's Totem Pole Tales- The Friends Church Part III
Totem Pole Tales- The Friends Church Part III
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook August 30 , 2013

   How did it die?  It ran out of steam.  Perhaps the other churches had better music, or were at least more
relaxed - or kinder with each other.  The January 1910 the business meeting reported, "Our Brother and Pastor
W.F. Chalfort with his wife and daughters and son came to us 11th Month 13, 1909 to take charge of the 
ministerial work of our church.  This meeting welcomed them and prays the Lord to bless and prosper our pastor."
The meeting got very busy. It formed a committee on organization, which included a superintendent and assistant superintendent, a librarian and assistant librarian, a treasurer and a secretary.
But by the end of the summer, the pastor resigned. Brother Chalfort expressed his decision to close his work here and return home in Indiana Sept. 13.
In December 1910 there was one final opportunity, "We are grateful for Brother Edwin Finney coming to us from Wilkinson, Indiana and to open up again our meetings for worship. Our prayers are that the Lord will bless his Gospel labor."
There is no record of a decision to lay down Onaway Monthly Meeting, just a brief addendum to those minutes: "After three weeks' service Edwin Finney expressed a desire to return home. He did not see his way clear to try to build up this meeting. He doubted if it could be built up at all." Finney left Onaway 12th month, 21, 1910.
Another interesting article comes from the Michigan State Library in 1906: Many years ago in the pioneer days of Onaway there was established a Friends Church, the first church to be organized and build there. As the years passed and the town grew other churches sprang up, and many of those who had attended and helped to finance the Friends Church withdrew to unite with those of their own faith. Thus in the course of time the first church that was erected in Onaway was practically deserted and at last the building was sold.
Half the money received for the church building went to the general society of the Friends Church, and the other half was turned over to the original donors in Onaway. The sum was $800 and it was put in the bank for the purpose of establishing at some time a library. When the City Hall was built, three rooms on the second floor were planed for library purposes.
Two or three years following those interested in the school library tried to obtain this money, but it was found that it could be used only for a public library. The money had been drawing interest so by then it amounted to a little more than $900.
The president of a large manufacturing plant located there offered $300 annually if the city would contribute a like sum. With the $600, a maintenance room already provided, and furnished with stove, table and chairs, a large rug offered for the reading room and wood for a year, besides several promises of books and periodicals, and $900 for a book fund, it seems all together likely that Onaway will soon have a library in running order.
-From The Onaway Outlook, August 30, 2013, p. 4. Retyped by J. Anderson.

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