Saturday, July 15, 2017

1895 Letter to Newspaper Attesting to the Character of the Maligned Rev. J. H. Wingate of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Sherwood, Ohio

"An Untruth Nailed" - title of a March 1895 article about untruths being circulated about the character of Rev. J. H. Wingate of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Sherwood, Ohio, along with a letter signed by two of those spreading the rumors that the reports were untrue and thus vindicating Rev. Wingate.  

An image of the clipping and a transcription appear at the end of this post.

People mentioned:
  • Rev. J. H. Wingate, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Sherwood, Ohio
  • Mrs. Fields
  • Mrs. Haver
  • J. W. Wallace
  • Mrs. J. Wagner

I wonder what happened to cause J. W. Wallace and Mrs. J. Wagner to write the letter and to make it public.  Learning that what they'd been told was false?  Remorse?  Legal action? 

Apparently the troubles didn't end with the letter as it appears that the next year Rev. Wingate had E. J. Potter arrested for criminal libel.  Read more here.

Sad to say that similar destructive stories bedevil society to this day.  

This clipping was found tucked in the Bible of Jeremiah Bloom and Susanna (Snyder) Bloom of Pennsylvania and Ohio; passed on to their son James Hagan Bloom.  Jeremiah Bloom died in 1892, but James kept the business going for many more years; it was presumably he or his wife Louisa E. (Miller) Bloom, who tucked the article in the Bible.

A transcription follows the image.

Is the Story Circulating Concerning Rev. Wingate
In Sherwood and vicinity there have been circulated of late stories reflecting on the character of Rev. Wingate, pastor of the M. E. church in this place.  These have probably arose from trouble which occurred about the time of the protracted meetings.  After the trouble with Mrs. Fields and Mrs. Haver, anonymous letters were circulated, some being dropped in the church and others being sent through the post office.

Later on Rev. Wingate had some trouble with J. W. Wallace.  It seems that Mr. Wallace had circulated some stories which he now takes occasion to publicly apologize for.  These stories have gained publicity and are being circulated in this vicinity through the agency of other persons.

We gladly publish the following denial, with the signatures of the parties who have been instrumental in spreading them:

SHERWOOD, O., 3 -12, 1895
This is to certify that the report circulated by us reflecting upon the character of Rev. J. H. Wingate, pastor of the M. E. church of Sherwood, Ohio, is false and untrue; and we have no personal knowledge, nor any means of knowing of anything of the kind ever occurring, and we do hereby make this statement for the purpose of vindicating the said J. H. Wingate.

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