Re:Pictures-Old Bethel,Bantam,Clermont,Oh + FAGLEY
       Sat, 19 May 2001 07:12:52 -0400
       HERMON B FAGLEY <hermfagley@juno.com>

Pictures of Old Bethel Methodist and a bit of it's churchyard. And of
me,Hermon Fagley.
Built in 1817 by James Blackman [wife Champion] on land,1803 once his
REV JOHN COLLINS.  Rev Joseph Dole, and President US Grant's Simpson's,
and one
of the ILER'S.  Sunlight direction limited us to one shady corner. This
cemetary is 5 acres,or
more, and full.   Located today,in the East Fork State Park, north of
Lake Harsha, and just
south of Bantam,Ohio,where,1803.the 1st of 100+ families of old
Gloucester Co,NJ  families settled.
Martin Cassidy has Peter III Conover,and Smith, Picture is O.K.,Marty.
On Fri, 18 May 2001 17:49:58 -0700 Martin Cassidy
<cassidym@accessone.com> writes:
> Hermon,
> Thanks so much for your help last week.  I'm back home and getting
> back
> into the drag of everyday life again.
> I've built a web page with the photos I took at the cemetery.  It's
> at
> http://myweb.accessone.com/~cassidym/bethelm.htm.  I included the
> one I
> took of you, because I think it's a good shot.  If you could let me
> know
> whether that's OK or not with you, I'll make appropriate adjustments
> and
> then let the list know the page is there.
> I got up to Noah's land, though it's hard to tell for sure, of
> course.  I
> went all around it, maybe across it.  I can now say I've been there,
> but
> I'm not sure where "there" actually is.
> I also went to Madisonville to see where Noah's brother, Peter, had
> his
> land.  Went into the library and read some history.  Nothing on
> Conover,
> but I sure recognized some names in that area that I know were in
> the East
> Fork area.  Recognized some other street names in other nearby Cinci
> communities as well.
> I had a great trip.
> Marty Cassidy
> cassidym@accessone.com
Footprints - Chapter 11Chapter 76
What thrilling emotions are awakened as I pass along the southern borders
of my
second circuit -- White Oak! In coming from Maysville my first
appointment was
at Higginsport, the next on Bullskin, then Chilo, Moscow, and Neville, on
Ohio river. At Chilo, at the house of brother Prather, the first
preachers found a home more than fifty years ago. There I first formed
acquaintance of the widow Pigman, now Mrs. Teter, and her interesting
several of whom have already passed over Jordan. White Oak circuit! I
love its
name, and delight even now to dwell upon its past history. It is full of
pleasant and profitable reflections. I will give a brief sketch of its
Methodism was introduced into this region, along the borders, at an early
day. A
small settlement was first made in the upper part of Clermont county,
along the banks of the Ohio river. This part of the country was then
embraced in
what was called the Northwestern territory of the United States. In the
1795 or 1796, Rev. George Brown, a local preacher, settled on Snag creek,
Kentucky, nearly opposite where Moscow now stands. This zealous and
devoted man
soon crossed over the Ohio river, and commenced preaching in a log cabin
at the
mouth of Bullskin, on Bear creek. His labors were greatly blessed to the
good of
the people. Rev. Peter Hastings, with whom I was well acquainted, who, at
period, lived near Germantown, Kentucky, also frequently crossed the
river and
preached at Bullskin.
About 1798 or 1799, Rev. Joseph Tatman, a local preacher from Kentucky,
where the town of Felicity now stands. He also preached to the
inhabitants of
this newly-settled territory. In 1798 Rev. George Brown formed a small
class at
the mouth of Bullskin, and appointed William Fee and Adam Simmons class
This class, however, was soon dissolved by the removal of its members to
parts of the country.
By this means the leaven spread far and wide. In 1799 Rev. Lewis Hunt
formed a
class at James Sargent's, and appointed John Larkin class leader. The log
of brother Sargent was just twenty feet square Here brother Hunt held a
quarterly meeting. The house was large enough to seat comfortably all who

attended, except on the Sabbath, when a few were compelled to sit outside
door. At this period it was not uncommon for persons to travel twenty or
miles on horseback to attend a meeting of this character.
At that time the word of the Lord was very precious; and men and women
known to walk once each week five and six miles to attend class meetings,
the same distance at night to attend a prayer meeting. In a dark night
hickory-bark fagots were used, to give them light along the newly-blazed
pathway. Tin and glass lanterns were not known in the backwoods at that
day. The
preaching places were then in small cabins which generally contained two
the cooking utensils, furniture, husband, wife, and children, etc. It was
almost universal custom, in those days, during the summer, for the men to
to meeting in their shirt-sleeves and with bare feet. The women, if they
shoes and stockings, carried them in their hand till they came near the
place of
meeting, and then halted and put them on, and wore them during divine
but as soon as meeting closed, and they started for their homes, they
took off
their sandals and returned as light-footed and more joyful-hearted than
they came. The health of brother Hunt failed, and there was no more
preaching on
the circuit by the traveling preachers for some time.
In the fall of 1801 Rev. Benjamin Lakin was sent over the Ohio river from

Kentucky, to "spy out the land, and from personal observation to make a
to the next annual conference." He traveled as far as Abner Leonard's,
Lebanon, and on his return to Kentucky made a favorable report as to the
prospects, although the number of members was small. The next year, which
1802, Rev. Elisha Bowman was appointed to the Miami circuit. During the
administration of brother Bowman many were added to the Church. In 1804
he was
succeeded by Rev. John Sale and Rev Joseph Oglesby. During this year a
meeting was held at John Prather's. Bishop McKendree was then presiding
elder of
the district. On Saturday preaching was held in a grove adjoining the
On Sunday morning, in love-feast, the Lord rained down righteousness upon
people. At 11 o'clock Bishop McKendree preached in the house and John
Sale in
the barn at the same time. The power of God fell on the people, and some
prostrated and cried to God for mercy, and some found peace in believing.
McKendree fell prostrate under the mighty power and glory of God also. A
fled out of the house, but fell in the yard, and cried aloud for mercy.
As the
preaching in the barn was over at the same time, the two congregations
met in
the yard. The Lord then made bare his holy arm in the sight of all the
sinners were cut to the heart; many fell down under the mighty power of
God, and
cried out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" It was a memorable day,
such as
had never been witnessed in all that region of country he fore. Among the
of converts on that occasion was Rev. George C. Light. Bishop McKendree
often heard to say that, in all his previous travels, he had never
witnessed so
remarkable a display of converting power.
At this period all of Clermont county was included in old Miami circuit,
was first organized in 1798. In the year 1805 Hopewell meeting house was
erected. It was built of hewed logs, with a small gallery, and was the
church edifice erected on the Miami circuit. The first quarterly meeting
held in
this new church was attended by Rev. William Burke, Rev. John Sale, Rev.
Meek, and brother Amos. It was a time of power and glory, and many were
converted and added to the Church.
Hopewell meeting house was occupied as a regular preaching place for more
thirty years, and at length it became so much dilapidated and
inconvenient that
the society resolved to abandon it and erect a new one in the town of
The old log house was still standing when I traveled on White Oak
circuit. I
used to visit it frequently alone, enter the old pulpit, and pray to God
the mantle of those holy men of God, that were so successful in preaching
in that sacred desk, might rest upon me. From such seasons of communion
with the
good and holy I always derived new courage and strength to prosecute my
itinerant labors where so much good seed had already been sown.
White Oak circuit was formed out of the old Miami circuit. The Minutes of
old Miami circuit go back to 1802. The first list of official members is
recorded at a quarterly meeting held at Abner Leonard's, November 9, 1805
John Sale, presiding elder; Benjamin Lakin, Joshua Riggin, circuit
Local preachers present, James Ward, Abner Leonard, Joseph Joslin,
Dimmitt. Brother James Scofield, class leader.
On July 11, 1806, at a quarterly meeting held at Francis McCormick's, the

officiary present numbered forty-eight.
At a quarterly meeting held at Rev. Philip Gatch's, near where the town
Milford now stands, August 29, 1807, the following official members were
present: John Sale, presiding elder; Benjamin Lakin, John Collins,
preachers; Jesse Justice, Solomon Langdon, Charles Hardy, elders.
Local deacons. -- Philip Gatch, Francis McCormick, George Brown, Arball
Levi Rogers, William Lynes, Abner Leonard, Danford Weatherby, John
Daniel Duvall.
Local preachers. -- William McMahon, William Whitaker, Henry Fisher,
James Ward,
Joseph Joslin, John Clark, Labin Braziers.
Exhorters. -- Joshua Sargent, Elijah Fee, George Swing, Thomas Page,
Dimmitt, Richard Doughty, Peter McClain, Urial Ward, Robert Richards,
Snyder, James Heath.
List of stewards. -- James Sargent, Jonathan Tullis, Ambrose Ransome,
Leaders. -- Philip Hill, James Thustin, John Davis, Stephen Stevinson,
Hall, Isaac Vaneton, Benjamin Clarke, George Mole, John McCollom, John
John Sargent, Thomas Marsh, James Sargent, Jr., Samuel Lemmon, Nathan
Amos Smith, Amos Tullis, James Garland, Isaac Merritt, Jacob Joslin,
Snyder, Hugh McKibben, Thaddeus Handford, Aaron Burdsell, Thomas Fee,
Day, Hezekiah Shaw.
The following persons were admitted on trial as exhorters: William
George Meal, John Wilson, Cornelius Swim, Thomas Clarke. Francis
McCormick was
recommended to the annual conference as a traveling preacher.
If the reader will take the trouble of adding up this official list, he
find it contains a much larger number than some of our annual conferences
at the
present time. The quarterly meetings in those days of primitive Methodism
southern Ohio, were always occasions of unusual interest.
In 1808, at the same place, Rev. William Winans was licensed to preach.
Oak circuit was organized in 1808, and Rev. David Young appointed
preacher in
charge. The standard of piety was always high, and consequently the
prospered greatly. Within its boundaries God raised up many able
among whom were Rev. Walter Griffith and Rev. G. C. Light. These devoted
commenced their ministry in 1809, according to the record on the
Stewards' book
for that circuit -- Rev. Absalom Fox, 1821. One thing which, no doubt,
contributed much to keep alive religion in the hearts of the people of
God, was
their annual camp meetings. The first one on record was held near Jacob
Constant's, on Indian creek, and another near Francis McCormick's, in
1820 --
Francis Langdon, presiding elder, and Rev. William J. Thompson, circuit
preacher. In 1821 a union camp meeting was held on the east fork of the
Miami, near Milford, on the first of June, and another on the 16th of
August, on
Indian creek.
In the year 1822 a camp meeting was held near Benjamin Penn's, on Indian
Subsequently a grove was selected immediately above the house of brother
at Indian Springs, as the most suitable place for holding their annual
encampment. Persons would frequently travel on horseback thirty or forty
to attend these meetings on White Oak circuit. Almost every year some of
ablest preachers from the Kentucky conference came over to lend a helping
A number of years before I entered the ministry I attended two or three
of those
meetings. The last one that I attended was when Rev. Arthur W. Elliott
preacher in charge. O, that was a precious season never to be forgotten!
Hundreds were awakened and converted, and among the number Rev. Zachariah

Wharton, of the Cincinnati conference. Many that attended that meeting
are now
numbered among the redeemed ones in a better world.
While traveling on West Union circuit, Rev. John A. Baughman and myself
one of those annual gatherings. At that meeting Dr. Durbin, Rev. William
Christie, Rev. Joseph M. Trimble, Rev. Henry B. Bascom, Rev. John
Collins, and
many other bright and shining lights, preached with great power and
In 1837 I was appointed to White Oak circuit as the junior preacher. On
Ripley, Mrs. Mc____, an old acquaintance, whose parents resided in the
bounds of
that circuit, remarked to me as follows: "Now, brother Mack, in going
your circuit, be careful not to make any remarks about any one that you
may see
at any one of your appointments." I asked the reason why. She replied, a
are nearly all closely related to each other by kindred ties." I found
strikingly true -- the Greggs, Penns, Pigmans, Sargents, Buchanans,
Richards, Goodwins, Griffiths, Simmons, and Fees had a representative at
every appointment.
Thank God! the "glory has not departed from White Oak circuit." May it
for a long time to come Amen.
I will now close this trip along the borders of my second circuit, by
introducing an autograph letter from Rev. John Meek, who now lives in
It will, no doubt, be read with much satisfaction by thousands in
southern Ohio
and elsewhere:
"In the fall of 1804 our conference, I believe, was held at brother
in Kentucky. The bishop did not get there. Rev. William McKendree was
president of the conference during the session. When it was announced
that he
was the choice of the brethren, as chairman of the conference, he arose,
and, in
a flood of tears, expressed his deep sense of obligation to his brethren
for the
confidence they had placed in him, and begged their indulgence, and also
fervent supplication to the great Head of the Church that he might be
And, indeed, there appeared to be but one feeling to pervade the whole,
friendship; for here, let me say, in those days of suffering and of toil,
blessed law of kindness was the governing principle. And, verily, we had
blessed season of the Divine presence; for the God of the wilderness was
with us
of a truth.
"Our beloved McKendree presided with great ability; and I believe I am
when I say that the preachers seldom, if ever, received their
appointments with
a better state of feeling, or went more cheerfully to their different
fields of
labor. My name stood for Miami circuit, and Rev. Abraham Amos for my
We started immediately to our new field of labor, and I soon round that I
much favored in the character of my fellow laborer. He was a man much
devoted to
God, a faithful minister of Jesus Christ. A divine power generally
attended his
ministry. He was truly a 'son of thunder.' We spent a happy year together
mutual labor and toil.
Our field of operation embraced the following boundaries, namely: The
point was at Cincinnati. here we preached in a yellow frame house, that
rented by the society in town for a meeting house. From Cincinnati we
made our
way around the circuit, up the Ohio river to Columbia; from thence to
Town -- Bethel - and Williamsburg, and through the settlement of Philip
and on through that region of country to where the town of Xenia now
stands, till we arrived at Boggues', high up on the Little Miami river.
Boggues' we changed our route from said river, through a lonesome
following Indian trails, to the settlement of a brother Clarke, whose
house was
a preaching place, about two miles from where the beautiful town of
Urbana now
stands; and from Clarke's we traveled down Mad river to where it emptied
crystal waters into the Great Miami river.
Here was a preaching place in the town of Dayton, which was then composed
of but
few buildings, the main portion of which were huddled near the junction
of the
two rivers, and a few small houses scattered about among the shrubbery
the bottoms, among which was our meeting house, which was a one-story
built of round logs, without chinking or daubing, as we then called it. I

believe the house properly belonged to the Presbyterian Church. Their
was by the name of Welch, and I believe he was a good-natured, clever
kind of a
man. Here were but a few members in Church fellowship, and some of them
cold in religion. From Dayton we continued our course down the Miami
river, by
the way of Lebanon, and through the town of Reading, down Mill creek to
Cincinnati. The foregoing was our field of labor. When we first came to
it, it
was then a four weeks' circuit, without any rest time, except when
asleep. "We
soon heard the Macedonian cry, 'Come over and help us!' We obeyed the
call, and
commenced enlarging our borders, and soon found ourselves at work on a
weeks' circuit. Rev. William Burke, who was yet our presiding elder-a
watchman on the walls of our beloved Zion -- sent to our help my former
colleague, brother William Patterson. We 'thanked God, and took courage.'
Let it
here be stated, we did not enlarge our circuit in order to get a week to
that we might read and study, and thereby gain knowledge, but that we
might hunt
up the 'wandering sheep in the wilderness.' Blessed be God! We searched
not in
vain; and, on finding them in their scattered settlements, they would bid
welcome to their cabins with, 'Come in, thou blessed of the Lord, come
in!' O,
sirs, those were days of no ordinary delight! and, though I am now ranked
the old men of the conference, yet, sometimes, when I look back to those
and think how wonderfully the Lord supported and blessed me, I feel
something of
the same flame of zeal that then warmed my youthful heart.
"We were permitted to witness some gracious displays of Divine grace
through the
summer of 1805. I can recollect but very few names of persons at whose
or settlements, the great Head of the Church was pleased to revive his
work. I
will, however, state a few instances: At Clarke's, on Mad river, there
was a
gracious work. A number of careless and hardened sinners were powerfully
awakened, and, I believe, soundly converted to God. At one appointment at
house, during the revival, I received into the Church fifteen names on
probation, which were very encouraging indeed in that then thinly-settled
of the world; for it was the upper white settlement, but one, on Mad
river at
that time.
"At our next appointment below, at Ross', there was a good work of grace,
was preceded by rather a singular circumstance. At the time of one of our
at that appointment, there were two ladies there on a visit from
one married and the other single; one of them very gay and fond of the
of the times. Some time in the after part of the day -- the family were
absent - the two ladies above-named and the preacher were engaged in a
conversation on different subjects. The conversation was soon changed;
preacher was requested to preach them a sermon; the request was complied
The text was Luke xii, 32: 'Fear not, little flock; for it is your
Father's good
pleasure to give you the kingdom.' The Spirit of God directed the word to
proud heart of Mrs. P____. She trembled, wept, and, in the anguish of her
pleaded for pardon. This small congregation was dismissed for that time.
Meeting was appointed for next evening at the same place. The people met,
service commenced; the power of the Lord was present to heal. The
lady, deeply wounded, fell under the mighty power of God, and cried
mightily to
him for salvation . and it was not long till the Lord appeared and set
her soul
at liberty, and gave her to rejoice in his love. From that time we had a
work in that settlement. We appointed a two days' meeting in Cincinnati.
John Collins, then in the prime of life, came to our help, with the sound
of his
Master's feet behind him. We had a comfortable time on Saturday. We
appointed a
love-feast meeting on Sabbath morning, the first meeting of the kind that
ever held in Cincinnati. Our meeting was held in the courthouse; we met,
to hold
love-feast, in the 'grand-jury room.' Our blessed Savior mett with us of
truth, and mad the hearts of his people to rejoice in his love. The voice
triumph was heard by the people out of doors and in the streets. This was

something new in Cincinnati. They rushed up stairs, burst open the door,
to see
what it all meant, and lo they found a few faithful followers of the Lord
rejoicing in hope of heaven, and also of better days in Cincinnati.
"I believe the good seed that was sowed in Cincinnati, in those days of
toil and
struggle, did not perishh. May the Lord still carry on his own glorious
"A meeting house was built during that year in Clermont county, I think
not far
from where Felicity now stands. They called it Hopewell. At the
dedication the
power of the Lord was present in the assembly, and many stout-hearted
were made to yield to the spirit of Divine truth. The cry for mercy was
from many a bleeding heart, and souls were enabled to rejoice in
through the blood of the Lamb. Revs. McKendree and Burke were at the
and preached in the 'power and demonstration of the Spirit.' On Sabbath
McKendree preached from 2 Cor. iii, 18 'But we all, with open face
beholding as
in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from
glory to
glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.' Brother Burke followed, and
from the 17th verse of the same chapter: 'Now the Lord is that Spirit,
and where
the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.' The Lord attended, and
sinners fell
under his saving power as men slain in battle. Truly the Lord made us to
in the wilderness; our cup run over. Glory be to God! We had a rich
"As I write other scenes of a like nature are presented to my
recollection. To
tell you all that I now could call to memory, would too far exceed my
limits, and I fear your readers would become weary. But, surrounded with
those Divine visitations, we had some few scenes to pass through which
for a kind of offset. I presume it is generally the fact, that the first
settlers in a new country are made up of every variety of character, at
least it
appeared a good deal like it when we first came out of the Miami circuit.
one case out of the many: On my first round I arrived at one of our
places. I soon discovered a very striking resemblance of matters and
things in
the house and out of doors. My conviction was I should have use for all
fortitude I could summon in order to manage myself any how tolerably. I
myself as happy as my situation would admit for the night. On the next
day the
people collected to hear the new preacher. After divine service was
brought to a
close, and the people dispersed, the table was set for dinner. We had a
dish of boiled pork and turnips swimming in broth. By the time we were
seated, and about to commence eating, a large family dog, not willing to
till his turn should come, without any invitation, mounted and took his
place on
the table; and, unfortunately for me, he carelessly set one foot on the
side of
the above-named dish of pork and turnips, and threw a quantity of the
broth out,
which ran into my lap plentifully. This, for a moment, put me a little
out of
patience; but when I discovered that some of the folks were quite
diverted with
the amusing adventure of my new friend, I too indulged in a smile, and
let it go
for what it was worth. I took my dinner, got my horse, mounted, and went
on my
"Yours, in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ,
"John Meek"