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Bro, Trotter Was Revered Man of Gospel
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Bro, Trotter Was Revered Man of Gospel
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Pike county’s pioneer preachers were a hardy lot. They came on the first tide of immigration. Said one old settler on this subject: “The ministers of the gospel of the Savior of the world hunted us up and preached to what few there were. We did not degenerate and turn heathen, as any community will where the sound of the gospel is not heard. Their names are sacred in memory, for they were not after the fleece, but after the flock, because they had but little to say about science and philosophy, but spoke of purer things.”

In speaking of the early preachers, Col. Wm. Ross, in a letter read before the first meeting of the Old Settlers’ Association, said: “Among my early recollections are the faithful services rendered by pioneer ministers of the gospel, among whom the name of Brother Trotter is familiar. He rendered faithful services as a minister of Christ and was well received by all Christian denominations as a liberal-minded Christian and noble man.”

Rev. W. D. Trotter, the minister referred to, was present at this meeting and reviewed the trials and hardships of the early settlers to the great entertainment of the audience. He had been a missionary in this country as early as 1830. He exhibited a balance sheet of his receipts and expenditures during the year 1832-3 in what was then called Blue River Mission. He received from the mission $88; the conference paid him $12 in addition, making his salary $100 for his services for the year.

Hon. Wm. A. Grimshaw delivered the oration of the occasion and referred to this subject in the following language: “We all worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and under our vine and fig tree. When Brother Trotter, who is revered for piety, or old Father Wolf, now gathered to his fathers, blessed for his good deeds, came around to his appointment, all of every religion turned out to meeting in the woods or the log schoolhouse, or a settler’s home. We had no fine churches in those days. Mormons puzzled the unwary by their startling pretense at new revelations. Or, if disappointed by the regular minister, old Father Petty would recite in prayer Belshazzar’s feast in trembling tones of piety.”

People in those days walked long distances to church. Old records relate that women and girls were known to walk six miles to church, or meeting, as it was called. Settlers often would ride horseback, two or three on a horse, and go ten or fifteen miles in this way, taking along their bread and cheese.

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Submitted: 01/26/08

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