Photo of Esther McCoy

Photo's courtesy of Esther McCoy.
Above picture was taken on the porch of the Children’s Bethel.

Add - Helen Drake Shepler

“Dear Hearts, Gentle People”

Remnants of the Bethel

A special thanks to Esther McCoy for providing the photo’s and information on this page. Esther’s parents came to the Bethel house when they were married after June 27, 1935. They became owners of what was known as the Bethel and the land surrounding it. Esther and her sibling grew up on the farm. Her sister now lives on the land. The property has been in the family for over 73 years.

(This article is continued on page 5)

The following notes were submitted by Esther McCoy – S.T. Purviance, superintendent and Mrs. S.T. Purviance, matron. The notes were dated October 5, 1976. Esther probably made these notes from a school program.

THE HISTORY OF SMITHFIELD CHILDREN’S BETHEL – The Children’s Bethel was launched forth and had had its beginnings in the fall of 1905. After receiving the consent of Seth C. Reese, J. Walter Malone, E.H. Purviance, Lewis I. Hadley and Oliver Thomas to act as an advisory board of council, the home was christened, “The Children’s Bethel,” meaning. “House of God of Prayer.”

In November 1905, the doors were opened and in a few days our first girl came in. Rebecca Collins was secured as housekeeper and the services of Miss Minnie Pettay were procured as matron.

In the spring of 1906, with the Bethel family rapidly increasing, a purchase of a small farm within one half mile from town, on the Smithfield-Bradley Pike, was established by a number of people who loaned $500 a share without interest or compensation for a term of five years.
They held the deed for some 39-acres of land with a small eight-room brick house and other farm buildings, a young orchard and as fine a building site as could be found anywhere in this part of the state.

The first addition was the brick house, in the back. Then in a short time our second acquisition, a small four-room cottage, used for a nursery and a dormitory for older girls. Shortly after the building was erected, the home was incorporated under state laws with 15 charter members.

At the end of five years, the property was turned over to the board of trustees of the incorporation and a third building was erected, the middle house. This served as the administration building.
Then during the 1912 holidays, the means was given for our fourth building, our home. This sheltered the intermediate nursery ward.

In 1913, 30 more acres of land was added to the Bethel making it 70 acres. Four commodious buildings or cottages, three heated by steam and lighted by acetylene gas and plumbed for hot and cold water with four bath rooms were all in place. The buildings were connected with covered hallways.

The playgrounds affront ample room, with a ball diamond in back of the barn, swings, a giant ride, sliding shoot, trapeze, see-saw, sand piles, tents and etc.

 

SMITHFIELD BETHEL SHELTERS 40 KIDDIES
ORPHANS HOME WAS ORGANIZED 21 YEARS AGO – The Herald Star Newspaper, Sept. 29, 1926, pg. 20. (Photo’s of the Bethel and a group photo appear in the newspaper article.) Children given tender care, educated – Home for Years Without Financial Backing Now Has Support of Kiwanis – The Children’s Bethel at Smithfield, O., had its beginning in the fall of 1905 when Rev. S.T. Purviance of Smithfield adopted into his own home an orphaned boy…(lengthy article continues)

HISTORY AND REPORT OF THE CHILDREN’S BETHEL, SMITHFIELD, OHIO, 1914-1916

No man liveth himself – living is in giving – it is wiser and less expensive to save children than punish criminals. It has been three years since a report of the Children’s Bethel has been published. The content of this booklet is intended to cover that period, also giving a brief history of its founding…Organized November 1, 1905. Incorporated June 28, 1907. Present Organization: Geo E. Wisener, President – Steubenville, Ohio. T.C. Clark, Sec’y – Brilliant, Ohio, D. M. Weir, Steubenville, Ohio, H.W. Paul, Wellsburg, W.Va., Wm. Banfield, Follansbee, W.Va., J. H. Shepler, Smithfield, Ohio, Dr. S.O. Barkhurst, Steubenville, Ohio. Members of the Executive Board: J.J. Criswell, Pres., Smithfield, Ohio, J.W. Collins, First Vice Pres., Smithfield, Ohio, T.W. Purviance, Second Vice Pres., Smithfield, Ohio, C.M. Bargar, Sec’y Treas., Smithfield, Ohio, Rev. S.T. Purviance, Sup’t., Smithfield, Ohio. Management: Rev. S.T. Purviance, Superintendent, Mrs. S.T. Purviance, Matron, Miss Bessie Hess, Ass’t. Matron, Dr. J.L. Thompson, Physician. Associated Workers: Miss Bertha Weidner, Miss May Myler, Mrs. Mary Bartram, Miss Margaret Hudson, Miss Blanche Baker, and Mrs. Fay Vermillion. School Instructors: Prof. W.I. Everson, county superintendent, Prof. D.L. Buchanan, district superintendent, Miss Hannah Mae Purviance, teacher.

{Photo’s and information courtesy of Esther McCoy, Gordon Grafton and Linda Walker – THANK YOU SO MUCH!}

FOUNDERS OF THE CHILDREN’S BETHEL – Rev. and Mrs. S.T. Purviance and family: It is so ordained of God that they who resist a divine impression or an appeal of human need suffer loss in their own souls. Feeling thus impressed with the training of a Christian home, we were early lead to Christ, and felt His hand on us from childhood, and in answer to a Mother’s prayers and a Father’s influence, we were called to the Ministry. During our experience in this line we were connected more or less with work for young people and children, and it was not long until we felt God laying the burden of this practical work upon our hearts… we were encouraged to carry out the will of God as we felt it, assuring us of their influence and support, and feeling the call of God as definite as to the Ministry we stepped united out upon His promise – “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.” With God all things are possible.

THE CHILDREN’S BETHEL - ITS OBJECT AND PURPOSE – The object and purpose of the Children’s Bethel is to gather in and help needy and destitute “children” that are of a sound body and mind, - and through its influence and training prepare them for a life of usefulness, and when practicable, place out into Christian homes or return to parent or guardian. It is our aim to give children committed to the Bethel such instruction, training, discipline, and to teach them to do their work in such a manner as will be of the greatest benefit for the future of each child…

CHILDREN’S BETHEL, continued

Playground photo, above: Helen (Drake) Shepler, fifth child in from the right, sitting on the swing with a big bow in her hair, is Linda’s mother. Standing next to her, with hands folded is her sister, Madge (Drake) Herman. Date unknown. Photo provided by Linda Walker of Omaha, Nebraska, daughter of Helen (Drake) Shepler.

CHILDREN PLACED IN THE McCULLOUGH CHILDREN’S HOME FROM THE SMITHFIELD BETHEL HOME:

Name                                     Placed in McCullough

1)       Steve Polevish              June 10, 1914
2)       Mike Polevish             
3)       John Polevish
4)       Mike Firm
5)       Glen Firm
6)       William Hess
7)       Charles Hess
8)       Henry Chites
9)       Clarence Moore
10)   Will Moore
11)   Otto Porter
12)   Mary Porter
13)   Elphia Porter
14)   Frank Hall
15)   William Peterson
16)   Albert Ewing
17)   Samuel Vickonish
18)   Mary Vickonish
19)   Will French
20)   Charles Leong
21)   Charlotte Daft
22)   Raymond Merritt
23)   Winona Robinson
24)   Ralph Paparinda
25)   Justine Bundy
26)   Thelma Bundy
27)   George Bundy
28)   William Collins
29)   Mary Smith                  September 2, 1914
30)   Clarence Smith            “
31)   Lenella Smith               December 4, 1914
32)   Andrew Smith              January 12, 1915
33)   Lillian Smith                 January 18, 1918
34)   Gerald Walters             June 1, 1928
35)   Jack Walters                 “
36)   Thomas Palmer           June 14, 1928      
37)   John Chapman            “
38)   Robert Chapman        “
39)   Albert Nichols               June 14, 1928
40)   Raymond Nichols       “
41)   Helen Conners             “
42)   Virginia May Conners”
43)   Dorothy Conners         “
44)   Paul Nation                   “
45)   Tracy Nation                                “
46)   Samuel Elich                                September 20, 1928
47)   William R. Richards    October 22, 1928
NOTE – 1910 and 1920 Federal Census lists borders and employees at the Bethel. Check our chapter for a complete listing from these censuses.


REPRINTED PUBLICATION FOR SALE

A 28 page booklet about Smithfield, Ohio, from 1800 to 1976 is available from the Smithfield Historical Society. This booklet was written by Marie Mooney and Ella Maxwell in 1976. It was recently put into a bound booklet and made available to the public. The price is $10.00 + $2.00 shipping. You can simply make a check out to the Smithfield Historical Society for $12.00. Send your check to: Ann Marie Grayzar 1203 State Route 152, Dillonvale, OH 43917. It will be shipped directly to you.

If you have already purchased this publication, a new addendum is now being compiled. This new publication can be purchased separately and/or in addition to the original Smithfield History Publication, for an additional fee.

MORE HISTORY OF SMITHFIELD, OHIO
1800-1976, REPRINT
SMITHFIELD HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Lee Mooney, president of the Smithfield Historical Society can be contacted at: 740-733-7708 or PO Box 192, Smithfield, OH 43948, manocinema@aol.com .

The village, first known as Carrtown, was laid out by James Carr in 1803. He laid out streets and village lots. What is now known as High Street he intended for the main thoroughfare…The first Post Office was established in 1805 and Abel Carey was the first postmaster.

Some of the first tanneries were started by a man named Moore as early as 1804. Belford Griffith managed it. Lewis Carey started a tannery in 1809 as well as William Sharon, (the father of Senator Sharon), about 1817. Then John Wood in 1822, followed by John White and a man named Phipps in 1838. This was the last and only tannery remaining in 1880.

The first mill was a hand mill, built in 1804 by Isaac Wickersham. In 1808 James Carr built a horse mill. There was a hand mill on Perrin’s Run as well.

Fresh water mills may have been first built by James McGrew, on Piney Fork not later than 1812. This mill was later owned by Jacob Ong. The friendly Indians were among his customers.

 

AN UPDATED DIRECTORY FROM SMITHFIELD HIGH SCHOOL FOR SALE

The updated version of the Smithfield High School graduate directory is ready for shipping. For those of you who aren't familiar with this book, it lists ALL of the graduates of SHS from 1885 to 1972. Names, addresses, phone #'s, e-mail address, are listed. The price of the directory is $20.00 ($10.00 for membership, $10.00 for the book) + $2.00 postage. If you're a member of the Smithfield Historical Society the price is only $10.00 + $2.00 postage. To get this book, make a check out to the Smithfield Historical Society and send your check to:  Ann Marie Grayzar 1203 St.Rt.152 Dillonvale, OH 43917. 


 

AN UPDATED DIRECTORY FROM SMITHFIELD HIGH SCHOOL FOR SALE

The updated version of the Smithfield High School graduate directory is ready for shipping. For those of you who aren't familiar with this book, it lists ALL of the graduates of SHS from 1885 to 1972. Names, addresses, phone #'s, e-mail address, are listed. The price of the directory is $20.00 ($10.00 for membership, $10.00 for the book) + $2.00 postage. If you're a member of the Smithfield Historical Society the price is only $10.00 + $2.00 postage. To get this book, make a check out to the Smithfield Historical Society and send your check to:  Ann Marie Grayzar 1203 St.Rt.152 Dillonvale, OH 43917.                        


Samuel T. Purviance Obituary