Strong and Steadfast in the Spirit, Chapter Twelve: Kingsville Presbyterian Pastors

Congregationalist Beginnings

Dare to be a Daniel,” by PP Bliss

Standing by a purpose true,
Heeding God’s command,
Honor them, the faithful few!
All hail to Daniel’s band!
Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.[1]

With the encouragement and example of Reverend Joseph Badger, a Congregational Church was organized in Kingsville Township in 1810, the first church association in the Township. Walter Fobes and his wife; Mr. and Mrs. James Montgomery; John P. Read; and Lois Badger made up the congregation with Reverend Samuel Crocker as the minister. Reverend Crocker probably collected wood or potatoes or other barter articles instead of a monetary salary because his parishioners could not afford to pay cash for the services of a special pastor. Reverend Crocker served the church from 1810-1822.

Presbyterian Ministers

Reverend Isaac Van Tassel- 1820-1822

Lucia Badger, daughter of Reverend Joseph Badger looked back on the life she had with her husband, Reverend Isaac Van Tassel. Mr. Isaac Van Tassel was born in Durham, New York, April 7, 1791, and came to Ashtabula, 0., in 1821. In the summer of 1822, he was appointed to the Maumee Mission, by the Western Missionary Society. of Pittsburg, Pa., as assistant and teacher, and was the first member of the Mission family on the ground. Rev. Samuel Tate, of Mercer, Pa., was appointed Superintendent pro tem., remained six months, and was succeeded by Rev. Ludovicus Robbins. Mr. R. remained about two years, and was dismissed at his own request, on account of failing health.

Mr. Van Tassel taught the school and pursued his theological studies, spending one winter with Rev. G. H. Cowles, D.D, of Austinburg, O. In 1826 Mr. Van Tassel was licensed and ordained by the Huron Presbytery; he remained a member of that Presbytery until the Maumee Presbytery was formed, of which he remained a member until his death, March 2, 1849. . He was appointed Superintendent of the Maumee Mission in 1826, at which time the Mission was transferred to the A. B. C. F. M. He served in that capacity until the Mission was abandoned, in consequence of the removal of the Indians, in 1834.

He died suddenly, having been thrown from his horse and instantly killed, on his way from Gilead, (now Grand Rapids,) to our home in Plain

I was born in Blandford, Mass, Jan. 19, 1794. My maiden name was Lucia Badger. My father, Rev. Joseph Badger, was then pastor of the Congregational Church in that town. In 1800 he was appointed by the Connecticut, Missionary Society, Missionary to New Connecticut, (now Western Reserve) in the Ohio Territory, and in 1802 removed his family to Austinburg, Ashtabula, 00., O. I was married in Ashtabula, 0., to Rev. Isaac Van Tassel, Sep. 17, 1822. We went immediately to Pittsburg, where we, with others, were organized into a Mission family. We landed at Maumee, Oct. 27, 1822. r. Van Tassel repaired immediately to the site of the mission-house.[2]

Reverend Urban Palmer – 1822-1829

The Cayuga Presbytery of New York directed Reverend Palmer’s theological studies and licensed him to preach in 1820. In February 1821, he served the church in Genoa, New York and then in 1824, came to Kingsville and remained until 1829. While he pastored in Kingsville he suffered from bleeding of the lungs, which prevented him from preaching for a season. When he served at Chester, in Geauga County, he spent a summer as commander of a schooner on Lake Erie, with an excellent influence on the sailors he encountered. As his health permitted, he preached at Ridgefield and Monroe in Ridgefield County, Ohio.[3]   

Reverend Henry T. Kelley-1829-1834

Henry T. Kelly was the son of Reverend Mr. Kelly of Hampstead, New Hampshire. He left Andover Theological Seminary with the class of 1822. The Londonderry Presbytery licensed him and ordained him over the Congregational Churches in Parsonsfield and Newfield, Maine. On June 27, 1827, he was dismissed from those churches. He was installed over the church in Kingsville in 1829 and dismissed on July 9, 1834. The same day he was installed over the first church in Madison, Geauga County. While at Kingsville, Reverend Kelly supplied the church in Sheffield for a time. 

Reverend Nathan Latham-1833-1838

 Mr. Latham studied theology with Reverend Mr. Packard of Shelburne, Massachusetts. He came to the Western Reserve in 1834 and preached at Kingsville.[4]

Reverend Gregg-1838-1840

Kingsville Tribune. 1838. Married-In Kingsville on the 3d inst. by Rev. Mr. Gregg, Mr. J. Danforth of Middletown, Conn. to Miss Mary E. daughter of Ichabod Curtiss, of the former place.
[With the above the Printers received a bountiful share of the wedding cake, for which, the happy pair will please accept their thanks.]

Reverend Peleg Randall Kinney-1840-1842

The year 1811 is the first date we have of Deacon Park Morgan , who was the successful tanner and currier of pioneer ties. Of the old settlers still living , Daniel A. Thompson , a native of Columbia county , now 87 years old , came to the place in 1817 when a young man of twenty years. He has been in he blacksmithing business since that time in the village. Lucius Babcock , Reuben Doud , Wm. Shearer (the last named located where Reuben Shearer now lives) , were all early setters of McGrawville or its vicinity. William Pike , David Corey , Dr. Hiram Brockway , Revs. Peleg R. Kinney , Joseph R. Johnson , E.B. Fancher , and Rensselaer Merrill , an associate of Harry McGraw , are all prominent names in the history of this section of the town , but came upon the field somewhat later than those before mentioned.[5]

Reverend Erastus Williams, 1842-1852

Reverend Erastus Williams was the first minster of the newly united Congregationalists and Presbyterians when they merged their congregations in 1844. The 1850 United States Federal Census shows Erastus C. Williams as being born in New York about 1817, with his current residence in Kingsville, Ashtabula County, Ohio. He lived with his wife Corinna R. Webster Williams, age 25, his children Corinna C. Williams, age 4, and Charles H. Williams, 1. Mary E. Beedy, 15, from Pennsylvania, also lived with them.

On April 4, 1844, the Dunkirk, New York Beacon, noted that Reverend Erastus C. Williams of Kingsville, Ohio, married Theodore Hequembourg of St. Louis, Missouri, to Miss Heloise E. Williams, second daughter of Dr. Ezra Williams of Dunkirk. Heloise was the sister of Reverend Erastus C. Williams.

Reverend Williams died on October 3, 1878 and he is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredonia, New York.

Reverend Elam J. Comings, 1856 

 Elam Jewett Comings was born in Berkshire, Vermont, April 22, I812, and died at his home in Kingsville, Ohio, after one week’s illness, November 23, I894, aged 82 years 7 months and I day. He was separated five days only from the wife with whom he had lived for more than fifty five years, and whose death preceded his own. Mr. Comings prepared for college at Kimball Union Academy, and took a part of his course at Burlington. In 1838,  he graduated from Oberlin College, and  he worked his way through seminary graduating in 1841. His classmates included the Fairchild brothers, Dr. Strieby, H. L. Hammond, Dr. W. B. Brown and Father Barber. He, with seven classmates, was ordained at Oberlin in the summer of 1841, President Finney preaching the sermon.

 His first pastorate was at Fredericktown, Ohio, a small anti-slavery church, where he was obliged to encounter the current arguments of that time in the form of stones, rotten eggs, the shearing of his horse’s tail, and an attempt to blow up and burn the church. The work was, however, successful, enemies were turned to friends, and he has left on record, “I have never loved a people so well; they seemed ready to die with me in the cause.”

Returning by carriage journey, for his wife’s health, to Vermont, he became pastor at Montpelier, I844-49, failed of a call to Townshend for the sole reason that “he gives money to the A. M. A.,” and was pastor at Haverhill, Massachusetts, I849-53. From 1853 until 1861 he was pastor at Gustavus, Ohio. Of this period, he says, “the happiest and most successful years of my life, the church well united and growing.” One hundred and twenty-five scholars in the school were brought to Christ, and there were also revivals following his labors in Mecca, Wayne and Chatham. In 1861, he accepted a call to his native church at Berkshire, Vermont, and remained there and at Fairfield and Highgate, in the same State, until 1872, with the exception of a season under the American Missionary Association, among the freedmen at Beaufort, North Carolina.

Coming to Kingsville, Ohio, in 1872, Reverend Comings bought and cultivated a small farm, holding no regular pastor rate, but preaching often, and greatly honored by his brethren as he met them from time to time in the gatherings of Grand River Conference, of which he was a member.[6]

Horace W. Palmer-1852-1870

Appointments by the Executive Committee of the American Home Missionary Society, during the month of March 1858. Not in. Communion last year. Rev. Horace W. Palmer, Kingsville, 0.

November 1858. Kingsville. Baptist Church, in part of L. M. for Rev. G. E. Hatch, Presbyterian Church, in part, of L. M. for Reverend Horace Weston Palmer. Born January 19, 1815. Died November 18, 1876. He is buried in Lulu Falls Cemetery.

Reverend Dormer L. Hickok 1871-1877

Reverend Dormer L. Hickok was born May 13, 1830, and died September 9, 1912.He married Eliza Oneida Merrill, on August 23, 1855.

HICKOK, DORMER LEWELLYN, Ph.B. Teacher academy, Albion, Wis., 1854-56; normal school, Lebanon, Ohio, 1856-58; licensed Congregational preacher 1858; preacher Bloomfield and Bristolville, Ohio; ordained i860; pastor Bloomfield and Bristolville 1860-71; Presbyterian church, Kingsville, Ohio, 1871-79, 1881-82; missionary American missionary association 1879-81 ; pastor Talladega, Ala., 1879-80; Mobile, Ala., 1880-81; superintendent Emerson institute, Mobile; pastor Presbyterian church, East Cleveland, Ohio, 1882-1902 ; pastor emeritus 1902-. Author various sermons. Address, East Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1880 he lived in Kingsville, but by 1900 he had moved to East Cleveland. He and his wife Eliza celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in August 1905. They are buried in Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.

Reverend Levi Francis Bickford. 1877-1880.

He was born in Hartford, Indiana, in 1850. His wife’s name was Charlotte and their children were Fred L., Clairbel L. and John T. Bickford. Reverend Bickford traveled to England and Ireland in 1875. He was a Civil War veteran.  . The 1910 Census reveals that he had been married for 30 years.  He died on January 26, 1919, and he is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California .

Dormer L. Hickok- 1880-1882

In response to an invitation from Rev. J. N. McGiffert, D.D., chairman of the Presbyterial Committee on Home Missions, a number of ladies, representing several churches, met in the parlors of the Euclid Avenue Presbyterian Church, on April lo, 1881, and organized a Woman’s Presbyterial Home Missionary Society. The officers elected were : President, Mrs. Carroll Cutler; Vice-President, Mrs. Mary Williamson, and Mrs. D. L. Hickok ; Recording Secretary, Miss Agnes McGiffert, and afterwards Miss L Spencer consented to act as Treasurer.

The first annual meeting of this society was held in the Case Avenue Presbyterian Church. Nine of the twenty-eight churches in the Presbytery were represented, only two of these, Ashtabula and Hudson, being out of the city. The membership was one hundred and eighty-five, and the amount of money raised during the year was $1,307.

Great help and inspiration were gained during the first year from an address by Mrs. Haines, Secretary of the Executive Committee, and an animated report, by Mrs. Elliott of Seville, of the Woman’s meeting held in connection with the General Assembly meeting at Springfield. It has been said by those qualified to know, that the formation of this Presbyterial Society, and its success are due to its first Synodical Committee, Mrs. E. R. Perkins. Mrs. Carroll Cut, Mrs. C. W. Monroe. Mrs. Arthur Mitchell Mrs. C. S. Ponieroy. Mrs. M. A. Sackett. Mrs. S. L. Severance. Mrs. Proctor Thayer. Mrs. C. P. Treat. Mrs. .Joseph Turney. Mrs. W. Wallace. Mrs. D. L,. Hickok, and the additional member the next year, Mrs. Dr. Spining.

At the second annual meeting of the Society, held in the Miles Park Church, there was greatly in- creased interest and attendance. Eighteen churches reported, and a full complement of officers was secured. A decided impulse was given the Society during this year, by eloquent appeals from such men as Dr. Roberts, Dr. McMillan and Rev. Sheldon Jackson, and the object of Home Missions took more distinct shape, in the prayers and interest of the women of the Cleveland Presbytery. The work has steadily grown, and as one officer after another was called to lay her armor by, another was found to gird it on, for thus doeth the Lord his work.

During these 5-years we have had serve us, as Presidents, such honored women as Mrs. Carroll Cutler, Miss L- T. Guilford, Mrs. C. P. Treat, Mrs. A. C. Miller, and Mrs. E. C. Higbee; as Vice-Presidents, Mrs. E. R. Perkins, Mrs. D. L Hickok, Mrs. Mary Williamson, Mrs. E. Bushnell, Mrs. J. N. McGiffert, Mrs. J. C. Elliott, Mrs. James Williamson, Mrs. S. P. Sprecher, Mrs. J. D. Chambers, Mrs. D. O. Mears, Mrs. Wm. Gaston, Mrs. J. B. Meriam, Mis. K. W. Wallace, Mrs. Solon Severance, Mrs. Krauss, and Mrs. Joseph Turney ; as Secretaries, Mrs. E. R. Perkins, Mrs. M. A. Sackett, Miss Agnes McGiffert.[7]

Reverend John M. Davies-1883-1884

Moved from Kingsville to Ironton, Ohio. 1885

Reverend Ralph A. Davis-1885

Kingsville Tribune

November 30, 1888

R.A. Davis Chooses His Path

The Kingsville Tribune of November 30, 1888, and the Andover Citizen trace the path of former Kingsville Presbyterian Church pastor Ralph A. Davis.

Ralph A. Davis who acted as pastor of several societies in this county and vicinity for several years was arrested a few weeks ago on a charge of forgery and embezzlement. He had fled to Ithaca, New York, where his former wife resides and where he was arrested by officers from Huron County, Ohio.

After lying in Norwalk jail for several weeks, he went into court last Monday and pleaded guilty and was sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of two years. He was highly educated and a brilliant speaker but could not be saved from self-destruction and ruin. After being employed in this village as pastor for four years, he was called to Kingsville where he went and left his family in this village for a few weeks. This proved to be his downfall and caused him to break up his family relations and marry a young woman in Kingsville. He was dismissed from preaching and went to Norwalk and engaged in selling pianos and organs but was detected by his employers in the crimes for which he is in prison.

His former wife visited him during his confinement in jail but found his conduct so entirely improper and wicked that she advised him to plead guilty and take his medicine.

Reverend Charles Edward Hitchcock-1886-1888

Reverend Hitchcock was born on June 29, 1859. Charles E. Hitchcock. Spouse:  Helen Sill – 1857-1941.

He died on May 4, 1921, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and he is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Cuyahoga Falls. [8]

Edwin Dibbell-1888-1890

1860 census

The 1860 Federal Census shows Edwin Dibble, age 40, born about 1820. He was born in Ohio, and in 1860 he lived in Kingsville, Ohio. He listed his occupation as a Baptist minister, but some of the records indicate that he also served as minister of the Kingsville Presbyterian Church for two years.

Reverend Abraham Break Sherk- 1890-1893

Written by his children

My father, Abraham Break Sherk, was born Nov. 6th, 1832, near where is now situated the village of Breslau, in Waterloo County, Ontario. His father, Samuel Sherk, was nephew and stepson of Joseph Sherk, who with his brother-in-law, David Betzner, were the first to locate in the township of Waterloo. His mother was Magdalena Break, whose widowed mother came to the settlement with her children in 1806. We need make no further mention of the connection of the family with the beginning of this, one of the most prosperous sections of the province, as this has been fully written up by my father and others, but will endeavor, at Mr. Breithaupt’s request, to give a brief memoir of his life.

Born of Pennsylvania-German stock, on a “Waterloo Dutch” homestead, he understood all the peculiarities and characteristics of that people, and always spoke lovingly and feelingly of his early home life with “Doddie and Mommie.” His parents were for years members of the River Brethren (Dunker) Church, when all their preaching was in private houses and their church societies scattered. He attended school on the “High Banks” near his home till his nineteenth year, when on a summer’s day in 1851, he wrapped all his necessaries in a red bandana handkerchief and on foot wend ed his way to Rockwood Academy, eight miles from Guelph, where he was received kindly by Wm. Wetherald, the Quaker teacher, a devoted Christian, and one who took a kindly interest in the moral and intellectual welfare of the boys under him.

After spending the summer session of three months at the academy he went before the Educational Board of Examiners at Guelph * made up of the township superintendents, and taught school near his home, in the school which he had formerly attended. He also taught school in the village of Plattsville, but which year it was I am not prepared to say. He had learned of Oberlin College, Ohio, which at that time had a summer session instead of a winter, to accommodate students who wished to teach in the wintertime, from the late I. L. Bowman, and several other Waterloo County boys who had been there.

In the spring of 1852, he set out for Oberlin. It might be interesting to know how he first travelled there. By stage from Preston to Hamilton; from Hamilton to Lewiston by boat; from Lewiston to the Falls by stage; from the Falls to Buffalo by train; from Buffalo to Cleveland by boat (as the Lake Shore road between Buffalo and Cleveland was then only in course of construction) ; from Cleveland to Wellington, eight miles from Oberlin, by rail, and the balance of the journey by stage. He also attended this school in 1854 but the Lake Shore road between Buffalo and Cleveland was then completed.

It was here he got his ideas of systematic thinking and studying, and by the reading of Todd’s Student’s Manual. The religious character of the place, which was at that time being thoroughly grounded and imbued with the principles of evangelical Christianity by Chas. G. Finney, the great preacher and evangelist (who was then and for many years after the president of the college, and whose influence is felt there to-day as if he still walked the streets of the town), so impressed him that he here decided to be a follower of Christ, and to enter the Christian ministry. It was here he also heard some of the great men of the day lecture on moral and social questions; Frederick Douglass, the great abolitionist, on slavery and Elihu Burritt, the “learned blacksmith”, on “Ocean Penny Postage.”

I might say, many of his high ideals of character early received quite an impetus from Henry Krupp (afterwards Rev. H. Krupp) who was for a time a teacher in the public school he attended; from Wm. Wetherald, the Quaker teacher at Rockwood Academy, and at Oberlin College. My father was so true to his ideals of life and character that he never lost sight of them, never wavered from them. After his second term at Oberlin College he taught school for a time and then gave up his life to the Christian ministry.

He joined the church of the United Brethren in Christ a church which had its beginning among the Germans of Pennsylvania. They were at that time sending evangelistic preachers to establish churches in Canada and were meeting with a good deal of success in the Pennsylvania-German settlements. He was to have preached next Sunday (Dec. 3rd) in three churches he established sixty years ago near Wellandport. He continued to preach for the U. B. Church in Canada till 1884, when he moved to the United States. During his ministry in Canada he travelled largely and was well known in parts of the Niagara district, Waterloo, Bruce, and Grey counties.

It was in the Niagara district he became acquainted with Rebekah Gonder, daughter of the late M. D. Gonder, a U. E. L. descendant who lived on the homestead on the Niagara river, eight miles above the Falls which his grandfather had located in 1796. He was married to my mother in 1859. His ministerial life in Canada took him among all classes of people into the cabin of the pioneer and into the luxurious homes of the well to-do. He was welcome among all, as he was friendly with the lowly and was esteemed by the more prosperous on account of his high character and intellectuality.

After moving to the United States he preached for several years for the U. B. Church and then joined the Congregational Church and was pastor of churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York States until 1897 when he came to Toronto to live near his two sons, A. E. and M. G. Sherk, and on account of the advanced age of his wife who was 4 ½ years his senior and who pre-deceased him 1 year and 7 months.

This did not end his ministerial labors, however, for he continued to supply churches for months at a time in Pennsylvania and New York States, a mission church in the west end of Toronto, and latterly for four or five years the two Congregational Churches (Pine Grove and Humber Summit), near Woodbridge, Ontario. For the last two years he has been an attendant at the Don Mills Methodist Church near his home but still he loved to go away occasionally to preach to the churches he had formerly been pastor of. Only last summer he took a trip to New York State to spend a Sabbath and preach for one of the churches at their request, and every month or two he went to see the members of the churches near Woodbridge, who loved and revered him.

It can be said of my father that he was a man of God. The Bible was to him an open book and he was familiar with every part of it and yet he was constantly perusing it, and when not attending to other duties he was to be seen Bible in hand or on the table before him. His studious character did not end with his school career he was a student all through life and I might say particularly a student of the Bible.

He was early in his ministry and always a strong advocate of our educated clergy and the higher education of the laity. It was with this object in view that Freeport Academy (at Freeport, Waterloo Tp.) of which he was one of the promoters, and for a short time a teacher, was started. One of his associates in this enterprise was the late Isaac L. Bowman who was its first principal. Owing to insufficient funds, however, this institution was only in existence a few years.

Among his first ministerial colleagues in the U. B. Church and associated with him for many years were Revs. David B. Sherk (his brother), Jacob B. Bowman and Geo. Plowman, the first two being residents of Berlin (now Kitchener), for a long time previous to their death, the last one having his home at Freeport where he lived before and after retiring from the ministry.

Although feeling indisposed for the last month he was only seriously ill for a few days before his death, Nov. 27th, 1916. He retained his consciousness to the last and although greatly distressed, expressed himself as anxious to go home.

As a last tribute to the memory of my lamented father, I wish to say that I knew him to be a man of exceptional Christian character, high ideals, broad knowledge, broad in his sympathies, non-sectarian, respected by all, and revered by many. Toronto’, Dec. 2nd, 1916.[9]

  • Waterloo County was then a part of Wellington County.3a

3aFourth Annual Report of the Waterloo Historical Society, 1912, Berlin, Ontario, pg 35

Birth: May 6, 1832 Ontario, Canada Death: Nov. 27, 1916 Ontario, Canada

Father: Samuel Sherk b: 19 APR 1792 in Franklin County, PA Mother: Magdalena Brecht b: 3 APR 1796 in Lebanon County, PA


Rebekah Gonder b: 7 MAY 1828 in Willoughby Townshp, Ontario Married: 22 JUN 1859

Children: Asaph Elihn Sherk b: 24 JUL 1859 in Ontario Michael Gonder Sherk b: 16 DEC 1861 Sarah (Sadie) Sherk b: 1862 in East Ashford, NY? Sherk b: 1866 in East Ashford, NY

Family links:

Children: Asaph Elihn Sherk (1859 - 1925) * Michael Gonder Sherk (1862 - 1927) *
  • Calculated relationship
  • Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada

Kingsville Tribune

October 24, 1890

Reverend A.B. Sherk performed the marriage of Raymond C. Thompson of Kingsville to Miss Etta M. Southwick of Sheffield and Kingsville on October 21, 1890.

Kingsville Tribune

Kingsville Tribune

May 15, 1891

Reverend A.B. Sherk officiated at the funeral of Miss Gertie Noyes last Sabbath evening. Gertrude Noyes was born on March 2, 1869 and died on May 10, 1891, at age 22 years, two months, and 17 days. She graduated in 1887 from the high school Kingsville and taught public school for a number of terms.

Quiet and unassuming, she wished for a first-class education and was working toward her dream when she fell ill. As her condition grew grave, she struggled to accept her impending death. Trusting in her Savior, she asked to be baptized a few days before she died as an expression of obedience to her Savior and she bore her illness with cheerfulness and patience.

John Gaston- 1894

Church historian Altie Phillips noted that between the pastorates of Rev. Sherk and Reverend Caughey, we find in the church register the name of John Gaston – no dates- for his term were given. She said he probably was a seminary student who most likely supplied for the summer. [10]

Reverend A. H. Caughey, 1894-1900

A.H. Caughey, Pastor of the Kingsville Presbyterian Church from 1894-1900,

This church was organized in 1844, from the remnants of a previously existing Congregational church. At first the government was a compromise between that of the Congregational and Presbyterian polity, in order to please the old members of the former church. The church has gradually merged into the Presbyterian form, with a few exceptions that still cling to it as inherited rights.

The first pastor and reorganizer of the church was Rev. C. E. Williams, who served eight years. There have been ten pastors and stated supplies since. Rev. H. W. Palmer, the second pastor, served the church eighteen years. Rev. D. L. Hickok served eight years. The other terms of service were short. There have been added to the church, since its organization, 455 members. The present membership is eighty, and Rev. A. H. Caughey, a member of Erie Presbytery, is the stated supply.[11]

Matthew H. Bradley-1900-1902

Name:Matthew Henry Bradley
Birth Date:21 Jun 1852
Birth Place:Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Death Date:2 Dec 1929
Death Place:Painesville, Lake County, Ohio, United States of America
Cemetery:Evergreen Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Painesville, Lake County, Ohio, United States of America
Has Bio?:Y
Spouse:Eliza D. Bradley
Children:John Wilson Bradley
Gail Bradley
Matthew Bradley
Karl A. Bradley  

J.M. Wiley-1902-1904.

Herald and Presbyter, 1902 noted that  Reverend J.M. Wiley moved from a pastorate in Cleveland to Kingsville.

Reverend E.R. North-1904-1905

The Ashtabula and Conneaut Directory of 1904 lists him as pastor of the Kingsville Presbyterian Church as well as the Prospect Street Presbyterian Church.

Reverend Benjamin M. Swan- 1905-?

Rev . Benjamin M . Swan , class of 1893 , of North Kingsville , Ohio , has received a call from Calvary Church , Lockport , New York. His father was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. [12]

DEATH IN THE MINISTRY . Rev. Benjamin M. Swan died at Lake Alfred , Fla . , Jan. 20 , 1925 , in the sixtieth year of his age . Mr. Swan was graduated from Wooster University and Western Theological Seminary , and was ordained by the Presbytery of Mahoning in 1893 . served , during the thirty – two years of his ministry , New Waterford , O .; New Comerstown , O .; Mr. Sterling , O .; Kingsville , O .; Lockport , N. Y .; Willard , O .; and North Warren , Pa . , from which place he came to Lake Alfred last September . He was very happy in his new work , and his people were rejoicing in his efficient leadership , when he was suddenly called home .

Mr. Swan was married to Miss Louisa Wood , of West Bethany , N. Y. , in 1894 , of which union were born Harry L. , now assistant pastor of the Fourth Presbyterian Church , Albany , N. Y. , and Lillian M. , engaged as a teacher for the National Board among the mountaineers of West Virginia .

Mr. Swan was the son of Rev. J. N. Swan , for fifty – seven years minister in the Church ; a brother of Rev. Wm . L. Swan , D.D. , of Willoughby , O .; of Rev. Charles W. Swan , of Nankin , O .; of John M. Swan , M.D. , for thirty – five years a medical missionary in China , deceased in 1920 ; and of Mrs. J. P. Leyenberger , of Wheeling , W. Va . The father , four brothers and the brother – in – law having given already to the work of the kingdom 234 years , while the son and daughter of the departed are just beginning to ” carry on . ” The funeral was conducted by Dr. J. F. Shepherd , in the church where he had preached twice on the Sabbath preceding . Honorary pall bearers were Rev. Dr. Joseph H. France and Rev. Rea W. Martin , of Orlando ; Rev. Dr. F. E. Schawb , of Auburndale and Rev. J. A. Cal lan , of St. Cloud .

Reverend Duncan O. Mackay. 1910.

Cleveland Letter. March 2, 1910. Rev. Duncan O. Mackay, who recently resigned the pastorate of the church of Rome, O., has been installed pastor of the Kingsville and North Kingsville Churches. near Ashtabula, in this Presbytery. [13]

Reverend A.H. O’Brien-1915.

Served both Kingsville Presbyterian Churches.

Reverend Perry W. Sinks-1915-1922-

Served both Kingsville Presbyterian Churches.

Reverend Ernest T. Roney. December 3, 1924.  

He was pastor of both Kingsville and North Kingsville Presbyterian Churches.

The North Kingsville Church, Rev. Ernest T. Roney, pastor, has received 32 new members since April 1, and the Kingsville Church, also served by Mr. Roney, has received 24 in the same time. [14]

Albert E. S. McMahon-About 1930.

Served both Kingsville Presbyterian Churches.

Name:Albert E S Mcmahon
[Albert E S Mc Mahon] 
Birth Year:abt 1892
Marital status:Married
Relation to Head of House:Head
Home in 1930:North Kingsville, Ashtabula, Ohio, USA
Map of Home:View Map
Street address:Church Street
Dwelling Number:100
Family Number:101
Home Owned or Rented:Rented
Home Value:30
Radio Set:Yes
Lives on Farm:No
Age at first Marriage:30
Attended School:No
Able to Read and Write:Yes
Father’s Birthplace:Ireland
Mother’s Birthplace:England
Language Spoken:English
Immigration Year:1906
Able to Speak English:Yes
Industry:Presbyterian Church
Class of Worker:Wage or salary worker
Albert E. S. McMahon
Birth Date:11 May 1891
Death Date:24 Sep 1982
Cemetery:Chestnut Grove Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Ashtabula, Ashtabula County, Ohio, United States of America
Has Bio?N
Spouse:Dorothy K. McMahon

Haines E. Reichel, 1931-1932

Mrs. Eli Mason

Altie Phillips wrote the obituary for Mrs. Eli Mason in April 1931. Mrs. Mason, (Carrie Lucinda Sparks Mason), that appeared in the Ashtabula Star Beacon on April 14, 1931. Carrie Sparks Mason died on April 10, 1931.  Friends and family filled her home on the Sunday afternoon of her funeral services, and her brother, Reverend Hubert L. Sparks, read selections from the Psalms. Reverend Haines E. Reichel, pastor of the Federated Church, conducted the services. Mrs. Mason was for many years the treasurer of the Presbyterian Sunday school and secretary of the Missionary Society. She is buried in Lulu Falls Cemetery.

Kingsville Resident Stella Bugby Marries Ashtabula Man

On Saturday May 30, 1931, Miss Stella Bugby, daughter of Ray Bugby of Kingsville, married Benjamin Simmons of Ashtabula at the Bugby home, decorated with apple blossoms and spring flowers.  Reverend Haines E. Reichel of the Federated Church of Kingsville officiated over the single ring ceremony.

Reverend Myron Kinney Hume-1932-1933.

Taken into Ministry

Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, December 17, 1932, p. 2

Myron K. Hume, son of Rev. and Mrs. William P. Hume of West College street, was taken into the gospel ministry at an impressive Monday evening service of ordination in Kingsville, Ohio, by the Presbytery of Cleveland.

Myron is a graduate of Oberlin college with the class of ’29, and from the Union Theological Seminary in the class of ’32.

His wedding and suicide

(Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, May 8, 1854. p. 8.) Cuyahoga County Samuel Gerber has issued a ruling of suicide in the death of Reverend Myron Kinney Hume, 49, of Cleveland. The Reverend Mr. Hume was the husband of the former Janice Ruth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Ruth of Fourth Street. He plunged 125 feet from the 11th floor of the Wade Park Manor, East 111th Street and Park Lane just after noon yesterday.

It was reported that he had registered in the hotel under an assumed name, and left a note addressed to his wife citing a nervous disorder.  The family home is in East Cleveland. The Reverend Mr. Hume was graduated from Oberlin College and from Union Theological Seminary in New York. He was ordained in 1932 as a Presbyterian minister and has held pastorates in Kingsville and Milan, Ohio and Gowanda, New York.

From 1950 to 1952, he was the pastor of the Boulevard Presbyterian Church when it stood at 1319 East Boulevard. Since the church was purchased by another congregation in 1952, he has been engaged in personnel work at Thompson Products, Inc., and has served as interim pastor at the Newberg Heights Forestdale Presbyterian Church.

His wife, Janice, his son, Elliott, 13, his daughter Diana, 5, and his family and a host of friends mourned his untimely death. He is buried in Westwood Cemetery, Oberlin, Ohio.

Howard L Bethel-1933-1941

Born in 1879 and died in 1960. He is buried in Edgewood Cemetery, Ashtabula.

Reverend and Mrs. Howard Bethel celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  Ashtabula Star Beacon, March 26, 1953.

Ashtabula Star Beacon, Thursday, March 26, 1953.

Reverend and Mrs. Howard L. Bethel will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary Saturday during an open house at their home on East Prospect Road in Ashtabula. Friends in Ashtabula and vicinity are invited to the event which will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m., and a special invitation is extended to couples married by Reverend Bethel during their pastorate in Kingsville.

In addition to Saturday’s event, there is to be a recognition Sunday after services at the Firs3t Presbyterian Church at 11:45 a.m.  Instead of the postlude, the wedding march will be played and, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Otis Bethel of St. Clairsville, the couple will go down the aisle to renew vows before Dr. C.E. Goddard.

The Howard Bethels were married March 26, 1903, at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr., and Mrs. Hansen Starret in Blue Rock, near Zanesville Mrs. Bethel was formerly Miss Lydia Starret. The couple met at Granville where Mr. Bethel was a student at Denison University and Mrs. Bethel attended Shepherdson College.  Mrs. Bethel is fond of saying that she helped her husband, a 1911 graduate of Rochester Seminary, through college and seminary.

Walked Eight Miles

It is known that Rev. Bethel walked eight miles from the station to the Starret home the day of the wedding.

Having served as pastor of various churches in New York and Ohio for 40 years, Rev Bethel is now serving as interim pastor at North Kingsville. For 10 years he was history instructor at Rio Grand College and since that tie has been substitute teaching in the city and county schools. In the latter capacity he has taught nearly every subject in the curriculum, including shop, bookkeeping and girls’ physical education.

Rev. Bethel’s hobby is vegetable gardening while Mrs. Bethel’s is raising flowers.  He says: “Mrs. Bethel and I fuss over who gets what part of the garden.”  Members of the family report however, that the issue never becomes serious, as Mr. Bethel readily gives in for his wife’s flowers.

An active helpmate through all the years, Mrs. Bethel found her place as deaconess in their new church home since their retirement in 1948. For one year she was president of that organization.

The couple has given children all college graduates who have also done postgraduate work. Emery is superintendent of schools at Morrow; Walter recently completed two years as professor of music history and theory at Miyazaki, Japan, and Russell is superintendent of schools at New Lyme. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bethel are sailing for th United States on the Flying Roam and left Yokaham on Wednesday. Miss Mae Bethel is a teacher in Park Junior High School Miss Joy Bethel teaches in Shelby.

Invitations have been sent to 16 states and the bethels already have received greetings from people in six.[15]

Eric S. Tougher-September 21, 1941-October 12, 1948

(Bradford (Pennsylvania) Era, October 31, 1945 p. 4.) Eleanor Campbell, daughter of Mrs. Ward Campbell and Arnold Carlson, son of Mr. and Mrs. N. A. Carlson of Kingsville, O., were united in marriage Saturday night at 8 o’clock in the Presbyterian Church in Kingsville. The Reverend Eric S. Tougher, pastor, performed the double ring ceremony before an altar decorated with baskets chrysanthemums and cathedral candles in tall candelabra.

Name:Eric Samuel Tougher
Death Age:91
Birth Date:abt 1915
Birthplace:Belfast, Northern Ireland
Residence Place:WHITINSVILLE, Worcester County, Albany, N.Y., United States, Whitinsville
Death Date:12 Dec 2006
Death Place:Worcester
Burial Date:16 Dec
Burial Place:Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville
Obituary Date:14 Dec 2006
Obituary Place:Kingsville, Ashtabula, Ohio, USA
Father:Hugh Tougher
Mother:Elizabeth Tougher
Spouse:Erma Tougher
Child:Kathleen E. Miedema
Mary E. Spaulding
Connie J. Quadagno
Carolyn E. Doyle
David H. Tougher
Siblings:William Tougher
Stanley Tougher
Gretta Richardson
Elizabeth White
Robert Tougher
John Tougher   Reverend Eric Samuel Tougher   Born December 1, 1915.  Died December 12, 2006 at age 91. He is buried with his wife, Erma H. Hamilton Tougher, in Pine Grove Cemetery in Northbridge, Massachusetts

Reverend Samuel Harris- 1948-1952

Reverend Samuel T. Harris, Tim, Margaret, Jeff, and Mrs. Margaret Harris.

Obituary for Ms. Margaret L. “Peggy” Harris

She will be greatly missed by all.

Peggy graduated from Maury High School in Norfolk, Virginia in 1968 and in 1972 she graduated from Muskinghum College in Ohio. She began her teaching career and retired from Hillsborough County School System after 31 years of service where she taught English and Drama. Peggy was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Plant City for 38 years, where she served as an active Elder er 2 at 3:30 P.M at First Presbyterian Church of Plant City, 404 W. Reynolds St., where the family will receive friends beginning at 2:30 P.M. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Peggy’s memory to First Presbyterian Church of Plant City music ministry.

Reverend Samuel Harris, Jr. and Kingsville Presbyterian Church, 1950

In her History of the Presbyterian Church dated July 16, 1950, Altie Phillips asked Reverend Samuel Harris to point out some of the current activities of the church. He did so.

New members since June 1948

By profession of faith……………41

By letter……………………..25


Total active membership at present is 295, which is a net gain of 36 in two years. The difference between the net gain and the 66 received is accounted for by death, dismission to other churches, and suspension to the reserve roll for non-residence, etc.

Adult baptisms…….23

Infant baptisms….24

Church weddings……7

Improvements to the buildings and equipment.

Re-shingled roof of church

Sunday School classrooms in basement of the church.

Bulletin board in front of the church.

Toilet in the parish house.

Painted the church.

New oil furnace in the church.

Electric and water heater in the manse.

Papered the rooms in the manse.

Painted the interior of the parish house.

New organ in the church.

Redecoration of the high school class and the mother’s classrooms.

Replastered west wall of the interior of the church.Two dozen folding chairs purchased by church and one dozen by the Mothers class.

One dozen by the Mothers Class.

Blower from the old furnace at the church installed in the manse.

Communion table the gift of Ida Munsell

Altie Phillips noted that “of course we know there are many things which have been done that he wouldn’t ’list.” There has been a Nursery conducted during church service for a large part of the time he has been here. That is a much-needed service and much appreciated.

One of our recent projects was to aid in sending a local Boy Scout representative to Valley Forge in the person of Dean Keller.

Reverend John Eakin-February 3, 1952-July 31, 1966

February 3, 1952-July 31, 1966.

The present minister of the Kingsville Presbyterian Church, Reverend John L. Eakin, was born in Thailand, then known as Siam, of missionary parents in 1912, he was left in the United States with relatives to obtain an education. He attended public school in Pittsburgh, Pa. High school days were spent in Grove City, Pa.  He graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in 1923 and from Western Theological Seminary in 1926.

In 1926, he and his wife went out as missionaries under the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, to the land of his birth. After a year of language study, the two were stationed in Petchaburi, a town about 100 miles from the capital. After his first term in missionary work, Mr. Eakin returned to the states and spent the year 1930-1931 studying agriculture at Pennsylvania State College This seemed advantageous, since he was laboring in a large rural field in Thailand. These studies were continued in the summer of 1937, on his next furlough at Cornell University.

Mrs. Eakin was active in the work of the National Christian Council of Thailand from its organization in 1929. In 1937, he headed the delegation of seven who went to the meeting of the International Missionary Council at Madras, India. Shortly after this, he was elected Executive Secretary of the National Christian Council in Thailand.

The war broke out in December 1941. Mr. and Mrs. Eakin and their four children were interned in Bangkok but after a period of six months, they were repatriated returning to the United States on the Gripsholm. During the war years he served the Ogden Memorial Presbyterian Church in Chatham, New Jersey, taking the place of the pastor who was serving as a chaplain.

As soon as the war was over, Mr. Eakin returned to the field for two years alone, and then after a brief furlough, with Mrs. Eakin and the two y younger children.

Through these years, Mr. Eakin served with the Moderator of the Church of Christ in Thailand, on a team that held weeks of evangelism in churches all over the country. Later, he was appointed Director of Youth work for the Mission and the Church.

Due to health concerns in the family, it became necessary to give up the work on the Mission Field. Shortly after his return to the United States, Mr. Eakin accepted the call to the pastorate of the Kingsville Church and has served there since January 1, 1952.

 (From the Ashtabula Star Beacon, Series, Know Your Churches, Saturday, January 14, 1956, p. 10.

Kingsville- In a special service at 4 pm. Sunday at Kingsville Presbyterian Church, Reverend John L Eakin will be installed as the church’s new minister.

Taking part in the installation will be the following ministers:  Rev. Floyd W. Ewalt, pastor of Bay Village Church and vice moderator of Cleveland Presbytery;  The  Reverend George H. Rutherford, Conneaut Lake Pennsylvania Church; Reverend guy H. Volpitto, assistant pastor of Old Stone Church, Cleveland; Reverend Cranston E. Goddard, First Presbyterian Church of Ashtabula; Reverend James S. Costigan, Kingsville Baptist Church; Reverend Howard L. Bethel, former Kingsville Pastor; Reverend Robert D. Allred, Harris Memorial Church, Ashtabula; ad Reverend Fred Vermeulen, East Side Presbyterian Church, Ashtabula.

Reverend Eakin will take over at Kingsville with the experience of more than 25 years’ work as a missionary in Thailand behind him. He has also served as a supply pastor at a church in New Jersey.

Born in Thailand, where his parents were missionaries, Reverend Eakin returned to the United States for his education at the age of nine. He attended public schools and Washington and Jefferson College at Washington, Pennsylvania. In 1926, he graduated from Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh.

While in college, he met the girl who is now Mrs. Eakin. They were married after his graduation and in the fall of 1926 went back to Thailand under the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions.

From 1931 to 1937, Reverend Eakin was chairman of the Rural Life Committee of the National Christian Council of Thailand, in charge of promoting work in rural churches throughout the country. From 1938 to 1941, he was secretary of the council.

With the start of the war and the invasion of the Japanese in 1941, Reverend Eakin and family were interned in Bangkok, the capital city. They remained there until the last of June 1942, when they were repatriated in an exchange of prisoners. They returned to the United States on the Gripsholm in August 1942.

Treatment while they were interned was not too bad, Reverend Eakin says since they were under the Thai people instead of the Japanese.

During the remainder of the war, Reverend Eakin served as a supply pastor at a church in New Jersey, taking the place of a chaplain in service.

In 1946, Reverend Eakin and family returned to Thailand, and he was in charge of work with young people for the National Christian Council until they came back to the United States in May 1951.

Reverend Eakin reports that the people of Thailand are mostly Buddhists, but there are now about 100 churches and Christian groups in the country. The country is in good condition economically in comparison with other Asiatic nations. There is little inflation and little extreme poverty, according to the minister. Their government is a limited monarchy at present, and they are trying hard to use democratic methods, he says.

They are working with the United States now to build up arms and materials in case of invasion. The big airport at Bangkok is becoming the hub of air travel all over the Far East, Reverend Eakin reports Many tourists now are visiting there.

Reverend Eakin replaces Reverend Samuel Harris at the Kingsville Church. Reverend Harris now has a church near Norfolk Virginia.

The Ekins are living in the Presbyterian Church parsonage at Kingsville. There are four children in the family, Marjorie and Elwood are attending Wooster College and Rosalou and Johnette are at home. [16]

Name:Johnette Schuller
Maiden Name:Eakin
Death Age:66
Birth Date:abt 1941
Birthplace:Bangkok, Thailand
Residence Place:Harwich
Death Date:21 Sep 2007
Obituary Date:9 Oct 2007
Obituary Place:Richmond, Wise, Virginia, USA
Parents:John Eakin; Louisa Eakin
Spouse:Rodney D. Schuller
Siblings:Elwood Eakin
Rosalou Donahue
Marjorie Kaufman

-+These facts were pulled from a record by a computer and may not be accurate. Obituary records often include facts for family members of the deceased, some of whom may be living.  her first name was Sandra.

Death of son John Leon Eakin born 1930.

Reverend Richard Olsson – May 7, 1967-September 16, 1973

Reverend and Mrs. Richard Olsson Occupy New Manse

A story in the Ashtabula Star Beacon of December 7, 1967, noted that Reverend and Mrs. Richard Olsson accepted the keys to the new Kingsville Presbyterian Church manse from Ralph Robishaw, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Robert Dunne conducted a pledging campaign which resulted in the building of the new $27,000 manse, situated directly behind the old manse. The old manse is scheduled to be razed within the next few months.

Others on hand when the congregation inspected the new manse Sunday were Arnold Carlson, building committee chairman and Ed Fuller, Ashtabula contractor.

January 12, 1969

The Prayer of Confession

O God of Love, your love has come to us, not when we were strong, and self-sufficient, but when we were weak and helpless; in that love your son came into this world, and died for our sins, that he might make us the friends of God. Forgive us when we forget, and turn to our old selfish ways. Turn us from weakness and failure and help us to live as your children. For we ask it in Jesus name. Amen.

The Sermon.  “God Won’t Let Go!”

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Leonard are greeting the members of the Congregation at the door this morning.

Mrs. Betty Huey is in charge of the flowers for the sanctuary for the month of January.

Tonight.  Senior High Youth Fellowship meets at 7:00 o’clock in the Fellowship Hall. Tuesday.  Sunshine Class meets at the home of Coraline Stevenson. Election of 1969 officers.

Church Telephone 224-1023

Mrs. Jane Fenton, Church Secretary

Gene Moroski, Choir Director

Carolyn Herl, Organist

Mrs. Georgia Keller, Financial Secretary

Mrs. Marguerite Braunbeck, Assistant

Mrs. Eula Jane Allen, Treasurer

The Session

Doris Miller, Clerk of Session

Spiritual Life Committee

Ralph Robishaw, 1969

Richard Howe, 1969

Organizations Committee

Robert Dunne, 1970

Marguerite Walton, 1971

Stewardship Committee

Kenneth Allen, 1970

James Miller, 1971

Membership Committee

Doris Miller, 1969

Rachael Loomis, 1970

Christian Education Committee

Robert Keller, 1970

William Runyan, 1971

Outreach Committee

Arnold Carlson, 1971



Ralph Robishaw, Chairman

Richard Miller

Edwin Wentz


Nancy Dunne

John Adams

Raymond Simmons


Henry Herl

Howard Paulino

Eleanor Carlson, secretary



Viola Carle

Mildred DeGroot

Carol Brunell

Beverly Tanner


Sara Jane Howe

Evelyn Robishaw, Secretary

Eleanor Carlson

Betty Huey


Audrey Corley

Helen Miller

Emma Howe

Pauline Nichols

Women’s Association

Francis Clayman, President

Diana Theiss, Secretary

Nadine Moroski, Treasurer

President Ruth Circle:  Nancy Sabo

President Martha Circle:  Marguerite Walton

 Philip S. Gittings, III-June 15, 1975- July 1, 1979.

Reverend Phillip Gittings,  III  1979

The Kingsville United Presbyterian Church Bulletin

August 17. 1975

Hymns:  “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us,” “Love Divine All Loves Excelling.” “Christ the Lord Is Ris’n Today.”

Special Music:  Bill Daywalt and Darlene Mack

Sermon:  “The Continuing Revelation”

Pastor:  The Rev. Philip S. Gittings, III

Organist:  Mrs. Douglas Herl

Music Director:  Miss Susan Roerdanz

In Charge of Worship for the Month of August……Elder William Daywalt

In Charge of Flowers for the Sanctuary in August….Mrs. Fred Roerdanz

Supervisor in the Nursery During Worship Today…..Mrs. Ted Robishaw

July 1, 1979

Today is Phil’s last Sunday in our pulpit.  A special potluck winner and reception for Phil and Margie and their family is planned for 1 p.m. today. All are invited and urged to attend. This is -also the end of Mary’s term as church secretary. We wish her good luck and Godspeed, and we are very grateful for all her constructive work among us.

Next week, our pulpit will be filled by Rev. Dan Duggan, Chaplain at Ashtabula General Hospital.

July 1, 1979

Today marks another milestone in the life of our church, in our own lives, and those of our good friends.  It is a bitter-sweet day, as most milestone-making days are; bitter because we lose a fine minister and leaders a beautiful first lady of our church, and two very special little ones…all who have become our friends during their short stay in Kingsville.  It is especially hard to accept the leaving of Phil and Marge when we stop to realize that we have watched this family become and grow during these years. Indeed, we have been involved in their lives and they in ours because we have been living, working and growing together.

And that is the sweet part of the leave-taking. We have all grown, each in our own special ways, and we rejoice as we realize that very growth is what makes us special creatures in God’s kingdom. We strive to achieve, to make things better, faster, bigger, safer, and unique. We are curious, we seek answers, knowledge, solutions to complex problems. We  continually search for a way to grow.

Phil’s leaving is a grand example of such accomplishment and growth…and one that we can take pride in. For thanks to Phil’s sojourn among us, we have all grown, learned, stretched, argued, been humbled, found sources of information, and have searched for a new level of understanding of ourselves and our beliefs. Phil’s leaving is our loss, but we accept it gladly because we have gained so much through his help and leadership. We thank you, Phil. And we thank you, Marge, for all your patience with us, for sharing your husband, home, and family, and for giving of your special grace and teaching abilities.

We say goodbye today, sadly, but also very happily, knowing that you and your family have found a special church, one that seems so perfect for the many talents and abilities of both of you. We wish you a long, happy ministry in your new church and community. God bless you all and keep you ever safe in his loving care.

Harry N. Baxter, Jr. March 29, 1981-March 1983.

Harry N. Baxter’s pastoral letter appeared in the December1981 Messenger, newsletter of the Kingsville Presbyterian Church.

How delighted we are to be with you this Christmas. Indeed, it has been a real privilege to share this Advent with you as your pastoral family.  It is with joyful anticipation that we anticipate being with you at our Christmas Eve Service on Tuesday, December 24 at 8:00 PM.

Hasn’t the news about our local and national economics been dismal? Locally, the unemployment rate is distressingly high, with threats and fears that it may rise still more. However, we hope for some improvement soon!

How terrible to recall the attempts on the lives of certain public figures this past year. The mere remembrance of what happened causes an emotion of fear, anger, pain, and confusion all together. What has happened to the moral sensitivities of certain members of the human race?

I have the feeling that God has not been given an adequate chance to bring peace and order to mankind. Other things are being put before God so that we are continuing to fall from the kind of life we were meant to have by our Creator.

Can it be that Christs’ birth is an inspiring reminder of God’s attempted new beginning for man? The world has ways of disappointing us and letting us down, but the gesture of what God has done in Christ raises us up!

Oh, there is the need in us all for this new hope of God in Christ’s birth to shine freshly in our hearts every day! Can the desires and talents of the flesh provide for our deepest needs? We need something more – the beyond that called all into being and who promises that new heaven and new earth

Be comforted and yet empowered by the spirit of Christmas to long for and live life at its best in the various situations that we find ourselves in May there be a Merry Christmas of the spirit emerging from a thankfulness for what God has done in the Bethlehem manger. Surely, a Christmas of the spirit is capable of giving us perhaps life’s greatest joy! May it be yours this Christmas season.

Yours in Christ,

Harry N. Baxter, Jr.

Jane M. Van Auken. September 4, 1983February 1984.

Craig H. ZumBrunnen. February 26, 1984- May 1987.

April 8, 1984

We were saddened by the loss of Genevieve McCausland this past Wednesday. Our sympathy is extended to her family and many friends. She will be sadly missed.

The combined choirs from our church, the Gageville Methodist and Kingsville Baptist Churches will present a cantata entitled, “The Third Day” this evening at 7:00 in the Baptist Church.

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday. During the service there will be a procession of children with palm fronds, the youth choir will sing, and our overflowing (hopefully) food box will be dedicated.

Walter A. Case. June 1, 1987- June 1, 1988. 

Pastor’s Report, 1987

I have been here now for several months. As we complete another year and begin a new one, there are good vibes in the air around Kingsville Church, such as:

  • a lingering sense of welcome of people and of pastor.
  • friendly mutual feelings of support among members.
  • good humor, jostling about our short comings.
  • respect for and sometimes appreciation of our individual funny ways.
  • a willingness to pitch in, sometimes with freshness in doing odd jobs.
  • a healthy willingness to try the new, like upgrading of our educational programs.
  • savoring old values, mutual prayers, wanting to be rooted in God’s Bible, a waking love for God’s word and our need for involvement.

Yes, good things are happening around here:

  • New things like an annual homecoming, a stewardship celebration, a carol walk, a New Year’s Party, and Officer’s Retreat.
  • How about that new roof on Fellowship Hall!
  • We’re talking about some new emphasis in ’88 like Parent Effectiveness Training, Kerygma (?)new PREM curriculum, special fundraisings/study to upgrade buildings and property, more fellowship dinners, continued community service.

So, you and your kind help just wrote my Pastor’s Report. Let us keep it up. Over and out.

Walt Case

Ina Hart. November 4, 1990October 15, 1994.

Reverend Ina Hart

On January 28, 1990, the Kingsville Presbyterian Church held a reception for Reverend Ina Hart in the Fellowship Hall. 

On Sunday, July 15, 1990, there will be a Congregational Meeting after worship service to elect a Pastor Nominating Committee to begin the process of calling Ina Hart as our installed pastor.

December 30. 1990.  Beginning Sunday, January 6, 1991, Ina will lead the Adult Sunday School Class at 9:30 a.m. We will study the scripture text for the morning’s sermon. All are invited to join the class.  Scripture texts for Sunday, January 6, 1991:  Isaiah 60: 1-6; Psalm 72: 1-14; Ephesians 3: 1-12; Matthew 2:  1-12; Sermon Title:  The Nature of Gifts.

July 10, 1994.  150 Years:  1844-1994

The Bulletin for July 10. 1994, the 150th Anniversary of the Church lists the hymns the congregation sang as “How Great Thou Art,” and “Amazing Grace.”

The special presentation was titled:  “Voices from 150 Years of a People of God”

A History of Kingsville Presbyterian Church……Bob Keller

Letter from Alice Westcott Young, Member of Kingsville Methodist Church……Marilyn Lynch

Letter from the Reverend Eric Samuel Tougher……Pastor from September 21, 1941 to 1948…. Eula Jean Allen

Words from the Reverend Philip S. Gittings III……Pastor from June 14, 1975 to July 1, 1979

Words from the Reverend Victoria Curtiss…….. General Presbyter at the Presbytery of the Western Reserve

Words from the Reverend Ina Hart….the present pastor


April 16, 1995

Ina Hamilton Hart and John Bunn Houck

Joyfully invite you to attend the

Celebration of our marriage

On Saturday May 6, 1995

At four o’clock in the afternoon

University Church

5655 South University Avenue

Chicago, Illinois

Reception following in the church dining room

Please no gifts.  You may bring something to share at the reception.  Totally optional.

Helen Dekker. May 1, 1995-August 1, 1996

May 7, 1995.  Kingsville Presbyterian Church welcomes Reverend Helen Dekker as Interim Pastor and her Husband Henri as well.

Reverend Helen Dekker and Henri, 1996

July 1999

I received a note June 4th from Helen Dekker thanking me for the newsletter every month. She informed me that she and her husband Henri will be moving in July to Uyrgyzshaw, a republic in Central Asia. She did not give me her new address. Monica Roco, church secretary.

Mark Brantley-Gearhart. September 8, 1996-August 31, 1997.

Reverend Mark Brantley-Gearhart left Kingsville Presbyterian Church after a year of serving as its pastor. Church members were divided when he left and at that time, Clerk of the Session  Elder Bill Daywalt wrote a letter to the congregation after Reverend Brantley-Gearhart’s departure which appeared in The Messenger, the church newsletter.

September 1997

Dear Friends in Christ,

By the time you read this we will be approaching Labor Day Weekend. Although not official, that always appears to me to be the official end of summer. The kids are back in school, choir begins, candy making starts, soup lunches starts, and lots of other activities resume that we have had breaks from for the summer. The garden is almost done, and the fall flowers are thinking about blooming.

For our church, it is going to be somewhat of a change in seasons as well. It will be a new beginning for our church, one faced with lots of challenges and lots of work to be done. Also, one filled with hope for a successful future. For many, this has been a very trying summer. A lot of mixed feelings and emotions have surfaced. Some are filled with fear, mistrust, and anger.

Now it is time to take advantage of the change in seasons and to begin working to overcome all of those feelings and emotions and to work hard to heal the wound that has occurred within our congregation.  This can happen, but it takes each and every one of us to work together, to communicate with one another, and to believe that we are here to do God’s work.

Let’s begin this process by doing one very simple thing. From this Sunday forward, every time we “Pass the Peace” at the end of our church service, shake hands and when saying “Peace be with You” truly think about what that means, not only between two people, but what it means for our entire church and God’s greater church throughout the world.

Peace be with you all.

Clerk of Session Elder Bill Daywalt  

Reverend Bonnie D. Habbersett. March 5, 2000-October 1, 2011

Carl Feather

February 2000. Reverend Bonnie Habbersett, 57, is the new pastor at Kingsville Presbyterian Church, after the church saw a more than two year vacancy in the pulpit. She began her duties at the church Feb. 1.  Reverend Habbersett said that she sensed God’s call to ministry early in their lives, but it took decades of life experiences and divine prodding to guide her steps to the seminary.

Housewife and Mid-Life Crisis

Bonnie Habbersett began her journey as a housewife in Livonia, Michigan.  When a life crisis forced her to re-evaluate her life, she became aware of God’s presence in a new way and underwent career and psychological testing to guide her mid-life career choice. She scored high in ministry, but the thought of going to college and seminary seemed ludicrous at her age. “I said ‘I’m too old to go to school for that long,”’ she said. “So I tried several other things, but this wouldn’t leave me alone. It was the ‘Great Hound of Heaven.’”

The hound started nipping at her heels after as a deacon in her church, Bonnie became involved in a hospital visitation ministry. The inner-city Detroit hospital offered a 50-hour course in hospital ministry, and at the end of the training, hospital administrators informed her that she could serve as a volunteer chaplain if she successfully completed at least one college-level Bible course.

Seeking the college-level Bible course, Bonnie, then age 45, enrolled in a study of the book of Luke at Marygrove College in inner-city Detroit. At the same time, her youngest daughter Karen started college on the west side of the state.

Although Bonnie was a minority among the 99.9 percent African American student population of Marygrove, she said attending the school was a wonderful experience that opened her eyes to life beyond the suburbs. It also showed her she was on the right track, regardless of how long the journey would take. Despite not having a spouse or full-time job to support herself, Bonnie stepped out on faith and became a fulltime student majoring in religious studies and psychology. “God led me one step at a lime and provided what I needed at each step to keep me going,” she said. She entered seminary in 1992 at the age of 50.

Plea Bargaining with God

According to Bonnie, she plea bargained with God all the way, but challenge by challenge, her needs were met. Calling played a part in her decision to leave Detroit and attend Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. So did associate pastors at her home church, St. Paul’s. The associate pastors were Columbia graduates and they encouraged Habbersett to consider their alma mater.

Further, Bonnie had been involved in intercessory prayer for a woman from their congregation who attended the seminary. The clincher came when some friends drove her to Atlanta so she could see the school. “We left in January and there was all this snow in Detroit, and when we got to Atlanta the pansies were blooming,” she said. “I said, ‘I think God wants me here.’”

A Gift of Preaching

Columbia Theological Seminary challenged Bonnie Habbersett. She said seminary was a challenge, not because of her age, but because of the many foreign concepts introduced there. While the heated theological discussions broadened her understanding of the faith, she repeatedly found herself coming back to her own faith journey as a reference point, her personal

While in seminary Bonnie discovered that she had a gift for preaching. “I love to preach,” she said. “I am a storyteller. I tell people gospel stories, and Old Testament stories, too. I especially like the passages that are stories, they are my favorite ones.” Her awakening to this gift came as a surprise, for Habbersett considered herself a shy person. She discovered otherwise when a committee of peers and professors selected her to deliver the Martin Luther King Day address to 500 students and faculty in her senior year at Marygrove College. “Only a God with a sense of humor would call a person who was noted for being shy to preach in public,” she said.

Still shy about preaching and still in seminary, Bonnie did a summer internship at Ormewood Park Church in Atlanta. That experience further confirmed her gift of preaching. Nevertheless, she still thought she might get involved in hospital and/or inner -city ministry after graduation. But God’s call on her life took her to the country, Columbiana County, Ohio, where she was hired as a designated pastor for two yoked congregations. After four years of service to those congregations, Reverend Habbersett was ready for new challenge. “It was time to move,” she said

Hounded home

Reverend Habbersett dismissed the Kingsville job posting at first because it was for a part-time pastor. With seven years of college loans to pay off, she needed full-time employment. But Kingsville’s PNC changed its position and issued a call for a full-time pastor. She met with the committee and before either party had noticed it, three hours had elapsed as they became engaged in their exchange. “It was just one of those things where it all just came together,” she said.

On December 15, 2002, Reverend Habbersett came to Kingsville to preach for and meet the congregation. As she was pulling into the church parking lot, her car was sideswiped, causing extensive damage. A committee member joked it would take 20 years to fix her car, so she might as well stay.

Reverend Habbersett and the congregation agreed. More than a decade after responding to that nagging Hound of Heaven, Habbersett is home.

Reverend Bonnie Habbersett and Missy

Ashtabula Star Beacon

February 7, 2005

Carl Feather

Pastor Started Her Ministry in Kingsville with a Crash

The Rev. Bonnie Habbersett says God has a wonderful sense of humor. He called her to start preparations for her second career as a pastor at the age of 45. She and her youngest daughter started their undergraduate work the same day.

After earning her bachelor’s in 1992, the Livonia, Mich., native went on to Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia. She says God not only called her to start college relatively late in life, He also placed her in a denomination that required the equivalent of a master’s degree before she could start her ministry.

She says she tried using the excuse that she was “too old,” but that argument doesn’t work with God; after all, consider what he asked Sarah, Abraham’s wife, to do. Her first work as pastor was in Columbiana County. “My next door neighbors there were cows,” she says.

She applied for the job at Kingsville as her contract in Columbiana County came to an end. From the outset, there was an exceptional rapport with the Kingsville pastoral search committee. God’s sense of humor came into play again when she drove to Kingsville for her first meeting with that group. As she was stopped on Route 84 to turn into the church, another motorist pulled alongside her car and collided with it as she made the turn. With her car disabled, the pastoral candidate wasn’t going anywhere.

That’s O.K. She likes it here. “I feel very blessed to have been called here,” she says. “There are some really special people. It’s a wonderful place to be and I’m thankful God brought me here.”

The pastor says her congregation is a mature one that continues to pay homage to the church’s Presbyterian and Methodist foundations. “We’re proud of our history, and yet we’re joyfully traditional in our worship,” she says. “A lot of what we do is traditional, yet there’s a joy about it.”

Two of the church’s community outreach traditions are making Christmas candy and the soup luncheon. Both were in place before she came to Kingsville five years ago. “Those things automatically happen,” she says. “They are who we are and what we do. Nobody would think about changing them.”

Mary Susan Pisano. August 1, 2012-June 2015.

Reverend Mary Susan Pisano, Christmas 2013

April 27, 2013

Presbyterians Swap Pastors

Pulpit Exchange Sunday will be marked by the Ashtabula County Cluster of Presbyterian Churches on Sunday. Shane Nanney of East Side will lead worship and preach at Trinity in Ashtabula; Stephen Long of First Presbyterian will be at North Kingsville; Mary Susan Pisano of Kingsville will lead and preach at East Side; Ken Ayers of North Kingsville will be at First Presbyterian; and Quincy Worthington of Trinity will be at Kingsville.

Bill Daywalt. January 22, 2018

Ministry Agrees with Kingsville Presbyterian Pastor Bill Daywalt

Gazette Newspapers

by Martha Sorohan

 on 13 Sep 2018

  When, after two years without a pastor, Kingsville Presbyterian Church welcomed him to the pulpit earlier this year, Bill Daywalt took on yet another opportunity to serve others, this time in the very church in which he grew up.

A life-long Presbyterian who had always wanted to go into ministry, Daywalt said it took him awhile to achieve what he fell into “by accident.” 
“I never thought I’d be here permanently, but the more I did here, the more I wanted it, so when the pastor0al opening came up, I went to the board to apply,” he said.

The vacancy at Kingsville Presbyterian opened when former pastor Mary Susan Pisano left in 2016. Daywalt explained that when pulpit vacancies arise in Presbyterian churches, the Presbytery will lead a study to help the congregation determine what qualities it seeks in a new pastor. Often, an interim pastor is hired, sometimes for up to two years.
“We didn’t have an interim,” Daywalt said. “I began filling in, soon every Sunday, until I started.”

In Daywalt’s favor was Kingsville’s determining that it needed only a part-time pastor “Our previous pastor was more than that, and actually, I’m only ‘one-fourth’ time because it’s a small church,” Daywalt said.

Daywalt’s journey back to Kingsville Presbyterian began after he graduated from Edgewood High School, where he was active in the music program as a chorus member and where he participated in theater. He went on to study music education at the College of Wooster.

He then took a job with AmeriTech in Cleveland and immersed himself in city life. “I loved going to Playhouse Square, the concerts, and all, but then circumstances brought me back here,” he said. “My mom became ill, so I sold my house and stayed with her the last months of her life.”

As much as he loved Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood, Daywalt found the family’s three-quarter-acre homestead in Ashtabula County quiet and peaceful. He liked being surrounded by family. “So, I can still go to Cleveland, and I love it, but then I come back and appreciate the quiet,” he said.

Once back home, Daywalt began teaching at the elementary level in Ashtabula, and taught computers to adults.

But the call to ministry did not go away.

In the late 90s, he started training locally through a three-year part-time Presbyterian program. It limits his service to the Presbytery of the Western Reserve, but that is okay. “I didn’t want to have to move to go to school, and it’s been good. I’m pleased,” he said.

Completing the training in 2001, he served for a year-and-a-half at the former Prospect (now Trinity) Presbyterian Church in Ashtabula, then became full-time pastor at Faith Community Church on the north side of Mentor in 2003. He stayed at Faith for 13 years. “I kind of go in ten-year patterns, I guess, because I stopped teaching in 2004,” he said.

Two years ago, he began as a full-time case manager for Signature Health in Ashtabula, serving primarily the homeless and those dealing with mental illness.

In many ways an extension of his favorite aspect of ministry – pastoral care – the full-time job complements Daywalt’s role as lay pastor. He was formally installed in May.

“The ministry is not as glamorous as it may seem,” he explained.  “It’s a lot more than Sunday sermons.  But I like all of it – the sermon preparation, worship, study, visitations, and counseling.”

Daywalt said that one advantage of being a part-time pastor is that it avoids burn-out common among full-time pastors.
“Being a part-time pastor is a nice mix with my full-time mental health work and fills out my day,” he said.

Daywalt’s schedule leaves Saturday as his only day off each week.
“But I do a lot of my pastoral visits on Saturday,” he said.

Still, with his two adopted sons grown, it works.
Sons Jesse, 27, and Zach, 25, of Ashtabula, are his pride and joy. Two of the 10 or 12 children to whom Daywalt has been a foster parent – at one point he had five foster children at the same time — the biological brothers came to him separately as foster children.

 “Jesse and Zach are the two I chose to adopt,” he said. “Zach was about 8 when he came and Jesse 13, and Zach was 12 and Jesse was 15 when I adopted them. They are doing great, and they are the loves of my life. They couldn’t be more special to me if they were my biological sons.”

Daywalt’s church family is special to him, too. Some were members when was growing up in the church. He knows every one of the 30 weekly worshippers, describing them as wonderful people who are committed to their church and to their Lord.Some were members when he grew up in the church, where he was active in Sunday school, the youth group, and served as an elder in high school.

“They want to be nurtured,” he said of his congregation.

Daywalt leads Bible study and send devotionals via e-mail and Facebook, yet he says it is important that the mostly aging congregation worships in a manner to which they can relate.

He would also like to revive the church youth group.
“We have the foundation of a younger congregation, and I want to grow on that,” he said. “If their spiritual needs are met, we’ll attract others of that age, too.”

Kingsville Presbyterian has a strong presence in the community. Its monthly Soup Lunches the second Fridays fill Fellowship Hall, as do its free second-Tuesday monthly dinners, which resume Oct. 9. 

“We don’t do it to make money. We offer a warm dinner. We take dinners to those who can’t get here,” Daywalt said.

Daywalt’s primary focus, however, is following what he believes is Jesus’ mandate to take the church beyond its four walls. One of Kingsville Presbyterian’s mission projects is collecting food boxes and clothing for the Ashtabula Dream Center. 

“The world is what God called us to,” Daywalt said. “That’s the one thing I feel is important. And because of the work that I do – I’ve dealt with many needs of young people within the foster system – I know there is a lot of need.”


[1] This is just one of the many hymns that P.P. Bliss wrote.  The historical record says that he was composing a hymn when he died in the Ashtabula train wreck in December 1876.

[2] History of the Maumee Valley, Commencing with Its Occupation by the French in 1680: To which is Added Sketches of Some of Its Moral and Material Resources as They Exist in 1872 … Horace S. Knapp; January 1, 1872. Blade Publishing House; Listed in Index of Presbyterian ministers, containing the names of all … Beecher, Willis Judson, 1838-1912.

[3] Pastors of the Kingsville Presbyterian Church in order from 1810.  Altie Phillips in the Presbyterian File, Kingsville Public Library.

[4] Plan of Union, pages 97-98.

[5] History of the Village of Cortlandville.  

[6] Google Books  Reverend Elam J. Comings

[7] History  of Cleveland Presbyterianism with directory of all the churches.

[8] Reverend Charles Edward Hitchcock of Cuyahoga Falls. Funeral service at residence of his siter, Miss Elizabeth Sill, in Cuyahoga Falls at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, 1921.

[9] Minutes of the Congregational Association of Ohio-1885

[10] Between the pastorates of Rev. Sherk and Reverend Caughey, we find in the church register the name of John Gaston – no dates- for his term were given, but we can well remember the him as a seminary students who probably supplied for the summer. Altie Phillips.

[11] History of Cleveland Presbyterianism with directory of all the churches  1896

P. 280

[12] Catalog of Western Theological Seminary, 1907, volume 94 = Presbyterian Banner,  Presbyterian meetings.  He is identified as being from North Kingsville.

[13] Herald and Presbyter.January 1, 1910. Cleveland Letter.  Monfort & Company, December 31, 1910.

[14] Herald and Presbyter, December 1, 1924. Cleveland Letter.  Monfort & Company, December 1, 1924.

[15] From the Clipping Collection of Jan Volk, Kingsville Presbyterian Church.

[16] From the Clipping Collection of Jan Volk, Kingsville Presbyterian Church