Chapter Four: 1900 -1950
Lulu Falls – Altie Phillips, Presbyterian Church History, July 16, 1950. Kingsville Public Library Archives.
Celebrating One Hundred Years of History
Kingsville Township celebrated its Centennial on July 4, 1905. Mrs. Lydia Wright Brown, one of the celebrating Kingsville residents, read a history of Kingsville from 1855-1880. She noted that the year 1855 found Kingsville with perhaps 1,500 inhabitants as the census report for 1880 counted 1,730 and about 28 houses less than in 1905.
At this point in its history, Kingsville businesses included:
- two general stores
- a tin shop
- morocco (leather) factory
- heavy leather tannery
- two woolen mills doing extensive business
- two grist mills
- a shoe shop
- three churches
- two hotels
- the Kingsville Academy and district school
- the town hall.
The Park was an uneven plot of ground about two or three feet higher near the town hall than it measured in 1905, and lower at the south end. A deep stream ran diagonally from the old Academy to the southwest corner of the Park. The stream or creek was extremely dangerous to cross in the dark.
The engineers of the Lakeshore Railroad set the stakes to grade the Park. No more than twenty of the shade trees that shelter Kingsville village were planted before 1855 and public-spirited townsmen accomplished the task of planting them. No citizen knew for sure who planted the elm tree.
In 1855, Reverend H.W. Palmer served the Presbyterian Church as pastor, Reverend H. E. Hatch was minister of the Baptist Church, and Reverend A.W. Brown the Methodist Church. Their homes were all on the north side of the short street which has been known as Priest Street.
The Kingsville Academy in 1855, had 263 students and four teachers. The four teachers were: Professor Heywood; Professor Drake; Mrs. Osbourne; and Mr. Thomas Hoskins, the blind music teacher. The directors were: Oliver Barrett; Harvey Newton; and William Steele. Harvey Newton was a prominent member of the Kingsville Presbyterian Church. The Examining Board consisted of S.S. Gillett; F.M. Davis; and Warren Stanton. The tuition per term was $3.00 for Common Branches; $4.00 for Higher Branches; and $8.00 for 24 lessons of piano music.
In 1856, two teachers joined the teaching force at the Kingsville Academy. Herr Hollacher from Newburg, Germany, taught German and Miss Goodrich, painting and drawing.
In 1859, there were 297 pupils studying at the Kingsville Academy. The teachers were: Professor Heywood, principal; Miss Sarah Schoonmaker, Preceptress; Joseph Webster and Seneca Coon, assistants; Miss Montgomery, penmanship; and Professor Hopkins, music.
Reverend Graham of the Methodist Church and Reverend Palmer of the Presbyterian Church and Reverend Hatch of the Baptist Church were Chaplains in 1856. On high days and holidays they assisted in the devotional exercises.
The great religious revival, the great comet, and the great fire marked the winter of 1857-1858. The great fire started at the Ashtabula County Infirmary on February 2, 1858 at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and it burned so fiercely for several days that it even consumed the embers of the building. Infirmary residents Thomas Neno; Joseph Brunson; Mr. Minor; Eliza Persival; and two other people died in the flames and approximately sixty other people escaped. Citizens of the neighborhood provided the survivors with food and shelter until they could be resettled.
The total fire loss was $5,000 with the insurance just covering $2,000 of the loss.
An editorial in the Ashtabula Sentinel dated February 11, 1858, stated that Mrs. Huldah Munson, the woman who set the Infirmary on fire, was now in jail. A friend in Kingsville furnishes the following facts: “Huldah Munson got her little boy to hand her a lighted stick, as she said, ‘to light her pipe.’
1920s: Talk of Unity
Carrying on the traditional inclusive spirit of Reverend Joseph Badger, the pivotal figure in establishing organized worship in the Western Reserve, in 1927, the Kingsville Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist Churches became to explore the possibilities of merging into one community federated church. In late 1929, by favorable vote of the Inter-Church Council, a Young People’s Society was created.
The Young People’s Society conducted a regular meeting each Sunday evening at 6:30, alternating at the churches in the order followed by the 7:30 Union Service. With an average attendance of 35, they used the Christian Endeavor topics for discussion and selected Lillian Allcock, president; Raymond McNutt, vice president; Leota Merritt, secretary; and John Bugby, treasurer.
The successful cooperation between the three churches fostered the idea that they could merge, but in 1930, the Baptists withdrew from the Council.
Reverend James Gray, Methodist Pastor Dead at 72
April 19, 1928
Reverend James Gray, age 72, died at his home in Kingsville after a brief, one day long illness. He died from a general breakdown in health and infirmities of old age.
Reverend Gray served as the Methodist pastor in Kingsville for nine years as well as participating prominently in activities of other dominations and in community activities.
Born February 17, 1856, in Daventry, Northhamptonshire, England, Reverend Gray was the oldest of 15 children born to James and Hannah Chester Gray. At age 14, James went to sea and at age 18, he came to Cleveland where he attended the public schools. On December 26, 1883, he married Miss Susan Jones of Cleveland and they eventually had seven children.
Three years later in 1886, James graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. He served pastorates in Kellogsville and Gageville Churches, and the Kingsville Methodist Church was his last pastorate, In the past weeks despite his advanced age, he participated in a number of church activities.
1930s: Presbyterians and Methodists Federate and Merge
The Methodist Side of the Merger
In 1831, Reverend Samuel Ayers organized the Methodist Episcopal Church of Kingsville in a log schoolhouse located on the site of the old Academy. He served as first pastor to its original 18 members. The congregation worshipped in the schoolhouse util 1834 when they built a small brick church hear the site of the old Methodist Parish House which they used until 1856 when they built the church which later merged with the Presbyterians.
In 1837, Elijah Batchelor and his wife Joan signed the deed of the land for the brick church lot. Later when the church needed more land for a new building, Melzar Macomber sold his land for the extension.
In the early days of the church when class meetings took place before Sunday morning worship, Valentine Tourgee and Samuel D. Kingsbury, were noted class leaders. Ira Maltby was the first class leader.
On March 28, 1850, the Methodist-Episcopal Church incorporated, naming Harvey Sperry; E.A. Butler; James R. Abbott; Norman Thompson; and S.Y. Curtiss as trustees, and Valentine Tourgee as clerk.
As nearly as can be estimated, these men served the Methodist Church as ministers:
Samuel Ayers; Chandler; Jeremiah Hill; Bain; John Graham; E.E. Latimer; Hall; Burgess; Reno; Warner; ; H.M. Stearns J.E. Hollister; W. Staples; H.M. Hollister; Luce; S.L. Binkley; E.F. Edmonds; T.S. Hodgson; C.W. Holmes; J.M. Houston; M.J.Stutz;
J.H. Merchant; J.W. King; F.H. Armstrong; J.H. Starrett; James A. Ullman; J.M. Keck;
R.W. Gardner; W.S. Hollett; W.H. Nicholson; C.B. Henthorn; Ward; James Gray; B.C.Campbell; Glen C. Cornell
A Kingsville citizen reported that the first school he ever attended took place in the brick Methodist Church. Frankie Parrish taught the school, called a Select School, and for a time a Singing School was also held in the brick building. At the singing school, each pupil carried a candle for the evening lessons and the boys created unique candle holders. Each boy ran a pen knife through a candle and then stuck the point of the knife into the upright part of the desks, making a candlestick unnecessary.
Another pioneer reported that during the early years of the church, the décor included a pail of water with a cup or dipper standing nearby so that when the children were thirsty, they could help themselves.
Mrs. Linna Luce Dunn, the daughter of one of the former Methodist Ministers, told the story of the Love Feast tickets. John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, believed that love feasts dated back to the apostles and that they were a “means of grace” and “converting ordinance.” Love feasts included testimonies, hymns, prayers, bread and water or wine from a communal loving cup, collections for the poor, circulating a loving cup, and sermons.
It was customary to issue tickets to the people who were eligible to attend the Love Feasts at the Quarterly Meeting. Reverend Luce asked his daughter Linna, who was quite young at the time, to cut the tickets or coupons apart for one of the love feasts. She cut out four tickets, one for each of her three sisters and one for herself. The hour of the service arrived, and the girls appeared at the door. They showed their tickets to the doorkeeper and he let them in because they each had a ticket. Their dismayed minister father spied them, and later at home, applied Methodist discipline.
The Presbyterian Side of the Merger
Reverend Joseph Badger organized the first church in Kingsville Township under the Congregational denomination in 1810. Six people enrolled in the first congregation and for the first twelve years the church moved between houses of its members for worship services. The congregation built a meeting house in 1822 on the site of the old Kingsville town hall.
In 1844, Reverend Erastus Williams organized the Congregational congregation as a Presbyterian Church. On July 11, 1844, eight people who had been members of the Congregational church were received as the first members of the newly organized Presbyterian Church of Kingsville. These new members were Ichabod Curtiss; Selina Curtiss; Luman Webster; Eliza J. Webster; Jonathan Gillett; Jeremiah King; Samuel Newton; and Samuel Rice.
During the rest of the year 1844, 22 more people joined the newly organized Presbyterian Church. They were:
George R. Arder
Gideon Bushnell- Buried in Lulu Falls Cemetery
Theresa Bushnell-Buried in Lulu Falls Cemetery
Eunice Gillett- She is buried in the Old Kingsville Corners Cemetery
Mary E. James
Annie Macomber- She is buried on Old Kingsville Corners Cemetery
Elizabeth Nettleton- She is buried in Lulu Falls Cemetery. Avis Elizabeth Webster, born in 1817 in Connecticut, married Charles Nettleton. One of their children was Sarah Elizabeth, who was born on September 5, 1842. Elizabeth, She was baptized July 14, 1844 in the Kingsville Presbyterian Church. She married J.W. Dewey in Kingsville on January 1, 1873. She died on July 20, 1886 in Cleveland.
They were members of the Presbyterian Church. In 1870, Avis Elizabeth was 53. She was 77 when Reverend A.H. Caughey served the Kingsville Presbyterian Church beginning in 1894 and ending in 1900.
It is unlikely that Avis Elizabeth Webster Nettleton lived from 1900-2000 as her Find A Grave death date states. It is more likely that someone confused Avis Elizabeth with her daughter Sarah Elizabeth.
Alpha Nettleton-Son of Charles and Elizabeth Nettleton. Baptized in the Presbyterian Church on August 31, 1849.
Daniel Noyes- Buried in Old Kingsville Corners Cemetery
Clara Noyes- Old Kingsville Corners Cemetery
Hermon Reed- He is buried in Lulu Falls Cemetery
Lois Reed- She is buried in Lulu Falls Cemetery
Julia Ann Reed- She married Haskell Skinner in 1846. On February 22, 1872, Presbyterian minister Reverend D.L. Hickok married Julia Ann and Uri Blakeslee. Julia Ann died on July 28, 1910 and she is buried in Prairie Grove Cemetery in Cawker City, Kansas.
Henry Thurber-He is buried in Lulu Falls Cemetery
Harriet Thurber- She is buried in Lulu Falls Cemetery
Corinna N. Webster- She is buried in City Cemetery, Conneaut, Ohio
The church burned in 1847, but prosperous merchant George Gillett donated the land for the church and the adjoining cemetery, and the Presbyterians built a new church, George Gillett also gave the church a bell, which had been awarded a prize at a Cincinnati fair. The new church building featured a centrally located entrance with a choir loft above the doors at the rear of the church. When singing hymns, the congregation turned and faced the choir singing from the loft.
On October 21, 1848, the church incorporated as the Presbyterian Society for the purpose of holding and maintaining the property, including the newly built church building.
From Incorporation to Federation
For well over a century and a half, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists in Kingsville worshipped in their respective congregations. They established an Inter-Church Council to serve the community of Kingsville, but the move toward church unity did not produce much action beyond talk until 1929. In early October 1929, the young people of the Kingsville community with the backing of the Inter-Church Council and a favorable vote of the Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian Churches united to form a Young People’s Society.
The Young People’s Society held regular meetings each Sunday evening at 6:30, alternating at the churches in the order followed by the 7:30 union services. Their average attendance was 35. They used the Christian Endeavor topics for discussion and selected these officers: Lillian Allcock, president; Raymond McNutt, vice-president; Leota Merritt, secretary; and John Bugby, treasurer.
A significant event in the march toward the Federation happened on March 13, 1930, when members from the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches united for an evening of Christian fellowship and important business at the Presbyterian Church.
A basket supper was the first order of business. Later, the Methodist congregation in one room and the Presbyterians in another, each choose trustees and directors according to the Articles of Agreement that the two churches were slowly creating.
Altie Phillips, one of the three beloved Phillips sisters living in Kingsville, wrote about the 1930 Presbyterian and Methodist merger in her Ashtabula Star Beacon column. Reporting that the Presbyterian and Methodist Congregations had been worshipping together since February 23, she wrote that they had decided to form a federation as of April 1, 1930.
Representatives from the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches to worked together to write Articles of Agreement. The Presbyterian contingent consisted of J.H. Keller; Herman Bowdler; and A.L. McNutt. The Methodists sent M.O. Bugby; William Campbell; and Bert Stull. Reverend Glenn C. Cornell; Dr. Lewis F. Ruf of Cleveland; and Dr. Battelle McCarty of Warren, Ohio, assisted in creating The Articles of Agreement. The group listed the significant categories spelled out in the Articles as membership; doctrine; sacraments; pastor; church; government; budget; worship services; and church school.
The Articles of Agreement provided that the church doctrines would be based on the Holy Scriptures as commonly accepted by the Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches as “the rule of faith and practice.
The morning services would alternate monthly between the church buildings. The church schools of the two churches would combine and departmentalized under the direction of the board of directors. For reporting to the denomination boards, the attendance and enrollment statistics would be divided equally.
Communion and baptism were to be ecumenical sacraments and forms of baptism were to be practiced based on the wishes of the parents or the adults to be baptized. A pulpit committee composed of three members from each church was appointed to oversee the election of a pastor and the Superintendent of the Youngstown District of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Superintendent of the Cleveland District of the Presbyterian Church.
The Articles under membership stipulated that each member of the constituent denomination will be given the choice of uniting with either church. When the person chooses, his or her name will be added to the church having the fewest members.
Five trustees chosen from each church were charged with the care of the church property, and six directors from each church were elected to supervise the spiritual and financial interests of the church.
A council would consist of the trustees, directors, superintendents of Sunday schools, presidents of affiliated ladies’ associations and men’s organizations, the pastor, local preachers, elders of the Presbyterian church and directors of religious education. Equal parts of the undesignated benevolent collections will be sent to each of the congregations.
The Presbyterians in deference to the Methodist custom of having the ladies of the church represented on the board of trustees elected one on their new board. The Methodists in deference to the Presbyterian custom chose all men on their new board. The record stated that, “The fact that the lady has withdrawn in favor George Kaul does not in any way effect the fine spirit which characterized the separate sessions and the joint one which followed.”
The directors and trustees chosen for the new federation were:
Methodist Directors: M.O. Bugby; William Campbell; Bert Stoll; F.E. Shaffer; A.M.Braunbeck; and Victor Watts.
Presbyterian Directors: A. L. McNutt; John Keller; C. M. Peck; Floyd Warner; Harold Robison; and Herman Bowdler.
Reverend Glenn C. Cornell is the First Pastor of the Federation
The first pastor of the newly Federated Churches, Reverend Glenn C. Cornell, was a native of Cleveland. He graduated from West Technical High School in January 1920 and before he entered college, he worked as a draughtsman at Swift and Company. In 1924, he received his B.A. degree from Baldwin Wallace College, and in 1927, after three years of study he graduated from Drew University College of Theology with a B.D. degree. In June 1928, New York University awarded him an M.A. degree and during the 1928-1929 school year he studied at Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Reverend Cornell served churches in Parma, Edenville, and Greenwood Lake, in Ohio. From April 1925 to September 1927. He served a church in New Milford, New York. He came to Kingsville in 1927.
On March 16, 1930, when the Methodist and Presbyterian congregations worshipped together for the first time, Mina Peck Parshall, or “Aunt Mina,” as everyone called her, occupied a prominent place in the pews. She was poised to celebrate her 88th birthday on June 12, making her the oldest living member of the Methodist Church which she had joined at age 14 when Reverend John Graham served as minister. She frankly stated that she did not \vote for the merger, because she felt a strong loyalty for the church of her childhood.
Despite her Methodist loyalty, Aunt Mina sat firmly in the Presbyterian Church pew, when the Methodist and Presbyterian congregations worshipped together for the first time on Sunday morning, March 16, 1930. When a friend approached her and asked, “Are you here?” Aunt Mina replied, “Yes. I’m not going to stay at home, just because the service isn’t in my church!”
From Federation to Merger
The federation worked so well that in the spring of 1935, at the end of five years, members of both congregation felt that their unity should be organized, and the congregations should unite as a community church or under one denomination. In the summer of 1935, a joint meeting of the directors, trustees and their wives met at the Campbell Cottage Moreland Club to discuss what they wanted to choose. Everyone agreed that they wanted to choose some form of unity.
The directors and trustees presented a resolution at the annual business meeting of the church, requesting that a congregational meeting be called to consider a one denominational plan.
The meeting was held on October 3, 1935. A ballot was circulated, given the congregations four choices.
- To become Methodist
- To become Presbyterian.
- To become Congregational
- To continue the Federation
Altie Phillips writes in her 1950 History of the Presbyterian Church that the people nearly unanimously to form a Congregational Church if they could receive the consent of the Presbytery and Methodist Conference. A Presbytery Commission of Cleveland called a congregational meeting and the congregation voted unanimously to agree to becoming Congregationalist if the Methodist Conference agreed.
Then Bishop Smith of Cincinnati, representing the Methodist Church, stated that he and his fellow Conference members felt it unwise to destroy two loyalties and start a new one. He urged the Methodists to transfer their property and members to the Presbyterian Church. The Methodists took his advice.
The merger proved to be numerically beneficial to both the Presbyterian and Methodist Congregations and the united churches prospered. By 1937, 56 new people had been added to the rolls, bringing the total active membership to 295 members. The newly united congregation made many improvements to the buildings and equipment. They purchased an electric organ, a new oil furnace for the church, and new outdoor bulletin board. The manse acquired a new toilet, the church roof sported new shingles, and the church a new coat of paint.
Reverend Samuel Harris Highlights Church Activities
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
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.
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.
Pained 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 lass.
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.
Eleanor Campbell Marries Arnold Carlson at Kingsville Presbyterian Church
Reverend Eric S. Tougher performed a wedding ceremony at the Kingsville Presbyterian Church on October 31, 1945.
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.
Eric S. Tougher, pastor, performed the double ring ceremony before an altar decorated with baskets chrysanthemums and cathedral candles in tall candelabra.
Arnold and Eleanor Carlson, Kingsville Presbyterian Church Directory, 2002
April 9, 1932
The Old Kingsville Gleanings column in the Ashtabula Star Beacon of April 9, 1932 records the missionary movements of Reverend Perry Bovee.
On April 9th, Reverend Perry Bovee, Kellogsville Road, who left Kingsville three years ago to serve the Presbyterian Board of National Missions in work among the Indians of New Mexico, is with his wife visiting his mother and father, Frank, and Nellie Bovee.
Reverend. and Mrs.Bovee will speak Sunday in Kingsville Church services. They are located at Laguna, New Mexico and are serving the Pueblo Indians.
They have many exciting experiences to tell about and many costumes to exhibit.
Reverend Bovee’s wife Ruth will appear in costume at the Sunday School of the Federated Church Sunday morning and speak to the school at 10:45 in the M.E. Church and Reverend Bovee will bring the message at the morning worship service at 11:15 at which service the minister, James A. Reichel will preside. The choir will sing, “The Lord Is My Shepherd.”
April 29, 1932
Altie Phillips wrote about some of the Kingsville events in her Ashtabula Star Beacon column of April 29, 1932. The Harmony Club met on Friday afternoon with Mrs. Georgia Keller of the Creek Road. There was a good attendance. The 0business session oversaw Mrs. Zaida Porter, President.
Plans for the supper to be served for the Eastern Star inspection on May 6 were discussed. Mrs. Genevieve Parker won a contest. The special guest was Howard Keller. A delicious chicken supper was served during the social hour which followed.
The Presbyterian Guild meets next Wednesday afternoon at the Keller home.
Friday. June 23, 1933
The Ladies’ Federated Society meeting opened with a noon luncheon at which 30 were in attendance. Reverend M.K. Humphrey conducted devotional exercises and Mrs. Minnie Burns presided at the business session.
Committees were appointed for the alumni banquet, and work on the new calendars was started. The following ladies acted on the luncheon committee: Miss Grace Bugby, Mrs. Ray Bugby; Mrs. M.O. Bugby; Mrs. O.L. Kendall; Mrs. H.H. Glass; Miss Clara Kent; Mrs. C.L. Fox; Mrs. R.A. McCoun.
Officers Kingsville Presbyterian Guild, 1942-1943
President: Mrs. Sara Neal
Vice-President: Mrs. Madge Shank
Secretary: Miss F. Vosburg
Treasurer: Mrs. Calista McNutt
Pianist: Mrs. Doris Brockett
Secretary of Literature: Miss Kay Vosburg
Secretary of Missions: Mrs. R. Bugby
Secretary of Spiritual Life: Mrs. L. Keller
Secretary of Stewardship: Mrs. F. Bowdler
Secretary of Membership: Mrs. J. Peck
Secretary of Social Education: Mrs. G. Keller
Collector of Sales Tax Stamps: M. DeGroodt
Circle II, April 15, 1942
Devotions: Mrs. Rose Bugby
Installation of Officers
Chairman: Mrs. K. Bowdler, Mrs. J. Robishaw
Mesdames: Warram; K. Warner’ R. Robison; Lawrence; Bovee; J. Herl; G. Smith; K. Blank
- Volunteer Fire Company formed at C.F. Tuttle’s place of business.
- E. Davis became postmaster and operated from Carlson’s Hardware Store.
- Brick school building burns. Normal school closes.
- Kingsville Elementary School completed.
- Floyd Shepherd Chevrolet Showroom and Garage is built north of NW corner. Becomes Carlson Hardware in 1969.
- Kingsville Grange occupies old Mullett building east of Rogers Hotel complex on NE corner.
- Northeast corner : McCleary Store occupies building on east side of Rogers Hotel.
- North Kingsville Fireman’s Auxiliary is organized as “Fireflies.”
Altie Phillips, “Brief History of the Kingsville Presbyterian Church, July 16, 1950. Kingsville Public Library Archives.
Bradford, Pennsylvania Era, October 31, 1945, p. 4
Altie Phillips, Ashtabula Star Beacon, ‘Presbyterian Merger with Methodist Group Effective on April 1.1930.
The newspaper accounts have conflicting dates as to the first meetings of the two congregations, but Aunt Mina was right not to stay home just because it was no longer her church.
Pastor Dies At Kingsville. Rev. James Gray Dead at Age 72. Ashtabula Star Beacon, April 19, 1928.