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Full listing > Accession BC2015/1
Accession #BC2015/1
TopicLadoga Area Church of the Brethren: Records
TitleLadoga Church of the Brethren: South Central Indiana District
LocationLarge Box identifed with accession numbers: IS, Unit #1
CitationLadoga Church of the Brethren: South Central Indiana District, BC2015/1, Archives and Church of the Brethren Collection, Funderburg Library, Manchester University, North Manchester, Indiana.
AccessResearchers are responsible for determining copyright status of archived materials where this is relevant to their intended use of the materials.
ProvenanceCollection of the Archives and through donation by Bill Eberly.
Scope and Content

Records of the meetings of Raccoon Creek Church 1899 - 1927, including Bethel and Mount Pleasant congregations.

Raccoon Creek Church Book [1872-1885] including notes that look like sermon topics. This book might have belonged to William Harshbarger:  Some of its contents include:

·         A list of marriages and funerals performed by Harshbarger through 1915 (see back of notebook).

·         Harshbarger's license to perform marriages in Taylor County, Kentucky (1896).

·         Report made by John Pefley and probably William Harshbarger regarding an incident involving Kesler (12 September 1856).

·         Draft of will made by John Harshbarger. Note: Legal version of the will is included in section on "disputes."

·         Miscellaneous materials and notes including the duties of ministers as compared to deacons.

 A notebook recording church meetings and presenting lists of members (circa 1890).  Congregations include Beech Grove New Hope, North Fork, and Sampson Hill. Some names in the notebook include Harshbarger (William), Campbell, Branson and Smeltzer.

Bethel Minutes Record Book and sermon or topic notes (found in the Bethel Minutes Record Book).

Bethel Church Council Minutes 1927 - 1957.


Sunday School Records 1876-1923.

Ladoga Bethel 1896-1898 membership book.

"Star of Hope" hymn book from Bethel  Church of the Brethren.

Ladoga Church of the Brethren treasurer's records 1960 - 1975 (disbanding of congregation).

Handwritten history of Ladoga Brethren Church that closely corresponds to the "History of the Church of the Brethren in Indiana," 1952 edition.

Church Council Minutes from Bethel and Mount Pleasant (1885 - 1886 - 1897).  Note: Mount Pleasant was formed in 1888.

1969 - 100th anniversary program and brief history.  Historical overview, "Contributions to Manchester College from the Banks of Raccoon Creek."

Guestbook with pen documenting those attending the 1969 100th anniversary celebration held at Bethel Church of the Brethren in Ladoga, Indiana.

"Public Sale" notice for the contents of the Bethel (Ladoga) Church of the Brethren (1975).

One bible from the Bethel Church with a handwritten inscription dated 15 September 1908. "On the above date we build and dedicate to the Lord and his service this Rostrum and Seal this testament within this inclosure as witness of our good faith and our sincere prayer so that God may continue his blessings for the future to Old Bethel (as? ) so richly in the past." The signatures of ministers, clerk, deacons (and perhaps others) are included - along with their respective ages.


Disputes and Concerns:

The "Will" of John H. Harshbarger. John H. was the brother to Rev. William R. Harshbarger.  John was married to Amanda Harshbarger (possibly his second wife?).  His children were Oliver W. Harshbarger, Samuel M. Harshbarger, William F. Harshbarger, and Nannie (Harshbarger) Jeffries.

After moving to the Ladoga area, are Joseph and Lydia Kenney (Kinney?) in good fellowship with the Brethren in Virginia?

20 April 1833 letter from  Daniel Bowman and Joseph Bowman, Jonesborough, Washington County, Tennessee to Peter Zell of Putnam County, Blakesburgh, Indiana, regarding membership letter.


Letter from Byrd Webster 25 January 1872 to Brother Robert Meiller (Robert Miller?) requesting reconciliation over the matter of meeting attendance.


Ella decides to leave the church.




Date of Accession01 January 2015
Bio History Note

Primary source material for Ladoga area Brethren: Raccoon Creek, Cool Spring, Bethel, Mount Pleasant, Little Walnut, Bethany, Ladoga, including but not limited to: Congregational minutes, histories, sermon notes, financial records, and transfer of membership letters (19th and 20th century) including Brethren from Four Mile (Indian Creek) congregation.

A description of the formation of the Ladoga, Indiana congregations can be found on pages176 - 180 of the book, "History of the Church of the Brethren in Indiana," 1952 edition.

Four Mile (Indian Creek) congregation (Union County, IN), was the first Brethren settlement in Indiana.  Along with other Brethren, some members from Four Mile (circa 1827 - 1830) moved to the Ladoga area and helped populate Big Raccoon Creek. A short time later a substantial group of Brethren from Botetourt, Virginia strengthened their numbers.

Bethel was the area's third "house" situated 1 1/2 miles north of Ladoga.

From histories read by the archivist, it is not apparent that these letters have been previously described or documented.  Without this information, the histories to date might be flawed.  An example:  Elder William R. and "Mary" Smith are noted as one of the first Brethren to settle on the Big Raccoon Creek.  However, if their letter of transfer is accurate, the name of "Mary" is wrong, and should be "Martha" Smith.

The Archivist could be mistaken, but believes that these letters were held by Ladoga Church of the Brethren.

Archivist Note

These materials regarding congregations of the Ladoga, Indiana area (formerly the Southern District and now part of the South Central District of the Church of the Brethren in Indiana) were brought into the archives at various times.  Congregational meeting and record books were part of the Archives prior to 2006, but had not been described or accessioned.   

In January or February of 2006, former archivist, Elizabeth Allen, notes in an email to Rob Gratz (library director) that Bill Eberly donated "...quite a collection of items on various Indiana CoB congregations, and one of his two collections of membership letters." She goes on to say, "Today he brought the Ladoga congregation's batch.  There are fewer in German than he thought.  These are fragile but valuable primary sources..." Jeanine believes that many of these membership letters were folded tightly and contained in a metal box. Jeanine unfolded these letters in 2006 and kept them in the Flat File for safe keeping. Elizabeth also comments, "His other batch is from churches up toward northern Kosciusko Co., but he's working with those to publish an article with the Sate Historical Society including names, dates, and where they came from."  " He plans to deposit them with us when he's done." Archivist, Jeanine Wine, questions whether the Kosciusco letters might have been brought to the archives following Bill's death and might be described as BC2011/25g {located in Flat File Drawer C}. Another batch of letters that might apply to the Ladoga congregations was discovered by Jeanine Wine in another box in the Archives and was added to Flat File Drawer C (along with the original group of Eberly letters).  Unfortunately, this batch of letters [Eberly's metal box, Eberly's second installment, pre-existing letters already in the archives] did not get processed until the end of December 2014 and January of 2015. Lisa Iverson, a volunteer working in the Archives, did process, encapsulate, and describe some of the letters prior to 2014 - however, Jeanine Wine suspects that the Ladoga Eberly letters (metal box), and the additional letters found in another box, might have been mingled. A researcher must investigate these names and congregations to see if they all pertain to the Ladoga area. Also - other Ladoga materials found in the Archives are included in the box identified as BC2015/1, including minutes and notebooks. This description is being prepared December 2014 and January 2015 by  Jeanine M. Wine.


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