George R and Mary C (McFarlen) Hixson
Submitted by Tom Hickson
Reprinted with permission
Mary C. Hixson was born in Virginia, 73 years ago. She became a member of the church at the age of fifteen. She was united in marriage to George R. Hixson on May 30, 1875, in Dysart, Iowa.
The Hixons have been residents of Chewelah, Washington for twenty-seven years. During all these years they never missed attending the Mt. Hope Church, four miles north of Chewelah if it was possible for them to go. When they first came to this country they were among the first to help start a Sunday School. It was not uncommon for them to walk to church and back twice in one day. The was no small undertaking on their part and surely must have required lots of courage and zeal for the Master's work. In later years they drove a team and regardless of weather they were usually found at the Mt. Hope Church on Sunday.
During the last year Sister Hixson's health was quite poorly and she was not able to attend every Sunday, but as long as she was able to be out of bed and had some way to get to church she would be found attending the services.
In November, of 1928, Sister Hixson's health became worse and she was compelled to remain at home and was confined to her bed. Although she received medical attention she did not recover and was taken to the hospital at Colville, Washington, in December. After weeks of intense suffering, Sister Hixson passed to the "Land Beyond the River," on December 22, 1928.
Sister Hixson was well-known to almost every person in the surrounding country. Her religion was one of deeds rather than words. She never missed an opportunity of service to her neighbors. If wealth could be stated in terms of personal sacrifice and loving service her name would be found at the head of the list.
We surely miss her cheerful smiling face from our midst at the Mt. Hope Church and she will always be remembered as one of our oldest and most steadfast members.
There is a mutual feeling among all of her friends, that if we can but live as she did during her life, that we will not have lived in vain. Her life was a wonderful example of faith to us and we can truly and gladly say she "fought a good fight and she kept the faith."
(Written June 18, 1936 by Pearl Hixson Boyd as she waited by her father's bed)
Written by Pearl H. Boyd June 4, 1936 as she sat with her father.
G. R. Hixson
G. R. Hixson, 81, Chewelah's grand old man, passed away Saturday at Sunnyside, Washington. Funeral services were held at Sunnyside Wednesday, at 10:00 a.m., with the Rev. B. J. Fike officiating. The body was then brought by funeral coach to Chewelah where services were held from the M. E. church this morning with the Rev. J. O. Streeter and Rev. S. Clapper in charge. He was laid to rest at the local cemetery near his companion of almost 54 years.
Mr. Hixson had been in good health until January of this year when he suffered an attack of flu, from which he later had a relapse which effected his heart. He had made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Chester Boyd, during the past five years, where he had taken much pride in his chores about the place.
A man of splendid physique, six feet seven and one-half inches tall, with flowing white beard, and saintly character, and stronger at 75 than most men at 50 years, he was a familiar figure here for many years. He will be long remembered for his many benefactions, although he possessed no great wealth. During the flu epidemic of 1918 when help was at a premium he rendered first aid at wood pile and chores for many stricken families. His wife assisted with the nursing wherever it was possible.
Born in Ohio, he resided in Iowa before taking up a
homestead five miles north of
The couple moved to Chewelah in 1909, purchasing the lots and building their home on Colville avenue during the winter of that same year. The resided there until the death of Mrs. Hixson seven and one half years ago.
Mr. Hixson had served as school director in the Cozy Nook district and also as a member of the Chewelah high school board. He was trustee of the Mount Hope Church of the Brethren.
Two children survive: T. L. Hixson, Bluecreek, and Mrs. Chester Boyd, Sunnyside, Wash.; also ten grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Written by Pearl Boyd for a Memorial Seervice at Mt. Hope Church.
In 1901 because of health our family (then living in Hancock County, Iowa) consisted of father, mother, Lew and myself and Grandma Aschenbrenner, came west, hoping that all would profit as to health--which we did. Uncle Christ Aschenbrenner then lived with his family in Spokane, so we made our first home in the West in Spokane from the latter part of April 1901 until the first part of December the same year. We then moved to the old Osborne place at Chewelah which we had purchased and which remained our home until the late summer of 1909. Grandmother had passed away in May of the same year. Father sold out to Lew and Ada Hixson, who were married in July 1904 and we moved to town where my folks had their home until Dec. 1928 when mother passed away.
While in Spokane we had taken many trips with team and wagon and on one of these trips our peculiar dress was the means of finding other Brethren, the Metcalf family who were then living at Medical Lake, Wn. After leaving Spokane we kept up a correspondence and in May of June of 1902 Brother and Sister Metcalf with Leona and Ruby came to visit us. We had a happy time together. They later made arrangements to purchase the Dave Wooley place joining us and took possession in July 1902.
There was no regular religious service nearer that Chewelah, and the community felt the lack--whether catholic or Protestant. Several expressed a desire that there might be some organized effort--union if need be.
After Brother Metcalf's family came we ratherfelt that now such a thing was possible as few of the others felt they'd really care to be identified with the work. About that time Mother noticed an offer in "The Messenger" for 6 months supplies free to newly organized Sunday Schools. The two families took it upon themselves to check the sentiment of the neighborhood and appoint a day and hour for organization. Sunday School was to be known as the Chewelah Creek Union Sunday School. If I remember rightly the first superintendent was Brother J. H. Metcalf, Brethren and the assistant was Mr. Turner Hawk--Seven day Adventist, both now deceased. Brother Metcalf you all knew for his faithful efforts. Mr. Hawk was the father of a goodsized family and an efficient worker. I want to mention that during the time they remained in the community they were among the regular attendants and supporters of the S. S., though they also kept their Sabbath. This was fall of 1902.
The denominations most interested in the original organization were Adventists Catholics (though most of them were never very active) Sweedenborgans and Brethren or Dunkards as most everyone called us.
From the beginning it was an Evergreen Sunday School. Our Attendance wasn't always what it might have been, but was self-supporting from the first, even to purchasing our songbooks, the first of which were Gospel Songs and Hymns # 1-- "Board covers" At first we held our S. S. in the evening and later changed to the A.M. as the young folks urged a meeting for evening if only to sing. The young people's evening service was organized some time before Brother Clapper came in 1903. In the meantime Uncle Emmert McFarlen and family had moved in (spring of 1902) and bought my father's relinquishment. That year we built our barn. Uncle Emmert was the carpenter. Not long after it was completed Brother Stiverson and some other Brother (perhaps Bro. D. M. Click) came visiting and we had our first "Love Feast" there in 1904. They anointed Grandmother that night at a very impressive service--she'd been an invalid since June 1900 and had recently suffered another stroke.
During the years different ministers remembered our isolation (as mother kept in touch with the outside by correspondence in the Messenger) and visited us. Almost always we contrived to have a sermon or two at some home or the school house. Lew Hixson used to get onto a horse and notify the country side.
I like to tell of the splendid sacrifice of Bro. J. Harmon Stover, now gone to his reward, who never failed to call on us even though his trip was unexpected. He'd walk up the old road around by the Horse-Shoe bend with all it's long windings. It was the only road we had for some time and the better one for several years. Even though dead tired Brother Stover game is a sermon. Also Bro. D. B. Eby, now located at Olympia--then living at Sunnyside. When Bro. Stiverson, Bro. Click and others.
We were all but overjoyed at the coming of the Clapper family and from that time on there was a steady gain for some years.
We often talked church house--called meeting made plans--had many offers of building location and material but somehow they all fell through. In Jan. 1906 we lost our house and belongings by fire and found refuge with Bro. Metcalf's and learned to know how much our neighbors would sacrifice for one of their number. It was a wonderful experience, and I'm still thrilled to think how they shared bedding, utensils and anything and everything that we might enjoy a home again. Joe Hartill furnished a lot of our dimension stuff--carpenters and friends gave time in work on the place, etc., etc.
That same month and year Bro. Streeters came to call Chewelah home, becoming a decided help to our group from the church standpoint as well as the social.
Sept. 8, 1910 they organized the Mt. Hope Church at our house. Bro. D. M. Click of Tekoa was Elder at that time in the Spokane Church were our group had its membership until then, so he was acting elder that day. There was a love feast in our barn that evening and two services at the School house next day (Sunday) At the Sunday evening services when the invitation was given Cora Clapper and I made our decision for Christ.
Since Bro. and Sister Streeter and family were leaving for the East on Monday following the love feast Bro. Click stayed over until the afternoon train and baptized Cora and me in the Colville River below Chewelah, near the bridge--before the river was dredged, It was a beautiful spot.
Uncle Billy Nussbaum conducted singing school (Jan. Feb. Mar. 1906)
We were so very happy the day our little church was dedicated - just to know that our long years of ambition were at last realized and it was free from debt. Bro. Amos B. Peters who was then our Elder... had preached many dedicatory sermons and said that was the only time he'd had the pleasure of knowing there were no debts.
Sometime after the church was organized and church house built the S.S. was reorganized as a Brethren S.S.--with the unanimous consent of the community.
~ Transcribed by MaryAlice Schwanke.