HISTORY OF THE 1897 WINCHESTER FRIENDS MEETINGHOUSE

    On Oct. 13, 1897 the cornerstone for this Meetinghouse was laid and construction began for a new Quarterly and Monthly Meetinghouse for Winchester.  A box was placed in the cornerstone containing a copy of the bible, a copy of the Friends Discipline, a copy of the minutes of the 1896 Yearly Meeting, a copy of the church's paper - The American Friend-, a copy of each of the Winchester  newspapers, a written history of the Winchester Preparative and Quarterly Meeting, a report of the Sabbath School for the year ending June 1897, and a program of the day's services for the laying of the cornerstone.

    On May 18, 1898 the finished and furnished building was dedicated.   
Building Committee:  T. Frank Moorman, Dr. Charles E. Milligan, Dr. Charles F. Gray, Joseph Keys and William C. Diggs.  Architect:  W.S. Kaufman, Richmond, IN.  Contractor: Joseph L. Shetterly, Winchester, IN.

    The lot was cleaned and the basement dug, the contract for carpentering, masonry was given for $9,092.  The finishing of the basement, heating, lighting, frescoing, carpeting and art glass cost around $3,000.  The entire property, building and furnishings were worth about $15,000 at the time the project was completed.  At the dedication service a fundraiser was held for the remainder of the cost of the Meetinghouse.  $4,802 was pledged in less than 30 minutes.  Elkanah and Irena Beard donated the brick residence and lot adjoining the church on the south to be used as a parsonage.  

    The basement was well equipped with a good kitchen range, large dining room, reception room for socials, committee meetings, etc.  The building is heated by Kruse & Dowenter hot air furnaces.  The building was lighted by chandeliers fitted for both electrical lighting and gas.  The floors were carpeted with velvet carpet. It is also arranged that they can heat one or more of the class rooms, the Sunday School room or the main auditorium or all at once. 

    At the back part of the building you passed through a hall way into the large Sabbath School room with four class rooms adjacent, all of which can be turned into one room by pushing at the rolling wood curtains.  In the Gallery above are six class rooms which have a total seating capacity of about 200.  These are so arranged that they are well lighted, ventilated and have a level floor which especially adapted them for Sabbath School classes.  The large Sabbath School room is separated from the main auditorium by rolling wood curtains which can be raised 15 feet and all the posts removed.  The committee was exceedingly particular to secure the very best pews possible for the Auditorium and Sabbath School room.  After visiting various factories they gave the contract to the firm of H.V. Vaught & Sons of Parker, IN.  The pews are arranged in a semi circle from the main auditorium on into the Sunday School room.  The ends of the pews are made from new original design of quartered red oak.  The seats are of a built up pattern and the backs are three ply compound curve.  The total seating capacity of the entire room including chairs in all of the class rooms and aisles will reach 1500. 

    The frescoing in the main auditorium gives a beautiful effect, shading from a light blue at the highest point through cream, dull rose to light terra cotta, all of which is made to harmonize with the oak doors and English wainscoting and seats.  Over the opening between the Sunday School room and the main auditorium is the following beautiful inscription "The entrance of Thy words giveth light."  The dedication of the new building was held on the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Meeting.  Their meeting numbered 300, Sabbath School 175, and Christian Endeavor 70.  Charles E. Hiatt was the pastor. 
    
                                                Taken from the Winchester newspaper in May 1898.

 

   This photo is from the building journal of Dr. CE Milligan and was probably taken sometime around 1900.

  Read about Dr. Charles E. Milligan on the  "lives not forgotten"  blog.     

 

             

                                                                                 Cornerstone of the 1897 building

 

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