276 - History of Vermillion County Biographical and Historical Record of
Vermillion County, Indiana

the senior member of the firm has died, and the junior has moved away.

In December following an enraged woman from the country came into town and smashed in the windows of a saloon where her husband was spending too much of his time, made a general "scatterment" among the inmates and soon persuaded her loafing husband to take a straight line for home.

In 1877 the Murphy, or blue-ribbon movement struck Newport like a cyclone. At the very first meeting 153 signed the pledge, and in a few days afterward probably as many more. But the red-ribbon movement, inaugurated by Tyler Mason in 1879, proved to have more vitality. Of this, Thomas Cushman, William Gibson and Robert B. Sears were in succession presidents.

A Woman's Christian Temperance Union was organized in Newport, in which the leaders were Mrs. Zachariah Thornton, Mrs. Ramsey, Mrs. Ervin Lamb, Mrs. Sears and others. At one time they had forty or fifty members or more, but their meetings have been discontinued. In connection with the Perrysville union, they for a time edited a temperance column in the Hoosier State.

Order of Eclampsus Vitus!
-- This is the high-sounding title, apparently Greek or Latin, of an imaginary secret society, taking its rise at Newport and other points in this county probably about fifteen years ago, whose entertainment consists in blindfolding the candidate for initiation and playing a variety of make-believe tricks upon him.


The Presbyterians organized a church here many years ago, ran down and reorganized in the spring of 1875, by Rev. Mitchell, of Clinton, with only seven members. The ruling elders were M. G. Rhoads and I. B. Fusselman, now of Danville, Illinois. Mr. Rhoads and his wife are the only members now, and there is no regular preaching. The church building, a frame about 40 x 50 feet, on Market street a little east of the public square, was erected probably about forty years ago, soon after the first organization was effected, and is now occupied by the United Brethren. There has never been a resident pastor at Newport. Among the earlier pastors were Rev. J. Hawks, of Perrysville, some thirty years ago, who died about ten years afterward; Rev. Henry Bacon, now of Toledo, Ohio, then of Covington, Indiana; after a vacancy, Rev. Mitchell preached once a month for a part of a year, 1875-'76.

The Methodists organized a class at Newport in primitive days. in time they built a church. When this became old, and the congregation too large for it, it was sold and some time afterward torn down. The present large edifice was erected about 1851, except that eighteen feet have since been added. The present membership is 175, including a few probationers. The class-leaders are Rev. John A. Parrett, a local preacher, and Abel Sexton. Exhorter, John Henson. Stewards -- H. H. Conley, C. S. Davis, David Hopkins, James Hasty and Joshua N. Davis. Sunday-school all the year, with an average attendance of 125, superintended by Abel Sexton for the last twenty years. Rev. Richard S. Martin, pastor, occupying the very fine parsonage on East Market street, built in 1882. The greatest revivals, or periods of special interest, were under the ministrations of Revs. Richard Robinson, about 1860, W. A. Smith and J. H. Hollingsworth.

The United Brethren Church at Newport was organized in 1870, by Rev. Samuel Garrigus, who was then a resident of Bellmore, Parke County, but is now at Crawfordsville, this State. The society at first comprised but
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twelve or fourteen members, but it has increased to ninety, principally under the labors of the present pastor, Rev. B. F. Dungan, within the last few months. The first class-leader was C. M. Parkes; the present class-leader is Rettie R. Smith; assistant class-leader, Mrs. Belle Thornton. These ladies have a very large field of spiritual work, compared with class-leaders generally. A lively Sunday-school of about seventy pupils is maintained throughout the year, superintended by Mrs. Thornton. The steward of the church at this point is Z. P. Thornton. The society at present worships in the Presbyterian church, on Market street, one block east of the public square, but they contemplate building a house of worship this year. A pleasant house is rented for a parsonage in the west part of the village.

Rev. B. F. Dungan, minister in charge of the United Brethren churches of the Newport Circuit, Upper Wabash Conference, was born in Fountain County, Indiana, in 1863. His parents, Benjamin T. and Hannah (Campbell, nee Shoup) Dungan, are both living in Parke County. Both the parents are natives of Ohio; father of Scotch, German and Irish ancestry, and the mother of German. Mr. Dungan was brought up on a farm, and has always been an industrious, hard-working laborer, both with mind and body. Was ordained a local preacher in the church of his choice June 28, 1883, and since September, 1885, he has been a member of the annual conference. Having a strong physical foundation and a high ambition, he is a "man of destiny" in its noblest sense. June 13, 1883, he married Miss Mary Taulby, daughter of C. Columbus and Emeline Taulby, and a native of Boone County, Indiana. Both her parents are deceased. Since September, 1886, Mr. and Mrs. Dungan have been residents of Newport.