David B. Updegraff


REV. DAVID B. UPDEGRAFF, the well known preacher is of Quaker ancestry and comes of a long line of ministers and elders of the church. His grandfather, Jonathan Taylor, a Virginian, who became one of the first settlers of Mt. Pleasant was a man of enterprise and energy, which in pioneer times made him of incalculable benefit to the community. Benovelence and unbounded hospitality, wlso, were marked traits of his character. Much of his time and means were devoted to religion, and in his house the Friends held their meetings until a church could be built. He died in Ireland in 1831 while on a religious visit to the churches in that country. His wife, Ann Taylor, survived him many years. She was a woman of rare mental endowments, of piety, energy and endurance. Many of her quaint sayings are household words to this day. She was widely known as a minister in the Society of Friends and rode thousands of miles on horse-back in her ministerial work, and even after her ninetieth year, she traveled hundreds of miles in her private carriage on religious missions. David Updegraff, father of our subject, was a man of more than average ability, and sterling worth of character, who was very successful in his various business engagements. He was an elder in the church, where his decision of character and clear convictions made his influence felt for good. He always took the side of the oppressed, was one of the first outspoken anti-slavery men of the day, and voted with the first liberty party from conscientious convictions. He lived an honored and useful life and died in December 1864 at the age of seventy-six years. His wife, Rebecca (Taylor) Udegraff, whose memory is so tenderly cherished among Friends, was a minister for fofty years. She was a woman of exalted nobility of mind, highly cultured and refined with peculiar attractiveness of person and manner, was eloquent and earnest and had a wonderful power over her hearers. She lived to the age of seventy-six years. Rev. D. B. Updegraff was born August 23, 1830 near Mt. Pleasant. His parents came to Jefferson county about 1800 from Loudoun county, Va. David, the father, was the son of Nathan and Ann Updegraff, who came from Winchester, Va., in 1802 and settled near Mt. Pleasant. He was the father of eight children, of whom but two, David RB. and Mrs. George K. Jenkins, are living. One brother, Dr. J. T. Updegraff, a member of the forty-eighth congress, died in 1882. Their father's house was the home of antislavery advocates and temperance lecturers also a station on the Underground Railway. His horses, carriages and servants were always at the disposal of the escaping bondman. David B. Updegraff was a graduate of Prof. Jenkin's high school and later he took a brief course at Haverfood college. He was married September 23, 1852 to Rebecca B., daughter of William and Edith Price, of Smithfield, Ohio, and they had the following children: William P., deceased; Anna E., wife of T. Allen Hills, of Wilmington, Dela.; Oliver P., married to Mary P. Gill, of Topeka, Kan.; William R., married to Laura Heferling, of Havana, Ill.; Russell T., lumber merchant of Maple Hill, Kan. Mrs. Updegraff, who died August 11, 1865 was brought up in the Friends church and was a woman of sterling piety and virtue. Rev. Updegraff's second marriage was in September 1866, to Eliza J. C., daughter of Rev. Benjamin Mitchell, D. D., former pastor of Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian church for nearly fifty years. Their children are: Rebecca B., wife of H. H. Ratcliff, of Mt. Pleasant, Ohio; E. Grace, now a student of Earlham college, Ind.; Alice M., and David B. Rev. Updegraff in 1869 entered fully upon the work of the ministry and he has been practically the pastor of the church in which he was reared, for twenty years yet his work has largely been amongst other evangelical denominations, in all parts of the country. The calls for his services from sister churches are constant, and many more than he can accept. He is well known as a successful leader and preacher at such camp meetings as Mount Lake Park, Md., Loveland, Ohio and Pitman Grove, N. J. He is the editor and publisher of a beautiful quarterly magazine, the Friends' Expositor, now closing its third volume. This is exclusively a religious periodical, filled with the choicest matter from the pens of the ablest writers on spiritual themes. As a gentleman Mr. Updegraff is kind and courteous, and is rapid and versatile in conversation. His sermons are clear, forcible and practical. He has a wide circle of acquaintances, and he is well appreciated as friends, citizen, minister and evangelist.

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