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Rev. Richard Simonton (1787-1849)

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Transcription contributed by Arne H Trelvik 30 May 2003

Sources:
The History of Warren County Ohio
Part V. Biographical Sketches
Turtlecreek Township
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)
Related Links:
Bethany Christian Church Cemetery

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REV. RICHARD SIMONTON, deceased, better known among his contemporaries as Elder Simonton, was born on the 31st day of January, 1787, in Iredell Co., N.C.; his parents were natives of the North of Ireland, but were of Scotch descent. While the subject of this sketch was yet very young, the family moved to Ohio and settled in what is now Warren County, enduring all the hardships and privations incident to the lives of the early settlers. At the age of 21, he was married to Miss Mary Hatfield, belonging to a family who came to Ohio from New Jersey at a very early date; shortly after his marriage, he with his wife moved to Preble County, where he purchased a farm, near Eaton, of 147 acres of Francis Dunlevy, paying therefor $3.50 per acre; being dissatisfied with the locality, however, he soon returned to Warren County and bought land southeast of Lebanon, on the road leading from Lebanon to Morrow. In the war of 1812, he served as a private in Capt. Reeder’s company of dragoons, and upon the expiration of his term of service returned to his occupation of farming. He professed the Christian religion when quite young, and at a time when there was a general revival of religion in Ohio: he very soon became zealous in the cause of Christ, and took an active part in social meetings; on the 18th of October, 1821, at Bethany Church, which he had been mainly instrumental in organizing, he was regularly ordained and set apart to the work of the ministry by fasting, praying and laying on of the hands of the Elders; he was soon chosen pastor of several churches, for in those days no one country church was able to support a minister. and hence services were held fortnightly and monthly, thus making the work of the pastor an arduous task. The church at Bethany was under his care; he also had charge of the Burlington Church, in Hamilton County, where he labored with great success, and for many years he was Pastor of the Fellowship Church. On the 31st of August, 1843, he lost his wife, whose death was caused by cancer in the face; she suffered long and severely, but her sufferings were borne with Christian patience; after remaining for some years a widower, he married Mrs. Ede Smith, a widow lady of Hamilton County, who still survives him. Elder Simonton’s manner of preaching was peculiar to himself: he was careful to mature his sermons well; he generally had his proof, texts marked in his book, and

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would turn to them, and read them; his manner was pleasant and impressive; his voice clear, energetic and powerful; he possessed great weight and decision of character, and was beloved and esteemed by all who knew him; he was admired for his punctuality; he scarcely ever failed to meet his appointments; he would not hesitate to ride many miles through incessant storms of rain and snow and piercing cold to fill his engagements. He was by no means fond of controversy and generally avoided it, yet, when duty seemed to call for it, he took hold of what he considered error in either doctrine or practice with fortitude and handled it without gloves; he was a member of the Miami Conference for many years, and was always in his place. After having been a minister of the Gospel for nearly thirty years, Elder Simonton died at his residence, one mile south of Lebanon, on the 22d day of September, 1849, of bilious fever. At the time of his death, he had seven living children, five sons, David, Hiram, Joseph, John and William, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Jane. One of his sons, Hiram, afterward became a prominent minister in the Christian Church.

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This page created 30 May 2003 and last updated 16 October, 2013
© 2003-2005 Arne H Trelvik  All rights reserved