Pennsylvania USGenWeb Archives


Centennial History

of Methodism

in Clearfield, PA


1810 - 1910

George W. Rheem


Chapter 6


transcribed for the Clearfield County PA USGenWeb by

Ellis Michaels



This page was last updated on 23 Apr 2011

Contribute Your Research


printer friendly version of this project






Page 101



  The annual session of the Central Pennsylvania Conference was held here March 17th to 25th, 1897, None of our records show any invitation for it to meet here nor of its proceedings while here.

  The Conference of 1896 was sitting in Williamsport and toward the close Bro. Daniel W. McCurdy telegraphed, "We can have the 1897 Conference if we want it." Three or four of our members were standing on the corner at the County National Bank and being notified that such a telegram had been received, we hurriedly called a few others in counsel, without any official authority, and replied, "Yes, we will take it." And in this way the appointment was made and the Official Board sanctioned our action. Dr. Wm. A. Stephens having had experience in entertaining Conferences elsewhere, had the arrangements in hand and in the early part of 1897 began to perfect arrangements for its entertainment. The necessary committees were appointed and their work assigned them, such as entertainment, finance and location.

  The Committee on Entertainment called a meeting of members and friends to find out who would help along that line. The Committee on Finance concluded to depend on collections and lecture. The Committee on Location secured the Opera House for the sessions of the Conference and lectures, for the sum of $too. The county commissioners tendered the jury rooms for the meetings of the various Conference committees. The





Page 102


Rev. J. Harper Black, D. D., 1886.     Rev. James Curns, 1883.







Page 103


citizens of the town showed their appreciation of the coming of the Conference by removing all the dirty ice and snow from the streets and residences on Market and Second streets in front of their business places and homes. The Entertainment Committee was greeted cordially in the homes, not only of our people, but of friends in other Churches, as well as by some not members of any Church, and there was no trouble in finding homes for all members of the Conference.

  Wednesday morning, March 17th, the first session of the Conference was opened by Bishop W. X. Ninde reading a portion of Scripture, a hymn was sung and prayers were offered by John Z. Lloyd and A. M. Barnitz. After the singing of "Nearer, My God to Thee," the Bishop delivered a brief address, when the secretary of the last Conference called the roll and two hundred and seven members and sixteen probationers responded.

  The sessions of the conference were well attended by the citizens, who, because of it being an entirely new thing, enjoyed not only the business of the Conference, but also the excellent manner in which it was conducted. The evening lectures, generally on the benevolences of the Church were well attended. The lecture in the hands of the Finance Committee on Saturday evening, presided over by Thos. H. Murray, was given by Miss Olaf Kraar, an Esquimaux, on the manners and life of her people in Greenland. She had command of the English language remarkably well and was very easily understood. She gave very minute descriptions of the manners and customs of her people, telling how they lived as families, their social relations, their courtship and marriage, their religious life, their deaths and burials. She was very witty in some of her remarks and in speak-





Page 104


ing of the teachings of missionaries among them, said it was not of any use to speak of the punishment of the wicked in everlasting fire, because they rather enjoyed the thought of a warmer place than their present home after this life was ended. The lecture was very much enjoyed.

On the Sunday of the Conference the preachers in the different Churches of the town were Bishop Ninde in the Opera Hause at 10.30 A. M.; Rev. M. C. B. Mason in the.Church, at the same hour. In the Presbyterian Church, 10.30 A. M., Rev. Geo. E. Reed, D. D., LL. D., and Rev. Richard Hinkle in the evening. In the Lutheran Church, Rev. Edward J. Gray, D. D., at 10.30 A. M., and in the evening Rev. Amos S. Baldwin.

We note the program of meetings and anniversaries of the Conference:

7.30 P. M.—Missionary Sermon by Rev. Perry W. Eveland.

9.00 A. M.—Opening Session of Conference, Bishop W. X. Ninde, presiding.
7.30 P. M.—Anniversary of the Church Extension Society, Rev. Martin L. Smyser, presiding. Speakers, Rev. G. Murray Klepfer, Rev. Alpheus J. Kynett, D. D.





Page 105


9.00.A. M.—Conference Session.
2.30 P. M.—Anniversary of the Sunday School Union and Tract Societies, Rev. B. B. Hamlin, D. D., presiding. Speaker, Rev. J. A. Freeman, D. D.
7.30 P. M.—Anniversary of Conference Epworth League, Rev. R. H. Gilbert, presiding. Speakers, Bishop Ninde, Rev. H. 0. Lantz.

9.00 A. M.—Conference Session.
2.00 P. M.—Anniversary of the Women's Home Missionary Society, Mrs. A. W. Black, presiding. Speaker, Mrs. B. S. Potter, of Bloomington, Illinois.
2.00 P. M.—Consecration of Deaconess Miss Leona C. Bartolet, of Shamokin, Pa., in the Church.
7.30 P. M.—Temperance and Prohibition Anniversary, Rev. Martin L. Ganoe, presiding. Speakers, Rev. Emory M. Stevens and H. T. Ames, of Williamsport.

9.00 A. M.—Conference Session.
2.30 P. M.—Anniversary of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society, Miss Mary McCord, presiding. Speaker, Miss Ruth Maria Sites, of China.
7.30 P. M.—Lecture by Miss Olaf Kraar, an Esquimaux lady, of Greenland.





Page 106


9.00 A. M.—Love Feast, Rev. M. L. Smyser, presiding.
10.30 A. M.—Sermon by Bishop W. X. Ninde.
2.30 P. M.—Anniversary of Preachers' Aid Society, Rev. B. C. Conner, presiding. Speaker, Rev. B. F. Dimmick.
7.30 P.M.—Anniversary of the Missionary Society, Rev. Wm. A. Stephens, presiding. Speakers, Rev. Horace Lincoln Jacobs, A. M., Rev. A. B. Leonard, D. D.

9.00 A. M.—Conference Session.
7.30 P. M.—Anniversary Freedman's Aid Society.

9.00 A. M.—Appointments Read and Conference Adjourned.

  At this Conference one afternoon at one of the anniversaries, the Rev. Gideon H. Day, a veteran minister, was called on to give some reminiscences of the first years of his ministry in this county, in the years 1840-41, and after recounting many interesting events of his life, many of which were of great hardship, but coupled with the many pleasant ones, he expressed himself as being entirely satisfied with all of them. And among them he said when he went to the sessions of the Annual Conference he had no plans of his own mapped out, but believing he had a Divine call to the ministry, he believed also that wherever the Lord had use for him there he would be





Page 107


sent. And he said I never asked for an appointment nor ever refused to go where sent and always tried to do the best I could, no matter where sent. He had scarcely finished his sentence when Bishop Ninde jumped up and with extended hand he approached the old veteran and said, "Bro. Day, I will esteem it a great privilege to be allowed to shake hands with so remarkable a Methodist preacher as you."

  The meeting of this Conference in our town was enjoyed and highly spoken of by our citizens, and the preachers were delighted with their visit with us.

  This Conference appointed Rev. Amos. S. Baldwin to this station.

  Nothing of any special note occurred during the first half of the year. Bro. Baldwin commenced a protracted meeting on the 31st day of the month of October and after three or four weeks of an apparently unsuccessful effort, there was such an awakening occurred as to find the altar crowded with penitents, as many as fifty and sixty every evening, and the interest manifested was so great that the lecture room was crowded every night and was found too small to accommodate the people, and the meetings were then held in the auditorium. Day meetings were held in the afternoons and were largely attended, the meeting continued night after night, with unabated interest, without a thought of bringing it to a close, and on February 22nd, 1898, an all day meeting was held and in the morning, Rev. W. P. Shriner, of Altoona, preached from the text, James 4: 14: "For what is your life," and such was the feeling in the Church with a number at the altar that it seemed almost impossible to bring the meeting to a close, the meetings of the afternoon and evening were just as impressive and interesting, and for twenty-two





Page 108


Rev. William A. Stevens, D. D., 1893.     Rev. George D. Penepacker, D. D., 1889.






Page 109


weeks this meeting was held and was closed just before the meeting of the Annual Conference. The conversions at this meeting were over three hundred, of whom nearly all joined our Church on probation.

  This meeting having been a very severe strain on Bro. Baldwin, he was advised by his physician to take a vacation rest and the official board in October, granted him leave of absence for two months and the pulpit was filled in his absence by other preachers.

  Bro. Baldwin closed his term of service with us in the spring of 1900 and was sent to Lock Haven and afterwards made presiding elder of the Danville district, with residence at Sunbury, where he died, August 25th, 1905.

  At the Annual Conference held at Hazleton, March 14th-20th, 1900, Rev. Milton K. Foster, D. D., was appointed to the pastorate of Clearfield, and M. L. Smyser, presiding elder.

  Possibly, if Dr. Foster could have forcasted the future and seen in the outlook the building of two new churches in his pastorate, he might have wished for some other appointment. But on his own motion at the second Quarterly Conference, June 29th, the committee previously appointed H. B. Powell and Geo. W. Rheem to examine into the advisability of securing a lot or lots in East Clearfield on which to erect a new chapel and were directed to take the matter up and report at an early date. September 12th, at the third Quarterly Conference, this committee made the following report:

  "The undersigned committee appointed by the Quarterly Conference some time ago to look over the ground in the east end of Clearfield borough and to consider the matter of locating a chapel, would report that we have attended to that duty, and in our judgment the time is





Page 110


not in the distant future, when the necessities of the rapidly increasing population and the inducements held out by other enterprises of a permanent business character, are such that we think they demand recognition at our hands for the good of Methodism, and as an initial step would recommend that our congregation, with the provision of our charter, give to the trustees authority to act in the matter of securing a suitable location at as early date as they think advisable.
     GEO. W. RHEEM,

  At this Quarterly Conference, the death of our Bro. Geo. W. Weaver was announced August 30th, 1900. In his official relations he was a member of the board of trustees and was a teacher in the Sunday School, and was in his second term as County Superintendent of our public schools. The following paper was presented by Geo. W. Rheem. "Since our last Quarterly Conference death has invaded our ranks and taken from this body one who, when possible, was always in attendance at our sessions and who manifested. an interest in all the affairs of the Church. Our departed brother, Geo. W. Weaver, in the few years of our association with him in this official body won for himself our brotherly love, and all the elements of a true Christian showing themselves, not only in his official relations, but in every walk of his life, so greatly commanded our respect and love that we but feebly express our feelings when we say, our hearts are saddened at his being taken from us in the midst of his usefulness. And as a token of respect this paper be entered on our minutes as a matter of record, and a copy





Page 111


be given to his wife, Mrs. Frances Weaver." On motion adopted.

  January 14th, 1901, the trustees met at the office of Thos. H. Murray to comply with the request of the congregation to look over the ground to secure a lot on which to build a chapel in the East End. Present, Harry B. Powell, Geo. W. Rheem, Wilson B. Townsend, Win. S. Taylor, Ashley Thorn and Thos. H. Murray. Dr. Foster and Jos. E. Gearhart were also present in connection with the trustees to look over the ground and in so doing several locations were considered and in the opinion of the trustees, the best location was lots Nos. 20-21-22 in the Barrett addition on the cornier of Dorey and 11th Streets, two of which were owned by W. C. Cardon, and one by Mary Owens. The prices at which they were offered were the corner owned by Mary Owens, $400, and the two owned by W. C. Cardon, $575, and on motion of H. B. Powell, seconded by W. B. Townsend, the president and secretary were instructed to negotiate for the same.

  January 17th the lots were purchased and deeds received for them.

  September 7th, 1901, the committee for East End Chapel appointed at this second Quarterly Conference, was Ai F. Boynton, Geo. W. Rheem, Harry B. Powell and at a meeting of the trustees, October 21st, 1901, this committee reported that they had plans suggested for a brick building, 32 x 38, with an annex 16 x 26, at an estimated cost of $1,800 and that subscriptions for $1,440 had been made and an additional $115 could be secured from the members in the East End, a committee to locate the chapel on the lots was A. F. Boynton, W. S. Taylor and Geo. W. Rheem.






Page 112


  Ashley Thoth was authorized to prepare plans. Jos. E. Gearhart, Levis K. McCullough and Ashley Thorn were appointed a building committee, with authority to contract for building said chapel at a cost not exceeding $1,800, exclusive of seating.

  The building committee proceeded with the work at once and at a meeting of the trustees reported that $1,600 had been subscribed and only $600 paid in and that they lacked funds to push the work, and the trustees borrowed $500 for the emergency.

  July 23rd, 1902, an informal meeting of the trustees was held after prayer meeting. J. E. Gearhart, treasurer of the building committee reported the building completed, and the cost of it was $2,300, not including furniture, nor carpets, and that about $1,300 was available and with the cost of a new furnace of $100 it was thought advisable to ask for $1,100 at the dedication, July 27th.

  This being the day fixed for the dedication, the first service was held on this Sunday morning in the Clearfield Methodist Episcopal Church, to participate in the preparatory services for the dedication of the chapel, which took place in that building at 3 p. m.

  The service was opened by the announcement by Dr. Foster of the 605th hymn,

  "My gracious God, I own Thy right,"

and prayer was offered by the assistant pastor, Rev. J. McKendree Reiley. Second hymn, No. 599,

  "Behold the Christian warrior stand."

  The sermon was preached by Rev. B. B. Hamlin, D. D., a former presiding elder, of the Altoona district, from the text, Numbers, 14th chapter and 24th verse. "But my





Page 113


servant, Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it."

  After the sermon, Dr. Foster took charge of the financial part of the work, and stating the cost to be about $2,500, asked that $1,100 be given by dividing it into two parts. $700 to be raised in the congregation in Clearfield and $400 by the East End congregation in the afternoon, and his proposition was quickly responded to by subscriptions of $50, $25, $20, $10 and smaller amounts until $615 was raised and assured that persons not present would make up the balance.

  The dedication services were held at 3 p. m., in the Chapel, a greeting to the congregation was given by Dr. Foster, congratulating them on the completion of so nice a chapel as a much needed home for the Methodists of the East End. Hymn 136.

  "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty,"

was sung and prayer was offered by Rev. Rexrode, of the U. B. Church. Reading of 48th Psalm by Dr. Foster.

  Anthem by the choir of the Chapel. A brief address by Rev. J. McKendree Reiley, assistant pastor, was made as follows:
"David Livingston, the great African explorer and missionary, once said, The end of the exploration is the beginning of the enterprise.' We have reached the day to which we have been looking forward for months.

  "Let us not forget we are servants of the Nazarene, the Christ who was the greatest man who ever lived, but more than that, he is our Saviour. At the first class meeting I attended here, I said I hoped the motto of the Methodists of East Clearfield would be this, 'That in





Page 114


Rev. Milton K. Foster, D. D., 1900.     Rev. Amos S. Baldwin, 1897.






Page 115


all things, He may have the pre-eminence.' My message is that in all things may we exalt the Christ whom we profess to serve."

  Brief addresses were made by Dr. Wm. A. Stephens, a former pastor and by Dr. Foster.

  Anthem by the first Church choir.

  The financial part was then conducted by Dr. Foster, and in a very short time $415 was subscribed for the cancellation of the debt.

  It is worthy of record that the insurance firm of Helmbold and Stewart placed an insurance policy for $2,000, at an expense to themselves of $25, besides their personal subscriptions.

  The dedication services were then conducted by the preachers present and the Chapel was turned over to the congregation as a place of worship to Almighty God.

  Dr. Wm. A. Stephens preached the first sermon in the evening at 7.30.

  May 15th, 1904, the members of the Church worshipping in the Chapel at the East End, finding the capacity of the Chapel to be too small to accommodate their congregations, and especially the Sunday School, came to the conclusion to ask this congregation to enlarge the building and they reported that they had estimates from J. D. Snoke and Son, to make an addition to the present building and make all necessary changes and furnish all materials for same for the sum of $2,346, not including windows.

  It was moved to submit the matter to the trustees, suggesting that the changes and improvements be made. May 16th the committee from the East End met the trustees and asked permission to go ahead with the improvements, stating that they had $1,500 in pledges already made. And the trustees agreed to negotiate loans from time to





Page 116


time not to exceed $1,800, and Geo. L. McCullough, of committee and Geo. W. Rheem, secretary, to enter into contract with Jacob D. Spoke and son to complete the work.

  Sunday, September 14th, 1904, all the improvements being completed on the East End Chapel, this day was fixed for the re-opening, a large congregation was present and the exercises were of a very interesting character. Hymn No. 6 was announced by Rev. M. C. Flegal, of Roaring Creek, and prayer was offered by Dr. Foster.

  An anthem was sung by the choir and hymn No. 574 was announced by Rev. J. McKendree Reiley, and following the hymn, the sermon was preached by Rev. Morris E. Swartz, of Patton, his theme was "The realization of God."

  At the close of the sermon Rev. Reiley offered prayer. Dr. Foster then took the financial problem, stating that the improvements, including furniture and carpet, had cost $3,600, and it was necessary to raise $1,215 to pay all indebtedness unprovided for and in answer to his effort, $1,193 was raised in money and pledges. All joined in singing the doxology and were dismissed with the benediction by Rev. M. E. Swartz.

  April 22nd, 1905, at a meeting of the trustees held at the office of Thos. H. Murray, members present were: Jos. E. Gearhart, Ashley Thorn, Thos. H. Murray, Geo. W. Rheem, Geo. S. Gearhart and Harry B. Powell.

  Geo. L. McCullough and Elmer E. Fink, committee from East End chapel asked for some arrangement to be made with the members of this congregation to transfer the chapel and grounds to their congregation in view of their becoming a separate station, and the following preamble and resolution was adopted:





Page 117


  "The title of the Eleventh Street Church property, consisting of a plot of ground on the northwest corner of Eleventh and Dorey Streets, embracing three lots 150x 172 feet, and known as lots Nos. 20, 21 and 22 in the Barrett addition, having been taken in the name of the Clearfield Methodist Episcopal Church, it is hereby Resolved, that on payment or security being given for the payment of the sum of $1,100, and the payment of a note in the County National Bank for $1,500 and interest, the $1,100 being for moneys advanced and expended by the Clearfield Methodist Episcopal Church on account of the grounds of the Eleventh Street Methodist Episcopal Church, the $1,500 being for moneys borrowed for building Church, a deed shall be executed by the trustees of the Clearfield Methodist Episcopal Church and made to the trustees of the Eleventh Street Methodist Episcopal Church when such trustees shall have been duly appointed or to their trustees when they shall have been duly incorporated." This was all complied with and the property was turned over to them by deed, July 20th,1905, from the trustees of Clearfield Methodist Episcopal Church. Since then they have erected a fine parsonage on the ground worth $4,000, and the corner of the lots is amply sufficient for them to build a fine Church if they should find their necessities demand it.

  They were exceedingly fortunate in their first start to have as their pastor Rev. J. McKendree Reiley, whose untiring zeal for their growth in all his ministering in their Church work, and his relation as their pastor for seven years, has been an inspiration to them to make every enterprise a success, and now they are in such a situation as to stand in the front rank of Methodism in our town.

  They have a splendid membership of three hundred





Page 118


and twenty-one including probationers. Rev. J. T. Bell is their present pastor, and a splendid Sunday School, with all its appliances, of which any church might be proud, and an enrollment of 35 teachers and 44o scholars. An Epworth league of 75 members and the total value of their Church property is $12,000, and best of all their spiritual life has been such as to have been a great blessing to the community that surrounds them. And now they are enrolled in the minutes of the Central Pennsylvania Conference as a separate station, known as the Eleventh Street Methodist Episcopal Church, of Clearfield.


  The Sunday Schools on the Circuit increased slowly, in 1847 there were 10 schools reported on the circuit, with 71 teachers and an average of 300 scholars. The schools were usually reported in good condition, but as far as the school in Clearfield was concerned, it must have been neglected by its officers, as Mrs. Geo. W. Rheem has said that she (then Eliza B. Stone) and Miss Mertie E. Loraine kept the school going, on their own authority, for many months, without any male members of the Church being present, and they were not members of the Church at that time, but they were interested and anxious to keep up the school as it was of value to them, and the children attending. It was thus conducted in this indifferent manner until 1851, when Mr. Chas. D. Watson was elected superintendent and he gave it very careful attention and a large increase in attendance was the result. Mr. Joseph B. McEnally, then a young lawyer, and a son of a Methodist preacher, Peter McEnally, took a great interest in the school and had a large class of young men. He Was not then a member of the Church.





Page 120


Rev. J. McKendree Reiley, 1902.     Rev. Bert A. Salter, 1909.






Page 121


tendents up to this time and will be noted later. The first written report of Clearfield Sunday School is on the Quarterly Conference record June 10th, 1854, and is as follows: Supt. Jno. W. Shugart, Asst, Jno. Troutman, Female Supt. Anna M. Rheem. Total number of scholars, 80. Average attendance, 50. Expenses of school, $30.00. No. of teachers, 12. Volumes in library, 434.

  The teaching in the school was very crude, but perhaps up with the times. Testaments were used and the teachers would select any chapter they chose. The two Bible classes, male and female, were supposed to be of a little higher order. The smaller classes used spelling books as in day school. An important element was the learning of verses in the New Testament and recited to the teacher every session of the school, and for to verses recited a blue ticket was given, and to blue tickets secured a red ticket, and these were used to purchase Bibles or books, according to their value. The makeup of the school in so far as dreg was concerned, was very primitive, a girl with a cleanly washed calico dress, and a hat a year or two old with the ribbons of the winter taken off and those of last year washed and pressed neatly and put on, and this repeated as long as the hat would last, was the style of that time and the boys felt as finely dressed if 'their clothing was the cut downs of the father or older brothers as though everything was brand new, and because the boy did not always have shoes, his bare feet were just as acceptable as otherwise, and the female teachers thought themselves nicely enough dressed with clean calico or lawn dresses and sun bonnets as the finest. The men did not always wear their Sunday suits, these





Page 122


were only worn on extra occasions and had to last from 8 to 10 years, and we were all happy and contented.

Our school continued on in this way until 1868, when the Sunday School Journal, now in its 42d year, and Berean lesson leaves were first issued, when they were introduced into the school and gave us a much better plan for teaching. The Berean leaves were changed in 1882 to the Intermediate Quarterly, and the Senior Quarterly was then issued. For some years we subscribed for the Sunday School Advocate and the Classmate for general distribution, now we have the Classmate only, and the subscriptions for all these helps, for the year 1908, together with other expenses of the school, was $569.39. We subscribed for 48 Sunday School Journals, 250 Senior Quarterlies, 180 Intermediate Quarterlies, 200 Classmates.

There are four teachers in the Sunday School who are worthy of special mention, because of their long continued relation to the school as teachers, Geo. W. Rheem, has the longest record as a teacher and officer, having held some such position for a period of fifty nine consecutive years, since May, 1851. Thos. H. Murray has been a teacher of one class since 1872, a period of over thirty-eight years, his class is composed of adults, both men and women, and they are prompt in their attendance, and has been changed only by deaths or removals. It is an organized adult Bible class. Harry B. Powell has had charge of a class since 1874, a period of over 36 years, and his class at present is composed of over sixty men and is an organized adult Bible class in our school. He is always regular in his attendance and the class shows the result. Wickham D. King has had his class for thirty years and is composed of





Page 123


younger men, who like the teacher, are always promptly on hand each returning Sunday morning.

  The Primary Department is in a separate room from the main school, and they use a leaf cluster, which is a chart 20 x 24 inches, with a beautifully colored picture to illustrate the lesson. 100 picture lesson papers and 6 Berean primary teachers' magazines, and picture cards. We have in connection with the Sunday School, a Home Department, for adults, who cannot attend the school, but will study the lessons at home as is noticed later, and a cradle roll to enroll the babies of our church and friends of the Church, as soon as they are born and both of these departments will be reported by their superintendents. Our school was organized into a Missionary Society in 1869 and has been doing splendid work along that line, and their yearly contributions will he noticed on another page. The enrollment was reported up to this date as 611 scholars and 38 teachers and officers, the home department 87 and cradle roll 123, brings our enrollment up to 821. The report of the primary department will be furnished by the superintendent of that department.


  The primary department work as reported by Mrs. A. H. Woodward, superintendent is as follows:

  The female superintendent is superintendent of primary department: Superintendent, Mrs. Americus H. Woodward; teachers, Mrs. Harry B. Powell, Mrs. R. Grant Ross, Mrs. Richard Kennard, Mrs. John Kennard, Miss Maud Graham, Miss Fannie Johnson.

  Enrollment July 31st, 1909, 105 scholars, transferred to main school June 13th, children's day, 22 boys





Page 124


and 14 girls. School has separate opening and closing exercises, but no secretary, nor treasurer. Class graduates each June being transferred on children's days and are each then presented with a Bible. Special attention is paid with advanced classes to memory work. Children are drilled in the Lord's prayer, Creed, Ten Commandments, Twenty-third Psalm and Beatitudes. Special mention should be made of the long continued services of Mrs. H. B. Powell who from her childhood as a member of the Sunday School and a scholar, and afterwards as a teacher, in the primary department, for more than twenty years and her best services to this department of the work as superintendent and teacher and has helped to bring it up to its present high standard.


  The school having been formed into a Missionary Society in 1869, set apart all collections taken on the first Sunday of each month as a missionary contribution from the school. In the early formation of the society, each class adopted a name such as "No. 1, Band of Hope, Mrs. G. B. Goodlander, teacher." Every class having a different name and as these names were called out at the session the first Sunday of the month and each responded by giving their contribution. This plan continued until 1881, when the classes having changed considerably, the adopted names were discontinued, a careful record was kept of each class contributions up to the present time. Now the money is deposited in an envelope by each teacher and the amount is called out separately to the credit of each class. The total amount contributed by the school is $11,997.66. Annual statements will be





Page 125


found in the tabulated statement of the general missionary contributions.

Home Department as reported by Mrs. Lou Leavy.

  The home department of the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Sunday School was organized during the second quarter of 1908, with Mrs. Lou Leavy as superintendent and Mrs. Susan Shirey, Assistant. The town and vicinity was divided into districts, and a visitor appointed for each district. The visitors at present with the superintendent and assistant are: Mrs. Richard Kennard, Mrs. John Kennard, Mrs. R. G. Ross, Miss Mary King, Mrs. D. R. Woolridge and Mrs. Clara McCord. These workers solicit members and furnish them with quarterlies and envelopes on which to keep a record of the lessons studied, and in which to place any contributions they may wish to make. At the close of each quarter the visitor calls on the members in her district, received her report envelope and leaves a new one and also a new quarterly. The visitors also keep in touch with their members, so that in case of sickness or death we may offer sympathy and assistance if needed. After a little more than a year of work, the membership has reached 90, besides three who through the home department have entered the regular Sunday school work. Death has taken one of our members who was in no way connected with the Church. The work of the home department is to strive to interest the indifferent in the study of the Word, and finally to bring them into the Sunday School and the Church and to take the Sunday School to those whose duties will not permit them to come to it.





Page 126


Rev. John T. Bell, 1909.






Page 127



  The Junior Epworth League was organized in 1892, by Rev. Geo. D. Penepacker, with a membership of 150. The superintendents and assistants since that time have been Mrs. W. E. Wallace, Mrs. Lou Leavy, Mrs. Thos. H. Murray, Mrs. H. B. Powell, Miss Maud Hoover, Miss Sue Owens, now Mrs. Kelley Henry, of Arizona, Miss Mary Irwin, Mrs M. K. Foster, Mary L. Foster, Mrs. M. E. Swartz, Miss Jennie Powell, who has been superintendent since 1899. The object of the Junior League has been to train the children to become useful members of the Church, and to familiarize themselves with the work of every department of the Church and to teach them the history and doctrines of the great body of which they are a part. The league at the close of last Conference year numbered 92 members.


  The whole number of schools of all protestant denominations in the county are as follows:

  Number of schools, 235, officers and teachers, 2,595. Number of scholars, 19,155. 52 home departments, 146 members, 73 cradle ro11s, 2,122 members. Total enrollment, 25,067. One-fifth of these schools are of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Clearfield County Sunday School Association, an auxiliary to the Pennsylvania State Association keeps in touch with all these schools every year and has the county divided into twenty-three districts and each district aims to hold a convention in their own locality every year, and then each school is entitled to one delegate in connection with the superintendent and pastor to meet in the Annual Convention of the






Page 128


County Association, wherever it may meet. Clearfield County stands among the foremost in the state in the Sunday School work with the State Association.


  In all the departments of our Sunday School work the present superintendent, Harvey J. Flegal has the interests of the school at heart and keeps the work well in hand and every department is carefully watched and kept along in its line of work. He is ably supported by his assistants, Wickham D. King and Andrew Harwick, and the records kept by the Secretary Heber Straw, and the Treasurer, Wm. Mullhollan, are shown every session of the school on a board in tabulated form.

  The orchestra, under the direction of Prof. H. Clark Thayer, composed of violins, clarionets, comets, flute, violoncello, double bass and piano, adds very greatly to the music in the school, and the young persons who are members of this orchestra deserve great credit for their prompt attendance and their skill in playing their several instruments.


  The Ladies' Aid Society, Mrs. A. H. Woodward, president, have done a great work in securing almost enough money to pay off their pledge of $2,600, part of which was used to help pay for the organ and the balance toward the furnishings for the Church. The balance to be paid is less than $5oo. This they accomplished by their sewing society and socials, and suppers, and will soon have all their pledges paid. For awhile there were the Ladies' Aid, and the Young Ladies' Aid, both of which worked faithfully to accomplish their purposes. Now they





Page 129


are merged into one society, and are formed into circles, each circle being in charge of a leader, who tries to maintain a good working circle and to derive a revenue which will be applied to the extinguishment of the debt.


  The cradle roll is an institution that looks after the babies to have them enrolled as beginners in Sunday School life, as soon as a new baby puts in an appearance, the superintendent or one of her helpers is on the ground soliciting its parents to have the little one enrolled and accomplishing this a very pretty enrollment card is given on which is a record of the name and date of birth, this is, of course, taken care of by the parents, and as the child becomes older, will be an item of interest to it. The name of the child is also entered on a chart, which is a record of all babies and is in a frame hung up in the primary room. The recurrence of each birthday takes the superintendent or visitor to the home with some little token of remembrance, and in case of sickness or death every attention is given to the little one. The whole object is, first, to show a desire on the part of the school to secure the child as a member of the school, and second to enlist the sympathies of the parents for the welfare, both of the child and the school. Our organization was effected in February 1908, Mrs. Lou Leavy was the first Superintendent and now Mrs. H. J. Flegal has it in charge and is assisted by Miss Mary Irwin, the membership is 123 and the superintendent says their visits are always appreciated by the parents.





Page 130



  A movement toward organizing teachers' training classes was made in this county in 1906. The first class was organized at New Millport, and J. S. McCreery was appointed county superintendent. In 1908 Rev. W. A. Carver, of Morrisdale Mines, was elected at which time there were twenty nine classes in the county, with a membership of 275, pursuing the course. At this time there are 50 classes and about 400 students. The object is for a more complete study of Bible history and geography and to gain a more thorough knowledge of the various parts of the Bible thereby the better fitting persons to become good teachers in the Sunday Schools.


  A chapter of the Methodist Brotherhood was recently organized in the Church with a membership of forty-two. The aim of this organization is to effect the mutual improvement of its members by religious, social, literary and physical culture; to promote the spirit and practice of Christian Brotherhood; to increase fraternal interest among men; to develop their activity and stimulate their efficiency in all that relates to religious, social, civic and industrial betterment; to build up the Church by leading men into its communion and fellowship, and, in general, to extend the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  There is a great field for this organization and what it shall mean to our Church the next historian will have to tell. May he be busy recording the good done by this Chapter.




return to previous chapter

return to beginning

turn to next chapter




Return to Top of Page


Return To Clearfield County Main Index Page


Ellis Michaels, Clearfield County PAGenWeb Archives File Manager


Copyright 2010, USGenWeb Archives