Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Sandusky County Garfield Memorial Church of Christ
Scope and Content
The records of the Sandusky County Garfield Memorial Church were donated by Ann Pokorny and Patrick and Jane Perry on behalf of Grace Hutchinson in 2017 to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums.
The Disciples of Christ began their work in the western part of Sandusky County, Ohio in the area known as Quinshan, about two miles from Gibsonburg, Ohio. Meetings were held in residences and school buildings. When a brick school building was erected in 1887, the old frame building was purchased and moved to a corner of the school grounds. Meetings continued in this building, but irregularly.
When the village of Gibsonburg was incorporated in 1871, the area population increased. One Mary Deaunee of Genoa, Ohio, who was affiliated with the Disciples movement, was among the first. She became an early mainstay of the church and was known as “Grandma Deaunee.” George Morris, originally of Cardington, Ohio was appointed the first elder. In 1872, A. C. Bartlett of Elmore, Ohio, became the first pastor of Quinshan. He agreed to preach every fourth Sunday for the entire year. The following year, Q. A. Randall agreed to preach once each month (Saturday evening, Sunday, and Sunday evening) for a fee of $175. In 1875, A. C. Bartlett, once again, agreed to preach monthly for the year of 1875.
On January 30, 1881, at the home of George Morris, the church was formally organized with twenty-six charter members. The “Fowler Lot” was purchased in Gibsonburg and it was decided that a church building, 30 x 40, was to be constructed at a cost no greater than $1,000. By 1884, the building was not yet constructed. Officers decided to hire Eli Reeves as their carpenter to construct as much of the building as could be accomplished with the funds available. In 1883, the congregation became known as the Garfield Memorial Chapel by permission of Mrs. James A Garfield, widow of the late president of the United States. President Garfield had previously been a Disciples pastor and later president of Hiram College. In 1885, Mrs. Garfield presented the congregation with a large pulpit bible for the sanctuary. This bible was donated to the Hayes Presidential Library and Museums and is part of its Bible Collection (#79). Some years later, the name was changed to the Garfield Memorial Church of Christ.
January 14, 1886, Brother J. V. Updike held a 25-day revival meeting. The result was 72 baptisms and one hundred sixty-two members added to the congregation. The “glorious meeting” raised $67.25. That year, women helped the men dig the trench, put up most of the lath, and haul materials with horse and wagon. The lumber was sawed at the old mill at Quinshan. The Ladies Aid crocheted lace, sewed carpet rags at one cent per pound, held suppers and taffy pulls. All told, the ladies contributed $500 and an additional $200. The ladies also donated kerosene side lamps and cane bottomed chairs.
In 1924, the Quinshan Disciples of Christ congregation, located two miles south and two miles west of Gibsonburg at County Road 55 and County Road 32, merged with the village congregation. Membership eventually reached more than one hundred fifty. A parsonage was built in 1928 at 504 East Yeasting Street, however, the stock market crash the following year placed the congregation in debt for the construction. Once again, the ladies of the church through quilting bees, socials, and dinners helped with the financial problems.
Two congregants have served the ministry. Harry L. Leid, affiliated with the Assembly of God, served as a missionary in Indonesia and then at Oakland, California. Ralph Clink served as pastor in Custar and Rudolph, Ohio, and as chaplain of the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky, Ohio. The church celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1981. Due to decreased membership, the Garfield Memorial Church of Christ disbanded in 2004.
Scope and Content
The records of Garfield Memorial Church of Christ consist of thirteen ledgers and several folders of documents related to church activities. The records span the years from 1868 to 1981, however the bulk of the records date from 1868 to 1937. The records contain registers that document members’ names, births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, transfers, and removals. Generally the ledgers contain the church’s official board minutes for the same period of time as the register records. Annual reports from 1966 to 1979, two copies of the church’s undated constitution, membership correspondence, histories, and anniversary booklets are included. Several individual financial ledgers and a Ladies Aid and guest book complete the collection.
Ac. 5985 1 ½ linear ft.
1. 1868 - 1897: Register and Board Minutes
2. 1906 - 1914: Register and Board Minutes
3. 1914 - 1937: Register
4. 1938 - 1946: Register; Board Minutes (1941 – 1945); Financial Records, 1944 – 1946
5. 1947 - 1950: Register; Board Minutes
6. 1951 - 1955: Register; Board Minutes; Board Minutes, Financial Records
7. 1955 - 1960: Register; Board Minutes
8. 1961 - 1975: Register; Board Minutes
9. 1975 - 1979: Register; Board Minutes
10. 1912 - 1924: Financial Records
11. 1925 - 1937: Financial Records
12. 1917 - 1918: Ladies Aid Auxiliary
13. 1955 – 1956: Guest Book
1. Annual Reports: 1966 – 1979, 1981
2. Diamond and Silver Anniversary Booklets, Histories, Miscellaneous Bulletins
3. Membership Correspondence
4. Constitution, n.d. (2)
5. Photograph of Interior of Sanctuary taken by L. Taylor, n.d.