OBITUARY - REV. CHARLES WESLEY POWELSON
1849 - 1906
Rev. Charles Wesley POWELSON was born of Christian parents, in Muskingum county, Ohio, March 9, 1849, and departed this
life, after a very brief illness, in the early morning of January 6, 1906, in Davis City, Ringgold county
(sic, should be Decatur County), Iowa, away
from home and family. He was, as it seemed,  in years, 9 months and 27 days old.
He grew up to manhood in his native
state, enjoying the educational advantage of the public schools, which gave him a fair qualification for business life.
Very early in life he was made conscious of his obligations and service to God, and at the age of sixteen he professed
religion and vowed a saving faith in Christ, joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for a number of years was a
faithful and consistent layman of said Church.
In the year 1870, on the second day of January, he was married to Miss
Julia A. BUELL, of Marion county, Ohio. The early years of his married life were spent in Ohio, in various business
pursuits, in which he was quite successful. In 1881 he came to Iowa, and located in Ringgold county, and continued in
active business life until the year 1886. Feeling at this time that he owed to God and to his fellow men a better
service, without a question as to where this consecration might lead, or what responsibility it might bring, he
cheerfully responded to the call of God and the Church of his choice. He was licensed to preach by the Quarterly
Conference at Kellerton, Iowa, in the bounds of the Des Moines Conference, and began at once to use his gift and
grace as a preacher of the gospel.
Soon after his license as a local preacher, he spent a few months as an agent of the American Bible Society. Having
come into the territory of the Iowa Conference, he was in the fall of 1886, recommended by the Keokuk District
Conference to the Iowa Annual Conference, and at Washington, Iowa, was admitted on trial and appointed by Bishop
BOWMAN to the Plano circuit. Two years later he was granted a membership in the Conference and ordained deacon by
Bishop GOODSELL, at Oskaloosa, Iowa. His ordination as elder was at Grinnell, Iowa, by Bishop JOYCE. The charges that
he served (in each of which he greatly endeared himself to the people, both in and out of his parish,) are as follows:
Plano 5 years; Cincinnati, 1 year; Mount Pleasant circuit, 5 years; Burlington circuit, 5 1/2 years; and 3 years as
financial agent of Iowa Wesleyan University, in which service he engaged at the time of his death.
His ministry was
specially charterized as evangelistic. Every appointment to which he was sent as pastor was blessed through his
ministry with revivals. He always lamented his lack of thorough educational preparation for the work of the ministry,
and at times felt keenly this disadvantage. But, notwithstanding his lack of special training for the ministry, it
must be said that in many things he excelled and was rated by his brethren in pastoral and ministerial service above the
The early life and mission of C. W. POWELSON is ended, and he has passed into the skies and into the paradise of God.
He leaves his wife, two sons and nine daughters, three brothers, who live in Ohio, and a sister in Kansas, who mourn
The funeral services were held in the college chapel at 2 p.m., January 9, 1906. They were conducted by T.
J. MYERS, presiding elder, who also gave a sketch of his life, and in brief spoke of his personal relation, and of the
character of the deceased.
The following brethren took part in the religious service: Dr. SWICKARD, Thomas OSBORN, G. M.
TUTTLE, and J. A. GLENDINNING (sic, should be GLENDENNING.
Dean PIERSEL recited TENNYSON's poem, "Crossing the Bar." Addresses were made by Dr.
LYMER, in behalf of the college; Pastors TENNANT, of Burlington, and HANDY, of Washington, who spoke for the Conference.
The pall-bearers were Pastors BYRKIT, SINCLAIR, HIGHSHOE, J. S. POOL, DECKER and STODDARD.
Interment was made in Forest Home cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
SOURCE: 1906 Yearbook of the Iowa Annual Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church
Transciption by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2010
To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.
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