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Important Events in the History of the Shaker Society at Union Village


Transcription contributed by Arne H Trelvik 27 July 2004

The History of Warren County Ohio
Part III. The History of Warren County by Josiah Morrow
Part IV Township Histories
Turtle Creek Township
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)


A record of important events in the history of the Shaker Society at Union Village has been kept, from which the following is selected:
1805 – March 22, arrival of first missionaries from New Lebanon, N.Y.; Malcham Worley embraces the new faith March 27; Ann Middleton, March 29; Cornelius Campbell, March 31, and about the same time, Joseph Stout, and soon after, Francis and Polly Bedle, and Richard and Jenny McNemar April 24; on May 23, the first meeting of the believers held at David Hill’s, about a mile from Union Village, south by west.

1806 – Jun 5, Elder David Darrow and all the brethren and sisters who came from the East removed from Malcham Worley’s, hitherto their place of sojourn, to their own premises, afterward called the South House, having at first only some small cabins to dwell in; August 11, log blacksmith shop put up for Daniel Mosely; September 1, new frame house raised.

1808 – February 16, first saw-mill started; June 15, John McLean at Lebanon commences printing first edition of the book entitled “Christ’s Second Appearing,” which is completed December 31.

1809 – January 8, meeting held in the first meeting-house.

1812 – January 14, first ministry constituted their order and the church covenant is signed; it is estimated that in what might be called the first gathering of the society before its organization into a church order in 1812, there were, old and young, 370 souls; February 11, the step manner of square order of exercise in worship is introduced.

1813 – Carding house and machine built
1815 – Grist-mill started.
1816 – Oil-mill started.
1817 – The shuffle manner of worship introduced.
1818 – Church covenant renewed and signed by 250 covenenting members.
1819 – The Sheriff takes a horse and a yoke of oxen for muster fines; Nathan Sharp, finding the animals in Lebanon, turns them loose, and they return home.
1821 – Three thousand pounds of wool carded.
1823 – Printing press put in operation.
1829 – Three hundred and four covenant members; whole number of members, about five hundred.

1831 – Many leave the society this year, perhaps more than in any other year.
1832 – February 12, the greatest flood known in the country; February 22, John Wallace and his fellow-apostates attempt to take and hold possession of the grist-mill; March 25, flax barn set on fire and burned; April 11, west saw-mill set on fire, but the flames were extinguished.
1835 – February 7, mercury sixteen degrees below zero; February 8, eighteen degrees below zero; June 9, greatest flood known in the history of the society; all three mills swept away, clothier’s shop carried away, oil-mill much injured, a considerable part of the grist-mill race filled up; damages estimated at from $10,000 to $12,000; September 9, Nathan Sharp leaves the society. [The defection of the Nathan Sharp, who was a leading business man and financial agent of the society, caused the Shakers much trouble.]
1836 – A careful enumeration shows 330 members – a serious diminuation since 1829.
1837 – Palm leaf manufactory started.
1839 – During this and the succeeding year, there prevailed a remarkable revival, which was accompanied with communications from the spirit world, which are recorded in the sacred records of the society. There were also wonderful bodily exercises, such as jerking, shaking, bowing, dancing, falling in a trance and singing new songs learned by the visionists in the spirit land. The records describe frequent displays of heavenly lights playing upon the walls of the rooms. The balls of light often had brilliant writing inscribed upon them, which were read by the inspired visionists. The record, under the date of May 22, 1839, contains the words and music of a little song received through a girl under inspiration. “She learnt the song from a company of angels who were singing it, and we soon learned the song from her as she sang it with the angels.”
1841 – Two hundred and eight church members, exclusive of the minors, of whom there are many.
1854 – July 31, stock imported from Scotland arrives apparently jaded and sadly used up from the effects of a long sea voyage.
1855 – March 17, sold blooded Durham cattle from March 1, 1854, to date, $8,420 worth.
1860 – The society numbers 364.

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This page created 27 July 2004 and last updated 21 November, 2006
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