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Old Paxtang Church, 




SEPTEMBER 18, 1890. 

Mathias Wilson McAlarney. 




' D-D 

Harrlsburg Daily Telegraph 
Job Print. 


Pastors of Paxtang, H 

Committees of the Churches, 18 

Programme, 20 

The Celebration, 29 

lavocation by Rev. Dr. Ebenezer Erskine, 37 

Scripture Lesson — Rev. Eugene L. Mapes, 39 

Address of "Welcome — Rev. Albert B. Williamson, 43 

Historical Address — William H. Egle, M. D., 51 

" Presbyterianism in this Region" — Rev. William A. West, - . 95 

Address of General George R. Snowden, 121 

From the Churches — Rev. Robert Cochrane, Olivet, 131 

Rev. John L. McKeehan, Steelton, 135 

Rev. George S. Duncan, Westminister, .... . . 140 

Rev. I. Potter Hayes, Covenant, 143 

Rev. George S. Chambers, D. D., Pine Street, .... 150 

Rev. Reuben H. Armstrong, Elder Street, ...... 155 

Rev. John H. Groflf, Middletown, 162 

Rev. Francis M. Baker, Dauphin, 166 

Rev. George B. Stewart, Market Square, 171 

Address of Mr. Joshua Williams, 181 

"Characteristics of Early Presbyterians" — Address of Rev. Dr. 

Nathan Grier Parke, 189 

"Importance of the Country Church" — Address of Governor 

James A. Beaver, 201 

Address of Colonel Francis Jordan, 214 

Address of Rev. James Elder, p. D., 216 

Letter of Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Robinson, 221 

An Interesting Reminiscence, 224 

Rev. John Elder's Ordination Sermon, 229 

2 Table of Contents. 

Deed to Paxtang Glebe, 237 

Master Allen's School, 257 

Marriages by Rev. Joha Elder, 1744-1791, 260 

Marriages by Rev. John Roan, 1754-1775, 268 

Marriages by Rev. Jam ^s R. Sharon, 1807-1839, 277 

Baptisms by Rev. James R. Sharon, 281 

Communions iu Paxtang, 1807-1839 286 

Dismissions from Paxtang, 1807-1839, 290 

Deaths in Paxtang Congregation, 1807-1839. 292 

Tombstone inscriptions in the Graveyard, . . . ... 294 

Biographical Notes, 329 

Present Organization and Membership, 344 



There were three important outposts of education, 
patriotism, and religion estabhshed in what is now 
Dauphin county and along the Indian frontier in the 
early years of the Eighteenth Century, by the Scotch- 
Irish Presbyterians — Derry, Paxtang, and Hanover. 

Derry Church was thus described by Dr. William H. 
Egle in his " History of Pennsylvania," in 1876 : 

"On the line of the Lebanon Valley railroad, at 
Derry station, stands a weather-beaten log edifice, 
erected as early as 1729, the congregation having been 
organized previous to 1725. It is located on what was 
then termed, in the old Penn patents, the ' Barrens of 
Derry.' The building is constructed of oak logs, about 
two feet thick, which are covered over with hemlock 
boards on the outside. The inside is in tolerable pres- 
ervation, the material used in the construction of the 
pews and floors being yellow pine, cherry, and oak. 
The iron-work is of the most primitive and antique 
description, and the heavy hand-wrought nails by 
which the hinges are secured to the pews and entrance 
doors are extremely tenacious and difficult to loosen. 
The window-glass was originally imported from Eng- 
land, but few panes, however, remain. In the interior, 
pegs are placed in the wall, and were used by the 

6 Preface. 

sturdy pioneers to hang their rifles upon, as attacks by 
the Indians in the Provincial days were of frequent 
occurrence, and there is still to be seen many a hostile 
bullet imbedded in the solid oak walls. The pulpit is 
quite low and narrow, crescent shaped, and is entered 
by narrow steps from the east side. Above it, on the 
south side, is a large window, which contains thirty- 
eight panes of glass of different sizes. The sash is 
made of pewter, and was brought from England. The 
communion service, which is still preserved, consists of 
four mugs and platters of pewter, manufactured in 
London, and presented to the church by some dissent- 
ing English friends one hundred and fifty years ago. 
At the main entrance lies a large stone as a stoop, which 
is greatly worn by the tread of the thousands who have 
passed over it. About thirtj^ paces northwest stands 
the session-house and pastor's study during the days of 
public worship. The burial-ground is a few yards 
north of the study, and is enclosed with a stone wall, 
capped and neatly built. There is only one entrance, 
which is at the center of the west side. The Rev. 
Robert Evans, church missionary, ministered to the 
congregation during its early years, having founded 
the church. He died in Virginia, in 1727. Rev. Wil- 
liam Bertram was the first regular minister. His re- 
mains lie in the grave-yard, near the southwest corner. 
He died May 2, 1746. His successor. Rev. John Roan, 
is buried near by, dying in October, 1775. Many min- 

Preface. 7 

isters of note have preached at Derry, among whom 
were the Rev. David Brainard, Rev. Charles Beatty, 
and that galaxy of early missionaries, Anderson, Evans, 
McMillan, Duffield, Gray, the Tennents, Carmichael, 
etc." Since the time Dr. Egle wrote, 1876, there has 
been erected upon the site of the old building a beauti- 
ful modern structure of stone. 

Of Hanover, he said: 

"Nearly eleven miles from Harrisburg, on the Man- 
ada, a tributary of the Swatara, are the remains of an 
ancient stone structure, which, with the walled grave- 
yard, are the only monuments of old Hanover church, 
once prominent in the early history of our State. A 
few years since it was deemed expedient to dispose of 
the church edifice, (the building being in a tumble- 
down condition,) the brick school-house, and other 
property belonging thereto, the congregation having 
long since passed away, for the purpose of creating a 
permanent fund to keep the grave-yard in repair. It 
was a plain, substantial, stone structure, corresponding 
somewhat to the building at Paxtang. The original 
name of the old Hanover church was Monnoday, (Man- 
ada.) The first record we have is of the date 1735, al- 
though its organization must have been some years 
earlier. In that year Donegal Presbytery sent Rev. 
Thomas Craighead to preach at Monnoday, and this 
appears to be the first time the congregation was known 
to that body. The year following, the Rev. Richard 

8 Preface. 

Sanckey was sent there, who for thirty years ministered 
to that flock. Subsequently to the celebrated Paxtang 
affair at Conestoga and Lancaster, the Rev. Richard 
Sanckey, with thirty or forty families of his congrega- 
tion, emigrated to the Virginia Valley, and Captain 
Lazarus Stewart, with an equal number, removed to 
Wyoming, taking sides with the Connecticut intruders. 
These immigrations cost the church most of its mem- 
bers, and the county some of its most industrious and 
intelligent citizens. In 1783, the Rev. James Snod- 
grass, whose remains lie in the grave-yard, came to be 
the pastor. For fifty-eight years he served the congre- 
gation, and was its last minister." 

The story of Paxtang, of its early struggles, the tre- 
mendous power it wielded for freedom and religion be- 
fore and during the revolution until the establishment 
of the government of the United States, and the bene- 
ficent influence it has continued to exert to the present 
day, the reader will be told in the following pages. 

M. w. M. 

Harrisburg, Pa., Oct., 1890. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 11 


1726-1732. Rev. James Anderson. 
1732-1736. Rev. AVilliam Bertram. 
1738-1792. Rev. John Elder. 
1793-1796. Rev. Nathaniel R. Snowden. 
1799-1801. Rev. Joshua Williams. 
1807-1843. Rev. James R. Sharon. 
1845-1847. Rev. John M. Boggs. 
1850-1874. Rev. Andrew D. Mitchell. 
1875-1878. Rev. William W. Downey. 
1878-1887. Rev. William A. West. (Supply.) 
1887- Rev. Albert B. Williamson, (the present 




Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 15 


Paxtang Church, three miles east of Harrisburg, the 
Capital of Pennsylvania, on the ridge which forms the 
northern boundary of Paxtang valley, has been a his- 
torical landmark since the first years of the eighteenth 
century. Paxtang Church was the border house of 
worship for nearly half a century, and for seventy-five 
years congregations in it were not secure from the visits 
of the savages of the forest. It was organized by the 
Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, who brought with their 
poverty, intelligence, and thrift, a stalwart patriotism 
and a stalwart Christianity that has distinguished Pax- 
tang's parishoners through the greater portion of two 
centuries. And the worshipers in Paxtang to-day are 
the descendants of those whose godly zeal laid its 
foundations and established its bounds more than a 
century and a half ago. They have not all migrated. 
They stand where God in his providence planted them. 
They fled from persecution to the border of civilization, 
carrying their catechism and their Calvanism with 
them, and here they have abided faithful to their con- 
victions and just as stout Presbyterians as when the 
Reverend John Elder preached his ordination sermon 
in 1738. 

16 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Tradition has it that the first house of worship was a 
log building; the second, and present building is of 
stone, whose foundation corner was laid in 1740 — 
one hundred and fifty years ago. An event that not 
only deserved, but imperatively demanded, some recog- 
nition at the hands of those upon whose heads the 
blessings of a godly ancestry have descended in such 
large measure. 

Early in the present year representative men of the 
church agitated the subject of a celebration, and on the 
first day of March a letter appeared in the Harrisburg 
Telegraph, from the pen of Mr. W. Franklin Ruther- 
ford, discussing the age of the present house of worship, 
and urging the propriety of celebrating the sesqui-cen- 
tennial of the laying of the cornerstone. This was fol- 
lowed by other newspaper articles concerning the 
proposition, with the result that on the 18th day of 
June a meeting of the Paxtang congregation was held 
at the house of Mr. John B. Rutherford to consider the 
subject. Rev. Albert B. Williamson, the present pas- 
tor, presided, and Mr. Herbert Elder, acted as sec- 
retary, nearly all the members of the congregation 
being present. After those present had decided to 
properly recognize the event, the sentiment being en- 
thusiastic and unanimous, a resolution was adopted 
as follows : 

Resolved, That the one hundred and fiftieth anni- 

Paxtang Tresbyterian Church. 17 

versary of the laying of the cornerstone of the present 
Paxtang church be celebrated, the time and character 
of the celebration to be determined after conference 
with the churches of Harrisburg and vicinity, all of 
which are children of Paxtang, and who may wish to 
join in the celebration." 

After the adoption of this resolution, W. Franklin 
Rutherford, James Boyd, and Herbert Elder were ap- 
pointed a committee of conference to bring the propo- 
sition to the attention of the other churches. On the 
9th of July the committee called a meeting of Paxtang 
congregation, at the house of Mr. Abner Rutherford. 

It reported that upon consultation with representative 
men in the Presbyterian churches of the county, they 
found them all heartily in favor of the celebration ; that 
the matter would be laid before the congregations, and 
that committees would doubtless be appointed to aid in 
a general way in making the celebration worthy the 
occasion. During the progress of the meeting a letter 
was received and read from Rev. George B. Stewart, 
pastor of the Market Square Presbyterian Church, of 
Harrisburg, in which he announced that his Church 
had appointed as a committee, Mr. Gilbert M. McCauley, 
Mr. Charles L. Bailey, and Mr. David Fleming. ^ 

On motion of Mr. Abner Rutherford, (since deceased,) 
all the ladies of Paxtang congregation were made a re- 
ception committee, to which were added, under the 

18 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

resolution, two ladies from each of the other congrega- 

There was also appointed at the same meeting a 
Committee on Decoration, consisting of Miss Elizabeth 
M. Rutherford, Mrs. Louisa Yeomans Bo3'd, Mrs. Ada 
B. Barber, Mrs. Albert B. Williamson, Miss Mary B. 
Rutherford, and Mrs. Fannie Rutherford Elder. 

Within the next few days the following joint com- 
mittee was constituted, representing all the Presbyterian 
churches in the count3^ 

Paxtang — W. Franklin Rutherford, Francis W. Ruth- 
erford, J. Addison Rutherford, Herbert Elder, and 
Rev. Albert B. Williamson. 

Derry — William K. Alricks, Henry L. Orth, M. D... 
and B. Dawson Coleman. 

Market Square — Gilbert M. McCauley, Charles L. 
Bailey, David Fleming, and Rev. George B. Stewart. 

Pine Street — James McCormick, A. Boyd Hamilton, 
J. Montgomery Forster, and Rev. George S. Chambers. 

Covenant — John J. Craig, John M. Stewart, Samuel 
H. Garland, and Rev. I. Potter Hayes. 

Westminster — John E. Patterson, David R. Elder, J. 
Nelson Clark, M. D., and Rev. George S. Duncan. 

Elder Street — Cassius M. Brown, Thomas J. Miller, 
and Rev. Reuben H. Armstrong. 

SteeUon — Rev. J. L. McKeehan and Professor L. E. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 19 

Middletown — Mrs. J. W. Rewalt, Mrs. Charles Hen- 
derson, and Rev. John H. GrofF. 

Dauphin — Jefferson Clark, J. Lewis Heck, and Rev. 
Francis M. Baker. 

On the 18th of July these committees met in joint 
session and resolved themselves into a general commit- 
tee of arrangements by the election of Mr. W. Franklin 
Ruthecford, Chairman, and Rev. George S. Chambers, 
D. D., Secretary. 

The following resolutions were then adopted : 

Resolved, That in the judgment of this meeting, the 
one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the laying of 
the cornerstone of the present Paxtang church edifice 
should be celebrated on September 18th, 1890, by suit- 
able exercises in the morning and afternoon. 

Resolved, That an invitation be given to the Presby- 
terian churches in the vicinity of Paxtang to participate 
in this celebration. 

The following committees were then appointed : 

On Programme — Rev. Albert B. Williamson, Rev. 
George B. Stewart, Rev. I. Potter Hayes, and Rev. 
George S. Chambers, D. D. 

On Invitations — Messrs. W. Franklin Rutherford, 
James McCormick, and George B. Stewart. 

On Finance — Messrs. Francis W. Rutherford, David 
Fleming, and J. Edmund Rutherford. 

On motion, Mr. James Addison Rutherford was ap- 

20 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

pointed chairman of a committee on local arrange- 
ments, with power to choose his associates. 

On the 23d of July the Joint Committee increased 
the Committee on Finance by the addition of one 
from each of the churches not then represented on the 
committee, as follows : Lemuel E. McGinnes, John W. 
Rewalt, John E. Patterson, John Curwen,M. D., William 
K. Alricks, J. Lewis Heck, and Cassius M. Brown. This 
committee subsequently organized b}^ electing Francis 
W. Rutherford, President; J. Edmund Rutherford, 
Treasurer ; and David Fleming, Secretary. 

On the 10th of September the Joint Committee chose 
the Rev. George B. Stewart, of the Market Square 
Church, to serve as moderator during the celebration. 

The Committee on Programme reported the follow- 
ing, which was adopted : 


Sesqui-Centennial Celebration 


Laying of the Corner-Stone 


Present House of Worship 

Paxtang Church, 
Near Harrisburg, Pa. 

Sq)tember IS, 1890. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 21 

Order of Exercises. 

10 o'clock. 

Invocation, Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, D. D. 

Hymn 4-4-1- 

God of Bethel ! by whose hand 
Thy people still are fed, 

Who, through this weary pilgrimage, 
Hast all our fathers led. 

Our vows, our prayers, we now present 

Before thy throne of grace ; 
God of our fathers ! be the God 

Of their succeeding race. 

Such blessings, from thy gracious hand, 

Our humble prayers implore ; 
And thou shalt be our chosen God, 

Our portion evermore. 

Reading of Scripture, . . Rev. William A. McCarrell 
Address of Welcome, . . Rev. Albert B. Williamson 

Pastor of Paxtang Church. 

History of Paxtang Church, . William H. Egle, M. D. 
Hymn 575. 

1 love thy kingdom. Lord ! 
The house of thine abode. 

The church our blest Redeemer saved 
With his own precious blood. 

I love thy church, God ! 

Her walls before thee stand. 
Dear as the apple of thine eye, 

And graven on thy hand. 

22 Paxtang Presbytekian Church. 

If e'er to bless thy sons 

My voice or hands deny, 
These hands let useful skill forsake, 

This voice in silence die. 

Presbyterianism in this Region, . Rev. William A. West 

Churches descended from Paxtang : 
Harrisburg, Olivet, .... Rev. Robert Cochrane 
Steelton, First, .... Rev. John L. McKeehan 
Harrisburg, Westminster, . Rev. George S. Duncan 
Harrisburg, Covenant, , . . Rev. I. Potter Hayes 
Harrisburg, Pine Street, Rev. Geo. S. Chambers, D. D. 

Intermission — 12.30 to 2.30 o'clock. 

2.30 o'clock. 
Hymn 591. 
Rise, my soul ! pursue the path 

By ancient worthies trod ; 
Aspiring, view those holy men 
Who lived and walked with God. 

Though dead, they speak in reason's ear 

And in example live; 
Their faith and hope and mighty deeds 

Still fresh instruction give. 

Lord ! may I ever keep in view 
The patterns thou hast given, 

And ne'er forsake the blessed path 
Which led them safe to heaven. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 23 

Churches descended from Paxtang: 
Harrisburg, Elder Street, Rev. Reuben H. Armstrong 

Middletown, First, Rev. John H. Groff 

Dauphin, First, Rev. Francis M. Baker 

Harrisburg, Market Square, Rev. George B. Stewart 

Characteristics of Early Presbyterian Preachers, 

Rev. Nathaniel G. Parke, D. D 

Importance of the Country Church, 

Governor James A. Beaver 

Other brief addresses will be made b}'- prominent Pres- 

Hymn S2. 

All hail the power of Jesus' name! 

Let angels prostrate fall ; 
Bring forth the royal diadem, 

And crown him — Lord of all. 

Ye chosen seed of Israel's race, 

Ye ransomed from the fall ! 
Hail him, who saves you by his grace, 

And crown him — Lord of all. 

Oh, that with yonder sacred throng, 

We at his feet may fall ; 
We'll join the everlasting song. 

And crown him — Lord of all. 



24 Pax TANG Presbyterian Church. 

There will be a restaurant on the grounds which will 
furnish refreshments at reasonable prices. 

Carriages will be in waiting at the Paxtang station 
to carry passengers to the grounds. 

Trains will leave Harrisburg at the Reading station 
at 7.55 and 9.35, a. m.; 12, m.; 1.25 and 3.45, p. m. 
Returning leave Paxtang for Harrisburg at 1.42, 3.05, 
5.50, and 8.15, p. m. 

Rev. George B. Stewart, 

W. Franklin Rutherford, 
Chairman of Committee of General Arrangements. 

Rev. George S. Chambers, D. D., 


Francis W. Rutherford, 
Chairman of Finance Committee. 

Rev. Albert B. Williamson, 

Chairman of Programme. 

James McCormick, 
Chairman of Committee on Invitations. 

J. Addison Rutherford, 
Chairman of Local Arrangements. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 25 

The committee on invitations sent the following to 
distinguished and representative Presbyterians through- 
out the country : 

Paxtang Church, Harrisburg, Pa., 

September 11, 1890. 

Your presence is requested at the Sesqui-Centennial 
of the laying of the corner-stone of Paxtang Presbyte- 
rian church, to be held on Tuesday, September 18, 1890. 

Exercises will begin at 10, a. m., and will continue 
throughout the day, with an intermission at noon. 

Trains will leave Harrisburg, on the Reading rail- 
road, at 7.55 and 9.35, a. m., 12, m., 1.25, 3.05, and 3.45, 

p. M. 

James McCormick, 
W. F. Rutherford, 
Gilbert M. McCauley, 
Rev. George B. Stewart, 

Quite a number of those invited responded by their 
presence, from others letters of regret were received, 
among these were letters from President Benjamin 
Harrison, Secretary Blaine, Postmaster General Wan- 
amaker, Ex-Secretar}^ of Internal Affairs J. Simpson 
Africa, whose grandfather and grandmother were mar- 
ried in 1776, by Parson Elder, Rev. Dr. Talmage, Na- 
than Ellmaker, of Lancaster, Rev. William H. McMeen, 
who is a grandson of Pastor Sharon, and others. 



The morning of the celebration opened bright and 
beautiful; the clouds that had darkened the sky for 
many days were no longer to be seen, the heavens were 
blue, and the sun shown warm over the prosperous and 
peaceful valley spread out below the hill on which Pax- 
tang church was established as the vanguard of civiliza- 
tion and religion nearly two centuries before. It seemed 
as if providence recognized the day and smiled upon the 
efforts of those who were about to honor themselves 
by doing honor to those who through much tribula- 
tion had built this house of God. The day was perfect. 
The people accepted its beauty as a benediction. 

One writer in describing the scene was led to say : 
"It the ghosts of the old Paxtang Boys could have re- 
visited the old church where they once worshiped, 
they would have opened their eyes in astonishment 
at the singular proceedings taking place. Nay, more, 
they would have wondered at the strange metamorphosis 
of the interior of the church wherein they were want to 
join in worship, and would have failed to recognize it 
as the place where they had listened to their old 
Calvanistic fathers expound good, hard Presbyterian 
doctrine, as solid as the stones that form the walls of 

30 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

the ancient edifice. And had they lingered in the 
grove near the church during the day, they could 
have joined in the singing and the praises and the 
rejoicings among the people therein gathered, because 
a hundred and fifty years ago the cornerstone of this 
venerated church was laid, and in these latter days 
it was accounted meet to appropriately celebrate the 

There were about one thousand people in the grove 
before the exercises began, and these found pleasure and 
interest in examining the plain but substantial structure 
wherein the -ancestors of many had worshiped, and 
wherein, when attacked by the red man of the forest, 
they had also found protection, in going about through 
the old graveyard, where so early as 1716 the frontiers- 
men found a last resting place, and in reading the epi- 
taphs upon the old tombstones, among which is one 
erected to the memory of that patriotic and eccentric 
first Senator from Pennsylvania, the Honorable William 

The chief interest, however, centered about the 
church building. It is an unpretending stone structure 
thirty-six by sixty-six feet, without ornament of any 
kind, and has stood without change in its outward ap- 
pearance for more than one hundred and fifty years. 
The stones used in the construction of the walls are 
rough limestone, and so irregular in size and shape 
that a modern mason would pronounce them utterly 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 31 

unfit for building purposes, and yet no firmer or better 
walls can be found anywhere, and with the exception 
of some slight changes, they remain as they were built 
one hundred and fifty years ago. Their strength 
seems to lie in the mortar used, which is now as hard 
as the stone itself, and the storms of time have so little 
efffect upon them that the marks of the mason's trowel 
are as distinct to-day as when he finished the work. 

The interior of the church had been made beautiful 
with flowers and evergreens. On the wall back of the 
altar in evergreen numerals were the suggestive figures, 
1740 — 1890, telling simply a sublime story of devotion, 
endrirance, and loyalty. The young people, who, with 
curious faces and eager glances, looked around the little 
house of worship with its seating capacity of not more 
than three hundred, could imagine little of the soul- 
stirring scenes which had been enacted within those 
same walls when it was not at all improbable that they 
who v/ent there for the Sunday morning service might 
not live to return again to their homes. The pulpit, 
from wall to wall, was banked with tropical plants, 
ropes of evergreen, and fragrant clusters of summer 
flowers. The altar was one mass of white dahlias and 
smilax ; the baptismal font and deep window ledges 
were entirely covered with geraniums and primroses. 

Near the church was erected a large platform and 
seating accommodations. The platform, with seats for 
the speakers and choir, was most tastefully arranged. 

32 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

The organ was banked with huge ckisters of glowing 
dahlias and smilax, arranged by some skillful hand, 
and the several pillars were twined with evergreen 
and golden-rod artistically combined. 

There were seating accommodations for seven hun- 
dred, but as the services were to be conducted in the 
open air, many seated themselves upon the ground or 
in the beautiful grove surrounding the church on all 

Among those who were upon the ground during the 
day, were the following: Rev. George Swain, D. D., 
Monmouth Presbytery, New Jersey ; Rev. F. J. Newton, 
Ferozeore, North India, missionary ; Elder George W. 
Reed, Chambersburg; W. D. Means, Middle Springs 
church; Captain W. H. Mackey, Central church, Cham- 
bersburg ; and John A. Rutherford, of Paxtang ; James 
McCormick, of Harrisburg; Ralston Dickey and wife, 
Oxford church ; R. C. McNeill, Steelton ; Alexander G. 
Rutherford, Philadelphia; A. Boyd Hamilton, Esq., 
Harrisburg; A. J. Forster, Philadelphia; Hon. J. M. 
Forster, Harrisburg; Dr. Hiram Rutherford, Oakland, 
Illinois; Rev. James Elder, Elder's Ridge, Indiana 
county, Pa.; John J. Nissley, Hummelstown; James 
McClure and wife, Chester county ; Judge A. 0. Hiester, 
Susquehanna, Pa.; James Boyd, Harrisburg; Rev. 
Robert F. McClean, New Bloomfield; Rev. George W. 
Snyder, Harrisburg ; Rev. Albert Bowman, Harrisburg ; 
Rev. Charles Asay, Brickerville, Lancaster county, Pa.; 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 33 

Rev. John H. Moyer, Hummelstown ; Mr. Robert Bucher 
and Mr. James Ralston, elders in Mechanicsburg church ; 
Rev. Thomas J. Ferguson, pastor of the old Silver Spring 
church near Hogestown ; Mr. W. F. Willis, elder in the 
church of New Bloomfield, Perry county ; Prof. Jacob F. 
Seller, Major William C. Armor, E. W. S. Parthemore, 
Mrs. Sarah Doll, a grand-daughter of Rev. John Elder, 
Harrisburg; Judge David W. Patterson, Lancaster; 
Auditor General Thomas McCamant, Colonel Frank 
Mantor, Meadville ; Captain John B. Rutherford, Pax- 
tang; Rev. Willliam M. McMeen, a Professor in the 
Charlotte University, North Carolina, and Thomas 

The Opening Services. 

At ten o'clock, a. m., the services were opened by the 
singing of the hymn : 

Stand up, and bless the Lord, 

Ye people of his choice ; 
Stand up, and bless the Lord your God 

With heart, and soul, and voice. 

Though high above all praise, 

Above all blessings high, 
Who would not fear his holy name, 

And laud and magnify ? 

34 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Oh, for the living flame 

From his own altar brought, 

To touch our lips, our souls inspire, 
And wing to heaven our thought. 

God is our strength and song. 

And his salvation ours ; 
Then be his love in Christ proclaimed 

With all our ransomed powers. 

Stand up, and bless the Lord ; 

The Lord your God adore ; 
Stand up, and bless his glorious name, 

Henceforth, forevermore! 



Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, D. D., of Newville, offered 
an invocation as follows: 

Almighty and Eternal God, our Heavenly Father : 
We would recognize Thee this day as our God and the 
God of our fathers. We would bless thy name for all 
thy past goodness to us as a people. Thou hast been our 
dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains 
were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth 
and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting. 
Thou art God. 

We thank Thee for thy immediate providence 
which has been over us, and that thou hast brought us 
together here this day on this historic ground to com- 
memorate thy goodness to the church, and to our fath- 
ers in this land. 

We humbly invoke thy divine presence with us 
this day, and thy blessing upon us. We beseech Thee 
that thou wilt grant unto us the presence and the in- 
fluence of the Holy Spirit. May thy blessed spirit il- 
lume all our minds and sanctify our hearts, and fill us 
with love to Thee our covenant God and Saviour. And 
we beseech Thee that thou wilt preside over all the 
deliberations of this day and of this service. 

38 Paxtaxg Presbyterian Church. 

Grant that all may be for the glory of thy name, 
and for the instruction and edification, and comfort of 
thy people here assembled. 

And grant, Almighty God, to bless us as we are here 
before Thee this day, and as we call to mind thy good- 
ness in the generations that are past ; thy faithfulness 
to thy promises and to thy covenants, that thou wilt 
keep us as a people ; and help us to renew our covenant 
with Thee, and our consecration unto Thee. 

Lord, bless this thy church, and these thy people, 
and thy servant, their pastor, and all that is connected 
with them. And grant thy blessing on all the people 
assembled here at this time ; and grant that Thy name 
may be honored, and all may be profited. 

And unto the Father, and the Son, and thy blessed 
Spirit, we would ascribe all the praise forever. Amen. 

The congregation then united in singing hymn No. 

" God of Bethel ! by whose hand 

Thy people still are fed, 
Who, through this weary pilgrimage, 
Hast all our fathers led. 

Our vows, our prayers, we now present 

Before thy throne of grace ; 
God of our fathers ! be the God 

Of their succeeding race. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 39 

Such blessings, from thy gracious hand, 

Our humble praj^ers implore ; 
And thou shalt be our chosen God, 

Our portion evermore." 

The Scripture Lesson. 

Rev. Eugene L. Mapes, of the First Presbyterian 
Church, Carlisle, then read parts of the 90th, 91st, and 
93d Psalms, concluding with the verses " The Lord 
reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is 
clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded him- 
self: The world also is established, that it cannot be 

" 2. Thy throne is established of old : thou art from 

"3. The floods have lifted up, Lord, the floods 
have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves- 

"4. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of 
many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. 

"5. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becom- 
eth thine house, O Lord, forever." 

May the Lord give us his blessing, brethren, with 
this the reading of his Holy Word ; and to his name 
be all the glory. Amen. 

40 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

The Moderator, Rev. George B. Stewart, then said: 
" If we are not descendants of Paxtang, we are trying 
to make it out so here to-day ; and if we cannot all say 
that we are natives of this place, we are trying, per- 
haps, to claim that we are natives of the neighborhood. 
And it is a great deal more popular than it was in 
1740 to be a native of this place. As I gather in read- 
ing the histor}'^, the pastor and members of this church 
were not in the habit of giving the natives such a cor- 
dial reception as their successors are likely to give us 
to-day. The pastor then was in the habit of taking his 
gun into the pulpit, and the members of the church 
kept their rifles conveniently nigh in order to warmly 
receive those who claimed the soil as their native 

"But to-day the pastor of this church will give us a 
cordial reception, much more gratifjdng and interest- 
ing to us, I am sure, if not more hearty than that 
which the pastor one hundred and fifty years ago 
would have given to others. It is, therefore, with 
pleasure that I introduce to you — though he needs no 
introduction — the Rev. Albert B. Williamson, who will^ 
in the name of this congregation, welcome this audi- 

Rev. Albert B. AVilliamson, the pastor of Paxtang 
church, then addressed the assemoly. 



Mr. Chairman, Ladies, Gentlemen, and Fellow- 
Citizens : I am happy to have the privilege of meet- 
ing, of greeting, and welcoming you back to old Paxtang 
on this auspicious occasion. 

It is well for us to be here to-day to rejoice in the 
memories that cluster around the illustrious heroes that 
have gone forth from this dear old church and com- 
munity to bless the State and country at large. 

It is to commemorate the deeds of a glorious ancestry 
that we are met here to-day, not because they were our 
ancestors, but because by this commemoration we may 
possibly instill into the minds of young men, upon whom 
the responsibilities of the Government and of defending 
religious liberty are soon to rest, ideas which will nerve 
them to come up to those responsibilities with more of 
patriotic fervor and more of religious zeal than was 
possessed by them before they came back here on this 
commemorative day. 

Dear friends, we are glad to welcome you back to the 
dear old home, where your forefathers lived, wrought, 
worshiped God, fought, bled, and died. You who have 
gone forth from our midst, and have made new homes 
for yourselves in all sections of this broad land of 

44 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

ours, are permitted to-day to behold the house that 
your fathers built to the honor and glory of God one 
hundred and fifty years ago. There she stands, as dear 
to us as our own right hand, and her walls as solid and 
firm as the day they were laid. 

These venerable old oaks have grow^n gray in their 
service of standing here like sentries to protect her from 
the stormy blasts of winter through these long, long 
years ; and if they could only speak to-day they would 
have an attentive audience, because they could tell of 
solemn, stirring, pathetic and sorrowful things, as well 
as joyful scenes. They have seen the day when this 
church could not contain its members who came to 
partake of the Lord's Supper, and when a goodly por- 
tion of them had to seek shelter from the noon-day sun 
under their wide branching arms, while the elders 
served them with the elements. They have also seen 
the Indians skulking behind neighboring trees, watch- 
ing for a favorable opportunity to shoot down the 
worshipers of God. 

We welcome 3'ou back to-day not to look at the 
trophies of war taken by our fathers in their conflicts 
with the Indians, such as tomahawks, scalping knives, 
and bows and arrows; but to look at the venerable old 
church — for she has grown more beautiful in her old 
age than she ever was in her youth, — and to behold 
not a dense forest here, as there was when her walls 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 45 

were laid, but a land well cultivated, and flowing with 
milk and honey. 

If you look around to-day you will see not only what 
has been done, but also what we are doing now. You 
will see that this old historic spot is being laid out in 
wide avenues, and large lots of one acre each, so that 
there will be room for fine drives and beautiful man- 
sions ; that we are perpetuating the old name by call- 
ing it Paxtang, and are keeping fresh in memory 
the names of our illustrious dead by naming the 
avenues after them. As you all can see, the first 
avenue to the south is called Sharon, in honor of the 
pastor who served here from 1807-1842; and next 
Brisbin avenue, after the man who was captain in the 
Revolutionary war. These are only two of man}' other 

But, dear friends, I would not have you ignorant con- 
cerning one thing. Do not suppose that because there 
was no Harrisburg, with her forty thousand, and 
Steelton with her ten thousand, and many other large 
towns around, as there are here now, that this place 
was a howling wilderness when our fathers worshiped 
here. I know you will be surprised when I tell you 
that in the years 1752-3 the Presbyt^ian population 
of Dauphin county was nearly what it is to-day, and 
every one of them a Scotch-Irishman, too. But some 
of them rested here only for a while. The cry of 
"Westward, ho!" was raised, and they pressed on to- 

46 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

wards the setting sun to found for themselves new 
homes in the American forests beyond. 

From this congregation, as a mother hive, her child- 
ren have swarmed from time to time. Those swarms 
lingered not around the old mother hive, but went off 
and formed new colonies. At first the human stream 
flowed southward through the Cumberland and Kit- 
tatinny Valleys to the Carolinas of the South. Then 
the stream turned toward the West, and there they be- 
came founders of new and prosperous communities and 
States in the growing westward empire, and their in- 
fluence and that of their descendants is felt to-da}'' 
throughout all the West, even to the Golden Gates of 
the Pacific. 

Of those that went South North Carolina retained 
the most, and there they dominated during our late 
war. They were the men who were largely instru- 
mental in delaying hasty action. But when the issue 
was joined ; when " wild war's loud alarm was sounded ; " 
when the gods of war had loosed their fiercest dogs, they 
united with their brethren in the great struggle; they 
doubted the policy and the result, for the}' believed it 
an unequal struggle; but when it came for men to 
suffer, and bleed and die, they answered every roll call. 

But I will not keep you longer from the rich feast 
that will come from the minds of those on this plat- 
form — from men more eloquent than I can possible be. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 47 

Again, I give you all a hearty welcome back to old 
Paxtang Church. [Hearty applause.] 

Moderator Stewart. And we are glad to be here. 

There can be no question in our minds but what in 
the selection of a historian for this occasion, their 
ought to be chosen one who by his gifts, his tastes, 
and his acquirements, is qualified best for treating the 
subject, which is the most important one of the day ; 
and, therefore, the committee have selected one who 
stands pre-eminent in all these regards relative to our 
local history. It gives me pleasure to introduce to 
this audience one so well known to you all as a fellow- 
citizen and as a historian. Dr. William H, Egle, who 
will to-day give us a resume of the history of "Paxton" 
church. [Applause.] 



Before I proceed to deliver these glimpses of the 
history of this ancient congregation, permit me to en- 
ter my protest against the orthography of the name on 
the printed invitation and programme. The corrup- 
tion of the name Paxtang should not be continued. It 
is a clerical mistake in more senses than one. If others 
have committed the error, why shall we perpetuate it. 
Give us the good old Indian name, Paxtang, and not 
the English surname, Paxton — however much we may 
admire some who bear that patronymic. 

Friends of Paxtang: It is well "to remember the 
days of old" — to call to mind the history of a people 
such as we have been summoned to do this bright au- 
tumnal noon, within the shadows of an edifice made 
memorable by age, and by the sacred associations 
which cluster around it. We do not come to celebrate 
misty traditions which have floated down to us on the 
stream of time, but the real achievements of pioneers in 
American religious and civil history. For one hundred 
and fifty years has prayer been made and praise been 
offered in this old stone meeting-house, and as thought 
goes out to the saintly men who ministered to the 

52 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

generations here, it seems as if some portion of the 
subtle essence of all the soul-longings for heavenly 
help and guidance which here has been breathed forth 
by righteous men and pious women during these many 
decades, has entered into the very fabric of this ancient 
church and thus sanctified it. Happy are that people 
who, having a noble history, treasure it; and with this 
inspiration for mind and heart, we come to do rever- 
ence here. 

The first settlers in all this neighborhood, with but 
one excex)tion, came from the north of Ireland — the 
province of Ulster. They have been termed the Scotch- 
Irish — Scotch planters on Irish soil. "They call us 
Scotch-Irish and other ill-mannered names," wrote 
good old Parson Elder, but that epithet of reproach 
has become the synonym of a people characteristic of 
all that is noble and grand in our American history. 
Recently published works, the authors of which are 
not worthy being named in this connection, have de- 
nounced the Scotch-Irish as a race, without reference 
to authority or facts. The reproach and opprobium 
thus cast upon the ancestors of the people who did so 
much for the improvement and prosperity of the Prov- 
ince of Pennsylvania, and for the defense of civil and 
religious liberty, as well as for the free institutions and 
the independence of the Republic, are at variance with 
all that is generally received as matter of historical 
truth. The accusations and reproaches, if unfounded. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 53 

ought to be refuted, and the character of the men who 
deserved well of society and their country should be 

But so much has been said of the Scotch-Irish race, 
that at this time we will only incidently refer to that 
people. The " Planting of Ulster " with the Scotch settlers 
is an important epoch, in not only the history of Ireland, 
but in the establishment of Presbyterianism. Their 
life in that country was rendered as brief as it was 
memorable by the rapacity and greed of landlords, by 
the " test act," which deprived them from holding 
any public office, and by the petty annoyances of 
prelacy. Wonder we then, that, in the early part of the 
eighteenth century, many of the counties of the north 
of Ireland were emptied of their Scotch inhabitants. 
Wearied out with exactions, ecclesiastical courts, and 
the deprivation of their civil rights, they came to 
America for a wider breathing space — that America 
which was opening wide its doors, and especially the 
Province of Pennsylvania, where there was less of the 
spirit of intolerance than in any of the colonies. Here 
they found a home — here all men were equal under the 
law. Is it surprising, therefore, that the Scotch-Irish 
should have prospered on this soil ? Our grand old 
Commonwealth owes much of what she is to-day by 
and through the settlement of that sturdy race — and 
I am not ashamed to say it — albeit I claim another 
ancestry and another faith ; and like my friend, the 

64 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Governor of the Commonwealth, am only Scotch- 
Irish through my children. But the historic facts 
are apparent to all who read. In the struggle for popu- 
lar rights, the Scotch-Irish are ever to be found on the 
side of the people ; and as we go on, we find that here, as 
elsewhere, in the period of great events, they rise up as 
leaders — characterized by boldness, energy, integrity, 
morality, and religious fervor, although at times with 
a bigoted and belligerent spirit. Can I say more ? 
Yes ! But we must proceed. 

The first Presbyterian ministers who preached here, 
were Gillespie, Evans, Boyd, and Anderson. The first 
named was born at Glasgow in 1683, and educated at 
the University there. He was licensed by the Presby- 
tery in 1712, came to America, and was ordained May 
28, 1713, having received a call from the people of 
White Clay Creek. Red Clay, Lower Brandywine, and 
White Clay seem to have formed his charge for several 
years. He organized the congregation at the head of 
Christiana, which he served until his death in 1760. 
The Rev. Francis Alison, who knew him, called him 
" that pious saint of God." As early as 1715, Mr. Gil- 
lespie missionated as far as Paxtang. The country was 
sparsely settled — possibly not more than five or six 
families north of the Swatara — but these, with the ex- 
ception of John Harris, an Indian trader, were Scotch - 
Irish Presbyterians. 

The Rev. David Evans, of Welsh birth, was ordained 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 55 

November 3, 1714, and became pastor of the Welsh 
tract, in New Castle county, Delaware. In 1719 he 
went into the Great Valley, Chester county, and in 
1720 regularl}'- supplied the people of Tredyffrin, and 
was sent by the Presbytery to the Octorara,* forks of 
Brandy wine, and Conestoga, extending his ministra- 
tions ''^0 Donegal and beyond" to what subsequently be- 
came the bounds of Paxtang and Derry churches. 

Upon the appointment of Rev. Adam Boydf to the 
pastorate of Octorara — the far western bounds, "Done- 
gal and beyond," were confided to him. This was in 
1724, when a small log meeting-house had been pre- 
viously built not many feet south of the present stone 
building. Then the devout Anderson, of Donegal, fol- 
lowed and labored, as the tide of Presbyterianism 
rolled westward — and from this time onward, until the 
thunders of the Revolution reverberated along these 
valleys, the tramp and tread of the Scotch-Irish army 

Prior to 1722, the following, with their families, 
were members of what was shortly after Paxtang con- 

* Samuel Evans, of Lancaster, says : "This was commonly called Mid- 
dle Octoraro, it is in Bart township, Lancaster county, it was organized 
in 1726, and in October, 1727, the Rev. Adam Boyd was ordained 
pastor, and he gave the congregation one sixth of his time." 

fRev. Adam Boyd was born in 1692 at Ballymoney, Ireland, and 
emigrated to New England in 1723 as a probationer. In July, 1724, 
he was received under the care of New Castle Presbytery and sent to 
Octorara. He died November 23, 1768. 

56 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

gregation; Thomas Gardner, Samuel Means, David 
McClure, Thomas Kyle, James Roddy, Alexander 
Hutchinson, William May bane, Robert Brown, Samuel 
Smith, Joseph Kelso, Sen., and Thomas Simpson, Flee- 
ing from civil oppression, in their new homes it is not 
suprising that these people hastened to manifest their 
thankfulness to God, and their sincerity and regard 
for their privileges under a government of free institu- 
tions, by erecting a " meeting-house," dedicated to His 
holy service. Around this log structure were the 
graves of the early pioneers, but these remained un- 
marked. Seventy years ago, it is stated on the best of 
authority, there was a rudely chiseled head-stone, with 
the date of departure, 1716 ; which simply proves that 
this revered spot was chosen for the worship of God at 
that early period. In gathering up the fragments of 
the history of Paxtang Church, it is to be regretted that 
the minutes of the Presbytery of Philadelphia from 
1717 to 1733 are declared lost ; while the minutes of 
New Castle Presbytery from its organization in 1716 
to the constituting of Donegal are not to be found, al- 
though we have the assurance that they were in exist- 
ence in 1876. It is well to guard the early records of 
the Church, but why refuse examination of them to 
those making historic researches ? The truthful histo- 
rian knows full well what to use and what to omit, and 
if my Presbyterian friends will not allow those outside 
the pale of their ministry to go over the early records 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 57 

of the Presbyteries of Philadelphia, New Castle, and 
Donegal, they should place them in the hands of some 
faithful co-laborer who knows what to edit and what 
to let alone. In the history of institutions, as well as 
of individuals, there may be blots which ought to re- 
main so forever. 

By direction of New Castle Presbytery, the Rev. 
James Anderson,* in 1726, gave one fifth of his time to 
Paxtang, and in 1729, commenced to supply Derry 
regularly, one fifth being there allowed — leaving Don- 
egal but three fifths. 

On the 11th of October, 1732, the Presbytery of Don- 
egal was constituted out of a portion of the Presbytery 
of New Castle. The meeting was held at Donegal 
church. The ministers present were, Messrs. Anderson, 
Thomson, Boyd, Orr, and Bertram. Mr. Thomson was 
elected moderator, and Mr. Bertram clerk. The first 
item of business brought before the new Presbytery of 
Donegal was in relation to Paxtang and Derry. These 
churches having united in a call to the Rev. William 
Bertram, which had been placed in his hands at the 
last meeting of the then " old " New Castle Presbytery. 
George Renick and others of Paxtang and Derry ap- 
peared and required an answer thereto. Mr. Bertram 
accepted, and was installed November 15, 1732, at 

* For a full sketch of the Rev. James Anderson, and a record of his 
descendants, see " Pennsylvania Genealogies," ^under "Anderson of 

58 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Swatara, the original name of Derry Church. Thomas 
Forster, George Renick, William Cunningham, and 
Thomas Mayes were appointed for the Paxtang side, 
and Rowland Chambers, Hugh Black, Robert Camp- 
bell, John Wilson, William Wilson, James Quigley, 
William McCord, and John Sloan for the Derry side, 
to assist Mr. Bertram in congregational affairs until the 
erection of a formal session. 

At the meeting of Presbytery at Upper Octorara, 
September 6, 1733, " Mr. Bertram presented a list of 
men nominated by the congregations of Paxtang and 
Derry to be set apart for ruling elders. Presbytery 
ordered that they be again published, and intimation 
given that if any objection be made against any of them, 
said objection be given in due time." 

The amount of subscription to Mr. Bertram's salary 
does not appear, but the congregation, in addition 
thereto, made over to him and his heirs their " right 
and title to the plantation commonly called ' The In- 
dian Town,' purchased from the Indians." 

Hitherto, and until 1736, Paxtang and Derry were 
considered simply as two branches of the same congre- 
gation ; this arrangement was unwieldly, and gave rise 
to various disputes and misunderstandings about finan- 
cial matters. They had fallen into arrears with Mr. 
Anderson, and were ordered no less than five times, at 
as many diflJerent meetings of Presbytery, " to pay up ;" 
difficulty was experienced in getting all parts of the 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 59 

congregation to contribute their just dues towards the 
repairs of Mr. Bertram's house, and to defray the ex- 
penses of a law-suit about certain sawed plank or 
boards. These and other troubles of a like nature were 
a source of annoyance to both congregations, as well as 
to Mr. Bertram ; so much so that at Nottingham, October 
9, 1735, Mr. Bertram and his elders united in asking 
Presbytery to appoint a committee " to go into and 
reason with the people of said congregations and inquire 
into their circumstances, as to their ability to be sepa- 
rated into two distinct bodies and support themselves, 
in order that Mr. Bertram, being eased of part of his 
burden, may be able to go on with more comfort in the 
discharge of his duty to whichever part of said people 
he shall be determined to continue with." 

A committee was appointed and reported to Presby- 
tery November 20, 1735. Accompanying their report 
they presented a supplication from the session asking 
for a division, and that their bounds might be fixed. 
At the same time, Lazarus Stewart prosecuted a suppli- 
cation from Manada Creek (Hanover) for a new erection. 
The subject of a separation between Paxtang and Derry 
was postponed from one Presbytery to another, until 
finally on the 2d of September, 1736, it was agreed to. 
So popular was Mr. Bertram with his people that both 
parties were anxious to secure his services, Paxtang 
engaging to pay for his yearly support sixty pounds, 
"one-half in money, the other half in hay, flax, linen 

60 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

yarn, or linen cloth, at market price." Derry prom- 
ised fifty-five pounds, to be paid in like manner. Mr. 
Bertram :was perplexed, and asked for time to consider. 
Presbytery gave him to the next meeting of Synod, 
which took place on the 16th of September. Owing 
probably either to the location of his farm, or the ex- 
tent of the church glebe, he chose Derry, and Paxtang 
was declared vacant. From this date, until December 
22, 1738, the congregation was supplied by Messrs. 
Sankey, Alexander, Craven, and Elder. 

In 1729, the Synod passed "the adopting act," by 
which assent to the Westminster Confession of Faith 
was required by all members of the Synod, and of 
all candidates for admission to the Presbyteries. This 
confirmation of a principle had its opponents, and it 
is in connection with this, that we find, in the year 
1736, mention of this congregation in the confirmatory 
act or declaration which seems at least for the time to 
have produced general satisfaction. In the minutes for 
that year it is recorded, that, " An overture of the com- 
mittee, upon the supplication of the people of Paxtang 
and Derry, was brought in, and is as foUoweth: That 
the S3^nod do declare that inasmuch as we understand 
that many persons of our persuasion, both more lately 
and formally, have been offended with some expres- 
sions or distinctions in the first or preliminar}'' act of 
our Synod for adopting the Westminster Confession 
and Catechism, etc.; that in order to remove said of- 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 61 

fense and all jealousies that have arisen or may arise 
in any other people's minds on occasion of said dis- 
tinctions and expressions, the Synod doth declare, that 
the Synod have adopted and still do adhere to the 
Westminster Confession, Catechisms, and Directory, 
without the least variation or alteration, and without 
any regard to said distinctions. And we do farther 
declare this was our meaning and true intent in our 
first adopting the said Confession, as may particularly 
appear by our adopting act, which is as follows : ' All 
the ministers of the Synod now present [which were 
eighteen in number,] except one who declared himself 
not prepared, after proposing all the scruples that any 
of them had to make against any articles and expres- 
sions in the Confession of Faith and larger and shorter 
Catechisms of the assembly of divines at Westminster, 
have unanimously agreed in the solution of those 
scruples, and in declaring the said Confession and Cat- 
echisms, to be the Confession of their Faith, except 
only some clauses in the twentieth and twenty-third 
chapters, concerning which clauses, the Synod do 
unanimously declare, that they do not receive those 
articles in any such sense as to suppose the civil magis- 
trate hath controlling power over Synods with respect 
to the exercise of their ministerial authority, or power 
to persecute any for their religion, or in any sense con- 
trary to the Protestant succession to the throne of Great 
Britain.' And we do hope and desire, that this, our 

62 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

synodical declaration and explanation may satisfy all 
our people as to our firm attaohment to our good old 
received doctrines contained in the said Confession, 
without the least variation or alteration, and that they 
will lay aside their jealousies, that have been entertained 
through occasion of the above hinted expressions and 
declarations as groundless. This overture approved 
nemine contradicente." 

On the 22d of December, 1738, the Rev. John Elder 
was ordained and installed the pastor of Paxtang 
congregation, (having served over a year as a supply,) 
at a salary of sixty pounds, and so for a period of fifty- 
five years went in and out before the people minister- 
ing to their spiritual wants. For that duration of time, 
(over half a century,) the history of this church and 
of its pastor is a part of the history of the Province 
of Pennsylvania, and in order to be brief, permit me 
simply to summarize the leading events. Some of 
these are of great moment, but not at this time and 
place will more than a passing glance or review be 

Within the church in common there transpired much 
also of interest. Although from the period referred to, 
(1738,) the growth was truly phenomenal — not only of 
Paxtang, but of Presbyterianism in general, yet the 
harmony of the governing bodies began to be inter- 
fered with, owing to the fact that " its ministers were 
from different countries, where to some extent different 

Paxtang Pkesbyterian Church. 63 

modes of thinking on the same subjects prevailed. 
The points on which the difference of opinion chiefly 
developed itself, were the examination of candidates 
for the ministry on experimental religion, the strict ad- 
herence to Presbyterial order, and the amount of learn- 
ing to be required by those who sought ministerial of- 
fice. These subjects were discussed with great, and fre- 
quently with intemperate, zeal in the different Presby- 
teries." Two distinct parties were now formed. Those 
who were more zealous for orthodoxy — for the rigid 
observance of Presbyterial rule, and for a thoroughly 
educated ministry, were called the " Old Side," while 
those who were more tolerant of departures from ec- 
clesiastical order and less particular in respect to other 
qualifications for the ministry, provided they gave 
evidence of vital piety, were called the "New Side" or 
"I^ew Lights." 

As might be expected, there was a growing necessity 
for the education of the ministry, and the result was 
the establishment of the College of New Jersey by the 
Synod of New York — first at Elizabethtown, in 1746 ; 
removed the following year to Newark ; and thence to 
Princeton, in 1757. The "Old Side" patronized the 
academies of New London and of Newark, in Delaware, 
under the Rev. Francis Alison and Rev. Alexander 
McDowell, and also the academy and college of Phila- 
delphia. The rivalry between these literary institutions 

64 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

served to render more intense the mutual hostility of 
the two parties. 

In 1739 the celebrated Whitefield paid his second 
visit to America. In connection with his labors, a great 
revival ensued, the friends of which in the Presbyterian 
church were chiefly with the "New Side," while the 
"Old Side," or strict Presbyterian, perceiving some 
really censurable irregularities in the active friends 
and promoters of the revival, pronounced the whole a 
delusion. This brought on the crisis. The controversy 
waxed more and more violent until 1741, when the 
church was rent into two parts, the "Old Side" consti- 
tuting the Synod of New York. 

Soon after Mr. Elder began his labors in Paxtang, it 
was found that the old log structure was insufficient, 
and steps were taken toward the erection of the present 
building. It stands about twenty feet back from the 
site of the original meeting-house, and was begun in 
the year 1740. It was several years before completion, 
and was occupied for a long time as a house of worship 
with neither floor nor pews; seats made of logs hewn 
on one side were used by all the people excepting the 
family of the pastor, who occupied a settee. The origi- 
nal meeting-house for many years was used as a retir- 
ing and session house by Mr. Elder, and late in life so 
deferential were the congregation to their revered min- 
ister, that on his passage from this building to the 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 65 

stone church, and upon retiring, all heads were un- 
covered and bowed. 

Although we stated on a former occasion that the 
Rev. Mr. Bertram remained pastor of Derry congrega- 
tion until his death, in 1746, we find, that owing to ill- 
health, he relinquished the care of that people, and in 
the latter part of 1745 the Rev. John Roan came to be 
its minister. It was not, however, until the year 1754 
that the dissensions between Old and New Sideism re- 
sulted in the division of the congregations at Paxtang 
and Derry ; although both Roan and Elder had pre- 
viously drawn the lines. The Rev. Mr. Elder and a 
large majority of his people adopting the " Old Side" 
views, remained in possession of the property. The 
" New Side" people of Derry, being in a majority at 
Derry, with their pastor, the Rev. John Roan, " held 
the fort" at that place. The " New Side" portion of 
Paxtang took sides with Roan, while the " Old Side" 
members of Derry clung to Elder. This full}^ explains 
the following call to the Rev. Mr. Elder, of the date of 
26th September, 1754, and signed by one hundred 
and twenty-eight communicants of Derry and Paxtang : 

" To the Reverend Mr. John Elder : 

"Sir — We, the inhabitants in the Township & Con- 
gregation of Paxtang & Derry, Being now Destitute of 
a settled Gospel minister amongst us ; Being also Deeply 
Sensible of the great loss & Disadvantage we & ours 
may sustain, In regard of our souls & spiritual Con- 

66 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

cerns by our living in such a Condition in this Wilder- 
ness ; & having had Sufficient Proof of, & being well 
pleased & satisfied with the ministerial abilities & 
qualifications of y'u, the Revd. Jno. Elder, Do unani- 
mously Invite and Call y'u to take the Pastoral Care 
& oversight of us, Promising all due subjection, sub- 
mission & obedience to the Doctrine, Discipline & 
Government & Ordinances Exercised & administered 
By y'u as our Pastor in the Lord. And that y'u may 
be the Better Enabled to attend upon y'r Pastoral & 
ministerial work amongst us, without Anxious and 
Distracting Cares about y'r worldly Concerns, We Do 
hereby Cheerfully Promise & Engage to take Care of 
y'r Support and maintenance for an Honourable & 
Creditable manner Suitable to & befitting y'r Honour- 
able Function & office as a Minister of the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ amongst us ; Knowing that the Lord hath 
ordained that they who Preach the Gospel should live 
by the Gospel."* 

In testimony of all w'h we have hereunto Subscribed 
our Names This 26th of September, 1754. 
Thos. ff"orster. David Walker. 

Wm. Armstrong. Robert Chambers. 

John Harris. Moses Dickey. 

Thos. Mc Arthur. William Stoe. 

James Wallace. Thomas Simpson. 

*This Call is in the possession of the Dauphin County Historical 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


James Collier. 
Thomas Dougan. 
Henry McKinney. 
Andrew Stephen. 
John Bell. 
John Morrow. 
Henry Renick. 
John Johnson. 
Oliver Wyllie. 
Samuel Simpson. 
Thomas Renick. 
Patrick Montgomery. 
Richard Cavit. 
William Bell. 
Thomas King. 
Edward King. 
Robert Montgomery. 
John Wiggins, jr. 
James Gilchrist. 
James Mitcheltree. 
John Neal. 
William Hannah. 
John Carson. 
James Drummond. 
Samuel Hunter. 
Alex. Johnson. 
George Gillespy. 
Patrick Gillespy. 

David Patton. 
James Potts. 
Joseph Wilson. 
John McCormick. 
John Cavit. 
James Galbraith. 
Robert Wallace. 
John Harris. 
James Foster. 
James Freeland. 
Robert Armstrong. 
Hugh Wilson. 
James Wilson. 
Robert Chambers, jr. 
Arthur Chambers. 
William Reney. 
Robert McCallen. 
John Hutchison. 
Charles McClure. 
Hugh Black. 
Robert Snodgrass. 
Thomas Black. 
Jean Black. 
Wm. Laird. 
Matthew Laird. 
Elizabeth Park. 
William Harris. 
Robert Gilchrist. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

John Gilchrist. 
William McAlevy. 
John Foster. 
David McClanochan. 
David Reany. 
John Craig. 
John Wyllie. 
Thomas Mays. 
Hugh Hays. 
Andrew Moore. 
David Foster. 
John Hays. 
Henry Walker. 
John Walker. 
John Walker. 
James Walker. 
Hugh Carothers. 
James Carothers. 
James Williamson. 
Samuel Galbraith. 
Hugh McKillip. 
Matthew Cowden. 
James Houston. 
James Tom. 
John Starling. 
Andrew Hannah. 
Peter Corbit. 
Wm. Kerr. 

Joseph Kerr. 
John Gray. 
William Wilson. 
Michael Whitley. 
Thomas Alexander. 
A^alentine Stern. 
Andrew Houston. 
Alex. Johnston. 
Samuel Stephenson. 
Thomas Rutherford. 
Mathias Taylor. 
Stephen Gamble. 
Alex'r Mahon. 
Chas. Clarke. 
Mary Mcllvain. 
James Harris. 
Samuel Shaw. 
Thomas Aikens. 
Th. Strean. 
Thomas McClalen. 
William Prison. 
John McClintock. 
James Davis. 
James Rodgers. 
Hugh Rodgers. 
Joe McNut. 
Widow Rodgers. 
Seth Rodgers. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 69 

Joe Siioddy. David Jamison. 

Robert Harris. Robert Walker. 

Wm. Galbraitb. 

The " New Side" people of Paxtang secured two acres 
of land about two miles east of this, and immediately- 
erected thereon a rival church, at which, and that at 
Derry, Mr. Roan continued his labors until his death, 
in 1775. At the same time a new impetus was given 
to immigration southward and westward. When this 
stone building was erected in 1740, and for ten or 
fifteen years following, the church was crowded with 
devout worshiper^. This locality was full of young 
people, active, intelligent, and enterprising. The re- 
ports, however, of unsettled lands, lying far distant, 
painted the south and west as being more beautiful in 
their solitariness than Paxtang had been, and the chil- 
dren of the Scotch-Irish settlers, like their ancestors, 
sought a new home in the lovely valleys beyond the 
Susquehanna, and among the rich lands of Virginia 
and the Carolinas. As a matter of course, coupled with 
the dissensions previously mentioned, the congrega- 
tions of Paxtang and Derry were seriously crippled. 
The minutes of Donegal Presbytery from September 
28, 1745, to June, 1747, and from October 9, 1750, to 
June 5, 1759, having been lost, while Mr. Elder's private 
papers, being also lost or inaccessible, it is somewhat 
difficult to trace the history of Paxtang during this 
period, probably the most trying one in its existence. 

70 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Then followed the French and Indian war, when 
pastor and people were called upon to defend their 
homes against the blood-thirsty savage. Then it was 
that this house became not only a place of worship to 
Almighty God, but a retreat from the inroads of the 
marauding red man and a dwelling-place of mercy 
and a refuge from storm. " Many a family mourned 
for some of their number shot by the secret foe or car- 
ried away captive. Their rifles were carried with them 
to their work in the field and to the sanctuary. Mr. 
Elder placed his trusty piece beside him in the pulpit. 
Death often overtook his flock as they returned to their 
scattered plantations. In 1756 the meeting-house was 
surrounded whilst he was preaching, but their spies 
having counted the rifles, the Indians retired from their 
ambuscade without making an attack." On another oc- 
casion, in the same year, they came for the purpose of 
attacking the worshipers in church, but by mistake 
they arrived on Monday instead of Sunday, and after 
waiting several days, finding they were discovered, left 
the settlement by way of Indiantown Gap, murdering 
a number of persons on the Swatara and carrying off" 
several prisoners. 

In the winter of 1763-64, transpired the " Paxtang 
Boys " affair — the wiping out of a nest of murder-ma- 
rauding Indians at Conestoga and Lancaster — and 
which created such a " hub-bub " in Quakerdom, that 
more pamphlets and broadsides were (sailed forth, than 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 71 

any one episode in Pennsylvania history. In this con- 
troversy, the pastor and people of Paxtang became in- 
volved. The story is a long but interesting one, and 
there is a " rod in pickle " for some recent historians 
who cannot distinguish between an arrant falsehood 
and the plain truth. 

On June 22, 1764, at a meeting of Presbytery held 
at Derry, Mr. Elder and four other ministers declared 
their intention to cease from active membership in the 
judicatory. This decision was not acted upon by Synod 
until May 19, 1768, when they were joined to the 
Presbytery of Philadelphia, so that for about a pe- 
riod of four years Paxtang was not represented in any 
of the church courts. The trouble arose out of the old 
party feeling of the " Old " and " New Sides," which, 
notwithstanding the union, was still rampant in the 

Shortly after came on the war of the Revolution, and 
the men of Paxtang, who had taken an early Resolve 
for Independence, went into the conflict with heart and 
soul — and from Boston and Quebec, down to the close 
of the struggle at Yorktown — they fought, bled, and 
died for Liberty. In all the wars which have rent the 
land, Paxtang was a nursery for heroes, and God grant 
that the generations coming on may ever emulate the 
patriotic spirit of their gallant ancestors. 

Upon the formation of Carlisle Presbytery, in 1786, 
Paxtang was joined thereto, and has remained in that 

72 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

connection ever since. After the death of Mr. Roan, 
October 2, 1775, Paxtang and Derry were again united 
solely under the charge of Mr. Elder. The congrega- 
tion at Harrisburg, formed April 12, 1787, was added 
to Mr. Elder's charge, as was also the New Side branch 
of Paxtang.* 

* The following papers are very important in this connection : 
On Thursday, April 12th, 1787, during the sessions of the Presbytery 
at Carlisle, a representation and petition of a number of the inhabitants 
of Harrisburg and others in the township of Paxtang was laid before 
Presbytery and read. The said representation sets forth that these peo- 
ple desire to be considered as a Presbyterian Congregation, and to have 
supplies appointed them by the Presbytery ; and that in order to pro- 
mote peace and harmony between them and the Paxtang congregation, 
some proposals had been made to, and considered, though not accepted 
by that congregation, a copy of which was also laid before the Presby- 
tery. Mr. Elder also gave a representation of the state of the case as 
concerning these people and Paxtang congregation. The Presbytery, 
upon considering the case, agreed to propose the following articles to 
the consideration and acceptance of those people, which may have a 
tendency to preserve peace and union in that part of the Church : 

1. That Harrisburg shall be considered as the seat of a Presbyterian 
Church, and part of the charge of the Rev. John Elder, in which he is 
to preach one third of his time. 

2. That Mr. Elder's salary, promised by the congregation of Paxtang, 
shall be continued and paid by the congregation in common, who shall 
adhere to these two places of worship, viz : Paxtang and Harrisburg. 

3. That the congregation thus united may apply for, and obtain sup- 
plies as assistant to the labors of Mr. Elder, to be paid by the congre- 
gation in common. 

4. That when the congregation may judge it proper, they shall have 

Paxtang FresbyteriAjST Church. 75 

On the 17th of July, 1792, the Rev. John Elder laid 
by the armor of this earthly life, and entered upon his 
eternal rest. Born in the city of Edinburgh, January 
26, 1706, he was educated at the University there, 

a right to choose and call a minister as a colleague with Mr. Elder, tO' 
officiate in rotation with him. 

" Dr. Davidson and Mr. Waugh are appointed to attend at the church 
in Lower Paxtang, on tie last Tuesday in May next, to moderate and 
assist in the above matter." 

On the 19th of June, 1787, Dr. Davidson and Mr. Waugh reported to 
Presbytery at Big Spring, that their appointment at Paxtang had been 
fulfilled, and that the following articles had been agreed to by Mr. 
Elder and his congregation, at Harrisburg : 

1. That the congregation shall have two stated places of public wor- 
ship, the one where the Rev. Mr. Elder now officiates, the other in 

2. That the Rev. John Elder shall continue to have and receive dur- 
ing his life or incumbency, all the salary or stipends that he now enjoys, 
to be paid by his present subscribers, as he and they may agree, and 
continue his labors in Derry as usual. 

3. That for the present the congregation may apply to the Presbytery 
for supplies, which, when obtained, the expenses shall be defrayed by 
those who do not now belong to Mr. Elder's congregation, and such as 
may think proper to join with them ; and should such supplies be ap- 
pointed when Mr. Elder is to be in Paxtang, then he and the supply 
shall preach in rotation, the one in the country, and the other in town. 
But should Mr. Elder be in Derry, then the supplies shall officiate in 

4. That the congregation when able, or they think proper, may in- 
vite and settle any regular Presbyterian minister they or a majority of 
them may choose and can obtain, as a co-pastor with Mr. Elder, who 
shall officiate as to preaching in the manner specified in the third pro- 

74 Paxtang Pkesbyterian Church. 

studied divinit}^, and in the year 1732 was licensed 
to preach the Gospel, although he did not come into 
the Presbytery of Donegal until October 5, 1737, and 
then as a licentiate from the Presbytery of New Castle. 
However that may be, he came to America following 
his father's family, in the year mentioned, and yet his 
only pastorate was that of Paxtang. He was a man 
whose whole life reads like a romance. I regard him 
as the most prominent figure in our early provincial 
history. He towered far above all men in the era in 
which he lived, and his name and fame will long en- 
dure. The heroes of New England are but pigmies 
compared with this giant. Whether we view him as a 
minister of the Gospel, as a brave soldier, or in civil 
life — or yet as a thinker and a man of intellectual 
powers — his personality was extraordinary. There was 
something in his life which called forth an enthusiastic 
and passionate devotion — in a few words, he was a 
grand old man, an honor to the Church of Christ and 
to the race of men ! If this era does not take care of 
him, futurity will — for if any man was born a leader, 
it was the Rev. John Elder, of Paxtang. His descend- 
ants of four generations are with us to-day, to do 
reverence to the church of their fathers. 

Upon the death of Mr. Elder, Paxtang congregation, 
after hearing various candidates, finally united with the 
Derry and Harrisburg churches in a call to the Rev. 
Nathaniel R. Snowden, of Philadelphia, each agreeing 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church, 


to pay him fifty pounds per annum.* He was installed 
pastor, October 2, 1793, but finding, in 1796, the labor 
of attending to three congregations too great for his 
bodily strength, he relinquished Paxtang and Derry, re- 
taining Harrisburg, which he served ' satisfactorily for 

*The following is a copy of the original subscription list — but it com- 
prises only the names of those present at the congregational meeting 
held on the 7th of March, 1793 : 

We the under subscribers do each of us promise to pay annually the 
sums annexed to our names, to the trustees of Paxtang congregation, 
or the collectors appointed by them, as a salary due to the Rev. Mr. 
Snowden, for the one-third part of his labors amongst us, and while he 
continues a regular preaching pastor in said congregation and we mem- 
bers of it. Given under our hands this seventh day of March, A. D. 







James Caldwell, . 

. 1 



Jacob Awl, . . . 

. 2 


John Means, . . . 



John Rutherford, . 

. 1 


John Willson, . . 

. 1 


William Smith, . . 

. 1 


William Calhoun, 



James Cowden, 

. 1 


Richard Carson, . 



Josiah Espy, ■. . . 

. 1 


Joshua Elder, . . 


Thomas McArthur, 

. 1 


John Elder, Jr., . 

. 1 



Barbara Walker, . 




John Gilchrist, . . 

. 1 

Mary Peacock, . . 




Alexander McCay, 




James Cochran, . 

. 1 

Thomas Forster, . 

. 1 



John Wilson, Jr., 

. 1 


William McRoberts, 



Andrew Stephen, . 




Richard Fulton, . 

. 1 


James Johnston, . 




Thomas Brown, . 




William Boyd, . . 




William Wanless, . 



Adam Barbe, . . 



Daniel Brunson, . 




Alexander Maharguc 

S -0 


Alexander Willson, 

. 1 


William Kerr, . . 

. 1 


76 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

many years.* Mr. Snowden was a profound theologian, 
a faithful minister of the Gospel, and greatly beloved by 
his people. We are honored to-day by the presence of 

* Letter Sent to Presbytery in 1795. 

Paxtang, Odr. 5, 1795. 
' ' To the Revd. Presbytery of Carlisle about to convene at Marsh Creek 
in the County of York : 

" Whereas, Mr. Snowden has signified to his congregation in Derry 
Township that he is no longer able to officiate in his Ministerial capacity 
to them on acct. of Inability of body, & that he purposes to apply to 
Presbytery for a Discharge from said congregation which we conceive, 
if he might be indulged in his Request, wou'd leave the congregation 
of Paxtang in a very distressing & Perilous Situation ; that the two con- 
gregations have lived for many years past in perfect peace, friendship 
and unanimity, and that we do not wish for a schism between us now ; 
that if the union is once broke there will be no probability of us being 
united again ; that if Mr. Snowden is rendered incapable of undergoing 
the fatigue of the three congregations in less than three years in the 
prime of life, by all probability he will not be able in a short time to 
attend to two congregations, and of consequence we shall be lef; with- 
out a pastor and the means of giving a call to another. We, therefore, 
pray to be considered as united with Derry, and that if Mr. Snowden 
should insist on being disunited from them, that Presbytery will appoint 
a committee of their body to enquire into the matter before anything 
decisive may take place ; and that the majority of this congregation' 
how much soever they may be attached to Mr. Snowden, wou'd rather 
he should leave us as he found u«, than submit to a dissolution of the 
union subsisting between us. 

" By order of a meeting of Paxtang congregation. 

"John Rutherford, 
"Joshua Elder." 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 77 

his distinguished grand-son, Major-General George R. 
Snowden, of Philadelphia. 

One of Paxtang's children, resident in the west, pres- 

SuppLiCATioN Sent to Pkesbytert, 1796. 

" Paxtang, Jan'y, 1796. 
" To the Moderator of Carlisle Presbytery about to meet at Big Spring : 
"By order of the Committee of Presbytery which sat at Paxtang the 
3d of Nov'r last, the Congregation of Paxtang was notifyed the last 
Sunday but one which we had meeting that the sense ot the Congrega- 
tion wou'd be taken on the next Sabbath whether we wou'd adhere to 
Harrisburg & break the Union with Derry, or whether we wou'd con- 
tinue the Union with Derry & break off with Harrisburg. Accordingly 
after sermon last Sunday the heads of families were desired to attend, 
and after the business was explained to them, we proceeded to take the 
votes of the People, & it appeared that a Majority of the Congregation 
was for continuing the Union with Derry and relinquishing Harris- 
burg ; they likewise chose the bearer Capt'n John Rutherford as their 
Commissioner to wait on Presbytery with this Remonstrance, praying 
that Presbytery wou'd grant us Supplies & dissolve the Congregation of 
Paxtang from their Obligations to Mr. Snowden & that he might discon- 
tiiiue his labors to them unless ordered to supply them as any other 

Supplication Sent to the Presbytery of Carlisle, 1796. 

" Paxtang, Sept. 3, 1796. 
" The Reverend Presbytery of Carlisle : 

" Gentlemen, — Whereas we are now destitute of the Gospel Ordi- 
nances being regularly administered to us, and what few supplies were 
alloted for us at the last Presbytery we fell short even of these on ac- 
count of the age and inability of one of the members appointed to sup- 
ply us ; We, the subscribers, in behalf of this Congregation who met for 
that purpose do most earnestly beg and entreat that Presbytery would 

78 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

ent here to-day, says of Mr. Snowden : " Those of Pax- 
tang congregation whose memories run back sixty 
years, will remember as an occasional visitor, this very 

be pleased to grant as many Supplies as they can with convenience ; 
we likewise wish that if there be any young or unsettled members be- 
longing to Presbytery these might be sent to us that we might have an 
opportunity of the Gospel once more regularly established and admin- 
istered in all the forms thereto belonging ; and your Supplicants as in 
duty bound shall ever pray." 

Appeal of the Paxtang Congregation to the Moderator. 

" Paxtang, Oct. 1, 1797. 
" To the Moderator of the Reverend Presbytery of Carlisle : 

" Sir, — We again acknowledge our dependence and renew our request 
in praying Presbytery to give us such and as many supplies during the 
winter season as they can with convenience. The bearer, Mr. James 
Rutherford, is appointed our Commissioner to present this remonstrance 
to Presbytery and to answer such interrogatories as may be required of 

" Signed in behalf of Paxtang congregation by 

"Joshua Elder." 

Letter to the Moderator of Carlisle Presbytery, 1798. 

"Paxtang, Sept. 26, 1798. 
" To the Moderator of Carlisle Presbytery : 

" Sir, — The bearer, Edward Crouch, is our commissioner, appointed 
by the congregation of Paxtang to wait on the Reverend Presbytery of 
Carlisle with a call for the Reverend Joshua Williams for the one-third 
of his labors in union with Derry, whom we expect will apply for the 
remaining two-thirds ; likewise to solicit the Presbytery to grant us 
Supplies in the meantime. Signed in behalf and with the approbation 
of the congregation by Joshua Elder." 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 79 

worthy gentleman. In his sixties he looked hale and 
vigorous, grey eyes, iron grey hair, a full face, and 
weight one hundred and sixty pounds. The writer 
remembers his voice as strong and sonorous, and that 
he delivered his words with measured deliberation. He 
neverfailed to state to his auditors two facts. First. That 
Philadelphia was the place of his birth ; and secondly, 
that he had heard Independence bell ring .on the 
morning of July 4, 1776." 

A call was then given to the Rev. Joshua Williams, 
who accepted the same, and he was ordained and in- 
stalled October 2, 1799, Derry to receive two thirds of 
his time and pay one hundred and twenty pounds, and 
Paxtang one third and pay sixty pounds. This pas- 
torate only lasted one year and eight months, ending 
on the 30th of June, 1801. Mr. Williams seemed to 
have had trouble collecting his stipends, for we find him 
complaining to Presbytery, in 1803, about his salary 
arrears. The moderator was directed to write to these 
churches and say, " that if these arrearages are not dis- 
charged before the next meeting of Presbytery, that 
body would be under the disagreeable necessity of with- 
holding from them that attention and regard which 
they pay to churches under their care." This did not 
have much effect, for we find them still unpaid in Sep- 
tember, 1805. A grand-son of his. Col. Joshua Williams, 
of the city of Minneapolis, has come to do reverence 
here to-day. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

On May 29, 1807, Mr. James R. Sharon was installed, 
both congregations agreeing to pay the same salary as 
that promised to Mr. Williams. 

In 1808, the "meeting-house" and "retiring-house" 
were put in thorough repair.* The latter, built about 

*As a matter of interest to their descendants, now widely scattered, 

we give the names of those contributing thereto : 







Hobert Elder, . . . 

. 3 


Sarah Wilson, . . 

. 1 



James Cowden, . . 

. 3 


John Forster, . . 

. 1 


Edward Crouch, . . 

. 3 


Charles Chamberlain 



Elizabeth Gray, . . 

. 1 



John Ross, . . . 




Johu Gray, .... 

. 1 


Michael Simpson, . 

. 1 


John Wiggins, . . . 

. 1 



Jean Carson, . . . . 




.Tfimp'5 r?,nt nPTrnTn 

. 2 


Joseph Burdj 

. 2 


Samuel Sherer, . . ■ 

. 1 



Robert Gray, . . 

. 1 


John Gilchrist, . . . 

. 1 


Thomas Walker, . 




Samuel Rutherford, . 

. 1 


William Caldhoon, 

. 1 

William Rutherford, 

. 1 


John Rutherford, . 



Robert McClare, . . 

. 1 


Michael Simpson, 

. 6 

John Richey, . . . 

. 1 



James Awl, . . . 

. .0 



Thomas Smith, . . . 



Joseph Burd, . . 



•Susanna Rutherford, 




David Patton, . . 

. 1 



Thomas Elder, . . . 

. 1 


Robert Gray, . . 

. 1 


John Carson, . . . 



Thomas Walker, . 

. . 



Josiah Espy, .... 

. 1 


John Walker, . . 




James Awl, .... 

. 1 



Jacob Richards, . 

. 1 


John Allison, . . . 




Jean Wilson, . . 

. 1 


James Cochran, . . 



Frederick Hatton, 




Ann Stephen, . . . 



William Calhoon, . 

. 1 

John McCammon, . 



John Finney, . . . 



Mary Fulton, . . . 

. 1 



Joseph Wilson, . . 

. 1 



Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


the period of Mr. Elder's decease, was a small log build- 
ing near the church, used for meetings of session, and 
as a study by the pastor during the interval between 
the morning and afternoon service, and on week-days 
as a school-house. The " repairs " at this time consisted 
partly in the running up two board partitions, thereby 
creating a vestibule at each end, with the audience- 
room in the center. The partitions were of yellow pine, 
as was also the ceiling, which was placed in position at 
this time. The pews were left standing in the western 
vestibule, and were remaining within the memory of 
some of the present congregation. There was little 
uniformity in the Paxtang pews of that day, as each 
had been built by the family occupying it, and by their 
own architect. Two huge ten-plate stoves were placed 
in the long aisle, the smoke from which ascended 
through pipes to the loft, and made its escape as best it 
could through a small hole in the comb of the roof. 

Mr. Sharon was a man of eminent piety, and was 
greatly beloved by this people. His pastorate covered 
a period of almost thirty-six years, and ended only with 
his life, April 18, 1843. During these years the gospel 

Mary Rutherford, . . 




William Whitely, . 




William Lamed, . . 

. 1 

David Stewart, . . 



James Stewart, . . . 



Thomas MeCord, . 



Joshua Elder, . . . 

. 3 

Elizabeth Wills, . 

. 1 


Thomas Buffington, . 



Hugh Stephen, . . 



John Elder, . . . . 

. 1 


John Rutherford, . 



82 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

of peace reigned, and little is left for the historian but 
to record the fact.* 

My venerable friend, Dr. Hiram Rutherford, to whom 
I am much indebted for information relating to the 
"long ago," gives me these recollections of this devoted 
minister : " The tall, lank figure of Mr. Sharon was one 
of the fixtures and features of Paxtang, sixty years 
ago. His soft, white, delicate skin, blue eyes, dark 
hair, narrow chest — his soft, weak but clear voice, hack- 
ing cough, etc., marked him as one short for this world. 
Yet he was punctual in his duties, preached good, sen- 
sible sermons, attended all christenings, marriages, and 
funerals. With all odds against him, he lived his three 
score and ten, and at last was gathered to his fathers, 
ripe for the harvest, with eternal 'sunshine on his head.' 
His residence was in Derry, and he usually came up to 
Paxtang of a Saturday evening. In winter he wore a 
dark colored overcoat, with a moveable cape. His 
lower limbs were cased in velveteen (dark) overalls, or 
as then called, cherre-valles. Mounted on his chestnut 
sorrel horse, with riding whip in hand, and that hand 
and arm at an angle of forty-five, he moved over the 
road at a steady jog trot, mile after mile, a slender, 
gaunt figure, so unique, that he was recognizable as far 

*Mr. Sharon preserved a full record of his ministerial acts — marriages, 
baptisms, admissions, and dismissions — which is printed in the Ap- 
pendix to this volume. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 83 

away as he could be seen. At recess he staid in the 
log study house, generally alone, and in his passage 
thence to the church, he always carried his spectacles 
in his hand, greeting but few as he passed, with eyes 
bent on the ground before him. Then the loud call of 
Mr. Jordan would be heard, * Mr. Sharon has gone in.' 
I have heard my father speak of Mr. Elder's passage 
under similar circumstances from the study house to 
the church. Mr. Elder was an austere man. As he 
emerged from the log building he carried in his hand a 
book, with his fingers among the leaves, and his eyes 
fixed ten feet ahead of him. With measured, deliberate 
steps, he looked neither to the right or left, and greeted 
no one on the way." 

On October 1st, 1844, the Presbytery of Carlisle met 
at Paxtang. A call was placed in the hands of Rev. 
John M. Boggs, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Done- 
gal. Mr. Boggs accepted, but asked that his ordination 
be j)Ostponed until the spring meeting, in order that he 
might attend the Theological Seminary at Princeton 
during the winter. His request was granted, and he 
was ordained April 9, 1845, and installed soon after as 
pastor of Paxtang and Derry. His pastorate was un- 
eventful, and was dissolved on October 6, 1847. 

The field was now vacant for a period of more than 
two years, during which time extensive alterations and 
repairs were made. The whole inside of the building 
was removed, the western door and the small window 

84 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

back of the pulpit walled up, new shingles placed upon 
the roof, and a floor laid throughout the entire building, 
the halls and ceiling plastered, the pulpit taken down 
from its perch on the north wall, and a new one placed 
at a much lower elevation against the western wall^ 
New pews of modern style and uniform character were 
built, and the old pulpit, pews, and furniture, which 
had been in use since Mr. Elder's time, were sold at 
public auction. 

On September 28th, 1849, a call from Paxtang and 
Derry was placed in the hands of Rev. Andrew D. 
Mitchell, Paxtang promising three hundred dollars and 
Derry two hundred per annum. Mr. Mitchell accepted, 
and was ordained and installed April 10, 1850. Mr. 
Mitchell was a single man when he accepted these 
charges, but married a few years afterwards. Hitherto 
Paxtang had never needed a parsonage. Mr. Bertram 
lived near Derry on his farm ; while Mr. Elder and Mr- 
Sharon, who had occupied the field for a centurj^ were 
both practical agriculturalists and lived on their farms • 
and Mr. Boggs was unmarried. It now, however, be- 
came necessary to provide a house for Mr. Mitchell, and 
the present parsonage was erected, and was occupied by 
him during the remainder of his pastorate, which ended 
February 12, 1874. Near the close of Mr. Mitchell's 
pastorate the inside of the church was partly remodeled 
and arranged pretty much as it now stands. 

In November of the same year (1874) a call was made 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 85 

out for the Rev. William W. Downey by Paxtang, 
Derry having died out. Mr. Downey accepted, and 
was installed April 29, 1875. In 1878 this pastorate 
was dissolved, and the congregation for several years 
was acceptably supplied by the Rev. William A. West 
of Harrisburg. 

On the 16th of June, 1887, having previously accept- 
ed a call, the Rev. Albert B. Williamson, a graduate of 
Princeton Theological Seminary, was ordained, and 
continues in the pastorate. 

Intimately connected with Paxtang Church was the 
school which flourished from the earliest times down 
to the establishment of free schools in Dauphin county. 
It was never under the control of the church as an 
ecclesiastical body, but the same men who composed 
the congregation were the patrons of the school, and 
the building itself was the property of the congregation. 
It may therefore fairly be considered as an appendage of 
the church, and the old masters stood next in rank and 
dignity to the clergyman. Here flourished such men 
as Francis Kerr, Joseph Allen, Benjamin White, James 
Couples, Francis D. Cummings, and others celebrated 
in their day and generation as educators, and from 
whose instructions went forth many young men after- 
wards distinguished in every walk of life. 

Originally the congregation owned a tract of twenty 
acres in the shape of a paralellogram, whose length was 
about three times its width. Nearly forty years ago a 

86 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

portion of this tract was sold, leaving a square of six 
or eight acres, covered largely with forest-trees, among 
which are several giant oaks that were doubtless trees 
when Columbus landed on the shores of America. 
Near the center of the tract stands the church, the par- 
sonage occupies the southeast corner, and between the 
two lies the graveyard. In early times no distinct 
limits were set to the burying-ground, and the people 
buried their dead anywhere, according to their fancy, 
in the clearing to the south and southeast of the church. 
Graves were seldom marked, and a few years obliterated 
all trace of them. As families became permanent and 
the number of these graves increased, more care was 
taken, tombstones began to be erected and lots fenced 
in. The want of uniformity, however, in these fences, 
and of regularity in the selection of lots, rendered the 
grounds very unsightl}^, as well as very difficult to 
keep clear of weeds and briers. This state of affairs 
existed until 1791-92, when the ground was inclosed 
by a stone wall, the greater portion of which is still 
standing. This wall does not by any means include 
all the graves of Paxtang. It did, however, surround 
all that were marked by tombstones or protected by 
fences. In 1819 a new roof was placed upon the wall ; 
the contractor was Matthew Humes. The ground en- 
closed had very nearly all been buried over once, and 
some of it twice before the wall was erected. In course 
of time, therefore, it became impossible to dig a grave 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 87 

without disturbing the remains of several of the un- 
known and forgotten dead. The old south wall was 
(then) taken down, and during the summer of 1852 
the grounds were extended ninety feet, and the whole 
covered with wood, and so it stood until the summer of 
1882, when the wall was again repaired, and a new 
roof of wood placed thereon. 

This church building is the oldest house of Presby- 
terian worship in the entire State of Pennsylvania. It 
has seen the revolution of years carrying away the 
generations of men, their habitations and their churches. 
Although the benches and the desk speak of modern 
origin, yet the doors hang upon the solid posts in unison 
with the stone walls, and while as now the storms of a 
century and a half have left their marks, give no signs 
of speedy decay. 

And now, my friends, after this summary of events 
transpiring in old Paxtang for one hundred and 
seventy years, let us go into yonder God's Acre, far older 
than the church itself. With our greatest American 
poet — Longfellow : 

' ' I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which calls 
The burial ground God's Acre 1 It is just ; 

It consecrates each grave within its walls, 
And breathes a benison o'er the sleeping dust." 

In my boyhood days there was over the entrance, on 

a semi-circular board these lines : 

"Persons entering this consecrated ground are en- 

88 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

treated not to walk or stand upon the graves or grave- 
stones — such to the living are sacred," 

Bearing this injunction in mind, we will simply look 
over the wall, for there is not a foot of ground where 
the dead lie not. To the left of the entrance and to- 
wards the north side are several generations of Elder ; 
to the east rest the remains of Parson Elder of blessed 
memory, — in the northwest corner his sons Colonels 
Joshua and Robert Elder, both men of mark in the 
Revolutionary era. East from this, not far from the 
center, rest the remains of John Harris, the founder of 
Harrisburg; and near by those of his son-in-law, Wil- 
liam Maclay, Senator from Pennsylvania in the First 
Congress of the United States. Close by and around 
the latter are those of his sons-in-law. Dr. John Hall 
and William Wallace. A little to the south of Elder's 
grave rest the Montgomerys, one of the oldest families 
in Paxtang; and on a line with them and to the south 
are the remains of Andrew Stewart and his wife Mary 
Dinwiddle, sister of Governor Dinwiddle, of Virginia. 
They were the ancestors of the Reverend John Stew- 
art, who, notwithstanding his early teachings by his 
Covenanter father, accepted ordination at the hands of 
the Established Church, returned to America under the 
auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gos- 
pel in Foreign Parts, missionated among the Mohawks 
in the Valley of the Hudson, became a loyalist during 
the Revolution, and from him have descended several 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 89 

of the most prominent personages in Canadian history. 
East of this line of graves is that of Thomas Ruther- 
ford, the ancestor of all the clan, many of whose de- 
scendants remain steadfast to the principles and wor- 
ship of old Paxtang Church — and one of whom, [Abner 
Rutherford, who died September 2, 1890, aged 76] the 
sturdiest oak of all, has recently fallen in the battle- 
storm of life; while farther east are the remains of 
William Brown, to whom the United Presbyterians are 
indebted for bringing to this country those staid old 
Covenanters Dobbins and Lind. Between these are 
the remains of Captain Crouch, Captain Cowden, and 
a little to the south those of Robert Gray, Captain Bris- 
ban, General Michael Simpson, and other heroes of the 
Revolution who fought and bled in defense of liberty. 
Eight generations lie in that myrtle-covered grave- 
yard, and yet they represent only a fraction of those 
who once worshiped in this place. The thousands 
who sought homes in the wide expanse of our glorious 
heritage, took deep inspiration here, and the influences 
for godliness which from this church have gone forth, 
will not be known until the Resurrection morn. This 
congregation may wander away, and this building pass 
into decay, but the teachings of the saintly men who 
have here gone in and out, will live on, forever, and 

90 Paxtang Pkesbyterian Church. 

While Dr. Egle was speaking, the wooden supports 
of the benches gave evidence of weakness, and an omi- 
nous cracking sound caused the people to arise very 
quickly. A witty western elder present notified the 
moderator that ''It is evident that modern planks are 
not those of which Presbyterianism is made of." Later 
on, when the seats again broke. Moderator Stewart 
said : '' We are bound to be descendants to-day." 

Moderator Stewart. If you will leave those seats 
about five minutes, the carpenter will have them re- 
paired, and everything made firm. There are some 
advantages in having planed boards ; but I think our 
ancestors, who sat on slabs, sat on firmer seats. [Re- 
newed laughter and applause.] 

The audience sung a hymn. No. 575. 

I love thy kingdom. Lord ! 

The house of thine abode, 
The church our blessed Redeemer saved 

With his own precious blood. 

I love thy church, God ! 

Her walls before thee stand, 
Dear as the apple of thine eye, 

And graven on thy hand. 

If e're to bless thy sons 

My voice or hands deny, 
These hands let useful skill forsake, 

This voice in silence die. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 91 

For her my tears shall fall ; 

For her my prayers ascend ; 
To her my cares and toils be given 

Till toils and cares shall end. 

Beyond my highest joy 

I prize her heavenly ways, 
Her sweet communion, solemn vows, 

Her hymns of love and praise. 

Sure as thy truth shall last, 

To Zion shall be given 
The brightest glories earth can yield. 

The brighter bliss of heaven. 

Moderator Stewart. This is Paxtang's day, of 
course. We all understand that there were Presby- 
terians here, and they were noble people ; but they had 
neighbors, and those neighbors were most excellent peo- 
ple. It is well for us on this occasion to remember these 
neighbors, with whom they lived in peace, and whom 
they highly regarded. It was therefore deemed appro- 
priate by the committee that something should be said 
of the Presbyterianism of this region outside of Paxtang ; 
and they have asked Rev. William A. West, the stated 
clerk of this Presbytery, than whom no more fitting 
person could have been selected to speak on this topic. 
Therefore, we will ask Rev. Mr. West to now address us 
on the subject of "Presbyterianism in this Region." 



The character of a church, of a conimunity, of a peo- 
ple must necessarily be conditioned largely by the 
original make-up of that church, community, people ; 
the character of their early leaders and the influences 
thrown around them during the plastic and formative 
period of their history. 

It were to be expected that among a people with 
such antecedents as theirs, and having had a leader- 
ship such as that enjoyed by the early Presbyterians of 
this region, there would be found those excellencies and 
virtues which afford at once beauty and strength of 
character. Theirs was a Presbyterianism of a type 
quite distinctive — not liable to be neutralized and lost, 
but possessing power to perpetuate itself. They were 
men and women of clear views, which they held in- 
telligently. They had strong convictions which made 
them ready to speak and to act, when occasion de- 
manded, with decision and promptness. With them 
every principle and every measure had to be weighed 
in the balances of right and wrong, as held by them. 
This was the standard by which was fixed the seal of 
approval or disapproval. In the strength and manli- 
ness of their characters they would have scorned to 
recognize the easy-going doctrine of expediency, which 

96 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

helps so many men over the rough places to-day in 
business, in politics, in religion. This regard for the 
principle of right constituted the groundwork of what is 
so often laid to their charge as characteristic obstinacy. 
They were obstinate. There is no denying this. But 
theirs was no mere willful obstinacy — obstinacy for the 
sake of obstinacy. It was the obstinacy of conviction ; 
and as such, it is a trait to be held in honor rather 
than reproach. The man who will contend for and is 
willing to sufifer for what he deems right is the man 
who is worthy of admiration and confidence. 

It was not without cause that these men with their 
families left their old homes. They had been subjected 
to wrongs and oppression which they hated and would 
not endure. It was with high aspirations and noble 
purposes they crossed the deep and endured hardships 
and privations and perils. There were homes to be 
made. There were priceless privileges, religious and 
civil, to be secured and enjoyed. There were rights to 
be sought and maintained. In the pursuit and pros- 
pect of objects such as these, they could " hope all 
things, bear all things, endure all things." A people 
possessing such traits of character were well fitted to 
be pioneers in the settlement of a new country and to 
lay securely the foundations of civil and religious in- 
stitutions that should prove blessings to them and their 

On this occasion we would glance hurriedly at several 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 97 

prominent characteristics, which marked the early 
Presbyterianism of this region, and which have left 
their trace behind them — their regard for Education, 
for the Services of the Sanctuary and for the Word of God 
and the Standards of the Church, their Public and Patriotic 
Spirit, and their Conservatism. 

1. From the first it showed itself the earnest and 
steadfast friend, the zealous promoter and liberal patron 
of Education. Its ministers were educated men. To 
this we know of no exception. The people were intelli- 
gent, and were not content that their children should 
be without the opportunities and advantages of educa- 
tion. The newness of the country and their hardships 
and privations must not prevent this. As a rule the 
school-house was found hard by the sanctuary. Here 
the rudimental branches of education and the Cate- 
chism were faithfully taught. Text-books were few, 
and far from perfect. But careful preparation and 
thorough mastery of whatever was undertaken were 
demanded. Thus was education in the true sense — 
that of drawing out and unfolding the mental and 
moral powers — secured. It was quite different from 
superficial skimming over a wide surface, and cram- 
ming to surfeit with the heterogeneous gatherings. 

Nor were they satisfied that the advantages of the 
parish school alone should be enjoyed. Higher insti- 
tutions of learning — academies — were established at 

98 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. , 

various points more than one hundred years ago.* On 
territory then, but no longer belonging to us, were 

*Iii this connection the following may be interesting : 

William Graham, son of William Graham, was born in Paxtang 
township, then Lancaster county, Province of Pennsylvania, on the 
19th of' December, 1745. His father, of Scotch parentage, came from 
the North of Ireland, as did his mother, whose maiden name was Sus- 
annah Miller. His early years were spent on the farm, but by dint of 
hard labor and perseverance, so characteristic of the Scotch-Irish youth 
of that day, he prepared himself for admission to the college of New 
Jersey, (now Princeton,) where he graduated in 1773. He taught in the 
grammar school connected with that institution, while studying theology 
under the tuition of the Rev. John Roan. 

Among the papers of Rev. John Roan we have the following account : 

" Wm. Graham enter'd lObr, 23, 1767. 
1768. Jan. 23-31, absent. 
Ap. 2-25, absent. 
May 1, abs't some days. 
June 18, returned 8br. 2d. 
Dec'r. 24, some days absent. 

Went away Feb. 4, 1769. In all here 9 months. I told his 
father, June 10, 1769, that it should be charged at about £8 pr. 

annum, viz 6 : 00 : 

Rec'd. Dec'r 21, 1769, of ye above 4:10:0 

Again, May, 1771 0:07:0 

Jan. 18, 1773 1:10:0 

Lent to Wm. Graham Nov. 15, 1773 0:10:0 

Jan. 19, 1774 1:05:0 

From the foregoing it would seem that as late as 1774, he was a stu- 
dent of Mr. Roan's. 

Mr. Graham, on the 26th of October, 1775, was licensed to preach 
by the Presbytery of Hanover, Virginia, to which locality his family 
had previously removed. When the Presbytery determined to establish 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 99 

academies at Pequea,* Fagg's Manor, and New London, 
(afterwards Delaware College;) and on territory now 
belonging to us, at Harrisburg, Gettysburg, (Dobbin's 
Academy,) Carlisle, and Shippensburg — also at Hagers- 
town, Md., until recently belonging to us. But little 
less than one hundred years ago academies were estab- 
lished at Chambersburg, Newburg, (Hopewell Academ}^,) 
Bedford, and Cumberland, Md. For the last twenty 
years the latter two have not belonged to this Pres- 

A little over a hundred years ago was founded by 
Presbyterians and located at Carlisle, Dickinson College 
— an institution which in point of character and influ- 

a school for the rearing of young men for the ministry, they applied to 
the Rev. Stanhope Smith, then itinerating in Virginia, to recommend 
a suitable person to take charge of their school, upon which he at once 
suggested Mr. Graham. Prior to this a classical school had been taught 
at a place called Mt. Pleasant, and there Mr. G. commenced his labors 
as a teacher, and there we find the germ whence sprung Washington 
College, and the now celebrated Washington and Lee University of 
Virginia. Mr. Graham died at Richmond, Va., June 8th, 1799. He 
married Mary Kerr, of Carlisle, Pa., and by her had two sons and three 
daughters. His eldest son entered the ministry, but died young ; the 
other studied medicine, settled in Georgia, and died about 1840. — 
Notes and Queries. 

*The second oldest Presbyterian settlement in Lancaster county. 
Pa., was along the headwaters of Pequea creek, in Salisbury township. 
The congregation was organized in 1722, and was supplied by New 
Castle Presbytery. On October IS, 1724, Rev. Adam Boyd was the 
first ordained pastor. — Samuel Evans. 


100 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

ence was well nigh, if not quite, the equal of Nassau 
Hall in the earlier days of these two schools of learning. 

Moreover, the character of the people, the promi- 
nence of their leaders, the weight and influence of the 
church in this region, and the fitness of location, led 
the General Assembly, more than three fourths of a 
century ago, to turn their thoughts to one of the towns 
of the beautiful Cumberland Valley as a suitable place 
to locate its first Theological Seminary, Princeton, 
however, was too infiuential a competitor. It was the 
only competitor. But if Princeton carried off" the palm 
and can boast that oldest and honored school of the 
Prophets, Chambersburg, her vanquished rival of that 
day, has now an institution for the education of 
the daughters of the church of which we may justly 
be proud.* 

2. The Presbyterianism of this region has always 
been characterized by the great importance which it 
attaches to the services of the sanctuary. By our ances- 
tors the preaching of the word was held in the highest 
regard. Hence, one of the first things they did when 
settled in sufficient numbers in anj'- locality, was to 
"supplicate" Presbytery to send ministers to preach to 
them, to administer the sacraments, and, not unfre- 
quently, to catechise their children. As soon as possi- 
ble the settlement of a pastor was secured, and, with 
the permission of Presbytery as to location, a liouse of 

*Wilson Female College. 

Paxtang Presbyterian CnuRcn. 101 

worship was speedily erected. This was generally a 
log building, rudely furnished. But here the message 
of God was delivered in earnest and impressive words, 
and was eagerly received into good and honest hearts. 
More commodious and substantial buildings took the 
place of these log structures as occasion required and 
the pecuniary circumstances of the people improved. 

Many of these early Presbyterians had to go six or 
eight miles to church. But the Sabbath found them 
regularly in their places. They came to listen not to a 
single discourse but to two, with an intermission of 
thirty minutes intervening. This intermission was 
quite an important feature. During it the people were 
assembled in groups about the spring, (for if possible a 
spring was selected as the place for locating a house of 
worship,) the simple lunch was partaken of, and con- 
versation was freely entered into — sometimes devout, 
sometimes otherwise. But even when unwittingly the 
weather and the crops and family affairs and the affairs 
of other people's families became the absorbing topics of 
conversation, there was something very delightful in 
these comminglings and communings. The people 
were brought very near to each other. They were made 
to realize their oneness in relation to God, to his church, 
and to each other as a community. Thus there sprang 
up among them a strong bond of union, such as in 
many places is unknown in church life to-day. 

At that early day preaching was almost the only 

102 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

service enjoyed in the sanctuary. Tlie weekly prayer - 
meeting and lecture had not yet come into existence, 
and Sabbath-schools were unknown. To this we know 
of but a single exception, that of a school established 
by Ludwick Haeker, just one hundred and fifty years 
ago, at Ephrata, Lancaster county. This school was 
kept open until the building in which it was held was 
taken for a hospital during the revolutionary war. The 
modern Sabbath-school had not as yet sprung into 
existence.) It was not until 1781 that Robert Raikes 
gathered together the ragged urchins of Gloucester, 
England, into a school upon the Lord's day, and 
paid a shilling a day to the female teachers employed 
to instruct them. There was no child's play connected 
with that school, and the shilling was well earned. 
The children were taught from 10, a. m., to 12, m. Then 
there was an hour's recess, after which they read a les- 
son and were taken to church. After church they re- 
peated the catechism until 5, and were then dismissed 
with the solemn charge to "go home at once and 

The introduction of the Sabbath-school into the 
United States dates back about eighty or eighty-one 
years. In the territory covered by the Presbytery of 
Carlisle one hundred years ago, and in which there 
was no Sabbath-school of any denomination, there are 
now between thirty and thirty-five thousand children 
collected in the Presbyterian Sabbath-schools alone. How 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church, 103 

many there would be at the end of a year, if the schools 
were conducted after the manner of Robert Raikes' 
school, " deponent saith not." 

But, although the Sabbath-school was then an insti- 
tution unknown, the careful instruction and training 
of the children of the households and churches were by 
no means unknown. Faithful home instruction in the 
Shorter Catechism was the rule. Each Sabbath evening 
the high priest of the family assembled his household 
and heard it recited. And annually did the pastor» 
by his examinations, ascertain how well the home 
work had been done. This system of instruction caused 
the children and youth of the church to be well indoc- 
trinated in the principles of our religion. Moreover, 
it made sirong men and women, possessed of intelli- 
gence and imbued with sound principles, prepared to 
act well their part in church and society. A large pro- 
portion of the men thus reared in this region have 
shown themselves strong men — strong men in the bus- 
iness affairs of life, in the learned professions, upon the 
bench, and in public and political affairs, alike of the 
State and of the Nation. Were there none but the chil- 
dren of Christian families to be looked after and cared for, 
we should to-day, with all the light which observation 
and experience have thrown upon the subject, say that 
the old was better than is the new. But viewed in the 
light of the otherwise uncared-for multitudes, we regard 
the Sabbath -school as one of the greatest blessings, and 

104 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

one of the most potent agencies for good known in con- 
nection with the Christian church. We rejoice in the 
work which is being accomplished by it. 

8. Let us view our subject in a doctrinal point of view. 
The Presbyterianism of this region has always honored 
the word of God as of supreme authority in all matters 
of religious faith and practice. It has, at the same 
time, steadfastly held and firmly maintained the doc- 
trines set forth in the standards of our church. This 
holds true not only in regard to periods of harmony 
and quiet in the church, but likewise in regard to the 
unhappy periods of discord and strife — and sometimes 
of division, too — which lie along the pathway of our 

If we go back to the years called afresh to mind by 
this wonderful concourse of the sons and daughters of 
old Paxton* and Derry and Hanover, and the "English 

*We write and we speak the name, Paxton. In all minutes and 
records, whether written or printed, of Presbytery, of Synod, or of 
General Assembly, from 1732 down to date we do not know of a single 
instance in which the name is not spelled Paxton.f 

fGovernor Evans, in his Diary of July, 1707, spells the word Peix- 
tan ; and in a road order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Lancaster 
county in 1739 the word is spelled Paxtang, and likewise in an affidavit 
made before a justice in Lancaster in 1744. And in the petition to Rev. 
John Elder, dated September 26, 1754, the petitioners describe them- 
selves as "inhabitants in the Township and Congregation of Paxtang." 
And in the deed of the church from Foster's heirs, the word is spelled 
Paxtang. At the same time authority is divided, some contending, with 
Mr. West, that the proper way to spell the word is Paxton. Those who 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 105 

Presbyterian church of Harrisburg,"* and the descend- 
ants of the sturdy Presbyterians of this general region, 
we find the church, one hundred and fifty years ago,, 
tossed upon the angry billows of a troubled sea — dis- 
cordant, contentious, rent. We refer to the Old and 
New Side controversy. Then was the plow-shear of 
division most ruthlessly driven through the Old Done- 
gal Presbytery and through her churches. Few indeed 
were the congregations in which it was not felt. Divis- 
ion prevailed in Upper Pennsborough (Carlisle) churchy 
culminating in the settling of two pastors — the elder 
George Duffield and John Steel — men alike distin- 
guished as lovers and defenders of the truth and lovers 
and defenders of their country. The same was true of 
Upper West Conococheague church, resulting in the 
organization of Lower West Conococheague church. 
East Conococheague church was rent, nor were her 
divisions healed until the beginning of the present cen- 
tury. In Adams county the divided state of sentiment 
led to the organization of Lower Marsh Creek and Round 
Hill churches on a distinctly New Side basis, by the 
Pev. Andrew Bay, a member of the Presbytery of New 
Castle. For a time three of the pioneer churches of 
Cumberland Valley — ever valiant in defense of the 

delivered addresses spelled it both ways. Under these circumstances 
and believing the weight of authority to be in favor of Paxtang, we have 
followed it, except where the writers have insisted upon Paxton. — Ed. 
*The corporate name of Market Square church. 

106 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

faith of the Fathers — got, as it were, clear outside the 
Presbytery ; and from 1742 to 1755 were served by the 
distinguished John Blair, of the Presbytery of New 
Castle. I refer to Big Spring, Middle Spring, and 
Rocky Spring churches. And how was it on this his- 
toric ground ? For thirty years, commencing in 1745, 
Paxton church had her two places of worship — one on 
this spot, of hallowed associations and sacred memories, 
where we meet to-day ; the other two miles northeast of 
this, long known as the "John Roan church." No trace 
of any thing connected with it now remains except the 
resting place of the departed. The one was served by 
that noble man, John Elder, the other by that scarce 
less noble man, John Roan — both then in the vigor of 
early manhood. In like manner Old Derry church 
was divided — one portion clinging to Mr. Elder, the 
other to Mr. Roan. They, too, had their separate places 
of worship. But throughout this great schism in the 
church, which mainly grew out of differences of views 
and practises in regard to measures and methods con- 
nected with the services of the sanctuary and the wor- 
ship of God, there was no division among ministers or 
churches upon doctrinal points. Both parties adhered 
to the standards of the church. Both parties were 
equally ready to subscribe the same declaration of their 
faith and to maintain and defend the doctrines of the 

*Thus the "Adopting Act" of 1729 (Records of Pres. Ch., p. 94) 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 107 

In like manner the names of ministers of both parties 
are found appended to *' The Formula wherein to sub- 
scribe and adopt the Westminister Confession of Faith 
and Catechisms,"* which prefaced the first volume of the 

was received and accepted by the men of both parties, as was also the 
"Declaration" of 1736, in which adherence is declared to the West- 
minister Confession of Faith and Catechisms and Directory for Wor- 
ship, without the least variation or alteration, and without any regard 
to the distinctions made in the "Adopting Act" between essential and 
non-essential articles. 

And it is an interesting fact in history, to which special attention may 
properly be directed to-day, that this "Declaration," promulgated by 
the Synod of Philadelphia, in 1736, was the result of a "Supplication of 
the people of Paxton and Derry," calling attention to what they re- 
garded a loop-hole in the Adopting Act of 1729, which admitted of a 
distinction between essential and necessary articles of the Confession, 
and those which are non-essential and unnecessary, (Records of Pres. 
Church, pp. 126, 127.) 

*A formula wherein to subscribe and adopt the Westminister Confes- 
sion of Faith and Catechisms. 

I having seriously read and perused the Westminister Confession and 
Catechisms, doe declare, in the sight of God and all here present, that 
I doe believe, and am persuaded, that so far as I can discern and under- 
stand said Confession and Catechisms, they are in all things agreeable 
to the Word of God, taken in the plain and obvious sense and mean- 
of the Word, and accordingly, I doe acknowledge them as the confes- 
sion of my faith, and doe promise, through divine assistance, forever to 
adhere thereunto. 

I also believe the Directory for the exercise of worship. Discipline, 
and Government, commonly annexed to the Confession, to be agree- 
able to the Word of God, and doe promise to conform thereunto in my 
practice as far as in emergent circumstances I can attain unto." 

108 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Records of the Presbytery of Donegal. A facsimile of 
which will be found in the History of the' Presbytery 
of Carlisle. 

If we come down one hundred years from the time of 
the great schism of the last century in the Presbyterian 
church, to the unhappy division, which in 1838 rent 
the church into the Old and New School bodies, we 
find the same thing holding good in regard to the loy- 
alty of the Presbyterianism of this region to the stand- 
ards of the church. Both parties were distinct and em- 
phatic in their utterances concerning and firm in their 
adherence to these standards. No one questioned the 
attitude of the Old School party. And the Old School 
men put on record the following words concerning the 
New School brethren who went out from the Presby- 
tery of Carlisle : "We are not disposed to call in ques- 
tion their orthodoxy."* And the New School Presby- 
tery of Harrisburg, at its second meeting, held May 
19, 1840, declared that its " members received and 
adopted the Westminister Confession of Faith and Cate- 
chisms, Larger and Shorter, as containing the system 
of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures." Moreover 
it emphasized this declaration by adding, "that no one 
can honestly subscribe these standards, or remain in 
the church after subscribing them, who is conscious of 
holding any opinions at variance with the system of 
truth therein exhibited." Had some of the present 

^Records Pres. Carlisle, July 31, 1838. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 109 

members of the Presbytery of New York belonged to 
this body, they might have understood this action as a 
notice served on them to vacate. 

And when, in the good providence of God the time 
came for considering and voting upon the basis of re- 
union between the two branches of the church, we find 
the Presbyteries of Carlisle and Harrisburg occupying 
substantially the same platform. In their desire for, 
and action looking to re-union, they were in advance 
of the general church. The Presbytery of Carlisle put 
the following words on record, (October meeting, 1867 :) 
" We say from the depths of our hearts we desire re- 
union with the other branch; and we rejoice to know 
that we are coming closer and closer together on those 
great and glorious distinctive features of doctrine and 
polity which are embodied in the Confession of Faith. 
No other re-union than this is worthy the name of 
union. It would be but a union in form, and not in 
spirit. Alienations and divisions and jealousies would 
be the fruit of it." And the Presbytery of Harrisburg, 
at its October meeting put on record, the following as 
its action : " We distinctly protest against any formal 
basis for such an arrangement, other than an honest 
subscription to the Confession of Faith, such as was 
given by all officers of our church at the time of their 
ordination ; and that we regard no subscription to our 
standards as fair and honest, which implies the accept- 
ance of its articles merely for substance of doctrine, or 

110 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

in any sense contrary to their appropriate historical 
significance, as opposed to Antinomianism and Fatal- 
ism on the one hand, and to Armenianism and Pelagi- 
anism on the other." Nothing stronger or more ex- 
plicit than this could be desired. 

And what I have said in regard to the loyalty of 
the Presbyterianism of the past in this region to the 
standards of the church, I may, with equal propriety, 
say of the Presbyterianism of the present. It is true 
that on that important question, " Do you desire a re- 
vision of the Confession of Faith?" which occupies tlie 
mind of the Presbyterian church to-day, there exists 
diversity of sentiment amongst the members of our 
Presbytery. There are those of us who would be well 
content that our standards should remain as they are. 
And there are others who would be glad to see changes 
made in the mode of stating important doctrines of 
our church, so as to obviate obscurity and remove the 
possibility of misunderstanding and misrepresentation. 
But whilst there exists this diversity of opinion upon 
the question of revising the Confession of Faith, hon- 
estly held and manfully expressed, there is no diversity 
of sentiment in regard to the Confession of Faith itself, as 
containing the system of doctrine which we receive and hold 
and teach. 

4. Those who composed the Presbyterian church of 
an early day were distinguished for their imhlic and 
patriotic and fearless spirit. The Presbyterianism of 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. Ill 

this region, to a very large extent, furnished the men 
who stood for tiie defense of the colonists against the 
cruel attacks of the denizens of the forest. It may- 
have been because of the undaunted courage of the 
early settlers, almost all of whom were Presbyterians, 
that they were located where they were by the author- 
ities. Positive evidence of this may not be at hand ; 
but the facts in the case furnish very strong presump- 
tive evidence. The peace and quiet enjoyed by the 
non-combative Quaker and the phlegmatic German, 
whose homes had been allotted them further east, was 
at the expense of the hardy and brave Scotch-Irish 
Presbyterian frontiersmen. They stood as sentinels 
and guardsmen against the sudden and furious incur- 
sions of the treacherous and wily savages, incited and 
sustained, as they often were, by the unscrupulous 
Frenchman, whose hatred for the English knew no 
bounds. I apprehend that the noble characters and 
heroic deeds of these men are but illy understood and 
poorly appreciated by very many at the present day. 
The grievous and shameful wrongs which the red man 
has since been made to endure have rendered men 
oblivious to the wrongs and cruelties then perpetrated 
by him. 

I honor the men who heroically defended their homes 
and their wives and their little ones. I honor the 
memory of the gallant Rev. Col. John Elder, for more 
than half a century pastor of this church and old 

112 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Derry. I honor the memory of his brave Paxton Boys. 
IV^hilst I deprecate the cruel scene of the Conestoga 
massacre, I am not, and cannot be, unmindful of the 
-deceit and perfidy of its victims, and the cold-blooded 
murder of women and children committed by the 
^' Stranger Indians," whom they harbored. 

I honor the memory of the intrepid Rev. Capt. John 
JSteel and the men of the Conococheague settlement 
who were enrolled under him for the defense of the 
<3ommunity, and whose trusted rifles were found by 
their side when, on the Sabbath day, they frequented 
the sanctuary and listened to the messages of peace 
.and salvation from the lips of their leader. 

On the other hand, I confess I have but little patience 
with the man who, regardless of the facts of history or 
prompted by a spirit of hostility to Presbyterianism, 
.speaks contemptuously or disparagingly of the men 
who acted so prominent and so noble a part amid the 
perilous scenes of that day. Fresh and fragrant may 
their memories live with us and with those who come 
.after us. 

When the time came, in the history of the colonies 
for resisting the wrong and oppression of the mother 
(Country, for proclaiming them free and independent 
■States, and for maintaining their rights and securing 
their liberties, these same Presbyterians were found in 
the forefront ; and throughout the conflict they played 
no unimportant part. For a full century before being 

Paxtang Presbytekian Church. 113 

transplanted to the virgin soil of America, the Presby- 
terianism which found its way to this region had been 
trained in the hard school of experience to hate wrong 
and oppression. The church polity under which its 
people had been reared made them the natural foes of 
usurpation and the friends and advocates of human 
rights. Its system of government taught the right of 
representation in the church ; and, by parity of reason- 
ing, in civil government, as well. 

There is an interesting fact in connection with the 
history of our Presbytery and of our country which it 
seems fitting here to state. One hundred and twenty- 
one years ago this Fall the Presbytery of Donegal or- 
dained and installed one of its licentiates, born and 
reared within its bounds, as pastor of Rock River and 
Poplar Tent churches, North Carolina. This man was 
one of the first to raise his voice in the interests of the 
wronged colonists ; and he was one of a committee of 
those who framed the famous Mecklenburg Declara- 
tion, which preceded the Declaration of Independence 
by one year, and embodied its principles. I refer to 
Dr. Hezekiah James Balch.* (The committee was 

*Mr. Balch was licensed, ordained, and installed by the Presbytery of 
Donegal, though we are told in Sprague's Annals, upon the authority 
of Rev. Wm. H. Poote, D. D., that he was licensed by the Presbytery 
of New Castle and ordained by the Presbytery of Hanover. The writ- 
ten records of the Presbytery of Donegal show Drs. Poote and Sprague 
to be in error. 

114 Paxtang Presbyterian Church, 

composed of Dr. Ephraim Brevard, Rev. Hezekiah 
James Balch, and William Kennon, a lawyer of Salis- 

5. The Presbyterianism of this region was distin- 
guished for possessing in a large measure what might be 
termed progressive stability — sound conservatism. There 
were no more steadfast and, at the same time, ener- 
getic and resolute people any where to be found. They 
have left a lasting impress in the way of sound whole- 
some conservatism. Their descendants maybe regard- 
ed as occupying an important position, and holding an 
important trust as regards alike our church and nation, 
whether viewed in the light of the presenter the future. 
They are sometimes charged with being slow to accept 
what are termed advanced ideas and adopt new and 
untried measures. 

There have even been loud whisperings of such im- 
pectation upon the floor of our highest church judic- 
atory. But honoring, as I do, the memory of the de- 
parted, and admiring the sterling virtues of their de- 
scendants, I repel the imputation as uncharitable and 
unjust. Recklessly cutting loose from the tried and 
known, and boldly launching out into the untried and 
unknown, do not necessarily mean progress. It may 
bode no good, and there is a possibility of retrogression. 
" Festine lente." 

As I look over this land of ours to-day, with all its 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 115 

possibilities — as I ponder its strength and its weakness, 
its promises and its perils — as I mark the tendencies of 
the times in sociology, in politics, (or government,) and 
in religion — as I scan the gathering and churning, and 
concentrating of the contending elements, I am per- 
suaded of a great need of true conservatism ; and I do 
not hesitate to express the firm conviction that among 
the most influential and powerful conservators of our 
free institutions, civil and religious, and standing in the 
foremost rank, are the men whose characters bear the 
impress of the early Presbyterianism of this region. Our 
forefathers who settled here did not all remain. Many of 
them pushed westward just as rapidly as treaty stipula- 
tions with the aborigines permitted. The children of old 
mother Presbytery of Donegal, with their worldly all on 
pack horses, followed the Indian trail or traders' path 
across the mountains, and in the name of the Lord took 
possession of Western Pennsylvania, and their descend- 
ants hold it to-day. Thence onward they pushed, join- 
ing the ever-flowing stream from the parent source, until 
they are everywhere to be found throughout the great 
central west and south-west. In like manner the tide 
of emigration flowed southward. Why, the old Presby- 
tery of Donegal collected into congregations her sons 
and daughters, and settled pastors over them in Mary- 
land and Virginia, and even extended her motherly 
care to those who had found homes in North Carolina. 

116 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Tennessee and Kentucky in like manner, received their 
quota of this leavening element,* 

In all these sections of country, occupied largely by 
the descendants of those who are our ancestors as well 
as theirs, the type of our early Presbyterianism has been 
preserved. Its features, alike as to doctrine and polity, 
remain unchanged. 

Wherever Presbyterianism of the Scotch-Irish type is 
found it stands for law .and liberty. It combines in one 
the ideas of true conservatism and genuine radicalism. 
It stands as a mighty bulwark against a false radical- 
ism which will not brook curb and restraint ; and at 
the same time is the uncompromising enemy and the 
steadfast opposer of everything that partakes of the 
character of usurpation of power, or infringement 
upon the rights of the people, whether in matters of 
church or State. 

May we not then truthfully say that from this great 
center has gone out over a large portion of our land a 
conservative influence, which, under God, may, at least, 
prove a potent element in saving us alike from the 
whirlpool and the rock ? 

*About one hundred and ten years ago those in Tennessee were joined 
by the godly and patriotic Dr. Hezekiah J. Balch. After leaving North 
Carolina he spent four years as pastor of Tom's Creek (Emmittsburg) 
church. This church belonged to our Presbytery until the re-union in 
1870. From Tom's Creek Dr. Balch went to Tennessee, where he 
engaged actively in pastoral and educational work. He was the founder 
of Greenville College, Tenn. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 117 

Moderator Stewart, We have here persons who trace 
their Scotch-Irish ancestry through their children ; and 
there are some, perhaps, whose Scotch ancestry was 
largely Dutch. But we have some genuine specimens 
here to-day. It is exceedingly gratifying to me to know, 
and I have no doubt it will be to you also, when I tell 
3''0U that the granddaughter of Rev. John Elder, the 
second installed pastor of this church, is present to-day. 
For reasons, which she does not even care to explain, 
she will not appear upon this platform, much as we 
would like to have her — Mrs. Sarah Doll, whom many 
of us know, and know to love and honor.* 

It is also interesting for me to say that the grandson 
of Nathaniel K. Snowden, the third pastor of this 
church, who was ordained and installed pastor in 
1793, is present with us; and General Snowden has 
very kindly consented to speak to us for a few mo- 
ments. It therefore gives me great pleasure to intro- 
duce Major-General George Randolph Snowden, of 
Philadelphia. [Applause.] 

*Mis. Doll is the oldest member of the Market Square church, having 
united with that church in 1827. 



Mr. Moderator, Ladies, and Gentlemen: I thank 
you sincerely for the opportunity, alike a privilege and 
a pleasure, of being with you on this delightful day to 
celebrate this most interesting occasion. I am here for 
the first time, a stranger among you, and I am almost 
inclined to think, in view of my invitation and of the 
fascinating incidents connected with this spot, narrated 
by your distinguished historian. Dr. Egle, and others, 
that no one not personally known to you, is of much 
importance at this celebration unless he had a grand- 
father! [Laughter and applause.] Having had a 
grandfather, for sometime connected with Paxtang, I am 
happy to say, in its early days, and through my con- 
nection with him being invited to join you in com- 
memoration of the past, I suppose that I can in no 
other way interest you so much as by briefly referring 
to him and his family. 

Born in Philadelphia, on the 17th January, 1770, 
Nathaniel Randolph Snowden was a very young man 
when he came to this congregation in 1792, and minis- 
tered to the spiritual wants of your hardy and pious 
ancestors. He was one of the five sons of Isaac Snow- 
den 2, all of whom graduated — Nathaniel R. in 1787 — 

122 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

at the college of New Jersey, at Princeton, and four of 
whom became ministers of the Presbyterian church, 
one of them, Gilbert Tennant, who settled at Cranbury, 
N. J., being most distinguished as a pulpit orator. They 
were all fine scholars ; and of Nathaniel it is said, that 
he was as familiar with his Greek as with his English 
Testament, using it constantly in his private reading. 
As was usual in those early days, when capable teachers 
were few, education always being a matter of peculiar 
importance with Presbyterians, he taught the classics 
and other polite learning at Carlisle, Lancaster, and, 
later in his days, at Franklin. He was a man of fer- 
vent piety and great faith. His diary for a period of 
some years, now extant, shows boundless trust in his 
Creator, and warm and constant appeals to the Throne 
of Mercy. Spending his life in the service of his God, 
he passed away at Freeport, Armstrong county, the 
home of his son, Dr. Charles Gustine Snowden, in 1850. 
He was married on the 24th May, 1792, to Sarah, 
daughter of Dr. Lemuel Gustine, who served as assist- 
ant surgeon in the war of the Revolution, and at the 
surrender of Forty Fort acted as aide to Colonel Den- 
nison, and as such signed the treaty. Escaping with 
his family from the massacre of Wyoming, Dr. Gustine 
fled down the Susquehanna on a flat boat, landing at 
Harris' Ferry. His daughter Sarah was, it is believed, 
at the time of her death, in 1852, the last survivor of 
that dreadful event. Of their five sons, the oldest. Dr. 

Paxtang Peesbyteeian Chitech. 123". 

Isaac Wayne, became elder of the church at Silver 
Springs; and the youngest, James Ross, member of the- 
first session of Alexander church, Philadelphia. 

Isaac Snowden 2, his father, was an original elder of 
the Second Presbyterian church of Philadelphia, well 
known as one of the substantial fruits of the great 
Whitefield's labors. With that congregation, since the- 
formation of it in 1733, his family and descendants by 
name have, without a break, kept up their connection,, 
only one other, the well-known Hodges, having done 
the same. With the famous Witherspoon and others, 
he was a member of the committee which reported the 
draft of the Constitution or Form of Government of 
the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Treas- 
urer of the city and county of Philadelphia, he fled on 
the approach of Lord Howe, after the defeat of our 
forces at Brandywine, and my cousin. Col. A. Loudon 
Snowden, now Minister to Greece, has the venerable 
clock in which he hid the public funds to escape the 
scrutiny of the enemy. Among other stations which 
he filled, he was a commissioner to sign and issue Con- 
tinental currency. His remains were buried at Old 
Middletown church, Delaware county, where Nathaniel 
P. for some time was settled, and on his tombstone, in 
the old-fashioned way, are inscribed enough civic and 
religious virtues most amply to endow, had they been 
wisely distributed, his descendants to the present day. 

Isaac Snowden was president of the board of trustees 

124 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

of Princeton, with which his family was long honorably 
and prominently connected. His wife was daughter of 
the Rev. Samuel Finley, S. T. D. Glasg., graduate of 
the celebrated Log College, and from 1761 to '66, the 
time of his death, president of Princeton. Four of 
President Finley's sons were gallant officers in the 
Revolution, and two of them original members of the 
Society of the Cincinnati of Pennsylvania. 

Isaac, the second, was the son of Isaac, the first. The 
latter was an elder in the First Presbyterian church 
of Philadelphia, and his father, John, born there in 
1684, was the first elder ordained in Pennsylvania, 
perhaps in the United States. The wife of Isaac, first, 
was a daughter of Nathaniel Fitz Randolph, from 
whom my grandfather took his name, who started the 
subscription paper to erect the college at Princeton, and 
gave the ground upon which was built Nassau Hall. 

Thus I have briefly told you something of the family 
of your former pastor, and I think you will admit that 
it bears a very cerulean hue. In its devotion to Pres- 
byterianism it is fit to rank with the congregations 
which, one after another, have worshiped at Paxtang. 
You may well be proud of the history of this old church, 
and of the valiant men and pious women who have 
made it celebrated. Many went forth from this place, 
as we have been so entertainingly told, to other States 
and territories, there to build up and spread the Pres- 
byterian faith, many to obey the call of their countr}'. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 125 

and offer up their young and vigorous lives for the 
freedom of themselves and their children. The old 
grave-yard hard by is eloquent with the names and 
deeds of your sturdy ancestors, who, true to their race 
and the teachings of their religion, had rather die free- 
men than live slaves to a power which they and their 
forefathers in Scotland and the north of Ireland, even in 
England itself, had long had reason to dread and to 
oppose. We have just heard with the greatest interest 
how conspicuous in other parts were members of this 
very congregation in first proclaiming to the world the 
right of self rule, and the need to throw off the iron 
hand of the oppressor. In fact, we have the authority 
of Washington himself, than whom none knew better, 
to assert that without the Presbyterians the Revolution 
would have been a failure. It is not too much to say 
that the principles of Presbyterianism are identical 
with our liberties, and that the Constitution of our 
country has drawn largely from the form and theory 
of government of the Presbyterian Church. As the 
part taken by Presbyterians was so essential in se- 
curing independence, so it may be predicted that the 
voice of the true Presbyterian will be heard, and the 
arm of the staunch Presbyterian will be felt in all con- 
tests hereafter for civil, political, and religious liberty. 
May you have many happy re-unions of this kind 
in ages to come, and may your posterity have reason 
to believe you worthy to have held the great trusts 

126 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

-which have been put in your hands, and that you have 
Tiot been degenerate successors of the noble men and 
women who have gone before. [Loud applause.] 

Moderator Stewart. We have some more of them — 
I mean descendants of Paxtang ancestors ; but we will 
give them to you this afternoon. We will not give all 
the good things at once. 

It has been the custom (so I am told) for fathers, 
ivhen the boys grew up and needed a farm for them- 
selves, to move out west. I am told that that was the 
habit of many of our Scotch ancestors, because their 
farms were too small to admit of their large famlies 
.settling down around them. While that might have 
been the case in reference xo them, from an agricultural 
point of view, from an ecclesiastical point of view it 
is not their case. They had all their children settled 
.around them ; and we are going to hear from some of 
the representatives of these children to-day. It so hap- 
pened that the territory was large enough which was 
■originally given to the Paxtang church, a territory some- 
thing like twenty miles long by eight miles wide, reach- 
ing from the Conewago hills, below Middletown, up 
above Dauphin, and from the Susquehanna to the 
Derry church ; it so happened that the territory was 
large enough to accommodate a very large number of 
-churches. It has been possessed by the Presbyterians 
and other sister denominations, and we have to-day 
■twelve of the churches occupying the territory which 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 127 

was formerly occupied by the Paxtang church; and we 
are going to hear from the decendants of the Paxtang 
church in the order of their organization, taking the 
youngest first, and then proceeding by proper grada- 
tion to the eldest. We will therefore hear from the 
pastor elect of Olivet Presbyterian church, of Harris- 
burg, one of the most recently organized of the Presby- 
terian family. Rev. Mr. Cochrane. [Applause.] 



Mr. Moderator, Brethren, and Fellow- Workers 
FOR THE Truth : This is an occasion not \only notable, 
but one of peculiar interest. It is a family gathering. 
We to-day, as it were, gather around the board of the 
old homestead ; here to think and to talk about things 
interesting, and things which we cherish in our hearts. 
We look back for the things retrospective, and look 
forward for the things prospective. We take a glance 
at history made, and think of history yet to be made. 
The mother church has come with a long line of bright 
deeds; and the children come here to-day to cheer the 
mother-heart with progress made, with battles fought, 
and with victories won. We are here to-day then as a 
famil}^, and it has been accorded to the baby to make 
the first report. [Laughter.] And I stand to-day with 
appreciation of the honor of representing the baby. 
[A laugh.] 

The history of Presbyterian ism dates back many 
years in the east end of Harrisburg. As early as 1874-5 
an effort was made to organize a Presbyterian church. 
A Sabbath-school was carried on with a membership of 
one hundred and twenty-five ; a weekly prayer-meeting 
was held, and there was regular preaching by a former 

132 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

pastor of the Paxtang church, Rev. Mr. Downey. The 
work prospered so that commissioners were elected to 
make application to Presbytery for the organization 
of a church ; but on account of the lack of a suitable 
building the effort failed. For a number of years Pres- 
byterianism was dormant on the hill ; but I think about 
ten or eleven years afterward a cottage prayer-meeting 
was started in the east end of Harrisburg by Rev. Dr. 
Chambers, of Pine Street church. This continued for 
a time, but after a few months was abandoned. Shortly 
afterward a prayer-meeting was started under the au- 
spices of what was called the East Harrisburg Cottage 
Prayer-Meeting Association. The prayer-meeting pros- 
pered, and soon a wider field was necessary for the work, 
and a Sabbath-school was started. The Sabbath-school 
grew from the first, and it was not long until there was 
a demand for still larger work. Regular preaching was 
again secured, and the work continued with unabated 
interest until it was thought wise by man}^ to apply to 
Presbytery for a church organization. Such applica- 
tion was made, and on October 15th, 1889, the Olivet 
Presbyterian church of Harrisburg was organized by 
the committee. Rev. George S. Chambers, D. D., Rev. 
George B. Stewart, Hon. Francis Jordan, Mr. Gilbert M. 
McCauley, and Dr. J. A. Miller. Thirty-one members 
were received, twenty-six on certificate and five on 
confession of their faith. The following were elected 
elders: Governor James A. Beaver, Mr. Jacob K. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 133 

Walker, Mr. William S. Shaffer, Mr. Charles S. Steele. 
Some time afterward, at a congregational meeting pre- 
sided over by Rev. Dr. George S. Chambers, the follow- 
ing were elected deacons: Mr. A. LeFevre Groff, Mr. 
William H. Shaffer, and Mr. Frank H. Erisman. At 
the same meeting the following were elected trustees : 
Mr. John Sharman, Mr. John S. Frazer, Mr. Isaac D. 
Culmerry, Mr. William J. George, Mr. William Palmer, 
Mr. Henry J. Sampselle, Mr. Charles S. Lingle. 

The nucleus of the organization came from many 
different churches, — Paxtang, Market Square, Pine 
Street, Westminster, Covenant, and many others. My 
attention was called to the fact that the thirty-one 
members that constituted the church at its organiza- 
tion came from seventeen different churches. It is too 
soon to give you much of history, because it is yet 
to be made. The progress of the church has not been 
all that was anticipated, but growth has been made. 
I need not go into detail. You are familiar with the 
church's history from the beginning. You have looked 
with a kindly interest upon our work. We pray that 
in the years to come it may have a strong and healthy 
growth, and that it may live on long after we have 
passed away. May Olivet always have a place in your 
hearts and your prayers, and be a sturdy and faithful 
promoter of the cause of Christ and Presbyterianism in 
this part of the kingdom. [Applause.] 

134 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Moderator Stewart. I knew that I would have 
plenty of opportunities to-day to correct any mistakes 
I might have happened to make in the early part of the 
programme. Instead of twelve churches, Paxtang and 
her nine daughters occupy the field. 

We will now listen to the Rev. John L. McKeehan, 
who is the pastor elect of the First Presbyterian church 
at Steelton. 

Paxtang Peesbyteeian Church. • 135 


Mr. Moderator : It is not often that I am satisfied 
to limit myself to five minutes ; but I am to-day, and I 
can say, I think, in less time, all that is to be said about 
the new station at Steelton. What I have to say is al- 
ready printed, and the credit is due to Bro. McGinnes ; 
and I simply give you a few points, learned mainly 
from his article. 

On June 25, 1882, Rev. William A. West, pastor of 
the Westminister church of Harrisburg, preached to a 
small congregation in Reehling's Hall. It was then 
and there discovered that the few Presbyterian families 
of the town of Steelton were desirous of having ser- 
vices regularly, if such an arrangement could be 
brought about. Mr. West consulted with the pastors 
of the Pine Street and Market Square churches. They 
decided to have preaching regularly every Sabbath 
afternoon. Rev. George S. Chambers preaching on 
the 2d of July, and Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Robinson on 
the Sabbath following. 

Whenever an opportunity was afforded, ministers 
visiting the city and the pastors of the churches in some 
of the towns in the vicinity were called upon to preach. 

136 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

These, with the services of the city pastors, enabled the 
congregation to be supplied every Sabbath. 

On the evening of September 27th, 1882, a meeting 
of the congregation was held at the residence of John 
W. Davis, for the purpose of electing officers for the 

The result of the election was as follows : Superin- 
tendent, L. E. McGinnes; Assistant Superintendent, 
Charles P. Baker ; Secretary, James F. Newlin ; Libra- 
rians, Frank T. McElroy, J. W. Davis; Treasurer, 
William Neely ; Teacher of Infant Class, Mrs. L. E. 

The first session of the school was held on Sabbath 
afternoon, October 1, with fifty pupils. 

About the time of the organization of the Sabbath- 
school, cottage prayer-meetings were instituted. These 
meetings were held regularly each week until the oc- 
cupancy of the new church. 

In the early part of April, 1883, arrangements were 
made whereby the Rev. W. G. McDannold, pastor of 
the church at Middletown, devoted part of his time to 
the work at Steelton. He began his labors on Sabbath 
afternoon, April 15. 

In April, 1884, he severed his connection with the 
Middletown church and the Steelton congregation, to 
assume the pastorate of a church in Kentucky. 

Rev. John H. Groff, who was then supplying the 
pulpit of the Seventh Street church, Harrisburg, was 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 137' 

asked to divide his time between this church and 
Steelton. He entered upon the work soon after the- 
departure of Rev. McDannold. 

Up to October 13, 1884, the congregation worshiped 
in Reehling's Hall. This hall is not situated near the 
center of the town, therefore it was important that a 
more desirable location be obtained. Accordingly the 
hall of the G. A. R. was secured, and services were first 
held there on the above date. 

The congregation and Sabbath-school gradually grew 
in numbers, and with their growth the desire for and 
necessity of a church building became stronger. The 
liberal promises of assistance on the part of kind friends 
in Harrisburg and elsewhere made the way clear for 
the erection of a building, free of debt. 

On the evening of June 11, 1885, it was decided ta 
proceed at once to break ground for the new church. 
Lots had been secured in the meantime from Henry 

The contract for the erection of the building was 
awarded to J. Coder, who began the work on Tues- 
day, June 23, 1885. Smith & Warner, of Harrisburg, 
submitted the design which was adopted. 

The corner-stone was laid with appropriate ceremo- 
nies on the evening of July 16. Rev. George S. Chambers, 
presided. Rev. J. A. Crawford, D. D., of Chambers- 
burg, and Rev. George Wolfe, pastor of the M. E. church,. 
Steelton, delivered short addresses. 

138 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Immediately after the laying of the corner-stone, the 
organization of the church was effected in Central Hall, 
where the congregation worshiped a few months prior 
to occupying the church. Rev. George B. Stewart, pre- 
sided. Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Robinson, of Allegheny 
City, preached the sermon. Twenty-four persons joined 
by letter and three on confession of faith. The follow- 
ing officers were elected : Elders, Charles P. Baker, 
Lemuel E. McGinnes, Frank T. McElroy, and John 
W. Davis; Deacons, W. A. Miller, and Samuel G. 
Spangler ; Trustees, W. A. Miller, Charles P. Baker, Dr. 
J. D. Becker, Lemuel E. McGinnes, John A. Murphy. 

The new church edifice was solemnly dedicated to 
the worship of God on the evening of October 5, 1885. 

The following ministers took part in the services : 
Rev. George B. Stewart, Rev. George S. Chambers, Rev. 
T. J. Ferguson, Rev. W. A. West, Rev. W. A. McCarrell, 
Rev. J. J. Pomeroy. Rev. George S. Chambers presided, 
and Rev. George B. Stewart, preached the sermon. 
Since this time the congregation and Sunday-school 
have steadily grown in size and regularity of attendance. 

On the 5th of July Rev. John H. Groff was released 
from his pastoral work, to devote his entire time to the 
w^ork at Middletown, where he has since been laboring. 
This, in brief, is the histor}' of the first Presbyterian 
church at Steelton, so far as the facts have been ob- 
tained by me. [Applause.] 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 139 

Moderator Stewart. That history ought to be com- 
pleted by saying that the Rev. Mr. McKeehan has been 
called, and accepted the call, and will probably be 
installed within a few weeks. 

The Harrisburg Westminster church will be repre- 
sented by the Rev. George S. Duncan, who will now 
address us. 

140 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Mr. Moderator and Fellow Workers for the 
Master: This great gathering brings to our minds 
vividly the words of our Saviour about the mustard 
plant — from a tiny little seed a great tree comes forth. 
As we look back to-day over a century and a half, how 
wonderfully have our Saviour's words been fulfilled ; 
for, during these long years, good men and women 
planted the seed in the souls of men in this beauti- 
ful valley, until the increase, after one hundred and 
fifty years, has attained such magnificent proportions. 
And true, indeed, the church has been bearing seed 
which has been scattered far and wide in counties and 
in States the nation o'er. What a grand illustration 
this gives to us all, how the small things can become, 
and do, the the mighty and the great things ; how seed 
planted in the name of the Master, may afterwards 
flourish and bring forth much fruit long after we have 
been gathered to our fathers. AVhat a grand inspira- 
tion it gives us to go forth and do what we can, no 
matter how small the amount of work to be accom- 
plished, or whether we survive until the gleaning time. 
We are only to plant the seed, and it will become in 
due time a great tree. 

I am to speak a brief word for a seed planted by 
Paxtang, viz : the Westminister seed in Harrisburg. In 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 141 

the year 1866 a little Sabbath-school was started in the 
northwestern part of that city, manned and governed 
chiefly by the Young Men's Association, The little 
Sabbath-school gathered impetus and strength year by 
year, until 1872, when it was thought desirable to put 
it under the care of Pine Street and Market Square. 
Those two churches felt also that some preaching 
should be provided for the people living in that sec- 
tion. So my beloved predecessor at Westminister, who 
is present to-day, the Rev. William A. West, was se- 
cured, and he labored there from 1872 until April of 
the present year. The little Sabbath-school organiza- 
tion was followed by a church organization in 1873 ; 
and steadily from that period, under his heroic and 
noble, and self-sacrificing work, the seed has grown 
there until to-day there are about one hundred and 
thirty-two members, a Sabbath-school of about four 
hundred, two Christian Endeavor associations, a wo- 
man's organization, and other associations doing work 
for the Master. So Westminister may be called a 
granddaughter of Paxtang, this relation being held 
through the Market Square and Pine Street churches, 
and I am sure that I represent the granddaughter, 
Westminister, to-day, when I bid good cheer to the 
grandmother Paxtang. May she see many happy, 
joyous birthdays, and, as in the past, so in the fu- 
ture, may she often have reason to take pride in her 
children, her grandchildren, and her great grand- 

142 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

children, and so on through countless generations. 

Moderator Stewart. The Harrisburg Covenant 
church is represented in the person of its pastor, Rev. 
I. Potter Hayes, who will now address us. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 143 


Mr. Moderator, Ladies, and Gentlemen: It af- 
fords me pleasure to come before you this afternoon. 
What I shall have to say will be purely historical, and 
I have gathered most of it from the records of the 
church which I represent. 

At a meeting of the Presbytery of Carlisle, held in 
the Big Spring church, Newville, Pa., April 11, 1866, a 
committee was appointed to visit Harrisburg, and if the 
way be clear, organize a Second Presbyterian Church 
in this city. That committee consisted of Rev. James 
Harper, D. D., Rev. J. C. Bliss, Rev. S. S. Mitchel, Rev. 
A. D. Mitchel, and Ruling Elders, H. M. Graydon and 
James Elder. All the members of this committee, ex- 
cept Rev. J. C. Bliss and James Elder, met for this 
purpose on Saturday, September 8, 1866, at 4, p. m., just 
twenty-four years ago on the 8th instant. The com- 
mittee organized for the discharge of their duties by 
appointing Rev. James Harper, D. D., as chairman, 
and Rev. A. D. Mitchel as secretary. 

After prayer for Divine direction and blessing, cer- 
tificates of dismission and recommendations were pre- 
sented to the committee by several persons, with a view 
to their being formed into a new organization. Dr. 
John Curwen, Mrs. Martha P. Curwen, Annie Stuart, 
Mary Stuart, Mary McCollum, and Eliza M. Todd, 

144 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

presented letters from the Presbyterian Church of Har- 
risburg, Dr. Gray don B. Hotchkin and Mrs. Sara I. 
Hotchkin presented letters from the Presbyterian 

"Church, of Middletown, Delaware county, Pa., and Miss 
Margaret Carriday from the Presbyterian Church of 
Letterkenny, Ireland. These certificates being found 
in order, it was resolved by the committee that the 
nine persons named be and are hereby constituted into 
a church, to be known by the name of the Seventh 

.Street Presbyterian Church of the City of Harrisburg, 
to be connected with and under the government of the 
Presbytery of Carlisle, Synod of Baltimore, and General 
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United 

'States of America. 

The little church being thus organized at this same 
meeting, unanimously elected Dr. John Curwen to the 
office of ruling elder, and on the following day, Sun- 
day, September 9, he was ordained and installed in con- 
formity with the Presbyterian form of government. 

Through the preservation and guidance of an all- 
wise Providence, Dr. Curwen, the first ruling elder of 
the church, is not only still with us, but has been dur- 
ing all these twenty-four years an active officer and gen- 
erous supporter of the church. 

,A church edifice was erected for the new congrega- 
tion when the church was organized. 

A Sunday-school was also opened soon after the 

^ church was organized. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 145 

After its organization in I860, the church was served 
successfully until 1868 by Rev. Stephen W. Pomeroy, 
Rev. A. C. Smith, of Galena, 111., and Rev. W. A. Mac- 
atee, now of Madison, Wisconsin. 

In the spring of 1868, Rev. Charles A. Wyeth, re- 
moved from Huntingdon to Harrisburg, Pa., and be- 
gan his ministry in this church as stated supply. This 
continued for about two years. When a meeting of 
the congregation worshiping in Seventh Street church 
was called to meet March 5, 1870, for the purpose of 
taking into consideration the propriety of calling a 
Pastor, and if the way be clear, to enter into such an 
election. The meeting was opened with prayer by Rev. 
A. D. Mitchell, who acted as moderator. Dr. John Cur- 
wen serving as clerk. At this meeting the congrega- 
tion unanimously agreed to call Rev. Charles A. Wyeth 
to be their first regular Pastor, (at an annual salary of 
$300, payable in January, April, July, and October.) 

Dr. John Curwen was also appointed as commis- 
sioner to carry up the action of the congregation to the 
next meeting of Presbytery. Rev. Wyeth, who had 
been licensed by the Presbj'tery of Carlisle in October, 
1840, served the Master as a licenciate all these years. 
That the call might be properly put in his hands by the 
Presbytery, and be accepted b}- him, it was necessary 
that he be ordained. He was therefore ordained by 
the Presbytery of Carlisle June 15, 1870, and duly in- 
stalled as pastor of this church on the twenty-sixth of 

146 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

the same month. This relation continued until June 
12, 1883, when it was dissolved by Presbytery. Imme- 
diately after this Rev. J. H. Groff, then a member of the 
Market Square Presbyterian church, now pastor of 
the Presbyterian church of Middletown, took charge 
of the Seventh Street church as a stated supply, serv- 
ing it very acceptably until the spring of 1886. After 
Mr. Groff left, Rev. Matthew Rutherford, a student 
from Allegheny Seminary, came and ministered to the 
congregation during the summer of 1886. From that 
time until the present pastor took charge of the work, 
the church was served by various supplies. 

In September, 1881, in view of the fact that the pas- 
tor and Dr. John Curwen constituted the session of the 
church, and that Dr. Curwen was about to remove to 
Warren, Pa., having been elected superintendent of 
State Lunatic Hospital at that place, it was judged 
expedient that a meeting of the congregation be called 
for the purpose of electing two additional elders. Such 
a meeting was called, and met September 25, 1881, and 
elected to that office Messrs. John S. Olsen and John M. 
Stewart. On the following Sabbath, Mr. Stewart was 
solemnly ordained and installed, Mr. Olsen declining 
to accept the office. The session continued in this way 
with Dr. Curwen at Warren, and Mr. Stewart in Har- 
risburg, till the autumn of 1887, when a congregational 
meeting was called, and met October 19, 1887, at which 
Mr. W. M. Wolfe, was unanimously elected to the office 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 147 

of ruling elder. Mr. Wolfe was solemnly ordained and 
installed on Saturday evening, November 5, 1887. 

The little church which was organized with nine 
members, has during these twenty four years, received 
into church fellowship, eighty-seven on profession of 
faith in Christ and eighty-nine by certificate of dis- 
mission and recommendation, making a total of one 
hundred and seventy-six, fifty -two of these have been 
received since my association with the church. Since 
the organization of the church nineteen persons have 
died while being communicant members, seventy-seven 
have been dismissed, expelled, and withdrawn, thus 
leaving the present membership eighty. 

In giving a historical sketch of this church it is im- 
possible for me to speak as minutely concerning what 
was done before my connection with it as I can con- 
cerning what has been done since. And possibly the 
history of the near past will also be of more interest 
to you. When I first saw the church the ceiling and 
and walls were stained and cracked, with here and there 
pieces of plastering broken out. The painting was 
soiled and defaced and the blinds tattered and torn. 
No carpet was on the floor except a well-worn strip 
in the aisles and around the pulpit. The gas fixtures 
were two small to properly illuminate the little room, 
and the organ was not only too small, but nearly worn 
out. All these defects were remedied very largely 
through the efforts of Mr. John Loban before the close 

148 Paxtang Pesbyrterian Church. 

of 1888, The unsightly walls were reatly papered and 
painted, the floor covered with a beautiful carpet, the 
old blinds and gas fixtures replaced by new ones, and 
instead of the old organ the new one which we now 
have was purchased. 

Sometime about the close of 1888, Dr. John Curwen, 
who owned the church on Seventh street, and the 
ground upon which it stood, transferred his right and 
title to the Presbytery of Carlisle. Not long after this 
transfer was made the Presbytery appointed a committee 
consisting of Dr. John Curwen, Messrs. James McCor- 
mick, and Gilbert M. McCauley to select a new site for 
the church, and if the way be clear, dispose of the old 
property and purchase a new one. In accordance with 
the action of the Presbytery, Dr. Curwen, acting for the 
committee, purchased our present lot, which for size, 
beauty, and location is second to none in Harrisburg. 
This lot, costing |7,500, very largel}'' through the gene- 
rosity of Dr. Curwen, is practically paid for. 

Our chapel has been removed to this new site and 
refitted for the second time during three years. 

On September 8th, 1889, the church was re-dedicated, 
it being also the twenty-third anniversary of the church. 
Rev. W. C. Cattell, D. D.,a former pastor of Pine Street 
church, and Rev. Thomas H. Robinson, D. D., a former 
pastor of Market Square church, were both present on 
this occasion and took a very important part in the 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 149 

On August 11th, 1889, a congregational meeting was 
held, in which it was decided to change the name of 
the church from " The Seventh Street Presbyterian 
Church of Harrisburg, Pa.," to "The Covenant Presby- 
terian Church of Harrisburg, Pa." At this meeting 
the congregation also unanimously elected Messrs. John 
James Craig and Samuel H, Garland to the office of 
ruling elder. Both of these men were ordained and 
installed on the evening of September 8th, 1889, Drs. 
Pobinson and Cattell assisting the pastor in this service. 

During this summer a neat fence has been placed 
around the lot, which adds very greatly to its ap- 

I may add further that the outlook of the Covenant 
Presbyterian church is certainly bright. The western 
end of Harrisburg is growing rapidly, and we look 
forward to the time when she shall be staunch in 
her Presbyterian belief, and vigorous in her Presbyte- 
rian strength ; and she sends to you, her blood relation, 
if I may so call it, and to all her relations the heartiest 
greetings. [Applause.] 

Moderator Stewart. Now we will hear from the 
Pine Street Presbyterian church, of Harrisburg, in the 
person of Rev. George S. Chambers, D. D., the pastor. 

150 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Mr. Moderator, Ladies, and Gentlemen : I have 
been asked to say a few words as a representative of 
one of the "descendants" of Paxton church. The 
church which I have the honor to represent may be 
considered as a "grandchild," and speaking on its be- 
half, I may be pardoned if I place the emphasis on the 
first part of that designation. For it is a grand child, 
indeed ; a fact which it is too modest to assert for itself, 
but which it is not out of place for me to declare, inas- 
much as ni}'" relations to it cover only one third of its 
history. I enjoy a two-fold privilege on this occasion : 
that of paying the tribute of admiration and reverence 
to the sturdy men and women of a century and a half 
ago, who built this old Paxton church, and worshiped 
within these walls; and that of representing one of 
their ecclesiastical "descendants," possessing a resolute- 
ness and fervor which indicate a noble ancestry, and 
which is popularly and affectionately known as the 
Pine Street Presbyterian church of Harrisburg. 

A brief statement of the facts in the history of our 
church is all that the time allotted to me will permit. 
It was organized in May, 1858, by the Presbytery of 
Carlisle. On the day of organization, fifty persons pre- 
sented letters of dismission. At the end of the year, 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 151 

on the 1st of April, 1859, the membership of the church 
was eighty -three. 

In the thirty -two years of its history, the church has 
had five pastors, viz: Rev. William C. Cattell, D. D., 
Rev. S. S. Mitchell, D. D., Rev. A. K. Strong, D. D., 
Rev. John R. Paxton, D. D., and the present pastor, who 
was installed in November, 1879. All the ex-pastors 
of the church are living, and three of them are still 
engaged in pastoral work in other parts of the Presby- 
terian church. The first pastor is now the efficient 
Secretary' of the Board of Ministerial Relief, in which 
capacity he is doing most valuable work for the church, 
her disabled ministers, and her Lord. 

The elders who were elected on the day of organiza- 
tion are still in service: Messrs. Francis Wyeth, H. M. 
Graydon, and James McCormick. The present elder- 
ship numbers six; Mr. Jacob F. Seller, who was elected 
in July, 1863, and Messrs. Francis Jordan, and Daniel 
W. Cox. who were elected in the fall of 1887, having 
been added to the original three. The original mem- 
bership of the church on April 1st, 1859, was eighty- 
three. The membership on the 1st of April, 1890, was 
six hundred and thirty-seven. 

The Sunday-school membership, April 1st, 1859, was 
one hundred and forty. On the 1st of April, 1890, it 
was one thousand seven hundred and twenty-five. 

The contributions of the church to all causes during 
the first year of its history amounted to $12,990.75, of 

152 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

which $12,773.44 were for congregational purposes. 
The contributions that year to benevolent work outside 
the church were $267.31. The contributions of the 
church to all causes during the year ending April 1st, 
1890, were $31,096.70. Of this amount $23,697.27 
went to benevolent work outside the church. 

During the thirty-two years of its history the contri- 
butions of the church to all causes have amounted to 
$499,421.61, or an average per year of $15,606.93. Of 
this amount, $293,062.40 have been given to benevo" 
lent work outside the church. 

The additions to the church during these years have 
been seven hundred and fifty-six on confession of faith, 
and five hundred and sixty-eight by certificate, or a 
total of one thousand three hundred and twenty -four ' 
an average per year of forty-one. 

The difference between this number and our present 
membership is six hundred and eighty-seven, which 
represents the losses occasioned by death, removals to 
other parts of the country, and other causes. These 
losses have averaged twenty-one per year; so that the 
net gain of membership has been about twenty per 

During these thirty-two years four hundred infants 
and two hundred and fourteen adults have been bap- 

These figures represent only the external facts in 
the church's history. The spirit of consecration that 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 153 

preceded and pervaded them, the spiritual growth 
of a whole generation of Christians, the delightful in- 
timacies of these years in Christian work and worship, 
the hallowed memories of those who died in faith, the 
prayers that have been made and answered for the 
church's welfare — all these are facts which are of un- 
speakable value; but the record of them is on high. 
*' Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, 
and for his wonderful works to the children of men." 

Moderator Stewart. I am very sure that some who 
have left these seats will be sorry for more than one 
reason for having left before this part of the programme 
had been reached. Paxtang has always been noted for 
its hospitality, and it gives me pleasure to say that 
Paxtang will furnish dinner to us to-day, and a seat 
can be had at the table by securing a ticket here at the 
platform, free of charge, just as we get everything else 
here — free of charge. [Applause.] I hope every one, 
therefore, will avail himself, after the doxology has 
been sung, of the opportunity to secure tickets; and 
then proceed to the tent where we will receive our re- 
freshments — not but that we have been refreshed all 
through the morning. 

The doxology — '^ Praise God from whom all blessings 
flow," etc. — was then sung, and at one o'clock, p. m., a 
recess was taken. 

154 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

On re-assembling, at 2.45 o'clock, p. m., Rev. George 
B. Stewart presiding, the audience sung hymn 591, as 
follows : 

Rise, my soul! pursue the path 

By ancient worthies trod ; 
Aspiring, view those holy men 
Who lived and walked with God. 

Though dead, they speak in reason's ear, 

And in example live ; 
Their faith and hope and mighty deeds 

Still fresh instruction give. 

Lord ! may I ever keep in view 
The patterns thou hast given, 
And ne'er forsake the blessed path 
Which led them safe to heaven. 
Moderator Stewart. There were so many descend- 
ants of Paxtang church that we could not get through 
this morning. So we will continue this afternoon with 
this same topic; and the first speaker will be Rev. 
Reuben H. Armstrong, who is the pastor of the Elder 
Street church in Harrisburg. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 155 


The Rev. Arthur T. Pierson, D. D., has well said, in 
a small book entitled " The Crisis of Missions, or the 
Voice Out of the Cloud," that the very watchword of 
the Christian life is obedience, and our great Captain 
has left us his marching orders, " Go ye into all the 
world and preach the gospel to every creature." To 
all climes and to all peoples is the glad tidings of great 
joy to be preached. All need it, it is adapted to all,, 
none are what they might be without its quickening 
uplifting, beautifying power. It is to the soul, to the 
nations of the earth that have arisen to great eminence 
and have the elements of perpetuity as fundamental 
principles, what the warmth of the sun and the gentle 
showers are to the fruitful fields and forests. The soul 
is developed, adorned by the gospel, nations become 
the great centers of Christian education, and others not 
so highly favored, catch their spirit of activity and en- 
thusiasm and imitate them. This missionary spirit 
then, this obedience to our captain, cannot be empha- 
sized too much, not only to-day, as the one hundred 
and fiftieth anniversary since the corner-stone of Pax- 
tang Presbyterian church was laid, but at all times as 
the great principle of aggressive Christian work, as the 
proof of Christian doctrine, duty, and high privilegCr 
and that we hear the voice of God calling us to lift up 

156 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

the fallen, to cheer the sorrowing, to help those who are 
dispitefully used and persecuted, to practice as well as 
preach the precepts of the Word of God, always, every- 
where, as the whole duty of man. Paxtang church has 
had, and we are sure still retains a missionary spirit. 
All of the many churches whose brief histories we have 
and shall listen to make this statement the more force- 
ful, and tell us what she is doing through her chil- 
dren, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. And al- 
though, she has passed through one hundred and fifty 
summers and winters; although there have been seasons 
in her history when she was quite sick, breathed feebly, 
looked pale, and many have said, " She is ready to die, 
the days of her usefulness are past, the home mission 
doctor need not come to see her any more; " yet she lives 
not alone in her offspring, but in her present active 
helpful ministrations, and the indications are as we dis- 
cover a city reaching out her arms to her, even the city 
in which she has several children or grandchildren, 
yea, we are happy to be able to declare that the indica- 
tions are that her best days have not yet been witnessed, 
but are in the future, the morn of which has already 
dawned. Many of us may not see the day and enjoy 
y:hat it brings forth, but we rejoice to-day, we come 
with grateful heart, we come from the fields of battle, 
not upon our shields, but with them in our hand, the 
Presbyterian shields having defended us in many bat- 
tles, not less, because they are and were of this blue 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 157 

stocking stripe, but more because they were biblical 
shields. And if we can be thankful to God for all that 
our rich biblical scholarship has given and is still giv- 
ing us, if we can trust the Holy Spirit, believing that 
he will guide us and all who shall have to do with the 
future of the church dearer to us than the children of 
our bosom, because it is of God, for his glory and our 
good, the half has not been told of what Paxtang 
may be and do, through the gospel for the children, as 
yet unknown to man. But it is my du.y to indicate 
by a few sentences what she has already been to what 
was first known as the Second Presbyterian Church, 
and afterward the Elder Street Presbyterian church of 

In obedience to the great command of Christ to 
teach all nations, what was once known as the First 
Presbyterian church of Harrisburg, and now known as 
Market Square, having within her communion those 
who believed in the fatherhood of God and the brother- 
hood of man, a direct offspring of her to whom we 
bring praises to-day, in the year 1855 organized a Sab- 
bath-school to teach those who had been deprived of 
religious training as well as mental culture, the truths 
of the Bible. This was then the only school for the 
colored people. For years it did the work of teaching, 
finding ready learners and earnest seekers after the 
truth. To say that great good was done, is far from 
expressing the fact in the case, as many of you know, 

158 Paxtang Presbyterian Church, 

:and as scores would testify of the different denomina- 
tions in the city of Harrisburg, where they now are 
local preachers and teachers in the Sabbath-schools or 
foremost in the work of Christ, as their hands find it to 
<lo. For through this Sabbath-school they were per- 
mitted to touch the hem of Christ's garment, as it was 
■worn by his representatives, to sit at the feet of Jesus, 
learning of his being and perfections, his sufferings and 
«elf-denials, his agony and bloody sweat, and his most 
disgraceful, but beautifully triumphant, death. They 
point back to the Sabbath-school with great satisfaction, 
.and declare that they owe to this work everlasting 
praise, as it furnished the foundation upon which their 
;spiritual building, hath been erected, and shall continue 
to be made more beautiful and s.ymmetrical, every year 
•making some improvement, until, finally, no touch of 
-the painter's brush, no change of the great architect's 
:skill can add to its beauty or usefulness. 

Of the early workers and those later on in the work, 
we may be pardoned for mentioning the names of 
Messrs. Mordecai McKinney, Jackson Fleming, Alfred 
Armstrong, Mrs. Agnes Kemp, Miss Agnes Crane, 
Mrs. Dr. W. W. Rutherford, Mrs. Jackson Fleming, 
Mrs. Alfred Armstrong, and Mrs. Harriet L. West- 
brook. They have wrought a good work in obedience 
to the command of Christ, to teach all nations, which 
was made possible by the existence and inspiration 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 159 

given unto some of them in this building, and in other 
buildings, her honored offspring. 

In 1858, October 25th, the Presbytery of Harrisburg, 
sitting at Spring Mills, appointed a committee to or- 
ganize the Second Presbyterian church of Harrisburg, 
should the way be clear, on the 27th of October, of the 
same year. The committee, consisting of Revs. Wil- 
liam P. Dewitt, Conway P. Wing, Thomas H. Robinson, 
and elders, Messrs John Weir and Mordecai McKinney, 
met, and after a sermon by the Rev. Conway P. Wing, 
from Matt., 16 : 18, organized the church. It is in- 
teresting to note that the apostolic number, twelve, 
were received upon profession of their faith and one by 
letter, Mrs. Nancy Christie, doubtless, the oldest Pres- 
b^'terian living in Harrisburg or in the Presbytery of 
Carlisle, having passed her ninety-eighth anniversary 
upon the 11th of last May, brought up in the Presby- 
terian church of Mercersburg, where we hope to see a 
Presbyterian church conducted by the colored people, 
in order to their greater development who have been 
born and fostered in the present church. The first ses- 
sion of the Second church was held in the study of Rev. 
Charles W. Gardiner, October 30, 1858. It was com- 
posed of the Moderator Mr. Gardiner and Elder Hiram 
Baker, now preaching in Chatanooga, Tenn., and Jere- 
miah Kell}', who has entered into the rest that remain- 
eth to the people of God. During the thirty-two years 
that the church hath been holding out the light of the 

160 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

gospel to a most needy people, and a people that the 
Presbyterian church must reach both North and South, 
if she believes her doctrines are biblical, which she 
does, and is ready to defend ; a church, therefore, that 
is adapted to all people, the rich and the poor, the 
learned and the illiterate, five pastors and six stated 
supplies have occupied the pulpit, and nine elders have 
been elected and ordained. Of these elders, three have 
died, two have taken their letters, one has entered the 
ministry, and four are now in active service in the 
church of their choice in Harrisburg. 

One hundred and eighty-three have been received 
into the church or nearly six per year. At present 
there are fifty -three members. Thousands have been 
taught by the Sabbath-school and at the pulpit, at 
Elder Street, that are not members of our communion, 
but of a greater communion; converse with God and 
Christ and the Holy Spirit. 

We come to our grandmother to-day, not with what 
some of her grandchildren can boast of, or rather be 
grateful for, as all of you know, wealth and superior 
educational advantages, and every opportunity that 
can be presented to Americans, by all the resources of 
America, and with all these opportunities from the be- 
ginning, but with the few sheaves we have gathered, 
reminding you of the seeds we have sown, thanking 
the Giver of every good and perfect gift that he gave 
you being, that he put it into the mind of one of your 

Paxtang Presbytekian Church. 161 

offspring, that we are all of a common origin, having 
like needs, and that all must appear at the judgment 
seat of Christ. May the spirit of many Elijahs fall 
upon many Elishas in the Presbytery of Carlisle, and 
ere another half century is added to the history of 
Paxtang and other churches of the Presbytery, there 
may be several representatives of the negro race as pas- 
tors of churches joining in the praises to God from 
whom all blessings flow; having furnished a channel 
of Christian giving and loving, and demonstrating the 
fact that this Presbytery is not narrow in its notion as 
to whom are freedmen, and where they should have 
churches established, as we are inclined to think the 
work north of Mason and Dixon line shows, but rather, 
that they are broad and are obeying more fully the com- 
mand of our Great Captain Jesus Christ, as it rings in 
their ears : Go ye into all the world and preach the 
gospel to every creature. [Applause.] 

Moderator Stewart. The first church of Middle- 
town is represented to-day by its pastor, the Itev. John 
H. Grofl", to whom we will now attend. 


162 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Mr. Moderator, Ladies, and Gentlemen: I am 
glad for the privilege of speaking a word in behalf 
of the church at Middletown, the third church that 
sprang directly from the mother church Paxtang. 
This church dates back to the year 1850. Prior to that 
time the Presbyterians of Middletown and of the neigh- 
borhood worshiped with Paxtang and Derry churches, 
these two churches being within a radius of seven or 
eight miles from Middletown. The time came, how- 
ever, when the people of Middletown felt that these 
churches were too far remote, and that if Presbyterian- 
ism was to grow and fulfill her mission, they must 
have a church in the town itself. Hence, at a meeting 
of the Presbytery of Carlisle, held in the Paxtang 
church on the 10th of April, 1850, a committee was 
appointed to visit Middletown, and consider with a 
similar committee the propriet}^ of organizing a church 
there. At a meeting of Presbytery in Gettysburg, 
June 4th, that committee reported favorably and en- 
couragingly, and on the 9th of October of the same 
year, at the call of the Moderator, the Presbytery 
met in Middletown, at which a petition was presented, 
signed by nine persons, and there and then the Pres- 
byterian church at Middletown was organized. Thus 
it has a history of forty years. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 163 

In those forty years she has had nine installed pas- 
tors and four stated supplies. The first pastor, Rev. 
John Cross, was called June 10, 1851, installed June 
23, and died suddenly August 22, the same year, at 
Dickinson, Cumberland county, while raising money to 
build the church. 

In 1852, the Rev. 0. 0. McLean became pastor, and 
continued to April, 1854. In October, 1855, Rev. John 
W. White was called, and remained until the Spring 
of 1858. His successor was Rev. T. K. Davis, from 
March, 1858, until May 4, 1863; when Rev. William 
Ferriday became pastor; (during his absence from ill 
health. Rev. H. T. Lee. of Philadelphia, preached.) 
Mr. Ferriday's continued sickness compelled him to 
resign, and on January 25, 1865, Rev. H. L. Rex was 
called, he was installed June 6, 1865, and remained 
until 1874. In January, 1875, Rev. Daniel McAfee 
became pastor, and resigned in 1876. For some time 
Rev. A. D. Mitchell supplied the pulpit; but being ap- 
pointed post-chaplain in the U. S. Army, Rev. Robert 
P. Gibson acted as pastor until April 14, 1878, when 
Rev. D. C. Meeker was called; he declined, and on 
May 20, Rev. Malachi C. Bailey became pastor. He 
resigned in 1880, and his successor was Rev. William 
G. McDannold, who took charge November 1, 1881, 
and resigned Apiil 10, 1884. He was succeeded by 
the present pastor. 

In connection with this church there have been eight 

164 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

elders, two of whom have served the church during 
almost her entire history. I refer to Dr. Benjamin J. 
Wiestling and Daniel Kendig. 

This church, while she has not grown as rapidly 
as it was hoped she would, has not been without re- 
sults. It has been said by some in my hearing that 
the reason the Middletown church did not succeed 
better was because many of the young men and women, 
in connection with the Presbyterian church and Pres- 
byterian families, moved elsewhere, and their places 
were occupied by a German element. Be this as it 
may, the church has, during all this period of forty 
years, had noble men and women. She has sent them 
out, here and there ; and while their names may not 
perhaps appear on the page of history as brilliant as 
some others that have gone out from other churches, 
yet they have made an impression elsewhere in the 
church as good and loyal Presbyterians. A number, 
too, of the faithful ones have been taken from us by the 
hand of death ; yet there has always been a few earn- 
est, faithful, active ones ; and there are a few faithful 
ones to-day, (whom it is not necessary that I should 
name,) who have stood by the truth, working to build 
up the church. 

But the end is not yet. About fifteen months ago 
the old church building was taken down, (being in great 
need of repairs;) and on that site has been built in these 
months a beautiful new church. Our people are work- 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 165 

ing hard ; they are praying, and are giving of their 
means. I am glad to believe to-day, as we gather 
in this shady grove, that mother Paxtang may yet 
look back upon the third daughter, and feel proud of 
her. I am glad to greet you here and pay a passing 
tribute of respect to the mother church from which we 
sprung. I am glad that we can look into your faces, 
and give you this report. And we trust that in the 
century to follow, nay, in this the first quarter of it, 
that Middletown church may come up out of the 
wilderness "fair as the noon, bright as the sun," and 
as strong as some of these churches that were repre- 
sented here to-day. [Applause.] 

Moderator Stewart. The next organization to be 
heard from is the Dauphin Presbyterian church ; and 
Rev. Francis M. Baker, the pastor of that church, will 
now address you. 

166 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Mr. Moderator, Ladies, and Gentlemen: The 
place which the committee, appointed to arrange the 
programme, has given to the church of Dauphin is 
next to the last on the list, showing that in their judg- 
ment they regarded it as second in age to that of Mar- 
ket Square, Harrisburg. 

The church now known as the First Presbyterian 
church of Dauphin has a double history — an earlier 
and a later one ; though she has never led a double 
life. Of the former history there are but few of the 
records extant, and none of its first organization and 
none of its meetings of session. Hence we are largely 
confined in referring to its past history, to the infre- 
quent mention made in Presbyterial records from 
time to time. 

In " the Centennial Memorial of the Presbytery of 
Carlisle " just issued. Vol. I, p. 255, under the head of 
" Dauphin Church," the following statement is made: 

" Turning to the records of nearly a century ago 
we find, under date of June 24, 1766, the following : 

"Mr. Rowan, in behalf of Paxton, above the nar- 
rows, requested some supplies to be sent to that 

" Till near the close of the century supplies were 
asked and granted, at first under the above name, 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 167 

afterwards that of Middle Paxtang. The Rev. Na- 
thaniel R. Snowden, pastor of Harrisburg church, ap- 
pears to have preached to the people with regularity and 
system from the time he was released from the Derry 
and Paxton part of his charge, in 1796, to the time 
of his resignation at Harrisburg in 1805. There is a 
strong probability that he gave them one fourth his 
time; for, when the Rev. James Buchanan, his suc- 
cessor, was called, it was to labor three fourths his 
time in Harrisburg, and one fourth his time at Middle 
Paxton. Accordingly, in December, 1808, he was 'in- 
stalled at Harrisburg as pastor of the congregations 
of Harrisburg and Middle Paxton,' by a committee 
of Presbytery composed of the Revs. Messrs. Snodgrass, 
Brady, and Sharon." 

" In 1811 Mr. Buchanan was released from the Middle 
Paxton part of his charge in order that he might give 
all his time and labor to the church in Plarrisburg. 
The Rev. William R. DeWitt, from the time of his 
settlement as pastor of Harrisburg church in 1819, 
took a very deep interest in this struggling church 
and frequently ministered to it. In 1832 he requested 
Presbytery to ' note on its minutes that the church of 
Middle Paxton had been re-organized.' Of the re- 
organization no record is preserved. After the Old 
and New school division, the Presbytery of Carlisle 
occasionally sent supplies to the congregation, but they 

168 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

depended mainly for them on the Presbytery of 

About the year 1781 a log church was erected upon 
a hill about half a mile northeast of what is now the 
borough of Dauphin, called " The Hill Church." This 
is the earliest record of a house of worship in this 

On October 11, 1796, Mr. Robert McCord executed 
an article of agreement to deed the piece of land on 
which the " log church " was built, and ground around 
it sufficient for purposes of burial, to a board of trustees. 
The trustees named in that agreement were Samuel 
Cochran, John Richmond, Joseph Green, James Bell, 
and William Murray. 

In 1813, November 6, the executors of the estate of 
Robert McCord deeded the said land and church prop- 
erty to the trustees of the English Presbyterian church, 
viz: James Green, William Cochran, and William 

The names of the persons here mentioned indicate 
what was actually the fact, that the neighborhood was 
settled largely by families of Scotch and Scotch-Irish 
descent. The church was in all probability erected by 
means of their contributions. 

Where did the supplies, requested of Presbytery in 
1766, preach, or was there an older church building? 

At what time before 1781, and under whose ministry 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 169 

the church on the hill was organized, cannot now be 

The number of communicants of the " hill church " 
seems to have been large, and the sacraments regularly 
and frequently administered. 

In the course of time many of the Presbyterians 
sold their farms to Germans, who belonged some to the 
Lutheran and others to the German Reformed church. 
In consequence of this, Presbyterian influence lost the 
ascendancy, and the church which was formerly wholly 
Presbyterian was at a later day under the care of a 
Lutheran, at another of a German Reformed, and at 
another of a Presbyterian pastor. It was in this way 
that it lost, for a time, its distinctively denominational 
character, and was sometimes called a Union church. 

Under the labors of Rev. George R. Moore, who came 
to this field in 1848, and ministered to the hill church 
congregation, a new organization was effected, on the 
6th of April, 1850, under the name of the First Pres- 
byterian church of Dauphin, with a membership of 
twenty-three. Mr. John Brooks was elected a ruling 
elder, who remained sole elder until the ordination of 
Mr. Jeff'erson Clark, October 21, 1860. 

Rev. George R. Moore's ministry continued from 
1848 to 1855. The pulpit was supplied from March 
1857 to August 1860 by the Rev. John Davis. Rev. A. 
D. Moore was pastor from 1860 to 1868. Rev. D. C. 
Meeker from 1869 to 1880. Rev. R. F. McLean from 

170 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

1880 to 1884, and the present pastor from November, 
1884 to the present time. 

Elder John Brooks died November 1, 1866. On 
April 5, 1868, Dr. William Graydon and William A. 
Brooks were ordained as elders, of whom the former 
removed to Philadelphia, in 1883, and the latter died 
January 30, 1872. On the 13th of May, 1883, Dr. A. 
T. Poffenberger and Mr. C. W. Shope were elected to 
the eldership, who together with Mr. Jefferson Clark, 
now constitute the office bearers of the church. 

The old "hill church" was used occasionally after 
the new one in the town was built. In 1854 it was 
burned by accident. 

The present membership of the church is ninety-six. 
All the Boards of the church receive annual contribu- 
tions, and two of them — the Home and the Foreign — 
very liberal ones. 

We claim therefore for the church of Dauphin the 
relation of a daughter. We bring to the mother our 
congratulations and to God our thanksgivings for the 
wonderful things which He hath wrought. 

Moderator Eev. Stewart. Unusual honor is heaped 
upon me to-day. I have had the exceeding great 
honor of presiding on this occasion. I have now what 
is to me perhaps a greater honor, of speaking for the 
Market Square Presbyterian church of Harrisburg, the 
oldest, probably, of the direct decendants of the Pax- 
,ang church. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 171 


There was a time when we were one, ecclesiastically. 
That is, Paxtang and Harris's Ferry ; and Paxtang was 
the one. And if the rage for laying out the farms in this 
beautiful valley into town lots continues, it will not be- 
long until we are one again. But this time it will 
be municipally, and the one will be Harrisburg. In 
fraternal regard, in common purpose and interests,, 
in holy zeal for the progress of the kingdom and the 
glory of our King, we are one to-day, as this celebra- 
tion gives evidence, and at no time for more than a 
century have we been other than one. 

The second pastor of the Paxtang church was, in 
fact, though not formally, the first pastor of the Har- 
risburg church, and the third pastor of Paxtang was 
the first pastor installed over the Harrisburg church. 
For it was during the incumbency of the able and 
honored John Elder that the members of the Paxtang 
church residing at Harrisburg desired, about the year 
1786, that they be erected into a congregation of their 
own. There were many of them, and being artisans 
without conveyances of their own, they deemed it an 
unnecessary hardship to be compelled to walk three 
miles into the country to attend divine service. And 
they rightly judged that the religious needs of the 
rapidly growing borough required public worship with- 

172 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

in its limits. Their wishes respecting a separate church 
were not accomplished until after the death of Mr. 
Elder in 1792, but they were permitted to have public 
worship in the village whenever Mr. Elder could se- 
cure the assistance of other Presbyterian ministers, con- 
tinuing, however, to be a part of the Paxtang congre- 
gation. That is the way it comes about that the oldest 
Presbyterian church in Harrisburg is eight years older 
than she gets credit for being. 

Immediately after the death of Mr. Elder steps began 
to be taken to secure separate organizations for the 
Harrisburg people, and this was accomplished in the 
election and ordination of three elders, Adam Boyd, 
Moses Gilmor, and Samuel Weir. The date of their 
ordination is not known. It probably took place almost 
immediately after, if not at the time of their election. 
It is permissible, therefore, to date the organization of 
the church from the day of their election. Hence we 
say we were born on February 16, 1794, the oldest 
daughter of Paxtang church. 

The two venerable churches, Derry and Paxtang, 
and this, the youngest church in the Presbyterian fold, 
united in calling to the pastoral office the Rev. Nathaniel 
R. Snowden, a candidate for the ministry under the 
care of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. The call being 
accepted, Mr. Snowden was ordained to the ministry 
and installed over the three churches on October 2, 
1793, several months prior to the formal organization 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 173 

of the Harrisburg church. It thus transpired that the 
third pastor of Paxtang was the first pastor of Harris- 

Mr. Snowden after awhile terminated his connection 
with the Derry church, and later on with the Paxtang 
church, and gave his whole time to the Harrisburg 
church, it assuming his entire support. 

On June 25, 1805, Mr. Snowden resigned this portion 
also of his original charge, and the church remained 
for several years without a pastor. During these years 
the pulpit was supplied by such eminent men as Rev, 
Robert Cathcart, D. D., Rev. John Linn, Rev. Joshua 
Williams, D. D., Rev. David McConaughy, D. D., Rev. 
James Snodgrass, Rev. William Kerr, and Rev. Wil- 
liam Moody, D. D. 

The Rev. James Buchanan served the people as stat- 
ed supply from May 17, 1807, until February 13, 1809, 
when he was installed the second pastor. On account 
of ill health he resigned his charge on September 20, 
1815. During the early part of his pastorate he min- 
istered to the Middle Paxtang church near the site of 
the present town of Dauphin. 

After being three years without a pastor, the congre- 
gation called, on October 5, 1818, the Rev. William R. 
DeWitt, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New York. 
Soon after this he entered upon the duties of his office, 
and was duly installed as the third pastor of the church 
on November 12, 1819. In this office he remained 

174 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

until his death on December 23, 1867, a period of nearly 
fifty years. 

It was on July 5, 1854, that the Rev. Thomas H. 
Robinson, who had just recently been graduated from 
the Western Theological Seminary, was called as co- 
pastor to Rev. Dr. DeWitt. Mr. Robinson began his 
labors on October 1, 1854, and on the 31st of the fol- 
lowing January was ordained to the ministry and in- 
stalled as Rev. Dr. DeWitt's colleague. For several 
years prior to Rev. Dr. DeWitt's death, Rev. Dr. Robin- 
son was the sole acting pastor, and also after that 
■event until he resigned the charge to accept a profess- 
orship in the seminary from which he had graduated 
thirty years before. 

The present pastor was called from the pastorate of 
tl>e Calvary Presbyterian church. Auburn, N. Y., on 
October 6, 1884, and was installed the fifth pastor on 
the 2d of January, 1885. 

It is worthy of note that the first four pastors of the 
church came to it in their youth and were ordained to 
the ministry at the time they were installed over it. 

This First Presbyterian church of Harrisburg was 
ineoporated as the English Presbyterian church, to dis- 
tinguish it from the Reformed church, which at that 
"time was commonly known as the German Presbyterian 
church. But in recent years we only see the corporate 
name in official documents, as the common name is 
Market Square church. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 175 

Our first house of worship was erected in 1806 on the 
corner of Second street and Cherry alley, being built, 
as were many other buildings in those days, from the 
proceeds of a lottery, sanctioned by law and the best 
public sentiment. 

In 1841 this building was torn down to make place 
for a more commodious structure, which was destroyed 
by fire on March 30, 1858. The present edifice, on the 
southwest corner of the Market Square, was dedicated 
on March 18, 1860, and in 1882 received a large addi- 
tion in the rear to accommodate the rapidly growing 
Sunday-school. , 

There was a time when we were the only Presbyterian 
church in Harrisburg, but now we share that privilege 
and honor with five others of the same faith. At one 
time there were but a few Presbyterians in the place, 
but the little one has become a thousand, and there 
are over sixteen hundred communicants connected 
with these six churches. The last church to be organ- 
ized is the nearest of all to this venerable Paxtang 

During the history of the Market Square church there 
have been several notable revivals, such as those of 
1843 and 1875-6, while at all times the church has 
preserved a high standard of activity, and enjoyed a 
large degree of usefulness in the community. 

The early records are exasperatingly defective. In 
fact there are no records prior to the year 1818, and for 

176 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

many years after that they are meager. Though no 
roll of the church exists prior to 1818 yet we have the 
names of over two thousand persons who have been 
communicants; about one half of whom have been 
added to the church during the last two decades. We 
now number six hundred and sixty members. We 
sustain a flourishing mission in a beautiful stone 
chapel. Our Sunday-school and other agencies are, 
complete and prosperous. 

Paxtang's oldest daughter salutes her. To this con- 
secrated spot she gathers with the other children to 
honor the venerable and vigorous mother of us all. 
Here where she has worshiped for one hundred and 
fift}^ years, we bring the fruit of the field, which a 
hundred years ago she gave us to cultivate for the 
Master. May mother and daughters be granted many 
years of active and honored service, and bring forth 
much fruit as evidence of faith and faithfulness. [Ap- 

Moderator Stewart. I told you that we had some 
other descendants. We showed you some of them 
this morning, and you listened to them with profit- 
This afternoon we want to introduce you to another 
direct and very near descendant of a former pastor of 
this church. The Rev. Dr. Joshua Williams, was, I 
believe, the fourth installed pastor of the church. I 
speak from memory, not from documentary evidence. 
If Dr. Egle were now here, I presume he would correct 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 177 

me if I am mistaken. Mr. Joshua Williams, bearing 
the same name, a grandson of the Rev. Dr. Joshua 
Williams, and now an elder of a Presbyterian church 
in the west — the first church of Minneapolis — is with 
us. If we had St. Paul here, it might make some dif- 
erence. For we understand that between Minneapolis 
and St. Paul there is a great gulf fixed, and the mere 
mentioning of one in the presence of the other might 
be serious. [Sensation and numerous smiles.] 




Mr. Moderator, Fathers, and Brethren : The 
text which suggests itself as a proper one for the 
remarks I may have to indulge in on this occasion, 
is this, " If a man bloweth not his own horn — verily 
it shall not be blowcd ! " But introduced as a Minne- 
apolis man in connection with St. Paul, I may say first 
of all that the only regret I have to-day is that there 
are no St. Paul men here ! We have a high regard 
for St. Paul. We would not be worthy to be counted 
among the '' descendants " to-day if we had not. But 
while St. Paul is distinguished enough, in descendants, 
or numerically, — he got badly left I [Laughter.] 

Mr. Moderator, I begin to believe " there is some- 
thing in a name." As j^ou have announced, I am a 
grandson of the Rev. Joshua Williams, D. D., whose 
name is on your roll of honor to-day. He had a 
grandfather Avhose name was Joshua. That Joshua 
had a son whose name was Louis. This Louis was 
the father of the Joshua we honor to-day ! [General 
laughter.] That Joshua had a son Louis, who was 
my father, [increased laughter,] and a Judge of the 
Supreme Court of Minnesota said of this Louis : " He 
was the finest specimen of a Presbyterian elder I have 
ever seen." His son is here, and his name is Joshua. 

182 Paxtang Pesbyrterian Church. 

[Laughter and applause.] I have a son at home 
whose name is Louisl I have another one whose 
name is Charles Rittenhouse, but he is of no account 
in this connection ! [Merriment and suppressed 
laughter.] But there is ground, you see, to hope ; 
that like they did in the beginning of the Gospel by 
Matthew, the Joshua's and Louis's are going on to 
beget one another to the end of the chaf>ter! [General 

Did I say that my Charles Rittenhouse was of no ac- 
count here? (Remember my text!) I beg his pardon. 
My wife, Martha Rittenhouse, had a "grandfather," 
too. And although his name lias not been mentioned 
yet from this platform, it has been in private, and it 
is perfectly legitimate to mention on this occasion. 
His sleeping dust awaits the resurrection morn in 
3^onder cemetery a little farther down the valley — at 
old Derry. And in that sacred edifice rehabilitated and 
beautified, I understand, as Paxtang has been by the 
generous and tender ministries of those whom I have 
the honor to address, is to be found a memorial 
window, dedicated to my grandfather, and another 
one to my wife's grandfather, Dr. AVilliam Simonton. 
His daughter Jane, well known to you. Aunt Elizabeth 
Espy, and to you. Miss Clark, and sister of Judge 
Simonton, married the Rev. John Hughes Rittenhouse. 
These were the parents of my Charles Rittenhouse's 
mother, the woman whom I delight to call my wife. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 183 

Do you wonder that I acknowledged intense interest in 
the events of this day? "Are you Israelites? So am I." 
Now, my friends, you have heard from nine churches, 
all descendants from yonder old Paxtang mother, and 
perhaps it was supposed when this programme was 
made out, that these organizations were all the descend- 
ants there were of these grand old people, but it is not 
so. The descendants of the Rev. Joshua Williams, 
D. D., founded a church in Minneapolis, one year be- 
fore the church represented here to-day by Dr. Cham- 
bers was organized, viz: in 1857. There were not 
eighty-three members at this organization — I believe 
that was the number at the first organization of Pine 
Street church — there were eight members. Two of 
these eight were your children, viz: Louis and Joseph 
Williams, sons of Rev. Joshua Williams. You will re- 
member how Paul, in the Bible, undertakes to show 
how that Levi paid tithes in Abraham when Melchise- 
dek met him? "Much more," by the same token I 
prove to you, that while the Pine Street church was so 
neatly characterized by Dr. Chambers as your grand 
daughter, the Westminster church of Minneapolis is 
legitimately'-, with emphasis on the adjectives, your 
^'rea^^rrand-daughter. The eight members at her or- 
ganization were the two sons of Joshua Williams I 
have mentioned, with their wives, two daughters of 
Louis, making six, and two others, Mr. and Mrs. 
Andrew Oliver, by the way, Pennsylvanians, .too. 

184 Paxtang PeesbytePvIAn Church. 

Westminster has grown to over one thousand mem- 
bers ; " the small one has become a strong nation." The 
Genera] Assembly has been comfortably entertained hj 
lier. Out of her have come several church organiza- 
tions, while existing churches have received valuable 
additions, notably the First Church, to which I now 
belong, the oldest organization in Minnesota, has been 
greatly strengthened in this way; that Judge (Vander- 
burgh,) I referred to awhile ago, whom my respected 
friend Dr. Erskine here met at the last General Assem- 
bly, is of the First Church, with other good men and 
true. So you see your influence is extending far and 
wdde. I have thought it worthy of the occasion to re- 
hearse these facts, which show how much better God's 
people " builded than they knew," and to suggest how^ 
sublime is everything connected with the interests of 
the kingdom of God and of Christ. We have all heard 
of that humble woman who gave ''two mites" once upon 
a time. I do not believe it is possible for any of us to 
have anything to do in promoting the cause of Jesus 
Christ without being honored. It is the sure way to 
achieve a glorious immortality. 

But I must not detain you with an impromptu 
and desultory speech. My sympatliies are with this 
audience. T regard it an honor to be here — did not 
know how much of a providence there was in my 
coming to Pennsylvania "at such a time as this." 
Have been up the Cumberland A\alley witli my cousin- 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 185 

in-law, Dr. Erskine, and I guess he or Uncle Josiah 
Espy and the Rutherfords are to blame for putting me 
into a position so trying to the well-known modesty 
of we westerners ! Now, seriousl}^, I wish you all God- 
speed, and let us all be true to our glorious Presbyte- 
rian heritage, for situated as we are in Minnesota, amid 
a large foreign population, I believe no church is so 
well adapted, both in doctrine and polity, to make 
of these heterogeneous foreigners patriotic and true 
American citizens. Our beloved country needs the 
Presbyterian church. I thank you. [Applause.] 

Moderator Stewart. One thing is very certain, that 
if names are scarce, there is plenty of blood, and both 
blood and names are good. It is with very great pleas- 
ure that I introduce now to you the Rev. Dr. Nathan 
Grier Parke, who will speak to us upon the "Charac- 
teristics of Early Presbyterian Preachers " — none of 
recent date. 



I would very much prefer to speak to you this 
afternoon looking into your faces, but I am afraid. 
Daniel Doughterty tells us that on one occasion, 
when making his maiden speech in the city of Phil- 
adelphia, he lost himself, or lost his subject, and 
fainted and was carried off — the best thing he could 
do. Now I do not want to faint, and I therefore, have, 
as a security for not making an entire failure, some 
manuscript in my hand. 

In the arrangement of subjects to be presented on 
this occasion, it has fallen to my lot to speak of "the 
characteristics of the early preacher," of whom it is 
assumed I must know something, having " come down 
from a former generation." But as a matter of fact, 
Mr. Elder, the second pastor of the Paxtang church, 
and his ministerial associates were in advance of me 
about a hundred years. I know something of them 
and of their times as do all who know anything of the 
history of Pennsylvania. They made their mark on 
the times in which they lived, and some of them had 
no little to do with making the times. Still I am not 
sure but the "committee on the programme" made a 
mistake in asking me to speak of these worthies who 

190 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

are not here to-day to speak for themselves. My dis- 
position is to glorify the present rather than the past. 
Solomon, whom we still give credit for some wisdom, 
tells us that they make a mistake who say '^ the former 
times were better than these," and on this subject I am 
heartilj'- in accord with Solomon. We believe the age 
in which we live is socially, politically, educationally, 
and religiously the best age in the history of the world. 
And we believe further, that in our estimate of the 
times that are past, and the men that figured in them, 
we must make allowance for the " enchantment that 
distance lends." We do not suppose that the Scotch- 
Irish preachers who were the Presbyterian pastors in 
this part of Pennsylvania a hundred and fifty years 
ago were superior to the Presbyterian pastors of 1890. 
Neither do we suppose that the elders associated with 
the ancient worthies were superior to the Presbyterian 
elders of 1890, including the President of the United 
States and the Governor of the Keystone State. These 
optimistic views of the age in which we live will not 
prevent us, we trust, from doing justice to the early 

1. It is conceded by all who knew them that they 
did love to have their own way, which they honestly 
believed was the right way. If they were not auto- 
cratic they leaned that way. And, belonging, as they 
did, to the church " militant," they did not hesitate to 
contend earnestly for the faith tliat was according to 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 191 

the Westminster Confession. As they did not all 
think alike on some subjects, they not unfrequently 
had "lively times" in their ecclesiastic meetings. One 
of them is represented as praying in Presbytery that 
" the Lord would keep them right, for he knew they 
were very determined " and difficult to change when 
once they set their heads. 

With them orthodoxy was their doxie and hetrodoxy 
was your doxie. If alive to-day, they would be op- 
posed to revision. As the result possibly of the law of 
heredity, their successors in office in this part of Penn- 
sylvania are like them in this regard. They are not 
clammering for revision. The degenerate sons of noble 
sires in New York and the northern part of Pennsyl- 
vania are the men who vote for revision. 

2. They did not believe in the doctrine of falling from 
grace, but some of them, we are sorry to say, practiced 
it. And under the circumstances in which they were 
placed, we are not surprised at this. God does not 
promise to keep those who go in the way of temptation. 
But in every house where the}^ entered, the bottle, not a 
"little brown jug," but elegant decanters, were set out, 
and they were invited and expected to drink. A.t 
weddings and funerals and at all social gatherings, 
preachers and elders, and deacons were expected to 
take a sup of good brandy. And it was good, no 
doubt, as compared with what is now sold for "good 
brandy." A minister on the Eastern Shore of Mary- 

192 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

land, a hundred j'ears ago, was tried and condemned 
hy his Presbytery, not for making brandy, but for 
making brandy that was so poor it would freeze. 
In my father's cellar, when I was a boy, there were 
several barrels of brandy, and he took his brandy regularly as he took his coffee, and he was a 
preacher. The wonder to me is not that occasionally 
a preacher fell from grace, but that there were any 
.sober men among them. 

3. These early preachers did not preach "twenty 
minute sermons." Sermons two hours long were not 
uncommon among them. The people went early to 
-church, taking their children and their dinners with 
them, and the}' reached home in time to milk the cows, 
and eat a bowl of bread and milk before it was dark, 

'except on sacramental occasions. 

4. These early preachers were frugal men ; from prin- 
'ciple or from necessit}'', possibly from both. Yet they 
probably lived as well as most of their people — preach- 
ers generally do. They rode on horse-back, and that 

' exercise gave them appetites for plain food. Their 
salaries did not tempt them to luxurious living. In 
my own father's family I know a good deal of time 
was lost in the morning picking the bones out of 
smoked herring, but it was in a measure made up at 
supper — there were no bones in the mush and milk. 
Living in this frugal niannor, these early preachers 

•escaped broncliitis, Hved to a good old age, taught their 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 193 

children economy, and were able to send their boys to 
college. And thus they furnished the country with its 
lawyers and judges and politicians and statesmen. 

5. Apparently these men never tired in their work. 
We do not read that they ever asked for vacations in 
which to rest. Their congregations usually supplied 
them with a few acres of land on which they recreated 
in plowing and sowing and reaping and cutting briars 
and picking stones. They were not afraid of working 
with their hands. This kind of recreation was very 
much less expensive than summering in the mountains 
or by the seaside, and possibly as helpful. 

6. These preachers had very much less help in their 
work than the preachers of to-day. Sunday-schools, 
societies of Christian Endeavor, W. C. T. U.'s, and Y. 
M. C. A.'s they knew nothing of They visited their 
congregations personally. They trained the parents 
and the children in the catechism. They preached the 
truth intelligently, simply, earnestly, and fearlessly. 
And many of them, in addition to their pastoral work, 
superintended the secular education of the young men 
of their congregations. There may have been Aarons 
and Hurs who held up their hands by their prayers 
but they did not do it by active church work. 

7. These early preachers were thoroughly educated 
men. And as educators made their power felt on the 
side of civil and religious liberty. Most of them had 
their diplomas from representative universities in Great 

194 Paxtvvng Prp:sbyterian Church. 

Britain, and their families became training schools for 
young men who were preparing for college. They 
established academies that grew into flourishing col- 
leges. The Old Log college of Bucks county, as is well 
known, was the seed from which the university of 
Princeton grew. The Puritan, and the Dutch, and the 
Scotch-Irish preachers of a hundred and fifty years ago, 
were the founders of man}^ of our great universities. 
They grew out of a demand for an educated ministry. 
They so preached as to inspire our people with a love of 
education , and with a love of libert^^ All that Macauley 
and Choate have said of these men who came to these 
shores " to find a church without a bishop, and a State 
without a king" was truthfully said. Washington ac- 
knowledged their help in the Revolutionary war. The 
])atriotism of the pastor of this church is a matter of 
history, and he was only one of many. There were no 
doubt tories among the preachers when the colonies 
were struggling for liberty against the mother country. 
There is a black sheep in every flock, but the}' were not 
found among the Presbyterian preachers who resolved 
to liang together or hang separately. 

8. There was not much that was emotional in their 
religion. Their preaching was not sensational and 
their theology was not eff'ete. In their view, reli- 
gion was largely a matter of training, and they re- 
garded their work as largely in this line. They aimed 
to promote family religion, and in this they were sue- 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 195 

cessful. They secured family worship in the home, 
reverence for parents, the observance of the Sabbath 
and knowledge of our formulas of Christian faith. 
While they preached the truth intelligently and per- 
suasively, they did not hesitate to declare the whole 
counsel of God, although it invoved the duty of telling 
men of the wrath and curse of God pronounced against 
sin. In the pulpit they only feared God. Under 
their preaching and teaching, God's people were built 
up in their most holy faith, and sinners were converted 
to God. They did not preach much science, but they 
did preach the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, and 
under their preaching men and women grew up, who, 
under God, were able to lay the foundations of the 
civil and religious institutions that are the glory of our 
land. If we may judge trees by their fruit, the religion 
of these early preachers, was a good kind. There is no 
discounting religion that develops such Christians. 

9. We believe these preachers, while called to endure 
" hardness as good soldiers," had a good time. They 
were happy in their work, fully as much so as the 
preachers of this age, possibly more so. They were 
not installed on wheels, with notice to be ready at any 
time to move. They took their vows at their installa- 
tion as our young people take their wives — until separ- 
ated by death. They did not have luxurious homes 
and fat salaries and elegant churches, but they had 
that which glorified the home — the presence of God — 

196 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

intelligent Christian homes. They were sustained in 
their work. Their people respected them and loved 
them, and made them welcome to their homes, and 
looked up to them as Job's friends in the days of his 
prosperity looked up to him. When sent as delegates 
to the General Assembly, they were not provided for 
at the hotels. They were hospitably entertained in 
private homes, where nothing was esteemed too good 
for them. And the testimony that comes from these 
homes is that, in entertaining these preachers, they 
not unfrequently entertained angels unawares. 

I have not felt called on in presenting this subject 
to speak of the wives of the early preachers, for whom 
I have a profound respect. Allow me, in conclusion, 
briefly to refer to them. They showed faith and 
courage and good judgment when they consented to 
take the position of preacher's wives, without much 
coaxing or persuasion, and when they engaged to love, 
honor, and obey their husbands, they lived up to 
their engagements. They were for the most part keep- 
ers at home, and in the absence of their husbands 
they looked after the children, and the chickens, and 
the cow, and other things. They seldom penned 
poems, but they often "penned pigs." They rarely 
made music on pianos, but they often made music 
on spinning wheels. Their hands were not remarka- 
ble for softness, and whiteness, and smallness, but they 
had brain, and muscle, and loving hearts, and good 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 197 

common sense, and these they bequeathed by the law 
of heredity to their children. 

They did not often appear on the public platform as 
speakers or as presidents of benevolent societies, but 
they were careful that their husbands should " appear 
well in the gates." It is related of one of the early 
preachers, who was a little absent-minded, that on one 
occasion he left home to attend Presbytery, with the 
charge from his wife, to put on a clean shirt every 
day until he returned ; and so he did, but he did not 
remember to take any off — the result was, his coat was 
a little tight when he came home. Men who serve the 
public as preachers and Congressmen have not much 
time for their children, and if their children amount 
to anything, it is because they have faithful mothers. 

We honor our fathers to-day, and very many of us 
certainly some of us, have special reason to honor our 
mothers, whose loving Christian care has been to us a 
perpetual benediction. May God's richest blessings 
rest on the mothers of the land, whose quiet influence, 
next to that of the church, has made it what it is. 
We can construct scales that will weigh a single hair 
— you cannot construct scales that weigh a flood of 
light. [Loud applause.] 

Moderator Stewart. You have had the pleasure 
of looking into the faces of some of those who have 
descended from the early Paxtang preachers. I now 
give you the pleasure of looking at a sermon which 

198 Paxtang Presbyterian Church 

was preached by the Rev. John Elder in Paxtang, 
December 31, 1738. It was his ordination sermon. 
I am not disposed to question the accuracy of the 
statement of Dr. Parke, that those old preachers 
preached two hours. They were able to do it. But 
this sermon was no doubt preached within half an 
hour. These pages you see (holding them up) are 
small, and there are onh^ twelve of them, — and I read 
by the watch one of them in three minutes; and the 
handwriting was not familiar to me either; so it must 
have been preached in less than half an hour. I do 
not understand why. Perhaps the Presbytery was" 
present, and thought they would not care to have a 
long sermon. The pastors were present and did not 
care for too much preaching.* 

We are present to-day to hear — and it will be a 
pleasure — about the country church, as well as the 
early ministers, who were to a very large extent 
missionary pastors. It is therefore with great pleas- 
ure that I give place to the Governor of this Com- 
monwealth, — and, what is more to the point to-day, 
an elder in the Presbyterian church ; and, what is 
perhaps more to the audience to-day, a trustee of the 
Paxtang congregation. Governor, elder, and trustee, 
James A. Beaver, will now address us upon the 
" Importance of the Country Church." [The Governor 
was greeted with hearty applause.] 

*This sermon is printed in the Appendix. 



Ladies and Gentlemen : I supposed that it was 
to be my pleasure in coming here to-day, and in 
saying a word about the countr}'' church, to visit the 
familiar surroundings of this historic spot. I have 
been here before. It is a great pleasure in driving 
in this direction to look at this beautiful and quiet 
old landmark. I have occasionally come here to 
worship, and so have been familiar with its approaches 
and surroundings; but when I came to-day and found 
that we drove by a road altogether different from the 
one which is usually traveled, and saw as we ap- 
proached the church flags flying and guide-boards 
announcing Sharon, Paxtang, and Rutherford avenues, 
eighty feet wide, I said to myself, is it possible that 
the profane hand of progress has been laid upon the 
country church ! When I ascertained later that it was 
proposed to clip a little here and there from the edges 
of these beautiful grounds in order to make these 
avenues regular and the plot symmetrical, it seemed 
to me it was only another evidence of what the 
country church has done in contributing to the suc- 
cess of the community and in stimulating its progress 
and thrift. 

But it is not the country church of to-day of which 
we are to speak, and it is not of the importance of 

202 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

the country church of to-day of which you expect 
me to say anything. If you were to ask me, is the 
country church important? I would answer it very 
briefly. Is a mother an important factor in a well 
regulated family ? The statement of such a proposi- 
tion answers it. Without her there is no family ; 
there can be no family life ; no social life ; no home. 
And so if you were to put the question, is the country 
church, or has it been, an important factor in this 
Commonwealth and in the country ? You answer 
the question by asking it. A fuller answer has been 
given by the filial messages to which we have listened, 
from the loyal daughters of this ancient church who 
bring their greetings of affection and gratitude to 
this Sesqui-Centennial home-coming. 

But the committee of arrangements has not asked 
a question. They affirm a fact and ask me to tell, 
briefly and pointedly as I may, in what way the 
country church has shown its importance. Any one 
who has been in the habit of coming here, or who 
has made but a casual visit ; any one who has fre- 
quented the historic churches of this valley and of 
the neighboring valley across the river, and the 
ancient churches of man}'- other fertile valleys through- 
out the Commonwealth, will realize and recognize the 
importance of the country church historically. This 
building and its surroundings ; yonder churchyard with 
its 'quiet inmates; Donegal, Upper Pennsborough, 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 205- 

Lower Pennsborough, and other well-known churches^ 
of eastern Pennsylvania, are, to a large extent, the- 
source and the center of the history of Pennsylvania, 
and without them, and the influences which radiate 
from them, our history would be largely a blank. 

It was through the country church that the history 
of the region has been written. This is quite as true 
of the Lutheran and other denominations as of the 
Presbyterian ; for in some of the German churches the 
records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths were much 
more faithfully kept, and have been more carefully 
preserved, than among the churches of the Scotch- 
Irish and their descendants. The people who first 
inhabited Pennsylvania, coming as they did from Scot- 
land, from Ireland, from Switzerland, from France,, 
and from Germany, with a view of securing the 
freedom of worship which they failed to enjoy at 
home, naturally and almost necessarily founded and 
organized a church as soon as they had secured a 
new home. They were largely an agricultural people. 
They settled upon thoir little farms, were busied with 
the effort to secure a livelihood, led isolated lives, and 
endeavored to rear their families in the fear of God. 
They little heeded the history they were making and 
were not concerned about recording it. Whatever has 
come to us of their living and of their doing has come- 
largely through the history of these churches which 
they founded. There is no phase of the country 

204 Paxtang Presbyterian Church, 

church, outside the distinctively spiritual work which 
belonged to it, which is of more importance to us as a 
people than the history which has been preserved 
through its influence and which makes for our Com- 
monwealth the goodly past upon which we look with 
so much of pride and gratitude to-day. 

I recognize the fact that this has been an all-day 
service and that the shadows are lengthening, and 
that I cannot, therefore, dwell upon this or any other 
particular phase of this subject at any considerable 
length. I shall therefore touch only upon two or three 
points in which, it seems to me, the country church 
has shown its importance, and from them we may 
judge as to its importance in the present and for the 

It has been of vast importance ecclesiastically. If 
this thought had not been impressed upon our minds 
heretofore, it certainly would have been so impressed 
by the services of this day. When this little church, 
the corner-stone of whose present building was laid one 
hundred and fifty years ago, and which was founded 
years before that, called the roll of her children to-day, 
and they responded to the number of eight or ten, 
strong, vigorous, and healthy organizations — some of 
them the leading churches of our State and country, 
acknowledging her as their mother, we see the import- 
ance of the country church viewed from this stand- 
point; but perhaps its importance is not felt so largely 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 205 

in the number of her descendants as in the influence 
which she has exerted upon the educational history of 
the country, and upon the supplies which the pulpit 
has drawn from the country church. 

Dr. Parke in his admirable address referred to the Log 
College in Bucks county, the one hundred and twen- 
tieth anniversary of whose founding was lately cele- 
brated. What was that college? It was the outgrowth 
of Tennant's country church, and of the necessity for 
educating the young men of his immediate vicinity 
who were anxious to enter the ministry, and whose pa- 
rents were unable to send them to New England or to 
the old country, to secure the training necessary for 
this purpose. That other Log College, its legitimate 
successor from which Dr. Parke himself graduated, 
what was it ? It was the outgrowth of John MacMil- 
lan's country church. If we were to take a census of 
the clergymen who are assembled here to-day, v^e 
would probably find that a full score of them are 
graduates of the one or the other of the legitimate suc- 
cessors of these two log colleges. 

I see in this audience a college friend of mine, a year 
older than I from the college stand-point, who received 
his preliminary education in the academy whose prin- 
cipal. Dr. Alexander Donaldson, has lately died, and 
who sent year after year, sometimes six and sometimes 
more young men, from his academy to Jefferson College, 
many of whom entered the ministry. That academy, 

'200 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

which began in the loft of the spring-house attached to 
the manse, which became so well known in Pennsyl- 
vania, and which, by the way, bore the honored name of 
the long-time pastor of the Paxtang church — Elder's 
Ridge Academy — what was it? It was the outgrowth 
-of the country church, and it was largely the product 
^of the energy of a country pastor who, whilst he was 
educating the boys of his congregation and of the 
neighboring congregations, was ministering steadily 
-and regularly to his country church. These are only 
instances which might be multiplied ten or twenty fold, 
•of the influence exerted by our country churches in 
founding our educational institutions which are under 
'•ecclesiastical control. 

But the country church did more than that. It not 
-only sent out its colonies and founded our educational 
institutions, but it raised up the young men who were 
to be educated in the latter, young men of vigorous 
.'bodies and of self-reliant spirit, who not only in the 
Presbyterian church, but in man}' other churches in 
our Commonwealth, were to be the pioneers in estab- 
lishing upon broad and sure foundations throughout 
the length and breadth of our own and in heathen 
lands, churches for the upbuilding of the cause of 
Christ, and for carrying the blessings of Christianity to 
-all the peoples of the earth. But this, as you see, opens 
41 wide field before us into which we cannot enter. We 
i.merely state the fact, full of suggestion and of interest. 

Paxtang Prp:sbytekiax Church. 207 

There is another stand-point from which, it seems to 
me, the country church was important, and that is the 
social one. I speak first of society in its organized ca- 
pacity. We have in this church-j'^ard just at my right, 
as notable an example of what I mean as can be found 
anywhere in the records of the history of our State. 
John Elder is buried there. Who was John Elder? 
He was for more than fifty years pastor of the Paxtang 
churcl) ; but he was more than that, he was the cap- 
tain of the Paxtang Boys. And what does that mean? 
It means that he was at the head of the social influ- 
ences which molded his community. It means that 
lie was largely instrumental in molding the thought and 
the eff"ort of the community. It means that whilst he 
was ready to lead the people of his congregation in the 
way of life by his ministrations upon the Sabbath and 
throughout the week, he was ready also to lead them 
in the discharge of the duties which they owed to 
their country. I think it is true, as has been already 
intimated here to-day, that the church of the olden 
time was more than the church of to-day, and the 
preacher was expected to cover a wider field than the 
preacher of to-day. It is possible that the church of 
to-day and tliat the minister of to-day confine them- 
selves to the more legitimate work of the church, and 
that the spiritual power of the church is thereby in- 
creased. The conditions which surround us have 
changed to such an extent that this is possible. The 

208 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

country church was the center of the intellectual ac- 
tivit_y of its neighborhood, and the preacher was ex- 
pected to furnish their intellectual pabulum to his con- 
gregation and to instruct them, to a greater or less 
degree, in what we call the political duties of citizen- 
ship. The farmer who a hundred years ago followed 
his plow from morning till night, sowed his seed 
broadcast and reaped the harvest with the sickle, was 
not given to the perusal of a daily paper, even if the 
daily paper had had an existence, and he came to the 
church on the Sabbath day, not only to hear the gospel, 
but in an incidental way to hear what had been going 
on in the world and what relation he bore to the events 
which were happening around him and what his duty 
was in reference to them. Almost necessarily, whether 
the pastor of the church desired to occupy such a po- 
sition or not, he became the recognized social head of 
the community. He led in all social reforms. In many 
instances, as we know, he led his congregation to battle. 
He addressed himself to the mind and the conscience 
and the heart of his people, not only as he preached 
the gospel to them, but as he taught them their duties 
as citizens, as well the duty which they owed to their 
country as those which they owed to each other and 
to God. 

Then in the narrower sphere which we usually call 
the social, the country church was important. I have 
been led to recall and enjoy that side of its life 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 209 

to-day. Brought up in the country church for several 
years, I know the dear associations which cluster 
around its social life. A few days ago I heard a 
lady say that she had been at a funeral in the 
neighboring churchyard and that she was surprised 
to find the people, after the immediate friends had 
retired from the grave, dividing into little knots 
and discussing the social affairs of the day. This 
does not seem singular to us who are familiar with 
the social life of the country church. We take that 
as a matter of course — we regard it as one of its 
chief enjoyments. 

The country church of the olden time was the 
social center of the community. There was first, the 
service in the morning ; there were long hymns, and 
the long prayer, followed by a long sermon and then 
came the intermission. The congregation went down 
to the spring; families gathered in groups; perhaps 
a cloth was laid upon the grass and lunch brought 
out. Sometimes the lunch was enjoyed by the family 
alone ; possibly some young man thought he could 
find a better lunch within some other family circle. 
Here home news was discussed ; the social chat of 
the neighborhood was had, and the country people 
were no worse for that. During the busy season of 
the year it was, perhaps, as much of an inducement 
to attendance after a week of hard toil upon the 
farm as the regular church service of the day. 

210 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

How vividly these scenes are recalled as we come 
together to-day in the beautiful surrounding of this 
old church. I have enjoyed this phase of the country 
church to-day, and instead of coming upon the plat- 
form to sit with these reverend gentlemen during the 
afternoon, I have been slipping around the edges of 
the crowd and enjoying its social features. I will 
not say that that was the best part of the service; 
it was not, of course, but perhaps it was enjoyed 
as much as any other. Much of this phase of the 
social life of the community was due to the pastor 
of the country church, and because his influence was 
felt in it the social life was pure, its tone was elevating, 
and it was none the less enjoyed because its spirit was 
influenced by the precepts taught in the church. 
These are just a few of what I think were the imme- 
diate factors of the life which centered in the country 
church. She has made to a large extent, and has 
preserved the history of this Commonwealth. She 
has peopled our city churches ; she has sent life and 
spirit into them. She has furnished in large degree 
the ministry for the State, for the country, and for the 
missions of the church throughout the world. She 
has molded much of the social life of the communitj', 
and if these things are so, we will agree, I think, that 
her importance has been very great and that it is 
difficult to magnify it beyond its deserts. 

I have spoken, as you have observed, almost exclu- 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church, 211 

sively of the collateral and not of the direct work of 
the country church. Its main function, as that of the 
church of to-day, is to preach the gospel and to point 
out clearly the way of salvation. I do not under- 
value, nor can I estimate, the importance of this 
part of the church's work. What it has done in this 
direction will be revealed only in eternity. 

It is getting towards the time when, as Dr. Parke 
intimated, they were accustomed to adjourn for 
milking. The fact is this would have occurred to me 
some time ago but for the fact that I recognized in 
the audience a great many persons who are not in the 
habit of doing their own milking. Late as it is, so 
far as I know, we have not heard a word of the Shorter 
Catechism. Just think of the one hundred and 
fiftieth anniversar}'- of the laying of the corner-stone 
of a country church and no Shorter Catechism. I 
can ask the questions without a book, and if I do so 
I hope the audience will join in the answers. But 
if we are to have any catechetical exercises, perhaps 
it would be well for me to begin with the reverend 
gentlemen who are on the platform. [Turning.] 
Are you ready? [A voice. Yes.] The only man 
who has intimated he is ready for the catechism 
was an Elder. 

Joking aside, let me say that the sound teaching of 
the country church is largely due to the faithfulness 
with which the young people were trained in this same 

212 Paxtang Pkesbyterian Church. 

Shorter Catechism, which gives tone and nerve to Pres- 
bj^terianism everywhere, and whenever the love of it 
goes out to a large extent the distinctive life of the 
Presbyterian church goes out with it. We hear much 
said now-a-days about revision. I am glad to say, 
however, that so far as I know this does not extend to 
the Shorter Catechism. I am not greatly concerned 
about the confession. If they leave us the Shorter 
Catechism intact, I will be content. But wdien I look 
back and see Dr. Erskine, who is on the committee of 
revision, I am not much afraid of the result. 

Ladies and gentlemen, this has been a great day for 
this community. It has been a great day for these 
various churches which have come together to cele- 
brate this important event in this social w^ay. We do 
well when we emphasize such occasions as this, and 
when we give honor and credit to the men and the 
women who have done so much for the church, for the 
community, and for posterity, by founding and sus- 
taining the country church. It has been a great 
pleasure to me to join in these services and to render 
my mite and tribute to the memory of the men who 
builded better than they knew because they were 
guided by the Unseen hand. 

Moderator Stewart. One of the characteristics of 
this region is the fact that every body is related, and 
you cannot speak about your neighbors without tread- 
ing on somebody's toes. I never have been able to 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 213 

keep track of all the connections; but I know there 
are connections of some character. Colonel Francis 
Jordan, an elder of the Pine Street Presbyterian 
church, is in some way or other related to the Pax- 
tang church ; I don't know just how it comes about, 
but perhaps he will tell us. At any rate, there are 
some of us on the platform who would like to hear 
from him. He will please come forward and address 
us on this occasion. [Applause.] 

214 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Mr. Moderator, Ladies, and Gentlemen: It was 
my misfortune not to be born of any descendants of 
the Paxtang church, so far as I have ever been able to 
find out. Of course, starting out in life under such 
disadvantages, a mistake of that kind would soon de- 
velope itself; and when the occasion arrived when I 
had to look squarely at that condition, the next ques- 
tion was, what are you going to do about it ? Now, 
that was a very grave question ; and the only way I 
could get out of it was to see if I could not marry 
somebody who did belong to, or was a descendant of 
some one belonging to the Paxtang church. [Laughter.] 
I was very successful in this enterprise ; and in that 
way I became identified with the ancestors of Paxtang 
church, and with their forefathers, I may say, whose 
remains lie interred in this cemetery for generations 

Then I had the fortune, or misfortune, to belong to 
the legal profession ; and one of its principles is, or of 
the law which is represented by it, that a man and 
wife are one person. So that by the union, you observe' 
I was identified literally, and am a member actually, 
with the people of Paxtang. [Laughter and applause.] 
I have no doubt that this was the reason I was called 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 215 

upon here to-day. Anyhow I appreciate it in that 
light, and am very grateful for it. 

But when I am told, however, that a man has to 
limit himself to a five minutes' speech, there comes up 
another question, What is he going to talk about in 
five minutes? I may not say what I ought. Speak- 
ing here without any knowledge of what has been 
said by former speakers, of course I am a little in the 
dark ; and all I can do is to give to you, as the repre- 
sentatives of Paxtang, men, women, and children, now 
and in all time to come, my benediction ; and wish you 
all sorts of prosperity, happiness, success, and blessings, 
both in this life, and that which is to come; or, in 
other words, both on this side, and on the other side of 
Jordan. [Continuous laughter and applause.] 

Governor Beaver. The Moderator, at my request, 
has just gone after Rev. Dr. James Elder, of Clarion, 
whom I wish to have come to the stand; and, for fear 
Mr. Stewart should not succeed, I insist upon his com- 
ing to the platform. He was one year my senior, and 
I want to call hiTn up once. 

Moderator Stewart, (having returned to the stand.) 
I made a mistake in Colonel Jordan. I see I ought to 
have had the other member of the family. But in this 
I have not made a mistake — Dr. Elder, one of the direct 
descendants, who will now address us. I am sorry to 
call on him in such haste; but an Elder — we have them 
all around us — was never at a loss for something to say. 

216 Paxtang Pesbyrterian Church. 


Mr. Moderator: It is not possible for a man to 
come here in this presence without he has some ances- 
tors; and in that line I will trot out my grandfather ; 
[laughter ;] and I think in that way I will secure your 
attention just for a moment. It is a grand thing, after 
being such a distance from our people, and being in 
such a common place as I have, to dwell in a commu- 
nity like this. My father's father removed from this 
place, and went out in the wilderness ; and my grand- 
father, or great-grandfather, organized a church there. 
That church grew, and six or eight churches sprung 
from that one, and an academy, and otherwise the 
good work spread over the community. Thus one sin- 
gle descendant who passed out from this church ac- 
complished a vast amount of good in one locality. 
Thus all over this whole country, here and there, are 
descendants of people of Paxtang church, who have 
planted seeds of good that have grown into trees of 
usefulness, and the influences have been felt far and 
near over this land. 

Now, then, the work that has been done here in 
the past has been well done. The history of it is 
secure; but that will not answer our purpose fully. 
It will answer for the honor of the fathers. It is to 
their glory that the work was well done. But you 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 217 

and I, and all of us, have an influence to exert. We 
have a work to do, and, if we are actuated by proper 
motives, we are striving to make history ; and the 
history that we make, if w^e desire, and are also actuated 
by proper motives, shall be for good ; and shall tell 
on others to come as the history of our fathers is 
telling to-day in this land. So we are not to be 
satisfied, — the people of Paxtang are not to be satis- 
fied. Those who have gone out and have been in- 
strumental in accomplishing some good elsewhere,, 
are not to be satisfied with the glorious history that 
is already made ; but we ourselves are to make history,, 
and to make it glorious, and we will, if we are actuated 
by the right motives, and are found doing the work 
for the church, for the country, and for our God. 

I am very glad to meet with so many, though I 
know scarcely one of you, coming as I do from 
Clarion ; and, if it had not been for this grand 
Governor of ours, I suppose I w^ould not have been 
compelled to appear before you and make an address. 
But Governor Beaver, when he was a boy at college, 
would always have a way of having his own way, 
just like some of the fathers here at Paxtang, that 
would have their own way. And now he comes here, 
and would have his own way, or did have it, I sup- 
pose. We have to remember his position, and what 
he is, and what he was at the start. He was little 
Jim Beaver then ! That is the way we knew him. He 

"218 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

had his own way then, and he has had it since ; and 
I suppose will have it on and on. [Laughter.] So 
much for the Governor. We are glad to welcome him 
with the people of Paxtang, and as an interested guest; 
^nd although not connected with the old church, or 
its descendants, he is certainly connected with some 
of the other old churches that are scattered through 
the valleys of our States; and he has been doing 
work ; and, while welcoming him, we most gladly 
see the great work he has done amongst the churches, 
and the various associations of the churches, — in the 
General Assembly, for example. And so we enjoy 
ourselves to-day, to separate after a most delightful 
gathering together. And so I bid you all good-by. 

Moderator Stewart. Rev. Dr. Robinson, for so long 
an honored member of this immediate neighborhood, 
and so greatly beloved by myself and all who knew 
him, was invited by the committee to make the ad- 
dress on this occasion. Dr. Robinson writes me as 
follows : 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 219 


Western Theological Seminary, 
Ridge Avenue, Allegheny, Sept. I4., 1890. 

Dear Bro. Stewart : Last week my doctor thought 
I might be able to go over to the great gathering in 
Paxtang next Thursday, if I did not try to make an 
address; to-day he says I should not go at all. I have 
been on my back most of the time since I came home 
from Harrisburg, and especially during the last week. 
I shall not be able to take up my seminary duties at 
the opening this week. I wish I felt well enough to 
send a formal letter to the committee and to the Pax- 
tang people, but necessity knows but one law. Please 
say to the committee that it was with great regret 
that I declined to promise to deliver an address when 
it was so earnestly offered, and it is a still greater re- 
gret that I cannot be numbered among the friends of 
Paxtang as they say " this man and that man was 
there." Greetings to all the gathered assembly. 
Paxtang does not live alone in that narrow and beauti- 
ful valley. Much of her best life is scattered through 
the States and Territories of the Union, and, thank 
God, a great deal of it is employed in the service of 
holy immortality. With the warmest of Christian 
love to yourself and the rest of the committee, 

I am, yours most sincerely, T. H. Robinson. 

220 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Moderator Stewart. The programme says that 
there are to be "other brief addresses delivered by 
prominent Presbyterians." There are so many of them 
here that I do not know whom to select; for I am 
very sure that were I to omit any, I would make some 
invidious discriminations, for all of you are equally 
prominent. But there is one prominent Presbyterian, 
and he is a modest man, so modest that he refuses to 
let his orange colors be seen on this ground; but to 
whom we are all very greatly indebted for much that 
has transpired here to-day. I have tried to have him 
place his orange badge just where it belongs; but he 
has refused. Now I am going to get even with my 
brother, W. Franklin Rutherford, the chairman of the 
Committee of General Arrangements, and who has had 
this whole matter in charge. It is the last speech, and 
I promise it will be the best one. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 221 


Mr, Moderator: I do not feel under very many 
obligations to you for the manner in which you have 
introduced me, but still, as chairman of the local com- 
mittee representing Paxtang church, I cannot permit 
these exercises to close without making some acknowl- 
edgement to the churches associated with us on this 
occasion, for the noble manner in which they have 
responded to the sentiment which has brought us to- 
gether to-day. One hundred and fifty years ago Pax- 
tang church stood as the outmost post of Presbyterian - 
ism and of civilization on the continent — a conspicu- 
ous place, and her environment was such as to consti- 
tute her people heroes. To-day the garrison in the old 
fortress is weak — not so much from the decrepitude of 
age, as from the heavy drafts made upon us for other 

Under these circumstances the spirit moved us to 
celebrate the sesqui-centennial of the laying of our 
cornerstone, which is virtually the corner-stone of Pres- 
byterianism in this region. No sooner had we an- 
nounced our intention, than our descendants, one and 
all, came forward and said, " We will help you." For 
this act of filial piety, I return the thanks of the mother 
church, and declare that old Paxtang is proud of her 

222 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

We also feel ourselves deeply indebted to the gentle- 
men, who, from pure zeal in the good old cause of 
Scotch-Irish Presbyterianism in America, and loyalty 
to the Paxtang fathers, have so well entertained and 
instructed us to-day. Nor is our debt to them in the 
slightest degree lessened by the fact that in coming 
here to-day they have unconsciously immortalized 
themselves. [Laughter and applause.] 

To the strangers who have honored us to-day by 
their presence, and have thereby added so much to the 
interest of the occasion, I would extend the hearty 
thanks of the people of Paxtang, and express the hope 
that Mtj years hence, when our people shall celebrate 
our bi-centennial, in this very grove, in the midst of a 
populous city, our relations to each other may be as 
happy as they are to-day. [Applause.] 

Moderator Stewart. All good things must have an 
end ; but Paxtang church will not have an end I trust 
for many centuries yet. There is one part of it I sup- 
pose will have an end. I have been looking here to- 
day at that part of the stone-work which fills up the 
old door-way ; and it is very evident that the old stone- 
masons knew how to lay stone better than their suc- 
cessors. This mortar around it is old work ; and you 
cannot dig around it with your pen-knife, and the mor- 
tar there does not crack off, as the mortar of later days. 
The old wall has stood well, because of the work put 
upon it. The newer work would have fallen, if there 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 223- 

had not been something to hold it up. Possibly it may 
be the same with the work on which we enter. Our 
work has been much more than y/e thought, because 
others have built around it ; and by their more sub- 
stantial work have held up the results of our under- 

To-day we have had a delightful time ; to-day we= 
have met to commemorate the noble work of those who 
have preceded us — and great indeed will be the praise 
of those who come after us, if they can point to the re- 
sult of our labors, and say that we also built well ; and 
glory in their ancestors, because we had transmitted tO' 
those who followed us in the rich and the priceless her- 
itage which we have received. [Applause.] 

The audience then sung hymn No. 32 : 

" All hail the power of Jesus' name ! 

Let angels prostrate fall ; 
Bring forth the royal diadem, 

And crown Him Lord of all," &c. 

Rev. Dr. Parke then dismissed the audience with a 
benediction : 

" May grace, mercy and peace from God the Father^, 
the Son, and the Holy Spirit, rest and abide with each 
one of you evermore. Amen." 

224 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Before referring to his church, the Rev. Dr. Chambers 
read by request, the following interesting paper, relating 
reminisences of the ancestors of a number of those in 
the audience : 

It is no departure from good taste, upon an occasion 
like this, to recall some visits to this church made more 
than one hundred and twenty years ago, by a lady who 
was a member of the church in 1786. The reminis- 
ence is delightful ; the narrative is from the very vivid 
recollection of a bright and observant woman and it is 
hoped will add to the interest of the event we com- 

About the close of the Indian war of 1763, Colonel 
Hugh Alexander was driven from the home he had 
made in Shearman's valley ; fleeing with his young 
family to Nottingham, in Chester county. Upon his 
return he lodged over Sabbath near the Swatara ridge 
on its western slope, attending public service at Pax- 
ton church with his daughter. She was then too 
youthful to make substantial observations, but used to 
tell her grandchildren that she remembered the preacher 
as a large man, with a rosy face, full voice, and forci- 
ble delivery. He had a rifle in the pulpit with him, 
and almost all the men were armed — those who rode 
with holster and pistol — those afoot with rifles. The 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 225 

congregation was large — man}' could not obtain seats 
within the stone church. 

Just before the Revolution her father made another 
visit east, a delegate to a gathering of those who were 
opposed to provincial government and foreign oppres- 
sion. She accompanied him. Upon their return they 
were detained near Harris ferry over Sabbath. In the 
morning they rode to Paxton church, arriving while the 
congregation was assembling. She was then a young 
lady, and observed how very little grown timber there 
was between the Susquehanna and the church. It had 
been destroyed some twenty years before, in the Indian 
war of 1755. This second visit was in the fall of 1772. 
Apparently all the men of the congregation were pres- 
ent ; the church grove was filled with fine horses ; 
vehicles of any sort were rare. The women were neatly, 
generally prettily clad, the men substantially, mostly 
in dark broad-cloth, with buff waistcoat and short 
clothes. As this manufacture was English, it was free 
of import, therefore, cheap and used by all classes ex- 
cept those who were forced to wear homespun, wliich 
all had to do a few years afterwards. The crowd took 
their places in the decorous way of their Presbyterian 
fathers. Soon the service was opened by a large, broad 
shouldered, very tall, well-clad clergyman, who wore a 
Geneva band, his hair showing marks of advancing 
age. His manner was grave and impressive, adding 
to this remark, as much so as that of any man I have 

226 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

heard since. When she spoke of this she was seven- 
ty-five years of age. His style of delivery plain, very 
clear, and commanded the reverent attention of all. 
The music was led by a precentor. At the close of 
the service. Col. A. and his daughter were introduced 
to Rev. Mr. Elder. She was much struck by the re- 
fined address, dignit}^, and ease of the clergyman. 

Two years after, as Mrs. John Hamilton, she was at 
Paxton a third time, just when the whole country was 
aflame about the conduct of the English government. 
It was after harvest, and the sturdy farmers loudly as- 
serted that they would no longer peaceably endure the 
wrongs of the mother country ; they were as full of fight 
as of patriotism ; none more positive than the preacher, 
who was the same Mr. Elder. He had become more and 
more decided that the only way to end the dispute be- 
tween the mother country and the colonies was armed 
resistance, and so said in the sermon he preached from 
Psalm 2, verse 3. He was onl}^ half a year in advance 
of the Congress which created an army, placing at its 
head the great Washington. That Mr. Elder's congre- 
gation and his family partook of his principles, it is 
only necessary to add that a regiment was raised in its 
bounds, and that four of his grown sons were officers in 
the war that so soon followed my grandmother's visits 
to Paxton church, where she sat in the same church 
building we do to-day. 


0/ Rev. John Elder, preached cd Paxtang, Dec. 31, 1738. 

Text.— Psalm 119, v. 165 : " Great peace have they which love thj- law : and 
nothing shall offend them." 

God hath been mercifully pleased to implant in us a natural desire of 
happiness, vhich is so inseparable to human nature that 'tis impossible 
for us to forbear desiring what is good for ms, or at least what appears 
good, for though through our own ignorance and inconsideration we 
many times mistake evil for good, and misery for happiness, yet such 
is ye frame of our nature that we cannot desire evil as evil, or mi-ery 
as misery, but whenever we embrace a real evil, 'tis either under the 
notion of a less evil, or of a real and substantial good. 

And since we have depraved our natures and debased our reason to 
such a degree as that we cannot now in many respects perfectly know 
what is our perfect good, or distinguish our happiness from our misery, 
He hath been farther pleased, in His holy word, to show us wherein our 
true happiness and felicity as to this life doth consist, namely in inward 
peace and tranquility of mind, resultint; from a due sense of the divine 
favour, and the sincere love and goodwill of mankind. This the loyal 
Psalmist, as instructed by ye s-pirit of God, in the words of my text, was 
fully assurred of, and, therefore, he boldly declares those truly blessed 
and happy that are in such a condition, that from their reflection on 
their sincere love to the laws of God and a life spent in conformity to 
religion and true piety, enjoy such a sweet calmness and composure of 
mind as nothing can disturb. "Great peace have they," &c. 

All or most writers are agreed that David was the penman of this 
psalm, and indeed it breathes so much of that sincerely pious and de- 
vout frame of heart that ever shone so conspicuous in him that it puts 
it beyond all doubt. That he was taught by the spirit of God, was the 
compiler of it, his main scope and design in it is manifestly to com 
mand the serious and diligent study, as well as the constant practice ot 
God's word, as incomparably the best counsellor and comforter in the 
world, 'and as the only way to true blessedness, and this he confirms by 
his own example, proposed to mankind for their imitation, declaring 
the frequent experience he had of its admirable sweetness and un- 
speakable benefit in every condition and especially in the time of his 

230 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Its observable in this psalm that the word of God is diversely termed 
by the name of law, statutes, precepts, or commandments, &c., by 
which variety he designed to express the nature, ye great perfection 
and manifold uses of God's word, and there are very few of all these 
verses contained in this psalm in which one or other of these titles are 
not mentioned. 

There is little or no connection observed in it, or dependence of one 
verse upon another. 1 shall not, therefore, spend time in considering 
the context, but shall come immediately to the words. "Great peace 
have they," &c. Where, by law, as I observed before, we are to un- 
derstand the word of God contained in the Scriptures, and therefore 
the Psalmist declares that all who sincerely love God's word and dem- 
onstrate their love to it by conducting themselves agreeably to its stat- 
utes, all such as spend their time in the consciencious observance of 
our religious duties, shall enjoy either outward prosperity and happi- 
ness, (which God in his law hath expressly promised to good men.) or 
at least inward peace, satisfaction and tranquility of mind, arising from 
the apprehension of God's love to them and watchful care over them 
in all the concerns of this life and that which is to come ; this shall be 
their sure lot and portion if they perform what is required on their 
part, and though they may meet with some disturbance and dissatisfac- 
tion yet their end shall be peace, as it is expressed Psalm 37 : 37, "And 
nothing shall offend them," though they may meet with losses and 
crosses and may be sometimes liable to the rude insults of 'he wicked 
and ungodly, yet none of tht-se shall offend or scandalize them to such 
a degree as to throw them into mischief or utter ruin. Now from the 
words thus briefly explained we may observe this doctrinal proposition, 
viz: That 

True peace and felicity results only from a religious life or a life 
spent in conformity to ye laws of God. 

I. To consider the advantages of a religious life. 

II. To remove some objections that may be made against the propo- 
sition. And then conclude with some inferences from what may be 

I. Then I am to consider ye advantages of a religious life that con- 
stitute that peace or happiness mentioned in the text. Now these ad- 
vantages are many, but what we may account the first and the chief in- 
gredient in all the rest, is piece with God reconciled to us by the satis 
faction in which Christ our glorious redeemer, and this peace or recon- 
ciliation upon the account of Christ's atonement, he hath promised to 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 231 

all such as sincerely love and endeavor to live agreeably to his laws. 
And this is indeed aa unspeakable privilege and advantage, to live in 
perfect peace and harmony with such a kind and patient friend, to whom 
we carefully open all our want'^, express our griefs, and impart our cares, 
with assurance of relief and support, can betake ourselves to him in our 
greatest extremities with boldness and confidence, as children to a 
fath^T, who is perfectly able, as well as ready, to supply our wants, and 
vindicate our cause which was still the main support of the godly in all 
ages of ye world, and bore up their sinking spirits under the heaviest 
pressures and difficulties. 

It was this that comforted David in his declining years, when he had 
arrived at the highest pitch of experience, and was fully convinced of 
the instability of sublunary things, and of the little comfort and satis- 
faction they can afford us, as it is expressed, II Sam., 23 : 5, "Although 
my house be not so with God ; yet he hath made me an everlasting 
covenant, ordered in all things sure, for this is all my salvation and 
all my desire," &c., he was fully satisfied that he had made religion 
his principle study, that he had still respect to ye divine law, he was 
fully persuaded he devoted himself to the service of God, that he had 
entered into covenant with him who was faithful to fulfil all his prom- 
ises, and would never make void his covenant ; all of which afforded 
him the most peaceful and satisfying reflections, and therefore declares 
concerning himself. Psalm 46 : 1, 2, 3, "God is our refuge and strength, 
a very present help in time of trouble ; therefore I will not fear though 
the earth be removed, and though ye mountains be carried into ye 
midst of ye sea ; though ye waters thereof roar and be troubled, though ye 
mountains shake with ye swelling thereof." And likewise the 27 Psalm 
ye 1 and 3 verses, "The Lord is my light and my salvation ; whom 
shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life ; of whom shall I be 
afraid. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not 
fear ; though war should rise against me, m this will I be confident." 

What glorious pitch of happiness and felicity was good David now 
advanced to, when ye sense of the Divine favour, peace and reconcil- 
iation was so strong in him, that nothing could bafHe his hopes, or 
shake ye firm repose of his mind ; when he could exult im ye midst of 
sorrows, and triumph over all his enemies, how numerous and power- 
ful soever, when he could bear the heaviest strokes of an adverse 
Providence, and face the greatest danger, with courage and resolution, 
with no other support, or stay, but purely his sense of the Divine favor 
and a life spent in conformity to His laws? Could we but once then, in 

232 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

imitation of this singular pattern of true piety and devotion, make 
religion our chief and principle study, and the laws of God our only 
delight, then might we assure ourselves of the divine favour, than which 
there can be no greater blessing, for it is the height of our perfection 
and the sum of our desires, and is productive of all the peace and pros- 
perity, the comfort and satisfaction we can enjoy, both in time and to 
eternity. This is the first and main advantage of a religious life and 
all the rest are consequent lapon it, such as inward and outward peace, 
plenty, and prosperity, and, 

1st. Inward peace and tranquility of mind, that svi'eet repose and 
calmness of spirit that are the sure concomitants of a religious and 
virtuous life, for as the mind of a wicked and ungodly person, is 
disturbed and distracted, his conscience galled, his affections divided 
into opposite factious, and his whole soul in a most diseased and rest- 
less posture, so on the other hand a truly pious and religious person 
who sincerely loves the word of God, and lives agreeably to its precepts, 
his mind is free from those disorders and distractions, his conscience 
calm and easy in all occurrences, his passions pure, regular and har- 
monious, and his soul enjoys a perfect ease and rest. 

For by a co.;Sciousness of our sincere piety and devotion, we shall 
be discharged of all those restl. ss cares and anxieties, that distress 
and prick us like a crown of thoi'ns ; by our hearty submission, to his 
will contained in his laws we shall ease our conscience of all that hor- 
ror, rage, and ani^uish, that proceed from the things of our sin and 
guilt ; by our loving admiring and adoring him our affections will be 
eased of all that inconsistence and inordiuacy that render them so 
tumultuous and disquieting ; and these things being once accomplished, 
the sick and restless soul will universally find itself in perfect health 
and ease ; for now all her jarring faculties, being tuned to the sweet 
and harmonious laws of religion, there will be a perfect concord in her 
nature, and she shall have no disquieting principle within her ; nothing 
but calm and gentle thoughts, soft and sweet reflections, tame and 
manageable affections, nothing but what abun-lantly contributes to her 
repose and satisfaction. Now she is no more tossed and agitated in a 
stormy sea of restless thoughts and guilty reflections, no more scorched 
with impatience, or drowned with grief, or shook with fear, or bloated 
with pride and ambition, but all her affections are resigned to the 
blessed empire of a spiritual mind, and clothed in the gay but decent 
livery of religion. 

And tho' there may be sometimes a strong conflict between the law 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 233 

In our members and the law in our minds, yet it shall end still in a glo- 
rious victory and happy peace ; and those divided streams, our wills and 
|:on sciences, our passion and our reason, shall be united in one channel, 
and flow towards one and the same ocean, and being thus joined and 
knit together by the ties and ligaments of virtue and true piety, our souls 
shall be perfectly well and easy, and enjoy a sweet calmness and se- 
renity within themselves. This is one advantage of a relisLjious life, and 
cannot be obtained by anything else, for were it attainable by riches, 
by favor or worldly interest, what a happy state would the rich, ye great 
and honorable be in ; how would they glut themselves in worldly ease 
and luxury, and enjoy a delightful paradise even on earth itself; how 
should their inward peace and tranquility concur with their outward 
plenty and prosperity, in making them unspeakably happy. But do we 
not generally find it qaite otherwise ? How often may we see those who 
are advanced to the highest pitch of outward happiness and felicity, 
most deprived of inward peace and satisfaction ? With what significance 
and lively expressions do they sometimes discover their dread and horror 
when their conscience begins to gnaw, to twit and accuse them for their 
transgression of the equitable laws of God ; how often may we see them 
racked and tortured by their jarring pa«sions, and rent and torn by the 
envenomed things of their own guiltj' consciences, while the poor and 
indigent that have scarcely bread to support their natural lives, and 
clothes to defend them from the injuries of the weather, enjoy inward 
comfort and contentment, sowing in hope and reaping with gladness, 
and pursuing their several callings with all desirable cheerfulness and 
gayety ? This is of a religious and righteous deportment, of a sincere 
love to God's word, and a life spent in obedience to His laws. 

But again, secondly, such as live agreeably to God's word, and do 
sincerely love His laws, shall enjoy not only inward peace and satis- 
faction, but this God hath himself promised to all his true saints and 
servants as it is expressed in 29 Psalm, the llth ver. : "The Lord will 
bless his people with peace." Though they may hear of rumors of war 
on every hand, yet this shall not vex or disturb them, for God shall 
make their vrry enemies to be at peace with them, as the wise man 
hath told us. Prov., 16: 7. "When a man's ways please the Lord, 
he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him ;" he disappointeth 
them of all their malicious designs, and either removeth their enmity 
by changing it into a real and sincere regard or causeth them to smother 
it so that it shall never hurt the truly virtuous. 

Thus now ihe religious person enjoys a perpetual peace from every- 

234 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

tiling about him, for his enemies as well as his friends, and from the 
noxious and hurtful as well as from ye innocent creatures, for God 
maketh peace in all his borders ; He is his guardian and protector, his 
defense, his shield and buckler ; He maketh him to be in league with 
the stones of the field, and ye beasts of ye field to be at peace with him, 
nothing from within or without can perplex or trouble him, but he may 
lie down in peace and rise without fear, and nothing to break his rest, 
or shake ye firm repose of his mind, and may solace himself in every 
condition with the same devout confidence and trust in God, that en- 
abled good David to say: Psal , 4:8: " I will lay me down in peace 
and sleep, for thou Lord only makest me to dwell in safety." 

And as he is thus blessed with inward and outward peace, so he has 
also the prospect of plenty and prosperity. For, as the Apostle Paul 
said, "Godliness is profitable unto all things having the promise of this 
life, as well as that to come," 1 Tim., 4:8; which is indeed most rea- 
sonable and equitable. Since it is God that is the supreme Lord and 
proprietor of the universe, is it not fit that we should destribute the 
good things of this life to such of His subjects as are most deserving, 
and live most conformable to His laws, at least such a portion of them 
as He knows necessary for their support, and convenient to their happi- 
ness, and therefore saith the Psalmist in that 84th Psalm, 11 verse, 
" The Lord sha'l give grace and glory, and no good thing will he with- 
hold from them that walk uprightly." 

These now are the advantages of a religious life that constitute that 
true peace and felicity mentioned in the text, namely, peace with God^ 
inward peace and tranquility of mind, peace with all around us, and 
plenty and prosperity ; 'Tis true indeed the religious and sincerely 
pious are not always blessed by God with the greatest affluence of 
temporal good things ; but the discussing this point belongs more prop- 
erly to my 

II Head of discourse, wherein I proposed to remove what objections 
might be made against the doctrinal proposition I laid down. 

And contrary to this, may be advanced that complaint that hath been 
usual in all time and ages ot the world, namely, that it fares best with 
the world and worst with the best of men. This hath indeed been a 
common complaint, and through the commonness of it 'tis now grown 
into a maxim. But to remove this we must consider that we are apt 
to pity the miserable and to envy the prosperous ; and that those pas- 
sions do naturally bribe our judgment to think worse of the one and 
better of the other than either deserve ; for those whom we pity we are 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 235 

inclined to love, and those whom we love we are inclined to think well 
of; so on the contrary, those whom we envy we are inclined to hate, 
we are inclined to think ill off; and then because God doth not reward 
or punish men according to the sentence that our blind pity or envy 
passes on them, we are ready to quarrel with His providence, and to 
pronounce them vicious or virtuous according to the biased or preju- 
diced notions we form of them. And besides there are many base 
hypocrites in the world, that make a mighty show and ostentation of 
piety, do secretly indulge themselves in many ruinous and wasteful 
vices which frequently reduce them to poverty and misery ; and these 
we commonly rank among the good, it fares ill with, as on the contrary 
there are many good men that in the course of a reserved, modest, 
and unaffected piety, which makes very little show in ye world, 
are blessed and prosperd, and these we all commonly rank among 
the bad ihat fare well. 

Since therefore we are such incomp ^tent judges of good or bad 
men, we should be very careful how we object aga nst the providence 
of God, such maxims as are only founded on our fallacious observa- 
tions, and should not by our mistaken notions rashly pr(^nounce those 
bad who may be good, or good who may be nevertheless bad, from the 
circumstances of life we see them enjoy. And could we but once strip 
ourselves of pity and envy and penetrate into the insides of men, I 
doubt not but we should soon be satisfy'd that good and religious men 
have much ye advantage of profane and wicked men as to ye happiness 
and prosperity of this world. 

For a good man in any condition on this side pinching want, is ordi- 
narily, even in this life, far more happy than ye most easy and prosperous 
sinner whose outward glory and greatness, is usually nothing but ye 
gaudy cover of a fragile inside, of a mind that is tortured with pride and 
envy, with boundless hopes, insatiable desires and foul reflections that 
dash and embitter all his enjoyments ; while ye good religious man, 
under his mean and simple outside, carries a great and happy soul, a 
contented mind, a cheerful heart and a calm conscience which mightily 
sweeten all his enjoyments, and make his homely morsel outrelish the 
most studied luxuries. Thus now we may see how vastly ye happiness 
of the righteous is preferable to that of the wicked, either in his out- 
ward life or in his inward peace and tranquility of mind. 

But some may further object here, how is it possible for such a one 
to enjoy inward peace and satisfaction, since his conscience is so 
scrupulous and tender that it will immediately twist and gall him upon 
the smallest transgression of Divine laws. 

236 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

It's true ind'^ed that the best men in this corrupt and imperfect state 
are frequently sinning, their best services are attended with many im- 
perfections and their fairest graces have their several blots and blem- 
ishes, and their conscience will immediately accuse them of their 
smallest, miscarriages and remind them of their duty. But this is so far 
from being their misery, that it is their greatest happiness ; for by this 
means they are kept from continuing in a course of sin, and whenever 
they have strayed from the path of virtue, they return vigorously to 
their duty rejoicing with joy unspeakable that they are so happily 
escaped from the paths of sin and death and destruction ; while the 
wicked continue in their immoral practices lulling their consciences to 
a profound sleep and making their hands stronger and stronger, till 
they awaken in despair and horror, and become unspeakably miserable 
with the dismal prospect of their approaching unavoidable damnation. 
So that all circumstances considered, as ye wise man saith, Eccles. 
8:12, 13: "It shall farewell with the virtuous and religious but ill 
with the wicked forever." And therefore my doctrinal proposition 
will hold good notwithstanding all objections that maybe made against 
it, namely : that true peace and feliciiy result only from a religious life. 

From this then we may observe the wisdom and goodness of God in 
making our duty and our happiness both in time and to eternity so 
sweetly to comport the one with the other. So that they go hand in 
hand promoting that great and gracious design of our sovereign Lord 
and lawgiver. What remains then but that we should apply ourselves 
to the study of piety and pure religion, and to the sincere love of God"s 
laws, as the unerring guide of our lives and tbe just measure of all our 
actions. When shall we taste ye ravishing sweetness of a religious life, 
and shall be obliged to own that all her wa3's are ways of pleasantness 
and all her paths are peace. Then shall we enjoy peace with G d, 
inward peace and tranquility of mind, peace with all around us, and 
plenty, and prosperity. Then shall our lives be easy and comfortable 
to us, and we shall be all perfectly happy as we possibly can be, till 
once we arrive at those blissful regions above, whence everything that 
offends and they that commit iniquity are removed and nothing is found 
but undisturbed peace ; perpetual love and harmony dwell and reign 

Paxtang Peesbyteeian Chuech. 237 


THIS INDENTURE made the Eighth day June in the year of our 
Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and fifty-four, Between Henry 
Foster of the Township of Paxtang, in the county of Lancaster, in the 
province of Pennsylvania, Yeoman, Eldest son of John Foster, late of 
the said county. Yeoman, Deceased, and Ann his Wife, of the one part, 
and the Congregation that now belongs to the Reverend John Elder of 
the Township in the said county and province. Jointly, of the other 
part ; Whereas, the said John Foster was in his life time, by virtue of 
a certain patent bearing date the fifteenth day of October, Oue Thousand 
Seven Hundred and forty four, seized in his Demesn as of Fee, of and 
in a certain Tract of Land containing three Hundred and twenty one 
acres and allowance, and Dyed so thereof Seized, Intestate, Where- 
upon, according to Law of this Province, the same descended and came 
to and amongst all his children in Equal proportions, the said Henry 
as Eldest Son taking a double share to the rest of the Children ; And 
Whereas, the said Henry Foster, by his petition to the Orphens Court 
Held at Lancaster for the county Aforesaid, the fifth day of December 
One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty two, setting forth that his said 
Father so dyed seized of the said Tract of Lacd as Aforesaid, and that 
it wo'd be inconvenient to divide the same, and that he was willing and 
desirous to hold the same and pay the younger Children their Respec- 
tive shares thereof, according to a valuation to be made by indifferent 
persons, pursuant to the Direction of Act of Assembly in that case 
made and provided, and praying that proper persons might be appoint- 
ed to make valuation accordingly, obtained an order of the same Court, 
That James Galbraith, Esquire, Thomas Forster, Esquire, Thomas 
Simpson and James Reed should value the said Tract of Land and 
make a Return of such Valuation to the same Court ; Whereupon they, 
the said James Galbraith, Thomas Forster, Thomas Simpson and 
James Reed, returned to the said Court that they had by virtue of the 
iibove mentioned O'der valued and appraised the said Tract of Land 
at the sum of Three Hundred and Eight pounds ; And thereupon it 
was ordered by the court that the said Henry Foster do hold the said 
Tract of Land on giving security for the payment of the respective 
shares of the other Children of the said John Foster, Deceased, which 
amounted to forty seven j>ounds ten shillings each, as by the records 

238 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

and proceedings of the same Court, Relation being thereunto had -will 
more fally and at large appear ; And Whereas, He the said Henry 
Foster, hath now satisfied and paid or given security for the payment 
of the Respective Shares of the Other Children, and therefore is now 
by virtue of the Act Assembly in that case made and provided, become 
seized and possessed of the said Tract of Land to hold to him, his 
Heirs and Assigns, for Ever ; Now, This Indenture Witnesseth, that 
the said Henry Foster and Ann his Wife, for and In consideration of 
the sum of Ten pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania to them or one 
of them in hand well and truly paid by the said congregation, at or 
before the Execution hereof, the Receipt and payment whereof are 
hereby acknowledged, Have and each of them Hath Granted, Bargain- 
ed, Sold, Released and Confirmed, and by these Presents Do and each 
of them Doth Grant, Bargain. Sell, Release, Confirm unto the said 
Congregation, Jointly, their Heirs and Assigns, All that tract, piece or 
parcel of land situate, lying and being in the Township of Paxtang 
aforesaid, in the county of Lancaster, Beginning at a Black Oak, 
thence South Eleven Degrees West Ninty Three perches to a Black 
Oak, thence North Eighty Degrees West Thirty Six perches to a post, 
thence South Eleven Degrees East Ninty Three perches to a Black 
Oak, thence South Eighty Degrees East Thirty Six perches to the 
place of beginning. Containing Twenty Acres, without allowance for 
Roads, for the use of the Said Congregation of Paxtang, on which the 
Stone Meeting House is Built, It being part and parcel of the Above 
mentioned Tract of Land Containing Three Hundred and Twenty-one 
Acres and Allowance, Together with all and Singular the Buildings, 
Gardens, Orchards, Meadows, Pastures, Feedings, Woods, Underwoods, 
Ways, Waters, Watercourses, Hedges, Ditches, Trees, Fences, Profits, 
Privileges, Advantages, Hereditaments, Improvements, Rights, Mem- 
bers, and Appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging, or in any 
wise appertaining, and the Reversion and Reversions, Remainder and 
Remainders thereof, and all the Estate, Right, Title, Interest, Use, 
Trust, Prope ty. Possession, Claim, and Demand, whatsoever, both at 
Law and in Equity, of them the said Henry Foster and Ann his wife, 
of in and to the same. To have and to hold the said Tract or parcel of 
Land, Hereditaments and Premises, hereby Granted and Released, 
with the Appurtenances, unto the said Congregation, their Heirs and 
Assigns, To the only use and behoof of the said Congregation, tlieir 
Heirs and Assigns, forever, at and under the proportionable part of the 
yearly Quit Rent now due, and hereafter to become due for the same, 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 239 

to the chief Lord or Lords of the Fee thereof; and the said Henry 
Foster doth hereby grant for himself and his Heirs, that he and they, 
the said Tract of Land, Hereditaments and premises hereby granted, 
with the Appurtt-nances, Unto the said Congregation, their Heirs and 
Assigns, against him the said Henry Foster and the said Ann his wife. 
Heirs, and against all and every other person and Persons, Whomsoever 
lawfnlly claiming, or to claim the same, or any part thereof, by, from, 
or under him, her, or them, shall and will warrant, and forever defend, 
by these presents. 

In Wit7iess, whereof, the said parties to these presents their hands 
and seals have hereunto interchangeably set, the day and year above 

Henry Foster, [l. s.]| 
Ann Foster, [l. sJ 

Sealed and delivered in the presence of us by the within named 
Henry Foster. 

Henry Foster. 

Thos. Fforster, 

Thos. Simpson. 

Sealed and delivered by the within named Ann Foster in the pres- 
ence of us. 

Ann Foster. 

Thos. Fforster, 

Thos. Sii*pson. 

Received the day and year first within written of and from the within 
named congregation the sum of ten pounds, being the full considera- 
tion money within mentioned to be paid to me. 

Henry Foster. 
Witness : 

Thos. Fforster, 

Thos. Simpson. 

The 8th day of June, 1754, before me the subscribers, one of hia 
Majesty's Justices of the Peace of the county of Lancaster came the 
within named Henry Foster and Ann, his wife, and acknowledged the 
within written indenture to be their act and deed and desired that the 
same shall be recorded as such, the said Ann voluntarily consenting 
thereto, she being of full age and secretly and apart examined the with- 
in, consent being first made known to her. Witness my hand and 
seal the same day and year above written. 

Thos. Fforster, [l. s.] 

240 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Entered in the office for Recording of Deeds in and for the county oi 
Lancaster in Book C, page 237, on the Eleventh day of June Anno 
Dom., 1770. Witness my hand and seal of my office aforesaid. 

Edward Shippen, 

[office seal.] Recorder. 

Dauphin County, .ss ; 

Recorded in the office for Recording Deeds, &c., in and for Dauphin 
county, in Deed Book B, Vol. 8, page 22, &c. 
Witness my hand and seal, A. D., 1890. 
July 28, 1890. Philip C. Swab, 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 241 


A few days since, learning that repairs of this last remaining 
landmark of the Scotch-Irish settlement were contemplated, we paid 
a visit to the old church. We clambered up into the loft, and ex- 
amined the rafters and also beams, which were just as sound as the 
day they were placed there. The timbers were made of oak, and 
originally an arched ceiling was contemplated. This was never done, 
and when the little window back of the pulpit and the north were 
closed up, perchance seventy or eighty years ago, the ceiling was 
made square, supported by cross-timbers held to the rafters by iron 
rods. The shingles on the south side of the roof are much decayed, 
while those on the opposite side are in good condition. It has been 
decided to put on a slate roof with the eaves projecting beyond the 
the wall, so as to protect that old and substantial masonry. Be- 
sides the roof, they propose to ' ' underprie ' ' certain portions of the 
wall, so that a firmer foundation may be made." — Dr. W. H. Egle, 
in Notes and Queries, 1884- 

242 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


William Graham, son of William Graham, was boru in Paxtang 
township, then Lancaster county. Province of Pennsylvania, on the 19th 
of December, 1745. His father, of Scotch parentage, came from the 
North of Ireland, as did his mother, whose maiden name was Susannah 
Millt-r. His early years were spent on the farm, but by dint of hard 
labor and perseverance, so characteristic of the Scotch-Irish youth ot 
that day, he prepared himself for admission to the college of New Jer- 
sey, (now Princeton,) where he graduated in 1773. He taught in the 
grammar school connected with that institution, while studying the- 
ology under the tuition of the Rev. John Roan. 

Among the paper-i of Rev. John Roan we have the following ac- 
count : 

" Wm. Graham enter'd lObr. 23, 1767. 
1768. Jan. 23-31, absent. 
Ap. 2-25, absent. 
May 1, abs't some days. 
June 13, returned 8br. 2d. 
Dec'r 24, some days absent. 
Went away Feb. 4, 1769. In all here 9 months. I told his father 
June 10, 1769, that it should be charged at about £8 per annum, 

viz : 6 : 00 : 

Rec'd Dec'r 21, 1769, of ye above 4:10:0 

Again, May, 1771, 0:07:0 

Jan. 18, 1773, 1 : 10 : 

Lent to Wm. Graham, Nov. 15, 1773, : 10 : 

Jan. 19, 1774, 1:05:0 

From the foregoing it would seem that as late as 1774, he was a stu- 
dent of Mr. Roan'-". 

Mr. Graham, on the 2Gth of October, 1775, was licensed to preach 
by the Presbytery of Hanover, Virginia, to which locality his family 
had previously removed. When tlie Presbytery determined to estab- 
lish a school for the rearing of young men for the ministry, they ap- 
plied to the Rev. Stanhope Smith, then itinerating in Virginia, to re- 
commend a suitable person to take charge of their school, upon which 
he at once suggested Mr. Graham. Prior to this a classical school had 
been taught at a place called Mt. Pleasant, and there Mr. G. commenced 

Paxtang Pkesbyterian Church. 243 

his labors as a teacher, and there we find the germ whence sprung 
Washington College, and the now celebrated Washington and Lee Uni- 
versity of Virginia. Mr. Graham died at Richmond, Va., June 8th, 
1799. He married Mary Kerr, of Carlisle, Pa., and by her had two 
sons and three daughters. His eldest son entered the ministry, but 
died young ; the other studied medicine, settled in Georgia, and died 
about 1840. 

244 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


The age of the present stone church building at Paxtang, has 
often been alluded to by Historians of the Presbyterian Church in 
America. The date usually given for the erection of the walls is 1752. 
If there are any reasons for this date they have never been clearly 
stated. The first recorded statement in reference to the building, so 
far as we are aware, is to be found in the deed for the glebe given to 
the congregation on the 8th day of June, 1754, by Henry Forster and 
wife, in which the present ''^ stone meeting house'''' is mentioned. It 
is, therefore, necessary to go back of this date to find the beginning ; 
but why go back only two years rather than ten, fifteen, or twenty? 

It is well known to every one acquainted with the history of Paxtang, 
that before the stone building was erected the site was occupied by a 
substantial log structure, which was removed because it was too small 
to accommodate the growing congregation. The Rev. John Elder be- 
gan preaching in the log church in 1738, and soon found himself 
cramped for room and the congregation in a prosperous condition. 
In 1741 the controversy between the Old and New Lights reached Pax- 
tang, and soon waxed so bitter that by the 16th of August, 1745, the 
New Light people, comprising almost half the congregation, had not 
only seceded, but had completed a church building of their own, and 
installed Rev. John Roan as their pastor. Soon after this event, and 
long before Mr. Elder's congregation had time to recuperate, the 
Indians, incited by the French, became troublesome, and for the next 
ten years the people of Paxtang were fully occupied in the defense of 
their homes. It was during this period that Mr. Elder and his flock 
worshiped with their rifles in their hands. All work upon the 
building seems to have been suspended, the walls had been erected and 
roofed in, and it is more than probable that it remained in this con- 
dition, with neither floor nor pews, until after the revolution. In view 
of these facts, it is not reasonable to suppose that the congregation 
would, in 1752 tear down their old building and incur the unnecessary 
expense of a new erection, and it is, therefore, logical to conclude that 
the stone house was erected prior to 1741, when the numerical and 
financial condition of the congregation was favorable to such a project. 
Aside from this reasoning, we have the positive statement of the late 
Thomas Elder, Esq., of Harrisburg, son of Rev. John Elder, under 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 245 

whose auspices the church was built. On the 20th of June, 1852, Mr. 
Elder paid what was doubtless his last visit to Paxtaug church. The 
occasion was the funeral of Mrs. Sarah Rutherford, widow of William 
Rutherford, who had been his life-long friend. After the services were 
over, Mr. Elder spent a short time looking about the old grave-yard, 
in which, as he said, most of the friends of his youth and early man- 
hood lay sleeping, reminiscences of the past crowded upon him, and as 
he moved slowly along he spoke of the old church as it was in his 
father's time, and of the leading men connected therewith ; and in reply 
to a question by Capt. Rutherford, he said that whilst he was not sure 
that there was any record of the erection of the present building, he had 
often heard his father say that the walls were built in 1740. This, 
in the absence of well authenticated documentary evidence, ought to 
be conclusive. 

The descendants of the sturdy men and women who worshiped 
there in 1740 are scattered everywhere, many of them prominent in 
church and State, and in the business enterprises of the land. A little 
band still holds the fort. All these should unite and see to it that the 
year of grace, 1890, shall witness such a celebration of the one hun- 
dred and fiftieth anniversary of the laying of her corner-stone, as shall 
do honor to this motheT" of churches and oldest monument of Presby- 
terianism now standing in Central Pennsylvania. — W. F. R., in Notes 
and Quer'ies, in 1890. 

246 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


About two miles east of old Paxtang Church and one and a half 
miles north of Rutherford Station in Lower Paxtang township, is an 
old Scotch-Irish burying-ground containing about one fourth of an acre 
of land and surrounded at present by a substantial post and rail fence. 
Formerly a log meeting-house stood close by, on the opposite side ot 
the road. This building was also known as Paxtang meeting-house, 
and the people who worshiped here were the New Side Presbyterians, 
with Rev. John Roan as their pastor. 

In 1787 the house was torn down and the materials sold for the sum 
of ten pounds eighteen shillings and three pence ; this included eleven 
and a quarter yards of diaper, four yards table cloth, one yard napkin, 
and one table and chair. This sum — together with twelve pounds two 
shillings and three pence raised by assessment upon the congregation — 
was expended in the building of a new paling fence around the grave- 
yard. The fence, in the course of time, decayed, and was rebuilt by 
Conrad Peck, at the expense of Samuel Sherer, 'Squire McClure- and 
Robert Stewart. This fence also went the way of all fences, and Rob- 
ert Stewart, shortly before his death, caused the present post and rail 
fence to be erected. 

The meeting-house occupied the same field with old Paxtang church, 
and was u>sed during the greater part of Rev. John Elder's pastorate- 
The little cemetery adjoining contains comparatively few graves, and is 
evidently of much later origin than that of old Paxtang, the oldest 
marked grave in it being that of James Welsh, Jan. 28, 1754, and there 
are no traditions which carry us beyond that date. This does not prove 
anything, but would seem to indicate that the establishment of the 
church was about 1750. 

After 1787 most of the members of this church connected themselves 
with old Paxtang, and in 1793 we find some of their names on a sub- 
scription list for Rev. Mr. Suowden's salary. 

Who purchased the table and chair does not appear, but they brought 
nine shillings and eight pence ; and were sold for the congregation by 
John Wilson and Robert Montgomery. — W. F. R., in Notes and 
Queries, 1883. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 247 


No records of the schools of the valley have been preserved earlier 
than those relating to the free schools of the present day. All that we 
know concerning them is gathered from a few entries in old memoran- 
dum books, receipts for tuition, "the memory of men still living," and 
tradition. The first settlers were principally Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, 
and the present site of Paxtang Church was early fixed upon as a suita- 
ble place for a church and school-house. In 1732, the church was or- 
ganized under the pastorate of Rev. William Bertram, but a building 
had been erected, and religious services conducted at stated times by 
Rev. Mr. Anderson and others, long before. And there is every reason 
to believe that the school was coeval with the church. Three different 
buildings were used at different times as school-houses — the first and 
oldest was a log cabin which stood a short distance north of the church 
on Thomas McArthur's land — the second a log house on Thomas Ruth- 
erford's land, west of the church — the third was known as the "study 
house" — a building belonging to the congregation, erected for the con- 
venience of the minister, into which he could retire for meditation be- 
tween sermons. These buildings have all long since disappeared and 
with them the old type of school-masters. The pedagogue is now 
spoken of as '^ the teacher.''' In those days he was called ''TAe 3faster,'^ 
terms which sufficiently indicated the difference between the past and 
present position of that important personage. 

The names of the masters who taught here before the Revolution are 
all forgotten save that of Francis Kerr, who immortalized himself by 
organizing a clandestine lodge of Masons, whose temple was the old 
Log Cabin. During the quarter century immediately following the 
Revolution, the celebrated "Master Allen," surveyor and school-mas- 
ter, fills the most prominent place. His reputation as an educator was 
great and his services in demand. In connection with the common 
branches, he taught Latin and surveying, and was looked upon by his 
cotemporaries as one who had almost reached the summit of the hill of 
knowledge. In the course of his long career he conducted schools in 
Paxtang, Derry, and Hanover ; and almost all the surveyors, squires, 
and scri^'eners in these townships who were in active service forty or 
fifty years ago, had in their youths sat at the feet of Master Allen. It 
is not known precisely how long he kept school at the Meeting House ; it 

248 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

is however certain that he was teaching there on the 29th of April, 1783 ; 
also, that he opened school on the 9th of May, 1785, at 7 shillings and 
11 pence per scholar per quarter — and that he was teaching there on 
the 12th of January, 1789. After this date we have been unable to find 
any record, but have frequently heard it stated that the first school at- 
tended by Capt. John P. Rutherford was Master Allen's, at the Meeting 
House. Capt. Rutherford was born in 1802. This would indicate that 
Allen closed his career as master of the school about 1808 or 1810. He 
afterwards taught at Gilchrist's, near Linglestown. 

It is a curious fact, that the Christian name of one so famous and 
■who filled so large a space in this community for so many years — should 
be forgotten. His character as "Jlfas^er" seems to have overshadowed hia 
very name. And he is known to fame only as Master Allen. Among 
the many traditions concerning him, is one which represents him as a 
firm believer in the efficacy of the rod as a promoter of good morals and 
a quickener of the intellectual faculties. All were soundly drubbed 
daily and thosj unfortunate youngsters whose indulgent parents spared 
the rod, received at his hands a double portion, in order that they 
might have as fair a start in life as their more favored friends who were 
properly whipped at home. His stern and forbidding aspect, as he 
stalked about the school-room, rod in hand, struck terror into the 
hearts of all meditators of rebellion, and left such a lasting impression 
upon the mind, that old men of thi'ee score and ten have been known 
to shudder as they recalled it. 

In the cemetery near Harrisburg, among those brought there from 
the old burrying-ground in the city, is a grave marked by a marble slab 
resting upon four pillars of sandstone. The inscription is as follows : 


Memory of 

Joseph Allen 

who departed this life 

Feb. ISth 1S19 
Aged about SO years. 

There are many reasons for believing this to be the last resting place 
of the old autocrat of the school-room. 

Joseph Allen, by his will, dated July 4, 1812, bequeathed his books 
and MSS. to his nephew, David Allen, of the New Purchase. These 
documents may still be in existence somewhere, and doubtless contain 
much that would be interesting to us to-day, and it is to be regretted 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 249 

that he left them to one living so far from the scenes of his life-work and 
where his name and fame were unknown. 

From Master Allen's school went out many young men who after- 
wards became prominent in their respective walks of life. Among 
those may be mentioned Thomas Elder, member of the Dauphin county 
bar, and eleventh Attorney General of Pennsylvania. 

John Forster. — A di tinguished citizen of Harrisburg, and Brigadier 
General in the war of 1812. 

Jonathan Kearsley. — An officer in the Second Regiment United 
States Artillery — served throughout the war of 1812, and lost a leg in 
the defense of Fort Erie — was afterwards Collector of Internal Revenue 
for the Tenth district of Pennsylvania. And in 1820 was appointed by 
Mr. Monroe, a receiver for the La .d Office at Detroit, a position which 
he held until 1847 ; was elected mayor of Detroit in 1829, and was four 
times elected regent of the State University of Michigan, and received 
from that mstitution the honorary degree of Master of Arts. 

Joseph Wallace— merchant — Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth 
in 1838, and an eminently useful citizen of Harrisburg. 

John Rutherford, surveyor and farmer, represented Dauphin county 
in the 28th Legislature of Pennsylvania. 

William McClure, a leading member of the Dauphin county bar. 

William Rutherford, farmer, colonel of Pennsylvania militia, and 
represented Dauphin county in the Thirtieth, Thirty-first, Fortieth, and 
Forty-first Legislatures of Pennsylvania. 

Joseph Gray, surveyor and farmer, filled with credit, the office ot 
surveyor of Dauphin county. 

James S. Espy, Esq., for many years a leading merchant of Harris- 

These are a few from Paxtang. Had we the roll of Allen's scholars 
from first to last, many distinguished names from Hanover and Derry 
would undoubtedly be found upon it. 

Cotemporary with Allen at the Meeting House was Mr. Thompson, 
who began a quarter on the 29th of May, 1786, at five shillings per 
quarter, and Mr. Armstrong, who opened school on the 31st of Octo- 
ber, 1786, at five shillings. Of this school we find recorded in Rev. 
John Elder's memorandum book, (which through the kindness of Dr. 
W. H. Egle, we have been permitted to examine,) the following : 

''Dec. 11, 1786. This day he discontinued ye school on acc't of ye 
severity of ye weather. ' ' 

Allen, as has been noted, closed his career as teacher at the Meeting 

250 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

House, about 1810. He was followed by several men whose names we 
have been unable to ascertain. 

In 1814 and 1815, Francis Donley, an Irishman, conducted the 

In 1816, Mr. McClintock. 

In 1817, Benjamin White, of Vermont, noted for the severity of his 
rule. He, in common with all bachelor school-masters of that day, 
boarded around. 

In 1818 and in 1819, John Jones lived in the house and taught the 

In 1820, Thomas Hutchison, of Union county. Pa. Mr. Hutchison 
is still living in Stephenson county, Illinois, a hale old man of more 
than four score. The rule for boardmg which governed the master in 
his peregrinations around the neighborhood, may be gathered from 
some instructions given to Mr. Hutchison, when he opened school, by 
an Irish lady, who was one of his patrons ; she had but one scholar, 
and he was a bound boy. 

" Now Tammy, where ye hae but the one scholar, ye stay but the one 

In 1821, James Cupples, an Irish weaver, and a man of some attain- 
ments, particularly in mathematicSj kept school in the winter, and 
worked at his trade in the summer. His loom, for want of room 
in the house, was kept in the west end of the church, which at that 
time was separated from the audience room by a board partition. As 
a school-master, Mr. Cupples cannot take rank as a great man. yet he 
was in some respects far in advance of his age. He ruled with little or 
no assistance from the rod, a system of government which his patrons 
who had been brought up under the stern and vigorous rule of Allen, 
could not fully apppeciate. He stands out as a solitary example among 
his compeers as one whom no little boy ever attempted to thrash as soon 
as he should be able, arid from him dates the decline of the reign ot 
terror in the school-room. For these things he deserves to be gratefully 
remembered. After teaching several terms at the Meeting House, he 
removed to Churchville, and iu 1826, to Cumberland county, where he 
probably spent the remainder of his days. 

In 1824, Mr. McCashau was master of the school. 

In 1825, Mr. Samuel S. Rutherford. Mr. Rutherford was a native of 
the valley, and for many years one of its leading citizens. He died on 
his farm near the church in 1872. From 1825 to 1839, when the school 
finally closed, we have a long list of teachers, none of whom seems to 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 251 

have taught more than a single quarter. Amoug them are the names 
of Mr. Lnckhart, Francis D. Cummings, (a man of varied attainments,) 
Cornelius Kuhn, Rev. John Macbeth, Mr. Martin, David Calhoun 
Thomas Mifflin Kennedy, Robert Cooper, John Ebersole, and William 

In the fall of 1839, the free school system went into operation in Swa- 
tara, and the light from the old school at the Meeting House, which had 
cast its rays upon the valley for more than a hundred years was extin- 
guished. From the earliest times down to 1812, this was the only lamp 
by which the feet of the children of the valley were guided along the 
pathway to learning. 

In 1812, the over-crowded condition of the school compelled the 
erection of another building. The site chosen was the north-east cor- 
ner of Jacob Walter's farm, in the woods, near a spring of water. The 
logs were contributed and hauled to the spot by the farmers around,, 
and John McClure, of Hanover, afterwards of Ohio, was the architect. 
The house was about sixteen feet by eighteen feet, with a ceiling so low 
that a tolerably active young man could stand on the floor and kick the 
I'oists. This building is still standing, and has been used for more than 
thirty years as pig-pen, a use to which it is much better adapted than 
it ever was for a school-house. 

David Calhoun, of Paxtang, a lame man, and a distant relative of the 
great South Carolina nuUifier, was the first master. He afterwards 
taught in Paxtang township and at the Meeting House, and finally went 
to the west, where he died. He was followed by Thomas Wallace, who 
wielded a rod of such prodigious length, that he was able to reach any 
scholar in the room without leaving his chair. 

Joseph Gray, of Paxtang valley, came next in 1815. Mr. Gray after- 
wards became distinguished as a surveyor ; died on his his farm in the 
valley in 1861, and was buried in Paxtang grave-yard. From Mr. Gray'a 
time down to the close of the school, many different men were employed 
as masters, among whom may be named Til) er Neal, a New England man 
and an excellent teacher ; John Karr, an Irishman ; Benjamin White, of 
Vermont ; Mr. Burrett, a Yankee ; Curtis McNeal, a Scotchman j 
William Walker, of Hanover ; Mun-ay Manville, P. K. Burke, Mr. 
Runyan, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Norwood, an Irishman, and a great lover 
of strong water, who once declared that when his bottle was empty he 
felt like the man described in the first lines of the " Beggar's Petition," 
"Pity the sorrows of a poor old man," «&c., but when it was full, "No 
king upon his throne was happier." Following Norwood, was a man 

252 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

of pompous carriage and courtly manners, known as " Old Quality." 
What his name really was, no one now seems to know. And lastly, 
Mr. Anderson. Most of these men, and others not remembered, taught 
but a single quarter, and disappeared. 

The new board of school directors divided Swatara township into 
seven districts, and erected a school-house in each. Two of these, Nos- 
1 and 5, were located in the valley, and supplied the places of the two old 
houses. The new buildings were light frame structures, and stood for 
twenty-five years, when they were replaced by the present substantial 
brick houses. 

We shall not go into the history of the free schools of Swatara, but 
cannot close the subject without mentioning two distinguished teachers 
of Nos. 1 and 5, Edwin L. Moore and George Gunn. These two men 
were relatives, and came to the valley in 1840, young men from Massa- 
chusetts, and were examined as to their qualifications by Rev. James 
R. Sharon, and received from him first-class certificates. Mr. Moore 
taught several terms at No. 1, then opened a school in Harrisburg, and 
was for many years principal of the Mount Joy academy. In 1861, he 
entered the army as paymaster, and served until sometime after the 
close of the war, when he settled in Nebraska, where he died about 
1870. Mr. Gunn took charge of No. 5, or Hockerton, as it was called, 
because of its location on lands of George Hocker, in November, 1841, 
and taught the school with two or three intervals, until 1856, when he 
married, and engaged in farming on Mentor Plains, Ohio, where he died 
in September, 1862. Mr. Gunn was a gentleman of many social virtues, 
and when he left the valley for his new home in the west, he bore with 
him the good wishes of all classes, and left no enemy behind him. One 
old gentleman with whom he boarded for a time, charged him nothing, 
"for," said he, "I consider his company worth his board." As a 
teacher he was second to no man of his day. His capacity for work in 
the school-room was enormous. His ability to impart knowledge, and 
his skill in the government of schools unsurpassed. The majority ot 
his pupils are still living and in the prime of life, and all look back with 
pleasure and satisfaction to the time spent under his instruction. — W. 
F. Rutherford in Notes and Queries, 1882, 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 253- 


The following papers throw some light on the troubles through which 
the congregation passed a few years subsequent to the death of the 
Rev. John Elder, who for fifty six years had ministered to it ; 

Letter Sent to Presbytery in 1795. 

Paxtang, Odr. 5th, 1795. 
To the Bevd. Presbytery of Carlisle about to convene at Marsh Creek 
in the County of York ; 
Whereas, Mr. Snowden has signified to his congregation in Derry 
Township that he is no longer able to officiate in his Ministerial capacity 
to them on acct. of Inability of body, and that he purposes to apply ta 
Presbytery for a Discharge from said congregation which we conceive, 
if he might be indulged in his Request, would leave the congregation 
of Paxtang in a very distressing & Perilous Situation ; that the two 
congregations have lived for many years past in perfect peace, friend- 
ship, and unanimity, and that we do not wish for a schism between us 
now ; that of the union is once broke there will be no probability of us- 
being united again ; that of Mr. Snowden is rendered incapable of un- 
dergoing the fatigue of the three congregations in less than three years 
in the prime of life, by all probability he will not be able in a short 
time to attend to two congregations, and of consequence we shall be- 
left without a pastor and the means of giving a call to another. We,, 
therefore, pray to be considered as united with Derry, and that if Mr. 
Snowden should insist on being disunited from them, that Presbytery 
will appoint a committee of their body to enquire into the matter be- 
fore anything decisive may take place ; and that the majority of this, 
congregation, how much soever they may be attached to Mr. Snowden,. 
would rather he should leave us as he found us, than submit to a disso- 
lution of the union subsisting between us. 

By order of a meeting of Paxtang congregation. 

John Rutherford, 
Joshua Elder. 

•254 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Supplication Sent to Presbytery, 1796. 

Paxtang, Jan'y, 1796. 

To the Moderator of Carlisle Presbytery about to meet at Big Spring : 

By order of the Committee of Presbytery which sat at Paxtang the 
3d of Nov'r last, the Congregation of Paxtang was notifyed the last 
Sunday but one which we had meeting that the sense of the Congrega. 
tion wou'd be taken on the next Sabbath whether we wou'd adhere to 
Harrisburg & break the Union with Derry, or whether we wou'd con- 
tinoue the Union with Derry & break off with Harrisburg. Accord- 
ingly after sermon last Sunday the heads of families were desired to 
attend, and after the business was explained to them, we proceeded to 
take the votes of the People, & it appeared that a Majority of the Con- 
gregation was for continnuing the Union with Derry and relinquishing 
Harrisburg, they likewise chose the bearer Capt'n John Rutherford as 
their Commissioner to wait on Presbytery with this Remonstrance, 
praying that Presbytery wou'd grant us Supplies & dissolve the Congre- 
gation of Paxtang from their Obligations to Mr. Snowden & that he 
might discontinue his labors to them unless ordered to supply them as 
any other Gentleman. 

Supplication Sent to the Presbytery of Carlisle, 1796. 

Paxtang, Sept. 3d, 1796. 
The Eev'd Presbytery of Carlisle : 

Gentlemen : Whereas we are now destitute of the Gospel Ordinances 
being regularly administered to us, and what few supplies were allotted 
for us at the last Presbytery we fell short even of these on account of 
the age and Inability of one of the members appointed to supply us ; 
We, the Subscribers, in behalf of this Congregation who met for that 
purpose Do most earnestly beg and entreat that Presbytery would be 
pleased to grant as many Supplies as they can with convenience ; we 
likewise wish that if there be any young or unsettled Members belong- 
ing to Presbytery these might be sent to us that we might have an Op- 
portunity of the Gospel once more regularly established and adminis- 
tered in all the forms thereto belonging ; and your Supplicants as in 
■duty bound shall ever pray. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 255 

Appeal of the Paxtang Congregation to the Moderator. 

Paxtang, Oct 1, 1797. 
To the Moderator of the Bev'd Presbytery of Carlisle : 

Sir : We again acknowledge our dependence and renew our request 
in praying Presbytery to give us such and as many supplies during the 
winter season as they can with convenience. The bearer, Mr. James 
Rutherford, is appointed our Commissioner to present this remonstrance 
to Presbytery and to answer such interrogatories as may be required of 

Signed in behalf of Paxtang congregation by 

Joshua Elder. 

Letter to the Moderator op Carlisle Presbytery, 1798. 

Paxtang, Sept. 25th, 1798. 
To the Moderator of Carlisle Presbytery : 

Sir: The bearer, Edward Crouch, is our commissioaer, appointed 
by the congregation of Paxtang to wait on the Revd Presbytery of Car- 
lisle with a call for the Revd Joshua Williams for the one third of his 
labors in union with Derry, whom we expect will apply for the remain- 
ing two thirds ; likewise to solicit the Presbytery to grant us Supplies 
in the meantime. Signed in behalf & with the approbation of the 
congregation by 

Joshua Elder. 

Rev. Joshua Williams. 

Joshua Williams, the third pastor of Paxtang, and to whom refer- 
ence is made in the address of Mr. Joshua Williams, of Minneapolis, 
was the son of Louis Williams, and was born in Great Valley, Chester 
county, Pennsylvania, August 8, 1768. When he was about two years 
of age his father removed to York county. He received an early pre- 
paratory education, sent to Dickinson College, Carlisle — then under 
the presidency of the celebrated Rev. Dr. Charles Nisbet — where he 
was graduated in 1795, in the same class with Roger B. Taney, for 
more than a quarter of a century Chief Justice of the United States, 
and who ever retained a kindly rememberance of him. His theological 
studies were pursued chiefly under the direction of Rev. Dr. Robert 
Cooper. In 1798 was liceuaed to preach by the Presbytery of Carlisle, 

256 Paxtang Pesbyrterian Church. 

and in the following year was called to the pastorate of Paxtang and 
Derry churches, and was ordained minister thereof on the 2d of Octo- 
ber, 1799. In 1801, at his own request, he was relieved from the 
charge, "owing to some matter of uneasiness which had arisen in one 
of his congregations." In 1802 he was installed pastor of the Big 
Spring church, which he served until 1829, when, on account of physical 
infirmities, he resigned. He died August 21, 1838. His wife, who 
was a daughter of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hayes, of Derry, 
died at Big Spring, and is interred with her husband there. Mr. Wil- 
liam's talents and attainments commanded the highest respect from all 
who knew him. His intellectual powers were naturally strong and 
vigorous, and his judgment sound and discriminating. He was familiar 
with the science of mental philosophy, and had a remarkable taste for 
metaphysical discussions. He was learned and able in his profession, 
and highly instructive in his discourses, and Jefferson College honored 
him with the title of Doctor of Divinity. — Notes and Queries, 1872. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 257 


The foUowiag documents have recently come into our possession. 
One is the agreement with Mr. Allen and the other the list of scholars 
for the year 1781-2. No doubt our correspondent " W. F. R," as 
ethers of our readers, will be delighted at the perusal : 

" We, and each of us whose names are hereunto subscribed, Being 
willing to Employ Joseph Allen, to teach our children to Read, Write, 
and Arithmetic (as far as to the End of Reduction in Dilworth's As- 
sistant) in English according to the best of his capacity. For the term 
of one year, from the time he shall begin. At the Expiration of each 
Quarter thereof. We do hereby promise to pay or cause to be paid unto 
said Joseph Allen the sum of Five shillings hard money (or Wheat to 
the Value thereof,) and also to find him in Meat, Drink, Washing and 
Lodging at one certain house convenient to the Schoolhouse ; To- 
gether with a Schoolhouse, Fire-wood and Stove, and for the further 
Encouragement of s'd Master, we do hereby engage to find Lodging at 
our house for such Youths as may apply to be Taught above Reading 
and writing in English, which if we do not perform we declare s'd 
Master clear at the End of each Quarter he may Think convenient. 
In Testimony of the True performance of the above Articles and 
agreements noted, the s'd Joseph Allen, We do herewith subscribe our 
Names and Number of our Scholars, the 16th day of November, 1781. 

John Elder, 3 sch's. 

John Rutherford, 2^ sch's. 

Thos. Murray, IJ " 

Joshua Elder, 1 " 

John Clark, 1 " 

Gustavus Graham, 1 " 

Jacob Awl, 1 " 

Hugh Cunningham, 2 " 

Hugh Stewart, 1 " 

Peter Pancake, 1 " 

Alex. McCauley, I '' 

Robert Elder, ] " 

Thos. McArthur , 1 " 

258 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

'M list of the Scholars' Names and Time they were at School with 
Joseph Allen, and also their parents' Names, who Dr. for them— 
31st Aug., 1782: 

Rev. Mr. John Elder for David Elder, 6 Mos. 

9 " 

Samuel do. , 

q " 

Michael do., . . . . ^ 

6- ' 

Rebecca do., -' ,, 

James do., ^^ 

Joshua Elder, Esq., for Polly Hayes, 9 

Peter Pancake, for Frederick Pancake, 9 

William Watt, ^^ [[ 

Alexander McCauley, for George do., 6j 

Barbara do., ^^ 

Hugh Cunningham, for James do., ^ 

Hugh do., J [[ 

James Crouch, for Edward do., ^ ^^ 

Colonel James Burd, for James, jun'r, do., 9 ^^ 

Joseph Burd, 9 ^^ 

Wm. Kerr, for William, do., jun'r, ^^ 

William Kelso, John do., ^^ 

Rebecca do., " 

Thomas do., - 

Jane do., ^^ 

Joseph do., li 

Richard Carson, for Richard do , jun'r 8 

Sally do., ''' \[ 

Robert Elder, for James do., 3 

David, do., 

John Dimsey, for Thomas do., 8 

Arthur Brisbaud, for Robert do., ^ 

James do., 

Jane do., 

Col. Thos. Murray, for James do. , 9 

Polly do., ■ • 2 'J 

Ann do., ^^ ^^ 

Mr. Jacob Awl, for Jacob, junr, do., ^2 

Samuel do., ^^ '] 

Jane do., ^ ^ 

Cant. John Rutherford, for Samuel do., 9 

John do., ^ 

Paxtang Presbyteeian Church. 259 

Polly do, • • • 8 Mos. 

"Wm. do., 4 " 

Peggy Gray, 4 " 

Mrs. Mary Stewart, for Michael SiLopson, 3| " 

Joseph do., 3J " 

Rebecca do., 82'' 

Widow Wilson, for Jane do. , 3} " 

Esther do., 3J " 

Joseph Hutchison, for John do., 3 J " 

Tilley Larkey, 3J " 

Thos. Kyle, for himself, 3 " 

Jeremiah Sturgeon, do., 3 *• 

Joseph Green, do., 3 " 

James Wiggins, do 3 >' 

Hugh Stewart, for Robert, do., 7 J " 

Hugh, jr., do., 7J " 

Sa-nuel do., ' 4 " 

John Gray, sen., for Ann Hays, 8 " 

Sam'l Rutherford, for Nelly Gray, 9 " 

Col. Maxwell Chambers, for Arthur (In 9 " 

John Clark, for Stephen do., 5 <« 

Polly do., 5 " 

James Rutherford, for Patt. McCann, 7 '< 

Gustavus Grahams, for Wm. do., 8 " 

John Clendinon, for Peggy do., 3 '« 

James Russel, for himself, 1 J " 

Peggy Renick, for Alex. Smith, 2 " 

David Murtrie, for himself, ... 3 ** 

Thos. McArthur, 9 '< 

Anny Renick, 3 " 

— W. H. Egle, M. D., in Notes and Queries. 



1757, Feb. 11. Allen, Samuel, and Rebecca Smith. 

1772, March — . Anderson, James, and Margaret Chambers. 
1788, April 22. Anderson, James, and Esther Thome. 
1737, Nov. 20. Augeer, Mary, and John Culbertson. 

1783, Fab. 25. Auld, Sarah, and Joseph Green. 

1773, Nov. 1. Ayers, Margaret, and William Forster. 
1741, Aug. 13. Baker, Mary, and Rev. John Elder. 

1786, Dec. 19. Beatty, Mary Brereton, and Patrick Murray. 
1790, Feb. 5. Beatty, Nancy, and Samuel Hill. 

1773, Oct. 14. Bell, John, and Martha G-ilchrist. 

1774, June 24. Bell, Samuel, and Ann Berryhill. 
1774, June 24. Berryhill, Ann, and Samuel Bell. 

1784, March 2. Boal, Robert, and Mary Wilson. 

1781, March 1. Bo}'ce, , and James Robinson. 

1766, . Boyd, Joseph, and Elizabeth Vv'allace. 

1777, April 8. Boyd, Margaret, and Joseph Wilson, of Derry. 
1783, March 11. Boyd, Margaret, and Joseph Wilson. 

1785, March 15. Boyd, Mary, and Robert Templeton. 
1779, Sept. 14. Boyd, Jennett, and William Moore. 

2. Brisban, Margaret, and James Rutherford. 

6. Brown, James, and Eleanor Mordah. 
— . Brown, Sarah, and John Graham. 
19. Brown, William, and Sarah Semple. 

7. Brunson, Barefoot, and Agnes White. 
24. Buck, Elijah, and . 

3. Buck, William, and Margaret Elliott. 

27. Caldwell, Matthew, and Mary Pinkerton. 
11. Calhoun, David, and Eleanor King. 
— . Calhoun, Mary, and Alexander McCuUom. 

1. Campbell, Ann, and Hugh Hamilton. 
23. Carothers, Eleanor, and James Kyle. 

28. Carson, Elizabeth, and Alexander Wilson. 
16. Carson, James, and ]\Iary Espy. 
13. Cathcart, Sarah, and Joseph Hulchiusou. 
27. Cavet, James, and . 
































5. Chambers, Maxwell, and Elizabeth 

Paxtang Piip:shyterian Chuiich. 261 

1780, Jan. 13. Chesney, John, and 

1769, Dec. 14. Christy William, and 

1790, Oct. 14. Clark. Charles, and Elizabeth Robinson. 

1783, Aug. 7. Clark, John, and Marj Smith. 

1775, April 13. Clark, William, and . 

1788, June 7. Cochran, Ann, and Sankey Dixon. 

1769, Sept. 12. Cochran, Martha, and James Robinson. 

1776, March 14. Collier, Susan, and Samuel Rutherford. 
1780, . Cook, William, and Sarah Simpson. 

1784, Oct. 21. Cowden, Elizabeth, and Robert Keys. 

1777, March 20. Cowden, James, and Mary Crouch. 

1777, Jan. 28. Cowden, Mary, and David Wray. 

1778, Jan. 22. Crain, George, and Martha Richey. 
1781, Nor. 13. Crouch, Elizabeth, and Matthew Gilchrist. 

1777, March 20. Crouch, Mary, and James Cowden. 
1787, Nov. 20. Culbertson, John, and Mary Augeer. 

1774, April 14. Curry, Agnes, and William Carry. 

1775, March 7. Curry, Daniel, and . 

1774, April 14. Curry, William, and Agnes Curry. 

1780, July 13. Dickey, James, and . 

1778, Jan- 13. Dickey, John, and . 

1772, Dec. 1. Dickey, William, and . 

1777, Dec. 4. Dixon, George, and 

1774, March 15. Dixon, Isabella, and James McCormick. 
1788, June 7. Dixon, Sankey, and Anna Cochran. 

1779, Dec. 14. Donaldson, James, and . 

1774, Jan. 9. Dugal, Mr., and Sarah Wilson. 

1779, Oct. 6. Duncan, Andrew, and . 

1779, Sept. 23. Elder, Ann, and Andrew Stephen. 

1766, Dec. — . Elder, Eleanor, and John Hays. 

1741, Aug. 13. Elder, Rev. John, and Mary Baker. 
1751, Nov. 5. Elder, Rev. John, and Mary Sini[ison. 

1788, Jan. 18. Elder, John, jr., and Sarah Kennedy. 

1773, Sept. 16. Elder, Joshua, and Mary Mcxillister. 

1788, May 27. Elder, Joshua, and Sarah McAllister. 

1784, May 18. Elder, Mary, and James Wilson. 
1769, Feb. 7. Elder, Robert, and Mary J. Thompson. 
1787, June 19. Elder, Sarah, and James Vv'aUace. 

1785, Jan, 3. Elliott, Margaret, and William Buck. 
1748, June 16. Espy, Mary, and James Carson. 

262 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

1744, Sept. 16. Findlay, John, and Elizabeth Harris. 
1781, March 6. Fleming, John, and Nancy Neill. 

1773, Nov. 1. Forster, William, and Margaret Ayres. 
1784, Dec. 14. Foster, Robert, and Esther Renick. 

1777, Nov. 4. Foster, Thomas, and Jane Young. 

1784, June 7. Fulk, Mary, and Christopher Irwin . 

1785, March 7. FuUion, Jean, and James Smith Polk. 

1770, — . Fulton, Jean, and Moses "Wallace. " 

1771, Nov. 5. Fulton, Benjamin, and . 

1774, June 16. Fulton, Grizel, and Alexander Wilson. 

1772, April 30. Fulton, Isabella, and Hugh Wilson. 

1780, Jan. 25. Fulton, Joseph, and Elizabeth . 

1744, June 14. Fulton, Richard, and Isabella McChesney. 

1771, Dec. 12. Galbraith, Benjamin, and . 

1781, Feb. 27. Gilchrist, Eleanor, and Richard McGuire. 

1771, Aug. 22. Gilchrist, John, and . 

1773, Oct. 14. Gilchrist, Martha, and John Bell. 

1781, Nov. 13. Gilchrist, Matthew, and Elizabeth Crouch. 
1784, Nov. 9. Gillmor, Moses, and Isabella Wallace. 

1781, June 21. Glen, Elizabeth, and William Trousdale. 

1774, Aug. 13. Gowdie, Jane, and John Ryan. 
1774, June 15. Gowdie, John, and Abigail Ryan. 

1776, Nov. 28. Goorly, John, and . 

1773, — . Graham, John, and Sarah Brown. 

1787, March 13. Graham, Martha, and David Ramsey. 
1779, Nov. 11. Gray, Joseph, and Mary Robinson. 
1783, Feb. 25. Green, Joseph, and Sarah Auld. 

1772, April 1. Hamilton, Hugh, and Ann Campbell. 

1788, Sept. 27. Hamilton, Thomas, and Mary Kyle. 
1744, Sept. 16. Harris, Elizabeth, and John Findlay. 
1749, June 3. Harris, Esther, and Wil iam Plunket. 

1752, June 1. Harris, Esther, (Say, ) and William McChesney. 
1768, June 2. Harris, James, and Mary Laird. 

1779, May 27. Harris, James, and . 

1749, May 3. Harris, John, jr., and Elizabeth McClure. 

1774, Sept. 15. Harris, Mary, and William Mac]a)\ 
1752, Oct. 4. Harris, William Augusta, and Margaret Simpson. 

1766, Dec. — . Hays, John, and Eleanor Elder. 

1778, April 9. Hays, , and Archibald McAllister. 

1787, Nov. 20. Henderson, James, and Margaret Wiggins. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 263 

1771, Jan. 24. Hetherington, Alexander, and . 

1790, Feb. 5. Hill, Samuel, and Nancy Beatty. 

1776, Dec. 10. Hodge, Isaac, and Margaret Wilson. 

1781, April 12. Houston, Mary, and John Maxwell. 

1786, June 13. Hutchinson, Joseph, and Sarah Cathcart. 

1775, April 18. Hutchinson, Margaret, and Robert Moody. 

1780, June 29. Hutchinson, Samuel, and Jane Rutherford. 
1784, June 7. Irwin, Christopher, and Mary Fulk. - 
1783, May 12. Jackson, Edward, and Margaret Lewis. 

1776, July 3. Jenkins, Walter, and . 

1774, March 31. Johnson, Alexander, . 

1771, Aug. 15. Johnson, James, and . 

1781, April 3. Johnson, Jane, and John Patterson. 
1774, . Kearsley, Samuel, and Sarah 

1796, Feb. 4. Kelso, John, and Sally Morton. 

1757, May 23. Kelso, William, and Simpson. 

177-5, Jan. 17. Kennedy, David, and . 

1788, Jan. 18. Kennedy, Sarah, and John Elder, jr. 

1784, Oct. 21. Keys, Robert, and Elizabeth Cowden. 

1786, April 11. King, Eleanor, and David Calhoun. 

1778, Dec. 10. King, Mary, and James McKinzie. 

1782, Dec. 31. King, Richard, and Mary Wylie. 

1777, Dec. 23. Kyle, James, and Eleanor Carothers. 
1788, Sept. 27. Kyle, Mary, and Thomas Hamilton. 

1778, Sept. 10. Laird, James, and . 

1788, Feb. 12. Laird, James, and Mary McFarland. 

1791, April 4. Laird, John, and Rachel . 

1768, June 2. Laird, Mary, and James Harris. 

1774, Sept. 29. Lerkin, John, and . 

1782, May 6. Lewis, John, and 

1783, May 12. Lewis, Margaret, and Edward Jackson. 

1780, July 20. Lytle, John, and . 

1773, Nov. 10. Maclay, Samuel, and Elizabeth Plunket. 

1774, Sept. 15 Maclay, William, and Mary Harris. 

1778, April 9. McAllister, Archibald, and Hays. 

1773, Sept. 16. McAllister, Mary, and Joshua Elder. 

1783, May 27. McAllister, Sarah, and Joshua Elder. 

1776, Jan. 25. McArthur, Barbara, and James Walker. 

1744, June 14 McChcsney, Isabella, and Richard Fulton. 

1752, June 1. McChesney, William, and Esther (Say) Harris. 

264 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

1783, Jan. 23. McCleaster, James, and Sarah Roan. 
1775, Jan. 31. McClure, Andrew, and 

1749, May 3. McClure, Elizabeth, and John Harris, jr. 

1782, Aug. 8. McClure, Francis, and . 

1779, Aug. 3. McClure, Joseph, and . 

1777, March 23. McClure, Richard, and . 

1781, Dec. 11. McCord, Samuel, and Martha McCormick. 
1774, March 15. McCormick, James, and Isabella Dixon. 
1781, Dec. 11. McCormick, Martha, and Samuel McCord. 
1784, March 29. McCormick, William, and Grizel Porter. 

1773, . McCullom, Alexaader, and Mary Calhoun. 

1784, June 3. McDonald, John, and Lydia Sturgeon. 

1787, May 1. McElhenny, William, and Elizabeth McNeal. 
1772. May 7. McFadden, James, and . 

1788, March 11. McFarland, Elizabeth, and Joseph Sawyer. 
1788, Feb. 12. McFarland, Mary, and James Laird. 

1781, Feb. 27. McGuire, Richard, and Eleanor Gilchrist. 
1778, June 4. McHadden, William, and . 

1782, April 8. McHargue, Margaret, and Hugh Ramsey. 

1778, Dec. 10. McKinzie, James, and Mary King. 

1771, May 9. McNair, Thomas, and Ann Maria Wallace. 

1776, May 7. McNamara, James, and . 

1787, May 1. McNeal, Elizabeth, and William McElhenny. 

1779, April 12. McQuown, (McEwen,) John, and 

-/1779, Sept. 23. McTeer, Samuel, and Quigley. 

1781, April 12. Maxwell, John, and Mary Houston. 

1770, . Maxwell, Margaret, and James Monteith. 

1779, April 15. Means, Adam, and . 

1784, April 15. Meloy, Ana, and George Williams. 
1776, April 25. Miller, Thomas, aud 

1787, April 3. Mitchel, David, and Susanna Wilson. 

1770, . Monteith, James, and Margaret Maxwell. 

1771, May 30. Montgomery, James, and . 

1775, April 18. Moody, Robert, aud Margaret Hutchinson. 
1746, Nov. 6. Mordah, Eleanor, and James Brown. 
1779, Sept. 14. Moore, William, and Boyd. 

1776, May 7. Murray, Margaret, and John Simpson. 
1786, Dec. 19. Murray, Patrick, and Mary Brereton Beatty. 
1781, March 6. Neill, Nancy, and John Fleming. 

1762, . Park, Margaret, and John Rutherford. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 265 

April 3. Patterson, John, and Jane Johnston. 

Oct. 15. Patton Samuel, and . 

April 22. Pinkerfon, David, and . 

Feb. 27. Piiikerton, Mary, and Matthew Caldwell. 
Nov. 10. Plunket, Elizabeth, and Samuel Maclay. 
June, 3. Plunket, William, and Esther Harris. 
March 7. Polk, James Smith, and Jean FuUion. 
March 29. Porter, Grizel, and William MeCormick. - 

Sept. 23. Quigley, , and Samuel McTeer. 

April 21. Ramsey, David, and . 

March 13. Ramsey, David, and Martha Graham. 
April 8. Ramsey, Hugh, and Margaret McHargue. 

March 31. Reid, James, and . 

Feb. 16. Reid, John, and . 

July 15. Reid, Thomas, and Maiy West. 
Dec. 14 Renick, Esther, and Robert Foster. 
Dec. 19. Renick, Martha, and William Swan. 

June 27. Rhea, Robert, afid . 

Jan. 23. Roau, Sarah, and James McCleaster. 
Nov. 16. Robinson, Andrew, and 

Oct. 14. Robinson, Elizabeth, and Charles Clark. 
Sept. 12. Robinson, James, and Martha Cochran. 

March 1. Robinson, James, and Boyce. 

. Robinson, Mary, and John Gray. 

Feb. 6. Rogers, William, and 
14 Russel, Samuel, and - 

Jan. 2. Rutherford, James, and Margaret Brisban. 
June 29. Rutherford, Jane, and Samuel Hutchinson. 

. Rutherford John, and Margaret Park. 

March 14. Rutherford, Samuel, and Susan Collier. 

June 15. Ryan, Abigail, and John Gowdie. 

Aug. 13. Ryan, John and Jane Gowdie. 

March 11. Sawyer, Joseph, and Elizabeth McFarland. 

Dec. 18. Sawyer, Mary, and William Sawyer. 

Dec. 18. Sawyer, William and Mary Sawyer. 

Oct. 19. Semple, Sarah, and William Brown. 

May 11. Shaw, James, and . 

March 8. Shearl, John, and Margaret Thome. 

May 23. Simpson, , and William Kelso. 

May 7. Simpson, John, and Margaret Murray., 

266 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

1752, Oct. 4. Simpson, Margaret, and Wm. Augustus Harris. 
1751, Nov. 5. Simpson, Mary, and Rev. John Elder. 

1780, . Simpson, Mary, and Robert Taggart. 

1774, Feb. 10. Simpson, Matthias, and . 

1780, . Simpson, Sarah, and William Cook. 

1771, Jan. 31. Simpson, Thomas, and 

1784, Nov. 9. Sinclair, Duncan, and Hannah Templeton. 
1789, March 3. Sloan, Samuel, and Prudence Walker. . 

1783, Aug. 7. Smith, Mary, and John Clark. 
1757, Feb. 11. Smith, Rebecca, and Samuel Allen. 

1769, May 15. Smith, William, and . 

1782, Jan. 31. Smiley, Thomas, and Ann Tucker. 

1776, Jan. 12. Snodgrass, John, and ■ 

1782, May 9. Spence, James, and . 

1788, Jan. 18. Spence, Jean, and Thomas White. 
1779, Sept. 23. Stephen, Andrews, and Ann Elder. 
1745, April 3. Sterret, Martha, and James Wilson. 
1779, Dec. 23. Sterrett, William, jr., and . 

1784, June 3. Sturgeon, Lydia, and John McDonald. 
1782, April 1. Swan, Hugh, and . 

1775, Dec. 19. Swan, William, and Martha Renick. 
1780, . Taggart, Robert, and Mary Simpson. 

1784, Nov. 9. Templeton, Hannah, and Duncan Sinclair. 

1776, June 25. Templeton, John, and . 

1785, March 15. Templeton, Robert, and Mary Boyd. 
1788, April 22. Thome, Esther, and James Anderson. 
1781, March 8. Thome, Margaret, and John Shearl. 
1769, Feb. 7. Thompson, Mary J., and Robert Elder. 
1772, May 18. Thompson, James, and . 

1777, June 19. Thompson, John, and • 

1776, April 9. Thompson, Samuel, and 

1778, April 30. Todd, James, and Mary Wilson. 
1774, Aug. 25. Trousdale, John, and 

1781, June 21. Trousdale, William, and Elizalieth Glen. 

1782, Jan. 31. Tucker, Ann and Thomas Smiley. 

1782, Aug. 19. Vandyke, Lambert, and • 

1776, Jan. 25. Walker, James, and Barbara MiArthur. 
1789, March 3. Walker, Prudence, and Samuel Sloan. 
1771, May 9. Wallace, Ann Maria, and Thomas McNair. 
1784, Nov. 9. Wallace, Isabella, and Moses Gilmor. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 267 


. Wallace, Mary, and Hugh Graham. 

. Wallace, Elizabeth, and Joseph Boyd. 

June 19. Wallace, James, and Sarah Elder. 

. Wallace Moses, and Jean Fulton. 

Sept. 19. Wallace, William, and . 

Nov. 15. Watson, David, and . 

June 22. Weir, Samuel, and . 

July 15. West, Mary, and Thomas Reid. 

Oct. 7 White, Agnes, and Barefoot Brunson. 

Jan. 13. White, Thomas, and Jean Spence. 

Dec. 19. Whitley, Sarah, and John Wylie. 

Nov. 20. Wiggins, Margaret, and James Henderson. 

April 15. Williams, George, and Ann Meloy. 

June 16. Wilson, Alexander, and Grizel Fulton. 

April 28. Wilson, Alexander, and Elizabeth Carson. 

April 30. Wilson, Hugh, and Isabella Fulton, 

April 3. Wilson, James, and Martha Sterrett. 

Feb. 13. Wilson, James, and . 

May 18. WilsoJ, James, and Mary Elder. 

April 8, Wilson, Joseph, and Margaret Boyd. 

March 11. Wilson, Joseph, and Margaret Boyd. 

Dec. 10. Wilson, Margaret, and Isaac Hodge. 

May 10. Wilson, Margaret, and William Young. 

April 30. Wilson, Mary, and James Todd. 
March 2. Wilson, Mary, and Robert Boal. 

Jan. 9. Wilson, Sarah, and Mr. Dugal. 

April 3. Wilson, Susanna, and David Mitchel. 

. Wilson, William, and Elizabeth Robinson. 

Jan. 23. Wray, David, and Mary Cowden. 

April 14. Wylie, James, and '. 

Dec. 19. Wiley, John, and Sarah Whitley. 

Dec. 31. Wylie, Mary, and Richard King. 

July 31. Wylie, Thomas, and . 

June 16. Young, Andrew, and 

Nov. 4. Young, Jane, and Thomas Foster. 
May 10. Young, William, and Martha Wilson. 

268 Paxtang Presbytekian Church. 


1772, May 5. Aiken, Benj.'n, and Mary Sherer, 

1772, Oct. — . Aiken, , and Margaret Clark. 

1762, Dec. 9. Alexander, Wm., and Eliz. King. 

1757, Oct. 27. Allen, Jean, and John Sawyers. 

1764, Sept. 4. Allen, Samuel, and Rebecca Smith. 

1768, July 4. Allison, David, and Agnes Dick. 

1761, 3Iar. 3. Andrews, James, and Jean Strain. 
1760, Sept. 25. Armstrong, Agnes, and James Graham. 
1755, Jan. 16. Armstrong, Kate, and Alex. Morrow. 

1760, Oct. 30. Atkins, Robert, and Anne Cooper. 

1762, Dec. 7. Baird, George, and Margaret Kerr. 

1763, Feb. 1. Baird, John,, and Margaret Mann. 

1773, Dec. 21. Bankhead, Hugh, and Jean Trousdale. 

1768, Nov. 24. Barr, James, and Martha Cunningham. 
1365, Dec. 31. l^arnett, Eliz and Wm. Moorhead. 
1755, May 27. Barnett, James, Margaret Roan. 
1771, Aug. 13. Barnett, John, and Mary Boyd. 

1774, Aug. . 8. Barnett, Samuel, and Margaret Grahan, 

1769, Not. 8. Bell, Dorcas, and James Richardson. 
1755, Aug. 4. Bell, John, and Sarah Bell. 

1761, April 23. Bell, John, and Mary Bell. 
1755, Aug. 4. Bell, Sarah, and John Bell. 
1761, April 23. Bell, Mary, and John Bell. 

1760, April 23. Blackburn, Eliz., and Samuel Vernor. 
1755, Oct. 18. Blackburn, Hannah, and James Russell. 

1773, May 6. Boggs, Gable, and John Craig. 

1764, March 27. Bowman, John, and Mary Sterrat. 

1761, Dec. 31. Boyd, Benj., and Janet Elliot. 
1769, May 31. Boyd, Kathrine, and James Brown. 
1771, Aug. 13. Boyd, Mary, and John Barnett. 

1768, Feb, 4. Boyle, Mary, and Thomas McCalleu. 

1774, April 24. Boyle, Robert, and Rodgers. 

1760, Sept. 4. Brice, Margaret, and Peter Smith. 

1761, Nov. 3. Brice, Sarah, and John Murdock. 

1769, May 31. Rrown, James, and Katharine Boyd. 
1769, July — . Brown, Marttia, and James Walker. 


Paxtang Phesbyterian Church. 269 

March 26. Brown, Mary, and Michael Vanlear. 

Oct. 24. Buchanan, James, and Sarah Gray. 

April 9. Burney, James, and Jean McClure. 

April 15. Byers, John, and Agnes Ross. 

April 24. Byers, Mary, and Hervey Deyarnund. 

Oct. 1. Caldwell, Andrew, and Martha Cochran. 

April 24. Campbell, Annie, and James Tate. 

Aug. 25. Campbell, Joseph, and Jean McCall. 
Feb. 6. Campbell, Patrick, and Eleanor Hays. 

Mar. 22. Carson, Mary, and John Lusk. 

Oct. 31. Carson, Robert, and Margaret Woods. 
May 1. Carson, Wm., and Margaret McCord. 

Dec. 25. Carson, Richard, and Christine Graham. 

Nov. 10. Chambers, Sarah, and Wm. Ii win. 

Aug. 30. Clark, Andrew, and Mary Clark. 

Oct. — . Clark, Margaret, and Aiken. 

Aug. 30. Clark, Mary and Aiidrew Clark. 

Dec. 21. Clark, Wm., and Sarah Woods. 

Nov. 29. Cochran, James, and Mary Montgomery. 

April 24. Cochran, James, and Robert Whitly. 

May 31. Cochran, Janet, anfl James Cunningham. 

Aug. 17. Cochran, Margaret, and Thomas Wiley. 
Oct. 1. Cochran, Martha, and Andrew Caldwell. 

March 1. Cochran, Mary, and Robert Whitehill. 

Dec. 11. Cochran, Samuel, and Mary Sberer. 

Oct. 30. Cooper, Anne, and Robert Atkins. 

April 10. Cooper, Eliz., and John Steel. 

Mar. 8. Cooper, Isabel, and Wm. McClenaghan, 

Feb. 21. Cooper, Margaret, and Alex. Mitchel. 

April 19. Cotler, Aaron, and Hannah Duncan. 
May 6. Craig, John, and Sable Boggs. 

Feb. 27. Craig, Mary, and Arch. Sloan. 

May 31. Cunningham, James, and Janet Cochran. 

April 18. Cunningham, Sarah, and John Porterfield. 

Nov. 24. Cunningham, Martha, and James Barr. 
Oct. 3. Cusiok, William, and Isabel Mebane. 

Nov. 29. Dawson, James, an'l Katharine Murray. 

April 24. Deyarmond, Henry, and Mary Bj'ers. 
July 4. Dick, Agnes, and David Allison. 

Feb. 28. Donaldson, William, and Anne Lusk. 

270 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 



April 19. Douglass, James, and Eliz. Duffield. 

April 19. Duffield, Eliz., and James Douglass. 

April 19. Duncan, Hannah, and Aaron Cotler. 

Jan. 26. Duncan, James, and Mary Kelly. 

Aug. — . Duncan, John, and Mary Montgomery. 

Dec. 31. Elliot, Janet, and Benjamin Boyd. 

July — . Espy, , and John Patton. 

Dec. 14, Espy, James, and Martha McKnight. 

Aug. — . Espy, Josiah, and Anne Kirkpatrick. 

Dec. 23. Espy, Mary, and James McClure. 

May 10. Fallen, Connor, and Janet Hunter. 

June 28. Ferguson, David, and Jean "Woods. 

March 2. Fitzpatrick, James, and Margaret Wilson, 

Oct. 25. Fleming, Eleanor, and James Patton. 

Jan. 20. Fleming, Mary, and George Murray. 

Feb. 12. Forster, James, and Janet Johnston. 

Dec. 1. Fulton, Alex., and Sarah McDonald. 

Aug. 24. Gaston, Robert, and Margaret Logan. 

Dec. 1. Gay, James, and Margaret Mitchel. 

Oct. 9. Gaylor, James, and Mary McClosky. 

Aug. 3. Glen, Anne, and David Hays. 

Dec. 25. Graham, Christine, and Richard Casson. 

Sept. 25. Graham, James, and Agnes Armstrong. 

March 5. Graham, Mary, and Edward Sharp. 

Aug. 8. Graham, Margaret, and Samuel Barnett. 

Oct. 24. Gray, Sarah, and James Buchanan. 

March 4. Gregg, James, and Agnes Smith ^ 

Sept. 27. Guilford, Janet, and John Wilson. 

Feb. 17. Hanna, Samuel, and Agnes Sterrat. 

May 14. Harvey, Mary, and Thomas McClure. 

Aug. 3. Hays, David, and Anne Glen. 

Feb. 6. Hays, Eleanor, and Patrick Campbell. 

Oct. 31. Hays, Jean, and William Scott. 

April 26. Hays, Jean, and Thomas Robinson. 

Dec. 19. Hays, Mary, and William Sharp. 

March 25. Hays, Robert, and Margaret Wray. 

Nov. 10. Hays, Sarah, and Jonathan McClure. 

Oct. 6. Hays, \N illiam, and Jean Taylor. 

Aug. 23. Herron, Martha, and John Wilson. 

May 11. Hogin, Patrick, and Katharine McManus- 



Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 271 

Dec. 27. Hunter, Eliz., and James Hunter. 

Dec. 27. Hunter, James, and Eliz. Hunter. 

May 10. Hunter, Janet, and Connor Fallen. 

June 15. Hutchinson, James, and Margaret Hutchinson. 

Feb. 25. Hutchinson, Jean, and James Welsh. 

June 15. Hutchinson, Margaret, and James Hutchinson. 

May 6. Innis, Rachel, and David Sterrat. 

Sept. 17. Irwin, John, and Anne Welsh. 

Nov. 10. Irwin, William, and Sarah Chambers. 

Dec. 17. Jamison, James, and Mary Logan. 

Dec. 23. Johnston, Isabel, and John Ross. 

April 13. Johnston, James, and Jane McGrady. 

Feb. 12. Johnston, Janet, and James For ter. 

March 10. Johnston, Janet, and Hugh Montgomery. 

Sept. 29. Johnston, John, and Isabel Todd. 

May 1. Johnston, John, and Ruth Templeton. 

Sept. 14. Johnston, Sarah, and John Robinson. 

April — . Kearsley, Samuel, and Sarah Kirkpatrick. 

Sept. 23. Kelly, George, and Robinson. 

Jan. 26. Kelly, Mary, and James Duncan. 

Dec. 5. Kennedy, Thomas, and Janet Wilson. 

Oct. 19. Kerr, Andrew, and Katharine Wilson. 

Dec. 7. Kerr, Margaret, and George Baird. 

Dec. 9. King, Elizabeth, and Wm. Alexander. 

Aug. — . Kirkpatrick, Anne, and Josiah Espy. 

Dec. 7. Kirkpatrick, Jean, and John Shields. 

April — . Kirkpatrick, Sarah, and Samuel Kearsley. 

June 20. Lecky, Margaret, and David McClure. 

Mar. 22. Lusk, John, and Mary Carson. 

April 17. Levy, Samuel, and Mary Sharp. 

Aug. 24. Logan, Margaret, and Robert Gaston. 

Aug. 23. Loughry, Daniel, and Lettice McConaughy.. 

Feb. 28. Lusk, Anne, and Wm. Donaldson. 

Dec. 17. Logan, Mary, and James Jamison. 

Nov. 10. McCune, Jonathan, and Sarah Hays. 

Sept. 7. McClure, Margaret, and John Steele. 

Feb. 6. McClure, Mary, and Joseph Sherer. 

April 18. McClure, Susan, and Hamilton Shaw. 

May 14. McClure, Thomas, and Mary Harvey. 

April 9. McConaughy, Jean, and John Morrison. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Aug. 23. McConaughy, Letdce, and Daniel Loughrey. 
May 1. McCord, Margaret, and William Carson. 

April 16. McCord, Margaret, and Wm. Wright. 
Oct. 7. McCormick, Dennis, and Janet Townslie. 

Dec. 23. McCrachen, Margaret, and James McClean. 

Dec. 17. McCrachen, Mary, and Robert Rnsk. 
July 6. McCreight, James, and Janet Strain. 

Feb. — . McCullom, Alex, and Agnes Walker. 

Mar. 16 McDonald, Jean, and John Wishart. 
Dec. 1. McDonald, Sarah, and Alex. McDonald. 

Aug. 25. McCall, Jean, and Joseph Campbell. 

May 26. McCallen, John, and Jean Stewart. 

March 30. McCallen, Margaret, and Thomas Sawyer. 
Feb. 4. McCallen, Thomas, and Mary Boyle. 

Dec. 23. McClean, James, and Margaret McCrachen. 

July 22. McClenaghan, Elcy, and Charles Nedy. 

June 23. McClenaghan, Martha, and Joseph Ross. 
March 8. McClenaghan, Wm., and Isabel Cooper. 
Oct. 9. McClintock, Wm., and Jean Sharp. 

Oct. 15. McClosky, James, and Agnes White. 
Oct. 9. McClosky, Mary, and James Gaylor. 

June 20. McClure, David, and Margaret Lecky. 

Dec. 23. McClure, James, and Mary Espy. 
April 9. McClure, Jean, and James Buruey. 

Sept. 22. McClure, Jean, and Joshua Russell. 
July 4. McClure, Jean, and Wm. Waugh. 

Nov. 19. McClure, John, and Sarah Wilson. 

April 13. McGradie, Jean, and James Johnson. 
June 9. McHargue, Alex., and Jean Tolland. 

Feb. — . McKennet, Alex., and Mary Wiley. 

Dec. 14. McKnight, Martha, and James Espy. 

Nov. 18. McKnight, Mary Ann, and Joseph Wilson. 

May 11. McManus, Katharine, and Patrick Hogin. 
May 9. McMuUen, James, and Eleanor Wright. 

Oct. 14. McNutt, Margaret, and John Wilkie. 
Feb. 1. Mann, Margaret, and John Baird. 
Jan. 2. Marrs, Katharine, and David Wray. 

July 14, Maxwell, Alice, and Samuel Ramsey. 
Oct. 3. Mebane, Isabel, and William Cusick. 

May 11. Millar, Mary, and Joseph Young. 


Paxtang Pkesbyteeian Church. 273 

Feb. 21. Mitchel, Alex., and Margaret Cooper. 

Dec. 1. Mitchel, Margaret, and James Gay. 

Nov. 10. Montgomery, Hugh, and Janet Johnson. 

Sept. II. Montgomery, James, and Anne Woods. 

June 3. Montgomery, John, and Susan Tilson. 

March 4. Montgomery, John, and Jean Waugh. 

Aug. — . Montgomery, Lettice, and Samuel Robinson. 

Nov. 29. Montgomery, Mary and James Cochran. 

Aug. — . Montgomery, Mary, and John Duncan. 

June 1. Moor, Wm., and Margaret Wright. 

Dec. 31. Moorhead, Wm., and Eliz. Barnett. 

April 9. Morrison, John, and Jean McConaughy. 

Jan. 16. Morrow, [Murray,] Alex., and Kate Armstrong. 

Nov. 3. Murdock, John, and Sarah Brice. 

Jan. 20. Murray George, and Mary Fleming. 

Nov. 29. Murray, Katharine, and James Dawsen. 

Dec. 8. Murray, Mary, and John Polly. 

July 12. Neely, Charles, and Elcy McClenaghan. 

Jan. 29. Park, Esther, and Robert Wilson. 

Oct. 25. Patton, James, and Eleanor Fleming. 

. Patton, John, and Espy. 

Dec. 3. Patterson, Samuel, and Martha Ramsey. 

Dec. 8. Polly, John, and Mary Murray. 

April 18. Porterfield, John, and Sarah Cunningham. 
Dec. 3. Ramsey, Martha, and Samuel Patterson. 

July 14. Ramsey, Samuel, and Alice Maxwell. 

Nov. 8. Richardson, James, and Dorcas Bell. 

May 27. Roan, Margaret, and James Barnett. 

Sept. 23. Robinson, , and George Kelly. 

March 25. Robinson, Jean, and Robert Sturgeon. 

Jan. 28. Robinson, John, and Jean Thompson. 

Sept. 14. Robinson, John, and Sarah Johnston. 

Nov. 5. Robinson, Samuel, and Jean Snodgrass. 

Aug. — . Robinson, Samuel, and Lettice Montgomery. 

April 26. Robinson, Thomas and Jean Hays. 

April 24. Rogers, , and Robert Boyle. 

Oct. 22. Rogers, Margaret, and Samuel Sturgeon. 

April 15. Ross, Agnes, and John Byers. 

Dec. 23. Ross, John, and Isabel Johnston. 

June 23. Ross, Joseph, and Martha McClaneghan. 


Paxtaxg Presbyterian Church. 


, Dec. 



, Oct. 



, Sept. 



, Oct. 



, Marcli 



, Oct. 



, Oct. 






, Oct. 






, Dec. 



, April 




— . 






















































— . 


Marcli 27. 




















March 25. 




Rusk, Robert, and Mary McCrachen. 
Russell, James, and Hannah Blackburn, 
Russell, Joshua, and Jean McClure. 
Sawyers, John, and Jean Allen. 
Sawyers, Thomas, and Margaret McCallen. 
Sawyers, William, and Jean Wilson. 
Scott, William, and Jean Hays. 
Sharp, Edward, and Mary Graham, 
Sharp, Jean, and William McCliutock. 
Sharp, Mary, and Samuel Levy. 
Sharp, William, and Mary Hays. 
Shaw, Hamilton, and Susan McClure. 
Shaw, Moses, and Margaret Sterrat. 
Shields, John, and Jean Kirkpatrick. 
Sherer, Joseph, and Mary McClure. 
Sherer, Mary, and Samuel Cochran. 
Sherer, Mary, and Benj.'n Aiken. 
Sloan, Archibald, and Margaret Sloan. - 
Sloan, Arch., and Mary Craig. 
Sloan, Margaret, and Archibald Sloan. 
Sloan, Wm., and Ma y Luffran. 
Smiley. James, and Eliz. Luffran. 
Smith, Agnes, and James Gregg. -J 
Smith, Rebecca, and Samnel Allen, 
Smith, Peter, and Margaret Brice., Jean, and Samuel Robinson. 
Steele, John, and Margaret McClure. 
Steel, John, and Eliz Cooper 
Sterret, Agnes, and Samuel Hanna. 
Sterrat, David, and Rachel Tunis. 
Sterrat, Margaret, and Moses Shaw. 
Sterrat, Mary, and John Bowman. 
Stevenson, Jean, and John Wilson. 
Stewart, Jean, and John McCallen. 
Stewart. John, and Margaret Stewart. 
Stewart, Margaret, and John Stewart. 
Strain, Janet, and .James McCreight, 
Strain, Jean, and James Andrews- 
Sturgeon, Robert, and Jf^an Robinson. 
Sturgeon, Samuel, and Margaret Rodgers, 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


, Jan. 


, April 


, April 


, Oct. 


, May 


, June 


, April 


, Jan. 


, April 


, Sept. 


, June 


, Oct. 


, April 


, Dec. 


, March 26. 

, April 


, Feb. 

— . 

, July 

— . 

, March 


) July 


, Sept. 


, March 21. 

, Feb. 


, March 21. 

, Aug. 


, May 


, Oct. 


, Nov. 


, April 


, Feb. 

— . 

, Aug. 


, Oct. 


, March 


, Oct. 


, Dec. 


, Oct. 


, Sept. 


, Aug. 


, Aug. 


, Nov. 


SufiFran, Eliz., and James Smiley. 
SuflFran, Mary, and Wm. Sloan. 
Tate, James, and Anne Campbell. 
Taylor, Jean, and Wm. hays. 
Templeton, Ruth, and John Johnston. 
Tilson, Susan, and John Montgomery. 
Thompson, Jean, and Thomas Tompson. 
Thompson, Jean, and John Robinson. 
Thompson, Thomas, and Jean Thompson. 
Todd, Isabel, and John Johnson. 
Tolland, Jean, and Alex. McHargue. 
Townslie, Janet, and Dennis McCormick. 

Trindle, William, and White. 

Trousdale, Jean, and Hugh Bankhead. 
Vanlear, Michael and Mary Brown. 
Vernor, Samuel and Elizabeth Blackburn. 
Walker, Agnes, and Alex. McCuUom. 
Walker, James and Martha Brown. 
Waugh, Janet, and John Montgomery. 
Waugh, Wm. and Jean McClure. 
Welsh, Anne, and John Dorwin. 
Welsh, David, and Margaret Welsh. 
Welsh, James, and Jean Hutchinson. 
Welsh, Margaret, and David Welsh. 
Wharton, James, and Anne Wright. 

White, , and Wm. Trindle. 

White, Agnes, and James McClosky. 
Whitehill, Robert, and Mary Chchran. 
Whitly, Robert, and Janet Cochran. 
Wiley, Mary, and Alex. McKennet. 
Wiley, Thomas, and Margaret Cochraa. 
Wilkie, John, and Margaret McNutt. 
Wishart, John, and Jean McDonald. 
Wilson, Hugh, and Mary Wilson. 
Wilson, Janet, and Thomas Kennedy. 
Wilson, Jane, and Wm. Sawyers. 
Wilson, John, and Janet Guilford. 
Wilson, John, and Martha Herron. 
Wilson, John, and Jean Stevenson. 
Wilson, Joseph, and Mary Ann McKnight. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 




















June ~ 











1762 March 

















Wilson, Katharine, and Andrew Kerr. 
Wilson Margaret, and James Fitzpatrick. 
Wilson, Mary, and Hugh Wilson. 
Wilson, Robert, and Esther Park. 
Wilson, Sarah, and John McClure. 
Woods, Anne, and James Montgomery. 
Woods, Jean, and David Ferguson. 
Woods, Margaret, and Robert Carson. 
Woods, Sarah, and William Clark. 
Wray, David, and Catharine Marrs. 
Wray, Margaret, and Robert Hays. 
Wright, Anne, and James Wharton. 
Wright, Eleanor, and James McMuUen. 
Wright, Margaret, and William Moore. 
Wright, William, and Magaret McCord. 
Young, Joseph, and Mary Miller. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 277 




Dec. 14. Allen, Rebecca, and David Espy. 

May — . Baily, Harriet, and Joseph Burd. 

Sept. 16. Bates, Eliz., and Geo. W. Simmers. 

Dec. 29. Boone, Wm., and Margaret McHargue. 

June 4. Boyd, Wm., and Martha Cowden. 

May 27. Brown, Matthew, and Rebecca McClure. 

May 29. Brooks, Catharine, and Jacob Light. 

May — . Burd, Joseph, and Harriet Bailey. 

— . Campbell, , and Wm. Paxson. 

June 14. Campbell, , and George Kunkel. 

Oct. 81. Carson, Dinah, and John Rodgers. 

Nov. 16. Cochran, John, and Hannah Cowden. 

Jan. 2. Collier, John, and Margaret Rutherford. 

Mar. 24. Cowden, Eliz., and Wm. Gillmor. 

Nov. 16. Cowden, Hannah, and John Cochran. 

June 4. Cowden, Martha, and Wm. Burd. 

May 30. Cowden, Mary, and Joseph Jordan. 

Oct. 29. Crouch, Mary, and Benjamin Jordan, 

May 28. Cummins, Sarah E., and Joseph Wallace. 

Feb. 22. Dickey, Dorcas, and Wm. Larned. 

Nov. 22. Dickey, Esther, and Daniel Elliot. 

June 13. Drisbaugh, Elias, and Rebecca Grove. 

March 6. Duncan, John, and Mary McKinser. 

April 25. Elder, Ann, and Alex. Piper. 

Dec. 8. Elder, David, and Julia Sherer. 

March 2. Elder, John, and Jane Ritchey. 

Oct. 10. Elder, John, and Mary Thompson. 

March 12. Elder, Joshua, and Eleanor Sherer. 

March 17. Elder, Joshua, and Eliza Murray. 

Jan. 1. Elder, Joshua, and Mary Gillmor. 

March 2. Elder, Robert, and Eliz. Sherer. 

June 8. Elder, Robert, and Sarah Sherer. 

Nov. 22. Elliot, Daniel, and Esther Dickey. 

Feb. 28. Espy, Ann, and Abner Rutherford. 

Dec. 14. Espy, David, and Rebecca Allen. 

278 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

1807, June 2. Espy, William, and Susannah Gray. 
1827, Aug. 2. Ewing, Eleanor, and John Nevia. 

1833, Feb. 21. Fallen, George, and Eliza Hatton. 

1827, March 6. Fisher, Eliz., and John McFarland. 
1839, Jan. 1. Gillmor, Mary, and Joshua Elder. 
1812, March 24. Gillmor, Wm., and Eliz. Cowden. 

1820, May 10. Gordon, Mary, and John Hart. 

1821, June 13. Graham, John, and Martha Sherer. 

1837, June 19. Gray, Eliz., and Robert Wilson. 

1838, Sept. 11. Gray, Esther, and James McGaughy. 
1830, June 1. Gray, Jane, and Joseph Gray. 
1830, June 1. Gray, Joseph, and Jane Gray. 

1807, June 2. Gray, Susannah, and Wm. Espy. 
1821, June 13. Grove, Rebecca, and Elias Drisbaugh. 
1838, April 19. Hamacher, John, and Mary Ann Sherer. 
1821, Nov. 8. Hanna, Alex., and Ann Wilson. 

1817, May 20. Harrison, Williamson, and Jane McKinney. 

1820, May 10. Hart, John, and Mary Gordon. 
1833, Feb. 21. Hatton, Eliz., and Geo. Fallen. 

1816, Oct. 15. Henderson, , and Shaw. 

1811, Oct. 29. Jordan, Benj.'n, and Mary Crouch. 

1821. May 30. Jordan, Joseph, and Mary Cowden. 
1836, March 10. Kendig, Daniel, and Sarah Rutherford. 

1832, Jan. 5. Kendig, Martin, and Sarah Seebaugh. 

1825, June 14. Kunkel, George, and Campbell. 

1811, Feb. 22. Larned, VVm., and Dorcas Dickey. 

1809, March 30. Latta, John, and Letitia Stephen. 

1838, May 29. Light, Jacob, and Cath. Brooks. 

1833, June 20. Lingle, John, and Ruth McHargue. 

1828, June 29. Lyon, John, and Jane Maclay. 

1829, March 3. McCammon, Catharine Ann, and Dr. Stough. 

1835, Oct. 1. McCammon, Rachel, and David McKibben. 

1808, June 29. Maclay, Jane, and John Lyon. 

1834, May 27. McClure, Rebecca, and Matthew Brown. 
1827, March 6. McFarland, John, and Eliz. Fisher. 
1838, Sept. II. McGaughy, James, and Esther Gray. 

1818, Dec. 29 McHargue, Margaret, and Wm. Boone. 
1833, June 20. McHargue, Ruth, and John Lingle. 

1835, Oct. 1. McKibben, David, and Rachel McCammon. 

1817, May 20. McKinney, Jane, and Williamson Harrison. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 279 

1823, March 6. McKinser, Mary, and John Duncan. 
1816, June 26. McNitt, Wm., and Maria Musgrave. 

1808, April 4. Moorhead, Wm., and Jane Wilson. 

1829, March 17. Murray, Eliza, and Joshua Elder. 
1816, June 26. Musgrave, Maria, and Wm. McNitt. 
1827, Aug. 2. Nevin, John, and Eleanor Ewing. 

1833, . Paxson, William, and Campbell. 

1816, April 25. Piper, Alex., and Ann Elder. 

1813, March 4. Reid, Thomas, and Agnes Ross. 
1820, March 2. Ritchey, Jane, and John Elder. 
1807, Oct. 31. Rodgers, John, and Dinah Carson. 
1813, March 4. Ross, Agnes, and Thomas Reid. 
1839, Feb. 28. Rutherford, Abner, and Ann Espy. 

1824, Oct. — . Rutherford, Eliza, and John P. Rutherford. 

1824, Oct. — . Rutherford, John P., and Eliza Rutherford. 

1830, Jan. 2. Rutherford, Margaret, and John Collier. 
1834, April 15. Rutherford, Martha, and Hugh Wilson. 
1836, March 17. Rutherford, Mary, and Samuel S. Rutherford. 
1836, March 17. Rutherford, Samuel S., and Mary Rutherford. 

1836, March 10. Rutherford, Sarah, and Daniel Kendig. 

1816, Oct. 15. Shaw, , and Henderson. 

1832, Jan. 5. Seebaugh, Sarah, and Marth Kendig. 
1829, March 12. Sherer, Eleanor, and Joshua E der. 

1820, March 2. Sherer, Eliz., and Robert Elder. 
1813, Dec. — . Sherer, Joseph, and Mary Snodgrass. 

1825, Dec. 8. Sherer, Julia, and David Elder. 

1821, June 13. Sherer, Martha, and John Graham. 
1838, April 19. Sherer, Mary Ann, and John Hamaker. 
1824, June 8. Sherer, Sarah, and Robert Elder. 

1837, Sept. 16. Simmons, George W., and Eliz. Bates. 

1812, March 24. Simmons, Robert, and Sarah Ward. 
1836, March 10. Simonton, Jane, and Michael Whitley. 

1813, Dec. — . Snodgrass, Mary, and Joseph Sherer. 
1816, Feb. 29. Snoddy, Matthew, and Jane Wilson. 

1809, March 30. Stephen, Letitia, and John Latta 

1829, March 3. Stough, Dr. , and Catharine Ann McCammon. 

1826, Oct. 10. Thompson, Mary, and John Elder. 
1816, May 28. Wallace, Joseph, and Sarah E. Cummins. 
1812, March 24. Ward, Sarah, and Robert Simmons. 
1836, March 10. Whitley, Michael, and Jane Simonton. 

280 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

1821, Nov. 8. Wilson, Ann, and Alex. Hanna. 

1834, April 15. Wilson, Hugh, and Martha Rutherford. 

1816, Feb. 29. Wilson, Jane, and Matthew Snoddy. 

1808, April 4. Wilson, Jane, and Wm. Moorhead. 

1837, June 19. Wilson, Robert, and Eliz. Gray. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 281 





Samuel Gray. 


— . 

James Anderson. 
David T. Caldwell. 




Catharine Ann McCammon. 
Polly Bowman. 



James Rutherford. 
Thomas Bell Allison. 



Elizabeth Gray Espy. 



Jane Chamberlaine. 



John Wiggins Smith. 
Thomas Michael Whitley. 



Wallace Calhoun. 



Margaret Rutherford. 
John Wyeth Larned. 




Ann McClure. 
George Ross. 
Catharine Carson. 




Josiah Espy. 
Joseph Ross. 



Mary Rutherford. 



Mary Gray. 




Margaret Mary Hayes. 



John Carson. 



Samuel Rutherford. 
Joseph D. Jones. 



Priscilla Jane McClure. 





Lydia C. Allison. 
Sarah Rutherford. 
Ann Espy. 




George Carson. 



Robert Walker Taylor. 



Isabella Campbell. 




Eleanor Gray. 
Abner Rutherford. 
Andrew Wilson. 

282 Paxtang Presbyterian Church, 



— . 

George Wm. Simmons, 



James Cowden, 
Sophia Carson, 



William Stewart Culbertson. 




Hiram Rutherford, 
Robert Culbertson. 
Isamiah Hayes, 



Cyrus Findley. 




Joseph Cambell, 



Margaret Clifton Jones, 



Esther Gray, 
John Simmons. 
Mary Rutherford, 



John Wallace Cowden. 
Josiah Espy. 




Ira Harris Jones, 
Mary Ann Sher^r. 



William Carson. 
Jacob Carson. 
Mary Ann Hayes. 



Amelia Brady. 






Sarah Wilson Foster. 




Maria Harris Jones. 


— . 

Edward Crouch Jordan. 



Cyrus Green Rutherford. 



William Espy. 
Levi Boon. 
Margaret Cowden. 
James Cowden Gilmore. 
Mary Ann Harrison. 




Jane Whitely Simmons. 



James Sharon Mahargue. 



Martha McClure Foster, 



Harriet Harrison, 




John Richey Elder. 



Harriet Carson. 




Sarah Montgomery Peffer. 
Ira Jones, 
Eliza Jones, 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 283 

May 11. Elizabeth Sherer. 

Nancy Ainsworth Mahargue. 



Thomas Jefferson Jordan. 
Thomas Grier Hood. 


— . 

Ann Maria Espy. 



John Gorden Hart. 



William Kerr Cowden. 
Alexander Boon. 




Sarah Stanley Thomson. 




Samuel Elder. 



Robert Gilchrist Simmons. 




Harriet Newel Cupples. 




William Allen. 

March 27. 





Mary Ann Barret. 



Thomas Wilson BufiBngton. 
Elizabeth Playmaker Buffington. 
Isabella Fulton Buffington. 



David Espy Mo'>re. 



James Cowden Jordan. 



Sarah Elder Cowden. 



William Gilmore. 



Samuel Sherer Elder. 
James Elder. 




David Espy. 



Keziah Hart. 




Samuel Silas Brisbin Rutherford. 
William Swan Rutherford. 



Edward Crouch Cowden. 




Josiah Reed Elder. 


March 20. 

Mary Kerr Wilson. 

Henry Stewart Wilson. 

Daniel Kendig. 

March 27. 

John Alexander Espy. 

Walter Kendig. 

Rebecca Ann McFarland. 

Mary Elizabeth McFarland. 



Miriam Hart. 



John Alexander Rutherford. 

■284 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

1832, March 25. Joha Newton Gray. 

March 29. Rachel Crouch Jordon. 



William Wilson. 



Martha Elder. 




Susannah Margaret Espy. 


Louisa Gray. 



Elizabeth Martha Rutherford. 



Eleanor Jane Wilson. 



James Kendig. 




Benjamin LaFayette Jordan. 




Sarah Margaret Rutherford. 
Mary Lucinda Rutherford. 




Sarah Elder. 



Rebecca Kendig. 



George Fisher. 

Lucinda Margaret McFarland. 



Margaret Mary Wilson. 




Ellen Jane Gray. 




Eliza Jaue Rutherford. 
Mary Lucretia Rutherford. 


March 27. 

Ann Elizabeth Kendig. 

Benjamin Franklin Kendig. 

Louisa Jane Kendig. 

Clara Kendig. 



Edmund Robert Davis. 



Mary Jane Rutherford. 
John N. Wilson. 



Jaue Davis. 

John Davis. 

Mary Jane Whitley. 

Ann Elizabeth Whitley. 

John Stearns Latta. 



John Edmund Rutherford. 



Adaline Margaret Rutherford. 




Mary Elizabeth Hamaker. 



Elizabeth Kendig. 

Sarah Rutherford Kendig. 


March 20. 

William Franklin Rutherford. 



Eleanor Gilchrist Rutherford. 
Martha Matilda Whitley. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 28S 

Nov. 16. Eleanor Amelia Clark. 
1842, May 28. Elizabeth Martha Elder. 
Samuel Parke Rutherford. 
John Marshall Rutherford. 
Jane Eliza Rutherford. 
Hugh Latta. 


1838, June 9. Isabella McNeice. 
1840, May 16. John Hamaker. 

286 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Admitted on Examinations. 

1807, Oct. 18. James Cochran. 

Robt. McClure. 

Mrs. Robt. McClure. 

Nancy Awl. 

Thomas Walker. 

William Calhoun, sen., Added 6, Total 36. 

1808, Oct. 23. Rachel Crouch. 

Arabella Bowman. 
Frederick Hatton. 

1809, Oct — . Mrs. Calhoun. 

Peggy Sherer. 
Sidney Gilchrist. 
Mary Mitchell. 
Robt. Gray. 
Mrs. Robt. Gray. 
Margaret Collier. 
Susannah Collier. 

1810, Aug. 2. Margaret Cowden. 

Esther Dickey. 

1811, Sept. 1. William Espy. 

Susannah Espy, (wife of William Espy. 
Sally Dickey. 

1812, Aug, 23. Patrick Hayes. 

Mrs. Patrick Hayes. 
Elizabeth Gilmore. 
John Allison. 

1813, Oct. — . Betsy Hannah. 

Eliza Hannah. 
John McClure. 

1814, No Communion on account of my poor health. 
IHI.5. Oct. 29. Joseph Sherer. 

Mary Sherer, wife of Joseph Sherer. 
Mary Hannah. 
Jane Wilson. 

Paxtang Pkesbyterian Church. 287 

Sarah "Wilson. 
1816, Oct. 18. Mary Cowden. 

Elizabeth Sherer. 

Martha Sherer. 
1818, Sept. 28, Robert Gilchrist. 

John Foster. 

Mrs. John Foster. 

Jane Whitley. 

Robert Simmons. 

1818, Sept. 28. Mrs. Sarah Simmons, wife of Robert. 

Margaret Gray. 
Margaret Rutherfard. 
Ann Garden. 

1819, May 16. David Espy. 

Mrs. David Espy. 
Mary Whitley. 


Wm. Ainsworth. 
Mrs. Wm. Ainsworth. 
William Calhoun. 
Mary Fulton. 

1820, June 4. John Cochran. 

Williamson Harrison. 
Mrs. Williamson Harrison, 
Oct. 1. Martha Cowden. 

John Elder. 

Jane Elder, wife of John Elder. 
Jane Rutherford. 
Martha Gray. 

1821, Spring Communion — record lost. 
Oct. 7. None by Examination. 

11. Jane Mahargue. 

No Additions. 
25, Alex. Mahargue. 

Mrs. Alex. Mahargue. 
— . No Additions. 
— . No Additions. 
16. Elizabeth Gray. 
19. Agnes Burges. 

Margaret Calhoun. 


















— . 

















— . 


— . 




288 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Jane Peffer. 

Eleanor Sharer. 

Catharine Ann Mc Gammon. 

Mary Rutherford. 

Pricella Barrett. 

Harriet Bailey. 

Margaret McClure. 

Rebecca McClure. 

No Additions. 

No Additions. 

Martha Rutherford. 

No Additions. 
19. John McFarland. 

Elizabeth McFarland, wife of John. 
10. Robert "Wilson. 

No additions. 

No additions, 

Martin Kendi», from Middletown. 

Rachel McCammon, from Middletown. 

Ann Blattenberger, Irom Middletown. 

Catharine McGlerm, from Middletown. 
Oct. 14. Jane Simonton. 

Ann McClure. 

1833, Oct. 10. Elizabeth Espy. 

Mary Gray. 

1834, May 18. No additions. 
Oct. — . Jane McClure. 

1835, June — . No additions. 
Sept. 27. No additions. 

1836, No Spring Communion, because absent at General 

Oct. 9. No additions. 

1837, June 4. Mary Ann Sherer. 
Oct. 15. Ann Espy. 

Mary Gilmore. 

1838, June 9. Isabella McNeice. 
Oct. 13. No additions. 

1839, May 12. No additions. 
Sept. 15. Davis. 

1840, May 17. John Hamaker. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 289 

Ann Elder. 



No additions. 




No additions. 



No additions. 




No additions. 

Admitted on Certifica 




James Taylor. 
Jane Taylor. 
Joseph Cambell. 
Mrs. Josepli Cambell. 




Mrs. Finley. 




Mrs. Sedgwick, Middle Spring. 




John E. Thomson. 




John Buffington. 
Joshua Elder. 




Mary Millerort, Harrisburg. 
Mary Wilson, Harrisburg. 




Mrs. Eliza Latta. 




Mrs. R. R. Elder, Harrisburg. 


Paxtaxg Phesbyterian Church. 


1807, — . Martha Cowden, (alias Boyd.) 

Jane Wilson. 
1812, April 4. John Ross. 

Elizabeth Ross. 
1814, March 5. James Taylor. 

Jane Taylor, his wife. 
Aug. 3. John McClure. 
Aug. 6. William Whitley. 

Mrs. Wm. Whitley. 

1816, April 29. Mrs. Snoddy, (alias Jane Wilson.) 

1817, Sept. 29. James Hannah. 

Mrs. James Hannah. 
Elizabeth Margaret Hannah. 

1820, May 1. Dinah Carson. 

Dec 30. Mrs. Mary Jordan, (alias Cowden.) 
Nov. — . Alexander Hannah. 

Mrs. Ann Hannah, (wife of Alex.' r.) 

1821, April — . Joseph Wilson. 

Mrs. Ann Wilson, wife of Joseph. 
Sarah Wilson, daughter of Joseph. 
Mary Wilson, daughter of Joseph. 

1824, March 27. William Boon. 

Margaret Boon. 

1825, Dec. 20. Julia Sherer. 

1827, June — ■ Samuel Kearsley. 

27. Samuel Hood. 
Rebecca Hood. 

1828, May 5. Catharine Nevin. 
1830, Oct. — . Margaret Collier. 

Dec. 9. John Buffington. 

1833, Oct. 18. Margaret Calhoun. 

1834, April 16. Mrs. Hugh Wilson, (alias Martha Rutherford.) 
Sept. 20. Mrs. Rebecca Brown, (alias Rebecca McClure.) 

183C, March 10. Mrs. Catharine Stough, (Cath. McCammon.) 
Mary Millerort. 
Rachel ^IcCammon. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 291 

June 25. James Simonton. 

Mrs. Ann Simonton, wife of James. 

Ann Kerr, daughter of Robert McClure. 

Mrs. Mary Sherer. 

John Hamaker. 

Mrs. Mary Ann Hamaker, (alias Sherer. ) 

Miss Isabella McNeice. 










292 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


1809, March 8. James Rutherford. 
June — . Mrs. Awl. 

1810, Jan. — . Isabella Larned. 

Feb. — . Margaret Rutherford, communicant. 
Oct. — . James Cowden, communicant. 
1811, . Susanna Rutherford, communicant. 

1813, July 25. Josiah Espy, communicant. 
Aug. 18. Mary Elder, communicant. 

1814, Aug. 12. Ann Stephens, communicant. 

1815, Nov. 25. Mary Fulton, communcant. 

1816, March — . John Allison, communicant. 

April 18, Widow, Elizabeth Gray, communicant. 
Sept. 23. Elizabeth Sherer, communicant. 

1818, Aug. 19. Margaret Cowden, communicant. 
Sept. 29. Robert Elder, an elder. 

Sept. 29. Mrs. McClure, communicant. 

1819, May 30. John Gray, communicant. 
1821, . Margaret Allison, communicant. 

William Calhoun, commu.iicant. 

1822, July 15. James Cochran, communicant. 
July 16. Jane Gray, communicant. 

Peggy Sherer, communicHut. 

1823, Jan. 4. Mary Foster, communicant. 
March 11. Sarah Wilson, communicant. 
April 9. Jane Harrison, communicant. 

1824, March 4. Joseph Sherer, communicant. 
April 17. Williamson Harrison, communicant. 
Aug. 10. John C. Thomson, communicant. 

Margaret Rutherford, communicant. 
1826, Jan. 20, Widow Croucli, communicant. 

Fel). — . Isabella Buffingtou, communicant. 
Feb. 25. Sarah Kearsley, communicant. 

1825, May 24. James Cowden, communicant. 
May 28. Elizabeth Wiggins, communicant. 

1837, Jan. 2. Edward Crouch, an elder. 

March 3. William Calhoun, coiimunicant. 

Paxtang Pbesbytekian Church. 293 

Oct. 19. Robert Elder. 
1829, May 28. David Ritchey, communicant. 
1831, . John Ritchey, an elder. 

1833, Sept. 7. Hannah Calhoun. 

Nov, 26. Samuel Rutherford, an elder. 

1834, Feb. 20. Ann Gordon, communicant. 

Frederick Hatton, communicant. 

1835, Oct. 15. John Gilchrist, sen., communicant. 
Oct. 15. Elizabeth Wilson, communicant. 

1836. . Sarah Elder, (wife of Robert,) communicant. 

1837, April 2. Eleanor Elder, (wife of Joshua,) communicant. 

1839, July — . John McCammon, an elder. 

1836, July 21. Robert McClure, an elder. 

1840, April — . David Espy, communicant. 
July 7. Mary Hatton, communicant. 

1841, Nov. — . Elizabeth Wilson, (wife of Henry,) communicant. 
1841, . Sarah Kendig, communicant. 

1841, . Ann Espy, communicant. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Originally Paxtang congregation owned a tract of twenty acres in 
the shape of a parallelogram, whose length was about three times its 
width. About 1850 a portion of the tract was sold leaving a square of 
six or eight acres, covered largely with forest trees, among which are 
several giant oaks. Near the center of this tract stands the church, the 
parsonage occupies the south-east corner, and between the two lies the 
grave-yard. In early times no distinct limits were set to the burying 
ground, and the people buried their dead anywhere, according to their 
fancy, in the clearing to the south and south-east of the church. 
Graves were seldom marked, and a few have obliterated all trace of 
them. As families became permanent and the number of these graves 
increased, more care was taken, tombstones began to be erected and 
lots fenced in. The want of uniformity, however, in these fences and 
of regularity in the selection of lots rendered the ground very unsightly. 
This state of affairs existed until 1790-1792, when the ground was 
enclosed by a stone wall, the greater portion of which is still standing. 
This wall does not by any means include all the graves of Paxtang. 
It did, however, surround all that were marked by tombstones or 
protected by fences. An effort has been made in the pages immediately 
following to give a correct copy of these tombstones, and brief notes of 
many of those who lie beneath the sacred soil of venerable Paxtang. 


memory of 
her two babes. 
She was 
the regretted con- 
sort of Andrew 


She died August 

22ud 1790 aged 33 


Sacred to the Memory of 
Who departed this life Sept. 26th, 
1793, Aged 66 years, 1 month 
and 20 days. 
This stone is placed over his re- 
mains by his relict and children 
as a testimony of their Regard 
for his many virtues. 
Is lie perhaps your Guardian aneel still, 
O, widow, ehildreu, live as would obey 

his will, 
So shall you join him on that happy sliore 
Where grief or death will visit you no 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 



to the 

memory of 


who departed this life 

March 17th, 1816. 

Aged 46 years. 


Departed this life 

Sept. 7, 1862, 

Aged 66 years, 10 months 

and 28 days. 



Who depar- 
ted this 
Life Oct'r, 10th, 
1787, aged 
67 years. 


memory of 


Who died Feb. 17, 1851, 

In the 79th year of his 



memory of 


Consort of Thomas Brown 

who died Feb. 14, 1854 

In the 77th year of her 


memory of 


Son of Thomas and 

Margaret BROWN 

who died July the 

4th 1822 aged 21 

years and 10 months, 


who died April the 29th 

1835 aged 27 years 

also MARGARET and 


died in their infancy. 


memory of 


Who died Sept. 10, 1821, 

In the 53rd year 

of her age. 


widow of 

Joseph BURD 

Born May 22, 1791, 

Died October 9, 1860. 


memory of 


a Soldier of the 


who departed this life 

March 13, 1822, 

aged 91 years. 

In Memory of 


Died Jan 4, 1850 


Paxtang Phesbyterian Church. 

43 years 9 months & 18 
Yes thou art gone, thy lo^s we mourn, 
And long affliction's tear must flow 
Around thy silent sacred urn 
'Tis all fond memory can bestow. 
Two infant children of 
James & Margaret Bigger. 

In memory of 


wife of 


born July 13, 1806 

died Oct. 29, 1878 

Aged 72 years, S^months 

and 16 days. 

Safe in the arms of Jesus 

Safe in his gentle breast, 
There by his love o'ershaded 
Sweetly my soul shall rest. 


Memory of 

Daughter of 
James & Margaret 


Died May 9, 1846 

Aged 3 Years 9 Mos 

& 7 Days 


Daughter of 

Wm. J & Julia A 


Died Sept 16, 1854 

Aged 5 months 

& 11 davs 

In Memory of 


Wife of John Bigger 

who departed this life 

July the 9th A D 1842 

In the 32nd year ot her age 


three of their children 


Memory of 


who departed this life 

October 10th, 1810, 

in the 74 year 

of his age. 


Memory of 


wife of James Cowden, Sr., 

who departed this life 

Oct. 14, 1848, 

in the 91st year of her age. 


departed this life 

Aug't 19th, A. D. 1818. 

aged 3G years. 


Departed this life 

Jan. 1-5, 1862, 

Aged 75 years, 6 months 

and 21 days. 


wife of 

Matthew B. COWDEN. 

departed this life 

May 16. 1844 

Aged 56 years. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 




the daughter of 

Matthew B. & Mary Cowden 

July 7th, A. D. 1822 

aged 3 years. 

Here Lies 

the body ot 



who died in the 

22d Year of her 

Age upon the 15th 

day of June, 1770. 


memory of 


who departed 

this Life 

the 9th Sept. 


Aged 74 



memory of 


who departed 

this Life 

the 31st of March 


Aged 85 years. 


departed this life 

Feb'ry 2d a d 1826 

aged 71 years. 


memory of 


who departed this life 

May 24th 1794 

aged 66 years. 


memory of 

wife of James Crouch 

who departed this life 

May:24th 1787 

aged 60 years 



memory of 


who departed this life 

on the 2d day of January 1827 

in the 63d year of his age. 

' Bless' d thought, not lost but gone 



memory of 


wife of 


who departed this life 

February 7th 1797 

aged 22 jears 


Born April 16, 1783, 

Died March 2, 1857, 

wife of the 

Hon. Edward Crouch, Dec'd. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 



died July 16 1822 


aged about 80 years 



this Life 


April the 

August 6 1803 

6th 1764 

Aged about 58 years. 

In memory of 


Died November 16 1845 

Aged about 72 years. 

who departed 
this life Feb'y 
ye 26th 1766 


Aged 82 years 

memory of 

Memory of 

wife of 



SEN'R who departed 

Died May 31, 1850 

this life June the 

in the 72d year 

30th 1788 

of her age 

Aged 81 years. 


memory of 


born December 1 

died April 1770 


Memory of 


JUNIOR who departed 

this life 

Aug't the 24th 



Aged 17 years 

Died April 1, 1878 


In the 90th year of 

Memory of 

her age 


'' Well done good and faith- 

departed this life 

ful servant ' ' 

April the 11th 1792 

Aged 82 years 






Departed this life 

who departed this life 

in March 1780 

Oct 1st 1828 

Aged 8 months. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 




Born Jan 16, 1733 

Died December 1799 


Died Aug 14, 1885, 

Aged 41 years, 9 mos 

& 18 days. 

The Body 
the late REV'D JOHN ELDER ^^ 
lies interred under this slab 
he departed this life 
July 17 1792 
Aged 86. 
Sixty years he filled the sacred Char- 
acter of 
a Minister of the Gospel 
fifty six of which he officiated 
in Paxtou 
The practice of piety seconded the 

Which he taught and a most ex- 
emplary life was the best comment 
OQ the Christian Religion. 
The Remains 
of his Daughter GRIZZEL 
who died 18th Sept 1769 
Aged 20 years 
rest with him in the same grave 
The Body 
his first wife MARY 
who departed this life 
June 12, 1749 
Aged 33 years. 


The Body 


his second wife MARY 

who departed this life 

October 3d 1786 

Aged 54 years. 


Born Aug. 13, 1757 

Died Apr. 27, 1811. 


his son 


who departed this life 

Oct 30 1844 

in the 42nd year of his age 

' Blessed are the dead who die in 

the Lord." 

This stone 
designates the Grave 



who died Sept. 29th 1818 

in his 77th year 

During an active and well spent life 

he sustained the 


of an 

Honest Man 


memory of 


Late consort of Robert Elder 

Born October 19th 17oO' 

Died August 18, 1813. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

The Body 



son of 

Robert Elder 

of Indiana 

Lies under this slab 

He died Nov. 11th 1825 

aged 28 

The equanimity of his mind 

"the sincerity of his heart, and 

the correctness of his conduct 

gained for him much 

respect and general etteem. 

The Body 


the late JOSHUA ELDER ESQ^^ 

lies interred under this slab 

He departed this life 

December 5th 1820 

Aged 76. 

In the course of a long and useful 

Life he fiU'd many important public 

Stations, the duties of which he 

Discharged with uprightness and 



His private conduct was marked 

by a Temperance and Regularity 

only equalled by his inflexible 



The Body 


his first wife MARY 

■who departed this life 

November 21st 1782 

Aged 29 years. 


The Body 


his second wife SARAH 

who departed this life 

December 6th 1807 

Aged 45 years. 


memory of 


Who died Oct. 19, 1827, 

Aged 36 years. 


his wife 


Daughter of 

Samuel & Elizabeth Sherer 

Died Feb. 26, 1860 

Aged 65 years. 

"There remainelh therefore a 

rest to the people of God." 

Heb. 4 : 9. 

Sacred to the Memory 



Major 2nd Artillery U. S. Army 

departed this life 

Apr. 6, 1885, 

at Fort Monroe, Va., 

aged 58 years. 

"I am the ressurection and the 



wife of Samuel S. Elder. 
Died Nov. 19th, 1890. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


In memory of 


who died 

May 22d 1809 


40 years. 


memory of 


his wife who died January 

13th 1842 

In the 70th year of her 


Them also which sleep in Jesus 

will God bring with him. 

1st Thess. 4th— c : 16v. 

In memory of 



September 1st 1800 

August 13th 1854. 

In memory of 


Died Jan. 7, 1878 

In the 81st year 

of her age. 


Died Sept. 14, 1851 

in 80th year of her 


In peace may our Mother rest. 


to the memory of 


who departed this life 

Sept. 26th, 1815. 

in the 44th year of his age. 


to the memory of 


who was born 

June 2, 1786 

and died 

July 28, 1850 


74 years, 1 month 

& 26 days. 


To the memory of" 


wife of VVm. ESPY, 

who was born 

June 18, 1782 

Died July 10, 1854, 


72 years & 22 



Memory of 
Died April 5th, 1858, 
Aged 60 years. 


Memory of 


who died 

November 25th, 1836, 

In the 40th year of her 



Second wife of 

Robert R. Elder 

Born March 17, 1806, 

Died Feb. 16, 1862. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


son of 
Robert R. & Sarah 

Born May 2, 1830, 
Died March 8, 1861. 



January 18 1802 

August 25, 1883. 


memory of 


who died 

April 2nd 1887 

in the 35th year of her 



memory of 


who departed this life 

February 26, 1844 
in the 27th year of her 


wife of 

Joshua Elder 

Born May 17, 1816 

Died Oct. 4, 1885. 


Daughter of 

Joshua & Nancy 


Died April 7, 1858. 

Aged 10 months & 14 



son of 
John & Mary J 

Born Jan 1, 1872 
Went home to heaven 
July 22, 1872 


Daughter of 

John & Mary J. 


Born February 5, 1874 

Went home to Heaven 

September 30, 1874 

died September 22 1852 

3 years & 10 

Died Sept. 10, 1852 

7 years 5 mo & 21 d. 

To the memory of 


son of 

Josiah and Mary Espy 

Born April 14, 1847 

Died Dec. 19, 1849. 



of " 


who died 

April 13th 1811 

aged 37 years. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

3 03 


Memory of 


•who died July 26th 1813 

Aged 71 years. 


his wife 


who died 

May 31st 1842 

in the 92nd year of her 

In memory of 


who died April 26 1831 

Aged 50 years 

In memory of 

who died 
April 21st 1840 

Aged 48 years. 

In memory of 
who departed this 
Life August the 12th 
A. D. 1793, aged 16 yrs 
& 16 days. [Remainder un- 


Memory of 


Consort of 

Richard FULTON dec'd 

who departed this life 

Nov'r 23, 1815, 

in the 45th year of her 


In memory of 


who departed 

this life in Nov'r 

1774 age 68 years. 


Memory of 


departed this life 

the 1st of April 1779 

aged 65 years. 

In memory of 


who departed this life 

January 25, 1787, age 28 years. 


Memory of 


Son of Richard FULTON, dec'd, 

who departed this life 

Feb'y 12th, 1825, 

in the 28th year of his 



Memory of 


wife of Richard FULTON 

Died August 18, 1849, 

Aged 36 years. 


Memory of 


Born Aug. 4, 1797, 

Died Feb. 23, 1851, 

Aged 53 years 6 months 

and 19 days. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

Here Lyeth the Bo 


MING was bor 

n in the year 

of our Lord 

1728 and died 

June the 21, 1766. 

Here lieth the Body of 


Late of Paxton 

In the County of Lancaster 

Who departed this life the 25th of 

July 1772 

Aged 76 years. 


died December 18 


in the 52 year of his 



Died June 28ud, 1860 

In the 71st year of her 



memory of 


Born Jan. 21, 1799 

Died Jan. 29, 1873 

aged 74 years and 8 



memory of 



who departed this life 

December 16th 1805 

aged 40 years. 


wife of 


Born June 1. 1789 

Died Sept. 10, 1865 

Aged 76 years 3 mos 

and 9 days 


Born Feb. 18, 1788 

Died March 27, 1857. 



October 14th 1835 

In the 74th year of his 


memory of 


who died March 16 


aged 57 years and 

24 days 


memory of 


Born June 30, 1794 

Died Feby 6, 1848 

53 years 7 months & 6 


To the memory of 


Died April 15, 1854 


58 years. 1 month & 23 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 




May 1874 

aged 72 years. 


memory of 


who died 

On the 10th of June 1825 

In the 76th year of his age 


memory of 


who died 

On the 16th of September 1826 

in the 73d year of her age 


memory of 


who died 

Feby 10th 1839. 

Also of 


son of 

Moses & Isabella 


who died Sept 25th 1793 

in the 17th year of hia 


In memory of 

MARY daughter of 

Moses & Isabella 


who departed this life 

July 80th 1793 in 
the 8th year of his age 


memory of 


who died 

Nov. 13, 1867 

In the 77th year 

of his age 


memory of 


who departed this life 

On the 28th of December 

in the 24th year of his age 


memory of 


who departed this life 

March 10, 1853 

In the 33rd year of her 



memory of 


wife of 

William GILLMOR 

who died Oct 17 1857 

Aged 73 years 6 mos & 20 



memory of 


who departed this life 

April 4th 1837 

in the 18th year 

of his age 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


In memory of 

memory of 

his consort 



who departed this life 

who departed this life 

Jan 29 1855 

April 18th, A. D. 1816, 

Aged 29 years & 27 

Aged 72 years. 


Memory of 



memory of 

Who departed this life 


May 30th, A. D. 1819, 

who died the 28th day of Aug 1856 

in the 66th year of his age 

Aged 68 years. 


his mother 


Memory of 



who departed this life 

in November A. D. 1781. 

Aged 70 years. 

Died February 1785 

Aged about 78 years. 


Also his son 

Memory of 



Died February 25th 1796, 

second wife of 

Aged about 67 years. 

John GRAY dec, 

who died July 17th 1822 


Aged 62 years. 

In memory of 


his mother 

Memory of 



who departed this life 


In October A. D. 1750 

September 13, 1861, 

Aged 50 years. 

Aged 69 years. 



memory of 

Memory of 




who departed this life 

Dec. 6, 1870 

October 13, A. D. 1794, 


in the 60th year of his age. 

74 years. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 



Memory of 



April 27, 1848, 

In the 91st year of hia 



Memory of 


wife of 

Robert GRAY 

Died Aug. 16, 1863 

Aged 91 years 11 mos 

and 3 days. 


memory of 


Daughter of 

Robert & Mary GRAY 


June 28, 1832 

In the 19th year of her 


Memory of 


Born March 17, 1798 

Died Jan. 28, 1857 

Aged 58 years 10 mos 

& 11 ds. 


Born July 22, 1792 

Died Feb. 11, 1873 

Aged 80 years, 6 mos 

and 19 days. 


memory of 

ELIZA. G. [Gray] 

wife of Robert Wilson 

who departed this life 

Nov. 10, 1841 

Aged 37 years & 6 days. 

Died Oct. 21, 1881 

In the 
76th year of his age. 

as a solemn tribute 
of gratitude, lore, and respect 
to the memory of 
the affectionate consort of 
John Graham 
who departed this life 
January 30th A. D. 1824 
aged 54 years, 2 months 
& 27 days 
Her flesh shall slumber in the ground 
Till the last trumpet's joyful sound, 
Then burst the chains with sweet sur- 
And in her Saviour's image rise. 


Memory of SU- 
died Novb'r 25th 1772 



Departed this 

Life June 
the 7th 1779 
aged 49 years 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


to the memory of 


wlio departed this life may 17, 1806, 

in the 24th year of his age. 
On him were fortune's blessing shed, 
And hope sweet prospects gave, 
Too soon the pleasing vision sped 
And vanished in the grave. 

In early youth he fell a prey 
In manhood's opening bloom, 
And left the cheerful light of day, 
For death's untimely gloom. 

Almighty God whose gracious love 
Bestows each blessing given, 
Receive his soul, with thee to prove 
The sacred joys of Heaven. 


memory of 


Who died on the 30th Day of July, 


In the 65th year of his age 

and gave name 

To the Town of Harrisburgh. 

The Remains of 

ELIZABETH '" his first 

and MARY his second wife 

Lie interred with him 

Under this Stone. 


memory of 


Spouse to John 

Hilton who 

departed this life 

Jany. the 8th, 1795 

aged 61 years. 


memory of 
who departed 
this life Feby. 
the 21st, 1784, 
aged 50 years. 

In memory of 

Mary G. 

Consort of James 


who departed this life 

June 17, 1881, 

70y 11m 7d. 


Born October 28, 1825 

Died September 18, 1859 


Second Wife of 

Benjamin JORDAN 

Born October 23, 1798 

Died October 21, 1859 

[Marble obelisk] 
North Side. 


wife of 

Benjamin Jordan 

Born Oct. 23d 1791 

Died Oct. 27th 1846 

South Side. 

Born July 19th 1779 ' 
Died May 24th 1861 
West Side. 

Our Father and Mother 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 



wife of 


Born May 26, 1820 

Died Jan. 2, 1854 


memory of 


■wJbo departed this life 

March 19th 1846 

in the 15th 

Year of her age 



memory of 

2 Infant Sisters 

and one Brother 


memory of 



Died Feb. 19, 1850 

in the 16th year of his 


Memory of 


Departed this Life 

Feb. 20, 1777 

Aged 42 years. 



of Major 


who departed this life 

August 12th 1811 

aged 41 years. 


To the memory of 


who departed this life 

Dec. 9, 1818 

Aged 56 years 

2 mos and 6 dys. 

"Precious in the sight of 

the Lord is the death of 

His Saints." Ps. CXVI. 15. 

Born Jan. 21, 1795 
Died July 14, 1795 

Born Feb. 21, 1797 
Died April 21, 1803 


Memory of 


Relict of John Kean 

who departed this Life 

March 20, 1847 


72 years 9 months & 20 


Precious in the sight of the 

Lord is the death of his 

saints. Ps. 116 : 15. 


Memory of 



Born Feb. 17, 1806, 

Died Oct. 11, 1855. 

aged 49 years 7 months 

& 24 days. 

"The Lord is my Shepherd." 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Memory of 


Born July 5, 1728 

Died May 28, 1801, 

aged 73 years 

An Irishman by birth an American 

at heart - he boldly fought for the 

Liberty of our Country. 


His wife, born ia Ireland 1723, 

Died July 9, 1819 

Aged 98 years. 

Saints Indeed. 


memory of 


who died on the 25th of Feb'y, 

1826, aged 72 years wanting 

30 days, 52 of which time she 

was the faithful wife of 

Samuel Kearsley 

an affectionate mother & pious 

Christian she lived holily & 

and died the death of the righteous. 

Reader, imitate her Example, 

Her smiling clay lies here in death, 

Till God who first did give it breath 

Shall call it far above the sky 

To join her happy soul on high. 

Hallelujah I 


memory of 


who died 

August 10th 1817 

in the 44th year of his age. 


memory of 


late consort 


Doctor Joseph Kelso deceased 

who died 

on the 8th of April 1818 

in the 

34th year of her age- 


memory of 


departed this Life 

Nov. 26, 1788, 

Aged 51 years. 


tribute of respect 

to the memory of 

Dr. Joseph & Elizabeth Kelso's 

three infant children. 


to the 




who departed this Life 

May 22d a. d. 1807 

aged 49 years. 


son of Conrad & Sarah 


Died Nov. 30, 1862 

aged 2 jears 1 month 

and 17 days 

Not lost but gone before. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Our IDA 

Daughter of Conrad & Sarah 


Died June 13, 1876 

aged 1 year 6 mos 

and 11 days. 

Not lost but gone before. 

Our Father 


March 19, 1866, 

In the 78 year 

of his age. 

Our Mother 

wife of 

Jacob Kuhn 


March 27, 1866 

In the 77th year 

of her age. 


Died March 5, 1886 

iged 63 yrs and 29 days. 


memory of 


Relict of 

Wm. Kirkpatrick 

who departed this life 

on the 3d of Nov'r 1802 

in the 77th year 

of her age. 


Memory of 


who was born April 11, 1814 

and departed this life 

March 10, 1843 

Aged 28 years 10 months 

and 29 days. 


Daughter of 

Hon. Wm. Maclay 

Died 30th April 1809. 

in memory of REBEKAH 

daughter of 

Maj. Jonathan KEARSLEY 

who died March 6th, 1825, aged 7 

years 2 months & 25 days 

Children Remember your Creator 

in the days of your youth as 

Rebekah truly did. 

In memory of 


who departed this life 

on the 19th day of 

February 1847 

aged 100 years. 



August 27, 1862 


88 years, 11 mos & 12 days 


departed this life 

October 24th A. D. 1742, 

Reverence for the memory of 

the deceased 

Prompted the erection of this 

Stone A. D. 1845 

By her descendant 

James Peacock. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 



Departed this life 

July the 

14th 1753 

In memory of 


wife of 

William Mateer 

who departed this life 

Auj<u&t 9th, 1833 

In the 48th year of her age. 

In memory of 



who departed 

this life Sept. 2 

aged 20 years 

In memory of 
GOMERY *« who 

departed this 
life Feb. 22, 1776 

aged 71 years 


to the memory of 


late of Harrisburgh 

who departed this life April 16, 1804 

aged 68 years. 

In the death of this valuable 

member of | Society his Country 

has lost an enlighened | citizen and 

his family their only support. | He 

held some of the most honorable 

offices I in Pennsylvania and the 

United States | and discharged their 
duties with firmness | and integri- 
ty. I To an enlarged and superior 
mind he added | the strictest mor- 
ality and served his God | by im- 
proving himself in virtue and 
knowledge. | He has now gone to 
receive a glorious reward | for a 
life spent in honour and unsullied 
by crime. | His afflicted wife and 
children raise this stone over his 
grave and have no consolation but 
I in the remembrance of his vir- 
tues. I 

O'er thy lov'd tomb shall angels bend, 
And true affection tribute pay 

To mourn the Father, Husband, Friend, 
Untimely torn by Death away. 

The' power and honour could not save 
Thy mortal part from Death's abode. 

The ethereal spirit bursts the grave 
And seeks the bosom of its God. 


the memory of 


A lingering distemper 

borne with resignation 

put a period to her life 

on the 19th of April, 1794, 

in the 23d year of her age, 

the duties 

Annexed to her station 

were discharged without 

a blot. 

Her weeping Parents 

have placed over her this stone 

The Monument 

Of her virtues and of 

their affection. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 



to the memory of 


who departed this 

life Nov. 11, A. D. 1796 

Aged 4 years 


wife of 
Hon. Wm. Maclay. 




memory of 

departed this 
life Oct 15, 1784 

aged 69 years. 

SUB W. McEwen 

Died Oct. 29, 1874 

In the 16th year of 

her age. 

Here lies 

the body of 



who departed this 


July 24, 1773, 



who departed this 

Life March 11, 1777, 

Aged 63 years. 


AGNES his first 

Wife who departed 

this Life in August 

1753, aged 38 years. 

In memory 



who departed 

this life Oct 3rd 

1795 aged 

50 years 


memory of 
Died Sept. 26, 1865 
aged 65 years. 


lies the body 




who departed this 

Life Sept. 4th, 1794. 

Aged 29 years. 


85 yrs. 5 ms. and 
5 days. 


memory of 



March 6, 1850. 

In the 61st year 

of her age. 


Paxtang Pkesbyterian Church. 

In memory of 


who departed this life 

July 21st, 1839 

76 years 7 months 

and 3 days 

Them also which sleep in Jesus will 

God bring with him. 1 Thess iy. 14 


Memory of 


who departed this life 

September 29th A D 1845 


73 years 10 months 

and 20 days. 

Precious in the sight of the Lord 

is the death of his Saints. 

Ps. cxvi 15 


Born Feb, 1st 1795 

Died Aug. 16th, 1852 


memory of 


wife of 

Dauiel Macready 

and daughter of 

David & Sarah Pattou 

who departed this life 

Jany 12th 1838 

In the 49th year of her 


To the memory ot 
who died April 21, 1841, 
2 years & 9 months. 
From sorrows blight, from dan- 
ger and temptation God in his 
wisdom took the precious one. 


Memory of 


Daughter of 

Josiah E & Jane McCLURE 

who died 

Feby 3rd A D 1844 

in the 6th year of 

her age. 


son of 

William & Ellen McCLURE 


July 2d 1829 

aged 8 months & 26 days 

born April 6th, 1821, 
died July 2d, 1822, 
" 'Tis God that lifts our com- 
forts high. 
Or sinks them in the grave." 


Died Feb. 9, 1867, 

a'^ed 78 years. 


daughter of 

John and Jane Hamilton 


and relict of 

Gen'l Samuel Power 

Born at New Market 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


then in Dauphin County 

July 30, 1799, 

Died at Harrisburg, 

Oct. 29, 1885. 



April 9 1877 

in the 

54th year of her age. 


memory of 
who departed this life 
Jan'y 10, 1832, 
aged 74 years. 
Dear relations do not weep, 
I am not dead but here to sleep, 
And here my body must remain 
Till Christ shall call me forth again. 


memory of 


wife of 

David Pattou, 

who departed this life 

May 24th, 1835. 

aged 76 years. 

Also her daughter, 


who died Feb'y 9th, 1816, 

aged 19 years. 

Band angels watch this sleeping 

Till Jesus comes to raise the just 
Then may they awake with sweet 

And in their Saviour's Image rise. 


memory of 


Daughter of 

David & Sarah Patton 

who departed this life 

February 20th 1840 
in the 44th year of her 


memory of 


who departed this life 

May 28 1830 

aged 24 years. 



who departed this life 

Sept'r 20th 1800 

aged 22 months. 


memory of 


who departed this 

life April 22d A D 1823 

Aged 71 years. 

Died 1831. 


memory of 


who departed this life 

January 8th A D 1825 

in the 75th year 

of her age. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church, 


memory of 


who departed 

this life June 

the 27, 1783 

Age 26 years 

one month & 20 



Lieth the Body 


who departed this 

life Sept 22nd 1801 

aged 6 months 

and 2 days. 

In memory 



who departed this life 

April 18, 1777 

In the 70th year of his age. 


memory of 


who departed this life 

Aug. 10, 1789 

In the 78th year of her age. 

wife of John Davidson 
Died December 1799 
In the 67th year of her age. 



departed this life 

October 1st, 1804, 

Aged 67. 



Departed this life 

January 18, 1810, 

Aged 73. 


memory of 


who departed this life 

March 6, 1809 

Aged 62 years. 

Also his wife 


who departed this life 

in March 1825. 

Aged 73 years. 


departed this life 

January 8 1760 

Aged 16 years. 


Born Dec. 13 1749 

Died May 2 1785 

Aged 35 years. 



Departed this life 

May 8, 1813, aged 


memory of 
son of John Ruther- 
ford Who Departed 
this life Octr 15th 
1793 aged 26 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 



Memory of 




Nov'r 26th, A. D. 1833, 

in the 65th year of his age. 

Also his son 



April 7th, A. D. 1809, 

Aged 13 months. 


Memory of 



who departed this life 

April 29th, 1843, 
in the 73d year of her 

Memory of 


Died March 10, 1852 

Aged 54 years. 

in Memory of 


who departed this life 

Feb 8th 1851 
in the 26th year of his 

" Will you meet me." 


Second wife of 


Died Aug. 23, 1873 

Aged 82 years. 


Memory of 


who departed this life 

Jan. 7, 1850 

in the 74th year of his 


In Memory of 


died June 17, 1852 

Aged 74 years 

memory of 



May 1st 1832 

in the 59th year of his 


first wife of 
Died Sept 4, 1827 
aged 19 years. 


Memory of 


who departed this life 

Oct. 20, 1857 
in the 48th year of her 


Memory of 


who departed this life 

March 30, 1850 

in the 31st year of his 



Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Daughter of William 


Born June 4, 1817 

Died April 14, 1818. 

Born Sept. 6, 1808. 
Died June 7, 1889. 

Born Feb. 14, 1802 
Died May 12, 1871 


wife of 


Born Oct. 30, 1801 

Died Jan. 30, 1860 


Memory of 


Born Oct. 8, 1810 

Died March 26, 1772 

Aged 61 yearB 5 months 

and 18 days 


Memory of 


wife of 


Born Oct 18, 1816 

Died April 24, 1881 

Aged 64 years 6 months 

and 6 days 

In memory of 
Born Sept. 2, 1847 
Died March 17, 1890 


Daughter of 


Died Jan 1, 1863 

Aged 7 yrs 9 mo 

& 20 days 


son of 


Died Jan. 10, 1863 

Aged 10 yrs 2 mo 

& 26 days. 


Daughter of Wm W. 

& Ellen R. Rutherford 

Died Oct'r 20th, 1841 

Aged 9 months 

& 12 days. 

In memory 



Born March 31, 1814 

Died Sept. 2, 1890 

Aged 76 yrs. 6 mouths 

and 1 day. 


Daughter of 

Abner & Ann 


Died May 5, 1846 


2 years 7 months 

& 18 days. 

Daughter of Abner & 
Born March 16th 1849 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Died Aug 26th 1850 


one year three mo. 

& ten days 

In memory of 

son of 

Abner & Ann 


Died Jan 10, 1855 

Aged 7 years & 18 


Memory of 


Died May 24, 1869 

Aged 27 years 8 mos 

and 20 days. 

In memory of 



Died Dec. 21, 1883. 

Aged 38 years, 3 mos 

and 21 days. 


Memory of 




August 4th, 1804, 

in the 23d year of his 




December 17, 1803 


January 23, 1872 



Born Sept. 3, 1874, 

Died Oct. 8, 1874. 


Daughter of W. F. & A. M. 


Born May 13, 1866 

Died August 29, 1889. 


Born Oct. 30, 1863 

Died Jan 3, 1864 


Memory of 


Born Feb. 8, 1805 

Died Aug 13, 1872 

Aged 67 years 6 mos 

and 5 days 


wife of 

Samuel S. Rutherford 

Born June 14^ 1810 

Died December 14, 1884, 


Memory of 



Samuel S. & Mary A. 


Died Oct 7, 1855 

Aged 4 yrs 1 mo & ld» 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


wife of 


Born Dec 19 1844 

Died April 3, 1882 


Daughter of 
J. E. and N. H. 
Born Oct 7, 1877 
Died Dec. 5, 1881 


wife of 


Died Sept 26, 1874 

Aged 32 years 



Daughter of 

Wm S & J Eliza 


Died July 24, 1864 

Aged 6 months 

and 3 days 


daughter of 

Wm. S. & J. Eliza 


Born Jan. 15, 1870, 

Died Aug. 9, 1870, 



Born July 9, 1873, 

Died July 28, 1873. 


wife of 

John A. Rutherford 

Died Feb. 14, 1880 

In the 46 year 

of her age. 


son of J. A. & L. A. 


Died June 1, 1864 

Aged 20 mos & 6 days 


An infant son. 


eon of J. A. & L. A. 


Died Oct. 14, 1865 

Aged 5 yrs 1 mo 

and 20 days. 


wife of 

John B. Rutherford 

Born Oct. 28, 1810 

Died July 2, 1885, 

Aged 74 yrs 8 mos and 4 days. 

"There remaineth therefore a 

rest to the people of God." 


Daughter of 

J. Q. A. & M. B. 


Born Aug 2 1873 

Died Sept. 21, 1874 

Not lost but gone before. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


In memory of 

and his family 

who settled in Paxtang 

Anno Domini 


As a tribute 

to the virtues 

and worth of 


consort of 

Michael Simpson 

this monument 

has been erected 

She died in 1806 

aged 67 years. 

Mourned and regretted 

by Friends and Relatives 


to the memory of 


who died 

on the first day of June 

A I) 1813 

Aged 73 years 

Sacred to the memory of 

who departed this 

life October 28, 1811 

aged 34 years 9 months 

and 2 days. 


To the memory of 


who departed this life 

March 11th 1826 

aged 67 years 11 months 

& 1 day. 

In memory of 


who Departed 

this Life May the 

1st 1773 

aged 22 years. 


memory of 


who Departed 

this Life April 

30th 1772 
aged 65 years 

In memory of 
who departed 
this Life March 
the 31st 1774 
aged 75 years 


died December 26 1821 

aged 66 years 




& child 

who departed 

this life 

Jan'y 31st 1787 

aged 39 years 

Memory of 
who departed this life 
September 25th, 1782 
in the 37th year of his 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Memory of 


who departed this life 

September 11th 1822 

in the 41st year of his 


Memory of 
who departed this life 
May 27th 1817 
aged 62 years 
[The foregoing is interred be- 
side the Swans and Major Ingram.] 


Memory of 



who departed this life 

July 17th 1822 


34 years 10 months 

and 9 days. 

In memory of 


Died Dec. 1776 

Aged 46 years 


lieth interred 

the body of 


who departed this life 

the 4th day of March 1824 

aged 38 years & 6 months. 


In memory of 


Died April 20, 1800 

Aged 15 years. 


died September 24th 

A D 1816 

Aged 55 years 


Memory of 
consort of Andrew Stephen de- 
Born October 8th 1754 
Died Aug 10 1814 


daughter of 

Joseph & Mary 

SHERER died 

Oct'r 4th 1822 

aged 11 months. 


Memory of 


Died Dec. 3, 1800 

Aged 47 years 

Also in memory of 


son of 

Andrew & Ann E STEPHEN 

Born May 30, 1791 

Died Jan. 12, 1832 

Aged 40 years 7 mos & 12 dys. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 



Memory of 


Twife of 


Born Oct 11, A D 1797 

Died May 29 A D 1855 

Aged 57 years 7 mos 

& 18 d-i. 


memory of 


who died 

March 25, 1831, 

aged 27 years. 


Memory of 


Daughter of 

William & Eliza TRULLINGER, 

Died March 26, 1862, 

Aged 6 years & 6 days. 


daughter of 
William & Eliza 

April 2d, 1842, 


1 year 4 months 

and 1 3 days. 


daughter of 

William & Eliza TRULLINGER, 

Died July 9, 1851, 

10 months & 4 days. 

In Memory of 


Son of 

William & Eliza TRULLINGER, 

Died Aug. 3, 1858, 

Aged 12 years, 10 mon 

& 12 ds. 


Memory of 


Son of 

William & Eliza TRULLINGER, 

Died July 30, 1858, 

Aged 10 years, 6 mo 

& 4 ds. 

In Memory of 


Son of 

William & Eliza 


Died April 26, 1855, 

Aged 10 mo & 15 ds. 

In memory of 

Daniel Weltmer, 

son of John 

& Elizabeth Weltmer, 


Nov 3rd, 1829, 

aged 9 months 

& 10 days. 

In memory l!of 
Nancy Weltmer 
Daughter of Jno. 
& Eliz. Welmer 
died the 1st May, 
1824, aged 2 years 
5 mos & 24 days. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

la Memory of 


who departed this life 

May 1786 age 58 years 



who departed this Life 

Decem'r 23d 1805 age 

31 years 

Here lieth the body of 


who departed this life 

Novem'r 11, 1803 age 

62 years. 

He was beloved by all who knew 

him, lived respected & died 



memory of 


Daughter of Margaret Wallace 

of Franklin county 

who departed this life 

September 22nd 1815 

aged 16 Years 11 months 

and 22 Days. 



son of 

William Wallace, Esq. 

June 7, 1810-July 25, 1862 

and his wife 


April 25, 1812— Dec. 12, 1869. 

In memory of 


who departed 

this Life the 5th 

Day of June 1784 

Aged 68 Years 

In memory of 


SEN'R who Departed this Life the 

12th Day of June 

A D 1794 

Aged 82 years 


memory of 

who died April 18, 1853 

Aged 73 years 1 month 

& 9 days 


to the memory of 


wife of 

Alexander WILLS Esq 

Walton Farm Cumberland- County 

who departed this life 

27th January 1826 

Aged 50 Years & 13 days 

The happy grateful spirit that improves, 

And brightens every gift by fortune 

That wanders where it will with those 

it loves, 
Makes every place a home, and home a 

All these were hers— oh, thou who readst 

this stone, 
When for thyself [illegible] to the sky 
Thou humbly prayest ask this boon 

That ye like her may live, like her may 

Paxtang Presbytekian Church. 


to the memory of 
WILLS who departed 
this life ]8th of 
September 1817 
Aged 4 years 6 m(^nths 
and 13 days. Life how- 
short. Eternity 
how long. 


Daughter of William Maclay 

and wife of William Wallace, 

Died January 2d 1823, 

Aged XLIX. 

Her children place 

Over the grave of their Mother 

this memorial 

Of affection and gratitude, 

that to their welfare 

was consecrated 

a mind of rare power 

Animated by strong feelings 

ennobled by culture 

and softened by Religion. 

" He giveih his beloved sleep." 

Psa. cxxvii : 2. 

late of Harrisburgh, 
who departed this life May 28th, 
In the 46th year of his age. 
The loss of this truly good and 

highly esteemed character 

Will be severely felt both in public 

and private circles, 

For a more useful man nor one of 

more ability could not be 
Taken from society. He was be- 
loved by all, for to every one 
He was benevolent and friendly — 

by his wife, children and 
Connexions he was nearly idolized, 

for they were more 
Intimately acquainted with hia 

worth, and they in anguish 
Of heart now lament this heaviest 

of all affliction. 
"So mourn the father, husband, 

Untimely snatched by Death away." 
This stone is designed as a solemn 

tribute of gratitude 
Love and Respect to his memory 

by his afflicted wife. 
Who in the contemplation of his 

virtues and the blessed 
Reward he is now receiving for 

them derives her only 
Consolation for his loss. 

Here lies the body of 


who departed this life 

January 12. 1804 

aged 26 years. 


memory of 



Nov'er 12 1793 

August 18th 1829 


85 Years 9 Months 

& 6 Days 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


to the memory of 


who departed this life 

January 7th 1831 

Aged 60 years and 9 months. 



his wife who departed this life 

April 12, 1825 aged 63 years, 

and their children 


who died April 6, 1794 aged 3 years 


who died March 17, 1799 aged 10 




who died June 18, 1801 aged 5 



memory of 


who died 

April 1st 1839 

in the 53d year of her 


In memory of 


who departed this life 

March 19, 18-43 

in the 64 year of his 


In memory of 


who departed this life 

Sept. 25, 1843 

in the 23 year of her age 


wife of 

James Walker 

Died Sept. 28, 1885 

Aged 60 yrs and 5 mos. 


memory of 


son of Joseph Wilson, 

who departed this life Nov. 11, 1800, 

In the 50th year of his age. 

He was a valuable member 

of Society, from his youth 

pious, and a living example of that 

resolution — 

"As for me and my house we 

will serve the Lord." 



wife of John WILSON 

who died March 12, 1823 

Aged about 70 years. 

In memory of 


who departed this life in the 

year of our Lord 1759 

Also of 

JOHN WILLSON,son of William 

Who departed this life on the 30th 

day of 
November 180") in the 50th year of 
his age 
A firm believer in the religion of 
Jesus and an | uniform practiser of 
its precepts, he died in the | hope of 
a glorious and happy immortality. 

Paxtakg Presbyterian Church. 


"Death thou hast conquered me 

"I by thy dart am slain, 
"But Christ has conquered thee 

"And I shall rise again." 
Also of MARTHA the only daugh- 
ter of 
Who died on the 28th day of May 
in the 13th year of her age. 
death thou art the king of 
Nor youth nor goodness can avert 
the stroke, 
Nor Parent's hope, nor tears nor 
Arrest thy quick approach. 
"The earthly joys of Parents dear 

"Are with us buried low ; 
"But parents do not shed a tear 
"For God would have it so." 




Lies the body of 


was born Sept. 26, A 


Departed this life April 23d, A. D. 


After a life spent in piety 

In the forty-eighth year of his age. 

He bowed with humble resignation 

to the Divine will 

His distressed wife and only child 

Bereft of his dear society 

are left to deplore the loss 

of a tender husband 

an affectionate father 

a real friend 
and Christian adviser 

In memory of 


departed this life 1810 

March 31 age 29 years 

11 months & 8 days. 

In memory of 

who departed this life 

June 7th 1786 age 45 years. 



who departed this life 

February 11th 1809 aged 

about 54 years 

In memory of 


who departed this life 

January 31, 1808 age 21 

years 6 months & 3 days 



who departed this life 

February 4th, 1819, aged 26 

years & 5 mo. 


Memory of 


consort of 

Robert WILSON, 

who departed this life 

October 19th, A. D. 1835, 


81 years, 1 mouth 

& 15 days. 

" Dust to its narrow home beneath 

Soul to its lace on High." 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


Memory of 


Daughter of 

Robert & Mary 


of Highspire, 

who departed this life 

Sept'r 24th A. D. 1832 


4 years 11 months 

& 9 days 


memory of 


Daughter of 

Robert and Mary S. 

who departed this life 

March 21, 1842 

Aged 6 years 7 mos 

and 6 days. 

In memory of 


Daughter of 

Robert & Eliza G. 


who departed this life 

July 18, 1871 

Aged 31 years 1 mo & 24 



memory of 


departed this life 

March 26, 1878 

In the 86th year of his 


Sacred to the memory 


his wife, the former of 

whom died July 11, 1780 

and the last April 8, 1801 

under this stone are also interred 

the remains of HENRY & 


And since it's so that all must die, 
And death no one doth spare 
So let us all to Jesus fly, 
And seek for refuge there. 


Memory of 


who departed this life 

Oct. 11, 1848, 
In the 62nd year of her 


Memory of 


daughter of Robert WILSON, 

who departed this life 

Sept. 12, 1849, 

Aged 15 years, 10 months & 18 



Memory of 


son of Robert WILSON, 

who departed this life 

Oct. 1, 1855, 

aged 17 years, 9 mouths & 28 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 329 


^ Jacob Awl was born on August 6, 1727, in the North of Ireland. 
He was a tanner, a man of means, and when he came to America, 
settled near his relative John Harrifs, at Harris' Ferry, and erected a 
tannery. Was an Ensign in Col. John Elder's battalion in the frontier 
wars and aided upon the outbreak of the Revolution in organizing the 
associated battalions of Lancaster county. He was a commissioner in 
laying out the county of Dauphin, and trustee appointed by John 
Harris for the public grounds ceded by him at the laying out of the 
town of Harrisburg, for public uses. He was a public spirited man, 
but refused to accept public office. He married Sarah Sturgeon. The 
following from a lady in Ohio, a descendant of the Awls, who said she 
had it from her grandmother, descriptive of the marriage of Joseph 
Green, son of C 1. Timothy Green, of Hanover, and Sarah, second 
daughter of Jacob Awl, may not be out of place in this connection : 
" On the morning of the wedding the party accompanying Mr. Gr^en 
came riding ' down the lane ' to Mr. Awl's house, all in the style of 
the day. The groom wore his hat with three black plumes, long stock- 
ings, knee breeches, &c. It was a gay affair for those days. On the 
Sunday following all went to Mr. Elder's church. Jenny Awl, sister 
of the bride, it seems, was one of the singers for tune raising on that 
occasion. She made her debut, having sent to Philadelphia for a 
handsome pair of stays, which the wore on that day ; but caused some 
stir by fainting and having to be carried out." 

^ William Brown, was born at f ea, June 30, 1720, and was the son 
of John and Hannah Brown, who emigrated from Scotland to Paxtang 
in 1720. He was a prominent actor in Provincial and Revolutionary 
times, a representative man on the frontier, and a zealous Covenanter. 
At his own expense he visited Ireland and Scotland on behalf of his 
religious brethren to procure a supply of ministers, and brought over 
the celebrated Rev. Messrs. Lind and Dobbin, who subsequently, with 
the Rev. John Cuthbertson, organized at Paxtang, at the little church 
built by him near his residence, the Reformed Presbyterian Presbytery 
of America. Brown's church was situated on the Jonestown road near 
the present school-house, and until within a few years the foundations 
were distinctly visible. There was no grave-yard attached to the church, 

330 Paxtang Presbytekian Church. 

the Browns and other members burying in Paxtang. It was occupied 
as a church for less than twenty years, when, from an item in the 
Oracle of Dauphin, we learn that " on the 11th of September, 1795, 
James Byers and James Wilson, Executors of William Brown, Esq., 
of Paxtang, offered for sale a log house, near the residence of Mr. 
Brown, formerly occupied as a house of worship by the Rev. Matthew 
Lind," and it was then sold. Mr. Brown represented Paxtang at the 
meeting of the General Committee at Lancaster in 1774, was a mem 
ber of the Assembly in 1776, and during its sessions proposed the 
general Emancipation of slaves within the Commonwealth, a measure 
not very favorably received at the time, but subsequently adopted. He 
served again in the Assembly in 1784 ; was a member of the Board of 
Property in 1785, a Commissioner to superintend the drawing of the 
Donation Land Lottery in 1786. He was an active and public spirited 
citizen, of unquestioned piety, and kind-hearted and generous. The 
Rev. Matthew Brown, D. D., first President of Washington College, 
and afterwards President of Jefferson College, was adopted and educat- 
ed by him. He was a son of his brother Matthew. 

^ Thomas Brown was a son of Matthew Brown, born in White Deer, 
Northumberland county ; married Margaret Ainsworth, and died on 
the old Brown homestead. 

* John Brisban was a native of county Tyrone, Ireland, and was born 
December 25, 1730. He emigrated with a brother to this country, 
about the beginning of the French war, and was with Gen. Wolfe on 
the Plains of Abraham, for which he received a grant of land from 
George III. He early espoused the Colonial cause, and was a Captain 
in the Second Pennsylvania battalion, and was in active service in 
Canada. At the close of that campaign was transferred to the Third 
Regiment of the Pennsylvania Line, resigning in 1777. He subse- 
quently returned to the service, and remained to the end of the Revolu- 
tion. He died at the residence of his son-in-law, Samuel Rutherford, 
near Harrisburg. 

* James Bigger was first a school teacher, but in 1834 took charge 
of the famous tavern, located on the turnpike, near where the late 
Margaret Rutherford lived, known as the Green Tree, and continued 
to dispense hospitality to the traveling public until his death, when the 
business was continued by his widow for a number of years. The hotel 
is no longer in existence. 

* James Cowden was born in Paxtang, June 16, 1737, and followed 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 331 

the life of a farmer ; was an early advocate of Independence, and one 
of the leading spirits at the meeting at Middletown in 1774, of which 
Colonel James Burd was chairman, and after which, raising a battalion 
of Associators, he was made Captain of a company. His company, al- 
though not belonging to the Pennsylvania line, did faithful service at 
Fort Washington, in the Jerseys, at Brandy wine and Cermantown, and 
in the war on the Northern and Western borders. At the close of the 
war he returned to his farm, He was appointed a justice of the peace 
in 1793, and held the office until appointed associate judge in 1795. In 
1809 he was a Presidential elector, and an ardent supporter of Madison. 
He married Mary, daughter of Col. James Crouch. 

^ Mathew B. Cowden was elected an Associate Judge in 1848, was 
highly respected, and of great influence in the county. 

^ James Collier came to Pennsylvania from the Province of Ulster, 
Ireland, about the year 1740. He served in the French and Indian 
war. His son, Captain James Collier, of the Revolutionary army, 
removed to Ohio, where he died. 

^ James Crouch was born in Virginia in 1728, removed to Walnut 
Hill, near Higbspire, before the Revolutionary War, in which he was a 
sergeant in Captain Smith's company, serving in the expedition against 
Quebec, where he was captured. After his release he became an officer 
of the Associators, and subsequently paymaster of the battalion. He 
served during the whole of the war with honor and distinction. Col- 
onel Crouch married, Sept. 22, 1757, Hannah Brown, born 1727, died 
May 24, 1787. 

^^ Edward Crouch was born at Walnut Hill, Nov. 9, 1764. A ruling 
Elder in Paxtang church, a soldier of the Revolution, a member of the 
Assembly from 1804 to 1806, a Presidental elector, an associate judge of 
Dauphin county, and a member of the Thirteenth Congress. He was 
a merchant, and married Margaret, daughter of General James Potter, 
of the Revolution. 

^^ James Cochran, probably the son of Andrew Cochran, was born 
in 1742 ; was a private in Capt. Rutherford's company of Associators 
in 1776, and married Nov. 22, 1770, Mary Montgomery. 

^^ John Cochran married Hannah Cowden. 

^^ John Duncan was one of the early settlers in Paxtang. He left 
two daughters, one of whom married Ritchey, and the other, Elizabeth, 
married John Hilton. He was overseer of roads in 1765. 

332 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

"John D. Durkees, was from "Norwich in the County of New 
London and State of Connecticut." 

^^ Rev. John Elder was the son of Robert Elder, who was born 
about 1679, in Scotland, emigrated from Lough Neagh, County Antrim, 
Ireland, where he had previously settled, to America, about 1730, loca 
ting in Paxtang, on a tract of land near the first ridge of the Kittoch- 
tinny mountains, five miles north of Harrisburg. He died July 28, 
1746, and is buried in Paxtang grave-yard. While resident in Edin- 
burgh in 1706, John, the famous pastor of Paxtang, was born, who 
received a classical education and graduated from the university in tliat 
city. There, too, he subsequently studied divinity, and in 1732 was 
licensed to preach. In 1736 he followed his parents to America and 
to Paxtang, where, on the 12th of April, 1737, he accepted a call to 
the pastorate of Paxtang church, and on the 22d of November follow- 
ing was ordained and installed, the Rev. Samuel Black presiding. 

^® John Elder was the second son of Rev. John Elder. He served 
in the Revolution as an ensign in Colonel Burd's battalion, was deputy 
surveyor in 1780, and sheriff of Dauphin county from 1794 to 1797. 
He was an enterprising man, erecting the first steel plant in the State 
at Middletown. He married Elizabeth, a daughter of Jacob Awl, of 

" Robert Elder, the eldest son of Rev. John Elder and Mary Baker, 
was born at Paxtang June 11, 1742, and educated at the academy in 
Chester county, and was destined by his father for the ministry. The 
French and Indian war breaking out, he enlisted as a ranger on the 
frontier, and afterwards entered the revolutionary army, succeeding 
Col. Burd in the command of the companies raised in Paxtang. At 
the close of the war he followed farming, preferring that to public office. 
He was a ruling elder of Paxtang church. He married Mary J. 
Thompson, of Derry, who died in 1813. 

^^ Joshua Elder was the second son of Rev. John Elder and Mary 
Baker. During the frontier troubles of 1763-64 he was in active mili- 
tary service. During the revolution he was a leader on the patriot 
side, and one of the sub lieutenants, as also a justice of the peace, 
serving until the close of the war. He was active in the formation of 
Dauphin county, and Governor MifHin appointed him an associate 
judge in 1791, and Governor McKeau prothonotary, which latter office 
he occupied from 1800 t > 1809. In 1810 he was elected burgess of 
Harrisburg, Judge Elder was twice married --first to Mary McAllister, 
and secondly to Sarah McAllister. 

Paxtang Pkesbyterian Church. 333 

^^ Samuel Sheber Elder entered U. S. Army in 1853 as a private; 
appointed second lieutenant First Artillery March 23, 1861 ; promoted 
first lieutenant May 14, 1861 ; brevet captain Sept. 17, 1862 ; captain 
August 1, 1863 ; brevet major Feb. 20, 1864, and brevet lieutenant- 
colonel May 15, 1864. He married Elizabeth Garland, of Henderson, 

'^^ Samuel Elder, son of Rev. John Elder and Mary Simpson, was 
born Feb. 27, 1772, in Paxtang; was educated in Paxtang school; a 
soldier in the whiskey insurrection ; sheriff of the county, 1800-1803. 
The newspapers of the day speak in the warmest terms of his faithful- 
ness as a public officer and his worth as a private citizen. He married, 
March 7, 1793, Margaret Espy. 

^^ William Espy married, June 2, 1807, Susanna Gray, daughter of 
Joseph Gray and Elizabeth Forster. 

^^ Robert R. Elder was a ruling elder in Paxtang church. He 
was twice married — first, Sarah Sherer ; second, Elizabeth Galbraith 

*^ Joshua Elder was a ruling elder in Paxtang church. 

^^ Ann Kirkpatrick, daughter of William and Margaret Kirkpatrick. 

'^ Doctor Espy was a physician of ability — studied with Dr. White- 
side. Subsequently entering into the practice of his profession with 
him in Harrisburg. He died unmarried. 

'■^^ David Espy was a precentor in Paxtang church for many years. 

^"Richard Fulton, was born in Londonderry, Ireland, in 1706; 
came to America in 1722, with relatives, and was among the earliest 
settlers at Paxtang. His farm was situated at the Susquehanna river 
just below Harrisburg, a portion of it being now included within the 
city limits. His will was probated at Lancaster in 1774, of which his 
son in-law Moses Wallace, and Hugh Wilson, were the executors ; his 
plantation was valued at £1,540, and his farming implements, &c., at 
£340, 6 s. 6 d. He married in December, 1744, Isabel McChesney. 

^^ Thomas Forster, 1st., was a native of county Antrim, Ireland, ot 
Scotch parentage, born in 1696. He emigrated to America at an early 
period, and was among the first to take up land in Paxtang ; he was a 
man of means, had received a good education, and was for many years 
one of the Provincial magistrates. He was ousted because of his refusal 
to oust some squatters from Proprietary lands. Was much interested 
in the establishment of Paxtang church. During the Indian troubles 

334 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

he was active in the defense of the borders. He was never married. 
His estate went to his brother John and nephew Thomas. 

^^JoHN Gilchrist, although but fifteen years of age, served in the 
company of Col. Burd's battalion of Associators, in which his father, 
John Gilchris-t, was first lieutenant, and was among those captured at 
Fort Washington on its surrender in November, 1776. After the Revo- 
lution he took great interest in military matters and rose to the position 
of Major. 

^° Moses Gillmob was born in Ulster, Ireland, 1749 ; in 1766 he 
canie to Hanover, but returned to Ireland before the Revolutionary 
war, where he remained until 1783, when he returned, and in 1784 
married Isabella, third daughter of Robert and Mary Wallace, of 
Hanover. Upon the laying out of Harrisburg he located on Market 
square as a merchant. He was prominent in local political aSairs, 
and in the church of which he was one of the founders, the Market 
Square Presbyterian, he was a ruling elder from 1794 to 1825. 

^^ Robert Gillmor was the son of Moses Gillmor and the last of 
his family in the male line. He learned the trade of a watchmaker, 
but his father leaving him a competency, he never went into business. 
He was unmarried and died on his farm one mile north of Progress. 

^^JoHN Gray, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1698, 
emigrated to America about 1730, locating first at Chester, and sub- 
sequently at Paxtang. He was one of the pioneers during the French 
and Indian war, (1755-1764,) was captain of a rifle company in Col. 
Elder's batallion, subsequently, Col. Asher Clayton's. Captain Gray 
was twice married, first, in 1730, to Susan Armstrong, and second, in 
1753, to Hannah Stevenson Semple, widow of George Semple. The 
original farm owned by John Gray, was, upon his death, divided into 
four tracts, and remains in that shape to the present. These tracts 
were severally inherited by Joseph, George, Robert, and John. 
George dying unmarried, his farm passed out of the family, Joseph's is 
owned by his grandson, Josiah Espy, John's by his grandson, Newton 
Gray, and Robert's by his granddaughter, Mrs. Mary Jane Bigham. 

^^ On grave-stone of her son Joseph. 

^* Robert Gray, son of John Gray, was born in Paxtang in 1757. 
He served in the war of the Revolution, and was in the half-starved 
and illy-clad army of Washington during the cantonment at Valley 
Forge. His stories of the hardships endured during the struggle for 
independence were very interesting. He lived a long and honorable 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 335 

life, and was the last of that gallant band of heroes of "seventy six," 
in this locality. He married Mary Rutherford, daughter of Captain 
John Rutherford and Margaret Parke, and had thirteen children. 

^^JoHN GoLATJGHER, son of John, was born in Ireland; came to 
America with his parents early in life ; and married a daughter of 
Robert Montgomery. His sons settled on Pine creek, Northumber- 
land, now Lycoming county, Pennsylvania. 

^® John Harris, the Founder, was the son of an Englishman of the 
same name, who made the first known white settlement at the place 
afterwards known as Harris' Perry, in 1707, and who, in December, 
1733, obtained from the proprietaries of Pennsylvania a grant of three 
hundred acres of land near his residence. He carried on a considera- 
ble trade with the Indians of the vicinity. In 1753, the Penn's granted 
to his son John Harris, the Founder, the right to establish a ferry. In 
1784 the town was laid out, and it became the seat of justice of the new 
ceunty, called Dauphin, after the French crown prince. As John 
Harris had laid out the town, and oflFered lots therein for county pur- 
poses, he was accorded the privilege of naming it. 

^'' Elizabeth Harris, the daughter of Richard McClure, of Paxtang, 
was born in 1729, and died in 1764, and was a woman of undoubted 
energy and courage. Two incidents told of her illustrate this : The 
house was surrounded with a stockade, and one night the gate being 
left open an Indian entered and thrust his rifle through one of the port 
holes, pointing it at an English officer present. The night being damp 
the gun flashed. Instantly Mrs. Harris blew out the candle to prevent 
the Indian shooting a second time and he retreated. On another occa- 
sion a servant going up stairs on an errand with a piece of candle 
without a candle stick and coming down without it, Mrs. Harris asked 
what she had done with it, the reply was she had stuck it in the barrel 
of flaxseed. This, however, happened to be a barrel of powder. Mrs. 
Harris instantly arose and without saying a word went up stairs and 
carefully removed the candle. 

^^ Benjamin Jordan was born on the ground where Milton now 
stands ; between 1805 and 1808 he engaged in the book publishing 
business, in Lancaster, and assisted in editing the Intelligencer. In 
1808 he was appointed weighmaster of the port of Philadelphia. In 
1816 he resigned and came to Walnut Hill, now owned by Mr. John 
Motter, in Dauphin county, to reside. Mr. Jordan represented the 
Dauphin district in the State Senate, 1846-1850. He was for many 

■336 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

years precentor of Paxtang church. October 29, 1811, he married 
Mary, daughter of Edward Crouch and Margaret Potter. 

^® James Ingram, son of "William Ingram, a hero of the revolution, 
was an important personage in the early decades of Harrisburg history, 
and was a major of one of the militia battalions. One of his daughters 
became the wife of the late William Dick Boas, the journalist. 

*" General John Kean was one of the earliest settlers of Harrisburg, 
one of the first judges of Dauphin county, a county commissioner for 
eight years, twice Senator from Dauphin iand Berks, register general of 
Pennsylvania, Presidential elector in 1800, voting for Jefferson, and a 
justice of the peace at Harrisburg. In 1780 he entered the army, and 
was with it until the surrender at Yorktown. He was one of the most 
active and influential of the early citizens of Harrisburg. He was twice 
married — first, in 1786, Mary Whitehill ; secondly, Jane Hamilton- 
He left no male descendants. 

*^ John Kean came to America in 1742, and served as a captain in 
the revolutionary army. 

^"^ William Kelso was the son of Joseph Kelso, one of the first set- 
tlers west of the Susquehanna, who established the west side of Har- 
ris Ferry, which went by the name of Kelso's Ferry. The ferry-house 
•erected prior to 1730 yet remains, although badly damaged by the 
flood of 1889. It is the oldest building in existence in the Cumberland 
Valley. The Kelsos of Erie are descended from this family. 

''^ Jacob Kuhn was for many years a resident of Harrisburg, where 
he followed his trade as a cabinet-maker. At one time he was a stew - 
ard at the almshouse. 

*^ George Kithn, son of Jacob, was a native of Dauphin county, and 
in 1853 was elected a teacher in the public schools of Harrisburg, hold- 
iug the position for twenty-seven years, and in his time imparting the 
rudiments of an education to many men whe are now promioent in all 
circles of life. 

*^ George Lorrett, was born September 15, 1773, on the farm now 
owned by John Matter, in Lower Swatara township, Dauphin county, 
and usually called the "Jordan Farm." His mother was a slave, and 
owned by the Crouches, who were one of the first families to own slaves 
within the confines of the Capital county, aud were owners of a large 
number. After the death of Mr. Crouch, the mother of George Lor- 
rett became the property of Benjamin Jordan, Crouch's son-in-law. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 337 

also George her son. George was a favorite of his master's family, and 
was industrious and frugal, so that at an early day he was one of the 
first black or African men to own realty in Dauphin county. When he 
died he was the last slave in the county, as he had never been set free 
by his master, Benjamin Jordan, although his freedom had been oflFered 
to him time and again, but always refused. At one time when Mr. J. 
asked him why he would not accept his freedom, as he was now the pos- 
sessor of a small plantation, he replied " Massey, dis I'se got to- 
day — to-morrow it may be gon, den I'se can go back to my massa, but 
if I'se free, you not take me." He invariably went by the nick-name 
of "King George," very rarely by that of "Black George." The 
euphonious title he secured by reason of his owning a small parcel ot 
land, and not allowing the other people of his race to associate with or 
visit him, believing them to be inferior to himself. The land which he 
owned lies about one and a half miles N. E. of Middletown, and now 
owned by Jacob Ebersole. When Lucy and George Lorrett died, they 
were buried on his plantation, a short distance to the rear of the house, 
which was surrounded by a neat wire fence, where their bodies lay un- 
disturbed until the year 1888, when Mr. Ebersole secured permission 
from the elders and trustees of the old Paxtang Meeting-House to re- 
inter their bodies within that ancient enclosure. For be it remembered, 
that " King George," or George Lorrett, was a communicant of "The 
Paxtang." All glory to the privilege granted by these devoted " blue- 
stockings." — E. w. s. p. 

*® Robert Montgomery was born in the parish of Ballymore, county 
Armagh, Ireland. He emigrated to Pennsylvania about the year 1737, 
as the date of his certificate is May of that year. His descendants 
settled in Northumberland county. 

" William Maclay, the son of Charles Maclay and Eleanor Query, 
was born July 20, 1737, in Chester county. He was educated at Rev. 
John Blair's classical school, was an ensign in the Pennsylvania bat- 
talion during the Indian war, and promoted lieutenant 1758 ; distin- 
guished himself in the Forbes' expedition ; in 1763 was in the fight 
at Bushy Run, and commanded a company on the line of the stockade 
forts on the route to Fort Pitt. For his services he was given a grant 
of land. Studied law and was admitted at York in 1760. In 1772 he 
laid out the town of Sunbury. In the Revolution participated in the 
battles of Trenton and Princeton, and held the position of commissary 
of purchases. In 1781 was elected to the Assembly, and from that 
time held various offices in the State. In January, 1789, he was 

338 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

elected to the United States Senate, taking his seat there as the first 
Senator from Pennsylvania. He differed with Washington, and ob- 
jected to the presence of the President oa the floor of the Senate 
during the transaction of business. While in the Senate he preserved 
notes of debates, and criticised private and public customs of the 
statesmen of the period, now famous as Maclay's Diary. He erected 
the stone mansion now occupied as the Harrisburg Academy. He 
was a strong man in his day ; able, independent, and courageous. 
He married Mary McClure Harris, daughter of John Harris the 

*^ William Murray married Isabella Lindley, of Scotland. After 
settling in Pennsylvania, he followed farming and held no political po- 
sitions save local ones. He did not live long enough to witness the 
struggle for Independence, but several of his sons were active partici- 
pants on the side of his adopted country. Of these, James was captain 
of a company that was in the service in 1776 and John was commis- 
sioned, March 7, 1776, captain of a rifle company in Col. Miles' regi- 
ment and rose successively to major, first major, and lieutenant colonel, 
and remained in the army until it was disbanded in 1783. 

*^ Henry McKinney, son of John McKinney, an early settler from 
the north of Ireland, where the son was born, was an Overseer of the 
Poor in 1771, and served in the Revolutionary Army. 

^^ John Means was a member of Capt. Murray's Company, Pennsyl- 
vania Rifle Battalion, in the Revolution. 

^^ Robert McClure was a ruling elder in Paxtang Church, and 
county commissioner at the time of his death. In a notice of him made 
at the time, the writer said of hira ; " He was one of those men who, while 
indulging in no prerensions, abounded ever in good works — a Christian 
who exhibited his faith in God by his acts toward men — and one of 
those steady-minded citizens whose example has a large influence on 
the patriotism and prosperity of the community in which they live." 

^^ Robert McClure was a prominent member, and a ruling elder in 
Paxtang Church, Although young when the Revolution took place, 
he was in active service at Brandywine, Gerraantown, and Monmouth. 

^^ Alderman Peffer was more generally known to the people of 
Dauphin county than almost any other within her borders. He was an 
officer in the War of 1812, and commanded a company on the frontier* 
and it was said that no braver man was to be fonnd in the service. He 
was County Commissioner, 1848-1850 ; was a prison inspector, and 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 339 

secretary of the board ; a notary public, and at the time of his death, 
an alderman in the city of Harrisburg. 

^* David Patton was the son of David Patton, Sr., an emigrant from 
north of Ireland. He was a native of Paxtang, and was quite promi- 
nent in church affairs. The father was an elder in the Old Church. 

^^ John Ritchet died in 1831. He was a ruling elder in Paxtang 
Church ; was a prominent and wealthy member of the community in 
which he lived ; honored and esteemed by all. Margaret, his wife, a 
cultured, refined woman of strong Christian character, was devoted 
through her life to the promotion of the cause of Christ. 

^"Thomas Rutherford, was born June 24, 1707, and baptised by 
the Rev. John McClave, in the parish of Derry-lousan, county of 
Tyrone. He emigrated to America in 1729, going to Donegal, in Lan- 
caster county, in pursuit of Jean Murdoch, whose family had preceded 
him, and with whom he had had an understanding before either left Ire- 
land. They were married on the 7th of September, 1730, by Rev. 
James Anderson, and after the death of John Murdoch, father of Jean, 
in 1744, he removed about 1750 to Paxtang, and was the ancestor of the 
Rutherfords of Paxtang valley. 

°^ Jean (Murdoch) Rutherford, came to America in 1728, and be- 
came the wife of Thomas in September, 1730. 

^^ Captain Rutherford commanded the company in the Revolution- 
ary war that assembled at Middletown on the 12th of August, 1777, and 
participated in the campaign in the Jerseys and on the Brandywine, 
and in 1779 marched with a company to Bedford to protect the 
border, and remained six weeks. 

^^ Samuel Rutherford was a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary army. 

®" Samuel Rutherford was a ruling elder in Paxtang church. 

®^ John Rutherford was a surveyor, and in 1817 a member of the 
Pennsylvania Assemblj'. 

®^ Col. Rutherford was for many years prominent in the military and 
political affairs of the State, and was a member of the House of Rep- 
resentatives 1809-1821 and 1829-1831- 

®^ Capt. Rutherford held many places of public trust ; was superin- 
tendent of the Wiconisco canal in 1837, an auditor of the county, a 
jury commissioner, vice president and treasurer of the State Agricul- 
tural Society, and during the rebellion a quartermaster in the army. 
Dr. Egle says of him : ''He was a strong anti-slavery advocate, as were 

340 Paxtang Pkesbyterian Church. 

all his family, and many a weary pilgrim in the days of the fugitive 
slave act, sore of foot and heart, fouad in Capt. Rutherford hospitable 
assistance, material aid, and manly encouragement." He married 
Eliza, daughter of Samuel Rutherford. 

^* Samuel RuTHERroRD was the son of "William, who began farming 
in Ross county, Ohio, in 1839, but upon the death of his father, in 1850, 
returned to Paxtang and became the owner of the homestead, which 
has been in the family since 1763. 

^'' Abner Rutherford was for many years a prominent citizen of the 
State ; from 1835 to 1841 he was captain of the Tenth company, 98th 
regiment, Pennsylvania militia ; he was one of the founders of the 
State Agricultural Society, of which he was vice-president for many 
years, and during the last fifteen years of his life president of the 
First National Bank of Hummelstown. In early life he joined the anti- 
slavery society of Pennsylvania, and was a consistent member until the 
work was finished by the war of the rebellion. 

®^ In early life Samuel Rutherford was one of the masters in the 
school connected with Paxtang church ; he was one of the founders of 
the State Agricultural Society, of which he remained a member during 
his life. He was an earnest opponent of slavery, and for many years 
a member of the Anti-slavery Society of Pennsylvania. The farm upon 
which he spent his whole life was a part of the original tract purchased 
by Thomas Rutherford in 1755. 

^'' Michael Simpson, the son of Thomas, the pioneer, was a 
farmer of limited educa ion ; when the Indian forays following the de- 
feat of Braddock spread dismay and desolation along the frontiers, he 
became an ensign in the provincial service, and served under Forbes 
and Bouquet, and in the expedition which brought peace to the settle- 
ment. At the outset of the Revolution he was a lieutenant of Captain 
Matthew Smith's company, and was attached to the Quebec expedi- 
tion under Arnold ; was subsequently first lieutenant. First Pennsyl- 
vania, and was in command of his company at the battle of Long 
Island. December, 1776, commissioned captain, and as such was in the 
battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, and White 
Plains. He was not retired until 1781, and served his country and its 
cause faithfully and well. Subsequently, as brigadier general of the 
militia, he was known as General Simpson. He was of aristocratic 
bearing, and yet much loved and respected. 

""Jeremiah Sturgeon was the son of Jeremiah Sturgeon, one of the 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 341 

earliest settlers in Paxtang. He was a substantial pioneer farmer, 
and quite prominent in military circles, in the old time "battalion 

^^ Andrew Stewart and his wife came from Scotland, prior to 1740. 
He was a Covenanter of the most rigid faith, and the earliest of the 
Reformed Presbyterians in America. On the organization of the Cove- 
nanter church at Paxtang, he and his wife became members. Rev. 
John Cuthbertson frequently tarried at his house while on his mis- 
sionary tours, and in his diary under date of August, 1751, notes the 
baptism of Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew Stewart. But little is known 
of this hardy pioneer, save that in his day and generation he was ever 
faithful to the Solemn League and Covenant. 

™ Samuel Sherer, was the son of Captain Joseph Sherer. The latter 
came with his father from Londonderry, L-eland, in 1734. and located 
in Paxtang. 

'^ William Swan, of an English family, which came over about 1750 
and settled in the Hanover's and at Paxtang. 

''^ Captain Joseph Sherer, the son of Samuel Sherer, was a native 
of the North of Ireland, born in 1731. His parents came to America 
in 1734, locating in Paxtang. He was the recipient of an ordinary 
English education, and was brought up as a farmer. During the 
French and Indian war he served as a nun-commisaioned officer. At 
the commencement of the Revolution he commanded a company in 
Col. Burd's battalion. Captain Sherer was a member of the Lancaster 
committee, and a member of the first Constitutional Convention of the 
State, which met in Philadelphia July 15, 1776. He married February 
6, 1759, Mary McClure, had eight children : Mary, married Samuel 
Cochran ; Samuel, John, Jean, Richard, Joseph, William, and Cath- 
arine. Captain Sherer was a man of influence on the frontiers prior to 
the Revolution, brave, energetic, and spirited. 

''^ Rev. Dr. Wallace was born in Erie. His childhood and youth 
were spent in Harrisburg. From 1827 to 1830 he was a cadet at West 
Point ; he resigned and became a divinity student at Princeton ; he 
occupied a prominent place in the Presbyterian church, attaching him- 
self to the New School organization. He had charge of various 
churches in Pennsylvania and in Kentucky. Was for a time professor 
in Delaware College, and for fifteen years editor and principal contribu- 
tor to the Presbyterian Quarterly lievieiv. 

'* John Wiggins came with his father from the north of Ireland to 

342 Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 

America in 1732. He was one of the early pioneers of Paxtang, and 
during the Indian forays of 1755-1763 was more or less prominent as 
an officer in the ranging companies. He was an ancestor of Judge 
John Wiggins SImonton, of Dauphin county. 

''^Doctor Egle in his history of Dauphm county says, "Mrs. Eleanor 
Maclat Wallace was a woman of fine talents and great force of char- 
acter. As a young lady she had gone with her father to the Capital, 
and acted as his private secretary. While she enjoyed society, she 
was more deeply interested in the political questions which came be- 
fore the first Congress tor settlement. It was in harmony with those 
early tastes that after her marriage she read more than one elementary 
work in her husband's legal library. She was a woman of profound 
piety, of fine social qualities, and of noble gifts and attainments of 

^® William Wallace was the eldest son of Benjamin Wallace and 
Elizabeth Culbertson, and was born in Hanover, 1768. He was grad- 
uated at Dickinson, studied law with Galbraith Patterson, and ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1792. Interested in the Presque Isle Land 
Company, he removed to Erie. About 1810, he returned to Harrisburg 
and resumed the practice of the law. He was defeated as the Federalist 
candidate for Congress in 1813, was the first president of the old Har- 
risburg bank, and burgess of the town of Harrisburg at the time ot 
his death. He was distinguished for his social qualities, entertaining 
strangers hospitably, Chief Justice Gibson being frequently among his 

" George Whitehill, the son of John, was born in Donegal, Lan- 
caster county, in 1760. His father purchased land in Paxtang prior 
to the revolution and removed thither. He began the hardware busi- 
ness at Harrisburg about 1800 ; was appointed by Governor Snyder one 
of the associate judges of the county, in 1817, but in July, 1818, with 
his colleague, Obed Fahnestock, resigned, owing to the commissioning 
of Judge Franks as president of the court by Governor Findlay. 

'^Captaia VValker, was the son of James Walker and Barbara Mc- 
Arthur, and was born in Paxtang. He was a farmer ; learned survey- 
ing, and was deputy surveyor 1804-1809. In 1810 began "merchan- 
dising" in Harrisburg, and in 1814 marched to the defense of Balti- 
more as captain of the "Harrisburg Volunteers." In 1821 was ap- 
pointed prothonotary by Governor Hiester, and in 1824 was elected 
sheriff. It was said of him that he was an ardent patriot, a popular 
officer, and an active, enterprising citizen. 

Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 343 

™ Robert Wilson was born in the town of Killyleah, county of 
Down, in the north of Ireland, May 1, 1792. He emigrated to America 
in 1816, and after residing in various places he settled at Highspire in 
1822, where he resided until his death. In 1823 Mr. Wilson erected a 
distillery which became well known for the superiority of its product. 
He was one of the oldest Masons in the country, having joined lodge 
No. 792 in the county of Killyleah, Jan. 14, 1814. He was a commu- 
nicant of Paxtang, having joined in 1826 ; was a man of strong con- 
victions and extreme partizanship, public spirited, and benevolent. 


Paxtang Presbyterian Church. 


John B. Rutherford, 
Francis W. Rutherford, 


Rev. Albert B. Williamson. 


Spencer F. Barber, 
Matthew B. Elder. 
John Elder, President, James Boyd, 

Silas B. Rutherford, Treasurer, James C. Walker, 
William F. Rutherford, Secretary, James R. Walker, 
J. Q. A. Rutherford, Herbert Elder, 

James A. Rutherford, J. Newton Gray, 

Governor James A. Beaver, William Kunkle. 


John B. Rutherford, 

Silas B. Rutherford, 

John A. Rutherford, 

William F. Rutherford, 

J. Quincy A. Rutherford, 

Francis W. Rutherford, 

Howard A. Rutherford, 

James Walker, 

James R. Walker, 

J. Newton Gray, 

Spencer F. Barber, 

Mathew B. Elder, 

Herbert Elder, 

Daniel Grouse, 

James Pearl, 

William Kunkle, 

Mrs. Abner Rutherford, 

Miss K. Virginia Rutherford, 

Mrs. Annie W. Rutherford, 

Miss Elizabeth M. Rutherford, 

Mrs. Adaline M. Rutherford, 

Mrs. Margaret B. Rutherford, 

Mrs. Eleanor S. Rutherford, 
Miss Eleanor G. Rutherford, 
Miss Martha K. Rutherford, 
Miss Susan E. Rutherford, 
Miss Louisa Gray, 
Mrs. Ada B. Barber, 
Mrs. Frances R. Elder, 
Miss Matilda Elder, 
Mrs. Daniel Grouse, 
Mrs. James Pearl, 
Mrs. Leah R. Kunkle, 
Mrs. Mary J. Elder, 
Mrs. A. B. Williamson, 
Mrs. James A. Rutherford, 
Mrs. John P. Rutherford, 
Miss Jane D. Rutherford, 
Miss Adaline M. Rutherford, 
Miss Martha Gray, 
Miss Mary McBay, 
Miss Eliza Reed, 
Miss Anna E. Rutherford, 
Miss Mary B. Rutherford. 


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