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A History of Old St Andrew's Church

A History of Old St Andrew's Church  image
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My scant knowledge of the early history of St. Andrews' chuch consists of few memories of incidents related to my by older ïnembers sume of whom ïave since passed away, supplemented y my own latter memories. I might have stored many more of the arly incidents had I deemed at the ime how valuable they would be now. Probably the first religious service ield by onr early settlers was held in he open air in October 1824, when the ittle band of einigiat clustered aouud tjfcek wagons and retnrned thanks egardless of sects for their safe arrival t this haven f rest after their perilous oarney across hake Erie and through he sparsely settled territory of Ohio and Michigan. We imagine them raisng their voices in old coronation while he oaks took up the echo which reouuded from tree to tree startling the dusky natives lurking in the shadows; or Indians werennnierons here 75 years igo and for several yars afterwaids. Once a year those living farther west wonld come this way and join those enamped about here and go on to Detroit or their bonuties. They were all riendly. When Miss Lacy Ann Clark played on her piaao (the first piano west, of Detroit) tbe Indian were often een listening unfler her windows. "In 1824 Rev. Richard Cadle was ent as a missionary to Michigan terriory. The same year he founded St. Paul's óhurch, Detroit. It was as arly as 1825 or 1826 that he first visitd Ann Arbor and in 1837 or 1828 orgauized a missionary chnrch in the )lace. This organization is tnought to iave taken place in tne house of Mrs. ïannah Clark, the motner of Gen. idward Clark and of Mrs. James Kiugsley both vvell known to the older jeople of Ann Arbor. Mrs. Clark had n her possession as an heir loom a siler tankard withowtits cover, this later having descended in some other branch f the family and has siuce been made uto spoons. This vessel was used in he early eucharistie offices of the hureh and once at a baptisinal service. Miss Jane Brigham recollected seeing Irs. Clark briuging this cup with her nto the houses where the service was o be held. "The following is the story connectd with this heirloom. A boy called ohn Harpin was placed on shipboard n Trance with this cup in his possesion with orders that he was to be eciuated on the ship and never to land in rrance. When he became of age he onld be put ashore in any place in America which he chose to niake his ome. This event is supposed to have occurred duirng the reign of Louis XIV. This manner of disposing of an nconvenient heir was often resorted o in those days. Mr. Harpin tecame a doctor in Couneticnt from which tate the Clark family moved to Michigan. The tankara is now the property of Mrs. Chapiu, widow of Charles Cha)in and daughter of James Kingsley. " From Prof. Ten Brook's Anu Arbor Sketches.) It was some year after this before this parish had a settled clergymau. Services were held by missionaries who occastsionally came this way. The Rev. Wm. N. Lyster, who spent his own and several other fortunes to plant his beloved church in different places in this virgin soil deserves to be mentioned fiist. Rev. Si las Freeman, John P. Baninan aud Samuel Parks all had charge of ;his parisli with intervals between be'ore Dr. Cumuiiugs was called here. Mr. O'Brien, of Tecumseh came over occassioually for a service and ouce Mr. Gregory, wlio was passing throngh the village ou his wav to visit his brother in Dexter solexnuized the inarriage of my father and uiother by special request as there was uo Episcopal clergyaian here at that time. Miss Lncy Aun Olark at her wedding aad the marriage service i-ead by a layuian to give soleinnity to the occasion while the ceremouy was preformed by a justice of the peace. In the absence of a rector, a young candidate lor orders named Huxford often read a sermón. Rev. A. G. Hollitser carne iuto the diocese in the early 40 's. St. Andrews bas reasou to be grateful to him for coming to her aid during vacancies, for a period of several years. In my father's diary uuder date of March 1, 1835 occtmrs this itern : " I attended chnrch today. Heard Mr. Bansman on the excellence of the Litorgy, etc. Then again : "Detroit, Oct. 24, of the sanie year he notes: "was at Aun Arbor two weeks ago today. Mr. Bansman has gone to Delaware, Ohio. He left Ann Arbor accompanied by the regrets and good wishes of many friends." Then Detroit, Nov. 1, 1835: "Heard a sermón this morniug by Bishop Hobart 'Searcb the ways', sound, just and evangelical." We most of ns know that Bishop Hobart took charge of the diocese of Michigan for a shori time before we had a bishop here of our own. Nov. 26 of the same yeai uiy father vvrites: "The convention of the dioceseiet today aud recommeud od Dr. McCoskry of Philadelpliia for Bishop." Then Aug. 28, 1836, "Heard Bishop McCoskry's iirst sermon." It is diffieult to assertain wbo all the gentlemen were who iïrst served as vestryruen. We kuow of Edward (Jlark, Henry Rumsey, George W. Jewett, Aadrew Co?nish and James Kiagsley. When a name was ptoposed for the chijrcb Edward Clark suggested that thfly shonld take Mr. Cwrnish's name Andrew and cali the hnrch St. Andrew's. So the chnrch was named. Wneu Mr. Cornish left and where he moved to, no one seerus to remember. When Bishop Gillespie was rector here, he forrned the Sunday school into a naiss-iouary society, each class havïng its own name, motto and design. Miss Mary Clark proposed that there should be an Andrew Coruish class with a chnrch fonndea on a rock for a design, with the text for a motto, "Upon this rock will I bmld my chnrch and the gates of heil shall not prevail against it. " This snggestion was taken op and a little churofi was made of tin and fasteuecl on a flat stone. Ttie class was taught by Miss Hatcie Young, now Mrs Skinner of Bad Axe. When it became no longer advisatole to hold services at the homes of the parishiouera, a wooden building on the old jail square was used as a church. This square was bounded by Liberty st., Fourth and Fifth avenues and Williarn st. This building was afterwards used as a carpenters shop. It faced Liberty st. and stood near the corner of Fifth ave. I remember playing in this shop years afterwards with the children of the neighborhood and adorning my straight tow colored locks with curls of clean pine shavings. Mother told me that that was where she used to go to church. The grounds belonging to St. Andrew's are pait of a quarter section bonght by John Allen of the U. S. government in 1824. Mr. Allen disposed of portions of this tract from time to time to different people. In 1834 George Corselius conveyed one acre of this land to St. Andrew'fc church, giving a warranty deed for it dated Dec, 9 of that year, recorded tbe same day. In 1841 thechnroh purchasea another strip south of the acre already owiied, of John Allen and William S. Maynard. Xhis strip had six rods frontage on División st. joiuing John Maynard's land on the south. It extended east 26 and two third rods. The chúrch and chapel are on this strip now. The old church stood where the rectory now stauds. In 1840 St Andrew's church was sold on a mortgage, a sheriff's foreclosure, for 494.45. Mr. Volney Ohapin and Judge Kingsley cárue forward in this extreruity and paid up the indebtedness. So St. Audrfew's could hold up her head agaiu. I flnd in a private memowndnm of my father's dattd Jan. 16, 1840 a minute of his recording a deed that day for St. Andrew's parsonage. This was the property now owued by the Misses Ladd.. Mra. Cbapin fonnd among her father's efiects a list of subscriptions ;oward St. Audrew 's patronage : Cbares Kellogg, goods, f40, Brighatn & Platte, lumber, f25, F. H. Cummings, U5, George Danforth, store pay, $15, A. M. Gould. note 20, Miles & Wilson, store pay, $30, James Kingsley, order, $20, Chapín, notes or store pa?, $3, Chas. Tull, lumber, $15, W. M. Sinclair, goods or 1 uiu ber, SI 5, James Orr $10, L. Stillson, goods notes or store Day, 10, J. Wallace, store pay or cash, J10, Ebeu. Wells, note or store pay, $1, Willard Parker, glass, 10, John Brannagin, labor, $12, Sam Baldry, labor, ?6, Wm. G. Tuttle, work, 1, H. Goodspeed, store pay, $10, D. Cleaveland, work, $10, G. W. Jewett, note or store pay, $30, Rob. P. Clark, good note, $10, E. Mundy, lime or note, $25, J. H. Lund, lumber, $12, E. R. Everest, shoes, $15, Dan W. Kellogg, $15, J. C. Mundy, lumber, $10, W. F. Brown, store pay, $10, John S. Reade, store pay, $6, - Shepherd, glazing, $10, Thomas Butler, Iumb6r,$5, David Page lumber, $10, W. W Green, work, $10. A totano! 33 subscribers amounting to $49L Dr. Cummings lived in the parsonage during his rectorship. It was sold in Mr. Taylor's time, he owning a farm which he lived npou and worked week days, while he miuistëred to the spiritual needs of his parish on Sundays. The Michigan Whig, bearing date. April 9 1885, coutains this advertisemeut headed St. Audrew 's Chncrh. (Tne paper wasedited by George Corselius.): "The estímate of tiiuber necessary to builri said church having been made, this is to give notice that any person who rnay be desirous of fnrnishing either sawed or hewed timber to apply on his subscription will please cali on Henry Rumsey Esq., or tne subscriber and take a list of such timber as they will undertake to furnish, and it wiil be necessary that suoh cali by wade by the 20th inst. Auy petson who bas not subscribed, but will contribute timber or other mateiials for said church will confer a gieat favor. By order of the building committee. George W. Jewett." The church was riot finished nntil 1838, althongh the basement was sed to hold services iu before that time. Nov. 18, of that year it was consecrated by the Bishop. Mr. Marks was the first rector in the new chnrch. I will quote here an extract f rom a letter froru Mrs. Fennel, of Lindeu California, wlio will be remembered as Miss Jessie Clark: "You ask about old St. Aüdrew's church.. I don't remember any more about it than you do, although I eau go farther back for I ain older. I eau remember the days of Dr. Onmmings how tho churcli nsed to look perched upon a high wall so w had to mount twelve steps to get iuto it. (I think therè were 20) There it stood iuuocent of paint and gray as the old man of the sea. There was a bastmeut underueath the church where a school was kept. The door was at the right of the steps aud was left open a good deal Tvüich made the oharoh very cold. I nave seen old ladies carrying tbeir fot stoves. Tüe high pnlpit was a great attraction. I naed to wonder how the clergyruan got up into it. He went out Irorn the chanuel and the nest thiag he would appear in tne pnlpit. The cusbious of the reading desk and pulpit were f black cloth an(J fcrim naed with yellow cord and tassels. On eacn side of the pnlpit were candelabra with crystal drops. It was ïny dëlight as a child to watch the play of lights throagh th6se drops. Orrcd in awhile the minister in his gestnres would hit these drops aud rnake thera rattle wnich was a great diversion for me. I know I feit more at home in that dear old chnrch than I ever have anywhere else." Tbis is a pretty good descriptioc of the ohnrch as far as it goes. The slips in the body of the chnrch were of uniform length. Each pew holder furui&hed his oïïu cushion, carpet and foot stool if he had any. At first the wall pews were all square with a table ih the center and a shelf around the edge. When there was eveniug Eervice one person in each family carried a caudle and candlestick ora lamp which was placed on this shelf. Afterwards the square pews were changed all bnt tbe one iu the soutü eaat corner which was kept forthe Biole class. Mrs. Kingsley presented the first white linen spread for the communion table. Io is worth while to mention the inevitable box stove which stood near the door and devoured innumerable chunks of bickory wood and sent out great puffs of beat to roast the backs of those near it while the rector shivered in the chancel. As I reruember the old church it was painted white with green blinds. The long steps were the whole length of the platform which estended across the front of the building to the basement door. There was no railLug tothis platform and when the steps became old and rickety it was risky business gettiug in and out of church. There was a belfry on top froru which sweet toues of the bell pealed for every service. St. Andrews came near not haviug her bell at this time, for want of rnoney to pay for it. This was a great sorrow to her people for it was hard not to have the bell. Mr. Volney Chapin and Judge Kingsley, the gentlemen who had helped the chnrch through tight places before came forward again and opened their purses in tiine of need. No wonder the church members feel sad becanse they no longer heai their dear old bell calliug thein to worship. Iu 1848 the ladies of the church collected mouey to purchase lamps. The following is a copy of the list of subscribers, which Mrs. Chapin fouud ainorg her papers : Auu Arbor, June 1. 1848. We the subscribtrs agree to pay the sums severally afflxed to our uames respectively for the purpose of pnrcnasing lamps forHt. Andrews' chucrh, Aun Arbor. Witness our hand : Eliza Sinclair 3, C. M Loomis, 3, O. Chapiu, 85, Mrs. R. S. Wilsou 3, Sophia Page $3, Mary E. Hawkins. S2, Mrs. James Kingsley, $2, Mrs D. J. D. Leseure, SI, Mrs. Fasquelle $1, Heleu M. Platte $1. Kate W. Kellogg $1, Mrs. Fuller $1, Mrs. Lawrence $1, Mrs. E. T. Williams $1, Mrs. S. U. Kall, 50, Mrs. O. Clark. 50, Mrs. R. Sinclair $1, Mrs. O. Millen $1, Miss Spelmau $1, Mrs. Gott.50, Mrs. G. D. Hill $5, Mrs. Howard $1, Mrs. Hooper $1, Mrs. Mundy (2, Miss Hnbbard $1.50, Mrs. Danforth $1, Mrs. Tull .50. . In all there were 27 narnes and the ainount raised was $44.50. St. Andrews' never owned a font until Bishop Gillespie's time, wheu the Sunday school pnrebased the one we are uow usiug. Wheu a baptism was to be celebrated the little silver basiu was filled with water and placeü on a stand iu the chancel. The old vestry room was a small building attached to the rear eud of thé church, with a door opening ou the left of the cüancel. This old vestry room has for many years been rnerged iuto the kitchen of the Wilcoxson house and is now torn dowu. Tlie old church was taken down from lts high perch and added to iu Mr. Lurusdon's time, '54 aud '55. Wheu we were through with it, in the '80's, wheu our chapel was built, the front.the original chnrch, with tbe iittle room over the vestibule which Bishop Uillespie added, was sold to Mr. Stabler who tore it down and removed the heavy timbers which were correctly spelled 'i.ith a capital T iu '35, to his farm near Fosters and built a bain with them. The rear end, Mr. Lumsdou's addition, is now Mr. Ross' carpenter shop where one can get a glimpse of it by looking across the Street froin the church. Such was St. Andrews' old church built iu territorial days and the home of more than a generatiou of worshippers. Once singed by nre ; oft times burdened with debt, threadbare and poverty jnuched, with winter's snows driftiug through her shattered frame. But a few valieant souls were ever prayerfully toiliug for her welfare. And now behold our present edifice, her walls of stone, her gates of butternufc clamped with irou prepared to breast the storms of the comiug century. The Rev. Charles C. Taylor and the Rev. David F. Lumsdon are the only ministers I remeinber in the little old church. Mr. Taylor was my childhood's minister. He was a mau of fine presence; tall with dark hair and expres sive eyes. His manuer was quiet. All his life he had beeu a hard student delviug deep into the mines of kuowledge till his iniud was a storehouse of learning. In those days the sermón couuted for as much as the services aud Mr. Taylor prepared serinous aud preaehed to his congregatiou clothed iu beautiful chate language Continued on Page Two.