History

 
Excerpts from RECIPES AND MEMORIES OF COUNCIL HOUSE FOLKS, now out of print.  

Published in 1962, 1969, 1971, 1978 by the Missionary Society of the Council House Friends Church.

 

Minnie Thompson

Quoted from the latest edition:

"The Society wishes to dedicate this new edition to our long time member, Minnie Thompson.
Minnie, who was one of the original members still attends meetings.
She will be 91 years old Nov. 21 1978."


GROWING UP IN THE 'OLD' PARSONAGE

Being the preacher’s kid generated for me many friends and pleasant memories. Church and school supplied the special events. For example, on Thanksgiving everyone came to the meetinghouse. While the men and boys cut a winter supply of wood, the women quilted and, at noon, we shared a basket dinner.

Visiting Friends supplied the “outer circle” of fellowship and my “image” of faraway places and people. Lawrence and Amelia Lindley often came at mealtime carrying a basket lunch. We ate on the lawn under the great oak trees.

The perennial visitor was David Keeton of Grandby, Missouri. My Dad had found CHRIST under the ministry of this Methodist gentleman years earlier. A twelve-mile buggy ride to Seneca to meet Mr. Keeton’s train was my joy. Once, after acquiring a Model T, we took him the other twenty-plus miles to his home. It just wasn’t Easter at Council House without two Keeton sermons.

My first BIG doll was a present from Leona Crowder. It was fun to ride with Minnie Thompson over the hills in a two-wheel cart. My roan pony, purchased from John Crow, was named Ribbon. She was Branded JC.

There was a shed, with stalls, at Union Grade—Turkey Ford today. We carried our lunch and one for our hose. UG classes were seventh grade through two years of high school. My first school was at Council Grove.

Very pleasant except walking alone through the woods. A dedicated teacher, Ella Williams Maddin, now lives in Miami.
I was the “standby” witness for marriages. When the license had been purchased in Missouri we drove to the state line to legalize the vows. Dad performed many ceremonies there. It was a thrill when a tire “blew out.”

Arepha Wallace Butts

 

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF COUNCIL HOUSE FRIENDS CHURCH


In about 1868 President Grant asked the Quaker, or Friends Church to take charge of Indian affairs. To meet this opportunity the Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs was organized in 1869. For about eight years the main concern of the “Indian Committee” was a program of Indian Schools. The Seneca Indian School at Wyandotte was established at this time which explains why the Federally- owned school is still spoken of locally as “The Mission.”

Since the end of the Grant Administration the “Indian Committee” has worked through Mission Churches. Fourteen of these churches had been organized in Indian Territory by 1900. Of these, the “Committee” is still helping four churches. The four are the Council House Friends Church, the Wyandotte Friends Church, the Hominy Friends Church and the Kickapoo Friends Center  near McLoud, OK. Several Friends churches are continuing as separate meetings under Kansas Yearly of Friends. Other meetings were closed.

In about 1879 Jeremiah Hubbard came from the Wyandotte Indian School and held meetings in what is now known as the Council House Community.  John and Lucy Winney became strong Christian leaders, opening their home for meetings for worship, and regular meetings were eventually begun as a Preparative meeting of Friends. The Seneca Preparative meeting was combined with meetings of Ottawas, Modocs, and Wyandottes to form the Grand River Monthly Meeting, September 3, 1881.

When land was allotted to Indian families by the United States government forty acres was also deeded to the Friends Church, largely through the influence of John Winney. The four acres used by the church and cemetery and the sixteen acres upon which the Parsonage stands is part of this original allotment. The other twenty acres were sold during the time Shufelts owned the property for several years.
1884
Friends in New England gave money for a church building which was built by John Watson, A Friends minister. The first meeting for worship in that building was held February 3, 1884.

Sometime about 1893 Charles Goddard, with the help of John Winney cleared land and built a home on the site where the present parsonage now stands. Charles and Anna Goddard were the first resident missionaries.

Between 1893 and 1904 resident missionaries were as follows: Charles and Anna Goddard (who may have been here at two different times), Amos and Charity Davis, Philander and Carie Blackledge, John Largent and Wife (1900) and Lodi and Emma Bonser. (1903)
Harvey and Elizabeth Wallace








February 1904 to March 1935, Harvey and Elizabeth Wallace were resident missionaries at Council House with the exception of one year in 1919-1920. Both Harvey and Elizabeth Wallace are buried in the Council House cemetery.







Westine and Arthur Shufelt




In 1924, Westine Leitzman came and conducted the first daily Vacation Bible School at Council House. For several years she and Dorothy  Pitman (who was later a missionary in Kenya, Africa) came from Miami and Wyandotte at times to help the Wallaces with various activities.

1937- September 1951. Arthur and Westine Leitzman Shufelt were resident ministers with the exception of five months in 1944. During the time they lived here, they tore down the old mission Home and built the present parsonage.  Later on Larry Pickard added the present dining room and the bedroom above it.

 
old parsonage new parsonage

In 1938, a cradle roll was started on Mother’s Day with seven babies enrolled. The Council House monthly meeting was probably organized this year. The first available record is for January 28, 1939 and shows Charles E. Records as Clerk of the meeting and Leona Crowder as Treasurer.

In 1948, work was begun on the present church building under the direction of Arthur Shufelt.cornerstone

In 1949, the first service of worship was held in the new building January 9. The first Hymn sung was “Break Thou the Bread of Life” and it was chosen by Lizzie Splitlog. The new Meeting House was dedicated June 5 during the Annual Meeting of the Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs.

In the same year the Cemetery was fenced and also Sunday night meetings for Young People were begun.

September 1951, Laurence and Lucille Pickard came as resident Ministers.Lawrence and Lucille Pickard

1952, in the Spring a three-day weaving school was held in the church basement and from that the Ladies Aid Weaving Project originated. Three teachers from Friends University, Wichita, Kansas gave up part of their Spring vacation to hold this school.

1954, a Young Friends work camp was held under the direction of Carl and Lois Jordon, of Straughn, Indiana. The campers began work on a building to house the weaving and quilting work of the Ladies Aid. They poured the cement floor and made part of the Tuskegee type cement for the walls. The work was continued by Larry Pickard and men of the church and community.  The women did most of the painting and helped lay the asphalt tile on the floor.

see Larry Pickard's obituary.

The Omen’s Missionary Society was organized in 1954.


Loom house 1957, the Loom House was dedicated June 9, though it had been in use before it was entirely finished. Since then, weaving or quilting has been carried on each Tuesday, except for holidays and when children are out of school. The rummage sales, which were begun to raise money for the building, have been held regularly in the Loom House since it was finished.

July 22-26, the first “Quivering Arrow Friends Camp” (so named a year later) was held for children and young people of all four churches with Lucille Pickard as director and Larry Pickard as business Manager and Treasurer.

1958, the church basement was water-proofed, a second exit and two windows were put in the back walls. Later the walls were painted; the ceiling and floor tile were put in.

1960, the Monthly Meeting bought a new siding for the parsonage and community men put it on.

(Note: Part of the above information was taken from that which was assembled by Ruthanna M. Simms, former Educational Secretary of the AECFIA from records on file of the “Committee” and from the memory of Harvey Wallace as recorded by Alice Weed in 1938.)

1963, high school class used money earned by picking up walnuts to buy paint. (The Monthly Meeting supplemented their earnings.) Under the direction of Leroy Roberts, a college freshman, the young people painted the ceilings and the walls of the church on Saturdays and holidays.

boys barracks 1964, for six weeks during June, July, and August (one week out for Quivering Arrow Camp) a work camp was held to begin a new building for Sunday School rooms and restrooms. Twenty-nine Young Friends of high school and college age from ten states from Maine to Texas came with their adult leaders to pour cement floors and make cement building blocks. Larry Pickard directed the work. Lucille Pickard directed the kitchen work with the help of Mary Emily Perisho from Wichita, Kansas and Neva Ream of Cherokee, OK. They also had charge of the girls barracks, worship services and recreation. Max Newlin who was serving his Alternative service had charge of the boys barracks and worked with recreation. Several adults who came with some of the young people also worked where ever they could be of the most help. In spite of 115 degree heat the campers poured the cement floor and made blocks for all the outside walls. Loren Lilly, from Indiana  came as a camper but was more like a staff member. After the camp ended he stayed to work on the walls by himself for a week.

      Larry and Mac continued work with the help of local men and any guests who happened to stop here. Later even children helped, Sunday School teachers and others paint and make drapes. The youngest person to really help was Stanley Johnson who was 5 years old. He helped paint his Sunday school room. Work continued for two years with classes moving in as a room was finished enough to use. Esther Luther’s Primary Sunday School class was the first to use the building. When completed there were seven class rooms, a guest room, rest rooms and an attic for storage.

      There were some gifts of money to help with the building but the women of the church earned most of the money, mostly by holding rummage sales. (Many, friends groups and individuals are to be thanked for sending clothing). The entire building was completed without spending one dollar for labor.

      1965, Florence and Leander Fisher of Joilet, Ill. began making regular trips to Council House so that Florence could help with the weaving program.Wallace House

     


  May 1, 1966, the new building was dedicated at Annual Meeting of the AECFIA. It was named the Wallace Memorial in honor of Harvey and Elizabeth Wallace. Elizabeth Wallace, then 94 years old attended the dedication service.

      During the year men hauled in loam to begin landscaping the church grounds, and women made flower beds.

 






Back of the church      




1967, groups of young friends from Ball State University, Ind. and from the University Friends Church, Wichita, Kans. helped build terrace walls and poured cement walks around the church buildings, as well as laying floor tile and painting Sunday School rooms. David Bills was the adult leader.






      1968, David Barnard, who was serving his alternative service repainted the church dining room, the ceiling of church, the Loom House, and the outside of the parsonage. He also painted the ceilings of the downstairs rooms in the parsonage.

 The partitions at the back of the church were no longer used so they were removed to make the church larger.

In 1968 Quivering Arrow Camp was held for only children of grades four through eight.  The high school campers were taken to Rockcleft, the Nebraska Yearly Meetings church camp, in Colorado.  It was decided to continue the division of quivering Arrow Camp so a school bus was purchased to take campers from all four churches to Rockcleft camp.

November, 1968, Council House Monthly Meeting became an associate member of Nebraska Yearly Meeting. 
1969, a new partition was built around the stairs at the back of the church to separate the sanctuary from the downstairs kitchen and dining room.
seneca logo
May, 1969, thirty to forty Council House folks took part in the Pageant celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian affairs.  The occasion was at the 100th Annual meeting, held at the Wyandotte Friends Church.  The pageant was May 3, at the Seneca Indian School.

The Council House part was in two scenes.  The first was acting out the Conversion of Jack Armstrong, based on Jeremiah Hubbard’s words in his “Forty years among the Indians”.  The second scene was acting out the July22, 1939 minutes of the Council House Friends Meeting.


New pews were brought for the space at the back of the church.  A new piano for the church was brought with the help of local friends the same year. 

1970, July 20-24. Began having Daily Vacation Bible School from 9:30-2:30 instead of having it for ten mornings. 
From 1970-1978 a number of work camps helped in various ways.  They built stone walls and side walls to terrace the sloping church and camp use.

In 1972, four camps built the pavilion for church and camp use.

In 1974 work campers and local people built a second girls barracks for camp.  Other work campers built bunks for boys in the boy’s barracks and helped prepare the grounds and building for Quivering Arrow Camp sessions.  Some people have stayed on to help with the camp.