Our Historic Preachers & Circuit Riders
Rev. Albion Fellows was the preacher at the Mount Vernon M.E. church in 1862 and 1863. He earlier served Boonville M.E. from 1960 to 1862. In 1864 he became Presiding Elder and served the Evansville Locust Street M.E. church (now Trinity UMC) until his death in March, 1865. (His famous daughters were Albion Fellows Bacon and author Annie Fellows Johnson.)
In 1815, Methodist Episcopal services were held in the cabin home of Thomas Templeton. The Templeton cabin and the Templeton Graveyard are immediately east of the GAF roofing plant on the north edge of Mount Vernon. Rev. Templeton is buried in the graveyard but his grave marker has long decayed. Rev. Templeton was also a circuit rider.
Moses Ashworth entered the ministry as a circuit rider in 1805. (He is reported as the first regularly appointed Methodist preacher in Indiana.) He was first admitted to the Shelby and Salt River circuits in Kentucky. In 1809, he was assigned to all of southwestern Indiana; he was called “the apostle of Methodism in southern Indiana.” In 1812, Moses Ashworth settled in Posey County as a local preacher. He married Elizabeth Davis of Tennessee.
Rev Ashworth died in 1838 he was buried in the Prairie Chapel graveyard, later Rowe Cemetery. The Prairie Chapel was located about two miles west of the Wabash River. In 1958, Rev. Kenneth Forbes, First Methodist minister, loaded the gravestones of Moses and Eliza Ashworth into his vehicle and delivered both stones to DePauw Methodist Archives at Greencastle Indiana. (Both Ashworth stones were found lying in a pig lot.)
John Shrader (or Schrader)
It is told that John Shrader was “well born” in Baltimore Maryland in 1792. In 1810 he joined the Methodist church, was licensed to “exhort” in 1811 and to preach in 1812. Rev. Shrader was ordained a deacon in 1814; ordained an elder in 1818. He rode the Vincennes circuit in 1817 to serve an area of 550 square miles which included Posey County. Rev. Schrader married in 1821 and settled in Poseyville; he was an associate preacher with Moses Ashworth.
John Shrader founded of St. Paul’s M. E. Church in Poseyville in 1815. He famously preached in the town founder Hugh McGary “warehouse” in Evansville on Dec. 12, 1819. Rev. Shrader is buried in Poseyville Cemetery in Indiana.
(1854 – 1880)
George Christopher Ries was born 1854 in Baden, Germany to Johan Georg Ries and Susanna Christina Woerner. He was baptized Oct. 1, 1854. In 1857 a passport was issued by the Chief Councilor, Baden, Germany.
He along with his mother, father, grandmother, sister and aunt traveled from Baden, Germany and boarded the sailing ship Emily Hall at Le Harve, France bound for the United States. They arrived at New Orleans Louisiana in Dec. 1857 and to Black Township, Posey County in 1862. The land is now known as Ries Farm on Ries Road in Posey County.
At a young age, George Ries received his calling to the ministry as a Circuit Rider. He made a ride to Sandusky Ohio, as the story goes, he caught the flu while riding through a spring blizzard and died at the age of 27. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery, Ohio.
David O. Ries is the GGG Grandnephew of Christopher Ries.