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Trinity Episcopal Church, Logansport
In 1840, Bishop Jackson Kemper visited Logansport as he traveled west on the Wabash & Erie Canal. His visit likely marked the first time a service in the Episcopal Church was held in the town. A year later the Rev. Francis H. L. Laird arrived to establish a congregation, conducting services in a schoolhouse at 228 Market Street. On 29 July 1841, a vestry was elected and chose the name of Trinity for the new congregation. For the next two years the congregation met on the third floor of a downtown building. The vestry raised subscriptions for a church building, and in 1843, a white, wood-frame church was erected on a hill at the northwest corner of Seventh and Market streets. A prime mover of the church was Graham Fitch, who had brought his family from New York in 1834 and had built a house at Seventh and Market streets. A strong abolitionist, he may have given support to fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad.
Between 1843 and 1863, the church held services irregularly as a variety of clergy of short duration came and went. They often held dual pastoral roles with St. Mary's in Delphi. After the Civil War, the church experienced structural problems, and when the Rev. Edward Purdy was called as rector in 1869, he accepted with the understanding that the building would be demolished and a new one of stone constructed. Work on the new edifice began immediately with limestone quarried locally on Fitch's farm on the west side of town and hauled to the site via the Wabash & Erie Canal. On February 19, 1870, the congregation worshiped for the first time in the new building. A new transept and chancel were added six years later as the parish grew under Purdy's leadership. A tracker organ built by the firm Hook and Hastings of Boston was installed in 1877 and is still in use. Many members of the early congregation had been members of the Church of Ireland.
During the 1890s and early 1900s, the parish experienced financial shortages and a number of divisions as various rectors came and went. In 1894, the Rev. Douglas Hobbs reported that in the wake of the financial depression, the year had been the hardest financially in the history of the parish, but he commended the congregation for "the practice of self-denial in meeting their obligations." The Rev. George H. Richardson arrived in 1918 and led the parish in celebrating a jubilee in 1919 and helping to raise funds for an episcopal residence in South Bend for Bishop White. When he left in 1920, he was criticized for self-boasting and for not following canons. His successor, the Rev. Clinton B Cromwell, arrived in 1920 and found the parish "utterly impossible" and "resigned as soon as he could find work elsewhere." A history in the parish register written by Cromwell explained, "a clique wanting to run the church in absolute defiance of the canons and the Bishop resulted, just as in the case of every other priest for 12 or 15 years, in the attempt to starve the Rector." He added, "God only knows what the next man can do - unless he is an angel from heaven."
The next two rectors, Edward Roland and W. Edward Hoffenbacher, had longer rectorates. Over time, especially under Bishop Campbell Gray, Trinity became increasingly Anglo-Catholic. Gray's son, Francis Campbell Gray, served briefly as rector from 1936 to 1937.
In the 1980s, the vestry made plumbing and heating renovations, and the edifice underwent a major renovation. Then in November 1989, during the rectorate of William Hibbert, a severe thunderstorm struck the church, tearing off part of the roof in a downdraft. Much of the interior was severely damaged, but funds arrived to help rebuild the church. In addition to insurance money, financial help came from many parts of the diocese. In November 1990, the restored church was rededicated by Bishop Frank Gray.
Under the ministry of the Rev. Clark Miller, who became rector in 2010, the parish began giving away school supplies to needy children, which quickly expanded to providing clothes and free haircuts. It also opened a food pantry that serves between 75 and 80 people on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.
Francis H. L. Laird, 1841-1843
Anson Clark, 1845-1846
Thomas Bassel Fairchild, 1848
Josiah Phelps, 1849-1850
Frederick Durbin Harriman, 1850-1852
Walter Emlen Franklin, 1852-1854
Henry Cook Stowell, 1854
John Trimble, 1855-1857
Alonzo James Madison Hudson, 1857-1858
Elias Birdsall, 1858-1860
Nathaniel Rue High, 1860-1861
Abner Platt Brush, 1863
John Edward Jackson Jr., 1866-1868
Edward James Purdy, 1869-1879
John Andrew Dooris, 1879-1881
Benjamin Tucker Hutchins, 1881-1882
Gustav Edmond Purucker, 1882-1883
Harry E. Thompson, 1884-1886
Benjamin Franklin Miller, 1887-1891
Douglas Irvine Hobbs, 1891-1895
Francis Clarence Coolbaugh, 1895-1898
Walter Jay Lockton, 1899-1906
Almon Clarke Stengel, 1906-1910
John Cole McKim, 1910
Louis Thibou Scofield, 1911-1914
Charles Frederic Westman, 1914-1918
George Harry Richardson, 1918-1920
Clinton Bradshaw Cromwell, 1920-1921
Edward Lemuel Roland Jr., 1923-1930
William Edward Hoffenbacher, 1930-1936
Francis Campbell Gray, 1936-1937
Raymond Mansfield O'Brien, 1937-1939
Clarence Charles Reimer, 1940-1949
Robert Chesleigh Holmes, 1949-1950
Gerald Lionel Claudius, 1950-1959
Hugh Crichton Edsall, 1959-1961
Henry R. Solem, 1962-1969
Wright Ramsett Johnson, 1969-1977
H. James Considine, 1977-1986
M. Richard Hatfield, 1986-1988
William C. Hibbert, 1989-1991
Michael J. Haas, 1992-2004
Theodore Neidlinger, 2004-2007
Clark S. Miller, 2010-
Barbara Colford, History of Trinity Episcopal Church, 1841-1991 (Logansport: Trinity Episcopal Church, 1991).
Trinity Episcopal Church, Logansport, Vestry Minute Book 1, 1841-1855
Parish Register, 1841-1865 [lost]
Parish Register, 1866-1879
Parish Register, 1880-1930
Rev. Benjamin Franklin Miller
The Rev. Benjamin F. Miller was born on 21 February 1839 in Murray, Orleans County, New York, the son of James H. and Adeline (Cramer) Miller. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1854, later receiving a Master's degree from there. During the Civil War he was a Brevet Major in the 151st New York Volunteer Infantry. He attended Union Theological Seminary after the war and was ordained tot he priesthood by Bishop Potter in 1869. He served as rector of Grace Church in Millbrook, Dutchess County, New York, from 1869 to 1875, and married Eva J. Stevens. He was later in Indiana, serving as rector of Trinity Church, Logansport, from 1887 to 1891. He moved from there to Tower, Minnesota, and then in 1894 to Clyde, New York, becoming rector of St. John's Church. He died in Holley, New York, on 21 October 1905, and is buried in Hillside Cemetery.