Mary Hamilton Stockwell
for the Unitarian Society of
All Souls Church
History of the Unitarian Movement in Colorado Springs.
- up to the Year 1901.
While I shall contribute this brief summary chiefly from the books of the Secretary of the Unitarian Society, I shall also quote largely from an article written by Mrs. E.H. Jewett, for the Daily Evening Telegraph, and printed on December 18, 1897. In the early spring of 1890, the Rev. Samuel A. Eliot, of the Unity Church, Denver, visited Colorado Springs to preach, in exchange for the Rev. James B. Gregg of the First Congregational Church here. An informal gathering of liberal thinkers was held at the house of Mr. Geo. F. Holmes, for the purpose of making the acquaintance of Mr. Eliot, and discussing the feasibility of holding Unitarian services in this city, owing mainly in the zeal of Mr. G. Frank Otis, then a resident of Colorado Springs, and , subsequently, the first Secretary of the Unitarian Society, a movement has started looking toward the institution of a liberal church. the first meeting was held in Odd Fellows Hall, under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Forbush, the representative, for the West, of the American Unitarian Association. At this meeting, Mr. Forbush explained the details relating to the financial support of the church, and ascertained what guarantees could be secured here toward that end. The A.U.A. and Unity Church of Denver undertaking to meet any deficit in the necessary expenses. There was a liberal response in guarantees toward the cost of maintaining the services, and it was decided to continue them as often as possible. A week earlier, the first Rocky Mountain Unitarian Conference had been held in Denver, and had decided that the Missionary voted for Colorado could do the best work at Colorado Springs. During the following summer, the Rev. Mr. Eliot while East, arranged for the Mr. Forbrush and the A.U.A., to send a missionary minister to Colorado, the Rev. Mr. R. J. Mellen of Uxbridge , Mass.
On his return from the East, Mr. Eliot arranged for a Sunday evening service in Colorado Springs on September 28, 1890. Mr. Eliot preached to an audience of seventy four persons. And remained over the next day to consult with the most interested workers. A paper was drawn up, giving a formal call to Mr. Mellen; during the following week about sixty signatures to this paper were secured and it was mailed to Rev. Mellen, who had just arrived in Denver. On the evening of Tuesday, October seventh, a reception was tendered to Mr. and Mrs. Mellen, in the parlors of the Antlers Hotel. Despite a severe sandstorm, a large number of friends of the movement were present, as well as many others, among whom were the Rev. J. B. Gregg, and the Rev. Richard Montague.
The first service at which Mr. Mellen was present was held in Durkee Hall on Sunday, October 12th, 1890, and at the close of the service the congregation were requested to remain for a business meeting. the first order of business was the appointment of a temporary committee with a clerk - committee elected as follows;- E. H. Jewett, Seth Baker, M.A. Conant, Mrs. Susan Dunbar, and Miss Ellen Frothingham.
Thereafter, regular Sunday Services were held in Odd Fellows Hall, during the fall and winter of '90 - '91, with an attendance varying from seventy to ninety persons. A special meeting was held on February 25th, 1891, with a view of permanent organizations. The name of "All Souls Church" was adopted; a preamble and various articles of church government were voted upon and accepted. The preamble is quoted on the next page.
To promote the welfare of men and the glory of God - two phrases to us of the same significant - we whose names precede this statement, band ourselves together, under the following articles as a Christian Church, counting as noble teachers our helpers, and Almighty God alone as our master.
Officers elected for the first year;
Francis Burke Hill
E. H. Jewett
L. R. Ehrich
E. S. Bumstead
Mrs. Margaret Hamp
Mrs. Edward Ferris
Miss Augusta A. Warren
Secretary G. Frank Otis
Treasurer F. M. Howbert
Permanent Music Committee
Miss Lizzie Baker
Mr. E.S. Sawyer
Mr. G. F. Holmes
On February 15th, 1891, the meetings were moved to Weber Hall, and continued there for one month, when the Antlers Annex was secured the meetings were held here until the Society moved into the new church in 1893. During the winter of 90-91, a course of public lectures - for the benefit of the Public Library - was given under the auspices of All Souls' Church; the first one by the President of Harvard University, Charles M. Eliot, on Feb. 27th , Subject - the Real Sources of Happiness. the second lecture was given by Mrs. Julia Ward Howe on March 21st, Subject - Reminiscence of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
During the Spring the subject of buying a lot for which to build a church was talked over; sites were examined and priced. A lot belonging to the Colorado Springs Company was offered at $4000.00 - a concession from $6500.00., the market price - in view of our having lost the lot originally set aside for Unitarian Church purposes. In May, 1891, this lot , on the corner of Dale and Tejon Streets, was purchased by the members of the Society; early in the following year. Plans and estimates for a church building were accepted from Mr. Douglas of Colorado Springs, and work was begun.
The corner stone of All Souls' Church was laid on July 2, 1892, by the Rev. W. R. G. Mellen - the Rev. J. B. Gregg of the First Congregational Church offering an earnest prayer for the future of the church. The cornerstone is a solid block of red sandstone and is located on the north side of the church, on the left hand by the door. A coffee box was placed behind the stone, containing the following articles: small book being a manuscript sketch of the origin of the church; a copy of the constitution; a list of officers for 1892; a list of the members of the church, a list of subscribers to the Church Building Fund; notices of the Sunday School and Unity Club for 1891- 92' Year-book of all Unitarian Churches for 1892; Three tracts "What do Unitarians Believe" by S. J. May; "Why I am a Unitarian" by James Freeman Clark; copies of the Christian Register, Gazettes of January 1st , 1892 ,and May 22nd, 1892 containing Rev. Mellen's sermon on "Printing" of July 1stt and 2nd, 1892; Republican and Telegraph of Dec. 1st, 1891, also "Printer's House" edition.
The church was dedicated on Sunday morning, January 8th, 1893; a copy of the Dedicatory exercises is appended.
Statement of the cost of the church,
by F.B. Hill, chairman of Board of Trustees.
Lot $ 4000.00
Building Contract $10079.60
Furnishing, Lawn, etc. $ 5501.26
If the concession in price granted by the Colorado Springs Co. be counted a gift of $2500.00 the total cost of the church should be reckoned at $22460.66. Of this sum, all the money was subscribed by members here, except $4000.00, which was lent by the A.U.A., without interest, to be paid back in yearly installments as soon as possible. The church still owes Twelve hundred dollars of this loan, but does not owe another dollar and it is expected that we shall pay this sum up in a comparatively short time. The work of the building was supervised by the watchful chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Francis Burke Hill, and the society feels that it owes him a great debt of gratitude for the pretty and comfortable church building in which the members now hold services.
The main part of the church will seat comfortably two hundred and forty persons, but probably a hundred more could be placed, with the addition of the Sunday School room, which is directly in the rear of the auditorium. There is a ladies parlor, comfortably furnished and fitted with a cheerful open fireplace. The heating and ventilation of the church are accomplished by a very satisfactory system with due regard to the large class of people resident here permanently or temporarily for their health.
The church has had, with the present incumbent, four pastors. The Rev. Mr. R. G. Mellen remained with the congregation for five years, and was greatly beloved by all who knew him. He thought he was getting to old to have charge of a church, and on September 30th, 1895, he resigned his pastorate of All Souls, which he designated as his ABenjamin, the child of his old age.@ He died about Christmas of the same year, at Yonkers, whither he had gone to preach for a few times. The Rev. Austin Pratt was called to the pastorate on November 24th, 1895, and remained until his resignation in June 1897. After the departure of Mr. Pratt, the church was kept open by the efforts of our chairman Mr. Francis B. Hill, who read printed sermons and held services until the Rev. Mr. W. H. Fish supplied the pulpit for seven Sundays, beginning onto the first Sunday in August, 1897. The church unanimously decided to call Mr. Fish on August 22nd. and he went East in September to prepare for the transfer of his residence hither. During his absence, Mr. Hill again held the services and read the sermons of the Rev. Minot J. Savage, which proved to be remarkably interesting and acceptable to the congregation. Too much praise cannot be given to Mr. Hill for his service in thus keeping the church open while without a settled pastor. The Rev. W. H. Fish was installed on November 7, 1897, and with his coming, the church was expected to enter into a new era of prosperity and usefulness. Many of the members of the church, however either died or gone away - the population the time being, necessarily somewhat transient - and during the past three years, we do not seem to have added many new members. In the spring of 1901, Mr. Fish, partly on account of his health, and partly also because he was a little discouraged we fear, concluded to resign his pastorate and go abroad. Mr. and Mrs. Fish had greatly endeared themselves not only to all the members of the church, but to a large number of friends outside the church. It was felt by all to be a great loss for the town, when the with their departure on April 1, 1901.
The Rev. Alva R. Scott has been called to enter upon his pastorate on the first of September, and we confidently expect that the church will grow under his care. In a large membership and great influence.
The church has not reached it present comfortable degree of stability without some trials and obstacles overcome. Shortly after the dedication of the church, a woman, a citizen of the town, wrote a pamphlet denouncing the establishment of a "Temple of Error," as her Presbyterian orthodoxy describe the Unitarian Church. This pamphlet she distributed from door to door, in the interest of the old narrow creeds to which she clung, but she did not arouse any serious consideration anyway.
The intelligent people of the town and the church strove on its way as a "Temple of Truth-seeking" and an abiding place for those who found the old creeds false and non-satisfying. Being a movement, rather than a system of belief. The advancement of the truth and knowledge as the aim of the Unitarian Church as well as perpetual growth toward the Eternal Spirit of Unity.
List of Subscribers o the Fund for the Building of All Souls' Church
Mr. Jerome B. Wheeler, of Manitou, started this subscription list with a donation of $5000.00, a generous gift which made possible the building of the church. Others subscribed sums varying from $2000.00 to $5.00.
J.B. Wheeler, G. Frank Otis, J.J. Hagerman, N.H. Sinton, L.R. Ehrich, Aimsworth Brown, F.B. Hill, Layard Cahu, E.S. Bumstead, S.N. Hoag, Miss Ellen Frontingham, E.C.F. Krauss, Seth Baker, N.M. C. Newport, F.N. Howbert, N.S. Jackson, H.E. Lowe, G.S. Barnes (son), Char. Thurlow, E. Harris Jewett, Edward Ferrie, B. Erickson, H.E. Gates, H.D. Brown, Irving Howbert, Charles Sprague, Mrs. Valentine, Dwight S. Way, N.C. Frost, A. Matthews, Mrs. Margaret Hawp, John H. Bacon, Miss Annie Grimes, F.E. Robinson, Glen H. Sinton, Elizabeth R. Risley, Giles Crissey, Mar. J. Palmer, Miss Catherine Hubbard, N.H. Rusch, E.W. Lelle, Mrs. Chas. T. White, D.B.J.D. Adams, Miss Charlotte Baker, A.L. Dickerman, G.N. Nales, L.J. Patterson, Mrs. J.S. Cabot, John Ingram, Mrs. T.B. Frontingham, N.L. Hallett, Frank White, Mrs. D. Narren, Mrs. Robertson, A.L. Lawton, J.L. Marston, A.S. Blake, Mrs. Ely, E.J. Eaton, Russell Prentice, Mrs. E.F. Peck, J.J. Brown, Miss Heulen C. Bradlee, Miss Anna Fuller, Miss Wales, Miss E.E. Ozman, Miss K.D. Hubbard, Miss Leslie, Misses Stover, E.A. Sawyer, Ward B. Frontingham, Mrs. Bacon, Mrs. L.R. Read, Helen Warren, Mrs. S.E. Read, Mrs. Bortice, Miss C.C. Chadwick, Char. Dawson, Miss C.L. Thomas, Mrs. Paterson, Miss Helen Eller, E.N. Giddings, Miss O.B. Frontingham, Rev. Mr. Forbeech, Miles Collamore, E.E. Hepeler, O.B. Frontingham, E.F. Johnson, E. Barnett, C.E. Stobbs.
List of Original Members of All Souls' Church in 1890-1891.
Howard E. Gates, E.C.F. Krauss, R.S. Warren, Edward Ferris, Esther B. Holmes, E.A. Sawyer, Katharine L. Ferris, Alice Stewart Hill, Seth Baker, Rose Wagner, Louis R. Ehrich, Stella L. Baker, Aimsworth brown, Emma Stewart Baker, Augusta A. Warren, Helen E. Warren, Lila M. Touzalin, Edith Warren Corliss, Louise S. Hotchkiss, Mrs. S.T. Damon, Fanny M. Baker, Mrs. A.L. Dickerman, P. Erickson, Sarah J. Warren, M.A. Erickson, Edwin L Bumstead, Alice N. Baker, Amelia E. Bumstead, Char. Thurlow, M.T. Paige, Mrs. C.K. Davis, N.A. Conaut, Mrs. M.T. Paige, M.A. Thurlow, Geo. H. Sinton, N.M. Scott, E. Harris Jewett, N.K. Sinton, Geo. L. Holmes, Elizah S. Noolley, Francis B. Hill, Mevin M. Sinton, E.T. Johnson, M.J. Sinton Otis, Lulie B. Sinton, Mrs. Prudence K. Sinton, Joseph Lintox, Ellen Forbeech Jewett, Mrs. L.J. Patterson, Diana Nelson Mellen, Alice N. Spicer, Bertha Smith Bean, J.N. Bell, G. Frank Otis, Daniel Henry Bean.
List of Members of All Souls' Church up to October, 1901.
Francis B. Hill, E.S. Woolley, Mrs. E.W. Baxter, Mrs. L.M. Touzalin, N.M. H. Rusch, Norman K. Williams, L.R. Ehrich, N.M. Campbell, Miss Ada Lessims, Mrs. J.B. Wheeler, N.A. Corson, Mrs. L.B. Patterson, Mrs. Valentine, Ernest Brenhart, Mrs. Hodgkins, Mrs. Daniel Rupp, G.H. Crapser, Robert Seliwarty, Charles Thurlow, Mrs. Mary G. Ely, Miss Cook, N.S. Jackson, Mrs. J.R. Bischoff, A. Salter, A.S. Blake, E.S. Jewett, Mr. & Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. F.S. Peabody, Mrs. Elizabeth Risley, Mrs. Terry, Mrs. Margaret Hawp, Simeon Dunbar, Mrs. Davis, E.C. Woodward Miss Sparrow, Miss Adams, Miss Rose Wagner, Mrs. Everleth, Miss Miles, Walter C. Frost, Mrs. Twitchell, Geo. S. Green, Mrs. N.C. Frost, Miss L.J. Warren, Mrs. N.B. Boardman, Miss Ella Warren, Miss Agnes Nylie, Frederic R. Hastings, Thomas P. Craig, Mrs. Dean, Miss Lillian E. Lowry, Mrs. T.P. Craig, M.M. Sinton, Miss Mary H. Stockwell, Seth Baker, E.L. Spackman, Jas. A. Lockhart, J.R. Hartman, A.H. Dickerman, Richard Irwin, E.A. Sawyer, Mrs. B. Edrall, Dr. Caroline E. Spencer, Misses Carth, Mr. Albert Pearson, Mr. & Mrs. M.M. Price, Mrs. Clara S. Fuller, NM. Dawson Hawkins, Mrs. S.H. Hoag, N.M. M.E. Hintechurch.
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