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Chester Friends Church

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Chester Records at  [006]
Chester Records at Earlham College - [004]
Chester mm Minutes/Records Project - (Avocation/ FH Research Projects/ Projects/Projects_QuakerRecords_Ancestry.htm/ [006] )
Location - [001]
Timeline - [002]
Tomlinson Family at Chester - [003]

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[001] Location
Sec. 25, Washington Township, Hamilton County, Indiana
SW corner of US 31 and 196th St
Coordinates40° 04' 18"N     86° 07' 43.09"W
Google Custom Map - 1866 Plat Map - Sec. 25, Link, -
Chester Cemetery Entrance Sign - Washington Township, Hamilton County, Indiana - "Chester Friends Cemetery - Site of Chester Friends Meetinghouse 1859-1936 - Site of Chester Public School 1869-1896"
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[002] Timeline
31 March 1859 Petition to Westfield mm - [S1, pages 321-323]
May 1859 Westfield mm approved this action - sent it to the Quarterly Meeting held in Westfield - [S1, pages 321-323]
6 Aug 1859 Approval of committee from Quarterly Meeting - [S1, pages 321-323]
26 Oct 1859 Chester Preparative Meeting was organized - [S1, pages 321-323]
31 Oct 1859 First Chester Meeting held - [S1, pages 321-323]
1859 - Land for the Church was donated by Allen Tomlinson  - [S1, pages 321-323]

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[003] Tomlinson Family at Chester -
The Chester Friends church has a history beginning with the first settlement of the neighborhood.  In February, 1837, Robert Tomlinson, with his family, settled two miles north of Westfield.  In September, of the same year, Enoch Jessup and family settled near by.  In good time other families came to the neighborhood, most of whom belonged to the Friends church.  There was no church nearer than Westfield.  As there were no roads the mode of traveling was on foot or on horseback.  This distance was traveled for a few years until they believed they ought to have a church established in their own neighborhood.  To this end, on March 31, 1859, the following petition was presented to the Westfield Monthly Meeting:  'We, the undersigned members of the Westfield Monthly Meeting, request the privilege of holding a meeting for worship and a preparative among ourselves to be known by the name of Chester, two miles north of the town of Westfield, in the county of Hamilton, in the state of Indiana.  Said meeting to be held on the first and fourth day of monthly meeting weeks.  The preparative meeting to be held on fourth day before the last seventh day in each month.'
This petition was signed by Robert Tomlinson, Peter rich, David Stalker, John Stalker, Joseph Moore, William Baldwin, Lydia Tomlinson, Prudence Jessup, Amy Rich, Annie Stalker, Deborah Moore, Mary Baldwin, Noah Tomlinson, Allen Tomlinson, Eli Carey, Isom Hiatt, Jonathan Carey, David Fodrea, Abigal Tomlinson, Martha A. Tomlinson, Mary Carey, Asenath Hiatt, Eliza A Carey and Tamer Fodrea.

The Monthly Meeting at Westfield united with this request and the information of this action was forwarded to the Quarterly Meeting held at Westfield in May, 1859.  The Quarterly Meeting appointed a committee to visit those Friends making the request and this committee reported to the Quarterly Meeting held in the following August, as follows: "The committee appointed at last Meeting to visit those Friends on account of their request to hold a meeting for worship and a preparative to be known by the name of Chester, have attended to the object of our appointment and are free; said request to be granted, which we submit to the Meeting.  Signed, on behalf of the committee -- Andrew F Evans, Anna Baker."

The Quarterly Meeting made the following minute:  "At Union Quarterly Meeting of Friends, held at Westfield, Indiana, eighth month, sixth day, 1859, the committee appointed to visit Friends in the north part of the settlement of Westfield on account of their request for a Meeting for worship and a preparative, report that they have attended to the object of their appointment and are united in judgment that it would be right to grant their request, with which the Meeting unites; and appoints the following named Friends to attend the opening Meeting in the tenth month next, namely:  Donagan Clark, Jacob Carson, Noah Stafford, Clarkson F Cook, Benjamin Harold, Jesse Horney, Jemima Stanley, Sarah Hiatt, Elizabeth Bray, Edith J Commack, Phebe Cook, Eunice Doan.  (Signed) Levi T Pennington, Ellen R Hunt, Clerks"

In accordance with the above action Chester was organized on October 26, 1859, with Robert Tomlinson and Lydia Tomlinson as heads of the Meeting and Joseph Moore and Amy rich as clerks.  The first minister having a meeting appointed for proclaiming of the Gospel in Chester house. was Joseph Pickett, with M Sittler as his companion, which Meeting was held October 31, 1859.  The first marriage in Chester House was that of Henry Roberts and Keziah Lamm.  The first minister recorded was Zimri Kivett.  Several other members have been made ministers and one made a missionary to Africa, Florence Stanbrough Roberts. 

The ground upon which the meeting house was built was donated to the church by Allen Tomlinson to Joseph Moore, Allen Tomlinson and Noah Tomlinson, as trustees in 1859.  In the erection of this edifice the labor was donated by the members.  A part of the house was used for a school room for eight years.  [S1, pages 321-323

The Friends Church and school building (School # 17) are shown on the 1880 Washington Township map in their current location, on the land of Allen Tomlinson who provided the land for them both - They are located north of Westfield on the Lick Creek Gravel Road [S2, between pages 134, 135]
“Chester's spiritual leadership, moreover, mirrored its base of financial support. Almost 40 percent of those on its apportionment list were Tomlinsons, with many close relatives among the remaining names.”  [S3, page 87]

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[004] Chester Records at Earlham College -
Chester mm
(See Westfield (FUM)

CHESTER PM MIN 1878-1936,
WOMEN PM MIN 1859-1883,
CHESTER PM S.S. 1892-1896, 1914-1925,
Series 13: Chester
Item 1: A: Men's Minutes, 1877 - 1889
Item 2: B: Women's Minutes, 1859 - 1883
Item 3: C: Minutes, 1905 - 1936
Item 4: I: Treasurer Records, 1895 - 1935
Item 5: J: First Day School Records, 1892 - 1896
Item 6: J: First Day School Records, 1914 - 1925

"Copyright © 1992-2013 Earlham College. All rights reserved."
(Source:  ) Accessed May 2014
Westfield Friends Church:

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[005] Resources -
Post to QuakerRoots, 30 July 2015 - Link to original post -

Having collected photographs of hundreds of Friends Churches/Quaker
Meetinghouses in North America, I have been diligently searching for images
of a few Indiana meetinghouses that survived into the twentieth century.
Among those of which I am seeking pictures are these:

*Chester*, located two miles north of Westfield in Washington Township,
Hamilton County, Indiana. Chester was a preparative meeting under
Westfield Monthly Meeting and existed until 1936. We know that the
meetinghouse was remodeled in 1907. The Tomlinsons were the leading family.


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[006] Chester Records at -
Chester Preparative Meeting Book, 25 Oct 1905-25 March 1935 - Link - (120 Images) - Bk3978 -
-  Several family members are mentioned numerous times in this book
     -  On page 1, for example, the names, A. R. Tomlinson, Robert Tomlinson, Morton Tomlinson, Cyrus Carey, Wesley Bond
         -  Morton Tomlinson named Clerk
     -  Page 2:  Ruth Tomlinson, Treasurer
     -  Page 3:  Committee appointed to investigate a new building for the meeting or to remodel the present building:  Esther Tomlinson, Robert Tomlinson, Martha Kellam
Women's Minutes 1859-1883 and 1889-1905 - Link - (150 Images) - Bk3979 -

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[007] Text -

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[008] Text -

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Source Citation

Click for Larger Image

S1 Book - Haines, John F. History of Hamilton County, Indiana...... Indianapolis, Indiana: B. F. Bowen, 1915, Bk2922 - (Select Pages:  Doc0245.pdf)
-  History of Chester Friends Church - Pages 321-323:   Doc2635.pdf
Doc 0245.pdf
S2 Book - Helm, T B. History of Hamilton County, Indiana, Reprint . Chicago, Evansville, IN: Kingman Brothers, Unigraphic, 1880, 1976. Bk1604 - Read Online
S3 Book - R G Robins, A. J. Tomlinson: Plainfolk Modernist (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), Bk2869  


Images    Click Thumbnails for larger Images
I1 I2 I3 I4 I5 I6


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Email Me for More Information  -  Page updated:  16 March, 2018  -