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Pioneer days of Evansville and vicinity

Chapter VII: From the pen of Mrs. Flora J.R. West,   pp. 29-32

Chapter VII: An early day Methodist camp meeting,   pp. 32-35

Page 32

lights were the old dim lights of other days before the earth had been made
to give of her stores of petroleum, nor had electricity obeyed the wishes
of man to light his night time indoors and out. There was no sweettoned organ,
no decorated walls and ceiling, no stained glass in the windows, no towering
steeple outside, but there were men and women with kindly feeling and  Christian
 sympathy, pioneers of the time, who had seen hard times together and who
together rejoiced that they had a place of worship, larger and better than
the little log  schoolhouse  across the street. They enjoyed that church
and made it ring   with  amens,   and 
Brother John Rhinehart's shout of one word, "salvation." It was
the church to all in the vicinity, regardless of creed, for there was no
other here. The old days are gone   and with them most of the men and women
who were living at that time. Better and broader are our opportunities for
good; our chances for information greater, and with  these have we not an
added responsibility in life witl. all its different phases. We enjoy as
necessities now those things which in the  old  meetinghouse were   unattainable
luxuries. When the Master calls for the talent he lent us will he find we
have laid it away unused and unimprovel. 
An Early Day Methodist Camp Meeting 
In the summer of 1847 the Methodists held a camp-meeting in a fine grove
of timber, on land owned by Austin Beebe, now owned by Dr. Ware, near John
Higday's. On -two sides of the camp were rows of tents for families that
came to stay through the meetings, which generally lasted about ten days.
At one end was the altar and the seats in  the  center. The other end was
the entrance and at each of the four corners inside the tents were four posts
set in   the ground and about four feet high. Timbers were laid across; on
top of these then about eight inches of turf and dirt. Then on top of these
wood fires were built in the evenings and that served to light the grounds.
Our first cemetery was back of the old Methodist church, which stood where
the Economy store now stands, 
and ran south to what is now Church street. 
The first Methodist class was held at the house of Hiram Griffith, on what
is now known as the Munger farm. The following composed   the firts class:
Rev. Boyd Phelps, local 
preacher, Cla hen Jones, I fith, Belinda Margaret We Baker, Ira J4 Ann Jones,
Lewis, John Rhinehart. I preacher here 
He lived in here once in I was the first the first quar of 1840 at th 
the first clas 
StepGrifWest, emima Miss Sarah :borah circuit Ash. ached Reed d held G fall

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