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Frenchtown M. E. Church.
Frenchtown M. E. Church
A Chapter of Reminiscences,
BRIEF SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS,
A Chapter on the part this Church Bore in Suppressing the Rebellion,
D. M. Matthews.
TRENTON, N. J. :
FRANK SMITH, liOOK AND JOB I'RINTER, 25 EAST STATE STREET.
D. M. Matthews.
Early History of Asbury Circuit— 1817-1832.
Preliminary History Continued ; Old Documents ; Original
Subscriptions ; First Report of the Board of Trustees.
Organization of the Frenchtown M. E. Church.
Reminiscences by John W. Lequear, Esq., Revs. A. M. Palmer,
Walter Chamberlin, Cornelius Clark and Joseph Gas-
Brief Personal Sketches of the Pastors who have Served
the Frenchtown M. E. Church.
Brief Personal Sketches of the Pastors who have Served
the FrenchtowxNt M. E. Church— Continued.
The Part the Frenchtown M. E, Church Bore in Suppressing
A Brief History of the Sunday School, with a List of Super-
intendents; A LIST OF THE Trustees OF THE Churcb: from
1845 to 1895 ; Ladies' Aid Society with a List of Members.
Semi-Centbnmial Exercises; Brief Outlines of Sermons;
Subscription List for the Semi-Centennial Book.
IN the preparation of this serai-centennial history, we have aimed at
two things, viz: brevity and correctness. We have found it abso-
lutely necessary to reduce the compass of our contributed articles.
We have laid under tribute the journal of Bishop Asbury, volume
one, two and three, and the Minutes of the Annual Conference from
1817 to the present time.
In addition to the acknowledgements made in the volume where the
articles are found, we are indebted to the manuscript of Rev. E. M.
Griffith, deceased; Rev. John F. Dodd, D. D., Secretary of the Newark
Conference ; Will D. Nichols, for a drawing of the church, and N. J.
Tomer and Rev. E. H. Conklin, for valuable assistance.
Acknowledging these aid§ we send it forth conscious of its many
imperfections, but with the hope that, possibly, future writers in this
line of work will here find a record of valuable facts that would other-
wise have been lost. We trnst our humble efforts may be of some
interest to the church and to the community. D. M. M.
Frenchtown, N. J., December, 17th, 1895.
Published by and for the benefit of the trustees of Frenchtown M.
Rev. E. H. Conklin, ]
John L. Slack, I
G. W. HUMMER, I Committee.
J. C. Butler,
I. L. Niece, |
D. M. Matthews. J
The committee may in the near future prepare a supplementary
volume, containing a roll of members of this church, with brief
memoirs of the deceased.
Early History of Asbury Circuit— 1817-1832.
Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt fiud it after many days — Eccl. XI-
THERE is much in the history of every church, said Edwin War-
riner, " and in the life-story of each individual Christian to
Illustrate, and magnify the grace of God." But in writing this
semi-centennial sketch it is not so much our purpose to magnify the
present, or eulogize any individual, but to delve into the misty records
of the past and leave the present for the future historian.
The first M. E. Church erected in this region was at Kingwood, in
the year 1816 or '17, during the ministration of Rev. Manning Force.
The circuit was called Asbury and the colleague of Rev- M, Force was
George Banghart. The preacher in charge was mucii interested in the
enterprise. Thomas West gave the lot, and was one of the original
trustees. The preaching had been at his house previously. At that
time Asbury circuit extended as far down as Trenton.
The preachers on the circuit afterwards were :
1817 — George Banghart, R. W. Petherfcridge.
1818 — Sylvester G. Hill, James Aikins.
1819— Sylvester G. Hill, Waters Burrows.
1820 — Waters Burrows, J. Creamer.
1821 — John Creamer, Daniel Parish.
1822 — William Leonard, James Moore.
1823— D. Bartine, Samuel Doughty.
1824— B. Collins, Samuel Doughty.
1825 — B. Collins, Isaac Winner.
During the ministration of Rev. B. Collins, the Fverittstown Church
1826—1. Winner, A. Atwood.
1827-'28— John Findley, J. K. Shaw. Each traveling the circuit
1829— William A. Wiggins, G. Brown.
1830— William A. Wiggins, A. Gearhart.
1831— Pharaoh Ogden, Francis A. Morrell.
1832— James Long, Francis A. Morrell.
O HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH.
The Rev. F. A. Morrell favors E. M. Griffith with a list of preach-
ing places on the circuit as they were when he traveled it.
" The circuit was about two hundred and fifty miles in a zigzag
course around it. The Sabbath appointments were as follows : Asbury,
ten A. M. ; Bethlehem, over the mountains, three P. M. The former,
an old church, an iron rod running through the building and fastened
at both ends to keep the walls from parting. The latter, an unfin-
ished edifice newly erected ; Kingwood, ten A. M., in a good church.
Preacher's home at Wilson Bray's ; Everittstown, three P. M., in a
new church unfinished. Put up at old Brother Everitt's ; Lebanon,
ten A, M. The church only enclosed, very cold in Winter, wind
whistling through the knot holes. Stopping place, Jeremiah Huff's ;
Cokesburv, three P. M. The church had been erected some years
previously but was not seated. The pulpit was the old carpenter's
work bench, rather perilous to stand upon. Conrad Apgar's was the
preacher's Home ; Washington, ten A. M. Stopping place Gershom
Rusling's. The church was a small brick building ; Thatcher's church,
three P. M. This was a stone building and the wasps constituted the
larger portion of the audience, often crawling on my neck and head.
Put up at Thatcher's ; Flander's, ten A. M. In a small church but
large congregation. Put up at Judge Monroe's. This was a fine family,
always giving the preachers a hearty welcome ; Lawrence's barn,
Millbrook, on the hill at three P. M. Stopped at Lawrence's ; Dover,
in the academy in the evening. Put up at a Brother Doty's."
As there is work for five Sabbaths marked down here. Rev. E. M.
Griffith directed an inquiry to Brother Morrell concerning the fifth
Sabbath. He explains as follows: "The circuit was divided at the
close of my first year, I have given you two Sunday api)ointments not
on the first year's plan, making as you suppose the fifth. The Sabbath
appointments for the first year were : Asbury and Washington, in
Warren; Kingwood and Everittstown, Lebanon and Cokesburg, in
Hunterdon; Flanders, Millbrook and Dover, in Morris County. The
week day appointments were numerous." As far as remembered by
Brother Morrell they are here given.
" Joseph Smith's dwelling, Jugtown, near Asbury ; Baptisttown
in the evening, preached and put up at Brother Fox's; Bloomsbury
occasionally: on the summit of a high mountain between Asbury and
Bloomsbury, name forgotten ; Stier's, in his own house in Hunterdon
near Lebanon ; Brother George Fisher's, in the woods ; Tewksbury
township, on Monday evenings ; Tuesdays, rode ten miles to Thomas
Walton's and John Fisher's alternately ; about the roughest country
I ever traveled through ; preached at eleven A. M.; Thence, the next day
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 9
(Wednesday) to Squire Hagen's where I stopped, and preached in the
school-house in the evening ; thence, on the day following, Thursday,
rode to Stanhope, preached in the school-house in the evening, put up
with Brother McCormick. Sometinaes on this evening preached at
General Smith's at old Andover. On the morning of this day at eleven
o'clock preached at old Mrs. Smith's on Schooley's Mountain, about
four miles from Flanders ; on Saturday preached in German Valley,
in a school-house, I think. And on the following Monday evening at
Peter Kemple's, Hackettstown. I think there were some other preach-
In the year 1833, Kingwood tirst appeared in the minutes as a
separate charge, and Jacob Heavener was sent to travel it. The follow-
ing year (1834) he was returned, and the minutes add " one to be sup-
plied." In 1835, Abraham Gearhart and B, N. Reed were on the cir-
cuit. In 1836, Kingwood drops out of the appointments in the minutes.
It was probably returned to Asbury circuit. A. Gearheart and R.
Lanning were the preachers. It then took three weeks to travel the
circuit reaching from Asbury and as far south as Sergeantsville.
Abraham Slack's house was one of the first preaching places, dating
back to about 1806. Elwood Servis now resides on the place, and it is
known as Slacktown.
This year (1836), Flemington became the head ofa somewhat extended
circuit. It had previously been in the list of charges but was probably
a station. The same year New Jersey was set off from the Philadel-
phia Conference and in the New Jersey Conference minutes Fleming-
ton stands with Jacob Heavener and J. M. Tuttle as the ministers to
cultivate it. These brethren were returned to this field the next Spring,
fiiling out two years on the circuit. In 1839, Wm. Hanley and J.
White were the preachers. In 1840, A. K. Street and George Kitchens,
traveled this circuit, and it was included in the Newark District with
M. Force as Presiding Elder. In 1841, A. K. Street and Washington
Thomas did the work. This year Flemington circuit was put into
Newton District with Daniel Parish, Presiding Elder.
Asbury circuit, which as has been seen in the previous pages, covered
the ground now included in Frenchtown charge was, (as has also been
seen) very extensive. As late as 1832, as stated in F. A. Morrell's
letter, its preaching places, commencing with Kingwood in the south
reached to and included Dover in the north, and from Delaware to
Washington. The Delaware proved an obstacle to labor further west
for the bridges at Frenchtown and Milford did not exist. The French-
town bridge was erected in 1844 ; the Milford in 1841.
On the other side the Delaware, appointments were made by the
lO HISTORY OF THE M. E- CHURCH,
Northampton circuit preachers. Evidence of their presence as early as
1813 is afforded by a Bible at S. S. Shuster's, the property of his
mother, a legacy from her father. The inscription on the fly leaf sets
forth that the volume had been purchased by Henry Snyder — S. S.
Shuster's grandfather — of Daniel Ashton, August 23d, 1813, price ten
dollars. Henry Snyder then occupied the place, now owned by Wilson
Lear, a half mile west of Erwinna. Here Ashton preached in the barn,
but we have not been able to find out whether this was a regular or an
occasional appointment. Tradition asserts that Rev. H. Boehm (a
centenarian, who died December 28th, 1875), preached over in Penn-
sylvania in the Pursell neighborhood, below Bridgeton. The minutes
of the Annual Conference inform us that H. Boehm was stationed on
Chester circuit in 1824-'25. This date we thus fix upon as the possible
date of his service there. After that time it seems to have fallen to the
lot of the Asbury circuit preachers to give them such service as they
At Milford an appointment we are inclined to think was early made.
Rev. F. A. Morrell relates an interesting incident of his ministry when
traveling Asbury circuit in 1832. He was expected to preach in the
Pursell neighborhood. On reaching Milford the river was in a flood
and he had difficulty in persuading the brother with whom he put up
to venture, but finally he found a batteau and rowed him across. It
was after all " love's labor lost." No one came to the place to hear
him because nobody thought he could get across. Brother Pursell
lectured him for the risk of his life, but Brother Morrell established a
reputation for reliability tliereby.
The church at Milford was erected at a much later period. It was
dedicated in 1855 by Rev. Ryon, of Philadelphia.
Roll of pastors that have served the Frenchtown M. E. Church
from the organization of the first class to the present time, are as
Joseph Gaskill 1842
Z. Gaskill 1843
A. M. Palmer 1845-'46
T. T. Campfield 1847-'48
S. W. Decker 1849-'50
Rodney Winans and J. Horner 1851-'52
Curtis Talley 1853
James Harris 1854
T. T. Campfield 1855-'56
William M. Burrows 1857-'58
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY.
J. W. Barrett 1859
G. H.Jones 1860
W. Chainberlin 186I-'62
W. E. Blakeslee 18G3-'64
H.J. Hayter 1865-'66 '67
J. B. Taylor 1868-'69-'70
Cornelius Clark, Jr., 1871-'72-'73
H. C. McBride 1874
E. M. Griffith 1875
E. M. Griffith and P. G. Rueknian 1876
J. H. Kunyon 1877-'78-'79
T. E. Gordon 188()-'81
I. N. Vansant 1882-'83'84
S. D. Decker 1885-'86-'87
J. O. Winner, Sen 1888-'89
M. T. Gibbs 1890-'9]
William McCain 1892-'93-'94
E. H. Conklin 1895-'96
HISTORY OF THR M. E. CHURCH,
Preliminary History Continued ; Old Documents ; Original
Subscriptions ; First Report of the Board of Trustees.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with
rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.— Psalms CXXVI-O.
\ A /hen Methodism was first introduced within the bounds of the
• " present Borough of Frenchtown, it is impossible for the writer
to state. It is a matter of history that Bishop Asbury traveled through
Hunterdon County early in the present century.
In the year 1811, May 8th, quoting from his journal, page 308,
volume three, " Crossed the Delaware River and sat down in Godley's
school-room and taught the people ; my subject was, Acts, third
chapter, 26th verse." Again according to his journal we find him in
the same year breaking the Bread of Life at the house of Thomas
Pursell, who was an uncle of Mrs. Hannah Slack, of Frenchtown.
The location of Pursell's was between Frenchtown and IVlilford, on the
opposite side of the river a little south of the latter place. This was a
preaching place for a quarter of a century. Bishop Asbury's death
occurred March 21st, 1816. It is more than probable, however, that
the introduction of Methodism in Frenchtown was by a local preacher,
Rev. Amos Merselius, who was a member of the Kiugwood M. E.
Church, and a zealous worker for the Master's kingdom. He was at
one time a politician of some note, and was appointed by the Legisla-
ture a Commissioner of Deeds for Kingwood township. The writer
remembers hearing him preach in 1854. He died April 17th, 1870.
Edward Hinkle remembers hearing Mr. Merselius preach a sermon in
a house on Bridge street in 1832, and the first class of eleven members
was formed in 1842, in John Walbert's wheelwright shop by Rev.
Joseph Gaskill. The writer remembers attending service there fifty
years ago. Mr. Walbert died February 20th, 1885, and at the time of
his death was a member of the Frenchtown Presbyterian Church.
The only surviving members of this class of eleven, as far as can
be ascertained, are Mrs. Hannah Slack and Martha Conner, of
Frenchtown. Cyrenius A. Slack (the deceased husband of Mrs.
Hannah Slack) was a shoemaker by trade and resided in a house on
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. I3
Bridge street now owned by Mrs. Jane Able. Religious services were
frequently held here and their house was the stopping place of the
In 1843 the little society resolved to build a church and a Board of
Trustees was elected.
The following is a copy of the original document :
FRENCHTOWN, Hunterdon Co., N. J.
Agreeable to the public notice of at least ten days, the male members
of the congregation attending upon the Methodist Episcopal ministry
in this village assembled, this loth day of July, 1844, at the house of
Cyrenius A. Slack for the purpose of electing seven Trustees for the
Methodist Episcopal Church of this place. Thereupon the following
persons were duly elected, viz : — Cyrenius A. Slack, Lewis M. Prevost,
Ambrose Silverthorn, John V. Hull, John Rodenbaugh, Charles
Shuster and Sylvester R. Chamberlin.
Z. Gaskill, Chairman.
Cyrenius A. Slack, Secretary.
We, the undersigned Trustees, having taken the oath of office, do
hereby certify that we have assumed and taken the name and title of
"The Methodist Episcopal Church, of Frenchtown, N. J."
Witness our hands this fifteenth day of July, A. D., one thousand
eight hundred and forty-four.
C. A. Slack,
John V. Hull,
Sylvester R. Chamberlin,
Lewis M. Prevost,
The following is a copy of the form of oath taken by the trustees :
*' We do solemnly swear that we will perform the duties of trustees
to the Methodist Episcopal Church in Frenchtown, Hunterdon County,
State of New Jersey, to the best of our knowledge and abilities.
Witness our hand and seal, this fourth day of December, 1846."
Witness present, Samuel F. Huff. [seal.]
L. M. Prevost.
Samuel Pittenger. [seal.]
" Personally appeared before me L. M. Prevost, one of the Judges of
the Inferior Courts of Common Pleas of Hunterdon County, State of
14 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
New Jersey, Samuel F. Huff and Samuel Pittenger, who after having
been informed by me of the contents of the above documents, did
severally subscribe to the same, and each took his oath before me as
required by law."
Witness my hand and seal, this fourth day of December^ in the year
of our Lord 1846. L. M. Prevost. [seal.]
One of the Judges of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas for County
The above may be found on record at the Clerk's office in Fleming-
ton, N. J., Volume two, of special deeds for County of Hunterdon,
page 426. Besson, Clerk.
The lot on which the church stands was purchased of Hugh Capner ;
price, one hundred dollars in specie, and the church was raised Octo-
ber 24th, 1844. We ascertained this fact from the fly leaf of Henry
Snyder's old Bible, now in possession of Joseph Ashton, of Trenton,
N. J. It will be seen by the following letter from Rev. A. M. Palmer
that the church was in an unfinished condition, and not formally dedi-
cated until more than a year from the above date :
Newark, N. J., June 9th, 1894.
D, M. Matthews.
Dear Bro. :— Received to-day a copy of the Independent containing
your history of the Frenchtown Church. Under the ministry of
Brother Z. Gaskill, in the autumn of 1844 the building was enclosed,
floors laid, windows put in, etc. Temporary seats were made, much
like the seats of a primitive camp meeting, simply rough boards placed
on benches, and a stove was secured.
Brother Gaskill preached every other Sabbath in the afternoon, in
the unfinished building. There certainly could not have been any
dedicatory services at that time. In the Spring of 1845 1 was appointed
to Quakertown circuit. And the house you name was secured for the
I was the first Methodist minister to reside in Frenchtown.
During the summer and autumn strenuous efforts were made to
finish the building. It was no easy thing to do, for the want of moans.
I called on most everybody in the circuit interested in our church, and
then sent a man abroad to collect money for us.
During the early fall we had a gracious revival of religion. Finally
we felt that we were justified in proceeding to complete the building in
a plain way. It was completed and dedicated on Wednesday, Decem-
ber 17th, 1846.
FRENCHTOVVN, NEW JERSEV. 15
Rev. Isaac Winner, then the Presiding Elder, preached in the morn-
ing. Rev. Abraham Owen, then stationed at New Germantown,
preached in the evening. In my diary from which I take the above I
find this : " services well attended and very interesting."
A. M. Palmer.
Alfred R. Taylor and William Logan were the carpenters.
The following is the call for the erection of the church with the origi-
nal subscription :
" Whereas, The inhabitants of Frenchtown and vicinity are desti-
tute of a suitable place in which to worship Almighty God, and being
desirous of a place of religious worship in said village, and whereas,
the members and friends of the Methodist Episcopal Church contem-
plate erecting a house of worship in said village : We, whose names
are hereto subscribed, agree to give the sum annexed to our names to
aid in the erection of said house to be under the government ot said
church, according to the form laid down in the book of discipline of
said church. The money to be paid to the trustees who may be duly
appointed. To be given in installments as follows : One-third to be
paid the first day of November, 1844, following. The residue on the
first day of April, 1845."
John H. Prevost $5 00
Wholston Vanderbelt 1 00
John T. Hull , 20 00
William F. Moore 3 00
Isaac Johnston 5 00
S. C. Eckel 5 00
I. W, Housel 1 00
George Carpenter 1 00
Samuel Warne 2 00
Levi Case 1 00
Andrew Risler 1 00
Wesley Shuster 5 00
Joseph Johnson 2 00
Charles T. Fulper 1 00
Amos Opdycke 5 00
Jesse R.Huflf 1 00
Jeremiah Matthews 8 00
Abraham Bennett 8 00
William Sarch 1 00
William Vanderbelt 1 00
l6 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
Mordeica Thomas 1 00
T. and L. Vansyckel 1 00
John Matthews 3 00
The original subscription was started at the wedding of John J.
Zane and Anna M. Williams. They were married at the old Williams
mansion, situated on the west bank of the Delaware, in Tinicum town-
ship, between Uhlertown and Lodi. The wedding took place February
ii2d, 1844, Z. Gaskill officiating.
The following names are not found on the old subscription as copied
above, but there is evidently a f age or more lost. We add the seven
names on the authority of one who was there:
John M. Pursell $25 00
Mary Williams 25 00
Barzila Williams 10 00
T. El wood Williams 8 00
Anna Zane: 2 00
J. J. Zane 2 00
Margaret Williams 2 00
The following is a correct copy of the original subscription taken at
the dedication bearing date, December, 17th, 1845 :
John V.Hull $10 00
Ambrose Silverthorn 10 00
Henry Snyder 10 00
Isaac Hartpence '10 00
Samuel Vansyckle 10 00 •
David Rockafellow 10 00
John Sipes 5 00
William Roberson 5 00
Thomas Roberson 5 00
Elizabeth Fox 5 00
Thomas Roberson, Jr 5 00
Horatio Opdyke 5 00
Cyrenius A. Slack 5 00
Jeremiah Matthews 5 Oil
Catharine Rittenhouse 5 00
Joseph Everitt 5 00
B. M. Pearsell 5 00
RachelWest 5 00
Aaron Hutfman 5 00
Lucy Roberson 2 00
William Silverthorn 2 00
Zebulon Bodine 2 00
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. I^
Isabella Vansyckle 2 00
Jesse R. Huff 2 00
John Snyder :^ 00
John W.Fox 2 00
Stephen Hull 2 00
Jacob Rounseville 2 00
Ralph Tenyck 2 00
Adam Kitchen...., 2 00
; Catharine Opdyke 2 00
William Leonard 2 00
William Moore 2 00
Ann Eliza Williams 2 00
Jane Silverthorn 2 00
N.D.Williams 1 00
Amos Hyde 1 00
Charles Roberson 1 00
Wesley Shuster 1 00
Mahlon Rittenhouse 1 00
Maria Crfeathers 1 00
Susan Case 1 00
Margaret Mettler 1 00
Elizabeth Thatcher 1 00
Mrs. Rockafellow 1 00
Rebecca Leonard 1 00
Sophia Hull 1 00
Esther Hull 1 00
Mary Ann Stout 1 00
William Jones 1 00
Solomon Stout 1 00
Frederick Apgar 1 00
Silvanas Ruuyon 1 00
M. W. Burger 1 00
Thomas Pittenger 50
William Besson .">0
S. B. Hudnit 60
C. S ., 4 00
William V. Sloan 5 00
The old parsonage was purchased of S. B. Hudnit for $850. The
writer finds the following among Brother Obadiah Stout's papers.
"We, the undersigned, promise to pay the sums annexed to our
names to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of French-
town, N. J., for the purpose of purchasing a parsonage for the use of
IS HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHaRCH,
said church. Hereunto, we set our hands this 13th day of June, A D.,
Henry Snyder $20 00
Charles Green 15 00
S.B.Hudnit 15 00
Obadiah Stout 15 00
Richard Stockton 15 00
Joseph Ashton 15 00
Ozias P. Thatcher ... 15 00
Ralph Ten Eyck 10 00
AbnerSalter 10 00
John Williams. 5 00
Soloman Stout 10 00
Samuel Dalrymple 5 00
Mary Whiting 3 00
This subscription is mutilated and incomplete.
The original trustees have all left the Church Militant and gone we
trust to join the Church Triumphant. Charles Shuster was a German,
and came from near the French border between the Moselle and the
Rhine, landing at Philadelphia, July 21st, 1818. He died October 20th,
1847, and is buried in the old grave-yard at Everittstown.
Sylvester R. Chamberlin was an undertaker and cabinet-maker, and
lived where Benjamin Philkill now resides. He died while compara-
tively a young man, November 8th, 1847, aged twenty-eight years.
The next to fall was John Rodenbaugh, who died near Frenchtown,
February 26th, 1850. He lived on the John Apgar farm.
Lewis M. Prevost followed, November 15th, 1872. The family was
of French origin, and during the French Revolution escaped into
Germany and came to America about the commencement of the present
century. The family, were large land-holders. Lewis M. Prevost kept
store in Frenchtown a number of years, and lived where Mayor
Sherman now resides. He was also Justice of the Peace and one of
the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas.
Cyrenius A. Slack (late husband of Mrs. Hannah Slack, who resides
on the corner of Third and Harrison streets) was the next to leave the
shores of time. He died December 31st, 1876.
Ambrose Silverthorn lived in the house now owned by Wilbur
Slack, situated on the corner of Second and Harrison streets, where
William Hoffman now resides.
Previous to this he was at the Frenchtown bridge for a number of
years. Levi Mettler was his successor. Mr. Silverthorn removed to
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEV. I9
Kansas and was killed by a runaway team of horses, November 24 th,
John V. Hull, the last of the original trustees moved to Lambert-
ville, where he died January iSth, 1891.
We close this chapter with the first report of the Board of Trustees,
dating back fifty years.
C. A. Slack in Account with M. E. Cuukcli.
To cash from
George Carpenter $1 00
John Rodenbaugh 5 00
Rachel Silverthorn 2 00
Sept. Henry Snyder 20 00
John V.Hull 5 00
Oct. 2. Lime 2 50
20. John Rodenbaugh 1 75
Nov. 9. Ann Eliza Williams 5 00
9. Mary Williams 8 00
29. Mary Smity 5 00
Barzila Williams 2 00
March Isaac Hartpence 3 00
April 7. Hirara A. Williams 15 00
Jonas Smith 3 00
Barzila Williams 3 00
Caroline Williams 1 00
Amos Opdyke 5 00
A|)ril 17 Catharine Leonard 5 00
George W. Waterhouse 1 00
Joseph A. Halden 5 00
John H. Prevost 5 00
George Salter 1 50
May 3. John V.Hull 4 11
A. Silverthorn 6 42
May 5. Jeremiah Matthews 3 00
James Williams 15 00
Mary Williams 17 00
John Williams 5 00
N.Williams 5 00
Margaret Williams 1 00
20 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
ByC. Shuster 7 00
May 7. A. Silverthorn 5 62
9. WilsonBray 5 00
Andrew Williamson 5 00
William Search 5 00
12. Rachel Silverthorn 2 00
18. ByC.Shuster 3 00
24. Thomas Silverthorn 2 00
27. Hiram Bennett 2 00
June 2. J. M. Bursal 25 00
July 6. A. Silverthorn 175
27. J. J. Zanes 2 00
Byafriend 3 00
Daniels. Bursal 1 00
A.M. Balmer 5 00
Jonas Thatcher 78
C. Snyder 31
Jan. 31. Jacob Fullmer 300 00
May A. M. Balmer 8 00
William F. Moore 110 00
Error in Geo. Thome's Act 1 00
Ann E. Williams 2 00
By cash paid in book.
Sept. 3. H. Capner's note 20 00
10. 18 00
17. For nails 25
Oct: 2. For lime 2 50
26. William S. Jones 1 75
Nov. 13. William Logan 100
14. H. Capner's note 7 00
18. For nails 170
N.Williams 7 07
Dec. 30. For nails 50
Jan. 2. Whitelead 55
7. Fornails 1 00
22. For zink 30
April 7. Hedges & Reading 25 00
22. William Lippincott 1100
Hiram Beats 11 00
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY.
Pittenger Fitzer 3 25
John Case 57 00
L. M.Prevost 15 00
DanielBrink 8 55
Hedges & Reading 10 00
For nails 80
Forboards 1 98
Williams. Jones 3 00
Expenses to Court 1 00
Whiting & Cooley 1 98
L. M. Prevost & Son 1 30
William 8. Jones 4 16
not in book.
L. M Prevost 50 00
Hedges & Reading 50 00
William Silverthorn 6 19
William Huffman 20 00
John Case 77 03
Williams. Jones 20 00
GeorgeThorn 10 00
John Sailor 4 14
T. Pittenger 6 92
S. C. Allen 162
Insurance 17 70
Hedges & Reading 24 16
GeorgeThorn 5 87
William Huffman 20 00
John George 15 00
" " in full 25 00
Williams. Jones 30 60
Vansyckle 12 00
Hiram Deats 9 72
Whiting & Cooley 5 00
" " 18 00
A.M. Palmer 50 00
HISTORY OF THE
Organization of the Frenchtown M. E. Church.
So shall my words be that goeth forth out of my mouth : it shall not return unto me
void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, aud it shall prosper in the thing whereto I
sent it — Isa. 55: 11.
WE copy the following, with some additions, from an article prepared
by the writer, and read by Miss Laura Woolverton, before the
Hunterdon County Historical Society at Frenchtown, N. J., June 22d,
The first step towards the organization of a Methodist Episcopal
Church, is the formation of a class. It may consist of eight or
twelve persons, with one appointed as leader. This is the door to
membership in the church. Any person professing a desire to flee from
the wrath to come and giving his or her name to the leader, after
attending the meeting for six months, is eligible to membership in the
church, by the recommendation of the leader. This first step toward
the organization of the Frenchtown M. E. Church was taken in the
year 1842, under the leadership of the Rev. Joseph Ga?kill, who
formed a classs of eleven persons. The following pastors have served
the church in the order named. In speaking of them we will use
brevity, because a personal sketch of the twenty-eight pastors will
appear in another chapter.
The second on the list is ZerubbaLel Gaskill, who was the pioneer
temperance advocate in this field of labor. We are indebted to Rev.
A. E. Ballard for the following, which is taken from the " New Jersey
Conference Memorial :"
" He found the Quakertown circuit in a condition so deplorable that
there were scarcely enough living to bury the dead. Bacchus, that fell
demon of discord, said in his heart; I will ascent into heaven ; I will
exalt my throne above the stars of God ; I will also sit upon the mount
of the congregation in the sides of the north ; I will ascend above the
heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. Isaiah 14 : 13-14.
And he did get the upper hand of many of the stars of the congrega-
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 23
tion and also the leading naen of the place. For these men discarded
minister and church and God, all at the bidding of Bacchus. Mr.
Gaskill prudently but fearlessly opened the batteries of truth against
this citadel of satan. Men are always extremely sensitive when
conscience is silenced at the demands of interest or self-indulgence.
This was the case now, and the opposition becoming very formidable,
first tried raising a storm of popular indignation to silence the stupid
one-idea fanatic who was capable of the senseless temerity of insisting
that Christians ought not to make, sell or drink rum ; and they did
succeed in awaking the elements. The rains descended, the floods came
and the winds blew ; but like the sturdy oak he only bent to the blast
till its fierceness was spent and then stood up as firmly and defiant as
before. Failing in this they changed their tactics and raised the cry of
persecution, and if their version had been reliable it would have been
true, that they were the most thoroughly abused of men. Failing
also in this, and finding that neither weeds nor tufts of grass would do,
they tried the virtue of stones. Two trustees of the church at Everitts-
town, demanded the keys of the sexton and closed the house against
him. But Amos Opdyke anoth(;r of the trustees backed by others and
aided by Wesley Johnson, a Presbyterian, who made a key, opened it
for him to preach on the subject in question. Being foiled again a mob
took the matter in hand and tried the persuasive powers of rotten eggs
and other missiles, together with bonfires and yelling, and whooping
like a pack of savages. Fortunately for the ministers and the cause,
the ladies of some of the malcontents attended this service and received
in part, the application of the egg argument. Meanwhile the appeal
of the speaker was so calm, logical and convincing as to enlist the favor
of the better part of the people and thus to secure a triumph. The
turbulent party then threatened to waylay and lynch him if he attempted
to fill an appointment at another place ; but he did meet the engage-
ment and that, too, without being maltreated. These expedients failing
they next resorted to the desperate alternative of an attempt to starve
him out. When told of this design he replied, ' they might as well
try to starve a bear.' Nor was this a vain boast. The sum he received
cannot be named, but he was drven to perplexing straits. Friends
aided him. He exchanged wheat flour for Indian meal, because it
would go further. He sold part of their scanty furniture and thus
purchased the needed supplies for his family. At the same time he
stood up to his convictions with manly and unflinching firmness, until
the end of his term."
A. M. Palmer was his successor during 1845-'46. The house of
Wilbur Slack, on the corner of Second street where Mr. Hoffman now
24 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
resides was then the parsonage. Brother Palmer now lives in Newark,
N. J., and is Conference Treasurer of the various benevolences of the
church. During his pastorate an episode occurred at a baptismal
service which took place a little below the bridge that spans the river.
David O. Koberson informs the writer that there were about fifty
baptisms and four of this number by immersion. Mary A. Fisher,
who afterwards became Mrs. David O. Roberson, Amy T. Pittenger
and Ann Calvin were three of the number. A young man hailing
from the rural district of Everittstown, by the name of Apgar thought
he would baptize a dog. Apgar climbed out on the root of a tree that
extended over the water with the dog in his arms, and when Brother
Palmer was about to immerse a subject in the name of the Holy
Trinity, said Apgar undertook to plunge the dog, but losing his footing
the dog and he both went in together and ( he latter came near drowning.
T. T. Campfield followed in 1847-'48 ; he also served another term,
1855-'56. During his second term as pastor the parsonage was
S. \V. Decker followed in 1849, and remained two years which was
then the time limit. He was something of a politician of the Demo-
cratic persuasion, and was elected Superintendent of public schools of
Alexandria township, which at that time included Holland township
and the Borough of Frenchtown. Brother Decker was the first
Methodist preacher in the remembrance of the writer to bring notes or
manuscript into the pulpit. It was considered at that time next to the
unpardonable sin and under no circumstances could be allowed. He
was waited upon by the church officials and requested to reform or
vacate the pulpit. At the close of his term he entered the New Jersey
State Prison as Chaplain.
In 1851-52 we find Rodney Winans with Joseph Horner in charge.
The circuit at that time took in Quakertown, Frenchtown, Milford,
Little York and Everittstown. They were both acceptable preachers,
above the average in pulpit efforts. There was a gracious revival at
In 1853 Curtis Talley was pastor. This was his last charge.
In 1854 Brother Harris was the preacher in charge. He came from
the South and returned thither at the close of the year. In 1855-'56 T.
T. Campfield served a second term.
In 1857-'58 William M. Burrows' name appears. He served the
church acceptably for two years.
In 1859 J. W. Barrett was preacher in charge. The writer remembers
one sermon of his to this day from the text, Matthew, fourth chapter,
3d verse. He now resides in Newark, N. J.
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 25
George H. Jones followed him in 1860. He was an M. D., and in
later years practiced medicine at Boonton and Phillipsburg. He was
a prominent mason and a charter member of Orion Lodge, No. 56, F.
and A. M. and the first W. M. of the same. He was also prominent in
Oddfellowship and now resides in Camden, N. J.
Walter Chamberlin comes next in order, who served the church
during 1861-'62, and now resides at Derby, Conn. The church at this
time was greatly improved. A basement was put under, the side
galleries were taken down, a spire erected and a bell purchased. The
improved church was reopened February 28th, 1862, Bishop E. S.
Janes oflSciating in the morning and Dr. Wiley in the evening. An
amusing episode is remembered during his pastorate. Brother Cham-
berlin was an indefatigable laborer and very persistent in his way. An
extra meeting had been in progress a number of weeks with but little
apparent success. Near tlie close of the evening service he asked for
an expression from the members if the meetings should be continued
another week. The vote was in the negative. About that time a dog
came perambulating up the aisle into the altar, but the animal's move-
ments were greatly accelerated by the up-lifted foot of the pastor, while
the dog hastened toward the door singing a tune to the key of a screechy
G, while the dominie remarked, "The devil and the dogs always
assemble with the people of God."
W. E. Blakeslee came in 1863, remaining two years. He is now
filling one of the best appointments in the district — Fulton street,
Elizabeth, N. J.
Henry J. Hayter was his successor. During his ministration the
little barn in the rear of the church was built. He lives at Bradley
Beach, N. J.
J. B. Taylor was pastor for the next three years, 1868-'70. The church
was again enlarged, twenty feet being added to the rear, which
accounts for its being all long and no wide. Brother Obadiah Stout
was the contractor and did the work. At the second reopening O. H.
Tiffany preached the first sermon, and in the evening Dr. John Hanlon
officiated. This last sermon is remembered to this day for its eloquence
and adaption. Brother Taylor is now stationed at Nyack, New York.
During 1871-'72 and '73, Cornelius Clark was in charge of the work.
He was known as a progressive temperance champion. He founded
and published a paper in the interest of prohibition called The Home
Visitor, which now, if the writer is correctly informed, has the
largest circulation of any local paper published in Hunterdon County.
Brother Clark is at Rockaway, N. J.
26 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
H. C. McBride was here in 1874. He had conscientious scruples in
regard to preaching in a pewed church. The seats were by order of
the trustees made free and have remained so since.
He was followed by E. M. Griffith, P. G. fluckman and J. H.
Runyon, who served in the order named.
During the pastorate of the last named, the parsonage debt was paid.
E. M. Griffith's health failed during his second year on the charge.
A committee appointed by the quarterly conference, offered the follow-
ing resolutions which were unanimously passed :
Resolved, That we tender to the Rev. E. M. Griffith and family our
heartfelt sympathy in this their affliction, and while in the providence
of God he may no longer go in and out bef )re this congregation as
pastor, wherever his lot may fall, he and his family shall have a large
place in our affections and prayers.
Besolced, That while it is with profound sorrow, we feel the necessity
laid upon us of accepting his resignation, that we commit our cause to
Him who is " too wise to err and too good to be unkind."
Resolved, That we hereby pledge ourselves to renewed diligence in
the Master's cause, resolving in the strength of God's Eternal Son,
though the workman fall the work shall not cease.
D. M. Matthews,!
A. S. Harrikg, \ Committee.
S. D. Slack. J
After the failure of Brother Griffith's health, P. G. Ruckman filled
the balance of the year, closing up with a gracious revival. He was
afterwards a transfer to Nebraska where he remained seven years.
Thomas E. Gordon followed in 1880-'81 and was succeeded by I. N.
Vansant, who remained three years. During the term of the latter the
church was frescoed and beautified at an outlay of $1,000, all of which
was provided for, and there was an aggressive movement in every
department of Christian work. He is now pastor of the Bloomsbury
M. E. Church.
S. D. Decker came in 1885, remaining three years, which were
crowded with activities. The old parsonage was moved back, the
present structure erected during his second year. During his last year
the church was painted, at a cost of $215. He is stationed at Decker-
town, Sussex County, N. J.
In 1888-'89 J. O. Winner was preacher in charge. His two years
were years of seed-sowing and productive of good results.
1890-'9I M. T. Gibbs was pastor. During his first year the church
was blessed with a revival of religion such as had never been seen
FRElsrCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 27
In Frenchtown. He also organized an Epworth League which has
been, and is a power for good. A committee was also appointed during
his pastorate, consisting of L, D. Hagaman, Benjamin Philkill and the
writer, to raise money to cancel a debt of $1,500, the most of which had
been hanging over the society for a quarter of a century.
In 1892, William McCain became pastor and remained for three
years. During his second year a Junior Epworth League was formed
from which may come results as far reaching as Eternity. His three
years here were characterized by the working of the Holy Spirit.
This was manifested most clearly internally in Christian experience.
During the last year this inner light developed in a class-meeting
revival, which was truly refreshing.
Difficult places were always made easy by the presence of God as a
very present help in time of trouble. The congregations and mid-
week meetings were good. During his second year there was a con-
flagration in the church ; the fire broke out on a lovely Sabbath
morning in May ; one of the members of the present Board of Trustees
is the guilty party. However, we are glad to chronical the church was
not burned, but the last dollar of the evidence of indebtedness went up
In 1895, the present pastor E. H. Conklin, was sent to Frenchtown,
The barn was removed and sheds in the rear of the church erected
during his first year, and in this, our semi-centennial, we are expecting
an advance movement in every department of Christian work.
The following subscription lifted the last dollar of indebtedness :
William H. Hittenhouse 2 00
Edward Hinkle 15 00
W. H. Martin 10 00
Obediah Stout 3 00
Isaac T. Cronce 4 50
Hugh Echlin 13 00
Mrs. Solomon Stout 15 00
Mrs. K. Lancaster 1 50
Mary Pinkerton 3 00
Joseph Pickle and John O. Smith...... 130 00
Margaret Smith 2 00
D. M. Matthews 77 00
A. W. Lundy 10 00
Benjamin Philkill 45 00
Amy W. Anderson 3 00
Susan Johnson 50
3"8 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CffURCH,
Sarah J. Stout 1 00
Kate F. Henarie 25 Oa
David Boberson 75 OO
Mary Hummer 1 OO
William C. Kline 8 00-
John H. Kline 20 Of>
Judson Hoff 1 00
James E. Sherman 15 00
Sedgwick Gano 1 50^
Samuel Gano 2 00
Priseilla Hartpence 4 50
Mrs. Andrew Slack 5 00
N. T. Bittenhouse 25 00
Catherine A. Wanaraaker 10 00
William B. Horner 1 00
Beuben IC Niece 45 00
William Silverthorn 12 00
B. F. Fisher 2 00
EllaShurtz 40 00
Joseph Aller 10 00
George Stinsman 5 00
Mindy Britton 2 00
Mrs. Wright 1 00
JohnW. Pinkerton 3 00
Margaret Bobei'son..... 3 00
Bebecca Kimble 6 00
James Kugler 3 00
Slack & Holcombe 10 00
Henry Cronce and wife 1 00
Mrs. Loraine Opdyke i 25
Wilson Boberson 3 00
Fayette Burgstresser 2 50
G. Lambert Everitt 1 00
Mrs. Opdyke 1 00
Lavina Pittinger 3 00
Lizzie Bittenhouse 1 00
N. B. Sinclair 1 00
Mona H. McClain 1 00
Sylvester B. Horner 2 00
Porter Tettermer 5 00
Mrs. Daniel M. Everitt 4 00
Lucretia Boberson 1 00
:frenchtown, new jersev. 29
Harry Grover 10 00
Albert Sinclair 8 00
Mrs. Sarah Horner 1 00
L. S. D. Kerr 50 00
Hezekiah Hoff 15 00
Mrs. Elizabeth Wright 2 00
H. B. Hawk 10 00
S. S. Shuster 10 00
N. R. Sinister 5 00
L. D.Riegel • 4 00
Judson Kugler 3 00
T. \V. Holcombe 10 00
W. H. Sipes 4 50
G. W. Hummer 45 00
W.H. Stabler H 00
Levi Case & Son 35 00
Harriet Barcroft 30 00
W. V. Gordon 3 00
Ann Scuyler 1 00
F. W. Opdyke 5 00
Alfred Curtis 5 00
Miss Lizzie Smith 5 00
Samuel M. Rittenhouse , 1 00
Mrs. George Snyder 1 00
Kate Rittenhouse 5 00
Harry S. Slack 1 00
S. H. Stabler 1 00
Peter Stryker 1 00
Charles B. Salter 1 00
D. D. Britton 1 00
Tillie Trimmer 50
Mrs. Annastatia A. Warford 1 00
M. E. Srope 2 00
A. H. Vreeland 5 00
Sylvester Riegel 4 00
Peter A. Fisher and wife 4 00
WilburSlack 20 00
L. D. Hasraman and wife 75 00
Samuel Dalrymple 5 50
H. W. Bellis 3 00
Chester Taylor 1 00
Alonzo Butler 2 00
30 HISTORY OF THK M. E. CHURCH,
John R. Apgar 1 00
Mrs. Morris Maxwell 5 OO
Wm. P. Loper 1 00
Andrew Slack 20 OO
Samuel Opdyke 1 00
Rev. Win. H. McCain 25 OO
Hannah Williams 5 00
E.W. Bloom 45 00
Edward Rittenhouse 30 00
Edward Lair 12 00
Wm. Gorden & Son 45 00
Theo. Fritts 3 OO
John L. Slack , 15 00
Morris Maxwell 5 OO
L.M.Hoffman 30 00
Josiah Butler ^: 4 00
John P. Lance I;.'.. 2 00
Mrs. Daniel Stahler „.....^;... 2 00
Augustus Cronce„ 3 00
Lucy Snyder 2 OO
Belle M. Webster 1 OO
Matilda Nixon 1 00
Sarah Sinclair 1 00
Kate Taylor 2 00
Mrs. Leidy 3 00
Anna A. Lyons 3 00
Rev. M. T. Oibbs 10 00
W. Blakeslee and mother „ 2 25
Sophia T. Hoff 7 00
Mrs. Irving McClain 3 00
I. L. Niece , 30 00
Mary C. Swan 2 00
F. B. Fargo 75 00
Ura Larue 2 00
Phfebe V. Stryker 1 75
Matilda J. Risler 150
Frank F. Maxwell 3 00
A.P.Williams 1 00
Mary Cronce 1 00
Mrs. S. L. Reading 12 50
Wm. Niece and wife 17 50
George F. Bloom 7 00
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY, 31
Thomas Mechliug 2 00
Mary McC lain 2 00
Mrs. Hougbawout 1 00
Charles R. Everitt and wife 4 00
Wm. E. Culver 1 00
32 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
Reminiscences by John W. Lequear, Esq , Revs. A. M. Palmer,
Walter Chamberlin, Cornelius Clark and Joseph Gas-
" 'Tis greatly wise, to talk with our past hours.
And ask them what report they bore to Heaven,
And how they might have borne more welcome news.'
Reminiscences by J. W. Lequear.
IN contemplating the change time has wrought even in this county,
one iSvfiHed wih surprise and thanlj fulness. At my birth there
was not a single newspaper published in this county, and now there are
not less than a dozen. The first one published was the Hunterdon
Gazette and Farmers' Weekly Advertiser, by Charles George, March 24,
1825. Churches were few. There were none in Milford, Frenchtown,
Stockton, and only one in Lambertville — the Presbyterian Church
— built, I think, in 1818 ; indeed, but few houses in any of these
villages. St. Thomas Stone Episcopal Church, near the northern
boundery of Kingwood, and the St. Andrew Episcopal Church, at
Ringoes, and the old stone Presbyterian Church.
The Baptists occupied much of the intervening country, and where-
ever they settled they gave a free opportunity to all others to settle and
enjoy their religious belief without fear or molestation. Their place of
meeting was at Baptisttown, with occasional preaching at outlying
stations. There was not a single Methodist Church in the county.
About the year 1815, the Methodists formed a class and began to
hold meetings in Kingwood at the house of Thomas West. In the
year 1816 they purchased a lot from Mr. West's farm, and soon
set about building the first Methodist house of worship in the county,
so far as I know. Before the building of their house, they held out-
door meetings in Mr. West's woods ; a larg'e rock still bears the name
of Pulpit Rock. The first trustees were : Thomas West, Joseph West,
Jacob Hart, Darius Everitt, Christopher Snyder, William Serch, and
Abraham Slack, some of whom were well known to the writer.
Soon after this they held a camp meeting below Milltown, near
William Keer's present residence. I cannot obtain the names of the
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEV, 33
preachers who took part in this meeting, but presume Manning Force,
then a young preacher, took an active part in it, as he was instrumental
in organizing this society. The first preachers I remember hearing
were Manning Force and Jacob Heavener. Mr. Force was a tall,
slender man, of fine, pleasant countenance and sweet-toned voice, while
Mr. Heavener was an energetic speaker full of zeal in his fiery denun-
ciations of sin.
The Fox Hill Methodist Society was organized, I think, about the
year 1819. After some years Manning Force became presiding elder.
The distance from Fairmount to Kingvvood is about thirty miles. I
frequently saw Mr. Force making the journey on horseback, with his
saddle-bags strapped on behind, containing his clothes, and oftentimes
the mud was nearly knee deep, requiring him to wear overalls to pro-
tect him from the mud. This good man died February 22, 1862, aged
sever; ty-two years, having passed fifty-one years in the ministry.
The Bray family emigrated from Middletown, Monmouth County,
in 1713, purchasing land and settling in Kingwood. They were earnest
Baptists in their religious faith. The West family were members of
the first Methodist class formed in Kingwood. Wilson Bray having
married Mary West, he united soon after with the Methodists, Two
years after his term as Sherifi" had expired, he bought the homestead
and farm of his father-in-law, Thomas West, who resided near the
Kingwood M. E. Church, to which he removed from Flemington.
They had a large family of sons and daughters, and this home became
the "Preacher's Home" until Mr. Bray's death. The itinerant
preachers always felt sure of a social and Christian welcome.
I think it was in the fall of 1838 that the great revival took place in
this church, conducted by Rev. James M. Tuttle. I remember being
there the first night he preached, and remember his text: "Behold, I
stand at the door and knock." This earnest servant of God died
November 22, 1887, aged seventy-eight years, after fifty-one years in
1 have a distinct remembrance of hearing many of the old-time
ministers, but have forgotten their names; perhaps Caleb Lippencot
was one of the first I became acquainted with, preaching at Kingwood and
Sergeantsville in 1845; he was a portly man, a plain, but earnest
speaker. But the first preacher I became intimately acquainted with
was Stacy W. Hilliard, who was about my own age, and we became
warm friends. He died August 3lst,1873.
Soon after the erection of the Frenchtown Church, but in an unfin-
ished state, I attended a class-meeting conducted by Henry Eisenbry,
of Lumberville. I believe he is still living, having passed his four
34 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
My next visit to the French town Church, after it was finished, was
at a singing school, February 19, 1848. Obadiah Stout, Cyrenius A,
Slack and Ambrose Silverthorn were then prominent members.
Camp-meetings were a source of religious enjoyment, and spiritual
growth to the society, and large numbers were added during these
meetings. The second camp-meeting was held in Francis Roberson's
woods, near David Cline's, somewhere near the year 1818, but I have
not the names of the preachers who took part.
A camp-meetiug was held in the woods, of James Dalrymple, near
Joseph Stout's, soon after this. Later still a meeting was held a little
north of Croton, also for several seasons, near High Bridge and Califon,
and in the woods a little west of the fair ground, near Flemiagton,
where I first attended.
In 1841 a camp-meeting was held on John Slater's, now Pearson
Wood's, farm, where I attended meetings, although I cannot recall the
names of the preachers. In 1845, a woods meeting, which continued
for some days, was held a little east of James Ashcroft's residence.
The meeting was removed to the house of Thomas Roberson, where it
was continued. Rev. A. K. Street took part in some of these meetings.
He now resides in Camden, N. J., and is near ninety years of age.
Sarah Roberson, mother-in-law of Rev. A. K. Street, died March
15th, 1880. This sister was within two months of ninety years old.
She was converted in 1817 at a camp-meeting held in Warren County,
N. J., under the ministry of Rev. Manning Force. Her house, near
Baptisttown was for a long while a home for Methodist preachers, and
also a place for holding services. She first joined the Kingwood M.
E. Church, but after her husband's death transferred her membership to
September 12th and 13th, I attended the camp-meeting in the woods,
a mile northeast of Frenchtown, on what is now Samuel Opdyke's
farm. This was the last camp-meeting held near Frenchtown.
Methodism has become a power for good in our land, and in a little
over a century many have been converted to God.
Reminiscences by Rev. A. fl. Palmer.
The Rev. Zerubbabel Gaskill was the preacher on Quakertown
circuit in 1843-'44. During his second year, I think, a lot was secured
in Frenchtown for a church. There was not money on hand to erect
and complete the church, and the members and friends did the next best
thing. The frame was raised and enclosed, the floor laid and windows
and doors put in. Temporary seats were put in the enclosure, some-
FRKNCHTOWxV, NEW JERSEY. 35
what in the order of seating groves in that day for camp-meetings.
Quite rustic in appearance, but answered for the time. A platform was
built with some of the unplaned boards for a pulpit, and other boards
were placed in position for an altar. Two stoves were put in and quite
a comfortable place for worship secured. Brother Z. Gaskill preached
for several months, every other Sabbath afternoon, in the unfinished
room. At the conference in 1845, the Bishop in reading the appoint-
ments read, "Qualiertown circuit, Abraham M. Palmer." I did not
know at the moment in what part of the conference territory I would
find my tield of labor ; but quite soon Brother Gaskill handed me a
" plan of the circuit." I found that it was a " two weeks' circuit."
One Sabbath I was to preach in the morning at Quakertown and in the
afternoon at Cherryville; the following Sabbath at Everittstown in the
mornmg and Frenchtown in the afternoon. This was my flrst appoint-
ment as a married man. I had been married some two months before.
As a single man I had preached for three years, remaining but one
year on the same charge, as was the custom at that time. My
predecessor on the circuit had resided at Quakertown. For the residence
of the preacher in 1845 the stewards had rented a house in French-
town. May 15th, 1845, at about six o'clock in the afternoon, after a
ride of fifty miles, we drove into Frenchtown. My young wife's brother
and sister came with us from her father's with his horses and wagon.
We brought a few things with us toward housekeeping. I had shipped
from Newark a barrel of dishes and two bedsteads, which came to hand
the following day. The house was barren of every scrap of furniture
which, however, was not uncommon at that time in our parsonages,
and especially so in hired houses. I remember till this day my
feelings as we stood — the four of us— in that empty house, tired, hungry,
lonesome. In a few minutes, however, several persons were at the
house to welcome us, and to invite us to supper and lodging. Brother
and sister Slack preferred to accommodate the four of us. The next day
I bought a cooking stove, a table and a few other things, and we had
dinner in our own house and by night had arranged for sleeping. On
Sunday, May 18th, I preached at Everittstown in the morning and at
Frenchtown in the afternoon ; the following Sabbath, at Quakertown
in the morning and had a funeral in the afternoon. Soon after coming
to Frenchtown I bought a horse, carriage and harness and felt well
equipped for my work. Congregations increasingly good and the
spiritual interest seemed most excellent during the summer months.
On September 3d, we commenced a woods meeting in a grove on the
road to Baptisttown. There was much interest in the meetings from
the opening. On Sunday, September 7th, the Rev. C. A. Lippencott
36 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
(in the forenoon) preached a most powerful seraion to a large congrega-
tion, and in the afternoon the Lord helped me greatly in preaching to
the people. The Holy Spirit was present in mighty saving power. A
large number came to the altar for prayer, and ten professed conversion.
The meetings were continued in the grove afternoons, and evenings at
Brother Thomas Roberson's, and fifty professed conversion. Greater
displays of saving power are seldom witnessed. The churches of
different denominations for miles were moved to engage in revival
work and in some churches there were very many accessions. Sabbath
afternoon, October 19th, we had a baptismal service at Frenchtown
which was witnessed by a multitude of people. Some fifty kneeled on
the bank of the river near the bridge, and I sprinkled water from the
river upon their heads in the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Ghost, consecrating them to Christ and his service. Four
persons by their special request were immersed in the same adorable
name and for the same sacred purpose. In October we had extra
meetings at Everittstown and some twenty-five professed conversion.
In November, special services were held in Quakertown, and about
thirty came into the church on probation. In the fall of 1845, while
the revival spirit was abroad, strenuous efforts were made to collect
money to finish the Frenchtown church. It was a difficult thing to do.
Our members had but little money ; we raised what we could, and
secured a brother to go abroad and obtain if possible, money to assist
us. After a lime we felt justified in going forward in the work and
rejoiced greatly as the work advanced toward the completion. Wednes-
day, December 17th, 1845, the church was dedicated. The Presiding
Elder, Rev. Isaac Winner preached in the forenoon and dedicated the
church. Rev. Abraham Owen, then pastor at New Germantown,
preached in the evening. It was a day of rejoicing and one of much
interest. In February and March, special services were held in the
church and over fifty persons professed conversion. Our conference
in the spring of 1846 was held in the Clinton Street Church,
Newark ; I was ordained Eider at that conference, and was re-appointed
to Quakertown circuit ; I found much to do in looking after the recent
converts and in the general work of the large circuit. In September
and October, special meetings were held in Everittstown, and forty
persons professed conversion. In November, I held extra meetings in
Quakeriown; grandly successful, but cut off by storms and bad roads.
In January the special meetings in Frenchtown resulted in a goodly
number of conversions. In all our revival meetings the members of
the church were greatly benefited, and some of them professed entire
sanctification. The last page of my diary at Frenchtown, written April
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 37
12th, 1847, reads : " Have worked constantly for two years ; feel weary
in body ; hope for a light charge next year ; including backsliders
reclaimed, over two hundred have been converted at our altar ; have
not received much money, not enough for our necessities, but friends
have been very kind in giving us provisions, some families keeping us
bountifully supplied with eatables. We must remember Frenchtown for
numerous reasons, and especially as the birthplace of our dear son."
Reminiscenses by Rev. Walter Chamberlin.
Frenchtown first appears in the minutes of 1854 as a station, with
James Harris as pastor, but after that year it was connected with
Milford till 1861, when I was sent there, when it was again made a
station with about one hundred members. I was instructed and almost
commanded, by the Presiding Elder, C. S. Vancleve, to see to it that
the church be rebuilt and enlarged. I arrived in Frenchtown an
entire stranger, Friday evening, April 12th, and put up with the old
pastor, George H. Jones.
I preached my first sermon the following Sabbath from Romans,
10: 1. The following Thursday we moved the family, via, Trenton,
amidst the excitement of war ; the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment
passing us as we stood on the platform of the railroad station at Tren-
ton. We were cordially received by the brethren and sisters, who
assisted our getting settled in the parsonage. Notwithstanding the
war excitement, and some of our young men enlisting to put dovvn the
wicked Rebellion, the trustees met on the 10th of May and resolved
that a subscription be opened to rebuild and enlarge the church edifice,
and as soon as this subscription would warrant, to commence the work
in the fear of God. On the 31st of May the trustees and building com-
mittees met and resolved to commence the renovation of the church.
On June 3d the seats were removed from the church to a hall, and the
work began. The church was raised one story, extended in length
and a tower put up, with a fine toned bell. (The following letter is
inserted by D. M. M.)
" Troy Bell Foundry, January 13th, 1862.
M. E. Church, Frenchtown,
BY Rev. W. Chamberlin,
Bought of Jones & Co.,
1 Church Bell, 710 lbs., ® 30cts $213 00
Hangings Complete 35 00
Less Donation 14 20
38 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
The above mentioned bell and its mountings are warranted not to
break in one year from date and tone warranted satisfactory to the
purchaser. Should they fail or break during the year, we agree to
recast the bell or replace the broken mountings without charge.
Dated Troy, January 13th, 1862.
Jones & Co.
Rev. W. Chamberlin.
Dear Sir: — Your favor of the 10th was received Saturday, and
to-day we ship the bell. Above is bill and warrantee, and inclosed is
railroad receipt. This railroad now refuses to contract beyond its own
route, and all we could do was to get terms to New York. Please pay
that amount and deduct from the bill, viz : 30c. per 100 lbs,, on 1,050 lbs ,
$3.15. We trust the bell will reach you safely and in good time and
give you and your people most ample satisfaction. Don't use over a |
rope and the bell will work the better. You will much oblige us by
remitting as promptly as convenience will allow.
Very Sincerely Yours,
Jones & Co."
The lecture room was dedicated on Saturday, August 24th, 1861,
Rev. C. H. Whiticar preaching in the morning and Rev. William W.
Voorhees in the evening. The subscription for the day was $112. On
the following day (Sabbath) Rev. Charles E. Hill preached a regular
evangelical sermon which was a real benediction to all that heard it.
In the afternoon at half-past three o'clock, the Presiding Elder, C. S.
Vancleve preached a splendid sermon, and in the evening Rev. W. E.
Blakeslee preached for us. The subscription during the two days
amounted to about $150,
The dedication of the audience room took place on Tuesday, January
28th, 1862. Bishop E, S. Janes preaching in the morning, Rev. A. K.
Street in the afternoon and Dr. I. W. Wiley giving us a grand discourse
in the evening. By collection and subscription $500 were raised during
the day, leaving $450 to be provided for. The people did nobly
considering the circumstances and deserve the prosperity following
their sacrifices. Among those worthy of mention was Joseph Ashton,
who started the subscription with $100, and finding it a blessing to give,
added $50 more. May the blessing of Heaven ever rest on the M. E.
Church of Frenchtown !
It may be of interest to you and all the citizens of Frenchtown, to
know the age of those trees in front of the church and parsonage.
I assisted in planting them Saturday, May 3d, 1862.
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 39
Reminiscences by Rev. C. Clark, Jr.
When I came to my pastorate, the people of Frenchtown had just
voted no license for the borough ; and inconsequence of which we were
a dry town for that year. It was during the panic of '71 that the
license people thought they saw the business of the town prostrate, and
"grass growing in the streets," and in the spring election, secured a
majority in the council for license again. Of course, grass did not grow
in the streets, neither had it before, but drunkenness, disorder and
noise did result therefrom.
During my third year, the town and church were visited by a most
remarkable and overwhelming revival of religion ; and a few facts
leading thereto may be worthy of mention. My health was in such a
precarious condition that my advisers urged upon me positive rest ;
but my conviction was that there must be a meeting held, and I
arranged for it about as follows : I called for volunteers among the
ladies to go under my direction two by two and canvass the town, and
do strictly pastoral work of religious conversation and prayer. Six
ladies, including my wife, responded to the call. They met at the old
parsonage, and an hour was devoted to consecration and prayer. It
was a holy hour ! Each one felt that God was in the plan, and that it
must succeed ; and with this feeling and a baptism of the Holy Spirit,
this faithful little band began their labors from house to house.
I had arranged with the officials of the church, that they should
conduct the singing and praying and to work in the congregation, and
leave me to take it as easy as circumstances would permit, and to
secure ministerial aid if deemed necessary ; but in less than a week it
became apparent that no assistant preachers would be necessary to
further the glorious work.
The basement of the church was thronged with anxious humanity,
and the altar with weeping penitents. The work of that consecrated
band of women during the first afternoon was clearly visible at the
Soon the subject for conversation in the store?, shops and hotels of the
town was the revival in the Methodist Church ; and as a consequence,
all classes and persuasions flocked to the meetings and some remarkable
scenes took place. Many members of the church soon found that they
needed more grace for the work, and held a holiness meeting for that
purpose. Members of the Presbyterian and Baptist churches stood up
for prayer and came to the altar and sought a state of justification
which they declared they had never bofore enjoyed. Thus for one
month or more these services engrossed the thought and conversation
40 HISTORY OF THK M. E. CHURCH.
of the town and vicinity, and resulted in the addition of some seventy-
five persons of all ages to the membership of the church.
At the conclusion of this series of meetings, the question of license
or no license came up again. I consulted with the Rev. C. Conkling,
a retired Presbyterian minister residing in the town concerning the
matter, and the result was a call for a meeting of especially selected
citizens in the basement of our church to consider the question. This
was indeed a memorable meeting, both for its personal character and
for the decided spirit manifested for God and the right. The result was
that a committee of thirteen was appointed with authority to make a
ticket for the approaching election for mayor and councilmen, and to
report in one week for approval. The selection made by the committee
was highly satisfactory, and we pledged ourselves to work for the
ticket. The liquor men had been demoralized by the revival, but
boasted of being victorious ; but when the votes were counted they
were badly defeated, and the church and no license reigned again for
one year at least.
My pastorate at Frenchtown was very pleasant, both in its social and
church relationship. I could mention the names of many with whom
I was associated, and with whom I passed many hours of spiritual and
social profit; but for fear of occupying too much space, I shall refrain
from so doing. Some of those associates have gone to heaven; some
have moved to other earthly homes; but there are many who yet
reside in the town. Those names are dear to me ; and I shall ever
hold in fond remembrance the personalities they represent, and the
happy scenes entwined around them — scenes undimmed by the haze
and mist of the years that have since flown.
But if permitted, I shall make mention of one man ; Morris Max-
well, class leader ; I believe it was so before I came and after I left ;
I know it to be true during my stay, that Brother Maxwell was most
faithful to his duty as class leader. He led a class meeting in the
church, and he led it rain or shine. On the night of his meeting it was
a well-known fact throughout the town that he could always be found
at the Methodist Church with his class. Sometimes few and sometimes
many met with this good man, and all found it "good to be there."
The closing hours of my stay in the town were exceedingly pleasant.
Many persons came to assist us in packing and getting oflf, and we left
the parsonage for the station, believing we had said good-bye to nearly
all. To our surprise, however, the station was thronged in and out
with members of the church and others. It was a hallowed moment
of hand-shaking, tears and good wishes never to be forgotten.
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 41
Reminiscences by Rev. Joseph Qaskill.
The following was published in The Hunterdon Independent, June
22d, 1894. It was written as a supplement to a paper read at French-
town before the Hunterdon County Historical Society :
Editor of The Hunterdon Independent.
Dear Sir : — Will you please allow me a little space in your valuable
paper to supplement, or add to, that very remarkable history, of the
rise and progress of the Methodist Episcopal Church in French town,
as written by the Bev. D. M. Matthews, and published in your paper,
The Indepejulent, of June the 8th inst. ; and also, to give some brief
account of nly ministry in the adjoining community to Frenchtovvn in
the year of 1842? But first of all, I want to thank you, or to whoever
it was that sent me the paper that contained the graphic history ; and
also, Brother Matthews who wrote it in such detail, fullness and general
accuracy. I have read the communication with great pleasure, and have
no criticisms or corrections to make, save one ; and that is only in the
date, or year, when the " first class" or society was formed in French-
Mr. Matthews says, " In 184U the first class was formed in French-
town by Joseph Gaskill." That is a mistake, whereas it was formed
in 1842. I was admitted into the New Jersey Annual Conference in
the month of April, 1842, and was appointed, as the minutes of the
Conference show, to Quakertown charge ; the charge consisted of four
appointments, namely, Quakertown, Everittstown, Baptisltown and
This charge had formerly been a part of old Flemington circuit, but
at the conference had been set off by itself, and I was appointed as its
first pastor. I entered upon the work with some misgivings as a young
man of little experience, and moderate intellectual abilities, but, being
filled with " faith and the Holy Ghost" I had but little doubt as to the
In addition to the four churches demanding my time and labor, I
began to study, and plan how to reach the masses of the non-church-
going people. Accordingly in the month of August I arranged to hold
a woods meeting near Quakertown for a few days. In the meantime I
had secured the promise of old Brother Banghart, (of precious memory)
Presiding Elder on Newton district, to help me in the meeting, and
preach for me, especially Sunday. When Sunday morning came, a
large concourse of people were gathered, and Father Banghart was on
hand, and took for his text the words of the weeping prophet Jeremiah.
" Rivers of water runneth down mine eyes, etc." ; and from the
42 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
announcement of the text he began to weep, and throughout the sermon
his cheeks were bathed in tears ; and among the masses of the great
congregation there was scarcely a dry eye. Under that sermon, many
were awaliened, many hearts were melted, and not a few were happily
saved from their sins.
Have all the weeping prophets and preachers passed away? Has
the cause ceased to exist ? or have preachers and people become so
refined, educated and hardened that the fountain of tears is dried up?
Not being able to continue the meeting in the grove longer, I con-
eluded to follow up the good work by opening and inviting the people
to the church at Quakertown, to which they came in crowds and
packed the bouse night after night, and the revival continued with
unabated interest until I was stricken down with disease, and had
to close the meeting ; but as it was quite a large number were saved
and the church was greatly comforted.
After recovering from my illness, and still filled with an irrepressible
desire for new conquests, and not feeling content to confine my labors
to my immediate charge alone, I resolved to venture out into the
" regions beyond " if need be, and learning that Frenchtown, a few
miles from Baptisttown, had no church, or church organization of any
kind, and also hearing that there was one man at least who was in favor
of having religious service held in the place ; and as the doors of the
school-house were closed against all ministerial intruders, he proposed
to open his shop for the purpose. So, learning this fact, I made it a
point to have an appointment given out for me to preach thereon a
given Sabbath afternoon, and when the hour arrived I think there
were present about a score of souls, men, women and children.
During the service, I thought there were indications that they would
like me to preach again, so I gave out another appointment for two
weeks from that day. When the two weeks rolled round, a still larger
gathering was present, and I tried as best I could to give them some
plain gospel truths, and impress upon them the importance of at once
consecrating their hearts and lives to God and his service then and
there forever. And being encouraged by visible effects, I gave out a
third appointment for two weeks, and on this occasion I made the
strongest appeal to them I was capable of to make a start for the kingdom,
and identify themselves at once with the people and church of God ;
and at the close of the service, I called for volunteers to join the church
on probation, and eleven men and women came forward and gave me
their names, and I recorded them in a class book prepared for that
purpose ; and appointed old Brother Thomas Robertson, of Baptist-
town, as their leader, and Ambrose Silverthorn assistant. 2yiat was the
■ FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 43
origin, and beginning of the organization of tlie Methodist Episcopal
Church in the Borough of Frenchtown.
Truly it was the day of small things ; humble the beginning, but
what has God wrought during these more than fifty years?
The seed planted had vitality in itself, took deep root, and sprang up
and has born abundant fruitage. To God be all the glory.
At the close of this conference year '42, I was removed from Quaker-
town charge and sent to Gloucester circuit, embracing twenty-one
appointments, 1,400 members, with Joseph Atwood as my colleague;
and of course, the little infant church at Frenchtown fell into the hands
of my successor, and subsequently his successors to the present time.
How well they have nourished and cared for the tender infant plant,
Brother Matthews' glowing history fully sets forth. To God be all the
glory for this wonderful result.
I would like to make mention of a revival also that took place at
Everittstown during the winter of '42 ; quite a number were converted ;
among them, some few arose to distinction and usefulness. There was
Sylvester Opdyke, who became a member of the Newark Conference,
and Presiding Elder ; but he has passed to his reward. There was also
one by the name of Mahlon Rittenhouse ; I think he is still living, and a
merchant at Everittstown ; and still others whose names have faded
from my memory ; but their names were written in Heaven, and I
trust they remain uneffaced.
A short time before I left my charge for conference, I held a little
extra meeting in a neighborhood called the swamp, about three or four
miles south of Quakertown, where some twelve or fifteen souls were
brought to the Saviour. With this extra service, in connection with
the regular work of the charge I closed up the year. It was a year of
much sacrifice, of hard toil, but full of blessing to my soul.
For this year's labor I received all told, one hundred and twenty
dollars, and riches of grace added thereto.
It may seem to you in reading the above narrative, and to your
readers, that I betray much egotism, but this is far from me ; I could
not give you the facts without making myself prominent J. G.
Teenton, N. J., June 13th, 1894.
44 HISTORY OF THE M. E- CHURCH,
Brief Personal Sketches of the Pastors who have Served
THE Frenchtown M. E. Church.
Behold, a sower went forth to sow ; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside,
and the fowls came and devoured them up : But others fell into good ground, and brought
forth fruit, some a hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold.— Bible.
Personal sketch of the life and ministry of R3V. Joseph Gaskill.
^ The name of my father was Jacob Gaskill and the name of my
mother Sarah Gaskill, her maiden name being Sarah Bass. I was born
at Hanover Furnace, in Burlington County, N. J., in the year of our
Lord, December 8d, 1817. One year after I was born my father bought
a tavern property and connected therewith a farm, five miles west of
the Furnace, and moved with the family to this place, then called
Centerville, (but now Pointvillc). Here I lived till I became twenty-
one years of age.
Centerville was so called for the reason six public roads converged to
a central point. The tavern, then so called, was more a place for
travelers and entertainment than a saloon. This village was located
near the line that divided the open oak farming country, and the pine
region. The youth of this community were not favored with the best
educational and religious advantages, however, we had a common
district school and occasionally religious services. The house located
here, was used for both purposes. This place then was included as an
appointment on New Egypt circuit, and the preachers came once in
two weeks and proclaimed the Gospel to a small membership of
Methodist people comprising one class. On Sunday a local preacher
sometimes preached the word, at other times a prayer meeting was
held, and always the class was kept up uniformly and regularly.
Occasionally I attended some of these services, but never made a start
for the kingdom, although I was subject nearly all the time to the
keenest compunction for sin.
This condition of affairs remained till the year 1837, when the Rev.
Rev. Joseph Gaskill.
(See Page 44.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 47
Thomas G. Stewart, of blessed memory, came on the New Egypt circuit,
and as a herald of fire he went around the circuit, and everywhere
revivals took place, and hundreds were converted ; and last of all he
came to our little chapel and opened his batteries, and preached with
such unction, and power, and plead with tears with the ungodly to
flee from the wrath to come, and many broke down and rushed to the
altar, and three of my sisters were among them. My feelings were
stirred, my heart seemed to melt like wax before the tire, and my head
became a fountain of tears ; but I strove against the spirit and finally
suppressed my emotions, and dried my tears, and came off victor for
the time. The next day (Thursday) as I was at work near the tavern,
I looked up and saw Father Steward approaching, and soon he dis-
mounted from his horse, and to my surprise at once went into the
sitting-room where my mother and sisters were. For a moment I
thought it an unusual thing for a minister to visit a tavern ; I thought
I would like to know what the preacher had to say to mother and
sisters, yet I did not want him to see me, but the thought struck me, I
can hear him without his seeing me ; so I went to the house and entered
the cellar by the outside door and went up the cellar steps that led to
the sitting-room, and planting myself by the door and putting my ear
to the crack, I could hear distinctly the minister talking to my mother
and sisters. After a little he proposed to pray, and they all bowed
down. O, how earnestly he prayed and pleaded with God for the
family and for the children especially by name, for some one had given
him all our first names. When he held me up before God by name, I
wilted and fairly broke down, then the spirit said, "Now or never,
now or never ;" I said, " Lord I yield, I yield, I can hold out no more."
So from the cellar I immediately went to the barn and there with God
I cried and prayed for mercy and salvation, but with little comfort,
except I was sure pardon was in reserve for me. From that Thursday
morning I continued to pray, but without light or peace until the
following Sunday afternoon. In the morning I went to the prayer
meeting, but found no relief; I returned home, took a Bible, went up to
the garret of the old tavern, threw myself on a bed and commenced to
read the fifth chapter of Matthew ; when I came to the verse, " Blessed
are they that mourn," etc., I paused a moment and said, that is I, I
mourn, the comfort is for me ; suddenly effulgent light filled the old
garret, and joyful peace filled my believing soul. All glory to God for
my salvation through the instrumentality of Rev. Thomas G. Steward.
A few days after I was converted, walking out in the evening for
meditation and prayer, something seemed to say to me you must
48 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
preach the Gospel, and at the thought I was overwhelmed with joy,
but soon after another thought rushed into my mind and said, you are
greatly mistaken about this preaching business^ it is all a delusion, the
work is of your imagination. The idea of your being a preacher with-
out an education. It is folly. The suggestion seemed very plausible and a
matter of fact ; so I let the subject rest and gave it no further thought,
but continued to pray and live a Christian as aforetime, but somehow I
began to lose ground ; I did not find access to the throne, or realize the
joy of the Lord, or the witness of the spirit, and fell into doubt and
fear, so I was led to cry to God for help and mercy. While praying,
the same messenger came to me again and said with increased
emphasis, you must preach; and in my agony I said, anything. Lord, so
I can have restored to my soul thy salvation; then I was again made
unspeakably happy. From this time I began to make some prepara-
tion for the great work. Up to this time I had only attended our
common district school, but in the ensuing fall and winter I went to
the Wrightstown school, and the next spring the trustees of our school
wished me to take and teach their- school. I thought it would give me
some advantages for study, so I took the school, got along with it nicely,
and I think gave general satisfaction. During the year Brother Pether-
brldge, the Presiding Elder, came to me one day and said: "Jose,
I want you to preach on the circuit Sundays regularly with the other
preachers, and they will till the week-day appointments and you can
drive on your school through the week. Brother Webb will furnish
you a horse and bridle;" I said, " Brother, I do not know about
preaching." " Well," he said " go and try."
I feared to refuse, and wheti the next Sunday morning came I went
over to Brother Webb's and found the horse ready ; I mounted, and
away I started for my first appointment with fear and trembling as to
the outcome; I continued in the work and school for the bal-
ance of the year, nearly nine months. The record I made on
the circuit may be judged by the fact that at the last quar-
terly conference of the year the conference recommended me
to be received into the annual conference of New Jersey, with-
out my asking or knowledge until after it was done. I could but
appreciate the favor and their confidence in me and returned my hearty
thanks; but it was a question with me as to whether I enter the
ministry at once or tarry for a time, and go to school for better
preparation. After due consideration I concluded to go to Pennington
Seminary at least for a season. I remained at the Seminary part of
the years' 184l-'42, and at the last quarterly conference of Pennington
charge of '42, I was recommended again to the annual conference of
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 49
New Jersey, and was received and sent to Quakertown charge as
already stated in a former paper. (See reminiscences.)
Some two years prior to tlie meeting of tlie annual conference I had
engaged to marry a young lady by the name of Mary Cliver, a daughter
of a farmer living near Wrightstown, Burlington Co., N. J. This was
a question of much thought to me, as to the time when this episode
should come off. So, as I knew Father Petherbridge was my warm
friend, I consulted him in reference to the matter, and he readily
advised me to marry as soon as we wished ; being encouraged to take
this step, we were married some two weeks before the sitting of the
conference, by our pastor. Rev. James Long. When the conference
assembled. I with other young ministers a))peared, and as the proper
time had come to consider their cases for admission, my name was
called and the usual question asked, " is he married or single." Father
Petherbridge, my former Presiding Elder, responded, " He is married,
and I would rather have him married than single," so the motion was
made for my admission and carried without a dissenting voice. At
the close of the session my name was read for Quakertown. Among
the many things that occurred during the year under my ministry that
has afforded me great pleasure, was that memorable day when I
preached my third and last sermon in Frenchtown, and at the close I
invited persons to join the church when eleven men and women gave
me their names and I enrolled them in a book for that purpose. That
was the origin and start of the Methodist Episcopal Church in French-
town. I was allowed to remain on this charge but one year, and from
there I was sent to Gloucester circuit, Gloucester County, of twenty-
one appointments and fourteen hundred members with Joseph Atwood
as my colleague. From this circuit I was sent to Cedarville, and from
Cedarville to Cumberland circuit, from there to Cape May circuit, from
there to Swedesboro circuit, and then to Pittsgrove, Salem County ;
then Fairfield, Essex County ; then to Madison, (the seat of the
Theological Seminary), then to Sharpetown, Salem County, and from
here suffice it to say, I went into other fields of labor and continued in
the work as health and circumstances permitted. During these years
of toil some hundreds of souls were gathered into the fold and some
already have been housed in the heavenly garner, all of which I hope
will be stars in my crown of rejoicing in the world of spirits. My
precious wife entered the itinerancy with me in high hope and endured
the hardships and privations with Christian fortitude and patience
Incident to such a life, and helped to bear my burdens, and cheerfully
and tenderly nursed me through much sickness that fell to my lot.
She was spared to me forty- six years to care for me, and seven years
50 HISTORY OF THR M. E. CHURCH,
ago she was suddenly stricken down and peacefully passed away. Six
children were born to us, three of whom died in infancy; the others
grew to maturity, but while young they were all happily converted to
God and joined the church. My oldest son entered the army during
the Rebellion and soon fell a victim by disease, and I trust lie died a
victor ; my other and youngest son was seized with disease and died
at the age of twenty. My only child and daughter still lives to be the
light and joy of my home. I am now in my seventy-eighth year
and I am looking forward to the time of deliverance and cherish a sure
and certain hope of entering through the pearly gate to sit down with
the good and happy throng, where the wicked cease to trouble and the
weary are at rest.
On the 13th of November, 1852, our Brother, Zerubbabel Gaskill,
departed this life in the city of Philadelphia, at the house of his
brother, aged forty-eight. He was blessed with that special blessing, a
pious mother. In his eleventh year he was converted to God, in
his seventeenth year he joined the M. E Church, at Newport,
N. J,, then under the ministry of the Rev. John Creamer, of
precious memory. In 1833 he was called to fill a vacancy in the Salem
circuit, N. J. In 1831 he joined the Philadelphia Conference, and was
appointed to Moorestown circuit, N. J.; 1835, Smyrna, Del.; 1836,
Ciroline, Md. ; 1837-'38, Bargaintown, N. J. ; 1839, Crosswicks; 1840,
Crosswicks and Bethel Mission ; 18Il-'42, Middletown Point; 1843-'44,
Ciuakertown circuit ; 1845-'46, Haddonfleld ; 1847- '48, Blackwoodtown
circuit; 1849-'50, Tuckerton circuit ; 1851-'52, Clarksboro, where his
labors and suffering ceased. The text selected for his funeral discourse,
Act xi : 24 ; " For he was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and of
faith," is a very fit illustration of Brother Gaskill's character as a
minister. Though he might not have been considered brilliant, yet he
possessed all the substantial qualifications this sacred text imports.
The substratum of his thoughts was strong and pertinent, and had he
possessed the grace of delivery, he would have been considered among
our strong men in the pulpit. His life exemplified the text. Consistency
and/er<;or were marked characteristics in him. We do not know that
he possessed what some have called the divine art, yet he loved sacred
verse. On Sabbath, when near his end, and contemplating the holy
temples of the Lord, and the gathering together of the people, he
repeated these expressive lines :
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 5^^
' Thousands, O Lord of Hosts, this day
Around Thine altars meet.
And tens of thousands throng to pay
Their homage at Thy feet."
" Deprived I am,"
but continued —
" I may not to Thy courts repair,
Yet here Thou surely art,
lyord consecrate a home of prayer
In my surrendered heart."
Contemplating death, he exclaimed :
" How shall I meet this foe
Whose frown my soul alarms?
Dark horror sits upon his brow,
And victory waits his arms !
He answered —
" But with an eye of faith,
Peering beyond the grave,
I see that friend who conquered death,
Whose arm alone can save."
In conversation with a brother in the ministry a little before his
departure, he said he was very happy, and praised the Lord ; and when
raised up a little, he said : " Let me go. Hallelujah ! Praise the
Lord !" and calmly folding his hands upon his bosom, he ceased to
breath. Brother Gaskill has left a wife and four children to mourn
their irreparable loss ; and the church has lost a faithful minister.
To Thy behest, great God, we bow. — New Jersey Conference Minutes.
Abraham M. Palmer.
Abraham M. Palmer was born in White Plains, New York, Novem-
ber 30th, 1817. His parents were Richard C, and Susan B. Palmer,
Both were well known, and prominent in the community and in the
church. His mother was a quiet, godly woman, dearly beloved. His
father was the first class-leader in the church at White Plains, and for
sixty-five years a licensed exhorter and was " abundant in labors." He
held several of the most important positions in his township and
county. Both were spared for many years, his father being ninety-five
at his death. His father was a merchant in early life, and Abraham
M. expected to follow his father in the mercantile business and received
a good business education.
52 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
His religious life had an early beginning ; he believes that he was
truly converted at twelve years of age, but at that time boys of his age
were thought to be too young to unite with the church. Thanks be to
God it is not so now.
In March 1835, he received a clerkship in New York City, and very
soon thereafter united with the Allen Street Methodist Episcopal
Church and Sunday-school. His church, Sabbath-school and class-
meetings were dearly prized and he was seldom absent. A few years
after uniting with the church he was deeply impressed with the thought
that the ministry was to be his life-work. The thought was not in
harmony with his desires. Flattering financial pro.-pects were before
him, and he had reached the first position in a large dry goods house,
and had the promise of an early promotion to a partnership in the
In 1840, the impression ripened into a positive conviction and call
from God to the work of the ministry which he dared not resist.
•' Woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel." God said it to him, and
he began to make special plans for his life-work. He entered upon a
preparatory course of study intending to enter college in the fall of
At that time young men were in special demand for the ministry,
many of the large circuits had been cut up into small stations and
single men only could be supported. In the spring of 1842, he was
persuaded by prominent ministers in the church, to abandon his
proposed college course, and enter the ministry at once and pursue his
studies as best he could. Mr. Wesley's words were frequently repeated
to him, *' Gaining knowledge is a good thing, but saving souls is a
In April 1842, he was received into the New Jersey Conference and
stationed at Fort Lee. His appointments after the above date were as
follows: Parsippany, Bethel, Quakertown, Everittstown and French-
town, Lambertville, Belvidere, First Church Phillipsburg, Newark,
three of the leading churches on Staten Island, Jersey City, Plainfield
In 1892, he closed his fifty years in the effective work without a
break ; he then asked for a supernumary relation, and removed to
Newark where he now resides.
He has been blessed during his ministry with many gracious revivals
and probably has received over two thousand persons into the church.
He has superintended the building of six new churches and three
parsonages, and the repairing and beautifying of many others.
He has been especially successful in paying church debts, which in
Rev. Abraham M. Palmer.
(See Page .)!.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 55
some cases were very embarrassing to the success of the respective
Three times he has been sent by the Bishops to settle painful diffi-
culties in prominent churches, and has been called the *' peacemaker"
of his conference.
He has been treasurer of his conference for thirty-two years, and
probably over a million of dollars passed through his hands to the
several benevolent societies without the loss of a dollar, or any cost to
Thomas T. Campfield.
Rev. Thomas Thornton Campfield was born in Hagerstown, Maryland,
May 23d, 1811. His ftither died when he was only three years old. In
his eighth year we find him a resident of Freehold, Monmouth County,
N. J,, in the neighborhood of which be continued to reside until he
entered upon his itinerating career. After traveling several years under
the Presiding Elder, he was admitted on trial in the New Jersey Con-
ference, at Trenton, April 20th, 1844. He died suddenly at Washing-
ton, Warren County, N. J., April 14th, 1885. At the same conference,
seventeen others entered with him ; eight of whom have fallen in the
He filled the following appointments in the New Jersey and the
Newark conferences: Mount Zion, 1844-'45 ; Lambertville, 1846;
Quakertown, 1847-'48; Flanders, 1849-'50 ; Springfield and Westfield,
1851-'52; Westfield, 1853-'54; Frenchtown and Milford, 1855-'56 ;
Peapack and Cross-roads, 1857-'58 ; Somerville, 1859'60; Springfield
again, 18Gl-'62; Anderson and Mount Bethel, 1863; Mount Bethel and
Oxford Furnace, 1864; Harmony, 1865-'66; Broadway, 1867-'69;
Union and Pattenburg, 1870-'72 ; Springville and New Village, 1873-'75 ;
Pleasant Valley, 1876-'78 ; Mount Bethel and Beattystown, 1879-'80.
At the conference in the spring of 1881, his effective work of thirty-
seven years in the conference closed, and he retired to the supernumerary
line. Some twelve years before he entered the ministry he had married
Miss Euhannah Smith, of Freehold, August 30th, 1832, with whom
he lived nineteen years. On May 21st, 1856, he married Miss Fannie
A. Kemple, of Hackettstown, who shared his toil for twenty-four years.
He married, March 15th, 1882, Miss Maggie M. Cummins, also of
These are a few outlines of the life of our departed brother. Each line
is deserving of a fuller notice. We can only satisfy ourselves of some of
the more salient features of his character. And first of all, he had a
56 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
clear, strong and convincing proof of sins forgiven, which he lield
to through all his varied life as the strict anchor of his soul. He had
studied the Book of God as the sole fountain of faith, and faith as the
essential condition of the justification of his nature. His call to the
ministry followed soon after this mighty change. He knew his acquired
abilities were limited for the great work before him. He knew he
could not enter into any regular schools of the prophets, for there were
none. The church he loved and had been instrumental in his conver-
sion, had not yet opened the gates of these grand institutions to candi-
dates seeking literary culture and theological training. In fact, the
voice of the church was then against such drill. The " Bush College "
was the order of the day. What was he to do ? Check his convictions
of imperative duty ? Remain at home? Continue in the use of the
hoe, the axe, the spade, or to follow the plow and till the soil? *' No,"
he said ; *' I must go and preach the Gospel." He knew that a knowl-
edge of disease alone does not make a man a physician ; it shows him
how to apply the remedies which another science has made known to
him. He says, " I can by divine grace describe the sin malady, and
point the struggling soul to the all-healing fountain." He had tasted
the fruit of life and knew how to recommend it to others. He had
found the kernel in the nut, the wheat in the husk, the marrow in the
bones. Will the church now call him into her vineyard ? This question
was not immediately answered. He was a married man, and thirty-
four years old. Married men were not then so readily admitted into
the conference. We remember the discussion — the suspense— the patient
waiting before the favorable response was given. He entered, and for
more than forty odd years he cut his way through the forest, plowed
deep furrows and left in them the seeds of a great harvest.
He had in him evidently a heroic spirit. We claim, if the harder
field of labor or the more dangerous line of battle is the place of honor,
then surely our departed brother was entitled to that distinction. He
was never known to wince or shrink at the word of command. He was
naturally diffident and retiring, but as a captain in Christ's army he
was as bold as a lion. We have often seen him leap into the thickest
of the fight, and have never known him to flinch. His record will
show that he possessed and maintained the truest Christian and minis-
terial bravery ; some of the instances of time and place to illustrate
his heroism have been in past written out by himself and are now
filed away in the archives of our Historical Society. At our last con-
ference, with roll in hand, he said to the writer, " Here is an account
of ray life work," and we verily believe when the future historian shall
write of the acts and actors of the Church of God, he will find that in
Kev. T. T. Campfield.
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 59
many localities of New Jersey no inconsiderable part was played by T.
T. Campfield. The most of us are ready to admit that true ministeria
heroism consists very largely in self sacrifice and self-restraint. Are
there any fields neglected, overgrown, abandoned? Who will go?
Our brother said, "I will go; send me." He went, esteeming it a
great privilege to work anywhere for the Master. He lived on short
allowances. His powers of endurance were sometimes taxed to their
utmost capacity. He knew how to be abased and how to suffer need,
and we have not the least doubt that there are some in our day who
would retire if they had to till such fields and do the kind of work
this man did in the earlier and later days of his ministry. There are
but few men in New Jersey who have builded more churches and
erected more parsonages than our departed brother. Thousands were
converted through his instrumentality, many of whom are now
preaching the Gospel. He labored, and others are now entering into
his labors. He sowed and planted, and others are gathering and enjoy-
ing the harvest.
Brother Campfield had a peculiar aptness for dates and figures.
From these we learned that he traveled in his own conveyance as a
minister from March 2d, 1839, to March 2d, 1884—45 years— about
120,000 miles; served twenty-two charges; preached about 7,000
times; made about 12.000 pastoral calls; received into the Methodist
Episcopal Church, on probation and into full membership, about 2,057
persons; baptized about 1,000; attended about 700 funerals, and
married about 600 couples.
The writer spent a night at his house only a few days before his
sudden transition. He spoke of his severe sickness through the winter
— how near he came to passing over the river, and how God brought
him back as from the gates of death. He referred to the struggle be
had in reaching the Conference before the roll-call, saying he had only
missed once in forty-one years. We call up the devotional hour of that
night before retiring. How happy he seemed ; what quick and earnest
responses he made as we thanked the Lord for His saving grace, and
the triumphs of the Cross through our humble efforts. Evidently God
was preparing him for the chariot and the crown. He had done his
work. His reward awaited him on high. His classmates loved him ;
we all ioved him. The earth is better for his having lived in it, and
heaven is richer for his entrance there. May we be ready when the
Bridgroom cometh. May our sunsetting be radiant with peace, and
our spirit pass away into the brightness of immortality.
6o HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
His funeral services were held in the Hackettstown Methodist
Episcopal Church, April 18th, 1885, under the charge of J. A, Munroe^
his pastor. — Newark Conference Minutes.
Rev. S. W. Decker.
Brother Decker was born in Orange County, New York, October
18th, 1807. His parents were exemplary and respectable members of
the Old School Presbyterian Church, and brought him up in the fear
of the Lord. At an early age he engaged in teaching school. In 1832,
he attended a camp-meeting near Fiemington, N. J., and heard a sermon
by Eev. Charles Pitman, P. E. He and his young wife were thoroughly
aroused to a sense of their danger, and sought and found the pearl of
great price, and soon after oflFered themselves as probationers to the
M. E. Church, and were received by Rev. J. L. Gilder, late of the N.
Y. East Conference.
In 1837, he was licensed to preach. In 1838 Rev. Manning Force, P.
E., appointed him as a supply for Springfield. At the Conference in
1839, he was admitted on trial, and returned to Springfield. His subse-
quent appointments were as follows: 1840, Orange; 1841-'42, New
Prospect, where he was engaged in a glorious revival, and hundreds
were brought to Christ; 1843-'44, Vernon, Ct. : 1845-'46, Stanhope;
1847-'48, Stillwater ; 1849-'50, Quakertown ; 1851, New Egypt; while at
this last appointment, he was made chaplain to the state prison in
Trenton, where he was continued two or three years. To sustain his
growing family, he engaged in the mercantile business, and became
deeply involved in debt. Greatly embarrassed, and under great mental
depression, he withdrew from the ministry, saying, " How can I
preach the Gospel when I owe $4,000? " He gave up all his property
to his creditors and moved to Jersey City, and, after earnest prayer, he
again commenced business, promising, if success attended him, he
would pay all his old debts. He was greatly prospered, and, though
not legally bound, yet he felt himself morally bound to pay every debt,
principal and interest, which he was able to do. This was a noble
example of honesty. While in Jersey City such was his godly life,
and his religious influence, that the preachers felt he ought to be restored
to the Conference, and his name was re-entered upon our Conference
roll as a supernumerary with work. He moved from Jersey City to
Paterson, and spent the most of his later years in that city, where he
was looked upon as a man of God, pure in life, and an efficient worker
in the church. He supplied a number of appointments in the vicinity,
and was ever ready to work for Christ and souls. He died at Paterson,
April 25th, 1884. — Newark Con. Minutes.
Rev. S. W. Decker.
(See Page 00.)
frenchtown, new jersey. 63
The Rev. Rodney Winans was born on Governor's Island, on the 6th
day of January, 1813. He died at his home in Branch Mills, near
Westtield, New Jersey, September 15th, 1882.
He was converted, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, in
Newark, in March, 1832. While yet a youth, he became a higfhly
esteemed and useful class-leader. Brother John Scarlett (at that time
a professed infldel) was induced to attend his class, and about a year
after was converted.
Brother Winans was licensed as a local preacher in 1838, in Carlisle,
Pa. He had already entered Dickinson College in 1835. There, by his
diligence, he showed his belief that " gaining knowledge is a good
thing ;" but he also believed that " the winning of souls is a better."
The journal of his student days is largely occupied with accounts of
class-meetings, quarterly meetings, and sermons. A good part of his
education at Carlisle was the inspiring influence of Dr. Durbin, the
President of the college.
He longed to be engaged in the regular work of the ministry, and
was received into the New Jersey Conference at its session, held in
Bridgeton, April, 1838.
During his active ministry he filled the following appointments :
Mendham, Asbury, Cokesbury, Dover and Millbrook, Woodbury,
Moorestown, Medford, Haverstraw, Trenton, Quakertown, Clinton,
New Providence, Woodbridge, New Dover, Newton, North Haverstraw
Among his early colleagues were Thomas J. Stewart, George Bang-
hart, Joseph J. Sleeper, and (as his juniors) M. C. Stokes and Charles
Dr. Lareu remembers him as remarkable for ** the charms of his
thought, the keen analysis of his subject, and the conciseness of his
expression." His sermons were always thoroughly studied and evan-
gelical. He loved an argument. His mind was naturally metaphysi-
cal. Solid theological books (always of the Wesleyan type) were his
favorite studies. The thoughtful listeners were always best pleased
with his preaching, the tendency of which was rather to the edification
of believers than to the awakening of the irreligious. But he con-
tinually longed for revivals, and was not infrequently blessed with
them. The most notable of these occurred on the Moorestown and
Medford circuits, where the people still testify that " his name is as
ointment poured forth. — Newark Con. Minutes,
^4 HISTORY OF the; M. E. CHURCH,
Was admitted on trial in the New Jersey Conference in 1850, and
was sent to Freehold as junior preacher, with J. W. Barrett; Quaker-
town circuit, including Frenchtown and Everittstown in 1851, with
There was a gracious revival of religion at the last named place. J.
F. Case, of Everittstown ; Joseph Everitt, of Quakertown, and the
writer (then of Everittstown), were among the number of converts.
His next appointment was New Prospect. His field of labor in
1854-'55 was Rockland Lake ; 1856, Milltown, and in 1857 the minutes
return him as supernumerary.
Brother Curtis Talley was born November 19th, 1807, near Wilming-
ton, Delaware, and died at Pennington, New Jersey, December 5th,
1855, aged forty-eight years. His parents were respectable people and
his mother was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, con-
nected with one of the societies of old Chester circuit, Philadelphia
conference. Brother Talley spent his youth at home, dividing his time
between labor and books, except a winter or two passed at an academy
in a neighboring town. Plis father's home being not far from one of
the regular preaching places on the circuit, he was from his earliest
years an attendant on the worship and familiar with the doctrine and
ways of the Methodists. In the twenty-third year of his age he was
converted and united with the church, and the next year was appointed
class-leader and licensed as an exhorter. He was zealous, laborious and
acceptable in conducting religious service at the little neighborhood
meetings and saw much good done. Two years later, in 1883, at a
quarterly meeting held by Lawrence McCombe at the Grove church
he was licensed as a local preacher, and three months afterward at an
annual conference was received as a candidate for the itinerant min-
istry. Brother Talley often referred to his labors as an exhorter and
local preacher on Chester circuit. Among his neighbors and friends
many souls were converted during the last years of these his early
ministrations, and he seemed to regard this period as the happiest, and
he sometimes said, the most useful part of his life. One incident, which
he used to relate is worthy of record, as an example of the diversities
of operation wrought by the same God which worketh all in all.
Brother Talley had been conducting a series of meetings at a school-
house and a revival was in progress. One evening the room was filled
Rev. Wm. M Burroughs.
i6ec Page- li^.
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 67
with people and the meeting waxed warmer and warmer. Seven
persons were kneeling at a bench seeking the pardon of their sins,
while all were engaged in fervent importunate prayer, there came an
awakening influence as sudden as the rushing mighty wind and the
tongues of tire on the day of Pentecost. Every believer at the same
moment felt its power, and either bowed beneath it in speechless rap-
ture, or shouted aloud in an ecstasy of holy joy. At the self-same
instant the seven persons seeking peace with God passed from death
unto life, and began to weep happy tears, or praise the Lord aloud for
his pardoning grace. Brother Talley was received on trial by the
Philadelphia Conference in April, 1834. The subsequent appointments
were as follows: — 1834-'35, Asbury circuit; 1836, Caldwell circuit;
1837, Belleville ; 1888, Madison ; 1839-'40, Somerville ; 1841-'42, Wood-
bridge ; 1843, Perth Amboy ; 1814-'45, Crosswicks; 1846,-'47, Nyack ;
1848-'49, Springfield; 1850-'51, Pennington; 1852, Rah way ; 1853,
In November, 1836, he was united in marriage to Miss Agnes
C. Crain, They had one daughter, Helen, the sunshine of the
home. Twenty years, as shown above, filled the measure of Brother
Talley's life in the effective ministry. For some years previous to his
death there were symptoms of pulmonary disease and his health was
gradually declining. He struggled on however, hoping against hope,
until at last his disease became so aggravated that he could no longer
hide from his own eyes the fact that he must seek at least a temporary
respite from labor, and at the New Brunswick session of the New Jersey
Conference in 1854, he was constrained to ask a supernumerary relation.
The love of life was strong vvithin him, and love for the work of the
ministry was even stronger.
As the weary months passed on and strength declined, and while
the cough of the consumptive grew more and more hollow and
painful, he clung to the idea that he should yet return to the
work with new energies of body and soul. In the last stage of
his disease he was confined to the house only nine days and to
his bed only three. A few days before his departure he said, " O, if I
could only preach the blessed Gospel once more to my fellow men, how
would my heart rejoice." When he felt that the end was at hand he
was perfectly resigned to the Divine will, saying to a brother in the
ministry, *' I feel now that my work is done ; If my good Lord would
cut the cord which binds me to earth, how delightfully would I pass
away and be at rest. I wish you, my brother, to give my love to the
conference, say to the preachers that I still love them ; and that the
same doctrines preached by me while in health afford me the greatest
comfort now when I am about to die." He then exclaimed—
68 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
"Jordan's streams shall not o'erflow me,
While my Saviour's by my side ;
Canaan, Canaan, lies before me.
Rise and cross the swelling tide."
This calm faith and hope sustained him to the last. His mind never
wandered for an instant. Reason was unwavering, even clear and
strong to life's utmost verge, and then his dying testimony is unclouded
by even the falling shadow of a momentary delirium. He lingered
until past midnight on the morning of Wednesday, December 5th,
1855, so gently that they who watched the s^ene knew not when his
spirit passed away. As a Christian, Brother Talley was devout, earnest
and conscientious, publicly and privately, in word and deed. The
Gospel of peace was his chief joy and he clung to its blessed truths
with a confidence that never wavered. The leading features of his
piety were reverence and conscientiousness. As a preacher he did not
excel in those qualities which attract the superficial hearer. His
sermons were remarkably scriptural, abounding in the very words
spoken by the Holy Ghost throughout, and deriving their illustrations
principally from the scripture narratives. His knowledge of the Bible
indeed was uncommonly full and accurate. In preaching, his range of
subjects was not extensive ; Christ the Redeemer, the Holy Spirit, the
sanctifler and purifier were his favorite themes ; he led to Christ, to
repentance, faith and holiness, nor did he care to tread in speculation
beyond what God had r vealed.
As a pastor and manager Brother Talley excelled. His work is done
and his sun has gone down but not out. It shall come forth again like
the star of the morning to shine amid thesplendor of an eternal day. —
New Jersey Con. Memorial.
Was admitted on trial in the New Jersey Conference in 1854, and
stationed at Frenchtown.
The writer infers from old manuscript now before him that Brother
Harris was abundant in labor while on this charge. His next appoint-
ment was Westfield, N. J.
We are not able to trace his ministerial record further, as his name
drops out of the minutes of the conference.
Wm. M. Burroughs.
Rev. Wm. M. Burroughs was born in Hopewell Township, Mercer
County, N. J., June 2!st, 1814, and died at New Prospect, N. J., April
17th, 1864. We have but few facts connected with his early life.
Rev. George H. Jones.
(See Page 72.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 7 I
The event which ultimately shaped his life-work was his conversion,
which took place at Pennington in his nineteenth year. Soon after, on
the 13th day of October, 1832, he was baptized and received into the
M. E. Church on probation, by Rev. Wm. H. Bull, for whom he
always cherished a deep affection.
Filled with the love of God and of precious souls, as well as diligent
in the use of all the means of grace, it was not long before he was
deeply impressed with the conviction that it was his duty to preach
Yielding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and in obedience to the
call of the Church, he began to preach on Asbury Circuit in 1837, in
connection with Rev. Jos. Chattle and C. S. Vancleve.
When the young itinerant left his paternal home to engage in his
high vocation, his father gave him a horse, saying: "Go and do all
the good you can for I have never done any." His future career shows
that he obeyed both the spirit and the letter of that injunction. In
1838, he labored in Newton Circuit in connection with Rev. J. S.
Swain. In 1839, he was admitted on trial in the New Jersey Confer-
ence. His subsequent appointments were the following: Warren,
1839; Vernon, 1840; Hudson, 1841; Port Jervis, 1842; Milford, Pa.,
1843; Ramapo, 1844-'5; Dover, 1846-'7 ; Bergen, 1848; Rome and
Wantage, 1849-'50 ; Stillwater, 1851-'2 ; Hope, 1853-'4 ; Newton, 1855 -'6 ;
Frenchtown and Milford, 1857-'8; Kingwood, 1859-'60; Wesley Chapel,
1861 ; Piermont and Tappen, 1862; New Prospect, 1863 He was just
beginning his second year on the last-named charge, when he was
called from labor to reward. The last seven years of his life were in
connection with the Newark Conference, with which he became identi-
fied at the division of the New Jersey Conference. On his return to
his charge after the last session of our conference, he entered upon his
labors with cheerfulness and hope, but his labors were soon to close.
Suddenly and with great violence he was attacked with congestion of
the brain, resulting in apoplexy, which speedily terminated his earthly
Thus fell Brother Burroughs in the ripeness of his manhood, having
served with fidelity the church to whose ministry he had given himself
more than a quarter of a century before.
From the time that he was attacked by the disease, he was unable to
speak. He could not give his dying testimony in favor of the religion of
Jesus, but he has left to his bereaved family, and to our aftlicted Church,
the precious testimony of a Christian life.
Our beloved brother needs no eulogy from us. He rests from his
72 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH.
labors and his works do follow him. He was a kind husband, an
affectionate father, a true friend.
As a pastor he devoted himself earnestly to the welfare of his people,
and secured both their respect and affection.
His mental powers were solid rather than brilliant, and his sermons
were compact, instructive, and useful.
His discourses near the close of his life are said to have been marked
with peculiar unction and power.
He preached with much tenderness not long before his death, on the
seventh chapter of Revelation, from the thirteenth to the seventeenth
verses, dwelling with rapture on the glories of Heaven, and on the
blessedness of those who reach it. Is it wrong to believe that God was
leading the mind of his servant to contemplate more and more that
blessed home into which he was so soon to enter ?
Without bigotry, he was at the same time a firm believer in the
distinctive doctrines of Methodism and loved to preach them.
He was a man of even temper, a lover of peace, and a promoter of
He was one of those rare men whose modesty and reserve prevent
the full appreciation of their merits.
Those who knew Brother Burroughs best esteemed him most.
Having faithfully done his duty in every position to which the Church
assigned him during a ministry of twenty-five years. Brother Bur-
roughs has been gathered to the companionship of those who have
turned many to righteousness, leaving a wife and three daughters to
the care of the church.
When our work on earth is done may it be said of each one of us,
what we can all say of our departed brother : He was a " good
Minister of Jesus Christ." — Newark Con. Ilitiutes.
George H. Jones
Was received on trial in the New Jersey Conference in 1852, and was
sent to Clinton, as junior preacher. In 1853, New Dover and Metuchen ;
1854, New Prospect; 1855-'56, Cranbury ; 1857-'58, Cokesbury ; 1859,
Newark City Mission ; 1860, Frenchtown ; 1861, Harmony ; 1862-'63,
Vernon and New Milford ; 1864, Rockaway.
In 1865, at the annual conference held at Elizabeth, N. J., he was
returned as supernumerary, and now resides in Camden, N. J.
Rev. John W. Barrett.
(See Page 7r>.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 75
John W. Barrett.
Brother Barrett was born at Camden, N. J., September 20th, 1819.
He was admitted on trial in New Jersey Conference in 18-t3. His
appointments were as follows : Clinton circuit, 1843 ; Rahway, 1844 ;
Hope, 1845; Bergen, 1846; Madison, 1847; Bargainstown, (as junior
with W. C. Nelson), 1848'49; Freehold (as junior preacher), 1850-'51 ;
Perth Amboy, 1852-'o3 ; River Church, 1854-'55; Sharpstown, 1856;
Woodbridge, 1857-'58; Frenchtown, 1859; Mendham, 1860; Verona,
1861; Rockaway, 1862-'63 ; Springfield and Milburn, 1864; North
Haverstraw, 1865, and Flora Falls, 1866.
In 1867, he was returned as supernumerary, and is thus marked in
the minutes for the next seven years.
In 1875, he is again in the active work with Walpac Center as his
field of labor. Broadway, 1876-'77 ; Centerville and Greenville, N. Y.,
1878-'79; Hibernia, 1880 ; Kingwood, 1881-'82; Mt. Horeb, 1883-'84 ;
Mt. Hope and Tebo, 1885; Hibernia, 1886-'87-'88-'89-'90.
After thirty-eight years of active work in the ministry he was
returned supernumerary in 1891, and now resides in Newark, N. J.
Brother Chamberlin was born in the Township of Sharon, Litchfield
County, Connecticut, April 12th, 1822. His parents were Rufus and
Olive Chamberlin. He was converted at the age of twelve, near the
place of his birth. Though his parents were members of the M. E.
Church, and the good old Bible lay on the stand, and used every morn-
ing and night, yet the immediate means of leading him to Christ, in so
early a period of his life, was an invitation given him by an elect
sister to go to a Methodist altar. The principal part of his education
was from a graduating course at Amenia Seminary, Erastus O. Haven,
finally Bishop Haven, was principal, Gilbert Haven, also Bishop
Haven, was one of the teachers.
He joined the old New Jersey Conference in 1849, and was sent to
the Delaware circuit, about thirty miles in extent on the west side of
the Delaware. The Master gave him that year 150 souls. 1850-'51,
Otisville; 1852-'53, Stanhope ; 1854, Palisades; 1855-'56, North Haver-
straw ; 1857-'58, Boonton ; 1859-'60, Springfield ; 1861-'62, Frenchtown ;
1863-'64, Stillwater and Blairstown ; 1865-'66 '67, Perth Amboy;
1869-'70, Spring Valley ; 1871-'72, Glen Gardner ; 1873-'74, Deckertown
and Wantage; 1875-'76'77, Thiells and Garnerville ; 1878, Long
Branch, First Church; 1879-'80, Vincentown ; 1881-'82-'83, Denville;
76 HISTORY OF THE M. K. CHURCH,
1884, Raritan; 1885'86-'87, Asbury, thus making thirty-eight con-
secutive years in the worli of the ministry.
W. E. Blakeslee.
The subject of this slietch, Rev. W. E. Blakeslee was born in
Orange County, New York, May 19th, 1836. His father, Mr. J. D.
Blakeslee, was a mechanic and a man of sterling integrity and well
known in the county. His family of nine children were brought up
in the fear of God and learned to love righteousness.
In 1851, the father with his family moved to Broome County and
settled near Binghampton, where Brother Blakeslee received the prin-
cipal part of his education, but spent considerable time afterward in a
select school at Windsor, under the management of Rev. Rinker,
pastor of the Presbyterian Church of that village ; being an earnest
student he made rapid advancement in his studies, and in 1856 he
returned to Orange County and engaged in teaching school. Before
returning to Orange County, he united with the M. E. Church at East
Windsor, Broome County, when about tw^enty years of age ; he had
however, given his heart to God when about twelve years old, largely
through the influence of his Christian parents. After teaching one year
in Orange County, in November, 1857, he was called by Rev. B. Day,
Presiding Elder, of Newton District to supply the pulpit in the church
at Vernon, Sussex County, N. J., the health of the pastor having
failed. Being young and inexperienced he entered upon his new work
with fear and trembling, but fully persuaded that God had called him
to the work of the Christian ministry. Here God wonderfully blessed
his labors, and during these four months before conference, seventy
souls were converted and brought into the church ; this settled his life-
work. In the spring of 1858, he united with the Newark Conference
at its first session held in Morristown. Some of the members of the
class joining at that time have become noted men. Bishop John F.
Hirst, H. A. Butts, D. D., S. L. Baldwin, D. D., and Sylvester Opdyke
and A. Craig, who served successfully as Presiding Elder, were mem-
bers of his class.
Brother Blakeslee has served the following charges within the
bounds of the Newark Conference : Vernon, Oakland and Forestburg,
Bloomsbury and Finesville, Milford and Little York, Frenchtown and
Everittstown, Sparta, Lafayette, Tranquility, Andover, Rockaway,
Wesley Church, Phillipsburg; Port Jervis; Eighth avenue, Newark;
Linden avenue, Jersey City; First Church, Dover; Perth Amboy,
and is now serving Fulton Street Church, in the city of Elizabeth.
Rev Walter Chamberein.
(See Page T-j.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 79
In 1860, during his pastorate at Bloomsbury, he was united in
marriage to Miss Charlotte R. Brown, of Broome County, N. Y., who
was a student with him at the school in Windsor in 1856. During
these years of his ministry she has shared with him his toils and his
triumphs. He has not only enjoyed extensive revivals during his
ministry, but has built one church and laid the foundation of three
others ; has built also three parsonages and did a good deal of hard
work in raising money to remove cumbersome debts from the church
property in his various charges. His pastorate at Frenchtown was
one upon which he looks back with a good deal of pleasure. Though
it occurred during the dark days of war and strife, still harmony
prevailed in the church, the congregation remained large and souls
were converted who remain till the present time as witnesses to the
power of Christ to save.
Friendships were then formed that will be as lasting as eternity, and
when the final harvest shall be gathered, sheaves from Frenchtown
will be brought in to tell of earnest toil and honest labor for the Master.
Henry J. Hayter.
Henry J. Hayter was converted at the altar in the Somerville M. E.
Church, at the age of eighteen years, under the ministry of Rev. R. B.
Yard, November 22d, 1851, and connected himself the next morning
(Sabbath) with the church. He was licensed to preach in 1854, by the
Union Street Quarterly Conference, Newark, N. J. He was placed in
charge of the South Orange Church by the Presiding Elder, Thomas
McCarroll, in 1855. In 1856 he was received into the Annual Confer-
ence and appointed to Basking Ridge and Bernardsville as junior
preacher. He was sent to Frenchtown in 1865, remaining three years.
God was very graciously with him, and he had a revival each year,
and the converts received, added greatly to the working force of the
church. Milford was attached to Frenchtown the third year, and
seventy souls were converted. From that revival four young men
went out to preach the Gospel, one of them, Nomer J. Wright, of the
New Jersey Conference, is doing noble work for Christ and Methodism.
Bro. Hayter writes : " We had a noble band of Methodists at French-
town. They were true to God, true to Methodism, and true to their
country." Many of them have gone to their glorious reward, among them
the ever faithful Morris Maxwell, and the brave soldier Johnson J. Lair,
and Obadiah Stout, who also shouldered his rifle and fought bravely
So HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
for the Union, came back without a stain upon his character and took
his honored place in the church. A few days after my appointment at
Frenchtown, Gen. Lee surrendered. The whole town was alive with
joy. At night every street was bright with the illuminated windows.
But oh ! alas, alas ! how soon came the sad, sad tidings of the assassina-
tion of the immortal Lincoln. We fell from our highest joy to our
deepest grief; where could we go but to God. The different congrega-
tions met on April 19th in the Baptist Church, to join in services
appropriate to the funeral of our beloved martyred President ; the
pastors of the Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist churches leading in
June 1st was the day appointed by President Johnson as a day of
humiliation and prayer. The citizens of the town met in the Presby-
terian Church, and I was requested to preach the funeral sermon. My
text was. Psalms 50 : 15. Call upon me in the day of trouble ; I will
deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Rev. W. E. Biakeslee.
(See Page 70.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEV. 83
Brief Personal, Sketches of the Pastors who have Served
THE FrENCHTOWN M. E. CHURCH— CONTINUED.
' Tis not a cause of small import
The pastor s care demands,
But what might fill an angel's heart,
And filled a Saviour's hands."
John B. Taylor.
JOHN B. TAYLOR is an earnest and efficient worker in the Master's
cause. His tliree years spent in Frenchtown were full of activities
and crowned with the best of results. His pulpit ministrations were
both interesting and edifying. Brother Taylor was admitted to the
Newark Conference in the spring of 1865. The following is a list of
his appointments : Bernardsville, Bloomsbury, Frenchtown, Pine
Brook, Clinton, Trinity Church, Staten Island ; Boonton, Tottenville,
VVaverly Church, Jersey City ; Hackensack, Bound Brook, Palisades,
Jersey City, Port Jervis, Nyack. He has filled some of the best
appointments in the Newark Conference.
C. Clark, Jr.
C. Clark, Jr., the subject of this sketch was born in the town of
Orange, N. J., February 9th, 1834 ; he was a son of William H., and Mary
Jane Clark. When he was four years old the family moved into Mon-
mouth County, N. J., and settled near Keyport, which was a community
of very decided and vigorous Methodists. In this county Mr. Clark spent
his boyhood, attending the public schools with regularity, summer and
winter, and for two years a private school of higher grade at Keyport,
wherein he taught subsequently as assistant principal, for one year
previous to entering the ministry. At the age of seventeen, while
engaged in a country store as clerk, young Clark began the work of
seeking the Lord's favor at a revival held near Navesink under the
ministry of Rev. Samuel Morrell, of New Jersey Conference, but
before his realizing the regeneration wrought by the Holy Ghost, was
necessarily moved to Freehold circuit, where his father was for the
84 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
year junior preacher, and holding revival meetings in Jackson town-
ship, Ocean County, young Clark was very soundly converted to God.
He spent subsequently four years in the town of Freehold as a mer-
chant's clerk and as a member of tlie Methodist Church in that town.
About tills time in his twenty first year he was thoroughly aroused by
what to him then, was an awful fact, that he was called to enter the
ministry of his church and make that his life profession. At first it
was an appalling weight on the mind of the young man, who seemed
in his own estimation so little qualified for so great a work. For awhile
he was disposed to rebel against what seemed to him a Divine call.
At the solicitation of the church and of his faithful pastor. Rev. John
Scarlett, he took work in the ministry under the Presiding Elder, Rev.
John S. Porter, and in 1856 was stationed at South Orange, N. J. In
the spring of 1857, he was received into the traveling ministry at New
Jersey Conference session in Greene street, Trenton. His subsequent
fields of labor have been, Chatham, Parsippany, Rockaway, Succasunna,
Vienna, Hope, Mt. Hope, Frenchtown, Bernardsville, Tottenville and
Mariners Harbor, S. I. ; Quakertown, N. J. ; Thiells and Stony Point,
N. Y. ; Milford, Pa., and now again Rockaway, N. J., where he is
closing up his fourth year, making in all forty years in the ministry.
How successful has been his work under God, eternity alone will reveal.
In his ministry from the first, revivals of religion have occurred and
many of them quite phenominal for influence and number of converts.
None more than the one occurring in Frenchtown on the third year of
his residence there, when it did seem as if Pentecost and the Saul of
Tarsus conversions, and the scene of the Philippian jail were almost
We will add, his three years of labor here were fraught with blessed
results as far reaching as eternity. May he at last hear the " well
done," " thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee
ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
Hamilton C. McBride
Was admitted into the Philadelphia Conference in 1866, and stationed
at Garrettstown, 1867, Portland, Pa.
■ In 1868, he entered the Newark Conference and served Centenary
Church, Jersey City, for two years. In 1870, his appointment was
Irvington, and in 1871 (assistant pastor). Central Church, Newark. In
1872-'73, Bernardsville ; 1874, Frenchtown.
In 1875, at the session of the Newark Conference, held in Trinity
Church, Jersey City, he was granted a supernumerary relation, and is
now engaged in evangelistic work.
Rev. Henry J. Hayter.
(See Pag-e TO.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 87
Edward Morrell Griffith.
Was bom at Elizabeth town, N. J., March 5th, 1822, and died at Hilton,
N. J., May 23d, 1884. He was connected with some of the best fanailies
in New Jersey Methodism— Methodist of the Methodists for four gener-
ations. His great-grandfather, Robert Duncan, was converted under
the preaching of John Wesley, and when he came to America during
the Revolution, he united with old John Street Church, New York.
Bro. Griffith's parents were earnest Christians. His father was a native
of Wales, and his mother was born in South Norwalk, Conn. Our
brother was converted in South Norwalk in February, 1838, under the
ministry of Rev. A. F. Francis. "Of my conversion," said he, "I
never had the shadow of a doubt." Rev. D. W. Bartine, D.D., gave
him his license as Exhorter at Morristown, N. J., in 1841, and he was
licensed to preach by the Burlington Quarterly Conference in 1843.
The following year he was admitted to the New Jersey Conference,
and was stationed at Tom's River- a circuit which comprised nearly
the whole of what is now Ocean County, and which required four
weeks to fill the round of appointments.
Ashe was the junior preacher and unmarried, he was expected to
keep in motion ; consequently he had no boarding place and tarried
only a night. But the Lord was with him, and a remarkable revival
at Crammertown rewarded his labor. In 1845 he was sfent as colleague
with Rev. James Long on the Tuckerton circuit, which, like
that of Tom's River, was thirty-five miles in length. Here again the
Lord was gracious and visited his people. In 1846 he was appointed
to Columbus circuit, with six places to preach,' The next two years he
ministered at Mendham and Bernardsville, and revivals broke out in
both places. He was married, March 7th, 1849, to Miss Marietta
Kitchell, of Morristown, and the union proved a very happy one. This
estimable lady survives him.
During 1849-'50 he was stationed at Caldwell; 1851-'52, at Dover ;
1853-'54, at Middletown Point ; 1855, at Heightstown ; 1856-'57,
at Belvidere. In the spring of 1858, when the New Jersey Confer-
ence was divided, his lot was cast with the Newark Conference, and
he was pastor at Vienna during the next two years. In 1860 he
preached at Rockland Lake, N. Y., and then, on account of
broken health, he was on the supernumerary list until the spring of
1867, when he was stationed at Peapack. After this he filled the follow-
ing appointments: 1868-'69, Somerville; 1870-71, Woodbridge ; 1872-
'74, Woodrow, Staten Island; 1875'76, Frenchtown. Subsequently he
removed to Hilton, near Newark, where he resided until his death.
88 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
From IS 77 until the close of his life he had no regular charge, as the
precarious state of his health would nut admit of it; but he preached
frequently when strength seemed to be returning; and his friends were
hoping that he Avouldsoon be restored to his former vigor and hold up
again the Lamp of Life to dying men. But heart disease and a general
relaxation of the physical powers gave warning that the end was
drawing near. Four years ago we thought he was sinking to the grave ;
and I shall never forget the words he whispered to me, for his voice
was nearly gone : " Never cease to preach the Gospel, brother ; never
do anything else, no matter how poorly you fare." " Tell the preachers
I love them. Tell my brethren not to turn aside from the preaching
of the Gospel. Tell them to preach neither for honor nor applause,
but for the glory of God. It is a glorious work. I die in the faith
which I espoused at eleven years of age, and which I have preached
for so many years. I do not pride myself on anything I have done.
My trust is in Christ. He is my life and my light. I am not in the
dark I" Though his eyes were closed in weariness and the tears were
on the good man's face, a certain radiance rested there that showed
how true was every word that he had spoken.
I have heard him say more than once, " Oh, I love to preach the
Gospel !" It was no common favor to be the intimate friend of such a
man. Very few people knew him well. Naturally retiring, he was
nevertheless one of the most companionable of men when in con-
genial company. His tastes were literary. He contributed many
valuable historical articles to the columns of the Christian Advocate.
One large manuscript volume, comprising an exhaustive history of
Ilethodismin Warren Cbt«?/^ and other portions of northern New Jersey,
is the careful work of his facile pen.
A few weeks before he died I visited him, and he placed in my hands
the manuscript of a volume which he had penned within the last year of
his life, entitled : " The Land of Beulah." As he said, it was written
among the shadows of death. It is full of most vigorous thought, and
is a development of the doctrine of the supremacy of the spiritual over
the natural. It need scarcely be told that the tone of the work is full
of sweet religiousness.
We all remember the effect of Brother Griffith's letter, read
to the conference of 1883— how all hearts were thrilled in the large
audience as the words were heard which told of an unspeaka-
ble joy in the midst of a wasting disease. Brother Griffith was a stu-
dent. His sermons were carefully ))repared, and, in the days of his
strength, were delivered with energy and effect. They were logical.
That was their prime characteristic, though they were not wanting in
Rev. J. B. Taylor.
(See Page «:;.)
FRENCHTOVVN, NEW JERSEV. 9I
other qualities when occasion called them forth. Whatever of pathos
there might be in his preaching was rather the pathos of earnestness.
Revivals of religions were not uncommon in the charges where he
ministered, and many souls were converted through his efforts. But his
great work as a preacher was in the edification of believers and the estab-
lishing of the church in the faith ; and it is not too much to say that
in this department of Christian labor he was abundantly successful.
Blessed in the companionship of a devoted wife, two daughters and a
son, his last days were full of comforting kindness and spent in cheer-
ful expectation of that entering into rest of which he held the promise.
In our last interview he spoke of his trust in Christ and the great
peace that filled his soul. He was very feeble in body, but his mental
vigor was astonishing. His thoughts upon holy themes, and we talked
of little else, were expressed with a force and unction which mated
strangely with the distressing cough which punctuated his glowing
sentences. He said that many times when the hours of sleeplessness
would have been heavy with watching for the morning, his heart
would be filled with the goodness of the Lord, and eyes and soul would
overflow together in joyful thanksgiving.
Among his papers was found one, evidently written but a short time
before he died, with the word "Jesus" on the margin ; and it reads:
" I wish here to record one fact, and impress it upon the memory of
all my children, of my dear wife, and of all my friends ; Jestcs is my
unfailing friend. I relinquish you all and I hold on to Him. I know
Him. I have been very unfaithful, but He does not cast me off. I
have to Him given soul and body. Think of your husband, your
father, your brother — my wife, my children, my sisters — as now with
the Lord. Give your hearts to Jesus and come to me beyond the Gates
of Pearl !"
The funeral was held in the Irvington Church, under the direction of
Presiding Elder Brice. Revs. J. F. Andrew, T. T. Campfield, Dr. E.
H. Stokes, A. E. Ballard, George Hughes, W. G. Wiggins, J. P. Fort,
and the writer, participated in the service. We buried him in Fair-
mount Cemetery, Newark, among the ashes of his kindred ; and God
has marked the place where he sleeps. — Neioark Con. 3Iimites,
P. Q. Ruckman
Was admitted into the Newark Conference in 1870, and was sent to
Sparrowbush as his first field of labor. His subsequent appointments
were : Centerville and Greenville, N. Y. ; New City, N. Y. ; Sergeants-
ville, N. J.
92 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
At the annual conference in 1875, he was granted a supernumerary
relation ; Rev. E. M. Griffith's health failing, Brother Rucknaan was
sent by the Elder to Frenchtown, to fill out the balance of the year.
His labors were abundantly blessed, a gracious revival of religion
was the result, and the fruit remains unto this day.
The following year he went West, and took work in the Nebraska
Conference, where he labored successfully for seven years. He returned
to the Newark Conference in 1891, and was appointed to Buttzville
charge, serving three years.
At the next conference session, convened in Centenary Church, Jersey
City, he was transferred to the Wyoming Conference.
Rev. James H. Runyan.
James Henry Runyan was born at Liberty Corners, Somerset County,
N. J., August 28th, 1833, and died at Bethel, Staten Island, January
When four years of age his parents moved to Bayonne, Hudson
County, N. J. ; here he spent six years of his boyhood in the schools.
When he reached the age of ten his parents again moved to Staten
Island, N. Y., where he lived until about seventeen years of age, in the
meantime receiving such education as the schools could afford. From
Staten Island be went to Newark to learn the trade of silversmith, and
while at his trade the spirit of the Lord found him out, and he at once
turned his face Godward and earnestly sought and found Christ in the
pardon of his sins, at a watch-night service in the Halsey Street
Church, 1852, being then about nineteen years of age. His conversion
was clear and positive, and he began at once to work for the Master,
distributing tracts and books throughout the city, and going to the
outposts to assist in holding meetings, at the same time devoting his
leisure moments to the study of such books as he could obtain by his
own labor, and receiving some assistance from his father. His gifts
and graces soon attracted the attention of the church, and he was
licensed to exhort by the Union Street Quarterly Conference, March
1st, 1854. Richard Vanhorne, pastor. In 1855 he was called to supply
Buttzville and Harmony circuit, and licensed to preach by Buttzville
Quarterly Conference, M. Force, P. E, In the spring of 1856 he was
admitted to the ministry in the New Jersey Conference, and appointed
to Montague, N. J. His subsequent appointments were: 1857, Dela-
ware, Pa. ; 1858, Marshall's Creek, Pa. ; 1859-'60, Narrowsburgh, N.
Y. ; 1861-'G2, West Milford, N. J. ; ISGS-'Gi, Rome and Greenville, N.
J. ; 1865-'66, Stillwater and Swartswood, N. J. ; 1867-'6S, Branchville
Rev. C. Clark, Jr.
(See Page .S8.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 95
and Frankford PI., N. J. ; 1869, Cokesbury, N. J. ; 1870-'71, Vienna
and Janes Chapel, N. J. ; 1872-'73-'74, Succasunna, N. J.; lS75-'76,
Peapack and Chester, N. J. ; 1877-'78-'79, Frenchtown, N. J. ; 1880-
'81-'82, Linden avenue, Jersey City, N. J. ; 1883-'84-'85, Woodbridge,
N. J. ; 1886'87, Bethel, Staten Island, N. Y., where he ceased at once
to work and live. On March 31st, 1859, he was united in marriage to
Miss Marilla Shay, who for twenty-eight years shared with him the
joys and sorrows of the itinerancy. To them five children were born,
two of whom have died, while one son and two daughters live to
claim our sympathy and prayers.
Brother Runyan was ordained deacon April 4th, 1858, by Bishop E.
R. Ames, and ordained elder April 8th, 1860, by Bishop Levi Scott.
His ministry was one of extensive usefulness. Revival work was his
delight, his greatest joy was in seeing sinners coming to God. He was
a bold champion of the truth. When it cost something to be some-
thing, he was willing to pay the price. When the war cloud hung
over the nation, it cost something to be loyal in those regions where he
was called to labor, but he had a loyal heart, and said, cost what it
may I shall stand by my country's flag. So in the war against the
rum traffic. This principle of fidelity to duty was the key note that
gave him inspiration. More than once was he called to pay the price
for his loyalty to his country and to God. He was a real man and had
no sympathy with shams ; to him religion was a reality, not a mere
sentiment. He was fearless in his attacks upon sin, and faltered not to
attack it in high or low places. He was a good preacher, clear and
practical, a faithful expounder of the Word of Life. His aim was to
reach the heart rather than the head, yet he failed not to instruct as
well as to move to tears those who sat under his ministry. As a man
he was genial, always full of good cheer, having a great warm heart
that made one feel at home in his presence. As a worker there were few
among his brethren more successful. Bethel stands to-day as a monu-
ment of his untiring zeal.
His will was indomitable, few, if any, ever made a more heroic fight
for life ; he stood at his post as a faithful watchman to the last, saying,
"I must preach Jesus to the people." Only two weeks before his
release, being unable to stand, he sat and preached from 1 Cor. 15 : 41,
42: "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon,
and another glory of the stars, for one star differeth from another star
in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corrup-
tion, it is raised in incorruption." This was his last sermon, and the
corruption has put on incorruption, " the mortal is clothed with immor-
96 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
tality." His funeral services were held in Bethel Methodist Episcopal
Church, January 23d, 1888. Addresses were made by Revs. J. N*
FitzGerald, S. Van Benschoten, and the writer, about thirty-two of
the members of the Conference being in attendance. His remains were
laid to rest in a beautiful plot donated by the church in Bethel cemetery.
We, with wife and children, revere his memory and morn his loss. AH
shall met in the morning.
" The grass grows green upon his tomb,
And flowers bloom above him ;
Yet still his spirit hovers o'er,
The dear ones left, who loved him."
Newark Con. Minutes.
Thomas E. Gordon.
Thomas E. Gordon is a preacher perhaps above the average, but not
always appreciated for all he is worth. God's workmen chosen to
carry on his work, and sent forth to disciple all nations were not all of
the same temperament. There was the impulsive Peter, the loving
He was admitted to the Newark Conference in 1859. The following
is a list of his appointments; Chatham, Greenville, Hudson City,
l*assaic, Piermont, Otisville, Stillwater and Swartswood, Mt. Horeb,
Prospect Street, Paterson ; Rockland Lake, Fleraingtou, Quakertown,
Frenchtown, Rahway, Tottenville, Bernardsville, Phillipsburg and
Harrison, where he is now serving his third year.
He was born in Ireland, trained for a teacher in the Wesleyan Model
School, in Dublin, and came to America in 1859.
I. N. Vansant.
Bro. Vansant was born in Atlantic County, N. J., in the year 1830.
His father was Nicholas Vansant, who for many years was a devout
local preacher. The subject of this sketch was converted when about
fourteen years old through the influence of his brother Samuel, who
Went to his heavenly home a few years ago.
He traveled for some years under the Elder, his first charge as junior
preacher being Tuckertou circuit with Abraham Gearhart as preacher,
in charge. He next traveled Barnegat circuit one year, then Columbia,
and Hainsburg was favored by having him as pastor for two years.
After admission in the Newark Conference, in 1859, he filled the
follow ing appointments, viz. : Hope, Stillwater, Wantage, each two
Rev. Hamilton C McBride.
(See Page .sJ.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 99
years. Tranquility, Perth Amboy, Bethel, S. I., each three years, and
Clinton, N. J., two years. His next field of labor was Pine Brook,
where he remained three years, then he next served East Newark two
years, and Stanton and Allerton one year. His next field of labor was
French town, where he remained three years, and his influence there is
still a benediction. His next appointment was St. Mark's, S. I., three
years, then up the Hudson River to Stony Point, where he remained
four years. Quakertown was then favored by having him as pastor for
three years, and now he is at Bloomsbury on his first year. Brother
Vansant has one son in the ministry.
S. D. Decker.
Brother Decker was born September 14th, 1838, near New Sprlng-
ville, Staten Island, on the old Asbury circuit. His parents were, T.
Drummond and Susan Wood Decker. His father was for a number of
years class-leader and licensed exhorter, and both were members of the
Methodist Episcopal Church for more than forty years, indeed his
ancestors for more than a hundred years have been devout Methodists,
and he cannot remember a time even from his earliest childhood that
he was free from religious convictions. At the age of thirteen, after
enduring for several days the most pungent conviction of sin by the
Holy Spirit, he came into the noon-day splendor of a clear and positive
sense of pardon, and full salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and
has retained until this day the assurance and joy of an indwelling Holy
Ghost; not only a Blessing, but the Blesser, Himself.
His now sainted mother and translated father had more to do in
leading him to the Saviour and forming his character as a religious
boy and Christian man than any other human instrumentality.
Rev. Bartholomew Weed, of precious memory, was at that time
pastor on the Asbury charge, Staten Island, for the first time. He
served the charge after a few years for a second term.
Brother Decker began his education in the district school of his native
village, and has been a reader in general literature and theology for
near forty years. After a few years as a licensed exhorter and local
preacher, he entered the ranks of the traveling ministry in 1870. His
first appointment was East Millstone, in Somerset County, N. J,, where
he remained two years. Thereafter serving the following charges in
the order named : Denville and Rockaway Valley, three years. Here
a commodious parsonage was built, the charge never having owned,
but rented a house for their pastor. Asbury and Bethlehem in Warren
County, two years; New Germantown and Fairmount, two years;
lOO HISTORY OF THE M. E). CHURCH,
Bloomsbury and Finesville, three years; Clinton, three years; French-
town, three years ; High Bridge and Lebanon, three years. At the
end of his term of service here, Lebanon was taken from High Bridge
and connected with Ch'nton and he went to Clinton for a second term,
remaining two years, when Lebanon was made an independent charge.
Grace Church, Dover, was the next field of labor where he stayed one
year ; Deckertown, in Sussex County was his appointment in April,
1894, and he is now on his second year.
In all of these charges, and in every year of service, souls have been
converted and added to the church, and in some of them remarkable
revivals of religion have occurred, notably, Asbury and Bethlehem,
New Germantown and Fairmount, where hundreds of souls were saved
and added to the church.
Much time and attention in these various charges were given to
the payment of church and parsonage debts, the building of new par-
sonages, remodeling and enlarging old ones, and the renovating of
In closing this sketch the writer will add, that Brother Decker's
three years in Frenchtown were crowded with Christian activities and
crowned with the blessing of the Master.
John O. Winner.
John O. Winner, the subject of this sketch came from a good old
Methodist family. The writer remembers hearing his honored father
preach more than fifty years ago, and it was he that preached the
dedicatorial sermon of this church, December 17th, 1845. John O.
Winner was a preacher of more than ordinary ability, of a high
intellectual order, and the thoughtful heard him gladly, tut he did not
succeed in attracting and holding the multitude. The writer sat under
his ministry for two years, and the preached word to him was always
bread and never a stone.
He has served the following appointments, viz: — 1848, Warren
circuit; 1849-'50, Rockland; 1851-'52, Quary street, Newark; 1853,
Dover; 1854-'55, Plainfield ; 1856-'57, Elizabeth; 1858-'59, Prospect
street, Paterson ; 1860-'61, Hudson City; 1862-'63, Hoboken ; 1864,
Trinity, S. I. For the next seven years he was returned as super-
numerary. He again took up the active work in 1873, Mt. Zion was
the appointment; 1874-'75-'76, Millstone; 1877, Plainfield, with
Brother Day; 1878, Hope; 1879-'80, Tranquility; 1881, Tranquility
and Johnsonborough ; 1882-'83, Belvidere; 1884, Passaic ; 1885-'86-'87,
Bloora&bury ; 1888-'89, Frenchtown; 1890-'91-'92-'93, Woodrow, S. I. ;
Rev. E. M Griffith.
(See Page >7.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. I03
1894, Alpine. At the last session of the Newark Conference held at
Tottenville, N. Y., at his request, he was granted a supernumerary
relation, and now resides near Pennington, N. J. He has a son in the
ministry now stationed at Somerville.
Horris T. Qibbs.
Morris T. Gibbs was born in Warren County, N. J., about forty
years ago. He has been in the active work of the ministry fifteen
years, two of which were spent in connection with the M. E. Church
of Frenchtown. As a child, he was modest and retiring, but diligent
in school work, standing among his fellows well up toward the head of
his class. He gave his heart to God when quite young, and concluding
that religion meant service he immediately set himself to carry out the
Divine command, " Go work to-day in my vineyard." His early
Christian life was prophetic of what came later. Method and industry
were prominent traits of character; not the sky-rocket brilliancy type,
but a gentle, even, pushing forward, with zealous determination to
secure its object, and seldom failing to do it. Naturally affable and
kind, these qualities became polished and beautified by companion-
ship with Jesus. In the conference minutes of 1880, under the
disciplinary question, who are admitted on trial, occurs the name of
the subject of this biography. His first appointment was not St. Paul's,
of Newark, or the wealthy Cobb Memorial Church, of Morristown, but
a modest little church containing a few earnest Christians on the Dela-
ware, a few miles below Milford, called Dingman's Ferry, where he
received three hundred and thirly-two dollars in compensation for the
first year's service. He remained on this charge for two years, when
he left this paradise of summer boarders for the inviting hills of Sussex
County, and settled for two years at Branchville. Paterson and Rocka-
way are successively favored with his service, each place retaining him
for three years. From Rockaway he came to Frenchtown, where the
people found in him an earnest Christian worker, full of faith and zeal,
a steadfast friend of every good cause. This is his commendation, the
people were glad when he came among them, sorry when at the expira-
tion of two years he went away. The Frenchtown M. E. Church has
had a number of excellent pastors, but none of them have done better
work on the charge than the Rev. Morris T. Gibbs.
William McCain was born at Mt. Hermon, Warren County, N. J.,
August 11th, 1840. He is the son of Jeremiah and Amelia McCain.
I04 HISTORY OF THR M. E. CHURCH,
In his father's family there were six children, four sons and two daugh-
ters. The death of his mother in her seventy-sixth year was the first
to break the family circle. At this writing, his father in his eightieth
year, in good health, resides on the farm, where he was born, and where
all of his children were brought up. The subject of this sketch was
converted in his thirteenth year, immediately after a brief season of
severe sickness. At this period his mind was turned to the reading of
the Biblo and religious books, contributing by way of preparation to
his future calling. As he approached manhood, worldliness and busi-
ness interests interfered in degree at least with the Divine plan.
In his twenty-fourth year he openly gave himself anew to God, and
received by way of renewal the clear and joyful witness of the Spirit.
At different times following this he was further led into the glorious
experience of Scriptural Holiness or perfect love. Soon after his renewal
in Christ, or conversion, he was clearly called to preach the Gospel.
This call he resisted for several years, and it was only at the eleventh
hour in order to secure peace of mind and save his own soul that he
yielded to the Divine command. His studies, beyond a common
school education were largely secured in a private way in the home,
with the exception of a brief period at Pennington Seminary. The
conference course of study laid down in the discipline was all carefully
gone over with notes before entering the ministry.
The appointments he has filled in the Newark Conference are as
follows: Libertyville and Coleville, 1872-'73 ; Branchville and Frank-
ford Plains, 1874-'75-'76 ; Milford, Pa., 1877-'78-'79 ; Andover, 1880-
'81-'82; Lafayette, 1883 ; Little Falls, 1884-'85-'86 ; Succasunna,
1887-'88-'89 ; Rockaway, 1890-'91 ; Frenchtown, 1892-'93-'94 ; Clintoo,
1895, In this latter appointment he is now laboring, exceedingly
happy that God ever counted him faithful by putting him in the ministry.
He was united in marriage, January 31st, 1877, to Elizabeth J. Dimon,
daughter of J. N. V. and Julia DImon, of Branchville, N. J. The
children born to them are Julia B., Maggie A., and Willie H. Maggie
A. was early called to her heavenly home.
E. H. Conklin.
The present pastor of the church, the Rev. Elkanah H. Conklin, was
born in the State of New York, Huntington, Long Island, October 1st,
1846. He has no recollection of his father, as he died when he was
quite young. His mother, with three brothers, two sisters and their
father, came to this country from England in the early years of the
present century. She was a member of the Episcopal Church, and
Rev. James H. Runyan.
(See Page !)2.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. I07
earnestly desired that all her children should be confirmed in the same
faith ; with reference to our subject, however, she died without having
her wish gratified ; but her prayers were not in vain for he was con-
verted to God and Joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in the year
1865, at the age of nineteen. These years were filled with mystery,
sorrow and sin. A prolonged battle with three giants, Ignorance,
Poverty and Evil. From the dawn of consciousness his was a wilderness
experience. His boyhood seems, as he looks back upon it, a troubled
dream, and he has never had any sympathy with the commonly
expressed desire, " I would I were a boy again." His conversion
was a double exodus ; a going out of himself and his native land ; a
veritable passage of the Jordan, with Egypt and the wilderness left
behind forever, and the Land of Promise pressed by angel feet and
rendered heavenly by angelic songs, and sanctified by the Holy
Prophets and the Divine Christ, henceforth became his abiding place.
He was led to Christ by the personal solicitation of a fellow workman
whose simple words ; " Don't you think you ought to be a Christian?"
went to his heart like an arrow.
In 1867, he united with St. Paul's Church, Jersey City, where he
became associated with an earnest band of young Christians, among
whom he found a field for the operation of all his youthful enthusiasm.
Here he first received the impression from which he could never rid
himself, that he ought to devote his life to the work of the ministry.
This call to preach the Gospel found him with a double impoverishment
of intellect and pocket, and while he felt deeply that he ought to
preach, he felt no less deeply the need of mental preparation for the
work. The one conviction was no stronger than the other He had
obtained salvation without money and without price, but education
could not be obtained without dollars and plenty of hard work. The
way to the Cross had been easy, but the way to the school was filled
with hindrances that made it as impenetrable as the walls of Jericho,
but it will be remembered that the walls of this ancient city fell flat
before the march of prayer and faith, and so this spiritual force opened
the way to six consecutive years of school training. There seemed to
be only one person who could render this needed assistance. His name
was Henry Halsey, a shipping merchant, an uncle by marriage on his
mother's side. He was a worldly man and could hardly be expected
to aid a young man preparing for the ministry. After a season of
prayer in his behalf, he paid him a visit, told his religious experience,
and was about to solicit a loan, when to his surprise the uncle said:
" And now you want to attend school to prepare for the ministry, and
to8 HtStORY OF THE M. E. CHURCtt,
want me to help you, do you ? Very well, go ahead, send me the bills^,
I will pay them," and this he continued to do for two years when he
suddenly died. During the next four years his school expenses were
met by teaching, preaching and canvassing for books during the sum-
mer vacation. He graduated from Pennington Seminary in 1870, and
from Dickinson College in 1874. The same year he united with the
Newark Conference at its annual session in Paterson, N. J.
He has served the following churches: INIidland Park, Otisville,
Metuchen, Millbrook, St. Paul's, Newark ; Rockaway, Blairstown,
Deckertown, Englewood, Calvary Church, Paterson ; Somerville, and
is now serving his first year at Frenchtown.
Brother Curtis was born near Baptistown, Hunterdon County, N. J.,
in 1823, and died in Holland Township, near Milford, December 10th,
1887. A widow and eight children survive him.
He was converted in early life, at Lambertville, under the ministry
of Rev. A. E. Ballard, and connected himself with the M. E. Church
at that place; but at the time of his death was connected with the
Frenchtown M. E. Church. He received a local preacher's license from
the Frenchtown Quarterly Conference, August 22d, 1884, and in 1887
was sent by the Presiding Elder as junior preacher to Sergeantsville
and Stockton circuit to fill out part of a year.
Brother Curtis did not have the advantages of a college education,
but was well versed in general literature, and was a man of good
natural ability. At the time of his death he was a member of Orion
Lodge, F. and A. M., Manhattan Tribe, I. O. R. M., and of the Odd
Fellows, also of the Delaware Encampment, of Patriarchs, No. 11.
As a preacher he was well received, and while not brilliant, yet it
may be said of him as it was of Stephen, " He was full of faith and
the Holy Ghost."
Lewis J. Gordon,
Lewis J. Gordon was born in Milford, Hunterdon County, N. J.,
February 17th, 1859. He is engaged in business in Frenchtown, where
he now resides.
He was converted at the age of twelve, under the pastorate of Bro.
John B. Taylor, in the Methodist Church at Frenchtown, and united
with the same in 1871. Like many others of his age he forgot to
" watch and pray," but was reclaimed during the pastorate of Rev.
Rev. Thomas E. Gordon.
(See Page 90. J
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. Ill
Thomas E. Gordon, and received a special blessing of Christian liberty
under the pastorate of Rev. I. N. Vansant.
He received a local preacher's license at the third quarterly confer-
ence of the Frenchtown M. E. Church, February 10th, 1888. He is an
acceptable preacher and an efficient worker in the evangelistic field of
labor, and has successfully conducted meetings in Delaware, Pennsyl-
vania and New York.
HISTORY OF THR BI. E. CHURCH.
The Part the Frenchtowx M. E, Church Bore in Suppressing}
By William T. Srope.
''It is no fault in others that the Methodist Church sends more soldiers
-*• to the field, more nurses to the hospitals, and more prayers to Heaven
than any other. God bless the Methodist Church ! Bless all the
churches, and blessed be God, who in this our great trial, giveth us the
churches. Abraham Lincoln."
In response to a call made by the government at Washington for
more soldiers to put down the Rebellion, a public meeting was held at
Frenchtown, July 22d, 1862, to render all assistance possible to sup-
press treason and secession, and restore the union of the States.
William H. Slater, a prominent merchant and hardware dealer of
the town, was present at this meeting and stated that he had enlisted
in the service of his country, and called upon all patriots present to
come forward and do likewise.
Many responded, and Mr. Slater was chosen Captain of Company
G, Fifteenth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, and was duly com-
missioned as such, August 15th, 1862.
Many members of this, and other companies were then, or have
been since, either directly connected with the M. E, Church of French-
town, or among its sui)porters and contributors ; and it is of these
persons, heroes we may say, that we purpose now to allude briefly to
in this chapter.
How well do we remember when the "boys" left for the tented
field and the hardships of war! We recall those sad parting scenes as
vividly now as when they happened. We can hear the choked fa; ewell,
the sob, the sigh, as wives, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and sweet-
hearts were embraced in many instances for the last lime ! One young
man, with tears in his eyes, said to us as he stepped aboard the train,
" niy hardest battle was parting with my wife!" But we shall not
dwell upon scenes of this character, but rather upon the brief individ-
ual sketches which we have been asked to produce.
Rev. 1. N. Vansam.
(See Page 00.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 1 15
The service of Captaia Slater was of short duration. At the first
battle of Fredericksburg, December 13th, 1862, he was so badly wounded
in the right leg, that amputation was absolutely necessary. Yet despite
the awful suffering he underwent in the loss of so important a member
as a leg, he is alive to-day and resides in Washington City.
Was born in the Township of Clinton, Hunterdon County, N. J.,
March 5th, 1834.
He learned the trade of cabinetmaker with Henry Bachman, of
He was a member of Company G, Fifteenth Regiment, enlisting
August 14th, 1862. On June 4th, 1864, he was struck in the arm by
a bullet fired by a rebel picket, shattering the member so badly that
the surgeon was compelled to amputate it. The same bullet passed
through the cap of Samuel Hoff, now residing at Everittstown, who
stood less than three feet from Mr. Cronce. It then passed so closely to
the neck of William H. Cawley, now of Somerville, that a mark was
made upon the skin.
Mr. Cronce was discharged from service. May 1st, 1865, and since the
close of the war has lived retired in Frenchtown.
Horace A. Wambaugh,
A son of Mahlon and Elizabeth Wambaugh, was enrolled in Company
D, Thirtieth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, September 3d, 1862,
and was discharged for disability, February 23d, 1863.
He was a farmer by occupation, and resided several years on the
farm now owned by Catharine Rittenhouse, on the road leading from
Frenchtown to Baptisttown. He now resides at Trenton with his son.
Simon A. Eisenhart
Was born in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, May 13th. 1838, and was
married to Wilhemima Vanluvance, May 30th, 1867, and has one
son and two daughters.
He was enrolled in Company M, Colonel Coman's Mounted Rifle
Rangers, afterwards known as the Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry,
September 28th, 1861.
lib HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
He was in several battJes, and was wounded in the right foot, June
24th, 1864, which was amputated.
He was discharged from the service September 28th, 18G4.
He is a shoemaicer by trade, but is now following the business of
florist, at Ervvinna, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
A son of William Gordon and Henrietta Volk, was born October 2d,
He was enrolled in Company D, Thirl ieth Regiment, New Jersey
Volunleers, September 3d, 1862, as musician, and was discharged June
He married Mary Jane, daughter of Alfred R, Taylor and Larony
Sinclair, January 13th, 1864; she died February 12th, 1867, aged
twenty-one years and four months. He married for his second wife,
Anna M., daughter of Charles Ecklin, December 28th, 1872.
He now resides at Harrington, Delaware, and is engaged in the
manufacture of spokes.
A son of ex-sheriff Wilson and Mary Bray, and grandson of General
Daniel Bray, was born in Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County,
N. J., December 8th, 1820.
He spent his youlhful days on his father's farm, and married
Lavinna L., daughter of John L. Larason and Sarah Dean, September
He enrolled in Company H, Thirty-Eighth Regiment, New Jersey
Volunteers, and was discharged at the end of his enlistment.
He died in French town, April 26th, 1877. His wife was born
December 7th, 1825, and died in Frenchtown, April Ist, 1895. His two
sons reside in Philadelphia.
Son of William Butler and Mahalah Bellis, was born in Alexandria
TowDship, Hunttrdon County, New Jersey, March 5th, 1841. He was
married to Ann, daughter of Andrew Fleming, of Somerset County,
N. J., October 23J, 1869.
He was enrolled in Company D, Eighth Regiment, New Jersey
Volunteers, August 29th, 1861, and participated in all the skirmishes
Rev S. D Dicker.
(See Page 99.)
FRENCHTOVVN, NEW JERSEY. II9
and battles in which that regiment was engaged, and was discharged
September 22i}, 1864.
He has followed the occupation of farming since his discharge, and
is a prosperous husbandman. He now resides on the; road leading from
Frenchtown to Everittstown.
Was born in Frenchtown, July 30th, 1824. He was a son of David
Maxwell and Lucy Housel. Shortly after his birth his parents moved
to Philadelphia, and, his father engaging in the metal working busi-
ness, he served his apprenticeship with him.
In 1841, he went to sea, and after sailing for seven years to the
various parts of the globe, returned to the United States and enlisted
in the naval service to do duty on the U. S. Frigate, ''Constitution,"
familiarly known as " Ironsides," and was promoted for meritorious
conduct from an ordinary seaman to the position of under keeper.
In 1851, the vessel returned to the United States, and obtaining leave
of absence for six weeks, he came to Frenchtown on a visit. While
here he resolved to change his manner of living, and having secured a
position as tinsmith, he resigned his position in the naval service. He
resided in Frenchtown the remainder of his life, following his trade
He married Delilah A., daughter of William Snyder and Hannah
Horner, May 5th, 1853 ; she died May 6th, 1864, aged thirty-three
years, two months and two days.
He married for his second wife, Sarah R., youngest daughter of ex-
Judge Isaac R. Srope and Sarah Roelofson, May 29th, 1866.
Mr. Maxwell died in Frenchtown, December 27th, 1892, and his
widow, Sarah R., two sons and one daughter survive him.
Mr. Maxwell was a member of the United States Christian Com-
mission, at Washington, D. C, in 1862, and was assigned to duty in the
field hospital, and performed his duty faithfully and well.
He was elected collector of Frenchtown in 1884 ; was a candidate for
Mayor in 1881. He was a member of the Common Council in 1871-
'74-'77-'78, and when a licence petition was presented to the Common
Council to sell liquor, he among others addressed that body in opposi-
tion to granting it. It might be truthfully said of him as it was of and
by Henry Clay, he would rather be right, than President.
I20 HISTORY OF' THK M. E. CHURCif,
Son of Thomas Hoff and Ann, daughter of James Dalrymple, was
born in Alexandria Township, Hunterdon County, N. J., August
He was enrolled in Company G, Fifteenth Regiment, New Jersey
Volunteers, August 14th, 1862, and was discharged, June 27th, 18G5.
He first married Sarah C, daughter of Emley Hyde and Thisby
Dalrymple, September 22d, 18G6; she died, January 27th, 1870.
He married for his second wife, Sarah C, daughter of James C.
Martin, of Little York, December 13th, 1871.
When he enlisted in the army, he was learning the blacksmith trade,
and since his discharge from service has followed the same occupation
Jacob F. Thatcher
Was a son of Jonas Thatcher, who at one time was a merchant in
He was enrolled in Company G, Fifteenth Regiment, New Jersey
Volunteers, August 14th, 1862, and died in the service of his country
from wounds received in the battle of the Wilderness, aged 22 years.
His remains are interred at Arlington, Virginia.
Jacob J. Lair
Was a son of Philip D. Lair and Mary Snyder. He was one of a
family of five brothers and seven sisters. He learned the trade of tin-
smith in Frenchtown, being employed by Gabriel H. Slater and
Samuel B. Hudnit. He enlisted in Company G, Fifteenth Regiment,
New Jersey Volunteers, July 28th, 1862, and was wounded in the
After the close of the war, locating at Lambertville, he married
Victoria, daughter of Cornelius Arnett, September 2d, 1868, who is
now deceased. He served as a member of Common Council in Lam-
bertville, and was engaged in the store and tinsmith business at the
time of his decease, March 4th, 1885. His age was 48 years.
In 1863, from Brandy Station, Virginia, Mr. Lair wrote to the pastor
of the Frenchtown M. E. Church, asking if he could be of assistance in
*Mr. Hoff is a member of the Everittstown Church. We have taken the
liberty to use his uame, from the fact, that he with J. J. Lair, made this church
a hberal offering while in the army.
Rev. Morris T. Gibbs.
(See Page 1(«.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 1 23
collecting funds for the advancement of the church ; and receiving an
atfirmative reply, he collected frona the members of Company G,
Fifteenth Regiment about seventy-five dollars, and forwarded it to the
Arthur W. Lundy
Was born in what is now Franklin Township, Hunterdon County,
New Jersey, February 6th, 1816.
When a young man, he taught for a number of years in the public
schools, but finally learned the trade of watchmaker. When the gold
fever broke out in California, in 1848, he with many others from this
county went to that State in search of gold. Shortly after returning
home he married Theodosia S., daughter of John Reading, of Delaware
Township. He has two sons and one daughter.
Mr. Lundy came to French town in 1851, and has since resided here,
following his trade. He did not enter the service of his country, but
was a strong advocate of the Union cause. During the war the writer
frequently saw him when the newspapers arrived in the morning mails,
standing upon an elevation, often on the front porch of the harness
shop of Samuel B. Hudnit, reading aloud to the people war news ; he
might, in fact have been called the public reader.
In 1861, a meeting was held in the Presbyterian Church in French-
town, which was attended by the citizens of the place and vicinity,
without distinction of party, sect, or creed, and over thirteen hundred
dollars were subscribed for the benefit of the families of those who
might enlist in the army, and Henry Lott, Newberry D. Williams,
Charles A, Slack, Authur W. Lundy and Samuel B. Hudit, were
appointed a committee to distribute the same.
In 1865, when the evacuation of Richmond and its occupancy by our
army became known, the church bells of the town were rung for thirty
minutes, and a large audience assembled at the station, where patriotic
speeches were made by a number of citizens, among whom was Authur
W. Lundy. Although now one of our most aged citizens, he enjoys
good health and has the esteem and respect of the community.
Qershom L. Everitt,
Son of Benjamin Everitt and Rebecca Rcckafellow, was born in the
Township of Delaware, Hunterdon County, N. J., December 24th, 1840.
He enlisted in Company F, Thirty- Eighth Regiment, New Jersey
Volunteers, September 3d, 1862, and was mustered out June 24th, 1868.
He is now engaged in the flour and feed business, and resides in
124 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
A son of Abner Swallow and Amy Salter, was born in Frenchtown,
February 12th, 1836. He married Sarah A., daughter of William
Reading and Mahalah Rittenhouse, May 10th, 1862. She died suddenly
at Riegelsville, Bucks County, Pa., March 5th, 1895.
He enlisted in Company B, Thirty-Eighth Regitnent, New Jersey
Volunteers, September 5th, 1861, and was discharged June 30th, 1865.
He is a wheelwright by trade, following that occupation in Milford
from 1852 to 185G. He located at Frenchtown, May 28th, 1869, and
entered into partnership with Jeremiah W. Opdycke in the furniture
and undertaking business in 1881. He now resides at Riegelsville, Pa.,
where he is engaged in the same business as above mentioned.
Mr. Swallow was a member of the Common Council of Frenchtown
for six years, and his votes are found recorded in the negative on the
question pertaining to the granting of license to sell liquor. He was at
one time a freeholder for Frenchtown, and made an excellent record.
Balcer T. Rockafellow,
Son of Isaac and Catharine Rockafellow, enlisted in Company G,
"Fifteenth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, July 28tb, 1862, and was
discharged December 11th, 1863.
He married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Peter S. and Mary Martha
Taylor. Mr. Taylor died in the service of his country, November 24th,
1862, aged thirty-four years, ten months and twenty days, and is
buried in Frenchtown cemetery.
Lorenzo S. D. Kerr,
A son of Abel Kerr and Mary Ann Search, was born near Idell,
Kingwood Township, February 21st, 1842, and followed the occupation
of farming until he enlisted in Company H, Thirty-Fourth Regiment,
New Jersey Volunteers, August 30th, 1864.
He was mustered out of service May 27th, 1865.
He married Mary Ellen, daughter of Richard Wilson and Mary
Gaddis, of Raven Rock, Delaware Township, Hunterdon County, N.
J., August 30th, 1865, and she died in Frenchtown, May 3d, 1887. He
married for his second wife, Martha J., daughter of Emley H. Bellis,
and widow of Runyan A. Apgar, May 3d, 1893.
Since the war he has been engaged as farmer, peach grower, lumber
dealer, merchant and spoke, hub, sash and blind manufacturer. He is
at present a member of the Common Council ; he was also a member
of this body in 1382-'83. He has four sons and one daughter.
Rev William McCain.
(See Page 10:!.)
FRENCHTOWN, Nfiw JERSEY. 1 27
Was born in Nockamixon Township, Bucl?s County, Pa., June 30th,
1831, and married Mary, daughter of Solomon Trauger.
lie enlisted in Company I, Thirty-Eighth Regiment, New Jersey
Volunteers, September 4th, 1864, and was discharged June 30th, 186.5.
He was a farmer, miller, sawyer and spoke-turner respectively. He
served three years as constable in Frenchtown, and died July 9th, 1883.
He has two sons and four daughters living.
Samuel C. Meyers,
A son of Samuel Meyers and Martha Cooper, was born in Tinicum
Township, Bucks County, Pa., November 8th, 1834.
He enlisted in Company G, Fifteenth Regiment, August 18th, 1862,
and was discharged June 22d, 1865. He participated in the several
battles in \vhich his regiment was engaged. Previous to his enlistment
he was a sawyer; but since his return from the army he has been
engaged in dealing in timber. He resides in Frenchtown.
William H. Stabler,
A son of Daniel Stabler and Mary Ann Snyder, was born in North-
ampton County, Pa., September 10th, 1840, and came to Frenchtown
with his parents in 1852.
He enlisted in Company M, Colonel Corman's Mounted Rifle Rangers,
afterwards known as the Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry, September
24th, 1861, and was discharged September 24th, 1864.
He married Hannah L. Hull, October 12th, 1864, and they have one
son. Mr. Stabler served as town clerk of the Borough of Frenchtown
for three years. He is now superintendent of the Frenchtown cemetery.
Was born in Nockamixon Towns^hip, Bucks County, Pa., June 5th,
1829. He enlisted in Company A, Sixteenth New York Infantry, July
1st, 1864, and was discharged for disability, July 16th, 1865. He
participated in the battle of Atlanta and Murfreesboro, Ga. He is a
mason by trade.
He married, February 5th, 1852, Sarah Ann, daughter of Samuel and
Ruth Ecklin, of Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County, N. J. He
has three sons, two of whom are living, and one daughter.
128 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
Was a son of Samuel Stout and Sarah, daughter of Obadiah Curtis,
was born near the St. Thomas Church, Alexandria Township, Hunter-
don County, N. J., November 20th, 1823. He married Amy, daughter
of Jacob Fisher and Charity Snyder, December 4th, 1847, and died in
Frenchtown, September Uth, 1895.
He was a carpenter by trade, and erected many buildings in French-
He enlisted September 4th, 1864, in Company I, Thirty-Eighth
Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, and was discharged at City Point,
Virginia, June 30th, 1865.
He held the office of Assessor of Frenchtown for three years. His
wife, two sons and two daughters survive him.
Aaron H. Slack,
Was born in Delaware Township, Hunterdon County, N. J., Septem-
ber 24th, 1826. His parents were Henry Slack and Miry Hoagland.
He enlisted in Company E, Third Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers,
April 25th, 1861, for three months, and was dicharged July 31st, 1861.
He re-enlisted in Company M, Third New Jersey Cavalry, December
2ist, 1863, and was discharged August 1st, 1865.
He crossed the Rapidan with Grant, May 5th, 1864, and was in the
battle of the Wilderness. He partii.'ipated in some of the battles in
the Shenandoah Valley, and was wounded in the fight at Summit
Mr. Slack is a carpenter by trade, and resides in Frenchtown. He
has one son.
Robert B. Lyons,
A native of Bucks County, Pa., resided several years in Frenchtown.
He married Lucretia A. Brooks for his first wife, Rachel K. Ashton
for his second wife, and Sallie, daughter of Mahlon H. Huff"man, for
his third wife. He now resides in New Hope, Bucks County, Pa.
He has been engaged in various occupations, such as florist, sash,
blind and door manufacturer, carpenter and organ manufacturer. He
has thre3 sons and one daughter.
He enlisted in a Company of Bucks County, Pa., and served the
term of his enlistment.
Rev. E. H. Conklin.
(See Page 104.)
pfRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEV. I3I
Joseph R. Burgstresser,
Was born in Tinicum Township, Bucks County, Pa., February 16th,
1832. He married Fayette, daughter of Joseph Kramer and Catharine
Misson, October 20th, 1855.
He enlisted in Company B, Thirty-Eighth Regiment, New Jersey
Volunteers, September 3d, 1864, and was discharged at City Point,
Virginia, June 30th, 1865. Mr. Burgstresser is a carpenter by trade,
and has followed this business since his return from the army. He has
four sons and four daughters living.
John V. Gordon,
Son of William Gordon and Henrietta Volk, was born January 21st,
1843, and married Mary C, daughter of George Stuli, August 26th, 1863.
He enlisted as a drummer, July 28th, 1862, in Company G, Fifteenth
Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers. He was transferred to the Veteran
Reserve Corps, March 15th, 1864, and was wounded. He is a brother
of Revs. Lewis J. and Janeway Gordon.
After his discharge from the service he was engaged for a time in the
grocery business in Frenchtown, but is now a manufacturer of spokes,
and resides at Greensburg, Indiana.
Is one of the oldest members of the church that entered the army.
He was enrolled in Company F, Thirty-Eighth Regiment, New Jersey
Volunteers, September 12th, 1864, and discharged at City Point,
Virgiiiia, June 30th, 1865.
He married Caroline, only daughter of Georgje Ecklin, of Kingwood
Township, May 24th, 1849. He is a blacksmith by trade, and carried
on that work at Frenchtown before his enlistment, and for a time after
his return from the army.
He met with an accident January 15th, 1866, which has since pre-
vented him from laboring to any great extent.
Charles F. Nixon,
Was born at Quakertown, Franklin Township, Hunterdon Countj^,
N. J., May 2d, 1844. He is a son of Hiram Nixon and Elizabeth H.
He enlisted in Company G, Thirty-Eighth Regiment, New Jersey
132 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
Volunteers, September 19th, 1864, and was discharged June 30th, 1865.
He married Mamie B., Daughter of Jonathan Eick, April 25th, 1867^
and resides in French town.
Qearge W. Opdj'cke,
A son of Samuel Opdycke and Christiana, daughter of Hall Opdycke,
was born in Alexandria Township, Hunterdon County, N. J., April
19th, 1842. He married Mary E., daughter of John Sine, July 18th,
He enlisted in Company B, Second New Jersey Cavalry, September
Cth, 1864, and was discharged at Vicksburg, Miss., June 29th, 1865.
He was wounded in the battle of Egypt Station. He has two sons
Rev. David Curtis
(See Page lOS.)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 135
Ep WORTH League.
We live to make our church a power in the laud, while we live to love every other church
that exalts our Christ.— Bishop Simpson.
Complied from Manuscripts Furnished by Frank Maxwell,
Miss Kate Taylor and Others.
I jN Tuesday evening, September 30th, 1890, a meeting was held in
^ the M. E. Church for the purpose of organizing an Epworth
League. The Pastor, Rev. M. T. Gibbs and Rev. L. J. Gordon,
addressed the meeting, setting forth the origin of the Epworth League,
its object, and the benefits to be derived from it in a social way, in
spreading Christianity among the young people of the town, and in the
upbuilding and prosperity of the church. Considerable doubt existed
in the minds of many present as to the ultimate success of such an
organization, and as a result there was some hesitation evinced in
taking hold and proceeding with it. But it was finally agreed to
organize, and the following officers were elected to serve for one year :
Pres't., Rev. L. J. Gordon; 1st Vice Pres't., Frank Maxwell; 2d
Vice Pres't., Geo. W. Hummer; 3d Vice Pres't., Lizzie Mechling ;
4th Vice Pres't., Mrs. G. W. Hummer; Secretary, Miss Kate Taylor;
Treasurer, Miss Emma Stout ; Organist, Madge Shields.
Twenty-three members were enrolled at this meeting, but this num-
ber was increased to thirty-two before the charter was procured,
consequently there were thirty-two charter members. The following
are the names in the order in which they were enrolled :
Rev. M. T. Gibbs, Emma Stout,
Mrs. M. T. Gibbs, Anna Gordon,
Rev. L. J. Gordon, Frank Maxwell,
Geo. W. Hummer, Charles Maxwell,
Mrs. Geo. W. Hummer, John Kline,
Rev. D. M. Matthews, Geo. E. Slack,
E. W. Bloom, Peter Stryker,
Mrs. E. W. Bloom, Mary Hummer,
Kate Taylor, Fred Bloom,
136 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
Madge Shields, Mrs. Fred Bloom,
Lavinia Shields, Mrs. Wm. R. Shurtz,
Lizzie Burgstresser, Mrs. Wilbur Slack,
Anna Wells, Wm. W. Housel,
Walson Blakeslee, Lina Mechling,
Lizzie Maxwell, Cora Lair,
Lizzie Mechling, Lizzie Hinkle.
The first Epwortb League devotional meeting was held in the church
the Sunday evening following its organization, and these meetings
have been kept up with great interest ever since.
The first business meeting at which the Constitution and By-Laws of
the League were adopted, was held October 20th, 1890, and the first
meeting of the Cabinet, October 30th, 1890. It was decided to hold the
annual business meeting for the election of officers, the second Wednes-
day evening in October, and the monthly business meeting the second
Wednesday evening in each month. An Epworth training class was
organized to prepare the youthful workers for the Master's service. A
VVatchnight service was held on New Year's Eve, at which time the
Everittstown League was present and participated in the exercises.
At this meeting the greatest revival in the history of the church was
begun, it continued for about two months and during its progress over
one hundred persons professed conversion. The membership of the
League increased during the year to 144. There were held during
the year fifty-three devotional meetings, fourteen business meetings,
two socials and three entertainments.
Chapter 3,942 of the Epworth League accomplished much during its
first year; much more than its most sanguine friends could have antici-
Though the anniversary of its birth was not publicly observed, the
League was no less fruitful in good works, and the following ofiicers
were elected for the year :
Pres't., Rev. L. J. Gordon; 1st Vice Pres't., Mrs. M. T. Gibbs; 2d
Vice Pres't., F. B. Fargo; 3d Vice Pres't., Lizzie Mechling; 4th Vice
Pres't., Mrs. Geo. W. Hummer; Secretary, Miss Kate Taylor;
Treasurer, Emma Stout ; Organist, .
The League held during the year fifty devotional meetings, fourteen
business meetings and ten literary meetings, eighteen persons joined
during the year. Total number enrolled, 162. Several members
removed from town and joined other Leagues. Two have died — Anna
Rev. Lewis J. Gordon.
(See Page lOv)
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 139
B. Opdyke and Madge R. Shields. The League held special Thanks-
giving and Christoias services, and also an Anniversary service
was held Sabbath, May 15th, the day was ushered in by a sunrise
prayer meeting which was well attended, forly-flve subscribers
were obtained for the Epworth Herald. The department of literary
work organized a reading circle, December 14th, with Miss Kate
Taylor as Chairman, and Anna Wells as Secretary, a course of reading
was pursued, which was quite successful for a time, but for lack of
interest it was finally abandoned.
The following officers were elected :
Pres't., G. W. Hummer; 1st Vice Pres't., J. C. Butler; 2d Vice
Pres't., Mrs. Wm. R. Shurtz; 3d Vice Pres't, Charles Maxwell; 4th
Vice Pres't., Leina Mechling; Secretary, Kate Taylor; Treasurer,
Lizzie Maxwell; Organist, Stella Hoffman.
Fifty-two devotional meetings were held during the year, fourteen
business and three cabinet meetings, special Thanksgiving, Watchnight
and Anniversary services were held. Two delegates attended the State
convention at Newark. 100 copies of Epworth Songs were purchased ;
twenty-eight subscribers obtained for the Epworth Herald. Nine per-
sons joined the League during the year, and a Junior Epworth League
with forty members was organized.
The time for the annual election of officers was changed this year
from October to January, to be in uniformity with the other Leagues of
the State. Also changed the monthly business meeting to the second
Friday evening of each month. The following officers were elected :
Pres't., G. W. Hummer; 1st Vice Pres't., J. C. Butler; 2d Vice
Pres't., Mrs. N. J. Tomer; 3d Vice Pres't., Rev. D. M. Matthews; 4th
Vice Pres't., Mrs. D. M. Everitt; Secretary, Kate Taylor; Treasurer,
Lizzie Maxwell ; Organist, Lizzie Maxwell.
Sixty-four devotional and thirteen business meetings, and one cabinet
meeting held during the year. Anniversary exercises were held
Sabbath, May 14th. Thanksgiving and Watchnight were observed
with appropriate services, five dollars were sent to the Treasurer in
response to an appeal for Missions. Twenty-five subscribers were
obtained for the Herald, and seventy copies of the revival number
were distributed among the members. Three delegates and a number
of Leaguers attended the State Convention at Camden, May 9th, lOtb.
I40 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
Sixty members of the Leao;ue attended the first rally of the Epworth
County Union, at Quakertown, Augfust 18th, the second rally was held
at Frenchtown, December, 12th. This meeting wag largely attended,
though the weather was bad, and was both instructive and inspiring.
During the months of July and August the department of spiritual
work took charge of the Sabbath evening services.
On January llth, 1895, the annual business meeting of the League
was held, at which time the following offlcers were elected :
Pres't., Frank Maxwell; 1st Vice Pres't., Rev. L. J. Gordon; 2d
Vice Pres't., Mrs. N. J. Tomer; 3d Vice Pres't., W. D. Nichols;
4th Vice Pres't., Mrs. D M. Everitt; Secretary, Lizzie Maxwell;
Treasurer, Clarence Fargo; Organist, Mrs. Belle Webster.
During the year an Epworth League Chorus was organized, which
greatly adds to the interest of the devotional meetings.
The time for the annual election of officers was again changed to
October, the following list is the result of the election for this year :
Pres't., Frank Maxwell ; 1st Vice Pres't., G. W. Hummer; 2d Vice
Pres't., Mrs. T. W. Holcombe ; 3d Vice Pres't., J. Butler ; 4th Vice
Pres't., W. D. Nichols; Secretary, Lizzie Maxwell; Treasurer, Cora
Hotf ; Organist, Mrs. Belle Webster.
The following is a list of the members at the present time, January,
Rev. L. J. Gordon, Laura Woolvertoin,
Geo. W. Hummer, Lorenzo D. Reigle,
Mrs. Geo. W. Hummer, Theo. W. Holcombe,
Rev. D. M. Matthews, Mrs. Theo. W. Holcombe,
E. W. Bloom, Stella Hoffman,
Mrs. E. W. Bloom, Frank F. Maxwell,
Kate Taylor, Mrs. Ernest Slryker,
Lizzie R. Maxwell, John HofiFman,
John H. Kline, Anna Misson,
Mrs. John H. Kline, Bertha Slack,
Emma Stout, Laura Keeler,
Charles S. Maxwell, Josie Plum,
Peter Stryker, Nellie Warford,
Mary Hummer, Cora Hoff,
Ernest Stryker, Jennie J. Rittenhouse,
Mrs. Wm. R. Shurtz, Mrs. Orville Cole,
Frank F Maxwell.
President of Epworth League.
f'renchtoWn, new jersev.
Mrs. Jacob Bunn,
Anna Belle Niece,
Nathan L. Shurtz,
Wilbur 8. Holcombe,
Mrs. Wm. Silverthorn,
Anna B. Wright,
Thos. M. Pinkertonj
Harry S. Slack,
Mrs. H. C. Boberson,
Mrs. J. Butler,
Mrs. Sam'l Snyder,
Mrs. Henry Cronce,
Chas. K. Hummer,
Wm. H. Sipes,
Mrs. Hugh Taylor,
I. L. Niece,
Mrs. I. L. Niece,
Wm. E. Culver,
Mrs. Harvey Gruver,
Sylvester B. Horner,
Mrs, Sylvester Horner,
Sam'l B. Dalrymple,
F. B. Fargo,
Mrs. Sam'l Dalrymple,
Mrs. L. J. Gordon,
Mrs. John Lantz,
D. W. C. Case,
Lucy B. Case,
Mrs'. F. B. FargO)
Chas. B. Salter,
Mrs. Chas. B. Salter,
John Kugler, Jr.,
Clarence B. Fargo,
Mrs. D. W. C. Case,
Edgar J. Hawk,
Mrs. Edgar J. Hawk,
Mrs. D. M. Everitt,
Emma C. Hoflf,
Geo. F. Bloom,
Mrs. Geo. F. Bloom,
Mrs. John McClain,
N. J. Tomer,
Mrs. N. J. Tomer,
Elmer E. Culver,
Arthur G. Able,
Charles B. Tomer,
Mrs. Sylvester Beigle,
Mrs. Bichard Banning,
C. H. Swick,
Mrs. C. H. Swick,
Mrs. Chas. B. Everitt,
Mrs. Aaron H. Slack,
Mrs. Wilbur Slack,
Will D. Nichols,
Andrew K. Kinney,
Mrs. Andrew Kinney,
Wm. C. Kline,
Mrs. Belle M. Webster,
Mrs. Fred Bloom,
Bev. E. H. Conklin,
Mr,-;. E. H. Conklin,
Ida May Conklin,
Wm. J. Conklin,
Mrs. Wm. O. Boberson.
144 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
JUNIOR EPWORTH LEAGUE.
BY CLARENCE B. FARGO.
The Junior Epworth League was organized in 1893, by Kev. Wm-
McCain, with the following officers:
Supt., Miss Laura Woolverton ; Seeretary, Nellie Swick ; Treasurer,
It did not become a chartered League until March 17th, 1894, when
it was listed as number 2,402.
Formerly the devotional services of the League were held on
Thursday afternoons, after the sessions of the public schools, but was
subsequently changed to Sunday afternoon, after the Sabbath School
session, as more members would be likely to attend.
Various means have been used to hold the interest of the children in
A book entitled " Daily Food " was offered to each member who
r'^cited the ten commandments, and they were also appointed to lead
tiie devotional services.
The present officers are as follows :
Sup't , Mrs. Chas. Salter; Ass't. Sup't., Mrs. R. Lanning; Pres't.,
Austin Stout; Vice Pres't., Charles Tomer; Secretary, AUie Lanning;
Treasurer, Lida Hoff.
The League numbers seventy-eight members as follows :
Jessie Hummer, Willie Bloom,
Lida Hoff, John Phile,
May Misson, Sammie Culver,
Annie Tomer, Cieve Culver,
Bertha Curtis, Frank Poulson,
Rowenna Fargo, Herman Smith,
Lottie Salter, Roy Hewitt,
Tillie Culver, Carol Gruver,
Mabel Hoff, Gussie Lippencott,
Charles B. Tomer, Harry Sinclair,
Lewis Hoff, Sammie Sinclair,
Snyder Hoff, Peter Sinclair,
C'larence B. Fargo, Fred M. Gordon,
Frank Fargo, Russel Bloom,
Austin Stout, Chester Niece,
Chester Lancaster, Horace Everitt,
Charles Lancaster, Frank Everitt,
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY.
Ida May Salter,
146 HISTORY OF THE
A Brief History of the Sunday School,, with a List of Super-
intendents; A LIST OF THE Trustees OF THE Church from
1845 to 1895 ; Ladies' Aid Society with a List of Members.
A Brief History of the Sunday School,
George W. Hummer.
'The Sunday School, the Suuday School.
It is the place I love ;
For there I learn the Golden Rule
That leads to joys above."
Tn presenting this brief history of the Sunday School, together
-»■ with a list of superintendents as complete as circunastances have
made it possible to secure, it must be remembered that no data has
been found by which light can be thrown upon the many important
and interesting incidents connected with its early growth, or upon its
methods of procedure; but, with the material at hand, we shall
endeavor to present it as best we can to the reader.
The Sunday School was organized in the summer of 1845, during the
ministration of Rev. A. M. Palmer, in the gallery on the east side of
the church, there being no basement at that time, with David Moore
The sessions of the school were held regularly every Sabbath morning
in the gallery ; and, as the school was connected with the schools of
Quakertown and Everittstown and thus united a long time, there are
no available means by which we can ascertain what the strength of
membership was, neither are there any authentic records in our posses-
sion to even name the teachers.
Mrs. Amy Pittenger informs us that she was appointed the first
primary teacher in 1863, and in one month she succeeded in establish-
ing a class of over thirty children. In 1864, for the first time, we find
that the school was reported to the quarterly conference as being in a
prosperous condition, with ninety scholars and eighteen teachers.
On December 11th, 1870, in an address made by superintendent
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 149
Obadiah Stout, we find the statement that " twenty-one years ago the
school numbored three teachers and twenty-five scholars," and this
statement, coming from one who knew whereof he spoke, throws
light upon the strength of the school in the closing days of '49.
In 1870, the membership of the school was 178, average attendance
125, with a total collection of $28.09.
To illustrate the steady increase in membership and financial support
since 1881, from which time we have complete records, we can
authoritively state that at the close of 1881, the school numbered six
officers, filteen teachers and 115 scholars; average attendance seventy-
three, and collection amounting to $21.10 ; and at the close of 1894, the
records show a membership of 200, average attendance 134, amount
of collection, $134. 51 besides $18.94 for missionary purposes.
Thus hath God blessed and propered our school ! Thus hath His smile
been upon it through all the years of its existence! And our sincere
hope and prayer is that it may be so guided and directed in the future
as to continue to merit that smile of approval and that blessing of
prosperity ! May it be the means of so imprinting the love of God
on the hearts of the young, that they may be brought to a saving
knowledge of sins forgiven ; that they, their superintendent and
teachers, may all meet in that beautiful home above and dwell forever
with the Lord !
In the gracious revival of '91, fifty-one members of the Sunday
school united with the church, showing what a powerful factor the
Sunday school is to the advancement of Christianity, and how much
every Sunday school worker should be encouraged to labor on. and meet
and overcome every obstacle that may arise.
" For we know not when we scatter,
Where the precious seed will fall ;
But we work and trust in Jesus,
For He watcheth over all."
The following is a list of Superintendents:
David Moore. 1845-'52.
Joseph Ashton, 1858-'54.
Peter Risler, 1855-'56.
Morris Maxwell, 1857-'59 ; 1861-'65 ; 1868-69; 1879-'81.
David S. Burwell, 1860.
Andrew Slack, 1866.
Obadiah Stout, 1867, 1870 to 1875.
W. H. Stabler, 1876.
J. E. Cook, 1877-'78.
G. W. Hummer, 1881-'95.
i^a ttlSfORV OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
The following is a list of the Trustees from 1844 to 1895, as far as we
have been able to ascertain :
Written by John L. Slack, Esq.
Lewis M. Prevost, 1844-'47.
Cyrenius A. Slack, 1844-'47, 1855-'57.
Ambrose Silverthorn, 1844-'50.
John V. Hull, 1844-'48.
Sylvester R. Chamberlain, 1844.
John Rodenbaugh, 1844.
Charles Shuster, 1844-'40.
Thomas Roberson, 1845.
William Roberson, 1845.
Samuel L. Hoff, 1846-'47.
Samuel Pittenger, 1846- '48.
Solomon Stout, 1848-'50.
David Moore, 1850-'53.
Richard Stocliton, 1850-'53.
Ralph Ten Eyck, 1850-'51.
Obadiah Stout, 1850-'58, 1860-'6?, 1870-'t2, 1880-'gl, 1886-*8S.
Charles Green, 1851-'54.
Joseph Ashton, 1851-'65.
Eli Frazier, 1851-'53.
Samuel B. Hudnit, 1852-'50, 1860 '64.
OziasP. Thatcher, 1852-'56.
George Rounsaval, 1854-'56.
Morris Maxwell, 1854-'57, 1860-'62, 1866, 1869-'77, 1889-'91.
Levi Case, 1857, 1860-'64.
Samuel Rockafellow, 1860-'64, 1868-'72, 1881.
Silas S. Wright, 1861-'62.
Andrew Slack, 1860-'68, 1873-'74, 1877-'79.
Adam 8. Haring, 1867-'80.
Peter Y. Lowe, 1867-'69.
David Roberson, 1867-'72, 1879'80.
Francis B. Fargo, 1877, 1879'80, 1889-'95.
Joseph Aller, 1868, 1881-'84.
Reeder T. Slack, 1868.
Morris L. Morgan, 1868.
Edward Lair, 1869, 1883.
George H. Sanders, 1869-'70.
R. K. Niece, 1869-'72.
John L. Slack, 1870-'81, ]884-'92, 1895.
David Curtis, 1870-'72, 188l-'87.
W O m
O " •
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEV. 153
Munson Baldwin, 187l-'76, 188l-'82.
Joseph E. Cook, 1873-'78.
Benjamin Phillkill, 1873-'75, 1885-'89.
Eilwin Beidelraan, 1875-'83.
D. M. Matthews, 1876-'8o.
Thomas R. Opdyke, 1877. -
Levi M. Hice, 1878.
Eli Swallow, 1878, 1884-'88.
Janeway Gordon, 1879.
H. W. Bellis, 1882.
G. W. Hummer, 1882, 1890-'95.
T. W. Holcombe, 1883-'85.
Edward Rittenhouse, 1883.
L. S. D. Kerr, 1883-'85, 1891-'95.
Hiram Danly, 1886.
Peter C. Mechling, 1886-'9I.
Levi M. Hoffman, 1887-'94.
George Stintsman, 1888.
E. W. Bloom, 1889-'95.
John H. Kline, 1890.
William V. Gordon, 1890.
Josiah Butler, 1891-'95.
William Niece, 1891-'95.
I. L. Niece, 1892-'95.
Alfred Curtis, 1893-'95.
154 HISTORY OF THR M. E. CHURCH,
LADIES' AID SOCIETY OF FRENCHTOWN M. E. CHURCH.
Mrs E. W. Bloom.
The present Ladies' Aid Society of the French town M. E. Church,
was organized May 15th, 1890, by Rev. M. T. GIbbs, with seven
The officers were as follows :
Pres't., Mrs. M. T. Gibbs; Vice Pres't., Mrs. Geo. W. Hummer;
Secretary, Mrs. E. W. Bloom ; Treasurer, Mrs. T. W. Holcombe.
The Society holds its meetings the third Wednesday evening in each
month ; the money paid in for dues, and what is realized by sociables,
entertainments, and various contributions, is used for the benefit of the
parsonage, and for other useful objects of the church.
The Society is in a fiourshing condition, having at the present time
thirty-five members, and has collected since its organization |27o.
The officers at the present time are :
Pres't., Mrs. E. W. Bloom; Vice Pres't., Mrs. E. H. Conklin ;
Secretary, Mrs. John H. Kline: Treasurer, Mrs. J. E. Sherman;
Collector, Mrs. Mary Pinkerton.
The following is the present membership :
Mrs. Mary Pinkerton, Mrs. E. H. Conklin,
Mrs. H. F. Gruver, Mrs. Wm. O. Roberson,
Mrs. Hugh Eichlin, Mrs. S. R. Dalrymple,
Mrs. L. D. Hagaman, Mrs. John L. Roberson,
Mrs. Geo. W. Hummer, Mrs. D. M. Everitt,
Mrs. Judson Hoff, Mrs. Susan L. Reading,
Mrs. E. W. Bloom, Hrs. F. B. Fargo,
Mrs. Sylvester Horner, Mrs. Chas. B. Salter,
Mrs. Sarah Atkinson, Mrs. H. I. Srope,
Mrs. John H. Kline, Mrs. J. E. Sherman,
Mrs. J. Butler, Mrs. Wm. R. Shurtz,
Mrs. A. S. Lanning, Mrs. N. J. Tomer,
Mrs. Geo. F. Bloom, Mrs. Johnson Warford,
Mrs. Wm. Niece, Mrs. Elizabeth Wright,
Mrs. Chas. P. Bissey, Mrs. Henry Quirk,
Mrs. I. L. Niece, Miss Lizzie Stout,
Mrs. Harriet Barcroft, Miss Emma Stout.
Mrs. Beuj. Philkill,
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY
Semi-Centennial Exerclses; Brief Outlines of Sermons;
Subscription List for the Semi-Centennial Book.
By Rev. E, H. Conklin.
THE Semi-Centennial celebration of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
of French town, was suggested by the Rev. D. M. Matthews, at
the Second Quarterly Conference held August 28th, 1895. The confer-
ence was favorable to the suggestion and appointed a committee of six
to have charge of the celebration. The following were the committee :
D. M. Matthews, J. L. Slack, Josiah Butler, I. L. Neice, G. W.
Hummer, E. H. Conklin.
It was resolved to celebrate during the week commencing with the
15th of December, 1895,and the first service was held on Monday evening,
the 16th. The committee authorized the publication of a program
which was to contain the order of exercises for the entire week. We
had a most auspicious opening, good roads, a clear sky, and the presence
of the first speaker on the list. Rev. Thomas E. Gordon, of Harrison, N.
J. In beginning his remarks, he said that it was with considerable effort
that he resisted the inclination to turn aside from the text and take up
the recollections of his pleasant and fruitful pastorate of Frenchtown.
One circumstance he must mention. It was the commencement of a
revival during his second year. He came to the last of the week with
scarcely any preparation for the Sabbath. Not because he had failed to
labor, for he had worked hard, butbecause the accomplishment of what
was ordinarily easy, seemed at this particular time impossible.
Saturday afternoon came and found him with no sermon for the
It was purely providential that he met on the evening of that day,
Mrs. Julia Bryant of Washington, N, J., to whom he related his
experience. After finding out that Mrs. Bryant was an Evangelist, he
said, " you must preach for me to-morrow morning." Which she finally
consented to do. Her text was from the twelfth of Romans, " I
beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice" (fee, &c. At the conclusion of the
sermon. Brother Gordon invited all who would comply with the
158 HISTORY OF THE M. E). CHURCH,
request of the text, to come forward and kneel at the altar. He closed
his eyes, somewhat afraid of the result, but when he opened them he
saw the aisles filled with the coming people. And soon all available
space about the altar was occupied with kneeling supplicants, and from
that moment the work went on without interruption until fitty or sixty
persons were converted.
Mr. Gordon took his text from the prophesy of Jeremiah, eighth
chapter and twentieth verse, " The harvest is past, the summer is
ended, and we are not saved." His subject was our fleeting spiritual
privileges. He first spoke of the power of Christ to save, and told a
story of Bishop James, who made repeated endeavors to save a
physician, who was addicted to the drink habit. He fell away many
times, but as often as he fell the Bishop would " look up and lift up "
until finally he was permanently restored ; a proof of the power of
Jesus to save to the utmost. Among the fleeting privileges were the
intercessions of Christ, the moving power of the Holy Ghost, and the
blessing of choice.
Tuesday, December 17th, was the Anniversary Day, A little after six
o'clock the bell struck for fifty years of chun^i history. Rev. I. N.
VanSant was the preacher for the evening. The words of his text
were " If I be lifted up from the earth, 1 will draw all men unto me,"
(John twelve and thirty-two.) He made the statement that Christ was
actually drawing all men unto Himself at the present time, and quoted
the saying of the Great Napoleon: "My generals leave me, I cannot
hold them ; but increasing millions follow the standard of Christ."
The drawing power of the cross was compared to a magnet. Sir
Isaac Newton carried a very small one in his pocket, it weighed only
three grains, but its lifting power was 756 grains. Cards placed
between the magnet and the object to be lifted diminished the drawing
power, and the more numerous the cards the less the pull of the magnet.
It was so with Christians who allowed sinful pleasures, love of money,
worldliness, to come between Christ and themselves. Rust is a non-con-
ductor, and where it gathers on iron it is so much hinderance to the
magnet; and the accumulations of wickedness, like rust, will interfere
with the attractive power of Christ. The magnet not only attracts to
itself, but it also magnetizes whatever is brought into contract with,
so that a nail being magnetized becomes itself a magnet to draw other
nails to itself. So Christians filled with the Christ Spirit, act on others
to draw them to the Saviour. Another thought concerning the magnet
was that its power was exclusively exerted on inferior metals ; it does
not act on gold, silver, pearls, precious stones, but iron. Jesus, speak-
ing of the best classes of society, said, "the publicans and harlots go
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 159
into the kingdom of heaven before you." He came not to call the
righteous, but sinners to repentence.
The Rev. William McCain was on the program for Wednesday
evening, but was in the midst of extra meetings at the time and could
not be present. The Rev. John McMuarray, of Finesville, very kindly
consented to preach in his stead. He took his text from the Book of
Acts, eleven and twenty-four, " A good man full of the Holy Ghost and
of faith." He said that the three qualities spoken of in the text, good-
ness, faith, and the fullness of the blessing of the Holy Spirit were the
essential qualities in Christian character. A man might attain success
in some departments of life with little or no morality, but character
was absolutely necessary for prosperous service in the Master's vine-
yard. We might have many other things that would help us toward
success, riches, intellect, personal influence, but these are worthless
without goodness, faith, and spiritual power.
The Rev. W. E. Blakeslee was with us on Thursday evening, and
preached a very earnest, gospel sermon from the text, *' A sower went
forth to sow." (Matthew, thirteen and three.) He prefaced his sermon
by saying that it seemed like visiting his birth-place, to come to
Prenchtown. It was thirty years ago last spring since he left this
town. The country at that time was passing through the fire and
blood of the great civil conflict. Many changes have come since then.
He could recognize only a very few who were in the church when he
His first thought on the text was, that the sower was a man, and he
could not tell why God had selected man to sow the seed of the king-
dom, but He had. It was a great honor to be associated with God
in labor. Man went among men, and the material on which he
labored was imperishable. Men work on clay or marble or granite
and produce results for time. But he who scatters the seeds of truth,
touches the immortal mind, and his work extends into eternity. The
seed is the word of God and when planted must grow. It contains a
life principle, and as sure as it is dropped into appropriate soil it will
spring up. Sometimes we may grow discouraged because results seem
so far away. We are to remember, however, that the command is, not
to reap, but to sow. Two returned Missionary workers related the his-
tory of their labors. One told how God had blessed his efforts, how
churches had been built, what multitudes of souls had been saved.
The other hearing such a glowing report, could scarcely be induced to
speak. He had toiled through the night of years and had caught
nothing. He had seen no such results as his brother Missionary, but
this one thing gave him heart ; he remembered the words of the Lord
l6o HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
Jesus, how He did not say, " Well done good and successful servant,
but, well done good and faithfuL servant, enter into the joy of thy
Lord." God rewards faithfulness rather than success. The sower went
forth, and did not wait for the soil to come to him, but went forth. So
are we to go forth, out in the highway, out in the by-way, the office, the
shop, the saloon, wherever man can be found, and declare the truth by
word and example. The preacher did not only speak to the ministry, but
to th<i rank and file. We are all to go forth. Brother Blakeslee was
greeted by a large congregation, and after the benediction was pro-
nounced many of the old friends gathered about the preacher. Some
were converted during the last year of his ministry in Frenchtown.
They had been faithful, and the greetings were much like they
shall be in the heavenly life. Great joy at the discovery of so many
saved, with the added happiness that we shall go no more out forever.
Friday evening the pastors of the sister churches of the town were
present. The Rev. Charles M. Deitz of the Baptist Church gave a very
interesting address on the Jubilee year. It was at this Jewish festival
that all debts were cancelled, all slaves were set free, the ground was
not tilled, and every man was to return to his former possessions. He
called attention to the spiritual significance of these thoughts. We
should be joyful, we should exercise the grace of forgiveness and
mercy, and work for the deliverance of souls in bondage to sin. The
words of the preacher were words of counsel and kindly greeting and
were highly appreciated by the people.
The Rev. W. H. Filson of the Presbyterian Church, began by quot-
ing the words of St. Paul as he landed at Appii-forum, and his friends
from Rome met him. " Whom, when Paul saw, he thanked God and
took courage," (Acts twenty-eight and fifteen.) So this church, as it
passes the fiftieth mile stone, has reason to thank God and look with
brightest hopes on the future. He then reviewed the events in the devel-
opment of the nations of the world during this time and especially of this
nation. He then spoke on what the church had done in her advance
movements as illustrated by Missions, Sabbath schools. Young People's
organizations &c. Then he spoke of the blessedness of having had the
pure gospel preached in this church during the last half century.
Expanding this idea, he spoke of the grandeur of the church and in
what it consists.
1. It did not consist in her antiquity.
2. Not in architecture.
3. Not in ritual.
4. Not in the union of church and state.
f). Not in wealth.
C. Not in members.
i.'REMCH'roWN, NEW JERSeV. l6f
Each of these is claimed by their respective advocates as constituting
the true grandeur of the church. But the Jewish Church possessed ali
of these and j'et God repudiated it.
The true grandeur of the church lies in the work of saving souls and
in protecting and developing them.
The elements of her grandeur are :
1. Possession of the truth.
2. Love of the truth.
3. Obedience to the truth.
4. Charity— Paul, " More excellent way.""
5. Success in saving souls.
6. Faithfulness in instructing converts.
To reach this, earnest men are needed. May this church never lack
in any of the essentials of successful church work, and may her*
increasing years bring to her perpetual and eternal youth ; strong in
the Lord and the power of His might.
On Saturday evening, the Epworth League held a service. The
program was as follows :
Service of Song, -..-... Epworth Chorus.
Prayer and Scripture Heading, . ^ . . . . Pastor,
Historical Sketch, . . * . ^ . . Frank Maxwell.
The League and the Church, - . . . Uev. L. J. Gordon.
Vocal Solo— Fear not Ye, O, Israel, - ^ Miss Janet Williams,
Address ■> <■ - Rev. A. M. Palmer.
Address *-.*... = pev. Joseph Gaskill.
l)oxoiogy and Benediction.
Sabbath, December 22th, 1895. On this day we were fhvored with the
presence of two men who ministered to the people more than fifty years
ago. Rev. A. M. Palmer of Newark Conference, who was pastor when
the church was dedicated, and also Rev. Joseph Gaskill, who in 1842,
organized a class of eleven members. During the morning service at
which R3V. A. M. Palmer preached, the pastor of the church asked if
there were any present who were connected with this church fifty
years ago; four persons arouse, Mrs. Hannah Slack, Mrs. Catharine Wan-
namaker, Mrs. Andrew Slack and Mrs. John L. Slack. The question
was then asked if there were any present who were connected with the
charge fifty years ago, and five more arose, viz : William Large, Esq.)
of Quakertown, Samuel Dalrymple and Mahlon Rlttenhouse, of
Everittstown, Mrs. Emma Eckel, of Washington and Mrs, Lavinia
Pittenger, of Freuchtown.
A Semi-Centennial offering was taken in aid of the trustees, amount-
ing to one hundred and fifteen dollars.
l62 HISTORY OF THE M. E. CHURCH,
The Semi-Centennial sermon was preached by Rev. A. M. Palmer.
It is omitted from this volume for want of room, but may appear in
Sabbath school anniversary was held in the afternoon under the
direction of Brother G. W. Hummer, superintendent of the school, the
exercises consisted of singing, also an historical address by Brother
Hummer, and speeches by former superintendents.
Andrew Slack and William Stabler, Miss Emma Moore, the
daughter of the first superintendent of the school, also made some
Rev. Joseph Gaskill preached in the evening to a very large and
The following is a brief sketch of his sermon :
The text was found in the Gospel of John, first chapter and forty-
John the Baptist was born some forty miles from Jerusalem and
about seventy miles from Nazareth, the home of Jesus. He was born
about six months before Jesus. It seems from the history that the
mothers of these distinguished persons were intimate friends, if not
related. In their youth these children were strangers to each other
and had probably never met until the meeting on the bank of the
Jordon. John commenced his ministry when about thirty years of age
in the hill country of Judea and about the Jordan.
He preached with such telling effect that multitudes came to hear
and were baptized of him, confessing their sins. Then cometh Jesus
from Galilee to the Jordon to be baptized of him. The next day John
seeth Jesus coming unto him, saith, *' Behold the Lamb of God
which taketh away the sin of the world." The next day as he saw
Him walk he saith, "Behold the Lamb of God!" Two of His
disciples standing near, heard him speak and followed Jesus. Jesus
turned and saw them following, and saith "what seek ye?" They say
unto Him, " Rabbi where dwellest thou? " He saith, " come and see."
They came and saw and abode with Him that day. One of the two
disciples was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother; he findeth his own
brother Simon, and saith unto him, " we have found the Messias, which
is the Christ," and he brought him to Jesus,
The central thought of the text is, influence or the means used to
bring men to Jesus.
1. Knowledge of Jesus and the Scriptures.
2. Love of Jesus and His own brother Simon.
3. Faith in Jesus as the Son of God.
4. Gift of the Holy Ghost.
5. The example of a holy life.
FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEY. 163
Brother Matthews wrote on page 27 in regard to our serai-centennial
that " an advance movement is expected in every department of Christ-
I want to add to the glory of God we have not been disappointed.
Up to date, February Uth, 1896, fifty- five persons have professed con-
version, the most of whom have united with the church, and the meet-
ings still continue.
BY J. F. DODD, D. D.
Our fathers' God, to Thee we raise
Our hearts this day in grateful praise ;
For all Thy love and mercy shown,
To those whom here Thou long hast known.
Full fifty years of toil and care,
By honored saints in faith and prayer.
Has brought Thy constant blessing down,
With good success their work to crown.
Thy word hath here been uttered long,
In sermon, speech and joyful song ;
By faithful men, with zeal and love,
With holy unction from above.
Its power, as of old displayed,
Hath many precious converts made ;
Of whom some to this hour remain,
While others with the Saviour reign.
Now, gracious God, let blessings come,
On this old and honored home ;
And as the years flow on apace,
Endow her with abiding grace.
History of The m. e. CHUKLCif.
Serni=CentenmaI History of the Frenchtown M. E. Church.
Alfred Curtis, it'renchtown.
Gr. W. Hummer, Frenchtown.
Josiah Butler, Frenchtown.
Andrew Slack, Frenchtown.
F. B. Fargo, Frenehtov^n.
W. Lambert Rice, Mt. Pleasant,
E. W. Bloom, Frenchtown.
S. M. Bittenhouse, Frenchtown.
Hon. W. H. Martin, Frenchtown.
W. H. Si pes, Frenchtown.
B. Philkill, Frenchtown.
W. T. Srope, Esq., Frenchtown.
L. S. D. Kerr, Frenchtown.
Frank F. Maxwell, Frenchtown.
Hon. C. N. Reading, Frenchtown.
Edward Hinkle, Frenchtown.
Rev. L. J. Gordon, Frenchtown.
Gershom L. Everitt, Frenchtown.
Thomas Holland, Everlttstown.
John H. Matthews, Mt. Pleasant.
John H. Kline, Frenchtown.
Hezekiah HoflF, Frenchtown.
J. L. Slack, Esq., Frenchtown.
\V. H. Stahler, Frenchtown.
W. Large, Esq , Quakertown.
Deborah A. Hill, Frenchtown,
L. D. Hagaman,Esq. Frenchtown.
Mrs. W. Silverthorn, Frenchtown.
A. P. Williams, Frenchtown.
N. R. Shuster, Everlttstown.
M. Rittenhouse, Everlttstown.
Mrs. J. F. Case, Everlttstown.
William J. Conklin, Frenchtown.
Ida May Conklin, Frenchtown.
Mrs. C. A. Slack, Frenchtown.
P. M. Mechling, Esq., Pittstown.
Fred Bloom, Locktown.
Sophia T. Hough, Frenchtown.
K. F. Henarie, Frenchtown.
E. Rittenhouse, Frenchtown.
Charles B. Salter, Frenchtown,
Michael Uhler. Uhlertown, Pa,
H. B. Hawk, Uhlertown, Pa.
David Roberson, Frenchtown.
Will D. Nichols, Frenchtown.
Levi Case, Milford.
James E. Sherman, Frenchtowrr*
Augustus Cronce, Frenchtown.
Samuel A. Besson, Hoboken.
H. W. Cronce, Fverittstown.
S. H. Wright, Everlttstown.
John VV. Lequear, Frenchtown.
Isaac T, Cronce, Frenchtown.
Joseph Ash ton, Sr., Trenton.
Alonzo Butler, Frenchtown.
E. W. Opdyke, Frenchtown.
Sarah K. Walbert, Frenchtown.
George Stintsman, Frenchtown^
Wilbur Slack, Frenchtown.
A. S. Haring, Hagerstown, Md.
Abel B. Haring, Frenchtown.
C. Rittenhouse, Frenchtown.
William C. Kline, Frenchtown.
E. E, Culver, Frenchtown.
Judson Hotf, frenchtown.
Sylvester B. Horner, Frenchtown.-
Harriet Barcroft, Frenchtown.
Mrs. Hugh Eichlen, French town ^^
Rev. W. E. Blakeslee, Elizabeth,
Wm. Vanhorn, Idell.
I. L. Niece, Frenchtown.
Mary A. Stout, Frenchtown.
■FRE>rCHTOWN, "NEW JERSEY.
C. A. Wannamaker, Frenchtown.
Amy Stout, Frenchtown.
Lavinti Pittenger, Frenchtown.
Rev. W. McCain, Clinton.
Rev. W. Chamberlin, Derby, Conn.
J. R. Burgstresser, Frenchtown.
Bateman Stout, Everittstown.
Rev. F. Tomlinson, Quak«rtown.
Rev. I. N. Vansant, Bloomsbury,
Joseph M. Picke', Pittstown.
Rev. C. Clark, Jr., Rockaway.
Mary C. Swan, Frenchtown.
H. W. Bellis, Frenchtown.
J. Slater Case, Trenton.
Anna R. Wright, Frenchtown.
Mary Tettemer, Frenchtown.
Minnie Silverthorn, Frenchtown.
Eli Swallow, Riegelsville, Pa.
Rev. C. S. Ryman, Westfleld.
Lizzie R. Maxwell, Frenchtown.
Mrs. Wm. R. Shurtz, Frenchtown.
Mrs. D, M. Everitt, Frenchtown.
Oeorge W. Eddy, Frenchtown.
Rev. W. H. Filson, Frenchtown.
W. O. Roberson, Frenchtown.
Marinda Henry, Cherryville.
Joseph Aller, Frenchtown.
S. R. Dalrymple, Frenchtown.
Anoy T. Pittenger, Trenton.
Charles S. Maxwell, Frenchtown.
William Niece, Frenchtown.
John Butler, Everittstown.
Edward L^ir, Frenchtown.
Hon. G. O. Vanderbilt, Princeton.
W. B. Stout, Philadelphia.
Aaron H. Slack. Frenchtown.
Esther Salter, Flemington.
Richard C. Rounsaville, Chicago.
E. R. Hartpence, Frenchtown.
Mrs. Mary Godown, Eiwyn, Pa.
C. A. Butterfoss, Barbertown.
Emma R. Eckel, Washington.
Samuel Hoff, Everittstown.
Mrs. Stacy B. Niece, Frenchtown.
Andrew K. Kinney, Frenchtown,
Samuel L. Heller, Frenchtown.
Mrs. H. F. Gruver, Uhlertown, Pa.
James Williams, Erwinna, Pa.
S. A. Eisenhart, Erwinna, Pa. •
Barzlla Williams, Erwinna, Pa.
Mary C. Pittenger, Frenchtown.
Ezra D. Lennard, Everittstown.
Mrs. Jane Able, Frenchtown.
Rev. N. J. Wright, Long Branch.
Mrs. M. E. Bissey, Frenchtown.
Theodore Sinclair, Frenchtown.
Peter C. Mechling, Frenchtown.
Mrs. N. J. Tomer, Frenchtown.
Mary E. Opdyke, Frenchtown.
John R. Salter, Frenchtown.
Laura Bonham, Frenchtown.
Alice Schaible, Uhlertown, Pa.
Alida Apgar, Finesville,
Mary J. Little Pittstown.
Samuel H. Stabler, Frenchtown.
Mrs. G. F. Bloom, Frenchtown.
Mrs. M. Silverthorn, Everittstown.
Mrs. Kate Hewitt, Frenchtown.
B. Newton Curtis, Lambertville.
Mrs. Henry Hardon, Frenchtown.
Samuel Dalrymple, Everittstown.
Mrs. M. S. Morrel, La Casita, Cal.
Rev. Joseph Gaskill, Trenton.
Rev. A. M. Palmer, Newark.
John V. Gordon, Greensburg, la.
Laura Woolverton, Frenchtown.
Nellie M. Rittenhou^e, Frencht'n.
Mrs. H. I. Srope, Frenchtown.
Lizzie Stout, Frenchtown.
L. M. Davis, Washington.
Jessie Hummer, Frenchtown.
Anna L. Fritts, Frenchtown.
HISTORY OF' THE M. E. CHURCH, FRENCHTOWN, NEW JERSEV.
Mrs. M. Roberson, French town.
Wilson Roberson, French town.
Mrs. P. R. Hampton, Hainesville.
Mrs. H. Eilenberg, Frenchtown.
Mrs. Martha Miers, Clinton.
C. W. H. Dedrick, Hackettstown.
William Gordon, Frenchtown.
Britton Pinkerton, Frenchtown.
William V. Gordon, Bethlehem.
Kate Taylor, Stanhope.
A. P. Kachline, Frenchtown.
William Hoff, Frenchtown.
Levi M. Hoffman, Frenchtown.
Armandah Srope, Frenchtown.
Anna A. Lyons, Frenchtown,
Mrs. Frances Kugler, Frenchtown.
R. H. Woolverton, Frenchtown.
Mary Bidleman, Camden.
Clara P. Barts, Philadelphia, Pa.
Mrs. M. A. Holcombe, Frencht'n.
John R. Hardon, Frenchtown.
Mrs. E. H. Wright, Frenchtown.
Mrs. Ella Curtis, Everittstown,
Wilson Lear, Esq., Erwinna.
Mary A. Martin, Mt. Pleasant.
Josie Plum, Frenchtown.
Anna S. Warford, Frenchtown.
E. R. Case, Frenchtown.
N. D. Smith, Frenchtown.
C. N. Reading, Jr., Frenchtown.
Samuel Rockafellow, Frenchtown.
Joseph P. Wilson, Everittstown.
Joseph Everitt, Pittstown.
E. H. Vanderbilt, Easton, Pa.
Jesse Sinclair, Esq., Riegelsville.
Lavinia Slack, Frenchtown.
George M. Bidleman, Camden.
:^i, iX-^i \
'' A>r v^Xvvj.
New Hope, Pa.