From: Donald G. Hooper <email@example.com>
To: Ann Hay <firstname.lastname@example.org>; George Fox <fox@UH.EDU>; J. Stafford <email@example.com>; Karl Kramer <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Richard Grayson <email@example.com>
Subject: Fredonia Church
Date: Monday, October 04, 1999 6:06 PM
While looking for a xerox of a photo of a Cline Civil War veteran, I ran
across the answer to my question about Fredonia Church property.
I have about a dozen xeroxed pages from a booklet (origin & title
unknown) which is a history of Westport, Indiana . This booklet was
published sometime after 1972. The following are excerpts from those
The Fredonia Church
The Fredonia Church grew out of a congregation which met during the
1820ís in the homes of the members. The Wren Grayson family settled in
1827 on the land now owned by William C. and Mabel Mattix Robbins. The
Felix Boicourt family settled one-half mile west of the Graysons in
April 1830. Members of these and other families formed the small
congregation which met in private homes.
Fexix Boicourt became a United Brethren Minister. He was received into
the United Brethren Conference in 1832 and became an ordained minister
in 1838. He is believed to have served the congregation for several
years before it was formally organized.
The Fredonia Church, which is located two and one-half miles south of
Westport, was formally organized in 1842 by Rev. F. Denoyer, and was
known as the Boicourt appointment. Felix Boicourt served as the first
minister, but died in 1842.
The first church did not stand where the present building stands.
The first church building stood somewhere on the forty-acre tract which
corners at the southwest corner of the intersection of the Range Line
Road and the third county road south of Westport. The property is now
owned by Arthur and Mary Catherine Hull McCullough.
In June 1846, David Boicourt made a deed for church ground to the church
trustees who were E. Boicourt, Joe Stonecypher, W. Grayson, James Clark
and Elihu Galloway.
The Masonic Lodge
The Westport Lodge No 52 F. & A. M. was organized in 1853. The charter
was issued by the Grand Lodge of Indiana on May 25, 1853. The first
Lodge Hall was on the north side of Main Street, over the Drug Store of
William Stott and Milton McWhinney, situated across the alley just east
of the Westport Hardware Store on the west half of Lot #9. The Lodge
Hall and all records were destroyed late Monday night and early Tuesday
morning on August 12th and 13th, 1872 when a disastrous fire swept a
large portion of the downtown business district..
A building committee was appointed: Daniel Patterson, William Bowen,
Perry Owens, J. W. Glasscock, and Wren Grayson..
On May 6, 1876 , William M. McCullough, Wren Grayson, and Lewis Dudley
Owens were appointed to a committee and instructed to purchase spittoons
for the Lodge.
Masters of the Westport Lodge No. 52 from the beginning up to 1900 are
1853-54 Wilson Pottinger 1873 John Shaw
1855 Lewis C. Stott 1874-79 Sandford Grayson
1856 W. H. Van Horn 1880 William Y. Talkington
1857 John W. Reynolds 1881-82 Sandford Grayson
1858 Lewis C. Stott 1883-90 William Hause
1859 John W. Reynolds 1891 Sandford Grayson
I have "skipped" the rest since no Grayson is listed after 1891.
The Old Christian Church
Rev. H. B. Sherman, father-in-law of Gertrude Sherman of Westport, was a
well-known minister of the Christian Church for a period during the
On Sunday, November 15, 1885, Rev. Gard baptized forty-two persons at
Westport, including Minnie Grayson and John C. Cann (then eight years
William Richardson, a United Brethren circuit rider wanting a place to
preach the gospel, and his young wife Jane, left Pennsylvania and
traveled down the Ohio River to whit is now Hamilton, Ohio, where their
three sons were born.
William and Jane Richardson, along with their sons, Joseph, William
John, and James , migrated from Hamilton, Ohio to Madison, Indiana.
From Madison, they moved northward and finally located in Brewersville
in Jennings County.
William Richardson rode a circuit of United Brethren Churches which
include Fredonia, New Bethel, Fish Creek, and the church in his hometown
William Richardson was also a good basket-maker, and this art was
developed by two of his sons, Joseph and William John. Both located on
farms in the New Bethel area where they farmed and made baskets which
they huckstered by horse and wagon to farmers and nearby storekeepers.
William John Richardson married Eliza Ellen Grayson, The daughter of
Wren Grayson, Jr., , a well-known farmer, and one of the early Decatur
At this time, the Graysons were living on the farm which Wren Grayson
Sr. had entered from the government in 1827. The farm is located south
of Westport, just northwest of the iron bridge over Sandcreek, and is
now owned by William and Mabel Robbins.
The Richardsons began their married life of a farm which was located
near Bear Creek. It was here that their seven children were born.
These are the children who were born to the Richardsons: Salethiel
Jesse, William Selden, Harry, Leonard Forest, Gertrude, Dean and Leafy.
On July 4, 1891 William Richardson bought property on Main Street, and
moved his family to Westport.
S. Jesse Richardson published "The Westport Independent," the first
newspaper published in Westport, and at different periods, owned and
operated the "Westport Courier-Independent."
Harry became a baker, and worked for the Thomas Bakery in the brick
building north of the Standard Service Station. He also operated a
shingle factory on the banks of Millstone Creek on East Mail Street.
Dean owned and successfully operated a restaurant on Main Street. He
also built and operated a filling station (now the Standard Station)
until his death in 1930.
Leonard Forrest became a newspaper editor and, in the early days of the
Westport Independent, worked in the print shop located in the Richardson
building, which was situated on the corner now occupied by the Standard
He went to Sheffield, Illinois, where he edited a newspaper - The Times
- until his death.
Gertrude (Sherman) and Leafy (Burns) are still living in the family home
on Main Street in Westport.
Donald G. Hooper
VoiceLine (734) 464-6975