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Churches


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Transcription contributed by Martie Callihan 12 April 2005

Sources:

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


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The Friends Meeting House, a one-story brick building at Roachester, was erected about the year 1818. The ground upon which it was built, one acre, was

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deeded October 17, 1816, by James and Mahlon Roach to Isaac Thomas, Jr., Benjamin Nincle, Jonah Cadwallader and Andrew Whitacre, Trustees of the Friends of "Hopewell Meeting." It was given for both church and burial purposes. The following-named persons were the heads of families then belonging to this society of Friends: Benjamin Butterworth, Robert Whitacre, Thomas Cadwallader, Ruth Tribby, Elijah Thomas and Jesse Williams. Years prior to the building of the meeting house, Robert Whitacre was instrumental in the organization of this meeting, which was called Hopewell, after a meeting of Friends in Virginia. They worshipped for some time in a small log house which stood about three-quarters of a mile southeast of the present building. About the close of the late civil war, the society became weak and the meeting was "laid down." In 1872 it was revived, but again suspended in the Spring of 1882. Since the division in the Society of Friends, it was a Hicksite congregation.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, in the same village, a one-story brick, was erected prior to the year 1830; upon ground deeded to that congregation by Mahlon Roach. It was one of the early religious societies of Salem Township. It is now a part of the South Lebanon Circuit, and has a membership of forty. The minister in charge is Rev. G. M. Hammell.

Shiloh Methodist Episcopal Church, situated in the eastern part of Section 14, was organized as a mission in the year 1844 or '45, and the first meeting held at the residence of Joseph Keever, in the vicinity of the present church building. Among the original members were Elijah Trovillo and wife Mary, Joseph Keever and wife Mary A., and Jackson St. John and wife. For a number of years the congregation worshipped in an old wagonmaker's shop, which stood not far from the present church, and was fitted up for that purpose, and in a log schoolhouse, then standing about a half mile distant toward Morrow. In five or six years after the organization of the society, the one-story frame building, still standing, was erected on ground donated to the church by Jackson St. John. It was originally "Merritstown Mission." It has since been in a number of different circuits, and on several occasions has been attached to some of the neighboring stations, now being a part of the South Lebanon Charge.

The first church built in the town of Morrow was a small structure, built previous to 1847, by private subscription. It was known as a union church, and was occupied alternate Sundays by the different denominations then existing in the village. After the completion of the railroad to Morrow, a large number of men were employed in work along the line of the road. Many of these were Catholics, and St. Malachy's Catholic Church was organized by Rev. Blake, in 1849 or '50, with a large membership. They held their services for some time in the union church and school building. In 1854 they erected at a cost of about $2,000, a small one-story brick house, with a seating capacity of about 800, on a lot donated by William H. Clement. In 1866 a tower and belfry was added at a cost of $3,000. In this a bell weighing 1,400 pounds, donated by the section men on the railroad, was hung. In 1864 the congregation bought a building which stood near the church and was used for a private schoolhouse, and converted it into a large and commodious parsonage. The society now includes about twenty families, and is under the pastoral charge of Rev. O'Donohue, who has served the church hi this capacity many years.

The Presbyterian Church of Morrow was first organized about 1848 by Rev. Hicks, with the following eight members: Dr. James Scott and wife, Mrs. Abbey Dynes, Miss Sarah Newall, Miss Lettie Newall, Miss Martha Newall, Mrs. Gordon, and another lady whose name cannot now be learned. Dr. Scott, the only male member, was elected Elder. The society did not prosper and soon ceased to exist as a church. In 1857 it was reorganized through the personal efforts of Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Mansfield, with seven members, among who were Mr. and Mrs. Mansfield, Mrs. Abbey Dynes and Mrs. Fairchild. In 1858 a church was built at a cost of between

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$3,000 and $4,000, The pulpit has been filled mostly by stated supplies; the only installed pastors of whom any record can be obtained, being Rev. G. S. J. Brown, Rev. C. P. Taylor and Rev. E. T. Swiggett, the present incumbent. Mr. Swiggett has had charge of the pastorate since December II, 1879. Mrs. Abbey Dynes, who still resides in the village, is the only surviving member of the original organization.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, of Morrow, was organized about 1848, with about ten members. They commenced building a church soon after their organization, and until it 'was completed held their services in the union church. A lot was donated to them by William H, Clement, which they afterwards sold and purchased the lot where the church now stands. The church now numbers 240 members. As the early records of the society are lost, only a few of the more recent incumbents of the pastorate can be named. Rev. N. C. Parrish, from August 29, 1870, three years; Rev. William Young, September 19, 1878, one year; Rev. B. F. Dimmick, September, 1874, three years; Rev. G. W. Dubois, September, 1877, three years; Rev. V. F. Brown, September 6, 1880, still in charge. A successful Sunday School, under the present Superintendency of G. W. Davis, is conducted in connection with the church. It averages in attendance about 175 scholars.


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