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Churches


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Transcription contributed by Martie Callihan 26 March 2005

Sources:

The History of Warren County Ohio
Part IV Township Histories
Massie Township by Hon. Thomas M. Wales
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)


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651

The Society of Friends' Grove Meeting House, situated on an eight-acre lot about one and one-half miles south of Harveysburg, was the first church built. The deed of the ground, dated January 26, 1820, shows that David Macy, William Gray and Levi Lukens, as trustees of Grove Meeting, bought the lot of Richard Moon. The first house built was of hewn logs, used for many years as both church and school house. Among the first teachers of the school taught here were Archilles Dicks, John Brevett, John Gilpin, Hannah Brown (nee Lukens), Charles Mills, Noah Wheeler, David Wickersham, Enoch Harlan, Robert T. D. Lewis, Benjamin Dyer, Elizabeth Welch, Mary Wales and others. In 1820 there was a division in the society and both branches moved to Harveysburg.

The United Brethren Church was organized in 1823 by Daniel Bonebreak and Alfred Carder, and in 1839 the present brick church was built in place of the log one that formerly occupied the ground. Abigail Ham and her husband and Ephraim Mills were among the first to join the church after its organization.

About the year 1820, near where the road from Waynesville to Wilmington crosses the Clinton County line, a log church was built in the interest of the Seceders, with the assistance of other denominations and those not belonging to any society. As it was free to all, it was known as the Public Meeting House. It also was used as a schoolhouse. In the ground surrounding it many bodies were buried, most of them having since been moved to other grounds; but many remain there, and the ground is now held by the township for burial purposes.

Beech Grove Freewill Baptist Church is located on the Harveysburg and Freeport Turnpike, in Massie Township. The society was organized by Elder John Hisey in the year 1849, and now numbers about fifty members. About the year 1851 a church was built on a lot donated by Wesley Warwick. Previous to this time the members worshipped in the schoolhouse and in private dwellings. In 1868, the society having largely increased, a more substantial and commodious building was erected on the same site, the old church having been removed. The original membership has now almost disappeared, many having left the neighborhood, and others died. Previous to the organization of Massie Township this church was known as the "Second Church in Wayne," but it was afterwards changed to its present name. Elder John Hisey was pastor until 1879, when Edward Pemlott, a young minister, was chosen, and after retaining the charge eighteen months, left for Michigan in August 1881, since which time the church has been without a pastor.

The first schoolhouse in what is now Massie Township, was built in 1817, on the land of Isaac Wales, about one and one-half miles north of Harveysburg. It was a rough log house covered with clapboards, held down by weight poles, with a puncheon floor, stick chimney, and no door. An opening in the logs, covered with greased paper, admitted a little light, and served as a window. The first teacher of the school was Judith Butterworth (nee Welch), who is now living in Laporte, Ind., in the eighty-second year of her age. The school was next taught by Robert Way, of Pennsylvania, and afterwards by Jeremiah Reynolds, Isaac Thornbury and others. It was a prosperous school from the first, and soon became so popular that scholars came many miles to attend it. The school was so large, and the house was so small, that in pleasant weather the scholars were obliged to study in

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the surrounding woods and only repaired to the house when necessary to recite their lessons.
Other private and public subscription schools were soon opened throughout the township, and continued to be taught until our present school system was fully in operation.

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This page created 26 March 2005 and last updated 26 November, 2012
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