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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Quakers 100 Anniversary Of Miami Monthly Meeting In 1903

Dallas Bogan on 10 August 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

The one-hundredth anniversary of the Miami Monthly Meeting at Waynesville was celebrated on the 17th and 18th (Friday and Saturday) of October, 1903. Waynesville was highlighted with guests from Warren, Clinton and Greene counties. Also included were visitors from Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois and Kansas. North Dakota sent the wife of Gov. White as representative of that state.
The first worship services of the Friends in Waynesville were held in 1803 in the homes of various residents, two years previous to the building of their log structure.
Growth and prosperity of the congregation grew to great bounds, which called for a new brick-meeting house to be built in 1811.
The dimensions were 40x60 feet and two stories high. Two years later, at a cost of $1500, the new meetinghouse was finished.
In 1828, a split in the Quakers lead to the minority group, called the Orthodox, leaving and later erecting a substantial red brick meeting house on the corner opposite the original structure.
The commemoration of the centennial eased all strain between the two factions. Orthodox and Hicksites both put their differences aside and joined for the memorable occasion. Both meetinghouses were used and each was represented on the program equally.
On Friday morning, at 9:30, S.H. Ellis and Charles A. Brown called the meeting to order. Addresses of welcome were made to the large audience who had assembled in the white brick-meeting house of the Hicksites. The services progressed and the history of a church unfolded by the addresses and papers introduced. All who had a part in the program proclaimed a sense of accomplishment.
An early veteran of the Society, Clarkson Butterworth, gave the history of the Miami Monthly Meeting from 1803 to 1828.
From that date Eli Jay, of Richmond, Indiana, gave the history of the Orthodox to 1903, while Davis Furnas gave the history of the Hicksites for the same period.
Some of the guest speakers on Friday afternoon were: Mary Batton Boone of Richmond, Indiana; May Pemberton of West Milton; and Dr. Robert E. Pretlow, of Wilmington.
On Friday evening, Jesse Wright, of Springboro, gave a biographical sketch of his grandfather, Joel Wright. Mary Frame of Waynesville gave an outline on Robert Furnas. Prof. Jonathan Wright, of Harveysburg, spoke on the "Trend of Modern Religious Thought Toward Quakerism."
Saturday morning biographical profiles were presented on Samuel Linton, Abijah O'Neall and Samuel Kelly.
Saturday afternoon was highlighted by a speech given by President Walton, of the George School in Pennsylvania, on the In-dwelling and In-speaking of God, as the fundamental doctrine of Quakerism.
In closing, an address was given by President Albert J. Brown, of Wilmington College, on The Message of Quakerism to the World, entitled, "God is Love and he that Dwelleth in God and God in Him."
The entertainment committee had scheduled the Sunday school room of the Orthodox Meeting House for serving meals.
The young people of both societies supported serving.
Over four hundred were served dinner on Friday and over five hundred served on Saturday, not counting the evenings.
Cost of the meals was twenty cents each. This arrangement was accredited to the committee so as to give more time to the speakers.
The Centennial given by the Friends was well represented by a broad historical view of the church and a strong showing of attendance. An estimate was given that probably eight hundred people heard the addresses Saturday afternoon.
The broad-rimmed hats, the plain Quaker bonnets, and the plain dresses were not represented in the Centennial; the dress code of the previous one hundred years seemed to have disappeared.
The two meetinghouses were now fitted with electricity, modern furniture, and one of the houses even sported an organ.
An indication of changing times in the Quakers detected modernization, but they still have a message for the people that have been handed down by their fathers and forefathers that are no less important now as then.

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This page created 10 August 2004 and last updated 25 December, 2010
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