- The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Building of Twelfth Street Meeting House, Philadelphia, PA.
- Bulletin of Friends' Historical Society of Philadelphia
- Friends Historical Association
- Volume 5, Number 1, Fourth Month (April) 1913
- pp. 22-24
- View Citation
- Additional Information
22BULLETIN OF FRIENDS' HISTORICAL SOCIETY. The "Selected Friends" are as follows: William Hanbury AggsGeorge Lloyd Hodgkin Edward BackhouseAlfred John King Alfred BrooksGerald B. Lloyd Edward Cadbury James Doyle Penrose Roger ClarkAlbert Leopold Reckitt William Waterhouse GibbinsErnest William Rowntree Wilfred GraceAllan Tangye Thomas Edmund Harvey, M. P.Anthony Wallis THE ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BUILDING OF TWELFTH STREET MEETING HOUSE, PHILADELPHIA, PA. William S. Yarnall. The finger of time was directed last year with peculiar significance toward the little white stone in the Eastern gable of Twelfth Street Meeting House arid its long familiar date, 1812. To the communicants of many cathedrals in the old world one hundred years would appear "as a hand breadth," but to the members of Western District Monthly Meeting, a Centennial Anniversary seemed an occasion worthy of especial honor. A Monthly Meeting held early in the year directed ample provision for furthering the plan of its Committee, and so it was that a quiet celebration took place Tenth Month 26th, 1912. Interested Friends from far and near were bidden, in number about 1200. Accompanying each invitation was a souvenir sketch by Joseph Pennell representing Twelfth Street Meeting House in its Centennial year. Only fancy can picture this mute sentinel in almost suburban peacefulness and quiet as its doors were thrown open to its earliest worshipful assemblies. To many of us, perhaps, the only connecting memory is of the splendid elm tree, which, itself a scion of the "Treaty Elm," spread its graceful proportions over the South Entrance through THE ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY.23 •many decades, and but lately succumbed to the inevitable march of time. But whatever other changes time may have wrought there was abundant evidence on that radiant Autumn afternoon that the children of Twelfth Street Meeting still arise to proclaim her blessedness. Some six hundred persons were assembled when at 4 p.m. the first session was opened by the reading of Ephesians III. 14-21. After some introductory remarks by the Chairman of the Committee, a short history of the Meeting was read by Mary M. Vaux. The old Meeting House at Second and Market having gone into disuse after the building of the Meeting House at Fourth and Arch Streets, the site was sold and a part of the proceeds applied to the purchase of the lot and the building of the "Meeting House on Twelfth Street." Some of the wood work of the old Meeting House was used in the new building. A small account book containing receipts for sums paid for "masonry, carpenter work, iron-mongery," etc., during construction, was presented to the Monthly Meeting during the preparation of the Centennial. It contains many interesting signatures of Friends of 1812. The building committee, represented by James Cruikshank , Thomas Stewardson and John Evans, reported under date of Eleventh Month 23d, 1812, " that a Meeting House has been erected on Twelfth Street between Market and Chestnut Sts." The first Monthly Meeting was held Third Month 16th, 1814, with a membership of three hundred and twenty-six. It was a matter of great interest to hear from Joshua L. Baily some reminiscences of Friends who have been more or less prominent since the establishment of the meeting. His membership was transferred, with that of his widowed mother, from Philadelphia Monthly Meeting in 1832. This brief report permits only the mention of the names of a few Friends whose personalities were revived by his vivid recollection, such as Thomas and Mary Wistar, Ellis and Mary Yarnall, Benjamin and Jane Johnson; of the valiant services of some in times of plague, etc. ; of the faithful labors of Samuel Bettle, William U. Ditzler and John H. Dillingham. The recalling of these names and many more opened the 24BULLETIN OF FRIENDS' HISTORICAL SOCIETY. way for much pleasant intercourse during the social time which followed this paper. In the Committee Room, beneath the great historic beams in the supper room and in a tent in the north yard, groups of people entered into the spirit of the celebration as they together "broke bread" around a bountiful table, Joel Cadbury read the iooth Psalm at the opening of the evening meeting; after which Amelia Mott Gummere presented...