Hillsboro Church of Christ
On The Little Blue River
The Church That Disappeared
On The Little Blue River
Hillsboro, Prairie Township, Henry County, IN
November 12, 2009

The Church in the WIldwood

There's a church in the valley by the Wildwood
No lovelier place in the dell
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little white church in the dell

Come to the church in the Wildwood
Oh come to the church in the dell
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the dell

This little church nestled in the woods of Hillsboro,Indiana stood for 170 years. I have been
there many times to photograph it and the cemetery on the same land which is the resting
place of some of my ancestors. On October 31st, Hillsboro resident Gene Clark went to visit
the old cemetery and noticed the church was gone! The land ownership and raizing of the
building is now a hot topic of debate and concern. The person alledgedly responsible for
tearing down the church, Jeff Van Arsdol, was said to have asked permission to tear down a
"barn" on his property. No mention was made of a church...and now the land ownership is
under investigation to see if the above Arsdol was indeed the land owner. The trustee of
the Hillsboro Cemetery asked the Henry County Commissioners Wednesday to help him
determine the true owner of the historic church that was demolished and he was told the
question was a "civil issue".

According to Bud Bush of the Henry County Genealogical Society," on October 28th, 2009,
The, supposedly, property owner decided to demolish the old one hundred seventy year old
house of worship, to everyone's surprise. It was completely unexpected by everyone. Years
of childhood memories of the picnics, church socials, weddings and yes.. funerals after which
the departed members were buried in the old church cemetery next to the church".

So while a debate about ownership goes on....the sad truth is this church that withstood
almost 200 years of use and inclement weather is gone forever, preserved now only in
photographs and the memories of the many parishoners who worshipped there.

Mark Orr
November 12, 2009
Information from the Courier Times and historian Bud Bush
Orr Family Burials at Hillsboro
Oris and Ruth Dinkins Enright.
Oris Enright (1902-1961)
Ruth Dinkins (1904-1984)
Infant son Carl Edward Enright (1923-1924)
*Carl buried at Batson Cemetery.

Parents of Oris Enright buried at Hillsboro
John Enright  ca. 1861-1940
Mary Effie Parson Enright  ca 1869-1953
transmitted, displayed or published without written permission from Collectors World Online.
Collectorsworldonline.com  ®2006
Mark Sean Orr
"The church in Hillsboro had an interesting start. No musical instruments were allowed
inside bldg. to keep it from being too loud. That's how I learned to sing at church, no
piano, or organ, just a pitch horn. My mom can tell you more since her family helped build
the church there and the one on N.14th st in New Castle. There are a lot of Utt family in
Hillsboro cemetery."
Contributed by Robin Ellis
Memories of Hillsboro Church
The Hillsboro Church along the Blue River in Henry County, Indiana. Photo by Charlene Z. Perry©
Courtesy of Lisa Perry.
The Church of Christ on the Little Blue River was first started some time in the 1830s,
Meetings were first held out doors in a grove of trees near where the present church
building is located. At a meeting of the church members at the home of Clement Murphey
on 28 Nov 1840, for the purpose of more fully organizing the church in accordance of
law, by appointing or electing trustees for the church. A motion was made, and
unanimously agreed that the following named individuals would be chosen trustees until
their successors were chosen according to law; Asahel Woodward, Benjamin Harvey,
Clement Murphey, Nathan Cannaday and William Millikan Sr. They proceeded immediately
to build or erect a church house or house for worship and a burial ground on one acre of
ground donated by Clement Murphey.
Clement Murphey and wife Huldah Bundy Murphey were two of the original founders of the
Hillsboro Church. Asahel Woodward was another.
Photograph of Clement Murphy courtesy Doug Magers - Courier Times and Michael Davis.
The following names are the original 66 members who formed the Church of Christ.

Elizabeth Baxter, Thomas Baxter, Elizabeth Bouselog, Martha Bowers, Martha
Brandon, Elizabeth Bundy, Mary Bundy, James Burcham, Mary Burcham, Nathan
Cannaday, Samuel Cannaday, William Cannaday, LLD Cary, Mary Cary, Josiah
Clawson, Phebe Clawson, James Cole, Sarah J. Cole, Joseph Dinor, Susannah Finney,
Ruth Fleek, Eliza Mariah Fraizer, Jane Fraizer, May Fraizer, William Fraizer, Sarah
Frazer, Mary Harden, Tary Harden, Alby Harvey, Benjamin Harvey, Elizabeth Harvey,
Jacob Harvey, Richard Haynes, Susan Haynes, William Haynes, Joseph Koons, Lucinda
Koons, Jemima Leason, Rachael Leason, Susannah Mansfield, William Mansfield, Elijah
Martindale, Elizabeth Martindale, Ruth Massey, William Massey, James Mclellen, Jane
McLellen, William Millikan, Clement Murphey, Huldah Murphey, Malinda Ray, Mariah
Ray, Martha Ray, Thomas Ray, Emily Ridgeway, Noah Ridgeway, Margaret Shively,
Abigale Smith, Ann Smith, Cornelius Smith, Lucinda Smith, Mary Smith, George Tiney,
Asahel Woodward and Catharine Woodward.

The complete records (1840 - 1987) for the Church of Christ on the Little Blue River
are available at the Henry County Historical Society Museum in New Castle, IN
* Bud Bush,
Eldar Elijah Martindale 1793-1874
Mrs. Elizabeth Boyd Martindale, wife of Elijah
Clement Murphey
Eldar Elijah Martindale

Mrs. Jackson and the Congregation
by Mark S. Orr

Sunlight lit Mrs Jackson's face as she began to tell her story.
Amidst rows of pews, and brilliant hues of streaming stained glass glory.

The congregation passed the plate as Huldah testified.
I wondered where she found her faith since Mr. Jackson died.

She'd turned to the Bible and found her comfort there.
Her son turned to the bottle and pretended not to care.

And as she spoke of faith and hope to the restless congregation.
A line formed at the altar barring provacation.

Even the irascible Mr.Maddy knelt down on bended knee.
He thanked the lord for his Becca and loving family.

God in his amazing glory was in our church that day.
He used a future angel to to show us all the way.

Copyright ©2007 Mark Sean  Orr

Published in book "A Midwest Pictorial" 2008
Vintage Hohner Pitch Horn
Hillsboro Church of Christ in 2006
Independent Church - Pastor Delbert Ivey
Photo by Mark Sean Orr©
Article in the New Castle Courier Times newspaper from
1952. Click on the pic for a larger version.
Thanks Lisa Perry!