Churches: History of German Baptists in Tippecanoe County, IN
Compiled by George E. Howard
Much of the information was given by Elder Jacob Skiles of the Pyrmont German
Baptist Brethren Church.
The German Baptist Brethren Church originated in Swartzenau, on the Oder, in
Germany in 1708. The founder was Alexander Mack. Its members are opposed to
taking oaths, going to war and attempt to settle differences among themselves
without going to court.
Due to religious persecution, the Brethren moved to other localities in Germany
and Switzerland. The unfriendly feeling of their neighbors brought about emigration
to America in 1719. Landing in Germantown, Pennsylvania, they moved westward and
southward in Virginia. Their original house of worship in Germantown is still in
The followers of this religious faith are plain-living and devout.
Due to influence of other Christian bodies, liberal changes gradually took place
among the Brethren. This caused a three-way split in their church in 1881. The
Old Order withdrew because of this relaxation and took with them the old name,
German Baptist Brethren. They continued the old customs of plain dress and strict
discipline. Communion is taken but once a year at night after the communicants
have washed one another's feet. The middle and larger group, known as
"Conservatives" is named, "Church of the Brethren". The only church of this
faith in Perry Township is the Fairview Church of the Brethren located in Section
11. The third group, "The Brethren Church," is not represented in this area.
Before 1827 many German Baptist Brethren families from Ohio and Pennsylvania had
settled along the western side of Carroll County. In 1827 David Ulery and John
Shively from Montgomery County, Ohio, settled in Section 11 of Perry Township
along the North Fork of the Wild Cat Creek. These two families with others from
Carroll County organized the first congregation of German Baptist Brethren at
Pyrmont in Carroll County. This congregation became so large that plans were
made to establish the congregation at Fairview Church in Perry Township in 1872
and Middle Fork in Clinton County.
The Ulery and Shively families united with the Fairview Church. A son of David
Ulery, Samuel Ulery, became an Elder and served Fairview Church many years.
As usual, death took David Ulery and John Shively. Members of their families are
buried in the Old German Baptist Brethren Burial Ground little more than a mile
north of Fairview Church on the farm presently owned by Dick Peters (1961). It
is said that there are eighteen graves in this little, neglected and unknown
Fairview Church had fifty-seven members in 1872. In 1878 the number had increased
to one hundred twenty-three.
During the first half of this century this church was ably served by Rev. John Root
whose family were early settlers. This was the period when pastors were chosen from
among the congregation. At present (1961) the church employs paid ministers.
Old German Baptist Brethren Burial Ground (sometimes called Ulery Cemetery)
Located in the south half, NE 1/4 section 11, Perry Township, Tippecanoe County on the farm presently (1961) owned by Dick Peters.
Samuel Ulery, d. Oct. 8, 1843; age 81y. 7m. 15 d.
Susan Ulery, d. Sept. 13, 1845
Christian Replogle, d. Dec. 13, 1854
Barbara Replogle, d. April 18, 1843; age 13 y.
Benjamin Ulery, d. 1845
Elizabeth Ulery, d. 1844
Infant Ulery, d. 1844
David Shively, son of J. & E. Shively, d. Jan. 13, 1846
Susannah Dums, wife of Henry Dums, d. Jan. 1846; age 19 y.
Susannah Dums, daughter of H. & S. Dums, d. August 24, 1847; age 1 y. 8m.