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held in Jackson to plan for the prosecution of evangelistic work, it was decided that J. N. Loughborough and M. E. Cornell should travel together through the States of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana, holding meetings with the scattered companies of believers, the members of the company at Jackson bearing the expense of the trip.
In the spring of 1855, Elder and Mrs. White being again in Michigan, a conference was held in Battle Creek on the 29th of April, in the course of which the members in Michigan extended an invitation to Elder White to move the printing office from Rochester to Battle Creek. J. P. Kellogg, of Tyrone; Henry Lyon, who lived near Plymouth; and Cyrenius Smith, of Jackson, had all sold their farms in order to have money to spend for the cause they loved. These three, with Dan R. Palmer, of Jackson, now agreed to furnish $300 each, without interest, with which to purchase a lot and erect a publishing office. A lot was secured on the southeast corner of West Main and Washington Streets, and a two-story wooden building, 20 x 30 feet, was erected. About the same time the members of the company of believers in Battle Creek built a little meeting house, 18 x 20 feet, boarded up and down, and battened to keep out the wind and rain.
The first number of the Review published in a home of its own was dated Dec. 4, 1855, being the tenth number of Volume VII. The personnel was as follows:
Publishing Committee: Henry Lyon, Cyrenius Smith, D. R.
Resident Editor: Uriah Smith.
Corresponding Editors: J. N. Andrews, James White, J. H. Waggoner, R. F. Cottrell, and Stephen Pierce.
WE will go back a little in this chapter in order to trace the beginnings of the growing interest in the Middle West, which resulted in the removal of the Seventh-day Adventist publishing work to Battle Creek, Mich.
It was in the summer of 1849 that Joseph Bates first went to Michigan. He was devoting himself in those days chiefly to seeking out isolated believers in the advent movement of 1844, and acquainting them with the additional light which had sprung from the study of the Bible. It had been reported to him that in the village of Jackson, in southern Michigan, there was a company of about twenty such persons who held regular weekly meetings. To Jackson he accordingly went, and by making inquiries, found his way to the shop of one of the members, D. R. Palmer, who was a blacksmith. Standing in the door of the shop, he talked Bible truth as well as he could between the blows of the hammer, and that day and the next visited among the other members of the company. When he was able to get them together on Sunday, they all sat down with open Bibles and studied the views of Seventh-day Adventists.
Captain Bates left the following day at noon; but before he did so, Mr. Palmer took him with his horse and buggy three miles out into the country to the home of Cyrenius Smith, who had not attended the meeting on Sunday. The ground was gone over with him, and then the messenger went on his way to seek out other members of the scattered flock. Probably he little realized how much he had accomplished in the few days spent at Jackson. The members of the advent band there all accepted the Sabbath truth within the next three weeks, and some of them rendered valuable aid in the financial support of the cause while in its infancy. D. R. Palmer, the man who had had the Sabbath presented to him while working at his forge, was the first to take his stand.
During his stay in Jackson, Elder Bates heard of a family at Kingsbury, Ind., and one at Salem, Steuben Co., Ind., whom he determined to visit; but on praying over the matter, he felt strongly impressed that before leaving Michigan, he ought also to call at Battle Creek. This he accordingly did, and not knowing any one in the town, he went to the post office and asked to be directed to the home of the most honest man in Battle Creek. The postmaster directed him to David Hewitt, a Presbyterian, living on Van Buren Street in the West End.
Captain Bates walked at once to the home of Mr. Hewitt, to whom he said with characteristic directness: "I have been directed to you as the most honest man in Battle Creek; if this is so, I have some important truth to present to you."
The reply was, "Come in; I will hear it." Brother Bates entered the house, hung up his chart, and gave a brief but comprehensive survey of the principles of Seventh-day Adventism, dwelling especially on the Sabbath and the prophecies. Mr. Hewitt kept the next Sabbath.
In the spring of the following year, Elder and Mrs. White and J. N. Loughborough held a meeting at the house of Mr. Hewitt, attended by several Sabbath keepers from Bedford and the neighboring districts, as well as the few who had accepted the Adventist views in Battle Creek, numbering, with one unbeliever, fifteen. Elder White expressed himself as pleased with the little gathering, and added: "Brethren, if you are faithful to the work, God will yet raise up quite a company to observe the truth in Battle Creek." Little did any one then realize that within a few years Seventh-day Adventists to the number of twenty-five hundred would be living in the city, running the largest publishing house in the State, a well-equipped sanitarium, and a college.
Among those who listened to Joseph Bates' exposition of the prophecies and the Sabbath given on that memorable Sunday in Jackson, was M. E. Cornell, who was then visiting in the place. As soon as he had received the message himself, he started with his wife for Tyrone, where Henry Lyon, his fatherin-law, lived. Arriving in the neighborhood, he saw John P. Kellogg out in his field raking hay, and immediately alighted from his buggy, and went up to him and told him of the truth he had accepted. Others were approached in a similar way, and were favorably impressed, so that on the following Sabbath quite a company of believers gathered for divine worship.
During the next few years the seed planted by Joseph Bates continued to grow. Some of the most cheering letters in Present Truth and the early volumes of the Review and Herald are from Michigan. Among the early workers, aside from M. E. Cornell, were H. S. Case and C. P. Russell.
It was a great boon to the work in Michigan when Elder and Mrs. White visited the State in the summer of 1853, and labored in behalf of the believers. The meeting held at Jackson resulted, as we have seen in a previous chapter, in that church's sending J. N. Loughborough and M. E. Cornell on a mission to Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. These first laborers to be sent out at the expense of a Seventh-day Adventist church, drove in a private conveyance along the Grand River to Grand Haven, intending to take the steamer to Milwaukee. The vessel they boarded, however, took them to Chicago; they accordingly decided first to visit the believers in Illinois.
From Chicago they drove across the prairie to Alden, McHenry Co., Ill., holding meetings there for several days. Thence they traveled to Beloit, Janesville, Madison, and Koshkonong, Wis., finding a company of believers in the latter place. From there they went on to Packwaukee, Marquette County, the home of J. H. Waggoner, a pioneer in the Seventh-day Adventist work in Wisconsin. He was just then in another part of the State, however, and T. M. Steward, who had recently begun to labor, undertook to find him. Later other points farther south in Wisconsin were visited, Elders Loughborough and Cornell returning to Michigan the last of September, after an absence of three months.
It does not appear that they visited Indiana on this trip. Elder Loughborough soon afterward returned to Rochester, N. Y., leaving that city some weeks later for Ohio, where he labored in Huron and Seneca Counties till the month of May, 1854. He closed his labors in Ohio with a general meeting of