Parke County Churches and Cemeteries
data was extracted from the Indiana History Bulletin, Volume IV,
Extra Number 4, August, 1927 titled
and Historical Survey Of Parke County By George Branson
by the Historical Bureau of the Indiana Library and Historical Department
1880 J. S. Rogers, clerk of the Rockville Memorial Church, wrote a brief sketch
of its early history, and in 1916 Howard Maxwell brought it up to that date. The
following sketch is drawn mainly from these sources. In 1822 Charles Beaty, a
young missionary from the Board of Domestic Missions, visited Parke County, and
gathered together the few Presbyterian families living along Little Raccoon
Creek between the mouth of that stream and the present site of Waveland.
Prominent in the gathering were James Buchanan and Thomas Gilkerson. After
preaching for some weeks Mr. Beaty organized a society known as the Shiloh
Presbyterian Church, which in 1824 built a hewed log house near Little Raccoon
Creek, about four miles northeast of Rockville. Evidently this was the first
church house in Parke County, but its exact location cannot be identified. The
elders of this church were Amos P. Balch, William McMillin, Jonathan Garrison,
James Buchanan, and Henry Anderson. Several visiting ministers conducted
services here prior to 1828, when Reverend Samuel H. McNutt became state supply
and so continued until 1832. Present elders include H. B. Butler, John W. Adams,
and Frank Fisher .
Presbyterian Church of Rockville
the county seat was established at Rockville in 1824, some more Presbyterians
moved to the growing town, and these, with a large part of the Shiloh
congregation, organized the Rockville Presbyterian Church on August 11, 1832.
The pastor, Reverend S. H. McNutt, conducted meetings in a schoolhouse and in
the courthouse. Early in 1833 they built their first house on the northwest
corner of Virginia and York streets. In 1846 Reverend McNutt resigned, and was
succeeded by Reverend William Y. Allen, who continued as pastor until 1862, when
by his own request the presbytery dissolved his pastoral relation. Reverend
McNutt served as supply one year and was succeeded by Reverend Beaubien, who
served from June 1863 to 1864. The pulpit was vacant during 1865, except the few
times that it was occupied by Reverend S. G. Hair. Reverend John Mitchell was
pastor in 1866, and was followed by Reverend Dr. Jewett, a congregational
minister of Terre Haute, who supplied the church until the reunion in 1869. In
1868 D. H. Maxwell, T. N. Rice, and W. L. McMillin were ordained ruling elders.
These, with J. C. Gilkerson and Levi Sidwell, were the last elders of the Old
School Presbyterian Church at the time of the reunion.
School Church of Rockville
April 22, 1839 forty-one members of the First Church withdrew, and organized the
Second or New School Presbyterian Church of Rockville. Reverend S. G. Lowrey
served as pastor for eight years, and one hundred twenty-three members were
added to the church. John Ott, T. H. Howard, John Humphries, and Samuel Cummings
were ruling elders. A frame house was built just west of the present edifice,
which was dedicated on November 22,1840, by Reverend John S. Thomson. Other
pastors prior to the reunion were the Reverends W. M. Cheever, John Hawks, I. G.
Coffin, and John M. Bishop.
1869 by agreement of the trustees and with the approval of the presbytery the
two churches were united as the Rockville Presbyterian Church. In 1870 a brick
structure was erected on lot 57 of the original plat of the city. The two church
bells were recast into one and hung' in the new church. By the will of Daniel A.
J ones, of Chicago, the church received a gift of ten thousand dollars, with
which the present church was built in 1891. Mrs. Jones was Mary G. Harris, a
sister of Persius E. Harris. She died in 1855, and to perpetuate her memory the
church was named Memorial Presbyterian Church.
of the pastors in recent years have been the Reverends J. H. Sherard, J. P.
Roth, J. C. Christie, H. L. Nave, W. B. Chancellor and W. T. Smith, the present
minister. The present elders are Rufus Dooley, A. K. Stark, W. H. Craig, A. A.
Hargrave, W. S. Ferguson, and Ernest Weatherford.
act of the Associate Synod of North America in May, 1828, James P. Miller and
two other ministers were appointed missionaries to Indiana, Illinois, and
Missouri to constitute a presbytery and organize congregations. The early
settlers in the east part of Greene Township and along Big Raccoon Creek for
some distance below Mansfield constituted the Raccoon congregation, which
presented a petition for the election of elders. Reverend J. P. Miller was
appointed to hold such an election which was held January 31, 1829; Alexander
Ramsey and Samuel Steele were elected and ordained September 20, 1830. Alexander
Kirkpatrick and Nathaniel Steele were later added to this bench of elders, and
from August 20, 1832 to May 29, 1840, Alexander Moore, John Tedford, S. R.
Hamilton, Stephen McCorkle, J. R. Spencer, Samuel Ramsey, John Harbison, and
Alexander Spencer also served. Thomas Burnside and John Nicholson were chosen
April 16, 1831 Mr. and Mrs. Walter Francis conveyed by deed to the Upper Raccoon
congregation of the Associate Synod of North America one acre and eighty poles
for a consideration of two dollars. A church was built and a cemetery laid out
on this lot, which is in the northeast corner of the southwest quarter of
section 36, Greene Township. The second church built here is still standing and
was generally known as the Seceder Church. It did not secede from the church in
America, but was practically the same as the New School branch of the
Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
June 6, 1898 the Portland Mills Cemetery Association was organized and bought
five acres of land adjoining the church for a cemetery. In 1912 the trustees of
the Associate or Seceder Church deeded to the Portland Mills Cemetery
Association the church property, reserving the right to worship there. It is
used now only for funerals.
October 21, 1865 Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Inge deeded to Isaac Burnside, John
Nicholson, and John Porter, trustees of the Portland congregation of the
Associate Presbyterian Church of North America, one acre and thirteen rods for a
consideration of one hundred eight dollars and twelve cents. On this lot, which
is a half-mile northwest from the former one, they built a new house which they
called the United Presbyterian Church. The Reverends Hugh L. Brownlee, Nathaniel
Ingels, and James Dixon were pastors, the latter of whom served for twenty-five
years. Services are no longer conducted at this church, and the schoolhouse
built on the adjoining lot has also been abandoned.
Presbyterian Church was organized on September 1, 1832, by John Thompson, a
missionary, who was sent out to organize congregations in the middle west. In
1834 a log house was built, and in 1849 a frame house was erected about a mile
and a half east of Marshall. The membership included the McMurtrys, McCampbells,
Russells, Weatherfords, and Adamses. In 1910 the house was moved to Marshall,
and in 1924 it was remodeled. Reverend John McGuinness, of Waveland, is the
present pastor, and services are conducted regularly. The ruling elders are John
McCampbell, Rudy Peyton, David B. Eastburn, and Walter D. McMurtry. A. R.
McMurtry was an elder for many years.
is a cemetery on the Adams farm one mile and a half east of Marshall ; Bethany
Cemetery is one mile east of Marshall.
Judson Church was organized by order of the Crawfordsville Presbytery on April
14, 1875 in the Union church house that was built by the Methodists and
Presbyterians. The Reverends Torrence, Dickerson, and Hawks took part in the
organizing ceremonies. Alexander Buchanan and his sons, Joseph C. and William
Y., were members. The membership in 1880 reached thirty, and their pastor was
Reverend W. Y. Allen.
title to the property was held by the Methodist Society, which was dissolved in
1910, and the Presbyterians continued using the house. Recently friendly
negotiations were made for the purpose of transferring the property to the
Presbyterian Society. The present ruling elders are A. U. Strong, Edward
Hesslar, and C. V Mimsett.
church house at Guion was built in 1891, and dedicated in April of the following
year by Reverend T. D. Fyffe. Reverend W. B. Chancellor was a former pastor;
Reverend N. W. Clark, of Montezuma, the present minister, conducts regular
services once a month. The ruling elders are the same as those of the Judson
Bruin Cemetery is a short distance east of Guion.
On May 3, 1846 a Presbyterian Society was organized at Howard with twenty members. In 1847 they built their first house and named it Mount Hermon. This house burned down and the second one was built in 1877. Reverend James Ashmore was their first pastor. In 1880 there were sixty members, with Reverend T. A. Williams as pastor. Reverend C. F. Kennaston is the present minister and the elders are Charles S. Ephlin, D. D. Ray, and Mark L. Grimes.
Ephlin Cemetery is a half-mile east of Howard.
New Bethel Church is located two miles and a half southwest of Rockville on the
Rockville-Coxville Road. It was organized in 1859 with twelve members. For a
while, until it was able to build a house, the society held its meetings in a
schoolhouse. The Reverend John Hawks, of Rockville, was the first pastor. John
and James Cox, Daniel and Lewis Fisher, John and Theodore Marshall, and their
families were among the first members of this congregation. The membership,
which never exceeded sixty, was dissolved some time ago. The Sunday school is
not as well attended as at first, but is still conducted regularly.
John Hawks, of Rockville, organized a Presbyterian Society at Montezuma, and
under his leadership a house was built in 1853. He was succeeded by Reverend
Thomas Griffith, and Reverend William Wilmer. Reverend N. W. Clark is the
present minister, and the ruling elders are James Spencer, John Macheldt, and
Salem P. Hancock.
The Rockville Christian Society was organized in September, 1838, with sixteen members who built a house the next year on lot 73 of the original plat of the town. Reverend Michael Combs was the first pastor, and Persius Harris was one of the first elders. Later James H. Baker, Joshua Long, and James Lambert were elders; the early membership included William Knowels, Thomas Boardman, Thomas Batten, James and William Long, Ashford Hann, and David Mull. In 1862 there were eighty members. At the close of the Civil War the church was completely disorganized, and no regular services were held for a period of ten years.
February 2,1874 a Christian society was formed at the Boyd schoolhouse, a mile
and a half east of Rockville. This house and society were known as White Hall.
By the persistent efforts of Thomas Boardman and others, this society
transferred its place of worship to the Christian Chapel in Rockville. This
increased the membership to sixty-four. The old chapel was removed, and the
present house was built in 1895 at a cost of $3,500. It was remodeled in 1923 at
a cost of $5,000, and now has an entire basement for Sunday school work. The
pastors since 1900 were the Reverends 0. E. Tomes, W. T. Barbree, M. E. Horn,
and C. C. Griggs, now serving his sixth year. He holds church services on
alternate Sundays, while the Sunday school meets every week. The present
membership of the church numbers about two hundred ten.
Church of Christ was organized in 1905, and in that summer built a house in West
Mecca. The prominence of John Wilhite, a local minister who built the house,
accounts for its being called Wilhite's Church. Some of the early members and
regular attendants were Dr. and Mrs. Evans, Mr. and Mrs. William Haworth, Mrs.
Henry Jones, Mrs. Elmo Vestal, Mrs. Julia Bradfield, Mrs. Mason, and Kate
Andrews. Reverend Brat tan was the pastor for some time, and the
Reverends John Wilhite and T. J. Freed preached here occasionally. By 1915
services were practically discontinued, and the society was finally dissolved.
is now a Christian church, for the society has reorganized and has been quite
active during the last two or three years. Reverend C. C. Griggs, of Rockville,
preaches there on alternate Sunday afternoons; their Sabbath school has an
enrollment of almost one hundred.
Mecca Cemetery is half a mile east of the town.
New Discovery Christian Church' was organized on January 10, 1849, with
fifty-seven members. In 1850, only a few rods northeast of the New Discovery
Baptist Church, a brick building was constructed. Two rural churches in such
close proximity, however, could scarcely hope to be successful. The Christian
Church became weaker and finally suspended its services, although the building
was used as a schoolhouse for a while. In 1867 it was torn down, and the
material that could be used in the construction of a new building was removed to
Bellmore where the society built a frame house, Here Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus Goss,
Mr. and Mrs. John M, Turner, Mr. and Mrs. John Clark, Mrs. Sarah E. Paxton, Mrs.
Norval Hamilton, John W. Stark, George Webb, and John Goss were some of the
early members. In 1880 there were twenty-five members, and about that date there
was started a union Sunday school. The Reverends A. D. Darley, Axeline, and
Hezekiah Williams conducted services, An organ was placed in the house, but a
good deal of opposition arose against its use in church services. Prior to 1900
all activities of the church ceased, the house fell into decay, and the ground
was again used for farming.
father and two children, members of the Drake family, are buried in the
southwest corner of the John Goss farm in section 18, Union Township.
Christian churches have been organized in Greene Township, the first of which
was established at Portland Mills in 1839, Most of the labor and materials used
in its construction were donated, Reverend James H. Jack and John Burgess were
the principal leaders of this organization, and J. M. Harris was the first
pastor, In 1850 a larger house, which is still standing', was built, Regular
services are conducted by Reverend Brat ten, the pastor .
Lutheran Cemetery is one mile west of this church, near the site of the First
Lutheran Church. It is now entirely abandoned and neglected.
second congregation was organized in 1840, and built a little log church in
section 5. Ambrose Lambert was one of the leaders, Shortly after the second
house, a frame structure was built, the society discontinued its use, and it was
converted into a barn.
third Christian Society, through the efforts of Reverend James H. Jack, built
its present house in the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section
20, which is at the west side of Parkville. The Reverends W. H. Wilson and A, H.
Morris have served as ministers here; W. H. Ashley is the present pastor.
Reverend Jack, who was a local minister, residing about two miles southeast of
Parkville, labored diligently for the success of each of these churches.
Christian church was organized in Bloomingdale in 1890, and a suitable house was
built in due time. John Hart, Samuel Bannon, George Morris, C. L. Logan, and
Mrs. Mary J. Newlin were members. The first pastor was Ira J. Chase, governor of
Indiana from 1891 to 1893; other pastors were Elvin Daniels, W. W. Griffith, and
S. M. Hawthorn. Reverend C. C. Griggs is at present serving his sixth year in
this church, which has a membership of approximately one hundred twenty-five.
Rosedale Church was organized in 1873 with Henry Harshbarger, Wilson Moss, and
Hezekiah Williams as the first trustees. The first pastors were Ezekiel Wright,
William Holt, and Reuben Webster. The membership which was quite large at first
included the Doty, Laney, Salmon, and Cleghorn families. Reverend Williams
preached here at different intervals; Reverend Chester Fidlar is the present
small congregation of members of the Christian denomination at Marshall held
meetings for some time in a temporary building, called the tabernacle. Under the
able guidance and influence of Reverend L. E. Murray, the society built a neat
and comfortable house which was dedicated on October 17, 1897. Dr. C. A.
Caplinger was a leading member in the congregation, which also included Mrs.
Caplinger, the Horn family, Serilda Michaels, and Mr. and Mrs. George Davis. In
the pastor ship of Reverend Murray, the church prospered for two years and a
half, until the doctor divorced his esteemed wife. The society and the community
could never condone this act, and the prosperity of the church ceased. A few
years later the society was dissolved, and the house was sold.
W. H. Williams of the Christian Church first conducted religious services in
Jackson Township at the home of Samuel Wolverton. In 1878 or 1879 Mr. and Mrs.
Wolverton donated a lot, and built a house on their farm for church purposes.
Reverend Williams, the first pastor, continued his services until 1887, when he
was succeeded by Ezekiel Wright. Several years later the society was
discontinued. The largest membership was twenty-five. Samuel, Caleb, and Isaac
Wolverton and their families were all members of this church. The house was
named Union, but three religious denominations used it. It is still standing and
is used only for funerals.
Christian society was organized and a house built at Lena in 1872. Reverend G.
C. Price, of Catlin, was the first pastor, and Reverend W. H. Williams, the
second, who served from 1878 to 1883. Reverend W. H. Brown succeeded him, and in
1892 Mr. Williams returned to Lena to resume his church work there. During. this
time the church membership reached one hundred fifty. He continued until 1921,
when he retired and moved to Brazil, Indiana, where he now resides. He is
frequently called to conduct funeral services.
William Dudley is the present pastor at Lena, and the church membership is about
forty. Thomas, James, and A. J. Morlan and their families, and Mr. and Mrs.
Alexander McMillan were among the earliest members.
Christian Union Church is on the Rockville-Mecca gravel road, two miles from
Rockville. When the society was first organized, meetings were held in a
schoolhouse, but later a frame building was erected. The church was quite
prominent in the community for a number of years. Reverend William Holt preached
for the first two or three years, and was followed by the Reverends Myers, Jacob
and Nathan Wright, and T. J. Freed. In 1880 the membership was about forty,
which was one-half of what it formerly was. No services have been held here in
the last three years.
Cemetery is a half-mile west of the church.
Church of God
Church of God, also called a Christian church, was organized in 1900. It is
located on the Rockville-Mecca Road, about a mile and a half from Union. The
membership of this church is small, but services are still conducted by Reverend
Elmo. These churches are in the Bradfield and Marshall community.
GROVE CHRISTIAN (NEW LIGHT) CHURCH
Grove Christian, or New Light, Church is located near the northwest corner of
the southwest quarter of section 5, Sugar Creek Township. The society was
organized in 1868, and held meetings in a schoolhouse until it& own building
was erected in 1870. The first pastor was Reverend L. W. Bannon, who organized a
membership of thirty. In 1880 Reverend J. T. Phillips was pastor, and there were
one hundred sixty members. Other pastors were R. H. Gott and Abijah Simmons. Two
Sunday schools were conducted, one at the church and the other at a schoolhouse
two miles southeast of the church. Among the members of this church were John
and Miles Ratcliff, L. S. and Jacob Ewbank, William and Jesse Barker, Elisha
Pithod, and David Watt. Deaths and removals caused such a decrease in membership
that regular services have been discontinued.
Cemetery, the one generally used by this community, is about three miles
southeast of the church.
Bulion, Charles Beach, John McGilvrey, and Moses Hill settled in Union Township
about 1830. Religious meetings were held at their homes, more immigrants
increased their congregations, and in 1849 the society built a frame house two
miles south of Bellmore, which they named Otterbein in memory of Bishop Phillip
Otterbein, founder of the United Brethren Church. A few of the many members were
John Miller, J. H. Jeffries, I. W. Wimmer, Oliver Bulion, Zachary Alexander, S.
T. Davis, Holbert Davis, and their families. Early pastors were Elijah Cook,
John Eckels, John Dunham, and Thomas Hamilton. In 1873 the Reverend Andrew
Wimsett conducted a series of meetings remarkable for the trances, visions, and
other emotional demonstrations of some of the participants. Much confusion arose
in the community when a few outsiders publicly proclaimed that hypnotism was
responsible for the unusual occurrences. The Reverends J. W. Nye, A. M. Snyder,
Henry Johns, G. W. Wiley, and 0. P. Cooper, Jr., were regular pastors.
1887 a modern house was constructed on an adjoining lot, a group of shade trees
was planted on the first lot, and hitching chains were arranged on the premises.
In 1918 a tabernacle was constructed near the house for revival meetings, family
reunions, and community interests in the warm seasons of the year.
present membership is about fifty. The present pastor is Reverend M. 0. Mumford.
On May 24, 1924 his parsonage and most of his goods were destroyed by fire. The
parsonage has been rebuilt.
1860 eighteen persons, under the leadership of Reverend James A. Smith, first
pastor, organized Martin's Mission, also known as Walnut Mission, a United
Brethren society. The second pastor was Reverend Lawrence Zigler. In 1863 J. P.
White was pastor, and Reverend Ira Mater was presiding elder. Reverend Daniel S.
Kalley was also a pastor here. The same men served as pastors at Otterbein; both
churches are on the Mansfield circuit.
March, 1867 the society held a series of revival meetings with the result that
thirty-one persons united with the church. They immediately built a chapel at
the east side of the northeast quarter of section 33, Union Township, which was
dedicated on November 10, 1867, and named Farmers Chapel. Some other members
were John M. Martin, George W. Martin, James Noble, Jacob Ernest, John and
Samuel Blacketer, and W. P. Noble, a licensed minister from this church.
Martin Cemetery is a half-mile southwest of the chapel. Riley Harney and Jesse
Cooper, soldiers of the War of 1812, are buried here.
Ridge Church is situated in the central part of the southeast quarter of section
10 in Jackson Township. It is on the Mansfield circuit, and its pastors have
been the same as those of the other two churches on this circuit, but its
progress has not always been equal to them. Recently interest in the society was
greatly revived and its membership increased by the services of Reverend W. P.
Noble and his wife, Reverend Alice Noble. The society soon failed to continue
its interest and the support of a pastor, however, and services have ceased.
Reverend John McHargue, who has been in the ministry many years, Stephen
McHargue, a local minister, James Pruett, Alexander McHargue, Henry Grubb, and
his wife were members of this church.
is no cemetery near the church, but one mile east of it, on a high ridge of
ground, are the graves of two children.
small society of United Brethren was organized in West Mecca about 1900. Mr. and
Mrs. Samuel Andrews, Mr. Chew, and Chloria Andrews were leading members, but
they did not have sufficient support to continue permanently. No regular pastor
held services here after 1905, and in 1907 or 1908 the property was sold by
Reverend Elmer Mater, presiding elder of the Upper Wabash conference. Ellis
Branson bought the property and converted the house into a residence.
1846 Isaac Silliman deeded to trustees a lot for church and cemetery purposes in
the northeast corner of the northwest quarter of section 8, Wabash Township.
Three years later the United Brethren people of the community organized a
society, built a frame house on this lot, and named it the Leatherwood
Church-familiarly known as " Arabia"-after a near-by creek. Benjamin
and William Phillips, Barnabas Hayworth, and the Pittmans were communicants of
this church. A number of pastors of the Upper Wabash conference faithfully
served the society and community. The church continued its activities with
varying degrees of success for many years. Some time ago two factions arose,
each claiming the legal ownership of the property. The house burned down, and a
new one has taken its place, but no services or Sunday school are held here now.
are a good many graves in the cemetery by the church.
after the Union church house was built, a society of United Brethren was
organized under the leadership of Reverend Daniel S. Kalley, who was their first
pastor. Some of the other pastors at Union were the Reverends Henry Johns,
Pauley Smiley, Dawson Teague, and Michael Branson. In 1902 the society decided
to build a house and move from Union. Stephen McHargue donated a half acre of
ground lying eighty rods east of the southwest corner of section 21 in Jackson
Township, on which the house was completed in the summer of 1903. J. B. Searing,
Otis Ames, and Charles E. Thompson were trustees of the property. The church was
dedicated in August, 1903, by Reverend Smiley. Reverend Coffman was the first
pastor at the new house. All costs of the house were paid in cash when it was
dedicated. Some of the pastors since the dedication include the Reverends Julius
Miller, Charles Sherrill, John McHargue, and Frank Rounds. Some of the families
that comprise the present membership are Jacob, Otis, William, and Curtis Ames,
Fred and Walter Campbell, M. 0. Branson, Thomas Bell, and Charles E. Thompson.
The present pastor is Milford Barrick, a student of Indiana Central College.
is a family graveyard about a mile north of Carbon, where some of the older
members of the Miller and Hammack families are buried. There is a graveyard on
the John Bemis farm in section 31, Jackson Township. Several of the Bemis family
are buried there; also James Hammack, who was supposed to have lived over one
hundred years. Ebenezer Winchester, a Catholic, resided near the center of
section 18. His death occurred about 1860, and he was buried near his residence.
Later his wife and daughter were buried there.
the Episcopal Church at Rockville was dissolved, the house was unoccupied for
several years. It was then sold to Elder Elmer Mater, Reverend W. E. Stanley,
and Frank D. Pugh, trustees of the United Brethren Church. Several years prior
to this transaction efforts were made to establish a church of the United
Brethren faith at the county seat. Reverend Coffman was pastor for some time,
but was unsuccessful. Then, in possession of an ample house, the small society
reorganized under the leadership of Reverend C. M. Byerly. A few of the members
were Mr. and Mrs. D. P. Rowe, Emma Ames, Blanche Blake, and Mrs. B. E. Branson.
Members of the church elsewhere, but residing in Rockville, did not transfer
their membership to the Rockville church. The second pastor was Reverend Jones,
who was succeeded by Andrew J. Newgent. Reverend Marion Sherrill, the last
pastor, resigned, and the society was dissolved in 1905. The property was sold
to the late Mrs. Olus Grubb and converted into a residence which is now occupied
by her husband, Marion Grubb.
church was located in the northwest corner of section 3, Raccoon Township. A
society was organized, and a frame house was built in the early fifties. The
names of the members and pastors are not now known, but Stephen Hawkins, Martin
McAlister, John Wallace, John Nevins, and their families resided near the church
and took part in its activities. The protracted revival meetings were well
attended. Unfavorable conditions during the Civil War caused the decline and
final dissolution of the society about 1870.
John Nevins Cemetery is three-fourths of a mile west of the site of the church.
Creek Church is located on the Rockville-Nyesville Road at the north line of
section 3, Adams Township. The time and place of the origin of this society can
scarcely be determined. For fifteen years meetings were held with some
regularity at the home of John Mater, which was in section 18, Union Township.
This was the origin of the Mansfield circuit to which the church belonged until
it was transferred in 1879 to the Rockville circuit. Later the conference
returned it to the Mansfield circuit where it still remains.
church was organized about 1860 at its present location, and in 1864 the house
was purchased from the Methodists. In 1903 the house was remodeled and
rededicated. Among the first
members were David Rowe, William Paul, Solomon Dixon, and his wife. Reverend
White was their organizing pastor. 0. P. Cooper, Sr., A. M. Snyder, D. S.
Kalley, Dawson Teague, and 0. P. Cooper, Jr., have been pastors here. Some of
the more recent members were Mr. and Mrs. D. P. Rowe, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sowers,
Mr. and Mrs. Winslow Skelton, Charles and Wilber Harrison, and Mr. and Mrs. John
A. Blake. The latter was a local preacher here, and the father of Reverend L. 0.
Blake, of Columbus, Indiana.
small and abandoned graveyard, a half-mile east of the church, has been partly
destroyed by the construction of a road on its margin. The Rowe Cemetery is near
the crossing of the Rockville-Nyesville Road and the Michigan division of the
and Nancy Asbury and Mrs. Asbury's brother, Mr. Seybold, are buried on the Jacob
Larue farm near the center of section 36, Washington Township.
United Brethren organized a society about 1851, which they named Providence.
They built a log house on the east side of the Rockville-Marshall Road in
section 29, Washington Township. Henry Strickler, Daniel Strickler, S. M.
Teague, and a few others comprised the membership. They were surrounded by
predestinarian Baptists, who in 1852 built their church, Pleasant Grove, a
half-mile north of Providence. The Baptist society increased and became
predominant, while the Providence society declined and was dissolved many years
is a small graveyard on the west side of the road opposite the church site.
About a mile southwest of Providence is a cemetery lot of one acre on the farm
formerly owned by John Linkswiler .
church was organized about 1840, and a frame house was built in the southwest
part of section 6, Washington
Isaac Pickard, John Ephlin, John Dunham, and James Griffith were pioneer
preachers and exhorters who conducted regular and protracted services here, as
well as at Providence and elsewhere. Aaron Rawlings, Aaron D. Huff, John and
Joshua Engle, and James Hinshaw were among the first and most prominent members.
In 1880 the membership was seventy. The society continued its services here
until nearly 1890.
Rawlings Cemetery is near the church site and the Rawlings residence.
1868 or 1869 Isaac Pickard and John Ephlin withdrew from the society at Roaring
Creek, and with other members organized a society at Annapolis, where they built
a house. The Reverends H. E. Penny, E. A. Goodwin, and other pastors conducted
regular services here for a number of years. The industries of the town expired,
its population decreased, and the church was dissolved. The house has not been
used for several years.
1890 the society at Roaring Creek abandoned its house, and a part of its
membership reorganized and built a house at Marshall. Mrs. Aaron Rawlings, Mr.
and Mrs. C. K. Huff, Mr. and Mrs. William Heath, Mr. and Mrs. William Poe, Mr.
and Mrs. C. Y. Jessup, and John May constituted a part of the membership here.
Reverend E. A. Goodwin was a pastor in 1897. Deaths and removals reduced the
membership until it was recently dissolved.
New Discovery Baptist Church was organized August 29, 1834, with ten members
whose names were as follows : Samuel Medley, Abraham Coleman, George Mater,
Sarah Adams, Elizabeth Barns, Mary Ball, Margaret Crooks, Jane Odell, Nancy
Crooks, and Susan Mater. Samuel Medley was the first pastor. At first services
were held at the homes of members and at the local schoolhouse. About 1845 the
society built a frame house in the southwest corner of the southeast quarter of
section 23 in Adams Township, on an uneven, triangular lot, donated by Dennis
of the original members except Abraham Coleman and Sarah Adams were excluded
from the church prior to 1844. The pastor was excluded, restored, and excluded a
second time. These exclusions were not for misconduct, but "for uniting
with another church of a different faith and order." A letter of dismissal
from a Baptist church was not valid for membership in any other church of a
of the early pastors were Peter Swaim, P. T. Palmer, Jacob Smock, and C. B.
Allen. Later members were S. K. Fuson, W. T. Cuppy, A. H. Dooley, and A. D.
Merrill. The present pastor is W. C. Tatum. Thirty-five residents and thirty
non-resident members constitute the present membership. There were 421
accessions to the church during the first fifty years of its existence, with
fifty-three remaining at the close of that period. About 1896 the first house
was removed and a modern frame building erected which is still in use.
an early date a cemetery was laid out just across the road north of the church.
Another cemetery was started on the Peter Swaim farm one mile west of the
churcl1. It was abandoned long ago. A third cemetery or family graveyard, on the
Hatfield farm a half mile east of the church is also abandoned.
1850 Elder Peter M. Swaim, whose residence was a mile west of the New Discovery
Church, conducted meetings in private houses at Bridgeton and vicinity. The
Baptist people here were members of the New Discovery Church, and decided it
would be more convenient to organize a separate society and build a church in
their new locality. About 1853 a house was built at Bridgeton. On June 3, 1853 a
council from New Discovery and other churches of the Freedom Association
organized a society. Elder P. T. Palmer was moderator, and R. Davis was clerk of
this council. In February, 1854 thirty members of the New Discovery Church
called for and were granted letters of dismissal for the purpose of uniting with
the Bridgeton society, making a membership of forty-two at Bridgeton. Their
first pastor was Peter M. Swaim, and their first clerk was Jacob Smock, who,
with C. B. Allen, James Steward, and James M. Crooks, was licensed and ordained
minister from this church. In 1879 the society built a new house which is still
in use. James Rea, Margaret Rea, Charles Hendricks, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Rea, Mr.
and Mrs. Ocie Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Greenleet, Anna Miller, and Mr. and
Mrs. William Hartman constitute a part of the present membership, which is
twenty-five resident and thirty-five non-resident members. Reverend J. M. Newsom
preached for them twice a month last year, but at present they have no regular
September 18, 1858 James and Rhoda Stout, Albert L. and Harriet Thomas, Jeremiah
and Lucinda Rush, John M. and Margaret Galey, and Willard and Mariah Jerome were
granted letters of dismissal by the New Discovery Church for the purpose of
organizing a church at Hollandsburg. On October 2, 1858 they met at the home of
James and Rhoda Stout to perfect their organization. A little later four more
members from New Discovery joined them. In 1859 a large frame house was
constructed which the society still uses. Elder P. T. Palmer was their first
pastor. Elder S. K. Fuson was pastor for a number of years. W. C. Tatum is the
present pastor. Additional members were P. D. Johnson, Ezra and Irvin Thomas,
John A. Blake, John D. Wright, S. M. Thomas, John T. Thompson, Mrs. Laura Burks,
Mrs. Nettie Pratt, and Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Ball. The present membership is
forty-four residents and thirty-three non-residents.
few rods east of the church is an abandoned cemetery. The Thomas cemetery is two
miles east of the church.
1839 a schoolhouse was built near the junction of Big Raccoon and Little Raccoon
creeks to be used for church and school purposes. Two years later a Baptist
society was organized under the leadership of Jacob Kirkendall, who was regarded
as a predestinarian Baptist. In 1853 this society built a large house one mile
south of Jessup Station, and named it Liberty. In 1859 there was a division of
the society, and those members who withdrew organized a Missionary Baptist
society which they named Friendly Grove. In 1863 they built a substantial frame
house one-fourth of a mile southeast from Liberty Church, which they use at
present for their Sunday school. They have no regular pastor. The Adams and
Nevins families constitute a large part of the membership. Reverend Silas Adams
was a local minister here. The present membership is composed of twenty-four
resident and six non-resident members.
Adams Cemetery is one-fourth of a mile northeast from the church.
the division the Reverends Kirkendall and David Wilson, of Mansfield, preached
at Liberty for some time, but after their deaths the diminished society was
dissolved. It was neither missionary nor predestinarian, and was generally known
as the "Middle-shoot" Baptist. The house has teen used for funeral
services and community interests for many years. Recently Reverend McKinney, of
West Virginia, has preached here, and for one month conducted a series of
meetings which closed July 11, 1926, with the baptism of ten converts. Efforts
are being made to reestablish the church here.
few years after Big Raccoon Church was organized, a small group of its members,
under the leadership of Reverend Kirkendall, withdrew, organized a society, and
built a house about two miles west of the original church. This society was
dissolved many years ago, but the house is still used infrequently for funerals.
group of Missionary Baptists in Washington Township organized a society about
1833. Their meetings were held at their home and in a schoolhouse until 1846;
when they built a frame house in the northeast corner of the southwest quarter
of section 14, and named it Goshen. The membership became large, but was
distributed over a large territory. In 1884, to lessen this inconvenience, the
membership divided, one part going to Judson, and the other to Marshall. The
house was moved to Judson. Mr. and Mrs. John L. Swaim, the Burfords, and others
constituted a prosperous society until deaths and removals reduced their number,
and the services became irregular. The society was greatly revived by the
addition of twenty-four new members during a series of meetings in March, 1926,
under the leadership of Reverend McQuinn, the pastor.
Marshall Society erected a commodious house in 1884. Reverend S. K. Fuson
continued his pastor ship here, and a large membership was established,
including Martin and Reason Teague, C. E. McDaniel, William Burford, John
Asbury, Harvey Rush, and their families. Henry Fuson and Reverend Kinnett were
pastors here. Services are held on alternate Sundays by Reverend S. E. Hamilton,
of Indianapolis. This church and all Missionary Baptist churches in Parke County
are members of the Freedom Baptist Association.
Grove Cemetery is one mile north of Marshall.
Missionary Baptist Church was organized in Rockville, December 29, 1888, under
the leadership of Elder Stephen K. Fuson, who was at that date pastor of the New
Discovery Church. The meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Burford, and the
members were Reverend and Mrs. Fuson, Reverend and Mrs. H. C. Liston, Mr. and
Mrs. George M. Swaim-ten or twelve in all. Among others that joined later were
Mr. and Mrs. John Leonard, Mrs. Alexander Puett, Mrs. Charles Rice, and Joseph
Shoup. Reverend Fuson retained the pastorate for a number of years.
schoolhouse a short distance north of the city was purchased, moved to lot 43 of
the original plat of the town, and converted into a suitable house for worship
and Sunday school. Serious troubles that cannot be narrated here arose to retard
the progress of the church, but in recent years the society has enjoyed peace
and prosperity. The Whitesell, Straughn, and McKey families constitute a part of
the membership. Hugh McKey, who was educated at Franklin College, is a licensed
and ordained minister from this church. The present pastor is J. M. Newsom. The
Reverends Clark and G. W. Griffin were former pastors. The present membership is
sixty resident and thirteen non-resident members.
Second Baptist Church of Rockville is a society of colored people, organized
July 23, 1870, under the leadership of Reverend L. Artis. The church house is
located near lot 1 of the original plat of the town. The society began with a
membership of eleven, which was increased to forty-one in the first ten years.
In later years it decreased to a small number, many of them having died. The
late Bright Holmes was the moderator and leading member in the church's
activities. Reverend Johnson was pastor for several years, but they now have no
group of Baptist people at Waterman and vicinity held religious services at
their homes and at such convenient places as could be procured until, in 1860, a
society was organized and named Zion. In 1869 they built the present house at a
cost of $2,800. Reverend C. B. Allen conducted the dedicatory services. Some
other pastors were William Cartwright, C. D. Carnihan, and A. H. Allen. John M.
Kendall resided at Waterman and served as pastor two or three different times;
he later became insane. Robert E. Davidson served from 1918 to 1923. The present
pastor is Reverend J. C. Hayes, a blind man. Some of the members are Mrs.
Waterman, Mrs. Lettie Sturm, James Wann, J. C. Scott, clerk of the church, and
W. R. Moore, superintendent of the Sunday school.
Cemetery is one-fourth of a mile east of the town.
Friendly Grove, a rural church two miles northeast of Rosedale, declined, a
Baptist congregation in the town increased and recently organized a society
named Rosedale. In 1924 J. W. Critchfield was pastor, and the
construction of a house was begun by making a basement in which church
services and Sunday school classes are now conducted. A temporary roof shelters
the basement, but it will be removed and the superstructure added when the
society chooses to complete the structure. Mrs. Mary Strahle was clerk, Elsie
Keller, Sunday school superintendent, and Ruth Lee, president of the Baptist
Young People's Union. The membership is fifty-five. Reverend John Cauldwell is
the present pastor.
first Predestinarian Baptist Church in Parke County was organized at Rockville
in 1825. Meetings were held at the homes of members and at the log courthouse
until 1834, when a brick house was built on lot 44 of the original plat of the
town. This was the only church that this denomination built in a town of Parke
County. Early members were Samuel and Matthew Noel, Austin Puett, Mrs. John G.
Davis, and Mrs. Patsey (Noel) Puett. The church united with the Eel River
Association. The society proceeded quietly with its activities until doctrinal
controversies arose causing a division of the membership. The majority held
meetings in Washington Township, the minority soon ceased holding services, and
the house was torn down. A part of the seceding members continued the
organization, and in 1852 John Overman deeded to trustees a lot bounded on the
west by the Rockville-Marshall gravel road, near the southeast corner of section
20, Washington Township. Here a substantial frame house was constructed, the
name of the church was changed from Rockville to Pleasant Grove, and the
organization was transferred to the Danville Association. Some of the members
here were the Burfords, Overmans, Elders, and McCords. The average membership
during the last fifty years of the church's existence was about twenty-seven.
James Burford, Isaac W. Denman, and Joseph Skeeters were among the ministers.
The clerks of the church were Lewis Noel from 1825 to 1840, David Elder from
1840 to 1872, Henry Burford from 1872 to 1884, and M. M. Canine, 1884 and
thereafter. The society was dissolved on November 18, 1899. The property
reverted to the Overman estate; the house was sold at public auction and removed
to a farm where it is used as an implement house.
Overman Cemetery is located a half mile east of the church. The Elder Cemetery
is a small lot in the northwest corner of section 20. Mr. Overman came from
North Carolina in 1832, and died October 13, 1899, aged eighty-nine years. He
was clerk of the Danville Association about forty years.
Wabash Church was located about a mile and a half north of Howard. David Shirk
donated the lot for church purposes and built the house, a log structure. The
date of organization was about 1835. Some of the members were Daniel, Lazarus,
and Joseph Shirk, and James Marks. David Shirk was their minister for a number
of years. Wabash was a member of Little Vermilion Association. Owing to
political strife the council dissolved the society, which did not survive the
Civil War period.
Church was organized on May 3, 1828, with sixteen members. Benjamin Lambert
presided as moderator, and Aaron Harlan, clerk. At this meeting it was decided
to build a hewed log house at the southeast corner of the east half of the
northeast quarter of section 5, Union Township. Meetings were held at the homes
of members until the house was completed in 1831. On February 22, 1834 the
church was renamed Mount Moriah.
graveyard was started near the house, and about a dozen persons were buried
here, but it was soon abandoned. probably not one of the graves can be
1837 it was decided to change the location of the church to a site about a mile
northeast of the first location. This was on the Nathan Plunkett farm in section
33, Greene Township. Here a frame house was completed in 1844 at a cost of $500.
III 1875 this house was removed and a larger one erected at a cost of $1,700.
Lorenzo Dow McGilvrey was contractor for this building which is still in use.
Bristow and Jesse McClain were ordained ministers in 1833. The latter continued
his services here almost forty years. He died in 1874. Joseph Skeeters, a
regular minister here for a number of years, was born in Shelby County,
Kentucky, on February 14, 1820, and died May 20, 1906.
membership of this church was composed mainly of the McClains, Collingses,
Peytons, and Doggetts. The oldest member was James Straughn who died at the age
of ninety-seven years. At no time has the membership been above sixty; at
present it is twelve. C. R. Collings is the only minister of this faith residing
in the county.
cemetery was laid out adjacent to the church, but when it became insufficient, a
larger one was located just across the line in Union Township. James B. McClain
is the capable superintendent of both cemeteries.
church was organized about 1832 by Lemuel Branson, Michael Pruett, and a few
others. The society's first and only house was a hewed log structure about
twenty by twenty-eight feet, with a clapboard roof, a batten door midway in one
side of the house, and a high pulpit opposite the door. It was warmed by a
wood-burner stove in the center of the room. Mrs. Mary A. Hunt, aged eighty-six
years, says the first church services and first school that she attended were at
this house, which was located in section 9, Jackson Township.
few of the members were Jesse and Amelia Moore, Zopher and Telitha Coleman,
George and Rebecca Branson, and B. F. Irwin. The largest membership was
eighteen. Some of their ministers were George Branson, from Virginia, I. W.
Denman, John Leatherman, and Joseph Skeeters, the last regular pastor, whose
service ended in 1863. In 1864 and '65 the church sent no letters and messengers
to the Danville Association. The council then dissolved the society, which, like
some of the others, did not survive the controversies incident to the Civil War.
cemetery was located on the hill near-by, probably before the house was built.
Here are twenty-five graves marked by shapeless pieces of sandstone; very few of
them can be identified. This cemetery was abandoned many years ago, but a half
mile north of it is the Moore Cemetery. Between these is a private burial lot on
the George Hansel farm. Mr. Hansel, a soldier of the War of 1812, is buried
here. He was drowned in 1840 while rafting logs.
Check out the Rocky Fork Church Records for more information.
Creek Baptist Church was organized in 1833, and in 1835 built a log house in the
northeast corner of section 1, Sugar Creek Township. This house was repaired
when necessary, and answered its purpose unti11917, when a frame house was
constructed. A partial list of the early members includes John Summers, first
clerk, J. B. Barker, Isaac Summers, and Elder Swearinger, trustees. The Allen,
Myers, Roach, and Thomas families, and others were faithful members. The pioneer
ministers, David Shirk and Lee, were succeeded by Jonathan and Mathias
Vancleave, of Montgomery County, and Elder Joseph Skeeters and David Dodsmeade,
of Parke County. Cornelius L. Airhart is the minister at the present time. The
membership is twenty-eight. The church belongs to the Sugar Creek Association.
Wolf Creek Cemetery adjoins the church lot.
was generally known as the Denman Church, organized by Reverend I. W. Denman and
a score of members about 1835. Their first building was a hewed log house
located near the northeast corner of the Denman farm in section 32, Raccoon
Township. This was abandoned and a frame house was built near it in 1858, at a
cost of $500, Mr. Denman paying one-half of the sum. Elder Denman preached for
the church almost forty years. He was killed on August 28, 1875, by the cars at
Lodi Station in Vigo County. He was buried in the Denman Cemetery, located about
one-fourth of a mile southwest of the church house. After his death Elder Silas
Moffet was the regular minister for a number of years. Elder Mosteller was the
minister when the society disbanded in 1910. A few of the members were William
R. and Louisa Irwin, William and Elizabeth Kilburn, W. W. and Elizabeth
Modesitt. Jesse Archer, Rachel Cottrell, Anna Miller, and Alice Irwin were the
only members living in 1925. The house was converted into a dwelling, and became
the property of the owners of the land on which it stood.
August 4, 1843 Aaron M. Wade deeded his farm, "except six acres off the
northeast corner sold for a meeting house," to Dennis Ball. This church lot
is in the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of section 17, Greene
Township. The lot was conveyed in fee simple to trustees and their successors,
who have controlled the property to the present time. The only house built by
the society was a frame building.
few of the members were Absalom Doggett and daughters, Ransom and Mary Reddish,
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Reddish, Mr. and Mrs. William Ware, and James and Anna
Seybold. Some of the regular and visiting ministers were James Burford, Jesse
McClain, and J. J. Dolby.
church was a member of the Danville Association, sometimes called "Little
Danville" to distinguish it from the organization from which it seceded
many years ago. In 1858 the membership was thirty, in 1865 it was eight, and in
1866 the council dissolved the society. It did not survive the political
dissensions of its members during the Civil War. In 1875 the house was sold and
moved to a farm where it was converted into a barn.
Davis Cemetery on the lot is still used and cared for by the trustees.
Church was located near the West Union Cemetery in section 7, Reserve Township,
about 1836. The log house was used for many years, but finally disappeared. The
society continued its meetings for several years at the homes of Walter Harris,
Lawson Linton, and James Marks, until a frame building was erected a half-mile
south of the first site. Here Elder Joseph Skeeters was the regular minister,
and services were conducted until the Indiana Coal Railroad bought the right of
way and located a depot here. Then the society procured a house at Montezuma,
where it continued its services under the leadership of Minor T. Davis. After
his death, the society was dissolved. The membership in 1877 was twenty-five.
Creek Church was organized on December 10, 1853, at the residence of Robert
Watson. A membership of twenty-six constituted the organization by subscribing
to the articles of faith as presented to them by the committee of the
organizers. Elder John Leatherman was the first minister, and John Frank, the
first clerk. At the meeting in January, 1854, it was decided to build a log
house, located in the central part of section 26, Jackson Township.
1889 the society decided to build a frame house just across the line in Putnam
County. On December 7, 1889 a majority of the membership held its first meeting
in the new house. The minority abandoned the old log house, moved to Union, took
over the Wolverton house, and named their society Providence. Elder William
Skelton continued his services with both branches of the church. He died at his
home in Reelsville, Indiana, about March 1, 1920, at the age of seventy-four
cemetery nearest to Otter Creek Church was the Vinzant Graveyard.
1878 or 1879 Samuel and Nancy Wolverton donated a small tract of land in section
20, Jackson Township, for church and cemetery purposes. They contributed most of
the material and money for building the house, and named it Union. They were
members of the Christian Church, but they provided for other religious societies
to use the house.
reorganized minority of the Otter Creek Society, now named Providence, moved to
Union with a membership of twenty-eight, to which thirty members were added
during its existence, which ended in July, 1911. There were only two regular
ministers, Elder Skelton and C. R. Collings, and only two clerks, W. C. Evans
and J. R. Mitchell. A part of the original members were Mr. and Mrs. Ralph* Parker,
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Branson, Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Evans, and Mr. and Mrs. J. P.
Coleman. Among those who joined later were Mr. and Mrs. John Downing, Mr. and
Mrs. M. 0. Branson, Louisa and Jane Miller, and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Day.
fairly sure this should be Mr. and Mrs. Raleigh Parker – my direct ancestors
– James D. VanDerMark.)
Baptist Church was located near Tangier, a town in section 16, Liberty Township,
in 1896. The original members were Elizabeth Swaim, Samuel Heath, Benjamin
DeBaun, and Malinda DeBaun. Additional members were received, making a total of
twelve members. The first minister was Jasper Dolby. Others who preached for
them were J. Canine and Elder Bucanen. The society was dissolved some time ago,
and in 1925 Benjamin DeBaun, the only living member, donated the acre of ground
and the frame house to the Tangier Cemetery Association.
January, 1910 Christian Science services were started in Rockville by Mrs. John
S. McCord and Mrs. Frank B. Harding at the home of the latter on North Market
Street. Meetings were held each Sunday morning. In May, 1913 the place of
meeting was changed to the rest room of the courthouse. In September, 1913 the
Christian Science students of Rockville and vicinity organized the Christian
Science Society of Rockville, Indiana. A few of the charter members were F. B.
Harding, Mary T. Harding", John McCord, Clara S. McCord, Iva B. Linebarger,
Sarah C. White, Mamie Pruett, Mrs. Ella McMurtry, Miss Adelaide Lee, Miss Alma
T. Philbrook, and John Lee.
February, 1916 the society purchased resident property at the northwest corner
of York and Michigan streets for $865. The house was remodeled and appropriately
furnished for a church home, the entire amount expended being $2,500. By January
1,1917 the society was entirely free from debt. No funds were solicited or
subscribed, each donation being a free-will offering.
first ones to serve as readers were Mrs. Mary T. Harding, first reader, and Mrs.
Clara McCord, second reader. At present Mrs. Herman Blye is first reader, and
Mrs. Retta Pike is second reader.
Lutheran church was organized in 1830 in Union Township. The society built a log
house which burned down within a year afterward. A second house, a frame
structure, was built in 1835 in Greene Township. About this time Matthias
Sappenfield, a native of North Carolina, came to Parke County, and was one of
the leaders of the church's activities. In, 1866 the society built its third
house, which is located near the southeast corner of section 15, Greene
Township. The Sappehfields, Mothorns, and Hubers constituted a part of the
membership. Reverend J. M. G. Sappenfield was the pastor for a number of years.
The membership has almost discontinued, and regular services have ceased. A
Sunday school is maintained part of the time.
cemetery occupies a part of the church lot.
only English Episcopal church in Parke County was established mainly by the
efforts of Henry Hargraves and his wife. Mr. Hargraves was born in Huddersfield,
England, on .February 11, 1828, and came to America in 1854. His wife, Hannah
Farrar Hargraves, was born in Halifax, England, on February 12, 1830, and came
to America with her daughter , now Mrs. Elwood Hunt, in 1854. They settled in
Rockville on February 22, 1862, where they resided the remainder of their lives.
On June 17, 1885 William Holmes deeded to Henry Hargraves lots 5 and 6,
subdivisions of lots 10 and 11, of the original plat of Rockville for $250. On
June 24, 1885 Mr. Hargraves deeded lots 5 and 6 to the trustees of the
Protestant Episcopal Church in trust of Saint John's Mission in Rockville.
corner stone of the church, a frame structure, was laid by Parke Lodge No.8 on
June 24,1885, with Hiram E. Hadley acting as Grand Master of Indiana. The Right
Reverend Bishop Knickerbacker delivered the address. One year later the church
was formally dedicated by Reverend Bradley, of Indianapolis. The remainder of
the debt was pledged by Henry Hargraves and the building committee. The entire
cost was $2,500. Henry Hargraves, James W. Beadle, Henry Lee, John T. Campbell,
and A. H. Cheney were prominent in the work of building the church.
Hunt thinks the society numbered about forty persons, and that the only regular
rector was J. D. Stanley, who served for two years. Services were held by
different leaders until the society was dissolved about 1889. The property was
sold to trustees of the United Brethren Church. Mr. Hargraves had paid nearly
all of the cost of the lots and building, and the funds derived from their sale
were really his, but he permitted the money to be paid into the church erection
fund to be used in building elsewhere.
are four Catholic churches in Parke County, located some distance apart, and the
membership of each society is small. Reverend C. E. Riebenthaler, who lives at
Diamond, officiates at all of these churches, as well as at Burnett in Vigo
County and Perth in Clay County. Services at these churches are regular but not
frequent. They have no parochial schools, but the children receive some
instruction from local teachers in the absence of the priest.
1854 services were held by Catholic people at the home of Martin Ryan, about
three miles south of Rockville. The first mass was read by a priest from Terre
Haute. Reverend Highland was then appointed to the Rockville mission. About this
time many workmen came to Rockville and vicinity to work on the railroad that
was being constructed from Terre Haute to Rockville. A number of them settled
here permanently and constituted the main body of the Catholic Church. Services
were held at the residence of Patrick Riordan and other members for about twelve
years, until a small house was built on lot 4 of the west addition to Rockville,
under the leadership of Father Minerod. Several priests officiated after Father
Minerod's time, although services were conducted with some irregularity. John
Burk, John Fitzgerald, Maurice O'Sullivan, John and Richard Bowman were included
in the membership. About twenty years after the first house was built, the
society moved to lot 74 of the original plat of Rockville. Here they also built
a neat parish house. The later membership includes descendants of the original
members as well as L. N. Grinley and family, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bowman, John
Elnich, Samuel Grinley, and James Duggan.
is known as the Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was
organized later than the Rockville Church and at one time had a larger number of
families in its membership. A church and a parish house were built on a lot
donated by Mr. Davis, of Rockville. Henry Riordan, Walter Riordan, Barney Davey,
John Fitzgerald, and Dennis Quenlin are members here.
was a large Roman Catholic society at Diamond when that town was a prosperous
mining center. The membership was constituted largely of Italians and other
foreign people. A house was built and regular services were con-ducted for a
number of years, but when the mining ceased and the people moved away the
membership was reduced to a minimum. Services are still held here.
was a Greek Catholic church in Diamond contemporary with the Roman church. Its
membership was composed of foreigners who moved away. The society vanished and
the house was torn down and removed.
Roman Catholic society was organized at West Mecca subsequent to 1886. A small
church house and a parish house were built near the William Dee clay plant. A
number of clay workers are members of this church. A few of the communicants are
William Dee, Jr., John Kerns, superintendent of the plant, Andrew Mattson, and
Miss Mary Broderick, a teacher of the public schools of Mecca,
is a Catholic cemetery near the site of Armiesburg.
churches were organized in Parke County at early dates. One of the first was the
Pleasant Valley Society formed about 1825. Their house was located in the south
central part of section 11, Raccoon Township. William Taylor was the first
pastor of the church, and some of the first members were James Strange, brother
of John Strange, the noted pioneer circuit rider; Bliss Kalley, a native of
Massachusetts; Tobias Miller; Jacob Overpeck, a native of Virginia; and Daniel
Kalley. The families of these pioneers constituted a large part of the
membership in the second generation. The member-ship increased to more than one
hundred, and a new frame house was built about 1855. Besides the sermons, class
meetings, and prayer services, the young people were permitted to conduct
singing schools in the church house. The Missouri Harmonist was one of their
the Civil War and following it the society declined, the house deteriorated, and
services were suspended.. In 1885 another house was erected, and services were
resumed. This church was on the Bellmore circuit, and its pastors were the same
as those at Bellmore, where the parsonage was located. On September 1, 1894
Reverend 0. C. Haskell, the pastor, was stricken with paralysis while in the
pulpit, and died the next day. No church or Sunday school services are held here
now, but the house is used for funerals and community meetings.
Valley Cemetery adjoins the church lot. Here many pioneers are buried; here also
is the grave of Jacob Overpeck, who was born in 1772.
with the Pleasant Valley Church was a society that held its meetings in the
James M. Crabb neighborhood, frequently at Mr. Crabb's residence in the
northeast quarter of section 34. Later a house was built on Mr. Crabb's farm.
This location was not satisfactory; the society declined and was finally
dissolved. A part of the members and others in Bridgeton and vicinity organized
a society which built a house at the south side of the village in 1868, and
named it Clear Run. The first pastor was Reverend Thomas Buck. T. C. Webster and
Oliver C. Haskell were later pastors.
Run was handicapped by its inconvenient location. It was too far from the main
part of the town, and no paved street or sidewalk extended to it. In 192i1 a
modern brick house was built in the town at a cost of $10,000 and was dedicated
March 16,1924. The house is situated on lots 34 and 35, Crooks addition to
Bridgeton. The church membership in 1925 was 215; members of the Epworth League,
75; Sunday school, 175. A. J. Obrecht was pastor; F. A. Mitchell, Sunday school
superintendent. J. M. Williams is the present pastor.
Run Cemetery is at the south side of the town.
church took the name of the town in which it was located. The diamond referred
to was "black diamond," the kind of coal found there. A Methodist
church was organized here when the coal mines were opened and attracted a great
many miners, persons in other industries, and, especially, farmers living in the
vicinity of the town. A house was built and regular services maintained for some
time. The rapid decline of the town caused the society to be dissolved. The
house was dismantled and the material used for other purposes.
Methodist Church of Rockville
date of organization of this church is not known. Traveling ministers preached
here before a church house was erected. William Cravens, of Virginia, came as a
missionary. The first house that they used at stated times was the log
courthouse, which was built in 1826; the next was a brick school house. The
courthouse burned down in 1832, and the new one erected was used by the society
until 1837, when it decided to build its own house. This one, the first house
that the society owned, was used until 1865. It was then abandoned, and the
society returned to the courthouse for one more year. In 1866 the present house
was built on lot 30 of the original plat of the town, and was dedicated the
following winter. Reverend Thomas Meredith, the pastor, circulated the
subscriptions and collected the funds used. The conference of [838 was held
here. Henry S: Tolbert was presiding elder, and Charles M. Holliday was the
pastor. W. P. Cummings, Milton Garrison, and Thomas Moore were local preachers.
prominent in the early history of the church were Dr. P. Q. Stryker, John
Linkswiler, an active class leader, Samuel Baker, a steward for many years,
Scott Noel, General T. A. Howard, General John Meacham, John S. White, Governor
Joseph Wright, Greenberry Ward, and Elisha Adamson. Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Adamson,
and Miss Watt were earnestly devoted to the work of the church.
of the pastors who served full time here were S. P. Colvin, F. 1VI. Pavey, H. L.
Davis, F. W. Hixson, D. D. Hoagland, and C. D. Royce. C. M. McClure is the
present pastor .
of the members in recent years were Judge Ared F. White, W. J. White, David
Strouse, William Ferguson, William H. Dukes, C. B. Carver, D. M. Carlisle, G. W.
Rohm, and William Stevenson. The present membership is 321. G. W. Rohm has
served as Sunday school superintendent for thirty-six years. The men's Bible
class, under the leadership of J. H. Linebarger, is a prominent part of the
African Methodist Episcopal Church of Rockville
church was organized in 1872 by Reverend Jesse Bass. In 1866 Alexander Harper
was the only colored man living in Rockville. He died and his family moved away,
but during the same year Patrick Thomas came. In 1870 the colored population of
Rockville was fifty-five; of Adams Township, seventy-four. In 1872 a colony of
forty-nine came from North Carolina. Others came from Virginia and Tennessee
until they numbered about two hundred. There were sixty in Rockville in 1926.
May 15, 1872 Patrick Thomas and Louisa Black held a protracted meeting at
Thomas's residence, and continued their meetings from house to house for five
weeks. As a result sixteen members formed a society which immediately purchased
the old Methodist Church property for $1,500. Within a few years they repaired
the house, built a parsonage, and in 1880 owed but $40 on the property. The
house stands on lot 20 in the west addition. The first trustees were A. Black,
William Lewis, Samuel Kirkman, Theodore Johnson, and Patrick Thomas. Reverend
Johnson is the present pastor.
Church was located in the northeast corner of section 25, Adams Township, on the
farm owned by Silas Harlan, who came from Illinois and settled here about 1830.
He educated his children at Asbury (DePauw) University, and was instrumental in
establishing the church by donating a lot and aiding in the building of the
house, a frame structure erected about 1842. The Harlan family, Isaac Asbury,
William Michaels, George Mater, and Joseph Van Ness were members. Mr. Harlan
grew old, and after his death the society did not continue its activities many
years. The house and grove have disappeared.
Blake Cemetery is three-fourths of a mile east of the church site. Mrs. Harlan
lived to be one hundred years and three months old, and was buried here at her
husband's side. One mile south of the church is the grave 'of a small child
named Piatt, but the exact location cannot be identified.
Methodist society was organized at an early date in Union Township. The first
meetings were held at the homes of Thomas C. Burton, Moses Burks, William
Aydelotte, and Jesse Mattox. About 1846 they built a church house on a leased
lot in the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of section 6, and named it
Canaan. Other members were Evan Stokes, Isaac Wimmer, Jesse Partlow, John and
George Aydelotte, John Seybold, Hillary Smith, and Thomas Moore, a local
minister whose services were frequently sought at weddings. The house was
abandoned in 1868, fell into ruins, and a dwelling house was built on its site
Lane Graveyard is one mile north of the church site.
1868 the Canaan Society built a frame house on lot 9 of the original plat of
Bellmore. Some of the members since the removal were M. R. Burks, Andrew Brat
ten, R. L. Smith, S. B. Sharp, J. H. Riner, Richard and William Thompson. This
church is on the Bellmore circuit, and among its many pastors were the Reverends
Moffet, Allen, Lewis, J. E. Wright, D. W. Risher, H. H. Cannon, and John M.
Harmon. The present pastor is Reverend M. R. Fish. The church membership is
seventy; members of Epworth League number thirty-three.
Burton Cemetery is half a mile northeast of the church. The Miller Cemetery is
one and three-fourths miles west of Bellmore. There are a few unfenced graves
near the center of section 21. Near the northeast corner of section 35 is an
abandoned, unfenced graveyard.
Methodist people of Mansfield and vicinity held class meeting's and occasional
preaching services in the schoolhouse and in their homes until about 1856, when
they decided to build a house at the north line of the village. Samuel H.
Johnston, Milo Gookins, and Mr. Wright were appointed trustees, and immediately
began to solicit subscriptions. They did not wait until a sum sufficient to meet
all expenses was subscribed, but ordered the materials, and contracted for the
construction of the house, which cost $800. When the house was dedicated, there
was a deficit of $300 which Mr. Johnston paid. Mrs. Jane Kelsey Johnston was the
leading member in organizing and establishing the church at Mansfield. Mrs.
Malinda Hansel, Mrs. Elizabeth Harmless and her family, Dr . and Mrs. John W.
Harvey, and Isaac and Susan Overpeck were members.
Reverends John B. De Motte, Jacob Musser, Allen Lewis, Henry Johns, and other
ministers on the Bellmore circuit were pastors here. When by deaths and removals
the membership became small and unable to support a minister, services were
Dole Cemetery is one and a fourth mile west of Mansfield.
Methodist church was organized in the southeast part of Jackson Township, and a
house was built in Lena in 1872. A. J. Clark was the local preacher; T. N.
Stokes was steward and class leader. P. A. Stokes, C. W. Gray, J. M. Vinzant,
and J. H. Rauch were members who circulated the petition and subscription paper
for the purpose of building the house at a cost of $1,300. The house was
dedicated in April, 1873, by Dr. R. Andrus, president of DePauw University. The
church had a membership of thirteen. Reverend T. C. Webster was the first
pastor, followed soon by Reverend S. B. Grimes, while Reverend Raymond Shirey,
the present pastor , leads a membership of seventy. D. A. Shoptaugh is
superintendent of the Sunday school.
Vinzant Cemetery is two miles northwest of Lena. The Manes Cemetery is on the
northwest quarter of section 22.
a number of years the first settlers at Roseville and vicinity held religious
meetings at their homes, conducted by Reverend William Mac, a local minister of
the Methodist Church. In 1834 Isaac Owens, a missionary, preached his first
sermon in the house of "Captain" Daniel Stringham, a soldier of the
Revolutionary War. During the series of meetings that were held in David D.
Loree's barn, eleven persons joined the church. Reverend Aaron Wood was the
first circuit minister. The place of worship was changed to a schoolhouse in the
town, and later to a schoolhouse one and a half miles west of the town. In 1850
Friend C. Brown deeded an acre of land two and a half miles northwest of
Roseville to the trustees of the Methodist Church for church and cemetery
purposes. The house was completed in 1851, dedicated by Reverend Aaron Wood, and
named Mount Pleasant. Moses Wood was the first pastor. The church membership was
about fifty, and that of the Sunday school, eighty.
1872 this house was superseded by a new house upon the same foundation at a cost
of $1,600. This building was dedicated by Reverend Aaron Wood. Thomas Meredith,
the pastor, was succeeded by Reverend Wallace Barnard, and the latter by D. S.
Morrison. In 1900 the house was moved a few yards to enlarge the cemetery. A few
years later the society was dissolved, and the building is now used as a
Johnson Cemetery is one mile east of Mount Pleasant. Daniel Stringham and his
wife are buried here.
was a Methodist society in Roseville later than the Mount Pleasant organization.
Reverend John B. DeMotte was the pastor. A church house was built in the
northeast part of the town, but the society was dissolved some time ago. On the
side of the hill near-by is a cemetery in which many pioneers are buried. The
Bound Cemetery is about three miles westward of Roseville, near the northeast
corner of section 25, Florida Township.
Mount Olivet Methodist Episcopal Church is located about a half mile southwest
of Catlin. The date of the organization is indefinite, probably as early as
1835. The house was built about 1850 when Thomas Harshman, on whose land the
house was built, settled in Parke County. Some of the first members were Thomas
and Ann Harshman, George and Jane Overpeck, and Valentine and Martha Overpeck.
Later members were Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Catlin, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Overpeck,
Mr. and Mrs. David Reeder, Mrs. Marjorie Reeder, and Mr. and Mrs. John Brown.
Reverend John B. De Motte was a local minister here. Reverend R. W. Fish is the
present pastor. This church belongs to the Bellmore circuit, and has a
membership of eighty-three persons. The Sunday school has an enrollment of one
Olivet Cemetery adjoins the church lot.
Methodist society, composed in part of members of the Mount Olivet Church,
bought a lot near the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 29,
Adams Township, in 1872 on which they built a frame house and which they named
Wesley Chapel. The Reverends Thomas Bartlet and Mr. Bogue were pastors. Mrs.
Valentine Overpeck, Thomas H. Overpeck, the Lollis family, the William and
Warren Neet families, the Strains, and Mr. and Mrs. John Brubeck constituted a
part of the membership. The society was prosperous for a number of years until
deaths and removals caused its decline and final dissolution in 1913. The house
is still standing, but is not used in any way.
Methodist society that can trace its origin back to Roseville was organized at
Rosedale. The organization was formed in the Doty schoolhouse which was its
place of worship. A house was built on a lot in Mary Doty's addition to
Rosedale, and dedicated in 1874. The railroad came to the village about 1860,
and the population increased to nearly one hundred at the time the church was
erected. The population of the town in 1920 was 711. The society began with a
few members and grew to 215 in 1925. The Epworth League has an enrollment of
twenty-five members, and the Sunday school, one hundred fifty. Reverend J. M.
Williams is the present pastor .
Hector Smith Cemetery is two miles north of Roseville. The Boatman Cemetery is
one and a half miles west of Rosedale. The Edmondson Cemetery is near the
northeast corner of the northwest quarter of section 9. The Pence Cemetery is in
the northeast quarter of section 4. Many soldiers of the Civil War are buried
here. The Rukes Cemetery is one mile southwest of Rosedale. The Fisher Cemetery
is at the west line of the southwest quarter of section 21. The Doty Cemetery is
at the north line of Rosedale. It is on even ground, well kept, and has many
beautiful monuments. The most conspicuous of these is the thirty-nine foot shaft
which marks the grave of Joseph Martin.
people residing in the southeast part of Washington Township held meetings here
during the early settlement of the township. William Cravens, the zealous
missionary who preached at Rockville, Richard Hargraves, and Reverend Armstrong
were pioneer preachers here. We find no account of their building a church house
until about 1873, when a society was organized by Reverend J. C. Stemor.
Reverend T. C. Webster was a pastor here; Frank Welch was a local minister and
Sunday school superintendent. Other ministers continued services here until the
dissolution of the society about 1910.
Barnes Cemetery is about one mile southeast of Judson. There is a small,
abandoned graveyard on the summit of the hill at the west border of Judson.
Methodist society was organized and a house built at Marshall about 1880. The
Reverends U. G. Leazenby, W. C. Appleby, and F. W. Hixson were pastors. Dr. and
Mrs. Powell, David Myers, Mr. and Mrs. James Russell, Mrs. Mary Osborn, and Mrs.
Charles McCampbel1 were members. The present membership is sixty-two. Regular
services are held every two weeks, and Sunday school every Sabbath. Reverend D.
E. Noland is the pastor in charge.
1830 a Methodist society was organized and a log house built near the center of
section 16 in Sugar Creek Township. Reverend Porier was the first pastor. This
society was dissolved, and the house disappeared around 1875. About a mile
southeast of this church another society was organized in 1855 in a schoolhouse
near the residence of Daniel Heath. In 1858 they built a frame house near the
center of section 22 This house was burned do\\'n by incendiaries during the
Civil War but was rebuilt in 1862. Reverend John Edwards preached here for six
months, and Reverend Daniel Demut was also a pastor. The membership was
fourteen. The Heath, Robbins, and Hirshbruner families worshipped here. Reverend
S. M. Hayes was a pastor; EIsey Robbins, a class leader; Albert Swaim, organist
and Sunday school superintendent; and Miss Tillie Hirshbruner, secretary. The
society was dissolved some time ago.
Heath Cemetery adjoins the church lot. The Lusk Cemetery lies a half mile north
of the Narrows of Sugar Creek. The Cashatt Cemetery lies in the north central
part of section 21. There is a cemetery in the northeast corner of the southeast
quarter of section 9. The Pickard Cemetery is near the east side of section 19.
1833 a Methodist society built a log house on the Bilbo farm in the southwest
quarter of section 28, and named it McKenzie's Chapel. William Smith and William
Bilbo were leading members, and Samuel Cooper was the first pastor. At an early
date part of the membership was transferred to Waveland, Montgomery County, and
a part to Poplar Ridge Church. The house was abandoned.
is a cemetery on the Henry Litsey farm near the south line of section 26. The
Bilbo family graveyard is also on this farm. Samuel Musgrove, a soldier of the
Revolutionary War is buried here.
Methodist society was organized at Waterman, and under the leadership of
Reverend William Smith built a frame house in 1869. The venerable Henry C.
Randolph was a leading member. No services have been held here for a number of
1846 the Methodists at Howard and vicinity built a house at a cost of $350-most
of the labor was donated. At that time the membership was approximately two
hundred; in 1880 it was twenty, and later the society was dissolved. The first
pastor was Isaiah Smith; in 1880 S. M. Hayes was pastor .
1879 a Methodist society was organized at Sylvania by Reverend S. M. Hayes.
Their meetings were held in the Union church house, which was built by the
Presbyterians and Methodists jointly. Both societies have ceased holding regular
pioneer days there was a Methodist church on a hill on the William Hixon farm in
section 19, Wabash Township. A number of settlers were buried just below the
bluff. In 1868 the society moved to a new location about two and a half miles
south of Armiesburg on the Terre Haute and Lafayette Road. They named the church
Bethel. Some of the members and attendants of Bethel Church were the Hixon,
Cook, Justus, and McCullough families. Reverend C. V. Gustafson was a recent
pastor, but they do not have a regular one at present. About 1868 Mr. Hixon
deeded the trustees a new burial lot, located one mile north of the new church.
The Camper Cemetery is an old graveyard located about a half-mile north of the
Methodist church was established in West Mecca subsequent to 1886. The society
built a house, supported the pastors that the conference assigned to them, and
conducted a Sunday school for a number of years. Part of the members were Mr.
and Mrs. W. C. Marshall, Mr. and Mrs. William Wood, Ora Dooley, Mesdames
Nowling, Moring, Swaim, and Lamb. Two young pastors, Mr. Clouse and Mr. Johnson,
each preached one year; Zimri Maris conducted services for some time. Deaths and
the shifting population reduced the membership, so that the church could no
longer be supported. Its activities have been suspended for the present.
is a cemetery near the center of the southwest quarter of section 33, Wabash
Township. The Hall Cemetery is in the northeast quarter of section 4.
Methodist society was organized in Annapolis about 1850 under the leadership of
Reverend Hezekiah Smith, and a frame house was immediately erected. The church
was prosperous for many years. In 1880 there were about one hundred members, and
David P. McClain was the pastor. W. B. Weaver, D. A. Porter, W. P. Stanley, and
Dr. J. A. Goldsberry were leading members. With the decline of the town came the
decline and final dissolution of the church.
Coffin Cemetery is half a mile southeast of the town.
and Mary Linebarger, natives of Pennsylvania, came to Parke County in 1822 and
settled in the northeast part of Reserve Township. They were Methodists. By 1832
more immigrants had arrived, and a small society was organized by Reverend
Hezekiah Smith, who W8.S succeeded by Reverend Stephen Cooper. A hewed log house
was built, which served its purpose until another house was built in 1847. John
Linebarger died in 1847 and Mary, in 1857, leaving their son Andrew to continue
the work of the farm and the church. In 1868 the present house was built near
the southeast corner of the southwest quarter of section 8. Reverend D. P.
McClain was the pastor in charge. Mr. Linebarger's eldest son, George, studied
for the ministry, and often conducted the services of the church and Sunday
school. He was born December 20, 1836, and is still living. The present
membership is forty, with Reverend A. L. Vermillion as pastor. This church is on
the Montezuma circuit.
Linebarger Cemetery is near the church and the Linebarger residence.
Methodist society was organized at Montezuma soon after the village was laid off
in 1823, but it appears there was no church house until 1849. At that time
Reverend Hezekiah Smith visited the neighborhood, and by his services greatly
revived the society. Reverend McClain was pastor of this church in 1880. Other
pastors were J. C. Whitson, R. 0. Kimberlin, and Roy J. Hicks. The present
pastor is A. L. Vermillion, and the number of members, eighty-three.
is an old abandoned cemetery in the south part of the town, surrounded by
streets and residences that prevent it from being enlarged. Oakland Cemetery is
near the north side of the town. This has been enlarged and improved, making it
a beautiful burial ground. Thirty-eight soldiers are buried here. Two of them,
Paul Long and George Baird, lost their lives over-seas during the World War,
were buried in France, and later were brought back to their native land. Paul,
the first one from Parke County to meet his death during the World War, was
killed in action on March 16, 1918. Doctors G, W. McCune, G. W. Farver, and J,
W. Kemp, army physicians, are also buried here.
Methodist society was organized in Bloomingdale in 1897, and in December of that
year Reverend U. G. Leazenby, a graduate of DePauw University, held a series of
meetings, which increased the membership to approximately one hundred. Reverend
I. Jeazenby was the first pastor. Services were conducted in Dennis Hall, the
old academy building, until a new church house was built and dedicated on July
24, 1898, An organ was purchased and a choir organized under the leadership of
Samuel M. Thomas, formerly a leader of the song services at the Baptist Church
at Hollandsburg. A parsonage was built near the church. Other pastors were Fred
W. Hixson, W. C. Appleby, E. T. Miles, H. N. Carlton, W. N. Dunn. Perley Pierson
and family, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Evans, Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Brown, and Mrs. Mary
Brown were members. The present membership is ninety-eight. A. L. Vermilion is
1844 a Methodist society organized and built a log house in the southeast
quarter of section 7, Raccoon Township. About 1858 the present building was
erected .and named Salem. Later it took the name of Minshall, the mining town
that was built there. Some of the first members and attendants were the Catlin,
Adams, Seybold, and Webster families. The membership in 1922 was sixty, but
services were discontinued in that year. Some of the members at that time were
Amanda Fellenzer, Frank and William Hopper, Thomas Pethram, John and Hiner
Thompson, Robert Adams, Laura G. Nevins, and Hannah Seybold. Reverend W. M.
Hopper was the last pastor. No Sunday school has been conducted there since
Catlin Cemetery is one mile southwest of the church. About a half mile northwest
of the church is an abandoned family graveyard.
of the pioneers of Penn Township were Friends, also known as Quakers, from North
Carolina. They constituted a religious society, and membership in their church
was a birthright. Unlike most Christian churches a hundred years ago, they could
not conscientiously tolerate Negro slavery in their church nor in their
community. They believed the institution was unjust to the slaves and degrading
to the moral and social life of the slave-holders who dominated the civil and
political affairs of the state from which they came. They sought a land free
Mitchell came to Parke County about 1823. Some others who soon followed him were
Simon and Thomas Rubottom, William and Jonathan Pickett, the Tenbrooks, and
Woodys. About 1826 a village was begun and named Bloomfield; later it was
changed to "Bloomingdale." The first meeting of Friends in Parke
County took place at the residence of Adam Siler in 1829. About this time the
Rocky Run society was organized in the southeast part of Reserve Township. A
village named Coloma was started here.
December 1, 1827 the Bloomfield meeting appointed a committee to have the
meeting-house grounds surveyed and a graveyard staked off. Trustees of the
property were also appointed. The church was located half a mile north of the
village, and later Bloomingdale Academy was built on a beautiful campus near the
church. It was a church school open to both men and women students who conformed
to its rules. The Hadley, Siler, Hobbs, Davies, Hobson, Morris, Kersey, and
Woodard families constituted a large part of the membership of the society,
which had 392 members in 1925. A regular pastor is chosen at stated times, and
there are local ministers and laymen who occasionally lead the services. The
present pastor is Reverend I. L. Jones. Usually large congregations attend their
quarterly meetings. Their Sunday school is well attended.
cemetery is located half a mile south of the original village. It is a level
well-kept piece of ground; a noticeable feature, especially in the older part,
is the type of low, plain monuments.
Rocky Run Society, now known as Coloma, held its first meeting in a log
schoolhouse in 1830. Later a frame house was built, and a large and prosperous
society grew up here. The Allen, Woodard, Morris, Outland, and Mendenhall
families constitute a large part of the membership. The thickly-settled
community of gardeners and farmers maintain the church and Sunday school in good
condition. The public school here employs two teachers.
Coloma Cemetery is located at the west side of the village.
Grove Friends' Church was located near a cemetery of the same name about a mile
north of Marshall. This society was organized at an early date, but when
Marshall became a thriving town near-by, the society moved there. The Hadley,
Hobson, and Davies families form a part of the membership. Mrs. Dr. McKey was an
able minister here. The society has declined but has not been dissolved. The
Reverends I. L. Jones and E. M. Woodard, of Bloomingdale, conduct services here
small congregation near the N arrows of Sugar Creek built a church in 1875,
known as the Friends' Union Chapel, which was dedicated on Christmas night of
the same year by Reverend Levi Woody , the society's first minister . Prior to
1900 services were discontinued and 'a few of the members were transferred to
Marshall, among them, Presley F. Owen, the Sunday school superintendent.
Probably a few members joined the Rush Creek Church at Sylvania.
settlements were made in the neighborhood of Rush Creek as early as 1824, for
the most part by Friends. A society was organized by Isaac Hobson, Lot and David
Lindley, and others in 1832. In that year they built a log meeting-house,
eighteen by twenty-two feet, which was warmed by a charcoal fire in the center
of the room. A hole was left in the roof to allow the smoke to escape. A frame
house was built in 1840. In 1872 the society built a third house, which is still
in use. It is located half a mile north of Sylvania. The congregation was
composed mainly of the Lindleys, Hobsons, Towells, Harveys, Maddens, Hadleys,
and McCoys. David Commons and Levi and Keziah Woody were local ministers.
Elizabeth T. McCoy, a birthright member, was born in Orange County, North
Carolina, came to Parke County in 1865, and died at the home of her daughter,
Rachel Marks, on October 1, 1916 at the age of 105 years, one month, sixteen
days. The membership of the church at its greatest prosperity was nearly four
hundred. Although the members have decreased, regular services are continued.
Rush Creek Cemetery is near the church.
Congregational church was organized at Diamond, and a house was built, but the
decline of the town caused the passing of the church. The house was dismantled.
The Rockville Cemetery is located on the southeast side of the city. It was established in 1824 by Aaron Hand, who donated one acre to the town for a cemetery. About that time he buried one of his children here. Additions have been made until the present area is approximately ten acres. A property tax is levied on the city for its maintenance. The ashes of the cremated body of John Greer, who died September 15, 1907, were the first to be buried here or in the county. The first cremation was that of Dr. E. Axtell, but his ashes were not buried until recently. His monument is the only statue in Parke County. Here are the only two mausoleums in the county; the first was constructed for William Dodds, the second for Samuel D. Puett, a prominent lawyer of Rockville, who died May 5, 1907. There are a few graves in a cultivated field about one mile northwest of Rockville, near the junction of the Bloomingdale and Coloma roads. Further west on the Jordon farm is an abandoned family graveyard. There is a lone grave on the north side of the Rockville-Bellmore Road, on the east side of the entrance to the state sanitarium. It is thought to be the grave of Elijah Pulliam.