Sunday, October 30, 2016

When Church and Family History Collide – Part 1

Sometime in the late 1920s, Sarah Eva Howe's aunt Louisiana Winslow Howe took it upon herself to respond to a question printed in her local newspaper, the Carrollton Democrat. The question: "How many Methodist churches have there been in Carrollton?"

Lou's answer wasn't just a number. She wrote an article more than 1,000 word in length!

Today I post a transcription of that article, not because I think all of you are eager to know the history of Methodism in Carrollton but because Lou includes stories and names. Lots of names. We know from other written histories that she was not always on target with dates, but that doesn't diminish the value of her article to those seeking ancestors and stories. Genealogists and historians with Carroll County roots, this post is for you.

Forasmuch as the publishers are anxious to have a response to the query propounded a short time ago in the Carrollton Democrat, “How many Methodist churches have there been in Carrollton?” yielding to their urgent request I have examined some old papers and have discovered a pamphlet, designated as the “Methodist Church Directory,” prepared and distributed among the membership in 1898. It would be gratifying to learn if other copies have been preserved.

This pamphlet contains several pages, mentioning at some length “A few facts worthy to be recorded in the history of the nineteenth century.”

For the information and enlightenment of those who may be interested, I have agreed to furnish for publication, at the present time, the following paragraphs.

In 17_ _ [1] the Reverend Henry Ogburn, a preacher of the Methodist church, came with his wife and family from Virginia to this State. He frequently preached at his own residence, the stone house with a flat roof, south of the Ghent road, on the north side of what is known as Ogburn’s Hill, and also at the home of Richard Masterson, near the bank of the Ohio river, about a mile from our corporation limit: the house is now owned by R.W. O’Neal and occupied by John Hewitt.

It was in that house in 1817 that Louisiana Winslow [2] , then eleven years of age (afterwards Mrs. Henry Moore), joined the Methodist church, remaining an active member and consistent Christian until she was called to the church triumphant in 1882.

A log house, weatherboarded, on Sixth street, facing west, about half way between Seminary and Clay streets, was used as a place for worship during several years subsequent to 1820.

We subjoin an early record left with Mrs. M.J. Masterson by Mrs. Sarah Boorom when she left Carrollton in 1869. It consists of the names of persons belonging to the class led by George W. Boorom in 1824:

Home of Richard and Sarah Masterson, church organizers, 1790
Henry Ogburn
Charlotte Ogburn

Log church built 1810 on the farm of Henry Ogburn, first minister
Elizabeth Guinea
Joseph Hardy
Rebecca Hardy
Margaret Hardy
Nancy Porter
Sarah Masterson
Sarah Peniston
George W. Boorom
Lucy W. Boorom
Garland Bullock
Mary Bullock
Sarah Bullock
Hannah Vanpelt
Mary Blair
Nathaniel Porter
Patsy Porter
Mary Ogburn
Nancy Gaunt
Esme M. Lowe

Brick church, built 1818, sold 1830 [4]
Rachel Lowe
Sally Lowe
Mary McClelland
Margaret S. Winslow
Louisiana Winslow
Sarah Pearson
Catherine Crosley
Anne Gaunt
Rachel Parks
Nancy Shields
Hane Metcalf
Eliza Lingenfelter
Maria Abbett
Nancy Hawkins
Angeletta Vanpelt
George Goddard
Theresa Goddard
Eliza Goddard
Sally Bailey
Nancy Goddard
Eleanor Goddard
Nathan Lee
Sally Netherland
Lydia Clark

James Hutchison
Colored members: Phyllis, Sarah, Lucinda, K [3]

It is possible that these constituted the total membership at that date, although there may have been other classes; the colored women whose names are appended were no doubt worthy slaves belonging to some of the white members.

Jonathan Stamper was presiding elder; James P. Milligan pastor, and James H. Ross, associate pastor; the church in this locality was one appointment of Licking circuit, probably embracing the country between the Kentucky and Licking Rivers.

It will doubtless be interesting to many of our people, as well as to some now connected with other denominations, to examine the foregoing list with the purpose of discovering how many may claim relationship with this Methodist ancestry.

Sarah Bullock, fourteenth on the list, was married a short time afterward to the preacher, James Milligan, who only lived a few months, when she was again married to George W. Boorom and lived for many years in Carrollton. The remains of this honored couple are interred in the burying ground south of the present Methodist church.

The first brick church in this locality was erected about the year 1830 [5] on High street, between Third and Fourth, at least eight years before the name of the town of Port William was changed to Carrollton. The bricks were burned in a brick yard near the Kentucky river, owned and managed by Wm. H. Harrison. It was a one-story building, having four windows on each side, one large window in the front between two doors, one used exclusively for men and the other for women. Both doors opened on to a portico having four columns which supported its roof, that roof being crowned in the center by a square belfry or cupola with an oval dome. The pulpit was between the two front doors so that late comers faced the assembled congregation. At the rear was a door and stairway leading to a gallery on the inside of the building, which was used for the accommodation of colored people, who frequently came and listened to the white preachers. (Later the Methodists built a church for them on Sycamore street, between Fourth and Fifth.)

The brick edifice on High street was occupied regularly for Sunday school in the summer at eight and in the winter at eight thirty in the morning, preaching at eleven a.m. and seven p.m. on Sunday, and for prayer meeting on Thursday evening. These services were continued without interruption all through the years of the war between the States, though many other churches closed their doors.

The last sermon within its walls was preached the first Sunday in July, 1870, by Bishop Hubbard Hindle Kavanaugh, who had come to Carrollton to baptize his namesake, the oldest son of the pastor, Rev. E.L. Southgate. The following week the building was torn down and replaced by the present structure (standing on the same lot), which was dedicated on December 25, 1870, and is now being remodeled.

The ground was donated by William Winslow, who had moved from Virginia to the town of Port William, in what was then Gallatin County, in 1804.

Some years ago a careful investigation was made of the old Quarterly Conference records which had been kept by William Beverly Winslow. He had been selected recording secretary in 1835, when he was 21 years old, and filled the position almost continuously in the years that followed until he was called to his eternal home in 1883. By reference to the first entry made in the record, beginning with 1835, it was ascertained that Rev. H.S. Duke was presiding elder and Rev. J.C. Harrison, circuit preacher. The first Quarterly Conference for the Conference year was held at Owenton, showing that Port William and Owenton were two appointments of what was then Port William circuit.

On that occasion January 23, 1836, Thomas C. Cropper was granted license to preach. At the next Quarterly Conference April 10, 1836, Rev. William McD. Abbott was licensed to preach. In after years this good man served a number of stations in the Kentucky Conference, also was presiding elder on the Shelbyville and Covington districts, and in 1880 returned to Carrollton, a superannuated preacher, where be bought a home in which he lived until his peaceful transition . . .


Apparently, the article continued on another page of the newspaper, but I have not found it in the scrapbooks. I did find a follow-up article, also written by L.W. (Mrs. W.F.) Howe. I'll feature that article in the next blog post.

[1] The numbers are unreadable in Sarah's scrapbook. On Page 164 of The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky by Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool (via Google Books), a segment on Carrollton United Methodist Church states that Henry Ogburn began holding services in Carrollton in the 1790s and in 1799 performed the first marriage service conducted in Carrollton. The bride was Mary Pickett; the groom was Nicholas Lantz.
[2] Likely a family member for whom Aunt Lou was named. A grave marker in the Carrollton Methodist Church Cemetery says Louisa, born 1806, died 1882. 
[3] The paper is torn, and the rest of this name is missing. Other writings on church history list this name as Kitty.
[4] Images do not appear with the article but are published on the cover of a booklet on the history of Carrollton (Kentucky) United Methodist Church. Used here with permission.
[5] A history compiled by the church indicates that the church was built in 1818 and sold in 1830 to raise funds to build another church. The congregation met in the county court house until the new church was completed in 1833.

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