Newspaper, September 27,
Hanging of Bell
in 1878 Described as Newport
Prepares to Celebrate Its Hundredth Anniversary Next Week
The Newport Baptist Church
will observe its 100th anniversary on October 5, and a program has been
prepared for the event. H. E. Bevan who is familiar with the church bell
installation has written the following:
In the year
of 1878 the Newport
decided to make some change in the church building.
This was at
a time when our only means of transportation was by water. That, the beautiful Ohio River. We had a line of steamboats, the steamer
side-wheel Courier and the side-wheel
Express. We called them the U. S.
Mail boats. Running from Wheeling,,
W.Va. to Parkersburg, W. Va.,
one up and one down every day, if fog and low water did not hinder them. Where
they landed most all the town would congregate on the bank till the one John Ferrier and the other mail clerk
would deliver the mail to the postoffice and return with Newport mail. That was one of the big times
of the town.
Brought on Boat
the big bell was brought here on one of the boats. The church had never had a
bell so they took out a balcony and built a bell tower, instead, which was
fine, the next thing was to pay for tit in the new house made for it.
boats were our only way of getting things and hauling our cattle, berries,
apples and potatoes to market, the committee thought they might help them pay
for the bell. There were asked to take up a collection for that purpose, which
they did. I don’t know how much they got, but I know that Captain Mack Gamble
was given a gold-headed cane.
was present at the hanging of the bell or putting it in its place to till at
the end of the building. Those were good old Baptist brethren I knew and loved.
Stephen A. Dana was present at the time and [also]Alex Rymer, a man and son of
Jessie Rymer. No doubt he was a citizen of the town at the time the church was
built, who was a steamboat man, [and] had charge of the blocks and lines that
they used to put it in its place. They had two sets of blocks and lines, a four
and a three, that steamboat men would understand what a four and three would
bell on the Ohio River between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, said so by
many people. The writer has listened to every church bell between those points
Hark! The deep tone bell is calling
Come no longer roam
Louder now louder pealing
On the hearts that voice is stealing
Come wanderer come!