Saturday, October 20, 2012

Presbyterian Church: By T.M. Dunshee

This is the sixth in a series of articles written or edited by Thomas M. Dunshee between 1903, when he collected the material, and 1910, when he finished entering the sketches in a small blue "tablet" notebook now in the Lucas County Historical Society collection. The subjects of the biographies all were fellow pioneers in the Newbern neighborhood of English Township, Lucas County. He also wrote about the two churches that were located in the township, including First Presbyterian, also known as the Cain Church.

By Thomas M. Dunshee
Dated Dec. 29, 1903

This church was organized at Newbern, Marion County, Iowa, August 28, 1869, by Rev. W.C. Hollyday of Chariton as the Presbyterian Church of Newbern with the following charter members: George T. Mayes, Mariah Mayes, Flora Taylor, Thomas M. Dunshee, Susan Dunshee, William T. Dunshee, James Taylor, Charlotte Ann Taylor, Joshua B. May, Martha May, James P. Holliday, Ruth Holliday, Martha Jane Holliday and David Williams. Of this number there are but five of the original members at the present time.

James Taylor and James P. Holliday were the first elders elected. Rev. W.C. Hollyday of Chariton was stated supply for three years, one fourth of his time. Commencing in May 1873, Rev. P.H. Jacobs of Knoxville preached for six months every three weeks. Rev. James Stuart Reed of Chariton supplied the church for three years whenever his ministerial duties at his home church would permit.

The fall of 1875 it was decided to build a house of worship. This house was located by the building committee three miles southeast of Newbern in section eight on land donated by G.T. Mayes. This would place the church at a central point for the membership. Material was purchased of Dave Thompson, Chariton, and hauled on the ground preparatory to building the following spring, at which time Wood and Fountain of Newbern commenced work. The building was completed in July and was dedicated September, 1876, at a cost of $1,700 dollars, the board of church erection of the Presbyterian Church giving $400.

The church has been supplied by the following ministers: By Thomas N. Buchanan of Steubenville, Ohio, 1876, and Rev. J. Osmond of Russell, Iowa, one fourth time, 1877 to 1880. Rev. C.M. Allen, Sioux City, one fourth time January 1881 to October 1881; Rev. James Stuart Reed, Chariton, many times from 1872 to 1883; Rev. C.S. McElhinney, Fairfield, one fourth time July 1884 to 1886. Rev. J.H. Aughey, Chariton, one fourth time November 1886 to 1887. Mr. W.C. Atwood, Humbolt, Nebraska, one fourth time April 1888 to 1892. Rev. L.M. Scroggs, Chicago, one fourth time December 1892 to October 1893; Rev. W.C. Atwood, Chariton, one fourth time, six months, (commencing) April 1894. Rev. J.Q. Hall, Russell, one fourth time April 1895 to 1896. Rev. Lloyd C. Walters, Kinross, Keokuk County, Iowa, vacation 1896. Rev. Lloyd C. Walters, Kinross, Keokuk County, Iowa, vacation 1897. Rev. Robert Beer, Des Moines, one fourth time, Ocober 1897 to February 1900. Rev. Charles Brown Berry, student, vacation 1900. Rev. A.C. Ormond, Chariton, every two weeks January to October 1901. Rev. J.W. Pressly, Derby, every two weeks March 1902 to April 1903. Rev. O'Brien, Sunday school missionary, July 16 and 17, 1903. Rev. A. H. Chittenden, Chariton, every two weeks June to November, 1903. Rev. J.W. Pressly, Derby, October 24 and 25, 1903. Rev. M.R. Laird, Maysville, Illinois, Jan. 17, 1904.

The Church of English has given in the twenty-two years reported to the different boards of church work,  congregational, miscellaneous and Sabbath school work $4,949.02 besides what was given during twelve years not reported.

The average membership for thirty-four years, thirty-five; the present membership, thirty-four. The rotary system for the election of elders was adopted February 25, 1881. The following named persons have served the church as ruling elders --- James P. Holliday, James Taylor, G. T. Mayes, S.C. Cain, T.M. Dunshee, O.F. Brownlee, Joshua B. May and Edward E. Loynachan.

This photograph of First Presbyterian Church of English, also known as Cain Church, was taken from the Lucas County Genealogical Society's 1978 county history. According to that history, all remaining memberships were transferred after a period of decline to First Presbyterian Church of Chariton during 1931. After five years of disuse, the church was sold during 1936 and thereafter demolished. Early plat maps show the church located on the east side of the Newbern Road almost due east of what now is known as Spring Hill Cemetery.

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