866, when repairs were in progress on the building, the discovery was made that the walls of the church and the foundation had settled and that it would be necessary to rebuild.
The old structure was torn down and rebuilding was commenced at once and in the year 1867 the present costly and elegant building was completed. On the 15th of May, 1868, the church was dedicated with appropriate services by Bishop Janes. It is a credit to the congregation.
This parent church has sent forth numerous colonies. The first to which we here refer was the German M. E. church in 1839.
This church was erected in 1848 by members living south of the creek. The lot upon which the church stands was donated by Henry Echols and Thomas Hornbrook. Ever since its organization it has greatly prospered and has been a blessing in the community. A new church building was begun in June, 1901, and on October 2d of this year the corner-stone was laid with appropriate services by Bishop Andrews. It occupies the site of the old church on the east side of Chapline street below Twenty-third street. Rev. J. E. Robinson is at present pastor of the church.
This congregation was organized at about the same time the last named was. William P. Wilson and others were appointed a committee to purchase a lot and erect upon it a building for worship, as there were many of the Methodist persuasion living in that part of the city. It has a large and growing membership and has been an instrument of great good in the section where it is located.
This church is situated on Jacob street in South Wheeling and was organized in 1850. William Montgomery, Joseph Woods and Henry Ohley were the original trustees. They erected a small birck building and it was dedicated by Rev. Cornelius Battelle in 1851. The old church becoming too small for the growing congregation, a new building was erected on the old site. It is now in a thriving condition. It has a large and flourishing Sabbath-school.
This church sprang out of a Union Sabbath-school, which was in charge of Dr. Thomas H. Logan and G. L. Cranmer, established in 1854. Daniel Zane, Esq., donated the lot for a church, on which was originally erected a plain frame building. Through the instumentality of Deacon E. J. Stone, a member of the Methodist denomination, and a number of the members of that denomination, a church was organized under the above name. Its growth was permanent and now it has proven to be a successful and prosperous organization. In the course of a few years the old frame church gave place to a large and substantial brick edifice. It is situated on the east side of Broadway on the Island, between Zane and Virginia streets.
This organization is also an offshoot from the Fourth Street M. E. church. It was organized in 1866. It is located in East Wheeling. The building is of brick.
This church was organized by the colored Methodist in 1866. With the increase of their numbers they became strong enough to separate themselves from the whites and establish a church of their own. It has a large and earnest membership and a flourishing congregation. It also has a large and increasing Sabbath-school, the superintendent of which is an indefatigable and devoted worker and who is a person thoroughly fitted for his place, and takes great pleasure in the cause in which he is engaged.
In January, 1839, John Swahlen, who was a convert under the ministrations of Rev. Willian Nast, was sent out as an exhorter and also as an agent to obtain subscriptions for the Christian Apologist. When he arrived in Wheeling he found the Germans hungry for the bread of life and immediately began to exhort them to seek the Lord. The word took effect at once, and a society of 26 members was formed. Upon being licensed to preach, Rev. Swahlen was sent to Wheeling as a missionary. After laboring eighteen months he reported 83 members in the society, and the erection of a meeting house 40x40 feet and two stories high. This was the first German Methodist Episcopal church ever built anywhere.
The first leaders' and stewards' meeting was organized May 6, 1839, and the first quarterly conference was held August 9, 1839. There were present the following persons: N. N. Callender, presiding elder; John Swahlen, preacher; henry Koenicke, exhorter and leader; Lawrence Schork, class leader; Charles Schelper, class leader; Engelhart Rimenschneider, class leader; Henry Daum, class leader; Henry Henke, class leader and steward; Christian Ohle, steward; Frederick Fitchner, steward.
The names following are the first trustees; Christian Ohle, Henry Henke, Christian Woehlert, Charles Schelper, Daniel Zane, James M. Wheat, Elijah Day, Robert Hamilton and William Lambdin, all of whom are now deceased.
The following report was made to the conference held August, 1901:
The present membership is about 220, 40 of whom are under twenty years of age.
Salary of the preacher $900
Salary of presiding elder 75 975
Running expenses of church 464
Sabbath-school 145 609
General benevolence 370
Repairs, painting, electricity and seats 1,500
The founders of this congregation were John, David, Gottlieb and Jacob Bayha, William Keyter, John Werst, Thomas Kern, F. Schumann, Jacob Schweizer, C. Shaich, Charles Koerner, L. Meder, Jacob Trautwein and A. Weber. Its organization was effected in May, 1856, and the first board of officers was elected. The first pastor was C. Sapper. The second pastor was C. G. Frederick, of Washington, Pennsylvania. At the beginning the few members worshipped in Union Hall, situated on Main street. The lot on which the present building is erected was purchased in 1859. It is situated on the west side of Chapline street between Fourteenth and Fifteenth streets. The corner-stone of the church was laid in 1860 and the dedication of the edifice took place in June following. Rev. Frederick resigned at about the close of the year 1863, and in May of the following year the congregation called Rev. A. W. Werder to the pastorate. He was ordained in 1864. He is still the pastor of the congregation, and continues active in all his labors for the building up of the cause of his Master in this community.
This church was organized August 12, 1860, by Rev. Thomas W. Dosh, a member of the synod of Virginia, with 24 members, and the services at that time were held in the old Baptist church on Seventeenth street. His pastorate was short. His family, relatives and friend all being eastern Virginia when the war between the sections broke out, he returned to his former home and subsequently became a prominent member of the Southern Lutheran church.
The second pastor of the church was Rev. Samuel B. Barnitz, who reorganized the church, for the organization formed by Rev. Dosh had become scattered and defunct. He was licensed to preach the gospel and administer the sacraments for one year from October 1, 1861, by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of West Pennsylvania. From this date until May, 1862, he labored in Pennsylvania and New York. On June 15, 1862, he entered upon the pastoral work of the English Evangelical Lutheran mission in this city, which had had no pastor for over a year. The first audience to which he preached in Wheeling did not number over 18 members. He was ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of West Pennsylvania, at Shippensburg, September 13, 1862. For a time services were held in St. James' German Lutheran church, and subsequently at Odd Fellows' hall, where services were continued until they erected the building where services are now held, on Sixteenth street. The price of this lot was $3,500, of which amount the congregation was able to pay down but $50. He was successful as a pastor and preacher and was also a great Sunday-school worker.
Since the resignation of Rev. Barnitz he has been acting as western secretary of the Board of Home Missions of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran church. He has been honored by Pennsylvania College with the degree of D. D.
The third pastor of this church was Rev. Emanuel H. Dornblaser. He was licensed to preach the gospel and administer the sacraments by the Miami Evangelical Lutheran Synod in October 1878, and ordained by the same in October 1879. His first charge was in Clarion county, Pennsylvania, where he served two years. He was unanimously elected pastor the First English Evangelical Lutheran church of Wheeling, which he served for twelve consecutive years from November 20, 1881 to December 14, 1893. The actual membership of the church under his pastorate was increased nearly 200. He is now located in Springfield, Ohio, where he serves the Second English Lutheran church as its pastor.
The fourth and present pastor is Rev. Samuel Schwarm, who took charge February 1, 1894. On December 14, 1893, although he had refused to be a candidate, he was agreeably surprised by the receipt of the following telegram:
Wheeling, W. Va., December 14, 1893.
Rev. Dr. S. Schwarm:
Unanimously elected my successor tonight. Salary thirteen hundred per year.
H. D. Dornblaser.
A formal call immediately followed. He was licensed to preach the gospel by the Miami synod in 1876 and ordained to the gospel ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran church by the Olive Branch synod in 1878. His work as pastor speaks for itself.
The dedication proper of the First English Evangelical Lutheran church occurred January 16, 1898. The officiating ministers included the pastors, Rev. S. Schwarm, D. D., Rev. S. B. Barnitz, D. D. Rev. E. H. Dornblaser and Rev. S. A. Ort, D. D. Rev. D. A. Cunningham, D. D., represented the Wheeling ministers. The services occupied the morning, afternoon and evening.*
*For an account of this and the preceding history of the church, the writer is indebted to the courtesy of Rev. Dr. Schwarm.
About 20 German families started this congregation in the year 1875. Prior to this time they belonged to St. Paul's German Independent congregation. It became a member of the organization known as "The Reformed Church of the United States of North America." Its first pastor was Rev. Louis Mueller, who resigned his charge in 1877, when Rev. J. L. Schatz accepted a call as pastor of the congregation. They bought a lot in the early part of the year 1878, on which to erect a church building. This lot was located on the corner of Eoff and Thirty-sixth streets. In the fall of 1878 the building was finished, and in December of that year it was dedicated to the worship of God. The congregation is in a prosperous condition, and there is a flourishing Sabbath school. The government of the church is exercised by a body of elders and deacons presided over by the pastor.
This church is located on the corner of Market and Seventeenth streets. Their first church edifice was erected on Eighteenth street, but in 1871 they completed their present fine edifice, costing in the aggregate nearly $30,000. They have a large and flourishing Sabbath-school and several societies engaged in church work.
This church was organized in May, 1833, by Elder S. Williams, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, who acted as moderator, and Elder George Washington as clerk. Ten persons constituted the first membership of the church, to which in the following year thirteen were added, nine by baptism and four by letter. Their meeting were held in a school-house on John (now Sixteenth) street, in public halls and in private residences. In 1847 the congregation built a house of worship on a lot on Clay street, which had been donated for the purpose by Hon. Daniel Moore, of Washington, Pennsylvania, which was used until 1866, when the present location on the southeast corner of Byron and Twelfth streets, was purchased from St. Matthew's Protestant Episcopal church. For many years it has received aid from the Home Mission Society of the Baptist church. The congregation has sustained a flourishing Sabbath-school.
The Episcopalians erected the second church building in Wheeling, the Methodist church having been erected first. The first Episcopal church, which was a frame structure, stood on the east side of Marker Square, between Tenth and Eleventh streets, and was dedicated by Bishop Chase, of the diocese of Virginia.
About this time Rev. William Armstrong and family removed here from Frederick, Maryland, and it was largely through his efforts that the house of worship was erected. He was followed by Rev. Wheat, who, like the former, was a faithful pastor and was greatly beloved by his people. After a short time he retired and was followed by Rev. William Armstrong, Jr. Soon after his induction into office, the congregation grew to such an extent that more commodious quarters were required to accommodate the increased numbers who attended upon the services. A building was therefore erected on the southeast corner of Twelfth and Jacob streets, the same now occupied by the Baptist denomination. The remains of this last named pastor we understand rest under the flight of steps leading up to the vestibule of the church. In 1861 Rev. Perkins, who had succeeded to the pastorate, resigned, and was followed by Rev. Addison. During his incumbency, the present fine stone edifice situated on the northeast corner of Chapline and Fifteenth streets was commenced and completed in the fall of 1865. Rev. Addison was followed by Rev. C. G. Currie, who after two or three years was followed by Rev. Latane, who remained until 1875, when he was succeeded by Rev. J. G. Armstrong, a man of fine education and a finished scholar. He was succeeded, in 1879, by Rev. R. R. Swope, who resigned to accept a position in Biltmore, North Carolina. He was followed by Rev. Thomas, who was called to Philadelphia, being followed by the present rector, Rev. David W. Howard, D. D., who has labored energetically in his work.
In the year 1818 there were but three or four Catholic families in the city, who were occasionally visited by a priest from Pittsburg of the name of Father Maguire. He labored zealously in behalf of his faith and not in vain. Noah Zane was much interested in him as he was a man of fine wit and extensive knowledge. On his visits he was always entertained by Mr. Zane, with whom he was in the habit of stopping and enjoying the gentleman's hospitality. On one occasion he remarked to Mr. Zane that as he had given lots to some other denominations, it would be a graceful thing for him to give one to his denomination, so that it might erect a church upon it. Unhesitatingly, Mr. Zane replied: "Certainly I will with great pleasure,--I will give you a lot on the back street" (meaning Chapline street). "Why, Mr. Zane, surely you would not put us back of the Methodist church" (this being located immediately in front of the proposed lot on Market Square); "Why, sir, we are centuries before the Methodist church." Mr. Zane was amused at the earnestness of the Father and finally said, "I will give you the lot on the corner" (the southeast corner of the present Chapline and Eleventh streets). Father Maguire was gratified in the change made and expressed his most sincere thanks. On this lot was built the first Catholic church in Wheeling, which was erected in 1822. It was a small brick and the entrance was from Chapline street. It was plain and unpretending in its exterior and was amply large enough for the small congregation which gathered there for worship.
The first pastor was Rev. James Hoerner, -- a Frenchman, who was a great lover of music. Under his ministrations the congregation was largely increased in numbers. He labored here for ten years when he left, greatly to the regret of his parishioners.
At this period Rev. R. V. Whelan, D. D., was bishop of the diocese of Richmond, which included the entire state of Virginia, and when Rev. Hoerner left he appointed Rev. Eugene Comerford, who remained only for three years.
In 1846, Rev. R. V. Whelan, D. D., though bishop of the diocese of Richmond, came to reside for a while in Wheeling and performed the pastoral duties almost unaided. The diocese of Wheeling was established in 1850, and the bishop of Richmond was translated to the new See of Wheeling.
Until 1847 the little church which had been erected in 1822 was sufficient to accommodate the congregation, but at that time Bishop Whelan resolved to have a more capacious and grand edifice,--one that would answer for many years to come. Accordingly the corner stone of St. Joseph's Cathedral was laid in 1847. Rev. Dr. Whelan himself designed it, and in person superintended the construction. In less than ten years he found it necessary to erect another church and to accommodate the increasing numbers and the separate church for the German members was dedicated in 1858,--St. Alphonsus German Catholic church. In 1872, he erected a third church, that of the Immaculate Conception in the Eight ward.
Immediately after his arrival in Wheeling, in 1846, Bishop Whelan manifested a noteworthy zeal in the important matter of education. He was not content with establishing what are known as parish schools, but at once organized the Whelan Female Academy, and called to his assistance those famed educators, the Sisters of the Visitation, B. V. M. So exalted was his idea of education, that he, moreover, secured among them a teaching corps that has ever since gained for the Sisters Academy the very highest reputation. The academy continued in Wheeling until 1865 when it was removed to a point two miles east of the city, and was then called Mount De Chantal. No sooner had the Wheeling Female Academy been removed to the country, than the ever vigilant Bishop Whelan put St. Joseph's Academy in operation on the site of the old one. In 1850 he purchased an admirable property for the Wheeling Hospital, on its present site, and greatly enlarged the building. He soon discovered another claim of charity. A home for orphans challenged his attention and soon the Act incorporating the Wheeling Hospital was amended so as to read, "The Wheeling Hospital and Orphan Asylum." The beautiful Mount Calvary Cemetery was also one of the Bishop's undertakings. It was laid out by the Bishop himself.
After an episcopate of thirty-three years, Rt. Rev. Richard Vincent Whelan, D. D., died in the city of Baltimore, his birthplace, on the 7th of July, 1874. As a prelate, his record is as bright and glorious as that of any bishop of his church from the days of the Most Rev. John Carroll, first bishop in the States, to his own day. He was a man of indomitable will, of wonderful courage and of a power of endurance that knew no bounds. As a churchman his life was so grand, so heroic, that it many be termed apostolic. His remains repose in Mount Calvary Cemetery, beneath the alter of a beautiful chapel, which the love and reverence and gratitude of his people erected to his saintly memory.
The first Sabbath-school in Wheeling was established in November, in the year 1818, through the efforts of Reddick McKee and Daniel Peck, Esqs. It was a Union school in which Presbyterians, Epsicopalians, Methodist, Baptists and Quakers participated. It was held in a little building situated on the corner of the present Eighth and Main streets, in a room occupied by one D. D. Remington, who taught a private school there, who not only tendered his room but his services. Being a literary man, he was asked to draft a suitable constitution. This he duly reported, prefaced by a copious extract from the preamble to the Constitution of the United States, as follows: "Whereas in the course of human events it becomes necessary, &c., &c."
At the first meeting of the school 30 scholars were in attendance, with some five or six ladies and gentleman as voluntary teachers. The children were surprised when Mr. Peck gave out and sang an appropriate hymn--for it was a novelty at that day to sing in a schoolroom.
During the week following the opening of the school, Mr. McKee, Mr. Elijah Day and Mr. Peck canvassed the town for scholars and the following Sabbath they had between 70 and 80 scholars present.
In a few weeks the number in the school increased so rapidly that other and larger quarters and to be secured. Consequently the school was removed to a room near the old Stone Court House, then to the brick school in the orchard occupying the site of the present Second Ward Market House, and then to the Lancasterian Academy. While the school was held in the last mentioned place, some of the Methodist brethren thought that they could do more good in a separate school of their own, and quite a number of teachers with about 100 scholars withdrew to colonize in the Methodist church. A short time after another colony left under the guidance of two of the most faithful teachers, H. Armstrong and Z. B. Curtis, and formed the school of St. Matthew's Episcopal church. Soon, however, the school was as full as ever, as many as 300 being in attendance.
In those days the school met twice on the Sabbath and had an hour and a half or about that for each session. The afternoon session was regarded as the most profitable and interesting.
Next to Mr. McKee and Mr. Peck, the school was probably most indebted to Dr. Archibald S. Todd, Z. B. Curtis, Thomas H. Armstrong and William Dulty, though these last named all entered the school at a later period. The school was also indebted to the aid of Captain Irwin, Elijah Day, Thomas H. List, Robert Hamilton, &c. At a later day came William Templeton, John Moore, David Hadden, James Wier, Findley Paull, E. W. B. Canning, William Slocomb, Oliver Bryson, Robert C. Bonham, Joseph S. Wylie, Joseph Matthews and others.
Belonging to the female department were the following teachers, viz: Eleanor Ray, Elizabeth McConnell, Jane Reid, Mary Nesbit, Charity Seamon, Mary Harkins, Abby and Lydia Edgerton, Sally Ann Evans, Adeline Caldwell, Rebecca and Phoebe Lamb, Hettie and Eliza Wylie, Jane Clark, Mrs. Eliza Reid, Mrs. E. Shipman, Mrs. Westcott, Mrs. Lyon, Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Weed, Mrs. Wood, &c.
None of the parties named now remain, and perhaps none of those who attended the school as scholars now survive. The labors of the teachers were not in vain, for from this humble commencement have all the Sabbath-schools in the city of Wheeling had their birth. The workers have gone, but the work goes on. We give the names of a few of those who were scholars in the school and were brought under the influence and dedicated their lives to the preaching of the everlasting gospel, viz: William McK. Lambdin and Thomas Galley, who went into the Methodist ministry, and James Dorsey, who was educated at Bethany College. Those who became ministers in the Presbyterian church were Joseph Templeton, Samuel Templeton, Joseph K. Wiley, Alfred Paull, Edgar Woods, Martin L. Todd, Joseph Mathers and William Riheldaffer, besides others whose names are not obtainable.
The population of the town at the time of the establishment of this Sabbath-school was about 1,000.
It is always interesting to not the beginning of things, more particularly such as conduce to the general welfare and advantage of humanity, hence the inception, growth and history of an institution, which has for its object the promotion of the morals and virtues of society at large, demands and should receive the cordial support and encouragement of the citizens generally.
Such and institution is the Children's Home of the City of Wheeling, which had its origin at a regular meeting of the members of the Young Men's Christian Association of Wheeling, held in their rooms on February 7, 1870, when Rev. S. B. Barnitz submitted the following preamble and resolution, which was adopted:
"Whereas, the Young Men's Christian Association of this city seems not to have before it an object sufficiently definite to enlist the hearty sympathy of our citizens, and whereas, the want of a home for neglected and orphan children is being sorely felt in our community, and the establishment of such a home, a necessity to the moral and religious welfare of hundreds of children who are now growing up in the vice and immorality.
"Therefore, Resolved that a committee of five be appointed to report at our next meeting a plan for the establishment of such an institution with a constitution and by-laws for the government of its managers and such other arrangements as shall at once put it into successful operation." In accordance with the terms of the foregoing preamble and resolution, the following gentlemen were appointed as committee, viz: Rev. S. B. Barnitz, Samuel Laughlin, William B. Simpson, Benjamin Davenport and M. W. Miller, each of whom contributed the sum of $100 toward the furtherance of the work.
At the next regular meeting of the association, the committee, through Benjamin Davenport, Esq., reported that a charter for the institution had been obtained,--that all necessary legislation had been granted, and that on the succeeding day in the afternoon, a public meeting would be held to complete the organization and to put the movement into practical working shape, whereupon T. M. McNeely submitted the following resolutions, which, on motion, were adopted:
"Resolved, That we approve of the report made by the committee and congratulate them upon the work done.
"Resolved, That the committee be continued to represent the association at the meeting of the incorporators, and to report to this association what action it had, at its next meeting."
At the next meeting, which was held on the 21st of March, the committee reported the organization by the incorporators as complete and was discharged with the thanks of the association for the successful consummation of the purpose of the appointment. Subsequently, at a meeting held on the 18th of April, Benjamin Davenport, Esq., made a further report to the effect that the work was progressing finely and that soon a large field of usefulness would be opened.
The committee found a ready response on the part of our citizens and were greatly encouraged in the prosecution of the undertaking, and at a meeting held at the residence of Samuel Laughin, Esq., the members individually pledged themselves for the payment of the rent of a suitable house for the first year. The corporation promptly proceeded to the election of officers and at the same time adopted a constitution and by-laws.
In the meantime a location for the home had been secured on the corner of Market and Seventeenth streets, which was known as the mansion house of James H. Forsyth, Esq., which occupied the site of the present St. John's German Independent Protestant church, of which they took possession on the 1st of April next following.
From the start the wisdom and foresight of the originators of the enterprise were justified as well as demonstrated. The first inmates admitted were a degraded and wretched woman and two destitute children, who were rescued from a condition of abject want and misery.
During the first year 28 children were received and admitted to its shelter and protection.
The experiences of the home during the second year of its existence were gloomy and forbidding in the extreme, and were well calculated to shake the faith of its founders, as a crisis had arisen which for a time seemed to threaten its very existence and destroy its influence for good.
In the beginning of the year it was visited with an epidemic of sickness among its inmates, now increased to 40 in number, with such diseases as smallpox and whooping cough, by one or other of which nearly every member of its community was prostrated. The president of the board was assiduous in his attentions to the inmates in the furnishing of medicines and such necessaries as were deemed essential to the welfare of its occupants. In this trying period the matron, Mrs. Jane Oldham, was fearless and faithful in the discharge of the onerous duties devolving upon her. The directors, though discouraged by the prevailing sickness and the poverty and want which stared them in the face, yet nevertheless had not wholly lost faith in the ultimate success of the experiment. At the beginning of the month of March, 1872, the institution was indebted for household supplies and expenses in the sum of $1,000. The prospect at this time was a dreary one, and was made more so by the additional fact that, with a dependent family of 32 helpless children, there was a strong probability that they would have to vacate the premises, and be turned out of doors on the approaching first day of April.
But by the persistent and idefatigable efforts of the board of directors and the blessings of Providence, the dark cloud which threatened the future of its existence was dissipated and light shone through the lurid surroundings. A subscription paper was started for the purchase of an eligible site for a permanent home, to which the following gentlemen contributed the sums affixed opposite their respective names, viz: D. C. List, $1,000; J. L. Hobbs, $1,000; W. B. Simpson, $1,000; H. K. List, $1,000; J. L. Stifel, $1,000; Samuel Laughlin, $500; A. G. Robinson, $500; Robert Gibson, $500; J. N. Vance, $500; W. L. Hearne, $500; S. H. Woodward, $500; S. McClellan, $500; C. Oghbay, $500; L. S. Delaplain, $500; and Henry Wallace, $500,--the whole amounting to the sum of $10,000.
These gentlemen purchased the property situated on the corner of Thirteenth and Jacob streets, in the city of Wheeling, for the sum of $6,000. With the remaining $4,00 they enlarged and repaired the same and it was conveyed to D. C. list, as trustee, for the benefit of the Children's Home. This property was occupied by it on the first day May, 1872, and was formally transferred to the corporation, March 222, 1882, and is owned by the home, free of debt. The first matron of the home was Mrs. Jane Oldham and was succeeded in that position by Mrs. M. D. Boyd, Miss Maggie Glenn acted as teacher.
The incorporators of the institution, at a meeting held on the 8th of March, 1870, elected the following persons as officers for the ensuing year, viz: President, Chester D. Hubbard; 1st vice-president, John L. Hobbs; 2nd vice-president, James Paull; secretary, S. P. Hildreth; treasurer, Thomas Hornbrook. Board of directors; Rev. S. B. Barnitz, W. B. Simpson, Samuel Laughlin and Benjamin Davenport. Board of lady managers: Mrs. Daniel C. List, Mrs. L. A. Hagans, Mrs. Robert Morrison, Mrs. W. F. Butler, Mrs. J. R. Dickey, Mrs. J. L. Hobbs, Mrs. J. R. Greer, Mrs. E. Stewart, Mrs. M. L. Todd, Mrs. George W. Franzheim, Mrs. S. B. Barnitz, Mrs. J. N. Vance, Miss Amelia Nelson, Miss Rowley and Miss Maggie Ott. Of the lady managers, Mrs. L. A. Hagans was elected president; Mrs. J. N. Vance, vice-president; Mrs. W. F. Butler, treasurer; Miss Maggie Ott, recording secretary; Miss Amelia Nelson corresponding secretary; and Mrs. Jane Oldham, matron.
About the time of its settlement in its permanent home an endowment fund was started which, by liberal donations and bequests, made from time to time, has increased until it has now reached to an encouraging amount, of which neither principal nor interest has been used, but is sacredly devoted to the purpose and wishes of the donors and devisors to the permanence and welfare of the home throughout all coming time. The aim is to increase the accumulations of this fund until an ample amount is secured, when its charitable influences and usefulness can be more widely extended. The economical and conservative manner in which the home has been conducted in its past history gives assurance of what may be looked for in the future and should recommend the growth of this endowment fund to such as have been blessed with means by a kind Providence, and the object should commend itself to them that they might remember it by gift or legacy; as it derives no revenue from taking children to board, nor does it receive aid or support from municipal taxes or funds, but is wholly dependent for its support upon the kindly sympathy and generous liberality of such as are charitably disposed, to whom heretofore they have never appealed in vain.
The exact number of children admitted during the last thirty years can not be arrived at with accuracy from the fact that the records kept by the lady managers during the first seven years of the existence of the home were unfortunately consumed in the fire which destroyed the Grant House, April 30, 1877. Owing to its present limited capacity no more than 30 at one time can be provided for in the home, but with the completion of the new building now in course of construction this number can be largely increased.
During the thirty years of the existence of the home, not less than 500 children have been provided with suitable and comfortable homes, thus averaging per year over 16 children who have been thus provided for. Many gratifying letters have been received from time to time from foster parents and guardians who have these children in charge, expressive of their appreciation of their acquisition of these little ones, who in many instances have taken the place of beloved children parted from their parents by death. And in many instances when death has taken the adopted child, the stroke has been felt almost as keenly as if the child so taken was their own natural born off-spring.
The greatest precautions are taken by the board of lady managers, and especially by those who are members of the binding committee, as to the welfare and comfort of the children sent out under the beneficent influence of the institution, as each person supplying for and adopting a child is required to furnish unquestioned references as to competency and character, and to enter into a bond with good and sufficient security in the sum of $1,000, conditioned for the faithful performance of duty. The following is a summary of the number and disposition of the children received into the home during the thirty years of its existence, and has been kindly furnished by Mrs. J. J. Jones, chairman of the binding committee: Of this number of 500 children there are now 23 in the home at the present time. There have been sent out to homes during that time, generally to places in the country, 261 children; returned to parents or other relatives, 189; placed in reformatory institutions (3 boys, 2 girls), 5; transferred to other children's homes (boys), 2; died while in the home (3 boys, 6 girls), 9; retained in the home until of legal age (1 boy, 2 girls) 3; ran away and were not brought back, 3.
Of the children returned to parents or other relatives some were only in a home a short time, while others were kept weeks and months before the relatives could give the management satisfactory evidence that they could keep them comfortably and send them to school. Of the boys who ran away at different times, they were boys for whom we failed to secure homes and in most instances were large enough "to earn a living and fretted at the restraint of the home discipline, so for the good of the home they were not, after the second or third offense, brought back.
Of the children placed in different homes, throughout the state, 16 have died, --eight boys and eight girls. Two of the girls had married, one of whom left three little children, the other girl died soon after her marriage. One of the boys was drowned, one killed by a falling tee, and one, who was learning to be a railroad engineer, was killed by being struck by an engine, --he was about twenty-four years old at the time of his death, and was married.
At the annual meeting of the board of directors, held June 9, 1900, the following officers were elected: W. B. Simpson, president; G. L. Cranmer, first vice-president; Myron Hubbard, second vice-president; John C. Lynch, secretary; John K. List, treasurer. Board of directors: W. B. Simpson, G. L. Cranmer, B. W. Peterson, George A. Laughlin, A. L. White, John C. Lynch, Myron Hubbard, W. A. List, J. J. Jones, Dr. R. H. Bullard, John K. List. Officers of the board of lady managers: Mrs. J. C. Hupp, president; Miss Laura Lawson, secretary; Mrs. J. J. Jones, corresponding secretary. Members of the board of lady managers: Mrs. John Frew, Mrs. Guy R. C. Allen, Mrs. Anne Morris, Mrs. John C. Lynch, Mrs. R. Harden, Mrs. B. W. Peterson, Mrs. George Kurner, Mrs. George E. Stifel, Mrs. Louis White, Mrs. Walker Frissell, Mrs. S. P. Laughlin, Mrs. A. J. Brown, Mrs. B. F. Gatch, Miss Amanda List, Miss Mary McKee, Miss Jennie Wise, Miss Hettie M. List, Miss Kate Allison, Mrs. John Moffat.
The following have been presidents of the home: Rev. S. B. Barnitz, D. D., now of Des Moines, Iowa; Rev. W. B. Thompson, now of Detroit, Michigan; Rev. E. H. Dornblaser, now of Springfield, Ohio, and Henry K. List, of Wheeling, until his death in May, 1900.
Presidents of board of lady managers: Mrs. L. A. Hagans, to the year 1872; Mrs. W. F. Butler, to the year 1879; Mrs. J. P. Harden, to the year 1888; Mrs. J. C. Hupp, to date.
Matrons of the Home: Mrs. Jane Oldham, Mrs. M. D. Boyd, Mrs. Josephine E. Northrop, Mrs. M. A. Eoff, Miss Louisa Forney, deceased, Miss Lizzie Forney at the present time.
At a meeting of the board held September 6, 1900, the building committee reported that they had purchased the McCrumm property, in Woodsdale, about two miles distant from the city, easily accessible by the motor line or by carriage and other vehicles, the purchase having been made in accordance with a resolution of the board held on March 5, 1901, both plans and bids were submitted for the erection of the new building, which wee unanimously approved. The gross sum for the new building was not to exceed the sum of $30,000 when complete. The building is to be ready for occupancy by the first day of December, 1901. A committee consisting of Messrs. Laughlin, White and Lynch were appointed to arrange a programme for the laying of the corner stone to take place on Monday, June 24, 1901, and the ceremonies attendant thereon.
In the death of Louis C. Stifel, a member of the board of directors and secretary of the board for twenty years, which was so sudden and unexpected that not only was the board called upon to mourn the death of a faithful and devoted member who had the interests of the home at heart, but the entire community realized that they had lost and honorable citizen and upright man whose place would be hard to fill. At the time of the happening of the accident which resulted in his death, he was in the full vigor of manhood and a bright future seemed to be before him. Modes and unassuming in nature, he was warm-hearted and liberal and the home had no warmer friend.
In May, 1900, the board and the community was called upon to mourn the loss of the president of the Home, Henry K. List. He was elected president of the home July 13, 1880, which office was continuously held by him from that time up to the time of his death. In him the board lost not alone a wise counselor and earnest officer, but one who contributed by his labor and means to the best interests and welfare of the home.
The loss of two such noble, worthy and disinterested men produced a shock the effect of which will not be recovered from for years to come. Each erected to themselves monuments more enduring than these of brass or marble, for good deed never die, their influence being felt and recognized not alone in Time, but throughout the ages of Eternity.