Saturday, June 30, 2007

Washington DC National Universalist

So, I was "vacationing" in Washington DC, and had to figure out where to go to Church on Sunday Morning. Do I go to my host's church, or All Souls UU , or Universalist National Memorial Church?

This being a Universalist history blog, you know of course where i went.....

To be honest, I use an artifical line when I do my research. I still include Kentucky and West Virginia - and they are more a part of the mid-west history; I don't include Texas, and it definately has southern roots; Louisiana is a special case - and Missouri is also tied in to the mid-west. DC, I generally group with Maryland and Baltimore. So DC gets short shift here in this blog.

But anyone doing Universalist history will see the work on the Universalist National Memorial Church. And the national money contributed to build this church. Built in 1929, It is impressive; French Gothic (it says here), big. I have no clue if it was worth the money - but it is grand - a fitting shrine for visiting Us or UUs. If my non-digital photos turn out ok, I will post them "here" at some point.
it was a special service honoring Church volunteers, but sermons are posted on the church website. The current pastor seems enthusiastic - usually a good sign. The congregation seemed friendly enough to me (one admitted to reading the Universalist Herald).

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Inman Chapel Tour this weekend ( June 2007)

Inman Chapel, Forks of the Pigeon NC

"The third annual Cold Mountain Heritage Tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 23. 2007

•"Inman Chapel — The chapel was built in 1902 by the Reverend James Anderson Inman, brother of “Inman” of Cold Mountain fame. Rather than the Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian Churches so typical in the mountains, Inman Chapel was a Universalist Church. This church advanced a socially progressive ministry that included many first’s for the county and even for the state: kindergarten, vocational training, summer school, handicraft classes, adult education classes, school for African American children, library, and the county’s first free public health clinic. Inman Chapel will be restored to its original grandeur after this year’s tour."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

John Adams of Walton Co. GA

November 24, 1892 The Christian Leader

The State Convention Of Universalists met with the Church at Consolation Sept. 23, Mr John Adams, the President in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Thomas Chapman. Sermons made the bulk of the work. "

This particular John Adams was born 23 October 1820 in Walton County, Georgia.
He died on 8 Feb 1904 in Walton County, Georgia, and was buried in Adams' Family Cemetery in the Gratis Community in Walton County.

He married Martha ("Patsy") Shepard Camp on 17 October 1844.
Martha (1814-1876). This was her second marriage and is first.
She was a charter member of the "Center Hill Baptist Church" in 1867, which was near the Adams homeplace. She became a Methodist before her death.
While a farmer, John Adams made shoes for soldiers in the 1860s.

He married Martha Ellen Park in 15, November 1876. She is also burried at the Adams family cemetery. She was an Universalist. Adams was president of the Georgia Convention for several years.
There is apparently a genealogical booklet about him entitled "John Adams of Walton Co. GA" (1973)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

the churches of Edgar Halfacre

I asked on the Unitarian Universalist Historical Society email list, if someone could tell me the churches that Edgar Halfacre preached at - and Jessica Suarez, Archives Assistant at

Andover-Harvard Theological Library nicely checked their ministerial files for me.

Edgar Halfacre served at
Brooklyn Universalist Church in Brooklyn, PA from 1917 to 1919
St. Paul's Universalist Church in Victor, New York from 1919 to 1920,
and Clayton Memorial Church in Newberry South Carolina from 1923 to 1929.

the 1933 and 1934 Universalist Church Year books do list him as living in Newberry, but not as preaching there.

Edgar Lee Halfacre (March 24, 1881-Nov 20, 1962)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Manford's Monthly Magazine 1880 Jan - April

I'm putting parts dealing with southern Universalists from Manford .
This year is 1880.

January 1880
an article on Col. Ingersoll and "Atheist Ranting" and a letter from Joseph Smith III, head of the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". This letter denying that his father ever presented a revelation about multiple wives to Brigham Young, as Young stated in 1852. this was a regular part of the III's views as expressed elsewhere.

Feb 1880
"Universalism in Kentucky - Rev. R. H. Eddy who has been preaching in the Church of the Redeemer for several weeks, recently received the following from a friend in Philadelphia:
In 'Sketches of Virginia' by Wm. Henry Foote, pastor of a Presbyterian Church at Rowney, Virginia, he gives a biography of Rev. Cary Allen, a well known revivalist of the presbyterian denomination. Foote says (in 1792 or thereabouts) pp 228 'on Silver Creek Kentucky was a settlement from Virginia - with them was living a Baptist minister, who had removed with them. He had grown lax in his sentiments, and peached Universalism - many admired the doctrine - Allen was invited to preach and the Universalist took is seat alongside - Allen then said, "A man has been preaching here, who tells you he has found a little back door in hell, where you may step out, and get safely round to heaven at last; and because he preached you gulped it. Poison, rank poison.'
I did not know before, that Universalism was known in Kentucky as early as 1792 - I have not however, had A.C.T.'s book to refer to. who was tis Baptist, Universalist Clergyman?"

R. H. Eddy was writing his Universalist history at this point.

March 1880
"The Resurrection -- Rev. William Hale, of Tenn. enquires -- "What think you as to the time that intervenes between death and the resurrection? Is the resurrection simultaneous, or progressive? (the response) We do not believe the spirit dies or sleeps at death, but its immortal existence in continued right on, uninterrupted. Its resurrection, we believe to be its Moral Exaltation which brings it into harmony with all that is pure. The time required to accomplish this grand result, may be longer or shorter in different cases. The original word, rendered resurrection, means elevation - exaltation, which we think refers to the final perfection of the immortal part of man. The gospel of Christ proposes nothing less than this for the entirety of the Adamic race."

"North Carolina -- Br. D. B. Clayton writes in the HERALD: "Our Zealous sisters Jennie Hartsell and Mattie Newberry have resolved on building a neat little church a (sic) Magnolia. They recently started out with a subscription paper, and in about two hours had about $250 subscribed. The amount was increased to $300 before I left. They deserve success, and will, I believe achieve it. Many of the limitarian friends there subscribed liberally. among the number who subscribed for the purpose, was the pastor of the Baptist church there."
"Georgia -- Br. A.G. Strain of Jackson County, has commenced preaching. He is a son of the late B. F. Strain.
"Tennessee -- Br. Wm Hale has organized a church at Free Hill.
"Alabama -- The membership of the Mossey Grove church is thirty six - so says the ATLANTA UNIVERSALIST. "

April 1880
"Preacher converted. - Rev A. J. Carley, of Louisiana , has embraced the truth and joined our church at Camp Hill, Still there is room. Come along Brethren of all denominations.
Georgia --Our brethren in Walker county, think of building a temple. The same of the brethren in Jackson county.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Garret D. Bailey 1818-1894

(last edited June 15, 2007)

September 1879 Manford's Monthly Magazine
"Bro. Bowman writes that a Dunker preacher of Mitchell county, N. C.; has withdrawn from his denomination, and applied for license as a Universalist Minister."

William Clayton Bowman was living at Bakersville, Mitchell County, NC - and as also reported in Manford getting ready to move to Atlanta, Georgia. So a new western NC Universalist preacher would be good.

This would be Garret. D. Bailey, of Bakersville, NC. (1818 - 1894)

listed in one article as the grower of the biggest Tobacco crop in Mitchell County.

He was fellowshipped into the Universalist Church in 1881.
He was listed still in Bakersville in 1884, He wouldn't last long however.

In their 1892 almanac, he was listed as a minister of the German Baptist Brethren
(now Church of the Brethren and often called Dunker) in Mayday Tennessee.
(Bakersville to Mayday is about 40 miles, but it's mountain miles).
He died in 1894 in Jonesboro TN.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Willis Harrison Grigsby

Scott mentioned Grigsby on his blog, so I thought I would do a bit more research --
-- and first of all, I sure hope it was Manford and not me who typoed his name as "Grisby".
The Universalist Register, at one time had him as W. H. Griggsby.

W. H. Grigsby was born October 28, 1838 in Springfield Missouri.
He graduated from "Canton Theological School" in 1868, and married Amelia "Mellie" Willard on August 17, 1868.
In 1869, he served the Universalist Society in Frankfort, N.Y.
Four children were born : Mary Serena in 1870, Willard Channing in 1873, Belle in 1875 (she died one year later), and Ida Virginia in 1878. At which point, 1878 Grigsby wrote his booklet "Genealogy of the Grigsby Family".
1870 in Notasulga, Alabama
1873 Georgia
1874 -1875 in Atlanta, Georgia
1880-1920 in Washington DC, as a clerk for the US Goverment.
He died somewhere in the middle 1920s.

One of the Rev. Spencer Chambers in Guntersville Alabama, named his son: Willis Harrison Grigsby Chambers. (yes, there were two different Universalist Rev. Spencer Chambers in Guntersville, Alabama. Cousins I believe).

Henry Garst - Dunker and universalist

In my last post, I quote from the MANFORD MONTHLY:

"Tennesse -
Br. Henry Garst (Gabst?), Dunker, of Washington county, Tenn., says he holds to the final restoration of all souls to holiness and happiness. We gladly welcome him to the joys of this great truth."

as mentioned also, "Dunker" was the popular nickname for the German Baptist Brethren Church of the Brethren denomination.

Ok, lets do a little research -
first I see that Garst not Gabst is a popular name in "Dunker" circles in east Tennessee.
second I see that Washington County , TN is where Johnson City is. Johnson City has some nice bookstores as well as an Unitarian-Universalist Church and a Primitive Baptist Universalist church. So the seeds of universalism still exists there.

and a little more looking (in THE BRETHREN ENCYCLOPEDIA), we find his history.
Henry Garst (1820-1898) born near Salem Virginia; Moved to Tennessee in 1837. elected a deacon in 1845, a minister in 1859, and an elder in 1861. He visited all of the NC, TN, Kentucky and Virginia Brethren churches during the civil war. Served at Knob Creek near Johnson City.
an entry on his son (a Brethren and college president) is also included.

So Br. Henry Garst was a small u universalist - and never became a big U Universalist.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Manford's Monthly 1879

Manford's Monthly Magazine 1879

January 1879
Manford does an editorial about "Parson Deitzler" from Kentucky who preached a sermon about Universalists, including mentioning an unnamed town in Kentucky that Universalists were the only denomination. Deitzler went on to say that the town became " a perfect Sodom", and finally abandoned for it's wickedness. Manford, of course, asks Universalists to demand that he either name the town or admit that he lied.

Now, I actually wonder I know some of this story..... Manford doesnt name the denomination of Deitzler other than not Universalist, Baptist, or Cambelite. I do know that Methodists had a story of Beverly Allen (the very early ex-Methodist missionary and church leader - best known to be the first person to kill an U.S. Marshall) after escaping jail in Georgia the second time, went to a lawless area of Kentucky and became an Universalist. Up to his dying hours (as the typical Anti-Universalist story went) when he wept to another Methodist missionary about how Universalism wasn't a good religion to die in. While there are holes in this story (Allen's children went with him to Kentucky and apparently were very active in the Methodist Church); I wonder if this might be the building block of Deitzler's story?

February 1879
"Alabama. - A church has been organized in Beebe. Br. T. F. Jones is preaching for it."

I have to admit that I don't know where Beebe Alabama was (or is).
Timothy Faustus Jones was ordained in 1867, and in Big Run, Ohio in 1876 gone by 1892

"Kentucky. - Br. C. C. Connor, a young man of good education and natural ability, a resident of Burlington, proposes soon to enter our ministry and take charge of the Boone County Church. He has been urged by the friends who know his fitness to assume the responsibilities of the preacher, and will probably apply to the Indiana convention for a letter of license. Br. Connor is at present the superintendent of the Boone county Church and is doing a good job for the cause."

Charles Chambers Connor was ordained in 1880, and in 1892 was living in Hamilton Ohio. The church in Burlington, Ky was founded in 1876. It seems to have been short lived.

There is a letter in this issue from Rev D. Williams from Illinois; who mentions taking his church with him, when he went from "Predestination Baptist" to Universalist. This might be a good place for any researches checking the several (many?) Primitive Baptist to Universalist switch in southern Illinois during the late 1800s to start looking.

March 1879
"Tennessee. - Rev. William Hale who was licensed fifteen months ago by the Universalist Convention of Georgia, is an earnest yet solitary sentinel of our Zion in eastern Tennessee. He is busy lecturing and preaching as the opportunity offers. He reports much ignorance of our faith, and the necessity that exists of practical, earnest missionary work in that section."

Georgia. - Rev W. H. Grigsbsy, who graduated in 1868 at the Canton Divinity School, is at the present time Superintendent of the Experimental Farm connected with the "State College of Agriculture and the mechanic Arts of the University of Georgia." He has recently issued a Report which contains a vast amount of scientific and technical information. It is unique among reports of this kind, in that the peculiar genius of the Superintendent runs through every line. Intermingled with phosphates and fertilizers, clearing, fencing, the science o culture, and the organic elements of plants, there is wit, poetry, philosophy and theology, making the report whose racy style will insure its reading. Mr Grigsby was for several years private secretary of Alexander Stephens and subsequently Secretary of the Georgia Senate. He has many friends among his old school-fellows who admired his brilliant and eccentric talents."

(note: spelling of Grigsby corrected. see post on Willis Harrison Grigsby)

Alabama. - Says the STAR: Br. B. Conine of Camp Hill, writing on business, has this word to offer: It has not been quite a year since I became identified with the Universalist Church. I yet find nothing to regret in the change. I love my Methodist brethren as well as ever, and often worship with them. The public mind is undergoing a wonderful change in this country, and the Macedonian cry, "Come and help us" is heard from every direction. "

Britton Conine, of Camp Hill, Alabama

April 1879
"Alabama. - Rev. J. O. Robinson, who debated some time since in Madison county with Rev. S.S. Roripaugh, is now defending the doctrine of the Restitution - so says the (UNIVERSALIST) HERALD.
Br. E. B. Armes, of Garland, in a note says "Our cause is doing well on my circuit which includes Covington, Coffee and Dale County Ala, and Waterton county Florida"

Elias Ball Arms, ordained in 1853. Stephen Leroy Roripaugh ordained in 1856, in New York in the 1870s, moved to California by the 1890s.

July 1879
"Georgia. - Br. K. Strain writes that a Sunday-School has been organized at the Alford Chapel in Meriwether county."

Kossuth Strain -
the brother of A. G. Strain, and son of B.F. Strain. He was helping his brother in Texas in 1893.

August 1879
This issue has an obituary of Rev. (Marmaduke) M. Gardner, who died on May 4th, 1879 at his home near McDade, Texas; after an illness of 8 days. He was born in South Carolina, moved to Mississippi, and then to Texas. He had been the pastor of Church in Williamson county Texas for 25 years. -- I recall that he was born in the Edgefield District of South Carolina, that he was converted to Universalism by the pamphlets given out by William Ives, a traveling salesman.
two of his son-in-laws began preaching in the area the next month.

September 1879
"Georgia Convention will hold its annual session at the Universalist Church in Cherokee county, commencing Friday September 26th.
"Alabama State Convention of Universalists, for 1879, will be held at Camp Hill, Tallapoosa county, commencing on Friday before the fifth Sunday in August, and continuing three days."

"Tennessee - Our people at Free Hill hope soon to build a temple.
Br. Henry Garst (Gabst?), Dunker, of Washington county, Tenn., says he holds to the final restoriation of all souls to holiness and happiness. We gladly welcome him to the joys of this great truth.
Br. Wm. Hales of Tennessee writes that he is actively engaged in the Sunday-school. He writes that some Dunkers in Tennessee have avowed Universalism. "
Alabama - Br. J. C. Kendrick, though far advanced in life, is still eager to proclaim the great salvation. He is at work in South Alabama, and has good meetings; he lately went a distance of forty miles to preach. His regular meetings are at Mossy Grove Church.
North Carolina. Bro. Bowman writes that a Dunker preacher of Mitchell county, N. C.; has withdrawn from his denomination, and applied for license as a Universalist Minister."
Georgia. - Br. J. Parks writes that he expects to organize a church in Athens.
Br. W. C. Bowman has been holding a series of meetings in the Capital building of Atlanta, to audiences that increased all the time. He organized a Church of eleven members, and thinks he will locate in Atlanta. "

Dunkers are the nicknames for the German Baptist Brethren, who dunk three times for Baptism. Small u universalism was part of their doctrine in the 18th century and early 19th.
I suspect I know who the Dunker in Mitchell county is, later moved to Tennessee

October 1879
"Alabama. - Sixteen were added to the Church at Camp Hill recently.
Dr. Jas. O. Robinson, a late convert from the Baptist ministry, is preaching Universalism in Jackson county. "

November 1879 - unknown

December 1879
"Kentucky. - The new temple at Burlington is finished. It is a beautiful building.
Georgia. - Rev. J. D. Cargill, who several years ago labored in Southern Kansas, and is now preaching in the South, recently organized a Society in Mitchell county of twenty-one members."

That would be southwest Georgia.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Yet More Misc

So the material I was taking from the Manford's Monthly disappeared into a blogger void.....
.... which means I have to re-go through all these issues....
Rev Manford was snarky back before snarky was a do have to know some stuff to know who he was talking about when he mentioned a "bogus new testament translation" - the same family he thought slandered his wife and insulted Mary Livermore in "Our Women Workers"....
stuff i recall was a brief mention of SC preacher S.M. Simons' finical problems after the war (the 1860s war). He described Simons as an Union man during the war. I know most of his wife's family was not.....
Manford mentioned an Universalist Hearld report in the 1870s of an unknown to me black Universalist preacher (ordained?) in Mississippi (I think Mississippi). the first in the south, Manford said.

A nice Librarian at Harvard says they will look at Edgar Halfacre's ministerial file for me.
I will report back when I do. My spouse (a former research librarian ) says all librarians are nice.

I was interviewed by someone from UU World about S. H. Quinn. While I was just one of many, I hope that i presented Quinn accurately - I havent been interviewed in 25 years - I hope it's more accurate these days......

I do read other stuff than Universalist material. I just got through reading " Unitarianism on the Pacific Coast" and "the Secret Six". I have to admit to being startled when I started reading Secret Six - a book about the Unitarians who funded John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. I had never heard of such..... i might review this book on the other blog, if I can get a good handle on what spin to take. Of course, now I really want to know what happened to Theodore Parker's brain? and I mean that quite literally.

Reading some fiction too - on a noir kick, so reading some of the HARD CASE CRIME BOOKS; and I just picked up a Manly Wade Wellman's children's book I didnt have (I believe I have all of his fiction for adults). Wellman is best known nowdays as a southern fantasy-horror writer. But write lots of kids books and non-fiction. A realative of mine is mentioned in his non-fcition "Dead and Gone". Not sure I can figure out a way to put a story about Wellman's connection to Thomas Merton here (I will mention that I, my father, and my grandfather all three met Wellman).