Our History

WE’RE HERE FOR GOOD

For more than 150 years the First Pesbyterian Church of Carbondale has been a presence for good.

In 1852 the first Presbyterian sermon was given in an unfinished log cabin in month-old Carbondale.

In 1854 the First Pesbyterian Church of Carbondale was organized.

Between the years of 1856 to 1859 our first church was built.

Milestones

TIMELINE OF MAJOR MILESTONES

1852 – 2006

1852: August 29, site and land for Carbondale was secured.

1852: November 24, town laid out, 4 lots reserved for churches.

1852: December, 1st Presbyterian sermon preached in Connor’s unfinished log cabin (2nd house).

1853: January 4, first Presbyterian record book started.

1854: February 13, “First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale organized.

1856: Daniel Brush home was built on southwest corner of Main and Normal.

1856: First Presbyterian Church was begun at 210 West Monroe.

1859: July 12, building completed. Total cost was $3,642.50.

1859: September 24, the new church was dedicated.

1867: The building was repaired and a new furnace added.

1893: Electricity was installed; plans for buying a lot for a new church began.

1900: (approx.): Mission at 310 E. Birch was established. It was supervised until 1925 by Miss Amanda Templeton, David Kenney’s relative.

1902: December, two lots purchased on Normal Avenue at Elm for a new church building.

1904: January, Isaac Rapp, one of the builders of the first church, began construction of the building. His two sons were the architects. The original church at 210 W. Monroe Street was sold.

1906: In May, the debt was liquidated.

1906: June 23, the second (new) Presbyterian house of worship was completed.

1906: June 24, first church services held (1st pipe organ in Carbondale).

1907: The second Sunday of July, dedication service was held.

1922: A manse was built at 302 W. Elm, the rear of the church lot.

1952: On March 28, lots to the north of the church are purchased.

1953: “Centennial Advance” Program for building an Education Wing began. At completion the building addition costs were $80,000.

1953: November 8, Centennial Sunday- speaker reviewed history.

? Three lots west of the church were purchased to provide parking space.

1967: A Christian Education wing was added at a cost of $130,000. The stone from the original building was used across the University Ave. side of the new addition.

1952: Mrs. Miller was the only women up to that year to serve as a Trustee of the church.

1953: In December, the front of the sanctuary, which had been newly redecorated, was destroyed by fire which started in the furnace/steam boiler below the pulpit. It was immediately redone.

1954: A new organ was purchased and Alice Milligan became the first female Elder.

1955: The new educational wing cornerstone was laid.

1962: The Grand Avenue Mission site was brought and Gordon and Violet Parrish donated five acres in Parrish addition in memory of their son Archelle. Camp Carew on Little Grassy Lake became a church focal project. Church membership totaled 750.

1965: A proposal to extend the building to the west from the 1955 addition was accepted.

Late 1960’s: Teenagers were asked to serve as Deacons, Elders and Trustees.

1968: First Presbyterian Nursery School Program for four-year-olds was started by Mary Ann Booth, Karin Lanchester and Clara Mc Vicker.

1972: First Presbyterian Child Development Center began with six infants with Joan Lougeay as director.

1973: The church became the “kitchen” for home delivered meals for persons 60 and older in October.

1974: “The Golden Goose”, a dining center for senior citizens began in the church dining room and continued there until it outgrew the facility in 1976.

1975: The congregations sponsored Vietnamese refugee Kim Nyugen and her three children with Evelyn Engelking serving as co-coordinator.

1980: A Major Mission Fund effort was undertaken and over $51,000 was raised. Half went to missions and half was used to protect the stained glass windows and repair the organ. Bonds were sold to repair and replace portions of the roof.

1987: The former manse, just west of the rear of the church was renamed Covenant House and became a site for Christian Educational classes.

1988: Continuing in the church office were: Carolyn Hooker, Secretary and Carolyn Jefferson Pastoral Assistant.

? A Major Mission Project including a fellowship hall is begun.

2001: Reverend Janice West was installed.

2002: Exterior construction of a new addition, including a fellowship hall is completed.

2004: A new mission statement is adopted: Seeking the Faith, Sharing the Spirit, Serving God’s People.

2006: June 14 is recognized as Centennial Sunday for our original church structure.

Daniel Harmon Brush

Daniel Harmon Brush

Daniel Harmon Brush was born April 15, 1813, in Vergennes, Vermont. When he was 7, His family moved to Greene Co. IL. His father died same year. Daniel helped hold the homestead together for 8 difficult years. His mother remarried and moved to Sangamon County. In 1828, Daniel moved to Jackson County to live with his older sister, Mary, who had married Alexander Jenkins.

From 1837-47, Mr. Brush gained political experience working for Jenkins and Mr. Joel Manning.

In 1841, he chose Julia Etherton, to be his wife. They parented nine children; three died quite young.

During the early 1850’s, Brush saw the possibility of a town on the new IC railroad. He chose a location, gathered support, purchased land, and helped found the Carbondale in 1852.

Daniel built the first business house, sawmill, bank and freight office, and was the first station agent. In 1854, the family from Murphysboro to Carbondale to live with his widowed sister-in-law, Jane. Jane was Julia’s sister, the widow of Daniel’s brother, James. Daniel, dismayed at her second marriage, assumed responsibility for six of her children when Jane died in 1954.

Daniel owned 10 acres where Brush School & later Carbondale Public Library were built. He had a fine new home built for his family and moved in July, 1857.

The total cost, exclusive of land value, was approximate $9600, for those times a huge expenditure.

On Sept. 24, 1859, Daniel and Julia became members of the newly built Presbyterian Church. Mr. Brush was a pious Christian, church-goer & strict Sabbath-keeper.

During the Civil War, Daniel served with discipline, determination, and order. Brush set such high standards that he was often considered stern & unsympathetic. At one point, the Colonel was arrested upon complaints from his enlisted men. He was cleared of all charges.

Returning home, Brush established a law practice, a coal mine and newspaper. April 29,1866, Colonels Brush and Ingersoll were marshals of the first Memorial Day celebration held in Carbondale’s Woodlawn cemetery.

Julia died in 1867. Daniel remarried, a New York lady. She was happy with Colonel Brush, yet never adjusted socially to the small Midwestern community. Following his 1890 death, she returned to the East.

February 10, 1890, workmen tried to fell a tree near West Side School and the Brush mansion. In trying to help, Daniel tied a rope from the tree around his wrists. When the tree fell in an unexpected direction, Daniel Harmon Brush was catapulted into the air and slammed into the ground. Resulting injuries caused his death.

In his later years, Daniel Harmon enjoyed financial success and community respect, though he was considered quite a “character”. His did not favor his youngest son and daughter in his will. Richard and Nora did not reflect the rigid standards Brush held for himself. This caused a split in the family which endured for many years.

Julia Etherton Brush

Julia Etherton Brush was born around 1820 in Jackson County IL. Julia married Daniel Harmon Brush in November of 1841.

Together they had nine children. Sadly, three, including their first-born son, Rowland, died young. In 1854, when her sister Jane died, Julia took the added responsibility of raising the six younger children of Jane and James Brush. James had died of cholera in 1849.

Daniel Harmon had a lovely home built for his family on Main Street. It was located in area between the old post office post office and the present library.

Julia and Daniel joined the First Presbyterian Church

in September of 1859. In the original church, on Monroe Street, they sat in pew 40. Possibly, several of the eight children baptized that day were theirs.

Julia had the majority of care of their home and family, while Daniel was involved in founding the town, building up his businesses, and serving in the Civil War, She died in 1867, after 26 years of marriage to Daniel. That year Daniel Harmon, Jr. entered West Point. Their two youngest children, Richa-rd Dunning, age 8 and Nora, age 4, were left motherless.

Daniel Harmon Brush’s Tribute to His Wife Julia Etherton

“Julia was a perfect and most loveable girl. She was a blessing to me as wife, true and faithful to the end, and in her motherly love for our children she could not be excelled.

She had been born and raised to womanhood in this county and did not have the advantages of education in schools that she deserved.

She had, however, a good Christian mother whose influence in her training was the best, so that her home life was pure in its teaching and perfect in forming an earnest, positive Christian character.

Modest and retiring in her disposition, her home was her theater of action and her motherly love the specter by which she ruled her household.

Twenty-six years she was my helper and the cherished guardian of my home, and then her God took her. Her surviving children may well rise up and call her blessed.”

The Family Monument in Woodlawn

Daniel Harmon’s father’s will provided for a monument at his burial site. Long after Elkanah’s death, the location, “under a spreading oak”, near his log cabin home, could not be identified. The bequest was modified and the tall monument in Woodlawn Cemetery was inscribed:

“ This stone is erected by the sons of Elkanah Brush to his memory. He was born in Vermont, March 7, 1762 and died in Greene County, Illinois, July 11, 1821. In the fall of 1820 he migrated to Vergennes, Vermont with his family consisting of his wife Lucretia and their children, Mary, Daniel Harmon, James and Rowland, Jr, the eldest nine and the youngest one year old, and settled at a point afterward named Bluffdale making the whole distance with horse teams and being the first to take wagons to the region where he located, then in the wilds of Illinois.

He built a cabin of rough logs for his family residence, broke land and put in crops and died. Also in memory of our mother Lucretia who died December 14, 18,47, aged 68; Sister Mary who died May 1, 1841, aged 30; Brother James who died June 10, 1849, aged 33; and brother Rowland R. who died March 9, 1880, age 60. Beloved in Life! Your memories we fondly cherish. Rest in peace.

Josiah Wood

Josiah Wood is credited with preaching the first sermon delivered in Carbondale, Illinois, December, 1852, The site, an unfinished log cabin of Asgill Connor, was located on the north side of Main Street where the present Methodist Church stands. Wood, from Old Du Quoin, lived in Murphysboro. He later moved to Carbondale.

D. H. Brush’s memoirs report that he and Josiah Wood chose lot 59, in the southwest part of town, a lot set aside for churches, as the Presbyterian Church site.

February 13, 1854, Wood formally “organized” First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale. Seven residents became members. His status as an “official minister” is not certain. He was Clerk of the Session in 1854 and preached at intervals in Carbondale. He had experience as a preacher in Old Du Quoin, Murphysboro, and Tamaroa between 1843 and 1870.

John Asgill Connor

Connor was a co-founder of Carbondale. Though never a church member, John Asgill Connor played a vital role in establishing First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale. The first book of trustees records: January 4, 1853, Josiah Wood helped select Lot 59 on behalf of the Presbyterian denomination, “for the purpose of erecting thereon, a house of worship”. A subscription paper was drawn up and “some money subscribed” to be paid to Asgill Connor and William Richart. They held these funds until “properly elected trustees were qualified to hold said property and proceed with the erection of a church thereon.”

Asgill loved farming and was Jackson County’s first scientific farmer, introducing: red corn, red sweet potatoes and new varieties of grapes. His banana and cotton growing experiments were innovative to the area. In 1858, The Chicago Press & Tribune reported: Mr. Connor “grew remarkable fine wheat, weighing 65# a bushel.”

Mr. Connor died in 1875, leaving Margaret, his wife, sons Benjamin and James, and daughter, Frances.

Julia Ann Etherton

JULIA ANN ETHERTON BRUSH VISITS THE WOMAN’S CLUB OF CARBONDALE

Julia was born July 14, probably 1826, in Jackson County IL…likely at the family farm near Brownsville. Three different sources, including her marker in Woodlawn Cemetery have different dates (1820-26) She was the daughter of Samuel and Charlotte Etherton. She had seven siblings…three older and four younger than she.

Julia was home educated and trained in the skills needed for being a good wife and mother. These she learned well and practiced extensively in later years with a brood of twelve youngsters in their home over the years.

In November, 1841, Julia was married to Daniel Harmon Brush. Their marriage lasted 26 years, until her death in 1867.

As Mr. Brush put it:

I felt I was still on the gaining side and could afford to take a wife. For some time I had been attracted to Miss Julia Etherton who lived with her family on a farm on the Ridge about six miles south of Brownsville, on the main road leading from St. Louis to Cairo. I had know her since she was eight years old. She was good looking, of modest deportment and retiring disposition, healthy in body and bright in mind. If Julia Ann Etherton Brush were to share the essence husband, Daniel Harmon Brush, she would probably share some of these memories:

Daniel Harmon was born April 15, 1813, in Vergennes, Vermont. The family to Greene Co. IL, in 1820, built a small cabin, and put in crops. Father Elkhanan took sick, and died late that same year. The family was left in dire straits. The family toiled for the next 8 years to keep the homestead together.

In early fall of 1828, his mother, Lucretia Harmon Brush, remarried and moved to Sangamon County with her husband. 15-year old Daniel lived briefly with the new couple, but his step-father seemed to make him feel unwelcome.

Later in 1828, with no place to go, Daniel moved to Jackson County to live with his older sister, Mary, wife of Alexander Jenkins.

Between 1837-47, Daniel worked for Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Joel Manning. He learned much about government service and politics while serving as a clerk and aide to these men.

In 1841, it was my honor to become Mrs. Daniel Brush. As Daniel’s wife, I bore nine children. Sadly, three died as very young children.

Daniel learned the rudiments of shopkeeping, and made grueling trips down the Mississippi to New Orleans with produce to trade at market.

These ventures yielded little profit.

The early years of our marriage were difficult. We lived in Murphysboro, much of the time in structures that contained Daniel’s various business ventures. He held several county offices at the same time. Daniel worked hard and finally achieved some financial success.

In the 1850’s, Daniel Harmon saw the possibility of a town on the new IC railroad. By 1852, he had chosen a location, gathered support, and purchased land, for what is now Carbondale, Illinois. I was so proud of his efforts.

Daniel built the first business house, sawmill, bank and freight office, and was the first station agent.

In 1854, we moved to Carbondale to live with my sister, Jane, who had married Daniel’s brother, James. James died in 1849. Jane remarried. Daniel strongly disapproved of her second marriage.

Mr. Blanchard seemed to want only Jane’s house and estate. Jane died in 1854. Daniel sought and got guardianship of our 6 nieces and nephews. I became their “Mother”.

Daniel owned 10 acres including the area where Brush School & later Carbondale Public Library were built. He had a fine home built for us. We moved in July, 1857.

The total cost, exclusive of land value, was approximate $9600. For those times that was a huge expenditure. It was a lovely home. I was blessed.

Sept. 24, 1859, we became members of the new Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Brush was sometimes criticized for his stern attitude and demeanor. He was a devout Christian, a church-goer and strict Sabbath-keeper… a man of wonderfully high standards.

I was quite fearful when Daniel left for the war. He served with discipline, order, and determination. My husband set and maintained such high standards that he seemed stern & unsympathetic. I knew this was not the case. The Colonel was arrested, upon complaints from his enlisted men, but quite naturally, he was cleared of all charges.

After the war, I soon found that Daniel would not have a great deal of time for our family of twelve. He began a law practice, a coal mine and a newspaper. He became a leading citizen.

In 1866, I was very proud that he and Colonel Ingersoll were chosen marshals for the first Memorial Day celebration in Carbondale’s Woodlawn cemetery.

My life with Daniel ended with my death in 1867. Daniel married a lady from New York. Though she was happy with Colonel Brush, she never adjusted to the social life of this small Midwestern community. Following his 1890 death, she returned to the East.

The day of his death was, February 10, 1890. Workmen were trying to fell a tree near West Side School down from our lovely mansion. Daniel, then 77 years old, went out to help. He tied a rope from the tree around his wrists. The tree fell in an unexpected direction. Daniel Harmon was catapulted into the air and slammed to the ground. Resulting injuries caused his death.

Daniel Harmon had enjoyed financial success and community respect, though he was considered quite a “character”. Sadly, he did not favor our youngest son and daughter in his will. Richard and Nora did not reflect the rigid standards their Father held for himself. This caused a split in our family which endured for many years.

I often wonder if things might have been different had I been a part of the children’s growing up years.

Daniel Harmon Brush quickly remarried, yet years later wrote this tribute to Julia,: “Julia was a perfect and most loveable girl. She was a blessing to me as wife, true and faithful to the end, and in her motherly love for our children she could not be excelled.

She had been born and raised to womanhood in this county and did not have the advantages of education in schools that she deserved.

She had, however, a good Christian mother whose influence in her training was the best, so that her home life was pure in its teaching and perfect in forming an earnest, positive Christian character.

Modest and retiring in her disposition, her home was her theater of action and her motherly love the specter by which she ruled her household.

Twenty-six years she was my helper and the cherished guardian of my home, and then her God took her. Her surviving children may well rise up and call her blessed.”

Daniel and Julia’s Children

Julia and Daniel married in 1841; she died in 1867.

Rowland 1842-47, died of coup, following Scarlet Fever

Lucretia Charlotte, March 16, 1844-1924

George, Dec. 20, 1846, died same day

Daniel Harmon, Jr. 1848-1921

Julia Mariah 1851-1923

Charles Eliphlet- March 17,1855-Oct. 29, 1916

Frances Alathea- Feb. 26, 1853-March 23, 1854

Richard Dunning- June 2, 1858-August, 1929

Nora (Norah) Hanson- July 20, 1863-July, 1929

After both of their parents died, the children of James & Jane (Etherton) Brush were raised by Daniel and Julia

Ages in 1854:

Edgar-12

Elkhanah-10

Samuel-8

George M.-6

Mary-4

James-2

The Brush Children

● Rowland S., 1842 to 47 died of coup, following a Scarlet Fever epidemic.

● Lucretia Charlotte, March 16, 1844 to 1924, became Mrs. Henry Campbell in 1866. She married the oldest son of James Campbell. For many years they lived in a large brick home, built in 1868, at 417 W. Main. When it burned, Charles Brush, her brother built their new home at the southeast corner of West Main and Poplar. This house also burned in the late 1890’s. Unfortunately, due to some questionable business dealings, Henry spent time in the penitentiary.

● Daniel Harmon, Jr. , 1848 to 1921, attended the United States Military Academy from 1867 to 1871. He joined the 17th Infantry Unit of the army. In 1874, he married Harriet Rapp, who was born in New York. She was the daughter of Isaac & Georgianna Rapp. Their children were Georgiana Etherton, Harriet Roberts, Daniel Harmon III and Isaac Rapp (also called Dash)

● George, born Dec. 20, 1846, died same day.

● Julia Mariah, 1851 to 1923, married Alonso Bridges qv, in 1872. Their children were Daniel Young, 1873; Ella Althia, 1875 to 1954; Rollin Eugene, 1878 to 1962; Albert Franklin, 1881; and Charlotte, 1889. Julia’s husband died at forty-four. Julia never remarried. Following her father’s death in 1890, the family moved into the Brush homestead. Two Brush grandchildren overheated a stove and the resulting fire rendered the Brush house a total loss.

● Charles Eliphlet, March 17,1855 to Oct. 29, 1916, attended the University of Illinois. In 1877, he graduated with a degree in architecture. He practiced in Carbondale. He built a fine home for his sister who had married Henry Campbell. In 1885, he married Ida Fleming of Fort Wayne Indiana. Charles supervised the building of the U.S. Marine Hospital in Cairo and additions to Menard Penitentiary in Chester. After his marriage, he moved to Kansas City, then to Chicago where he died.

● Frances Alathea, Feb. 26, 1853 to March 23, 1854, died at 13 months of age.

● Richard Dunning, June 2, 1858- to August, 1929, was married in 1882 to Jenny Watson. He became the Park Superintendent in Chicago, Illinois. They had one son, Richard Franklin Brush. Richard Dunning died in 1929.

● Nora (Norah) Hanson, July 20, 1863 to July, 1929, married Charles Barbour and had two sons, George and Charles. She and Charles moved away from Carbondale. After Charles died, as a fairly young man, Nora married H.H. Burton. They had another son, Albert. She was living in Carbondale when she died. Though virtually “disowned” by her father, Nora was described as “having a rarely beautiful disposition. She was the joy and delight of the other members of the family.”

1852 - 1890

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – EVENTS OF NOTE 1852 – 1900

1852: the first Presbyterian sermon was preached in the Connor’s unfinished log cabin on December 1st.

1853: January 4 is the date that our first record book was started.

1854: February 13th, First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale was officially “organized” by Rev. Wood with 7 members and 3 non-members attending.

1856: Daniel Brush’s home was built on the southwest corner of Main and Normal, near where the old Post Office was (now the blood collection center.)

1856: Brush was instrumental in the building of the first Presbyterian first church at what is now 210 W. Monroe.

1859: July 12, the first church was completed. At that time Daniel and Julia became members along with eleven other residents of Carbondale.

1868: City co-founder William Richart died. He left one-half acre, the site of the present Snider Hill Cemetery “for a Presbyterian burying ground”.

1867: New building had to be lifted off its foundation for repairs. “The bell was rehung so as to ring right”. An entrance platform with a railing, a front fence, and a new furnace were completed. Book racks were added to pew backs, rolling or folding blinds were added to all windows, new chandeliers- 4 burners with lamps for kerosene oil were added. The choir moved from the back to the front on a new, carpeted platform. Pews had lockable gates on the aisle. During one of Brush’s business trips, these were removed and the pulpit was lowered. Upon his return, Daniel entered, got almost to his family pew. Stopped! Looked startled! Wheeled around and left! He didn’t attend church again for three months.

Era of 1886, Session refused membership to any man or woman who “was accused of unchristian business transactions” and would call before Session any person of “unsound morals” to take his name from the record.

May, 1885, member Frank M. Alexander started his studies for ministry, Later they returned as faithful attendees.

1887: Session adopted a 3-year plan for tenure of office July 12, 1859. (instead of 5-years) for ruling elders and deacons.

1888: There were 6 ruling elders, 3 deacons and a membership of 189. “Sunday School officers were 5, teachers 14, scholars 200, with average attendance of 189″.

Sept. 14, 1890, a parsonage was bought (maybe lot 181) and sold later for slightly less than cost.

1892-93: The major thing to occur was the installation of electricity. Dr. G.W. Entsminger worked to get lights installed.

As the church approached its 50th Anniversary, it needed more space. In 1893, plans were started for buying several lots at the corner of Normal and Elm.

And now, the rest of the story: 1900-1952

Early Members

EARLY MEMBERS & FRIENDS OF CARBONDALE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1852 – 1900

Daniel Harmon Brush

Julia Ann Etherton Brush

Rowland R. Brush

Josiah Wood

John Asgill Connor

James Monroe Campbell

Dr. and Mrs. Richart

Mary Ann Singleton

Edwin M. Babcock

Nelson W. Graham

Samuel Trasker Brush

Moses R. & Hannah T. Embree

Georgiana Rapp

Hugh Lauder

Amanda Templeton

Introductory Remarks

My comments this morning reflect what Julia Etherton Brush, one of our early church members, might have to share about her husband, Daniel Harmon Brush, her friends, and the earliest members of this First Presbyterian congregation.

It wasn’t typical, for women of Julia’s era to speak publically…even in a church setting, so I’ll not act the role of Julia. My words are scripted, for accuracy.

I got interested in our town’s history two years ago, while I was on the Carbondale Sesquicentennial Committee About a year ago, I began gathered information about our church founders and early member. I’ve a wonderful time sifting through 7-8 sources rather thoroughly. In the course of it all, I linked by on line with a great-great granddaughter of Julia and Daniel Brush. Her insights have been helpful and fun. The whole project has grown and grown and I’ve love doing. Now…to share!

Let’s begin our journey with a word of thanks for our congregation’s “early saints”:

Lord! We are all travelers, “just passing through” a world filled with a multitude of changes and challenges. We hope to become worthy of belonging with the saints of our church, past and present, and future. Help us to be part of the parade of Christians who finally meet in the place you called Heaven.

As we turn our thoughts back to our earliest members and friends, open our minds to an understanding of and appreciation for the early saints of our congregation.

May looking back help us to appreciate the present, and look to the future, with renewed Christian enthusiasm and understanding …..amen

In The Beginning…

The GENESIS of The First presbyterian Church of Carbondale was in 1852; however, “The thirteenth of February, 1854, Reverend Josiah Wood declared the organization of First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale”. At that beginning point, seven members joined.

Between 1856-58, other families came by professions of faith and letter.

September 24, 1859, after much toil and growing pains, our first “little white church” was dedicated. Twelve more members joined and eight children were baptized in the church on West Monroe Street.

Contributing to the establishment and growth of our church were some who became members and some who did not. All were, in their own ways,“saints”. Let’s begin with an early member, one of Carbondale’s founders:

Daniel Harmon Brush

Daniel Harmon Brush was born in Vergennes, Vermont, April 15, 1813. In 1820, his family moved to Greene Co. IL. His father died the same year. The family held the homestead together until 1828, when his mother remarried, moving to Sangamon County. Daniel moved to Jackson County to live with his sister Mary Brush Jenkins.

For the first 10 years, 1837-47, Mr. Brush gained political experience working for his brother-in-law, Alexander Jenkins and Mr. Joel Manning.

In 1841, Daniel married Julia Etherton. They parented nine children; three died quite young.

In 1850’s, Daniel undertook the building of a town on the new IC railroad. He chose a location, gathered support, purchased land, and helped found Carbondale.

Brush built the first business house, mill, bank and freight office. He was the first station agent.

In 1854, the family from Murphysboro to Carbondale. They lived with Julia’s sister Jane, the widow of Daniel’s brother, James. Daniel was dismayed at her second marriage. When she died, later that year, Daniel sought and assumed responsibility for her six children.

Daniel owned 10 acres where Brush School & later Carbondale Public Library were built. He had a fine new home built for his family and moved in July, 1857.

The total cost exclusive of land value was:

$8000 for the house

$800 for a barn

bee house and fixtures $260

$300 for a brick smokehouse

$250 for a chicken house & pigpen

The approximate total of $9600 was for those times a huge expenditure.

On Sept. 24, 1859, Daniel and Julia became members of the newly built Presbyterian Church. Mr. Brush was know as a pious Christian, church-goer & strict Sabbath-keeper.

In 1861, the Civil War found him at height of physical & business career; however, he did not hesitate to offer his services to his country. Daniel served with determination, discipline and order. Since Brush set such high standards, he was considered stern & unsympathetic. Colonel Brush oft-times incurred the displeasure of his own enlisted men. At one point he was arrested by complaints from his enlisted men, but was cleared of all charges. Completing his service, Colonel Brush returned to Carbondale.

He added to his businesses: a law practice, a coal mine and a newspaper. April 29,1866, Colonels Brush and Ingersoll were marshals of the 1st Memorial Day celebration held in Carbondale’s Woodlawn cemetery. Julia died in 1867, the year Daniel Jr. entered West Point.

Within a year, Daniel remarried. The second Mrs. Brush was a New York lady. She seemed to lived happily with Colonel Brush, yet never really adjusted socially to the small Midwestern community. Following his 1890 death, she went back east.

Daniel Harmon Brush died February 10, 1890. He observed workmen trying to fell a tree near his mansion and went out to help. He tied a rope around the tree and his wrists. When the tree fell in an unexpected direction, Daniel Harmon was catapulted into the air and slammed into the ground. Resulting injuries caused his death.

Daniel Harmon’s later years were ones of financial success and community respect. However, he was considered something of a “character”. Sadly, Daniel’s will did not favor his younger son and daughter. He held rigid standards for himself and all of those around him. Perhaps those ambitions & high standards were KEY to his success as a town planner and businessman. Unfortunately, his actions caused a deep split in the family which endured for many years.

Julia Ann Etherton Brush

Julia Etherton was born July 14, probably in 1826. Three dates are given for her Jackson County birth. She married Daniel Harmon Brush in November, 1841.

Together they had nine children. Three died quite young. Julia took on the added responsibility of raising her sister Jane’s children when she died in 1854.

Daniel had a lovely home built on West Main Street, He owned 10 acres beginning where the “old Post Office is now. The lumber was prepared in their own saw mill.

Julia and Daniel joined the First Presbyterian Church

in September of 1859. Possibly, several of the eight children baptized that day were theirs. In the original church, on West Monroe, they sat in pew 40.

Julia had the majority of the care of their home and family while D.H. was involved in founding the town, building up his businesses, and serving in the Civil War, She died in 1867, after 26 years of marriage to Daniel.

Her youngest children were four and eight years old.

Daniel Harmon Brush’s Tribute to His Wife

Julia Ann Etherton

“Julia was a perfect and most loveable girl. She was a blessing to me as wife, true and faithful to the end, and in her motherly love for our children she could not be excelled.

She had been born and raised to womanhood in this county and did not have the advantages of education in schools that she deserved.

She had, however, a good Christian mother whose influence in her training was the best, so that her home life was pure in its teaching and perfect in forming an earnest, positive Christian character.

Modest and retiring in her disposition, her home was her theater of action and her motherly love the specter by which she ruled her household.

Twenty-six years she was my helper and the cherished guardian of my home, and then her God took her. Her surviving children may well rise up and call her blessed.”

The Family Monument in Woodlawn

As originally made out, Daniel Harmon’s father’s will provided for a monument at his burial site. Long after Elkanah’s death, the location, “under a spreading oak”, near his log cabin home, could not be identified. The bequest was modified and the tall monument in Woodlawn Cemetery was inscribed:

“This stone is erected by the sons of Elkanah Brush to his memory. He was born in Vermont, March 7, 1762 and died in Greene County, Illinois, July 11, 1821. In the fall of 1820 he migrated to Vergennes, Vermont with his family consisting of his wife Lucretia and their children, Mary, Daniel Harmon, James and Rowland, Jr, the eldest nine and the youngest one year old, and settled at a point afterward named Bluffdale making the whole distance with horse teams and being the first to take wagons to the region where he located, then in the wilds of Illinois.

He built a cabin of rough logs for his family residence, broke land and put in crops and died. Also in memory of our mother Lucretia who died December 14, 18,47, aged 68; Sister Mary who died May 1, 1841, aged 30; Brother James who died June 10, 1849, aged 33; and brother Rowland R. who died March 9, 1880, age 60. Beloved in Life! Your memories we fondly cherish. Rest in Peace.”

Rowland (Roland) R. Brush

Rowland was the youngest brother of D.H. Brush. Their father, Elkanah Brush, died when Rowland was two years old.

He lived with his mother and stepfather, and then with his brother Reuben until 1847, when he married Frances E. Sherrel. The couple lived in Peru, Illinois, until Daniel urged him to move to Alexander County to operate Brush’s sawmill. They came to Carbondale when the sawmill was moved to Carbondale in 1854.

In 1854, Rowland was elected an elder soon after joining the church with his wife Frances.

In 1858, he owned several dozen lots in the Brush subdivision. In a 1861 real estate transaction, his wife was listed, but no offspring.

Rowland served in the Civil War and apparently did not return to Carbondale to live following the war; however, in 1871, seven town lots west of Illinois Avenue and north of Walnut were listed in his name.

Josiah Wood

Josiah Wood is credited with preaching the first sermon delivered in Carbondale, Illinois, in December, 1852. It was given in the unfinished log cabin of Asgill Connor. That home was located on the north side of Main Street about where the Methodist Church now stands.

Wood, who was from Old Du Quoin, lived in Murphysboro at the time. By 1855, Josiah has moved to Carbondale.

Brush’s memoirs record that he and Josiah Wood chose lot 59, in the southwest part of town, a lot set aside for churches, as the Presbyterian Church site. Not until 1856 were funds and plans complete for beginning the actual building on lot 59.

February 13, 1854, Wood formally “organized” First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale. Seven residents became members. His status as an “official minister” is not certain. He was listed as Clerk of the Session in 1854 and preached at intervals in Carbondale. Woods had experience as a preacher in Old Du Quoin, Murphysboro, and Tamaroa between 1843 and his death on June 5, 1870.

John Asgill Connor

Though never a member of the Presbyterian Church, John Asgill Connor was a vital part of the establishment of The First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale, Illinois. The first book of trustees record, shows that on January 4, 1853, Josiah Wood selected Lot 59 in the new town of Carbondale, on behalf of the Presbyterian denomination, “for the purpose of erecting thereon, a house of worship”. On that date, a subscription paper was drawn up and “some money subscribed” to be paid to Asgill Connor and William Richart. The funds were to be held by them until “properly elected trustees were qualified to hold said property and proceed with the erection of a church thereon.” Connor was a friend of Daniel Brush, and co-founder of Carbondale.

Mr. Connor was born in Pomona Township. His name appears on every city board of trustees from the charter year, 1856 through 1862. He served as a trustee for Carbondale College.

Asgill loved farming and was Jackson County’s first scientific farmer, introducing to southern Illinois: red corn, red sweet potatoes and new varieties of grapes. He experimented with bananas and was one of the first to grow cotton in the area. The Chicago Press & Tribune reported in 1858 that Mr. Connor “grew remarkable fine wheat weighing 65# to the bushel.”

Mr. Connor “passed” in 1875, leaving his wife Margaret, sons Benjamin and James, and daughter, Frances. Though never a member of this congregation, his role as financial guardian was timely and vital.

James Monroe Campbell

Though not a member of the First Presbyterian Church congregation, Mr. Campbell helped establish both the church and town. He served on our first church “Board of Trustees”.

Moving here from Williamson County, he soon became a large land holder. The Campbell Hotel was built on lots 157 and 158, that would be the corner of Washington and East Main. Later the Newell House replaced it.

James Campbell was contracted to build the structure for Southern Illinois Normal University in 1870. Sadly, he lost his life when a timber being lifted struck his head. He died the following day, April 3, 1871. Immediately, work on the building stopped. Ironically, his friend, Daniel Harmon Brush would meet a similar sort of death…an accident involving a tree took the life of Brush in 1890.

Julia and Daniel Brush’s daughter, Lucretia Charlotte married the Campbell’s eldest son, Henry.

Dr. & Mrs. William Richart

William Richart, one of Carbondale’s three founders, had moved to Murphysboro in 1850, with his wife, Elizabeth Worthen. They had no children of their own, but adopted a child they named “Eddie”.

The Richart’s moved to Carbondale soon after William, a medical doctor and surveyor, laid out the new town. He acquired a great deal of land. He and Asgill Connor held the funds for the first church until trustees could proceed with the erection of the Monroe Street building.

The couple were listed as among the first seven members of First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale, February, 1854.

Though quite well off, they built and lived in a two-story, frame building north of the first building at the corner of Washington and East Main. Their quarters were upstairs, the doctor’s drugstore downstairs.

Dr. Richart died in 1868. His wife left for a time to live with Eddie. She soon returned to Carbondale and lived here until her death in 1916.

Mary Ann Singleton

Mary Ann and Alfred Singleton were among the first seven members to join the “new” church in 1854. Ib August 4, 1856, Mr. Singleton was listed among the first trustees of First Presbyterian.

Mrs. Singleton was a progressive lady, co-owning several pieces of property with her husband. One site held the city’s first boarding house on the northeast corner of the town square.

Their son Eli never returned from “The Great Rebellion”. He was mortally wounded at Fort Donelson in 1862.

No record of the couple exists in city census or church records after 1862. The couple, it appears, did not stay in Carbondale after the Civil War years.

Edwin M. Babcock

Mr. Edwin Babcock was the principal of the first school to be built in Carbondale. The one-story high, 20′ X 36′ frame schoolhouse was located on lot 37, later the site of Brush School and near the present Carbondale Public Library.

The Babcock’s Italianate home was built on Outlot 59, a large lot on what is West Walnut, in 1868. In 1879 it became the home of S.I.N.U. President Robert Allyn, who made major changes to it. In 1912 there were still 11 fireplaces and stoves to heat this white-painted brick home.

It has since been occupied by the *Barrow-Brown-Sloan-and Kimmel family.

* While Barrows lived in the house, the third floor was rented by a young couple named David and Wanda Kenney.

Nelson W. Graham

In 1868, Mr.and Mrs. Nelson W. Graham sat in pew 7….rental paid was $5.00.

Mr. Graham owned a mill 100 feet south of Main Street, east of Woodlawn Cemetery, across from where Attucks School was built later. At the mill, named Jackson Mill, Nelson developed “Graham Flour”. It was shipped nationwide by 1878. The mill had a 200-240 barrel per day capacity with an on-site cooperage to provide barrels. One of three mills operating in 1887, all local mills were closed by 1890-91.

Mr. Graham then gave his time to the “new” electric light plant. Mrs. Graham, however, insisted on oil lights in their home, tending them herself.

April 9, 1893, the Presbyterian Church became “electrified” at a cost of $7.60 per month for 26 lights.

The Grahams moved to Chicago apparently due to Nelson’s failing health. He died there in 1901.

Samuel Trasker Brush

Samuel Trasker Brush was born to James and Jane (Etherton) Brush in 1842. His father’s died in 1849; Samuel was indentured to his uncle, Daniel Harmon Brush.

During the Civil War, Samuel was an adjutant to Colonel Brush in Company C, 18th Infantry of Illinois.

He then became in involved in Carbondale real estate. By 1874 he was superintendent of the Alden Fruit Preserving Co. Their main crop was dried apples. From 1876-1880 he was listed as a city alderman.

February 15, 1874, his son George was born and his wife died. In May of that year, Samuel succeeded his Uncle Daniel as secretary of First Presbyterian Church.

In 1884, he remarried. He and his wife Jennie had two daughters, Elizabeth and Jennie.

In the 1890’s, Samuel was involved in mining, much of it in Williamson County. The non-union mines were a struggle to keep open. Negro miners were even brought in from Jellico TN. In 1906 the Brush and Colp mines were finally closed.

It appears that Samuel Trasker Brush provided substantial financial support for the 1906 church building.

Moses R. & Hannah T. Embree

Moses R., a carpenter, came to Carbondale with his wife Hannah and a son and daughter..

July 17, 1868, M. R. Embree was credited by the Presbyterian Church with a rental payment of $6.00 of for pew 24.

By 1869, the church building, on Monroe Street was a decade old. Structural problems resulted in it being raised on stone pillars so that $400 in repairs to the inside could be made. Among the modifications were a new interior entrance platform and railing and a front fence outside. “The bell was rehung “so as to ring right.” It is assumed Mr. Embree was knowledgeable about the procedures needed for repairs. The Embree family were members during the time of Colonel Brush’s “infamous boycott” over “locked pews” and an altered pulpit arrangement.

Davis N. and Amanda Hamilton

Davis N. and Amanda Hamilton Davis and their first child, Ellen, moved to Carbondale from Shawneetown in 1855. He was respected as a “good citizen, retiring and well-mannered”. He purchased 4 city lots.

He was listed in the 1860 census as an insurance agent and became a lawyer and city attorney in 1874. He served a term as police magistrate and justice of the peace. Mr. Hamilton soon helped organize the Shekinah Lodge, A.F.& A.M. (Masons).

In 1860, the family included children Ellen, Alice, Georgianna, Cordelia, William and Charles. The family occupied pew 38 (rental $11) at the original Presbyterian Church.

After Mrs. Hamilton died and he remarried. The woman’s name was Angeline, but little else is know.

Georgiana A. Rapp

Mrs. Rapp was the wife of Isaac Rapp. D.H. Brush contracted Isaac Rapp and James Edwards of St. Louis to built his home, and a church building for the First Presbyterians, between 1855-59. Isaac and C. Ward, their son, planned and constructed the 1906 church.

The Rapps were married in 1851. Georgiana bore four children by 1861. After Isaac returned from service in the Civil War, they had five more children.

Georgiana Rapp was one of twelve added to the church roll in September 24, 1859, when the building on Monroe Street was dedicated. Eight children were baptized on that day of celebration. It is possible several were children of the Rapps.

Mr. Rapp built their home at 406 W. Main Street. It had wonderful trim and moldings planed at Rapp’s mill. The Chapman home on West Main, later the First Baptist Parsonage, was another example of Rapp’s work. These homes were razed in the 1950’s.

In 1872, the Illinois State Legislative gave Isaac the contract to complete the S.I.N.U. building that had been halted upon the death of James M. Campbell.

Daniel Harmon Brush, Jr. married into the Rapp family, taking their daughter, Harriet, as his wife.

Lucy Ennisson

Lucy Ann Ennisson (Mrs. James) was born in New York state and retained strong allegiance to her native home throughout her life.

Mrs. Ennison joined the Presbyterian Church in 1859, sitting in pew 23. Pew rental of $6.00 was paid by Lucy.

In 1861, Mrs. Ennisson bore her first son, William, elsewhere in Illinois. In 1863, a second son, Walter Jay, was born in Carbondale.

In 1885, the couple moved to Chicago and celebrated their Golden Anniversary in 1887. A rarity in an age where the average live span was considerably shorter.

Lucy Ann, according to her obituary in the local Free Press, “often expressed the desire to be buried in her native state of New York.” Around 1900, she went back to New York there to live with her son William. There she died and was buried. Mrs. Ennison was survived at that time by her husband and two sons.

Hugh Lauder

In 1862, Hugh Lauder married Harriet Nelson of Ohio, in Carbondale. Following his service in the Civil War, the Lauder’s returned to Ohio. In 1888, they moved back to Carbondale where he was listed as Third Ward Alderman. The 1898 city directory listed him as a real estate operator living at 504 S. Poplar. Mr. Lauder served as mayor of Carbondale 1897-98. It appeared to be customary to serve one-year terms at that time.

In 1905, Hugh and Harriet were listed at 404 W. Main. He was a hardwood lumber and real estate operator. From 1909-1913, he was a trustee of Southern Illinois Normal University. In 1917, he retired to Florida, dying there the next year.

Mr. Lauder owned a quarry in Boskeydell. It appears he was one of three men purchasing the lot for this structure, Dec, 12, 1902, from Nannie Davis of Chicago. Of great import to our congregation is the fact that he donated the stone for the 1906 church building. It was “dressed” at the quarry, hauled to this church site, and supervised by of Frank Hayden and J.J. Arnold, the stone was “put in place without the sound of hammer.”

Amanda Templeton

At the turn of the century, the Presbyterian Church established a mission at 310 E. Birch. Miss Amanda Templeton was its supervisor from the beginning until her death December 19, 1925.

Miss Templeton had been a missionary among the Indians of the Southwest. Her father, Rev. W. H. Templeton was a missionary among the Seminole. Amanda was a relative of present church member, David Kenney.

Her assistants for many years were Margaret Phillips and her mother, Mrs. Nellie Phillips of 197 South Poplar Street. This was the family of past member Frances Phillips.

Closing Comments:

When Daniel Harmon Brush wrote of the first 25 years of the church, he concluded with these words: This church has exerted great influence for good in the past, and doubtless will be a power for good in time to come.

Following Brush’s death, First Presbyterian Church DID continued to grow and exert a positive influence on citizens of the town. But, that is not for this visit…as Paul Harvey says “That’s the rest of the story”, for another time.

Since this is our 150th anniversary, it would be interesting to share other church “saints”. I need your guidance about who and what you feel we should research and share. Our next area on concentration may be 1900-1952. Our church website will soon have more lore about early church members and events.

Let’s close with prayer:

Lord, we pray that in sharing our past, we become more aware of and thankful for our present and future.

Help us to proudly proclaim: Come join us in our journey, ‘cause it’s time that we begin; we hope to share in that judgement…to join our fellow members and friends…when the saints go marching in …Amen

Our Early Membership

First Members (1854)

Rowland (Roland) and Frances Brush

Dr. and Mrs. (Elizabeth) Richart*

Alfred and Mary Ann Singleton

Almira Doughty

Early founders (non-members)

Robert Marron, James Campbell, and Henry Saunders

Members who joined upon the church’s dedication (1859)

Daniel and Julia Brush

John and Julia Collom*

Lucy Ennison

I.M. Edwards

Lucy Fitch

Ann Marron (Mrs. Robert)*

Catherine Post (wife of Rev. W.S. Post)

Georgianna Rapp (Mrs. Isaac)

Charles and Martha Pelton*

Sources for First Presbyterian 150th notes:

One Hundred Years, materials gathered by Mrs. Theodore Midjaas and Miss Alice Milligan, Edited and prepared by Mrs. Will Griffith, 1953

A History of Early Carbondale , John D. Wright, 1977

75 Years in Retrospect, Eli Lentz, 1955

Growing Up With Southern Illinois, Daniel Harmon Brush, 1992

An Architectural History of Carbondale, Illinois, Susan E. Maycock, 1983

Carbondale, A Pictorial History, Betty Mitchell, 1991

S.I.U. Special Collections, Presbyterian Church collection, excerpts from History of Jackson, Illinois, 1878 and Alton Presbytery reports.

Thanks to David King for researching assistance

Materials gathered and compiled by Dorothy A. Lingle Ittner, 2002-2004.