Saturday, January 2, 2010

Rev. Charles W. Powelson, 1849-1906

1906 Yearbook of the Iowa Annual Conference
Methodist Episcopal Church
Rev. Charles Wesley Powelson
Served the Jerome Methodist Church 1886-1892
Lived on a Farm East of Jerome
  The subject of this sketch was born of Christian parents, in Muskingum county, Ohio, March 9, 1849, and departed this life, after a very brief illness, in the early morning of January 6, 1906, in Davis City, Ringgold county, Iowa, away from home and family. He was, as it seemed, [56] in years, 9 months and 27 days old. He grew up to manhood in his native state, enjoying the educational advantage of the public schools, which gave him a fair qualification for business life. Very early in life he was made conscious of his obligations and service to God, and at the age of sixteen he professed religion and vowed a saving faith in Christ, joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for a number of years was a faithful and consistent layman of said Church. In the year 1870, on the second day of January, he was married to Miss Julia A. Buell, of Marion county, Ohio. The early years of his married life were spent in Ohio, in various business pursuits, in which he was quite successful. In 1881 he came to Iowa, and located in Ringgold county, and continued in active business life until the year 1886. Feeling at this time that he owed to God and to his fellow men a better service, without a question as to where this consecration might lead, or what responsibility it might bring, he cheerfully responded to the call of God and the Church of his choice. He was licensed to preach by the Quarterly Conference at Kellerton, Iowa, in the bounds of the Des Moines Conference, and began at once to use his gift and grace as a preacher of the gospel.
Charles Wesley Powelson
  Soon after his license as a local preacher, he spent a few months as an agent of the American Bible Society. Having come into the territory of the Iowa Conference, he was in the fall of 1886, recommended by the Keokuk District Conference to the Iowa Annual Conference, and at Washington, Iowa, was admitted on trial and appointed by Bishop Bowman to the Plano circuit. Two years later he was granted a membership in the Conference and ordained deacon by Bishop Goodsell, at Oskaloosa, Iowa. His ordination as elder was at Grinnell, Iowa, by Bishop Joyce. The charges that he served (in each of which he greatly endeared himself to the people, both in and out of his parish,) are as follows: Plano 5 years; Cincinnati, 1 year; Mount Pleasant circuit, 5 years; Burlington circuit, 5 1/2 years; and 3 years as financial agent of Iowa Wesleyan University, in which service he engaged at the time of his death. His ministry was specially charterized as evangelistic. Every appointment to which he was sent as pastor was blessed through his ministry with revivals. He always lamented his lack of thorough educational preparation for the work of the ministry, and at times felt keenly this disadvantage. But, notwithstanding his lack of special training for the ministry, it must be said that in many things he excelled and was rated by his brethren in pastoral and ministerial service above the average.
  The early life and mission of C. W. Powelson is ended, and he has passed into the skies and into the paradise of God. He leaves his wife, two sons and nine daughters, three brothers, who live in Ohio, and a sister in Kansas, who mourn his death. The funeral services were held in the college chapel at 2 p.m., January 9, 1906. They were conducted by T. J. Myers, presiding elder, who also gave a sketch of his life, and in brief spoke of his personal relation, and of the character of the deceased. The following brethren took part in the religious service: Dr. Swickard, Thomas Osborn, G. M. Tuttle, and J. A. Glendinning. Dean Piersel recited Tennyson's poem, "Crossing the Bar." Addresses were made by Dr. Lymer, in behalf of the college; Pastors Tennant, of Burlington, and Handy, of Washington, who spoke for the Conference. The pall-bearers were Pastors Byrkit, Sinclair, Highshoe, J. S. Pool, Decker and Stoddard.
Alton Democrat, Alton, Iowa - 13 January 1906
Little Journeys
  I was lying in a barber chair one day and heard a great commotion of coughing and splashing in the bathroom. I asked the barber if any one was drowning and he said it was only old John Buell washing up for the funeral of his son in law. The funeral in question was that of Rev. Powelson who dropped dead while talking to a friend. He was an evangelist of the Methodist church and an auctioneer and also financial agent for the Methodist college there. His funeral was one of the largest ever known in that region and had to be held from the college chapel to accommodate the crowd. When Buell emerged from his bath--grizzled and stooped by the weight of seventy six years--he remarked: "Well if the undertaker gets me quick now he won't have such a bad job cleaning me up." He searched his audience with sharp eyes to see if any challenged the statement and continued: "That's the way I want to go--just like Powelson and just like my father. Father was sitting by the fire place. Asked mother if dinner was ready. She said yes but he didn't move. Shook him and he was dead." Having thus delivered himself he gathered up a couple of baskets and an old hatchet and shuffled out muttering to himself. 
1925 Minutes of the Iowa Conference
of the Methodist Episcopal Church
Mrs. Charles W. Powelson
  Julia Ann Buell was born July 10, 1854, in Johnstown, Ohio. She was the daughter of Harriet Minerva Thrall and Abraham Woodruff Buell.  She last her mother when nine years of age. When twelve years of age she removed with her father and two younger brothers to Marion county, Ohio. She united with the M. E. church at the age of fourteen.
  January 2, 1869, she was united in marriage with Charles Wesley Powelson. In 1880 they removed to Ringgold county, Iowa, where he was connected with the American Bible society until 1887, when he was licensed to preach in the Iowa conference, in which he remained until his death in 1906.
  Mrs. Powelson removed with her four younger daughters to Des Moines in 1911, where she united with Grace M. E. church, of which she was a member at the time of her death.
  She was the mother of fourteen children, ten of whom, eight daughters and two sons, with twenty-one grandchildren and six great grandchildren survive her.
  Her death took place July 14, 1925, at Sioux City, Iowa, while on a visit at the home of her daughter.
  Funeral services were held July 17 in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. C. C. Warhurst, conducted by Dr. Thomas Osborn, assisted by Dr. T. J. Myers. Burial was made in Forest Home cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, beside her husband.
Julia Ann Buell Powelson and Her Daughters
Mrs. Powelson's Friendships
Written by her daughter, Ethel Hueston, in
Preacher's Wife 
[New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1941]
  "Nor did she make many close friends there [in Mt. Pleasant], as I recall. In every other place we had lived, she had developed a strange, close, trusting friendship with one or two women, and those friendships never died. They were not intimate, as we use the word. There was always a little formality about her. I never heard anyone except her father and brothers call her Julia. Father said 'Julie.' To everyone else, to her closest and most trusted friends, she was Mrs. Powelson. Some of these I hardly remember; some I knew well.
  "Perhaps her friendships are as eternal as her motherhood. It might have been years since she heard from some friend, and the, suddenly, a letter!--from Oregon, from Europe; from Ohio. If something pleasant had happened to her friends, they wanted her to know it and be pleased; if something ad, she would be sorry with them. She was always too busy to make an effort to win friends, but she never lost one.
  "Laura Kaufman at Mount Pleasant was one of these, and through her undying friendship for Mother was a friend to every one of us. She was the only person outside our family invited to my wedding. There was Agnes Spry, of the tart tongue and big heart, and "the other Mrs. Spry," so called to distinguish her from Agnes. There was Mrs. Griffith, who husband, a doctor, excorted the twins unto our mundane parsonage plane. There was Mrs. Hogle, the wife of Peter C., who had helped with the camp-meeting baptisms. There were Annie Gorman, Aunt Almira Prendergast, and Mrs. Silknitter, for whose daughter I was named.
  "Not many; her acquaintance was not wide. And who that knows thousands can count as many true and abiding friends?"
  Editor's Note:  Peter C. Hogle was a Methodist pastor related to Jerome Methodist Church in the late 1880s who later lived in Mt. Pleasant; Anna Gorman and Almira (Mrs. Addison) Pendergast were very active in the Jerome Methodist Church and are buried in the Jerome Cemetery; Mrs. Silknitter was probably Harriet (Mrs. John P.) Silknitter who lived in Bellair Township [east of Jerome], had a daughter Ethel Silknitter who married Harry M. Harman, and who is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Centerville.
The Family of Charles Wesley Powelson & Julia Anne Buell
Primary Source: Descendants of Jacob Powelson 
on Kathy Brehm LaPella's The Brehm/LaPella Family Tree 
with additional information from several sources
  Charles Wesley Powelson was born 9 March 1849 in Mt. Victory, Muskingum County, Ohio, son of Robert Alexander Powelson (c1798-1879) and Delilah Barnes (1810-1879), died 6 January 1906 in Davis City, Decatur County, Iowa, and was buried in Forest Home Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Charles married 2 January 1870 in Marion County, Ohio, Julia Anne Buell who was born 10 July 1854 in Johnstown, Licking County, Ohio, daughter of Abraham Woodruff Buell (1830-1911)  and Harriet Minerva Thrall (1832-1864), died 14 July 1925 in Sioux City, Woodbury, County, Iowa, and was buried in Forest Home Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. 
The Charles Wesley Powelson Family
From Preacher's Wife by Ethel Hueson
[Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1941]
Fourteen children were born of this marriage:
  01. Carlos Fremont Powelson was born 2 July 1871 in New Bloomington, Marion County, Ohio, and died in April 1952.  He married 7 November 1899 Grace R. Riesinger who was born 16 July 1882 in Aurora, Illinois, and died 13 February 1966. Three children were born of this marriage: Maye Powelson, Carlos Wesley Powelson and David Kenneth Powelson.
  02. Charles Francis Powelson was born 10 February 1873 in New Bloomington, Marion County, Ohio, and died in November 1953 in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. He married 23 July 1896 Margaret Alice Marshall who was born 21 October 1874 in New Bloomington, Marion County, Ohio. Two children were born of this marriage: Albert Lyle Powelson and Ruth Pauline Powelson.
  03. Abraham Woodruff Powelson was born 9 February 1875 in New Bloomington, Marion County, Ohio, and died 12 September 1876 in Bowling Green, Marion County, Ohio, and was buried in Bonner Cemetery.
  04. Julie Minerva Powelson was born 27 November 1876 in New Bloomington, Marion County, Ohio, and died in April 1936 in Coffeevile, Montgomery County, Kansas. She married 4 July 1898 Calvin Remus Cooper who was born in 1876 in New Bloomington, Marion County, Ohio, and died in March 1936 in Coffeeville, Montgomery County, Kansas. Ten children were born of this marriage: Clara Lucretia Cooper, Frank Buell Cooper, Helen Ruth Cooper, Alice Gevena Cooper, Charles Edward Cooper, William Cleves Cooper, Josephine Lorraine Cooper, Myrtle Mae Cooper, Anna Louise Cooper and Sarah Julie Cooper.
  05. Mary Lorena Lauwena Powelson was born 19 January 1877 in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, and died 24 January 1968. She married c1897 Clarence "Click" Warhurst who was born in 1877 in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri.
  06. Delilah Ann Powelson was born 29 September 1878 in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, and died 28 January 1879.
  07. Kathryn Myrtle Powelson was born 10 January 1882 in Riley Township, Ringgold County, Iowa, and died 7 October 1925 in Merced, Merced County, California.  She married (1) 26 June 1910 in Dayton, Columbia County, Washington, Oloman Horace Blackmer who born 3 September 1879 in Dayton, Columbia County, Washington, son of George Glackmer and Ruth Warner, and died 21 December 1937 in Avon, Latah County, Idaho.  She married (2) c1920 Benito Alfonso Scottino who was born 12 August 1878 in Riley Township, Ringgold County, Iowa, and died in June 1975 in Gilroy, Santa Clara, California. Four children were born of the first marriage: George Powelson Blackmer, Charles Neil Blackmer, Carrie Ruth Blackmer and Grace Pauline Blackmer.
  08. Clara "Hon" Belle Powelson was born 4 December 1883 in Riley Township, Ringgold County, Iowa, and died 1917 in California. She married Billy Vaugn who was born in 1883 in Riley Township, Ringgold County, Iowa.
  09. DeWitt T. Powelson was born 3 December 1885 in Riley Township, Ringgold County, Iowa, and died 4 February 1887 in Iowa.
  10. Ethel May Powelson was born 3 December 1887 in Moulton, Appanoose County, Iowa, and died 9 November 1971 in Geneva, Ontario County, New York.  She married (1) 28 December 1910 in Mt. Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa, William John Hueston, a Presbyterian minister, who was born 28 March 1879 in Castledawson, Londonderry, Ireland, son of Thomas Houston and Rachael McGee, and died 10 December 1915 in American Falls, Power County, Idaho. She married (2) 13 August 1917 in Golden, Jefferson County, Colorado, Edward Jay Best, First Lieutenant in the Colorado Engineers Corps, who was born 23 October 1883 in Earlville, LaSalle County, Illinois, son of Charles Henry Best (1852-1925) and Margaret Adelaide Stall (1855-1923), and died 30 April 1919 in the U.S. General Hospital, Otisville, Orange County, New York. She married (3) c1930 Randolph Blinn who was born 1887 in Richmond, Virginia, and died 5 February 1943 in Fayson Lakes, Morris County, New Jersey.  
  One child was born of Ethel's first marriage: Elizabeth Buell "Chummy" Hueston who was born 17 August 1912 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and married 16 May 1936 in Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia, Nathaniel Ackerman Baird who was born 5 March 1911 in Warwick, Orange County, New York, son of Nathaniel W. Baird and Adalyn L. Ackerman of Warwick, and died 28 December 1969 in Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.
  11. Caroline Powelson was born 24 June 1889 in Appanoose County, Iowa, and died in December 1961 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California. She married in Washington, D.C., Robert Lenox Stewart who was born 1889 in Cincinnati, Appanoose County, Iowa. 
  12. Grace Mildred Powelson was born 24 June 1889 in Appanoose County, Iowa, died 4 April 1961 in Atchison, Atchison County, Kansas, and was buried in Montrose, Lee County, Iowa.  She married 20 October 1915 in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, Otto Willis Metsker who was born 25 October 1881 in Lone Star, Douglas County, Kansas, son of Martin World Metsker (1850-1922) and Mary Elizabeth Shoup (1851-1936), died 28 June 1957 in Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa, and was buried in Montrose, Lee County, Iowa.  Three children were born of this marriage: Merdith "Duff" Metsker, Muriel "Leigh" Metsker, and Carol Jo Metsker. 
  13. Laura Josephine Powelson was born 22 November 1891 in Appanoose County, Iowa, and died in 1957 in Elkhart, Elkhart County, Indiana. She married c1915 Irvin Alber who was born in 1891 in Cincinnati, Appanoose County, Iowa.  One child was born of this marriage: Sidney Alber. 
  14. Columbia Isabella "Pete" Powelson was born 25 June 1893 in Mt. Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa, died 17 October 1955 in Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa, and was buried in Walker Cemetery, Johnson County, Iowa. She married (1) 6 April 1918 in Colfax, Jasper County, Iowa, at Grace and Otto Metsker's home, Scott Allen Walker who was born 16 February 1893 in Riverside, Washington County, Iowa, son of Henry Walker and Carrie Scott, died 5 April 1934 in Mt. Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa, and was buried in Walker Cemetery, Johnson County, Iowa. She married (2) c1952 in Bayard, Morrill County, Nebraska, Conrad Bastron who was born c1890.  Five children were born to her first marriage: Scott Allen Walker II, Infant Walker, Infant Walker, Robert Joseph Walker and Cara Ruth Walker. 


  1. Ethel May Powelson was my Great-grandmother. I'm so happy that you've found this information. It's amazing to see it all online.

  2. Charles W Powelson is my g grandfather.
    My website is:
    Our cousins have collected a lot of info.
    If you would be willing to share your Powelson line and stories, I will add it to my site.
    Thank you,
    Kathy Brehm Lapella