Instead of just simply standing here and listing Patriot, Jeremiah Tingley’s military history, I decided to share some local history with those of you attending today. I will begin and include the Hopewell Church History and a timeline of its growth and changes over the years. I can’t speak on this subject without addressing the first pioneers that settled this area in Jefferson County! Many of which were Patriots who obtained land grants for their service in the Revolutionary War.
Honoring, JEREMIAH TINGLEY, Revolutionary Patriot
We are standing on the ground where in 1798 the first church – Hopewell Methodist was built. It was a crude log building where a little community grew up around it. In as early as 1785 sermons were being held within a short distance of this site. Evidence of this is the posting of the date 1785 on the old church that sits here on the corner of this pioneer cemetery. The earliest settlers that were driven off by the Federal Troops would soon return, many of them going up the creeks to the ridges; and it was most natural for them to continue religious services, therefore it was possible for them to erect a “house of worship” in just a few days! These men were experienced woodmen. The old church was only a few feet from the churchyard filled with graves whose marks testify to very early burials. The older stones (flag stones from the neighborhood) are now beneath the ground, and when exposed by excavating about them, show neither date nor name, although some have initials very crudely scratched with what might have been the point of a hunting knife. One such stone that was found in 1899 by a descendant of an early settler whose ancestor was, Thomas T. Jones and bore the death date of 1799!
When John Prumphrey purchased the land in 1799 for $640 he found the church to be well organized and the congregation to be in attendance for Sunday Services. The earliest church trustees listed before 1804 were; George Barkhurst, Jeremiah Ellis, Elias Pegg, James Hogeland, Josiah Chambers, Daniel Higgins, John Sampson, William Markee, and Greenburry Barnes, was the class leader. The walls to the little log church were sealed, the windows were caulked, and the single-gable roof was secured. The people came on Sunday mornings, often as many as twenty to thirty, and the total collection might be as much as 25 cents! The people were happy, and the church stood the test of time!
(A Photo of the crude log church can be seen in Mr. Robert Richardson’s book titled, A time and Place in Ohio available at the Schiappa Public Library.)
From the book titled, The Pathfinders, (also available at the Schiappa Public Library) Bishop Matthew Simpson, who was Jeremiah Tingley’s grandson, states the following, “Jeremiah Tingley settled on Short Creek in 1801, and the family attended Hopewell Church. The old log building had a neatly constructed gallery in it, certainly built long after the church was erected, and men now eighty-five years or older, with good memory back to childhood, declare that the gallery was an old structure then. We know there were Methodist Episcopal people on Warren Ridge with the ability to erect a church and it seems beyond dispute that Hopewell Church was built at least as early as 1798.” From the Pathfinders book, listed among the earliest settlers we find Jeremiah Tingley, surrounded by all of the other surnames of our other earliest pioneers to this area!
In 1844 the Methodist Episcopal Church building at Hopewell was in desperate need of expansion and renewal. Circuit-riding preachers made Hopewell a regular stop on their travels throughout Ohio. After forty-six years of symbolic and meaningful service to the farmers and millers and other occupants of the lush, rolling countryside, the small log cabin building that was built in 1798 had to be replaced.
Volunteers cut the trees to build the new church after dismantling the original building to constructed a stronger and larger one. As noted in Mr. Richardson’s book, A Time and Place in Ohio, “While they were working, they were extremely careful not to disturb the final resting place of the pioneers buried in the cemetery adjacent to the church. Abel Ashby was buried in 1816, Thomas Ewing in 1817, James Anderson in 1818, Cornelius Howard in 1828, James Calder and Isaac Beckett in 1839 and only a few years later, William Pumphrey, one of the original founders was buried here. Members of the frontier families who came to settle a wilderness are interred in this historic graveyard.” End quote.
For over a century faithful lay leaders and nomadic circuit riders served the Hopewell Church. A photo on page 208 of Mr. Richardson’s book shows the church and cemetery in 1907, and it appears there were MANY old pioneer tombstones- where we stand today that are gone!
History of Jeremiah Tingley
Jeremiah Tingley was born Aug. 28, 1755 in Plainfield, Union Co., NJ. He was the son of Joseph Tingley and Christina Manning. He died in June of 1803 in Jefferson County at age 48. We recognize this spot as to where he was buried within this family wall. It appears from the WPA that he was buried here with several other family members, possibly some of his children. His wife is not buried here.
Jeremiah Tingley served in the New Jersey Militia as a private in Somerset County, NJ. He lived in NJ at his time of enlistment and in 1790 began moving west. He lived in Winchester Virginia for a number of years. In 1801 he moved to Jefferson County, Ohio and settled on Short Creek, where he died.
His wife was Esther Leddell who was born on Aug 29, 1756. They had six children, Sarah, born in 1781, married James Simpson, Elizabeth (Betsey) born in 1783 who married James Meek, Esther, born in 1785, William, born 1787 who married Rachel Paulson, Christina, born 1792, and Joseph, born 1794.
To Honor and Pay Tribute to those that sacrificed so much for our Country!
Taking a minute to recognize why we are here today, to honor a patriot who fought in the Revolution, I think it only fitting to read the following quote from Edmund Burke in his speech to Parliament on American Taxation, April 1774, “The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered.” Patrick Henry’s famous speech during the Virginia convention, March 1775 he stated the following, “Why stand we here idle? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not that course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Thomas Jefferson’s dying words, “This is the fourth? Like his colleague, John Adams, he died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. July 4, 1826.
Jeremiah Tingley was the Grandfather of Matthew Simpson, an American Methodist Bishop. As Bishop he used his speaking skills on behalf of the Union in the Civil War and in eulogizing his friend, Abraham Lincoln, at Lincoln’s burial services in Springfield IL.
These same men that defended our freedom fighting as patriots in the Revolutionary War, bore descendants that continued to support forces during The War of 1812. They showed patriotism as a matter of national honor and human dignity. This continued through the Civil War - the same patriots who bore descendants helped to organize the Ohio Volunteers representing Jefferson County.
Their legacy continues today - HERE on these foothills and throughout the nation where the descendants of Jeremiah Tingley (and Abel Armstrong) have settled, they forge their own way in the town and community in which they now live and continue to defend and serve our country!
The fingers of time reach out to each of us! We are a part of those ancestors that served this country- Our Country! Many were willing to die for their country, their families, their land and their FREEDOM!
Jeremiah Tingley, Revolutionary Patriot
Revolutionary Patriot Marker for Jeremiah Tingley, Hopewell Cemetery, Warren Township, Jefferson County, Ohio. SAR President, George Livingston took photo . Installation of marker in the fall of 2004.
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