Hugh Montgomer y
In the southwestern part of Gallatin County is located a Methodist Church founded by a frontier circuit riding Methodist minister. It is not known if Rev. Josiah Whitaker was the first Methodist minister to preach in the community but he is the minister who received the first members into the church by profession if faith in 1824. The first two members were were Sarah Roswell and Mary Hoggins. This area was evidently in the Licking Circuit at this time for in Rev. Whitaker's obituary in the minutes of the annual Conference of the M. E. Church, the Licking Circuit is the one he served in 1824.
According to the late B. F. Rice, the first meetings were held in the home of a Mr. Spencer, who lived where Mrs. Hallie Arrasmith, Carrollton, and her husband, the late Chas. Arrasmith now own on Craig's Creek.
This church was later moved to the "Camp Ground Springs" on the boundary of the farms owned by Roscoe Adams and Robert Bethel. Here log cabins or huts were built in a circle around an open space, in the center of which a pulpit was built. Some of the cabins were on the knoll behind the Springs, but the one that stood the longest was on the knoll behind Robert Bethel's feed barn. The unique thing about these cabins was that they were all within the sound of the preacher's voice in the pulpit. As the members and their friends gathered here, for a month and sometimes longer for the annual camp meeting, it is very easy to picture the men gathered around the preacher and the women busy either spinning wool or knitting as she watched over the young ones and the bean kettles. It was over rough roads and almost unmarked trails the sturdy pioneer ministers - Revs. Whitaker, L. D. Parker, George Fagg, E. L. Southgate, Thomas DeMoss, and George W. Smith - would ride for miles and miles to preach the gospel to the crowds gathered here.
Tradition handed down from these earlier members is that "these preachers were often men of great speaking power who would picture Heaven as a great, grand, and beautiful place for a Christian to go; and then they would preach hell and hellfire so strong you could almost smell the brimstone burning until the members would praise the Lord and shout and rejoice so loud they could sometimes be heard for miles."
The church next moved (I still have no exact date) into the Hoggins schoolhouse where they met for a number of years. This might have been for more regular meetings because some members and former residents of the Community can remember camp meetings at the springs when tents were used.
In this same log schoolhouse at this time also met a little group of members of the Christian Church to hold communion services and listen to the preaching's of Bro. Benjamin Tiller of Warsaw. This organization did not attempt to build a church but decided to move into the Christian Church at New Liberty.
The Methodists continued to grow in numbers until 1867. On July 31, 1867, a deed was written for grounds to build a church. The grantors of this deed read: Mrs. Mary Hoggins, Angeline Godman (late Hoggins) and Samuel Forman, her husband; Sarah E. Hoggins, Ruth R. Hoggins, and Mary E. Montgomery (late Hoggins). The trustees in trust were Drury Knox, William Hoggins, Ben F. Griffin, John Price, S. H. McDanell, Wm. M. McDanell, and Samuel Hoggins.
On this plot of land was erected a beautiful brick church. The brick was fired in front of the church. The two masons employed were William Shotwell and Samuel Finch. Mr. Shotwell was the grandfather of Mr. Chas. Cox and Clara Groves, who now live in Dayton, Ohio. They were assisted by members of the church in the building. Known members were Drury Knox, Hugh Montgomery, S. H. McDanell, and Wm. H. McDanell. It is believed that other members also helped.
Tradition has been handed down that the first name chosen for the church was Solomon's Chapel, but Mr. McDanell didn't want his name used. Then the name sent into the conference was Knox's Chapel, but there was already a church by that name. As they still wanted to name the church for Mr. Drury Knox, they sent in Drury's Chapel, which was accepted by the conference.
The church was dedicated October 12, 1867. The church was too small o hold the crowd for this dedication and the services were conducted in a grove of trees that stood where the home and outbuildings of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Hopkins are now built.
The first pastor to preach in the newly built church was Rev. E. L. Southgate. This is the Rev. Southgate of whom I have a complete record. He was, from all indications, the son of an earlier Rev. Southgate. The first Southgate was here around 1840 or 1842, before this one was born.
Rev. Edward Lusch Southgate was born in the Highlands, now Fort Thomas, Ky., November 15, 1845. He was the son of Rev. Edward L. and Ann Dozier Southgate. In 1859, when only fourteen years of age he was admitted as a sub-freshman to Miami University, He was a student there for three years and after passing his examination for his junior years, he left the University to join the Confederate Army. While serving the cause of the South he received a serious wound from which he never fully recovered. Returning from the Army he studied law under Judge W. E. Arthus of Covington. He was admitted to the bar in April, 1866, after he had preached his sermon at the Church in the Highlands, March 18, 1866. On October 3, 1866, he was admitted on trial into the Kentucky Conference and was appointed to the Warsaw Circuit, of which Drury's Chapel was a part. On December 6, 1866 he married Miss Sarah Hawkins Turpin of Carrollton, Kentucky. The Rev. Southgate is remembered by most of the members best when he was presiding elder or District Superintendent. He died May 6, 1931.
the Drury's Chapel history was written by Anne Adams (Mrs. Robert) Bethel in 1964.