One of Clinton County's First Baptist Schools

Source: A History of Iowa Baptist Schools by Alonzo Abernethy, Osage, Iowa 1907

A History of Iowa Baptist Schools by Alonzo Abernethy, Osage, Iowa 1907

Pioneer Baptists (page 30) Rev. Jesse N. Seeley, was born May 15, 1815, studied at Hamilton and Granville, and graduated from the Hamilton Theological Seminary. He came to Iowa in 1843 and conducted a revival at Le Claire, twenty-two joining by baptism and eight by letter. This church was first named Bath. The next year he became pastor at Bloomington, and went to Keokuk in 1847. His health failing, he went south where he preached for eight years, and returning in 1864, accepted a call at Cordova, Ill. Later returning to Iowa he settled at Clinton, where he died April 15, 1898, at the ripe age of 83, most of his life having been spent in Iowa.

He occasionally attended our state conventions till near +he end of his life, and his face had long been familiar in these gatherings.

Early Interest in Denominational Education (page 43) The following excerpts are taken from Rev. Charles E. Brown's Personal Reminiscences, published in 1893, and present a real picture of pioneer life in the forties.

(page 45) The settlers very generally and generously turned out, with teams and axes, and went live or six miles west to a small grove and cut and hauled logs for a house about twelve by sixteen or eighteen feet. In a week or two the body of the house was up, logs hewed on two sides.

With rough, loose boards for lower and chamber floors, we moved in without doors or windows. I had to go to Dubuque, forty miles, for stove pipe. But we were happy when we were settled in our own house, although without furniture except table, stand, stove, rocking and a little chair, and a few dishes, all of which we brought with us. • Our first bedstead was made of hickory poles. We, fortunately, brought a few carpenter tools along, with which we could make such needful articles of furniture. " With one of our boxes we made shelves for dishes; with another we made a cupboard for books, etc.; with another we made a place for the oldest little l)oy to sleep. We, including our neighbors, went right to work and put up a log school house. This was located a few rods south of our house, and before there were any floor, door or windows, we started a Sunday school, with Thomas Flathers superintendent. This was the lirst schoolhouse built either iu tendent. This was the first school house built either in Clinton or Jackson counties, and this was the first Sunday school organized in Clinton county. This school house furnished a place for one of my preaching appointments.

On the 31st of August, a meeting was held at the house of Brother Earl for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church. The organization was effected and embraced the following members:

  • C. M. Doolittle and wife.
  • Jacob Pangboru and wife.
  • William Y. Earl and wife.
  • Levi Decker and wife.
  • Elder C. E. Brown and wife.
  • Esquire Taylor and wife.
  • Mrs. Eliza Mallard.
  • Mrs. Mitchell.