Clark County, Ohio

History and Genealogy



Clark County Bible Society


From The History of Clark County, Ohio
Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co., 1881 - Page 351


To show the manner in which the Bible Society of this county was organized, we quote from the record of the first meeting held, as follows:

"Formation of the Auxiliary Bible Socity of Springfield, Clark County, Ohio. — Agreeably to a request made by the Rev. Mr. Hall, a number of the citizens of this county convened in the Methodist meeting-house on the 6th of August, 1822, for the purpose of taking into consideration the expediency of forming a Bible society. The meeting was opened with prayer by the Rev. Archibald Steel, after which the Rev. Archibald Steel was appointed Chairman; Rev. Samuel Henkle, Secretary; and Isaac T. Teller, Assistant Secretary, for the present meeting. Letters from the American Bible Socitety showing Rev. Mr. Hall to be an agent of that society were then read, after which the meeting adopted the following resolution, viz.: Resolved, Unanimously, that this meeting, impressed with the importance of a general circulation of the Holy Scriptures, and of furnishing the destitute therewith, form a Bible society for this county, auxiliary to the American Bible Society of New York." At this meeting a constitution was adopted, which, being somewhat lengthy, and being later superseded by the present constitution of the society, we omit. However, the following names were signed thereto as the first members: John S. Galloway, M. M. Henkle, Saul Henkle, Archibald McDonald McConkey, W. M. Spencer and James S. Christie.

A committee was then appointed to solicit signers to the constitution, to report at the first annual meeting, and, after ordering a copy of Dudley's Analysis of the Bible Society System, and the publication of the constitution and minutes in the Farmer's Advocate, the meeting adjourned, to meet September 2, 1822. At that date, the society completed its organization by electing Rev. Archibald Steel, President; George W. Jewett and Moses Henkle, Sr., Vice Presidents; Pierson Spinning, Treasurer; Samuel Henkle, Corresponding Secretary; Isaac T. Teller, Corresponding Secretary; and for Directors, John Ambler, Joel Van Metter, Jeremiah Sims, Robert Humphreys, Griffith Foos, Archibald McConkey, Thomas Patton, Joesph Keifer, Maddox Fisher, Daniel McKinnon, Jr., Daniel Moore and Andrew Hodge.

The old record book of the society seems, at some later day, to have been taken apart and incorporated with a better quality of paper into the present bound record, and in this process the minutes of the first anniversary have been partially omitted, and a general disarrangement of the records made. yet the good work seems to have gone along prosperously until about 1840, from which time up to 1842 no certain record appears.

On the 7th of March, 1842, the friends of the Bible Society met at the Methodist Episcopal Church and "organized as a Bible Society," with the following officers: President, Solomon Howard; Vice Presidents, Charles Anthony and E. H. Cumming; Secretary, Henry Hedrich; Treasurer, James T. Murray. At this meeting, the following constitution was adopted:


CONSTITUTION OF THE BIBLE SOCIETY

ARTICLE I. This society shall be called the Bible Society of Clark County, Ohio, auxiliary to the American Bible Society.

ART. II. The object of the society shall be to promote the circulation of the Holy Scriptures "without note or comment," and in English those of the commonly received version.

ART. III. All persons contributing to its funds shall be members for one year, and shall be entitled to purchase Bibles and Testaments at the Depository at cost prices. Those contributing $1 or more, shall receive (if called for within twelve months) a common Bible in return. Those contributing $10 at one time shall be members for life.

ART. IV. All funds not wanted for circulating the Scriptures within the society's own limits shall be paid over annually to the parent society, to aid distribution among the destitute in other parts of the country, and in foreign lands.

ART. V. The officers of the society shall consist of a President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer, whose duties shall be as such as their respective titles import.

ART. VI. The management of the society shall be intrusted to an Executive Committee of seven (including the Secretary and Treasurer), which shall appoint its own Chairman, and make its own by-laws, and fill vacancies that may occur in its own body.

October 20, 1875, Art. VI was so amended to read: The Executive Committee shall consist of one member from each Evangelical Church, and also include the Pastors of said churches, five of whom shall constitute a quorum.

ART. VII. It shall be the duty of the committee to meet frequently on adjournment, or on call of the Chairman, to keep a good supply of books on hand, to appoint local distributors, to see that collections are made in some way, annually, in every congregation, and that all funds are forwarded early to the parent society, with a statement as to the portion designed for the payment of books, and that as a free donation.

ART. VIII. There shall be a general meeting of the society, at such time and place each year, as the Executive Committee shall designate, when a full report of their doings shall be presented by the committee (a copy of which shall be furnished the parent society), and when a new election of officers and committee shall take place. Should the society fail of an annual meeting, the same officers and committee shall continue until an election does occur.

ART. IX. Any branch society or Bible committee formed within the bounds of this auxiliary, by paying over its funds annually shall receive Bibles and Testaments at cost prices.

ART. X. No alterations shall be made in this constitution except at an annual meeting, and by consent of two-thirds of the members present.

To this constitution 100 names are subscribed:

That this was an entirely new organization seems apparent from the minutes of the Executive Committee of a meeting held March 14, 1842, wherein the following record appears: "On motion of Hedrick, the Treasurer was required to secure the Bibles belonging to the old Bible society and distribute for sale.

The first annual meeting of this society was held in the Methodist Episcopal Church, Springfield, March 20, 1843, with Gen. E. H. Cumming, Vice President in the chair, and H. H. Hedrick, Secretary. The annual report of the Executive Committee, and the Treasurer's report and the report of the Female Bible Society were presented and read, and a resolution was passed making the life members of the Springfield Bible Society life members of this, the Clark County Bible Society. Officers were chosen as follows: John W. Weakley, President; James F. Sawyer and Willard Pinbury, Vice Presidents; Henry Hedrick, Secretary; and W. M. Spencer, Treasurer. A resolution was passed favoring the introduction of the Bible into the common schools.

The minutes of the various meetings of the Executive Committee show that though search was made in every township of Clark County by earnest laborers, who reported the number destitute of Bibles, the number by them sold and donated, and the fact that many families who were without the Word of God expressed their shame and humbly begged not to be reported, as they would supply the deficiency themselves.

The second annual meeting was held at the Presbyterian Church on Thursday evening, March 28, 1844, and the usual reports submitted but not recorded. An address was read by Gen. Cumming, which was ordered published in the Republic. The subject of the Bible in the schools was ably discussed by Rev. Sawyer and others, and a resolution passed urging the same. James F. Sawyer was chosen President for the year, and Mr. Hedrick continued as Secretary.

In the second annual report of the Executive Committee they say that fifty Bibles were presented to the Wyandot tribe of Indians, as they passed through Springfield on the way to their Western home.

April 23, 1845, the third annual meeting was held in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was opened by prayer by Rev. William Simmons. The proceedings were of the usual interesting character, and Rev. John S. Galloway was chosen President, Mr. Hedrick being continued as Secretary. An adjourned meeting was held Thursday evening, April 24, 1845, in the Presbyterian Church, a full report of which was not given.

The Executive Committee at their meeting June 16, 1842, took measures to establish a depository at New Carlisle.

The fourth annual meeting was held at the Presbyterian Church Thursday evening March 26, 1846, with Vice President Rev. A. T. McMurphy presiding. Prayer by Rev. Ezra Keller. As heretofore, the ladies seem to have been but silent spectators in these meetings, the annual reports of the Springfield Female Bible Society being duly read by the gentleman. Era [sic - probaly "Ezra"] Keller was made President, and Mr. Hedrick continued as Secretary.

The fifth annual meeting, April 28, 1847, was held at the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was opened by the President, Dr. Keller, in the usual manner. Prayer by Rev. Gray. Rev. William Sym was elected President, Mr. Hedrick, Secretary. An address was delivered by Rev. R. S. Foster, and the agent of the American Bible Society. The annual report of the Executive Committee shows $260.71 paid for books and sales to amount of $63.97, with thirty-seven volumes donated. "Among the Bibles donated" says the report, "were twenty-two to those persons who had volunteered to be soldiers in Mexico."

At the sixth annual meeting held in the Episcopal Church, April 26, 1848, but little business was transacted beyond the election of officers. Rev. Foster preached an able sermon on the authenticity of the Scriptures. On May 10, following, the Executive Committee appropriated $150 to create Samuel Barnett a Life Director in the American Bible Society.

The seventh annual meeting occurred at the Presbyterian Church April 4, 1849, at which time James L. Grover was chosen President, and Rev. Mr. Edwards delivered an address, followed by appropriate remarks by C. Elliott, D.D. The Executive Committee at its meeting June 14, 1849, records "The committee to visit the hotels reported through Mr. Anderson. The report states that the Buckeye had thirty rooms, the National sixty-two, the United States eighteen, American twelve. Four hotels, 122 rooms. On motion, it was determined to put Bibles into the above hotels, and the Treasurer was directed to order the books, and to report whole cost, and the cost of each hotel."

The eighth anniversary was held in the Episcopal Church May 8, 1850. Rev. C. Robbins was chosen President, and an address delivered by Rev. Grover. The annual report showed a healthy and progressive state of the society.

The ninth annual meeting was held May 28, 1851, at 2 P.M., in the Associate Reformed Church, and Dr. R. Rogers was called to preside. Rev. R. W. Henry was elected President, and Rev. J. S. Galloway delivered an address. An adjourned meeting was held in the evening in the Presbyterian Church, addressed by Rev. William P. Strickland, of Dayton. The annual report gave the result of the third exploration of Clark County. Number of families visited, 2,898; found destitute, 232; being an average of about one in twelve.

The tenth annual meeting occurred at the High Street Methodist Episcopal Church, at 2 P.M., May 26, 1852, and was opened with prayer by Rev. Weakley. Rev. N. C. Burt was chosen President. Life memberships were conferred on Henry Hedrick, John Ludlow, Revs. Chandler Robbins, J. C. White, Solomon Howard, J. C. Schulze and Mrs. Spencer and Jonah F. Spencer; and, in the evening at the same church, the society was addressed by Rev. White on "The Bible."

The next annual meeting, the eleventh, was held at June 8, 1823, [sic] in the Episcopal Church. In the absence of the President and Vice President, Rev. C. H. Williams was called to preside, and prayer offered by Rev. Dr. Peasley. The reports were of great interest, showing the society free from debt, having $58.82 in books, and $404.03 cash on hand. Revs. Enoch West, John McLain and Samuel Ham, made life member of parent society. In the evening an address was delivered, at the Associate Reformed Church, by Rev. James Presley, of Cincinnati.

The twelfth annual meeting occurred at the Episcopal Church May 14, 1854. Rev. J. F. Chalfant presided in the absence of the regular officers, and opened the meeting with devotional exercises. The usual progrmame was enacted, and an evening meeting was held at the Presbyterian Church; address by Rev. Sloane.

At the thirteenth anniversary held at the Presbyterian Church May 30, 1855, the Revs. William L. Hypes, Wesley Webster and John Braden were made life members by contribution, and William Barnett and William Runyan, Esqs., by contribution of $30. Samuel Barnett was chosen President. The meeting was concluded in the evening at the same place.

At a meeting of the Executive Commitee March 21, 1856, Mr. Henry Hedrich, who had served so faithfully as Secretary of this society since its organization in 1842, resigned, by reason of removal from Srpingfield, and William Runyan was chosen to fill the vacancy.

May 26, 1856, the fourteenth annual meeting convened at the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Runyan was elected Secretary, and the usual routine of business was conducted, and completed at an evening meeting. Rev. Dr. Brooks addressed the meeting. At this meeting was read the thirty-fifth annual report since the first organization, and the thirteenth under the present organization. The report says: "The Female Bible Society has control of Springfield. They have proven themselves very efficient, having visited over four hundred families and found some forty or fifty families destitute of a Bible."

The fifteenth annual meeting, at the Presbyterian Church, May 27, 1857, was presided over by Hon. S. Mason, and reading of Scriptures and prayer was offered by Rev. J. F. Marley. Rev. T. M. McWhinney, Pastor of the Christian Church in Enon, was made a life member by his congregation contributing for that purpose.

The sixteenth annual meeting, at the Associate Reformed Church, was held May 26, 1858. John Ludlow was made President, and David Cooper, Secretary. The annual report shows that the whole amount donated to the parent society since the organization of this auxiliary, in 1822, was $2,262.28, and the gross amount remitted for Bibles and Testaments, in the same period, was $3,670.06. The Female Bible Society, of Springfield, since its organization in 1842, had donated to the American Bible Society $354.

The seventeenth annual meeting occurred May 25, 1859, at the Congregational Church, John Ludlow, President, William Spencer, Secretary, in place of David Cooper, resigned. Quoting from the record of the Secretary, "The meeting was an interesting one, but it was to be regretted that but few of the friends of the Bible cause were present."

The eighteenth anniversary was held at the Presbyterian Church March 28, 1860. Rev. Joseph Clokey was made President, and T. A. Wick, Secretary. The reports were as usual, and showed a favorable condition of the society.

On the 25th of March, 1861, the nineteenth anniversary service was held at the Presbyterian Church, being the thirty-ninth since its organization. Rev. J. S. Galloway, agent of the American Bible Society, addressed the meeting. Rev. Allen T. Thompson was chosen President for the year.

The twentieth annual meeting occurred at Union Hall, on Monday evening, June 7, 1862. A full report of a canvass of the county by Rev. S. Scott was made, and published in the city papers. Rev. J. Clokey, D.D., chosen President, and Charles L. Petts, Secretary. In the Treasurer's report it is shown that the society supplied Testaments to the members of the Forty-fourth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on their leaving Springfield for the field of battle.

At the meeting of the Executive Committee held April 11, 1863, the following resolution was adopted on the death of an old member:

"Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God to remove by death, since the last annual meeting of the Clark County Bible Society, viz., August 24, 1862, Rev. John S. Galloway, who has been identified with the County Bible Society for nearly thirty years, and served devotedly for eleven years as an agent for the Bible cause in Western Ohio, therefore,

"Resolved, that this committee deems it befitting in them, and due to the memory of our departed brother, to record our just appreciation of his excellences of character, and his devotion and untiring energy in behalf of the Bible cause, and our sincere sense of the loss sustained in the decease of so ardent a fellow-laborer, and our earnest prayer that God may raise up other holy and zealous men to fill the places of those who are called from labor to reward." The twenty-first annual meeting, and the forty-first since organization, was held in the First Presbyterian Church July 9, 1863. The same President and Secretary were re-elected to serve another year.

The twenty-second anniversary was held July 18, 1864, at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Clokey was continued as President, and J. W. Gunn chosen Secretary. The attendance was poor, and there seemed to be a lack of the former interest manifested in the welfare of the society.

The twenty-third anniversary was held at the Second Presbyterian Church June 29, 1865. Rev. E. M. Bower elected President, T. J. Finch, Secretary. The following resolution on the death of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, was offered and adopted:

"Resolved, that the members of the American Bible Society regard with deepest sorrow the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the late President of the United States; and that they hereby record their sense of the loss which the nation and the world have sustained in the decease of this illustrious servant of the people, whose interest in the work of this society, of which he was a member and Director for life, and whose devout reverence for the Word of God characterized his Presidential career as a merciful, just and great ruler, the breaker of the bonds of 4,000,000 of people, and the worthy successor of Washington."

The twenty-fourth annual meeting was held at the First Presbyterian Church in the afternoon of June 19, 1866. Rev. T. T. Titus was elected President, and Rev. J. W. Gunn, Secretary. At night an interesting public meeting was addressed by Revs. Titus, Wombaugh and Ames.

The twenty-fifth anniversary, at Christ Church, July 22, 1867, selected Rev. A. T. Fullerton for President, Rev. J. W. Gunn, Secretary. The sum of $800 was donated to the parent society.

The twenty-sixth annual meeting was held in the English Lutheran Church July 6, 1868, and the usual business transacted. Rev. J. B. Helwig was elected President, and J. W. Coles, Secretary; $400 was appropriated to the parent society.

The twenty-seventh meeting was held Monday and Tuesday evenings July 26 and 27, 1869, and were of great interest. The various reports showed the society in a flourishing condition. Rev. Charles Stroud chosen President, and J. W. Coles, Secretary.

The twenty-eighth anniversary was held July 27, 1870, at the Second Presbyterian Church. Rev. P. H. Mowry was chosen President, J. W. Cole, Secretary. The meeting was without special interest, excepting the annual reports which showed a steady growth and prosperity.

The twenty-ninth anniversary was held September, 1871, at the Second Presbyterian Church. Rev. George F. Cain chosen President, and J. W. Coles, Secretary. A lengthy and interesting report of the canvassers which was submitted by S. Cochran, agent, together with the usual reports.

The thirtieth annual meeting was held September 16, 1872, at the Second Presbyterian Church, and Rev. Lucien Clark elected President, J. W. Coles continued as Secretary. Rev. S. Cochran reported that this was the fiftieth, or Jubilee Year, of the Clark County Bible Society from its first organization. The Executive Committee was instructed to arrange for a jubilee meeting in November, but no record of such meeting appears in the books of the society.

The thirty-first meeting, and the fifty-first annual meeting since organization, was held September 29, 1873, at the First Presbyterian Church. The following were chosen as officers for the ensuing year: President, Rev. Joseph L. Bennett; Vice President, James L. Christie; Secretary, J. W. Gunn; Treasurer, George Horner.

The thirty-second annual meeting was held October 20, 1874. Very few were present, and Rev. W. H. Webb was elected President, Rev. R. P. Thomas elected Secretary. At the anniversary meeting, on Sunday evening, held jointly at the English Lutheran and Second Presbyterian Churches, both were filled to their utmost capacity.

The thirty-third meeting, October 20, 1875, was held at the English Lutheran Church. Rev. W. H. Webb was elected President, and J. W. Gunn, Secretary.

On Sunday, October 25, 1876, Rev. E. T. Wells, of Central Methodist Episcopal Church, preached an able discourse to the united congregations of the city, in the First Presbyterian Church, on the subject "Send out thy Light and thy Truth."

On the following Monday evening the thirty-fourth annual meeting was called for the same place, but, as only a few were present, adjourned.

In 1877, it appears from the minutes of the Executive Committee, no annual meeting was held, owing to delays in the reports of collections, etc. However, the committee called a meeting for February 26, 1878, which was held at the Second Presbyterian Church at that place, and the usual yearly exercises took place.

The thirty-sixth annual meeting was held at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church November 11, 1878, and Rev. Joseph Kyle was elected President, and C. C. Taylor, Secretary. The usual reports were read and published in the city papers.

The regular annual meeting for 1880 was held in the First Presbyterian Church April 2. After the usual religious services in the opening, the society proceeded to the election of officers for the ensuing year, the following being the result: President, S. A. Brewster; Secretary, C. C. Taylor. The usual reports were then submitted, after which the society adjourned.














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