Gerald and Helen Wood's Book

Pages 46 through 59

Abigail Chawner, daughter of Chalkley and Sarah Cox Chawner, and was born near Elizabethtown in Bartholomew County, Indiana, June 4, 1849. In her childhood, she with her parents, one brother and four sisters, moved to a farm near Thorntown in Boone County, Indiana.

William Perry Haworth, son of Eli and Lydia Dillon Haworth, was born near Georgetown in Vermillion County, Illinois, February 16, 1850. When he was ten years of age his father died and the family moved to Ridgefarm also in Vermillion County. He was the seventh of nine children-- five girls and four boys.

William Perry and Abigail were married in the Quaker meeting house at Sugar Plain, near Thorntown Indiana, December 29, 1869--one hundred years ago.

The following divisions suggest the general activities of their lives:

1849-1870 Childhood, education, marriage

1870-1887 Itinerant ministry

1887-1895 Pictorial ministry

1896-1899 Appointment to Ottawa Indian Mission

1899-1904 Pastoral ministry

1904-1914 Appointment to Shawnee Indian Mission

1914-1927 Pastoral ministry

1927-1933 Retirement and death

Among Quakers of a century past, August quarterly meetings were major social and religious gatherings. Thousands left their farm work, went by families, traveled by team and wagon, camped in the maple groves and listened to exhortations by scores of ministers. A feature of these gatherings was a "youth meeting" when young Friends brought the message and the older ones were the audience. At the August 1869 quarterly meeting in Sugar Plain there was a young man still in his teens of whom an elder spoke, "that young man will make a noted preacher." It was William Perry Haworth of Vermillion County, Illinois.

William Perry and Abigail Chawner Haworth lived with a compelling sense of duty - - that of the Christian ministry. Under this they traveled widely, moved often and reared their five children in the Quaker tradition, two of whom followed them into Christian service.

(End of page 46)

The first date which comes clearly from the record is 1867. At that time William Perry was a student at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.  There he was converted and felt the call to religious service. He is known to have been a student at Bloomingdale Academy in Indiana where he perhaps met Abigail Chawner. Also it is known that he was associated with his older brother, Samuel, in a mercantile business in Thorntown. This must have been in 1868-1870. In the latter year he was recorded a minister by Vermillion Grove Quarterly Meeting in Illinois.

The first home of the couple was in the village of Thorntown. Sometime in 1870 they moved to the Sugar Plain community on a part of the Chawner farm which must have come to Abigail by inheritance. William Perry had discontinued his business association with brother Samuel and wanted to be free for his religious activities.

Itinerant Ministry 1870- 1887

For the first ten years of this period (1870-1880) William Perry and Abigail lived at Sugar Plain. He farmed for a living, traveled and preached as there was opportunity and was one of the leading young ministers among Friends in that area. All of the children except John were born on the farm and Abigail, of necessity, remained at home with her young family.

About 1880 the farm was sold and the family went West. Pioneering on the treeless prairies had attracted many Quakers from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. Dozens of new Quaker meetings were being set up in Nebraska, Kansas and the Indian Territories. Attractive also to the Quakers were opportunities to conduct mission work among the Indians on their western reservations. The Shawnee tribe had been of special concern as close ties had been formed with it in the original tribal home in Ohio. For seven years (1880-1887) the Haworth family and traveled on the new frontier. William Perry is know to have taught school in Nebraska, northern Kansas and at Tonganoxie Academy in Kansas. In the summer, the entire family by team and wagon traveled among the new Quaker meetings.

This was a period of controversy and division in the Society of Friends. By tradition, Quaker meetings were unprogrammed, quiet and without paid ministers. But so called "Progressives" were urging programmed meetings, singing and a paid pastoral leadership. William Perry and Abigail were among the Progressives.

In 1882 the family lived at Sterling, Kansas, as John was born there on July 19. This is one of the few places and dates that come clearly from the period of the "Itinerant Ministry."

In 1887 a new Friends Meeting was established at

(End of page 47)

Page 48 is missing                                         (1888  to  1903)

1904 - 1914

From 1904-1914 William Perry and Abigail, with youngest son John, were located near Shawnee, Oklahoma. Here they were superintendents of various Indian missions under the Indian Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.

They resided on a farm near the Shawnee Indian School south of Shawnee City. Son John maintained a herd of milk cows on the farm in partnership with his parents. This arrangement was terminated when John, with wife Nancy May and infant son Harold, moved to Wyandot, Oklahoma, and leadership of the Indian Mission. After but a few months at Wyandot, John died on December 24, 1912, the first break in the family circle.

1914 - 1927

At the termination of service at Shawnee the grandparents moved to Lawrence, Kansas. There on December 29, 1914, they celebrated their forty-fifth wedding anniversary. They seem to have remained at Lawrence through 1915.

In 1915 they were doing pastoral work at Scott City and shallow Water in western Kansas. In October of that year they attended Yearly Meeting at Wichita, Kansas. At the close of the meeting, as they were returning home, they had a serious auto wreck just west of Wichita. Grandpa, driving a model T and at night, failed to make a turn and went into a deep ravine. Grandmother was painfully injured and never fully recovered. It was believed to have contributed to her later suffering and illness.

Beginning in 1917 the grandparents made their home in Miami, living in a house built for them by Clarence and Alice Griffiths and located near the Griffiths home. William Perry was not listed as pastor, but he preached occasionally at the Miami Friends Church.

In 1919 was the Golden Wedding celebration with many family guests and a reenactment of the original ceremony. Those known to have been present were: Grandmother's sister Mattie Peery and Grandfather's sisters, Mahala Fletcher, Julia Thompson and Mary Pierce. Also present were daughter, Flora and her children, and of course, Alice's family.

The year 1920 marked one of two announcements of retirement. Grandfather was seventy years of age and newspaper clippings reported his farewell sermon to the Miami Church.

The Vermillion Grove Quarterly Meeting in 1922 celebrated its one hundredth anniversary. William Perry was asked to preach the Centenary Sermon. He was the oldest living minister that was recorded there.(1850)

The following years, the grandparents traveled often to visit members of their family. They were in California at 

(End of page 49)

the home of Charles in 1925 when they were called back to Miami by the death of Alice Griffiths.

The year 1926 was devoted to visiting the churches where they had been pastors. Grandfather was alone on these visits.

1927 - 1933

William Perry and Abigail went to Oregon and Colorado in 1927 expecting to make a home in one of these states -- near Charles at Salem, Oregon, or near Homer at Boulder, Colorado.  But the pull of friends and family at Miami took them back to the familiar scenes of their early years.

In 1929 there was another retirement sermon at Miami, but Grandfather was then 79 years of age. That summer Gerald and Helen Wood with Flora Wood visited Miami. Grandmother was in a wheelchair. She had a condition of paralysis which brought her near death in 1932. On June 4, 1932, Grandmother's 83rd birthday, family and friends were with her though she was very weak.

Early the next year they were gone; he on January 27, she three days later on January 30. They had just passed their 63rd wedding anniversary. They were buried in the Ottawa Indian Cemetery, near the site of the mission chapel and parsonage where in 1895 they had begun missionary service to the Indians.

They were "one in life, one in service, one in death."


Enclosed is a transcript from Earlham College concerning Grandfather's study in 1866 and 1868. This period of his life has been difficult to research. He was 16 years and eight months old when he began his studies in the "Preparatory Department" at Earlham. He attended two winter sessions for a total of nine months. When did he attend Bloomingdale Academy where he is believed to have met Abigail Chawner?  Was this before or after his time at Earlham?  The credits recorded in this record seem to have been elementary. His improved grades and skill with oral examinations should be noted.

Grandfather used to say his children had never seen his chin. There is no picture of him without his beard.

          The Haworth children:

          Flora, B 10-11-1870, D 7-7-1961, M Aldin Wood

          Homer, B 5-20-1872, D 10-8-1945, M Minnie Walton

(End of page 50)

         Charles, B 4-15-1874, D 5-24-1961 M (1) Orpha Hall (2) Bertha McCracken

         Alice, B 10-12-1877, D 6-27-1925 M Clarence Griffiths

         John, B 7-19-1882, D 12-24-1912 M May Van Dusen

At Shawnee Mission in Oklahoma, the grandparents had a team of ponies which they drove to visit the mission outposts. One was bay, the other white. They were called John and Charley for the younger sons.

Grandfather was a very determined person and was occasionally in disagreement with others. But grandmother knew how to quiet him. It was enough for her to say "now Perry".

In 1929 Grandmother was in a wheelchair and could walk but little. She wanted a pair of comfortable, loose slippers and gave William Perry instructions as to the size. Grandmother had very small feet for which she usually wore size 2 1/2 shoes and this was the size slipper he bought. Grand mother asked that they be exchanged for a larger size.  "But Abby, thee has never worn larger than size 2 1/2," was his contention, "and Thee never will."  Then Flora went to town and made the exchange.

We have copy of a congratulatory poem written by Charles for the Golden Weeding celebration December 29, 1919. It was dated at Holguin, Cuba, December 19, 1919. Also we have copy of a poem written for Grandmother's fiftieth birthday, June 4, 1899. Would any like to have copies of these?

[yes, the spelling is Weeding not Wedding][Charles???]

What was the date of the Grandparents visit to Cuba?

In September and October this year we were in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. We visited our son at Dayton, Ohio, researched for family at Wilmington and Earlham Colleges and Vermillion County, Illinois.

Do any of you know what became of Grandparent's wedding certificate?

Red or sandy hair was common in the Haworth family.  Grandfather's sister Julia and brother Samuel are known to have been "red-heads."  Perhaps there were others.

We will be sending some pictures with this letter. One is the wedding picture, the other is copied from old tin types-- date not known. We are certain you do not have copies of the above. Perhaps some have pictures taken at the Golden Wedding. If not, we can make them for you.

(End of page 51)


Children of Flora Haworth Wood

          Gerald H. Wood; , Wichita, KS

          Wm. A. Wood; Albuquerque, N.M. 

Children of  Homer Haworth

          Paul W. Haworth; Lay CO

          Faye Haworth Warner;  Boulder, Co. 

          Abbie Haworth Parish; Bloomfield, Iowa 

          Thelma Haworth Lepley; State College, Pa. 

Children of Charles Haworth

          Esther Haworth Speicher; Van Nuys, Ca. 

          Helen Fe Haworth Jones; Eugene, Or. 

          Alfred Haworth;  Calexico, Ca. 

Children of Alice Haworth Griffiths

          Howell Griffiths; Amarillo, Tx. 

          Tom Griffiths; Wichita, KS

          Gail Griffiths Schultz; Independence, Mo. 

Children of John Haworth

          Harold Ira Haworth; Norfolk, Va. 

          Clarence Haworth;  Bromley, Ky. 

(The following is the drawing from this page)     Tracing - Page 52 Insert

(End of page 52)

Page 53 is an attachment.  "Haworth Country"

Pages 54 & 55 are the first part of a series of letters from Chalkley Chawner.

PART VII of a narrative concerning the

 HAWORTH FAMILY and directed especially 

to the grandchildren of WILLIAM PERRY 


By Gerald and Helen Wood

(In 1845 Chalkley A. Chawner, the father of our grandmother, Abigail Chawner Haworth, went to England to claim his share of an estate. He was 26 years of age. The following letters were written to his wife Sarah, and his young family at their frontier home in Bartholomew County, Indiana.)

Liverpool Third day (TUES) 6th Mo. 3rd. My Dear Wife Last first day between meeting hours (10 in the morning & 6 in the evening) I wrote thee a letter giving a short sketch of our passage, & now I will sketch a little at the passingers &c. But in the first place I may remark that my health is quite good at present, I believe rather better than usual when at home; the weather is fine & the climate most beautiful. From an apprehension that I might run short of money if any bad luck should take place, & several other reasons more tedious than profitable to mention; I was induced to take passage in the second cabin of the ship in which I came, under the promise that I should be just as comfortable & free from exposure as the first cabin, except I would have to wait on myself. But when the ship came to finish loading, I saw the crowded state in which we were all placed in the second cabin, & tried to get my money back or a transfer to the cabin, which the agent refused unless I would forfeit half that I had paid. This I positively refused & told him I would stick to it as long as there was a button on my coat before I would forfeit anything. So I retained my place and found it verry diferent from what the tricky agents had promised me. The place was nasty, filthy & destitute of comfort in almost every sense of the word. The weather during the most of the voyage was as cold as our last winter except one or two of the coldest days , we had no chance of fire & almost no room for exercise even on the deck. So thou mayest infer that if it had not been for thy verry thoughtful & ever praise-worthy regard, in putting up my thick, clothes I would have been in a bad fix. I wore 2 flannel shirts, 2 pair flannel drawers, my thickest jams clothes, shirts & silk neck handkerchief & was sometimes too cold with my great coat on. But I believe I never suffered less from exposure in my life, it is true my head was often stoped up & sometimes ached a little but I had but one spell of severe headache, & I am glad to say it was a diferent kind from my old complaint, though perhaps it was equally sharp yet it seemed to be more in the bone & skin & not centered in the brain as usual. I was therefore much more able to get about & do for myself than when thou hast seen me have it.

(This is in the form and spelling of the original.)

(End of page 54)

(Continuation of letter of 8th Mo. 3rd.)                                                                                   Page 2

But I began to tell about the passengers & if I dont mind I shall forget it. But I was not the only one that the second cabin agents carried through a school of experience in which though fools we have learned well.

There were 37 or 8 passengers in second cabin & a small room on deck, besides some dozen or score of children, of different ages. In regard to these I will just remark, that I never want to see a wife of mine in second cabin of a ship, even without children. Among our passengers were Alexander Cameron, a young man from St. Joseph Co., Indiana, a native of Scotland going back to see his friends; George H. Beaumont of Cleveland, A native of London, also going back to see his friends; Thomas J. Higginbotham with his father in law John Lupton, aged near 89 from Missouri. The old man was a native of Yorkshire, England, he is now going back to try to recover money or rather notes & accounts he placed in the hands of a lawyer for collection some 20 years ago. They left this house (No. II Galton St.) this morning in company with G. H. Brammot, to go to Manchester.

Also in our company was one MeClelland from Fountain County Indiana, a native of Ireland going back to see his friends & trade some. Another by the name of Roberts a produce and liquor dealer of Cincinnati Ohio; one L. E. Gill of Philad. and another Dohan from the same place who expected to visit England, Ireland, Scotland, France and perhaps Switzerland and Italy, with a view of benefitting his health. Another was a woman and 2 children from Maison Indiana, a native near Liverpool having moved to America her husband died & she has now returned to her relations.

This narrative may be more tedious than interesting, I will therefore just say that they were made up of various countries, callings, principles & grades. The ship's crew consisted of a captain, first and second mates, a carpenter, one cook, two stewards, & a waiting boy, I think 18 sailors and 2 apprentices. I think there were 17 Or 18 cabin passingers besides a few children of these I knew but little for they seldom came among us. I am glad to inform thee that it was a general rule among us for each to endevour to make others as comfortable as himself or at least their principle associates of which all seemed to have some. My particular associates are placed first on my list. The first two were rather more desirable than the third on account of their religious profession, the one a Presbyterian & the other an Episcopalian. As to the third he was as kind to me as I could desire anyone to be & nothing could exceed the kindness he paid to the father in law & all the women in our department, but I am sorry to say that he was profane and basely vulgar. From his appearance towards me I think I may safely conclude that if I could consent to be protected by arms I should be nowhere safer than with Higginbotham, for I do believe that he would hazzard his own life to protect a friend or associate.


(End of page 55)

(Continuation of letter of 6th Mo. 3rd.)                                                                                                         Page 3

On the 9th a little SE of the N. F. Banks my hat was raised quite off my head by a blow of wind, as I walked the deck & carried over the bullwarks or railing, which was higher than my head, into the sea; but one of the cabin passengers soon had the kindness to give me an old one that served me quite well to Liverpool. Thy loving husband C. A. Chawner

(Written in the margins.)

It seems that I never saw a sheet of paper so easy filled before. I used to think I could tell a short story on one sheet, but now I can hardly begin one.

The Boston Steamers sail on the 4th and 19th of each month so after tomorrow I can send no more letters until the 19th. I have put in the office a large Liverpool paper that if thou gets it will give thee some idea of shipping here & markets in general. The landing of St. Patrick is reported in it.

Comment: Chalkley Chawner must have sailed on the St. Patrick from Boston and landed at Liverpool May 30 or 31. That would be at least three weeks after losing his hat off the Newfoundland Banks.

Comment: The above letter was folded, sealed with wax and without envelope, addressed to Sarah Chawner, Elizabeth Town, Bartholomew Co, Indiana, U. S. A. Pr. Steamer to Boston. Some years ago we visited the post office in Elizabeth Town - a quaint and very old building.

7th day eve., Liverpool 7th Mo. 19th, 1845 

No. II Golton St.                           

My Dear Sarah:

I have verry lately written thee a verry long letter but as the much talked of Great Britain steamer is expected to sail soon and thou seemed anxious to hear from me often; I thought I should write another & have it go by said steamer. And as my paper was so large & would weigh no more in two pieces than one I thought I would write it in too. My Aunt said she never saw so large a letter in her life as my last one was.

I left London yesterday morning came by the second class cars to Liverpool where I arrived about dusk. I have traveled in common since I have been here on the third class cars but could not get to the station in time yesterday.

On arriving at Liverpool I came down here to be near the ships but it is now evident that I shall not sail on the 21st because they cannot get the ship cleared today and the law will not allow them to sail on the same day they clear so they must clear second day & sail on third day. 


(End of page 56)

(Continuation of letter of 7th Mo. 19th)

I find there are but verry few ships that sail on the day they advertise but the regular packets are not detained long. I think the Laws of England if executed would compel the master of a ship to pay all expense of the passengers after the day they engaged to sail on.

I think I have as yet told thee verry little about my travels in England and if I dont mind I shall not find room in this. Perhaps I have told thee that I landed on the last day of the 5th month which was the verry day the Yearly Meeting of London broke up. But I cannot say that I sorry that I was not there for I do not know what more I could have done than I did to get there & it would be too much like scrupling Divine wisdom to sorrow over an impossibility.

But after staying a short time at Liverpool to get myself cleaned up and straightened I went down to Cheadle passing through the famed Staffordshire potteries which have raised several towns or rather a group of towns that stretch themselves for several miles along the road. An excursion through these potteries must be verry interesting to those who have time to pleasure. For here almost in one spot is manufactured not only the finest ware in the world but in quantities sufficintly large to supply almost the whole world.

I had the promise at Cheadle that my business should be settled soon but as it could not be just then I concluded to go on to London which I did after staying one day and night at Cheadle.

I reached London on the evening of the 7th of 6th Mo or rather in the night as it was near 12 oclock. The third class of cars have to wait at certain stations for the faster trains to pass by them which sometimes delays them verry late. Upon inquiry the next morning I found that it was about 5 miles to where my aunt lived, three perhaps to America Square & 2 or more to the nearest meeting of Friends. However I set out to search for one of the latter but failed finding one in time for the morning meeting. But after dinner I went to William Hughes of Scotts Yard to whom John Pease had directed me and went with him to the evening meeting at Grace Church Street where it is said George Fox preached his last sermon and-died verry near there. This meeting is now verry small perhaps owing to the fact that Friends do not like to stay in the heart of a crowded city and have therefore sought a residence in the subburbs and country.

On second day following I went to see Atwood and also my aunt but she not being at home I did not see her until the next day. Atwood seemed much surprised to find that I was so young & perhaps moreso on finding that I was married which he did not until I had been there several times perhaps because he like many others thought it useless to ask the boy such a question. 


(End of page 57)

(Continuation of letter of 7th Mo. 19th) ~

I have sometimes thought that I would be glad if I could look a little older until I could get home at any rate ( if there is anything about me that looks so verry young) for the people take me for so young a person that they treat me as a young person & expect me to go with the young people which renders an intimate acquaintance with the older class more difficult.

As soon as I could get fixed moved my lodgings to my aunts where I staid until I again returned to Cheadle expecting immediately to be able to settle my business but I was detained there about ten days & at last I saw nothing to do but what might have been done in one day. But after I got through I hastened to Liverpool hoping to get to see Dugan Clark & wife whom I had seen at Samuel Gurneys but they left about II oclock and I arrived at dusk the same day so it would seem that I am generally about one day behind the time.

This was 7th day the 5th of this Mo and after inquiring into the shipping and engaging a passage I returned to London in compliance with the earnest entreaties of my kind aunt. But I had but a little more than a week to stay & had many places to go to, besides I was anxious to stay as much time with my aunt as I could. So after visiting as many Friends as I conveniently could & also.some places of interest & settling my business with my much esteemed friend Atwood I bid them all adieu perhaps for the last time.

Hurried- - -? - - - - - as thou must see I have been throughout my whole visit to England it will be natural to conclude that I have learned but verry little about the general character of the people or the features of this highly cultivated country. A man traveling by Rail Road can learn but little more about the country than a blind man could to walk over it. I have tried to get a coach - -?- - too and from London but could find none the great Rail road sistim here has effectually stopped the myriads of coaches that used to traverse the whole country from side to side and to its remotest corners. But one consolation is that while it has cut short the observation and pleasure of the traveller they have added much to his speed, perhaps to his safety also & much less end the suffering of the poor horses.

In my usual health I am once more my dear wife permitted to subscribe myself thy friend and truly loving husband.

                                                                 C. A. Chawner

(Comments) The potteries in Staffordshire produce such well - - known lines as SPODE, WEDGEWOOD, COPELAND and MINTON.

The aunt in London was, of course, MARY CHAWNER WILLIAMS, widow of John Williams the pioneer missionary in the South Pacific to whom we referred in our Haworth family letter # 5. The next child born to Chalkley and Sarah Chawner was named MARY WILLIAMS CHAWNER as a namesake of this aunt.

(End of page 58)

Liverpool 7th Mo. 22nd 1845

My Dear Wife 

Last seventh day I expected to have time to fill this paper today but I have only time to tell thee that I am in my usual health, the ship is going to sail at 12 oclock & I have to - -?-- - I hope thou wilt have written to me at N. York before thee gets this for I shall be very glad to hear from you all when I land. Thou mayest keep the enclosed note & need let no one see it soon for if I get safe home it will be of no use but if I do not get home perhaps it will be of some service. I have never known the want of an education worse than since I left home so I do hope that if our little ones are left to thy care thou wilt attend close to their education. Most respectfully Thyne in great haste C. A. Chawner

P. S. Our friend John Pease landed safe here by last steamer.


enclosed with the above.

Please keep this thyself. 

My Dear wife

I have received three hundred and eighteen pounds and some over from the estate, which I thought in so much as it had turned out so bad that I would not claim any of it, one third of which according to the will, I am entitled to. I have received for the house 488 pounds which in all made 806 pounds but I have spent some for clothes & C and have some with me. Five hundred pounds is in the bank of Liverpool & 260 pounds left with Atwood so he can explain it all to you. If I should not get safe home you may divide my expense between you as you think right.



The potteries in Staffordshire produce such well known brands as Spode, Wedgewood, Copeland and Minton.

The aunt Chalkley Chawner visited in London was, of course, MARY CHAWNER WILLIAMS, widow of John Williams pioneer missionary in the South Pacific to whom we referred in our Haworth family narrative #5. The next child born, December 1846, to Chalkley and Sarah Chawner was named MARY WILLIAMS CHAWNER.

(End of page 59)

Return to William Perry Haworth Page   or go  To Page  60