SCHOOLS-CHURCHES - LODGES-DEATH OF GARFIELD
The early school history of Clinton varies not at all from the rise and progress of schools in other cities. It has had its drawbacks, and it also has had prosperous times, and while the people can pass over with but little regretful feelings what may have now and then arisen in the path of educational progress, the public schools of Clinton stand today a proud monument to the intellectual and progressive spirit of her citizens, and a bright omen of a noble future, wherein Christianity and education will go hand in hand. Schools have been kept in Clinton since 1840, and even as far back as 1833 a school was taught within one and a half miles of this spot. It was a private school. Still while Clinton has grown and prospered her educational interest has fully kept pace. There was the regular public school kept from year to year, or from winter to winter, with an occasional summer term, but it was not until the tide of returned prosperity set in after the sickening desolation left by the civil war, that the real sentiment of an advanced educational spirit took possession of the people.
The Franklin School
In 1868 the citizens became aware that increased school facilities were needed and that a more extended system of education was demanded to meet the requirements of the age. This feeling culminated by the erection of a fine brick school house which was finished in the fall of 1870, and which was thought would fully meet the demand for educational purposes. It is an imposing building, occupying about one square of ground and upon a site which gives it a conspicuous mark for Strangers to observe. The structure was completed at a cost of $26,656.35. It was a building and an equipment that the people were justified in feeling proud of. The school opened November 1,1870, with Prof. Johnson as principal, and the following assistants: Mrs. Willy, Mrs. Devlin, Miss Mary Mitchell, and Misses M. Alice and A. Warth, making a corps of six teachers. Progress has marked every step of its way, and while a few have seemed to regret the outlay, the great body of the citizens would not be without this magnificent representation of their intellectual culture and progressive spirit of enterprise for much more than it has thus far cost them.
After Ten Years
For ten years the school kept on the even tenor of its way. Nine months schooling was given annually to the children and youths of the "Model City," and so it flourished and prospered. But the city grew and the demand became painfully oppressive upon the school directory for more room. Their beautiful school building became dwarfed. That which was believed would meet the wants for school privileges for a generation to come, had exhausted its capacity in a single decade.
Once more was the question, what shall we do for more room? There was but one reasonable or sensible answer - build. The close of the school year of 1880-1, clearly showed that to meet the demand of the coming year an addition was necessary, and steps were taken to accomplish the desired object. Work was commenced on an addition, 42x47 feet in size, two stories high, of good and substantial brick work. It was completed, and with the furniture cost $6,500, which makes the present school building of Clinton stand in a total cost of $33,156.35, but there are few buildings in the state for school purposes its superior, while there is not a city in the state of the population of Clinton, than can show as fair a monument of educational enterprise as is here exhibited.
It is not necessary to say that it is a prosperous school, and that able and experienced teachers have been and are employed. Its record speaks. That record is such that no man could throw so much as even a straw in its way and to its detriment, that could not be accused of the supremest folly.
In 1870, six teachers were employed, and in 1882, twelve were found necessary to fill the required places. There is now an enrollment of 765 scholars at the present time, and as above stated twelve teachers are engaged. There names are as follows:
Superintendent - Professor C. B. Reynolds
Assistants - Mrs. Carrie D. Price, Mrs. F. M. DeLaVergne, Mrs. Sallie Gardiner, Miss Fannie Garth, Miss Tillie Hart, Miss G. S. Gist, Miss Effie May, Miss Jennie Kennedy, Miss Ella Highnote, Miss Jennie Kincannon, Miss Maria Bedford.
Here is a small city gathered daily, yet order reigns supreme. Let them gather the rich fruit now offered them, that they may fill the places a generation to come that are filled by the men and women of today.
The Lincoln School
The Lincoln Colored School of Clinton is a commodious frame structure, put up at a cost: of some $1,500, and is comfortably finished and furnished. There is in this school an enrollment of 120 scholars and an average daily attendance of about one hundred. Two teachers are employed and every facility and advancement is accorded to them that is found in the Franklin School, which their progress demands or requires. The Lincoln School is well kept, well attended, and its progress is commendable.
The Clinton Academy ranks as one of the best private schools in this section of Missouri, its course of education being thorough and its success thus far almost phenomenal.
The school was founded in 1879 by Prof. W. H. Stehl, and opened with a list of sixty scholars. After two years of successful work Prof. E.P. Lamkin united with him in conducting the same for one year, when Prof. Lamkin assumed entire control and is its present proprietor. Every department is under the charge of a competent instructor, and the school is thorough and and practical in all its details. At the present term eighty pupils are in attendance, and the Clinton Academy has assumed a name and place among the educational institutions of the state. It aims to be as advanced and thorough as any similar institution of the same grade in all its departments, which comprises in its course of study, the classics, scientific and normal departments, etc.
Professor Lamkin is assisted by Prof. B. F. Milton, Mrs. Hattie Milton, and Miss Miriam Switzer. The musical department is under the charge of Miss Bertha Custer, a lady of rare musical accomplishments, and an instructor of merit and success. The Clinton Academy is in successful operation as the above shows, and is an honor and credit to the city, and should get from it a generous support. In educational facilities, in a high order of instructive talents and in the handsome manner in which all intellectual progress is sustained, Clinton can be proud of the noble position she holds among the cities of the state.
The Presbyterian Church, of Clinton, was organized February 17, 1866, by a few devoted spirits and the foundation laid for the present influential and successful church organization. The original members were J. A. DeLaVergne, Mrs. F. M. DeLaVergne, A. S. DeLaVergne, Mrs. Catharine Rogers, Matilda Allen, William Moore and Rebecca Moore. When established the church was connected with the Presbytery of Osage, and its first sacrament was administered on the first Sabbath in April, 1866. The first session meeting was held November 8, 1867, at which time eight accessions were received into the church by letter and confession of their faith. This meeting was held at the residence of J. A. DeLaVergne.
For the first few years the church was irregularly supplied, and preaching was had only at stated intervals. The growth of the church, however, had become such by 1870, as to warrant it in securing the services of a pastor, and a call was made upon the Rev. J.B. Allen, who accepted, and was duly installed and faithfully performed the duties of his calling for some three years and over. Under his charge the church grew, and strengthened with its growth. The church then called the Rev. Rewel Dodd, who became the pastor in 1874, and continued his pastoral duties acceptably until 1879.
That year the Rev. R. M. Carson was installed as pastor, but remained only a few months, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Josiah Moore, under whose constant care it prospered. The reverend gentleman closed his pastorate in 1881, and in November of the same year that eminent divine and earnest Christian gentleman, the Rev. John G. Fackler, was installed as pastor. Under his care the church seems to have taken new life. To his earnest, quiet, but energetic, action, the good work goes bravely on, bringing many to the fold, and there they will remain, for his eloquence in the pulpit and the social qualities of the man attracts and endears him to the whole church.
At present the congregation is without a church edifice. One was built a few years since at a cost of $2,500, but was sold in 1882. The church has some very eligible lots, upon which a new church is to be erected in the near future, one that will meet the demands of a growing and prosperous church.
They Were Received
In 1876 a Presbyterian church connected with the Missouri Synod (known as the Declaration and Testimony Synod) was organized April 4 of the above year. This church decided upon uniting with the First Presbyterian Church, and thereupon presented a petition, signed by J. G. Middlecoff and twenty others, expressing their desire for union and were received.
Present Elders - J. A. DeLaVergne, J. G. Middelcoff, E.W. Snyder, J. P. Watkins, S. Rice and E. P. Lamkin.
Trustees - E. W. Snyder, E. P. Lamkin, J. T. McKee, John P. Walkins and Alvin Haynie.
Its present membership is 110.
Cumberland Presbyterian Church - An Incident
In the summer of 1866 the Rev. J.H. Houx, of Warrensburg, Missouri, was conducting a revival meeting at the Bear Creek camp ground of the M. E. Church, south, in this, Henry County, during which, on the Sabbath day, he was arrested on a writ sworn out by some citizens for violating the law of the land by preaching the Gospel, he having not taken the prescribed oath. This oath was known as the "Drake's Inferno." This fact coming to the knowledge of some of the citizens of Clinton, the reverend gentleman was at once invited to come to Clinton and preach. The following September he accepted, and came to Clinton and preached in the school house, and in October he again came and the court house being occupied the reverend gentleman preached in the open air under the shade of the trees back of the Riggins Hotel, seats having been provided, to a large audience. Mr. Houx continued these meetings monthly until the following February, when a series of revival meetings were held by him and the Rev. H.R. Smith, for some three weeks, resulting in many conversions, and aroused a spirit for good which resulted in the organization of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, on March 4, 1867, with the following named members:
Ruling Elders: B. L. Owens and B. L. Quarles.
The church has been prosperous, has wielded a large influence for good in the community and has at this time 120 members.
At the organization the Rev. H.R. Smith was asked to become their pastor, giving the church half his time. The call was accepted in April, and he came and settled here. He continued his earnest work until the 26th of January, 1872, when the Lord called him home. To his fervid eloquence, constant care and earnest work the church had grown and prospered, and his loss was deeply felt. The church then called to its service the Rev. G.L. Moad, who accepted the pastorate, which he has held for a period exceeding ten years, honored and beloved by his flock, because of his kindly and faithful work.
The present elders are:
Deacons - G. F. Warth and J. M. Weidemeyer
The first church was erected in 1868, at a cost of $3,000, but was condemned as unsafe in 1877. The church having grown and the congregations large a fine brick church edifice was erected the same year the other was condemned, which was handsomely finished and furnished, all costing the sum of $9,000. Its future seems fairly bright.
M. E. Church
This church was organized on the first Sabbath in June, 1866. There was not a numerous gathering, neither were many to join the beaten track, but the narrow way. "Tall oaks from little acorns grow," and this church resembles such growth, for while its start was weak yet it was healthy and held the germ of a powerful organization which today resembles the giant oak of the forest, strong and enduring, and protected from the storm of adversity those who came under its protecting care. Mr. S. Jones and Mary Jones were the first members, and they, with the assistance of the Rev. C.E. Carpenter, formed the organization. In July, 1866, four more members were added, and on March 1st, 1867, thirteen earnest and faithful workers in the cause of Christ had enrolled themselves as members.
It has wonderfully grown and prospered. In 1867, a neatly furnished and handsome brick structure was erected for church purposes, 36x54 feet in dimensions, the whole costing $4,000. There are at this time 140 members belonging to the church.
The following have officiated as resident ministers since its organization, and in the order named: Revs. E. C. Carpenter, J. R. Saseen, - Laughren, J. W. Newcomb, S. Alexander, R. R. Pierce, A. H. Heimlein and J. N. Pierce.
A flourishing Sunday School, with an enrollment of 140 scholars, is connected with the church, under the superintendency of A.J. Blackford. There have been dismissed to other congregations no less than 155 members, and from the membership of the church five ministers have gone forth to work, and work faithfully in the Lord's vineyard.
Methodist Church South
One of the first denominations to hold religious services in Clinton, was the M. E. Church South, but as all who were then connected with it have passed beyond the river, or moved to other sections, it is impossible to get data and facts in regard to it. Regular services were held until the war, and after peace was restored the society was reorganized, but the records were not preserved as carefully as they should have been until the present administration, under the care of Rev. J. F. Robb, who has inaugurated a systematic record, which, if continued, the future historian will find his task less difficult. The present membership is 44. The society owns a comfortable frame church.
First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church of Clinton was organized September 16, 1866, by the Rev. James Wood. Quite an interest prevailed at the time. The following were the original members:
At the close of the service there came forward seventeen persons, who joined the church at once. The church has prospered greatly and its congregation is perhaps the wealthiest in the city. In 1869 they erected. a fine brick edifice on a commanding site at a cost of nearly $20,000. The church was dedicated October 17, 1869, by the Rev. Thomas Rambant. The following named ministers have officiated in the order named: The Rev. E. T. Brown, Rev. J. W. Warder, Rev. George Kline and the Rev. A. Matchett. The present number of members is 138.
In connection with the church is a flourishing Sunday School, with an enrollment of 125 scholars. It is under the superintendency of Mr. A. C. Avery, who, by earnest labor, has caused it to grow and flourish and become a strong pillar of the church and the foundation stone of its future progress.
The present deacons are A. C. Avery, P. S. Jennings and J. M. Avery.
The first meeting of this denomination was held in 1854, by Elder Phenix. Services were afterwards held by Elders Speed and Longan until the outbreak of the war, when, in common with other religious denominations, services were suspended. Of the original congregation only two now remain, Mrs. Conner, formerly Miss Bozarth, and Mrs. Ragland; W. Hancock came soon after the first organization. In 1866 a reorganization was effected by Elder Birge, and although this denomination is rather weak in the county regular services have been maintained although the church has had but two regular pastors, Elders J.A. Ming and N M. Ragland. The society has a comfortable church edifice costing, when built, nearly $6,000. The number of present membership is about 100.
This society in 1875 erected a frame building which has cost them $800.
There are two colored societies. The colored M. E. Church has a brick edifice, and the Baptists have a frame building.
Lodges and Societies - K. of P.
Desplain Lodge, No. 34.-This lodge was organized October 15, 1874, with nineteen charter members. It continued until July 10, 1877, when it disbanded. This apparently ended the lodge, hut some four years after an attempt was made to resurrect it, to renew a life which should never have been suspended. June 18, 1881, the project of reorganization was effected with a membership of twenty-four. The organization at once elected its officers, and were as follows:
Since that time the lodge has proven a success, it membership gradually increasing until it numbers at this date, January 1, 1883, forty members. The interest taken in the order is now so strong as to preclude any idea of another disbandment, and its future seems one of decided promise. The election of officers for the present year took place January 1, 1883, and were duly installed by C.H. Griffen, D. D. G C. The officers were:
Clinton Lodge, No. 169, chartered May 22,1867, had a fine hall handsomely furnished, being in the Fulkerson & Parks building. This and other buildings were burned on the night of November 19, 1876, consuming all of the lodge books, papers and regalia. The lodge property was insured, and this enabled them to start again under encouraging auspices. They received from the grand lodge a new charter, dated May 19, 1877, upon which were inscribed the following names as charter members:
The meetings are held weekly and upon Monday nights. This lodge owns a handsome two-story brick building on the corner of Jefferson and Grand River Streets, in the second story of which their fine hall is located, with parlor, ante room, etc. The lodge is now and has been for years in a flourishing condition, doing a large amount of good and relieving much distress among the members of its lodge and order.
Its present membership now numbers 126, with thirty-two members past grand.
The officers now installed are:
What amount had been expended previous to the fire could not be ascertained, only partially and from memory, but since the new books have been opened there has been disbursed:
"And the greatest of these is charity."
Boanerges Commandery, No. 34, received its charter June 14, 1881, with the names of the following charter members:
The following officers were elected who held for the year 1882, to wit:
The lodge has been fairly prosperous and numbers thirty-one members. For the year 1883 the following are its officials:
Clinton Royal Arch Chapter No. 73
Was instituted January 9, 1875, by Companion H. L. Tillottson, under the authority of Companion Rufus E. Anderson, Most Excellent Grand High Priest of Missouri, and chartered at a regular convocation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Missouri, held at St. Louis October 7, 1875, signed by Most Excellent Comp. Charles F. Seavitt, Grand High Priest; Comp. Joseph S. Browne, Deputy Grand High Priest; Comp. William R. Stubblefield, Grand King; Comp. Noah M. Givan, Grand Scribe; Comp. George Frank Gouley; Grand Secretary.
The following is a list of the charter members and officers:
The first petitions for chapter degrees were presented January 9th, 1875, as follows: George Y. Salmon, J. G. Middelcoff and Henry Riehl, of Tebo Lodge No. 68, Clinton, Mo.
John Oechsli and William C. Cashman, of Clinton Lodge No. 481, Clinton, Mo., Comp. R.T. Lindsay demitted from Chapter No. 10, Arkansas, and a member of Tebo Lodge No.68, petitioned for membership.
This chapter has prospered ever since, and is now in possession of a good set of furniture and an excellent paraphernalia. The following is a list of the officers for 1883, the members numbering forty-six:
This chapter has prospered from the beginning. Its membership is
composed of the best men in the county, and ranks high as a chapter in the state. Regular convocation, the first Friday night of each month in Tebo Lodge room.
A. F. and A. M.
Tebo Lodge No. 68, was chartered at a regular communication of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, held at St. Louis, bearing the date October 23, 1844 signed by J. W. S. Mitchell, G. M.; Frederick L. Billon, D. G. M.; E. S. Ruggles, S. G. W; J. F. L. Jacoby, J. G. W., and Richard B. Dallam, G. S., under the seal of the grand lodge, authorizing brothers Andrew M. Tutt as W. M.; John A. Tutt, S. W.; John W Williams, J. W., and several others to meet and work as a lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. This lodge met and throve till the beginning of the late civil war, which caused them to suspend labor. In 1866, a number of the old members and other Masons, met at their old hall, and the following is a copy of the proceedings of said meeting:
WHEREAS, In consequence of the disturbances existing along the borders of Missouri, during the late civil war in the United States, the members of Tebo Lodge, No. 68, A. F. & A. M., were prevented from meeting and holding their regular communications, thereby forfeiting their charter of said lodge in the year 1861. The cause of these disturbances having been removed, and by virtue of a resolution of the grand lodge of Missouri, passed at its May session in May, 1866, restoring said charter, several members of said lodge met in their hall in Clinton, Henry County, Missouri, on the day of August, 1866, and under the direction of Past Master John A. Pigg, of Sedalia Lodge, No. 236, the lodge was opened on the third degree in due form.
Thereupon the following officers were duly elected to serve until the regular election fixed by the by-laws of said lodge.
There were present, visiting, Brothers William Settles, of Wellsville Lodge, No. 194; T.H. Dennis, Plattsmouth Lodge, No. 6; N. B.; M. Zener, Newport Lodge, No. 209, Indiana; T.B. Riggins, Jefferson City Lodge, No. 23.
The officers elect being present were duly installed with proper instructions as to their duties by Brother John A. Pigg, past master, aforesaid. There being no further business before the lodge the same was duly closed until its next regular communication.
W. H. COCK, Secretary - G. Y. SALMON, W. M.
From that date to the present time, 1883, the lodge has thrived and experienced her "high tides" and "low ebbs," as is the custom of lodges. During which time she has bad enrolled on her list, nearly 300 members. She has assisted in instituting and contributed members to six neighboring lodges in her old jurisdiction, and still retains over ninety members, and ranks among the best lodges of the state. About 1872, this lodge suffered a loss of their hall; having built and furnished in good order, the second story over the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the foundation of which settled, causing the house to crumble, and rendering it unsafe to meet in. The lodge then sold their interest in the lot for a nominal sum to the church, and has since rented hall room, and now occupy a room on the southwest corner of the square, nicely fitted up, furniture, etc., amounting to over $1,000, and are in a flourishing condition. The officers for the current year are:
Among old papers was found the following copy of returns sent to grand lodge in 1858, of work done and membership: Number initiated during year, 10; number passed during year, 12; number raised during year, II; number admitted on demits during the year, 5; number demitted during the year, 8; number of deaths during the year, 2.
Roll of members 1858
Stated communications on the nights of the first and third Saturdays of each month.
Clinton Lodge, No. 481 - Dispensation was granted June 24, 1874, and their charter received under date of October 13, 1874, with the following charter members:
The order has gradually enlarged its sphere of operations, increased its strength and steadily gaining in number and influence. The following members have held the office of W. M.:
There is quite a flourishing lodge of the above order in Clinton, but its history could not be secured, although several applications were made for it.
Death of President Garfield
When the fatal result of the assassin s work had been flashed over the land there came up from the hearts of the people a wail of sorrow from one extent of the country to the other. Every heart was bowed, and there was a hush for a time as if the pulse of the nation had ceased to beat. The man was forgotten, but the death of a president by assassination was a severe shock, and from every hill and valley, from palace and hovel alike, came forth the sound of sorrow and sadness at the nation's loss, and pity welled up in the hearts of all for the weeks of suffering the president had endured ere death claimed him for his own. Clinton mourned with others at his death and appropriate funeral ceremonies were performed, all business being suspended.
An eloquent and very impressive sermon was delivered by the Rev. J. G. Fackler. A few impressive words were spoken by the Rev. J.N. Pierce, a speech by C.H. Snyder, and the sorrowful event was closed with music and prayer. Time will pass on, but memory will cling to the tragic death of James A. Garfield, and the sad event will go down in history and mark a black spot upon the history of political struggles.