Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fistfight at Zion Church 1868

Date: May 23, 1868

A NICE FAMILY ROW—ALL THE PARTIES "LOYAL."—We have heard something of a pleasant little episode which occurred in our neighboring town of Lawrenceville , Ill., a few days ago.  It seems that a school election was ordered in the "Gillespie Settlement," in which the Methodist Church was badly "split up" and demoralized.  Rev. John Seed led one party, and Esq. Grant led the other.  Feeling ran pretty high, strong language was used on both sides, and the affair finally culminated in a general row, during which Mr. Alex Ryan was severely cut in the shoulder by a brother of Parson Seed—the Parson was himself pretty roughly handled, and several others were more or less damaged in their corporeal, if not spiritual functions.  It was an exclusive and an especial "family jar" in a peculiarly "loyal" Methodist household, and is calculated to bring much scandal upon the church.  "How sweet it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."  Let us pray!

Ed Note:  Rev John Seed was the Methodist Minister who baptized Elizabeth Reed in the Embarras River before she was hanged in 1845.  Researchers believe that the Methodist Church to which the reporter is referring is the Zion Methodist Episcopal Church because most of the Gillespie lands were to the north and west of the present Zion Church and Cemetery.