EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is another article on Findlay-area history adapted from a series written from 1959 to 1974 by the late R.L. Heminger, publisher and editor of The Courier.
By R.L. HEMINGER
The accompanying items were taken from the files of the former Morning Republican in the year 1899:
Pastor must return
The former First Methodist Church found itself with a pastoral problem on its hands in 1899. The annual conference of the church was held in Toledo that year and the presiding bishop, named Andrews, who in the Methodist denomination assigns the ministers to their posts, decided to make a change in Findlay. He announced that Dr. Christian R. Havighurst, the pastor of the Findlay First Church, would become head of the Bellefontaine District. In those days they were called presiding elders. Now they are superintendents. The bishop made known further that Dr. Parker P. Pope, head of the Defiance District, would come to Findlay to succeed Dr. Havighurst.
When the change was announced in the three daily newspapers of the town, members of the church were greatly surprised. Dr. Havighurst had been in Findlay for only two years and was an immensely popular and well-liked pastor. The church board met at once and proceeded to notify the bishop that it wanted Dr. Havighurst back as pastor.
The community became interested because Dr. Havighurst was so favorably regarded by the city as a whole. The newspapers carried complete details of the church board’s meeting.
S.N.E. Priddy, the board chairman, was authorized to name a committee to see the bishop and he appointed W.S. Parker and W.E. Crates who at once contacted the church leader and persuaded him to agree to have Dr. Havighurst return to Findlay. The popular minister came back and stayed in Findlay for four or five more years.
High school alumni
Findlay High School Alumni decided to organize in the fall of 1899 and a group of them met and named officers. There were some 75 in attendance, with all those present having received their diplomas between 1882 and 1899.
None were there from the initial classes, the first of which was graduated in 1873.
W.C. Turley was elected president and H.K. Davis and Miss Rose Kunz vice presidents.
To Florida by water
C.E. Fisher and J.P. Lyne left Findlay in October, 1899, for Florida, but by a route somewhat different from that usually traveled today.
They went to Gallipolis on the Ohio River, and then expected to obtain a boat and float down the Ohio River and the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and then on to Florida via the Gulf.
W. L. Cramer, Findlay architect, was engaged by Mennonites in the fall of 1899 to draw plans for a college to be established at Bluffton. Mr. Kramer and his later partner, Milton Harpster, also drew the plans for the St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Findlay, the county home and the city hall here.
Tell Taylor sings
Tell Taylor was generous with his musical talent when he was a young man just getting started in the entertainment field. He sang for an Elks’ night program late in 1899. His number, “Just Behind the Times,” prompting the old Morning Republican to say “His number brought everyone to his feet and they could not be quieted until he rendered another selection and even then they were not satisfied.”
Other entertainment at the Elks’ event was furnished by a trio consisting of Ed Ways, Lester Scott and Lyle Adams, performing on the mandolin, guitar and piano.
At Marvin Theater
Montaville Flowers, the popular entertainer of some years ago, gave his famous interpretation of “Ben Hur” at the Marvin Theater in October, 1899. Mr. Flowers was known coast-to-coast for his talent in this field. He married Miss Eva Belle Keller, of near Jenera, a daughter of Capt. and Mrs. Jacob Keller, well-known Hancock County farmer, living in the township. Mr. Flowers and his bride had met while they were students at Ohio Northern University, Ada.