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This is an article from the October 1, 1942, North Vernon Sun.
No author is given for this article, it appears it was written for the 100th anniversary of the Church.


    The history of Cana church must necessarily take us back to the beginnings of Methodism in Indiana.
    The Kentucky District, which was the first district to include any Indiana territory was the Salt River and Shelby Circuit formed in 1801.
    The first reliable record of preaching in Indiana was at a settlement called Springfield, which was located in Clark's Grant. Two local preachers Samuel Parker and Edward Talbott crossed the Ohio River and conducted a two day meeting.
    In 1802 William McKendree, the presiding elder of the Kentucky District, had the honor of establishing the first official Methodist Classes ever formed in Indiana, one was at Charleston and the other at New Chapple.
    In 1803 Benjamin Larkin made arrangements to preach regularly at Charleston and also at the Robertson neighborhood just five miles north of Charleston.
    The Silver Creek Circuit was organized in 1807. It probably extended from Madison on the Ohio River west to Perry County and north to Brown, Bartholomew and Decatur counties, this included our county. This region had been in the Salt River and Shelby Circuit.     Indiana Methodism now starts on its career. Camp meetings were held on each circuit at sometime during the summer months. Moses Ashworth, the first circuit rider over this territory, closed his first year with a camp meeting at the Robertson neighborhood. This was probably the first camp meeting held in Indiana.
    In 1808 a new District was added to the Western Conferance and received the name of the Indiana District, which was the first time the name Indiana appears in Methodist history.
    Silver Creek Circuit appears in church minutes for the first time in 1808.
    The summer of 1816 was cold and the supply of grain was very limited. As a result many people came down the Ohio River and settled in Dearborn, Jennings, Switzerland and Washington counties.
    In 1835 a successful camp meeting at Paris added 84 members to that church.
    The first mention found of Cana in minutes is on Paris Circuit in 1863, but in earlier years, the different appointments of circuit were not recorded, the numbers of churches were sometimes, but not always given. The Cana Class must have started from the Paris Circuit or very early in its history been added to that work.
    Before a church was built, Sunday School, class meetings, prayer meetings and preaching services were held in an old log school house located on what is now known as Upper Cana Corner.
    One hundred years ago, September 7, 1842, a piece of land was deeded to the Cana class as a building site for a church
Copy of Deed
    On September 7, 1842, James E. Wilson and Charlotte his wife deeded to the Methodist Episcopal Church, before Daniel Hill, Justice of the Peace, a tract of land 13 poles, 5 feet and six inches, north and south, and twelve, east and west. This deed was recorded October 6, 1842.
The Trustees were:
    George Wilson, Samuel A. Keith, Andrew Wilson, Preston Stuart (Stewart), William Sage.
    James E. Wilson who deeded the land to the church, may be a brother to Campbell Wilson but I was unable to get dates of his birth and death and the name of his wife. George Wilson is probably George Campbell Wilson (1815-1881)father of Knox Wilson. Penelope Rowland, Lou Conner, and Elmer Wilson, great-grandfather of Velmar Slarp. Samuel A. Keith, no record found, Andrew Wilson (1791-____). He is grandfather of Victoria Bradley and Arthur Wilson, and great-grandfather of Marcellus Wilson and Altha Buckles. Preston Stuart (Stewart) 1810-1882 is grandfather of Mrs. Adam Wiesman. William Sage is also great-grandfather of Marcellus Wilson and Altha Buckles.
    No history of the first building, was found except it was a frame building built on wooden pillars and was never painted. It might be of interest for you to know that Harbin and Penelope Rowland were married in 1861 by brother John Gasaway, a local preacher in the Cana class and after the wedding ceremony all went on horse-back to this old church to hear brother Gasaway preach.
    In the early days the churches had more local preachers and exhorters than we have now. Two other local preachers were Dennis Willey and Isaac Rowland.
    As membership of the church increased it was decided that a better building was needed so the old one was torn away and a large frame building was built on the same site in 1869. While the new building was under construction, meetings were in held in Uncle Campbell Wilson's hay-press which stood across the road from the present home of his great-grandson, Velmar Slarp.
    Everybody seemed to realize that this building was needed and responded in any and every way that they could to help. Some donating timber, others hauling the logs to the saw mill which was owned by Uncle Adam Wiseman, but was located over in Scott county on the Charles Cruzon farm, about one mile east of Tobias Ford on Creek's Creek.
    Uncle Adam Wiseman gave some fine poplar trees, and his son Adam, at the age of fourteen, helped to haul these logs to the mill. Two horses and two oxen were used and his work was to ride one of the horses and drive the oxen.
    Uncle Jacob Stewart furnished the lumber for seats. After these logs were hauled to the same mill and cut into timber, the lumber was hauled where the old Lower Cana school house stood. Larged forked sticks were driven into the ground on which this lumber was stacked, then logs were burned under it to kiln dry or season it.
    Brother Isaac Rowland was a cabinet maker and made the pulpit stand for this church.
    The Cana Ladies Aid was organized in 1913 by J.G. Moore with Mrs. Ida Slarp the first president. The women had always helped in many ways before but now they were an orgainzed group to help financially, socially and spiritually.
    For over sixty years this building was used as a place for worship. Here many sinners had found Christ for their personal Savior. Here many times the Christians had felt a gracious outpouring of the Holy Spirit and been made to rejoice in the Fathers love. Here in sorrow many had taken loved ones for their last service. The building was associated with their joys and their sorrows.
    On June 24, 1930, at about midnight this building with all its interior furnishings, burned. Again the Cana congregation went to the Upper Cana school house and held their services while this present building was being built and again as did their forefathers the people responded with donations and help.
    Jacob Slarp and Dora Rowland gave trees for lumber, Mrs. Will Humphrey, step-daughter of Ivan Wilson gave gravel for foundation. All the work was donated, except that of the head carpenter, Meade Stewart. This church was built at a cost of $1,600.00--$1,200.00 from the insurance and $300.00 from subscription.
    The seats were bought from a church in Indianapolis, but most of the other inside furnishings were donated. Uncle Harbin Rowland gave chairs and pulpit stand. Koveners & Sons gave pulpit rug and an organ. Mrs. Henry Olverson, the pulpit Bible. Frank and Bessie White gave three Aladdin lights, one for each of them and one in memory of Mrs. Brady, Bessie White's mother, and they also gave lanterns for the porch.
    Later when rural electrification came by the church, Olive Olverson Vandermuller and her husband put in the electric lights and provided for their maintenance; gave the piano, redecorated the interior of the church in 1941 and gave in memory of Irene Olverson Vandermuller's father and mother the venetian blinds and the picture "The Good Shepherd." The Ladies Aid gave aisle mats and refinished pews.
    The church was dedicated Sept. 6, 1931, eleven years ago today, (Sept. 6, 1942). Rev. N.C. Pfieffer was pastor. Dr. Summer L. Hutchins, District Superintendent, of Seymour District, preached the dedicatory sermon and Rev. A.M. Couchman helped with services.
    Sarah Bridges, (Mrs. George Bridges)on July 16, 1879, sold at tract of land, two acres more or less, to the Cana Methodist Episcopal Church for $50.00. The land to be used as a public burying ground. There is no record of the Trustee's of the church at that time but on October 26, 1886, Sarah Bridges conveyed a roadway to Trustee's of Cana Methodist Episcopal Church from the road to the cemetery and the Trustee's at that time were John E. Wilson, Harbin H. Rowland and Wilson M. Morrison.
    Later additional ground was needed for the cemetery and on September 8, 1927, the Cana Methodist Episcopal Church bought a tract of land from Tommy Bridges, son and heir to that part of Sarah Bridges estate.
Following is a list of Pastors of Paris Circuit:

1842 William Maginnis
1843 William Maginnis and E.W. Cadwell
1844 No Record
1845 John W. Mellander
1846 John W. Mellander
1847 Amos Bussey
1848 Amos Bussey
1849 Daniel M. Holmes & Aaron Long
1850 Daniel M. Holmes & Othneil Bruner
1851 Elija W. Burris & William Sheets
1852 Eli M.H. Fleming & William W. Bailey
1853 John Miller & S.W. Sinclair
1854 Isaac Chivington, one to be supplied
1855 S.B. Falkinburg, one to be supplied
1856 William Maupin
1857 William Maupin & William H. Sheets
1858 Ephriam Wright
1859 S.B. Chamberlain
1860 Jesse Brockway, (eight appointments but not names)
1861 E.L. Dolph
1862 E.L. Dolph

Some or all of these may have preached at Cana. Cana named on Paris Circuit from 1863 to and including 1867.
1863 J.B. Morrison
1864 A.M. Marlett
1865 W.O. Pierce
1866 To be supplied
1866 J.O Pell
1868 E.T. Spencer
1869 A.M. Thornton

1870 No record in minutes of either Paris or Crothersville Circuit.
1871-1872 Paris not mentioned these two years. Six churches on Crothersville Circuit but not named. (Cana is very probably one of them.)

Crothersville Circuit
1871 W.R. Lathrop
1872 W.R. Lathrop

Paris Circuit
1873 I.W. Allen
1874 I.W. Allen

Crothersville Circuit not mentioned.
1875 First mention of Cana in Crothersville Circuit. Crothersville Circuit
1875 C.C. Clouds
1876 B.F. Owens
1877 S.A. Bright
1878 W.W. Reynolds
1879 R.L. Kinnear
1880 J.T. O'Neal
1881 J.T. O'Neal
1882 T.W. Northcott
1883 Adam Scott
1884 A. Scott
1885 A.M. Lowden
1886 A.M. Lowden
1887 A.M. Lowden
1888 J.M. Norton
1889 J.M. Norton
1890 I. Turner
1891 C.S. Norton
1892 W.B. Grimes
1893 W.B. Grimes
1894 Charles S. Norton
1895 C.S. Norton
1896 G.S. Henninger
1897 G.S. Henninger
1898 J.P. Maupin
1899 J.P. Maupin
1900 F.H. Collier
1901 F.H. Collier
1902 W.G. Abbot
1903 ____ Bolton
1904 ____ Harvey, (a short time C.J. Keltch.)
1905 George Church
1906 George Church
1907 C.H. Rose
1908 C.H. Rose
1909 F.S. Burns
1910 J.F. Blotcher
1911 J.G. Moore
1912 J.G. Moore
1913 J.G. Moore
1914 A.D. Bentley
1915 J.W. Weekly
1916 J.W. Weekly
1917 R.S. Hendrix
1818 R.S. Hendrix
1919 R.L. Bostic
1920 W.H. McGown
1921 W.H. McGown
1922 J.S. Washburn
1923 Harry Upchurch
1924 William McFadden
1925 G.E. Lowry
1926 B.K. Johnson
1927 B.K. Johnson
1928 B.K. Johnson
1829 N.C. Pfieffer
1930 N.C. Pfieffer
1931 C.L. Wilson or George Thompson of the Blotcher Circuit

Blotcher Circuit:
1932 George Thompson
1933 George Thompson
1934 J.M. Austin
1935 J.M. Austin
1936 J.M. Austin
1937 A.K. Pritchett
1938 A.K. Pritchett
1939 M.L. Tullis

Crothersville Circuit
1940 Mrs. Bessie Edwards

Dupont Circuit
1941 Charles Vandever
1942 M.L. Tullis

    We have seen how lay members sacrificed, three times erecting a building that a special place of worship be kept. We have also seen how the early ministers must have labored and sacrificed to care for as many as eight churches, in territory extending from Paris to Crothersville. The salary was small then as compared with present, but we realize living expenses were not so high. The minutes of 1868 gave the salary of J.P. Pell as $500 on a circuit of five churches.
    May we and our posterity have this same spirit of sacrifice and devotion as our fore-fathers have borne in that this church may continue to stand as a monument to show our love to God and Man.     May we as members and friends of this church take the message of the following verses with us.

Evening darkens into night
Deeper shadows gather fast
And another day is past
And another record made
Never more to change or fade,
Till the book of doom unsealed,
Every thought will be revealed,
And a judge upon his throne,
Shall my destiny made known.
Have I watched and have I prayed
Has my trust on God been staid?
Have I kept my armor-bright?
Am I nearer home tonight?

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