APRIL 2016 : 200 YEARS OF UNION PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Last month I discussed the stained glass windows on the west and front sides. Today I will start at the front of the east side. This window honors Rev. Alexander G Morrison 1798-1879.
He was our second pastor and served from 1826 to 1834. In our 200 year history he is the only one of our installed pastors who was born in Colerain Township. Many Morrison descendants have served Union church over the years. They served so well that he is the uncle of 4 other people memorialized on these windows. He preached at Union every Sunday morning and then rode his horse 15 miles, regardless of weather, to preach at Doe Run Church in the afternoon. While at Union he constructed the farm house we know as the Hervey Ferguson home on Morrison Mill road. This house served as Unions manse for 2 years. He left Union for Doe Run and Coatsville churchs and was there until he died in 1879. Union would be without a minister the next 3 years.
The next window honors John Whiteside. He was not from the Whiteside family WE know who were also in Colerain at the same time. THEY were called “The creek Whitesides” because they lived near the Octoraro creek. This family was known as “the other Whitesides”. He was born and died in a house on the Lewis Shoemaker, Sr. farm which is partly a log house. He also owned property in Union and sold the property for the cemetery to the union cemetery association. He also married the niece of our first minister, Rev Elkanah Dare.
The next window honors another Morrison, James g and his wife, Nancy. She is the second woman to make the list. He was an elder from 1858 to 1880 and also served as a trustee. As you may have noticed, most of these people endured the civil war. He also lived in the Hervey Ferguson farm and is in fact the direct ancestor of the family, Herveys grandmother being a Morrison.
The next window is another Morrison, Alexander who lived 1797-1872. He served as an elder from 1844 to 1872. He was the grandson of Gabriel Morrison who came to Colerain in 1750 and bought the large tract of land that remained in the family for nearly 200 years. He at one time owned
“The White Rock Forge” and was a good friend of Thaddeus Stevens.
The next to last window is “In Memory of Rev. and Mrs. James Mackey”. Rev Mackey was born in Colerain Township in 1820. He was one of the very first Presbyterian Missionaries to go to Africa. They arrived in Gaboon in 1850 and within 6 weeks Mrs. Mackey died of African Fever. Two other missionaries with them died when their boat capsized.
The last window on the east side honors William S Martin 1832-1893 who was a prominent lifelong farmer in Colerain Township. His 9th child, Maud was born in 1877. She married Robert Treat Hogg, the son of William Hogg and Esther Hastings. William Hogg was the brother of my Grandfather. Robert Treat Hogg was a world famous cabinetmaker and was selected to restore the furniture in Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
And last, but certainly not least, we have the beautiful rose window in the rear. This window is in memory of Professor James Andrews. He operated the Union Academy, now a house on Academy road where Bob and Audrey Whiteside formerly lived. His grandfather sold the property from his farm for the original church building. He operated Unions High School for many years even though he was partially paralyzed. One of the last teachers to serve there was Mr. Hugh Foresman. He left Union and moved to Chicago where he eventually became president of Scott, Forseman and Company, one of the largest producers of school books in the world. He never forgot his Union roots however, for when Union was thinking about purchasing our pipe organ he donated the money to purchase the console in memory of his wife’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bordley Shippen Patterson in 1931. The Shippen name came from an ancestor who was the first mayor of Philadelphia. Incidentally, in 1879 a reunion was held for the graduates, their descendants and friends of the Union Academy at Union Presbyterian church. People attended from 4 continents. According to the book “One Hundred Years of Education in Colerain Township”, there were nearly three thousand attendees. And now you know the rest of the story.