of the Isaac Phares Family,
This section includes:
o Biographical sketches on William Wesley Brown, Millie Dewitt, and Thomas Wicker.
o Biographical sketches on Matthew C. Brown and Deacon William Phares.
o Report of funeral and poem- William Phares, 1830-1918.
o In Memorium - William Phares, 1830-1918.
o Tribute to Reverend John Phares by William Phares, his brother.
o Historical Sketch on Reverend S. M. Phares by J. P. Stephens.
William Wesley Brown, who
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿ has always lived in sight of
³Picture of³ the church, was born Dec 12th,
³ ³ 1827. He united with the
³ WILLIAM ³ church when twenty-four years
³ WESLEY ³ old. At the time that he be-
³ BROWN ³ came a member there were one
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ hundred three accessions to
the church. Three ministers
were in the water baptizing
at the same time. For more
than thirty years he has
filled the office of Trustee.
Millie Dewitt, who at the age of seventy-six, walks almost two miles and attends faithfully her church meetings, became a Christian in 1850. Her husband, Robert W. Dewitt, died in 1876 and she has lived in lonely widowhood.
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿ Thomas Wicker, one of the
³ Picture³ oldest living members, was
³ of ³ born March 9th, 1821. Convert-
³ THOMAS ³ ed in 1851 at Little Blue River,
³ WICKER ³ he has been for more than half
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ a century a loyal member. Ever
satisfied with Baptist princi-
ples and Bible doctrines.
Matthew C. Brown was born in ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
Hamilton county, Ohio, May 10th, ³Picture of ³
1820. He became a Christian and ³ ³
united with Little Blue River ³ MATTHEW C.³
church in March 1852. His life ³ BROWN ³
was simple and beautiful in ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ
faith and trust. He went home
May 3rd, 1904, almost eighty-four
years old. At the time of his
death he was the oldest member
of the church.
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿ Deacon William Phares was born
³ ³ April 4th, 1830. He became penitent
³Picture of³ and anxious and really was converted
³ ³ at the age of thirteen, but think-
³ DEACON ³ ing that something more misterious
³ WILLIAM ³ and wonderful must occur with him,
³ PHARES ³ waited until he was twenty-three be-
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ fore he offered himself to the church.
He was baptized by Matthew B. Phares.
He attended Franklin College in 1854-
55. Engaged in teaching for nine-
teen winters. Was ordained a deacon
in the fifties, which place he still
holds in the church. The church and
the community have the utmost confi-
dence in him both as a Christian and
as a man. Few men are held in higher
esteem than "Uncle Billy".
³ ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿ ³
³ ³ Picture ³ ³
³ ³ of ³ ³
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿ ³ ³ William ³ ³
³ WE MISS THEE ³ ³ ³ Phares ³ ³
³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³
³ O, dear father, how we miss thee, ³ ³ ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ ³
³ Thou has gone from out our sight; ³ ³ ³
³ But from memory thou shalt never ³ ³ ³
³ Be forgotten day or night ³ ³ WILLIAM PHARES ³
³ ³ ³ ³
³ 'Twas by your gentle side, father,³ ³ Born - April 4, 1830 ³
³ You watched our dawning youth, ³ ³ Died - April 26, 1918³
³ & kissed us in your pride of life ³ ³ ³
³ And taught us words of truth ³ ³ FUNERAL SERVICES ³
³ ³ ³ held at ³
³ And as we wipe the tears away, ³ ³ Little Blue River ³
³ There whispers in our prayer ³ ³ Baptist Church. The ³
³ A voice that speaks from heaven ³ ³ Rev. W.E. Morris of ³
³ And bids us meet you there. ³ ³ Indianapolis, assist-³ ³ ³ ³ ed by Rev. J.L. Brown³
³ ³ ³ of Arlington ³
³ But now there is to us a thought ³ ³ officiating. Stewart ³
³ That soothes our aching breast, ³ ³ and Fix in charge. ³
³ That thy freed spirit now has gone³ ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ
³ To its eternal rest. --Anon ³
William Phares was born Arpil 4, 1830, in Union township, Shelby county, Ind. He was the eldest of seven children born to Isaac and Pauline Phares. The brothers were: Robert, Samuel, James and George. The sisters: Mary and Elizabeth.
Being left fatherless at the age of 13, and being the oldest of the children, care and responsibility fell upon him. Throughout his long life time he felt the need of a father. He always held sincere sym- pathy for any child left parentless. Through the blessings of an all wise providence, he found friends who were interested enough to advise and befriend him many times.
Early in life he learned the great lesson of industry and economy. Physically not overly strong, but blest with an abundance of energy, he met the battles of life bravely. Having no help, financially he was compelled to begin at the bottom. By the solicitation of his half-brother, Matthew, he sought an education. His time was that of the old log school house, puncheon floor, split log seat, greased paper window, etc.
Applying himself at school and at home, after the evening work was done, by the tallow-candle and fire-place, he met the problems of school successfully, year by year, until he was handed a certificate of graduation, unsolicited, by John Sharp, the teacher. He then attended the Seminary High School, at Vernon, Jennings county, for a time. In the fall of 1853 he entered Franklin College, graduated with the Sophomore class, June 28, 1854. The following year he began teaching school where is now District No. 6, Union township. He con- tinued to teach for 19 years. The enrollment often reached 65 or 70 pupils; a score of grown young men and women included. He truly re- alized the great obligations of a teacher, and often said he felt that he tried to do his duty.
In 1855 he was married to Mary A. Brown. To this union were born Amanda, Carey, Alice and Grant. On August 3, 1869, the devoted wife and mother was taken by death.
In 1871 he married Angelina Copple. To this union were born Samuel and Mary. His boyhood days were spent along the banks of Little Blue River where up and down the stream were stationed 19 still-houses. For some almost strange cause he never commenced to visit them and shunned the companionship of those who did, and therefore never acquired the taste for liquor. The customary neighborhood horse-race and shooting match never appealed to him as proper places to spend time.
From his earliest recollection he attended services at Little Blue River Baptist church, where at the age of 13 he accepted Christ as his Savior, and later united with this body of believers. He at once assumed the duties and obligations he owed to God and the church, as he saw and understood them, and as long as physically able was active in the work. He served in most all offices of the church, being deacon for over 60 years. He was ever conscious of his own imperfections. While truly loyal to the church of his choice, he always rejoiced to see the advancement of the Master's cause anywhere. His interest in education was great. The ringing of church and school bells was sweet music to him. He maintained an interest in children and young people, and was pleased to see them trying to live for the best things in life
He had a love for music, especially vocal; and devoted enough time to learn the old figure system, and later the round note, and taught several terms of singing school.
He was a thoughtful, cautious, active man, of a timid nature, a loyal husband, a kind and loving father, ever interested in the wel- fare of his family. His love was just as strong and pure for his older half-brothers and sisters: John, Isaac, Matthew, Jane, Naomi, Sarah, and Nancy. He recognized John as father. The deceased was the last of a family of fourteen.
A few days before the close of his life, while talking of his prospects for longer time on earth, he spoke as follows: "I do not see that I am making any improvement. I feel that likely I am soon to finish my course on earth. I regret so much to leave my family, but I know I shall go to a better place. The subject of death and the judgement is a very serious one. We must all die and meet Almighty God as our judge. All those who are prepared to meet Him, ought to be the happiest people on earth."
He will be missed in the home, in the church and in the community in which he has lived so long. Yet our loss is his eternal gain, and we cannot weep hopelessly for the dead which die in the Lord.
At the time of his death, April 26, 1918, he was 88 years and 22 days of age. He leaves to mourn an aged companion, two sons, Carey and Samuel; two daughters: Alice and Mary; many other relatives and friends.
A TRIBUTE TO REV. JOHN PHARES
BY WILLIAM PHARES -
his half-brother and Deacon of Little Blue RIVER church.
John Phares convicted and converted under the labors of William Courier a preacher of baptist faith who preached on Little Blue River in early settlement of Shelby Co. Ind. His call to the ministry was irresistible positive and clear.
Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel was often repeated by him. Being authorized by the church, he managed to study for the ministry as best he could.
After examining the creed of surrounding churches he declared himself a natural born Baptist. He asked Little Blue River church to read their Articles of faith and Rules of deaconism which he heartily endorsed. Was ever after satisfied with his choice. In looking back over the past history of the church and remembering, her internal dissentions have been our worst enemy, I see he must have been one of the sure strong pillars of the church. Hence his Tomb stone stands near the N.E. corner of the church as it now stands- perhaps 2 spaces.
He opposed division. He was a leader in effort to get the churches to come together. Smith was the leader on the side for the union township church. They agreed on ....... ........ ........ The two churches came together as one in 1865. grandest thing ever occurred at Little Blue River Church.
John always lived near the church. He knew every one and every body knew him. He would ask them to go home with him and they went. It might be said he kept a free baptist boarding house. One protracted meeting it took 10 or 12 joints of meat besides other things. One ............ ....... ...... 60 persons to Panrizo.
Hester Golding and Phares would ..... 20 for each. They went at it in earnest ..... and it was very soon much ice running freely. All were very busy until Hester had baptized 17 hands. Were so cold she thought it prudent to quit. The other two soon finished the residue.
Besides work done in home church, John done at Good will more than any other church. Good will prospered for many years had member ship of 75. After while they had trouble with pastor a new man. This was beginning of downfall. It took a long time but they died.
Nobody hated to give up a church worse than John. He labored with Liberty, Mud Creek, Brandywine and Old Shelbyville churches in protracted meetings and otherwise. William Phares
HISTORICAL SKETCH ON REV. S.(AMUEL) M.(ATTHEW) STEPHENS (younger brother of Rebecca Jane Stephens Cooper), Written by his brother, J.(OHN) P.(HARES) STEPHENS. This was received from Shirley Stedman in Oct. 1997, as being one of the papers that have been handed down in her family.
The Rev. Samuel Matthew Stephens was the fifth son of Stacy and Sarah Phares Stephens. These parents were blessed with eleven children, six boys and five girls, all of whom lived to be grown, but three of them have passed over the river. William T., Barbary L. Benedict, and Samuel Stephens.
The other members of the family still live, four brothers and two sisters, in Franklin County, Kansas, one in Greenwood County, Kansas, and one in Oklahoma. Of this eleven children, ten have professed faith in Christ and are members of the Baptist Churches or were when they were called up higher. The oldest brother has been in the ministry for forty years.
Father, Stacy Stephens, was a deacon in the old Baptist Church of Brownsville, Ohio, many years before he moved to Kansas. From this church brought letters of recommendation to any Church of like faith and order.
Samuel M. was brought up among his older brothers and sisters, all of whom were active workers of the Church and Sunday School of which they were members. The family was noted for being good singers, and Bro. Samuel M. was doubtless chief of the whole tribe of church vocalists. By the power of sacred song, he found an open door to many hearts, long closed to the message of Christ's redeeming love.
The subject of this sketch was born March 27, 1849, in Washington County, Ohio, three and one half miles from New Mattamoras. He was a bright child, full of fun, very ambitious, loved and petted by all who knew him. He was an apt and persevering student during his entire life. His early ambition was to secure a collegiate education. But in this he was disappointed and lamented its loss through life.
At about the age of fourteen years, he with a number of other children of about the same age professed faith in Christ, during a meeting held in Salem Hall School House, by his older brother. This house is situated three miles from the church house of the Brownsville Baptist Church, on land then owned by the father of Samuel Stephens. He was baptized by his brother, into the fellowship of Brownsville Baptist Church in 1862. This was an out station of the church and an interesting Sabbath school was always kept here.
Notwithstanding his youth he was actively engaged in the Sunday School and prayer meeting service. He soon began to feel the necessity of securing an education, that he might be able to teach Jesus to others. There were no means of education available to him but the public schools. He made all the advancement in them that they permitted. He made one trip to Denison University, hoping to enter upon a course of preparation, but found no way by which to make expenses, he returned home.
In March 1869 with others of his father's family he moved to Franklin County, Kansas, and settled on Sack Creek.
He was one of the constituent members of the Sack Valley Baptist Church. He entered this church at its formation and never left till death called him home. This church was composed largely of the Stephens family in its origin. By this church he was licensed to preach, soon after its organization. He attended school at Ottawa University for some time.
He taught school, several terms at Sack Creek, and Central School in Williamsburg township. In his Central School, a glorious work of Divine Grace commenced in his school and many of his scholars were converted and by their teacher, they and many others were baptized into the fellowship of the Sack Valley Church, of which the teacher was the Pastor.
This was a revival of widespread interest and parents followed the children into the Baptist Church, some from the world and some from the Union Baptist Church of Middle Creek. This accession of mem bership from the east drew the center from Sack Valley to a position half way between the two school houses. Here they built a commodious meeting house and called the Church Mount Olive. They have for years, been the strongest church in Association, outside the cities.
Bro. S.M. was ordained by a council called by the Ruhamah Baptist Church, of which he was pastor.
He was ordained in Ruhamah Church January 13, 1872, as pastor of both Sack Creek and Ruhamah Churches. These churches requested the Minister's Conference to ordain their pastor at their August meeting with Stanton, but the conference refused, claiming a want of authority, not being called for ordination purposes.
On August 7, 1873, he was married to Elisabeth Crater of Wellsville, Kansas. She was a very worthy lady and survived her husband several years. No children were born to them and Mrs Stephens never married again. She was a faithful co-worker in the Master's cause and has gone home to her rich reward above.
His ministerial work with Sack Creek Church continued from the time he was licensed to preach until the time of his death, a period of nine years and five months. He preached for Ruhamah, half time for two years, where much was done to unite a divided church. He organized Maple Grove Church in Osage County December 1879 and preached for them till death relieved him. This church was admitted to the Association in September 1880, under the name of Salem Baptist Church. This body prospered whilst its pastor lived, but its subsequent history is unknown to the writer.
The affection of the people composing his congregation for their pastor, was simply wonderful. It was simple, childlike, a unity of souls .......... by affection. They were one in every good purpose and work.
The traits of character most marked in this man were Humility and Patience under difficulties, perseverence in the work of saving souls, unflinching fidelity to the truth. Though severely afflicted for years before death, his patience never left him. He endured, as one seeing Him who is invisible, all the evils of his calling. Though of ten requiring the assistance of his faithful wife, to get into the buggy, he would go to appointments, trusting God for strength, to preach when he arrived at destination. His faith in God was simply profound, through faith he endured all the ills of life.
God's word to him was the end of evil, and through it, as a sword of the spirit, he believed, he could batter down the walls of sin and unbelief.
With Bible in hand, and sweet songs of Zion in his heart and on his lips, he went on conquering untold conquest, during the whole of a short but useful life.
By faith he climbed over bodily weakness and the barriers of sin and unbelief to victory for Jesus and his cause. Success marked his work from the commencement of his ministry to its close.
Many, who had been induced by him to walk in the narrow way, will rejoice to hear him sing his triumphs over on the other side of the Jordan.
Though possessed of a boundless store of sympathy and love he never trained converts to be moved by emotion, but to build under them, the solid foundation of a living faith in Jesus. This is what made it easy for others to build upon his foundations. The one thing characteristic of his converts is, they are strong, faithful, intelligent and consistent Baptists.
Very few of them ever backslide, because they were taught to build on Christ, the living Rock and clothed in garments of Christian obedience.
In his work at Mount Olive, he drew heavily upon the Union Baptist Church of Middle Creek from whom he gathered many of the young people and some of the more Christ-like of the older members.
I cannot give the number baptized by this man of God, but would place it between 75 and 125 persons. The few last years of his life were spent in Williamsburg, here he preached the Baptist Christ, and several persons united with Mount Olive Church and were a few years later organized into a church by the writer, in Williamsburg.
The good people of Williamsburg crowded around his bed of suffering and dying couch, administering all material aid and Christian consolation possible. The Obituary notice gives among most active in the work the names of Eubanks and wife, Fults and wife, Mr Ullam, Capt Anderson, Rev. Pendleton, pastor of M.E. congregation at Williamsburg and Mr ________.
Thanks to pall-bearers and all attendants, assisting to lay away our brother to await the Resurrection.
Dr. P.J Williams, President of Ottawa University, preached the funeral sermon and Rev. Hetrick of Greenwood and Rev. Maley of Sack Valley followed with impressive remarks.
His life afflictions commenced at about the age of 14 years. At this time he visited the school in an adjoining district and while at play his right arm was dislocated at the elbow. The teacher attempted to reduce the dislocation but failed. When he arrived at home, the arm was so swollen, Dr's decided to await operation until inflamation was reduced. When inflamation subsided, it was found that the bone was entirely out of its socket, being slipped upward and serving as a lock, or lever, prevented bringing the hand up to the face. The Surgeon and two others tried to reset the joint but all in vain. The Surgeon could not move it without assistance of chloroform and chloro- form would not effect him at all. So he was compelled to work with a a dislocated arm all the rest of his life.
After coming to Kansas, he and all the family suffered from ague and malarial fevers. Thus enfeebled he was attacked by hemmorrage of lungs later on in life. From this he was left much debilitated with fequent severe sick spells. Drs. seemed not to understand. I always believed Bright's Disease of kidneys took him out of this world. Near the end he endured some excruciating pains. After enduring one, he said, "A few more like this and it will take me home." They came quickly and he went home, to die no more.
During closing days he talked constantly to all who came to see him. He was constantly re________ the promises of the Bible. As his mind weakened, he frequently would fail to remember and look to his brother to assist him, which he did gladly.
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