1819- Dresden Presbyterian Church History -1919
written by Mrs. T.M. (Mary Louise Cresap) Stevenson

Fifth Pastor-Rev. James Harrison



The same fall-1836-Rev. Harrison held a series of meetings, with many additions, amoung them who later became the second Gospel Minister sent out by the Dresden Church. He preached for some year in the Presbyterian Church and later in the Episcopal Church.

In 1842 the First Choir of Dresden was organized-a most important event. God wants the best music for his service. Rev. Harrison owned his own house, later the Dr. B.F. Lemert home, and there, under the leadership of a Mr. Stone and through his supervision, the music became of a very superior order and has so continued these seventy-six years, or ever since. Two public concerts were given by this Choir for Mr. Stone's benefit. Mr. Stone later taught music in the city of Wheeling W. VA.

Mr. William Armstrong, a master muscian of Cumberland Md., later trained the choir. We hear now the echoes of some of the voices of that choir; Mrs. Margaret Bailey, a sweet alto to early translated to the heavenly choir, who left children to take her place there and elsewhere later; Mrs. Wm. Armstrong*, saprano, all her life; Mrs. Amelia Ingalls Wallace; Mrs. Matlida Ingalls Cary; Messrs. James Wallace, Alfred Barson, and Patterson Hirst. Mr. Armstrong taught classes of the young people music. He was gentle, sweet-spirited man whom we all loved, and who was full of harmony. He was uncle to Miss Jennie Bailey and sisters, and Mrs. Margaret Bailey was their dear mother.

* note written in magrins of the pamplet, Mrs. Wm. Armstrong became Mrs. Wm. Leggett? Looks to be the hand of either D.M. Ogilvie or Adela Ruth Ogilvie(Ruth O. McCartney),

After Mr. Armstrong's death Mr. Patterson Hirst was choir leader. He also had singing schools which were popular. Mr. Hirst went to war and later became Harry Shore and Samuel Spencer. All praise and honor should be given to these fine leaders, past and present, and to our always most effiecent choir.

Rev. Harrison spent ten years of arduous labor here from 1836 to 1846. Mrs. Harrison was a very hospitable hostess and a good wife and mother. God blessed his work and now there were eighty-nine members enrolled.


Sixth Pastor-Rev. S.P. Hildreth


Rev. Hildreth began his minstry of nearly a quarter of a century soon after Rev. Harrison left. He, too, owned his own house; later John Alloway's home just across from the Church, where he lived unto it seemed neccessary to remove to the Munro home, to be with Mrs. Munro, Mrs. Hildreth's mother, four miles up teh Muskingum. Through the winter's storms, high river and dark nights, Rev. Hildreth never failed to come down for the Wednesday evening prayer meeting and "the monthly Monday Concert of prayer for the Heathen, which will be held in this house on tomorrow evening." as he always gave the announcement on the first Sabbath of each month. There was a special collection taken these first Mondays for Missions, to which he always gave a greenback, after a topical lecture on the Month's Mission Field.

There are a variety of gifts. Paul, Peter and John each had their special talents. Today is is so, and it is well. Some are good pastors, visit the poor and needy and draw the outsider, are what is called a "good mixer." Others are wonderful expostors of God's Word and the hearer grow stronger, mentally and spiritually. Rev. Hildreth which is now forever banished. Three distilleries and their natural fruit-age of woe, then existed here. Vanished forever and also toe one that sprang up later, to the joy of all good men and of many a good and suffering women. Thank God for war prohibition and may He make us sing the Halleluliah Chorus all over the land in November.

When God took Rev. Heldreth the town mourned. During his funeral the business houses of saint and sinner, large and small, were all closed. He sleeps here, with his loving and beloved people and will rise again among them.

In June, 1847, the First Sewing Society of Dresden was organized by Mrs. Maria Force of Hagerstown, Md., a devoted member of our Church. They owned the house opposite the M.E. Church, where Mr. Rambo afterwords built another and lived and where Mrs. Rambo, another elect lady. labored for the W.C.T.U., Church, Missions and Sabbath School, assited by "Mira," very faithfully. The purpose of Mrs. Force, in organizing this Sewing Society, was to raise funds to obtain a Church bell.

The movement was a great success. On Thanksgiving day the bell, weighing 600 pounds, was received from Cincinnati. July 4, 1850, was an auspicious day. The first Church bell of Dresden was rung. We don't know why they wait from November to July. Perhaps, because the women could not hang it. But they could prepare a big , fine dinner for town and give the proceeds for bell and Church ever given in Dresden. So this Presbyterian Church bell, July 4, 1850, sounded the gospel message, first rung in Dresden,"Come, Come, Come," and it has been calling "Come" ever since. It could be heard seven miles. Its tones are music to our ears and we used to imagine it call extended beyond the Mississippi and across the prairies. Five days later, July 9, 1850, this bell was tolled half a day in sorrow, from a telegram announcing the death of our Hero President, General Zachary Taylor, of the War of 1812, He died from over-exertion celebrating the 4th.

In 1848 there was a Commitee elected for the repairing of the Church, consisting of John N. Ingalls, Alfred Barson and Patterson Hirst. A new roof and a new front were added with four beautiful Corinthian columns. The ladies, too, were indefatigable and they sent to Philadelphia for a carpet and to New York for paper with the Corinthian columns. Then the new spire was seventy-five feet high and there were also new inside shutters as well as new windows. The cost amounted to $1,300 or nearly as much as the cost of the Church at first. The hearts of the people were in the work. It was said to be, then, the most tasteful Church in the Presbytery of Zanesville. A great revival followed this beautifying the House of God.

In 1852 the First Pipe Organ ever in Dresden was installed in our Church. We always had had fine music and good instruments, but now! We wondered if David's Choir "of singing men and singing women," which could be heard from Jerusalem to Jericho-twenty miles-was superior to ours.

This choir was trained and led by the spledid musician, William Armstrong, before mentioned, till he died. For a time the organist was Prof. Lihnethal (later of Zanesville). When he played his preludes, interludes and postludes, we forgot everything but-the Heavenly Harmony. Then Mr. James Wallace became organist. He went to Iowa. Other organist were John White Jr., and Miss Lizzie Gilbert-all good.

In 1880 the Church was again remodeled-new pews, floor, pulpit, windows. This treasure of ours was taken down and stored in the George Lemert and Johnson warehouse. The store and warehouse were about where Eschmans's Hall now is. A fire occurred and nearly the whole block went up in smoke, and with it our pipe organ. Cabinet organs and pianos did not satisfy us. Our sorrow at this loss was not assuaged until, through the good offices of our forever beloved pastor, Dr. Macleod, we replaced our pipe organ.

Good music is a great power and is a part of heaven's joys according to the Bible. We are thankful today for our good and faithful organists, Mrs. Spencer and Miss Mary Stump and our excellent choir which hleps us all to worship better.

Civil War

The Civil War came in '61-'65 and many of our people marched away following the country's calls, among them the choir leader, Patterson Hirst. There was also John Bainter, who never missed prayer meeting, and John Poorman, good soldiers. John Bainter gave his life at Murfreesboro. Some were prisoners; all shortened their days for their country. There were too many to enumerate. WE know of one veteran who wore the blud on the church rool, faithful to the flag and faithful to the Church-Thomas Ulrick. Dwight Kain, George Lemert and Dr. Dorsey passed away a few years ago. The anthem of the Civil War was written by women. Sweetly she said:

"In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

With the glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.

He died to make men holy-they died to make man free."

We'll never forget Julia Ward Howe.

Seventh Pastor-Rev. Charles Merwin


Rev. Charles Merwin became our seventh Pastor. He was a very scholarly gentleman and close student and good preacher. Mrs. Merwin was an able assistant. He remained only one year and then accepted a call to a larger field.

Eighth Pastor-Rev. W. F. Millikan


Rev. W.F. Millikan began his labors here in 1872. He was a very quiet, dignified, faithful minister. His services were greatly apprecaited. Mrs. Millikan was a fine linguist and a fine Greek scholar as well as Latin and English. She was also a botanist and well educated along different lines. She was a church worker too, though of feeble health. They labored faithrully for six years and then accepeted a call to Chili, New York.


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