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Centennial celebration of the Old Mud-Meeting House near Harrodsburg, Ky., August 25, 1900 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-71-27213745 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Centennial celebration of the Old Mud-Meeting House near Harrodsburg, Ky., August 25, 1900 Harrodsburg Herald, Harrodsburg (Ky.) :  40 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. Coleman Title on cover: Historic sketch of Old Mud-Meeting House. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1993. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN02819.10 KUK) Printing Master B92-71. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Mud Meeting House ( Harrodsbury, Ky.) Reformed Church in America History. Harrodsburg (Ky.) Churches History. HISTORIC SKETCH OF THE FIRST DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH WEST OF THE ALLEGHENIES. AND THE ADJACENT QCrave 1]ard Where rest the ashes of those who starved with Washington at Valley Forge; who faced the Britons at Monmouth and Brandywine and crossed the Delaware and stormed the Hessians at Trenton; and staked their all upon the field at Princeton and in the trenches at Yorktown. THE HUGUENOTS OF THEHACKENSACK FROM CONEWAGO TO SALT RIVER Price. 50c A TRULY GODLY COMPANY OF PEOPLE WHO DARED TO FACE THE PERILS OF THE WILDERNESS This page in the original text is blank. THE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF THE "vOld Mud-Meeting House" NEAR Harrodsburg, KJ. AUGUST 25, 1900 THE HARRODSBURG HERALD BOOK AND JOB PR1NTING HARRODSBURG KY. Introductory and Descriptive Account of the Day's Proceedings By Rev. J. G. Hunter, D. D. Earlv in the sunmier, the friends who had long been identified with the M-ud Mfeeting House by an- cestral ties and by personal fellowship, decided to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the organi- zation of the church and the erection of the present house of worship. A committee consisting of John B. Mann, Wil- liam Scomp, Joshua Adams and J. Clel Adams was appointed to materialize a suitable plan. It was decided first to put the building and grounds in the best order. although as a worshipping place it was in a comfortable condition, for which liberal contri- butions of money were promptly made. Then a pro- gramme of exercises was adopted which compre- hended a historical sketch of the church and of the Bi-Weekly House-to-House Prayer Meeting, which had always been a co-ordinate factor of the church's life and growth. Invitations were sent to friends in Kentucky In- diana and Missouri, who in various ways were iden- tified with this organization, to be present at the celebration, and finally arrangements were perfected for a generous basket dinner on the grounds. The plan in all its details issued successfully on Satur- day, August 25th. The exercises were conducted to the utmost limit of the programme with the unabat- ed interest of the large crowd in attendance. Mr. John B. Mann, chairman of the committee of arrangements, made a happy address of welcome, whereupon the congregation sang with great spirit 4 A ITRC KTHO the hymn "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name," and attended to the reading of Psalm 48 with the appro- priate prayer that followed. Mr. Moore, at the re- quest of his uncle, who was unavoidably absent, read the noble Historical Address, prepared at .great cost of time and research by Dr. H. A. Scomp. Succeeding Mr. Moore, the Rev. Dr. W. 0. Good- loe was introduced, who made an interesting speech, emphasizing some points of the address and com- menting on the legacy of Christian character and good citizenship that had been bequeathed by the ancestors of the people who had arranged for this celebration. A recess was taken, and after the enjoyment of an elegant dinner, the people resumed their seats in the church, when devotional exercises were again conductd. The Rev. J. C. Gilliam, for a long time the pas- tor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of this neighborhood. made a valuable contribution of facts suited to the occasion and paid a tribute to the in- fluence in the community of this sister church. Then followed an extended address on the Bi- Weeklv House-to-House Prayer Meeting" by the Rev. J. G. Hlunter. Amongst other things he said: "While nowhere could records be found men- tioning the date and names of those who organized this praver meeting, still the testimony of old men now living who vividly recall conversations with older men long since dead, but in the habit of attend- ing this prayer meeting even in their youth-from records of the homes where this prayer meeting was held in its regular bi-weekly itinerary, which homes were in the possession of those whose birthdays be- gan with the earlier years of this century and before -from this testimony and from these records we A HISTORIC SKETCH OF 4 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" are safe in stating that this prayer meeting organi- zation had its historic setting in the latter years of 1700. and therefore, was an institution of social and religious power before the Mud Meeting House was built, whose foundations have lasted one hundred years, and in commemoration of which fact we are (onvened here today. The forefathers, a truly godly company of peo- ple, came from New Jersey and Virginia in the lat- ter part of 1700, and for some years were occupied with clearing the forests and building log houses for dwellings, which duties had a prior claim to that of church or school house erection. But their religious duties were not neglected. On the Sabbath they assembled at some one of the larger houses for worship. And being social and pious, valuing the companionship of the united set- tlement, seeking to regulate their homes by the principles of Christian teaching and worship, they organized this bi-weekly praver-meeting as a Sat- urday evening service, which would become a fitting preparation for the more formal worship of the Sab- bath. Their children felt the power of the Christian character that found expression in this prayer-meet- ing, and when they grew older and stood in the places made vacant by the death of their parents, they continued to observe the praver-meeting ser- vice until today the children of a fourth generation are active and loyal in maintaining this house-to- house prayer-meeting in company with their par- ents. Thus, for over one hundred years, in unbroken continuity, without the special oversight of a church session or a Presbytery, in accordance with a plan that found its inception in the hearts of sturdy Christian men and women of a far distant past, 5 A HISTORC SKETCH OF fathers and children and grandchildren have passed from house to house in this neighborhood, to observe a prayer-meeting, whose memories make up a noble chapter in the history of the Chureh of Jesus Christ. At the close of this address some interesting remarks were made by Rev. Dr. Lapsley, of Dan- ville; Rev. Mr. Moore, of Indiana, and Squire Cum- mings, whereupon the chairman announced that Rev. Dr. Lapsley will preach at this church on Sunday morning and administer the communion of the Lord's Supper. Unanimously and most heartily prevailed a motion for a vote of thanks to be extend- ed to Dr. H. A. Scomp for the preparation of the valuable Historic Address. A hymn was sung, a prayer offered, the benediction pronounced, and this closed a memorable celebration, which, as it seals the past, may be, it is fondly hoped, a prophesy for the future. Amongst the many who were in attendance mention may be made of Nelson Rue, J. Harvey Riker, Dr. J. H. Moore, Ad. S. Adams, David Adams, Joshua Adams, Caleb Adams. James W. Wood, Wil- liam Scomp, William Terhune, Barney Terhune and W. T. Williams, whose lives in all their long and hon- orable history have been valuably associated with these institutions of the church and prayer-meeting. 6 A Historic Sketch of the Old "Mud Meeting House" Prepared for the Centennial Celebration By A. H. Scomp, Ph. D., LL. D. 9 S causes for profound religious, or moral movements are long in their operation and deep and manifold in their origin, so the be- ginnings of the history of this clrnrch do not belong to Kentuckv history, nor, only partially, to the story of the older States of the East; but rather are they to be sought for in the religious and political history of Europe during the sixteenth and seven- teenth centuries of our era. The great religious upheaval of the earlier half of the sixteenth century-aroused by Luther and Melanchthon in Germany; then, stirred by Calvin, in France; Zwingle, in Switzerland; Knox, in Scotland; and by a host of reformers in the Netherlands-pro- foundly affected the thought, the morals, the life, and the politics of all subsequent times. Every stu- dent of history knows that the great struggles of Europe since the Diet of Worms, have been awaken- ed by the new ideas, the new convictions, then forced upon the world's thought: and conscience. Lutheran and Calvanist were one in the demand for the right to think and act independently of priestly shackles. The new doctrines of salvation by faith, and of man's direct personal responsibility to God alone, could not but be everlastingly at war with papal infallibility and royal absolutism. The two oppos- ing principles were in irrepressible conflict. They could not live side bv side on the same soil. One or the other must go down; no people could submit to the domination of both. A HISTORIC SKETCH OF The Protestants of Germany, the Huguenots of France and the Lowlands, and the Calvanists of Scotland, for more than a century, were involved in the conflict which meant the ultimate overthrow of ecclesiastical and political systems of those times. The ideas born in that wonderful sixteenth century were destined one day to rule the world. It would be long to tell the story of the Hugue- nots from the days of Francis I to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the story of all those battles and seiges; of the Bartholomews, and of Valois, and Bourbon treachery. Yet there are those here today whose fathers suffered martyrdom at Rochelle, or Picardy-who bled upon a hundred fields for the right to worship God as conscience dictated. Sad, yet glorious is the story. The blood of the Hugue- not is flowing in the veins of some of these who are here this day. Huguenot names-some of them strangely cramped to fit the Saxon mould-are yet recognizable after all their changes. We have des Marests-Amerieanized into Demarees; du Ryzs into Duries; LaRous into Rues: Terheuns into Ter- hunes; the DeMotts from DeMottes; the Debauns into Debouns; Cossatt into Cozarte-Cozatt; the Deschamps (metamorphosed into Sehamp-Scomp), and other names that have suffered sea changes by contact with the Dutch and English. Many of these names belong to the annals of those desperate wars -aged so long for their God and the Protestant faith. Refugeeing at last to Holland, which had be- come the Continental asylum for persecuted Prot- estants, the Huguenots became incorporated with the children of those gallant Lowlanders, who, under great William of Orange and his successors, had waged for nearly three-quarters of a century the most unequal conflict in all history-not merely for 8 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" the right to think and to worship, but even for the right to life itself-against the greatest powers of Europe. If pollical liberty was born in Greece, re- ligious liberty was cradled in the Netherlands. It is something to be of the blood of those who fought at Ivres, or perished in the butcherv of St. Bartholo- mew; it is much to be the children of those who suf- fered the horrors of Haarlem and Leyden; and who cut the dykes to let in the wild North Sea upon their homes sooner than prove false to their religion. The world's history presents no grander story than that of those heroic Netherlanders struggling against Phillip, of Spain; the Valois and Bourbons, France; the Maximillians, of Austria; and the bloody Marys of England. Of such an ancestry were born the Bantas, the Boyces, the Brewers, the Bohons, the Cozines, the Comingores, the Huffs, the Rites, the Kyles, the Smocks, the Vannuyses, the Rykers, the Vanarsdalls, the Voorheeses, the Vanmeters, the Verbrykes, the Vanderviers, the Vananglins, the Vanderipes, the Vandykes, the Vaughns, and many others whose names are familiar to us in Kentucky. The history of the religious wars in Europe brings out frequent mention of many of these names. Some of them are found in the annals of the old Huguenot synods of France; many others belong to the records of the Calvinistic churches of the Low- lands. It was but natural that such spirits should seek for the larger, freer life of the New World. What were its wild forests, its wilder men, its perils by sea, or perils of the wilderness compared with the Spanish Inquisitions The Indian stake was not so terrible as the Spanish rack; Phillip, the Wampa- noag, was not half so treacherous as Phillip of Cas- tile; the fiercest savage chieftain was merciful as 9 A HISTORIC SKETCH OF compared with the infernal Duke of Alva-and so they came over the sea prepared to meet every dan- ger of the wilderness. The seventeenth century finds these Huguenots and Dutch Reformed already in New York, on Long Island, in Northern Jersey, and on both branches of the Raritan. Industrious, enterprising and honest, they rapidly transformed the wilderness into fruit- ful fields, and blooming orchards and gardens. The Dutch Reformed Church in America was the fruit of their religious system. They brought their church, red with the blood of martyrs, with them from beyond the ocean, and the peaceable fruits of righteousness everywhere began to appear. The Huguenot had become so thoroughly incorporated with his Dutch coreligionists as in large measure, to have lost national identity. The Dutch was the lan- guage of the church and of social life till long after the flag of Holland had ceased to wave over the Col- omes. A new Holland had arisen along the Hudson and the Raritan, with the customs, language, re- ligion and habits of the Mother Land. The names had crossed the sea as well. The New Amsterdam represented the Old. The old Ilium lived again in the new, and its Simois and Scamander perpetuated themselves in the larger waters of the West. A century of progress followed. The Dutch Reformed in New Jersey had a kind of common center at New Brunswick. The Huguenots had been absorbed by their Dutch neighbors. One colony only of the former attempted for a time to maintain their or- ganization and language in New Jersey. This was the little colonv in Northern New Jersey so graph- ically described by Dr. D. D. Demarest in his "Huguenots of the Hackensack." But in 1696 this church with its distinctively French organization 10 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" was broken up by the absorption process. The last French pastor, M. Daille, removed to Boston and the tide of Dutch immigrants swallowed up all that was distinctively French in the Colony. But some force-was it inbred antipathy to the dominant Britons-was impelling the Dutch Re- formed to the Westward Soon they began to set- tle in Bucks County, in South-eastern Pennsylvania, and there thev laid the foundation of those com- munities, one day to be famous in the annals of the Keystone State. But we are more directly concerned with those Dutch colonists, who about 1765, began to pour from New Jersey into the extreme west of the then civ- ilized world, York County in Southern Pennsyl- vania. These settlers, it is known, formed the fa- mous Conewago Colony, so named from the neigh- boring Conewago Creek. This Church, "Old Cone- wago," as our fathers called it, was about three miles south of Gettysburg, and very near the im- mortal battle ground of 1863. Dr. J. K. Demarest, of Gettysburg, in 1884, in a series of articles which appeared in the "Star and Sentinel" of that city, has given us, from the old records, the history of this famous church, the moth- er church of the "Mud Meeting" House orgamiza- tion. Many of our grandparents were baptised as children at old Conewago, and their names are found ipon the baptismal records published by Dr. Dem- arest. Mr. Honeyman, in his "Ioaunes Nevius and His Descendants, 1627-1900," tells us (pp. 167-171) that the story of this colony was as interesting as romance. It was formed between 1765 and 1775. At is supposed to have contained about 150 families, with an aggregate of about 700 souls. Today it (the church) is invisible. The church building where 11 A HISTORIC SKETCH OF these worshipped. where their children were bap- tized and married, is to be located only by a search in a small inclosure overgrown with high weeds, near a wood, and only with difficulty can some of the foundation stones be discovered, and a few markers of the resting places of the dead. "I," says Mr. Henry May, "was there in 1897, and can testify to the desolation and barrenness of the church grounds, and no one knew, even in the locality, what the fence and weeds meant, though the highway near still bears the name of the 'Old Dutch Road.' " The church was located in about the center of the new settlement, and was attached to the Classis of New Brunswick, N. J. A copy of the plan of the church is still in existence, and indicates where each member of these good Dutch forefathers sat on Sun- day to hear the preaching. Fortunately, the site of the church was not injured by the battle. The ad- jacent lands are of slate, and not specially fertile. Various motives have been assigned for this migration of the Dutch to York county. It has been suggested that it was to get larger farms, to have "more elbow room." York county was then on the extreme verge of the known civilization; the Indians in that loeality had been latelv subdued and almost exterminated, and in that quarter many of the first members of the Conewago colony were en- abled to have pretty large possessions, though the land was no better than that they had left at home. From the baptismal records of Conewago (1768-93), it appears that the Cossats and Montforts, from Millstone, Somerset county, N. J.; and the Bantas and Westervelts, of Bergen county, -,ere among the first settlers. The first Conewago deed to land was made to a Vanarsdall (1768). The Demarests came from Bergen about 1771. The first baptism took 12 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" place in 1768, the last May 14, 1793. The distance to Conewago from Harlingen, N. J., was 150 miles in a direct line. 1783, the last year of the war, was a distressing one for Conewago. The crops failed and the cattle perished. In 1786 were riots. In one vear the Indians burned 35 houses and terrified the people (Penn. Archives, Vols. X, XI and XII, as quoted by Honeyman). In 1780 fifty heads of fami- lies had gone to Mercer county, Ky., from Southern Pennsylvania, and in 1781 some Conewago families started thither. while others went to the "Lake Countrv" about the (Genesee Lakes in Northern New York. To the latter migration belonged the Brinckerhoffs, Johnsons (or Jansens), Bodines, Vantines, Dates, Pareelles and Lysters. They were two and one-half months on their journey. A still longer time was required for those who came to Ken- tucky, viz.: The Bantas, Braners, Coverts, Van- nuvses, Demarests, Brewers, Montforts, DeMotts, Bergens, Smocks, Vanarsdalls, Cassats, Cozines and many others. Collins' History of Kentucky, VoL II, p. 523, gives the first Dutch immigration, in a group of families, to Kentucky, as coming in 1781 to White Oak Springs, one mile above Boonesborough. This group was composed of Henry Banta, Sr., Henry Banta, Jr., Abraham and John Banta, Samuel, Pe- ter, Daniel, Henry and Albert Duryee, Peter Cozart, or Cozad, Fred Ripperdan, and John Fleuty. These purchased 1,200 acres of land known as the "Low Dutch Tract." By 1800 Conewago was so depleted as to scarce- ly furnish any congregation for the Sunday service; and in 1817 not more than five Dutch families of the famous colony were left. Permission was obtained to sell the old church building and with the proceeds 13 A WISThUC SKEtCH Of of the sale build a permanent wall around the old burying ground. The sum realized was 288.20. George Lashall, the purchaser, used the weather- boarding for the building of a fence, which he paint- ed in gay colors; the foundation stones he used fr the building of a smokehouse. Such was the fate of the famous old Conewago Church near the modern Gettysburg, where our fathers were wont to worship God. We have fol- lowed the Church to its end that our story might be more connected. It is now necessary to go back some years, to follow our own ancestors on their long journey to the "Dark and Bloody Ground." It has been said alredy that the last baptism recorded in the Conewago record took place May 14, 1793. As to the pastors, Conewago had, Dr. J. K. Demarest thinks, no regular shepherd until 1772. Meanwhile, Rev. John M. Harling, of New Jersey, paid two visits (1769 and 1772) to the colony and preached, and baptised the children; and in 1770,. Rev. J. R. Hardenbergh, of New Brunswick, New Jersey, also baptised some of the Conewago children This gentleman was the first President of Queen's (now Rutgers) College, organized that same year (1770). September 8, 1771, baptism was administer- ed to eight children by Rev. John Leydt (Lite). In the fall of 1772 Rev. Cornelius Cozine became pastor of Conewago Church and continued till his death in 1788. He is spoken of as a good man and of considera- ble force of character. Some account of his minis- 4rv is given in Dr. E. T. Corwin's "Manual of the Reformed Church in America." Mr. Cozine was succeeded in the pastorate of Conewago by Rev. George 0. Brinkerhoff, who en- 14 OLD "MUD MEET[NG HOUSE" tered on his work November, 1789. One of Mr. Brinkerhoff's earliest ministerial functions was the baptism of children in the following December. Sev- eral names known to us were among those little ones at the font. Among them that of Vroutie Van- nice, grandmother of this writer. Mr. Brinkerhoff resigned the pastorate Novem- ber, 1793, when the colony had practically broken up; for it was in this vear that the two great migra- tions took place which really ended the Colony. On April 10th of that year, the one part of the Colonists started for the Genesee Country, and probably about the same time, the greater migration started over the mountains for the cane lands of Kaintuckee. Some of us can remember, from the lips of the old, the story of that migration. We have heard them tell how, for weeks they journeyed in the great heavy wagons-camping at night along the wilderness road-how they stopped over and rested on the Sabbath, never neglecting to hold di- vine service; how they wearily crossed the moun- tains to the upper waters of the Ohio; how they flat- boated it down La Belle Riviere whose shores were infested with hostile savages; how they landed at Limestone, now Maysville and again set the wagons in motion for the upper Salt River about Harrod's 'Station. " Mr. Cornelius Terhune, of Nevada, is the wri- ter's authority for the statement that this emigrant band made their temporary headquarters in a sort of blockhouse at the bend of Salt River, in front of Gabriel Taylor's residence. They brought milch kine with them, and the milk put into teapots, was echurned daily by the motion of the heavy springless " agons, and furnished butter for the journey. But "Gypsying" was not in accord with the 15. A HISTORIC SKETCH OF I)utch nature. The Dutchman does not willingly relax his hold on terra firma. Very soon the new colonists were looking out lands and purchasing them. They were too late to "take up" good lands; they had to purchase. The "entering" of lands had been fully attended to very early in Kentucky's his- torv. Mercer (lid not become a county until 1786. From a recent hasty examination of the old County records, the writer has noted the dates of recording most of the purchases made by these settlers. There are deeds (recorded) to: Abraham Banta, -1789. Cornelius Cozine, 1790. Garret Cozine, 1797. John Comingore, 1798. Henry Comingore, 1798. Peter Demaree, 1791. Samuel Demaree, 1792. Charles DePawe, 1793. Joseph Delaney, 1793. Lawrence DeMott, 1794. Peter Huff. 1797. Thomas Huff, 1798. Thomas Ohrer, 1792. Barney Smock, 1793. John Smock. 1796. William Terhune, 1794. James Stagg, 1791. Anderson Vannuys, 1795. Jacob Vories, 1794. John Vories, 1798. Barney Verbryke, 1798. Albert Banta, 1799. Walter Bohon, 1791. Bay Bohon, 1792. Abraham Brewer, 1792. John Bohon, 1793. Henry Banta, 1794. Peter Banta, 1794. Dennis Bice, 1795. Abraham Brewer, 1796. Abraham DeMott, 1793. Isaac Hite, 1791. Thomas Kyle (Dominie) 180.2. Abraham Nourse, 1790. William Nourse, 1790. James Lite, 1792. Jacob Smock, 1802. Garret Terhune, 1797. Charles Vanarsdall, 1796. Lucas Vanarsdall, 1796. Cornelius Vories, 1794. Isaac Vories, 1798. Cornelius Vanices 1801. James Vanarsdall, 1796. We may infer from the above dates that the immigrants did not all arrive at the same time, and 16 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" this, from other sources, we know to be the fact. Some of the earlier colonists seemed to have come from New Jersey direct, and did not come with the Conewago colony. There is clearly some discrep- aney between Collins' declaration (Vol. II, p. 523) that the first Duteh immigrants settled at White Oak Springs, one mile from Boonesborough, and an- other statement that these colonists purchased or "entered," 1,200 acres of land known henceforth as "The Low Dutch Tract." "The Low Dutch Tract" lay in Henry and Shel- by counties, on Six-Mile Creek, about the modern railroad station, Pleasureville, and many miles from Boonesborough. It consisted of between 6,000 and 7,000 (not 12,000) acres. From the statement of Judge D. D. Banta, of Franklin, Ind., and from many other authorities, it is certain that the "Dutch Tract" in Henry county was settled by immigrants from Mercer a few years after the great migration from Conawago (See Appendix B). About 1827 the "Dutch Tract" hive began to swarm, and a colony from it settled in Johnson coun- ty, Ind., and built the first Presbyterian church in Franklin. Others settled in Switzerland county, Ind.; in Dark county, Ohio, and later at other points in the West. But having lost both their language and their church, the settlers lost also their national identity, and became thoroughly incorporated with the populations around them. They no more mi- grated in compainies, forming single, isolated com- munities wherever they settled; but they became English in speech, and, generally, Presbyterian in faith. Let us return once more to the Mercer county colony: As before said, when these left Conewago they left their last pastor, Mir. Brinkerhoff, behind. 17 A HISTORIC SKETCH OF With their faces toward the wilderness, they kept up their Sunday services; for they were the most rigid observers of the Lord's Day. On their arrival they had no pastor; but we may be sure that the Sabbath service was not omitted. Their religion, in some measure, isolated them. The early pioneers had taken but little stock in religion. None of the earliest organizers of Sta- tions had made any provision for public worship. The colonists who founded Boonesborough, Harrods- burg and others of the early settlements did not bring preachers, nor introduce public worship. Rev. David Rice had come in 1783, and had spent several vears in ministerial work about Danville and Har- rodsburg. A few other ministers, of various denom- inations, were laboring in different parts of the new territory; but a careful survey compels the confes- sion that religion among the pioneers was at a low ebb; or, perhaps, it would be better to say that it had never yet been at flood tide. That was waiting for the great revival of 1800. But we may be sure the Dutch Reformed did not neglect their rigid observance of worship, both on the Lord's flay and at the family altar. They were a praying people. Doubtless, they presented a somewhat singular spectacle to their neighbors who had never been accustomed to such rigorous habits of life. After the Great Immigration the colonists were, for a time, without a preacher; and just in this in- terval we may properly place the origin of the fa- mous by-weekly prayer-meeting, now more than a century old. It was already an institution in the "MAud House" neighborhood at a time when the memory of man runneth not to the contrarv. It 18 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" was not introduced from Danville, Harrodsburg, nor any other neighboring station. These latter places had themselves no like insti- tution. There were no ministers from any of these places who preached to the Conewago strangers; in- deed, these latter still used, in large measure, their mother tongue, and as contemporary evidence from Conewago itselif abunldantly proves the prayer- meeting was of native growth among the Dutch Re- formed; it was an exotic among the Kentucky pio- neers. Their neighbors-foreign in speech-in a de- gree, at least-and foreign in forms of worship, could not have introduced an institution unknown to themselves. Besides it would have been all the more natural for the rigid Conewagans, in lack of a pastoral service, to have held more firmly to the prayer-meeting that worship so peculiarly the func- tion of the laity. No, the origin of the bi-weekly praver-meeting must, by every token, be assigned to the closing decade of the 18th century, and to the religious spirits and habits of these Conewago set- tlers. For several years these sheep were without a shepherd. But in 1796, as Corwin's Manual informs us, the Svnod of the Dutch Reformed church sent a missionary, Rev. Peter Labagh, to the Salt River country. He made the trip on horse-back from Hackensack, N. J., to Harrodsburg-about 700 miles -and returned in the same way.. He spent some months in Kentucky, and organized the church, though it had not yet any house for worship. "Father Labagh," as he was familiarly called, died in 1858, at the age of 85 years. After Mr. Labagh's departure, the church was, evidently, for several years without a pastor; but it kept up, so far as possible, its organization, and, no doubt, its prayer-meetings. A. year or two after Mr. 19 20 A HISTORIC SKETCh OF Labagh's visit, the immigrants set actively to work to build a church house. They were, doubtless, too poor on their arrival, and the need of shelter for their famililies was too pressing to undertake at that time the erection of a church building. But they were eager for the work; they could not leave the ark of the Lord in a tent while they themselves abode in comfortable houses. Some Ezra put it into the hearts of the people to build, and they began in earnest. One of the immigrants, Henry Comingore, grandfather of the late Mrs. Harvey Riker, of prec- ious memory, was appointed to go to New Jersey-- Conewago was now hardly more than a name in his- torv-and solicit funds. He made the trip on horse- back-a ride of six weeks either way-collected the money-how much we know not-and brought it home in his saddle-bags. Who of the moderns would undertake such a journey Who would dare carry any considerable sum of money so far, and in such a manner Financial honesty was of a higher grade then than now. Land for the church site and cemetery was pur- chased from David Adams. Why was the "Mud House" hill chosen Probably for its central situa- tion as to the colony. Harrodsburg evidently had no church edifice of any kind at the time. A little frame church build- ing had been erected a few years before at Cane Run; a double hewed log church, 50X30 feet, New Providence, had been built about eight miles below Harrodsburg-a testimonial of gratitude to God for an extraordinary deliverance of some of the settlers from an Indian ambuscade. It will be seen there- fore that the "Mud House" was a pioneer among Kentuckv churches. A HISTORIC SKETCH OF ' 20 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" THE TITLE DEED (A literal copy) "This Indenture made this, 22nd day of Decem- ber, Anno Domini, one thousand eight hundred, be- tween David Adams Elizabeth, his wife, of the County of Mercer and the Commonwealth of Ken- tucky, of the one part, and John Vanbryck. Isaac Vanice Peter Canine (Carnine), agents and over- seers ((and their successors) of the Reformed Church (1n the dry fork of Salt River in Mercer county of the other part: Witnesseth, that the said David Adams Elizabeth, his wife, for and in consideration of the sufa of four pounds, ten shillings, Virginia currency, in hand, well and truly paid by the said John Van- bryk, Isaac Vanice Peter Canine, the receipt whereof, he, the said David Adams both hereby ac- knowledge (and also doth hereby acquit, discharge and exonerate the said John Vanbryk, Isaac Vanice and Peter Canine and their successors of the said reformed church for ever) hath granted, bargained, sold, aliened and Confirmed, and by these presents dotfl bargain, sell, alien and confirm to the said John Vanbryck, Isaac Vanice Peter Canine as Agents Overseers, and there successors of said Reforned Church forever all that Messuage, survey -Parcel of land situate, lying being in the County of Mer- cer, and Commonwealth of Kentucky, on the dry fork of Salt River. "Beginning at two elms on the brink of the dry fork, thence down the same N 290 W Twenty poles to two Water Beeches, two Buckevs a Hickory on the Bank of said Fork, thence S W Twenty five poles to a Stake Between an Ash and Hackberry, thence S and E Twenty poles to another Stake be- tween an Eln and Hackberry, thence 11 E twenty four poles to the beginning. Containing three acres 21 A HISTORIC SKETCH OF of land together with the appurtenances, to have to hold all and singular the premises, together with the appurtenances belonging to the said John Vanbryk, Isaac Vanice Peter Canine and their successors, as agents Overseers of the said Re- formed Chureh, for the sole Benefit use of the said Reformed Church (as a place for divine worship for said church and for the only proper use behoof of the said reformed church) forever and the said David Adams Elisa, his wife, against themselves, their Heirs assigns against all persons Whomso- ever, the said premises and every part Parcel thereof, with the Apprentices for the said John Vanbrvk, Isaac Vanice Peter Canine as Agents overseers for the said reformed church for a place for divine Worship, but for no other purpose shall sufficiently warrant forever defend by these presents. "In Witness whereof, the said David Adams and Elizabeth, his wife, have hereunto set their (hands) and affixed their seals, the day year above written. "DAVID ADAMS (seal) "(Signed, sealed delivered in presence of) "ELIZABETH ADAMS (seal) "rHOMAS ALLEN, C. C." This was probably the first freehold of the Dutch Reformed Church west of the Alleghenies. The house was doubtless built by the membership with their own hands. It was dedicated from the very beginning. No soon were the "sleepers" put in place and some loose planks laid upon them, than the work- men stopped, and a solemn dedicatory prayer was offered, an act very natural for people accustomed 22 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" to invoke God's blessing upon the inception of ev- erv enterprise. There are those yet living who can remember the rough outline of this old pioneer house of wor- ship. They recall its walls of sturdy uprights, inter- laced with sticks and mortar--Whence the name "Mud House"-they recall the great double doors on the south side, with the narrow porch in front, and the lofty wine-cup pulpit with its spiral stair- way on the north side, and all surmounted by the old Dutch roof with the gables toward the rising and the setting sun. How those old Conewagans rejoiced in their first temple. We can enter into some of the conver- sation of the builders. They talked of the old home beyond the mountain; of their beloved Synod and Classis; of the traditions of their church in the Old World and its ordeal of fire and rack and torture under the Spanish Inquisition; they talked of their glorious House of Orange, of Rochelle and of Ley- den-what an immortal heritage of history was theirs-and as they talked on, the deep forests re- echoed with the sound of hammer and song. But sad news had lately crossed the mountains. It was whispered that the great Chieftain, whom so many of them had followed in the dark days, had just died at Mt. Vernon. In sotto voce they recall those winters on the Delaware and at Valley Forge, and the hard marches through the Jerseys. In a minor key they talked of those who had fallen under the sword of the Briton, or the tomahawk of the savage. They talked of their own Pennsylvania hero, "Mad" Anthony Wayne, and of that gallant little Frenchman, whom they followed to Yorktown, and who had since been immured in the Austrian prison of unpronounceable name; they wondered at 23 24 A HISTORIC SKETCH OF the achievement of that rising Star of Corsica, the young Napoleon, and they were full of sympathy for France. Thus the work went on, and so the house was builded. And when that first Sunday they had gathered into this house-their very own at last,-who preached the dedicatory sermon History tells us naught. Probably, like the temple, it was dedicated by that simple prayer offered in homely, yet fervid language on the rude "sleepers," under the azure canopy of heaven's dome. We read of no other dedi- cation-would any other have been any more ac- ceptable to God The little band now had its courts, rude though they were, whither the tribes could go up to the solemn assembly. Who was the priest who ministered at that altar Probablv the first, and perhaps the only one, who ever held the pastor- ate of this Dutch Reformed church was the "Dom- inie," Thomas Kyle, who, like themselves, had mi- grated from Pennsylvania, though he had settled in Washington county. We learn that he was induced to remove to this neighborhood and settle near the new church, on the beautiful farm, which has been in the hands of his family now for almost a century. How long did "Dominie" Kyle hold the pas- torate of "Mud House" Who were elders and dea- cons How many charter members at the begin- ning Who were they Who were admitted; who dismissed Who were transferred from this church militant to the church triumphant What seasons of adversity; what refreshings did the church enjoy The writer has sought for some answer to these questions, but has found little of light. When did "Dominie" Kvle cease from his pastorate What brought about the disintergration of the church Who can tell We know that manv of the male A HISTORIG SKETCH OF 24 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" members volunteered for the War of 1812-and some of these never returned. But it was probably not far from this time that the Mercer hive swarmed to Henry and Shelby counties, to the "Six-Mile" Creek settlement. Doubtless, the church was much depleted by this migration. Then it lost its pastor. WVhv When Silence. For some reason Mr. Kyle quit the Reformed church and joined another de- nomination. The weakened church was without a pastor. What make-shift it used to supply the need we know not. Certain it is, that the home church in the East could not, or did not, provide for this child in the wilderness, and the church had no more pas- tors in Kentucky. To have a preaching service at all the forlorn church must resort to other denomi- nations. Almost instinctively they "called" upon the Presbyterians,-the church most like their own in doctrine and in church polity, moreover, this church was growing rapidly at Harrodsburg and in the country nearby. A very popular minister was preaching at churches only a few miles away; and it was resolved to extend a call to him for part of his time and services. This was reallv the beginning of the end of the "Mlud House" Reformed Church. It was no more to have a minister, nor an adminis- tration, of its own. THE MINISTRY OF DR. CLELAND In the "Life of Rev. Thos. Cleland, D. D.," in part, an autobiography, Dr. C. tells us (pp. 98-99) that he entered upon his pastoral duties at New Providence Church. about eight miles below Har- rodsburg, in April, 1813. The first and third Sab- baths of each month he preached at New Provi- dence; the second at Cane Run, and the fourth at Union, about four miles south of Perryville, and more than twenty miles from his home near New 25 26A.SOICSEiO Providence. This last mentioned church had been under his care while he was still living in Washing- ton county, before his removal to Mercer. He con- tinued as its pastor for three years longer-i. e. till 1816-when he resigned it to the pastoral care of Rev. Terah Templin. The fourth Sabbath in each month, which had formerly been given to Union, "was engaged by a small church of the Dutch Reformed, four miles south of 'Harrodsburg (this, of course, was at the 'Mud Meeting House,' the only Dutch Reformed church in this section of the country). For my ser- vices they paid me promptly 50, in semi-annual in- stallments. This church, after awhile, became ex- tinct, as a separate organization, and was amal- gamated with others, principally with the Presby- terians in their vicinity." It will be observed that Dr. Cleland does not give the exact date when this amalgamation of the old Dutch Reformed residue with other churches took place. The amalgamating process was doubt- less a gradual one. A church left all alone as to ecclesiastical relationships, in a country where it was surrounded bv other churches very similar in faith, and left, too, without a pastor of its own sect, could hardly fail to undergo disintegration. The young people of its communion were intermarrying with those of other churches about them. Very few accessions were received by further immigration from Pennsylvania, the Jerseys, or other centers of the Dutch Reformed population in the East. The church was, of course, without a pastor of its own faith when Dr. Cleland was called in 1816, and from his narrative, it is clear that it never afterward had a pastor. A popular preacher like Dr. Cleland, who was preaching to large and growing congregations A HISTORIC SKETCH OF 26 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" only a few miles away, would naturally attract inany, and especially the younger people, to those churches. Then, too, in 1816, the same year in which Dr. C. became pastor of the "Mud-Meeting House," the Cane Run Church was removed to Harrodsburg, and Dr. C.'s two regular charges took on new life. He tells us that when he became pastor of the New Providence Church, there was no roll of members and no register of baptized children. He went to work to supply this essential part of a church organ- ization; and a list of seventy-seven members at New Providence, and fifty at Cane Run, were made out. In ten years the Providence membership was just doubledL The Cane Run Church having been transferred to the county seat, worship was at first held in the old stone Courthouse "till a more suitable building could be put up." This "more suitable building" was blown down by a Northwester on the 8th of March. 1819, and the congregation had to return to the old Court house. I)r. C. concluded that his la- bors at Harrodshurg were about to end, chiefly, for lack of a proper place for worship. His first sermon preached after the return to the Court-house, was from I Chron. xvii:1, "David said unto Nathan, be- hold I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord remaineth under curtains." The congregation aptly applied the discourse, and at once set about the erection of the brick church so long one of the land marks of the town. It was dedicated November 26, 1820, and it was more than twenty years before Dr. Cleland resigned the pastorate of the church. In examining the roll of members of the Har- rodsburg church, made out in August, 1814, several Dutch, or Dutch Huguenot names are found already 27 A HISTORIC SKETCH OF as members of this Presbyterian church. Such names are Demaree, Brewer, Comingoe, Covart, and t two or three others. During the intervening yearsi to 1825 this class of names begins to appear more frequently on the Harrodsburg church roll. Such are the cognomens: Hoge, Boyce, Demut (De- Motte), Cozine, Smock, Ricker (Riker), Terhune, and others. The Dutch Reformed Church at the "Mud House" was slowly disintegrating. Appar- ently, all efforts for a continued, distinctive church existence had been abandoned. There was no pas- tor, and elearlv, there were no members received. That could hardly have been possible under the pas- torate of a minister of a creed different from that of the church itself; not does Dr. Cleland, who is very eareful in keeping tally of the numbers received into the churches under his pastoral care, make any men- tion of members received while he was in charge of the "Mud House" congregation. Worship was maintained, but no other form of church work. Such a church organization was necessarily limited to the lifetime of its original members. There must have been a feeling almost pathetic in the hearts of those older members who saw dissolving, as it were, under their very eyes, the church body which they had brought, with so much labor, from bevond the Alleghenies, and for which they and their fathers had toiled and suffered so much, both in the Eastern States and in the Old World. for near three cen- turies. THE CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIANS But there were many who vet clung to the old house and to the tombs of their fathers in the ad- jacent grave-yard. Not hate of the new, but love of the old, still held them. Other ministers came and received a cordial welcome from the "Mud House 28 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" people. A new church-the Cumberland Presbyte- rian--which had organized its Presbytery in 1810, and its first Synod three years later, was now ac- tively establishing its churches in central Kentucky. One of its pioneer preachers, Rev. Laban Jones, a man of very strong personality, was missionating through the Blue Grass country. Rev. Jesse Anderson, in his "Memoir of Rev. Laban Jones," (p. 69) says: "There were some who adhered to him (Jones) with a peculiar tenacity, and soon a church was reared, chiefly through his instrumentality. This societv, located at the "Mud Meeting House," is the oldest in the Kentucky Presbytery; but for the want of correct data, I am not prepared to state the exact time of its forma- tion. I think, however, that it was organized, prob- ablv, in the spring of 1826, and during the summer and fall of the same year, many more were added to the list of believers. The first time I ever saw Bro. Jones mvself, was in the latter part of the sum- mer of 1825. standing on the bank of Salt river, near the "Mud Church," with Bro. Franceway by his side, while Bro. Lynn was baptising a number of new converts in the limpid stream. As soon as this ceremony was ended, we all repaired to the church, where, for the first time, I heard this son of thunder preach the unsearehable riches of Christ." Such were the beginnings of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the "Mud House." The writer regrets that he can find so little of authentic records of the new church while it had its home in the old "MNud House." There are yet liv- ing those who can recall some facts of this part of our history; but "length of days," while adding to the stores of wisdom, does not add to vividness of memory. These fragmentary memories cannot be 29 A HISTORIC SKETCH OF woven into a close and connected story. It is re- membered by some of the old who still survive, that among the ruling elders of the C. P. Church during its twenty years of occupancy of the "Mud House," were the names of David Board, Henry Comingore, Henry Schamp, Wim. Semonis, Garret Cozine, Jesse Gritton, Isaac Vanarsdall and Henry Banta. Prob- ablv there were other elders in the church during these two decades, but no record of their names is preserved. How long did Rev. Laban Jones fill the pastorate of the "M]Nfud House" C. P. Church Neither his biography, nor the church record, informs us. The Bethel Church Book says, "for several years," and that is all the record we have. Nor is the Church Book any more definite as to the pastorate of Rev. David Robinson, Mr. Jones' successor; he, too, "preached to the church for several yeats." The Church Book tells us that, "Bethel Church having been built on the turnpike road between Harrods- burg and Perryville, a church was organized there on the 28th of March, 1847, composed of the majori- tv of the members of the church at "Mud Meeting House." Query:-What became of the minority membership The history is silent. Of the eighty-six members transferred from the "MNud House" to Bethel at the organization of the latter, more than three-fourths bear Dutch, or Huguenot names. From this fact we may infer that most of the descendants of the old colonists who formed the original church had hitherto clung to the old church home, although there had been a change of landlords as to the church itself. As has been said already a large majority of the C. P. Church members at the "Mud House" had transferred their membership to the new church 30 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" building at Bethel. Others perhaps followed later and attached themselves to the new home, others probably attached themselves to other churches-- chiefly to the Presbyterian in Harrodsburg. The "Manual of the First Presbyterian Church of Har- rodsburg," a copy of which was furnished the writer by the pastor, Rev. Dr. J. G. Hunter-shows quite a large number of these Dutch Reformed names in its list of members. Others had joined the churches at Oakland and at other nearby places. During the years 182040 inclusive, there were large migrations from Kentucky to the newly open- ed States beyond the Ohio. Mercer county did not fail to send thither its full share of emigrants, and the Dutch Reformed sent probably more than their proportion of these. At this late date we cannot know all the inducements held out to this particular class of emigrants; but we may be allowed to con- jecture that some of these were influenced ill a measure by the extinction of their beloved church. which had now practically disappeared from the Dark and Bloodv Ground. From a careful inspection of such church regis- ters as we have, it seems clear that few of the ori- ginal immigrants to Kentucky from Conewago en- tered other church communions after the "Alud House" church had become disorganized. They seemed to prefer to cling to that church which three centuries of privation and suffering had endeared to them. It was the younger race-the minores gen- tium-who found no difficulty in adopting new creeds and in conforming to a new order of church government. Thus we have traced imperfectly, however, the story of the only two churches which ever had or- ganizations at the old "Mud House." In neither 31 case was there any detailed record for our guidance. Our authorities have been but fragmentary and dis- jointed. Ofter we have been compelled to use nat- ural inference rather than direct contemporary statements. Yet while the story is incomplete, we are constrained to believe that, in so far as it goes, this sketch has adhered to the truth of history. After 1847, no church organization was at- tempted at the "Mud House"; yet regular worship was maintained. The Presbyterian pastors of Har- rodsburgt and other clergy continued to preach statedly at the church. The sabbath school, estab- lished in 1826 or 1827, has continued without the break of a year since it was founded; and the famous bi-weekly praver meeting with more than a cen- turv to its credit, is still held as of yore, in the pri- vate houses of the people who like their fathers, have so long come up to this sacred hill to worship. It will fall to the lot of others to tell of these hallowed institutions-the Sabbath school and the prayer meeting. The story of the church would be but half told, were all accounts omitted of these sources of life and power. Men and women, now bent with age, can tell how, as children, they entered the Sabbath school and grew up with it. They will recall the long line of superintendents, covering nearly three-quarters of a century. In that long list are the names (Uncle Jackson Mann), Henry Comr- ingore, Henry Schamp, "Uncle" Jimmie Adams, iVn. Irvine, James Mann, John Schamp, and others who have ceased from their labors, and are resting bevond the river. Thev can tell of those who still linger on this side and work and wait till He come. More than one of these toilers has a half century of steady labor to his or her credit. No eleventh-hour laborers are they; the_ have borne the heat and bur- A HISTORIC SKETCH OF 32 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" den of the (lay. They toiled on till the silence came, then entered into their reward. Have not their -works followed theme The "Mud House" commu- nity is not perfect-somewhat against it would be an apostle's verdict. Yet its record for a high moral 'standard, and for excellent citizenship in the past, has been an enviable one. It has been said that the county grand jury has had less to do with "Mud MHouse" people than with those of any other com- munitv in the county. Moral and religious influ- ences will tell upon a people4 As to the church-house itself, as already said, the framework, the skeleton, so to speak, was built one hundred years ago. Its stones were laid in faith and praver. When the foundation had been laid, the "sleepers" put in place, and some planks laid loosely upon them, somebody called upon the work- men to stop and let the Divine blessing be invoked upon the work and upon the future church. The work was suspended, all heads bowed, and uinder the open sky, the great primeval forests looming above them, which had so lately echoed with the war- whoop of the savages, bent on the destruction of the feeble settlements-there now was heard the voice of prayer and praise. It was a solemn scene; and so the house was built. It was honiest work by honest men. After a century, that framework of massive uprights, filled in betwseen with sticks and mortar, still constitutes the walls of this church, though tOf these pastors may it not be thought invidious if special men- tion is made of Rev. John Montgomery, deceased. He was probably the best known of all pastors who have had this semi-official relation to the church. Many were converted under his ministry, and he is held in loving remembrance by all the older church members. tMany prominent ministers have come from this old church fold. Among them may be mentioned Rev. Henry Comingore, Rev. Aaron Hogue, Rev. Charles Hogue, Rev. -Smick, Rev. James Randolph, Rev. - Rose, Rev. Joseph Mann and Rev. Thomas Terhune. 33 A HISTORIC SKETCH OF these are now concealed by weather-board -and plas-- ter. As the real builder's name appeared when the stucco fell from the ceiling of St. Sophia, we have only to tear away the plaster from these old walls to see the work of the real builders of this house. The old men who remember that old house, tell us that it had two great doors on the south side and the lofty pulpit just in front and on the other side, all patterned after the old model of Calvinistic churches. No provision was made for warming the original e(lifice, even in the coldest weather. The writer has in his possession an old paper under date of January 17, 1831, whose preamble sets forth that: "The 'Mud Meeting House' being now so well repaired as to need nothing but stoves to render it a comfortable house for religious worship at all sea- sons, we agree to pay the sums annexed to our names, to provide comfortable stoves and pipes for said House; the money to be paid to Rev. Richard Dunean and Garret Cozine, agents, to see to the pro-- curing of said stoves." Here follows a list of subscribers headed by Rev.- Laban Jones, then pastor of the church. This paper clearly indicates that in its earlier days, the "Mud House," like Continental churches, had no provision for heating, not even in the coldest weather; and the oldest citizens tell us that it was common, in winter, to hold the preaching service in private houses. The Sunday School always went into winter quarters in the late autumn and hiber- nated till the next spring. As the prayer meeting always itinerated among the private houses, it was put to no inconvenience by the approach of winter. But the two stoves set up in the church afforded' but poor protection against the winter. The ceiling of the old church was too high and the house itself' 34 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" too open, to be made comfortable by such heating apparatus. Nevertheless, the house remained un- changed until after the Cumberland Presbyterians had given it ulp. Two years later the matter was taken up by public spirited men in the community, and a meet- ing of citizens was called at the old church for April 27, 1849, "for the purpose of getting -subscriptions made by all those who wished to assist in repairing the house known by the name of the 'Mud Meetin- House,' or church." A series of resolutions was adopted, the first being that a vote be taken as to the necessity of re- pairing the house. This was affirmed, apparently without opposition.. The second resolution provided for repairing the house bly public subscription, and that the va:n- ous denominations of the vicinity be "entitled to the use of the house in proportion as they shall furnish means to repair it." The third resolution proposes to "weather- board and paint the outside of the house; lower the windows; make and hang shutters; erect a suitable pulpit in the east end of the house; cut two doors fronting the branch,,and one in the west next to the graveyard; change the pews so as to fonn two aisles running east and west through the house; and lathe and plaster overhead with two coats, and also repair the roof." The fourth resolution provides for the appoint- ing of a building committee with powers to contract for the work and draw upon the treasurer to pay the architect. Other resolutions were adopted providing,-for a committee of four to solicit subscriptions,-for the appointing of a treasurer,-for electing trustees for 35 A HISTORIC SKETCH OF the church,-for appointing a custodian for the min- utes of the meeting, etc. A second meeting was appointed for May 12th, at which time the various committees were to make their reports. Nelson Rue, Josiah J. Mann, and D. C. Adams were chosen as the building committee; James C. Westerfield, W. A. A. Irvine, Alexander Vanarsdall and James B. Mann were appointed to solicit sub- scriptions for the work; James Adams was chosen treasurer; Nelson Rue, James C. Westerfield, and Cornelius Scomp were elected trustees for the church; and James C. Westerfield was appointed custodian for all the papers of the new organization. May 12, 1849.-pursuant to adjournment,-an- other public meeting was held, of which W. A. A. Ir- vine was chairman. The subscription committee re- ported amounts collected, which aggregated 279.50. It was desired to raise the total to 300, and Nelson Rue, C. A. Adams, W. A. A. Irvine, James B. Mann, John Adams, Wim. Adams, James H. Riker, James Adams, Josiah J. Mann, Augustus Vaught, Samuel M1ilburn, Archibald Adams, and J. C. Westerfield pledged themselves for the rest of the 300. It wass also resolved to raise a subscription for re-covering the house; and the building committee was authorized to make contracts at once for the work determined upon, and Cornelius Scomp was chosen as the architect for the remodeling of the house. The work was completed, and at another public meeting held April 8, 1850,-Wm. Adams, chairman, and W. A. A. Irvine, secretary,-Nelson flue and Josiah J. Mann, the committee appointed "to settle with James Adams, treasurer, find that he has a sufficient amount of cash on hand and vouchers 36 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" to pay for all repairs done to said church known as 'Mud Meeting House.' " Thus one-half of a century after its erection, the old Dutch Reformed Church was changed into its present form as we moderns know it. And now, aft- er another half century, it is undergoing repairs and changes for coming generations. May the fires which burn in the new temple be no less hallowed than the Shekinah which glowed in the old taber- nacle! Since the remodeling of the church in 1850, it has been occupied by the Presbyterians, and for most of the time, it has been ministered to by the pastors of that denomination in Harrodsburg. The writer has been unable to find any record of transfer of title from the "Agents or Overseers" of the original Dutch Reformed Church to any other party whatsoever. Doubtless the title has never been formally transferred. Undisputed possession for so long a time would, no doubt, bar any other claimant for the property. Certainly, no claim is likely to be set up by any legatees of the original owners. THE CEMETERY No sketch of the "Mud House" would be com- plete, should it omit all mention of the sacred spot where, for a century, have been laid away the bodies of the departed. Following the immemorial custom of the Re- formed Churches, both in the Old World and in the New-when the site of the church wvas determined upon, the God's Acre was laid out near by-the church would still care for the ashes of its dead, though their souls had passed from under its guard- ianship. Even while the church was in building, the new graveyard received its first tenant. Mrs. Cor- 37 A HISTORIC SKETCH OF nelius Vanarsdall's body was interred in the new cemetery while the workmen were yet engaged upon the new house. Since that time the God's Acre has been stead- ily filling-filling from every house in the country round about-and filling, too, with bodies of those who, dying in distant places, have, like Jacob, charg- ed their children and loved ones to carry up their bones thence and bury them with their fathers in the field that adjoins the shrine where their ances- tors worshipped. Many scattered families this Mlachpelah has gathered at the last. More than forty years ago it was found neces- sary to enlarge this city of the dead. A subscrip- tion was taken up in 1857; an additional half acre was purchased from land adjoining; and the enclos- ing stone wall was extended to take in the newly acquired territory. Will the children of those who' sleep out there under the stars, forget to care for their dead Bodies are mouldering there-many in unmarked graves-of those who starved with Wash- ington that terrible winter at Valley Forge; who faced the Briton at Monmouth and Brandywine; who crossed the frozen Delaware and stormed the Hessians at Trenton; who staked their all upon the field of Princeton; who fought in the trenches at Yorktown; and who, when the victory was won, re- turned to war-stricken homes. unpaid, and in pov- erty. Yet undismayed, they gathered their little alls and started, axe in hand and trusty flint lock upon the shoulder, for the mysterious West. Through the dense wilderness and over mountains they came. In open flat boats they floated down the great rivers, exposed to the Indian rifle from the thicket-lined shore. They built their little stock- ,des and dwelt in their humble cabins. They clear- 38 OLD "MUD MEETING HOUSE" ed the tangled forests, and founded for us a home in the fairest land beneath the sun. And not the fathers only, but also: "The mothers of our forests land On old Kentucky's soil, How shared they with each gallant band War's tempests and life's toil" More than all what a debt we owe them for that Christian example and training they have given to us. To them we owe what of Christian manhood we have; we owe our altars-our faith-our civilization. Is our lot above that of the bigoted Spaniard; or that of the treacherous Italian; or that of the lowly African To three centuries of a noble ancestry we owe it all, three centuries of battle for Protestant- ism, truth and freedom. Shall be forget the silent sleepers yonder,-forget the heritage we owe them shall their graves be forgotten Among the old traditions of the Nile is the story of that magic bird--the Phoenix. It is said the Phoenix had its home about the sacred temple of the, Sun in Heliopolis. But it would go away for its long flight over land and sea. For five hundred years it would be absent; old men would doubt if it would ever return, and the young men would treat the story with mocking incredulity. But when those five long centuries had gone by, true to the day and hour, in the bright empyrean would be heard the noise of wings-the Phoenix was coming. On weary wing from beyond desert and sea, the young Phoenix was bearing the bones of its parent bird, to burn them before the sacred temple and pay them the last funeral rites. The Phoenix never forgot its dead. Shall we be less mindful of a noble ,ancestry Shall we suffer their memory to perish-their sepul- 39 40 A HISTORIC SKETCH OF chers to be forgotten Shall we suffer the Shiloh where they worshipped to be cast down, and the ark to be betrayed into the hands of the Phillistines Nay, nay! "O the lost, the forgotten, Though the world be oft forgot; 0 the shrouded and the lowly In our hearts they perish not."