Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook August 16 , 2013
CAPTION : THE FRIENDS CHURCH, picture taken in 1900, stood on the spot which is now MichiganWorks, formerly
Northern Auto and Black River Products, at the end of M-211.
The Friends Church was the oldest religious organization in Onaway, dating back to August of 1883, when James E. Bonine and his wife came from Bay View, by way of Indian River, and held services in the little log schoolhouse. At the close of the meeting 22 people signed the list of membership of the new church.
For the next four years the meetings continued in a desultory manner in the same building, until in September of 1887, the cornerstone of the new Friends Church was laid.
The building was not completed until 1892, but meetings were held regularly in the unfinished building. In the meantime, the membership slowly grew and the church strengthened.
Many worthy ministers gave their service to the building up of the new colony. Gradually they accumulated property, finishing the church, building a parsonage, all a story of pioneer life.
We find in the records that Thomas Shaw gave the land for the church and that Merritt Chandler built the church. By 1895, the church records show a list of founders of the Friends Church.
It included Esther Aiken, Annie Bowen, Arthur Brown, Rachel H.S. Chandler, Annie Chandler, Willie Chandler, George Chandler, Anna Stanley Clark, J. Morton Clark, Annie Davies, Walter Davies, George Flater, Orilla Flater, Hattie A. Franklin, Charles N. Franklin, Newton R. Franklin, Ruth N. Franklin, Horace D. Graves, Mary Graves, Lindley H. Gray, Cyrus C. Gregg, Zelda Gregg, Isabella Kidd, Rebecca Kidd, Albert Kincaid, Ellen Kincaid, Reuben Kincaid, Grace E. Kinney, Christine Lehner, Asa McAtee, Orpha McAtee, Westley McDonald, Sarepta McIntosh, Ethel McIntosh, Edna McIntosh, Maud Miller, Isabella Morgan, Nathan Morgan, George Morgan, Russell Morgan, Elizabeth Poland, Mahalah Poland, William Poland, Eliza Potee, Alonzo Robinson, Delia Robinson, Catherine Rose, Freeman Rose, Leda Rose, Maud Sayer, Mattie M. Shaw, Catherine Walter, William Walter, Eben Wright, Julietta M. Young, Edward, Hannah and Harvey Zimmermann.
Many other pioneers are on the records as members who joined the church later.
The records show the offices held and committees that people held. It also gives reasons for members leaving the church.
Some of the reasons included dropped, moved away, disowned, admitted error in past life, resigned, transfer, deceased, disowned for dancing and joined other churches.
In 1900 Henry McKinley, a minister from Indiana, was appointed to this charge and under his care the church prospered as never before. He remained here until the fall of 1902, when he was called to Traverse City. His place was taken by the Rev. Jeremiah Hawkins, who was sent here from Indiana.
We have it on good authority that Rev. Henry McKinley was a cousin to President McKinley.
-From The Onaway Outlook, August 16, 2013, p. 3. Retyped by J. Anderson.