Sunday, November 10, 2013

Uniondale Methodist Church Dedication

The Uniondale Methodist Church Dedication – June 10, 1917

While Greg and I were in Uniondale in September we came across this photo in an Antique store...I knew then that is was from the Dedication of the Uniondale church in 1917. I have talked about this photo in several blogs now. I sent an email to the Uniondale church after seeing the photo and a very nice man named Bill Hix answered my email a week or so later. He felt bad that he had not gotten in touch with me sooner but it had been a busy couple of weeks for the church. He confirmed that the photo is believed to be from the 1917 dedication of the new church building in Uniondale. I had hoped to find some reference to this church event through the Methodist church records but so far I have not found any.

Bill shared with me an article which was authored by a long time member of the Uniondale church who had recently passed away. It was Dorothy Legge. The following is Dorothy Legge article titled Recollection: History and Memories of the Uniondale United Methodist Church

“ In 1885, a group of God's people felt the need to establish a Methodist Church in Uniondale as a part of the Markle circuit. In those day, services were held in the Lutheran Church until 1886. In 1888, the first white framed Church was built one half block north of the present site. A new circuit was formed in 1892 which included Rockford, Sparks Chapel, Emmaus and Uniondale”

 A revival held in 1911 resulted in an increase of membership. By 1916 a new church was started on the present site of the Uniondale United Methodist Church. In order to pay for the bricks, the women of the church made a truck garden on the present parsonage site. The women sold noodles and vegetables in Bluffton. They had a tent at the Bluffton Street Fair where the women sold their noodles and produce. There were 70 – 75 women working on the project. The owner of the Walburn Store(located where Penney's was for many years) told them that he would take all the gizzards they could get. By 1917 Uniondale and Rockford were the only churches left on the circuit.”

The new Uniondale Methodist Church was completed in June of 1917 and on June 10, 1917 the new building was dedicated.....and the photo of the people of Uniondale was taken.

It is interesting how the people are grouped in this photo. The women are standing in the center section which may have been because of the impact that they had on buying the bricks through sales of garden produce and noodles. The men are largely scattered through all sections of these photo standing in groups. There is an interesting group of men int the front far left of the center photo and far right of the left photo. Clearing these men are all standing together as a group. I can't help but wonder if they may be lay leaders and elders of the 1917 church. Both the left and right sections of the photo seem to show families as if they formed after the crowd had already begun to gather for the photo. There are many children in the front center of the photo standing with their mothers or maybe Sunday school classes. And it did not take me long to spot Amanda McGoogan Crites.  She is the short woman dressed in black on right of the center group of women in the second row.  Her Granddaughter is to her right, the young girl with her hand on her hip and Dessie Meeks is standing behind and to the right of Velma.

Center section of the large photo
In the center of the left section towards the back I see a woman who resembles Cora Crites Smith. According to Alvin Smith's WW1 draft record, the Smith's were still living in the area. I am sure that Cora, to honor her Mother's hard work, would be in attendance. There are two young men near her who could be Everett and James Fredrick.

Left section of large photo

The woman who resembles Cora is standing to the right and over the shoulder of the girl in white in the center holding a clutch purse in front of her. Cora may have a "skull cap" type hat on. Everett could be the young man to the left of the young women in white. My first thought was that Alvin was the man standing behind Everett but this man looks a bit too old for Alvin. SO I am not sure. Oh how I wish my Grandfather was alive to ask him about this photo. It is truly amazing to me that it even exists! The left section of the large photo shows more men with a group of women in the center.

Right section of large photo
The right section shows the church building with people standing on the front porch and lingering out front of the church. They seem more like families who have gathered together than the groups who formed in the center of the photo.
These photos would be a treasure of information if all these people could be identified. I can't help but wonder if people could not identify some of these people based on family photos which still exist today. The two men front and center are surely brothers standing proud and tall!

What a great piece of history!

Happy Hunting,


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