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Accession T / I L- 

History of the Church 
of the Brethren of the 

Western District of Pennsylvania 

B Y 

Elder Jerome E. Blough 


Published By The 




Copyright, 1916 
By Elder Jerome E. Blough 









The title of this book does not hint at tiie extent of in- 
terest that will center in it. Herein is a well-prepared account 
of the rise and development of the congregations of the 
Church of the Brethren of \\'estern Pennsylvania ; but in- 
terwoven in it is an inevitable thread whose strands reach al- 
most Brotherhood-wide. 

In Western Pennsylvania the Brethren labored long and 
well in behalf of the Master. Through many hardships in 
earlier days they established the faith in the midst of the beau- 
tiful Alleghanies. No service has ever been rendered more 
cheerfully and hopefully than theirs. But the valleys were too 
narrow for all their children and scattered throughout the 
West in almost every State one finds " Somerset County 
stock " prosperous and flourishing. All these scattered de- 
scendants will be interested in the story of beginnings in the 
old home District; and thus the usefulness of the book grows 
and grows until who can forecast where its presence will not 
be felt? 

The author is well fitted to write the book. Born and 
reared in one of the stronger congregations of the District, 
breathing fully the spirit of his environment, in full sympathy 
with the ideals of the people who have built up the organiza- 
tion, he could fully enter into a proper appreciation of all 
the data gathered and give due stress to salient facts. Then 
he has almost infinite patience — the kind that enabled him to 
seek year after year, in each congregation — some of them 
exceedingly indiiferent to his requests — until he found all 



the available information. His style is easy, just the kind 
the fathers and mothers will be pleased to follow. Though the 
details are rather full for some, perhaps, yet even details will 
be valuable to those for whom the book is written. 

The biographical sketches are of great value. Many of 
those whose lives appear here have wielded an influence far 
beyond the District, and have decidedly aided the denomina- 
tion to victories even in other lands. 

To trace the growth of a quiet, unassuming folk, devout 
and faithful, as this history does, is to make one believe still 
more that God is always with those who put their trust in him, 
and that they mount over difficulties and accomplish ends com- 
mensurate only with the idea that Omnipotence has been with 
them. I most heartily recommend the book to the many who 
should know the story of the Church of the Brethren in 
Western Pennsylvania. 

Elgin, Illinois. Galen B. Royer. 

February 24, 1916. 


To the author of this work history has always been a 
fascinating study. As a youth he read Peter Parley's " His- 
tory of the World " with the most intense interest. The dis- 
covery of past activities and accomplishments, whether in 
church or state, was not only interesting but a matter of the 
greatest satisfaction. Perhaps nothing was more enjoyed 
than hearing the old church fathers talking about the work of 
the church in their young days. These talks revealed the fact 
that in the dim and already almost forgotten past exists a 
history that will be lost to future generations if not secured 
very soon, before the lips of those possessing this knowledge 
are sealed in death. 

Becoming convinced of the need of speedy action the 
question of how to accomplish it became the next matter for 
consideration. With this question in view the author referred 
to Elder C. G. Lint, at the Ministerial Meeting at Meyersdale 
in 1907, this query: " Would it not be proper to provide some 
plan whereby we might procure and preserve the histor}- of 
the Church of the Brethren of our District? " In his answer 
Brother Lint strongly favored such a move and clearly 
showed the necessity of doing it soon. One other brother, I 
think, spoke favorably, but nothing farther was done that year. 

The next year, 1908, being the Bicentennial Year, the 
author was asked to give a Bicentennial address on the History 
of Western Pennsylvania at the Ministerial Meeting. The 
time for such a talk was entirely too short, but considerable 
interest was aroused in the matter, and a historical committee, 
consisting of Jerome E. Blough. Joseph Holsopple and Mahlon 
J. Weaver, was appointed. The object of this committee was 
to gather and, in some way, preserve, all possible past history 
of the District. This committee sent to the elders of the con- 
gregations blanks containing a large number of questions. 
From the answers to these questions a creditable histor}- of 


each congregation could have been written, but only a com- 
paratively few blanks, filled out, were returned. But the 
committee was not idle, and during the next four years con- 
siderable historical matter was gathered in various ways. 
But beyond that the committee did not feel that it had any 
right to go. 

So, in order that the District might take a more active 
hold of the work, the following petition was presented to the 
1912 District Meeting: "Inasmuch as a historical committee 
of Western Pennsylvania w^as appointed several years ago, by 
the Ministerial Meeting, for the purpose of collecting material 
for a history of the Churches of the Brethren in W'estern 
Pennsylvania, and since that committee has gathered together 
very valuable data, we, the West Johnstown congregation, ask 
District Meeting to devise some plan by which these records 
may be best preserved for future generations, either by pro- 
viding for the publication of a history in book form or other- 
wise. Answer : ' Request granted, and the following commit- 
tee appointed : Jerome E. Blough, John F. Dietz and Samuel 
C. Johnson.' " 

Elder Joseph Holsopple being relieved because of age, 
and Mahlon J. Weaver having removed from the District, they 
turned what material they had in their possession over into 
my hands. Of the new members of the committee. Elder 
Dietz soon moved from the District and Brother Johnson was 
too far away for united prosecution of the work. Outside of 
the history of the Georges Creek congregation, which was 
furnished by Brother Johnson, practically the whole burden 
of soliciting, compiling and arranging material for this history 
has rested upon the author. 

Being financially unable to spend time and money travel- 
ing among the churches of the District, practically every- 
thing w'as done by correspondence. It took some time to in- 
duce brethren in every congregation to get down to business 
and unearth their history, but it was finally accomplished, and 
we feel that success has at last crowned our persistent efforts. 
Also from unexpected sources, even from people not members 


of our church, have come helpful information and sugges- 
tions. In addition to all the help given by brethren, sisters 
and friends still living, to all of whom I am profoundly grate- 
ful, I am indebted to the following books, pamphlets and peri- 
odicals : 

" A History of the German Baptist Brethren in Europe 
and America," by Governor Martin Grove Brumbaugh ; 
" Holsinger's History of the Tunkers and the Brethren 
Church," by Elder H. R. Holsinger; "Two Centuries of the 
Church of the Brethren ; " " Some Who Led," by Elders D. 
L. Miller and Galen B. Royer; " History of the Churches of 
Northeastern Ohio," by Elder T. S. Moherman and others ; 
" History of Eastern Pennsylvania ; " Histories of Somerset, 
W' estmoreland, Cambria and Armstrong Counties ; " " The 
Conemaughers," by Ezra H. Detwiler; " Record of the Faith- 
ful," by Howard Miller; Brethren Almanacs, and the various 
church papers from the Gospel Visitor to the present ; Annual 
Meeting Minutes, District Meeting Minutes, as well as minutes 
of other meetings of the District, and " Thirty-three Years of 
Missions," by Galen B. Royer. 

By the splendid help of many brethren and this array of 
literature this history was made possible, and yet a very great 
deal of interesting and valuable history is lost. We waited 
fifty years too long. It has been only in comparatively recent 
years that most of the congregations kept a record of their 
business. Perhaps some of this lost history will yet come to 
light. For the present we did the best we could under the 
circumstances. We do not claim perfection. 

But few names of contributors appear, because most 
of the matter coming to hand had to be reconstructed. It is 
impossible to name all who have contributed to the success of 
this work, and so we deem it best not to name any. Since be- 
ginning to gather material for this work a number of brethren, 
who were interested and did what they could to make it a 
success, have gone to their reward. I recall Joseph Berkey, 
Abram Summy, D. D. Horner, Jonathan W. Blough, D. S. 
Clapper, Emanuel J. Blough, H. A. Stahl, J. J. Blauch, David 


Hildebrand, John B. Miller, George Hanavvalt, S. M. Forney, 
Levi Rogers and Peter Forney. 

After years of diligent labor, in the face of numerous 
obstacles, such as lack of records or minutes of congregations, 
and of prompt responses on the part of a few, success, in an 
encouraging degree, has been achieved, and we send this 
volume forth on its mission of faith and peace and love, trust- 
ing that it will be received in the same spirit in which it is 
given. To all who have in any way contributed to the ac- 
complishment of this work due credit is hereby gratefully 

Elder Jerome E. Blough. 

Table of Contents. 

Chapter I. The Brethren in Europe, 21 

Chapter II. The Beginning of the Brethren in America,. '^'^ 

Chapter III. Early Settlements of the Brethren in West- 
ern Pennsylvania, 39 

Conemaugh. The Glades. Fayette County. Wash- 
ington Count3\ Greene County — The Eckerly Broth- 

Chapter I\'. \\'estern Pennsylvania, 47 

Chapter V. Congregations, 51 

Berlin : . 51 

Bolivar, 55 

Brothers Valley, 57 

Brush Valley, 65 

Chess Creek, 65 

Clarion, 67 

Conemaugh, 69 

Cowanshannock, 73 

Dunnings Creek, 11 

Elk Lick, 81 

Elk Lick after the division, 87 

Georges Creek, 89 

Glade Run 94 

Greensburg, 97 

Greenville, 102 

Indian Creek, 103 

Jacobs Creek, 106 

Johnstown, Ill 

Ligonier Valley, 120 




Maple Glen, 123 

Manor 126 

Markleyshurg, 132 

Meyersdale, 133 

Middle Creek, 136 

Montgomery 139 

Morrellville, 141 

Mount Union 142 

Pittsburgh, 145 

Pleasant Hill, 150 

Plum Creek 152 

Quemahoning, 154 

Red Bank, 166 

Rockton, 170 

Rummel, 174 

Ryerson Station 174 

Scalp Level, _. 178 

Shade Creek, 181 

Shemokin, 188 

Somerset, .r-r-. 189 

Stony Creek 189 

Summit Mills 190 

Ten Mile, ^^. 191 

Trout Run 196 

West Tohnstown 198 

Chapter VI. Missionary Activities, 205 

Unorganized, 205 

Attempts at Organization, 207 

The Mission Board Organized 207 

Congregations Supporting Missionaries 216 

Sunday-schools Supporting Missionaries 217 

What We Could Do, 217 

Missionaries, 218 

Jacob M. Blough, 218 

Anna Z. Blough, 221 

Ida C. Shumaker, 223 

Quincy A. Holsopple 226 

S. Olive Widdowson, 230 

Herman B. Heisey, 2?>2 

Mrs. Herman B. Heisey 234 

Chapter VII. Our Sunchiy-schuol .Vctivitics. -^"^ 



Chapter VIII. Sketches of Our Sunday-school Secre- 
taries, 251 

Silas S. Blough, 251 

Herman A. Stahl, 253 

Lorenzo J. Lehman 256 

Ross D. Murphy, 258 

I. Edward Holsinger, 261 

Sunday-school Mission Board 263 

Perry J. Blough, 263 

Daniel K. Clapper, 266 

William M. Howe, 268 

Chapter IX. Education, 273 

Chapter X. District Meetings, 281 

Chapter XL Annual Meetings, 291 

Chapter XII. Ministerial Meetings, 297 

Chapter XIII. Bible, Missionary and Sunday-school In- 
stitute, 301 

Chapter XIV. Biographies, 303 

Chapter XV. Ministers Who Have Left Us, 571 

Chapter XVI. Miscellaneous, 597 

Statistics 597 

Age of Ministers 597 

Our Sisters, 597 

Ministers of Western Pennsylvania — 1916 598 

List of Illustrations. 

The Germantovvn Meetinghouse in 1899, ....Frontispiece 
Valley of the Eder River — Schwarzenau, Germany,.... 23 

Garrett Church, Berlin Congregation 53 

Beachdale Church, Berlin Congregation, 55 

The Old Grove Church, Berlin Congregation 60 

Rayman Church, Brothers Valley Congregation 62 

Pike Church, Brothers Valley Congregation 62 

New Grove Church, Brothers Valley Congregation 64 

The Old Mock Church, Dunnings Creek Congregation, 78 
Holsinger Church, Dunnings Creek Congregation, .... 79 
New Paris Church, Dunnings Creek Congregation, ... 80 

Dunnings Creek Ministers 81 

First Salisbury Church, Elk Lick Congregation, 84 

Present Salisbury Church, Elk Lick Congregation 87 

Fairview Church, Georges Creek Congregation 90 

Uniontown Church, Georges Creek Congregation 92 

Silas W. Fike and Wife, 94 

Glade Run Church 96 

First Greensburg Church, 99 

Greensburg Church, 101 

Hochstetler Church, Greenville Congregation 102 

County Line Church, Indian Creek Congregation 105 

Jacobs Creek Ministers, 107 

Old Stone Church, Jacobs Creek Congregation 108 

Mt. Joy Church, Jacob's Creek Congregation 109 

Somerset Street Brethren Church, Johnstowai Ill 

Old Walnut Grove Church, Johnstown Congregation, . .112 

Gonemaugh Church, Johnstown Congregation 116 

Seven of the Johnstown Ministers, 117 

Walnut Grove Church, Johnstown Congregation 119 

Waterford Church, Ligonier Valley Congregation 122 

Maple Glen Church 124 

Three of Manor's Ministers 128 

Purchase Line Church, Manor Congregation 130 

Penn Run Church, Manor Congregation 131 

Meyersdale Church and Parsonage 135 

Geiger Church, Middle Creek and Brothers X'alley Con- 
gregations 138 

Old Montgomery Church, Montgomery Congregation, 140 

Morrellvilie Church 141 

Mount L^nion Church, Mount Union Congregation. ..143 
Wiles Hill Church, M(Uint Union Congregation 144 



Proposed Alteration and Addition to the Pittsburgh 

Church, 148 

Pleasant Hill Church, 151 

Plum Creek Church and Parsonage, 154 

Pine Grove Sunday-school (1909), Quemahoning Con- 
gregation, 156 

Five of Quemahoning's Ministers, 158 

Pine Grove Church, Quemahoning Congregation, ....159 
Sipesville Church and Congregation, Quemahoning 

Congregation, 161 

Old Maple Spring (Fry) Church, Quemahoning Con- 
gregation, 162 

Hooversville Church, Quemahoning Congregation, .... 163 
Present Maple Spring Church, Quemahoning Congre- 
gation, 164 

Maple Spring Cemetery, Quemahoning Congregation, 165 

Red Bank Church and Parsonage, 169 

Old Rockton Church, Rockton Congregation, 171 

New Rockton Church, Rockton Congregation, 172 

Greenville Church, Rockton Congregation, 173 

Baptismal Scene, Ryerson Station Congregation 177 

Scalp Level Church, 179 

Windber Church, Scalp Level Congregation 181 

Deacon Daniel Berkey and Wife, 182 

Shade Creek Ministers Before Division, 183 

Churches of Shade Creek Congregation, 186 

Berkey Cemetery, Shade Creek Congregation, 187 

Summit Mills Church, Erected in 1846, 191 

Old Stone Church, Ten Mile Congregation, 192 

Old Brick Church, Ten Mile Congregation, 193 

Fireplace, Ten Mile Church, 194 

Interior View, Ten Mile Church, 195 

Ten of the Twelve Ministers of the West Johnstown 

Congregation ( 1914) , 199 

Roxbury Church and Parsonage, West Johnstown 

Congregation, 200 

Viewmont Church, West Johnstown Congregation, . .201 
Present Mission Board of Western Pennsylvania 

(1916), 214 

Elder Jacob M. Blough and Wife, 219 

Ida Cora Shumaker, 224 

Quincy A. Holsopple and Wife 227 

Olive Widdowson, 231 

Herman B. Heisey, 233 

Sister Herman B. Heisey, 235 


Elder Silas S. Blough and Wife, 252 

Elder Herman A. Stahl, 254 

Elder Lorenzo J. Lehman and Wife, .257 

Ross D. Murphy, 258 

Prof. L Edward Holsinger, 262 

Elder Perry J. Blough and Wife, 264 

Elder Daniel K. Clapper, 266 

Elder William Mohler Howe, 269 

Prof. Jacob Martin Zuck, 274 

Gymnasium, Juniata College, Huntingdon 276 

Library, Juniata College, Huntingdon, 277 

Juniata College, 278 

The Stone Church, Huntingdon, 279 

The Bishop John Buechly Barn, 292 

Frank Ankeney, 304 

Elder Jasper Barnthouse and Wife, 305 

Newton E. Beabes 307 

Prof. J. C. Beahm. 308 

Elder Peter Beer and \\'ife 313 

Elder Joseph Berkey, 317 

Cornelius Berkley 324 

Elder Albert J. Berkley and wife 327 

Samuel J. Berkley and Wife, 328 

Prayer-Prophecy, 332 

Elder Jonathan W. Blough (Group), 334 

Elder Emanuel J. Blough and Wife, 340 

Elder Jerome E. Blough and Wife, 345 

Norman H. Blough and Wife, 346 

J. L. Bowman 349 

Elder Mahlon J. Brower, Wife and Child 354 

Elder Solomon Bucklew and Wife, 358 

Elder Jeremiah Beeghly and Wife, 358 

Ananias J. Beeghly, 359 

Elder John H. Cassady and Wife 364 

Andrew Chambers 366 

Elder David S. Clapper 369 

Elder T. Rodney Cofifman, 374 

John T. Darr ^77 

Elder 'John N. Davis and Wife 378 

Elder Alpheus DeBolt and Wife 381 

Edgar Marion Dctwiler and Wife 383 

John F. Deitz and Wife 385 

Alvin G. Faust and Wife, 390 

Isaiah B. Ferguson 391 

Elder Oran Fvock 398 


Elder Joel Gnagey and Wife, 400 

Walter J. Hamilton, 402 

Elder George Hanawalt, 404 

Elder David Hildebrand and Wife 408 

Elder E. K. Hochstetler, 411 

Elder John S. Holsinger and Wife, 414 

Daniel Holsopple, 416 

Elder Jacob Holsopple and Wife, 418 

Elder Joseph Holsopple and wife, 421 

Elder Silas Hoover, 423 

William M. Horner, 426 

M. Clyde Horst, Wife and Daughter 427 

Elder Russell T. Idleman, Wife and Child 430 

Elder John Cover Johnson 432 

Samuel Cover Johnson, 436 

Prof. Carman Cover Johnson, 438 

Silas Clark Keim, 440 

Elder Lewis Kimmel. 444 

Samuel A. Myers, Harvey H. Kimmel 445 

Four Generations of the Kitchen Family, 446 

Elder Peter Knavel, 447 

Lewis Schrock Knepper 449 

Hiram Lehman and Wife. 453 

Elder Jonas Lichty, 455 

Bishop C. G. Lint 459 

David L. Little, 463 

David Livengood 465 

Elder Samuel P. Maust and Wife 469 

Elder C. A. McDowell and Wife 470 

W. S. Meyers 473 

Jacob D. Miller 475 

Elder John B. Miller 477 

Elder Perry U. Miller 478 

Dr. Samuel G. Miller 479 

John W. Mills and Wife 481 

Elder Mark Minser and Wife, 485 

Elder Hiram Musselman and Wife 495 

J. Lloyd Nedrow, Wife and Child 503 

Jacob W. Peck, 506 

Elder Lewis A. Peck and Wife, 508 

Irvin R. Fletcher and Wife, 509 

Elder James Quinter 511 

Ralph Walker Reiman 516 

Haddon Q. Rhodes. 519 

Gideon Rogers, 522 


Elder Levi Rogers, 523 

Elder William G. Schrock, 529 

Prof. Lewis G. Shaffer, Wife and Child 535 

Elder Samuel U. Shober and Wife, 537 

Elder Abraham Summy, 547 

Elder Jacob M. Thomas 548 

Elder Samuel C. Umbel and Wife, 551 

Elder Daniel H. Walker, 553 

Elder Galen K. W^alker, Wife and Child 555 

B. F. Waltz and Wife, 556 

Levi Wells, 559 

Elder Adam Wise, 561 

Elder John Wise, 564 

William E. Wolford Family, 567 

Elder Emanuel J. Blough's Sons, 574 

Three Flickinger Sisters, 579 

Frank Blaine Myers and Wife, 588 


The Brethren in Europe. 

The year 1708 will ever be a memorable one in the history 
of the Brethren, That year, at Schwarzenau, Province of 
Wittgenstein, in Hesse Cassel, Germany, a remarkable scene 
was transacted, which gave birth to the organization known 
today as the Church of the Brethren. 

Dissatisfied with the formalism and ritualism of the 
Protestant churches of their time, the Pietists, a class of re- 
ligious reformers, became numerous and energetic in Germany 
in the early years of the eighteenth century. They sought 
to revive declining piety in the Protestant churches. " Among 
them were men of all shades of religious opinions, which 
were at variance with the established churches. In this ag- 
gregation of persons holding widely differing views on almost 
all Christian duties, except those of devotion and piety, it 
was found difficult to collect a sufficient number who were of 
' One mind ' to establish a congregation. As long as they kept 
prominently before themselves their specialty, and devoted 
themselves assiduously to the cultivation of their favorite 
virtue, they prospered greatly " (" History of the Tunkers " 
by Holsinger, page 30). 

" Early in the eighteenth century there seems to have 
been a special revival among these Pietists. In addition to 
their regular services, private house-to-house meetings were 
held, at which the young converts presented themselves for 
prayers and instruction in the higher attainments of the Chris- 
tian life. Their frequent assemblies very soon attracted the 
notice of their enemies, and inflamed the spirit of jealousy. 
and persecution speedily followed. Many of them were driven 
from their homes in Switzerland, Wiirttemberg. Hesse Cassel. 
and other places. A number of these exiles found refuge at 


Wittgenstein, under the government of a friendly count, 
through whose intercession Hberty of conscience was granted. 

" This leniency on the part of the local government had-the 
effect of inducing a heavy immigration to the community, al- 
though the land was rough and the soil barren. Most of them 
settled at Schwarzenau, about three miles from Berlenberg. 
This influx of people greatly increased the pojiulation of the 
place, and gave it prominence among the towns of the prov- 

" In their endeavors to administer wholesome discipline 
among themselves, the Pietists were again made to feel the 
necessity of better organization. They felt a desire to put into 
practice the instructions given in the eighteenth chapter of 
Matthew, ' If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go tell 
him his fault between thee and him alone,' etc., but they could 
not agree upon any system of church government. Some of 
them did not want to be under any restraint, nor to submit to 
any discipline, no matter how salutary it might be. Others 
returned to the churches which they had left, while still others 
drifted into outright, infidelity. This degeneracy and the dis- 
couragements which followed caused some of the most sincere 
among them to become all the more impressed with the im- 
portance of reviving primitive Christianity, by following the 
Savior in all his commands and ordinances. They were es- 
pecially convinced of the importance of faith and obedience to 
effect genuine reformation unto salvation. Their scriptural 
• researches had also assured them that Christian baptism was 
an important f)rdinance, which was closely related to salvation, 
but which had been slightly spoken of among the Pietists, to 
the great sorrow of those who truly loved the truth as it is in 
Christ Jesus " (Holsinger, pp. 30 and 31). 

Finally, " eight pious souls, after careful prayer and ])ro- 
longed study, relying only upon God and the Bible to guide 
them and their followers forever, walked slowly, solemnly 
and heroically from the house of Alexander Mack to the 
river Eder, which, like a silver thread, wound its way through 
the heart of a rich and varied landscaj^e. Here the i)ious eight, 


Valley of the Eder Kiver, Scliwarzenau, Germany. 

in the early morning, surrounded by many curious witnesses, 
knelt in prayer, and one of them led Alexander Mack int<j 
the water and immersed him three times, in the name of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Then Alex- 
ander Mack, the other seven, and these eight, perhaps the first 
to receive trine immersion in the history of the Protestant 
Church, then organized a new congregation. This new con- 
gregation chose one of their number, Alexander Mack, as their 
leader, and thus began the Taufers, or German Baptist Church, 
as a separate and distinct organization. These eight members, 
the beginning of the church, w^ere : 1. Alexander Mack ; 2. Anna 
Margaretta Mack ; 3. Joanna Xoethinger, or Bony ; 4. Andrew 
Bony; 5. George Grebi; 6. Lucas Vetter; 7. John Kipping, and 
8. Joanna Kipping. 

" These eight members of the pioneer church were not 
a group of local enthusiasts, nor were they irreligious prior 
to the organization of the Taufers or Tunkers. Alexander 
Mack was from Schreisheim ; Lucas Vetter and George Gre- 
bi were from Hesse Cassel ; Andrew Bony was from Basle, 
in Switzerland ; and John Kipping was from Bareit, in Wiirt- 
temberg. They were refugees from intolerance and persecu- 
tion, living temporarily in Wittgenstein, because it was at that 


time ruled by the mild and humane Count Heinrich Von 

" They were all members of a Protestant church before 
1708. Kipping was a Lutheran, Mack, Vetter, Bony and 
(ircbi were bred Presbyterians (Reformed). Rejecting on 
the one hand the creed of man, and on the other hand the 
abandonment of ordinances, they turned to the Bible for 
guidance. From God's Word they learned that ordinances 
were vital and creed unnecessary. Adopting the ]^»ible as 
their rule and guide they organized a church with no creed, 
and with all the ordinances as taught by Jesus and his follow- 
ers, as recorded in the New Testament. Their i)osition is 
uni(|ue. They have no counterpart in history, save the mcjther 
churches established by I'aul and the disciples. They are 
Protestants w^ithout a formed Protestant creed. They are 
Pietists without the ultra church-in-thc-spirit doctrines of 
Spener and his followers. 

" It was much in their favor as a body of believers to l)e 
able, as they were, to protest against formal religion and not 
to go to the other extreme of utter disorganization. 

" They believed that Jesus had given them a creed and 
had likewise given them the necessary ordinances to keep the 
body of believers steadfast for him. Abandoning all prec- 
edents among denominations, studying zealously to know the 
right, living in an atmosphere that was heavy with religious 
agitation, surrounded by men of all faiths, and carving out 
of the confusion and turmoil of a turbulent age the simi)lc 
faith and practice so precious to their followers, they i)ro\e(l, 
by their actions, that they were men of no mean training, and 
that they were possessed by a courage and heroism that mounts 
almost to the sublime" ("History of the IJrethren," by 
Brumbaugh, pp. 29 to 34). 

" The Schwarzenau congregation flourished from the be- 
ginning. Its missionary spirit led to the founding of a second 
congregation in the Marienborn district. y\fter their perse- 
cution in Marienborn this new congregati(jn found refuge in 
Creyfelt. under the King of Prussia, in 1715, where they en- 


joyed freedom of conscience, for a time, at least. A third 
congregation was established at Epstein, and many members 
were living in Switzerland of whom we have no record." 
Members were scattered throughout many parts of the Pala- 
tinate. Attempts to organize the scattered members resulted 
in persecution. During the seven years of prosperity, re- 
ferred to above, the Lord called into his church a number of 
laborers who had been distinguished in other parts of his vine- 
yard. Among them are named: John Henry Kalkloeser, of 
Frankenthal ; Christian Leib and Abraham Duboy, of Epstein ; 
John Nasz and others, from Norten ; and Peter Becker, of 
Dilsheim. There were also added John Henry Traut and his 
brethren, Henry Holtzapfel and Stephen Koch. From the data 
at hand we in for. that John. Heiiry. Tra,i:;t had been the leader 
of a church,-. O"" at least a class of brethtrcn ia the community, 
since 'we are told that he and his brethren vveve a.dded to the 
Sch\\-?rzenau church.. The .most oi these located, at Creyfelt, 
bui' John Henry lialkliseiei", Abrsbaro Duboy, Georgt Balser 
Gantz, of Umstatt, and Michael Eckerlin, of Strausbilrg, set- 
tled at Schwarzenau. 

At Marienborn John Naas was the elder in charge. At 
Epstein Christian Leib was the elder, assisted by Abraham 
Duboy. These congregations soon withdrew to Creyfelt, 
where John Naas was the senior elder and Christian Leib was 
second. Here, too, Peter Becker, who was, so far as we can 
learn, baptized at Epstein by Elder Leib, ministered to the con- 
gregation. Peter Becker was not an ordained elder in Europe. 
He was, however, a man of great fervency in prayer, and 
the leader of the singing in the congregation. He was not a 
good speaker, and led a very quiet life, drawing many to 
him in love and sympathy. He organized the first emigration 
of members to America, and landed with a goodly number 
at Germantown in 1719. The Germantown members were, 
therefore, at the first a branch of the Creyfelt congregation. 

In the meantime persecution of the church in Schwar- 
zenau was raging with increasing fierceness. A number of the 
members had first fled to Creyfelt, and then to Holland. From 



Holland fifty-nine families, comprising 126 souls, emigrated 
to America. They crossed the ocean on the ship Allen, com- 
manded by James Craige, of Rotterdam, sailing from the Isle 
of W'ight July 7, 1729. They had a boisterous voyage, last- 
ing seventy-one days, but landed safely at Philadelphia on the 
15th day of September. 

Finally, in 1733, John Naas removed to America. After 
that Christian Leib was in full charge at Creyfelt. The con- 
gregation dwindled away and finally went to ruin. This was 
the last organized activity in Euro])e until the mission work 
in Denmark and Sweden was undertaken. 

For the above facts, due credit is given to Brumbaugh 
and Holsinger. 


The Beginning of the Brethren in America. 

The first emigrants from the mother church in Germany 
arrived in America in the autumn of 1719. Their number 
included about twenty families. Previous to this time the 
Brethren at Creyfelt had their share of internal trouble and 
dissensions. On board the ship they revived their discussions, 
which resulted in such bitter contentions that some of the 
families were totally estranged from each other before they 

" Nevertheless, they still maintained Christian charity, 
which always characterized God's true followers — a childish 
simplicity, a forgiving disposition, and faithfulness to the truth 
as it is in Christ Jesus. Their fidelity to their religion is proven 
by an incident that occurred during the voyage. A furious 
storm arose, which threatened the destruction of the vessel. 
The sails were lowered, and much of the merchandise was 
thrown overboard, all to no avail. Meanwhile the brethren 
were in their quarters, in the hold of the ship, unitedly pleading 
with their heavenly Father, who needeth but to speak the 
word, " Peace be still," and the winds and the waves must obey 
his will. The captain, in his despair, or more likely directed 
by Providence, went to the humble department of the de- 
voted Tunkers, and, behold, they were praying and singing, 
as unconcerned as though the sea were quiet. He did not re- 
buke them for their indifference to their fate, as Peter did 
our Savior, but was impressed with their pious devotion and 
serene calmness, and he himself caught the inspiration of hope. 
He immediately returned to his post, and encouraged his crew, 
declaring that Almighty God would not sufifer a ship to perish 
with such pious people on board. With this assurance, all 


worked together, the storm soon al)ated, the sea calmed, and 
the voyage was completed. 

" This voyage was made on a large Flemish vessel, from 
Friesland, with a numher of other passengers, and ended at 
Philadel]»hia in the autumn of 1719. Immediately u])on reach- 
ing shore they scattered ahroad. seeking homes for themselves 
and their families. Some remained at Philadelphia, some went 
to Germantown, the others to Skipi)ack, Oley and Conestoga. 
Peter I>ecker settled near Germantown, on a twenty-acre 
farm, where he remained twenty-seven years. He had been 
the leader of the first company of emigrants, and was destined 
to lead them in other ways. He was a minister of the Gosi)el, 
but did not preach publicly for several years. No doubt he 
had plenty to do at home, in the new country, as he was b)' 
trade a weaver. 

" The first three years of their existence in this country 
is entirely lost to the history of tlic church, ^'et, no doubt, 
like some of the sand rivers of Kansas and Nebraska, the cur- 
rent continued to flow onward. Such a life of inactivity was 
very unsatisfactory to I'.njther IJecker, especially, and, we are 
told, also to Brethren John Ciomery, Balser Ciantz and Henry 
Traut. Brother Becker was much enthused l)y an appren- 
tice whom he took into his emj^loy, and into his family, as 
well. He was a recent refugee from Germany, by the name of 
Conrad Beissel. He was a religious enthusiast, although he 
did not belong to Becker's church at that time. They kei)t a 
continued religious conversation, day and night, intersiiersed 
with numerous seasons of worship. In the latter, the above- 
mentioned brethren, Gomery, Gantz and Traut, frequently 
joined them. Beissel greatly increased their religious en- 
thusiasm by relating his experiences in the persecutions in the 
b'athcrland. He told them all about the sufferings of their 
brethren and friends across the deep waters, until their zeal 
had been wn)ught up to a high pitch. 

" They held frecpient meetings to devise some jilan by 
which those of like i)reci()us faith in the community might be 
brought together for ])ublic worship and reconciliation. In this 


Beissel encouraged them, and recommended that Peter Becker 
should take one or two of the brethren with him, and make a 
house-to-house canvass of all the families who had been mem- 
bers' of the church in Germany, and more especially of those 
residing within meeting distance of each other. They felt as- 
sured that if they could get the members together but for one 
single occasion, to mingle their voices in the worship of God 
in song and prayer, all differences would melt away as the 
fogs disperse before the rays of the sun. 

" Finally the mission was agreed upon, and all the pre- 
paratory^ arrangements completed, and in the autumn of the 
year A. D. 1722 their long-prayed- for effort was put into 
execution. Peter Becker, John Gomery, and George Balser 
Gantz were commissioned to perform this visit of love in the 
interest of peace and union between brethren. This is recorded 
as having been the first home mission work performed in Amer- 
ica by any religious people. They traversed the regions of 
.Skij)pack, Falcomer's vSwamp, Oley and other places. They 
met the l)rethren and sisters at their homes, prayed and wor- 
shiped with them, and fully explained the nature and intent of 
their mission, extending on their ])art the olive branch of for- 
gixeness and complete reconciliation unconditionally. Meet- 
ings for public worship were held in many places, attended 
with a general revival of brotherly affection. The mission- 
aries themselves were also greatly blessed, and determined to 
make an effort of the same nature in their own neighborhood. 
A time was agreed upon, and an appointment was made at 
the house of Peter Becker. This was the first public worship 
and preaching service they had held in that community, since 
their arrival in the New World. The following Sunday they 
met at Brother Gomery's. Services were continued, alternate- 
ly between the two places, until winter set in, when the services 
were discontinued on account of the want of suitable accom- 
modations to entertain the people. 

" The next year, as soon as fair weather had settled, the 
work was again taken up with renewed vigor, and continued 
thenceforth, but the meetings were held at Becker's only, per- 


haps because he had the most convenient house for the pur- 

" In August of tliis same year (juite a sensation was cre- 
ated in the neighborhood, by the re])ort that Christian Leib 
had arrived from Germany. As it was known that he was an 
able minister, and had been persecuted, and had been com- 
pelled to serve as a galley slave for several years, it may well 
be imagined what an interest would be awakened by such a 
report. There was also quite an awakening among the breth- 
ren along the Schuylkill Rixcr about this time, where the 
Hermits of the Ridge had l)een holding meetings. The Schuyl- 
kill brethren, hearing of Brother Leib's coming, went to Phil- 
adelphia to meet him, but they were disappointed, as the report 
was false. The (iermantown brethren then persuaded this 
committee of the brethren, who had been sent to meet Brother 
Leib, to tarry with them several days, and attend their services. 
They readily accepted the invitation, and appeared to greatly 
enjoy the meetings, as well as the associations of their breth- 
ren. The pleasure of association was mutual, but the visitors 
were especially entertained and edified by the reports of the 
persecution and trials of the churches and members in Ger- 
many, as related to them and read from letters received by 
the Germantown people. They must have been well pleased, 
for they repeated their visit a short time afterwards, and se- 
cured promise of ministerial service from Brother Becker 
and others, which was fulfilled the following month. 

" These good men had come full of hope and exi)ectation 
to meet their persecuted brother from the Fatherland, and 
to hear from his lips the tales of his sufferings, and to have 
him tell the sweet story of the cross in their mother tongue in 
the strange country whither they had strayed. In this they 
were disappointed, but they did find other brethren of like 
feelings, with whom they could tarry a while and worship. 
They could say with Joseph of old, ' The originator of the 
false report of the coming of Brother Leib meant it for ill to 
ward us, but the Lord has turned it into a blessing.' And 
how their hearts must have throbl)ed with emotion of putc 


gratitude as they joined in the worship at the family altar 
of Elder Peter Becker, and sang in familiar melody their own 
sweet song of thanksgiving: 

" Grosz ist unsers Gottes Guete; 

Seine Treu taeglich neu 

Ruehret mein Gemuethe; 

Sende Herr, den Geist von oben, 

Dasz jetz und, Herz und Mund, 

Deane Guete loben." 

" Great is the goodness of our God; 

His faithfulness dearl}' renewed 

Incites my admiration; 

Lord, send the Spirit from above, 

That, nov\f and ever, heart and tongue 

May sing Thy loving-kindness." 

" While enjoying this unexpected feast of good things, 
they could all the better realize what it is to be children of one 
Father, and ' how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell 
together in unity.' 

" This first mission of love was greatly blessed, and sev- 
eral persons were brought under conviction and demanded 
to be baptized. But they felt themselves too unworthy to 
perform this solemn rite without being specially commissioned 
thereunto. It appears that the church in Europe had not been 
fully organized, or Brother Becker did not fully appreciate 
his privileges, or perhaps he was unnecessarily timid. We 
are also told that their late estrangements still haunted them, 
and insinuated that they had better first heal themselves, or 
remove the beams from their own eyes, before they would 
undertake to help others into a better life. While they re- 
garded themselves as constituting a branch of the church at 
Creyfelt, they felt the need of better organization, in order that 
they might exercise in all the ordinances of the house of the 
Lord. And this very serious dilemma was the occasion of 
completely unifying them and fully establishing them for their 
work. They took the matter into prayerful consideration, re- 
newed their own baptismal vows, and reiterated their forgive- 


ness of each other's faults and trespasses, and plighted their 
faith in God and their love for each other. 

" Peter Becker was authorized to perform the service of 
bai»tism, he being the choice of the applicants. So, after all 
the preliminary services had been attended to, they resorted 
to the Wissahickon Creek, early in the morning of December 
25, 1723, where the six converts referred to were baptized. 
Their names were Martin Urner and wife, Henry Landis and 
wife, Fredrick Long, and John Maylie. They were the first 
persons baptized by the Tunker Brethren in America. 

" The same day, December 25, 1723, they organized them- 
selves into a congregation, and in the evening of the same day 
a love feast was held at the house of John Gomery. Twenty- 
three persons participated in the communion services. They 
were: Peter Becker, Henry Traut, Jeremiah Traut. Balser 
Traut, Henry Holtzapfel, John Gomery, Stephen Koch, Jacob 
Koch, John Hildebrand, Daniel Ritter, George Balser Gantz, 
John Preisz, Joseph Kaempfer, Magdalena Traut, Anna 
Gomer)% Maria Hildelirand, and Joanna Gantz. and the si.x 
who had been baptized in the morning, making in all twenty- 
three persons, seventeen brethren and six sisters. Thus we 
have the first organization of the Tunker church, the first 
baptism administered, and the first communion celebrated in 
America, all on the same day, and that on the natal day of our 
Redeemer, in the seventeen hundred and twenty-third year of 
his own dispensation" (Holsinger, pages 123 to 128). 

"Who can lift the \eil and record this hour's holy serv- 
ice? What thoughts, what emotions, what religious experi- 
ences, what covenanted pledges, what rejoicings, moved lips 
and hearts and head! To God only is known the ecstasy of 
that communion. ' Ye know not now, but yc shall know here- 
after.' l)lcssed beginning of the church in America! May her 
latter days be like her first! 

" The congregation was now organized. The .Sj)irit of 
the Master was upon them. The next autumn the congre- 
gation decided to undertake a general visitation to all their 
brethren in the whole countrv. October 23, 1724, thev started. 


Their first visit was to Brother John Jacob Preisz on the 
Indian Creek. Thence they traveled to Falckner's Swamp and 
held services at the house of a Brother Albertus, where a 
meeting was held with breaking of bread; so also at Oley, and 
then at the Schuylkill (Coventry). Here, on November 8, 
they also held a love feast, no doubt at the house of Martin 
Urner. At this place two persons were baptized. These two 
were Peter Heffley and Owen Longacre. Andrew Sell had 
been baptized at Germantown. There were thus nine members 
at Coventry, 

" This was the end of their contemplated missionary tour. 
At Coventry^ however, news was received that in the Cones- 
toga country were a number of awakened souls. The breth- 
ren decided to continue their journey to the Conestoga. The 
party divided for- the night. Those who were afoot spent the 
night at John Graff's and the riders at Jacob Weber's. On the 
10th they united at Rudolph Nagele's, who was at this time a 
Mennonite. From Nagele's they went to visit Conrad Beissel 
and Michael W'olfahrt, who at that time were living a solitar)^ 
or hermit life. On the night of the 10th they lodged with 
Stephen Gallionde. The next day they pushed on to Henry 
Hohn's. On the 12th a meeting was held at this man's house. 
Beissel was present. The revival spirit was powerfully man- 
ifested. The theme of the brethren was baptism, the hope of 
fallen man. 

" At the close of the meeting five precious souls asked for 
baptism — Henry Hohn and wife, John Mayer and wife, and 
Joseph Shafer. They were baptized in the apostolic manner 
by Peter Becker in Pequa Creek. This ceremony was so im- 
pressive, that a sixth, Veronica, wife of Isaac Frederick, was 
also baptized. And now a strange event must be recorded ! 
Conrad Beissel saw all this. He knew it was his duty to be 
baptized. But he had such an exalted opinion of his own re- 
ligious experiences in his hermit life that he could not submit 
to baptism at the hands of Peter Becker, whom he regarded 
as inferior to himself in religious thought. In this perplexity 
he suddenly remembered that Jesus had submitted to John, 


' to fulfill all righteousness.' Consequently after Sister Fred- 
erick came up out of the water, ' Beissel came down from his 
spiritual pride, humbled himself before his friend, Peter 
Becker, and was by him baptized on the same day in apostolic- 
wise, under the water.' 

" That evening a love feast was held at Brother Hohn's 
house. This was November 12, 1724. The following Sunday 
a meeting was held at Sigmund Landert's house, and Landert 
and his wife were baptized. This is the beginning of the 
church in Lancaster County. Since the distance was so great, 
the Germantown members advised these to select a preacher 
and form a separate congregation. Conrad Beissel was 
chosen. Then the kiss of peace was given and the brethren 
returned to Germantown. 

" From 1722 to 1732 the meetings were held in the homes 
of the members — generally at Becker's, Gomery's, Gantz's. 
Traut's or Kalklesser's " (Bruml)augh, pp. 160 to 165). 

" Quite a revival followed the organization for a year or 
more. Their services were so largely attended that they found 
it difficult to provide accommodations for all the people. The 
meetings were also full of interest, and followed with good 
results. Many of the young people, and especially their own 
children, were converted, which was very encouraging to 
parents, as well as to the ministers. Nor was the revival con- 
fined to this one neighborhood, but it spread over the entire 
colony. They also held frequent love feasts, which were 
something so much out of the regular order of religious 
services that they attracted much attention, and created deep 
interest and investigation of religious subjects and study of 
the Scriptures. All this research would invariably result 
favorably to the Tunker cause. It always does. In this case 
it was the occasion of numerous accessions to the congrega- 
tion organized, and of establishing others in the adjacent com- 
munities. And still more, the inspiration was sent abroad in 
numerous letters, and a special ei)istle was prepared in the 
name of the church in America to the church in Germany, 


giving a full account of the glorious work the Lord was per- 
forming among them following their reconciliation. 

" After several years of activity, the interest abated in 
the country. Meanwhile the inspiration was working up 
among individual members in the mother church in Schwar- 
zenau " (Holsinger, pp. 128, 129). 

As stated in Chapter I, the persecutions of the brethren in 
Germany became so severe, that in the year 1729 a second 
party of them decided to emigrate to Pennsylvania, where they 
could worship God as they felt the Holy Scriptures taught. 
They landed at Philadelphia, after a rough voyage, lasting 
seventy-one days, on September 15, 1729. " The following 
persons were among the number : Alexander Mack and his 
three sons, John, Valentine and Alexander; Hans Gunde, 
Andrew Bony, John Naas, Antony Deardorff, Jacob More, 
Rudolph Harley, Johan Peter von Laushe, Jacob Bossert, 
Jacob, Henry, and Christopher Kalkgloesser, Johannes Kip- 
ping, Wilhelmus Knepper, Jacob and Matthias Schneider, 
John Pettikoffer, Hans and George Koch, Reinhart Hammer, 
with their wives and others. 

" This increase in membership, and especially to their 
number of Alexander Mack and other founders of the church, 
wonderfully encouraged the church in America. This in- 
spiration became contagious, and resulted in the organization 
of several new congregations. Among them were : Oley, in 
1732; Great Swamp, 1733; Amwell, New Jersey, 1733; Co- 
calico, 1735; White Oak, 1736; Little Conowago, 1738 and 
Biw Conowago, 1741 " (Holsinger, p. 134). 

" When Mack came in 1729, the number of members was 
so increased that it was difficult to find a house large enough 
for the meetings. 

" In 1732 Christopher Saur, the printer, erected where 
No. 4653 Germantown Avenue now is, a commodious house, 
60x60 feet. 

" The second story of the house was constructed with 
partitions hinged to the joist, so that when necessity required 
they could be swung open and a large audience room was 


secured. Here the Brethren vvorshii)ed until 1760, when the 
second Christopher Saur was an elder of the church. His in- 
creasing family and increasing husiness demanded all the room 
in the house, and obliged the Ijrethren to arrange for another 
place of meeting." 

" Among the Brethren was one named John Pettikoffer. 
He is said to have been a ])0()r man. Brother Peter Schilhcrt 
gave him a half acre of ground upon which to erect a house. 
Pettikoffer begged the money f(jr the erection of a house on 
this ground, which was nearly two miles above what was then 
Germantown and about eight miles from Philadelphia. P)e- 
cause of this begging, historians say the town was named 
Beggarstown. In 1739 Pettikoffer and his wife removed to 
Mphrata, where his wife died in 1748, and where he died 
Sei)tember 11, 1769. It was a long time before Peter Schilbert 
could gain possession of the ground he had given to Pettikof- 
fer. But it finally was his, and by deed dated August 12, 
1760, Peter Schilbert donated to Christopher Sower, Alex- 
ander Mack, Peter Leibert, and George Schreiber, the Petti- 
koffer house, and eighty rods of ground for a burial place, in 
trust for the German Ba])tist T^rethren's Church of German- 
town forever. 

" The house was remodeled, the partitions removed, and 
here the Ikcthrcn worshiped until 1770, when the increased 
membershi]) re(|uired a larger house. At the rear of the 
Pettikoffer house a substantial stone meetinghouse was begun 
and completed in the same year, and was dedicated before 
July 1. For the erection of this house the members themselves 
gave the entire amount. The building is of stone and is still 
standing. It is about thirty-two feet s(|uare, with an attic 
in which were stored the recjuisites for the love feasts. This 
attic was reached l)y a stairway on the outside, long since re- 
moved. P>ut the stone work still betrays the location of the 
large s(|uare door through which it was entered. About 1880 
Sister Lehman and a few others had the meetinghouse re- 
modeled. The old attic was removed, the exterior jjlastered, 
and new appointments jtrovided throughout. On May 16, 


1897, a fine addition to the meetinghouse was dedicated. This 
addition was the gift of Jacob Z. Davis, a direct descend- 
ant of Alexander Mack. The dedicatory exercises on this 
occasion were conducted by Elder George N. Falkenstein, 
who was at that time pastor, and the dedicatory sermon was 
preached by Dr. Martin Grove Brumbaugh, from Psalms 
122: 1-9. 

" During the Revolutionary War, when all of Elder 
Sower's property was confiscated, this meetinghouse narrowly 
escaped. Sower was one of the trustees in whose name the 
property was held. For this reason it was seized. But Breth- 
ren Fox and Leibert, trustees with Sower, explained that the 
building and ground were not Sower's, but the congregation's ; 
that he was simply one of the trustees in whose name the title 
temporarily rested. Finally the representations of the mem- 
bers availed and the building was spared, although the yard 
about it was occupied by the cavalry in the Germantown 

" When the meetinghouse was occupied, in 1770, the old 
Pettikofifer house became an Old Folks' Home, in which the 
poor of the congregation were sheltered, clothed, and fed at 
the expense of the congregation. This is, no doubt, the oldest 
home for the poor established by the Brotherhood. 

" The ground for a cemetery was not so used until the 
yellow fever scourge swept Philadelphia. Then the Brethren 
mercifully opened their ground for burials. This was in 
1793. There was need of more ground and the congregation 
purchased for 430 pounds sterling the adjoining lot, on which 
was an old log hut, once the W^eaver residence, and a good 
dwelling house, now the parsonage. No. 6611 Germantown 
Avenue. Half the purchase money was paid by voluntary 
subscription in 1793, and the remainder on April 1, 1805 " 
(Brumbaugh, pp. 165 to 170). 

These seem to be the congregations in Pennsylvania and 
New Jersey before the Revolution: Germantown (Beggars- 
town), eight miles from Philadelphia, December 25, 1723; 
Coventry, in Chester County, September 7, 1724; Conestoga, 


in Lancaster County, November 12, 1724; Oley, fifty-five 
miles northwest of Philadelphia, in Berks County, 1732; Great 
Sw^amp, Bucks County, 1733; Amwell, New Jersey, 1733; 
Cocalico, in Lancaster County, 1734; White Oak, in Lancaster 
County, 1736; Little Conewago, York County, 1738; Big Con- 
ewago, York County, 1741; Northkill, in Berks County, in 
1748; Big Swatara, Lancaster County, in 1756; Little Swatara, 
b Berks and Lancaster Counties, in 1757; Codorus, in York 
County, in 1758; Bermudian, in York County, in 1758; and 
probaljly Stony Creek (Brothers Valley), Somerset County, 
in 1762; also Antietam, in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and 
Washington County, Maryland, in 1752. 

We also find settlements of Brethren in Morrison's Cove, 
Blair and Bedford Counties before the Revolution. 

Thus we find them gradually moving westward, settling 
valley after valley, until they reached the foot of the Alle- 
ghany Mountains, which, for a while, seemed to retard their 
westward progress. A number followed these valleys south- 
westward, thus settling in Maryland and Virginia. But before 
the close of the eighteenth century a number of these hardy 
pioneers ventured to scale the Alleghanies to see what lay 
beyond. Their early activities will be the subject of the next 


Early Settlements of the Brethren in Western 

" Westward the course of empire wends its way " is an 
old saying, verified in all history, and as we are writing the 
history of the Brethren in Western Pennsylvania, we naturally 
look to the East as the place where our forefathers came from. 
As has been noted in Chapter II, the first Brethren churches 
in America were located near the City of Brotherly Love. 
Among them were the churches at Germantown and Coventry, 
in Pennsylvania, and Amwell in New Jersey. From these 
beginnings the Brethren moved westward through the counties 
of Eastern, or rather Southeastern Pennsylvania, to the Sus- 
quehanna River, thence sought out the fertile valleys lying 
between the numerous ridges and mountains of Central Penn- 
sylvania, such as the Cumberland Valley, Morrison's Cove, 
Stone Valley, Sinking Valley, and others, thus reaching the 
most noted chain of the Appalachian System, the Alleghanies. 
It would seem that for some time these high mountains had 
formed a barrier to the westw^ard flow of emigration. During 
this lull, however, the stream continually gathered force and 
some time in the eighteenth century, probably soon after the 
middle of it, the tide had risen to such strength that the Breth- 
ren began to scale the obstructing mountains, and commenced 
the settlements in Western Pennsylvania. In crossing the 
mountains a number of dififerent routes w^ere used, a few of 
which we will note: The National Pike, the Somerset and 
Berlin Roads, the Johnstown and Bedford Road, the Kittan- 
ning and Ebensburg Pike — these and some others were used 
by the early settlers in Western Pennsylvania. 

When the State was divided into three districts, the Al- 


leghanies formed the dividing line between Middle and Wes- 
tern Pennsylvania. That part of the Middle District, em- 
braced in what is known as the Dunnings Creek valley of Bed- 
ford County, was attached to the Western District several 
years later, for the convenience of meeting in the Annual Dis- 
trict Conferences of the Church. 


The early settlements usually took names from appella- 
tions applied to physical peculiarities of the region. We will 
first take up the most northern section, which in its early his- 
tory covered the territory embraced along the lower course 
of the Stony Creek, in Somerset County, nearly all of Cam- 
bria County and a part of Indiana County. This settlement, as 
well as the church later organized here, was named Cone- 
maugh, after its principal river, the Conemaugh. It is not 
known at this time who were the first Brethren to brave the 
dangers and hardships of this new wilderness country, and 
carve for themselves homes out of the virgin forest. It is 
quite possible that a church was organized here in the latter 
part of the eighteenth century. If not, it was early in the 

The region now embraced by the Shade Creek and Scalp 
Level congregations w'as at that time also a part of the Cone- 
maugh congregation. One of the first families mentioned as 
living in this territory is that of Philip Hoflfman, who moved 
from Morrison's Cove, and who was a brother-in-law of 
Martin Miller, a minister of Morrison's Cove, and father of 
I'Jdcr Jacob Miller, who for many years exercised the over- 
sight of what now comprises Woodbury, Yellow Creek and 
Dunnings Creek congregations, in Bedford County. 

Philip Hoflfman had two sons, Jacob and John, and the fol- 
lowing daughters : Mary, Catharine, Susan. Barbara. Mattie. 
Elizabeth, Christina, Frany and Sally. Probably all the Hofif- 
mans in Shade and Scalp Level churches are descendants of 
these two brothers. John married Susan Wcrtz, and died 
early in life, leaving three interesting sons: .Samuel, Jacob, 


who served the church many years as a deacon, and Aaron, 
who moved to Indiana, where he became a minister, but died 
in the prime of Hfe. The descendants of Jacob are also very 
numerous. Among the descendants of the Hofifman daughters 
might be named the Holsopples, Fyocks, Seeses, Beabeses, 
Shaffers, Statlers, and others. 


As to the beginning of settlements by the Brethren in 
" The Glades," now Somerset County, here is a quotation 
from Dr. Brumbaugh : " The first movement of the Brethren 
across the Alleghany Mountains in Pennsylvania was to 
Briiederdall, Brothers Valley, in what is now Somerset Coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania. About 1762 this congregation began under 
George Adam Martin. He was, at this time, a Seventh Day 
Baptist, and the congregation at the beginning held to the 
same doctrine. They soon, however, returned to the practice 
and faith of the Brethren Church. The number of members, 
in 1770, was seventeen; Elder George Adam Martin and wife, 
Henry Roth, Sr., wife and daughter, Henry Roth, Jr., and 
wife, George Newcomer, Philip Aswald, wife and daughter, 

Abraham Gebel and wife, Philip Kimmel and wife, 

Wildebarger and wife. 

" George Adam Martin had a curious history. He was 
converted, and joined the church at Coventry. He was born 
near Lundsthal, in Germany, in 1715, and came to America 
at an early day. He was a member of the Reformed congre- 
gation under Peter Miller in the Tulpehocken country. He 
was baptized in 1735, and was ordained by Elder Peter Becker, 
in 1739. He lived first in the Coventry church, later in the 
Conestoga church. Thence he removed to Little Conewago. He 
served the Conewago congregation. In this district he had some 
misunderstanding with the Brethren and removed to the An- 
tietam congregation, then almost wholly in Maryland. Here, 
in 1762, he adopted the Seventh Day view and preached to the 
Bermudian church. The same year he removed to Stony 
Creek. He married one of the Knippers (Kneppers) and was 
the father of many children. 


" He has left a long account of his activity in the church, 
and gives a reason for his change of faith. It was he that sug- 
gested to Martin Urner the 18th of Matthew at the baptismal 
service, and it was he that attended the Zinzendorf Synod at 
Oley, and returning, suggested to Elder Urner the holding 
of the first Annual Meeting in 1742." 

Next I will quote from Elder H. R. Holsinger's " History 
of the Tunkers and the Brethren Church." " In the spring 
of 1783 a young Tunker deacon, by the name of John Keagy, 
emigrated from York County, Pennsylvania, to the back- 
woods of Somerset County (then Bedford), into the valley 
lying between the Alleghany and Negro Mountains, and lo- 
cated at a point about thirteen miles south of the ancient vil- 
lage of Berlin. At the time of his arrival there were living in 
the vicinity a few scattered members of the same denomina- 
tion. One of these was John Burger, who lived on the farm 
now known as the Buechlcy estate.. In the fall of the same 
year some ministering brethren from the east visited Brother 
Keagy, hunted up the other members in the valley, and held a 
love feast at the home of John Burger, and organized the little 
band into a church. Keagy was promoted to the ministry, and 
another brother was elected deacon. This was the first com- 
munion meeting held by the Tunkers west of the Alleghany 

" Peter Livengood, John dinger, Michael Buechley, and 
Christian Hochstetler, all of them members of the Amish 
Church, had preceded Keagy. The four families soon after 
united with the Tunkers, and Livengood, Buechley and Hoch- 
stetler were called to the ministry. From this time onward 
the church grew rapidly, extending her borders southward 
into Maryland, and across the neck into West Virginia, and 
northward to the Conemaugh. Sometime afterward a separate 
church was organized on the south called Sandy Creek; and. 
later on, Conemaugh was struck off into a separate congrega- 
tion. Keagy was ordained bishop in 1700, and in the fall of 
1806 he emigrated to the vicinity of Dayton. Ohio. Michael 
Meyers, who had emigrated from Lebanon County in his 


youth, was ordained to take the place of Elder Keagy, and 
was, consequently, the second elder living in this valley. He 
presided over an extensive membership for thirty years. He 
died in the spring of 1836. In the fall of the same year Peter 
Cober and John Forney were ordained. John Forney died 
in 1847, and Jacob Meyers, son of Elder Michael Meyers, was 
ordained to the eldership. 

" The farm occupied by John Burger at the time of the 
organization above referred to is now covered by the beautiful 
town of Meyersdale, and contains two Tunker churches (one 
Conservative and one Progressive), and more members to 
the square acre than any other territory in the United States. 

" An incident occurred in a part of the territory de- 
scribed above, which is worth recording. The Tunkers were, 
from the beginning, great missionary people in their own way, 
Their method was peculiar to themselves. They called it 
visiting neighboring churches, and in olden times all the 
churches of Pennsylvania constituted the neighborhood, or 
mission field. It was quite common for ministers from 
Franklin, Cumberland, and other eastern counties to visit, once 
a year, the churches beyond the Alleghanies. During one of 
these mission tours, Elder George Price, grandfather of Elder 
Isaac Price, and others had been visiting the churches in the 
' Glades.' On their homeward journey they found it necessary 
to stop at a hotel. They were politely informed by the land- 
lord that the house was promised for a dance that night, and 
he feared they could not be made comfortable. But it was 
growing late and it was seven miles to the next tavern, where 
the accommodations were not so good for man or beast. They 
seemed inclined to remain. The landlord remarked that his 
accommodations were ample, if the music and dancing would 
not disturb them. One of the old men remarked that neither 
the music nor dancing would keep him awake, if nothing of 
a more annoying kind should follow ; and so they all said. 

" After supper the landlord came to their room and stated 
that the leader of the dancing party desired to see them. He 
was invited up, and, after a brief interview, he requested that 


a few of his friends might also be permitted to enjoy their 
company. This was readily acceded to, and after a number 
had collected in the room, it was proposed to postpone the 
dance, and the old man was invited to ])reach ; and preach and 
pray they did, Init further deponent saith not. Eternity may 
reveal the results, but the Lord has declared that ' bread cast 
upon the waters shall not return to him void ' ; and from the 
numerous crumbs scattered abroad by the pioneer Tunker 
preachers a wonderful sentiment has obtained, and a numerous 
meml)ership is scattered over the territory included between the 
Alleghany Mountains and the Ohio River." 


Elder George Wolfe and family, who were c^f German 
descent, moved from Lancaster County, across the Alleghany 
Mountains, and settled near Uniontown, the county seat of 
Fayette County, in the year 1787. \\'hat is the extent of his 
ministerial labors is not known, but he remained here thirteen 
years. In 1800 Elder W'olfe with his family started down the 
Ohio Ri\er, landing in Muhlenburgh County, Kentucky, 
where they lived a number of years, and then went on to Illi- 


Elder John Wise, who grew to manhood and spent much 
of his life in this county, is authority for what I will here re- 
cord. At the Des Moines (Iowa) Annual Meeting, in 1908. 
the last one he ever attended, I had a lengthy interview with 
him concerning the early histor}^ of Western Pennsylvania. 
He was then past 86 years of age, but his mind was clear and 
he made his statements without hesitation. He told me that 
the Ten Mile congregation was organized about 1759 or 1760. 
He also said that a man by the name of Helft was the first 
elder. The old brick meetinghouse, he said, was built in 1832. 
I give these statements as I received them from I'.lder Wise. 
If these statements are correct, as I supi)ose they are, this ])uts 
the Ten Mile congregation at the head as the oldest congrega- 


tion in Western Pennsylvania, and the brick meetinghouse as 
the first one erected west of the Alleghany Mountains. 

GREENE COUNTY.— The Eckerly Brothers. 

We find the following account of them in Sherman Day's 
" Historical Collections of Pennsylvania," published in 1843 : 

" These men, ' Dunkards ' by profession, left the eastern 
and cultivated parts of Pennsylvania, and plunged into the 
depth of the western wilderness. Their first permament camp 
was on a creek flowing into the Monongahela River in the 
southwestern part of Pennsylvania (Greene County), to which 
stream they gave the name of ' Dunkards Creek,' which it 
still bears. 

"These men of peace employed themselves in exploring 
the country in every direction in which one vast uncultivated 
waste spread around them. From Dunkards Creek these men 
removed to Dunkards Bottom on Cheat River, where they 
made their permanent residence, and with a savage war raging 
at no considerable distance, they spent some years unmolested 
— indeed, it is probable, unseen. 

" In order to obtain some supplies of salt, ammunition 
and clothing, Dr. Eckerly recrossed the mountains with some 
peltry. On his return from \Mnchester to rejoin his broth- 
ers, he stopped on the South Branch of the Potomac at Fort 
Pleasant and aroused the curiosity of the inhabitants by re- 
lating his adventures, removals and present residence. His 
avowed pacific principles, as religious principles have every- 
where else done, exposed him to suspicion, and he was de- 
tained as a confederate of the Indians, and as a spy come to 
examine the frontier and its defences. 

" In vain did Dr. Eckerly assert his innocence of any con- 
nection with the Indians — that, on the contrary', neither he nor 
his brothers had ever seen any Indians since their residence 
west of the mountains. He could not obtain his liberty until, 
by his own suggestion, he was escorted by a guard of armed 
men who were to reconduct him a prisoner to Fort Pleasant, 
in case of any confirmation of the charges against him. 


" These arbitrar)^ proceedings, though in themselves very 
unjust, it is probalile saved the Hfe of Dr. Eckerly, and his 
innocence was made manifest in a most shocking manner. 
Approaching the cabin he had left v^here he anxiously hoped 
to find his brothers, himself and his guard were presented 
with a heap of ashes. In the yard lay the mangled and putrid 
remains of the two brothers, and, as if to add to the horrors 
of the scene, beside the corpses lay the hoops on which the 
scalps had been dried. Dr. Eckerly and the now sympathizing 
men buried the remains, but a forlorn and desolate man re- 
turned to the South Branch. This was among the opening 
scenes of that lengthened tragedy which was enacted through 
upwards of thirty years." 


Western Pennsylvania. 

As a district Western Pennsylvania embraces fully one- 
third of the area of the whole State. When, in compliance 
with Annual Meeting recommendations, the State was divided 
into three State Districts, in 1866, the Alleghany Mountains 
naturally became the line between Middle and Western Penn- 
sylvania. Since then, in 1874, for the sake of convenience, the 
Dunnings Creek congregation, located in the western part of 
Bedford County, was added to the District. 

The counties composing the District are Erie, Crawford, 
Warren, McKean, Mercer, Venango, Forest, Elk, Cameron, 
Lawrence, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Armstrong. Jefferson, 
Clearfield, Washington, Allegheny, W^estmoreland, Indiana, 
Cambria, Greene, Fayette, Somerset and a part of Bedford 
Counties in Pennsylvania, and parts of Marshall, Wetzel and 
Monongalia Counties in West Virginia. Since transferring the 
Ryerson Station congregation, which at one time comprised 
a large part of Greene County, Pennsylvania, and parts of 
Marshall and Wetzel Counties, West Virginia, to the Second 
District of West Virginia in 1913, the only congregation out- 
side of the State belonging to the District is the Mt. Union, in 
Monongalia County, West Virginia. At one time the Sandy 
Creek congregation, Preston County, West Virginia, extended 
into the District, but since the Markleysburg congregation 
was organized, in 1879, the State line is the line between the 
two congregations. It would seem, too, that prior to 1849 the 
" Glades " church of Somerset County extended into Garrett 
County, Maryland. Prior to 1883 the Glen Hope Mission in 
Clearfield County, now the Chess Creek congregation, be- 
longed to Middle Pennsylvania. 


The congregations and the counties in which they are 
located are as follows : In Bedford County, Dunnings Creek ; 
in Somerset County, Majjle CAen, Elk Lick, Summit Mills, 
Meyersdale, Greenville (partly in Bedford County), Berlin, 
Brothers Valley, Somerset, Middle Creek, Stony Creek, 
Quemahoning, Rummel, Shade and Scalp Level (the latter 
partly in Cambria County) ; Somerset and Stony Creek con- 
gregations have been consolidated with Brothers Valley ; in 
Fayette County, Markleysburg, Trout Run and Georges 
Creek; along the Fayette and W^estmoreland line and j^artly 
in both counties, Indian Creek and Jacobs Creek ; in Mononga- 
lia County, West Virginia, Mount Union ; in Westmoreland 
County, Ligonier Valley and Greensburg; in W^ashington 
County, Ten Mile; in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh; in Cam- 
bria County, Conemaugh, Johnstown, West Johnstown, Mor- 
rellville and Pleasant Hill ; Conemaugh has been consolidated 
with Johnstown ; in Indiana County, Manor, Montgomery and 
Bolivar, the latter partly in Westmoreland County ; in Clear- 
field County, Chess Creek and Rockton ; in Jefferson, She- 
mokin (disorganized) ; in Armstrong County, Cowanshan- 
nock, Red Bank, Glade Run, Brush Valley and Plum Creek, 
part of which is in Indiana ; Brush Valley was consolidated 
with Glade Run and Cowanshannock with Plum Creek ; in 
Clarion County, Clarion (disorganized). The District Meet- 
ing Minutes also show that there was a congregation named 
Fayette. It appears first in 1889, when it is represented by 
letter. From then to 1897, when it was dropped from the list 
of churches, it was not once represented by delegate. 

Altogether there have been forty- four congregations. At 
the present time there arc thirty-five, with prospects of several 
new ones soon. About the time that the Clarion and Cowan- 
shannock congregations were pros])cr()us and active, we had 
scattered members in nearly all of the northern and western 
counties of the District. Now there are fifteen counties with- 
out an organize<l church. 

Emigration to .States farther west has been one cause of 
weakening many, and disorganizing a few, of our congrega- 


tions. Today many of our members, both lay members and 
officials (or their descendants) are found in practically every 
State where organizations exist. A number of congregations 
have been organized by members from this District. Since 
churches are no longer established in our territory through 
emigration, we will have to pursue a different method if we 
ever hope to dot the northern portion of the State with 
churches of the Brethren. Our Home Mission Board must be 
supplied with sufficient money to constantly keep a number of 
strong missionary evangelists in the field, opening new points, 
and erect houses of worship as fast as promising points are 




Much of the history of this congregation is given in the 
history of the Brothers Valley congregation, by Elder W. G. 
Shrock. It is therefore needless to repeat it here. When, in 
1849, the county was subdivided into four large congregations, 
that division of which Berlin was the central point and chief 
town naturally took the name " Berlin." Though this section 
was also known by the names of " Glades " and " Brothers 
Valley," its correct name was " Berlin " and this is the name 
used in the Minutes of the District Meetings until the further 
division- in 1880. Berlin congregation, at that time, was 
bounded by the Elk Lick, Middle Creek, Quemahoning, Shade 
Creek and Dunnings Creek (the latter in Bedford County) 
congregations, and embraced Brothers Valley, Stony Creek 
and parts of Somerset and other townships. 

Beginning with the settlement of the first Brethren in 
the " Glades," in about 1762, under Elder George Adam 
Martin, to 1880, a period of one hundred and eighteen years, 
the church enjoyed a healthy and substantial growth. As 
evidences of its influence and aggressiveness we note its growth 
in numbers, the erection of large, substantial meetinghouses, 
early organization of Sunday-school, its strong ministry and 
the fact that so many who had been reared in other denom- 
inations united with its communion — a number becoming pil- 
lars in the church. It is also a well-established fact that the 
valley and the township took their names from the Tunkers, 
who invariably called themselves " Brethren " ; hence the 
name Brethren's Valley, or Brothers' Valley. A postoffice 


in the township, by tlic name of I'.rotlierton, was in existence 
a number of years. 

So far as can l)e ascertained the following elders presided 
over the Berlin congregation : Michael Meyers, Peter Cober, 
John Forney, Sr., Jacob Meyers and Jacob Blough. Other 
active elders and ministers were: John P. Cober, Solomon 
Knepper, Daniel P. Walker, Ephraim Cober, George Schrock, 
\\^illiam Sevits, Peter Musser, Henry R. Holsingcr, Joseph 
W. Beer, Solomon J. Baer and Michael Weyandt. 

Here I take the liberty to quote from Elder H. R. Hol- 
singer's " History of the Tunkers " : " The church increased 
in numbers, from time to time, until, in 1880, it had a mem- 
bership of over four hundred. Then it was deemed proper 
to subdivide the territory. This was accomplished at a council 
meeting appointed for the ])urpose on October 9, 1880. Com- 
mittees were appointed to name the boundaries and report to 
the next council meeting, on the 23rd of the same month. 

" The meeting of the 23rd was i)resided over by Elder 
P. J. Brown, of Ohio. The committee on boundaries reported 
the lines of four separate congregations, and the report was 
unanimously adopted, with a few amendments. 

"The names adopted by the several branches were: 1. 
Berlin church, embracing the town of Berlin, the meetinghouse 
known as Peter IJeeghly's (Schmaltz Thai), and the appoint- 
ment at Custer's. The officers were : Ministers, Dr. John P. 
Cober and H. R. Holsinger; deacons, John J. Bittner, Jacol) 
Musser, Joseph G. Coleman and Peter Beeghl}-. with a mem- 
bership of one hundred and fifty. 

"2. Stony Creek church. The territory occupied by this 
congregation is Ijounded on the south by the I'erlin church, on 
the east by Dunnings Creek, on the north by Shade, and on the 
west by Brothers Valley and .Somerset churches. Josiah 
Kimmel, Abram J. Miller, and Josejih L. Kimmel were t!ie 
deacons. There were no ministers, but a momborship of about 
seventy-five, with two meetinghouses. 

"3. Somerset church. This congregation is surrounded by 
Brothers Valley, vStony Creek, Quemahoning and Middle 



Creek churches. Micliael Weyandt and Solomon J. Baer, 
ministers ; Wilham N. Trent and Philip F. Cupp, deacons ; 
with a meml)ershi[) of aliout seventy-five, and one meeting- 

" 4. Brothers Valley. This congregation is bounded by 
the other three congregations, and Quemahoning on the north. 
Its officers were Elder Jacob IMough, George Schrock, William 
Sevits, and Daniel P. Walker, ministers ; and Lewis J. Knep- 
per, William G. Schr(jck, John S. Meyers, and Samuel F. 
Reiman, deacons. It had a membership of about one hundred, 
and two houses of worship." 

Garrett Church, Berlin Congregation. 

The new congregation comprised parts of Brothers Val- 
ley and Summit Townships and the towns of Berlin and 
Garrett. This congregation was one of the centers of the 
Progressive clement. January 1, 1881, John H. Knepper was 
called to the ministry, and as nearly as can be ascertained 
Brethren W. H. Cober and Alvin Cober were also elected be- 


fore the division was effected. In the division the Progres- 
sives took probably about half the membership. The Con- 
servatives held the meetinghouse at Peter Beeghly's, and their 
officials were Elder John P. Cober, minister, W. H. Cober, 
and Deacons Peter Beeghly and Joseph G. Coleman. Elder 
Cober reorganized the church and for a number years the 
preaching was done principally by the ministers from the 
Brothers Valley and Summit Mills congregations, jointly. In 
1893 (March 23) Dr. R. T. I'oUard moved into the congre- 
gation, and helped along with the ministerial duties. 

In September, 1899, Warren W. Blough was elected to 
the ministry, and for a number of years did the ])reaching, 
being the partially supported pastor. Brother Daniel W. Long 
was elected in 1908, and accepted the call. Other brethren 
called to the ministry at dififerent times, but who did not ac- 
cept the call of the church were: Jerome H. Judy, Lee W. 
Pollard, William L. Judy and William H. Miller. Since 
Elder Blough moved West in 1909, the pastoral work has been 
done, first, by Galen K. Walker; second, by J. J. Shaffer; 
third, by Brethren Pollard and Long; fourth, by Elder D. H. 
Walker. April 1, 1915, the present pastor, B. F. Waltz, took 
up the work. Garrett now has preaching every Sunday and 
Beachdale every two weeks. Brother Long has moved into 
the Meyersdale congregation. 

The following elders have had charge of the church ; 
John P. Cober, Joel Gnagey, R. T. Pollard, J. J. Shaffer (1911 
and 1912), and R. T. Pollard again. Deacons have been elected 
as follows : Francis Brant, Levi Lee, Jerome H. Judy, Henry 
Yoder, Hiram Brant, William Cassel, John Long and John 
Fisher. In 1901 William H. Miller, a deacon, moved in from 
the Plum Creek congregation. With the exce]>tion of Francis 
Brant this is the present board of deacons. 

The first Beachdale (Schmaltz Thai) meetinghouse was 
built many years ago. At different times two additions were 
built to it and in 18S1 it was arrani^cd suitable for love-feast 
purposes. In 1911 a fine new church, costing about $4,000. 
was erected to take the place of the old one. It was dedi- 



Beachdale Church, Berlin Cong:reg'ation. 

cated by J. H. Cassady, September 24, 1911. In 1895 a 
church was erected in Garrett, which was dedicated by Dr. 
Martin G. Brumbaugh, our present Governor. Thus the con- 
gregation now has two good meetinghouses, two Hve Sunday- 
schools, two weekly prayer meetings, two teacher training 
classes, and one Sewing Circle, with a membership of one 
hundred and fifty-eight. The church is in a fine working con- 


It would appear that Bolivar church was organized as 
a separate congregation about 1887. Elder George Hanawalt 
had the oversight of the church until 1900, when Joseph Hol- 
sopple received the appointment. In 1887, or a little later, 
Robert B. Bowser moved in, having been elected to the min- 
istry in the Brush Valley arm of the Glade Run congrega- 
tion. He was a fluent speaker, but somewhat capricious. 
When he came to Bolivar the members were captivated, and 
called him as pastor. He held a revival and baptized quite a 
number of converts, and seemed to be getting along nicely, 
when it was discovered that he had not been advanced to the 


second degree of the ministry' and had not been authorized 
to baptize. A council was called and the case considered. It 
was found that old Brother Jacob Dell, a minister in the 
second degree, had been present at the baptism and had given 
his consent, and as the applicants had come forward in good 
faith, the council confirmed the work, and Brother Bowser 
was advanced to the second degree. After some more compli- 
cations, caused by Stephen Hildebrand, a Progressive min- 
ister, moving in and holding meetings, and baptizing a few 
I)eoi)le, Brother Bowser began to deride some of the principles 
of the church, and it became necessary for the church to call 
in some elders to see him. This resulted in his withdrawal 
and an effort to carry the membership with him to the 
Winebrennarians, the church to which his wife belonged. 
This was about 1891. 

This left the work in bad shape. Elder Joseph Holso])ple, 
who now had the oversight, met with i)artial success at recon- 
struction. Some of the officers, who had become weary, took 
hold of the work again. During all this time a fairly suc- 
cessful Sunday-school was maintained. Silas S. Blough faith- 
fully preached for them until he was called to the Pittsburgh 
Mission. This was the last years of the i)ast century. After 
this Abraham Fyock, of Johnstown, Pa., took up the work. 
Elder Jonathan D. Myers, of Iowa, now moxed in. and l-Jdcr 
Holsopple, being handicapped l)y bodily infirmities, after hold- 
ing an election for deacon, resigned. Elder Myers soon moved 
away, and the oversight devolved on Elder Abraham Fyock. 
who continued the pastorate. William liaird, in 1880, and 
Abraham Yager, in 1885, were elected deacons. 

The deed for the church lot was made January 9, 1887, 
to Hiram Musselman, James Thompson, Michael Shetler and 
Jacob Dell. April 8. 1888, James Thomp.son and James I. 
Brett were elected deacons, and W. M. O'Leary, minister. 
October 3, 1891, Jacob Dell and A. D. Lichtenfels were elect- 
ed deacons. October 2, 1902, Elvin McGraw and W. J. 
Brendlinger were elected deacons, and on April 7, 1906, R. 
T. Brendlinger, and April 3, 1908, Chal D. Brendlinger, James 


N. Betts and Harry T. Montgomery were elected to the same 
office. In 1898 Michael Shetler was restored to the deacon of- 
fice. November 17, 1906, W. J. Brendlinger was elected to 
the ministry. April 1, 1911, C. A. McDowell became the 
pastor of the congregation, and was ordained to the elder- 
ship July 19, 1913, by W. M. Howe and J. J. Shafifer. David 
L. Little, who had been baptized here, moved to the Aughwick 
congregation, where he was elected to the ministry in 1910. 
He returned to the Bolivar congregation in 1912, and- is now 
living at Vandergrift. 

Elders had charge as follows : Joseph Berkey, from 1878 
to 1886; George Hanawalt, from 1886 to 1900; Joseph 
Holsopple, from 1900 to 1903; J. D. Meyers, from 1903 to 
1904; Abraham Fyock, from 1904 to 1908; S. U. Shober, from 
1908 to 1912; W. M. Howe, from 1912 to 1914, and H. S. 
Replogle, from 1914 to the present. 

The first Sunday-school was opened by Theophilus 
Heiple in May, 1886, with John L. Brendlinger, superinten- 
dent, and Abraham Yager, assistant. 

Considerable of the early histor}^ of this congregation 
is contained in the history of the Ligonier Valley congre- 
gation, as they at the beginning were one. 

A Sunday-school, numbering nearly one hundred and 
fifty, is maintained the wdiole year; also a Christian Workers' 
Meeting, a ^Sisters' Aid Society and a weekly prayer meeting. 
In the spring of 1915 Elder C. A. McDowell moved to the 
Quemahoning congregation, taking up pastoral work at Sipes- 

As noted in the Ligonier history, the meetinghouse at 
Bolivar was erected in 1886. 


By Elder W. G. Schrock. 

The history of the Brothers Valley congregation dates 
from the latter part of the eighteenth century. At this time 
some members of the Church of tlie Brethren settled west 


of the Alleghany Mountains, in what was then known as the 
Stony Creek and Brothers Valley " Glades." Among them- 
selves they named their new home " Rrueders Thai " — Broth- 
ers Valley. This name may have originated with the Indians, 
who called them the " White Brothers of the Valley." Later 
on, when new townships were created, the principal part of 
the " Glades " was taken up and named Stony Creek and 
Brothers Valley. Stony Creek, the principal stream, drain- 
ing nearly all of this vast territory, has its source in Pius 
Spring, in Berlin. This may account for the name of the new 
township, taken from Brothers Valley in 1792, heing called 
Stony Creek. Thus we account for the different names, 
" Glades," " Berlin " and " Brothers Valley," the last one the 
most endearing of all. 

First Settlers, 1762. 

Among the first settlers that came from the East across 
the Alleghany Mountains into Somerset County, about 1762 
or 1763, was a colony of Brethren, who settled in the northern 
part of what was then called " The Glades." By our church 
historian it is named Stony Creek church. The colony al- 
luded to above consisted of seventeen members, and was led 
by and under the care of Elder George Adam Martin. In 
Dr. Brumbaugh's " History of the Church of the Brethren " 
we have this statement: "About 1762 this congregation be- 
gan under TLlder George Adam Martin. The number of mem- 
bers in 1770 was seventeen ; namely, George Adam Martin and 
wife, Henry Roth, wife and daughter, Henry Roth, Jr., and 
wife, George Newcomer, Philip Aswald, wife and daughter, 
Abram Gebel and wife, Philij) Kimmel and wife, and a Broth- 
er Wildel)arger and wife." Elder Martin was baptized in 
1735, and ordained by Elder Peter P)eckcr in 1739. His wife's 
maiden name was Knijjpcr (Kne])per). He was a man of 
strong convictions, a fine scholar, a natural orator and a ready 
writer, well adapted by nature for a pioneer leader. 

From 1763 to 1770 a general Indian outbreak caused 
much trouble amcmg the first settlers on this side of the nidun- 


tain, and it is surmised that the colony was scattered and 
driven out for the time being. At least we have no further 
record of them. However, it is probable that some very fa- 
miliar names, somewhat modernized in spelling and pro- 
nunciation, such as the Rhoadeses, Cables, Kimmels, Knep- 
pers, and others, have come down to us from these pioneers. 
All these names are found upon our church records, and their 
descendants are living in our congregation at the present time. 

1770 to 1825. 
From 1770 to 1825 this church has no written record, 
and all we know is by tradition. Many of the church fath- 
ers, who were earnest workers for the Master during this 
period, have left us no data for writing up a church history 
of Brothers Valley. There is a wide gap between the time 
when Elder Martin passed away and 1825, of which, very little 
is known to the present generation, however important and in- 
teresting it might be to coming generations. During this 
period the church increased in membership, both by immi- 
gration and conversions. In less than seventy-five years, from 
the time the first Brethren crossed the mountains, they were 
found in many parts of Somerset County and even beyond. 
If we can in the least rely upon tradition, the church's activity 
centered around Berlin later. That probably accounts for 
the first meetinghouse being built in that vicinity, and the 
congregation being called Berlin. Up to 1825 this large ter- 
ritory was without system and unorganized. Yet we have 
reasons to believe, novvithstanding the disadvantages those 
pioneer preachers labored under, that it was marvelous, in- 
deed, how the church must have prospered, while many of the 
old churches of today, with improved modern methods of 
work, scarcely hold their own. 

1825 to 1849. 

It is a question in the mind of the writer who succeeded 
Elder Martin in the eldership. From the best information ob- 
tainable, Michael Meyers, a resident minister near Berlin, was 
ordained about the year 1800, and had the oversight of the 










! 1 




I 1 


I ■ 








The Old <;r<>ve Clmroh, Berlin Conirreffation, Built 1845. 

church for a quarter of a century, or longer. It would seem that 
the next in order of time to he ordained were Peter Coher and 
John h^orney, Sr., in 1837. This brings us up to 1849, when 
Somerset County was divided into four local congregations. In 
that early day of the history of the church itinerant ])rcaching 
was largely in vogue in most of the churches. Members were 
regularly visited by ])reachers, and all the services were held 
in private houses, barns or schoolhouses, and nearly all con- 
ducted in the German language. The Word preached was 
greatly blessed of God, so that private houses for worship 
could in many places no longer accommodate the people. To 
solve this problem the Brethren built a large meetinghouse, in 
1845, in sight of Berlin, and called it the Grove house. In this 
house regular services were held for sixty-two years. Here 
the first District Meeting of the District convened November 
5, 1866, and the first Sunday-school Convention of the District 
convened here September 23 and 24, 1879. Many succeed- 
ing similar meetings were held here. 

In 1849 the Annual Meeting of the entire Brotherhood 
was held in the Grove house. At this meeting a committee was 
appointed to consider the propriety of dividing the county into 
separate congregations. The committee was made up of the 
following brethren: Peter Long, Andrew Spanogle and John 
Holsinger of Pennsylvania, George Hoke and Henry Kurtz 


of Ohio, and Joseph Arnold and Jacob Byser of Virginia. In 
the history of Elk Lick is an account of the work done by this 
committee, which met at Berkley's Mills. Berlin congregation, 
as this division was named, contains Garrett, Beachdale and 
Berlin, and was bounded on the south by Elk Lick, on the 
north by Shade, on the west by Middle Creek, and on the 
east by the Bedford County line, with Berlin as the center of 

1849 to 1880. 

From 1849 to 1880 the following elders presided over the 
Berlin church: Peter Cober, Jacob Meyers, and Jacob Blough. 
Elder Blough was elected to the ministry in 1851, and ordained 
in 1868. Samuel Meyers and Jacob Good may have been 
deacons prior to 1849, and served in said office up to their 
death. The following ministers assisted in the work of the 
church during this period : John P. Cober, Ephraim Cober, 
Solomon Knepper, George Schrock, William Sevits, Michael 
Weyandt, Solomon Baer, Peter Musser, Daniel P. Walker, 
Henry R. Holsinger and Joseph W. Beer. Deacons elected 
prior to 1880: Lewis J. Knepper, Jacob Meyers, Joseph G. 
Coleman, John J. Bittner, Dr. John Beachley, Valentine 
Blough, Jacob Lichty, Jacob Musser, John S. Myers. Peter 
Beeghly, Josiah Kimmel, William N. Trent and Philip F. 
. Cupp. Most of the ministers named first served in the deacon 

1880 to 1915. 

In 1880 the old Berlin congregation was divided, as is 
noted in the history of that congregation. The same year an 
election was held for church officers. George Schrock and 
William Sevits were ordained to the eldership; W. G. Schrock 
and Samuel F. Reiman were elected to the ministry, and John 
J. Blauch and Daniel H. Walker, deacons. The organization 
now was : Elders, Jacob Blough, George Schrock, and William 
Sevits; ministers, Michael Weyandt, Daniel P. Walker, W. 
G. Schrock and S. F. Reiman ; deacons John J. Blauch, D. 
H. Walker, and the above-named brethren still living who had 
served prior to 1880. 



Elections for church officials have been as follows : For 
ministers— in 1886, D. H. Walker and Philip F. Cupp ; 1897, 
Perry U. Miller, Samuel U. .Shober and Ira D. S. Walker: 
19 — , George Reitz (was not installed) ; 1906, Galen K. Walker 
and John H. Fike (latter not installed) ; 1912, Lewis S. Knep- 
per and Ralph W. Reiman. Dr. Peter Musser, a minister, 
had moved into the congregation from Virginia during the 
seventies, but moved back again before the division. Ephraim 

Rayman C'hurcli. HrotluTs Valley Con£:regation. 

Cober. an able minister, who was reared here and called to the 
ministry, moved to Sabetha. Kansas, many years ago. Elder 
Joseph J. .Shaffer moved into the congregation from the .Sjiade 
Creek congregation in 1009, and Ananias J. I'eeghly also 
moved here frf)m Soullicrn Illinois, in 1909. ]'>rother Beegh- 
ly was for a number of years an active deacon in the Que- 
mahoning congregation, but moved to Illinois and was called 
to the ministry, and then returned to his native county. 

Deacons were elected as follows: In 1883, Cyrus H. 
Walker and Perry U. Miller; 188(). Jacob O. Kimmel. George 
J. Shrock, Christian Reitz. John F. Reiman and Jeremiah J. 
Reiman; 1896, George Reitz and Mahlon S. Reiman; 1897, 



Pike Church, Brothers Valley Congrregration. 

Uriah F. Rayman, Jacob M. Knepper, Emanuel M. Knepper 
and Sherman Peck; 1904, CHnton K. Shober, Jacob C. Rei- 
man, Allen F. Mostollar and George S. Reiman ; 1912, William 
W. Cupp, Alvin Knepper, Edward S. Schrock and H. N. 

Ordinations: In 1886, Michael Weyandt ; 1895, W. G. 
Schrock and S. F. Reiman; 1899, D. H. Walker; 1908, P. U. 
Miller and S. U. Shober. 

In 1903 a large brick love-feast house was erected at 
Brotherton, to take the place of the old Pike meetinghouse, 
which had been in use for, perhaps, nearly a half century, and 
by the side of which the Brethren have buried their dead for 
many years. This new church, being centrally located, also 
takes the place of the old Grove meetinghouse for love feasts 
and other large gatherings. In the spring of 1907 the old 
Grove house was razed to the ground, and a neat brick church 
now occupies the place. In addition to the Grove and Broth- 
erton houses, the congregation has the Salem house on the 
Ridge, and the Rayman house, near Friedens, and a share of 
the Summit house at Geiger Station, on the line between the 



New Grove ('liur<>li, |{rotll<'^^^ \ alley Congregation — J>:i.v of IJedioation. 

lirothcrs Valley and Middle Creek congregations, lloth con- 
gregations have half interests in this house. The first Summit 
house was built in 1885, and dedicated on Januar}'^ 31. 1886, 
by Elder James Quinter. Tiiis modest structure, after being 
in use twenty-eight and a half years, was replaced by a fine, 
modern brick edifice, in 1914. The new house is equipped for 
communion purposes and has Sunday-school classrooms, and 
is among the best in the county. Elder J. H. Cassady, of 
Huntingdon, preached the dedicatory sermon August 23, 1914, 
to a crowded house. 

The first .Sunday-school in the congregation was organ- 
ized in the Pike church, in 1865 or 18^)6, and the superintend- 
ents wpre \\^ G. Schrock .-Mid Lewis J. Knep]ier. At present 
there are evergreen .Sunday-schools at Brotherton. Raymans. 
Salem and .Summit — the last a half interest. Teacher training 
classes. Christian Workers' Meetings, and teachers' meetings, 
receive special attention. Temperance work also receives due 
attention, with a k)cal temperance committee. The writer, 
with a number of others, is especially interested in the tem- 
perance movement. 


The present officials are : Elders, W. G. Schrock, D. H. 
Walker, S. U. Shober, P. U. Miller and J. J. Shaffer; minis- 
ters, A. J. Beeghly, Lewis S. Knepper and Ralph \V. Reiman ; 
deacons, John S. Meyers, John F. Reiman, Jeremiah J. Rei- 
man, George Reitz, M. S. Reiman, J. M. Knepper, E. L. Knep- 
per, Sherman Peck, J. C. Reiman, A. F. Mostollar, G. S. 
Reiman, C. K. Shober, W. W. Cupp, A. R. Knepper, E. S. 
Schrock and H. N. Mostollar. 

Inasmuch as the church kept no records until 1880. it 
was impossible to give a clear and systematic outline of data 
and facts in regular order. Any errors or omissions in the 
above are due to oversight or want of better information. 


This congregation was located in Washington Township, 
Armstrong County, and constituted what was formerly the 
" John Settlement " of the Glade Run congregation. The 
Glade Run congregation was divided in 1881, and the new con- 
gregation, named Brush Valley, was organized the same year, 
being first found on the list of congregations the following 
year. The congregation had one meetinghouse. Some time 
in the eighties Robert B. Bowser was elected to the ministry, 
but after having labored only a few years removed to the 
Bolivar congregation. 

In the division the majority of the members went with 
the Progressives, and in 1892 the few that yet remained loyal 
were consolidated with their mother congregation. Glade Run, 
and Brush Valley ceased to exist as a separate organization. 
At the time of the organization this church had about eighty 

CHESS CREEK (Formerly Glen Hope). 

This congregation is situated in the southern part of 
Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. The first members located 
here were Charlotte and Amelia Kitchen, and Elizabeth Smead 
in the Chess Creek settlement about 1868, and Charles Lewis, 
near Gazzam. These members called for preaching. Mark 


Minser, of the Montgomery congregation, responded. Peter 
Beer and J. W. Spicher also preached here at an early day. 
J. B. A\ampler and J. \V. Smouse did some evangelistic work 
here. Josei)h Wilt, of the Middle District, also labored here 
in the vicinity of Glen Hope, and took an active interest in 
having a meetinghouse erected in 1885. Preaching was kept 
up here for some years, but some of the members died and 
others moved away, so that there were no meetings held for a 
long time. 

At the District Meeting in the Johnstown church, 1886, 
George Patterson, a minister, and Charles Lewis, a deacon, 
appeared as delegates from Glen Hope, the new congrega- 
tion organized in 1883. They asked to be attached to the 
Western District of Pennsylvania. Their desire was granted, 
and Elders Mark Minser and Peter Beer were appointed a 
committee to attend to their wants. 

Elder Peter Beer had the oversight of this congregation 
from its organization till his death in 1892, when the work 
dev(jlved on his son, J. H. Beer. When he resigned the Mis- 
sion Board gave the work into the hands of Elder Jacob Hol- 
sopple, who tried to work up the Glen Hope point and also 
looked into the prospects at Rose Bud, where there were still 
a few faithful members. Looking over the whole field he 
reported that Chess Creek settlement was decidedly the most 
promising point, and in 1902 the congregation was authorized 
to move the building to Five Points. This was done in 1903. 
Elder Holsopple died in 1905, and the Mission Board appoint- 
ed I'.ldcr S. P. Zimmerman over the work. 

In addition to those above named the following brethren 
have served in the ministry: S. A. Beeghley, T. G. McMasters 
and A. R. Kitchen. Those who have held the office of deacon 
are : John Eckles, Charles Lewis, Newel Davis. T. G. Mc- 
Masters, Joseph Patterson, A. L. Kitchen, D. C. Michael, J. Z. 
Kitchen. Jacob Beeghley. The present board of deacons is: 
Newel Davis, A. L. Kitchen, J. Z. Kitchen and John Haag. 
Tn 1915 Elder Zimmerman was superseded by J. W. Fyock 
as elder in charge. 



This congregation was located in Clarion County, but was 
not confined to this county, as there were members scattered 
westward in Butler, Lawrence, Mercer, Crawford, Venango, 
and even in Erie Counties. In the early forties of the past 
century some members from Huntingdon and Mifflin Counties 
moved to Clarion County. Not finding a Brethren Church 
here they called for a preacher from the East. Elder Andrew 
Spanogle, of Mifflin County, responded to their call, and after 
making several missionary tours he moved out himself. 
Brother Spanogle w^as a missionary in a double sense. While 
he carried the Gospel to these pioneers, he also bought a 
woolen mill and built a gristmill, thus encouraging sheep-rais- 
ing and agriculture. 

Brother Spandgle was a man of good report and apt to 
teach, so his labors in the ministry were quite successful. We 
do not know when the organization was effected. Elder 
Spanogle moved here in 1847. So did John Goodman and 
several other families. Spanogle moved back to Huntingdon 
County in 1849. In the meantime Brother John Goodman 
had been elected to the ministry. About 1852 David Eshel- 
man moved in, and a year later, his son Andrew, a deacon, 
settled at Salem, same county. About this time it seems the 
church was organized. Elder Eshelman's preaching was most- 
ly in German. Brother Goodman was a careful reasoner and 
very accurate in his eiforts. Elder Eshelman died at Mohrs- 
ville, Pennsylvania, at the age of seventy-two. Brother Good- 
man moved to Bond County, Illinois, where he died. 

Elder Eshelman often preached at Red Bank, Fryburg, 
and other points. He traveled long distances on horseback. 
In 1860, he in company wuth Joseph Shumaker, attended love 
feast at Shade and Conemaugh. George Wood was elected to 
the ministry about 1855, being the second minister elected. 
Soon after Elders Goodman and Eshelman moved away he 
was ordained to the eldershij). G. W. Shively was called to 
the ministry soon after Brother Wood. These two labored to- 


gether a long time. Brotlicr Shively was disabled by paralysis 
before the death of Elder W^ood. 

During the troublous times of the early eighties this 
church suffered irreparable loss. Disloyal preachers from 
other places came in and tried to get an estrangement worked 
up between the elder and the younger members. One of 
these succeeded in getting the majority of the members on 
his side ; then he suddenly decamped one night to escape 
violent treatment. Elder W'ood now labored to regain the con- 
fidence of the misled members, but they were so thoroughly 
influenced against him that they had no more confidence in 
either party. Brother C. A. Wood was elected to the min- 
istry some time before the death of his father. He made 
several unsuccessful efTorts to raise money to i)ut a new roof 
on the old meetinghouse. The church's influence was so much 
disturbed that he could not get satisfactory audiences, and so 
became discouraged and united with the Church of God and 
now preaches in Cleveland, Ohio. About half of the mem- 
bers went with the Progressives, but they have not made a 
success of the work. The loyal membership dwindled down 
until there were only a few members left. Joseph Holsopple 
and J. H. Beer at dififerent times had charge of the work. 
H. A. Stahl was sent there by the Mission Board, but lie 
found only a few disheartened members left, some having 
died and others united with other churches. 

The following brethren were called to the ministry at 
dififerent times, but did not lal)or in the office: Henry Cornish, 
Rali)h Boyer, Kd. Mail and John Swab. The following names 
have been handed in as deacons : Henry Kline, Ed. Mail. Isaiah 
Weder and John Swab. The following named visiting min- 
isters did more or less ])reaching for them: G. W. Brum- 
baugh, Samuel Lidy, J. \V. Ikumbaugh. Leonard Eurr}', 
Jose])h licrkey, Hiram Musselman. Samuel lirallier, Peter 
Beer, Jesse P. Hetrick and Samuel Wilt. This is a sad his- 
tory to record, but it shows us plainly the result of division 
and strife. 



The Conemaugh congregation, brief mention of which is 
made in Chapter III, ranks as one of the oldest in the District. 
According to the best inff)rmation obtainable, some members 
had located here before the close of the eighteenth century. 
Elder Peter Maugen (Morgan) moved here from Hagerstown, 
Maryland, about 1797, and bought a tract of land from Lud- 
wig Wissinger. For this tract of land, containing 120 acres, 
he secured a warrant, dated April 4, 1798, in which article the 
tract of land is called Society Hill. It was then situated in 
Quemahoning Township, Somerset County, but is now in Stony 
Creek Township, Cambria County. June 8, 1799, he paid a 
surveyor forty shillings for surveying said tract. Elder Mau- 
gen was one of the first ministers who settled in this part of 
the State. 

According to Howard Miller's " Record of the Faith- 
ful " this church was organized in 1810. It then embraced the 
northern part of Somerset County, all of Cambria County and 
the eastern part of Indiana County, or in other words, it in- 
cluded all the territory now occupied by Johnstown, West 
Johnstown, Morrellville, Pleasant Hill, Scalp Level, Rummel, 
Shade Creek and a part of Manor congregations, with a total 
membership of approximately 2,550. In addition to this the 
Brethren (Progressives) have in this same territory organ- 
izations in Johnstown, Moxham, Morrellville, Rosedale, Vinco, 
Pike, Windber, Conemaugh with about 1,750 members. 

John Mineely, an eighteen-year old son of " Erin," in 
order to escape military service came to America, and in 
October 6, 1809, married Elder Maugen's daughter Elizabeth. 
Young Mineely united with the church and became one of its 
earliest and most active ministers and elders. He settled above 
Conemaugh on a tract of land, which for years was called 
Mineely Hill, later Giffin Hill, and now Locust Grove. 

Levi Roberts, of W'elsh ancestry, who had come here 
with his parents in 1803, filled the offices of deacon, minister 
and elder in succession, and was for many years one of the 
prominent elders, not only in his home church, but also over 


Western Pennsylvania. Elder Roberts usually walked to his 
places of preaching. 

Jacob Stutzman, who came here from Franklin County, of 
German descent, and married Susan Ullery, also became one 
of the earnest and sincere early elders of the Conemaugh 
church. He settled on the west bank of the Stony Creek, on 
a farm that is now occupied by the eighth ward of the city of 
Johnstown. Here he erected a house 30x40 feet, two stories 
high, and fitted out the upper story for holding meetings and 
love feasts. His services were in the German language. 
These three elders, of three different nationalities, labored to- 
gether many years, and it is said they nearly always agreed 
on points of doctrine and church government. At one time, 
however, they disagreed on a certain point of doctrine. The 
dispute was continued for about a week, when they settled the 
difference among themselves, manifesting a good spirit. 

Daniel Ullery is rei)resented as having been an elder in 

Samuel Lidy, who lived on the banks of the Conemaugh 
River, just above where the town of East Conemaugh now 
stands, came on the scene of action a little later. Peter Lutz, 
an able preacher, lived near Vinco. It is said that he some- 
times went to church barefooted, which was not uncommon in 
those days. He moved to the West in 1844, and in 1856 was 
located at Keokuk, Iowa. David Albaugh, when well advanced 
in years, moved here from l^>lair County. He was a minister. 
He died March 2, 1867, aged 79 years, 6 months and 7 days, 
and is buried in Angus burying ground. Jacob O. Waters 
was elected here and followed Elders Stutzman and Roberts 
in the oversight of the church until he moved to Iowa, where 
he died in the Dry Creek church, Linn County, October 20, 
1872, aged 69 years, 3 months and 26 days. Samuel Berkey 
was probably elected in the Shade arm of the Conemaugh 
church, but after marrying Mary Stutzman, daughter of Eld- 
er Jacob Stutzman, lived on Benshoff Hill, wliore he died 
January 29, 1852. aged 26 years and 5 months. Abraham 
Stutzman, son of the elder Stutzman, was called to the min- 


istry, and subsequently to the eldership, and after Elder 
Waters moved West, became the elder in charge, until he, too, 
moved to Ohio. 

Other ministers elected (perhaps not in the order given) 
were: Eli Benshoff, Henry Goughnour, 1855, Lewis Cobaugh, 
1855; Aaron Berkebile, Solomon Benshoff, May 20, 1855; 
John M. Harshberger and Charles Roberts, Joseph S. Burk- 
hart, Stephen Hildebrand, July 4, 1865 ; William Byers, 1866 ; 
Samuel Shaffer, David Hildebrand, Benjamin Goughnour, 
1875 ; Dicen F. Ramsey and Daniel W. Crofford, May 3, 1877. 

Besides the above, Samuel Brallier and Daniel Brallier 
moved in from the Manor congregation, George Hanawalt, 
from near McVeytown, Pennsylvania, and Wesley A. Adams 
from the Middle Creek congregation. 

John Mineely died June 2, 1852, aged nearly 69 years, 
and was buried on his farm. Eli Benshoff died April 24, 
1855, aged 49 years, 6 months and 3 days, and is buried on 
Benshoff Hill. Jacob Stutzman died in 1859, at the age of 
82 years. He was buried in Benshoff Hill cemetery. Levi 
Roberts died December 6, 1860, aged 81 years, 9 months and 
27 days. He is buried in the Angus burying ground. Lewis 
Cobaugh died November 17, 1869, aged 36 years, 2 months and 
11 days. 

Henry Goughnour moved to Iowa ; Aaron Berkebile also 
moved West. Charles Roberts moved to Iowa, and subse- 
quently united with another denomination. Daniel Brallier 
moved to Altoona. Joseph S. Burkhart had moved to Shade 
Creek, but moved back again. 

It would seem, from the best information at hand, that the 
elders who had the oversight of the church, in their order 
were: Peter Maugen, John Mineely, Levi Roberts, Jacob 
Stutzman, Jacob O. Waters, Abraham Stutzman. and Samuel 
Brallier and Solomon Benshoff. 

The following are known to have served the old Cone- 
maugh church in the capacity of deacons : Levi Roberts, Wil- 
liam Roberts, Jacob Good, Daniel Diamond, Jacob Giffin, 
Joseph Cobaugh (captain), John Strayer, George Berkebile, 


Daniel Goughnour, Samuel Lidy, Christian (ioughnour, Jacob 
Hoffman, Stephen Hildebrand, Stephen Stutzman, David Hil- 
debrand, Jacob Ribblett, David Stutzman, Joscj)b Burkhart, 
Christian Good, John A. Strayer, Jonathan Berkcbile, David 
Berkebile, A. D. Goughnour, Jacob Wertz, vSamuel Gough- 
nour, Josiah Goughnour, John M. Harshberger, Archibald 
Wissinger, B. F. Wissinger, John Wissinger, Jacob Berkey, 
Samuel Knavel, Benjamin Benshoff, Jacob McCartney, 
Frederick Grove, Daniel Stutzman, L. R. Brallier, and Jesse 

More than sixty-five years ago the first meetinghouse was 
built at what was called Horner's, on the line between Jack- 
son and Taylor Townshii)s. This was not a love-feast house, 
and not a very large one. The next meetinghouse was erected 
on Benshoff Hill, about sixty-three years ago (in 1853). The 
next church built was the one on Giffin Hill. A union church 
vi^as built at Headrick's cemetery in 1870, in which the Breth- 
ren had a share. Tliis church was used mostly for funerals. 
Later the Pike church was built. In the course of time the 
old Horner house was replaced by a large love- feast house, 
50x80 feet. Benshoff Hill and Gifi^n Hill also were either 
remodeled or rebuilt. 

So far this history refers to activities prior to 1879. The 
church had prospered wonderfully, the membership having 
grown to about 525 members, and the crowds at the love 
feasts at the Horner church were something wonderful. " On 
love-feast occasions members came here from Bedford, Som- 
erset and Indiana Counties; many of them came on foot or 
on horseback from a distance the day before the feast and re- 
mained until the day after the feast. Sometimes there were 
a hundred or two hundred and fifty who came from a dis- 
tance and were given meals and lodging in the meetinghouse. 
On such occasions two bullocks and two barrels of flour were 
consumed. The cost of one of these feasts was estimated 
at $96 worth of meat, flour, feed, etc." (Quotation from 
" The Conemaughers.") 

For several years there were clamors for a division of this 


large congregation, but every time it failed to carry. But 
June 12, 1879, it was decided to divide into two congrega- 
tions. This was done August 7, 1879. Conemaugh retained 
two regular appointments, four preachers, eight deacons and 
nearly two hundred members. The new congregation, named 
Johnstown, had six or seven regular appointments, six preach- 
ers, eight deacons and between three hundred and four hun- 
dred members. 

For a few years after the division things moved along 
nicely enough, but the days of trouble and dissension came 
in the early eighties, and by the time all was over the Cone- 
maugh church had but a remnant of members left, with one 
meetinghouse and one minister. 

For a number of years regular meetings and love feasts 
were held at Horner's. After C. F. Detweiler moved to 
Johnstown, in 1884, he helped along considerably with the 
work for some time. Other of the Johnstown ministers also 
preached there, but the membership, still getting smaller, after 
several attempts Conemaugh was consolidated with Johnstown, 
October 16, 1890, and the former was dropped from the list, 

Several years later meetings were entirely discontinued, 
the house was sold and torn down, and the dear old sacred spot 
lives only in the memories of the older generation. Not even 
a picture is obtainable. But we are glad to be able to say that 
the Church of the Brethren had not died in the Conemaugh 
Valley, as will be manifest when reading the histories of the 
Johnstown and West Johnstown congregations. 


The Cowanshannock congregation originally covered all 
of Armstrong County east of the Allegheny River as well as 
a large part of Indiana County. It is almost impossible at 
this late date to ascertain the names of the first Brethren who 
settled here, or from where they moved. It seems almost 
certain, however, that the Rairighs were among the first. They 
moved from Virginia. Other names that occur quite early are 
Wells, Shumaker, Whitacre, Beer, Helman, White, Kimmel, 
Secrist, Beck, Spicher, Cravener, Fry, and others. 


It seems certain that the first preaching done there was by 
Elders Levi Roberts and John Mineely, of the old Cone- 
maugh congregation, and that among the first persons bai)tized 
were some of the Rairigh family, notably George. This, Sis- 
ter Clark thinks, was somewhere between 1820 and 1830. 
George Rairigh was the first minister elected to the ministry 
in this section, which occurred probably a few years before the 
congregation was organized, though it might have taken place 
at the time of the organization. Brother Rairigh was not an 
educated man, being scarcely able to read his text at the time 
of his call to this holy calling. But his industry-, perseverance 
and loyal devotion to the cause knew no bounds. This helped 
him to overcome many of the difficulties that loom up in the 
way of missionary effort. By his intense earnestness and 
self-sacrifice he opened mission stations at a large number of 
points, so that it re(|uired twenty-six weeks to give meetings 
to each point. 

When it comes to the date of the organization of the con- 
gregation we have three different years given. Miller's 
" Record of the Faithful " gives 1830, the " History of Arm- 
strong County " gives the date of organization 1832, and Hol- 
singer thinks it was in 1834. Meetings continued to be held in 
the homes of the members, or perhaps also in schoolhouses, 
until about 1845, when the first meetinghouse was erected on 
land given by John Whitacre. It was a frame structure, with 
a kitchen at the rear end, and was continuously in use until 
about 1881, when the present house was built. At the time the 
second house was built William Rairigh gave additional ad- 
jacent land. The present house is claimed by the Progressive 
Brethren, tht^ugh not much used by them. 

In the course of some years Brother Rairigh was ordained 
to the eldership and others were called to the ministry. Sev- 
eral brethren by the name of Shumaker were installed north of 
the Mahoning River. Joseph Shumaker was ordained to the 
eldership and proved an efficient worker and an effective 
speaker. Levi Wells, Samuel Rairigh, and subsec|uently 
Robert Whitacre, were installed and did some good work. In 


addition to Elders Roberts and Mineely, above named, it is 
but proper to name other brethren who came here from a dis- 
tance, and did some preaching: Jacob Stutzman, James Quin- 
ter, James Kelso, and Graybill Meyers. Later the church 
elected Lewis Kimmel, Solomon Beer and J. W. Beer. 

The church prospered and gained in numerical strength 
until it was thought good to divide the original congregation 
into three congregations. This was done in 1862. The north- 
ern part was called Red Bank, the central part retained the old 
name, Cowanshannock, and the southern part was named 
Plum Creek, all named from principal streams of water and 
townships in which they are located. 

Prior to this, about 1842, Samuel Lidy moved into the 
eastern part of Indiana County to minister to the spiritual 
wants of a number of members who had moved from Cambria, 
Bedford and Somerset Counties. In the interest of peace 
and good understanding as to territorial lines, there was an 
agreement arrived at that Elder Lidy should have the oversight 
of the church on the south side of the old Purchase Line from 
Cherry Tree, on the Susquehanna River, westward to the 
point where the said line crosses the Mahoning Road leading 
from Indiana to Punxsutawney, thence along said road south- 
ward to Philadelphia Street, in Indiana Town, thence from 
said street along the Blairsville Road to Blacklick Creek, which 
is the original boundary between the original Conemaugh 
congregation and the territory now under consideration. 

About 1852 there was another arrangement that the coun- 
try east of the Mahoning Road and north of Purchase Line 
should be erected into a new congregation called Montgomery. 
Solomon Beer died and J. W. Beer became an influential min- 
ister. He moved to the West, but after several years he re- 
turned and devoted some time to literary work. He pub- 
lished a work entitled, " The Passover and the Lord's Supper." 

In addition to the ministers already named there were 
elected to that sacred office, at diflferent times, Brethren J. 
B. \\^ampler, J. A\^ Wilt, S. W. Wilt, J. W. Smouse and 
Eugene H. Smith. These all proved themselves able men in 


the pulpit, and the old Covvanshannock congregation gained 
a reputation as a preacher factory. 

Then came the days of the division, when all the last- 
named ministers except J. W. Wilt, and perhaps two-thirds of 
the memhership, went with the Progressives. Brother Wilt 
moved to Altoona, Pennsylvania, was ordained and labored 
for that congregation many years. The membership gradually 
decreased until only a few remained. All the officials had 
either died or left, leaving those remaining without an organ- 
ization. Several years ago these members were recommended 
to the care of the Plum Creek congregation by action of the 
District Meeting. 

A\'ithin the last few years efforts have been made to re- 
vive the work at Cowanshannock. In 1913 Elder L. R. Hol- 
singer did some preaching there in connection with his work 
at Red Bank. In the fall of that year a Sunday-school was 
organized with Brother Robert McMillan, superintendent. 
Brother McMillan having moved to Marion Centre, Brother 
Edgar Kimmel, of the Plum Creek congregation, was chosen 
to take his place, and since February, 1914, has been doing 
faithful work for them. Few brethren are making the sac- 
rifice that Brother Kimmel has made the i)ast two years, driv- 
ing weekly from Plum Creek to Cowanshannock and l)ack. 
T'ut he is seeing the fruits of his labors. During the last few 
years Elders L. R. Holsinger, H. S. Rcplogle, G. K. W^alker 
and H. B. Heisey have done considerable preaching there, 
and a number have been baptized. The jjrescnt membership is 
ten and a number more are applicants. Unless the two branch- 
es of the church unite it is ])r()bal)lc a new mcetinghf)usc will 
be built in the near future. 

Going back to the early days of Cowanshannock, wc are 
told that for many years the meetings were held either in the 
houses or barns of Jacob Beer. Edward W'clls. John .Secrist, 
Peter Beck, Joseph Spicher, George Rairigh, Chr>'stal Craven- 
er. Jesse Shumaker. William Rairigh. Daniel Fry and Tobias 
Kimmel. The Cowanshannock. or Slate Hill, cemetery is a 
mile southeast of the church and is still used as a burying 


ground by the Brethren and others. The land occupied by the 
cemetery was given by Elder George Rairigh, and his father, 
John Rairigh, was probably the first to be buried there. 

At the time the first house was built the trustees were 
Levi Wells, William Rairigh and John Rairigh, and to them 
the deed for the plot of ground was made by John Whitacre 
and Elizabeth, his wife. The second plot of ground was deed- 
ed to Philip Harmon, Jesse Rairigh and William K. Rairigh, 
trustees of the Brethren (or German Baptist) Church, by 
Elizabeth Rairigh, of Cowanshannock Township, Armstrong 
County. It was made on December 22, 1881. The only early 
deacons whose names have come to me are John Rairigh, 
Leonard White, Edward W'ells and Jacob Wells. 


By Elder John B. Miller. 

This congregation comprises St. Clair and Napier Town- 
ships, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, and lies along the east- 
ern foothills of the Alleghany Mountains. April 1, 1841, 
George M. Holsinger, a deacon, and George Stull, a lay mem- 
ber, moved from Morrison's Cove to Dunnings Creek. They 
found John Garber, a fine man and a minister in the first de- 
gree, but too timid to preach, and four or six other members. 
These, with some others that moved here, formed a small 
colony of Brethren. About 1843 George M. Holsinger and 
Moses Rogers were elected to the ministry, and, I think, 
Robert Callahan, deacon. In the fall of 1843 they began the 
building, of a log meetinghouse, which was completed in 1844. 
This house is still standing at the graveyard, but is not fit to 
hold any services in. This house is in St. Clair Township. 
The land (three-fourths of an acre) and the timber for the 
house were given by Friend Christian Mock for five dollars. 
Mock's wife was a member. 

Until George M. Holsinger and Moses Rogers had gotten 
some practice, much of the ])reaching was done by Brethren 
Martin Miller, Christian Long, the Brumbaughs, Holsingers 


Tlic Old Mock Church, Diinnintrs Creek ConirrcKation, 
erected in 1843 and 1844. 

and Snovvl)crgers. But as this preaching was in the Cicrman 
language, which was not so well understood in this valley, 
they found it advantageous to call upon the Conemaugh 
lirethren for English i)reaching. Levi Roberts, nearly seventy 
years old, and Peter Lutz, not nearly so old, would walk twen- 
ty miles across the Alleghanies to preach for them. John 
Minecley, a crijjple, would come horseback about every four 
weeks and have about three services each time. 

There was a Mennonite preacher, by the name of Snyder, 
whose wife belonged to the Brethren, and when their daughter 
also united with them he became so angry that while she was 
asleep he shaved one side of her head close to the skin. 

About the year LSSO or 1851 John S. Holsinger was elect- 
ed to the ministry, and his brother, Thomas S. Holsinger, to 
the deacon's office. In 1858 John B. Furry was elected min- 
ister and John Rogers deacon. John B. Furry died in 18(j3 
and Moses Rogers moved to Iowa. April 24, 1862, George 
M. Holsinger died. January 2, 1864, Gideon Rogers and John 
Rogers were elected sjjcakers. August 26, 1865, Joseph Hol- 
singer and John B. Miller were elected deacons. In 1870 
wc built the Holsinger meetinghouse. This is a love-feast house. 



Holsinger Church, Dunnings Creek Congregration. 

Before this we held our love feasts in barns. January 15, 
1871, John B. Miller was elected speaker and George Calla- 
han and Christian S. Holsinger deacons. John S. Holsinger 
was ordained to the eldership and the Dunnings Creek church 
was organized. From 1841 to 1871 we were a branch of the 
Yellow Creek church. 

Most of these years we held our own councils, love feasts, 
etc. In 1858 John S. Holsinger moved to Iowa, lived there 
some years, and then returned. In 1875 John B. Miller was 
advanced to the second degree, Christian S. Holsinger was 
elected speaker, and Archibald Wissinger and Albert Black- 
bum were elected deacons. June 13, 1885, Levi Rogers was 
elected speaker, and Henry Wentz, Robert Callahan and 
Elias Snowberger deacons. June 23, 1889, David B. Rowzer 
and Michael S. Miller were elected deacons. In 1893 Elder 
John S. Holsinger moved to Brentsville, Prince William Coun- 
ty, Virginia, where he died November 8, 1910. September 7, 

1894, George H. Miller was elected to the ministry. June 8, 

1895, John B. Miller was ordained to the eldership. March 
16, 1901, Thomas B. Mickle and O. S. Corle were elected 
speakers and James C. Smith, Lewis Gorden and Samuel D. 
Lape deacons. October 15, 1901, Levi Rogers was ordained 
to the eldership. 



New Paris Church, Uunnings Creek Congregration. 

In about 1874 we were transferred from the Middle Dis- 
trict to the Western by permission of both Districts. In 1893 
we built the Point meetinghouse, and in 1905 we built one in 
New Paris. Our territory extends twelve miles east and west 
and twenty-five miles north and south, and is a hard territory 
to work. One reason our membership has remained small is 
that we have lost very heavily by emigration. Over 100 cer- 
tificates have been granted, our members having scattered from 
\'irginia to California. Nearly 100 of our members have died. 

October 9, 1912, Elder John B. Miller, the writer of the 
above, died. 

June 27, 1909, Andrew D. Rowzer and Jesse Smith were 
elected deacons. October 3, 1913, George M. Smith and 
William P>lackburn, and May 14, 1915, E. F. Callahan and 
Jordan Mock, were elected to the same ofifice. April 1, 1912, 
Elder Abraham Fyock moved into our congregation from 
Johnstown. On July 14, 1915, Elder Levi Rogers died. Both 
Elder Miller and Elder ivogers had shown much interest in 
the success of this work. Pictures and l)iographies of both 
ai)pear in their ])ropcr ])laces. .Surely our standard bearers 
are falling! 


Dunnings Creek Ministers — I>eft to Risht, I^evi Rogers, Abraham Fyock, 
George H. 3Iiller and Tliomas B. 3Iickle. 

On September 15, 1915, Brother Thomas B. Mickle was 
ordained to the eldership. The officials at present are : Eld- 
ers, Abraham Fyock and Thomas B. Mickle ; minister, 
George H. Miller; deacons, Elias Snowberger, David B. 
Rowzer, Michael S. Miller, George M. Smith, Jesse C. Smith, 
Andrew Rowzer, William Blackburn, E. F. Callahan and 
Jordan Mock. They have three Sunday-schools, with a total 
enrollment of about one hundred and fifty. Their member- 
ship is nearly ninety. 


By Elder Conrad G. Lint. 

The history of the German Baptist Brethren Church 
(now the Church of the Brethren) in \Vestern Pennsylvania 
dates back to as early as the year 1760 or 1762, when the 
Brethren began to emigrate from the eastern part of the State. 
Crossing the Alleghany Mountains they settled in what was 
known as " the Glades," or Stony Creek, just west of the 
mountains. The territory spread westward and northward, 
parallel with the mountain range, and southward a distance 
of twelve miles to the Casselman River, west of Meyersdale, 


They also settled on the Elk Lick and Flaugherty Creeks, the 
former flowing eastward and emptying into the Casselman 
River west of Meyersdalc, and the latter flowing westward and 
cmj)tying into the Casselman River possibly 450 yards above 
the former, the Casselman flowing westward into the Ohio. 

On the three streams mentioned the Brethren began the 
work of clearing ground for homes and establishing places of 
worship. The Brethren in the " Glades," as well as those " on 
the river," held their meetings in common and alternately, one 
vSunday in the " Glades " and the next Sunday " on the river." 
The meetings were held in barns and dwellings and, occasion- 
ally, in schoolhouses, the points of worship being as many as 
twelve and fifteen miles apart; and to the credit of the old 
veterans of the cross it can be said that not only did the min- 
istry attend these alternate meetings regularly, but many of the 
laity, of both sexes. They would walk the entire distance, and, 
as my mother has fre(|uently told me, in their bare feet for 
most of the distance. They would start from home early in 
the morning and return in the evening, the rule being that 
after the services refreshments were served and horses cared 
for free at the place where the meeting was held, the expense 
being borne l)y the family residing at that point. 

T have in my possession a " Farsomliings Briefly," which 
I prize very highly on account of its age, having been published 
about seventy-five years ago. It contains a roster of the for- 
mer church fathers, and other information, among it being 
(he names of the heads of forty families, twenty residing in 
the " ( ilades " and twenty " on the river." 

That those of this generation may know who they were, 
we co[)y their names in the order that they appear in the 
" Briefly " : .Samuel Meyer. David Biechly. John Schrock, 
Jacob Miller. John Groner, Elias Buechly, Jacob Cober, David 
Lichty, John Miller, .Samuel Barkley, Jacob Schrock, Chris- 
tian Gnagey. Henry TIauger, John Lichty, George Schrock. 
William Miller. John Cober, John Barkley. Samuel Forney, 
.Samuel Miller. Peter Cober, David Liebengood, Widow Good. 
Samuel Flickinger, Jacob Meyer, Jacob Fike, Tobias Musser, 


John Meyer, John Buechley, Widow FUckinger, Widow Weg- 
ley, John Fike, Jacob Blough, Samuel Lichty, Jonathan Kim- 
mell, Jacob Lichty, Daniel Walker, Jacob Barkley, Peter Mil- 
ler, Daniel Lichty. It was in the houses of these, or in their 
barns, that the meetings were held throughout the year. This 
was known as the Big Glades church, and was presided over 
by Michael Moyer, St., John Forney, Sr., and Peter Cober. 

In the year 1845 the Berlin Brethren built a meetinghouse 
north of Berlin, known as the Grove church, and in 1846 the 
Elk Lick Brethren built the house now used by the congrega- 
tion known as Summit Mills. The agitation for the division of 
" Glade " and " River" congregations began as early as 1844, 
and after the division came these congregations were known 
as Berlin and Elk Lick. The fact of the matter is that the 
final division of the congregation was made in the year 1849, 
when, after the two houses of worshiji were buiif, at the An- 
nual Meeting held at Berlin a committee was apjiointed to 
officiate in the matter, and it was this committee that in the year 
1849 drew the lines that now define the l)oundaries of the con- 
gregations of Berlin, Quemahoning, Middle Creek and Elk 
Lick. They were presided over as follows : Berlin, Elder 
Peter Cober; Quemahoning, Elder John Forney, Sr. (this is 
an error, as Elder Forney died in 1846. — Historian) ; Middle 
Creek, Elder Henry Myers ; Elk Lick, Elders John Berkley, 
Jr., and Jacob Lichty. In the Elk Lick congregation there 
were two ministers older than those mentioned, who were 
associated with the work in that section before the division was 
made. They were John Livengood and John Buechley, the 
latter dying in 1844. John Berkley, Jr., died in 1865. John 
Berkley, Jr. and Jacob Lichty were the first bishops of the Elk 
Lick congregation, and to assist them in the ministry, Breth- 
ren John B. Myers and Samuel Berkley, the latter a brother 
of the bishop, were elected to the ministry. 

Elk Lick at this time had about 125 earnest, faithful mem- 
bers, all heads of families, and it was a very rare thing for a 
single person to belong to the church. In 1846, as noted al- 
ready, a large meetinghouse, 40x110 feet, was erected along 



First Salisbury Church, Elk Lick C'onKTcsatiou. 

the Elk Lick Creek, near Summit Mills, not far from where 
the Annual Meeting was held in 1841. In 1851 a meeting- 
house was erected along Flaugherty Creek, in Meyers Mills, 
now Meyersdale ; one on the Casselman River, near Salis- 
bury, now \\' est Salisbury ; one on the headwaters of the 
Flaugherty Creek, in Greenville Township, and another at 
Berkley's Mills, in Summit Township. Thus it will be seen 
that by the year 1854 the Brethren had five meetinghouses in 
which to hold services, and one schoolhouse located in the 
" Peck Comer," in Addison Township, now Elk Lick Town- 
ship, where there is now also a meetinghouse. The holding of 
church serxices in dwellings and barns had now become a 
thing of the past. In the year 1852 Brethren Elias K. Buech- 
ley and David Livengood, who died in 1870, were called to 
the ministry. In 1854 John P>. Meyers moved to Ohio, and early 
in 1855 Elder Jacol) Lichty died. During the same year Con- 
rad G. Lint, Peter Berkley (died in 1865) and William M. 
Horner (died in 1872) were elected to the ministry. This or- 
ganization continued until 1877, covering a period of some 
thirty years of great faithfulness and pr()si)erity, as well as 
many changes. 

In 1849 the debate on the subject of " Baptism " took i)lace 


at Summit Mills church between Rev. Harry Knepper, of the 
German Reformed Church, and Elder James Ouinter. In 1859 
the Annual Meeting was held at the same place, and in 1873 at 
Meyersdale. In the year 1865 Elder Berkley died, and in 1867 
Conrad G. Lint was ordained. The ministers serving during 
this time, not already named, were David Beeghley (moved 
away in 1865), John Cross (moved away in 1862), Elias K. 
Buechley (moved away in 1862), Jonathan Kelso, Jonas 
Lichty, Silas C. Keim, Joel Gnagey, H. R. Holsinger (came 
in 1871, left in 1873), Joseph W. Beer (came in 1871, left in 
1876), Joseph B. Sell, and James Quinter (came in 1873, left 
in 1876). 

Nathaniel Merrill, a minister, moved into the congrega- 
tion, and after residing here some years, moved away. Elder 
Paul Wetzel also lived in the congregation some years. James 
Kelso, an elder, moved into the congregation in the sixties 
and died here. John B. Myers moved to Ohio. Joseph B. 
Sell moved to the same State. 

It is hardly possible to get a full list of the earliest dea- 
cons, but we will begin naming them as far back as I can re- 
member: David Buechley, Emanuel Lichty, Jonathan Lichty, 
John J. Fike, W'illiam Horner, William N. Buechly, John 
Hollida, Samuel Weimer, C. G. Lint, Peter Berkley, Elias 
Berkley, Samuel P. Miller, Jonathan Kelso, Silas C. Keim, 
Jonas Peck, Henry Rambolt, Elijah Faidly, Samuel J. Fike, 
Samuel J. Lichty, Jonas Lichty, James Murray, S. A. Maust, 
John Gnagey, William G. Lint, and Ezra Berkley. 

The membership in 1877 was about six hundred. At this 
lime the membership consisted not only of heads of families, 
1)ut young people were now numbered in the fold. The writer 
remembers of having baptized a little girl, up to this time the 
youngest yet baptized by our people at this place. It was 
Sadie Maust, who is now the faithful companion of a worthy 
elder in the South Waterloo (Iowa) congregation. Coming 
away from the water an aged deacon tapped me gently on the 
shoulder and said, " Brother Lint, you must quit preaching 
against infant baptism." 


In tlie year 18/7 the Elk Lick congregation was divided 
int(j three congregations; viz., Elk Lick congregation, placed 
under the charge of Elder Jonathan Kelso; Summit 
Mills, placed under the charge of Elders Jonas Lichty and 
Joel Gnagey, and Meyersdale, placed under the charge of 
Elder C. G. Lint. 

A few interesting occurrences antedating this brief his- 
tory follow. Along about the year 1780, or maybe 1790. eight 
persons were baptized in the Flaugherty Creek, in a milldam, 
near what is now Keystone Street, in Meyersdale, by a min- 
ister from X'irginia, and whose name was either Bowman or 

The " Big Meeting," as it was then called, was held in 
1811 on the farm now owned by Freeman Snyder, in Elk Lick 
Townshi)), then owned and conducted by Brother John 

Among the first love feasts in this section was one held 
in the dwelling on the farm now owned by Brother Jacob W. 
Peck, in Summit Townshi]), then owned by a brother named 

A prominent member of the churcli in this place many 
years ago was John I'erkley. Sr. He had been a member 
of another church (German Reformed, I think). Becoming 
accjuainted with the doctrines taught by our church, he united 
with us, and in conse(|uence of this he was made to suffer 
considerable ])crsccution. He was (|uite a ])oet. antl com- 
posed a number of (Jerman hymns, which, however, were 
never ])ul)Hshed, owing to his having sent them to lulitor 
Kurtz, fomidcr (if ihe Ciosf>el J'isitor, who, at a time of re- 
moving his iirinting otTicc, either lost or mislaid the man- 

Brother Berkley was also remarkable for having been 
the ancestor of a long line of ministers and elders of the 
church, many of whom are living today, and are well known 
throughout the Brotherhood. There were three sons to begin 
with; viz., Jonathan, John, Jr.. and Samuel. Five grandsons 
were ministers; viz., David D. Horner, Ephraim Cober. Cor- 



nelius Berkley, Peter Berkley and Josiah Berkley. Eight 
great-grandsons, all living, are ministers ; viz., William G. 
Schrock, Samuel U. Shober, Jacob T, Myers, Tobias T. Myers, 
Norman W. Berkley, Albert U. Berkley, Samuel J. Berkley, 
and Harvey Eikenberr}^ Lewis S. Knepper is a great-great- 
great-grandson. Missionaries Eliza B. and Sadie Miller are 
great-great-granddaughters. If there are others they have 
not come to my notice. 


As already stated, in 1877 the old Elk Lick congregation 
was divided into three separate congregations ; viz.. Elk Lick, 
Summit Mills and Meyersdale. At that time the ministers 
were Jonathan Kelso, Silas C. Keim, Nathaniel Merrill, and 
Joseph B. Sell, who moved into the congregation in 1877, 

Present Salisbury Church, Elk Lick Congrregration. 

and out in 1878. The following ministers were elected : 
Howard Miller, in 1877; Jacob W. Peck and Lewis A. Peck, 
June, 1880; Howard H. Keim, January 2, 1886; N. George 
Keim, 1882; John N. Davis, May 5. 1886; George E. Yoder, 


1906; Eli J. Egan, 1909. Nathaniel Merrill was a minister 
in the Garrett County, Maryland, congregation, near Barton, 
a mission pont of the Elk Lick church. He moved to Elk 
Lick about 1875 and remained till 1888. Being a poor man 
he was given some support for his preaching. Howard Mil- 
ler also received some compensation, but Silas Hoover was the 
first brother to receive a fixed amount per year. He labored 
here from 1885 to 1889; W. A. Gaunt, from 1894 to 1904; T. 
S. Pike, from 1905 to 1906; D. K. Clapper, from 1909 to 
1910; E. J. Egan, from 1911 to 1913; B. F. Waltz became 
pastor in 1915. 

Jacob W. Peck moved into the Summit Mills congrega- 
tion in 1880; Jonathan Kelso moved West in 1886; Jonas 
Lichty moved West in 1888 ; Howard Miller and N. G. Keim 
moved away in 1883; Howard H. Keim moved to Indiana in 
1891, and now lives in Washington. G. E. Yoder moved out 
in 1909 and back in 1913. Brother J. C. Beahm moved into 
the congregation in 1912. 

The following deacons have been elected : S. J. Liven- 
good (date unknown) ; S. J. Lichty and J. W. Beachy, 1871 ; 
A. P. Beachy and J, J. Keim, 1875 ; J. W. Peck and Hezekiah 
Hawn, 1877; Zenas Hollada, 1881; H. H. Reitz and S. A. 
Beachy, 1887; James Maust and Emanuel Yoder, 1899; G. E. 
Yoder, F. A. Maust, and M. S. Maust, 1905; W. J. Wought 
and Francis Shunk, 1910. Deacon J. E. Wamplcr moved into 
the congregation in 1914. 

The following elders have had charge of the church ; 
Jonathan Kelso, from 1877 to 1886; Silas Hoover, from 1888 
to 1889; Joel Gnagey, from 1889 to 1890; John C. Johnson, 
from 1890 to 1894; W. A. Gaunt, from 1894 to 1904; T. S. 
Fike. from 1905 to 1908; L. A. Peck, from 1908 to 1914. 
W. M. Howe is the present elder. 

In 1851 or 1852 the first meetinghouse in what is now the 
Elk Lick congregation was built in West Salisbury, on the 
river, at a cost of $600. The present two-story building, in 
Salisbury, was erected in 1878, at a cost of $3,200. 

The l^lk Lick congregation has early been active in Sun- 


day-school work. From the time of the division of the old 
Elk Lick congregation the Sunday-school has been evergreen. 
Many have been added to the church through this medium. 
The Elk Lick Sunday-school has for several years been a 
Front Line School. 

In missionary endeavor the church has been equally active. 
She was one of the first to become active in the support of 
the Danish Mission. In 1880 the church, by unanimous vote, 
declared herself heartily in favor of the Danish Mission Move- 
ment, and she still continues her interest in the lost on the 
other side of the billowy deep. 

In 1888 the congregation was divided and the Maple Glen 
congregation was organized out of the territory' lying west 
of the Negro Mountains. 

The present officials are: B. F. Waltz, pastor; W. M. 
Howe (non-resident), elder in charge; G. E. Yoder, elder; 
J. C. Beahm, minister; S. A. Beachy, J. J. Keim, Frank 
Maust, James Maust, Morris Maust, H. H. Reitz, Francis 
Shunk, \\'ilson Wrought and Emanuel Yoder, deacons. 


This congregation is located in Fayette County, prin- 
cipally in and around the towns of Masontown and Union- 
town. The first minister known to have settled in this territory 
was John Ache (Aughey), who was born in Germany, but was 
of French descent. It is not known when he settled here. 
He bought a farm of 240 acres a mile and one-fourth south 
of Masontown. For a number of years the meetings were 
held in his dwelling and barn. The love feasts were also 
held here. 

The next minister to move in was Joseph Leatherman, 
who settled four miles south of Uniontown. Next came 
Peter Longanecker, who settled one and one-half miles west of 
Masontown in 1804. Next Brother James Fouch (Pfautz) 
settled near Brother Leatherman's. Then came James Kelso, 
a minister, from Western Maryland. The dates of the ar- 
rival of these different brethren are not given. 



Fairview Church, Georjfes Creek Congregration. 

The membership contnuied to grow, and in 1835 Broth- 
er Ephraim Walters, by free gift, deeded a parcel of his farm 
(one acre) to the Georges Creek congregation to erect a meet- 
inghouse upon. It took time and labor to prepare material 
for the new church, as there were no lumber yards in those 
days. They had to go to the forest and cut the timber and 
have it sawed and dried. This they did by appointing certain 
days to came together and donating work. In 1836 they 
erected a frame house, 40x50 feet. In this church they wor- 
shiped till July 30, 1887, when at a special council it was 
decided to rebuild. The present brick structure was erected 
in 1888, but owing to a severe storm which unroofed the 
house it was not dedicated until 1889. Elder John M. Mohler 
delivered the dedicatory sermon, and the first council was 
held in the new house March 30, 1889. At this council the fol- 
lowing members were present: Elder, John C. Johnson; min- 
ister, Alpheus DeBolt ; deacons, Ephraim Walters, David F. 
Johnson, James M. Newcomer. Samuel C. Johnson. Jacob M. 
Johnson ; lay members, Lentellas Maust, Allen S. Walters, 
Joseph Mack, John V. Johnson, Alfred Johnson, Joseph 
Townsend, Alfred Hibbs, Thomas Hasson, Jefferson A. 


Walters ; sisters, Sarah Walters, Elizabeth Johnson, Susanna 
Maust, Catharine DeBolt, Matilda Durr, Elizabeth Moser, 
Malinda Walters, Cora Renshaw and Nancy Debolt. 

vSeveral families in the neighborhood of Brethren Leather- 
man and Fouch had come into the church. This was about 
ten miles from the church (the Fairview), and made it in- 
convenient for them to attend the services, so in 1843 they 
decided to erect a log house in their neighborhood and have 
services there occasionally. Brother \\ illiam Moser leased 
the lot for the church as long as they worshiped without pay. 
This house was 20x30 feet and was named the Grove church. 
As the services at the Fairview house were held only twice a 
month it was soon decided to hold services alternately every 
Sunday at both places. In time the church increased in num- 
bers and the building could no longer accommodate the audi- 
ences. In 1864 a new house 40x50 feet, with a kitchen at- 
tached, was erected and love feasts were also held here from 
then on. Here they worshiped until the division in the church 
when, most of the memljers here going with the Progressives, 
the church fell into their hands. 

As early as 1844 there were a few members living near 
Morgantown, West Virginia. By 1883, thirty members were 
living in that District and a meetinghouse, 40x60 feet, was 
erected and dedicated the same year and the first love feast 
held at the same time. In 1901 the members living around 
Morgantown were formed into a separate congregation and 
named Mount Union congregation. 

In 1903, there being about fifty members in and around 
Uniontown, it was thought wise to have a house of worship, 
and a brick church, 40x60 feet, with basement, was built, and 
dedicated the same year by Elder Henry C. Early. 

In 1839 Brethren John Umstead and James Ouinter vis- 
ited the churches of Western Pennsylvania. The Georges 
Creek brethren were much impressed with Brother Quinter 
and asked him to move into their congregation. This he did 
in 1842, moving upon a small farm the brethren had bought 
for him. Here he lived fourteen years, teaching school in the 



Vnioiitown Clmroli, (Jporges Crook CoiiKrcKation. 

winter and in llic summer doing some farming along with his 

We do not know w hen the church was organized, but it 
was prior to 1834. Ilcnvard Miller's " Record of the Faith- 
ful " says it was organized in 1790. During the fifties and six- 
ties of the ])ast century the membership numbered two iiun- 
dred and twenty-five and very large crowds of people gathered 
at the Lairview house at times of love feast. Fifteen hundred, 
and on rare occasions, as many as three thousand would gather 
on Sundays. The love feast lasted till ten and eleven o'clock 
at night. The ])rcsent membershi]) is one hundred and twenty- 
five, the larger j)art living in and around Uniontown. Here 
the services consist of Sunday-school, Christian Workers' 
Meeting and two preaching services on Sundays, prayer meet- 
ings on Wednesday nights, Sisters' Sewing Society on Thurs- 
day, and teachers' meeting on Friday nights. Each meeting 
place has a local secretary and treasurer. 

The following elders have served this congregation : John 
Ache; Joseph Latherman. came in 1800. died in 1848; Peter 
Longanecker. c.-mie in 1804. died in 1853; James Fouch. elect- 


ed in 1769, ordained in 1814, died in 1850; James Kelso; 
James Quinter, came in 1842, removed in 1856; Jacob Mack, 
came in 1820, ordained in 1837, died in 1867; Joseph I. Cover, 
elected in 1858, ordained in 1865. removed in 1885 ; John C. 
Johnson, elected in 1878, ordained in 1883, removed in 1906; 
Jasper Barnthouse, ordained in 1896, moved in in 1903 ; 
Alpheus DeBolt, elected in 1883, ordained in 1902; John H. 
Baker, ordained at Fostoria, 111., lived here some years. 

Ministers not elders : Samuel Blocher, Isaiah Custer, 
Oliver Miller, 1858; John D. Cans, Andrew J. Sterling, 1878; 
William Johnson, Charles R. Umbel, March 24, 1883; Samuel 
C Cover, 1887; Nathaniel Merrill, Ross E. Reed, J. A. Click, 
Burzy B. Ludwick, 1905 ; Francis F. Durr, 1905, and Silas 
Fike. H. H. Glover and Wallace Johnson were elected June 
12, 1915. 

Deacons: Samuel Ache, Ephraim Walters, Sr., David 
Longanecker, Ejihraim Walters, Jr., Daniel Moser, William 
Moser, John DeBolt, Abram Hibbs, Nicholas B. Johnson, 
Ephraim Walters, David Hibljs, Samuel Newcomer, Samuel 
Cover, John Sterling, John L. Williams. John J. Cover, David 
F. Johnson, Alpheus DeBolt, Jacob J. Johnson, Joseph I. 
Johnson, Emanuel Maust, Andrew S. Fisher, Samuel C. John- 
son, Samuel C. Cover, James P. Merriman, James M. New- 
comer, Harrison Glover, Alfred Johnson, Andrew J. Moser, 
Henry H. Glover, Miller Reed, Robert Ross, Joseph G. Cover, 
Jacob W. Galley, John C. Cover, John A. W^alters, Charles E. 
Moser, Owen C. Goodwin, William Townsend, George B. 
Seese, Daniel F. Lepley, George Freeman, John W. DeBolt 
and John Helmick. James Fearer was elected June 12, 1915. 

In 1909 the congregation was incorporated by charter, 
and the following directors were elected : Samuel C. Johnson, 
Alfred Johnson, David F. Johnson, Andrew S. Fisher, James 
P. Merriman, Joseph G. Cover and Charles E. Moser. 

It is known that in addition to the elders above named, 
Elder George Wolfe, Sr., moved from Lancaster County to 
Fayette County, and settled about ten miles from Uniontown, 
in 1787. He is said to have been the first ordained elder who 



settled west of the mountains. Of his church work while 
here history is silent. He lived here thirteen years, and in 
1800 he and his family sailed down the Ohio River on rafts 
of their own construction and settled in Muhlenberg. Ken- 
tucky. This fact would indicate that his place of residence 
while living in Fayette County was not far from the Mon- 
ongahela River. 

The congregation maintains three Sunday-schools, one 
Sisters' Aid Society, two Christian Workers' Societies, one 
prayer meeting and a teachers' meeting. The officials of the 
church are: Jasper Barnthouse, elder in charge of the congre- 
gation and pastor at Uniontown ; Alpheus Del'olt, elder ; S. 
W. Fike, H. H. Glover and Wallace Johnson, ministers ; S. 
C. Johnson, Alfred Johnson, George Freeman, Owen Good- 
win, Josiah Thomas, J. P. Merriman, J. G. Cover, William 
Townsend, D. F. Johnson and James Fearer, deacons. 

Silas W. Fike and >Vlfe. 


j'liis congregation is located in North RutTalo Townshiit, 
Armstrong County, and, according to Rrothcr Howard Mil- 
ler's " Record of the l^'aithful," had its beginning back in 
1820, with eight members. There arc no records in exist- 


ence, so we must content ourselves with such information as 
can be obtained from the recollection of members now living, 
which, though meager, still is interesting. Adam, David and 
Joseph Bowser and their wives, and Elizabeth Swigart were 
among the first members. James Toy was the first minister 
known to have been located here. 

In addition to Brother Toy, above mentioned. Brother 
David Goolinger was elected and preached in the Glade Run 
and Brush Valley houses for several years. Also Crissman 
John was elected in the " John Settlement," which later be- 
came the Brush Valley congregation. He moved to the Mont- 
gomery congregation (one authority says to Clarion County), 
and subsecjuently to North Dakota. It would seem that the 
church never had a resident elder, but the following breth- 
ren are known to have labored here more or less : George 
Rairigh, Graybill Meyers, Joseph Shumaker, David Eshelman, 
John Wise, Leonard Furry, J. W. Brumbaugh, G. W. Brum- 
baugh, J. S. Holsinger, Joseph Berkey, J. W. Beer, Lewis 
Kimmel and others. The following pastors have served this 
congregation in the order named : Jesse Hetrick, David Het- 
rick, F. D. Anthony. C. O. Beery, K. B. Moomaw, C. O. 
Beery, returned, L. M. Keim, A. J. Culler (brief period during 
school terms), H. S. Replogle, R. D. Murphy (for a few 
months), and G. K. Walker, the present pastor. For a num- 
ber of years the pastors had charge of both Plum Creek and 
Glade Run congregations, and have lived in the parsonage at 
the Plum Creek house for the past sixteen years at least. 

In 1876 J. B. Wampler took charge, and continued till 
the division, when about two-thirds of the members went with 
him to the Progressives. The Glade Run house was used in 
common for some time after the division, when we came in 
full possession of it. 

The following named deacons have faithfully served the 
congregation : Jacob Swigart, Samuel Bowser, Daniel Wilcox, 
James Bowser, William J. Bowser, Jacob M. Bowser, Edward 
Bowser, A. D. Bowser, A. A. Bowser, Roy Morrison and 



Glade liiin Church. 

Orman Bowser. The last seven named constitute the present 
board of deacons. 

There have been three houses of worship, all near the 
same place. The first one was erected in 1861. This was re- 
built in 1881, and during a series of meetings in 1894 or 1895 
was burned to the ground. The present i)lain. neat and modest 
structure was erected in 1895. The church cemetery adjoins. 

The church maintains a live Sunday-school, which for the 
past fifteen years, at least, has been evergreen. Most of the 
thirty additions to the church last year came through the Sun- 
day-school. The territory is well worked. Every six months 
a series of meetings is held. Practically all the members' 
children are in the church. Love feasts are held semiannual- 
ly. The church is in a flourishing condition and has a bright 
future; no difficulties to drag on and on. A strong mutual 
bond of unity and good will prevails. They stick close to 
the soil and attend strictly to their own business. The fact 
that the congregation is so well united speaks well for all 
who lived and labored here. The members are willing and 
liberal contributors to both foreign and home mission work. 


Present number of members is two hundred. A good 
Christian W^orkers' Meeting, dating from July, 1914, meets 
regularly every Sunday. It is properly officered and the 
young folks take a good interest in it. 


Prior to the coming of the Brethren to the city of Greens- 
burg, meetings were held by ministers of the Church of the 
Brethren in a schoolhouse, located on Swede Hill. These 
Brethren lived in the Jacobs Creek congregation. They made 
frequent visits to this schoolhouse, bearing the message of the 
cross to those who were there assembled. Some of these 
ministers are still living, using the opportunities which come 
to them, and proclaiming the message of the same sweet story. 
Others have gone to share the reward of their labors in the 
glory world. Heaven alone can reveal the good things done 
by them. 

In the year 1903 Brother Homer P. Galentine, then 22 
years old, came to Greensburg and began working at the 
carpenter trade. He did not know of any Brethren in Greens- 
burg ; neither did he feel satisfied, for he had no church home. 
He longed to hear the Gospel preached as he had been used 
to hearing the Brethren preach in Somerset County, where 
he was born, and where he united with the church in May, 
1892, during a meeting conducted by Elder Silas Hoover, of 
the Middle Creek congregation. 

Many people, instead of using what they have, and search- 
in their own home for the coveted gems, will go to some 
strange land to find them. But not so with this brother. He 
searched in his home city to find the gem most precious to him. 
His coveted gems were others of like precious faith and a 
church. \\'hile at work he would converse with others in 
regard to their religious belief. One day he was told of a 
brother who was at work in a planing mill. He at once went 
to search for him. Here he found Brother Meyers Moore, a 
young man whose former home was near Trent. .Somerset 
County, having been baptized there by Robert T. Hull. 


These two brethren, as the disciples of old, used the op- 
portunities which presented themseves to speak to others 
whom they hoped to influence for Christ. After some per- 
sonal eiiforts they found two souls who saw the beauty of the 
Gospel of Christ as understood by the Brethren, and who 
asked for baptism. Accordingly, they went to Pittsburgh, 
where these two sisters were baptized by Brother M. J. 

This was the beginning of the work of the Brethren in 
Greensburg. They were hopeful for great things now, with 
the aid of these additional workers. As yet they had no 
preaching, but they were beginning to plan for that. As a 
result of their earnest desires, at the close of a beautiful sum- 
mer day of 1908, they assembled at Brother Galentine's home 
to talk the thoughts of their hearts. They talked of their own 
spiritual welfare and the spiritual welfare of others. " What 
is best? " " How shall we i^roceed? " were questions to which 
they sought answers. Their fervent prayers and earnest 
hopes were that a Church of the Brethren would be planted 
in Greensburg. 

They realized that they themselves needed to be instru- 
ments in the Lord's hands to answer their prayers. And as 
" the Macedonian call " went to Paul, so now the call goes 
from Greensburg, " Come, brethren, and help us." The call 
was extended to ]^>rother Robert T. Hull to hold a series of 
meetings for them. They secured permission to preach in 
the Union Mission Chapel, on West Pittsburg Street, where 
Brother Hull preached ten sermons, beginning September 21, 
1908. The workers were greatly strengthened by this series 
of meetings. 

After this they secured i)ermission to hold, regularly, 
twice a month, services in this Union Mission Chapel. Broth- 
er Whitehead was the next brother to preach in Cireensburg. 
November 22, 1908, he i)rcached two sermons. The attend- 
ance was seventeen and thirty-five, respectively. The place 
could not, as yet. be called a mission point of the Church of 
the Brethren, for it was not recognized by organization, there- 


First Greensburg Church. 

fore the brethren here were bearing all the financial burden. 
Brother Hull was secured to preach regularly. There were 
times, however, when Brother Hull could not be there, and not 
being able to secure another minister, there were frequent dis- 
appointments. This, however, did not discourage the mem- 
bers here. They pushed on and Brother Hull held another 
series of meetings, which resulted in a number being added to 
the fiock. In December, 1909, Brother W. M. Howe con- 
ducted another series of meetings, and as time rolled on their 
labors were greatly blest. In less than another year another 
series of meetings was held, by Brother D. K. Clapper, of 
Meyersdale. These meetings occasioned great joy, for many 
that were dear were made happy in Jesus. 

Though these brethren had a place to worship, they felt 
the need of a church building which they could call their own. 
They felt the need of having a place where more liberty of 
speech would be granted them — liberty " to declare the whole 
counsel of God," Accordingly they purchased three lots on 
the corner of Mace and Stanton Streets for $2,500, and erect- 
ed a small building thereon costing $500. Here Brother W. 


M. Howe organized a Sunday-school, October 25, 1910, with 
an enrollment of twenty. In November, 1910, the little church 
was dedicated by Elder J. F. Dietz, of Johnstown. 

Some time during 1910 these brethren asked the Mission 
I'oard of Western Pennsylvania for recognition and for sup- 
port for a pastor, lioth requests were granted by the Board, 
and Brother M. J. Broughcr, of the Middle Creek congre- 
gation, was called to take up the i)astorate January 1, 1911. 
Another series of meetings was held by H. S. Replogle, in 
April, 1911, during which twelve souls were added to their 

To the District Meeting held in the Maple Spring house 
of the Quemahoning congregation, April 19, 1911, the Mis- 
sion Board i)resented the following petition : " We, the Mis- 
sion Board of Western Pennsylvania, petition District Meeting 
in behalf of the Brethren at Greensburg, that they be given 
the privilege to solicit Western Pennsylvania for funds to 
build a new church at that place." The petition was granted. 
The meeting also a])pointed Elders D. H. Walker and W. M. 
Howe to organize the (ircensburg church. This was done May 
1, 1911. Of the thirty-two members in the city, twenty-three 
were present. The church was built in the fall of 1911, and 
dedicated February 11, 1912. Dr. C. C. Ellis preaching the 
sermon on the occasion. This is one of the l)est and most 
modern churchhouses in the District. 

Since that time the church has been moving on in a 
marvelous way. There has been a continuous growth in mem- 
bership, sinners being added, not only during revivals, but at 
the regular services. In August. 1913, the Ministerial Meet- 
ing and .Sunday-school Convention of the District were held 
here. And in ]')\4. tlic liiblc. Missionary, and !~^un(lay-schooI 
Institute met at the same place. 

liretbren wbo have assisted in evangelistic nu-clings here 
since the organization are: Silas Hoover. D. W . Kurtz, J. II. 
Cassady, P. J. P.lough and Cicorge W. Fiory. 

A few statistics will be of interest. .Since tlie organiza- 
tion of tbe clnircb. Mav 1. P'll, to Mav .'^, I'M 5, the follow- 


Greensburg: Church, Pa. 

ing are items of work done: Five series of meetings were held, 
twenty-five business meetings and six love feasts were held, 
548 sermons were preached, ten were received by letter and 
259 by baptism, nine letters were granted, forty-eight were 
anointed and nine couples were married. Of deaths within 
the congregation, including those not members and children, 
there were twenty-eight. Present membership is 248. 

Brethren J. H. Cassady, W. M. Howe and P. J. Blough 
have assisted Brother M. J. Brougher in the eldership. Since 
serving as pastor Brother Brougher has been ordained to the 
eldership. Brother Blough is the present elder in charge. 



The deacons are: H. P. Galantine, James Osterwise, 
Walter Moore, John Osterwise, William Barnes and Meyers 
Moore. Their Sunday-school numbers 270, and they have a 
large, active Sisters' Aid Society. They also have Christian 
Workers' Meetings, prayer meetings, teachers' meetings and 
teacher training class. 


When on September 18, 1913, the Meyersdale congrega- 
tion was divided into two congregations, the southeastern part 
of the county and the adjoining portion of Bedford County 
were organized into a separate congregation and named Green- 
ville. The first members to settle here were the Klingamans, 
Hoclistetlers, Longs and Arnolds, in about 1812. The Klinga- 
man farm was the one now occupied by Samuel K. Hoch- 
stetler. Grandfather Klingaman's house was built with a 







11 ^ 















Hochstetlcr Cliiirrli, (Jroonvilh' ("«nKr«'«:ati«»n. 

large rf)om in which meetings were regular!}- licld. This was 
prior to 1838. Tiierc was preaching before this, iirobably in 
the barns. 

The first meetinghouse in this section was erected on tlie 
George Klingaman. Sr., farm in 1854. lM)r some years pre- 
vious to this meetings were held in the schoolhouse on the 
George Arnold farm. The second meetinghouse was built on 


the same site in 1892, and was arranged to hold love feasts in. 

Most of the first preaching done here was by Brethren Eli 
Steele, Jacob Berger, Peter Cober and others. Later on the 
Elk Lick and Meyersdale ministers filled the pulpit. On July 
4, 1879, E. K. Hochstetler was elected to the ministry. He is 
the only minister to reside in this congregation in Somerset 
County. At Hyndman, Bedford County, there is a meeting- 
house and about a dozen members, with Thomas A. Harden 
as minister and Benjamin Harden and Thomas Lewis deacons. 

Deacons who have served this church are : George Klinga- 
man, Jr., Samuel K. Weimer, Joel Yutzy (1878), Nelson 
Crissinger, Ed. Myers, William Shultz and A. O. Beal. 
Samuel Hochstetler moved into the congregation in 1895. In 
1865 Brother Klingaman moved out. 

The first Sunday-school was organized in 1878. At 
present they keep a Sunday-school during the summer. 
Preaching services are held every two weeks and councils 
quarterly at the Hostetler church. 

The present official board consists of : E. K. Hochstetler, 
Elder; Thos. Harden, minister; S. K. Hochstetler, J. S. 
Hochstetler, A. O. Beal, Nelson Crissinger, Joel Yutzy, Wil- 
liam J. Shultz, Benjamin Harden and Thomas Lewis, deacons. 


Before any organization of the Church of the Brethren 
existed in the Indian Creek Valley, lying between Laurel 
Hill Mountains and Chestnut Ridge, prior to 1849, the mem- 
bers would meet in the homes and hold services. When the 
weather permitted meetings were held in barns. Love feasts 
also were held in barns. These love-feast occasions were 
always of great interest. Services began in the morning. At 
noon the people were given dinner and the horses were fed. 
Large kettles of hot cofifee were served. In the afternoon more 
services were engaged in, and in the evening the love feast was 
observed. This custom of hospitality was maintained many 
years after the church was built and the organization effected. 
Elder John Berkley, of Somerset County, seems to have had 


tlie care of the members and would assist them in their com- 

Though there was no organization at first and the meet- 
ings were irregular, yet the work grew steadily, and in 18^9 
a site was selected for a church on land owned by Jacob 
Mack. W here the Indian Creek Road crosses the county line 
road, dividing Westmoreland and Fayette Counties, the large 
meetinghouse 40x80 was erected. This house stands on the 
Fayette County side. It was dedicated by J. S. Hauger and 
I. Quinter. At this time the congregation extended south- 
east to the top of the Laurel Hill Mountains, northwest to the 
top of Chestnut Ridge, west l)eyond Connellsville, or more 
than twenty miles beyond the church, and east beyond Ligo- 
rier, a distance of fifteen or more miles. No established line 
existed between Indian Creek and Jacobs Creek jirior to 1883. 
In that year a boundary was fixed, making the boundary line 
between Donegal and Mt. Pleasant Townships, Westmoreland 
County, and between Salt Lick and 1 kill skin Townships in 
Fayette County, the congregational line. In the fall of 1913 
Trout Run congregation was detached from the remainder 
of Indian Creek. 

The County Line house, noted before, was in continuous 
use until 1897, when a larger one with basement under part 
of it was erected to take its place. In 1870 another church 
was built about ten miles north of the County Line house. 
This house was known as the Nicely church. In 1906 a church 
was erected in the western part of the congregation, on Chest- 
nut Ridge, called I'Jbcthel. Then, in 1907. still another was 
built in the eastern i)art on the Laurel Ridge, called Trout 
Run. This now belongs to the Trout Run congregation. 

In naming the ministers who lived and labored in this 
congregation, or even long before it was a congregation, in 
its earliest histor>% it is impossible to give them in the order, 
as no records are in existence. It is thought that Elder John 
Nicholson. Sr., who is said to have been an elder thirty-five 
years, was among the first ministers to reside there, as he is 
known to have preached a funeral there about 1838. Jacob 



^^H|^pN!|^jiw^l^[||^liP <* "% 3 




County Line Church, Indian Creek Congregation. 

M. Thomas, Jacob Myers, Samuel Fike, John Berkley, Jacob 
S. Hauger and Tobias Myers were among the earlier visiting 
elders. Besides Elder John Nicholson, other resident ministers 
in the early history of the church were: Emanuel Beeghly, D. 
Flack, Jacob S. Murray, William S. Murray, Michael Myers, 
Joseph Berger, Samuel Lohr, Isaac Shoemaker, William A. 
Murray, James A. Murray, Jonathan Horner, Samuel Deeds, 
John M. Nicholson, Jacob A. Murray, David D. Horner, 
Josiah Berkley, Jeremiah M. Miller, Dr. James M. Bennett, 
F. F. Murray, Jeremiah Foust, N. B. Christner, Amos Christ- 
ner. From here the dates are known. Isaiah B. Ferguson, 
September 3, 1892; William Bond, May 1, 1894; Robert A. 
Nedrow and Herman H. Ritter, November 1, 1897; William 
Knopsnyder, September 21, 1901 ; Elmer F. Nedrow and Irwin 
R. Fletcher, March 31, 1906; J. Lloyd Nedrow and Samuel 
Solomon, October 7, 1911. The latter did not accept yet. 

In 1859 a deed was secured for the land upon which had 
been built the County Line church. An organization was ef- 
fected with Joseph Berger as elder. The next elder was 
D. D. Horner, March 29, 1880. When Elder Horner began 


to feel the weight of years he called for the ordination of 
Robert A. Nedrow, which was done September 21, 1901. He 
served until he moved to other fields of labor. Since then 
Elder E. K. Hochstetler, of Sand Patch, has been elder. 

As nearly as can be ascertained the deacons who served 
the church from the beginning to the present time are : Joseph 
K. Miller, Joseph Berger, Peter Sipe, John Flack, John Hor- 
ner, George Lepart, Daniel Myers, Eli Berger, Samuel Lohr, 
Michael Berger, Cain Christner, Robert Ferguson, Daniel 
Sheets, Samuel Christner, J. M. Miller, William Beal and 
James Galentine, October 2, 1886; John M. Nedrow, and Jacob 
Eutsey, September 19, 1896; James Lohr, September 21, 1901 ; 
I. B. Foust, George F. Miller, J. Lloyd Nedrow, Harry Miller 
and Ezra Myers, March 31, 1906 (the last two named failed 
to accept) ; W. E. Barnes, H. W. Ritenour and Benjamin 
Keefer, October 7, 1911. 


The Jacobs Creek congregation comprises Mount Pleas- 
ant, East Huntingdon and Hempfield Townships in Westmore- 
land County, and Bullskin, Lower Tyrone and Connellsville 
Township in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Its length north 
and south is twenty-four miles and its breadth east and west 
is ten miles. The first members located here early in the nine- 
teenth century. Brother Louis Snyder, Sr., came to Fayette 
County in 1825 and located near the present town of Dawson, 
which was then known as " the neck," because of the neck- 
like shape of the stri]) of land between the Youghiogheny 
River and the Jacobs Creek. Brother Snyder, wife and son, 
being the only members in that locality, he at once arranged 
to have Brethren ministers make preaching tours to this neigh- 
borhood, and thus the Brethren began to multiply in Fayette 
and Westmoreland Counties. 

It seems that Martin .Stuckman (one authority says his 
name was Jacob) was the first minister to labor here, and 
that he alone ])reached here for several years from 1825. 
Elders Michael Meyers, Samuel L. Blocher and John Wise 


were strong pillars, who assisted in organizing and working 
up the membership. The date of the organization is not 
known. The statement in Brother Howard Miller's " Record 
of the Faithful " that the congregation was organized in 1811 
with thirty members is probably an error. 

Following these ministers were Joseph Garver, William 
A. Murray, who was elected in the Indian Creek congregation, 
Martin Coder, elected September 21, 1867, but who did not 
serve, George Shumaker, the founder of the " Shumakerites," 
or " Georgeites," Isaac Shumaker, John Nicholson, elected in 
the Indian Creek congregation, Hiram Messenger, David 
Ober, a Brother McCaddon, Joseph Fulkert, Abram 
Myers, Frederick B. Weimer, 1873; Abram Summy, Septem- 
ber 21, 1867; Joseph Myers (never served), Cyrus E. Myers, 
September 27, 1887; Henry Brooks, March 24, 1888; John 
K. Richer and H. Smith Myers, 1877; A. D. Christner, Oc- 
tober, 1894; Frank B. Myers, November 25, 1909; Harry 
Meredith, L. R. Fox, Earl Gearhart and Emanuel Neider- 
heiser, March 27, 1915. 

Jacobs Creek Ministers. Front Ro\v, I^eft to RiRht, Karl Gearhart, L,. R. 
Fox, B. B. Ludwick, J. K. Eicher. Back Row, E. E. Neiderheiser 
and Harry Meredith. 



OKI Stone Church, Jucobs Creek CoiiKreKation. 

Ministers who moved into the congregation in recent 
years were Levi Stoner, 1897; Samuel Cline, 1904; J. J. 
Rodaheaver, 1907; B. R. Ludwick, 1912. Ministers who are 
known to have moved out of the congregation: John Nichol- 
son in the sixties moved West; William A. Murray also moved 
West in the sixties ; Frederick B. Weimer moved to Ohio, 
1888; Cyrus E. Myers moved to Plum Creek; H. Smith 
Myers united with the Progressives ; Levi Stoner moved to 
(Jhio; J. J. Rodaheaver moved to Detroit, Michigan; Frank 
B. Myers moved to Ncmadji, Minnesota. Present ministerial 
force: John K. Kicher, elder; B. B. Ludwick, pastor; L. R. 
Fox, Harry Meredith, I'.manuel Nciderheiser and Earl Gear- 
hart, ministers. 

Those known to have served in the eldership are : Abram 
Myers, 1858; John Nicholson, Abram Summy, 1868; H. Smith 
Myers, 1889; K. l«:ichcr. 1S97. Brother Eichcr is the 
present elder. 

Deacons known to have served this congregation are : 


Mt. Joy Church, Jacobs Creek Congrreg:ati<»n. 

Samuel Ciallatin, Ludwick Snyder, Jacob Snyder, William 
Stahl, Daniel Fletcher, Samuel Horner, John Weaver, Christly 
Wertz, Samuel Garver, Peter Shaffer, Jacob Freed, Joseph 
Freed, Samuel Christner, who moved in from Indian Creek, 
Joseph Christner, 1886; Jacob L. Myers, 1875; John Gallatin, 
Isaac Horner, 1879; John Summy, November 16, 1895; Nor- 
man Neiderheiser and Esli Coder, June 29, 1901 ; Lawrence 
Christner and Frank B. Myers, June 28, 1908; Milton Metz 
and Peter Shaffer, 1914. 

Present board of deacons : Isaac Horner, Jacob L. Myers, 
Joseph Christner, John Summy, Norman Neiderheiser, Peter 
Shaffer, Joseph Shaffer, Robert Berg, John Greenawalt, 
Lawrence Christner and C. Milton Metz. 

From the beginning until about 1845 the preaching was 
done in private homes. At that time several schoolhouses 
were secured for worship, but the homes were still favorite 
places for worship for many years later. In 1858 Lewis 
Snyder, Jr., donated to the congregation a plot of ground 
for a meetinghouse. Here was erected the same year a stone 
church, 40x50 feet. This old stone church, two miles north 
of Dawson, is still in a good state of preservation. At present 


the church is unoccupied, but there is a movement on foot to 
remodel it, and resume worship there. 

It seems that about the time this church was erected, or 
soon after, the membership shifted northward into Westmore- 
land County, and Mt. Pleasant became the center of activity. 
The homes of the members were again opened for worship. 
Mt. Joy schoolhouse, one and a half miles northeast of Mt. 
Pleasant, and Laurel Run schoolhouse, five miles northeast 
of the same town, were occupied every four weeks. In two 
decades the interest ■ and membership had so grown that in 
1878 the Mt. Joy church was begun, and dedicated the follow- 
ing year. The present places of preaching are Mt, Joy church, 
Laurel Run schoolhouse, Mammoth Union church, Bridge- 
port Union Sunday-school chapel, and Wadsworth school- 
house. The Mt. Joy church was the first Brethren church, 
erected in Westmoreland County. Services were also held in 
a schoolhouse near Greensburg (now within the bounds of 
the Greensburg church) many years; also in the White Rock 
and Bear Rock schoolhouses prior to 1904. 

A notable incident occurred in the Mt. Joy house some 
years ago. While Brother Frederick B. Weimer was reading 
his text from Matthew 3: 16, a dove flew in the open window 
and lit on the Bible from which he was reading. Brother 
Weimer with his hand pushed the dove gently aside and 
finished reading his text, when the dove flew out the windovv 
through which it had entered. The occasion was the usual 
Sunday service. Brother Weimer seemed to be more than 
usually endowed with the S])irit that day. At the close of 
the discourse he gave an invitation and fifteen persons came 
forward and asked for l)aptism. Brother Ludwick. who gives 
this incident, received it from two persons who were eye- 
witnesses to the scene. 

Since Brother B. B. Ludwick became the pastor in Feb- 
ruary, 1912, the congregation has taken on new life. The 
present membershij) is 307. One Sunday-school with an enroll- 
ment of 261, a Christian Workers' Society, a Sisters' Aid So- 
ciety, Bible Normals and singing classes are maintained. 



As stated in the history of the Conemaugh congregation, 
the old Conemaugh congregation was divided August 7, 1879, 
and soon after that the Johnstown congregation was organized. 
The membership was over 300. Solomon Benshoff was the 
elder. He was assisted in the ministry by George Hanawalt, 
Benjaman Goughnour, Stephen Hildebrand, John M. Harsh- 

Somersct Street Brethren (luircli, Johnstown, Pa. 

berger, Daniel W. Crofford and W. A. Adams. The deacons 
were: Stephen .Stutzman, Jacob Berkey, Jacob Wertz, Benja- 
min Benshofif, Samuel Knavel, L. R. Brallier, Daniel Stutz- 
man, Archibald Wissinger and Jesse Berkebile. 

The only meetinghouses they had were the Benshoff Hill 
and the Gififen Hill. As neither of these was suitable for 
holding love feasts it became necessary to build a new meet- 
inghouse where such services could be accommodated. 

Now, there being a large membership in and around the 
city of Johnstown, and no meetinghouse in the city, it was 



Old Walnut Orove Cliurcli, Johnstown Congregation. 

finally decided to build a large, two-story brick church on 
Somerset Street, arranged for holding love feasts. This 
church was dedicated October 31, 1880, and the first love feast 
was held November 4, same year. To these meetings Elders 
James Quinter and D. N. ^^^orkman were invited. The 
church was supposed to cost $6,000, but when it was 
finished it had cost a little more than twice that amount. It 
was found difficult to pay this heavy church debt, as most of 
the members had already given what they considered their 

In the midst of this financial strain came the Progressive 
movement of the early eighties. These were trying times, 
of which we do not care to write. Suffice it to state that, 
after all was over, five ministers, three deacons and seventy- 
five members had gone with the Progressives. The big new 
church also went with them, with the i)roviso that they as- 
sume the debt on it. This was done in 1883. This left the 
Johnstown congregation with 251 members, several active 


ministers, a good working body of deacons, but no communion 
house and no elder. Elder Joseph Berkey was chosen acting 
elder, and in 1884 the Walnut Grove meetinghouse was erect- 
ed, suitable for communion purposes, additional ministers and 
deacons were elected, and the church started out on an era of 
prosperity which it continues. In 1883 the Ouemahoning and 
Shade ministers assisted in the preaching, in order to relieve 
Brother Hanawalt, whose health was poor. 

The following ministers were elected : Ananias W. Myers 
and Solomon E. Dorer, November 29. 1883 ; Abraham Fyock 
and Xorman \\\ Berkley, September 29, 1887 (the latter was 
not installed) ; John F. Dietz and John C. Harrison, Septem- 
ber 14, 1893; Silas S. Blough and Albert U. Berkley, June 
28, 1894. 

Deacons were elected as follows : Abraham Fyock and 
Jacob Mineely, Nov. 29, 1883 ; George Wissinger, David 
Fyock and Jerry E. Long, September 29, 1887; Ephraim 
Strayer, Cornelius W. Hershberger and Benjamin .Stewart, 
June 28, 1894; Clayton Berkley and G. W. Zimmerman, both 
deacons, moved into the congregation in 1884. 

Samuel A. Moore, a minister, also lived here several 
years, having moved here from Bedford County. In 1883 he 
was given a letter to the Ouemahoning church, though he 
had already lived there several years. H. S. Myers, a first 
degree minister, was received by letter June 10. 1886. He was 
given a certificate March 28, 1888, and received back Decem- 
ber, 1889. Joseph S. Burkhart was received by letter May 17, 
1888. George S. Rairigh was received by letter September 
8, 1891. 

June 10, 1886, George Hanawalt and David Hildebrand 
were ordained to the eldership, and June 28, 1894, George S. 
Rairigh. September 9, 1886, Elder George Hanawalt and 
family were granted letters, having moved to Westmoreland 
County. Elder George S. Rairigh moved to the Eastern Shore 
of Maryland in 1896. 

Regular services had been held in the Methodist church 
in Roxbury for a number of years, the Conemaugh church 


having decided to hold services at " Whiskey Spring," Feb- 
ruary 7, 1878. During 1893 houses of worship were erected 
at Roxbury and Maple Grove. For many years, probably 
more than fifty, meetings were held on Yoder Hill, Upper 
Yoder Township — first in homes, next in the schoolhouses and 
later in a union church. In 1896 the Brethren erected a new 
house of worship there. There were also services held in a 
hall in Morrellville. Johnstown congregation now had five 
houses of worship. 

The ministerial force was augmented by the addition of 
Brother E. F. Clark, whose letter was received March 12, 

The congregation having now grown to a large mem- 
bership, it was divided into two separate congregations Jan- 
uary 1, 1899. The eastern part of the old congregation re- 
tained the old name and the part west of the river (Stony 
Creek) was called West Johnstown. 

Ministers were elected as follows : Samuel H. Fyock, De- 
cember 28, 1899; Samuel W. Pearce and Cnrnelius W. Hersh- 
berger, March 29, 1900; David Ribblett and W. Clay Wertz, 
June 30, 1904; John W. Mills, Peter C. Strayer and James 
W. Fyock, June 29. 1905 ; David F. Shumaker and Lori B. 
Hershberger, June 21, 1910. 

The following deacons were elected: Milton Metzger and 
William Harrison, December 28, 1899 ; Vincent E. Mineely, 
David Ribblett, Peter C. Strayer and Samuel Brallier, May 
19, 1904; Lori B. Hershberger, Noah Beeghley, Orlando 
Hershberger, Michael Kyle and John Berkebile, 1906 ; James 
Wilson, March 28, 1907; William Keiper, Samuel Varner, 
Harvey Shumaker, Harvey Berkebile and Solomon Harrison, 
June 21, 1910; George B. Wertz, 19 — ; George C. Schmucker, 
Joseph E. Reininger and John Hoover, July 23, 1913; Logan 
Gossard and Samuel Gossard. July 23. 1914. 

Samuel A. Beeghly. a minister, moved into the congrega- 
tion, and May 18, 1899. he was granted a certificate, having 
moved out. Dr. S. G. Miller also labored here a while and 
was given a letter in 1901. S. H. Fyock, having united with 


the Progressives, was dropped June 30, 1904. J. C. Harrison 
and family, having moved to Tennessee, were granted letters 
May 9, 1905. Elder D. S. Clapper and family were received 
by letter May 22, 1906, and in a year or so moved to Scalp 
Level. W. M. Howe, having been employed as pastor of the 
congregation, was received May 14, 1907. After serving the 
church seven years in that capacity, he moved to Meyersdale, 
about September 1, 1914. Elder S. S. Blough and family 
were received December 26, 1907, and given letters April 30, 
1908. William Kinsey, a young minister, had moved in and 
was advanced June 21, 1910, and later moved out. Galen K. 
Walker moved here in 1911, and moved to Plum Creek con- 
gregation in the spring of 1914. Lewis G. Shafifer handed in 
his letter September 25, 1913, though he had lived here be- 

The following deacons moved in : John Eckles. Aaron 
Blough, David F. Shumaker, Joseph Shank and S. S. Lint. 
The last two moved out again. John Custer was reinstated 
to the deacon's office November 11, 1909. 

On December 28, 1899, Abraham Fyock was ordained to 
the eldership, and April 1, 1912. he moved to the Dunnings 
Creek church. May 27, 1902, Silas S. Blough, who has had 
charge of the Pittsburgh Mission since 1900, was ordained to 
the eldership. June 21, 1910, W. M. Howe was ordained, and 
May 3, 1914, Samuel W. Pearce, Cornelius W. Hershberger 
and Galen K. Walker. 

December 15, 1910, W. Clay Wertz was granted a cer- 
tificate, and February 1, 1914, J. W. Mills and family moved 
out of the congregation. 

A meetinghouse was built in Conemaugh in 1900, the 
Giffin Hill (Locust Grove) house was rebuilt in 1903, and 
a church was bought in Moxham in 1904. 

September 1, 1914, Brother M. Clyde Horst became the 
pastor of the Walnut Grove church of the congregation. In 
May of the same year Elder Walker moved out to accept the 
pastorate of the Plum Creek congregation. May, 1915, Chas. 
Cable, C. C. Custer and Gilbert Shumaker were elected dea- 



Coik-iiuiiikIi ( liiircli, .l<>liii>t«MMi (onj; rotation. 

cons. On October 21, 1915, at the Locust Grove house, Frank 
F. Fyock, WilHam G. Wilson and William C. Berkebile were 
elected deacons. In 1915 the Moxliam church was sold and a 
larj^er and more convenient one was Ixjught from the Luth- 

The i)resent official hoard consists of : Elders, C. W. 
Harshberger and S. \V. Pearce ; jiastor at Walnut (kove. M. 
Clyde Horst; ministers, j. S. Burkhart. J. M. Harshhcrger. 
L. G. Shaffer, L. B. Harshberger, D. F. Shumaker, P. C. 



c3 £ 
S e 9? 

^1 £ 

a > 

s g s 


Strayer and D. C. Ribblett ; deacons, V. E. Mineely, Geo. Wis- 
singer, Jno. Eckels, W. H. Keiper, H. A. Berkebile, A. J. 
Strayer, M. M. Kyle, G. B. Wertz, Aaron Blough, G. C. 
Schmucker, Jno. Hoover, C. Berkley, H. Shumaker, J. E. Rin- 
inger, Chas. Cable, C. C. Custer, G. Shumaker, Samuel Bral- 
lier, S. Gossard, L. Gossard, Jacob Ribblett, Jno. Berkebile, 
Jas. Wilson, S. Varner, A. Varner, I. L. Harsliberger, O. D. 
Rhodes, F. F. Fyock, W. C. Wilson and W. C. Berkebile. 
The congregation has five houses of worship, and five Sunday- 
schools, with a total enrollment of about 1,100. There are two 
Christian Workers' Societies and three Sisters' Aid Societies ; 
also a Young Women's League and a Young Men's Organiza- 

In 1915 work was begun on a new church in W'alnut 
Grove, which will be completed in the spring of 1916. Ground 
was broken for the new building May 19, 1915, and the corner 
stone was laid, with appropriate services, August 22, 1915. 
The cost of ground and building will be about $40,000. The 
size of the church is 80x94 feet, with a parsonage attached, 
30x34 feet. 

This church will have all modern conveniences. Besides 
the fine auditorium, which seats five hundred, there are twenty- 
six class rooms, nearly all of which can be opened into the 
auditorium, enlarging the seating capacity to about 1,300, 
nearly all in full view of the speaker. Back of the pulpit is 
the ba[)tistry, and two adjacent classrooms will serve as dress- 
ing rooms at l)ai)tismal services. In the basement is a very 
large dining room for use at conventions, and in which the 
love feasts will be held. In the basement also are the kitchen, 
pantry, nursery, boys' reading room. Ladies' Aid .Society's 
room, etc. There is also a library room and rest and cloak 




The territory originally embraced by the Ligonier Valley 
church was a wide triangular section of Westmoreland Coun- 
ty, bordering on Somerset, Cambria and Indiana Counties, ex- 
tending from Water ford to Cokeville, and including the above- 
named ])oints, as well as New Florence, Wild Cat, Bolivar, 
and that i)art of Indiana County of which Garfield is the 
center. The first settlers around Water ford w^ere members 
who had moved across the Laurel Hill from the Quemahon- 
ing church, and for a number of years they were served by 
preachers from the same congregation. These first members 
were John Hauger, Henry Meyers and wife, Joseph Miller 
and wife, David Horner, Franey Horner, Nancy Fletcher, 
Polly Peterson. Thcophilus Hciple, Samuel Knupp, Fannie 
Bricker, Josiah Heijile and wife, Jacob L. Wolford and wife, 
and perhai)s several others. Meetings were held in the school- 
houses. Ministers who made frequent trii)s to this valley were 
Tobias Blough, Jonathan W. Blough, iMiianuel J. Blough and 
Iac(jb W. Speicher. Probably the first minister elected from 
among their own number was Dr. Samuel G. Miller, in 1877. 
In August, 1878, Theophilus Heiple was elected minister and 
Jacob Bridge and G. Yager, deacons. 

The ])reaching at Bolivar and Wild Cat schoolhouse was 
done principally by ministers from Cambria and Somerset 
Counties, i)rominent among whom were Jose])h Berkey. 
Emanuel J. Blough, Stephen Hildebrand and others. 

An organization was effected at a love feast held about 
September, 1876 or 1877, at Decker's, near Wild Cat Creek, 
which embraced WM Cat schoolhouse, Bolivar and Water- 
ford. William A. Beery (colored) was elected to the min- 
istry in 1888. and removed the same year, to Johnstown, 
where he died in 1890. Jacob Dell was called to the ministry 
in 1882. Daniel ShalTer was elected to the ministry in 1881. 
and moved to California in 1884. Jacob Bridge was called to 
the ministry in 1883. After Dr. Miller had labored earnestly 
and enthusiastically for several years he moved to Scalp Level. 
Pennsvlvania. Brother Dell labored successfully several 


years, but being an employe of the railroad company, he was 
moved to Allegheny County, where he was killed in Duquesne, 
in 1908, by being run down by an engine. 

Elder George Hanawalt moved from Johnstown to near 
Water ford in 1886, and was given the oversight of the church. 
The Bolivar end of the congregation had been, to a degree, 
under the care of the Shade Creek Brethren, who had en- 
couraged them to try to build a meetinghouse, on the Garfield 
side of the river. When Elder Hanawalt came among them 
this house was ready for the seats and pulpit. He helped them 
to finish it (all but the plastering), and in several weeks in 
May, 1886, it was dedicated, with George Hanawalt, Joseph 
Berkey, Hiram Musselman, Jacob Holsopple and Joseph Hol- 
sopple present. Elder. Hanawalt preaching the dedicatory ser- 
mon, assisted by the others. Elder Hanawalt labored hard 
among this scattered membership to build up a strong and 
prosperous church. 

A mission was opened at Cokeville, which at one time 
numbered thirty members. Several love feasts were held and 
an effort was made to build a meetinghouse. When Elder 
Hanawalt's age and strength no longer permitted him to make 
his visits to Cokeville, the District took it up. but afterwards 
neglected the charge, and the members died and moved away, 
until finally all was lost. 

Shortly after the building of the Bolivar meetinghouse 
the congregation was divided. Bolivar, Wild Cat and Coke- 
ville were made a new congregation, called Bolivar, and 
Waterford retained the old name. This seems to have taken 
place some time during 1887 or 1888. A meetinghouse, 30x50 
feet, was built, or at least begun, in Waterford, in 1888. 
Theophilus Heiple moved to Somerset County in 1898. June 
20, 1901, William C. Hanawalt. a young minister who had 
moved into the congregation from Huntingdon, was advanced 
to the second degree of the ministry, and William E. Wolford 
was elected deacon. December 22. 1901, a certificate was grant- 
ed to Dr. S. G. Miller, who had moved here from Johnstown 
a year or so before. June 21, 1902, Harvey M. Hanawalt and 



Waterford Cliuroh, Lig-onier Valley Cong'reg:ation. 

William E. Wolford were elected to the ministry and Samuel 
W. Miller and John A. Wolford to the deaconship. September 
14, 1902, William C. Hanawalt and Harvey M. Hanawalt were 
granted certificates, and November 30, of the same year, Elder 
George Hanawalt was granted his letter. The whole Hanawalt 
family moved to Lordsburg, California, after having lived here 
sixteen years. The members and friends very much regretted 
seeing them leave. 

At the 1903 District Meeting Elder Robert A. Nedrow 
was appointed elder in charge. April 21, 1907, Joseph Miller 
was elected deacon. April 9, 1909, Elder Nedrow resigned 
the eldership because he was moving to Elizabethtown. June 
24, 1909, Elder Perry J. Blough was chosen to take the over- 
sight of the church. March 12, 1910, Joseph Miller was grant- 
ed a certificate. Some time prior to March 12, 1910, J. W. 


Sanner, a minister, moved in from the Middle Creek church. 
Elder J. D. Myers, an elder, also lived in this church a short 
v^'hile, moving out in 1906. When Elder Hanawalt moved 
into the congregation, in 1886, there were twenty members in 
and around Waterford. From that time until May 15, 1913, 
eighty-five were received by baptism and letter. Thirty-four 
letters were granted and seventeen died. The church main- 
taines a flourishing Sunday-school, and a good Christian 
Workers' Meeting, notwithstanding the fact that a number of 
its most active members have gone to other fields. Deacons 
Samuel W. Miller died March 22, 1907, and Jacob L. Wol- 
ford, December 8, 1913. 

The present organization is: Elder, P. J. Blough ; min- 
isters, W. E. Wolford and J. W. Sanner; deacons, John Wol- 
ford and Herman Wolford. 


This congregation comprises what was formerly the Peck 
church of the Elk Lick congregation. Some of the charter 
members were : John, Jonas, Elias, Daniel and Moses Peck 
and Moses W. Miller and their wives. At a council meeting 
held at the Peck church, April 20, 1888, Brethren L. A. Peck 
and J. N. Davis were elected as a committee to represent the 
Peck church, a branch of the Elk Lick congregation, at a 
meeting held at the home of Elder J. N. Davis, July 6, 1888, 
with a committee of three from the Elk Lick church, Salis- 
bury ; viz., A. P. Beachy, H. H. Reitz and David Lichty. The 
purpose of this meeting was to establish a dividing line in the 
Elk Lick congregation, in which the Peck church was to be 
made a separate congregation. 

This committee decided to commit its report to a council 
of the whole Elk Lick congregation, which was to be held 
August 18, 1888, to ratify or reject the work of this committee 
herein reported. 

At this council it was decided by unanimous vote to di- 
vide the congregation, which at this time numbered 210 mem- 




bers. After the division 160 were assigned to Elk Lick, and 
fifty to the Peck church. After the Peck church became 
separate from Elk Lick the name was changed to Maple Glen. 

Among the charter members of the new congregation 
were: John Peck and wife, William Peck and wife, Lewis 
A. Peck and wife, Solomon Hershberger and wife, Hezekiah 
Hahn and wife, John N. Davis and wife, Zenas HoUada and 
wife, and Abraham J. Folk and wife. Very few of the charter 
members are now living and reside in this congregation. 

At the time of the organization the ministers were : J. N. 
Davis and L. A. Peck. .The deacons were : Hezekiah Hahn, 
Zenas Hollada, W illiam Peck and Abraham J. Folk. Elder 
Joel Gnagey was chosen as presiding elder of this congrega- 
tion, and served until September 27, 1896, when Brethren J. 
N. Davis and L. A. Peck were advanced to the eldership. The 
membership at present numbers ninety-four. 

February 28, 1913, Elder J. N. Davis died. Brother P. S. 
Davis was called to the ministry September 6, 1914. 

In 1850 a house was erected for both school and church 
purposes. It is not known that this house was specially dedi- 
cated, l)ut in it the members and friends worshiped and held 
their Sunday-school until they built the Maple Glen meet- 
inghouse in 1880. In 1881 this house was dedicated, the ser- 
mon on the occasion being preached by Elder John H. Myers, 
of Markleysburg. 

The Maple Glen church has two cemeteries, one called 
the Maple Glen cemetery, near the church, and the other, 
called the Peck cemetery, about a mile from the church, also 
owned by the church. 

They organized their first Sunday-school in 1876, and 
have continued it ever since. They now have a Front Line 

The following deacons have been elected : Hezekiah Hawn, 
elected in 1877, now deceased ; Zenas Hollada, in 1881 ; A. 
J. Folk, in 1886, now deceased; Jonas Hershberger, in 1890, 
now living at Waterloo, Iowa ; Samuel A. Christner, in 1896, 


now deceased; S. J. Davis, in 1903; P. S. Davis and Marshall 
Holiada, in 1910, and Simon M. Folk, in 1914. 

The present official board is: Mlder, L. A. Peck; minister, 
P. S. Davis; deacons, S. J. Davis, S. M. Folk, M. HoUada, 
Z. Holiada and W. J. Peck. 


By Joseph Holsopple. 

The Manor congregation embraces all of that part of In- 
diana County lying between the Purchase Line on the north, 
Blacklick Creek on the south, the Mahoning and Blairsville 
Road on the west, and on the east it extends into Cambria 
County, no boundary being fixed. 

Among the first Brethren that settled here were Christian 
Fry and wife, Barbara (Shultz). David Fyock, who was, a 
vSeventh Day Baptist, and his wife, Mary (Hoffman), who 
was a member, John Fyock and wife Catharine (Hofifman), 
and Adam, Cieorge, and David Helman. These all moved 
from the Shade Creek congregation, Somerset County. 
Emanuel Brallier and wife Mary (Lidy), a Brother Soyster 
and wife, John Nisewonger and wife, and Solomon Wise and 
wife came here from east of the Alleghanies. The first of 
these settlers likely came prior to the time the Fyocks and 
Bralliers moved in. which was about the year 1840. Elder 
George Rairigh. of the Cowanshannock congregation, and 
Levi Roberts and John Mineely. of the Conemaugh congrega- 
tion, ministered to the si)iritual needs of these people in early 

Samuel Lidy, a minister in the second degree in the Cone- 
maugh congregation, now moved into this territory near Nolo, 
and July 13, 1845, they held a meeting in David Brown's barn, 
about two miles east of Greenville, in the Manor Settlement, 
and elected David Brown as the first deacon of the Manor 
church. It was probably at this meeting that the church was 
organized, and by an agreement between Elder Rairigh and 
Brother Lidy the boundary, as given above, was fixed, and 
Samuel Lidy, who was then ordained, was given the oversight. 



About 1845 Adam Helman was elected to the ministry, 
but he soon moved to Somerset County. July, 1847, Levi Fry 
was called to the ministry of the Word. Soon after this, in 
1847, Adam Helman returned from Somerset County, and 
settled on the farm where his father-in-law. Christian Fry, 
lived, a mile or so east of Indiana. Rivalry and jealousy 
sprang up between these two brothers-in-law that gave the 
elder much concern. One thing after another occurred, until 
Brother Helman, in 1863, moved to Ohio, where he died at a 
ripe old age. 

David Ober was elected to the ministry May 13, 1855, 
ordained to the eldership about 1870, and died March 14, 
1886. Samuel Brallier was elected to the ministry about 
September 26, 1858, and later moved to the Conemaugh con- 
gregation, where he was ordained to the eldership. Joseph 
Holsopple was elected to the ministry' June 17, 1866, and 
ordained to the eldership June 9, 1892. Daniel Brallier was 
elected to the ministry June 13, 1868, Caleb Secrist, 1873, and 
Isaac Secrist, June 23, 1882. Brother Brallier moved to Al- 
toona, Middle District of Pennsylvania, where he was an elder 
for a number of years, and where he died a few years ago. 
Caleb Secrist moved to Kansas, and subsequently to Talbot 
County, Marj^land. Isaac Secrist died on his farm, adjoining 
the Crooked Creek church property. About 1886 Frank F. 
Holsopple was elected to the ministry, but about 1888 he left 
his home church to attend Juniata College. While there he 
was married, and never returned to live. June 9, 1892, John 
W. Fyock was elected to the ministry, and in 1909 ordained 
to the eldership. James \\'iddowson, a graduate of Juniata 
College, also was elected to the ministry .and has preached 
some very acceptable sermons, but is giving his attention to 
teaching, having* taught in Indiana, Cambria and Huntingdon 
Counties, Pennsylvania, as well as in New York, Colorado 
and Maryland. May 6, 1900. his brother, Frank Ridley Wid- 
dowson, was also elected to preach, but did not see fit to accept. 


Three of Manor's Ministers, left to rig:ht, D. R. Berkey, Jolm W. Fyock 
and Walter N. Myers. 

having taken uj) the medical profession, Ijeinj^ a graduate from 
the University of I'ennsylvania. Walter N. Myers was elected 
in 1901, and ordained to the eldership June 19, 1910. 

Ministers who were elected elsewhere, and lived and 
served here, were a brother by the name of Jacob Soyster, 
who came from Morrison's Cove in 1850, and died February 
20, 1855, aged 74 years. 7 months and 2 days; Mark Minser. 
an elder, placed his membership here September 12, 1880. and 
at the death of Elder Ober, came into the oversight of the 
church ; Ira C. Holsopple was elected in New Jersey, came to 
his home congregation and labored so acceptably that he was 
called to the pastorate of the Coventry (Chester County) 
church, the second church organized in America, where he is 
much loved and highly respected. 



The following table shows the names of deacons, and 
when elected, so far as known : 

David Brown, July 13, 1845, 

Emanuel Brallier, October 4, 1846, 

Levi Fry October 4, 1846, minister. 

Samuel Brallier, October 12, 1854, minister. 

George Helman, October 12, 1854, moved to Ohio. 

Henry Mapes, 

William Stuver, September 23, 1859, moved to Johnstown. 

John Gillin October 7, 1860, 

Henry Wissinger, .... September 19, 1861, moved to Montg'm'ry. 

Joseph Holsopple October 25, 1863, minister. 

Daniel S. Brallier, .... April 29, 1866, minister. 

George Wise. April 29, 1866, 

Jacob Fyock, April 29, 1866, 

George W. Burkhart, . May 16, 1869, moved to Altoona. 

D. H. Ruffner, May 16, 1869, 

Hiram Shaffer, May 16, 1869, moved to Shade. 

Levi Good, moved to Nebraska. 

Isaac Secrist, minister. 

L. R. Brallier, April 14, 1872, moved to Johnstown. 

H. F. Berkebile, April 14, 1872, 

S. S. Creswell, April 14, 1872, 

Jacob Helman May 28, 1882, 

Joseph H. Chapman, . May 28, 1882, 

B. F. Wissinger, May 28, 1882, moved to Jolinstown. 

J. M. Fyock 

E. B. Widdowson, . . . 

John Fyock, July 1, 1887. minister. 

John Minser, July 1, 1887, 

A. C. Ober, June 1, 1893, 

Jacob Shaffer 

Nelson Fyock 

Richard Learn, left the church. 

Daniel Burkhart, 

E. E. Holsopple, May 22, 1915, 

Joseph Widdowson, . . May 22, 1915, 

Mark Fyock, May 22, 1915, 


The Manor meetinghouse, two miles southeast of Green- 
ville, was erected in 1854, and remodeled and rebuilt in 1886. 


Purchase Line Church, Manor Congregation. 

The Purchase Line house was built in 1868, and was re- 
modeled, rebuilt and enlarged in 1899. The Belsano house, 
near the town of Belsano, was built in 1873. A few years 
later a church was built at Crooked Creek, but some of the 
members moving away weakened the work there. We also 
have an interest in the union house in Diamondville, where 
monthly appointments are kept up. We also have the Penn 
Run house, which we bought from the United Presbyterians 
in 1905 at a cost of $562.50. This was repaired and an ad- 
dition built to it, making the entire cost about $1,000. 

In numbers the Manor church is, perhaps, no excei)tion 
from the ordinary. Sometimes it grows in numbers, then 
dwindles down. In 1862 there were some over 125 members, 
but about that time there was an exodus of the Helmans, 
Wassams, Nisewongers, Mapeses, and others, until the mem- 
bership was less than 100. About 1874 there was a reaction 
favorable. Numbers were baptized, but because of the close- 
ness of financial matters, many of our members, who de- 
pended on emj)loymcnt for subsistence, went to the railroads 
and shops for emfiloyment. This drew numbers to Johnstown. 
Altoona, and other railroad points, until more than one-third 



of our members were transplanted to the congregations at the 
points named. 

Taking a retrospect, I can point out members helping con- 
gregations in nearly all of the Western States from the Ohio 
to the Rocky Mountains, and possibly farther west. There 
are nearly a dozen of our boys preaching elsewhere. One of 
our young brethren, Quincy Holsopple, and one of our young 
sisters, Olive Widdowson, are on the India Mission Field. 

We have four Sunday-schools, two Christian Workers' 
Societies aifd one Sisters' Aid Society. The present officials 
are : Elders, Joseph Holsopple, inactive on account of age, 
J. W. Fyock and W. N. Myers; minister, D. R. Berkey ; 
deacons, H. F. Berkebile, Joseph Chapman, J. M. Fyock, 
Mark Fyock, Nelson Fyock, S. L. Fyock, E. E. Holsopple, H. 
A. Holsopple, J. D. Minser, A. C. Ober, Jacob Shaffer and 
Joseph Widdowson. 

Penn Run Church, Manor Congrregration. 



Markleysburg congregation is located in Fayette County, 
Pennsylvania. It was a part of the Sandy Creek congrega- 
tion, located partly in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and 
partly in West Virginia, but was cut off from it in 1879, and 
in October of the same year was organized into a separate con- 

Ministers who lived and labored in this territory Ijefore 
the division of the Sandy Creek congregation : Elder Jacob 
Thomas, Alexander Thomas, John Boger, Larkin Hall, a fine 
scholar and great debater, who had an all-night debate with 
the learned school-teacher, Jacob Rush, who afterwards be- 
came a minister in the Church of the Brethren, John L. Hook, 
who lived just across the line in Maryland, Michael J. Thomas, 
Christian Harader, Philip J. Brown, Andrew Umbel, Michael 
Thomas, Jacob Beeghly, Samuel C. Umbel, William Thomas, 
and James A. Ridenour. 

Probably a few of the foregoing labored in the Markleys- 
burg congregation. In addition to these there were: Solomon 
Bucklew, John H. Myers, Jeremiah Beeghly, Jasper Barnt- 
house. Marshal J. Weller, Marlin J. Maust, Silas Fike. and 
Jacob J. Rodehaver. 

Two young brethren, Ortha P. Thomas and Roy Umbel, 
were elected to the ministry, but were not installed into ofhce. 
Christian Harader moved to Iowa, where he died. Philip J. 
Brown moved to Ohio and died there. Larkin Hall died in 
Marshall County, Iowa, whither he had moved. James A. 
Ridenour moved to Ohio, and afterward united with the 
Progressives. Solomon l>ucklew, in 1887, moved to Illinois, 
returned in 1914, and left again in 1915. John H. Myers 
moved to Somerset in 1893 and returned in 1903, and died 
August 11, 1913. Jasper Barnthouse moved to Uniontown in 
1903. J. J. Rodehaver moved to Mount Pleasant, Marlin J. 
Maust to Everett and Silas Fike to Georges Creek. 

The following brethren have served in the deacon's of- 
fice: Francis Shirer, Christian Thomas, Michael Umbel, George 
J. Thomas, Moses R. Thomas, Abraham Miller, Milo Thomas, 


Elijah Umbel, Sylvanus Thomas, Andrew Chrise, W. H. 
Thomas, Lloyd Umbel, Amos Umbel, Marcellus W. Fike, 
Francis J. Thomas, Andrew Dennis and Joseph A. Weller. 

Solomon Bucklew was the first elder in charge. When 
Jacob Beeghly and John H. Myers were ordained, in 1880, he 
resigned. Jasper Barnthouse was ordained in 1896. Samuel 
C. Umbel was called to the eldership in 1906 and is the present 
elder. Jeremiah Beeghly, an aged elder, also lives in the con- 

In the division of the Sandy Creek congregation the 
Bethel meetinghouse fell to the Markleysburg side. This 
house was built in 1865. The Pleasant View house in Mark- 
leysburg was erected in 1879. The first sermon in this house 
was preached by Elder Jacob Thomas, by special request, 
when he was eighty-five years of age. This was Saturday 
evening, October, 1879. The next day Elder H. R. Holsinger 
delivered the dedicatory sermon. The Asher Glade house was 
built in 1890 and dedicated by Jeremiah Thomas. Union 
chapel was built in 1892. One Methodist, one Lutheran and 
one Brethren (Jeremiah Thomas) minister took part in the 
dedicatory services. Sand Spring house was built in 1898, 
and dedicated by Elder Jeremiah Thomas. 

Four Sunday-schools are in session in the congregation, 
though not entirely conducted by the members of the church. 
There is one Christian Workers' Meeting. To assist the two 
aged elders, S. C. Umbel and Jeremiah Beeghly, and Brother 
M. J. Weller, Elder J. J. Shaffer was appointed by the elders 
of the District in 1915. The names of the present deacons 
follow: Andrew Chrise, A. Dennis, M. W. Fike, A. Miller, 
A. M. Thomas, Harry Thomas, F. J. Thomas, M. R. Thomas, 
S. Thomas, Amos Umbel, Elijah Umbel, Lloyd Umbel, M. 
T. Umbel, and Joseph Weller. 


By C. G. Lint. 
When Meyersdale became a separate congregation in 
1877 it had one minister and three meetinghouses — Meyers- 


dale, Berkley's Mills and Hochstetler, or Greenville. In 1878 
John R. Lichty and Harvey M. Ficrklcy were called to the min- 
istry, the latter, however, declining the call. In 1880 E. K. 
Hochstetler, Samuel P. Maust and Uriah D. I>rougher were 
called to the ministry and installed. The sainc year the IVf)- 
gressive element hegan asking f(jr i)rivilcgcs that the memher- 
ship at large could not consent to, and four of these, showing 
a strong spirit of insuhordination, were disowned from fel- 
lowship. In the spring of 1881 twenty-eight withdrew their 
fellowship. These, with the four previously disowned, thirty- 
two in all, were organized into a church hy H. R. Holsinger, 
and placed under his care for a season. 

The local membership, having passed through a severe or- 
deal, now numbering less than 200, decided the same year to 
build a meetinghouse upon the site of the old one, large enough 
for love-feast purposes. In 1882 the old house was razed and 
the present structure erected. In the fall we held a very 
pleasant love feast. Elder D. P. Sayler officiating. The work 
of the church now moved along very pleasantly, now and then 
adding to its membership. In 1887 we had a two weeks' meet- 
ing, conducted by Elder John S. Flory, upon which occasion 
sixty-five were added to the church. 

The Hyndman church was bought from the Evangelical 
Association. Brother Thomas Hardin and D. K. Clapper 
were elected ministers at that place. John R. Lichty moved to 
Idaho Falls, Idaho. In 1891 Brother D. K. Clapper moved in- 
to the congregation, and in 1906 he moved into Meyersdalc. 
Brother IC. F. Clark, after having lived in Meyersdale several 
years, moved to Washington, District of Columbia, in 1905. 

In 1913 the congregation was divided and Greenville 
made a separate congregation. E. K. Hochstetler, who was or- 
dained to the eldership November 4. 1905, became the elder 
of the new congregation. 

In the summer of 1914 Elder W. M. Howe became the 
pastor of the congregation and located in Meyersdale. Be- 
sides the large, evergreen .Sunday-school in Meyersdale, the 
church has a large interest in two mission union schools. 


In addition to these, there are a Christian Workers' So- 
ciety, a Sisters' Aid Society, teachers' meetings and a Friday 
night Bible class for all. May 5, 1915, S. P. Maust and D. K. 
Clapper were ordained to the eldership. 

The officials of the church are: W. M. Howe, pastor and 
elder in charge; other elders, C. G. Lint, S. P. Maust and D. 
K. Clapper; minister, D. W. Long; deacons, B. B. Dickey, 
J. M. Gnagey, H. L. Griffith, M. C. Horner, C. A. Just, 
Harvey Miller, S. J. Miller, E. J. Schrock, Joseph Shellbear 
and Philip Thomas. 

During the latter ])art of 1915 Elder J. H. Cassady held 
a series of meetings, during which nearly a hundred united 
with the church. Since the church has a regular pastor new 
life is manifesting itself. 

Only the first part of this history was given by Elder Lint. 


When, in 1849, the church in Somerset County was di- 
vided into four congregations, the western part was named 
Middle Creek. It is a large territory, extending from Con- 
fluence to the mountains, a distance of about thirty miles, 
while in width it is about sixteen miles. 

At that time Henry Myers was elder and Jacob S. Hauger 
was minister. Brother Hauger had been elected in 1835. 
Myers' services were in the German language, while Hauger 
used both German and English. The first election after the 
organization resulted in calling Brethren Solomon Lichty and 
Martin L. Myers. Since no records were kept in those days 
it is difficult to know in what order the following brethren 
were elected: Adam F. Snyder, Jonathan Lichty, Abraham 
Hostetler and John Dull ; Jacob D. Miller and his son, Edward 
S. Miller, 1854; Michael Kimmcl in 1850; Valentine Blough 
and William S. Myers in 1867; Tobias Myers and Cornelius 
Berkley; John Schrock, and W'illiam Miller. Of the above, 
Brethren Dull, W. S. Myers and A\'. Miller did not preach. 
Following these were : Jacob T. Myers, 1871 ; John H. Myers 


and Wesley A. Adams, 1875 ; Isaiah C. Johnson and George 
W. Lowry, June, 1883 ; Herman A. Stahl and Robert T. Hull, 
June 20, 1890; John W. Wegly, 1897; H. H. Kimmel and W. 
H. Meyers, 1900; M. J. Brougher and Jacob W. Sanner, June, 
1906; Samuel A. Meyers, May 29, 1911, and Rufus D. Case- 
beer, May 20, 1915. Brethren C. A. Just and Emerson Pyle 
were at different times elected, but did not see fit to accept the 
call. Brother Pyle has since been installed. 

Besides these there have moved into the congregation, 
at dififerent times, Josiah Berkley, Silas Hoover, Uriah D. 
Brougher, N. B. Christner, I. B. Ferguson, Joseph Beam, A. 
D. Christner and B. B. Ludwick. The following have moved 
out of the congregation : Henry Myers, Jacob S. Hauger, 
Solomon Lichty, Martin L. Myers, Jonathan Lichty, Abra- 
ham Hostetler, John Dull, Edward S. Miller, Tobias Myers, 
J. T. Myers, John H. Myers, W. A. Adams, I. B. Ferguson, 
A. D. Christner, M. J. Brougher, J. W. Sanner, I. C. Johnson 
and B. B. Ludwick. 

The following brethren are said to have served in the 
eldership : Henry Myers, Jacob S. Hauger, Solomon Lichty. 
Martin L. Myers, Jonathan Lichty, Adam F. Snyder, Josiah 
Berkley, Valentine Blough, Silas Hoover, U. D. Brougher, 
H. A. Stahl and R. T. Hull. 

In the number of meetinghouses Middle Creek easily 
stands first in the District. The first one was erected before 
the congregation was organized. It was a love-feast house, 
40x60 feet, and was built at Middle Creek in 1848. This 
church was in constant use forty-five years and was replaced 
by a more modern structure in 1893. Another early church 
was the one at Pleasant Hill, in Mil ford Township. This 
seems to have been a union church at first. A new one took 
its place in 1906. The Plank Road (or Grove) church in 
Somerset Township was another old one. It is no longer in 
use. The Hauger, or Union house, was located two and a 
half miles from Rockwood. This is not in use now. In 1856 
a church was built on land donated by Jacob D. Miller, several 
miles north of Somerset, and called the Fairview church. 



<;eiger Church, Middle Creek ami Itrothers Valley Congresrations 
the Yard Was Graded and Sidewalks Were Laid. 


This was abandoned many years ago, the Summit church, at 
Geiger, taking its place. A house was bought at Kingwood, 
in U])|)er Turkeyfoot Township, now called Fairview. Since 
1905 the second building has been in use at this point. 

Next we name the Center church, in Middle Creek Town- 
ship, the Laurel Hill Creek church, in Jefferson Township, 
Summit church, named above, in Somerset Township, Scull- 
ton church, in Upper Turkeyfoot Township, Moore church, 
in Jefferson Township, Husband church, in Lincoln Town- 
ship, and last the new church at the Pike, dedicated in 1915, 
and taking the place of the Plank Road and Laurel Hill Creek 
churches. A further notice of both meetinghouses erected 
at Geiger, which are owned jointly by Middle Creek and 
I'rothers Valley congregations, is found in the history of the 
latter congregation. The congregation, therefore, has at 
j)resent eight churchhouses and a half interest in another. 
vSeven Sunday-schools are in operation. 

At tlic time of the organization there were three deacons: 
Jacob Lichty, Jacob Miller and Simon Hauger. Other old 
deacons who were pr()1)ably called to the office in the con- 
gregation were: John ^I. Kimmcl, Cornelius Berkley, \\'illiam 
S. Myers, Hiram llauger and Jacob ("lood. Present deacons: 


Joseph W. Meyers, E. B. Knepper, A. A. Miller, Herman 
Baer, D. F. Walker, Madison Brougher, John Rees, William 
Saylor, William Bittner, Joseph F. Meyers, Mahlon Meyers, 
Peter Speicher, Nelson Saylor and William Miller. Present 
ministers : Josiah Berkley, Silas Hoover and R. T. Hull, 
elders ; J. W. Wegley, H. H. Kimmel, H. W. Meyers, S. A. 
Meyers, and R. D. Casebeer, ministers. 


This congregation, territorially, covers all that part of 
Indiana County north of the old Purchase Line and east of the 
Mahoning Road, which leads from the town of Indiana to 
Punxsutawney. There are now, or have been, members be- 
longing to this congregation living in Jefferson County. 

It was about tbe year 1845 when Samuel Spicher and 
George Rairigh, Jr., with their wives, moved here from Arm- 
strong County. They soon called for preaching and Elder 
George Rairigh, Sr., and Elder Joseph Shumaker. from the 
Cowanshannock congregation, responded to the call and had 
some conversions. Other members soon moved in, so that 
by the year 1852 an organization was efifected, and Peter Beer, 
then a promising young brother, with perseverance and good 
judgment, was elected to the ministry. Brother Beer minis- 
tered to the spiritual needs of the people with such diligence as 
his limited temporal resources justified, till 1876, when he 
moved to Clearfield County and worked up the Rockton con- 

The organization was efifected at the home of Cornelius 
Rowley, and as stated above, Peter Beer was elected to the 
ministry and Jonathan Berkey to the deacon ofifice. J. W. 
Spicher was elected to the ministry in 1854; Mark Minser, 
a minister, moved in from Jefiferson County in 1868 ; George 
S. Rairigh was elected in 1879 ; M. H. Spicher was elected in 
1893. Brother Minser was ordained in 1877. He moved to 
the Manor congregation in 1880, placing his letter there Sep- 
tember 12, but by the request of the Montgomery congre- 


gation he continued the oversight of that congregation. After 
his death, in 1895, Elder J. Harvey Beer had the oversight un- 
til 1903. 

George S. Rairigh moved in 1891, to the Johnstown con- 
gregation, where he was ordained to the eldership, and sub- 
sequently moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where 
he became connected with the work of the Eastern District 
of Pennsylvania and did valuable work in the Brooklyn Mis- 
sion. Brother M. N. Spicher moved to Prince William Coun- 
ty, Virginia, and thence to the Eastern Shore, Maryland. This 
left the congregation with only one resident minister, J. W. 
Si)icher. But the faithful old brother was anxious for the 
prosperity of the congregation and called for the election of 
ministers. The result was that D. R. Berkey and Oran Fyock 
were called in 1907. 

Elder Brice Sell, of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, 
had the oversight for a number of years until 1912, when 
Oran Fyock was ordained and is the present elder. J. W. 
Spicher died in 1909 and 1). R. Berkey moved to the Manor 
congregation in 1912, so Brother Fyock is the only minister 
at this time. 

The following deacons have been elected: Samuel Rairigh 

OId«MontK<>i>i<'ry Cliiircli, .M(>ntt;:<>nii>r.v ConcrrKiition. 



and Henry Spicher; Daniel Rairigh, in 1876; W. G. Walker, 
in 1877; A. H. Brilhart, in 1891; Frank Fyock and John 
Rairigh, in 1892; D. R. Berkey, in 1904; Harry Brilhart, in 

The first meetinghouse was erected in 1873, named Mont- 
gomery, after the township in which it is located. This house 
was remodeled in 1906 and is the only one in the congrega- 
tion. The present memhership nunibers eighty- four. A good 
Sunday-school is maintained, with an enrollment of eighty. 
It was organized some time before the church was built and 
was held in a township schoolhouse. 


This is one of the new congregations carved out of the 
W^est Johnstown congregation. A number of years ago some 
members settled in this ]iart of the city, and a meeting place 
was secured and meetings were held. In 1902 a substantial 
meetinghouse was erected on D Street, between Fairfield and 
Barron Avenues. More members moved in, successful series 
of meetings were held, regular preaching services were con- 

MorrellviHe Church. 


ducted twice a Sunday, and an evergreen Sunday-school was 
carried on. There was one resident minister, Solomon E. 
Dorer, and from January 8, 1903, to December 31, 1908, 
Harvey S. Replogle, a young minister and school-teacher, also 
resided there. A part of this time Brother Replogle served as 
pastor and the congregation grew encouragingly. Brother 
Leonard R. Holsinger, after he was elected to the ministry, 
January 13, 1910, continued living here till February, 1911. 

The membership continued to grow till it was decided to 
secure a pastor for Morrellville alone, and Brother John W. 
Mills took up the pastoral work February 1, 1914. When 
the congregation was organized, March 15, 1915, the mem- 
bership was nearly 250, and the official board consisted of 
Solomon E. Dorer, John W. Mills and James F. Ream, min- 
isters in the second degree, and John Wissinger, Amos Camp- 
bell and William I. Strayer, deacons. 

An election was held for deacons, on March 15, 1915, 
and Jehu Allison, P. M. Edminston, Charles Kimmel and 
Albert Howard were chosen. 

In the si)ring of 1915 the meetinghouse was arranged so 
as to be suitable for holding love feasts. The .Sunday-school 
is evergreen and a Christian Workers' Meeting and a Sisters' 
Aid Society are being maintained ; a teacher training class 
is also maintained. 


The Mount Union congregation is the result of home mis- 
sion activities by the Brethren near the middle of the nine- 
teenth century. The dates and names of the first workers are 
not known. Ministers from the Sandy Creek congregation 
came across Cheat Mountain and held services in " Cheat 
Neck." \\'orkers from the Second District of West Virginia 
came down into the Monongahela River Valley. Emigrants 
from Pennsylvania settled on the newer lands of West Vir- 
ginia, and their ministers visited them occasionally and held 
services. The influences of the (icorges Creek congregation 



finally prevailed, and Monongalia County became a part of 
that congregation. 

Services were held in schoolhouses and churches of other 
denominations, but in 1883 the Mount Union church was built 
for the central point, three miles north of Morgantown. Eld- 
er James Ouinter preached the dedicatory sermon. 

A list of the early members is not available, but some of 
the members since 1870 were: John Ganz, minister; Oliver 
Miller, James Hamilton and family, R. C. Ross, deacon ; J. F. 
Ross, Harriet Reed, Rebecca Hoard, Ross E. Reed, minister ; 
Joseph Bixler and family, Millard Reed, Omozine Reed, Eliza- 
beth Ross and Silas Pugh and family. 

Some of the ministers laboring in this field were Joseph 
I. Cover, Andrew J. Sterling, J. C. Johnson, J. H. ]\J^yers, 
Solomon Bucklew, Alpheus DeBolt, Jeremiah Thomas, Jasper 
Barnthouse, John A. Click and Obed Hamstead. 

When the Mount Union house was built, in 1883, there 
were about thirty-five members in the county, and eighteen 
years later, in 1901, there were only about that number. So, 
at the March council, a vote was taken to organize a new con- 
gregation, and see if the work would not prosper better. The 
vote was ratified by the Fairview council a little later, and the 

Mount Union Church, Mt. Union Congregation. 



Wiles Hill Church, Mount Union Congregation. 

new congregation was formally organized on September 14. 
1901, under the name of Mount Union. Virgil C. Finnell and 
Walter J. Hamilton were elected to the ministry, Miles Ham- 
ilton and Silas Pugh were elected deacons to assist R. C. Ross 
and Jose|)h I. Johnson, who had served the Georges Creek 
congregation, and Elder Jasper P>arnthouse was chosen for 
bishop and presided over the congregation for a number of 

During the summer of 1901 John A. Glick. of Uniontown, 
Pennsylvania, ])rcachcd in the M. P. church on Walnut Street, 
Morgantown, one Sunday evening. A number of young mem- 
bers from Mount Union were present. One of them, \V. J. 
Hamilton, got a vision of a Brethren church in town. At the 
following council in January he i)ro])()sed the opening of a 
mission in Morgantown. A committee com])oscd of himself, 
R. E. Reed and Millard Reed, was ajipointed to secure a room. 
Nothing was available, so he persuaded his father. Miles Ham- 
ilton, and his uncle, Francis Hamilton, to buy a lot and build 
a room 24x32 feet for Sunday-school. 1Mius the Wiles Hill 


Mission was opened in July, 1902. A little later Thomas H. 
Miller and family located in town. He, being a minister, was 
a great help to the new work. Sylvanus M. Annon and family 
also moved to Morgantown, and became a great pillar in the 
mission. He was ordained to the eldership while residing 

On September 11, 1909, Arthur Bailey and Ezra A. 
Wolfe, two of the new converts, were elected as deacons. 
A brick churchhouse, 36x40 feet, was then erected, and dedi- 
cated by Elder H. C. Early, August 14, 1910. Two ministers, 
William E. Hamilton and Arthur Bailey, were elected at the 
love feast the evening before, as Brethren Miller and Annon 
had moved away. John Osborn and Frank Pugh were elected 
deacons on December 13, 1911. Walter J. Hamilton moved 
away in 1912, and on March 8, 1913, Daniel E. Shaffer, J. M. 
Fletcher and John Osborn were elected to the ministry. 
Arthur Bailey was ordained to the eldership, and in the spring 
of 1915 Elder Solomon Bucklew moved into the congregation, 
becoming both the elder in charge and the pastor. 

There are two Sunday-schools, a Christian Workers' So- 
ciety, prayer meeting, teacher training class and teachers' meet- 
ings. The present official board consists of Elders Solomon 
Bucklew and Arthur Bailey ; ministers, Ross Reed, William E. 
Hamilton, Daniel E. Shaffer; deacons, Silas Fugh, Ezra A. 
Wolfe, Frank Fugh, Miles Hamilton. 


At the District Meeting held in the Shade Creek congrega- 
tion, August 22, 1899, S. S. Blough was directed to go to 
Fittsburgh, to look up a city mission field, the District Meet- 
ing assuring him a support. On May 27, 1900, Brother 
Blough, who in the meantime had selected a location and had 
moved his family to Fittsburgh, taught the first Sunday- 
school lesson, in the front room of his own home at Number 8 
Camp Street, on Herron Hill. There were present Samuel 
C. Cover, Mrs. Etta V. Cover, Cyrus Replogle, Joseph Rep- 


logle, Sylvanus Rishel, S. S. Blough, Mrs. Mary W. Blough 
and Carman G. Blough, then four and one half years of age. 
Two services each Sunday forenoon were held until Novem- 
ber, 1900, in the missionary's home. 

Soon it dcxeloiied that there were other Brethren in 
rittsburgh, and, because the most of them were located in, or 
near to, Hazelwood District, it seemed wise for Brother 
I>lough to move to Lytle Street, Hazelwood. On November 
18, 1900, the first meeting in Moore's Hall, on Hazelwood 
Ave., in Hazelwood, was held. In the meantime night meet- 
ings once a month had been held at the home of Brother D. 
F. Troxel, in Wilmerding, and at other homes of brethren and 
friends throughout the city, and although the regular meet- 
ing place of the mission on Hazelwood Ave. was very unat- 
tractive, because of its location over a livery stable and imme- 
diately adjacent to an undertaker's room, there was much 
faithfulness manifest on the part of the members in these 
humble l)eginnings. 

During the months of .Sei)tember and October, 1901, 
Sister Elizabeth Howe conducted s]>ecial Bible class work and 
otherwise assisted in the work of the mission. 

A committee, consisting of .Elders Joseph Holsopple, D. 
H. W'alker and W. A. Gaunt, was appointed by the Elders' 
Meeting held at Johnstown, in 1902, to go to Pittsburgh and 
organize the members into a congregation. The committee 
met the church July 5 and 6. 1902. Two sermons were 
preached, one by Elder Gaunt, the other by Elder Holsopple, 
with twenty-five and forty-seven present, respectively. At 
2 o'clock P. M. a special meeting was held for the purpose of 
eflfecting an organization. After some explanatory remarks, 
setting forth the principles of the church, as founded upon the 
Gospel, by Elder Holsojiplc. the members present, by vote, 
decided to organize the congregation. The following twenty- 
seven members constituted the charter membership : Robert 
H. Forney, Sol \\'orkman, Mary Workman, S. C. Workman. 
S. E. Workman, William Imler. Leah Imler, Melissa Steel, 
Mar>' A. Dell. D. F. Troxel. deacon; John E. Wareham, 


deacon ; Sadie Wareham, Margaret Collins, A. O. Horner, 
deacon; C. S. Carr, S. S. Blough, elder; Mary W. Blough, 
Cyrus B. Replogle, Minnie Replogle, Huldah Guyer, Leah 
Benner, J. Herman Royer, S. D. Humphreys, J. Ward Richer, 
Edward Tonner, James Miller, Mrs. Silas Wareham. The 
organization was : Elder, S. S. Blough ; secretary, S. C. Work- 
man; treasurer, S. S. Blough. Attendance, forty-five. In the 
evening Elder Walker preached the first sermon to an organ- 
ized church of the Brethren in the city of Pittsburgh, with 
thirty-four present. 

After three years in Moore's Hall on Hazel wood Ave., 
the place of meetings was moved to a hall in the Hazelwood 
Trust Company's Building, on the corner of Hazelwood 
Avenue, November, 1903, and remained in this building until 
the church on Squirrel Hill was ready for occupancy. On 
January 10, 1904, the Christian Workers' Meeting was or- 
ganized, and January 14, 1914, a Children's Hour or Meeting 
was started, this latter growing into a Junior Christian Work- 
ers' Meeting. In these activities, as well as in the general wel- 
fare of the work, as visitors. Sisters Alice Smith, in 1904; 
Ida C Shumaker, in 1905 ; Sister VanSickle, in 1906 ; Grace 
Gnagey, in 1907. 1908 and 1909, and Sister Sadie Wareham, 
since 1909, have left permanent results upon the growing con- 
gregation. The Sisters' Aid Society was organized in Jan- 
uary, 1905. 

On April 30, 1903, Elders D. H. Walker and P. J. Blough 
were sent by the Mission Board and were authorized by the 
District Meeting to purchase a lot for a church building in 
Pittsburgh. The deal was made and closed May 4, 1903, the 
price paid being $2,250 cash. The location on Greenfield 
Avenue and Mont Clair Street, on Squirrel Hill, was then 
thought to be an unusually good and convenient one, but has 
since proved to be even better than was at first thought. The 
District Meeting of 1903 granted the Mission Board the priv- 
ilege to build the house, but as only very scant funds were 
available, it was not built until 1904. With the advice of the 
Mission Board, Elder S. S. Blough supervised the construction 



ProposjMl Alteration and Addition to the Pittsburgh Church, Pa. 

of the house, which was completed in the fall of 1904. The 
total cost of the lot and building was $9,600. 

The new church was dedicated October 2. 1904, Elder 
W. J. Swigart preaching the dedicatory sermon. In the even- 
ing the first love feast in the new church was held. Elder 
Swigart officiating. 

After Elder Blough had acted at first as missionary and 
then as pastor and elder in charge for seven years, during 
which time the work grew from a mere handful of members 
to over 100. and four moves had been made, including the one 
to the new church, he tendered his resignation to the Mission 
Board and preached his valedictory on May 5, 1907, on the 
theme. "A Benediction" (2 Thess. 2: 16-17). Elders Walk- 
er and daunt now filled the ])ulpit two months, when M. J- 
Weaver was secured to take up the pastorate. FJder Walker 
became the elder in charge. Brother Weaver moved into the 


parsonage about July, 1907, with his sister Amanda as house- 
keeper, as well as helper in the work, especially with the chil- 

In November, 1909, Brother Weaver brought his new 
wife to Pittsburgh, and soon her helpfulness in all the varied 
activities of the congregation was manifest. During Brother 
Weaver's ])astorate the congregation relinquished its depend- 
ence upon the Mission Board, and became self-supporting 
in 1910. In the fall of 1910 an entire reorganization of the 
activities of the congregation was effected by the adoption of 
a formal constitution, which, with slight modifications, has 
been followed ever since. This constitution provides for the 
annual election of all officers of the congregation, including 
Sunday-school superintendent, assistant superintendent, super- 
intendent of cottage prayer meetings, superintendent of Chris- 
tian Workers' Meetings, superintendent of women's work, 
superintendent of children's work, secretary of peace, sec- 
retary of temperance, secretary of missions, secretary of social 
service, secretary of publications and denominational litera- 
ture, general secretary, treasurer, and three trustees. These of- 
ficers are to report directly to the quarterly councils. 

In June, 1912, the congregation was called upon to relieve 
Brother \\'eaver of his charge, he having been called to the 
pastorate of the Everett church, in Middle Pennsylvania. 
This separation was an unusually difficult experience to the 
congregation, as Brother and Sister Weaver had lived very 
helpfully into the lives of all, their consecration to the service 
of the Lord and his people being always in evidence. During 
his incumbency of one month less than five years. Brother 
Weaver baptized fifty-two persons, and a goodly number were 
added to the membership by letter. From the time the church 
was built these evangelists have conducted revival meetings in 
the congregation : A. W. Harrold, D. H. Walker, C. O. Beery, 
D. K. Clapper, Jasper Barnthouse, H. S. Replogle, J. H. 
Cassady, M. C. Swigart and P. J. Blough. 

After the departure of Brother Weaver, Brother Carman 
C. Johnson, who, since the fall of 1900, had been connected 


with the congregation, took charge of the pulpit for about a 
month, until Brother Herman B. Heisey arrived to take the 
pastorate temporarily. When Brother Heisey left for his va- 
cation, i^reparatory to his leaving for India, Brother Johnson 
again filled the pulpit for a fev^ weeks until Brother S. W. 
Bail was chosen to the tem])orary pastorate, pending the se- 
lection of a permanent i)astor. lirother liail served the con- 
gregation faithfully until February 1, 1913, during which time 
he was married and took u}) his residence in the parsonage. 
On Sunday, L>bruary 2. 1913. Brother T. Rodney Cofifman, 
formerly of Hagerstown, Maryland, and Tyrone and Parker- 
ford, Pennsylvania, was installed as the first ])ermanent pastor 
of the congregation, I'Llder D. H. Walker delivering an his- 
torical address and giving the charge. The roll of church 
membership numbered 175 when Brother Coffman took charge 
of the congregation. .Since that date the churcli has enjoyed 
a healthy growth. 

In May, 1914, Brethren \\ alter Mosicr. John Kann and 
James Replogle were installed into tlic deacon's office. 

Plans are comjjleted for the enlargement and remodeling 
of the church in the near future. 

PLEASANT HILL (Benshoff Hill). 

The territory emlfraced in this congregation is A\^est 
Taylor, Middle Taylor, and a part of Jackson Townships and 
Rosedale Borough, Camljria County, and is a ])art of the old 
Conemaugh congregation, but more recently of the \\'est 
lohnstown congregation. This is one of the oldest settlements 
of the Brethren in the Conemaugh Valley. Among the oldest 
families of members on this hill are the P.enshofifs, Stutzmans. 
Cioughnours, Knavels, Strayers and \'arncrs, and ])erhaps 
several others. 

The first meetinghouse (the second in the Conemaugh Val- 
ley) was erected in 1852 or 1853 on land donated by Lewis 
BenshofT and Jacob Knable. The deed for this property was 
made December 3, 1852, by Lewis Benshofif and wife, Christi- 








Pleasant Hill Church. 

anna, and Jacob Knable and wife, Elizabeth, to Eli Benshoff, 
George Knable and Jacob Stutzman, Jr., committee for the con- 
gregation of " Baptist Brethren," of Cambria County, Pennsyl- 
vania, for a meetinghouse and graveyard. It contains 135 

This house was remodeled in 1881 and continued to serve 
the needs of the church until 1909, when the present brick- 
case building was erected. The present church has a gallery 
and a finished basement, arranged into Sunday-school class- 
rooms. In the fall of 1914 a large number of the seats were 
provided with movable tables for communion purposes. Two 
love feasts a year are held. 

Here the whole community has buried its dead for a 
hundred years or thereabout. Two cemeteries are filled and a 
third, comprising a number of acres, already contains many 
graves. Here may be seen the graves of the old church fa- 
thers, including Elder Jacob Stutzman, Eli Benshoff. Samuel 
Berkey, and probably others who used to minister at the altar 
in holy things. 

^^^hile this dear old sacred spot has been the scene of some 


wonderful rexival meetings, it lias also been the scene of con- 
siderable strife and contention which resulted in the painful 
division of the church in the early eighties. We are glad, 
however, that a s])lendid feeling exists at present. 

When the \\ est Johnstown congregation was divided into 
three congregations February 14, 1915, Pleasant Hill (which 
is one of the three) congregation received about 100 members, 
including ministers in the second degree, Elmer D. Blue and 
Haddon Q. Rhodes, and Deacons Emanuel Rhodes, William 
Harrison and Milton G. Metzger. These, with Elder Jerome 
E. Blough, who was chosen to preside over the church, consti- 
tute the present official board. Brother Rhodes' family reside 
in Huntingdon, while he is a student at Juniata College for 
several years. 

The church, which at ])resent numbers 125, sustains a 
Sunday-school of 159, a Christian Workers' .Society and a 
large Sisters' Aid .Society. 

On December 12, 1915, Brother J. L. Bowman was elected 
to the ministry, and now constitutes a part of the ministerial 


The Plum Creek congregation was erected out of the 
southern part of the old Cowanshannock congregation, and 
was organized in 1862. So far as church boundaries are con- 
cerned it embraces all that i)art of Armstrong County east of 
the Allegheny River and south of the Cowanshannock congre- 
gation, together with \\'ashington, Armstrong, Young, Cone- 
maugh and parts of Black -Lick, Center, and AMiite Townships 
in Indiana County. The main body of members, however, 
is located in the valley of Dutch Run, Washington Township, 
Indiana County, and Plum Creek Township, Armstrong Coun- 

So far as known the first members to settle here were the 
Frys, Wissingers and Fishers from Somerset County. To- 
bias Kimmel and wife, of Westmoreland County, settled in 
Plum Creek Township in 1837. The farm on which these in- 


ftuential pioneers reared a large family, about all of whom 
became worthy members of the church, is still owned by a 
descendant of the same family. 

Lewis Kimmel, who was elected in the Cowanshannock 
congregation in 1858, was the first minister. In June, 1865, 
Jacob Kelso was elected to the ministry, and in 1878 he moved 
to Beatrice, Nebraska. Other ministers elected were : R. T. 
Pollard, November, 1878, B. W. Miller and C. B. Kimmel, 
about 1887 (Brother Kimmel did not accept it), and Frank 
Ankeny. Cyrus E. Myers, who was elected to the ministry 
in Westmoreland County, September 27, 1887, moved into the 

Lewis Kimmel was ordained to the eldership in 1872. 

R. T. Pollard was ordained in ■ , and H. S. Replogle in 


This is one of the first congregations to support its pastor. 
The following- is a list of the pastors: From 1897 to 1899, 
F. D. Anthony; from July, 1899, to September, 1901, C. O. 
Beery; from September, 1901, to November, 1902, Kenton B. 
Moomaw; from November. 1902, to April, 1905, C. O. Beery; 
from April, 1905, to April, 1908, L. M. Keim; from June, 
1908, to September, 1908, A. J. Culler; from November, 1908, 
to April, 1913, H. S. Replogle; from December, 1913, to 
February, 1914, R. D. Murphy, and since May, 1914, Galen 
K. Walker. These pastors also served the Glade Run congre- 
gation at the same time. The parsonage was erected in 1899, 
and Brother Beery was the first pastor to occupy it. 

The deacons who served the Plum Creek congregation 
are: Jacob Kelso, Tobias Kimmel, William Wilcox, George 
Clark, Peter Kimmel, Henry Miller, William Miller, S. H. 
Wilcox, George Zimmerman. The present deacons are : J. W. 
Miller, Samuel Kimmel. W. H. Miller (moved to Garrett, 
Pennsylvania), C. B. Kimmel, J. L. Ankeny, Murray R. An- 
keny, M. H. Kelly, R. Blain Miller, Jerry F. Kimmel and 
Howard M. Kimmel. 

This congregation was among the first to introduce Sun- 
day-schools. They organized a Sunday-school in a school- 


Plum Creek Church and Parsonage. 

house in 1860, before their church was buih, and have kept 
it up since then. They have an evergreen Sunday-school with 
an enrollment far in excess of their church membership. A 
live Christian Workers' Meeting is maintained, two love feasts 
a year are held, and a number of special services are held in 
addition to the regular preaching services. The membership 
numbers 137 and is made up largely of young people. 

The first church was built in 1863. This was remodeled 
in 1892. The elders in charge have been: Lewis Kimmel, J. 
F. Dietz, H. S. Replogle and G. K. Walker. 

Plans are about completed for the remodeling of the 
church, which will give a number of Sunday-school class- 


Prior to 1849 all of Somerset County, with the exception 
of the Shade Creek congregation in the northeastern part of 
the county, was in one congregation, called the " Glades." 
As stated elsewhere, that year the Annual Meeting, which con- 
vened in the large Grove meetinghouse, north of Berlin, ap- 
pointed a committee to look into the advisability of districting 
this large territory into smaller congregations. The committee 


met the same summer at Berkley's Mills and divided the coun- 
ty into four congregations ; viz., Elk Lick, Berlin, Middle 
Creek and Quemahoning. 

The territory embraced in this congregation stretches 
from the top of the Laurel Hill Ridge on the west to the 
foothills of the Alleghanies on the east, and from within three 
miles of Somerset on the south to the Cambria County line on 
the north. It comprises Conemaugh, Jenner, Quemahoning. 
Lincoln, and parts of Shade and Somerset Townships, the area 
being, probably, about 300 square miles. 

Some of the families living in this territory prior to 1855 
were: John Forney, Sr. (the name of the husband only is 
given, but in every case the wife is included), John Horner, 
Sr., Jonathan Berkley, Christian Schmucker, John Baer, Sr., 
Joseph Beeghly, Benjamin Blough, John Blough, Sr., Michael 
Forney, John Forney, Jr., Daniel Baer, Solomon Horner, 
Michael Horner, Peter P. Blough, Daniel Shaffer, Lena For- 
ney (Jacob Forney's widow), Peter C. Blough, John Miller, 
Samuel Miller, Joseph Meyers, Josiah Meyers, John Horner, 
Jr., Isaiah Beam, Solomon Horner (Smith), Daniel Forney, 
Elias Forney, Jonathan Blough, Tobias Blough, David Horner, 
David Crofford, Peter Forney, Abraham Blough, William 
Blough, Aaron Michael, Jacob Koontz, .Solomon Baer, Ezra 
Berkley, Jacob Schmucker, and others. About the first eight- 
houses (or barns) before the first meetinghouse was built, 
een families named above regularly held the meetings in their 

After the division of the county the members of this ter- 
ritory convened in council in Brother David Crofford's large 
barn to consider whether the division was acceptable to them. 
This barn was torn down several years ago to avoid being 
flooded by the Manufacturers' Water Company's large dam. 
Very little is known about the business transacted at this meet- 
ing, but it is known that strong objections were raised to being 
cut off from the " Glades," as it would deprive them of the 
efficient services of the Berlin preachers. But upon being 
promised that those brethren would continue to do a part of 
the preaching, they agreed to the division, and the organiza- 




tion was effected. All the services were then conducted in 

About the time of the division, the brethren who dealt out 
the Word of Life were Peter Cober, Henry Meyers, Ephraim 
Cober, Jacob S. Hanger, John P. Cober, Jonathan Berkley 
and Christian Schmucker. In the division the last two fell 
on the Quemahoning side. Prior to this time, in 1840, John 
Forney, Sr., had moved from near Berlin to a farm on the west 
bank of the Quemahoning Creek, in Conemaugh Township. 
He was an elder of about four years' experience. Here he la- 
bored till August 31. 184(). when he died, aged 69 years, 9 
months and 21 days. This was over three years before the 
division, and therefore disproves the statement sometimes made 
by writers that he was given the oversight of the Quemahoning 
congregation after its organization. I would rather believe 
that he was, to a degree, given charge of the work in this end 
of the county prior to the division. For a number of years 
after the organization there was no resident elder, but in due 
course of time Jonathan Berkley and Christian Schmucker 
were ordained. One authority says Berkley first, and another, 
equally reliable, claims Schmucker was first ordained. We 
know for a certainty that Christian Schmucker was ordained 
at a love feast at Michael Forney's, May 28, 1854 (" Life of 
John Kline," page 343). He died the same year, December 27, 
aged 52 years, 7 months and 19 days. Elder Berkley died 
nearly two years later, November 17, 1856, aged 62 years, and 
11 months. 

About 1851 the first election for minister was held, and 
Tobias Blough was chosen. In 1852 or 1853 Henry P. Hos- 
tetler was elected. Up to this time all the preaching was in 
German, but the demand for English preaching becoming 
pretty strong, an election was held in 1854 and Christopher 
Isaiah Beam, whose services were altogether in English, was 
elected. In 1855 John Forney, Jr. (German and English), was 
elected, and in 1856 Jonathan W. Blough (German and En- 
glish) and Solomon Baer (German) were elected. Some time 
in the summer of 1857, Michael Forney, just before emigrating 



to a section in Southern Illinois, where there was no preacher, 
was licensed hy the church to preach. This was special and 
not by election. In the spring of 1858 John Forney, Jr., moved 
to Northern Illinois. Both these brethren became prominent 
pioneer elders in the West. John was born April 25, 1815, 
and died February 6, 1895, aged 79 years, 9 months and 11 
days, having been the father of nineteen children. At the 
time of his death his living descendants were sixteen children, 
103 grandchildren and twenty-five great-grandchildren, while 
three children, twenty-one grandchildren and two great-grand- 
children had died before him. He is buried near Abilene, 
Kansas. Michael was born January 14, 1811, and died March 
20, 1894, aged 83 years, 2 months and 6 days. 

Five of Quemahoning's Ministers. Left to Rig:lit, Ba<'lv Kow, Isaiah IJ. For- 

g:uson, Norman H. Bloii};li, Cliarles AV. Hlouft'li. Front Row, 

Elders Samuel P. Zimmerman and Perry J. Blougrh. 

In 1865 Emanuel J. Blough (English and German) and 
Jacob P. vSpeicher (German) w-ere elected. These were the 
last brethren elected who could use the (ierman. In October, 
1874, Samuel P. Zimmerman was elected; June 27, 1882, 
Joseph Ijcam ; September 22, 1890, John J. Darr; October 21, 
1893, Jacob S. Zimmerman ; September 4, 1897, Perry J. Blough 
and Jacob M. Blough ; June 2, 1907, Norman H. I>lough and 
Oscar W. I lamer; November 2, 1910, Charles W. Blough, 



Newton Beabes and E. Percy Blough. The last named brother 
has not yet been installed. 

Tobias Blough died November 21, 1884, aged 73 years, 1 
month and 13 days. Henry P. Hostetler died June 19, 1898, 
aged 81 years, 11 months and 7 days. He died in the Shade 
church, whither he had moved about a quarter of a century 
before. Solomon Baer moved to the Brothers Valley church, 
where he labored many years. Jacob P. Spicher died Novem- 
ber 20, 1903, aged 85 years, 10 months and 17 days. By the 
adoption of the line between us and the Middle Creek congre- 
gation, Joseph Beam fell to the latter congregation. Jacob S. 
Zimmerman moved to Waterloo, Iowa, in 1900. Jacob M. 
Blough went to the India mission field in 1903. Emanuel J. 
Blough died August 29, 1910, aged 79 years, 9 months and 
23 days. Jonathan W. Blough died October 16, 1912, aged 
86 years, 11 months and 8 days. Besides the foregoing min- 
isters, the following have lived in the congregation at different 
times: Samuel A. Moore (didn't have his letter placed here), 
Amos D. Christner, Francis Bowen, Jerome E. Blough (from 
April 1, 1900, to December 8, 1910), and Isaiah B. Ferguson. 

Fine Grove Church, Quemahoning: Congrregation. 


Of these Brother Ferguson remains. Tobias Blough was or- 
dained in 1857; Emanuel J. Blough, January 1, 1882; Jonathan 
W. Blough, June 30, 1900; and Samuel P. Zimmerman and 
Perry J. Blough, September 3, 1904. 

The first meetinghouse in the congregation was built in 
1855 near the Ouemahoning Creek, in Jenner Township, on 
land donated by Elias Forney, and was named Pine Grove. 
This was a half mile north of the place where the church was 
organized and the first love feast held. This house was in 
constant use for fifty-six years, the last service having been 
held July 23, 1911. Here I quote from my diary: " Today was 
the last meeting in the old Pine Grove meetinghouse. The day 
was beautiful and the house crowded, with some on the out- 
side. The speakers were : Jonathan W. Blough, S. P. Zim- 
merman, I. B. Ferguson, Jerome E. Blough, A. J. Beeghly, S. 
S. Blough, E. E. Blough and J. M. Blough. The moderator, 
P. J. Blough, also spoke. Carman G. Blough read a poem of 
twenty eight-line verses, entitled ' Old Pine Grove,' composed 
by myself. We four brothers sang a quartet entitled ' The 
Little W'hite Church,' to the tune of ' The Little Brown 
Church,' the verses having been arranged to suit the occasion. 
It was a great meeting. People present from far and near. 
Very sad ; so much weei)ing. The influence that has gone forth 
from this ])lace can not be measured." The dam before 
mentioned now covers the dear, sacred spot. 

In 1860 a church was built in the southern end of the 
congregation, near Sipcsville, on land purchased from Abra- 
ham Baker. In 1875 the first love-feast house (40x70 feet 
with basement under the entire building) was erected in Cone- 
maugh Township, near the present town of Jerome, on land 
donated by Daniel Fry. The dedicatory services were held by 
Elder Graybill Myers and a love feast held at the same time. 
The present name of this house is Maple Spring. Prior to this 
time the love feasts were held in barns. In 1878 the fourth 
meetinghouse was built in the extreme northern end of the 
congregation, at the foot of Tire Hill, on land donated by 
John Kaufman, h'.lder Joseph Ik'rkey preached the dedicatory 



Old Maple Spring- (Fry) Church, Queniahoning^ ConRreKatioii. 

sermon. In 1888 the old house at Sipesville was rej^laccd by a 
new one suitable for love feasts. Elder C. G. Lint preached 
the dedicatory sermon. In 1890 a church was erected at 
Blough Station, on land donated by Jacob B. Blough, Elders 

D. H. Walker and E. J. Blough conducted the dedicatory 
services. Name of house, Sugar Grove. In 1893 the Baer 
schoolhouse, in Somerset Township, was converted into a 
church and dedicated by Elder E. J. Blough, S. P. Zimmerman 
and U. D. Brougher, September 10, 1893. In 1895 Perry J. 
Blough built and furnished a church room above his ware- 
house in Hooversville, which was dedicated by Jeremiah 
Thomas, September 14, 1895! For eight years, to the day, 
preaching and Sunday-school were held here. September 13, 
1903, a new love-feast house was dedicated in Hooversville, 
J. M. Blough delivering the sermon on the occasion, shortly 
before leaving for India. In 1905 the old Maple Spring house 
was replaced by a new and more modern edifice, which was 
dedicated by Elder George S. Rairigh, March 4, 1906. In 
1914 the Tire Hill house was remodeled and improved, and 
January 24, 1915, it was rededicated by II. .S. Rcploglc, Jerome 

E. Blough and S. P. Zimmerman. 



Hooversville Church, Quemahoning: Cong;reg:ation. 

Our first Sunday-school was organized at Pine Grove, in 
the spring of 1880. with Aaron Blough, superintendent, P. J. 
Blough, assistant superintendent, and Jerome E. Blough, secre- 
tary, but because of opposition it was discontinued at the 
close of the second summer. During 1886 and 1887 a Sunday- 
school was carried on for a short time in the Sipesville house, 
with Josiah P. Meyers, superintendent, and J. J. Darr, secre- 
tary. After some years, however, schools were opened in all 
our churches. \\'hile we were somewhat slow in taking up 
Sunday-school work, we were in the lead in local Sunday- 
school Conventions in Western Pennsylvania, and for a num- 
ber of years the only church to hold such meetings. The 
first one was held in the Pine Grove house in August, 1897. 

We have suffered very much from emigration. Many of 
our strong, promising members have gone to other fields. Hun- 
dreds of active church workers scattered over .the Brotherhood 
can trace their ancestry back to this old church. 

The following deacons have served in this congregation : 
John Blough, Sr., Abraham Miller, Tobias Blough, John 
Forney, Jr., Jonathan W. Blough, Michael Forney, Jacob P. 
Speicher, Emanuel J. Blough, Daniel Baer, Josiah P. Meyers, 



rreseiit 3Iai>Io Spriiifj Churcli, <2ueiii:iliwiiinK Conjjreualion. 

Daniel Sliaffer, C. C. Gnagey, William (1. Lint. Jacob L. 
W'olford, John J. lilcjugh, Joseph Schmuckcr. Jacol) Koontz. 
Samuel E. licrkey, Aaron Blough, Joseph Forney, Joseph 
Shank, John J. Darr, Henry Casebeer, Tobias Berkley, 
Michael H. Meyers, Peter Speichcr, William H. Blough, 
Ananias J. Beeghly, John W. Rummel, Norman H. Blough. Ed- 
ward E. Miller, Peter Trimj^ey, Francis J. Maust, Ephraim 
Speicher, Jacob Lichty, Henry Wentz, D. S. Gnagey, S. S. 
Lint, W. H. Koontz, John E. Kaufman, Herman A. Rummel, 
Henry J. Spaugy, Samuel E. Critchficld, Rufus D. Casebeer 
and Samuel D. Lapc. 

The Baer meetinghouse was sold some years ago, Pine 
Grove was disposed of as noted before, and Sugar Grove has 
no services, so that at i)resent we use only four churches. In 
the si)ring of 19LS l^lder C. A. McDowell became the pastor 
of the southern ])art of the congregation, and located at Sipes- 
ville. This congregation undertook the support of a mission- 
ary in India in 1894, being the second in the District to pledge 
itself to so no])le a work. Local Sunday-school Conventions 
and Bible Institutes are held annually. Four evergreen Sun- 


day-schools, two Christian \\'orkcrs' Societies and a prayer 
meeting are in operation. 

The present official board consists of: S. P. Zimmerman, 
P. j. Plough and C. A. McDowell, elders; L B. Ferguson, J. 
J. Darr, N. H. Plough, C. W. Plough and Newton Peabes, 
ministers ; Henry Wentz, Ephraim vSpeicher, Tobias Perkley, 
W. H. Plough, F. J. Maust, J. W. Pummel, Ed. Miller, W. 
H. Koontz, H. J. Spaugy, S. S. Lint, H. A. Rummel, J. E. 
Kaufman, S. E. Critchfield, and S. D. Lape, deacons. 


AV'hen the Cowanshannock congregation was divided in 
1862 into three congregations, the part north of the Mahoning 
Creek was organized into the Red Pank congregation. The 
membership is principally in Mahoning Township. Some of 
the early settlers in this section were the Shumakers, who 
came from Virginia about the beginning of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, Philip Shumaker, a son of John Shumaker, of West- 
moreland County, settled in Mahoning Township in 1814, on 
four hundred acres. .He and his wife were among the first 
members. His Uncle George had moved into the same county 
about 1800. He was the head of a large family, of whom a 
number were members of the Brethren. George, himself, 
also may have been a member. 

It is pretty certain that Elders Levi Roberts and John 
Mineely, on some of their missionary tours, preached for these 
people. A little later George Rairigh and John Goodman also 
did considerable preaching there. Under the preaching of 
these faithful men the number of believers steadily increased, 
and in the course of time men from among their own number 
were called to the ministry. Joseph Shumaker was probably 
the first one to be elected. One authority says he was elected 
in 1838. and another one in 1841. As the former date is prior 
to his marriage, I am inclined to believe that the latter is the 
more nearly correct. George Shumaker also was early called 
to preach. Some say that one of George's brothers also was a 


preacher. Troubles came among the ministers and George 
withdrew from the fellowship and started a new sect called 
" The Brethren in Christ," but also known by the names of 
" Georgeites " and " Shumakerites." Peter Shumaker, who 
also went off with his brother, erected in 1847 a two-story 
meetinghouse on his farm. The lower story \^ias used as a res- 
idence. Here the " Brethren in Christ " worshiped for years. 
After about a quarter of a century the organization went out 
of existence, and Shumaker united with the Baptists. 

Philip Shumaker, brother of Joseph, was one of the early 
deacons. Other Armstrong ministers assisted in the preaching, 
especially after the death of Joseph Shumaker, which occurred 
December 17, 1860. Levi Wells and Lewis Kimmel were 
among these. The Hetrick family was another influential 
family in this congregation. Jesse P. Hetrick was elected to 
the ministry on June 30, 1865, and Joseph Hetrick to the dea- 
con office. Brother Hetrick became quite active in the ministry, 
having at one time charge of Red Bank, Glade Run and 
Cowanshannock congregations. He left the congregation to 
become the pastor of the Philadelphia church in 1874. Elder 
John Wise moved to Oakland, Red Bank congregtion, in April 
1866, and preached there several years. Elder J. W. Beer also 
had the oversight a while. A great deal of the preaching was 
done by traveling ministers named in connection with the other 
northern congregations. 

During the division probably about a score of members 
went with the Progressive Brethren. This considerably weak- 
ened the cause. About 1884 Jacob Flenard was called to the 
ministry and on May 26. 1889. David A. Hetrick. Brother 
Hetrick labored successfully a number of years, but on account 
of his time being needed on the farm he could not give the 
work the requisite attention. 

After this congregation had struggled along as best it 
could for a number of years. Brother L. R. Holsinger was 
located there in February, 1911, being supported jointly by 
the congregation and the Home Mission Board. He labored 
earnestly and persistently, and during his three and a half 


years' stay a marked trajis formation took place in all lines of 
church work. A number of series of meetings were held and 
the membership was about tripled. Delegates were sent by 
the congregation to District and Annual Meetings. March 7 , 
1911, Brother H. S. Replogle was chosen elder in charge, and 
I'rother Holsinger was advanced to the second degree of the 
ministry. On July 19, 1913, Brother Holsinger was ordained 
to the eldership. 

An election for deacons on July 7, 1911, resulted in call- 
ing Brethren Arthur Hetrick, Murray E. Shumaker and Adam 
C. Shumaker to tluit office. Peter 1 Ictrick and Jacob Wells are 
old deacons, still living. (Jther deacons not already named 
were E. Z. Shumaker, M. N. Hetrick and George Bish. 

A parsonage, costing aljout $1,500, was erected in 1913, 
on a half acre of land. In August, 1914, Elder Holsinger 
moved to Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and in September of the 
same year Brother Herman B. Heisey became the pastor. On 
July 22, 1915, Brother Heisey was ordained to the eldership. 
The membership is continually growing. Church attendance 
is excellent. It nearly always surpasses the number of mem- 
bers enrolled. A strong home and foreign missionary spirit 
is being created. A Front Line, wide-awake Sunday-school 
has been maintained for several years, and a weekly teachers' 
meeting and .Seal Course Class arc held. 

In the summer of 1915 a baptistry was constructed to the 
rear of the church. The same summer the church was raised 
three feet, the basement was excavated and four attrac- 
tive .Sunday-school rooms fitted uj). The record attendance at 
.Sunday-school is 122. and it is said to be the best in the 
neighborhood. There is a .Sisters' Aid .Society and a Christian 
Workers' .Society. A missionary and temperance' committee 
was appointed July 8, 1915. Three dates are given for the 
erection of the first church building, 1845, 1853 and 1857, 
It was replaced by a new one in 1888. The ground was given 
by Philip .Shumaker. The cemetery is a little distance north- 
west of the church, one-half of the ground being given by 
Philip Shumaker and the other half bv Peter Shumaker. 




This congregation extends over a number of townships 
in the northern part of Clearfield County. It also takes in a 
part of Jefferson County; indeed, there is no boundary line 
fixed, all the members in the State in the north, and for a 
great distance east, naturally belonging to this congregation. 

During the early sixties of the past century, Peter Beer, 
who then lived in the Montgomery congregation, often went 
on preaching tours to Boons Mountain and other points in this 
section. Mark Minser and other ministers frequently as- 
sisted I'rother Beer in ministering to the needs of the mem- 
bers and friends. 

In 1876 Brother Beer and family moved to a farm near 
Rockton, Clearfield County, and preached for the people in 
their homes, in camps, in schoolhouses, and other places avail- 
able, over the country. Sometimes a Lutheran church was 
opened for this purpose. While conducting a series of meet- 
ings, assisted by J. B. W'ampler, of Armstrong County, the 
church door was closed against these pioneers. Nothing daunt- 
ed, however, the meetings were continued in a barn. Such 
were some of the early efforts, troubles and discouragements 
experienced by the workers in this territory. 

However, a respectable congregation was the result of 
their perseverance. In 1877, the Montgomery congregation, 
then under the care of Mark Minser. in council gave permis- 
sion to form and organize the Rockton congregation. The 
officers who were ])rescnt, as far as known, were Peter Beer, 
minister, and Charles Brown, deacon. These were resident 
near Rockton. J. B. Wampler, then a minister in Armstrong 
County, also was present. The first officers of the Rockton 
congregation were: Minister and later elder, Peter Beer; 
deacon and treasurer, Charles Brown ; clerk, Levi Spicher. 
At first the brethren held a union Sunday-school, but in 1886 
a Brethren Sunday-school was opened at Rockton, which con- 

After the organization the work continued to prosper un- 
der the efficient ministration of Brother Beer, resulting in 


Old Kockton Church, Ilockton Congregation. 

the erection of a church Imilding at Rockton. hi 1884. This 
was a wooden structure, 30x40 feet, until, some time later, an 
addition was built for a room in which to prepare the things 
needed at love- feast occasions. This made the old meeting- 
house 30x54 feet. After thirty years of service, the old build- 
ing, no longer suitable, and being in a bad state of repair, was 
replaced by a new and more modern structure. The new build- 
ing, which was dedicated in 1914, is a plain brick structure, 
36x52 feet, with a stone basement, having a number of vSun- 
day-school classrooms provided. 

Besides the Rockton house, there are three other places 
of worship, as follows: Sunnyside, built in 1894; Bethel house, 
built in 1895, and Greenville house, built in 1899, making four 
houses of worship in the congregation. However, from lack 
of ministerial help, the work at Sunnyside has been tempo- 
rarily abandoned, and the work at Bethel much neglected. 

In 1899 a number of members from the Rockton church 
moved to Maryland, and later, in 1905, the elder, J. Harvey 
Beer, also moved to the Eastern Shore of Marjdand. The 
removal of so many of the brethren and sisters from this con- 



New Kockton Cluiroh, lioi-kton <"«»nj;reffation. 

grcgation was a loss tliat it lias taken years to replace with 
new workers. 

The following ordinations and elections of ministers and 
deacons have taken ])lace: Peter I'ccr was ordained to the 
eldership in ISSS; died June 23. KS92. 

j. Harvey lleer, elected to the ministry, 1885, ordained 
to the eldershi]), 1892, and moved to Maryland. 1905. 

Warren Charles, elected to the ministry in 1887, near 
Greenville. Not now an actixc minister. 

George Cleaver, elected to the ministry in 1887. ordained 
to the eldershij) in 1912. at ])resent the oldest minister in the 
congregation, at Greenville (66). 

J. A. Brilhart elected to the ministry in 1892; relieved of 
his ministry in 1897, after having united with another denom- 

W. N. ?>ru])aker. elected in 1897, and is now an active 
minister at Rockton. 

E. F. Clark, elected in 1897. soon rcmoN ed to lohnstown, 



Greenville t'hurch, Uockton Congregation. 

then to Meyersdalc, and now lives in A\'ashington, District 
of Columbia. 

J. B. Shafifer, elected in 1905, granted letter in 1909. and 
is now with the Brethren at Table Grove, Illinois. 

W. F. Bilger. elected in 1905, and granted a letter in 
1908; not active in the ministry. 

Urban Cleaxcr, elected in 1911, resides at Greenville. 

Jason B. Hollopeter, elected in 1911, resides at Rockton. 

The following have served as deacons : Levi Speicher. 
i;. P. Huey. Gilbert Thomas. V. V. Clouser, E. \\'. Hollopeter, 
Oran Fyock, Urban Cleaver, Abraham Th.omas, J. B. Hol- 
lopeter, and John Kreps. 

This is, indeed, a hard field to work because of the vast 
extent of the territory, it being almost thirty miles from the 
Bethel meetinghouse to the Sunnyside house, with Rockton 
about centrally located as to distance from each of the other 
places. More workers are needed. 

The present official board is composed of the following 
brethren: Elder, George D. Cleaver; ministers, \\\ N. Bru- 
baker. Urban Cleaver and Jason B. Hollopeter ; deacons, E. 
W. Hollopeter, B. P. Huey and J. M. Kreps. The membership 


is about seventy. Three evergreen Sunday-schools are doing 
good work. The total enrollment is 270. Three teacher 
training classes, with an enrollment of twenty-five, are training 
for better work. The annual offerings amount to $150, of 
which $40 goes for mission work. There are one Christian 
Workers' Meeting, one i)rayer meeting and two teachers' meet- 


As stated in the history of the Shade Creek congregation, 
a division of that large congregation was formally effected on 
Januarv' 1. 101(), tliough the votes for the division were taken 
during the preceding month at the various appointments. So, 
on January 6, 1916, the members of the Rummel congrega- 
tion met to organize. Brother R. D. Mur])hy presided at the 
meeting and a full corps of officers and missionar\^ and tem- 
perance committees were elected. IClder P. J. Blough was 
elected elder in charge. The membershi]) consists of 224 resi- 
dent members with the following officials : Ministers, R. D. 
Murphy, A. G. Faust, C. S. Knavel and Foster B. Statler; dea- 
cons, Jacob C. Knavel, Samuel W. Knavel, Elmer Knavel and 
Lewis Penrod. They have the Rummel and the Highland 
meetinghouses. The former is a love- feast house. They have 
two Sunday-schools, an Aid Society and a Christian Workers' 


The territory included in this congregation is Greene 
County, I'cnnsylvania, and Marshall and W^etzel Counties, 
W^est Virginia. It is not definitely known when and by whom 
the first ])reac]iing by the Brethren was done here. But from 
the best information obtainable. Brethren Michael Meyers and 
Jacob Murray, from Fayette County, who bestowed much 
labor here in the early forties, were the first to preach the 
doctrine here. Henry Fletcher, from Fayette County, was 
the first resident minister here. He remained only a few years 
when he moved into another congregation in West Virginia. 


Elder John Wise, then of the Ten Mile congregation, or- 
ganized this congregation about 1848 (Miller's " Record of 
the Faithful " says 1842, with forty members), and served as 
its elder until some time after the " Division," or between thir- 
ty and forty years. In 1850 his brother, Adam Wise, moved 
here from the Ten Mile church, and in 1851 was chosen to the 
ministry, and after the removal of Brother Fletcher was the 
(jnly minister for some time. Then some time after this Breth- 
ren James A. Murray and William Murray, ministers of Fay- 
ette County, moved in. October 28, 1857, Jacob A. Murray 
was called to the ministry and Jeremiah Murray and Henry 
Wise to the deacon's ofihce. C. J. Showalter also was chosen 
minister, date not known. Other deacons elected were : Samuel 
Murray, Wenman Wade, William Weimer, George Murray, 
Charles Keller and Henry Wise, Jr. Henry Wise was also 
elected to the ministry, and Thomas Showalter moved in. 

In the early history of the congregation services were held 
in the members' homes, the ones most frequently used being 
those of Brethren Adam Wise, Charles Keller, John Chambers, 
a Brother White and vSolomon Chambers. Later on school- 
houses were used for public worship. In a minute of the 
council of the congregation held in the Hineman schoolhouse, 
February 3, I860, it is stated that services were to be held 
regularly, but alternately, every two weeks at the Hineman 
schoolhouse and the Mud Lick schoolhouse. 

February 4, 1871, the church decided to build a meeting- 
house. The building committee were Adam Wise, James A. 
Murray, Henry Wise, John Henry, James Matheny, Jackson 
Whitlach and William Weimer. Some time was lost in secur- 
ing a site acceptable to all. As the membership covered so 
much territory, it was impossible to build it convenient for all. 
June 7 they accepted a lot on land of C. J. Showalter, one 
mile from Aleppo, and five miles from Ryerson Station, in 
Green County, Pennsylvania. The new house was dedicated in 
1872, Elder John Wise preaching the dedicatory sermon from 
the text, " My house shall be called a house of prayer," to a 
large congregation. At this time several appointments were 


kept u[) at different places not in the neighborhood of the 
church. Among tliem were: Hart's Run, in Greene County, 
Bowman Ridge, in Marshall C<junty, and Knob Fork, in 
Wetzel County. 

The mcmhcrshii) was highly respected by those without. 
None were rich, yet many were thrifty farmers, and very few 
depended upon the charities of the church. 

Early visiting ministers to this congregation were : 
Michael Meyers, Jacob Murray, a Brother Mauk, or Mock, 
James Ouinter, John Berkley, Jacob S. Hauger, Jacob M. 
Thomas. John Wise and others. 

Prior to 1884 \\ illiam Murra}' had moved to Ohio, Jacob 
Murray to Iowa, and later to Ohio, and C. J. Showalter and 
Thomas .Showalter to West Virginia. The greatest trial of 
this church came when the Progressive movement divided the 
church, late in 1884, the youngest two ministers, Henry Wise 
and James A. Murray, the meetinghouse and all the members 
around it going with tlicm. They moved the house to Aleppo. 
I'Llder Adam Wise and Deacon Wenman Wade, and some scat- 
tered members in isolated places were all that remained loyal to 
the church. After John Wise moved West, Elder J. C. Johnson 
looked after the welfare of the members. In 1886 the Dis- 
trict sent Elders John S. Holsinger and Jacob Holsopple to see 
to the needs of the church. At a council November 13, 
Adam Wise was ordained, and Andrew Chambers was elected 
to the ministry. Later I^lder Holsinger returned and Brother 
Chambers was advanced in the ministry and lienjamin Wise 
was elected deacon. Elder Adam Wise was the only resident 
elder the congregation ever had. 

I>rothcr Chambers took uj) the work with little delay, and 
regular services were held at three ])oints; viz., Nauvou, Knob 
Fork and Hart's Run. ( )n account of the age and feel)leness 
of ICIder Wise, Brother Chambers did most of the baptizing, 
though he was in the (irst degree. In bS'U Brother Chambers 
moved to Midland, \'irginia, and now for several years no 
regular services were held, but short series of meetings were 
held nearly every year by lb-other Chambers, while on visits to 


Baptismal Scene, Kyerson Station ConureKatioii, iieiir >niithfielfl, W. Va., 

Augrust 23, 1914. Administrator, Andrew Chambers, Washington, 

D. C. Candidate, 31innie Shuman, Age 15. Number Baptized, 

Eiglit, Ranging from 11 to 55 Years. 

his native State. At Smithfield, West Virginia, in May, 1896, 
at one of these series of meetings, ten persons were baptized, 
and there was a splendid opportunity to build up a strong con- 
gregation if a minister could have been located there. In time 
many of these moved to other localities. 

James O. Wade and his wife, Jennie, wdio had moved to 
Littleton, W^est Virginia, were instrumental in having a meet- 
inghouse built at that place, which was dedicated June 27, 
1909, Brother V. C. Finnell preaching the dedicatory sermon. 
Before that, some preaching had been done there by A. Cham- 
bers and H. A. Stahl. January 19, 1897, Elder Adam Wise 
died, and Deacons Wade and B. Wise, having also died, the 
church was without an oflicial. 

H. A. Stahl, by direction of the Home Mission Board of 
Western Pennsylvania, made frecjuent visits to the few scat- 
tered members and preached for them, baptizing some at dif- 
ferent times. Other ministers, among them W. J. Hamilton 
and S. W. Bail, also preached for them. After the last deacon 
had died, Brethren James Q. W'ade and Henr}^ Shuman were 


elected to that office, September, 1898. Several years ago. 
Brother W. F. Wade, who had been baptized near Knob Fork, 
February 22, 1897, and who, while living in another congrega- 
tion, had been elected to the ministry, returned, and is now the 
only resident minister. 

Probably the first Sunday-school organized in this church 
was one at Hart's Run schoolhouse, by Adam Wise, in 1856. 

In 1913, by the consent of both Districts, this congrega- 
tion was transferred to the Second District of West Virginia. 
The membership is now principally in that State. 


This, as a separate congregation, dates from February 19, 
1912, when the old Shade Creek congregation was divided. At 
that time the membership was 230. This congregation em- 
braces part of Paint Township, Somerset County, and parts 
of Richland and Adams Townships, Cambria County, and the 
boroughs of Windber, Paint and Scalp Level. It has two 
meetinghouses, the Scalp Level, and the Windber. For many 
years this community has been a stronghold for the Church of 
the Brethren. 

The first members to live within the bounds of the present 
vScalp Level congregation came from the East some time near 
the close of the eighteenth century. They were Philip and 
Barbara (Miller) Hoffman. vSister Hoffman was a sister of 
I'Jdcr Martin Miller, of Morrison's Cove. Bedford County, 
who liad the oversight of a territory now comprising about 
seven congregations. Brother Hoffman settled on a farm a 
few miles southwest of where Windber is now located. Here 
he died early in tlic tliirtics of the past century. His widow 
occupied the farm till 1838. when it passed into the hands 
of Jonas Weaver. Sister Hoffman now made her home with 
her son-in-law, Christian Thomas, between Windber and Rum- 
mel, where she died the same year, at the age of seventy-two 

The first meetinghouse in Scalp Level was l)uilt in 1867. 
This building was replaced by a new and larger one in 1892. 



Several years l)ef()re the Shade congregation was divided this 
house was arranged suitably tor holding love feasts, and in 
1915 it was raised, an addition built to it, and the basement 
fitted up with classrooms. The rededication took place 
August 15. and the discourse was delivered by Elder J. H. 
Cassady, of Huntingdon. 

The house in W'indbcr was erected in 1905, and about 
1913 it was raised and the basement made into Sunday-school 

In the division the following officials fell to Scalp Level: 
Elders, Peter Knavel and David S. Clapper; deacons, Peter 
Hofl'man, Noah J. Hofifman, Norman S. Berkey, Aaron S, 
Hofifman. Harvey Berkey, James Cassady, C. E. Schuldt and 
T. N. Park. March 24, 1914, John H. Lehman, George H. 
Fyock, Harvey Knavel and Sylvester B. Hofifman were 
elected deacons. 

Prior to the division holders J. J. Shaffer and I). M. 
Adam each served a number of years as pastor, living in Scalp 
Level. The congregation also pledged itself to support vSister 
Anna Z. Blough in India. This support is now given jointly. 
Joint missionary, temperance and Sunday-school meetings are 
also held. In April, 1913, Elder Harvey S. Replogle became 
the pastor of the congregation. June 30, 1914, Elder D, S. 
Clapper died. This is one of the leading churches in mis- 
sionary and Sunday-school activities. The first Sunday-school 
in the congregation was organized in the spring of 1878, 
Hiram Musselman being the leading spirit in the enterprise. 

This congregation maintains two evergreen Sunday- 
schools, two Christian Workers' Societies, two Sisters* Aid 
Societies, teachers' meetings and teacher training classes. The 
church officials are: Elder in. charge, Peter Knavel; pastor. 
Elder H. S. Replogle ; deacons, Harvey Berkey. N. S. Berkey, 
George Fyock, A. S. Hofifman, N. J. Hofifman. Peter Hofif- 
man, Sylvester 1'. Hoffman, Harvey Knavel. J. H. Lehman, T. 
N. Park and l-.. C. Schuldt. 


U'iiiilher Cliurcli, Scalp Level Cone:reg:iitlon. 


This congregation is an (ji"f spring of the old Conemaugh 
congregation, having heen detached from it and organized 
into a separate congregation ahout 1851 (some think it was 
several years earlier). In a ]irevious chapter mention is made 
of Philip Hofifman's family, who were among the first, if not 
the first, members in this territory. Much more might be writ- 
ten about this i)ious family if space ])ermitted. Some more 
of this history will ])r(jl)ably cluster about several of the bio- 
graphies to follow. 

Brief mention must be made of another early family whose 
descendants also had much to do in sha]nng the early des- 
tinies of this large congregation. This was Daniel Berkey 
and his wife, Elizabeth (Poorman) Berkey. They moved 
from a farm in Jenner Township, several miles south of the 
])resent town of Jerome, to a farm of 188 acres, three miles 
south of the present town of Windber. This was probably 
early in the thirties. This homestead is now owned and oc- 
cupied by Josiah Blough, whose wife is a great-granddaughter 
of these early pioneers. When Mr. Berkey took possession 



Deacon Daniel Berkey and Wife. 

of tliis farm there were about thirty acres of the land cleared, 
and a small log house stood upon it. In about 1840 he built 
a large brick house, the brick being made on the farm. This 
house stood until about twenty-two years ago, and was known 
as " The Old Brick Farmhouse." Mr. Berkey added to his 
property until he owned over 400 acres in one tract, as well as 
other farms elsewhere. 

It must be stated that Elders Jacob Stutzman, Levi 
Roberts, John Mineely, Samuel Lidy and others did effective 
mission work in different parts of this territory, and men and 
women were born into the kingdom. Mr. Berkey and his wife 
also became members and he w^as called to be a deacon. The 
meetings were held in farmhouses and l)arns until 1858. when 
a large love-feast house was erected on a jnirt of Brother 
Berkey 's farm, called the Berkey church. When Brotlier 
Berkey died, in 1868. he was, at his rccjucst. buried near the 
church, his being the first grave in the Berkey cemetery. 

Brother and Sister Berkey were the parents of thirteen 


children, of whom four sons died quite young. The remainder 
reached a good old age. Among their descendants may be 
named the Berkeys, Croffords, Berkebiles, Custers, Living- 
stons, Ripples, Fousts, Frys, Shatters, Seeses and others. 

This congregation covered Paint, Ogle and a part of 
Shade Tov^mships in Somerset County, and parts of Richland 
and Adams Townships in Cambria County, and Paint, Scalp 
Level and Windber Boroughs. 


Christian Lehman was the first minister elected in this 
arm of the Conemaugh congregation. This took place proba- 
bly in the thirties. The next election resulted in the calling of 
" Big " Peter Berkey and his son, Samuel, a young single 
brother. This took place several years before the middle of 

Shade Creels Ministers Before Division. L,eft to Rig:ht, Charles S. Knavel, 
Foster B. Statler, Alvin G. Faust and William H. Fry. 

the century. The first two preached in the German, and the 
young brother in the English. Samuel Berkey moved to 
Benshofif Hill before the organization of the congregation. 
After the organization we find the following elections : 
Joseph Berkey (German and English), about 1851; Jacob 
Holsopple (English and German), 1861; Hiram Musselman 


(Englisli), 1862; l*elcr \). Statler (German), 1872. This was 
the last l)rother elected who used the (iennan. I'eter Kiiavel, 
September 14, 1874; Daniel Holsopple, 1884; Jerome I"2. 
Blough and Hiram Lehman, July 10, 1887; James F. Ream, 
Joseph J. Shaffer and Daniel D. Shaffer, July 4, 1893; Mahlon 
J. Weaver, 1899; Lorenzo J. Lehman and Lewis G. Shaft'er, 
June 19, 1900; A\'illiam H. I*>y and Josiah L. Weaver, March 
31, 1902; Ross D. Murphy and Alvin (i. Faust, November 24, 
1904; Charles S. Knavel and Frank Shaft'er. June 19, 1906; 
Clarence ICarl Shaffer, Ajiril, 1910; Foster B. Statler and 
James IL Muri)hy, November 14, 1*M4. Brethren Frank Shaf- 
fer, C. E. .Shaft'er and James \i. Mur])hy have not yet accepted 
the call. 

Ministers who m(ncd into the cons>"regation are: Joseph 
S. Burkhart, Henry P. Hostetler, who was the last brother to 
])reach in (Jerman, Dr. S. G. Miller, hVancis S. Bowcn, 
David S. Clapper, D. M. Adams, and .S. C. Thompson. These 
moved out : Jose])h S. Burkhart, to Johnstown ; Dr. Miller, to 
Bolivar; J. E. Blough moved to Prince William County, Vir- 
ginia, in 1892, back again in 1899, and to Quemahoning in 
1900; J. J. .Shaft'er also moved out, and after being gone 
several years returned in 1907, and in 1909 moved to Brothers 
Valley ; F. S. Bowcn moved to Quemahoning and later to 
Bedford County; J. F. Ream moved to Ouakertown. I'ucks 
County, 1908, and some years later to Cramer, Indiana Coun- 
ty ; M. J. Wea\er moved to Pittsburgh, and later to ICverett ; 
L. G. Shaffer moved to Johnstown ; L. J. Lehman moxed to 
California; J. L. Weaxer moved to Bellefontaine, Ohio; D. 
M. Adams moved to Illinois, and S. C. Thompson to \'irginia. 
R. D. Murphy is em])loyed by the General Mission P>oar(l. but 
has liis membershi]) here. 


The following deacons have serxed the church, so far as 
known: Daniel I'erkcy, John Custer. Jacob Bcrkcy, Jacob 
TToffman, David J. .Shaffer, Hiram .Shaffer, Aaron .Shaffer, 
Josejih i'.crkebile, Peter Kna\el. .^amuel C. Knaxel. Peter 


Hofifman, Jacob E. Foust, Samuel E. Berkey, Noah J. Hoff- 
man, Jacob C. Knavel, Norman S. Berkey, Jacob Fox, Aaron 
S. Hoffman, Scott Murphy, Samuel \\\ Knavel, Ira Manges, 
Harvey Berkey, Elmer Knavel, Calvin C. Weaver, O. F. 
Fyock, James Cassidy, C. E. Schuldt, T. N. Park, William 
Berkebile, Edgar Knavel and Lew^is Penrod. 


The elders ordained in the congregation in their order 
are: Christian Lehman, Joseph Berkey, Hiram Musselman and 
Jacob Holsopple, on January 1, 1886; Peter Knavel, in 1902; 
J. J. Shaff'er, in 1908 and W. H. Fry, on July 14, 1912. Elders 
D. S. Clapper and D. M. Adams moved into the congregation. 


The regularly chosen and paid pastors have been ; J. J. 
Shaffer, from March 2, 1907, to April 6, 1909; D. M. Adams, 
from October 19, 1909, to October 3, 1911; S. C. Thompson, 
from January 1, 1914, to April 1, 1915; A. G. Foust, from 
May 1. 1915. Elders Shaffer and Adams served the congre- 
gation before it was divided, and so were pastors of what 
later became the Scalp Level congregation, also. 

We have already spoken of the Berkey church. The 
second meetinghouse was built in Scalp Level, on land of 
Hiram Musselman, in 1867. This church was replaced by a 
new one in 1892, and since changed into a love-feast house. 
Next was the Ridge, or Shaffer church, on land of Aaron 
Shaffer, in 1872. This has also been replaced by a new 
church in 1912. Then followed the Rummel (also called 
Borders and Greenland) house, on land bought from the 
Rose farm, in 1873 or 1874. Rummel was rebuilt in 1903, 
enlarged and remodeled in 1914, and changed into a love-feast 
house in 1915. In 1886 a meetinghouse was built in Ogle 
Township, on the Alleghany Mountains, on land of Jacob Fox. 
Next the Keiper schoolhouse, in Adams Township, was bought 
and converted into a church, and called Cross Roads. A new 


fb — 

■= 5 «~ 


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t. M i 5= 

i ~ ^ ~ 





Kerkey Cemetery, Shade Creek Congregation. 

(1) Shows Grave of Daniel Berkey and Wife. 

(2) Sliows Grave of Petei- Berlvebile and "Wife. 

(.3) Shows Large Part of Cemetery. Ministers Ituried Here Are Joseph 
r.erkey. Hiram Miisselman, Henry Hosteller, Daniel Holsoi)i)le, D. D. 
Shaffer, Hiram Lehman and D. S. Clapper. 

church was erected here in 1901, and in 1911 it was torn down 
and moved to Morningland, or Hagevo. In 1905 the W'indber 
church was built, and it has since been elevated and the base- 
ment fitted out with Sunday-school classrooms. The Hagevo 
church was built in 1912. The Berkey church was remodeled 
in 1881 and rebuilt in 1897. 

In the various church activities this congregation has 
stood in the front ranks. It was among the first to see and 
appreciate the need of Sunday-schools. The Scalp Level 
Sunday-school was among the first in this part of the Brother- 
hood. In 1903 the congregation pledged itself to support 
Sister Anna Z. Blough, as missionary on the India mission 
field, being the first congregation in the District to do this. 
The congregation grew to about 500, when, February 10, 1912, 


it was divided into two separate congregations, the larger and 
southern part, with a membership of about 275, retaining the 
old name. The remainder of the territory, of which Windber 
and Scalp Level are the strongholds with a membership of 
230, was named Scalp Level. 

The Berkey cemetery is one of the oldest, and in it are 
buried the remains of nearly all the departed ministers of 
the congregation. 

The present official board consists of W. H. Fry, elder; 
A. G. Foust, jiastor; Charles vS. Knavel, Foster B. Statler 
and R. D. Murj)hy, ministers. The deacons are: Joseph Ber- 
kebile, J. E. Foust, J. C. Knavel, Ira J. Manges, Samuel W. 
Knavel, C. C. Weaver, O. F. Fyock, Elmer Knavel, Edgar 
Knavel, William Berkebile and Lewis Penrod. Their five 
Sunday-schools have a total enrollment of 553. They have 
one Christian Workers' Society and one Sisters' Aid Society. 

This congregation, was again divided on January 1, 1916, 
the vote having been taken at the different appointments dur- 
ing the month of December. The part left has 211 resident 
members, three meetinghouses. Berkey, Ridge and Hagevo; 
one elder and minister, W. H. I'^ry; and the following dea- 
cons : Joseph Berkebile, J. E. Foust, Ira J. Manges, C. C. 
Weaver, O. F. Fyock, Edgar Knavel and William Berkebile. 
It will be seen that the Shade Creeek congregation has en- 
joyed a steady and healthful growth during all these years. 
vShe has three Sunday-schools, and her three mectingliouses 
are practically new. 


It seems that the members in Jefferson County, Pennsyl- 
vania, were organized into a congregation with twelve mem- 
bers, in 1878, and that the congregation was named Shemokin. 
There was no resident minister and no meetinghouse and the 
organization was of short duration. In 1882 there were 
eleven members reported. In 1885 we find the name for the 
last time among the list of congregations. 



When the old BerUn congregation was divided into four 
separate congregations, October 9, 1880, this was one of the 
four. Its boundaries were Brothers Valley, Stony Creek, 
Ouemahoning and Middle Creek congregations. Its official 
board consisted of Ministers Michael Weyandt and Solomon 
J. Baer, and Deacons William N. Trent and Philip F. Cupp. 
This territory had a membership of about seventy-five and one 
meetinghouse, the Trent. 

During the Progressive agitation this congregation became 
considerably weakened, so much so that the remaining mem- 
bers did not deem it best to continue as a separate congregation. 
So, on October 17. 1883, Somerset and Brothers Valley con- 
gregations were consolidated, and have remained so ever since. 

This territory, once so weakened, has since become a real 
stronghold for the Church of the Brethren. 


The Stony Creek congregation was organized on the 13th 
day of November, 1880. Elders present were Joseph Berkey, 
Jonas A. Lichty, John P. Cober and H. R. Holsinger. Joseph 
Berkey was appointed chairman of the meeting. J. L. Kimmel 
and A. J. Miller were elected to the ministry. J. G. Kimmel 
and Jonathan J. Kimmel were elected deacons. Josiah Kimmel 
had been elected deacon under the old Berlin congregation, 
which was divided into four separate congregations. 

H. R. Holsinger was chosen to preside over said con- 
gregation. Benjamin Musser was elected secretary, and 
Samuel Landis treasurer. That completed the organization, 
with seventy-five members. 

Said congregation met in council at the Kimmel church, 
on the 12th day of March, and decided to move the said 
church to a more convenient place for the members. A place 
was selected at the Berlin road to the Stoystown pike, on the 
farm of J. G. Kimmel, and it was agreed to build an addition 
of fifteen feet to the old church. This was done the same 


The building committee consisted of J. G. Kimmel, Wil- 
liam Stull and Josiah Kimmel. The church was dedicated on 
the 25th of September, 1881. Dedicatory services were con- 
ducted by S. H. Bashor and H. R. Holsinger. It was dedi- 
cated in the name of the " Home Church," and followed 
by a series of meetings by Bashor. Fourteen were baptized. 
J. L. Kimmel and A. J. Miller were ordained to the eldership 
at the same time by H. R. Holsinger. 

In the di\ision this meetinghouse and a number of the 
officials and members went with the Progressives. This so 
cri])|)led the work that the members remaining loyal to the 
Conser\ati\'e body of the church asked to l)e taken back to the 
Brothers Valley congregation, and so we find the name dro|)ped 
from the list of congregations in 1889. 


This is one of the three congregations carved out of the 
old Elk Lick congregation in 1877. At its organization at 
that time Jonas Lichty and J(K'1 Gnagey were elders and J. A. 
Miller was a minister. The deacons were: S. S. Flickinger, 
William Lichty, J. M. Lichty, J. B. Schrock, S. D. Gnagey, 
.S. A. Maust, John X. Davis and J. J. Like. 

Brethren A. D. Gnagey and Daniel M. Like were elected 
to the ministry in 1879 and S. J. Berkley Sei)tem1)cr 22, 1912. 
J. W. Peck moved into the congregation in 1880 and G. E. 
^'oder in 1909. Brother Yoder was ordained in 1912 and 
moved away in 1913. D. M. Fike moved West in 1882 and 
Jonas Lichty in 1888. A. D. Gnagey, who is now editor of 
The Brethren E-i'an</elist, and J. A. Miller went with the 
Progressive Brethren in the division. 

These deacons were elected: S. K. Hochstetler, Noah 
Gnagey and P. M. Saylor, 1885; D. S. Gnagey. 1897; Hiram 
.Saylor, C. D. Lichtv and S. J. Berkley. September. 1904; Wil- 
li.'Mii I'ullem and lolm P. .Saylor, 1913. S. .'^. Lint moved in in 
1898 or 1899. and D. S. Gnagey in 1906: The following dea- 
cons moved away: S. A. Maust and J. J. Fike, 1880; William 
Lichty. 1882; J. N. Davis, 1885; S. S. Flickinger, 1886; S. 


Summit Mills Church, Erected in 1846. 

K. Hochstetler, 1896; D. S. Gnagey, 1899 and S. S. Lint, 1900. 
J. M. Lichty died, 1900. 

The membership is composed principally of prosperous 
farmers. The church has enjoyed a healthy growth and at 
present numbers 140. Summit Mills meetinghouse was erect- 
ed in 1846 and Cross Roads in 1886. The former is a very 
large church and seats 680 communicants. In this church the 
Annual Meeting was held in 1859. 

It would seem that the Sunday-school was organized as 
early as 1872, and has been alive since the organization of the 
congregation. Two Sunday-schools are maintained. The 
church is also alive to the missionary cause, both home and 

During the trying times of the early eighties quite a num- 
ber of members were lost, families were divided and hearts 
were made sad. At present few of the Brethren's children of 
proper age are out of the church. 


This is one of the pioneer churches of Western Pennsyl- 
vania. The first settlement, by the Brethren, in what is now 
Washington County, Pennsylvania, was made in the year 
1800 (Elder John Wise thought as early as 1760), when 


Old Stone Church, Ten Mile Congres:ation. The Oldest Church in Western 
Pennsylvania, Erected in 1833. 

several families of members left their homes, east of the 
mountains, and located on large tracts of virgin soil in the 
southeastern part of the county, where they later organized 
themselves into the Ten Mile congregation. 

Among tlic first arrivals we find families l)y the names of 
Helft, Garber, Ciraybill, Spahn, I'igler, W'ise, Thomas, Tanner. 
Miller, Lane, Leasor, Gutterey and Swihart. 

For nearly a third of a century, not having a church build- 
ing in which to worshi]), they held their monthly preaching 
services in the homes of the brethren, in rotation, it being the 
custom for those who must travel any distance to the place of 
meeting to remain for dinner. Lonc feasts were held much 
after the same manner, except that the feasts were alternated 
between a much smaller number of homes. 

In 1832 they erected a brick meetinghouse near the forks 
of Daniel's Run, one mile from its junction with North Ten 
Mile Creek. This building stands today and is one of the 
oldest Brethren churches in America. Its furnishings are in 
keeping with its age. In the rear of the audience room is the 
kitchen, where may be seen the open firei)lace. where the cook- 
ing for love-feast occasions was performed. In the cupboards 
beside it arc the l)rass candle-holders which were once used 
to give light. (Tallow candles wqvc used exclusively in this 


OUl Brick Church, Ten Mile Congregration, Showing Part of the Cemetery. 

church until 1863, when the members voted to secure oil 
lamps.) The pulpit is a long table on a raised platform, and 
from it many strong and able ministers have proclaimed the 

By the year 1838 its membership numbered about fifty, 
with Elder Helft as elder and Jacob Garber and Henry Tanner 
as ministers. Other resident ministers who have served the 
congregation are : Elder John Spahn, Sr., Andrew Wise, 
George Wise, Elder John Wise, Elder Samuel Moore, Daniel 
Lane, George B. Shidler, J. M. Tombaugh, A. J, Sterling, N. 

B. Christner, Elder Jerry Bottorff, D. W. Hostettler, Virgil 

C. Finnell, Samuel \\'. Bail, Joseph C. Swihart and Russell T. 

Some of those who have served in the deacon's office are : 
Henry Wise, Joseph G. Grable, George G. Crumrine, Wil- 
liam Holder, Adam Spahn, Reuben Bail, Solomon W. Tom- 
baugh, James G. Grable, and Silas Johnson. In 1842 the con- 



Fireplace, Ten Mile Church. 

gregation had some fifty-two converts as the direct result of a 
series of meetings conducted hy Brother James Quinter. 
Brother Quinter did a great amount of ])reacliing in this con- 
gregation. Decemher 4, 1856, tlie members " decided to meet 
in social ser\ ices," and in March, 1859, the first Sunday-school 
in the congregation was organized. 

The churcli continued to grow, and in the si)ring of 1859 
Pirethren John Leatherman, Daniel Ward and S. W. Tom- 
baugh were elected a building committee for a new church 
in the north end of the congregation. This church was built 
in 1860 and was called Pigeon Creek. The first communion 
service held in this house was October 20, 1860. Before the 
passing of another decade their elder, Brother John Wise, had 
moved from the congregation, and the church, being without 
able leadership, the work began to show signs of decay. This 
was followed by the factional disturbances which terminated 
in the withdrawal of a large number of the younger members 
to join the Progressive Brethren, who, in 1887. built another 
church in the vicinity of the Ten Mile house. 

Here I quote from a communication from .Sister Hannah 


Interior View. Ten Mile C'huroli. 

Smith, in an issue of The Gospel Messenger of March 16, 
1886. She wrote from the Ten Mile church as follows: "I 
was bai)tized in October, 1809. In sixteen years seventy were 
baptized, eleven expelled, forty-four died, eighteen received 
letters, ten were reclaimed, twenty went with the Progressives, 
six joined other denominations, and a number of others moved 
away without applying for certificates. Present number of 
members about forty. We have no resident minister. The 
ministers from the Georges Creek and Markleysburg congrega- 
tions supply the preaching." Her address was Zollarville, Pa. 
Again Elder Wise lived in the congregation for a time, 
but a great part of the time the pulpits were filled more or less 
regularly by brethren from the adjoining congregations, until 
1889, when Brother Nelson B. Christner became their pastor, 
and remained until 1894. Brother Wise preached again for 
less than a year, and they were left without a shepherd until 
1897, when Elder Jerry Bottorfif came to their assistance. Un- 
der his loving, tactful leadershi]), and by hard, persistent ef- 
fort, the church was revived and encouraged until it seemed 
that the congregation would again prove its ability as a soul- 


winning agency. All these hopes were blighted, however, 
when. May 8, 1900, Brother Bottorff, while returning from 
North Dakota, where he had been visiting for his health, 
passed to his reward, and left them without any one to direct 
their energies. Except for the few months during which 
Brother D. W. Hostetler, now of Indiana, served as pastor, 
they were without a resident minister for the next four or five 
years. Emigration, desertion, death and division had by this 
time reduced their number to a mere handful, many of whom 
were, by reason of old age, no longer able to assist in the active 
work of the church. 

April, 1904, Virgil C. Einnell became their pastor and 
served them four years. During the fourth quarter of 1904 
the home department of the Ten Mile congregation was organ- 
ized with thirty-three members. This was either the first or 
second home department in the District. March, 1905, the con- 
gregation was incorporated. 

In 1901 Brother Samuel W. Bail was elected to the min- 
istry, but was not installed until 1906. The same year Brother 
Joseph Swigart was elected and installed. In 1909 Brotlier 
Russell T. Idleman and wife located in the congregation, and 
have been in charge of the work ever since. In November, 
1914, Brother Idleman was ordained to the eldership. In 
1911 Brethren Marshall Sterling and Robert Lane, the last two 
deacons of the congregation, with others, moved to California, 
and in 1914 Brother Bail located in Arcadia, Florida, thus 
leaving but a small meml)ership remaining. The other min- 
ister ])roved unfaithful. From 1911 to 1914 Elder W. M. 
Howe served as elder. Perhaps the only hope of the congre- 
gation is the uniting of the " Conservative " and " Progres- 
sive " elements. For much of the information here given I am 
indebted to Brother \ irgil C. I'^inncU, who spent some years 
in the work there. 


The Trout Run congregation occupies a unique position, 
l)oth religiously and geographically. Geographically, it consists 
of a narrow territory on tiie western slope of the Laurel Hill 


Mountain, Fayette County, about twenty miles long, extending 
north and south, and from three to four miles wide. Religious- 
ly, it is a pioneer congregation of the twentieth century. 
The Middle Creek congregation lies on the east, with the 
Somerset and Fayette County line as the congregation line. 
The Indian Creek congregation is on the west, with the natural 
community line, often called the " frost line," as the boundary, 
separating " the mountain " from " the settlement." 

This territory was in the Indian Creek congregation until 
the summer of 1913, and its early history is interwoven with 
that congregation. Little is known about the work of the 
Brethren in this region prior to 1860, but services were held 
in diflferent schoolhouses after the Civil War. For many years 
a Sunday-school was conducted in the Mt. Hope, or Nedrow, 
schoolhouse. Out of this mission came a number of devoted 
workers, such as I. B. Ferguson, Robert A. Nedrow, Elmer F. 
Nedrow, J. Lloyd Nedrow and Grace (Nedrow) Heisey. 

A tragedy occurred in connection with this mountain 
mission, which will long be remembered. It was on January 
19, 1896, a still night, and the people were returning home 
from services, when out of the darkness came the sound of 
breaking timber, and a green tree crashed across the road, 
carrying death, sufifering and sorrow. Daniel Sheets, a deacon, 
was instantly killed, while his wife, who sat by his side, was 
left unharmed, to care for their two children, Lawrence, aged 
nine, and Mary, aged seven. Kurtz Baker and Kate Saylor 
were mortally wounded. 

The Trout Run schoolhouse was used for church pur- 
poses for several years, and the ministers of the Indian Creek 
congregation did the preaching. The Trout Run and Mt. Hope 
Missions were consolidated in 1907, when the Trout Run 
church was built. The building is a substantial frame struc- 
true, 30x40 feet, and was dedicated May 25, 1907, by Elder 
D. K. Clapper. 

John M. Nedrow and wife, who had been elected to the 
office of deacon, and J. Lloyd Nedrow, the third of their sons 
to be called to the ministry, became leading workers in the 


new cliurcli. In May, 1912, Walter J. Hamilton, a minister in 
the second degree, left Morgantown, West Virginia, and lo- 
cated on a farm about a mile from Trout Run. A year later, 
his father. Miles Hamilton, a deacon, located in the same com- 

During the summer of 1913 a petition was presented to 
the Indian Creek congregation asking that about fifty members 
around the Trout Run church and the Longwood Mission be 
permitted to organize into a sc])arate congregation. The ])e- 
tition was granted and the organization was effected on Oc- 
tober 11, 1913, with Elder Silas Hoover as bishop. 

On November 28, 1914, J. Lloyd Xedrf)w and wife were 
forwarded to the second degree of the ministry, and Eli Foust 
and Josei)hus V>. Pritts were called to the deacon office. The 
deacons and their wives were installed the next day. 

The Longwood Mission had its beginning as follows: 
Brother Jacob Sanner made occasional visits to Josephus R. 
Pritts, his wife's father, and they would announce preaching 
for him in the Longwood schoolhouse. Sometimes he would 
preach for a week and baptize the converts. Then, William 
Bond, of the Indian Creek congregation, preached every five 
or six weeks, and a little later W. J. Hamilton assisted in the 

When the new congregation was organized this point was 
given regular services. The mcmbershi]) and interest have 
grown until |>lans are now being matured for the erection of 
a new churchhouse during 1916. 

The present official board consists of Walter J. Hamilton 
and J. TJoyd Nedrow. ministers, and John M. Nedrow, Jose- 
phus B. Pritts and Eli Foust, deacons. Two Sunday-schools, 
a Christian Workers' Society and a midweek service are main- 


As has been already stated in the history of the Johnstown 
congregation, that congregation was dixided into two separate 
congregations on January 1. 1899. That i)art lying west of the 



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Viewmont Church, AVest Johnstown Congregation. 

Stony Creek and Hinckston Run became the AX'est Johnstown 
congregation. The new congregation comprised Ferndale, 
Roxbury, Kernville, \A'estmont, Brownstown, Cambria City, 
Minersvilie, Rosedale, Coopersdale, Morrehville, and Upper 
Yoder, Lower Yoder, A\'est Taylor. Middle Taylor and part 
of Jackson Townships. It had a membership of several hun- 
dred, and three meetinghouses ; viz., Roxbury, Upper Yoder 
(now Viewmont) and Benshoff Hill (now Pleasant Hill), and 
a meeting place in Morrellville. The ministers were Solomon E. 
Dorer, Ananias W. Myers, John F. Deitz and Albert U. 
Berkley. The deacons were Stephen Stutzman, Jacob Berkey, 
Jerry E. Long, William Harrison and Jesse Berkebile. 

At a council held January 26, 1899, at which Elders Hiram 
Musselman and David Hildebrand were present, the organiza- 
tion was efifected. Elder Musselman was given charge of the 
congregation, and Norman W. Berkley, who had been elected 
to the ministry September 29, 1887, was installed into office. 
During the year Samuel A. Beeghley, a young minister, moved 
into the congregation, and on December 28, 1899, he was 
given a certificate. 


Election of Ministers: December 28, 1899, C. A. Mc- 
Dowell and Frank L. Myers; January 13, 1910, Leonard R. 
Holsinger, William L. Brougher, Vernon J. Dietz and John P. 
Coleman (brethren Brougher and Dietz were not installed); 
December 12, l')ll, J. C. W. Beam, Elmer D. Blue, William 
H. Rummcl, Iladden Q. Rhodes and Lemon F. Findley. 
Brother Findley was not installed and soon after moved to 
Ohio. On January 8, 1903, Brother Harvey S. Replogle, a 
minister, was received by letter, and December 31, 1908, he 
was granted a letter, having ])ecome the pastor of the Plum 
Creek congregation. In February, 1911, L. R. Holsinger, 
having accepted the pastorate of the Red Bank congregation, 
was granted his certificate. April 1, 1911, Brother C. A. Mc- 
Dowell, having taken up the jiastoral work of the Bolivar con- 
gregation, was also granted a certificate. December 8, 1910. 
Jerome E. I'lough, a minister, moved into the congregation 
from Ouemahoning. In 1912, James F. Ream, a minister, 
moved into the congregation from Quakertown, Pennsylvania. 
February 1, 1914, John W. Mills, having become the pastor 
in Morrellville, moved into the congregation. 

During the summer of 1908, Brother John H. Cassady 
and family moved into the congregation, Brother Cassady 
having become the first pastor of the church. After more 
than six years of active and fruitful work, which was divided 
among the four churches of the congregation, they moved to 
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, September 1, 1914. After being 
without a pastor for ten months, Brother Edgar M. Detwiler 
took up the pastoral work, July 1, 1915. His efforts will be 
given to the work at Roxbury. 

Election of deacons: October 24, 18V>'>, \\ illiam H. kuni- 
mel, Edward Mosholder, Clement F. Livingston, Amos Camp- 
bell, Emanuel Rhodes and Cloyt A. McDowell; May 7, 1901. 
Harry W^eller and Peter Stutzman (neither installed) ; June, 
1904, Edmund Livingston and J. C. W. Beam ; March 19, 
1908, Henry Hofecker; April 2, 1908, Henry B. Kaufman; 
January 13, 1910. Andrew Blough, Henry E. .Snyder, \\'illiam 
I. Strayer, Samuel N. McDowell and Harvey R. Livingston; 


May 4, 1911, H. W. Lape, Isaiah Hershljerger and David A. 
Rummel ; February 8, 1912, Samuel Lambert, Michael L. Hofif- 
man, Ephraim Hershberger, Elmer Rummtl and Levi Kauf- 
man. Daniel Rhodes and John Stutzman have been elected, 
l)ut not installed. Samuel A. Fitt, Milton Metzger and John 
Wissinger moved into the congregation as deacons. 

Ordination of elders: June 28, 1900. John F. Dietz ; May 
4, 1911. John H. Cassady ; May 4. 1915, n! W. Berkley, Albert 
U. Berkley and Jerome K. Blough. 

In 1899 the Roxbury house was enlarged and arranged 
for holding love feasts. In 1902 a meetinghouse was built on 
D Street, in Morrellville. In 1909 a new meetinghouse was 
erected at Pleasant Hill, the Roxbury house was enlarged and 
remodeled, with a large number of Sunday-school classrooms, 
and some work was also done on the Morrellville and View- 
mont houses. In the winter of 1914 and 1915 a parsonage was 
erected on the Roxbury church property. In 1915 the View- 
mont house had a basement put under it, and more room was 
thus secured for the Sunday-school. 

In addition to the four evergreen Sunday-schools held in 
our four churches, Sunday-schools have for a number of 
years been conducted in Mill Creek and Kaufman Ridge 
schoolhouses. in which our members held the principal offices. 

This congregation has been active in all lines of church 
work. Since the enlargement of the Roxbury house, they 
have held the District Meeting, the Ministerial Meeting and 
Sunday-school Convention twice, the Sunday-school, Mission- 
ary and Bible Institute twice, and the Cambria County Sun- 
day-school Convention, besides other special meetings. Several 
series of meetings are held annually, and the growth of the con- 
gregation has been gratifying. During the six years ending 
September 1. 1914, 893 were received into the church. At 
this time the total membership was considerably over one thou- 

On February 14, 1915, the large congregation was unani- 
mously divided into three congregations : West Johnstown, 
Morrellville and Pleasant Hill. 


The congregation has two evergreen Sunday-schools, two 
Sisters' Aid Societies, two teacher training classes, seal course 
class, Christian Workers' Societies and prayer meetings, and 
missionary and temperance committees, which furnish frequent 

The official board is : Elder in charge, N. W. Berkley ; 
other elders, A. U. Berkley and J. E. Blough ; pastor, E. M. 
Detwiler; ministers, J. C. W. Beam, W. H. Rummel and J. P. 
Coleman ; deacons. Andrew Blough, H. A. Pitt, Ephraim 
Hershberger, Isaiah Hershberger, Henry Hofecker, M. L. 
Hoffman, H. B. Kaufman, Levi Kaufman, W. H. Lape, 
Samuel Lambert, Edmund Livingston, J. E. Long, Ed. Mos- 
holder, D. A. Rummel and Elmer Rummel. 

Missionary Activities. 


The fact that in the early history of the Church of the 
Brethren they had no Mission Boards and handled no mission- 
ary money is no evidence that they lacked the missionary spirit. 
The exact opposite seems to be true. Many of the ministers 
were filled with that spirit in such measure as to put some of 
our modern ministers to shame. This is true, especially, when 
we take into consideration their mode of travel, the long dis- 
tances traveled, and the fact that they gave their time and 
services free, and in addition to that bore all expenses of the 
trips themselves. 

Members of the older and better organized churches 
moved into a new settlement, and, missing the uplift of preach- 
ing services to which they were accustomed, they would send 
word back to the ministers to come and preach for them and 
their neighbors. These holy men of God would start out on 
their trip, either afoot or on horseback, often over rough and 
winding mountain paths, through dense forests infested by 
wild and dangerous animals, and often more dangerous In- 
dians, wading or fording rivers and streams " where bridge 
there was none," to carry the Message of Hope and Salvation 
to the rugged pioneers. Frequently they went by twos, per- 
haps partly as a means of safety and company, but also because 
it was apostolic. 

Meetings were held in the dwellings or barns of the mem- 
bers, and the neighbors were called in to enjoy the blessings 
of religious services. These soldiers of the cross preached 
the unadulterated Word with a zeal and earnestness that made 
sinners tremble. Additions by conversions and immigration 


soon swelled the number, and the result was an organized 
church with, ])erhai)s, a minister or two and several deacons 
from among their own number. This was the method of mis- 
sion work employed, and who will say it was not practical 
and effective? lieginning at (iermantown and following the 
line of emigration, churches si)rung into existence throughout 
New Jersey, I\'nnsylvania, Maryland. Virginia, Tennessee, 
Kentucky and Ohio, and finally over the larger i)art of the 
United .'stales and parts of C"anada. In fact, the same things 
are being duplicated at the present time, with, ])erhaps, more 
modern methods. 

Not all mission work was done, however, in connection 
with emigration. Ministers would go on missionary trips that 
extended over weeks and sometimes months. They went from 
settlement to settlement, holding meetings and love feasts. 
These men endured hardness as good soldiers of Christ. Of- 
ten they had to exjxjse themselves to the severest weather. 
The lives of many were, no doubt, shortened through unavoid- 
able ex])osure. It would be interesting to name the Lfjrd's 
ambassadors of these ])ioneer days, but for fear of missing 
some who are entitled to notice, we will not attemi^t it. Suf- 
ficient is it that their names are emblazoned on the honor 
roll in the gallery of heaven. The scarcity of the Word, and 
the long intervals between visits, made the ])eople the more 
anxious for the old .Stor}- of the Cross. Their hunger and 
thirst for the T'read and Water of Life as indicated in their 
eager, upturned faces and close attention to the heavenly mes- 
sage soon made the tired minister forget the ]ierils of the 

Coming now to Western I'ennsyKania we find that for a 
number of years the newly-organized congregations were reg- 
ularlv visited by i)reachcrs from I'.astcrn and Middle Penn- 
sylvania, as well as from Maryland and Virginia. In (urn, 
some of our ministers made journeys to ( )hio lor the same 
purpose. Within the District the same method was largely 
employed. The ministers of the strong congregations assisted 
the weaker and more isolated ones. Thus we find our early 


ministers traveling and preaching in almost all, if indeed, not 
all, the counties of the District. The Lord hlessed their labors 
and numerous churches were organized. 


John Wise, an active elder and evangelist of Western 
Pennsylvania, presented to the Annual Conference in 1858 
the first request to have a General Mission Board, so as to 
have a more unified missionary effort. The paper was returned, 
but Brother Wise was not silent. He interested three con- 
gregations in his own District, and with I'rother P. J. Brown 
he was sent out on an evangelistic tour. 

In 1870 the folowing query was ])resented to the District 
Meeting : " A request to have this Annual Meeting adopt some 
measure by which we can, as a body of Christians, send two 
ministers, a bishop and another minister, to California, as mis- 
sionaries for one year, to aid the church there in spreading the 
Gospel of Christ ; also to bear their expenses and support their 
families while they are gone. Answer: Forwarded to Annual 
Meeting with this amendment, that they 1)e ordained when 
sent by the church at large." 

The Annual Meeting, which was held at Waterloo, Iowa, 
that year, granted the request, and Brethren Jacob Miller, of 
Portage, and D. Sturgis, of South Bend, Indiana, were sent. 
Provisions were made for the expenses of the committee, 
which it was sui)i)osed would be about $300. 

In 1871 several different papers and plans were presented 
on the Home Mission question. "Answer: W'e can not unite 
upon any system of missionary labor, and therefore recom- 
mend each congregation to enable all its ministers to respond 
to all proper calls, if able, and if not able, to call on the more 
wealthy branches to assist them." 


In 1872 was presented " A resolution by the Plum Creek 
congregation, instructing their delegates to labor in District 
Meeting with the brethren assembled, for the adoption of a 


practical home mission, to be under the control of the District 
Meeting." In conformity with this resolution, a plan was pro- 
posed for adoption. On motion of John Wise the plan was 
referred to a committee consisting of H. R. Holsinger, Lewis 
Kimmel and A. J. Sterling. 

On the second day of the meeting " The committee on 
home mission" reported the following: 

" Whereas, This District Meeting has been repeatedly 
appealed to for a more practical plan for conducting home 
mission : Therefore, we adopt the following : 

" 1st. That each member voluntarily pay into the treasury 
of the congregation, quarterly, the sum of ten cents, or more, 
to be quarterly handed over to the District Treasurer, for the 
purpose of supporting the home mission and defraying other 
expenses of the District. 

" 2nd. The ministering brethren to be sent out are to be 
selected by the congregations, nominating one or more breth- 
ren from their own. or other branches in this District, and 
from this number the delegates i)resent shall elect two or 
more ministers for the ensuing year. 

" 3rd. The District Meeting shall fix the support of the 
evangelists for the ensuing year, and designate their field and 
time of labor. 

" 4th. Applications for ministerial aid may be made by 
congregations, through their delegates, or otherwise, to a com- 
mittee of six brethren, two of whom shall be appointed at each 
annual District Meeting and serve for the term of three years." 

This plan was adopted almost unanimously, and it is re- 
garded as one of the most important actions taken by the 
District since its organization. The meeting then proceeded 
to elect by l)allot and casting lots a committee, or a Mission 
I>oard, resulting as follows: C. G. Lint and Joseph Berkey, 
three years; H. R. Holsinger and Lewis Kimmel. two years; 
J. P. Hetrick and J. L Cover, one year. The meeting author- 
ized the committee to take such action in the home mission 
cause as in their judgment emergencies may require. Hiram 
Musselman, .Scalp Level, was elected treasurer for one year. 


In 1873 J. P. Hetrick and J. I. Cover were reelected mem- 
bers of the Mission Board. Stephen Hildebrand and Joseph 
Berkey were chosen evangehsts for 1873. The treasurer re- 
ported a balance of $51.75 in the treasury. 

A call had come to the Board for help on the borders of 
the Montgomery church in Clearfield County. Just to show 
how cautious they were in expending the mission money I 
will here give their report for 1873: 

" We, the brethren whose names are hereunto set and 
who were by the District Meeting appointed to inquire into the 
call from the Montgomery Branch, Clearfield County, Penn- 
sylvania, find that the place is situated at the foot of Boom's 
Mountain, distance from Peter Beer sixty-six miles, or from 
Brother Berkey 's 112 miles. From Brother Berkey 's to Broth- 
er Beer's there is no likely cost, but from Brother Beer's to 
Boom's Mountain it will cost at least $5 each. They can not 
serve for less than $2 per day. We rate them to ride thirty 
miles i)er day. We do not allow them pay for Sunday 
preaching, vmless sickness or death calls them home. Recapit- 
ulation : Wages per day. $2; whole distance (to and from), 
224 miles; time going and returning, seven and one-half days. 
Remuneration and expense of traveling for both, $25 ; amount 
in treasury, $51.75 ; less $25, balance in treasury, $26.75. This 
Ijalance will support them at the above rates nearly seven days 
each. H. R. Holsinger, J. P. Hetrick, J. I. Cover, committee 
present. Rest absent. Dale City, June 2, 1873." 

In 1874 the funds for the Mission Board and the funds 
for the current expenses of the District were separated and 
the latter raised by special solicitation. 

In 1878 a change was asked for in the following paper: 
" We the Brethren in council assembled on the 16th day of 
May, 1878, deem it proper to ask this District Meeting to re- 
consider the home mission question, either to improve or 
drop it. On motion the chair appointed a committee of three 
to revise and improve the present plan. The committee re- 
ported the following : Whereas, The District Meeting has been 
solicited to amend the plan for conducting the home mission, 


therefore we adojit tlic followiiii^ : T^rst. That the Missionary 
Board hereafter shall consist of three members instead of six, 
who shall be elected by the District Meeting in the same man- 
ner as heretofore and for the same length of time. Second. 
That the Missionary Board shall see to it that some suitable 
person or persons be ai)])ointcd in each church to call upon the 
members (|uarterly to receive contributions to the home mission 
fund, which contribution shall be ])rom])tly forwarded to the 
home mission treasurer for the purpose of sui)plying the home 
mission of Western Pennsylvania. Third. That the Mission 
Board have power to send some elders or ministers to assist 
such churches as are not active in the work, to endeavor to 
1)uild up an interest, es])ecially among the officials of such 
churches. That hereafter the Mission Board shall have the 
power to ap[)oint evangelists in the manner following: Each 
congregation to nominate some elder or minister from its own 
or any other congregation as a board of evangelists for the 
year from which the Mission I'oard shall elect their evangelists 
as circumstances may demand. Fifth. That api)lication for 
ministerial aid may be made l)y the congregation through their 
delegates or otherwise to the home mission, consisting of three 
brethren, one of whom shall be appointed at each annual Dis- 
trict Meeting to serve for the term of three years. A. J. 
Sterling. Joseph Berkey and J. W. Beer, committee. Approved 
by the meeting." New members on this mission Board were 
Silas C. Keim. three years. Joseph I. Co\ er, two years, and 
C. G. Lint, one year. 

In 1879 four papers were presented to the meeting, several 
of them urging the laity to be more liberal in their contributions 
for the preaching of the Gospel to outside people, and the 
others asking Annual Meeting to adopt the " Brethren's Work 
of Evangelism." 

In addition to the brethren already named the following 
also served on the Home Mission Board up to 1881 : John 
Wise, James Quinter, J. C. Johnson, Stei)hen Hildebrand, H. 
R. Holsinger and J. W. B>eer. The exangelists were: Joseph 


W. Beer, Joseph I. Cover, H. R. Holsinger, John Wise and 
John B. W'ampler. 

Up to the year 1881 the annual receipts for home missions 
were small. Some years the treasury was reported to be 
empty and in no year did the amount reach $75. So we need 
not be surprised at the following paper from the Dunnings 
Creek church in 1881 : 

" Inasmuch as the home mission work has not been as suc- 
cessful as would be desired, we ask the Western District of 
Pennsylvania to consider the following proposition or reso- 
lution : 

Resolved, That the Home Mission Board be composed 
of lay members and deacons — that no minister be required to 
serve as a member of the Board. It shall be the duty of the 
Board to solicit funds and appoint and send evangelists.' " 

This resolution was passed at the Quemahoning church 
May 25, 1881, but was not placed on the printed Minutes. 
At this meeting the members of the Mission Board whose term 
was unexpired tendered their resignations, which were ac- 
cepted. In accordance with the above resolution the following 
brethren were elected : Thomas S. Holsinger, three years ; 
Mahlon W. Keim, two years and Philip F. Cupp, one year. 
The organization was : Brother Holsinger, Foreman ; Brother 
Cupp, Secretary ; Brother Keim, Treasurer. 

In 1884 papers were jiresented from Brush Valley, Cow- 
anshannock and Glade Run congregations, setting forth that 
they were without resident ministers, and praying District 
Meeting to look after their spiritual wants. These papers were 
put into the hands of Brethren Joseph Holsopple, Hiram Mus- 
selman and J. J. Blauch for an answer. This is their report : 
" We, your committee, beg leave to recommend Elders C. G. 
Lint, J. C. Johnson and Lewis Kimmel as a ' committee of 
supplies ' to attend to the wants of these congregations." The 
report was unanimously accepted. 

The following year, in response to a more urgent call for 
help from the Cowanshannock church, the " supply commit- 


tee " was increased by adding Elders Joseph Berkey and Mark 

In August, 1885, the supply committee visited the above- 
named congregations and rendered them the help they were 
calling for, and in 1(S(S() the number of this committee was re- 
duced to two members ; viz., Joseph Berkey and John S. Hol- 
singer. The same year (1886) the duties of the Home Mis- 
sion Board were thus defined : First. To notify ever)' con- 
gregation in the District that they are expected to pay quar- 
terly into the mission treasury " as the Lord has prospered 
them." Second. To send ministers in response to the call of 
isolated members, as evangelists, whose duty it shall be to 
preach the Gospel in its primitive purity as preached and 
practiced by the Brethren. Third. They shall pay the ex- 
penses of the evangelists out of the funds of the treasury of 
their Board. Fourth. They shall also pay the expenses of 
the supply committee. At the same meeting the treasurer re- 
ported an indebtedness of thirty-one cents. 

The treasurer's re])()rt for 1886 shows the total receipts to 
have been $207.98, and the expenditures $169.74. This was 
by far the most money that had passed through the hands of 
tbe Mission P.oard in a single year up to this time. 

In addition to Brethren Holsinger, Keim and Cupp, above 
mentioned, the following brethren served on the Mission Board 
prior to 1895: Charles .S. Grififith, ]*bili]i Sbumaker, Christian 
B. Kimmel and William J. Bowser. 

In 1894 the Manor congregation presented to the District 
Meeting a new plan for carrying on the mission work of the 
District. After being discussed it was entered upon the 
Minutes, to be disposed of the following year. In 1895, after 
being amended, it was passed as follows : 

" First. District Meeting sliall select a committee of five 
bretbren in full synipatby witli mission work and the order and 
usages of tbe cburcb. i)art of wliom sball be ministers, part 
deacons, and part lay members, and no more than two of 
either. This committee sball be known as tbe Mission Board 
of the German Baptist Bretbren of Western Pennsylvania. 


Their term of office shall be five years, except those first 
chosen, one of whom shall serve for one year, one for two 
years, one for three years, one for four years and one for 
five years. 

" Second. It shall be the duty of this Board to organize 
by electing one of their number foreman, one to act as secre- 
tary, and one as treasurer. 

" Third. It shall be the duty of said Mission Board to 
meet at least every six months, and oftener if necessary. 

" Fourth. It shall be the duty of this Board to select 
annually for mission work two or more brethren, well es- 
tablished in the faith of the Gospel as practiced by the German 
Baptist Brethren church, one of whom shall be an elder; these 
brethren shall hold themselves in readiness to respond to the 
demands made upon them by the Mission Board, for which 
labors they shall receive their expenses and such compensation 
for their time as the Board may see right and proper. 

" Fifth. It shall l)e the i)rivilege of the Mission Board to 
fill any vacancies that may occur in their number. 

" Sixth. It shall be the duty of the Board to consider 
all calls for preaching, to aid weak churches, and to improve 
all opportunities for opening up new points in Western Penn- 

" Seventh. It shall be the duty of said Board to receive 
funds by donations, bequests and endowments, from indi- 
viduals and churches, as provided for by the Annual Meet- 
ing, and their work shall be confined within the funds in hand. 

" Eighth. It shall be the duty of this Board to introduce 
the Gospel Messenger and distribute tracts within their work, 
and, if necessary, at the expense of the mission funds. 

" Ninth. It shall be the duty of said Mission Board to 
keep complete minutes, or records, of all their work done, 
including money received and expended, number of sermons 
preached, and results, number of families visited, and report 
annually to the District Meeting. 

" It was resolved that we hereby repeal all former mis- 
sion methods and adopt the foregoing, and also that all un- 



t. i- " 


appropriated funds in the hands of the present Board shall 
pass into the new treasury." 

Members of the new Mission Board were appointed as 
follows : J. W. Myers, deacon, one year ; P. U. Miller, deacon, 
two years; H. A. Stahl, minister, three years; \V. G. Schrock, 
minister, four years; P. J. Blough, lay member, five years. 

With a few slight changes this plan has now been in opera- 
tion twenty years. The i)rincipal change is i)ermitting the full 
Board to be ministers. The present Board is composed of 
five elders. 

During these years much faithful and far-reaching work- 
has been done. The missionary sentiment has grown very 
encouragingly. The first few years evangelists were appoint- 
ed who were sujiposed to render assistance to weak and iso- 
lated churches, and mission points. The names of Brethren 
G. S. Rairigh, Jasper Barnthouse, D. H. Walker, H. A. Stahl, 
J. H. Beer and E. K. Hochstetler appear as evangelists. 

The Mission Board has given more or less help to Clarion, 
Cowanshannock, Ryerson Station, Ten Mile, Cokeville, Bol- 
ivar, Boucher, Glen Hope, Rose Bud, Chess Creek, Pitts- 
burgh, Red Bank, Hyndman, Greensburg, and possibly a few 
other places. For want of more funds a number of other 
calls had to go unheeded, and opportunities for building up 
churches have thus passed by. Many times the treasury was 
empty and urgent letters had to be written to delinquent 
churches, urging them to remit their pro rata share. 

April 9, 1901, the Board made a call for $1,000 a year. 
May 4, 1903, a lot on Greenfield Avenue and Mont Clair 
Street, Pittsburgh, was bought for $2,250 cash, and in 1904 a 
church and parsonage combined was erected, and on October 2 
of the same year it was dedicated. Beginning with May, 1900, 
Elder S. S. Blough labored here seven years, during which time 
the work grew from a mere handful of scattered members to a 
strong organization of more than one hundred. During 
Brother Weaver's pastorate the Pittsburgh congregation re- 
linquished its dependence upon the Mission Board, and became 


self-supporting in 1910. This is now one of the leading con- 
gregations of the District. 

From the beginning of the Greensburg Mission the Board 
has furnished very substantial help to the work, and while 
they did not build the meetinghouse there, they gave their sanc- 
tion and influence to it, and on April 18, 1911, they petitioned 
District Meeting as follows : " We, the Mission Board of 
Western Pennsylvania, petition District Meeting in behalf 
of the Brethren at Greensburg, that they be given the priv- 
ilege to solicit the congregations of Western Pennsylvania for 
funds for the erection of a new meetinghouse at the above 
place." The way the work has grown and prospered in 
Greensburg has scarcely been equaled in the history of our 
church. It will be but a few years till the work there will 
be self-supporting. The churches and missions receiving help 
from the Mission Board during 1914 were Bolivar, Chess 
Creek, Cowanshannock, Greensburg and Red Bank. New 
openings are being investigated. The total receipts the past 
year were $2,263.22, and the expenditures $2,171.77. 

Besides the five brethren first chosen, the following have 
served on the Mission Board : W. G. Lint, C. A, Just, 
W. H. Fry, D. H. Walker, J. B. Miller, V. E. Mineely, 
H. L. Griffith, M. J. Weaver, J. J. Shafifer, S. U. Shober, H. S. 
Replogle, W. M. Howe and G. K. Walker. Elder P. J. 
Blough has served continuously for twenty years, and at the 
last District Meeting was elected for the next five years. All 
this time he was treasurer for the Board. 


In 1903, largely through the efforts of Brother M. J- 
Weaver, the Shade Creek congregation pledged itself to sup- 
port .Sister Anna Z. Blough on the India mission field. Since 
the division of the cf)ngrcgation. Shade Creek and Scalp Level 
unite in her support. Missionary meetings are regularly held 
by these two congregations. 

In 1904. the Quemahoning congregation decided to sup- 
port a missionary (a minister) in India. Brother J. W. 


Swigart was selected to be its representative, but before time 
for sailing he died, October 17, 1904, aged 26 years and 8 days. 
In 1906 Brother Charles H. Brubaker became their represent- 
ative. After nearly four years of service in the field he died 
October 20, 1910, aged 37 years, 1 month and 25 days. In 
1911 Brother Quincy A. Holsopple accepted the call from 
Quemahoning and is now happy in the work. 


In addition to the above, the Sunday-schools of the Dis- 
trict are supporting Sisters Ida C. Shumaker and S. Olive 
Widdowson in India, and have asked Sister V. Grace Clapper 
to represent them in China. 


While at first thought we may l)e inclined to congratu- 
late ourselves upon what we have accomy)lished and what we 
are doing in the support of workers on the foreign field, on 
the other hand it seems very little compared with what we 
could do. Instead of our Home Mission Board having $1,500 
a year (last year's $2,263.22 was exceptional) for work in the 
District, they could have $7,000 annually. That would be 
only about a dollar a member. And instead of supporting 
four in the foreign field we could support one hundred. That 
would mean only about four dollars per member. Looking 
at it in another light, do we not have seventy-five members 
in the District who could easily support each a missionary? 
By a little more effort the Sunday-schools would support 
five. That would leave only twenty to be supported by the 
congregations. From observation it is evident that the two 
congregations that are supporting each a missionary have made 
more rapid growth since they undertook the support than they 
did before. Others ought to try it and receive the blessing. 
There are at least ten congregations that could each support 
a worker in the foreign field. That would leave only ten to 
be apportioned among the other twenty-four congregations. 
What do you say? Is it possible? It is worthy of a prayerful 


consideration and a trial. It is truthfully said that the church 
that is not a missionary church will be doomed to extinction. 
May it not be the same with the congregation that is not alive 
to the cause of missions, both home and foreign? 

And what can be said of the number of our own sons 
and daughters who have gone to the fields across the seas? 
In all, seven have gone. Of these, two had to return and take 
up work in America again. Only five on the field and several 
of those broken down by overwork! My dear young brethren 
and sisters — brethren, especially — will not many of you decide 
to give your talents and energies — yes, your lives, if need be — 
to the work on the foreign field? From this, the largest Dis- 
trict, numerically, in the whole Brotherhood, instead of having 
five foreign missionaries, we should have fifty. Should men 
be more ready to go everywhere for the government or large 
and rich corporations, where large salaries are ofifered, than 
for the Governor of all the world to win souls for him? 
Think and pray over it. 

Our missionary chapter would be incomplete without the 
biographies of the brethren and sisters who have gone to the 
foreign mission field from our State District. These we will 
give in the order in wiiich they entered upon their work. 


Jacob M. Ijlough is the youngest child of Elder Emanuel 
J. and Sarah (Barndt) Blough, and was born near Stantons 
Mills, Jenner Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, De- 
cember 12, 1876. His grandfather was Elder Jacob Blough, 
of the Brothers Valley congregation. He comes from Swiss- 
German ancestry. He was reared on his father's farm, where 
he was taught the dignity of labor. He attended the Walter 
j)ublic school thirteen years. He was an apt student and ap- 
plied himself diligently to his books, graduating from common 
school in 1892. He had one term of nine weeks at Normal 
and in 1894 he began teaching. Three years he taught near 
home and one year in the Hooversville primary grade. 



KIder Jacob M. Blough and Wife. 

At eighteen he was given Hberty to make his own way, 
which he did largely through teaching. He graduated from 
the Juniata College English course in 1899, and from the 
classical course in 1903. The last four years he was assistant 
teacher in mathematics, English and Latin. 

All the Sunday-school privileges he had were two sum- 
mers ('80 and '81) at the Pine Grove meetinghouse when yet 
a little boy. At the same place, during a series of meetings 
held by Elder George S. Rairigh, when he was but fifteen, 
he heard the call of the Lord, being baptized by S. P. Zim- 
merman in the Quemahoning Creek, February 8, 1892. This 
brought about a great change in his life. The following sum- 
mer he taught a Sunday-school class in the Maple Spring 
Sunday-school. In '94 he led his first Bible class and ofifered 
his first public prayer. On September 4, 1897, he was elected 
to the ministry by the Quemahoning congregation, and exactly 
' one year later was advanced to the second degree. 

While in college he took an active part in all religious 
and society work. In 1899, with a few others, he organized 
the Student Volunteer Piand for Missions. He was its leader 
and greatest inspiration. He became a volunteer in 1899. 
He was teacher of mission study class several years. While 
he was president of the Young People's Missionary and 


Temperance Society, at Juniata, a movement was started to 
send and support a missionary, and he was the society's choice. 
In 1902 he was sent to the Toronto Student Volunteer Con- 

June 26, 1903, he was married to Sister Anna Z. Det- 
weiler. At the Bellefontaine Conference, in 1903, he was ap- 
pointed missionar}^ to India, h^resh from college, full of en- 
thusiasm for his Master's service in foreign lands, he, with 
his wife and others, sailed for India in the fall of 1903. 

Upon their arrival in India they located at Jalaipor for 
language study till November, 1904, when they were trans- 
ferred to Bulsar, where he took charge of the Boys' Orphan- 
age. Here he continued till December, 1910. On the field 
his work, including his language study, was thorough. His 
scholarly habits have made him the natural choice to edit the 
Gujerati Sunday-school Quarterlies, used not only by our own 
mission, but some neighboring missions. This position he 
has held from 1907 to the present. He was advanced to the 
eldership in 1907. He was a member of the field committee 
from 1907 to 1911, and from 1912 to the present. Of this 
committee he was secretary four years and chairman three 
years. He was also the first president of the India Mission 
Board — elected in 1908 and ser\ed till December, 1010, and 
from 1912 to the present. 

During 1911 they liad iheir first furlough. Of this he 
made splendid use, touring thoroughly his own State District 
of Western Pennsylvania — willing to go to the lonely places 
in small congregations, as well as to address larger ones like 
on Missionary Day at .St. Jose])h Conference of 1911. At this 
Conference he rc])rcsentcd the District of India on the Stand- 
ing Committee and also served as Writing Clerk. His fur- 
lough afforded him very little rest. Besides canvassing his 
home District he traveled extensively in the W'est, as well as 
in Middle Pennsylvania, lie also assisted in three Bible terms, 
or institutes. WHierever he went, he strengthened the cause 
of missions in India. Largely through him (rather them) 
money was secured to establish the Bible School at Bulsar. 


On their return trip they spent some time in Palestine 
from January, 1912, and located at Anklesvar in February, 
to take Brother Stover's place while he took his second fur- 
lough. In May, 1913, they returned to Bulsar, where he be- 
came the first principal of the Bible Teachers' Training School 
in June of the same year. He was the editor of the Gujerati 
church paper during '13 and '14. He was the president of the 
India Sunday-school Mission in Gujerat in '13 and '14. He 
served on many committees in the mission and neighboring 

Because of the death of Sister Ouinter, and a number 
of others being on furlough, some of whom, being sick, were 
unable to return, the work became unusually heavy upon the 
ones on the field. It was during this strain that Brother Jacob's 
health began to give way. During the summer of '14 several 
months were si)ent • on the mountains with the hope of re- 
gaining lost vitality. The hoped-for strength, however, failed 
to come, yet they returned to Bulsar, and opened the school 
work, hoping for the best. It was not long, however, until he 
broke down finally, and had to give up all work. They were 
sent to Landour, on the Himalaya Mountains, for treatment 
and a rest. 

After remaining here about ten months, resting and tak- 
ing treatment, they returned to Bulsar, occupying their new 
•home, and he again took up his teaching in the Bible School, 
though not entirely well. By exercising great care, and taking 
things calmly and slowly, he was enabled to finish the first 
term of school without any bad results, and he hopes even- 
tually to regain his health and strength— all this through the 
[)rayers of the faithful. 


Christian F. Detweiler was born in Huntingdon County, 
Pennsylvania. Salome C. Zook was born in Mifflin County, 
Pennsylvania. Both were reared in the Amish Mennonite 
faith, the latter's father having been a minister. With an 
Amish Mennonite colony they settled in Knox County, Ten- 


nessee, about 1872, and while there both united with the 
Church of the Brethren. On December 1, 1872, was born to 
them a daughter, whom they named Anna. In 1880 the 
family moved to Montgomery County, Ohio, while Anna went 
to Pennsylvania to live and grow to womanhood. Two years 
later her mother died, leaving seven children. Later her 
father married again, and made a home for his children at 
Johnstown, Pennsylvania. She was baptized at Johnstown, 
in 1886, before she was fourteen, by Elder Jacob Holsopple. 
Being without a mother from the time she was ten years 
of age, and without a father from sixteen, she was early in 
life thrown upon her own resources. As a child her oppor- 
tunities for a good education were limited, but through the 
kind hospitality of Elder and Sister J. B. Brumbaugh it was 
made possible for her to go to Huntingdon, and attend Juni- 
ata College. By working for her board she was enabled to 
attend the college several years. Three summers she spent 
at the seashore, as waitress ; one year she worked in Phila- 
delphia, two years in a factory in Huntingdon, two years as 
kitchen matron and one year as dining-hall matron at the col- 
lege. During 1892 and 1893 she was matron in the Orphans' 
Home, in Huntingdon. This variety of vocations gave her a 
broad training that has aided her greatly in her life work, 
though often, during these years, she felt her burden heavy 
to bear. 

While in Huntingdon she attended the Bible terms for a 
number of years. It was also her privilege to be an active 
worker in the Girls' Band in the college, and the Organized 
Girls' -Mission Bands in the church. In 1900 she became a 
volunteer. She attended the mission study classes in the 
college, and took up the teachers' training work in the Sun- 
day-school. Thus she used every opportunity for obtaining a 
better knowledge of the Bible, as well as preparing herself 
for a missionary whenever the call should come. She was 
sent as delegate to the .Students' Volunteer Convention at 
Toronto in 1902. 

The call for her to be a missionary came in 1903, when 


the Shade Creek congregation, Somerset County, Pennsyl- 
vania, asked her to be their representative in India. On June 
26, 1903, she was married to Jacob M. Blough, 

They attended the Annual Conference, at Bellefontaine, 
Ohio, where she received her appointment, with her husband, 
to the India mission field. 

They sailed for India October 13, 1903. The first year 
and a part of the second were spent in language study. Six 
years she helped in the orphanage work at Bulsar. During 
their furlough in 1911 she accompanied her husband and as- 
sisted in a number of meetings, especially in Western Penn- 
sylvania. Since her return to the field her principal work has 
been with the women of the community. Because the Lord 
has blessed her with continual good health, her services have 
been of inestimable value to the mission. Her labors of love 
and kindness in India, though little is said of them publicly, 
have touched every missionary, and she has endeared herself 
to every one who has come in touch with her. 


Ida Cora, fourth child of Alexander Eston and Lydia 
Elizabeth (Lint) Shumaker, was born October 27, 1873, in 
Meyersdale, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. 

" When but twelve years old, while attending a revival 
in the Meyersdale congregation, conducted by Elder John S. 
Flory, of Virginia, she confessed Christ and united with the 
Church of the Brethren by baptism administered by him. 
This opened a new field of service, into which she threw her 
whole heart. From childhood, for thirty-one years, she 
missed only two Sundays from Sunday-school — one when 
she was sick and the other on account of high water. When 
but eleven years of age she took charge of the infant class 
of the Meyersdale Sunday-school, kept it, and taught the 
scholars to the point when all but two of those enrolled had 
confessed Christ." This class, over which she presided for 
nearly a quarter of a century, and which numbered nearly, or 



Ida Cora Shiiniakcr. 

altogether, one hundred pupils, was a model after which many 
teachers of other schools in the neighhorhood copied. 

She was a faithful attendant of the Meyersdale schools. 
Being possessed of more than an ordinary amount of intel- 
ligence for one of her years, she and a girl friend composed 
the first graduating class that hnishcd the prescribed course in 
the Meyersdale High School. May 7, 1889. The following 
school term she was elected by the board of education to take 
charge of one of the ])rimary grades in the local schools, and 
for twenty-one consecutive terms she successfully presided 
over the same grade, and gave it up only to enter the higher 
profession — that of a missionary to the heathen across the 
sea. During this time she taught a model school for three 
summers, and during another summer gave lectures to teach- 
ers. During the time that Sister vShumaker taught in the 
public schools of her native town, she refused many flattering 
offers to teach in the public schools of several of the larger 


towns and cities of Pennsylvania. In the same proportion 
that she was successful in public school work she was also 
successful as an earnest, tireless and active worker in the 
church and Sunday-school. 

Year after year she attended the Annual Conference of 
her church, where she demonstrated to the thousands of Sun- 
day-school and church workers the methods and means for 
successful work in the primary department of the Sunday- 
school. Though busy with other work, for a number of 
years she found time to edit the primary department of the 
Brethren Teachers' Monthly. She always received more calls 
to speak at conventions of Sunday-schools, public schools and 
general church gatherings than she could answer. She was 
one of the speakers at the Pennsylvania State Sunday-school 
Convention in 1909. At the Somerset County Sunday- 
school Convention, held at Windber, where Jacob Riis, of 
New York, the noted lecturer, met her, and saw her work with 
the children, he remarked that he had met two persons who 
knew how to handle children. 

Several years before her appointment to the foreign field 
she si)ent her public school vacation in the Pittsburgh Mis- 
sion, where the church now has a flourishing congregation. 
This experience has proved helpful to her in her chosen call- 

In 1909 the Sunday-school Convention of Western Penn- 
sylvania chose her as their representative in the foreign mis- 
sion field of India, and pledged themselves to support her. 
At the time of her appointment she had charge of the primary 
and beginners' department of the Meyersdale Sunday-school, 
and was home department visitor to twenty-nine members, to 
reach all of whom more than ten miles had to be traveled. 
After her appointment by the Annual Conference, in 1910, 
she dropped all these lines of endeavor as rapidly as possible, 
and in company with R. D. Murphy, District Secretary, 
toured the schools of Western Pennsylvania in behalf of her 
mission to India. 

Early in October, 1910, she started on her journey to the 


Far East, and when she left Meyersdale the populace of the 
town and surrounding country turned out en masse at the 
railway station to bid her Godspeed. Never, in the history of 
the town, was there such a demonstration at the departure of 
anyone. Upon entering the India mission field she was lo- 
cated at Bulsar, where she has been working ever since. Since 
learning the language she has been teaching and waiting on 
the sick, besides having ui)on her shoulders the cares and 
responsibilities of the Girls' Orphanage, of which she is over- 
seer. She assists Brother Blough in editing the Gujerati 
Sunday-school Quarterly, having charge of the primary de- 
partment. These quarterlies have an encouraging circulation 
outside of our missions, which testifies to their helpfulness 
and thoroughness. 

She has had an honor and privilege accorded to none oth- 
er of our missionaries— that of being asked to continue each 
week during a second year at the government schools her 
lectures on educational principles and methods of teaching 
before high school students and prospective teachers. None 
is happier in service than Ida, and of none is labor more ap- 
preciated. Her annual letters to the Sunday-schools are 
messages full of love, faith, trust and patience, accompanied 
with pleas for the continued prayers of her supporters in the 
home land, as well as for more volunteers. 

Sister Shumaker is a niece of Bishop Conrad G. Lint, 
who for a half century has had charge of the Meyersdale 
congregation, and who was at one time well known throughout 
the Brotherhood as an evangelist of note, but who has now 
for some years been inactive, owing to blindness and other 
infirmities of age. 


Information .Su]»plied by llis heather. 

Quincy A. H()ls(»ii]»k' was born near the center of Indiana 
County. Pennsylvania, November 7, 1885, in a new i)lank- 
frame house, which was first occupied on Thanksgiving of 


Quincy A. llolsopple and Wife. 

the previous year. He is the only one of his family and an- 
cestry that was not born in a log house, so far as is now- 
known. His great-grandfather's people were Hollanders, who 
wrote their name Holzapfel. Three families of that name 
crossed the Atlantic before the Revolutionary War, and one 
of them probably was in the line of Quincy 's ancestry, and 
possibly includes the Heinrich Holzapfel, who communed at 
the first love feast held by the Brethren in Germantown, 
Pennsylvania. The name Henry was borne by Quincy's great- 
grandfather and occurs frequently in the line of his ancestry. 


Henry's wife probably was of French descent, as her name, 
Lefevre, would indicate. 

Our subject's grandfather, Isaac, was born in York 
County, in 1800, and was taken to Greenbrier County, Vir- 
ginia, at the age of five years, whence his father Henry went 
to the service in the War of 1812, and never returned. 
Though but twelve years of age he was compelled to shoulder 
great res[)onsibility in his family of eight. The mother and 
children, none over fourteen years of age, stood a poor chance 
in a community of chea[) labor. No wonder they decided to 
return to Pennsylvania, where they arrived in 1815. After 
wintering in York County, early in the spring of 1816 she 
took her journey westward to the banks of the Stony Creek, 
near Hollsopple, Pennsylvania. Here she was the happy pos- 
sessor of a farm given her by a relative. 

Isaac Holzapfel was brought u{) in the (German Re- 
formed faith and married Christena Hoffman, daughter of 
Philip Hoffman, who was the first member of the Church of 
the Brethren in what afterwards became the Shade Creek 
congregation. Although the i)arents belonged to different 
faiths, none of the children were baptized in infancy. Three 
of tlieir four sons became ministers in the Church of the 
I>retliren, and the husbands of two of the daughters held of- 
fices in the same church. 

On the fourth of March, 1860, Joseph Holsopple, son of 
the above, married Catharine, daughter of Elder Christian 
Lehman. The ceremony was ])crformed by Elder Joseph 
Berkey, who also baptized them in June of the same year. As 
they had well considered the matter in all its relations there 
was no need that marriage be a failure. All their children, 
eleven in number, are in the church of their parents. Five of 
the sons are preachers, two are deacons, and two are Sunday- 
school teachers. One son-in-law is a deacon. The youngest 
of these sons is Quincy. He was born into the kingdom in the 
fall of 1899, being baptized by Elder C. O. Beery. Quincy 
was a good boy and did his work willingly. In school he was 
diligent and usually stood at the head of his classes. While 


his flights have not been as high as some others, he kept longer 
on the wing, and generally found a good place to light. He 
graduated from the public school before he was old enough to 
get a diploma. 

After spending one year in Juniata College, teachers' 
course, he taught his home school. With funds thus replen- 
ished he returned to Juniata. In the fall of 1904 he decided 
to go to the Brethren Publishing House and learn to operate 
a linotype. While being employed in Elgin he was called to 
the ministry, in 1906, at the age of twenty years. The same 
year he returned to Juniata, where he remained until he com- 
pleted the arts course. During his college life he fostered the 
idea of becoming a foreign missionary. This desire probably 
first came as the result of the earnest prayers of his parents. 

In January, 1911, the call to the foreign mission field 
came in a tangil)le form in a letter from an elder in the Que- 
mahoning congregation, asking him to be the representative of 
that church in India, as a missionary. Considering this matter 
carefully and prayerfully, he came to a favorable conclusion, 
and offered to go. Resigning his position as teacher in the 
Huntingdon High School, and accepting a position in the 
linotype department of the Publishing House, in Elgin, he 
was enabled to cancel his college indebtedness. He was in 
Elgin from April 1 to September 1. 

While these things were transpiring he became acquainted 
with Sister Kathren Royer, daughter of Elder Galen B. 
Royer, Secretary of the General Mission Board. Common 
interests attracted them to each other, resulting in matrimony 
July 12, 1911. Both were accepted as missionaries at the An- 
nual Conference held at St. Joseph, Missouri, 1911. After 
spending some time getting acquainted with the good people 
of the Quemahoning church, their benefactors, and the dear 
brethren and sisters at other points, they set sail for India, in 
company with Brother J. I. Kaylor and wife, on the same 

Since in India he has lived a very busy life. They spent 
ten months in regular language study, completing a year's 


course in that time. After that tliey Hvcd a rather migratory 
life. They have Hved at Jalalpur, Bulsar, Anklesvar and are 
now at Umalla. This m<j\ing lias interrupted their study 
much, but their daily ccjntact with the i)eoi)le and their regular 
work carries with it a practice in the use of the language, so 
that progress is made without formal study. His work at 
present includes the sui)erintendency of the Boys' School, the 
Industrial Shop, the training department, as well as various 
phases of the religious life of the community. In all this work 
Sister Holsopple is his true companion and helpmate. In 
addition she has special duties which make hers a busy life. 
November 23, 1914, there was born unto them a little mis- 
sionary whom they have named Frances Elizabeth. 


On a farm near Clymer. Indiana County, Pennsylvania, 
lives the family of Brother and .Sister E. I>. Widdowson. 
They were married October 2, 1862, and both are substantial 
members of the Church of the Brethren, Sister Susan being a 
daughter of Elder David Ober, who for many years had 
charge of the Manor congregation. To them were born six 
sons and three daughters. Sister S. Olive, the eighth child, 
was born on September 22, 1881. 

Olive was diligent in public school, from which she grad- 
uated at the age of sixteen. After one year's study in Juniata 
College she taught one term of common school in her home 
county. Next she completed the Normal English course in 
Juniata, and a year's additional study at the same institution 
after which she taught in the grammar school at Cross Fork, 
Potter County, one year, and three years in grammar school of 
Royersford, Pennsylvania. While teaching she worked on 
courses of psychology. i)edagogy and English in tlie l^niversi- 
ty of Pennsylvania. Having decided that she wanted special 
training for Bible teaching she entered Dr. \\niite's Bible 
Teachers' Training School of New York City in 1909. Here 



Olive Widdowson. 

she completed the three years' course in religious pedagogy, 
graduating in the spring of 1912, 

While at Juniata, in 1889, she accepted Christ as her 
personal Savior and united with the Church of the Brethren, 
being baptized by Elder W. J. Swigart. This step changed 
her purposes in life, for now she sought to serve the Lord 
whom she loved. He led her to Bible preparation, when she 
had planned being a public school teacher. While taking her 
course at Bible Teachers' Training School she became very 
anxious to be led into the place where she might be of much 
use to those in need of light and help and the Lord opened 
the way. When at the annual Sunday-school Convention of 
Western Pennsylvania in 1912, the call was extended to Sister 
Olive to represent the Sunday-schools of that large District 
on the India mission field, she readily consented. She is sup- 
ported by the schools of the District, and her annual mes- 
sages are anxiously awaited and much appreciated. With 


others she sailed for India in the fall of 1912, after she had 
visited the Sunday-schools of the District. 

Since on the field much of her time has been used in ac- 
quiring the language, and the work is just beginning to open 
to her. Sister Olive is quiet, unassuming, patient, loving, and 
too modest to speak of her w^ork. Here I take the liberty to 
quote from her letter dated May 1, 1914: "My chief work 
since I have been here has been getting the language and a 
knowledge of the ways and customs of the people. I have 
been doing, of course, all that I am able to do of active work, 
with my limited knowledge of the language, but that is not 
material for a strong history of mission work. I do not think, 
with the experience that I have had, that a person who has 
had only a couple of years of mission work is competent to 
give material for a book such as you are compiling. One 
can write in letters the different phases of work as they ap- 
j)ear to you after seeing them for the first time, but for val- 
uable information and to do justice to the reader, the in- 
formation given for a book seems to me should be given out 
of sufficient experience to test it." 


Herman B. Heisey, oldest son of John H. and Susan L. 
(Riever) Heisey, was born on a farm near Middletown, Dau- 
])hin County, Pennsylvania, December 19, 1890. His parents 
were of German descent. He had one brother. Herman in 
his childhood was left an orphan, his mother dying when he 
was three, and his father when he was five years of age. W. 
J. Riever, an uncle living at Lebanon, kindly gave Herman a 
good home. 

In Lebanon he attended the public schools until after he 
had reached his teens, when he made his home in Johnstown 
some years. While in Johnstown he went to school in the 
winter, while during vacation he worked for the Steel Com- 
pany, first as car tracer and then as weighmaster. He had 
a great desire for an education, and was an apt student. He 
also took a course of study in the International Correspon- 


Herman B. Heisey. 

dence School. He entered Juniata College, Huntingdon, 
Pennsylvania, and graduated from the sacred literature course 
and took postgraduate work in the divinity course. He took 
practically all of the divinity or theological studies given in 
the course, but lacked some classical studies necessary for the 
B. D. degree. However, he completed social science, phi- 
losophy, and other classical studies that are knit with thorough 
theological branches. 

" The spiritual influences of his foster home were good. 
His uncle was a Lutheran, and his grandmother, Sarah A. 
Biever, of Palmyra, Pennsylvania, a member of the Church 
of the Brethren. At fifteen Herman was deeply impressed 
that God would call him to service in the ministry, and on 
some foreign field. He sought the Word to determine with 
what body to unite. When seventeen years old he confessed 
Christ and united with the Johnstown congregation of the 


Church of the J3rcthrcn, Samuel \V. Pearce administering 
baptism. When at Juniata he was called to the ministry when 
nineteen years old, and the following year advanced to the 
second degree. During the first vacation, after being in the 
ministry, he preached at home nearly every Sunday. At the 
close of his college work he accepted the pastorate at Saxton, 
Pennsylvania, continuing there until it became necessary to 
prepare for his work in India." 

On May 28, 1912, he was united in marriage with (irace 
Nedrow, daughter of John and Mary Nedrow. At the York 
Conference he and his wife, along with a number of others, 
were approved as missionaries to India. They sailed to their 
chosen field of labor the following fall, and began work on 
the language in earnest. Unfortunately Brother and Sister 
Hcisey were handicapped in their language study because of 
poor health. So they returned to America in 1914, and after 
some months spent in the eastern part of the State, they 
located in the Red Rank congregation. Western Pennsylvania, 
September 1, 1914, where Brother Heisey has since been the 
pastor. Here he was ordained to the eldership in 1915. 


Grace (Nedrow) Heisey, tenth child of Brother John and 
Sister Mary (Ferguson) Nedrow, was born near Jones Mills, 
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, on August 4, 1887. In 
their l)eautiful home, nestled among the mountains, they 
reared, besides Grace, four sons and five daughters, of four- 
teen children that were born unto them. From the tender age 
of five years she was a faithful and regular attendant of the 
country public school. 

The Christian atmosphere permeating the home of Dea- 
con Nedrow left its imj^rint on the children. Three of the 
sons are ministers. At the age of fourteen, when her uncle. 
Isaiah B. Ferguson, was conducting a series of meetings in the 
Nedrow schoolhouse. Indian Creek congregation. Grace con- 
fessed Christ and united with the Church of the Brethren, 


Sister Herman B. Heisey. 

being baptized by Brother Ferguson. When twenty, she spent 
some months in Pittsburgh, and delighted in the church work 
she was permitted to do there. A\'hen a young woman the 
desire of her heart was realized, as she stepped witliin the 
walls of Juniata College in 1911 and began study there. She 
was a student in the Normal English course and took work in 
the English Bible while attending this institution. Here, no 
doubt, her missionary convictions were intensified. It was 
while at the college that she met Brother Herman B. Heisey, 
and May 28. 1912. was united in marriage to him. 

She, with her husband, was approved by the Annual 
Conference in 1912. and together with others they sailed to 
their chosen field of labor in India in the fall. After reach- 
ing India and becoming located they took up language study, 
in which they made commendable progress. It was not very 
long, however, until sickness laid hold upon their bodies, which 


greatly hindered them in their work. For some months they 
battled with the disease, hoping to overcome it, but getting no 
better, it was finally decided best to return to America. This 
they did in 1914, and after some months spent in the East 
they took up the pastorate of the Red Bank congregation. 
Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, where they are now located 
and doing good work. 


Our Sunday-School Activities. 

Aside from the Sunday-school conducted in tlie German- 
town church as early as 1738, it seems that Western Penn- 
sylvania stands in the front rank in Sunday-school endeavor. 
It is difficult to ascertain just where and when the first Sun- 
day-school in the District was organized, but we are told that 
Elder Adam Wise organized a Sunday-school in Hart's Run 
schoolhouse in the Ryerson Station congregation, Greene 
County, in 1856. In 1860 a Sunday-school was organized in 
what is now the Plum Creek congregation, in a schoolhouse. In 
1863 the Georges Creek congregation began Sunday-school 
work, with S. C. Johnson, superintendent. In 1865 or 1866 
the Brethren in the Berlin congregation began their Sunday- 
school activities in the Pike church. It is known that other 
congregations were early engaged in Sunday-school work, but 
no dates have come to hand. 

We chronicle with regret that in a number of congrega- 
tions strong opposition to Sunday-schools was manifest for a 
number of years. The good old brethren and sisters looked 
upon the Sunday-school as an innovation, and as a place to 
foster pride rather than receive helpful Bible instruction. 
But by and by the tide turned and Sunday-schools sprang up 
in every congregation and in almost every meetinghouse. It 
has long been satisfactorily proven that the Sunday-school is 
the nursery of the church. A very large percentage of our 
additions to the church are from the ranks of the Sunday- 
school scholars. It seems strange to us now that such a 
helpful institution should have been so long neglected. 

The first Sunday-school convention in Western Pennsyl- 
vania was held in the old Grove meetinghouse, near Berlin, 


Somerset County, September 23 and 24, 1879. Brother 
Howard Miller was moderator of the convention. The speak- 
ers named are W. G. Schrock, Nathaniel Merrill, Wesley A. 
Adams, Philip F. Cupp, J. B. Wampler, M. Hady, Silas Hoov- 
er, Isaiah C. Johnson, N. B. Critchfield and Sister Amanda 
Musselman. No doubt a number more took an active in- 
terest in the convention. One year later a second convention 
was held at the same place, but I have no record of it, more 
than that H. R. Holsinger was moderator. 

This was eighteen years before the Annual Conference 
had given its sanction to such meetings. The trying times 
of the early eighties passed and no more conventions were 
held for seventeen years, but Sunday-school sentiment was 
rapidly growing. In 1897 the convention spirit burst out 
anew and a convention was held in the Walnut Grove house 
of the Johnstown congregation, August 31 and Scptcmljer 1. 
A large minute book was bought, in which the minutes of that 
meeting and all subsecpient ones have been faithfully recorded. 

Brother .S. .S. Blough was the secretary of that meeting, 
and it will be of interest to note the " Preface " of this Minute 
Book. Here it is in full : 

" During the last two decades the Sunday-school work 
has been growing in interest and in the number of schools. 
Ever since the first schools were organized by the German 
Baptist Brethren in Pennsylvania and by Robert Raikcs in 
England, the cause has had its warm supporters. 

" Our fraternity (the German Baptist Brethren) has been 
taking an active part in dispensing knowledge to the children 
through her .Sunday-schools for many years. We recognize 
that the future welfare of the church depends upon the 
training of the young. As results we have better knowledge 
of God's Word, a deeper spirituality among the young, and 
many conversions from the .'^unday-scbool into fuller fellow- 
ship with Christ. 

" The churches of W'estcrn Pennsylvania aim to do their 
duty in all things, and therefore in the Sunday-school work. 
A number of the workers have felt for a number of years that 


a better organization of the work would prove beneficial. It 
was, however, thought prudent to await the decision of the 
church upon the holding of Sunday-school meetings, which 
was given at the Annual Meeting of the Brotherhood held at 
Frederick City, Maryland, June 8, 9 and 10, 1897. 

" The decision reads as follows : ' W'e reconsider and de- 
cide, that Sunday-school meetings to advance the Sunday- 
school cause, may be held, provided they be kept within the 
bounds of Christian propriety, and be conducted in harmony 
with the principles held by the Brotherhood.' 

" The Brethren being willing to abide by this decision, a 
number of Sunday-school workers felt that a delay in ad- 
vancing the work would not be wise. Accordingly, after some 
consultation with elders, ministers, and others, it was decided 
to proceed with the work at once. 

" By permission of the elder in charge, and at council of 
the members at A\^alnut Grove,, together with the suggestions 
of members from other congregations, a meeting was appoint- 
ed at Walnut Grove, in the bounds of the Johnstown congre- 
gation, for August 5, 1897. One of the things to be considered 
at this meeting was the advisability of holding a Sunday- 
school meeting for Western Pennsylvania. A number of con- 
gregations were accordingly informed, some of which had 
representation at this meeting. 

" After discussing the matter, it was decided, by motion, 
to hold a Sunday-school meeting, such as our Brotherhood 
sanctioned, at said Walnut Grove church, Johnstown, August 
31, and September 1, 1897. 

" As a committee on program, C. C. Johnson, of Union- 
town, and S. S. Blough and J. F. Dietz, of Johnstown, were 
elected, and as a committee on arrangements, J. A. Wertz, E. 
Strayer and A. D. Brubaker. 

" Congregations were encouraged to send delegates, and 
the result was our first meeting, which was considered a suc- 
cess by all present. 

" May the work still go on. May zeal and prudence char- 
acterize the workers, and mav God bless the work. Brethren, 


may those who continue to have charge of these meetings see 
that the wishes of the Brotherhood in her decision are obeyed. 
(Signed) S. S. Blough, Secretary." 

At this convention twenty-three Sunday-schools were 
represented by thirty-six regular delegates. The organization 
was : Moderator, C. C. Johnson ; assistant moderator, Joseph 
Holsopple ; secretary, S. S. Blough ; assistant secretary, Ira 

C. Holsopple ; treasurer, S. P. Zimmerman. Five topics and a 
number of queries were discussed. On the minutes we find 
the following names of ministers : J. B. Brumbaugh, Joseph 
Holsopple, C. C. Johnson, S. S. Blough, S. P. Zimmerman, 
P. U. Miller, J. C. Johnson, A. D. Christner, S. H. Fyock, 
W. H. Rummel, F. L. Myers, C. W. Hershberger, Ira C. 
Holsopple, F. D. Anthony, A. J. Beeghly, M. J. Weaver, \V. 
H. Fry, J. A. Myers, P. J. Blough, J. F. Dietz, W. G. Schrock, 

D. C. Moomaw and I. C. Johnson. Several of these were not 
ministers then. At this meeting S. S. Blough was appointed 
District Sunday-school Secretary for a term of three years. 
His duties do not seem to have been defined. 

From that time annual Sunday-school meetings, or con- 
ventions, as they are now called, have been held, with the ex- 
ception of one year, 1902. These meetings have been held as 
follows, with the names of the moderators: In 1898. in the 
Meyersdale church, with W. A. Gaunt, moderator; 1899, Elk 
Lick, P. J. Blough, moderator; 1900, Shade Creek, P. J. 
Blough, moderator; 1901, Middle Creek, J. M. Blough was 
elected moderator, ])ut the convention decided that the moder- 
ator must hold his membership in the District, so, as Brother 
Blough held membership in Fluntingdon, he withdrew in favor 
of the assistant moderator, J. J. Shafifer; 1903, Shade Creek, 
L. J. Lehman, moderator; 1904, Maple Spring, Quemahoning 
congregation, W. A. Gaunt, moderator; 1905, Garrett, J. J. 
Shafifer, moderator; 1906, \\'alnut Grove. W. W. Blough, 
moderator; 1907. Meyersdale. W. W. Blough. moderator; 
1908. Pike, Brothers Valley, H. S. Replogle, moderator; 1909. 
Roxbury, West Johnstown, M. J. Weaver, moderator; 1910. 
Elk Lick, G. K. Walker, moderator; 1911, Scalp Level, H. S. 


Replogle, moderator; 1912, Walnut Grove, H. S. Replogle, 
moderator; 1913, Greensburg, H. S. Replogle, moderator; 
1914, Meyersdale, H. S. Replogle, moderator; 1915, Roxbury, 
H. S. Replogle, moderator. 

It would be interesting to note the character of the topics 
discussed and the business transacted at these meetings, but 
for want of space we will be compelled to confine ourselves 
principally to the work as it pertains to the activities of our 
District Secretaries and our Sunday-school Mission Board. It 
is, indeed, most gratifying to note the progress and advance- 
ment in all departments of the schools, and especially in the 
missionary cause. 

As the first District Secretary, Brother Blough was very 
much handicapped, as the Brotherhood had no blanks. The 
first year he printed his own statistical blanks on a Simplex 
writer. The ink faded on some of them and the people had 
trouble to determine what he wanted, but the response was 
right good. Thirty-one Sunday-schools reported 1,675 
scholars. The second and third years he had his blanks print- 
ed and the results were better. 

In 1900 Brother H. A. Stahl was elected District Secre- 
tary and S. vS. Blough assistant. At the same meeting Breth- 
ren Jerome E. Blough, E. K. Hochstetler and Jas. F. Ream 
were appointed a committee to define the duties and privileges 
of the District Secretary. This committee submitted the fol- 
lowing, which was adopted by the convention the next year : 

"1. He shall distribute blanks of the present form to each 
local Sunday-school Secretary in the District, who shall 
properly fill them, and send one back to him, and send the 
other with the delegate to the Sunday-school meeting. 

" 2. He shall report to the District Sunday-school meet- 
ing, and likewise to the General Sunday-school Secretary of 
the Brotherhood, under appropriate headings, the information 
thus received. 

" 3. He shall send to the Gospel Messenger, for publica- 
tion, a report of the meeting, the leading thoughts advanced 


on the topics on the program, and the general work and con- 
ditions of the schools of the District. 

" 4. It shall be his privilege, in his annual report to the 
meeting, to offer any suggestions that, in his judgment, would 
be for the betterment of the schools of the District. 

" 5. We, your committee, would recommend that all neces- 
sary expenses growing out of this work, together with the 
traveling expenses of the secretary, to and from the meeting, 
be paid out of the District Sunday-school fund. 

"Committee: J. E. Blough, E. K. Hochstetler, J. F. 

For three years Brother Stahl did his work faithfully, the 
reports being more complete and encouraging every year. He 
had not been instructed to do any visiting of the schools. His 
expenses for blanks, stationery, postage and railroad fare for 
the three years were $20.75. 

In 1903 Brother L. J. Lehman was elected secretary, and 
the same meeting gave him the privilege of visiting the Sun- 
day-schools of the District, and that all his expenses be paid 
by the District. However, he was expected to donate his 
time. He visited many of the schools at his own expense. 
Local Sunday-school conventions were organized and en- 
couraged in the local congregations, and as many as nine (and 
one year eleven) were held in a single year. In this work Sis- 
ter Ida C. Shumaker was a great help. She had charge of the 
cradle roll work and Brother Lehman of the home depart- 
ment and teacher training. 

The 1905 convention obligated itself to remunerate the 
District Secretary for his time for one month each year at the 
rate of one dollar per day, and that the Sunday-schools take 
at least one collection a year for that purpose. 

The 1907 convention continued Brother Lehman as sec- 
retary and gave him Brother Ross D. Murphy as assistant. 
When Brother Lehman went to California in the same year 
he resigned and Brother Murphy succeeded him. 

In visits to the different schools, in conference with Sun- 
dav-school officers and teachers and in local Sunday-school 


conventions Brother Lehman had in view these five specific 
things : More evergreen Sunday-schools, more trained teachers, 
more home departments, more cradle rolls and more older 
members in Sunday-school work. He issued the first statis- 
tical report of the Sunday-schools for the year ending Decem- 
ber 31, 1903. In the 1904 report Brother Lehman made 
these statements : " There are sixty-seven churchhouses, 
eighty-eight preaching places, but only fifty-seven Sunday- 
schools. Why? Not half of our schools are evergreen. One 
school out of every nine has a teachers' meeting. Only one 
school in the entire District has a home department. During 
the year five local Sunday-school meetings were held." 

From the 1905 report I glean the following: Eight years 
ago the office of District Sunday-school Secretary was cre- 
ated in Western Pennsylvania. There were then thirty-seven 
Sunday-schools in the District (reported). The next year 
forty-eight schools reported, twelve of which were union 
schools. In 1900 forty-five schools were in session, and in 
1901, fifty-five schools reported; in 1902, fifty-three; in 1903, 
fifty-five; in 1904, fifty-seven and in 1905, sixty. There are 
now seventy-six churchhouses, eighty-three preaching places 
and sixty Sunday-schools. During 1905 local Sunday-school 
meetings were held in the following congregations : Quema- 
honing (and, by the way, Quemahoning congregation was the 
first congregation to hold local Conventions, in August, 1897), 
Rockton, and Brothers Valley each held one ; Shade Creek, 
Johnstown and Dunnings Creek each two. Georges Creek, 
Mt. Union and Ten Mile united in the Tri-county Sunday- 
school Convention. 

Work in normal training lessons was conducted at Wal- 
nut Grove, Moxham, Windber, Berkey, Pittsburgh, Pigeon 
Creek, and Ten Mile. Pigeon Creek reports an enrollment of 
thirty in the home department, and Ten Mile fifty in the 
home department and nine in the cradle roll. The sixty 
schools reported 4,033 scholars. 

The 1908 convention chose Brother R. D. Murphy as 
District Field Secretary, and Brother William Judy, as as- 


sistant. The same meeting passed the following motion : 
That the District Secretary and his assistant shall visit each 
Sunday-school in the District, and that they use their own 
discretion as to the time spent in so doing. All former rulings 
are to be discarded. Salary, one dollar a day and expenses." 
To meet these expenses the meeting decided that the schools 
shall contribute at the rate of three cents apiece for every 
scholar enrolled. At the 1910 Convention the salary of the 
field secretary was raised to two dollars per day. 

The need of a constitution having been felt for some time 
Brother Murphy presented one to the 1910 convention for ex- 
amination, and if agreeable, for adoption. M. J. Weaver, 
W. M. Howe, H. S. Replogle, J. J. Shaffer, P. J. Blough, 
Ida C. Shumaker and R. T. Hull w^ere appointed a committee 
to examine the constitution. It having been found satisfac- 
tory, it was adopted by the convention. 


Article 1. — Name. 
Tliis organization shall he known as the Sunday-School As- 
sociation of the Church of the Brethren of Western Pennsylvania. 
Article 2. — Members. 
All the members of the Sunday-schools of the Church of the 
Brethren of Western Pennsylvania shall constitute the member- 
ship of the association. 

Article 3. — Purpose, 
The purpose of the association shall be to establish a uniform 
standard of excellence for the schools of the District and to unite 
the forces in bringinp; every school into the front line to the end 
that souls might be more speedily brought to Christ. 
Article 4. — Officers. 
The officers of the association shall consist of a president, 
vice-president, secretary, assistant secretary, treasurer, superin- 
tendent of home department, superintendent of cradle roll, super- 
intendent of teacher training and superintendent of adult Bible 
class, all of whom shall be members of the Church of the Breth- 


Article 5. — Duties of Officers. 
Section 1. — It shall be the duty of the president to be chair- 
man of the executive committee and call meetings of the same 
when necessary, to appoint two auditing committees of three mem- 
bers each to audit the reports of the District and missionary 
treasurers, and appoint a nominating committee of three members, 
one of whom shall 1)e the field secretary and the other two not 
members of the executive committee. 

Sec. 2. — It shall be the duty of the vice-president to perform 
the duties of the president in case of absence or inability. 

Sec. 3. — It shall be the duty of the secretary to record the 
minutes of the annual convention and the business meetings of the 
executive committee and to send a report of the annual convention 
to the Gospel Messenger. 

Assistant Secretary. 
Sec. 4. — It shall be the duty of the assistant secretary to per- 
form the duties of the secretary in case of absence or inability. 

Sec. 5. — It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive and dis- 
burse all funds as directed by the executive committee and to 
solicit each school for their annual contribution. 
Department Superintendents. 
Sec. 6. — It shall be the duty of the department superintend- 
ents; viz., cradle roll, home department, teacher training, and 
Adult Bible class, to have general supervision of their respective 
departments in all the schools of the District, to organize such 
respective departments in schools which have none and to furnish 
helpful suggestions to the local superintendents. 
Article 6. — Election of Officers. 
The officers of the association shall be elected annuallj' at the 
convention and assume their duties at once. 

Article 7.— Executive Committee. 

Sec. 1. — The executive committee shall consist of the officers 
of the association and the field secretar3^ 


Sec. 2. — It shall be the duty of the executive committee to ar- 
range for the annual convention, to provide a program for the 


same, to elect the field secretary and direct his work, to fill any 
vacancy occurring during the year and to solicit through the treas- 
urer such an amount of money from the schools as the association 
deems wise to be used in the work. 

Article 8. — Powers of the Association. 

It shall ])e the power of the association to determine the 
amount of money to be solicited from each school, to determine 
the salary of the field secretary and to accept or reject the report 
of the nominating committee. 


Law 1. — Each school shall be allowed two delegates at the 
convention regardless of the total enrollment. 

Law 2. — Each school having more than one hundred in the 
total enrollment shall be allowed one additional delegate for every 
one hundred or fraction thereof above the first one hundred mem- 

Law 3. — The delegates shall constitute the voting power of 
the association, but any Sunday-school worker shall be allowed 
to take part in the discussion of any question before the associa- 

Law 4. — All delegates shall be members of the Church of the 

Law 5. — The standard of excellence shall consist of ten 
points; viz., (1) School open all the year. (2) Statistics reported 
promptly. (3) Contributions to the District Work, (a) FieW 
secretary Fund, (b) Mission fund. (4) Cradle roll. (5) Home 
department. (6) Teacher-training class. (7) Organized adult Bi- 
ble class. (8) Teachers' meetings. (9) School represented at An- 
nual Convention. (10) Average attendance one-half the main 
school enrollment. 

Law 6. — Each school attaining the ten points of the standard 
of excellence shall be called a I'ront Line School and shall be 
presented a diploma secured l)y the executive committee. 

Law 7. — Each school attaining any eight points of the standard 
of excellence shall be called a Banner School, and each one at- 
taining any six points a Star School, and both shall be presented 
certificates accordingly. 

Law 8. — Expenses of all officers incurred by correspondence 
shall be paid out of the treasury. 

Law 9. — Any Sunday-school of the District may call upon the 
superintendent of any department to assist in organizing work in 
that department in their school, j^roviding the necessary expenses 
are provided for. 


Law 10. — No school shall be considered an up-to-date school 
that does not contribute regularly to the temperance movement 
of the Brotherhood. 

Law 11. — The total enrollment of all the departments is includ- 
ed in contributing per member to the field secretary fund. 

Law 12. — It shall require a two-thirds majority of all the dele- 
gates present at the convention to amend this constitution. 

From the field secretary's report to the convention in 
1911, among other things we note the following: Twenty-two 
per cent of the schools now have teacher-training classes ; 
fifty-eight per cent have cradle rolls; thirty-four per cent have 
home departments ; sixty-three per cent are evergreen ; twen- 
ty-two per cent have nine months school ; fifteen per cent have 
six months school. This is the first year that all schools re- 
ported. In 1909 we had 6,000 Sunday-school scholars, and in 
1910 we had 7,700, an increase of 1,700, while the increase of 
the entire Brotherhood was only 4,400. An appeal was made 
for one-tenth of the scholars of the Brotherhood next year, 
or 9,700. In 1909 the schools contributed $2,804, and in 1910, 
$4,137. The schools are urged to give more liberally for mis- 
sions and the support of missionaries. The printing of a 
Sunday-school Bulletin was also recommended by the secre- 

In 1911 the following schools were granted certificates 
of recognition : Meyersdale, Walnut Grove, Plum Creek, Scalp 
Level, Windber, Rummel, Penn Run, Roxbury, Pittsburgh 
and Greensburg. 

In 1912 the following schools, having reached the Front 
Line position, were granted certificates : Summit, Elk Lick, 
Locust Grove, Red Bank, Moxham, Conemaugh, Purchase 
Line, Rockton, Garrett and Viewmont. First seals were given 
to the ten schools having reached the Front Line Standard 
last year. 

In 1913 the following schools were granted Front Line 
certificates : Sipesville, Bolivar, Mt. Joy, Pike, Trout Run, 
Morrellville and Rayman. First year seals were given the 
schools that a year ago had attained to the Front Line Stand- 
ard. The second year seals were not presented at the con- 


vention, but it was stated that of all the schools that had two 
years ago reached the Front Line Standard, none had fallen 
below the standard. 

An interesting rei)ort was given of the Ziirich, Switzer- 
land,, convention by the field secretary, which he had at- 

In 1914 Glade Run and Elbethel had reached the Front 
Line Standard. All the schools previously mentioned as hav- 
ing reached Front Line were given their respective seals. 

January, 1914, Brother Murphy having been called into 
the employ of the General Mission Board, Brother I. E. 
Holsinger was called by the executive board to become the 
secretary of the District. Although continuing his school 
work, he has visited in sixty-eight schools, held twelve Sun- 
day-school conventions, and divided the entire District into 
eleven circuits and organized the same for more extensive 
work in behalf of the Sunday-schools. 

Mission work of the Sunday-schools : The first intima- 
tion that we find in regard to mission work by the Sunday- 
schools is contained in the sixth item of the report of the com- 
mittee on resolutions of the 1906 convention. The committee 
were H. S. Replogle, Myra Hofifman and Walter J. Hamilton, 
and it reads as follows : " We recommend that steps be taken 
by the Sunday-schools of Western Pennsylvania toward rais- 
ing a fund for the support of a missionary in the foreign field." 

Two years prior to this, however, the committee on reso- 
lutions inserted as their fourth item the following : " Since our 
dear brother. J. W. Swigart, has consecrated his life for work 
in the foreign field, and is soon to depart for liis chosen field 
of labor, being supported by a congregation (Quemahoning) 
of this District, be it Resolved, That our ])raycrs and good 
wishes accompany him, that he may be abundantly blessed in 
the winning of souls for Christ." The committee were V. C. 
Finnell, C. O. Beery and S. S. Blough. 

At the 1907 convention a letter from Brother J- M. 
Blough to the convention so stirred the meeting that it was 
decided to ajjpoint a committee to look for some one who 


would represent the schools on the foreign field, and to look 
after his support. The committee on selection and support of 
missionaries is P. J. Blough, W. M. Howe and D. K. Clapper. 

In 1908 the committee reported $146.54 in the treasury, 
but they had not found a missionary. In 1909 they reported 
that Sister Ida C, Shumaker had decided to go to India as a 
missionary, representing the Sunday-schools of the District. 
During the summer of 1910 she, in company with Brother 
Murphy, visited the schools of the District, becoming ac- 
quainted with the people and creating missionary sentiment, 
and at the convention that year she made her missionary re- 
port. The coming fall she sailed for her chosen field in India. 

In 1911 the following suggestions by the missionary 
committee were passed by the convention : " Suggestion 1 : In 
view of the increased missionary spirit in the Sunday-schools 
of our District, as evidenced by our enlarged treasury, and 
believing that our contributions will never be less, but rather 
more, we, your missionary committee, would suggest that at 
this convention we appropriate $40 to supply a home for a 
native evangelist and $120 to build a room for a Bible Student 
and family at Bulsar, India. 

" Suggestion No. 2 : In view of the awakened condition 
of our Sunday-schools, which is shared by many, and be- 
cause of stated convictions, we are free to suggest that our 
Sunday-schools arrange to support another missionary in the 
foreign field, and that we elect and ask Brother Ross D, 
Murphy to arrange to represent us in India or China, as he 
himself may choose." 

The way did not open for Brother Murphy to go to the 
foreign field, but the Mission Board found two others of our 
number who were ready to go ; viz., Quincy A. Holsopple and 
Olive Widdowson, of Clymer, Pa. The recommendation of 
the committee that we ask Sister Widdowson to represent us 
in India was unanimously accepted. Brother Holsopple is 
supported by the Quemahoning congregation, he to take the 
place left vacant by the death of Brother Charles H. Bru- 
baker. Sister Widdowson sailed for India in 1912. 


In 1913 the convention decided that we will support a 
third missionary^ and it becoming known that Sister V. Grace 
Clapper, of Scalp Level, is a volunteer, after one or more 
years' preparation, for China, the convention decided to send 
her as soon as she is prepared to go. The 1914 convention 
gave her some assistance to continue her preparation. 


Sketches of Our Sunday-School Secretaries. 

It seems appropriate, and eminently fair, that a few pages 
be given to the Hfe-work of our District Secretaries. All but 
one are still with us and are adding to their biography from 
day to day. This will, no doubt, be written by another hand 
in the years to come. We will consider them in the order in 
which they served. 


Silas S. Blough was born in Quemahoning Township, 
Somerset County, Pennsylvania, April 27, 1868, and is the 
second son of Elder Emanuel J. and Sarah (Barndt) Blough. 
He grew to manhood on his father's farm, and all his common 
school education he received in the Walter School, in Jenner 
Township. In addition to attending the county normals, he 
spent a number of years in Juniata College, graduating in the 
normal English course in 1893. He taught common school 
ten terms in Somerset and Cambria Counties, Pennsylvania, 
and two terms of Normal. While pastor of the Batavia 
church, Illinois, he took a seminary course in Bethany Bible 
School, Chicago. To take this work he traveled over 25,000 
miles on the interurban railroad. 

Since 1911 he has been teacher of the Bible department in 
Manchester College, Indiana. Along with his teaching he has 
taken considerable school work, graduating in the A. B. 
course in 1915. During one and one-half years of this time 
he also served the Manchester church in the capacity of elder 
and pastor. 

As a boy he enjoyed onl)' two summers of Sunday-school 
in the old Pine Grove church. But he was always taken 


Elder Silas S. Blough and 'Wife. 

regularly to the preaching services, and while yet in his teens 
he and his brother, E. E. Blough, united with the church, be- 
ing baptized in the Quemahoning Creek. After reaching ma- 
turity he spent some years in Scalp Level and Johnstown, and 
on June 17, 1894, he was united in marriage to Sister Mary 
Alice Wertz, daughter of John A. Wertz, of Johnstown, 
Professor W. J. Swigart officiating. He had already become 
an active Sunday-school and church worker, and June 28, 
1894, he was elected to the ministry in the Johnstown con- 
gregation. He took his turns in filling the appointments till 
1900. In the s[)ring of that year, with his family, he moved 
to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, having been sent by the Plome 
Mission Board of Western Pennsylvania to take up mission 
work there. Of his work in Pittsburgh mention is made in 
the history of that church. He was ordained to the eldership 
in the Johnstown church May 27, 1902. 

From 1908 to 1911 he was pastor of the "Ratavia church, 
Illinois. Since that time they have lived in North Manchester, 
Indiana. He has held a number of evangelistic meetings, as 
well as Sunday-school and Bible Institutes. He has assisted 
in sixteen Bible terms and Sunday-school Institutes, He has 


preached on an average of more than three sermons every two 
weeks for more than twenty-one years. He was the first Dis- 
trict Sunday-school Secretary of Western Pennsylvania, from 
1897 to 1900. 

Elder Blough repeatedly served as secretary of District, 
Sunday-school and other meetings of the District. He rep- 
resented his State District on the Standing Committee at the 
Los Angeles and Seattle Annual Conferences, and is elected 
on the same committee for 1916 to convene at Winona Lake, 
Indiana. In 1914 he was appointed on the Sunday-school 
Board of the Brotherhood. 


Herman A. Stahl was born March 18, 1859, near Somer- 
set, Pennsylvania. He was the second son of Ananias and 
Barbara (Miller) Stahl. He had two brothers and one sis- 
ter. His two brothers died long ago, but his sister, who is 
Mrs. W. H. Myers, survives, and lives in Preston, Nebraska. 
His father was a faithful member of the Lutheran Church, 
while his mother was a faithful member of the Church of the 

His father was drafted in the early stage of the War of 
the Rebellion, and while in the army took fever and died and 
was buried at Washington, District of Columbia. This left 
the young widow with four little children to care and pro- 
vide for. After struggling on for five years the Lord called 
her home, and four little orphans were left to the mercies of 
kind neighbors. Little Herman secured homes for his sister 
and little brothers, and last of all he got a home with Brother 
D. H. Hauger, at Somerset, where he remained for over eight 
years. Here he received religious training, and was given 
school facilities. He now learned the carpenter trade, at 
which he worked during the summer. For three winters he 
followed school-teaching. 

He was born into the kingdom of God's dear Son on 
April 30, 1877, being baptized by Silas Hoover during one of 


£lder Herman A. Stahl. 

Stephen H. liashor's meetings in the Middle Creek congrega- 

Brother Stahl and Sister Kathryn Boyd, daughter of 
Brother Chauncey and Sister Sally Boyd, were united in mar- 
riage on Octoher 16, 1881, 'by Elder Jcjsiah lierkley, of Somer- 
set County. To this union four children were born; viz., Or- 
ville A., Mamie, Ruth and Anne Lucile. Mis son and daugh- 
ter, Mamie, preceded him to the spirit world. His son 
Orville taught two terms of school, then attended Juniata Col- 
lege, Huntingdon, and graduated in 1906. At Brother J. M. 
Blough's farewell meeting he was so impressed by the mis- 
sion cause that he volunteered to be a missionary in the for- 
eign field. He was i)re])aring and planning to get ready to 
go in 1910, but in November, 1906, he fell a victim to that 
dread disease, typhoid fever. Thus the mission field was 
deprived of the services of another bright and earnest young 


After his conversion Brother Stahl became an earnest 
church worker, and the church, noticing his zeal and earnest- 
ness, saw fit to call him to the office of deacon in 1885. After 
serving in that capacity five years he was called to the minis- 
try on June 20, 1890. He took up the ministry with his char- 
acteristic zeal and determination to succeed, and it was not 
long until his services were in demand as an evangelist. He 
lived in the Middle Creek congregation, where he did much 
preaching when at home, but much of his time was spent in 
the churches in evangelistic meetings. In this kind of work he 
was quite successful. His first series of meetings was held in 
1891 in the Indian Creek congregation, Westmoreland Coun- 
ty. His evangelistic services extended over Pennsylvania, 
Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, 
Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska, but he did more work in the 
former than in any other State. His records show that 
through his meetings 1,191 persons were added to the church. 

He also preached many funerals and married many 
couples. Since he was in the ministry few District Meetings, 
Ministerial Meetings or Sunday-school Conventions were held 
in the District that he did not attend. Not very many im- 
portant measures passed these meetings upon which he did not 
express his opinion. He frequently acted in the capacity of 
clerk or some other office at these meetings. When the 
present organization of the Mission Board was effected 
Brother Stahl was elected a member of that Board for three 
years. In all he served on that Board over ten years, and for 
a number of years was secretary of the same. Having a good 
deal of time to devote to church work, he was often sent by 
the Board to look after the interests of weak churches. So 
we find him laboring considerably in the Ryerson Station, 
Clarion and other isolated churches. 

He was the second District Sunday-school Secretary of 
the Western District of Pennsylvania, being elected for a 
period of three years in 1900. At that time the District did 
not provide any means to pay traveling expenses, so whatever 
visiting Brother Stahl felt like doing he had to do at his own 


expense. He may be termed one of the pioneers in the work, 
which at this time means so much to the welfare and progress 
of our Sunday-schools. 

Brother Stahl was ordained to the eldership in the Middle 
Creek congregation on May 20, 1911. His health was not 
good for a number of years, and on Easter Sunday, April 12, 
1914, he took his bed with that dread disease, cancer of the 
stomach. He had a desire to get well, and before he had to 
take his bed he called Elder Joel Gnagey and Brother J. W. 
Wegley to anoint him, on March 1, but the Lord willed it 
otherwise, and April 28, 1914, he fell asleep, aged 55 years, 
3 months and 10 days. He had made all his funeral arrange- 
ments, and according to his request Elder W. M. Howe 
preached his funeral, and interment was made in the Middle 
Creek cemetery. 


Lorenzo J. Lehman is the oldest son of Hiram and Lizzie 
(Knavel) Lehman, and grandson of Elder Christian Lehman. 
He was born in Richland Township, Cambria County, Penn- 
sylvania, October 5, 1873. His boyhood was spent on his 
father's farm, and he attended the Blough public school and 
made good use of his time. As a profession he chose teach- 
ing, and he made a success of it. He taught thirteen years in 
his native State, in Lordsburg College, California, three years, 
and in Los Angeles, California, until he had a nervous break- 
down. In 1898 he graduated from Juniata College. 

He united with tiie church in 1888, being baptized by Eld- 
er Peter Knavel, in Scalp Level. November 12. He was 
elected to the ministry in the Shade Creek congregation, Penn- 
sylvania, June 19, 1900, and installed July 1, the same year, by 
Elder Hiram Musselman. He was advanced to the second 
degree of the ministr};, January 1, 1903, at the Berkcy church, 
Elder David Hildebrand officiating. One week after his in- 
stallation, July 8. 1900, Brother Lehman preached his first 
sermon, in the Rummel church, his subject being, " Work and 



£lder Lorenzo J. Lehman and Wife. 

Reward " (2 Cor. 6:1). Brother Lehman served the Shade 
Creek church a number of years as its efficient secretary. 

The Sunday-school was always an inviting field for Broth- 
er Lehman's energies. From a faithful scholar in the Scalp 
Level school he rose to the position of assistant superintend- 
ent. From 1903 to 1907 he faithfully performed the duties 
of District Sunday-school Secretary of Western Pennsyl- 
vania. Many still remember his appeals for more schools, bet- 
ter attendance and a larger scope of work. A brief account of 
his work in the interest of the schools is found in the Sunday- 
school chapter. 

Impaired health induced him to locate in California in 
1907. Here he met, and on March 30, 1909, married. Sister 
Ella Forney, youngest daughter of Elder Edmund Forney, of 
Lordsburg, California. Brother and Sister Lehman and two 
children are living on their ranch at Reedley, California, 
where they are engaged in gardening and fruit-growing. On 
December 12, 1915, Brother Lehman was ordained to the 
eldership in the Reedley chtirch. 




Ross D. Murphy, son of Deacon Scott and Mary (Rum- 
mel) Murphy, was born near EUon, Cambria County, Penn- 
sylvania, September 6, 1882. On his father's side his an- 
cestors were Irish and on his mother's, German. He was 
reared at Rummel, Somerset County, where he received his 
common school education. He received the B. E. degree in 
Juniata College in 1906, and the A. B. degree in 1912. The 

Ross J). Murphy. 

same year he received from the State Superintendent, Dr. 
Nathan C. Schaefifer, without examination, a permanent cer- 
tificate. As soon as he was old en<jugh he began teaching 
school, which profession he followed eight years, teaching in 
Paint Townshij) and Scalp Level Borough. He also taught 
two summer normals. 

At the age of eighteen, in 1900, at Rummel, Ross united 
with the church, being ba])tized by Elder J. J. Shafifer. His 
activities in Sunday-school and general church work brought 
him to the notice of the church, so that when the Shade Creek 


congregation needed more ministers, November 24, 1904, 
Brother Ross was one of the young men called. (A. G. 
Faust was the other one.) Being at Juniata at the time, he 
was not immediately installed. He preached his first sermon 
in the Morning Land schoolhouse, in June, 1905. 

Brother Murphy served the Plum Creek and Roaring 
Spring congregations as pastor at different times. He was 
the efficient District Sunday-school Secretary of Western 
Pennsylvania from 1909 to 1914. While in this capacity, his 
District sent him as delegate to the World's Sunday-school 
Convention, in 1913, held in Zurich, Switzerland. He was 
one of 2,600 delegates, and the only one of our brethren sent 
by a State District. Upon his return he gave his convention 
talk seventy-five times. 

In the fall of 1913 Brother Murphy was called by the 
General Mission Board to travel among the churches of the 
Brotherhood in the interests of the mission work of the 
church, giving missionary talks and creating missionary sen- 
timent in general. March 1, 1914, he began this work and to 
the present time (August, 1915) he has covered Northern 
Illinois, all of Indiana, Northwestern and Southern Ohio and 
Middle Pennsylvania. 

Of the growth of the Sunday-school work in the District 
during the time he was secretary, I will let Brother Murphy 


Ross D. Murphy. 

The affairs of human endeavor, like the waves of the 
sea, flood and ebb in their forward and onward course. It 
is common for organizations and movements to fall and rise, 
to swing from success to apparent failure. It should not dis- 
turb us or even make us afraid when depressions meet us in 
the work of the Lord ; neither should an unusual or unprayed- 
for success make us suspicious that spurious methods have 
been projected into a worthy cause. 


During the five years, from 1909 to 1914, the Sunday- 
schools of the District enjoyed an unexpected period of 
growth. These years of flood-tide movement ushered in a 
great epoch of activity. New Hfe sprung up in desert places. 
Schools that were, according to their own statements, merely 
existing, took on a new coat of green and began an earnest 
revival for a summer growth. Live schools became more 
alive. If the church ever entered upon the Sunday-school 
era of her activity these were the initial years. Deacons and 
lay members, who had fallen into the habit of remaining out- 
side during the Sunday-school session until i)reaching time, 
talking about the weather and the crops, now came in and 
put their strong shoulders to the work and made it go. Min- 
isters accepted the responsibility of the Sunday-school as well 
as that of the church. 

As field secretary for the schools of the District a part 
of the summer of 1909 was spent in visiting the schools. Be- 
ing the first attempt along this line only about half of the 
schools were reached. During each of the f (allowing four 
summers, however, at least two and a half months were spent 
in the field, in which time all the schools were reached each 
summer. The object of these tours among the schools was 
twofold; first to learn the ])roblems confronting the schools, 
and second, to work out with them a solution to master these 

The problem of getting and holding the young people was 
largely solved by introducing the organized class movement. 
The home department took the school out into the homes. 
Teacher training classes produced better teachers. And so 
the story of new things went on until some wondered what 
next. Another problem of the District was a closer unity 
of effort. One-half of the schools did not know how the 
other half worke'd, and so the delegates of the 1910 conven- 
tion adopted a constitution. Tt provided a board of nine of- 
ficers. l'"ach oflioer had i)rcscril)C(l duties, and also the l-)oard 
in general. The i)lan worked well. A standard of excellence 
also was adopted. The first year ten schools reached the 


standard. This was quite an encouragement to others and 
the second year ten others reached the mark. Each of these 
schools was presented a certificate of recognition for their 
high attainment. 

It has ever been true that as soon as a people help them- 
selves to the Gospel at home their vision will enlarge until 
peoples of other lands are included. India was the field but 
who was to go? — not some one who failed to do things at 
home. We sent the best we had, Sister Ida C. Shumaker, a 
woman of exceptional ability in teaching children, known not 
only in the District, but also in the Brotherhood. It was a 
little hard to see her go, but God always wants the best we 
have. Not satisfied with one missionary on the field, the fol- 
lowing year we sent another noble sister to the field, Olive 
Widdowson. The more we gave to the support of these two 
workers the more we had in our own treasury at home. 

The names of a number of persons active during these 
five years could be mentioned, but where begin and where 
leave off? The president of the Board did a noble work 
and so did the other officers from year to year, and so did 
those who, out in the schools, blazing the firing line, tramping 
the byways, gathering those in not in, persuading men and 
women to study the Word, organizing classes, conducting 
training classes — and above all, praying. 


I. Edward Holsinger was born at New Enterprise, Penn- 
sylvania, August 10, 1878. He is the oldest son of Elder Levi 
F. Holsinger, of the New Enterprise congregation, Bedford 
County, and spent his childhood and youth with his parents 
on the farm. 

The life on the farm, though not distasteful to him, failed 
to satisfy a desire to advance intellectually, and he took up 
the work of teaching at the age of eighteen years, in the rural 
schools of his home community. vSuccessful and happy in 
educational work, he pushed ahead, and through persever- 
ance, graduated in the normal course at Juniata College in 


Prof. I. Edward Holsingrer. 

1902. and in the college (classical) course in 1909. Along 
with filling the position of high school principal, he pursued 
graduate study at the University of I'ittsburgh, and received 
the master of arts degree in June. 1913. together with a special 
master's diploma in education frcjm this institution. He is 
continuing his graduate study for the doctor of philosophy 
degree, and is at the ])resent time principal of the Avalon 
High School. 

Brother Holsinger united with the church at the age of 
thirteen years, and has been more or less active ever since. 
Early in his life he took an active interest in Christian Work- 
ers' Meetings and Sunday-school work. He had extensive 
experience as organizer, teacher and trainer of teachers, and 
was frecjuently president of religious organizations at college 
and elsewhere. In 1907 he was elected to the ministry. Since 
that time he has been used, when his school work permitted, 
in religious and ministerial service. 

In January, 1914. at the unanimous call of the executive 
board of the Sunday-schools of Western Pennsylvania, he 
accepted the place made vacant as District Sunday-school Sec- 


retary, by the resignation of Ross D. Murphy. Since that 
time he has been devoting his summer months and many week- 
end vacations to the Sunday-schools of the District. Although 
continuing his school work, he visited in sixty-eight Sunday- 
schools, held twelve Sunday-school conventions, and organ- 
ized the entire District into eleven circuits for more intensive 
work in behalf of the schools. " Western Pennsylvania is 
alive and becoming even more alive spiritually," he says, " and 
it is a real joy to pass in and out among the workers of this 
great District. They let nothing stand in the way of hearty 
cooperation with the secretary in almost all parts of the 

Sunday-School Mission Board. 


P. J. Blough, son of Elder Jonathan W. and Susan 
(Boger) Blough, was born near Hooversville, Quemahoning 
Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, March 22, 1859. 
His sisters were Mary J., Ellen, Sarah and Annie. He also 
had one little brother, Andrew. His brother and sisters, Mary 
J. and Sarah, are dead. Perry was reared on the farm and 
given the best educational advantages that the public schools 
afforded. This was supplemented by several terms in county 
normal, and Juniata College, of which he has been a trustee 
a number of years. He taught five terms of school, after 
which he entered the store business. He was merchant in 
Hooversville twenty-seven years. He has been president of 
the First National Bank of Hooversville from its organiza- 
tion in 1902 ; also of the Farmers' Trust and Mortgage Com- 
pany of Johnstown from its organization in 1911. He has 
been a director in the Berlin Mutual Cooperative Fire Insur- 
ance Company about ten years. 

While attending Juniata College, at the age of twenty he 
united with the church, being baptized by Elder H. B. Brum- 
baugh. The next spring the first Sunday-school in the Que- 
mahoning congregation was organized at the Pine Grove 


Elder Perry J. BIoiikIi and Wife. 

church and Brother Blough was elected assistant superintend- 
ent. This position he held two years in addition to teaching 
a class. When he located in Hooversville he was the only 
member of the Church of the Brethren in the town. Not 
being satisfied without church privileges, he fitted out a good- 
sized upper room at his own expense and organized the first 
Brethren Sunday-school in the town. He was its first super- 
intendent. By this time other members had come in and 
regular preaching services were held in this church room for 
about ten years, when the present church was erected. 

Brother Blough was elected to the ministry in the Que- 
mahoning church on September 4. 1897. and exactly a year 
later he was advanced to the second degree. He was ordained 
to the eldership on .September 3, 1904. 

Elder Blough is one of the elders of his home congrega- 
tion, and in addition he has at this time the oversight of the 
Ligonier, Greensburg and Rummel congregations. He is a 


regular attendant at all the various meetings of the District 
and seldom misses an Annual Conference. 

Brother Blough chose for his life companion Sister Emma 
Shafifer, daughter of Deacon Hiram and Frances (Berkebile) 
Shaffer, being married by Elder Hiram Musselman Novem- 
ber 30, 1884. Sister Blough was born February 2, 1865. She 
also was an active Sunday-school and church worker. Three 
sons and one daughter were bom to this union. The sons, E. 
McGary, E. Grant and E. Percy, are graduates of Juniata 
College and members of the church, all of them having united 
before eleven years of age. After twenty-seven years of hap- 
py married life Sister Blough was called away June 17, 1912. 
She is buried in the Maple Spring cemetery. 

Elder Blough has held a number of official positions in the 
District. He represented Western Pennsylvania on the Stand- 
ing Committee in 1908, at Des Moines, Iowa, and in 1913 at 
Winona Lake, Indiana. He has been a member of the Gen- 
eral Temperance Committee from its organization at Des 
Moines, Iowa, in 1908, and has been editor of the Temperance 
Bulletin for the last three or four years. He served as secre- 
tary of the Somerset County Anti-Saloon League several 

When the present plan of the Home Mission Board of the 
District was organized, in 1895, Brother Blough was chosen 
a member and treasurer of the Board. This position he has 
held continuously ever since, twenty-one years. No one is 
better acquainted with the responsibilities of the Mission 
Board than is Brother Blough. Since the organization, at the 
Sunday-school Convention in 1907, of the Missionary Com- 
mittee of the Sunday School Association of Western Pennsyl- 
vania, he has been its chairman. He has done some very ac- 
ceptable evangelistic work in the District. He preaches an- 
nually about 100 sermons, a number of which are on doc- 
trinal subjects. For more than thirty-five years he has been a 
leader in sacred music. 



The subject of this sketch was born at Yellow Creek, 
Bedford County, Pennsylvania, November 8, 1864. His 
parents were Samuel and Nancy (Kagarise) Clapper, and 
w^ere of German descent. The father died in 1881, and the 
mother is still living. 

Elder Daniel K. Clapper. 

Brother Clapper's schooling was confined to the public 
country schools of his day. His father dying when he was 
but sixteen years of age, he became his mother's main help 
on a thirty-five acre mountain farm. 

On February 16, 1881, during one of Stephen H. Bash- 
or's revival meetings at New Enterprise, Pennsylvania, 
w^hen a little past sixteen years of age. he gave his young life 
to God. being l)a])ti/.ed by l^ldcr Charles Buck. January 25, 
1885, he was united in marriage with Sister Rachel Hoover, 
daughter of Jonathan Hoover, a deacon in the Raven Run 


congregation, Elder J. B. Fluke, of Loysburg, performing the 

From 1885 to 1890 Brother Clapper was a tiller of the 
soil. November 26, 1890, he entered the service of the Penn- 
sylvania Railroad Company, on the Bedford division, as 
freight brakeman. He was promoted to the position of flag- 
man and conductor. The time he served as flagman was really 
his school term. For eight years he carried his books with 
him in his caboose and home. These consisted of school- 
books, biographies, philosophical and theological works, a 
Bible Compendium and the Bible. 

Brother Clapper was called to the ministry' at Hyndman. 
Pennsylvania, in the Meyersdale congregation (now the 
Greenville congregation), September 25, 1890, and about a 
year later he was advanced to the second degree. He con- 
tinued railroading for seven years after being called to the 
ministry, preaching almost every Sunday, and holding a num- 
ber of very successful series of meetings. For more than a 
year he filled the regular appointments for the Mission Board 
of Western Maryland, at Mt. Savage, same State, in the 
home of Brother Mowry, where several were baptized. 

In 1907 came the call for fuller consecration to the Lord's 
service. This marks an important epoch in Brother Clapper's 
life. On the one side was a good position with the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad Company at $2.50 a day. On the other side 
was the Lord's work, with no assurance of any support from 
the church. ' Finally, after much prayer, he decided to trust 
the Lord for the meals, and on Sunday morning, April 1, 
1907, at six o'clock, he put his caboose away for the last time, 
and on April 3 he moved his family to Meyersdale, in order 
that he might devote himself fully to evangelistic w^ork. 

January 1, 1908, he was called by the Meyersdale church 
to take the pastoral oversight. This continued for about a 
year and a half, during which time he also served the Elk Lick 
congregation as pastor, in connection with his work at Meyers- 
dale. After his pastorate at Meyersdale several years were 
given to general evangelistic work, reaching west to Pitts- 


burgh, north to the Montgomery congregation, east to York 
and south to Mill Creek, Virginia. Up to the close of 1913 
approximately three hundred souls had come to the church 
through his meetings. 

January 1, 1914, he began work for the District Mission 
Roard of Middle Maryland, as District Evangelist. During 
the year 320 sermons were preached, 467 homes were visited, 
2,394 miles were traveled, and fifty-nine were added to the 
church. Up to October 25, there had been seventy-eight con- 
versions in 1915. He has hired to the same Board for 1916. 

Brother Clapper has attended two Bible terms at Juniata 
College. He also claims the honor of being the second man 
in .Somerset County to secure an international diploma in the 
teacher training course as prescribed by the Sabbath-school 
Association of Pennsylvania. He may be termed a self-made 
man. He is humble and unassuming, and is being wonder- 
fully used by the Lord. He continues to reside at Meyers- 
dale, where he was ordained to the eldership May 5. 1915. 

At the Sunday-school Convention of 1907, when a com- 
mittee on selection and sup])()rt of missionaries on the foreign 
field was created. Brother Clapper was elected one of that 
committee. During the eight years he served on this commit- 
tee he was the treasurer of the same. Because his evangelistic 
work takes him out of the District, he expressed a desire to be 
relieved of this responsibility, and at the 1915 convention 
Brother M. J. Brougher was elected his successor. 


William Mcrbler Howe was born May 3, 1867, at Mait- 
land, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, on a farm among the- 
mountains, five miles cast of Pewistown Junction. He was 
the tenth child in a family of six sons and six daughters, 
nine of whom grew to manhood and womanhood and all be- 
came members of the Church of the Brethren. 

He was the son of hJder William and .Sarah (Mohler) 
Howe, who were godly, industrious and excmi)lary to a 


Elder AVilliam Mohler Howe. 

marked degree. It was with long hours of toil each day that 
they succeeded in providing for their large family, hut they al- 
ways had time for the family altar, with the children all 
present, twice each day. Brother W. M. Howe has two 
hrothers in the office of deacon, two sisters that are wives of 
ministers, and a brother, E. M. Howe, in the ministry, while 
his sister, Elizabeth (Howe) Brubaker, of Illinois, was prom- 
inent in city mission work in Chicago, Illinois, Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania, and Brooklyn, New York. 

After his early years of training in the country schools he 
was sent, in the spring of 1883, to Juniata College, where he 
took a stand for Christ and was baptized on May 13 in the 
Juniata River. That fall, at the age of sixteen, he taught 
his first term of school, returning to Juniata College in the 
sfjring of '84. This program of teaching and study con- 
tinued until he was graduated from the normal English de- 
partment of the above institution in 1886. His teaching 
career covered six years in Pennsylvania and four years as 


principal of schools and high school teacher at New Iberia, 

While on a visit to his home in the summer of 1893 he 
was elected to the ministry on a Saturday morning after the 
Friday night communion services, was installed at the morning 
service the next day, and preached his first sermon that even- 
ing from the text, " I can do all things through Christ who 
strengtheneth me." 

After another year of teaching in the South, Brother 
Howe returned to Juniata College for some Bible work. The 
middle of the school year found him assisting his brother in 
his country store in Maitland, Pennsylvania, and that fall 
(1895) he accepted the pastorate of the Amwell church, New 
Jersey. Before going to this first charge he was advanced to 
the second degree of the ministry. In the fall of 1896 he 
became pastor of the Sand Brook church in New Jersey, and 
in the spring of 1898 he moved to Norristown, Pennsylvania, 
where he was pastor till the spring of 1904. 

In New Jersey Brother Howe supported himself in part 
by working on the farms and in the orchards of that State. 
Likewise while in Norristown he spent some time on the farm 
and served for years as clerk in the People's National Bank 
and in the Norristown Covering Company, besides spending 
one year in evangelistic endeavor. 

On October 4, 1898, Brother Howe was married to Sis- 
ter Edith R. Newcomer, of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, and 
to this union were born his daughter, Ruth, and his son 

In March, 1905, after a pastorate of eleven months at 
Tyrone, Pennsylvania, Brother Howe was called to the Brook- 
lyn Mission, New York, to assist Elder J. Kurtz Miller, while 
having the privilege of attending Dr. White's P>ible Teacher 
Training .School in New York City, from which institution he 
was graduated in June. 1907. 

It was in Brooklyn that .Sister Howe's health failed, and 
she died on the way to Johnstown. Pennsylvania, at the 
home of Brother Howe's mother, at Maitland, Pennsylvania. 


Brother Howe was pastor of the Johnstown congregation 
from May 1, 1907, to August 31, 1914. On June 1, 1910, he 
was married to Sister EHzabeth Wertz, daughter of John A. 
Wertz, of Johnstown, and to this union were born two daugh- 
ters, Martha and Mary. 

On June 21, 1910, Brother Howe was ordained to the 
eldership in the Johnstown congregation. He has from the 
beginning of his ministry done more than a Httle evangeUstic 
work and Bible teaching in many of our State Districts and 
in most of our colleges. Since September 1, 1914, he has 
been pleasantly located as pastor of the Meyersdale, Pennsyl- 
vania, congregation, where his efforts are meeting with more 
than ordinary success. 

Elder Howe has for a number of years been a member of 
the Home Mission Board of \\'estern Pennsylvania. When a 
committee on selection and support of missionaries on the 
foreign field was created, in 1907, Elder Howe was elected a 
member of that committee, and it is he who annually reads the 
letters at our District Sunday-school Convention from the 
two missionaries supported by our Sunday-schools. He is 
also a member of the committee of our " District Bible, Mis- 
sionary and Sunday-school Institute," and is secretary of the 
same. He represented Western Pennsylvania on the. Stand- 
ing Committee at the St. Joseph (Missouri) Annual Con- 
ference, in 1911. Elder Howe has frequently filled offices 
at the various meetings of the District. 



The fact that Western Pennsylvania has no church col- 
lege within her borders is no proof that our people are not ad- 
vocates of education. Before the system of free schools had 
been adopted, our members patronized the subscription 
schools, and a number of our brethren taught in them. 

The public school system found in many of our brethren 
ardent supporters. Influential brethren were elected on the 
township and borough school boards. Our young brethren 
and sisters c}ualified themselves to teach in the schools. 

We had a number of prominent teachers among our min- 
isters years ago. Elder John Wise taught school thirty-two 
terms. He was considered well educated for his day. Elder 
James Quinter. a teacher of more than ordinary attainments, 
taught six terms of district school in Dogwood Hollow Dis- 
trict, Nicholson Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. As 
very little has been written of this period of Brother Quinter's 
life, permit me to quote from " Reminiscences of Elder James 
Quinter," by William Johnson, in the " Brethren Family Al- 
manac of 1910 " : 

" It was my privilege to attend those six terms of school, 
and there are but few living at present that could give a bet- 
ter account of the fourteen years he lived in Fayette County 
than myself. We had a chance to know him as a preacher, a 
school-teacher, and as a neighbor — in fact, in every way. 

" We want to tell something about the school which he 
taught ; also about his teaching. Four terms of the school 
were held in the Mennonite churchhouse. I can not give the 
size of the house, but now, after a period of sixty-three years, 
I can name eighty-five scholars who attended. This goes to 


show that the house was large and that it was full. It was the 
first for the District, and was located in what was called 
' Dutch Corner.' Quite a number of the scholars were 
grown-up young men and women, who had never attended 
school. Some of them could read German, but, so far as 
English was concerned, they knew but very little about it. 
Some of us who lived on the outskirts of the ' Dutch Cor- 
ner ' had been to school, and we felt as though we were a^ 
little ahead of the rest. 

Prof. Jacob Martin Ziick. 

Foimdcr of .Juniata College, ronnsylvania. 

" Well, it was witli this school that I'rothcr Quinter had 
to do, but he went to work with a will, and, though the con- 
ditions were unfavorable, lie succeeded. The house was seat- 
ed with slab benches. The scholars had dififerent kinds of 
books. One had the ' Life of Francis Marion ' for a reader, 
another would have ' The Rise, Progress, and Downfall of 


Aristocracy,' and so on. All those that could read would 
have two lessons a day from the New Testament, two chapters 
at each lesson. A number of young men and young women 
had to begin with the alphabet, but it was only a short time 
until they were able to read. They wanted to learn, and they 
applied themselves. 

" All the young men and boys, who were old enough, 
were put to work in arithmetic. At first some of them could 
not read the problems, but they managed, in some vv^ay, to find 
out what was required in the problem ; then went to work. 
You can imagine what a time Brother Quinter had, but he was 
ec|ual to the task. The scholars all liked him as a teacher, and 
tried to do their best. 

" This, perhaps, was the most peculiar school Brother 
Quinter ever taught, and I doubt whether any other man could 
have succeeded as well as he did. The boys and girls were not 
bad, but were full of fun and merriment. Some amusing 
things would happen almost every day, and sometimes they 
were brought about purposely. Brother Quinter could enjo}^ 
innocent fun, and would often smile when something amusing 
happened. He permitted the school to enjoy a little fun for a 
short time, and then called them to order. He did not attempt 
to suppress the merriment, but when he said. ' Stop,' that 
would end it. All would go to work as though nothing had 
happened. He could readily control the school because the 
pupils wanted to please him. 

" Anything that was amusing would bring a smile, but 
if a scholar would do somethng mean, or would be found 
guilty of playing a trick at the expense of some one else, 
Brother Quinter's face would flush, and the guilty party would 
be punished accordingly. 

" I still remember a number of amusing things that hap- 
pened in the Dogwood Hollow school, and could tell some 
which, perhaps, would show the worth of the man, but I will 
now drop the school and talk of him as a neighbor." 

Brother Quinter lived in Fayette County from 1842 to 
1856. In addition to teaching, he was also selected by the 



board of directors of Nicholson Township to examine the 
teachers of that township with reference to their quaHfications 
for teaching. 

Elder Lewis Kimmel, of Armstrong County, graduated 
from Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, in 1859. 
He taught twelve successive winters in Plum Creek Town- 
ship and Elderton Borough. In Elderton he had 108 scholars 
on the roll and an average attendance of ninety-seven. In 
the spring of 1860 he opened a select school in Rural Village. 
This he closed in 1862 when the war took his students away. 




(■yinnusiuin, Jiinhtta Collegre, IIuntiiiK<l<>ii< I'u- 

In the fall of 1873 he opened a select school in his own 
house. In the following spring the school was taken to the 
Plum Creek church, and Howard Miller became assistant 
princii)al. holder Kimmel's son, Quinter, says the school 
opened with six pupils. It increased until there were over 
100 pupils. In the s])ring of 1877 it was united with Juniata 
College. Of this school Elder S. Z. Sharp, in " Two Cen- 
turies of the Church of the Brethren," says: " In 1874 I-Lldcr 
Eewis Kimmel. assisted by Howard Miller, began a school 
in the Plum Creek meetinghouse, one mile from IClderton, 
Pennsylvania. He gave to the institution tlie name of the 
Plum Creek Normal School. Only three students were en- 
rolled the first day, but the two principals were accomplished 
teachers and the school soon gained a large patronage, and in 



the spring of 1875 had an enroUment of about 100, a large 
proportion of whom were teachers or those preparing to 
teach. The character of the school was maintained on a high 
moral and religious plane. Its unfavorable location and 
opposition induced the friends to abandon it at the end of four 

Library, Juniata Collegre, Huntingdon, Pa. 

Another attempt to establish an educational institution 
must be noticed. I quote again from Elder Sharp's address, 
page 319: "In 1872 an educational meeting was held in the 
Western (should be Middle) District of Pennsylvania, at 
Martinsburg. At this meeting it was decided to establish a 
school of a higher grade at Berlin, Somerset County, Penn- 
sylvania. In this enterprise H. R. Holsinger was a prominent 
factor. The character of the school was to be such as to main- 
tain the distinctive features of the Church of the Brethren. 
Tire plan was to raise $100,000 by subscription, of which no 
part was to be due and payable until the whole amount was 
subscribed. Brother Holsinger sent for S. Z. Sharp to ac- 
company him on a tour of taking subscriptions and to lecture 
on the advantages of higher education to the church. In less 





than ten days nearly $20,000 was subscribed. Why some 
brethren subscribed so freely may be illustrated by an inci- 
dent. Passing a mill owned by a wealthy brother, not favor- 
able to higher education. Brother Holsinger remarked, ' This 
brother won't subscribe, but courtesy demands that we offer 
him the opportunity.' The brother read the heading of the 

The Stone Churcli, Huntingrdon, Pa. 

subscription and then subscribed $500, and with a mischie- 
vous smile handed the paper to other Brethren present, say- 
ing, ' Schreibt hertzhaftig Brueder, ihr brauchts niemals be- 
zahlen.' (' Subscribe heartily, brethren, you never need to 
pay it.') On bidding good-by to Brother Holsinger, we re- 
marked that he had incorporated the death sentence of Berlin 
College into the heading of the subscription paper, and so it 
happened. Sixty thousand dollars was at last subscribed, but 
the hundred thousand never was reached and the project went 
no further." 

But our young people wanted a college education. We 
had the Summer County Normals, but they were not suf- 
ficent. We also had within our District several State Normal 


Schools, but the best thinking brethren felt that it would be 
so much better to have our sons and daughters educated in 
a church school, where they would receive moral and re- 
ligious training as well as mental. So, when the Huntingdon 
Normal (now Juniata College) was established in 1876, our 
churches were among the first to patronize the institution. 
Ever since then Juniata College has received abundant sup- 
port from our District, both in students and money. Of stu- 
dents we have furnished more than 550, and of moral and fi- 
nancial support a very great deal. Since the establishment 
of Juniata College about fifty young brethren who attended 
that institution from our District have been called to the min- 
istry. Not quite all of these have accepted the call. Besides 
these, all along our past history men have been called from the 
ranks of the teachers to preach the Gospel. Besides Juniata 
College, nearly all. if not all, of our other church colleges 
have at different times been patronized in a small degree. 
This is true also of our State Normal Schools. Many others 
who did not patronize any of the above institutions qualified 
themselves to teach by attending the Summer County Normals. 
Many of our brethren and sisters have in the past held, and 
are now holding, provisional, professional and permanent cer- 
tificates, and are filling important positions as teachers, both 
in the rural districts and the towns and cities, and are rec- 
ognized as leaders in the educational world. While many 
are engaged as teachers, ministers, pastors and missionaries, 
others are filling positions of trust and usefulness in the other 
vocations and professions. Yes, we are an education-loving 


District Meetings. 

The Annual Meeting of 1866, held in the Antietam 
church, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, recommended that 
each State form itself into convenient District Meetings. 
These meetings shall he formed hy one or two representatives 
from each organized church, and we recommend that each 
church he represented in the District Meeting, either by rep- 
resentatives or by letter. 

In compliance with this recommendation Pennsylvania 
was divided into three Districts, Eastern, Middle and Western. 
At this time the Alleghanies were the dividing line between the 
Middle and the Western Districts. Since that time, in 1874, 
the line was changed so as to take in the Dunnings Creek 
congregation, for the sake of convenience. 

The first District Meeting of the District was held in the 
Grove meetinghouse, near Berlin, November 5, 1866. The 
officers of the meeting were : Moderator, John W ise ; Cor- 
responding Secretary, Joseph I. Cover; C. I. Beam, Assistant 
Clerk. The District at this time was composed of eighteen 
churches. These were represented as follows : Berlin, John 
P. Cober and Jacob Blough ; Elk Lick, David Livengood and 
Cornelius Berkley ; Middle Creek. Jacob D. Miller and John 
C. Schrock; Quemahoning, Tobias Blough and C. I. Beam; 
Shade, Hiram Musselman and Jacob Hoffman; Conemaugh, 
Stephen Hildebrand ; Manor, Levi Fry and Samuel Brallier ; 
Montgomery, Peter Beer and Henry Speicher ; Plum Creek, 
Jacob Kelso ; Cowanshannock, not represented ; Red Bank, 
John Wise and Jesse P. Hetrick ; Clarion, not represented ; 
Glade Run, Chrissman John ; Indian Creek. D. D. Horner and 
John Horner ; Jacobs Creek, William A. Murray ; Georges 


Creek, Joseph I. Ccner; Ten Mile, Daniel Lane; and Ryerson 
Station, not represented, twenty-four delegates. This meet- 
ing deliberated on thirteen queries. Elders John Wise and 
Ephraim Cober were elected delegates to Annual Meeting of 

May 27 and 28, 1867, District Meeting was held in the 
Plum Creek church, Armstrong County, with twenty-three 
delegates present. Moderator, C. G. Lint ; Corresponding 
Secretary, J. P. Hetrick ; Clerk, J. I. Cover. Nine cjueries 
were considered. 

May 4, 1868, District Meeting was held in the Conemaugh 
church, Cambria County, with eighteen delegates present. 
Moderator, C. G. Lint; Clerk, J. P. Hetrick; Assistant Clerk, 
Lewis A. Cobaugh ; Corresponding Secretary, Joseph W. 
Beer. Nine queries were handled. Delegates to Annual Meet- 
ing, C. (i. Lint, Abraham Stutzman and Jacob Blough. 

April 26, 1869, District Meeting was held in the Elk Lick 
church with seventeen delegates present. Moderator, John 
Wise; Secretary, Lewis A. Col)augh ; Corresponding Secre- 
tary, C. G. Lint. Ten queries were discussed. Elias K. 
Buechley and John Wise were elected delegates on the .Stand- 
ing Committee. 

May 9, 1870, District Meeting convened in the Shade 
church, Somerset County, with twenty-three delegates en- 
rolled. Moderator, John Wise ; Corresponding Secretary. C. 
G. Lint; Secretary, J. I. Cover; delegates to Annual Meeting 
John Wise and Joseph Berkey. 

May 8, 1871, District Meeting was held in the Manor 
church, Indiana County, with twenty-three delegates in at- 
tendance. Moderator, John Wise; Clerk. Joseph Holsopple. 
Six queries were jiresented for consideration. Delegates to 
Annual Meeting, John Wise and Joseph Berkey. 

May 1 and 2, 1872, District Meeting convened in tlie 
Pigeon Hill house of the Ten Mile church. Washington Coun- 
ty, with twenty-three delegates present. Moderator. C. G. 
Lint ; Clerk, J- P- Hetrick. Thirteen queries were acted upon. 
I'.ldcrs T<^hn Wise and C. G. Lint were elected delegates to 


Annual Meeting, the former being named for the Standing 

May 21, 1873, District Meeting was held in the Georges 
Creek church, Fayette County, with twenty-three delegates 
present. Moderator, John Wise ; Clerk, J. P. Hetrick ; del- 
egates to Annual Meeting, John Wise and Joseph Berkey. 

May 13, 1874, District Meeting convened in the Middle 
Creek church, Somerset County. Moderator, John Wise; 
Clerk, C. G. Lint; delegates to Annual Meeting, James Quin- 
ter and John Wise. Dunnings Creek church was transferred 
from Middle District to Western District. 

April 28, 1875, District Meeting was held in the Mont- 
gomerty church, Indiana County, with nineteen delegates. 
Moderator, James Ouinter; Clerk, H. R. Holsinger; delegate 
to Annual Meeting, James Quinter. 

May 10, 1876, District Meeting convened in the Jacobs 
Creek church, Westmoreland County, with twenty-two del- 
egates in attendance. Moderator, James Quinter; Clerk, C. 
G. Lint. James Ouinter was elected on the Standing Com- 
mittee, and John Wise, delegate. 

May 8, 1877, District Meeting was held in the Berlin 
church, Somerset County, with twenty-five delegates in at- 
tendance. Also two new congregations were formed during 
the year; viz.. Summit Mills and Meyersdale. Moderator 
Joseph Berkey ; Clerk, J. I. Cover ; Delegate on Standing 
Committee, John Wise ; delegate to Annual Meeting, J. I. 

May 16 and 17, 1878, District Meeting was held in the 
Indiah Creek church, Westmoreland County, with thirty del- 
egates present. Moderator, C. G. Lint; Clerk, J. I. Cover; 
delegates to Annual Meeting, C. G. Lint and J. L Cover. 
Rockton, Shemoken and Ligonier Valley congregations were 
added to the list of churches. 

May 20 and 21, 1879, District Meeting convened in the 
Dunnings Creek church, with twenty-nine delegates in attend- 
ance. An unusual amount of business came before the meet- 
ing — twenty-one items. Moderator, Joseph Berkey ; Clerk, 


Joseph Holsopple; Reading Clerk, H. R. Holsinger. This is 
the first record of a Reading Clerk. Member on the Standing 
Committee, Mark Minser; delegate to the Annual Meeting, 
Silas C. Keim. 

April 20, 1880, District Meeting was held in the Red 
Bank church, Armstrong County, with twenty-three delegates 
in attendance. Johnstown, a new congregation, was added to 
the list. Moderator, H. R. Holsinger; Clerk, J. W. Beer; 
Reading Clerk, Daniel Crofiford. Sixteen items of business 
were passed upon at this meeting. Member on the Standing 
Committee, Lewis Kimmel ; delegate, H. R. Holsinger. 

May 24 and 25, 1881, District Meeting convened in the 
Quemahoning church, Somerset County. This meeting was 
a record breaker in the number of churches represented, in 
the number of delegates enrolled, in the number of sessions 
held (five) and in the amount of business transacted, as well 
as the importance of the same. The old Berlin congregation 
was divided into four congregations, thus forming three new 
ones ; viz.. Brothers Valley, Somerset and Stony Creek. 
Markleysburg was also added. P^orty-five delegates were in 
attendance. Moderator, J. I. Cover; Clerk. Joseph Holsopple; 
Reading Clerk, E. K. Hochstetler ; member on Standing Com- 
mittee, C. G. Lint ; delegate, J. L Cover. 

May 16 and 17, 1882, District Meeting was held in the 
Jacobs Creek church, with forty-seven delegates on the list 
Brush Valley church was added to the list of congregations. 
Another warm meeting consisting of six sessions. Moderator, 
T. L Cover; Clerk, J. S. Holsinger; Reading Clerk, John H. 
Myers ; member on Standing Committee, J. L Cover ; dele- 
gate, J. S. Holsinger. 

Ai)ril 24, 1883, District Meeting convened in the Meyers- 
dale church, Somerset County, with thirty-eight delegates en- 
rolled. Of the thirty congregations now composing the Dis- 
trict, eleven failed to represent by delegate this year. Modera- 
tor, J. S. Holsinger; Clerk. Joseph Holsopple; Reading Clerk, 
.S. C. Umbel ; member on Standing Committee. J. S. Holsinger. 

May 20. 1884, District Meeting was held in the Shade 


church, Somerset County, thirty-two delegates in attendance. 
Somerset church is disorganized and becomes a part of the 
Brothers Valley church. Moderator, C. G. Lint ; Clerk, W. 
G. Schrock ; Reading Clerk, R. T. Pollard ; member on Stand- 
ing Committee, C. G. Lint. 

May 12, 1885, District Meeting convened in the Manor 
church, Indiana County, with thirty-one delegates deciding the 
queries. The Shemoken church is recommended to the care 
of the committee of supplies and the Mission Board of the 
District. Moderator, J. S. Holsinger; Clerk, W. G. Schrock; 
Reading Clerk, H. H. Keim ; member on Standing Committee, 
J. S. Holsinger. 

June 1, 1886, District Meeting was held in the Johnstown 
church, Cambria County, with thirty-two delegates from the 
various churches present. Moderator, C. G. Lint ; Clerk, 
Joseph Holsopple ; Reading Clerk, J. H. Myers ; member on 
Standing Committee, C. G. Lint. 

May 17, 1887, District Meeting convened in the Middle 
Creek church, with thirty-five delegates enrolled. Moderator, 
C. G. Lint; Clerk, W. G. Schrock; Reading Clerk, H. H. 
Keim ; member on Standing Committee, J. C. Johnson. 

May 8, 1888, District Meeting was held in the Elk Lick 
church, Somerset County, and the enrollment of delegates 
was thirty-seven. Moderator, J. C. Johnson; Clerk, Joseph 
Holsopple; Reading Clerk, W. H. Cover; member on Stand- 
ing Committee, J. S. Holsinger. 

May 15, 1889, District Meeting was held in the Plum 
Creek church, Armstrong County, with an enrollment of 
thirty-five delegates. Stony Creek church was dropped from 
the list of congregations, but three new ones were added; viz.. 
Fayette, Glen Hope and Maple Glen. Moderator, J. C. 
Johnson ; Clerk, Joseph Holsopple ; Reading Clerk, J. N. 
Davis ; member on Standing Committee, Valentine Blough. 

April 30, 1890, District Meeting convened in the Quema- 
honing church, with thirty-seven delegates in attendance. The 
remnant of the old Conemaugh congregation having been 
taken over by the Johnstown congregation, it was dropped 


from the list, but liolivar was added. Moderator, George 
Hanawalt; Clerk, W. G. Schrock ; Reading Clerk, W. H. 
Cover; member on Standing Committee, Hiram Musselman. 

April 11, 1891, District Meeting was held with the Breth- 
ren of the Summit Mill church, and thirty-three delegates 
were enrolled. Moderator, J. S. Holsinger; Clerk, \V. G. 
Schrock; Reading Clerk, George W. Lowry ; member on 
Standing Committee, J. C. Johnson. 

May 11, 1892, District Meeting convened in the Johns- 
town church with a representation of thirty-six delegates. 
Brush Valley congregation was dropped from the list. Mod- 
erator, J. C. Johnson; Clerk, \V. G. Schrock; Reading Clerk, 
D. H. Walker; member on Standing Committee, J. C. John- 

April 26, 1893, District Meeting was held in the Shade 
church, with thirty-four delegates present. Moderator, J. 
S. Holsinger ; Clerk, Daniel Holsop])le ; Reading Clerk, D. 
H. W^alker ; member on Standing Committee, J. .S. Holsinger. 
July 5, 1893, a special District Meeting was held in the Middle 
Creek church for the pur])ose of making ])reparations for the 
Annual Conference, which is to l)e held in this District in 
1894. There were twenty-five delegates in attendance, and 
the same officers that served in the spring also served at this 
meeting. The following brethren were elected on the com- 
mittee on location : J. S. Holsinger, C. G. Lint, Stephen Stutz- 
man, Joseph Holsop])le, Valentine Blough and \\\ G. Schrock. 

May 2, 1894, District Meeting was held in the Jacobs 
Creek church, with thirty-five delegates on the roll. Moder- 
ator, J. C. Johnson; Clerk, Daniel Holso])i)le ; Reading Clerk, 
W. G. Schrock; member on Standing Committee, David Hil- 

May 8, 1895, District Meeting convened in the Brothers 
Valley church, with thirty-six delegates present. Moderator, 
J. C. Johnson ; Clerk, S. S. !^)lough ; Reading Clerk. Jasper 
Barnthouse ; member on .Standing Committee, C. G. Lint. 

May 29, 1896, District Meeting was held in the Markleys- 
burg church, l-'ayette County, with thirty-three delegates in 


their seats. Moderator, G. S. Rarigh ; Clerk, W. G. Schrock ; 
Reading Clerk, Jasper Barnthouse ; member on Standing Com- 
mittee, G. S. Rairigh. 

May 12, 1897, District Meeting convened in the Meyers- 
dale church, with thirty-four delegates on the list. It would 
seem that the Fayette church has gone out of existence. 
Moderator, C. G. Lint ; Clerk, W. G. Schrock ; Reading Clerk, 
D. H. Walker; member on the Standing Committee, C. G. 
Lint. ' 

May 4, 1898, District Meeting was held in the Rockton 
church, Clearfield County, with thirty delegates enrolled. 
Moderator, Jasper Barnthouse ; Clerk, S. S. Blough ; Reading 
Clerk, H. A. .Stahl ; member on the Standing Committee, W. 
A. Gaunt. 

August 23, 1899, District Meeting convened in the Shade 
church, with thirty-five delegates on the roll. A siege of 
smallpox in Windber and surrounding country prevented the 
meeting from being held at the usual time, and so this year 
we had no delegate on the Standing Committee. West Johns- 
town was added to the list of congregations. Moderator, C. 
G. Lint ; Clerk, S. S. Blough ; Reading Clerk, D. H. Walker. 

May 9, 1900, District Meeting was held in the Markleys- 
burg church, with thirty-three delegates in attendance. Mod- 
erator, Jasper Barnthouse ; Clerk, S. S. Blough ; Reading 
Clerk, P. J. Blough ; delegate on the Standing Committee, 
Jasper Barnthouse. 

May 1, 1901, District Meeting convened in the Fairview 
house of the Georges Creek church, with thirty-eight delegates 
enrolled. Moderator, C. G. Lint ; Clerk, S. S. Blough ; Read- 
ing Clerk, W. A. Gaunt ; delegate on Standing Committee, 
C. G. Lint. 

April 23, 1902, District Meeting was held in the Maple 
Spring house of the Ouemahoning church, with an attendance 
of thirty-six delegates. Moderator, Jasper Barnthouse; Clerk, 
S. S. Blough; Reading Clerk, P. J. Blough; delegate on the 
Standing Committee, Joseph Holsopple. Pittsburgh church 
was organized this year, July 6, 1902. 


May 6, 1903, District Meeting convened in the Meyers- 
dale church, with thirty-six delegates acting. Moderator. 
Jasper Barnthouse; Clerk, S. S. Blough ; Reading Clerk, J. 
F. Uietz ; delegate on Standing Committee, C. G. Lint. 

April 27, 1904, District Meeting assembled in the Walnut 
Grove house of the Johnstown church, and the attendance of 
delegates was forty. Moderator, Jasper Barnthouse; A\''riting 
Clerk, J. J. Shaffer; Reading Clerk, J. F. l^ietz ; delegat£s on 
the Standing Committee, D. H. Walker and Jasper Barnt- 
house. Cowanshannock congregation was dropped out of the 
list of active congregations. 

May 17, 1905, District Meeting convened in the Middle 
Creek church, with thirty-six delegates constituting the 
voting body. Moderator, D. H. Walker ; A\Viting Clerk, J. J. 
Shaffer; Reading Clerk, Jasper Barnthouse; member on 
Standing Committee, C. G. Lint. 

May 9, 1906, District Meeting was held in the Penn Run 
House of the Manor church, with thirty-six delegates in at- 
tendance. Moderator, Jasper Barnthouse; Writing Clerk, 
S. S. Blough ; Reading Clerk, J. F. Dietz ; delegate on the 
Standing Committee, D. H. Walker. 

April 3, 1907. District Meeting was held in the Berkey 
house of the Shade church, with an enrollment of thirty-eight 
delegates. The Clarion congregation was dropped from the 
list. Moderator, Jasper Barnthouse; Writing Clerk, H. S. 
Replogle ; Reading Clerk, J. F. Dietz ; delegate on the Stand- 
ing Committee, S. S. Blough. 

April 22. 1908. District Meeting was held in the County 
Line house of the Indian Creek church, with thirty-eight del- 
egates present. Moderator. S. S. Blough ; ^^'riting Clerk. J. 
J. Shaffer; Reading Clerk. M. J. W' eavcr ; member on the 
Standing Committee. P. J. Blough. 

Ai)ril 14, 1909, District Meeting was held in the .Salisbury 
house of the Klk Lick church, with an enrollment of thirty- 
eight delegates. Moderator, Jasjier Barnthouse ; \\^riting 
Clerk, M. J. Weaver; Reading Clerk, H. S. Replogle; mem- 


bers on the Standing Committee, Jasper Barnthouse and J. J. 

March 30, 1910, District Meeting convened in the Rox- 
bury house of the West Johnstown church. Forty-two del- 
egates were enrolled. Moderator, P. J. Blough ; Writing 
Clerk, J. J. Shaft"er ; Reading Clerk, H. S. Replogle ; delegates 
on the Standing Committee, D. H. Walker and J. F. Dietz. 

April 19, 1911, District Meeting was held in the Maple 
Spring house of the Quemahoning church, and the number of 
delegates present was forty-three. Glen Hope congregation 
changed its name to Chess Creek. Moderator, Jasper Barnt- 
house; A\"riting Clerk, H. S. Replogle; Reading Clerk, M. J. 
Weaver; delegates on the Standing Committee, W. M. Howe 
and Silas Hoover. 

April 1^ 1912, District Meeting was held in the assem- 
bly room of the Somerset County courthouse. Middle Creek 
church, with forty-four delegates in attendance. Moderator. 
Jasper Barnthouse ; \\' riting Clerk. H. S. Replogle ; Reading 
Clerk, M. J. Weaver. Two new congregations were added to 
the number; viz., Grecnsburg and Scalp Level; delegates on 
the Standing Committee. J. H. Cassady and H. S. Replogle. 

March 26, 1913. District Meeting was held in the Walnut 
Grove house of the Johnstown church, with fifty-three del- 
egates in attendance. Ryerson Station congregation was, by 
the consent of both Districts, transferred to the Second Dis- 
trict of West Virginia. Moderator, Jasper Barnthouse 
Writing Clerk, H. S. Replogle ; Reading Clerk, G. K. Walker 
delegates to the Annual Meeting, P. J. Blough and Levi 

April 15, 1914, District Meeting was held in the Scalp 
Level house of the Scalp Level church, with fifty-nine del- 
egates enrolled. Two new congregations, Greenville and Trout 
Run, were added to the number of congregations, making the 
number thirty-two. Moderator, J. H. Cassady ; Writing Clerk, 
H. S. Replogle; Reading Clerk, J. J. Shaffer; delegate on the 
Standing Committee, J. J. Shaffer. 

April 7, 1915, District Meeting was held in the Maple 


Spring church of the Quemahoning congregation, with fifty- 
three delegates enrolled. During the year the West Johns- 
town congregation was divided into three congregations, and 
so two new congregations, Morrellville and Pleasant Hill, 
were added to the list. Moderator, W. M. Howe; Writing 
Clerk, H. S. Replogle; Reading Clerk, M. J. Brougher; del- 
egates on the Standing Committee, D. H. Walker and M. J. 


Annual Conferences. 

According to the best information available seven Annual 
Meetings of the Brotherhood have been held in Western Penn- 
sylvania, and all in Somerset County within a comparatively 
small area. 

The first one was held in the barn of Bishop John Buech- 
ly, in Elk Lick Township, in 1811. In the Minutes of the An- 
nual Meetings from 1778 to 1909 this meeting is missed. 
There seems to be no doubt, however, of the meeting having 
been held there that year. There is a family tradition that 
Sister Flickinger. who was a daughter of Bishop Buechly, 
was four years old when the meeting was held in her fath- 
er's barn, and she was born November 27, 1806. 

The second one was held at Glade in 1821. At this meet- 
ing seven papers were passed upon. I notice but two of these. 
The question was asked whether brethren may have distil- 
leries. Answer : It was considered to leave it by what was 
concluded some thirty years ago, that no brother would be 
allowed to have a distillery, or to distil ardent spirits. An- 
other question was whether persons who had been but once 
immersed might be received into the church. Answer: It 
was considered that a threefold immersion is the true bap- 
tism; but if such persons would be content with their bap- 
tism, and yet acknowledge the Brethren's order as right, we 
would leave it over to them, and receive them with the laying 
on of hands and prayer. 

The third Annual Meeting in the county was held at the 
home of Brother William Miller, not far from Meyersdale, 
on May 28, and 29, 1841. Fifteen queries were disposed of 
at this meeting. One query was whether the Brethren prac- 



The Itisliop John Biiechly Burn in Whirh the Annual Meeting' A\'us Ilelil 

in 1811. 

ticed feet-washing strictly according to the Gospel. Answer: 
Considered, after much conversation and reflection, that feet- 
washing, as ])racticed hitherto by the Brethren, is according 
to the Word, and that the mode, as far as we could learn 
until now, could in no wise be improved. Another question 
was, whether the Brethren have a right to admit friends, who 
are not members, to sit down with them at the Lord's supper, 
if there is room. Answer: Considered, that making a proper 
distinction between the supi)er and the communion of the body 
and blood of Jesus Christ, there could l)e no objection to admit 
friends to the sui)i)er, when there is room. Still another: 
Whether a deacon may give testimony to what a teacher (min- 
ister) has said while there is one or more teachers present 
that have not spoken, and request him to speak? Answer: 
Considered that he may, if requested. 

The following brethren's names are signed at the close of 
the Minutes: Daniel Cicrber, David Pfoutz. Christian Long. 
Daniel Arnold, ( ieorge Ilokc, Abraham Yandt, John Hart, 
John Price, Daniel Reichard, Henry Kurtz. 

The fourth one was held in the drove meetinghouse, near 
Tierlin, in 1849. This was a great meeting in a number of 
ways. I'Vjrty-six (jueries were considered and i)assed upon. 
We care to notice only a few. Article 21. Is the Lord's 
sujjper a di\ine or sacred ordinance? and if so, have the chil- 
dren of Clod a right to invite such as are not members to cat 


with them at the same table and time? Answer: Considered, 
to be a divine and sacred ordinance (as all the Lord's ordi- 
nances are), and should be eaten by the members only. 

Article 35. Whether it would not be more consistent 
with the Word, if, at the communion, the administrator would 
give the bread and cup to the sisters, and they divide it, like 
the brethren, among themselves, and the administrator to pass 
along, to keep order? Answ^er: Considered, unanimously, to 
go on, in celebrating the communion, as heretofore. 

Article 39. \\'hether it would not be more according to 
the Gospel, in the observance of feet-washing, for the brother, 
at the head of the table', to wash and wipe the feet of the 
brother on his right hand, and that brother to wash and wipe 
the feet of the next, and so on, around the table? Answer: 
Considered, that as this question has so often been before the 
council, and that the manner of its observance could not be 
amended, we are still of the opinion, that the command is fully 
obeyed, if we wash our feet among one another, as rendered 
by the German translation ; but we would recommend to each 
brother and sister, at the earliest opportunity, to obey the 
command to wash, and that in washing, the members should 
change frecjuently. 

At this meeting Brethren Peter Long, Andrew Spanogle. 
and John Holsinger, of Pennsylvania ; Joseph Arnold and 
Jacob Byser, of Virginia, and George Hoke and Henry Kurtz, 
of Ohio, w^ere appointed a committee to assist in dividing the 
large Glades church into several congregations. 

The names of the following ordained elders appear at 
the close of the Minutes: George Hoke, J. Showalter. 
Henry Kurtz, Peter Nead, A. Spanogle, J. Molsbaugh, Peter 
Long, John Kline, Jacob Saylor, Samuel Wampler, Peter 
Kober, Jacob Meyer, Daniel Yundt, George Shafer, John Hol- 
singer. Jac. Stutzman, D. Shoemaker, Jos. Arnold and Thos. 

The fifth one held in the District convened in the Summit 
Mills meetinghouse, in the Elk Lick congregation, in 1859. 
" As usual, a large number of persons assembled on Saturday, 


and a meeting for worship was held in the afternoon. On 
Lord's Day, the congregation being very large, arrangements 
were made for having divine service performed in three dif- 
ferent places in the immediate vicinity of the place designed 
for the General Council Meeting. These meetings were all 
well attended, and good attention given to the Word preached. 

" On Monday morning the Council Meeting was organ- 
ized by appointing the following Standing Committee : John 
Kline, Jacob Thomas, Isaac Pfoutz, Daniel P. Sayler, John 
H. Umstad, Peter Long, John P. Ebersole, Henry Davy, 
Jacob Miller, John Metzger, Samuel Layman, David Ritten- 
house, James Quinter, and John Berkley. Daniel P. Sayler 
and James Quinter were appointed Clerks, and Daniel P. 
Sayler, Moderator. 

" The delegates then i)resented themselves, and the papers 
addressed to the Council were received ; and while business 
was preparing, public worship was, as usual, held on Monday. 

" There were represented, in this Council Meeting, eighty- 
seven congregations. The delegates representing these con- 
gregations were divided into thirteen sub-committees, and to 
them were committed the queries designed to come before the 
General Council, in order that they might report ui)on them. 

" On Tuesday morning the brethren assembled for .busi- 
ness. The meeting was opened with singing and prayer. Aft- 
er this the object of the meeting was explained. The com- 
mittees then began to make their reports, and it was ascer- 
tained that the following queries were before the meeting. 
These were considered in the fear of God, and examined in 
the light of the Scriptures, and answered as herein stated : " 

Thirty-seven items of business were passed upon. Article 
5. Inasmuch as the ceremony used by the Brethren, in re- 
ceiving members into the church, is thought, by a large pro- 
portion of the r.rc'thren. to be of too great length, might it not 
be shortened? And, instead of the cjuestions being asked in 
the water, would it not be more consistent to ask them in 
the house, or on the bank of the river or stream? Answer: 


We do not consider it good to make any alterations from the 
present practice of the Brethren. 

The sixth Annual Conference held in Western Pennsyl- 
vania, convened in Meyersdale, June, 1873. The Standing 
Committee met and organized on Monday, June 2, and on 
Tuesday morning the General Council Meeting was opened. At 
this meeting twenty-nine articles were passed upon. A notice- 
able feature of this meeting is that committees were sent to 
eight dififerent congregations to assist in the adjustment of 
difficulties. The Standing Committee was composed of the 
following elders : Henry Garst, B. F. Moomaw, S. Garver, 
M. Cossner, D. P. Sayler, D. Long, David Gerlach, Jacob 
Price, John Wise, H. D. Davy, John Brillhart, Jacob Garver, 
D. B. Sturgis, John Baker, Joseph McCarty, E. Eby, John 
Metzger, Henry Strickler, R. Badger, C. Harader, and J. 

The last Conference to convene in this District was held 
in May, 1894, at Meyersdale. The General Conference was 
opened at 9 A. M., May 29, 1894. The Minutes of this meet- 
ing cover seventeen large printed pages. Two questions of 
unfinished business were disposed of, and twelve articles of 
new business were presented. The report of the General 
Church Erection and Missionary' Committee is both lengthy 
and interesting. That year the receipts for missionary pur- 
poses from all sources, were $9,748.39. The Annual Meeting 
collection was $423.56. At this meeting W. B. Stover and 
Mary Stover, his wife, of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, A. W. 
Vaniman and Alice Vaniman, his wife, of Topeka, Kansas, 
and Bertha Ryan, of Chicago, Illinois, were approved as mis- 
sionaries to India. The understanding, however, was that 
only three of them be sent at the present. 

The Standing Committee was composed of thirty-six eld- 
ers, as follows: J. W. Eller, W. H. Nafif, Levi A. Wenger, 
D. B. Arnold, W. A. Gaunt, Eph. W. Stoner, Geo. K. Sap- 
pington. S. A. Miller, F. P. Cassel, C. L. Pfoutz, H. B. Brum- 
baugh. David Hildebrand, Tobias Kreider, Samuel Sprankel. 
L. H. Dicky, Wm. Harshbarger, D. Bechtelheimer, A. H. 


Puterbaugh, S. Bucklew, Jos. Amick, J. H. Moore, J. Rufus 
Gish, M. T. Baer, G. W. Clemens, S. M. Miller, John Zuck, 
Abraham Wolfe, Isaac F. Rairigh, S. M. Forney, Geo. E. 
Wise, Chas. M. Yearout, B. B. Whitmer, E. Eby, Abraham 
Molsbce, John Metzler, and L. W. Teeter. Enoch Eby was 
Moderator; L. W. Teeter, Reading Clerk and J. H. Moore, 
Writing Clerk. 

It is seen from the few articles noted in the foregoing 
that many years ago the single mode of feet-washing, sisters 
breaking bread, and asking the questions out of the water, 
were contended for. We, today, wonder at the liberality of 
the Brethren years ago in admitting persons to membership 
who had been baptized by single immersion ; also in per- 
mitting friends not members to partake of the Lord's supper. 
In the matter of temperance we have lost nothing, but gained, 
because we are taking an active part in driving the saloon 
from our fair land. 


Ministerial Meetings. 

In the matter of holding Ministerial Meetings Western 
Pennsylvania is well in the lead among the Districts of the 
Brotherhood. The first call for such a meeting came from 
the Johnstown congregation to the District Meeting of 
1892 in the following petition: " A\'e, the Johnstown church 
of Cambria County, Pennsylvania, petition District Meeting, 
assembled in the Johnstown congregation, to grant said church 
the privilege of holding a Ministerial Meeting in the fall of 
1892 in the Walnut Grove house." Answer to petition : 
" Petition granted." 

In accordance with the above petition and answer the first 
Ministerial Meeting of the Western District of Pennsylvania 
convened in the Walnut Grove church of the Johnstown con- 
gregation, November 2 and 3, 1892, with J. C. Johnson, Mod- 
erator and Joseph Holsopple, Clerk. The next meeting was 
held November 23 and 24, 1893, in the Berkey church of the 
Shade Creek congregation, with J. C. Johnson, Moderator and 
George W. Lowr>^ Secretar}^ Succeeding meetings were 
held as follows: October 11 and 12, 1894, Indian Creek; J. C. 
Johnson. Moderator; George \\\ Lowr)% Secretar}'. October 
30 and 31, 1895, Elk Lick; J. C. Johnson, Moderator; W. G. 
Schrock, Secretary. October 20 and 21, 1896, Walnut Grove; 
George S. Rairigh, Moderator; S. S. Blough, Secretary. Oc- 
tober 6 and 7, 1897, Middle Creek ; D. H. Walker, Modera- 
tor; J. F. Dietz. Secretary. October 25 and 26, 1898, Shade 
Creek; D. H. Walker, Moderator; S. S. Blough, Secretary, 
October 17 and 18, 1899, Maple Spring, Quemahoning con- 
gregation; D. H. Walker, Moderator; S. S. Blough, Secretary. 
October 9 and 10, 1900, Jacobs Creek; W. A. Gaunt, Mod- 


erator; S. S. Blough, Secretary. October 22 and 23, 1901, 
Holsinger church. Dunnings Creek congregation; organization 
is not at hand. November 12 and 13, 1902, Walnut Grove; 
D. H. Walker, Moderator; H. A. Stahl, Secretary. 

By this time the burden of holding these meetings, on 
account of the large attendance, becoming great, for three 
years no congregation called for the meeting. In 1903 the 
Sunday-school Convention, by action of District Meeting, was 
ordered to be made self-supporting, by charging for the meals 
served. This proving satisfactory, a similar action was taken 
in 1906 in regard to the Ministerial Meeting, with the pro- 
vision that both meetings be held at the same time and place. 
This i)lan has been working well ever since, and meetings 
have been held annually as follows: July 31 and August 1, 
1906, Walnut Grove; Joseph Holsopple, Moderator; H. A. 
Stahl, Secretary. August 21 and 22. 1907, Meyersdale; Jas- 
per Pjarnthouse. Moderator; J. J. Shafifer, Secretary. August 
24 and 25. 1908. Pike church. Brothers Valley congregation; 
W. M. Howe, Moderator; W'illiam Kinsey, Secretary. Au- 
gust 24 and 25, 1909, Roxbury church. West Johnstown con- 
gregation ; J. H. Cassady, Moderator; H. A. Stahl, Secretary. 
August 23 and 24. 1910. Elk Lick; M. J. Weaver, Moderator; 
H. A. Stahl, Secretary. August 22 and 23. 1911, Scalp Level ; 
W, M. Howe, Moderator ; H. S. Reiilogle. Secretary. August 
20 and 21, 1912, Walnut Grove; D. H. W^alker, Moderator; 
Alvin G. Foust, Secretary. August 19 and 20, 1913, Greens- 
burg; J. H. Cassady. Moderator; G. E. Yoder, Secretary. 
August 18 and 19, 1914, Meyersdale; J. H. Cassady, Moder- 
ator; L. R. Holsinger. Secretary. August 17 and 18, 1915, 
Roxbury; W. M. Howe, Moderator; M. J. Brougher, Secre- 

I am sure that all who have been in attendance at these 
meetings are ready to testify that they have received great 
benefit from them. Manv and varied have been the subjects 
discussed. Great inspiration comes to a large body of min- 
isters and other workers in meeting together to discuss great 
and vital Bible doctrines and best methods of accomplishing 


the Lord's work. One who is accustomed to attending these 
meetings can scarcely see how so many of the ministers of the 
District can be satisfied to absent themselves from these means 
of growth and development. 


Bible, Missionary and Sunday-School Institute. 

" The Bil)le, Missionary and Sunday-school Institute of 
the Western District of Pennsylvania of the Church of the 
Brethren was organized at Scalp Level, Pennsylvania, August 
23, 1911. 

" This institute is to be held annually, beginning on the 
second Monday evening of December of each year and closing 
on the following Friday evening. The committee for the 
year 1911 was as follows: J. H. Cassady, Chairman; J. L. 
Weaver, Secretary ; G. K. Walker, Treasurer, and G. E. 
Yoder and H. S. Replogle." 

The first institute was held in the Roxbury church of 
the West Johnstown congregation, December 4-9, 1911, having 
been held one week before the set time on account of Elder 
J. M. Blough, who was one of the instructors, and who could 
not be present later. The instructors were as follows : Sun- 
day-school Work, R. D. Murphy; Bible (Galatians), W. M. 
Howe ; Bible Doctrine, D. W. Kurtz ; Missionary, J. M. 
Blough. and Travels (illustrated), W. R. Miller. Forty-five 
ministers were in attendance. 

At the Ministerial Meeting at Walnut Grove, August 21, 
1912, a decision was passed by which the Bible Institute Com- 
mittee should consist of three members, one being elected each 
year. At the same meeting the following committee was elect- 
ed : J. H. Cassady, three years, W. M. Howe, two years and 
H. S. Replogle, one year. 

The second institute was held in the Meyersdale church 
December 9-13, 1912. The instructors were Dr. D. Webster 
Kurtz, Elder T. T. Myers and Elder Wilbur B. Stover, who 


was home on furlough. Thirty-four ministers were in at- 

The third institute was held in the Scalp Level church, 
December 29, 1913 to January 4, 1914. The instructors 
were Dr. Kurtz, again, and Elder I. Bennett Trout, and some 
of the home ministers — P. J. Blough, R. D. Murphy, W. M. 
Howe and H. S. Replogle. Brother George W. Flory, of 
Covington, Ohio, gave his address, " The Red Dragon." The 
number of ministers present was thirty. 

The fourth institute was held in the Greensburg church, 
December 14-18, 1914, and the instructors from a distance 
were P. B. P'itzwater and T. T. Myers. Only sixteen min- 
isters were present. 

The small attendance of ministers and Sunday-school 
workers, and the fact that a number of congregations held 
local institutes brought up the question at the 1915 District 
Meeting of the propriety of discontinuing the District Insti- 
tute and urging the holding of more local institutes. The 
vote, however, favored continuing them. 

The fifth institute was held in the Roxbury church of the 
West Johnstown congregation, and ])roved a great success in 
every way. Tt convened from December 27 to 31, 1915, and 
the outside instructors were Elders Galen B. Royer and Albert 
C. Wieand. Field Secretary 1. E. Holsinger gave a talk 
each day on Sunday-school work. Elders M. Clyde Horst, 
M. J. Brougher, P. J. Blough and W. M. Howe also gave one 
address each on a vital subject. Attendance of ministers, 

These institutes are proving themselves a means of 
thorough instruction and a source of great inspiration. While 
the night sessions are attended by large crowds, the day ses- 
sions sometimes are only fairly vi^ell attended, and it is felt 
that a much larger number of ministers and Sunday-school 
workers should avail themselves of this means of growth 
and development. 



John Ache (Aughey) was born in Germany, but was of French 
descent. Of his ancestry nothing is known now. In 1728 he first 
settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he married Eliz- 
abeth Venerlich. Here he also united with the church and was 
elected to the ministry. Xot many years after his election to the 
ministry he moved to Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and purchased 
the Ache farm, containing 240 acres, situated one and one-fourth 
miles south of Masontown. Here he lived until his death in 1808. 
He was the first member of the Georges Creek congregation and 
its first elder. He held the meetings in his home for a number of 
years. During the summer the meetings were held in his large 
barn. After the Brethren quit holding the love feasts in their 
dwellings, they usually held them in the Ache barn also. 


David Albaugh, a minister, moved into the Conemaugh con- 
gregation from Blair County, Pennsylvania, when he was well ad- 
vanced in years. He had been a useful and influential member of 
the Frankstown church in his native county. He was a brother of 
excellent character, and kind-hearted. He labored in the Cone- 
maugh congregation until his death, which occurred March 2, 
1867, at the age of 79 years, 6 months and 7 days. The funeral 
services were conducted by Brethren Solomon Benshofif, William 
Byers and Stephen Hildebrand, and his body was laid to rest in 
the Angus cemeterj', near the old Horner meetinghouse. 


Jacob and Elizabeth Ankeney, who reside near Elderton, Arm- 
strong County, Pennsylvania, are among the substantial citizens 
of that county and he is a deacon in the Plum Creek congregation. 
Brother Ankeney is a member of a large and influential family of 
Somerset County, from where he moved when but a child. They 
are the parents of the following children: Robert, died 1896; Flor- 
ence, Murray, Frank, Harry and Mary. 

Frank was born at Elderton, Armstrong County, September 5, 


Frank Ankeney. 

1889. In addition to his public school education, he attended the 
Elderton y\cademy, graduating therefrom in 1909. In the fall of 
the same year he entered Juniata College. After having spent 
two years in college he taught school during the winter of 1911-12. 
He returned to Juniata in the fall of 1912 and graduated in the 
college classical course in the spring of 1914. 

Brother Ankeney was elected to the ministry while in col- 
lege in 1911, by the Huntingdon church. After finishing his work 
at Juniata, he was educational secretary in the Central Y. M. C. A. 
of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1914-15. During tlu- term of 1915- 
16 he is principal of the Elderton High School. 


Jasper Barnthouse, onlj' son of William and Polly (I'^ike) 
Barnthouse, was born October 7, 1861, in Garrett County, Mary- 
land, near the Pennsylvania and West Virginia lines. He is a 
grandson of Jacob and Mary Fike. His grandparents on both 
sides are of German descent. 

Jasper was born and reared on the farm, and by occupation 
he was a farmer for about twenty years. He received a common 


Elder Jasper Barnthuuse and Wife. 

school education. In 1883 he began teaching school and taught 
twelve winters. His first school was near Frostburg, Maryland. 
Five winters he taught the home school (Asher Glade) and five 
years the adjoining one (Sand Spring), and the other term was in 
the McCabe school. 

Brother Barnthouse and Anna Belle Umbel, daughter of Isaac 
and Mary Catharine Umbel, were married March 30, 1890, Elder 
Samuel C. Umbel, the bride's uncle, performing the ceremony. 

At the age of seventeen, in December, 1878, while teaching the 
Sand Spring school, and during a meeting held in the same school- 
house, Jasper gave his young heart to God, being baptized by 
Elder William Bucklew, in the Buflfalo Creek. He was called to 
the ministry in the Markleysburg congregation, June 11, 1884, ad- 


vanccd to the second degree of the ministry in tlic winter of 18S5, 
and ordained to the eldership July 11, \W6, in tlie same congrega- 
tion, by Elders C. G. Lint and Josiah T.erkley. 

Elder Barnthouse has been one of the most active of our min- 
isters. For a number of years he spent considerable time in the 
evangelistic lield, holding in all seventy-one series of meetings. 
These meetings were held in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West 
V^irginia. lie has baptized 616 persons. This does not include 
those where he held series of meetings and some other minister 
baptized the applicants, which was freciuently done. I'p to date 
(January 1, 1916) he solemnized 103 marriages, anointed 106 sick 
persons and preached 222 funerals. Altogether he has preached 
4,074 sermons. 

Elder Barnthouse labored in the Markleysburg congregation 
until 1904, when he removed to I'niontown, Georges Creek congre- 
gation, becoming the pastor of the church in that town. This po- 
sition he has filled ever since. At different times he has been in 
charge of the Markleysburg, Georges Creek, Indian Creek, Ten 
Mile, Pennsylvania, Bear Creek, Maryland and Mount Union, West 
\'irginia, congregations. He served as Moderator of Distrin 
Meeting eleven times and was delegate on the Standing Committee 
four times. 


Solomon J. Baer, son of John Baer, was born December 31, 
1827. He was born and reared on his father's farm, near Sipcs- 
ville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His education was limited, 
though he taught two years of German school and two of English. 

He was united in marriage to Miss Agnes Cober, daughter of 
Elder Jolm P. Colier, in 1850. .After marriage they moved on his 
father's farm with his parents. Here he lived till 1866, when, with his 
family, he moved to a farm five miles east of Somerset, in Som- 
erset Township, on the Soinerset and Bedford Pike, near where 
Wills cliurch is now located. 

Brother and Sister llaer were tlie i>arents of ten sons and one 
daughter, I^osie. Rosie was drowned in the Johnstown Hood. A 
number of the sons were school-teachers, and all of the children 
were faitlilul workers in their respective ciuirclies. l""ive have been 
officially connected almost from boyhood. 

In 1856, while living in the Quemahoning congregation, he 
was called to the ministry, with his colaborer, Jonathan W. 
Blough. His preaching was in the German language. When the 
Berlin congregation was divided, in 1880, Brother Baer and Mi- 
chael Weyand were the ministers of one of the new congregations; 
viz., Somerset. 


In 1884, his second oldest son, Israel Baer, and wife, Hattie 
(Seibert), and his three brothers, William, Daniel and Peter, set- 
tled near Beaver City, Furnas County, Nebraska, and became the 
nucleus for a Brethren church, which in 1913, at the time of Brother 
Baer's death, numbered over 100 members. Elder Christian For- 
ney held the first series of meetings, in Brother Baer's sod house. 
Israel was elected deacon at this same meeting-, 1884, and was very 
faithful, and a great help to the pastors who have served this 

Sister Fern Willard Baer, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, who 
is a successful teacher in the schools of her city, an elocutionist 
of rare ability, and an active temperance worker, is a grand- 
daughter. Sister Baer has been from her childhood a valued 
helper in the work of the Cambria County Woman's Christian 
Temperance Union. She has traveled and given readings in a num- 
ber of counties of the State. As a reciter Sister Baer has won a 
number of medals. 

Brother Baer died March 5, 1885, aged 57 years, 6 months and 
4 days, and was buried in the Pike cemetery, at Brotherton, where 
lie his wife, who died in 1915, and his sons, John and Henry, and 
his daughter, Rosie. 

Newton E. Beabes. 




Newton E. Beabes, son of Xoali and Susan ( l>lough) Beabes, 
was born in Quemahoning Township, Somerset County, Pennsyl- 
vania, January 1, 1890. He was reared on the farm and attended 
the public schools until he was nineteen years of age. 

In addition to his common school education, Brother Beabes 
was a student in Juniata College tivc terms. Me has taught five 
terms of school and is engaged in teaching in the Hooversville 
Borough schools at present. 

During a series of meetings held in the Sipesville church, Que- 
mahoning congregation, Newton gave his heart to God and was 
baptized. He was elected to the ministry in the Quemahoning 
congregation, November 2, 1910. On December 25, 1915, he was 
married to Miss Ada Meyers, of Hooversville, 1)y Rev. W. E. Sun- 

Prof. J. C. licahin. 


The family of Elder H. A. and .\nnie Beahm, wlio lived and 
died in Virginia, will always stand out prominently because of the 
number of ministers it produced. In all there were six sons and 
four daughters, as follows: S. P.. 1. X. 11., J. C, W. E., B. C, 
G. W., Bcttie (Sours), Ella (Shick). Lucy (Price), and Adria 
(Varner). B. C. and Adria are dead. S. P. and I. N. IT. are eld- 
ers, J. C, W. E. and G. W. are ministers. Ella's first marriage 


was to Professor C. E. Arnold. After his death she married Elder 
Shick, who also died. 

Professor J. C. Beahm, one of the sons, was born in Rock- 
ingham County, Virginia, December 20, 1864. He took the B. E. 
course at Bridgewater College, Virginia, and the B. A. and M. A. 
courses at Oskaloosa College, Iowa. He taught six years in the 
public schools of Virginia, seven years in the Prince William 
Academy, at Brentsville, Virginia, ten sessions in the public 
schools of Maryland. He located in Elk Lick, Somerset County, 
Pennsylvania, in 1912, and has taught four years in high school 
work in Somerset County, being at present principal of the Bos- 
well High School. Brother Beahm is a born teacher. 

But he is also an able minister. He was elected to the min- 
istry in Bedford County, Virginia, in 189L He married Miss Em- 
ma Shockley, of Patrick County, Virginia, in 1896, who, though the 
daughter of a minister in another denomination, has united with 
her husband's church, and is a noble Christian mother. 


C. Lsaiah Beam, son of Jacob Beam, and grandson of Chris- 
topher Beam, whose father emigrated from Scotland before the 
Revolutionary War, and settled on land in Somerset County, 
some of which is now in possession of the Mausts, was of sturdy 
Scotch ancestry. 

Jacob Beam was married to a Miss Anderson. They moved 
to the " Western Reserve," probably Holmes County, Ohio, where 
their children were born and reared. When Isaiah, who was born 
December 28, 1817, was eight years old his mother died, leaving 
him to be pushed about anywhere. He made his way in the world as 
best he could, sometimes teaching school, sometimes carrying 
mail, and once for a while he was a conductor on the old Portage 

When he was 26 years of age he paid a visit to his uncles, 
Abraham and Hiram Beam, in Somerset County. He remained 
for some time, became acquainted with the family of Joseph Mey- 
ers and married his oldest daughter, Catharine, about the year 
1845. The second year of his married life he lived in a house 
owned by John Forney, Sr., and ever after they were the best of 
friends. Forney was rather German and Beam was entirely En- 
glish, and their associations together were mutually helpful, For- 
ney acquiring the English language, and Beam the Pennsylvania 
Dutch. While living with Brother Forney he learned of the Breth- 
ren, and in 1847 he united with the church. He was Methodist, but 
is known to have said that he knew there ought to be a church 


like the Brethren when yet with the Methodists in Ohio. After 
leaving the Forney farm he bought eight acres of land upon which 
he erected a house and lived until 1858, when John Forney moved 
West, and Brother Beam bought his farm. This farm is a mile 
south of Jenners, in Jcnner Township. Here he lived till death. 
May 9, 1868, aged 50 years, 4 months and 11 days. 

Brother Beam was elected to the ministry in 1854. being the 
first English minister in the Quemahoning cliurch, where he re- 
garded every member as his friend, and all the preachers as his 
associates. Nothing gave him greater pleasure than the associa- 
tion of the Brethren ministers, and when visiting ministers 
stopped to spend the night in his home, which was no uncommon 
occurrence, he was well pleased. His love for the church was 
ardent, and it was a great pleasure for him to attend the meetings. 

His usual mode of travel was horseback. He often rode to 
Bedford, Westmoreland, Cambria and Fayette Counties, and to 
Maryland. He was an inveterate reader, and the New Testament 
was his choice Book. At the first District Meeting of Western 
Pennsylvania, held in the Grove meetinghouse, in 1866, Brother 
Beam was one of the Clerks. 

Brother and Sister Beam were the parents of nine children, 
six of whom grew up and married. One son (died recently), a 
son-in-law, and two grandsons are in the ministry in the Church 
of the Brethren. 


Joseph Beam, oldest son of C. Isaiah and Catharine (Meyers) 
Beam, was born in Jenner Township, Somerset County, Pennsyl- 
vania, May 22, 1848. Joseph grew up on his father's farm much 
as other farmer boys do, enjoying only such school facilities as 
the common township schools afiforded, with perhaps several 
terms of Summer Normal School. He early qualified himself to 
teach school and taught nearly half a score of terms of school in 
Jenner and Conemaugh Townships, Somerset County, and one term 
in Indiana County. His studious habits and careful reading gave 
him a wide range of general knowledge. He was a deep thinker 
and considerable of a critic, especially in his younger days. It 
was not uncommon for him to offer friendly criticism to the min- 
ister after listening carefully to his sermon. This was done with 
a view of being helpful to those who had not had the opportuni- 
ties of an education as he had. 

He also studied, and in the later years of his life did much 
surveying, some of it being done for coal companies. Many years 
he also pursued farming, having lived on several farms in Jenner 
and Jefferson Townships. At the time of his death, and for some 


time previous, he was mail carrier between Bakersville and Kuhn, 
and it is probable that the disease (pneumonia) that caused his 
death was contracted by exposure to the bad weather while per- 
forming his daily duties. 

Brother Beam was twice married. His first wife was Miss 
Sarah Ream, who died in 1875. Of this union he is survived by 
four children — Charles, Pierce, Samuel, and Mrs. Dorsey Keefer. 
His second wife, who survives him, was Miss Mary Ellen Shaulis. 
Of this union he is survived by four children — Robert, James, 
William and Mrs. Anna Swank. His first marriage was in al)out 
1868 and his second March 28, 1879. 

Brother Beam was baptized in 1867, and on June 27, 1882, he 
was called to the ministry by the Quemahoning congregation. His 
ministerial labors were principally in this congregation, until 
the beginning of the present century when the present line was 
adopted between the Quemahoning and the Middle Creek congre- 
gations. The adoption of this line placed him with the Middle 
Creek Brethren, and, though this was not of his seeking, he la- 
bored in that congregation the remainder of his lifetime. 

Brother Beam wrote a biography of his father less than nine 
months before his death. In the close of his letter at that time 
he said: "I am always very busy and today I am in a hurry. 1 
have jotted this for you, and if you can get anything out of it, 
I am sure you are welcome to it. If you wish anything more let 
me know." 

He died January 12, 1915, aged 66 years, 7 months and 20 days. 
His funeral was conducted by Norman H. Blough in the Sipesville 
meetinghouse, and interment was made in the adjoining cemetery. 

J. C. W. BEAM. 

J. C. W. Beam, son of John and Nancy Jane (Fisher) Beam, 
was born in Franklin Borough, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, 
January 29, 1869. The family located in Millville Borough, now a 
part of the city of Johnstown, where Brother Calvin received his 
education, finishing the course at the age of fourteen, when he 
entered the Cambria Steel Company's employ as a mill hand. He 
has been in this company's employ, in various departments, ever 

Brother Beam comes from an old family, the Beams being 
able to trace their lineage to the fatherland. His brothers and 
sisters are: Albert S., George F., Charles E., Mary Katharine, Jo- 
sephine May, Elizabeth Lucinda, Estella Viola, Emma Dewdrop, 
and Bertha Alice. 

Brother Beam and Caroline Mishler, daughter of William and 


Leah Mishler, were united in marriage l)y S. W. Miller, justice 
of the peace. To this union were born the following children: 
Nellie Mae, Alliert S., William R., Samuel L., John M., Harry F., 
and James C. The "last two are dead. All are members of the 
Church of the Brethren. 

Brother Beam was reared in the Church of the Brethren, but 
at the age of sixteen he united with the Somerset Street Pro- 
gressive Brethren Church, being baptized by Elder R. Z. Replo- 
gle. He, however, was not satisfied, and on September 1, 1899. 
he united with the Johnstown Church of the Brethren, being bap- 
tized by Elder A. P'yock. 

About fourteen years ago the family located in Rox])ury, now 
a part of the West Johnstown congregation, and began active work 
in the church and Sunday-school. Since then he has been almost 
continuously either superintendent or teacher, or both. In June, 
1904, he was elected deacon, and December 12, 1911, to the min- 
istry, all in the West Johnstown congregation. About a year 
later he was forwarded to the second degree, where he now labors. 

Brother Beam has served the church as Messenger agent a 
number of years. He posseses a good library, is a great reader and 
a close student. 

(Portrait on Page 199.) 


Peter Beer was born June 23, 1829, in Armstrong County, 
Pennsylvania, and was of German descent, his mother's name 
being Elizabeth Berkey. She was a member of the Church of the 
Brethren. He was an orphan, and had the experiences such as 
children generally have in humble and limited circumstances. His 
facilities for an education and self-improvement were much cir- 
cumscribed, but he had the advantage of a rugged nature, and 
was endowed with mental as well as physical force. He was quick 
to see his advantages under unfavorable conditions, and was not 
averse to making use of his physical powers. He labored much 
in log camps, and in the springtime, when the floods came, he 
would assist in building rafts of the timber prepared in the dead of 
the winter and floating them down the Susquehanna River to mar- 
ket. While thus employed he often came in contact with associ- 
ates of rude character. One time on his return trip from the East- 
ern market, a drunken mob was fighting with a man who belonged 
to another crew. The boss, a large man, and whose name also was 
Beer, came up, sent the fighters right and left, and soon succeeded 
in getting his man away from the mob. A little later Brother Beer 
came, with his axe, to take tlie train for home. Some one called 


KUler I'eter IJeer and M ife. 

out, " Hurry up, Beer," at which this drunken gang, mistaking 
Brother Beer for the other man by the same name, began to at- 
tack him with clubs, axes and brickbats. No one being near to 
help him, he threw down his axe, and began to keep them back 
by striking them with his clenched hands, at the same time going 
toward the train, which was now moving oflf without him. He final- 
ly got hold of the moving train, and drew himself up, out of their 
reach, with many cuts and bruises, finally reaching a place of 
safety. Thjs was Brother Beer's last trip down the river, rafting. 

By trade Brother Beer was a carpenter, and many are the 
houses and barns that bear the imprint of his labors, and many the 
timbers, that, if they could speak, would bear testimony to his 
physical abilities. 

In 1855 he was married to Caroline Brilhart, of Georgeville, 
Indiana County, by W. S. Blackburn. The family lived in Indiana 
County until 1876, when they moved to a farm near Rockton, 
Clearfield County, where he lived the remainder of his days. 
Brother and Sister Beer were blest with four daughters and three 
sons. Six of the family are. now living, and all but one are mem- 
bers of the church. Elder J. Harvey Beer, of Denton, Maryland, 
is a son. 

Brother Beer died of dropsy and heart trouble, June 23, 1892, 


being 63- years of age. He was laid to rest in the Rockton ceme- 
tery, and beside hini was laid his widow, who died July 12, 1912. 
Funeral services were conducted by Geo. S. Rairigh. 

Brother Beer was baptized in 1859 by Brother Shumaker, of 
Armstrong County, and elected to the ministry about a year later. 
He was ordained to the eldership in June, 1885, by Elders John S. 
Holsinger and Mark Minser. He was the first minister and elder 
of the Rockton congregation. Spiritually Elder Beer was no less 
efficient than he was physically. He made his mental and physical 
powers contribute to his efforts in furthering the cause of the 
Master. He naturally not eloquent in speech, but he labored 
hard, and with the skill of an architect he l)uilt his sermons, and de- 
livered them with the same methodical system. 

Elder Beer always stood for non-conformity, and lived it him- 
self, which fact stands as a monument to his family and his con- 
gregation. He was not afraid to preach the entire Word, for fear 
of offense, but, with power, he gave forth the message, and de- 
clared the doctrines of the Bible with no uncertain sound. His 
strong, friendly grasp of the hand, with his " God bless you," was 
remembered long after his departure from this world. 

Besides traveling extensively over the large territory embraced 
in his congregation, and opening many points for preaching, Elder 
Beer also did much work in the Glen Hope congregation. This 
work he did willingly, traveling on foot from place to place. Once 
a sister asked him why he made such a sacrifice. His answer was: 
" I have not long to live. I must do what I can while time is given 
me." He had the satisfaction of seeing the Glen Hope and Rock- 
ton congregations, where he spent so much of his time in volun- 
tary missionary work, firmly established. 

In 1892, when he was in failing health, by nnich effort he 
was able to attend the District Meeting, held in the Johnstown 
congregation. It was his desire, at this meeting, to arrange for 
the ordination of his oldest son, Harvey, to the oversight of the 
Rockton congregation. He succeeded in getting this arrangement 

At this meeting a question came up for discussion, on which a 
difference of opinion was plainly manifest, and remarks were made 
with some warmth. Elder Beer got the floor, and in his character- 
istic, cool manner said: " Brethren, if you cannot agree together, 
some of you come out with us. and spend your extra energies in 
giving the Gospel to the hungry souls, that live on the frontier, 
and I can find work for all of you, so isolated, that you need not 
fall over one another." This was good advice, for, indeed, the 
Rockton congregation is on the frontier and the members are 



Eli Benshoff, son of Paul and Barbara Benshoff, was born 
October 21, 1805. His parents owned, and lived on, the farm now 
owned by Brother Emanuel Rhodes, in Middle Taylor Township, 
Cambria County, a few miles from Johnstown. From this family 
the neighborhood received the name Benshoff Hill which it has 
carried for probably a hundred years or more. Here Eli was born 
and reared to manhood. 

November 15, 1825, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Strayer, 
daughter of Peter and Catharine Strayer. They bought and moved 
onto a farm a half mile nearer town, on the hill above where Mi- 
nersville is now located. He also owned the land now occupied 
by Minersville. At this latter place he engaged in milling. In 
this business he was in partnership with Samuel Berkey, a prom- 
ising young minister and teacher. 

Brother and Sister Benshoff were the parents of three children; 
viz., Rachel, born April 20, 1827, who was married to John Teeter, 
and who reared a family of ten children. She passed away many 
years ago. Some of her descendants are members of the church. 
Elizabeth, l)orn May 27, 1829, died in childhood. Benjamin, born 
February 12, 1832. He was married to Catharine Snyder, and 
reared a family of thirteen children. Benjamin was baptized by 
Elder Levi Roberts, April, 1857, and was a deacon for some years. 
In the division he went with the Progressives. Besides the above. 
Brother and Sister Benshoff adopted and reared a nephew, John 
Wissinger, whose mother (a sister of Mrs. Benshoff) had died 
when he was four weeks old. This John Wissinger repaid his fos- 
ter parents for the Christian training they gave him by becoming 
a dutiful Christian young man. He married a Miss Snyder and 
reared a large family. For nearly forty years he has been a faith- 
ful deacon. At present he lives in Morrellville. 

Brother Benshoff, as nearly as can be ascertained, was called 
to the ministry in the old Conemaugh church, about 1850. He was 
highly respected in the community in which he lived. In the fall 
he took a long trip, contracting a severe cold, which, during the 
winter, developed into lung trouble, causing his death April 24, 
1855, aged 49 years, 6 months and 3 days. He is buried in Ben- 
shoff Hill cemetery. 

Elder Solomon Benshoff, of whom mention is made elsewhere, 
was his brother. 


Joseph Berger was born July 20, 1805, in Somerset County, 
Pennsylvania, and was reared near Meyersdale. He married Mary 
Hess, and they were among the first members of the Jacobs Creek 


congregation. He was a deacon in 1849 and shortly after that was 
called to the ministry, and later to the eldership. 

His family- consisted of six sons and two daughters. His 
l)reaching was principally in his home congregation, and usually 
in the German language. After he had preached a sermon in the 
German he would make an announcement for one in the future to 
be conducted by some English-speaking preachers. He continued 
to serve the church as elder until a few years prior to his death. 


D. R. Berkey was born in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, 
June 9, 1871. At the age of four years he was left homeless, and 
was brought up mostly among strangers with very little religious 

While attending a revival meeting at Conemaugh, Pennsylvania, 
conducted by Elder George S. Rairigh, he was made to feel the need 
of a Savior, and was baptized by Brother John C. Harrison. 

In the Montgomery congregation, Indiana County, Pennsyl- 
vania, he was called to the deacon office in June, 1904. He was 
elected to the ministry in the same congregation November 10, 
1907, and was advanced to the second degree one year later. In 
1912 he moved to the Manor congregation, where he now labors 
in the Christian ministry. He also preaches for the Chess Creek 
congregation under the direction of the Mission Board of Western 

(Portr.nit on Tage 128.) 


Andrew and Catharine (Fyock) Berkey lived near the Shade 
Creek, Paint Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. They 
were members of the Seventh Day Baptist Church. Mr. Berkey 
was called to the ministry in that denomination, but did not exer- 
cise in the office. To this union were born twelve children — five 
sons and seven daughters. Of this large family of children, Jos- 
eph was the fifth son and eleventh child. 

Joseph Berkey was born December 10, 1822. The educational 
advantages of those days were few, yet he learned to read both 
the German and English languages. From his father he learned 
cabinet-making, painting and milling as well as farming. 

He married Miss Mary Berkebile. They were the happy par- 
ents of the following children: Elizabeth Gordon, Hannah Shaffer, 
Hiram J.. Daniel J.. Caroline Shaflfer, Mary .Ann Peldey, Frank, 
and Ellen Wertz. Of these all are living but Sister Pebley. Dan- 
iel J. is a deacon and liannah is a deaconess. Not many years 


Elder Joseph Berkey. 

after their marriage they united with the Church of the Brethren. 
They bought and moved onto a large tract of timbered land, near 
where the present town of Hagevo is located, and near the foot- 
hills of the Alleghany Mountains. Here he cleared away the tim- 
ber sufificiently to erect his humble dwelling. Here he carved out 
a fruitful farm and reared his family. 

Brother Berkey was a powerful man phj-sically, and a mod- 
ern Nimrod, as well as a successful fisherman. Whenever the 
family was in need of fresh meat he would shoulder his rifle and 
start for the woods, and it wasn't long until he returned with a 
deer, a bear or some other wild game. He knew the haunts of 
the wild beasts and the favorite fishing places on the Shade Creek. 

Brother Berkey was called to the ministry in the Shade Creek 
congregation in 1851 or 1852 and rapidly grew into prominence. 
When the War of the Rebellion broke out Brother Berkey became 
much concerned about the Brethren who were drafted into the 
service of their country and asked that the church raise the money 
to buy their freedom. This the church felt unable to do. Brother 
Berkey, himself being drafted, decided to go with his brethren to 
the front and take care of them. They refused to bear arms but 
offered to do anything else honorable. After being marched from 


place to place for months, and scarcely knowing what to do with 
these non-combatants, they were tinally, at Brother IJerkey's sug- 
gestion, consigned to a hospital camp in Philadelphia, where they 
rendered valuable service. It was while here that Brother Berkey 
had the sight of one eye injured by a drop of whitewash falling 
into it. Later in life this, probably, led to his blindness. 

Brother Berkey's first wife died, and some years later he was 
married to Mrs. Catharine Custer, in whose home they lived until 
her death. The last eleven years he made his home with his son- 
in-law and daughter. Brother and Sister Aaron D. Shaffer, where 
he died. After leaving the farm he did much painting and grain- 
ing and some carpentering. While thus engaged he had a severe 
fall, whicli nearly cost him his life, and from which he recovered 
slowly. He often said that fall made him ten years older. 

Brother Berkey was early in his ministerial life called to the 
eldership, and he soon distinguished himself as a pillar in the 
church, filling many pulpits, assisting in elections and ordinations, 
doing committee work and organizing churches. Besides having 
the oversight of a growing, prosperous home congregation, at dif- 
ferent times he had charge of neighboring churches. Regarding the 
ordinances of the church he readily became authority, and his help- 
ful counsel and judicious advice were much in demand. lie was a 
faithful Bible student and a forceful preacher. His sermons were 
impressive, argumentative, and strongly doctrinal. They were de- 
livered with such a spirit that the listener could not help l)Ut con- 
clude that he was deeply interested in his sulijcct. lie had little 
use for a timepiece, put preached as he was led by tlic Spirit, re- 
gardless of the length of the sermon. 

During the fifty-seven years of his ministry, Elder Berkey 
traveled many miles on foot and horseback, through the wilds of 
the Alleghany Mountains, through all kinds of weather, to do the 
bidding of his Master. Besides his lal)ors in his own congrega- 
tion and District, he traveled through many of the States of the 
East and Middle West. He was often selected to represent his 
church as delegate at Annual and District Conferences. In 1.S72 
he was elected a member of the first Home Mission Board of the 
District, being elected for a term of three years. Twice he was 
Moderator of District Meeting and three times his District elected 
him delegate on the Standing Committee. 

Elder Berkey was a friend of the young, and showed a ten- 
der concern for their welfare. I'p to the last day of his life the 
church and what to do for it was the chief subject of conversation. 
The last seven years of his life were spent in blindness. After he 
had retired from his long, active life, he had hoped to spend the 
remainder of his days in reading and meditation, but he was 


doomed to disappointment. He came to his daughter's home, in 
Johnstown, and two eye specialists were called to examine his 
eyes. When through with the examination he asked them what 
the verdict was. They were compelled to tell him that there was 
no hope — that he never would see again in this life. The disap- 
pointment was so great that he burst into tears. He returned to 
his home and bore his affliction with Christian fortitude. He 
preached a number of years after he was blind. His familiarity 
with his Bible enabled him to quote numerous passages of Scrip- 
ture and tell where to find them. 

When his son-in-law, Brother Shaffer, was dangerously ill 
with pneumonia. Elder Berkey worried very much, wondering 
what would become of him should Brother Shafifer die. The chil- 
dren and friends tried to comfort him, assuring him there were 
plenty of other homes open for him, but he would not be com- 
forted. He prayed to die. When, on the morning of April 29, 
1909, Brother M. K. Johns had assisted him from his bed and back 
again, he expressed the hope that that would be the last time 
any one needed to help him, and folded his hands across his 
breast, and in a short time the spirit had gone to God. His age 
was 86 years, 4 months and 19 days. 

Funeral services were conducted in the Berkey meetinghouse 
by Elders S. P. Zimmerman and D. S. Clapper, from Amos 4: 12, 
and interment was made in the adjoining cemetery. Several hours 
after the funeral of Elder Berkey his son-in-law, Aaron D. Shafifer, 
died. He was buried at the same place, the funeral being con- 
ducted by the same brethren. 


"Big" Peter Berkey, as he was familiarly known in order to 
distinguish him from another man of the same name, lived in Paint 
Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. He was a farmer. He 
was reared in the Mennonite faith. He married Sarah Wolford. 
She was reared in the Presbyterian Church. Both became faith- 
ful members of the Church of the Brethren in the early days of 
the church at Shade Creek, before that church became a separate 
congregation. Brother Berkey was called to the ministry and for 
a number of years served the church in that capacity. He was a 
splendid 1)rother, but was not what might be termed a great public 
speaker. It is said that he preached more efifectually with his tears 
than with his words. Perhaps he never preached a sermon with- 
out shedding tears. His services were in German. He reared a 
very influential family, who were useful church workers. One 
daughter, Susan, was married to Lewis Cobaugh, who was a fine 
speaker for a number of years; Rachel married Stephen Stutzman, 


a prominent deacon in the Concniau.^li congregation, later in the 
Johnstown congregation, and still later in the West Johnstown 
congregation; Samuel, a young minister of more than ordinary 
ability, but who, unfortunately, died young: and Jacob, for many 
years a deacon in the Shade and Johnstown congregations. 

Peter Berkey was born in 1795 and died in 1862. Sister 
Berkey was born in 1805 and died in 1883. Both are buried in 
Grand View cemetery, Johnstown. Brother Berkey and his son, 
.^anniel, were elected to the ministry in what is now the Shade 
Creek congregation on the same day. 


Samuel Berkey, oldest son of Peter and Susan (W^olford) 
Berkey, was l)orn in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, August 29, 
1825. He died after an illness lasting but six days, January 29, 
1852, at the age of 26 years and 5 months, and is buried in Pleas- 
ant Hill cemetery (Benshoft). He was a man of more than ordi- 
nary ability. A farmer boy, reared under the inlluence of the 
church, he early gave his heart to the Savior. 

He was a fine school-teacher, being one of the first who taught 
grammar in this part of the State. He was elected to the ministry 
while a single man, and quite young. This was unusual for those 
days, as men pretty well advanced in life were generally the 
ones called to do the church's work. 

He was married to Mary Stutzman, daughter of Elder Jacob 
Stutzman, October 6, 1846. He was a contrilnitor to the Gospel 
\'isitor, and an agent for the same. Shortly before his death he 
recommended that the Visitor be published monthly and that mat- 
ter that was not original be admitted to its columns. In his teach- 
ing he was thorough, in his preaching, eloquent, and in his de- 
fense of the New Testament doctrines, uncom])romising. He 
preached in the English language. 

" During his short lifetime he did one thing that will long he 
remembered. .\ certain man, named McCleary, a minister in 
another denomination, challenged Brother Berkej' to debate on 
the ordinances of the Brethren Church. Brother Berkey accepted 
the challenge and defeated the learned minister. But when the 
man began to quote Greek and Latin, which Brother Berkey had 
never studied, he proposed to send for a minister who was learned 
in those languages. Rev. McCleary answered, ' .'Ml right, bring 
any Dunker minister here that you can get.' Then Brother 
I'erkey wrote to Elder James Quinter. who consented to come. 
A meeting was arranged for and held in the Horner meetinghouse 
of the old Conemaugh congregation. Elder Quinter debated with 
Rev. McCleary three days before a large audience who came from 


far and near. Elder Quinter defeated him on every proposition 
the first and second days. On the third day Rev. McCleary re- 
sorted to personal abuse and made such slanderous remarks that 
his own church members were disgusted and ashamed. Elder 
Quinter demonstrated that the Brethren are following the teach- 
ings of the Gospel in observing the ordinances of feet-washing, 
the Lord's Supper, etc., and also that the Brethren are not all 
ignorant fanatics." 


Elder John Berkley was born one mile east of Berkley's 
Mills, Somerset County, .Pennsylvania, in 1798. He was a son 
of John Berkley, Sr., of whom mention is made in the history of 
the Elk Lick congregation. Elder Berkley had the following 
brothers: Jonathan, an elder; Samuel, a minister; Jacob, Solomon 
and Ludwick. John grew to manhood on his father's farm. His 
opportunities for an education were few, and all the education he 
received was in the German .language. 

He was married to Susan Miller, of Brothers Valley Township. 
They early united with the church. They were the parents of fovir 
sons: Levi, who died early in life, Cornelius, Peter and Josiah. 
The last three named were ministers. The daughters were, Eliza, 
married to Tobias Myers, and Susan, married to Abraham Lichty. 

F'or the main facts in this biography I am indebted to J. M. 
Berkley, a grandson of Elder Berkley. I quote from his letter: 
" He was of a congenial and affable disposition, of well-balanced 
temperament and judicial mind — a man that was unldemished and 
unsullied by the frivolities and vanities of life. It is said of 
him that he was of a humorous nature and yet was never known 
to engage in a loud laugh. A smile or a grin was the only ex- 
pression noticeable at any time. 

" He was admitted to the ministry in 1847 and promoted to 
the office of bishop in 1849 of the then Glade church, and at the 
division of that District he became the bishop of the Elk Lick 
church. (I am inclined to believe these dates are too late. — 
Author.) He had the scriptural qualifications to a pronounced 
degree — so much so that he was called out of his District to 
many places in official visits. He was called as far as Ohio, 
which in those early days was not an easy trip to make. 

" It is said of him that he had good natural attainments of a 
public speaker. To illustrate: One of the citizens of Meyer's 
Mills, belonging to the Lutheran Church, when on his way to 
hear old Berkley preach, and being asked why he went to his 
church, replied that though he did not understand one word that 
Bishop Berkley preached, yet he received more inspiration from 


his sermons than any man he ever heard. His life, his conduct, 
liis expressions of face were ever an inspiration to all with whom 
he came in contact, whether in or out of the pulpit. 

" While his education was very limited, he had ambitions far 
beyond his attainments. He was one of the pioneers in the ad- 
vancement of the public school system, which at that time was in 
an embryo state. He was an advocate and promulgator of the 
public school system in his community when it was not popular 
to be lined up with the advancement of knowledge. It is said that 
he subscribed the first twenty-five dollars toward the erection of a 
public schoolhouse in Meyersdale. 

" His three sons, Cornelius. Peter and Josiah, who entered 
the ministry, were all good and useful men in the church. Peter 
had the best education, and was the most forceful, but died young. 
The associate ministers of the subject under consideration were 
Paul Wetzel, C. G. Lint, William Horner, David Livengood and 
his son, Peter. He fell asleep February 2, 1865, aged 67 years, 5 
months and 2 days, and is buried in Union cemetery at Meyers- 
dale. Funeral sermon by M. Kimmel and others from 1 Cor. 4: 1. 
He was a minister about thirty years. 

" The foregoing is a short biography (all I can write) of the 
life and works of grandfather, Bishop John Berkley." 

Though Elder Berkley died a year before the State was di- 
vided into Districts and District Meetings were held, we find 
his name five times as a member of the Stamliiig Committee o\ the 
Annual Meeting. 


Jonathan Berkley was a son of John Berkley, Sr., and was born 
on his father's farm near Berkley's Mills, Somerset County, Penn- 
sylvania, December 17, 1793. His education was such as the coun- 
try schools afforded in his day, and was principally in the German 
language, though he could read and write the English fairly well. 

He was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Lichty, daughter 
of John Lichty, of near Salisbury. Miss Lichty was born Novem- 
ber 23, 1800. .'\fter marriage they bought the farm near Sipesville, 
in Lincoln Township, now known as the Ephraim Speicher farm. 
F"ifteen children were born to this union. Five of them passed 
to the spirit world in their boyhood and girlhood days: viz., Sam- 
uel, Edward, Joel, Mary and Anna. Those that grew to manhood 
and womanhood are the following: Susannah, married to Daniel 
Baer; Sarah, married first time to David Horner and second 
time to George Schrock; Jonathan, married to Lizzie Snyder; 
Ezra, married to Lydia Miller; l\lizal)eth, married to Simon Hang- 
er; Dinali, married to John Keim; Caroline, married to Jonas 


Flickinger; Catharine, married to Daniel Flickinger; Lydia, mar- 
ried to Wesley Saylor, and John, married to Anna Miller. Of 
these three are living: Mrs. Jonas Flickinger and John J., of Water- 
loo, Iowa, and Mrs. Wesley Saylor, of Central City, Nebraska. 

Brother Berkley, in addition to being a farmer, had also 
learned the cooper trade. He was also capable of making the 
shoes for his large family. 

Brother and Sister Berkley were charter members of the 
Quemahoning congregation, and for a number of years regularly 
opened their doors for holding meetings. He was called to the 
ministry, and after the death of Elder John Forney he was or- 
dained to the eldership. He was zealous in church work. He 
would not miss church services when health permitted him to at- 
tend. His mode of traveling was horseback. He would often ride 
fifteen miles to fill appointments and return the same day. The 
appointments were scattered over a large territory in those days. 

There were no meetinghouses and the meetings were held in 
houses, barns, and appointments were scattered all over the 
Quemahoning congregation. All the children that grew to ma- 
turity became members of the Church of the Brethren, and Jon- 
athan was a deacon. Ezra died in Waterloo, Iowa. All the rest 
died in Pennsylvania. 

Elder Berkley died November 17, 1856, aged 62 years, and 11 
months. His funeral was preached by Elder Jacob Hauger, from 
Philippians 1: 21, and he was buried in the family burying ground 
on the old farm. Sister Berkley died October 24, 1889, aged 88 
years, 11 months and 1 day, after having lived in lonely widow- 
hood thirty-three years. She is buried by the side of her hus- 


Another son of John Berkley, Sr., was Samuel. He was born 
and reared on the Berkley homestead. He was born October 1, 
1810. On April 25, 1830, he was married to Miss Katherine Hauger. 
The date of his election seems to be lost. He labored in the Elk 
Lick congregation. He died May 9, 1859, at the comparatively 
young age of 48 years, 7 months and 8 days. His widow died 
May 6, 1874, leaving six children, viz.; Rebecca, Perry, Lydia, 
Elizabeth, Ezra and Sally. 


Cornelius Berkley, son of Elder John and Susan (Miller) 
Berkley, was born on a farm one mile north of Meyersdale, Penn- 
sylvania, December 29, 1824. He grew to manhood on the farm. 


Cornelius Berkley. 

His educational privileges were limited to the schools as they 
then existed. 

On March 5, 1848, he was married to Susan Myers, daughter 
of Samuel Myers, of Berlin. In early life they made a profession 
of faith and were received into the church. They moved on a 
farm along the plank road lietween Somerset and Lavansville, 
into a conununity where at that time the Dunkor faitli was held 
in contempt, and was even laughed at. This wa.s, however, be- 
cause it was not understood. Brother Berkley's faith and perse- 
verance were strong, and in a few years the family, by their 
Christian influence and labors, had gathered a lot of friends about 
them, the result being that a meetinghouse was built on a i)art of 
his farm. 

Not many years after tliat he was elected to the ministry. 
Though feeling keenly the lack of l)etter educ?ition, yet he took 
the yoke upon himself, and in his crude way began preaching 
the unadulterated Gospel. By persistent efifort he became, in a 
measure, efficient, and by his devout and righteous life was meas- 
urably successful. He worked hard during the week on the farm, 
and on Sundays he would saddle his horse and go out in the 
mountains and preach, thereby accomplishing much good. 


From the farm they moved to Meyersdale, where they lived 
for some years. The last ten years they lived close to the Middle 
Creek church, where he continued to preach. 

He died January 30, 1888, aged 63 years, 1 month and 1 day. 
He is buried in the cemetery of the Middle Creek church, by the 
side of a little stream of mountain water, in which he buried many 
persons in Christian baptism. 


Peter Berkley, the third son of Elder John Berkley, was born 
near Meyersdale, January 27, 1833. He was married to Sally 
Meyers, daughter of Samuel Meyers, of near Berlin, October 29, 
1854. In 1855 he united with the church, and in June of the same 
he was called to the ministry in the Elk Lick congregation, with 
C. G. Lint and William Horner. It is said that he was fairly 
well educated and gave promise of becoming a prominent minister, 
but death claimed him when yet a young man. He died Octo- 
ber 17, 1865, aged 32 years, 8 months and 20 days. He left a young 
widow and three sons, Emanuel, Harvey and Mahlon. 


Josiah Berkley, son of Elder John and Susan (Miller) Berk- 
ley, was born near Meyersdale, Somerset County. Pennsylvania, in 
1835. His brothers were: Levi, Cornelius and Peter, and his 
sisters, Eliza Myers and Susan Lichty. He united with the 
Church of the Brethren in 1854, being baptized by Elder Elias 
K. Buechley. He was united in marriage to Anna Miller, daugh- 
ter of Jacob L. Miller, of Middle Creek, in 1858. One daughter 
was born to this union. 

In 1859 they moved to the Indian Creek congregation, West- 
moreland County. In 1861 he was called to the ministry of the 
Word in the same place. In 1865 they moved back to Middle 
Creek congregation. Somerset County, where he still resides. He 
was ordained to the eldership in 1877, and after the death of 
Elder Adam F. Snyder, became the elder in charge of the Middle 
Creek congregation. His wife died December 26, 1902. For over 
half a century Elder Berkley has preached a free and saving 
Gospel. The most of his ministerial labors were done in his 
home congregation, yet in his best years he traveled a good deal 
among the churches of the District, attending love feasts, and 
doing other church work. He is an earnest, well-wishing, and 
willing preacher. He is in his eightieth year. 



Norman W. Berkley, of In'riulalc, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 
is a descendant of one of the old families of the Church of the 
Brethren in Western Pennsylvania. His father, Israel Berkley, 
was a son of Jacob Berkley, who was a brother of Elder John 
Berkley, one of the early ministers in Somerset County. Israel 
Berkley married Miss Annie Elizabeth Lint, daughter of Gillian 
Lint, and sister of Elder C. G. Lint, of Meyersdale. 

To this union were born: Clayton, Xorman \V., Albert U., 
Harry E., Charles. Jacob, SamucJ J., a niin'ster, Israel, Minnie 
Margaret, Emma, Eliza and Annie. 

Norman W. Berkley was born at llcrkloy's Mills, SoMiersct 
County, Pennsylvania, August 19, 1860. He was educated in 
the public schools of Cambria County, and normal schools of 
Cambria and Somerset Counties: he also took a business course 
at Juniata College, and a course of mechanical drawing and 
electric motors and dynamos through I. C. S. of Scranton. 

Ten years of his life were spent in teaching school in the 
various boroughs now included in the city of Johnstown. lie 
resigned his position as principal of the Roxbury schools in 
1890 to enter the employment of the Lorain Steel Company as 
a timekeeper. After about two years in the time department, 
he was placed in charge of the planer department where, for 
eighteen years, the arduous duties of a foreman of a large number 
of men rested upon him. In 1890 he was transferred to the gen- 
eral ofifice in charge of the distributing department. In 1915 his 
responsibilities were again increased by being placed at the head 
of the time and distributing departments as chief timekeeper, 
which position he is now still engaged in. 

In March. 1883, Brother Berkley was united in marriage to 
Miss Laura Belle Davis, oldest daughter of Chauncey and Re- 
becca Davis, of Johnstown. No children were born to them. 
l)Ut a motherless orphan girl. Mrs. Mao (Speichcr) Emnicrt. was 
adopted by them and educated. 

Early in life, when only a boy. he was baptized into Christ 
and began his religious work. There being no Sunday-school of 
the Church of the Brethren, the M. E. Sunday-school was attended 
until 1893, when the Church of the Brethren at Roxbury was 
built. Ever since then he has actively, as pupil, teacher, chor- 
ister and superintendent, been connected with this school. 

On till' day of the organization of the West Johnstown con- 
gregation, January 26. 1899. having l)een previously elected in 
the Johnstown congregation. Brother Berkley was installed 
into the ministry by Elders Hiram Musselman and David Hil- 



debrand. He was advanced to the second degree in 1900, and on 
May 4, 1915, he was ordained to the eldership by Elders W. M. 
Howe and H. S. Replogle. In June of the same year he was 
cliosen elder in charge of the West Johnstown congregation. 
(Portrait on Page 190.) 


Albert U. Berkley, third son of Israel and Annie (Lint) Berk- 
ley, was born February 11, 1862, at Berkley's Mills, Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania. With his parents he moved to near Johns- 
town, Cambria County, in 1866. He was reared on the farm and 
received his education in the schools of the county. 

On April 11, 1886, he was united in marriage to Miss Lovina 

Elder .Albert U. Berkley and Wife. 

Hershberger, daughter of Hiram and Sarah (Roseman) Hersh- 
berger, of Johnstown. To this union were born: Mabel F., married 
to Curtis C. Lambert, and residing in Johnstown; N. William 
and an infant (both deceased). Ivy May, at home, and John M., 
married to Miss Roxy Heater, also living in the city. For many 
years Brother Berkley was engaged in the dairy business, selling 
milk in the city, but the last several years he has retired from 
active secular business. Ever since 1866 he has lived at and in 
Johnstown, their present residence being at 37 Derby Street. 

Brother Berkley united with the Conemaugh Church of the 
Brethren March 20, 1878. His wife was baptized March 18, 1896. 
In the Johnstown congregation he was called to the ministry June 
18, 1894. In 1899 he was elected to the eldership in the West 
Johnstown congregation, but did not see fit to accept. On May 4, 


1915, he was ordained to the eldership in tlie West Jolinstovvn 

Brother Berkley's Sunday-school actixitics began in the Meth- 
odist Sunday-school in Roxbury, as a pupil. When the Church of 
the Bretiiren opened a Sunday-school in Roxbury he was the first 
superintendent. He has frequently been Sunday-school teacher. 
He has no record of his work in the ministry, but he has liad 
his share of baptisms, anointings and funerals. 

Since retiring from business he has done some accci)table 
work in tlie evangelistic field. In tlie nine scries of meetings 
he held in the past few years. 170 accepted Clirist. He frequent- 
ly represents his church in District and Annual Meetings. He is 
a member of the Bible Institute Committee. 

Samuel J. Berkley and Wife. 



Samuel J. Berkley, son of Israel and Annie E. (Lint) Berkley, 
was horn at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, March 7, 1877, and was 
reared on the farm near the city. He attended school in Roxbury, 
now the eighth ward, Johnstown, until he was old enough to teach. 
He also attended Juniata College in 1895-7. He followed teach- 
ing five years. He was principal of one of the eighth ward schools, 
Johnstown. After leaving the schoolroom he worked several 
years in the auditing department of the general office of the Cam- 
bria Steel Company. 

Brother Berkley was united in marriage to Sister Lizzie M. 
Lichty, of Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, June 30, 190L After residing 
in Johnstown several years, they moved upon a farm near Meyers- 
dale, in 1905, where they are now residing. 

Brother Berkley united with the church at Johnstown, March 
13, 1894. He was elected deacon September 21, 1911, minister 
September 22, 1912, and advanced to the second degree Octol)er 
19, 1913, all in the Summit Mills congregation, where he now 


Jacob Blough was horn on the old Blough homestead, one 
mile north of Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, November 
30, 1805. He was a son of Jacob and Magdalene (Gnagey) Blough, 
and grandson of Christian Blough, who settled on this same 
farm about 1867. The Bloughs are of Swiss descent, several 
brothers having come from Switzerland to the United States 
November 3, 1750, and settled. in the eastern part of the State, 
presumably in what is now Lebanon County. 

From there, two, who probably were brothers, emigrated to 
Somerset County, Christian eettling near Berlin, as stated above, 
in 1767, and Jacob, who settled on the Quemahoning Creek near 
its junction with the Stony Creek. From these two branches 
or families came practically all the Blauchs, Blouchs and Bloughs 
in the United States and Canada west of the Alleghany Moun- 
tains. In the eastern and southern parts of the State, however, 
is a large number of descendants of those who remained when 
the two came to Somerset County. Cliristian, mentioned above, 
was only seven years of age when be landed in this country. 
At the age of about twenty-four, with, his young wife, he settled on 
several hundred acres of woodland in Brothers Valley Township, 
near Berlin. Here he died in 1877, when only about thirty-four 
years of age, leaving his widow and a number of children in rather 
poor circumstances. He was buried on the farm, where there is 


now a family graveyard in which some of tlie family have been 
buried for five generations. 

Jacob Blough, Sr., had five sons and about the same number 
of daughters, all of whom emigrated to Ohio, with the excep- 
tion of David, who died young, Jacob, Jr., the subject of this 
sketch, and one daughter, Anna, who was never married. 

Jacob Blough grew up a farmer, and on June 18, 1826, was 
married to Miss Barbara Saylor, daughter of John Saylor, of near 
Meycrsdale. Barbara Saylor was born May 10, 1810. Jacob's 
parents were members of the United Brethren Church, and for 
many years the meetings of that denomination were held in their 
barn, and their home was the stopping place for the circuit riders 
or preachers on their way to Ohio and back. Miss Saylor's par- 
ents were Mennonites, so the selection of a church home became 
quite a question for the young couple. They decided to study the 
Scriptures and let them determine the choice. Becoming satis- 
fied that the faith and practice of the Brethren were substan- 
tiated by the Bible they -were baptized into the communion of 
that church several years after their marriage. 

Brother Blough had an ordinary German school education. 
He was also able to read and write English. He served the 
church as deacon some years, when he was elected to the min- 
istry in about 1851. He was ordained to the eldership in 1868, 
in which capacity he labored faithfully until age incapacitated 
him. Elder Blough was not what one would term a great preacher. 
His sermons were seldom long. Perhaps his greatest sermons 
were found in the pious, godly, self-denying life he lived. Here 
I quote from his " Memorial," written liy Elder W. G. Schrock, 
after his death: "He was a ciuiet, Init ])cr.sistcnt and zealous 
worker in the church he loved so dearly to the end, and his seat 
was never vacant in the sanctuary except on account of sickness. 
His life was characterized by untiring patience, and his house 
always given to hospitality. He occupied a very convenient and 
central i)1acc in the congregation, and it was here that the breth- 
ren in their travels, especially ministers, found a home and wel- 
come retreat. Wliilc the green turf may encircle his lonely grave 
in the years to come, and the marble slab mark his resting-place, 
he built for himself a more enduring monument in the hearts of 
those who knew him best, by his patient continuance in well- 
doing, as well as his peculiar self-denying principles he prac- 
ticed in his lifetime. 

"His labors of love are ended, but he still continues to 
live in the hearts of the people. The high esteem in which he was 
held by the people was shown in the unusually large crowd of 
people that followed his remains to their last resting place. Thus 


passed away a Christian worker, after having spent almost an 
entire lifetime in the service of his Master. Elder Blough leaves 
an aged widow, eleven children, fifty-seven grandchildren and 
thirty-one great-grandchildren to mourn their loss. All his chil- 
dren became members of the church in their young days, and it 
fell to his lot, in his old age, to first break the family circle." 

In addition to being a farmer and preacher he was also a 
line mechanic. With the help of his older sons he was for years 
the manufacturer of thrashing machines, which were among the 
first, if not the first, in the country. He also operated a cider 
press to which the farmers from far and near brought their ap- 
ples to have them converted into cider. 

Elder Blough was a lover of music, being a sweet singer. 
This is a gift that has been bestowed upon his posterity all down 
the line. Most of his traveling was done on horseback. He 
made several trips to the West to visit his brothers and sisters and 
cousins, as well as his children, a number of whom settled in 
the West. Grandfather and Grandmother Blough were the par- 
ents of eleven children, as follows: Valentine, Emanuel J., Philip, 
Andrew, John J., Lydia, married to Tobias Buechly; Susannah, 
married to Herman Boger; David, Mary, married to Jacob Baer; 
Joseph, and Annie, married to Joseph Gnagey. Valentine and 
Emanuel were elders, and John was a deacon. Eleven of his 
grandsons (several by marriage) are ministers. 

He lived and died upon the same farm where he was born. 
He died June 27, 1886, aged 80 years, 6 months and 27 days, and 
was buried in the family burying ground by the side of his father 
and grandfather. Funeral services were conducted in the Grove 
meetinghouse by Elders Joel Gnagey, Jonas Lichty, George 
Schrock and Michael Weyand from Revelation 14: 13. 

He and his companion lived together sixty years and nine 
days. She lived in lonely widowhood until May 24, 1892, when she 
died at the age of 82 years, and 14 days. Her funeral also was 
conducted in the Grove house by the home ministers, and she was 
buried by the side of her husband. 

Elder Blough lived a short distance from the Grove meeting- 
house, in the Brothers Valley congregation. Their home was 
a great place for brethren to put up at over love feasts and other 
meetings. When the Annual Meeting was held there, in 1849, he 
gave the boj's instructions that when the Virginia Brethren would 
arrive their horses should be put in the stables (others were turned 
into the fields), telling them they could know them by the sheep's 
grey suits they wore. 



When Tobias Blough, youngest son of John and Christena 
(Miller) P.lough was born, the father wrote the following prayer: 

den % dacj QcT{}lef^ Jn/ laht' /^fl ^^ 
7st ^^77^ einev rphn cicJ p Die arrnc- 
yrrUreliQc melt (jebof^if'en fctn nqwa 
i)et('t TobiaT hiauci) riott rnohh^ 
ij)7?adc rcevfcTi y< eincraprorrjrncr? 

^u ernem Pehc^is e^yde arvert 

Prayer- I'roplipoy. 

Translated this reads: "The 8th day of October, in tiic year 
1(S11, is to us a son born into this wearisome world. His name is 
Tobias Blough. May God grant him grace to lead a pious and 
a holy life, to a blissful end. Amen." 

From his life work it is evident that this prayer-])rophecy 
was answered to the fullest extent. II is grandfather. Christian 
Blanch, landed in this country, from tlie Canton of Rerne, Swit- 
zerland, November 3, 1750, being at tliat time only seven years of 
age. His father was a member of the Amish Church, and he made 
some cfTort to persuade Tobias to embrace the same faith. How- 
ever, when he and his wife, whose maiden name was Maria 
Blough, became acquainted with the doctrines and practices of 
the Brethren, they attached themselves to the church when yet 
young. He was born on a large farm, now owned by his son- 
in-law, Henry Spaugy, in Qucmahoning Township, Somerset Coun- 
ty, several miles northwest of ITooversville. TTcre he lived, reared 
his family, and died November 21, 18«'-!4, aged 73 years. 1 month 
and 13 days. He is buried in the Maple Spring church cemetery. 

Elder Blough was called to the ministry in 18.S1, being the 
first minister elected in the Qucmahoning church after its or- 


ganization. Six years later he was ordained to the eldership, and 
for a quarter of a century he was the only elder in the congrega- 
tion. His services were in the German language. " He had a 
warm attachment to the church, and was a zealous worker in 
his field of labor. As an able and earnest exhorter he was prom- 
inent as far as he was known, and had he traveled more exten- 
sively he might have become conspicuous among his German 
friends. He was firm in his views of what he conceived to be right 
and not soon moved from his purpose. He had a great and ten- 
der concern for the prosperity and purity of the church, and 
upon realizing that the care of the church was becoming too much 
for his weakened body, he suggested to the church the propriety 
of choosing an assistant in the eldership, which accordingly was 
done on New Year's, 1882, after which he slowly failed until his 
last spell of sickness, which rapidly reduced him, until November 
21, when he breathed his last, in the hope of a glorious resur- 
rection." (Quoted from "A Memoir" by his neighbor and co- 
worker, Emanuel J. Blough.) 

He was one of the horseback preachers, and living at the 
place and in the age in which he did, his services, especially at 
funerals, were in great demand. He also preached considerably 
for other denominations, especially during the war times. There 
were few churches, and not many schoolhouses, in his end of the 
county in which his eloquence was not heard. He was also called on 
committee work in surrounding churches. He was one of the 
delegates from Quemahoning to the first District Meeting. 

During his last illness one of his colaborers asked him whether 
he had a desire for the anointing. His answer was " No, I am pre- 
pared to die without the anointing. You need not go to that 

Elder and Sister Blough were the happy parents of ten chil- 
dren: Annie Bowman, Noah, who moved to the West many years 
ago; Elizabeth Lohr, Mary Berkey, Labias, Josiah, now of the 
State of Washington; Uriah, and Rebecca Spaugy. Besides the 
above, two children died young. The rest grew to manhood and 
womanhood, but all have passed away except Mary, Josiah and 
Rebecca. Two of the sons-in-law, Samuel E. Berkey and Henry 
J. Spaugy, were called to the office of deacon. A number of his 
descendants are members of the Church of the Brethren. 


Jonathan W. Blough was born November 8, 1825, in a small 
log cabin in Quemahoning Township, one and a half miles west of 
Hooversville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and died in Hoovers- 



Klder Jonathan W . BIoiikIi, >Vite, DaiiKhter, Kllen Shaffer, (irandson, Her- 
bert K. Sliaffer, and (ireat-srandtlauKhter, I^eah Hazel Shaffer. 

villc, October 16, 1912, lacking only twenty-two days of lieintj S7 
years of age. He was a son of Peter C. and Christiana (I'";iitli) 
lilough, being the sccf)nd child of a family of ten children. 

His opjiortunities for an education were meager, being onlj- 
those afforded by a four months' subscription school. That he 
applied himself diligently is evident from tlie following " Letter 
of Merit " given him h'eliruary 4, 1(S41, liy his teacher, Daniel 
StufFt: " Jonathan I'lough has been a regular attendant of my school 
and has been under my care for the space of two months. He has 
made excellent progress in learning, such as writing, reading, 
aritlinictic, etc., and al)ovt' all, liis most excellent behavior." He 
learned both Gcrnian and English. He always took much interest 
in education, l)eing one of the earliest patrons of the Huntingdon 
Normal School (now Jun-ata College), having had a son, Elder 
Perry J. Blough, in attendance tliere. His oldest daughter, Mary J., 
a fine Christian lady, was the llrst cook in the same school. In 
literary and del)ating societies he delighted even before the church 
sanctioned such meetings. 

He was married I'^ebruary 22, 1.S52, to Susanna Boger, who was 
liorn in West Virginia July 31. 1.S25. Her father was Christian 


Boger, a deacon, and her grandfather, John Boger, an elder. On 
her mother's side she was a granddaughter of John Forney, Sr. 
She united with the church in her early teens. 

By occupation Brother Blough was a farmer, having lived on 
the same farm from 1855 to 1900, when he removed to Hoovers- 
ville. In June after their marriage he united with the church, and 
two years later was elected to the deaconship, and in June, 1856, he 
was elected to the ministry, being the first minister installed in 
the Pine Grove meetinghouse, which he had helped to build the 
year previous. June 30, 1900, he was ordained to the eldership. 

Their home was blest with two sons and foiir daughters, of 
whom one son, P. J. Blough, of Hooversville, named above. Sister 
Ella Shaffer, of Hooversville, Pa., and Sister Annie Herring, of 
Xokesville, Va., survive. Theirs was a model Christian home, and 
the spiritual atmosphere pervading the home had the efifect of 
bringing the children early to the Savior. Brother and Sister 
Blough journeyed together, hand in hand, sharing each other's 
joys and sorrows, for fifty-nine years and six days, when, February 
8, 1911, she fell asleep in Jesus, leaving her aged companion to 
travel the remainder of the journey alone. Elder Blough was a 
well-preserved man physically, and it was only during the last 
few years that he failed very perceptibly, while his mental powers 
were unimpaired to the end. September 29 kind brethren carried 
him to the church across the street, where he enjoyed his last com- 

For fifty-six yars Elder Blough preached a free and a saving 
Gospel. Living near the eastern boundary of a large congregation 
made his ministerial labors ciuite strenuous. Many and long were 
the horseback rides taken to fill appointments and to do general 
church work. During half a century his counsels helped to solve 
the church problems and direct the church into new lines of church 
activities. He had the pleasure of seeing the church grow from 
an humble beginning until it numbered well on to 400, and also had 
the pleasure of helping to erect all the houses of worship in the 
congregation, and seeing Sunday-schools established in all of them. 

He was among the first to recognize the need of Sunday- 
schools, and it was largely through his efforts that the first Sunday- 
school (Pine Grove) in the congregation was organized. Down to 
the last years he enjoyed being in the Bible class, and taking part 
in the discussion of the Scriptures. He scarcely ever erred in 
his explanations of difficult passages. He was a deep thinker, and 
a persistent Bible student. This enabled him to quote many pas- 
sages of Scripture in his sermons. Most of his work was done in 
the home church, and he was not widely known outside of the 
State District. He was frequently delegate to the church confer- 


ences. The first twenty or twenty-five years he preached in the 
German language, but when there was no longer any need for such 
services he did what few men have done — changed entirely to 
the English. He was a staunch supporter of our church publications 
and missionary activities. 

Funeral services were conducted in the Hooversville cnurch 
by Elders S. P. Zimmerman, W. M. Howe and J. E. Blough. In- 
terment was made in the Maple Spring cemetery by the side of his 
wife, and near the graves of his coworkers, Elders Tobias Blough 
and Emanuel J. Blough. Five of his grandsons and another young 
brother carried him to his last resting place. 


Valentine Blough, oldest son of Elder Jacob and Sister Bar- 
bara (Saylor) Blough, was born on the old Blough homestead, 
near Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, February 14, 1828. 
He grew to manhood on his father's farm. He made proper use of 
every opportunity to gain an education, both in the German and 
English languages. He qualified himself to teach school, and fol- 
lowed that profession nine years in the schools of his county. 

He was married to Miss Catharine Cober, daughter of Samuel 
Cober, November 30, 1851. Besides teaching he was a successful 
farmer all his life. He lived on several farms, but the greater 
part of his married life he lived on a large farm in Somerset 
Township, near Geiger Station, three miles northeast of Somerset. 
Me and Sister Blough early united with the Church of the Breth- 
ren in the Brothers Valley (then Berlin) congregation, and it was 
there that he was called to the office of deacon. This office he 
filled faithfully, and after he had moved into the Middle Creek con- 
gregation he was called to the ministry of the Word in the autumn 
of 1867. He " made full proof of his ministry " and soon became 
quite popular, l)oth in his own and in surrounding congregations. 

Living in the extreme northern end of a congregation covering 
a large area made his ministerial labors arduous. In order to 
reach some of the. appointments it was necessary to leave home 
the day before. Sunday was usually one of the hardest and busiest 
days of the week for Brother Blough. Yet it can l)c truthfully said 
of him that he was prompt and punctual in all his church work. 
With him llie Master's business received first attention. Living 
convenient to the Qucmahoning and Brothers Valley congrega- 
tions, he was frequently called upon to preach funerals and assist 
in other church work there. 

,\ number of years before his death he was ordained to the 
eldership, and was associated witli FIcUts Josiali I'erklcy and .Silas 


Hoover in that office. He preached in both the German and the 
English languages, but mostly in the latter, especially so during 
the latter part of his ministry. His preaching was forceful and 
earnest, and his services were in demand. He held some series 
of meetings. Elder Hoover wrote at the time of his death: " In 
the death of Elder Blough the church has lost a faithful elder — 
always at his post, apt to teach, sound in doctrine. He was a 
strong advocate and defender of the doctrine of the church and 
her principles. In him the community lost a good citizen, the 
wife an affectionate husband and the children a kind father." He 
frequently represented his church in Annual and District Meet- 
ings. He served on numerous committees of the District, and in 
1(S89 he represented Western Pennsylvania on the Standing Com- 
mittee of the Annual Meeting at Harrisonburg, Virginia. He was 
a member of the locating committee of the last Annual Meeting 
held in Western Pennsylvania, at Meyersdale, in 1894. 

Elder and Sister Blough were the parents of these children: 
Sarah, married to Henry Casebeer, a deacon; James, for a score 
of years a popular school-teacher, now a retired farmer and sur- 
veyor; Tillie, married to Elder W. M. W^ine, of Woodside. Dela- 
ware; Wilson and Clara. The last two died in childhood. 

Elder Blough was a man of pronounced temperate habits and 
extremely hygienic in his manner of life, with the result that at 
the age of seventy his body was as erect and his step as quick as 
most young men are in their teens. His mind was strong, and he 
had so arranged his temporal afifairs that he might have devoted 
much of his time to church work, when he was suddenl}' called 
from his strenuous life on earth to the " home above." 

He fell asleep in Jesus July 13, 1898, aged 70 years, 4 months 
and 29 days. His funeral was held in the Summit church by his co- 
laborers, Josiah Berkley and Silas Hoover, from John 11: 23. In- 
terment was made in the Schrock cemetery. 

Among father's papers I came across a letter written by Uncle 
Valentine to father during the trying times of the War of the 
Rebellion. This letter shows the character of Elder Blough, and 
at the same time gives us wlio are younger some faint idea of the 
anguish of mind, the loss of property and general suffering en- 
dured by our brethren and others during those four years of war- 
fare. Here is his letter: 

Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. 

October the 29th, A. D. 1862. 
Emanuel Blough and Wife: 

Beloved brother and sister in the Lord: I received your letter, 
dated October the 26th, and we rejoice to hear that you are all 


well, and thanks be to God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 
that we all enjoy the same great and inestimable blessing. We 
were waiting for some time for you to pay us a visit, but as you 
mentioned nothing in your letter, I presume you do not intend 
to come to us this fall. We would be very glad if your circum- 
stances will permit, if you (and your family) would come and see 
us yet before winter. 

I suppose you would like to hear something concerning the 
drafting in our neighborhood. Most of the brethren in our Dis- 
trict, who were subject to be drafted, received exemption for con- 
scientious scruples to take up arms, and some of those who failed 
to attend were drafted and came into serious difiiculties. I know, 
however, of only three or four in our District who had the mis- 
fortune to be hit by the draft, namely: Daniel Kimniel, George 
Hostetler and Ulard Pew (almost my nearest neighbors). Our 
neighborhood (except the nearest neighbors who all escaped) was 
swept almost to a man. Besides those mentioned above were John 
• Pew (who lives on the old farm), Henry Fox, Samuel Rhoads, 
Joseph and Herman Shaffer, Alexander Fluntcr, Solomon Seibert, 
M. Mason, Samuel Frank and Jeremiah Snyder, all living within 
a few miles of ns. liut I hear they are most all at home again. 
Some got exemption, and some, perhaps, hired sul)Stitutes. 

Brother John got exemption on account of his broken leg, 
and I, on account of conscientious scruples to bear arms. What 
my tine will be ! do not know yet. I'ut, blessed I)e God that it 
will be only a penalty in money, and if it should prove to be so 
much that it would take a great part of the perishable things of this 
world, which were given to me by God. I hope the Lord will grant 
me grace and Christian fortitude that I maj' be enabled to give it 
without murmuring, and be enabled to say with Job of old, "The 
Lord has given and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name 
of the Lord." and Hrmly rely on his promise, that in six tribula- 
tions, he will be with his children and in the seventh he will not 
forsake them. 

Perhaps the time is not far distant wlien we will need these 
things no more. If we only have part in that iniieritance which is 
imperislial)le and undeliled, rcser\ed in heaven for those who love 
him. I am >onu'times amazed, when 1 retlect on tlie glory, joy, 
endless felicity and eternal rest of heaven, that our affections are 
so often set on things of the earth which are sometimes taken from 
us in a moment, and not on things above which will last through- 
out the ceaseless ages of eternity. 

It appears to me at present, when I view everything around 
us, that gloom and darkness are gathering around us as dense 
as midnight darkness, and sin and wickedness are increasing so 


fast, that I often think of Sodom and Gomorrah, and am afraid 
that direful judgments may perhaps visit our entire land. And I 
fear there is danger that the salt of our land will lose its savor. 
Wherewithal shall it then be preserved? However, there is yet 
hope. As long as Lot was in Sodom, his presence saved the city, 
and when the people of Nineveh humbled themselves and cried 
mightily unto God, the judgments of God were averted and the city 
was saved. Therefore, we, who know that the fervent prayer 
of a righteous man availeth much, ought to remember the ruler 
of our distracted country at a throne of mercy. Perhaps our diffi- 
culties may be adjusted and peace restored, and devastation, blood- 
shed and crime may take their flight from our shores. 

And, particularly, ought we to pray for us and our dear breth- 
ren and sisters. No doubt many of them do not enjoy the com- 
forts of this life which we have hitherto enjoyed. And if it should 
be the will of our heavenly Father that our faith should be tried, 
that we may stand fast and immovable, and if need be, sacrifice our 
life for Christ's sake, knowing that " if this earthly house of our 
tabernacle is dissolved, we have a house not made with hands, 
eternal in the heavens." 

How often do we rejoice on Saturday evening, after a long 
week of hard labor, trials, temptations and difficulties with which 
we have to contend, in anticipation of Sunday, a day of rest, when 
we expect to assemble ourselves together with our dear brethren 
and sisters, and sing praises to our God. How much more consol- 
ing will it be when our journey of this life will be o'er and we have 
peace with God, and can lay our heads down to sleep in Christ, re- 
joicing in anticipation of the glorious resurrection morn, when 
soul and body will be reunited, and we can meet our friends who 
died in Christ, and see Christ, our Redeemer, face to face! 

This ought to encourage us to brave the storm of persecution 
and try to follow Christ, or his footsteps, regardless of a sinful 
world. But I will come to a close. Remember us at a throne of 

Your brother in love, 

Valentine Blough. 


Emanuel J. Blough, second son of Elder Jacob and Barbara 
(Saylor) Blough, was born one mile north of Berlin, Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania, November 6, 1830, and grew to manhood on 
the farm with his brothers and sisters. He made good use of the 
school privileges of his day, studying both German and English. 
He became proficient in the three R's and spelling, and, perhaps. 


Elder £manuel J. Blougrh and Wife. 

a few other branches, and taught school two years. For some 
years he assisted his father and older brothers in the manufacture 
of thrashing machines. 

He and Miss Caroline Landis were married October 16, 1853, 
Elder John Berkley performing the ceremony. They bought and 
moved on to a large farm in Quemahoning Township, a few miles 
northwest of Hooversville. His wife died November 3, 1856, 
leaving a little two-year-old daughter, Amy. On October 2, 1859, 
he was married to Miss Sarah Barndt, oldest daughter of Nicholas 
Barndt, by Elder Tobias Blough. Their children are Jerome E., 
Jemima E., Silas S., Elijah E. and Jacol) M. 

In 1868 he sold his farm, and after a fruitless prospecting trip 
through the West, he bought a large farm in Concmaugh Town- 
ship, on the Quemahoning Creek. Here he lived till 1872, when he 
moved to a farm in Jenner Townsliip, near Stantons Mills, where 
he lived the remainder of his life. 

Elder Blough took great interest in education, and for some 
years served on the township school bdard. After his call to the 
ministry, however, no persuasion of his neighbors could induce him 
to accept a township office. When asked for a reason, he told 
them he already had a higher office than the township had to offer. 
He made great sacrifices in order that his children might have all 
the educational advantages possible. All four of his sons became 
successful teachers, teaching altogether forty terms of public 
school, while three of them are at present teaching in higher in- 
stitutions of learning. His four sons and son-in-law were called 
to the ministry and eldership. 


His uniting with the church in his single days, which was a 
very rare thing in his time, is evidence of his early piety. Early 
in his married life he was elected deacon in the Quemahoning 
congregation, and in 1865 he was called to the ministry. In order 
to be able to take his whole family to church he early provided 
himself with a suitable conveyance. Later on, when his ministerial 
labors frequently made it necessary to go to the distant meeting 
places to fill appointments, which deprived the family of church 
privileges, he did a very wise thing — bought a farm close enough 
to the Pine Grove meetinghouse that the children could walk to 
church when he was away. Though that was a move void of any 
financial gain, it is very certain that it resulted in untold spiritual 
benefit to the children, all of whom united with the church in their 
young days. 

With Elder Blough the needs and work of the church held 
first place. It was nothing unusual for him to leave his plow in the 
furrow and go to preach a funeral, visit a sick member, baptize 
a penitent soul, carry the message of salvation to the isolated 
in his own congregation or across the Laurel Hill Ridge to the 
scattered members there, solemnize a marriage or assist neigh- 
boring congregations in special church work. If the mother and 
children could do the work in his absence, all right, and if not, 
it had to wait till he returned. He was prompt in keeping ap- 
pointments. No weather was too severe for him to go. 

On January 1, 1882, Brother Blough was ordained to the elder- 
ship of the Quemahoning congregation. During his administra- 
tion, extending over more than a quarter of a century, he had the 
satisfaction of seeing the church prosper. The membership was 
largely increased, meetinghouses were built and rebuilt until there 
were seven, three of which were love-feast houses; Sunday-schools 
were conducted in these churches, strong brethren were called to 
the ministry and deaconship^ and the missionary spirit had so 
grown and developed that the congregation pledged the support of 
a brother on the India field. 

Elder Blough was an early advocate and supporter of Sunday- 
schools, and it was largely through his efifort that the first one in 
the congregation was organized at Pine Grove in 1880. His name 
was on the class book at his death. He was a close student of the 
Word; he also read many religious and historical works, as well as 
debates and books of travel. He was a regular subscriber and 
occasional contributor to, and a constant reader of, our church 
papers from the beginning of the Gospel Visitor, and for some 
time was agent for the same. 

Early in his married life he established the family altar. He 
also found much comfort and strength in secret prayer. His 


children often discovered him wrestling with God when the dark 
clouds were overhanging and threatening the peace of the church. 
These seasons of secret devotion were a source of great comfort 
to him. 

He cared little for publicity, being content to do his duties in 
a quiet way. He sought no honors, but when responsibility was 
placed upon him he did his best willingly. 

He was not widely known outside of his State District, though 
he made several trips to the West to visit his brothers and sisters 
and two to Virginia to his sons. He frequently represented his 
church in District and Annual Conferences. It was when alighting 
from the train in Johnstown, when returning from the Annual 
Conference at Mexico, Juniata County, Pennsylvania, in 1885, that 
he was run down by a train, crippling him for life. This accident 
nearly cost him his life, causing him great suffering for manj' 

He kept no record of his ministerial labors, believing, no doubt, 
that the record was kept in heaven. It is known, however, that 
he preached many funerals, solemnized many marriages and bap- 
tized many converts. He was frequently called to preach funerals 
for outsiders and members of other denominations. His labors 
were given free. He preached in tlie German or English lan- 
guage as the occasion demanded. During the latter part of his 
ministry the German was not rccjuired. He had full faith in the 
anointing service. He did a great deal of it, and he himself re- 
ceived it three times, every time with much blessing. 

His home was noted for its hospitality. It was open to beg- 
gar, tramp and peddler as well as to friend and brother. No 
worthy call was turned down if it was within his power to help. 
He was willing to make sacrifices in order to assist tlic mis- 
sionary cause and the erection of churches. He stood t'irnily on 
the principles of the church, yet in administering discipline, len- 
iency, rather than severity, was his motto. 

When he was well up in the seventies his eyesight failed him 
and for a while he was blind. This was a great affliction, because 
it deprived him of his reading, of which he was so fond. How- 
ever, he bore his affliction with commendable patience. During the 
period of his blindness he continued to preach, either quoting his 
text from memory or having it read by another. After the cat- 
aract was sufficiently developed, it was removed, and once more 
his sight came to him. He was overjoyed when he could once 
more look into the faces of his dear companion, children and 
friends. Though it was somewhat tiresome he was again able to 

Elder Blough was a lover of music, and early in the morning 


his voice could be heard hymning praises to the Father above. 
He had a constant concern for sinners. His last sermon in the 
Pine Grove church, May 27, 1910, vv^as preached from Matthew 11: 
28, 29 and 30 — an appeal to sinners. It was this concern for the 
lost that enabled him to consent to let his j-oungest son, Jacob 
M., go to the India mission field. He had hoped to live to see his 
son and daughter-in-law once more, and as the time for their fur- 
lough grew nearer he became quite anxious, but the good Father 
willed it otherwise, and after an illness of six weeks he passed to 
his reward, August 29, 1910, at the age of 79 years, 9 months and 
23 days. 

The funeral services were in charge of Elder P. J. Blough, 
who was assisted by the home ministers and Elder A. Fyock and 
George Hanawalt. Interment was made in Maple Spring ceme- 
tery, where he had so often stood by the open grave and prayed 
God's benediction upon the mourners. Here Elder Tobias Blough 
was buried and Elder Jonathan W. Blough has since been laid. It 
seems appropriate that these three old soldiers of the cross, who 
for a number of years lived on adjoining farms, and who had so 
peaceably labored together so many years, should be buried al- 
most side by side in the same cemetery, awaiting the resurrection 

At his death he was kindly remembered hy the Blough Asso- 
ciation in the following resolution: "Whereas, We learn with 
extreme sorrow of the death of Rev. Emanuel J. Blough, father 
of Rev. Jerome E. Blough, tliird vice-president of our association, 
and brother of John J. Blough, first vice-president of our associa- 
tion, therefore be it resolved, That our secretary l)e instructed 
to convey our condolence to the friends of the bereaved family. 

" While he will be missed in the home and family and in the 
church which he so faithfully served, we can rejoice that his life 
has been devoted to the cause of spreading Christianity, and that 
he has done what he cnuld to enlist men in the army of Christ, 
thus helping to purify this world of sin. We commend his noble 
life to all the members of the Blough family. 

Signed by Committee, 

Abraham W. Blanch, 
Nathaniel Blough, 
Charles M. Blough, 

Very respectfully, 

Tillman K. Saylor, Secretary. 

The sentiments of this resolution can well be endorsed by all 
who knew him. 



Jerome E. Bloiigh, oldest son of Elder Emanuel J. and Sarah 
(Barndt) Blough, was born near Hooversville in Quemahoning 
Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, August 22, 1861. 
When seven years old the family moved to Conemaugh Township, 
and in 1S72, to near Stantons Mills, Jenner Township, where he 
grew to manhood on the farm with his brothers and sisters. 

The schoolroom always had great attractions for Brother 
Blough. After finishing the grades in the Walter public school 
he attended five terms of Normal School in Stoystown, Pennsyl- 
vania, and part of a term of Summer Normal in Front Royal, Vir- 
ginia. He always held first class and professional certificates. 
He began teaching school in 1880 and taught twenty winter terms 
in succession, ranging in length from five to eight months. He 
taught ten terms in Jenner, Concniaugli and Paint Townships, 
Somerset County; three terms in Richland Township, Cambria 
County, Pennsylvania, and seven terms in the Cannon Branch 
school, Manassas District, Prince William County, Virginia. 

In addition to teaching he has at different times engaged in 
carpentering, contracting, undertaking, farming, bookselling, 
clerking, and is at present writing this history. 

On December 22, 1881, he was married to Miss Mollie M. 
Dietz, daughter of Jacob W. and Sarah (Miller) Dietz. Elder 
Joseph Berkey performing the ceremony. To this union three 
daughters were born; viz., r>ertha A. Keim, Clara M. Paden and 
Cora L. Keim. Tliey have lived two years in the Quemahoning 
congregation; from 1SS4 to 1S92, in Paint Township (iive years of 
which time in Scalp Level); from 1892 to 1899 in Prince William 
County, Virginia; from 1899 to 1900 near Geistown, Cambria 
County, Pennsylvania; from 1900 to 1910 with his father, where he 
was reared, in Jenner Township; since December 8, 1910, in 

Under the preaching of .Stephen H. Bashor he gave his heart to 
God, being baptized by him in Stanton's Millrace, March 26, 1877. 
On July 10, 1887, with Hiram Lehman, he was called to the min- 
istry in the Shade Creek congregation, and was installed by Elder 
John S. Holsinger. In the Midland congregation, Virginia, he was 
advanced to the second degree of the ministry by Elders S. F. 
Sanger and S. H. Myers, May 13, 1893. He was ordained to the 
eldership May 4, 1915, in the West Johnstown congregation, Elders 
W. M. Howe and H. S. Replogle oflficiating. He was elected elder 
in charge of the Pleasant TTill congregation in the summer of 

As a child, all the opporlunity he had to attend .Sunday- 


Elder Jerome K. Blough and AVife. 

school was the Hopewell Methodist Sunday-school for several 
months one summer. When the Pine Grove Sunday-school was 
organized, in 1880, he was elected secretary-treasurer; he also was 
a teacher. Ever since then he has embraced every opportunity to 
attend Sunday-school. He has labored ten years in the Scalp 
Level school, six years in the Cannon Branch, five years in the 
Pine Grove and five in the Roxbury, usuallj' as an officer or 
teacher. He has been active in local and District Sunday-school 

Elder Blough is a lover of music, has taught a number of sing- 
ing classes and has been a leader in song thirty-five years. He 
has frequently represented his congregation in District and An- 
nual Conference. He has always been among the leaders in his 
community in advancing the best interests of church, school and 
state. He is a promoter of the missionarj' activities of the church, 
and a strong temperance advocate. For a number of years he 
has been District Treasurer of the Annual Meeting Fund. He has 
been church correspondent almost continuously for more than 
thirty years, and has written considerably for the essay depart- 
ment of our church periodicals. 


Norman H. Blough is the only son of Hiram and Eliza (Fry) 
Blough, and was born near Thomas' Mill, Somerset County, 
Pennsylvania, January 25, 1875. His sisters are Emma Merley, 
Ida Lohr, Ella Stevens and Sadie Kaufman. His education in 
the public schools was supplemented by several terms of local 



Norman H. Hlougrh and Wife. 

normal work. He tauylit ciglit terms of pul)lic school. 

For nine years he operated a sawmill and threshing outfit. 
While thus engaged he met with an accident which cost him his 
left arm. The past eight years he has conducted a retail and whole- 
sale feed store in Davidsville, Somerset County. 

During a series of meetings held in the Maple Spring church 
by Elder D. H. Walker, when fifteen years of age, he united with 
the church, being baptized by Elder S. P. Zimmerman. Ever 
since then he has been active in Sunday-school work, having 
served as superintendent of Maple Spring Sunday-school several 
terms, and for the past fifteen years he has been Bible class 

Brother Blough was elected deacon in the Quemahoning con- 
gregation in the spring of 1903, and on June 2, 1907, he was called 
to the ministry in the same congregation, where he now labors. 

On March 11, 1903, he and Sister Grace I. Hershberger, daugh- 
ter of Brother and Sister Solomon Hershberger, then residing at 
Brentsville, Virginia, were married by Elder J. C. Murray, then of 
Washington, District of Columbia. 


Charles W. Blough, son of Simon D. and Agnes (Beam) 
Blough, was born near the present town of Jerome, Conemaugh 
Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, November 8, 1889. 
His ancestors for a number of generations back were faithful 
members of the church. His grandfather, C. I. Beam, was a min- 
ister, and his great-grandfather, Christian Lehman, was an elder. 
Charles was reared on the farm. On account of the deatli of his 


father when he was young, his education was somewhat neglected, 
because his services were needed on the large farm. 

He united with the church at the age of ten and a half years, 
and began teaching in Sunday-school at the age of fourteen. He 
has been a Sunday-school teacher almost continuously ever since. 

On November 25, 1909, he was united in marriage to Sister 
Amanda Kaufman, daughter of Deacon John E. and Elizabeth 
(Kaufman) Kaufman. He was elected to the ministry in the 
Quemahoning congregation November 2, 1910, and advanced to 
the second degree December 8, 1912. Brother Blough takes his 
share of the preaching in the congregation, having preached on 
an average thirty sermons a year since his installation. 

(Portrait on Page 158.) 


Elmer D. Blue, fourth son of David and Margaret (Swan) 
Blue, was born at Chambersville, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, 
March 20, 1880. Brother Blue's parents were born in Ireland, sail- 
ing from Belfast to the United States at different times, not having 
known each other in their native country. In their church aftilia- 
tions the Blues are Presbyterians, and in this faith Elmer received 
his early Sunday-school and church training. 

The family is prominent in educational circles. Of the nine 
children of Mr. and Mrs. David Blue, six were school-teachers, 
teaching, altogether, well on toward one hundred terms. Elmer 
worked on the farm in the summer and went to school in the 
winter. By applying himself diligently to the common' school 
curriculum he was able, at the age of eighteen, to pass out of 
it into the ranks of the school-teacher. The profession being crowd- 
ed in his native county, he began teaching in Cambria County in the 
fall of 1898, and taught six successive years. He was permitted to 
enjoy two terms (twenty weeks) of Summer Normal. 

Brother Blue entered the United States civil service as mail 
carrier, in the Johnstown postoffice, in 1906, where he is still em- 
ployed. On October 15, 1901, he and Sister Laura A. Rhodes, 
daughter of Emanuel and Mary (Knavel) Rhodes, were united in 
marriage by Elder J. F. Dietz. Brother and Sister Rhodes are 
pioneer members of the Church of the Brethren in Taylor Town- 
ship. Brother Rhodes is a deacon. Sister Rhodes comes from one 
of the oldest Brethren families in this section. Brother and Sister 
Blue are the happy parents of the following children: Nina, Marie, 
Vesta Pearl, Donna Gertrude, Blair Rhodes, Merle Sloan, Dwight 
Byron and Loren Elmer. The oldest three are members of the 


Brother Blue was baptized into the Church of the Brethren on 
July 5, 1903, by Elder H. S. KepiOj^le, his wife having been a mem- 
ber from her cliildhood. Brother Blue has been active in church 
and Sunday-school work, and on December 12, 1911, he was elected 
to the ministry in the West Johnstown congregation, being in- 
stalled on January 4, 1912. About a year later he was advanced 
to the second degree. When the Pleasant Hill congregation was 
organized in February, 1915, he and his brother-in-law, Hadden 
Q. Rhodes, were the only resident ministers. The past year Broth- 
er Blue has been in charge of the Pleasant Hill church as resident 

(Portrait on Page l!l<l.) 


J. L. Bowman was born near Jones Mills, Westmoreland 
County, Pennsylvania, March 1, 1866. He is the son of Daniel and 
Agnes (Lohr) Bowman, who were members of the Baptist Church. 
In a quiet and uneventful way his childhood and youth were passed 
in his parental home. At the age of eight he entered the public 
school at Jones Mills. After completing the common schools, he 
attended Summer Normals at Stahlstown, and at Springfield, 
Pennsylvania. He began teaching, and for a number of years 
taught in Donegal Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsyl- 
vania. In 1890 he entered the Southwestern State Normal School 
at California, Pennsylvania, from which institution he later grad- 
uated with honor, being chosen as one of the three contestants 
from the literary society to which he belonged. 

Two events of unusal importance occurred shortlj' after his 
graduation. One was his call to the ministry in the Brethren 
(Progressive) Church of which he was then a member; the other 
was his marriage to Miss Martha Logan, daughter of William and 
Sarah Logan. In his choice of a companion he made no mistake, 
as subsequent developments proved by the faithful way she has 
stood by him in all his labors. Much of his success in the min- 
istry was due to her untiring labors. 

After his call to the ministry he felt very keenly the need of 
wider and more careful preparation for his work, so he decided 
to enter Juniata College, from which institution he was graduated 
three years later in the sacred literature course. After his grad- 
uation he held three pastorates, one of seven years at Vinco, Cam- 
bria County, Pennsylvania, one of four years at Berlin, Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania, and one of one year at Louisville, Ohio. 
All of his pastorates were marked by a number of additions to the 
church. At Louisville, Ohio, he was compelled to quit preaching 
for a while on account of a severe attack of throat trouble. From 


J. li. Bowman. 

Louisville they came back to Cambria County, Pennsylvania, 
where they are now located on their farm in Jackson Township, 
farming in the summertime and teaching in the winter. He has 
taught school for more than twenty-five years, in three counties 
and under five superintendents. 

On December 12. 1915, he united with the Church of the 
Brethren at Pleasant Hill, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. After 
much study he became convinced of the soundness and safeness of 
the doctrine and polity of the Church of the Brethren and ac- 
cepted them without reservation, and was received into the church 
by the elder in charge, Jerome E. Blough, assisted by Brethren 
S. W. Pearce and Elmer D. Blue. At the same meeting he was 
called to the ministry in the Church of the Brethren, the election 
and installation being conducted by Elders Blough and Pearce. 


By Sadie Brallier Nofifsinger. 

Above the list of many children, upon the old family record, 
which has long been treasured as a sacred relic, and whose margin 
is now yellow with the rust of years, can be traced a name and 
date which are significant of a long and vigorous, likewise a benefi- 
cent and useful life. It reads as follows: "Samuel Brallier, born 
September 2, 1824; died October 1. 1894." 


Perhaps it was the blending of the sturdy Franco-German 
blood which laid the foundation for the strong physique, also 
the strong characteristics of his after-life. At any rate his per- 
sonal traits early asserted themselves; for at a very tender age, 
while still residing with his parents in the pleasant though quaint 
home in Morrison's Cove, where he was born and thus far reared, 
we find him taking upon himself, in a peculiarly marked manner, 
the position of firstborn, and intelligently and tenderly assuming 
the duties of elder brother, whom a large family of children learned 
to look up to as their ideal of both friend and counselor. 

When about ten years old, I think, he moved with his parents 
to near Belsano, Cambria County. Here is where the remainder 
of his childhood was spent. Here he attained unto the duties and 
responsibilities of manhood, before his time. Delving deep into 
the problem of business activity, going to mill, following the 
plow, joining the harvesters, and driving the team, sometimes for 
almost twenty miles a day, before he had attained his teens, he 
forced himself to be recognized as quite a unit in family industry 
and maintenance. 

At the age of twenty-seven he married Susannah Good, a 
sweet girl of seventeen. To this union fourteen children were 
given. My father's educational advantages were extremely mea- 
ger, according to the grosser mode of calculating, not exceeding 
four months of district schooling. Yet some of the very earliest 
recollections which my memory conjures are of seeing him pore 
over some ponderous book, of which his library contained not a 
few of no mean value. Did I say he was an uneducated man I 
should belie not the lesser of his merits; for herein lay his genius 
— a genius to which not every man is born. Decidedly he was a 
self-taught man — a patron of that system which has for its foun- 
dation the clearer vision; the system which is circumscribed neither 
by environment nor age. And he delved away and profited by his 
task until he attained unto a degree of knowledge at which men 
marveled, and which also equipped him to be an astute disccrner in 
matters of moment. 

Soon after their marriage, my father and mother together 
united with the church; and this was the beginning of an epoch 
of concentrated thought and effort which signalized the trend of 
my father's entire after-life. With the earnestness and assiduity 
which were his due, he considered all things as dross compared 
with the duties of his spiritual vocation, in a literal sense being 
willing to spend and be spent for the Master's use. In regular 
succession he rose from one official position to another, until he 
wielded the supreme authority of the bishopric. Here the full 
measure of his manhood asserted itself; and though it must be 


admitted that his views were somewhat radical, out of sympathy 
with a strenuous and unbiased will, perforce, it must be said, not- 
withstanding, that his deliberations were tempered with wisdom 
and his judgments with mercy; and whatever else might betide, 
the truth must be upheld at any cost; compared with which pre- 
cept, popular aggrandizement or personal ease was as nothing. 
\\ hen he was in the meridian of his power and usefulness I was 
but a little child; yet I can well remember how he was sought by 
young and old alike, in troublous epochs, for his wise counsels; 
and there were times when his face alone reflected inspiration and 
cheer sufficient for the task at hand; as a dazzling bit of sunshine 
while storm besets the earth, or as the serene face of a pilot when 
the sea is angriest. I used to think that he must have caught a 
sound of that strain which the shepherds heard, for this was the 
motto of his life: "Peace on earth, good will to men." 

Yet, let no one suppose that he was " carried to the skies on 
flowery beds of ease." Nay, verily. Perhaps few men have trod 
a rougher or thornier path — partly by making other men's dis- 
asters his own personal calamities; partly by other men making 
his calamities their exceeding joy. Either through lack of discern- 
ment or lack of sympatlu' the world ofttimcs suffers the hero to 
depart uncrowned. 

While his travels did not extend over a large portion of the 
geographical map, yet his labors were by no means confined to 
his home congregation. He was a valiant Sunday-school pro- 
moter, as he also was a pioneer supporter of missions. He en- 
couraged the sick, lifted the downtrodden, and entered devoutly 
into the spirit of that which the Apostle James defines as " pure 
and undefiled religion." He was obedient to the church, adhered 
to her counsels, defended her doctrines, extolled her faith and 
promoted her good. He was instant in season and out of season. 
There was no call so inopportune as to admit of postponement or 
neglect. I have still the vivid remembrance of a messenger who 
knocked at our door one winter night. It was to summon my 
father to the bedside of a woman ill with typhoid fever, who the 
doctors said was dying. She wished to be baptized immediately. 
The hour was one o'clock and the night was cold. I still remem- 
ber how I shuddered when my father gave the messenger instruc- 
tions to haste, in advance, and cut the ice at a certain point in the 
river; for I was but a child and feared that both himself and the 
sick woman would surely perish. Through feverish questionings 
I kept awake, for it was a ride of weary miles. At four o'clock our 
father returned, nothing worsted. His staunch voice and cheery 
face were assuring. Let me add that the sick woman's recovery 
was speedy and complete. 


The adversities and sorrows, incident to the factious relations 
of his Fraternity, bowed him down with grief; for troublous times 
were, indeed, upon him, and the stand he took for God and a con- 
science void of offense, rendered him locally unpopular, to a de- 
gree, and laid him bare to unjust criticism and unfounded calum- 
ny. Yet he swerved not from his post, knowing that One was also 
spoken against, whose ambassador he was. Through this perilous 
epoch Elder Quinter was his staunch friend and counselor, and 
such men as Brethren Hays and Wise held up his hands and sus- 
tained him with their prayers and sympathy. Yet the ravages of 
grief, because of an apparently unrequited service, unmanned 
him, in a manner and to an extent which was pitiful to see. Not- 
withstanding the crucible in which God should prove him, he laid 
not his armor down, and when the heat was at its fiercest, the 
most pathetic thing of all was to hear him entreat God to forgive 
his persecutors and slanderers. This monument to his memory 
shall survive any of bronze or marble. 

He was a living exemplification of tliat truth uttered l)y our 
Savior: "The poor ye have always with you." He surely had. I 
can remember how our house was literally besieged with unfortu- 
nate sojourners. In fact, it was famous for miles around as a sort 
of wayside inn, free to poor travelers. To be exact, such were re- 
ferred to " the great yellow house," with perfect and accustomed 
freedom. He never turned any such away, neither suffered them 
to be so turned, empty-handed. He must have considered it his 
due recompense to remember that angels had been thus entertained 
unawares. Yet my father possessed the native tact of inspiring the 
principles of honesty and self-respect within those unfortunates; 
and more than once gave those that were sound in l)ody the priv- 
ilege of paying their way by chopping wood, gathering sheaves, 
etc. His high sense of duty had not permitted him to do other- 

On the morning of October 1, 1894, we were summoned to his 
bedside, wliore the angel of death almost preceded us. .Already 
tlic chilly dew was upon his forehead, and in his eyes was reflected 
the light from the eternal shore. With his two little children, and 
the wife of his later years, we surrounded his bedside with sorrow 
unspeakable. His lips moved and we bent our ears to catch the 
whisper: " If I must die, oh, let me die in peace witli all man- 
kind." O Peace! the keynote of his faith; the principle he had sus- 
tained throughout his life, and which was so dear to him at the 
entrance of the life beyond! 

Thus lived and died Samuel Rrallicr, the veteran ambassador 
of Jesus Christ and dauntless soldier of the cross. Oh, T re- 
joice to believe that the gracious Father, into whose care he com- 


mended his spirit, tenderly received him into everlasting rest. 
Johnstown, Pa. 


Jacob Bridge and his wife, Mary, were residing in Bolivar, and 
when the Brethren began preaching in that place became inter- 
ested in the meetings, and in the doctrine that was preached. 
Brother Bridge was an educated man, having been educated for a 
Catholic priest. He was able to read the Scriptures in the original 
Latin and Greek. 

When he married he was expelled from the priesthood, and 
some time later united with the Methodist Church. Finding the 
doctrines preached by the ministers of the Church of the Brethren 
substantiated by the Gospel, he and his wife were baptized in 
1879 bj^ J. W. Smouse, an evangelist of those days. 

He was elected deacon in 1881, minister in 1883, and advanced 
fo the second degree in 1885, and died in the faith in Bolivar in 
1894, at a good old age. 


Uriah D. Brougher was born in Brothers Valley Township, 
Somerset County, Pennsylvania, April 9, 1847. His parents were 
Daniel and Lydia (Hersh) Brougher. His father died before he 
was born. He remained with his mother until he was about five 
or six years old, when he made his home with William Hay, where 
he lived at intervals for about ten years. 

He attended the public schools of Brothers Valley Township 
and Berlin Borough. He never followed school-teaching, but con- 
ducted a great many singing classes, not only in his own Frater- 
nity, but for nearly all denominations in the county. He had taken 
lessons from the best instructors he could find and followed the 
profession for about a dozen years. 

His parents were Lutherans, and William Hay, with whom he 
lived until he grew to young manhood, belonged to the Reformed 
Church. On January 9, 1868, he was married to Barbara Hostetler, 
at the home of John Klingaman, near Meyersdale, by Elder Elias 
K. Beeghly, of Waterloo, Iowa. Several years after his marriage 
he united with the church, and was elected to the ministry at Mey- 
ersdale when he was about thirty years of age. About three years 
before his death he was ordained to the eldership. 

His field of labor comprised, principally, the Meyersdale and 
Middle Creek congregations. He never conducted many series 
of meetings. He followed the occupation of blacksmith for a num- 
ber of years, after which he went to farming. He died December 



6, 1907, and is buried in the Somerset cemetery. His age was 
60 years, 7 months and 27 days. His funeral was conducted by 
Elders D. H. Walker and Silas Hoover in tlie Reformed church 
in Somerset. The church was crowded and many people could 
not get inside. 

He was a great Sunday-school worker, and while living in 
Meyersdale he was superintendent a number of years of a large 
thriving Sundaj'-school. As an elder he did considerable commit- 
tee work amonu: the churches. 

KIder !Mulil<>n J. ItroiiKlior, AVifc iiiul Child. 


Mahlon J. Brougher, son of Deacon Madison and Maggie 
(Meyers) Brougher, was born October 27, 1885, on his father's 
farm near Kingwood, in the Middle Creek congregation, Somerset 


County, Pennsylvania. There he grew to manhood as a farmer 
boy, attending the public schools in the winter and helping on 
the farm in the summer. He also attended the County Normals, 
and began teaching in the common schools at the age of seventeen. 
He taught eight terms of school. 

He united with the church in his young days, and in June, 
1906, he and Jacob VV. Sanner were elected to the ministry in the 
Middle Creek congregation. Within a year he was advanced to 
the second degree. Brother Brougher assisted in the work of the 
ministry in his home congregation until January 1, 1911, when he 
began preaching for the Greensburg church. On May 1, 1911, he 
became the pastor of the Greensburg church, which position he 
still holds. 

Brother Brougher was united in marriage to Sister Mary Wol- 
ford, of Waterford, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, May 11, 
1911. To this union a daughter, Gladys Evelyn, was born March 
22, 1913. Sister Brougher is a daughter of John Wolford, a dea- 
con in the Ligonier congregation. She was born October 27, 
1888, and began teaching school at the age of seventeen. She 
taught five terms in Ligonier Township, Westmoreland County. 

In June, 1913, Brother Brougher was ordained to the elder- 
ship. Brother and Sister Brougher have done an excellent work 
in Greensburg, as the history of that congregation will show. In 
addition to his pastoral duties Brother Brougher has conducted 
eighteen evangelistic meetings with good results. He has offi- 
ciated at fifty funerals, thirteen weddings, and has assisted in fifty- 
three anointings and three Bible Institutes. He is a member of 
the Sunday-school Mission Board of the District. He was one of 
the delegates from his District on the Standing Committee of the 
Annual Conference at Hershey, Pennsylvania, in 1915. 


W. N. Brubaker, son of Jacob H. and Mary Brubaker, was 
born at Rockton, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, October 22, 
1870. Brother Brubaker has worked at whatever work came 
to hand, which comprised nearly all the occupations of his neigh- 

He united with the church in his early teens, and was called 
to the ministry in the Rockton congregation in 1897. He is one 
of the active ministers of that congregation. His ministerial du- 
ties are confined principally to his home congregation. 


Elder Solomon Bucklew was born in Preston County, West 
Virginia, August 25, 1840. He united with the church in 1860, and 







Elder Solomon IJucklew and Wife. 

the same year was elected to the deacon oflicc. In 1S62 lie was 
married to Elizabeth Slrawser, and in 1864 he was elected to the 
ministry. He was soon forwarded to the second decree, and ap- 
proximately in 1866 he was ordained to the eldcrsliip. 

The work being great and only a few to work, he was pushed 
out far and near to labor for the salvation of souls. He was called 
to hold many series of meetings. i)rincipal]y in West Virginia, 
Middle and Western Pennsylvania. 

In 1876 he moved from the Cheat River congregation. West 
Virginia, to the Sandy Creek congregation, same State. After 
this congregation was divided, and the Marklcysburg congregation 
was organized. Elder Bucklew was given the oversight of the new 
congregation. When Brethren J. H. Myers and Jacob Reeghley 
were ordained to the eldership, he resigned although he continued 
to labor considerably in Maryland and Western Pennsylvania. Tn 
1884 he moved to Marklcysburg, where he lived and labored three 
years, when, in 1887, he sold out and moved to Canton, Illinois, 
where he lived twenty-three years. I lis wife's failing health 


caused him to leave Illinois and move to a daughter, living in 
Southwestern Iowa, where she soon died. Feeling lonely, Elder 
Bucklew now made a visit to the East, laboring for the churches as 
he passed over the old homeland, and in 1914 he again located in 
Markleysburg, Pennsylvania, where for a year he did most of 
the preaching. February 6, 1914, he was married to Mary C. 
Sterner by Elder Jeremiah Beeghley. Elder Bucklew was blessed 
with a strong physical body and a powerful voice, and was, and 
still is, a fearless defender of the Gospel. 

In the spring of 1915 he located in the Mount Union congre- 


The Buechley family has played an important part in the work 
of the church in Western Pennsylvania. Michael Buechley settled 
in the vicinity of what is now Meyersdale, Somerset County, as 
early as 1774. He was a member of the Amish Church, and with a 
nunil)L'r of other families of the same denomination Had come 
from the eastern part of the State. This Michael Buechley is in 
all probability the ancestor of all the Buechleys, Beachleys, Beek- 
leys and Beeghlys in Western Pennsylvania, Maryland and the 
West. According to Holsinger's History, Buechley and a number 
of other Amish families united with the Brethren, probably about 
1785, and Brother Buechley was called to the ministry, as well as 
Brethren Peter Livengood and Christian Hochstetler. 

Nothing is known of his ministerial labors, but his children's 
names are known. They were: Jacob, John, Joseph, Abraham, 
Michael, Barbara, wife of Christian Moyer, Mary, wife of Michael 
Moyer, Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Flora, Hannah, wife of John 
Cober, and Susannah, wife of John Forney. These names have con- 
tinued to be prominent in the church. Brother Buechley died in 
1812. For some j^ears his descendants remained in Somerset 
County, but graduallj^ many of them emigrated to other fields of 

Of his sons at least two were elders — Jacob and John. At 
least two of his sons-in-law were elders — Michael Moyer and John 
Forney. Of John's family we have David, a son, and Martin, a 
grandson, and John W. Beeghly, who lives in Ohio. Of Jacob's 
family we find five generations in the ministry, as told in Elder 
Jeremiah Beeghly's biography. In Abraham's family we find 
Elder Elias K. Buechley, formerly of Meyersdale, and late of 
Waterloo, Iowa. Of Joseph's family we have Josiah Beeghly, of 
Maryland (deceased), and Ananias J. Beeghly, of Friedens, Penn- 
sj'lvania. If there were an^^ more ministers in the family they have 
not come to my notice. Biographies of these servants of the Lord 


would be interesting, but it seems almost impossible to secure 

Concerning Elder John Buechley, 1 tind the following: Susan- 
nah Buechley died November 21, 1856, aged 88 years, 8 months and 
7 days. She left six children. She was the consort of the late 
Brother John Buechley, who was a well-known minister and died 
about twelve years ago. He lived and labored in the Elk Lick 


Jeremiah Beeghly is a son of Elder Jacob Bceghly, Jr., and a 
grandson of Elder Jacob Beeghly, Sr., and was I)orn in Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania, February 26, 1834. In 1839 the family 
moved to Maryland. Here he grew to manhood, and while yet 
in his teens united with the church. 

Tn 1854 he was united in marriage to Miss Anna Harden. This 
union wa§ blessed with four sons and five daughters. One son died 
in infancy. The rest grew to manhood and womanhood, and all 

j:i<Ut Jeremiah lieeKhly and Wife. 



united with the church. The third son, James W. Beeghly, is an 
elder in the Oakland congregation, Maryland. One grandson, 
Samuel A. Beeghly, was also a minister in the Church of the Breth- 
ren for a number of years. 

Elder Beeghly was called to the deaconship in 1857 and to the 
ministry in 1858. In 1876 he was ordained to the eldership. At 
different times and for a number of years he had charge of the 
Bear Creek and Maple Grove congregations in Western Maryland. 
Elder Beeghly did his active church work while living in Maryland. 
He represented his District on the Standing Committee in 1878, in 
North Manchester, Indiana, and in 1891 in Hagerstown, Maryland. 

In 1910 Elder Beeghly moved to the home of his son-in-law, 
Andrew Chrise, a deacon, in Markleysburg, Pennsylvania, where 
they at present reside. Elder and Sister Beeghly have traveled 
life's journey together for more than sixty-one years, and while 
they have retired from all business, and he is not able to preach 
any more, he is still willing to do what he can on the side of right 
and good, awaiting the summons to the kingdom triumphant. 

It is worthy of note that in Elder Beeghly's family five gener- 
ations are represented in the ministry — his grandfather, his father, 
himself, his son and his grandson. 

Ananias J. Beeghly. 



Ananias J. liccghley, son of Brother Daniel and Sister Mary 
Beeghly, was born in Somerset Co-unty, Pennsylvania, May 30, 
1872. Brother Beeghly is a descendant of one of the oldest Breth- 
ren families of Somerset County. 

Brother Beeghly's education was confined to the i)ul)lic schools 
of his county. By occupation he is a farmer. He was married to 
Miss Cora M. Gnagey, daughter of Deacon Christian C. and Mar- 
garet Gnagey, February 22, 1894. They located in the Sipesville 
arm of the Qucmahoning congregation, where thej- lived twelve 

He united with the Church of the Brethren when but twelve 
years old. Being called to teach in the Sunday-school in his teens 
he became more and more interested in that department of church 
work, and served as superintendent about ten years. On April 22, 
ISW, he was called to the deacon office in the Quemahoning con- 
gregation. In this capacity he labored cheerfully until October 
2(i, 1906, when with his family he moved to Richland County, Illi- 
nois, settling in the Big Creek congregation. There he was elected 
to the ministry on October 31, 1908. Although feeling his ina- 
bility he took courage in the thought of Romans 8: 28. He was 
advanced to the second degree of the ministry September 4, 1909. 

Returning to Somerset County December 17, 1909, they located 
in the Brothers Valley congregation, near Friedens. His first 
evangelistic effort, June, 1915, inspired him to desire to do more 
work for Christ. 


Joseph S. lUirkhart is a son of Ephraim and Catharine (Hilde- 
brand) Burkhart, and was born in Jackson Township, Cambria 
County, Pennsylvania, December 22, 1829. The Burkharts are of 
German descent and Brother Joseph distinctly remembers his 
grandparents as typical, industrious Germans. 

When Joseph was a hoy there were no public schools. His 
father had subscribed for an older brother and sister to attend a 
subscription school for several months. The sister becoming sick 
and missing seven days, the teacher allowed little " Josie " to go 
those seven days. That was his first schooling, but he had already 
learned to read at home. He made use of every opportunity to 
get an education, and after growing up he taught school a while. 
However, preferring an outdoor life, he did not teach very long. 

One unusual incident in the boyhood period of Brother Burk- 
hart had much to do in after-life in determining his life activities. 
His aged grandmother made her home at their place one winter, 
and as her sight was poor she had her little grandson daily read- 


ing the Bible to her while she was engaged in her knitting. In this 
way he not only acquired a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, 
but by faithful reading his mind became so occupied by thoughts 
of God and heaven and good people, that he felt called of the Lord 
to give him his young heart, and had it been as common then as 
now for children to unite with the church, he would have been bap- 
tized. But in those days there were no Sunday-schools and only 
grown people belonged to the church, so Joseph had to quench 
the Spirit's call. 

Something took place, however, that has always remained 
with him, and many a time when he was inclined to go wrong 
it called him back to the path of rectitude. Reading so much of 
God and heaven naturally had the effect of making him think a 
great deal about heaven as a beautiful and good place to be. So one 
night he had a vision, or a dream (he hardly knows which), that 
he was talking with Gnd, and that he asked him to be taken to 
heaven. But the answer came, " No, not yet. I have much work 
for you to do yet before you can come to heaven." The remem- 
brance of this incident has followed Brother I'urkhart through 
life and many a time has spurred him on in his religious duties. 
As a reader for his grandmother, she always called him her "little 
preacher," and told him he certainly would sometime become an 
ambassador for God. 

On December 21, 1854, he was united in marriage to Miss 
Catharine Sproul, daughter of Andrew and Mary (Ripple) Sproul, 
of Stoyestown, Somerset County, by Reverend Lock. They set- 
tled down to housekeeping in Adams Township, Cambria County, 
in which township (though at several different places) they 
lived until the fall of 1914, when they moved to Walnut Grove, 
Johnstown, in order to be nearer their children and the church. 
Brother Burkhart has l)een a farmer, though he says he has been 
sort of " Jack-of-all-trades." 

Brother Burkhart served his country during the War of the 
Rebellion, serving in' front of Petersburg, Virginia, from Sep- 
tember, 1864, to June, 1865. When he returned from the war 
the hearing of his left ear was entirely gone. For many years the 
other ear served him well, but it gradually gave way, until now 
for about ten years he has been entirely deaf. For a number of 
years the doctors have warned him not to preach and not to use 
his voice unnecessarily, for fear of losing it too. His eyesight is 
becoming dimmed, so that he says his satisfaction is not much in 
this life any more. 

Brother Burkhart united with the church about 1866, and in 
1867 he was called to the ministry in the Conemaugh congrega- 
tion. He was active and aggressive in the work the church placed 


ui)on liim, and did a great deal of preaching before the above- 
mentioned infirmities became a hindrance. He held a number of 
successful series of meetings in the time when these means of 
grace were not very common. He held views far in advance of 
the general church thought, but to which the church Conference 
has now acceded. He attended but few Annual and District Meet- 
ings, believing the expense of them was too great in compari- 
son with the good done in them. During his active ministry he 
did his full share of the preaching, marrying, baptizing and 
preaching of funerals. He almost knew his Bible by heart, and 
was a strong defender of the Bible doctrines as practiced by the 
church. Several years while living in the eastern part of Adams 
Township, his membership was in the Sliadc Creek congregation. 
Brother and Sister Burkhart were blessed with six children, 
four of whom grew to maturity and are living. John, Ephraim and 
Jennie Harshberger live in Johnstown, the latter being the wife 
of Elder Cornelius W. Harshberger, and the mother of Lori B. 
Harshberger, a talented young minister. Sister Flora Trout, of 
near Petersburg, Virginia, is a daughter. The children were given 
splendid educational facilities, and the sons were for a number of 
years successful teachers. These dear old saints have traveled 
life's journey together hand in hand, sharing each other's joys 
and sorrows for nearly sixty-one years, and still are keeping house 
for themselves. In a recent visit I found them sitting at the supper 
table, one at the head and the other at the foot, content and happy. 
While it is rather laborious to hold a conversation with Brother 
Burkhart, as it must be done by means of a slate and pencil, it is 
exceedingly pleasant and profitable to converse with the aged sis- 
ter. Her mind is good, her expression clear, and she is a woman 
above the ordinary in intelligence and information. Both are in 
the eighty-sixth year of their pilgrimage, and seemingly are good 
for a number more. 

(I'nrtr.Tit on P.-iso 117.) 


Rufus D. Casebecr, son of Deacon Ilcnry and Sarah ( Bluuyli) 
Casebeer, was born November 19, 1882, in Somerset County, i'ciin- 
sylvania. He is a grandson of Elder Valentine Blough. and a 
great-grandson of Elder Jacob Blough. He was reared on the 
farm, and followed that occupation until several years ago, when 
they moved to Somerset. Tic taught school one term. ]\c united 
with the church in 1900. 

On December 25, 1906. he was married to Sister Carrie Maust, 
daughter of Brother and Sister Daniel Maust. He was elected 
deacon in the Quemahoning congregation in 1907. On May 13, 


1915, he was called to the ministry in the Middle Creek congrega- 
tion, and took up the work September 19, 1915. 

In order to make some preparation for the work whereunto 
the Lord has called him, they have gone to Bethany Bible School, 
Chicago, where they are now students. Brother Casebeer has been 
an active Sunday-school worker for a number of years. 


Elder J. H. Cassady was born on a farm in Grant County, 
West Virginia, October 24, 1871. His early life was spent on a 
farm. He began teaching school at the age of nineteen, and 
taught every winter and worked on the farm during the summer. 
Besides his public school education, he went to Fairmont State 
Normal two terms. January 25, 1896, he was married to Miss 
Meribah Virginia Idleman, of Maysville, West Virginia. 

He became a member of the Church of the Brethren on De- 
cember. 25, 1890, during a series of meetings conducted by Elder 
Silas Hoover, of Pennsylvania. He was elected to the deacon 
office at the Luneys Creek church, West Virginia, in 1897. He 
continued teaching at Bayard, West Virginia, until the fall of 
1900, when, with his family, he moved to Juniata College, Hunt- 
ingdon, Pennsylvania, where he entered the school to prepare him- 
self better for his chosen profession, teaching. 

His intention was to complete the teachers' course, which he 
did in the spring of 1902, and then to continue in that profession. 
But when this course was completed it did not yet satisfj', and he 
began to plan to take the college course. But when the financial prop- 
osition of caring for a family and going to school four more long 
years, faced them, it hardly seemed possible. But it was under- 
taken, and after a most strenuous four j-ears, during which time 
it often seemed the battle must be given up. the goal was reached. 
He graduated and took his degree. 

During this time, on March 23, 1903, the Huntingdon church 
elected him to the ministry. This brought him face to face with 
another problem. All his preparation of seven years in school has 
been for teaching. Now shall that ambition be given up? It 
was only after much prayer and thought, and a hard struggle 
that he accepted the ministry, and this with the intention of con- 
tinuing in his chosen profession. 

After graduating, in 1906, he secured the principalship of the 
Yeagertown public schools, where he moved and remained two 
years. During his two years of teaching in Yeagertown he did 
some preaching at Lewistown. In the spring of 1908 he received a 
call to become pastor of the West Johnstown church. Although 



£Ider John H. Cussady and Wife. 

the call to give up his chosen profession and enter a new field 
could hardly be thought of at this time, lie and his wife put it into 
the hands of the Lord and accepted the call of the church at a 
greatly reduced salary from what he was getting as a teacher. 

They took up their pastoral duties August 1. 1908, and moved 
to Johnstown. There he found a splendid body of working mem- 
bers, but very niych disorganized. There being four church- 
houses in the congregation made the work of organization very 
hard. But with a determination to win he entered upon the work. 
He spent bis time in traveling over the congregation and i)rcach- 
ing by turns at all four of the houses. This was a hard task. 

During the six years of his pastorate in Johnstown he preached 
1,313 sermons. He held sixty-one weeks of evangelistic meet- 
ings in the congregation, and thirty-nine weeks at churches out- 
side of the congregation. There were 285 members in the con- 
gregation when he became pastor. During the six years 893 were 


added. He has anointed and assisted in anointing over 100 per- 

From August 1, 1908, when he began his pastoral work in 
Johnstown, to December 31, 1915, he had preached 1,462 sermons, 
and in his pastoral and evangelistic work has received and brought 
to Christ 2,120 people. He resigned as pastor of the West Johns- 
town church September 1, 1914, to accept a call to become pastor 
of Juniata College and the Huntingdon church. During his stay 
in Johnstown he was ordained to the eldership, May 4, 1911. 

Elder Cassady took a leading part in the work of the church 
of the Western District of Pennsylvania, serving as Moderator of 
the District and Ministerial Meetings a number of times. He was 
a member of the Bible Institute Committee from the beginning, 
believing it would serve a good purpose. He represented the Dis- 
trict on the Standing Committee at the York Conference, in 1912. 
Middle Pennsylvania was also represented by him at Hershey, 
in 1915. 

Sister Cassady, who also was born and reared in West Vir- 
ginia, taught school a number of years. She received her educa- 
tion in the public schools and Juniata College. It was through her 
influence and willingness to assume the heavy burden of caring 
for the family that her husband was induced to go to Juniata Col- 
lege. Then, during the six years in Juniata, she was a most faith- 
ful helpmate, not only in the care of the family, but in many little 
ways she helped in the financial struggle, besides taking part in 
many of the church activities at the same time. In the splendid 
work accomplished in Johnstown she was very active in all the 
departments of church work. Her husband being away much in 
evangelistic work, she assumed the responsibility of much of his 
work, while still caring for the family. They now have a family 
of six children; viz., Maynard, Helen. Mildred, Robert, Paul and 
John, Jr. The three older ones are members of the church. 


Andrew Chambers was born near Cameron, West Virginia, De- 
cember 23, 1858. He attended the country schools on an average 
of four months a year. At the age of nineteen he took the teach- 
ers' examination and taught three sessions, one session a year. 

He was married to Miss Anna R. Meisenhelder. To this union 
were born two sons and three daughters. All are living except the 
oldest son, Scott. While serving as railway postal clerk on the 
Southern railroad he lost his life in a wreck, near Danville, Vir- 
ginia, September 27, 1903. Sister Chambers died March 25, 1900. 
A little more than seven years later Brother Chambers was mar- 
ried to Mrs. L. J. Covalt, of Moundsville, West Virginia. 



Andrew Chambers. 

In March, 1882, lie united with the Church of the Brethren. 
On his father's birthday anniversary, November 13, 1886, lie was 
called to the ministry in the Ryerson Station congregation, West- 
ern District of Pennsylvania, and on October 17, 1891, lie was ad- 
vanced to the second degree. Elder John S. Holsinger officiating 
on both occasions. 

Being a natural debater, Andrew, prior to uniting with the 
church, read all the discussions on the distinctive principles of 
the church that he could obtain. Among these were the Quinter 
and McConnell debate, Miller and Walker debate and Stein and 
Ray debate. Living in a neighborhood of Disciples and Mormons 
and but few Brethren, he often became the defender of the Breth- 
ren faith. His first public debate was held in the spring of 1883 
(before he was a minister), with an old and experienced Disciple 
minister. The proposition discussed was: "Trine Immersion Is 
the Only Mode of Baptism Taught and I'racticed by the Apos- 
tles and the Primitive Church." The debate proved a surprise to 
his opponent and his brother ministers in attendance, and he later 
acknowledged his defeat. 

In 1888 he held a discussion witii ICldcr Craig, of the Reor- 
ganized Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). Only one prop- 


osition was discussed: "The Durability of the Christian Church.'' 
Elder Craig was so worsted that he refused to discuss the organ- 
ization of his church, though challenged to do so. 

In March, 1894, he moved to Eastern Virginia, much to the 
regret of the scattered members of the Ryerson Station congre- 
gation. While residing among them and during his visits to them 
he baptized more than forty members. While living in Virginia 
he did liis share of the preaching along with the other home min- 
isters, and held an occasional series of meetings. 

Much of Brother Chambers' life has been spent in dififerent 
occupations. In West Virginia he spent the greater part of his 
time in the lumber business, handling a sawmill and running a 
thrashing outfit. In Virginia he first located near Brentsville, 
Prince William County. In a j-ear or so he located at Midland, 
Eauquier County. Three years he traveled for a machinery com- 
pany. Afterwards he built a Hour mill at Midland which he op- 
erated for some tinie. In l907 he moved to Washington, Dis- 
trict of Columbia, and is now in the employ of the government. 
This does not give him much time for preaching. He is hoping for 
the time when he will be able to devote all his time to church work. 

Brother Chambers is a great reader and student, and is the 
possessor of an extensive library. He takes much interest in 
gathering up church history, and it is principally through his ef- 
forts that the writing of the history of the Ryerson Station con- 
gregation was possible. He also furnished a number of illus- 
trations for this work. It was the pleasure of the writer of this 
work to associate with Brother Chambers in church and nther 
activities in Virginia five years. 

Brother Chambers died April 6, 1916. since the above was written. 


Nelson B. Christner, youngest son of Gabriel and Magdalene 
(Dickey) Christner, was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, 
July 22, 1851. Having moved with his parents to Westmoreland 
County, he received an education enabling him to teach school, 
which profession he followed successfully for a number of years. 

He was married to Mary A. Wissinger, March 12, 1870, by 
Elder D. D. Horner, and the following October both were bap- 
tized by the same minister. He was elected to the ministry in 
the seventies, when yet a young man in the Indian Creek con- 

He lived and labored in Westmoreland, Somerset and Washing- 
ton Counties, Pennsylvania, Washington County, Tennessee, and 
Melvin Hill, North Carolina. He also lived a year in South Car- 
olina. He had moved to the South in search of health. 


Besides teaching he was engaged in farming and the mercan- 
tile business, but with him the Lord's work received first atten- 
tion. He made great sacrifices to fill appointments, and it was 
seldom that he disappointed his audience. 

He died in July, 1904, aged only 53 years. He was buried in 
the Middle Creek cemetery. Brother and Sister Christner had a 
large family of children, but the pale messenger came and stole 
them away, one by one, until the greater part of them had gone 
to the other side, while their bodies lie buried in different ceme- 
teries. Their cup of trouble, disappointment and sorrow was 
often filled to overflowing. 


In writing the biography of this godly elder I feci that I can 
do no better than to quote from the columns of a daily Johns- 
town paper as well as the Gospel Messenger: "The Reverend D. 
S. Clapper was born near Clear Ridge, Bedford County, Penn- 
sylvania, September 2, 1846, being the son of Elder Henry and 
Hannah Clapper. In 1869, at the age of twenty-three, he was 
united in marriage with Miss Sue Teeter. His early training and 
home influences were deeply religious and at an early age he united 
with the Church of the Brethren. The Reverend Mr. Clapper was 
a gentle man, not offensive in his devotion to his church, but al- 
ways endeavoring to be consistent, charitable and Christian in his 
conduct. The writer of this came to know him only a couple 
of years before the end, but in his brief acquaintance found the 
mellow old gentleman earnest and interesting. Mr. Clapper was 
one of the last of the old school of Brethren clergymen, and he 
lived to see his faith assume a new name and a more compact or- 
ganization and to see a new generation of trained clergymen come 
into the field. The children who survive and are helping their 
aged mother to l)ear the blow of separation from her life partner 
are: John 11., of Riverside, Washington; Willard L., of Hartman, 
Colorado; Laura, wife of Fred Burkett, of Everett; Iva, wife of 
D. B. Brallier, of Tatesville; Nellie, of Altoona; V. Grace and Har- 
riet, at home, and Lena, wife of Harry C. Crist, of Paint Borough. 
Mr. Clapper's six daughters were all at his bedside when he died. 
The only children absent from the funeral were his two sons in 
the Northwest." 

Here I quote from the Gospel Messenger: 

" The Homegoing of Elder David Steele Clapper. 

" On the farm of Elder Jacob Steele, for many years the effi- 
cient elder of the Hopewell, or what is now known as the Yellow 
Creek churcli, was built the church Unown far and wide as "Steele's 


Elder David S. Clapper. 

church.' Near this church was born a grandson of Elder Steele. 
a son of Elder Henry Clapper, September 2, 1846. They named 
him David Steele Clapper. The early religious training and the 
strong, inherited qualities, caused David to give his heart to God 
at the age of seventeen, and he proved faithful to the age of 67 
years, 9 months and 27 days, when he went peacefully to sleep at 
his home in Scalp Level, Pennsylvania, June 30, 1914. 

" To Brother and Sister Clapper were born ten children, eight 
of whom have grown to maturity. Six daughters and two sons, 
who are still trying to live a life for the Master, gave their lives 
to Jesus before they were fifteen years of age. Sister Clapper, who 
has been a faithful mother and helper for Brother Clapper in all 
the varied experiences of life, still lives. Two brothers and three 


sisters survive him. Among these are Elder John Clapper and 
Sister Elizalaeth, wife of Elder Michael Keller, both of Earned, 

" Brother Clapper served the church faithfully in the ministry 
for almost forty-three years. He was elected to the ministry in 
1(S71, and given the full ministry in 1887. Few men were more 
ready to be used by the Lord than Brother Clapper. He never 
needed to be urged, but was always ready to do service. He found 
a pulpit almost anywhere. Whether it was in a grove, in a school- 
house, or in a church, it made no difiference. If a few hearers 
were together, he was ready to tell the story of a free salvation. 
He opened a num])er of new fields for our own' church. 

" Brother Clapper was one of the early missionaries of the 
church. He wore out, in his travels, a number of buggies and 
horseshoes for the church, and this too, at his own expense. He 
was delighted, a few years ago, when his second youngest daugh- 
ter, Grace, broke the glad news to him of her interest in the un- 
christcd of China, and of her surrender to the Lord, to be used 
in that needy field. The Sunday-schools of Western Pennsylva- 
nia have asked Sister V. Grace Clapper to represent them on the 
China field. 

" Brother Clapper's sermons were mostly doctrinal. He was 
an able defender of the practices of the ISrethren Church. He was 
one of the strong advocates of the non-conformity principles to 
the end. In his last meeting with us, as officials, he plead earnestly 
for the order of the church. 

" The Bible was his principal Textbook. He was well versed 
in the Scriptures, and his conversation was largely on the Scrip- 
tures and the work of the church. He was a pleasant conversa- 
tionalist and was very fond of company. His home was always 
a 'welcome place for strangers. 

" He always plead strongly for the family altar in the home, 
and well he could, for his home had its regular altar from the 
first day of its beginning to the last. I'rothcr Clapper found time, 
during his busy life on the farm, during his earlier life, to conduct 
twenty-two scries of meetings and to bring nearly two hundred 
souls into the kingdom. His home work was first with the Yellow 
Creek and Everett churches, Pennsylvania. A few years were 
spent in Kansas. During the last eight years he lived in the .Scalp 
Level church. 

" Last December he contracted a cold, from which he coidd not 
get free. This finally developed into that dreaded disease, con- 
sumption. He was always a strong believer in the anointing, and 
twice during his illness he was anointed. PTis one desire was to 
be able to be healed, that he might do more for the church, but 


he always said, ' His will l)c done.' The writer has known Elder 
Clapper from his boyhood days. The same determination which 
was so manifest in his struggle for life to the last was one of the 
strong qualities throughout his career. 

"The respect with which he was held was manifest in the 
large number of friends and neighbors of other denominations 
besides our own people at his funeral in the Scalp Level house. The 
funeral services were conducted by the writer, assisted by Breth- 
ren Albert Berkley and W. II. Fry. He was laid to rest in the 
Berkey cemetery. H. S. Replogle. 

" Scalp Level, Pa., July 24, 1914." 


George D. Cleaver, the subject of this brief sketch, was born 
July 30, 1848, in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. Here he lived 
,with his parents until 1869. Being now of age, he went to Bed- 
ford County, where he was married, and lived ten years. In 1879 
he returned to Clearfield County with his family and has lived 
there ever since. He became a member of the Church of the 
Brethren in 1886, was called to the ministry in the Rockton congre- 
gation in 1887, and ordained to the eldership in 1912. As resident 
elder of the Rockton congregation he succeeded Elder J. H. Beer, 
who in turn had followed his father, Peter Beer. Elder Cleaver is 
the only elder in Clearfield County. 


Lewis Cobaugh, third son and sixth child of Brother Fred- 
erick and Sister Susan (Benshoff) Cobaugh, was born in Taylor 
Township, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, September 6, 1833. On 
his mother's side his ancestors were German, and on his father's 
side, Swiss, his grandfather having emigrated from Switzerland. 
His boyhood and youth were spent on his father's farm, where he 
acquired a knowledge of husbandry which enabled him to under- 
take the management of the farm at the age of 16, when his father 
died. When he became of age he bought this farm. In addition to 
the education received in the district school, he applied himself dil- 
igently to the study of theology and the acquirement of German 
and French in addition to English, which was his mother tongue. 
He taught school several terms. His interest in educational mat- 
ters continued unabated, and for many years he filled the office 
of school director. 

He followed the occupation of his father (farmer) until March, 
1869, when, with his family, he moved to Johnstown, and associated 
himself in business with Judge Mahlon W. Keim, conducting a gen- 
eral merchandise store and operating a tannery. These were in 


a flourishing condition when death suddenly cut short his earthly 

September 17, 1854, he was married to Susan Berkey, daughter 
of Peter and Sarah (Wolford) Berkey, of Paint Township, Somer- 
set County, Pennsylvania, by Elder Christian Lehman. In the 
spring of 1855 he was elected to the ministry in the Conemaugh 
congregation. On the same day his wife was baptized. He had 
become a member of the church at about the age of sixteen. His 
careful and thorough home study enabled him to prepare himself 
for the ministry, and he ultimately became one of the most elo- 
quent and successful ministers of the Church of the Brethren in 
his day. His ministerial labors took him over parts of Cambria, 
Indiana, Somerset and Bedford Counties. He represented his con- 
gregation in the District Meeting and he was clerk of the same. 
His services were principally in the English language, though upon 
request he sometimes used the German. His travel was prin- 
cipally on horseback and by buggy, and his services were all 
without remuneration. 

He was the father of four children: Peter A., Sarah J., Han- 
nah B. and Paul J. He died Nov. 17, 1S69, after living eight 
months in the city, and before his new house, which he had 
erected, was finished. He is buried in Grand View cemetery. 


John P. Cober, son of Elder Peter Cober, was born on the 
Cober homestead, near Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. 
March 26, 1803. He lived his entire life in Brothers Valley, and 
was an enterprising citizen. He received such schooling as was 
available in his day, which was principally in German. 

He was married to Miss Rosie Anne Putnam. They early 
identified themselves with the Church of the Brethren and con- 
tinued faithful to the end. 

To Brother and Sister Cober were l)orn six sons and four 
daughters. Several of the daughters were the wives of officials 
of the church. Professor Wesley H. Cober (Cover), who was a 
prominent schoolman in Somerset County, and at one time a prom- 
ising young minister, was his grandson. 

Besides being a farmer and minister. Brother Cober was a 
physician of considerable note. His services were in demand far 
and wide. It is said of him that he purchased Dr. Fahrney's 
doctor books, and that after his day's work on the farm was com- 
pleted and his sermons were prepared, he would study medicine 
in these books. He raised many of the herbs used in his medi- 
cines in his own garden. He had two large gardens, side by side — 
one in which he raised garden vegetables and in the other one his 


herbs. Brother Cober was doubly helpful to the sick. He could 
give them medical help and spiritual counsel and encouragement. 

His ministerial labors were confined principally to his home 
congregation and several of the neighboring ones. He died July 
31, 1884, aged 81 years, 4 months and 5 days. As a minister, elder 
and doctor, he traveled extensively on horseback, and had a large 
circle of acquaintances and friends. While his education and 
preaching were in German, he spoke English fluently. 


Peter Cober was born on a farm near Berlin, Somerset Coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania, May 24, 1776, where he always lived, and died 
October 20, 1854, aged 78 years, 4 months and 26 days. He was 
married to Elizabeth Landis, to which union were born five sons 
and two daughters. " It is thought that his father's name was 
also Peter, and there is considerable reason for supposing him to 
have been Lutheran or Reformed in his church relations." 

He filled all the offices in the church from deacon to elder, but 
not many dates are available. He, with John Forney, was ordained 
to the eldership at Berkley's, " having a good report from those 
without as well as from those within." Elder Peter Forney, of 
Glendale, Arizona, writes that he often heard his father say that 
he (John Forney) and Peter Cober were elected to the deacon- 
ship at the same time, then chosen to the ministry, advanced to 
the second degree, and ordained to the eldership together, and 
they worked together, shoulder to shoulder, as long as they lived, 
without a clash. 

Elder Cober was considered an al>le minister, and traveled 
considerably on horseback, preaching in several counties, often 
three sermons a Sunday. He was one of the first bishops in the 
Berlin congregation. He did a good deal of preaching in the 
Quemahoning congregation, even after it was a separate con- 
gregation. His services were in the German language, and he was 
considered an able man in the ministry in his day. 

Here I quote from his obituary: " Elder Peter Cober died 
October 20, 1854, in his 79th year. He has been an able minister 
in our church for the last forty years and one of our bishops for 
about twenty years. We suflfered great loss in his removal. Yet 
we trust our loss is his gain. He leaves a widow, twelve children, 
forty-two grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. Funeral 
text. Rev. 14: 13." 


T. Rodney Cofifman was born in Bakersville, Washington 
County, Maryland, June 27, 1873. His parents were Samuel and 


Klder T. Rodney Coffman. 

Susan Coffman. His father's people were United Brethren, and 
his mother's were German Reformed. But both of his parents 
became members of the Church of the Brethren. 

Rodney attended the public schools and took the teachers' 
examination. Later he took a business course at Wolf's Business 
College, Hagerstown, Maryland. After graduating he solicited for, 
and taught in, the college for three years. 

On November 4, 1896, he was married to Miss Blanche E. 
Fahrney, after which he farmed for his father four years. On 
May 8, 1897, he and his wife were baptized by Elder D. Victor 
Long, and on the following Thanksgiving Day, November 25, he 
was elected to the ministry in the Manor congregation, Maryland. 
He took his turns with the other ministers in the regular preach- 
ing services. Besides, he filled appointments at three mission 
points in West Virginia; viz., Johnsontown, Broad Line and Martins- 
burg. In September, 1900, he was advanced to the second degree of 
the ministry. 

After his call to the ministry he took some Bible work better 
to prepare himself for the Lord's work. October 16, 1900, he ac- 
cepted the call from the Tyrone church. Middle Pennsylvania. 


Here he labored three and one-half years. His next call was to the 
Parker Ford church, Eastern Pennsylvania, which he accepted. 
At this place h-e labored for the growth of the church and the 
salvation of souls for nine years. While serving here he was or- 
dained to the eldership December 10, 1911, by Elders J. T. Myers 
and J. P. Hetrick. It was during this pastorate that Elizabeth, 
their only child, was born into their home. 

In the fall of 1912 he received the call from the Pittsburgh 
church, which he accepted, and was installed as the pastor on 
Sunday, February 2, 1913, by Elder D. H. Walker, the elder of 
the church. This position he still holds. 

Elder Cofifman has met with gratifying sucess in the evangel- 
istic field. His intention was, when he finished his school work, 
to read medicine, but being elected to the ministry he has given 
his time to the church as pastor and evangelist. 


John P. Coleman, son of Millard F. and Mary (Gardner) 
Coleman, was born in tlie city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, May 17, 
1888. He attended the pul)lic schools of the city until nearly thir- 
teen years of age, finishing the common schools. When John was 
but nine years old liis father died, leaving a widow with six chil- 
dren to support. 

His help being much needed, he started to work as a mes- 
senger boy in the purchasing department of the Lorain Steel 
Company in the fall of 1900. In November, 1901, he took up a 
business course in Rowe College, working in the day and going to 
school at night, graduating in June, 1903. In October before grad- 
uating he secured the position as stenographer in the office where 
he had been working, and later became clerk in the same depart- 
ment. He now has charge of the stationery department, takes 
care of the correspondence and writes up orders for material 
needed, in the same department. 

John was for some years a member of the Methodist Church, 
but on October 7, 1909, he became a member of the West Johns- 
town church of the Brethren, and became active in church and 
Sunday-school work. On January 13," 1910, he was elected to the 
ministry. He has filled various positions in Sunday-school, having 
been superintendent of the Roxbury Sunday-school from July, 1912, 
to the close of 1915. For a number of years he has been church 
C^^T^^- (Portrait on Page 199.) 


Philip F. Cupp, son of Jolin and Elizabeth (Shaver) Cupp, was 
born in .Somerset County, Pennsylvania. June 16, 1842. His parents 


were members of the Lutheran Church. He was afforded oppor- 
tunities to secure an education that placed him in the foremost 
ranks as a public school-teacher of his day. He taught ten win- 
ter terms of school, one in Jenner and nine in Somerset Town- 
ship. Besides being a teacher he followed farming, living near 
the present town of Listie, in Somerset Township. 

He was married to Kate Speicher, daughter of Jacob P. and 
Sallie (Schrock) Speicher. Some time after his marriage he 
united with the Church of the Brethren, and became an active 
worker in the same. " He served the church in the capacity of 
deacon about eight years. His influence as a deacon was far- 
reaching, and his great desire and prayer was to live peaceably 
with all men. He seemed to have a special knack in settling difiti- 
culties between brethren, and a reconciliation was generally ef- 
fected. More tlian one church scandal was likely prevented 
through his tact in such matters." 

After serving the church as deacon about eight j^ears he 
was called to the ministry. His ministerial lal)ors extended over 
a period of eleven or twelve years. Most of his preaching was 
done in his home congregation (the Brothers Valley). He always 
filled his appointments when his health would permit. His man- 
ner of life was a continual sermon to all who knew him. He was 
a great lover of music and was a leader of singing in his congre- 
gation for many years. He often sang when in the field at work 
and when traveling on the road. His love and sympathy extended 
not only to his fellow-men, but even the domestic as well as the 
wild animals seemed to know him. 

He was superintendent of the Trent Sunday-school of the 
Brothers Valley congregation for a number of years. In fact, it 
was he who organized the first Brethren Sunday-school in Som- 
erset Township. This was about the year 1879. He was always 
sure to have not only his family to attend, but as many of his 
neighbors and friends as he could persuade. He always kept a 
conveyance of some kind, and this was generally filled with people 
whom he persuaded to go along to church and Sunday-school. He 
was at home in the Sunday-school, and there is where he did 
his most effective work for the Master in his early Christian life. 
His name appeared on the program of the first Sunday-school con- 
vention of the Western District of Pennsylvania, held in the Grove 
meetinghouse, September 23, 1879. 

His interest in education never abated. He gave his chil- 
dren all the advantages along that line that he could, and so we 
find them all entering the ranks of the pedagogue, one after an- 
other, as they were old enough. Three of them were also grad- 
uates from Juniata College. 



He closed his earthly career at the age of 54, in the spring of 
1897, and is buried in the Husband cemeter}- at Somerset. His 
was a short but useful life, indeed. 

John J. Darr. 


John J. Darr, son of John and Catharine (Ellenberger) Darr, 
was borji in what is now Lincoln Township, Somerset County, 
Pennsylvania, April 20, 1850. The Darr home was near the Case- 
beer Lutheran church of which the parents were members. Here 
John J. attended Sunday-school from the age of six to twenty- 
two. He served this school as secretary a number of years until 
the time he left the school. 

Brother Darr married Mary Gnagey, daughter of Deacon Chris- 
tian C. Gnagey, September 2, 1873, Elder J. W. Beer officiating. 
He is a prominent farmer of Lincoln Township. Their children 



are: Annie M. (Shaffer), Charles Franklin, Sadie A. (Weighley), 
Harry Wilson, Edwin Garfield, Alvin C, Park G. and Carrie P. 
(Glessner). Besides farming Brother Darr taught eleven terms of 
school in his county. Being a great friend of education, he gave 
excellent opportunities to his children along educational lines, and 
five of them were school-teachers. 

Brother Darr was baptized in March of 1873, in the Quema- 
honing congregation, by Jacob P. Speicher, being the only one of 
his father's family to belong to the Brethren. He served the 
church as deacon a number of years, and on September 22, 1890, he 
was elected to the ministry in the same congregation, where he 
has labored ever since. He served his township in the capacity of 
school director six years. 

£lder John X. JJiivis and AVife. 


I quote, in part, from the Mcyersdale Republican: "John N. 
Davis was for more than half a century a conspicuous figure in the 
affairs of Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. He was born 
April 8, 1835, and grew to manhood without any educational ad- 
vantages. He was about eighteen years of age before he received 
any schooling. Samuel J. Livengood (father of the present editor 
of the Republican) was, during the early fifties, teacher of the 
school at Blaugh's Saw Mill, on Tub Mill Run, when his atten- 
tion was attracted to young Davis, in whom he recognized much 
native ability. He encouraged the young man, hitherto untutored, 
to start to school, and to strive to obtain an education. Young 
Davis consented, but went to school only one month. But in that 


time he got such a good start, and acquired such a thirst for 
knowledge, that he continued to be a student the rest of his life, or 
until his mind began to fail. 

" The writer often heard his father say that John N. Davis 
was a pupil he was proud of, and a man who deserved a great deal 
of credit for the education he acquired in spite of his limited op- 
portunities. Although he attended public school for but one 
month, Mr. Davis' afterward went to a Summer Normal at Berlin 
for one term. Here he fitted himself to pass the teachers' ex- 
amination, and for many years he was a successful teacher in his 
native township. Xot content with becoming proficient in the three 
' R's ' — ' Readin', 'Ritin' and 'Rithmetic ' — the only three essen- 
tials of those pioneer days of public education, Mr. Davis studied 
other branches, and among other things fitted himself to be a sur- 
veyor. He also acquired a fair knowledge of geology and was well 
informed on many topics. 

" In 1863 he enlisted in Co. K, 171st Pennsylvania Regiment, 
and served nine months in the field in the defense of his country. 
At the expiration of his nine months' enlistment, he, with many 
others of his regiment, reenlisted for as long a time as might be 
necessary to keep General Lee's army from invading Pennsjdvania. 
y\s Lee was soon driven back to ' Dixie,' with no prospect of a sec- 
ond invasion of Pennsylvania, Mr. Davis was mustered out and 
returned home to engage in lumbering and shook-making, but 
was later again drafted for military service. Not finding it conven- 
ient to leave his business to take up arms again, and being a non- 
combatant in religion, he employed a substitute at a cost of 
$2,200 to take his place in the army. .After the war he continued 
at lumbering, farming and surveying. He was one of the pioneers 
in dealing in timber and mineral lands in the Negro Mountains. 
He bought 15,000 acres of mountain land, which he disposed of to 
Eastern capitalists, and acted as agent for the purchasers for a 
number of years afterward. 

" It was, however, as school director that Mr. Davis shone 
above all other respects. For many years he served on the 
school board of Elk Lick Township, acting as township superin- 
tendent a good portion of the time. He encouraged the young 
teachers, and the interests of the public schools were always close 
to his heart. 

" In his young manhood Mr. Davis was united in marriage to 
Miss Dinah Schrock, seven years his jtmior, who survives him. 
During the last few years of his life, when he was practically help- 
less, he was tenderly cared for by his wife and their youngest son, 
James and his wife, who live on the parental home." 

Elder Davis united with the Church of the Brethren at Summit 


Mills, in March, 1865. He was elected deacon at the same place 
in October, 1879. He moved into the Elk Lick congregation in Au- 
gust, 188X). By letter he and wife became charter members of 
the " Peck church " of the above congregation, which by division 
was changed to Maple Glen congregation. Prior to this division 
he was elected to the ministry. May 5, 1886. He was advanced to 
the second degree of the ministry September 17, 1887, and ordained 
to the eldership September 27, 1896. He was a faithful minister 
and elder, taking an active part in the affairs of the District. His 
activities were contuied principally to his home and neighboring 
churches. Some years ago he was one of an Old Folks' Home 

Elder and Sister Davis were the parents of twelve children, 
nine of whom survived him; also thirty-one grandchildren. En- 
dowed by nature with a brilliant intellect, he was a great mental 
and moral force in the community in which he lived until seven 
(jr eight years before he died, when failing memory conpelled him 
to retire from the ministry. He died l*"el)ruary 28, 1913, aged 11 
years, 10 months and 20 days. l<~uneral services were conducted 
in the Springs Mennonite church by J. C. Beahm, L. A. Peck and 
G. D. Miller (Mennonite), and interment was in Springs cemetery. 


Alpheus DeBolt is the son of Brother John and Sister Char- 
ity (Walters) DeBolt, who lived on the banks of the Mononga- 
hela River, near Masontown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Here 
he (John) owned and operated a gristmill and sawmill. John 
DeBolt and his wife were members of the Church of the lirethren, 
he being a faithful deacon. 

Alpheus was born February 23. 1844. .\ few years after this the 
father sold the mill and bought a farm near the h'air View church, 
about one and a fourth miles southeast of Masontown, where he 
died. When Alplieus was twenty years old, during the Civil War, 
he was drafted to go to the army. His father paid the commuta- 
tion fee of three hundred dollars and he was released. 

In 1868 he was married to Miss Catharine Sterling, (laughter 
of Deacon Jonathan Sterling, Elder Joseph I. Cover solemnizing 
the ceremony. On New Year's Day, 1872, they united with the 
church, being baptized liy the same officiating minister. 

His zeal and faitlifulness as a lay member commending itself 
to the church, he was called to the office of deacon on October 7, 
1881. After serving the church in this capacity about two years he 
was called to the ministry March 24, 1883. June 14, 1902, he was 
ordained to the eldership liy Elders Josiah Berkley and W. A. 



Elder Alpheus DeBolt and Mite. 

To Brother and Sister DeBolt were given seven children, of 
whom three died quite young. The others, having been brought 
up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, are members of the 
church. The hospitality of Brother DeBolt and his family is note- 
worthy. It is given in gospel measure, heaped up, pressed down 
and running over. 

By his earnest and careful study of the Bible Brother DeBolt 
has acquired a substantial knowledge of the Scriptures, which, 
coupled with his natural ability, makes him a fluent conversation- 
alist. His sermons are forceful. In his ministerial duties he is 
greatly assisted by his wife, whose Christian character, hospital- 
ity and charitableness are of a high standard. Her seat in the sanc- 
tuary is seldom vacant when health permits. 


Jacob Dell was born on a farm near Bakerstown, Allegheny 
County, Pennsylvania, January 1, 1829. Reared as a farmer's son 
he received a common school education. In 1850 he married Miss 
Mary Harmon. They raised a large family of children. The fam- 
ily resided in Bolivar, Westmoreland County, from 1850 till 1893, 
when they moved to Duquesne, Allegheny County. 

For many years he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal 


(-"liurcli, but about 1879 he and his wife were baptized into the 
Church of the Brethren by J. W, Smouse, who was at that time 
an active evangelist, and was holding a meeting in Bolivar. In 
1882 he was called to the ministry in the Bolivar congregation. 
Here he labored as opportunity and al)ility permitted until he 
moved away. He was a faithful and willing brother. 

He had served his country in the War of the Rebellion and by 
trade he was a brick moulder, lie canio to bis death in the Car- 
negie Steel Works yard by being run down l)y a train May 8, 
1899, at the age of 70 years, 4 months and 7 days. He was buried 
at Derry, Westmoreland County. 


Christian F. Detweiler was born April 28, 1845, in Huntingdon 
County, Pennsylvania. His parents were Amish Mcnnonites and 
Christian was reared in that faith. He was married to Salome C. 
Zook, whose parents also were mcnilicrs of tlie same church. Her 
father was a minister and lived in Mifllin County. 

Christian received his education in the public schools and in 
the Kishacoquillas Seminary. He began teaching at the age of 
sixteen and continued to teach for about Iwehc years. From 
Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, he moved to Kno.x County, Tennes- 
see, vvitii a colony of Amish Mennonites in 1872. While living 
there he united with the Church of the 15rethren. being baptized 
by Elder S. Z. Sharp. A few years later his wife also united with 
the Brethren, being baptized by Elder Jesse Crosswhite. About the 
year 1876 or 1877, he was elected to the ministry. 

In 1880 he removed to Montgomery County, Ohio, into the 
Bear Creek church. From thence, two years later, he moved to 
Madison County, Indiana. After living there one year his wife 
died, leaving him with seven children, the oldest of whom was 
fourteen years and the youngest eighteen months of age. One year 
later, in 1884, he removed to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and became 
an active minister in the Johnstown congregation. The same year 
he married Esther B. Miller, a niece of Elder Jacob Miller, of 
Bedford County. To this union three children were born. Here he 
labored faithfully, doing a good deal of preaching in the old Horner 
house of the Conemaugh congregation. He died October 1, 1889, 
aged 44 years, 5 months and 3 days, and was buried on the Hill 
owned by Jacob W^ertz. His widow and younger children moved 
to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and subsequently she was mar- 
ried to Jesse Layton. His children arc members of the church, one 
of them, Anna /. Blough, having Iieen a missionary in India since 


Edgar Marion Detwiler and Wife. 


Edgar M. Detwiler was born on a farm near New Enterprise, 
Bedford County, Pennsylvania, May 22, 1883. He is the son of 
Elder David T. and Susan (Kagarise) Detwiler. His father, who 
has had the oversight of the New Enterprise congregation since 
1912, is one of the active elders of the Middle District of Penn- 
sylvania, being at present the treasurer of the Mission Board, and 
in recent years has held quite a number of revival meetings in his 
District. After many years of ill health his mother quietly 
passed away on December 21, 1915. Though her suflfering, at 
times, was great, she bore it all with Christian patience, never 
once complaining of her lot, but continually manifesting a deep 
and abiding trust in her Savior. 

The subject of this sketch was born and reared on a farm. 
He received his early education in the public schools of South 
Woodbury Township, Bedford County, graduating therefrom in 
1899. He began teaching at the age of seventeen, and taught in 
all nine terms in the public schools; six in Bedford County and 
three in Montgomery, He also assisted in conducting five Sum- 


mer Normals for teachers, serving as the principal for four of 
them. Early in life Brother Detwiler was inspired with the desire 
for a higher education than could be secured in his local com- 
munity. Acting upon this desire lie interspersed his teaching 
with attendance at Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. 
He was graduated from the normal English course in 1906, and 
from the college course in 1912. While a student he was active 
in Y. M. C. A. and other phases of religious work. 

In the spring of 1906 the District Meeting of Middle Pennsyl- 
vania elected Brother Detwiler to the office of District Sunday- 
school Field Secretary. He served the District continuously in 
this capacity until removing from the District in the autumn of 
1912. It was during his term of service that the Sunday-schools 
of the District adopted a constitution, and effected a District 
organization by electing departmental superintendents. 

The religious life of Brother Detwiler properly began on the 
29th day of February, 18%, when, at the age of twelve years, he 
united with the church. On December 29, 1906, he was called 
to the ministry by the New Enterprise church. He was advanced 
to the second degree in August, 190S, in the same congregation. 
After completing his college course, he took charge of the \or- 
ristown church as their pastor, and served them as pastor until 
he was called to take pastoral charge of the Roxbury church of 
the West Johnstown congregation in the summer of 1915. 

Brother Detwiler was united in marriage to Sister Anna Grace 
Brumbaugh, of Clover Creek, Pennsylvania, July 31, 1913. Sister 
Detwiler has had the experience of a number of terms' teaching 
in the public schools. She also spent several terms as a student 
at Juniata College. They are happily located at 14 Sell Street, in 
the new parsonage. 


Elder John V. Dictz was born in Somerset County, Pennsyl- 
vania, September 26, 1863. During his earlier boyhood his father 
was in the milling business, and he was yet quite young when he 
took a helping hand in the work. It soon became apparent that his 
aid was necessary to help support his father's growing family, 
and when he could be spared, he assisted the neighbors in their 
farm work. 

Considerable time was spent on the F. O. Livengood farm, 
located on the beautiful Casselman River in Elk Lick Township, 
Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Brother Livengood was a very 
fine Christian gentleman, and took considerable pains to give 
good advice and assistance in the proper development of the grow- 
ing boy. Elder Dietz has a kindly regard for Brother Liven- 



John y. liietj! and Wife. 

good, and remembers him with the most filial affection. Later, in 
turn, he worked with the lumbennen in the woods and in the 
sawmill. By this time his father quit the milling business and 
went to farming. Here he again took up the work and for some 
time helped on the farm. 

At tlie age of eighteen he hired himself to Elder Peter Knavel 
and served an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade. He remem- 
bers Elder Knavel very kindly, and remarks that in all their deal- 
ings and association, whether it pertained to business or church, 
there never was an unpleasant word between them. For a num- 
ber of years he was one of the leading contractors and builders in 
the Conemaugh Valley. 

When fourteen years old he attended a Normal Training 
School. At seventeen he again attended a similar school with 
the express purpose to prepare for teaching. Having passed the 
examinations successfully he taught school the following winter. 
By hard study, unceasing efforts, and attending various Normal 
Schools, he obtained a liberal education. In all, he taught eleven 
terms of school. Whether in work or play, school or church, he 
soon forged himself to the front and became a recognized leader. 
He has one of the best private libraries in the Brotherhood, pos- 
sessing many books of splendid selection. These, including mis- 
cellaneous books, pamphlets and so forth, number possibly two 

He united with the church of his choice when nineteen years 
of age, and was baptized by Elder Hiram Musselman in Paint 
Creek, just above the noted Paint Falls. The thermometer reg- 


istered below zero, and the ice lay fully two feet thick on the 
bosom of the stream. He regarded Elder Musselman as an ideal 
brother and often sought his companionship. 

During his membership in the Shade Creek congregation, 
Brother Joseph Berkey was elder in charge, and while Brother 
Dietz lived in Roxbury, knowing that Elder Berkey was old, 
feeble and entirely blind, he determined to have one more conver- 
sation with him. On a cold, stormy winter day, he drove thirty- 
two miles to converse with the good old brother, receiving from 
him a splendid history of his long and useful service in the church. 
Brother Dietz, with his associates, Elders Jerome E. Blough and 
James F. Ream, and others, for some years was a leader in the 
Sunday-school work at Scalp Level, Pennsylvania. He was for 
years the church clerk of Shade Creek congregation. 

He united in marriage with Jemima E. Blough, daughter of 
Elder Emanuel J. and Sarah (Barndt) Blough. To this union were 
born eight children, four sons and four daughters; namely, Lottie 
Alverta, Vernon Jay, Olive Pearl, Galen Royer, Norma Lou Etta, 
Elma Blanche, Emmert Roy and John Herschel. 

Brother Dietz's idea of a companion in life was one who was 
consecrated to the church and devoted to her service. In this he 
made a wise choice, for in the many duties devolving upon him, 
she always proved a loving companion and a splendid helpmate. 
He did much baptizing and anointing of the sick; performed many 
marriage ceremonies and preached many funerals. No weather 
was too cold or inclement, no night too dark and no distance too 
great when the Lord called to service, and in all these arduous 
duties Sister Dietz neither offered a complaint nor a single mur- 
mur, but stood faitlifully by the work, always giving it her en- 

Brother and Sister Dietz went to housekeeping at Scalp Level, 
but in a few years moved to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where he 
was elected to the ministry September 14. 1893. The next year 
he was advanced to the second degree of the ministry, and on 
June 28, 1900, he was ordained to the eldership in the West Johns- 
town congregation. He was the first resident elder of the West 
Johnstown congregation, and served it in that capacity, for twelve 
years. His preaching and other services were much in demand. 
He served the church in many important positions, attending nu- 
merous Annual Meetings, and many District, Elders', Sunday- 
school and Ministerial Meetings and various other conventions. 
His wife loved to accompany him, and did so when she could. 
He was often chosen as delegate to important meetings, and in 
1910 represented the Western District of Pennsylvania on the 
Standing Committee at Winona T-ake Conference. 


Elder Dietz stood for advanced ideas in all his work, believed 
in an educated ministry, w^as a firm advocate of the Brethren's 
schools, encouraged special training and preparation for church 
work, taught and exemplified the plain and simple life, upheld 
woman's suffrage and prohibition, and believed that the home is 
the greatest institution in the world. 

During his leadership in the West Johnstown church, scores 
were added to the fold, one new church was built and three remod- 
eled, a number of brethren were elected to the ministry, more than 
a dozen brethren were called to the deaconship, and John H. Cas- 
sady was advanced to the eldership. Many brethren and sisters 
shared the comforts and hospitality of their home at number 41 
Sell Street, Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He now resides in Detroit, 
Michigan, where he is again a recognized leader in his chosen field. 


Solomon E. Dorer was born August 15, 1856, in Upper Yoder 
Township, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. His father, Crispin 
Dorer, came from Stantz, Switzerland. He was born September 
19, 1829, and his parents were Roman Catholics. He emigrated 
to this country in 1850, and worked a while in Blair County. 
Coming to Johnstown he worked for Elder Jacob Stutzman, 
whose farm is now the eighth ward, Johnstown. Later he worked 
for his son, Abraham Stutzman, who persuaded him to read the 
New Testament. After manj' arguments he was linally converted 
and was baptized. 

He was married October 18, 1855, to Miss Catharine Vickroj', 
daughter of Solomon and Polly Ann (Younker) Vickroy. Seven 
children were born to this union. Of these Solomon is the only 
one of the entire family now living. His school advantages were 
limited. After he was fifteen he received only a few months a 
year of winter school, and at eighteen he quit school. His mother 
being an invalid a number of years required his presence with her. 

He was started to Sunday-school when but five years old, at- 
tending at different times the Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran 
and Baptist schools, because the Brethren had no Sunday-schools. 
Brother Dorer holds as a souvenir, a certificate, certifying that he 
is an "Annual Member of the 55th Regiment of the Pennsylvania 
Baptist Sunday-school Army, Auxiliary to the Pennsylvania Bap- 
tist General Association for Missionary Purposes," signed by the 
president, secretary and treasurer. 

Brother Dorer was baptized in November, 1876, at the age of 
twenty. He was elected assistant superintendent of a union Sun- 
day-school, January 1, 1877, since which time he has served in all 


capacities in the Sunday-school. At present he is teaclier of the 
Bible Class in the Morrellville Sunday-school, where he has la- 
bored for a number of years. 

On October 31, 1878, Brother Dorer and Miss Maggie Camp- 
bell, daughter of James and Lelia (Murphy) Campbell, were mar- 
ried. To this union nine children were born, of whom seven are 
living. At their marriage his wife was not a member of the 
Church of the l^)rethren, but later became such, as did also six 
of the children. 

On November 29, 1883, at a council in tlie Walnut Grove 
schoolhouse. Brother Dorer and A. W. Myers were elected to the 
ministry in the Johnstown congregation, being the first so called 
after tlie deplorable division. When Brother Dorer united with 
the church the Conemaugh congregation was the only one in 
the Conemaugh Valley. Because of divisions of old congre- 
gations and organization of new ones Brother Dorer has lived 
and labored successively in the Conemaugh, Johnstown, West 
Johnstown and Morrellville congregations. When Brother Dorer 
took up the ministry the work was hard, but the Lord gave pros- 
perity. There were five places of preaching with four ministers. 
He is now the oldest active minister of the Church of the Breth- 
ren in the Conemaugh Valley. He is hoping for the day when 
every churchhouse will be the center of one congregation. 
(Portriiit on Page 199.) 


John Eicher, the father of Elder J. K. Eicher, in his early days 
was a member of the Mennonite Church. He married Miss Bar- 
bara Kalb, who was a member of the Lutheran Church. They 
made their home on a farm in Mt. Pleasant Township, West- 
moreland County, Pennsylvania. This union was l)lessed by four 
sons and two daughters, all of whom were 1)aptized into tlie 
Lutheran Church when young. 

John K.. the third son, was liorn ()ctol)er 1, 1S44. He was 
reared on the farm, and in addition to the common school advan- 
tages he attended a few summer terms at Sewickley .\cademy. Be- 
ginning in 1864 he taught eleven terms of common winter school 
and two terms of summer school. 

Elder Eicher was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Weaver 
in 1868. He united with the Church of the Brethren in 1874, and 
in 1877 he was called to tlie niinistr}' in the Jacobs Creek con- 
gregation. In 1880 he was advanced to the second degree, and in 
1897 he was ordained to the eldership. He is at present, as he 
has been for some years, elder of the Jacobs Creek congregation. 
(Portrait on Page 107.) 



David Eshelman, son of Isaac Eshelman, was born in Dauphin 
County, Pennsylvania, June 22, 1799. His grandfather was David. 
His great-grandfather, Heinrich Eshelman, came from Switzer- 
land in 1727, and owned property in Rapho Township, Lancaster 

Elder David Eshelman married Esther Longanecker, and they 
had six children; viz., Andrew (a deacon and father of Elder M. 
M. Eshelman, of Tropico, California), Catharine, Samuel, Nancy, 
Susannah and Hattie. Brother Eshelman was called to the min- 
istry in Mififlin County, and moved to Salem, Clarion County, 
Pennsylvania, about 1852 or 1853. He became quite active in the 
ministry, and he, with Elder John H. Goodman, was a leader in 
building up the church in Clarion County. 

Elder Eshelman had appointments at various places in Clar- 
ion and adjoining counties. Three Sundays of each month he 
would go on horseback from thirty to sixty miles, round trip, to 
his appointments, and the other Sunday he preached at home. 
The appointments were four and eight weeks apart, and he gen- 
erally held two services at a place before returning. He inva- 
riably traveled horseback, going on Saturday and returning on 

He preached in both English and German. He belonged to that 
class of pioneer preachers who, by self-sacrifice, went about preach- 
ing and doing good without pay or direction, save as the Spirit 
took charge and urged them on, thus making it possible for the 
Brethren Church to extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He 
was a mild-mannered man and made friends wherever he was 
known. He was calm under great provocation. 

Towards the close of his life he moved back to Mifflin Coun- 
ty and did some work near Lewistown. His last days were spent 
at Mohrsville, Berks County, where he died October 4, 1873, 
aged 74 years, 3 months and 12 days. Sister Eshelman died near 
McVeytown, aged 72 years and 11 months. Some of his contem- 
poraries were William Howe, Andrew Spanogle, Graybill Myers, 
and Joseph R. Hanawalt. 


The Foust family of Somerset and Cambria Counties is among 
the older ones. They belonged to a number of different denomi- 
nations. The family of Jacob Foust, of Scalp Level, was largely 
Lutheran. One of the sons, Jacob E., married Sister Fannie Berke- 
bile, daughter of Peter and Hannah Berkebile, and granddaughter 
of Deacon Daniel Berkey, and so naturally united with the Church 


Alvin G. Faust and Wife. 

of tlic Jircthrcii in tlic Shade Creek elmrch. Jacoh !•',. I'Oust is a 
deacon. Their children are Ahhie, Alice (deceased) Ariluir (de- 
ceased), Alvin G., Newton, Sadie, Hannah, Clark, I'.ertiia (de- 
ceased), and Ruth. 

Alvin G. Faust (as he prefers to spell the name) was born in 
Paint Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, February 8, 1^'85. 
He was reared on the farm and given the advantages of the com- 
mon school from which he graduated in April, 1901. He also at- 
tended four terms of local normal, one spring term (l'X)5) at 
Juniata College and two years (1908-09, 1909-10) at I'.ethany Bible 
School, Chicago, Illinois. In the fall of IWl he began teaching 
school, being at the time sixteen years of age. He has taught 
thirteen terms of winter school, two terms of which he was prin- 
cipal of the Scalp Level schools. He taught one term of normal, 
spring of 1907. In 1906 he was granted a State permanent certifi- 

On August 9, 1908, he and Sister Maud C. Joiins, daughter of 
Moses K. and Annie (Thomas) Johns, were united in marriage. 
Maud Johns is a great-great-granddaughter of Joseph Johns, the 
founder of Johnstown, and for six years was a popular school- 
teacher. In addition to the common schools she attended local 
normals, Juniata College in 1906, and was with her husband in 
Bethany Bible School two years. Brother and Sister Faust have 
one son, Nile Eugene, born September 7, 1911. 

During a series of meetings, held in the .Scalp Level church by 
H. S. Replogle, Alvin united with the church, being baptized by 
Jas. F. Ream. He was elected to the ministry November 24, 1904; 



installed March 25, 1905; preached first sermon June 25, 1905; was 
advanced April 7, 1908; became pastor of the Shade Creek con- 
gregation in May, 1915. He is a leader in music, having taken 
music and voice culture in Bethany. He taught a number of 
singing classes. He has been a member of the executive board 
of the Sundaj^ School Association of the District three years. 







f ' i i^^^B 







Isaiah B. Ferg^uson. 


Robert and Elizabeth (Burkholder) Ferguson lived in Donegal 
Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and were faith- 
ful members of the Indian Creek Church of the Brethren. Their 
son, Isaiah B., was born at the same place, April 10, 1868, and 
reared on the farm. 


Brother Ferguson united with the church young in life in the 
Indian Creek congregation, wlicrc he was elected to the ministry 
in September, 1892. One year later he was advanced to the second 
degree. On September 20, 1891, he and Miss Mary Ann Miller, 
daughter of Daniel and Rachel (Peterson) Miller, were united in 
marriage. No children were given to bless this union, but they 
raised Miss Katie Sporey, who is now the wife of Brother Mahlon 
J. Blough. 

Brother Ferguson has at different times lived in the Indian 
Creek church, Westmoreland County, and in the Middle Creek 
and Quemahoning churches, Somerset County. Their present 
home is in Jenner Township, Somerset County, in the last-named 

Most of his ministerial labors liave been done in his home 
congregations, though he has done evangelistic work in Pennsyl- 
vania, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio. He has baptized and 
married a number of people. 


By Emra T. Fike, Oakland, Maryland. 

Among the " Pennsylvania Dutch " of the Western District of 
Pennsylvania, should be reckoned Peter Fike, Sr., who was born 
and reared near Meyersdale, Somerset County. After his mar- 
riage with Miss Magdalena Arnold, of Burlington, West Vir- 
ginia, he located near Maple Grove, Maryland. After living there 
a few years he moved to Indian Creek, Fayette County, Pennsyl- 
vania, where he reared his family of ten children until the young- 
est one was eleven years of age. 

Peter Fike's great grandfather, who came from Hanover, Ger- 
many, was, no doubt, the ancestor of all the Fikes now in the 
United States. This Fike, who came from Germany, was a weaver 
by trade and a member of the Amish Church. It was either his 
son or his grandson, who, through the influence of his wife, came 
into the Church of the Brethren. Since that time the greater per- 
centage of the Fike family are members of the same church. At 
least Peter's father, Christian, and his mother, Christina, were con- 
secrated members of the Church of the Brethren. 

In A. D. 1851 Peter ninvcd to Sang Run, Maryland, and 
three years later he moved to I'reston County, West Virginia, 
where much of the country was an unbroken forest, being on the 
edge of Hoy's Wilderness. 

Here grandfather had no church home, he and his family 
being among the pioneer members. His ten children soon all set- 
tled around him, and as they had large families, nearly all of 


whom were members of the church, it was not long until a church 
organization was efifected. Thus it is that the German Settle- 
ment congregation, numbering about 400 members, is composed 
almost entirely of descendants of Peter Fike, and as he came from 
Western Pennsylvania, it may be truthfully said that this congre- 
gation is a child of Western Pennsylvania. 

Of the four sons of Peter Fike, two, Samuel A. and Aaron, 
were elders, one, Moses, was a minister in the second degree, and 
one, David, was a deacon. This family is unique, in that more than 
twenty of grandfather's family are ministers in the Church of 
the Brethren. 


John Fornej^ Sr.. was born six miles south of Mcyersdale, 
near Salisbury, Pennsylvania, November 15, 1777. There he grew 
to manhood, with his three brothers, Abraham, Christian and 
Peter, and some sisters. He was married to Susannah Buechley, 
daughter of Elder John Buechley, of the Elk Lick church. To 
this union twelve children were born, nine sons and three daugh- 
ters. Three sons, Michael, John, Jr., and Peter, were ministers 
and elders, and two sons, Daniel and Elias, deacons. 

In 1817 he moved with his family to a large farm two miles 
north of Berlin, in Brothers Valley Township. Here he lived and 
reared his family till about 1840, when he moved to a farm on the 
West bank of the Quemahoning Creek, in Conemaugh Township, 
where he died August 31, 1846, aged 69 years, 9 months and 21 
days. His widow died July 27, 1862, aged 75 3'ears, 11 months 
and 9 days. 

After serving in the office of deacon for some years he was 
elected to the ministry in the Berlin church about 1830 (exact date 
not known), and with Peter Cober was ordained at a council at 
Berkley's, in October, 1836, " having a good report from those 
without as well as from those within." In 1840 he moved, as al- 
ready stated, to Conemaugh Township, being the first and only 
elder in this arm of the church for six years, when he went to his 
reward. I have a letter from Elder Peter Forne3^ Glendale, 
Arizona, his youngest son, written April 4, 1914, when he was 84 
years old, from which I quote: " I was the youngest one of the fam- 
ily, and I was very vain and foolish, ' cared for none of those 
things,' like GalHo, and my father died before I was eighteen. As 
to where he was born, or what his father's and mother's names 
were, or of what nationality he was I know absolutely nothing. 
I heard him say that he and Peter Cober were elected to the 
deaconship at the same time, then chosen to the ministry, advanced 
to the second degree, and ordained to the eldership together, and 


they worked together, shoulder to shoulder, as long as they lived, 
without a clash. Father's preaching always was sympathetic. He 
seemed to be tender-hearted. I do not know that I ever heard 
him preach without shedding tears himself, as well as his congre- 
gation. As to how deep or shallow he was, 1 am not able to say. 
He always had family worship, evening and morning, and asked a 
blessing and returned thanks at meals, morning, noon and even- 
ing. I heard him say that by request he preached one funeral 
in English. He wrote a good hand, both in German and English. 
In German he signed his name Fahrney, and in English, Forney. 
He always kept a book of all his business with all with whom he 
had dealings. He was some kin to old Dr. Peter Fahrney, but 
how near 1 know not. 

" He had several trades, carpenter and cooper. In his young 
days he was hewing timber, got very warm, went to the river, 
cut the ice, lay down and drank, and arose an afflicted man for 
his lifetime. I have heard told that for weeks and months they 
thou.qlit every day would be his last. Hut he linally rallied, but 
had to do with it as long as he lived, and finally it turned into 

" In March, 1846, he was called to preach a funeral across 
Stony Creek, near where Hooversville now is located. He went 
horseback. Next morning when he dressed himself he noticed 
that his feet were swollen a little. He pressed his thumb on 
the swelling and a dint remained. 'Why,' said he, 'they say that 
is dropsy.' He finished dressing and went aliout his work as 
usual. The next morning it was worse, and so it continued day by 
day until finally his legs burst open. His suffering was intense at 
times, and lasted till he died. So we are going down the valley 
one by one. My letter is somewhat fragmentary. I was out of 
fix for several days, so I could not write. Under the circumstances 
1 did the best I could. 1 do not know whether my scril)bling will 
be of any use to you or not." 

His body was laid in a lonely grave on tiie I'arni, but after 
the farm went out of the family's hands his body was removed 
to the Blough-l'^ofney burying ground, near Berlin, where he and 
his wife lie buried side by side. 

Few men have the honor of being the ancestor of so long a 
ifne of ministers. Three sons, six grandsons and three great- 
prrandsons by the name of Forney were and are ministers. That 
was eight years ago. Probably there are more now. 


James Fouch (Pfautz') moved from the Coventry congregation, 
Lancaster County, and settled in Georges Township, Fayette Coun- 


(.y, near Leatherman's farm. Brother Fouch was l)orn in 1769 and 
elected to the ministry in 1795. In 1814 he was ordained to the 
eldership. He was a successful farmer, besides being a minister, 
and died in 1850, aged 81 years. 


In the year 1879 Henry B. Fox and Rachel Martin were united 
ia marriage. To this union were born four sons and one daugh- 
ter. Lemuel R., the third son, began his earthly career January 
8, 1885, the parents at this time living on a farm near Mount Pleas- 
ant, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The parents, being of 
Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry, followed the inbred inclination fo 
be faimers, and Lemuel naturally followed the same pursuit, as- 
sisting h's father until his twenty-sixth year, since which time he 
has been employed in a factory. 

Owing to the fact that from the time Lemuel was sixteen years 
of age his entire services were given to his father on the farm, his 
education was limited to tlie common schools. The family, living 
a long distance from the church and the father not being a mem- 
ber of the church and providing no church conveniences, Lemuel's 
early church training was much neglected, and he was not made to 
feel the need of yoking his life up to Christ's work until com- 
paratively late in life. 

The mother, b.owever, being a faithful meml)er of the Church 
of the Brethren, had instilled Christian principles into the young 
man, and so while attending a series of meetings held in the 
Greensburg church by Elder Daniel Webster Kurtz, in March, 
1913, he gave his heart to Christ, and was baptized April 2, being 
past twenty-eight years of age. 

A part of his church and Sunday-school work was done in 
Greensburg. After his marriage to Sister Ida Mary Shaffer, May 
29, 1914, they took up their residence in the Jacobs Creek congre- 
gation, where he takes an active interest in the Sunday-school 
and church work. He has served as delegate to Sunday-school 
Convention, District Meeting and in 1915 to Annual Meeting. 
On March 27, 1915, he was called to the ministry in the Jacobs 
Creek congregation, being installed by Elder M. J. Brougher. 
(Portrait on Page 107.) 


William H. Fry, son of Josiah D. and Harriet (Lehman) Fry, 
was born near the present town of Jerome, Somerset County, Penn- 
sylvania, November 26, 1868. He is a grandson of Elder Chris- 
tian Lehman. With his parents he moved to Richland Township, 
Cambria County, where he grew up as a farmer's son. 


]n addition to liis common scliool education, he had two terms 
of Summer Normal. He taught two terms of scliool, from '85 
to '87. By occupation Brother hVy is a carpenter, having followed 
the trade ever since 1890, with tlic exception of three years. 

On December 14, 1892, in the Shade Creek congregation, Wil- 
liam united with tlic church. He has lived in the same congre- 
gation ever since. January 1, 1895, he and Miss Minnie Hostetler, 
daughter of Daniel and Mary (Baer) Hostetler, were united in 
marriage. On March 31, 1902, he was called to the ministry by 
the Shade Creek congregation. At the same place he was or- 
dained to the eldership, July 4, 1912. Elder Fry lives near the 
B<;rkey church, Paint Township, Somerset County, and is pretty 
centrally located in the large congregation over which he has had 
the oversight since his ordination. 

Elder Fry is an active Sunday-school worker, having, at dif- 
ferent times, been superintendent of the Scalp Level, Rummel and 
Berkey Sunday-schools. While he was yet a layman he served 
five years on the District Mission Board. He also served his con- 
gregation in the capacity of church clerk six years, and as Mes- 
senger agent. He represented his church as delegate to both .An- 
nual and District Meetings a number of times. He has served 
on home mission committee, as well as on a number of other com- 

(Portrait on Page 183.) 


John B. Furry, son of Elder Leonard Furry, of Xcw Enter- 
prise, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, was born Julj' 24, 1829. He 
united with the church in his early days. He was united in mar- 
riage, at the home of his father, to Miss h'lizalieth Snowl)erger, 
daughter of lirother Daniel Snow])erger, on January 29, 1854. In 
his obituary it is stated that he was a faithful minister of the Word 
for some years. He died December 18, 1863, aged 34 years, 4 
months and 27 days, leaving a disconsolate widow and five small 
children. They w-ere Sarah A., Hannah A., Daniel S., Franklin T\ 
and Leonard. The text used at his funeral was Rev. 14: 12, 13. The 
widow some years later was married to Elder John V>. Miller, also 
of Bedford County. She died July 12, 1905. 


Abraham I'yock is the third son and ciiild of Jacoli and Mar- 
bara (Reighard) Fj'ock, and was born on the Fyock homestead 
in Conemaugh Township, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, No- 
vember 30, 1844. His early days were spent on the farm of his 


father, assisting the latter in its management and thus acquir- 
ing a practical knowledge of the details of farm life. The Fyocks 
are of German ancestry. 

Upon the death of his father he resided with his brother, 
who had assumed the management of affairs, until he had attained 
his eighteenth year, when he removed to Johnstown and obtained 
a position with the Cambria Steel Company in the rolling mill. 

Abraham enlisted in Company ¥, 198th Pennsylvania Volun- 
teers, in 1864, Captain Stackhouse commanding. He served in all 
ten months, taking an active part in the battles of Petersburg, 
Five Points and several others. He was present with his regiment 
at the surrender of General Lee. At the close of the war he was 
honorably discharged and returned to Johnstown. 

The same year, November 23, 1865, he married Miss Nancy 
Varner, daughter of Samuel and Catherine (Good) Varner. After 
marriage they moved to the Fyock homestead, remaining there 
until 1869, when he purchased a farm in that vicinity and moved 
upon it. Here they lived and reared their family until 1892, wlien 
he sold out and moved to Walnut Grove. Here he bought a 
home with some land adjoining. For twenty years they lived in 
Walnut Grove, until April 1, 1912, when, with his wife, he re- 
moved to New Paris, Bedford County, where he at present resides. 

Their children are: Samuel H., Clarissa J. Wilson, Sarah A. 
Strayer, Rachel E. Mills, Emma C. (dead), James W., Lucy E. 
(dead), and John C. 

Brother Fyock was'elected to the ministry September 29, 1887, 
advanced to the second degree September 26, 1889, and ordained 
to the eldership December 28, 1899, all in the Johnstown congre- 
gation. Elder Fyock is a faithful and willing preacher and has 
done his best work in his home congregation. He frequently 
serves his church in the capacity of delegate to District and An- 
nual Conferences. 

Besides serving his home congregation Brother Fyock did 
most of the preaching in the Bolivar church for several years. 
He also had the oversight of this church from 1904 to 1908. 

For several years Elder Fyock has been a member of the Old 
Folks' Home Committee, and has done considerable work in try- 
ing to mould sentiment favorable toward an institution of that 
kind. He is a firm believer in the necessity of a home for the 
poor and aged of our church. Two of Elder Fyock's sons, Samuel 
H. and James W., and one of his sons-in-law, John W. Mills, have 
been elected to the ministry in the Johnstown congregation. Sis- 
ter Fyock died in the spring of 1914 while on a visit to her chil- 
dren in Johnstown. 



John W. Fyock, son of David and Margaret (Wise) Fyock, 
was born in Green Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, Jan- 
uary 22, 1861. He is a grandson of John Fyock and a great grand- 
son of David Fyock, who moved from Somerset County at an early 

Brother Fyock was reared a farmer, which occupation he still 
follows. When he was five years of age his mother died. In addi- 
tion to the public school he was a student of Purchase Line Acad- 
emy, of which institution he is a trustee at this time. 

Brother Fyock was baptized at the age of seventeen. He was 
elected deacon in the Manor church, July 1, 1887; minister, June 
9, 1892; advanced to the second degree in 1894; ordained to the 
eldership in 1909. For some years he has been the elder in charge 
of the Manor congregation, and since the spring of 1915 of the 
Chess Creek congregation also. 

Elder Fyock was united in marriage to Sister Elvira E. Minser, 
daughter of Elder Mark Minser. To this union six children were 
born, of whom five are living. All are meml)ers of the church and 
one son is a deacon. 

(Portrait on Page 128.) 

£lder Oran Fyock. 



Elder Oran Fyock was born June 29, 1868, in Indiana Coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania. Here he grew to manhood and was united in 
marriage to Miss Elizabeth Bundy, October 31, 1889. Both became 
members of the Church of the Brethren in the fall of 1894, being 
baptized by Elder Mark Minser. Three years later, in 1897, he was 
elected deacon, and in 1907 he was called to the ministry in the 
Montgomery congregation. Brother Fyock is the only minister 
in the Montgomery congregation, and in 1912 he was ordained to 
the eldership. 


Mr. and Mrs. Fremont Gearhart, of Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania, 
were members of the First Reformed Church. To them were born 
four sons and one daughter. Earl was next to the youngest and 
was born in Mt. Pleasant July 30, 1893. 

He attended the public schools imtil he was fifteen years of 
age, when he had to stop school on account of the death of his 
mother, and other circumstances. He received employment with 
the L. E. Smith Glass Company, of Mt. Pleasant, where he is 
still employed. 

He accepted Christ as his Savior when he was twenty years 
old at an evangelistic meeting conducted by Dr. W. W. Hall, a 
union evangelist, and soon after united with the Church of the 
Brethren by baptism. On March 27, 1915, he was elected to the 
ministry in the Jacobs Creek congregation, where he now labors. 
(Portrait on Page 107.) 


Of the few aged elders of Western Pennsylvania, who are still 
active in the work of the church, is Elder Joel Gnagey, of the 
Summit Mills congregation, Somerset County. He was born Feb- 
ruary 9, 1836, in Summit Township. He is the son of Christian 
and Barbara (Blucher) Gnagey. Both his parents were brought 
up in the Amish faith. The father united with the Church of the 
Brethren in 1844, but the mother lived and died in that faith. 

Brother Gnagey was reared on his father's farin. He attended 
subscription schools, and later a few terms of public school. The 
school facilities were poor, and therefore his education is some- 
what limited. It was principally German, but he reads and writes 
the English as well. 

He was united in marriage to Miss Catharine Fike, daughter 
of John Fike, January 31, 1858, Brother Samuel Berkley officiat- 
ing. The same year he and his wife were baptized in the Elk Lick 
Creek at Summit Mills by Elder E. K. Buechly. It was not long 



lOlder Joel tJnagey and >\ite. 

until he was called to the otftce of deacon. This office he faith- 
fully filled until 1864, when he was elected to the ministry. Sev- 
eral years later he was advanced to the second degree and in 1886 
he was ordained to the eldership. All this took place in the same 
congregation. After the division of the original Elk Lick congre- 
gation into three churches, in 1877, Elder Gnagey's Held of activ- 
ities was principally in the Summit Mills congregation. 

For more than half a century Elder Gnagey has hccn preach- 
ing a free Gospel. Jn addition to being the elder of his home con- 
gregation he has, at various times, had charge of the Berlin, 
Elk Lick and Maple Glen congregations. His preaching has all 
been in the German language. He is assisted in the ministry by 
Brethren J. W. Peck and S. J. Berkley. 

Elder Gnagey has been a regular attendant at our District 
Meetings, and has frequently represented his congregation in the 
same. By nature he is quiet and unassuming, and his voice is 
seldom heard in the meetings of the District. Still he is an ear- 
nest and zealous brother and alive to every good work. He never 
aspired to public ofKice and takes very little part in politics. Some- 
thing of Elder Gnagey's ancestry and progeny maj' be in place 

Christian Gnaegi, the ancestor of the entire Gnagey family in 
America, and great-grandfather of Elder Joel Gnagey, was a na- 
tive of Switzerland, and emigrated to this country between 1750 
and 1760. He settled in what is now Somerset County, Pennsyl- 
vania, and in 1774 entered by tomahawk claim 500 acres of land, 
which now form the site of Meyersdale. He later settled in Har- 


rison County, Ohio, where he died April 6, 1812, at an extreme age. 
His children's names were: Johannes, Christian, Jacob, Joseph, 
Magdalena, Mary, Barbara, Anna, Catarina and Gertrude. 

Johannes, son of Christian Gnaegi, was born in Somerset Coun- 
ty and was a farmer and a member of the (Amish) Mennonite 
Church. He married Elizabeth Stutzman, and their children were: 
Anna, Catarina, Christian, Barbara and Elizabeth. After the 
death of the mother of these children Mr. Gnaegi married Eliz- 
abeth Miller, by whom he was the father of Jacob, Sarah, Susan- 
nah, Gertrude and Veronica. 

Christian Gnagey, son of Johannes and Elizabeth Gnagey, was 
born June 16, 1790, in Summit Township, and was, like his father, 
a tiller of the soil. For a number of years he was a member of 
the Amish Church, but the last thirty-six years of his life he was 
a faithful member of the Church of the Brethren. He married 
Barbara Blucher, December 5, 1813. Their children were: Sarah, 
Elizabeth, John, Jonathan, Emanuel, Christian, Jacob, Barbara, 
Benedict, Andrew, and Joel, the subject of this sketch. Mrs. 
Gnagey died May 6, 1836, and is buried on the home farm. His 
second wife was Caroline Walter, whom he married November 5, 
1843. His death occurred June 11, 1880. 

Twelve children were born to Elder and Sister Gnagey, as 
follows: Amanda, Ellen B., Anna, Ida, Eliza, William, John E., 
Emma, Sadie, Grace and Delia. 


Walter J. Hamilton, the oldest son of Miles and Alice A. Ham- 
ilton, was born August 18, 1884, near Halleck, West Virginia. The 
first sixteen years of his life were spent in this rustic home, with 
the exception of the summer of 1896. Nine months of this year 
were spent in Henry County, Indiana, near the Beech Grove 
Church of the Brethren. In a placid stream near this church, on 
August 16, Brother I. B. Wike administered the rite of trine im- 
mersion to him, two days before he was twelve years of age. 

The following November, the parents, with the three children. 
Walter J., aged twelve. Bertha Pearl, aged seven, and Lester Zimri, 
aged four, returned to their West Virginia home. A few weeks 
later Pearl and Lester were taken from the home by that dread 
disease, diphtheria, and laid to rest in the Halleck churchyard. 
These cruel wounds in mother earth were finally concealed by the 
myrtle and the ivy that bow before the slabs of clouded marble, 
but not so the bleeding heart of the lonely boy. This cup of sor- 
row had much to do with the shaping of his religious life. After 
he was thirty j'ears of age he embalmed their memory in his 
poem, entitled " Heart-Throbs." 


Walter .1. Iluniilton. 

' 'ii April 1, l'X)l, the family moved near tlie Mount I'nion 
church and tlic following Sunday Walter began his public religious 
life by taking up the work of Sunday-school superintendent. Sep- 
tember of the same year he was installed into the ministry. Five 
years later, to the day, he was forwarded to the second degree. 

Four winters were spent teaching in the rural schools. Al- 
most two years were spent in the West Virginia University, and 
then came six years of merchandising. After trading the college 
student's lamp for the occupation of merchant, he decided to take 
a partner in the firm, and on May 1, 1907, he was united in mar- 
riage to Cora L. Goodwin. To this union have been given two 

in May. l'>12, TVothcr Hamilton and liis family located on a 
farm near Trout Run, Westmoreland Countj', l^cnnsjdvania, where 
they still reside. The winters are spent teaching rural schools. 

Brother Hamilton's life is being spent in small congregations 
and new churches, where the pioneer is needed to "blaze the trails." 
He enjoys Sunday-school work, Init the chosen field, if the health 
of the family would permit, is that of the evangelist. Special 
power seems to be manifested in revival work, he having held as 
high as five series of meetings at the same church. As a writer 
Brother Hamilton has developed considerable ability. 



Henry George Hanawalt came to America about the year 
1753, and settled near Waynesburg, Cumberland County, Pennsyl- 
vania, now McVeytown, Mififlin County. His second son, George, 
married Susannah Rothrock, and occupied the Hanawalt home- 
stead. Joseph Rothrock Hanawalt was born January 4, 1810, and 
married Mary Swigart, a close relative of the large Swigart con- 
nection in Mifflin County. His second wife was Eve Kauffman. 
He was the father of sixteen children, of whom 'four sons were 
called to the ministry. Joseph R. Hanawalt was a minister in 
the Spring Run congregation thirty-seven years, and an elder 
twenty-six years. 

George, whose biography we are writing, was one of tbe four. 
He was the oldest of the children, and was born April 2, 1831. 
George was of a literary inclination, and was, as far as known, the 
first of our Brethren's sons in the high schools of his day. By 
some of the good old Brethren this was much regretted, fearing he 
would become worldly and be lost to the church. His father, how- 
ever, thought it would help him to further qualify himself to make 
teaching a success. 

About that time the county was invaded by some teachers 
from the New England States who became county superintend- 
ents. Visiting his schools they greatly helped and encouraged 
him, and for sixteen years he became a leader among the teach- 
ers of the county, and his helpful and fatherly disposition encour- 
aged the school work in Central Pennsylvania very visibly. Many 
of the Brethren's sons and daughters, as well as those of the Amish 
Mennonites, became prominent teachers, and most of the country 
schools were taught by plain country people. 

In 1859 and 1860 George and Solomon Z. Sharp and two lady 
teachers very successfully conducted the McVeytown Academy, 
where eight years before he had taken his advance schooling, pre- 
paratory to teaching. During that term, S. Z. Sharp, whose influ- 
ence as an educator has been largely felt in our church, became 
a member of the church. 

George married Miss Caroline McKee, a Centre County farm- 
er's daughter, in 1856. She soon declared herself favorable to the 
Brethren's doctrine, and but for her delicate condition would have 
been baptized. She died June 8, 1858. Her baby daughter died two 
months later. George married Miss Barbara Replogle, daughter 
of Daniel Replogle, of New Enterprise, Pennsylvania, February 
9, 1860. She died June 8, 1873, leaving eight motherless children 
under twelve years of age. June 4, 1874, he married Miss Lucinda 
Stutzman, daughter of Samuel Stutzman, of near Johnstown, 



Elder Georgre Hanawalt. 

I'cniisylvaiiia. She helped to take care of his chihh-cii and bore 
unto him nine more. 

He united with the church in June, 185S, and was called to 
the ministry in June, 1864. Soon his father introduced a system 
of itinerate mission work. He had three committees of two preach- 
ers each, who preached at sixteen different points, requiring from 
five to twenty-five miles of travel to the several appointments. 
They made three circuits in forty-eight weeks. The traveling was 
mostly done on horseback, and made about 860 miles a. year. 
In this horseback preaching George did his part for eleven years. 

In 1879 the family moved into the Conemaugh congregation, 
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, which at that time had a membership 
of about 500. At this place he labored during the transitional 
period of the church, the time which tried men's souls. .Mthough 
in rather delicate health he labored liard in the Johnstown church. 
He took an active part in building the new church in Johnstown, 
now owned by the Brethren Church, as well as in settling the 
troubles that arose in regard to the disposition of church prop- 
erty in the division of the denomination. He also assisted in build- 
ing the Walnut Grove church, doing practically all of the solic- 


iting of subscriptions. June 10, 1886, he with George S. Rairigh, 
was ordained to the eldership. 

The same year, after becoming much attached to the people 
of Johnstown, finding his family filling up with boys, he moved 
onto a large farm in the Ligonier Valley, Westmoreland County. 
Here he found some scattered members of the church, whom he 
soon organized into a church, which is called Ligonier. A house 
of worship was built at Waterford, now called Boucher. For a 
while he also preached at Bolivar and Cokeville. Here he lived 
about sixteen years. About 1902 his health failed, and after a 
hard spell of sickness he was induced to go to California, and set- 
tled at Lordsburg on account of the college there, which his fam- 
ily patronized for some five years. After living in the climate and 
prosperity of the Golden State, and the boys having engaged in 
business, the family declined to return to their Pennsylvania home. 
In 1910 he made his last visit to the old Keystone State. In a 
letter to the author, dated January 8, 1913, in which he gives 
many valuable historical data, he comes to a close as follows: 
" I am nearly eighty-two years old. I am not as bright as I once 
was. My health is getting very slim and my memory much im- 

Elder Hanawalt was called from labor to reward June 3, 1913, 
at the advanced age of 82 years, 2 months and 1 day, and his 
body lies buried in the Lordsburg (California) cemetery. 


John M. Harshberger, only son of Moses and Katie (Schrock) 
Harshberger, was born in Conemaugh Township, Cambria Coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania, August 13, 1835. His parents were farmers by 
occupation and in their religious affiliations were members of the 
Amish Church. Through his father, who was born and reared at 
Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, Brother Harshberger can trace his 
lineage to Germany, while through his mother, who was born and 
reared near Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, he can trace it 
to Switzerland. His only sister, Polly, was married to Christian 
Shetler. Both she and her husband are dead. 

On December 26, 1858, he was united in marriage to Katie 
Wertz, daughter of Jacob Wertz, who was a faithful deacon in the 
old Conemaugh congregation, by Solomon Benshofif. They lo- 
cated on a farm in Adams (then Richland) Township, Cambria 
County. He was among the substantial farmers and citizens of 
that township until November 6, 1909, when he located in the sev- 
enth ward, Johnstown, wbere he still resides. Besides three chil- 
dren, who died when small, the following are living: Cornelius W., 


George M., Ira Landon, Jacob W., Malinda Jane, Minnie Etta, 
Lizzie and Edith May. 

Brother and Sister Harghberger united with the church at 
Shade, being baptized by Elder George W. Brumbaugh, in about 
1861. In about 1867 he was elected deacon in the Conemaugh 
congregation, and in about 1876 he was called to the ministry. 


Cornelius W. Harshberger was born May 15, 1860. He is 
a son of John M. and Katie (Wertz) Harshberger, and was born 
and reared in Adams Township, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. 
Here he grew up as a farmer, which occupation he followed along 
with his teaching until the spring of 1915, when he moved to 

Elder Harshberger supplemented his public school education 
with several terms of Select Normal Schools. He holds a State 
permanent teachers' certificate and has taught thirty-three terms 
of public school in Cambria County. He ranks among the lead- 
ing educators in his county. 

On June 15, 1882, he and Miss Jennie M., daughter of Joseph 
S. and Katharine Burkhart, were united in marriage. Their chil- 
dren are Lori B., Elda Olive, Vida May and Waldo B. 

Elder Harshberger's religious life dates from November, 1876, 
when he was baptized. He was elected to the office of deacon in 
the Johnstown congregation June 28, 1894; to the ministry March 
29, 1900; ordained to the eldership May 3, 1914, all in the Johnstown 
congregation. Brother Harshberger is an active Sunday-school 
worker, and prior to liis election to the ministry he served the 
Maple Grove Sunday-school many years as superintendent. 
(Portrait on Page 117.) 

Lori B. Harshberger, oldest son of Elder C. W. and Jennie M. 
(Burkhart) Harshberger, was born in Adams Township, Cambria 
County, Pennsylvania, May 11, 1883. He was reared on his fa- 
ther's farm until the age of twenty-one, and given good school 
facilities. He taught school four terms, since which time he has 
been an employe in the Johnstown postoffice. He married Miss 
Daisy Boyer, daughter of William Y. and Mary (Siferd) Boyer, 
October 30, 1904, and resides in Johnstown. 

Brother Harsh])erger united with the church in .\ugust, 1900, 
in the Johnstown congregation, and was elected to the office of 
deacon in 1906. On June 21, 1910, he was called to the ministry 
and is now one of the active ministers of tlic Johnstown con- 

(Portrait on Page 117.) 



Jacob S. Hauger was born October 26, 1805, in Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania. He was married to Catharine Yowler, May 
4, 1829. He was an active member of the Reformed Presbyterian 
Church till July, 1834, when he and his wife united with the 
Church of the Brethren, being baptized by Elder Peter Cober. 
The same year he was elected to the deaconship, and the follow- 
ing year he was called to the ministry of the Word, fourteen years 
before Somerset County was divided into four congregations. On 
May 26, 1854, he was ordained to the eldership in the Middle Creek 
congregation. While living in Somerset County he was an active 
minister and elder, and was called on to do much church work. 

About 1860 he moved to Waterloo, Iowa. Here he lived nine 
years, when he moved to Dutchtown, Illinois. After living here 
fourteen years he moved to Opdyke, Jefferson County, same State, 
where he died August 13, 1887, aged 81 years, 9 months and 17 
days. He preached 239 funerals, and performed 113 marriage cere- 


D. A. Hetrick was born near Putneyville, Mahoning Town- 
ship, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, in 1848. When about six 
years of age, with his parents he moved to the farm upon which 
he now resides. He received his education in the public schools 
of the township. Brother Hetrick was brought up on the farm, 
and still follows the occupation of farming. 

He attended church services in the Red Bank congregation, 
where he united with the church at the age of seventeen under the 
preaching of Elder John Nicholson. In the same congregation 
he was called to the ministry, on May 26, 1889, being installed by 
Elder J. C. Johnson. He was advanced to the second degree of 
the ministry May 25, 1890, Elder James A. Sell officiating. Brother 
Hetrick has always held his membership in the same congrega- 

Brother Hetrick's ministry extended over the Red Bank. 
Glade Run and Brush Valley congregations, Armstrong County, 
and the Shemoken congregation, Jefiferson County. Two years 
he was a member of the Home Mission Supply Committee, and did 
a great deal of preaching. 

Brother Hetrick was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth 
Coleman, March 16, 1871. To this union thirteen children were 
born, of whom nine are still living, all being members of the 
Brethren church except the youngest two. 


KUler David HildebrancI and Wife. 


Ahram Hildehrand, of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, later 
the first judge of lledford County, came to Caniliria County in 
1797, and secured a tract of land on the hanks of the Conemaugh 
River, where Camhria City was afterward built. His children were 
named Abram, George and Catharine. Abram went to the War 
of 1812 and was never heard of afterward. George, who was born 
October 12, 1787, was ten years old when the family located in 
the Conemaugh Valley. He was married to Miss Hannah Lear, in 
1807. To this union twelve children were born; viz., Abram, 
Jacob, John, Polly, Lydia, Catharine, Christena, Hannah, Samuel, 
George, Anna and Stephen. Of these Stephen still lives in Johns- 
town, and is an elder in the Progressive Brethren Church. The 
mother of these children died, and Brother Hildebrand married 
Anna Dimond. To this union were born Daniel, David, and Su- 
san. Brother Hildebrand died December 16, 1877, aged 90 years, 
4 months and 2 days. 

David Hildebrand was born on a farm in what is now called 
Echo, East Taylor Township, Cambria County, November 10, 1835. 
David was reared on the farm and given the school advantages 
of that day. He, at various periods of his career, was engaged in 
farming, lumbering, and blacksmithing, having lived at Ashtola, 
Park Hill, Adams Township, and Franklin Borough. 

In 1856 he was married to Mary Ann Funk, daughter of Jo- 
seph Funk. To them were born four children; viz., Alice (Vick- 
roy), Louvenias, Jennie (Hildebrand) and iMnanucl. His first 
wife died in January, 1872, and in April, 1873, he was married to 
Hannah W. Wertz, daughter of Jacob W'ertz. Two children 


blessed this union, Harry and Lorena (Reighard). His second 
wife died in 1884, and in 1887 he was married to Sarah Ann Vick- 
roy, Brother C. F. Detweiler officiating. High water having de- 
stroyed his sawmill, he continued farming till 1900, when he 
moved to Franklin Borough, near Johnstown, and for a while en- 
gaged in blacksmithing. During January, 1901, he earned $125, 
but overworked himself, became sick, and was under the doctor's 
care for the first time since 1879. He was elected assessor of 
his borough in 1902, and this position he held when he died. 

Brother Hildehrand united with the old Conemaugh church 
of the Brethren, in 1857. July 4, 1865, he was called to the dea- 
conship, and about 1868 he was called to the ministry. July 10, 
1886, Brother Hildelirand and George Hanawalt were ordained 
to the eldership in the Jolmstown congregation. Elder Hildebrand 
was very faithful in -his ministerial duties. After the Walnut 
Grove meetinghouse was built (1884) he did not miss a communion 
service, and only two councils, and that to preach funeral ser- 

After moving to town, and the Conemaugh clnirch having 
been built, he took especial interest in that point. The member- 
ship not being very strong there, he not only did much of the 
preaching, but assumed many of the other responsibilities, such as 
being janitor and treasurer. In about 1911 he put a baptistry in 
the church, and in it he did all the baptizing up to his death. He 
is known to have preached 225 funerals since 1879, and married 
fift3'-two couples in the past twenty-five years. 

Elder Hildel)ran<l had the experience of seeing the Cone- 
maugh congregation rise to the height of her glory, then being 
divided into two congregations, and a little later passing through 
the trying times of another " division." But through it all he re- 
mained true and faithful to the Conservative body of the church 
He had the joy of living to see the Johnstown congregation grow 
from a membership of 271 to nearly 600, and the West Johnstown 
congregation, which is a l^ranch of the former, to more than 1,000. 

Elder Hildebrand frequently represented his church in Dis- 
trict and Annual Meetings. He also represented his District on 
the Standing Committee in 1894 at Meyersdale, Pennsylvania. He 
was kind, charitable and hospitable. His oldest brother, Daniel, 
and his father and mother all died in his home. He had great 
respect for the rulings of Annual Meeting, and urged the members 
to respect them. 

Elder Hildebrand died suddenly at his home March 9, 1914, aged 
78 years, 3 months and 29 days. Funeral services were conducted 
in the Conemaugh church by Alliert Berkley and A. Fyock, and 
interment was made in Headrick's cemetery. 



Christian Hochstetler, son of Jacob Hochstetler, was prob- 
ably born in Berks County, Pennsylvania. In the early hours of 
September 11, 1750, the house of Jacob Hochstetler was attacked 
by the Indians. His wife and one son, Jacob, and one daughter 
were killed and scalped. Tlie father and his two sons, Christian 
and Joseph, were made captives. This event was a part of the 
Tulpehocken Massacre. After some months the father effected 
his escape. The two sons were held as captives, Christian al)out 
six (some say ten) years and Joseph somewhat longer. Christian 
was adopted as a son by an Indian and became very much at- 
tached. After the death of his adopted father he returned to the 

He was married to Miss Barbara Rupp. Oi his conversion the 
Hochstetler History says: "A short time after his return and 
marriage Christian was converted and joined the Dunker Church 
and soon became a preacher in that church." According to Hol- 
singer's History he was a member of the Amish Church and united 
with the lircthren after his emigration to Somerset County. In 
1777 we find him living on a tract of land two and one-half miles 
southwest of where the town of Salisbury is now located. In the 
Hochstetler History it is stated by W. F. Hochstetler, who took 
considerable pains in gathering his data, that he was called to the 
ministry in Somerset County, but that he united with the church 
while still living in Berks County, and probably under the ministry 
of Elder George Klein. He further states that he helped to lay 
the foundation of the church in Somerset County. 

In 1795 he left Somerset County and moved to Mt. Eden, 
Shelby County, Kentucky. Here he aided in erecting a church edi- 
fice. His son Abraham (born 1770, died 1846) and his son Adam 
(born 1775, died 1826) became ministers, as also did Joseph, who 
was a son of Al)raham. This Joseph Hochstetler is said to have 
been one of the greatest preachers in his community in his day. 
Christian eventually moved to Montgomery County, Ohio, where 
he died in April, 1814. 

We are told that of the present generation of the descend- 
ants of Christian Hochstetler, nearly all are members of the 
Christian Church. Doctor James W. Snyder, a descendant of 
Christian, resides at Mt. Eden, Kentucky, next to the ground on 
which stood the church that Christian lielped to l)uild. 


E. K. Hochstetler was liorn in Greenville Township, Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania, Marcli 4, 1S57. He grew up on tin- farm 


Elder K. K. Hochstetler. 

with his brothers and sisters, and on April 29, 1878, he united with 
the Church of the Brethren. 

In the Meyersdale congregation he was elected to the ministry 
July 4, 1879, and was installed the same day. December 31, 1880, 
he was ordained to the eldership. Since the organization of the 
Greenville congregation he has been the elder of the congrega- 
tion and the only active minister in the same. For several years 
he was elder of Indian Creek congregation, and has at present the 
oversight of the Summit Mills congregation. 


Henry P. Hostetler was born July 12, 1816. He was reared 
on a farm and was engaged in farming all his life. In addition 
to farming he and his sons also operated a pottery for a number 
of years. His ancestors were members of the Amish Church. 
His education was such as the subscription schools of those early 
days furnished, and was in the German language. He was united 
in marriage to Elizabeth Koontz. Nine children were given into 
their care, three dying quite young. For many years they lived 
on a farm on the east bank of the Quemahoning Creek, about two 
miles south of its junction with the Stony Creek. While living here 


he was called to the ministry in the Quemahoning congregation, in 
1852 or 1853. Some time during the seventies he moved to Paint 
Township, a mile east of Foustwell. Here he lived some years, 
moving finally to a farm near Rummel, same township. These 
farms are in the Shade congregation, so the last twenty years' 
services were in this congregation. He was a kind, well-wishing 
I)rother, and did what he could, but since his services were entirely 
in the German, he did little preaching the last years of his life, 
because there was no demand for the German. In the Quema- 
honing congregation he was contemporary with Tobias Blough, 
Jonathan W. Blough, Isaiah Beam, Emanuel J. Blough and Jacob 
P. Speicher. 

He died June 19, 1898, aged 81 years, 11 months and 7 days, 
and is buried in the Berkey cemetery. 

Brother Hostetler's great-grandfather, Jacob, emigrated from 
Switzerland in 1738. His grandfather's name was Joseph. His 
father, Peter Hostetler, was liorn in Berks County. Pennsylvania, 
March 13, 1775, and died at Johnstown, April, 1843. 


Jason B. Hollopcter, son of E. \V. and Libbie (Beer) Hollo- 
peter, was born on a farm near Rockton, Clearfield County, Penn- 
sylvania, August 23, 1886. Brother Jason holds the unique dis- 
tinction of not missing a single day of district school until he 
graduated at the age of sixteen. After that he attended Mary- 
land Collegiate Institute (now Blue Ridge College, New Wind- 
sor, Maryland), graduating from the English scientific course in 
1905. After leaving school he engaged more extensively in bee 
culture, specializing in queen rearing. 

Brother Hollopeter united with the church in 1899, being bap- 
tized by Elder H. A. Stalil, while conducting a series of meetings 
in the old Rockton church. He was married to Sister Pearl Ray, 
oldest daughter of Brother and Sister P. P. Ray, of Tyrone, Penn- 
sylvania, on June 1, 1911. He was elected to the deacon office in 
1907; elected minister June 11, 1911; advanced to the second degree 
in 1912, all in the Rockton congregation. His labors in the min- 
istry have been confined to his home cliurch. He continues in 
the bee business for a living. 


Rudolph Holsinger came to America in 1731. Jacob Hol- 
singcr, his son, was born on the ocean (1731). This Jacob was 
the father of four sons and one daughter; viz., George, Jolm, 
Jacob, David and .^nnie. Elder Levi T. Holsinger, of Brethren, 
Michigan, is a great-grandson of George. 


The second son, John, was born July 21, 1768, and according 
to Holsinger's History was an elder. He was married to Elizabeth 
Mack, who was born October 13, 1776. From this line have come 
a number of ministers and elders. John L. Holsinger, of Agra, 
Oklahoma, is a grandson. The sons of John were: John M., 
George M., Daniel M., and Alexander M. Of these, George M. 
and Daniel M. were elders. 

George M. was married to Sarah Snyder. His biography 
will be taken up separately. Daniel M. was born October 22, 1812, 
and was married to Polly Reitz, or Ritz. Elder Henry R. Hol- 
singer was their oldest son. 


Elder George M. Holsinger was born May 26, 1804, near 
Woodbury, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. His father, John Hol- 
singer, was a grandson of Rudolph Holsinger, who came to Amer- 
ica in 1731, and his mother's name was Elizabeth Mack, likely a 
granddaughter of Alexander Mack. Of his boyhood and education 
nothing is stated, Init it is very j)robable that he was reared on a 
farm and given sucli eckicatiunal advantages as were available 
in his day. 

Brother Holsinger was married to Sarah Snyder, August 23, 
1827. To this union the following children were born: Thomas 
S., John S., Levi S., Joseph H., Christian S. and Elizabeth. They 
resided near Bakers Summit, Bedford County, until 1841, at which 
time, with his family and belongings, he moved across the Cove 
Mountain to a farm three miles west of Alum Bank, same county. 
He had been a deacon before moving to his new field of activity. 
With a few members that already were living here, there was soon 
a small colony of Brethren, and about 1843 Brother Holsinger and 
Moses Rogers were elected to the ministry. That fall they began 
the erection of a log meetinghouse, which was finished in 1844. 

This house was the only one in use until 1870, when the Hol- 
singer house was erected within two miles of the old Mock meet- 
inghouse. Until 1871 this band of members belonged to the Yel- 
low Creek congregation. That year it was separated from it and 
named Dunnings Creek. In this congregation two of his sons, 
Thomas S. and Joseph H., were elected to the deacon office and 
two others, John S. and Christian S., to the ministry. For a 
number of years there have been no Holsingers living in the 
congregation and few that are related to them. 

At the present time there are three grandsons and three great- 
grandsons of George M. Holsinger in the ministry; viz., Levi F., 
of New Enterprise, Pennsylvania, David R., of Laton, California, 



William H., of Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, I. Edward, of Avalon, 
Pennsylvania, Leonard F., of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and \'irgil 
C, of Williamsburg, Pennsylvania. 

Elder Holsinger died, after an illness of thirty-seven hours, of 
a disease not precisely known, April 24, 1862, aged 57 years, 11 
months and 27 days. He had been a faithful minister and his de- 
parture was deeply felt in the vicinity in which he lived. He was 
l)nricd in the Mock church cemeterv. 

Elder John S. Holsingrer and Wife. 


John S. Holsinger, second son of George M. Holsinger, was 
born near Bakers Summit, l'>edford County, Pennsylvania, Sept. 
7, 1829. He was reared on the farm and was given an education 
that qualified him to teach school, following the profession of 
teaching a number of years. 

He was married to Miss Esther Rogers, daughter of ICIlis 
Rogers, May 19, 1853. A number of children were born to tiiem, 
but all died in infancy, except one son, Ellis, who reared a family 
of daughters. 

With his parents he moved to what is now the Dunnings 
Creek congregation, in 1841. At the age of twenty-one, in 1850 
or 1851, he was elected to the ministry in that congregation, and 


ordained to the eldership January 15, 1871. He moved to Tippe- 
canoe County, Iowa, in 1858, and returned to his native home in 
1861. He had charge of this congregation from 1871 to 1893, when 
he moved to Prince William County, Virginia, four miles from 
Nokesville, where, with his son, he settled on a large farm. 

Elder Holsinger soon became one of the prominent elders in 
the District of Western Pennsylvania. " He was a" strong man 
in counsel and was called near and far to settle difficulties in 
churches. His official standing was good. His counsel was sought 
for." He was one of the most active elders at the District Meet- 
ings, and his voice was also heard in our Annual Conferences. 
He traveled much among the churches of the District, especially 
the weaker ones. He was much in demand at love feasts, elec- 
tions and ordinations. " He was a staunch defender of the faith. 
He was decidedly of the legal and logical turn of mind, ratherthan 
emotional and imaginative. Before the decline of his powers, he 
had charge of several churches in Virginia." 

Referring to the District Meeting Minutes of Western Penn- 
sylvania, we find that once he was clerk of the meeting, three 
times moderator, and four times he represented the District at 
Annual Conference. He also served on important committees. 
He died November 8, 1910, aged 81 years, 2 months and 1 day. 
His wife and son preceded him in death. He leaves a daughter- 
in-law and six granddaughters. He was buried in the Valley cem- 
etery, near his home. Funeral conducted by the home ministers 
from Heb. 9: 27. 


Daniel Holsopple, the seventh and youngest child of Isaac 
and Christena (Hofifman) Holsopple, was born in Paint Town- 
ship, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, August 29, 1852. Christena, 
his mother, was the seventh daughter of Philip and Barbara 
(Miller) Hoffman, who were the parents of the first family of 
members of the Church of the Brethren living in the limits of the 
Shade Creek congregation. 

While a boy on his father's farm he had a mind looking to- 
ward inventions of better implements for the needs of husbandry, 
but being left practically alone to eke out of the farm a living for 
father and mother, with such appliances as he found around the 
farm, he had no time to experiment upon his ideas. 

However, he got a pretty good opportunity to attend the pub- 
lic schools. His brother Isaac, who died while teaching his sec- 
ond term, was Daniel's last teacher. Daniel was now fifteen years 
old, and as teachers were scarce, the superintendent, who had ob- 
served his deportment and work in his brother's school, without 


Daniel Holsopple. 

solicitation or examination <;avc- him license to finish tlic term. 
But since he was the only one in the family to carry on the farm 
there was no more opportunity to pursue his studies nor time to 
engage in teaching. 

Brother Holsopple's first wife was Miss Christiana Straub. 
She died in 1871, leaving a small infant which soon followed its 
mother. His second wife was Sister Elizabeth Rummel. No chil- 
dren blest this union, but they took into their home William Hol- 
sopple and Carrie Ripple, whom they reared as they would have 
their own. 

After marriage he settled on his father's farm, about a mile 
east of Rummel. He followed farming and lumbering for a num- 
ber of years, until he had cut and marketed the timber from 400 or 
500 acres of land, when he l)ought another timber tract and moved 
his sawmill there. When tlic panic of the early nineties struck 
the country and the lumber business became dull, finding his 
services were in demand in the ministerial field, to which he had 
been called in 1884, he responded to that demand. 

He took an active part in the afifairs of the township, serving 
as school director of Paint Township a number of years. Under 


his direction and management the schools were very prosperous. 

He took much interest in all lines of church work. He was a 
faithful student of the Word; his sermons showed evidences of 
preparation, and were delivered with a deep sense of reverence. 

His devotion to the best interests of the church was recog- 
nized and he rose rapidly to prominence in his home congregation, 
as well as in the District. He kept a complete record of all ser- 
mons preached, both in regular appointments and at series of 
meetings, so, as he himself said, as not to repeat the same sermon 
at the same place too frequently. He held a number of successful 
series of ineetings, being called outside of his District. Neg- 
lecting and overtaxing himself while suffering with kidney disease 
he broke down in the midst of a series of meetings, went home, 
and died the victim of the most excruciating pains. His death took 
place January 30, 1895, at the age of only 42 years, 5 months and 1 
day. His funeral was conducted in the Berkey church by Hiram 
Musselman, Hiram Lehman, and others, and his body was laid to 
rest in the adjoining cemetery. 

His widow made herself a home at Rummel, where she busied 
herself in usefulness to those in need and trouble, and while thus 
engaged she was called from her duties by the pale messenger. 
So the family is blotted out from time and sight, biit in memory 
they are still enshrined. Carrie (Ripple) Berkebile, the girl they 
reared in their home, a fine Christian mother, also passed to " that 
bourne from whence no traveler has ever returned," some years 


Jacob Holsopple, oldest son of Isaac and Christena (Hoflfman) 
Holsopple, was born on a farm in Conemaugh Township, on the 
west side of Stony Creek, a mile below Hollsopple, Pennsylvania, 
March 15, 1833. His father, Isaac, was the oldest son of Henry and 
Susannah (Lefever) Holsopple, who probably was a descendant 
of a member of the church who communed at the first love feast 
held by the Brethren in America. This, however, has not been 
verified. The name always carried the German form, Holtzapfel, 
until the generation to which our subject belongs. 

From Conemaugh Township his father moved to the Jonas 
Weaver farm (recently sold to the Berwind-White Coal-Mining 
Company), two miles southwest of Windber, and when Jacob was 
five years old the family moved to a clearing on 441 acres of heav- 
ily-timbered land, one mile east of Rummel, Paint Township. No 
road fit to travel (only paths) communicated with the Holsopple 
clearing for years. Many a time Jacob and his younger brother 
mounted a horse loaded with a bag containing several bushels 



Elder Jacob Holsopple and Wife. 

of grain, takinu; it to their Uncle Jacob MessaijauL;li's mill to 
get it converted into flour for family use. Much skill was required 
to guide the horses along the narrow paths, so that both sacks 
and riders were not stripped ofif by the brush and trees along the 
way. When the spring sugar boiling was ])ast, the boys and older 
sisters were kept busy ])icking the l)rush broken down by the win- 
ter snows from the still-standing trees from the hay and grain 
fields. Clearing the land of the heavy timber and converting it into 
fields was hard work. The boys needed no football or baseball 
to give exercise or diversion; neither did the girls have need of 
pianos and organs for pastime. When the hard day's work was 
done the children were glad to go to rest for the night, and in the 
morning they rejoiced in the privilege of going fortli to make new 
conquests in their daily routine. 

When winter set in, al)out December, the children were al- 
lowed to spend thirty or forty days in a school of the most primi- 
tive kind. Schooling equivalent to eight or nine months is all that 
Jacob and his next younger brother got, yet in that time Cobb's 
siielling book, and a half dozen arithmetics were practically mas- 
tered. Their reader was the New Testament. They were also 
taught writing. 

Jacob, having mastered, as was supposed, the three R's, began 
teaching school in 1853. This vocation he i)ursued for about fif- 
teen winters, farming in the summertime, lie was a strong, rug- 
ged man, both mentally and physically. He had the foresight to 
plan logically, and the physical stamina to work up to his plans. 
To a man of that kind there always has been opportunity for sue- 


cess, even in the primitive fields of endeavor. When he found 
that teaching interfered with his other interests, he was not slow 
to abandon the schoolroom, and give more time and attention to 
that which promised more substantial and immediate returns. 

In 1857 he was united in marriage to Polly, daughter of Elder 
Christian Lehman. They settled on a farm in Richland Township, 
Cambria County. His wife died in 1865, leaving four children. 
Some time later he married Catharine Wertz. Seven more chil- 
dren blessed the home. Knowing the value of an education, he 
was anxious that his children should have all the advantages along 
that line possible. At least four of them were students at Juniata 
College, and five were public school-teachers. 

In 1861 he was elected to the ministry in the Shade Creek 
congregation. This was a new experience to him. He soon found 
that his knowledge of the Bible, as well as his theory and prac- 
tice of delivering public addresses, needed innumerable additions. 
Close and persistent application, however, soon made of him a 
preacher that claimed the attention of his audience. He traveled 
much and became acquainted in a number of congregations. He 
held some series of meetings. He hardly ever failed to attend the 
District Meetings, and often was present at the Annual Con- 
ferences. The last one he attended was held at Carthage, Missouri, 
June, 1904. At these meetings he preferred to be a learner rather 
than a speaker. He did not aspire to leadership, but was a good 
follower of what he considered good and right. He was a believer 
in the decisions of Annual Meeting. However, he was strongly 
opposed to the church becoming the owner of the publishing in- 
terests, fearing it would not be for the best. 

January 1, 1886, he and Hiram Musselman were ordained to 
the eldership by Elders E. J. Blough and, I think, J. S. Holsinger, 
Elder Blough performing his part on crutches, which was a pitiful 
sight. In addition to being one of the elders of his home congre- 
gation, he had for a number of years the oversight of the Glen 
Hope congregation, in Clearfield County. He took much interest 
in this weakened congregation, and through his efforts their meet- 
inghouse was moved to a more suitable point. 

He was an advocate of Sunday-schools, and was at home in 
the Bible class. His thorough knowledge of the Scriptures made 
him an authority on difficult passages of the Bible. In his preach- 
ing he was inclined to be deep and exhaustive rather than elocu- 
tionary. He was a firm believer in home mission work, and left 
a bequest to the Board at his death. He died February 15, 1906, 
at the age of 72 years and 11 months, and was buried in the cem- 
etery adjoining the Weaver Mennonite church, on the edge of his 
farm. Services by Brethren M. J. Weaver and A. Fyock. 



Joseph Holsopple, second son of Isaac and Christena (Hoff- 
man) Holsopple, was born on the Hoffman farm, near the present 
town of Windber, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, January 24, 
1835. Brother Holsopple was blessed with a brilliant intellect 
and a retentive memory. He distinctly recalls incidents that hap- 
pened when he was two and three years of age. He well re- 
members when the family moved to the Holsopple farm, one mile 
east of Rummel, March 31, 1838. 

When Joseph should have started to school their nearest 
school was about four miles distant. In 1841 a new schoolhouse 
was erected on the I<"oust Mill Road, east of Rummel, and only 
three-fourths of a mile from Joseph's home. This house was built 
of hewed logs, the cracks l)eing junked and daubed with mud. 
The whole cost of the l)uilding was forty dollars. The house was 
later lined with boards, making it more comfortable. 

Here Joseph received his schooling, which, before he had 
reached the age of eighteen, fitted him to take up the " birch," 
in 1852. He knew something of the three " R's," but had to study 
to keep ahead of his classes. He Ijegan teaching at a salary of four- 
teen dollars a month, but going across the line into Cambria 
County his services soon commanded from eighteen to twenty-five 
dollars a month. After the passage of the school law of 1854, 
creating the office of county superintendent, and requiring geog- 
raphy and grammar to be taught, he soon prepared himself to se- 
cure a provisional certificate. It was not long until he made 
straight ones in all the branches, and in the course of some years 
he was given a permanent certificate bearing the signature of J. P. 
Wickersham. Teaching in the winter and farming in the sum- 
mer formed the foundation of a livelihood for a large family 
of small children committed to his care. He taught twenty-eight 
terms of school in Somerset, Cambria and Indiana Counties. 

Joseph Holsopple and Catharine Lehman, daughter of Elder 
Christian Lehman, were united in marriage March 4, 1860, Elder 
Joseph Berkey officiating. Three months after this they were bap- 
tized by the same minister. In April, 1862, they moved to Indiana 
County. In this county he has resided ever since. His present 
home is in Penn Run. Brotlier and Sister Holsopple were the 
parents of eleven children— nine sons and two daughters. A num- 
ber of the sons followed their father's example, and I^ecame 
school-teachers. Five of the sons are ministers; viz., William W., 
Frank F., Ira C, Hiram L. and Quincy A. Three of the sons 
and one son-in-law are deacons. Sister Holsopple died October 1, 
VX)7, after nK)re than forty-seven years of happy married life. 


Elder Joseph Holsopple and Wife. 

December 5, 1908, he was married to Sister Julia Wysong, a widow, 
by Elder Perry J. Blough. She passed away October 5, 1914. 

Brother Holsopple was an influential citizen. He served nine 
years as township auditor, six years as school director, assessor 
one year, frequently was on the election board, and three years 
as county auditor. 

Brother Holsopple was called to the ministry in the Manor 
congregation June 1.7, 1866, and ordained to the eldership June 9, 
1892. Elder Holsopple was an active minister until a few years 
ago. Possibly his best efforts vy^ere given in his home congrega- 
tion, as his large family and his school work did not permit him 
to travel much and hold series of meetings. In missionary zeal 
he was ahead of the times. Finding missionary sermons not ac- 
ceptable, he and his wife began praying for the missionary cause, 
the burden of their prayers being that " the earth shall be filled 
with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover 


the sea." In due time he could read, " From among the fruit of 
your loins will I raise up ambassadors for me in your stead who 
shall preach the Glad Tidings over the broad land from ocean to 
ocean, and not only so, but shall cross the sea and witness for me 
in heathen lands." The plan under which our Home Mission 
Board works was principally worked out by him. 

As elder he has had charge of the Manor, Bolivar and Clarion 
congregations. He frequently represented his church at the Dis- 
trict and Annual Meetings. He was frequently writing clerk of 
District Meeting. He also represented his District on the Stand- 
ing Committee at Harrisburg, in 1902. 

As a member of the historical committee he has been active. 
His help and suggestions have been helpful. It was largely 
through his persistent efforts that the history of the northern 
congregations has been made available. 


Silas Hoover, son of Jacob and Eve (Miller) Hoover, was 
born near Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, April 24, 1849. 
His common school education received in the country schools was 
supplemented by several terms of normal work, which prepared 
him for teaching. This profession he followed three years. 

In 1870 Silas Hoover and Lucy A. Auman were united in mar- 
riage, the ceremony being performed by Elder John P. Cober. 
Four sons and three daughters blessed this union. One son, John, 
is a deacon in the Johnstown church. 

Elder Hoover united with the church at the age of about 
seventeen, being baptized by Elder Ephraim Cober, now of Sa- 
bctha. Kansas. When he was about twenty-three years of age he 
was called to the ministry. Brother Hoover took up the ministry 
promptly and soon became very popular. He entered the evangel- 
istic field and great success crowned his efforts. His first evan- 
gelistic meeting was held in tlic Indian Creek congregation, when 
twenty-nine souls accepted salvation. His fame spread and he was 
called far and wide to hold " protracted meetings." He was not 
only among the earliest evangelists, but he has remained in the 
field, probably, the longest, as he still holds rjieetings. To a num- 
ber of churches he was repeatedly called, and he knows of several 
congregations where upwards of a hundred persons united with 
the church through his preaching. Elder Hoover is widely known 
over the Brotherhood, as his evangelistic work took him to eight 
States of the Union. While Brother Hoover has no record of 
the number of accessions to the church through his ministry, the 
number is known to be many hundreds, and among them can be 
found a number of our present most active ministers. 


Elder Silas Hoover. 

Brother Hoover's power to reach the unsaved is, how^ever, 
not confined to the pulpit, as the following circumstance demon- 
strates: Elias Hoover, a Civil War veteran, and a brother of the 
evangelist, who lives on the Laurel Hill mountain^ manifested a 
desire to become a Christian. Elder Hoover went to his home 
and taught the will 'of the Lord, not only to him, but to his 
household, with the result that the father and five of his chil- 
dren were baptized then and there. This took place several years 

Some years after his call to the ministry he was ordained to 
the eldership. In 1883 he moved to Ohio, and was the pastor 
of the Jonathan Creek congregation five years. Here his defense 
of the Gospel aroused the opposition of other denominations, 
which resulted in a debate. Concerning this and other debates 
in the Jonathan Creek congregation I quote from the " History 
of the Church of the Brethren of Northeastern Ohio," page 57: 
" The church being much isolated and surrounded by strong de- 
nominations of other persuasions caused the ministers frequently 
to be called upon to defend the doctrine declared by them as main- 
tained by the church. This led to a number of public discussions. 
Of the earlier of these we have no authentic data." 


" In February, 1886, a discussion lasting four days was held in 
tile Helser house between Elder Silas Hoover, then pastor of the 
church, and Rev. Rufus Zartman, D. D., of the German Reformed 
Church, on the subject of baptism. The meetings were attended 
by large audiences and much interest was manifested in the dis- 

After giving an account of another debate, between Bro. 
Quincy Leckrone and Elder Thomas Martin, the historian con- 
cludes with: "In all these discussions the doctrines of the church 
were ably maintained and favorable impressions made, which has 
resulted in much good to the church." 

In 1888 Elder Hoover moved to Salisbury, Somerset County, 
Pennsylvania, where he served the Elk Lick congregation four 
years as pastor. In 1892 he moved to the Middle Creek congre- 
gation, where he has lived since then. I'^or all tiiese years he has 
been one of the elders of this church. 

Elder Hoover has represented his congregation many times as 
delegate at District Meeting; also in Annual Meeting. He also 
represented his State District on the Standing Committee at the 
St. Joseph Conference in 1911. 

Elder Hoover is now serving his sixth year as chaplain of the 
Somerset County Home. He has officiated at many funerals, both 
in and outside of his congregation. He also solemnized many mar- 
riages. In the eldership Elder Hoover lias been contemporary 
with Elders Josiah Berkle3% Valentine Blough, H. A. Stahl and 
R. T. Hull. 


Elder D. D. Horner, son of David Horner, was born in Som- 
erset County, Pennsylvania, Octolier 6, 1826. His parents were 
of German descent. He grew to manhood on his father's farm in 
Westmoreland County. His school privileges were few, yet he 
became fairly well educated in the " old-fashioned way." He used 
the English language in his preaching, being l)lessed witli a very 
pleasing voice and expression. His ideals were high. 

He was married October 9, 1851, to Miss Mary Myers, Elder 
Michael Mj'ers officiating. To this union, which continued fifty- 
nine years, were born two sons, Frank, who died in infancy, and 
Myers, who was married to Miss Ida Huffnian. and died at the age 
of thirty. His widow is still living. Their two children, Law- 
rence and Sadie, were reared by Grandfather Horner. 

Besides l)cing a farmer Brother Horner was also a miller. 
After farming some years he erected a gristmill, which is still known 
as Horner's mill. He usuallv hired a' man to run his mill. He was 


well known throughout the community and count\^ and was high- 
\y esteemed and respected. 

Brother Horner became a member of the Church of the Breth- 
ren when about twenty-eight years of age and a few years later 
he was called to the ministry in the Indian Creek congregation. 
March 27, 1880, he was ordained to the eldership. Elder C. G. 
Lint officiating. His entire religious life was spent in the same 
congregation, where his best work was done. He held but a few 
series of meetings, but baptized many persons and solemnized 
many marriages and officiated at numbers of funerals. He frequent- 
ly represented his congregation as delegate in the various meet- 
ings. He was a very good counselor and always attended the 
sanctuary services when able. He was a liberal contributor to the 
church treasury and to the poor, as well as to the missionary 
cause, he and Sister Horner giving an endowment of $1,300 to the 
General Mission Board. He enjoyed going to Sunday-school and 
many times he tried to impress upon the young the importance 
of the Sunday scr\ice. He held the family altar in high esteem. 
He died March 30, 1910, aged 83 years, 5 months and 24 days, and 
is buried in the cemetery near the County Line church. 


William M. Horner was born April 9, 1825, near Meyersdale, 
Pennsylvania. His father, whose name also was William, was 
married twice. His first wife was Catharine Miller, daughter of 
Henry Miller, and his second wife was Barbara Lichty. Brother 
Horner, the subject of this notice, was a farmer all his life. He 
lived on the same farm where he was l^orn, and died there. 

He was married to Catharine Miller, a daughter of Joseph 
and Catharine Miller, April 5, 1847, Elder John Berkley perform- 
ing the ceremony. Three children were born to this union: Emma 
Younkin, 1848; Joseph, 1850, and Milton C, in 1854. Joseph died 
at the age of twenty, at the time of the typhoid fever epidemic 
in 1870. The youngest son, Milton C, a retired farmer, lives in 

Brother Horner was called to the ministr}' in the Elk Lick 
congregation with C. G. Lint and Peter Berkley, June 26, 1855. 
He was a very good brother, and took an active part in every 
line of church work, but never preached very much. He was a 
leader of song in the meetings. In private he was able to de- 
fend and discuss the doctrines of the church. 

Brother Horner also took an active part in the afifairs of the 
township, serving in the capacity of supervisor several years. He 
died August 10, 1872, at the age of 47 years, 4 months and 1 day, 
and was buried on his farm beside the grave of his son, Joseph. 



William 31. Horner. 

However, before his widow died she had both l)udies removed to 
the Union cemetery, Meyersdale, upon a family lot by the side of 
her son Milton's lot. Sister Horner, who was born August 20, 1822, 
died at the age of 12 years, and is buried in the same plaee. 


About 150 years ago three brothers by the name of Horst 
came from Switzerland to America and settled at Groffdale, Penn- 
sylvania. Elder A. B. Horst, of Northeastern Ohio, is a descend- 
ant of one of these early settlers. Brother Horst married Miss 
Naomi Martin. He is one of the active elders of Northeastern 
Ohio, having been ordained to the eldership in the Black River 
church in 1905. Later he moved to Bellefontainc, Ohio, to take 
charge of the First City church. He returned in 1912, and now 
has charge of the Black River congregation. He is the present 
chairman of_ the District Mission Board. 

M. Clyde Horst, son of Elder A. B. and Naomi Horst, was 
born March 3, 1885, in East Union Township, Wayne County, 
Ohio. He vi^as reared on the farm and enjoyed the full benefit of 
the public schools. He began teaching school at the age of eight- 
een, but being called to the ministry the following year he de- 



M. Clyde Horst, Wife and Daughter. 

termined to prepare himself for his life work and entered Canton 
College and Bible Institute at Canton, Ohio, graduating there- 
from in the academy and sacred literature courses. 

Brother Horst was called to the ministry in the Black River 
congregation, Ohio, September 24, 1904, and advanced to the 
second degree October 14, 1905. The last year in school, 1906-7, 
he had charge of the Greenwood church, Perry County, Ohio. He 
was united in marriage to Sister Emma Edith Horner, daughter 
of William and Ella (Culp) Horner, June 8, 1907. Sister Horst 
also is a native of Ohio, having been liorn near Lodi, Medina 
County, June 20, 1884. She was reared on a farm and in ad- 
dition to the public schools attended Canton College. She was 
baptized in August, 1904. 

Brother Horst's pastoral life dates from August 1, 1907, when 


he took pastoral charp;e of the South I'.tMul cluirch, Indiana. Dur- 
ing his seven years' work in that city about 100 were added to 
the membership, and the Sunday-school was more than doubled. 
On September 1, 1914, he took charge of the Walnut Grove church 
of the Johnstown congregation, Pennsylvania, where he is at 
present located. T.rother Horst is a frequent representative at 
District and Annual Meetings. He was assistant doorkeeper at the 
Seattle (Washington) Conference, in 1914. 


Robert T. Hull was born May 25, 1861, in Mineral County, 
West Virginia. His father, Benjamin Hull, was born and reared 
in the same county, and is still living at the age of eighty years. 
His mother, Dorcas Hull, died in her forty-eighth year. She was 
a very religious woman and well versed in the Scriptures, and 
early taught Robert to pray and to reverence holy things. At 
the age of twelve or thirteen he becapie ashamed to kneel at his 
bedside and pray in the presence of others, and so finally gave it 

At the age of fourteen he became wonderfully under convic- 
tion, without any one, whatever, speaking to him. Every night 
when he retired he experienced a dreadful feeling and his mind 
was continually on the future, death and eternity. Finally he suc- 
ceeded in shaking off this feeling of penitence. Only a few weeks 
later he was hurt in lifting a heavy log. This was on Saturday. 
On Monday following he managed to go to school, but he be- 
came so ill that he could scarcely get home. On the way home 
he knelt in prayer along the roadside. After he got home he 
continued praying, and promised God that he would be baptized 
and obey him, until great joy filled his soul, assuring him that 
his sins were pardoned. 

He had promised the Lord to be baptized as soon as he was 
able to go to church. He was being attended by the family phy- 
sician. This occurred in the early winter. In the spring he had 
so far improved that he was able to take short horseback rides, 
and he saw that at the present rate of improvement he would 
soon be able to make good his jiromise to God and be baptized. 
But no; be said to himself, " I am too young to be baptized now. 
I will wait until I am sixteen." I'efore he got home his horse 
stumbled, hurting the rupture afresh, and this was the last horse- 
back ride for three years. 

Sixteen years came to Robert Hull, but it found him a helpless 
invalid, not able to feed himself, nor speak a word, nor help him- 
self much in bed. I'or about four years he never spoke, l-'inally he was 


raised through faith and prayer, and shortly after he was able to 
walk about the house he was baptized by Elder Silas Hoover, not 
waiting this time to be able to go to the church to be baptized, 
but having a small stream dammed up in the barnyard, where bap- 
tism was performed. Still he could not talk, until he attended 
a love feast a few months later, when, as he was about to break 
the bread of communion to his brother, his speech came to him. 

Brother Hull was married to Mary Shaffer, daughter of Dea- 
con Daniel Shaffer, of Somerset County, Pennsylvania, on May 
13, 1883, by Elder Silas Hoover. It might be stated here that 
Brother Shaffer had achieved some fame as a " faith healer." To 
this union were born a son and a daughter. The son, when sev- 
enteen, was accidentally shot to death in their home, by the fa- 
ther, as they were getting ready to go fox hunting. The daughter, 
Ida, is married to Alvin Darr. 

Brother Hull was elected deacon about 1885; minister, June 20, 
1890; ordained to the eldership, in June, 1913, all in the Middle 
Creek congregation, where he still resides. For the past twenty 
years Brother Hull has been more or less engaged in evangelistic 
work and has met with gratifying success. The past sixteen years 
he has held on an average of five and six series of meetings a 

Brother Hull received only a common school education. For- 
tunately he was naturally studious and secured a good store of 
useful knovyledge. He still lives on the farm he i)urchased from 
his father-in-law in 1884. 


The subject of this sketch was ])orn ill Grant County, West 
Virginia, in 1871, and grew to manhood among the hills and moun- 
tains of that picturesque country. The Alleghany Mountain lay 
directly west of the Idleman home, and in that direction they al- 
ways looked for the rains and snowstorms as they swept down 
the mountain sides. It was charming to stand upon the top of 
that mountain and gaze far eastward from mountain to moun- 
tain as far as the Shenandoah, and feel the impulse of the sublime 
view of the workmanship of a hand Divine. In these mountains, 
then covered with virgin forests. Brother Idleman loved to hunt 
the wild turkey, deer and other game, though not a skillful hunter. 

Brother Idleman attended the public schools of his county, 
which were four-month terms. He applied himself closely to study 
and determined to become a teacher. So, after a few terms of 
Summer Normals and several terms at Juniata College, he spent 
about seventeen years in teaching and going to school, from 
1890 to 1907. 



Elder Russell T. Idleman, AVife and Child. 

During this time there was a growing interest in the Bible, 
for after uniting with the churcli, at the age of nineteen, the 
Christ was given a blessed home in his lieart, and a few years 
later he was chosen to the deacon's office, and in 1899 he was 
elected to the ministry in the Greenland church, West Virginia. 

In 1903 he Iiegan the study of the Bible course in Juniata Col- 
lege, graduating in the two-year course in \^X)6. After graduating 
he still taught school and preached in his home church. In 1909 
Sister Amanda Weaver, daughter of Jacob A. and Lavina (Hoflf- 
man) Weaver, of Scalp Level, agreed to share with hiui the bur- 
dens and joys of an humble servant of God and l)ecanie his 

After their marriage they located in the Ten Mile congrega- 
tion, Washington County, Pennsylvania, where they have since 
lived and labored. Though the field is a hard and rather discourag- 
ing one, they still have hope that by faithful continuance in well 
doing this old historic church may again take on new life. In 
November, 1914, Brother Idleman was ordained to the eldership 
and given the oversight of the church. 



By His Son, Carman C. Johnson. 

The subject of this sketch was born as the second son of 
Joseph and Mary Cover Johnson on the Adams Bower in South 
Union Township, about two miles from Uniontown, on September 
1, 1839. The older brother died in infancy. Brothers and sisters 
succeeding in their order were Elizabeth, Mary Ann, Nancy, Jo- 
seph, Jacob, Isaac, Annie, Elizamatilda, Sarah, and Lydia and 
Martha as twins. With the exception of Martha, who died in in- 
fancy, all these children grew to manhood and womanhood; and all 
of them with the exception of Isaac became active members of the 
Church of the Brethren in the Georges Creek congregation. The 
mother of this large family was unusually pious, and especially 
strong in her religious convictions, so much so, indeed, as to win 
her husband from his Mennonite faith a few years before his 

The early death of the father, in the fall of 1865, at the age of 
forty-nine years, threw extensive responsibility upon the oldest 
son, who at that time was twenty-six years of age. Beside the 
management of a 400-acre farm, there were the crossroads store, 
the gristmill, the blacksmith shop, and the distillery, this latter 
representing an interest in which the Johnson family of Fayette 
County had been engaged for nearly a half cejitury. 

On June 13, 1866, this young man of varied interests was 
married to Mary Saylor Miller, daughter of Elder Jacob D. and 
Barbara Saylor Miller, at the home of the bride's parents on the 
farm near Somerset, Pennsylvania. By the fall of that year the 
young couple had established their home first of all in the log 
house in the yard of the old homestead at Johnson's Crossroads, 
later removing to the birthplace of the husband on Adams Bower, 
where a new house had been Iniilt. 

During these years the quiet influences of the mother and wife 
were at work upon the young man, gradually inducing him, in 
view of his membership in the Church of the Brethren, to give up 
the distillery and a tendency toward law and politics; and scarce- 
ly had their object been accomplished until he was elected to the 
ministry of the church in the Fairview meetinghouse, near Mason- 
town, Pennsylvania, in the si>ring of 1869, his uncle, Joseph I. Cover, 
being chosen to the eldership of the congregation about the same 

These were the days of little education among the residents 
of rural districts, the subject of this sketch having enjoyed the 
advantages of only a very few months in the common schools 
of South Union Township; but literary societies, spelling bees. 



Elder John Cover Johnson. 

and debating clubs were very common, and in these the name of 
John C. Johnson had been prominent for several years, thus de- 
veloping his natural ability as a speaker. The seriousness with 
which his election to the ministry was regarded by himself and 
family may be indicated by the fact that arrangements were made 
immediately for transfers of certain phases of the family's busi- 
ness to the younger brothers, and for the removal of John C. 
with his family to the old homestead. 

Here, from 1869 to 1873, the young minister spent much time 
in reading and study, calls for his services as a preacher and de- 
bater coming rather frequently. His advancement to the second 
degree occurred at this time. 

This early activity as a minister was somewhat interrupted by 
a general store venture on the part of three of the brothers, John, 
Joseph and Jacob, in 1873-74. This proved to be a loss financially 
as well as a hindrance to the ministerial program, but truck gar- 
dening and a dairy to Uniontown helped to recover the losses. 
From 1874 to 1879 there was little variation in the program, except 
that during this period an Annual Meeting Committee came to the 
Georges Creek congregation to settle some local difficulty, and 


John C. had opportunity to reveal his knowledge and skill in mat- 
ters of church polit}'. 

The purchase of another store in 1879, the sale of the family 
farm, and the removal of the entire family to Uniontown in 1882, 
the death of his mother in 1883, the departure of his uncle. Elder 
Joseph I. Cover, from Pennsylvania to become editor of The Vin- 
dicator for the Old Order Brethren in 1883, the Progressive and 
Old Order difficulties, both within the congregation and in the 
Brotherhood at large from 1883 to '85, particularly, occupied the 
attention of John C. in the period of storm and stress in the history 
of the Brotherhood. At this point the real mettle of the man was 
tested in his strong stand upon the middle ground between " Old 
Orderism " and "Progression" in his own congregation; and the 
story of his struggles against the leaders of the Progressive 
movement in Western Pennsylvania was written permanently into 
the history of the District. In the midst of these stormy eighties, 
without the authority of council, because regular council meetings 
seemed impossible at that time, and largely with his own money, 
he bought, repaired and reded'cated the Old Bethel Baptist church 
in Uniontown, serving this pulpit almost continuously and with- 
out pay from 1884 until 1906, when he removed with his family to 
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. He was made elder of the Georges 
Creek congregation in 1885, and, besides taking care of practically 
all of the services in the Uniontown church, took more than equal 
turns at the Mount Union, the Fairview, the Grove, the Hep- 
wood, the Sandy Hill and other appointments within his congre- 
gation. During his eldership of this congregation three new meet- 
inghouses were built, the Old Order and the Progressive move- 
ments were subdued, the activities of the congregation were re- 
organized, several mission points within the congregation were 
opened up, and the membership was more than doubled. 

Among the important services rendered by Elder Johnson out- 
side his own congregation may be mentioned certain rather not- 
able series of meetings in Middle Maryland, in New Enterprise, 
Pennsylvania, in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and in z\ltoona, Penn- 
sylvania, in all of which he was successful mainly because of his 
unique method of presenting the doctrines of the church and 
because of his personal work among prospective converts. His 
debates with representatives of other denominations, while never 
fully reported, were very frequent, the most important being 
between himself and the " Campbellites " or " Christians " in 
Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and in the Montgomery church in In- 
diana County. His services to the " north churches " particularly 
and to the Brotherhood in general in the courts of Armstrong 


County, Pennsylvania, in defense of the church property of the 
Brotherhood against the claims of the Progressives, extended over 
a period of nearly twenty years, and his explanations of the gov- 
ernment and polity of the Church of the Brethren, as given on the 
witness stand from time to time, and as passed on to the State 
Supreme Court, would make a large volume if edited. 

He served on the Standing Committees four Annual Meet- 
ings as representative of the Western District of Pennsylvania, 
was moderator of the District Meeting of Western Pennsylvania 
five times, was one of the original promotors and was frequently 
the moderator of the Ministerial Meetings of Western Pennsylva- 
nia, was associated directly with his son Carman in promoting the 
first regular Sunday-school meeting of Western Pennsylvania in 
1897, and was at different times elder in charge of the following 
congregations l)esides Georges Creek: Ten Mile, Red Bank, Elk 
Lick, and Glade Run, also acting as special consulting elder for 
several other congregations. Perhaps all too truly, for his own 
good, he seemed not to consider the hardship or the cost, when 
one of the many and frequent calls came for some rite or busi- 
ness of the church, cither at home or abroad; and his numerous 
calls for marriage or funeral services or for some legal or personal 
advice, as this drew heavily upon his own private resources in time 
and means. 

The last ten years of the life of this vigorous and able de- 
fender of the faith of the fathers were hampered by unfortunate 
complications with the Annual Meeting Committee sent to the 
churches of Western Pennsylvania and the First District of West 
Virginia. As Elder Johnson had always taken such an active part 
in matters of church polity, he had perhaps developed a kind of 
pride in his ability to comprehend and administer affairs of this 
sort; and so when he conceived of the policy of the committee as 
being antagonistic to him personally, whether rightfully or wrong- 
fully, all the resistance in his nature became active against the 
committee, purely on technical grounds. This naturally produced 
a misunderstanding of the issues and motives involved; and in the 
unequal struggle Elder Johnson's loyalty to the church was ques- 
tioned and his standing in the Brotherhood suffered eclipse. 

At last, after the Annual Meeting Committee was finally with- 
drawn, and John C. Johnson and his entire family of eight chil- 
dren were found to be still most loyal to the church, even at much 
sacrifice, the attitude of most of the leaders of the Brotherhood 
toward him became quite cordial, his membership and official po- 
sition were recognized, and he died in the enjoyment of the con- 
fidence and respect of a large circle of lirethren and sisters, who 
recognized in him a man of absolute devotion to the Word of God, 


of heroic courage in liis convictions, of unswerving loyalty to the 
church of his choice, of unsual ability as a religious leader, and 
altogether a man of strong spiritual force. His body lies buried on 
the eastern slope of the hill in the cemetery at Huntingdon, over- 
looking the valley of the Juniata which he had learned to love 
because of his early advocacy of the Brethren's Normal College 
located there; and it should be said in closing this sketch that the 
idealistic nature of the man had helped him to reconcile his leav- 
ing the old family seat in Fayette County and his adoption of 
Huntingdon as his home, because Huntingdon had been the home 
of Elder James Quintcr, wliom Elder Johnson loved and admired 
above all other men. 

Elder Johnson died in Huntingdon, April 3, 1908, aged 68 
j^ears, 7 months and 2 days. 


Samuel Cover Johnson, oldest son of eight children (four 
sons and four daughters) of Nicholas B. and Elizabeth Cover 
Johnson, was born four miles west of Uniontowu, Fayette Coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania, March 10, 1843. Nicholas was reared in the 
Mennonite faith, but through the influence of his wife, who was a 
strong and faithful member of the Brethren, he united with the 
church of her clioicc in 1850. By occupation he was a farmer, but 
he also did all the I)lacksmithing and carpentering needed on the 

Samuel was brought up a farmer, but having a mechanical turn 
of mind he naturally learned the use of the tools his father had 
on the farm, and as he grew to manhood he learned the better use 
of them. When Samuel was a boy the school terms consisted of 
only four months a year, and with the farm work and Maple 
Sugar boiling he did not get even the full benefit of that short 
term. However, by home study he acquired a fair education. At 
the age of twenty he studied civil engineering and has done much 
farm surveying. During all this he did much in the line of repair- 
ing small jobs of machine and carpenter work. 

In 1882 he bought five building lots in Uniontown, and he and 
his brother Alfred built a machine shop on them and did all kinds 
of repairing, from tlie smallest articles to sawmills, stationary 
engines, etc. They also manufactured a few lines. Their patent 
gas heating stove was the best and most economical stove in the 
market. This partnership continued till 1903, when Samuel sold 
out his interest in the business. Since then he has done small 
repairing, just enough to keep busy and in good health. 

In 1860, during a two weeks' series of meetings held in the 
Fair View meetinghouse, near Masoniown, by Elder John Wise, 


^^anl^lel Cover .Johnson. 

eight persons inanifcsted a desire to live tiie better life. These 
were: Samuel IJurr and Catliarine, his wife, George Urooks, 
James Hamilton, Elizabeth \Valters, Mary raul, Samuel C. John- 
son and John DeBolt. These eight penitent believers were bap- 
tized in the Monongahela River, at McClaine I'^erry, March 26, 
1860, when Brother Johnson was just a little past seventeen years 
of age. The day was very cold, the thermometer standing at ten 
degrees above zero. 

Brother Johnson has been an active Sunday-school worker 
from his young days. In 1863, when the Georges Creek congre- 
gation, in quarterly council, organized its first Sunday-school, 
Brother Johnson was elected superintendent. To this office he 
has been elected twelve times since, some of the terms being for 
a longer time than a year. He held the same ofhce at a union 
school, at Sandy Hill, two miles west of Uniontown. He fre- 
quently is an attendant at our Sunday-school conventions. 

Since he was elected deacon in 1884 he has had much of the 
church work to look after. He has represented-his church at Di"^- 
trict and Annual Meetings frequently. He has attended a large 
majority of our District Meetings from the first, and fourteen An- 


nual Meetings, including the one at Los Angeles, California. He 
is a close Bible student and a regular church attendant. He is 
now in his seventy-third year, and is enjoying reasonable health 
and strength. As he passes down the western slopes of time and 
the shadows lengthen, he sees the great necessity of taking strict 
care of the little things that make up the full Christian life. 

At the District Meeting of 1912 he was appointed a member 
of the historical committee, to take the place of Elder Joseph 
Ho'lsopple, who had resigned on account of age. As a member 
of that committee his labors have been very valuable, especially 
so in gathering data for the history of the Georges Creek congre- 
gation, and the biographies of its ministers. 


Carman C. Johnson, oldest son and fourth child of Elder 
John Cover Johnson and Mary Saylor-Miller Johnson, was born 
on 'the Johnson farm, known as "Adams Bower," in the Georges 
Creek congregation, near Uniontown, Pennsylvania, on July 19, 
1874. He attended country school until eight years of age, then 
the grade schools and Redstone Academy in Uniontown until four- 
teen; then for four years he worked as newsboy, photographer, 
glass-house boy, arud boot and shoe clerk, studying some at night 
with private tutors, until the fall of 1892, when he attended the 
teachers' course of the then Brethren Normal School at Hunt- 
ingdon, Pennsylvania, being graduated therefrom in June, 1894. 

Coming home he spent a year in his father's general store as 
clerk and bookkeeper, returning to Huntingdon in the fall of 1895 
to pursue further studies in the newly-organized Juniata College, 
acting at the same time as teacher of English, geography, and alge- 
bra in the preparatory department. The year '97-98 was spent en- 
tirely in study at Huntingdon, and the year '98-99 in Waynes- 
borough as clerk to Treasurer Oiler of the Geiser Company. 

The college course, with a number of religious electives, was 
resumed in '99, and finished after two more years of study exclusive- 
ly in 1901. Upon graduation, the subject of this sketch was called 
to Porto Rico by the then commissioner of education. Dr. M. G. 
Brumbaugh, to become assistant commissioner of public charities 
there; but a call to the Juniata faculty, even at one-fourth the sal- 
ary, was accepted. In this position he taught sacred and secular 
history and social sciences, edited the Juniata Echo, and acted 
as principal of the academy, and as assistant-registrar, spending 
short terms in graduate study at Harvard, Cornell, and Chicago 
Universities meanwhile, until called to a professorship of history 
and civics in the Pittsburgh High Schools in 1910. He taught 
there two years, and at the same time was superintendent of the 


Prof. Carman Cover Johnson. 

Emma Farm Fresh-Air and Educational Association; then hecame 
examiner and inspector in the Pennsylvania Bureau of Profes- 
sional Education for a year; then resigned to return to the Pitts- 
burgh schools, and soon was made principal of the North School, 
where he is now spending his third year, doing special day and 
night work in the fields of vocational, civic and social center 

Professor Johnson began his religious work early, assisting 
his father on his preaching circuits as a singer, and at home as 
janitor, Sunday-school teacher, usher, and Sunday-school super- 
intendent — all before seventeen years of age. In Uniontown, 
Huntingdon, Waynesboro, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, where he has 
had, or now has, particular interests, the Church of the Brethren 
was and is his real concern. He has written for the church and 
Sunday-school literature from childhood until now, regularly 
teaches a Sunday-school class, ])reachcs occasionally since his in- 
stallation at Huntingdon, in 1904, has taken much interest in the 
history and polity of the church, and is broadly interested, through 
committee memliership and frequent speaking engagements, in 
such public welfare movements as the Y. M. C. A., the Pittsburgh 
Christian Social Service Union, and the Associated Charities. 


Along with Elder S. S. Blough, Brother Johnson was directly- 
responsible for the first Sunday-school convention of the Church 
of the Brethren of Western Pennsylvania in 1897; and along with 
a few others established the Sunday-school convention of Southern 
Pennsylvania in 1899. He was moderator of the Sunday-school 
convention of Middle Pennsylvania also in 1909. 

Brother Johnson has been married twice, the first wife being 
Ada Catharine Reichard, daughter of Elder W. S. Reichard, of 
Hagerstown, Maryland. She left a beautiful record of unusual in- 
terest in church and Sunday-school work, being of great assistance 
to her husband during the scarcely four j^ears of their married life. 
The present Mrs. Johnson was DeLana Anne Mohler, of Cov- 
ington, Ohio, a graduate of Juniata, for a number of years a 
teacher, always active in Sunday-school and church work (as is 
the tradition of her family), and present missionary secretary and 
Messenger correspondent of the Pittsburgh congregation. To this 
latter union two sons have been born, the first. Mack Mohler 
Johnson, dying as an infant, the second, Forbes Mohler Johnson, 
being now in his second year. The new home at 5886 Burchfield 
Avenue, on Squirrel Hill, is a veritable " Hearthstone " for many 
church and school and other friends. 


John Keim, earliest ancestor of the Keim family in the United 
States, came from Germany in 1697, and settled near Reading, 
Pennsylvania, and had considerable land. Elizabeth was his wife. 
Their son, Peter, was a farmer in Berks County, but not much is 
known of him. 

Nicholas Keim was a son of Peter. He headed westward and 
made his first settlement at Ben's Creek, Cambria County. Later 
he lived at Davidsville, Somerset County. From there he moved 
to Elk Lick, where he purchased considerable land, which he cul- 
tivated to advantage till death in 1832. He was a member of the 
Amish Church. He was three times married and was the father 
of twenty-four children. 

Jonas Keim was the third son of Nicholas and Mary (Stutz- 
man) Keim and was born within six miles of Johnstown, Penn- 
sylvania, in 1803. He was a leading citizen of Elk Lick Town- 
ship. He represented his District in the State legislature in the 
forties as a Whig. He was associate judge of Somerset County; 
also county commissioner. He was one of the first promoters of 
free public schools, and taught advanced methods of farming and 
dairying. He was married to Miss Sarah Livengood, and to this 
union were born seven sons and five daughters. He died in 1865. 

Silas C, the fourth son and fifth child in this family of twelve, 


Silas Clark Keini 

was born October 6, 1835. At this date four of the brothers and 
two of the sisters arc still li\in,L;. althoui^ii at least three are past 
fourscore years of age. His entire life was spent in the neigii- 
borhood of his birth. He grow up on the farm and learned to 
love all kinds of stock. He attended the jjublic school available at 
that time, till fourteen years of age. After this time his school- 
ing was limited to six weeks each winter for two years. But a 
mind such as he had will seek an education. IJooks were scarce, 
but such as were to be had were read and studied. As a boy he 
carried to his work in his pocket a small dictionary, learning to 
spell and define a new word as the plow team 'was lazily turning 
a corner. He was a voracious reader and knew his P>il)le well. 

In those days, before the I'rcthren encouraged Sunday-schools, 
few unmarried people united with the church. Contrary to this 
custom, Brother James Quinter, tiien a young preacher in South- 
western Pennsylvania, was • called over to Elk Lick to baptize 
three young men, the youngest of whom was Silas, then aged 
eighteen. A letter written by IJrother Quinter to Brother David 
Livengood in response to this request is in possession of Elder 
H. H. Keim, son of Silas. The other two young men were Mahlon 
W. Keim, brother of Silas, and Samuel D. Livengood. 

In the fall of 1857 Samuel P.eeghly and Silas Keim went on 
horseback to attend a love feast, almost sixty miles from home, 
in the Beaver Run church, Hampshire C'ounty, \'irginia. During 


this meeting Silas met the lady who later became the wife of his 
bosom and the queen of his household. January 12, 1858, he was 
married to Anna, only daughter of Elder Joseph and Elizabeth 
(Sloan) Arnold, at their home on Patterson's Creek, the father of 
the bride officiating. 

They set up housekeeping on the farm acquired from his fa- 
ther, and adjoining the Keim homestead, and one mile west of 
Salisbury. After seven years of successful farming and dairying 
the farm was sold and the family moved to the town. Here the 
family lived six years, or until a new and larger home was built. 
In 1872 the new house on Ord Street was occupied, the father dy- 
ing there ten years later, and the mother residing there till her 
death, over forty years after its occupancy. Here, at dififerent 
times and with dififerent partners, he was engaged in merchandis- 
ing, manufacturing shooks, " droving," and banking. He and Ja- 
C0J3 D. Livengood opened the first bank in Salisbury. This was a 
private bank, and because of the ill health of the senior member 
was closed in 1879. 

Brother Keim and Elder Joel Gnagey were called to the min- 
istry about the year 1862. In church activities he was always 
among the foremost. He was an early advocate and ardent sup- 
porter of Sunday-schools and social and prayer meetings. He 
kept open house, and his generous hospitality was enjoyed by rich 
and poor alike, and never was any one in need of food, lodging 
or clothing known to be turned away empty. After his death the 
mother continued this ministry, and only in advanced age, when 
compelled to do so, did she fail to " minister to the necessity of 
the saints." Many a preacher has remembered a visit in that 

Brother Keim was always forward in providing for the edu- 
cation of the masses. He served as school director, was deeply 
and carefully interested in the selection of suitable teachers, and 
in several instances rendered material aid to young men in ob- 
taining a higher and professional education. He was often heard 
to remark that he would rather give his children a good education 
than to leave them material inheritance. 

Every effort to encourage schools among the Brethren met 
his approval and support. Though always progressive in busi- 
ness and the Lord's work, he clung to the middle of the road 
theory during the disturbance of the early eighties and kept him- 
self in the love of Jesus. When the Plum Creek Normal was 
opened at Elderton, Pennsylvania, he sent two of his sons and 
encouraged two others to attend. When Brother Zuck opened the 
Brethren Normal School at Huntingdon, his sons were among 


the early students. He supported tlie school financially and en- 
couraged others to do so. 

This very active and successful career was cut short in the 
middle of life. At the age of forty-six, just as his children were 
needing him most, he was cut down. After four years of suffering 
from the effects of an internal injury received while leading a 
horse at the halter and being jerked; and after spending a large 
sum of money in seeking the best medical skill, in the very prime 
of life he fell asleep, March 10, 1882, and was laid to rest in the old 
Livengood-Keim family graveyard on the farm where he began 
housekeeping, and where his father and grandfather are awaiting 
the resurrection of the just. Here now repose the remains of four 
or five generations of the Keims. 

His family life was a joy to him, and he always seemed young 
when among his children. The oldest son, Richard, died in 1875, 
at the age of seventeen, soon after his return from attending the 
Plum Creek Normal. A little more than a year after the father's 
death, the oldest daughter, Libbie, came home sick from the Hunt- 
ingdon Normal, and died July 2, 1883. 

The mother, left to rear licr family alone, undertook tire work 
with Christian fortitude. All the children were l)aptized into the 
Church of the Brethren and were faithful in their care for tlieir 
mother to the very last. Mother Keim died July 20, 1912, at the 
age of 75, and was l)orne to the grave by her six sons. 


As nearly as can be ascertained I'rothcr Kelso moved from 
Western Maryland to Fayette County al>out the year 1824. He 
was then a minister in the second degree. While residing in the 
Georges Creek congregation he was ordained to the eldership. 
This was in 1854. He was rather an able and active preacher, 
and his sermons were uplifting and instructive. His good judg- 
ment made him a wise and helpful counselor. He was born in 

He labored in this congregation until about 1861, when he re- 
moved to the Elk Lick congregation, where he made his home with 
his son, Jonathan, the remainder of his life. As old age came on 
he was much afflicted with asthma. 

I quote from his ol)ituary: "Elder James Kelso. Sr., died 
February 1, 1867. aged 79 years and 15 days. He was elected to 
the ministry at the age of twenty-eight years and ten months. 
He was ordained in the year 1854. Few of the brethren have 
traveled more extensively and have labored more zealously for the 
cause of their Master than he. He was a member more than 


fifty years. The latter part of his life was spent in reading, medi- 
tation and prayer. He died of a pain in his left side which he 
contracted while on a tour to the State of Ohio, some thirty years 
ago. He was never entirely rid of said pain until it terminated 
in his death. Funeral services by Elder C. G. Lint." He is buried 
in a marked grave in the Peter Livengood graveyard. 

Three of his sons were ministers: 1. Jacob Kelso, a school- 
teacher in Elk Lick Township. He married Eliza Lichty, daughter 
of Peter Lichty. He afterward moved to Armstrong County, 
where he assisted Brother Lewis Kimmel in organizing the first 
Sunday-school at Plum Creek, in 1860. There he was elected to 
the ministry in 1865, and in 1878 he moved to Beatrice, Nebraska. 

2. Jonathan Kelso, who married Susannah Lichty, daughter 
of Elder Jacob Lichty. After her death he married William Hor- 
ner's widow. He was an elder in the Elk Lick congregation, and 
was first elder of the new Elk Lick congregation. He moved West 
in 1886. He moved first to Kansas, then to near Carleton, Ne- 
braska, where he died in 1906, in his S3d year. 

3. Joseph Kelso, who was elected to the ministry after he 
moved West. 


Lewis Kimmel was born October 19, 1836, near Derry, West- 
moreland County, Pennsylvania. His parents were Tobias and 
Barbara (Breniser) Kimmel, both members of the Church of the 
Brethren. They were of German descent. His chances for an 
education were not the best. He gave "the one thing needful " 
his early attention, being baptized at the age of eighteen, in 
Crooked Creek, near Cockern's Mill, by Elder Shumaker. 

He was married to Elizabeth Wells, daughter of Levi Wells, 
September 22, 1859, by Elder James Quinter. His parents moved 
from Westmoreland County to Armstrong County when Lewis 
was only four years old. He lived within a mile of Plum Creek 
church the remainder of his life. 

He was called to the ministry in the old Cowanshannock 
congregation, in 1858, when only twenty-two years of age and still 
a single man. When the Plum Creek church was organized he 
became its first minister. After his ordination to the eldership, in 
1872, he had the oversight of two congregations for sojiie years. 

In his younger j-ears he held a number of series of meet- 
ings with good success. His ministerial duties called him away 
from home a great deal. He also attended the Annual and District 
Conferences in his younger years, and frequently represented his 
congregation in District Meeting. He represented the Western 


Elder Lewis Kimniel. 

District of PennstyJvania on the Standing Committee at Lanark, 
Illinois, in 1880. 

He was a strong advocate of Sunday-schools. In harmony 
with his stand on this question, we find him and J. Kelso opening 
a Sunday-school at the Plum Creek church as early as 1860. He 
always was a regular attendant at Sunday-school and church serv- 

He was a liberal contributor to missionary work. He also 
gave consideralile of his time to the same, being chosen a mem- 
ber of the first Mission Board of the District in 1872. His school 
work will l)e taken up in another chapter. 

He died within a mile of where he was reared, Aguust 7, 1907, 
aged 70 years, 9 months, and 18 days, and is buried in the I'reth- 
rcn cemetery. 

Tradition says that many years ago seven brothers by the 
name of Kimmel emigrated from the Fatherland to England, and 
later to America, and that all the Kimmels in the States are de- 
scendants of these brothers. Somerset County is fortunate in hav- 
ing a very large share of these descendants. 



Samuel A. Meyers. Harrey H. Kinimel. 

John M. Kimmcl and Elizabeth Miller were married many 
years ago and were among the substantial citizens of Jefiferson 
Township, and he was an active deacon in the Middle Creek con- 

Their son, Harvey H. Kimmel. was born in Jefferson Town- 
ship, Somerset County, April 2, 1862, was reared on the farm, and 
has since followed farming. His pul)lic school education was sup- 
plemented by attendance at the County Normals, and he taught 
nine terms in the schools of the county. 

Brother Kimmel was married to Miss Nora Will, daughter of 
J. K. and Sarah (Hunter) Will, in 1886, and to this union were 
born Charles M., residing in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and a faith- 
ful deacon in the Morrellville church; Nina, married to Brooks 
Horner; and John J. 

At the age of seventeen Brother Kimmel united with the 
church, being baptized by Elder Solomon Bucklew. He was called 
to the deacon office in 1898, to the ministry in 1900, and advanced 
in 1901, all in the Middle Creek congregation, where he now la- 
bors-. He is an active Sunday-school worker, having been super- 
intendent and teacher. He served his township as auditor six 


The subject of this brief sketch was born in Clearfield County, 
Pennsylvania, May 8, 1858, and is a son of John D. and Rachel 
(Bonewell) Kitchen. Brother Kitchen was united in marriage to 
Miss Thurssey J. Montgomery May 25, 1879, in Clearfield. In the 
Glen Hope (now Chess Creek) congregation he was called to the 


A. R. Kitchen. 
Four Generations of the Kitchen Family. 

ministry about 1895, Elders Jacolj Holsopplc and Harvey Beer 
officiating. He has been a member of tlie church some twenty 
years. He is the only resident minister in tlie Chess Creek con- 


Charles S. Knavel, son of Samuel and Susan (Statler) Knavel, 
was born in Paint Townshij), Somerset County, rennsylvania, July 
23, 1882. He was reared on the farm and attended the Rummel 
public school. Having a thirst for knowledge above wliat the pub- 
lic schools could supply he attended a number of terms of local 
normal school and qualified himself to teach. His teaching has 
been done in Paint Township and adjacent boroughs. He holds a 
State permanent certificate and is now teaching his sixteenth term 
of winter school. He has also taught normal school. 

His father's family was made up of the following cliildren: 
[•".hiier, Harvey, Charles S., Edgar and Mary. His father was a 
deacon, as are his three brothers, his uncle, Jacob C, and his 
cousin, Samuel W. P>rother Charles was elected to tlic ministry 
in the Shade Creek congregation June \9, 1906. He was united 
in marriage to Sister Abbie Foust, daughter of Deacon Jacob E. 
and Fannie (15erkel)ile) Foust, September 25, VX)4. One child, 
Richard, l)lesses the union. Brother Knavel was l^aptized Sep- 
tember 18, 1901. He is an active Sunday-scliool worker in addition 
to his church and school work. 

(Portrait on I'nKf 183.) 


Elder Peter Knavel. 


Peter Knavel, oldest son of Jacob and Hannah (IJerkey) 
Knavel, was born in West Taylor Township, Cambria County, 
Pennsylvania, January 15, 1848. He was reared on his father's 
farm, and given the ordinary school advantages of his day. There 
were no Sunday-schools when he was growing to manhood, yet he 
gave his heart to God at the age of iifteen, being baptized in the 
Conemaugh congregation. 

When he was eighteen years of age, in 1866, his father moved 
to Paint Township, Somerset County, on a farm near the Berkey 
meetinghouse. Brother Knavel was united in marriage to Miss 
Maria Blough, daughter of Yost Blough. Besides being a farmer 
he followed contracting and building many years, erecting many 
houses and barns in the community. After the death of his wife 
he made his home in Paint Borough. 

In June, 1870, he was called to the deaconship in the Shade 
Creek congregation. In 1874 he was elected to the ministry and 
June 10, 1902, he was ordained to the eldership. He served in 
that capacity in the same congregation till the division into two 


congregations in 1912, when he became tlie senior elder of the 
newly organized congregation, Scalp Level. Elder Knavel is active 
and energetic in his preaching and general church work and has 
traveled extensively, having made five trips to the Pacific coast, 
and spent considerable time in Southern California with his daugh- 

He is a regular attendant at our District Meetings, frequently 
acting as delegate. He has also attended a number of Annual 


Solomon Knepper, son of John and Elizabeth (Stahl) Knep- 
per, was born near Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, De- 
cember 11, 1820, and died at his home, two and one-half miles 
south of Berlin, February 17, 1854, aged 33 years, 2 months and 6 
days. His parents were Pennsylvania Dutch, but were undoubt- 
edly of German descent. They were farmers and Solomon was 
reared a farmer. He received his education in the private schools 
of his day and Berlin Academy, and specimens of his penman- 
ship, still in existence, are hard to equal, both in style and beauty. 
He taught school in the winter and farmed in the summer. 

On November 19, 1843, he was married. to Miss Eve Schrock, 
Elder Jacob Myers performing the ceremony. Two sons blessed 
this union, the younger dying in infancy. The other son is Elder 
John H. Knepper, who has been for a numl)er of years pastor of 
the First Brethren church of Altoona, I'cnnsylvania. 

He was elected to the ministry in tlie Berlin congregation, but 
the date has not been preserved. His preaching was done both 
in English and German, but mostly in the former. It is said that 
he was the first native " Dunker " preacher of Somerset County 
who could preach in the English language. He was very active 
in all work of the church. He was called upon to preach many fun- 
erals of persons not menil^ers of the church. While officiating 
at a funeral service he contracted a severe cold, which developed 
into bronchitis, causing his untimely death. He was buried on 
the old Knepper farm, but some forty years ago his son, John H., 
had the body removed to his own private lot in the Berlin cem- 

Brother Knepper and B>rot]ier ICphraim Cober, now of Sa- 
betha, Kansas, were most intimate friends and neighbors, and co- 
workers in the church in those early days. In 1855 his widow was 
united in marriage to Deacon John J. Bittner, Elder Jacob Blough 
officiating. Her death took place in 1872, and she was laid by the 
side of Brother Knepper. 


Lewis Schrock Knepper. 


The Knepper family can I)e traced back to Germany, when 
some of the Kneppers emigrated to the United States and settled 
in Eastern Pennsylvania in 1698. Afterwards they moved farther 
west, and Lewis J. Knepper, grandfather of the above, resided 
in Brothers Valley Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. 
He was a teacher, farmer and an active member of the Church 
of the Brethren. 

Lewis Schrock Knepper, the subject of this sketch, is a son 
of Emanuel L. and Emma (Schrock) Knepper, and was born on 
a farm near Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, September 
11, 1889. He acquired his early education in the public schools of 
the township and the normal schools of Berlin. He taught in the 
township schools three years, and in the spring of 1909 he was 
enrolled as a student of Juniata College, in which institution he 
spent almost four years. While there he was graduated from the 
normal English and business courses, besides taking some addi- 
tional studies. He also received his teacher training and advanced 
teacher training diplomas while in Juniata. 

He was married on June 25, 1913, to Miss Grace H. Berkley, 


daughter of Lewis and Sarali llcrklcy, of i'>rotlicrs X'alley Town- 
ship. On October 12, 1912, he was called to the ministry in the 
Brothers Valley congregation, but was not installed until May 
15, 1915. He is a good Sunday-school worker, having been one of 
the superintendents of the Pike Sunday-school for several years. 
He is taking up the work of the ministry faillifully and promises to 
become a useful man in the church. 


William M. Knopsnyder, second son of Ahimas and Martha 
Ann Knopsnyder, was born near Freed, Fayette County, Pennsyl- 
vania, December 2, 1865. He was reared on the farm, and his oc- 
cupations are farming and lumbering. His i)arents were members 
of the Evangelical Church. 

On February 26, 1893, he was united in marriage to Miss Re- 
becca C. Miller, daughter of George F. and Susan Miller, of In- 
dian Head. Their cliurch affiliation .was Brethren. Brother and 
Sister Knopsnyder l)ecame members of the Church of the Breth- 
ren July 2, 1895, and in Septeml)er, 1901, he was elected to the 
ministry in the Indian Creek congregation. In March, 1903, he was 
advanced to the second degree. In that capacity he labors in the 
Indian Creek congregation. 


Daniel Lane was one of tlic ministers of the Ten Mile con- 
gregation, and died November 10, 18S5, in liis 76th year. " He was 
a faithful and tried servant. He was called to the ministry some 
years ago, but never made his ministerial calling so much of a 
study as to fit himself for extensive work, Init with the liumlile 
means God gave him, he did tlic l)est he could, in helping to pro- 
mote the Master's cause. The Lord will abundantly reward." 
I'uneral discourse was preached from the eleventh chai)ter of John 
by Elder John C. Johnson. 


Joseph Leatherman was born in 1760. I'Vom Eastern Mary- 
land he moved into the Georges Creek congregation about the 
year 1800. His home was about four miles from Uniontown, 
Fayette County. He was a minister of considerable ability; he 
also was a very successful farnier. He died in 1848, at the age of 
88 years. 


Christian Lehman, son of Christian Lehman, was born March 
14, 1803, on the I)anks of the Stony Creek, about four miles south 
of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. His parents were of German de- 


scent, and of the Mennonite faith. His educational advantages 
were very limited, being altogether in German. However, he 
learned to read and write the English. 

Elizabeth Berkey, daughter of Peter Bcrkey, Esq., was born 
on the banks of the Shade Creek, about three miles above its junc- 
tion with the Stony Creek, March 1, 1808. Her parents also were 
of German extraction, and were followers of the religious ideas 
of Conrad Beissel, who in early days had departed from the com- 
munion of the Church of the Brethren, organized by Alexander 
Mack, at Schwarzenau, Germany, one hundred years before Eliza- 
beth was born. 

When these two noble young persons had entered into the 
holy bonds of matrimony, in 1824, the all-important question con- 
fronted them: " How can we reconcile our denominational dif- 
ferences so that we can worship the God we love and on whose 
guidance we have to depend for success in life? " Very wisely 
they agreed to " search the Scriptures." The result was a united 
acceptance of the faith of the Church of the Brethren, and in that 
faith they brought up all their children. 

To Brother and Sister Lehman thirteen children were born, 
as follows: Charles, married to Hannah Cripe; Peter C, married 
to Elizabeth Wingard; Daniel, married to Rachel Keim; William 
(never married); Levi, married to Catharine Ripple; Hiram, mar- 
ried to Lizzie Knavel; Mary Ann, married to Jacob Thomas; Eliza- 
beth, married to Daniel Blough; Polly, married to Jacob Hol- 
sopple; Catharine, married to Joseph Holsopple; Sarah, married 
to Daniel Hofifman; Caroline, married to Levi Blough; and Har- 
riet, married to Josiah Fry. All the above children are dead. 

Brother Lehman lived on a farm in Richland Township, Cam- 
bria County, and was called to the ministry in the old Conemaugh 
congregation, probably in the thirties. When the Shade Creek 
congregation was cut ofif Conemaugh, and erected into a new con- 
gregation, Brother Lehman was ordained its first elder. This was 
probably about 1843, or later. 

In this ofifice he served the church faithfully until his death. 
All his preaching was in German, though he could speak and read 
the English. He was not what might be called a very fluent speak- 
er, or a great revivalist, and j^et he wielded an influence over the 
people so that he won their respect. When the care of the church 
was committed to him, he felt very humble, and was so modest and 
diffident that he never got the consent of his mind to exercise in 
the matter of ofiiciating at love feasts. But he was a good house- 
keeper and filled the scriptural requirements. He was a man of 
reserved nature, yet he managed to say yes and no when he meant 


He took very little part in politics, l^clievinjj; the kingdom of 
Christ and the world to be separate kingdoms, and that God would 
find men in each to run its own afifairs. Hence he was seldom seen 
at elections. 

He made his living by farming and did most of his travel on 
horseback. He had but one buggy and one spring wagon, and that 
only a few years before he quit -farming. He died June 28, 1874, 
aged 71 years, 3 months and 14 days. Sister Lehman died August 
9, 1884, aged Id years, 5 months and X days, iioth are buried in 
the farm burying ground. 

Elder Lehman reared a godly family, there being a long line 
of church officials among his numerous descendants. One son, 
two sons-in-law, and nine grandsons have been called to the 
preaching of the Word. Much of the above was compiled by his 
son, Hiram, and the manuscript was found among his papers. 


Hiram Lehman, son of Elder Christian and Sister Elizabeth 
(Berkey) Lehman, the youngest child in a family of thirteen, -was 
born June 24, 1849. He was given a fair common school education. 
He was reared on his father's farm in Ivichland Township, Cam- 
bria County. 

He was married to Lizzie Knavel, daughter of Jacob Knavel, 
of Paint Township, Somerset County, by I'-lder Hiram Mussel- 
man, March 13, 1870. 

They settled on a farm along the Scalp Level and Johnstown 
Pike, near Geistown, Richland Township. Here their familj', con- 
sisting of three sons, Lorenzo J., Irvin and Maurice, and two 
daughters, Clara and Alice, was reared to uianhood and woman- 
hood. Parts of the farm being rocky, much hard labor was re- 
quired to fit it for agricultural purposes. P.ut Brother Lehman was 
never afraid of hard work. He might be termed an ideal farmer. 
He raised good crops, delighted in well-bred stock and was con- 
siderable of a horticulturist. 

He was much interested and concerned about the welfare 
of his neighbors. No call for help or favors was refused if it was 
possible to grant it. He would sometimes voluntarily go to the 
assistance of his neighbors, who chanced to be backward with their 
crops or harvesting. He was very prompt to meet business ob- 
ligations. His word was as good as his note. 

In church matters he was just as prompt and systematic as 
in his temporal affairs. He was a regular attendant at church 
services, usually taking the entire family. He had a deep love 
and tender regard for the churcli of his choice. In .Sunday-school 






^^^1 zi^i Mi 


^^^ 1^1^ ^Qp^ SH 


A :< m 





Hiram Lehman and Wife. 

work he felt at home. Discussing Bible topics, either in the Sunday- 
school or in the home, with visitors, was his delight. These traits of 
character in his life were noticed by the membership of the Shade 
Creek church, so when they were looking about for ministers, 
July 10, 1887, they selected him as one of their choice, though he 
was living at one end of the congregation. (The author of this 
work was the other one.) Feeling that his age (38) was against 
him, he hesitated at first to accept the call. But after weighing 
the matter seriously, he stepped forward, received the commission 
and shouldered the responsibility with a determination to succeed. 

Living to one side of the large congregation made his min- 
isterial duties rather laborious, but he was faithful in filling his 
appointments, whether the weather was fair or inclement. He fre- 
quently represented his congregation at the District Meetings, and 
he was District Treasurer from the time of Elder Musselman's 
death until he passed from the scenes of time. He never cared for 
popularit}^ desiring rather to keep in the background. The spring 
before his death the elders' meeting passed him for ordination, but 
it was not attended to before he took sick. The fall before he had 
preached the annual sermon before the ministerial convention, 
held in the Dunnings Creek congregation. 

It was very largely through his efiforts that a system of gath- 


cring church funds with more of an equality was introduced in 
his congrcfration. This system was sut^.Ofcsted by Paul to the Co- 
rinthians in the sixteenth chapter and second verse. Tlie plan 
worked admiral)ly and was used many years. 

Brother Lehman was baptized November 7, 1869, in the Shade 
Creek congregation. Sister Lehman was baptized in the Cone- 
maugh congregation, by Elder Solomon Benshoff, in 1864. 

Brother Lehman died July 23, 1902, aged 53 years and 29 days, 
and was buried in the Berkcy cemetery, the funeral being conduct- 
ed in the Scalp Level church by H. S. Replogle, J. E. Blough and 


Among the many sulistantial and enterprising families of Som- 
erset County and some of the Western States must be mentioned 
the Lichty family. One Christian Lichty emigrated to this country 
from Germany some time in the eighteenth century. Among his 
descendants can l)e ccnnitcd a num1)er of ministers and deacons. 
Among his sons was John C. Lichty, of Elk Lick Township, 
Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Two of his (John C.'s) sons. Sol- 
omon and Jonas, were ministers. Jonas Lichty's son. W. II. 
Lichty, is an elder in the South Waterloo (Iowa) church. 

Jacob Lichty, another of Christian's sons, was also an elder. 
So was Jacob's son, Jonathan, who was called to the ministry in 
the Middle Creek congregation and died in Morrill, Kansas. 

As above stated, I'^lder Jacob Lichty was a son of Christian 
Lichty. He was born in Elk Lick, April 28, 1790. His first wife 
was Barbara Myers, daughter of folder Michael Myers, and his 
second wife was the widow of William Miller. Eld. Lichty lived 
and labored in tlic b'.lk Lick congregation. He was a minister 
about twenty-eight years and the last five years of his life he was 
an overseer or bishop. He died b\'l)ruary 14, 1854, aged 63 years, 
9 months and 16 days. His funeral text was Matthew 24: 44. 


Elder Jonas Lichty was I)orn in Elk Lick Towns'iii), Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania, Septemlier 25, 1830. He was the son of 
John C. and Elizabeth ( b'ike) Lichty. He was reared on- his fa- 
ther's farm between Salisbury and Meyersdale. Me was educated 
under the subscription school system, receiving a part of his edu- 
cation in a little log house within several rods of his father's 

lie was married to Mary Miller Dect'mber 1, 1851. To this 
union were born live sons and four daughters. In their early days 



Klder Jonas Lichty. 

they bought the home farm, which they greatly improved in the 
fertility of the soil and in buildings. Elder Lichty was considered 
an up-to-date farmer and took pride in improving his stock. 

His early piety is indicated by the fact that he united with the 
church while yet a single man, which was something unusual for 
that day. Several years after his marriage he was called to the 
deacon office, which he faithfully filled. In May, 1860, he was 
elected to the ministry at a council held in Joseph Fike's barn, 
not far from his home. In this capacity he served faithfully, 
preaching principally in the German language. In 1877, or probably 
several years before, he was ordained to the eldership, and when, 
in 1877, the old Elk Lick congregation was divided into three 
congregations, Elder Lichty was one of the elders placed in charge 
of the Summit Mills congregation, which he served for years. In 
his later years he preached mostly in the English language. 

Elder Lichty did considerable preaching outside of his congre- 
gation, traveling on horseback. He often left home Saturday 
morning and returned on Monday. One time while away from 
home his house with most of its contents was burned to the ground. 
Many valuable records, books, clothing, household goods, etc., 
were thus burned that might have been saved if he had been at 


home. His companion, however, who was a most faithful standby, 
was glad that he was not at home, lest he should have ventured 
into the burning building, and thcrcb}' received injury, or perhaps 
lost his life. 

Thirty-six years Elder and Sister Lichty lived together in happy 
wedlock. Jn her latter days Sister Lichty suffered severely with 
an inward cancer. Her suffering was intolerable and her death was 
long expected, yet she bore it all for years with sweet, gentle 
patience, sustained by the inward power of grace and faith. Both 
were noted for their piety and worth. Their home was always 
an open one for the poor, wayfaring traveler. 

About 1888 he removed to Waterloo, Iowa, where he was mar- 
ried to Mrs. Sallie Schrock, of the same place, March 30, 1890, 
Here he lived until November 21, 1893, when, after an illness 
marked by Christian patience and resignation, he passed away at 
the age of 63 years, 1 month and 6 days. Two days later his body 
was laid to rest in the cemetery near the South Waterloo church, 
the funeral being conducted by Elder G. B. Royer, using as a text 
Romans 15: 13. 

Brother Lichty was not known so much for his sermons in 
preaching as in living. His kindness, sociability, and cheerfulness 
made his home dear to his family, and agreeable to all who were 
permitted to cross its threshold. During his life he was liberal 
to the charities of the church, and he took much pleasure in seeing 
the Sunday-school grow in numbers and organization. His great 
desire was that the church might prosper and many souls might be 
gathered into God's kingdom, and that some time he might meet 
them in a world where there are no sorrow, sickness, sin or death. 

" Thus star by star declines, 
Till all are passed away; 
As morning high and higher shines 
To pure and perfect day; 
Nor sink those stars in emptj' night. 
They hide themselves in heaven's own light." 


It is said that when Samuel Lidy was a boy he was so remark- 
ably defective in speech that at the age of sixteen his articulation 
was so indistinct that he could scarcely be understood. This with 
other difficulties of his daj^ prevented him from getting the benefit 
of any but the most rudimentary education. But his excellent 
character, known for probity and Christian consistency, marked 
him out as a good subject to be named for " Preacher " when the 
Conemaugh Brethren looked for such a one. 


His early experiences or labors are thus related by himself: 
" I was a poor reader and had but few books, but I had the Book 
of books which my wife, Polly, who was of Yankee extraction, 
helped me to read and understand. The brethren, as is customary, 
would give me liberty, but 1 seldom used it, except to open or 
close meetings by lining hymns for singing and prayer. But one 
Sunday morning I learned that I would be the only preacher at 
the appointment, my colleague not being well. This was a new ex- 
perience to me. It was with a heavy and sad heart I made my 
way to the schoolhouse, where I was expected to talk to the people. 
A good congregation was already there when I arrived. When the 
proper time came I opened the meeting as usual, not know n^- 
what next I would offer the people. I recommended my case to the 
care of the Lord and read a scripture and commenced to talk. Soon 
it appeared that my understanding was enlarged and utterance was 
given me beyond my own or anybody else's expectation. I soon 
learned that the people said that I could and did preach. The older 
brethren heard of it, and were more persistent than ever that I 
should take the subject and preach, which I felt more ready to 
do than before. But the first efifort after the above experience was 
far from satisfactory to myself. 

" On the whole I came to the conclusion that the tirst sermon 
the Lord preached through me for the benefit of the people, while 
the other, from whatever source it came, was for my own special 
good. I lived on the banks of the Conemaugh, just above where 
the town of East Conemaugh now stands, and was associated in 
the work with Elders John Mineely, Levi Roberts, Jacob Stutz- 
man and Jacob Waters. We would preach alternately at the 
several appointments or places of worship, which were uniformly 
in the Brethren's houses or barns, or schoolhouses that were 
located favorably for our use, or such other places as we 
could secure. Religion was at a low ebb. Philip Hoffman and 
Barbara, his wife, had moved from Morrison's Cove to a farm 
about two miles south of Scalp Level. They had two sons, Jacob 
and John, and nine " daughters, Mary, Catharine, Susan, Barbara, 
Mattie, Elizabeth, Christina, Franey and Sally. They were all at 
home when I used to take my staff in hand on the banks of the 
Conemaugh and walk out to their place, crossing the Bedford 
Road at Horner's, now Geistown, and following the Glades Road 
to where Scalp Level now stands. Turning to the right a few 
miles farther on I reached the hospital)le home of Brother Hoff- 
man. The distance was about eleven miles. I would try to preach 
to the edification of the church in his house. I believe they all 
became members of the church." 

In the year 1840, Emanuel Brallier, Elder Lidy's brother-in- 


law, moved from the East to the lUacklick settlement, in Cam- 
bria Countj'. Soon after this two brethren by the name of h'yock 
moved to Indiana County, one in the vicinity of where Purchase 
Line is now located, and the other a few miles from where Manor 
is now located. There were a few other members by the name of 
Soyster and Brown located in this region. About 1841, Samuel 
Lidy, impressed with the missionary spirit, pulled up stakes at 
Conemaugh and settled at what he conceived to be a convenient 
point to reach these memliers scattered over a large territory, 
and give them such spiritual food as he was able to impart. The 
Manor cluirch was organized soon after he moved tlicrc and he 
was given charge of it. 


Bishop Conrad Gillian Lint, who for over tifty years served as 
pastor of the local congregation of the Church of the Brethren at 
Meyersdale, was born May 19, 1834, at Meyers Mills (now Meyers- 
dale), Somerset County. Pennsylvania, the son of Gillian Chris- 
tian and Elizabeth (Mochstetler) Lint, of Swiss and German 
descent, respectively. 

Christian Lint, grandfather, was born in Pennsylvania. He be- 
came a farmer in Somerset County, and later in life removed to 
Ohio, where he died. His wife was Miss Lichteberger, of West- 
moreland County. They had children as follows: Christian, John, 
Jacob, Conrad, Daniel, Elizabeth (Mrs. Baker), and Gillian C. 
Jacob bought the home farm, where he died at the age of 90. 

Gillian C. Lint married March 6, 1832, Elizabeth Hochstetler. 
who was born April 18, 1812, a daughter of Jacob Hochstetler, Jr., 
of Somerset County. The following children were the issue of this 
marriage: Conrad Gillian was born May 19, 1834; Margaret (Mrs. 
Samuel Eoust), l^orn b'ebruary 14. 1836, died May 2, 1884, at Mey- 
ersdale; Eliza (Mrs. M. D. Miller), .\pril 12, 1838; .\nna (Mrs. 
Israel Berkley), January 4, 1841; William Gillian, March 14, 1843, 
died July 1, 1903, at Meyersdale; Mary (Mrs. Isaac Miller), .August 
4, 1844; Daniel Gillian, Eebruary 1, 1847, died b'ebruary 9, 1905, 
at Cross Roads; Zacheria, October 1, 1848, died May 19, 1849, 
at Meyersdale; Lydia (Mrs. Alex. E. Shoemaker), .April 24. 1850; 
Sarah Jane, November 5, 1852, died .August 25, 1854; and Edward, 
born and died October 1, 1859. Gillian C. Lint died May 20, 1893. 
His wife, Elizabeth, died June 25, 1881. 

Margaret was the first and Conrad Gillian, or Bishop Lint, as 
he is more familiarly called, the second one of the Lint family to be- 
come identified with the Church of the Brethren, their parents 
having been memljers of the Reformed Church. 



Bishop C. G. Lint. 

Bishop Lint was born in Meyers Mills, now Meyersdale, in a 
log house which stood on the east side of what is now Center 
Street, near the hlaugherty bridge. Having arrived at school age 
he was sent to the excellent subscription schools of those days, 
there having been no public schools, and his instructors were num- 
bered among the leading educators of their day, and were con- 
sidered eminent authorities in their line throughout the entire 


State. Among them were numbered Alexander Stutzman, wlio 
later became a leading attorney of Somerset Count j'; Joseph Stutz- 
man, afterwards the first school superintendent in the county after 
the installation of public schools; Christ Stutzman, M. D.; Frank 
Stutzman, an attorney-at-law; W. J. Baer, later judge in the court 
of common pleas; C. C. Musselman, afterwards an assemblyman; 
and General William H. Koontz. Possessing a more than ordina- 
rily receptive mind, in addition to an ardent desire for learning, 
the bishop industriously applied himself to his books and the 
tasks set before him, with the result that he kept pace with the 
best in his class, and early in his teens he possessed an education 
of no mean dimensions, enal)ling him to properly and clearly state 
his position in debate at the numerous literary societies held in 
those days. Being a great reader of choice literature, he succeeded 
in amassing a fund of information that stood him in good stead 
when he decided to take up the work of the ministry. He has 
a large and excellent library of works of reference and other vol- 
umes, which has been one of the chief delights of his life, and until 
failing eyesight overtook him many hours were daily spent in por- 
ing over its multitudinous pages with an unabating desire for im- 
provement in the line of his profession. 

Before the expiration of his school days, which, of course, was 
early in young manhood, he entered the blacksmith shop of his 
father as an apprentice. At this strenuous calling he labored for a 
period of almost seven years, and became an expert in the work of 
fashioning iron. It is said he had few if any peers in the work 
of the anvil, and in some of the more technical points of the trade 
he was more than usually efficient and expert. However, his work 
in the smithy did not tend to dampen the young man's ardor along 
educational lines. He continued his pursuit after knowledge in 
season and out of season. His evenings were spent in night school 
or in the seclusion of his room at home, reading useful and in- 
structive books. 

On June 16, 1855, he was baptized into the Church of the 
Brethren by Elder Jacob Blough, of the Berlin District. The same 
day he was elected to the deacon's office, which was an almost un- 
heard of proceeding among our people. Eight days later, on the 
24th of June, he was elected to tlie ministry, which goes to 
show the great confidence and trust reposed in him by the mem- 
bers of the congregation, and it can here lie stated that that trust 
was in no wise l)etrayed. The fact that the young man stood well 
in the community is amply attested by his rapid advancement in the 
church after becoming identified witli tlie same. Having just 
])asscd the twenty-first milestone of his existence, and a member 
of the church I)Ut eight days when he was chosen for the min- 


istry, goes to show that the church must have had implicit confi- 
dence in the young man's ability and integrity, and subsequent 
events have proven the wisdom and far-sightedness of their choice. 

About the time of his election to the ministry Bishop Lint had 
completed several courses in vocal music, and was industriously 
engaged in teaching the art in the evenings. He had three large 
and interesting classes in this community, but closed them with all 
possible dispatch, having decided to devote his entire time and 
attention to the work of the ministry, and to exert every means 
at his command for the furtherance of the noble work which he was 
so early called upon to perform. Preparation for the same was 
now vigorously pushed. He more frequently sought the night 
school, redoubled his diligence in reading church history, and in 
numerous other ways applied his time and talent in preparation for 
the work. It may be taken for granted, therefore, that his time 
was pretty well taken up between laboring at the anvil every week- 
day, studying evenings, and filling several widely-distributed minis- 
terial appointments on Sunday. 

During evenings he would select Scripture texts that struck 
him most forcibly, write them out on a sheet of paper, pin the 
same to the chimney of his forge in the blacksmith shop, and dur- 
ing spare moments ponder over and commit them. He has been a 
diligent student of the Word during all the years spent in the min- 
istry, and few are better posted than he concerning the things 
spoken of in the Bible. Possessing this qualification made his 
sermons interesting and pointed, and each successive occasion of 
his rendering a sermon showed no diminution in numbers attracted 
by his preaching.. The following incident will illustrate the inter- 
est manifested in his sermons: While on a preaching tour, in an 
adjoining State, he announced that he would preach a sermon on 
"The New Birth," and some one wanting this sermon in print 
secured the services of a reporter to report his sermon. After the 
services the reporter was asked if he secured the entire sermon, 
and he stated that he became so interested in the sermon that he 
forgot to write. 

Individuals, aside from his untiring and active companion, and 
to whom he ascribes great honor and praise for the ultimate suc- 
cess attained by him in the work, were Elder Samuel Berkley, who 
died in 1859; Wm. M. Buechley and Peter Meyers, both of whom 
died in 1870. 

The District in which Bishop Lint began his ministerial work 
was known as the Elk Lick District, a scope of country about ten 
miles wide from north to south, and probably about thirty or forty 
miles in length. The mcml)ership at that time was about 175 in 
the entire District, with six regular preaching stations. The bish- 


op would usually start out early on Sunday morning on horse- 
back to lill an appointment, the roads frequently being almost 
impassable, and the weather most unpleasant. He would return 
home late at night, sometimes not having eaten anything during 
the entire day except the early meal partaken of prior to start- 
ing upon his journey in the morning. 

In 1865 Bishop John Berkley died, and in 1867 Bishop Lint 
was chosen as his successor in this District, the membership then 
having grown to 300. This was the bishop's field of active labor 
from the year 1867 to October 5, 1912, when, on account of fail- 
ing eyesight and infirmities of age, he resigned as elder and pastor 
of the church which he had served so efficiently for over half a 
century. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the bishop's 
life, however, is the fact that but few ministers are honored 
with more than a half century of active work in the ministry, and 
of fewer still can it be said, as in the case of the venerable Bishop 
Lint, that he has during all these years presided over one and the 
same congregation, and was at the time of his resignation the head 
of the identical congregation or church body into which he was 
baptized and elevated to the ministry. During this time he has 
officiated at more than 500 funerals, scattered over a territory as 
far west as Somerfield and eastward to Wellersburg and has, in 
his time, performed approximately 200 marriage ceremonies. He 
has served on the Standing Committee of Annual Meeting for 
about eight different times, and has been placed on many impor- 
tant church committees. In committee work he has l)ecn asso- 
ciated with such brethren as Daniel P. Sayler, R. H. Miller, 
James Quinter, Enoch Eby, John Wise, David Long and Moses 
Miller. He is the author of several hymns in the present Brethren 
Hymnal. Up to the building of the Summit Mills meetinghouse, in 
1846, services were conducted in private residences, and the 
lirst meetinghouse in what is now Meyersdale was erected in 1851, 
and stood upon the site of the present church, on the south side, 
and not more than fifty yards from the i)oint where Bishop Lint 
was l)orn ancl reared. 

P.isliop Lint's career in life has been truly remarkable in more 
ways than one. Having been born in Meyersdale and resident of 
that community for a period covering more than eighty years, 
he has witnessed the growth and progress of the town from almost 
insignificance to its present importance and affluence. His long 
residence in the town has made him familiar with all details con- 
cerning the town and its peoi)lc during those years, and he pos- 
sesses a fund of reminiscences that is truly interesting. 

The bisho]) is a man of excellent traits of character, beloved 
of all wht) know him intimately. He is of a pleasant and genia! 



disposition and charitably disposed toward evildoers, preferring 
to show them the error of their way by kindly chastisement or 
friendly argument. In preaching he has always " hewn to the 
mark and let the chips fall where they may," all of which has 
tended to broaden and round out his robust Christian char- 
acter. In his political relations he accords allegiance to the 
Republican party. He has never held high public office, although 
repeatedly urged to do so. He has always been deeply inter- 
ested in educational affairs and served as school director for five 
terms of three years each, from 1858 to 1873. 

He married on April 19, 1855, Catherine Flickinger, eldest 
daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Beeghly) Flickinger. She 
was born January 1, 1833. No children have been born of this 
marriage union. At this writing both are living. 

The above was dictated by Bishop Lint, and written by his 
nephew, J. M. Gnagey. 

David I>. Little. 


David L. Little, the subject of this brief sketch, was born at 
Lockport, Pennsylvania, September 12, 1878. His parents are 


C. B. and Marj' E. Little. The parents are Metliodists and Brother 
Little was brought up in that faith. On October 20, 1897, he was 
united in marriage to Miss Eliza G. Kelly. He united with the 
church while living at Bolivar, and was baptized May 26, 1908. 
lie was elected to the ministry in the Aughwick church. Middle 
Pennsyvania, May 26, 1910, and advanced to the second degree 
on April 17, 1911. By occupation he is an engineer, and his pres- 
ent location is at Vandergrift Heights, Pennsylvania. Brother 
i.iltlc is a forceful and fearless speaker, and should live where 
tiie church would get more benefit from his labors. 


Peter Livengood (Leibundgut, as he spelled his name in 
German), the pioneer of the family in America, was born in Swit- 
zerland in 1731. He emigrated to America about 1750 and lived 
in Berks or Lancaster County until 1775, when he located in Elk 
Lick Township, Somerset County. He was a man of good ed- 
ucation in German, his father having been a school-teacher in 
Switzerland. W. S. Livengood, editor of the Meyersdale Repub- 
lican, Meyersdale, a great-great-grandson of his, has in his pos- 
session a copy of his " Schreibuch " (Writing Book), in which 
he kept his family records and business accounts covering the pe- 
riod from 1758 to 1814. It is neatly written in German script. 

y\ccording to tradition he was a good preacher. Holsinger's 
History is authority for the statement that he was a member 
of the .\mish Church, that he and a number of other Amish folks 
united with the Brethren soon after 1783, and that he was then 
called to the ministry. He was, therefore, past fifty when called 
to the ministry. His death occurred in 1827 at the age of 96. 
One authority states that in Berks County he married Barbara 

, was the father of fifteen children, that his wife died 

in her ninetieth year, that he lacked only six days of being 100 
years of age when he died. 

Of the large number of children of Elder Peter Livengood 
was one named John, the youngest in the family. He married a 
Miss Hardman, and their children were: Daniel, John, David and 
Jacob; Elizabeth, wife of John Arnold; and Susan, wife of Samuel 
Lichty. Both were members of the Church of the Brethren, and 
tradition has it that he was a minister. Brother Livengood died 
February 19, 1839, and his wife ten years later. 

David Livengood, son of John Livengood, was born October 
11, 1809, and was one of the successful farmers of Elk Lick Town- 
ship. Becoming convinced that the use of whiskey as a beverage 
was detrimental to the best interests of the community, he was 



David Liivengood. 

one of the first to aliandon its use in the harvest field, where it had 
been considered indispensal^le. By so doing he incurred the dis- 
pleasure of many of his neighbors, but was firm in his adherence 
to what he lielieved to be right. Despite his limited education, 
he was a man of wide reading, close observation and liberal views, 
especially in the case of education, of which he was an ardent 
friend and supporter. The opportunities for the acquisition of 
knowledge which he gave his children were regarded with dis- 
approval by his conservative neighbors. 

He married Nancy Meyers, born August 11, 1812, daughter of 
Michael Myers, and their children were: Samuel D., Jacob D., 
Barbara, wife of Daniel Barchus; Susan, wife of Jacob M. Lichty; 
Anna, wife of John L. Saylor, and Adaline, wife of Michael F. 
Smith. The mother of these children died April 25, 1849, and 
Brother Livengood subsequently married Sallie Myers. Brother 
Livengood died October 31, 1870, aged 61 years and 20 days. His 
widow died in Falls City, Nebraska, in the spring of 1883. 

Brother Livengood was for many years a minister of the 
Elk Lick congregation (called about 1853), but he was what they 
called a " silent preacher," as he never preached, but always sat 


in the pulpit and assisted with the services by Scripture reading 
and prayer. He was a very just and pious man and noted for his 
charity and other good qualities that endeared him to his neigh- 
bors. He is buried in a cemetery on the old Peter Livengood 
farm, near Salisbury. 


Peter Longanecker was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 
1778. He united with the church in the Great Swamp congrega- 
tion in the eastern part of the State, where he was also elected 
to the ministry. He afterward settled on the old Longanecker 
farm, one and one-half miles west of Masontown, Faj'ette Coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania, in 1804. He spoke in the German language and 
was not a fluent speaker. He died in 1853, at the age of 75. 


George W. Lowry, son of W. P. and Susan (Knopsnyder) 
Lowry, was born .April 17, 1840, on a farm, now known as the 
Knupp farm, near Bakersville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. 
His parents being Lutherans, little George received the rite of 
sprinkling when a child. When he grew to manhood he united 
with the Methodist Church, in which faith he lived until 1878, 
when he united with the Church of the brethren at Indian Creek, 
Westmoreland County, being baptized by Stephen Hildebrand, 
October IS, 1878. 

Brother Lowry acquired an excellent education, and for twen- 
ty-one years engaged in school-teaching. He taught in the schools 
of Somerset, Westmoreland and Fayette Counties. The fact that 
he remained in the profession so long at the low wages paid 
those days, is evidence that he enjoyed the work and that his 
teaching was a success. He taught his last term of school in 1887. 

At a June' council, in 1883, in the Middle Creek congregation, 
he was called to the ministry, and one year later he was advanced 
to the second degree. He was considered an able speaker, and 
was active in missionary and Sunday-school work. He held sev- 
eral series of meetings with fairly good success. 

After he left the schoolroom he worked some on the farm, 
at the same time doing much studying so as to prepare himself 
the better for the work of the ministry. He was pastor of the 
Scullton church of the Middle Creek congregation about fifteen 
years, but moved near the Middle Creek church a few years be- 
fore his death, which occurred October 21, 1897, at the age of 57 
years, 6 months and 4 days. His funeral services were in the 
hands of Elder John F. Dietz, who used Daniel 12: 3 as a text. 
Interment in the Middle Creek cemetery. 



Berzy B. Ludwick, second son of Daniel and Catharine 
(George) Ludwick, was born near Hartsanville, Grant County, 
West Virginia, June 7, 1877. Daniel Ludwick was born near 
Junction, West Virginia, and is the son of Daniel Ludwick, Sr., 
who had moved from Pennsylvania, and whose father came from 
Germany. Catharine George, Berzy's mother, was born in Grant 
County, West Virginia, and is the daughter of Elder William 
George, who is of English descent. 

Daniel Ludwick and Catharine George were married in 1874. 
To this union seven sons were born. All are living except, the 
oldest, who died in infancj^ After making several moves they 
settled on a 257-acre farm two miles west of Junction, West 
Virginia, where they still live. Here Berzy worked on the farm, his 
duties including the marketing of fruit and other farm produce. 
To get the produce to market he often started at three A. M. 
and did not get back till ten P. M., the distance being from thir- 
ty-five to fifty miles, round trip. 

Berzy's education was procured by attending the public school 
from two to four months a year, and by borrowing books and 
reading them. The father being more concerned about p'aying for 
his farm and getting out of debt than about the education of his 
sons, Berzy was not allowed the full length of any school term. 
But he made the best use of his opportunities, often studying till 

During a meeting held at the Union schoolhouse near Junc- 
tion, West Virginia, by Elder George S. Arnold, he united with 
the church, being baptized January 17, 1893. He was elected dea- 
con in the Beaver Run congregation. West Virginia, in 1894. 

After becoming of age he took up the carpenter trade; he 
also worked at blacksmithing, mining, and firing a locomotive. 
In the spring of 1900 he visited Elder R. T. Hull, of Somerset 
County, who persuaded him to spend the summer in the vicinity. 
During this time he became acquainted with Miss Lulu C. Baugh- 
man, daughter of Henry and Mary Baughman, of Somerset Coun- 
ty. On September 30, 1903, he and Miss Baughman were mar- 
ried, Elder U. D. Brougher officiating. At this time B. B. was 
working in L^niontown, Pennsylvania, and there they took up 
housekeeping, November 16, 1903. November 30, 1905, Brother 
Ludwick was called to the ministry in the Georges Creek con- 
gregation, and in January, 1908, he moved his family to Somerset, 
Pennsylvania, having purchased an interest in a department store. 
Here he clerked in the store six days in the week and preached 
nearly every Sunday. 


In 1910 he accepted a call to tlie pastorate of the Jacobs Creek 
congregation, though he did not move his family there until Feb- 
ruary 19, 1911. Four years of successful pastoral work have been 
completed and he is chosen for another year. In 1910 Jacobs 
Creek congregation had 160 members, two preaching places and 
one Sunday-school with an average attendance of forty-seven. 
Now (December, 1915), the membership is 310, there are five 
preaching appointments, and the Sunday-school averages 125 in at- 
tendance. Four young brethren have been called to the min- 
istry, and the various church auxiliaries are doing good work. 
Brother and Sister Ludwick's family consists of four sons — Henry 
D. (who joined the church when nine years old), Harry A., Ray 
E., and Berzy B., Jr., and one daughter, Mary Catharine. Dur- 
ing the ten years of his ministry he has preached 818 sermons, 
held eighteen series of meetings, baptized 161 persons, solem- 
nized sixteen marriages, assisted in twenty-nine anointings and 
preached thirty-nine funeral sermons. He is active in the various 
meetings of tlie District. 

(Portrait on Tasc 107.) 


SamuVl W Maust, son of rotor and I'llizabotli (Savior) Maust, 
was born June 26, 1848, in tlie old log liouse on the property of 
the Consolidation Coal Company, in Summit Township, Som- 
erset County, Pennsylvania. When ten years of age, witli his par- 
ents he moved to Elk Lick Townsliip, on the old Maust farm, wliich 
the Mausts have owned over sinco it was patontod. Hero ho lias 
lived ever since. 

He received his education in the inil)lic scliools, sui)ple- 
niented by two terms of Summer Normal of four and six weeks' 
length, respectively. When twenty-one he taught a four months' 
term of school. However, Rrotlier Maust lias been a farmer all 
his life. 

On December 21, 1871, he and Miss Lucinda N. Beachy were 
united in marriage. Sister Maust is a daughter of .A. P. and 
Christiana Beachy. The following spring both united with the 
church, and July 4, 1879, he, together with Brethren I". K. Iloch- 
stetler and l^ D. Brougher, was elected to the ministry in llie 
Mcj^ersdale congregation. .About two years later he was advanced 
to the second degree of the ministry, and on May 5, 1915, he was 
ordained to the eldership. 

Most of Brother Maust's ministerial work has been, and is 
being done in the Meyersdale and surrounding congregations. lie 
has kept no record of his services, but he feels now as though 
a good part of his work was going to and coming froin services 


liltler (Samuel P. Muust and Wife. 

on horseback, through storm, snow, rain and sunshine — all kinds 
of weather. A good part of Brother Maust's ministry was on 
the outskirts of the Meycrsdale congregation, which had a largo 
territory before it was divided. Elder Maust is grateful that 
he was accounted worthy of the high calling to which the Lord 
called him, regrets that he has not done more, and is still will- 
ing to do what he can to further the Lord's cause. 

CLOYD A. McDowell. 

C. A. McDowell is the youngest living son of James B. and 
Ann (Naylor) McDowell. James B. McDowell came to this 
country from near Ballymenna, County Antrim, Ireland, and fol- 
lowed public works, mainly railroad work, for a livelihood. In 
1855 he was united in marriage to Miss Ann Naylor. To this 
union five sons were born, of whom two, John and Martin, are 
deceased, both dying young. Samuel, the oldest, a deacon, and 
Robert, the next oldest, who is also a member, live near Johns- 

C. A. was born in Westmoreland County, March 24, 1862, and 
shortly afterward, the family moved to Cambria City, which is now 
a part of the city of Johnstown, where, on February 18, 1865, the 
father was killed on the Pennsylvania railroad, just east of the 

The family continued to live in and around Johnstown, where 
the mother became a member of the Church of the Brethren, and 
lived to the age of 78, dying March 21, 1912. C. A. was thrown 
upon his own resources very early in life. When sixteen he found 



£!der C. A. McDowell and Wife. 

employment with the Cambria Iron Company (now Cambria Steel 
Company), where he continued to work about twenty-five years, 
the last eight years as an electrician. His schooling was limited 
to less than half of what might be termed a common school edu- 
cation of his day. 

On April 3, 1884, he was united in marriage to Miss Eva Hen- 
derson, daughter of Robert and Anna Rebecca Henderson, of 
Johnstown. They are the parents of seven sons and four daugh- 
ters, all living but one son who died in infancy. All l)ut the young- 
est two are members of the church. 

Brother and Sister McDowell united with tlic church at Wal- 
nut Grove, in October, 1889, being baptized liy A. W. Myers. 
Several years he served, as superintendent of the Pleasant Hill 
Sundaj'-school; also as trustee. He was called to be a deacon in the 
West Johnstown congregation, October 24. 1899; elected to the 
ministry in the same congregation, December 28. 1899; advanced 
January 1, 1901; ordained to eldership in the Bolivar church, 
July 19. 1913, by Elders W. M. Howe and J. J. Shaffer. 

Several years after his call to the ministry he left the public 
works, and tried farming. He sold his farm in 1910, and on April 
1, 1911, he took up the pastorate of the Bolivar congregation. 
Here he remained till March 1, 1915, when he took pastoral charge 


of the Sipesville church of the Quemahoning congregation. Dur- 
ing his pastorate at Bolivar he baptized forty-one and reclaimed 

Elder McDowell has done some fruitful evangelistic work. 
tie held his first meeting in October, 1910, in Bolivar. Since 
that time he has assisted in about a score of meetings, during 
which 107 were baptized and sixteen restored. Elder McDowell 
usually attends the meetings of the District and takes an active 
l)art in them. 


Thomas G. McMasters, son of Dckil and Celine (Darr) Mc- 
Masters, was born August 14, 1858, in Chest Township, Clear- 
field County, Pennsylvania. His parents were of Irish descent, 
but American born, and were members of the Baptist Church. 

Brother " Tommy," as he was familiarly called, was married 
to Miss Emma R. Pennington by Manuel Hildebran, J. P., of 
La Jose, Pennsylvania, in 1881. To this union were born eleven 
children, all of whom are members of the church, but perhaps the 
youngest daughter. Sister McMasters was born April 5, 1865, 
and died October 12, 1909, aged 44 years, 6 months and 7 days. 

Brother McMasters was for years a member of the Baptist 
Church, but united with the Church of the Brethren in 1891. He 
was called to the ministry in the Glen Hope church, July 16, 
1896. He was one of the principal workers of his church and 
sometimes represented it in District Meetings. He was a faith- 
ful, kind-hearted brother and father. He was the same wherever 
he went, and he had a kind word for everybody. His zeal for the 
missionary cause and the Sunday-school was commendable. 

Fie died at Brother Geo. Bishop's home in La Jose, December 
31, 1913, aged 55 years, 4 months and 17 days. He was buried in the 
cemetery at the Chest Creek meetinghouse. His funeral was 
preached by his brother minister, A. R. Kitchen. He is much 
missed by the church and by all who knew him. 


Harry Meredith, son of George and Elizabeth (Morris) Mere- 
dith, was born in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, Pennsyl- 
vania, October 4, 1888. George Meredith was born in Stafiford- 
shire, England, October 4, 1848, and came to the United States in 
April, 1881. Elizabeth Morris was born in Strabridge, County of 
Worcestershire, England, September 4, 1850, and came to the 
United States in 1883. 

Brother Meredith's educational facilities were rather limited. 
By occupation he is a paper-hanger. On April 21, 1915, he mar- 
ried Miss Stella May Krieger. He united with the Church of the 


Brethren in Februarj', 1914, being one of fourteen baptized l)y 
Brotlier P>. B. Ludwick. Sister Meredith was baptized during the 
summer of 1915, having publiclj' accepted Jesus at the close of 
the sermon by Elder J. II. Lassady on the closing night of the 
Sunday-scliool conventiun held in the Roxbury house of the West 
Johnstown congregation. March 27, 1915, Brother Meredith was 
called to the ministry in the Jacobs Creek congregation, where 
he niiw labors. 

(Portrait on Pasc 107.) 


Nathaniel Merrill, son of John and h^lcnora (VVeitzeU) Mer- 
rill, was born in 1844. It is not known when his ancesto's emi- 
grated from Europe. His father was of Fcotch descent and his 
mother of German. He was reared in Allegheny (now Garrett) 
County, Maryland. lie was given a fairly" good common school 
education. Besides being a minister he was a farmer i)art ul 
the time. 

He was married to Louisa Blochcr, in lcS66, by Elias Weit/ell. 
When and where he was called to the ministry is not stated. 
He was a Sunday-school worker. Brother Merrill was consid- 
ered an able preacher in his day, and he was much loved and 
highly esteemed by all who knew him. I'or some years he lived 
in Salisbury, Pennsylvania, and assisted in the work. He also 
labored at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and ftther places and did mis- 
sionary work in Hampshire County, West Virginia. He held some 
series of meetings. He died in Greeilsburg, about 1893, and is 
buried there. 


William S. Meyers was born at Berlin, Somerset County, 
Pennsylvania, April 3, 1831. Tie was the third son of Samuel and 
Maggie Meyers. Eight children were in this family. 

William S. was at home helping his father on the farm until 
twenty-three years of age. On September 7, 1851, he was mar- 
ried to Elizabeth Miller, daughter of Peter Miller. In October 
he and his wife, newly married, were baptized. 

In March, 1854, he purchased a farm in Milford Township, 
Somerset County, and moved thereon, wiiere he still resides, 
with his youngest son, Mahlon J. Tliis is in the Middle Creek 
congregation. To this union were born nine children; viz., Jo- 
seph W., a deacon, residing on an adjoining farm; Susan and 
Mary, deceased; Samuel J., residing on a farm at Milledgeville, 
Illinois; Maggie, now deceased, was the wife of Madison Brough- 
er; Annie, married to J. W. Hostettler; Mahlon J., also a deacon, 
with whom he now resides; Sadie, married to Cyrus Bitner, liv- 
ing at Garrett; and Lizzie, deceased. .All but Mary, who died at 


AG£ 3S 


W. S. Meyers. 

three j'ears of age, united with the Church of the brethren. Eliz- 
aljeth, his wife, died March 14, 1906, in her seventy-fifth year. 
Brother Mej'crs has now twenty-eight grandchildren and twenty- 
live great-grandchildren. 

Brother Meyers was elected to the deacon office in 1855, and 
in 1867 he was called to tlie ministry, all in the Middle Creek con- 
gregation. He has lived to see many changes in his home con- 
gregation and in the Brotlierhood at large. He is now almost 
eighty-five years old and is enjoying reasonably good health. 
Four grandsons have been elected to the ministry; one of these 
has been ordained to the eldership, and a fifth has l)een elected 
to the deacon office. 

Written liy his eldest grandson, \\'. H. Meyers, by request of 
the subject of this sketch. 


Frank L. Me3'ers, son of Brother Xoah and Sister Elizabeth 
(Lohr) Meyers, was born in Upper Yoder Township, Cambria 
County, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1873. He was reared on the farm 
and attended the Stutzman public school, where he received a good 
common school education. In 1890 he began teaching school. 
Having a desire for a better education he entered Juniata Col- 
lege, where he spent about four years, graduating in 1894. 

In September, 1898, he and Miss Annie Strayer were united 
in marriage. Dr. C. C. Ellis, of Juniata College, officiating. 
December 28, 1899, he and C. A. McDowell were called to the 


ministry of the newly organized West Johnstown congregation 
He taught in the Kernville Hill and Woodvale schools a number 
of years. Me was a successful teacher and entered upon his 
ministerial duties with commendable zeal, and bid fair to be- 
come a useful minister, when death claimed him August 25, 1901, 
aged 28 years and 2 months. He was laid to rest in Grand View 
cemetery. The large number of people that attended his funeral 
and followed his remains to the cemetery was proof of the high 
esteem in which he was held. 


Samuel A. Meyers was born in the Middle Creek congrega- 
tion, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, June 9, 1887. He is the 
youngest of the three sons and three daughters of Deacon Jo- 
seph W. and Elizabeth Meyers. He was reared on the farm and 
was given good educational advantages. He taught in the pub- 
lic schools of Milford Township during the winter and worked on 
his father's farm during the summer until the winter of 1914-15, 
wlien he spent one term in Bethany Bible School, of Chicago, 

He was baptized in the spring of 1899 by Elder Silas Hoover. 
On August 17, 1910, he was united in marriage to Sister Mary M. 
Walker, daughter of Elder D. II. Walker. Brother Meyers was 
elected to the ministry in the Middle Creek congregation, on May 
20, 1911, and forwarded to the second degree on .August 30, 1913. 
lie lal)ors in the same congregation. 

(Portrait on Page 445.) 


T. B. Mickel was born in licdford County, Pennsylvania. 
February 16, 1871, and was one of a family of tlrrteen children. He 
was reared on the farm, worked some at the carpenter trade, then 
returned to the farm. 

He was married to Miss Annie M. Blackburn February 25, 
1892. To this union were born four cliildren, three of whom 
are living; namely, Raymond, a student al Juniata College, Verna 
and Ruth, at home. 

Brother Mickel was born into the fold of Christ in 1893, was 
elected to the ministry March 16, 1901, advanced to the second 
degree October 28, 1005, and ordained to the eldership September 
10, 1915. all in the Holsinger house of the Dunnings Creek congre- 
gation. He is one of the present elders of that church. 


Jacob D. Miller was born June 6. 1809, among the hills, near 
Meyersdalc, in the Elk Lick congregation, Somerset County, 
Pennsylvania, and died at the home of his son, C. J. Miller, near 






^^^ ^ - 






Jacob D. Miller. 

Somerset, on March 17, 1896, after an illness of eight weeks, at 
the ripe old age of 86 years, 9 months and 11 days. He was 
the oldest of a family of eleven children — six sons and five daugh- 

He was married to Miss Barbara Saylor, also of Elk Lick, 
and in their marriage they were blessed with eleven children — 
seven sons and four daughters. All but one of the children 
became members of the Church of the Brethren, of which church 
both Brother and Sister Miller became members shortly after their 

As it was common in those days for young men to learn some 
trade besides farming. Elder Miller was a wagonmaker. In 1847 
he sold his farm and stock near Elk Lick, and bought a farm of 
600 acres one mile from Somerset. On this farm, known as the 
Charles Ogle farm, he, with his faithful companion, reared his 
children to manhood and womanhood. 

In 1854 Brother Miller and his oldest son, Edward, were 
elected to the ministry at the same time, in the Middle Creek 
congregation. Here he served the church faithfully as a minis- 
ter in the second degree until the end of his life. He was not a 


liuent speaker, but was a faitliful and earnest worker in the cause 
of Christ, filling the pulpit to the best of his ability, and fre- 
quently preaching in the German language. As a counselor and 
promoter of peace he will long be remembered in the large 
congregation, out from which so many members moved to the 

In 1856 he donated the plot of ground where a churchhouse 
was built and dedicated to the services of God, and where meet- 
ings were held instead of in the homes of the Brethren, as was then 
the custom. This house of worship was called the I'airview house, 
and was in use for many 3'ears. In the minds of many pleasant 
memories linger of the days when Brother and Sister Major 
preached to large audiences; also Elders D. P. Saylcr, Graybill 
Meyers, John Wise, Joseph I. Cover and others. 

In those days of civil strife in the nation, then of recon- 
struction, then of division within the church, causing great strain 
in family and church relationship all over the Brotherhood, West- 
ern Pennsylvania found great comfort in the sincerity and faith- 
fulness of loyal brethren like Jacob D. Miller. 


John B. Miller, son of Jacob W. and Catharine (Walter) Mil- 
ler, was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, May 5, 1837. By oc- 
cupation he was a farmer, and his entire life was spent in Bed- 
ford County, living, however, at several different places. .After 
1873 he lived either near or in New Paris. His early educa- 
tional facilities were poor, j'ct by close application he became 
a well read man, and an acceptable speaker. 

January 6, 1859, he was married to Susannah E. Hoover, 
daughter of John P. Hoover. To this union were born three 
sons and three daughters. Sister Miller died in 1868. Some time 
after he married Elizabeth Furry, widow of John B. Furry, and 
daughter of Daniel Snowbcrger. His second wife died July 12, 

He united with tlie churcli in his young days (1856), and for 
six years served the church in the capacity of deacon. January 15, 
1871, he was elected to the ministry, in 1875 he was advanced 
to the second degree of the ministry, and June 8, 1895, he was or- 
dained to the eldership. 

Elder Miller was a man of good judgment and was the means 
of winning souls for the kingdom. In his earlier years in the 
ministry he held a number of series of meetings in Pennsylvania 
and other States. He traveled from ocean to ocean. He attend- 
ed many Annual Conferences as delegate, the last one being 
at York, in 1912. He was agent for our church publications from 


Elder John B. Miller. 

the Gospel Visitor to the Gospel Messenger, being agent until 
death. He was often cjilled to preach funerals, for which he 
was peculiarly adapted. He was of a cheerful and somewhat 
jovial disposition, and was capable of bringing comfort and con- 
solation to saddened hearts. He also solemnized sixty-four mar- 

Elder Miller was of German ancestr}^ but he preached in 
English. The Lord prospered the labors of his hands, and he 
accumulated considerable of this world's goods, yet he counted 
himself only as steward over the things that God had entrusted to 
. him, and was very liberal. He gave much of his time and means 
for the benefit of the church, and was always ready to help the 
poor. He often ^aid that the Lord never prospered him till he 
became liberal with his means. He always was a member of the 
Dunnings Creek congregation, and was a strong pillar of the 
same. He was a strong believer in mission work, and served on 
the Home Mission Board one term, when he was well up in 
years. Many will remember his appeals for more liberal con- 
tributions to the mission funds, so as to be able to render as- 
sistance in the many needy fields. 

He died October 9, 1912, aged 75 years, 5 months and 4 



days. Funeral services were conducted liy liis colaborer. Levi 
Rogers, assisted l)y Elder Levi Holsingcr and Reverend Conly, 
of the Evangelical Church, in the church of the Brethren in New 
Paris, and interment was made in York cemetery. 

Elder Perry V. Miller. 


P. U. Miller, son of I'cter C. and Ivehecca Miller, was horn in 
Somerset County, f^ennsyUania, l)eceml)er '>. 1S47. Being the son 
of a farmer, he spent his boyhood days on the farm. 

The War of the Rebellion affected his school life very much. 
When fourteen years of age, his older brothers having enlisted 
in the army, he was deprived of all school advantages, and this 
continued for the next twelve years. At the age of twenty-six 
he again took his books and started to school. By his industry 
and perseverance he soon had a teachers' professional certificate. 
He began teaching in 1R74 and taught twonty-fne terms in the 
same school district. 

While teaching he assisted in the organization of a read- 
ing circle, known as the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Cir- 
cle, from which he graduated in 1886. 


On the 7th of February, 1869, he was married to Elizabeth 
Walker, daughter of Daniel P. and Elizabeth Walker, Elder 
George Schrock officiating. He was baptized in 1871 by D. P. 
Walker. His Sunday-school life dates from about 1859. He still 
loves to labor in the Sunday-school in behalf of the children 
as well as for all wlio need help. 

After having served faithfully as deacon in the Brothers Val- 
ley congregation, he was elected to the ministry on November 
6, 1897. He was advanced to the second degree November 13, 
1898, and ordained to the eldership August 23, 1908, by Elders 
Silas Hoover and S. P. Zimmerman. 


Samuel G. Miller was born near Livermore, Pennsylvania, 
March 4, 1831. He received a good common school education, 

Dr. Samuel O. MiUer. 


and for two years he "taught school. He attended an academic 
course at Glade Run Academy. At the age of twenty-two he 
studied medicine three years, and attended a course at Cleve- 
land (Ohio) Medical College. lie began practicing medicine in 
1854, and practiced nine years, then went back to the same col- 
lege, took another course, and graduated. Then he moved to 
Bolivar, Westmoreland County, and has been practicing ever 

Dr. Miller was married at the age of twenty-one. He was 
twice married. When a boy he united with the Methodist Church, 
and in 1855 he was licensed to preach in that denomination. When 
the Brethren began preaching at Bolivar, he became interested 
in their doctrine, and he and his wife united with the church in 
1872. being among the earliest converts. In 1877 he was elected 
to the ministry in the Bolivar congregation, being the first resi- 
dent minister the congregation had. 

He lived at different times in Scalp Level, Ligonier Valley, 
Johnstown, and other places, and is now living at Livermore, 
Pennsyvania, at the age of 84 years. Dr. Miller was considered a 
trustworthy and competent physician, and a well-informed preach- 
er, but for a number of years has done very little preaching, as 
ho has l)een living somewhat isolated from any of our churches. 
Last fall, at a love feast at Bolivar, he declined to assist in the 
services, feeling the weight of years. A few more years, at the 
best, and Brother Miller will attend no more earthly communions. 


John W. Mills, son of William W. and Barbara Mills, was 
born in Franklin Borough, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. He 
received part of his education in the public schools of that bor- 
ough. y\s a boy he was delighted to spend his summers on the 
farm. At fourteen he learned the trade of wire drawing, at which 
he made good progress. While working in the wire mill the great 
flood of 1889 rolled in upon the town, and in it Brother Mills lost 
his dear father. 

This left a sorrowing mother, four sisters and a little baby 
brother, who was too young to have any recollection of his 
father. In those days of sorrow Brother Mills realized what re- 
sponsibilities rested upon him. Though young in years, he was the 
only support of the family. Many a time he wept when he re- 
flected upon his responsibility. He loved his mother, sisters 
and little brother more than tongue can express. The wire mill 
in which he had worked had been swept away by the flood, so 
he had to seek elsewhere for a job. He secured cnii)loyment in 


John W. Mills and Wife. 

the CoiTeniaugh engine house, where he labored a number of 
years, giving all his earnings to his mother until he was twenty- 
two years of age. 

He was a member of the United Evangelical Church, of which 
his mother, sisters and brother are still members. On October 3, 
1893, he married Lizzie, daughter of Elder Abraham Fyock. He 
attended the services of the Church of the Brethren, became much 
• interested in the church and her doctrines and finally decided to 
become a member, and was baptized one evening after services, 
AT. a stream. After being in the church six or seven months he 
was elected to the ministrj^, June 29, 1905, in the Johnstown con- 

At this time he was running a locomotive for the Cambria 
Steel Company. When Sister Mills, who had been at the council, 
informed him of his election he was at first inclined to treat it as 
a joke. After serious reflection he decided not to heed the call. 
Sickness entered their home and fastened itself upon their baby. 
The child grew worse. A physician was called. He could not 


lielp tlie child, and gave it up to die, saying it could not live 
more than a few hours. His mother came into the home and 
stated how she had prayed the Father in regard to the child, 
and further asserted that if he would heed the call of God through 
the church, the child would get well. Tn tears he decided he 
would try to preacli the Gospel. From that time the child began 
to thrive and is living today. Remember, reader, God will find 
us some way when we refuse to heed his call. 

He changed from locomotive engineer to locomotive machin- 
ist, working seven days a^week, and trying to do some preach- 
ing along with his work. Believing it wrong to work on Sunday, 
he and his foreman had a consultation on the matter. As it was 
difificult to get men to work on holidays. Brother Mills offered 
to work on all holidays, providing he did not need to work on 
the Lord's Day. The ofifer was accepted. That was a happy day 
for Brother Mills. He enjoyed being free on Sundays. It is 
not strange that he learned to preach. 

Again there came a test. In 1914 the members of the Mor- 
rellville church of the West Johnstown congregation extended a 
call for him to become their pastor. The burden lay heavily upon 
him. He remembered EHsha, and decided that if God could use 
a man from the plow he could use a man from the mill. They 
moved to Morrellville and began the work February 3, 1914. God 
has wonderfully blessed their work. The church and Sunday- 
school attendance has increased very mic!i. The Sunday-school 
became l-'ront Line the first year. The membership has very materi- 
ally enlarged. 

I'.rothcr Mills has held some successful series of meetings. 
In three protracted efforts nearly threescore jiersons united with 
the church. Brother Mills has represented his church at the va- 
rious meetings of the District as well as at Annual Conference. 


John Mineely was born in Ireland in 17S3. liis parents were 
members of the Presbyterian Church. He came to America when 
he was but eighteen years of age in order to escape military serv- 
ice. He had a bright intellect, and became a school-teacher of 
note, teaching in both the English and German languages. He 
taught school for a number of years. 

He married Elizabeth Morgan, daughter. of Elder Peter and 
Margaret (Groos) Morgan, October 6, 1809. Their children were: 
Peter, who married an Irish Catholic lady: Jacob, who married 
a Miss Arthurs; John, who married Susan Custer: Peggy, who 
married Jacob Giflin, into whose possession the Mineely farm 


came; Hannah, who was married to a Mr. Ling; Susan and 
Mary, who were never married. After marriage he farmed his 
father-in-law's farm on the Wertz Hill for three or four years, 
after which he moved to a farm above Conemaugh, afterward 
called Mineely Hill, then Giffin Hill, now Locust Grove. Here he 
reared his family and lived while he did his church work in 
the Conemaugh and surrounding congregations. He died June 
2, 1852, after an illness of eight or nine weeks, aged nearly 69 
years, and is buried on his farm. 

We do not know when he was elected to the ministry, but 
in his ministerial labors he was contemporary with Elders Jacob 
Stutzman, Levi Roberts and Samuel Lidy, and probably not a 
whit behind any of them in ability and zeal for the cause of the 
Master. He was the first minister in all these parts to wear a full 
beard. He dressed plainly and was a very consistent member of 
the church. His services were in demand as far as he was known. 
He traveled much among the churches of Bedford, Indiana, 
Armstrong, Somerset, Cambria and other Counties. He was not 
a large man physically, but strong and had a powerful voice. 
He preached earnestly, fluently and in a plain, simple manner. 
He often walked long distances to preach. He never carried a 
gun to defend himself, because he believed that God would defend 
him while in the discharge of his Christian duties. It is said that 
once as he was walking along a road through some woods, he 
looked ahead and saw what he thought was a large dog driving 
some cattle. When he got nearer he found that it was a pan- 
ther, which crouched down in a position to spring upon him. 
Having no weapon with him to defend himself, he just stood still 
and stared the panther straight in the eyes for a while, when it 
ran into the thicket. He stood still to see the salvation of the 
Lord, and was safe. He was a man of great courage and deter- 
mination. Three of his children, Peggy, John and Susan, became 
members of the Church of the Brethren. He tied so many nuptial 
knots that his youngest two daughters witnessed, that one of them 
on one occasion said that she could do it as well as her father, if he 
was not at home. 

We here give a copy of his naturalization papers, which we 
believe will prove interesting to coming generations. 

Naturalization Papers of John Mineely. 

"BE IT REMEMBERED, THAT at a Court of Common 
Pleas, held at Ebensburg, for the County of Cambria, in the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the United States of America, 
on the first day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand 
eight hundred and thirty-four, John Mineely, a native of Ireland, 


exhibited a petition, praying to he admitted to I)ecome a CITI- 
ZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, and it appearing to the said 
court that he had declared on affirmation before same court on 
tlu- tliird (hiy of October, A. D. 1831, that it was bona fide his in- 
tention to become a citizen of the United States, and to renounce 
forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, jjotentate, 
state or sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly the King of 
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, of whom he 
was at that time a subject; and tlie said John Mineely, having on 
his solemn affirmation declared and also made proof thereof by 
competent testimony of Daniel Ruber and Robert P. Linton, Esq., 
citizens of the United States, he had resided one year and upwards 
within the State of Pennsylvania, and within tlie United States 
of America, upwards of five years immediately preceding his ap- 
plication; and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court, that 
(luring tiiat time he had behaved as a man of good moral char- 
acter; attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United 
States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the 
same; and having declared on his solemn affirmation before the 
said court, that he would support the CONSTITUTION OF THE 
IGNITED STATES, and that he did absolutely and entirely re- 
nounce and al)jure all allegiance and fidelity to everj' foreign 
prince, potentate, state and sovereignty whatever, and particularly 
to the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 
of whom he was before a subject, and thereupon the court ad- 
mitted the said John Mineely to Itecome a CI'l'IZEN OF THE 
UNITED STATES, and ordered all the i)n)cee(lings aforesaid 
to be recorded by the protlionotary of the said court, which was 
done accordingly. 

" In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed 
the seal of the said court at Ebensburg, this ninth day of October, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty- 
f(,ur and of the SOVEREIGNTY AND I NDEPEyDEXCE of 
the United States of America, the iMfty-ninth. 

"A. Bausman, Prothdiiotary." 


David Minser, of Dutch parentage, whose ancestors came to 
America from Holland, settled in the western part of Pennsyl- 
vania. He was married to Mary Howe, whose parents came from 
Germany, lier father was a near relative of General Howe, of 
Revolutionary times. These were the parents of fourteen chil- 
dren, ten sons and four daughters. Ten of these were older than 
Mark, our subject, who was born near Harmony, in Butler Coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania, September 5, 182S. 


Elder Mark Blinser and Wife. 

His father, who depended on day labor to maintain his large 
family, could well spare little Mark, seven years old, to his grand- 
mother, when his mother died. The little boy delighted to make 
himself useful by rendering such services as he could to his 
grandparent. Not the least of these services was reading the 
Bible for her. This was Mark's first opportunity of training for 
a life devoted to the Master, and was an indispensable help to the 
woman, now almost blind. 

After Mark's grandmother died there was no place he could 
call home, until he was married December 31, 1851, to Elizabeth 
Standley, of near New Castle, Pennsylvania, who assisted him in 
erecting a home of their own. Of the ten children born to this 
union nine were brought up to maturity; five sons and four 
daughters. One son died in infancy. 

Elder Minser started out in life with no capital but an 
abundance of will power. His great desire was for an education. 


though the only opportunity for gratifying this desire was the 
private school. His Bible was his mainstay and principal Text- 
book. This he diligently studied. The financial side of his life was 
a hard problem to solve, he working iji the lumber business. He 
also was a plasterer by trade. Assisted by his faithful wife, he 
worked out a living for their nine children. 

He had an interest in a water-power sawmill, and he and the 
boys had sawed out a lot of lumber. There came a very severe 
drought, so that the sawmill as well as the flourmills had to be 
closed down and the neighborhood was in great need. As Brother 
Minser and family had finished eating their dinner one day and 
everything had been consumed, the mother said, " What shall we 
do? We have nothing for supper." Brother Mark in his kind way 
said, " The Father of all good will provide." Not knowing what 
was in store he went back with the boys to stack lumber. They 
had scarcely begun their work when they heard the sound of 
wagons, and sure enough, two loads of wheat and flour came. 
The owner had come to exchange the wheat and flour for lumber. 
The deal was soon made. Not having had dinner, the men took 
a sack of flour to the house, and it wasn't long until a steaming 
meal was prepared and all rejoiced. From that time on there was 
plenty for the family as well as for the ncigh))ors until the drought 
was over. 

Elder Graybill Myers, a very active evangelist of Middle 
Pennsylvania, made frequent missionary tours through the Alle- 
gheny Valley and brought many into the fold of Christ. During 
one of these trips he baptized Brother Minser, September 7. 1(S54. 
in a stream in Cope's Settlement, in Clarion County. His wife 
was baptized November 4, 1854. He was called to the ministry 
in 185H. His first efifort to address an audience was at Carley 
schoolhouse, in JeflFerson County, when he became so impressed 
with the responsibility and work before him that he was unable to 
use his prepared notes. All he could do was to read a scripture 
and close the meeting. In later years he handled the Scriptures 
with power, bringing many into the kingdom, principally by per- 
suasion. While his exegesis was not so deep, it was convincing 
in its correctness. For thirty-seven years he served the church 
faithfully in the ministry. 

Brother Minser was advanced to the second degree of the 
ministry in 1867, in the Montgomery congregation, Indiana Coun- 
ty, while still living in JefTerson County. With his family he 
moved to Indiana County in 1868, and became very active in church 
work and in helping the sick and the needy. On account of a gun- 
shot wound he had received while a young man, he could not 
ride horseback. lie walked many miles to fill his appointments. 


He considered it his duty to do his Master's bidding and was al- 
ways prompt in his work. While he labored in the Montgomery 
congregation his appointments were far apart. Upon one occa- 
sion, after doing a week's work, he walked twenty miles on Sat- 
urday to fill his ap'pointinent. The next day he walked back, 
arriving just a few minutes late. He walked direct to the 
pulpit, consulted his watch, and remarked, " I am almost on 
time," and began addressing the waiting audience, with all 
love, never murmuring of any hardships. Upon another occa- 
sion he walked nearly eighteen miles to fill an appointment, 
mostly through a deep forest. While on his way he became very 
hungry and weak. Nearing the top of a hill, he found that a re- 
cent forest fire had left many fine roasted chestnuts lying on the 
ground. There in the solitude he gave thanks to his Father, and 
then began to appease his hunger. He also filled his pockets 
with chestnuts, that ho might have a treat for the children where 
he would stop for the night. Such acts of kindness as these 
were his delight. 

Brother Minser was ordained to the eldership in 1877. In 1880 
he moved onto a farm in the Manor congregation, where, upon the 
death of Elder David Ober, the charge of the Manor congregation 
fell upon him. Soon after this move the Montgomery brethren 
realized their loss and called him to take charge of their con- 
gregation again. He never needed to be urged to do his duty. 
Answering many calls to do mission work, h.e opened a number 
of new fields in undeveloped territory, and had them in good stand- 
ing when he gave over his work. 

For' many years he served his congregation as delegate at 
District Meetings, and in 1879 he represented the District on the 
Standing Committee, at Broadway, Virginia. 

He preached many funerals and performed many marriage 
ceremonies. His was a free ministry in the fullest sense of the 
word. He never received any remuneration for his services, 
yet he did his work cheerfully, looking for his reward in the 
world to come. He never had occasion to call for a committee to 
assist in adjusting difficulties or dissatisfaction. He always worked 
for peace and harmony in the church as well as in the neighbor- 
hood. His piotto at council was: "Union first before there could 
be a communion." He was frequently called to assist in com- 
mittee work. 

As his health failed him it was his prayer and desire to travel 
and preach as heretofore. This he did as long as he was able. 
Shortly before he took his bed he went two miles to church, and 
from there to a council at the Manor house, ten miles away. 


Being scarcely aljlc to walk, Brother Jacob l'"yock took him in a 

As life ebbed away, his mind wanderings and prayers were 
for the peace of the churcli and for his family. He peacefully fell 
asleep November 22, liS95. at the age of 67 years, 2 months and 17 
days. Funeral services were conducted by J. H. Beer, assisted by 
J. W. Spicher and Joseph llolsopple. Text, Rev. 14: 13. Inter- 
ment in Crooked Creek cemetery. 


Elder Samuel Moore was a minister in the Ten Mile congre- 
gation, and died April 21, 1866, aged 36 years, 3 months and 16 
days. His disease was chronic broncliitis. " Our esteemed broth- 
er removed to Hancock County, Ohio, early in the spring of last 
year and enjoyed a])parently good health up to the month of 
•August, when he took ill, and after a jirotracted illness of over six 
months, and at the suggestion of his pliysician, lie returned back 
to Pennsylvania to his kind relatives, lie. left a widow and two 
small children. He arranged all his temporal estate for the benefit 
of his dear companion. I'^meral ser\iccs were conduit l(1 by holder 
Joseph I. Cover." 


He is also known as I'eter Maugen, or Maken, but his will 
is signed Morgan. He came from HagcrstoH'U, Marjdand. about 
1797. He bought a .tract of land containing 120 acres from Ludwig 
Wissinger and secured a warrant for the land dated April 4, 179S. 
in which artick' the tract is called " Society Hill." At that time it 
was in Quemahoning Township, Somerset County. Now it is in 
Stony Creek Township, Cambria County. June 8, 1799, he paid 
a surveyor forty shillings for surveying this tract. This " Society 
Hill " was later known as the Jacob Wertz farm, near Walnut 
Grove. He was married to Margaret Groos. They had six 
children: Daniel, Elizabeth, married to John Mineely; Hannah, 
married to Jacob Hoffman; Mary, Susannah and Catharine. 
Through Mary Hoffman, born May 18, 1818, a daughter of Jacob 
and Hannah HofTman, who was married to Jacob Wertz, the whole 
Wertz family descended. 

Elder Morgan was one of the first ministers who settled in 
this part of the State. Not much is remembered by the present 
generation about his ministerial labors. He was probablj' well up 
in years when he moved here. His descendants are still numerous 
in and around Johnstown. 


The ancestor of tiie Murray family in .\merica was born in 


Dublin, Ireland, and was a man with a good education. By pro- 
fession he was a school-teacher. The date of his emigration to 
America was not obtained. The names of two of his sons are 
known,. John and Jacob. 

John Murray was married to Miss Catharine Saur, Jr., of 
Philadelphia. The date of their removal across the mountains 
into Western Pennsylvania is not remembered, but they settled 
on a stream called Champion, a trilnitary of Indian Creek, Fay- 
ette Count}'. John was appointed justice of the peace by the Gov- 
ernor of Pennsylvania, which office he held till death. John never 
became a member of the Church of the Brethren. Sister Murray, 
being a member of one of the early prominent families of the 
church, was a faithful and influential member and she had the 
pleasure of seeing her children follow her example. 

Their family consisted of four sons, John (died at the age of 
twenty-one), Samuel (also died in bojhood), Jacob S., William S., 
and one daughter. 

Jacob S. Murra}' married Susannah .\ukerman, and to them 
were born six sons and six daughters. These at one time were 
all members of the Church of the Brethren, but in the division 
two sons and two daughters and their families went with the 
Brethren. Three of the sons were ministers and three were dea- 
cons, all before the division. The father of this remarkable family, 
Jacob S. Murra3% was a minister in Fayette County many years. 
See his biography. 

Catharine was the oldest of the children. She married Henry 
Felgar. They had one son and one daughter. The son died at 
the age of twelve. The daughter was married to Milton Brooks. 
They had three sons. The oldest one, Hcnrj'. was well educated 
by his grandfather, was a successful teacher, and was called to 
the ministrj^ in the Indian Creek congregation. He gave prom- 
ise of great usefulness in the church, but moving in high society 
caused his ruin. 

Martha, the second of the children, was married to John 
Davis, a Methodist. They had three sons and three daughters. 
One son and the three daughters united with their mother's 

John was the first son. At twenty-five he was baptized in 
Indian Creek by Elder James Quinter. Being very zealous and 
well informed in the Scriptures, he was called to be a deacon. 
He married Lizzie Fulkerth. In 1850 they moved to the Ryerson 
Station congregation. Three sons and four daughters blest their 
home. The three sons, Levi, Joseph and James, are ministers in 
the Winebrennarian Church. John died in his sixty-fifth year. 

James A. was the second son. He married Mary Miller. He 


was first a deacon, and a few j'cars later he and Jonathan Horner 
were called to the ministry in the Indian Creek congregation. 
In 1859 they also moved to the Ryerson Station congregation. 
They had three sons and four daughters. James A. and his whole 
family (except his wife) went with the Brethren. This move was 
caused largely through complications and dissatisfaction arising 
out of the erection and payment of a new church building. After 
the division he did not do much preaching. His S£>n, George, was 
made a deacon, and Jacob was called to the ministry. He died in 
his ninety-second year. 

Samuel A., the next son, was married to Agnes Fulkerth. They 
lived first in the Indian Creek congregation, next in Jacobs Creek, 
then in the Ryerson Station congregation, where he was called to 
be a deacon. To them were born four sons and four daughters. 
He died in his eighty-eighth year. 

William A. Murray was the next child. See his biography. 

Next came Elizabeth. She was married to Daniel Myers. 
They united with the church, and be was called to the deaconship, 
but in the division they went with the Brethren. Of their three 
sons and one daughter who reached maturity, one son, Michael, is a 
minister in the Brethren Church. 

The next daughter, Sophia, married Peter Lohr. They also 
cast in their lot with the Brethren, and their children belong to 
different denominations. She is now in her eighty-ninth year. 

Sarah is the next daughter. She has buried her third husband. 
They were: James Muir, Jesse Wegley and Jacob Otto. She and 
her children are members of the Church of the Brethren, and one 
son is a deacon. She is in her eighty-sixth year. 

Jeremiah, the next to the youngest son, went to Greene Coun- 
ty, and there married Christena Weimer, who was a member 
of the church. There he united and was elected deacon. They 
had five sons and five daughters. In 1864 he moved to Black- 
hawk County, Iowa; about 1872 he moved to Southern Kansas; 
about forty years ago he moved to Oklahoma, where, so far as 
known, he still lives, being about eighty-five years old. 

The youngest son is Jacob A. See his biography. 

Julian, the youngest in the family, was married to B. F. Wei- 
mer, who united with the church in Greene County. She had 
joined at the age of twenty. After their marriage thej' moved to 
the Jacobs Creek congregation, where he was called to the min- 
istry. There he labored faithfully and with marked success. 
Later, by the assistance and earnest solicitation of the Chippewa 
congregation. Wayne County, Ohio, he moved there. Here he 
received a heart}' welcome, and in a few years was ordained 
to the eldership. He took a deep interest in the ministerial work 


of Northeastern Ohio. He died in 1914. To them were born three 
sons and three daughters. Sister Weimer is in her seventy-fifth 
year. It will be observed that this is a family that is exceptionally 

William S. Murray, son of John and Catharine (Saur) Murray, 
was married to Catharine Flack,, and they had seven sons and five 
daughters. William S. was one of the earliest ministers in the 
Indian Creek congregation. Frederick F. Murray, his son, also was 
called to the ministry in the Indian Creek, congregation. One son, 
William, was a minister in the Brethren Church. 

The only daughter of John and Catharine (Saur) Murray was 
married to Jacob K. Miller. They had quite a large family, 
about all of whom became members of the Church of the Breth- 
ren, and one son was a minister and elder. 

Jacob Murray, first mentioned, had four sons and four 
daughters. Two of the daughters married into the Church of the 
Brethren and were members of the same. Henry Fletcher, the 
husband of one of these sisters, was called to the ministry at the 
time of the organization of the Ryerson Station congregation. 


It is to be deplored that not more of this faithful minister 
of the Word is known. I cjuote from a letter by Brother Andrew 
Chambers, of Washington, District of Columbia: " Elder Jacob 
Murray, of the County Line church, Fayette County, Pennsylva- 
nia, bestowed much labor on the Ryerson Station congregation, 
Greene County, in the early forties. Many interesting incidents 
connected with the early days of the work here were related to me 
by my parents. They said Brother Murray was so interested in 
the work here that he worked almost day and night, at times, 
plowing by the light of the moon when the rest of his family were 
asleep, in order to be on time to break to them the Bread of Life, 
and that, too, 'without money and without price.' 

"Brother Murray could be appropriately called a 'walking 
Bible.' as he knew much of the Book liy memory. He was very 
enthusiastic in his preaching, using much energy, so much so that 
they would notice the perspiration from his face run down his 
beard and drop to the floor. He would preach a sermon to a sin- 
gle individual the same as to a congregation. 

"At the home of my grandfather, John Chambers, he met a 
Methodist minister. He asked the minister a Bible question he 
could not answer, upon which he said, ' Old man, where did you 
get your liquor?' Brother Murray replied: 'Seeing it is but the 
third hour of the day I am not drunk yet,' and using those words 


as a text he preached the minister a sermon rij;ht tliere. Brother 
Murray preached in the Enj^lish language, as none of the people 
there understood the German, yet his words had the German 
accent, which would cause some to laugh. On one occasion, while 
he was preaching in his usual enthusiastic way in a high tone of 
voice, a young man, standing in frcnit of him, was laughing. Brother 
Murray, pointing his finger at him, and without lowering his 
voice, said: 'Young man, tliere is no laughing in hell,' and con- 
tinued his sermon without any seeming break in thought or tone, 
it is said the young man quit laughing at once." See " Tlie 
Murray I'amily " for liis ancestry and progeny. 


Jacob A. Murra}', joungest son and eleventh child of Jacob 
S. and Susannah (Aukerman) Murray, was born in hayette Coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania. There being a difference of six years in the ages 
of little Jacob and his j'oungest sister, he was the pet of the large 
family. Being much of the time under the special care of his 
motlier, who was a pretty good German scholar, she taught him 
the German, and he, having learned to read English, taught her 
the English. Besides an old German spelling book, the only book 
was the New Testament, so, like young Timothy, he was early 
taught the Holy Scriptures. So, at the age of twelve he felt the 
strongest religious impressions of his life. But as these impres- 
sions were given no encouragement they gradually wore away, 
and it was not till many years afterward that he united with the 

After the death of his father in 1S52 he learned the car- 
penter and cabinet trade, serving as apprentice two and a half 
years. At the end of this service he received twenty-five tlol- 
lars. After spending six months as clerk in a store, he went to 
his Iirother's in Greene County, and worked at his trade. 

It was while living in Greene County, in the Rycrson Station 
congregation, that he united with the church in 1.S56, married Miss 
Sarah Banders, and was called to the ministry in 1S57. In 1S60 
he moved back, to the Indian Creek congregation, where he was 
advanced in 1(S62. In 1K63 he was drafted to go to the army as 
a soldier. It cost him $v300 to be exempted from military serv- 
ice. This placed him in almost destitute circumstances. In 1864, 
he and his brother, Jeremiah, and their families, moved to Iowa, 
landing at Waterloo, August 24, financially broke, but not dis- 
couraged. Here he was ordained to the eldership in 1872. Elder 
Murray, in the twenty-two years he labored here, saw the mem- 
bership grow from about forty to 350, after manj' had moved 
farther west, and from booths made of corn fodder in which to 


hold love feasts, to the erection of the South Waterloo churcli, 
40x80 feet and a basement. It was during his residence here that 
he assisted in the organization of the Willow Creek (South Da- 
kota) congregation, the first church of the Brethren in the State. 

In 1886 he moved to Kimball, South Dakota. Here, with the 
assistance of Elder W. G. Cook, several churches were organized, 
several brethren were called to the ministry, and a church build- 
ing erected. In 1890 he returned to Waterloo. From Waterloo 
he moved to Western Tennessee, about thirty-seven miles east of 
Memphis, where he remained two years, studying the cliaracter 
and morals of the people and doing some preaching for the whites 
and colored folks. He preached principally for the white people 
of the community, and l)y the help of some Northern people 
conducted a Sunday-school, but after fruitless efforts to secure 
help from the General Mission Board and the District of Tennes- 
see, he dropped the work and moved to Rockford, Illinois, in 
1903. In 1910, with his companion and youngest daughter, he 
moved to the Chippewa church, Wayne County, Ohio, vvliere his 
companion died, March 22, 1912. 

Elder Murray's family consisted of two sons and two daugh- 
ters. He is now in his eighty-second year, and still is a regular at- 
tendant at Sunday-school, and does a good deal of preaching. He 
has preached the Gospel in twelve States, attended thirteen An- 
nual Meetings, and represented his District on the Standing Com- 
mittee at Frederick City, Maryland, and Decatur, Illinois. He 
was helpful in furnishing data for this work. 


William A. Murray, the son of Jacob S. and Susannah ( Auker- 
man) Murray, was l)orn in h'ayette County, Pennsylvania, Marcli 
12, 1824. His father was an active minister in tlie Indian Creek 
congregation. William was married in Xoxemher, 1846. to Miss 
Eliza Jane McEnteer, with wliom he lived to the time of her death 
in June, 1900. Ten children were l)orn to this union. In March, 
1902, Elder Murray was married to Mrs. Louisa Gore. 

Elder Murray had few educational advantages, and what op- 
portunities he had it is said he did not appreciate, as he would 
rather look after a flock of sheep entrusted to his care than go 
to school. His education, therefore, was limited. Soon after he 
was of age he took a job of clearing off a' piece of ground for his 
brother-in-law, quite a distance in the woods. There, by himself, 
he felt the power of conviction and made the full surrender. He 
was soon baptized. His devotion and piety were very noticeable, 
and before he was married he was sent as delegate to the .\nnual 
Meeting at Wooster, Ohio. 


He being a Tunktr and his wife a I'aptist, there might easily 
have been room for disagreement. But wisely they had agreed 
before marriage that they would read the Scriptures together, 
and the one who had the most Scripture in his favor should have 
the preference. His wife was a good scholar and a school-teacher. 
It can easily be guessed that the investigation was quite favorable 
to William. Not long after their marriage William was called to 
the ministry in the Indian Creek congregation. He took hold of 
the work and soon had the confidence of the church and the com- 
munity. This he did not win by his excellency of speech or ora- 
tory, but l)y his piety and sincerity. 

In 1(S55 he moved to the Ryerson Station congregation; in 
1863 back to the Jacobs Creek congregation, near Mount Pleas- 
ant. About four years later, or shortly after the close of the Civil 
War, he moved to the Northeastern District of Ohio, living at 
various times in Stark, Richland, Ashland, and Wayne Coun- 
ties, laboring with the churches located in those counties. 

He spent much time in evangelistic work, attended a number 
of Annual Meetings, and was a constant reader of the church 
periodicals, having taken all of them, from the Gospel Visitor to 
the Gospel Messenger. He spent nearly sixty years in the min- 
istry, preaching up to within a few weeks before his death. He 
found the greatest pleasure in being about his Master's business. 

He had been sick scarcely a day during his entire life, and on 
the night of his death went to l)ed' as usual. Some time after 
retiring, his wife, hearing a slight disturl)ance in his room, went 
to see what it was and found that his spirit had flown. He died 
April 14, 1910, aged 86 years, 1 month and 2 days. l'\ineral services 
were conducted by D. R. McFadden from 2 Timothy 4: 1-9, and 
interment was made in Beech Grove cemetery. 


Hiram Musselman was born at Meyersdale, Pennslyvania, June 
5, 1827. His mother was Caroline Walter. He grew to manhood at 
Meyersdale, being given only a common school education. Brother 
Musselman was a contractor and builder for the most part of his 
active life. Early in life he came to the vicinity of Scalp Level. 
He was called far and near to erect liouses, barns, schoollunises 
and churches. He also made furniture in his slio]). 

He and Miss Frances Yoder were united in holy matrimony 
by Elder Christian Lehman, January 17, 1858. They took up house- 
keeping on what is now the Albert Berkey farm near Windber. 
There they lived for a numl)er of years, but later, about 1S70, 
moved into Scalp Level, where he died. About 1860 both were 



Elder Hiram 3Iusselman and Wife. 

baptized by Elder Christian Lehman. He was chosen to the min- 
istry in 1862, and ordained January 1, 1886. 

The writer remembers hearing Brother Musselman tell how he 
made his start in the ministry. He said: " It wasn't very long after I 
was called to the ministry, and I had not made any attempt to 
preach. All the older ministers were away, some, if not all of 
them, at the Annual Meeting. Brother Jacob Berkey's children had 
the diphtheria. One of them died, and in the absence of the older 
preachers I was asked to preach the funeral. I scarcely knew 
what to do. To refuse, I was ashamed, and to promise, I was 
afraid. But I finally agreed to undertake it. I felt my weakness 
and inability, and leaned heavily upon God for help in my great 
need. The hour for the funeral came, and I trembled, but I put 
my trust in the Lord, and started out with the sermon, and got 
along with it remarkably well for a beginner. I was surprised at 
my success, and the people congratulated me. Well, that was good. 


I liad a start. After this it should yo all right. In a few days 
another child died and they called on me again. This time I felt 
it would be comparatively easy, and I neglected to put so much 
dependence upon the Lord, but trusted more on Musselman. with 
the result a complete failure. It was very humiliating, but it 
was a lesson well learned." 

Brother Musselman had a way of making everybody his 
friend. He was rather jovial, always cheerful, and met people 
with a smile. While he was a friend to everybody, he was espe- 
cially so to the young. He was much like it was said of George 
Washington, the " Father of his Country." The Lord saw lit to 
leave him childless so that he might be a father to all. It was 
this spirit of friendliness and helpfulness, and interest in the 
young people, perhaps, more than his sermons that won for him 
his popularity. 

It was this interest in the children and young people that early 
I)rompted him to open a Sunday-school in the Scalp Level church, 
in 1878. He was the first superintendent, and filled that position 
for a number of years. This was one of the first Brethren Sunday- 
schools in all these parts. He also bore a large part of the expense 
of carrying on the school. Quite frequently would he buy books 
as presents for the officers and teachers. And so it naturally came 
to pass that when young people wanted to become man and wife 
they came to Brother Musselman, when they wanted to be baptized 
they came for Brother Musselman, and when death invaded the 
home, he was usually the one called to speak words of comfort. 
He seemed to be peculiarly adapted for this kind of work. Well, 
there may have been other reasons that ])layed some part in this. 
He lived in town, and hard by the creek, and had considerable leis- 

He married 215 couples, but no record was kept of the bap- 
tisms, funerals and anointings. For a number of years he did the 
most of that work. For some years he gave a present of a hymn 
book to all whom he baptized, and in his will he made provision 
to give Bibles to all new converts. This is carried out as far as 
the money reaches. The hymn most used by him at baptism was 
number 240 in the hynin book, the first verse of which runs thus: 

" In all my Lord's appointed way. 
My journey I'll pursue; 
Hinder me not, you much-loved saints, 
For 1 must go with you." 

.After he was a minister he missed few, if any. District and An- 
nual Meetings. Beginning in 1872, he served the District in the 


capacity of treasurer continuously for more tlian twenty years, 
with the exception of one year. He represented Western Penn- 
sylvania on the Standing Committee of the Annual Meeting, held 
at Pertle Springs, Missouri, in 1890. 

He did considerable traveling over the District in the interests 
of the church, but his best work was done in his home congrega- 
tion, where he was always ready to help in every good work, both 
with his means and his time. 

Elder and Sister Musselman reared Lizzie (Yoder) Rodgers, 
and they live together at the present time. Beside remembering 
many of his relatives in his will, he also made bequests to a cem- 
eterj' fund, home and world-wide missions and Juniata College. 

He died December 9, 1900, aged 73 years, 6 months and 4 days, 
and is buried in the Berkey cemetery. J. J. Shafifer officiated at his 
funeral, assisted by other brethren. 


Tliis name seems to have been originally written " Mover." tiien 
" Meyer," and at present is written " Meyers " and " Myers." Some- 
time toward the close of the eighteenth century four brothers, 
Michael, Rudolph, Henry and Christian Meters (Moyer), came to 
Somerset County from what is now Lebanon County, Pennsyl- 
vania. It is not known whether they came at the same time nor 
whether they were accompanied by their parents. There was a 
George Myers in Elk Lick Township as early as 1784. Whether 
he was the father of the above brothers, or a brother, I cannot 
say. One Abram Mj^ers died in Elk Lick Township in 1832, whose 
sons were John, Henry, Michael, Jacob and Samuel. 

It is possible that the Myerses were not Dunkers, but that 
Michael and Christian became such through the influence of their 
wives. It is the descendants of these two families we want to 

Michael Myers married Miss Mary Buechly, daughter of Elder 
Michael Buechly, of Elk Lick, near Meyersdale. The date of his 
election to the ministry is unknown, but Holsinger's History is 
authority for the statement that when Elder John Keagy moved 
to Ohio, in 1806, Brother Myers was ordained to take his place. 
He is, therefore, the second' elder ordained in this valley. He 
presided over an extensive membership for thirty years and died 
in the spring of 1836. Five of Elder Myers' sons were called to 
the ministry and one to the deacon office; viz., 

1. Elder Henrj' Myers, who was married to Anne Lichty, 
daughter of Joseph Lichty. He was the first elder in the Middle 
Creek congregation, where he served till he moved West, about 


2. Elder Jacol) Myers, who was married to IFannah Liolity, 
daughter of Christian Lichty. See his liiography. 

3. Elder John B. Myers, who was married to F>arhara Miller, 
daughter of "Big" Abraham Miller. He was elected to the min- 
istry in the Elk Lick congregation and moved to Ohio in 1854. 

4. Elder Martin Myers, who was married to Anna Witt. He 
was elected to the ministry in the Middle Creek congregation, also 
moved West, and died in Kansas. 

5. Elder Michael Myers, who was married to Elizabeth, 
daughter of Christian Lichty. See his biography. 

6. Samuel Mj^ers, who was a deacon. 

Coming to the third generation we have two cf holder Menry 
Myers' daughters, f^olly and Sally, married to two ministers; viz.; 
Solomon Lichty and David Livengood, respectively. Of Elder 
Jacob Myers' sons, Tobias was an elder and Jacob a deacon. Of 
Elder John B. Myers' sons, Abraham and Jacob were deacons. Of 
Deacon Samuel Myers' sons, John S. was a deacon and William S. 
a (silent) minister. 

In tlie fourth generation \vc I'lnd two of Elder Tobias Myers' 
sons, Jacob T. and Tobias T., in llie eldersliip. Two of William S. 
Myers' sons, Joseph W. and Mahlon, are deacons. 

in the I'iftii generation, two of Joseph W. Myers' sons, W. H. 
and Samuel .\., are ministers. 

Christian Myers (Mo3'er) was l)orn in Lebanon County in 
about 1763, and came to Somerset County in the eighties of the 
eighteenth century. Here he married Miss l>arbara Huechly, 
daughter of Elder John M. Buechly. His sons were: John, Michael, 
Abraham, Joseph, Henry, Jacob and Peter. Of this generation, 
Abraham was the only minister. See his biography. 

In the third generation we find Joseph 1'., son of Elder .Abra- 
ham, called to the ministry, though he did not serve. Abraham's 
daughter, Mary, was the wife of Elder David D. Horner. Henry's 
son, Henry Smith Myer^. is an elder in the Brethren Church, 
though formerly an elder in the Churili of tlie Brethren. John 
H. Myers, son of Joseph, was an elder, and his half-brother, Josiah, 
was a deacon. 

Tn the fourth generation. Elder Jonathan D. Myers, of Robins, 
Iowa, is a son of Deacon Josiah Myers. His brother. Michael, was 
a deacon. Cyrus E. Myers, a minister, is a son of Jacob L. Myers, 
and T'^rank Blaine Myers, a minister, is a son of Deacon William H. 


Abraham Myers, son of Christian and Barbara (Beachly) My- 
ers, was born near Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, in 1799. 


He was married to Miss Rebecca Kimmel, daughter of Solomon 
Kimmel, of Somerset County. When about twenty-three years of 
age he removed to Westmoreland County, settling in the Ligonier 
Vallej% about two miles from Ligonier. He was a prosperous 
farmer. He owned an excellent farm of 720 acres, which he brought 
to a high state of improvement and cultivation. 

His call to the ministry in the Jacobs Creek congregation took 
place when he was between thirty and thirty-three years of age. 
His services were mostly in the German, thougli he could also 
preach in English. He is said to have been very successful in 
church work. 

Elder and Sister Myers had the following children: Catharine, 
wife of D. D. Worman; Mary, wife of Elder D. D. Horner; Jo- 
seph B., Jacob L., Abraham, who died at the age of twenty; John 
K., deceased; Sarah, wife of Isaac Horner; Anna, wife of Christian 
Ebersole; William H., Barbara, wife of Samuel Kimmel, and Re- 
becca, wife of John Berkley. 

Elder Myers died February 2, 1872, aged 12 years, 4 months and 
1 day. Sister Myers, who was born October 3, 1810, died March 
10, 1895. 


Cyrus E. Myers, son of Jacol) L. and Catharine (Horner) My- 
ers, was born September 18, 1864, near Mt. Pleasant, Westmore- 
land County, Pennsylvania. He was reared on the farm and given 
good school advantages. In addition to the common and select 
school, he attended the Mt. Pleasant Institute. He taught school 
and spent the fall term of 1888 in Juniata College, Huntingdon, 

He was married to Miss Sudie E. Kimmel, April 16, 1889, and. 
they began their married life on a farm near Mt. Pleasant. In 
1891 they bought a farm near Shelocta, Indiana County, Pennsyl- 
vania, where they have followed farming ever since. 

In June, 1886, he gave his hand to the church and was bap- 
tized by Elder Abraham Summy. In 1887 he was called to the niin- 
istrj' in the Jacobs Creek congregation, and was advanced in 1900. 


Jacob Meyers was a son of Elder Michael Meyers, one of the 
first elders in Somerset County, and was born and reared near 
Berlin. Here he lived and labored a number of years, having 
served in the eldership for some time. 

He died July 7, 1852, aged 57 years, 6 months and 15 days. 
His disease was gangrenous erysipelas, commencing on the little 
finger of the left hand, and it baffled the skill of all the physi- 
cians. " Shortly before he died, on Saturday evening at 5 o'clock, 


he gave out a hymn and sang it with his family and neighbors, and 
then exhorted them all very sensibly how they should walk and 
persevere in the way to heaven, and at 7 o'clock he breathed his 
last. He told his family and friends that there was a crown of 
righteousness laid up for him and all the righteous." 

The above is gathered from his obituary notice in the Gospel 
Visitor of that time. 


John H. Myers, son of Joseph and Susannah (Hochstctler) 
Myers, was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, July 17, 1845. 
He was reared on his father's farm, and received a fairly good edu- 
cation. In 1866 he was married to Miss Annie Barron, also of Som- 
erset County. 

He was called to the deacon office in the Middle Creek congre- 
gation in 1872, and called to the ministry in the same church in 
1875. After preaching a few years he moved to Markleysburg, 
where he was ordained in 1880. He moved back to Somerset in 
1893, lived there ten years and in 1903 moved to Markleysburg 
again, where he died August 11, 1913. He was an invalid a num- 
ber of years. He was an evangelist of note. To Brother and Sis- 
ter Myers were born: Alice, Ira Benton, deceased, Sarah Miriam, 
Dr. Herbert Paul and George P.arron (deceased). His widow still 
resides in Markleysburg, Pennsylvania. 


Martin L. Myers was the youngest son of Elder Michael My- 
ers, Sr., and was married to Anna Witt. I'or the following sketch 
of his long and useful life I am indebted to William H. Welflcy, 
of Somerset: 

"The subject' of this sketch, the last and youngest survivor 
of a noted family of preachers, died at his home near Morrill, Kan- 
sas, April 4, 1895, in his eighty-first year. He was born and reared 
in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His education was limited to 
less than six months' schooling. Being endowed with strong will 
power, he educated himself i)y his own efforts to the position of a 
teacher. He taught thirteen terms of school under the old regime 
of discipline, I)eforc the free school system came in vogue. 

" Tn 1853 he was elected county surveyor of Somerset County. 
He was a farmer and continued in that occupation as long as he 
was able to do the physical work. 

" In 1863 he moved to Carroll C"ounty, Illinois, and in 1882 
to his last home on earth at Morrill, Kansas. 

" Elder Myers labored in the ministry a full half century, while 
eternity alone will reveal the full returns of his ministerial labors. 

" Elder Myers was somewhat unique in his psychological 


make-up. The most observable feature was that of a patriarchal 
autonomy. His word to his children was law, and while the chil- 
dren at the time may have thought his mandates rigorous and se- 
vere, they discovered later on that there was always a mild and 
tender heart within and a silver lining in the cloud. 

" His early ministry was a success, especially as long as he 
labored in the German language. His ministry was characterized 
by the same unflinching, indomital)le and indefatigable spirit of 
vim, pusli and perseverance as were his secular affairs. 

" Fifteen grown sons and daughters survive him, several of 
whom reside in and near Morrill. Many of his relatives continue to 
reside in Somerset County, Pennsj-lvania." 


lirother Chambers is authority for the following incident in 
the ministry of Brother Myers: Once, while visiting in the Ryer- 
son Station congregation, he had two appointments for preach- 
ing at different places one Lord's Day. In order to reach the even- 
ing appointment in time it was necessary not to prolong the morn- 
ing service. So at the close of the morning sermon he called on 
Brother Fletcher to close the service. Brother Fletcher, like many 
of the home preachers, wanted to be heard, too, whether edifying 
to the congregation and the minister in charge or not, and so 
started in on what promised to be a lengthy talk. Brother Myers, 
being a singer as well as a preacher, began singing the hymn, " O 
Thou in whose presence my soul takes delight." Brother Fletcher, 
taking the advice of Faul, ' Let all things l)e done decently and in 
order,' took his seat at once. 

I learn that the above Michael Myers is a son of the first Elder 
Michael Myers. He was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Chris- 
tian Lichty. He moved to Westmoreland County, where he was 
called to the ministry. (He might have been called in Somerset 
County.) He was considered an able minister, and traveled a good 
deal in Westmoreland, Fayette and Greene Counties, preaching. 

In 1854 he moved West. His wife and daughter died on the 
way of cholera, and he died in 1855 in Wisconsin. 


Tobias Myers was born near Berlin, Pennsylvania, January 16, 
1826. Brother Myers was a descendant of a noted family that came 
from the eastern part of the State during the latter part of the 
eighteenth century, and settled on a farm adjoining Berlin, where 
his father, Jacob Myers, lived and died. His grandfather was Elder 
Michael Myers. 


He was married to Eliza Berkle}-. l'"or a number of years they 
lived near Berlin, on the farm now owned by Lewis Berkley, a 
nephew. Some time in the fifties he moved to Milford Township, 
where he was elected to the ministry, in 1876 he removed to Car- 
roll County, Illinois, in 1887 he came to Sheldon, Iowa, where 
his wife died in 1893. Since tliat lime he lived a retired life, but 
spent much of his time in tlic service of his Master, in the min- 

Brother Myers was elected to the ministry over fifty years ago, 
and served in the eldership nearly forty years. He did not have 
the advantage of a liberal education, but was a close observer and 
a constant reader. He learned in the school of experience and 
closely watched happenings in everyday life. While living in 
I'hiladelphia, with his sons, he did considerable preaching in the 
East, especially in New Jersey. Some years ago he represented the 
Eastern District of Pennsylvania on the Standing Committee. 

" Brother Myers was an extensive traveler, and preached in 
many pulpits of the Brotherhood. He was a remarkable man in 
many respects. He was favored with a fine physique, walked up- 
right, and stood erect in the pulpit, where he loved to be. His very 
appearance made a good impression before an audience. He looked 
upon the bright side of life, and was not inclined to worry and 
complain. He enjoyed life, allowing no evil forebodings to enter 
his mind. He looked forward with bright anticipations to the fu- 
ture, lie was an optimist in the true sense of the word. He 
preached twice, one Sunday, only a few weeks before his death. 
He was never sick, and up to the last was in excellent health and 
spirits, for one of his age. 

" .\bout five weeks before his departure he came to Brother 
E. L. Knepper's home, full of ambition for the sugar season, as 
he was an expert in the art of making maple syrup and sugar, and 
usually spent the spring season at the home of Brother Knepper, 
his nephew. One morning, after partaking of breakfast, as usual, 
and while sitting in his chair, he was stricken with paralysis. 
After battling vigorously, for six days, against the effects of the 
stroke, he sank into a peaceful death, March 10, 1914, aged 88 years, 
2 months and 24 days." 

His wife and three sons preceded him in death. He is survived 
by his one son. Elder T. T., and three daughters, another son, 
h:ider J. T.. dying October 1, 1915. in Philadelphia. 

I'uneral services were conducted at the Knepper home by Eld- 
ers J. J. Shaffer and W. G. Schrock from Acts 13: 36. His remains 
were taken, by his son, T. T. Myers, to Sheldon, Iowa, and in- 
lirred by the side of his wife in the family cemetery. 



Walter X. Myers, second son of Adam and Frances (Long) 
Myers, was born September 30, 1869, in Cherry Hill Township, In- 
diana County, Pennsylvania. He has always lived in the township 
in which he was born. His common school education was sup- 
plemented by one term of select school. 

He was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Shank on September 
29, 1892. He and his wife were baptized in the spring of 1896 by 
Elder Jasper Barnthouse. He was elected to the ministry in 1901, 
advanced to the second degree in 1902, and ordained to the elder- 
ship June 19, 1910, all in the Manor congregation, where he still 
labors. Elder Myers frequently represents his congregation at 
the District Meetings. Their only daughter also is a member of 
the church. 

(Portrait on Page 128.) 

J. Lloyd Nedrow, Wife and Child. 


J. Lloyd Nedrow, youngest son of John M. and Mary Xedrow, 
was born on the top of the Laurel Hill Mountain, Westmoreland 
County, Pennsylvania, September 25, 1885. He had good educa- 
tional advantages, so far as the public schools are concerned, from 
the age of six years until grown up. When he reached the age of 
twenty-four he taught two terms in the public schools. Being the 
youngest son in the family his father had need of him on the 
farm until he was married. 

On September 17, 1899, he united with the church in the Indian 
Creek congregation, since which time he has tilled such positions 


in Sunday-school as teacher, chorister, secretarj' and superintend- 
ent. On March 31, 1^06, he was elected deacon, and on October 7, 
I'^ll, he was called to tlie ministry in the Indian Creek congrega- 
tion, and was advanced to the second degree November 28, 1914. 
Since the organization of t'le Trout Run congregation, he has 
been one of the ministers of that congregation. 

December 24, 1911, he was united in marriage to Miss Sadie 
M. Reese, of I'ayette Count}'. lie is emi)loyed at the " Big 
S])rings " as general nianager and caretendcr, where he has lived 
nearly four yvars. 


To Xornian Elmer and Keturah (Hays) Neiderhiser were born 
three sons and ten daughters, of whom Emanuel Elmer is the 
o'dest. He was born Xoven.ber 29, 1892, at Pleasant Unity, West- 
moreland Count}', l\"nnsyl\an'a, and was reared on the farm. His 
education was obtained by attending eight terms of public school, 
since which time he has been employed on the farm and at several 
l)nl)lic enterprises. 

iirother Xeiderhiscr was reared in the faith of the Brethren, 
and during a series of meetings held in the Mt. Joy house of the 
Jacobs Creek congregation, by Charles O. Beery, he yielded his 
young life to the Master and was baptized June 18. 1905. The fa- 
ther, Elmer Neiderhiser, was reared in the Lutiieran faith, but 
alter his marriage, he, with his companion, became a member of 
the Church of the Brethren, and he was later called to the deacon- 
ship, which office he still fills. The mother was brought up in the 
faith of the Brethren, having inherited that faith, through succes- 
sive generations, from her great-grandmother. 

On May 30, 1912, Brother Neiderliiser was united in marriage 
to Miss Elma Goldie Seighman, and on March 27, 1915, he was 
elected to the ministry in the Jacobs Creek congregation, where 
he now labors. 

(Portrait on Page 107.) 


David Obcr, son of Henry and Elizabeth (Hoover") Ober, was 
born in Fayette County," Pennsylvania, August 27, 1814. His par- 
ents were of German descent, and were memliers of the River 
Brethren Church. His opportunities for an education were limited 
to the common schools of the county. He was a plasterer by 
trade. May 9, 1839, he was married to Miss (."atherine Chrissinger. 
of Westmoreland County. Nine children blessed this union. 

He and his wife united witli the Church of the P>rethren in 
Fayette County. On May 13, 1855, he was called to the office of 
deacon, and later to the ministry. This was in I'ayette County. 


Here he labored until he was sixty-one years of age, when, with 
his family, he moved to a farm in Cherry Hill Township, Indiana 
County. This was in the Manor congregation. Here he labored the 
remainder of his days. It seems that he was ordained in the Manor 
congregation about 1870. His services were altogether in. the En- 
glish language, and extended beyond the borders of his home con- 
gregation. He was always ready to perform his part of the work 
of the church, and was very punctual in attending meetings. 

He solemnized quite a number of marriages, frequently offici- 
ated at funerals and baptized a good many persons. He died on 
his farm March 14, 1886, and was buried in the Crooked Creek 


Samuel W. Pearce, son of Isaac and Jane (Young) Pearce. 
was born in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, April 27, 1867. He 
came to Johnstown when but a child, in 1878, where he has since 

He was married to Miss Minnie Harshberger, daughter of 
John M. and Katie (Wertz) Harshberger, on September 25, 18.. 
Their married life so far was spent in the seventh ward, city of 
Johnstown, where they now reside. Their children are: Ethel F., 
Ivan E., and Velma J. 

Brother Pearce united with the Johnstown Church of the 
Brethren September 26, 1894, and since that time has been an active 
Sunday-school and church worker. In the same congregation he 
was called to the ministry on March 29, 1900. Some time later he 
was installed and in the course of time advanced to the second 
degree of the ministry, and on Ma)' 3, 1914, he was ordained to 
the eldership. Since Elder Howe has removed from the congrega- 
tion Brother Pearce has been elder in charge of the large congre- 

(Portrait on Page 117.) 


Jacob W. Peck, a successful farmer of Summit Townsliip, Som- 
erset County, and a minister in the Church of the Brethren, de- 
scends from one of the old families of the county. He was born 
in what was formerly Addison (now Elk Lick) Township, June 18, 
1845, and is the son of John and Elizabeth (Maust) Peck, the 
grandson of John Jacob and Annie (dinger) Peck, and the great- 
grandson of John Adam and Katarina Fillabina (Smith) Peck. 

John Adam Peck, the great-grandfather, was born in Switz- 
erland, of German parents, about 1750. He came to America 
in the ship " Hamilton." sailing from Rotterdam, on October 6, 
1767, landing at Philadcl])hia, Pennsylvania. On April 12, 1772, he 



married Katarina Fillabina Smith. They settled on a farm in Ad- 
dison Township, Somerset County. They were the parents of six 
sons and two daughters; viz., John Jacob, John, John Daniel, John 
George, John Peter, Henry, whose given name was most likely 
John; Catherine and Elizabeth. 

John Jacob Peck, above, was born at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 
March 20, 1773. He was a farmer and helped clear the homestead 
farm in Elk Lick. He was a religious man and a member of the 
Church of the Brethren. He married Annie dinger December 22, 
1799. To them were born the following children: Susannah, Mary 
D., John, Sarah, Catharine, Jacob, Jonas, John, Elias, Lydia D.. 
Eliza, Moses and Daniel. John Jacob Peck died March 2, 1852. 

John Peck, the eighth child of John Jacob and Annie Peck, was 
born in Elk Lick September 18, 1813. He was an extensive stock 
raiser as well as a farmer and at one time owned a farm of 800 
acres. He also was a member of the Churcli of the Brethren and 
an influential citizen. He married Elizabeth Maust, November 13, 
1837. Miss Maust was born May 1, 1818, and was a daughter of 
Abraham Maust. Their children are: William, Mahlon, .Abraiiam, 
Jacob W., Sarah Ann, Magdalena, Lewis .\., Elizabeth, Jonas and 
Susan. Brother Peck died May 1, 1890, and Sister Peck September 
22, 18%. 

JiU'ob W. Peck. 


Elder Jacob W. Peck was educated in the public scTiools. He 
has been a farmer all his life. He married Elizabeth, daughter of 
Samuel and Elizabeth (Beachley) Flickinger, December 29, 1872. 
Sister Peck was born November 29, 1849. Their children are: 
Cora Alice, Lloyd Dillon, John Elmer, Emma May, Carrie, Mis- 
souri, Sadie Pearl, and Robert Earl. All received a good educa- 
tion and all are members of the Church of the Brethren. 

After having lived on several other farms, Brother Peck, in 
1884, bought a fine 192-acre farm near Meyersdale, where he still 
resides. Brother Peck has been director of the poor for Somerset 
County and was president of the board that erected the building 
for the insane. Por fifteen years he was townsliip auditor; he 
also served on the board of supervisors. In 1900 he was United 
States census enumerator. 

Brother Peck was baptized in Elk Lick Creek by Elder Jacob 
Blough, May 11. 1870. On May 1, 1876, he was chosen deacon. He 
was called to tlie ministry May 9, 1880, and advanced to the sec- 
ond degree Octoljcr 10, 1884. Besides preaching at the two regular 
preaching points in the Summit Mills congregation. Summit Mills 
and Cross Roads, Elder Peck is an active Sunday-school worker. 
He served as superintendent of the Summit Mills Sunday-school 
twenty years, from 1880 to 1900. 


By P. S. Davis. 

Elder L. A. Peck, brother of Jacob W., was born February 4, 
1853, in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, on 
the same farm where he has lived all his life to the present. He is 
the son of John Peck, whose great-grandfather was a pioneer in 
this locality, having come from Germany and located first in York, 
this State, and later, by a trend of interesting incidents, located in 
what is now Addison Township. Here he died, being buried on 
the farm now owned by John Cramer. 

Elder Peck was baptized at Salisl)ury, Pennsylvania, June, 
1876, by Silas Keim, after having been interrogated by the mem- 
orable James Quinter; was elected to the ministry, with his brother 
Jacob, in June, 1880; forwarded to the second degree April 24, 
1886; ordained to the eldership September 27, 1886, with John N. 
Davis, each to officiate alternately at councils. After Brother 
Davis became inactive, the care and oversight of the church rested 
on Brother Peck. 

Being of German stock, he inherited the thrift and enterprise 
characteristic of that race. He is a man of powerful build and 
strong executive ability, combining these qualities with a strong 


Kider Lewis A. Pet-k and Wife. 

desire for the adherence of the church to the principles of loyalty 
and consistency as taught in the Divine Word. He has kept the 
church in a healthy condition and the inevitable result is a steady 

He is also a zealous Sunday-scht)ol worker, having been 
either superintendent or teacher continually for tlie past thirty 

Brother Peck has his second wife, the first union being blest 
with three children as well as the second — three sons and three 
daughters — all being members of the Cliiircli of the Uretliren. 

It is only when \isiting in his home that you come in touch 
with his true nature. His commodious house, bounteous table, and 
strong family affiliations are all corroborative evidences of a 
good " housekeeper." 


Irwin R. Fletcher, son of Daniel and Martha Fletcher, was 
born in P^ayette County, Fennsylvania, November 15, IHHO. When 
yet a small child the family moved to Maryland, but returned to 
Pennsylvania when Irwin was nine years of age. Here he has 
lived ever since. 

His early schooling was somewhat delayed, but at the age of 
about ten his op])ortunities im]>roved and he entered the public 
school in Mt. Pleasant Townsliip, Westmoreland County. He 
graduated from the public school when sixteen years old in the 
si)ring of 1897. After assisting his father in the operation of a 
sawmill several years, he took six weeks of i)rei)aratory work, 
and began teaching school in h'ayette County at the age of nine- 


Irvin R. Fletcher and Wife. 

teen. After teaching two years he worked at the carpenter trade 
and in a store. 

On December 25, 1903, he was married to Miss Sadie G. 
Horner, daughter of Myers and Ida Horner, and granddaughter of 
Elder D. D. Horner. After working in Elder Horner's mill a year, 
he purchased it and operated it till 1906, when he was called to the 
ministry. He sold his mill and moved u])on a farm which he had 
purchased. After four years on the farm he has gone back to 
teaching, which profession he has followed ever since. 

During a series of meetings held by Elder D. H. Walker in 
the Jacobs Creek house in the fall of 1897, he united with the 
church, being baptized by Elder J. K. Eicher. He early became in- 
terested in Sunday-school and church activities. He has served 
in the capacity of Sunday-school superintendent a number of 
years, both before his election to the ministry and since. He has 
represented his church a number of times as delegate in Annual 
and District Meeting. 


Richard Thomas Pollard, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Pol- 
lard, was born in Cornwall, England, November 24, 1848. He 
comes from a family of mine workers, and from his youth he 
worked in the tin and copper mines of his native country. He 
had none of the advantages of an early education. When he ar- 
rived in America, in 1868, he did not know the multiplication ta- 
ble and was equally backward in all other branches of learning. 


Upon his arrival in Aniorica lie lirst went to Hibcrnia, Morris 
County, New Jcrsej', where Ije was employed in the mines until 
1871, when he came to Somerset, entered the employ of W. H. 
Welfley, and assisted liim in his photographic work for one year. 
For several years he mined and farmed in the southern part of 
the county. 

His eagerness for an education caused him earnestly to apply 
himself at all possible times to improve his mind. He denied 
himself all pleasures and luxuries in order to secure an education. 
In 1875 he came to Elderton, Armstrong County, where he was a 
student in the Plum Creek Normal. Five years he was engaged in 
teaching school. 

May 2, 1876, he married Mrs. Hannah Kimmel, widow of Peter 
Kimmel, and daughter of Elder Sinmiaker, of Red Bank Town- 
ship, Armstrong County. To tiiis union two sons were born; 
viz., Thomas S., a miner, and Lee W., a dru.ggist. 

After farming some years in Armstrong Count}', he decided 
to take up the profession of medicine. In 1889 he entered the 
l'>altimore Medical ("ollege, graduating in 1891, ol)taining his diplo- 
!na as a regular practitioner of the allopathic, or old school of 
medicine. Dr. Pollard began the practice of metlicine in Hagers- 
ti)wn. Mar\laii(l, in 1891, where he remained two years. In 1S93 
he nioxed to (iarrett, Somerset County, Pennsj'lvania, where he 
has practiced very successfully ever since. lie is a member of 
the State and County Societies, the Pialtimore & Ohio Railroad 
Surgeons' .Association, and is local surgeon for the Baltimore & 
( )Iii() kailroad Company at Garrett. 

lie was called to the ministry in the Plum Creek congregation 
in 1879, and ordained to the eldership in tiie same congregation 
some years later. In addition to his church work in his home con- 
gregation, he preached in the Red Bank congregation regularly two 
years; he also served the Glade Run and Brush Valley churches a 
year or two. He did not live in Garrett very long until a Sunday- 
school was opened and preaching services were held. The Garrett 
meetinghouse was the result of these early efforts. For some years 
he was active in, the ministry, l)ut since his profession makes such 
urgent demands upon his time, he docs not preach much. He is 
the elder of the Berlin congregation. 

Dr. Pollard's success in life is an example of what may be 
accomplished by a poor boy in .America when possessed of pluck, 
push and perseverance. 


James Ouintcr was born in 181(), in PIii!a(kli)liia, rennsylxa- 
nia. He was baptized in the Coventry cliurch in 1831. He was 



called to the ministry in 1838. In 1839 he with Brother John 
Umstead visited the churches in Western Pennsylvania, and the 
brethren of the Georges Greek congregation were much pleased 
with his piety. They afterward concluded to secure his services 
for' the congregation, and succeeded in getting him to come in 
1842. He brought with him his mother, sister and two nephews. 
The Brethren bought him a small farm upon which, with hard 
labor, he made a meager living, but supplemented it by teaching 

£lder James Quinter. 

school in the winter. He was well educated and a very forceful 
speaker. In warm weather he would take his coat off and speak 
with a loud voice until the sweat would drop from his face. 

In 1856 Brother Henry Kurtz, then editing the Gospel Visitor, 
at Poland, Ohio, prevailed upon him to assist him in its publica- 
tion. The church was sorry to see him leave. During his stay 
in Fayette County the Georges Creek congregation greatly pros- 
pered. Neighboring churches also were helped. 

About 1873 Elder Quinter again moved into Western Pennsyl- 
vania, locating at Meyersdale. Here he published the Christian 


l-'amily Companion and Gospel Visitor. Some time towards the 
close of the year 1876, when the publishing interests were re- 
moved to Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, Elder Quinter and family 
also removed there. There he continued to live until his death, 
which occurred in the Annual Meeting tent at North Manchester, 
Indiana, while on his knees in prayer. May 19, 1888. He was buried 
from his home in Huntingdon. May 23, the funeral being con- 
ducted by Elders H. B. Brumbaugh and W. J. Swigart, assisted 
by a number of other ciders and ministers. He was buried in 
Rivervicw cemetery. 

Many pages might be written al)Out this faithful man of God, 
but we felt only like considering him as he was related to the 
cliurcli work of our District. We notice him in another chapter, 
as an educator. Allusion is also made to his remarkable meetings 
in the Ten Mile church. During his last residence in the District he 
was prominent in the District Meetings, holding different oftices. 

His first wife, whom he married September 17, 1850, was Mary 
.Ann Moser, daughter of Brother Daniel Moser. To them was born 
a daughter, Lydia Isabella, April 15, 1854. 

She was married September 20, 1877, in the T'ilgrim chapel, 
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, by her father, to Elder Jacob T. My- 
ers, of the Green Tree congregation, Montgomery County, Penn- 
sylvania. Elder Myers' native county is Somerset. A son, named 
for his grandfather, James Quinter, was born to them January 
23, 1882, and a daughter, Grace Quinter, July 6, 1885. 

When Elder Quinter moved to Ohio, in 1856, his mother and 
sister remained in Fayette Count)-. Through the summer and 
autumn of 1857 his wife was afflicted with consumption. On Sep- 
tember 2 she was anointed, and as she greatly desired to see her 
l)arents again he accompanied her shortly afterward to her old 
home in Fayette County, where she died October 9, same year. His 
mother and sister now came to care for his home and his moth- 
erless little daughter. 

-April 11, 1861, he was married to Fanny, daughter of Elder 
John Studebaker. To them two daughters were born — Mary N.. 
January 21, 1863., and Grace, June 10, 1870. Grace was married to 
F. F. Holsopple. Mary \., after having labored in Juniata Col- 
lege a number of years, both as student and teacher, sailed as 
missionary to India in 1903. On the fiold she did commendable 
work. She had the supervision of the Widows' Home in Jalal- 
por, a position carrying with it concern for the welfare of some of 
the most unfortunate of India's wretched ones. She was home on 
furlough in 1910-1911, and spent some time among the churches, 
where her messages were heard gladly. She passed to her reward 
January 14, 1914. 



The Rairigh family has taken an active part in the work of 
the church in Western Pennsylvania, as well as in a number of the 
Western States and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. So far as 
known all the Rairighs and Raricks in the Church of the Brethren 
are descendants of one John Rairigh, who with his wife came from 
Germany, and likely settled first in the " Valley " of Virginia, for 
they moved from Virginia and located between Plumville and 
Smicksburg, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. 

Elder George Rairigh, Sr., who was a son of John Rairigh, 
and was born August 22, 1793, located on a farm about a mile north 
of the present town of Sagamore, Cowanshannock Township, Arm- 
strong County. His wife was Elizabeth Bair, a Southern lady. 
Whether their marriage took place before coming to Pennsylva- 
nia is not stated; neither is it known definitely where they united 
with the church. On their farm they had a log house and log 
barn. In the barn, which is still in use, Elders Levi Roberts and 
John Mineely and other pioneer ministers held forth the Word 
of life. Love feasts also were held there. 

Elder Rairigh was the first preacher elected in the Cowan- 
shannock congregation. The date is not known, but it must have 
been near the close of the twenties of the past century, or early 
in the thirties. It is said he preached his first sermon in his own 
barn. As a boy he had no educational privileges. When called 
to the ministry he could not read his text. His devoted wife read 
it for him. She also taught him to read the German language. 
W'hen, later, the people wanted English preaching she also taught 
him the English. What Elder Rairigh lacked in education he more 
than made up in piety, industry, devotion, perseverance and ear- 
nestness in the cause. In this waj' he was helped to overcome the 
many difficulties that loom up in the way of missionary effort. 

Elder Rairigh was a home missionary in the fullest sense of 
the word. While his faithful wife managed the farm and did the 
spinning, he was about his Father's business. It is said that it 
required twenty-six weeks to give meetings in turn to the* mission 
points that had been opened by this earnest and self-sacrificing 
minister. His field was Armstrong and adjoining counties. He 
traveled some on horseback, but mostly afoot. He is said to have 
made two missionary journeys on foot to the State of Ohio. He 
went all kinds of weather, and when necessary swam the streams. 
He counted not his life dear unto himself. LTnder his earnest 
preaching, which he often emphasized by striking his Bible, many 
people were converted and baptized by him. He was called far 
and wide to officiate at funerals, for which calling he was peculiarly 


fitted. He was a rather slight-built man, very active, and it is 
but natural that so strenuous a life could not endure very long. He 
contracted a bronchial affection from which he died October 10, 
1856, aged 63 years, 1 month and 20 days. He was buried in the 
Cowanshannock cemetery. 

Here I quote from the Gospel Visitor of that time: "The day 
before his death he was in ordinary health, and occupied with 
such work as he still felt able to do. Though he suffered these 
twelve years, more or less, of bronchitis, he went to bed at his 
usual time without particularly complaining. About two o'clock 
he was taken with violent vomiting of blood, and before a light 
could be lit his spirit had fled and his body was a corpse." 

Their children were: Samuel, Peter, George, John, Annie 
(married Joseph Whitacre), and Catharine (married David Hel- 
man). All but Annie were members of the Church of the Breth- 
ren. Samuel was a minister in Cowanshannock. He moved to 
Ohio, and later to Peabody, Kansas, where he died in the Old Or- 
der church. John, a deacon, moved to Ohio and later to Indiana. 
Three of his sons, Isaac F., J. \V. and J. G., are ministers. George 
moved to Cherry Tree, Indiana County. Two of his sons, Isaiah 
and George S., were preachers. 

Of Elder George Rairigh's great grandsons three are in the 
ministry; viz., S. F. Rairigh, of Denton, Maryland, a son of Elder 
George S., Ralph Rarick, of Bethany Bible School, a son of Levi 
Rarick, and W. Carl, of Colfax, Indiana, a son of Elder J. W. Rar- 


James F. Ream, son of Garrett and Sarah (Horner) Ream, 
was born near Goshen, Indiana, August 25, 1858. About 1865 the 
family moved to Scalp Level, Pennsylvania, where James grew to 
manhood. His education was received in the public schools of that 
vicinity. In Garrett Ream's family were three sons: Jeremiah, of 
Quakertown, Pennsylvania, James F. and Alonzo E. (deceased). 
In his earlier years Brother Ream assisted his father in the mer- 
cantile business in Scalp Level. 

In 1882 Brother Ream and Sister Christina Holsopple. daugh- 
ter of Elder Jacob and Polly (Lehman) Holsopple, were united in 
marriage. To this union the following children were born, namely: 
Carrie, Ira, Emma, Verna, Roy, Ruth, Margaret, Florence, and 
Harold. Brother and Sister Ream I)egan housekeeping in Scalp 
Level, where for about twenty years he was engaged in the har- 
ness-making business. Later they lived a number of years at 
Quakertown, P>ucks County, Pennsylvania. The last few years 
they have resided on a farm in Indiana County, near Cramer. 


Brother Ream united with the Church of the Brethren in Scalp 
Level in 1882, being baptized by Elder Hiram Musselman. He at 
once began to be active in Sunday-school work at that place. He 
held almost every official position in Sunday-school from super- 
intendent down. He is a great lover of music, and has been a 
leader in song for many years. On July 4, 1893, he was elected to 
the ministry in the Shade Creek congregation, where he labored 
until 1908, when they moved from the congregation to Bucks 

Brother Ream has frequently represented his congregation at 
the District Meetings, and he was the treasurer of that meeting 
from the death of Hiram Lehman until he left the District. 


Samuel F. Reiman was born in Stony Creek Townsliip, Som- 
erset County, Pennsylvania, March 23, 1841. He was the oldest 
son of Jacob and Elizalieth (Fike) Reiman, to whom were born 
seven children. 

The earlier period of liis life was spent on his father's farm, 
during which time he took advantage of the educational privileges 
afforded by the common schools of his day. Later he attended 
some of the normal schools of the county and qualified himself for 
the work of teaching. 

On January 21, 1865, by Elder Daniel P. Walker, he was mar- 
ried to Miss Rebecca Schrock, daughter of Elder George and Su- 
san (Horner) Schrock, and sister of Elder W. G. Schrock. To 
this union were born Alvin H., who died in infancy; Mahlon S., 
married to Dillie V. Walker; Clara G., married to Elder J. J. 
Shaffer, died in 1913; George S., married to Emma E. Walker, and 
Elizabeth S. 

After his marriage he settled on a farm in Brothers Valley 
Township, Somerset County, where he resided until his death. 

Brother Reiman served the church a number of years, as dea- 
con, and in 1880 he was called to the ministry in the Brothers 
Vallej' congregation. In 1895 he was ordained to the eldership. 

As a public speaker Elder Reiman won no special distinction, 
but, generally speaking, it may be said of him that his thoughts 
were forceful, conclusive, and convincing, being the product of a 
heart overflowing with love for the souls of men. He possessed 
that true devotion to the principles of the church of his choice 
that comes only through the constant study of God's Word and a 
willingness to be guided by the Holy Spirit. In all his religious 
work he was sincere, believing that the true Christian should prac- 
tice what he preaches. To him pretense and outward show were 
only a " form of godliness," not having " the power thereof." To 



liim honor and fame were not the product of an ambitious life, but 
the reward of a life of sacrifice and humble service for the Master 
and the church. 

As a private citizen he was generous, almost to a fault, to 
those whom he considered worthy, and to every one in need he was 
always willing to extend the helping hand and a word of cheer 
and comfort. 

His two sons are deacons, and liis grandson, Ralph Reiman, 
is a young minister. Peacefully he passed out of this life on the 
morning of tlie 17th of February, 1897, and was buried in the Pike 
church cemetery. I'^ineral services were conducted by iCIdt-r Silas 

Ralpli WiilktT |{<-inian. 

Ralph W. Reiman, son of Deacon Mahlon S. and Dillie V. 
(Walker) Reiman, was born September 26, 1X<M, in Brothers Valley 
Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His sister, Ruth, was 
born December 1, 1900. Ralph is supplementing his common 
school education by attending Juniata College. He was called 
to the ministry in the Brothers Valley congregation, October 12, 
H>12, and installed in 1915. 



The history of Western Pennsylvania is closely interwoven 
with the history of Morrisons Cove, and the Yellow Creek church, 
which has been divided and subdivided until it includes nearly all 
the churches of Bedford and Blair Counties. The home of this 
church is now known as the New Enterprise church. Four of the 
leading and familiar family names of this church and settlement 
are the Replogles, Snowbergers, Snyders and Brumbaughs. 

Isaac B. Replogle, son of Daniel and Nancy (Brumbaugh) 
Replogle, was married in 1855, to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of 
Elder Andrew and Susan (Snyder) Snowberger. To this union 
were born nine children, the eighth of whom is the subject of this 
sketch. Harvey Snowberger Replogle was born near Waterside, 
Bedford County, Pennsylvania. September 27, 1871. He, with five 
brothers and one sister, was left motherless at the age of three 
years. Three years later his sister Barbara was married to Elder 
Levi F. Holsinger. They took little Harvey into their new home, 
and he remained with them until he was twenty-four years old. 

Harvey grew up on the farm and attended the public schools 
until he was eighteen years of age. A more studious and method- 
ical, and at the same time a more bashful boy was hard to find in 
his community. He was too bashful, or perhaps, tender-hearted, to 
say his " piece " in school. Once, when he had come into a cer- 
tain community to preach, a former schoolmate of his, living near 
the place of meeting, inade this remark: " I must go and hear him. 
I wonder whether he can get it said. In school he always pre- 
pared his piece but never got it said." While listening to the ser- 
mon she concluded that he was now able to testify for the Master. 

After leaving the public schools he attended several terms of 
local normal, after which we find him as a student in Juniata 
College, where he graduated from the normal English course in 
1896. He began teaching in 1890 and taught country schools, 
town schools, teachers' local normals, two terms in Derry High 
School, and six years as ward principal in the Johnstown schools. 
While following this profession he was always an earnest student 
and a conscientious teacher. 

During a revival, held in the New Enterprise church by Elder 
Jesse Calvert, he gave his heart to Christ and was baptized by 
Elder J. Z. Replogle, being at the time fifteen years old. He al- 
ways was a regular attendant at church and Sunday-school. Soon 
after his conversion he began to take an active part in educational 
meetings and literary societies, and then became active in the 
young people's meeting of the church. He soon showed ability 


as a speaker and was al\va3's very earnest in his manner of ad- 

On August 22, 18*96, only a few niontlis after liis liTaduation, 
he was called to the ministry by liis lionic coui^regation, and was 
installed the same day l)y Elder James A. Sell. Two weeks later, 
in the same church, he preached his Hrsl sermon, using the theme, 
" Conridence in God." He felt that the call was from the Lord, 
and it was his ambition to succeed in the holy calling. During the 
first year he preached thirty-six sermons. Since that time there 
has been no year in which he preached less than 100 sermons, 
while during some years he preached as many as 300. 

Elder Replogle has met with excellent success in the evan- 
gelistic field. The second year after his election he held his tirst 
revival meeting, in the Claar church, when forty-two confessed 
Christ. Since that time most of his vacation time while teaching 
was spent in evangelistic efforts. The Lord has blessed these ef- 
forts by bringing 1,078 souls to Christ. He was advanced to the 
second degree in the New Enterprise church, September, 1899, 
and ordained to the eldership in the I'lum Creek congregation, 
October 9, 1910. 

When pastors were few in Western I'ennsylvania he was 
called to be the pastor of the Morrollvi'lc church, W'cst Johns- 
town congregation, and served them two years. Then, after teach- 
ing one year, he was called to the pastorate of the Plum Creek 
and Glade Run churches, with residence at Plum Creek. He served 
those congregations nearly live years, when he accepted a call 
from the Scalp Level congregation to become its first pastor since 
it is a separate organization. He has been serving there the 
])ast three years. 

Tn 1904 he was married to Miss Josephine Arnold, who also is 
a graduate of Juniata College, who has been his faithful helper 
since that time in the busy pastoral life. His abi'ity as a Sunday- 
school worker has always been recognized in Western Pennsyl- 
vania, lie has been chairman of the association since its organ- 
ization, in 1910. He has served the District as Writing Clerk for 
six years. He is a member of the Home Mission Board, and the 
present secretary of the same; he is also president of the Bible 
Institute Committee. He represented Western Pennsylvania on 
the Standing Committee at the York Conference in 1912. 


Haddon Q. Rhodes, youn.gest son of Deacon Emanuel and 
Mary (Knavel) Rhodes, was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 
April 25, 1892. He was reared on the farm in Taylor Township. 



and received his education in the Johnstown public schools. He 
was received into the Pleasant Hill church of the Brethren by 
Brother J. H. Cassady in December, 1908. 

On March 17, 1912, he was united in marriage to Rosie Lybar- 
ger, daughter of Shannon Lybarger, of Hooversville, Pennsylva- 
nia, by Elder S. P. Zimmerman. He was elected to the min- 
istry in the West Johnstown congregation December 12, 1911, 
and installed the following year. Brother Rhodes felt the need 
of further preparation in order to become an efficient minister, 
so with his family he located in Huntingdon, in 1914, where he 
has been a student in Juniata College ever since. On his mother's 
side Brother Rhodes comes from one of the oldest Brethren fam- 
ilies on what is known as Benshoff Hill. The Knavels were among 
the early settlers in that community. 

Haddon Q. Rhodes. 


Jacob D. Ribblett was born May 10, 1836, in Conemaugh 
Township, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. Sabina Yeager was 
born March 7, 1841, near Greencastle, Lancaster County, Penn- 
sylvania, and came to Cambria County with her parents when 
thirteen years old. Jacob D. Ribblett and Sabina Yeager were 


married Maj' 15, 1859, by Elder Solomon llcnshoff, and in August, 
1862, both were baptized by the same minister. He was a farmer 
all his life and never indulged in tobacco or liquor. He was called 
to the office of deacon in the Conemaugh congregation in August, 
1864, and is still active in the office. Their home is near the 
Locust Grove (Giffin Hill) church. 

David C. Ribblett, their son, was born June 21, 1878. He was 
reared on the farm and given good school facilities. He united 
with the Johnstown congregation by baptism, in October, 1894. 
Some time in May, 1904, he was elected deacon, and on June 30, 
1904, he was called to the ministry. 


His grandfather, Richard Roberts, was a native of Wales, and 
located in Virginia, where he married and had a large family. His 
son, Joseph, born March 18, 1743 (O. S.), in the Woodcock Valley, 
Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, was massacred by the Indians. 
Joseph married Agnes Seabrooks, of Maryland. She died August 
24, 1833, aged 90 years, and is buried in the Angus graveyard, East 
Taylor Township. They oame to the Valley before the Revolution- 
ary War, and five of their children grew to maturity; viz., Richard, 
Nancy, Jemima, Mary, and Levi. 

Levi was born February 9, 1779, and died December 6, 1860, 
aged 81 years, 9 months and 27 days, and is buried in the Angus 
graveyard. Funeral was conducted by Lewis Cobaugh and others, 
from Rev. 22: 14. When Levi was two years old his father, Jo- 
seph, was cruelly murdered by the Indians. On November 19, 1799, 
he married Elizabeth Goughnour, daughter of David Gough- 
nour, of Bedford County. In 1803 he and his mother and his 
two brothers-in-law, Dimon and Shaffer, came to Cambria County 
and located on what is now known as the Angus farm, in East 
Taylor, which is about five miles north of Johnstown, on the 
Fbensburg road. Levi purchased a tract of land known as the 
" Vineyard," which had been warranted in the name of Reuben 
Gregg, and patented by Reuben Haynes, of Philadelphia. When 
Levi located here the forests abounded with wild animals, such 
as panthers, wolves, bears, deer, wildcats, foxes, etc. There was 
but one family, who lived about a mile from his cabin, and an- 
other at what is now Conemaugh, nearer than Johnstown. He 
had several children, but only three sons and three daughters 
lived to full age. Three of his sons and one daughter survived 
their father. The six children were: William, Nancy, Susannah, 
Sarah, Jacob and John. His son, John, who was born January 
17, 1818, and died in Franklin Borough, January 24, 1906, was 
elected sheriff of Cambria County in 1855, as a Democrat. 


In 1839 Levi sold his farm, and five years thereafter he went 
to Jefferson County, Iowa, and lived there with his children for 
several years, but returned to his old home before he died. 

Levi Roberts united with the Church of the Brethren in about 
1820, and was soon chosen to the office of deacon. In this office 
he served faithfully. 

While serving the church in that capacity he walked to the 
Casselman River (Elk Lick), a distance of about thirty miles, to 
visit some members and notify them of a love feast to be held 
in the Conemaugh church. The next day he walked home; then 
on the following clay he walked to Blacklick, to visit another fam- 
ily and notify them of the love feast to be held, and the next day 
he walked home again. On this occasion he was accompanied by 
Brother George Hildebrand, father of Elder David Hildebrand. 
They walked four days through the wild forest to pay their of- 
ficial visit to two families. 

After serving in the deacon's office acceptably about five j-ears, 
he was called to the ministrj^ in 1825. In this office he was as- 
sociated with Elders Jacob Stutzman, John Mineely and Samuel 
Lidy. He was ordained to the eldership in 1844. 

Elder Roberts was a prominent preacher of his day. He trav- 
eled far and wide in the interests of the Master's cause. It is said 
that he nearly always walked to his appointments. One time 
while on his way to the home of Philip Hoffman, beyond where 
the town of Scalp Level now is, he was overtaken by night, and it 
being too dark to travel he obtained a live coal and built a fire 
and camped for the night. The next morning he found that he 
was so near to the Hoffman farm that he could hear their rooster 
crowing. His labors extended over parts of Bedford, Somerset, 
Indiana and Armstrong Counties, besides his home county. 


Gideon Rogers was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, 
September 16, 1826. His father, Ellis Rogers, emigrated with his 
parents from York County at an early date. His mother's maiden 
name was Julia Rowzer. His parents were members of the Bap- 
tist Church, but his mother in her later years united with the 
Church of the Brethren. The Rogerses are of Scotch descent. 

Brother Rogers was the fifth of a family of eleven children. 
The opportunities to secure an education in those days were very 
meager. He had to go as far as two miles and more to attend 
a subscription school. However, naturally aspiring after knowl- 
edge, he stood well in his class, and by the time he attained man- 
hood he entered the ranks of the school-teacher for several years. 

His early piety is clearly shown by the fact that he united 



Gideon Kogrers. 

witli tlic church at the age of twenty-one years, being baptized by 
Elder Levi Roljerts. He was married to Miss Mary Ann Snyder 
October 25, 1849, by El^er Rol^erts. His wife also was a member 
of the church before their marriage. To this union were born two 
children, Elder Levi Rogers, who was the late elder of the Dun- 
nings Creek congregation, and Sister Barbara Callahan. 

On January 2, 1864, Gideon and John Rogers were elected to 
the ministry. He made good proof of his ministry. The Bible 
was his delight, and he used every spare moment in reading its 
sacred pages. His life reflected the teaching of the Great Teacher. 
In his preaching he was earnest and spiritual. 

Brother Rogers loved to think on, and converse about, the 
doctrine of the resurrection. The second coming of Christ was 
also a favorite theme of his. His life was a blessing to all with 
whom he associated. His last words were: "I am now going 

He was never a strong man physically, and died in his .sixty- 
first year of that dread disease, consumption. 


Elder Levi Rogers. 


Levi Rogers was born at Alum Bank, Bedford County, Penn- 
sylvania, September 7, 1854. He was the only son of Elder Gideon 
and Mary Ann (Snyder) Rogers. His only sister, Barbara, was 
first married to Robert Callahan, a deacon, and is the second wife 
of Abraham Fyock, the present elder of the Dunnings Creek con- 

Brother Rogers was reared on his father's farm, and farm- 
ing was his occupation all his life. He received a fairly good edu- 
cation and was one of the leading citizens in his community. 
Brother Rogers was blessed with a fine physique and strong 
physical powers, and those who saw him at the late Conference 


at Hershej^ never could believe that in a little more than a month 
his race would be run. Tall and towering above his fellows, he yet 
was humble and unassuming as a little child. He emulated the 
good traits of a noble parentage. 

Brother Rogers was twice married. On Septcml>er 9, 1875, he 
was married to Jane Smith. To this union were born five children. 
This wife and children are all deceased except one son, Sewell. 
His second companion was Elizabeth Walter, who with three 
children survives. Elder John S. Holsinger officiated at both 
marriage ceremonies. It will be seen that Brother Rogers suf- 
fered many bereavements and experienced many sorrows. 

Levi united with the church in 1875, being baptized by Elder 
Brice Sell. He was called to the ministry in the Dunnings Creek 
congregation, June 13, 1885, and soon afterward advanced to the 
second degree of the ministry. On October 15, 1901, he was or- 
dained to the eldership. Ever since the death of the senior elder, 
John B. Miller, October 27, 1912, Brother Rogers has had the 
oversight of the church. Elder Rogers was prompt and active 
in his church work, and his labors extended beyond the borders 
of his home congregation. No accurate record of his official serv- 
ices at funerals, marriages and baptisms was found, but his min- 
istrations upon such occasions were eagerly sought far and wide. 

Living in the extreme eastern part of our large District made 
it laborious for him to attend the various meetings of the District, 
yet he was usually present upon these occasions, and frequently in 
the capacity of delegate. 

He served his District on the Standing Committee at the 
Winona Lake Conference in 1913. He also acted on other com- 
mittees, and was a member of the " Old Folks' Home " project 
at the time of his death. 

The following incident, which took place at our last District 
Meeting, shows the character of the man: When the rebaptism 
question was ready to go before the delegates for final decision. 
Elder Joseph Holsopple, an octogenarian, arose and wanted to 
make a speech on the question. The Moderator kindly informed 
him that the time for the discussion of the question was passed 
and that he was ready to put it on its passage. It was then that 
Elder Rogers arose, and in his kindly way begged that the old 
veteran of the cross should be allowed to give his speech, at the 
same time saying that it might be the last District Meeting he. 
would be able to attend. Little did any one think then that that 
was Elder Rogers' last District Meeting. 

Elder Rogers died at the Nasbn Hospital. Roaring Spring, 
Pennsylvania, where he was taken to undergo an operation for 
stomach trouble, July 14, 1915, aged 60 years, 10 months and 7 


days. The funeral services, which were largely arranged for by 
himself, just before going upon the operating table, were fully 
carried out. Elder A. G. Crosswhite was assisted in the funeral 
services by Elder C. B. Smith, of Kansas, and the home ministers. 
The text used was 2 Tim. 1: 12, and interment was made in the 
Dunnings Creek cemetery. 


William H. Rummel was born March 28, 1873, near the pres- 
ent town of Jerome, in the Quemahoning congregation, Cone- 
maugh Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. He is a son 
of David and Elizabeth (Grady) Rummel, and his brothers and 
sisters are: AUameda, John W., Kate A., Herman A., Sarah M. 
(deceased), Maggie J., David A., Samuel C. (deceased), Mary A., 
Elmer F., Lucy P. (deceased), and Elsie V. John W., Herman A., 
David A. and Elmer F. are deacons in the Church of the Breth- 
ren. The parents are residing in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. 

Brother Rummel was reared on the farm and was given such 
school privileges as circumstances permitted, but the requirements 
of a large family on a farm usually cut his school terms short at 
both ends. He made use of the church and Sunday-school privi- 
leges afforded at the Maple Spring church. 

In the winter of 1890 the family moved to the eighth ward 
of the city of Johnstown (then Roxbury), and the sons yet at 
home and who were old enough, had to work at public works. 
It was then that \\'illiam began to work for the Cambria Steel 
Company, in the axle plant department, working there about fif- 
teen years. 

During this time he became acquainted with Mary C. Beegh- 
ley, daughter of Jacob and Catharine (Speicher) Beeghley, of 
Maryland, and was united to her in marriage by Albert U. Berk- 
ley. Locating in Roxbury, they resided there until 1902, when 
they bought and moved onto a farm in Upper Yoder Township 
and have since been engaged in farming. 

During a series of meetings, held in the Maple Spring church 
in January, 1888, by Elder D. H. Walker, he accepted Christ as his 
personal Savior, and was baptized in Bens Creek by Elder S. P. 
Zimmerman. In Roxbury he took an active part in Sunday-school 
work, being superintendent, as well as teacher at times. On Oc- 
tober 24, 1899, he was elected deacon in the West Johnstown 
congregation; December 12, 1911, he was called to the ministry, 
and about a year later was advanced to the second degree. In this 
position he is faithfully serving the church, and at present is par- 
tially-supported pastor and assuming part of the responsibility of 


the Viewmont church of the Urctlircn in the West Johnstown con- 
gregation. He is an active Sunday-school worker. 
(Portrait on Page 199.) 


Christian Schmucker was born May 8, 1801. He was of Ger- 
man descent. When a young man he was married to Mary Ann 
Miller, daughter of Abraham Miller, of Somerset County. Seven 
sons and four daughters were born to this union. Brother and 
Sister Schmucker were among the charter members of the Que- 
mahoning church. In their home the cliurch services were regu- 
larly held every thirty-six weeks, or nine months, and the entire, 
gathering was served with a free dinner. The horses also were 
given a good meal. There are no data at hand to tell us when 
he was elected to the ministry. According to John Kline's diarj' 
(page 343) he was ordained at Michael Forney's home during a 
love-feast season. May 28, 1854, by John Kline and James Quin- 
ter. He did not live long after he was in the full ministry, one 
authority saying he died December 27, 1853, and another, in 1854, 
which must be correct, according to Elder Kline. His age is given 
as 52 years, 7 months and 19 days. 

Elder Sclimucker practiced a method of curing for consumii- 
tion by means of nine twigs cut from that many kinds of fruit 
trees, dropped in a spring that flows toward sunrise. In connec- 
tion he would read a portion of Scripture, and ofifer up a fervent 
prayer in behalf of the patient. The efficacy of the cure was testi- 
fied to l)y some of the patients. 

He died on the farm where he had reared his family. He died 
very suddenly of ])aralysis, and was buried in the family Inirying 

His chihlren were: Peter, Rachel Dickey, Elizabeth Saylor, 
Joseph, a deacon in the Quemahoning congregation many years, 
Jacob, Noah, Aaron, Isaiah, Mary, and Lydia Usaw. Many of his 
descendants are members of the Church of the l>rethren, and sev- 
eral are deacons. 


By His Son, William (i. Schrock. 

Elder George Schrock, a prominent citizen and well-known 
farmer in B>rothers X'alley Township, was born in 1816 and died 
in 1893. He could trace his ancestry for four generations back to 
Switzerland, where his great-grandfather was born. The latter mi- 
grated to America and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 
atjout the year 17(X). 


From this family came two sons, Casper and John, who set- 
tled near Berlin in 1765. From these two sons' families sprang 
all or perhaps nearly all of the Schrocks in Somerset County. 
Their names appeared as late as 1796 on the tax list for Brothers 
Valley Township. Casper Schrock, grandfather of the subject of 
this notice, lived on a farm some distance north of Berlin. From 
this large family came Christian Schrock, father of Elder George 
Schrock. Nearly all the Schrocks then north of Berlin and Stony 
Creek can be traced to this family. 

Christian, one of the sons of Casper Schrock, was born in 
1780 and died in 1847. He was married to Franie Good, who was 
born in 1789 and died in 1880, aged 91 years. To this union were 
born four sons and five daughters. All lived and died in the faith 
of the Church of the Brethren. They settled on the farm now 
owned by Emanuel L. Knepper, and forged out a home for them- 
selves in the heavily-timbered forests that covered all this vast sec- 
tion of country at that time. 

Elder George Schrock, one of the sons ^nd the subject of this 
special notice, came from the above named family and was born 
in 1816 near Berlin, Pennsylvania. In 1838 he was united in mar- 
riage to Susan Horner, daughter of David Horner, near Meyers- 
dale. To this union was born one son, William G., and one daugh- 
ter, Rebecca, who was married to Elder S. F. Reiman. They lived 
two years in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, but returned 
in 1840 and occupied the old Schrock homestead, where he con- 
tinued farming up to 1851, when he was called to the ministry. 
Several years prior to this he served the church in the deacon of- 
fice. He proved faithful to his high calling and became a willing 
and able worker and expounder of the Word of God. He was soon 
promoted and in 1880 ordained to the full ministry. In 1865 he was 
bereft of his companion by death, and several years later was unit- 
ed in marriage to Sister Sarah Horner, who outlived him by a few 

Elder Schrock had few advantages to gain more than a lim- 
ited education. He was, however, a lover of books and accumu- 
lated quite a library, and was able to read well, both in the English 
and German languages. He had large natural ability and a strong 
inclination for literature. He patronized our church literature from 
the beginning, books and papers brought out by the Church of 
the Brethren. His first wife was a splendid reader in either lan- 
guage. By a constant course of reading and study he had gained 
for himself a rare stock of useful information. His natural ability, 
strong memory, and great love for the Bible served him well when 
he took up the work of the ministry. Another advantage he pos- 
sessed ^bove many others was his strong, clear voice, both in song 


and in the pulpit. He spoke freely and at times fluently without 
strain or even notes, in the German language. It was the pre- 
vailing language throughout the Glades up to 1880. 

During the prime of his life his preaching was in good de- 
mand at home and abroad. He solemnized many marriages, con- 
ducted most of the funerals in his congregation, and often in the 
adjoining churches, and sometimes for other denominations. In 
his best days he represented the church, year after year, in Annual 
Meeting, as well as in the home State District. 

At last, when age and falling health came, lie rt'<|ucsted to be 
relieved and the work of the Master committed to younger breth- 
ren, to care for and watch over the flock. He passed away peace- 
fully to his reward, January 25, 1894, aged 11 years. Father Schrock 
was laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery at Brotherton. Serv- 
ices were conducted bj^ Elders Daniel Stauffer and Valentine 
Blough in the presence of an overflowing audience of friends and 


John C. Schrock was born on a farm near Berlin, Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania, July 23, 1818. His parents were Christian 
and Fanny Schrock. He was reared on the farm and that was his 
lifelong occupation. His education was in the German language. 

He was married to Lydia Saylor. They moved to the Middle 
Creek congregation, Somerset Township, where he was elected to 
the ministry, when he was about forty years of age. He never 
traveled much outside of his home county, his labors being con- 
fined principally to his home congregation. He was a very pious 
brother, and a good neighbor and father. He died in 18^3 at the 
age of 75 years, and is buried in the Summit cemetery. 


Elder W. G. Schrock was born March 27, 1840, near Donegal, 
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He is one of a family of 
two children, a son and a daughter of Elder George and Susan 
(Horner) Schrock. His sister, Rel)ecca, was married to Elder 
Samuel F. Rfeiman. 

His descent can be traced back five generations to Switzer- 
land, to his great-great-grandfather, who emigrated to Lancaster 
County, Pennsylvania, about 1700. Brother Schrock was brought 
up on the farm now owned by his son-in-law, iMnanucl L. Knep- 
per, and was educated in the common schools of Brothers Valley 
Township, with six terms in the normal schools of Berlin, then con- 
ducted by the county superintendents. He taught school a number 
of terms and attained to the rank of a professiotial teacher. 



Elder William G. Schrock. 

In 1860 he was united in marriage to Rebecca Walker, daugh- 
ter of Elder Daniel P. Walker, and to this union was born one 
daughter, Emma S., married to E. L. Knepper. To them also was 
born one son, Lewis S., married to Grace Hay Berkley. He grad- 
uated from Juniata College and is a minister in the Brothers Val- 
ley congregation. His daughter, Emma, also took a select course 
in the same school. 

Brother Schrock was elected to the ministry in the fall of 
1880, and was soon advanced to the second degree. He now felt 
the need of a greater preparation in the higher branches and Ian- 


guages. To tliis end he spent sonic time in Juniata College, where 
he acquired ability to read and study the I'.ible, not only in the 
English, but also to some extent in German, Latin and Greek. 

Brother Schrock was advanced to the eldership in 1895, and 
then took charge of the Brothers Valley congregation for a num- 
])er of years and lately resigned in favor of Elder D. H. Walker. 
He left the church in peace and good working order. 

Nearly fifty years ago Brethren Schrock and Lewis J. Knepper 
organized the first Sunday-school in the Brothers Valley congre- 
gation, at the Pike, and became the first superintendents. Now 
the church has four evergreen schools, with good interest in each. 

In 1895 the reorganized Home Mission Board of Western 
Pennsylvania elected Elder Schrock chairman, which position 
he held six years. He was nearly always identified with progres- 
sive movements in his community as well as in the District. He 
was writing clerk of the District Meeting ten times, besides serv- 
ing on a numl)er of committees. According to the church record 
l^.lder Sclirock served his church as delegate to Annual and Dis- 
trict Meetings thirty-three times. He had a strong inclination 
to read nearly every ])ai)cr and l)0()k on liis reading table and in 
his private library, which at one time numbered over a thou- 
sand \()lumes. 

Elder Schrock gave most of his time and confined his labors 
in the ministry to his home church. He took his place on the min- 
isterial program, kept a lifelong diary, and for thirty-five years 
could locate every place, text, theme and date of every sermon 
lie preaclied. The record gives nearly 1.000 sermons from 140 
topics. In his younger and best days he had his full share of the 
work in liis home church, preaching funerals, solemnizing thirty- 
five marriages, and doing his share of visiting the sick and afflicted. 
He wrote some forty articles for our cliurch papers, mostly for 
the Christian Eamily Companion, the first weekly paper. 

Brother Schrock was a noted traveler throughout the United 
States, and visited nearly all the large cities, from Boston, on the 
Atlantic, to the Golden Gate, on the Pacific. His last long trip 
to Seattle and the coast States covered nearly 8,000 miles. He 
has reached his'seventy-fifth milestone, and is yet well preserved, 
both in body and mind. 


Isaac Sccrist, sixth child of John and listher Secrist, was born 
in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, I"\d)ruary 6, 1844. The par- 
ents were of German descent, having moved from Huntingdon 
County soon after their marriage. For several generations back 
his ancestors were members of the P.rethren. Mother Secrist took 


much pleasure in telliug how the meetings used to be held at her 
father's place every twelve weeks. When Isaac was yet young 
meetings were held in his father's home, and among the ministers 
to preach there was Joseph Shumaker. Robert Whitacre also 
preached in the Secrist settlement. Isaac had a pretty fair com- 
mon school education in the English language. It is thought, 
however, that in the home the Dutch was used. 

He was united in marriage to Sallie Ann Whitacre, daughter 
of Robert Whitacre, May 17, 1866, by Alexander Jewart, J. P. The 
first five years after marriage they lived in the above-named coun- 
ty. After that he purchased a house and lot in Indiana County, 
where he carried on a harness and shoemaking establishment. 
About eight years later he bought a small tract of land, and farmed 
some in summer and worked at his trade in winter. One son was 
born into the home, but he died in infancj-. 

Isaac and his brother, Caleb, were baptized at a June love 
feast at the old Manor church when the former was about thirty 
years of age. He served the church in the capacity of deacon for 
some years, and June 23, 1882, he was elected to the ministry, and 
advanced to the second degree June 16, 1883. He labored in the 
Manor congregation until 1890, when he moved to Armstrong 
County to take charge of the Cowanshannock church, and was 
installed its pastor by Elder J. C. Johnson. Here he labored until 
March 14, 1893, when he moved back again to the Manor church, 
and took his turns in filling the pulpit at Crooked Creek, Pur- 
chase Line and old Manor. His health was now failing, so he 
could do but very little, having had one hemorrhage during the 

He attended one term of Juniata P)iblc study. This put new 
energy and zeal into him, but he felt that he had not gone early 
enough. He was active in church and Sunday-school work. His 
mode of travel was usually on foot. 

A short time before his death he walked to the old Manor 
church, a distance of eight miles, to preach and teach a Sunday- 
school class of twelve. He also had a class at Crooked Creek, and 
in order to teach it in the afternoon he walked back without din- 
ner. He had not much more than begun his best ministerial 
work when the Master called him up higher. He is not known 
to have made a disappointment. The weather was all right at all 
times. Sunday-school was his specialty. 

He died September 16, 1893, aged 49 years, 7 months and 10 
days. Funeral at Crooked Creek, a ten-minute walk from his resi- 
dence. Elders Mark Minser and Joseph Holsopple officiated, as- 
sisted by others. Interment was made at the same place. 



William Sevits was born (1812) and reared in Stony Creek 
Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. He was a son of Ben- 
jamin and Catharine Sevits. He was brought up in the faith of 
the United Brethren Church. At the age of twenty-three (1835) 
he was married to Barbara Miller. They united with the church 
and in the course of some years he was called (probably in the 
fifties) to the ministry in the old Berlin church. In 1880 he and 
George Schrock were ordained to the full ministry. 

Being a man that appreciated his home very much he never 
traveled much outside of his home congregation. He was a faith- 
ful home preacher, and had a deep concern for the welfare of the 
church. He was contemporary with l'"lders Jacob Blough, John 
P. Cober, Daniel P. Walker, and George Schrock, for whom he 
had a great attachment. Indeed, it is said that his attachment to 
Elder Blough was so great that he asked to be buried side by 
side with him in the Blough-Forney cemetcrA-, in preference to 
being buried in a church cemetery. And so the two old elders who 
labored so faithfully and peaceably together for so many years, 
with their faithful companions, are sleeping their long sleep side 
by side, in a country graveyard, on a beautiful rise, on the edge of 
a nice woods, about a mile from the old Grove meetinghouse, 
where was the center of tlieir church activities. Flder John 
Forney's body sleeps in the same cemetery. These old pioneers of 
the cross labored and built lictter tlian tliey knew. Today we are 
reaping the fruits of their laliors. ICldcr Sevits died in 1889, at the 
age of 11 years, l-'uneral services were conducted by Elder D. H. 


Daniel 1). Shatter, fifth son of Deacon David J. and Rachel 
(Holsopple) Shatifer, was born where the town of Windl)er is now 
located, in Paint Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, l-'eb- 
ruary 8, 1868. 

He was reared on the farm, but his father also operated a 
sawmill and ])laning-mill, and many of Daniel's younger days 
were passed in the woods and in the mill. 15eing naturally some- 
what of a genius, he enjoyed working about machinery. He also 
learned the carpenter trade. As there was always much work dur- 
ing the winter he received only an ordinary common school edu- 
cation, though he was a diligent pupil when in school. 

May 7, 1889, he was married to Miss Marilla Grush. To this 
union were born six children. A year or two after their marriage 
both united with the church, and in 1893 he, with James V. Ream 
and J. J. Shafifcr, was called to the ministry. Brother ShafTer 


was a close student of the Scriptures, and took up the work of the 
ministry with commendable zeal, preaching not only from the pul- 
pit, but privately he made use of every opportunity to persuade 
men to lead a Christian life. By nature he was kind and gener- 
ous, ever ready to help others. His mother, who is an octo- 
genarian, put it this way: " Daniel was always a good boy." 

While working at his trade he had a fall from a building, from 
which he never fully recovered. His mind also was somewhat 
affected. He died December 6, 1900, aged only 32 years, 9 months 
and 28 days. He is buried in the Berkey cemetery. 


The subject of this brief sketch was born in Thornton, West 
Virginia, April 5, 1856, and has lived practically all his life in West 
Virginia. His parents' names were J. P. and Elizabeth Shaffer. 
The father is dead. Brotlier Shaffer's education was confined to 
the public schools. 

Brother Shaffer has buried two wives and is married the third 
time. Five children have come to bless his home, of which num- 
ber three are deceased. 

In his early church life he was affiliated with the Methodists 
and the U. B. Church. He was baptized into the Mount Union 
church of the Brethren at Morgantown, West Virginia, October 
12, 1912, and in February, 1913, he was elected to the ministry, 
and advanced to second degree in 1915. Brother Shaffer has re- 
sided in Morgantown the past five years. He is affiliated with the 
various auxiliaries of the church. 


Joseph J. Shaffer was born and reared on a farm in the Shade 
Creek congregation, two miles east of Hooversville, Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania. His parents were Deacon Hiram and 
Frances (Berkebile) Shaffer. Joseph early manifested a desire for 
an education. By means of the Summer Normals he fitted him- 
self for teaching. He united with the church at the age of four- 
teen, and on July. 4, 1893, when twenty years of age, he was called 
to the ministry in the Shade Creek congregation. After his call 
to the ministry he attended Juniata College, graduating in the nor- 
mal English course in 1896. He took some postgraduate work in 
1897. All these years he took special Bible study. 

While in college he did some preaching at Tyrone, Warriors 
Mark and Ardenheim, of which Prof. Swigart had charge. In the 
autumn of 1898 he accepted the pastorate of the Coventry church, 
the second oldest church in America, being the first pastor of that 
church. After a year at Coventry he returned to the Shade con- 


gregation and was principal of tlie Windber schools two years. 
During this period he also preached for the Shade Creek congre- 
gation. It was also during this period that he and Miss Clara 
Grace Reinian, daughter of Elder S. F. Reiman, of Brothers Val- 
ley, were married. 

After residing a short while in Hooversville they located on 
a farm near Berlin, in the Brothers Valley congregation. He was 
called to be the first pastor of the Shade Creek congregation, 
serving from March 2, 1907, to April 6, 1909. While here he was 
ordained to the eldership in 1908. Since 1909 they have lived in 
tlieir present home. Here December 7, 1913, sadly, unfortunately, 
and unexpectedly his companion, who was his good colaborer in 
the Lord's work, was called away by death, leaving three sons 
and three daughters. In June, 1915, he was married to Elizabeth 
Reiman, his former companion's sister. 

Beginning with 1896, Elder Shaffer has done extensive evan- 
gelistic work, and when not engaged in pastoral work he held as 
many series of meetings a year as he could — one year as many as 
eight. His evangelistic work was done in Pennsylvania, Virginia. 
West Virginia, ( )lii(), Maryland and Iowa. Through his efforts 
many were 1)r()uglit into the cliurcli — as many as 100 in one year. 
He held thirty series of nu'clings in and around Morrison's Cove. 
At some i)oints he held the tliird meeting and has l)een asked to 

Elder Shafifer is a regular attendant at all the various meetings 
of the District and frequently fills important offices of the same. 
His services have been mucli in demand as secretary. He repre- 
sented his District on the Standing Committee at the Harrison- 
burg, Virginia, and Seattle (Washington) Conferences. He has 
been a member of the Home Mission Board for a number of years, 
and eight years he was president of the same. He is at present 
president of the temperance committee of the District. 

Several years he did much of the preaching in the Berlin con- 
gregation, having had charge of the congregation in 1911 and 1912. 
He is now assistant elder of the Markleysburg congregation. 


Professor L. G. ShafTer was born near Hooversville, Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania, April 11. 1877. His parents are Gillian and 
Caroline Shaffer. His mother's maiden name was Caroline 
Berkey, daughter of Elder Joseph Bcrkey, one of the early minis- 
ters of the Western District of Pennsylvan'a. 

i'.rother Shaffer shared with his four brothers and seven sis- 
ters the hardsliii)S of early life on the farm, and altendcd the i)ul)- 


Prof. Lewis G. Shaffer, Wife and Child. 

lie schools in the winter. He was the first pupil to graduate from 
the common schools of Paint Township, graduating in 1894, receiv- 
ing his diploma from the county superintendent, Prof. J. M. 
Berkey. During the summer of 1894 he attended a select school, 
received his first teachers' certificate and began teaching, and has 
taught every term of school since, except the w^inter of 1898-99, 
when he was attending the Indiana State Normal School, from 
which institution he graduated with honors in 1899. He shared the 
honor with but one classmate in completing the three years' 
course of nine terms in but five terms. 

Professor Shafifer has been a principal of schools in the city 
of Johnstown for twelve years, and is now head of the largest 
common schools in the city, where the attendance is 800 pupils. 

Brother Shaffer was twice married. He married Miss Addie 
Hofifman, daughter of Brother Daniel and Sister Mary (Kauf- 
man) Hofifman, March 30, 1902. His first wife died June 13, 1904. 
On June 2, 1907, he married Miss Daisy M. Hofifman, a sister to 


his first wife. He was baptized wlien he was hut eleven years old, 
in 1888, and on June 19, 1900, he was elected to the ministry in 
the Shade Creek congregation, and later advanced to the second 
degree. For a number of years he shared with the other minis- 
ters of the Shade Creek congregation in filling the pulpits of the 
home congregation. 

When he moved to Jolmstown to take up his scliool work, he 
was called on by the Windber churcli to do all the preaching 
there, which he did, twice each Sunday, for nearly three years, in 
connection with his principalship in the schools. He now is prin- 
cipal of the Meadowvale schools, Johnstown, of twenty-two teach- 
ers, teaches his classes during the day, as well as three nights of 
night school during the week, and preaches regularly in the Johns- 
town congregation. 


Samuel U. Shol)er, oldest son of George W. and Leah (Berk- 
ley) Shober, was born April 7, 1853, one mile west of Beachdale, 
Brothers Valley Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. He is 
a grandson of Jacob and Catharine (Cable) Shober, the former 
being of Swiss parentage. 

George W. Shober was born in Berlin, Pennsylvania, Septem- 
lier 15, 1826, and when yet a small boy went with his parents to 
Armstrong County. When George was nine years old, his father, 
Jacob Shober, broke through and fell into a well and was drowned. 
After this George was cared for by Brother Tobias Kimmel until 
he was almost matured. He was educated in the subscription 
schools of his day and followed teaching. He also learned the 
fuller's trade. On January 25, 1852, he was married to Leah, 
daughter of Solomon and Catharine (Boyer) Berkley. G. W. 
Shober died June 15, 1897. His widow is still living at the ad- 
vanced age of eighty-three years. 

Elder S. U. Shober obtained his intellectual training in the 
common schools of Brothers Valley Township, and Berlin Normal. 
At the age of fifteen he began teaching, and taught five winter 
terms. During the summer he assisted his father on the farm. 

On September 26,^1872, he was married to Sarah Ellen Kim- 
mel, daughter of Daniel and Emeline (Landis) Kimmel, Elder 
Michael Weyand officiating. Miss Kimmel was born September 

19, 1855. Both her parents were born in Stony Creek Township, 
in 1829. on May 22, and April 3, respectively, and were members 
of the Church of the Brethren. Brother Kimmel died February 

20, 1902. Sister Kimmel still lives, and is in her eighty-seventh 

A few years after his marriage r>rolhor Sholier l)()ught a farm 


Elder Samuel U. 81i<iber and Wife. 

in Brothers \'alley Township. After nine years he sold out and 
l)OUght a farm in Somerset Township, and continued farming ever 
since. He is a representative citizen and progressive farmer. He 
has also held public positions, such as school director, county 
auditor three years, county commissioner six years, and other 
minor offices. 

Elder Shober was partly reared in the Church of the Brethren, 
and partly in the Reformed Church, and at the age of sixteen, on 
Ascension Day, 1869, he was baptized i)y Elder Ephraim Cober, 
at Beachdale, with fifteen others. He was elected deacon in the 
Brothers Valley congregation, January 1, 1880, and, with his wife, 
installed the same day. On November 6, 1897, he was called to 
the ministry, and installed December 18, 1897. He was advanced 
to the second degree of the ministry, November 13, 1898, and or- 
dained to the eldership October 3, 1908, and is serving his con- 
gregation in the ministry at five different points, with the other 
ministers of the congregation. From 1906 to 1912 Elder Shober 
had the oversight of the Bolivar congregation; he was also a 
member of the District Mission Board some years. 


David F. Shumaker, son of Abraham and Mahala (Snyder) Shu- 
maker, was born in Meyersdale, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, 
December 9, 1858. His brothers and sisters are: Alex. E. (de- 
ceased), M. A., Henry J., Edward L. (deceased), Charles, Ellen 
(married U. M. Housel) and Amanda (Kneream) (deceased). The 
Shumakers trace their ancestry to Germany. His Grandmother 
Snyder, who was a Miss Nicholson, was of English descent. Broth- 


cr Shuniakcr is an uncle of Sister Ida Shumaker, missionary to 
India. Elder Adam 1<". Snyder was his grandfather. 

l'"or thirty-one years Brother Shumaker was a miller b}' trade, 
operating in a number of the best mills in the southern part of 
Somerset County. On account of being apprenticed when young 
his education was much neglected. Meyersdale and vicinity was 
his home until 1906, when the family moved to Moxhani, Johns- 
town, Pennsylvania, w^here they have since resided. For the past 
ten years he has been an employe of the Loraine Steel Company. 

David 1''. Shumaker and Sister Emma J. Miller, daughter of 
Manasseh and Eliza (Lint) Miller, of Meyersdale, were united in 
marriage February 2, 1882. Sister Shumaker united with the church 
when fifteen years old and has always been an active member. 
Brother Shumaker became a member in October of 1887. While 
living at Rockwood, in the Middle Creek congregation, he was 
called to the deacon office in 1897. He was called to the ministrj' 
in the Johnstown congregation on June 2, 1910, and advanced July 
23, 1913. 

To Brother and Sister Shumaker were l)orn the following 
children: Nellie Maud, who died at the age of twenty; Harvey 
W., and Gilbert A. The whole family is active in church and 
Sunday-school work. Both sons are deacons in the Johnstown 

(Portrait on Page 177.) 


Joseph Shumaker, son of Philip and Elizabeth (Rose) Shu- 
maker, was born April 19, 1819. He was married to Catharine 
Baughman May 26, 1840. Their children were: Hannah, Isaac, 
David, Adam, Maria, Elizabeth, Solomon, Levi, Mary, an infant 
son, Daniel and John W. Joseph Shumaker died December 17, 
1860, less than three months after his youngest son was born, at 
the age of 41 years, 8 months and 8 days. The oldest child, Han- 
nah, was but nineteen years of age. Thus the rearing of the familj' 
devolved largely on the widow, who lived till September 14, 1914, 
dying at the advanced age of 92 years, 6 months and 13 days. 
Brother Shumaker had but a very poor common school to go to 
for his education. The schoolhouse was a log structure. 

He was elected to preach in 1841, when quite a young man. 
Here is a quotation from Elder Joseph Holsopple: "Joseph Shu- 
maker was gifted and a natural elocutionist. He was a model 
preacher and labored very acceptably, and was ordained to the 
eldership, but died in the early sixties of the past century. The 
writer remembers seeing him at a love feast in the Shade con- 


gregation in September, 1860. In the morning he preached from 
the first chapter of Hebrews, subject, ' The Dignity of the Son 
of God.' He seemed to select an individual in the rear of the 
audience and modulated his voice to reach him. So natural was 
his elocution that a certain young man afterwards remarked to me, 
' The preacher talked to me all the time.' The early demise of 
Elder Shumaker was a great loss to the Red Bank congregation 
and also to the Brotherhood in general." 

From a letter from his son, S. T. Shumaker, I quote: " I know 
this much, the Bible he carried to preach from was German and 
Fnglish, and I know he could read either language, as I often 
heard him. I think he preached as it suited his congregation, either 
German or English. I have been at quite a lot of places in Arm- 
strong County where he preached in farmhouses and barns, as 
there were no churches. My father gave his life for the church. 
He would ride horseback forty miles to a place called the Cherry 
Tree, where he preached. He called it The Wilderness. Father 
preached most every Sunday. He died young, l)ut he got his sick- 
ness from exposure." Funeral preached 1)y Elder John Good- 
man, from John 12: 26. 

An interesting history of the Shumaker family might be writ- 
ten if we had the space. It is said that seven brothers came from 
Germany about 1770, and first settled in Virginia, presumably in 
Loudoun County. Their names were: John, Solomon, Adam, 
George, Simon, Samuel and Daniel. At least two of these broth- 
ers, John and George, moved to Western Pennsylvania. John set- 
tled in