Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Potwin Christian Church A History by Elsie Higdon Smith 1969

cursive written inside in dark ink:
To Grace Brown I thought you might like to track down a few of your relatives in this book I compiled for the 75th Anniversary of the Potwin Christian Church in 1970. Your cousin Elsie Higdon Smith
below, also written in cursive with dark ink in my Grandmother Grace Brown's handwriting:
This is Uncle Hugh Higdons daughter. That is my Mothers, Brothers, oldest daughter.

copyrifgt by Elsie Higdon Smith
Library of Congress Catalog No. 78-99962
Printed in U.S.A. by The Mennonite Press
North Newton, Kansas

when Grandma moved into Sunnyview Nursing Home, my mom & aunts had to go through her things & clean her house out to sell. I got possession of this book. I am going to list the family members I know belong to us, and also the ones I think belong to us. Keep in mind how good my memory is...and away we go.

Elsie wrote a foreword expressing thanks for help compiling information and gives a history of their area of Kansas.

p.18 Dedication of the Potwin Christian Church
Since the dedication of the new Potwin Christian Church on Sunday April 28 1918 there have been 3 observances of the founding of the church:
50 years Oct 7 1945
55 years July 23 1952
70 years Nov 7 1965

program OCt 7 1945
Devotionals Mrs. Nellie Higdon
Litany Mrs. Nellie Higdon
Elders K.H. Smith, Philip Higdon, Frank Orton
Trustee Frank Smith
Devotions for the Services of the 50th Anniversary of the Potwin Christian Church Nellie Holmes Higdon
The occasion of our gathering today to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Christian Church of Potwin, should have a reverent scripture lesson. So I wondered just what to choose. It should be something that would express the earnest desire of the founders of the church, and of the members all along, that took up the Christian work.
I can recall when we first came to this community, years ago, that we found a very sincere group of members, anxious to do their very best to build up the church in a devoted, consecrted way as the Christ would wish to be done.
So they gave their talents; and there were many talented personalities included in this membership, and others that came in to help Christ's cause.
We have only to remember the lives of many that have been brought up in this congregation that are giving consecrated Christian service wherever they hav gone in their various walks of life. Among the best of them, were the children of those first families that started the church...
While down in the audience were seated those faithful members, backing the services with their prayers. Among those, with their families...the Smiths, the Maxwells...
Having enjoyed this work with the people here, I can speak knowingly, that they strove to be neighborly and kind at all times...

p.26 The pastor who served the greatest number of years,not only as a church builder, but also a community builder, was the late J.H. Higdon. He began his ministry in 1912 and continued until after the erection and dedication of this building in 1917-1918.

p.27 Program Sunday July 23 1950 piano prelude Miss Norma Orton

p.29 Program Sunday Nov 7 1965 Quartet including Mary Jane & John Orton
sermon by Mrs. Karen Smith Yount

p.30 poem The Potwin Christian Church by Mary Higdon Freking
this is a 2 1/4 page poem!
"In the year Nineteen Twelve, a faithful member and worker,
Being summoned, so it seemed, by God's holy voice,
Accepted this challange; thus it was James Hugh Higdon
Was ordained as a minister, to serve the Church of his choice."

p.35 From the time of the beginning of the Christian Churches, two basic institutions have been followed-the weekly observance of Holy Communion and baptism by immersion.
The Communion service has been served by the men who are deacons and elders of the church, while women as deaconesses prepared the emblems. In the early years this meant home preparation of the emblems. Just a few of the loyal women who served in that capacity...Mrs. Bernice Orton.

p.37 four persons have been ordained in the Christian Ministry, the first was J.H.Higdon who had come to Potwin as a teacher in 1905. When the church was without a minister in 1911,he took charge of the services and members of the congregation urged him to enter the ministry. He was ordained in August 1912 with the Rev. W.T. McLain of Wichita leading with the help of the elders of teh church.
Two recent ordinations were fourth generation members of Life Lines for Christ in Potwin Christian Church and great grandchildren of Philip Smith, a member of the Evangelical faith which shared services with Potwin Christian Church for a few years.
Karen Smith Yount was ordained on the anniversary of the founding of the church on July 21 1963.
Clyde Markee was ordained in a service held at University Place Christian Church, Enid OK Dec 10 1967.
Potwin Christian Church added encouragement to both Karen & Clyde in assistance at various times during their education. A special gift was give Karen when she had the privilige of being on the National Youth Tour of the Caribbean in 1855. Special help was given Clyde on enrollment fees when he was a student at Phillips University & during an extensive illness and hospitalization in Enid.

p.39 J.H. Higdon conducted funeral services for 2 men struck & killed by a train on icy roads, Jan 1937.

pp.40-1 Warren McLain has served as chairman of the board of the church from 1968-1970. Both Warren & wife Doris are from early Kansas stock, and both lost their mothers in the severe winter of 1918-1919 in the terrible influenza epidemic.
Warrens grandparents the Maxwells came to Fairview Township in 1872. J. Warren McLain was an early businessman in the community. Warren's mother, Hazel Maxwell, was one of the four Maxwell sisters (Hazel plus Vera and Vida, the twins, and Fern) who united with the church in the McPherson tent meeting held just north of the Harry Coats home in the summerof 1914 as did his father Arthur McLain.
Hazel Maxwell & Arthur McLain were married OCtober 1914, they had two children, Warren, and Mary Louise, now Mrs. Virgil Whiteside.
at the time of Hazel's death Jan 1919 Warren was 3 1/2 & Mary Louise was 22 months. the children went to live with the grandparents, Guy & Mary Gamble Maxwell.
Doris McLain was a member of the Kimberlin adn Nellan's families, both early KS families. The Kimberlins had a Catholic background when they came to KS but her grandparnets, John & Minnie Vann Kimberlin, united with Potwin Christian Church as did several others of the Kimberlin family who lived NE of Potwin.
Delta Nellans Kimberlin, mother of Doris, was raised on the Nellan's farm in the Elbin community; it was a welcome place for everyone and for a time was the location of the Nellan's post office.
at the death of Delta Nellans Kimberlin Oct 1918 Doris made her home with her grandmother, Mrs John (Minnie Vann) Kimberlin,until her marriage to Warren McLain in 1934.
Warren & Doris with their son David have played an active part in the Potwin Christian Church, filling various offices most ably.

picture section fall 1918 J.H. Higdon minister picture.
Easter 1950 choir picture...Bernice Orton, Norma Orton, Elsie Smith accompaniest,
1950 womens' workday picture...Mrs. Orton, John Orton

p.52 Guy & Effie Fresh sold their dairy farm just east of Potwin to Philip Higdon.

p.56 Kenneth Smith accepted Christ in the Early meeting when he was a freshman in high school. he served as a Sunday School teacher, deacon in the church, & a member of the choir. he married Elsie Higdon May 28 1936 at Emporia, KS. he was a grocer for many years.
Kenneth & Elsie had one daughter Karen Jane, who made her confession and was baptized shortly after her father's death in 1947. when her mother became associated with the United Christian Missionary Society as a secretary at Hazel Green Academy in KY, Karen entered the Academy & graduated with honors in 1956. She attended Phillips University and graduated in 1960. she was ordained to the ministry in the Potwin Christian Church July 21 1963. she is the wife of Bennie L. Yount who is a minister.

this is as far as I have read...to be continued....

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