MARCH 2016 : 200 YEARS OF UNION PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Today I am going to talk about a part of our building we walk past and marvel at all the time but don't know much about. When the second floor was added in 1898 it was decided to add stained glass windows. Many people offered to sponsor windows in memory or honor of loved ones. Every window has a memorial name on it. We see these names and wonder who they were. Today I am going to tell you who these beautiful windows honored.
Starting over in the corner at the sound booth is James Patterson, 1796-1872. He was easy to find because he is a relative of mine. In fact my great great grandfather was Dr. Robert Patterson Greenleaf. As a twist of fate, my son Robert Greenleaf is also a surgeon. Our Organ console was donated by a descendant of the Patterson family who will be mentioned with another window.
The next window is William S Davis, 1803-1887. He was an elder for 12 years immediately following the civil war. He was one of the original founders of the Union Cemetery Assoc. and his home was what many of us know as the Ted and Barb Pyle farm off Liberty lane overlooking the Octoraro creek. Ray Steen lives there now.
Next is Samuel Morrison. The Morrison family owned a huge tract of land from 472 to Rosedale Rd along the aptly named Morrison Mill Rd. He was an elder during the civil war. His children were a dentist, a Pres. Minister, a civil war veteran and an elder at Union. He had a brother that was the second minister at UPC, another that was a doctor and one that was a Methodist minister. (he was the black sheep of the family)
Next is Sarah Andrews Holmes, one of only 2 women named on the windows. She was the wife of John Holmes. He paid someone $300 to take his place in the civil war, a common practice at the time. He had 2 brothers who WERE in the war, one on each side. The Robert Holmes of our generation is the 7th generation on their family farm.
The next window honors Joseph White, 1825-1894. He was treasure of the board of trustees in 1859. He was a carriage builder. Five generations of Whites attended UPC.
The last window on the west side honors Rev. Samuel Dickey. He was Unions pastor from 1844-1851. He was the son of Reverend Ebenezer Dickey of the famous Oxford Dickey family. At that time they were still in the small original church across the road. There was much growth during his pastorate and they added 15 feet to the end of the church. His salary was $200 per year. Later in his pastorate as the civil war was nearing there was a large split in Union Presbyterian Church. Many members were aggrieved by the position taken by presbytery concerning slavery and left and started the Free Presbyterian Church in Andrews Bridge. (anything sound familiar here ? ) Most eventually came back and in 1940 that building was torn down and the Current Andrews Bridge Mennonite church stands on that site. The Dickeys and Pattersons were early founders and directors of the Lancaster, Oxford and Southern RR, affectionately known as the little old and slow and their first engine, tiny old narrow gauge #1 was named the Samuel Dickey.
The west small round window behind me is A Tribute to Rev. Robert Kirk. He served as Unions pastor from 1891 immediately following his graduation from Princeton seminary until 1905. Unions congregation grew so much during his pastorate that it was deemed necessary to add this second floor to the building. He was an excellent mechanic and oversaw the construction of the sanctuary and personally constructed the oak staircase to the second floor. Rev. Kirk left Union for the Olivet Presbyterian church in Reading, PA
The round front window on the right honors Nancy Elizabeth Richardson. Her father James Richardson was an elder starting in 1859. She was the leader of the choir for many years until her untimely death at age 37 to tuberculosis. Her many friends remembered her by placing the memorial window above the choir loft. Her family owned farmland adjoining the church and cemetery and in 1874 sold 90 perches of land to the directors of the Colerain public schools. The one room school still stands on this lot. Next month I will discuss the other row.
I have an interesting update to March’s talk about the stained glass windows. The rearmost window on the east side honors William Martin who lived from 1832 to 1893. Some of the older of us remember the Martin twins who attended Union when they were younger. James Martin still lives in the farm house east of Kirkwood that William Martin built. James was Colerain’s constable until a few years ago and was often seen at the polls at election time. Both of the twins are still alive and they are the GRANDSONS of this William Martin who was born in 1832. Get that, not great or great-great grandsons. Just plain grandsons of someone born 184 years ago. Incidentally, the Martins led a group that broke away from the Presbyterian Church during the civil war because they felt the church did not take a strong enough stand against slavery and started the Free Presbyterian Church at Andrews Bridge.