Religious History & Secret Orders In Hastings,
FROM History of Allegan and Barry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.
Continued from the History of the City of Hastings.
Rev. Daniel Bush, a Methodist missionary preacher, was the first minister to locate
at Hastings, or do any stated work at that point, and, as lie has happily preserved, in a recently written letter,
many interesting details touching his experience as a preacher in Barry County, liberal extracts from that letter
are given to our readers, in the belief that they will be found interesting and worthy of preservation. Mr. Bush
FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
The first quarterly meeting Conference for Hastings mission was held at Hastings,
Nov. 6, 1841, on which occasion there were present James F. Davidson, Presiding Elder; Daniel Bush, Missionary;
and Alonzo Barnum, Lorenzo Mudge, Elisha Carpenter, and Aaron L. Ellis, Leaders. Alonzo Barnum was appointed recording
steward, and Lorenzo Nudge, Aaron L. Ellis, Richard Witherel, and Joseph Merriman stewards.
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF HASTINGS.
At a meeting of tile First Congregational Church of Hastings, held in the village
school-house, Jan. 7, 1849, the following members were present: Mrs. Lucina Hanne, Mrs. Hannah Kellogg, Mrs. Susan
Pierson, Mrs. Sarah M. Hoyt, Mrs. Arvilla B. Ralph, Mrs. Elizabeth Horton, Mrs. Nancy Young, and Mr. Abel Rice.
Two members were absent, Mrs. Clarissa Bailey and Mrs. Louisa Tabor. The meeting was called to order by time pastor,
Rev. Z. T. Hoyt, who stated that the object of the meeting was to urge the necessity of reorganizing the church
and adopting the Presbyterian form of government in consequence of difficulties that existed in the Congiegational
Church, and which appeared then beyond their power to settle, the pastor stating further that a Presbyterian Church
had already been organized. The members present then voted to donate the communion-service and all other property
belonging to the First Congregational Church to the First Presbyterian Church of Hastings, and, letters of dismission
being granted to the members named above, it was resolved "that the First Congregational Church of Hastings
be hereby dissolved."
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
Upon the day of the dissolution of' the Congregational Church, the First Presbyterian
Church of Hastings was organized in the village school-house. Rev. Zerah T. Hoyt was moderator of the meeting,
and Lewis H. Ensign secretary. Those who were received into the church at the organization, besides those mentioned
in the sketch of the First Congregational Church, were Henry Standish and Abbey, his wife, Mrs. Sophia E. Kenfield,
Lewis H. Ensign and Abby, his wife, Sarah M. Standish, Gorgietta E. Standish, and Mrs. Esther Dowd. Lewis H. Ensign
was chosen ruling elder. In March, 1849, the ordinance of baptism was conferred upon George H. Ensign, Georgiana
A. Ensign, and Henry A. Eusign, and at the same meeting Abel Rice was elected elder. At a meeting held Feb. 8,
1853, the church adopted new articles as to the form of church government, and changed the name of the organization
to The First Presbyterian and Congregational Church of Hastings. On the 10th of February 24 members were added
upon a profession of faith. From this time forward the church rapidly received accessions and gained in strength.
EMMANUEL (PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL) CHURCH.
Doubtless the first Episcopal sermon preached in Hastings was delivered by Rev.
Dr. Cummings, of Grand Rapids, on the occasion of his tarrying briefly at the village in 1847, while en route to
his home. In the early part of July, 1851, Rev. V. Spalding, of Three Rivers, having been sent by Bishop MeCoskry
on a missionary tour through Michigan. stopped at Hastings and preached an Episcopal sermon in the court-house.
During 1856 and 1857 Rev. Robert Wood preached occasionally in the village, but until 1863 there was no movement
looking to the holding of regular religious services according to the Episcopal faith.
Previous to 1869 priests used to come from various points to hold occasional worship in Hastings at private houses for such of the Catholic faith as lived here. In 1869, John Stanley agitated the organization of a Catholic Church, and with Patrick Ryan and Thomas Haney effected the purchase of a building formerly used as a cooper-shop, and converted it into a house of worship, which has since been in use for that purpose, although a handsomer and roomier edifice is soon to be erected on Jefferson Street, where the congregation owns three lots. Among the early priests were Fathers Ernstrasser, Pulcher, and McManus. Father Algier, the first stationed priest, remained two years, and was followed by Father Wicart, whose term of service was likewise two years. Father McManus comes now from Grand Rapids once in two weeks and holds services, which arc numerously attended.
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.
A meeting was held in the court-house Dec. 11, 1868, to organize a Baptist Church,
Rev. E. Curtis being moderator and J. G. Runyan secretary, but, the number in attendance being few, an adjournment
was ordered to the 22d instant. Previous to this, Oct. 18, 1868, the First Baptist Society of Hastings was incorporated,
with T. L. Pillsbury, J. G. Bunyan, A. H. Tyler, Mr. Otis, John Michael, and Wm. Morgan as the charter members.
HASTINGS LODGE, No. 58, I. O. O. F.###
was instituted Sept. 14, 1852, with 11 members, viz. : O. B. Sheldon, R. B. Wightman, I. S. Geer, Hiram Bennett,
William S. Goodyear, Augustus Richardson, J. A. Sweezy, A. A. Knappen, H. I. Knappen, C. P. Dow, and A. H. Ellis.
At the first election; O. B. Sheldon was chosen N. G.; R. B. Wightman, V. G.; I. S. Geer, Sec.; Hiram Bennett,
Treas. The lodge continued in active existence until May 20, 1857, when it ceased to perform its functions and
lay dormant until May 4, 1866, when a petition applying for reinstatement was issued by W. S. Goodyear, Augustus
Richardson, Jacob Maus, I. S. Geer, F. D. Ackley, W. H. Hayford, and Norman Bailey. The charter was granted June
20. 1867, to O. B. Sheldon, R. B. Wightman, I. S. Geer, Hiram Bennett, W. S. Goodyear, Augustus Richardson, C.
P. Dow, A. H. Ellis, and J. A. Sweezy. At the first election, held June 25 1867, F. D. Ackley was chosen N. G.
A. M. Rock, V. G.; G. M. Dewy, Sec.; Augustus Richardson, Treas.
HASTINGS LODGE, No. 52, F. AND A. M.
Dec. 1, 1851, at a meeting preliminary to the organization of.a Masonic lodge, there were present, in the office of I. A. Holbrook, Messrs. F. C. Cornell, Howard Keith, D. G. Robinson, Roswell Wilcox, and H. A. Goodyear. Howard Keith was chosen S. D. Roswell Wilcox, J. D.; Edward Ackley, Sec.; Gilbert Striker, Tyler. The second meeting was held Jan. 24, 1852, in the assembly-room of Thornton's Hotel, and Jan. 16, 1853, the charter issued, F. C. Cornell being named M.; H. A. Goodyear, S. W.' and D. G. Robinson, J. W. The first electon under the charter was held Jan. 19, 1853, when officers were chosen as follows: H. A. Goodyear, W, M.; D. G. Robinson. S. W.; N. S. Palmer, J. W.; I. A. Holbrook, Treas.; W. J. Bottom, Sec.; A. P. Drake, S. D.; Albert Jordan, J. D.; Alex. Merritt., Tyler. The lodge has occupied handsome and commodious quarters in Union Block since 1868, and has now a membership of 145. The present officers are NI. VT. Biker, W. NI.; C. H. Bauer, S. VT.; W. H. Powers, J. VT.; Daniel Striker, Treas.; C. H. Van Orman, Sec.; James L. Crawley, S. P.; John Mate, J. D.; E. B. Throop, Tyler.
HASTINGS CHAPTER, No. 68, R. A. M.,
was chartered Jan. 11, 1870, with the following members: Daniel Striker, H. P.; D. G. Robinson, K.; Travers Phillips, Scribe; B. W. Jackson, John Carlow, Eugene Hamilton. Lewis Westfall, Charles Beckwith, and A. P. Drake. The officers March 1, 1880, were Travers Phillips, H. P.: William H. Powers, K.; B. R. Rose, Scribe; M. W. Biker, C. of H.; William S. Goodyear, P. S.; J. Q. Cressy, R. A. C.; W. M. Scudder, M. 3 V.; Lewis Stern, M. 2 V.; D. G. Brosseau, M. 1 V.; Charles H. Bauer, Sec.; Daniel Striker, Treas.; E. B. Throop, Sentinel.
GIRLUM COUNCIL, No. 49, R. AND S. M.,
was chartered Jan. 16, 1877, with members as follows: Travers Phillips, T. I. M.; A. P. Drake, D. M.; W. W. Riker, P. C. W.; William H. Powers, J. Q. Cressy, Ira Hatch, F. S. Bowen, Charles Pritchard, G. E. Altoft. The membership is now 28, and the officers as follows: Travers Phillips, T. I. M.; A. P. Drake, D. M.; M. W. Riker, P. C. W.; George Altoft, Sec.; Daniel Striker, Treas.; B. R. Rose, C. of G. William M. Scudder, C. of C.; T. J. Brosseau, Steward.
HASTINGS CHAPTER, No. 7, ADOPTIVE MASONS (ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR),
was chartered Oct. 6, 1870. The first officers were Mrs. W. K. Barber, W. M.; A. P. Drake, W. P.; Ella Galloway, A. M.; Mrs. E. B. Throop, See. The membership is now 30, and the officers: Mrs. B. F. Rose, W. M.; Travera Phillips, W. P.; Mrs. William Hitchcock, A. M.; Mrs. Henry Bailey, Conduetrsss; Mrs. W. S. Goodyear, Treas.; Mrs. E. H. Lathrop, Sec.; Henry Bailey, Chaplain.
HASTINGS LODGE, No. 3, IMPERIAL KNIGHTS.
June 3, 1878, Hastings Lodge, No. 158, I. 0. M. A. (Independent Order of Mutual
Aid), was organized with the following members: George S. Tomlinson, V. P.; J. H. Dennis, Sec.; Irving Van Vleck,
F. S.; W. F. Hicks, P.; H. H. Bailey, Phineas Smith, and Theodore Brosseau, Trustees; and John Berry, J. B. Fuller,
Edward Brown, M. H. Wing, I. De Vere, and L. E. Stauffer.
BARRY LODGE, No. 321, F. AND A. M.
Jan. 9, 1874, dispensation was granted to Thomas J. Wilder, B. R. Rose, Thomas Altoft, George L. Salsbury, William Jones, J. L. Reed, Rollin Herrick, Ferris Rose, Milton Priekett, W. F. Hicks, J. A. Sweezy, and Harvey Wright. The first meeting was held in room of Hastings Lodge, No. 42, and February, 1875, a charter was issued. At the first election under the charter, February 18th, officers were elected as follows: T. J. Wilder, W. N.; Harvey Wright, S. W.; Thomas Altoft, J. W.; VT. F. Hicks, Tress.; J. L. Reed, Sec.; Milton Prickett, S. P.; G. N. Saisbury, J. B.; C. Beamer, Tyler. From 1875 to 1880 the Worshipful Masters have been T. J. Wilder, Harvey Wright, B. N. Rose, J. L. Reed. Since 1875 the lodge has occupied roomy and well-appointed quarters in the Empire Block. The membership was 65, March 1, 1880, when the officers were J. L. Reed, W. NI.; Wallace Kelley, S. W.; Burns Messer, J. W.; NI. VT. Vrooman, Sec.; VT. F. Hicks, Press.; Milton Prickett, S. B.; J. H. Anderson, J. D.; P. J. Brosseau, Tyler.
BARRY LODGE, No. 13, K. OF P.,
was organized July 18, 1873, with 10 members, viz.: J. A. Sweezy, Harvey Wright, E. A. Holbrook, W. T. Eastman, W. F. Hicks, P. 5. Wilder, John Hotchkiss, George W. Slade, Rollin Herrick, and William D. Hayes. The officers were Harvey Wright, P. C.; J. A. Sweezy, C. C.; W. T. Eastman, V. 0.; T. J. Wilder, P.; Rollin Herrick, K. of R. and S.; W. F. Hicks, M. of F.; John Botchkiss, NI. of B. The membership, March 1, 1880, was 58, and the officers J. W. Bentley, P. C.; E. T. Hogle, C. M.; John Lichty, P.; William B. Sweezy, V. C.; N. T. Parker, M. of B.; L. B. Stanley, K. of B. and S. Regular assemblies are held in their "castle hall" in t-he Empire Block.
HASTINGS GRANGE, No. 52,
was organized in Empire Block, Aug. 15, 1873, with a membership of 29. The first
officers were A. IR-yerson, M.; J. H. Dennis, Sec.; Thomas Altoft, 0.; James Sweezy, L.; Porter Burton, Chap.
HASTINGS REFORM CLUB.
In the winter of 1876-77, Henry Reynolds, the noted temperance agitator, visited Hastings, and labored to such good purpose that Jan. 17, 1877, the Hastings Reform Club was formed, with a membership of 40. The first officers chosen were James Clarke, Pres.; H. H. Bailey, Sec.; C. G. Bentley, Treas. Since the organization the club has had a prosperous and fruitful history. Public entertainments of an inviting character hare been given each Tuesday night, and a gospel temperance meeting on each Sunday afternoon. The cause of temperance has been materially encouraged, and in March, 1880, the club membership was upwards of 200. Then the officers were John F. Hale, Pres.; George NI. Dewey, Sec.; 0. ID. Spalding, Treas.
BARRY REFORM CLUB, No. 2,
was organized Feb. 6, 1880, with 10 members. The memhership March 1, 1880, was 59, and the look ahead was cheering. The officers are Joseph Slattery, Pres.; I. S. Geer, First Vice-Pres.; L. Patten, Second Vice-Pres.; J. L. Reed, Sec.; J. C. Woodruff, Fin. Sec.; William Wood, Tress.
THE HESTINGS ARBEITER UNTERSTUETZUNGS VEREIN
is composed of Germans, and was organized Jan. 1, 1880, with 15 members. Meetings are held twice each month. The officers are John Bessmer, P.; John Weissert, V. P.; John M. Bessmer, Sec.; Valentine Leins, Treas.; Charles Hardke, A. Rower, C. Bachman, F. Brodesser, and Gottleib Bessmer, Trustees.
WOMENS CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION.
In 1873 the temperance women of Hastings, to the number of 20, formed a union, elected Mrs. Norman Bailey president, and inaugurated so effective .a crusade against rum-drinking in Hastings that there was at one time no place in the city open for the sale of intoxicating liquors. In January, 1877, Dr. Reynolds, the temperance worker, assisted in the organization of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, which continues to perform effective service in behalf of temperance. Mrs. C. S. Burton, who is now the President, has filled that office since 1877; Mrs. George - Robinson, Mrs. Clement Smith, and Mrs. C. Knappen are Vice-Presidents; Mrs. I. N. Mitchell, Rec. Sec.; Mrs. E. H. Lathrop, Treas.; Mrs. Norman Bailey, Cor. Sec. The society numbers now 180 paying members.
HASTINGS LODGE, No. 11, ROYAL TEMPLARS OF TEMPERANCE,
was organized Jan. 28, 1880, with 26 members. The officers are Clement Smith, Select Councilor; Irving N. Mitchell, Vice.Councilor; George M. Dewey, Past Councilor; E. H. Lathrop, Chaplain; Irving L. Cressy, Recording Sec.; Philo R. Duning, Financial Sec.; James H. Bartley, Treas.; M. C. Woodmansee, Herald; Estes Rork, Deputy Herald; L. W. Fansey, Guard; Oliver W. Grace, Sentinel. The present membership is 35. The council meets on the second and fourth Friday in each month.
UNITED SONS OF INDUSTRY.
Two lodges of this order, known as Barry and Pioneer, were at one time in flourishing existence, but they have for some months been inactive, although there is present talk of their speedy revival.
HASTINGS LODGE, No. 944, INDEPENDENT ORDER OF GOOD TEMPLARS,
was organized Feb. 3, 1876, with 40 members. The first officers were W. C. T., Samuel Dickie; W. V. T., Mrs. Mary Dickie; Chaplain, George W. Sherman; Sec., James M. Bauer; W. F. S., Sherman C. Prindle; W. T., Mrs. Clara Lathrop; W. M., Charles Jones; W. I. G., Mrs. Kate Black; W. 0. G. J. L. Mans. The present membership is 85, and the officers as follows: W. C. T., George M. Dewey; W. V. T., Mrs. Emily J. McElwain; W. Sec., Irving L. Cressy; W. F. S., Mrs. Clara H. Allen; W. P., Travers Phillips; W. M., John Woodruff; W. I. G., Mrs. Elsie Burke; W. O. G.; Wm. I. Butler. The lodge meets at Temperance Hall, corner of Court and Jefferson Streets, each Monday evening.
RIVERSIDE CEMETERY COMPANY.
Fifty acres of land within the limits of the city, occupied by what is known as
the Riverside Cemetery, belonged originally to the township, but were transferred in 1870 to the control of the
Riverside Cemetery Company, incorporated September 30th of that year for the purpose of laying out a burial-ground
upon the tract and maintaining it for that use forever. The incorporators of the company were H. A. Goodyear, President;
J. P. Roberts, Treasurer; Nathan Barlow, J. B. Sweezey, H. J. Kenfield, R. J. Grant, and D. G. Robinson. In making
the donation the township reserved 10 acres for a free burying-ground.
By: David Schwartz.
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