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
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.
Dr. Charles E. Milligan
"lives not forgotten"
Cornerstone of the 1897