Historical Sketches of Iowa Baptists, 1886
S. H. Mitchell
by Burdette Co., Burlington, Iowa
The Great Central Valley of
1855 — The Cedar Valley Association.
Organized in 1856—1856 to 1886.
ON 1855 a Church was
organized at Waterloo, Iowa, and is reported among the unassociated
Churches that year, with twenty members, also one at Toledo, Tama
county, with fifteen members. These seem to have formed the basis
for the organization in 1856 of the Cedar Valley Association.
1856. This Association was constituted with six Churches, as
follows: 1st Waterloo, organized in 1855, J. C. Miller, pastor,
baptized 74, members 112; St. Charles, organized 1856, G. F.
Brayton, pastor, 24 members; Toledo, organized 1855, G. G. Edwards,
pastor baptized 18, members 58; Waverly, organized 1856, D. Terry,
pastor, members 17; 2d Waterloo, J. C. Miller, pastor, members 17,
and Vinton, Rev. A. Chapin, pastor, one baptism and 22 members. Six
Churches, 5 pastors, 93 baptisms and 250 members. There is here the
anomaly of two Churches in the same place with a membership of only
129, neither of them two years old, and the same person named as
pastor of both. Second Waterloo Church is not heard of again after
another year. Rev. G. F. Brayton, Freeman, Floyd county, is
corresponding secretary of the Association. The First Anniversary
was held in 1857, at Waterloo, A. D. Bush, secretary. Three new
Churches are added, all organized the present year, viz: Horton, D.
Terry, pastor, 11 members; New Hartford, J. R. Dean, pastor, 22
members and two baptisms; Riceville, G. F. Brayton, pastor, 10
members. A. G. Eberhart appears as pastor at Waterloo, with 102
members and A. D. Bush at Waverly. The young Association starts off
in the great Cedar Valley with a cluster of names in its ministry
that are destined to be historic in Iowa Baptist annals. It is hard
to realize that less than thirty years ago there were to be found
here only these small beginnings.
1858. The Second
Anniversary was held at Waverly. A. D. Bush is still secretary.
Already the cords are rapidly lengthening. The year has been one of
great prosperity. Seven new Churches are added, six of them
organized within the year. These are Cedar Falls, Chickasaw,
Clarksville, Independence, Janesville, Rockford and Rock Grove. U.
R. Walton is reported pastor at Cedar Falls, D. B. Mead at Rock
Grove, and J. H. Parmelee at St. Charles City. Other pastors are
Terry, Chapin, Eberhart and A. D. Bush. Brother Eberhart has
baptized 23 at Waterloo, and Brother Bush 16 at Waverly Churches 13;
pastors 7; members 494; baptisms 78. The Churches in the Association
are scattered over Benton, Buchanan, Black Hawk, Butler, Bremer,
Chickasaw, Floyd and Mitchell counties, the very heart of northern
Iowa. Three meeting houses have been completed during the year. The
Toledo Church withdraws to unite in the organization of the Iowa
Valley Association just organized this year.
1859. Meets at
Independence September 23. Rev. U. R. Walter is Secretary. New
Churches have been organized at Floyd, Providence, and Fairbank.
These unite with the Association, making, with the Polk Church, also
enrolled for the first time, IG Churches, with 9 pastors, who have
baptized 60 persons, total membership 517. Rev. H. H. Burrington has
succeeded Rev. A.D. Bush at Waverly. Rev. John Fulton has begun
pastoral work at Independence. Rev. E.G.O. Groat is preaching at
Chickasaw and Providence, and Rev. P. Colgrove at Fairbank. The
Vinton Church is transferred to Linn Association. Brother Eberhart
has baptized 26 at Waterloo and now reports 140 members. In 1860 the
Association met at Charles City. Rev. H. H. Burrington is Secretary.
New Churches are admitted from Fredericksburg, Rev. E. G. O. Groat,
pastor; Frederica, Rev. J. F. Rairden, pastor; Lester, same pastor,
and Osage and Mitchell, A.J. Colby, pastor. Rev. Alva Bush is
preaching at Fairbank. The first mentioned in connection with this
Association of a name than which none, in its subsequent history, is
suggestive of more sacred memories. Rev. A. D, Bush is now
located at St. Charles. New Hartford, Rockford, Waterloo and Cedar
Falls are pastor less. Churches 19; pastors 10; baptisms within the
year 82, and a total membership of 593. Rev. A. G. Eberhart has
removed to Cedar Rapids.
1861. The annual meeting is at
Cedar Falls. Brother Burrington continues as clerk. Rev. C. E.
Bailey is pastor at Cedar Falls, and Brother S. Sherman at Eden,
a new Church with 12 members. The largest number of baptisms is by
Rev. A. I). Bush at St. Charles, 6. It is a year of spiritual
dearth. The Frederica Church received last year does not appear,
while the Eden Just received takes its place, making the number the
same. The name of the Lester Church is changed to Lester and Barcley.
While it is not the purpose of these Sketches to perpetuate the
names of unworthy men who have dishonored the ministerial office,
yet the truth of history, and the lesson it conveys, warrant the
following reminiscence of this period. In 1861 the name of C. E.
Bailey appears as pastor of the Baptist Church at Cedar Falls, and
they report 64 members. The next year his name appears in the list
of ministers as living at Cedar Falls, but "without charge." A.G. Eberhart has succeeded him and they report 37. Bailey's name is no
longer found. As we write this sketch in 18SG the same man has just
visited the village where we write as one of the principle
participants in a Horse Trotting and Racing Association, where
gambling is the principle business. "He went to his own company.''
1862. The Seventh annual meeting took place at Waterloo. V.W.
Baker, Charles City, clerk. Rev. A.G. Eberhart has returned and
become pastor at Cedar Falls; 2. A. Bryant at Chickasaw. Rev. E. G.
O. Groat has removed from Fredericksburgh to New Hartford. Rev. C.
Billings Smith is pastor at Waterloo, and Rev. H. I. Parker at Osage
and Mitchell. The Churches in this large field are very weak. Only
three in the Association report more than 50 members. These are Rock
Grove 55; Waterloo 105 and Waverly 60. Waterloo reports the smallest
number this year, since the organization of the Association. The
Clarkesville Church is no longer found. Rev. J. R. Dean, the last
pastor, died August 19, 1863, of hemorrhage of the lungs. He had
removed, with his family, to Pike's Peak, hoping to regain his
health, but God ordered it otherwise. Brother Dean was a graduate of
Kalamazoo Theological Seminary. He came to Iowa in 1857 and was
ordained pastor of the New Hartford Church at the meeting of the
dissociation at Waterloo, September, Another pastor of the
Association, Brother Colgrove, of Fairbank, Fayette county, died
August 1, 1869. [See obituary notes.]
1863. Met at Waverly.
Clerk same as last year. In a report to the Convention in October of
this year. Rev. Wm. Wood says this meetings: was characterized by
harmony and a commendable devotional spirit. Every Church in the
Association was represented, and two new ones added. The letters
indicated "increased prosperity." Brother Wood makes his first
appearance in this field this year, and labors as a missionary of
the Convention in the northern part of this Association. The new
Churches organized are Jacksonville, H. Green, pastor, and Grove
Hill, J.F. Eairden, pastor. Other new pastors are J. C. H. Miller,
at Chickasaw, and Brother Gibbs, at New Hartford. Brother Eberhart
has baptized 26 at Cedar Falls, J. Fulton 11 at Independence, and S.
Sherman 11 at Fredericksburgh.
1864. Met with the Church at
Osage, Rev. Wm. L. Hunter, clerk, Waterloo. A Church has been
organized at Hardin City, A. Orcott pastor. Shell Rock has also organized with 21 members. Rev. S. Sill pastor here and at Janesville.
The name of the Polk Church is changed to Syracuse. Rev. H.I. Parker
has removed from Osage and Mitchell, and W. Ross is pastor. Brother
Parker's stay in Iowa was short, but as he labored just over the
border in Minnesota for a number of years he was not lost sight of
in Iowa, nor did he lose interest in Iowa affairs. A man of marked
culture and ability, but not very firm health, he spent his later
life in California and died there only a year or two ago. Rev. A.
Marsh has begun a long and useful service at Riceville. Another name
prominent in later years is that of Rev. T. H. Judson, pastor at
West Fork. The column of Benevolent Contributions tins year amounts
to $515.43, Rev. Wm. L. Hunter is pastor at Waterloo.
1865. The Annual meeting is at Charles City, J C. Whitney clerk. Four new
Churches are received in 1865, Mission Kidge, Wayne, Hampton, and
Chapin. The reports bear marks of increased prosperity and spiritual
power. Brother Hunter reports 19 baptized, and 34 additions in all
at Waterloo, and Brother Judson 18 baptisms, and 26 additions at
West Fork. Rev. J. C. H. Miller has baptized 20 at Riceville, Rev.
J. Fulton 20 at Independence. Churches, 29, pastors 16, baptisms
110, total membership 1,063, for the first time above 1,000. Rev. J.
M. Wedgewood appears as pastor at Eden Church, R. L. Jones at Floyd,
Rev. T. F. Thickstun at Waverly. The Iowa Baptist State Convention
is taking hold in this large field, and helping forward the growth
of this Association. Besides Rev. Wm. Wood, Associational Missionary
this year, Rev. T. H. Judson was under appointment at Hampton,
Chapin, etc., and Rev. Rev. S. Sherman at Tripoli. In 1864 Revs. J.
C. H. Miller, S. Sherman, and Wm. Wood were under appointment in
this Association. One effect of this close relation to the
Missionary Societies will always be to stimulate the benevolence of
the Churches, and that is to stimulate and keep in tone the active
1866. The eleventh Anniversary — so
called, though it is only the tenth Anniversary — of the Association
occurred with the Church at Waterloo, convening September 21, at 10
a. m.. Rev. John Fulton of Independence Moderator, J. Cheston
Whitney of Hampton clerk. Brother S. Sill of Shell Rock preached the
introductory sermon from Proverbs XI:30. The Church at Jessup was
received into the Association. The year has been one of unusual
prosperity. There have been received into the Churches by
baptism 150, and by letter 194, and the present membership is 1291,
a net increase for the year of 222. At Waterloo Rev. W. L. Hunter
has baptized 41, at Waverly Rev. T. F. Thickstun 23, Hardin City,
Cedar Falls and New Hartford follow with 20, 18, and U respectively.
Rev. John Fulton retires from a six or seven years' pastorate at
Independence, and is preaching at Jessup and other points. Rev. W.
C. Learned is the young pastor at Independence. Rev. C. T. Tucker
has entered the work as pastor at Charles. City, Rev. A. W. Hilton
at Grove Hill, Rev. C. D. Farnsworth at Syracuse. Rev. A. Bush is
preaching at Osage and Mitchell in connection with his work in the
Cedar Valley Seminary. This Anniversary at Waterloo was a very
inspiring occasion, partaking of the aggressive zeal and quickened
activity that so generally marked these years of the sixties in
Iowa and the west. Rev. G. J. Johnson was present and preached and
took a collection for the Publication Society, amounting in cash
and pledges to $100. A resolution was passed heartily approving "
the Prohibitory Liquor Law of the state, and that we as heartily
condemn the inefficiency of those Judicial officers who, for
political or personal considerations neglect to enforce it." The
Obituary Committee make sad mention of the loss by death of the wife
of our beloved brother. Rev. John Fulton of Independence, and of the
serious and lingering sickness of Rev. Hazzard Green of
Jacksonville, Chickasaw county, who subsequently died January 6,
1867. The harvest of the stern reaper in Iowa during this year was
one of very choice sheaves, of which notice will appear in the
1867. The Association met at Janesville. W.L.
Hunter, clerk, Waterloo. The Church at Mason City was organized in
1866. There are also Churches reported at Nashua, North Washington
and at Applington. Some of these, at least, are destined to be of
short duration. G.W. Goodrich is reported pastor at Eden Church, and
D. P. Maryatt, this year and last, at New Hartford. This
Association, now eleven years old, is the largest, as to number of
churches and pastors, in the State. There are now, churches 33;
pastors 20; baptized within the year 151; received from all sources
356, and a total membership of 1,526. Rev. L. N. Call has become
pastor at Hampton and Chapin.
anniversary in 1868
was at New Hartford. W. L. Hunter, clerk, Waterloo. Rev. A. G.
Eberhart has closed a six years pastorate at Cedar Falls, and is
succeeded by Rev. D. N. Mason. Rev. W. C. Learned made but a brief
sta3^ in our Iowa ministry, though long enough to be much esteemed,
and after an interval is succeeded at Independence by Rev. A. D.
Bush, who returns to Iowa after several years absence in the east.
Rev. A. Carpenter is preaching at Hardin City and Rev. C. Spragg at
Jessup. Brother John Fulton has transferred his labors, for a time,
to the State of Illinois. One hundred and seventy-nine baptisms
were reported, and a total membership of 1,699. Of the 35
Churches in this large field, including a number of central and
growing towns, there are only two Churches of over 100 members.
Waterloo has 252 and Waverly 135. Rev. T. F. Thickstun, who began
his ministry in Waverly in 1865, has resigned to take up the
important work awaiting him at Council Bluffs.
is the place of meeting. Moderator, Rev. J. Hall, D. D., clerk, Rev.
W- L. Hunter, Independence. Brother Hunter after baptizing 44, at
Waterloo in 1868, closed a four or five years' pastorate there, and
is pastor at Independence. He is succeeded at Waterloo by Rev. Wm.
Tilley. Rev. D. N- Mason has resigned at Cedar Falls, and they are
without a pastor though they report 30 baptisms this year. How sad
it is that just after a revival of religion, and oftentimes when
there has been a large in-gathering, needing the greatest care,
then the minister has to leave, and the lambs are left to the
wolves! Is it the fault of the minister? or of the Church? Or of
both? Is it not true that while in modern times we magnify the first
part of the Great Commission, "Go, and make Disciples," we have too
much overlooked the second part, "teaching them to observe all
things, whatsoever I have commanded you"! Rev. Thomas Ure is now
preaching at Mitchell, P. S. Crandall at Mason City, and A. T. Cole
at Waverly. The Winthrop Church comes into the Association, Rev.
Myron Root, pastor. Churches 36; pastors 21; baptized 121; present
membership 1,851. The largest now, as to Churches and members in the
State. The contributions for the Convention, in 1869, were $608.50,
the largest of any Association except the Linn, which was
S670.58.The previous year the amount raised in the Cedar Valley was
$932.05, of which, however, $542.35 was raised by, and paid to Rev.
Wm. Wood, Associational Missionary.
1870. The Association
convened at Waverly September 23, W. L. Hunter, Independence, clerk.
Among new pastors we notice D. S. Starr at Cedar Falls, C. T. Roe,
Charles City, W. M. Simons, Jessup, A. Plumly, Rockford, G. M. Adams
Shell Rock, and E. K. Cressey Waterloo. Zion Church, southwest of
Waterloo, has just been formed, L. H. Thompson pastor, where 17 have
been baptized. 136 baptisms reported and 1880 members. The value of
Church property is placed at $75,000. In 1871 met at Charles City,
E. K. Cressey of Charles City clerk. The number of Churches has
fallen off to 30, pastors 18, baptized 149. Received from all
sources 349, total membership 1879. Rev. E. K. Oressey has removed
from Waterloo to Charles City, and the veteran Rev. A. G.
Eberhart is again preaching at Waterloo. Rev. H. C. Henry is preaching at a new Church called Geneseo, organized the past year.
Rev. M. E. Arkills has been several years pastor at
Fredericksburg, Rev. L. Ellingwood a year or two at Otter Creek, and
Rev. E. P. Barker at Parkersburg. Rev. S. C. Sale is pastor at
Mason City. J. S. Cox at New Hartford, and Rev. J. N. Lukins at
1872. The Association met at Mason City Rev. L.
N. Call, of Hampton, clerk. Rev. W. H. Stiller is pastor at Cedar
Falls. Charles City has Rev. W. W. Whitcomb as pastor, and reports
50 baptisms. Rev. T. H. Judson, at Rock Grove, reports 34. Rev. G.
W. Preston is pastor at Independence, Rev. F. A. Marsh at Waverly
and J. Hall, D. D., at Shell Rock. Rev. S. Sill is preaching at
Plainfield. There are now 31 Churches reporting, 20 pastors, 151
baptisms reported, and a total membership of 2,050. The only
Association reporting over 1,800. In 1873 Shell Rock is the place of
meeting. Rev. L. N. Call, of Hampton, clerk. Rev. C. T. Tucker,
after an absence
from the Association and the State, returns and
is pastor at Mason City. Rev. E. L. Benedict is pastor at Mitchell,
N. H. Daily at Plainfield, J. A. Abbott at Rock Grove and Rev.
A. A. Russell at Waterloo. Churches 30; pastors 18; baptized 59;
total membership 1.969. The Association occupies the great central
district of Northern Iowa, comprising the counties of Black Hawk,
Bremer, Butler, Floyd, Chickasaw, Mitchell, Cerro Gordo and
Franklin, and at times, parts of other counties.
anniversary takes place at Jessup. Rev. W. H. Stifier, clerk. Cedar
Falls. Rev. Wm. M. Simons has removed from Jessup to Fredericksburgh.
Rev. F.A. Marsh has succeeded Brother Hunter at Independence. Rev.
H. D. Weaver is at New Hartford. Rev. R. Garton begins his long and
successful pastorate at Waterloo. Rev. T. F. Thickstun has returned
to his old field at Waverly. Brother Stiller has baptized 68 at
Cedar Falls, and Waterloo reports 55 baptisms. It is a year of
progress in the Association, and of labor well repaid. Baptisms 266:
1875. In 1875 the
Association met at Cedar Falls. W. H. Stiller, clerk. At Shell Rock
Rev. B. H. Bras led has baptized 32, and at Waverly Rev. Robert Leslie, pastor, 28.
Rev. W. L. Hunter is preaching at Charles City, F. H. Hannah at
Clear Lake, G. W. Prescott at Nora Springs and Rock Grove, A. J.
Amerman at Plainfield and C. T. Emerson at Riceville and Wayne. The
aggregate amount paid for Church expenses is put down at $15,319.70,
and the benevolent contributions at $2,125.15. Rev. L. N. Call has
closed a pastorate of eight years at Hampton and become Financial
Agent of the Cedar Valley Seminary, at Osage. The Church at Hampton
is doing without a pastor and making an effort to pay off their debt
of $3,200 by July, 1876. An obituary report tells of the death of
Rev. Shadrach Sherman, who died at Riceville, Iowa, January 7, 1875.
The Church at Nora Springs was organized last February, recognized
in July and admitted to the Association at this session. Rev. Alva
Bush was Moderator. Rev. Wm. Whitney, of Osage, preached the
introductory sermon. Rev, Robert Leslie has succeeded Pastor
Thickstun at Waverly.
1876. The Twentieth Anniversary was
held with the Church at Fredericksburgh, September 8. Rev. Richard
Garton preached the introductory sermon and was elected Moderator,
and Rev. Robert Leslie, of Waverly, clerk. Upon the report of the
proper committee the names of the Chapin, Geneseo and Otter Creek
Churches were stricken from the Minutes. Rev. W. H. Stiller has
closed a four years' pastoral term at Cedar Falls, and has removed
to Cedar Rapids, in the Linn Association. Appreciative mention is
made of the missionary work of Rev. E. L. Benedict among the feeble
Churches in the western part of the Association. Rev. S. H.
Mitchell became pastor at Shell Rock in February last. Much interest
is felt in the affairs of the Cedar Valley Seminary, and in the
efforts being made to increase its finances. A good revival
spirit has pervaded many of the Churches. There are now in the body
30 Churches, 19 pastors, 167 have been received by baptism, 125 by
letter, and the present membership is 2,068.Brother Carton has
baptized 60 at Waterloo and they have now 275 members.
1877. Charles City is the place of the anniversary. Rev. R. Leslie, clerk.
Another year of glorious reaping. Baptisms 218: total membership
2,267. More than ever before, and more, by 500, than any other
Association in Iowa. Rev. L. T. Bush is pastor at Cedar Falls, where
his admirable spirit is very helpful in a time of need. The Church
have suffered greatly during the last year by the abuse of an
unworthy minister. Rev. James Patterson is pastor at Independence.
Rev. Wm. M. Simons has returned from Fredericksburgh to Jessup. Rev.
C. H. Mitchelmore has succeeded, at Shell Rock, the one Mitchell,
who has removed and become pastor at Grundy Center, in the Iowa
1878. In 1878 the Association met at
Clear Lake. Rev. Robert Leslie, of Waverly, clerk. Baptized 150;
present membership 2,422. Rev. A. Myers is pastor at Charles City,
H. C. Nash, at Clear Lake, W. L. Hunter at Floyd, J. A. Abbott, at Fredericksburgh, Rev. Wm. Wilder has become pastor at Hampton, L. D.
Lamkin at Nora Springs, A. B. Coates at Mitchell, N. F. Hoyt at
Northwood, Thomas lire at Riceville and Wayne and A. E. Spring at
1879. Met at Hampton. J. C. Whitney, of Hampton,
is clerk. Cedar Falls is again without a pastor. Rev. C. T. Tucker
has returned to Charles City. Rev. G. Sutherland is at Independence.
Rev. A. E. Simons has taken up the work at Parkersburg, where a
house is to be built for the Lord. Rev. D. B. Mead is preaching at
Rock Grove this year and last. A Church has been organized at Rudd
where twenty have been baptized and there are 41 members, with M.
E. Arkills as pastor. Rev. B. H. Brasted has served the Shell Rock
Church for two years. Rev. Robert Leslie has closed a four years'
pastorate at Waverly, and Rev. T. J. Keith has succeeded him. There
are now in the Association, 34 Churches, 20 pastors, 143 baptisms
reported and a total membership of 2,524. The largest by over 700 in
the State, and the greatest number of Churches by ten. Of the 20
Churches having pastors, seven have begun their work in 1879, six
began in 1878 and are on their second year, while Rev. J. A. Abbott,
of Fredericksburgh, Wm. Wilder, of Hampton, Wm. M. Simons, of
Jessup, and Thomas Ure, of Riceville, settled in 1877 and are now on
their third year, and Rev. Richard Garton, of Waterloo, is on his
1880. The anniversary this year is at Independence.
J. C. Whitney still serving as clerk. Rev. O. T. Conger has become
pastor at Osage, A. R. Button at Cold Water, a new organization.
Rev. M. H. Perry at Fredericksburgh, succeeding J.A. Abbott who is
now preaching at Plainfield, and Thomas Ure is preaching at Wayne.
Rev. A. R. Button is preaching also at Rockwell and Sheffield
Churches. Waterloo entertained the Assoniation in 1881. J.C.
Whitney, clerk. Of 20 Churches having pastors, eleven date their
settlement the present year. We are introduced to quite an array of
new names, S. M. Davis at Bethel Church, Henry Williams at Cedar
Falls, H. B. Waterman at Clear Lake, J. G. Johnson at
Fredericksburgh, F. Bower at Jessup, W. H. H. Avery at Mason City,
J. W. Daniels at Northwood, E. H. Page at Osage, L. W. Atkins at
Rock Grove, and J. J. McIntyre at Shell Rock. Hampton, Waverly and
Independence, with ten other churches, are without pastors. Rev. Wm.
Wilder, in infirm health, has removed to Minneapolis, Minnesota,
there to tarry for a few years and to obtain his honorable discharge
and go to his well-earned rest. Rev. T. J. Keith has resigned at
Waverly to take charge of the East Side Baptist Church, Des Moines.
The only form of activity that seems to have characterized this year
among the churches, is activity among the ministers and their
families moving from field to field. They at least are not likely to
become sluggish for want of exercise. It is noticeable, however,
that the spiritual dearth is general. Only 638 baptisms are reported
in all the State, against 1,075 the year before. The first year that
less than a thousand have been reported since 1863, when the war as
distracting the country. It will be a relief to note, as we shall,
that the low water mark has been reached, and that the Lord has
not forgotten to be gracious to his Zion.
Association met at Osage. A. R. Button, of Osage, clerk. A general
weeding has taken place and the names of 10 churches are missed from
the list. churches 23; pastors 18; received by baptisms 106; by
letter 59; present membership 2.059. Of the Churches having pastors,
ten date their settlement within the year. We note Rev. C. Holroyd
at Charles City, J. F. Bryant at Sheffield and Cold Water, James
Mitchell at Fredericksburgh, L. B. Plummer at Hampton, W. C. Pratt
at New Hartford, F. W. Gardner preaching at Plainfield, G.G.
Dougherty at Rock Grove, and G. W. Burnham, of Leroy, Minnesota, at
Wayne Church. Rev. W. M. Simons has removed from New Hartford, to
which place he had removed from Jessup, in 1880, to Waverly. Rev. C.
T. Tucker has removed from Charles City, closing a three years'
second pastorate with that Church, to Clarinda in the Southwestern
Association, taking up there a very important and arduous work for
which he seems to be the one man especially fitted. In 1883 Mason
City is to entertain the Association. Rev. A.R. Button, of Osage,
clerk. Brother Button has been for a couple of years engaged in a
most important and successful work as Financial Secretary of the
Cedar Valley Seminar}^, for which he resigned his work at Sheffield
and Cold Water, some two years ago. Rev. I. W. Edson is pastor at
Charles City, Rev. A. C. Nichols at Plainfield. Rev. Henry Williams
has closed a three years' pastorate at Cedar Falls and is preaching
at Rock Grove, P. O. Nora Springs.
1884. The Association met
at Waverly. Rev. A. R. Button still serves as clerk. Churches 26;
pastors 17; received by baptism 57; by letter 68; present membership
2,041. The ratio of baptisms in this, still the largest of the
Associations, to those in the State—57 to 1,538, seems to indicate
an almost phenomenal barrenness in this part of Iowa. We notice,
however, that only three Associations in the State report above 100
baptisms this year; Keokuk 126; Southwestern 142, and Central
292. These bring up the aggregate to the figures stated. There is no
general revival. Of the pastors in this Association this year, the
following are introduced for the first time: Rev. J.C. Shipp,
Charles City; Rev. Robert Smith, Fredericksburgh; Rev. B. G.
Boardman, Hampton; Rev. A. J. Colwell, Mason City, and Rev. A. M.
Duboc, Osage. Rev. J. B. Edmonson has removed from Parkersburg to
Shell Rock. Rev. A. M. Duboc begins a work at Osage, that is to
culminate in a new and commodious Church Edifice soon.
1885. The place of meeting is Charles City. Rev. H. H. Burrington, of
Waverly, is clerk. Brother Burrington returns thus to the position
which he honored in 1860 and 1861, 25 years ago. The brethren honor
themselves by thus honoring him. Churches 25; pastors 16; baptized
202; total membership 2,052. The number of baptisms is the largest
of any Association in the State, Only three others reach 100 or
over, Davenport 138, South-western 142 and Upper Des Moines 100,
Mason City reports the largest number of baptisms, 63; Waterloo
38. Rev. W. W. Onderdonk has been ordained pastor at Cedar Falls.
Rev. A. Hunt is pastor at Cold Water and Sheffield Robert Smith at
Fredericksburgh, J. P. Stephenson at Hampton, P. E. Moore at
Waverly, Rev. E. Pierce, of the Wayne Church, and Rev. L. A. Hall at
Mason City. Rev. W. L. Hunter is now preaching at New Hartford.
Being, as has been seen, much the largest Association in the
State. Occupying one of its greatest and most prosperous
valleys, with a large number of thriving towns and cities. Having
always a full share of the ablest ministers in the State and
early made the field of the missionary activity and beneficence of
our State and Home Mission Societies. The Cedar Valley Association
may fairly be taken as a representative body in the respects named,
and its history may be studied with profit in the light of the
bearing of the past upon the future. A brief comparison of the past
ten years, with the decade just preceding, presents some figures
that may safely be left without comment by the historian. The
contributions of the Churches and members of this Association from
1876 to 1885 and inclusive, to the treasury of the Convention, were
$2,099.25, or an average of S209.92i per year. From 1866 to 1875,
the preceding decade, they were $3,998.95, or an average of $399.89
per year. Two things need to be taken into consideration in giving
these statements their proper weight, 1st, that during the earlier
half of the earlier decade, when the largest amounts were raised, a
larger portion of it was for Associational Missionary work,
conducted by Rev. Wm. Wood, who was a very successful collector;
and, 2d, that during the last half of the later decade collections
have been in the name of the Convention and Home Mission Society,
whereas, during the earlier ten years whatever was collected for the
Home Mission Society would be additional to the amount given above.
During a part of this time not less than eight pastors or
missionaries, in the field of this Association, were being aided by
the Home Mission Society. It is reasonable to infer that
contributions, to that Society, were considerable in addition to
amounts reported for the Convention. From whatever cause, the
benevolence of the Churches of this Association in the direction of
contributions to State and Home Missions during the last decade,
shows a remarkable falling off from the decade immediately
preceding. A comparison of spiritual results for the same period
gives the following results: The number of baptisms for the ten
years, from 1866 to 1875, was 1,447, or an average of 144 and 7-10
per year. From 1876 to 1885 the whole number of baptisms was
1,250, or an average of 125 per year. But for the last half of the
last decade they were only 480, or an average of 96 per year. If the
spirit of giving and the reaping of spiritual results sustain to
each other, as is 'generally supposed, the relation of cause and
effect in any measure we may begin to look for an increase of
prosperity in this association. During the last half of the last
decade the contributions for the Convention were an average of
$323.70 per year, against an average for the whole decade of only
$209.92 per year.
The year 1886 presents a good measure of
prosperity One hundred and forty-seven have been baptized, 259 added
from all sources, and there are now 2,172 members. Rev. Richard
Garton, D. D., has closed his 12 years' pastorate at Waterloo and
become leader of the forces at Cedar Rapids. Rev. D. Read, LL. D.,
has succeeded him without an interval at Waterloo.