History of East Palestine, OH

From: History of Columbiana County, Ohio
By: Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1926

The City of East Palestine is situated on the main line of the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad, fifty miles west of Pittsburg, eighteen miles southeast of Youngstown, eighty nine miles east of Cleveland and within a night's ride of Chicago and New York, in one of the most fertile agricultural sections of Ohio.

The present railroad facilities of the city consist of the four track Pennsylvania system. Switches extend from the Pittsburgh, Lisbon and Western Railway within one mile of the city corporation limits, connecting with such lines as the Lake Erie and New York Central.

Five bus lines are now serving the city's traveling public, two extending between East Palestine, Ohio, and Beaver Falls, Pa., via Darlington; one line operating between East Palestine and Salem, Ohio, via Unity, Columbiana and Washingtonville and two lines operating between East Palestine and Youngstown, via Unity, Columbiana and North Lima and from East Palestine to Youngstown via Unity, Petersburg, New Middleton and Poland, giving East Palestine and surrounding cities within a radius of forty miles a network of splendid bus lines, accommodating all outlying territories within the region and making East Palestine the center of their activities.

East Palestine has become the center of a great system of highly improved highways covering all the east, north, west and southern sections surrounding the city.

As a manufacturing center, East Palestine ranks favorably with any city of it size. A striking feature is the diversity of its products. Herewith is presented a list of its principal manufacturing institutions of this city:

The W. S. George Pottery.
The National Tire and Rubber Company.
The Electrical Refractories Company.
The New Tread Tire Company.
The Castle Rubber Company.
The Apex Furniture Manufacturing Company.
Pyle Manufacturing Company.
The National Fireproofing Company.
McClure Wood Ventilator Company.
Madden Lumber and Construction Company.
East Palestine Lumber Company.
Efficiency Electric Company.
The Coll Preserving Company.
The Adamson Manufacturing Company.

The payrolls of these industries aggregate many hundreds of thousands of dollars annually and make this city a truly prosperous community and its merchants are enabled to carry stocks of goods equal to those in the larger places. The labor is for the most part high class, and the morale of the community is therefore of such a nature that it makes East Palestine a desirable place in which to live.

The City of East Palestine and its surrounding territory has been generously blessed with natural resources and its hills and farms within a short distance from the city are still underlaid with thousands of acres of coal, fire clay, cannel, oil and brick shales, and building stones.

The city draws its water from artesian wells northeast of the city and which will be ample to accommodate the city's increasing population for some years to come.

The city's leading industries are engaged in the manufacture of pottery ware, automobile tires and tubes, high pressure steel tanks, foundry work, electrical refractories, preserves and food products, electric wiring devices, wooden ventilators, fire proofing, artificial ice, etc.

One of the newly arrived industries operative to the City of East Palestine and vicinity is orcharding. Columbiana County, in which the City of East Palestine is located, has one half million fruit trees and it is estimated that Mahoning County, Ohio, Lawrence and Beaver counties, Pa., have another half million of fruit trees, making a million fruit trees within easy trucking distance of East Palestine.

Large storage and preserving facilities are being developed in view of making East Palestine the center of the fruit industry in this section of the state. Industrial employment for many years has been continuous and profitable, with the growing tendency of large city industries to seek less congested areas having all city facilities.

East Palestine schools, including senior and junior high schools, are rated among the best in the state, its graduates being eligible to college entry without further examination. Churches of almost every denomination flourish here, as do many of the leading fraternal orders.

Church Organizations. - The United Presbyterian Church of East Palestine is more than four score years old. The first preaching in the town was in 1835 by Rev. David Norwood, a minister of the Associate Church of Mt. Jackson. The organization took place in 1842, conducted by Rev. J. L. Speer. Two of the leading spirits in this move were James C. Taggart ands James Nevin. The first pastor was Rev. Samuel Patterson, who was installed in 1849. He also preached for the Rocky Springs congregation at New Galilee. This church was at one time connected with the church at Darlington. The first building was on a lot adjoining the old cemetery, and was erected in 1838. The next was on the present site and was built in 1853, the ground being donated by elders James Taggart and Robert Chamberlin. This building was on the rear of the lot and served the congregation until 1898, when the present building was erected, and dedicated in the fall of 1899. Rev. David R. Miller D. D., a former pastor, preaching the sermon. At this time the present pastor, Rev. E. E. Douglass, entered upon a pastorate of six years. The following names are on the roll as having been pastors: Patterson, Sturgeon, Houston, Curry, Collins, Winter, Miller, Walker, Gray, Rockwell, Turnbull, Douglass. The present membership is over 350. The Sunday school is about equal the church membership, and steadily growing. There is no debt on the property.

The officers are as follows: chairman of the congregation, C. F. Woods; vice chairman, James McCready; recording secretary, Mrs. Harvey Beight; financial secretary, Mrs. Jennie Quay; treasurer, R. B. Taggart. Members of session: E. E. Douglass, R. F. Taggart, W. S. George, N. B. Patterson, George Eaton, A. C. Taylor, Forb Chamberlin and R. C. McNight. Trustees: J. H. Conley, James McCready, Bert Benton, John Early, R. B. Taggart and Roy Madden. Supt. Sunday school, Forb Chamberlin; secretary, Frank Mayes; treasurer, R. C. McNight.

Grace Lutheran Church, W. H. Oelschlager, pastor. - The first service was conducted in Failer's Hall, Jan. 22, 1911. Services were conducted each Sunday afternoon by Rev. C. D. Fisher and the present pastor, alternately.

This arrangement continued until a permanent organization was effected Aug. 6, 1911. After Sept. 14, 1913, and till the church was built, services were held in the old Disciple Church on Rebecca Street.

The corner stone of the church was laid Nov 29, 1914, and the church was dedicated May 30, 1915. A parsonage was built, and was ready for occupancy Feb. 18, 1918.

There were thirty six charter members; present membership is 270. Church of the Nazarene was organized in March, 1908, with sixty three charter members. As soon as the organization was perfected the church dedicated to "arise and build." They secured the site on which the present church building is located and ground was broken the following May. On Nov. 1, 1908, General Supt. Dr. H. E. Reynolds dedicated the building to the worship of God, and God owned and blessed the new church with an immediate and very productive revival. Rev. Martha E. Curry became its first pastor.

It has a Sunday School enrollment of almost 200, a Young People's Society, a Women's Foreign Missionary Society and a Junior Missionary Society.

The First Presbyterian Church of East Palestine, Ohio, is one of the oldest religious organizations of the city.

The church was organized in 1842 by a committee appointed by the Presbytery of New Lisbon, with a roll of twenty charter members and a session of four ordained elders Joseph Curry, Ralph Martin, R. J. Robinson, and Thomas Hamilton. Not until 1867 did the church become a corporate body with a board of trustees: R. J. Hamilton, president; Joseph Young, secretary; James Boies, treasurer; Adam Palmer, J. W. Fronk and T. S. Hamilton, trustees.

During the more than eighty years of its history the church has been served by the following pastors: the Revs. Roberts, McDermot, Talmadge, Lewis, Stratton, Falconer, Billingsley, Morton, Smith, Miller, Gilmore, Laverty, Hays, Kreuch, Dickson, Howk, Sweezy, Hollister, Kierman, Williams. The present pastor, Rev. D. Porter Williams, came to this church Sept. 1, 1921. The present officers of the church are as follows: session, D. P. Williams, moderator; William Johnson, clerk; L. C. Chapin, J. R. Derringer, T. Moore, O. S. Rauch, H. D. Snyder, George Wilson, Enos Yoder, trustees; T. Moore, president; H. Kachner, vice president; J. C. Williams, secretary; Curtis Beight, M. C. Hotchkiss, William Long, Samuel Sitler, Dr. Van Fossan, Lee Wise, Fred Welling, trustees.

From a small beginning with a plain building and a few members, the church has grown until today the First Presbyterian Church has an active membership of 478 and occupies a large modern brick structure with a seating capacity of about 800 on West Rebecca Street. The building contains a large beautifully lighted auditorium with pipe organ, lecture room, social parlor, pastor's study, large dining room and kitchen fully equipped, and sixteen separate class rooms for the use of the Sunday School.

The Sunday School is fully organized and, including the cradle roll, has a membership of 519.

The First Christian Church, one of the younger congregations of East Palestine, had its beginning thirty one years ago under the leadership of the late Dr. S. M. Dodd, then of Rochester, Pennsylvania. Four local men, neither of whom survive, assisted Mr. Dodd in launching the new movement. According to minutes dated Jan. 9, 1894, the "mission" had within a year organized a church of Christ, maintained a "live" Sunday School and had acquired considerable personal property. The meeting of Jan. 9, 1894 was called for the purpose of appointing and instructing a committee to "complete the work of securing a charter" for the young church.

At present the church has about 400 communicants, and maintains a Bible School and the various other auxilaries that are usually found in the present day congregation.

St. Marys Church. - In July, 1880, the Catholics of East Palestine, then numbering about twenty five families, mostly poor, were organized as a congregation by the Rev. Clement H. Treiber. Previous to July, 1880, they were identified with the parish of St. Rose's at Cannelton, five miles distant, in the diocese of Pittsburg. From 1872 until 1880 the Rev. E. W. J. Lindesmith attended East Palestine from Leetonia on week days, and said Mass in private houses. In August, 1880, Mr. T. Chamberlain donated a lot to the parish at the corner of W. Walnut and Clarke streets. In September of the same year the erection of a frame church, 32x60 feet, was begun on it under the direction of Father Treiber. When finished (in 1882) it cost $3,500. Father Treiber said Mass in it for the first time on January 23, 1881. Neatly frescoed, and tastily furnished with altar, pews, and stained glass windows, the church is a credit to its builder and to the parish; it was dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, by Bishop Gilmour, on June 10, 1883 East Palestine was attended from Salem by Father Treiber from September, 1881, until June, 1887. In January, of the same year, he secured a two acre tract of land two miles from the church for cemetery purposes. Father Treiber was succeeded at East Palestine and Salem by the Rev. W. J. Finucan, whose pastorate, owing to ill health, was of short duration, from June to December, 1887. In January, 1888, he was succeeded by the Rev. Francis Senner, who attended East Palestine at first semi monthly, and later monthly, on Sundays, until his transfer to Louisville, Stark county, in 1897. He left the Mission in a flourishing condition as to temporals and spirituals, and without debt. The Rev. G. C. Schoenemann, of Salem, next had charge of the Mission, giving it the same attendance as it had before, until June, 1898, when the Rev. Joseph J. Clarke was appointed first resident pastor of East Palestine. He remained till January, 1899, when the Rev. Edward Reagan was appointed his successor. One of Father Reagan's first acts was the purchase of a new site for the church and a proposed pastoral residence, in a more eligible location. The ground, situate on Main street, with a frontage of 120 feet and a depth of 190 feet, was bought in the summer of 1899, for $1,250, and paid for in a few months. Father Reagan's health failing, he was obliged to pass the following winter in a milder climate. The Rev. D. Shunk, C. PP. S., supplied his place till his return in the latter part of March, 1900, with health unimproved. He died on April 11, less than a fortnight later. Until the appointment of his successor, the Rev. John J. Boyle, in June, 1900, East Palestine was again attended from Salem. Father Boyle's stay was short, until his death, December 5, 1900. His successor is the present incumbent, the Rev. Joseph Barth.

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