magine the incredible feeling of receiving
letters and photos of your ancestors after 85 years. Members of the
Ohio Avenue Christian Church at New Boston experienced this excitement.
The church was originally founded in 1893 in New Boston on the lot
that is now occupied by Hickie's resturant. During the 1913 flood the
church building was filled with water and the business next to it exploded,
catching the church building on fire and burning it to the ground.
When the flood waters subsided, the members purchased a lot higher
up on Ohio Avenue to build a new church. They then laid the corner
stone in which they placed the copper box to be opened on the 100th
anniversary of the church.
On Homecoming Day recently the congregation celebrated their 100th
anniversary. They also watched Jack Patton, Elder and one of three
part time ministers of the church, open the time
There was a hushed silence as Jack Patton opened the small copper
box which along with newspaper clippings contained a small testament,
a photo of a horse and buggy of General Merchandise owned by O.D. Chinn,
Merchant of New Boston. Lists of names of who attended the different
Sunday School classes, a political card to vote for J.S. Davis for
Mayor. Several short notes from descendants of different families and
even a membership card
issued to Alan Griffen for the Socialist Party issued by the athority
of the Ohio State Committee.
The copper box buried in the corner stone was in first rate condition.
but according to Doug Osborne, Elder and one of the part time Pastors
of the church, it took much effort to get the
box out of the corner stone.
"I tried to cut it out and couldn't get it out, then tried to
chisel it out," said Osborne, "and it started cracking. So
I had to bust the top part out to get to the box. I was happy when
saw the very corner of the copper box. I really wasn't sure it was
there till I saw it. It was in unbelievably good condition, but that's
because it was copper. Tin would have rusted out."
A letter in the box stated that the copper box was made and donated
to the church by William S. Haney for the purpose of filing dedicated
paper to be placed in a corner stone on
September 21, 1913. Haney owned and operated a roofing and Guttering
business in New Boston.
The Box contained a note stating those in charge of the ceremony were
Elders J.C Harris, George Griffin, Alan Griffin, Robert McDowell, Ed
Burris and E.G. Hamilton.
The most in©depth letter in the box was from teenager Robert
Poole who wrote "I am 17 years old, I am 5'8'' tall and have sandy
colored hair and blue eyes. I live with my Grandmother who
is 80 years old. I do not smoke, swear, drink or chew, I have 3 sisters
and one brother who is in Heaven. His name is Howard. My sisters are
Carrie, Della and Dorothy. My Mother Bernie Poole and my Father Marion.
I have lived in New Boston since 1901, my parents and I are members
of this church. I enclose my picture." Robert Poole was a handsome
young man and an aspiring artist who left his art work on the back
of his letter.
Also in the box were newspaper clippings published the day before
the box was buried describing the expected ceremony. One of the clippings
stated the laying of the corner stone was expected to be attended by
no less than 1500 people and the River City Band would play sacred
music during the service that was to be held before closing the stone.
A pastor of a local church at that time, Crayton S. Brooks, would be
delivering the principal address of the occasion. It stated, "He
is an orator of recognized worth and his remarks would no doubt be
attentively listened to."
The article went on to say; "The faithful who worshiped at the
New Boston Church previous to it's destruction in the 1913 flood were
made of the right kind of stuff material from which
Christians are made. They did not sit idly by and bemoan their fate,
but joined hands and hearts, which coupled with enterprize and energy,
enabled them to purchase a new lot, upon which they are to erect a
That dream came true for the Ohio Avenue Christian Church when it
was rebuilt in 1913 by the efforts of the congregation and J.C. Harris
who was a bricklayer and Elder and was Pastor for awhile and later
Lay Minister and then Superintendent for many years. It survived yet
another flood in 1937 when the water got inside and was up to the balcony.
It has been a place of worship at the present location for the last
85 years. At present three Elders share the pastoring of the church.
Jack Patton, Douglas Osborne, and Jeff Woodard.
Approximately 103 people attended the Homecoming in 1998 and the message
was delivered by a former member of the New Boston Church, James Osborne,
who is now Minister of the Church of Christ at Glouster, OH. He is
the son of Elder Douglas Osborne. There were four baptisms on that
day and dinner on the grounds. The New Boston congregation plan to
bury a new time capsule box in the corner stone to be opened in 50