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Subject: Re: Rev. R. Clark in 1868, ? church
Date: 29 May 2005 21:52:37 -0600

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I have a copy of a record book from the Salem M.E. Church near Jacksonville (not too far from Franklin) that covers attendance from 1860 to 1867, kept by one of my ancestors in the area. Based on some of the notations in this record, I'd venture a guess that your guy was a circuit riding or traveling sort of preacher, and the Methodist church would be a great place to start. Church during this period of time could be quite different than what we envision -- camp meetings, small churches gathering on a quarterly basis apparently under one roof, and even outdoor gatherings similar to the later tent meetings and chatauquas that early evangelists such as Billy Sunday made so popular. I mention the outdoor meetings only because there are notations in this record of "rain", which apparently canceled a church meeting. Also, these early churches or church groups were later combined. This particular group started out with 35 members, and eventually dwindled to 12 before this particul!
ar record ends.

I had hoped that your Mr. Clark had been one of the ministers included in this record, but on checking, he is not.

I hope you can find some church records of your Mr. Clark, as they are fascinating to read. I would suggest the Jacksonville public library and the Illinois State Archives. I also would suggest trying to locate Mr. Clark's obituary in a local newspaper from the time of his death. As a minister, he was most likely widely know, and thus, would have been "important enough" for his death to be noted. His church affiliation would most likely be mentioned in his obituary.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Kellie Reeve Robinson

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