History of Dresden Presbyterian Church


written by Mrs. T.M. (Mary Louise Cresap) Stevenson


"Hitherto that the Lord helped us."- 1 Samuel 7, 12


Ohio became a State, November 24, 1802. So when the Presbyterian Church was organized, the State was only
"sweet sixteen" and one month old. The town of Dresden was laid out by Major Jonathan Cass, a Revolutionary officer,who brought his family here, in 1801, and soon after laid out the town, which therefore, is as old as the State.Looking backward, as we should, what of our Nation is that year of our organization-1819? Our Fifth President waswas James Monroe, of Virginia, from 1819 to 1825. Today he is probably the most talked about of any of our former Presidents.


President Monroe and his Notable State Papers


The "Monroe Doctrine" is a Shibboleth to arouse every patriotic citizen, men and women, to enthusiasm. Our newspapers, religious and secular, or Senators and Congressmen, everybody, official and unofficial, are all discussing the Monroe Doctrine, as they believe it to be, for or againt. the "League of Nations."

Nothing has so crystalized and immortalized patriotism in our land, for 1819 to 1919, as the famous Monroe Doctrine. "Friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." and the American continents by the free independent conditionwhich they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European Power. France and Germany tried by sending Maximilian to Mexico; poor Maximilian and poor Carlota. How the past and the present are linked together! 1819-1919! President Wilson has been touring the country showing what he believes to be the harmony between the Monroe Doctrine and the League of Nations."

In 1819, when the Dresden Presbyterian Church was organized, over in England, George III, the Pharoah, who oppressed our forefathers and called our Revolutinary War " A Presbyterian Rebellion" (perhaps with astuteness as Presbyterians always stood for liberty), was still living. ( He died in 1820)

The times of 1819 were similar to those of 1919. an upheaval of the nations was just settling down. France and the "Man of Destiny" had been at war with England, Prussia, Germany and Russia. Bonaparte had been shorn of his power, like Germany today, and banished to St. Helens, as the Kaiser is an exile in foreign land; and on the lonely island in 1819 Bonaparte was then living, grieving, and the world was the, as it is today, drawing long breaths of peace and liberty, after this Wold War.


Some Events of 1819

In 1819 the very first ocean steamer crossed the Atlantic, from Savannah Ga., to Liverpool, Eng. In 1919 our brave aviator have crossed the same ocean in winged ships, by the "sky trail."

In 1819 transportation was by horseback., Conestoga wagons, stage coach, and down the streams in flatboats. Today-1919- it is by autovans, carriages, or by the lightning express, sixty miles an hour, and across the continent in flying machines.

In 1819 the War of 1812 had been adjusted and a treaty of trade and commerce made with England. The "Star Spangled Banner," the anthem of the War of 1812, had been written and sung form Lakes ot Gulf and from Ocean to Ocean. A son of Maj. and Mrs. Jonathan Cass, two of the Charter members of the Dresden Presbyterian Chrauch, Capt. Charles L. Cass, served in teh War of 1812 and was given a sword by the City of Zanesville for bravery. His great grandchildren are members today and active workers, viz., the family of Veda Howell, Mrs. Alta Stilt and Mrs. Mary Crabtree, etc.

Another son of these same Charter members of the Dresden Presbyterian Chruch, Gen. Lewis Cass, was Secretary of War, 1831 to 1836, and Secretary fo State 1857 to 1860, Governor of Michigan, and lastly, Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 1848. You see how this Dresden Presbyterian Church has been in touch with this great nation.

In this notable year of 1819, of the organization of this Dresden Presbyterian Church, another important event took place, viz., a treaty with Spain, who then ceded the whole of the province of Florida to the United States, which she had claimed since 1565. Spain also at that time-1819- settled the boundary of Mexico. It seems to us in the light of late events, the Hidaloys of Mexico don't know this and its will take stronger hand than Spain's to settle that matter.

In 1819 came the beginning of Ohio State legislation as to a canal connecting Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In 1819 the first railroad west of New York State led from Toledo, Ohio, to Adrian, Mich. In 1919 railroads touch nearly every town in Ohio; and Dresden has four.

It was a glorious epoch in which to begin a Church. Therefore, in 1819 the Dresden Presbyterian Church was organized in a log school house, about a mile below Adams Mills, where the main road comes out on the banks of the Muskingum. Since the days of your Pilgrim Fathers the Church and the School house have been closely connected.

The Ministerial Committee, sent by Presbytery that gathered with this little consecrated band of men and women in the log school house in 1819, were: Rev. James Culbertson, of Zanesville; Rev. Mr. Root of Cincinnati; and Rev. Prescott B. Smith, of Irville.

Rev. James Culbertson was the consecrated pastor of Zanesville First Presbyterian Church. He received a call to the largest Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, but declined, saying "his duty lay in Zanesville" and there he lived and served, 1811 to 1844, and died.

Of Rev. Mr. Root, of Cincinnati, we have been unable to learn anything.



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