“Easter in 1895”

Carroll County Times article for 16 April 1995

by Jay A. Graybeal

A century ago Easter services were celebrated in local churches throughout the county. The following articles from the April 27, 1895 issue of the Westminster American Sentinel describe Easter services in Carrollton, Hampstead and New Windsor.

An interesting Easter service was held at Thomas Chapel last Sunday night under the auspices of the Epworth League of that Church. The exercises consisted of Bible readings, music, recitations, concert exercises by the children, select readings and an address by the pastor, Rev. C. E. Dudrear. The chancel was decorated with potted plants. A large and appreciative audience was in attendance. Mr. Samuel T. Hutchens is president of the league, and Miss Blanche Baer is organist. The Sunday School has been recently reorganized and its work began with much promise.
Appropriate Easter services were conducted at several of the churches in Hampstead and vicinity. A sunrise prayer meeting greeted the opening of the day at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. A large audience assembled in the evening to listen to an Easter entertainment given by the Sunday School. The children deserve praise for the creditable manner in which they performed their part of the program. An address by the pastor was followed by a very enjoyable talk by Mr. Otia Meade, of the Episcopal Theological Seminary, Virginia. At the Methodist Episcopal Church Rev. J. B. Hall addressed the Epworth League on the subject of The Resurrection. A large number of Hampstead people attended the special services at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Arcadia, in the morning.

On Easter Monday night a very instructive and pleasant entertainment was given by the children of the M. E. Sunday School of New Windsor, assisted by the older ones. The program was announced by the worthy superintendent, Mr. G. P. B. Englar, as follows: Singing by the school, which was exceptionally good; prayer by Mr. Earnest Stouffer; opening anthem, There’ll be joy by and by, which was enjoyed by all; a fine oration, by Mr. Edgar Nusbaum; a beautiful quartette, The beautiful country, by Misses A. C. Engel, Addie Baile, Messrs. Ed. Devilbiss and Edgar Nusbaum; recitation, Easter, by Miss Clara Brown; Eastertide, by five little boys, was good; What is Easter any way? by five little girls, brought loud applause; recitation, Easter and Calvary, by Goldy Bloom, was beautifully rendered; Easter comes in spring, by eleven children, was very interesting; solo, by Mrs. Heltibridle, Christ Knows, was appreciated by all; recitation, by Stirling Geatty, Voice across the tide, good; solo by Miss Ida Diffenbaugh, Unanswered, was encored; Christ can help in time of trouble, Miss Daisy Coleman; quartette, by Mr. and Mrs. G. Hiltibridle, Messrs. Howard Englar, and Chas. Fowler, Come where the lillies bloom, brought down the house; a cantata, Dream of Fairy land, was beautifully rendered by Elsie and Charlie Harman as orphans, with Misses Lamore Bankard, Rena Bloom, Edna Snader, Cora Devilbiss, Birdie Hare, Winnie Wampler as the good fairies, and Misses Winnie Wampler, Edith Wood, Cora Haines, Emma Crawford, Grace Yingling and Lula Chilcoath as evil fairies. The entertainment was a decided success. Mrs. John T. Smelser was chairman of the literary committee and Mrs. S. L. Bankard of the decoration committee. Miss Amelia C. Engel was chorister, Mrs. G. Hiltibridle organist and Mr. Ed. Devilbiss cornetist. The receipts were $21 and were for the benefit of the fund for the new Carpenter organ purchased by the school.

As the articles reveal, Easter was community event in the small towns throughout the county. The Manchester correspondent noted that his town “was in its holiday dress” and that the community was “lulled into the usual quiet of everyday life” following the holiday.
Photo caption: St. Marks Lutheran Church, Hampstead as it appeared in a 1905 photograph by J. W. Baldwin. Historical Society of Carroll County Copy Photograph Collection, gift of J. Robert Everhart, 1984.