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A HISTORY

OF

GRACE CHURCH PARISH,

MOUNT WASHINGTON,

PITTSBURGH, PA.



WITH LIST OF PARISHIONERS, VESTRYMEN, BAP-

TISMS, CONFIRMATIONS, MARRIAGES,

BURIALS, ET CETERA,

BY
REV. ROBERT JOHN COSTER, D. D.,
            RECTOR.

INCLUDING, ALSO, A SKETCH OF THE EARLY
HISTORY OF THE PARISH,

BY

HON. THOMAS T. BIGHAM,
LATE SENIOR WARDEN.

1903 :
WM. O. JOHNSTON & CO.,
PITTSBURGH.




""






ILLUSTRATIONS.

Grace Church, built 1853 ......................................................
Frontispiece

Fronting Page
Interior View of the Church ..................................................
  9
The Rev. Gustavus W. Mayer .............................................
 13
The Rev. B. B. Killikelly, D. D. ...........................................
 16
The Rev. Robt. J. Coster, D. D. ..........................................
 18
The Choir, October, 1903 .....................................................
119
The Bishop's Chair ...............................................................
120
The Lectern ...........................................................................
122
Mrs. Maria Louisa Bigham ..................................................
257
The Hon. Thomas J. Bigham ................................................
262
George T. Lowen ...................................................................
264
Abraham Kirkpatrick Lewis .................................................
266
Squire Edward Bratt ..............................................................
267
John Conway Shaler, Jr. .......................................................
269
William Luke Bond ...............................................................
271
Captain John Smith McMillin ..............................................
272
Major Samuel Harper ...........................................................
275
William Halpin .......................................................................
277
Alfred Marland ......................................................................
279
Oliver Halpin Stinson ............................................................
280
Melville L. Stout ...................................................................
281
George Abraham Johnson ....................................................
282
Thomas Francis Ashford, Sr. ................................................
283
Orin W. Sadler, M. D. ...........................................................
284
The Rector and Vestry (1903) ..............................................
285
Henry Washington Neely .....................................................
289






 TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Preface .................................................................................    5
Location ...............................................................................    7
Organization of the Parish ..................................................    8
Laying the Corner Stone of the Church .............................    8
Charter obtained .................................................................    9
Abmitted to the Convention of Diocese of Pennsylvania ..    9
Opening of the Church ........................................................    9
Cost of the Church and Lot .................................................   10
The Reverend James A. Stone ...........................................   10
The Reverend John G. Furey .............................................   11
The Reverend Richard Smith .............................................   11
The Reverend Charles W. Quick .......................................   12
The Reverend Jubal Hodges ..............................................   12
The Reverend Gustavus Wilhelm Mayer ..........................   13
Vacancy in the Rectorship ..................................................   15
The Reverend Bryan Bernard Killikelly, D. D. ................   16
Cost of Basement Sunday School Room ...........................   18
The Reverend Robert John Coster, D. D .........................   18
Consecration of the Church ................................................   21
Celebration of his Twentieth Anniversary (1888) .............  40
Improvements in the Neigborhood of the Church .............  88
Celebration of his Thirtieth Anniversary (1898) ...............   91
Continuation of the History of his Rectorship to 1903 .....
 95
History of the Pipe Organ of the Church ...........................
107
History of the Choir ............................................................
110
Chancel Furniture and Memorials .....................................
120
Chancel Window ..................................................................
121
Stained-Glass Windows ......................................................
123
The Mount Washington Reading Room ............................
125
Charter of the Parish...........................................................
130
Vestries of the Parish .........................................................
134
Deputies to the Diocesan Conventions .............................
140
Lists of Parishioners ................................  143, 144, 148, 157, 159
Baptisms ..............................................................................
166
Confirmations ......................................................................
209
Marriages ............................................................................
215







Burials .................................................................................
230
Obituary of Mrs.. Maria Louise Bigham ...........................
257
Members of the Vestry of 1851 .........................................
262
Hon. Thomas James Bigham .............................................. 262
GeorgeT. Lowen ..................................................................
264
Abraham Kirkpatrick Lewis ...............................................
266
Members of the Vestry of 1869 .........................................
267
Members of the Vestry of 1893 .........................................
279
The Rector and the Vestry of 1903 ...................................
285
Henry W. Neely, S. S. Supt. and Vestryman ....................
289
The Grace Church Guild ....................................................
290
The Coster Guild ................................................................
295
A Sketch of the Early History of the Parish, by the Hon. Thomas James Bigham, late Senior Warden ....................
296
(See Index at end of book.)




 


5

PREFACE.


    The men and women who took part in the founding of Grace Church have nearly all passed away. Soon there will be no one living who was present at the laying of the corner stone in April, 1852, or at the first opening of the church for divine service in September, 1853.

    We wish to perpetuate the memory of the deeds of those whose faith and zeal, whose loving sacrifices and labors established and built up the church, the ministrations and privileges of which the present generation of the people of Mount Wasting on are now enjoying; therefore, we have at some pains gathered such facts concerning the origin of the church as are now accessible, and such reminiscences of its early history as the imperfect records give, and such other facts as the memories of those yet living, who were cognizant of the events, can supply.

    We are particularly indebted to the Hon. Thomas J. Bigham, long the senior warden of the parish, for an interesting account of its early history. This history, prepared at the request of the Rector and Vestry, a few years before his death, will form an important part of the work. This, however, we may say, is only one of Mr. Bigham's minor services of the parish; for, indeed, it was chiefly through his efforts and gifts, and those of his generous and devout wife, that the parish was organized and the church building erected. Others, indeed, as the history will show, helped in the work; but it was altogether due to the influence and solicitations of Mr. and Mrs. Bigham, in those early days, that help from other sources was forthcoming. Mrs. Bigham gave the ground on which the church stands, and she and her husband gave more than two-thirds of the three thousand dollars which the church originally cost. They both maintained their deep interest in the church to the end of their life. The writer knows well how much they loved the church, and how they valued its ministrations and gave freely to its support.




6

    There are several other families which, although not among the originators of the church, were its constant attendants and supporters from a very early period in its history. Among these families the Goldthorps, the Bratts, the Halpins, the McMillins, the Shalers, the Bonds, the Goldings and the Torrences are to be mentioned.

    The faithful workers and the devout supporters of the Church of Christ deserve to be held in loving remembrance, and if this little work shall keep from oblivion the names of a few of these faithful ones, it  will have served a worthy purpose, and the compiler will be amply rewarded for the time and labor devoted to its preparation.

ROBERT JOHN COSTER,  
                                   Rector.  

BISHOP BOWMAN INSTITUTE,
Pittsburgh, October 10, 1903.





7


AN HISTORY OF GRACE CHURCH PARISH.
LOCATION.
MOUNT WASHINGTON, NOW THIRTY-SECOND WARD,
PITTSBURGH.

    The district lying south of the Monongahela River, on the top of the high bluff rising four hundred feet above the lower part of the city, directly opposite to old Fort Duquesne, is known as Mount Washington (originally Coal Hill). As late as thirty years ago the only means of access to this district was a road starting from the south end of Smithfield Street Bridge and winding around the side of the hill, following a ravine, until it reached the top, where it led into the old Washington Road. In this district the descendants and heirs of Major Abraham Kirkpatrick were large landholders, among whom was Maria L. Lewis, afterwards Mrs. Thomas J. Bigham. Soon after her marriage her husband built a commodious brick residence on her land,  and the family went to live on Mount Washington. The population at that time was small and there was no church in the district which now forms the Thirty-second Ward of Pittsburgh. As soon as they were settled in their new home Mr. and Mrs. Bigham opened a Sunday School for the children of the hill, and at once began to form plans for establishing a church in the neighborhood. At first they obtained the use of the public school building for holding the Sunday School, and afterward services were held there until the church was built, in 1853.

    The inaccessibility of this district and the rough and at times muddy condition of the streets retarded the growth of the population for some years; but when, in 1872, the Monongahela Incline Plane, near the south end of the Smithfield Street Bridge, was opened for travel, and a little later the Duquesne





8

Incline, opposite the Point, the growth of the population became very rapid. Then improved board walks followed, and later paved streets, which rendered it a much more desirable place of residence.  But during the time when the church was first organized, and for twenty years afterward, it was a region almost unknown in the city and was visited only by those whose interests or duty led them to climb the steep hill.
 
 
ORGANIZATION OF THE PARISH.
October 22, 1851.

    Grace church was organized and its articles of association were adopted at a meeting held in the public school building, on the corner of Sycamore and Spring (now Stanwix) Streets, on October 22, 1851, under the chairmanship of the Rev. William H. Paddock, missionary of the diocese in Western Pennsylvania. The following vestry was elected: Thomas J. Bigham, Senior  Warden; Alexander Rowland, Junior Warden; George Lowen, William Adams, Richard Stubbs, Benjamin White, and A. Kirk Lewis. Among those present at the organization of the parish were Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Bigham, Mr. and Mrs. William Adams, A. Kirk Lewis, Andrew Rowland, Misses Augusta and Lucy Shaler (daughters of Judge Shaler) , Mr. Richard Stubbs, Mr. and Mrs. David Reese, Miss Anna M. Golding and George Lowen. It is to be regretted that the record does not contain a full list of those present,as it is impossible now to supply the deficiency.

    The first meeting of the new parish for divine service was held in the same schoolhouse, on the evening of the fourth Sunday after Epiphany, February 1, 1852, by the Rev. Joseph A. Stone, who then entered upon duty as minister of the parish.


LAYING THE CORNER STONE.
APRIL 3, 1851.

    The corner stone of Grace Church was laid on the corner of Bertha and Sycamore Streets, with appropriate services, by the Rt. Rev. Alonzo Potter, Bishop of. the Diocese of Pennsylvania, on April 3, 1852, in the presence of a number of the clergy of the city and






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9

a large assembly of the laity. There were present at this service, among others, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Bigham, Mr. and Mrs. A. Kirk Lewis, Miss Sarah Orth, Mrs. Golding, Miss Anna Golding (later Mrs. W. L. Bond), Mrs. T. H. Golding, Mr. and Mrs. George Lowen, Mr. and Mrs. William Adams, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Stubbs, Mr. and Mrs. David Reese (father and mother of Mrs. Mary E. Torrence), Mr. and Mrs. Price, Mr. and Mrs.W. O. Leslie, Miss Emily Neely, Mr. Eaton and Mr. Felix R. Brunot.

    Bishop Potter was assisted in the service by the Rev. Joseph A. Stone, the rector, and the Rev. William H. Paddock, missionary. The singing for the occasion was led by Miss Emily Neely.

CHARTER OBTAINED.
 APRIL 26, 1852.

    The parish was chartered by the Court of Common  Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and the charter of incorporation ordered to be recorded in the office for recording deeds in the said county  on April 26, 1852. (See charter.)


ADMITTED TO CONVENTION.
MAY 20, 1852.

    The charter of the new parish was laid before the Annual Convention of the Diocese of Pennsylvania which met in Philadelphia in May, 1852, and on the  third day of the session, May 20, 1852, on motion of the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, of the Committee on Charters, the parish was duly admitted into union with the convention.


OPENING THE NEW CHURCH.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1853.

    The church building was completed, and opened for divine service on the afternoon of Sunday, September 18, 1853, when, after evening prayer by the rector, Rev. John G. Furey, the Rev. E. N. Cornwall, Rector of St. Andrew's Church, Pittsburgh, preached the sermon, from Psalm lxxii, 16: "There shall be an heap of corn in the earth high upon the hills; the fruit shall shake like Lebanon: and shall be green in the city like grass upon the earth."'




10
    In the evening of the same day divine service was again held, and after the reading of the service by the Rector, the Rev. Samuel Randall preached from Ephesians iv, 21: "As the truth is in Jesus."

    Large congregations attended these services, ' and it was a day of great rejoicing for the members of the new parish.

COST OF CHURCH AND LOT
As RECORDED IN THE PARISH REGISTER.

Lot, 84 by 200 feet ......................................................... $  500. 00
Church building (contract price) .................................... 2,000.00
Extrawork, etc ............................................................... 356.00
Stained-glass windows (Rhodes an Nelson) ................. 103.00
Fence for lot and painting same .................................... 95.00
Bell, from Fulton Foundry ............................................. 40.00
Stoves and fixtures ........................................................ 23.00
     Total .......................................................................... $3,117.00

Paid by the following contributions:
Proceeds of a picnic ...................................................... $  273.00
A. Kirk Lewis ................................................................ 350.00
Richard Cowan .............................................................. 50.00
William Holmes ............................................................. 50.00
Hon. Charles Shaler ...................................................... 25.00
Mrs. Eliza Loomis ......................................................... 25.00
Sundry Small contributions' to pay for fence ............... 60.00
Andrew Fulton, cost of bell ........................................... 40.00
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Bigham .................................. 2,224.00
      Total .......................................................................... $3,117.00


----------------------------------------------

RECTORS.

THEIR PERIODS OF SERVICE AND OTHER FACTS OF
INTEREST.

    1. REV. JOSEPH A. STONE, entered upon duty and held the first service after the parish had been organized, in the evening of the fourth Sunday after Epiphany, February 1, 1852. He officiated regularly every Sunday evening, and every other Sunday morning thereafter.




11

    He reports that the parish had a successful and flourishing Sunday School, established several years prior to this time by an active and devoted lady of the parish, the sessions of which were held every Sunday afternoon.

    After a rectorship of one year and one month, he resigned, on the third Sunday in Lent, February 1, 1853.

    2. REV. JOHN G. FUREY, the second rector of the parish, entered upon duty June 1, 1853, and after a rectorship of nine months resigned March 1, 1854.

    No report of his work seems to have been made to the Convention in 1854. The important event during his short connection with the parish was the opening of the new church for divine service on the afternoon of Sunday, September 18, 1853. Up to this time services had been held in the schoolhouse mentioned above, where there were no appliances for a proper rendering of the service. This change gave to the young parish a permanent center for church work, and assured the continued growth and influence of the parish in the community.

    3. REV. RICHARD SMITH, the third rector of the parish, began duty the Sunday after Easter, April 23, 1854. After serving the parish two years, he resigned April 24, 1856, in consequence of increasing age and general debility. He had, in connection with his work on Mount Washington, the work at St. Luke's, Chartiers, between which two places he divided his time. In his report to the Convention in May, 1856, he says: "I have labored during the past year in my two parishes as often as circumstances would allow. The congregations have steadily improved, especially the one on Mount Washington, where there is a good Sunday School, well attended." In the previous year he reported 12 teachers and 85 scholars as belonging to the Sunday School.

    Owing to his age and the inaccessibility of the church from the city, Mr. Smith was often absent in the winter time, but the church was not closed, as Mr. T. J. Bigham on such occasions read the service, and thus prevented the disappointment of the small gathering of worshipers.




12

    After the resignation of the Rev. Richard Smith,  there was a period of seven months in which there was no rector.  lay services were held by Mr. T. J. Bigham, the senior warden, with an occasional service by the Rev. J. S. B. Hodges, the assistant minister at Trinity Church, and others.

    4. THE REV. CHARLES W. QUICK,  the fourth rector of the parish, began to officiate in December, 1856. He had other work in the city, and generally officiated at Grace Church in the evening. After a rectorship of two and a half years, he resigned in the month of April,  1859.

    In his last report, made in May, 1858, he gives the families as 10 and the communicants 8. He says: "The senior warden has steadily performed the duties of lay reader. To visit the parish once on Sunday in order to preach has been all that my other engagements have left me at liberty to do. The salary is small and very much in arrears."

    The Sunday School remained the same as reported by the preceding rector.

    Mr. Quick was scholarly and conscientious, but a man of marked peculiarities, some of which Mr. Bigham refers to in his history of the parish.


VACANCY IN THE RECTORSHIP.

    A vacancy in the rectorship now began which continued fourteen months, during which time the Sunday School was kept open, and occasional services were held by visiting clergymen. Rev. E. M. Van Dusen, of St. Peter's Church, and Rev. Jubal Hodges, of St. Mark's, Birmingham, held services and baptized some children.

    5. The REV. JUBAL HODGES, the fifth rector, began to officiate on Sunday, June 24, 1860. He was at the same time rector of St. Mark's, Birmingham, and held services in Grace Church only on Sunday afternoons. He continued to officiate about a year and resigned, as it seems, in the summer of 1861. The entries in the parish register give little information, and there is no report in the Convention Journal for 1861; consequently there are no data concerning his rectorship.





13

    6. The REV. GUSTAVUS WILHELM MAYER, the sixth rector, began duty in the parish December 1, 1861, the first Sunday in Advent, in connection with the parish of St. Luke's, Chartiers. He was at that time a deacon, but January 19, 1862, he was ordained to the priesthood, and on the following Sunday administered the Holy Communion for the first time in Grace Church.

    After officiating at Grace Church about eighteen months, with an interruption of six or eight weeks, caused by a serious illness, during which time services were rendered by the Rev. Charles V. Gardiner, who was then staying in Pittsburgh, he resigned in March, 1863, and confined his services to St. Luke's, Chartiers. During his incumbency he kept a horse, and was able, therefore, to reach both of his churches on Sunday, officiating at one in the morning and at the other in the evening.

    He was a German by birth, and occasionally held a service in the German language in Grace Church, for the benefit of the German-speaking people of the parish, and some of the families thus brought to the church still remain members of the congregation.

    There seems to have been little change in the condition of affairs during Mr. Mayer's rectorship. The Sunday School was kept up by the senior warden, and the contributions were about as in former years, though the particulars are not recorded. In May, 1862, he reports, "Number of communicants, 10."


A SKETCH of His LIFE.

    Gustavus Wilhelm Mayer, the son of L. G. Mayer and Marie Louise von Liebenstien, was born Sunday, April 26, 1835, in Sussen, Wurtemberg, Germany, and was the elder of two children. His parents were members of the Established Church of Wurtemberg (Lutheran), and he was baptized in the parish church on the eighth day after his birth. He received his early instruction in the parish school, and then in the Latin Grammar School at Weiblingen, where he studied Latin and Greek and made such progress that at thirteen he could read his Greek New Testament with ease and fluency. In 1848 his parents emigrated to America, and in 1853





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14

he entered Princeton College, from which institution he was graduated in 1857. After some months of study in the Princeton Theoiogical Seminary he decided to enter the ministry of the Episcopal Church, and consequently went to the Theological Seminary at Alexandria, Virginia, becoming a cadidate for Holy Orders from that diocese. He graduated from that institution in 1859, and on October 2 of that year was ordained deacon in the chapel of the seminary by the Rt. Rev. John Johns, D. D., Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia at that time.

    He did temporary work in the dioceses of Virginia and Maryland for about two years and then, on December 1, 1861, he was put in charge of St. Luke's, Chartiers, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and Grace Church, Mount Washington, by the Bishop of Pennsylvania. He was ordained to the priesthood Sunday, January 19, 1862, in St. Paul's Church,  Philadelphia, by Bishop Alonzo Potter, and returning at once to Pittsburgh he celebrated the Holy Communion, for the first time in his ministry, in Grace Church on the following Sunday morning.

    In 1863 he gave up his work in Pennsylvania, and after about two years spent in Spring Hill Parish, Somerset County, Maryland, and in missionary work in Elmira, New York, he accepted the rectorship of St. Mark's Parish, Penn Yan, N. Y., in 1867.

    Here, in the fall of 1870, he married Mary L. Potter, youngest daughter of Samuel J. Potter, of that place. The next eleven years he spent in missionary work in the West—one year in Cheyenne and ten years in San Francisco, Cal, He returned East in 1881 and was appointed on the staff of the City Mission clergy of New York, which position he held for ten years, being also during this time chaplain of "Charity Hospital, Blackwell's Island, N. Y." After one year of work at the Mission Church of the Holy Cross, New York, he began labor in his present position, January 1, 1893, as priest in charge of St. Matthew's (German) Mission Church in Newark, N. J. This work is specially interesting to him, owing to the fact that it was in this church that the impressions made upon him in his boyhood ultimately led to his entering the ministry of the Episcopal Church.




15

    Mr. Mayer is a very scholarly man, of high mental endowments and keen literary perceptions; a fine sermonizer and a ready, fluent speaker.


VACANCY IN THE RECTORSHIP,
FROM APRIL, 1863, TO JUNE 26, 1866.

    After the resignation of the Rev. Mr. Mayer there was no rector for a little over three years. During this time services were maintained with more or less regularity by Dr. L. H. Harris, acting as lay reader, under the appointment of Bishop Stevens. Occasional clerical services, with the administration of baptism and Holy Communion, were given by the Rev. Dr. Van Dusen and the Rev. Messrs. Ten Broeck, Tschudy, Snively, Swope and Fuller, of the city clergy. The Sunday School was kept open chiefly through the efforts of the lay reader and Mr. and Mrs. Bigham, with an average attendance of about 100 pupils.

    Such frequent and long-continued interruptions in the regular services of a parish are serious hindrances to its life and growth, and sometimes lead to disastrous results. It was only the devoted faithfulness of a few earnest souls that prevented the complete disorganization of the parish at this time.

    During the greater part of this period our civil war was in progress, and all church as well as all benevolent enterprises, not directly connected with the war, suffered greatly by the diversion of sympathy and interest to the claims of that great struggle. The war, which threatened our national existence, so engrossed the thoughts and absorbed the energies of our people that they could give but little attention to anything else. At length, however, peace came in 1865, and again men's thoughts and activities were directed in the old channels, interest in church matters soon revived, and a year later the vestry secured a rector and regular ministrations were resumed in Grace Church.





16

    7. THE REV. BRYAN BERNARD KILLIKELLY, D. D., the seventh rector of the parish, entered upon his duties on Trinity Sunday, May 26, 1866. He continued to officiate during a period of one year, and then resigned, after evening prayer, on Sunday,  June 2, 1867.

    In the summer of 1865 extensive improvements in the church building were undertaken. These improvements were not completed when Dr. Killikelly became rector, and were afterward continued under his supervision. To supply an urgent need, the floor of the church was raised four feet and the ground below excavated sufficiently to give space for a basement Sunday School and lecture room. This room was neatly finished on the walls and ceiling with dressed flooring, and the old pews of the church were used to furnish it with seats, and in it for the time being the services were held.

    At this stage of the improvements the funds gave out, leaving the body of the church unfurnished and unfinished. Moreover, it was found that the debts already contracted over and above the sum of the subscriptions amounted to $600. The vestry was unable at that time to raise the money needed to complete the improvements and to meet their other obligations, so, under these, circumstances, Dr. Killikelly decided to resign. He reported to the Convention of the, Diocese of Pittsburgh in May, 1867: Communicants, 26; Sunday School--teachers, 13; pupils, 110; and he ends his record in the Register with this note: "I have the satisfaction of knowing that more has been done for the parish and greater interest elicited in its work during the year now closed than was ever done before; and I here desire to record my deep gratitude to Almighty God for His great goodness in giving me favor in the sight of those to whom I was called to minister, and for whose eternal welfare I shall not cease to pray."

    Dr. Killikelly's work in the parish during the year that he was rector was carried on at great disadvantage. He resided at Kittanning, forty-five miles away, and when he had reached the city there was, in those days, no way of getting to Mount Washington except by a fatiguing walk up a long and steep





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17

hill. He was at the time sixty-three years old, and by no means robust; the journeys up and down, therefore, often so exhausted him that he would be forced to seek some place of rest before he could proceed on his way; and, unfortunately, the salary was not sufficient to justify him in moving his family to live in the parish. He nevertheless worked on without complaining, because it was the Lord's work, in whose sacred service he delighted to spend his whole strength.

    Dr. Killikelly was born on the Island of Barbadoes January 18, 1804, where his father, formerly an officer in the British navy, held an official position. In 1826 he came to the United States and engaged in mercantile pursuits in the city of New York. He subsequently studied theology and was admitted to deacon's orders by the Rt. Rev. H. U. Onderdonk, in St. John's Church, Pittsburgh (then Lawrenceville), July 19, 1834, and was advanced to the priesthood in Trinty Church, Freeport, Pa., by the same  Bishop, on April 25, 1836.

    His whole ministerial life of forty-three years was spent in Pennsylvania, except a period of nine years passed under Bishop Kemper, at Vincennes, Ind., where he built a church and established a flourishing school for young ladies. He officiated at various times in Kittanning, Freeport, Paradise (Lancaster County), at Brady's Bend, and New Castle. After the close of his rectorship in Grace Church, Mount Washington, he spent four years of hard and faithful missionary work at McKeesport, where he planted the church that has since become a strong parish. He died peacefully April 11, 1877.

    As a man Dr. Killikelly was irreproachable. He was courteous, gentle, sympathetic. As a priest, he lived above the world; self-denying, ever ready to spend and be spent in his Master's service.

    Dr. Killikelly in his notes in the register of the parish, refers to the "seven clergymen" who had had charge of the parish before him. In these seven he includes the Rev. William H. Paddock, under whose chairmanship, as District Missionary of Western Pennsylvania, the parish was organized; but Mr. Paddock, while he officiated a few times in the schoolhouse for the congregation, never really had charge of the parish.
Dr. Killikeily *as, therefore, the seventh rector.






18


COST OF THE BASEMENT IMPROVEMENT.

The cost of the basement (Sunday School and lecture room) amounted to $2,700.00.
    Subscriptions to pay same:
Mrs. B. M. Ebbs ..........................  $500.00
Mr. John S. McMillin ...................  500.00
Thomas J. Bigham and sons .........  250.00
Thomas M. Howe ..........................  300.00
George W. Cass .............................   50.00
 Sundry other sources ...................... 500.00

                           Total................. $ 2,100.00

    This left a debt of $600 at the time of Dr. Killikelly's resignation, as mentioned above.

    8. THE REV. ROBERT JOHN COSTER, D. D., the eighth rector of Grace Church, began duty April 5, 1868.

    After resignation of Dr. Killikelly, on June 2, 1867, there was a vacancy in the rectorship until April 5, 1868, when the Rev. R. J. Coster held his first service as "`missionary in charge," under the appointment of the Rt. Rev. John B. Kerfoot, Bishop of Pittsburgh.* The congregation met for service in the basement schoolroom, the body of the church being unfurnished and otherwise unfinished. Service was now held regularly every Sunday morning, and a session of the Sunday School every afternoon. The number that gathered for public worship was small, being for some time not more than twenty persons. During the first year only about fourteen communicants were found, as will be seen by the parochial report of 1869, and the Sunday School had fallen off to sixty-eight members. The small congregation was too burdened and discouraged by a debt of $600, for the  settlement of which the creditors were pressing. Rector and people felt that it was an absolute necessity to get rid of this debt before there could be any forward movement in the

*Elected rector Easter, 1869.





""





19

work of the parish. Measures were therefore at once adopted to raise money to pay the overdue claims standing against the parish. Subscriptions were solicited, and a fair was held in September, 1868, by which means sufficient funds were secured to pay the indebtedness, that now amounted to $646. The removal of this debt encouraged the congregagation and rector to undertake the heavier task of completing and furnishing the church.

    The vestry at this time was composed of the following members: Edward Bratt, Senior Warden; John C. Shaler, Jr., Junior Warden; Samuel Harper, Secretary and Treasurer; Thomas J. Bigham, William L. Bond, John S. McMillin, William Halpin.

    The congregation, vestry and rector were a unit in the wish to complete the work of improvement begun about four years before, in 1865, and though they were weak both in numbers and in finances, yet, being now free from debt, they determined to proceed. Mrs. Bigham and the retor's wife undertook, with the approval of the vestry, to raise the money for painting the interior of the church and frescoing the walls. After some difficulty they succeeded in obtaining the following amounts:

                                                                        John H. Shoenberger .................  $50.00

                                                                        Mr. Mattern .................................  20.00

                                                                        Concerts—tickets sold, 12 ............  6.00

                                                                        Collected by Mrs. Bigham ...........  30.00

                                                                        Simon Johnston ............................    5.00

                                                                        C. C. Colton ..................................    4.00

                                                                        William Metcalf and sister ..........    2.00

                                                                        Reuben Miller ..............................  20.00

                                                                        A. Kirkpatrick ..............................  10.00

                                                                        Mr. Thomas Fulton ......................  20.00

                                                                        William Noble ..............................    5.00

                                                                        R. H. Hartley ...............................  10.00

                                                                        George Lowen .............................    5.00

                                                                        Miss Augusta Shaler ...................    5.00

                                                                        Joseph Knap ................................    5.00

                                                                        Collectedby Mr. Bigham .............  29.00

                                                                        Mrs. R. J. Coster ........................  32.25

                                                                        Rev. R. J. Coster ........................  68.00

                                                                       Total ....................................  $336.25






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    This amount they expended as follows:

                                                    John Stulen, frescoing and painting
church ............... $275.00
                                                    Joseph Wood, erecting scaffolds for
painters ...........     13.00
                                                    Plating chalice and flagon, etc .........................................     13.50

                                                    Altar cloth .........................................................................     25.75

                                                    Altar cross ........................................................................       9.00


                 Total ...........................   $336.25


    It may here be mentioned, that the use of the altar cross procured by the rector was objected to by some members of the vestry, and it was removed and presented to another parish in the diocese.

    The vestry went vigorously to work to raise the rest of the money required to put in pews, chancel furniture and carpets, and by subscriptions among themselves and by contributions from their friends secured the necessary amount, about $1,000. (It is a matter of regret that the treasurer's book containing the subscriptions cannot be found.) And now the work of finishing the church was pushed on steadily, the services being held meanwhile, as they had been for several years, in the basement schoolroom.

    About the middle of July, 1869, the refitting was completed, and on Sunday, July 19, the church was again opened for divine service, the first time since early in the summer of 1865. The day was very auspicious—clear and pleasant; the congregation was large and hopeful. The Bishop was present (Kerfoot) to share in the pleasure of the congregation and rector, preached the sermon and confirmed a class of eight persons, the first class under the present rector, composed of the following persons: Edward Bratt, Sr., Nellie Ruth Bratt, Mary Lowen Goldthorp, Mary Rebecca Torrence, Kate Goldthorp, Sarah Ann Torrence, Elizabeth Goldthorp and Amelia Shafer. The record of this class is a matter of great pleasure to the rector. Three, faithful to the end, have gone to their rest—Edward Bratt, Sr., Mary L. Goldthorp and Sarah A. Torrence (Mrs. Burrell) ; two, after long and faithful service in the choir and the Sunday School, have moved to the East End of our city—the sisters
 






21

Kate (now Mrs. Dermitt) and Elizabeth Goldthorp; one has withdrawn, and the other two, Nellie R. Bratt (now Mrs. Shaer) and Mary R. Torrence, are still among the parish workers. The next wish of the rector and congregation was to see the now completed church duly consecrated to the worship of Almighty God, that all might feel that it was a sacred edifice, forever separated from unhallowed uses. But as the amount raised by subscriptions had not been sufficient to meet the whole cost of the improvements, a fair was held in the latter part of September, and other collections made, and the amount thus secured enabled the vestry to pay the full cost of the improvements.

    At the same time Mr. Thomas J. Bigham assigned to the vestry a claim of several hundred dollars which he held against the church, thus leaving the property entirely free from debt. The rector and vestry were now in a position to carry out their wish. They there-fore certified to the Bishop of the Diocese the Rt. Rev. John B. Kerfoot, D. D., that their property was unencumbered, and asked him to consecrate the church. In response to their request the Bishop appointed Sunday, December 26, 1869, as the time for the consecration. The day was again propitious, being clear and pleasant, and a large congregation gathered to witness the interesting ceremony. The senior warden, Mr. Edward Bratt, met the Bishop at the door and presented to him the keys of the church, which the Bishop received and afterward placed upon the altar. The deed of donation and request to consecrate, which had been duly signed by the rector, wardens and vestrymen at a meeting of the vestry held on Saturday, December 18, 1869, was presented and read by the junior warden, John C. Shaler, Jr. This was also received by the Bishop and laid upon the altar.

    The document is in the handwriting of the Rev. Abel A. Kerfoot, the Bishop's son, and reads as follows:


DEED OF DONATION.
PRESENTED AT THE CONSECRATION OF GRACE CHURCH,
PITTSBURGH, SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS,
DECEMBER 26, 1869.

    We the rector, churchwardens and vestrymen of Grace Church, Mount Washington, (Allegheny Coun-
 
 



22

ty), in the State of Pennsylvania, and Diocese of Pittsburgh, being, by the good Providence of Almighty God, in possession of a house of worship, erected on the southeast corner of Bertha and Sycamore Streets, Mount Washington, Pittsburgh, do hereby appropriate and devote the same to the worship and service of Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, according to the provisions of that branch of the Catholic Church of Christ known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in its ministry, doctrine, liturgy, rites, and usages, and for occupation and use by a congregation in communion with the convention thereof in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

    And we do also hereby request the RT. Rev. John Barrett Kerfoot, D. D., L. L. D., the said Bishop of the Diocese, to take the said building under his spiritual jurisdiction as Bishop aforesaid, and that of his successors in office, and to consecrate the same by the name of Grace Church, Mount Washington, and thereby separate it from all unhallowed, worldly and common uses, and solemnly dedicate it to the purposes above mentioned.

And we do moreover, covenant and agree, in behalf of this vestry and parish, that this house, being thus, at our request, duly consecrated by the Bishop of the Diocese, shall be held and used in a true conformity with the office of consecration, and with  the canons of the General Convention and of this Diocese.

And we do furthermore solemnly declare, upon our honor as Christian men, that there is no lien, charge, responsibility or debt unpaid or subsisting with which the said church or building, or the corporation or congregation owning it or worshipping therein, is or can be, either legally or morally, chargeable.

In testimony whereof, we, the said rector, churchwardens and vestrymen, have caused this instrument of donation to be prepared, and have thereunto subscribed our several names and affixed our seals, this 18th day of December, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine.





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ROBERT JOHN COSTER, Rector. [SEAL.]
EDWARD BRATT,  [SEAL.]                        Warden
JOHN C. SEALER, JR., [SEAL.]                  Warden
THOMAS J. BIGHAM, [SEAL.]               Vestryman
WILLIAM BOND, [SEAL.]                       Vestryman
JOHN S. MCMILLIN, [SEAL.]                Vestryman
SAMUEL HARPER, [SEAL.]                    Vestryman
WILLIAM HALPIN, ) [SEAL.]                  Vestryman


    The Bishop then, in accordance with the request and in conformity with the usages of the American Church, proceeded with the service of consecration. At the direction of the Bishop, the rector, the Rev. Robt. John Coster, read the sentence of consecration, which had been prepared and signed by the Bishop. It was as follows:


SENTENCE OF CONSECRATION,
OF
GRACE CHURCH, MOUNT WASHINGTON, ALLEGHENY
COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH.

    In the name of the holy, blessed and undivided Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen

Whereas, the rector, churchwardens and vestry-
men of Grace Church, Mount Washington, have by
an Instrument this day presented to us, appropriated
and devoted this house to the worship and service
of Almghty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy
Ghost, according to the provision of the Holy Catho-
lic Church, and of the Protestant Episcopal Church
in the United States of America, in its ministry, doc-
trine liturgy, rites and usages; and for occupancy
and use by a congregation in communion thereof in
the Diocese of Pittsburgh: And whereas, the same
rector, churchwardens and vestrymen have, by the
same instrument, requested us to consecrate their
said house of worship by the name of Grace Church,
Mount Washington, and thereby separate it from
all unhallowed, worldly and common uses, and sol-
emnly dedicate it to the holy purposes above men-
tioned: Now, therefore, know all men by these
presents, that we, John Barrett Kerfoot, by Divine
permission, Bishop of Pittsburgh, and acting under
the protection of Almighty God, and in His faith and





24

fear have on this 26th day of December, being the first Sunday after Christmas and the Feast of St. Stephen, the Martyr, in the year of our Lord 1869, taken the above-mentioned house of worship under our spiritual jurisdiction as Bishop aforesaid, and that of our successors in office; and in presence of divers of the clergy and of a congregation therein assembled, and according to the godly usage of the Catholic Church of Christ, and the form prescribed by the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, have consecrated the same by the name of Grace Church, Mount Washington; and we do hereby pronounce and declare that the said Grace Church, Mount Washington, is consecrated accordingly, and thereby separated henceforth from all unhallowed, worldly and common uses, and dedicated to the worship and service of Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, for reading and preaching His Holy Word; for celebrating His Holy Sacraments; for offering to His Glorious Majesty the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; for blessing His people in His name, and for the performance of all other holy offices, and the administration of all holy ordinances, agreeable to His will, made known in the terms of the Covenant of Grace and Salvation in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, according to the usages of His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and the provisions of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in its ministry, doctrines, liturgy, rites and usages.

    In testimony whereof, we have hereunto affixed our signature and Episcopal seal, on this 26th day of December, in the year of our Lord 1869, and in the fourth year of our consecration.

    [L. S.] JOHN BARRETT KERFOOT,
                               Bishop of Pittsburgh.


    At the conclusion of the service the Bishop congratulated the rector and the congregation on the improvement in their church and commended the spirit of reverence and loyalty to churchly usage which prompted them to have their house of worship duly consecrated.

    Services were now held regularly in the church every Sunday morning and Sunday School in the afternoon.





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    During the following year (1870), nothing noteworthy occurred. The life of the parish flowed on evenly. 'T'he expenses were maintained at considerable cost to the small congregation. The Easter service was a very beautiful one, good music being furnished by a volunteer choir composed of the following persons: Mrs. Brunt, Misses Nellie Shaler, Mary Goldthorp, Annie Hughes and Messrs. George Prosser and William Ritchie.

    The Sunday School continued to give instruction to a large number of children of parents not belonging to Grace Church. The efficiency of the school was kept up during the years of 1870 and 1871 largely by the earnest work of Mr. John C. Shaler and Mr.  George Lovelock. In January, 1872, we lost the assistance of Mr. Shaler, whose business interests took him first to Cincinnati, and then to St. Louis; and we had many anxious thoughts as to who should fill his place.

    An interesting part of a rector's work is the preparation of his classes for confirmation. The frequent meetings for instruction give him opportunity of becoming intimately acquainted with his young people and offer chances for personal direction and counsel, such as no other period affords. The present rector looks back with great pleasure to these periods of Intimate intercourse, many of which have been the brightest spots in the ministerial work of his life. He remembers now with special interest his meetings with the class of 1873. This class was composed of grown people, all of them the personal friends of the rector, and their earnestness, attention and demeanor made the hours of instruction peculiarly interesting.

    Three of them, having finished their course in faith, have gone to their reward. Two others are doing faithful work in the church, fully meeting the rector's expectations of their usefulness in the Master's service, one of these, Mr. E. H. Dermitt, after long serving Grace Church as choir master and vestryman, has  moved from the parish and is now actively aiding the church elsewhere; the other, Melville L. Stout, is still among the efficient workers of the parish, being now a vestryman of the parish, and for most of the intervening years organist of the church.





26


    During the summer of 1875 the church was newly frescoed and painted, having become very dingy in six years, from the prevalence of dust and smoke in the atmosphere of Pittsburgh, the Smoky City. At the same time Mr. William Halpin put in a stained-glass chancel window, as a memorial to his father and mother, which added very much to the beauty and sacredness of our church.

    During the summer of 1876 the church lot was enclosed with a new iron fence, new boardwalks were laid around the church, and the Sunday School room was painted and frescoed, thus putting the whole premises in complete order.

    The early part of 1879 was marked by an unusual circumstance, the death of three aged members of the congregation, within three months, namely Mrs. Mary Lowen, wife of George T. Lowen, aged 70 years; Mrs. Sarah Reese, mother of Mrs. Mary E. Torrence, aged 87; and Mrs. Maria Adams, widow of the late William Adams, aged 78.  Mrs. Lowen lived too far from the church and Mrs. Reese was too feeble from age to attend the services often, but Mrs. Adams, up to the last two years of her life, when disease obliged her to go to the Aged Women's Home for treatment, was a regular worshiper at the services. She sat close up to the front, and the rector could not help noting her regular attendance. She, like the other two here mentioned, was of English birth, and inherited some of the English prejudice against everything that she thought savored of Romanism. On one occasion a new set of bookmarks was put in the Bible, having crosses on the ends, and as they hung immediately before the eyes of the good woman she could not help seeing them, and the sight so disturbed her simple mind that she staid away from service several Sundays. The rector noticing this, went to see her and, learning what troubled her, explained the meaning of the symbol and the harmlessness of its use, and so satisfied her mind that she at once began again her regular attendance and never afterward questioned anything that her rector did. In her will she left the sum of fifty dollars to Grace Church, and the rector and vestry set it apart as the beginning of an endowment for the parish, and called the fund, in her memory,
 
 



 27


"The Maria Adams Endowment Fund." The death of these aged women took away three who bad been connected with the parish from its beginning, and diminished the number of those familiar with its early history and interested in its early struggles.

    Whatever tends to beautify the church or to render its appointments more complete is worthy of mention. It is recorded here, therefore, that on Easter Sunday, March 28, 1880, Miss Emma Bennett, sister of Mrs. Sarah Boggs, presented to the church a handsome stone font as a thank offering. The one previously used was a plain wooden font, put in when the church was first opened, in 1853, and this was now presented St. Paul's Church, Georgetown.

    Easter Sunday, 1881, was a bright and beautiful day, and the rector, choir and people looked forward an inspiring and joyous service, and they were not disappointed. The church was beautifully decked with flowers, the symbols of the resurrection, a full congregation was in attendance, and the choir had made special preparation for rendering in a manner suitable to the high festival, the musical part of the service.  At that time the following were the members of the choir: Mrs. E. H. Dermitt, Mrs. James Boggs, Mrs. Joshua Goldthorp, Mrs. Joel Bigham, Mr. E. H. Dermitt, Mr. Edwin Smith and Mr. Samuel Williams; the organist was Mr. M. L. Stout. The chants, anthems and hymns were sung with beautiful effect, lifting up all present to a high plane of devotion. The rector's Easter sermon was from the  text, I Corinthians xv, 20: "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.'' The aim of the preacher was to set forth the two main results that come to Christians from the resurrection of Christ; namely, a new spiritual life, by which they now overcome sin, and a resurrection hereafter unto life eternal. About thirty-five communed, and the service ended with all feeling that it was indeed a blessing to share in such worship in the house of the Lord.

    Another event of special importance occurring in the year 1881 was the completing and setting up in the church of the new pipe organ. As early as March 22, 1874, the matter of purchasing an organ was






 28


talked over in the vestry, but it was not until seven years later that the matter was accomplished. The story of its purchase has been told in another place, and hence it is only necessary to say here that it was built by Barckhoff and set up in the church in October,  and was used the first time at morning service Sunday, November 6, 1881.  The possession of the organ was the cause of great rejoicing on the part of  all those interested in the music of the church, as its tones added a dignity and richness to the musical part of the service unattainable with the small reed organ hitherto in use.

    Its possession was also a
a matter of special interest for the reason that it represented the self-denial and patient labor of the few who, discouraged neither by opposition nor delay, worked on until this gift to the Lord's house was secured. One fully acquainted with the numerical and financial strength of the parish at that time will appreciate what this statement means.

    As a slight indication of what was being done at this time for the promotion of the spiritual welfare of the parish, a copy of a Lenten Pastoral, issued by the rector in 1882, will be here given. In it will be found notice of the services and a few words of instruction and advice in regard to the duties of the season.


The first page was as follows:

1882
+
GRACE CHURCH,
MOUNT WASHINGTON, SOUTH SIDE.
Lenten Season.
SERVICES
Every Wednesday—Evening Prayer and Lecture,
7:30 o'clock.      Every Friday—Evening Prayer, 4 o'clock.

BISHOP'S VISITATION
Third Wednesday in Lent, March 8, 7:30 P. M.

HOLY COMMUNION
First Sunday in Lent, February 26th, 10:30 A. M.
Third Sunday in Lent, March 12th, 10:30 A. M.
Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 26th, 10:30 A. M.





 29


EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 9th

Morning Prayer, with Sermon and Holy Communion,
10:30 A. M.
Sunday School Service, 3:00 P. M.

    "In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."—Philippians iv, 6, 7.


LENT, 1882.

    BELOVED BRETHREN: Again, in the providence God, the season of Lent, by the Church's appointment, calls us to self-examination and prayer. As your pastor, therefore, I bid you heed the Church's voice, and use the precious opportunity again vouch-safed to you.

    Special services have been appointed that all may have the privilege of enjoying the means of grace more frequently during these days of humiliation and prayer.

    I bid you come to these services regularly. Come to them also devoutly, praying and expecting to meet there Jesus, the Friend of sinners, who has said that "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." And that you may realize that He is present in the services of His Church, prepare your hearts to meet Him, by meditating upon His love for sinners, by reading, His Word as appointed by the Church, and by earnest continued prayer for His blessing upon yourself upon His whole Church during this holy season. Lent may be, and will be, a great blessing to all who, in a humble mind and devout heart, use it diligently.

    Let me make the following suggestions as helpful in the due observance of the season:


          THINGS TO BE AVOIDED.

(a) Light amusements, such as parties, operas and novel reading, as inconsistent with the sober and self-examning temper and spirit of Lent.

(b) Idleness and frivolity, as tending to weaken our moral sense and to divert our thoughts from the necessity of repenting of our sins.




30


(c) Ill temper, unkind speech and hardness of heart, as unbecoming those who are trying to follow the footsteps of the meek and lowly Jesus, and to become like Him.

THINGS TO BE REMEMBERED.

(a) Sin is a solemn fact in human nature. It is marring our lives and robbing us of peace. Lent is the time for examining ourselves in the light of God's Word, and for striving to get the mastery over our known sins. The struggle is one of life and death. If sin conquer us, and lead us captive at will, death is the result. If we conquer sin in the power of Christ, we have everlasting life.

(b) Our blessed Lord is the friend of sinners. He loves them. He gave His life for them. He is, therefore, your Friend, and will give you His life if you receive Him in faith and love. Let Him, then, dwell with you during the days of Lent, and thereby bless you with His presence.

(c) None, however sinful, need dispair of receiving salvation. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow," saith the Lord. God, for Christ's sake, waits to be gracious. Now is the day of salvation. "Ask and ye shall receive," is our Lord's assuring promise.


THINGS TO BE DONE.

    Fasting,— This is one form of self-denial that enables us to get the mastery over our appetites. Therefore, deny yourself luxuries and delicacies, and even abstain from food at stated times, and thus bring the body into subjection to the spirit. This will be a good preparation for the higher duties of Lent.

    Prayer.—(a) Be more regular and devout in your private prayers. These are between God and your soul. He alone sees the heart and knows all its desires. Ask earnestly, therefore, for a right spirit in His sight.   (b) Attend regularly the Lenten services. Let not your seat be vacant, nor your voice be silent, when the Lord's people meet to honor His name and to ask His blessing. And when present be not list-





 31


less and inattentive. Join with heart and voice in all the acts of worship, and thus make the service a blessing to yourself and to others.

    Almsgiving.—Our worship will be incomplete unless to our self-denial and prayer we add our offerings. We are Christ's representatives on earth. We must, therefore, in His name support the works of the Church carried on for His glory and the salvation of men. Freely have we received of Him, freely let us give, and so win for ourselves the honor of being His co-workers. Our hearts, our wills, our means are things to be offered. These our Lord will accept and use to His glory and our eternal interest.
                                                                                 Your friend and pastor,
                                                                                                      ROBERT JOHN COSTER.


    The Lenten services this year on Wednesday evenings and Friday afternoons were well attended, and these, with the Bishop's annual visitation on the third Sunday in Lent, and the bright Easter services, were a great comfort and encouragement to the rector and his small band of workers.

    The life of the parish, as the years went by, flowed on with the usual fluctuations and frictions incident to all affairs conducted by men subject to the prejudices and infirmities of human nature. The rector, however, can safely say that while a change was going on in the personnel of the congregation by deaths, removals and additions, there was as much of unity and harmony in the parish and as much of confidence and respect manifested for the rector, or perhaps more, than is usual in most of our parishes. While some of those who first welcomed the rector to the parish had moved away, and others had departed to the better land, there were still many of the older members of the congregation left to hold up the rector's hands and to encourage him with their confidence and sympathy; and for this mark of divine favor he has ever felt deeply grateful.

    But time inevitably brings changes. As the years go by one after another of the well-known forms and faces disappear, and when one looks over the congregation he will see here and there the places of old





32


friends vacant or filled by others. The years 1883, 1884 and 1885 were marked by the removal from the parish by death of several of its long-tried and faithful members.

    In the spring of 1883 Mrs. Sarah Goldthorp was laid to rest—a woman whose life was a blessing to her family, to her neighborhood, to her church. She was the daughter of George T. Lowen and the wife of Samuel H. Goldthorp; a patient, dutiful wife; a tender and affectionate mother, whose life was  given to her children; a kind and affectionate friend, who always had a word of cheer or sympathy for those who approached her; a deeply pious  woman, whose religion was of the heart and whose life was a constant witness to the reality of her faith. A pure, gentle soul, above reproach full of good works. Her memory lingers with us like that of a pleasant, happy dream. It is an honor to her church to have her name enrolled among its departed ones.

    In September of the same year another gentle, faithful soul was removed from the parish. Mrs. Ruth Reed. Though only thirty-three years old, she was ripe in Christian character. She was born and  raised in Brownsville and was the wife of Samuel G. Reed. She was a true and faithful wife and mother, whom her husband and children most fondly venerate for her pure life and noble character. Bene dormiat.

    Early in 1884 another devout soul, Mrs. Jane Bratt, was laid to rest, in her 77th year. Her familar form had long been seen constantly at the church services. Rarely was she absent. She was a devout communicant, firmly attached to her church, and a faithful friend of her rector. She raised a large family of sons and daughters, devoted herself to her husband and children, and at a ripe old age, after much suffering, borne with exemplary patience, surrounded by her family, she departed full of hope and peace.


    In autumn of the same year anothe aged servant of our Divine Master, Hon. Thomas J. Bigham, after a long and useful life, was laid to rest, full of faith and good works. He was one of the fouders of the





 33


of the church and one of its most faithful supporters and most devout communicants. His connection with the parish from its beginning and his long services in its behalf have been recorded elsewhere in this work. Indeed, it might almost be said that the church is a memorial to himself and his wife, and that its history is a memoir of him and his family.

    In the next year, on November 1, 1885, All Saints' Day, another aged and devout member of the parish, Edward Bratt, Sr., aged 80 years, was laid to rest beside his wife, in Allegheny Cemetery. He was  known as Squire Bratt, from the fact that he was long a justice of the peace on Mount Washington. He was widely known and everywhere respected for his integrity. He was for many years a regular worshiper and communicant of the parish, and also a vestryman and treasurer; serving the church faithfully in every capacity and contributing freely to its support according to his means. He was essntially a man of peace, and all who knew him honor his name and thank the Merciful Father for the good example of his faithful and aged servant. A sketch of his life will be found elsewhere in this work.

    By the death of these members of the parish, whose lives had been so fully identified with its life and work, the rector felt that he had sustained a personal loss. He had known them intimately from the beginning of his connection with the parish in 1886, and  had always been a welcome guest at their homes. He knew, too, from their words and deeds that he was respected as their pastor and loved as friend; so the parish's loss was his loss, and it is therefore a great pleasure to him to pay this tribute of  respect to the memory of these parishioners and friends.

    The formation of a boy choir for the church was an event that marks the history of the year 1886.  From the organization of the parish in 1852 the music had been furnished by a volunteer choir of men and women, and for the most part it had been rendered with great acceptability. During the present rectorship often, indeed, the music was of a high





34


degree of excellence, and notably during the successive periods of time in which Mr. William Digby, Mr. George Prosser and Mr. E. H. Dermitt had been leaders of the choir. These leaders were assisted by some devoted workers, and to them and their helpers  justice will be done in another part of this work for their faithful services, long and freely given.

    There were times, however, when it was difficult to obtain singers among the people of the parish, and when it was almost impossible to maintain the choir to any fair degree of efficiency. By removals from the parish of persons skilled in music and by the lack of interested singers in the congregation, this was the case in the year 1886. Then it was that a devoted churchwoman of the parish, who since the first Sunday in January, 1876, had been one of the most useful members of the choir, undertook to select and train a number of boys to furnish the music for the services. She went vigorously to work in the matter during the fall of 1886, and after several month's instruction she, with the consent of the rector and vestry, introduced the boys at the morning service on the Sunday after Christmas, December 26, and they then for the first time sang in the service. This was a great innovation in our conservative parish, and many were the fears and anxieties of its best workers in regard to the success of the venture. However, the enthusiasm and perseverance of Mrs. Goldthorp gave to the boy choir a fairly successful start, and it has been maintained in the church ever since with varying but, on the whole, increasing efficiency and acceptableness. (See subsequent addition.)

    The boys at first wore only plain cassocks, and they continued to sing thus vested for about three months; then the ladies of the Mite Society, who had furnished the cassocks, supplied them with cottas made by their own hands; and on the fifth Sunday in Lent, March 27, 1887, at morning service, when the Bishop was making his annual visitation tb the parish, the boys, twelve in number, appeared in full vestm€nts for the first time, They marched in, singing as the processional,

"The Church's one foundation
Is Jesus Christ, her Lord."
 
 



35


and taking their places in the stalls sang very creditably, under the direction of Mrs. Goldthorp, with Mr. M. L. Stout at the organ. One can readily imagine the interest that the first appearance of the choir in their vestments created in the congregation, and the curiosity that was awakened to see how matters would proceed. The result, under the circumstances, was on this occasion highly creditable to all concerned.

    One of the chief difficulties in the successful management of the boy choir, when first introduced, was that of maintaining proper decorum and reverence during divine service. The choir was a volunteer one, and the boys who composed it had not previously been under any strict discipline, such as would form habits of order and obedience. It was hard, therefore, to make them feel that their position and duty required quietness of manner and dignity of conduct while in the chancel, to make their services acceptable to the congregation. The rector and vestry were on several occasions much disturbed by the lack of order and self-control shown during service, and had, consequently, serious doubts as to the wisdom of trying to retain the services of the boys. But firmness and patience on the part of the management in a short time greatly improved matters and thereby removed the objections to the boy choir, and now it has become one of the fixed institutions of the parish.

    Here it must be noted, to the credit of all concerned in originating and maintaining the boy choir,  that the services rendered are voluntary, and without compensation. This makes the choir service a freewill offering— a gift to our Divine Master; and while the rector and congregation highly appreciate the faithfulness and sacrifices of former as well as present members of the choir, it will help us all to remember that no service of love will ever be forgotten by the Great Head of the Church.  At the last day He will say, "You did it unto Me."

    The year 1887 was marked by great improvement in the interior appointments of the church. At Easter there were presented a beautifully carved






36


eagle lectern in walnut, a prayer desk and stall, and a credence table, memorials of Edward and Jane Bratt, who for many years adorned the
church and glorified their Divine Master by their simple, faithful lives. These appropriate memorials, made by Lamb & Co., of New York, were the
loving gifts of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Bratt They beautify the Lord's house and keep fresh the memory of the departed; they may also be regarded as thank-offerings to God for His mercies to His departed  servants.

    In the summer of this year the church was further beautified with rich stained-glass windows, which took the place of the plain diamond-shaped glass put in when the church was first built. This adornment  was accomplished chiefly by the aid of the Mite Society of the congregation, at a cost of
about $700. Very material assistance in raising the necessary funds was also given by the children of the Goldthorp family. The work was done in a
very creditable manner, by Marshall & Bros., of Allegheny, after designs suggested by the rector and a committee of ladies from the Mite Society.

    The first window from the chancel in the south  wall is a memorial to Thomas J. Bigham. In the  center of the window is an open Bible, across whose  pages is written the text, "Thy Word is a lamp unto  my feet, and a light unto my paths."—Psalm cxix,  105. The appropriateness of this symbol and of  these words on the memorial to Mr. Bigham arises  from the fact that he was a diligent student of the  Bible, and a man well acquainted with its contents.  Below is the inscription, "In Memory of Thomas J.  Bigham, Died November 9, 1884, Aged 74 Years."

    Next to this window in the south wall is a memorial  to two members of the Goldthorp family. In the  middle of the window is an emblem of Faith, a female  figure gazing upon the Cross, and below is the inscription, "In Memory of Sarah Lowen Goldthorp.  Died March 19, 1883, Aged 53 Years." And under  this, "Mary Goldthorp Steele. Died February 13,  1886, Aged 33 Years." And below "The Just Shall   Live by Faith."
 




37


    Next to this is a memorial to the departed members of the Mite Society of the Church. In the middle of the window is a cluster of lilies, below it the inscription, "In Memory of the Departed of the Mite Society."  " Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."—Revelation ii, 10.

    In the north wall, the first window from the chancel is a memorial to Edward Bratt. In the middle of the window is a full-ripe sheaf of wheat, and below it the text, "He will gather the wheat into His garner" Luke iii, 17; and the inscription, "In Memory Edward Bratt. Died October 30, 1885, Aged 80 Years."

    The next window is a memorial to Bishop Kerfoot.  In the crown of the window are the crossed keys; in the middle, the mitre and staff, and below the inscription, "In Memory of John Barrett Kerfoot, First Bishop of Pittsburgh. Died July 10, 1881, Aged 64 Years." Know them which labor among you and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and esteem them very highly in love for their works' sake" —I Thessalonians v, 12, 13.

    The putting in of these windows greatly beautified the church, and their presence serves constantly to remind the living of the departed faithful. It was a labor of love which deepened "the unity of spirit" and strengthened "the bond of peace,'' in the parish, and awakened in many the perception of the great truth of the communion of saints, making them realize more fully than hitherto that

"The living and the dead
But one communion make;
All join in Christ their head,
And of His life partake."

    The year 1888 was marked by two events which give it special prominence in the history of the parish.  The first of these events was the presentation for confirmation at the Bishop's visitation on Palm Sunday, March 25, of a class of 33 persons-16 men and 17 women. This was the largest class the rector had ever presented, and consequently the occasion was one of deep interest. The day was rainy, but the





38


congregation was large, the music was good, and the Bishop preached a most effective sermon appropriate to Palm Sunday. After administering the
rite of confirmation the Bishop, with much feeling and earnestness, exhorted the class to faithfulness in the duties of the Christian life. This large class showed that there was life in the parish, and greatly encouraged pastor and people, and gave hope for the future of our work.

    The other event that specially marked this year was the completion at Easter of the twentieth year of the rector's service in the parish, an event that the congregation was not willing to let pass without a fitting commemoration. This commemoration began on April 1, with the Easter Day service. The church was beautifully dressed with palms and flowers; the congregation indicated its interest by gathering in its full strength; the vested choir, under the direction of Mrs. Goldthorp, with Mr. Stout at the organ, made special preparation for beautifying the service with music appropriate to the day and the occasion. The rector preached from the text, "The same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, "Peace be unto you."—St. John xx, 19; and set forth the thought that the resurrection of Christ is the seal of Divine Truth affixed to all His promises, commands and revelations, and the pledge to us of a resurrection to life eternal. At the close of his sermon the rector said:

    "On a great festival like Easter it is necessary of that words should be spoken suitable to the day and Is its lessons. Now, if you will bear with me a few moments longer, I desire to indulge in a brief retrospect of the history of the parish for the last twenty years, which closes with this day's services. Perhaps such a retrospect may encourage us in our work for Christ and His Church, and awaken in our hearts new zeal for our Master's service, and new determination to do more in the future for the extension of the Kingdom of our Risen Lord."





39


    He then gave a short sketch of what had been done, of the obstacles that had been overcome, and of the progress that had been made. He spoke of the great assistance that he and the parish had received in all these years from the Mite Society of the congregation, and referred to the fact that it was a part of the history of the past year that a Laymen's Guild had been formed, which was now an equally important agency in the parish. He then urged all to work together in faith and love for the promotion of God's glory in their midst, reminding them that the time is short, and that the night cometh, in which no man can work; that this was their day and opportunity for giving proof of their faith and love. Continuing, he said:

    "Whatever has been done in the past twenty years in our midst for the glory of God, to Him be all the praise, for we are at best only unprofitable servants. And yet God waits to be gracious, and if we bow heart and will before Him, and beg Him to accept and bless our feeble services, He will pour His blessings upon us, and fill us with all the fulness of His grace, and enable us at last to stand in His presence and hear these blessed words, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy thy Lord.'"

    The church was again filled at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, at the service held for the Sunday School. After evening prayer the rector addressed the children and then catechised them. The responses were good, showing that the children really learn the catechism in the Sunday School. The singing by the school, assisted by the choir, was very hearty, adding much to the beauty and spirit of the service. The school numbered 133 scholars and 14 teachers. Its efficiency was largely due to the faithful management of the Superintendent, Mr. John C. Shaler, Jr.

     On Thursday of the same week, April 5, the twentieth anniversary of the rector's first service in the church, the real commemoration was held, in the schoolroom of the church, of which event the following  account, prepared at the time, is here inserted:






40


THE CELEBRATION OF THE TWENTIETH

ANNIVERSARY

OF THE

REV. ROBERT JOHN COSTER'S RECTORSHIP OF GRACE

CHURCH, FROM APRIL 5, 1868, TO APRIL 5, 1888.

GRACE CHURCH, Pittsburgh, April 5, 1888.


    Twenty years ago this day the Rev. Robert John Coster held his first service in Grace Church as Missionary in Charge, he having been appointed to that duty by the Bishop of the Diocese, the Rt. Rev. John Barrett Kerfoot, D. D.

    The parishioners of Grace Church, wishing to mark the twentieth anniversary of his ministrations, determined to tender to the rector and his wife a reception on this day. Preparations were accordingly made, invitations were issued, the schoolroom of the church was handsomely decorated with curtains, flowers, plants, pictures, etc., and brilliantly lighted for the occasion. As a further evidence of the thoughtfulness and kindness of the congregation, a carriage was sent for the rector and his wife, and at 8 P. M. all, pastor and people, assembled in the schoolroom of the church. About three hundred persons were present.

    The upper end of the room had been transformed into a sort of parlor—carpeted, furnished with chairs, piano, pictures, etc.—and here for an hour or more the rector and Mrs. Coster received the congratulations and kind wishes of their parishioners and friends.

    Mr. John C. Shaler, Jr., then stepped forward, and after a few words of kindly greeting, and the expression of the pleasure that it gave him and the congregation to meet the rector here on this twentieth anniversary of his connection with the parish, presented to him a beautiful Prayer Book and altar service, with the inscription, "1868-1888. To the Rev. Robert John Coster by the parishioners on His Twentieth Anniversary as Rector of Grace Church, Pittsburgh "; also a large and elegantly bound family Bible, with the inscription "1868-1888. Presented






41

to the Rev. Robert John Coster and his wife by the Parishioners of Grace Church, Pittsburgh"; also a purse containing the sum of $521, and asked that these be received as mementos of the occasion, and tokens of the love and good wishes of the parishioners.

    Mr. Shaler, in making the presentation, said:

    "MY DEAR FRIENDS: Occasions of this kind are never considered a success unless some one makes a speech, and their  promoters always choose someone whom they believe will say what is happiest or most appropriate to the time. It devolves upon me at the eleventh hour to say a few words in connection with this reception—not that I am at all fitted for doing so, but because the gentleman who was expected to do the talking could not come. It is a distinction for anyone to speak here tonight. Why is it that this array of bright faces is before me; that every one seems pleased with himself and in love with his neighbor? Is it necessary to remark that it is the twentieth anniversary of the beginning of Mr. Coster's church work in, this parish? At all events, that is what has brought us all here. When we give the time a mere passing thought, twenty years is not long; but when, on the other hand, we go over the ground, and review our lives and our acts, it is long enough—almost one-third of the longest period allotted us to live.

    "But I will not take up the time set for this entertainment with retrospective fancies or poorly chosen remarks, but direct a few words to our guest. To many of us, Sir, your experience in the parish is well known; the discouragements, the disappointments and the lukewarm assistance; the slim congregations, the periodical bickerings and small stipends.  We remember your regular and faithful attendance to hold services at all seasons and in all kinds of weather, before either of the inclined planes were built, and when you were obliged to walk up the hill; how you baptized the babes, married the young people and buried the dead; that you never complained, or found fault with or reproved us for our delinquencies; and many of us wondered that you were willing to remain in so unprofitable a field. For a few







42

years past, matters have been more encouraging— the congregation has grown, good feeling has prevailed, and the church itself has been improved and beautified. The past year especially all of the pews have been full, and the several branches of parish work are flourishing. Your confirmation class a few weeks ago was not only the largest ever presented by you to the Bishop, but it compared favorably with classes in more extensive and favored parishes. We have all, no doubt, been striving, in a humble way, to make amends for the past.

    "Now, as an additional mark of affection and good will, and as a testimonial of this anniversary, I am requested to present to you the articles on this table. Take them as a tribute of our love. Here they are. God Bless you."

    The rector having received these presents at the hands of Mr. Shaler, said in reply:

    "MY DEAR FRIENDS AND PARISHIONERS: Your presence here tonight, your kind looks, and these tokens are all evidences to me of your love and confidence. They show that time has strengthened the bond between us, and, coming to me on this twentieth anniversary of my connection with the parish, they touch my feelings more deeply than I can tell you, and fill my heart with gratitude to God that while working among you I have been able to win and retain your love. One of the greatest rewards of a clergyman's life is the love and confidence of his people.

    "I stand here before you as your rector to-night, not by my own choosing. God's providence has brought me here. Bishop Kerfoot once said to me when I was anxious as to what course to pursue under certain trying circumstances, 'My dear fellow, do not worry yourself. God's providence settles most things for us when we are doing our duty.' His words were true, my friends. That providence somehow linked my life with his, and so I am here as your rector to-night. When I was a ruddy-faced boy, playing on the sunny slopes of Southern Maryland, and fishing and sailing on the waters of the Patuxent and the Chesapeake, I had no thought of ever making my home in Pittsburgh. I remember that, as a schoolboy, when studying geography, my






43

eye fell upon that little black spot on the map marked Pittsburgh, lying at the junction of the two rivers, Allegheny and Monongahela, and my attention was arrested by the peculiar sound of these names; but ever expected to live here. It came about thus; One bright Sunday morning, when I was a lad, while tiny way to Middleham chapel, my pastor, the Rev. Erastus F. Dashiell (now gone to his rest ), rector of Christ Church Parish, Calvert County, Maryland, came along on horseback, and reining up his horse beside me, and calling me by my first name, said: 'Robert, I wish to say something to you. You ought to be a clergyman; you ought to prepare yourself for the ministry.' This thought had occurred to me at times before; it now took the form  of a wish and purpose. I did not for some time, however, see my way clear to fit myself for the mininistry.  At length the opening came, and I went to my Bishop, the noble Whittingham. He received me very warmly, as he already knew me, having baptized and confirmed me. He at once said to me: 'You must go to the College of St. James. l wish you to be under the care of Dr. Kerfoot.' A short time after that Dr. Kerfoot, the president of  St. James's, came to Baltimore, where I then was, and called on me. We had a long talk together, and it was settled that I should go to St. James's. Thus began my acquaintance and friendship with Dr. Kerfoot, your first Bishop, which only ended with his death in 1881. Soon after this I started for St. James's, which you know was in Western land, near Hagerstown. I reached the college on a bright morning, October 20, 1857, and at once began my work. Here I remained seven years, under Dr. Kerfoot and Bishop Whittiugham, first,  as a student, and then, after my graduation in 1862, as principal of the Grammar School. When I first went there in 1857 the college was large and flourishing,  having nearly two hundred students in the two departments; but when I graduated, the Civil War was in progress, and our numbers had been greatly reduced, and at length the exigencies of the war brought our work to a close in the summer of 1864. The frequent passage of troops, the interruption to travel, the stoppage of the mails and the





44

cutting off of supplies scattered the students and dispersed  the faculty. Dr. Kerfoot went East and became the president of Trinity College; Dr. Falk went West and joined Dr. De Koven in his noble work at Racine College, where he died last summer. The Rev. Joseph H. Coit, another professor, went to Concord, N. H., to assist his brother, Dr. Henry A. Coit, in his work in St. Paul's School, where he still is. I remained in Maryland, and at the suggestion of Bishop Whittingham went to Annapolis and took charge of a private school composed of the sons of Governor Bradford, Judge Tuck, and a few other boys. While there the Diocese of Pennsylvania was divided, Dr. Kerfoot was elected the first Bishop of Pittsburgh, and was consecrated, as you know, on St. Paul's Day, January 25, 1866. A few weeks after his consecration he went to Hagerstown, Maryland, to visit his old friends and settle some matters needing attention. While there he telegraphed to me in Baltimore to come to Hagerstown to see him on important  business. I went at once and spent a day or two with him at the residence of Mrs. Howard Kennedy a warm friend of us both. Here, at the Bishop's invitation and solicitation it was settled that I should come to Pittsburgh and take charge of the Bishop Bowman Institute, which was then without a rector, Dr. Ten Broeck having just resigned and gone to Burlington, N. J., to take charge of a boys' school. I reached Pittsburgh on March 8, and at once began work in the institute, which I have continued ever since. At Easter (which came that year, 1866, on April 1st, as it does this year) I returned to Baltimore, was married on Tuesday, April 3d, and Mrs. Coster and I reached Pittsburgh, our future home, on this day, Thursday, April 5th, just twenty-two years ago. We celebrate thus to-day a double anniversary. During my first year in Pittsburgh I had no parochial work of my own.
I assisted the city clergy as I was called upon, and took whatever other duty the Bishop assigned to me. At the beginning of my second year in Pittsburgh it had been deemed wise to start a mission on Penn Avenue near Twenty-eighth street, the principal movers in the matter being our city lay missionary, Mr. Morris, and Captain Thomas J. Brereton. With
 




45

the Bishop's consent, it was started under the name .of St. Luke's Mission, and I was sent to take charge of it. We had a Sunday School and afternoon service, and, with the aid of Captain Brereton's family, the school grew and the service was quite well attended. We reported to the Convention of 1867, June, a school of six or eight teachers and about one hundred and twenty scholars, with an attendance of thirty to forty persons at the afternoon service. The success of the Mission seemed to give promise of permanent growth, and the laymen interested in it wished to organize a parish, and call a clergyman who could give his whole time to the work. I therefore withdrew, a parish was formed under the name of All Saints, and the work went on under ther management. The result most of you know. The story is an interesting chapter in the history of the Church in Pittsburgh, but we cannot dwell upon now. At that time, when I was free to take other work, this parish was vacant, and the Bishop was anxious that services should be resumed here; so, upon consultation with some of the laymen of the rish (Mr. T. J. Bigham and others), the Bishop sent me here as Missionary in Charge, and on the Sunday before Easter, April the 5th, 1868, I held my first service under this appointment, just twenty years ago to-day.

    "At that time the affairs of the parish were not in an encouraging condition. The church had been closed nearly a year and was in debt about six hundred dollars. The repairs and improvements begun on the church several years before had been left unfinished, only this room (the Sunday School room) being in condition to be used. Consequently for more than a year we worshiped in this room without any of the accessories of a reverent and beautiful worship. Steps were at once taken to raise the money to pay off the indebtedness, and this being done, we set to work to raise funds to furnish the church. By the liberality of our own people, then not more than forty or fifty in number, and by the aid of the churchmen in the city, we soon had most of the money needed, and early in July, 1869, the work was finished, and, on the eighteenth of the month the church was opened




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for the first time in my ministrations, when Bishop Kerfoot preached and confirmed eight persons. Early in December all the indebtedness had been paid, and on December the twenty-sixth, the Sunday after Christmas, the Bishop consecrated the church. Then for the first time the parish found itself with its church complete in its appointments and free from debt. The congregation, though small, was united and harmonious, and the work  went on without serious interruption. I know that at first I did not have the full confidence of all the members. Observances that I had been accustomed to all my life, such as the use of the Cross in the church and turning toward the altar and bowing at the name of Our Lord in the creed, seemed to be novelties here and to cause alarm; and while I was careful not to offend the prejudices of any, I fear I did give offence to some, though unintentionally. However, I went on steadily with the services, teaching the truth as I understood the Church's doctrines as laid down in her formularies and as I had learned them from the apostolic Whittingham and the devout and scholarly Kerfoot, and as time went on you learned to know me better and to trust me more.

    "And here let me say, in passing, that I regard it as the greatest privilege of my life to have been closely associated with these two men, Whittingham and Kerfoot; and to have received instruction from them, and to have enjoyed their friendship and confidence to the end of their lives. And I believe that watever good I have been permitted to do as a clergyman, and whatever measure of usefulness I have had in the service of the Church, have been due, under God, to the influence, teaching and encouragement of these two men.


    "In the past we have often had a hard struggle as a parish; but God has blessed our labors, and a brighter day seems to be before us. Not much, perhaps, has been done; but all these years, as Mr. Shaler said, I have baptized your children, I have married your young people, I have visited the sick and buried the dead. These, my friends, are very sacred duties that touch the depths of the heart and leave memories that death alone can efface.





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    "I know not what more I can say than to ask God's blessing upon you and upon our work for His sake, and to pray Him that, when that work here shall have been finished, we all, pastor and people, may join the Church Triumphant and meet again to worship together in His eternal and glorious presence."

    The rector received many letters of congratulation from absent friends, and a few of these are given here as a part of the history of the pleasant event.

    The following was received ftom the venerable Dr. Crumpton, then in the 99th year of his age,



PITTSBURGH, April 3, 1888.             


Rev. R. J. Coster.

DEAR BR0THER.

    I last evening received an invitation from Mr John C. Shaler to attend the twentieth anniversary of your rectorship of Grace Church. It would be a sincere pleasure to be with you on that occasion and personally congratulate you on your acceptable ministry; but my infirmities . such that I am hindered from going from home except  on the most indispensable duties.


    My prayer will be that your rectorship may be prolonged for future happiness to yourself and to the congregation in which you have so usefully labored.

    I am, dear brother, yours most respectfully, etc.,
THOMAS CRUMPTON                                                




    The following was received from the Rev. Richard S.Smith, then the faithful rector of St. Peter's Church, Uniontown;




ST. PETER'S, Uniontown, April 4, 1.888.       

TO the REV. R. J. Coster.

Rev. and Dear Brother:  

    I sincerely regret my inability to be present at the reception which I find is to be given you at Grace Church tomorrow (Thursday) evening. It would have afforded me much pleasure to have been able to unite with the
many in doing "honor to whom honor is due."

    Allow me, however, to present to you my sincere congratulations, and to express the hope that many years of successful labor for the Master may be added by you to the twenty already spent, and that many souls added to the Church through your ministry
may form your crown of rejoicing "in that day."

               Yr. affectionate friend and brother,           
R. S. SMITH.                               





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       From Rev. J. Heber McCandless:

              ST. LUKE'S CHURCH,
                                        Smethport, Pa., April 4, 1888.

      MY DEAR MR. SHALER: Your kind note of in-
   vitation was received yesterday, and I should be
   very glad indeed to be present at the reception to
   the Rev. Mr. Coster on the occasion of his twentieth
   anniversary as rector of Grace Church, Pittsburgh,
   if I could be released from duties that keep me at
   home just now.

      I have known Mr. Coster all these twenty years.
   He was one of my examiners for Deacon's Orders,
   and has always been my sincere friend. I have
   loved him for himself, and for his patient persevering
   work--the kind of work that gathers, continues and
   grows—showing such results as we may see in your
   parish and in the Seminary for Young Women, over
   which he presides.

   Please convey my hearty congratulations to Mr.
   Coster on the occasion that commemorates a score
   of years so well spent in good works, with the wish
   that he may be long spared to see yet greater results
   and enjoy the fruits of his successful pastorate.

                  I am, dear sir, sincerely yours,
                                              J. HEBER MCCANDLESS,
                                                     Rector St. Luke's Church


 
       From the Rev. E. A. Angell, then rector of the
   Church of Our Father, Foxburg, Pa.:

                  THE RECTORY, Foxburg, Pa., April 2, 1888.

   MR. JOHN C. SHALER.

     MY DEAR SIR: I sincerely regret my inability to
   accept your kind invitation for the 5th instant;
   but as I am planning a trip East for a week later, I
   cannot leave home at that time. Give my congrat-
   ulations to Mr. Coster. He truly deserves them, for
    in these days of evanescent clergymen, one who has
    spent twenty years in one parish is almost a curiosity.
    Nevertheless, it speaks well for both priest and people.
 
                                                     Yours sincerely;
                                                               EDMUND A. ANGELL.


     From the Rev. G. A. Carstensen, rector of St.
  Paul's Church, Erie; Pa.:
 
 




49

                                                                                 APRIL 3, 1888.

   MY DEAR MR. COSTER: I am in receipt of a kind invitation from Mr. John C. Shaler, Jr., to
attend a reception in the lecture room of Grace Church, Pittsburgh, on Thursday
evening next. I understand that it is to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of your
rectorship of the parish. Under any circumstances such an event is an interesting one in
our changeful country and still more changeful times; but what a joyful time it will be
in a parish where pastor and people have always "kept the faith the in the unity of the
spirit, in the bond of peace," as they have in Grace Church, Mt. Washington.

  I cannot be with you—I wish I could; but I send you my congratulations, my fraternal
love, and my best prayers for God's good blessing in the years to come as in those that
are gone.
                                                                                 Most cordially yours,
                                                                                                     G. A. CARSTENSEN.



From the Rev. Samuel Maxwell, then the rector Trinity Church, Pittsburgh:

                                                                                  APRIL 2, 1888.

     MY DEAR MR. COSTER: Let me most heartily congratulate you upon the completion
of your twentieth year as rector of Grace Parish. It is a great disappointment to me, on
account of my high personal regard for you, that I shall not be able to accept the polite
invitation extended to me to be present at the reception to be given to you on Thurs-
evening next. * * * I would dearly love to be among the many who will congratulate you.

   With every good wish for you and yours, and the prayer that you may long be spared to
the ministry of the church and to that portion where you are so respected and beloved.

I am,
               Yours faithfully,
                         SAMUEL MAXWELL.


    Other letters of congratulation were received, which are highly prized by the rector; but they are either too personal in their character or too warmly expressive of affection and esteem to appear here.

    Another event of this year deserves special mention. In October Mrs. Maria Louisa Bigham, wife of the late Thomas J. Bigham, after a short illness





50


was called to the rest of the people of God. She died at her home, on Woodville Avenue, where all her married life had been spent, at about 4 o'clock on Sunday evening, October 14, surrounded by her family, and was laid to rest in Allegheny Cemetery Tuesday afternoon, October 16. The funeral service was held in Grace Church, of which she was in reality the originator and founder; and the large congregation of her friends, which completely filled the church, showed how much she was respected by her neighbors. At the conclusion of the service a last look at her kind and dignified face was taken by all present. Some kissed her cold lips, others dropped a tear upon her remains. All felt that they were taking leave of a woman who had been richly endowed with the higher gifts of mind and heart and with the grace and dignity of inherited refinement. She had been for many years a teacher in the Sunday School, a regular worshiper in the church, and a leader in every effort to maintain the worship and to extend the influence of the church in the community. She was, too, a woman strong in her convictions and firm in her purposes. Her influence was, therefore, widely felt; and the young people who grew up around her respected her ability and venerated her person. Her removal left a vacancy there was no one to fill. The present generation of Mount Washington, consequently, can never forget the grace and dignity of her personality; and the church which she loved and did so much to establish must ever be a witness of her faith in her Lord and her zeal in His service.

    Early in the following year the congregation lost another of its members, Miss Edith N. Ferguson, who died February 1, 1890, in the thirty-first year of her age, and was buried February 3, in Allegheny Cemetery. Miss Ferguson was raised a Lutheran, but her convictions and preferences led her to adopt the Episcopal Church as her spiritual guide. She was confirmed by Bishop Kerfoot in 1880, and continued a regular communicant to the end. She was a devout, lovely woman, richly endowed both by nature and grace. She had travelled extensively, both in her own country and in Europe. She was a discriminating and assiduous reader, and a devoted





51


student of Art. Her fine literary taste, her delicate perception of the beautiful in Art and Nature, and her quick, ready memory gave a charm to her conversation; while her vivacious, witty temperament and her generous, confiding disposition made her a most agreeable companion, and won for her a wide circle of devoted friends. As a Christian woman, her simple, unpretentious piety and her devout, reverant manner gave evidence of a deep, earnest nature that accepted fully revealed truth, and brought her whole heart and mind into the service of her Divine Master.  Pure, true and faithful, she won the hearts of friends and honored the service of her Lord. Her bright, cheerful disposition and winning, charming manner linger in the memory her friends like thoughts of a beautiful picture. "Though dead she yet speaketh."

    The publication of a parish paper, called GRACE CHURCH RECORD, forms a part of the history of the year 1890. It was chiefly through the efforts of the Guild of the church that the publication was maintained. In consultation with the rector, the matter was discussed, the name and motto
adopted, and arrangements made for issuing the first number, which appeared in March of this year. It was decided to print it quarterly, in March, June, September and December, as an organ of parish work. The aim of its promoters may be gathered from a passage in the salutatory, which appeared in the first number, and reads as follows:

    "Sometimes all that is needed to give success to a worthy enterprise is full information as to its value and needs. We believe that this is true even of parish work. We therefore intend to issue at regular intervals a sheet that will inform our people of the needs of our parish, and of the agencies
through which their aid can be made available."

    The editorial work of the paper was performed almost entirely by John C. Shaler Jr., who collected and arranged the matter and did all the proof reading. The rector gave some little assistance by collecting now and then a few items, and by preparing an occasional article for its columns. The
business management of the paper was taken care of by A. Filson Dalzell





52


and George A. Johnson. The paper was gratuitously distributed in the parish, the expense of publishing it being met by donations from the Laymen's Guild and the Ladies' Mite Society and by voluntary contributions from members of the congregation. Matter on the first page of the first number is reproduced here, since it gives information of permanent interest in the history of the parish:


GRACE CHURCH RECORD.
"Doers of the Word, not hearers only.''—JAMES i, 22.
Vol. 1                           PITTSBURGH, MARCH, 1890.                                 No. 1

GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH,
Cor. Bertha and Sycamore Streets,
Mt. Washington, Thirty-second Ward, Pittsburgh, Pa.
HOURS OF SERVICE.
Sundays:
Morning Prayer and Sermon, 10:30 o'clock.
Holy Communion, First Sunday of each month.
Baptisms, any Sunday except first Sunday of
the month.
Sunday School at 9:30 A. M.

Week Days, Lenten Season only:
Evening Prayer, Wednesday at 7:30 o'clock;
Friday at 4:00 o'clock, P. M.

PARISH DIRECTORY.
RECTOR.
Rev. Robert John Coster, Penn Avenue and
Fourth Street.

THE VESTRY.
John Bindley, Senior Warden.
Oliver H. Stinson, Junior Warden.
John  S. McMillin, Treasurer, Grandview Avenue
and Bigham Street.
John C. Shaler, Jr., Secretary, 419 Wood Street.
Thomas F. Ashford, William P. Linhart, O. W.
Sadler, M. D., Vestrymen.

JANITRESS.
Mrs. E. Tite, residence, Cor. Bertha and Sycamore Streets.





53


USHERS.
Thomas F. Ashford, Jr., Thomas G. Bond,
Edward C. Purkey, George A. Johnson.

CHOIR.
Precentor, Richard Burfoot.
Organist, Melville L. Stout.
Sopranos, Robert Naysmith, Britton Baker,
Aaron Speer, Albion McMillin, Carl Turney, Samuel
McKain, Willie Jones, Samuel Reno, Edwin Bindley,
Denning Shaler, Clint. Agnew, John McKain, Charles
Nevergold, Charles Waggoner.
Altos, Robert Reno, Samuel Trantor.
Tenors, John Boyce, Edward Gould, E. C. Shaler.
Bass, Richard Burfoot, Fred. Johnson, Samuel Kenah.
 
SUNDAY SCHOOL.

Superintendent, John C. Shaler, Jr.,
Organist, Miss Elmina McMillin.
Librarian, Samuel Kenah.

CLASSES AND TEACHERS.
No.                                                                     No.
1. Miss E. A. Bigham.                                      8. Mrs. Nellie R. Shaler.
2. Miss Elmina McMillin.                                9. Mrs. Helen Harper.
3. Miss Emily McMillin.                                10. Miss Lottie Marland.
4. Miss Ignatia Marlan.                                 11. Miss Annie Hughes.
5. John Williams.                                            12. John C. Shaler, Jr.
6. Miss Minnie Singer.                                  13. Miss Bessie Kenah.
7. Miss Lizzie Hughes.                                   14. Miss Kate Ream.

MITE SOCIETY OF GRACE CHURCH.

               Meets every Wednesday afternoon, 2 o'clock.
President—Mrs. A. M. Whittier.
Vice President—Mrs. M. A. Thompson.
Treasurer—Mrs. J. S. McMillin.
Secretary—Mrs. Nellie R. Shaler.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.—Mrs. W. P. Linhart,
Mrs. Joshua Goldthorp, Mrs. J. B. Armiger, Mrs.
Harry W. Neely.
VISITING COMMITTEES.-1st District—Mrs. J. J.
Lowe,  Mrs. Nellie R. Shaler.   2d District—Mrs. E.
Smithson,  Mrs. Mary Speer.   3d District—Mrs. A. M.
Whittier,  Mrs. J. S. McMillin.    4th District—Mrs.
Jos. S. Bollman,  Miss Lottie Marland.   5th District—
Mrs. J. B. Armiger,  Miss Lydia Eynon.





54


           CHANCEL COMMITTEE.—Mrs. M. A. Thompson,
Mrs. E. Smithson, Mrs. Mary Kenah, Mrs. Mary Speer,
Miss Emma Bennett.

GRACE CHURCH GUILD.
Meets in Sunday School room, second Monday of each month at 8 P. M.
          President—John C. Shaler, Jr.
          Vice President—Thomas F. Ashford.
          Treasurer—Joseph F. Bollman.
          Secretary—A. Filson Dalzell.
          EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.—Thomas F. Ashford,
Jr., Thomas L. Bond, Thomas Jones, Harry W. Neely,
George A. Johnson.

                         YOUNG LADIES' AID SOCIETY.
Meets every other Friday evening, at residences of members as appointed.
            President—Mrs. Nellie R. Shaler.
            Vice President—Miss Lottie Marland.
            Secretary—Miss Birdie Hughes.
            Treasurer—Miss Minnie Singer.

                          TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION.
Meets last Friday evening of each month.
             President—Mrs. Nellie R. Shaler.
             Secretary—Miss Bessie Kenah.
             Treasurer—Samuel Kenah.

    From the second number of "GRACE CHURCH RECORD," we gather the following account of the Easter services of this year:

    "Easter Sunday (April 6, 1890) was a peerless day. It dawned upon us bright and balmy, as though it was in harmony with the glad truth which Christians on that day commemorate. Its peaceful beauty helped to attune the hearts of the faithful to sing the triumphant song of the Resurrection Morning. We went to church meditating upon the awakening life of nature as symbolizing the new power imparted to ruined sinners by the Risen Lord, and ready to join with gladness in the holy services of the day. Imagine, then, our pleasure at seeing that loving hands had been busy in beautifying the house of the Lord in honor of the high festival. The altar was arrayed in spotless white. Flowers placed thereon




55

lent their beauty and fragrance to give it a more festal appearance. Ferns and lilies with their delicate fronds and graceful forms hid the stone font. There was adornment without profusion, and splendor without pretence. The picture of simple beauty was complete when the choristers and clergy filed into the crowded church singing 'Christ the Lord is risen today.'

    "The service was begun and maintained upon a high plane of devotion, and all present, whose hearts were really in the worship, must have felt that it was indeed good to be there. "The choir of fourteen boys and six men rendered the musical part of the service very effectively, under the direction of Mr. Burfoot, and for the first time assisted at the celebration of the Holy Communion, singing the Trisagion, the Agnus Dei and the gloria in
Excelsis with much feeling and devotion.

    "The service in the evening was also one of great interest and worthy of remembrance. The Bishop then made his visitation to the parish, preached the sermon and confirmed a class of fourteen. The service was of the same festal character as that of the morning. The presence of the Bishop and the festival nature of this service brought many visitors to the church, so that some had to stand during the whole evening, while others had to go away, being unable even to find standing room.

    "It was a rare opportunity to show to strangers the beauty and reverence of the church's ways, and as no service is without its effect, we may hope that the worship rendered and the words spoken at these Easter services will be like seed cast into the ground, that will bring forth fruit in due season, which fruit our Lord will reap in His own good time to the honor of His name and the benefit of His Holy Church."

    At the congregational meeting on Easter Monday, April 7, about twenty-five members were present, a number rather above the average attendance on such occasions. In addition to the election of a Vestry, several matters of interest to the parish took place. A legacy of $100 was
received from the estate of the late Maria L. Bigham, and it was decided to Add this gift to the Maria Adams Endowment Fund




56


of the parish. A vote of thanks was tendered to Mrs. Samuel Harper for the gift of two handsome chandeliers for the church.

    We here record the financial report of the parish made at this meeting;

FINANCIAL REPORT. — EASTER MONDAY, 1890.

GENERAL FUND.

Plate offerings and donations toward current expenses ..
$404.21
Plate offerings for special objects .....................................
159.33
Rec'd on pledges to rector's salary ..................................
532.30

$1,095.84
Paid towards general expenses .........................................
371.08
Paid—special objects ........................................................
158.33
Paid rector, on account ......................................................
268.05

797.46
Balance ..............................................................................
$298.38
   On hand for expense ......................................................
$33.13
   On hand for rector ..........................................................
264.25
   On hand for special .........................................................
1.00

$298.38
CONTINGENT FUND.
Net proceeds of recent fair ...............................................
$275.14
Aid assessment for opening Bertha street .......................
41.99
  Balance ............................................................................
$215.15
SUNDAY SCHOOL.
On hand and rec'd from classes .......................................
$86.96
Lenten Mite boxes ...........................................................
56.85

$143.81
General Expense ..............................................................
42.10
Paid treasurer of Diocesan Missions ..............................
56.85

98.95
   Balance ..........................................................................
$44.86
GRACE CHURCH GUILD.
On hand and dues paid in .................................................
$41.11
Expenses----warrants paid ...............................................
21.09
   Balance ..........................................................................  
$20.02

       



57

FINANCIAL REPORT—Continued.


MARIA ADAMS ENDOWMENT FUND.
On hand Easter, 1889 .........................................................
$683.60
Interest ................................................................................
27.53
Annual offering, Advent, 1889 ...........................................
21.00
  732.13
A bequest from Maria L. Bigham, deceased,
   will be added to this fund .................................................

95.00
And then, total ....................................................................
$827.13


  By resolution of the rector and vestry, the principal of this fund
 is not to be used; but in time its Income may be applied to
 special objects, or even to ordinary expenses.


LADIES' MITE SOCIETY.
 Balance in hand of treasurer ..............                                   $23.00

RECAPITULATION.

On hand and

Received
Disbursements
Vestry.....................                                                  
$1,095.84 $797.46  
Contingent fund .............                                                
257.14 41.99  
Sunday School ..............                                                 
143.81 98.95  
Guild......................                                                               
41.11 21.09  
MariaAdams Fund ..........                                                
827.13 ......  
MiteSociety ................                                                          
23.00 ......  
Balance, all funds ............ .......                                              
1,428.54

$2,388.03 $2,388.03  
              


    From the organization of the parish down to this time (Easter, 1890)
there had been but one service on Sunday, and a session of the Sunday School. Now the rector determined to give also an evening service every other Sunday, beginning with Sunday, May 11. This plan was adopted because the rector was doubtful whether he could undertake two full services every Sunday in addition to his other duties, which taxed severely his time and his strength. It may be here stated that this arrangement of the services continued until the beginning of Lent, 1892, when the rector began to hold two services each Sunday,  morning and evening, and has continued this ever since.

    In the fall of 1890 one of the bright and promising young women of Grace Church was taken from us by that dreaded disease, consumption.
She was a





58


cheerful, happy-hearted girl, intelligent and comely, and gave promise of a noble and useful womanhood. The following notice of her death appeared in GRACE CHURCH RECORD, December, 1890:

                                              EMILY MCMILLIN.

    On Sunday, November 30, 1890, Emily McMillin, the second daughter
of John S. and Mary Bindley McMillin, after an illness of several months
was called to rest, in the nineteenth year of her age. Early in the spring
symptoms of disease appeared that alarmed her friends, and by the advice
of her physician she was taken to Colorado, with the hope that the climate
and the change might bring relief and restore her health. There everything was
done that medical skill and good nursing could accomplish, but it soon became
apparent that all was in vain. Her cough increased, her strength steadily failed,
and soon she was confined to her chair. In this state of weakness the beautiful
traits of her character became strikingly evident. Patient, gentle, trustful, she
waited in peace the change that all saw was speedily coming. No word of
complaint or murmuring escaped her. Thoughtful, as ever was her wont, for the
kind friends who watched by her and were anxious to anticipate all her wants,
she suffered in silence to spare them anxiety and grief.
* * *                                                          
    At length, when all hope of improvement was gone, she desired to be brought
home. She bore the long journey with remarkable fortitude, and when she reached
the city the thought of weariness and weakness was forgotten in the peaceful
comfort of being again in her own home surrounded by those she loved. Then
again the watching by her side was taken up by her parents and friends. Day by
day she grew weaker, and at length just two weeks after her return, the end came.

    It was Sunday morning. She felt that she was going, and calling all her family
around her, requested them not to leave her. The day wore on. Finally, calling
them to her side one by one, she kissed them and bade them goodbye, taking leave
of her father last. She then seemed satisfied, and closing her eyes, passed away
as in a peaceful sleep.

                                 "Asleep in Jesus. Oh, how sweet,
                                   To be for such a slumber meet."





59


    She was taken away in the full flush of young womanhood; but we would not say her death was premature, for the all-wise and loving Father, whose child she was, knows best.   She was baptized in infancy, by the present rector, and grew up in the church, receiving her religious instruction in the services of the church and in the Sunday School. When of proper age she was confirmed and admitted to the Holy Communion, and thus the regular
development of her Christian character went on with her increasing years, under the teaching and guidance of the church; and she always had the
comfort of believing and feeling that she was a child of God. Thus she lived a beautiful life, and all her friends knew how good and true she was. We
will not, then, think of her as one lost to us, but as one sharing the rest of the people of God; and when we call her virtues to mind, we will thank God
for the bright example of His dear child, for her gentle spirit, her child-like faith, her calm trust in His mercy.
      
                          
CHANGES BY REMOVALS.

    Early in 1891 there were several changes in the parish, by removals, that deserve to be mentioned. Mr. John Bindley, who for about nine years had been an active worker in the parish and had filled for most of that time the position of vestryman and warden, moved, on the first of February, to his new home in the city, on Fifth Avenue, near Aiken Street. He had come up to Mount Washington in 1882, and had made his home in the old Boggs residence, on Boggs Avenue, and become a regular attendant of the services of Grace Church, taking also a full share in all the efforts made to promote the interests of the parish. His constancy and his liberality were great helps in the parish, and all regretted his removal.

    In April of the same year occurred another removal, which was also a great loss to the parish. The family of. Mr. Joshua Goldthorp moved to Wilkinsburg and became members of St. Stephen's parish. Mrs. Goldthorp had long been one of the parish's most active workers. For more than ten years she had been a sort of leader in all musical and





60

social matters in the parish. Her sweet, rich voice and her skill in managing entertainments rendered her services to the church invaluable. She had been the chief singer in the choir for several years; she had organized and trained in 1886 the first boy choir of the church, besides taking a principal part in all the entertainments of the parish for church or social purposes. Her removal was, therefore, keenly felt. It is a pleasure, however, to know that Grace Church's loss is another's gain, and that Mrs. Goldthorp's zeal and ability are still doing good service for the church in another field.

    This year (1891) was marked also by several changes in the leadership of the choir. Early in February the precentor, Richard Burfoot, resigned, after a year's service, and soon thereafter Mr. M. L. Stout, long the faithful organist of the church, expressed his wish to retire. These two resignations left the choir without a master, and the church without an organist, and caused, for about two months, serious interruption to the music of the congregation.

    On the first of April, however, the vestry secured the services of Daniel Dore Ezechiels, a fine musician and a skillful choir-master, who at once set to work with enthusiastic vigor to reorganize and drill the choir. In a few months he brought it to a higher state of efficiency than it had ever reached before. In speaking of the matter, Mr. Ezechiels said: "If the choir's improvement has been satisfactory, it is largely due to the generous
assistance of the rector and vestry and to the cheering encouragement of the ladies of the Mite Society; but it is particularly due to the members of the reorganized choir themselves, every one of whom has done his best."

    During the summer vacation, new choir-stalls were put in the church, a new robing room was built, and electrical signals connecting the organ and the robing room were supplied by the liberality of Mr. William Naysmith. When the services were resumed in September the choir was in good training and the music very acceptable. It was evident that the boys were in the hands of a skillful master.

    But the church was not to have the services of Mr. Ezechiels for any considerable time. In October he received an offer from St. John's Church,





61

Amesbury, Mass., to take charge of their choir, with the promise of a much larger salary than Grace Church could pay him; and so the rector and vestry agreed, at his request, to release him on the first of December, from his contract with them, and he left and went to Massachusetts. They then engaged Mr. James Dodworth, late of Sheffield, England, to fill the vacancy. He proved to be an efficient choir-master, and during his incumbency very successfully maintained the musical part of the service.

    The Sunday School of the parish has long been very successfully conducted by the earnest efforts of Mr. John C. Shaler, our faithful Superintendent. Notwithstanding engrossing duties which keep him very busy all the week, he devotes a large portion of each Lord's Day to Sunday School work. He gathers about him a band of effective teachers, whom he inspires with a large share of his own enthusiasm.

    Two occasions in the church year are of special interest to the Sunday School —the Christmas festival, and the Whitsunday afternoon service. The Christmas festival of this year, in accordance with a long-established custom, was held on the evening of Holy Innocents Day (December 28, 1891). The attendance was large, completely filling the schoolroom. The rector held a short service and addressed the children. The singing of carols, the distrbibution of Christmas presents, and the general good cheer of the company, all combined to make the festival a very pleasing event. It is not, however, these features of the occasion, but the record of the attendance of the scholars, that we desire to note here. This record gives evidence of the interest of scholars and teachers in their school, as shown in the regular attendance of such a large proportion of the pupils.

    All those mentioned in the following classes attended thirty-five or more Sundays during the past year, reckoned from Advent to Advent, leaving out the month of August, during which the school is closed.

   Miss Bigham's class : George Reed, Willie Kenah, Willie Hughes, Frank Bond, Oscar Torrence, Harry Butterfield.





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    Miss Bowman's class: Kate Needham, Josephine Needham, Mary Williams, Emma Henry, Rachel Waite.

    Miss Armiger's class: Thomas Eicher, Frank Glaize, George Glaize, Albert Heinreich, Christian Heinreich, Samuel Howarth.

    Mr. Williams's class: Nellie Naysmith, Jeannette McKain, Ella McKain, Alice Gould, Sadie Glaize, Lydia Eicher, Violet Bollman.

    Miss Lizzie Hughes's class: Willie Girvan, George Swerger, Fred. Swerger, Lewis McKain, Edward Gould, Willie Niven, Paul Harper.

    Miss Newell's class: Alice Williams, Mary Williams, Eliza Williams, Maggie Alstadt, Edith Minsinger, Lillie Heinreich.

    Miss Annie Hughes's class: Aaron Speer, Willie Jones, Harry Reed, Albert Turbett, Joseph Ashford, Eddie Zehfuss, Stanley Wilmot, George Wilmot, Albion McMillin.

    Miss Ream's class: Lenora Ashford, Margaret Ashford, May Minsinger, Carrie Minsinger.

    Mrs. Shaler's class: Rosie Naysmith, Cora Bowman, Annie Armiger, Sadie Armstrong, May Cargo, Mary Ashford.

    Mrs. Harper's class: Ida Newell, Ardella Armstrong.

    Miss Rebecca Torrence's class: Alfred Bowman, Joseph Needham, Harry Needham, Albert Glaize.

    Miss Kenah's class: Carrie Howarth, Sadie Minsinger, Maud Minsinger, Lulie Stout, Annie Louderbaugh.

    Mrs. McKain's class: Howard Niven, Willie Louderbaugh, Robert Naysmith, John Patton, John Wherry.

    We record with pleasure in the history of the church this "Roll of Honor." As "men are but children of a larger growth," we venture to predict that these same persons will be found to be constant and faithful in the duties of mature life. "He that is faithful in the least thing will also be faithful in that which is much."

    We repeat here the hours of service and the parish directory, as given in the parish paper, GRACE CHURCH RECORD, for June, 1892.




63

GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH,
Cor. Bertha and Sycamore Streets,
            Mt. Washington.                        
Thirty-second Ward, Pittsburgh, Pa.

HOURS OF SERVICE.

SUNDAYS:
Morning Prayer and Sermon, 10:30 o'clock.
Evening Prayer and Sermon, 7:30 o'clock.
Holy Communion, First Sunday of each month.
Baptisms, any Sunday except first Sunday of the month.
Sunday School at 9:30 A. M.; Mission School, Du-
    quesne Heights, 2:30 P. M.

PARISH DIRECTORY.

RECTOR,
Rev. Robert John Coster, Penn Avenue and Fourth Street.

THE VESTRY.
Meets at 8 P. M. on the first Tuesday of each month,
at residence of Captain McMillin.
Alfred Marland, Senior Warden.
O. H. Stinson, Junior Warden.
William P. Linhart, Treasurer.
John C. Shaler, Jr., Secretary.
Thomas F. Ashford, John S. McMillin, O. W.
Sadler, M. D., Vestrymen.

CHOIR.
Organist and Directress, Miss Taylor.
Assistant, Mr. Samuel Kenah.
Librarian, Robert Revelvey,
Sacristan, G. Fred Johnson.
Cantoris (trebles)—Harry Needham. R., Walkmeyer,
Aaron Speer, Hunter Dewsnap, William Jones, Charles
Heinrich, Herman Soffel.
Decani (trebles)—Noel Montreville, Herman Heis-
ler, Harry Read, Willie Smith, George Glaize, Harry
Hetling, Herman Heinrich, Sylvester S. Sweeney.
Altos—William J. McCaddon, James L. McKain.
Tenors—William J. White, Ed. Gould, Will Urwin.
Bassos—Robert Revelvey, G. Fred Johnson, E. C.
Shaler, William Groves, Samuel Kenah, H. G. Shaler.




64

Ushers—Thomas F. Ashford, Jr., Ed. C. Purkey,
Thomas G. Bond, George A. Johnson.

GRACE CHURCH GUILD.

Meets in Sunday School room, third Thursday of each
month, at 8 P. M.

President, George A. Johnson.
Vice President, Thomas G. Bond.
Treasurer, Joseph S. Bollman.
Secretary, Robert Revelvey.
Executive Conmmittee, Thomas F. Ashford, Jr.,
William L. Bond, Thomas Jones, G. P. Whaley,
George Brokaw.

TEACHER'S ASSOCIATION.

Meets at call of President.
President, Mrs. Helen Harper.
Secretary, Miss Bessie Kenah.
Treasurer, G. P. Whaley.

SUNDAY SCHOOL.

Superintendent, John C. Shaler, Jr.,
Organists, Miss Bessie Kenah and Miss Ardella
Armstrong.
Librarian, G. P. Whaley.

Classes and Teachers.

Bishop Kerfoot—Miss E. A. Bigham.
Star of Bethlehem—Miss Hattie Bowman.
Christian Soldiers-Miss Ida Armiger.
Robert J. Coster—Miss Ardella Armstrong.
Bishop Whitehead—Miss Lizzie Hughes.
Bishop Lyman—Miss Annie M. Newell.
The King's Sons—Miss Annie Hughes.
Bishop Bowman—Miss Ida Newell.
Infant Gleaners—Mrs. Helen Harper.
Daughters of Grace—Miss Kate Ream.
Maria L. Bigham—Mrs. N. R. Shaler.
Young Evangelists—Miss Rebecca Torrence.
The Bible Class—Miss Louise G. Taylor.
St. Dorcas—Miss Bessie Kenah.
Superintendent's—Mrs. Margaret McKain.
 

DUQUESNE HEIGHTS MISSON SUNDAY SCHOOL.

Superintendent, John C. Shaler, Jr.
Organist, Miss Madge Florence.





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Classes and Teachers.

Charity Circle ............... Mrs. Laverty.
Robert J. Coster Juniors...... Mrs. Wm. L.Bond.
The Young Churchmen........ Mrs. Lowe.
Earnest Workers ............ Mrs. Purkey.     
Lambs of the Fold........... Mrs. Richards.

MITE SOCIETY OF GRACE CHURCH.

Meets alternate Wednesdays, at 2 P. M.
 
President, Mrs. A. M. Whittier.
Vice President, Mrs. M. A. Thompson.
Treasurer, Mrs. J. S. McMillin.
Secretary, Mrs, Nellie R. Shaler.
Executive Committee, Mrs. Bond, Mrs. Linhart,
Mrs. Niven, Mrs. Florence, Mrs. Bollman.
AItar Committee, Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Linhart,
Mrs. Naysmith, Mrs. McMillin, Mrs. Armiger, Mrs.
Speer, Mrs. Shaler, Mrs. McKain, Mrs. Bollman,
Mrs. Torrence.
Visiting Committee, District No. 1—Mrs. Armiger,
Mrs. Shaler. District No. 2—Mrs. Linhart, Mrs. Montreville.
District No. 3—Mrs. Lowe, Mrs. Perkey, District No. 4—
Mrs. Harper, Mrs. McMillin. District No. 5—Mrs. Whittier,
Mrs. Coward.

BISHOP WHITEHEAD CIRCLE, DUQUESNE HEIGHTS.

President, Mrs. Bond.
Vice Presidents, Mrs. Lowe and Mrs. Laverty.
Treasurer, Mrs. Florence.
Secretary, Mrs. Richards.

THE JUNIOR AUXILIARY (MISSION BAND).

Meets alternate Wednesdays, at 7:30 P. M., at residence of Mrs.
Armstrong, 66 Southern Avenue.
 
President, Miss Ardella Armstrong.
Secretary and Treasurer, Miss Ida Newell.
Organist, Miss Nellie Read.
                          
MEMBERS OF THE PRAYER BOOK SOCIETY.
Mrs. J. S. McMillin, Mrs. W. P. Linhart, Mrs. J. C. Shaler.



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    A few changes will be noted in this list when compared with that taken from the parish paper for March, 1890. Mr. James Dodworth, who succeeded Mr. Ezechiels as choirmaster and organist on December 1, 1891, left us on the first of June, 1892, and accepted an engagement as organist of Trinity Church, Pittsburgh. The withdrawal of Mr. Dodworth was a great loss to the parish and choir, as he was a very competent
and successful choirmaster.

    Miss Louise G. Taylor was employed to fill the vacancy, and under her management the music was very acceptably rendered. She continued to hold the position of organist and directress until October 1, 1893, when, from pressure of duty as teacher in the Mount Washington public school, she was obliged to resign. During her incumbency the choir consisted of six men and fourteen boys, and maintained a fair degree of efficiency.


                        MISSION SUNDAY SCHOOL, DUQUESNE HEIGHTS.

    A Sunday School was opened Sunday, June 12, 1892, on Duquesne Heights, by some of the church women of the neighborhood, for the benefit of the children living in that part of the parish who were unable to attend the parish Sunday School. The chief promoters of the undertaking were Mrs. W. L. Bond, Mrs. James Florence, Mrs. J. J. Lowe, Mrs. W. P. Linhart, Mrs. E. C. Purkey and Mrs. Fred. Richards. Mr. John C. Shaler, the parish Sunday School superintendent, took charge of this work also, and under his direction the school was regularly organized and the sessions held in Grandview Hall, corner of Grandview Avenue and Oneida street. It has been doing good work in caring for the younger children of the parish in that vicinity, and now, at the end of the third year, has an attendance of eight teachers and about seventy children.

    The fall of this year was marked by the loss of one of our devout and faithful workers, Mrs. Elizabeth A. Smithson, a widow, aged sixty years. She had been raised a Methodist, but after attending the services for some time with her daughter, she became fully satisfied that she found in the Church's teaching and worship the help and comfort that she needed. She therefore decided to present herself




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for confirmation, and after attending the rector's instructions during the Lenten season of 1886 she is confirmed March 21, and was at once admitted to the Holy Communion. She continued a consistent and earnest servant of her Divine Master to the end. She received her last communion during her final illness, on October 29, with the rector and her daughter Edith, and died in peace, full of faith and hope, on All Saints Day, November 1, 1892. And thus another was added to the list of devout souls who have gone out from our midst to the rest of the paradise of God's elect.

    As the year passed by the work of the parish went on about as usual, marked by the ordinary changes and disappointments that attend all human undertakings. The struggle to raise the funds necessary to maintain the church's work for her Divine Master and the difficulty of harmonizing the conflicting opinions and wishes of even the most faithful workers are never entirely absent from the most united dand devout parish. All, however,
should be grateful, as the rector certainly is, for the harmony and confidence which have for the most part prevailed.

    In the march of events, Christmas came, and with it the special services and festivities which mark the season.

    Christmas Day was very cold and snowy, and many were kept from the church by the intense inclemency of the weather. The church had been becomingly dressed with evergreens and flowers, and the choir of men and boys, under the direction of Miss Taylor, the organist, had carefully prepared appropriate music; and the beauty of the decorations and the heartiness of the music counteracted to some extent biting keenness of the cold. The congregation at the morning service was fairly representative, and the worship hearty and devout. Eighteen communed.

    The Christmas festival for the children of the Sunday School was held on December 30, the Friday after Christmas. It was held this year for the first time, in the church instead of in the school room. This was done at the suggestion of the assistant





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superintendent, Mr. Percy Whaley,  who wished to introduce some new features which he hoped would give additional interest to the occasion and serve as an object lesson to the children. He and some of the young men of the church, therefore, added to the church's decoration a Jacob's Ladder, placed against the chancel arch and dressed in the Church colors. At 7.30 P. M. about 150 children, with their teachers and friends, assembled, completely filling the church.

    The rector held a short service, consisting of the Lord's Prayer, the Psalter, a lesson, a chant and a few collects. He then made an address, in which, after he had told them of the blessed truth which Christmas calls to mind, and of the cause of our rejoicing in the message brought by the angels, "Unto you is born in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord," he turned to the Ladder and explained to them the emblematic significance of the Church colors--white, red, green, purple and black— brought so distinctly to their notice in the decoration of the successive rungs of the ladder. This explanation much interested the children, and, as the rector afterward learned from some of those present, also gave great satisfaction to many of the older members of the congregation, as it made plain to them what they had not before understood.

    The vested choir was present in the stalls and joined the children in singing the Christmas hymns and carols, and by their assistance added much to the heartiness of the music and to the jubilant nature of the festivities.

    The address and singing were not the only features of the festival. To complete the pleasure of the little ones, books and candies were distributed among them, and a small present was made to each member of the choir as a kindly token that their volunteer efforts in aiding in the church music were really appreciated.

    On the following evening, Saturday, December 31, 1892, the Mission Sunday School of the parish on Duquesne Heights, held its festival, in Grandview Hall. About 40 scholars and their teachers assembled and many of their parents and friends also took part





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in the festivities. The rector was present and made a short address. The children sang their carols and received presents of books, candy and fruit, and were specially reminded of the great gift of our Heavteny Father to His people in sending to them His Son to be the Saviour of the world. The great value of these festivals lies in the fact that they give opportunity to impress upon the minds of the children of the church the great truth that Christ was born to be the Saviour of the world. This is sufficient reason to make church people cling to this great festival and teach their children to observe it.

    The year 1893 was marked by some events in the parish's history which deserve notice, as they show the changes brought by the passage of time.

    Lent brought to the rector, as usual, the extra services of the season and the frequent meetings of his confirmation class. While he was busy preparing for the Bishop's visitation and all were looking forward to a joyous Easter, he and the congregation were startled by the sudden death
of Captain John S. McMillin, one of the oldest and best known members of Grace Church.

    On Saturday morning, March 11, the rector was sitting in his study preparing for the services of the following Sunday, and about 11 o'clock Mr. Alfred Marland, a vestryman, came in and informed him that "the Captain," as he was familiarly called, had died suddenly that morning on Grandview Avenue. He was on his way to the city in company with Miss Elizabeth Kenah a little after 9 o'clock, and when a few yards beyond Stanwix street he suddenly threw his hand to his head with an exclamation of pain, sank down upon the pavement and died in a few minutes. He was picked up and carried into the nearest house, but there was nothing to be done by the doctor and friends who had gathered around him except to convey his lifeless body to his home. Three days later, Tuesday, March 14, at 2 P. M., the funeral service was held at the family residence, and his remains were buried the same afternoon in Allegheny Cemetery, the large gathering of friends and acquaintances who attended certifying to the respect with which he was regarded in the community where he had resided for more than forty years.





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    Captain McMillin was in some respects a remarkable man. He was very tall and large limbed; he had a strong face, a thick-set beard, and a large, well-formed head. His whole appearance was such as would attract attention in any community. His intellectual faculties, too, were of a high order. His mind was keen and grasping, and his memory vigorous and retentive; and although he had had but few advantages in the way of education, yet he possessed much general information, and was a very interesting talker. In his quaint, vigorous manner he could give a very picturesque account of his experiences in life. He did not talk much of himself, but in the circle of his intimate friends the details of his early life in Georgetown, and his later exploits on the river as captain of a steamboat, sometimes formed entertaining and amusing subjects of conversation.

    He had a blunt, half-joking way of saying things that occasionally offended strangers; but those who knew him well, could see beneath all the goodness of heart and the depth of honesty in the man, and therefore loved and respected him for his real worth. His invention of the steam capstan,
used on all the river boats, and his vigorous defence of his rights under his patent, gave him notoriety among steamboat men, while his tall ungraceful form and his peculiarities of manner and speech made him one of the most familiar figures in his neighborhood, and will serve to keep the memory of him fresh for a long time to come.

    His connection with Grace Church was close for about forty years, and during much of that time he was one of its regular communicants and steady supporters. He was a warm friend of the rector, whom he always greeted with kind words and received in his home with a cordial welcome. A fuller
sketch of his life will be found elsewhere in this book.

    Bishop Whitehead made his annual visitation to the congregation on the evening of the 15th of March, the fifth Wednesday in Lent, and administered the rite of confirmation. During this visit, accompanied, by the rector, he called on Mrs. Mary B. McMillin, the widow of the late John S. McMillin, who had been buried only the day before, to condole with her and her family in their sudden bereavement.





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    The festival of Easter, which came this year on April 2, was invested with more thanusual interest for the rector, as it was the twenty-fifth anniversary of his rectorship of Grace Church. The day was clear and cool, with a touch of dawning spring; the congregation which assembled for worship was large, devout and sympathetic; the altar and font of the church had been decorated by loving hands with beautiful plants and flowers; the music by the vested choir of twelve boys and four men, under the direction of Miss Taylor, was bright and appropriate to the high festival, and everything seemed to combine to make the day joyous and comforting to rector and people. The glad thoughts of the risen Christ which filled the hearts of all as they joined in the beautiful service were intensified in the mind of the rector by the thought of God's goodness to him through all
the twenty-five years in which he had ministered to his people, and also by the additional thought that he still possessed their love and confidence. At the same time, however, there was a sad strain in his reflections, awakened by the many changes which these years had brought. Only a few of those to whom he had first ministered were still left. One by one God had called His servants of this household to their account, diminishing the number here in the Church Militant, but increasing the Church's treasures in the land of the departed, swelling the number of the ''Blessed.''

                      "For these Thy saints who from their labor rest,
                       Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
                       Thy Name, 0 Jesus, be forever blest."

    In the spring of this year the church building was painted on the exterior, the funds for this purpose having been raised chiefly by a lawn fete gotten up by Mrs. Thomas F. Ashford, Sr., with the assistance of the ladies of the congregation. A little later a new roof was added, thus putting the exterior of the church in thorough repair.

    The church was closed during July and August of this year, owing to the absence of the rector, who went with his wife to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and then on to Denver and through the Rocky Mountains to Salt Lake City. This trip was the means of much pleasure and recreation to the
 




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rector and his wife, having given them the opportunity of seeing the achievements and triumphs of art and manufacture in that wonderful Exposition and the beauty and grandeur of nature in the plains and mountains.

    While the rector was on his vacation, as above stated, a congregational meeting was held in July, which was largely attended, and at which the needs of the church were fully discussed. A fund of about $400 was subscribed to pay off some debts and to make some needed improvements. Mr. Alfred Marland, the senior warden, presided, and Mr. Melville L. Stout acted as secretary; and under the leadership of Mr. John C. Shaler, Mr. Kirk Q. Bigham and Mr. George A. Johnson, the promoters of the meeting, successfully accomplished the purpose for which it was called.

    On Thursday, November 2, at 8 o'clock P. M., a meeting was held in the schoolroom of the church for the purpose of organizing a guild of the younger men and women of the congregation, whose aim should be to aid in all church work, to promote mutual improvement among the members by the study of Church history and literature, and to give opportunities of social intercourse and entertainment.

    Public notice was given, and at the time appointed about 30 persons attended the meeting. The rector presided and gave his assistance in forming the organization. The name "Coster Guild" was adopted as a compliment to the rector, and considerable progress was made at this meeting in adopting a constitution and rules of order for the government of the association. A second meeting was held on the following Thursday (November 9), at the same hour and place, with the rector in the chair, when the organization of the guild was fully completed and the following officers were elected: President, Percy C. Whaley; vice presidents, Lottie Marland and Ardella Armstrong; secretary, Ernest Marland; treasurer, Samuel Kenah.

    The guild was formed with the hope that it would give material aid in all plans for promoting the interests of the church, and that it would also take steps in the near future to raise gradually a





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fund for building a guild house on the rear part of the church lot, a necessary adjunct to the successful prosecution of the guild's work.

    The guild soon after its organization appointed a committee, consisting of Ernest Marland and Percy C. Whaley, to make arrangements for a course of lectures to be delivered monthly in the schoolroom of the church during the winter and spring of 1893–'94. They provided the following course, which was successfully given as arranged in the programme:

  December 7, 1893, Rev. George Hodges, D. D.—
"Pittsburgh's industries "

 January 10 1894, Rev. Marisson Byllesby__
"Church music."

    The Rev. Mr. Byllesby was unable to keep his appointment through illness, and the Rev. E. A. Angel kindly took his place and delivered a very entertaining lecture on "The art of putting things."

 February 7, 1894, Rev. William R. Mackay—
"The good old times."

 March 6, 1894, Rev. John Crocker White, D. D.—
"The Scandinavian reformation."

 April 11, 1894, Rev. Alfred Arundel—
" The coming man."

 May 2, 1894, Rt. Rev. Cortlandt Whitehead, D. D.—
"Thomas a Becket."

 June 6, 1894, Rev. Robert John Coster—
"The English Reformation."

    We record here the grateful thanks of the rector and the guild to the reverend gentlemen whose great kindness rendered it possible for the congregation to enjoy the entertainment and instruction which these lectures afforded.

    During the fall of 1893 the rector, wishing to awaken among his people an increased interest in missions and to inform them more fully in regard to what the Church is doing for the spread of the gospel at home and abroad, delivered four addresses as follows:

Sunday evening, October 29, 1893—" ` Missionary work in Japan and China; its
 importance and its possibilities."

Sunday evening, November 5, 1893—"Missionary work in Africa; the extent of the
country; the vast heathen population; their probable influence upon





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the future of the continent, and what is being done to protect them from slave-traders
 and to convert them to Christianity."

 Sunday evening, November 12, 1893—"Missions in our Western territory; their importance
   to our country and our church."

 Sunday evening, November 19, 1893--"Missions among the negroes of the South; their
  importation to this country as slaves; the wrongs inflicted upon  them by slavery, and
  our duty as Christian people to give them the Gospel and to educate them."


CHRISTMAS, 1893.
 
    Christmas, as usual, brought with it special services and festivities, which relieved somewhat the dullness caused by the general depression in all branches of business. It came on Monday, a cold, damp and disagreeable day. Service was held at 10 o'clock A. M., but only a small congregation assembled numbering about 45. The church was prettily dressed with evergreens and flowers, presenting a festal and cheering appearance in keeping with the day. The vested choir was present and the service was beautifully and heartily rendered. The Holy Communion was administered,
16 persons partaking.

    After the service the rector and choir assembled in the rear of the church and had a good photograph taken of the group before hastening home to their Christmas dinner. The photographer, Mr. Heppenstall, also took an excellent picture of the interior of the church, for distribution among the members of the congregation.

    Thursday, December 28, Holy Innocents Day, the usual festival for the Sunday School was held, at 7:30 P. M. The attendance was very large. The rector held a short service, made an address and read Phillips Brook's "Christmas Carol." The children sang their carols and Messrs. William Groves, John Boyce and Samuel Kenah rendered " We three Kings of Orient are," the choir and Sunday school joining in the chorus.

    Presents of books and candy to the children and small sums of money to the boys of the choir brought the festivities to a close and sent the young folks to their homes rejoicing.
 
 



75


    On the next evening, Friday December 29, the festival of the Mission School on Duquesne Heights was held in Grandview Hall. The rector was present, held a short service and addressed the children. About 40 children were present, who greatly enjoyed the festivities and varied the entertainment by singing carols and giving recitations, under the direction of Mrs. E. C. Purkey and Miss Harriett Lowe.

    The children gave the rector great pleasure by presenting to him, as a token of their affection and good wishes, a beautiful Japanese silk muffler for a Christmas gift.   The year 1893 was a disastrous one financially There was great depression in all branches of business and thousands of persons were thrown out of work. The result was great suffering among the poor and great privation even among well-to-do workmen. Contributions of money and provisions were made by the churches on Mount Washington to relieve the suffering, and Grace Church appointed a committee to assist in the distribution and took its part in alleviating the distress. In the city large sums of money were subscribed and used to give work to the unemployed in improving the city parks. The distress was, therefore, not an unmitigated evil, as it called forth the liberality of the charitable for the relief of the destitute, and showed to this incredulous age that mercy and kindness still exist and that human hearts are still moved by human suffering.

    The Lenten season of the spring of 1894 was used as a time for increased spiritual opportunities and obligations. Special services were held on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 and Friday afternoons at 4 o'clock. The rector met weekly a class of thirteen young people, and prepared them for confirmation.

    On Palm Sunday evening, March 18, the Bishop visited the parish and confirmed these candidates. The evening was fine, the church crowded and the service altogether an interesting and helpful one, while many strangers had the opportunity of hearing the Church's service and learning something of her reverent mode of worship.





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    New Hymnals and new Prayer Books, two of each, were placed in the chancel, for use in public worship, on February 18, 1894, the second Sunday in Lent. The money to purchase them was raised by Elizabeth Torrence and Mary A. Whaley, two members of the Sunday School. They are fine editions of the Revised Prayer Book and the new Hymnal set forth by the General Convention of 1892, bound in black morocco, and they took the place of a set used since the reopening of the church in 1869, which had been supplied by the Sunday School class of that year taught by Mr. John C. Shaler. These old ones are still in good condition after twenty-six years of use, and have been laid away in the vestry room to be preserved as mementos of the past.

    The next Sunday was Easter (March 25), a cold, cloudy day, threatening snow, and very disagreeable on account of the high wind prevailing. Yet notwithstanding the disagreeable weather, the rector was greatly pleased to see a large congregation assembled in church to join in the services of the great festival. Loving hearts, as expressive of their joy, had tastefully dressed the chancel with flowers and plants, whose beauty and fragrance
harmonized with the glad thoughts of the hour, and the choir sharing the joy of the day, sang the Easter anthem and hymns with a spirit which filled the worshipers with assurance of victory over sin and death; and the words of Hymn 121:

"The strife is o'er, the battle done;
The victory of life is won,"

and those of Hymn 122,
"Jesus lives! thy terrors now
Can no longer, Death, appall us."

fitly expressed the feelings of devout minds rejoicing in the risen Christ.

    The rector chose as the text for his sermon, "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." —I Corinthians xv, 20, 21, and dwelt specially upon the truth that we have the
hope of immortal life only in the risen Christ. The Holy Communion was administered, 40 members of the congregation receiving.





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    Some changes have taken place in the choir, which may be mentioned as a not unimportant part of the history of the church. Miss L. Taylor resigned the charge of the organ and choir on October 1, 1893, and was succeeded by Miss Shannon, who was elected as organist, Mr. William Groves consenting to act as choir director. She continued to serve very acceptably until February 1, 1894, when she resigned and was succeeded by Melville L. Stout, who then took charge of the choir, resuming the position which he had formerly held for a number of years. He still continues to hold the position giving his services as a freewill offering toward the support of the public worship of the parish.

    The choir at Easter of this year (1894) we may ire record, was composed of four men and twelve boys, their names being the following:

  Men-William Groves, Samuel Kenah, John Boyce, Fred Johnson.
  Boys—Fred Bowman, David Nease, Frank Glaize, Harry Needham, Adam Heisler, Joseph
Needham, Herman Heisler, Edward Schmidt, Christ. Heinrick, William Smith, Harry Hetling,
John Zelk.
  Organist and choirmaster—Melville L. Stout.
  Organ blower—Harry Butterfield.

    The passing of time is constantly bringing changes; men come and go, and things never continue in one stay. In these changes the parish has recently lost by removals several very helpful families. In the fall of the year 1893 Mrs. Mary B. McMillin, widow of the late John S. McMillin,
closed her house on Grandview Avenue and moved with her children to California, thus severing a family connection with the parish which had existed for more than thirty years.

    At Easter of the year 1894 Dr. Orin W. Sadler soId his residence on Grandview Avenue and moved his family to Penn Avenue, in the city, terminating thereby a connection with the parish of nearly twelve years' standing. The doctor's removal was a great loss to the parish, on account of his intelligent and sympathetic interest in all its affairs, he having been vestryman most of the time he was in the parish and having been an active promoter of all plans undertaken for futhering its interests.




 
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    Later in the year the parish lost another family, that of Mr. William Groves, which had been for some time closely identified with its work. Mr. Groves was for several years a very efficient and helpful member of the choir, and, owing to his genial manner and delicate tact, was a sort of leader in all musical and social entertainments. At the time of the removal of his family from the parish he, as a vestryman and as the director of the choir, was rendering valuable services to the church; and all regretted that the exigencies of business required him to move down to Fifth Avenue, and thus to sever his connection with the parish.

     Whitsunday came this year May 13, and was a clear, cool and beautiful day. A congregation of a little over one hundred assembled for worship. The rector preached and administered the Holy Communion. The font and altar were beautifully dressed with dogwood blossoms gathered in Mrs. Bigham's woods. In the evening at 7:30 was held the usual annual service for the Sunday School. The church was crowded with an interesting audience. After evening prayer the rector made an address and catechised the children of the Sunday School. He urged upon the attention of the teachers and the congregation the fact that the most important part of the work of the Sunday School is that of teaching the children the Catechism, the instruction which the Church has prepared to be learned by all her little ones. The vested choir of four men and ten boys rendered the music for the day very acceptably.

    On June 6, at 8 P. M. the rector delivered the last lecture in the course arranged for by the Coster Guild. A good audience, nearly filling the schoolroom, assembled and gave close attention. The rector chose as his subject, "The English Reformation," and endeavored to clear the subject of the popular misconceptions which cluster around it, and to set forth its true significance, considered politically and religiously. He also emphasized the fact that the Roman Church is in a state of schism in England, inasmuch as the adherents of the papacy withdrew from the Church of England eleven years after Elizabeth came to the throne, and then only at the instigation of the Bishop
 




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of Rome, who, with audacious presumption and injustice excommunicated Queen Elizabeth pretended to absolve her subjects from their allegience to their lawful sovereign, and to bestow her kingdom upon Phillip of Spain. The result was that the glaring injustice of the papacy toward Elizabeth and the futile attempt of Phillip to conquer her kingdom fired the English mind with an enthusiastic loyality for their sovereign and with a resolute determination to maintain their national independence that soon made England the foremost nation of Europe. At the close of the lecture the ladies served refreshments, and a pleasant hour was spent in social intercourse. This ended the course of lectures, and the members of the Guild had good
reason to congratulate themselves upon the success of their undertaking.

    The last service before the summer vacation was held on Sunday, July, 29. The rector spent a part of his vacation with his family at his summer cottage near Cresson, Pa, but most of the time he was in the city busy preparing to move the Bishop Bowman Institute from its old location on the
corner of Penn Avenue and Fourth Street to its new quarters in the East End, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Dithridge Street.

    Services were resumed on Sunday, September 2, but the rector was not present at the first service, which was conducted by a lay reader, as he went by the Bishop's appointment to Crafton to institute the Rev. Frank Steed, as rector of the Church of the Nativity.

    During the vacation the interior of the church was thoroughly renovated. The walls were tastefully decorated and the woodwork repainted. The work was done by Stulen & Stoughton, of the city, under the supervision of Mr. Stulen, who twenty-six years before, in the summer of 1868, had done
the same work at the reopeningof the church after extensive additions and improvements.   The church building was now in complete order, both on the exterior and the interior, and there could be no need of further repairs for some time to come.

    The services went on during the fall about as usual. On the first of October the rector took a severe cold,




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that for some days deprived him of his voice. In consequence he was unable to officiate on Sunday, October 7, and Mr. John C. Shaler read the service morning and evening and prevented the disappointment of the congregation. The hoarseness continued for several weeks, during which time Mr. Shaler assisted the rector in the services by reading the lessons and sometimes the Litany also.

    Mr. G. P. Whaley, our Sunday School superintendent, resigned on the first of October (1894) and moved to Cumberland, Md. The rector and the school regretted very much to lose so faithful and efficient a worker as Mr. Whaley. He had charge of the school about two years and was successful
in his management. Luckily, Mr. John C. Shaler was at this time in a position to resume charge of the Sunday School, and the work went on without any serious interruption.

    The annual meeting of the Mite Society was held on Tuesday, December 4, at 8 P. M., at the residence of Mrs. Harper, Grandview avenue and Bertha street. The following were present besides the rector: Mrs. Harper, Mrs. Whittier, Mrs. W. L. Bond, Mrs. Kenah, Miss Kenah, Mrs. J. C. Shaler, Miss Lillie Harper and Miss Eliza Bigham. The treasurer's report showed that the Mite Society had raised during the year for church purposes the sum of $150.00 Of this they expended the following amounts:

Streetpaving ........................           $40.00
Paid on piano........................            50 00
Sunday School expenses .....           30.00
                                                       _______
Total..........................                    $120.00

    The officers for the year were: President, Mrs. Samuel Harper; vice president, Mrs. William L. Kenah; treasurer, Miss Eliza Bigham; secretary, Mrs. John C. Shaler.

    The Mite Society has during the last twenty-five years been the most active and useful agency of the parish in carrying on its work. It was organized in 1868 and has continued its work with greater or less activity down to the present. The first officers of the society were the following: President, Mrs. Maria L. Bigham; treasurer, Mrs. Mary B. McMillin; secretary, Mrs. Mary Thompson.





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    The first work that they engaged in was the raising of funds for completing the improvements on the church which had been begun in the fall of 1865, but were not finished until the summer of 1869. They next assisted in raising the money to put stained-glass windows in the church and they furnished a part of the money to pay for the pipe organ. They have twice carpeted the church, besides supplying it with cushions; they have assisted in getting the funds to keep the church insured, and also they have helped to keep it in good repair. They raised the funds for these purposes partly by subscriptions among themselves and partly by fairs, held twice in halls down in the city, but for the most part by fairs and entertainments given in the church schoolroom.

    On one occasion a Mother Goose entertainment, given under the management of Mrs. McMillin and Miss Ida Smith, assisted by Mrs. James Boggs, Mrs.Joshua Goldthorp, Mrs. Samuel Harper, Mr. E. H. Dermitt, Mr. Samuel Williams, Mr. Albert Y. Smith, Mr. Edwin Smith, and some others of the young people, was remarkably successful, as was also an entertainment of Living Statuary, given under the skilful directon of Mrs. M. Kirk. Besides this, it ought to be mentioned, that the district visiting committees and the teachers of the Sunday School have always been largely made up of members of the Mite Society.

    It is a matter of great regret that the books of the society are not at hand, that a full list of the members might be given and a list of the officers of the society at the different periods of its history, and also the amounts of money stated that they have raised in all these years for the support of
the church.

    The flight of time brought again Christmas tide, with its usual services and festivities. On the Sunday before Christmas, 1894, after service, the rector made a visit to Mrs. Sarah S. Boggs, who was then very ill, having been confined to her bed for some months and at the time rapidly failing.
He had prayers wlth her and spent some time at her bedside. Although it was evident to all her friends, as it was also to herself, that she would live but a short time, yet she was cheerful and self-forgetful, full of trust and hope, and anxious as ever to spare her friends trouble.




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    The beauty of her character and the strength of her faith shone out strikingly under her affliction. No murmur or word of complaint escaped her; no impatience or fretfulness was apparent. If a cry of pain escaped her, she would apologize for her weakness. She seemed to be waiting in peace the end that she knew was near. The rector left her, saddened by the sight of her suffering and rapid failure, but thanking God for the beauty of the patience and resignation of His faithful servant. For her there was "light in death's dark eventide."

    Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25, 1894, dawned upon us cold and clear. As the rector went to church, accompanied by his son Charles, who was home from College for the holidays, the streets, the shop windows and the passing throngs all gave signs of the joyful festival that was at hand.
The church had been appropriately decorated by the Guild with plants and evergreens. The service began at 10 o'clock A. M., with about forty persons in attendance. The vested choir of seven boys and four men were present and led the singing, assisted by six young women, who sat in the front pew beside the choir. The service was very hearty and the music good, making the rector regret that a larger congregation were not present to share in the beautiful service. After the sermon the Holy Communion was administered, when 22 persons communed.

    The Mission Sunday School on Duquesne Heights held its Christmas festival on Thursday, December 27, at 4 o'clock P. M. The rector was present and the Bishop, by special request, came up to meet the Sunday School. Mr. Shaler, the superintendent, and his corps of assistants, Mrs. W. L. Bond, Mrs. E. Purkey, Mrs. W. P. Linhart, Mrs. Lowe, Miss Lowe and Miss Richard, were also present directing matters. After a short service by the rector and a few words by him to the children, the Bishop made an address to the Sunday School, setting forth the meaning of Christmas and the cause of our rejoicing at this holy season, when we thank God for the " gift of His dear Son."

    The school surprised the Bishop, the rector and the superintendent by giving to each, as a Christmas





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present, a handsome silk umbrella. The rector acted as spokesman in conveying their present to the Bishop and the Bishop with a few facetious words handed their presents to the rector and the superintendent.

    About 75 children were present, and they sang the carols and Christmas hymns with great earnestness. About ten inches of snow lay upon the ground and the weather was intensely cold, yet this neither kept the children at home nor interfered with their enjoyment.  The next day, Friday, December 28, Holy Innocents Day, the parish Sunday School had its festival, at 7:30 P. M., in the schoolroom of the church. The rector used a few collects as an opening, and then addressed the children on the meaning of Christmas and Holy Innocents Day—love and sacrifice, the twin children of faith and obedience. There were about 120 children present, and, with their teachers and friends, they entered heartily into the spirit of the occasion. They sang their carols with great spirit, aided by the choir, and, after having received presents of books and candy, at 9 o'clock P. M. they went home rejoicing.

    The new year 1895 opened cold and clear, and the weather for some weeks was intensely severe; as severe, indeed, as was ever felt in Pittsburgh. About February 7 the cold increased until the thermometer fell 10° below zero, causing great suffering. The water pipes and gas pipes froze, leaving many people without heat or water and adding greatly to the discomfort of the severe weather.

    Lent began this year Wednesday, February 27, and with it the extra services provided for the season and the work of preparing a class for confirmation. Service was held every Wednesday at 7:30 P. M. and every Friday at 4 P. M. during the season. The rector met the male members of his confirmation class on Wednesday evenings after service, and the girls of the class on Friday afternoon, immediately after evening prayer.

    An interesting feature in the instruction of the class was the fact that one of the members, the daughter of Mr. E. H. Dermitt, living on Stanton Avenue, East End, came regularly to Grace Church to attend





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the class. Her father and mother and older sister had all been confirmed under the pastorship of the rector (they having been at that time members of the parish), and their daughter Lillian, wished also to be instructed and presented for confirmation by the same rector, and to be confirmed in the same church; and the rector was much pleased that her wish could be gratified.   The vested choir volunteered to attend the Wednesday evening Lenten services, and they came regularly every evening, and by their presence added much to the beauty and spirit of the services and won the thanks of the rector and congregation for their faithfulness.

    The Friday afternoon services were attended regularly by the "Little Helpers," a number of small girls of the Sunday School, who sat in the choir and, under the direction of Miss Elizabeth Kenah, sang the hymns. They not only sang the hymns very sweetly, but by their presence added a  pleasing feature to the Lenten services, and learned the lesson of aiding by personal service in maintaining and beautifying the worship of the Lord's house.

    This society of small girls was organized on May 28. 1894, under the direction and government of Miss Kenah and Miss Ida Newell. They are much interested in parish work, and by the assistance of their officers have given very material aid during the past year in meeting certain pressing obligations of the parish. It may here be mentioned that on Easter Sunday morning, while the rector was visiting the Sunday School, they gave him a pleasant surprise. They handed him an envelope, and when he opened it, as they requested, he found therein the sum of $50, a present from the society to the rector. It need hardly be said that the rector was not only surprised by this act, but that he was deeply touched by the good will of his young friends which prompted this kindness.

    On Palm Sunday, April 7, at 7:30 P. M., the Bishop made his annual visitation to the parish, preached the sermon at the service and administered the rite of confirmation to a class of 13 young people. Among those confirmed was Miss Agnes McRae, a teacher



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the Bishop Bowman Institute, of which school the rector is principal, and Miss Lillian Dermitt, a daughter (as aforesaid) of Mr. E. H. Dermitt, who was formerly a member of the congregation and a vestryman, but now living in Stanton avenue, in the ,East End. The church was crowded with people, and there was among them a large number of children, a fact which attracted the attention of the Bishop. There is usually a goodly number of children present at the services, the rector having constantly made it a rule to encourage the children to attend public worship. He often tells them in the Sunday School that if on any day they cannot attend both Sunday School and service, he would greatly prefer that they attend the service. A habit thus formed will go with them through life. The practice of making attendance at Sunday School a substitute for public worship is, we fear, likely to form a generation of non-churchgoers; consequently, parents and the clergy should use all their influence to discourage the practice.

    The festival of Easter came this year (1895) on April the 14th, and with it the twenty-seventh anniversary of the rector's connection with the parish. The solemn joy of the high festival was, therefore, intensified in the rector's mind by thoughts of past service and by gratitude for present mercies. The day was cool and cloudy, but a large congregation gathered to join in the worship. The chancel had been very tastefully dressed by the members of the Coster Guild with plants and flowers, which added much to the festal appearance of the church and highly gratified the congregation and the rector, who regard this as a fitting method of symbolizing the great truth of the Resurrection which the Church on this day commemorates, and as a lively expression of the gladness which at this time fills the hearts of the faithful.

    The vested choir of 16 boys and 4 men had made careful preparation for the service, and rendered the music with great credit to themselves and great appropriateness to the occasion. The choir remained and assisted in the Communion service at which 36 persons communed.





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    The Easter tide rejoicings of the congregation were this year tinged with an undertone of sadness, owing to the very recent death of two aged and much respected members of the parish.

    Mrs. Sarah Shaw Boggs, relict of the late Samuel Boggs, of Boggs avenue, after a long and painful illness, was laid to rest on Saturday, March 23, in Allegheny Cemetery, beside the remains of her husband. For more than two years she was a great sufferer, her strong constitution steadily yielding to encroaching disease, and yet she bore her suffering with great patience and resignation, seeming in her self-forgetfulness anxious to suppress signs of her suffering, lest she should give her friends trouble. The loving care and watchful attention of her devoted sisters, Miss Emma Bennet and Mrs. Harrison, did all that human aid could do for her relief, but nothing could stay the progress of her disease. At last, on Thursday, March 21, death came to her relief, and she passed away in faith and hope.

    Mrs. Boggs was a woman of noble character, generous in disposition and faithful in every relation in life. She was born of church parents, was reared under the teachings of the Church, and was all her life a devout and faithful communicant, loving her church and taking her share in all the efforts made to promote its interests in the community. In her will she left the sum of $100 to Grace Church as an addition to its Endowment Fund. (See obituary under the list of deaths.)

    Two weeks later, April 6, 1895, another noble woman, Mrs. Adeline Matilda Whittier, widow of the late Isaac Whittier, and mother of Mrs. Samuel Harper, was taken from our midst, in the 83d year of her age. She and her husband were both born in New Hampshire, but they moved to Pittsburgh in 1836 and spent here the rest of their lives. They were for many years members of St. Andrew's Church, Ninth street, where they regularly attended as long as Mr. Whittier lived. With increasing age Mrs. Whittier found the walk from Grandview avenue to Ninth street too great for her, and she began to attend Grace Church, and for the last twelve years of her life was a regular communicant and an active sharer in all the work of the parish.





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    Her interest in church affairs, and her regularity in attending public worship were remarkable for one of her age, as she rarely let anything except sickness or extremely inclement weather keep her from the Sunday morning service and the monthly communion.

    Mrs. Whittier indeed was a woman of sterling worth, faithful and reliable in all things. So true was she in speech and action, so sincere in her friendships, that those who once knew her and trusted her, remained her firm friends to the end. The high respect which she had won in this
community was markedly shown on her eightieth birthday (Friday, September 16, 1892), when people came to her home on Mount Washington, from all parts of the city to pay their respects and to offer their congratulations. Those who saw her on that day will remember how bright and cheerful she was. The pleasing cordiality, the frank good nature and the welcoming smile which had marked her earlier days were still present in the woman of eighty years. It was a great pleasure to the rector on that day to be among those who could claim her friendship and confidence and offer to her his heartiest congratulations.

    Her presence in her family was a benediction to the household. Surrounded by her grandchildren, who lavished upon her the affection and attention which youth feels for venerated age, she grew old, cheered by the smiles and love of those dear to her. There is a very interesting picture in the possession of her daughter, Mrs. Harper, which includes four generations of her family—the aged Mrs. Whittier; her daughter, Mrs. Samuel Harper; her grand-daughter, Mrs. Stanley Neely, and her great-grandson, Master Robert Bonner Neely.

    Mrs. Whittier retained to a marked degree her interest in life and her cheerfulness and contentment in her declining days. The secret of this is to be found in the fact that she had a clear and abiding faith in God as her Heavenly Father. She trusted in Him through Christ, and in that trust found rest and peace. "Blessed are all they who trust in the Lord."



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IMPROVEMENTS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

PUBLIC SCHOOLHOUSE.



PAVING THE STREETS.

    For some years after the present rector began to officiate in Grace Church there were no paved streets on Mount Washington, and in consequence the streets were often almost impassable in winter and spring, owing to the depth of the mud. The rector several times in the spring of the year saw in those days of no pavements wagons loaded with furniture standing on Grandview avenue, sunk to the hubs in the mud, and abandoned by driver and team.

    First Grandview avenue was paved, in the summer and fall of 1891, with angular blocks, from the Monongahela Incline Plane to the Duquesne Incline Plane, a distance of about a mile, and the sidewalks were laid in broad flagstones, the work being finished the first of November. This street,
running along the bluff at an elevation of about 400 feet above the river, makes one of the finest promenades in the city.

    The improvement in Grandview avenue was soon  followed by the paving of other streets. In the spring of 1892 Bertha street was paved, the work being finished May 25; and in the fall of 1894 Sycamore street was sewered and paved, the work being finished January 18, 1895.

    The church lot is situated on the southeast corner of these two streets, Bertha and Sycamore, fronting on the first 80 feet and extending along the second 200 feet.





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                                     BERTHA STREET.

             Grading and paving .................   $500.00
             Flagstone sidewalk, etc .............. 100.00

                                 SYCAMORE STREET.

             Sewer.............................                    375.00
             Grading and paving .................      550.00
             Flagstone sidewalk ..................      200.00
             Grading church lot ..................       150.00
             New fence .........................                125.00
                                                                     __________
                               Total........................... $2, 000.00


    The sum of $2,000 was a very heavy tax on the parish, which is financially
weak; but the work, in every way desirable, was a great improvement to the church property, and indeed to the whole neighborhood.

    During the year 1896 the life of the parish went on about as usual. Its financial obligations were met with some difficulty, but every part of the parish work was continued with a fair amount of success. The service on Whitsunday for the Sunday School was unusually interesting. About 200 children, with their teachers and friends, were present, completely filling the church. At 3 P. M. a short service was said by the rector, and several hymns were very spiritedly sung by the children assisted by the choir, and next followed the catechising of the school, when the rector and superintendent were greatly encouraged by the ready and intelligent answers of the children.

    The aim of the teaching in our Sunday School should always be to make the children of the parish intelligent churchmen and churchwomen, and this we think can best be done by a thorough study of the Catechism and the Prayer Book; hence the constant study of the one and the systematic use of the other has always been the practice in Grace Church Sunday School.

    The opening of the year 1897 was a sad time in the parish, as it brought with it the loss of its most active and most useful layman. John C. Shaler, a vestryman and warden of the parish, a man in the






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prime of life, who was full of plans for furthering the Master's work on Mount Washington, died, after a short illness, on Friday, January 22, 1897. He was, moreover, superintendent of the Sunday School, and also the friend and adviser of the rector. He had been so fully identified with the life and work of the parish for more than forty years that it seemed that it would be impossible to fill the place left vacant by his death. When the School met on the first Sunday after his death we could not proceed with the regular session, as pupils and teachers were in tears, and when the rector attempted to address the children his feelings overcame him, and he was forced to desist. Archdeacon Cole had come up to Grace Church that Sunday morning to speak to the children and the congregation on diocesan missions, but he saw the inopportuneness of the time and wisely deferred the matter. He, however, remained at the service and preached, greatly to the relief of the rector under the trying circumstances. The funeral service was held in the church Sunday afternoon, and the interment took place in the Allegheny Cemetery, his fellow-vestrymen and friends bearing his remains to their last last resting place, while the snow, which covered the fields and the grave with spotless white, typefied, we like to believe, the purity and blamelessness of his irreproachable life. Mr. Shaler's zeal in Church work and his devout, consistent life made him a typical churchman, whose stimulating influence was felt in the whole parish.

    There was urgent need to find at once some one to take his place as superintendent of the Sunday School. After some hesitation on his part, Harry W. Neely was induced to accept the position, and, loyally assisted by rector and teachers, he successfully kept up the work.

    At Easter of this year (1897) an altar cross, a pair of altar vases and an altar rack, all of brass, were presented to the church as memorials of Mr. Shaler, thus perpetuating his memory and also beautifying the church which he loved so much, and for which he labored in love so long and faithfully.





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THE RECTOR'S THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY
(EASTER, 1898).

    An event of unusual interest in the history of the parish which marked the year 1898 was the rector's completion of his thirtieth year of service. He began his rectorship April 5, 1868, and from that time has continued as rector of Grace Church. Indeed, it may be here properly mentioned that the rector has never had any other parish; that the short period of his diaconate, spent at the college of St. James, and the first two years of his priesthood,were given chiefly to educational work, he only officiating for different clergymen as occasion offered. Practically, therefore, his whole ministry has been given to Grace Church. The vestry and congregation wished to mark this anniversary with some special ceremonies; consequently arrangements were made for an anniversary service on Easter Sunday evening, April 10 and invitations were sent out for a reception to the rector and his wife for the following Thursday evening (April 14).

    At the Sunday evening service a large congregation was present and the rector
delivered a special discourse, taking as his text Psalm xxviii, 8: "The Lord is my strength, and He is the wholesome defense of His anointed." After a brief exposition of the teaching and the encouragement for God's people embodied in the text, the rector gave a resume of the facts of his rectorship recorded in this history.

    Omitting much of the historical portions, a few extracts may here be given, in which he said:

    "All the years that I have been with you I have tried to teach you these three things, faith in God, trust in His providence, and submission to His will; for in these things are to be attained the beauty of Christian living and the perfection of Christian character. In a heart where these three principles of religion are grounded there will be no skepticism to deaden its devotion; no despondency to paralyze its powers; no spiritual pride to dwarf its affections; but faith will reign, and hope prevail, and love will bloom, and the peaceful soul will harmoniously develop into the likeness of Christ, and thus become fit for the Master's use and presence when called from earth




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to the mansions of rest. If a goodly number of our people have attained this high spirituality in the past; if a fair proportion of those who are serving our Lord here together in the present shall realize the blessedness of God's faithful people, then my labor among you and our united efforts for the glory of God's kingdom will not have been in vain.

    "Ten years ago occurred the twentieth anniversary of my rectorship, and at the reception then tendered to the rector and his wife the tokens of affection and esteem received by both have since remained the most treasured recollection in the history of his pastorate. The presence on that occasion of so many friends, the warm greetings given, the kind words spoken, and the general expressions of love and confidence can never be forgotten.


    "As the years have gone by the life of the parish has flowed on with the usual fluctuations and frictions incident to all affairs conducted by men and women subject to the prejudices and infirmities of human nature. Your rector, however, thinks himself fortunate that his work has been among people who gave him their love and confidence. That he has been permitted to work here among you for thirty years, retaining that love and confidence, is a mark of Divine favor for which he is deeply grateful.

    "But year after year change has been constantly going on in the personnel of the congregation by deaths, by removals, by additions; and yet a few of the older members who first welcomed your rector to the parish are still left to encourage him with their confidence and sympathy. But, alas! they are few. One after another of the earlier well-known forms and faces have disappeared. When your rector now casts his eye over the congregation he sees here and there the place of an old friend vacant or filled by another. A glance down the pages of the Parish Register will show how many of the former well-known members of the parish have been called away. It will interest you, I know, to recall a few of them:

    "Capt. Thomas H. Golding, his mother, his wife and his daughter Isabelle—a whole family gone. John Pare and his wife—both living beyond the
 

 



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allotted age of man. George T. Lowen and his wife, aged and true. Mrs. Sarah Reese, mother of Mrs. Mary E. Torrence, dying full of faith and hope at the age of 87. Mrs. Maria Adams, dying at the age of 70 and leaving us a legacy of fifty dollars, the beginning of our endowment fund. Mrs. Ruth Reed, wife of Samuel G. Reed, a gentle, beautiful character. Miss Margaret Goehring, a great sufferer, patient to the end, followed a few years later by her father and mother. Squire Edward Bratt and his wife, both long faithful and devout worshipers here among us, dying full of faith in a ripe old age. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Bigham, the founders of the parish and its supporters to the end, dying in the faith and leaving behind them this church to perpetuate their memory. Mrs. Sarah Goldthorp and her daughter, Mary Goldthorp Steele, both faithful workers in the Mite Society, Thomas Jackson, long a member of St. Andrew's Church, but for many years a faithful teacher in our Sunday School, dying in peace, aged 81 years. Edith N. Ferguson, a gentle, devout soul, now resting in paradise. Mrs. Elizabeth A. Smithson, a great sufferer, who now sleeps in peace. Capt. John S.
McMillin, for more than thirty years a member of this church, and whose tragic death you will remember, a man of marked traits of character and great goodness of heart. For him

 "Quick did end the battle sore;
Now his pilgrimage is o'er.
Grant him peace forevermore,
We beseech Thee, Jesus."


"When the toil is over,
Then come rest and peace."

 
 





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"For these Thy saints who from their labor rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, 0 Jesus, be forever blessed.

"Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou in the darkness drear the one true Light.
            
"May we, thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win, with them, the victor's crown of gold."

    "Here figures might be added giving the baptisms, confirmations, burials, the services, the offerings of the thirty years that we have officiated for you, but numbers can never measure spiritual things, nor estimate the value of the Church's ministrations to her people; therefore we forbear, and bid you turn your thoughts for a few moments in another direction. Everything that we do in God's service must be done in Christ's name, and in reliance upon His grace. 'Paul may plant and Apollos water, but God giveth the increase.' If we forget this, and think that we ourselves can make the Church grow and that we can bring souls to Christ, our work will surely come to nought. It is Christ alone that can give effect to our services, when they are done in humble faith in Him and with earnest prayer for His blessing. Whatever, then, we have done in the thirty years just ended for the promotion of our own spiritual welfare and for the extension of Christ's kingdom in the world, 'to God's Holy Name be the praise.'

    "For all that might have been done in our midst for Christ and His people, but has not been done in consequence of our lack of faith and zeal, we pray `Lord pardon our deficiencies.'


    "Pastor and people stand together in the matter of accountability. When in the last day I shall be called before the Just Judge to give an account for the souls that were intrusted to my care, woe is me if I have been unfaithful. When you, his people, shall stand before Him to give an account
of your stewardship, if you have been unfaithful to your Lord and neglectful of your sacred privileges as members of His Church, your condemnation will be equally certain.

    "May God in His mercy strengthen us both with might to rise to our high calling of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, that we may be true and faithful





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unto the end, and at last hear those life-giving words `Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. "'

    On the following Thursday, April 14, at 8 P. M., a large reception was held in the schoolroom of the church in honor of the rector and his wife. The Bishop was present and made a felicitous address of congratulation. The rector also made an address, speaking of-his labor in the parish and of the changes that the years had brought to him and his work. Some of the city clergy were present to offer their congratulatious and good wishes, as were also the Rev. Dr. McClelland, pastor of the Mount Washington Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Mr. Graham, pastor of the Mount Washington Methodist Episcopal Church; the Rev. P. S. Jennings, pastor of the Mount Pisgah Presbyterian Church ,and Father O'Connor, rector of St. Mary's of the Mount.

    The evening was passed in pleasant social intercourse, and Dr. and Mrs. Coster were cheered by many expressions of confidence and good will spoken by parishoners and friends.


THE CHURCH LIGHTED WITH GAS

    During the summer vacation the vestry contracted for putting up gas fixtures for lighting the church. The work was completed in time for the opening of the services in the beginning of September, and gaslight was used for the first time on Sunday evening, September 11, 1898. The fixtures are very beautiful and light the church brilliantly, making a strong contrast with the dim oil lamps which had been used for so many years—indeed ever since the church was built, in 1853. Grace Church is indebted to the generosity of the rector and vestry of Trinity Church for these beautiful fixtures. They were formerly used in lighting Trinity, but were discarded a few years ago, when electricity was introduced there, and at the suggestion of Mr. William Halpin they were presented to Grace Church, and, now that they have been refinished and properly put up, they give abundant light and are a beautiful ornament to the church.




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THE DEATH OF THOMAS F. ASHFORD, SR.

    At the opening of the year 1899 the parish suffered the loss of one of its very active vestrymen, Thomas F. Ashford, Sr., who died of pnuemonia Sunday, January 15, after a brief illness.

    Mr. Ashford moved to Mount Washington in 1883, and at once he and his family became members of Grace Church. He was a vestryman for nine years and was senior warden at the time of his death. He was a liberal man and contributed freely to all the needs of the parish. English by birth and education, he had a strong love for the church of his childhood and was a regular attendant upon public worship. He was a genial, generous man, and his goodness and generosity won for him many warm friends.

    During the summer of this year (1899) it was found necessary to put many repairs upon the church. It is a frame structure, built in 1853, and consequently, from the wear and tear of time, it needed a thorough overhauling. The frame, on examination, was found to be sound, so the whole exterior was newly weather-boarded and painted, and the interior was painted and varnished and the walls tastefully frescoed. When, therefore, the church was again opened, in in September, for divine service, it was in complete order and presented a very neat and pleasing appearance. The work cost a little over a thousand dollars, but it was money well spent, as the building was thereby made almost like a new church and will last at least
twenty years more.

    The year 1900 in its general features was much like the preceding ones. The rector's confirmation class, which was composed of five adults and seven young people, was a very interesting one. The meetings for instruction were held during Lent, at which careful preparation was made by the class for the important step about to be taken, and when the Bishop made his visitation great interest was manifested in the service. The church was filled with a sympathetic congregation. The choir of boys and men furnished excellent music for the occasion; the Bishop preached a sermon, full of wholesome instruction, from the text, Eph. vi, 1, 2, and all felt at the close of service that the day had been one full of inspiration and hope.





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    A few weeks later Easter came, bringing its beautiful service and its comforting hopes of immortality. Flowers and music and the lessons of the day beautified the worship and raised the thoughts of the worshipers to a high and fervid pitch, peace and hope being its undertone.

    The number of singers in the choir had not been as large as usual for some time, as great difficulty was met in securing boys with good voices. This difficulty at length made a change in the composition of the choir necessary to keep up its efficiency. If boys enough could not be secured, young women, it was known, could be obtained. Therefore the rector and vestry invited the women of the congregation to aid in the singing, and at once a goodly number offered their services, and in the early summer the choir master, Henry W. Clark, began to train them. They rehearsed with the men
and boys for some weeks, and at length, on the twentieth Sunday after Trinity, October 28, 1900, twelve of them, vested in caps and cottas, appeared with the choir and took seats in the stalls. It was seen at once that the problem of securing singers was solved, and that the addition of female voices had greatly improved the quality of the music. The fact of this change only is mentioned here; the personnel of the enlarged choir will be found recorded in another part of this work.

    Under the skillful training of Mr. Clark, this choir continued to improve, and by the aid of their good music we had on the following Easter (1901) one of the most beautiful and inspiring services ever held in Grace Church. The day was mild and pleasant; the church was beautifully decorated with plants and Easter lilies; the congregation was large and devout, and the music exceptionally good. And another fact worthy of mention is that at the morning service seventy-three persons communed, the largest number in the history of the church ever present at one communion.

The year 1902 was somewhat remarkable in the history of Grace Church. One thing requiring mention was the large number of persons who removed




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from the parish. There seemed, indeed, to be a sort of exodus from our midst. In his report to the Convention the rector had to give a loss of twenty-five communicants by removals during the year. This was, indeed, a serious loss to the parish, as some of the twenty-five were vestrymen and other active members.

    The Easter-tide of this year was also attended by some unusual events, not excepting the service of Easter Day, which was one of peculiar interest. The chancel was beautifully dressed with plants and flowers, the church was filled with people, and the music rendered by the choir was very hearty and appropriate to the day. The rector's sermon bore upon the importance of the Resurrection in Christian doctrine and the chief results flowing therefrom to God's people. After the sermon the offerings of the people were received, amounting to $75, and then the rector proceeded with the communion service, and just as he reached the "comfortable words," and turned facing the congregation, a violent storm of wind and rain from the southwest burst forth, striking the church with such force that it rocked and cracked as though it would blow over. The whole congregation rose from their knees, some starting out hurriedly through the front door, others through the vestry room to the basement, while others, pallid, stood still in expectancy. Half a dozen persons came up to the rector at the chancel rail, and among them little Helen Boyce, who, crying from fright, seized him by the arm. He quieted her by saying, "Do not be afraid; there is no danger." Meanwhile the church had become very dark, which increased the congregation's fears. The sexton, Albert McKain, appeared at the vestry-room door, and at the rector's direction lighted up the church. This relieved the gloom, and the violence of the storm by this time having somewhat abated, the danger seemed to be over. The congregation, therefore, quietly taking their places, the rector resumed the communion service, and proceeded reverently to the end. The interruption, however, had disturbed the tone of joyous devotion and marred to some extent the beauty and satisfaction of our Easter communion.




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    We found, after the service was over, that the storm had broken off the top of a Lombardy poplar standing in front of the church, and had blown the front gables out of the brick schoolhouse on the opposite corner of the street. We all felt grateful that we had escaped without serious damage to the church and without injury to any of the members of the congregation. The next day we learned that great damage had been done by the storm in
many parts of the city. A Presbyterian church in Knoxville had its chimney blown over on the roof, breaking through upon the congregation, injuring about forty persons, Also a small church in Allegheny had been unroofed, the debris injuring severely the clergyman and several other members of the congregation.      Gratiae Deo ut nos periculum effugeremus.

    Easter Monday evening, March 31, 1902, a congregational meeting was held to hear the treasurer's report and to elect a vestry for the ensuing year. The night was very cold and snow was falling, consequently only ten persons assembled, and after hearing the report and discussing somewhat informally the expediency of celebrating the church's semi-centennial, the meeting adjourned to Monday evening, April 7, postponing the election
of a vestry to that time.

    In the meantime, on Saturday, about 9:30 P. M., Oliver Halpin Stinson, a vestryman and the junior warden of the church, was run over by a street car on Carson street, at the foot of the Castle Shannon Incline, while on his way home, and had died from his injuries at the South Side Hospital early next morning, Sunday, April 6. All the congregation were greatly shocked by the sad event.

    When the adjourned congregational meeting met on Monday evening, the 7th, there were three vacancies in the last vestry, caused, one by the death of Mr. Stinson, one by the removal of Joseph Reeves to Philadelphia, and the third by the removal of Harry W. Neely from the parish to the East End during the previous week. Besides these three vacancies there was virtually a fourth, for David R. Torrence, a vestryman, had moved from the parish




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to Baum street a year before, and being present at the meeting suggested that it would be better to elect some one living in the parish in his place. The election resulted in the choice of the following vestrymen: George H. Baker, Thomas J. Bigham, John E. Boyce, George E. Brush, William Groves, Edward C. Purkey and Melville L. Stout. Thomas J. Bigham was elected senior warden and the rector appointed George H. Baker junior warden.

    The matter of the semi-centennial of Grace Church being called up, the rector informed the meeting that the parish was organized in the fall of 1851, and that a Sunday School was held, with an occasional service, in the old frame schoolhouse on the corner of Stanwix and Sycamore streets (then being torn down for the erection of dwellings on the site);that the charter of incorporation of the parish was obtained in April, 1852, and that the church was finished and first opened for divine service in the fall of 1853. All seemed to consider the opening of the church as the real beginning of the parish, and the matter was consequently laid over until the meeting on Easter Monday, 1903, at which time plans were to be formed for the celebration of the church's fiftieth anniversary.

    The death of Oliver H. Stinson, referred to above, was a great loss to the parish. He was for many years a vestryman and warden; he had an interesting family; he had many devoted friends; he was successful in business, and therefore had about him all things to make life desirable. In the address at his funeral the rector said " It was under these favorable circumstances that he was called away, and, indeed, so painful was the manner of his death and so unexpected was the summons that we can as yet hardly realize that his life is ended, that his position among us is vacant forever. We are indeed forcibly reminded by this sad death of the chances and uncertainties of human life. No one knows what an hour may bring forth. It is true wisdom, then, always to live as those who await their Lord. It is true happiness to believe that God is infinitely wise and good and that He orders all things in mercy for the final blessedness of His faithful servants and for the perpetuation of His eternal glory.  The soul that under all things can
look up and say, "It is the Lord; He knoweth best," will feel secure; will bow in submission and find peace and comfort even in death itself.





PART II -- CLICK HERE




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