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Full text of "Solitary places made glad: being observations and experiences for thirty-two years in Nebraska; with sketches and incidents touching the discovery, early settlement, and development of the state"

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' 



Solitary Places Made Glad: 



BEING 



OBSERVATIONS AND EXPERIENCES FOR THIRTY- 
TWO YEARS IN NEBRASKA; 



WITH 



SKETCHES AND INCIDENTS TOUCHING THE DIS- 
COVERY, EARLY SETTLEMENT, AND 
DEVELOPMENT OF THE 
STATE. 



BY THE 

RKV. HKNRY T. DAVIS, 

OF THB NEBRASKA CONFERENCB. 



The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them ; 
and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. 

—Isaiah xxxv, i. 



cincinnati : 

Printed for the Author by Cranston & Stowe. 

1890. 



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THE NEW TORK 
PUBLIC LIBUAIIY 

137'995B 

ArT!u;, Lf:N'nx and 

TILI'LN HU NDATiONS 
1. 1941 !» 



Copyright by 

HENRY T. DAVIS, 

1890. 



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*Po ll)e lT)ii}isfePS ci)d fl)eip rZaax)ilies, 

who have been, and are now. 

engaged in laying the foundations and building up the 

Church of Christ on the frontier, is this 

book dedicated by 

THE AUTHOR. 



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> 



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PREFACE. 



QOME time before his deaths the late Dr. 

^ W. B. Slaughter had in contemplation the 

writing of a book on Nebraska. He requested 

me^ as I was one of the first pioneers^ to furnish 

him material touching the early settlement of 

the Territory. The request was complied with, 

and a limited amount furnished. He afterward 

said: "You have not furnished me the tithe of 

what I expected; I shall expect a great deal 

more from you.^^ Soon after this remark he was 

called to his heavenly home. 

Later, one of the leading members of the 

Nebraska Conference said to me : " You owe it to 

the Church and posterity to leave in permanent 

form your early experiences and observations 

in Nebraska.'' A leading pastor in a sister 

denomination of the State suggested the same 

thing, and similar suggestions have been made 

by others. These remarks impressed me with 

the thought that perhaps I did owe it to the 

5 



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6 PREFACE. 

Church and the world to follow out their 
suggestions; hence this volume. 

I give this unpretentious book to the world, 
earnestly praying the blessing of God upon 
every one who may chance to read its pages. 
If it shall be the means, in the hands of God, 
of leading a soul to Christ, or a believer up to a 
higher plane of religious experience or to more 
active service for the Master, my labor shall not 
be in vain, 

H. T. DAVIS. 

Lincoln, Nebraska, June 4, 1890. ' 



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CONTENTS. 



Chapter I. 

THB "great AMERICAN DESERT '' A MYTH. 

Early Views of the West— The Sahara of the United 
States disappears before the March of Civiliza- 
tion, Page 15 

Chapter II. 

DISCOVERY OF NEBRASKA. 

Coronado's Expedition in 1640-41— De Soto discovers the 
Mississippi — Father Marquette and La Salle — Nebraska 
twice owned by Spain, and twice by France — Ceded 
to the United States in 1803 — Organized as a Territory 
in 1854— Admitted as a State in 1867— Prosperity, . 26 

Chapter III. 

TOPOGRAPHY AND RESOURCES OF NEBRASKA. 

Position — Area^Elevation — Climate — Soil — Resources — 
Intelligence of the People, SS 

Chapter IV. 

CALIFORNIA GOLD EZCITE3IENT IN 1848-50. 

Gold disco verd— Anxious to go— "Outfit" obtained— 
Farewell to Friends— Trip from South Bend to Old 
Fort Kearney — Perilous Passage over the "Big 
Muddy "—First Night in Nebraska— Beautiful Scene, 46 

7 



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o CONTENTS. 

Chapter V. 

ACB0S9 THE PLAINS. 

Old Fort Kearney— Nebraska City— Platte River— In- 
dians — New Fort Kearney — Wolves — Midnight 
Alarm — Chimney Rock — Court-house Rock — Buffa- 
loes — Sweet Water — Summit of the Rocky Mountains — 
Green River — Bear River — Humboldt — Desert — Car- 
son River — Summit of the Sierra Nevadas — Journey 

. Ended, Page 66 

Chapter VI. 

CALIFOBNIA IN 1850-52. 

Disappointed Gold-seekers— Long Ilbiess — Doctor-bill — 
Wickedness Rampant — Lynch-law — Summary Punish- 
ment the Palladium of the People — Vigilance Com- 
mittees — Bold Robery — ^The Victim [captured and 
hung, 83 

Chapter VII. 

BBTUBN HOME BY WAT OF THE ISTHMUS. 

San Francisco — San Diego — "Wonders of the Deep" — 
Acapulco; — Terrible Storm — Panama — Crossing the 
Isthmus— From Aspinwall to New York— Home, . 94 

Chapter VIII. 

PBBSONAL RECOLLECTIONS. 

Memorable City and Church — John Brownfield — David 
Stover — Conversion — Parental Influence — Call to 
Preach — Attend Asbury University — Licensed to 
Preach — Join Conference — First Circuit— Second Cir- 
cuit — Two Gracious Revivals — First Convert's 
Triumphant Death — Ordained Deacon — Bishop 
Waugh, 108 



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CONTENTS, 9 

Chapter IX. 

ATTENTION TURNED TO THE WEST. 

Fascinations of the West — Bellevue Mission offered Us — 
Acceptance — Adieu to Friends — We reach St. Louis — 
Up the " Big Muddy "—Arrive in Omaha, . Page 122 

Chapter X. 

THE PIONEER EVANGEL. 

Methodism Ck>smopoIitan — Missionaries sent to Oregon 
in 1834 — ^Planning to capture Kansas and Nebraska 
for Christ — ^The Territories organized— The Bishops 
send out W. H. Goode as a Scout — Our Superintend- 
ency an Element of Power— Kansas and Nebraska 
Conference organized — Quantrell burns the City of 
Lawrence — Second Conference— Bishop Ames and Dr. 
Poe on the Missouri River — A Heroine — A Sermon 
instead of a Dance— The Third Conference, . . .128 

Chapter XI. 

FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA. 

Crude Ideas of Nebraska — Bellevue— Story of a Diamond — 
How the People viewed Us — Hunting for a Town 
without Houses — First Sermon in Nebraska — Wild 
Speculation — Its Demoralizing Effects— First Quarter- 
age received— Glad of Green Pumpkins — ^Thankful 
for Potatoes and Salt — Hospitality of Friends, . . 147 

Chapter XIL 

OMAHA. 

When Founded — Indian Tradition of the Name— Amusing 
and Thrilling Incidents— George Francis Tndn— Moving 
in an Ox-wagon — Indians— First Methodist Episcopal 
Church — Ride on Horseback Two Hundred Miles to 



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10 CONTENTS. 

Conference — Falls City in 1860— John Brown— The 
Conference divided, Page 163 

Chapter XIII. 

FIBST NEBRASKA CONFERBNCB. 

Memhers — Statistics — "Crowned Ones'* — Martyr Spirit 
Still in the Church— Nebraska City District in 1861— 
A Fearful Ride in the Cold— Popgun Elder— S. P. 
Majors — Bellevue Conference — Bishop Simpson — 
Crossing the Platte in a Skiff— Laura Beatty — An Aw- 
ful Tragedy— A Death-bed Bepentance, 182 

Chapter XIV. 

CnriL WAR INCIDENTS. 

The Dark Cloud — The Rainbow of Promise — National 
Prosperity — "Jayhawkers" — Ordered to Halt — Camp- 
meeting near Fidls City — ^Bloody Fray — Dave Stephen- 
son, 206 

Chapter XV. 

LINCOLN. 

Location — Salt Basins — First Settlers— Indians — First 
Sermon in the County — Elder Young — Lancaster — 
Visit to the New Town — Act providing for the Change 
of the Capital — Lot Sales— First Legislature in the 
New Capitol — First Methodist Episcopal Church — 
Other Churches, 212 

Chapter XVI. 

ONB OF THB EABLY PJONBBBS. 

Rev. Z. B. Turman, the First Preacher in Lancaster 
County— Salt Creek Circuit— Great Revival— Coon- 
meat — Preaching to " Spotted Horse " and His War- 
riors—The Captive Squaw and Her Sad Fate — A Mush- 



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CONTENTS, 11 

and-milk Tea —Indian Troubles— The "New Ulm 
Massacre," Page 231 

Chapter XVII. 

DISTRICT INCIDENTS. 

Eleventh Nebraska Conference— Bishop Ames— Old Ser- 
mons — U. P. R R completed — Rapid Growth of the 
Church — Hastings — Overtaken in a Fearful Storm — 
Three Memorable Quarterly Meetings— Sad Death of 
a Worldling — The Dutchman's Curse — The Confused 
Hostess — No Desire to Dance, 244 

Chapter XVIII. 

FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 

Marvelous Growth — Privations and Toils of the Preach- 
ers — ^The Christmas-box — Touching Incident — Confer- 
ence of 1873 — Bishop Andrews— Conference of 1874 — 
Bishop Bowman — Dr. J. M. Reid — Conference of 1875— 
Bishop Gilbert Haven — His Triumphant Death — Rev. 
George Worley, 269 

Chapter XIX. 

THN SAMB SUBJECT CX>NTINUKD. 

Appointed to Omaha District— Columbus — Osceola— Ris- 
ing City — David City — ^Tbe Work in Omaha — Confer- 
ence at Falls. City — Bishop Foster — Appointed the 
Second Time to Nebraska City IMstrict — A Remark- 
able Meeting — West Nebraska Mission formed — Dr. 
T. B. Lemon — Division of the Conference, .... 287 

Chapteji XX. 

GRASSHOPPER INCIDENTS. 

Their Origin — Depredations in all Ages — An Atheist re- 
nounces His Atheism— Wonderful Answers to Prayer- 



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12 CONTENTS. 

A Touching iDcident — Another Atheist changed — 
Annie Wittenmyer — Assistance from the East — 
Mrs. M. E. Roberts — Reflex Influence of Work 
done for Others — Man's Weakness and God's 
Power, ' Page 298 

Chapter XXI. 

BSATBICB. 

Location — Founded in 1857 — Emigrants on a Missouri 
Steamer organize a Colony — Beatrice in 1661 — Albert 
Towle — Governor Butlei>— First Homestead — First 
Methodist Preacher — Fifst Quarterly Meeting — In- 
dians—Terrible Massacre —The Great Change, . . 319 

Chapter XXII. 



Location — First Settlers — First Grave in the County — 
Methodist Class organized— David Baker — Buffaloes' 
invade the County — Friendship of the Early Set- 
tlers— W. E. Morgan — First Quarterly Meeting— Other 
Churches— Appointed to York Station 1883— Great 
Revival— The Little Girl and the Dark Cloud— Second 
Year— Another Great Revival— The New Church — 
Subscription— Third Year — Church completed— Dedi- 
cation by Bishop Warren, 332 

Chapter XXIII. 

METHODIST EDUCATION IN NEBRASKA UNIFIED. 

Methodist Schools in Nebraska During the Past— The 
Nebraska Wesleyan University, 352 



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CONTENTS. 13 

Chapter XXIV. 

Methodism's distinctive doctbinb revived. 

What the Doctrine is— The Great Revival— History of 
the Bennett Camp -meeting, Page 373 

Chapter XXV. 
The Distinctive Doctjeune Examined, 398 



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Solitary Places made Glad. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE "GREAT AMERICAN DESERT" A MYTH. 

Early Views op the West — ^Thb Sahara op the United 
States disappears beporb the March op Civiliza- 
tion. 

THE waters of the Missouri River, on the west, 
were once supposed to wash a country unin- 
habitable by civilized men. This country was 
thought to be a vast sandy plain, stretching away 
to the Rocky Mountains, with but here and there 
a shrub and spire of grass, and wholly unsuscep- 
tible of cultivation. 

In the earlier history of our country the " Great 
American Desert '' was considered about the same 
in extent as the Sahara of Africa; and it is really 
amusing to read the opinions held, only a few 
years ago, by some of our best geographical 
writers touching the territory of which Nebraska 
is now a part. 

In 1793, Jedediah Morse published his " Uni- 
versal Geography,'^ jnd in this work he gives the 

most advanced knowledge of his time touching 

15 



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16 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

the interior of the North American continent. 
An extract or two will indicate the extent and 
accuracy of his knowledge. Much of his informa- 
tion was derived from the Indians. He says: 
"From the best accounts that can be obtained 
from the Indians^ we learn that the four most 
capital rivers of the continent of North America — 
namely, the St. Lawrence, the Mississippi, the 
River Bourbon [the Missouri], and the Oregon, 
or River of the West — have their sources in the 
same neighborhood.'' 

Touching the nature of the country west of 
the Mississippi, he says : " It has been supposed 
that all settlers who go beyond the Mississippi 
will be forever lost to the United States.'' 

When the United States proposed to purchase 
from France the Louisiana territory, some of our 
ablest statesmen seemed to know but little of its 
extent or topography, Mr. Jefferson said with 
regard to it: "The country which we wish to 
purchase is a barren sand, six hundred miles from 
east to west, and from thirty to forty and fifty 
miles from north to south." "In 1803 Congress 
attempted to extend the Indian trade into the 
wild northwest, and so organized the expedition 
that has become historic as that of Lewis and 
Clarke. The instructions for it were draughted 
in April, 1803. On the last day of the same 
month Louisiana was ceded to the United States ; 



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THE " OREA T AMERICAN DESERT:' TI 

and so the expedition, which consumed two years, 
four months, and nine days in the round-trip from 
and to St. Louis, resulted in an exploration of our 
own territory/' 

In the Geography of Morse, and the report of 
the Lewis and Clarke expedition, the shadows of 
the Great American Desert first appeared. 

Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike commanded two 
Government expeditions into the country in 1805- 
1807. He was sent out to examine the sources 
of the Mississippi, Missouri, Platte, and Arkansas 
Rivers, and he first gave prominence to the un- 
fortunate myth in American geography. In his 
report to the War-office he declares the vast re- 
gions explored as repulsive to all emigrants and 
impossible ever to be settled, and then says: 
"From these immense prairies may be derived 
one great advantage to the United States; namely, 
the restriction of our population to some certain 
limits, and thereby a continuation of the Union. 
Our citizens being so prone to rambling and ex- 
tending themselves on the frontier, will, through 
necessity, be constrained to limit their extent to 
the west to the borders of the Missouri and Mis- 
sissippi, while they leave the prairies, incapable 
of cultivation, to the wandering and uncivilized 
Aborigines of the country. It appears to me to 
be only possible to introduce a limited population 
to the banks of the Kansas, Platte, and Arkan- 



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1% SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

BBsJ' "In the year 1819-20, Major Stephen H. 
Long, of the Army, by order of John C. Calhoun, 
Secretary of War, went out to explore the Mis- 
souri and its principal branches; and then, in 
succession, Red River, Arkansas, and the Missis- 
sippi above the mouth of the Missouri. The ex- 
pedition took winter-quarters near Council Bluffs, 
and then swept the eastern base and slopes of the 
Rocky Mountains, along and among the heads 
and tributaries of the Missouri and its lower val- 
leys. A few extracts from the report of Major 
Long will show how the 'desert^ grew in area 
and in terror before the American people, and 
how good material it furnished to Europeans who 
wished to disparage the United States and dis- 
courage emigration, and prepare the way to cap- 
ture Oregon. * Of the country between the Mis- 
sissippi and Missouri, it is reported that the 
scarcity of timber, mill-seats, and springs of 
water — defects that are almost uniformly preva- 
lent — must, for a long time, prove serious imped- 
iments in the way of settling the country. Large 
tracts are often to be met with exhibiting scarcely 
a trace of vegetation.' The ^ Great American 
Desert' manifests itself thus authoritatively in an 
official document in this report of a United States 
exploring expedition. Of the mountainous coun- 
try beyond. Major Long says: ^It is a region 
destined by the barrenness of its soil, the inhos- 



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THE " GREAT AMERICAN DESERT:* 19 

pitable character of its climate^ and by other 
physical disadvantages, to be the abode of per- 
petual desolation/ '' * 

From the reports of the Government explora- 
tions of Lewis and Clarke, Pike and Long, the 
material was furnished for the school histories 
and geographies of that day. These reports were 
considered authentic. 

^an 1824, Woodbridge and Willard published 
their 'Geography for Schools,' and they thus 
spoke to the generation of pupils whom a better 
information is now correcting.^' They say : 

" From longitude 96°, or the meridian of 
Council Bluffs, to the Chippewa Mountains, is a 
desert region of four hundred miles in length and 
breadth. On approaching within one hundred 
miles of the Rocky Mountains, their snow-capped 
summits became visible. Here the hills become 
more frequent, and elevated rocks more abundant, 
and the soil more sterile, until we reach the ab- 
rupt chain of peaks which divide it from the 
western declivities of North America. Not a 
thousandth part can be said to have any timber 
growth, and the surface is generally naked. . . . 
The predominant soil of this region is a sterile 
sand, and large tracts are often to be met with, 
which exhibit scarcely a trace of vegetation. . . • 

♦"The United States of Yesterday and of To-mor- 
row," p. 99. 



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20 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD, 

Agreeable to the best intelligence we have, the 
country, both northward and southward of that 
described, commencing near the sources of the 
Sabine and Colorado, and extending to the north- 
ern boundary of the United States, is throughout 
of a similar character." 

The Edinburgh Review, of 1843, contained the 
following, from the polished pen of Washington 
Irving : " There lies the desert, except in a few 
spots on the border of the rivers, incapable, prob- 
ably forever, of fixed settlements. This is the 
great prairie wilderness, which has a general 
breadth of six hundred or seven hundred miles, 
and extends from south to north nearly fourteen 
hundred miles, so complete in the character of 
aridity that the great rivers — the Platte, Arkan- 
sas, and Rio Grande — after many hundred miles 
of course through the mountains, dry up alto- 
gether on the plains in summer, like the streams 
of Australia, leaving only standing pools of water 
between wide sand-bars." 

In his work entitled "Astoria," Washington 
Irving describes the Great American Desert in 
the following language : "An immense tract, 
stretching north and south four hundred of miles 
along the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and 
drained by the tributary streams of the Missouri 
and the Mississippi. This region, which resem- 
bles one of the immeasurable steppes of Asia, haB 



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THE ''GREAT AMERICAN DESERT:' 21 

not inaptly been termed the ' Great American Des- 
ert/ It is a laud where no man permanently 
abides; for in certain seasons of the year there is 
no food, either for the hunter or his steed. The 
herbage is parched and withered ; the brooks and 
streams are dried up; the bufialo, the elk, and the 
deer have wandered to distant parts, keeping 
within the range of expiring verdure, and leaving 
behind them a vast, uninhabitable solitude, seamed 
by ravines, the former beds of torrents, but now 
serving only to tantalize and increase the thirst 
of the traveler. . . . Such is the nature of this 
immense wilderness of the &r West, which ap- 
parently defies cultivation, and the habitation of 
civilized life. It is to be feared that a great part 
of it will form a lawless interval between the 
abodes of civilized man, like the wastes of the 
ocean or the deserts of Arabia.'' 

Mr. Irving's knowledge of the country he de- 
scribes was not obtained from personal observa- 
tion, but was gained at second-hand. He de- 
pended upon others for his information, and, 
relying upon their representations, unwittingly 
made erroneous statements that became current 
throughout the world. The men who gave Ir- 
ving much of his information, were interested in the 
fur-trade, and it was to their interest to keep con- 
cealed many facts touching the country. It was the 
policy of these men to keep the world in ignorance 



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22 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

with regard to this region, that it might be kept 
as long as possible '^ unoccupied as a game reserve." 

Mr. Irving afterwards made the following 
confession touching his own writings : " I have 
read somewhat, heard and seen more, and dreamed 
more than all. My brain is filled, therefore, with 
all kinds of odds and ends. In traveling, these 
heterogeneous matters have become shaken up in 
my mind, as the articles are apt to be in an ill- 
packed traveling trunk, so that, when I attempt 
to draw forth a fact, I can not determine whether 
I have heard, read, or dreamed it, and I am always 
at a loss to know how much to believe of my own 
stories." 

As late as 1849, on the map of Olney's " Quarto 
Geography," from Northern Texas to the British 
Line, and from the Missouri to the Rocky Mount- 
ains, was a space in which was found, in large 
letters, the words, " Great American Desert." 

At a still later date an English writer in the 
Westminster Revieio says : " From the valley of 
the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains, the United 
States territory consists of an arid tract, extend- 
ing south nearly to Texas, which has been called 
the * Great American Desert.' This sterile re- 
gion, covering such an immense area, contains 
but a few thousand miles of fertile land. . . . 
Nature, marching from east to west, showered her 
bounties on the land of the United States, until 



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THE " OREA T AMERICAN DESERT.*' 23 

she reached the Mississippi, but there she turned 
aside and went northward to favor British ter- 
ritory.'^ 

It is related of Benjamin Franklin that, in 
. one of those courtly halls and gatherings in Europe, 
when nobility and statesmanship and diplomacy 
were toying with the young Republic, there hung 
a map of the United States, with that dishearten- 
ing inscription, curvipg from the Texan to the 
British Border, " The Great American Desert." 
Franklin took a pen and drew a broad, erasing 
line through the title. The prophecy uttered by 
Franklin's pen has been fulfilled. The desert has 
disappeared. 

For a number of years an army of " agricul- 
tural invaders" has been crowding the "Great 
American Desert," and this ghostly domain has 
been displaced by the best grain lands and graz- 
ing landa and mineral lands of the world. To- 
day, a net-work of railroads covers the "Great 
American Desert," and hundreds of thousands 
of the finest farms in the world, whose fields yield 
from twenty to fifty bushels of wheat per acre, and 
from thirty to ninety bushels of corn per acre, dot 
the vast plains, once supposed to be uninhabitable. 
A few years have entirely dissipated the delusion 
touching the West, and the Sahara of the United 
States has been found to be one of the most fer- 
tile, picturesque, and inviting regions in the world. 



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24 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

The salubrious climate ; the dry, pure air; the 
clear, blue sky ; the hills and valleys clothed with a 
rich, green sward, and decorated with ten thousand 
beautiful flowers; the beautiful winding streams, 
skirted with timber, along which herds of buffalo 
and antelope once grazed, — ail combine to en- 
hance the beauty and loveliness of the rich and 
rolling prairies of Nebraska. 

And now, where but a few years ago the wild 
Indian lived in his wigwam, the beautiful city 
stands; where the buflalo, unmolested, grazed 
and ruminated, is seen the beautiful farm, with 
fields waving with luxuriant harvests. The war- 
whoop of the savage had scarcely died away when 
the sound of the church-going bell and the voice 
of prayer and song were heard. Where the buf- 
falo, the elk, the deer, the antelope, lived in peace 
and held undisturbed sway, are now seen the 
church with its beautiful spire pointing heaven- 
ward, the university, the college, the common 
school, and all the institutions neccessary to the 
culture of the head and the heart. 

The forces that are at work to-day for the de- 
velopment of the country are tenfold greater than 
they were thirty years ago. Cities grow up as by 
magic; large fiirms are opened in a year; inter- 
nal improvements are made with a rapidity that 
would stagger the faith of the most credulous who 
lived a generation ago. 



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THE " QREA T AMERICAN DESERT.*' 25 

We have seen the buffalo-path transformed 
into the public highway, and the Indian-trail to 
the railroad, with its fiery steed snuffing the 
breeze, and sweeping with lightning speed from 
the Missouri River to the gold-washed shores of 
the Pacific. 

We have seen ignorance and barbarity melt 
away before the mild and genial rays of civiliza- 
tion and the gospel ; and the air that but a little 
while ago resounded with the wild war-cry of the 
savage, now resounds with the songs of peace. 

We are living in a wonderful era — the bright- 
est and most inspiring of all the past. This is 
an age of wonderful advancement. And I am 
glad to chronicle the fact that the moral and in- 
tellectual development of the country keeps pace 
with its material advancement. It has been the 
pleasure of the writer to witness the making glad 
of these solitary places. He has seen, with his 
own eyes, the dreary and desolate plains of Ne- 
braska transformed into gardens of beauty and 
glory. And it is the purpose in the following 
pages to delineate, to some extent, from actual 
observation, the progress of this work. 
3 



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26 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 



CHAPTER II. 

DISCOVERY OF NEBRASKA, 

CoBON ado's Expedition in 1540-41 — De Soto disoovbbs 
THE Mississippi — Father Marquette and La Salle — 
Nebraska twice owned by Spain, and twice by 
France— Ceded to the United States in 1803— 
Organized as a Territory in 1854— Admitted as a 
• State in 1867— Prosperity. 

THE discovery of Nebraska dates back to a 
period far more dbtant tlian many really 
suppose. 

Judge James W. Savage has given much time 
and thought to the study of this subject. In an ad- 
dress delivered before the State Historical Society, 
April 16, 1880, he says: "Fourscore years before 
the Pilgrims landed on the venerable shores of 
Massachusetts; sixty-eight years before Hudson 
discovered the ancient and beautiful river which 
still bears his name ; sixty-six years before John 
Smith, with his cockney colonists, sailed up a 
summer stream, which they named after James 
the First of England, and commenced the settle- 
ment of what was afterward to be Virginia; 
twenty -three years before Shakespeare was born, 
when Queen Elizabeth was a little girl, and 



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DmCO VER Y OF NEBRASKA. 27 

Charles the Fifth sat apon the united throne ^of 
Germany and Spain, Nebraska was discovered, 
the peculiarities of her soil noted, her fruits and 
productions described, and her inhabitants and 
animals depicted/' Three hundred and fifty 
years ago Nebraska was discovered by the brill- 
iant and adventurous Coronado. The expedition 
of Coronado from the City of Mexico to the 
plains of Nebraska, in 1540-41, was one of the 
most wonderful undertakings in the history of the 
North American continent. Leaving the home 
of the Montezumas with an army of eleven hun* 
dred men, scaling the mountains of Mexico, push- 
ing across arid plains and deserts of burning 
sand, meeting and conquering hostile tribes, 
swimming rivers, and surmounting almost every 
conceivable obstacle, he at last reached the valley 
of the Great Platte, it is supposed, near where the 
city of Columbus now stands. He and his noble 
band of brave and toil-worn men were the first 
to traverse the beautiful prairies, climb the hills, 
and cross the streams of the country destined in 
future ages to be one of the most thrifty and 
wealthy States of the American Union. 

Not long afl«r the conquest of Mexico by Cor- 
tes, in 1519, Nunez de Guzman governed the 
northern portion of Mexico. Guzman was a 
bitter enemy of Cortes, and envious of his brill- 
iant discoveries. He had a burning desire to 



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28 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

eclipse Cortes in his marvelous discoveries and 
the magnitude of his conquests. Visions of vast 
cities of wealth, beauty, and splendor, which he 
was to conquer, constantly rose before him. Guz- 
man had a slave — a Texas Indian. This slave 
was cunning and shrewd. He went to his 
master one day, and told him a strange story 
touching the wealth and splendor of seven cities 
lying away to the north. He said, when a boy 
he often went with his father to these cities, and 
that in beauty, wealth, population, and magnifi- 
cence, they compared with the City of Mexico 
itself; "that whole streets blazed with shops of 
gold and silver smiths, that the most precious stones 
abounded, and that the inhabitants were gor- 
geously attired, and lived in all the ease and lux- 
ury that wealth could bestow." 

This story excited the curiosity of the gov- 
ernor, and inflamed his lust for gold. He deter- 
mined, if possible, to find these cities of wealth ; 
but all efforts to find them failed. 

In 1636, four men, half-starved, half-naked, 
sun-burnt, and foot-sore, from eight years' ex- 
posure to cold, heat, hunger, thirst, shipwrecks, 
and battles, reached the City of Mexico. They 
were Spaniards. Eight years before, they had 
landed on the shores of Florida, with four hun- 
dred companions. Reaching the New World, 
they started out on their mission of discovery, 



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DISCO VER Y OF NEBRASKA. 29 

expecting to find vast cities of wealth and splen- 
dor; but^ alas! their expectations were doomed 
to disappointment. They waded through swamps, 
swam rivers, climbed mountains, and fought bat- 
tle* after battle with hostile tribes. They went 
north and then west, and after months of weary- 
travel gazed upon the " Father of Waters,^' after- 
wards called the Mississippi. They crossed this 
mighty stream, and traveled several hundred miles 
in a northwest, and then in a westerly, direction. 
In their wanderings they doubtless passed over 
the territory that is now Kansas and Colorado, 
and over the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mount- 
ains. During the eight long years of weary 
travel, through drenching rains and blinding 
snows, pelting hail-storms and savage tribes, suf- 
fering from intense cold in the winter and heat in 
the summer, one aft«r another of these brave 
men fell, either from thirst or hunger or exposure, 
or from the hand of the bloody savage, and only 
four of all the four hundred reached the City of 
Mexico to tell the sad story of their suflferings. 
In their travels west of the Mississippi River, 
they heard of vast cities of wealth lying away to 
the north. They related what they had heard 
from the aborigines they had met at different 
points in their long and lonely journey. The 
story of these four men kindled anew the desire 
in the hearts of the Spaniards to discover the 



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30 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

rich cities of which they had so often heard and 
dr^med. 

In 1540 the viceroy of Mexico nominated Cor- 
onado to head a powerful expedition for the dis- 
covery of the Northwest. Coronado was a Spanish 
cavalier. He came to Mexico in the bloom of 
manhood. He was a brilliant man, of pleasing 
manners, and skilled in all the arts of war. He 
soon won the affections of the daughter of a wealthy 
Spanish nobleman, and they were married. His 
marriage to this beautiful and accomplished lady, 
as well as his own superior talents, soon brought 
him into note among the Spanish nobility, and he 
was chosen to take the responsible position of lead- 
ing the new expedition of discovery. 

Early in the spring, at the head of eleven hun- 
dred men, Coronado left the City of Mexico, scaled 
the rough mountains, passed over the plains, 
crossed the Rio Grande, and late in the &11 reached 
a number of cities lying, it is supposed, not &r 
south of where the city of Sante Fe now stands. 
The natives of these cities received Coronado and 
his men with the utmost kindness ; their kindness, 
however, was returned by Coronado with the 
greatest cruelty and the most inhuman treatment. 
He burned their cities, put to death many prison- 
ers of war, while he made slaves of many others. 
Having completely subjugated them, he remained 
during the winter. In May, 1541, he and his 



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DISCO VER Y OF NEBRASKA. 81 

men left the beautiful valleys where they had re- 
mained during the winter, and proceeded on their 
way to the north. Day after day this little band 
pressed their way northward, traveling over tree- 
less prairies, with the blazing sun above them, 
and burning sands beneath them. They measured 
the distance they traveled by each man's counting 
the steps he took during the day. 

Late in July, 1541, Coronado reached the 
southern boundary of the State of Nebraska, 
and soon after explored the valley of the Great 
Platte. His description of the soil, the Indians, 
the bufialo and antelope, the wild grapes and 
plums, and the terrible hail-storms were exactly 
as we saw them with our own eyes more than 
three hundred years afterwards. 

The next spring Coronado was thrown from his 
horse, and received an injury from which he suf- 
fered great pain for a long time ; and as he had 
been told when a boy, by one who professed to 
foretell future events, that he would die from the 
effects of an injury caused by the &11 from a horse, 
he imagined that the end of his life was near, and 
rehirned with his wife to the City of Mexico. 

The viceroy received him with great coolness, 
looking upon his expedition as a comparative fail- 
ure. While he had discovered a vast, rich, and 
beautiful territory, the cities of wealth and splen- 
dor, such as Pizarro had found iu South America^ 



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32 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

and which floated in visions before the mind of 
the governor, had not been realized. Here the 
history of Coronado ends. The curtain of ob- 
livion drops, and he is seen no more; but the 
country discovered by him gladdens the hearts of 
millions. 

So the territory of Nebraska first belonged to 
Spain by the right of discovery. Relics that be- 
longed, it is thought, to the soldiers in Coronado's 
expedition, have been found at different places. 
*' Near the margin of the Pecos River, New Mex- 
ico, in a little crevice between the rocks, and 
among bones gnawed by the wolves, there were 
found, some years ago, the helmet, gorget, and 
breast-plate of a Spanish soldier. Straying per- 
haps from his companions, perhaps wounded in a 
skirmish, perhaps sick and forsaken, he had 
crawled to this rude refuge, and, far from the 
fragrant gardens of Seville and the gay vineyards 
of Malaga, had died alone. The camp-fires of 
Quivera were consumed more than three centu- 
ries ago ; the bones of the profane Moor and the 
self-devoted Turk have bleached in the sunshine 
and decayed; the seven cities of Cibola have van- 
ished; the cross of Coronado has moldered into 
dust, and these rusted relics are all that remain of 
that march through the desert and the discovery of 
Nebraska." Not many years ago an antique stirrup, 
of the exact shape and character of those used for 



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DISCOVERY OF I^EBRASKA. $3 

centuries by the Moors and Spaniards, was found 
near the Republican, at a spot seven miles north of 
Riverton, in Franklin County, Nebraska. It was 
buried very deep in the ground, and was sup- 
posed to have belonged to one of Coronado's 
soldiers. Touching the above statements, I leave 
the reader to draw his own conclusions. 

While Coronado was slowly pushing his way 
through unknown regions to the prairies of Ne- 
braska, another brilliant expedition under the 
folds of the Spanish flag was going forward away 
to the southeast. De Soto, at the head of six 
hundred men, was pressing his way through the 
swamps of Florida to the north, and in th^ same 
year (1541) that Coronado discovered Nebraska, 
De Soto discovered the Mississippi River. While 
this mighty river had been crossed by a com- 
pany of men a few years previous, their'transient 
sight of it can never rob the name of De Soto of 
the honor which justly belongs to him as its dis- 
coverer. Descending the stream in 1542, De Soto 
died^ and to conceal the knowledge of his death 
from hostile Indians, his body was sunk in the 
middle of the stream at the hour of midnight, 
and the rolling tide of the mighty river still sings 
his requiem. 

But little was known of the Mississippi for 
the next hundred and thirty-one years. Mat- 
ters of greater importance than its exploration 



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34 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

engaged the attention of Spain and France^ and 
the New World Avas almost entirely lost sight of. 
In 1673, Father Marquette, a Jesuit mission- 
ary, with Louis Joliet and five Frenchmen, 
launched their birch-bark canoes on the Wiscon- 
sin River, determined to explore the *' Father of 
Waters/* Descending the stream, they soon 
reached its mouth, and sailed out into the broad 
and majestic Mississippi. They passed down the 
stream until satisfied it flowed into the Gulf of 
Mexico; then they returned, and made their re- 
l>ort accordingly. Nine years later — in 1682 — 
La Salle left the mouth of the Illinois River, and 
sailed down the Mississippi to its mouth, thus 
completing the work begun by Father Marquette 
• and Louis Joliet. La Salle gave the name of the 
whole country drained by the Mississippi, Louis- 
iana, in honor of Louis XIV, and took possession 
of the same in the name of the French king. The 
province of Louisiana included the vast country 
between the Rocky Mountains on the west, and 
the Alleghanies on the east. In this vast territory 
was the present State of Nebraska. In 1762, 
France ceded the province of Louisiana to Spain, 
and Nebraska was again the territory of Spain. 
In 1800 it was re-ceded to France, and Nebraska 
was again French territory. In 1803, France 
ceded Louisiana to the United States, and Ne- 
braska becomes the territory of the United States. 



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DISCO VER Y OF NEBRASKA. 35 

In 1805 the district of Louisiana^ by an act of 
Congress^ was changed to the *' Territory of Lou- 
isiana/' In 1812, the Territory of Louisiana be- 
came the Territory of Missouri, and Nebraska was 
within its bounds. In 1834, by an act of Con- 
gress, all that part of the United States west of 
the Mississippi, and not within the States of Mis- 
souri and Louisiana or the Territory of Arkansas, 
was called the " Indian Country." In this terri- 
tory was the present State of Nebraska. On May 
30, 1854, Congress passed an act organizing the 
Territory of Nebraska, and President Pierce aj)- 
pointed Francis Burt, of South Carolina, Gov- 
ernor. Governor Burt reached Bellevue, October 
7, 1854, and became the guest of Rev. William 
Hamilton, who had charge of the Presbyterian 
mission located at that place. Shortly after reach- 
ing Bellevue, the governor was taken sick, and, 
on the 18th day of October, died, having taken 
the oath of office only two days before his death. 
The vacancy in the executive office was filled by 
Secretary T. B. Cuming. The first official act 
performed in the Territory by an executive officer 
was the issuance of the proclamation of the deatli 
of Governor Burt. That official act bears date 
October 18, 1854. 

On the first day of March, 1867, Nebraska was 
admitted as a State into the Union. The Hon- 
orable David Butler was the first governor of the 



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36 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

State, and under his able administration the State 
witnessed the most marked prosperity. 

The first reunion of the old settlers of Lan- 
caster County was held at Cushmau Park, June 
19, 1889. In his address to the Association on 
that occasion, Hon. C. H. Gere made the follow- 
ing reference to the first Legislature of the State, 
and to Governor David Butler: "Every law 
passed by that memorable Legislature of '69 
weighed a ton. Its work was original and cre- 
ative, and it did it well. Its moving spirit waa 
the governor, David Butler. Some of its mem- 
bers came down to Lincoln from hostile localities, 
and had it in their hearts to destroy him and In's 
works; but before the session was a fortnight old, 
his genial though homely ways, his kindness of 
heart, his sturdy common sense, the originality 
of his genius, and the boldness of his conceptions, 
captured them, and when the forty days were 
done, no man in the two houses avowed himself 
the enemy of David Butler. The history of Ne- 
braska can not be written without giving large 
space to what Governor Butler did/' No man 
lias done more for the State than Governor Butler. 

The beginning of the rapid development of the 
State dates back to the period of her admission 
as a State into the Union. From the time of her 
admission her growth has been a marvel. 

An unbroken tide of emigration has been 



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DISCOVERY OF NEBRASKA. 87 

flowing in ever since. All over her beautiful 
prairies, towns have sprung up, and grown, as by 
magic, into cities. Moral growth has kept pace 
with the material development of the State. 
School-houses and churches are seen everywhere. 
They dot the prairies, crown the hills, nestle in 
the valleys, and crowd the cities. The once 
dreary and desolate plains of Nebraska rejoice 
and blossom as the rose. What a marked difier- 
ence between Nebraska now, and when the wild 
and half-nude savage threaded her trackless 
wilds ! Following in the wake of civilization and 
the gospel come the railroad, the telegraph, the 
telephone, and all the valuable improvements of 
the age. 



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38 -SfOXJ TARY PL A CE8 MADE GLAD. 



CHAPTER III. 

TOPOGRAPHY AND RESOURCES OF NEBRASKA. 

Position — Arba— Elevation — Climate— Soil — Rb- 
souRcss— Intblliqbnce op the People. 

GEOGRAPHICALLY, Nebraska is situated 
near the center of the United States. It 
lies midway between the two oceans, and between 
latitude 40° and 43° N. The extreme width of 
the State from north to south is about two hun- 
dred and ten miles, and its extreme length about 
four hundred and fifteen miles. It has an area 
of seventy-six thousand eight hundred and ninety- 
five square miles, or forty-nine millions two hun- 
dred and twelve thousand acres, almost every 
acre of which may be cultivated. It is almost twice 
as large as the State of Ohio. If England and 
Wales were placed on top of Nebraska, they 
would not carpet it by sixteen thousand eight him- 
dred square miles. It has eight thousand four 
hundred and thirty-one square miles more than 
all the New England States combined. If the 
great State of New York were set down in the 
center of Nebraska, there would be twenty-nine 
thousand eight hundred and ninety-five square 
miles untouched. It has been said, " Nebraska 



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TOPOQRAPUY AND EtESOURCES. 39 

is an empire in itself/^ Its soil is fertile, its scenery 
beautiful, and its climate as healthful as its area is 
large and its scenery charming. 

A Boston minister once went to Europe to 
rest and recuperate. While in London he was 
called on to make a speech. He rose before the 
assembly and said : " My home is on the third 
planet from the sun. The Western Hemisphere 
is the center of the planet ; the United States is the 
center of the hemisphere; Massachusetts is the 
center of the United States ; Boston is the center of 
Massachusetts ; my Church is the center of Bos- 
ton, and I am the center of my Church.'' I might 
not claim for Nebraska all that the Boston preacher 
claimed; and yet the rich soil, balmy atmosphere, 
undulating prairies, thrifty towns and cities, cul- 
tured, live men and women, make it one of the 
most desirable of places in which to live. The 
atmosphere is clear and pure. The average eleva- 
tion is 2,312 feet above the sea. The almost 
constant motion of the air, the perfect natural 
drainage, and consequent freedom from all low, 
marshy lands, combine to give the State the pur- 
est, the most healthy and exhilarating atmosphere. 
It has been said, " The atmosphere of Nebraska 
is as clear and much purer than the far-famed 
skies of Italy and Greece." 

The winds are very strong, and sometimes 
blow for three days in succession with such tre- 



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40 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

mendous force that the pedestrian mast struggle 
hard to keep his feet. While tornadoes are 
rare, gentle zephyrs and winds are almost con- 
stant. A gentleman after visiting the State said 
to a friend : " The air of Nebraska is purer, and 
there is more of it, than in any other country I 
was ever in.^' 

Samuel Aughey, late professor of natural 
sciences in the University of Nebraska, gives the 
temperature of the State as follows : " The mean 
temperature of the summer months in f^tern 
Nebraska is between 72® and 74°, or, more ac- 
curately, close to 73°, Fahrenheit. During the 
winter months it averages 20°; during the spring 
mouths 47. 8°; during the autumn months 495°.'' 

The soil is a black, sandy loam, very rich, 
and producing grains, vegetables, and fruits in 
great abundance. 

An estimate has been made by competent and 
thoroughly posted men, and the conclusion has 
been reached that the two Dakotas are capable of 
. supporting a population of 50,000,000. Nebraska 
is more than half as large as these two States, and 
her soil equally as good, hence she is capable of sup- 
porting a population of 25,000,000 souls. And the 
time comes on apace when that number will be 
within her borders. Th^average annual growth of 
the population of Nebraska for the last nineteen 
years has been sixty-one thousand. During the 



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TOPOGRAPHY AND RESOURCES. 41 

past few years^ one hundred thousand people 
have come into the State annually. 

Nebraska is one of the best corn-producing 
States in the Union. The rate of progress in Ne- 
braska from 1880 to 1888, in the production of 
corn, was more rapid than in any of the adjoining 
States, as the following statistics show: '^ In 1880 
Illinois produced 326,000,000 bushels of corn. 
(Round numbers are used in all these illustrations.) 
Iowa produced 275,000,000 the same year ; Kan- 
sas, 105,000,000; Nebraska, 65,000,000. In 1888 
Illinois harvested 278,000,000 bushels of com ; 
Iowa, 278,000,000 bushels; Kansas, 158,000,000; 
and Nebraska, 144,000,000. Here it will be seen 
that Illinois did not maintain her record. Iowa 
gained a very small percentage, Kansas improved 
her record by a little over fifty per cent, and Ne- 
braska leaped forward at the rate of one hundred 
and twenty-one per cent. Here Nebraska soil 
meets and overmatches the giants in her rate of 
progress.'' 

Nebraska soil is well adapted to wheat-growing. 
The striking superiority of Nebraska soil and 
climate is shown in the subjoined table compar- 
ing the wheat-crops of 1880 and 1888 in Illinois, 
Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. Nebraska was the 
only one of these cereal-producing States that 
made progress on the record of 1880. Here is 

the exhibit of that fact, taken from the tenth 

4 



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42 



SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 



census and report of the Washington Bureau of 
Agriculture for 1888: 



States. 


1880. 
Boshels. 


1888. 
Boshels. 


Pero^tof 
GalD or 

IKISS. 


Illinois •••• 


51,000,000 
31,000,000 
17,325,000 
13,850,000 


34,000,000 
24,000,000 
16,000,000 
14,500,000 


Lo68,33i 
Loss, 22i 
Loss,?* 
Gain,4{ 


Iowa 


Kansas 


Nebrafika 





In a similar way it can be shown that Ne- 
braska is in the front rank of the world's most 
progressive States in the production of oats, hay, 
potatoes, and other farm grains and vegetables. 
Being one of the best corn and hay producing 
States in the Union, she is also one of the best 
stock-producing States. At her age, Nebraska 
has had no superior as a stock-growing State. 
Then, the dairy resources of Nebraska are un- 
surpassed. 

Look at the following figures of the "Ne- 
braska Dairymen's Association'' for 1889: 

Nebraska has 300,000 milch-cows, valued at, $7,200,000 
Nebraska's butter product in 1888, .... 45,000,000 lbs. 
Product of Nebraska creameries in 1888, . 4,000,000 " 
Value of Nebraska dairy products in 1888, $10,500,000 

" In no state in the Union can milk, butter, 
and cheese be produced at less cost per pound 
than in Nebraska." 

At the American Dairy Show, at Chicago, in 



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TOPOGRAPHY AND RESOURCES. 43 

1889, Nebraska took the first and second pre- 
mium on creamery butter, first on granulated, 
and the diploma for the best and largest collec- 
tion on exhibition. 

As a fruit-growing State, Nebraska is abreast 
with other States. The flavor of her fruits is 
unsurpassed. Nebraska carried off the first pre- 
mium on fruit at the meeting of the American 
Pomological Society, Richmond, Virginia, in 
1870; again, at Boston, in 1873. At Chicago, in 
1876, and at the Exposition in New Orleans, in 
1884, she presented the largest collection of fruits, 
and would, without doubt, have taken the pre- 
mium ; but none was offered. 

In popular intelligence Nebraska is at the 
front. By the census of 1880 Nebraska had the 
lowest percentage of illiteracy of any State in the 
Union, and Wyoming Territory alone had a bet- 
ter record in all the United States. ' A few years 
ago one of our most intelligent ministers had an 
appointment in a sparsely settled neighborhood 
on the prairies northwest of Omaha. The meet- 
ing was in a private house, and it was made of 
sod. The congregation consisted of about twelve 
persons. The minister was very much discour- 
aged when he looked upon his audience. The 
men looked rough and hard. They were sun- 
burnt and shabbily dressed, and, from their gen- 
eral appearance, he felt that he had an illiterate 



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44 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

congregation before him, and greatly feared his 
sermon would not be at all appreciated. He 
preached, and the most profound attention pre- 
vailed throughout the entire discourse. At the 
close of the service, all remained to greet the 
preacher, and he learned that seven out of the 
twelve who had listened to him were graduates 
from Eastern universities. According to the num- 
ber, this was one of the most, if not the most, in- 
telligent congregations he had ever preached to 
in his life. The wonderful possibilities of the 
rich soil and charming climate of Nebraska 
brought into the Territory the most intelligent 
class of settlers at the very commencement. 
From the organization of the Territory, in 1854, 
to the present time, not only in the cities and 
villages, but in the rural districts, all over our 
broad prairies, in sod-houses and dug-outs, might 
be found the most highly educated men and 
women. To the push and energy of these cul- 
tured, live men and women are we indebted, to 
an extent at least, for the wonderful development 
and rapid growth of the State. 

The soil of Nebraska is peculiar. It retains 
its moisture with wonderful tenacity, so that long 
periods of dry weather do not materially affect the 
crops. On the other hand, the heaviest rains re- 
tard the former but little in his work. In a few 
hours after the heaviest rain-storms the former 



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TOPOGRAPHY AND RE80URCB8. 46 

may be seen in the field with his plow, culti- 
vating his crops with as much ease as if no rain 
had fiillen. This peculiarity of the soil guaran- 
tees to the faithful husbandman a good crop every 
year. A &ilure in crops is rarely ever known in 
Nebraska. 

The autumns are remarkably lovely. They 
are usually long, mild, and dry. The " Indian 
summers'' are delightful, even beyond descrip- 
tion. To understand and rightly appreciate them, 
one must be present and enjoy them. I have 
lived in Ohio, Indiana, California, and Nebraska, 
and have traveled quite extensively through other 
States, and it seems to me that Nebraska com- 
bines more natural advantages than any other 
one State of which I have any knowledge. 



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46 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 



CHAPTER IV. 

CALIFORNIA GOLD EXCITEMENT IN 1848-50. 

Gold discovered — Anxious to go — "Outfit" obtained— 
Farewell to Friends — Trip from South Bend to Old 
Fort Kearney — Perilous Passage Over the " Bia 
Muddy" — First Night in Nebraska — Tbbriblb 
Storm— Beautiful Scene. 

IN the year 1848 rich gold-mines were discovered 
in California. During that year, and in 1849, 
the most intense excitement on the subject pre- 
vailed throughout all the States. Flushed with the 
glowing reports from the mines that came by 
every mail, and with high expectations of becom- 
ing independently rich in a few months, tens of 
thousands rushed to the land of gold. The gold- 
fever, like a tidal wave,' rolled from ocean to 
ocean. Many went " over the Plains,'' crossing 
the Missouri River, passing up the Great Platte 
Valley, thence over the Rocky and Sierra Nevada 
Mountains. To make this trip, fVom three to 
four months were required. Others went by 
water, doubling Cape Horn, a voyage requiring 
five or six months; while many others went by 
way of the isthmus, crossing from Aspinwall to 
Panama, and from there on the Pacific to San 
Francisco. 



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CALIFORNIA GOLD-FEVER. 47 

In South Bend^ Indiana, my home, the " Cali- 
fornia fever *^ raged fearfully, carrying hundreds of 
the people to the Pacific Coast. Several companies 
were organized, and set out for the &r distant 
West. Just before bidding their friends fiu^well, 
as their teams stood hitched to their wagons in 
the street, the Hon. Schuyler Colfex was called 
on for a speech. He was in the second story of 
a large store-building on Washington Street, He 
stepped forward to an open window, and looking 
down into a sea of upturned faces, spoke to the 
emigrants. He assured them that they would 
liave the sympathy and prayers of the friends they 
left behind, and that during their absence the 
citizens of South Bend would never allow any of 
their &milies to suffer want. His few felicitous 
remarks touched the hearts of all. The feces of 
the emigrants, and the hundreds who crowded 
the streets to witness their departure, were bathed 
in tears. The scene was a most touching one. I 
shall never forget it. I shall never forget how I 
envied the young men that were among the emi- ' 
grants, and how ardently I longed to be one of 
their number. The desire already kindled in my 
young heart for the new El Dorado, was fenned 
to a flame, and burned with a white heat. I said 
to myself, "I will go some day.'' During all 
that year the excitement continued, becoming, 
if anything, more intense. The mail from the 



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48 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

Pacific Coast came only once a month. When it 
arrived, hundreds gathered in and around the 
post-ojBSce, eager to learn the latest news from the 
mines. Nearly all the letters from friends were 
read aloud to the citizens. When a letter was re- 
ceived, after glancing over it himself, the person 
receiving it was called on to read it aloud for the 
benefit of all present. He would climb upon a 
chair or a dry-goods box, and read, while the hun- 
dreds around him stood in breathless silence, 
bending forward, eager to catch every word that 
fell from his lips. I have seen a large crowd 
standing in front of the post-office in the midst 
of a drenching rain, and while one held an um- 
brella over the person reading the letter, the crowd 
listened, seemingly unconscious of the terrible 
storm that was raging. And I do not suppose 
there was one in the vast crowd more oblivious to 
the storm, more anxious to hear, and more in- 
tensely interested than myself. We talked of 
California by day, and dreamed of it by night. 
Visions of the fai^fiaimed gold-regions often rose 
before us. In the spring of 1850 the long^wished- 
for time came. Judge E. Egbert, a brothei^in- 
law, oflFered an " outfit ^' to my brother Albert 
and myself, with the understanding that we were 
to give him one-third of all the profits arising 
from any business we might engage in while in 
California. 



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CALIFORNIA GOLD-FEVER, 49 

I was then seventeen years old. With buoy- 
ant spirits, bright hopes, and visions of immense 
treasures of wealth before us, we bade adieu to a 
weeping mother, brothers and sisters, and friends, 
and started for the far West. Little did we 
know, or even dream, of the privations, suffer- 
ings, and disappointments that awaited us in the 
future. And well is it that a kind Providence 
keeps all these things hid from us ! Well is it 
that the future, so far as these things are con- 
cerned, is all unknown. Little did we know of 
the dangers that would beset us on every hand, 
ot the many imminent perils to which we should 
be exposed. Even now, when I think of the 
many narrow, hair-breadth escapes of life, I feel 
a peculiar chilly sensation creeping over me. I 
often ask: "How was it we escaped?^' The an- 
swer comes in an instant: "God's guardian angel 
watched over us.*' 

There is truth, as well as poetry, in Shake- 
speare's words: 

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Rough-hew them how we will." 

Thomson, too, utters a great truth when 

he says: 

" There is a Power 
Unseen, that rules the illimitable world, 
That guides its motions, from the brightest star 
To the least dust of this sin-tainted mold." 
5 



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50 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

I verily believe that that "unseen Power'* 
which guides the motion of all worlds, all sys- 
tems, and all atoms, guided and guarded us. 

The patriotic Roman cried out : " If I had a 
thousand lives, I* would give them all for my 
country/' 

With greater emphasis, and greater love for 
God than the Roman had for his country, I have 
often said: "If I had a thousand lives, they 
should all be given to God/' 

We were just four weeks going from South 
Bend, Indiana, to Saint Joseph, Missouri. The 
roads through Illinois and Missouri were very 
bad. We had never seen anything like them. 
There was snow and rain and mud. We had 
black, sticky mud in Illinois, and yellow, sticky 
clay in Missouri. In that early day there were 
but few bridges, and but very little work had 
been done on the roads. It is hard for any one 
now, in these days of improved roads and easy 
travel, to imagine the difficulties that were in the 
way of travel at that time. Illinois was full of 
sloughs. These have since been bridged, and no 
longer impede the traveler. We would cross 
several of these daily, and often our horses would 
go down to their sides in mud. We came to one 
of these one day; it looked ominous; we hesi- 
tated about attempting to cross. A team was just 



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CALIFORNIA QOLt^-FEVER, 61 

ill front of us, and the driver said to the man on 
the other side : 

"Is the bottom good?" 

" Yes," was the reply. So he cracked his whip 
and started in. His horses began to flounder and 
soon went down to their sides in mud, and the 
whole wagon was buried except the box. The 
driver cried out in a rage to the man on the 
other side : 

"I thought you said the bottom was good 
here?" 

" It is," said the man, coolly, " but you are not 
half-way down to it." It was a common remark 
among the emigrants that the bottoms had dropped 
out of all the roads in Illinois. 

Twenty miles east of St. Joseph, Mo., we 
stopped four weeks to rest our horses, lay in pro- 
visions, and prepare for the long journey over the 
plains. At that time St. Joseph was the extreme 
western border of civilization, and the outfitting 
point for emigrants starting for California. Beyond 
this, all was a wide, desolate waste. There were no 
white settlements west of this. The whole territory 
belonged to the Indians. St. Joseph was a small, 
unsightly, filthy town, of a few hundred inhabit- 
ants, and in looks the people compared very fa- 
vorably with the dingy houses, filthy streets, and 
general repulsiveness of the place. Uerc wc saw 



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52 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

what we had never seen before. Many of the 
men we met wore about them leather belts, in 
which were large bowie-knives and revolvers. 
These they carried openly, and no attempt what- 
ever was made to conceal their deadly weapons. 
Robberies were of almost daily occurrence, and it 
was unsafe for a man to walk the streets alone at 
night. We felt peculiar. We realized, for the 
first time, that we were in a "strange land,'' 
among thieves and robbers and cut-throats, and 
that life was none too safe. The impression made 
upon one, unaccustomed to such scenes, was very 
strong. I sometimes felt my heart creeping up 
into my throat, and a certain unpleasant choking 
sensation. But this little, unsightly, unattractive 
village has grown to be one of the beautiful, flour- 
ishing, and inviting cities of the West. 

From this place we passed up the east side of 
the Missouri River into Iowa, to a point just op- 
posite old Fort Kearney. Old Fort Kearney 
stood right where Nebraska City now stands. 
Here we crossed the " Big Muddy " in an old, di- 
lapidated ferry-boat. The river was high, the 
current swift, and to undertake to cross the tur- 
bulent stream in such a rickety craft was indeed 
a hazardous task. The ferrymen managed the 
boat with oars and long poles. Only the day be- 
fore the current got away with them, carried them 
some distance below the landing, capsized the 



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CALIFORNIA GOLD-FEVER. 53 

boat, and a span of horses and a loaded wagon 
went down and were lost. The ferryman said, 
while there was danger, still he thought he could 
land us safely on the other side. We were rest- 
less, anxious to proceed on our journey, and un- 
willing to wait for the water to fall. We said, 
" We will risk it,'' and drove our team on board ; 
and, with bated breath and trembling limbs, held 
the horses and watched the oarsmen with the 
most intense anxiety. When the dangerous cur- 
rent was passed and the pilot cried out, " Safe,'' 
the heavy strain was gone; relief came, and we 
breathed easy. A few moments afterwards the 
boat struck the shore, and on the 2d day of May, 
1850, our feet pressed Nebraska soil for the first 
time. We pitched our tent on the western slope 
of " Kearney Hill ;" and as it was raining and the 
ground wet, we cut hazel-brush, on which we 
placed our blankets and made a comfortable bed. 
That night the rain fell in torrents, and the thun- 
der-peals were deafening. Lightning-flash vied 
with lightning flash, and thunder-peal with thun- 
der-peal, and the elements seemed holding a grand 
carnival. In the morning we found the water 
running like a perfect mill-tail through our tent 
and under our bed. The brush, however, kept 
the bed from the water, and we were perfectly 
dry. Early that day the clouds cleared away, the 
sun came forth, pouring his mellow rays of light 



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54 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

upon all around, and the scene that swept before 
us from the west was beautiful, even beyond all 
description. The lovely prairies, stretching away 
in every direction as far as vision could extend, 
with swell rising above swell, carpeted with living 
green, and beautified with flowers of almost every 
hue, made a scene which caused us involuntarily 
to exclaim, " Grand !'' 

Our first meeting with Nebraska was like the 
first meeting of many a young man and woman — 
it was " love at first sight." And that love, kin- 
dled when we first gazed upon Nebraska's beauty, 
has been growing in intensity for forty years. 

As we stood upon Kearney Hill, it never once 
occurred to us that, in a very few years hence, on 
this very spot, would rise a great and beautiful 
and flourishing city. And still more remote was 
the thought that, in eleven short years, I should 
be a minister of the gospel and presiding elder 
of a district embracing near half the Territory of 
Nebradca. If such a thought had entered my 
mind at that time, I should have banished it in 
an instant as one of the wild visions of the 
young. 

I was then an uneducated, unconverted boy 
of seventeen years. My heart was on this world. 
Bright visions of the future rose before me. 
Vast treasures of wealth were soon to be mine. 
A life of unalloyed pleasure, with everything 



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CALIFORNIA GOLD-FEVER. 55 

earth can give to make man happy, was within 
my grasp. These were the dreams of my young 
heart. Little did I imagine that all my worldly 
plans and hopes, in a few brief years, would be 
dashed to atoms. 

Momentous events and wonderful scenes were 
crowded into the next ten years. When I think 
of the stupendous events and wonderful changes 
that took place during that short period, a sensa- 
tion I have no language to describe thrills my 
whole being. 



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56 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 



CHAPTER V. 

ACROSS THE PLAINS. 

Old Fort Kbarnby— Nebraska City — ^Platte River^ 
Indians — New Fort Kearney — Wolves — Midnight 
Alarm — Chimney Rock— Court-house Rock — Buffa- 
loes — Sweet Water— Summit of the Rocky Mount- 
ains — Green River — Bear River — Humboldt — Des- 
ert — Carson River— Summit of the Sierra Nevadas — 
Journey ended. 

KEARNEY HILL, where we spent our 
first night in Nebraska, is now a part of 
Nebraska City. Table Creek winds along the 
foot of Kearney Hill. Just across this creek, and 
a few hundred yards to the northwest, stood Old 
Fort Kearney. On the 5th day of May we left 
the Old Fort. We were then beyond the bounds 
of civilization. There were no white persons re- 
siding in all the Territory of Nebraska, save a few 
traders and United States troops, garrisoned at 
different points for the defense of the emigrants. 
The garrison here consisted of a block-house, 
made of logs, with port-holes for cannon and 
muskets, and two rows of barracks in the shape 
of an angle. In 1848 this military post was 
abandoned by the Government, and the troops 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS. 57 

moved to New Fort Kearney, on the Platte River, 
about two hundred miles west. In 1850, when 
we first saw the fort, the Government property 
was in the care of H. P. Downs. Eleven years 
later, when presiding elder of Neliraska City Dis- 
trict, we became well acquainted with Mr. Downs 
and his family. They were then active members 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Nebraska 
City. When the war broke out in 1861, Colonel 
Hiram P. Downs assisted in raising the " Nebraska 
Regiment,'^ and in August of that year he was 
promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. 

When Nebraska City was founded and platted 
in 18^4, the old block-house stood on Main Street, 
near the center of the city. Here it remained 
until 1886, when it was removed. Many of the 
old citizens strongly protested against the removal 
of this "old landmark.'' If I could have had 
my voice and my way in the matter, it never 
would have been removed, if it did stand in the 
center of a beautiful city of fifteen thousand in- 
habitants. We first saw it in 1850. We next 
saw it in 1860; and in 1861 we moved to Ne- 
braska City, and for seven years, almost daily, 
looked upon the old garrison. And for many 
years afterwards, whenever we visited the city, we 
expected to see the "block-house'' — the people's 
old defender. It was like looking into the face 
of an old fiimiliar fnend. We were sorry, and 



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58 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

ready to drop a tear over its departure. Lay not 
rude bauds upon the old landmarks. Let them 
stand as monuments of the good they have done 
in the past I 

What a change has taken place since 1850! 
The old log garrison has given way to a large 
and beautiful city ; the grass-covered prairies to 
the most lovely farms, whose fields wave with 
luxuriant grain, and whose orchards bend under 
the weight of rich and luscious fruits. 

From Old Fort Kearney we started west, trav- 
eling over undulating prairies and across winding 
streams, skirted with timber, as beautiful, it 
seemed to us, as any on which the eye of man ever 
rested. After several days' travel we struck the 
valley of the Great Platte River. The Platte is 
the largest river in Nebraska. Its head-waters 
rise in the mountains of Ck)lorado and Montana, 
some of them being fed by the "everlasting 
snows.'' It flows east, through the central por- 
tion of the State, and empties its waters into the 
Missouri just above where the city of Plattsmouth 
now stands. It is a wide, rapid, and very shal- 
low stream ; and its valley — eight to fifteen miles 
wide — approximates, in fertility, the valley of the 
Nile. This stream has been known by two differ- 
ent names — "Nebraska" and "Great Platte." 
Nebraska is an Indian name; Great Platte is a 
French name. They are both of the same im- 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS. 59 

port, signifying "broad water/' It is a danger- 
ous stream to ford, on account of the rapidity of 
its current and its quicksand bottom. 

Descending an abrupt bluffy we struck the 
valley of this great stream. Here, for the first 
time, we met Indians. Several hundred Pawnee 
warriors gathered around us. They were painted, 
feathered, and dressed in almost every conceivable 
fimtastic style, and armed with muskets, knives, 
spears, and bows and arrows. They were on the 
war-path against the Sioux. Being armed to the 
very teeth, they seemed anxious for the bloody 
fray. We came upon them very suddenly. Just 
as we descended the steep blulF into the valley^ 
before we were aware of it, we were completely 
surrounded with these savages. I do not know 
how the other members of our company felt. I 
know very well how I felt, and I shall never 
forget the feelings I then had. At the first sight 
of these savage looking "red-skins,'^ my heart, it 
seemed, leaped right up into my throat, and as 
hard as I tried, I could not possibly keep it down, 
and it really seemed to me I should choke, and a 
most strange sensation crept all over me, such as 
I had never felt before. It was a time that tried 
a man's nerve, but I did not care to have such a 
test repeated. There was but a handful of us 
compared with them, and we were wholly in their 
power. We knew very well they could, if they 



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60 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

wished, kill and scalp every one of us, or take us 
prisoners, and put us to death by inches, with 
the most inhuman tortures, as they had done to 
many others ; and we well knew that torture was 
their fiivorite amusement. And as they were on 
the war-path, and needed munitions of war, we 
knew that our provisions aud teams and weapons 
and ammunition were a temptation to them to 
put us out of the way. I confess, I felt a pecu- 
liar weakness about the knees, and a strange, 
trembling sensation all over. However, after 
giving them a few articles of food, they left, pass- 
ing on to the south, and we went our way re- 
joicing, feeling wonderfully relieved, and breath- 
ing with ease again. 

Two days after this we reached New Fort 
Kearney, which we found situated on a lovely 
spot in the valley of the Great Platte. Here we 
found a number of United States troops quar- 
tered. The commander of the post ordered every 
emigrant to pass into one of the offices, where a 
clerk registered each name, his former residence, 
and destination. 

From here we traveled up the Platte for days 
and days, with the same monotonous scenes be- 
fore us, the same turbid stream, the same low 
range of bluflFs in the distance, the same wide 
valley, with but here aud there a lone tree or 
shrub to greet the eye. 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS. 61 

The emigration was so large that year^ that the 
grass was eaten ofiF close to the ground^ by the 
cattle and horses^ for a great distance on both 
sides of the road, and we frequently had to go 
from one to five miles to obtain grass for our 
horses. 

One afternoon, about three oclock, we camped 
on the bank of the Platte River, where we could 
get plenty of wood and water. There was no 
grass, however, so brother Albert and myself 
took the horses back to the blufl^, some five miles 
away, into a deep canyon, where we found an 
abundance of good grass. Here we watched the 
horses, until it began to grow dark, when we 
caught them, and were about to get on and ride 
back to camp. While in the act of bridling them, 
a strange and startling sound broke, all at once, 
upon our ears. It came from every direction. 
It was the cry of a thousand hungry wolves that 
broke the stillness of the evening air. In an in- 
stant, and simultaneously, they seemed to leap 
from their hiding-places in the caves and crags 
and glens, and came rushing down towards us 
with a hideous howl that thrilled us through and 
through, making our hair stand on end. The 
noise seemed to make the very hills shake and 
tremble around us. My brother succeeded in 
getting on his horse first, and looking back and 
seeing me still on the ground, he cried out: 



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62 SOLITARY PLACES MADE'OLAD. 

"Henry, get on quick, or you will be over- 
taken." I tried again and again to mount, but 
was so excited and frightened I fkiled every 
time. It seemed to me I never could get on my 
horse. After repeated trials, I at length suc- 
ceeded, and we rode down the canyon as fast as 
horse-flesh could carry us. When we got out of 
the hills, and reached the open valley, it was so 
dark we could not even see the horses^ heads be- 
fore us, Egyptian darkness could not have been 
more dense. We looked for the camp-fire, which 
we expected to see ; but in vain, not a single ray 
of light, nor a single object, could be seen in any 
direction. The thought then flashed upon our 
minds that we might not be able to find our way 
back to camp again, and that we should be over- 
taken, and fall a prey to the hungry and ferocious 
wolves. We rode on for some time under the 
deepest suspense, goading our horses forward as 
fast as possible, and straining our eyes to catch a 
glimpse of light from the camp-fire. At length 
we saw away in the distance a flickering light; it 
seemed the most perfectly beautiful of anything 
we had ever seen ; it came to us in that dark and 
dangerous hour as an inspiration. We were en- 
couraged, and urged on our horses, and were soon 
seated by our own camp-fire, partaking of a hearty 
supper, which had been prepared for us ; after which 
we lay down to dream over our new adventure. 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS. 63 

When we reached the forks of the Platte 
River, our route was then up the South Fork of 
this stream. One night, about dusk, after trav- 
eling hard all day, we reached a point where the 
high bluffs came within a few rods of the river, 
at the mouth of a deep ravine. Here, at the 
mouth of this ravine, with high, abrupt, and 
rocky bluffs upon either side, we pitched our 
tents and stopped for the night. It was a gloomy, 
dismal-looking place. On our right was the river; 
on our left the deep ravine; in front and in our 
rear rose, almost perpendicular, the frowning 
blufi&. It was just the right place to be over- 
taken and cut to pieces by Indians. We prepared 
supper, put out our guards, and retired to our 
tents to rest. Foot-sore and weary, we soon fell 
into a deep sleep. About midnight we were 
aroused from our sweet slumbers and dreams of 
home and loved ones by the guards, who rushed 
to the tents, and in a low voice said : " Indians ! 
Indians! Get up, and get your guns, quick, 
quick ! We hear them crossing the river on their 
ponies. They will be here in five minutes.^' 
Startled, frightened, and trembling like an aspen- 
leaf, we tried to find our arms ; but every thing 
seemed out of place. Guns, powder, balls, caps, 
everything was gone. The Indians, as we sup- 
posed, were just upon us, and we were without 
anything with which to defend ourselves. It was 



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64 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

a time of intense excitement. In a few moments^ 
however, we recovered our presence of mind, 
found our guns and ammunition, and with every- 
thing ready, we went out to meet the foe. We 
could distinctly hear them slowly crossing the 
river. Plash ! plash ! plash I we heard their feet 
in the water. The river was near a mile wide, 
and it took some time for them to cross. Nearer 
and nearer they came. At length they reached 
the shore, rose upon the bank, when, lo and be- 
hold ! we saw, not Indians, but a large herd of 
buffaloes. We laughed heartily at our scare, re- 
turned to our tents, and slept soundly till morn- 
ing. The next day we crossed the South Platte 
where Julesburg now stands. 

It may not be amiss here to give a bit of his- 
tory touching the founding of this city. Jules- 
burg derives its name from a tragic and blood- 
curdling incident, such as abound in the early 
history of Nebraska and Kansas, as well as other 
Western States and Territories. Julesburg de- 
rives its name from a Frenchman named Jules 
Beni. In 1855 Jules Beni kept a ranch at this 
point. At that time the mail was carried over- 
land from the States to California, and this was 
one of the stations where horses for the company 
were kept. A noted desperado, by the name of 
Alf Slade, was superintendent of the stage com- 
pany, and Jules Beni had charge of the stock. 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS 65 

Slade was said to be the most cruel and desperate 
character that ever frequented the frontier, and 
woe betide the man who ever had an altercation 
with him. He could kill a man in cold blood, 
and with as much composure as he would sit down 
and take his meal. One day he got into a quarrel 
with Jules, and told him he would cut off his ears 
and wear them as a charm on his watch-chain. 
Slade started across the yard for his arms, and Jules, 
knowing the desperate character ofthe man he had 
to deal with, shot and wounded him, and then, fear- 
ing vengeance from Slade's associates, he fled to a 
deep canyon in the vicinity. Here he remained 
concealed until he prevailed on one of his asso- 
ciates to take charge of his cattle. He then left 
the frontier and went to Saint Louis. In 1860 
he returned to Cottonwood Springs. Shortly 
afterwards, with a company of men, he started 
westward for his cattle, which were then near 
Fort Laramie. He had only got a short distance 
on his way back, when he was overtaken by Slade, 
with a number of his men. " Slade immediately 
shot Jules and wounded him, then cut off the 
poor Frenchman's ears, and finally put him to 
death by slow and cruel tortures of the knife. 
Afl^r drying the ears of poor Jules, the monster 
attached them to his watch-chain, where he wore 
them as a fulfillment of his terrible threat, and as 
a warning to all who dared oppose him." Some 



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66 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

years afterwards Slade came to a violent death. 
" His cold-blooded murders and desperate deeds 
became too terrible to be borne, even by men 
whose lives had long become inured to scenes of 
bloodshed, and he was hanged, as he deserved to 
be, by a vigilance committee/^* Whenever we 
think of Julesburg, we think of the terrible 
tragedy connected with its early history. 

From where Julesburg now stands, we crossed 
over to the North Platte. Shortly after reaching 
the valley of this stream, we came in sight of 
Chimney Rock. The atmosphere is so pure and 
clear that objects seem much nearer than they 
really are, and on this account we were often 
greatly deceived in the distance between us and 
certain objects in full view. Chimney Rock 
seemed at first sight not more than ten miles 
away, when in reality it was more than fifty miles 
away. When we first came in sight of it, we 
were traveling almost due west, and this lone col- 
umn seemed to rise up out of the prairie away to 
the southwest. We traveled a whole day before 
we came directly opposite, to it, and then traveled 
nearly two days before it faded entirely from our 
view. Chimney Rock is a pillar, resting on a 
solid rock foundation, and rising to so great a 
height in the air, that it may be seen for nearly a 



'* History of Nebraska (Western Historical Com- 
pany), p. 533. 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS. 67 

hundred miles away. It reminds one of Cleo- 
patra's needle and the obelisks of Egypt. For 
ages around it the wild storms have swept; for 
generations it has looked upon the buffiilo ranging 
with delight over the grassy prairies. Within its 
view many a bloody Indian battle has doubtless 
been fought^ and many an Indian town has 
arisen^ flourished^ and passed away. It has 
watched the centuries come and go^ and many 
wonderful scenes have transpired under its gaze, 
and still it stands in all its solitary loneliness. 

Shortly after Chimney Rock faded from sight, 
Court-house Rock rose in view. Court-house 
Rock was about the same distance as Chimney 
Rock from the road^ although it seemed very much 
nearer. It is several acres square, rising to an 
immense height, and looking very much like a 
massive court-house, standing alone on the dreary 
prairie, hence the name. The stone of both 
Chimney and Court-house Rock is soft, and they 
are rapidly yielding to the gnawing tooth of time. 

The valley of the Platte, in the spring and 
early part of the summer, was the grazing ground 
for the buflaloes. The grass came earlier in this 
valley than on the bluffs and uplands, hence im- 
mense droves of buffalo congregated along this 
stream. It is hard for any one now to imagine 
the vast numbers that gathered along this great 
valley. We have seen the valley literally black 



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68 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

with them for miles and miles in almost every 
direction. I am perfectly safe in saying I have 
seen in one herd many millions. And this scene 
was repeated day after day as we traveled up this 
river. A buffalo stampede was a most terrible 
and dangerous thing. A frightened drove of these 
wild animals running at full speed swept every- 
thing before them ; aiid woe betide the horses and 
cattle of the emigrants that happened to be in 
their path; they were swallowed up in the herd, 
carried away, and perhaps never seen or heard 
from again. Many emigrants lost their teams in 
this way. The noise of a drove of buffaloes on a 
stampede was like the continuous roll of distant 
thunder. The only safety for a train of emi- 
grants, on the approach of a drove of buffaloes 
coming at full speed, was to drive the wagons 
into a circle, make a strong corral, putting all the 
cattle and horses on the inside. The buffaloes, 
however, much more rapidly than the Indians, 
are becoming extinct. When we crossed the 
plains, forty years ago, it was not known how 
many buffaloes there were. There were many, 
many millions. The Great Platte Valley was alive 
with them, and the bluffs and prairies, north and 
south, for hundreds of miles, were covered with 
these shaggy cattle of the Plains. 

Twenty years ago, according to the authority 
of the Smithsonian Institute of Washington, 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS. 69 

there were only eight millions of buffaloes roam- 
ing over the plains and mountains of the Far 
West. To-day there are but a few hundred. 
There never has been such an extermination of 
any large quadruped ; it could not have been more 
successful if especially planned. Had the buffalo 
been a wild animal^ doing immense damage to 
person and property, he could not have been 
hunted down and uselessly and wantonly slaugh- 
tered with more avidity. Only eighty-five head 
of wild buffaloes now remain ; three hundred and 
four are alive in captivity, and about two hun- 
dred are under the protection of the Government 
in Yellowstone Park. It is said that there are 
about five hundred and fifty head in the British 
possessions, north of Montana. There is a remote 
possibility that the stock may be perpetuated, 
and a small number kept alive in the Yellowstone 
Park and different zoological gardens. But the 
wild buffalo has lost his place, and has become a 
rarity in the animal kingdom. The work of ex- 
termination has been carried on principally for 
the hides. Regular buffalo-killing parties were or- 
ganized, and the animals hunted down and shot. 
Their hides would be taken off, and sold at the 
nearest post-trader's for seventy-five cents or a 
dollar. The war of extermination was waged 
vigorously and most effectively, and it was thought 
for a long time that it was impossible ever to ex- 



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70 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

tiDguish the stock. It has only been a few years 
since the danger of the species becoming extinct 
forced itself upon those who are interested in 
natural history^ and since then there has been a 
scramble to obtain specimens for zoological parks 
and menageries. The Government has also rec- 
ognized the importance of perpetuating the sj>e- 
cies^ and it has secured a number and placed them 
in the Yellowstone Park for safe keeping and 
the perpetuation of the stock. It is deplorable 
that the Government did not take steps long ago 
to stop the wholesale slaughter of these noble 
animals. 

"We followed the North Platte until we reached 
Fort Laramie. Here we found a number of 
United States troops stationed. From this point 
we crossed over the " Black Hills," and, after 
several days^ travel over a very rough and rugged 
road, struck the Sweet Water. This we found 
to be a most beautiful stream, and its waters as 
delightful as its name indicates. The Sweet Water 
winds its way down a most beautiful valley, which 
we found covered with heavy, tender, and most 
nutritious grass. This thrifty and tender grass 
our horses ate with a relish, which did us good 
to behold. Soon after reaching this stream we 
came to Independence Kock, which stands near 
the bank of the river, overlooking the whole sur- 
rounding country. Independence Rock is a great 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS. 71 

bowlder, if my memory serves me right, covering 
thirteen acres, and over one hundred feet high. 
At one place, on the west side, this rock could, 
with some difficulty, be scaled. The ascent was 
quite steep, yet by dint of effi)rt a man could 
climb to the top. We clambered up to the sum- 
mit of this wonderful bowlder, and gazed with 
delight upon the romantic scenery which spread in 
every direction before us. After remaining for a 
short time, having taken in the magnificent view, 
we saw a large snake crawling up out of one of 
the crevices of the rock ; in a little while another 
one made his appearance. As we had no desire 
whatever to see any more, never having had any 
peculiar love for the serpentine race, we made our 
descent much quicker than we had made our as- 
cent, and left the snakes in full possession. 

Just beyond this and in full view was DeviFs 
Gap. This is an opening about thirty feet wide, 
through a mountain of solid rock. Through this 
opening the Sweet Water rushes at the rate of 
some fifty miles an hour. The walls on both 
sides are perpendicular, and two hundred feet 
high. This opening looks very much like a work 
of art, as though it had been made by human 
hands to form a channel for the beautiful river. 
This marvelous channel was cut through this 
mountain of solid rock not by human but divine 
hands. In this gap, on one side of the stream, 



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72 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

near the surface of the water, is a shelf of rock, and 
over this mountain, near the precipice, was a pre- 
cipitious foot-path. Up this path, and over this 
rough mountain, many emigrants traveled on foot. 
We preferred to go with our teams some distance 
to the south-east, where there was a good wagon- 
road, rather than to attempt to scale the danger- 
ous mountain on foot. The year previous a man 
passed up this path to the summit, and, looking 
down into the stream two hundred feet below 
him, became dizzy and fell into the awful chasm, his 
body striking the rocky shelf below. His friends 
could not possibly recover his body, for the waters 
rush through the narrow and rocky channel like 
the dashing waters of a raging cataract. I did 
not see them ; but others who did, said the skull 
and bones of the poor man were distinctly visible 
from the top of the precipice. 

Up this stream we traveled until we reached 
the summit of the Rocky Mountains ; but so grad- 
ual was the ascent that we were not aware we 
were on the summit until we saw a small rivulet 
flowing to the west. We reached this point Sat- 
urday afternoon, July 3, 1850. Here, in this 
bleak and desolate place, some twelve thousand 
feet above the level of the sea, we camped and 
remained over Sabbath, celebrating the Fourth 
of July, at an altitude far above any on 
which we had ever been before. The wind blew 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS. 73 

a stiff gale ; the weather was cold, and it snowed 
at intervals during the whole day. We found 
some very good bunch-grass for our horses, and to 
keep ourselves warm, and while away the time, 
we cut sage-brush, and kept a good fire going by 
the side of a great rock, which served as a shelter 
from the fierce wind. To the right and left of us, 
as far as the eye could extend, rose mountain- 
peak above mountain-peak in solitary grandeur, 
crowned with eternal snow. The scene, though 
sublime, was at the same time a dreary and deso- 
late one. While one enjoys such scenes for a 
little while, they soon become monotonous, and 
one longs for a more genial clime and more pleas- 
ant objects on which to gaze. From the summit 
of these everlasting hills we 'began to descend 
slowly to the west. We soon reached Green 
River, a deep and rapid stream, but not very 
wide. There was neither bridge nor ferry, and 
the water was too deep to ford ; so we made a ferry- 
boat of a wagon-box, took our wagons to pieces, 
ferried them over one after another with our 
plunder, and swam with our horses across the 
river. Then we put together our wagons, re- 
loaded our traps, and after a hard day's work in 
getting across, started again on our way rejoicing. 
The next river of importance was Bear River. 
From here our journey was uneventful until we 
reached the Humboldt River. Aud of all the 

7 

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74 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

streams we ever saw or read of, this is the most 
loathsome. From its head-waters to its mouth — 
a distance of three hundred miles — ^where it sinks 
away in the sand, there is not a single redeeming 
trait. It is repulsive, and only repulsive, from 
one end to the other. The Humboldt River 
runs through a valley of alkali, and the waters 
of this stream, as well as the springs and rivulets 
that flow into it, are alt strongly impregnated 
with this poison. And yet, for two weeks, we 
had to wash in these waters, cook with them, and 
even drink them. They had a peculiarly sicken- 
ing and slippery taste that we remember dis- 
tinctly, though forty years have passed since we 
drank them. The dust in the roads was like 
light-colored ashes and as fine as flour, and from 
one to six inches deep. The great clouds of this 
dust and the sweltering heat, at times, almost 
completely overcame us. We breathed the alkali, 
and ate the alkali, and drank the alkali, and lay 
down in the alkali, until our whole systems were 
completely saturated with the loathsome minerals. 

Twice a day we had to swim this stream, cut 
grass and float it over for our horses, as there was 
no grass on the side of the river we traveled. 

The Humboldt is a rapid stream and full of 
dangerous whirlpools. In these, many a poor 
traveler has lost his life. A man might be ever 
so good a swimmer, yet, if he got in one of these, 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS 75 

he was sure to be drawn under and drowned. 
We saw new-made graves all along this river; 
and on the head-board of almost every grave was 
the sad word, "Drowned/' Along the pathway 
of life the whirlpools of sin are numerous, and 
many a man, who thought himself strong to resist 
evil of every kind, in an unguarded moment has 
been drawn in and lost. " Let him that thinketh 
he standeth, take heed lest he fall.'' 

After a number of days of weary and painful 
travel, we reached the mouth of this river, which 
we found to be an anomaly. This stream does 
not empty its waters into any other body of 
water, as other streams do, but sinks away in the 
sand, at the edge of a sandy desert, seventy-five 
miles in width. The waters of this river at its 
mouth spread out over a spongy marsh, some fif- 
teen miles wide and thirty miles long. Through 
this spongy, sandy soil, the waters of the Hum- 
boldt sink away. 

At this point we camped, rested twenty-four 
hours, and made preparation for crossing the des- 
ert. At five o'clock in the afternoon we broke 
camp, left the valley, and ascending a low range 
of hills, realized we were on the desolate, dan- 
gerous, and sandy desert. We did not stop from 
the time we broke camp until we reached the 
other side. We traveled all night, and the next 
day, at three o'clock, reached Carson River. 



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76 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

This sandy desert, from the mouth of the Hum- 
boldt to the Carson River — a distance of seventy- 
five miles — ^was literally strewn with wagons, 
goods, and the bodies of horses, mules^ and oxen. 
Horses and mules would lie down and die in 
their harness while hitched to their wagons, and 
whole teams of oxen, from two to six yoke, 
would lie down and die in their yokes. Others 
would wander away a short distance fi^m the 
road, as if in search of water, but overcome with 
heat, would soon give up in despair, and sink 
down to die at the hands of this most terrible of 
all tyrants — thirst. 

If these carcasses had been placed together in 
a row, we could have walked on dead animals 
from one side of the desert to the other. But not 
only did we see scattered upon the burning sands 
of this desert, wagons, goods, clothing, and plun- 
der of almost every kind, and the carcasses of 
horses, mules, and oxen; but, ever and anon, a 
sandy mound marked the resting-place of some 
poor emigrant, who had &llen a victim to the 
ravages of thirst or disease. On this desert our 
last horse gave out, and my brother and I had to 
leave him to die. Tears unbidden stole down our 
cheeks as we said good-bye to faithful Dick. He 
had done all he could for us. He could go no 
further. He was worn out. The last, sad look 
of the fiiithful horse we remember still. Mr. 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS. 77 

Wesley thinks all animals will be resurrected. 
We think they ought to be, and rewarded for 
their works and sufferings here. If they are, 
&ithful Dick will have a rich reward. 

Our provisions, too, were gone; so we each 
took a couple of blankets, rolled them up, put 
them on our shoulders — as the soldier carries his 
knapsack — and trudged away on foot. After 
traveling all night, the next morning the sun 
rose clear and bright, and as he climbed the 
heavens, the heat became more and more intense, 
and the sands beneath our feet hotter and hotter. 
Stretching away in every direction, as &r as the 
eye could extend, was a vast, sandy plain, and 
the heat arising from this sandy plain was like the 
heat from a burning furnace. About noon our 
water gave out. We quickened our steps, know- 
ing well that no time could be lost without en- 
dangering our lives. On and on, we pressed our 
weary way, growing more and more fittigued, and 
our thirst becoming more and more severe. I 
never shall forget that day. How every nerve 
was taxed to its utmost! How our eager eyes 
were strained, time and again, to catch a glimpse 
of the trees skirting the river whose waters were 
to slake our thirst, and whose green banks were 
to furnish rest for our weary bodies I I never 
shall forget the fear and anxiety we felt as the 
hours passed slowly away. Many of our com- 



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78 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

rades sank by the wayside, and we knew not how 
soon we must succumb to the heat, sink down, 
and die upon the burning sands. About three 
o'clock in the afternoon, the waving trees along 
the desired stream rose in view. What a thrill 
of joy went coursing through every avenue of the 
soul as the beautiful scene rose before us! A 
few moments more and we sat down by that 
limpid stream, and drank and drank and drank 
of its clear, cold waters, until we were perfectly 
satisfied ; then we threw our weary bodies on the 
green grass, beneath the shade of a large tree, 
and never was rest more sweet! After having 
slaked our thirst with these cooling waters, and 
rested for a little while, we went to a ranch near 
by, kept by a Californian, and bought some food — 
a few small, hard biscuits, made of flour and 
water — paying one dollar and a half each. These 
we ate with a relish; then resumed our journey. 
We were then three hundred miles from the mines ; 
and from this on there were stations every few 
miles, where provisions could be had by paying 
for them. The next station we reached we bought 
a little flour, paying two dollars per pound, and 
a little bacon at the same price. With the flour 
and some water and salt we made pancakes, and, 
frying the meat, used the gravy on the cakes, and 
they tasted most delicious. While on the Plains 
and in California, however, we ate enough pan- 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS. 79 

cakes to last a life-time. I have never had any 
desire for pancakes since, and do not think I ever 
shall. Being short of money, we only ate about 
one-half as much as our appetites craved. We 
lived on half rations from this on, until we 
reached the end of our journey, which we did in 
six days, walking fifty miles a day from the time 
we left the desert until we reached the mines. 
Having walked for the past three months we were 
hardened to it, and could march from daylight 
until dark without being much wearied. We 
walked fSaster than any of the teams on the road, 
passing horse, mule, and ox teams, and leaving 
everything behind us. Many were worse off than 
we. They were not only without provisions, but 
without money. Many ate the flesh of mules and 
horses that had died of overwork and starvation, 
and were glad to get that in order to keep them 
alive. Eternity alone will reveal the sufferings 
of many while traveling over those plains in quest 
of gold. 

If men would do and suffer as much for God 
and humanity as they do for money, it would not 
be long until the millennial glory would break 
over the world. 

Near the he^d of Carson River we struck 
what was called the "Big Canyon." Up this 
canyon the road leads toward the summit of the 
Sierra Nevada Mountains. This canyon we found 



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80 80UTARY PLACES MADE GLAD, 

to be very narrow, barely wide enough for one 
wagon to pass. The road was very rough and 
rocky, and part of the way we had to travel in a 
little brook that came leaping and dashing down 
the mountain gorge. On either side rose, almost 
perpendicular, the rocky cliffs from one hundred 
to a thousand feet, with here and there a tree 
growing out from some crevice, and reaching up 
its arms as if anxious to climb up to where it 
could behold the rays of the beautiful sun. 

On and up this gloomy defile we continued to 
press our way, until at length we passed out into 
an open space, and supposed we saw just before 
us the summit. A few moments afterwards, how- 
ever, we reached the supposed summit ; but, alas ! 
were disappointed, for far above and beyond us 
rose another mountain. " That,'^ we said, "surely 
must be the summit." In a few hours we 
reached its poak, and were again disappointed; 
for far away and above us rose another mountain- 
peak, and away beyond and above that still an- 
other. Mountains were piled on mountains until 
they passed up above the clouds, and bathed their 
snowy summits in the vaulted blue. Onward and 
upward we continued to climb, until we, too, 
passed the clouds, and at last stood upon the 
white crest of the most majestic mountain range 
on the American Continent, while the broad and 
beautiful California Valley for hundreds of miles 



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ACROSS THE PLAINS. 81 

swept before us, and still further on the blue 
waters of the Pacific rolled in endless succession 
their mighty billows. 

In ascending the Sierm Nevada Mountains, 
mountain-peak rises above mountain-peak. The 
sweep of vision widens, the sublimity and beauty 
of the scene deepens, the grandeur becomes more 
and more impressive ; and when you have reached 
the highest peak, and everything earthly is be- 
low, you are awed and almost overwhelmed with 
the splendor of the scene. I never shall forget 
how I felt when I stood upon Sierra Nevada's 
snow-capped summit. To the west was the Sac- 
ramento Valley; to the east was the beautiful 
Nevada ; to the north and to the south, as far as 
the eye could extend, were the rock-ribbed and 
snow-crowned mountains, glittering and flashing 
in eternal sunshine. The unfading impression of 
that scene has been with me for forty years. 

As we stood upon this mountain-top, with the 
most of our journey behind us, and the end in 
full view, I have thought we felt a little as the 
ten thousand Greeks under Xenophon did, when, 
after traveling for twenty-three hundred miles 
through the midst of their enemies, suffering for 
food, water, and raiment, they at length ascended 
a mountain from which they could behold the 
Black Sea, on the shores of which stood a large 
number of Greek cities. In raptures of joy they 



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82 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

shouted^ " The sea I the sea !" and the very heav- 
ens resounded with their joyful acclamations. 
From this lofty summit we descended, and in a 
short time struck Weaverville, a mining town, 
and the end of our long journey was reached. 



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CALIFORNIA IN 1850^2. 83 



CHAPTER VI. 

CALIFORNIA IN 1850-52. 

Disappointed Gold-seekers — Long Illness — Doctor 
Bill — Wickedness Rampant — Lynch Law — Sum- 
mart Punishment the Palladium of the People — 
Vigilance Committees — Bold Robbery — ^The Victim 
captured and hanged. 

WHEN we reached Weaverville we were dis- 
appointed. Things were not as we ex- 
pected to find them. Our expectations had been 
entirely too high; gold could by no means be 
picked up by the handful. Others were much 
worse disappointed than we. On every hand we 
saw the sad countenance and the dejected spirit. 
From many hope seemed to have taken its flight, 
and despair settled down upon them. The pros- 
pect of a fortune ahead had nerved the drooping 
spirit, and kept up the suffering emigrant during 
his long and weary journey until he reached the 
goal where the supposed fortune lay. But when 
the journey's end was reached, instead of stum- 
bling over nuggets of gold and picking up the 
yellow dust by the handful, many were found 
working for their board, and many more were 
unable to find employment even for that. Not a 



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84 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

few were discouraged, and gave up in despair; 
others went to San Francisco, worked their way 
home on sail-vessels, going round Cape Horn, a 
trip which took them six months to make. Had 
they not been so hasty in their conclusions, and 
80 easily discouraged, they might have saved 
this long and painful journey. Almost any- 
where away from Weaverville ordinary wages 
commanded one hundred dollars per month. In 
two months they could have earned enough to 
take them home by the way of the Isthmus, 
and thus saved themselves three months of slav- 
ish toil. 

By the roadside, a few miles west of Weaver- 
ville, sat a middle-aged man, crying. A traveler 
said to him: "What's the matter?'' "O," said 
the man, "I am three thousand miles from my 
wife and children. I have no money, can get 
nothing to do. I shall never see my loved ones 
again." And he boo-hooed right out, and cried 
as though his heart would break. He was only 
one of hundreds. Of the many thousands who 
reached the " New El Dorado," only a few were 
successful. The great majority were bitterly dis- 
appointed. 

My brother and I went some twenty miles 
southwest of Weaverville, where we worked at 
mining until October, making enough during that 
time to purchase our winter supplies. Then we 



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CALIFORNIA IN 1860^9. 85 

went to LogtowDy bought a cabin, and took up a 
miner's claim. Here we worked until the next 
summer, when we went up on the south fork of 
the American River. The next day after reach- 
ing this point I was taken very violently with 
erysipelas in its most malignant form, and for six 
weeks was confined to my cot, for two weeks be- 
ing delirious and entirely blind. My face and 
head were swollen twice their usual size. When 
I began to recover, my hair all came out, leaving 
my scalp as bare as the palm of my hand. For 
several days the doctor said I could not live, de- 
claring me beyond the power of medical skill. 
Providence ordered it otherwise, however, and I 
was restored. I have always thought my re- 
covery from that terrible disease was owing, under 
God, to the kind care and attention of the faith- 
ful brother, who watched over me night and day 
with the tenderness and anxious solicitude of a 
mother. 

I was then irreligious, and felt that if I died 
I should be lost forever. O, the terrible feeling 
of a soul dying "without God and without hope !'^ 
No language can possibly describe such feelings. 
" The way of the transgressor is hard," but the 
way of the Christian is delightful. It is a lovely, 
smooth, sunny pathway. I know it from heart- 
felt experience. " His ways are ways of pleas- 
antness, and all his paths are peace." 



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86 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

As soon as I began to recover, my brother 
Albert was taken down with the same dreadful 
disease, accompanied with typhoid fever, and for 
six weeks was confined to his cot, during which 
time he passed as near death^s door as I had 
done. Providence, however, raised him up also. 
Our doctor^s bill amounted to the small sum of 
fourteen hundred dollars! But the doctor, being 
a very kind-hearted man, was willing to take cM 
the money we had, and give us a receipt in full. 
We paid him three hundred dollars, took his re- 
ceipt, and squared accounts. 

We then returned to Logtown, where we re- 
mained until we left the State. California was 
then new, and wickedness of every kind was 
rampant. The Sabbath was a day of festivity and 
hilarity. It was the great day of business for 
the gambler, the saloon-keeper, the auctioneer, 
the merchant, and the miner. The merchant 
made his greatest sales on the Sabbath; the 
gambler made his largest hauls from the crude 
and unsuspecting miner on the Sabbath; the 
houses whose ** doors take hold on hell '^ were 
thronged with the largest number of visitors on 
the Sabbath ; the miner washed his clothes, pre- 
pared wood, and purchased provisions for the com- 
ing week on the Sabbath ; and each seemed to vie 
with the other in acts of crime and debauchery 
on the day belonging to God alone. What a 



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CALIFORNIA IN 1850-69. 87 

record was made for eternity on the Sabbath-day 
in the early history of California! 

In the mining districts pretty good order pre- 
vailed. The people were generally law-abiding; 
for citizens took the law into their own hands. 
The penalty for petit larceny was horsewhipping; 
the penalty for horse-stealing was death. 

A man was tried and convicted in Logtown by 
the citizens for stealing a pair of boots. He was 
sentenced to thirty-nine lashes. He was stripped 
to the waist, his hands tied together around a 
small tree, and as he thus hugged the tree a man 
plied the lash. Every stroke of the whip brought 
the blood, from the neck to the waist. After a 
few lashes had been given, the agony of the poor 
man was so great that in endeavoring to get away 
he tore the flesh from his breast on the rough 
bark of the tree; and the blood streaming from 
his bleeding back and lacerated breast, and his 
deep groans of agony, made me sick at heart, and 
I turned away from the dreadful scene. Horse- 
whipping was a terrible penalty for crime. A 
horse-thief was hanged to the limb of the nearest 
tree, and his dangling body struck terror to the 
would-be perpetrators of crime. 

This summary punishment of crime in the 
early settlement of California brought to the 
miner and his property almost perfect safety. 
We never felt more secure in our lives than 



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88 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

when we slept under a large pine-tree by the 
roadside near our claim^ with the gold that we 
had washed out the day previous in the pan, 
standing where every passer-by could see it. We 
made no effort to hide anything, for we felt that 
everything was safe. The thief knew what a 
dangerous thing it was to steal from the miner. 

Some may seem surprised that a horse-thief 
should be hanged, when his crime is merely a 
question of property. ''The term horse-thief,'^ 
as one has justly remarked, " is really generic, or a 
synonym for a great variety of criminals. He is 
the thief of any movable property, a highway- 
man, a bandit, a murderer, at his convenience, 
defiant of government, an outlaw, and the enemy, 
specific and in general, of society. The execution of 
a horse-thief, therefore, is ordinarily the adminis- 
tration of justice in gross, and not in severalty of 
crimes." 

The Vigilance Committees of San Francisco 
and Sacramento struck terror to the roughs, and 
saved those cities from the complete control of 
thieves, gamblers, and cut-throats. 

The Vigilance Committee of San Francisco 
was organized in 1851. The city had at that 
time about fifty thousand inhabitants. While 
there were many of the very best class of citizens 
in the city, the majority were among the vilest. 
The roug|hs had their way in everything. The 



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CALIFORNIA IN ISSOSB. 89 

fame of the gold-mines had brought all sorts of 
people from all parts of the world. San Fran- 
cisco was the rendezvous of the worst class of 
people that ever infested any city. The gamblers 
of the world seemed congregated here, and they 
plied their vocation without molestation from 
municipal authorities. A small tent on one of 
the principal streets rented, it was said, for forty 
thousand dollars a year for gambling purposes. 

Nearly the whole business part of the city was 
swept away by several great conflagrations. 
These conflagrations were the work of incendiaries, 
who had in view plunder alone. The best class 
of citizens felt that neither life nor property was 
safe. The administrators of law afforded them 
no protection whatever. The police officers, the 
judges, and prosecuting attorneys, when they were 
not the tools of gamblers and thugs, were weak 
and inefficient. Every means of preventing 
crime and bringing criminals to direct punishment 
had &iled. The better class felt that something 
must be done, hence the Vigilance Committee 
was organized. This committee executed but few 
men. Its main work was to banish desperadoes, 
outlaws, and rascals. Its work was summary, 
and had a most happy and desirable efiect, and 
soon restored law and order. 

At a later date, the old Vigilance Committee 
of 1851 was again called into requisition. James 



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90 SOLITAR Y PLACES MA DE OLAD. 

King was shot by James P. Casey, and died in a 
few days afterwards. On the same evening of the 
shooting, the Vigilance Committee of 1851 con- 
vened, and in less that two days, twenty-five 
hundred names were enrolled on the books of 
the Vigilance Committee, who pledged themselves 
to work together for the purging of the city of 
gamblers, foreign convicts, swindlers, thieves, 
high and low, and of villains generally. 

The Vigilance Committee selected as its head- 
quarters one of the most prominent places of the 
city, cleared the streets for two blocks, mounted 
six brass pieces, placed swivels loaded with grape 
on the roof, and put the streets under control of 
three hundred rifles and muskets. 

The excitement everywhere was at white heat. 
On the roof of the building used by the Commit- 
tee, a massive triangle was swung, and its sounds 
could call thousands instantly, on an emergency. 
'^ Draymen stopped in the street, freed their horses, 
mounted, and went clattering to the rendezvous; 
store-keepers locked up hastily, and ran ; clerks 
leaped over their counters; carpenters left the 
shaving in the plane ; blacksmiths dropped the 
hammer by the red-hot iron on the anvil. All 
the city hurried to head-quarters for any sudden 
work/' 

At one of the meetings, one of the speakers said 
'Hhat probably more than five hundred murders 



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CALIFORNIA IN mo^i. 91 

had been committed in California during the pre- 
ceding year, yet not more than five of the perpe- 
trators had been punished according to the forms 
of the law/' 

The newspapers, the clergy, the people gener- 
ally, approved the formation of the committee. 
William Taylor, our bishop, now in Africa, was 
in San Francisco at the time, and witnessed the 
proceedings of the committee. He says : " In the 
administration of Lynch-law, so far as I have 
known or heard, the thunderbolt of public 
fury has always fallen only on the head of the 
guilty man, who, by the enormity and palpable 
character of his crimes, excited it ; and then not 
till after his guilt was proved to the satisfaction 
of the masses composing the court. In propor- 
tion as the law acquires power in California for 
the protection of the citizens, in that proportion 
Lynch-law is dispensed with.'' 

Lynching in the Territories and new States 
comes in, and often works admirably, where the law 
is crude and feeble. But where the court-house 
appears in due dignity and power, Lynch-law dis- 
appears in the shadow. It will come to the front 
on any well-grounded call. 

Summary punishment for crime, when guilt is 
proved beyond a doubt, is one of the safeguards 
of the people. It is the palladium of the indi- 
vidual, the cily, the State, the Nation. 



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92 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

We were present and witnessed the trial, by 
citizens, of two men charged with horse-stealing. 
One was a young man about twenty years old. 
The stolen horses were found in his possession. 
He pleaded "not guilty,^^ and proved that he had 
been hired to take care of the horses, not know- 
ing they were stolen property. He was acquitted. 
The other one pleaded " guilty/' He was a large, 
burly Englishman, about forty-five years old. 
While the people were trying to decide what they 
sliould do with him, he made his escape from the 
second story of a large log house, where he had 
been placed and guarded. The lower room, and 
the yard all around the house, was full of people. 
How he made his escape no one could tell. It 
was a mystery to all. The only solution to the 
mystery was, that through the influence of money, 
he had been spirited away. He had been ban- 
ished from England to New South Wales many 
years previous for crime. New South Wales was 
used by the English Government as a penal set- 
tlement from 1788 to 1840. During this timci 
about fifty-five thousand convicts bad been sent 
to that land, and among them was this horse-thief. 
He came from there to California. 

About six months after he had made his escape 
from the citizens near Logtown, he went on board 
a steamer at San Francisco, went into the clerk's 
office, picked up a United States express-box con- 



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CALIFORNIA IN 1860-5t. 93 

taining a large amount of money, and walked off 
with it on his shoulder in the presence of officers 
of the ship and a large number of passengers. 
When the theft was discovered, the thief was 
pursued, and a short distance from the ship he 
was discovered in a small boat in the bay, the 
valuable box by his side, and he was rowing away 
for his life. Three officers got into another boat, 
and, after an exciting race of four or five miles, 
captured and brought him back. A scaffold was 
at once erected. He was led to the top of the 
scaffold in the presence of hundreds of excited 
people. A noose was made in the rope, slipped 
over his head, and adjusted to his neck, and then 
he was asked if he had anything to say or any 
requests to make. He called for a glass of brandy 
and a cigar. They were brought. He drank the 
brandy, then calmly smoked the cigar, and having 
finished, he said : " I am now at your service.^* 
The trap was sprung, and his unprepared soul 
went into the presence of the Almighty. Such 
was life in the early settlement of California. 



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94 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 



CHAPTER VII. 

RETURN HOME BY WAY OF THE ISTHMUS. 

San Fbancisoo— San Dibgo — " Wonders of the Deep "— 
AcAPULCo — Terrible Storm— Panama — Crossing the 
Isthmus— From Aspinwall to New Yore— Home. 

AFTER remaining on the coast for two years, 
we left for our home in the States. We 
took passage on a steamboat at Sacramento City, 
passed down the Sacramento River to San Fran- 
ciscOy reaching this city late at night. At that time 
San Francisco was a gay and lively city. Exten- 
sive eating-houses, immense saloons and gambling- 
houses, splendidly illuminated, gorgeously deco- 
rated and furnished with bands of the finest music, 
regaled the visitor at all hours of the day and night. 
Some of these gambling-halls were one hundred 
and fifty feet long and fifty feet wide. On one side 
was a bar, where liquors of all kinds were dealt 
out to suit the tastes of the various customers. On 
the other side, and down through the center of 
the room, were rows of small tables. Each table 
was a " monte," or " faro-bank," on which gold 
and silver were piled, in some instances to the 
amount of many thousand dollars. 

Around each table men were gathered, betting 



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RETURN HOME BY WAY OF ISTHMUS. 95 

against the banker or proprietor of the table, 
the proprietor always coming out ahead; the 
miner from the mountains almost invariably being 
fleeced of his hard-earned " dust." At one end 
of the hall was a platform, on which sat a band 
of well-skilled musicians. The doors of these 
attractive buildings were wide open, night and 
day, and everybody was made welcome. The 
"click, click," of the glasses at the bar, the 
" chink, chink, chink," of the gold and silver on 
the tables; the music by the band on the ros- 
trum, furnished a strange medley, the effect of 
which was very exciting. 

In these places fortunes were won and fortunes 
lost in a few hours. Here many rejoiced over 
their spoils, while others wept over the loss of all 
they had. Here, too, many a bloody encounter 
ensued. The gamblers generally went armed to 
the teeth, and if a dishonest trick was discovered, 
bowie-knives and revolvers were the arbiters. One 
or the other fell from the deadly weapon, and was 
borne away a lifeless corpse ; but the music and 
drinking and gambling went on, as though noth- 
ing unusual had transpired. 

At that time a large portion of the city was 
built on piles in the bay, and there was no filling 
under the streets or houses. In many places 
holes were found in the street large enough to 
let a man through, and I have no doubt that 



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96 80LITAR7 PLACES MADE OLAD. 

many a poor man went down through these 
openings, never again to be seen alive. Many 
who went to the Pacific Cteast in quest of gold, 
and were never again heard from by their friends, 
without doubt found watery graves under the 
houses and streets of San Francisco. I shall 
always believe that my brother and I came very 
near losing our lives while there. I shudder 
when I think of the night we spent in that 
wicked city nearly forty years ago. No finer 
place in the world was ever afforded murderers 
for their victims than beneath the streets and 
houses of San Francisco at that time. 

The next day after reaching the city, we took 
passage on the steamship Northerner. We left 
the harbor, passed out through the "Golden 
Gate," and, with our vessel headed to the south, 
rejoiced at the prospect of soon meeting loved 
ones at home. We had not been out very long 
until it seemed to me that " Pacific '^ was a misno- 
mer. The sea was tremendously rough. I said 
to myself that it ought to have been named " Ter- 
rific " and not " Pacific." 

The first port we entered aft^r leaving San 
Francisco was San Diego, a small Mexican town 
some four hundred miles southeast pf San Fran- 
cisco, and about fifteen miles north of the Mexi- 
can border. No sooner had our ship dropped 
anchor in the beautiful bay than swarms of Mexican 



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RETXTRN HOME BY WAY OF I8THMU8. 97 

men and boys gathered around the vessel in the 
water, ready to .perform the most wonderful feats 
of diving for a consideration. The passengers threw 
dimes and quarters into the water, to see the natives 
dive and bring them up. A dime or a quarter of 
a dollar thrown into the water was never lost, 
but was invariably brought to the sur&ce by the 
expert diver. The boys seemed as much at home 
in the water as any fish ever was in its native 
element. It was really amazing to see how deep 
one would go down, and how long he would re- 
main under the water, in order to obtain the 
coveted silver prize. And then when he came to 
the surface, with a grin of triumph on his face, he 
would shake his head and rattle the silver against 
his teeth in his mouth. North San Diego, a small 
hamlet four miles north of this, was the first place 
settled by white men in California. The Jesuits 
first settled here, and founded a mission, in 1768. 
The climate of this region has always been re« 
markably salubrious, and many for years have 
visited it as a health resort. This little, insignifi- 
cant Mexican town has grown to be one of the 
lovely cities of the Pacific Coast. Our ship re- 
mained here only long enough to take in a supply 
of coal, when she weighed anchor and made for 
the open sea. 

David speaks of " God^s wonders in the deep.'' 
We had not been out on the ocean very long 



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98 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

when we were permitted to see some of these 
wonders. Soon after leaving San^Diego, we ran 
into a school of porpoises. To one unaccustomed 
to the sea^ a school of porpoises is a great curi- 
osity. The porpoise is about six feet long, bluish- 
black color on the back, similar to the color of a 
cat-fish, and white beneath. They are very 
active, and live in schools or flocks, and are fre- 
quently seen swimming and playing about ves- 
sels, running races with them, and leaping many 
feet out of the water. The porpoise has been 
called by some the " sea-fish ;'' by others the 
** sea-hog.'^ It looks like a hog, and roots in the 
sand like a hog, hence the name. It seems to 
me that "sea-swine" is the most appropriate 
name that could possibly be given to the por- 
poise. Nothing I ever saw in my life reminded 
me more of a drove of swine than the school of 
porpoises we first saw at sea. They were swim- 
ming in front of Jthe ship, and were leaping out 
of the water from one to six feet high as they 
scud before the vessel like a drove of frightened 
swine. Ever and anon we struck a shoal of 
these " wonders of the deep," both on the Pacific 
and Atlantic Oceans^ 

We saw, too, a number of whales. Mighty 
monsters they are; the largest of all living 
animals. 

The next port we entered was Acapulco. This 



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RETURN HOME BY WAY OF ISTHMUS. 99 

also was a small Mexican town, of only a few 
inhabitants. Here, as at San Diego, swarms of 
Mexican men and boys gathered around our ves- 
sel, anxious to exhibit their aquatic skill. Aca- 
pulco is one hundred and eighty miles southwest 
of the city of Mexico, and at one time was a 
port of considerable importance, as it was the 
focus of the trade from China and the East In- 
dies. After taking in a supply of coal, our ves- 
sel again headed for Panama. Soon after leaving 
this port we encountered the most terrible storm 
-we ever witnessed; it was awful, beyond all 
description. Late in the afternoon it was evident 
that a storm was coming. The waves of the 
ocean continued to rise higher and higher. They 
were perfectly smooth, but appeared more and 
more fearful as they increased. On and on they 
came — mighty mountains of water. Each one 
rising higher than the one preceding it. At one 
moment we were on the crest of one of these 
billows, the next we were in the trough far be- 
low, and in front and rear rose mountains of 
water, seemingly hundreds of feet high. The old 
ship creaked and groaned and labored as she 
climbed up and down these stupendous waves. 
The scene was grand but awful. Such a scene 
one does not care to witness more than once in a 
life-time. The officers knew well that danger was 
ahead. The deck was cleared, the sails reefed. 

137995B 

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100 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

and everything put in order. As the darkness 
of the night settled down upon us, the storm in 
all its fury broke upon the ship. Wave after 
wave rolled over the vessel. One of the wheel- 
houses was washed away, all the cattle on board 
were swept into the sea, and in twei\ty-four hours 
afterwards the ship came out of the storm badly 
disabled. During the raging of the storm children 
cried, women shrieked, and men turned pale and 
trembled with fear. One man said : '^ I have seven 
thousand dollars. I will give it to any one who will 
save my life.^' Another man, frantic with fear, 
cried out : " I would gladly give every dollar I have 
if I were only on land again.'' Satan once said 
to God with regard to Job: "All that a man hath 
will he give for his life.'' Once, if never before, 
Satan told the truth. This truth we saw illus- 
trated on shipboard in this terrible storm. 

I have often thought it strange that men are 
willing to give so much for the body and so lit- 
tle for the soul. If a man is willing to give all 
he has for the body, what should he not be will- 
ing to give for perfect happiness here and eternal 
glory hereafter? 

After twenty days' sail, our steamer dropped 
anchor in the gulf, about two miles from Panama. 
In a few moments a hundred small boats or 
more surrounded the ship, ready to take passen- 
gers and baggage ashore. We hired one of these 



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RETURN HOME BY WAY OF ISTHMUS. 101 

boats, and in an hour afterwards stepped on the 
rocky peninsula on which stands the city of 
Panama. This city was founded by Davila, in 
1518, six miles northeast of its present lo^- 
tion. Afler its destruction by the buccaneers, 
in 1670, it was rebuilt upon its present site. 
The houses were mostly of stone; the streets 
very narrow and irregular. The porches and 
roofs of many of the buildings were moss-cov- 
ered, and looked as though they had been standing 
for ages. Many of them were more than a hun- 
dred and fifty years old. From here we crossed 
to Aspinwall, a distance of some sixty miles. 
The first twenty miles we traveled on foot, leav- 
ing Panama early in the morning, and reaching 
Chagres River near sundown. It was the hardest 
day's work we ever did. We were compelled to 
walk, because we could not hire a mule for love 
or money. All had been engaged before we were 
aware of their scarcity. The rain fell in torrents 
nearly all day. The road was narrow, barely 
wide enough for two mules to pass each other. 
More than a hundred years previous to the time 
we crossed, this road had been paved by the Span- 
iards for military purposes, and at one time it w^as 
smooth, beautiful, and easily traveled. But the 
pavement of this once beautiful road was broken 
to pieces, and it was in a much worse condition 
than if the pavement had never been there. That 



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102 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

day we stood upon the same mountain summit 
that Balboa's feet pressed when he discovered 
the Pacific Ocean. Three hundred and thirty- 
nfne years before, Balboa gazed with delight 
for the first time upon the beautiful Western 
Ocean. 

We reached the Chagres River about sundown, 
and found a good hotel, kept by an American. 
Our clothes were drenched through and through, 
and there was not a dry thread about us. We 
ate a hearty supper, went to bed in our wet and 
clay-besmeared clothes, and slept soundly till 
morning. The next day we took a small boat, 
descended the river until we struck the railroad, 
which was then building across the Isthmus. 

The people of the Isthmus were a mongrel 
race. They were a mixture ©f the white, the red, 
and the black. In the same &mily might be 
found persons of almost every color. Some al- 
most white, some of a dark hue, and some as 
black as tar. All smoked. The use of tobacco 
was as common among them as the use of bread 
is with us. Almost every one you met had a 
cigar in the mouth; little boys and girls not more 
than two years old were running around, puffing 
away like little steam-engines. The women while 
engaged in culinary work, smoked their cigars, 
and the men, no matter what their employment, 
did the same. The children were all stark naked; 



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RETURN HOME BY WAY OF ISTHMUS. 108 

many of the men and women were only half clad, 
and all were repulsive in the extreme. 

Having reached the railroad, we bought our 
tickets, and took seats in one of the coaches. 
This was the first engine and train of cars we had 
ever seen. We said as we took our seats : " This 
is splendid ; perfectly lovely !'' The train moved 
off from the depot slowly and smoothly, and 
glided along very nicely for a few miles, when a 
heavy grade was reached; up this grade the train 
went slower and slower, and finally came to a 
dead halt. Then the engineer backed the train 
for a mile, and, putting on all the steam possible, 
started ; but as soon as the train struck the grade 
she slackened her speed, and at length stood stock 
still again. Again the engineer backed the train, 
and, putting on all steam he could, once more 
started, and stuck fast a third time. Then the 
])assengers all got out, put their shoulders to the 
coaches, and boosted the train over the grade. 
Our impression of a railroad was not so favora- 
ble as when we started. We were paying fifty 
cents a mile and working our passage. It was a 
little like sailing before the mast after having 
paid full fare. The engine was small, the grade 
heavy, and the engineer green. The summit 
passed, we got in, and in a little while reached 
Colon, then called Aspinwall. This town was 
then two years old, and had about two hundred 



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104 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

inhabitants. It was founded by the railroad 
company in 1850. Here we took the steamship 
lUinoia, and, after ten days' sail, reached the city 
of New York. From here we took the cars, and 
in three days reached South Bend, our old home, 
and greeted mother and other loved ones from 
whom we had been separated for two and a half 
years. 



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PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS. 105 



CHAPTER VIII. 

PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS. 

A Memorable City and Church — John Brownfibld — 
David Stover — Conversion — Parental Influ- 
ence — Call to Preach — Attend Asbury Univer- 
sity — Licensed to Preach — Join Conference— First 
Circuit — Second Circuit— Two Gracious Revivals- 
First Convert's Triumphant Death — Ordained 
Deacon — Bishop Waugh. 

ON the banks of the Saint Joseph River, in 
the northern part of the State of Indiana, 
stands the beautiful city of South Bend. Near 
the center of this city stands a beautiful church. 
Around this church cluster many sacred and 
most hallovred associations. 

I can not remember when I was first con- 
victed of sin. I always felt that I was a sinner, 
and unless converted, '^born again,^' I should be 
lost forever. I attribute my early conviction of 
sin to the fisiithful instructions given me by a de- 
voted &ther and mother. From my very earliest 
recollections, I was taught the fundamental doc- 
trines of Christianity. The depravity of the 
heart, the necessity of pardon and regeneration, 
a general judgment-day, a hell into which all 



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106 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

the finally impenitent will be turned, a heaven 
where all the pure will enter and be forever per- 
fectly happy, were doctrines instilled into my 
mind from earliest childhood, all of which I 
found clearly taught in God's Word, 

For three years previous to my conversion I 
was under deep conviction nearly all the time. 
I have always been grateful to God for the many 
well-defined points in my religious experience. 
I was clearly and powerfully convicted of sin, 
clearly and powerfully converted, clearly and 
powerfully convicted of the need of a clean heart, 
and just as clearly received that blessing. I was 
clearly and powerfully called to the work of the 
ministry. So clear was my call to preach the 
gospel, that all doubt touching the matter was 
entirely swept from my mind soon after receiv- 
ing the call. 

On Monday morning, the 4th day of March, 
1853, I attended a love-feast, held in the above- 
named church. From that love-feast, with a sad 
and heavy heart, weighed down under the crush- 
ing load of sin, -I wended my way to the Bible 
Depository, kept by John Brownfield. Here the 
reader will pardon me for digressing for a mo- 
ment. I can not refrain from a personal reference 
to my first Sunday-school superintendent. John 
Brownfield was superintendent of the same school 
for forty-three years in succession. He made a 



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PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS. 107 

wonderful record as a Sunday-school superintend- 
ent. He was deeply pious^ and very greatly in- 
terested in the welfare of the young. He was 
eminently practical, and availed himself of passing 
events and the most common occurrences to im- 
press religious truth upon the minds of his pupils. 
In this he was an adept. In fact, in this, I think 
1 may safely say, he was unusually apt. Some of 
his simple illustrations, taken from every-day life, 
1 remember distinctly to-day, although I was a 
mere boy when I heard them. His kind words 
and &ithful teachings as a superintendent have 
never passed from my memory. They have been 
a benediction to me for more than a third of a 
century. 

The following testimonial card, from the Sun- 
day-school of the First Methodist Episcopal 
Church of South Bend, Indiana, was presented to 
Brother Brownfield January 1, 1882 : 

Teetimopial, 

Approved by the Sunday-school of the First Methodist 

Episcopal Church, South Bend, Indiana, January 

z, z88a. 

WHSREASy 

JOHN BROWNPieLD 

HAS BBEN THE SUPERINTENDENT OF OUR 

FOR THE LAST 
PORTY-THRBB YBKRS { 



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108 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

AND WnSHEASy 

Because of the burden of seventy -three years, he now 
declines to serve us longer in that office ; therefore, be it 
said to him and to the 

UORLD, 

Firgt, That we deeply deplore the occasion which has 
led to his declinature. 

Second, That we are proud of the long and faithful 
record of his superintendency. 

Third, That we cordially indorse the action of the Sun- 
day-school Board by which he is now entitled 

for life. 

Fourth, That we shall never cease to feel that we are 
honored by his presence in the school and aided by his 
counsels in our work. And furthermore, we must be al- 
lowed to say to any who may see this 

TBSTimONinL 

that in him whom we honor to-day we have marked, 
Fir$t. The manliest type of manhood. 
Second, The purest Christian character. 
Third, The most patient and toilsome zeal in 

KLX COD'S UORKS. 

The moral and religious characters which have grown 
up in the school during his administration, will make for 
him a more enduring monument than brass or stone. The 
only adequate reward of his labors will come when his 

DIVINB mnSTBR SHKLL SKY TO HIM, 

•*Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter 
thou into 

Postmaster-General Wanamaker is one of the 
most noted Sunday-school superintendents of the 
age. He has been superintendent of the Bethany 



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PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS. 109 

Church Sunday-school for thirty-two years. John 
Browufield, as super! uteudeut of the same school, 
ranked Mr. Wanamaker eleven years. Mr. 
Brownfield was honorary superintendent for eight 
years ; virtually he was at the head of the same 
school for fifty-one years. That certainly is an 
honor of which any man may well be proud. 

General C. B. Fisk said at the close of the 
war, " I have been promoted from a major-general 
to a Sunday-school superintendent." A success- 
ful Sunday-school superintendent outranks all 
the oflScers of the army and navy. After tri- 
umphantly leading the Sunday-school of the First 
Methodist Episcopal Church of South Bend, In- 
diana, for forty-three years. Brother Brownfield 
had a right to rest in peace and quiet under the 
laurels he had so justly won. At the advanced 
age of eighty-two, on the 21st day of January, 
1890, he passed peacefully from his earthly to 
his heavenly home. David Stover was my first 
Sunday-school teacher. His faithful te^fhings 
have never been forgotten. I love to think of 
my first Sunday-school superintendent, and my 
first Sunday-school teacher. Their names are 
sacred. Brother Brownfield has ceased to work. 
Brother Stover, though advanced in years, is still 
doing effective work for God. 

On that ever-to-be-remembered Monday morn- 
ing, I entered the Bible Depository and purchased 



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110 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

a pocket Bible. This was my first step towards 
a religious life. The next step was a firm and 
solemn resolve made, by the grace of God, to be 
a Christian. That night I went to church, and 
after listening to a sermon from the pastor, the 
Rev. James C. Reid, an invitation was given for 
seekers of religion to come to the altar. I was 
the first person on my knees at the " mercy-seat.'' 
Christian friends and relatives gathered around 
me, all intensely interested and anxious for my 
salvation. Among the number was a now sainted 
mother. The gloom of despair settled down upon 
my soul. T-he darkness was dense; so dense it 
seemed to me it could almost be felt. Satan said: 
*^You have sinned away your day of grace. 
There is no mercy for such a sinner as you." 
Not knowing the wiles of the enemy, I believed 
every word he said. It was a dark hour. Never 
will it be forgotten. But just at that moment, 
when all seemed lost and hell certain, my fisiithful 
mother whispered in my ears the inspiring words, 
^'Jesus came into the world to save the chief of 
sinners.'' I turned from Satan's lying words to 
Jesus, the " Mighty to save," and grasping in an 
instant the precious promise, the cloud rifted, the 
sunlight of heaven came streaming down into my 
soul, and leaping to my feet, I shouted, "Glory 
to God in the highest! " I never shall forget that 
hour. Its precious memory lingers with me to- 



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PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS, 111 

day. I love the hymn, and I have sometimes 
thought I would sing it forever: 

" There is a spot to me more dear 

Than native vale or mountain, 
A spot for which affection's tear 

Springs grateful from its fountain ; 
'Tis not where kindred souls abound. 

Though that is almost heaven, 
But where I first my Saviour found, 

And felt my sins forgiven. 

Sinking and panting as for breath, 

I knew not help was near me ; 
I cried, O save me, Lord, from death ; 

Immortal Jesus, save me 1 
Then quick as thought I felt him mine. 

My Saviour stood before me ! 
I saw his brightness round me shine. 
And shouted, Glory 1 glory !" 

Mothers will have rich trophies in glory. The 
power of example is wonderful. It is wonderful 
for good or for evil. It can not be weighed, or 
measured, or estimated. A boy astonished his 
Christian mother by asking her for a dollar to 
buy a share in a raffle for a silver watch, that was 
to be raffled off in a beer-saloon. His mother 
was horrified, and rebuked him. "But/' said he, 
" mother, did you not bake a cake with a ring in 
it to be raffled off in a Sunday-school fair?" "O, 
my son," said she, " that was for the Church." 
" But if it was wrong," said the boy, " would doing 



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1 12 SOLITAR Y PLACES MADE GLAD. 

it for the Church make it right? Would it be 
right for me to steal money to put in the collec- 
tion? And if it is right for the Church, is it not 
right for me to get this watch if I can ?" The 
mother was completely dumfounded, and could 
not answer her son. She had set the example, 
and her boy was following it. 

Josh Billings, a great humorist, and a wise 
man as well, once said : " If you wish to train up 
your child in the way he should go, just skirmish 
ahead on that line yourself 

The mother of John Quincy Adams said, in a 
letter to him, written when he was only ten years 
old : " I would rather see you laid in your grave 
than grow up a profane and graceless boy.^' Not 
long before the death of Mr. Adams a gentleman 
said to him : " I have found out who made you.^' 
" What do you mean V said Mr. Adams. The 
gentleman replied : '^ I have been reading the pub- 
lished letters of your mother." Raising himself 
up, his countenance all aglow, and his eyes 
flashing with light and fire, the venerable man, 
in his peculiar manner, said : " Yes, sir ; all that 
is good in me I owe to my mother." 

The hallowed influence of John Wesley's 
mother is felt to-day on almost every part of this 
planet. The benign and salutary influence of 
Washington's mother is molding nations and 
empires. No work will bring more honor to the 



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PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS. 1 13 

mother, the children, the Church, and the world, 
than the religious training of the children. Teach 
them by example as well as by precept. Bishop 
Foss once said: "There is nothing better for 
children than allopathic doses of mother/^ 

But perhaps some one is ready to ask : " What 
about the fathers in this work of training the 
children?'^ Well, I want to say that &thers are 
equally responsible with the mothers for the right 
training of the children. Among the many rich 
blessings conferred upon me by a kind Provi- 
dence, not the least by any means was pious par- 
ents. Not a day passes but that I praise God 
for a godly father and a godly mother. Their 
precious memory " is as ointment poured forth." 
I love to think of them as they used to call us 
children to family prayers. They took turns in 
conducting family worship. One of them would 
take down the old family Bible, read a chapter, 
and then lead in prayer; the next morning the 
other would read and lead in prayer. I love to 
think of them as I used to see them wending 
their way to the house of God. 

On quarterly meeting occasions fether almost 
always stopped work at nine o'clock Saturday 
morning, and went to the eleven o'clock preach- 
ing service. That had a most wonderful effect 
on my young heart. I remember, just as dis- 
tinctly as if it were yesterday, seeing my father 



10 



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114 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

start off to quarterly meeting one Saturday morn- 
ing. It was at a very busy season of the year, 
I never shall forget just how I felt, and just 
what I said to myself. I said: "I know father 
is a good man, or he never would stop work at 
such a busy time to go to Church/' They were 
just as faithful at the prayer and class meetings 
as they were at the public means of grace, and 
they were just as prompt in paying their quarter- 
age as they were in attending all the services of 
the Church. 

At one time quarterly meeting came when 
father was away from home, and mother, from 
some cause, could not attend. In the afternoon 
she gave me a two-dollar bill, and told me to 
take it to the class-leader. Two dollars was a 
good deal of money for us at that time, for we 
were not in the most affluent circumstances. I 
walked two miles and a half to the house of the 
class-leader, carrying in my hand the two-dollar 
bill. I remember distinctly the bank-bill. It 
was a two-dollar note on the old State Bank of 
Indiana. That simple incident made a deep and 
lasting impression on my mind. I felt that 
mother's religion was of some value, and that 
she considered it worth something. Too many, 
alas! place no value at all on their religion. 
They want it for nothing, and think it a hard- 
ship if they have to pay a small pittance quarterly 



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PERSONAL RECOLLECTIOm. 115 

to support God's messengers while they proclaim 
the glad tidings of salvation. When Araunah of- 
fered to give David the threshing-floor and the 
oxen that he might oflfer a sacrifice to God, 
David declined the liberal and kindly offer, say- 
ing: " Nay ; but I will surely buy it of thee at a 
price ; neither will I offer burnt-offerings unto 
the Lord my God of that which doth cost me 
nothing. So David bought the threshing-floor 
and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And 
David built there an altar unto the Lord, and 
offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings." 
(2 Sam. xxiv, 24.) David bought the oxen, then 
offered them to God as a sacrifice, and they were 
acceptable in the sight of the Almighty. Heav- 
enly fire descended and consumed the offering, 
and a great and rich blessing came to David and 
all his people. Had David accepted the magnan- 
imous offer of Araunah, it would have been 
Araunah's sacrifice, and not David's, and the re- 
sult would have been, no blessing would have 
come to David or his people, but the plague 
would have gone on as before. A religion that 
costs nothing is a religion that is worth nothing. 
No one will highly esteem the ordinances of God 
if they do not cost hira anything. 

My precious parents would sooner go without 
their tea and coffee, or any of the necessaries of 
life, than not to pay their quarterage. That fact 



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116 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

impressed my young heart as deeply as their reg- 
ularity in attending the house of God. The de- 
lightful remembrance of my devoted parents is 
far more precious to me than any thing this world 
could possibly give. Their hallowed influence 
has been a benediction to me for more than fifky 
years. The fragrance of their lives is with me 
to-day, and will remain with me forever. If I 
am ever rewarded for any good done here on 
earth, my sainted parents will share with me in 
that reward. 

Only a few days after conversion the impres- 
sion came, " You must preach.^^ Many times be- 
fore, often when far a^ay on the Pacific Coast, 
the thought would flit through my mind, " You 
will preach some day.^' It was never entertained, 
however, for a moment, but was instantly ban- 
ished as one of the visionary and silly thoughts 
that often enter the mind of the young. But 
when I was converted the impression came to 
stay. It fastened itself to my heart so strongly I 
never could rid myself of it. Shortly after con- 
version, while thinking over the matter, the 
pastor. Brother James C. Reid, said to me: 
" Henry, do you not think God has a work for 
you to do?" I was astonished, and looked at 
him with amazement. I frankly told him my 
feelings, and opened to him my heart. He said : 
"I will get you a scholarship in the Asbury Uni- 



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PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS. 117 

versity.^^ A few months later I received the 
scholarship, and went to Asbury — now DePauw 
University — at Greencastle, Indiana, to prepare 
for my life-work. 

I had been in Greencastle only a little while — 
my probation had not yet expired — when 
Brother G. C. Beeks, the pastor, appointed me 
class-leader. The class was composed mostly 
of old members of the Church — fathers and 
mothers in Israel — with only a few younger mem- 
bers. It met on Sunday morning at nine o'clock 
at the residence of Brother Dunams. With much 
trembling and great fear I took the class. The 
first meeting was owned of God. The room was 
filled with the Divine glory, and all seemed to en- 
joy a rich feast. I led this class while I remained 
in Greencastle, and I never shall forget the many 
Pentecosts we enjoyed in Brother Dunams's parlor 
with the members of that spirit-baptized class. I 
expect to hail with delight the members of that 
class on the plains of glory. 

On the 23d of June, 1855, I was examined 
before the Greencastle Quarterly Conference on 
" Doctrines and Discipline.^' Several other can- 
didates for the ministry were examined with me. 
The examination was rigid, and lasted several 
hours, but it was conducted with great kindness 
by Aaron Wood, the presiding elder. All the 
great doctrines of the Church were thoroughly 



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118 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

canvassed, and on each one we were closely 
questioned. Then there was a vein of piety 
running through the whole examination, which 
made it wonderfully solemn. Every member of 
the Conference seemed deeply interested in it. 
All felt the presence of God. To me the ex- 
amination was a solemn hour. The next morn- 
ing the presiding elder handed me the following 

paper: 

" June 23, 1855. 

"License is hereby granted to Henry T. Davis, to 
preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church, by order of 
the Quarterly Conference of Greencastle Station. 

"Aaron Wood, President. 

"Hugh S. Mark, Secretary." 

The following October I was received on trial 
in the Northwest Indiana Conference, held at 
Delphi, Indiana, and was appointed junior 
preacher of Russellville Circuit. H. S. Shaw was 
preacher in charge. That year I learned lessons 
in the administration of discipline which have 
been of very great value to me ever since. 

Dr. T. M. Eddy was then agent of the 
American Bible Society. We had traveled to- 
gether from South Bend, and had become quite 
intimately acquainted. Saturday afternoon he 
took me by the arm, and, looking very solemn, 
said : " Well, Brother Davis, it took the whole 
Conference to get you in.^' At first blush I did 
not catch his ineaning, and I looked at him with 



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PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS. 119 

surprise. He smiled. I understood him. The 
vote was unanimous. 

The next year I was appointed to the Sanford 
Circuit. This circuit was composed of five ap- 
pointments, lying just west of Terre Haute. 

During this year God gave us two gracious re- 
vivals of religion, one at " Pisgah " appointment, 
and the other at "Bethesda/* Some who were 
converted at these meetings are now upon the 
walls of Zion doing eflfective work for the Master. 
The first meeting was held at Pisgah. At the 
close we began one at Bethesda, and continued it 
two weeks, during which time seventy souls were 
clearly converted. God's saving power was man- 
ifested from the beginning to the close. The 
converts ranged from little children to gray-haired 
fathers and mothers. Whole families were won- 
derfully saved. Ten months after this meeting 
we saw the first convert pass triumphant to her 
home in glory. The scene, though solemn, was 
at the same time glorious. 

At this meeting, Martha Romine, her father, 
mother, and brothers, were all converted. Ten 
months afterwards, Martha was stricken down 
with that fell destroyer, typhoid fever, from which 
she never recovered. Her sickness was charac- 
^terized by patience, resignation, and great joy. 
The last visit we made, we found her very near 
death's door. She had not spoken for twenty- 



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120 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

four hours, and the power of speech seemed for- 
ever gone. For some time she had been delirious. 
We knelt down by her bedside and prayed, and 
as we prayed, 

" Heaven came down our souls to greet, 
And glory crowned the mercy-seat." 

When we arose, she broke forth in a clear, 
sweet, heavenly voice, and sung, 

" When I can read my title clear 
To mansions in the skies, 
I* 11 bid farewell to every fear, 
And wipe my weeping eyes." 

She sung the hymn through, and in a few min- 
utes afterwards her pure spirit went up to join 
the angelic throng. 

I love to think of the results of that victori- 
ous meeting. It was my first great victory in the 
ministry. It has been an inspiration to me ever 
since. I expect to meet and live forever with 
many who were saved at that meeting, and many 
who stood side by side with me on that spiritual 
battle-field. We shall not be among strangers 
when we reach heaven. I have sometimes thought 
I could almost see the battlements of glory lined 
with friends and loved ones, waiting and watch- 
ing our approach, intensely anxious to hail us 
welcome when we reach the " shining shore.^' 

'* What a meeting, what a meeting that will be ! " 



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PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS. 121 

On the 17th day of September, 1857, I was 
married to Miss Emily McCulloch,of Vigo County, 
Indiana, and for thirty-three years she has shared 
with me the joys and sorrows, lights and shadows, 
conflicts and triumphs of the itinerancy. Had we 
our lives to live over again, and were we permit- 
ted to choose our life-work, we would unhesitat- 
ingly say, " Give us the Methodist itinerancy.'* 

This year the Conference met at La&yette. 
The venerable Bishop Waugh presided. On 
Sunday, October 4, 1857, I was ordained deacon 
by this holy man. I remember well the sermon 
the bishop preached on the occasion. His text 
was Rev. ii, 10: "Be thou faithful unto death, 
and I will give thee a crown of life." It was a 
remarkable sermon, not for its eloquence or pro- 
fundity, but because of its strange and mysterious 
power. It was delivered with an unction that 
thrilled and electrified every one in the vast au- 
dience. It was plain and simple ; the smallest 
child could understand every sentence, but it was 
attended with overwhelming power. In his per- 
oration the bishop seemed transported to the 
third heaven, and he carried the congregation up 
with him into the very presence of God and 
angels. The congregation was bathed in tears, 
and shouts of '* Glory I Glory ! '* were heard all 

over the house. It was a memorable occasion. 

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122 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 



CHAPTER IX. 

ATTENTION TUR1>^D TO THE WEST. 

Fascinations op the "West — Bellbvoe Mission offered 
Us — Acceptance — Adieu to Friends — We reach 
Saint Louis — Up the **Bio MuDDy" — Arrival in 
Omaha. 

A YOUNG man who has been born and raised 
in one of the Eastern or Middle States, and 
then leaves and spends a year or two in the far 
West, is rarely ever satisfied, when he returns, to 
remain permanently in his old home. There is a 
strange fascination aboat the West that is really 
wonderful, and that can hardly be accounted for ; 
and when it once gets hold of a man, it is next to 
an impossibility for him ever to get rid of it. 

We had passed overland from South Bend, In- 
diana, to the Pacific Coast* We had seen the 
grand prairies of Illinois and Iowa, the woods and 
clay hills of Missouri; we had traversed "The 
Great American Desert,^' crossed the Black Hills, 
climbed the Rockies, scaled the rugged Sierra 
Nevadas, and had lived for two years and more on 
the gold-washed shores of the lovely Pacific. And 
having breathed the pure and balmy atmosphere 
of the West, we were not only intoxicated with 



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ATTENTION TURNED TO THE WEST, VIZ 

the pure and exhilarating atmosphere, but delighted 
with the bewitching scenery, the push, and the 
wonderful activity so characteristic of the people 
in the western part of the New World. Time and 
again we turned our anxious eyes to the romantic 
scenery of the Great West, which had previously 
charmed us. We were not satisfied to remain in 
Indiana. Every thing there seemed so old and 
staid. We wanted a wider sphere for action, and 
I can assure the reader that, when we reached the 
plains of Nebraska we had a wide berth and a 
sphere of almost unlimited bounds for action. 

At that time much was being said in the papers 
about the new Territories of Kansas and Ne- 
braska. The eyes of thousands were turned thither. 
For some time we had been watching the move- 
ments of the Church along the border. Rev. W, 
H. Goode, an old Indiana man, was leading the 
hosts of Zion in Nebraska. We had read with 
interest his letters in the Advocate. We were 
restless and not at all satisfied where we were. 
We were serving our second year on the Sanford 
Circuit ; and although we had a good work, and 
many souls had been saved, still there was no at- 
traction there. There was an unaccountable draw- 
ing towards the frontier. 

In the spring of 1858 we saw, in the Western 
Chridian Advocate, the appointments of the Kan- 
sas and Nebraska Conference. A number of 



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124 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

charges in Nebraska were left to be supplied. I 
wrote to William M. Smith, a brother of mine, 
who was then pastor at Omaha, telling him our 
desire to go to the West, and to spend our* lives 
in laying the foundations and building up the 
Church along the border. He saw the presiding 
elder, W. H. Goode, and immediately wrote us, 
saying that Brother Goode would like to have us 
come at once and supply Belle vue Mission until 
conference. No sooner did we receive this word 
than we set about preparing to move. In a few 
weeks we had everything arranged, and were 
ready to bid a final adieu to friends and relatives 
and the old home Conference. As strong as was 
the drawing towards the West, and as earnestly 
as we desired to go, the severing of tender ties 
and cherished friends was not an easy task. 

We have never had a doubt but that God led 
us to adopt Nebraska as our permanent home. 
In all we see most unmistakably the hand of God. 
June 23, 1858, all things being ready, we bade 
adieu to weeping friends, and started for our future 
distant home on the frontier. If we had known 
just what was before us, the trials, the sacrifices, 
the hardships, we doubtless would have shrank 
from the undertaking. It was well we did not 
know. It is well no one can see his future path- 
way. God wisely conceals from us the future. 

We took the cars at Terre Haute, reaching 



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ATTENTION TURNED TO THE WEST 125 

St. Louis early the next morning. This was 
Thursday. Here w« remained until the next 
Monday before we could get a through boat to 
Omaha. Monday morning we paid our fere, and 
went on board the steamer Sioux City. The 
captain said we would be off in. a short time. 
The fireman was shoveling coal in the furnace, 
the smoke was pouring out of the smoke-stack, 
and it seemed from the stir on board that we 
would be on our way in a very little while. We 
looked every moment the whole live-long day for 
the boat to start, but looked in vain. Tuesday 
morning ciEime. The firemen were busy at work, 
and every thing indicated that we would start in 
a very little while ; but the day closed, and we 
were still lying at anchor. Wednesday came, 
and went as Tuesday had. Thursday came, 
Friday came, Saturday came, and we were still 
lying at the wharf. At five o'clock in the after- 
noon the steamer weighed anchor, floated out into 
the middle of the Mississippi, and slowly started 
up the stream. It was a wonderful relief, and 
we began to breathe easy, for we had been for 
ten days in the deepest suspense. 

The weather was hot, the water warm and 
muddy, and the mosquitoes were just fearful. 
The heat and mosquitoes tormented us without by 
night and by day, and the warm, muddy water 
made us sick within ; and, all in all, the trip was 



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126 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

most unpleasant. The mosquitoes were galli- 
nippers, and as numerous, it seemed, as the swarms 
of flies that tormented Pharaoh and his servants, 
and corrupted all the land of Egypt. 

The second day after leaving St. Louis our 
steamer stuck fast on a sand-bar, and remained 
some six hours before she got off. In less than a 
half a day aftierwards she stuck fast again, and re* 
mained for several hours. How many times we 
were aground on sand-bars during the trip, I am 
unable to say, but not a day passed but what we 
struck one or more. Sometimes our steamer 
would back and get off at once ; at other times she 
would work for hours before getting away. The 
only thing we could do was to wait and be pa- 
tient, and while away the weary hours the best 
way we possibly could. The first two or three 
days out we had good ice- water to drink, and nice 
cream for our tea and coffee. After that, how- 
ever, we were compelled to drink the warm and 
muddy water of the Missouri, and instead of cream 
we had chalk-wat^r for our coffee and tea, while 
almost everything else on board seemed in keep- 
ing with the filthy water and the sham cream. 

Aside from the fare, we were treated with great 
kindness. The captain was a perfect gentleman, 
and his wife a most estimable Christian lady and 
a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
Their two daughters were on board also. The 



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ATTENTION TURNED TO THE WEST- 127 

whole family was one of the most pleasant it has 
ever been our privilege to meet, and their kind, 
social, and genial manner made the trip much 
more pleasant than it otherwise would have been. 

After ten days' weary travel on the "Big 
Muddy,'* in the afternoon of July 13th our 
steamer struck the Omaha landing, threw out 
her cable, and we stepped ashore, glad to bid 
a final adieu to the Sioiix City, That night 
we took tea with the kind family of Colonel 
John Ritchie. My brother and family were 
visiting at the colonel's. From all we received 
a warm welcome and the most kindly greeting. 
Brother Ritchie was one of the leading members, 
and one of the stewards of the Omaha Station, 
and afterwards, while pastor of our Church in 
Omaha, he was one of the most active mem- 
bers we had. 

We were just three weeks coming from Terre 
Haute to Omaha. The same distance can now 
be traveled in less than two days. 



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128 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 



CHAPTER X. 

THE PIONEER EVANGEL. 

Methodism Cosmopolitan — Missionaries sent to Oregon 
IN 1834 — Planning to capture Kansas and Ne- 
braska FOR Christ— The Territories organized— 
The Bishops send out William H. Goode as a 
Scout— Our Superintendency an Element of Power — 
Kansas and Nebraska Conference organized — 

QUANTRELL BURNS THE CiTY OF LaWRENCE — SbCOND 

Conference— Bishop Ames and Dr. Poe on the 
Missioum River- A Heroine — ^A Sermon instead op 
a Dance — The Third Conference. 

BEFORE proceeding further with my narra- 
tive, I wish to go back with the reader to 
the first evangelistic work in the Territory. The 
Methodist Episcopal Church from her organize- 
zation has been a pioneer Church. She has al- 
ways been in the vanguard of the advancing tide 
of emigration. 

When the doors of the Established Church of 
England were closed against Mr. Wesley, and he 
was not allowed to preach in the churches, he 
felt that, while these buildings belonged to the 
" Establishment, the out-of-doors belonged to the 
Lord." He went out on the commons, and on 



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THE PIONEER EVANGEL. 129 

the streets, and on the public highways, he pro- 
claimed to the people the glad tidings of salva- 
tion. When questioned as to his good feith in 
holding out-K)f-door services without the consent 
of the local clergy, his reply was : " The world is 
ray parish." These famous words which fell 
from the lips of John Wesley when driven from 
the churches, have been more quoted, perhaps, 
than any other of his sayings. For more than 
a hundred years these inspiring words have 
been the rallying cry of the ministers of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. I am glad that 
Methodism has never lost the spirit of her 
founder. To-day, as a hundred years ago, the ral- 
lying cry of our noble leaders is : " The world is 
uiy parish." The fire that burned in the hearts 
of the &thers, burns in the hearts of the children. 
The zeal that inspired Wesley, inspires his 
worthy sons. 

The authorities of the Church have their eyes 
open, and they see every new field, and are 
ready to enter every open door. By the side of the 
emigrant, whether blazing his way through dense 
forests, or pushing his way over pathless and 
treeless prairies, the faithful Methodist preacher 
has always been found. While the hardy pio- 
neer has opened and developed the material re- 
sources of the new Territories, the Methodist 
itinerant has looked after the spiritual wants of 



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130 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

the people. So that, under the self-sacrificing 
devotion of the toiling missionary of the cross, 
the spiritual has kept pace with the material de- 
velopment of the country. 

In 1832 four Indians belonging to the Flat- 
head tribe came to St. Louis from the western 
slope of the Rocky Mountains, asking for a 
knowledge of the Bible. Notice of this was 
published in 1833, which came to the eyes of the 
authorities of the Church. Here was an open 
door, which they felt must at once be entered. 
The Missionary Board sent out Jason Lee and 
Daniel Lee as missionaries, that they might give 
to these fflquiring Red-men of the Pacific Slope 
the desire of their hearts. The Lees crossed the 
continent in 1834, and preached and opened a 
school at Wallawalla. 

This was fourteen years before Oregon was or- 
ganized as a Territory, for it was not until 1848 
that the Territory of Oregon was organized. In 
1847 the eyes of many were turned to Oregon. 
The Church saw this, and, taking time by the 
forelock, missionaries were sent out by our Board 
to look after the spiritual needs of the emigrants 
soon to pour into this new country. 

William Roberts and James H. Wilbur were 
sent to do this work. While on their way they 
entered the Golden Gate on a sailing vessel 
which cast anchor i^ the Bay of San Francisco. 



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THE PIONEER EVAN&EL. 131 

A small Mexican village^ made of adobe bricks 
and covered with earthem tiles, had been .built 
among the sand-hills. " " This was San Francisco 
in embryo/' California at that period was a 
portion of Mexico, but the same year was ceded 
to the United States by the Mexican Govern- 
ment. As the ship woUld not proceed on her 
voyage up the coast for some weeks, Mr. Roberts 
and his colleague deemed it proper to get all the 
information possible touching the country. They 
made journeys on horseback during the week to 
the various villages in the valleys, and returned 
and spent their Sundays in San Francisco. Six 
persons were found who had be«u Methodists in 
other lands. They were formed into a class, and 
Aquila Glover was appointed class-leader. A 
Sunday-school was also organized. Thb was the 
first Methodist society in California, and the first 
Protestant organization on the Pacific Coast south 
of the Oregon Mission. Having spent forty days 
in explorations around San Francisco, they pro- 
ceeded northward to the field of labor assigned 
them by the Church. 

When I reached California in 1850, three 
years afterwards, I found Methodist ministers al- 
most everywhere. In every little village and 
mining camp was found the ubiquitous Methodist 
itinerant. The Methodist evangel is graphically 
symbolized by St. John in *his apocalyptic vis- 



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132 SOLlfARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

ion of the "angel flying in the midst of heaven, 
having the everlasting gospel to preach to them 
that dwell on the earth/' Wherever the ^ople 
go to plant a city or a State, there Methodism 
goes to plant the Church and the school, and to 
direct the people to that city " which hath foun- 
dation, whose builder and maker is God." Meth- 
odism is truly cosmopolitan. 

Long before Kansas and Nebraska were or- 
ganized into Territories our Church authorities 
were planning to capture them for Christ. The 
organization of these two Territories caused a long 
and bitter controversy in Congress. During all 
this controversy* the Church had an eye upon 
the spiritual interests of the people soon to flow 
into this new land. 

Tn 1820 an act had been passed by Congress 
prohibiting slavery from the Territories north of 
36° S(y. This was known as the ** Missouri Com- 
promise.'* In 1864 a bill was passed by Con- 
gress to organize two Territories, to be called 
Kansas and Nebraska, with a provision that the 
act of 1820 should not apply to these Territories. 
The question created the most intense excite- 
ment throughout the Nation. In almost every 
city, village, and neighborhood the matter was dis- 
cussed. The people of the North were indignant, 
the people of the South generally rejoiced. 

No sooner had the bill passed than population 



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TBB PIONEER EVANGEL. 183 

from the North and the South flowed rapidly into 
the new Territories, each desirous of getting con- 
trol. The great battle-field of the pro-slavery men 
and anti-slavery men was Kansas, and here for some 
time the storm raged fearfully. What was known 
as "border ruffianism" for awhile reigned tri- 
umphant. The scenes that were acted and the 
outrages committed upon the innocent and help- 
less during these troubles, beggar all description. 
A Methodist minister, an eye-witness of some 
of these outrages and atrocious crimes, related 
them to the writer in 1861. They are too 
shameful and harrowing, however, to place upon 
record. To shoot down, in cold blood, helpless 
women and children, is an awful crime. But to 
torture to death by slow and the most infamous 
and cruel processes that human ingenuity can in- 
vent, is a thing too monstrous to be described. I 
prefer to let the curtain of oblivion fall and hide 
forever these awful scenes and crimes from the 
gaze of men. 

The first election resulted in the triumph of 
the pro-slavery interest. But in 1859 the free 
party triumphed, and Kansas was finally admitted 
as a free State. In Nebraska the slavery ques- 
tion did not disturb the people as in Kansas. 

Shortly after the passage of the organizing act, 
in the spring of 1854, three of the bishops met in 
Baltimore. Their attention was turned to the new 



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134 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

field providentially opened. They unanimously 
agreed to enter at once the open door, feeling as- 
sured that a mighty tide of emigration would soon 
roll into the new empire. Thousands of immor- 
tal souls would soon be there, all purchased by 
the blood of Christ. These thoasands would need 
the bread of life, and they determined to give it 
to them. They knew but little of the country 
and its needs. They determined therefore to 
send out a scout to reconnoiter this extensive field. 
The Rev. William H. Goode, of the North Indiana 
Conference, was the man selected for this important 
and responsible work, receiving his appointment 
from Bishop Ames, June 3, 1854. He was au- 
thorized to explore the country thoroughly, to 
collect all the information possible, to ascertain 
the wants of the people, and how many men would 
be needed to take up the work, and at what points 
they should be placed. 

Five days after receiving his formal appoint- 
ment from the bishop he was on his way to the 
frontier. 

One great element of our success as a Church has 
been in her superintendency, — ^the general superin- 
tendency of the bishops, and the special sdperin- 
tendency of the presiding elders. If a preacher 
falls at the post of duty, or for any cause whatever 
leaves his work, the presiding elder is on the 
ground, and is prepared in a few days to supply 



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THE PIONEER EVANGEL. 135 

the place; and the work goes on as smoothly and 
harmoniously as if no change had occurred. If 
a new field opens in some far-away territory, or 
on some distant island or continent, the bishops 
at once set about having this field occupied. They 
generally know of well-qualified men who are 
ready to go anywhere with the message of salva- 
tion ; and they say " go/' and they go with alac- 
rity and delight. On the 5th day of July, 1854, 
Brother Goode entered Kansas Territory, and first 
visited the Wyandotte Mission, then in charge of 
Rev. John M. Chivington. Then he passed up 
through the Territory, entered Nebraska, and 
pushed his way as far north as there were any settle- 
ments. After a personal survey of the field, which 
took several months, he returned to Indiana, and in 
his report to the bishops said there were in the two 
Territories some five hundred families, and recom- 
mended that four mission cireuits be established, 
two in Nebraska and two in Kansas; and that the 
two Territories should be included in one district, 
with a presiding elder or superintendent of mis- 
sions, who should travel at large, make further 
discoveries, organize new fields of labor, and em- 
ploy preachers as occasion required. His sug- 
gestions were approved by the appointing power, 
and carried into effect that fall. Brother Goode 
was transferred to the Missouri Conference and 
appointed presiding elder of the Kansas and Ne- 



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136 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD, 

braska District. He traveled tbroiigh the district 
comprising the two Territories for one year. Dur- 
ing the year many new charges were made and 
supplies obtained. Among the men employed by 
Brother Goode that year was Hiram Burch, whose 
name is familiar throughout Nebraska Methodism. 
Brother Burch was sent to take cliarge of tbe 
Wolf River Mission. At .the next Conference he 
was admitted on trial, and appointed to Nebraska 
City, and has been a faithful and devoted worker 
in Nebraska for thirty-six years. 

In the fall of 1856, Brother Goode visited the 
Iowa Conference, which met at Keokuk, and re- 
ported to it the work in the two Territories. The 
Conference passed resolutions requesting the 
General Conference to form a new Conference 
comprising the Territories of Kansas and Ne- 
braska. From the Iowa Conference Brother 
Goode went to Saint Louis, and reported his work 
to the Missouri Conference, which concurred with 
the action of the Iowa Conference requesting 
the organization of the Kansas and Nebraska 
Conference. Three districts were made in the 
two Territories, two in Kansas and one in Ne- 
braska. Brother Goode was temporarily trans- 
ferred to the Iowa Conference, and appointed pre- 
siding elder of the Nebraska District, and the two 
districts in Kansas were supplied from the Mis- 
souri Conference. 



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THE PIONEER EVANGEL. 137 

The winter of 1855-6 was one of intense se- 
verity. The cold weather was wide-spread, ex- 
tending from the Dominion of Canada on the 
north to the Gulf of Mexico on the south, and 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast. That win- 
ter I was traveling my first circuit in Indiana — 
the Russellville Circuit. It was in a heavily tim- 
bered country, and we rarely ever felt the winds, 
but the mercury often dropped to twenty degrees 
below zero. In Nebraska, however, it was dif- 
ferent. In addition to the intense cold, the 
winds, unbroken by a single forest from the snow- 
crowned summits of the Rocky Mountains, sweep- 
ing for hundreds of miles over fields of ice and 
snow, reached the unprotected settlers. Cattle in 
large numbers were firozen to death, travel was 
almost entirely suspended, and many human lives 
were sacrificed. Brother Goode in his book, 
"Outposts of Zion," gives the following: "A 
man and his son, who had forced their way with 
a load of provisions, for thirty miles through 
cold and snow, perished within one mile of 
home. I often visited the bereaved and helpless 
widow and orphans. I personally knew another 
case not less sad: A father and son, named 
Poe, set out on foot from the neighborhood of 
Nebraska City in search of claims: the father 
aged but robust, the son a lad of fifteen. Some 

days were spent in searching, when they were 

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188 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

caught in a snow-storm. They spent days and 
nights without fire, taking refuge in a vacant cabin^ 
where they found some abandoned bedding. They 
cut their boots from their frozen limbs, and ap- 
plied bandages of strips torn from the bed-cloth- 
ing. Unable to walk, they made an attempt to 
crawl away ; but their strength &iled, and they 
returned to the cabin. The father folded his. son 
in his arms, and lay down to die. At that mo- 
ment a man appeared, attracted by the noise ; help 
was obtained, and they were removed. The son 
soon died. I saw the &ther in extreme agony ; 
some of his limbs were amputated, and he expected 
further dismemberment. But death came to 
his relief. The morning following my visit I was 
sent for to preach at his funeral. In all his suffer- 
ings he expressed Christian peace and confidence 
in God.'' Eternity alone will reveal the terrible 
suffering endured by the settlers during that and 
the following winter. They are memorable in 
history as winters of intense cold. 

At the ensuing General Conference the request 
of the Iowa and Missouri Conferences was carried 
into effect, and the Kansas and Nebraska Confer- 
ence was formed. 

The first session of the Kansas and Nebraska 
Conference was held in the city of Lawrence, 
Kansas Territory, October 23-25, 1856, Bishop 
Osmon C. Baker presiding. At this time "border 



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THE PIONEER EVANGEL. 139 

ruffianism" was rampant. Great excitement pre- 
vailed throughout the Territory, and grave fears 
were entertained by the preachers from the pro- 
slavery element. Lawrence was founded in 1854, 
and became the head-quarters of the anti-slavery 
settlers of Kansas. The pro-slavery party never 
had any peculiar love for the place. On August 
21, 1863, it was surprised by a band of three hun- 
dred Confederate guerrillas, led by Quantrell, who 
killed one hundred and forty-five of the inhab- 
itants, and burned the city. The history of that 
bloody massacre is before the world. 

When the Conference assembled, the city pre- 
sented a warlike appearance. Strong fortifications 
had been made. United States troops in large 
numbers were quartered there, and a strong body 
of the Territorial militia. 

Some of the preachers attending this Confer- 
ence had not only spiritual weapons, but carnal 
weapons as well. From occurrences that were 
constantly taking place, these preachers felt that 
it was absolutely necessary for them to be ready 
for any emergency ; not to be ready would be cul- 
pable negligence on their part. The Conference 
was held in a large tent, and was pleasant and 
harmonious throughout. Eleven hundred and 
thirty-eight members, including probationers, were 
reported ; of these, three hundred and two were 
in Nebraska. The bishops were requested to 



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140 SOLITARY PLAC^ MADE OLAD. 

change the time of the annual session from fall 
to spring, which request was complied with, and 
the time fixed for the next Conference was April 
16, 1857. This change reduced the first Confer- 
ence year to six months. Nebraska City was the 
place fixed for the next session. 

The following is a list of the appointments of 
the Nebraska District of the first session of the ' 
Kansas and Nebraska Conference : 

Nebraska District. 

Wm. H. Goodb, Presiding Elder. 

Omaha City, • . . . J. M. Chi\nngton. 

Florence, Isaac F. Collins. 

Fontanelle, To be supplied. 

Omadi, % . To be supplied. 

Rock Bluflfe, J. T. Cannon. 

Nebraska City, Hiram Burch. 

Brownville, J. W. Taylor. 

Nemaha, To be supplied. 

The winter of 1856-7, like the previous one, 
was memorable for its severity. Many during the 
winter were frozen to death, and in various parts 
of the Territory stock in large numbers perished. 

Bishop Ames was to preside at the second ses- 
sion of the Conference. But on the morning of 
the opening of the session the bishop was on board 
a Missouri steamer, hundreds of miles below, en- 
deavoring to make his way up against the mighty 
current. Mr. Goode was elected president, and 
presided with dignity and satisfaction to the Con- 
ference. He was a good officer, and business 



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THE PIONEER EVANGEL. 141 

was transacted with dispatch. He would have 
made an excellent bishop^ and at one time he 
lacked but a few votes of reaching that honora- 
ble place. The bishop arrived late, reviewed, 
approved, and read the appointments. Two dis- 
tricts were made in Nebraska; Omaha District, 
including the territory north of the Great Platte 
River; and Nebraska City District, including the 
territory south of the Great Platte. 

J. M. Chivington was appointed presiding elder 
of the Nebraska City District, and W. H. Goode 
presiding elder of the Omaha District. Three 
districts were made in Kansas ; so the Conference 
had five districts in all. 

Doctor Adam Poe, Agent of the Methodist Book 
Concern, accompanied Bishop Ames to this Con- 
ference. At a subsequent Conference, the Doctor 
gave an account of that memorable trip. Their 
journey up the turbid and dangerous stream was 
slow, and was made under very great difficulties. 
One dark night the boat tied up, as was the cus- 
tom on dark nights. During the night she broke 
loose from her moorings, drifted down the stream, 
and for a long time was at the mercy of the fear- 
ful and dangerous current. The engineer at 
length succeeded in getting up steam, and again 
she began to stem the mighty tide. 

On Sunday, as the steamer was slowly making 
her way up the river, an incident occurred which 



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142 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

shows the wonderful influence and power of the 
family altar and the Sunday-fichooL 

Dr. Poe said: *' There was a young man on 
board who was very officious and pert. He was 
exceedingly anxious to have a dance. The cabin 
was cleared, a fiddler employed, and everything 
was made ready for the hop, when the young 
man stepped up to a young lady who sat at my 
side, and, after a very polite bow, said : ^ Will you 
dance with me?' 

" ' No, sir ; I was better raised,' was the prompt 
reply. 

f* ^ And where were you raised ?' said the young 
man, somewhat abashed. 

" * In the Sunday-school and at the family altar ?' 
calmly replied the lady. Involuntarily I clapped 
my hand on her shoulder and said, * Good 1' [Dr. 
Poe was a tall man, standing six feet in his stock- 
ings, and proportionately large in body.] 

** The young man squared himself up, thinking 
he saw something in my proportions that would 
do to fight, and then said, 'Well, if we can't have 
a dance, perhaps we can have a sermon.' ^ Yes, 
sir;' said I. Knowing the bishop could preach 
much better than I, we put him up, and Bishop 
Ames gave us one of his best." 

The young lady and her parents left the boat 
at Nebraska City, intending to make their home 
somewhere in the interior of the State. Dr. Poe 



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THE PIONEER EVANGEL. 143 

was auxious to learn something of the future 
history of that noble young lady. He thought 
Nebraska had nothing to fear, composed of settlers 
with the courage and mettle manifested in that 
graceful heroine. 

The third session of the Conference was held 
in Topeka, Kansas, beginning April 15, 1858, 
Bishop E. S. Janes presiding. Early in the month 
the preachers in Nebraska left their fields of labor, 
and started on horseback, with their saddle-bags, 
in the old-fashioned way, for their Annual Con- 
ference. On the 10th of April, some fifteen of 
these hardy, toil-worn pioneers concentrated at 
Falls City, where Brother Groode was holding a 
quarterly meeting. They spent a delightful day 
together, and, with the good people of the infisint 
town, enjoyed "seasons of refreshing from the 
presence of the Lord.'' As the country over 
which they were to travel was new and strange 
to the most of them, they determined to select 
competent guides ; accordingly, they elected two 
of their number who were best acquainted with the 
country, and put themselves under their guidance, 
all agreeing to follow faithfully their instructions. 

They were ordered to meet at a certain place 
on Monday morning. Monday morning came, 
cold, snowy, dreary, and forbidding in the ex- 
treme, but all were on hand at the appointed hour 
and place. The weather, no matter what it may 



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144 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

be, rarely stops a Methodist preacher on his way 
to an appointment. Through drenching rains, 
blinding snow-storms, and fearful blizzards, he is 
found pushing his way to meet the promised en- 
gagement. And by this heroic, self-sacrificing 
spirit, Methodism is planted almost everywhere. 

From Falls City they passed down to near the 
mouth of the Nemaha River, where they crossed 
the stream in a ferry-boat. The ferry was an old- 
fashioned flat-boat, not very inviting, and withal 
not the safest in appearance. They dismounted, 
led theii horses onto the boat, and held them by 
their bridles until they reached the other side. 
While crossing, when near the middle of the 
river, Brother Turman's horse jumped overboard 
into the stream. Brother Turman held onto the 
bridle, and the animal, by the side of the boat, 
swam to shore, then remounting his horse, drip- 
ping with water, and riding up by the side of 
Brother Burch, said in a whisper: "Brother 
Burch, I have just found out the sentiment of my 
horse. He is a Campbellite. I will sell him. I 
won't have such a horse.'' Only those knowing 
his great aversion to the doctrine of Campbellism 
can appreciate the above remarks. Campbellism 
and Calvinism were both extremely obnoxious to 
him. 

After a weary ride through rain and mud and 
snow, the seat of the Annual Conference was 



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TEE PIONEER EVANGEL. 145 

reached. The year had been one of exposure, of 
toil, and of sacrifice. It had been a year of great 
spiritual victories as well. The toils, the sacri- 
fices, the victories and triumphs of that year are 
fittingly described by Charles Wesley : 

" What troubles have we seen, 

What conflicts have we passed, — 
Fightings without, and fears within, 

Since we assembled last ! . 
But out of all the Lord 

Hdth brought us by his love ; 
And still he doth his help afford, 

And hides our life above." 

At this Conference another district was formed 
in Kansas, making in all six districts. 

A wild and reckless spirit of speculation had 
prevailed among many of the people. Towns all 
over the Territories were laid out, wild-cat banks 
were established, and the country was flooded 
with worthless bank-notes. The result of all this 
was disastrous, both to the Church and the 
country. Confidence in the people was to a great 
extent destroyed. But, notwithstanding all these 
demoralizing influences, the year had been one of 
great prosperity to the Church. The member- 
ship had more than doubled; the population had 
increased greatly; peace had prevailed; the future 
outlook was hopeful, and preachers and people 
were of good cheer. 

In four years the Church had grown, in the 

13 

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146 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

m 

two Territories, from nothing to an Annual 
Conference with six districts, fifty-seven appoint- 
ments, and two thousand six hundred and sixty- 
nine members. This growth was phenomenal. 
True, the area was large. It was an empire 
within itself. It was the "Great American 
Desert." But this desert, true to prophecy, 
was beginning to "rejoice and blossom as the 
rose." 

The wonderful growth of the work in the new 
Territories is most aptly described in another of 
Charles Wesley's beautiful hymns: 

** When he first the work began, 

Small and feeble was his day ; 
Now the word doth swiftly run. 

Now it wins its widening way. 
More and more it spreads and grows, 

Ever mighty to prevail ; 
8in*8 strongholds it now overthrows, 

Shakes the trembling gates of hell." 



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FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA. 147 



CHAPTER XI. 

FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA. 

Crudb Ideas op Nebraska — Belle vue — Story op a Dia- 
mond — How THE People viewed Us— Hunting for a 
Town without Houses — First Sermon in Nebraska — 
"Wild Speculation — Its Demoralizikq Efpects — 
First Quarterage received—Glad op Green Pump- 
kins—Thankful POR Potatoes and Salt — Hospital- 
ity OF Friends. 

THE people of Massachusetts at one time de- 
cided that the country would not be settled 
west of Newton, a suburb of Boston. And the 
inhabitants of Lynn, having surveyed the country 
fifteen miles west, determined that it never 
would be densely populated beyond that point. 

When we first reached Nebraska, we be- 
lieved, and so did everybody else, that Ne- 
braska never would be settled west of the first 
tier of counties lying along the Missouri River. 
Coming from a densely-timbered country, Ne- 
braska had a very dreary and desolate look. We 
almost feared there would not be wood enough to 
keep us from freezing to death during the first 
winter. In 1858 Nebraska had a population of 
about sixteen thousand souls, and during the 



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148 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

few following years the population decreased 
rather than increased. 

Many became discouraged, and declared they 
would not stay in such a " God-forsaken coun- 
try/' They felt that God had intended this 
country for the Indians^ and that in remaining 
they were trespassing on Indian rights. 

Bellevue was our first appointment in Ne- 
braska. It is ten miles south of Omaha, situated 
on a beautiful plateau, overlooking for miles the 
Missouri River. It is said that in 1805 a Span- 
ish adventurer came to Bellevue, and, in climb- 
ing the bluff to the plateau, was so struck with 
the natural beauty of the spot that he exclaimed, 
*^ Bellevue'' — "beautiful place;" hence the name. 

Something more is necessary, however, to make 
a city than a beautiful location. If a beautiful 
location could make a city, Bellevue would have 
been the finest and largest city in the State. A 
more exquisite spot for a city I never saw. 

Bellevue at that time was the county-seat of 
Sarpy County, the county being named in honor 
of Colonel Peter A. Sarpy. From 1823 to 1855 
Colonel Sarpy was agent of the American Fur 
Company at Bellevue. He was raised in St. Louis, 
and brought up in refinement. But when he 
grew to manhood he preferred the freedom of 
the Western prairies to the gayety and refinement 
of civilized life. 



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FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA, 149 

I remember reading a story published in the 
Oniaha Herald about Colonel Sarpy. It was 
told by the Hon. J. Sterling Morton, and was 
called 

"THE STORY OF THE DIAMOND. 

"The beautiful bluffs that rise so majestically 
from the mission at Bellevue, shimmering in the 
morning sunlight, and the deep verdure that cov- 
ered them that summer day, made them look like a 
string of gigantic emeralds just fallen from the 
clouds. Colonel Peter A. Sarpy met me that 
morning, up back of the old mission-house, by 
the grave of Big Elk. He was buoyant, and his 
eye glistened, and he was in the best of health 
and spirits. He was dressed neatly, and upon his 
breast I noticed for the first time a diamond, 
which gleamed and flashed with striking brill- 
iancy. * Colonel,' said I, ^you have been add- 
ing to your jewels;' and, looking steadily at the 
gem, 'is that something new?' 'O no, my 
friend,' said he, ' that is old, very old ; and I will 
tell you all about it, if you will listen, and what 
is to come of it in] the hereafter, if you will.' 
He continued: 'Many, many years ago, when 
St. Louis was a village, my good Catholic 
mother died — may God rest her soul in peace ! — 
in that town. We children followed her remains 
to the cemetery, and laid them quietly in the 
grave, and wept until our eyes could weep no 



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150 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

more. And then, shortly after, I came up here 
to Nebraska among the Indians to trade, and my 
brother John remained in Saint Louis. But a 
few years ago I went down to that city to pur- 
chase goods ; and one afternoon, afl^r I had been 
there several days, my brother said, " Peter I want 
to see you privately in the counting-room, to talk 
about the dead;^' and so I went in, and John said : 
" Peter, this city is growing very rapidly. It is 
stretching out to the south and the west and the 
north. It needs more room, and the old grave- 
yard where our mother is buried must be given 
up. We must remove her remains to another 
resting-place, and we will do it together while 
you are here ; we will do it to-morrow/* And so 
the very next day we went to our mother's grave, 
and carefully we brought the coflBn to the light, and 
lifted it up tenderly on to a bier. It was badly 
decayed. The top was moved a little to one 
side, and I could not resist a desire to look in. 
As I did, the sunlight streamed in, and I saw 
something gleaming there. At once I remem- 
bered the diamond which my mother had worn 
always, and which had been buried on her breast, 
and I reached in and took it out, and this is it 
which you now see. 

"'It is mine now; and when these bright days 
come, I feel young again, and remembering my 



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FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA. 151 

mother^ I put it on and wear it; for it makes 
me a better man. 

" ' It is a charm^ sir; and the memories which it 
brings to me are brighter and richer and more 
precious than all the gems in the world ; for they 
are the sacred recollections of a Christian mother, 
a holy woman, whose teachings were purer than 
any diamond that ever glowed. And now, while 
men think I am only an old Indian trader, who 
sees nothing in the future, who believes in no 
destiny for this beautiful Nebraska of ours, I 
know, sir, that not many years will come and go be- 
fore I, too, will be called to another life in another 
world. And then these vast plains will be set- 
tled up; somewhere in this Missouri Valley, 
perhaps in sight of where we now stand, a great 
city shall have been builded. Then I may have 
been in my grave many years. And some day, 
very likely, they will come to you, as they did 
to brother John about our mother, and say: 
"Here, sir, your old friend, Peter A. Sarpy, is 
in the way; the city needs more room, and, sir, 
you must take his old bones away." 

" 'And if so, do it; do it decently and kindly; 
but remember this diamond. Peep into my old 
coffin. It is a pure gem, sir — first water — and 
will surely flash whenever your eye can see. Then 
you reach in — I'll be still — ^and snatch the dia- 
mond out, and put it on and wear it. 



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152 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD, 

"*The years will roll on, and you will have 
grown old ; then death will rap at your door, and 
you,, too, will have come into another life in 
that other world. Tell your boys to bury this 
stone with you. But not many years more will 
have followed the trail of those who have gone 
into the shadowy hunting-lands, before your 
boys will be called upon by the authorities to 
move your bones also. 

" ' Tell the boys, when that time comes, to reach 
into your coffin again, and take this glittering 
jewel out from the grave. 

" ^ Tell the oldest to put it on and wear it, and 
be buried with it too, leaving instructions for 
its re-resurrection again. 

^* ^And so, sir, we'll keep this diamond glitter- 
ing among the generations to come. It shall 
be buried and raised, and worn and buried again, 
until finally it shall be buried for the last time, 
away off in some of the islands of the Pacific, 
when the West shall have been found and set- 
tled in full, and finally perfected. 

" ^ I tell you, sir, this cry for room, more room, 
will never cease. 

" * And let this diamond go on from grave to 
grave, firom generation to generation, gleaming 
and flashing forever like a star, in the shield of 
one who shall always be a pioneer in the van- 
guard of progress and civilization. 



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FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA, 153 

"He stopped his speech, and iu silence we 
walked to the trading-post. But there was an ele- 
ment of prophecy in that summer morning talk 
of Colonel Sarpy, which makes it ring in my 
ears and thrill in my veins even unto this day. 
He looked into the future as into a mirror, and 
saw the face of to-day and to-morrow as clearly 
and plainly as a child sees trees and flowers 
shadowed in a pure brook.'* 

In the grave-yard, near where Colonel Sarpy 
stood when the above remarkable speech was 
made, sleep the remains of our first-born child. 

When Colonel Sarpy uttered this prophecy, 
Omaha was a little village with only a few houses. 
Lincoln was an untrodden prairie, save by the 
Indians, the buffalo, and the wild beasts that 
roamed the plains. But Omaha has become a 
mighty city, stretching away to the north, the 
west, and the south, and the cry has been heard 
for years, "More room.'' Lincoln, the magic city 
of the plains, in the heart of the " Great Ameri- 
can Desert," has arisen, and grown, and to-day 
has a teeming population of near sixty thousand 
souls. Addition after addition has been made, 
and still the cry rings out over the prairies from 
her authorities, " More room." 

The "Great American Desert," where is it? 
Echo answers. Where? Driven from the plains 
of Nebraska to the western slopes of the Rocky 



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154 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

Mountains^ then on toward the setting sun, the 
" Great American Desert '' " has become a vaga- 
bond on the face of the earth/^ 

When we reached Bellevue, we found no 
church or organization. The outlook was not 
encouraging by any means, but gloomy in the 
extreme. A class had been organized, but had 
gone down. The acts of some, we learned, had 
not been in harmony with their profession. 
Methodism had no standing in the community, 
and the people looked at us with curious eyes. 
To get hold of the hearts of the people, and give 
Methodism a respectable standing required time, 
patience, and labor. The foundation of the 
church had to be laid, and the superstructure 
reared, and we were there for that purpose ; so we 
went to work with a will, though discouragements 
met us at every step, and in almost every form. 

We had been on the ground only a short 
time, when Mrs. Davis was taken ill and remained 
so for several weeks. For a long time we had 
but little hope of her recovery. The people 
were very kind, and rendered every possible as- 
sistance ; night and day they stood by us in the 
dark hours of our trial. We shall never forget 
them. The remembrance of their kindness and 
many tokens of love, is indelibly written upon 
our memories, and will never be erased. 



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FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA. 155 

The summer of 1858 was a very sickly one. 
Nearly everybody in the community was pros- 
trated. To hire help was an impossibility^ and 
we had to do all our own work, save what was 
done by our kind neighbors. I kept house, 
cooked, washed and ironed, waited on Mrs. Davis, 
prepared for the pulpit, and preached on the 
Sabbath. It was a new experience — a bitter but 
useful one. I shall never forget the first trip I 
made to Fairview. I was told it was a town 
eight miles west of Bellevue. I sent out an ap- 
pointment, and on Sunday morning started on 
horseback. We had been told it was beautifully 
located on an elevation, overlooking the whole 
surrounding country. I rode on until I thought 
I must be getting near, and began to look for 
the new town. I strained my eager eyes in vahi 
to get a glimpse of the expected beautiful village. 
On and on I urged my horse, thinking every 
moment that the village would rise in view. At 
length, away to the right of the road, I saw a 
little shanty. I reined up my horse, rode out 
toward the shanty, but before reaching it was 
met by the man of the house. I said to him : 
" Will you be so kind as to tell me the way to 
Fairview ?^' 

"O, yes," said he. "Which way did you 
come?" 



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156 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD, 

" From Bellevue/' 

"You came the main traveled road from the 
east, I suppose V 

"Yes, sir/' 

"Well, sir, you passed through Fairview two 
miles east of this." 

" How is that V* said I ; " I have not seen a 
house for miles until I saw yours." 

" O," said the gentleman, " there are no houses 
in Fairview yet. It was only laid out a few 
months ago." 

I told him that I had sent out an appoint- 
ment to preach there that day. 

" Well," said he, "I think I heard there was 
to be a meeting there to-day, and I guess some of 
the neighbors have gone there for that purpose. 
If you will go back two miles and look very 
carefully in the grass, you will see some white 
stakes ; then if you will look to the south, you 
will see, at the head of a little ravine, a log cabin 
with some trees near by. Robert Lang lives 
there, and I expect the meeting is to be at his 
house." I rode back, found the stakes, saw the 
log cabin, and on reaching it found a number of 
persons waiting for the preacher. In a little 
grove near by I preached my first sermon in Ne- 
braska to about a dozen hearers. I took dinner 
with Brother Lang, a jolly, whole-souled, deeply 
pious Scotchman. Some years after this Brother 



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FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA. 157 

Lang entered the evangelistic work^ and has been 
instrumental, in the hands of God, in leading 
hundreds of souls to Christ. He has been a 
faithful worker in Christ's vineyard, and will havef 
many stars in his crown of rejoicing. 

After dinner I rode twelve miles to Plattford, 
where I had sent out an appointment for evening 
service. Here I expected, from what had been 
told me, to find a good town, a good society of 
Methodists, and a large congregation. But, alas! 
I was again doomed to disappointment. I found 
no town, no members of our Church, no congre- 
gation. Plattford, like Fairview, was only a 
paper town, and its location was marked alone by 
a few stakes seen here and there in the grass. 
Just at dark I rode up to a small house some 
distance north of the town site, where I was 
hospitably entertained by a kind &mily belong- 
ing to the Congregational Church. 

This was my first Sabbath's work in our new 
field of labor, on the frontier, in the territory 
of Nebraska. It was anything but pleasant, and 
the future outlook was not a very flattering one. 

In 1856-7 the wildest excitement prevailed. 
Speculation was rife. New towns were spread 
upon all the county records. Town companies 
were formed, towns laid out, and agents sent East 
to sell the lots. Many innocent and unsuspecting 
parties were taken in by these unscrupulous 



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168 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

agents. It is said that the recorder of one of the 
northern counties laid out a town^ then went East 
and sold lots at fabulous prices. In addition to 
the money received from them, he made large sums 
for recording the deeds of these worthless lots. 
Soon after reaching Bellevue I received a letter 
from a Methodist minister in Ohio, asking for a 
description and the location of the town of 
Platonia. He had sent three hundred dollars, 
the little savings of years, to a friend, who had 
purchased for him several lots in this new town. 
He had written again and again, but could hear 
nothing from his old friend. I began to make 
inquiry about the new town, and finally met a 
man who told me where it was located. A few 
days afterwards I went down and took in the 
new village. I found a half-finished, dilapidated 
frame building, standing in the midst of a large 
field of corn. The town, to this day, is used as a 
&rm for raising corn and hogs. Many profess- 
ing Christians were carried away by the mighty 
tide of speculation that swept over the country. 
It was not strange, when professing Christians 
engaged in such dishonorable transactions, that 
the Church should fall into disrepute and lose 
its power for good. When we learned the his- 
tory of the past, we were not at all disposed to 
censure any for scanning us with curious and 
suspicious eyes. 



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. FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA. 159 

The prospect for a support from the people was 
not very flattering. An appropi^iation of one 
hundred dollars from the Missionary Society had 
been made to the mission. Our house-rent was 
at the rate of one hundred dollars per year. 
This would take all our missionary money^ and 
we must depend on the people for a living. We 
had no assurance whatever that the people would 
pay us any thing. In fact, the intimations were 
that the people had all they could possibly do to 
provide for themselves. 

After we had been there a few weeks, a good 
Baptist brother by the name of Simpkins brought 
us a few new potatoes and some green pump- 
kins. Mrs. Davis thanked him very kindly for 
the potatoes and green pumpkins. The next time 
he came he brought a splendid lot of vegetables 
of all kinds, then kept us in vegetables during 
the season, and in the fall filled our cellar for the 
winter. He afterwards often laughed and said : 
"I first' tried you with green pumpkins, for I 
thought if you were thankful for green pumpkins 
you would do for Nebraska." Brother Simpkins 
and family afterwards became useful and faithful 
members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Soon after Mrs. Davis began to recover from 
her long illness, her appetite became ravenous, 
while my own was not a whit behind hers. It 
seemed almost impossible for us to get enough to 



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160 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

eat. We were ready to devour everything we 
could get in the way of edibles, and almost every- 
thing was palatable. We had a wonderful relish 
for food. We began to get into straitened cir- 
cumstances. Our money was almost gone, and 
our larder about empty. All we had left was a 
little bread, potatoes, and salt. We sat down 
one morning to our meager breakfast^ — bread, 
potatoes, and salt. After the blessing was asked my 
wife said : " Well, I am thankful for potatoes and 
salt.*' No queen in her palace, with a table be- 
fore her groaning with the richest and most de- 
licious viands, ever break&sted with a greater 
relish or more thankful heart than ours as we 
ate our humble meal that morning. 

God gave us access to the hearts of the people. 
They rallied around us. In many ways they con- 
vinced us they were our friends indeed. At the 
end of three months a brother oflTered us a house 
free of rent if we would move, and we accepted 
his kindly offer. The rooms were on the second 
floor of a two-story building; the lower room had 
been used as a store, but was empty. Not long 
after moving into our new quarters we had our 
first blizzard. The day before was beautiful. 
The sun was bright, the sky clear, the atmosphere 
soft and balmy. It was almost like a summer 
day. Mrs. Davis washed and hung out her 
clothes, and as there was no indication whatever 



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FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA. 161 

of a storm, she left them on the line. We re- 
tired to rest; the soft wind, like a gentle 
zephyr, blowing from the south. About ten 
o'clock the wind shifted to the north. It began 
to snow, and the wind blew a perfect gale. The 
building rocked like a cradle, and we thought it 
certainly would go to pieces. In the morning 
the weather was freezing cold, and the snow was 
piled in drifts many feet high around the house. 
We looked out and saw the line, but no clothes, 
save one or two pieces. We tried to find them, 
but in vain. They were gone. Not a shred was 
left. And we never saw or heard of them again. 
Our neighbors, who were acquainted with Ne- 
braska blizzards, said : " Your clothes AVere in 
Kansas long before morning." Our wardrobe 
was not the most extensive, and we felt keenly 
the loss. 

Some two months before Conference our land- 
lord told us he wanted to repair the house, and 
we must move. We were arranging to move into 
another building when Mrs. Rogers, a neighbor, 
a member ^of the Baptist Church, and one of 
the best friends we ever had, heard of it. She 
came at once to see us, and said : ^' You are not 
going to move into another building, but you are 
coming to our house. Mr. Rogers and I have 
talked over the matter, and you are to take our 
front parlor and bedroom.'^ We told her that 
14 

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162 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

would be an imposition, and we did not feel as 
though we could take advantage of her good na- 
ture in that way. She said : " No ; it will be a 
pleasure, not an imposition/' So we had to yield 
to her kind offer, and she and her noble boys 
helped us move into their nice and comfortable 
parlor and bedroom. Here we remained until 
Conference. Mrs. Rogers never had anything 
nice that we did not have a share. Such hospi- 
tality we have never seen surpassed. How often 
we have prayed for God's blessing on that noble 
family ! 

Our first work in Nebraska, which opened so 
unpropitiously, closed under bright and most 
promising circumstances. 

Just before leaving for Conference, the good 
people made us a donation amounting to seventy 
dollars, and we never saw people enjoy them- 
selves better than on that occasion. 



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OMAHA. 163 



CHAPTER XII. 

OMAHA. 

When Founded— Indian Tradition of the Name— Amus- 
INQ AND Thrilling Incidents — George Francis 
Train — Moving in an Ox-wagon— Indians— First 
Methodist Episcopal Church— Ride on Horseback 
Two Hundred Miles to Conference — Falls City 
in 1860 — John Brown — ^The Conference divided. 

OMAHA was founded in 1854. The first 
dwelling-house in the city was erected by 
Mr. A. D. Jones, who, in the spring of 1854, re- 
ceived the appointment of postmaster, and im- 
mediately greeted a cabin of logs, which he com- 
pleted in the latter part of May, only a few days 
before Congress passed the bill creating the Ter- 
ritory of Nebraska. On this rude cabin a sign 
was placed, consisting of a wide shingle with the 
words, written with a lead-pencil, "Post-office, 
by A. D. Jones.'' The style of this quaint sign 
attracted as much attention as the information it 
communicated. This was the beginning of the 
present marvelous city of Omaha, a city whose 
fame is world-wide. 

For some time Mr. Jones carried the mail in 
his hat. The first letter ever received in Omaha 



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164 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

by mail was from Mr. Henn to Mr. Jones relat- 
ing to an independent mail-route between Coun- 
cil Blufis and Omaba. This letter was dated 
Washington, May 6, 1854. During my pastorate 
in the city in 1859-60, Mr, Jones and his family 
were regular attendants at our Church, his wife 
being a member. 

The name Omaha was derived from an Indian 
tradition. The tradition is, that ages ago two 
tribes met on the Missouri River and engaged in 
a bloody battle, in which all on one side were 
killed but one, who was thrown into the river. 
Rising suddenly above the surface he exclaimed, 
'^ Omaha!" meaning that he was on top of the 
water, and not under it as his enemies supposed, 
and those who heard it took that word as the 
name of their tribe. "Omaha," "On top." A 
significant name, not only of the renowned Indian 
tribe, but the city as well. 

Mr. Jones, who was a surveyor, was employed 
by the Council Bluffs and Nebraska Steam-ferry 
Company to survey the site, and he spent the 
greater part of the month of June and a part of 
July in this work. The city was laid out in 322 
blocks, each 264 feet square. This was the orig- 
inal city of Omaha, as first founded, and the 
founders had but little, if any, idea at all that an 
addition to the original plat would ever be needed. 

In the Omaha lUudrated we are told that 



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OMAHA. 165 

Omaha had a newspaper very early in her history. 
This paper was called the Arrow. There were 
only twelve issues of the Arrow, covering the 
period from July 28 to November 10, 1854. In 
the first issue of the Arrow, which was the first 
newspaper ever published in Nebraska, the editor 
wrote a fanciful sketch containing a prediction of 
Omaha's future. It was entitled "A Night in 
Our Sanctum." It was such a remarkable pre- 
diction, and has been so literally fulfilled, that I 
give a large portion of it to the reader. Here 
it is: 

"Last night we slept in our sanctum — the 
starry-decked heaven for a ceiling, and mother 
earth for a flooring. ... To dream-land we 
went. The busy hum of business from factories 
and the varied branches of mechanism from 
Omaha reached our ears. The incessant rattle of 
innumerable drays over the paved streets, the 
steady tramp of ten thousand of an animated, en- 
terprising population, the hoarse orders fast issued 
from the crowd of steamers upon the levee load- 
ing with the rich products of the State of Ne- 
braska, and unloading the fruits, spices, and pro- 
ducts of other climes and soils, greeted our ears. 
Far away toward the setting sun came telegraph 
dispatches of improvements, progress, and moral 
advancement upon the Pacific Coast. Cars, full- 
freighted with teas, silks, etc., were arriving from 



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166 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

thence, and passing across the stationary channel 
of the Missouri River with lightning speed, hur- 
rying on to the Atlantic sea-board. The third 
express train on the Council Blufis and Gralveston 
Railroad came thundering close by us with a 
shrill whistle that brought us to our feet, knife 
in hand, looking into the darkness beyond at the 
flying trains. They had vanished. The hum ot 
business, in and around the city, had also van- 
ished, and the same rude camp-fires were before 
us. We slept again, and daylight stole upon us, 
refreshed and ready for another day's labor." 

That dream, written thirty-six years ago, aod 
which was considered at the time visionary in the 
extreme, and which no one ever expected to see 
fulfilled, has been more than realized. Had that 
dream been told us when we first visited Omaha 
in 1858, we should have said, ^^ It is the dream 
of a madman." 

The city grew rapidly from the time it was 
laid out, flourishing on all lines until the panic 
of 1857 struck the country. Then Omaha came 
to a dead halt, and no advance whatever was 
made for several years. In 1860 a slight change 
for the better was manifested. In 1862 Congress 
passed the act authorizing the construction of the 
Union Pacific Railroad from the Missouri River 
to San Francisco, and in 1863 President Lincoln 
designated its eastern terminal ^^ at a point on the 



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OMAHA. 167 

western boundary of Iowa, opposite section ten, 
in township fifteen, north of range thirteen, east 
of the sixth principal meridian in the Territory 
of Nebraska." 

This decision gave to Omaha a new and won- 
derful impetus, and soon after Omaha became the 
metropolitan city of the West. 

Some amusing incidents occurred in the early 
history of the city. Omaha was the capital of the 
Territory. Mark W. Izard, afterwards appointed 
successor to Governor Burt, was United St-ates 
marshal. It is recorded that *' Izard was a stately 
character physically, though mentally rather weak, 
and felt a lively sense of the dignity with which 
the appointment clothed him. He had never 
known such an honor before, and it bore upon 
him heavily." When the time came for him to 
deliver his inaugural message, he arranged for a 
Negro to announce his approach to the legislative 
chamber in the following words : " Mr. Speaker, 
the governor is now approaching." The poor 
Negro forgot his text, and electrified the assembled 
wisdom with the sentence, "Mr. Speaker, de 
gubner has done come." 

In 1865, George Francis Train made large in- 
vestments in Omaha property, and took a lively 
interest in building up the new city. He was a 
guest of the Herndon House. One day he sat at 
the table in the dining-room, opposite a broken 



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168 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

window, through which the wind was blowing at 
a lively rate. He complained of the annoyance, 
but no attention was paid to his complaints. Then 
he paid a darky ten cents a minute to stand 
between him and the draught until he had finished 
his dinner. He there vowed he would build 
another hotel, and that very aflernoon purchased 
two lots and employed men to commence the 
foundation. Within sixty days he had the Coz- 
zens House completed at a cost of $40,000. Mr. 
Train was an anomaly. George D. Prentice thus 
describes him: ^^A locomotive that has run off 
the track, turned upside down, with its cow-catcher 
buried in a stump, and the wheels making a 
thousand revolutions a minute ; a kite in the air, 
which has lost its tail ; a human novel without a 
hero ; a man who climbs a tree for a bird's-nest 
out on a limb, and, in order to get it, saws the 
limb off between himself and the tree;- a ship 
without a rudder; a sermon without a text; 
handsome, vivacious, versatile, muscular, as neat 
as a cat, clean to the marrow, frugal in food, and 
regular only in habits; with the brains of twenty 
men in his head, all pulling in different ways; 
not bad as to heart, but a man who has shaken 
hands with reverence." 

When the war broke out in 1861, Omaha re- 
sponded to the call of Abraham Lincoln for 
troops. Three military companies were organized 



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OMAHA, 169 

and mustered into service. Upon the departure 
of the troops, a lady, full of patriotism, donned 
soldier's attire and took passage as one of the 
"boys/' Her sex was undiscovered during the 
trip to St. Joe ; but when the boat left that city 
and went down the river, the adventure terminated 
suddenly ; for she was discovered by her husband 
and sent back to Omaha, where, at a recent date, 
it is said, she was still living. 

Some sad as well as amusing incidents occurred 
during the early history of the city. 

The community was infested with thieves and 
roughs of various kinds. Many of these pests of 
the human race, averse to labor, and determined 
to obtain a living in any way save by honest 
work, fled from Eastern States to the frontier, 
where they could have a better opportunity ot 
committing their depredations. The citizens felt 
that the safety of themselves and their families 
depended on their visiting summary punishment 
upon criminals; and when guilt was proved be- 
yond all doubt, they often took the law into their 
own hands. This course often becomes absolutely 
necessary for the safety of the people in new Ter- 
ritories and States. It was necessary in the early 
history of California, and since then it has been 
necessary in other new Territories as well. 

At a still earlier period, history tells us that in 
Ohio and Kentucky, and other new States, the 



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170 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

people often had to take the law into their own 
hands. It has often become necessary for the 
citizens to organize what is known as Vigilance 
Committees. These are not mobs. A mob is a 
very different thing from a Vigilance Committee. 
A mob is a riotous assembly, a disorderly crowd, 
composed generally of the vicious and lo^er 
classes of society ; and the acts of a mob are com- 
mitted under great excitement, and without any 
regard to law or justice. A Vigilance Committee 
is an orderly crowd, with an eye only upon the 
welfare of the whole community, cool and deliber- 
ate in all its actions. A Vigilance Committee in- 
flicts no punishment until guilt is proved beyond 
the shadow of a doubt. A mob often inflicts 
punishment upon the innocent. A mob is a 
dangerous element in society. A Vigilance Com- 
mittee has often been the saving of the com- 
munity. 

A mob entered the jail in Omaha in 1869, . 
took two men from the prison, and hanged them. 
The circumstances were as follows: Two men, 
named John Daily and Harvey Braden, were con- 
fined in the jail at Omaha for horse-stealing. On 
Saturday night, January 8, 1 859, a party of men en- 
tered the jail. The sheriff was absent, and the keys 
were in charge of three women. From these the 
mob took the keys by force, entered the cell, took 
the prisoners to a point two miles north of Flor- 



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OMAHA. 171 

CDce, and there hanged them. A jury was im- 
paneled, and after an examination which lasted 
several days, returned a verdict in accordance 
with the facts, finding four men, whose names 
we withhold, guilty of aiding and abetting the 
murder. These four men were granted a change 
of venue, and were tried at Bellevue, and we 
were present and witnessed the trial. The evi- 
dence of their guilt was very strong. The im- 
pression of those who heard the testimony was 
that the prisoners were guilty. They were, how- 
ever, acquitted. We learned afterwards that the 
affair ruined each of the four men both mentally 
and physically. Although they had previously 
been prosperous, after the trial they met with re- 
verses from which they never recovered. The 
judgments of Almighty God follow the mur- 
derer, and from them it is vain for him to try 
to escape. 

During the six years of territorial organiza- 
tion no murderer had met the punishment due 
his crime. Robbery and assassination triumphed 
over industry and virtue. The citizens became 
incensed at the slow and unjust process of the 
courts. A Vigilance Committee was organized, 
and at the hands of this committee many outlaws 
met their fate. 

In March, 1861, two young men. Her and 
Bovey by name, at the hour of midnight, entered 



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172 SOLITARY PLACES MADB GLAD. 

the house of Mr. George Taylor, living ten miles 
west of the city. Mr. Taylor was absent. His 
wife was alone. The desperadoes demanded of 
Mrs. Taylor her money. And as it was death or 
the money, and loving life more than her money, 
she turned over to them all she had, and they left 
with one thousand dollars in cash. A few days 
afterwards the two men were arrested. Mrs. 
Taylor was sent for, and identified them. They 
.were lodged in the ,county jail. The most in- 
tense excitement prevailed among the citizens. 
A committee was appointed to inquire into the 
guilt or innocence of the prisoners. The com- 
mittee held a long interview with them, and they 
finally made a full confession of their guilt. The 
committee reported accordingly, and recommended 
that the life of Her be spared. During the next 
two days further confessions were made. 

On Saturday morning, March 9, 1861, Bovey 
was found hanged at the door of his cell, his body 
dead and cold. The news reached us just after 
breakfast. I immediately left the parsonage, and 
walked slowly to the jail. A stream of men and 
women, too, were going to and from the tragic 
scene. Gloom was on every face, and tears in 
many eyes. The conversation was in low and 
whispered tones. I entered the prison, and saw 
the body of the unfortunate man lying on a 
board. The blood had settled about the thick- 



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OMAHA. 173 

ness of an inch^ and left a black circle around the 
neck where the rope had been fastened. Such a 
necklace I had never seen before. The sight was 
frightful, and I turned instinctively away from 
the ghastly scene. Death under such circum- 
stances is appalling beyond all description. For 
days the whole community was shrouded in 
gloom. The body was left for several hours 
where all could see it — a warning to all criminals. 

The first sermon ever preached in the region 
of Omaha was in 1861. This was three years be- 
fore the city was founded. In 1851, William 
Simpson was sent to Council Bluffs Mission from 
the Iowa Conference. He learned that there 
were a few settlers on the west side of the Mis- 
souri River. In harmony with the spirit of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, and with the in- 
stinct so characteristic of every true Methodist 
minister, he crossed the river, called the handful 
of immigrants together, and at the base of the 
abrupt hills where the city of Omaha now stands, 
he gave to these pioneers the bread of life. This 
was supposed to be the first Methodist sermon 
ever preached on Nebraska soil. 

The first sermon preached in Omaha aft^r 
the city was founded, was by the Rev. Peter 
Cooper. In the A)tow, published in August, 
1854, the announcement was made that Rev. 
Peter Cooper would preach on Sunday, August 



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174 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

13th, at the residence of Mr. William P. Snow- 
den. Mr. Cooper was an Englishman^ and came 
to the village of Omaha when it contained less 
than one hundred inhabitants. He opened a 
stone-quarry on the bank of the Missouri River, 
just below the present bridge of the Union Pa- 
cific Railroad. He was a local preacher of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. When it was dis- 
covered that he sometimes preached, he was 
invited to address the people of the village, and 
accordingly delivered the first sermon ever 
preached in Omaha. The congregation numbered 
about fifteen, there being present, among others, 
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Davis, Mr. A. J. Pop- 
pleton, and Mr. A. D. Jones. 

In the spring of 1855, Rev. Isaac F. Collins 
was sent as a missionary to Omaha, and organ- 
ized a class of six members. On the 12th of 
September, Rev. William H. Qoode held the first 
quarterly meeting ever held in the city. The 
following persons were present and partook of 
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper on that first 
sacramental occasion : Mr. and Mrs. Amsbury, 
the parents of Rev. W. A. Amsbury, now pre- 
siding elder in the West Nebraska Conference; 
Mr and Mrs. Collins, Mrs. Crowell, Mrs. George 
A. McCoy, and Mrs. Harris. It is related of 
Mrs. Harris that she reached Omaha from Iowa 
City, traveling on foot until she gave out and 



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OMAHA. 175 

could walk no further, then riding the rest 
of the way upon a cow, the only beast of 
burden which she possessed. These were the 
days of small things, but they were not despised. 
That little handful of devoted Christians have 
become " a thousand times so many as they were/' 

In December, 1856, the first Methodist Epis- 
copal Church was dedicated, the Rev. Moses F. 
Shinn officiating. Rev. J. M. Chivington suc- 
ceeded Isaac Collins as pastor at Omaha; Rev. 
J. W. Taylor succeeded J. M. Chivington, Rev. 
William M. Smith succeeded J. W. Taylor and 
I followed Brother Smith. 

The fourth session of the Kansas and Nebraska 
Conference met in Omaha April 14, 1859. The 
minutes of the first day's proceedings contain the 
following record: "The transfers of Hugh D. 
Fisher, a traveling elder, from the Pittsburg Confer- 
ence, and H. T. Davis, a traveling deacon from the 
Northwest Indiana Conference were announced, 
and they were introduced to the Conference." 

We received a royal welcome from this hardy 
band of pioneer Methodist preachers, and at once 
felt at home among them. At this Conference I 
was ordained elder by the venerable Bishop Scott, 
and was appointed to Omaha City Station. Wo 
had supplied Belle vue the nine months preceding 
the Conference, and had, under God, made many 
warm friends. They confidently expected our 



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176 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

return. When we returned from the Conference 
and the people learned that we had been appointed 
to Omaha^ they manifested the deepest sorrow and 
the bitterest regrets. We were very glad they 
were sorry. It was a real comfort to us. We 
would not for the world, hardly, have had them 
feel otherwise. No minister wants the people to 
feel glad when he is gone. 

Believing that a farm would not be a bad 
thing for a preacher to have when old and no 
longer able to preach, we availed ourselves of the 
privilege of the pre-emption law, took a claim, 
built a small house, moved in, and lived there 
the time prescribed by law ; then " proved up,'* 
and I received a title to our land from the Gov- 
ernment. 

From our claim, eight miles west of Bellevue, 
we moved to our new appointment. We could 
not go by railroad or steamboat. We were be- 
yond the reach of these. The whistle of the loco- 
motive had never been heard in Nebraska, and 
only those living along the Missouri River had 
the benefit of steam navigation. 

To obtain a carriage in which to ride was out 
of the question. We tried to hire a span of horses 
and wagon in which to move, but in vain. So 
we had to do the next best thing, take what we 
could get — an ox-team. In the wagon we loaded 
our goods, and about the twenty-fifth day of 



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OMAHA. 177 

April the pastor of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church of Omaha, and his wife, might have been 
seen riding behind a yoke of oxen up Farnham 
Street and down Seventeenth to the parsonage. 

At that day Omaha was five years old, and had 
a population of about two thousand souls. 

The Indians were then very numerous in Ne- 
braska. They frequently passed through the city, 
and hardly a day went by but what we met some 
of them. Often the window would suddenly 
darken^ and Mrs. Davis would look up and see 
from one to a half dozen " i^ed-skins" staring at 
her through the window. At first the sight would 
startle her, but she soon became accustomed to it, 
and when they . came would cry out to them, 
" Pucachee ! Pucachee !" — " Begone ! Begone !" 
Sometimes they would leave at once; at other 
times they would hang around for a time, waiting 
for a present. They were great beggars, and 
often when they came would not leave until 
something in the way of food or clothing was 
given them. 

At that time we had a small brick church, 
right in the center of Omaha. On this church 
there was a debt of $500. The panic of 1857 had 
left the city flat, financially. The creditors 
wanted their money. To raise it from the people 
of Omaha was an impossibility. The Quarterly 
Conference requested the pastor to go East and try 



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178 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

aud raise the amount needed. I went back to my 
old Conference in Indiana^ and in a few weeks 
returned with money enough to liquidate the debt. 
The official Board was happy, and the whole 
Church rejoiced. The Conference year closed 
under fevorable auspices. The society, though 
small, was in a healthy condition, and was entirely 
free from debt. 

The Kansas and Nebraska Conference met 
that year — March 16, 1860 — in Leavenworth, 
Kansas. There were no railroads, and travel on 
the Missouri River at that season of the year was 
very uncertain. So we took it the old-fashioned 
way, and went on horseback. The distance we 
had to travel in order to reach the seat of the 
Conference was about two hundred miles. We 
were one week going and one week returning, 
and at the Conference a week, being absent just 
three weeks. 

On our way down we stopped over night at 
Falls City, near the Kansas line. This city was 
then two years old, and had about a dozen houses. 
We were- kindly entertained* during the night at 
the residence of Brother and Sister Miller. After- 
wards, while traveling the Nebraska City District, 
I was often hospitably entertained by this kind 
family. 

During the Kansas troubles Falls City was 
one of the stations of the "underground railway" 



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OMAHA. 179 

of old John Brown. The mettle of which the old 
hero was made was shown in an incident which 
took place on one of his last trips from Kansas 
with his "dusky train." Having reached this 
station with his refugees, he was overtaken by a 
band of South Carolina Rangers, who proposed to 
carry their chattels back " to the galling serfdom 
of the sunny South.'' But the proud Southerners 
had mistaken the strength of their foe. Brown, 
with, his men, quietly surrounded them, and com- 
pelled them by superior force to surrender; then 
stepping to the front, he gave them a scathing re- 
buke for the profanity they had heaped upon the 
" colored folks." He ordered the rangers to kneel 
down. They obeyed, and repeated after him the 
Lord's Prayer. Then, taking from them their 
horses and arms, he sent them back on foot from 
whence they came, while he and his freed slaves 
proceeded on their way rejoicing. 

At the Leavenworth Conference a resolution 
was passed requesting the General Conference, 
which met the following May, to divide the Con- 
ference. That request was acceded to, and the 
Conference was divided in May, 1860. The 
Kansas Conference included the Territory of 
Kansas, and the Nebraska Conference the Terri- 
tory of Nebraska. 

On the 19th of March, after a harmonious sit- 
ting, the Kansas and Nebraska Conference closed 



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180 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

its fifth pession. And as that beautiful and touch- 
ing hymn of Charles Wesley rolled up from a 
crowded audience, the hearts of all present were 
filled with solemnity and deep emotion — 

" And let our bodies part — 
To diflferent climes repair." 

That hymn was made doubly impressive from 
the fact that we believed the General Conference 
would accede to our wishes and divide the Con- 
ference, and that in all probability we would 
never be permitted to meet many of our brethren 
again until we hailed them in the skies. With 
anxiety we waited to hear the appointments read. 

I quote the following from a letter I wrote to 
the Western Christian Advocate at the close of 
this Conference: 

"Having received our appointments, we took 
each other by the hand, gave the parting good- 
bye, and hurried away to our respective fields of 
labor. In looking over the history of the Kan- 
sas and Nebraska Conference we can but exclaim, 
^What hath God wrought!' The little handful 
who, five years ago, raised the standard of the 
cross in these Territories, has swelled to a mighty 
army. And to-day is heard the clarion voice of 
the faithful itinerant, rousing the soldiers of Christ 
to arms, and calling for volunteers for Jesus, in 
almost every settlement of these Territories, and 
throughout the valleys and peaks of the Rocky 



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OMAHA. 181 

Mountains, from the base even to the very sum- 
mit/' 

We returned to Omaha. Our second year 
was a pleasant one, even more so than the first. 
During the winter a gracious revival took place, 
and some fifty souls were converted. We closed 
our second year with a larger membership, and 
much stronger in every respect than when we 
took the charge. The pastoral limit was then 
only two years, and we knew the bishop would 
assign us to a new field of labor. 



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182 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

FIRST NEBRASKA CONFERENCE. 

Membkbs— Statibtics— " Crowned Ones "—Martyr Spirit 
Still in the Church — Nebraska City District in 
1861 — A Fearful Ride in the Cold — Pop-gun 
Elder— S. P. Majors — Bbllevub Conference- Bishop 
Simpson — Crossing the Platte in a Skiff — Laura 
Beatty — An Awful Tragedy — A Death-bed Re- 
pentance. 

THE first session of the Nebraska Annual Con- 
ference was held in Nebraska City, beginning 
April 4, 1861. Bishop Thomas A. Morris pre- 
sided. 

The following persons were members: Isaac 
Burns, H. Burch, H. T. Davis, J. T. Cannon, 
Wm. M. Smith, J. W. Taylor, Martin Prichard, 
T. Munhall, Philo Gorton, Jerome Spillman, Z. 
B. Turman, and J. L. Fort. L. W. Smith and 
David Hart were admitted into full connection, 
making in all fourteen members. 

The following are the statistics : 

Number of districts, 2 

Number of appointments, 21 

Number of members, 948 

We have seen that little Conference of fourteen 
members grow into three Annual Conferences, 



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FIRST NEBRASKA CONFERENCE. 183 

thirteen districts^ three hundred and fifty-four ap- 
pointments^ and thirty-one thousand two hundred 
and twelve members. ''The little handful has 
become a thousand, and the small one a strong 
nation/' Of the fourteen charter members of the 
Nebraska Conference, four have " ceased to work 
and live/' 

Of the " crowned ones " of that noble, he- 
roic, and God-honored band, the first was Isaac 
Bums. Brother Burns was a simple-minded, con- 
scientious, sweet-spirited, deeply pious man. A 
very common remark of his was, "It is a 
nice thing to be a Christian.'' One always 
felt benefited spiritually by being in his com- 
pany. He had an easy way of giving to every 
one a spiritual uplift. Not long before he died, 
while on his way to Conference he preached a 
sermon in Nebraska City which made a most pro- 
found impression on all who heard it. His text 
was taken from the 73d Psalm and 24th verse: 
" Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and aftr 
erward receive me to glory." He began by say- 
ing: "Whatever the sermon may be, one thing 
is certain, I have the prettiest text in the Bible." 
It was a sermon full of the marrow of the gos- 
pel, as all his sermons were. The fragrance of 
that one sermon has come down through the 
years, and its rich aroma still lingers in the 
hearts of some who heard it. 



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184 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

Martin Prichard was the second who received 
an honorable discharge from the Master. On the 
24th of March, 1877, he heard the welcome 
words, " It is enough, come up higher." Among 
those who took a most active part in laying the 
foundations of our Zion in the eastern partjof Ne- 
braska, was Brother Prichard. In Cass, Otoe, 
Nemaha, Richardson, and Pawnee Counties, as 
pastor, and as presiding elder of the Lincoln and 
Nebraska City Districts, he did a work for God 
and the Church, the grand results of which will 
only be known in the great day of eternity. 

Next to follow was David Hart. He was 
an Englishman by birth, a Methodist through 
and through, consecrated wholly to God ; and his 
death, as his life had been, was a triumph. On 
the 14th of January, 1878, in Colorado, where 
he had gone for his health, the chariot came 
from the skies to meet him, and he passed tri- 
umphantly home. 

The fourth of this true and tried band was 
J. T. Cannon. July 24, 1883, Brother Cannon, 
from his home in Cass County, went up to join 
his comrades in the skies. He was a Methodist 
preacher of the olden type, zealous, devoted and 
true. Many and mauy a time I was hospitably 
entertained by him and his noble wife, at their 
home on their farm in Cass County. Their 
house was the home of the Methodist itinerant. 



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FIRST NEBRASKA CONFERENCE. 186 

The gap made by the death of these was filled 
by others who proved themselves just as true as 
their predecessors. " The workmen die, but the 
work goes on/' Many of these have fallen, and 
they in turn have been succeeded by others. 

Aside from the charter members of the Con- 
ference, others, who joined later, have also been 
"crowned." The following are their names: 
J. J. Roberts, Thomas Alexander, D. J. Ward, 
T. A. Hull, A. J. Combs, W. B. Slaughter, 
C. W. Giddings, A. L. Goss, A. G. White, H. 
W. Warner, Samuel Wood, W. D. Gage, W. E. 
Davis, T. S. Goss, S. P. Vandoozer, William 
Peck, and Thomas B. Lemon. Mr. Wesley said: 
"Our people die well.'' The above long list 
from the roll of the Nebraska Conference was not 
an exception. These brave men fell, all covered 
with glory. " Let me die the death of the right- 
eous, and let my last end be like theirs." They 
fell, " as the plumed warrior on the field of bat- 
tle, with the ensigns of victory waving all around 
him." Noble dead ! Peace to their ashes. 

" Servants of God, well done I 
Your glorious warfare *b past ; 
The battle *8 fought, the race is won, 
And ye are crowned at last" 

Of the ten remaining charter members of the 

Nebraska Conference, two have fallen away; eight 

remain to till the Master's vineyard. Of these 

16 



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186 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

eight, only two are "effective/' — Hyram Burch 
and the writer. Brother Burch is strong and 
vigorous. His name is familiar throughout the 
State. He has been an untiring worker for God. 
Modest and retiring in disposition, he has never 
pushed himself to the front. When the final day 
of reckoning comes, and every man shall stand 
upon his own merits. Brother Burch will occupy 
a higher position, and on his brow, methinks, 
will rest a brighter crown, than those of some 
who have occupied more prominent positions in 
the Church militant. 

The other six, J. L. Fort, J. W. Taylor, L. W. 
Smith, Z. B. Turman, W. M. Smith, and P. Gor- 
ton, are on the superannuated list, and work as 
they are able. Their heads are silvered with the 
frosts of many winters, but the fire of youth 
burns in their hearts. They have, like the ven- 
erable patriarch Abraham, reached " a good, old 
age, full of years," and will soon be " gathered 
to their people." 

Three were admitted on trial at the first Ne- 
braska Conference, and four, who had been re- 
ceived on trial by the Kansas and Nebraska Con- 
ference the year previous, were advanced to the 
second class, making in all seven. Among the 
seven probationers of that memorable little con- 
ference was Rev. T. B. Lemon. Dr. Lemon's 
name is familiar in almost every household of the 



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FIRST NEBRASKA CONFERENCE. 187 

State. For twenty-five years he was one of the 
leaders of the hosts of our Zion on the frontier. 
Every position that he was called to fill by the 
Church, whether as pastor, presiding elder, super- 
intendent of missions, or agent of a great uni- 
versity, was filled with credit to himself and 
honor to the Church. On Wednesday, February 
19, 1890, at the ripe age of seventy-one, at his home 
in Omaha, he was called from the Church militant 
to the Church triumphant in heaven. His praise 
is in all the Churches. 

Of those seven probationers, three only re- 
main : J. W. Ailing, now of the Rock River Con- 
ference; Wm. A. Arasbury is presiding elder in 
the West Nebraska Conference, and is doing a 
grand work in laying deep and broad the founda- 
tions of our Church ; and Dr. J. B. Maxfield is 
presiding elder in the North Nebraska Confer- 
ence, and is establishing our Church in that part 
of the State. 

We need not go back to the earlier history 
of the Church to find heroes and heroines. They 
are in the Church to-day. The days of self- 
sacrifice for the Master's cause have not passed. 
The martyr-spirit is still in the Church. 

From the day when Christ said to my happy 
soul, " Thy sins, which are many, are forgiven," 
I have been very deeply interested in the cause 
of missions. I read years ago, with delight, of 



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188 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

Cox, and Judson, and Morrison, and, later, of 
Coan at Hawaii, and Taylor in India and Africa ; 
and as I read of their noble deeds and daring, 
there came to my heart a thrill of inspiration. 
Often since then have I been inspired anew as 
I have read of the missionaries who have bid 
adieu to friends, loved ones, and their native 
land, and have gone to foreign shores to pro- 
claim the gospel to the heathen, and spend the 
balance of their lives in a land of strangers. All 
honor to these brave men and women ! A rich 
reward awaits them in the skies. But a nobler 
band of heroes and heroines never graced this 
planet than the men and women who are laying 
the foundations of our Church on the frontier in 
the West. Many of them have lived, and are 
to-day living, on a mere pittance — hardly enough 
to keep soul and body together. My heart has 
bled a thousand times for these noble men and 
their heaven-honored families. No brighter gems 
will flash from the coronets of the redeemed than 
will blaze forever from the crowns of many who 
have spent their lives on the frontier, laying the 
foundations of the Church. All hail, blessed 
workmen of the Master ! 

The following statistics tell their own story : 
In 1861 the average amount received from each 
preacher in the Nebraska Conference was $228, 
The largest salary received was $495, and the 



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FIRST NEBRASKA CONFERENCE. 189 

smallest $28. Think of a pastor and his wife 
living a whole year on a salary of $28 ! In 1887 
there were seven preachers in Nebraska who re- 
ceived an average of only $44.80 each for the 
year's work. On this small stipend these brave 
men stood at the post of duty, counting not their 
lives dear unto themselves for the Master's cause. 
Talk about moral heroes ! You do not have to 
go to the annals of the past, nor to heathen 
shores to find them. They are here right among 
us, in the bounds of our own Conferences. These 
persons are making a record for eternity of which 
they will be proud when the world is on fire. 

At the first Nebraska Conference held in Ne- 
braska City, beginning April 4, 1861, I was ap- 
pointed presiding elder of the Nebraska City 
District. My district comprised all the territory 
south of the Platte River. In this territory is 
now the Nebraska Conference, and part of the 
West Nebraska Conference. 

The following is a list of the appointments : 

Omaha District. 

William M. Smith, Presiding Elder. 

Omaha, To be supplied. 

Bellevue, Martin Prichard. 

Elkhorn, J. Ailing, 

Platte Valley, T. Hoagland. 

Calhoun, David Hart. 

Tekamah, Wm. A. Amsbury. 



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100 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

Dakota, Z. B. Tunnan. 

Fort Kearney, T. Munhall. 

Nebraska City District. 

H. T. Davis, Presiding Elder. 

Nebraska City, T. B. Lemon 

Wyoming, J. T. Cannon. 

Rock Bluff, Philo Gorton. 

Plattsmouth and Oreapolis, . . J. Spilman. 

Glendale L. W. Smith. 

Ti^«*«:«« /Joel Mason, 

^^^"^^ ij.B.Maxti;id. 

Tecumseh, William H. Kendal. 

Table Rock, Isaac Burns. 

Falls City, J. W. Taylor. 

Brownville, H. Burch. 

Peru, J. L. Fort 

This was before the days of railroads in Ne- 
braska, and I traveled the district with my own 
conveyance, which consisted of a bronco pony 
and a light buggy. I did not allow the weather 
to interfere with my work. My motto was, 
"Never miss an appointment.'^ I went, rain 
or shine, cold or hot. Many and many a time 
I was drenched through and through with the 
rain, and many times almost frozen to death. In 
the winter of 1862, I left home for a two weeks' 
tour, went to Falls City, and held quarterly meet- 
ing, and from thence went to Table Rock, and 
held another. After services Sabbath evening, I 
said to my good host and hostess. Brother and 
Sister Griffin : " I should like very much to leave 



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FIRST NEBRASKA CONFERENCE. 191 

for home early to-morrow morning/' I had 
fifty miles to travel, and it was necessary for 
me to get an early start. They were up bright 
and early, and had breakfast before daybreak. 
At dawn of day I was ready to leave for home. 
The weather was bitter cold ; the sun rose bright 
and clear, and there were two sun-dogs as bright 
almost as the sun himself. My course was north- 
east. Soon after starting, a heavy wind arose 
and blew a stiff gale the whole, livelong day. 
This wind I had to fiice. I was dressed warmly ; 
I had on three coats, an undercoat, a heavy over- 
coat, and over this an oil-cloth coat to keep the 
wind from penetrating the other clothing. I had 
not gone many miles before I was chilled through 
and through. A person may be ever so warmly 
clothed on these prairies, so that the wind can not 
possibly penetrate the clothing, yet in breathing 
the cold air he soon becomes chilled, and if he 
did not exercise he would freeze to death. After 
leaving Table Rock I had a stretch of some 
thirty-five miles to go over a bleak prairie with- 
out a single house. When I became chilled I 
got out of the buggy and walked, or rather ran, 
until warmed up; then I rode and ran alternately 
the whole day. Many times during the day I 
greatly feared I should not be able to make my 
home, and must succumb to the cold. About 
four o'clock in the afternoon I came to a little 



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192 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

frame house on Spring Creek, some fifteen miles 
from home. Here I stopped, thinking I would 
remain over night if I could obtain accommoda- 
tions, for I felt it was extremely hazardous to 
proceed further. The little shanty was not 
plastered. Nothing but thin clapboards pro- 
tected the inmates from the fierce December 
winds. Around a cook-stove a mother with 
lialf a dozen children stood shivering with the 
cold, trying in vain to keep warm. My teeth 
chattered, and I shook with the cold more vio- 
lently, it seemed, than any one ever did with the 
old-fashioned ague. Really it seemed colder in 
that house than on the open prairie. I said to 
myself: " I can 't stay here. This is worse than 
out-doors.'* I went out, got into my buggy, 
drove on^ and at eight o'clock, almost frozen and 
completely exhausted, reached home. I felt the 
effects of that fearful day's ride for many years. 

I was only twenty-eight years old when ap- 
pointed presiding elder of the Nebraska City 
District, and, of course, looked quite youthful. 
Accustomed to associate with the eldership gray 
hairs and corpulency, neither of which I pos- 
sessed, my first round on the district struck the 
people with great surprise, and caused many 
quaint comments. The first quarterly meeting 
was held in Nemaha City, on the Brown- 
ville Circuit. When I entered the school-house 



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FIRST NEBRASKA CONFERENCE, 193 

with Brother Burch, the pastor, at two o'clock, 
Saturday afternoon, and took my seat at the 
desk, a sister whispered to a friend and said: 
'^It is too bad the presiding elder did not come 
himself. He has sent a mere boy to take his 
place/' Similar remarks were made by many 
during the first quarter about the boy presiding 
elder. 

On my way to this quarterly meeting I stopped 
over night at Peru. Here for the first time I 
met the Honorable S. P. Majors, and was kindly 
entertained at his home; and ever afterward was 
welcomed by him and his devoted wife to their 
hospitalities. After introducing me to his wife, 
his little son came into the room, and Brother 
Majors introduced him, saying: "Johnny, this is 
Brother Davis, our elder." Soon after, Brother 
Majors went out to do his evening chores; 
Johnny followed, and as they walked together to 
the barn, he said: "Pa, did you say that was the 
elder?" 

" Yes," was the reply. 

"Is that the kind of elder they make pop- 
guns out of?" said Johnny. 

The joke was too good for Brother Majors to 
keep to himself. No man enjoyed a joke better 
than he. After supper was over, and we were 
all in the sitting-room together, he told us what 
Johnny had said. Johnny ran out of the room, 



17 



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194 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

ashamed and moriified^ while the rest of us 
laughed heartily. Ever afterwards when I met 
Brother Majors in company, he hardly ever failed 
to relate the incident, and Brother Majors and 
his friends had many a hearty laugh at the ex- 
pense of poor Johnny and myself. 

Some time afterwards, on our way from the 
Brownville Conference, in company with Bishop 
Ames and a number of preachers, we all dined at 
Brother Majors's. In the presence of Johnny 
and myself, as usual. Brother Majors told the 
story of the "popgun elder,'' and the good bishop 
laughed until it seemed his great fat sides must 
certainly be sore. Johnny grew up to manhood, 
and on January 21, 1882, I united him in mar- 
riage to Miss Nettie J. Mutz, a most estimable 
Christian young lady, whom I had known from 
childhood. 

At Johnny's home, in the northern part of 
the State, July 13, 1886, Brother Majors passed 
peacefully away to his home in the skies. His 
remains were brought to Peru for interment, 
and on the twenty-ninth day of April, 1886, I 
preached his funeral sermon to a large congre- 
gation of relatives and friends, from Genesis 
XXV, 8. He occupied prominent positions of 
trust, both in the State and the Church. He pre- 
sided over the State Convention which framed 
the first constitution of Nebraska, and was a lay 



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FIRST NEBRASKA CONFERENCE. 195 

delegate from the Nebraska Conference to the 
General Conference of 1872. He honored every 
position he was called to occupy. His wise and 
safe counsels in the State^ the Churchy and the 
fiimily still live. The fragrance of his life is 
with us to-day, and its rich aroma will remain 
through all time. 

When I took the district, in 1861, the popu- 
lation was sparse and the people poor. They 
had come from the Eastern and Middle States 
to the West to procure for themselves homes. 
There were only three or four places on the dis- 
trict where the people had coffee, tea, or sugar. As 
a substitute for coffee they used burnt corn, rj^e, 
or wheat, and many used what was called " Cof- 
fee Essence" — a compound of various ingredients. 
The principal article for sweetening was " sor- 
ghum molasses." Many of these kind-hearted 
people, who at that time had hardly enough to 
keep soul and body together, have, to-day, large 
farms, elegant homes, and are among the wealthi- 
est citizens of the State. They have passed from 
poverty to affluence, and the distance from the 
one to the other has seemed very short. 

The Conference of 1862 was held at Belle vue. 
Bishop Simpson presided. He and his wife 
came by stage from St. Joe, Mo., and in conse- 
quence of the high water and the ice in the Platte 
River were delayed a day. They crossed the 



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196 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

turbid, swifl-flowing Platte in a skiff, and, the 
river being full of ice, the passage was a most 
dangerous one. One man, with a pole in hand, 
kept the rushing ice from capsizing the boat, 
while another rowed ; and after a most perilous 
passage, they reached the northern bank of the 
stream. Stepping on shore, the party breathed 
easy after a half- hour's painful suspense. Then 
on a hay-rack the bishop and his good wife rode 
to Bellevue, a distance of some five miles, reach- 
ing the Conference in time for the opening serv- 
ices Friday morning. 

In 1864 the General Conference met in Phila- 
delphia. During the session Bishop Simpson gave 
the Conference a reception at his own home. I 
had the privilege and honor of attending that 
reception. In conversation with Mrs. Simpson on 
the occasion, she said : " Our trip from St. Joe, 
Missouri, to Bellevue is one of the most inter- 
esting chapters in our lives." 

The bishop was just recovering from his long 
illness, and was quite feeble in body. We greatly 
feared he would not be able to preach for us on 
Sabbath. Saturday afternoon I said to him: 
" Bishop, we expect you to preach for us to-mor- 
row morning." He gave us a significant look, 
and smilingly said: "Yes, I will give you a little 
Presbyterian sermon," As we listened to his 



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FIBST NEBRASKA CONFERENCE. 197 

thrilling sermon next day, we said : '^ If that is a 
little Presbyterian sermon, what must a big one 
be?" His graphic description of the "seven 
stales and the seven golden candlesticks " was 
wonderful. And then, as he said in his perora- 
tion, " Christ is still walking in the midst of the 
Churches, holding in his right hand the seven 
stars,f' the people were thrilled as with an electric 
shock, and shouted all over the house, " Glory ! 
Glory!'' The memory of that precious hour 
lingers with the writer to-day. 

The bishop wa» entertained by Rev. Wm. 
Hamilton, pastor of the Presbyterian Church. 
Brother Hamilton was sent out in an early day 
by the Presbyterian Board of Missions as mis- 
sionary to the Indians, and in 1856 he organized 
the first Presbyterian Church in Bellevue. He 
was greatly delighted* with the bishop and the 
proceedings of the Conference. He had never 
attended a Methodist Conference before in his 
life, and seemed much surprised and pleased, and 
said to me at the close of the Conference : " Do 
you always have such precious seasons at your 
Conferences?'' My reply was: "Our Confer- 
ences are always good, and often seasons of re- 
freshing from the presence of the Lord." 

In 1862, I had the great privilege of witness- 
ing another most triumphant departure from 



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198 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

earth. I stood for a little while in the ante- 
chamber of the skies. The poet has truthfully 
said: 

" The chamber where the good man meets his fate 
Is prized above tlie common walks of life, 
Quite on the verge of heaven." 

On Saturday afternoon I went out to hold 
quarterly meeting at Union, an appoii^tment 
on the Mount Pleasant Circuit. I reached 
Brother Beatty's, where the meeting was to be 
held, at two o'clock. Before entering the house 
a friend said to me: " Laura Beatty is lying very 
low with fever, and wishes to see you as soon as 
possible." She was at her sister's, about two 
miles away. I said to my friend : " I will go and 
see her as soon as the afternoon services are 
over.'' The services ended, I hurried over to 
where she was, and on entering the room felt, it 
seemed, as Jacob did at Bethel when he said : 
" Surely the Lord is in this place." A few weeks 
before death she had a remarkable dream. She 
dreamed that her sainted mother came to her, led 
her out into the ^^rove near by, and talked with 
her for some time ; and as the heavenly visitant 
was about to leave, said, " Laura, you will come 
to me soon," then disappeared. Laura told 
her dream to friends, and remarked : " I shall 
live but a little while." She was just blooming 
into womanhood when stricken down with that 



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FIRST NEBRASKA CONFERENCE. 199 

fatal disease, typhoid fever. I entered the room. 
On her face rested a sweet, heavenly smile. The 
room was pervaded with a most hallowed atmos- 
phere. The fragrance of the skies had been 
wafted to that humble prairie home ; it was good to 
be there. She made every one in the room promise 
to meet her in heaven ; then she sent for neigh- 
bors and friends, that she might talk with them 
touching their soul's salvation. She spoke of the 
beauties and glories of heaven, glimpses of which 
she had seen. Just before her happy spirit took 
its upward and eternal flight, she exclaimed in 
an ecstasy of joy : " The angels are coming ; 
donH you see them? O how beautiful ! There is 
mother with them! And there is Jesus, my 
Savior'' And shortly aft;er, her enraptured 
spirit joined that heavenly throng. How these 
wonderful scenes speak in language that can not 
be misunderstood, of heaven, the eternal "home 
of the soul!" 

In the winter of 1862, I held quarterly meet- 
ing at the house of Brother Goolsby, on " The 
Muddy," a small stream some five miles north of 
Falls City. On Sunday morning a snow-storm 
set in. It snowed all day and all night, and on 
Monday morning the snow was drifted in piles 
from two to twenty feet deep. The roads were 
completely blockaded, rendering travel impossible, 
and I was compelled to remain for several days. 



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200 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

While here I preached every night to two families. 
Brother Goolsby made me a "jumper," and 
then, twisting hemp into ropes, he made me a 
rope harness. On Friday morning I ventured to 
start to my quarterly meeting, which was to be 
held at Pawnee City. My pony with the hemp 
harness was hitched to the quaint sleigh. I got 
in and started, and after two days of hard travel 
through heavy drifts of snow and the cold, pierc- 
ing wind, filled with frost, I reached ray appoint- 
ment late Saturday night. After conducting the 
quarterly meeting I traveled over the bleak 
prairie to Nebraska City, my home. Though the 
weather was fearfully cold and stormy, every en- 
gagement was met, and I have reason to believe 
that the meetings were seasons of great profit 
to all. 

Aft^r serving four years on the district, I was 
appointed, in 1865, to the Nebraska City Station. 
Here we remained three years, as long as the rule 
of the Church allowed. These years were passed 
pleasantly, and we trust profitably to the Church. 
During my first year as pastor of this station, a 
most unpleasant aflfair took place. One of the 
most atrocious and cold-blooded crimes in the 
annals of the State was committed about five miles 
southwest of the city. William Hamilton, a boy 
eleven years old, was herding cattle for his fisither, 
some two miles from home. Failing to return as 



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FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA. 201 

usual in the eveaiug, diligent search was made, 
and his body was found in the edge of a pool of 
water, in a stooping posture, his feet buried in 
the mud. He had been shot three times, — in the 
corner of his right eye, once in the ear, and again 
under the arm. A coroner's jury decided that he 
came to his death by pistol-balls supposed to have 
been fired by a man named Cash. After commit- 
ting the horrible deed, Cash (or Deiricks, as his 
proper name was) rode into the city and sold the 
cattle, claiming that he had a large herd. He re- 
ceived a small sum down, the balance was to be 
received on delivery of the cattle next day. Be- 
coming alarmed, he immediately left the city, 
crossing the Missouri River into Iowa. The news 
of the awful tragedy reached the city, and the 
most intense excitement prevailed. About one 
hundred men started in pursuit of the murderer. 
He was captured the next morning at Plum Hol- 
low, Iowa, and on the 16th of August brought 
back to the city. At ten o'clock, an immense 
crowd of citizens assembled in the public park, 
just in front of the parsonage. Addresses were 
made by several prominent citizens. A president 
and secretary were appointed, a jury of the oldest 
and best citizens impaneled, and counsel for the 
prisoner employed. A just trial was given the 
prisoner. Seven witnesses were examined, and at 
two o'clock in the afternoon the case was submitted 



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202 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

to the jury. The prisoner was lodged in the 
county jail. 

A few moments afterguards a messenger came 
to the parsonage and said : " The prisoner desires 
to see the Methodist preacher." I immediately 
repaired to the jail, in the basement of the court- 
house, and was conducted to the door of the cell. 
The bolt was turned, the door opened, and I en- 
tered. The door was quickly closed and the bolt 
turned on us. I was left with the prisoner, and 
remained with him to the last. Mr. Dan Laur, 
the secretary of the trial, was also in the cell. 
Soon after entering the cell a citizen beckoned 
me to the window, and in a whisper said : " The 
jury have found Cash guilty of murder in the first 
degree, and recommend that he be hanged ; but it 
will probably not be done before to-morrow.'^ I 
at once communicated the fact to the poor man. 
He was very much afflicted, and wept freely. I 
did all I could to get him to confess the crime, 
but in vain. He pei'sisted to the last in declaring 
that the witnesses had not examined thoroughly 
the holes in the boy's body, if they had he de- 
clared, "they would have been convinced they 
were made by the turtles, and not by bullets from 
a pistol." 

I prayed with him, and he professed to feel 
much better. About four o'clock I was called again 
to the cell-window by a citizen, who said: "The 



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FIRST WORK IN NEBRASKA. 203 

people are terribly excited^ and are becoming 
more so every moment. Many want to hang Cask 
immediately/' I told the prisoner of the excited 
condition of the people on the outside, and said 
to him : " If you have any requests to make be- 
fore death, make them at once, for you are liable 
to be hanged at any moment/' A few moments 
later, Mr. Davenport whispered to me through 
the iron grate: "They have determined to hang 
Cash at six o'clock.'' I told the prisoner the de- 
cision of the people. He then made his will. I 
prayed with him a number of times, and he said 
he believed he was prepared to meet God. At 
precisely six o'clock the cell-door opened, and he 
was led to the place of execution. As soon as the 
door, opened, he seized me by the arm and held 
on with a death-grip until we reached the top of 
the scaffold. It seemed as though his fingers 
would bury themselves in the flesh of my arm. 
Never did any one cling to me as that poor man 
did to the very last. I can almost feel the grip 
of his hands on my arm now, although more than 
twenty-five years have passed since that fearful 
day. Reaching the scaffold, the rope was adjusted 
to his neck. I offered a prayer, then shook hands 
with him, bade him good-bye, and descended. 
The drop fell, and Cash was no more of earth. 

Was he converted and prepared for heaven? 
I hope he was. I earnestly prayed that he might 



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204 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

he. But not for a thousand worlds would I have 
my salvation suspended on such a slender thread. 
I have been utterly disgusted, time and again, with 
the sensational reports, in the secular press, of 
the conversions of murderers just before being 
launched from the gallows into eternity. I do 
not doubt but that some may have been converted, 
but I greatly fear their number is very small. I 
would not for the world sit in judgment upon any 
human soul. God alone is the judge, and I 
know the Judge of all the earth will do right. I 
greatly fear Cash was not converted, and my fears 
are grounded on the following facts : 

First. He did not manifest "godly sorrow" 
for sin. This is absolutely necessary in order to 
a genuine penitent. A man may sorrow and not 
repent; he may sorrow because he is found out. 
That is not "godly sorrow.'' Deep, heart-felt 
sorrow for having sinned against God and high 
heaven, is the first element in genuine repentance. 
Second. He did not manifest the fruit of a genu- 
ine convert. A converted man has the Spirit of 
God; and "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and 
peace." These he did not show. Nor, lastly, did 
he confess his crime. A friend of mine, living 
near Ashland, related to me the following some 
years ago. The circumstance came under his own 
observation. Several men were buried in a coal- 
mine in Pennsylvania, All were Christians but 



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FIRST NEBRASKA CONFERENCE. 206 

one, and he was a very profane man. The pas- 
sage-way was entirely closed, and they knew it 
would be many days before they could be rescued, 
if rescued at all. All felt prepared to die except 
the unconverted man, and he requested the others 
to pray for him. They did so, and he professed 
to be converted. After eighteen days they were 
rescued from what they all supposed was to be their 
living tomb. They were barely alive when 
taken out. By superior medical skill and kind 
nursing they recovered. No sooner was the man 
who had professed conversion in the mine re- 
stored fully to health than he was just as pro- 
&ne as he had ever been. Was his conversion in 
the. mine genuine? 

The late Rev. J. J. Roberts, of the Nebraska 
Conference, once said to the writer in substance, 
in a private conversation, touching death-bed re- 
pentances : *' I have known a number during my 
ministry who, when very sick and expecting to 
die, sought, and professed to obtain, religion. 
They afterwards recovered, and in every case 
were, afl^r recovery, just as wicked as ever.^' 
Was their repentance sincere and their con- 
version genuine ? Jjt is, to say the least, very 
questionable. Few, he thought, who live under 
the light of the gospel were ever converted on a 
death-bed. He who trusts his salvation to a 
death-bed repentance, runs a risk that no wise 
or sane man will run. 

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206 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

CIVIL WAR INCIDENTS. 

The Dabe Cloud— The Rainbow op Promise— National 
Prosperity — "Jayhawkbrs" — Ordered to Halt — 
Depredations — Camp-mebtinq near Falls City — 
Bloody Fray — Dave Stephenson. 

THE spring of 1861 was gloomy in the ex- 
treme. The dark storm-cloud of civil war 
was gathering. That portentous cloud grew 
darker and more dense with fearful rapidity, and 
soon covered the whole Nation with its sable 
mantle. Then the storm of fratricidal strife 
broke with unrelenting fury upon the land. For 
four long years brother fought brother, until the 
whole Nation was crimsoned with the best blood 
of the American people. In every household 
there was mourning; on every face rested the 
gloom of sadness. Of all wars, the one most to 
be deplored is civil war. 

Many in Missouri, who sympathized with the 
Rebellion, fled from the State. Nebraska City 
was the rendezvous for these during the war. 
Here they congregated in great numbers. The 
Union men in the city were very strong and out- 



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CIVIL WAR INCIDENTS. 207 

spoken, and brave as they were strong. Many 
of the rebels had lost property in Missouri, and 
their friends were in the rebel army, and they, 
of course, were very sensitive on the war ques- 
tion. On the other hand, the Union men had 
friends in the Union army, and they were in- 
censed at the insult given the Stars and Stripes; 
and they, too, were sensitive. They saw the 
best Government on which the sun ever shone 
menaced with destruction. They saw the might- 
iest Nation on this planet — a Nation whose flag 
was respected on every sea and in every land — in 
danger of being rent asunder, and blotted from 
existence. And as they saw all this, it was not 
at all strange that their hearts were stirred to 
their inmost depths. At times matters grew fear- 
fully hot. We knew not what the final result 
would be. No one could predict with certainty 
the outcome. May such times never again occur ! 
May such scenes never again be witnessed ! May 
such a cloud never again darken our National 
horizon I How glad we were when the rainbow 
of promise arched our National firmament after 
the fearful storm, and how our hearts thrilled 
with delight when the snow-white dove was seen 
bearing the olive-branch of peace in her bill! 

The storm passed. The moral atmosphere of 
the Nation was purified. The greatest evil of the 
age — ^' the sum of all villainies " — was wiped out. 



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208 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

Emerging from the dire conflict, the Nation en- 
tered upon a career of prosperity unparalleled in 
history. The wealth of America is phenomenal. 
Our Nation is the youngest Nation on the globe, 
and yet it is one of the largest and most wealthy. 
And what is more significant still, the most of 
this wealth has been accumulated since the Civil 
War closed. Other nations have been centuries 
amassing their wealth; the greater part of the 
wealth of the United States is the product of 
about twenty-five years. 

During the war, there were bands of men 
who went under the name of "Jay-hawkers." 
They first made their appearance in 1862. 
Sometimes they claimed to be "Unionists;" 
at other times, "Confederates." They sailed 
under the flag that best suited their own con- 
venience. They were more loyal to them- 
selves than to either party. They took advan- 
tage of the war to fill their coffers by plunder 
and robbery. Some of these bands of freeboot- 
ers were, however, strong in their allegiance to 
their party. T^^ey were quite numerous in the 
southeastern part of the State. In traveling 
through my district I often met them. They 
knew me, and I generally knew them. They 
very frequently attended my meetings. They 
never interfered with me but once, and that was 
by mistake. Midway between Peru and Ne- 



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CIVIL WAR INCIDENTS. 209 

braska City, as I rode leisurely along the road, 
one beautiful Monday afternoon, two of them 
came dashing up behind me. They were armed 
to the teeth with knives and revolvers, and their 
long, uncombed hair hung in mats over their 
shoulders. They were not the most prepossessing 
and inviting men *I had ever seen, by any means. 
On reaching the buggy, they parted. One rode up 
to my right, and the other to my left. The one 
on my left drew a large navy revolver, and cried 
out, '^Halt!'^ I reined in my horse, and stopped. 
The other one recognized me, and immediately 
said to his comrade : " Hello, Bill, this is Elder 
Davis V They turned, put spurs to their horses, 
and were soon out of sight; while I passed on, 
unharmed, to my home. They entered a house 
near Peru. The husband and fiither was in the 
army. The mother and daughters were at home, 
alone. The Jay -hawkers demanded of the woman 
her money. She refused to tell them where it 
was. In the house was an old-&shioned fire- 
place, and, as the weather was cold, there was a 
good fire. The desperadoes drew out a large bed 
of coals, ordered the mother to take off her shoes 
and stockings; then, setting her in a chair, placed 
her bare feet on the burning coals of fire, and told 
her they would release her when she told them 
where her money was. Of course she did not re- 
main long in that position. The robbers got 



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210 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

what they went for — ^all the money the family 
had. This is only a sample of their mode of 
operations. 

We were holding a camp-meeting near Falls 
City, in 1862. At this meeting were a number 
of our " boys in blue." With many of them I 
was intimately acquainted. Brave, noble boys 
they were — loyal to the core, and true to the " old 
flag.'^ Saturday night a number of rebel " Jay- 
hawkers" from Missouri came over. We knew 
they were present, and greatly feared the conse- 
quences. We all felt certain there would be 
trouble. " Our boys " were not in a mood to hear 
the slightest insinuation against the Government 
in its efforts to put down the Rebellion. They 
were ready at a moment to resent any word or 
act not perfectly loyal. Sunday evening, about 
sundown, as I stood near the stand, I noticed a 
large crowd at the upper end of the ground. A 
moment afterwards, a woman came rushing down 
towards the pulpit, intensely excited, and ex- 
claimed : " Elder, elder, go up there quick I They 
are killing our boys!" I ran up; but before 
reaching the spot the crowd had dispersed. Poor 
Dave Stephenson, however, had received a fear- 
ful stab in the side from one of the rebels. We 
carried him down to his father^s tent, arranged a 
bed in a wagon-box, and made him as comfort- 
able as possible. Here he lay, suffering great 



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CIVIL WAR INCIDENTS, 211 

agony, all night long. All thought the wound 
would prove filial; but a kind Providence or- 
dered it otherwise, and he recovered. The whole 
camp-ground was in a perfect ferment of excite- 
ment. Soon, however,* the excitement subsided, 
the people assembled at the stand, the usual services 
were held, God owned and blessed the Word, and 
souls were saved. Many earnest prayers went 
up for " Dave^s '^ recovery. These prayers were 
answered. "Dave" has since held responsible 
positions of trust in the State, at one time filling 
the position of surveyor-general. His father and 
mother were devoted Christians, ardently attached 
to the Church, and they did much for God and 
/)ur Zion in that early day. 

The Civil War revealed the true character of 
many men, and many supposed good men were 
found to be, when opportunity offered, as vile as 
the vilest. 



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212 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 



CHAPTER XV- 

LINCOLN. 

Location — Salt Basins — First Settlers — Indians — First 
Sermon in the County — Elder Young — Lancaster — 
Visit to the New Town — Act Providing for the 
Change of the Capital — Lot-sales — First Lbgisla- 
turb in the New Capital— First Methodist Episco- 
pal Church — Other Churches. 

IN the present chapter I wish to sketch the his- 
tory of Lincoln, giving a brief outline of its 
rise, growth, and prosperity. 

Lincoln is the county-seat of Lancaster County, 
and the capital of the State of Nebraska; it is 
fifty miles west of the Missouri River, and stands 
on the banks of Salt Creek. The beautiful capitol 
crowns the highest elevation of the plateau on 
which the city stands. A circle of low hills, a 
few miles away, surrounds the city. The scenery 
on every hand is the most charming. In full 
view, to the west of the city, are the " Salt Basins.'' 
On a bright summer day — ^and for these Nebraska 
is noted — these basins resemble large bodies of 
limpid water; they are, however, level surfaces 
of compact earth, covered with a layer of '^ saline 



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LINCOLN. 213 

crystal, and intersected with tiny rivers of brine 
flowing into the creek/' from which the creek 
derives its name and character. They were dis- 
covered in 1856, and their value was at once 
recognized. Long before Lincoln was founded, 
the early settlers came for many miles to these 
basins, and made the* salt necessary for their 
yearly supply. The brine from the springs and 
rivulets is very strong, and in a short time the 
former, by boiling the brine, could make salt suf- 
ficient to last during the year. When traveling 
the Nebraska City District from 1861 to 1865, I 
found that many of the settlers from Johnson, 
Pawnee, Gage, and other counties, came here, 
made and laid in their yearly supply of salt. In 
no distant day these basins will, without doubt, 
be a source of great revenue to the State. 

In 1850, when passing over the Plains, we 
crossed Salt Creek, eight miles south of Lincoln, 
at a point now called Saltillo. Here we camped 
during the night, little dreaming that near where 
we were, in a few short years, would rise one of 
the greatest cities of the West, and the capital 
of one of the largest and richest States of our 
Union. Six years later, the first settlement was 
made in the county, a few miles further south, by 
Mr. John D. Prey and his sons. I first met some 
members of the family in 1861, at a quarterly 
meeting held at the residence of James Eatherton. 



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214 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

Mrs. Prey was a devoted ChristiaD, and a member 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Preyt 
reached Salt Creek June 15, 1856. At that time 
the land in the county was not surveyed; the 
following year the land-office was established in 
Nebraska City. The same year the county of 
Lancaster was partly surveyed, and Mr. Prey and 
his sons located their claims. For some time they 
were the only people living anywhere near the 
salt basins. 

During the first summer all the settlers could 
do was to break land ; as they came late in the 
season, they were unable to raise any crops. In 
1857 very little was raised; but in 1858 a large 
crop was harvested ; prosperity dawned upon the 
settlers, and the future began to look bright and 
hopeful. 

In the early history of the county, when the 
settlers numbered only eight or ten, the first In- 
dian scare occurred. It was in 1857, when a man 
by the name of Davis settled near Saltillo. This 
man had a vain and wicked desire to kill an Indian, 
and it was not long until an opportunity of grati- 
fying this unholy desire was given him. Without 
provocation he deliberately shot down an innocent 
Indian. The Indians were numerous, and when 
they found that one of their number had been 
killed in cold blood by a white man, they at once 
went upon the war-path. Who could blame them ? 



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LINCOLN. 215 

The white man was the aggressor. The settlers 
were alarmed, and fled to Weeping Water Falls. 
Here they remained for two weeks. The Indians, 
however, soon quieted down, and the settlers re- 
turned to their claims. 

In 1859 another Indian scare occurred. A 
band of Cheyennes and Arapahoes came to the 
salt-basins, evidently bent on mischief. Unex- 
pectedly they reached the homestead of Mr. Prey 
when the men folks were all away. Mrs. Prey, 
her daughter Rebecca, twelve years old, and two 
boys, aged eight and fifteen years, were alone. 
When the Indians appeared, Rebecca was some 
distance from the house, and the Indians were 
about to seize and carry her away a captive ; but 
their plans were frustrated by the courage of the 
mother, and the timely arrival of the male mem- 
bers of the family. They did but little damage 
as they passed on to the north. 

Five years afterwards, in 1864, another Indian 
scare took place. The bloodthirsty Sioux were 
on the war-path. They were coming from the 
west, killing and plundering and laying waste 
the country as they came, and the settlers of 
Lancaster County fled in terror to the east. A 
few of the men, however, determined to remain 
until they should see the Indians approach. 
Some days elapsed; but the murderous Sioux 
did not put in an appearance. Then these brave 



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216 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

men, eight in all, determined to go west until 
they learned something definite with regard to 
the Red-skins. Mounted, and armed to the teeth 
with rifles and revolvers, they started in pursuit 
of the foe. The party was composed of Captain 
W. T. Donivan, John S. Gregory, E. M. War- 
ens, Richard Wallingford, James Morgan, John 
P. Loder, Aaron Wood, and one other. With 
most of them I^was personally acquainted. They 
pushed on to the west until they reached the val- 
ley of the Blue, near where Milford now stands ; 
and as they were looking for the wily Sioux, they 
saw a single Indian, peeping over the hill, some 
distance to their rear. The lone Indian, looking 
over the hill, boded no good to the whites. They 
were fully convinced that he was a picket-guard, 
and that near by, in all probability, there was a 
whole tribe of warriors. They determined to 
ride back, but had only started, when, from the 
low ground, there suddenly rose up before them 
several hundred well-mounted and well-armed 
Indians. The Indians were right across their 
path, and the savage Red-men began to bear 
down upon the little band of whites. It was a 
critical moment, and the cheeks of the brave 
men for once were blanched. Death seemed in- 
evitable. They determined to make a desperate 
effort to escape, and, in the attempt, to sell their 
lives as dear as possible. They strapped their 



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LINCOLN, 217 

rifles to their shoulders, and, with drawn revolv- 
ers, they started, determined to force a passage 
through the line of well-armed savages or die in 
the attempt. Just as they were starting, the In- 
dians put up a white flag ; and one of their num- 
ber, throwing away his gun in token of friend- 
ship, came forward to meet them, and aa he came 
up to them said: "How? Me no Sioux; me 
Pawnee. Me no fight white man." What a re- 
lief it was to the whites! It proved to be true; 
they were a band of Pawnee warriors, on the 
war-path against the Sioux; and when they first 
saw the white men they supposed they were a 
party of Sioux stragglers. The Pawnees passed 
on after the Sioux, and the whites returned to 
their homes, glad to let Indians fight Indians. 

Among the first settlers who came after the 
Prey family were W. T. Donivan, James Eather- 
ton, John Cadman, R. Walliugford, W. E. Keys, 
E. Warens, J. A. Wallingford, and John S. Greg- 
ory. John Dee came about the same time the 
Preys did. As late as 1860-63 a buffalo might 
occasionally have been seen, and over the prai- 
ries where Lincoln now stands herds of antelope 
gamboled; coyotes were numerous, and their 
shrill bark was often heard, especially during the 
night. 

In the history of Lincoln we find the follow- 
ing about Mr. John S. Gregory : '' During the 



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218 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD, 

winter of 1863 Mr. John S. Gregory, not having 
any other business to attend to, gave attention to 
destroying some of the numerous wolves which 
then infested this region. He would insert a 
few grains of strychnine into little balls of fat, 
and then pass around a large circuit and drop 
the balls into the snow. The wolves would fol- 
low the trail, and snap up every ball. Every 
wolf that swallowed a ball was dead in a short 
time. He would then skin the animals, their 
pelts being valuable at that time. The carcasses 
he piled up in cords, north of Lincoln, to pre- 
vent the poisoning of domestic animals by eating 
the flesh. They were frozen stiff and stark, and 
corded up like wood. Toward spring Mr. Greg- 
ory had a couple of cords of carcasses piled up at 
one place. Then a lot of Pawnee Indians came 
along, and stopped near the cords of wolf-car- 
casses. Mr. Gregory, fearing they might eat the 
wolves, rode over to warn them of the danger. 
He found the squaws and papooses lugging the 
wolf-carcasses into camp, and he at once expos- 
tulated with them by signs, trying to make them 
understand it was dangerous to eat the wolves. 
The old chief thought he was demanding the re- 
turn of the wolves because they were his prop- 
erty, and, at the chiePs command, the squaws 
and papooses lugged the carcasses back, and 
piled them up again. They were not well 



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LINCOLN, 219 

pleased at the prospect of losing a feast, and re- 
turned the wolf-meat with long faces. Finally, 
a member of the tribe, who could speak a little 
English, came along, and Mr. Gregory explained 
to him that he did not care for the wolf-carcasses, 
but did not want the Indians to be poisoned. 
This explanation was made to the Indians, who 
set up a big guflaw, and the squaws, at once be- 
gan to gather up the wolf-carcasses and take them 
to camp, laughing and indulging in expressions 
of great satisfaction. They cooked up the last 
one of the wolves, and had a great feast. Mr. 
Gregory learned from the interpreter that the 
Indians were well acquainted with the use of 
strychnine in killing wolves, and were in the 
habit of eating animals killed in this way. They 
had no fear of the drug, and suffered no appar- 
ent damage from eating the wolves.'^ 

In the fall of 1859 the settlers met under the 
shade of a large elm-tree, standing on the bank 
of Salt Creek, near where the B. and M. round- 
house now stands, to effect a county organiza- 
tion. A committee was appointed to select a site 
for a county-seat and lay out a town. The com- 
mittee selected the present site of Lincoln, and 
called it " Lancaster.'* For some time " Lancas- 
ter" was only a paper town, without inhabitants. 
The same year John Cadman settled in the south- 
ern part of the county. Subsequently he was 



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220 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

made county judge, and ever afterwards was fa- 
miliarly known as " Judge Cadman." The writer 
first met him at a quarterly meeting, held in 
1861, south of Saltillo. The meeting was held 
in the private house of James Eatherton, on the 
bank of Salt Creek, twelve miles south of the 
city of Lincoln. The judge was deeply inter- 
ested in laying the foundations of the Church in 
the new Territory. He was not only an active 
Church member in that early day, but was an 
enterprising citizen as well. He took an active 
part in having what was known as "The Steam- 
wagon Road " built from Nebraska City west to 
Fort Kearney. A steam-wagon was invented, 
and the inventor brought this wagon up the Mis- 
souri River to Nebraska City. When it landed, 
a most profound sensation was produced. The 
most intense excitement prevailed among the cit- 
izens. It was thought by many that it would 
create a complete revolution in traveling and 
freight-carrying over the plains. Streams were 
bridged, hills graded, sloughs filled, and a good 
road was made for the " steam-wagon." Although 
the " steam-wagon " proved an utter failure, and 
never amounted to anything at all, a most excel- 
lent highway was built, and the people living 
along the road were more than compensated for 
their labor and expense. Judge Cadman took 
an active part ^Iso in having the capital of the 



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LINCOLN. 221 

State changed, and located in Lancaster County. 
For many years he lived in the city, and aided 
in building up the new capital. He is now liv- 
ing in California, in the city of Los Angeles. 

The first sermon ever preached near where 
the city of Lincoln now stands was by Rev. Z. 
B. Turman, in 1857. A detailed account of 
Brother Turman's work may be found in the 
following chapter. 

In 1863, Elder J. M. Young, whose name is 
fiimiliar to all the early settlers of this county, 
a minister of the Methodist Protestant Church, 
located at this point with a colony. Elder Young 
organized a Methodist Protestant society, and the 
society afterwards erected a large stone church — 
one of the first church edifices built in the city 
of Lincoln. He also organized societies at dif- 
ferent places in the county. The design of 
Elder Young and his colony was to locate and 
build up a denominational school of high grade. 
A seminary was founded, and a stone building 
erected, which stood where the SUUe Journal 
block now stands. The seminary, however, did 
not prove a success. 

In 1866, I visited Lancaster, and spent a Sab- 
bath in the new town, which had at that time 
half a dozen houses. I preached on Sunday 
morning in a little unfinished school-house to a 
small congregation of attentive and intelligent 



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222 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

listeners, little dreaming that this unpretentious 
town was so soon to become one of the mightiest 
of Western cities, and the capital of one of the 
most thrifty and populous States in the American 
Union. I never was more impressed in my life 
with the beauty of any place than I was with 
Lancaster and the whole surrounding country. 
It seemed that nature had never been more prodi- 
gal in lavishing beauty and attractions upon any 
place than the country where tlie city of Lincoln 
now stands. I returned to my home in Nebraska 
City, and immediately located some land near 
the new town. 

On June 20, 1867, a bill passed the Legisla- 
ture providing for the removal and permanent lo- 
cation of the capital of Nebraska. Omaha was 
then the seat of government. The bill, of course, 
had its bitter enemies, and was fought to the very 
last with all the ability and energy its opponents 
could command. The contest was a long and 
heated one, full of acrimony, and no small amount 
of ill-feeling was engendered. The bill provided, 
first, "That the governor, secretary of state, 
and auditor be, and are hereby, appointed com- 
missioners for the purpose of locating the seat of 
government and the public buildings of the State.'' 
And second, " On or before July, 1867, the com- 
missioners, or a majority of them, shall select 
from the lands belonging to the State within the 



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LINCOLN. 223 

following limits^ to-wit, the County of Seward, 
the south half Qf the County of Saunders and 
Butler, and that portion of th'b County of Lan- 
caster lying north of the south line of Township 
Nine, a suitable site of not less than six hundred 
and forty acres lying in one body, for a town, 
due regard being had to its accessibility from all 
parts of the State, and its geneiral fitness for a 
capital. They shall immediately survey, lay ofi*, 
and stake out the said tract of land into lots, 
blocks, streets and alleys, and public squares or 
reservations for public buildings, which said town, 
when so laid out and surveyed, shall be named 
and known as Lincoln, and the same is hereby 
declared to be the permanent seat of government 
of the State of Nebraska, at which all of the 
public offices of the State shall be kept, and at 
which all of the sessions of the Legislature shall 
hereafter be held." The bill further provided 
that the State University and State Agricultural 
College should be united as one educational insti- 
tution, and should be located upon a reservation 
selected by the commissioners in said " Lincoln," 
and the necessary buildings erected as soon as 
funds could be secured from the sale of lots do- 
nated to the State ; and that the penitentiary of 
the State should be " located upon a reservation 
selected by the said commissioners in Lincoln, 
or upon lands adjacent to said town of Lincoln." 



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224 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

Immediately on the adjournment of the Legis- 
lature, the commissioners — Go>jernor David But- 
ler, Secretary T. P. Kennard, and Auditor John 
Gillespie — entered upon their duties. They trav- 
eled over the country, personally surveyed the 
lands from which the selection was to be made 
on which the new capital was to be located, and 
after a careful survey of all the lands, " due re- 
gard being had to its accessibility from all parts 
of the State," they selected as the future capital 
of the State of Nebraska the site on which the 
city of Lincoln now stands. The wisdom of that 
selection has been vindicated by the marvelous 
growth of the city, and the general prosperity of 
the State. Lincoln is to-day the great railroad 
center of the State, easy of access from every part 
of our commonwealth. 

The city was platted into lots, blocks, and res- 
ervations according to the provisions of the act 
of the Legislature, and the following September 
the lots were offered at public sale. I had the 
privilege of attending this public sale, and saw 
the first lot in the city of Lincoln sold at auction. 

There were only a few houses then in the 
new town. Many felt that accommodations for 
those attending the sales would be limited, hence 
they came with tents and covered wagons, bring- 
ing with them their own provisions. The public 
square, where the Government post-office now 



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LINCOLN, 225 

stands, was covered with a heavy crop of prairie- 
grass, and furnished a delightful camping-ground 
for those in attendance. Here they pitched their 
tents, and camped during the sales. 

Judge Cadman kept the hotel in the stone 
house which was formerly the old stone semi- 
nary building. At this hotel the commissioners, 
the writer, and many friends from Nebraska City 
were entertained. No pains were spared by the 
judge and his large-hearted wife to make us all 
as comfoi'table as it was possible for us to be made 
under the circumstances. The three days of sale 
were memorable days, and will never be forgotten 
by those who were present. The first day was a 
gloomy one. During the forepart of the day 
there was a drizzling rain. There were not as 
many {people present as was expected, and the 
commissioners felt as gloomy and sad as the weather 
looked dark and forbidding. In the afternoon 
we followed the commissioners to the northeast 
corner of the plat, and the first lot, in block one, 
was offered for sale. Governor Butler bid the 
minimum price. Rev. J. G. Miller overbid the 
governor twenty-five cents, and the first lot in 
the future great city of Lincoln was knocked down 
to him for forty dollars and twenty-five cents. 
The bidding in the afternoon was very slow and 
dull. There was no enthusiasm whatever. But 
few were willing to take the risk of a purchase; 



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226 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

as the success of the scheme was a very doubtful 
one. Only a few lots were offered, when the 
governor announced the sales closed until the 
next day at nine o'clock. At the close of the first 
day's sales the success of the new project looked 
doubtful in the extreme. I think all the com- 
missioners felt that the whole thing was a com- 
plete failure. 

That night a syndicate was formed, mostly of 
men from Nebraska City, with a capital of fifteen 
thousand dollars. This amount the syndicate 
agreed to invest in lots, also to bid on every lot 
offered for sale. Rev. J. G. Miller agreed to in- 
vest fifteen hundred dollars in lots. Mr. James 
Sweet was authorized to bid for the syndicate. 
The e^ales began at nine o'clock, and the bidding 
at once became lively. 

The people became enthusiastic, and the en- 
thusiasm kept up during the whole day. The 
day closed most hopefully, eighteen thousand dol- 
lars worth of lots having been disposed of. The 
success of the wonderful undertaking was assured. 
Doubts and fears left the minds of the commis- 
sioners. Every one interested in the movement 
was jubilant. The dense cloud that had hung so 
long over the friends of the movement broke into 
fragments, scattered, and entirely disappeared, and 
the bright sun of future success poured his genial 
rays upon all. In a short time money enough 



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LINCOLN. 227 

was secured from the sale of lots to build the new 
State-house. 

Plans and specifications for the new State- 
house were adopted by the commissioners. The 
contract for the building was at once let^ and the 
foundation was laid before cold weather. 

There is an unwritten history connected with 
the carrying forward of this great undertaking, 
known only to the commissioners and a few of 
the older settlers of the county. At almost every 
step, from the very first, the commissioners were 
met with difficulties. Obstacle after obstacle rose 
before them, barrier after barrier impeded them 
in their progress. These obstacles, however, were 
overcome ; these barriers, one after another, gave 
way before their untiring energy, and at last 
victory crowned their efforts. The building was 
ready for occupancy the following winter. All 
the State offices were moved from Omaha to Lin- 
coln, and in January, 1869, the Nebraska State 
Legislature was held in the new capital. 

In the spring of 1868, " Lincoln '' first ap- 
peared upon the Minutes of the Nebraska Annual 
Conference, and the writer was appointed pastor. 
The town contained a population of some two 
hundred souls. There was no parsonage, beauti- 
fully and richly furnished; no large society to 
greet the pastor and his fiimily, and give them a 
royal welcome and a grand reception. The pastor 



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228 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

built his own house^ and furnished it as best he 
could. While our house was being finished^ 
Mrs. Davis did her cooking in the largest kitchen 
we ever had, and never once complained for the 
want of room. The ceiling was high, the floor 
beautifully carpeted with living green, the venti- 
lation perfect, and our appetites of the very best. 
Here we lived a number of days in the most 
roomy apartment we ever had. 

We found sixteen members of the Church, in- 
cluding men, women, and children, and a small 
church on Tenth Street, inclosed only. We found 
another thing we did not like so well. On this 
shell of a house we found what the little girl 
called " the latest improvement " — a four-hundred- 
dollar mortgage. 

We went to work, finished the building, and 
consecrated it to the worship of Almighty God, 
Dr. W. B. Slaughter preaching the dedicatory 
sermon. At the end of one year the building be- 
came too small for the congregations. The trustees 
authorized the pastor to dispose of the church, 
and the next week I sold it to the School Board 
of the city for a school-house. We then built a 
frame building on M Street, on the lots given by 
the State to the Church. This building was after- 
wards enlarged. In this the congregation wor- 
shiped for a number of years. Finally it gave 



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LINCOLN. 229 

way to the present elegant and massive church, 
known as "Saint Paul." The city grew rapidly 
from the beginning, and the Church kept pace 
with the material development of the city. Other 
denominations organized societies. Earnest, faith- 
ful pastors led on these societies, and soon good 
houses of worship were erected ; and to-day the 
Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Epis- 
copalians, Christians, and Roman Catholics, all 
have elegant churches — churches that would be 
an honor and a credit to any city of the land. 
The membership of our Church increased very 
rapidly, and soon we had a large society of intel- 
ligent, live, working members. 

Among the first members were Simon C. 
Elliott, James Kimball and wife, A. K. White 
and wife, John Cadman and wife, J. Schoolcraft 
and wife, C. N. Baird and wife, A. J. Cropsey 
and wife, Mrs. W. Lamb, Mrs. Metcalf, Dr. Strick- 
land and wife, and E. G. Coldwell and wife. That 
little handful has multiplied until, instead of one 
small church, there are seven, and the city has 
grown from a population of two hundred to near 
sixty thousand souls. 

Though the beginnings were not very propi- 
tious, and the outlook was anything but flattering, 
yet the longer we remained the better pleased we 
became. We left the charge at the end of three 



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230 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

years with a membership of two hundred and two, 
and never had the privilege of serving a more 
pleasant people. 

Lincoln is not only a city of commerce and 
of Churches, but a city of education. Here is 
located the State University, the Nebraska Wes- 
leyan University, the Christian University, the 
Second Advent University, and other denom- 
inations are looking to Lincoln as the place 
to locate their universities. Here, where only 
thirty years ago the antelope gamboled, the buf- 
falo roamed, the coyote barked, and the war-cry 
of the wild savage resounded, stands a great 
city — ^the railroad center, the educational center, 
and the religious center of a great and powerful 
State. Prophecy is fulfilled. The desert rejoices 
and blossoms as the rose. 



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ONE OF THE EARLY PIONEERS. 231 



CHAPTER XVI. 

ONE OP THE EARI.Y PIONEERS. 

Rbv. Z. B. Turmam the First Preacheb in Lancastxb 
County — Salt Creek Circuit — Great Revival — 
CooN-icEAT — Preaching to "Spotted Horse'' and 
HIS Warriors — ^The Captive Squaw and her Sad 
Fate — A Mush-and-milk Tea — Indian Troubles — 
The New Ulm Massacre* 

AS Rev. Z. B. Turman was so intimately con- 
nected with the early history of Lancaster 
County, and not only with the county, but the 
early history of the Territory as well, it seems 
eminently fitting that I should speak more fully 
with regard to him and his labors. There were 
many thrilling events connected with the early 
history of Brother Turman's work in Nebraska 
which can but be of very great interest and profit 
to the reader. At the second session of the 
Kansas and Nebraska Conference, in 1857, the 
Salt Creek Mission was formed, and Zenas B. 
Turman was appointed preacher in charge. The 
first sermon ever preached in the county of Lan- 
caster was by Brother Turman. This was in 
1857, and in the private house of James Eather- 
ton, some twelve miles south of where the city of 



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232 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD, 

LiDcoIn now stands. The same year he preached 
the first sermon ever preached on the present site 
of Lincoln. Salt Creek Mission embraced seven 
counties, and Brother Turman established sixteen 
preaching-places. The settlements were sparse, 
and confined to the streams, and the distance 
firom one to the other was often very great. 
Over these prairies, under the burning rays of 
the summer sun, and the fierce winds, blinding 
storms, and terrible winter blizzards, Brother 
Turman rode from settlement to settlement, and 
calling the people together in their rude dwell- 
ings, proclaimed to them the Word of life. All 
over this part of the State we see to-day the 
grand results of the sacrifices and toils of this 
noble man of God. The Church planted by him 
has arisen in beauty, grandeur, and glory, and 
we now enjoy its sacred privileges. 

I have been intimately acquainted with 
Brother Turman for thirty years, and I have 
often heard him tell of his work in the State in 
an early day ; but never have I heard a mur- 
mur escape from his lips. He has always been 
a genial, uncomplaining, happy, sunny-hearted 
minister of the gospel. 

The winter of 1858 witnessed one of the most 
powerful revivals of religion under his labors, 
near where Louisville now stands, that was ever 
known in that region of the countr)^ The 



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ONE OF THE EARLY PIONEERS. 233 

singing, praying, and rejoicing could be heard 
for miles away. The people said, " The only rea- 
son why there were not more converted, was be- 
cause there were no more people to convert." 
The revival swept the entire community into the 
Church — men, women, and children. During 
this revival, a young man by tjie name of J. B. 
Ford was most wonderfully saved. Brother Tur- 
man said of him : "He was the most powerful 
man in prayer I ever heard in my life. His ap- 
peals to the Father of all mercies were clothed 
in such eloquent and powerful strains, that it 
seemed heaven and earth were coming together." 
At the following quarterly meeting Brother Ford 
was licensed to preach, and soon after left the 
State and returned to the East. What the future 
history of that promising young man was we 
know not. For aught we know, he may to-day 
be upon the walls of Zion, preaching the " ever- 
lasting gospel." Waves of hallowed influence 
were started at that meeting that have been 
widening and rolling on ever since, and will 
continue to go on widening their circles and roll- 
ing on forever. "The good men do, lives after 
them." It never dies. It lives and moves, 
and its power is felt through all the ages. By 
our words and looks and acts, we may send out 
an influence that will tell upon the happiness of 

men forever.* 

20 



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234 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

During this winter there was no grain, and 
" Jack/' Brother Turman's horse, had to eat po- 
tatoes. These he learned to eat with a relish, 
and he did nicely. At one time "Jack'' was 
offered some old corn. It was so poor and musty, 
however, that he refused to eat it. Brother Tur- 
man ate bread made from the same lot of corn 
without making any complaints or asking any 
questions. In speaking of this, he once said to 
the writer : " We have reason ; horses have not. 
We eat to satisfy hunger; horses, to suit their 
taste. We have souls; they have not. We 
ought to take the better care of their bodies." 
Not only did the stock fare hard during that 
winter in consequence of the scarcity of grain, 
but the people fared hard as well. Their tables 
did not groan under the weight of sweetmeats 
and delicious viands. Their fare was plain but 
substantial, and such as the people had they 
freely gave to their pastor. The good people in- 
vited him to sit with them at their tables, and 
often the only meat they had was raccoon. 
Whether he really relished the raccoon or not, I 
do not know. I am inclined to think he felt a 
little as the man did who was asked, after having 
taken a meal on 'coon, "Do you like it?" He 
replied : " I can eat it, but I do not hanker after 
it." Chickens were scarce. He never got any 
of these birds. They went to the more highly- 



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ONE OF THE EARLY PIONEERS. 235 

favored ministers^ who labored among more 
highly-favored people. 

During this winter he received a request from 
" Spotted Horse/' a chief among the Pawnee In- 
dians, to go and preach to him and his people. 
Brother Turman obeyed the call, went out and 
met the chief, with his warriors, at their reserva- 
tion on the south side of the Platte River, just 
opposite Fremont. He preached the gospel to 
these Red-men of the plains. He told them of 
God's infinite love in the gift of his Son. He 
told them the wonderful story of the incarnation ; 
how Jesus, the Son of God, came down into this 
world; suiFered; was crucified; died, and was 
buried; and on the third day rose from the 
grave, and ascended up into heaven ! He told 
them of the tragedy of Calvary, and its attend- 
ant phenomena; how the rocks rent, the earth 
quaked, the sun veiled his &ce and refused to 
look upon the awful scene; how the graves 
opened, and the dead came forth ! He told them 
that Jesus suffered all this in order that they, as 
well as the white men, might be saved. They 
listened with the greatest interest and the most 
rapt attention, and treated Brother Turman with 
the highest respect and the most profound rev- 
erence. The chief and all his warriors kneeled 
down during prayer, and looked upon the min- 
ister as a messenger from the skies. After the 



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236 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

services were over, "Spotted Horse'' said: "We 
believe every word you say. Our forefathers 
had the ' Great Book ' [referring to the Bible], 
but lost it/' Spotted Horse was a man of more 
than ordinary mind for an Indian, but remained 
a savage and died the same. 

Brother Turraan was never maltreated by the 
Indians, although he very frequently met them, 
and often preached to them. But on this occa- 
sion he was very uneasy, and not a little fearful, 
not that they would do him personal violence, but 
that they would take all his clothing from him, 
and that he would be compelled to return to the 
settlements in a nude condition. This they had 
done with others, and he greatly feared he would 
suffer the same fate. They eyed him very closely, 
and with the greatest curiosity examined all his 
clothing. He was finally greatly relieved, how- 
ever, by getting away with only the loss of his 
black cravat. 

At one time, while visiting their reservation, 
he saw a young squaw whom they had taken cap- 
tive. She was a Sioux, and had been taken cap- 
tive by the Pawnees in one of their raids. The 
Sioux and Pawnees were bitter enemies, and were 
at war with each other. It was the custom of 
the Pawnees, when an Indian squaw was taken 
prisoner, to give her to any one of their men 
who might desire her for his wife. If no one 



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ONE OF THE EARLY PIONEERS. 237 

desired her, then their barbarous custom was to 
put her to death. In this case no one desired 
the young and handsome Sioux squaw for a wife. 
The poor captive was in the greatest agony. She 
knew very well what the terrible result would 
be. Brother Turman could do nothing. He did 
not dare interfere. A band of the Indians started 
to the grove near by with their victim, the poor 
captive weeping most bitterly as they disappeared. 
Soon after the Indians returned, but the girl was 
not with them. All was quiet. Not a word was 
spoken. The silence of death reigned throughout 
the Indian village. All knew the fate of the 
young and beautiful captive. She had paid the 
penalty of her captivity. 

Such is life among the wild savages. How 
much they need the gospel I How long will it 
be ere the barbarous tribes of our world shall be 
lifted from their barbarity, and made the happy 
recipients of the refining, purifying, and elevat- 
ing effects of the gospel ? " How long, O Lord, 
how long?" 

Along the valley of the Great Platte, up and 
down Salt Creek, the Blue, the Nemaha, Weep- 
ing Water, Walnut Creek, and Wahoo, Brother 
Turman first blew the gospel-trumpet. Along 
all these streams, and over the hills and plains 
of this vast region, he sowed the seed of gospel 
truth, and the seed sowed by him in that early 



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238 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

day ^\as like a "handful of corn in the earth on 
the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shakes 
like Lebanon/* He saw the stately elk, the 
agile antelope, the fierce coyote, the mighty buf- 
felo, roaming over the wild prairies where the 
marvelous cities of Lincoln and Beatrice now 
stand. 

The first Methodist class in Lancaster 
County was organized in Brother Eatherton's 
house in 1857. At that time Brother Eatherton 
said to Brother Turman : " Do you think this 
country will ever be settled up ?'* Brother Tur- 
man replied: " Not till the next comet strikes 
the earth." They imagined that ages would pass 
before this country would amount to anything at 
all. Many had serious doubts whether their 
farms were worth the Government price — one 
dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. But a 
wonderful change soon came over their dreams. 
This supposed worthless country has become one 
of the garden-spots of the earth. 

In 1859, Brother Turman was appointed to 
the Fontenelle Circuit. Here he found three 
men professing to be heralds of the cross, who 
believed that God from all eternity had foreor- 
dained whatsoever comes to pass. When they 
told him their belief, he said : " The cold tremors 
ran over me.'' 

Soon after reaching Fontenelle, having fully 



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ONE OF THE EARLY PIONEERS, 239 

taken in the situation, he felt deeply impressed 
that a revival of religion was greatly needed. 
He sent for Brother L. W, Smith, of Fremont, 
to come and assist him in a protracted effort. 
The meeting began with considerable interest. 
The Oalvinists were present and took part in the 
services. Brother Turman was compelled, by 
ministerial courtesy, to treat them as co-laborers 
in the vineyard of the Lord. This was very hard 
for Brother Turman to do, and Brother Smith 
as well, after these Calvinists had proclaimed their 
belief in the " horrible decrees." 

At an experience meeting one of these min- 
isters gave in his testimony. He said : " I never 
was converted right out like many others; but 
my mother was a pious woman, and I naturally 
grew up into a pious state/^ Brother Turman 
thought religion was a work of grace, not of na- 
ture, and that men were converted by the power 
of God, and not by natural growth. 

One of the ministers of the village invited 
them to tea. They gladly accepted the invita- 
tion, but when they sat down at the supper-table 
they were not a little surprised to find mush and 
milk instead of tea. Brother Turman was very 
much disappointed. He had his heart set on an 
excellent supper, and, as he never liked mush and 
milk, to be compelled to eat what he had no 
relish for at all, was really an affliction. 



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240 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

At this time there were serious troubles with 
the Indians. They had committed various dep- 
redations against the whites, and the settlers 
were constantly harassed by these marauding 
bands. On the south side of the Platte River, 
just opposite Fremont, stood a village of some 
four thousand Pawnees. In July, 1859, the 
Sioux came down in a body, attacked and com- 
pletely routed them. The Pawnees fled from 
their foes, crossed the Platte, and passed up the 
Elkhorn River. Along this stream were a few 
settlers, and they were in the bounds of Brother 
Turman's circuit. As the Indians passed up the 
river they killed and drove away the settlers' 
stock, plundered their houses, killed some of the 
inhabitants, and committed many other depre- 
dations. 

At the hour of midnight these outraged peo- 
ple reached Fontenelle, hungry, weary, and al- 
most frightened to death. They told the sad 
story of the violence received from the Indians. 
The next morning the citizens of Fontenelle, 
sixty in number, armed themselves as best they 
could, and on horseback started in pursuit of the 
murderous savages. Brother Turman, fully be- 
lieving the Savior's words, " They that take the 
sword shall perish with the sword," joined the 
company, and aided in bringing to justice the 
bloodthirsty criminals. They followed the In- 



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ONE OF THE EARLY PIONEERS, 241 

diaus to a point some five miles north of where 
West Point now stands, and here they found a 
house belonging to a Mormon, in which were a 
number of Indians. Whether or not the Mor- 
mon aided the savages in their dastardly work is 
not known. They immediately surrounded the 
house; the Indians rushed out, and firing on the 
whites, wounded one of them in the arm. Tiie 
whites returned the fire, and in the skirmish 
succeeded in taking one of the Indians a pris- 
oner. With him they started back to Fontenelle. 
Passing near the bank of the Elkhorn, the boys 
not watching their prisoner very closely, he leaped 
into the stream^ and diving, swam for some dis- 
tance under the water, then arose, and, reaching 
the opposite bank, made his escape. 

Great excitement prevailed, and it was gen- 
erally believed that the Pawnees would at once 
begin a war of extermination against the frontier 
settlements. Governor Black was notified, and at 
the head of an expedition, composed of infantry, 
cavalry, and artillery, started in pursuit of the In- 
dians. When he reached Fontenelle, Brother Tur- 
man entered the expedition as chaplain. Some 
distance beyond West Point the Indians were 
overtaken, and Governor Black demanded of 
Spotted Horse, the chief, why he had been dis- 
turbing the settlers. His reply was : '* My war- 
riors will not obey me.^' A parley eusned, and he 

21 



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242 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

was finally given the choice, either to give up the 
braves who had committed the depredations, and 
to pay the expenses of the expedition out of the 
moneys then due his people from the Govern- 
ment, or to fight. He chose the former, sur- 
rendered seven braves, and signed an agreement 
authorizing the keeping back certain moneys be- 
longing to them from the Government. All but 
one of the braves surrendered made their escape. 
The expedition returned, and the troops were dis- 
banded, and the Government paid the Indians all 
that wlas due them, leaving the expedition to pay 
its own expenses; the Indians thus faring better 
at the hands of the Government than the whites. 
This was the end of what was called the " Paw- 
nee war." 

In 1862, Brother Turman traveled the Dakota 
Circuit. During this year what was known as 
the New Ulm Massacre took place, in which nine 
hundred whites were wantonly and in the most 
cruel manner put to death. Many of them were 
impaled on sharp stakes by the inhuman savages, 
and left to die a lingering and most painful death. 

While on this circuit he received into the Church 
Brother and Sister Wiseman, and at their home in 
Cedar County preached the gospel. Brother and 
Sister Wiseman were called to suiFer what but 
few in this world are called to suffer. During 
the Indian troubles in 1863, Brother Wiseman 



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ONE OF THE EARLY PIONEERS. 243 

and Brother Turman joined General Sully's com- 
mand^ with other citizens of the county, and while 
they were absent and in pursuit of the Indians, 
Mrs. Wiseman went to Yankton, a few miles 
away. While away, the Indians attacked their 
children, and killed them all — six in number. 
Four were killed outright, the older one being a 
boy seventeen years old. They had evidently 
done noble battle in defense of their sister and 
brothers. Nancy, fifteen years old, lived three 
days, but never spoke. Her body had suffered 
the most brutal outrages from the^ bloodthirsty 
savages. The youngest of the &mily, a little 
five-year old boy, lay on the bed disemboweled, 
and when his mother came in he said to her, 
" Indians did it," and died. 

Such were some of the thrilling scenes through 
which Brother Turman passed during the early 
settlement of the State, in laying the foundations 
of the Church. 



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244 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

DISTRICT INCIDENTS. 

Eleventh Nrbraska Conferbnce— Bishop Ames — Old 
Sermons — U. P. R. R. completed — Rapid Growth 
OF THE Church — Hastings — Overtaken in a Feajiful 
Storm — ^Threb Memorable Quarterly Meetings — 
Sad Death of a Worldling — The Dutchman's 
Curse — The Confused Hostess — No Desire to 
Dance. 

THE eleventh session of the Nebraska Annual 
Conference was held in Lincoln, beginning 
March 29, 1871. Bishop Ames presided. This 
was his fourth visit to Nebraska. Being person- 
ally acquainted with many of the preachers, he 
received a cordial welcome. His sermon on Sab- 
bath morning was a masterpiece. His text was 
Rev. xix, 10 : " The testimony of Jesus is the spirit 
of prophecy.*' 

A few months afterwards he preached the same 
sermon in Washington. A correspondent of the 
Central Christian Advocate^ in writing to that 
paper said in substance : " I heard Bishop Ames 
preach this sermon in St. Louis thirty years ago. 
It was delivered yesterday with the same power, 
the same fire, and the same wonderful eflfect it 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS. 245 

was thirty years previously." Age and use had 
done it no harm^ but had rather sharpened its 
edge and increased its force and power. A ser- 
mon need be none the less efficient, elegant, and 
powerful because of age. A faithful minister 
may lop off, add to, and retouch an old ser- 
mon until it will sparkle and flame with beauty 
and power. I think it was Whitefield who said 
he had to preach a sermon the thirtieth time be- 
fore he could preach it perfectly. A minister 
ought not to preach an old sermon unless he 
makes it better every time he delivers it; then 
every time it will be new. 

General Sheridan made a little speech in Lon- 
don that electrified the world. All at the time 
thought it impromptu. It was published and 
commented upon by many of the papers of Eu- 
rope and America. It was afterwards ascer- 
tained, however, that it had been carefully written 
and rewritten, touched and retouched, until every 
sentence was a polished gem. Then it was per- 
fectly committed to memory, and at the proper 
time delivered with overwhelming effect. 

Abraham Lincoln's famed speech at Gettysburg 
was thought by some to be impromptu. It is said 
that just before reaching Gettysburg he took a slip 
of paper and jotted down the notes for it. But, 
without doubt, previously every sentence had been 
carefully thought out, and every word weighed. 



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246 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

The speech was brief, but every sentence was a 
diamond of the first water. Splendid productions 
are the result of deep thought and hard labor. 
A splendid sermon, carefully and prayerfully pre- 
pared, may be repeated a hundred times, before 
new audiences, with increasing rather than di- 
minishing power. 

The three years preceding 1871 were years of 
great prosperity in the young State. 

One of the great events of the nineteenth 
century was the completion of the Union Pacific 
and Central Pacific Railroads. This wonderful 
event took place May 10, 1869. " On that day 
two oceans were united, a continent was spanned 
with iron bands, and a revolution was accom- 
plished in the commerce of the world. California 
shook hands with New York, and the mingled 
screams of steam- whistles upon engines constructed 
three thousand miles distant waked the echoes of 
the mountains.^' 

No State in the Union shared more largely the 
grand results of that most wonderful achievement 
than Nebraska. This great highway of the Nation 
runs through the entire length of the State from 
east to west, a distance of over four hundred 
miles. Along this public highway, up the great 
valley of the Platte, thousands of emigrants came 
to settle and make their permanent homes. The 
admission of Nebraska as a State into the Union, 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS, 247 

and the building of the Union Pacific Railroad 
gave to it a new and wonderful impetus. 

The Burlington and Missouri River Railroad 
was pushing its way to the West. Emigration 
was pouring in from the East. The Church was 
*' enlarging the place of her tents^ stretching forth 
her curtains, lengthening her cords, and strength- 
ening her stakes." Everywhere Churches were 
springing up and growing most rapidly. 

Bishop Ames, being a Western man, readily 
took in the situation, and planned the work ac- 
cordingly. 

In 1870 there were three districts and forty 
stations and circuits. This year the bishop made 
five districts and fifly-nine stations and circuits, 
an increase of two districts and nineteen stations 
and circuits over last year. I was appointed pre- 
siding elder of the Lincoln District, which em- 
braced the counties of Lancaster, Cass, Poik, 
Hamilton, Adams, Clay, and Fillmore, the eastern 
half and northern part of Seward, the west half 
of Otoe, and all of Saunders and Butler Counties, 
except a few appointments in the northern part 
of these counties, including an area of about five 
thousand miles. My first district, in 1861, em- 
braced all the territory south of the Platte River ; 
my new district was only about one-fifth as large 
as my first. 

In addition to the twelve appointments assigned 



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248 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

me at the Conference, Bishop Ames requested me 
to superintend the work on the line of the Bur- 
lington and Missouri River Railroad as far west as 
Fort Kearney, and organize and supply the work 
as fast as the necessities of the case might demand. 
The western terminus of the Burlington and Mis- 
souri River Railroad at this time was Fairmont. I 
immediately employed Rev. George W. Gue, trans- 
ferred from the Central Illinois Conference, to go 
into Fillmore County and organize a circuit. He 
went to work, visiting the people, and preaching to 
them in their cabins, sod-houses, " dug-outs," and 
tents, and succeeded in organizing several classes, 
receiving into the Church ninety-nine members. 
There were no towns west of Fairmont, south 
of the Platte River. The place where Hastings 
now stands was then an untrodden prairie, save 
by the Indians and wild animals that roamed the 
plains. That year Walter Micklen homesteaded 
the quarter-section of land on which a part of the 
city of Hastings now stands. It seems almost 
incredible, nevertheless it is true that, only twenty 
years ago, the land now occupied by the city of 
Hastings belonged to the Government, and the 
thought of a city being built there had never en- 
tered the mind of a living soul. Where only 
twenty years ago nothing was seen growing but 
the wild prairie-grass, and the beautiful prairie- 
flowers, and the only inhabitants were the savage 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS. 249 

Red-men and the wild beasts^ to-day stands a great 
city, which is one of the great railroad centers 
of the State, and which is destined to go on in- 
creasing in wealth and population for all time. 
Hastings has had a marvelous growth. Her 
future brightens every year. 

Three new charges were organized during the 
year, and there was a net increase in the mem- 
bership of eight hundred and forty-three. In my 
report to the Conference at the close of the year 
I said: "At Fairmont, nine months ago, there 
was not a single house; nothing but the wild, 
unbroken prairie, stretching away in every direc- 
tion, as far as vision could extend. Now these 
prairies are dotted all over with houses; large 
farms have been opened, thousands of acres have 
been broken and prepared for crops this season. 
Fairmont was then nothing but a grassy plain; 
now it is a thriving village with five stores, a 
large hotel, a beautiful church, with a live aud 
intelligent membei'ship. As I have traveled over 
these counties, and looked upon this beautiful and 
most delightful country, with its broad and undu- 
lating prairies, its many winding streams, skirted 
with timber, meandering in every direction ; with 
its deep black soil, unsurpassed in richness ; as I 
have mingled with the settlers in their rude dwell- 
ings, and partaken of their hospitalities, in the 
cabin, the sod-house, and the 'dug-out;' as I 



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250 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

have conversed with them upon their present and 
future prospects; as I have heard them tell of 
the many friends away back in Eastern States that 
were soon coming to join them in their Western 
homes, it has seemed that I could almost hear 
Hhe tramp of the coming millions/ and see 
villages and cities rising in every direction, and 
farms crowning every hillside and beautifying 
every valley ; and then, as I have thought of the 
great work for the Church to accomplish in this 
new land, I have involuntarily exclaimed, ' Who 
is sufficient for these things?' We tremble when 
we think of the responsibilities resting upon us 
as God's servants. Here must be laid deep and 
broad the foundations of our Zion. This country 
must be given to God. These 'coming millions' 
must be won to Christ. These villages and cities 
must be crowded with churches. God's people 
must breast the waves of wickedness flowing into 
these cities, villages, and rural districts. The re- 
ligious element must keep pace with the material 
development of the State, or we as a Church will 
be culpable, and on our skirts the blood of im- 
mortal souls, at the judgment day, will be found. 
I have held meetings in the beautiful church, in 
the tented grove, in the frame and sod school- 
house, in private dwellings built of sod, and in 
the ^ dug-out,' and in all these places of worship — 
some of them rude sanctuaries indeed — and have 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS. 251 

witnessed the most signal displays of divine power 

in the conversion of souls. And the many happy 

meetings we have had in these places of worship 

will never be erased from memory. I have been 

forcibly reminded of the fact that happiness comes 

not from surroundings, but from within, and have 

changed that couplet a little, and sung, 

' Sod-houses palaces prove, 
li Jesus dwells with us there.' '' 

Many interesting events took place while I 
was traveling this district. 

On June 10, 1871, I left home and started for 
my quarterly meeting on the Seward Circuit. 
About four o'clock in the afternoon I was over- 
taken by the heaviest rain and hail storm of the 
season. I was on the open prairie and miles from 
any house, and wholly unprotected from the storm. 
The only thing for me to do was to make the best 
of it — "grin and bear it." I was completely 
drenched with the rain, and severely pelted with 
the hail. My poor ponies seemed to suffer more 
than I did myself from the violence of the storm. 
They held their heads down between their forelegs, 
doubled themselves up, turned from one side of the 
road to the other, and at one time stood stock-still, 
and my whalebone whip was powerless to make 
them move an inch. Providentially, the hail lasted 
only a few moments, or we should all have per- 
ished. At Lincoln great damage was done. Cul- 



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252 SOLITARY J^LACES MADE GLAD. 

verts were washed away, cellars flooded, houses 
unroofed, and goods and property damaged to the 
amount of many thousand dollars. The storm 
passed, the clouds broke away, and the sun came 
forth shining more brightly than ever. Just at 
dark we reached Seward,' covered with mud, wet 
to the skin, sore from the pelting hail, and in 
miserable plight generally. I stopped over night 
with my old friend, Brother Davis. The next 
morning I wen» fifteen miles northwest, up Lincoln 
Creek, to where the Quarterly Meeting was to be 
held. The meeting was in a sod school-house. 
The walls were of sod, two feet thick ; the roof 
was of plank laid on rafters. In the fall the planks 
were covered with sod, to keep out the cold. In 
this rude house, at the appointed hour, the people 
assembled, and God came with them. 

In the early settlement of Ohio and Indiana, 
the people lived in log cabins, with floors made 
of puncheon. But here, on the prairies of Ne- 
braska, the early pioneers lived and worshiped 
God in houses made of sod — built entirely of the 
turf, from foundation to roof. Along the streams, 
where logs could be procured, there were a few 
cabins. 

At two o'clock I preached to a most devout 
and attentive congregation, held Quarterly Con- 
ference, and then, in company with the pastor, 
Brother Burlingame, went to Brother Reynolds's, 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS, 255 

one of the stewards, to stay over night. The 
house was small. It had but one room, which 
served as parlor, dining-room, kitchen, and bed- 
room. About four rods from the house I discov- 
ered a new building, made of logs, seven feet 
square and five feet high. In this strange build- 
lug was a door three feet high and about two and 
a half feet wide. I wondered what it was for. 
I said to myself, " It must be a chicken-house." 
Supper over, the hour for retiring came, and after 
the evening prayer I was conducted to the seven 
by seven building. Stooping, I entered the little 
door and found a comfortable bed, with clean, 
snow-white sheets. Here the presiding elder was 
stowed away, and slept soundly till morning. 
When I awoke, the sun was pouring his mild 
genial rays through the wide cracks between the 
logs. I arose greatly refreshed and feeling strong 
for the day's work before me. 

A large awning in front of the school-house 
had been made of boughs from the trees that grew 
along the banks of the creek near by. The space 
beneath the awning was seated, and would ac- 
commodate as many as the house itself. Early 
in the morning crowds were seen coming from 
various directions over the new-made roads. The 
house was packed, the seats under the awning were 
filled, and many stood at the windows, and in front 
of the awning. Some came in their bare feet and 



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254 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

shirt-sleeves, some on foot, and some in ox-teams. 
The people were all poor, having come from East- 
ern States to get homes under the "Homestead 
Law/* They were poor, so far as worldly goods 
are concerned, but were " rich in faith and heirs 
of the kingdom." This their tears, their prayers, 
their faith, their songs and radiant countenances 
well attested. 

What people want to make them happy is not 
earthly riches, but "godliness with content- 
ment ;" not fine mansions, but Jesus in the soul. 

November 24th, of this year, I held a quarterly 
meeting on this circuit, twelve miles north of 
Seward, at the private residence of Brother Crosby. 
Brother Crosby was a steward, and one of the 
leading members of the Church. The dwelling 
was made of sod, and covered with the same ma- 
terial, but within the walls were plastered beauti- 
fully white, giving it an air of neatness and 
comfort. Brother Crosby and his excellent and 
amiable wife made all feel at home. At two 
o'clock I preached and held Quarterly Confer- 
ence. Late in the afternoon the wind changed to 
the north, it began to snow, and the weather be- 
came intensely cold. Brother Wilkerson and 
family rode four miles in an ox-team that night, 
facing that terrible storm, to meeting. When they 
reached the house they were so chilled and so 
near frozen they could hardly get out of the 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS. 255 

wagon, and into the house. As they entered, the 
people were singing, 

** We're going home, we're going home." 

An excellent spirit pervaded the congregation. 
Although almost frozen, Brother Wilkerson caught 
the inspiration in an instant; his eye kindled, his 
countenance lit up with unearthly joy, and he said 
to me as he stood by the stove warming: " When 
half-way here I came very near going back, but 
I bless God I came on." In two minutes after 
he entered the room he seemed more than re- 
warded for his cold and dreary ride. On Sabbath 
morning the wind blew a perfect gale, and the 
air was filled with snow and frost. The mercury 
was down to sixteen degrees below zero. Facing 
this storm. Brother Wilkerson and &mily rode 
four miles in an ox-team, and were with us at the 
love-feast at nine o'clock. I shall never forget the 
experience of Sister Wilkerson at that love-feast. 
Her fitce was radiant with joy. She stood on 
Pisgah's top, and the glories of heaven seemed 
all mapped out before her. Every word was an 
electric shock to the congregation. The angel of 
the new and everlasting covenant hovered over 
the assembly; God was with his people, and his 
saving power was wonderfully displayed. After 
preaching and administering the sacrament, several 
united with the Church. That meeting, in Brother 



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256 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

Crosby's private dwelling, on the wild and bleak 
prairies of Nebraska, will be remembered forever. 
My next quarterly meeting was on the Milford 
Circuit. The place fixed for holding the meeting 
was a school-house, three miles west of Camden. 
!My home during the meeting was at Brother 
AVilliam Staunton's. He was a cousin of the 
Hon. Edward Staunton, then Secretary of War 
under Abraham Lincoln's administration. Brother 
Staunton lived in a log house on the bank of a 
small creek. The weather was bitter cold. On 
Sabbath the mercury was down to twenty-eight 
degrees below zero, and the wind from the north 
was so strong it blew the shingles from the roof 
of the house. Water thrown into the air would 
freeze into ice, like bullets, before it reached the 
ground, ft was dangerous for a person to under- 
take to travel any distance. A few rods from 
Brother Staunton's house, in the bank of the creek, 
was a " dug-out," or a cave dug in the side of a 
hill ; the south end, and east and west sides, were 
partly made of logs, the roof was made of poles 
and brush covered with earth. This " dug-out '' 
was very warm. In this Brother Fair and family 
lived, and here we held our quarterly meeting. 
In the forenoon we had two families at service, 
and at night three. After the sermon I called 
for "seekers;" four came forward and kneeled 
down for prayers. An unusual manifestation of 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS. 257 

the Divine presence was felt. We sang and 
prayed and talked until all four were clearly 
and powerfully converted. The storm raged fear- 
fully without^ but within we had calm, i)eace, 
joy, and spiritual victory. Thirteen years after- 
wards, when appointed to the York Station, I 
found two of those that were converted in that 
"dug-out" at that quarterly meeting, members 
of my choir, faithful and consistent Christians, 
and joyfully pursuing the path they entered thir- 
teen years before. The good accomplished at that 
meeting, on that cold December day, will only be 
known in the great day of eternity. From that 
meeting went out a salutary influence that will go 
on forever. God is not only in the splendid church, 
where crowding thousands meet to worship him, 
but in the humble cabin as well, and in the un- 
pretentious " dug-out,'^ far away on the Western 
prairies. 

That same winter, 1871, I left home for a two 
weeks' tour up into Butler and Polk Counties. 
I had two quarterly meetings to hold, one in 
Butler and one in Polk County. My course 
from Lincoln was northwest. I left Lincoln in 
the morning, and, after traveling some hours, 
found myself on the divide between Oak Creek 
and Seward. Although the road was new, one I 
had never traveled, I felt perfectly safe, because 

the points of the compass were clear in my mind, 
22 



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258 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

and I felt sure I was going in the right direction. 
I was facing the wind, and about two o'clock it 
began to snow, and the wind blew with increas- 
ing violence. The snow fell thicker and faster, 
and the wind rose higher and higher. I found I 
was losing the points of the compass. The 
blinking storm bewildered me. The road was 
filling with snow so fast it was with great diffi- 
culty I could see it at all. I knew very well 
that in a little while I should lose my way, and 
be entirely at the mercy of the awful storm. Si- 
lently I breathed a prayer to God for guidance. 
In a short time afterwards I discovered at my 
right a dim road leading down a deep ravine. I 
entered this road, and followed it for two miles, 
when I discovered, in a clump of trees beside a 
beautiful creek, a log cabin. The sight of this 
cabin brought joy to my heart. My fears in a 
moment were all gone, and I breathed easy once 
more. The man of the house was at the bam put- 
ting away his horses, and when I rode up, spoke to 
me very kindly. I requested the privilege of re- 
maining with him during the night, and the re- 
quest was most cheerfully granted. I entered 
the cabin, and found a splendid fire, which I 
greatly enjoyed after the cold day's ride. This 
man and his excellent wife were members of the 
Baptist Church, and devoted Christians. They 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS. 259 

liad just returned from the grave of a neighbor, 
and I said to them: 

"Was your neighbor a Christian?" 
"O no," was the reply. "He was a man 
of the world. He was a very wicked man. He 
pretended to be an infidel, and worked on the 
Sabbath just as on any other day. He had 
bought a large tract of land and was working 
hard to improve it. He seemed determined to be 
a rich man." 

" Well," I said, "how did he die?" 
"Without any hope," was the reply. "A 
short time before he died, he said, 'O, I can 
not die, I can not die. If I only had my 
life to live over again, how differently would I 
live!^ He exhorted his friends not to live as he 
had lived, * If I could just live my life over, I 
would live a Chrbtian life,' were among his last 
words." 

It was the old story over again — the story 
that has been repeated all along the ages, and 
I fear will go on repeating itself until the 
trump of God shall call a wicked world to judg- 
ment — a life of sin and a death of despair. He 
had lived "as the fool liveth, and died as the fool- 
dieth." 

The next morning the storm had ceased, the 
weather greatly moderated, and I passed on to 



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260 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

my appointment in Butler County, then on into 
Polk County, and after two weeks of hard labor 
and weary travel, returned to my home to rest 
only three or four days, then, to go out again on 
a similar trip. 

The last day of 1871, and the first day of 1872, 
I spent in Plattsmouth, holding quarterly meet- 
ing. I find in my diary the following : " The old 
year passed away amid very pleasant surround- 
ings. The first day of the new year we had a most 
excellent love-feast; in the morning had great 
liberty preaching the word. A deep feeling per- 
vaded the congregation.'^ 

The Methodist Episcopal Church has never 
given an uncertain sound on the temperance 
question, and on this she has a record of which 
she may well be proud. The wicked, unwittingly, 
often highly compliment the Church touching 
her unstained record on this subject. When the 
Rev. J. G. Miller was stationed in Plattsmouth 
he was at one time raising money to procure a 
house of worship for the Church. He went 
into a saloon, kept by a German, with his sub- 
scription. When he entered, the saloon-keeper 
made a very polite bow, stepped behind the bar, 
and asked him what he would take. Brother 
Miller said : " I am raising money to build a 
church, and I have a subscription here, and I 
have called to see how much you will give.'' 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS. 261 

" What church ?'' said the saloon-keeper. 

" The Methodist church/' 

"Te Metodist, te Metodist church, eh? Te 
Metodist dey drink no beer; dey drink no 
whisky; dey play no billiards. T — m te Meto- 
dist church. Me give tem no cent." 

On February 17th and 18th I held quarterly 
meeting at Seward. Seward at this time was a 
thriving village of some three hundred inhab- 
itants, and was the head of the circuit. The peo- 
ple came from the various appointments on the 
work to the meeting. Brother A. J. Combs, a 
young man with a soul all on fire for souls, was 
the pastor. Brother Combs has long since en- 
tered upon his reward. The revival flame had 
swept over the entire circuit. At every appoint- 
ment the people were clothed with panoply divine. 
Some came thirty-five miles to the meeting. To 
a soul filled with the Holy Ghost the distance to 
church amounts to nothing at all. The pastor, in 
announcing the quarterly meeting, requested those 
coming from a distance to bring their own bed- 
ding, as there were but few members in Seward, 
and sleeping apartments were scarce. The Ma- 
sonic Hall was used as a bedroom, and was filled 
with men during each night of the meeting. 
Brothers Beatty and Davis provided meals for 
large numbers, each feeding from thirty-five to 
forty, and providing sleeping apartments for the 



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262 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

women. At every service the house was packed 
to its utmost capacity with devout and attentive 
listeners. After the sermon on Sabbath moru- 
ing I was called a few blocks away to marry a 
couple. This I did while the collection was be- 
ing taken. Then I returned to the Church, and 
administered the f?acrament. The meeting through- 
out was one of great power. Many souls were 
converted, and the Church greatly quickened. It 
was a Pentecost from the beginning to the end. 

In the month of February, 1872, a revival of 
religion took place at the Haynes School-house, 
in Butler County, under the labors of Rev. Will- 
iam Worley, assisted by Rev. Joshua Worley and 
Rev. James Query. Here a class was organized, 
and on the 20th day of the following December 
I held a quarterly meeting at this school-house. 
This was the first quarterly meeting ever held 
in this neighborhood. Near where this school- 
house stood now stands the beautiful village of 
Garrison. Brother Haynes lived in a 'Mug-out'* 
a mile and a half away. On Saturday, when 
about to leave for the meeting, his wife, who was 
unable to attend, said to him : " Bring all to 
supper who will come, but do not invite any one 
to stay all night; and, above all, do not invite 
the presiding elder." Brother Haynes disre- 
garded the instructions of his excellent wife, and 
took the presiding elder home with him to tea* 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS. 263 

This disregard of his wife's request gave the good 
sister great distress of mind for a little while. 
When the elder entered the "dug-out," Sister 
Haynes was greatly confused, and attempted to 
stammer out an apology ; but the elder instantly 
came to her relief by saying : " O, sister ! a sod- 
house may be a palace if we have Christ with 
us.'' They were from the East, and had been 
used to much better things, and their present 
surroundings were humiliating to them in the 
extreme. Many years afterwards Sister Haynes 
said to the writer : " The look the presiding elder 
gave me, and the words he spoke, at once ban- 
ished all my false pride." Then the thought of 
the elder's staying over night with them was an- 
other source of great anxiety and trouble to the 
heart of the good sister. What to do with him, 
and where to put him to sleep, were indeed i>er- 
plexing questions. Just at this juncture, how- 
ever. Brother Haynes greatly relieved the bur- 
dened heart of his much-distressed wife by saying 
that arrangements had been made for the elder to 
stay at a neighbor's, who lived in a frame house. 
All went to service on Saturday night; but the 
party living in the frame house did not put in 
an appearance, and the only thing for Brother 
Haynes to do was to invite the elder to go home 
with him. As Sister Haynes neared her rude 
"dug-out," she was greatly surprised to see a 



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264 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

gentleman walking in company with one of her 
sons, carrying a valise. A nearer approach re- 
vealed to her the awful fact that the gentleman 
was the identical and much-dreaded elder. The 
elder, seeing how wonderfully confused the good 
sister was, endeavored, as much as possible, to 
relieve her embarrassment, and earnestly prayed 
that his stay might prove a benediction rather 
than an annoyance and trouble to the kind fiim- 
ily. How much these brave men and women, in 
the earlier settlement of the State, suffered, not 
only for the necessary comforts of life, but from 
chagrin and humiliation as well ! 

The year before I was appointed to the dis- ' 
trict, while stationed in Lincoln, at the request 
of my presiding elder I went out and held a 
quarterly meeting for him on the Oak Creek Cir- 
cuit. The meeting was in a private house on the 
bank of Oak Creek, near where the village of 
Raymond now stands. The good man and his 
wife who kindly opened the doors of their house 
for the meeting were not Christians. At the 
close of the afternoon service, on Saturday, I was 
cordially invited to make my home with them 
during the meeting. I accepted the kindly invi- 
tation, and was most pleasantly entertained by 
them until Monday morning. That first pleasant 
visit with that kind femily will never be forgot- 
ten. It ripened into the warmest and most last- 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS, • 265 

ing Christian friendship. Though not Christians 
themselves, they were quite free to talk on the 
subject of religion. On this subject they were 
more than ordinarily communicative. We had 
several pleasant conversations on religion during 
my stay. On Monday morning, while my horse 
was being harnessed and brought to the door, I 
again spoke to the lady on religion. She said : 
"I would like to be a Christian. My husband 
would like to be a Christian. We have talked 
the matter over many times, and we expect to 
become Christians some day. But if we were 
to become Christians, we could not join your 
Church." 

"Why notr said I. 

"Because," said she, "it is contrary to the 
rules of your Church for its members to dance." 

" Yes, that is true," said I. She continued : 

" My husband and I do not think there is 
any harm at all in dancing. We go to our 
neighbors', and have a pleasant, social dance 
almost every week, and we do not think there 
is anything wrong in it. So, of course, we could 
not join your Church." 

I said to her: "Sister W., you get religion, 
and you may dance." She looked at me with 
surprise. I continued: "You get religion, and 
you will have no desire to dance." This closed 
the conversation. I thanked her and her good 



23 



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266 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

husband for their kindness^ stepped into my 
buggy, and drove home. 

At the next Conference I was appointed pre- 
siding elder of the district. Just one year from 
the time I held the above meeting, I went out 
and held another in the same neighborhood. In 
the meantime a small, frame school-house had 
been built. It was about a half mile from where 
the meeting was held the year before. In this 
school-house I held the quarterly meeting; and 
on Sabbath night that man and his wife were 
both happily converted to God, and they have 
been faithful and consistent members of the 
Church ever since. Brother C. C. White has 
held honorable positions in Church and State. ^ 
In 1880 he was one of the lay delegates of the 
Nebraska Conference to the General Conference, 
and was an active and influential member of that 
body. He is alive to all the great interests of the 
Church. He has taken an active part in edu- 
cational matters, and his deep interest is mani- 
fested by the thousands of dollars he has con- 
tributed for the promotion of Christian education 
in the State. I have often heard Sister White 
refer to the conversation we had during that 
meeting at her house on Oak Creek, and she has 
since said to me : " When you said, ' Get religion 
and you will have no desire to dance,' I did not 
believe a word you said. I did not believe you 



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DISTRICT INCIDENTS. 267 

would tell a willful falsehood, nor did I believe 
you would willfully misrepreseot, but thought 
you were very greatly mistaken. From the very 
moment I was converted I have had no desire 
whatever to dance.'' 

If we are in* the Church, and the desire to 
dance is still strong, it seems to me we have not 
got what Christ has for us. If Christ can not give 
us something better than the world gives, then it 
seems to me our religion does not amount to very 
much. Before I was converted I was passion- 
ately fond of dancing. It was the most fesci- 
nating amusement I ever engaged in. There is 
something about the dance and cards that is 
wonderfully bewitching; and yet as dearly as I 
loved cards, and as passionately fond of dancing 
as I was, the very moment I was converted the 
desire for these things left me, and — to the praise 
and glpry of God I say it ! — never once has it 
returned. When God, for Christ's sake, con- 
verted my soul, he gave me something infinitely 
better than the world ever gave. 

I once heard the late Bishop Clark relate the 
following: "A most gracious revival of religion 
was in progress in one of the charges in Cincin- 
nati. Night after night a young lady of wealth 
and fashion was seen at the altar for prayer. 
She was a leader in the fashionable circles 
of society in the city. She manifested great 



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268 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

earnestness and was in deep mental distress, and 
yet could get no relief. I said to her: 'Are you 
willing to give up all for Christ?' ' Yes,* was 
the prompt reply. I knew she was passionately 
fond of dancing, and said : ' Are you willing to 
give up dancing ?' She repli^ : ' I can be a 
Christian and dance/ I said : * I am afraid you 
will not get religion until you are willing to give 
up the ball-room.' The next night after this 
conversation I knelt in front of her at the altar. 
She raised her bead, and, smiling through her 
tears, said: 'I don't want to dance now I' The 
desire for the dance left her, and she became as 
eminent a worker in the Church as she had pre- 
viously been a leader in the fitshionaable circles 
of the world." 

Let Christ come into the heart in his fullness^ 
then old things pass away and all things become 
new. Our nature's rapid tide is turned back, and 
all our affections flow out after God. 



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FUUTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 269 



CHAPTER- XVIII. 

FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 

Marvklous Growth — Privations and Toils op the 
Preachers— Thb Christmas box — A Touching Inci- 
dent — ^The Conference op 1873 — Bishop Andrews — 
Conference of 1874 — Bishop Bowman — Dr. J. M. 
Rbid— Conference of 1876 — Bishop Gilbert Haven — 
Hw Triumphant Death— Rev. George Worley. 

THE Conference year which closed March 23, 
1872, had been a year of unparalleled suc- 
cess. The most wonderful spiritual victories had 
been gained all along the line. The toils and 
sacrifices of the ministers and their families were 
crowned with the most brilliant achievements. 
The hardships endured by these heroes and 
heroines in planting the Church along the frontier, 
in the sparsely-settled neighborhoods, are known 
only to themselves, to God, and " the Church of 
the first-born." What a grand reward awaits 
these pioneer heralds of the cross I Some of them 
have already entered upon their reward. They 
have gone home, and they rest from their labors, 
but their works follow them. They built not on 
other men's foundations; they laid the founda- 
tions of the Church in this new land at a time 



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270 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

that *' tried men's souls ;*' and others are now build- 
ing on the foundations laid by these pure men 
and women, and cemented by their tears of suf- 
fering and sorrow. It requires neither nerve nor 
phick to go to an appointment where there is a 
fine church, a fine parsonage, a fine membership, 
and a fine salary. Any ordinary man can go to 
an appointment like that. But it takes a man of 
nerve and pluck and indomitable perseverance — 
a man of the Pauline and Bishop Taylor type — 
to go where none of these things exist, and, by his 
faith and heroic labors, create from raw material 
the fine church, the fine parsonage, the fine mem- 
bership, and the fine salary. This work the pio- 
neers of Nebraska did. They counted not their 
lives dear unto themselves, nor the lives of their 
families, so that they might finish the work they 
were commissioned by the Master to do. Paul 
did not want to *' build upon another man's foun- 
dation,'' nor do work where everything was " made 
ready to his hand." He swam rivers, climbed 
mountains, crossed oceans; was stoned, beaten 
with rods, imprisoned, wrecked upon the stormy 
sea time and again, — all that he might carry the 
gospel into '^ the regions beyond," and plant the 
standard of the cross where it never before had 
been planted. So these early pioneers carried 
the gospel into ^' the regions beyond," and planted 
the standard of the cross upon entirely new terri- 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK, 271 

tory ; and where it was first planted, that standard 
still proudly waves to-day. 

In 1872, Ulysses first appeared upon the Con- 
ference Minutes. The pastor appointed to this 
charge was impecunious — he had scarcely anything 
at all ; but he went to work like a true Methodist 
preacher, laid out a circuit over a hundred miles 
around, organized a number of new classes, and 
although he had no means to procure himself a 
horse, having good feet and long legs, and a heart 
overflowing with love for God and souls, he trav- 
eled his work the whole of the year on foot. God 
was with him. The revival flame swept over the 
entire circuit, and he returned one hundred and 
forty members, including probationers, an increase 
of one hundred and sixteen during the year. 
Many of the preachers on the district that year 
did just as heroic service for the Master as Brother 
Reed. 

We do not disparage the work of those who 
came after the vanguard, and are building upon 
the foundations they found laid and " made ready 
to their hand.*' Theirs, too, is a big work, and 
they, too, will receive a great reward. God 
" shall reward every man according to his work/' 
But I have sometimes thought that among the 
multitudes that shall gather around the great 
white throne in the last day, those who shall 
stand nearest the throne, be most like the Master, 



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272 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

have the brightest crowns, the loveliest palms, 
and have accorded to them the highest praise aud 
the greatest honors, will be those who can present 
the longest list of suflTerings for the Master, and 
can say, "We suffered all this for thee/' 

At that time there was no "Woman's Home 
Missionary Society" in operation. The pioneers 
along the frontier seldom received assistance fix)m 
the East. That society to-day is doing a noble 
work in furnishing supplies to God's great spir- 
itual army at the front. The picket-lines are ex- 
posed to peril and suffering now, just as they 
were twenty years ago. The only difference is, 
the lines are a little farther to the West. Some 
out on these picket-lines have received aid that 
has brought joy and gladness to their hearts, aud 
cheer and sunshine into their homes. 

One incident may be cited to show what this 
society is doing, and what it may continue to do. 
The narrative is by a minister's wife on the fron- 
tier, and was published in The Woman*8 Home 
Mission. 

" I remember a day during one winter that 
stands out in my life like a boulder. The weather 
was unusually cold; our salary had not been reg- 
ularly paid, and it did not meet our needs when 
it was. My husband was away traveling from 
one district to auotber much of the time. 

" Our boys were well ; but my little Ruth was 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 273 

ailing, and, at best, none of us were decently 
clothed. I patched and repatched, with spirits 
sinking to their lowest ebb. The water gave out 
in the well, and the wind blew through the cracks 
of the floor. 

'* The people in the parish were kind, and gen- 
erous too; but the settlement was new, and each 
family was struggling for itself. Little by little, 
at the time when I needed most, my fieiith began 
to waver. Early in life I was taught to tak(i 
God at his word, and 'I thought my lesson waa 
well learned. I had lived upon the promises in 
dark times, until I knew, as David did, who waa 
* my Fortress and Deliverer,' Now a daily prayer 
for forgiveness was all that I could offer. 

"My husband's overcoat was hardly thick 
enough for October, and he was obliged to ride 
miles to attend some meeting or funeral. Many 
a time our breakfast was Indian cake and a cup 
of tea without any sugar. Christmas was coming; 
the children always expected their presents. I 
remember the ice was thick and smooth, and the 
boys were each craving a pair of skates. 

" Ruth, in some unaccouutable way, had taken 
a fancy that the dolls I had made were no longer 
suitable ; she wanted a large, nice one, and in-« 
sisted on praying for it. I knew it was impossi- 
ble; but, O, how I wanted to give each child its 
present! It seemed as if God had deserted us; 



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274 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

but I did not tell my husband all ibis. He 
worked so earnestly and beartily, I supposed him 
to be hopeful as ever. I kept the sitting-room 
cheery with an open fire, and tried to serve our 
scanty meals as invitingly as I 6ould. The morn- 
ing before Christmas James was called to see a 
sick man. I put up a piece of bread for a lunch — 
it was the best I could do — wrapped my plaid 
shawl arouud his neck, and then tried to whisper 
a promise, as I often had, but the words died 
away on my lips. I let him go without it. That 
was a dark, hopeless day. I coaxed the children 
to bed early, for I could not bear their talk. 
When Ruth went I listened to her prayer; she 
asked for the last time most explicitly for her 
doll and for skates for her brothers. Her bright 
fiice looked so lovely when she whispered to me, 
'You know I think they'll be here early to- 
morrow morning — early, mamma,'* that I thought 
I could move heaven and earth to save her from 
disappointment. I sat down alone, and gave way 
to the bitterest tears. 

" Before long James returned, chilled and ex- 
hausted. He drew off his boots ; the thin stock- 
ings slipped off with them, and his feet were red 
with cold. I would n't treat a dog that way, let 
alone a fiiithful servant. Then, as'I glanced up 
and noticed the hard lines in his &ce, and the 
look of despair, it flashed across me that James 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 275 

had let go too! I brought him a cup of tea^ 
feeliog sick and dizzy at the very thought. He 
took my hand^ and we sat for an hour, neither 
uttering a word. I wanted to die and meet God, 
and tell him his promise wasnH true — my soul 
was so full of rebellious despair. There came a 
sound of bells, a quick step, and a loud knock at 
the door. James sprang to open it. There stood 
Deacon Pike. ' A box came for you by express 
just before dark. I brought it around as soon as 
I could get away. Reckoned it might be for 
Christmas. At any rate, they shall have it to- 
night. Here is a turkey my wife asked me to 
fetch along; and these other things, I believe, 
belong to you.' There was a basket of potatoes 
and a bag of flour. Talking all the time, he 
hurried in a box, and then, with a hearty good- 
night, rode away. 

" Still, without speaking, James found a chisel 
and opened the box. I drew out at first a thick, 
red blanket, and we saw that beneath was full of 
clothing. It seemed at that moment as if Christ 
fastened upon me a look of reproach. James sat 
down, and covered his fiwe with his hands. ' I 
can not touch them I' he exclaimed. ' I have n't 
been true just when God was trying me to 
see if I could hold out. Do you think I could 
not see how you were suffering, and I had no 
word of comfort to offer? I know now how to 



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276 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

preach the awfulness of tunung away from God.' 
' James/ I 8aid, clinging to him, * do n't take it to 
heart like this. I 've been to blame. I ought 
to have helped you. We will ask Him together 
to forgive us.' ' Wait a moment, dear ; I can not 
talk now.' Then he went into another room. I 
knelt down, and my heart broke. In an instant 
all the darkness rolled away. Jesus came again, 
and stood before mc; but now with the loving 
word, 'Daughter!' Sweet promises of tenderness 
and joy flooded my soul, and I was so lost in 
praise and gratitude that I forgot everything else. 
I do n't know how long it was before James came 
back, but I knew that he too had found peace. 
'Now, dear wife,' said he. Met us thank- God to- 
gether;' and then he poured out words of praise — 
Bible words, for nothing else could express our 
thanksgiving. It was eleven o'clock. The fire 
was low ; and there was the great box, and noth- 
ing touched but the warm blanket we needed so 
much. We piled on some fresh logs, lighted two 
candles, and began to examine our treasures. 
We drew out an overcoat. I made James try it 
on. Just the right size! and I danced awhile 
around him, for all my light-heartedness had re- 
turned. Then there was a cloak, and he insisted 
on seeing me in it. My spirits always infected 
him, and we laughed like foolish children. There 
was a warm suit of clothes also, and three pairs 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 277 

of warm woolen hose. There was a dress for me, 
and yards of flannel ; a pair of Arctic overshoes 
for each of us, and in mine was a slip of paper. 
I have it now, and mean to hand it down to my 
children. It was Jacobus blessing to Asher: 
' Thy shoes shall be iron and brass, and as thy 
days, so shall thy strength be.' In the gloves — 
evidently for James — ^the same dear hand had 
written : ' I, the. Lord thy God, will hold thy 
right hand, saying unto thee. Fear not, I will 
help thee.' 

"It was a wonderful box, and packed with 
thoughtful care. There was a suit of clothes for 
each of the boys, and a little, red gown for Buth. 
There were mittens, scarfs, and hoods; down in 
the center a box ; we opened it, and there was a 
great wax doll. I burst into tears again, and 
James wept with me for joy^ It was too much ; 
and then we both exclaimed again, for close be- 
hind it came two pairs of skates. There were 
books for us to read — some of them I had wished 
to see ; stories for the children to read ; aprons and 
underclothing ; knots of ribbon ; a gay little tidy ; 
a lovely photograph; needles, buttons, and thread; 
actually a muff, and an envelope containing a ten- 
dollar gold piece ! At last we cried over every- 
thing we took up. It was past midnight, and we 
were faint and exhausted even with happiness. 
I made a cup of tea, cut a fresh loaf of bread, 



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278 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

and James boiled some eggs. We drew up the 
table before the fire. How we enjoyed our sup- 
perl And then we sat talking over all our life, 
and how sure a help God had always proved. 

"You should have seen the children next 
morning! The boys raised a shout at the sight 
of their skates. Ruth caught up her doll, and 
hugged it tightly without a word ; then she went 
into her room, and knelt by hci» bed. When she 
came back she whispered to me, * I knew it would 
be here, mamma; but I wanted to thank God just 
the sam6, you know.^ ' Look here, wife ; see the 
difference !' We went to the window, and there 
were the boys, out of the house already, and 
skating on the crust with all their might. 

"My husband and I both tried to return 
thanks to the Church in the East that sent us 
the box, and have tried to return thanks unto 
God every day since. Hard times have come 
again and again; but we have trusted in him, 
dreading nothing so much as a doubt of his 
protecting care. Over and over again we have 
proved that Hhej that seek the Lord shall not 
want any good thing.' *' 

This family represents many on duty to-day 
along the picket-lines of the great Northwest. 
I have known femilies like the above — ^pure, 
noble men and women, God's saints on the 
earth — to whose very door want had come ; but 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 279 

there was no Woman's Home Missionary Society 
to help them. 

During the year the membership on the Lin- 
coln District increased ninety per cent, and the 
Sunday-schools and church and parsonage-build- 
ing enterprises increased at the same ratio. Other 
districts of the Conference were abreast with 
Lincoln. 

The Conference year ending March 24, 1873, 
was also a year of marvelous growth. The 
mighty wave of emigration from the East con- 
tinued to ro;l into the State, and on to the west- 
ern counties where land could be homesteaded. 
The Conference met this year at Plattsmouth. 
The reports were all exceedingly gratifying. Ev- 
ery presiding elder reported great progress on all 
lines of Church work. Great revivals had taken 
place, and hundreds had been converted and 
gathered into the Church. In sod churches, sod 
school-houses, sod dwellings, dug-outs, and in the 
tented grove, God's saving power had been most 
signally displayed in the conversion of sinners 
and the sanotification of believers. The plains 
and hills of the beautiful prairies were made to 
resound with praises to Almighty God. 

At this Conference we first met Bishop An- 
drews. At first sight we feared we should not 
like him. These fears, however, were very soon 
dissipated. His kind and genial manner, his 



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280 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

great interest in the welfere of all the preachers, 
his deep sympathy with them in their privations 
and sacrifices, won the hearts of all. We all felt 
that Bishop Andrews was the right man in the 
right plae«. How wonderfully we have been 
blessed as a Church in our superintendents! The 
bishop lived for a number of years in Des Moines, 
Iowa; and, while his home was in the West, he 
was, like Paul, " in journeyings often, in labors 
more abundant ;" and since his return to the East 
his labors have been none the less arduous and 
unremitting. No class of men in the Church are 
harder worked than the bishops and the presiding 
elders. We never called on the bishop for extra 
work but he willingly responded^ and we drew on 
him often. 

At Weeping Water a good stone church was 
finished January 13, 1874, under the successful 
labors of Brother A. L. Folden. Bishop An- 
drews came over and dedicated it, and raised the 
necessary amount to liquidate all debts. The 
good people of that city who were there at that 
time well remember the dedicatory services. Al- 
though the dedication was on week-day, and the 
weather bitter cold, the house was pac'ked to its 
utmost capacity, and the services throughout weVe 
most interesting. Some of the members gave 
more than they thought they were able to give. 
I really thought so myself. They deprived them- 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK, 281 

selves of many of the necessaries of life that they 
might have a church in which to worship God. 
I have no doubt but God has rewarded them for 
their liberality. Many gracious revivals of relig- 
ion have taken place in that churchy and hundreds 
of precious souls have there been converted to 
God. 

The next winter the bishop was with us, and 
dedicated the church at Syracuse ; then went with 
us to Seward, and dedicated the church there, 
which had been built by Brother Folden also. 
Nearly all the churches built in Nebraska while 
the bishop resided at Des Moines were dedicated 
by him. 

At the Plattsmouth Conference a resolution 
was adopted respectfully requesting the bishops 
to change the time of the sessions of the Ne- 
braska Conference to the fall of the year. The 
request was complied with, and the next Confer- 
ence year was eighteen months long. 

The fourteenth session of the Nebraska Con- 
ference met at Omaha, October 1, 1874, Bishop 
Thomas Bowman presiding. On Sunday morn- 
ing the bishop preached a masterly sermon. 
His subject was, "The Tyndall Prayer-test." 
Brother S. P. Van Doozer had given to the 
bishop and the cabinet some remarkable answers 
to prayer during the year by members of the 

Church who lived in the district scourged by the 
24 



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282 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

grasshoppers. The bishop ofled these with telliog 
effect and power in illostrating his sermon on 
Sunday morning. 

The Conference year had been one of great 
trial, both to preachers and people. The grass- 
hopper sconrge was npon ns. In addition to the 
deetmctive grasshoppers, the crops had been cut 
short by the dry weather and hot winds ; so what 
the grasshoppers did not eat, the hot winds, to a 
great extent, destroyed. There are a few days 
almost every year when we feel the hot winds 
from the south, but we have 4iever known a year 
in which there were so many days with hot winds 
from the south as there were in 1874. The hot 
winds felt just as though they came from a fbr- 
nace. It did no good whatever to use a &n. If 
you did, it was blowing hot air into your face. 
Many fiirmers that year became discouraged and 
left the State. Some of them never returned; 
others, after years, returned, greatly regretting 
that they were so foolish as to have left the 
State. Those who remained and were industri- 
ous have become independent, and many of them 
affluent. 

Dr. J. M. Reid, missionary secretary, came 
with the bishop to this Conference. He was 
greatly moved when he heard of the privations 
and sufferings of the people. He said to the 
writer: "I wish I had known the condition of 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 283 

afiairs in yonr Conference sooner. If I had, I 
could have secured some more missionary money 
for you from the Contingent Fund ; but I can 't 
do it now/' He placed in my hands twenty-five 
dollars, saying: "This is from a Christian lady 
of New York City. She wants you to give it to 
five of the most needy Methodist preachers* wives 
in your district." I think he gave the same 
amount to the other elders. I said to him: 
"What is the lady's name? I should like to 
know the name of the generous, Christian lady 
who makes this donation to the wives of my 
preachers, and I am sure the wives of the preach- 
ers would be glad to know.'' "That does not 
matter. She does not care to have her name 
known," said he. I felt certain in my own mind 
that it was the Doctor's generous and big-hearted 
wife that had made the gift. I gave five dollars 
each to five of the most needy preachers' wives 
on my district, and they received the present 
with grateful hearts. I often wished that the 
giver knew just how much good that donation 
did ; it was a real benediction to these toil-worn, 
self-sacrificing women. The giver will most as- 
suredly receive her reward. 

A full account of the grasshopper scourge may 
be found elsewhere in this book. 

The next Conference was held in Lincoln, 
beginning September 15, 1875, Bishop Gilbert 



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284 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

Haven presiding. The good bishop has long 
since gone to his reward. His death was a shock 
to the whole Church, and the whole Nation as 
well. His fame was not only national, but world- 
wide. His departure from earth was triumphant. 
Among his last words were: '^I am floating! I 
am surrounded with angels!" Like the sainted 
Cookman, one of his dearest friends, he went 
''sweeping through the gates, washed in the blood 
of the Lamb." 

The four years from 1871 to 1875 were years 
of great spiritual and numerical prosperity. 
During these four years the appointments in the 
Conference increased from sixty-four to one hun- 
dred and six, and the membership from five 
thousand one hundred and fifty-three to nine 
thousand and fifty-six. . 

In my report to the Conference, I said : " We 
must remember, however, that the strength and in- 
fluence of a Church does not always depend upon 
her numbers. She may be numerically strong, but 
weak in influence and spiritual power. If the 
spirituality of the Church does not keep pace with 
her numerical strength, we may well fear and 
tremble. * Onward !' should be the rallying cry 
of every Christian. Every mountain of feith 
and joy climbed by the Christian points to a still 
higher mountain beyond for him to climb, and 
every mountain summit thus gained increases his 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 285 

power with God and men; and he should re- 
member with joy that, however high the mount- 
ain of faith and joy may be to which he has 
attained, 

'Still there's more to follow.' 

The Church has not only grown in numbers but 
in spiritual power." 

I can not close this chapter without a per- 
sonal reference to Rev. George Worley. Brother 
Worley was one of the most successful, devoted, 
and self-sacrificing local preachers it has ever 
been my privilege to know. I first met him in 
1869. While on the district, I employed him at 
diflerent times as a supply, and no preacher ever 
did more effective work. Revival after revival 
swept over the different charges he traveled. His 
crown will not be a starless one; and his pure- 
spirited and large-hearted wife will have a crown, 
methinks, that will fiame with as many brilliant 
stars as that of her husband. James, their son, 
has for years been one of our successful mission- 
aries in China; William and Thomas are both 
honored ministers in the Church at home — ^the 
former a member of the North Nebraska Confer- 
ence, the latter of the Nebraska Conference. I 
shall never forget the many kindnesses received 
from Brother and Sister Worley. All honor to 
such fathers and mothers in Israeli On the 
fifth day of March, 1890, at the ripe age of 



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286 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

seventy-two, from her home in Garrison, Ne- 
braska, Sister Worley bid adieu to earthly friends, 
and passed in triumph to her heavenly home. A 
few moments before her happy spirit took its up- 
ward and eternal flight, she repeated one verse of 
her fevorite hymn : 

'* would my Lord his servant meetl 

My soul would stretch her wings in haste, 
Fly fearless through death's iron gate, 
Nor feel the terrors as she passed." 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 287 



CHAPTER XIX. 

FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK- 
CONTINUED. 

Appointed to Omaha District — Coluhbus — Oscbola — 
KisiNQ City— David City— The Work in Omaha— 
Conference at Falls City— Bishop Foster— Ap- 
pointed THE Second Time to Nebraska City Dis- 
trict — A Remarkable Mbbtino — West Nebraska 
Mission formed — Dr. T. B. Lemon — Division of the 
Conference. 

AT the Conference of 1875 we were appointed 
by Bishop Haven to the Omaha District. 
The district extended as far west as Columbus, 
and embraced territory on both sides of the 
Platte River. Columbus first appeared as an ap- 
pointment in the Minutes of the Nebraska Con- 
ference in 1867, Joel Warner the pastor. At the 
end of the Conference year seven members were 
reported. At this Conference the appointment 
was dropped from the list, and did not appear 
again until 1871. At this Conference it appears 
again in the Minutes as one of the appointments, 
with L. F. Whitehead as pastor. For some years 
the growth of the society was very slow. 

When we took the district in 1875, Columbus 



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288 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

was the most western appointmeDt, was a small 
town, and our Church was very weak ; but that 
little town has grown to a city, and that little, 
weak Church to a strong one, and it is now one 
of the leading stations of the North Nebraska 
Conference. Osceola, the county-seat of Polk 
County, just south of Columbus, was then a 
small village, with only a few houses. Among 
the first settlers at this point were Rev. James 
Query, H. C. Query, Wm. Query, G. W. Ken- 
yon, and J. F. Campbell. 

Rev. James Query was a local preacher in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, and, if I am rightly 
informed, preached the first sermon ever preached 
where Osceola now stands. Brother Query 
preached in private houses and school-house in 
Polk County long before a circuit was organized. 
Under his faithful labors many revivals took 
place, and many souls were saved. His crown 
of rejoicing in the heavenly world will not be 
without stars. On the foundations laid by him 
others are now building. 

In 1875 we had a small society here, but no 
Church. J. H. Mickey, L. J. Blowers, and 
Brother Campbell were at the front, leading on 
the little band of Christians. These noble men 
are still at the front, just as zealous, devoted, 
and active as ever. It is not surprising that, with 
such men to lead a city and Church, Osceola 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK, 289 

should be one of the most enterprisiDg cities, and 
the Methodist Episcopal Church one of the best 
in the State. 

Our quarterly meetings at Osceola were al- 
ways " seasons of refreshing from the presence 
of the Lord." I shall never forget them. 

The place where Rising City now stands was 
then a &rm, owned and cultivated by Albert 
Rising. Brother Samuel W. Rising came to Ne- 
braska in 1870, and pre-empted the land ad- 
joining the city of Rising, where he still lives. 
His sons took land adjoining their father's ; the 
city was located on their land, and named in 
honor of them. They are all active members 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Often while 
traveling the district I was hospitably enter- 
tained by these large-hearted Christians, and I 
shall never forget their kindness. We now have 
a splendid church and a large and flourishing so- 
ciety at Rising City. 

David City was then in the Omaha District. 
It is situated upon the beautiful table-land near 
the center of Butler County. It was designated 
as the county-seat in 1873, at which time it was 
nothing more than a broad expanse of level 
prairie. I passed over the spot where the city 
now stands long before there was a single house. 

The first sermon ever preached here was in 
1871, and, I think, was preached by Rev. D. 



26 



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290 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

Marquette in the private house of Captain A. F. 
Good. At the same time a class was organized, 
composed of a few members. In 1876, .under 
the labors of Rev. A. J. Combs, a small church 
was built, and on the 5th day of March I preached 
the dedicatory sermon, and consecrated the 
house to the worship of Almighty God. This 
church was afterwards enlarged, and at length 
gave way to the present elegant structure. The 
dedication took place in grasshopper times. While 
taking up the collection, a man, standing away 
back by the door, said : " If I thought the grass- 
hoppers would not come and destroy my crops 
again next year, I would give twenty-five dol- 
lars.'^ I said in reply: " That is just the thing 
to do in order to keep the grasshoppers away ;" 
and then I quoted the words of Malachi : " Bring 
ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there 
may be meat in mine house, and prove me 
now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I 
will not open you the windows of heaven, and 
pour you out a blessing that there shall not be 
room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke 
the demurer for your sakesJ^ He gave the twenty- 
five dollars, and the following year the grass- 
hoppers did but little harm. 

At that time the outlook for Methodism in 
Omaha was not the most hopeful. Dr. L. F. 
Britt was appointed pastor of the First Church. 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 291 

This church had been laboring for years under a 
constantly accumulating and burdensome debt, 
and was just ready to succumb to the fearful 
pressure when the Doctor took charge. The 
property all passed into the hands of the creditors 
during the year, and the society was left without 
any property, save the furniture of the church 
and parsonage. But, notwithstanding the deplor- 
able condition of the finances, and the gloomy 
outlook generally, under God the Doctor had a 
gracious revival of religion, and seventy-five 
members were added to the Church. The next 
year, under the leadership of Dr. H. D. Fisher, 
a new lot was purchased, a frame building was 
erected, and the First Methodist Church started 
anew ; and to-day this church has one of the 
most beautiful and imposing structures in the 
city. 

Although the sad eflects of the grasshopper 
raid were felt all over the Conference, the year 
was one of prosperity on all lines of Church- 
work. 

The next Conference met at Falls City Octo- 
ber 4, 1876, Bishop Foster presiding. On Sun- 
day morning the bishop preached from Gral. iv, 
4, 5 : " But when the fullness of the time was 
come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, 
made under the law, to redeem them that were 
under the law." His theme was the fulfillment 



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292 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD, 

of prophecy touchiug the advent of Christ. 
When he announced his subject we were not a 
little disappointed, and said : " Well, is it possi- 
ble he is going to preach to us on that thread- 
bare subject?" It was a subject we had all gone 
over time and again in our text-books, and we 
did not care to hear a sermon on the old, dry 
theme. But the bishop had proceeded but a 
short time until we were perfectly satisfied with 
the theme selected. That familiar subject was 
presented in a new light. It was clothed with a 
beauty and power such as we had never seen 
or heard. The discourse was a perfect chain of 
argument from the beginning to the close, and at 
the same time was glowing with fervent heat. It 
was "logic on fire" all the way through. He 
made a statement at the outset that shocked many 
for the moment, and seemed to savor a little of 
the braggadocio. He said in substance : " I in- 
tend to make an argument to-day that hell can 
not overthrow." And when he reached the 
climax, and had driven and clinched the last 
nail in his argument, every one in the vast con- 
gregation felt he had made good his promise. A 
citizen of Falls City, whom I had known well 
for years, heard the bishop until he was about 
two-thirds of the way through, when he left the 
house. He afterwards said to one of the mem- 
bers of the Conference; "I had no idea you had 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 293 

such arguments to prove the truth of Christianity* 
I remained as long as I could. A very peculiar 
feeling came over me, such as I had never felt 
before, and I was obliged to leave the house be- 
fore the bishop closed/' Poor man ! It seemed 
he did not know what was the matter. We 
knew; he was smitten by the mighty power of 
the Holy Ghost. He was convicted by the 
Holy Ghost " of sin, and of righteousness, and of 
judgment." Whether he ever yielded and gave 
his heart to God or not, we never learned. 

At the end of one year we moved back to 
Lincoln, where we had a bouse of our own, and 
I traveled the district from this place. This ne- 
cessitated my being absent from home much of 
the time, and the year was one of great toil and 
exposure. 

At the next Conference, which met at the 
Eighteenth Street Church, Omaha, October 11, 
1877, we were appointed to the Nebraska City 
District. This was my second term on this dis- 
trict, having traveled it from 1861 to 1865. I 
was again on old territory, although the most of 
the people were new and strange. 

I shall never forget a quarterly meeting held 
at Highland, a few miles west o Peru. With 
great care and much prayer I had prepared a 
sermon especially for the unconverted, and I 
hoped to be able, under God, to reach their hearts. 



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294 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

Saturday aflernoon we had a good congregation 
composed of members of the Church, and I 
preached a sermon appropriate to the occasion. 
Sunday morning came. The weather was forbid- 
ding, and a storm was evidently brewing. A 
goodly number were at the love-feast^ and we had 
an excellent meeting. The meeting had hardly 
commenced when it began to rain, and the rain in- 
creased throughout the whole service, and at the 
close was literally pouring down. From the way 
the storm raged we knew very well that all were 
present that could come. But then my sermon 
was not appropriate for the congregation at all. 
It was for sinners, and all present were Christians. 
It would not do for me to preach to the uncon- 
verted alone, when there w^as not a single uncon- 
verted person present in the congregation. For 
the life of me I could not think of a single thing 
to preach that would in any way be appropriate. 
I thought of the advice in our excellent Book of 
Discipline, "Always suit your subject to your 
audience," and for a moment my brain fairly 
whirled. Silently I breathed an ejaculatory 
prayer to God for light and help. I opened my 
satchel, took out my portfolio, and ran hurriedly 
over some skeletons of sermons, when my eyes 
fell upon one from the text, " Ye are complete in 
him.'' Something seemed to say : '' That 's the 
sermon for you to preach." Afterwards I knew 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 295 

well that voice was the Holy Spirit. I looked 
over the sketch, and almost instantly the whole 
sermon rose vividly before my mind. It stood 
out beautifully in bold relief before me. I was 
satisfied. I said to myself: "This is what God 
wants me to preach from." The opening services 
over, I announced my text, and began to talk. 
As I proceeded with the subject my soul warmed. 
My mind was wonderfully illuminated, and my 
heart strangely fired. My tongue was as " the 
pen of a ready writer.'' O how easy it was to 
talk ! It is always easy when under the divine 
afflatus — when the Holy Ghost inspires, and 
warms, and fires. It was all of God, and it was 
marvelous to me and to others as well. Having 
talked about forty minutes, I saw to my right a 
man whispering to his wife. I did not know 
what it meant. I afterwards learned that he was 
trying to get his wife to go with him to the altar 
ftud seek for heart-purity. Presently he arose, 
slipped around just in front of me, and fell upon 
his knees at the altar. Then I said : " If there 
are any others here to-day who are not satisfied 
with their religious experience, and desire ' full 
fsalvation/ come to the altar while I continue to 
talk.'' Instantly his wife followed, and in a few 
pioments the railing all around the altar was 
filled. I continued to talk for about ten min- 
utes, then we had an hour of prayer and song 



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296 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

and testimony. Such a precious hour ! Its 
memory lingers with me to-day. A number 
on that stormy day received the witness that 
"the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all 
sin.'' 

The General Conference of 1880 formed the 
West Nebraska Mission^ which included the 
greater part of the Kearney District. Dr. T. B. 
Lemon had served the Kearney District as pre- 
siding elder for two years, and no man was better 
acquainted with the needs of that vast and rap- 
idly growing territory than he. He was ap- 
pointed superintendent of the mission, which posi- 
tion he held until the mission was organized into 
the West Nebraska Conference in 1885. The touch 
of the Doctor's molding hand was felt through- 
out the entire western part of the State. 

The same General Conference passed an en- 
abling act, granting the Nebraska Conference the 
privilege of dividing during the next four years, 
by a majority vote of the members, and the bishop 
presiding concurring. 

At the Conference held in York, beginning 
September 14, 1881, the following resolution was 
adopted by a vote of 39 to 32 : 

^* Resolved, That under the enabling act of the 
last General Conference, we deem it wise at this 
time to divide the Nebraska Conference into the 



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FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DISTRICT WORK. 297 

Nebraska and North Nebraska Conferences, the 
Platte River to be the boundary-line." 

The most of the members of the Conference 
living north of the Platte River voted against 
the division. The question had been agitated 
for a number of years, and it was thought best 
not to delay the matter longer. Time has proved 
that the action of the Conference was eminently 
wise. 



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298 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 



CHAPTER XX, 

GRASSHOPPER INCIDENTS. 
Thkir Orjoik— Deprbdations in All Aobs — AnAthbist 

RENOUNCES HIS AtHEISM— WONDERFUL ANSWERS TO 

Prayer — A Touching Incident — Another Atheist 
CHANGED — Annie WirrBNHYER — Assistance from 
THE East — Mrs. M. E. Roberts — Reflex Influencb 
OF Work done for Others — Man's Weakness and 
God's Power. 

THE year 1875 is memorable in the annals of 
Nebraska. Those who lived in the State at 
that time will never forget it. That year the 
State was visited with what is known as the 
*^ grasshopper plague." The grasshoppers, which 
were so destructive to the crops, were a species 
of locust. They appeared first in 1874, but were 
more destructive in 1875, and they did more or 
less damage in 1876 and 1877. They were na- 
tives of the high and dry regions of the Rocky 
Mountains, north of latitude forty-three. Here, 
whenever the conditions are fiivorable, they lay 
their eggs, and the young are hatched in such 
vast numbers as utterly to astound those who 
have never had any experience with them. They 
can not long endure low and moist regions com- 



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GRASSHOPPER INCIDENTS, 299 

bined with extreme and sudden changes of tem- 
perature, and for this reason Nebraska can never 
become the permanent habitation of the grass- 
hopper. In the spring of 1877 millions of them 
were hatched out, then followed rains and sudden 
changes of temperature, and in a little while they 
nearly all disappeared, having done very little 
damage to the crops. 

History informs us that in all ages, the locusts, 
of which the grasshopper is a species, have com- 
mitted great depredations. Locusts were one of 
the plagues sent upon the Egyptians. "Moses 
stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, 
and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land 
all that day, and all that night ;" . . . " and 
the east wind brought the locusts. They covered 
the face of the whole earth, so that the land was 
darkened; and they did eat every herb of the 
land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail 
had left ; and there remained not any green thing 
in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through 
all the land of Egypt.'* (Exodus x, ia-1 5.) "And 
the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, 
which took away the locusts, and cast them into 
the Red Sea" (verse 19). 

They came with the wind, and disappeared with 
the wind. So with the grasshoppers of Nebraska. 
They came with the strong wind, and disappeared 
with the same. They travel only when the wind 



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800 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

is strong and in the right direction. Rising high 
in the air, with their wings spread, the wind 
carries them along with but very little effort on 
their part. 

Mr. Volney, in his " Travels in Syria," gives an 
account of the awful ravages of the locusts: 
" Syria partakes, together with Egypt and Persia, 
and ahnost all the whole middle part of Asia, in 
that terrible scourge. I mean those clouds of lo- 
custs of which travelers have spoken ; the quantity 
of which is incredible to any person who has not 
himself seen them. When these clouds of locusts 
take their flight in order to surmount some obsta- 
cle, or the more rapidly to cross some desert, one 
may literally say that the sun is darkened by them,'* 
Dr. Adam Clarke quotes firom Baron de Tott, who 
gives a similar account of them : " Clouds of lo- 
custs frequently alight on the plains of the Tartars, 
and, giving preference to their fields of millet, 
ravage them in an instant. Their approach dark- 
ens the horizon, and so enormous is their multi- 
tude, it hides the light of the sun. They alight 
on the fields, and there form a bed of six or seven 
inches thick." The graphic description, given of 
the grasshoppers, by these travelers, agree with 
the accounts given by Moses and Joel, and are in 
harmony with our observation and experience in 
Nebraska. In 1874, in the high and dry regions 
above referred to, they were hatched by the mill- 



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GRASSHOPPER INCIDENTS, 301 

ions, and when large enough to migrate, they left 
their native land and swooped down upon the 
green fields of Nebraska, destroying almost every 
green thing. They came in such vast numbers 
that they appeared, at times, like a cloud. I have 
seen large fields of corn completely destroyed in 
a few hours, and immense wheat-fields eaten up in 
a day. Sometimes they would settle down upon 
a field of corn so thick, they would completely 
cover every stalk from the root to the tassel ; the 
ground beneath would be perfectly black with 
them, and in places they would be from one to 
four inches deep. Large fields of corn, just be- 
ginning to ripen, which at noon appeared green 
and beautiful, before sundown would be entirely 
destroyed, and nothing remain but the naked 
stalks. And woe be to the gardens they entered ! 
A garden-patch was their delight. Turnips, rad- 
ishes, beets, carrots, and everything in the bulb 
line was entirely destroyed. The inside of these 
vegetables was all eaten out, and nothing but the 
skin, or rind, remained. Tansy, red-pepper, and 
onions were their peculiar favorites. 

Sometimes the women would tie up their cab- 
bage and cauliflower with paper sacks and cloths, 
in order to save them, but these wrappings could 
no more stop their ravages than a straw could 
dam up the Mississippi River. They would eat 
through the paper and cloth almost as quick as 



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802 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

you could penetrate them with a sharp knife. 
Every green thing gave way before them. The 
awful description given by the Prophet Joel of 
the locusts of his day, most aptly illustrates the 
grasshopper scourge of Nebraska in 1875. He 
likens them to a mighty nation. " A nation is 
come upon my land, strong and without number, 
whose teeth are the teeth of a lion. He hath 
laid my vine waste, and barked my fig-tree : he 
hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the 
branches thereof are made white." (Joel i, 6, 7.) 
The above is a most fitting illustration of the 
grasshopper plague. They were indeed "without 
number." Their teeth were more to be dreaded 
than " the teeth of a lion." Not only were green 
fields and beautiful gardens " made clean bare," 
but orchards and hedges were stripped of their 
foliage, peeled, " made white," and withered and 
died. The prophet continues his graphic and 
awful description of the locust plague: "The 
field is wasted, the land mourneth ; for the corn is 
wasted : the new wine is dried up, the oil lan- 
guisheth " (verse 10). " A day of darkness and 
of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick dark- 
ness." "A fire devoureth before them ; and be- 
hind them a flame burneth : the land is as the 
garden of Eden before them, and behind them a 
desolate wilderness ; yea, and nothing shall escape 
them" (ii, 2, 3). "Before their face the people 



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GRASSHOPPER INCIDENTS. 303 

shall be much pained: all fitoes shall gather 
blackness" (verse 6). 

I have seen with, my own eyes, many beautiful 
farms, which were as the " garden of Eden " be- 
fore they came, but in a few hours after they 
came, were "a desolate wilderness." I have 
looked upon the geople whose hearts were " much 
pained," and whose faces "gathered blackness," 
at this mighty army of robbers. Many a strong 
man's heart sunk within him, as he saw in a day, 
the last vestige of his crop destroyed, and the 
living for himself and &mily for the next year 
swept away. 

An atheist, living some miles north of Lincoln, 
had his entire crop destroyed by these marauders. 
He had a large family. Their crop was their only 
dependence for a living that year. Many of his 
neighbors had suffered the same fate. The pros- 
pect for an abundant harvest never had been bet- 
ter. But the grasshoppers came like a cloud, 
settled down upon their fields and gardens, and 
in a few hours all was destroyed. The heart of 
this atheist sank within him, and his face turned 
deathly pale. Shortly after the dreadful calamity, 
he said to some of his neighbors, in a voice trem- 
ulous with emotion : " I believe there is a God, 
and if God do n't help us, I do n't know what we 
shall do." His atheism and infidelity at once left 
him, and it was said by his neighbors that he 



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304 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. ' 

became a firm believer in the Christian religion, 
and never afterwards was he heard to utter a 
single word against the existence of a God or the 
truth of the Christian religion. The grasshopper 
scourge led many to see, as never before, how 
weak and helpless man is, and how utterly de- 
pendent he is upon a higher power. The people 
were greatly humbled. They felt that " vain is 
the help of man." They were led to see clearly 
their dependence upon God, and prayed more 
earnestly than ever; and the result was, many 
wonderful revivals of religion. The people never 
were more devoted than when the country was 
devastated by the grasshoppers. Our quarterly 
meetings were seasons of wonderful power, and 
God overruled this great scourge for the people's 
welfare. Great material prosperity is not always 
conducive to deep piety. Financial crashes, ma- 
terial reverses, and failure of crops are often the 
best things that can possibly befall a people. 
Along with panics, financial reverses, and the 
failure of crops have swept gracious revivals of 
religion. 

Brother S. P. Vandoozer, presiding elder of 
the Covington District, related the following in- 
cident to Bishop Bowman and the cabinet during 
the Conference held in Omaha, in 1875: "A pious 
family, members of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, lived in the bounds of his district. They 



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GRASSHOPPER INCIDENTS, 305 

were firm believers in the power of prayer. About 
twelve o'clock, one beautiful day in August, the 
grasshoppers settled down upon their field of 
corn. The corn was black with the devouring 
insects. The wife was at home alone. She knew 
very well if they remained a few hours the corn 
would be entirely destroyed. This corn was their 
only dependence for a living for the year. When 
she saw them settle down upon the corn, she went 
into the house, kneeled down, and prayed. She 
told God that the corn was their only hope for a 
living that year, and earnestly asked him, for the 
sake of his Son, to cause the grasshoppers to leave, 
and while she prayed her faith took hold on God, 
and she said to herself: 'They will leave.' She 
arose from her knees, went out of the house, and 
there the grasshoppers were, eating away like 
ravenous wolves devouring their prey. Her feith 
began to waver, and she went back into the house, 
fell upon her knees and began again to pray, and 
while she prayed was enabled to grasp the prom- 
ise, *Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will 
give it thee.* She said to herself: 'They certainly 
will go.' She arose, went out and looked, and 
lo! they were still there, eating away as ever. 
She watched them a little while and her fisiith 
began the second time to give way. She rushed 
back into the house, fell upon her knees the third 
time, and began to pray more earnestly than ever 



26 



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306 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

that God might remove the scourge^ and as she 
prayed, she again grasped the promise with an 
unyielding grip, and said : * They will go.' She 
arose, went out and gazed for some moments upon 
the destroyers. Although there were no signs 
whatever of their leaving, her faith did not waver 
in the least. She said to herself, as she looked 
upon the destroyers, and listened to the crackling 
of the corn as this mighty army made way with 
it: 'They will leave, they will leave.' In a very 
little while they began to rise, slowly at first, 
then more rapidly, then all of them, like a mighty 
cloud, arose and passed away. While the neigh- 
bors' crops all around them were entirely destroyed, 
their field of corn was unharmed. It stood alone 
in the neighborhood, a monument of the mighty 
power of prayer." The next day Bishop Bowman 
preached on "The Tyndall Prayer-test," and 
during the sermon related the above incident, 
while tears rained from many eyes, and loud shouts 
of "Glory to God" were heard all over the con- 
gregation. 

That year, two families living near where 
Fairmont now stands, with many others, had lost 
their entire crop by the grasshoppers. They 
were poor, and had come to Nebraska fcr the 
purpose of getting themselves homes. They took 
homesteads near the railroad. For many weeks 
they had lived on short rations. The time came 



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GRASSHOPPER INCIDENTS. 307 

when the last cake was baked and the last mouth- 
ful eaten. There was no meal in the barrel and 
no oil in the cruse, and no money or anything 
else with which to buy more. If God did not 
feed them by a miracle, as he did Elijah of old, 
they must starve. Elijah's God was their God, 
and in him they trusted. At family prayer that 
morning they laid their wants before God, and 
asked him to come to their assistance and supply 
their needs. That day, R. R. Randall, now a 
member of my Church, from whom I obtained 
all the facts connected with this incident, was in 
charge of a railroad excursion from the East. 
Among the excursionists was a lady who was a 
blatant atheist. She denied the existence of a 
God, denounced the Scriptures, and ridiculed the 
idea that God answers prayer. She was loud in 
her profession of atheism, and proud of her in- 
fidelity. A hot box compelled the engineer to 
stop the train in sight of the houses of these poor 
families about noon the same day they had eaten 
the last mouthful of provisions. While waiting 
for the box to cool, the children of these families 
came out to the train. They were thinly clad, 
and their garments were patched until they were 
like Joseph's coat of many colors. The passen- 
gers got out of the coaches and gathered around 
the children, and began to ask questions. The 
children told them the artless stor)' of their pov- 



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308 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

erty. They said they had eaten the last mouth- 
ful of provisions that morning, and that their 
parents had prayed for God to send them help^ 
and they expected God would answer their par- 
ents' prayers. The hearts of the excursionists 
were touched, and tears were seen in many eyes, 
as they listened to the simple story of the chil- 
dren. A collection was at once taken, and it was 
by no means a meager one. The passengers did 
not hunt for the smallest piece of money they had. 
Silver and gold and greenbacks were poured out 
in abundance, and the little girls, with their 
aprons full, returned with joy to their homes. 
The infidel lady witnessed the touching scene with 
the deepest interest and the greatest emotion. 
And when all was over, the hot box cooled, and 
the train about to move on. Brother Randall said 
to her: ^*What do you think of that? Is there 
a God, and does he answer prayer?" She broke 
down, the tears came to her eyes, and she said : 
" I never saw anything like it. There must be a 
God, and he certainly answers prayer." Her 
atheism and infidelity at once took wings and 
flew away, and the belief in a God who hears and 
answers prayer took possession of her heart. 
To-day, as in Elijah's day, God answers prayer. 
I held a quarterly meeting during the grass- 
hopper scourge, at Brother Fair's, in Fillmore 
County. It was in August. The weather was 



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GRASSHOPPER INCIDENTS. 309 

very hot and dry. There had been no rain for 
weeks. Everything was burning up with the 
heat. What the grasshoppers did not eat, it 
seemed the intense dry weather would destroy. 
On Saturday night, at feniily prayer, I prayed 
that God might send a shower of rain upon the 
dry and parched earth. About midnight one of 
Brother Fair's boys awoke and said to his father : 
"Pa, it is going to rain.'' "What makes you 
think so, my son?" said the father. "Because 
the preacher prayed for rain, and I know it will 
rain." How wonderful is a child's faith ! If we 
all had the faith of children we would have many 
more signal answers to prayer than we have, and 
many more wonderful demonstrations of the Divine 
power. Sure enough, true to the child's fiaiith, 
the rain came. Early next morning the rain 
literally poured down, and the people and all 
nature rejoiced after the refreshing shower. A 
child's &ith, how simple and beautiful it is ! 

"Mamma," said a little child, "I prayed for 
God to forgive me, and he heard my prayer." 

" How do you know?" said the mother. 

" Because I asked him." 

A wife had long been praying for her uncon- 
verted husband. At times her distress of spirit 
was so great that, when about her household 
duties, her troubled countenance was sad to be- 
hold. One day her little girl of seven summers, 



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31 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

seeing her arise from her knees with the same 
weary, anxious face^ ran up to her and said: 
^' Mamma, won't God say yes?" and receiving no 
answer, she asked again : " Mamma, why won't 
God say yes?" A light flashed upon the woman's 
troubled soul. Had she prayed in faith and 
humble trust in the Redeemer? Then she said : 
** Lord, increase my faith ;" and then she offered 
the prayer of faith, and then her glad soul re- 
joiced in the salvation of her husband. Her little 
child had taught her how to offer the prayer of 
faith. From the children we learn many lessons. 
How true, "A little child shall lead them !" 

About this time, Mrs. Annie Witteumyer vis- 
ited Lincoln. She was the first corresponding 
secretary of the Ladies' and Pastors' Christian 
Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and 
was at this time laboring in the interest of this 
society. She was afterwards president of the 
National Woman's Christian Temperance Union. 
The active part she took in hospital work during 
the Civil War, in administering to the wants of the 
sick, wounded, and dying soldiers, her great tal- 
ents, deep piety, and untiring energy in almost 
every good work, won for her a national reputa- 
tion. Many in the great day of eternity will 
have reason to praise God for Annie Wittenmyer. 
While in Lincoln, we had the privilege of enter- 
taining her as a guest at our own home a short 



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QRASSaOPPER INCIDENTS. 311 

time. And; although she was with us but a few 
hours, and sat but once at our table^ that delight- 
ful visit will never be forgotten. We let no time 
run to waste while she was present, for we wanted 
to get all the information from her we possibly 
could. We asked her a great many questions, 
which were answei'ed with the greatest pleasure. 
She was past fifty years old before she did any 
work in public. She gave us a most interesting 
account of her maiden speech. It was delivered 
at a camp-meeting in the East. She was so 
frightened that two ministers, one taking hold 
of her right arm and the other her left, had to 
assist her in getting upon a bench, where she 
stood and talked for over an hour to the people. 
To her it was a memorable occasion, and would 
never be forgotten. I said to her: 

*'We ministers sometimes have what we call 
liberty, and sometimes we do not. How is it 
with you? Do you always have liberty when 
you speak?'' 

"O no!'' waa the reply. "About two-thirds 
of the time I iraily and about one-third of the 
time speak with satisfaction to myself. Some- 
times I do more good, however, when I trail 
than I do when I speak with ease and satis- 
faction." 

''How is that?" said I. 

"Well, I will tell you. About a year ago 



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312 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

Brother Cookman^ pastor of one of our Churches 
in New York City, requested me to speak to his 
people. I complied with the request, and had 
a most delightful time. Brother Cookman was 
pleased, his people were pleased, and I was 
pleased. We were all delighted. Some months 
afterward he requested me to come again and 
talk to his people, and I went. This time, how- 
ever, I had a very hard time. I trailed all the 
way through my speech. When I went into 
the parsonage, after the service, I said: 'Well, 
Brother Cookman, I had a hard time to-night ; I 
am afraid I did not do your people any good at 
all.' 'O yes. Sister Wittenmyer, you did my peo- 
ple more good to-night than you did when you 
were here before. When you were here before, 
my people said : " O, that is Sister Wittenmyer ; 
nobody can talk like her!'' and they went away 
from the church discouraged, feeling as though 
they never would try to do anything, because 
your effort was so fer superior to any effort 
they might attempt to make ; but to-night they 
said, "Why, almost any one could do that 
welir"" 

I remember once trying to preach in Lincoln 
on Sunday night. I felt it was the most com- 
plete failure I had ever made in my life. I 
left the church chagrined and mortified. A few 
months afterward I met a man in Omaha who 



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GRASSHOPPER INCIDENTS. 313 

heard me preach that sermon. He referred to 
the sermon and the text, and said : " Under that 
sermon my daughter was awakened and con- 
verted, and has been living a fistithful Christian 
ever since." 

A minister was called unexpectedly one even- 
ing to preach in a pulpit not his own, and an- 
nounced as his text, ** Will a man rob God ?'' He 
left the church in deep depression, with a sense 
of utter &ilure. Sixteen years afterward, when 
on a voyage, a stranger accosted him, and, calling 
him by name, said : " I am heartily glad to see 
you! A sermon you preached sixteen years 
ago— or, rather, the text — was the meaus of my 
conversion. I went to church, when I heard you 
announce as your text *Will a man rob God?' I 
was a young man, from a Christian home, just 
going abroad to commence my life-work. I was 
meaning some time 'to be obedient to the heav- 
enly vision.' That text revealed God to me ; it 
brought me fiice to face with God.'' He saw 
God, and then and there was saved. A public 
speaker does not always know when he is doing 
the most good. What to him is a complete 
failure, in the hand of God may be a perfect 
success. 

The finances of the society for which Sister 
Wittenmyer was laboring were not in the best 
condition at that time, and when she referred to 



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314 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

the matter I said : " Do n^t you get discouraged 
sometimes?" 

" O no/' was the prompt reply. " You would 
not get discouraged either if you had seen what 
I have seen. Let me give you an incident/' said 
she: "Our society was in debt some three hun- 
dred dollars. We ladies planned a course of lec- 
tures, in order to pay off that debt. We secured 
several of the best and most noted lecturers in 
the field, and, after the course was delivered, we 
were eight dollars worse off than when we began. 
We felt badly. A number of the ladies were dis- 
heartened. One day some of us were talking 
over the matter, and wondering how we were to 
liquidate the indebtedness, when Brother Hughes 
came up, and we told him what we had been 
talking about and what we wanted. He said: 
' Why do n't you ask God to send you the 
money ?' ^ Sure enough ; we had not thought of 
that. We will ask God to send us three hundred 
dollars.' ' Ask God to send you a thousand !' said 
Brother Hughes. So we agreed together to pray 
for a thousand dollars. A few months afterward 
the two New York Conferences were in session. 
I spoke to the New York East Conference one 
night, and the next night addressed the New 
York Conference. At the close of the meeting, 
as I walked down the aisle, Brother Remington 
met me, and handed me a check for one thou- 



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GRASSHOPPER INCIDENTS. 315 

sand dollars for our society. There was the an- 
swer to our prayers. I could give you other 
incidents similar to this. No, I do not get dis- 
couraged." 

The people of the East were very kind, and 
money and clothing in large amounts were given 
to aid the grasshopper sufferers. Some six hun- 
dred dollars were sent to me during the year, 
which amount I gave to the most needy on my 
district. An emporium was established in Lincoln, 
where large quantities of clothing were stored, 
divided, given, and sent to the destitute. I knew 
of many families on my district who were very 
needy. Mrs. Davis and I requested Mrs. M. 
E. Roberts to help us» in selecting clothing 
for these needy ones. We spent the day in do- 
ing this, and Mrs. Roberts afterwards declared 
that it was the most delightful day's work she 
had ever done. She is always happy when she 
can help others. While engaged in this work 
she felt conscious she was rendering invaluable 
service to the suffering poor. Nothing brings 
such rich joy to the heart as the work of bene- 
fiting others. All that is done for humanity has 
a reflex influence. While it goes forth to benefit 
those intended, it comes back with a richer bless- 
ing to the benefactor. Many know from experi- 
ence the truth of the Savior's words, ** It is more 
blessed to give than to receive." 



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316 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

Many of the preachers of my district were 
living on a mere pittance. They were struggling 
hard with poverty — barely able to keep the wolf 
from the door. I knew well their needs. Flan- 
nels and muslins and calicoes were carefully di- 
vided^ that all might share equally , and certain 
garments were carefully laid aside for Brothers A 
and B and C. While carefully assorting the 
goods, Sister Roberts came across a beautiful pair 
of lavender kid-gloves, and, holding them up in 
her hand, said : *' O see here, what a lovely pair 
of gloves I have found! To whom shall we 
give them?'' We thought of Sister A and then 
of Sister B. We suggested first one and then 
another. " Lavender Wd-gloves ! lavender kid- 
gloves ! For whom would they be appropriate ?" 
We were at a loss to know. What did grasshop- 
per suflTerers need of lavender kid-gloves? We 
discussed the matter pro and con for some time, 
but could not decide who should have them. 

Sister Roberts afterward said: "We were a 
little like the Sanitary Commissioners in the South 
during the war. Among the many things sent to 
relieve the wants of the suffering soldiers was a 
box of paper collars. The commissioners were 
very much perplexed to know what to do with 
them. For whom they would be appropriate 
they knew not. Finally they sent them back, 
saying : * We have fried them, and boiled them, 



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GRASSHOPPER INCIDENTS, 317 

and baked them^ and we can not do anything 
with them; so we send them back to you.'" 
Whatever became of the lavender kid-gloves I 
do not know to this day; but we could find no 
earthly use for them. 

In the grasshopper plague we have an illus- 
tration of the wonderful influence and power of 
little things. A snow-flake is a little thing. 
Who cares for one snow-flake ? But a whole day 
of snow-flakes^ drifting over the fences, blocking 
up the roads, and gathering upon the mountain- 
sides, to crush in awful avalanches, who does not 
care for that? A spark of fire is a little thing. 
Who cares for a spark of fire ? A drop of water 
may extinguish it; a touch with the foot or hand 
may put it out. But drop that spark of fire in 
the grass on a dry and windy day, and soon it 
becomes a rolling wave of flame ; and fences and 
hay-stacks, and barns and houses melt away be- 
fore the devouring element. One of the most 
fearful of all things is a prairie-fire on a dry and 
windy day. It sweeps everything before it, and 
its track is marked by desolation and gloom. A 
grasshopper is a little thing. Who cares for such 
a tiny insect? But millions on millions of grass- 
hoppers, flying like a cloud, and settling down 
upon fields and gardens, literally covering every- 
thing, who does not care for them? A woman 
whose corn had all been destroyed by them said : 



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318 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

" I would not have felt so badly if a drove of 
buffaloes had entered the field and eaten up my 
corn ; but to have it all destroyed in a few hours 
by such insignificant things as grasshoppers is 
really aggravating." 

The grasshoppers brought gloom and sadness 
to many a home and many a heart, and we have 
no desire at all to see them again ; yet, under an 
overruling providence, they were not without 
profit to many of the people. Man's weakness 
and God's power were seen in a light never be- 
fore manifested. Without the intervention of 
Almighty God, man is at the mercy, in spite of 
all his knowledge and power, of a little, insignifi- 
cant insect. Many were led to cry out with 
David: "I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, 
from whence cometh my help. My help cometh 
from the Lord, which made heaven and earth." 



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BEATRICE. 319 



CHAPTER XXI. 

BEATRICE. 

Location — Founded in 1857 — Emigrants on a Missouri 
Steamer organize a Colony— Beatrice in 1861 — Al- 
bert TowLB — Governor Butler— First Homestead — 
First Methodist Preacher — First Quarterly Meet- 
ing — Indians — Terrible Massacre — The Great 
Change. 

BEATRICE, tha county-seat of Gage County, 
is one of the beautiful cities of Nebraska, 
and is situated on the banks of the Blue River, 
one of the lovely streams of the State. It is forty 
miles south of Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska,* 
and some seventy miles west of the Missouri 
River. It was founded in 1857, and named Be- 
atrice in honor of Judge Kinney's daughter. It 
is supposed that the name was originally derived 
from the beautiful woman whom Dante has im- 
mortalized in his poems, and the object of his de- 
votion. One of the most beautiful of women, she 
was the emblematical personification of divine 
wisdom. It was the thought of her lover that a 
being so pure and lovely could not stay long on 
the earth. God seemed to have created her for 
one of his angels, and at the age of twenty-four 



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320 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

years took her to himself in heaven. The name, 
Beatrice, suggests beauty, purity, and wisdom. 
Whether the city of Beatrice can claim all these 
admirable traits or not, is a question. One thing 
is certain, however, it can claim the first-named — 
beauty. Its location can not be surpassed in 
loveliness, and we may truthfully say : " Beauti- 
ful for situation, the joy of the whole '' people, is 
Beatrice. 

In the spring of 1857, a steamer weighed 
anchor at St. Louis, Missouri, floated out into the 
center of the Mississippi River, and, with her 
prow set for the head-waters of the Missouri, be- 
gan slowly to move up against the mighty cur- 
rent of the " Father of Waters.'* On board of 
that steamer were some three hundred passen- 
*gers, — many of them the deluded followers of 
Brigham Young. Their &ces were turned to the 
" city of Zion,'' located in a safe retreat amid the 
mountain fastnesses of the far-away West. Others 
were looking to the plains of " bleeding Kansas," 
while quite a number had their eyes fixed on the 
new and inviting Territory of Nebraska. 

The Missouri River is full of snags and sand- 
bars, and is a very dangerous stream to navigate. 
As this steamer moved slowly up the turbid and 
treacherous stream, nearing Kansas City, she 
struck a sand-bar, stuck fast, and remained for 
some time. This was not the first time, howeyer, 



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BEATRICE. 321 

the steamer had grounded, yet this was the 
most serious accident of the kind on that mem- 
orable voyage. While the boat lay upon that 
sand-bar, and the weary hours passed by, to break 
the monotony and relieve the restlessness of the 
passengers, a colony was organized, from among 
the passengers, for the puri)Ose of locating in Ne- 
braska. That organization framed a constitution 
and by-laws, and thirty-five persons signed the 
written agreement. Among the signers of that 
instrument were Albert Towle, J. B. Weston, 
Judge John F. Kinney, and others who have 
since occupied positions of trust and honor in the 
State. This colony located, platted, and named 
the city of Beatrice. 

As stated elsewhere, in 1861 I was appointed 
to the Nebraska City District, which comprised 
all the territory south of the Platte River ; and 
Beatrice was one of my appointments. I first 
visited the place in 1861. At that time there was 
a blacksmith-shop, a store, kept by Joseph 
Saunders, with about as many goods as two or 
three men could carry in their arms, and three 
or four dwelling-houses. During my first visit 
to the place I was kindly entertained by Brother 
Albert Towle and his estimable wife, and ever 
afterwards met a royal welcome at their hospita- 
ble home. Their house was always the home of 
the Methodist itinerant. They worked hard and 



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322 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

made sacrifices for the Church. To them^ more 
than any other two perhaps, is due the credit and 
honor of laying the foundations of the Church in 
the city of Beatrice. Although Brother Towle 
was not a member of the Church, he was as moral 
and upright in his walk as any who were mem- 
bers; and when he came to die gave assurances 
to. his family that he was prepared to go. Sister 
Towle told the writer that her husband said to 
her not long before he passed away that perhaps 
he had made a mistake in not joining the Church, 
and if he had his life to live over again he would 
connect himself with the Church. While I be- 
lieve there are many good Christians out of the 
Church, and many who have lived and died 
Christians who never belonged to any Church or- 
ganization, still I believe it is far better for us 
personally, and our influence for good will be 
much greater if connected with the Church than 
otherwise. The Church was instituted for our 
benefit, and we ought to avail ourselves of her 
sacred privileges. It is not only a great privi- 
lege to be identified with the visible Church, but 
it is, at the same time, a duty to make that public 
"confession before men" on which Christ, the 
head of the Church, has laid so much stress. 
"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before 
men, him will I also confess before my Father 
which is in heaven." 



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BEATRICE. 323 

Brother Towle was familiarly known as " Pap." 
Every body called him "Pap/' and every one 
loved him almost as a child loves its affectionate 
parent. He was postmaster from the organiza- 
tion of the place until the day of his death, and 
had he lived, would, without doubt, still have 
held that position. His name, and that of his 
amiable wife, are embalmed in the hearts of a 
grateful people. 

The following story is told on David Butler, 
who afterwards became governor of the State: 
During the war he was recruiting officer and 
came to Beatrice for volunteers. He stopped at 
"Pap's cabin," which was a fevorite resort in that 
early day. In the evening, as he was talking 
with Mr. Towle, the young men began to come 
in, and each one saluted him as " Pap." About 
ten had gathered in when Mr. Butler asked Mr. 
Towle to take a walk. They walked some distance 
and sat down, when Mr. Butler began explaining 
how badly the Government was in need of troops, 
and hinted about the size and ability of the 
"boys" of his fieimily. Mr. Towle listened at- 
tentively to all that was said, and seemed very 
greatly interested. When Mr. Butler had dis- 
cussed the matter sufficiently he asked him if he 
would not spare some of his boys, and Mr. Towle 
said he would spare all the boys he had. 

" How many boys have you, Mr. Towle?'* 



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824 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

" Why, bless you, man, mine are all daughters, 
and I have not a boy to my name,'' said Mr. 
Towle. 

The first quarterly meeting on the Beatrice 
Circuit, in 1861, was held on Cub Creek, some 
four miles, if I remember correctly, north-west of 
Beatrice. I reached the village Friday evening, 
and staid over night at Brother Towle's. On 
Saturday morning, Brother Towle ordered out his 
two-horse wagon, and Sister Towle, three of the 
daughters, some of the neighbors, and myself, got 
m and rode out to the quarterly meeting. The 
meeting was held in a grove on the farm of 
Brother Kilpatrick. He had made ample ar- 
rangements for the meeting, and we were most 
royally entertained during the meeting at his 
cabin. Brother Kilpatrick long ago passed to 
his home in the skies. That first quarterly meet- 
ing on the Beatrice charge will never be forgotten. 

In 1879, Brother Towle passed peacefully 
away to his heavenly home, and ten years after- 
wards was followed by his beloved wife, both 
honored and respected by all. 

The first homestead ever taken under the 
" United States Homestead Law '' was near the 
city of Beatrice. To Daniel Freeman belongs 
this honor. His claim was on Cub Creek, four 
miles west of Beatrice, and not &r from where I 
held the quarterly meeting above referred to. 



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BEATRICE, 325 

The Homestead Law was enacted in 1862, and 
Mr. Freeman took his claim January 1, 1863, 
the day the act went into effect. His patent is 
numbered 1, and is recorded in Volume I, on 
page 1, of the Records of the General Land Office 
at Washington. 

At the third session of the Kansas and Ne- 
braska Conference, held at Topeka, Kansas Ter- 
ritory, April 16-19, 1858, Beatrice was placed on 
the Conference Minutes as one of the appoint- 
ments of the Nebraska City District, and left to 
be supplied. At the next session of the Conference, 
held in Omaha, Nebraska Territory, April 14-18, 
1859, no members were reported. At this Con- 
ference J. W. Foster was appointed pastor. Dur- 
ing the year Brother Foster organized a class at 
Beatrice, one at Blue Springs, and at various 
other points on the circuit organized classes. 

For a number of years the growth of the 
Church at Beatrice, as well as at other points, 
was slow. In 1870 a small stone church was 
erected, and on November 13th of that year I 
had the honor and privilege of preaching the 
dedicatory sermon, and of consecrating the house 
to the worship of Almighty God. Brother Will- 
iam Presson was the successful pastor at the 
time. The dedicatory services throughout were 
attended with the divine presence and power, 
and the people were greatly rejoiced in having 



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326 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

a beautiful and comfortable church in which to 
worship God. In 1881, after having been on 
district-work for ten successive years, I was ap- 
pointed to the Beatrice Station, and served the 
Church two years. During the first year God 
gave us a most gracious revival of religion, and 
over one hundred and thirty were converted. 

In 1886, under the labors of Brother W. K. 
Beans, the present beautiful edifice was erected, 
and named " Centenary Methodist ^Episcopal 
Church of Beatrice.'^ Soon after, the West Bea- 
trice Church was built ; and now there are two 
thriving Methodist Churches in this rapidly grow- 
ing city. Other denominations have been very 
active, and have kept pace with the growth of 
the place. 

In 1864, while holding a quarterly meeting on 
the Brownville Circuit, word came that the coun- 
ties west of the Blue River were being raided by 
the Indians, and that men, women, and children 
were being slaughtered indiscriminately. It was 
reported that the Indians had reached Beatrice, 
the village had been burned, and the settlers who 
had not fellen victims to the merciless and blood- 
thirsty savages, were fleeing as fiist as possible to 
the Missouri River. The report created intense 
excitement at the meeting, and many felt like 
starting at once for the defense of the frontier 
settlers. It was soon ascertained, however, that^ 



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BEATRICE. 327 

while the Indians were driving everything be- 
fore them as they moved towards the east, and 
were m&ssacring the whites wherever they could 
reach them, they had not harmed Beatrice. The 
people in and around the town were greatly 
alarmed, and the excitement was at white heat. 
The settlers from the West came pouring into the 
village, and a strong corral was made around 
the old mill, where the frightened refugees re- 
mained for ten days. A company of men was or- 
ganized, and started out to meet the murderous 
Sioux. This company of brave pioneers met a 
band of these savages on the Little Blue, and de- 
feated them. The battle was a sharp and severe 
one, and two honored and highly respected citi- 
zens of Gage County, M. C. Kelley and J. H. 
Butler, fell mortally wounded. Although Gage 
County paid dearly for the relief and safety of 
her neighbors, the result was the Indians were 
panic-smitten, and instead of pushing their way 
further eastward, began at once to retreat to the 
west, and Beatrice was saved from their ravage. 
This raid, made upon the settlers all tbe way 
west of Beatrice to Fort Kearney, was one of the 
most complete and destructive ever made in the 
State. The raid was previously arranged with 
all the Indians along the route for two hundred 
miles, the exact time set, and to every settlement 
a band of Indians allotted. This was during the 



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328 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

war, and it was thought that this awful massacre 
was instigated by white men — white men with 
hearts as dark as any that ever beat in the breasts 
of the most cruel Red-men of the plains. 

The 7th day of August, 1864, was the day 
set for the simultaneous attack of every settle- 
ment west of Beatrice to Fort Kearney. It was 
the Sabbath, and many of the people had gath- 
ered together at the different stations along the 
road, and at different places in the different 
settlements for religious worship. No fear of the 
Indians disturbed the peaceful hearts of the set- 
tlers. The sun rose in splendor, poured his 
genial light over the beautiful prairies, and all 
nature rejoiced. On that calm and lovely morn- 
ing the noble pioneers who had come to Ne- 
braska to procure for themselves homes, felt just 
as secure as they had in their old homes in the 
East. Little did they dream that the day begun 
so bright should close so dark. Every station 
and settlement was attacked within ten minutes 
of the first, so perfect was the execution of this 
most carefully planned and cold-blooded massa- 
cre. The Indians appeared at the stations as they 
were in the habit of doing, and as usual were 
warmly received and kindly treated by the whites. 
Then, without a moment's warning, they began to 
shoot down their helpless victims, mutilating 



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BEATRICE. 329 

their bodies, burning their houses, and carrying 
away all they could. 

I have no plea whatever to make for the In- 
dians in their cruel and dastardly work, for many 
of their atrocions crimes are without a single pal- 
liating circumstance. Yet I am compelled to 
say that, in many instances, the treatment of the 
Indian by the white man has been just as cruel 
as the treatment of the white man by the Indian. 
I would indeed be glad if I could say only Indian 
hands have been stained with human blood ; but 
alas ! I can not. The hands of many white men 
have dripped with the innocent blood of the In- 
dian. The white men who instigated the above 
massacre were just as guilty as the Indians who 
executed it. 

A white man, in cold blood, without the least 
provocation whatever, shot and instantly killed 
an Indian squaw near where the city of Lincoln 
now stands, leaving her husband, the Indian 
brave, to pass on alone without any redress what- 
ever. A party of Mormons, passing through St. 
Joseph, bought a cow that they might have a sup- 
ply of milk, while crossing the plains to Salt Lake, 
for a sick child. Reaching Jefferson County, the 
cow gave out, and they had to rest a day or two 
for her to recuperate. They resumed their 

journey ; but she soon gave out again, and they 

28 



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830 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

were compelled to leave her to shift for herself 
on the hills and plains of Nebraska. Soon after^ 
this cow was found by a band of thirty Pawnee 
Indians. Thinking she was an estray, they killed 
her, and while removing her hide/a rough white 
man came along with a mule-train. He was a 
freighter, reckless and daring. Some of these old 
freighters were as tough as some of the " cow-boys" 
on the plains are at the present time. Seeing 
what had been done, he made a demand of the 
Indians who had killed the cow. They refused 
to comply with the demand, but instead ofiered 
thirty dollars, all the money they had, and really 
more than the animal was worth. Then they of- 
fered their best pony, which was refused, and the 
man went on his way swearing vengeance upon 
them, and declaring he would have the Indians' 
scalps. He secured a party of men, went in pur- 
suit of the Indians, and, when he overtook them, 
again* pressed his demand. A parley ensued, 
then a bloody fight, in which one Indian and one 
white man was killed. News was sent to Fort 
Kearney that the Pawnees had made an attack 
upon the whites. The troops were ordered out, 
and before the matter was settled, the Govern- 
ment had expended one hundred and forty thou- 
sand dollars. In too many instances the white 
man has been the aggressor. 

In 1861 the country between Beatrice and Ne- 



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BEATRICE. 3ai 

braska City was very sparsely settled. For many 
miles east of Bear Creek there was not a single 
house. Over this dreary and desolate region I 
traveled to and fro four times a year for four 
years. It was a dismal ride, and I always 
greatly dreaded it. The scream of the prairie- 
snipe and the bark of the coyote often startled 
me as I sat in my buggy half asleep, while my 
bronco pony jogged wearily along the dim and 
but little traveled road; and ever and anon a 
herd of beautiful antelope would be seen grazing 
upon the hillside or skipping over the prairies. 
But this scene has greatly changed. The scream 
of the snipe and the bark of the coyote have long 
since died away, and the antelope is no longer 
seen playing upon the hillsides and along the val- 
leys of this beautiful country. Instead of these 
is heard the bleating of sheep, the lowing of cat- 
tle, and the neighing of the horses ; and rich and 
finely-cultivated farms cover all this once dreary 
and desolate region. 



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332 SOLITABY PLACES MADE GLAD. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

YORK. 

Location — First Settlebs — First Grave in theCJounty — 
Methodist Class oroanizbd — David Baker— Boppa- 
loes invade the County — Friendship of the Early 
Settlers— W. E. Morgan — First Quarterly Meet- 
ing — Other Churches — Appointed to York Station, 
1883 — Great Revival— The Little Girl and the 
Dark Cloud — Second Year — Another Great Re- 
vival — The New Church — Subscription — Third 
Year — Church completed— Dedication by Bishop 
Warren. 

YORK 18 the county-seat of York County. It 
is a lovely city, situated in the beautiful val- 
ley of Beaver Creek, and is the geographical 
center of the county. When first located it was 
called "York Center/' 

The first settlements made in York County 
were in 1861, shortly after the location of the 
territorial road from Nebraska City west, to a 
point on the " California Trail," forty miles due 
east of the present city of Kearney. It was 
known by the early freighters as " The Nebraska 
City Cut-off." Banches were established along 
this road at different points. These ranches were 
the hotels along this public highway, kept for the 



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YORK. 333 

benefit of travelers and freighters over the plains. 
Five of these ranches were established in York 
County shortly after this road was located. The 
first one established was by Benjamin F. Lush- 
baughy United States Indian Agent of the Paw- 
nees. It was near the west line of the county, 
situated on Porcupine Bluffs, and was known 
as "Porcupine Ranch.'* Afterwards the "Jack 
Smith Ranch," the "McDonald Ranch,'' the " An- 
telope Ranch," and the "Jack Stone Ranch" 
were established at different points in the county. 
At these "pioneer hotels" the weary traveler 
over the plains found rest and refreshment. 

The grave of the first white man in the county 
may be seen near where the old "Jack Smith 
Ranch" stood. The victim was an overland 
stage-driver. When he reached the ranch he 
was under the influence of bad whisky; was 
shamefully abusive, and threatened the life of 
the ranch-keeper. For this purpose, he went to 
the stage, secured his revolvers, returned to the 
ranch, and drew a bead on Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith 
saw his danger, and shot first, the ball entering 
the driver's forehead, killing him instantly. Mr. 
Smith was exonerated in the course he pursued, 
as he acted entirely in self-defense. Although a 
drunkard fills the first grave in York County, to 
the praise and honor of the people be it said, 
York County has been freer from intoxicants, 



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334 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

and less evil has resulted from the use of the 
vile stuff, than in almost any other county in the 
State. Her temperance principles have long 
been known, &r and wide, and the result has 
been, the very best class of citizens have been at- 
tracted to the county. 

The first permanent settler in York Precinct 
was Mr. David Baker. In August, 1869, he, 
with his fitmily, pitched their tent on the banks 
of Beaver Creek, under the spreading branches 
of a beautiful old elm-tree, not far from where 
the city of York now stands. In this tent the 
&mily made their home for three months, during 
which time Mr. Baker erected the first frame 
house in the precinct, hauling the lumber from 
Nebraska City, a distance of over one hundred 
miles. 

The city of York was founded in 1869 by the 
** South Platte Land Company.'' The site was 
taken as a pre-emption claim by A. M. Ghost 
and Mr. Sherwood for the company. In the 
spring of 1870 the town was represented by one 
sod-house and the little frame building which had 
been occupied by Messrs. Ghost and Sherwood 
when the site was pre-empted. 

The first Methodist class was organized at the 
house of David Baker in the spring of 1871, and 
was composed of the following persons : David 
Baker, Elvira Baker, J. H. Bell, Thomas Bas- 



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YORK. 335 

sett, L. D. Brakeman, Ella Brakeman, Sarah M. 
Moore, Thomas Myres, John Murphy, Mary 
Murphy, S. W. Pettis, and Mrs. Shackelford. 
Brother Baker was the leader. At Brother Ba- 
ker's house the class was regularly held; and 
here the traveling preacher always found a royal 
welcome. The home of Brother and Sister Baker 
was always open to new-comers, and Father and 
Mother Baker were household names in every 
settler's cabin in York County for many years. In 
1872 the writer had the privilege of sharing their 
hospitality,and, after remaining over night with the 
kind family, in the morning Brother Baker ferried 
me over Beaver Creek in a sorghum-pan. The 
stream was high and could not be forded, and there 
was no bridge, so the only way of crossing was in 
this unique boat. All the early settlers know very 
well what a sorghum-pan is. Some, however, 
may read these pages whose information is not so 
extensive ; so for their benefit I will explain the 
nature of the little vessel in which I sailed the 
first time across the raging Beaver. At that day 
almost all the farmers raised a species of sugar-cane 
called sorghum. Out of this they made molasses, 
which they used for sweetening purposes. The 
juice was pressed from the cane-stalks, and then 
boiled to a syrup in pans from three to ten feet 
long; the bottom and ends were of sheet-iron, 
and the sides of plank. They were from one 



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336 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

to two feet wide, and the sides from twelve to 
eighteen inches high. In these sorghum-pans 
the juice was placed; a fire was kindled under- 
neath, and the liquid was boiled to its proper 
thickness. Brother Baker's pan resembled some- 
what an Indian canoe, and in it I was safely car- 
ried over the swift-flowing stream. 

On November 30, 1888, Sister Baker, in the 
eighty-third year of her age, went up to join her 
husband, who had preceded her to the skies some 
years before. I was requested to be present and 
preach her funeral sermon, but was unable to 
comply with the request of the kind friends. She 
was buried from the Methodist Episcopal Church 
on Sunday, December 2, 1888, Rev. W. K. Beans 
officiating. The founders of the Church in York 
County are passing away. " They rest from their 
labors, and their works do follow them." 

In 1868 there were a few settlers in different 
parts of the county, and the most of them were 
very poor, and some were in destitute circum- 
stances. They had come to secure homes under 
the "Homestead Law," and had but very little 
with which to begin. In August of this year the 
county was visited by large numbers of buffalo. 
This was the last appearance of these animals in 
any considerable number. The coming of these 
buffaloes at this time seemed providential; for 
these destitute pioneers were without meat, and 



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YORK, 337 

the prospect was that they would have to remain 
without meat during the coming winter. When 
these cattle of the prairies appeared, the settlers 
were not slow in availing themselves of the priv- 
ilege of laying in an abundant supply for the sea- 
son. Though coarser-grained than the beef from 
the American cattle, the beef from the buffalo is 
sweet, palatable, and healthful. 

The settlers at that time thought nothing of 
going twenty miles to visit a neighbor. A new 
settler was hailed with delight, and the neighbors 
would go ten or fifteen miles to assist him in erect- 
ing his sod-house, and give him a warm and honest 
welcome. The stranger at once became acquainted 
and felt at home. Such hearty good-will was ir- 
resistible, and no sooner did the new settler see 
it than he took the contagion, and was as jolly, 
free, and friendly as the re«t. Solomon's proverb 
holds good the wide world over, and has been 
verified in every age : " A man that hath friends 
must show himself friendly.'* Friendship of the 
true type was beautifully manifested among the 
earlier settlers of the State. Would that the same 
social, benevolent, free-and-easy spirit were man- 
ifested now I 

York first appeared as an appointment in 
1871 upon the Minutes of the Nebraska Confer- 
ence. It was in the Beatrice District, and was 
left to be supplied. Near the close of the year 

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838 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

Rev. W. E. Morgan was employed by the presid- 
ing elder, Rev. J. B. Maxfield, to supply the 
work until Conference. 

At the Conference of 1872, York was placed in 
the Lincoln District. I was the presiding elder 
and W. E. Morgan pastor. The mission em- 
braced the whole county. Over this vast territory 
Brother Morgan traveled, enduring great hard- 
ships and privations, that he might give to the 
people in the sparse-settled neighborhoods, scat- 
tered over the country, the bread of life, and lay 
deep and broad the foundations of the Church. 
To his untiring labors and bold advocacy is due 
largely the strong temperance sentiment which 
has always prevailed in the county. The little 
society of which he was the first pastor has grown 
into one of the strongest and most desirable sta- 
tions in the Nebraska Conference. 

On the 7th of June, 1872, I left my home in 
Lincoln, and sallied forth in my buggy, drawn 
by a span of spirited ponies,' for my first quarterly 
meeting at York. Recent heavy rains had left 
the roads in very bad plight. The streams were 
badly swollen, many of the bridges were washed 
away, and the mud was deep, making travel ex- 
ceedingly slow and difficult. Late in the evening 
I reached Beaver Crossing, and was most kindly 
entertained at the hospitable cabin of Brother and 
Sister Jones. Brother Jones and family after- 



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YORK. 339 

wards moved to York, and while stationed in that 
city were, for three years, among my most faith- 
ful parishioners. The next day I pushed on to 
York, and held the first Quarterly Conference 
ever held in the place. At this Conference plans 
and specifications for the new church were adopted, 
and arrangements made for pushing the work to 
a speedy coihpletion. The church was soon fin- 
ished and dedicated, the Rev. Minor Raymond, 
D. D., of Evanston, Illinois, officiating. 

At the close of the Quarterly Conference, in 
compliance with the kindly invitation of Brother 
and Sister Morgan, I rode out to their home- 
stead, and spent a most pleasant night with them 
in their new frame-btrilding. The sod-house had 
just been superseded by this neat and beautiful 
frame cottage. Possessing, in no small degree, 
one of the usual weaknesses of a Methodist 
preacher, I remember well how I enjoyed the ex- 
cellent iried chicken Sister Morgan gave us for 
break&st Sunday morning. After a hearty and 
very enjoyable meal, we hurried away to the nine 
o'clock love-feast, where, for an hour, we had a 
genuine, old-fashioned feast of love. Then came 
the preaching, then the collection, then the sac- 
rament of the Lord's Supper, and then the recej)- 
tion of members into the Church. Representatives 
from various parts of the county were present. 
The people at that time thought nothing of going 



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340 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

twenty or thirty miles to attend quarterly meet- 
ing. The services were held in the new frame 
building belonging to the Burlington and Mis- 
souri River Railroad Company^ and used for a laud- 
office. This building stood on the west side of the 
square. Here I met Judge D. T. Moore, Milton 
Sovereign, and their estimable wives, and they 
also, for three years, were among th^ most faith- 
ful of my parishioners while pastor of the York 
Station. 

The Presbyterian Church was organized in 
July, 1871 ; the Congregational Church in May, 
1872. At a later period, the Baptist and Chris- 
tian Churches were organized. All now have ele- 
gant church-buildings and large and flourishing 
societies. The citizens of York are altogether the 
best church-going people it has ever been our 
privilege to become acquainted with. The intel- 
ligence and piety of the people are fiu: above the 
average, and it is one of the most desirable of 
places in which to live. 

The Nebraska Conference Seminary was 
founded, in 1879, by the Nebraska Conference, 
and located at York, a full account of which may 
be found in chapter xxiii, of this book. 

We were appointed to the York Station by 
Bishop Wiley, September 10, 1883. My prede- 
cessor. Brother G. A. Smith, had left the charge 
in an excellent condition. I found peace and 



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YORK. 341 

harmony, and the Church in good working order. 
There were two hundred and seventy-one members 
enrolled on the Church record. We had no church- 
building at that time. The first church built had 
long since become too small for the congrega- 
tions, and had been sold, and our people were 
worshiping in "Bell's Hall.'' 

Mrs. Davis and I entered upon our labors, as 
we always do, with an intense desire for the sal- 
vation of souls. During the first three months I 
preached every Sunday morning to the Church 
what I called in my own mind, although I did 
not announce them as such, awakening sermons, 
showing the members their great privileges and 
responsibilities as well. In the evening, I preached 
to the unconverted, and more especially to the 
young, what I called in my own mind awakening 
sermons, designed to produce conviction and show 
them the great need and importance of salvation. 
At the end of three months it seemed to me the 
Church was ripe for a revival; in fact, a revival 
was already in progress. A number had already 
been converted, others were under deep convic- 
tion, while many others were thinking seriously 
of the important matter. On the 6th day of Jan- 
uary I began special revival services, preaching 
every night, and holding social meetings every 
afternoon. During the first two weeks of the 
meeting twelve persons were converted. Slowly 



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342 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD, 

but steadily the meetings increased in interest and 
power, and almost every night new interest was 
manifested. The third week twenty-eight were 
converted. Then I appointed a day of fasting and 
prayer, and earnestly exhorted all to observe that 
day. I also appointed a meeting the same day 
in the hall, at two o'clock P.M., and announced 
that I would preach on the subject of "Consecra- 
tion." Dr. Thomson dismissed the college, and 
requested all to observe the day as a day of fast- 
ing and prayer to Almighty God for the out- 
pouring of the Holy Ghost upon all the people, 
and urged all to attend the services in the after- 
noon. At precisely two o'clock I went to the 
hall, and as I entered I was astonished, and at the 
same time very greatly delighted, and it seemed 
that a new inspiration came upon me. I was 
moved and thrilled through and through at the 
sight. I found the house packed from the door 
to the pulpit with devout worshipers. Leading 
business men of the city had left their stores and 
offices and various places of business, and had 
come to worship God ; the president of the college 
and members of the faculty, and many of the 
students were there, all waiting and anxiously 
looking for the heavenly anointing. I took for 
my text Exodus xiii, 2, " Sanctify unto me all 
the first born;" and I had "liberty." Every 
Methodist preacher knows well what that means. 



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YORK. 343 

The power of God came upon the preacher and 
the congregation, and the Holy Ghost carried 
truth to the hearts of the people. At the close 
of the sermon I said: "Now, all who wish to 
consecrate themselves wholly to God — to make 
an unconditional and eternal surrender of all to 
the Lord Jesus Christ — come to the altar." In 
less than one minute the altar was crowded. They 
were kneeling four tiei*s deep, filling all the space 
between the platform and the seats. I saw others 
pressing their way forward, anxious, but unable 
to reach the altar. I called upon them to kneel 
down in the aisles. The aisjes were filled. Then 
I called upon the people to kneel right where 
they were sitting. Nearly every person present 
knelt. The whole house was an altar. Such a 
scene I I shall never forget it. Its precious 
memory is with me to-day, and will linger with 
me, methinks, forever. Then we prayed. The 
bending heavens touched the congregation, 

" Heaven came down our souls to greet, 
And glory crowned the mercy-seat." 

Many that were there will remember that scene 
forever. That night thirty were at the altar, and 
some twenty were clearly converted. It was the 
crowning day of the meeting — the great day of 
the feast. God puts his seal of approbation on 
these days of fasting and prayer. We continued 



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344 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

the meetings about six weeks^ and the result was 
one hundred and thirty-two conversions, and the 
whole Church wonderfully quickened in fisiith and 
power. 

Then we turned our attention to instructing 
and building up the young converts. The con- 
verts were of all ages^ ranging from the man fifty 
years old in sin down to the little child. The 
students in the college shared largely the benefits 
of the meeting. The members of the fiiculty 
took an active part in the revival^ and aided in 
the work. Many young men and women were 
wonderfully saved, and became mighty factors in 
bringing others into the kingdom of Christ. A 
little girl only thirteen years old was very clearly 
converted ; her experience was most beautiful and 
touching. A few days afterward I met her on 
the street, and she looked very sad. Gloom was 
in every lineament of her fece. Looking up to 
me very imploringly, she said: "O, Brother 
Davis, a dark cloud haa come over me, and I 
feel so bad! Can you tell me what to do to 
make the cloud go away?'' ^^O yes," said I; 
** you go and pray, and ask Jesus to take away 
the cloud, and it will go away." Her counte- 
nance changed in an instant; she looked relieved, 
and thanking me very kindly, with a light step 
bounded away down the street. A day or so 
afterward I met her. Her face beamed with 



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YORK, 34S 

joy, and, with a glad heart, she said : " Brother 
Davis, I did just what you told me to do. I 
went and prayed, and asked Jesus to take away 
the cloud, and the cloud went away ; and I have 
been so happy ever since !^^ O the wondrous 
power of prayer! He who feeds the ravens 
when they cry, hears the children when they 
pray. 

" Prayer makes the darkened doud withdraw ; 
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw — 
Gives exercise to faith and love, 
Brings every blessing from above." 

Are you tempted ? Pray, and the tempter will 
flee from you ; for 

"Satan trembles when he sees 
The weakest saint upon his knees." 

Do clouds gather heavy, thick, and dark about 
you? Pray, and the clouds will rift, the sunlight 
of glory will come streaming down into your 
soul. Does faith waver? Pray, and it will grow 
strong, and on its mighty pinions you will rise 
above all doubts and fears. A praying Church 
is a happy Church, a safe Church, a conquering 
Church. Such a Church we had at York. 

The Conference year closed with very gratify- 
ing results. I was returned to York Station by 
Bishop Mallalieu in 1884. I began the year with 
another revival of religion in view. In all my 
pulpit preparations, pastoral visiting, preaching. 



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346 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

and Church work^ I had this object constantly in 
mindy and I worked continually to this end. 

On the 4th of January I began revival serv- 
ices. From the very beginning sinners were 
converted. In fistct, long before the extra meet- 
ings began souls were saved. Twelve had already 
been converted ; one or more had been converted 
every week for a number of weeks before the 
extra meetings began. The tide of spiritual 
power rose rapidly from the very commencement. 
On the 27th day of January I announced another 
fast-day. That day I preached on "Christian 
Perfection.'' It was another memorable day. A 
number came into the light of "perfect love," 
and are witnesses to-day to Christ's wondrous 
power to "save to the uttermost." The result 
of this meeting was one hundred and twenty-six 
conversions, and the realization of " full salva- 
tion " on the part of many members of the Church. 

At the close of the meeting we began to talk 
up the matter of a new church. All seemed to 
think the time had come when we ought to build. 
The first thing we had to do was to decide on a 
location ; and of all questions this is the most 
difficult and delicate question to handle. Some 
members of the Board wanted the church built 
on the lots where the parsonage stood. These 
lots had been given by the "South Platte Land 
Company" for church purposes, and it was 



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YORK. 347 

thought by some that, in view of this fact, and 
the eligibility of the location, the church ought, 
in justice, to be built here. They were very 
strong in their convictions on this matter. 
Others thought the church ought to be built on 
"East Hill,'^ near where the college building 
stood, and they were just as strong in their con- 
victions. The Official Board was nearly equally 
divided. After discussing the matter pro and con 
in a number of meetings, a compromise was at 
length reached, and the Board decided to build 
on the corner of Sixth Street and Nebraska Av- 
enue. There were at first a few criticisms of this 
action. A faint murmur from a few was heard, 
but this murmur in a very little while died away. 
The action of the Board in locating the church 
where it did was eminently wise, and has never 
since been called in question. Perfect harmony 
prevailed, and the church stands to-day just 
where it should stand — right in the center of the 
city. The Board decided to build a church not 
to cost more than twelve thousand dollars, and 
not to begin work until ten thousand dollars 
were subscribed. 

On the 26th day of April I took for my text 
Nehemiah ii, 10: "We his servants will arise and 
build.'' At the close of a short talk from these 
words, I called for subscriptions for the new 
church. I stated the decision of the Board — not 



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348 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

to begin work till ten thousand dollars were sub- 
scribed. I asked the congregation for eight thou- 
sand dollars, and said: ^^If this congregation 
will subscribe eight thousand dollars, I think I 
can get the other two thousand dollars pledged 
in a week or two, and then work will begin on 
the new church." When I asked for eight thou- 
sand dollars from the congregation present, some 
laughed right out. They thought the request 
absurd and the most preposterous. I, however, 
felt confident that the eight thousand could be 
raised. I had been working the matter up for 
several days, and had over four thousand dollars 
in sight. I had felt the pulse of many, and knew 
there was a very healthy feeling in the commu- 
nity touching the subject. I closed the morning 
service with over nine thousand dollars sub- 
scribed. The matter was presented again in the 
evening, and the day's work closed with ten thou- 
sand three hundred and sixty dollars pledged. It 
was the best subscription, taking the number and 
ability of the people into consideration, I had 
ever known. The people were jubilant. Smiles 
were on all feces, and tears of joy in many eyes. 
It was a " red-letter day '' for York. The enthu- 
siasm over the new church-building was at white- 
heat. In a few days afterward men were at work 
on the building, and when Conference came the 
church was well under way. 



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YORJ^, 349 

We were returned to York by Bishop An- 
drews for the third year. The collecting of 
money for the new church, and looking after 
matters connected with the building, occupied a 
great deal of my time during the first part of 
the Conference year. Work on the building was 
pushed; the basement was completed, and we 
took possession and informally dedicated it to the 
worship of Almighty God December 6th. I took 
for my text on the occasion Psalm Ixxxiv, 1: 
"How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of 
hosts I'' The room was full, the interest deep, 
and the attention the most profound. It was 
easy to preach to such a congregation. I have 
often said: "If a preacher can not preach in 
York, he can not preach anywhere.^' The mem- 
bers of the Church bear the preacher right up to 
the very throne of God on the mighty wings of 
prayer and faith. God wonderfully helped his 
weak servant in delivering the message of salva- 
tion. The glory of the Lord filled the house, 
and the first day^s service in the new church was 
indeed most precious. It was the augury of the 
good things to come. 

The audience-room was completed and ready 
for dedication February 27th, when Bishop H. 
W. Warren was present and preached the ded- 
icatory sermon. His text was Isaiah Ix, 17: 
" For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will 



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350 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

bring silvery and for wood brass, aad for stones 
iron.'' The sermon was just such as Bishop 
Warren could preach. The house was packed to 
its utmost capacity with a most appreciative and 
intelligent audience. Over thirteen hundred were 
present at the morning service. We needed seven 
thousand dollars to remove all indebtedness. In 
a very little while over eight thousand dollars 
were subscribed, giving us a margin of one thou- 
sand dollars. The subscriptions were taken in 
notes bearing seven per cent interest. Dr. C. F. 
Creighton preached at night, and a most eventful 
day for York closed. It was another "red- 
letter day." 

The official Board had determined to build a 
church costing twelve thousand dollars. We 
now had a church costing eighteen thousand dol- 
lars, and virtually out of debt. God's seal of 
approbation seemed to rest upon pastor and peo- 
ple from the moment the work began until " the 
head-stone was brought forth with shoutings, 
crying, Grace, grace unto it !" 

During our three years' pastorate three hun- 
dred and thirty-five souls were converted, and 
the membership more than doubled. We left the 
charge with over six hundred members. Our 
success was due wholly to the fisict that God was 
with pastor and people. We leaned not upon 
our own strength nor "unto our own understand- 



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YORK. 351 

ing/' These three years were memorable in our 
ministry. They will never be forgotten. They 
will be remembered with pleasure and delight 
when we reach the plains of glory. We expect 
to meet and to live forever with the good people 
of York. 



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352 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

METHODIST EDUCATION IN NEBRASKA UNIFIED. 

Methodist Schools in Nebraska during the Past — 
The Nebraska Wesley an University. 

BISHOP NINDE said, in an address delivered 
before the Educational Convention, held in 
Lincoln in the spring of 1889 : " Nebraska has 
solved the great problem of the unification of 
Methodist education.'' 

This question has baffled the minds of the 
greatest educators and divines in our Church for 
the past one hundred years. This great problem — 
one of the most perplexing of all educational 
problems — Nebraska has been the first to solve. 

Up to 1887, the history of Methodist educa- 
tion in Nebraska had been anything but satisfac- 
tory. Up to that time the efforts of the Church 
along the line of education had been a succession 
of failures and the most disastrous defeats. 

Against the multiplication of weak and sickly 
institutions of learning, our Discipline for many 
years has contained a standing protest. In sec- 
tion 2, paragraph 344, may be found the following 
recommendation: ''And it is also recommended 



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METHODIST EDUCATION UNIFIED. 353 

that no fewer than four Conferences unite in sup- 
port of a college or university, and the Confer- 
ences are earnestly advised not to multiply schools, 
especially of the higher grade, beyond the wants 
of the people or their ability to sustain them." 
The wise men of our Church, who have given 
the above sensible advice, knew well that it takes 
immense sums of money to build up a successful 
university; and where two or more schools of 
high grade are attempted to be built up under 
the patronizing territory. of three or four Confer- 
ences, all of them must of necessity be weak and 
sickly. But, notwithstanding this urgent request 
from the highest authorities of the Church, weak 
and sickly institutions of learning have gone on, 
multiplying and dying, all over our land; and 
the work of folly goes on to-day as in all the 
years of the past. The result has been that many 
warm friends of Christian education have become 
discouraged and utterly disheartened, and at many 
points Methodist education and the Methodist 
Episcopal Church have received a blow from 
which they will probably never folly recover. 
This process, for years and years, went on in Ne- 
braska, just as in all other States. 

The late Dr. John Dempster at one time had 

his eye on Nebraska as a suitable place to found a 

theological institute. This great and good man 

was among the first who felt deeply impressed 

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354 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

with the conviction that there should be a semi- 
nary for young ministers. He began to devote 
himself to this work^ and in 1847 he founded 
and opened the Biblical Institute at Concord, 
N. H. For seven years he labored faithfully as 
an instructor, during which time he traveled ex- 
tensively and collected funds for the institution. 
After having, by his tireless zeal and indomitable 
energy, placed the institution firmly on its feet, 
and having seen it securely fixed in the affections 
of the preachers, he resigned his place to become 
a pioneer in the West. About this time, Mrs. 
Eliza Garrett, of Chicago, III., a lady of wealth, 
was arranging to devote her property for a theo- 
logical school. The Doctor visited her, and through 
her munificent donations, opened a preliminary 
school at Evanston, which afterwards became the 
Garrett Biblical Institute. Having founded this 
school, and seen it firmly established, he began 
to look for a suitable place to found the third. 
His great heart was not satisfied with what he 
had already done. His yearning spirit was 
turned further West. He was exceedingly anx- 
ious to accomplish still more along the line of 
ministerial education. In 1858 the town of 
Oreapolis was founded, at the mouth of the Platte 
River, just north of the city of Plattsmouth. 
The design of the parties in locating this town 
was to make it a great educational center, and to 



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METHODIST EDUCATION UNIFIED. 355 

build up a second Evanston. They confideutly 
expected that Oreapolis would not only become 
a great educational center, but would be the east- 
ern terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad, and 
the metropolitan city of the Great West. Liberal 
propositions were made to the Church by the 
town company. 

At the Kansas and Nebraska Conference, held 
in Omaha in the spring of 1859, the Committee 
on Education, of which the writer was a member, 
submitted as part of its report the following, 
which was adopted : 

" Your Committee on Education, to whom was referred 
the communication of John Dempster, in reference to the 
establishment of a Biblical institute at Oreapolis, would 
report; 

" That they have carefully considered the propositions 
therein contained, and recommend the adoption of the 
foUowing resolntions: 

"1. Resolved, That we will cordially and heartily co- 
operate with the friends of ministerial education generally, 
and with Dr. John Dempster in particular, in the great 
work of founding and sustaining a Biblical institute, for 
the education of our junior ministry in the Missouri 
River valley, to be located at Oreapolis, N. T, 

"2. Rewlved, That the thanks of this Conference be 
tendered to Dr. Dempster for the noble and generous 
donation he has tendered to said institute, and for his 
efficient and devoted labors in the cause of ministerial 
education in our Church, and that he be cordially invited 
to join this Conference. 

"3. Jieiolved, That it is the opinion of this Confer- 
ence that said institute may with eonfidence expect as 



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356 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

many as ten students from the Missouri Valley at its 
ox>ening, as proposed by Dr. Dempster, in the autumn 
of 1860. 

"4. Besolvedf That this Conference respectfully me- 
morialize the Territorial Legislature of Nebraska to grant 
the trustees of said institute a charter, with the usual 
franchises securing the control of the same in perpetuity 
to the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

"All of which is respectfully submitted. 

ORBAPOUS SBBONARY. 

"Your Committee on Education, to whom was re- 
ferred the charter of the seminary at Oreapolis, and the 
communication of John Evans in regard to the same, 
have had the same under consideration, and reconmiend 
the passage of the following resolution in reference 
thereto: 

^^RetcHtedy That we will co-operate with the friends of 
education in the establishment of said seminary at Ore- 
apolis, and that we will exercise the control of said insti- 
tution provided for in its charter in the appointment of 
trustees. 

" All of which is respectfully submitted. 

CASS COUNTY UNIVERSITY. 

" Your committee, to whom was referred the charter 
of the university to be located in Cass County, N. T., and 
the communication from its Board of Trustees, have had 
the same under consideration, and respectfully report: 

" That in view of the establishment 'of the institute 
and seminary at Oreapolis, and the great importance of 
concentrating our efforts upon one great leading enter- 
prise in Nebraska, as a central educational point ; in view 
of the liberality of said Town Company in not imposing 
onerous obligations upon the Conference as conditions 
of their large donation ; and in view of the necessity of 
the theological as well as the literary and scientific de- 



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METHODIST EDUCATION UNIFIED. 357 

partments being established in connection with a nniver- 
eitj to make it really sacb, we recommend the passage of 
the following resolutions : 

" 1. Metuhjed, That we accept the trust imposed upon 
us by the terms of the charter of said university in fill- 
ing its Board of Trustees. 

"2. Resolved, That we will cordially unite with the 
friends of education in exerting our best efforts to build 
up and sustain said university." 

The foIIowiDg year a brick buildings eighty- 
feet in leDgthy and three stories high, was erected, 
and a school of seminary grade opened. The 
school ran with encouraging success for awhile. 
But the location was bad, the town was not a suc- 
cess, the school became a failure, the property 
never came into the hands of the Church, and 
the whole scheme fell to pieces. The seminary, 
the Biblical Institute, and the Great University 
proved to be only the idle dreams of their pro- 
jectors. Good men often make great mistakes. 
Humanum est errare. 

In 1864, Professor J. M. McKenzie founded 
a seminary and normal institute at Pawnee City. 
The name of this school was "Nemaha Valley 
Seminary and Normal Institute.'* In the spring 
of 1865 the Nebraska Conference passed a reso- 
lution, recommending this institution of learning 
to the favorable consideration of all our |)eople. 
While it never became the property of the Con- 
ference, it was largely patronized by our people. 



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358 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

This school^ under the efficient management of 
Professor McKenzie, did good work for awhile, 
but, for the want of adequate means and patron- 
age, soon ran its course, and died. 

In 1866, under the leadership of the Rev. H, 
Burch, the people of Peru and Nemaha County 
raised several thousand dollars for the founding 
of a Methodist school at Peru. A building eighty 
feet long, forty feet wide, and three stories high, 
was erected. This school was incorporated under 
the style of " Peru Seminary and College," and 
its friends earnestly desired the Conference to 
adopt it, and take it under its absolute control. 
The Conference, however, was not willing to com- 
ply with the request of the trustees, unless they 
would modify their charter so as to reduce the 
grade of the school to a seminary. This they 
were not willing to do. The trustees then offered 
the property to the State, on condition that it be 
made a normal school. The offer was accepted, 
and a State normal school was founded, which 
has had increasing success ever since. 

In 1879 two propositions were presented to 
the Conference ; one from Osceola, and one from 
York. The proposition from York was accepted, 
and a school of seminary grade was at once 
started. Soon after this, the North Nebraska 
Conference founded a school at FuUerton. This 
school lived but a little while. 



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METHODIST EDUCATION UNIFIED. 359 

Rev. Edward Thomson was appointed princi- 
cipal of the York Seminary. The new seminary 
started out under favorable auspices. Its friends 
were hopeful, and to them the future of the in- 
stitution was exceedingly bright. Their expecta- 
tions were sanguine in the extreme; they con- 
tracted debts, and these debts accumulated yearly. 

In 1883 the grade was changed from that of a 
seminary to college, with a full classical curricu- 
lum. The future of the college was as hopeful 
as that of the seminary. Students increased. The 
college grew in favor with the people. Withal, 
each year swelled the indebtedness of the college, 
and the trustees had many a fearful grapple with 
them. Midnight often found them wrestling with 
the fearful problem : " How shall we meet these 
accumulating obligations ?" Then, worn down in 
body and mind, they would retire to dream over 
the gloomy situation. 

Central City College, only about forty miles 
away from York, was founded by the North 
Nebraska Conference. Here were two rival in- 
stitutions, within forty miles of each other, each 
jealous of the other's success, and both struggling 
for existence. 

Meanwhile, the Mallalieu University was 
founded at Bartley; but, like the others, was 
without financial bottom. 

In the fall of 1886, Bishop Fowler was to pre- 



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360 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

side at the Nebraska Conferences. Some of the 
friends of education saw very clearly the preca- 
rious condition of all our schools of high grade 
in the State. It seemed evident to the close ob- 
server of educational matters that the death of 
them all was only a question of time. Not one 
was on a firm financial basis. While Bishop 
Fowler was on his way to the North Nebraska 
Conference, he was met by Dr. C. F. Creighton 
and Dr. R. N. McKaig. Dr. McKaig was then 
president of York College. Dr. Creighton was 
pastor of Saint Paul, Lincoln. 

The gloomy outlook of our educational mat- 
ters, the want of sympathy between the friends 
of these local institutions, and the demand that 
something be done, both for the sake of educa- 
tion and reh'gion, were laid before the bishop. 

Dr. Creighton proposed that all our educational 
interests in the State be consolidated, and that we 
build up one great educational institution. After 
listening to the above facts, and the proposition 
of Dr. Creighton, the bishop arose and said, with 
stirring emphasis: '^This is the greatest work you 
have in Nebraska, Now what do you want me to 
doT^ Meantime, Rev. J. M. Phelps, presiding 
elder of the Omaha District, came in, and the 
bishop gave him the matter in substance, and 
Brother Phelps assented to the wisdom of such 
a plan, and agreed to stand by it This was 



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METHODIST EDUCATION UNIFIED. 361 

the unification of Methodist education in Ne- 
braska in its incipiency. 

That month, September, 1886, all the annual 
conferences in Nebraska — namely, the Nebraska, 
North Nebraska, and West Nebraska — at their 
sessions appointed a joint commission of ministers 
and laymen for the purpose of unifying the edu- 
cational interests of the Church in the State, and 
the founding of a university. 

That commission met in the city of Lincoln, 
December 15, 1888, and remained in session three 
days. Bishop Thomas Bowman and Bbhop H. W. 
Warren were present part of the time. The fol- 
lowing plan of unification was agreed upon : 

PLAN OF AGREEMENT 

FOR THE UNIFICATION OF OUR COI,I,EGES IN A UNIVER- 
SITY IN NEBRASKA. 

First. That trustees, to be hereafter appointed, secure 
a charter for a university, to include, as contributory or 
allied institutions, the schools and colleges at present or 
hereafter coming under the control of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in Nebraska. 

Second. That all schools or colleges, which are now 
or may hereafter become the property of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in Nebraska, shall be under the control 
of the university trustees ; but all the property, real, per- 
sonal, or mixed, shall be held and controlled by their 
own local Boards of Trustees. 

Third. The first Board of University Trustees shall 
consist of seven trustees, from within the boundaries of 
81 



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362 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

each Conference in Nebraska, to be appointed by this 
commission, and approved by the several Conferences to 
which they belong, and that hereafter the trustees 
shall consist of seven persons from each and every Con- 
ference, elected in four annual classes by their respective 
Conferences. The persons thus elected by the several 
Conferences shall constitute the local Boards of the sev- 
eral colleges within the bounds of their respective Con- 
ferences. 

These several local Boards of Trustees to hold and con- 
trol the property of each college as above provided, and 
each local Board may nominate so many additional mem- 
bers as each separate Conference may determine to elect 
who, in addition to said local Board, shall perform the 
duties of said local trustees. 

Fourth. Duties of the university and college trustees: 

(a) The university trustees to have and hold all prop- 
erty belonging to the university proper, and to manage 
the affairs of the same. 

(6) To determine the course of study, text-books to 
be used, systems of grading, and to do all such other work 
as appertains to the general educational interests of the 
allied colleges; providing that each college elect its own 
faculty and arrange for its own internal discipline. 

All other powers remain with the local Boards of Trus- 
tees as defined by their charters and by-laws. 

Fifth. Any school or college existent, or that may come 
under the charter of the university, shall be entitled to 
retain its college name, to acquire property to be held 
for the benefit of such college, to teach regular prepara- 
tory and collegiate studies, as far as the end of the sopho- 
more year of the university course, and to confer academic 
and normal degrees. The colleges of the university shall 
have the same courses of study, use the same text-books, 
and students of one college shall be entitled to enter the 
same grade and rank in any college of the university, on 
certificate of standing, without examination. 



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METHODIST EDUCATION UNIFIED. 363 

Amendment to Article V : 

The clause in Article V of the above, which reads 
"as far as the end of the sophomore year/' etc., shall be 
understood to be fo interpreted that any college of this 
university may be graded in its classical curriculum in 
every detail, so that its classical senior year of graduation 
shall not be graded higher than the end of the sopho- 
more year of the classical course of the university. 

The following atldition Mas adopted: 

Tlie Board of Trustees shall make the grade of the 
university equal to that of any Methodist university in 
the United States. 

York, Central City, Bartley, Omaha, and Lin- 
coln were all applicants for the university. On 
the second ballot, Lincoln was selected as the 
place for its location. The friends of York 
vorked hard to secure the location, but failed, 
and they returned home sadly disappointed. The 
trustees in their haste unwisely passed a resolu- 
tion declaring York College independent of the 
"Plan of Agreement.*' They soon saw, how- 
ever, their great mistake. The cry of disloyalty 
was at once raised, and the trustees realized that 
they were losing the sympathy of people and 
preachers throughout the Conference. They then 
changed tactics and wheeled into line. A reso- 
lution was passed by the Board rescinding the 
action whereby it had declared York College in- 
dependent of the " Plan of Agreement." But 
the college was loaded down with a debt of six- 
teen thousand dollars ; the trustees were sued, and 



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364 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

were about to be sold out by their creditors, and 
their property sacrificed. Rather than have this 
done, they sold the property themselves, paid off 
their debts, and closed the school. It was a sad 
day for York College. The noble men who had 
stood by her in her darkest days felt most keenly 
the loss. The money spent on the York College, 
however, has not been lost. Forth from that 
college have gone students and an influence, tJic 
salutary effects of which will be felt in many parts 
of the land through all time. 

The university was located at Lincoln, within 
a radius of three and one-half miles from the 
United States post-office. A beautiful site was 
selected on an elevated position. From this ele? 
vated position the city of Lincoln and the whole 
surrounding country can be distinctly seen. 
Chancellor Creighton took Chaplain McCabe to 
the highest point on the campus before the build- 
ing was completed, and then said to him : " Chap- 
lain, look around." The chaplain took off his 
hat, gazed with delight in every direction, and, 
taking a long breath, inflated his lungs with the 
pure air of Nebraska, then said : " Methodism 
always gets ahead." 

At another time the chancellor took Bishop 
Joyce to the same spot, and, after the bishop had 
taken in the situation, said : " Would n't we bo 
jealous if some other denomination had this?" 



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METHODIST EDUCATION UNIFIED. 365 

The campus contains forty-four acres. In the 
center stands the university buildings which is 
four stories high, one hundred and sixty-eight by 
seventy-two feet, built of brick, and trimmed with 
red granite from Colorado, and is one of the most 
beautiful and imposing structures in the West. 
The building cost seventy thousand dollars. Of 
this amount the city of Lincoln paid fifty thou- 
sand dollars, and the balance was paid from the 
sale of lots donated to the university. 

Along all lines great victories are not gained 
without great conflicts, and the Nebraska Wes- 
leyan University is not an exception to this rule. 
The parties who gave the site required the trus- 
tees to give bonds in the sum of ninety thou- 
sand dollars, that the building should be ready for 
occupancy by the first of October, 1888, and 
should cost not less than fifty thousand dollars. 
A few of the trustees, individually, gave the re- 
quired bond. Work began, but time and again 
stopped for the want of means. The matter 
weighed heavily on the mind of Dr. Creighton. 
The cloud at times grew awftilly dark. Oft^n at 
the hour of midnight he would crawl out of bed, 
get down upon his knees, and pray for God to 
come to their help. 

Lots were sold for one-fourth cash, the balance 
on one, two, and three years' time. Some of this 
paper was negotiated to Eastern parties* The 



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366 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

banks in Lincoln offered to take this paper at a 
discount of twenty per cent, and the personal in- 
dorsement of the trustees. The trustees declined 
this offer. Again the work stopped. The Board 
met. The outlook was dark in the extreme. 
The trustees looked ominously at each other. 
Some said : " The thing is a failure.^' Bishop 
Warren was present, and listened with deep in- 
terest to the long and weary discussions. Finally 
the bishop said : " I will give you a thousand 
dollars.'* The chancellor said : " That will not 
relieve us.*' "What do you think I ought to 
do ?" " Give us ten thousand dollars,*' said the 
chancellor. 

The bishop replied, '^ I will take five thousand 
dollars worth of lots and five thousand dollars 
of your paper, on condition that you sell the re- 
maining collateral,*' amounting to over ten thou- 
sand dollars. Dr. Creighton sold that paper 
within a week, and telegraphed the bishop asking 
if he (Dr. Creighton) should draw on him for the 
ten thousand dollars. The bishop replied affirm- 
atively, and Dr. Creighton drew the money. 
The financial credit of the university from that 
hour was at par. The trustees breathed easy; 
the clouds began to break and roll away ; work 
on the building was pushed, and on the twenty- 
fifth day of September, 1888, the Nebraska Wes- 
leyan University was informally opened. A 



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METHODIST EDUCATION UNIFIED. 367 

handful of students, with a few friends of the 
institution^ met in the library hall, on the third 
floor of the building. Dr. W. G. Miller, presi- 
dent of the Board of Trustees, and presiding 
elder of the Lincoln District, conducted the re- 
ligious services. Chancellor Creighton delivered 
a short address, and the writer followed with a 
brief sketch of the history of Methodist educa- 
tion in Nebraska. The few who were privileged 
to be there will probably never forget that 
memorable occasion. The formal opening of the 
university took place in the university chapel, Octo- 
ber 24th, when Bishop John P. Newman delivered 
an able and exceedingly interesting address on 
the occasion, and Chancellor Creighton gave his 
inaugural, which was an able review of the his- 
tory of the university up to that time. Governor 
John M. Thayer followed with a well-timed im- 
promptu address, and one of the greatest educa- 
tional enterprises of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church was inaugurated. 

It will be observed by the "Plan of Agree- 
ment '^ that the Nebraska Wesleyan University 
is the property of all the Annual Conferences of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church in the State. 
Second, that the university includes, "as con- 
tributory or allied institutions, the schools and 
colleges at present or hereafter coming under the 
control of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 



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368 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

Nebraska." Every academy and college that 
shall hereafter become the property of the Church 
in Nebraska will be part of this great university. 

The wisdom of this plan will appear if we 
take into view a few facts : 

First. The age in which we live is one of the 
most intense mental activity. One high in au- 
thority in our Church said in a letter to the writer 
some time ago, touching this matter : " We are 
in great need of the best possible workmen, 
with the best possible training. Not a shred 
of Christian faith will survive that can not 
be defended on the hottest field, and we are 
compelled to go into the death-struggle for the 
Church with strong, scholarly men, who can com- 
mand the attention and confidence of the people. 
This makes it necessary for us to have the best 
possible training-schools. Our university must 
be second to none on the earth. If we can make 
her the peer of the best, so that our graduates 
shall be honored among any company of college 
men, then we can expect to retain our hold upon 
the confidence and patronage of the public. I 
am sure we shall come far short of this if we go 
into the fight with little, poor colleges, that have 
only the name and not the appliances of colleges. 
The freshman and suphomore years can be taught 
by drill-masters, whose salaries need never be 
large; but in the junior and senior years, where a 



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METHODIST EDUCATION UNIFIED. 369 

number of elective studies are furnished by our 
best universities^ thus enabling the students to start 
somewhat towards their particular line of life, 
we, too, must furnish these elective studies, 
under competent professors, or we must stand 
aside and let others do the work. All this re- 
quires money. It needs no argument to prove 
that Nebraska Methodism is not capable of run- 
ning three schools of such magnitude and character ; 
but if she will combine all her money and ener- 
gies on one she may compete successfully with 
the schools anywhere in the land." 

This is just what Nebraska Methodism has 
done. She has founded a university with a grade 
equal to that of any Methodist university in the 
United States, and is uniting her money and en- 
ergies in building up this great institution. 

Second. Academies at different points in the 
State are already projected, with the view of be- 
coming parts of the university. These will mul- 
tiply with years, and thus feeders to the university 
will be constantly increasing. At these academies 
the bulk of education done by the Church in the 
State may be accomplished, and will be done at 
the lowest possible expense. Not more than ten 
out of every one hundred who pass through the 
xcademy ever go through the university; those 
who desire to do so, however, can receive the 
greater part of their education at the academy. 



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370 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

where the expense will not be great, and only the 
last two or three years need necessarily be spent 
at the university, where they will have all the ap- 
pliances of a university of the highest grade. 

Third. The students who shall graduate from 
the Nebraska Wesleyan University will never be 
ashamed of their Alma Mater. From her halls 
of learning they will go forth to be honored 
among any company of college men in the land. 

Fourth. Men who, under God, have been 
blessed with wealth, and desire to consecrate that 
wealth to the building up of Christ's kingdom, 
want to place it where it will yield the largest re- 
turns for God. They are not willing usually to 
give their money to weak and sickly schools, 
whose existence is merely an experiment. 

Those who have money they wish to consecrate, 
and desire to place it where it will yield the larg- 
est income, will make no mistake in endowing the 
Nebraska Wesleyan University. Here is an in- 
stitution of learning that will grow in usefulness 
and power with the centuries. 

There are consecrated men of means who are 
looking around to see where they can make the 
safest and most profitable investment for the Lord. 
Should the eyes of any such chance to fall upon 
these pages, they may rest assured that the Ne- 
braska Wesleyan University furnishes a place for 
the safest and most profitable investment. 



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METHODIST EDUCATION UNIFIED. 371 

Fifth. Already this university, although only 
a little over two years old, has more property 
than all the schools connected with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in Nebraska combined, and all 
the schools run by private members of the 
Church, from the organization of the Territory, in 
1854, to the present time. Why this phenomenal 
growth ? Why the wonderfully encouraging out- 
look of this university ? Because she has behind 
her all the preachers and all the members of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church throughout the en- 
tire State. 

Every Methodist preacher throughout Ne- 
braska is an unpaid agent, to advertise, send stu- 
dents, and raise money for the building up of 
this institution of learning. Two hundred miles 
wide, and four hundred miles long is pre-empted 
forever for one Methodist university; namely, 
the Nebraska Wesleyan University. 

Methodism in Nebraska to-day has thirty-five 
thousand two hundred and sixty-one members, 
including probationers; and three hundred and 
fifty-four traveling preachers, including supplies. 

On the same ratio of increase as during the 
past few years, Methodism in the State in ten 
years will have seventy-five thousand members, 
and seven hundred traveling preachers. Then 
there will be seven hundred unpaid agents work- 
ing in all parts of the State for this university. 



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372 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

From more than seven huudred points in the 
State will flow streams of students and wealth to 
our great educational center; and these streams of 
students and wealth will multiply as the years 
roll on. If I were to utter a prediction^ that I 
feel in my heart will be fulfilled if Methodism is 
true to the trust imposed on her, as to what this 
university will be in ten years from now, I should 
probably be called an enthusiast. No Methodist 
institution ever had such a propitious start. 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE BE VIVED. 373 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

METHODISM^S DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE 
REVIVED. 

What the Doctrine is— The Great Revival— History 
OP THE Bennett Camp-meetinq. 

THE peculiar and distinctive doctrine of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church — that which 
distinguishes her from all other Protestant 
Churches — is the doctrine of entire sanctification, 
as a work wrought by the Holy Ghost subsequent 
to conversion. Our Board of Bishops, in their 
" Episcopal Address," on the first page of our 
excellent book of Discipline, say : " In 1729 two 
young men in England, reading the Bible, saw 
they could not be saved without holiness; fol- 
lowed after it ; and incited others so to do. In 
1737 they saw likewise that men are justified be- 
fore they are sanctified ; but still holiness was 
their object. God then thrust them out to raise 
a holy people." These words are quoted by our 
bishops, as they tell us, from John and Charles 
Wesley. Further, in this same address, they say : 
" We believe that God's design in raising up the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in America, was to 



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374 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

reform the continent, and spread Scriptural holi- 
ness over these lands." 

" Holiness unto the Lord " was the rallying 
cry of John Wesley. These inspiring words be- 
came also the rallying cry of the -founders of 
American Methodism. On the banners of the 
Church these burning words were written by ihe 
" Fathers," and then these banners were boldly 
flung to the breeze. Under the clean-cut, pow- 
erful preaching of this doctrine, wonderful revi- 
vals were witnessed in many parts of the land. 
The Church grew and spread mightily. As we 
neared the close of the first century of American 
Methodism, however, the tide of spirituality in the 
Churches had gone down to a very low ebb. All 
felt the demoralizing influence of the Civil War. 
The leaders of the hosts of our Zion saw and felt 
it most clearly. They felt, too, the need of a 
more complete and thorough consecration of all 
to God. The bishops, in their Address to the 
General Conference of 1 864, said : " It becomes 
us, dear brethren, to humble ourselves in the dust 
in view of our manifold sins, individual and 
National. We are yet, it may be feared, a haughty 
and rebellious people ; and Grod will humble us. 
There can be no good reason to expect the resto- 
ration of order and unity until we properly de- 
plore our sins, and return to God with deep self- 
abasement and fervent prayer. A gracious revival 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED, 375 

of religion^-deep, pervading, and permanent — is 
the great demand of our times. We beg you, 
brethren, turn your most thoughtful and prayer- 
ful attention to this demand. Let God, our Heav- 
enly Father, behold us in tears and confidence 
before his throne, pleading night and day, through 
the Redeemer, for the outporing of the Holy 
Ghost upon the Church, the Nation, and the world. 
This is our only hope; let our faith command 
it, and it shall be." The Address of the bishops 
stirred the hearts of many, and both preachers 
and laymen began to feel their great need. The 
following year there was quite an awakening upon 
the subject of holiness. A camp-meeting was 
held on the Bridgeton District, New Jersey Con- 
ference. The presiding elder, Rev. Charles H. 
Whitecar, had charge of the meeting, and entire 
holiness was made quite prominent. The meet- 
ing was one of great interest and power. Many 
went down into the cleansing fountain, and re- 
turned to their homes to tell the wondrous story 
of Christ's cleansing power. The influence of 
that meeting was wide-spread. Remarkable re- 
vivals followed, " and the whole district was in 
fact ablaze." The following year, 1866, another 
meeting was held on the same ground, which was 
still more successful. " The result was, the ground 
was literally fire-swept. It flamed with the glory 
of God." Many ministers and laymen went down 



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376 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

into the pool, were cleansed, and wondrously en- 
dued with power. The tidings of these meetings 
spread far and near. They became the topic of 
conversation, not only in our Church, but in 
other Churches as well ; and a devoted Christian 
belonging to a sister Church uttered the follow- 
ing prophecy : It was publicly declared " that 
within four years camp-meetings would be held 
over this land for the promotion of holiness, and 
that in that very section there would be a great 
gathering of God's people of different names in 
this interest.'' The next year the first National 
Camp-meeting for the Promotion of Holiness was 
held at Vineland, and the above prophecy was 
literally fulfilled. 

A public call for a meeting of ministers and 
laymen, favorable to holding a camp-meeting for 
the promotion of entire sanctification, was made, 
to meet June 13, 1867, at the Methodist Book- 
room, 1018 Arch Street, Philadelphia. The call 
was signed by Rev, A. E, Ballard, presiding elder, 
and twelve others. 

At the appointed time many ministers and lay- 
men, with hearts all aglow with heaven-fire and 
holy zeal, assembled. Rev. George Hughes, in 
his " Days of Power," gives the following de- 
scription of that first council : 

" Hallowed memories cluster around the coun- 
cil-chamber, at 1018 Arch Street, Philadelphia, 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED. 377 

The morning of June 13, 1867, will never be 
forgotten. It was an auspicious morning. A 
holy atmosphere seemed to pervade the room. 
The rustle of angel's wings was almost percepti- 
ble to mortal ear. The presence of the Triune 
God — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost — was dis- 
tinctly apprehended. Every face was bright; 
every spirit was joyous. Never did good men 
grasp more warmly each other by the hand 
Brother Osborn was .there, ready to stand in his 
lot, and never more satisfied tha^ this was of God. 
The time-honored Dr. Roberts, of Baltimore, oc- 
cupied his place, his countenance glowing with 
delight, and his soul magnifying the Lord Jesus 
exceedingly. Rev. John S. Inskip shouted aloud 
the praises of God as he grasped each fraternal 
hand; he was full nerved for the battle. The 
presiding elder. Rev. A. E. Ballard, genial, kind 
spirited, determined, was in the company. 

"The beloved dislciple— our own ascended 
brother. Rev. Alfred Cookman — with his saintly 
face and dignified mien, was ready to be conse- 
crated on this altar. Close to him was Rev. An- 
drew Longacre, who was his bosom companion, 
glorying only in the cross, and saying none other 
thing than that the blood of Jesus cleanseth from 
all sin. Lovely were those brothers in their 
lives, even as David and Jonathan; and in death 
they were not divided. We can not give a full 



32 



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378 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

list. It was not a large meeting as to numbers, 
but it was composed of united, earnest men, dis- 
I)osed to assume the responsibilities of the oc- 
casion, with a single eye to the divine glory, 

"The meeting being called to order. Rev. Dr. 
George C. M. Roberts, of Baltimore, was elected 
chairman, and Rev. John Thomson secretary. 
The president then led in prayer. He poured 
out his soul in thankfulness that he was permitted 
to see that favored hour. He was like a patri- 
arch talking with God. He knew the way of 
access. He grasped firmly the horns of the altar. 
He pleaded for divine aid. He invoked wisdom 
and strength. He made his plea on the ground 
of Christ's atoning blood. He put forth a hand 
of faith; it took fast hold of the promise. The 
answering tokens were given. 

" Rev. J. S. Inskip followed in prayer. His 
voice was tremulous with emotion. His soul \vns 
feeling the mighty responsibilities of the occasion. 
His vision was expanded to compass the thrilling 
interests involved in the action of that day. He 
was earnest in supplication for divine guidance. 
He besought the Lord not to carry his servants 
up hence unless his presence should go with them. 
The prayer was divinely indited. The adorable 
intercessor, pleading on his behalf, even with 
groanings that could not be uttered, was in his 
servant's prayer. That hour of communion with 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED. 379 

Heaven will never be obliterated from the 
memory of those privileged to be present. The 
* Master of assemblies ' was there. The cloud, 
big with blessings, was just overhead. A solemn 
awe rested upon the whole company. A divine 
hush was upon every spirit. The wealth of eter- 
nity was in every bosom. The joy of the Lord 
\7a» the strength of the little assembly. Some 
found relief m tears; others praised the Lord 
aloud. O, how glorious it was to be there! 
Undying praises to the Lamb !" 

Under these circumstances the great holiness 
revival was inaugurated. Ten hundred and 
eighteen Arch Street, Philadelphia, was the Jeru- 
salem upper room to that spirit-baptized band of 
holy men. Forth from that little room rolled 
a wave of revival flame that soon girdled the 
globe. 

At that council arrangements were made for 
holding the first camp-meeting for the promotion 
of holiness. The meeting was held at Vineland, 
beginning Wednesday, July 17th, and closing 
Friday, July 26, 1867. On this first meeting God 
put his seal of approbation. The meeting was 
crowned with wondrous success. Hundreds went 
down into the cleansing fountain, and large num- 
bers were clearly converted. At the close, the 
people, by rising to their feet, expressed the ear- 
nest desire to have another meeting of similar 



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380 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

character the following year. A committee was 
appointed for the purpose of carrying into effect 
the desire of the people. The next meeting was 
held at Manheim^ with the same happy results; 
and every year since similar meetings have been 
held. Chaplain McCabe once said : " You ought 
to attend one holiness camp-meeting before going 
to heaven.^' A holiness camp-meeting is in fact 
about as near heaven as one can get in this world. 

In the spring of 1871 , Bishop Ames invited 
Rev. J. 8. Inskip and his wife to accompany him 
to his spring CJonferences. The kindly request 
was cheerfully complied with. They accompa- 
nied the bishop, kindling a mighty fire of holi- 
ness at every Conference, and creating a wonderful 
thirst for purity in many hearts. 

The Nebraska Conference met at Lincoln, 
March 29, 1871, Brother and Sister Inskip were 
present. On the first day the following paper 
was read, and unanimously adopted : 

" Whereas, We have learned with great 
pleasure of the labors of Brother and Sister In- 
skip with the various Conferences of the West 
during the last few weeks; and whereds, our 
hearts are in deep sympathy with them and the 
great special work in which they are engaged; 
therefore, 

** Resolved, That we do most cordially welcome 
them to our Conference, and would most respect- 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED. 381 

fully request that Brother Inskip take charge of 
our morning meetings and such other social re- 
ligious exercises as may be held during the ses- 
sion of the Conference/' 

A meeting of about one hour each morning 
before the Conference busine&s began, was con- 
ducted by Brother and Sister Inskip. These were 
meetings of wondrous power. We had never seen 
anything like them before. Brother and Sister 
Inskip told their experience of entire sanctifica- 
tion. They spoke with rapture of the new-found 
joy and marvelous power of holiness. Sister In- 
skip's singing was the most thrilling. Under its 
heavenly strains all hearts were melted. There 
was no lounging around the doors before the Con- 
ference sessions opened. Ministers and laymen 
flocked to the morning meetings. Many were 
fully saved^ and the desire for holiness was planted 
in many hearts. 

The following year^ arrangements were made 
for holding a camp-meeting for the promotion of 
holiness at Bennett. Rev. W. B. M. Colt, of the 
Oak Creek Circuit, and Rev. C. A. King, of 
Schuyler, were both in the experience of full sal- 
vation, and were the leaders in arranging for and 
conducting this meeting. 

A beautiful grove near Bennett was selected, 
the ground was prepared, and on Tuesday, August 
13, 1872, the first meeting for the promotion of 



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382 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

holiness in the State of Nebraska began. The 
attendance was not large, but the meeting fipom 
the very beginning was marked with unasnal 
manifestations of divine power. At every meet- 
ing souls were saved. Many were converted and 
many wholly sanctified. On eack siieoee^iiDg day 
the tide of spirituality rose higher and higher, 
and the culminating point was reached on the 
Sabbath, which was the great day of the feast. 
The overshadowing presence of the Shekinah 
was felt by all throughout the entire day. Dur- 
ing the love-feast, which lasted one hour and five 
minutes, one hundred and five testimonies were 
given, and the congregation sung fifteen different 
times. We had never witnessed anything like 
this. It seemed that it was Pentecost repeated. 
The whole day was one of power. At this meet- 
ing Mrs. Davis and myself and our daughter 
AUie, all sought and found the great blessing. 

I had been under conviction for heart-purity 
for some time, and went to this meeting with 
somewhat confused ideas touching the doctrine, 
and with a religious experience not at all satis- 
fying. Under the clean-cut preaching of the 
doctrine, and the many ringing testimonies, we 
were led to the most rigid and thorough heart- 
searchings. The spiritual conflict with me was 
long and severe. I was at that time presiding 
elder of the Lincoln District. To go down in 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED. 383 

the straw at the altar as a seeker of holiness was 
indeed humiliating. What would the people of 
my district think of me? Would they think that 
I had been preaching all these years without re- 
ligion ? Would they not say : " During all these 
years you have been a hypocrite?" What would 
the preachers say ? What eflFect would such a 
step have upon my future appointments in the 
Conference? These and many other questions 
confronted me ; but I had little difficulty in dis- 
posing of them all. Then the enemy said: "Are 
you willing to be called one of the sanctified 
ones? Are you willing to have the people say, 
*He thinks himself holier than we?* Are you 
willing to take the odium that will attach to you 
if you seek this blessing ?'' All these questions 
I answered in the affirmative, as they came, one 
by one. The final test was applied. The last 
great question came. It was a staggering one : 
" Will you publish to the world the great doc- 
trine of holiness?" I hesitated. The question 
was pressed home to my heart with increasing 
force and power. Still I hesitated. It was a 
hard question to answer, and involved grave re- 
sponsibilities. The conflict went on in my mind 
for two days or more. No one on the ground 
knew anything about it. It was a secret but 
mighty conflict with the powers of darkness, a 
band-to-hand grapple with the arch-fiend of hell. 



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384 SOLITA R Y PLACES MA DE GLAD, 

Again the question came: " Will you fling to the 
breeze the banner of holiness, and under that 
banner will you march ?'' Still I hesitated. But 
Anally I said^as I lay with my face in the straw: 
'* Yes, Lord, I will." The battle was ended, the 
enemy completely routed, the victory gained ; and 
there came into my heart a wonderfully sweet 
peace. There was no great ecstasy ; no rapturous 
joy ; no great emotion. But a sweet quiet 
reigned within. "The peace of God which pass- 
eth all understanding '^ took possession of my 
soul. God said to his ancient people : " O that 
thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! 
Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy 
righteousness as the waves of the sea." I saw 
and knew the meaning of that passage of Scrip- 
ture as never before. Look at the majestic river 
as it sweeps onward, calm and unruffled, to the 
ocean, with scarcely a ripple upon its surface. 
There may be disturbing elements on either side 
of that river. Along its banks cities may be 
burned, bloody battles may be fought, raging epi- 
demics may sweep away thousands of the people; 
but the river, undisturbed, moves onward amid 
all these scenes, " the same yesterday, to-day, and 
forever." " Men may come and men may go, but 
I go on forever." It is a beautiful emblem of 
the peace which takes possession of the saved 
soul. There may be disturbing elements all along 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED, 385 

the Christian's pathway; there may be disturbing 
elements in the home, in business matters, in the 
Church, in the community. But away down in 
the soul is the settled peace, the great calm; and 
this peace, this undisturbed calm, flows on amid 
all these disturbing elements, the same day after 
day, and year after year. 

"It sweetly cheers our drooping hearts 
In this dark vale of tears ; 
Life, light, and joy it still imparts, 
And quells our rising fears." 

Isaac Watts's hymn, altered by John Wesley, 
also beautifully expresses it : 

** The men of grace have found 

Glory begun below; 
Celestial fruit on earthly ground 
From faith and hope may grow. 

Then let our songs abound, 
And every tear be dry ; 
We 're marching through Immanuers ground, 
To fairer worlds on high." 

At this first camp-meeting for the promotion 
of holiness "The Nebraska State Holiness Asso- 
ciation '' was organized, and every year since a 
camp-meeting for the promotion of holiness and 
the conversion of sinners has been held; and 
on every one of these meetings God's seal of ap- 
probation has been placed. Not one has been 
barren of success. I am sorry I have not at 
33 



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386 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

hand a full list of the names of those who took 
an active part at that first meeting, and who were 
the charter members of the Association. The 
following were among the number : Rev. W. B. M . 
Colt, Rfev. C. A. King, Rev. George S. Alexander, 
Rev. George Worley, Rev. Thomas Crowder, Rev. 
H. Burch, Rev. H. T. Davis, Professor J. M. 
McKenzie, Hon. C. C. White, Caleb Worley. - 

At the fifleenth session of the Nebraska Con- 
ference, held in Lincoln, beginning September 15, 
1875, the following paper was adopted : 

" Whereas, There is a growing interest 
among the people on the doctrine of entire sanc- 
tification, as held and taught by the founder of 
our Church; and whereas, we believe the Na- 
tional Association for the Promotion of Holiness 
are safe and successful teachers of 'the same; 
therefore, 

^'Resolved, That we, as a Conference, invito 
them to hold a camp-meeting among us at their 
own convenience during the summer of 1876, and 
that we pledge our co-operation to make such a 
meeting a success." 

The National Association accepted the invita- 
tion, and fixed June 27th as the time for the 
meeting to begin. The officers of the State Ho- 
liness Association searched diligently and widely 
for a suitable place, and after careful and thor- 
ough search, the grounds at Bennett were selected 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED. 387 

for the meeting. A large outlay was made in 
digging wells, fitting up the grounds, and pre- 
paring ftr the ooming great occasion. The meet- 
ing began at the appointed time. Only two 
members of the National Association could be 
present — Rev. 8. H. Henderson and Rev. J. B. 
Foote. These two men, however, were equal for 
the occasion. They came in " the fullness of the 
blessing of the Gospel," and their preaching and 
teachings were *^ in demonstration of the Spirit 
and power." The work at this meeting was 
thorough, the convictions were deep, the conver- 
sions clear, and the sanctifications unmistakable. 
Then another remarkable feature of this meeting 
was the speed with which the work was done. 
The people of God had gathered such a head of 
divine power, and were so strong in faith that all 
they had to do was to " ask and receive." Sin- 
ners were converted and believers wholly sancti- 
fied almost as soon as they reached the altar. 
At one meeting the altar was crowded with 
seekers. Two rows of seats, reaching clear across 
the tabernacle, were filled. During one season 
of prayer every seeker, save one or two, was 
saved. A cloud of glory seemed to settle down 
upon the congregation, and a shock of divine 
power was felt by all present, such as is seldom 
the privilege of any to feel. Brother Foote said 
to the writer: "I never saw or felt anything like 



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388 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

it in my life/' Over the entrance to the grounds, 
in large letters, were printed on white canvas 
the words, " Holiness unto the Lord/' This 
motto made a wonderful impression upon nearly 
all who came upon the grounds. As the people 
passed under this banner they seemed to feel that 
they were treading upon holy ground. An un- 
godly man, who was clearly converted at one of 
the meetings, said : '^ Just as I passed under that 
banner, on which were inscribed the words, 
' Holiness unto the Lord,' I was most powerfully 
convicted." That man was just as powerfully con- 
verted, and left the grounds rejoicing in a Sav- 
ior's love. A mysterious and hallowed influence 
was felt all over the grounds, that even the most 
ungodly could not possibly resist. A very wicked 
man, after being in one of the meetings a short 
time and witnessing the stirring and happy scenes, 
walked silently away, and as he passed out of the 
grounds, said to a friend: '^My God, I wish I 
was a Christian !" A Christian lady came upon 
the grounds on Monday. Aftierwards she said to 
me, in substance: "The moment I entered the 
encampment I was awed into reverence. It 
seemed that just above the grounds, all through 
the branches of the tree-tops, innumerable angels 
from the skies, robed in white, were hovering." 
It did seem at times that we could almost see 
these heavenly visitants, hear their sweet melody, 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED. 389 

and feel our cheeks fanned by their snowy wings. 
The results of this meeting were far more glo- 
rious than we had most sanguinely hoped. Two 
other meetings were held by the National Asso- 
ciation — one in 1877, and the other in 1879. At 
each of these meetings the same divine power 
was manifested^ and the same gracious results 
reached. At the last named meeting the State 
Holiness Association purchased from Mr. Rog- 
gencamp the Bennett Camp-grounds. Here on 
these hallowed grounds for eighteen years scenes 
have been witnessed that have delighted the 
angels in heaven, rejoiced believers on earthy and 
enraged the demons in hell. 

At one of these meetings an old man^ sixty 
years of age^ said : '^ I came one hundred and 
fifly miles on horseback to attend this meeting 
and seek holiness, and I praise God I have got 
what I came for. I am more than rewarded for 
ray long and weary ride." From this sacred en- 
campment have rolled forth waves of holy influ- 
ence that have touched, not only distant points in 
our own State, but have reached and permeated 
distant places in many other States as well. Many, 
we have reason to believe, will praise God forever 
for the Bennett camp-meetings. 

It is the duty of every one who is converted 
to tell to the world what the Lord has done for 
his soul. It is the duty of every one who has 



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390 SOLITARY PLACID MADE OLAD. 

been wholly sanctified, in a meek way to declare 
that fact to the world. David said : " Come and 
hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare 
what he hath done for my soul/' Paul says : 
*' With the heart man believeth unto righteous- 
ness, and with the mouth confession is made unto 
salvation," John says: "They overcame him by 
the blood of the Lamb and the word of their 
testimony." We are to confess to the world just 
what Christ has done for us; no more, no less. 
In making this confession, however, great care 
should be taken lest we seem to boast of our 
superior piety. Holiness is a term that is odious 
to many, because they associate with it superior 
sanctity, and back of that hypocrisy. So it be- 
comes us to be very judicious in our testimonies. 
Christ commands us to be " wise as serpents and 
harmless as doves." 

While it is our duty to be pronounced upon 
this subject — to stand up for the doctrine — we 
should not always be harping upon our expe- 
rience. There is great danger of our becoming 
spiritually proud. Many well-meaning people 
actually become so before they are aware of it. 
There is danger of our becoming men of "one 
idea," of our becoming fanatical. Bishop William 
Taylor says : " There is only one step from sanc- 
tification to fanaticism/' And alas! too many 
take that fatal step. 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED. 391 

There is danger of our becoming too tenacious 
touching the use of terms. Some have pet 
phrases, and in describing the great work wrought 
in the soul by the power of the Holy Ghost, they 
always use the same set phrase, and consider it 
almost an unpardonable sin, or at least a lack of 
moral courage, to vary in the least from their set 
terms and pet phrases. Mr. Wesley was not a 
stickler for any set terms. He says : " I have no 
particular fondness for the term perfection; it sel- 
dom occurs, either in my preaching or writings. 
It is my opponents who thrust it upon me con- 
tinually, and ask me what I mean by it. That it is 
a Scriptural term, is undeniable. Therefore none 
ought to object to the use of the terra. But I 
still think that perfection is only another term 
for holiness, or the image of God in man. ' God 
made man perfect,^ I think, is just the same as 
• he made him holy.'" (Vol. VI, p. 535.) 

^^ The moment a sinner is justified, his heart is 
cleansed in a low degree; but yet he has not a 
clean heart in the full proper sense till he is made 
perfect in love.*' (Vol. V, p. 284.) 

In March, 1761, in his journal he says: "I 
met again with those who believe God has deliv- 
ered them from the root of bittemesaJ* 

And again says he: "Abundance have been 
convinced of sin ; very many have found peace 
with God, and in London only, I believe, full 



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392 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

two hundred have been brought into glorioug 
liberty. ^^ 

In his journal of June, 1765, he says : " Many 
others are groaning after fuM salvation." 

In writing to Miss H. A. Roe, in 1776, he 
says : " Certainly before the root of sin is taken 
away, believers may live above the power of it." 

In writing to Mrs. Crosby, in 1761, he says : 
'*The work goes on mightily here in London. 
I believe within five weeks, six in one class have 
received remission of sins, and five in one band 
received a second blessing." 

" This morning before you left us, one found 
peace and one the second blessing." (Journal, 
June, 1763.) 

In writing to Miss Jane Hilton, in 1774, he 
says: "It is exceedingly certain that God did 
give you the second blessing, properly so called. 
He delivered you from the root of bitterness; from 
inbred sin, as well as actual sin.'' 

It is clear, therefore, that John Wesley was 
not a stickler for any set phrase. He used a 
great variety of terms in describing the work of 
holiness — " perfection," " holiness," " perfect in 
love," " glorious liberty," " the root of bitterness 
taken away," " second blessing," " full salva- 
tion " — all these he used, and these are all Scrip 
tural terms. 

John, the beloved disciple, uses the phrase 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED. 393 

"perfect love." "Herein is our love made per^ 
feci. . . . Because as be is, so are we in this 
world.'^ (1 John iv, 17.) 

'^Perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath 
torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in 
love.'' (Verse 18.) 

Paul used the terra " holiness.'' " Follow 
peace with all men, and holiness, without which 
no man shall see the Lord." (Heb. xii, 14.) 
Paul used the phrase " fullness of the blessing 
of the gospel of Christ" (Rom. xv, 29), and 
" full assurance of faith." (Heb. x, 22.) From 
these, doubtless, Mr. Wesley got the phrase "full 
salvation." Paul used the phrase " second 
benefit." " I was minded to come unto you 
before, that ye might have a second benefit,'^ 
(2 Cor. i, 16.) 

From this passage, doubtless, came into use, by 
John Wesley and others, the words "second 
blessing." 

Paul also used the -phrase so often used by 
Wesley, " root of bitterness." " Follow peace 
with all men, and holiness, without which no man 
shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any 
man fail of the grace of God ; lest any root of 
bitterness springing up trouble you." (Heb. 
xii, 15.) 

So, then, these terms, "full salvation," "per- 
fect love," " second blessing," " delivered from 



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394 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

the root of bitterness'' — all are Scriptural and all 
are legitimate. 

There is danger, too, of our becoming censori- 
ous and dogmatic. 

Whenever Satan can succeed in switching us 
off on any one of these lines, our influence and 
power for usefulness is to a great extent crippled. 

Against all these dangers we should carefully 
guard. More and more every day do I see the 
great importance of Umng holiness, 

Mr. Punshon, the great English divine, in giv- 
ing his estimate of Rev. Alfred Cookman, says: 
" If I would write down my impression of Alfred 
Cookman's character, I find myself at a loss ; for 
I can scarcely convey my estimate of him in 
sober words. I have been privileged to meet 
with many gifted and godly men in different 
lands, and in various branches of the Catholic 
Church. I speak advisedly when I say that I 
never met with one who so well realized my idea 
of complete devotedness. When some pagan 
questioners asked a Christian of old about the re- 
ligion of Jesus, and were disposed to ascribe its 
spread to its loftier thought and pure truth, the 
Cliristian made for answer : ' We do not speak 
greater things, but we liveJ This life, wherever 
it is embodied, is the highest power. And it was 
felt to be so in the wide sphere in which Alfred 
Cookman was permitted to testify for the Master 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED. 895 

whom he loved. There are men of sterling 
worth, who manage to hide their excellences from 
their fellows, living amongst men unappreciated, 
because they have no witness, — like some bird of 
rare plumage, of whose beauty the world knew 
not until they caught the luster which flashed 
from its parting wing. He was not one of 
these. His life was a perpetual testimony that 
God can come down to man, and that man can 
be lifted up to God. It was impossible to doubt 
that, * swift-like, he lived in heaven.' There 
were many who objected to his doctrine; there 
were none within the range of his acquaintance 
who failed to be impressed, and few who failed to 
be influenced by his life." 

What is needed more than any one thing is, 
not " to speak greater things, bvi to live,'* What 
we want in order to speedily capture this world 
for Christ is, " living epistles " of Christ's power 
to save from all sin — *' known and read of all 
men." Theodore L. Cuyler has well said : " The 
sermons in shoes are the sermons to convert an 
ungodly world." 

No irregularities of an injurious tendency, so 
far as I am aware, have ever developed in the 
National Association ; and no such irregular tend- 
encies have ever been developed at the Bennett 
holiness meetings. At times they have cropped 
out, but have been checked at once. In other 



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396 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

holiness associations, however, such irregularities 
have been developed, and have brought the most 
blessed and desirable of all the doctrines of the 
Bible into disrepute. This hallowed Bible doc- 
trine has suffered very greatly from the ineffi- 
cient, inexperienced, and fanatical teachers of 
independent holiness associations. This fact led 
the New England Conference, at its session in the 
spring of 1889, to adopt the following resolutions. 
These resolutions were signed by Dr. Daniel 
Steele, a member of the National Holiness Asso- 
ciation, and other leading members of the Con- 
ference : 

" The New England Conference at its recent seasion 
passed the following resolutions in regard to holiness as- 
sociations, signed by Dr. Daniel Steele and other leading 
members of the Conference : 

**Be9olvedt That as pastors we will not organize nor as- 
sociate ourselves with holiness associations in our charges; 
but we will continue in our regular ministrations, to un- 
fold, defend, and enforce this important doctrine in due 
proportion to our other doctrines, so that there shall be 
no occasion for any of our members to resort to meetings 
not under our pastoral direction, and to incompetent 
teachers, whose unguarded instructions may be disastrous 
to spiritual life. 

**Resolvedt That we advise our people not to organize 
or to associate themselves with so-called holiness associa- 
tions, independent of the Church and of their pastors. 
We believe that the meetings of such associations are 
often the occasion of jealousy and ill-feeling ; that they 
tend to division in the Church ; and that they unjustly 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE REVIVED. 397 

reflect upon the unfaithfulness of the Church and the 
pastors to the doctrines of the Church." 

These resolutions were not inteoded as a re- 
flection on the profession of holiness, but on the 
independent holiness associations, which have 
developed irregularities, which tend to greatly 
injure the doctrine, and that are not warranted 
in God's Word. 

As Methodists, we ought not to need inde- 
pendent holiness associations. Holiness is the dis- 
tinctive and peculiar doctrine of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. As loyal Methodists, then, 
let us fling the banner of holiness to the breeze. 
Let it float out and wave over every Church and 
every society. Let it be lifted so high that all 
the world can see it. Then let us avoid the ex- 
travagances and vagaries which have destroyed 
the usefulness of so many who have professed 
this doctrine. Above all, let us have the experi- 
ence — the indubitable consciousness that the blood 
of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin — then the 
"beauty of holiness*' will shine out in all our 
words and looks and acts, and then the world will 
be attracted to it as certainly as the needle is at- 
tracted to the pole. 



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398 80UTARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

THE DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED. 

IN the last chapter an account was given of the 
great holiness revival, which rolled like a 
mighty tidal wave over our entire country, the 
blessed results of which Nebraska has had her 
share. 

In the present chapter I desire to carefully 
examine this Bible and distinctive Methodist 
doctrine ; and I hope to make it so simple and 
plain that the smallest child can understand it. 
If understood, none can reasonably object to it 

It is really wonderful how much is said in the 
Bible on the subject of perfection. God said to 
Abraham : "I am the Almighty God; walk be- 
fore me, and be thou perfect.'* (Gen. xvii, 1.) 
Moses said to the Israelites of old: " Thou shalt 
be perfect with the Lord thy God.'' (Deut. xviii, 
13.) *' There was a man in the land of Uz, whose 
name was Job, and that man was perfect and up- 
right, and one that feared God and eschewed 
evil." (Job i, 1.) David says: "Mark the per-* 
feet man, and behold the upright; for the end 
of that man is peace." (Psa. xxxvii, 37.) 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED. 399 

Christ says, in his beautiful and inimitable 
Sermon on the Mount : " Be ye therefore perfect, 
even as your Father which is in heaven is per- 
fect/' (Matt. V, 48.) Paul said to the Colos- 
sians : '^ Stand perfect and complete in all the will 
of God." (Col. iv, 12.) He constantly pointed 
believers to the beautiful heights of perfect love. 
He had a longing desire to lead them up to this 
high plain. The height of his ambition was to 
"present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." 
He said to the Corinthians : " Be perfect." (2 Cor. 
xiii, 11.) The •'central idea of Christianity," 
says Bishop Peck, " is perfect love." It is the 
sun, around which all the satellites revolve, and 
moving around this great center they rejoice in 
its broad, warm, genial, and life-imparting smile. 

The design of the great scheme of human re- 
demption was to bring man from a state of sin 
and pollution to a state of purity and happiness. 
" Christ gave himself for us, that he might re- 
deem us from all iniquity, and purify unto him- 
self a peculiar people, zealous of good works." 
(Tit. ii, 14.) And the design of the gospel is not 
accomplished in us until we are raised to this 
high, holy, and happy state, where our peace flows 
like a river, and our righteousness is as the waves 
of the sea. 

In all ages there has been the most bitter op- 
position to the doctrine of holiness. There are 



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400 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

many reasons for this. Holiness, or Christian 
perfection, is the most unrelenting, untiring, un- 
compromising, and powerful enemy the empire of 
Satan has ; hence he puts forth every effort within 
his power to make the doctrine distasteful to men, 
in order that he may break its influence and power, 
• and thereby save his own kingdom from wreck 
and ruin. In referring to the doctrine of Chris- 
tian perfection, Mr. Wesley says: "This is the 
word which God will always bless, and which the 
devil peculiarly hates; therefore he is constantly 
stirring up both his own children and the weak 
children of God against it." 

Another reason why so many object to the doc- 
trine of holiness is because it is not rightly un- 
derstood. There are multitudes in the Church 
who know but little about the doctrine of Chris- 
tian perfection, as taught by John Wesley, the 
standard authors of our Church, and the Bible. 
If the doctrine were thoroughly examined, and 
thoroughly understood, I am confident the objec- 
tions, to an extent at least, would give way. 

Many object to the doctrine because of the 
inconsistencies of those who have professed it. 
We must admit that many who have professed 
holiness have not lived up to their profession, and 
that the doctrine has suffered very materially from 
its inconsistent and unwise advocates. Their pro- 
fession and their acts have not been in harmony 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED. 401 

at all. I think, however, that a careful examina- 
tion of the matter will convince any unprejudiced 
mind that the proportion of inconsistent profes- 
sors of holiness is no greater than the proportion 
of inconsistent professors of justification. It must 
be admitted that many in all ages, \vho have pro- 
fessed only conversion, have not lived up to their 
profession, and the cause of religion has suffered 
greatly from such inconsistent professors. If, 
therefore, we discard the doctrine of Christian 
perfection because of the inconsistencies of many 
who have professed it, for the very same reason 
we must discard the doctrine of justification — in 
fact, for the very same reason we must discard 
all religion, and take our stand on the broad 
platform of infidelity. Are we ready to take this 
rash step? 

I do not pin my faith to the actions of any 
man. No wise man, it seems, would do such a 
foolish thing as that. My faith rests on God's 
word alone. Let God be true, though every man 
may be a liar. To the law, therefore, and to the 
testimony. To the word of God, and not to the 
actions of men do we appeal. That Christian 
perfection is attainable, is proved to my mind 
beyond the shadow of a doubt by the many pas- 
sages of Scripture quoted in the forepart of this 
chapter. 

While the term '' perfection,'^ "holiness,'^ and 
34 



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402 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

'^ entire sanctification '' each has a shade of mean- 
ing peculiar to itself^ these terms are all used in 
the Scriptures interchangeably. 

What is Christian perfection? To answer 
this question satisfactorily it will be necessary 
to treat the subject negatively — to show what it 
is not; and in showing what it is not, we may 
be able, perhaps, before we get through, to show 
what it is. Touching this doctrine, the ideas of 
many are vague and very much confused. 

1. It is not absolute perfection. The highest, 
the brightest, the sweetest, the loveliest angel 
that ranges the fields of light and glory is not 
absolutely perfect. Absolute perfection belongs 
alone to God. God is absolutely perfect in de- 
gree; Christians are perfect in kind only. 

2. It is not angelic perfection. Angels are a 
higher order of intelligences than men. Angels 
never make mistakes, never err, never commit 
blunders. Their love burns with an intensity, 
and their services are performed with a precis- 
ion that are not possible for mortals. They have 
none of the infirmities of fallen human nature. 
While the sad effects of the fall cling to these 
bodies of ours, we do not claim that it is possi- 
ble for us to be as perfect as the angels in heaven. 
But when this corruptible shall put on incor- 
ruption; when this mortal shall put on immor- 
tality ; when these bodies, sown in dishonor and 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED, 403 

weakness^ shall be raised in power and glory, then 
we shall be perfect as the angels. 

3. It is not the perfection Adam had before 
the fall. Before man fell, all his faculties and 
powers were perfect. His intellectual, physical, 
and moral powers were all complete. Sin has 
marred and dwarfed all these powers. With the 
intellect marred and dwarfed by sin, with all the 
physical powers impaired by evil, it is not possi- 
ble, since these are the medium through which 
the soul now operates, to be as perfect as if these 
powers had never suffered from sin. So it is not 
claimed, nor does the Bible promise the perfection 
Aduni had before the fall. We must be content, 
therefore, with the perfection taught us in God's 
Word. And God's Word does not promise to us 
absolute perfection, nor angelic perfection, nor 
Adamic perfection, but Christian perfection, 

4. It is not a perfection of the head. No- 
where in all the range of God's Word is there a 
single promise that God will make us perfect in 
judgment. The only perfection promised in the 
Bible is the perfection of love. Mr. Wesley 
says : ^^ Another ground of these and a thousand 
mistakes is the not considering deeply that love is 
the highest gift of God. There is nothing higher 
in religion — there is, in effect, nothing else." 
Christian perfection is the loving God with all 
the heart, and all the soul, and all the mind, and 



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404 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

a]] the strength. This is the highest spiritual 
mountain-peak that can be gained here on the 
earth. 

5. Christian perfection does not imply a fault- 
less life. We are commanded to be blameless, but 
not faultless. A simple incident will illustrate this : 
A mother gave to her little girl a handkerchief 
to hem. She gave the child a needle, thread, 
and thimble, and gave her directions how the 
work should be done. The child followed the 
mother's directions bs near as she possibly could. 
She did her very best to do just as the mother 
told her. When the work was finished she took 
it to her mother. The mother examined it 
Some of the stitches were long and some of them 
were short ; some places the hem was wide, and 
at other places it was narrow, and at other places 
it was badly puckered. The work was not fault- 
less, but the child was blameless. She had gone 
according to the mother's directions as near as 
possible, and had done the very best she could. 
The mother gave the child a smile of approval 
and a kiss of affection. With all the divine grace 
it is possible for us to have, we shall not be fault- 
less, but we may be blameless. If we go accord- 
ing to God's directions just as near as we possi- 
bly can, though our acts may be very far from 
being faultless, we shall have the divine smile of 
approval and the infinite kiss of affection from 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED, 406 

our loving Heavenly Father. We shall be liable to 
make mistakes, commit errors, and make blun- 
ders as long as we live in a body marred and 
dwarfed by sin. An error in judgment may lead 
to an error in act. God goes back of the act to 
the motive that prompted the act. It is the in- 
tent that makes the crime. A man may be a 
murderer without ever having taken the life of 
a fellow-being. He may have desired to do so ; 
and that constitutes the crime. On the other hand, 
he may have actually taken the life of a man, 
and still not be a murderer. He may have ac- 
cidentally taken the life of his fellow-being. 
Hence Christ says: "Judge not, that ye be not 
judged.'' The Bible nowhere promises us a per- 
fection that will free us from mistakes. While 
Christian perfection does not admit of any sin, 
inward or outward, properly so called, it does 
admit of a consciousness of infirmities and short- 
comings. The purest persons that walk the earth 
are conscious of mistakes, shortcomings, and great 
weaknesses. These they often deplore in the 
deepest humility. These innocent mistakes and 
infirmities all need the blood of atonement, and 
we rejoice and praise God that the blood of atone- 
ment covers them all, tnd more than meets every 
demand. Christian perfection admits of many 
infirmities, but not one sin. 

6. It is not freedom from temptation. If you 



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406 SOLITARY^PLACES MADE GLAD. 

expect to be saved from temptation in this life, 
you are expecting something you will never real- 
ize. The servant is not greater than his Lord. 
If it were possible for us to reach a point where 
we could not be tempted, we should be greater 
than our Lord was. ''He was tempted in all 
points like as we are, yet without sin.'* It is 
no sin to be tempted. The sin lies in our yield- 
ing to the temptation. Mr. Dow says: "We 
can not prevent the buzzards flying over our 
heads, but we can keep them from making nests 
in our hair." 

Here on earth is the battle-field ; here we are 
waging a warfare. Can there be war without 
conflict? Can there be conflict without enemies? 
Of all persons on the earth, those who are the most 
holy are the most exposed to temptation. Those 
who are the most holy are placed in the front 
of the battle. God has chosen them as his van- 
guard. They are the ones who make assaults 
upon the enemy. If they are in the front, and 
lead in the charge, they are, more than any oth- 
ers, exposed to the fiery missiles of the foe. At 
the pure Satan will hurl his sharpest arrows. 
Against them he will level his heaviest artillery. 
One holy person cast down is better for the 
empire of Satan than a whole regiment of ordi- 
nary Christians. One who is now in heaven 
once said : *'As certain as night follows day, so 



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DISTiyCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED. 407 

certain will the black aogel persecution follow 
holiness/' A man who had recently come into 
the experience of perfect love, under the minis- 
trations of Rev. Mr. Caughey, the great evan- 
gelist, went to him and said : " I do n't under- 
stand this. I never had such severe temptations 
in my life as I have had since I received this 
blessing.'' "O," said Mr. Caughey, "that is not' 
at all strange. It takes ten devils to watch you 
now, where it took only one when you were in 
a weak and sickly state." The less religion 
Christians have, the less trouble they have with 
Satan. Satan is satisfied with weak, worldly- 
minded Christians, and seldom troubles them. 
If we have no severe temptations we may well 
suspect the genuineness of our religion. A man 
once said : " I am opposed to revivals on princi- 
ple." Another oue said : **I am opposed to this 
doctrine of holiness." Are not such men sound 
asleep? The devil can do almost anything with 
a man when he gets him fast asleep. A man 
once dreamed he was traveling, and came to a 
little church, and on the cupola of that phurch 
was a devil fast asleep. He went on a little fur- 
ther and he came to a log cabin, and it was 
surrounded by devils, all wide awake. He was 
surpriMod, and ixhUh] for an explanation. One 
of the liitlw iiiipH said : " I will tell you. The 
fact IH, that whole Church back there is asleep. 



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408 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD, 

and one devil can take care of all the members 
and sleep at the same time; bat here in this 
cabin are two holy, wide-awake persons, a man 
and woman, and they have more influence and 
power than that whole Church/' The greater the 
effort put forth on the part of the Christian to 
Jive near (jod and save souls, the greater will 
be the effort on the part of Satan to hedge up 
his way and thwart all his commendable plans. 
Every step we take from here to the throne of 
God will be hotly contested by the devil. 

Then God will have a tried people. Job said : 
*'When he hath tried me I shall come forth as 
gold.'' (Job xxiii, 10.) David said : " Thou, O 
God, hast proved ns ; thou hast tried us, as silver 
is tried." (Psa. Ixvi, 10.) Solomon says : " The 
fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold; 
but the Lord trieth the hearts." (Prov. xvii, 3.) 
God said of his ancient people : " I have chosen thee 
in the furnace of affliction." (Isa. xlviii, 10.) " I 
will refine them as silver is refined, and will try 
them as gold is tried; they shall call on my 
name, and I will hear them." (Zech. xiii, 9.) 
James says: ^'Blessed is the man that endureth 
temptation ; for when he is tried he shall receive 
the crown of life." (James i, 12.) He does not 
say blessed is the man that has temptation, but 
blessed is the man that endureSy that stands firm, 
is loyal to God during the fiery temptation. 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED. 409 

That man will at last receive a crown, before 
the beauty and splendor of which the crowns of 
the kings and emperors of earth will pale and 
sink into utter insignificance. 

It is said that Napoleon once ordered a coat 
of mail. When the artisan completed it, he deliv- 
ered it to the emperor. The emperor ordered 
him to put it on himself. Then Napoleon drew 
his large navy revolver and fired shot after shot 
at the man in the armor. It stood the severe 
test, and the artisan received from Napoleon a 
large reward. So if we stand the severe tests 
that will be applied to us here, great will be our 
reward hereafter. 

God's method with bis children here is found 
in Daniel, twelfth chapter and tenth verse : '^ Many 
shall be purified, and made white and tried." 
That is God's method. Purified, made white, 
then tried. Many are purified, but when the tests 
are applied give way. 

"A few mornings ago,'' said a lady, " I placed 
a clean, white platter in the stove-baker, to warm 
it. By accident the door was closed, and the dish 
became very hot. When I removed it a scum of 
grease had covered nearly the whole surface. 
The heat had brought it out. I was surprised to 
see so much filth on what had appeared a per- 
fectly clean, white platter. I wondered if such a 

scum of sin would come to the surface if I should 
35 

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410 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

be tried as by fire. What a state that must be, 
when no spot will appear^ though a white heat is 
applied to bring out the defects 1'' 

7. Christian perfection is not regeneration. 
It is a state of grace above and beyond conver- 
sion. Paul said to the Christians at Corinth: 
''And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as 
unto spiritual, but as unto babes in Christ. I 
have fed you with milk, and not with meat ; for hith- 
erto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet are 
ye now able. For ye are yet carnal : for whereas 
there is among you envying, and strife, and di- 
visions, are ye not carnal ?** (1 Cor. iii, 1, 2, 3.) 
"Having, therefore, these promises, dearly be- 
loved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness 
of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the 
fear of God.'' (2 Cor. vii, 1.) 

Christian perfection is the perfecting, the com- 
pleting, of the work which was begun at conver- 
sion. To the Church at Rome, Paul said : " I 
beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies 
of God, that ye present your bodies a living sac- 
rifice, holy, acceptable unto Gk)d, which is your 
reasonable service.'' (Rom. xii, 1.) And to the 
Christians at Thessalonica he said: "The very 
God of peace sanctify you wholly ; and I pray 
God your whole spirit and soul and body be pre- 
served blameless unto the coming of our Lord 
Jesus Christ." (1 Thess. v, 23.) Be it remem- 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED, 411 

bered that the faith of these Thessalonian Chris- 
tians had been spread abroad " in every place " 
throughout all " Macedonia and Achaia." They 
were noted everywhere for their faith and good 
works, and yet Paul prayed that they might be 
wholly sanctified. All the above exhortations 
were given to Christians, showing very clearly 
that the work of entire sanctification had not been 
accomplished in them. They were not made per- 
fect in love; but their great privilege was clearly 
set before them, and they were earnestly exhorted 
to avail themselves of their high privilege. 

" But,'* says one, " is not God able to convert 
and wholly sanctify the soul at the same time ?" 
Most assuredly he is. But it is not a question of 
God's ability at all, but of our faith. We are 
justified by faith. We are also sanctified by faith. 
Paul, in his discourse before Agrippa, says we 
" are sanctified by faith." (Acts xxvi, 18.) Dr. 
Adam Clarke, in commenting on this verse, says 
we are taught, " not only the forgiveness of sins, 
but the purification of the heart." 

We get just what we believe for. " What 
things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe 
that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." 
(Mark xi, 24.) When faith is genuine it is al- 
ways distinct, and is put forth for a particular 
object. A very common question with our Lord 
was: "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" 



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412 SOLITARY PLACES MADE QLAD. 

Blind Bartimeus cried out to the Savior, saying: 
" Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. 
Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt 
thou that I do unto thee? The blind man said 
unto him, Lord that I might receive my sight. 
And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith 
hath made thee whole. And immediately he re- 
ceived his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.'* 
(Mark x, 51, 52.) He got just what he believed 
for — eyesight. The leper said to Jesus: " Lord, 
if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.'^ This 
was his faith. Jesus said: ^^ I will; be thou 
clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.^* 
(Matt, viii, 2, 3.) He received just what he be- 
lieved for — cleansing. 

A fisither went to the Savior with his son pos- 
sessed with a dumb spirit. That father felt only 
as a father could feel under such circumstances. 
His own loved boy was under tl\^ complete 
power and control of the devil. How his heart 
must have bled with grief at every pore! Many 
a parent's heart bleeds to-day because a son is 
under the complete power of Satan. With the 
deepest anguish of heart the father cried out : 
" If thou canst do anything, have compassion on 
us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou 
canst believe; all things are possible to him that 
believeth." The father exclaimed : " Lord, I be- 
lieve; help thou mine unbelief. And the spirit 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED. 413 

came out of him/' (Mark ix, 23-25.) He ob- 
tained just what he believed for — the deliverance 
of his son from the possession of a dumb devil. 

The Syrophenician woman believed for the 
deliverance of her daughter from the power of 
the ^' unclean spirit/' and she received just what 
she believed for. The feith of all these persons 
was put forth for a distinct object, and they all 
received that for which they believed. 

The blind man believed for eyesight, and re- 
ceived it. The leper believed for cleansing, and 
received it. The father believed for the deliver- 
ance of his son from the possession of the dumb 
devil, and the son was saved. The mother be- 
lieved for the deliverance of her daughter from 
the unclean spirit, and the daughter was rescued 
from his toils, restored, and made pure. To-day, 
as eighteen hundred years ago, we get just what 
we believe for. If we believe for pardon, we get 
pardon. If we believe for perfect love, we get 
perfect love. If we believe for the anointing of 
the Holy Ghost to qualify us for work, we receive 
the anointing. If the penitent at the altar, seek- 
ing pardon, could believe for pardon and entire 
sanctification at the same time, I believe he would 
receive both. But I have never known one who, 
at that moment, could grasp all. Mr. R. P. 
Smith, in his '^ Holiness Through Faith," relates 
the following : " While addressing a company in 



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414 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

one of the mission-houses in New York, I no- 
ticed a young woman much affected. I found 
after meeting she was an actress^ who had been 
brought to the point of turning her back on all 
her past life; but she was unable to believe that 
such a sinner as she was could receive the grace 
that was set before her. To my explanation of 
the divine sacrifice for sinners, she only ex- 
claimed: 'O yes, sir; I know that it is all true, 
but I can't believe that it is for me /' It seemed 
too great presumption for her to believe that all 
her sins were blotted out, and she at once placed 
in the family of God. I left her in this con- 
dition of mind — longing for salvation, and yet 
too faithless to believe that it was for her. 

" Upon parting with the actress, I was intro- 
duced to a refined, matronly, Christian woman, 
who, I understood, was giving her life to this 
gospel work among the abandoned. Her whole 
heart was in her work with an energy and sim- 
plicity that I have never seen surpassed. Her 
joy was to spend her years in the midst of 
this moral leprosy, raising the cross among the 
dying souls around her. But even while thus 
laboring for Christ, she felt most deeply her need 
of some privilege greatly beyond her present ex- 
perience. So in earnest was she that she had 
just passed a sleepless night of sorrow and prayer 
for the full and satisfying revelation of Christ, 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED. 415 

with the complete victory over her own will. 
She knew that her sins had been forgiven her, 
and that she truly loved Jesus. Work for Jesus 
was the most delightful thing in the world to her. 
She knew that there was in the gospel a redemp- 
tion ^ from all iniquity/ but she had not found it. 
She knew that Christ bore her sins that she 
might become dead to sin and alive to righteous- 
ness ; but she had not attained to it. The secret 
of this unsupplied need was soon found. Full 
of faith for God's work in others, and up to a 
certain point in herself, she needed to open the 
door of her heart yet more widely that the King 
of Glory might come in. This dear saint, who 
had so often taught the lesson to anxious sinners 
of fitith as the means of blessing, now saw that 
the very same lesson was to be learned by her- 
self upon a different level. The very words that 
a few moments before had been said to the 
awakened actress — trust in Christ for what her 
sotd felt the need of — were now to be applied to 
herself Shortly after this interview, the actress 
found Christ, through faith, pardon for all her 
sins; and the missionary, upon her high level of 
Christian experience, also /ottnd tn Christ, through 
&ith, cleansing 'from all unrighteousness.' 
Faith in each grasped the promise." Each re- 
ceived just what she needed, and just what she 
believed for. From the very beginning to the 



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416 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD. 

highest summit of Christian attainment, &ith is 
the channel of God's blessing, while unbelief is 
the bar. " So much faith, so much deliverance ; 
no more, no less ! If we would live up to the 
gospel standard of holiness, we must believe up 
to the gospel standard of faith." Christian per- 
fection is a soul made perfect in love. A soul 
made perfect in love is a soul perfectly pure. A 
soul perfectly pure is a soul cleansed from all sin, 
inbred or birth sin, and actual sin. If you desire 
that perfect cleansing, believe for it and you will 
have it. 

8. Christian perfection does not imply that we 
can not fall. 

If " the angels which kept not their first estate, 
but left their own habitation," fell into sin, and are 
" reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, 
unto the judgment of the great day ;" if Adam 
in paradise fell ; if Solomon, the best and wisest 
man that ever lived, fell, — we need not expect that 
we shall become so holy that we can not fall. 
The very highest possible state of grace attainable 
in this life will not exempt us from danger. So 
it becomes necessary for us to say to the purest 
men and women that walk the earth : 

" O watch, and fight, and pray ; 
The battle ne'er give o'er; 
Renew it boldly every day, 
And help divine implore. 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED. 417 

Ne'er think the victory won, 

Nor lay thine armor down ; 
The work of faith will not be done 

Till thou obtain the crown." 

9. Christian perfection is not maturity. Pu- 
rity is one things and maturity is another. They 
are just as distinct as day and night. Many 
jumble the two together. Christian perfection is 
purity. Purity is freedom from sin, and is the 
result of God's extirpating power. Maturity is 
the result of growth, and takes time. Purity is 
a work wrought in the heart instantaneously by 
the power of God. Maturity, being the result of 
growth, is gradual, and may go on indefinitely. 

Some think if they are sanctified wholly, they 
can never grow any more, when in feet they are 
just prepared to grow rapidly. Purity removes 
from the heart that which hinders growth. In- 
born sin is a hindrance to growth, just as weeds 
in the field are a hindrance to the growth of the 
corn. Remove the weeds, and the corn will grow 
more rapidly. Remove all sin from the heart, 
and you will grow in grace more rapidly than 
ever. Let the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ be 
applied to the heart by the Holy Ghost, and you 
will receive an impetus that will send you on 
your heavenly way with a speed that you never 
dreamed of before. 

We are commanded to " grow in grace,'* but 



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418 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

not into grace. Grace must first be imparted 
before there can be growth. As in nature, so in 
grace; first life, then growth. Pardom is by faith, 
and is instantaneous. God does not pardon 
gradually. When God pardons a soul, it is a 
perfect work. All actual sin is forgiven, and 
will be remembered against that soul no more 
forever; and that work is done in an instant, 
in the twinkling of an eye. After pardon, then 
we may grow. Entire sanctification is by &ith, 
and is instantaneous, just as pardon is. 

A few years ago the wife of a distinguished 
minister was lying hopelessly ill. All was mist 
and uncertainty before her. She longpd for the 
purity and peace promised in the holy Word, 
but her husband had always preached a gradual 
growth in grace, and completeness in Christ only 
at death, and she waited for that hour in dread 
uncertainty. '* O that I could have complete de- 
liverance from sin now, before that fearful hour !'* 
she exclaimed. " Why not?" the Spirit sug- 
gested. She sent for her husband, and as he en- 
tered her sick chamber, she anxiously inquired : 
"Can Christ save me from all sin." "Yes; he is 
an almighty Savior, your Savior, able to save to 
the uttermost." "When can he save me? You 
have often said that he saves from all sin at the 
dying moment. If he is Almighty ^ donH you 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED, 419 

think he could save me a few minutes before 
death ? It would take the sting of death away to 
know that I am saved." " Yes ; I think ho 
could." " Well, if he could save me a few min- 
utes before death, do n't you believe it possible 
for him to save a few hours, or a day before 
death ?" The husband bowed his assent. " But," 
she said, with deep emotion and great earnest- 
ness, ^'I.may live a week, or a month; do you 
think it possible for God to save a soul from all 
sin so long before death?" "Yes; all things 
are possible with God," he answered with deep 
emotion. "Then kneel right down here and 
pray for me. I want this full salvation now, 
and if I live a month, I will live to praise God." 

He knelt beside her bed, and offered a prayer 
such as he had never offered before, and while he 
prayed the cleansing blood that makes whiter 
than snow was applied to her soul, and she was 
enabled to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full 
of glory. She lived a month afterwards to mag- 
nify the grace of God, and testify to that perfect 
love that casteth out fear. From the grave of 
his wife that husband went forth to preach Christ 
as a present Savior, able to save from all sin. 

A wholly sanctified soul is just as pure a mo- 
ment after the cleansing blood is applied as the 
soul of the man who has been wholly sanctified 



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420 SOLITARY PLACES MADE OLAD, 

for twenty years. But the man who has been 
walking for twenty years under the cleansing 
blood, has an experience deeper, wider, richer, 
and £sir more extensive than the man who has just 
been fully saved. The diflference is not in quality 
but in quantity. A drop of water may be just 
as pure as an ocean, but there is more in the ocean 
than in the drop. A soul cleansed of all sin is 
prepared to grow more rapidly than ever. 

When crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains 
in 1850, after traveling for some time, we reached 
a point whore we supposed we saw the summit. 
A lofty mountain-peak rose in solitary grandeur 
before us. We said, and we rejoiced at the sight, 
"There is the summif We started up the 
rough mountain-side, and after traveling for some 
three hours reached its summit. But to our sur- 
prise, and not a little disappointment, we saw rising 
far away above and beyond us another mountain- 
peak. We said : " Well, we thought this was the 
summit, but were very much mistaken. That 's 
the summit away up there." We started, and 
after several hours of weary travel, we at length 
reached this mountain summit. But to our utter 
disappointment and astonishment we saw rising 
before us, higher up, and fiui^her away, another 
mountain-peak. We made no more predictions. 
Again, after a short rest, we started, and aft^r 
plodding through slush and snow for near a half 



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DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINE EXAMINED. 421 

a day, reached this mountain summit. Then away 
above and beyond us rose another. Mountain-peak 
rose above mountain-peak, higher, and higher, and 
higher. And thus it is with the religion of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, if we live up to all the light 
God gives us. 

The Christian's pathway to the skies is an 
ascending pathway. Mountain-peak of joy and 
knowledge in divine things rises above mountain- 
peak, higher, and higher, and higher. Our ex- 
perience may grow deeper, and wider, and richer, 
and grander. We go from a justified soul to a 
soul made perfect in love, from a soul made per- 
fect in love to a soul glorified in body and spirit ; 
then onward and upward, forever and ever. 

10. Perfect love is not simply ecstasy. It is 
not simply a bubbling up of joy, overflowing the 
soul with rapturous delight. It is, however, al- 
ways peace, always rest of soul, and sometimes 
the great tidal waves of joy roll over the heart, 
deluging the whole soul, and filling it with an 
unearthly rapture. 

It is not always liberty in prayer, or in testi- 
mony, or in preaching. So if we do not always 
have great ecstasy, or great liberty in prayer or 
testimony or preaching, we are not to conclude 
that we are not saved. Christian perfection is 
not ecstasy, but purity ; and we obtain purity, not 
by feeling, but simple faith in Christ. 



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422 SOLITARY PLACES MADE GLAD. 

" O for a faith that will not shrink, 
Though pressed by every foe, 
That will not tremble on the brink 
Of any earthly woe I 

A faith that shines more bright and clear 

When tempests rage without ; 
That when in danger knows no fear, 

In darkness feels no doubt I" 

Unconditional surrender of all to Christ, and 
uashaken &ith in his ability and willingness to 
save to the uttermost now, this very moment, will 
bring to the heart the consciousness of this great 
salvation. May every reader of these pages have 
this sweet, rich, glowing, and abiding experience I 



THE END. 



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