THE CHURCHES AT MORRIS RUN AND ARNOT
There are some fragments of early history regarding these two Presbyterian churches which have come to light. In a worn session book, which was entrusted to this church to preserve, there are records of the formation and revival of the Morris Run church and also of the transfer of some of the members to Arnot, PA. While these two churches, were touched by Mr. Calkins as evangelist they are entirely independent of the Wellsboro congregation. Because of the intermarriage of members the facts here recorded will be of interest to descendants.
The Scotch families of miners gathered in April 1856, requested that they might form themselves into a Christian church. "They have carefully examined the articles of Faith & the Covenant of the Presbyterian church within whose bounds they are located & July 5, 1856, at a meeting appointed for that object they did constitute and organize themselves into a Christian church." They chose Alexander Pollock, elder; William Gilmour, deacon; James Brown, clerk. The members were as follows:
Alexander Pollock Jean, wife of Alexander
James Brown Marion, wife of James
Andrew BAIRD Catherine, wife of Andrew
John Dunsmore Janett, wife of John
Wm. Gilmour Jean, wife of Wm.
Wm WATCHMAN Catherine wife of Wm.
John BAIRD Elizabeth, wife of John
Mary, wife of John Young
Mary, wife of Phillip Roloph
" The church as ordained, embraced in their covenant, the withholding of themselves and their families & their influence from the social dance and the intoxicating cup of beverage." " The church expressed its purpose to unite with the Presbyterian Church." The Rev. Sidney Mills administered the Sacrament on July 5th, and the 12th of October.
Then the record is for May 7, 1858, when John Dunsmore and Janet, his wife, are dismissed to the Presbyterian Church at Blossburg. Robert Logan and his wife, Barbara, presented letters of dismissal from the church at Tamaqua, PA, and were received. David PRYDE and Isabella; James Cameron and Roxanna, his wife; and Mrs. Margaret Snedden were also received on confession. On May 16th, Rev. Wm. Thomson administered baptisms to David, Agnes, and John, children of David PRYDE; Ann Richardson and Isabella, daughters of James Cameron; and James Cameron, son of William WATCHMAN. Mrs. Catherine Young was received by the congregation August 13th and George Snedden the following day. Later in the month Jane, infant daughter of Robert and Barbara Logan, was baptised by Mr. Thompson. Thomas Kerr and Alexander BAIRD joined by profession in November, and in December Jane, the daughter of Thomas Kerr, was bapised. Robert Logan was ordained as elder in May 1859.
The records are silent from this time until 1863, when many of the same families appeared to revive the church. The same session book is used for records, but an appeal is made to the Presbytery of Susquehanna for attaining the right to become a Presbyterian Church; this, is signed by some twenty-one persons. The list is as follows:
Robert and Agnes PRYDE
John and Janet Dunsmore
David and Isabella PRYDE
David Brown and Helen Brown
James R. Cameron
Joseph and Ann Eicken
John and Mary Lyttle
Roxanna L. Cameron
Peter Cameron and Anna Cameron
A Presbyterian meeting in Troy May 3, 1864 granted the request and appointed a committee composed of Rev. John Caldwell, Robert W. McCormick and Alexander Pollock was to do the organizing.
Mr. Robert PRYDE was elder selected and ordained on May 22nd.
On Sunday January 12, 1869, the following were received: Mrs. Sarah Bailey, Mr. and Mrs. John Stevenson, Mr. and Mrs. James Sturick, Mr. and Mrs. John Stevenson Jr.
February 3 1869, Robert Logan records a number of persons who were examined and received:
William Young and wife Ann
James Montieth and wife Elizabeth
Alexander Logan and wife Jane
James Kelly and wife Mary
Robert Irvin and wife Margaret
James HUTCHINSON and wife Ann
James Brown and wife Elizabeth
Henry Guy and wife Barbara
September 5, 1869 Mr. William Young was ordained as elder. Later Mr. and Mrs. Walter Halliday were taken into membership. In 1871 Robert Logan and his wife Barbara asked to be dismissed to unite with the church at Arnot. Soon after, a similar request was made by Mrs. James White, Jr., nee Janet Miller. Then Henry and Barbara Guy removed to Arnot.
Robert Kerr Stevenson, infant son of John and Janet Stevenson, was baptised June 16, 1872, as was James Carbarns, son of James and Jane Nelson. David and Isabella PRYDE moved to Arnot July 20, 1872. December 13, 1874, Janet Kirkwood, daughter of John and Janet Stevenson, was baptised. August 26, 1877, Alexander Dunsmore had his children baptised; William, 15; Annie, 13; Joseph 10; Alexander, 8; Janet, 5; Robert 13 months. James, son of John Stevenson, was also baptised. Robert PRYDE and his wife were dismissed to Arnot.
There are references to the following ministers who were preaching in succession in this church: Robert W. McCormick; Edward Kennedy; Mr. Shumway and Rev. P Camp to 1875. These workers in the coalmines were dependent on what work was offered to them, and of necessity, moved quickly.
Many of their descendants are honored members of the various churches in the Tioga Valley, and Arnot or Wellsboro, while some return to these hills from other parts of the country as to a place where they were born, spiritually. Many stories center aroun the Stevenson, Pollock and Logan families as among those who brought with them from Scotland a love of Christ and of His church and were loyal in a new and strange land.
"An Informational History of the First Presbyterian Church of Wellsboro,
PA the Village and the churches of the county." By Rev. Orrin G. Cocks,
Blossburg’s New Catholic Church a Fine Building.
Blossburg, May 30. – With impressive services the new St. Andrew Catholic church was dedicated here to-day in the presence of a large crowd, which included delegations from Elmira, Corning, Williamsport, Wellsboro, Arnot, Morris Run and surrounding communities. Many non-members of the church were among the participants.
The ceremony, which closed with the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner,” was in charge of Rt. Rev. Monsignor T F. Coffee, of Carbondale, vicar general of the Scranton diocese. Rev. M. J. Kelly, rector of St. Andrew’s parish, celebrated solemn high mass, being assisted by Rev. G. J. Dixon, of Pittston, as deacon, and Rev. John O’Toole, of Honesdale, as subdeacon. Rev. Dr. J. V. Moylan, of Nanticoke, preached the sermon. Forty priests from various parishes throughout the diocese were in the sanctuary.—
St. Andrew’s choir of thirty voices directed by T. V. Keefe, sang Farmer’s mass in B flat. The church organ was augmented by a ten-piece orchestra of Blossburg.
The new edifice replaces a wooden structure erected in 1850, which was blessed by the late Bishop Kendrick, of Philadelphia. It is a brick structure, erected at a cost of $15,000, all of the furnishing being new.
The erection of the church was started last year, during the pastorate of Rev. G. J. Dixon. Last February he was transferred to Pittston and Rev. M. J. Kelly, of Auburn, was sent here. With the assistance of Rev. T. J. Needham, the assistant rector, he completed the work.
The services also marked the silver jubilee of the rector, who was ordained
in May, 1892. Rev. John O’Toole, of Honesdale, who assisted in the
ceremonies to-day, is also celebrating his silver jubilee. He was
formerly stationed at Wellsboro as rector of St. Peter’s parish.