Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Reverend John F. Cadwallader of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Waynesville, Ohio

In 1898 John Fallis Cadwallader was ordained a priest in St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Waynesville. As a young man he had contemplated and started a career in entertainment and the theatre in 1879. His father, Achilles D. Cadwallader had built Cadwallader Hall located on the northwest corner of Main and Miami Streets in Waynesville which John rented for his entertainment company, John F. Cadwallader & Co. John had a religious experience that pointed him to his true vocation as a minister.

John F. Cadwallader was Rector of St. Mary’s for thirty years. He built the Rectory and willed it to the church at the time of his death. The old Rectory still sits on the northeast corner of Fourth and Miami Streets, cattycorner from the Friends Boarding Home. He also gave his church a farm, which was located north of Waynesville. John F. Cadwallader died suddenly on April 13, 1922 of a heart attack.

There is a biography of Rev. John Fallis Cadwallader and a history of the founding of St. Mary's Church in Memoirs of the Miami Valley, Volume III (Chicago: Robert O. Law Company, 1919), pp. 50-52:

John Fallis Cadwallader: rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church at Waynesville, is one of the scholarly men of his profession in the Miami Valley, and deeply beloved by his parishioners. He was born at Waynesville in 1857, a son of A. D. and Jane N. Cadwallader (Jane Nancy Fallis), natives of Lynchburg, Va., who migrated to Warren County, O., in 1832. For some years, A.(Achilles) D. (Douglas) Cadwallader was a grain merchant, later an agent, and finally conducted a dry goods store at Waynesville, retiring in 1879 from the responsibilites of business life. His death occurred in 1895, at the age of seventy-three years, as he was born August 14, 1822. Mrs. Cadwallader, who was born March 8, 1820, died in 1870, aged fifty years. The Cadwallader family originated in Wales. Growing up at Waynesville, John F. Cadwallader received his preliminary education training in its public schools, and then took a theological course at Kenyon College, Gambier, O., from which he was graduated. He was married January 10, 1889, to Miss Anna C. Lile, a daughter of Joseph and Jane Lile, natives of Greene and Warren counties., O., respectively, and their parents were born in Virginia. Mr. Cadwallader is a Republican in his political sentiiments. St. Mary's Episcopal Church is the outgrowth of an earnest desire on the part of a few churchmen at Wayensville to provide for themselves and their families a proper church home, and the results of the piety and efficiency of these founders of the church are gratifying in the extreme.

In April, 1869, Rev. W. T. Helms, of Nashville, Tenn., held the first services of the Episcopal church at Waynesville, appearing on the platform of the old town hall ("Cadwallader Hall"), coming here at the earnest solicitation of J. D. Sweet (see, J. Drew Sweet (1839-1893) ~ Publisher of the Miami-Gazette) and Mrs. T. J. Brown, the two comunicants in Waynesville and its vicinity. Following this initial sercvice, lay readings were held for some months thereafter in the town hall, and then Achilles Pugh (see, Achilles Pugh, Publisher of "The Philanthropist" and Anti-Slavery Activist (1805-1876)), although a Quaker by faith, fitted up a room with a stove and seats, and rented it at a nominal figure to be used for worship and Sunday school purposes. In the meanwhile strenuous efforts were made to get a definite start in securing a permanent home for the church, and a lot was bought in the summer of 1870, on the southwest corner of Third and Miami Streets, for which $300.00 was paid, and on it St. Mary's Church edifice now stands, it being one of the mot beautiful locations in the city. August 4 of that same year, the cornerstone of the church was laid by Rev. Mr. Helms, and the foundation was completed. By this time the funds were exhaused and further operations were suspended until $600.00 were raised, and the building enclosed. Strict orders were given to the builder, A. E. Merritt, to go no further with the work than the funds would permit, so that the faithful church laborers were forced to raise more money to procure window casings. They were put in, and boarded up, and temporary doors hung, when once more there was a suspension until financial conditions improved. Never discouraged, the faithful few worked on, and were rewared by having the church open for Sunday school services on Easter Sunday, 1875. While the work of completing the little church went on, the people were ministerd to by serveral most excellent men. Rev. Mr. Helms was succeeded by Rev. H. C. M. Dudley, and he by Rev. Richard Wainswright. Bishop Bedell then appointed Charles E. Merritt lay reader, and lay services were held every Sunday afternoon during the summer of 1874 before any plastering had been done, the congregation sitting on castoff school benches and boards laid on boxes. Mr. Merritt left Waynesville for other fields of labor, and the services were conducted occasionally by such earnest lay readers as could spare the time form their other engagements. Finally Rev. John H. Ely was sent to take charge of the mission, he being succeeded by the following in the order names: Rev. Louis S. Osborn, Rev. Langdon C. Stewartson, Rev. Charles L. Pinder and Rev. Charles H. Hayden. During the ministry of these clergymen the church as consecrated on April 21, 1881 by Bishop Jagger, as St. Mary's Protestant Episcopal Church, and the rectors of this parish since then have been: Revs. Boyer, Walkley, Gibbs and Jones, regular ordained ministers of the church; John F. Cadwallader as lay reader in 1889; Rev. John F. Cadwallader as deascon in March 1892, and as Rector, March 9, 1898. One of the most impressive services ever held in St. Mary's Church was the ordination of Mr. Cadwallader as priest. The candidate was presented ot the bishop by Rev. Charles Fisher, of Gambier, O., who preached the sermon, Archdeacon Edwards, Rev. Dr. McCabe, Rev. A. J. Wildler, Rev. W. E. Dakon (This is probably a typo and should read "W. E. Dakin"), Rev. Mr. Garrett, Rev. E. L. Norton, assisting the bishop. Since 1898 Rev. Cadwallader has been in charge of St. Mary's, and under his wise administation the material affairs of the parish are in excellent condition, and his spiritual care of his peole is devout and effective. Many of the young men who went from the Miami Valley to France during the late war carried with them the memory of the sincere admonitions of their spiritual guide at St. Mary's. while few if any who have left the parish since he took hold of it have forgotten his lessons of church history, and his example toward godly living and good citizenship. The debt St. Mary's owes Mr. Cadwallader is not a small one, and the outside would owes an equally heavy one to St. Mary's for the influence it has had upon the morale of the community at large.

Rev. John F. Cadwallader came from a Quaker background. His father was Achilles Douglas Cadwallader who was born 14 AUG 1822 and died on 19 JUN 1895. Achilles was the son of Mahlon Cadwallader and Elizabeth Douglas. Achilles was married twice to Jane Nancy Fallis on 3 OCT 1844. and to Elizabeth Stiles on 4 JUN 1872.

Mahlon and his son Achilles Douglas Cadwallader seem to have had a checkered relationship with Miami Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends in Waynesville. Mahlon and Elizabeth were members of the meeting, but for a time in the early 1830s they belonged to Springboro Monthly Meeting. However, when Elizabeth and the children moved back to Miami Monthly Meeting, Mahlon is not mentioned in the minutes. It is also recorded that Mahlon was restored to Quaker membership in 1845. Achilles D. Cadwallader was also disowned by the Quaker for both of his marriages "outside of unity". He was disowned for something that caused "disunity" in 1858 but then was "received by request" back into Miami Monthly Meeting in 1872. Achilles' son, John F. Cadwallader, was "released by request" from Miami Monthly Meeting on 1 mo. 26, 1881 when he started attending First Communion classes at the new St. Mary's Episcopal Church (See, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. V, Ohio (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1994), pp. 33-34.

The Cadwallader Rectory catty-corner from the
Friends Boarding Home
The shadow of the Friends Home can be seen in the foreground.
People are sitting on the front steps watching
the 1906 Homecoming Parade.

St. Mary's sanctuary
For more information about St. Mary's Episcopal Church:

Cadwallader Hall on Main Street before the fire in 1921
that destroyed the second level, the theatre.
(Building on the far left)


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At Sunday, November 18, 2007 4:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a fellow descendant of Mahlon and Elizabeth Cadwallader and was told the Quakers left Virgninia because they could not compete with the slaveholders economically. Their son, Charles T. Cadwallader, must have been the brother of Achilles. Charles T. is my great-great grandfather. My great grandmother Mary Louisa Cadwallader married Charles A. Hough, MD and settled in Lebanon. The Houghs were originally Quakers from PA.

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