Clay Chapel

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Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI





The Sunday School

   In this day, when our Sunday schools, well-organized, and officered by some of the very best minds our country affords, well- equipped with many modern conveniences and a variety of helps never before equaled, numbering in our country alone about 11,000,000 members, it is difficult for us to believe that this vast and energetic movement is really less than a century old.
    Form the very first, Christians began the instruction of the young, in this following the example of the Jews. The study of these early schools is a very interesting one, but does not need our attention here.
    During the period of the religious reformation in Europe, Luther founded schools akin to our modern Sunday schools as ear1y as 1529, and this idea and practice spread wherever the Reformation gained a start.
    From 1560-84, Charles Borromeo Arch-bishop of Milan had a system of schools introduced into his diocese, which were almost identical in form to our modern Sunday school.
    In 1560 Sunday schools were introduced into the churches of Scotland by the celebrated John Knox; in Bath, England, in the same year; and in 1674 into Roxbury, Massachusetts; in 1789 into Pennsylvania by Ludwig Blacker.
    But the movement was not general, and did not become so until after Robert Raikes of Gloucester, England, started the first Sunday school in that place in 1780. The work soon spread, many eminent and wealthy people aiding it. Much opposition was met in places even from church members; but the tide of popular favor overwhelmed all opposition. At first the teachers were paid, but in course of time this custom gradually gave way to that of free instruction. To any who desire a full but brief account of the Sunday school movement, let them be directed to the article “Sunday Schools” in the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia.
    So much of the origin of Sunday schools has been given to show that the movement was only in youth, when our early church workers at Clay Chapel began to worship God in their little buckeye cabin on the bank of the Ohio.
    The worshipers were but settled in their new brick church when the Sunday school wave struck them, for in 1834 the first organization was made with Samuel Patterson as Superintendent. The school was organized into classes, the teacher of each selecting such Scripture lesson as he might deem best and presenting in his own way.
    The younger scholars who were unable to read received instruction from “Webster’s Elementary Spelling Book,” but few copies of which are now in existence, and they are mostly in the hands of those who are fond of antiquities.
    One exercise soon became general not only here but elsewhere; viz., committing to memory verses of the Bible and repeating them before the school or the class.
    At a certain session of the Annual Conference Clay Chapel was highly complimented by the Bishop on the report of the number of verses committed by its members. Bro. Samuel Lasley was the bearer of the report, and was able to state that five persons at least had committed almost the entire New Testament to memory. These five persons


were Robert Patterson, Phidelia McClellan, Wm. Riggs, Andrew Cubbage and Mary Riggs. It will not be amiss here to say that this enables us to understand and to believe that much of the early portions of Scripture may have been handed down for generations without its sense being marred by any great error.
    No records of any value appear until 1860, after which they are only “poor” for some years, finally reaching the state of “fair” about 1866, and that of “good” in 1869. In 1869 the officers were Wm. Ashley, superintendent, Grasson Davis, secretary, E A. Riggs, librarian, T. A. Roberts, treasurer.
    Previous to 1872 the school adjourned late in the fall until spring, but on November 10 of that year they decided by a close vote to continue through the entire year.
    This was not the first innovation, however, for in 1870 an organ was introduced, and as was the case almost everywhere upon similar attempts, it created considerable feeling which threatened the welfare of the class for some time. Finally a compromise was effected by using the organ only at Sunday school and omitting its use at the regular church services. Happily that opposition long ago vanished, and now no service is lessened by the silence of one of the sweetest musical instruments God ever gave to the inventor’s brain.
    The second innovation came soon after the date of the reorganization of the school for the spring work, April 20, 1871. This was the introduction of the “Berean Lesson Leaf,” containing the International Lessons. Since then the school is satisfied only with the best, and is now one of the best equipped schools in country places in southern Ohio.
    Until 1875 but one or two collections were taken each year for the support of the school. At that time weekly collections became the order, the first being given to the cause of missions, the others being devoted to current expenses, any surplus to be used for the purchase of new books for the library. After a considerable fund had been saved for the latter, it was diverted from its use to the church expenses. This gave rise to the custom of inviolably setting apart the collection of the third Sunday of each month as a “Library Fund,” And this seems a fitting place to give a brief account of one of the most powerful agencies of the Sunday school work in these modern days.


   Some of us who are not so young as we used to be, can remember When the Sunday school Library Was a prominent factor only in the town or city. But those days have gone by forever, for now in many of the smaller towns and even in some country places, the library is being introduced, and is meeting with well-deserved success.
    Just when the pioneers of Clay Chapel began a Sunday school library, cannot now be definitely determined. The first records at hand give us the report of the librarian for 1860, which is as follows:



Hymn books..................... 40
Scripture Chatechisms....... 17
Question Books................ 19
New Testaments............... 37
Lesson Books on N. T....... 6
Old Spellers (Webster's).... 18
Youth's Library................. 118
Old $5.00 Library.............. 80
Class Books .................... 12
Superintendent's Book...... 1

Secretary's Book...............

Librarian's Book................ 1____
      Total 301

   In July 1867, the Sunday school at Sardis (a school-house about half way between C1ay Chapel and Ohio Chapel) was discontinued, and its library of 320 volumes was equally divided between the latter.
    In the same year $39.16 was expended for new books, and $11,80 was devoted to supplying the little folks with attractive papers.
    But as there was no system of keeping the records of books loaned, the library was constantly beings depleted by those who were careless. After due consideration a system of records was adopted and the books were better cared for. That plan was further improved by the writer, and is comprehended in the following scheme, a copy of which, with the blanks properly filled, is pasted on the first inside cover of each volume:

Rules of Clay Chapel Sunday School Library


1. Only one book at a time can be taken by any member.
2. The member who takes a book, is responsible for it until credited with the return;
and if lost, or if seriously damaged, must pay back an amount as the Superintendent may deem just.
3. Books must not be retained for a longer time than three weeks. A penalty of 5 cents per week must be paid, by any who retain a book longer.
4. Books may be borrowed or returned at any session of the school
5. No member who refuses to comply with these rules can use this library.
6. N. B. Let all parents encourage their children to read the volumes of this library, and assist in maintaining it.
7. See that they do not violate the rules, and thus teach then to regard all laws.



   Each volume has a special receptacle in the bookcase. A large card having blank places for dates of taking out and returning the book, together with space for the name of the borrower opposite dates, is kept inside the first cover when the book is in the case. When the book is taken out, the name of the borrower and the date are placed on the card, which is then put in the place occupied by that volume. When the book is returned, the proper date is put on the card, which is then placed in the book, and latter put in its proper receptacle in the case. An added space at the right enables the librarian to record the penalties, when there are such.
    Other Sunday schools may be profited by a list of the modern books now in this library; hence the titles are here given.


   New Life of Christ, for Old and young, How to Win, Young Folk’s Life of Christ, Stepping Heavenward, Who Shall Serve, The Flower of the Family, The Gates of Eden, When the War Broke Out, Ringing Bells, At Brown’s, An Adirondack Story, His Cousin the Doctor, A Galahad of Now-a-days, Around Bronton, General Gordon, The Schonberg Cotta Family, Plucky Boys, Counting the Cost, Four Girls, Poor Boys Who Became Famous, Jed, Guides And Guards in Character Building, Her Husband’s Home, Stephen Lyle, The South Ward, Rockton, Across Her Path, The Thread of Gold. Young Folks’ Bible History, Dean Stanley with the Children, Young Folks’ History of Eng- land, The Struggle for Immortality, Chaff and Wheat, Amusements, Helen The Historian, Ben-Hur, The Mystery of Metropolisville, “ Ruth Erskine’s Crosses, Barriers Burned Away, Abraham; or the Obedience of Faith, Old Town Folks, Without a Home, The Minister’s Wooing, Aunt Jane’s Hero, Chautauqua Girls at Home, Katrina, The Home at Greylocks, Pilgrim’s Progress, The Sabbath, Daniel Quorum and His Religious Notions, Marion, or Safe in the Shadow of the Rock, The Nine Blessings, The Hoosier Schoolmaster, Judge Burnham’s Daughters, Lessons in Life, Her Ben, Growing Up; His Way and Hers, St, Rockwell’s Little Brother, In His Own Way, Forty Witnesses, A Troublesome Name, Arlie’s Mission, Gates of Eden, Comrades, The Little Corporal, One Woman’s Way, An Odd Fellow, She Holy War, Gems without Polish, Comfort For the Bereaved, Don’t Worry. My Strange Rescue, The Royal Road, Ragweed, Endeavor Chris, College Library, A Great Appointment, A Great Emergency, Cash, The Friendly Five, A Lone Woman in Africa, Three Old Maids in Hawaii, Oowikapum, By Canoe and Dog Train, Reuben, A Prince in Disguise, Three of Us, The Picket Line of Missions, The Ministry of Art, Life on High Levels, Champions of Christianity, George Washington, the Ideal Patriot, A Loyal Little Maid, His Little Mother, A Boy and The Christ, Big Brother, Black Beauty, A Child’s History of England, Faith, Hope, Love and Duty, Frozen Seas, Ten Nights in a Bar Room, Sailor Boy Bob, The Land We Live In, Notable Events of the Nineteenth Century, The Secret of a Happy Home, Winter Evening Tales, Many Thoughts of Many Minds, The Fairy Land of Science, How to Succeed, Holiday Stories for Young people, The Wedding Ring, Recitations for the Social Circle, Vox Dei, Bible and Modern Thought, The Witness


of the World, Life Among the Indians, Autobiography of Granville Moody, Sybilla, Seamstress of Stettin, Galilean Gospel.

E. A. Riggs

E. A. Riggs

   Much credit is due Mr. E. A. Riggs, who has served as superintendent almost continuously since 1875, for the present condition of the library as well as for the use of the blackboard, and for numerous other improvements in this line of Christian work. He also gathered most of the facts set forth in the historical account of the school as presented in this chapter.
    Others have served with credit to themselves as superintendents among whom are Perry Davis, Truman Guthrie, Jacob Riggs, Samuel Lasley, Mrs. M. Marshal, J. L. McDaniel, and the present. Par many years, the school been organized as a Missionary Society, and has contributed liberally to carry out the Saviour’s command: “Go ye into all the world and preach my gospel.”
    Children’s Day has been observed almost continuously since it was authorized by the General Conference of 1872. Many of the programs have been of a very high order and the work of the school along this line has been a credit to both church and Sunday school.
    In addition to this the school has many times rendered a fitting program on Easter and also on Christmas.
    And in numerous ways, it may truthfully be said, has Clay Chapel Sunday school proven its right to exist by the good, which it has been able to accomplish in the community.
    The spirit of progress still lives and because there is now need of a few innovations, it is hoped that the historian of the future may have abundant material for faithfully recording the facts of the constant improvement of the Sunday school at Clay Chapel.


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