Freitag, 12. September 2014

Memories of St. Peters - a narration by Anna Eyman Hofacre

I found the following in a booklet that's been laying around for years, and thought you might enjoy.  The booklet was written at the time of the dedication of the educational wing of the church. Annie Hofacre was a sister to Grandpa Charles Eyman. (Greta Wells,


by Anna Hofacre I, Anna Eyman Hofacre, was born May 3, 1875 in a tavern in Apple Creek, once called Edenburg. People traveling by horse and buggy from southern part of Wayne County stopped to eat and feed and water their horses on their way to Wooster. My parents, S. B. and Isabelle Eyman, cared for the tavern for one year, then we moved to West Salem for one year, then back to my grandfather's home, David Eyman, making our home there. This is now the farm owned by my grandson, Delno Orr.
I remember of my great uncle's funeral, Henry Bott. He lived near the old Baptist Church where we once held church services. Rev. Kemmerer, an elderly former minister of our congregation, was called to conduct the funeral service. When the family was being seated for the noon meal, Rev. Kemmerer couldn't be seen. Someone said, "He always rests five minutes before eating," so he was found upstairs resting. Rev. Mayer was called to minister to our flock as soon as he graduated from Heidelburg University, Tiffin. He did many improvements. He organized the Sunday School, The Women's Missionary Society, Ladies Aid; and then the first catechetical class. My brothers Charlie and Alva were in the second class. My brother Ed and I were in the third class with others. This was in 1888. My sister Minnie was confirmed later; all by Rev. Mayer.
We were taught to prepare for the Sabboth as a day of worship and rest. No unnecessary work was ever allowed. When quite small we children with our parents went to S. S. and church in a double-seated spring wagon. Our grandparents went in a low surrey. My Grandmother Eyman passed away in 1884 and Grandfather in 1888. The service for Grandmother Eyman was the first funeral service conducted by Rev. Mayer. I well remember the interior of our church ?? the lovely dark wood of the beams overhead, the Amen corner, two box stoves which heated the church one near center front and one near back. The stoves were about 3 1/2 feet long and 2 feet wide. Men of the congregation gave trees, prepared wood for the stoves and hauled it to the church. Later a second set of stoves were installed to north and south positions in the church. There were two kerosene lamps on each side. There was a black mohair sofa back of the pulpit and a door to exit in front of the church. The ceiling was later lowered because it was too difficult to heat the church.
Peter Fox was our Janitor many years. His son Ward Fox many years. Then Martin Hursh and his son Barkley Hursh many years. Rev. Mayer lived with the Fred Nussbaum Family when he first came to Apple Creek. The parsonage was built when he married. Twenty young men pledged $25 a piece and the rest was soon forthcoming. Adam Deneke built the parsonage. Rev. Mayer preached one Sunday in German; three in English. The congregation at Black Creek, now Glenmont, was part of his charge. Then all services were in English and his salary was raised a little over $450 a year.
I remember attending S. S. as a child. We sat near one of those stoves near the back of the church. Josephine Knoble was my first S. S. teacher. Later Mrs. Fred Nussbaum Sr. was my teacher in a group of girls eighteen years old. When she stopped teaching, I was asked to teach this class. Many years later I taught a class of teenage girls and still later, a junior boys' class. Music has always meant a lot to me. Tamer Clark, who was my first music teacher, was the first organist of our church. She was followed by Hermena Deneke, Ida Brown and by that time I was teaching music and playing the organ at our church. My father directed the choir and later my brother Alva did.
Some of the families belonging to our church in early 1890 were Lautenschlager, Bott, Numbers, Eyman, Nussbaum, Buss and Hartel. Many lasting friendships were made with the wonderful guidance from Rev. Mayer who was loved by all. Other ministers followed to help us ? Rev. Hartzel, Renter, Wolbach, Flohr, Shuey, R. E. Zechiel, Limbacher, Meckstroth, and Charles Zechiel. Over the years many improvements and additions have been accomplished such as basement, the electricity and new organ. Now with the help of Rev. and Mrs. Hartmann we are dedicating this new educational building. May God help us to grow in peace and good will for his Kingdom.

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