Allegheny County

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GRACE CHURCH PARISH,
 

MOUNT WASHINGTON, PITTSBURGH, PA.

 

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A HISTORY

OF

GRACE CHURCH PARISH,

MOUNT WASHINGTON,

PITTSBURGH, PA.

WITH LIST OF PARISHIONERS, VESTRYMEN, BAP-

TISMS, CONFIRMATIONS, MARRIAGES,

BURIALS, ET CETERA,

BY
REV. ROBERT JOHN COSTER, D. D.,
RECTOR.

INCLUDING, ALSO, A SKETCH OF THE EARLY
HISTORY OF THE PARISH,

BY

HON. THOMAS T. BIGHAM,
LATE SENIOR WARDEN.

1903 :
WM. O. JOHNSTON & CO.,
PITTSBURGH.

 

PAGES

1 - 39

40-106

107-142

Parishioners (143 - 165)

Baptisms (166 - 208)

Confirmations (209 - 214)

Marriages (215 -229)

Burials (230 - 261)

Biographies (262 - 304)

INDEX

 

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ILLUSTRATIONS.


Grace Church, built 1853....................... Frontispiece (Fronting Page)
Interior View of the Church ................... 9
The, Rev. Gustavus W. Mayer ................. 13
The Rev. B. B. Killikelly, D. D .................. 16
The Rev. Robt. J. Coster, D. D ............... 18
The Choir, October, 1903...................... 119
The Bishop's Chair............................... 120
The Lectern ; ................................... 122
Mrs. Maria Louisa Bigham ..................... 257
The Hon. Thomas J. Bigham .................. 262
GeorgeT. Lowen ............................... 264
Abraham Kirkpatrick Lewis ................... 266
Squire Edward Bratt ........................... 267
John Conway Shaler, Jr ....................... 269
William Luke Bond ............................. 271
Captain John Smith McMillin................... 272
Major Samuel Harper ......................... 275
William Halpin ................................. 277
Alfred Marland................................. 279
Oliver Halpin Stinson ...........................280
Melville L. Stout ............................... 281
George Abraham Johnson .................... 282
Thomas Francis Ashford, Sr .................. 283
Orin W. Sadler, M. D.......................... 284
The Rector and Vestry (1903)................ 285
Henry Washington Neely ..................... 289

 

 
 

 

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS.


Preface. ................................................ 5
Location................................................. 7
Organization of the Parish ............................ 8
Laying the Corner Stone of the Church............... 8
Charter obtained ...................................... 9
Admitted to the Convention of Diocese of Pennsylvania ... 9
Opening of the Church ................................ 9
Cost of the Church and Lot ......................... 10
The Reverend James A. Stone...................... 10
The Reverend John G. Furey ....................... 11
The Reverend Richard Smith ....................... 11
The Reverend Charles W. Quick.................... 12
The Reverend Jubal Hodges........................ 12
The Reverend Gustavus Wilhelm Mayer ........... 13
Vacancy in the Rectorship.......................... 15
The Reverend Bryan Bernard Killikelly, D. D....... 16
Cost of Basement Sunday School Room............ 18
The Reverend Robert John Coster, D. D ...........18
Consecration of the Church ........................ 21
Celebration of his Twentieth Anniversary(1888).. 40
Improvements in the Neighborhood of the Church. 88

Celebration of his Thirtieth Anniversary (1898)... 91
Continuation of the History of his Rectorship to 1903.... 95
History of the Pipe Organ of the Church ......... 107
History of the Choir ............................... 110
Chancel Furniture and Memorials ................. 120
Chancel Window ................................... 121
Stained-Glass Windows ............................ 123
The Mount Washington Reading Room............ 125
Charter of the Parish............................... 130
Vestries of the Parish.. ............................ 134
Deputies to the Diocesan Conventions............. 140
Lists of Parishioners..........143, 144, 148, 157, 159
Baptisms............................................. 166
Confirmations....................................... 209
Marriages............................................ 215

 

 
 

 

 

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Burials............................................... 230
Obituary of Mrs.. Maria Louise Bigham........... 257
Members of the Vestry of 1851 .................. 262
Hon. Thomas James Bigham ..................... 262
GeorgeT. Lowen .................................. 264
Abraham Kirkpatrick Lewis ...................... 266
Members of the Vestry of 1869 ................. 267
Members of the Vestry of 1893 ................. 279
The Rector and the Vestry of 1903 ............. 285
Henry W. Neely, S. S. Supt. and Vestryman ... 289
The Grace Church Guild ......................... 290
The Coster Guild.................................. 295
A Sketch of the Early History of the Parish, by
the Hon. Thomas James Bigham, late Senior
Warden........................................... 296
(See Index at end of book.)

 

 
 

 

 

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PREFACE.


     The men and women who took part in the founding of Grace Church have nearly all passed away. Soon there will be no one living who was present at the laying of the corner stone in April, 1852, or at the first opening of the church for divine service in September, 1853.


     We wish to perpetuate the memory of the deeds of those whose faith and zeal, whose loving sacrifices and labors established and built up the church, the ministrations and privileges of which the present generation of the people of Mount Wasting on are now enjoying; therefore, we have at some pains gathered such facts concerning the origin of the church as are now accessible, and such reminiscences of its early history as the imperfect records give, and such other facts as the memories of those yet living, who were cognizant of the events, can supply.


     We are particularly indebted to the Hon. Thomas J. Bigham, long the senior warden of the parish, for an interesting account of its early history. This history, prepared at the request of the Rector and Vestry, a few years before his death, will form an important part of the work. This, however, we may say, is only one of Mr. Bigham's minor services of the parish; for, indeed, it was chiefly through his efforts and gifts, and those of his generous and devout wife, that the parish was organized and the church building erected. Others, indeed, as the history will show, helped in the work; but it was altogether due to the influence and solicitations of Mr. and Mrs. Bigham, in those early days, that help from other sources was forthcoming. Mrs. Bigham gave the ground on which the church stands, and she and her husband gave more than two-thirds of the three thousand dollars which the church originally cost. They both maintained their deep interest in the church to the end of their life. The writer knows

 

 
 

 

 

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well how much they loved the church, and how they valued its ministrations and gave freely to its support.


     There are several other families which, although not among the originators of the church, were its constant attendants and supporters from a very early period in its history. Among these families the Goldthorps, the Bratts, the Halpins, the McMillins, the Shalers, the Bonds, the Goldings and the Torrences are to be mentioned.


     The faithful workers and the devout supporters of the Church of Christ deserve to be held in loving remembrance, and if this little work shall keep from oblivion the names of a few of these faithful ones, it will have served a worthy purpose, and the compiler will be amply rewarded for the time and labor devoted to its preparation.


ROBERT JOHN COSTER,
Rector.

BISHOP BOWMAN INSTITUTE,
Pittsburgh, October 10, 1903.

 

 
 

 

 

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AN HISTORY OF GRACE CHURCH PARISH.
LOCATION.
MOUNT WASHINGTON, NOW THIRTY-SECOND WARD,
PITTSBURGH.


     The district lying south of the Monongahela River, on the top of the high bluff rising four hundred feet above the lower part of the city, directly opposite to old Fort Duquesne, is known as Mount Washington (originally Coal Hill). As late as thirty years ago the only means of access to this district was a road starting from the south end of Smithfield Street Bridge and winding around the side of the hill, following a ravine, until it reached the top, where it led into the old Washington Road. In this district the descendants and heirs of Major Abraham Kirkpatrick were large landholders, among whom was Maria L. Lewis, afterwards Mrs. Thomas J. Bigham. Soon after her marriage her husband built a commodious brick residence on her land, and the family went to live on Mount Washington. The population at that time was small and there was no church in the district which now forms the Thirty-second Ward of Pittsburgh. As soon as they were settled in their new home Mr. and Mrs. Bigham opened a Sunday School for the children of the hill, and at once began to form plans for establishing a church in the neighborhood. At first they obtained the use of the public school building for holding the Sunday School, and afterward services were held there until the church was built, in 1853.


     The inaccessibility of this district and the rough and at times muddy condition of the streets retarded the growth of the population for some years; but when, in 1872, the Monongahela Incline Plane, near the south end of the Smithfield Street Bridge, was opened for travel, and a little later the Duquesne

 

 
 

 

 

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Incline, opposite the Point, the growth of the population became very rapid. Then improved board walks followed, and later paved streets, which rendered it a much more desirable place of residence. But during the time when the church was first organized, and for twenty years afterward, it was a region almost unknown in the city and was visited only by those whose interests or duty led them to climb the steep hill.
 


ORGANIZATION OF THE PARISH.
October 22, 1851.


     Grace church was organized and its articles of association were adopted at a meeting held in the public school building, on the corner of Sycamore and Spring (now Stanwix) Streets, on October 22, 1851, under the chairmanship of the Rev. William H. Paddock, missionary of the diocese in Western Pennsylvania. The following vestry was elected: Thomas J. Bigham, Senior Warden; Alexander Rowland, Junior Warden; George Lowen, William Adams, Richard Stubbs, Benjamin White, and A. Kirk Lewis. Among those present at the organization of the parish were Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Bigham, Mr. and Mrs. William Adams, A. Kirk Lewis, Andrew Rowland, Misses Augusta and Lucy Shaler (daughters of Judge Shaler) , Mr. Richard Stubbs, Mr. and Mrs. David Reese, Miss Anna M. Golding and George Lowen. It is to be regretted that the record does not contain a full list of those present,as it is impossible now to supply the deficiency.


     The first meeting of the new parish for divine service was held in the same schoolhouse, on the evening of the fourth Sunday after Epiphany, February 1, 1852, by the Rev. Joseph A. Stone, who then entered upon duty as minister of the parish.


LAYING THE CORNER STONE.
APRIL 3, 1851.


The corner stone of Grace Church was laid on the corner of Bertha and Sycamore Streets, with appropriate services, by the Rt. Rev. Alonzo Potter, Bishop of. the Diocese of Pennsylvania, on April 3, 1852, in the presence of a number of the clergy of the city and

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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a large assembly of the laity. There were present at this service, among others, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Bigham, Mr. and Mrs. A. Kirk Lewis, Miss Sarah Orth, Mrs. Golding, Miss Anna Golding (later Mrs. W. L. Bond), Mrs. T. H. Golding, Mr. and Mrs. George Lowen, Mr. and Mrs. William Adams, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Stubbs, Mr. and Mrs. David Reese (father and mother of Mrs. Mary E. Torrence), Mr. and Mrs. Price, Mr. and Mrs.W. O. Leslie, Miss Emily Neely, Mr. Eaton and Mr. Felix R. Brunot.


     Bishop Potter was assisted in the service by the Rev. Joseph A. Stone, the rector, and the Rev. William H. Paddock, missionary. The singing for the occasion was led by Miss Emily Neely.
 

CHARTER OBTAINED.
APRIL 26, 1852.


     The parish was chartered by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and the charter of incorporation ordered to be recorded in the office for recording deeds in the said county on April 26, 1852. (See charter.)



ADMITTED TO CONVENTION.
MAY 20, 1852.


     The charter of the new parish was laid before the Annual Convention of the Diocese of Pennsylvania which met in Philadelphia in May, 1852, and on the third day of the session, May 20, 1852, on motion of the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, of the Committee on Charters, the parish was duly admitted into union with the convention.
 


OPENING THE NEW CHURCH.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1853.


     The church building was completed, and opened for divine service on the afternoon of Sunday, September 18, 1853, when, after evening prayer by the rector, Rev. John G. Furey, the Rev. E. N. Cornwall, Rector of St. Andrew's, Church, Pittsburgh, preached the sermon, from Psalm lxxii, 16: "There shall be an heap of corn in the earth high upon the hills; the fruit shall shake like Lebanon: and shall be green in the city like grass upon the earth."'

 

 
 

 

 

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     In the evening of the same day divine service was again held, and after the reading of the service by the Rector, the Rev. Samuel Randall preached from Ephesians iv, 21: "As the truth is in Jesus."


     Large congregations attended these services,  and it was a day of great rejoicing for the members of the new parish.



COST OF CHURCH AND LOT
As RECORDED IN THE PARISH REGISTER.


Lot, 84 by 200 feet .................... $500. 00
Church building (contract price) ...... 2,000.00
Extrawork, etc ........................... 356.00
Stained-glass windows (Rhodes and Nelson) ....... 103.00
Fence for lot and painting same.......... 95.00
Bell, from Fulton Foundry................. 40.00
Stoves and fixtures ....................... 23.00
Total. ................................ $3,117.00

Paid by the following contributions:
Proceeds of a picnic................... $273.00
A. Kirk Lewis.. ......................... 350.00
Richard Cowan .......................... 50.00
William Holmes .......................... 50.00
Hon. Charles Shaler...................... 25.00
Mrs. Eliza Loomis........................ 25.00
Sundry Small contributions' to pay for fence.... 60.00
Andrew Fulton, cost of bell: ........ ....40.00
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Bigham.....2,224.00
Total ................................ $3,117.00
 


RECTORS.

THEIR PERIODS OF SERVICE AND OTHER FACTS OF
INTEREST.


     1. REV. JOSEPH A. STONE, entered upon duty and held the first service after the parish had been organized, in the evening of the fourth Sunday after Epiphany, February 1, 1852. He officiated regularly every Sunday evening, and every other Sunday morning thereafter.

 

 
 
 

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He reports that the parish had a successful and flourishing Sunday School, established several years prior to this time by an active and devoted lady of the parish, the sessions of which were held every Sunday afternoon.


     After a rectorship of one year and one month, he resigned, on the third Sunday in Lent, February 1, 1853.


     2. REV. JOHN G. FUREY, the second rector of the parish, entered upon duty June 1, 1853, and after a rectorship of nine months resigned March 1, 1854.
No report of his work seems to have been made to the Convention in 1854. The important event during his short connection with the parish was the opening of the new church for divine service on the afternoon of Sunday, September 18, 1853. Up to this time services had been held in the schoolhouse mentioned above, where there were no appliances for a proper rendering of the service. This change gave to the young parish a permanent center for church work, and assured the continued growth and influence of the parish in the community.


     3. REV. RICHARD SMITH, the third rector of the parish, began duty the Sunday after Easter, April 23, 1854. After serving the parish two years, he resigned April 24, 1856, in consequence of increasing age and general debility. He had, in connection with his work on Mount Washington, the work at St. Luke's, Chartiers, between which two places he divided his time. In his report to the Convention in May, 1856, he says: "I have labored during the past year in my two parishes as often as circumstances would allow. The congregations have steadily improved, especially the one on Mount Washington, where there is a good Sunday School, well attended." In the previous year he reported 12 teachers and 85 scholars as belonging to the Sunday School.


     Owing to his age and the inaccessibility of the church from the city, Mr. Smith was often absent in the winter time, but the church was not closed, as Mr. T. J. Bigham on such occasions read the service, and thus prevented the disappointment of the small gathering of worshipers.

 

 
 
 

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VACANCY IN THE RECTORSHIP
 

     After the resignation of the Rev. Richard Smith, there was a period of seven months in which there was no rector. lay services were held by Mr. T. J. Bigham, the senior warden, with an occasional service by the Rev. J. S. B. Hodges, the assistant minister at Trinity Church, and others.


     4. THE REV. CHARLES W. QUICK, the fourth rector of the parish, began to officiate in December, 1856. He had other work in the city, and generally officiated at Grace Church in the evening. After a rectorship of two and a half years, he resigned in the month of April, 1859.


     In his last report, made in May, 1858, he gives the families as 10 and the communicants 8. He says: "The senior warden has steadily performed the duties of lay reader. To visit the parish once on Sunday in order to preach has been all that my other engagements have left me at liberty to do. The salary is small and very much in arrears."


     The Sunday School remained the same as reported by the preceding rector.


     Mr. Quick was scholarly and conscientious, but a man of marked peculiarities, some of which Mr. Bigham refers to in his history of the parish.
 


VACANCY IN THE RECTORSHIP.
 

     A vacancy in the rectorship now began which continued fourteen months, during which time the Sunday School was kept open, and occasional services were held by visiting clergymen. Rev. E. M. Van Dusen, of St. Peter's Church, and Rev. Jubal Hodges, of St. Mark's, Birmingham, held services and baptized some children.


     5. The REV. JUBAL HODGES, the fifth rector, began to officiate on Sunday, June 24, 1860. He was at the same time rector of St. Mark's, Birmingham, and held services in Grace Church only on Sunday afternoons. He continued to officiate about a year and resigned, as it seems, in the summer of 1861. The entries in the parish register give little information, and there is no report in the Convention Journal for 1861; consequently there are no data concerning his rectorship.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

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     6. The REV. GUSTAVUS WILHELM MAYER, the sixth rector, began duty in the parish December 1, 1861, the first Sunday in Advent, in connection with the parish of St. Luke's, Chartiers. He was at that time a deacon, but January 19, 1862, he was ordained to the priesthood, and on the following Sunday administered the Holy Communion for the first time in Grace Church.


     After officiating at Grace Church about eighteen months, with an interruption of six or eight weeks, caused by a serious illness, during which time services were rendered by the Rev. Charles V. Gardiner, who was then staying in Pittsburgh, he resigned in March, 1863, and confined his services to St. Luke's, Chartiers. During his incumbency he kept a horse, and was able, therefore, to reach both of his churches on Sunday, officiating at one in the morning and at the other in the evening.


     He was a German by birth, and occasionally held a service in the German language in Grace Church, for the benefit of the German-speaking people of the parish, and some of the families thus brought to the church still remain members of the congregation.


     There seems to have been little change in the condition of affairs during Mr. Mayer's rectorship. The Sunday School was kept up by the senior warden, and the contributions were about as in former years, though the particulars are not recorded. In May, 1862, he reports, "Number of communicants, 10."
 

A SKETCH of HIS LIFE.
 

     Gustavus Wilhelm Mayer, the son of L. G. Mayer and Marie Louise von Liebenstien, was born Sunday, April 26, 1835, in Sussen, Wurtemberg, Germany, and was the elder of two children. His parents were members of the Established Church of Wurtemberg (Lutheran), and he was baptized in the parish church on the eighth day after his birth. He received his early instruction in the parish school, and then in the Latin Grammar School at Weiblingen, where he studied Latin and Greek and made such progress that at thirteen he could read his Greek New Testament with ease and fluency. In 1848 his parents emigrated to America, and in 1853

 

 

 

 

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he entered Princeton College, from which institution he was graduated in 1857. After some months of study in the Princeton Theological Seminary he decided to enter the ministry of the Episcopal Church, and consequently went to the Theological Seminary at Alexandria, Virginia, becoming a cadidate for Holy Orders from that diocese. He graduated from that institution in 1859, and on October 2 of that year was ordained deacon in the chapel of the seminary by the Rt. Rev. John Johns, D. D., Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia at that time.


     He did temporary work in the dioceses of Virginia and Maryland for about two years and then, on December 1, 1861, he was put in charge of St. Luke's, Chartiers, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and Grace Church, Mount Washington, by the Bishop of Pennsylvania. He was ordained to the priesthood Sunday, January 19, 1862, in St. Paul's Church, Philadelphia, by Bishop Alonzo Potter, and returning at once to Pittsburgh he celebrated the Holy Communion, for the first time in his ministry, in Grace Church on the following Sunday morning.


     In 1863 he gave up his work in Pennsylvania, and after about two years spent in Spring Hill Parish, Somerset County, Maryland, and in missionary work in Elmira, New York, he accepted the rectorship of St. Mark's Parish, Penn Yan, N. Y., in 1867.


     Here, in the fall of 1870, he married Mary L. Potter, youngest daughter of Samuel J. Potter, of that place. The next eleven years he spent in missionary work in the West—one year in Cheyenne and ten years in San Francisco, Cal, He returned East in 1881 and was appointed on the staff of the City Mission clergy of New York, which position he held for ten years, being also during this time chaplain of "Charity Hospital, Blackwell's Island, N. Y." After one year of work at the Mission Church of the Holy Cross, New York, he began labor in his present position, January 1, 1893, as priest in charge of St. Matthew's (German) Mission Church in Newark, N. J. This work is specially interesting to him, owing to the fact that it was in this church that the impressions made upon him in his boyhood ultimately led to his entering the ministry of the Episcopal Church.

 

 
 
 

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     Mr. Mayer is a very scholarly man, of high mental endowments and keen literary perceptions; a fine sermonizer and a ready, fluent speaker.
 

VACANCY IN THE RECTORSHIP,
FROM APRIL, 1863, TO JUNE 26, 1866.


     After the resignation of the Rev. Mr. Mayer there was no rector for a little over three years. During this time services were maintained with more or less regularity by Dr. L. H. Harris, acting as lay reader, under the appointment of Bishop Stevens. Occasional clerical services, with the administration of baptism and Holy Communion, were given by the Rev. Dr. Van Dusen and the Rev. Messrs. Ten Broeck, Tschudy, Snively, Swope and Fuller, of the city clergy. The Sunday School was kept open chiefly through the efforts of the lay reader and Mr. and Mrs. Bigham, with an average attendance of about 100 pupils.


     Such frequent and long-continued interruptions in the regular services of a parish are serious hindrances to its life and growth, and sometimes lead to disastrous results. It was only the devoted faithfulness of a few earnest souls that prevented the complete disorganization of the parish at this time.


     During the greater part of this period our civil war was in progress, and all church as well as all benevolent enterprises, not directly connected with the war, suffered greatly by the diversion of sympathy and interest to the claims of that great struggle. The war, which threatened our national existence, so engrossed the thoughts and absorbed the energies of our people that they could give but little attention to anything else. At length, however, peace came in 1865, and again men's thoughts and activities were directed in the old channels, interest in church matters soon revived, and a year later the vestry secured a rector and regular ministrations were resumed in Grace Church.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

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REV. BRYAN BERNARD KILLIKELLY, D. D.
 

     7. THE REV. BRYAN BERNARD KILLIKELLY, D. D., the seventh rector of the parish, entered upon his duties on Trinity Sunday, May 26, 1866. He continued to officiate during a period of one year, and then resigned, after evening prayer, on Sunday, June 2, 1867.


     In the summer of 1865 extensive improvements in the church building were undertaken. These improvements were not completed when Dr. Killikelly became rector, and were afterward continued under his supervision. To supply an urgent need, the floor of the church was raised four feet and the ground below excavated sufficiently to give space for a basement Sunday School and lecture room. This room was neatly finished on the walls and ceiling with dressed flooring, and the old pews of the church were used to furnish it with seats, and in it for the time being the services were held.


     At this stage of the improvements the funds gave out, leaving the body of the church unfurnished and unfinished. Moreover, it was found that the debts already contracted over and above the sum of the subscriptions amounted to $600. The vestry was unable at that time to raise the money needed to complete the improvements and to meet their other obligations, so, under these, circumstances, Dr. Killikelly decided to resign. He reported to the Convention of the, Diocese of Pittsburgh in May, 1867: Communicants, 26; Sunday School--teachers, 13; pupils, 110; and he ends his record in the Register with this note: "I have the satisfaction of knowing that more has been done for the parish and greater interest elicited in its work during the year now closed than was ever done before; and I here desire to record my deep gratitude to Almighty God for His great goodness in giving me favor in the sight of those to whom I was called to minister, and for whose eternal welfare I shall not cease to pray."


     Dr. Killikelly's work in the parish during the year that he was rector was carried on at great disadvantage. He resided at Kittanning, forty-five miles away, and when he had reached the city there was, in those days, no way of getting to Mount Washington except by a fatiguing walk up a long and steep

 

 
 
 

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hill. He was at the time sixty-three years old, and by no means robust; the journeys up and down, therefore, often so exhausted him that he would be forced to seek some place of rest before he could proceed on his way; and, unfortunately, the salary was not sufficient to justify him in moving his family to live in the parish. He nevertheless worked on without complaining, because it was the Lord's work, in whose sacred service he delighted to spend his whole strength.


     Dr. Killikelly was born on the Island of Barbadoes January 18, 1804, where his father, formerly an officer in the British navy, held an official position. In 1826 he came to the United States and engaged in mercantile pursuits in the city of New York. He subsequently studied theology and was admitted to deacon's orders by the Rt. Rev. H. U. Onderdonk, in St. John's Church, Pittsburgh (then Lawrenceville), July 19, 1834, and was advanced to the priesthood in Trinty Church, Freeport, Pa., by the same Bishop, on April 25, 1836.


     His whole ministerial life of forty-three years was spent in Pennsylvania, except a period of nine years passed under Bishop Kemper, at Vincennes, Ind., where he built a church and established a flourishing school for young ladies. He officiated at various times in Kittanning, Freeport, Paradise (Lancaster County), at Brady's Bend, and New Castle. After the close of his rectorship in Grace Church, Mount Washington, he spent four years of hard and faithful missionary work at McKeesport, where he planted the church that has since become a strong parish. He died peacefully April 11, 1877.


     As a man Dr. Killikelly was irreproachable. He was courteous, gentle, sympathetic. As a priest, he lived above the world; self-denying, ever ready to spend and be spent in his Master's service.


     Dr. Killikelly in his notes in the register of the parish, refers to the "seven clergymen" who had had charge of the parish before him. In these seven he includes the Rev. William H. Paddock, under whose chairmanship, as District Missionary of Western Pennsylvania, the parish was organized; but Mr. Paddock, while he officiated a few times in the schoolhouse for the congregation, never really had charge

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

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of the parish. Dr. Killikeily was, therefore, the seventh rector.
 

COST OF THE BASEMENT IMPROVEMENT.


The cost of the basement (Sunday School and lecture room) amounted to $2,700.00.
Subscriptions to pay same:
Mrs. B. M. Ebbs.................... $500.00
Mr. John S. McMillin :..... ......... 500.00
Thomas J. Bigham and sons........ 250.00
Thomas M. Howe. .................. 300.00
George W. Cass ...................... 50.00
Sundry other sources................ 500.00

Total............................. $ 2,100.00
This left a debt of $600 at the time of Dr. Killikelly's resignation, as mentioned above.
 

REV. ROBERT JOHN COSTER, D. D.


     8. THE REV. ROBERT JOHN COSTER, D. D., the eighth rector of Grace Church, began duty April 5, 1868.


     After resignation of Dr. Killikelly, on June 2, 1867, there was a vacancy in the rectorship until April 5, 1868, when the Rev. R. J. Coster held his first service as "missionary in charge," under the appointment of the Rt. Rev. John B. Kerfoot, Bishop of Pittsburgh.* The congregation met for service in the basement schoolroom, the body of the church being unfurnished and otherwise unfinished. Service was now held regularly every Sunday morning, and a session of the Sunday School every afternoon. The number that gathered for public worship was small, being for some time not more than twenty persons. During the first year only about fourteen communicants were found, as will be seen by the parochial report of 1869, and the Sunday School had fallen off to sixty-eight members. The small congregation was too burdened and discouraged by a debt of $600, for the settlement of which the creditors were pressing. Rector and people felt that it was an absolute necessity to get rid of this debt before there could be any forward movement in the

*Elected rector Easter, 1869.

 

 
 

 

 

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work of the parish. Measures were therefore at once adopted to raise money to pay the overdue claims standing against the parish. Subscriptions were solicited, and a fair was held in September, 1868, by which means sufficient funds were secured to pay the indebtedness, that now amounted to $646. The removal of this debt encouraged the congregagation and rector to undertake the heavier task of completing and furnishing the church.


     The vestry at this time was composed of the following members: Edward Bratt, Senior Warden; John C. Shaler, Jr., Junior Warden; Samuel Harper, Secretary and Treasurer; Thomas J. Bigham, William L. Bond, John S. McMillin, William Halpin.


     The congregation, vestry and rector were a unit in the wish to complete the work of improvement begun about four years before, in 1865, and though they were weak both in numbers and in finances, yet, being now free from debt, they determined to proceed. Mrs. Bigham and the retor's wife undertook, with the approval of the vestry, to raise the money for painting the interior of the church and frescoing the walls. After some difficulty they succeeded in obtaining the following amounts:


John H. Shoenberger .................. $50.00
Mr. Mattern ............................. 20.00
Concerts—tickets sold, 12 ............... 6.00
Collected by Mrs. Bigham .............. 30.00
Simon Johnston .......................... 5.00
C.C.Colton ............................... 4.00
William Metcalf and sister .............. 2.00
Reuben Miller .......................... 20.00
A. Kirkpatrick ......................... 10.00
Mr. Thomas Fulton .................... 20.00
William Noble............................ 5.00
R. H. Hartley .......................... 10.00
George Lowen .......................... 5.00
Miss Augusta Shaler .................... 5.00
Joseph Knap ............................ 5.00
Collectedby Mr. Bigham .............. 29.00
Mrs. R. J. Coster ..................... 32.25
Rev. R. J. Coster ..................... 68.00

Total..................................$336.25

 

 
 

 

 

20


This amount they expended as follows:


John Stulen, frescoing and painting
church...................................$275.00
Joseph Wood, erecting scaffolds for
painters................................... 13.00
Plating chalice and flagon, etc .......... 13.50
Altar cloth ................................ 25.75
Altar cross ................................. 9.00

Total.....................................$336.25


     It may here be mentioned, that the use of the altar cross procured by the rector was objected to by some members of the vestry, and it was removed and presented to another parish in the diocese.


     The vestry went vigorously to work to raise the rest of the money required to put in pews, chancel furniture and carpets, and by subscriptions among themselves and by contributions from their friends secured the necessary amount, about $1,000. (It is a matter of regret that the treasurer's book containing the subscriptions cannot be found.) And now the work of finishing the church was pushed on steadily, the services being held meanwhile, as they had been for several years, in the basement schoolroom.


     About the middle of July, 1869, the refitting was completed, and on Sunday, July 19, the church was again opened for divine service, the first time since early in the summer of 1865. The day was very auspicious—clear and pleasant; the congregation was large and hopeful. The Bishop was present (Kerfoot) to share in the pleasure of the congregation and rector, preached the sermon and confirmed a class of eight persons, the first class under the present rector, composed of the following persons: Edward Bratt, Sr., Nellie Ruth Bratt, Mary Lowen Goldthorp, Mary Rebecca Torrence, Kate Goldthorp, Sarah Ann Torrence, Elizabeth Goldthorp and Amelia Shafer. The record of this class is a matter of great pleasure to the rector. Three, faithful to the end, have gone to their rest—Edward Bratt, Sr., Mary L. Goldthorp and Sarah A. Torrence (Mrs. Burrell) ; two, after long and faithful service in the choir and the Sunday School, have moved to the East End of our city—the sisters

 

 
 

 

 

21


Kate (now Mrs. Dermitt) and Elizabeth Goldthorp; one has withdrawn, and the other two, Nellie R. Bratt (now Mrs. Shaer) and Mary R. Torrence, are still
among the parish workers.


     The next wish of the rector and congregation was to see the now completed church duly consecrated to the worship of Almighty God, that all might feel that it was a sacred edifice, forever separated from unhallowed uses. But as the amount raised by subscriptions had not been sufficient to meet the whole cost of the improvements, a fair was held in the latter part of September, and other collections made, and the amount thus secured enabled the vestry to pay the full cost of the improvements.


     At the same time Mr. Thomas J. Bigham assigned to the vestry a claim of several hundred dollars which he held against the church, thus leaving the property
entirely free from debt. The rector and vestry were now in a position to carry out their wish. They therefore certified to the Bishop of the Diocese the Rt. Rev. John B. Kerfoot, D. D., that their property was unencumbered, and asked him to consecrate the church. In response to their request the Bishop appointed Sunday, December 26, 1869, as the time for the consecration. The day was again propitious, being clear and pleasant, and a large congregation gathered to witness the interesting ceremony. The senior warden, Mr. Edward Bratt, met the Bishop at the door and presented to him the keys of the church, which the Bishop received and afterward placed upon the altar. The deed of donation and request to consecrate, which had been duly signed by the rector, wardens and vestrymen at a meeting of the vestry held on Saturday, December 18, 1869, was presented and read by the junior warden, John C. Shaler, Jr. This was also received by the Bishop and laid upon the altar.


     The document is in the handwriting of the Rev. Abel A. Kerfoot, the Bishop's son, and reads as follows:

DEED OF DONATION.
PRESENTED AT THE CONSECRATION OF GRACE CHURCH,
PITTSBURGH, SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS,
DECEMBER 26, 1869.


     We the rector, churchwardens and vestrymen of Grace Church, Mount Washington, (Allegheny Coun-

 

 
 

 

 

22


ty), in the State of Pennsylvania, and Diocese of Pittsburgh, being, by the good Providence of Almighty God, in possession of a house of worship, erected on the southeast corner of Bertha and Sycamore Streets, Mount Washington, Pittsburgh, do hereby appropriate and devote the same to the worship and service of Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, according to the provisions of that branch of the Catholic Church of Christ known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in its ministry, doctrine, liturgy, rites, and usages, and for occupation and use by a congregation in communion with the convention thereof in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.


     And we do also hereby request the RT. Rev. John Barrett Kerfoot, D. D., L. L. D., the said Bishop of the Diocese, to take the said building under his spiritual jurisdiction as Bishop aforesaid, and that of his successors in office, and to consecrate the same by the name of Grace Church, Mount Washington, and thereby separate it from all unhallowed, worldly and common uses, and solemnly dedicate it to the purposes above mentioned.


     And we do moreover, covenant and agree, in behalf of this vestry and parish, that this house, being thus, at our request, duly consecrated by the Bishop of the Diocese, shall be held and used in a true conformity with the office of consecration, and with the canons of the General Convention and of this Dioeese.


     And we do furthermore solemnly declare, upon our honor as Christian men, that there is no lien, charge, responsibility or debt unpaid or subsisting with which the said church or building, or the corporation or congregation owning it or worshipping therein, is or can be, either legally or morally, chargeable.


     In testimony whereof, we, the said rector, churchwardens and vestrymen, have caused this instrument of donation to be prepared, and have thereunto subscribed our several names and affixed our seals, this 18th day of December, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine.

 

 
 

 

 

23
 

ROBERT JOHN COSTER, Rector. [SEAL.]
EDWARD BRATT, [SEAL.] Warden
JOHN C. SEALER, JR., [SEAL.] Warden
THOMAS J. BIGHAM, [SEAL.] Vestryman
WILLIAM BOND, [SEAL.] Vestryman
JOHN S. MCMILLIN, [SEAL.] Vestryman
SAMUEL HARPER, [SEAL.] Vestryman
WILLIAM HALPIN, ) [SEAL.] Vestryman

     The Bishop then, in accordance with the request and in conformity with the usages of the American Church, proceeded with the service of consecration. At the direction of the Bishop, the rector, the Rev. Robt. John Coster, read the sentence of consecration, which had been prepared and signed by the Bishop. It was as follows:


SENTENCE OF CONSECRATION,
OF
GRACE CHURCH, MOUNT WASHINGTON, ALLEGHENY
COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH.


     In the name of the holy, blessed and undivided Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen


     Whereas, the rector, churchwardens and vestrymen of Grace Church, Mount Washington, have by an Instrument this day presented to us, appropriated and devoted this house to the worship and service of Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, according to the provision of the Holy Catholic Church, and of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in its ministry, doctrine liturgy, rites and usages; and for occupancy and use by a congregation in communion thereof in the Diocese of Pittsburgh: And whereas, the same rector, churchwardens and vestrymen have, by the same instrument, requested us to consecrate their said house of worship by the name of Grace Church, Mount Washington, and thereby separate it from all unhallowed, worldly and common uses, and solemnly dedicate it to the holy purposes above mentioned: Now, therefore, know all men by these presents, that we, John Barrett Kerfoot, by Divine permission, Bishop of Pittsburgh, and acting under the protection of Almighty God, and in His faith and

 

 
 

 

 

24


fear have on this 26th day of December, being the first Sunday after Christmas and the Feast of St. Stephen, the Martyr, in the year of our Lord 1869, taken the above-mentioned house of worship under our spiritual jurisdiction as Bishop aforesaid, and that of our successors in office; and in presence of divers of the clergy and of a congregation therein assembled, and according to the godly usage of the Catholic Church of Christ, and the form prescribed by the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, have consecrated the same by the name of Grace Church, Mount Washington; and we do hereby pronounce and declare that the said Grace Church, Mount Washington, is consecrated accordingly, and thereby separated henceforth from all unhallowed, worldly and common uses, and dedicated to the worship and service of Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, for reading and preaching His Holy Word; for celebrating His Holy Sacraments; for offering to His Glorious Majesty the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; for blessing His people in His name, and for the performance of all other holy offices, and the administration of all holy ordinances, agreeable to His will, made known in the terms of the Covenant of Grace and Salvation in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, according to the usages of His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and the provisions of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in its ministry, doctrines, liturgy, rites and usages.


     In testimony whereof, we have hereunto affixed our signature and Episcopal seal, on this 26th day of December, in the year of our Lord 1869, and in the fourth year of our consecration.


[L. S.] JOHN BARRETT KERFOOT,
Bishop of Pittsburgh.


     At the conclusion of the service the Bishop congratulated the rector and the congregation on the improvement in their church and commended the spirit of reverence and loyalty to churchly usage which prompted them to have their house of worship duly consecrated.


     Services were now held regularly in the church every Sunday morning and Sunday School in the afternoon.

 

 
 

 

 

25


     During the following year (1870), nothing noteworthy occurred. The life of the parish flowed on evenly. The expenses were maintained at considerable cost to the small congregation. The Easter service was a very beautiful one, good music being furnished by a volunteer choir composed of the following persons: Mrs. Brunt, Misses Nellie Shaler, Mary Goldthorp, Annie Hughes and Messrs. George Prosser and William Ritchie.


     The Sunday School continued to give instruction to a large number of children of parents not belonging to Grace Church. The efficiency of the school was kept up during the years of 1870 and 1871 largely by the earnest work of Mr. John C. Shaler and Mr. George Lovelock. In January, 1872, we lost the assistance of Mr. Shaler, whose business interests took him first to Cincinnati, and then to St. Louis; and we had many anxious thoughts as to who should fill his place.


     An interesting part of a rector's work is the preparation of his classes for confirmation. The frequent meetings for instruction give him opportunity of becoming intimately acquainted with his young people and offer chances for personal direction and counsel, such as no other period affords. The present rector looks back with great pleasure to these periods of Intimate intercourse, many of which have been the brightest spots in the ministerial work of his life. He remembers now with special interest his meetings with the class of 1873. This class was composed of grown people, all of them the personal friends of the rector, and their earnestness, attention and demeanor made the hours of instruction peculiarly interesting.


     Three of them, having finished their course in faith, have gone to their reward. Two others are doing faithful work in the church, fully meeting the rector's expectations of their usefulness in the Master's service, one of these, Mr. E. H. Dermitt, after long serving Grace Church as choir master and vestryman, has moved from the parish and is now actively aiding the church elsewhere; the other, Melville L. Stout, is still among the efficient workers of the parish, being now a vestryman of the parish, and for most of the intervening years organist of the church.
 

 
 

 

 

26

 

     During the summer of 1875 the church was newly frescoed and painted, having become very dingy in six years, from the prevalence of dust and smoke in the atmosphere of Pittsburgh, the Smoky City. At the same time Mr. William Halpin put in a stained-glass chancel window, as a memorial to his father and mother, which added very much to the beauty and sacredness of our church.


     During the summer of 1876 the church lot was enclosed with a new iron fence, new boardwalks were laid around the church, and the Sunday School room was painted and frescoed, thus putting the whole premises in complete order.


     The early part of 1879 was marked by an unusual circumstance, the death of three aged members of the congregation, within three months, namely Mrs. Mary Lowen, wife of George T. Lowen, aged 70 years; Mrs. Sarah Reese, mother of Mrs. Mary E. Torrence, aged 87; and Mrs. Maria Adams, widow of the late William Adams, aged 78. Mrs. Lowen lived too far from the church and Mrs. Reese was too feeble from age to attend the services often, but Mrs. Adams, up to the last two years of her life, when disease obliged her to go to the Aged Women's Home for treatment, was a regular worshiper at the services. She sat close up to the front, and the rector could not help noting her regular attendance. She, like the other two here mentioned, was of English birth, and inherited some of the English prejudice against everything that she thought savored of Romanism. On one occasion a new set of bookmarks was put in the Bible, having crosses on the ends, and as they hung immediately before the eyes of the good woman she could not help seeing them, and the sight so disturbed her simple mind that she staid away from service several Sundays. The rector noticing this, went to see her and, learning what troubled her, explained the meaning of the symbol and the harmlessness of its use, and so satisfied her mind that she at once began again her regular attendance and never afterward questioned anything that her rector did. In her will she left the sum of fifty dollars to Grace Church, and the rector and vestry set it apart as the beginning of an endowment for the parish, and called the fund, in her memory,

 

 
 

 

 

27


"The Maria Adams Endowment Fund." The death of these aged women took away three who bad been connected with the parish from its beginning, and diminished the number of those familiar with its early history and interested in its early struggles.


     Whatever tends to beautify the church or to render its appointments more complete is worthy of mention. It is recorded here, therefore, that on Easter Sunday, March 28, 1880, Miss Emma Bennett, sister of Mrs. Sarah Boggs, presented to the church a handsome stone font as a thank offering. The one previously used was a plain wooden font, put in when the church was first opened, in 1853, and this was now presented St. Paul's Church, Georgetown.


     Easter Sunday, 1881, was a bright and beautiful day, and the rector, choir and people looked forward an inspiring and joyous service, and they were not disappointed. The church was beautifully decked with flowers, the symbols of the resurrection, a full congregation was in attendance, and the choir had made special preparation for rendering in a manner suitable to the high festival, the musical part of the service. At that time the following were the members of the choir: Mrs. E. H. Dermitt, Mrs. James Boggs, Mrs. Joshua Goldthorp, Mrs. Joel Bigham, Mr. E. H. Dermitt, Mr. Edwin Smith and Mr. Samuel Williams; the organist was Mr. M. L. Stout. The chants, anthems and hymns were sung with beautiful effect, lifting up all present to a high plane of devotion. The rector's Easter sermon was from the text, I Corinthians xv, 20: "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.'' The aim of the preacher was to set forth the two main results that come to Christians from the resurrection of Christ; namely, a new spiritual life, by which they now overcome sin, and a resurrection hereafter unto life eternal. About thirty- five communed, and the service ended with all feeling that it was indeed a blessing to share in such worship in the house of the Lord.


     Another event of special importance occurring in the year 1881 was the completing and setting up in the church of the new pipe organ. As early as March 22, 1874, the matter of purchasing an organ was

 

 
 

 

 

28


talked over in the vestry, but it was not until seven years later that the matter was accomplished. The story of its purchase has been told in another place, and hence it is only necessary to say here that it was built by Barckhoff and set up in the church in October, and was used the first time at morning service Sunday, November 6, 1881. The possession of the organ was the cause of great rejoicing on the part of all those interested in the music of the church, as its tones added a dignity and richness to the musical part of the service unattainable with the small reed organ hitherto in use. Its possession was also a a matter of special interest for the reason that it represented the self-denial and patient labor of the few who, discouraged neither by opposition nor delay, worked on until this gift to the Lord's house was secured. One fully acquainted with the numerical and financial strength of the parish at that time will appreciate what this statement means.


     As a slight indication of what was being done at this time for the promotion of the spiritual welfare of the parish, a copy of a Lenten Pastoral, issued by the rector in 1882, will be here given. In it will be found notice of the services and a few words of instruction and advice in regard to the duties of the season.
The first page was as follows:


1882

GRACE CHURCH,
MOUNT WASHINGTON, SOUTH SIDE.
Lenten Season.
SERVICES
Every Wednesday—Evening Prayer and Lecture,
7:30 o'clock. Every Friday—Evening Prayer, 4 o'clock.

BISHOP'S VISITATION
Third Wednesday in Lent, March 8, 7:30 P. M.
HOLY COMMUNION
First Sunday in Lent, February 26th, 10:30 A. M.
Third Sunday in Lent, March 12th, 10:30 A. M.
Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 26th, 10:30 A. M.
 

 
 

 

 

29


EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 9th
Morning Prayer, with Sermon and Holy Communion,
10:30 A. M.
Sunday School Service, 3:00 P. M.


     "In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."—Philippians iv, 6, 7.


LENT, 1882.


     BELOVED BRETHREN: Again, in the providence God, the season of Lent, by the Church's appointment, calls us to self-examination and prayer. As your pastor, therefore, I bid you heed the Church's voice, and use the precious opportunity again vouch-safed to you.


     Special services have been appointed that all may have the privilege of enjoying the means of grace more frequently during these days of humiliation and prayer.


     I bid you come to these services regularly. Come to them also devoutly, praying and expecting to meet there Jesus, the Friend of sinners, who has said that "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." And that you may realize that He is present in the services of His Church, prepare your hearts to meet Him, by meditating upon His love for sinners, by reading, His Word as appointed by the Church, and by earnest continued prayer for His blessing upon yourself upon His whole Church during this holy season. Lent may be, and will be, a great blessing to all who, in a humble mind and devout heart, use it diligently.


     Let me make the following suggestions as helpful in the due observance of the season:


THINGS TO BE AVOIDED.


     (a) Light amusements, such as parties, operas and novel reading, as inconsistent with the sober and self-examining temper and spirit of Lent.


     (b) Idleness and frivolity, as tending to weaken our moral sense and to divert our thoughts from the necessity of repenting of our sins.
 

 
 

 

 

30


     (c) Ill temper, unkind speech and hardness of heart, as unbecoming those who are trying to follow the footsteps of the meek and lowly Jesus, and to become like Him.
 

THINGS TO BE REMEMBERED.


     (a) Sin is a solemn fact in human nature. It is marring our lives and robbing us of peace. Lent is the time for examining ourselves in the light of God's Word, and for striving to get the mastery over our known sins. The struggle is one of life and death. If sin conquer us, and lead us captive at will, death is the result. If we conquer sin in the power of Christ, we have everlasting life.


     (b) Our blessed Lord is the friend of sinners. He loves them. He gave His life for them. He is, therefore, your Friend, and will give you His life if you receive Him in faith and love. Let Him, then, dwell with you during the days of Lent, and thereby bless you with His presence.


     (c) None, however sinful, need despair of receiving salvation. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow," saith the Lord. God, for Christ's sake, waits to be gracious. Now is the day of salvation. "Ask and ye shall receive," is our Lord's assuring promise.
 

THINGS TO BE DONE.


     Fasting,— This is one form of self-denial that enables us to get the mastery over our appetites. Therefore, deny yourself luxuries and delicacies, and even abstain from food at stated times, and thus bring the body into subjection to the spirit. This will be a good preparation for the higher duties of Lent.

     Prayer.—(a) Be more regular and devout in your private prayers. These are between God and your soul. He alone sees the heart and knows all its desires. Ask earnestly, therefore, for a right spirit in His sight. (b) Attend regularly the Lenten services. Let not your seat be vacant, nor your voice be silent, when the Lord's people meet to honor His name and to ask His blessing. And when present be not list-

 

 
 

 

 

31


less and inattentive. Join with heart and voice in all the acts of worship, and thus make the service a blessing to yourself and to others,


     Almsgiving.—Our worship will be incomplete unless to our self-denial and prayer we add our offerings. We are Christ's representatives on earth. We must, therefore, in His name support the works of the Church carried on for His glory and the salvation of men. Freely have we received of Him, freely let us give, and so win for ourselves the honor of being His co-workers. Our hearts, our wills, our means are things to be offered. These our Lord will accept and use to His glory and our eternal interest.


Your friend and pastor,
ROBERT JOHN COSTER.


     The Lenten services this year on Wednesday evenings and Friday afternoons were well attended, and these, with the Bishop's annual visitation on the third Sunday in Lent, and the bright Easter services, were a great comfort and encouragement to the rector and his small band of workers.


     The life of the parish, as the years went by, flowed on with the usual fluctuations and frictions incident to all affairs conducted by men subject to the prejudices and infirmities of human nature. The rector, however, can safely say that while a change was going on in the personnel of the congregation by deaths, removals and additions, there was as much of unity and harmony in the parish and as much of confidence and respect manifested for the rector, or perhaps more, than is usual in most of our parishes. While some of those who first welcomed the rector to the parish had moved away, and others had departed to the
better land, there were still many of the older members of the congregation left to hold up the rector's hands and to encourage him with their confidence and sympathy; and for this mark of divine favor he has ever felt deeply grateful.


     But time inevitably brings changes. As the years go by one after another of the well-known forms and faces disappear, and when one looks over the congregation he will see here and there the places of old
 

 
 

 

 

32


friends vacant or filled by others. The years 1883, 1884 and 1885 were marked by the removal from the parish by death of several of its long-tried and faithful members.


     In the spring of 1883 Mrs. Sarah Goldthorp was laid to rest—a woman whose life was a blessing to her family, to her neighborhood, to her church. She was the daughter of George T. Lowen and the wife of Samuel H. Goldthorp; a patient, dutiful wife; a tender and affectionate mother, whose life was given to her children; a kind and affectionate friend, who always had a word of cheer or sympathy for those who approached her; a deeply pious woman, whose religion was of the heart and whose life was a constant witness to the reality of her faith. A pure, gentle soul, above reproach full of good works. Her memory lingers with us like that of a pleasant, happy dream. It is an honor to her church to have her name enrolled among its departed ones.


     In September of the same year another gentle, faithful soul was removed from the parish. Mrs. Ruth Reed. Though only thirty-three years old, she was ripe in Christian character. She was born and raised in Brownsville and was the wife of Samuel G. Reed. She was a true and faithful wife and mother, whom her husband and children most fondly venerate for her pure life and noble character. Bene dormiat.


     Early in 1884 another devout soul, Mrs. Jane Bratt, was laid to rest, in her 77th year. Her familiar form had long been seen constantly at the church services. Rarely was she absent. She was a devout communicant, firmly attached to her church, and a faithful friend of her rector. She raised a large family of sons and daughters, devoted herself to her husband and children, and at a ripe old age, after much suffering, borne with exemplary patience, surrounded by her family, she departed full of hope and peace.


     In autumn of the same year another aged servant of our Divine Master, Hon. Thomas J. Bigham, after a long and useful life, was laid to rest, full of faith and good works. He was one of the founders of the

 

 
 

 

 

33


of the church and one of its most faithful supporters and most devout communicants. His connection with the parish from its beginning and his long services in its behalf have been recorded elsewhere in this work. Indeed, it might almost be said that the church is a memorial to himself and his wife, and that its history is a memoir of him and his family.


     In the next year, on November 1, 1885, All Saints' Day, another aged and devout member of the parish, Edward Bratt, Sr., aged 80 years, was laid to rest beside his wife, in Allegheny Cemetery. He was known as Squire Bratt, from the fact that he was long a justice of the peace on Mount Washington. He was widely known and everywhere respected for his integrity. He was for many years a regular worshiper and communicant of the parish, and also a vestryman and treasurer; serving the church faithfully in every capacity and contributing freely to its support according to his means. He was essentially a man of peace, and all who knew him honor his name and thank the Merciful Father for the good example of his faithful and aged servant. A sketch of his life will be found elsewhere in this work.


     By the death of these members of the parish, whose lives had been so fully identified with its life and work, the rector felt that he had sustained a personal loss. He had known them intimately from the beginning of his connection with the parish in 1886, and had always been a welcome guest at their homes. He knew, too, from their words and deeds that he was respected as their pastor and loved as friend; so the parish's loss was his loss, and it is therefore a great pleasure to him to pay this tribute of respect to the memory of these parishioners and friends.


     The formation of a boy choir for the church was an event that marks the history of the year 1886. From the organization of the parish in 1852 the music had been furnished by a volunteer choir of men and women, and for the most part it had been rendered with great acceptability. During the present rectorship often, indeed, the music was of a high
 

 
 

 

 

34


degree of excellence, and notably during the successive periods of time in which Mr. William Digby, Mr. George Prosser and Mr. E. H. Dermitt had been leaders of the choir. These leaders were assisted by some devoted workers, and to them and their helpers justice will be done in another part of this work for their faithful services, long and freely given.


     There were times, however, when it was difficult to obtain singers among the people of the parish, and when it was almost impossible to maintain the choir to any fair degree of efficiency. By removals from the parish of persons skilled in music and by the lack of interested singers in the congregation, this was the case in the year 1886. Then it was that a devoted churchwoman of the parish, who since the first Sunday in January, 1876, had been one of the most useful members of the choir, undertook to select and train a number of boys to furnish the music for the services. She went vigorously to work in the matter during the fall of 1886, and after several month's instruction she, with the consent of the rector and vestry, introduced the boys at the morning service on the Sunday after Christmas, December 26, and they then for the first time sang in the service. This was a great innovation in our conservative parish, and many were the fears and anxieties of its best workers in regard to the success of the venture. However, the enthusiasm and perseverance of Mrs. Goldthorp gave to the boy choir a fairly successful start, and it has been maintained in the church ever since with varying but, on the whole, increasing efficiency and acceptableness. (See subsequent addition.)


     The boys at first wore only plain cassocks, and they continued to sing thus vested for about three months; then the ladies of the Mite Society, who had furnished the cassocks, supplied them with cottas made by their own hands; and on the fifth Sunday in Lent, March 27, 1887, at morning service, when the Bishop was making his annual visitation to the parish, the boys, twelve in number, appeared in full vestments for the first time, They marched in, singing as the processional,


"The Church's one foundation
Is Jesus Christ, her Lord."
 

 
 

 

 

35


and taking their places in the stalls sang very creditably, under the direction of Mrs. Goldthorp, with Mr. M. L. Stout at the organ. One can readily imagine the interest that the first appearance of the choir in their vestments created in the congregation, and the curiosity that was awakened to see how matters would proceed. The result, under the circumstances, was on this occasion highly creditable to all concerned.


     One of the chief difficulties in the successful management of the boy choir, when first introduced, was that of maintaining proper decorum and reverence during divine service. The choir was a volunteer one, and the boys who composed it had not previously been under any strict discipline, such as would form
habits of order and obedience. It was hard, therefore, to make them feel that their position and duty required quietness of manner and dignity of conduct while in the chancel, to make their services acceptable to the congregation. The rector and vestry were on several occasions much disturbed by the lack of order and self-control shown during service, and had, consequently, serious doubts as to the wisdom of trying to retain the services of the boys. But firmness and patience on the part of the management in a short time greatly improved matters and thereby removed the objections to the boy choir, and now it has become one of the fixed institutions of the parish.


     Here it must be noted, to the credit of all concerned in originating and maintaining the boy choir, that the services rendered are voluntary, and without compensation. This makes the choir service a freewill offering— a gift to our Divine Master; and while the rector and congregation highly appreciate the faithfulness and sacrifices of former as well as present members of the choir, it will help us all to remember that no service of love will ever be forgotten by the Great .Head of the Church. At the last day He will say, "You did it unto Me."


     The year 1887 was marked by great improvement in the interior appointments of the church. At Easter there were presented a beautifully carved
 

 
 

 

 

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eagle lectern in walnut, a prayer desk and stall, and a credence table, memorials of Edward and Jane Bratt, who for many years adorned the church and glorified their Divine Master by their simple, faithful lives. These appropriate memorials, made by Lamb & Co., of New York, were the loving gifts of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Bratt.  They beautify the Lord's house and keep fresh the memory of the departed; they may also be regarded as thank-offerings to God for His mercies to His departed servants.


     In the summer of this year the church was further beautified with rich stained-glass windows, which took the place of the plain diamond-shaped glass put in when the church was first built. This adornment was accomplished chiefly by the aid of the Mite Society of the congregation, at a cost of about $700. Very material assistance in raising the necessary funds was also given by the children of the Goldthorp family. The work was done in a very creditable manner, by Marshall & Bros., of Allegheny, after designs suggested by the rector and a committee of ladies from the Mite Society.


     The first window from the chancel in the south wall is a memorial to Thomas J. Bigham. In the center of the window is an open Bible, across whose pages is written the text, "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my paths."—Psalm cxix, 105. The appropriateness of this symbol and of these words on the memorial to Mr. Bigham arises from the fact that he was a diligent student of the Bible, and a man well acquainted with its contents. Below is the inscription, "In Memory of Thomas J. Bigham, Died November 9, 1884, Aged 74 Years."


     Next to this window in the south wall is a memorial to two members of the Goldthorp family. In the middle of the window is an emblem of Faith, a female figure gazing upon the Cross, and below is the inscription, "In Memory of Sarah Lowen Goldthorp. Died March 19, 1883, Aged 53 Years." And under this, "Mary Goldthorp Steele. Died February 13, 1886, Aged 33 Years." And below "The Just Shall Live by Faith."
 

 
 

 

 

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     Next to this is a memorial to the departed members of the Mite Society of the Church. In the middle of the window is a cluster of lilies, below it the inscription, "In Memory of the Departed of the Mite Society." " Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."—Revelation ii, 10.


     In the north wall, the first window from the chancel is a memorial to Edward Bratt. In the middle of the window is a full-ripe sheaf of wheat, and below it the text, "He will gather the wheat into His garner" Luke iii, 17; and the inscription, " In Memory Edward Bratt. Died October 30, 1885, Aged 80 Years."


     The next window is a memorial to Bishop Kerfoot. In the crown of the window are the crossed keys; in the middle, the mitre and staff, and below the inscription, "In Memory of John Barrett Kerfoot, First Bishop of Pittsburgh. Died July 10, 1881, Aged 64 Years." Know them which labor among you and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and esteem them very highly in love for their works' sake" —I Thessalonians v, 12, 13.


     The putting in of these windows greatly beautified the church, and their presence serves constantly to remind the living of the departed faithful. It was a labor of love which deepened "the unity of spirit" and strengthened "the bond of peace,'' in the parish, and awakened in many the perception of the great truth of the communion of saints, making them realize more fully than hitherto that


"The living and the dead
But one communion make;
All join in Christ their head,
And of His life partake."


     The year 1888 was marked by two events which give it special prominence in the history of the parish


     The first of these events was the presentation for confirmation at the Bishop's visitation on Palm Sunday, March 25, of a class of 33 persons-16 men and 17 women. This was the largest class the rector had ever presented, and consequently the occasion was one of deep interest. The day was rainy, but the
 

 
 

 

 

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congregation was large, the music was good, and the Bishop preached a most effective sermon appropriate to Palm Sunday. After administering the rite of confirmation the Bishop, with much feeling and earnestness, exhorted the class to faithfulness in the duties of the Christian life. This large class showed that there was life in the parish, and greatly encouraged pastor and people, and gave hope for the future of our work.


     The other event that specially marked this year was the completion at Easter of the twentieth year of the rector's service in the parish, an event that the congregation was not willing to let pass without a fitting commemoration. This commemoration began on April 1, with the Easter Day service. The church was beautifully dressed with palms and flowers; the congregation indicated its interest by gathering in its full strength; the vested choir, under the direction of Mrs. Goldthorp, with Mr. Stout at the organ, made special preparation for beautifying the service with music appropriate to the day and the occasion. The rector preached from the text, "The same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, "Peace be unto you."—St. John xx, 19; and set forth the thought that the resurrection of Christ is the seal of Divine Truth affixed to all His promises, commands and revelations, and the pledge to us of a resurrection to life eternal. At the close of his sermon the rector said:


     "On a great festival like Easter it is necessary of that words should be spoken suitable to the day and is its lessons. Now, if you will bear with me a few moments longer, I desire to indulge in a brief retrospect of the history of the parish for the last twenty years, which closes with this day's services. Perhaps such a retrospect may encourage us in our work for Christ and His Church, and awaken in our hearts new zeal for our Master's service, and new determination to do more in the future for the extension of the Kingdom of our Risen Lord."

 

 
 

 

 

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     He then gave a short sketch of what had been done, of the obstacles that had been overcome, and of the progress that had been made. He spoke of the great assistance that he and the parish had received in all these years from the Mite Society of the congregation, and referred to the fact that it was a part of the history of the past year that a Laymen's Guild had been formed, which was now an equally important agency in the parish. He then urged all to work together in faith and love for the promotion of God's glory in their midst, reminding them that the time is short, and that the night cometh, in which no man can work; that this was their day and opportunity for giving proof of their faith and love. Continuing, he said:


     "Whatever has been done in the past twenty years in our midst for the glory of God, to Him be all the praise, for we are at best only unprofitable servants. And yet God waits to be gracious, and if we bow heart and will before Him, and beg Him to accept and bless our feeble services, He will pour His blessings upon us, and fill us with all the fulness of His grace, and enable us at last to stand in His presence and hear these blessed words, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy thy Lord.'"


     The church was again filled at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, at the service held for the Sunday School. After evening prayer the rector addressed the children and then catechised them. The responses were good, showing that the children really learn the catechism in the Sunday School. The singing by the school, assisted by the choir, was very hearty, adding much to the beauty and spirit of the service. The school numbered 133 scholars and 14 teachers. Its efficiency was largely due to the faithful management of the Superintendent, Mr. John C. Shaler, Jr.


     On Thursday of the same week, April 5, the twentieth anniversary of the rector's first service in the church, the real commemoration was held, in the schoolroom of the church, of which event the following account, prepared at the time, is here inserted:
 

 

 

 

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