A letter from Floyd’s sister, Flora


My mother had given me some written history she had pertaining to the Hardin side of the family. Floyd had a twin sister, Flora. Below is a bit of family history written by Flora.

Rev. Franklin A.

The death of Rev. Frank, the senior member of the Rock River Conference, marks the passing of one of our greatest leaders. He had occupied most important places, and was one of the presiding elders in the conference when the office was so named.

Rock River Conference is the Methodist Conference in which Chicago is located. (At the time of our latest remembrance he lived in Englewood, Chicago.) – From the Northwestern Christian Advocate

1921 – The recent death in his 91st year of the Rev. Franklin A., D.D., which occurred July 7 at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. J.W. Simpson, Kensington, Maryland, removes a veteran from the ranks of the Methodist ministry, and a veteran also of the Civil War, in which latter service he was Lieutenant Colonel of the 57th Indiana Infantry. With full military honors, his body was laid to rest in the National Cemetery at Arlington, near Washington, D.C., the Rev. Robert Atkinson of Kensington conducting the religious services.

Dr. H was born in Highland, Ohio in 1830 and was therefore a Methodist minister for 70 years. He was born October 10, licensed to preach in South Bend, Indiana in 1851, his active ministry being in the Rock River Conference, Illinois. The honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by the Upper Iowa University in 1892. In 1853, he was married to Alice, daughter of Rev. Horatio, Fort Wayne, Indiana. After 59 years of happy wedded life, Alice died in Los Angeles, California in 1912. Of their five children, two survive: Mr. R.H.of Los Angeles, and Mrs. J.W. of Kensington, Md.

Rev. Frank B. was the preacher son of Franklin A.

Rev. F.B

“The community was saddened on Thursday, January 2, 1913 by the news that Rev. Frank was dead. He had been pastor of the M.E. Church here for more than a year and was well liked among the people. Rev. Frank was born in Noblesville, Indiana November 8, 1854, and had been in the ministry for 34 years, most of his work being in the state of Illinois.

He came to Rupert, Idaho in 1911. He leaves a wife (Minnie) and three children – Amabel and Rev. Floyd of Kimberly, and Mrs. K of Twin Falls. Rev. Floyd will take up the work of his father in Kimberly and Hansen.

A large crowd was present on Saturday afternoon, January 4, 1913, when Rev. White of Buhl, Rev. W.S. Woodhull and Rev. Henry Parker of Twin Falls spoke the last rites, after which interment was made in Twin Falls Cemetery. A policy for $3,000 was held in Modern Woodman Lodge.” – From The Kimberly, Idaho Paper

Father died January 2, 1913. Mother died December 4, 1923. [Ed note: December 4th is Kathy’s birthday, coincidentally!] Mother was Minnie, daughter of John and Sarah, born on December 25, 1860.

Rev. Frank B.

Our father, Frank B, preached in Geneva, Illinois from October 1885 to 1889. The famous Haymarket Riot occurred in Chicago on the day the first twins, Floyd and Flora were born on May 14, 1886. One of the policemen killes was the husband of a member of father’s church.

Before this he had other churches. At Byron, Amabel was born. From Geneva, he went to North Prairie in October of 1889 and stayed until 1892. Here the twins Floyd and Flora began school, and has as teacher Cousin Abbie of Savanna, their first school and hers also.  Amabel and Abbie became chums.

He preached in Durand from 1892 to 1894. West Chicago was next from 1894 to 1898. This was where the second pair of twins, Harold and Hazel, were born on May 18, 1895. Amabel graduated from 8th grade in June, 1895 and went to Englewood, a suburb of Chicago, to live with Grandmother Alice that fall. In the meantime, tiny Hazel died when she was 3 months old, and Harold followed 6 months later. Amabel stayed with grandmother several months. After then, she was in Palatine from 1898 to 1900. Amabel graduated from Palatine High School in June 1900 with a class of ten. Her oration was: “Fiction as a Means of Inculcating Religious Truth.” Following her graduation she and father took a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit Aunt Minnie, and to Philadelphia to visit Uncle Orrin. Aunt Minnie was father’s only sister.

In October 1900, we moved to St. Charles and there Amabel married Charles S. on December 25th.

After one year in St. Chalres, we moved to Rockford, Illinois. A Mr. Norris was pastor in Rorckford, Winnebago St. Church and had promised his congregation that he would not come back, so father and mother consented to the change, even though the St. Charles people wanted them to come back.

From Rockford, we moved to Sawyer Avenue in Chicago. Then father took us all West, including Bonnie and Lesley. From Rockford, Floyd and Flora went to Frederick, Wisconsin for six months where Floyd had a charge, coming home to Chicago in May. Father preached at Rupert, Idaho, and later at Kimberly, Idaho where he died. Floyd finished up father’s year in Kimberly, and later preached in Buhl and American Falls, Idaho.

Quote from Floyd’s letter to friends after father’s death: “On Sunday, November 10th (1912), he felt much improved and thought he would be able to preach. He went to the Sunday morning service where he preached his last sermon, taking for his subject, ‘Eating Honey by the Way.’ Jonathan, weak from hunger, dipped his rod in a honeycomb, ate and straightaway was strengthened and made a new man physically. Likewise as we pass along the Christian Highway, often faint from the long journey, there is provided “honey by the Way’ for the refreshment of our souls, and for our encoruagement. There is the ‘Honey of God’s Word,’ the ‘Honey of Prayer,’ and the ‘Honey of Spiritual Meditation.’ “O taste and see that the Lord is good.'”

He closed his sermon by uttering as his prayer the entire hymn, “My faith looks up the Thee.” We felt, as he doubtless did, that it was to be his last public utterance.

“Blest Savior then in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above
A ransomed soul.”

His last words were: “My sweet little wife; pray that the work may go on. Eye hath not seen. Have faith.”

Mother was born December 25, 1860 in Savanna, Illinois. She was Minnie Bathsheba. More about her family later. She died December 4, 1923 in California. The children she bore were Amabel, born August 6, 1881, Floyd and Flora born May 4, 1886, and Hazel and Harold born May 18, 1895. Mother was engaged at the age of 16-1/2 years and married four months later. She died at the age of 62 years and 11 months. Father was engaged at the age of 22 and married when he was 23. He died at 58 years and 2 months.

He was preaching in Savanna and living in the home of Minnie’s parents, when he met mother. He preached in Savanna, Byron and Sycamore, that i know of. There were other charges that I don’t know about.

He came to specialize in preaching to children, as he said, “One could be sure of helping them.” The sermons were object lessons and I well remember “The Devil’s Orchard,” with beer bottles, playing cards and cigarettes hung from its branches. he set up a bare ugly tree on the platform. He made a very realistic snake for this, out of muslin stuffed and painted green with a red mouth, and it was kept under Flora’s bed, until it frightened her and was removed.

There was “The Devil’s Table” furnished with banana skins stuffed with soiled rags and ashes, oranges stuffed in the same manner and appetizing looking things which proved inedible. Then there was “The Lord’s Table” beautifully and attractively set, with a piece of candy for every child there. He once had a well, which consisted of a large earthen jar covered with trailing vines and filled with water, “The Water of Life.” Once he deliberately smashed a pretty plate with a hammer, and all the people gasped. That was a sermon on keeping the commandments. I remember the emphasis being on breaking the Commandment, “Thou Shalt Keep the Sabbath Holy.” The grown ups were as much interested as the children. The children were excused if they wished during the hymn before the adult sermon. We always stayed, of course. I do not remember felling abused because we had to stay.

Father was an ardent Prohibitionist, voting that ticket as long as he lived, I believe. He painted a number of large posters (as we would call them now), and some of them were carried down Michigan Avenue in Chicago many years later. Amabel and I were in the PROHIBITION PARADE and I can remember going to City Temple with other young people to arrange for it. The thing I remember best is that we passed a Hebrew Synagogue (it being Saturday afternoon) and a young Hebrew, seeing the parade and its object, lifted his hat in salute.

Notes from Fora: Grandfather Franklin A. used to tell us that we had an ancestor named Peter C who made snuff in Belfast. I never knew whether it was the truth, a surmise, or a joke.


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