QUAKER CITY - A good crowd was on hand for the historical marker dedication at the former Richland Quaker Meetinghouse site near Quaker City Sunday, May 28. After the marker was unveiled, the program was repeated at the Stillwater Meetinghouse at Barnesville.
Ernest "Ernie" Hartley who, spent his formative years as a member of the Meeting, provided remarks and served as Master of Ceremonies for the dedication.
Shoshana Gross, state coordinator for History Day, represented Ohio History Connection (formerly Ohio Historical Society). She provided comments and read a resolution from the statewide organization.
Other program speakers included Guernsey County Historical Society officers Dave Adair and Rick Booth, Marie Bundy and Robert Becerra of the Stillwater Meeting committee in charge of the historic marker application, and local historian Bruce Yarnall.
John R. Rockwell who produced a map Richland burials, also spoke after Hartley read a poem by Evelyn Doudna Groves titled "Remembrances of the Meeting". Both are included a booklet detailed below.
Monty and Mary Lou Carpenter, who live next door, were recognized for their lengthy service as cemetery caretakers.
As a bonus, attendees were given a 46-page illustrated booklet penned by Hartley titled "Remembrances of the Richland Friends Meetinghouse and Cemetery: A tribute to a Beloved Place of Worship in Millwood Township, Guernsey County, Ohio". Copies of the booklet are available for a donation to the Stillwater Meeting of Friends which maintains the cemetery. Please contact Marie Bundy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The Richland marker, one of 1,600 statewide, is the 6th one in Guernsey County.
The marker that graces the cemetery/burial ground house profiles the site with the following copy:
Congregations of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), called "Meetings" worshipped in plain meeting houses. On this site stood the Richland Friends Meeting House built in 1872. Ninety-four Friends established the meeting in 1826 and it endured for 147 years. The cemetery is where many generations of members of this meeting are buried. The faith, based on pacifism and simplicity, blossomed in the region during the first half of the 19th century.
Quaker families, mostly from southern states, came to this area in the early 1800's, desiring to live in a land free from slavery. In 1809, the Friends established the Leatherwood Meeting, which was reorganized in 1826 as Richland Meeting. The meeting split in an ideological dispute. The "Hicksites" followers of Elias Hicks" occupied the meeting house at Quaker City, so the Orthodox Friends established their meeting here in 1828. By the early 1970's most members had moved away or died and the meeting was "laid down" (closed) in 1973 and the building was razed in 1989. Stillwater Monthly Meeting of Friends in Barnesville maintains the grounds.