Newspaper Shorts from Our Past

by Mike Roberts, Church Historian

From the Cincinnati Enquirer of August 11, 1899: In the article, our First Universalist Church was reported to have reached an agreement with the Christian Scientist Church of Cincinnati to lease to them the Universalist’s former home on McMillan Street. The church had been a temporary home for our congregation after leaving the downtown Plum Street site. Eight months earlier they had moved into the new Essex Street church. The Christian Scientists had been worshipping in various public venues around the city. However, their plan was to lease for a short time and then tear down the half century old structure and build anew.

From the Cincinnati Post of November 18, 1913: “More than 300 suffragists representing all the counties in Ohio were welcomed by Vice Mayor Simeon Johnson Tuesday at the opening of the twenty-eighth annual convention of the Ohio Woman Suffrage Association in the Sinton Hotel. The first suffragist to address the convention was Rev. Henrietta G. Moore, Universalist minister of Springfield who made the report of the plan of the work committee. She outlined the work now being done in the rural districts by the distribution of initiative and referendum petitions and said the petitions will be distributed in all cities of Ohio after January.”

From the Cincinnati Enquirer of December 27, 1916: The article gave notice that “How to Live Twice as Long” would be the subject of an address at the First Universalist Church that night. The address was to be delivered by Dr. D. H. Kress of Washington D.C. The relationship of a vegetable diet to high cost of living and its effect on health and bodily vigor would be his principal points. It noted that Dr. Kress would prepare a vegetarian dinner with the assistance of the church’s Women’s Missionary Alliance prior to his speech.

From the Cincinnati Post of December 10, 1930: “Dr. Robert Cummins, pastor of the First Universalist Church will be the speaker at the Reading Road Temple Round Table meeting of the Cincinnati Club Thursday, noon. His subject will be ‘Can Christianity Be Liberal.’”

From the Cincinnati Enquirer of June 9, 1934: The article reported that Mrs. Powel Crosley, Mrs. Orin Littell and Mrs. Elizabeth Todhunter would represent the Women’s Universalist Missionary Association of the First Universalist Church at the state convention in Rockland, Ohio. This convention was specifically for auxiliary groups from Universalist Churches across the state.

From the Cincinnati Enquirer of May 11, 1935: The article informed the reader that Mother’s Day would be honored at the First Universalist Church by a performance of “The Mothersingers.” The group was made up of 40 mothers from the church. They were led by Mrs. Stanley Clarke and planned to perform Brahms “Lullaby,” “Call of Home” and “The Mothersingers,” written by Mrs. Clarke and fellow choir member Margaret Bronson. Mrs. Clarke would solo “Mother’s Hymn.”

From the Cincinnati Enquirer of April 9, 1938: The article reported that a communion service was held on Good Friday evening. The choir gave selections from Stainer’s “Crucifixion.” Rev. Carl Olson gave an interpretation of communion. On Easter Sunday, Rev. Olson spoke on “Faith in Times of Impending Disaster.”

From the Cincinnati Post of May 9, 1940 : The article stated that the Rev. Ralph P. Boyd of First Universalist Church was to be heard in an analysis of “Die Meistersinger,” the Wagnerian opera. It was illustrated with music from the work. The presentation was broadcast over WSAI on Friday afternoon.

From the Cincinnati Post of April 22, 1946: The article noted that David Gillard, baritone soloist of the Church of the Redeemer in New York was to give a recital at the First Universalist Church on Monday. The Clara Barton Guild was sponsoring the program. The newspaper reported that Mr. Gillard is a Cincinnati native and attended the Cincinnati College of Music. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Gillard of Erie Avenue. He studied at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp before the war. He also sang in many of the major cities of Europe while serving in the armed forces. He traveled in France with the Paris Ballet to raise money for the destitute of France and performed weekly concerts in Cherbourg.

From the Cincinnati Enquirer of May 24, 1947: On Sunday, May 25th, The First Universalist Society celebrated its 120th anniversary. In the article it mentions that the first Universalist preaching in Cincinnati was done by Abel Morgan Sargent in 1791. The first meeting of the Universalist group was in 1825 in the home of Mrs. William Hughey who was the great-grandmother of the wife of current minister George Thorburn. The church was officially founded in 1827 and Eliphalet Case delivered their first sermon.

From the Cincinnati Post of December 9, 1960: It was reported that the Clara Barton Guild met on Monday at the Universalist Church on Essex Place. Following the meeting, a Christmas party was held and members returned stocking baseball and coin cards they had received to fill earlier in the year. The cards were slated to go the Clara Barton Camp for diabetic girls at North Oxford, Massachusetts and to the Elliot P. Joslin Camp for diabetic boys in Charleston, Massachusetts.

From the Cincinnati Enquirer of September 13, 1975: The newspaper gave notice that a joint worship service of Cincinnati UUA churches was scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 1975 at the UU church on Linton to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Unitarianism in America. Robert Nelson West, president of the UUA was the featured speaker. A special presentation was made to councilman Charles P. Taft, son of former President and Supreme Court Chief Justice William Howard Taft who was a member of the host church.

Image: Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper front page, July 19, 1916.

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