1833 – 1835: Fraser, Rev. William James

“He was very strenuous in his opinions, and several times the subject of ecclesiastical discipline.”

Pennsylvania (1799 – 1826)
1799 – born in northern PA
1822 – Aug – at meeting of board of Jefferson College, was one of 6 students charged with calumny and slander of the College’s President William McMillan (see below; ref: Banners in the Wilderness)
1822 – A.B. degree granted in September from Jefferson College, PA; studied theology under Dr. John Anderson
1823 – married Ruth Parker
1824 – received as candidate in Presbytery of Washington (PA) in April, licensed in Oct, then transferred to Presbytery of Ohio in Dec
1824 – Birth of son David Veach Fraser
1825 – stated supply in Washington Presbytery
1825 – Oct. Birth of dau. Rebecca Jane Fraser
1826 – A. M. at Jefferson College, PA
1825-1826 – served White Oak Flats Presbyterian Church (later renamed Mt. Carmel) in Ohio Presbytery (later Beaver Presbytery) in Aliquippa, Beaver County, PA (“Two pastors served the [White Oak Flats] church between 1825 and 1829, the Reverends William J. Fraser and Robert Rutherford. Religion was at a very low state during those years and many parishioners left the church.”)
1825 – 1828 –  served Hopewell Presbyterian Church (“In April, 1825, Wm. J. Frazier was ordained and installed pastor of Hopewell and White Oak Flats.  Having resigned the Flats in 1826, he remained pastor of Hopewell alone till October, 1828, when he resigned.”)

Ohio (1827 – 1830)
1827 – Missionary appointment to Illinois for 6 months by General Assembly in a circuit to be selected by him with advisement from ministers in that region (GA Minutes 1826-1827)
1828 – 1830: stated supply at Springfield, Clark Co, OH from 21 Dec. 1828- 27 Feb. 1830
1828 – Commissioned as missionary to Illinois (Gillett, 1864)
1829 – Nov 27; Birth of daughter Eliza Ann
1830 – GA Minutes – Miami presbytery, PO Springfield OH, Charleston, Virginia Church
1830 – Jan. Wrote letter from Springfield OH to Philadelphia Board of Missions about an illness of three weeks and his work in Ohio on behalf of the Board; appointed missionary for the Board in Synod of Cincinnati
1830 – Mar. Letter reporting his travels of 510 miles visiting many churches in Ohio.
1830 –Apr. Another letter reporting his work on behalf of the Board of Missions in the Presbytery of Oxford.

Jacksonville, Illinois (1830-1832)

1830 – from Miami Presbytery to Illinois Presbytery (Norton, 1879) and Morgan Co, IL
1830 – Stated Supply at Providence Church, Jacksonville, IL (GA Minutes) (Gillett, 1864)
1830 – Stated supply pastor at Union Church, Jacksonville, IL (10 miles south of), 35 communicants; (General Assembly notes)
1830 – first regular pastor at Zion Church, Cass County, IL (formed 1830 by Rev. J.M. Ellis)

1831 – 18 Feb – Land purchases in Sec 31 of T17N R9W in Cass Co, IL (adjacent to Morgan Co).
1831 – Mar 31 Illinois Presbytery at J’ville; Wm. J. Fraser rec’d from Miami Presbytery
1831 – May. Reported that he was elected to the Board of Education at the recent meeting of General Assembly.
1831 – June. Appointed by Philadelphia Board of Missions to Providence, Beardstown, and Jersey Prairie (near Jacksonville, in Morgan & Cass Counties, IL)
1831 – present for Illinois Presbytery meeting in Carrollton July 23 & Providence Sept 8
1831 – Illinois Presbytery. “From a minute of the Illinois Presbytery, furnished by the Rev. J. M. Ellis, we learn that the Rev. Mssrs. Ellis, Frazer, Sturtevant and Watson have been appointed a Committee to correspond with this society.” (Home missionary and American pastor’s journal, (1831) American Home Missionary Society, Vol. 4 No. 5 p. 91). the same committee was appointed to correspond with the Philadelphia Board of Missions. (Green , 1831) Ellis, Sturtevant & Watson were connected with AHMS; Fraser was connected with PBM
1831 – Oct 2, organized Union Church, Morgan County with J.M. Ellis & Elder James Kerr;
1831 – Oct. sent letter to Board of Missions about Union & Providence churches (Green, 1831)
1831-1832: minister at Union Church, Morgan County (used tokens; later called Unity)

1832 – Mar 26 – Land purchase in Sec 35 of T17N R10W of Cass Co (adjacent to Morgan Co.); Jacob Lowrance, elder at Zion Church owned land in same section.
1832 – served at Greenville Church (Shoal Creek Church had just merged in) in Bond Co.
1832 – Birth of daughter Mary F.
1832 – present for Mar 29 Illinois Presbytery at J’ville (at the Sept 6 mtg at Carrollton, Macomb church which was organized 9 Jun 1832 was rec’d); Fraser was named member of committee of Synod of Illinois in 1832 to determine boundaries of two new presbyteries (Schuyler Presbytery was founded in 1833 from this committee’s work)
1832 – Oct 10 and Dec 19-26 meetings of Presbytery; business appertained to troubles in Union church & difficulties between a portion of its Session and Rev. Wm J. Fraser, who was at that time their supply; Fraser appealed Presbytery’s decision to Synod.

Macomb, Illinois (1833-1840)
1832 – Oct 20, sued by John L. Russell (Russell frequently delivered subpoenas for court cases); case dismissed but Fraser paid all court costs.
1832 – Winter (into 1833) – took in 4 students who left Jacksonville Academy; 3 went to South Hanover College, Indiana as ministry candidates.

1833 – Feb 26 – received anonymous letter; sent copy to John Flavel Brooks who was named in the letter, (member of Yale Band)
1833 – Mar 9 – letter published by Brooks in the Illinois Herald newspaper; soon after Fraser received a summons to appear before Presbytery on 23 Apr 1833 of slander.
1833 – Mar 28 – Presbytery of Illinois met at house of Rev. Wm J. Fraser; Fraser presented charges of unsound teachings against Edward Beecher, J.M. Sturtevant & Wm Kirby; charges of slander were preferred against William J. Fraser for publishing in the Illinois Herald of March 9, 1833 an article highly injurious to the character of Beecher, Sturtevant and Kirby. Both cases issued at an adjourned meeting in J’ville 23 Apr 1833. Charges of unsound doctrine against 3 were not sustained, but charges of slander against Mr. Fraser were & he was suspended from functions of the ministry. In both cases, he gave notice of appeal to Synod.
1833 – Apr 29. Letter of support for Fraser signed by elders of Providence & Union Churches (Jacob Lowrance, Samuel Montgomery, James Craig, David Craig, and Charles Ray)
1833 – May 17. Published from Jacksonville: “Facts in reference to suspension…”
1833 – May 30; purchased 160 acres in northwest part & 160 acres in western Jacksonville, Illinois (Sections 17 & 20 of T15N, R9W)
1833 – Sept 17 Presbytery of Illinois met at Pisgah Church; in meantime Wm J. Fraser, had published a pamphlet entitled “Facts in reference to suspension of Rev. Wm. J. Fraser from the office of the gospel of ministry.”  Presbytery prepared a statement concerning this pamphlet to be laid before Synod.
1833-1836: per McDonough Co history, was stated supply for county & Macomb when Stewart was called as pastor (Stewart was transferred to Schuyler presbytery in 1837 and installed in Macomb in 1838; The 1836 Minutes of GA list Rev. Robert B. Dobbins as a missionary at Macomb, with 100 communicants & Macomb’s pastorate vacant, Fraser at Macomb PO without a call, & Stewart still at Vandalia)
1833 – Sept 19 Synod convened at J’ville; 24 ministers & 15 elders; appeal for Fraser’s sentence, suspending him, was sustained and sentence removed; other appeals from actions were withdrawn
1833 –  Sept 26. Sold land in Cass Co. (Sec 35 T17N R10W and Sec 31 T17N R9W)
1833 – Oct. Purchased rights of a settler on Sec 29 of Macomb Township, McDonough Co, IL which he leased to a tenant; they cultivated about 1 acre of wheat.

1834 – Birth of son Charles H. Fraser
1834 – Jan. Settled w/his family on the property in Sec 29 Macomb Twp.
1834 – Mar 13 officiated marriage of L H Robinson and A W Damron in McDonough Co, IL
1834 – May. Moved to an adjacent section for better home site; rented site in Sec 29 to a tenant.
1834 – Aug. Participated in the search for the “Lost Child” Willie Palmer, north of Macomb (Clarke, 1878, pp. -45)
1834 – Sept 2 – sued in McDonough County, IL Circuit Court for slander by James M. Campbell; suit was dismissed & Fraser recovered costs from Campbell.
1834 – Sept 4 – purchased 80 acres on the east side of Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL (Sec 21, T15N R9W)
1834 – Sept 25 – Illinois Presbytery in Carrollton, Fraser requested dismissal to Presbytery of Schuyler, request together w/long papers connected was referred to Synod for advice & decision.
1834 – Oct 8 officiated marriage of Wiley McFadin & Nancy McFadden in McDonough Co, IL
1834 – Oct 16 – Synod of Illinois at Springfield. Slavery question addressed (“Act and Testimony” – 8 in favor, 26 against). Wm J Fraser presented & read a communication from himself renouncing jurisdiction of the Presbyterian Church; Synod, while pronouncing his communication irregular, accepted, declared themselves no longer responsible for his personal or official acts.
1834 – Oct 21& 23 marriages of Beagles – Stapp &  Ratekin – Cannon in McDonough Co, IL
1834 – Nov 6 – John Wilson was shot & killed at McFadins; John’s sister was a church member; Fraser had officiated a McFadin marriage a month earlier
1834 – Nov 20 – officiated marriage of Nelson Montgomery & Cynthia Walker

1835 – May, sued out-of-state owners for title to land in Macomb (in Sec. 32 of T6N R2W)
1835 – May, went to Quincy Land Office in an attempt to purchase through pre-emption land in Sec 29 of Macomb Township (T6N R2W).
1835 – June term of Schuyler County criminal court; witness at McFadin trial; Rev. Alexander Blaikie who was passing through Rushville on June 3, met Fraser and some of his people who were witnesses at the trial. Blaikie also spoke with Fraser’s elder who informed him that Fraser was one of just four Old School Presbyterians in Illinois north of Vandalia. (Blaikie, 1835)
1835 – July 6 – McFadins hanged at Rushville for murder of John Wilson
1835 – Sep 24 – officiated at marriage of Updegraff-Brooking in McDonough County
1835 – Oct 7 Meeting of Schuyler Presbytery: “Whereas one of our churches, to wit, Macomb, has placed itself under the ministry of William J. Fraser, who has declared himself no longer a member of or amenable to any presbytery of the Presbyterian Church, Presbytery asks advice of Synod in this matter.”

1836 – Jan 12 – charter for McDonough College signed by Governor; trustees held first meeting at Fraser’s home and he was elected President
1836 – Jan 25 –  Sold land in Cass Co (Sec 31 of T17N R9W0
1836 – Jan 27 – officiated marriage in McDonough County
1836 – Kaskaskia Presbytery Spring session in Jefferson County. Reception of Wm J Frazer, who had previously withdrawn from the Presbyterian Church
1836 – report of General Assembly: without charge at Macomb PO in Kaskaskia Presbytery; Macomb church listed as vacant, with Rev. Robert Dobbins as missionary
1836 – Apr 19 – officiated marriage in McDonough County
1836 – Oct 20 — Synod of Illinois at Alton. Case of Wm J Fraser, who had been rec’d by Presbytery of Kaskaskia, came before Synod & this resolution passed: “That Presbytery of Kaskaskia be and hereby required at next meeting of Synod to produce their records in case, until then Synod does not recognize Wm. J. Fraser as Presbyterian minister, nor at all, until they should have good reasons to withdraw their disapprobation of the manner of his renouncing our connection and his positive withdrawal from the Presbyterian Church.” Notice of complaint to the Assembly was given by John Brich (d. 1837, org 1st church at J’ville), B. F. Spilman (attended Jefferson College 1817-1821), John Mathews, Alexander Ewing (Princeton, 1828), John N. Moore, William White, Hervey McClung, William K. Stewart, and James Stafford (b. NC, moved to OH because NC legislature made it “illegal to teach a negro to read”) [another ref suggests these are all O.S. folks]
1836 – Dec 1 – officiated marriage of Henton-Allison in McDonough County

1837 – Mar 17, presbytery of Kaskaskia. Wm J Fraser dismissed to Schuyler Presbytery.
1837 – April 11. Mr. Fraser was denied admission to Schuyler Presbytery at meeting in Macomb.
1837 – Sept 30. Joined several residents of Macomb Township, McDonough County, Illinois in an appeal to the U.S. Congress for acceptance of their rights for improving land with expectation of pre-emption acknowledgement.  Others who filed were: Levi Hamilton, Robert Grant, Elisha Fargusson, Elijah Fargusson, Thomas A. Brooking, Joseph P. Updegraff, James R. Simpson, Edmund F. Murray, Henry Frizell, Demosthenes R. Hamilton, William W. Bailey, Francis W. Simpson, Lawson H. Robinson, Cyrus Haynes and Thomas B. Grant
1837 – Oct 3, filed case against Benjamin Thompson in McDonough Circuit Court
1837 – Oct 19, Synod of Illinois. The harassing case of Wm J. Fraser was settled by (1) “that the presbytery of Kaskaskia acted discourteously and unconstitutionally by receiving Wm J Fraser without recommendation from the Presbytery of Illinois and leave granted by Synod of Illinois. (2) That the said Frazer cannot obtain a seat in the Presbyterian church except through the Presbytery of Illinois, with letter granted by Synod of Illinois.” Case appealed to Assembly.
1837 – report of General Assembly: without charge at Macomb PO in Kaskaskia Presbytery; Macomb church listed with Rev. William K. Stewart as stated supply Kaskaskia Presbytery and Schuyler Presbytery
1837 – Fraser attempted to get up another org. in Macomb but it failed in a year or so

1838 — Assembly: “While the Assembly cannot refrain from expressing their deep concern at the spirit which has been exhibited, in the progress of this appeal, both by the prosecutor and the appellant, in the matters complained of, which appears, to have been far from that discretion, and high-minded Christian deportment which are honorable to the ministerial character; yet, in the judgment of this Assembly, the appeal is sustained, both on the ground of irregularity in the courts below, and for the want of sufficient testimony.  The Assembly do moreover affectionately and solemnly enjoin it upon the prosecutor and the appellant, and all the parties concerned, to cultivate a spirit of brotherly-love; to seek to heal the wounds this unhappy controversy has inflicted, and to unite their efforts and prayers for the extension and power of vital godliness in the destitute regions where the Lord of the harvest has called them to labour.”
1838 – Apr 3. Rev. William K. Stewart accepted call to Macomb at Schuyler Presbytery meeting in Macomb. (Rankin, 1888)
1838 – Apr 7 – Rev. J. M. Chase ordained & installed as pastor at Shiloh (Shiloh’s members, including several founding members, from Macomb congregation) at Schuyler Presbytery meeting in Macomb (Rankin, 1888)
1838 – Jul 11 – officiated Howarth-Lovell marriage in McDonough County, IL
1838 – Aug 1 – Schuyler Presbytery splits into OS and NS (Fraser was not present at meeting); sometime during summer Rev. W. K. Stewart is installed at Macomb, replacing Fraser.
1838 – Aug 10 – Mr. Frazier’s Building which you traded to Atkinson is being fitted up I believe for a store below and a meeting house above. (Grantham letter to Rumford)
1838 – Sep 12 – officiated McCandless – Dixon marriage in McDonough County, IL
1838 – Sep 21 – Presbytery of Kaskaskia met at Greenville, Bond Co.; Wm Fraser was present & recognized as member, Assembly having decided to that effect.  He was, at his request, dismissed to the Presbytery of Schuyler. Presbytery voted unanimously for OS.
1838 – Sep 28 – denied admission into Presbytery at Peoria (from Presbytery of Schuyler’s history). Another reference: Schuyler Presbytery denied him letter of transfer to Peoria Presbytery

1837-1840 – In Kaskaskia Presbytery without charge (Norton, 1879)

1839 – Jan 12 – “The Frazierites and the Stewart party (all Presbyterians) are almost at open war. And between the Methodists and the Presbyterians also there is much bitterness of feeling and some of the most fiery ones have nearly come to blows. These feuds among the religious part of the community will not do much for the prosperity of the town.” Grantham letter to Rumford
1839 – May 11, sued by Trustees of McDonough College for debt.
1839 – June 13 – Kaskaskia Presbytery meeting at Greenville: Wm. J. Fraser was put upon trial for slandering some of his ministerial brethren &  for certain questionable pecuniary transactions. On the last of these he was convicted & deposed from the ministry. Fraser appealed to Synod.
1839 – Oct – Camp Creek Church admitted to Schuyler Presbytery (Fraser had preached alternately at Camp Creek and Macomb when he arrived in Macomb)
1839 – Oct 11, in court for suit filed by Trustees of McDonough College for debt.
1839 – Oct 17. Synod. Decision of Presbytery of Kaskaskia against Mr. Fraser was affirmed by vote 16-5. Fraser appealed to Assembly.

1840 – McDonough County census: W. J. Frasure: 4 males (William, David, Charles, one male unknown), 3 females (Ruth, Rebecca, Eliza) in household
1840 – Aug 28.  Presbytery of Kaskaskia. Sentence of deposition reversed at last Assembly, a general letter of dismissal was granted Wm. J. Frasier.
1840 — The appeal of W. J. Frazer against the Synod of Illinois. The sentence appealed from, the appellant’s reasons for appealing and the records of the inferior courts were read. Mr. Frazer, the appellant, and Mr. James Stafford, his prosecutor, who were the original parties, were heard. — 1840, p. 288, O. S. (Moore, 1873)

Knoxville, Illinois (1840 – 1846)

1840 – Oct 15. Synod of Illinois, O.S. met at Rushville. Rev. W. J. Fraser, after having been deposed by two Presbyteries, whose decisions had been confirmed by two Synods, had been restored by the Assembly, O.S. and appeared in this meeting of the Synod as a member of Peoria Presbytery in Good Standing.
1840 – Dec 10 – officiates Wydenbarger-Smith marriage in Knox Co, IL
1840 – Dec 18 – Mr. Frazer has received a call from the Presbyterian Church of Knoxville, which he has accepted. He has traded off his farm, sold his stock off and has removed to that place. He has left his portion of the flock to be taken into the Old “Fold” again, or shift for themselves. Some of his wandering sheep, I think will prefer the latter. His enemies here, alias “Brethren in the Lord”, will now have the whole ground to themselves. Grantham letter to Rumsford.

1841 – Apr 10. Wife Ruth Fraser admitted as a member of the Knoxville Presbyterian Church; she was later dismissed by letter to Brunswick Presbyterian Church (date not noted).
1841 – Apr. At Knoxville. Debate between Kinney and Fraser (other debates mentioned by Wright are about slavery, abolition & liberty party, so presume this was too?)
1841 – May 18. Trustees of McDonough College v. William J. Fraser for debt of $132.30. Jury decided Fraser should pay the Trustees.
1841 – May 22. John Atkinson vs. William J. Fraser & Moses Henton for debts (McDonough Co. Circuit Court, p. 71)
1841– Sept 19. Appointed by Peoria Presbytery to organize church at Prairie City with Elder Owen (Rankin, 1888); preached occasionally at Prairie City’s Pleasant Prairie from 1841 – 1851 (McDon Co History)
1841 – Nov – officiated Comer-Crawford marriage in Knox Co, IL

1841-1844 – Pastor at Knoxville, IL (Norton, 1879); Knoxville had been formed in 1835 by committee of Schuyler: Rev. Romulus Barnes & Rev. Robert Stewart. Then split over the Old – New School issue of 1838 (8 members left to form Old School Church on; 42 members remained as New School on Main street). In 1857, 25 Scots left to join John Knox Presbyterian;  Reconciliation & merger of old-new schools in 1870.

1842 – Apr – Schuyler Presbytery minutes show McDonough Church was dissolved.
1842 – General Assembly minutes list Fraser as “bishop” of Peoria Presbytery and pastor of Knoxville church with 35 communicants; Ithamar Pillsbury is listed as Bishop of Schuyler Presbytery.
1842 – Apr 18. Journal of New School Presbyterian Rev. Samuel G. Wright, who was abolitionist, mentions attending debate between Kinney & Fraser at Knoxville.
1842 – May 25 & Oct 17 William O’Neal vs William Allison & William J. Frazer for debt. Allison was served & declared in default $350 plus damages; Frazer was called to appear 3 times and didn’t, also declared in default of $350 plus fees & damages.
1842 – Jun & Nov – officiates marriages in Knox Co, IL – Dunlap-Patterson (residents of Persifer Twp in 1850) and McDowall-McMicking (1st certificate Fraser has no title, 2nd has title of “Village Magistrate”)

1843 – Three years earlier the Assembly had refused to seat a Mr. Smith of Columbia Presbytery (western New York) because he had been elected at a presbytery meeting where they did not have a quorum present. Even though they later obtained the consent of the absent ministers to Smith’s election, the Assembly refused to seat him because they refused to set a precedent for allowing business without a quorum. When the Rev. William J. Fraser of Knoxville, Iowa (sic. Illinois), argued for equity in that case, the 1843 Assembly refused, on the grounds that equity should not be used to allow presbyteries to circumvent the law. In the Arkansas case, the 1846 Assembly was convinced that the presbytery was not trying to get around the church’s constitution, but had been providentially hindered from following the church order. “Debates in the General Assembly,” Presbyterian 13.21 (May 27, 1843) 83. [http://www.peterwallace.org/dissertation/10constitution.htm]
1843 – Sept & Dec – officiates marriages of Caldwell-Manley & Manley-Stout in Knox Co, IL (residents of Persifer Twp in 1850) – title on 1st was “Police Magistrate”, on 2nd was “V.D.M” (which means minister).  Rev. Solomon S. Miles, New School Presbyterian was also a resident of Persifer Twp in 1850.
1843 – 12 Nov. Children David (approx 19 years old) and Rebecca Jane Fraser (approx. 15 years old) admitted to membership of Knoxville Presbyterian Church; later transferred to Presbyterian Church at Brunswick (date not noted).  They are likely included among the communicant increase reported between the reports to General Assembly for 1843: 42  and 1844:50.

1844 – May 27 – At Toulon: W J Fraser & Esq. Kinney debated with James H. Dickey & Owen P. Lovejoy upon principles & practices of Liberty Party: went from 2 – 5 PM and 7 PM – 3 AM.  (The Liberty Party was an abolitionist party.  Lovejoy, Congregational minister at Princeton, Bureau Co, IL, and Rev. James H. Dickey, a Presbyterian from Ross County, OH and Menard County, IL. Both supported the Liberty Party. James G. Birney was party’s Pres. candidate in 1840 & 1844)

1845 – Preached at Osceola, Stark County, IL which was founded as O.S. Presb. in 1839
1845 – June, Application to the Classis of Illinois of the Reformed Church of America to join their body, requesting dispensation of the regulation of Synod that prevented this; request was denied (Reformed Church in America, 1846)
1845 – June – Osceola – At Meeting of the Liberty Assoc., Cole, Henderson & Rev. Fraser wanted to discuss assoc. principles. (Col. William Henderson was an anti-abolitionist and anti-Liberty party; Cole may have been the other Presby pastor in Knoxville)
1845 – July – Toulon courthouse – Discussion continued from June

1846 – Feb/Mar, officiated at Oliver-Parks marriage in Stark County, IL (He was a native of Scotland)
1846 – At Knoxville without charge (Norton, 1879)
1846 – Apr – Dickey defended against pro-slavery men; Fraser is only one who will discuss w/Dickey & Dobbins.

1848 – Officiates marriage of dau. Eliza A. to Dr. John H. Peirsol in Knox Co, IL – couple lives at Fairview, Fulton Co, IL

Brunswick, Peoria County, Illinois (1848-1851)

1848-1849 – stated supply at Brunswick, Peoria Co, IL (GA minutes)

1848 – mucking with Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, Brunswick, IL; also called Copperas. Org. 1840; pastor, George G. Sill, 1841-49. (Historical Directory of the Reformed Church in America, 1628-1992) and (General Synod of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, 1849-1855): An early church was that of Brunswick, organized by Classis of Reformed Dutch church, Sept, 1840, known as Protestant Dutch Church of Copperas. After establishment of Brunswick post office, name was changed to Brunswick; Oct 1848, 3/4 members had asked for dismissal to Peoria Presbytery which Classis of Illinois did not grant, on the ground of alleged influences used for that purpose by the Rev. Mr. Fraser, a Presbyterian minister, who had been supplying the said vacant church.  In 1844 the church was admitted to Presbytery (Peoria Co history). People transferred without the letters, Peoria Presbytery accepted. Upper levels of church said they didn’t like Peoria’s accepting without working w/Dutch Church, but they wanted to maintain peace. Deed on which church bldg was erected says if dissolved goes to Synod; out of 20 members, 18 have withdrawn & connected with Presbyterian; 2 trustees are there but no elders; Rev. Wilson & Mr. Voorhies appointed by Synod to take possession of property & dispose of it. Offered $150 by McFarland, waiting for 2 appraisals. Later joined w/Salem Presbyterian for shared minister.
1848 – Dec 9 – per 1850 Board of Home Missions report commissioned for Brunswick for 12 mos, 6 members by exam, 4 by cert, 23 total communicants
1849 – Mar – officiated marriage of Green-Morgan in Peoria Co, IL
1849 – Dec 19 – per 1851 Board of Missions report, commissioned for Brunswick for 12 mos of labor

1850 – Mar – officiated marriages of Steenberg – Orton & Stanton-Wilson & Smith-Gurley in Peoria Co, IL
1850 – Federal Census Peoria Co, IL with wife, 2 sons, 3 daughters (16-25 years old) – occupation: physician; birthplace listed as NY (???)
1850 – July. Brunswick Church sent $3.00 to Presbyterian Church via Fraser (Home & Foreign Record…)
1850 – Sept – officiated marriage of Pettit-Whitman in Peoria Co, IL

1851 – Stated supply at Brunswick, IL (33 communicants) per GA report; Board of Education reported a school operating at Brunswick, IL;
1851 – wife Ruth F. Parker Fraser dies March 20; youngest child (son) is 17 yrs old
1851 – marries 15 year old Mary Blanchard in Fulton Co, IL on June 21 (she was living with father & siblings in 1850 in Orion Twp, Fulton Co, IL; her mother died in 1850; family had lived at Brunswick IL before & after; mother had family in Fulton Co. Locations are 15 min drive apart)
1851 – Oct 1, per Board of Missions report of 1852, commissioned for Eddyville & Albia churches, Brunswick and Kirkville, Iowa for 5 mos labor, 1 exam, 8 cert, 38 in communion; one church organized at Albia (Brunswick is probably Illinois?)

1852 – GA report list Fraser in index, but no PO or assignment
1852 – From wife’s obituary: Before their marriage he had ridden through all the eastern half of Iowa spying out the land before the coming of the great army of settlers.  The year following their marriage they drove over much of the same territory, preaching and ministering to the scattered settlements and small towns of eastern Iowa.  Their journey carried them through Albia, Ottumwa, and as far west as Des Moines.  Ultimately they settled in Kirksville, Iowa, where they lived and worked for some time.

Kirkville, Wapello County, Iowa (Presbytery of Des Moines) (1852)
1852 – Iowa State Census, Richland Township, Wapello County – 3 total: 2 males  with 1 of voting age (William), 1 female (wife Mary); other male may have been Charles H. (age 18 years) or an infant son of William & Mary that did not live to be recorded on the 1860 Federal Census.
1852 – Oct 1, per 1853 Board of Home Missions report commissioned for Albia, Kirkville & Eddyville, Iowa for 12 months; 5 exam, 3 cert, total of 45 comm.
1852 – Oct 14, Roll of the Synod of Iowa held at Muscatine, from Presbytery of Des Moines: Rev. W. J. Frazer (History of Presbyterian Church in Iowa, 1837-1900 by Hubbard)
1852 – Nov. 30 Eldest dau. Rebecca marries Rev. William Porter Carson, a Presbyterian minister and graduate of Jefferson College in PA; marriage officiated by Rev. Addison Coffey, Pastor of Peoria’s First Presbyterian 1848-1855, who helped organize the French Grove Church in 1851
1853 – Jan. Vol 3. of The Presbyterian Magazine p. 51 lists Rev. Wm. J. Fraser at Kirkville, Iowa;
1853 – GA Report does not include Fraser

St Francisville, Clark County, Missouri (1854-1859)
1853 – Apr 1 – per 1854 Board of Home Missions Report commissioned for Des Moines church & 3 stations, Mo for 12 mos; 29 exam, 6 cert, 80 comm; one house of worship commenced; relig. instruction of coloured people attended to, 6 colored communicants.
1853 – son David V. Fraser was an elder at Brunswick Presbyterian Church (part of Presbytery meeting whereby Peoria 2nd Presbyterian church formed from 1st Pres Peoria; David’s bro-in-law Rev. William P. Carson was moderator of the meeting)

1854 – Pastor at St Francisville, Clark Co, MO, Palymra Presbytery. 80 communicants in 1854, 29 exam-6 cert-7 col’d; 36 in 1855, 30 in 1856; (J C Sharon also at PO St Francisville, SS of Alexandria, 8 communicants)
1854 – Eldest son David marries Elmira Dodds in Woodford Co, IL
1854 – Apr 1 – per 1855 Board of Missions report commissioned for Des Moines Church, Waterloo & Prairie, MO, for 12 mos; 3 ex, 1 cert, 31 ttl, one house of worship erected (Prairie Presbyterian at Peaksville?)
1855 – Birth of son John C. Fraser
1855 – Oct 31 – Dau Mary L. marries Charles J. Gibson in Peoria Co, IL (officiated by Rev. W. A. Fleming, Presbyterian pastor at Farmington 1853+; he returned to Penn. in 1864) and moves to Orion Twp, Fulton Co, IL
1855 – St Francisville PO, pastor of Des Moines Church, 33 communicants, Palmyra Presbytery
1855 – no date. per 1856 Board of Missions Report- St Francisville, Alexandria City, Winchester, and Log school house, MO; 12 months; 6 on exam, 43 total, 5 coloured

1856 – St Francisville PO, pastor of Des Moines Church, 36 communicants, Palmyra Presbytery (GA Report)
1856 – per 1857 Board of Domestic Missions Report listed as St Francisville MO and vicinity but no report – last entry in BODM Reports
1857 – New Bloomfield MO, Round Prairie Church, Missouri Presbytery, SS 75 communicants; (St Francisville vacant 30 communicants) (GA Report)

1857 – Birth of son James B. Fraser
1858 – 1859 – Stated supply at Jefferson City, Synod of Missouri, Presbytery of Missouri; w/80 communicants but PO St Francisville, MO (that Des Moines church was vacant & had 8 communicants) (GA Report)

1857-1859 – Missouri Presbytery (Norton, 1879) St Francisville, MO

Northeast Missouri held to OS Presby (and went with Southern Presby church) and also to slavery. In 1860, Clark County had 129 slave holders, 405 enslaved persons claimed at a total tax value of $171,300.

“In 1850, a spiritual appeal came from a Presbytery in Missouri; they wanted men of the right stamp, “rough and ready”, who could preach at all times, let slavery alone, leave their eastern prejudices at home. Western people are born and grow up in excitement and their religion must have more or less of that ingredient.” Nearby Marion Co. asked the Northern Methodists to not send pastors to their area (Kofoid, 1906, p. 48; Stevens, 1921, pp. 181, 666). The resolution in Fabius Twp, Marion Co, was written in 1854.

From wife’s obituary: From there they went to Missouri, but as the war drew near and the feeling between the north and south intensified along the Missouri river, Dr. Fraser, a man of profound convictions about slavery, a strong abolitionist, found the enmity of slave owners and sympathizers hampering the work and endangering his family to such an extent that he was compelled to move.

Brimfield, Peoria County, Illinois (1860-1876)

1860 – Feb – Birth of dau. Lauretta (Laura) Fraser
1860 – Federal Census Peoria Co, IL Jubilee Twp, Robins Nest PO: William (occupation O. S. Presbyterian), wife Mary age 25, sons John & James 5 & 3 yrs, dau Lauretta 4 mos.
1860 – Appears in Ministerial Index of GA Report but no entry
1861 – Peoria Presbytery – Brimfield, Peoria Co, IL (Norton, 1879)
1861 – Mar – officiated marriage of Cox-Reed in Peoria Co, IL
1861 – 20 Aug – Birth of son George Lyons Fraser (perhaps named after Fraser’s Jefferson College classmate George Armstrong Lyon)
1861 – Mar 19. Sister-in-law Arvesta Blanchard dies at age 20.
1861 – Fall. Wife Mary’s uncle George W. Blanchard enlists in August, and brother-in-law Ira W. Blanchard is a recruit in October for Company C, 47th Regiment Illinois Infantry in Civil War service.
1861 – PO Brimfield, Ill, Peoria Presbytery, stated supply at French Grove, 62 communicants (GA Report)
1862 – Mar 2. George W. Blanchard dies at age 38 in St. Louis and is buried at Jefferson Barracks.
1862 – Mar 23. Brother-in-law Ira W Blanchard dies at age 17 at Sikeston, MO
1862 – Apr 15. Officiated marriage of Storey-Motley in Peoria Co, IL
1862 – PO Brimfield, Ill, Peoria Presbytery, stated supply at French Grove, 62 communicants (GA Report)
1862 – Dec – officiated marriage of Bennett-McCune in Peoria Co, IL.
1863 – Stated Supply at French Grove, PO Brimfield,  – 62 communicants (Brimfield is vacant, w/30 communicants) (GA Report)
1864 – Stated Supply at Brimfield PO Brimfield is Vacant, 30 comm (GA Report)

1865 – Stated Supply at French Grove Church, PO Brimfield, IL 2 exam -0 cert -62 communicants (GA Report)
1865 – Birth of dau Clementina (Clema or Clemie) Fraser
1865 – Rev. W. J. Fraser of Brimfield donated $24 to the Presbyterian Board of Publications

1866 – Brimfield PO, “Presbyterian Missionary”, Peoria Presbytery (GA Report)
1866 – Jan. Officiated marriage of Pratz-Dey in Peoria Co, IL.

1867 – 1869 – Brimfield PO, Without Charge  (GA Report)
1869 – Son-in-law Rev. William P. Carson dies in Epworth, Iowa
1869 – Date uncertain; West Jersey Presbyterians in Stark County; Rev. Dr. Frazer preached the division sermon between the old- and new-school Presbyterians. (text order suggests  between 1858 – 1868, may have been at reunification in 1869 since OS/NS division was in 1837 prior to this church’s organization. Interesting to note that abolitionist S. G. Wright was pastor of this congregation; And also “So terrific was the anti-union feeling among some of the members during the war, that, on the burial of a Union soldier there (in church cemetery), the Union flag was torn to shreds”. (Leeson, M. A., 1887)

1870 – May 17. Son John C. dies; mortality schedule lists cause as “insanity”
1870 – Federal census of Brimfield, Peoria Co, IL; minister; with wife Mary, sons James & George (ages 13 & 9) and daughters Laura & Clementina (ages 10 & 5)

1871 – (1872 report unavailable) – Brimfield PO, Without Charge (GA Report)
1872 – Aug 22. father-in-law Ira Blanchard dies in Brimfield, Peoria Co, IL
1873 –  Brimfield PO, Without Charge (GA Report)
1874 –  Brimfield PO, Honorably Retired (GA Report)
1876 – died Feb 22 at Brimfield, congestion of the lungs (Norton, 1879) (Eaton, 1902); buried in Brimfield

1881 – Jan 6 – William’s widow Mary, age 44, marries widower Cyrus Brooks, age 74, in Peoria County; marriage officiated by Rev. John E. Carson, pastor of Brimfield Presbyterian.
1881 – Aug 17. Dau. Laura F. marries Edward R. Ristine in Peoria County; marriage officiated by Rev. John E. Carson, pastor of Brimfield Presbyterian

View W. J. Fraser Migrations in a larger map

1850 Census, Peoria Co, IL
William Frasier     M     51y  Physician  $1600 NY
Ruth Frasier     F     50y   PA
David V Frasier     M     25y farming PA
Rebecca Frasier     F     22y PA
Eliza A Frasier     F     20y OH
Mary F Frasier     F     18y IL
Charles H Frasier     M     16y IL

1850 Census of Orion Twp, Fulton Co, IL (family of WJ’s second wife Mary)
Ira Blanchard     M     43y
Clara Blanchard     F     16y
Mary Blanchard     F     14y
Hannah Blanchard     F     12y
Arvesta Blanchard     F     10y
Matilda Blanchard     F     8y
Ira Blanchard     M     6y
Sarah Blanchard     F     2y

Blanchard Family Notes:

  • Ira Blanchard d. 22 Aug 1872 Brimfield Cemetery; Ira was twin; son of Nicholas & Mary Thayer Blanchard of Weymouth, MA; to Pittston ME about 1800; sister married Mr. Preston who lived in Fulton Co, IL.
  • Voadica Hathaway Blanchard 14 Sep 1810-13 Mar 1850; Brunswick Cem, Trivoli, IL: Voadicea W., w/Ira, d. 03/13/1850 ae 39/05/27 [Grady Tree Farm is across road]
  • Clarissa Hinds Blanchard Pacey Mar 1834 ME-11 Feb 1930 Galesburg, IL bur Brimfield Cem; (Clarissa m. Apr 18 1866, Rev Richard Pacey, Baptist Minister who was b 1839)
  • Mary Blanchard    (m. 1851 to W J Fraser)
  • Hannah Elizabeth Blanchard   m. 1866 (age 28?) Herriott d. 1874
  • Arvesta L. Blanchard, Aug 1841-19 Mar 1861; 20 yrs 6 mo 24d Brimfield Cem.
  • Matilda W dau of Voadieca…m Simeon L. Fisher 1860, moved to Ottumwa IA; Matilda W. 19 Jan 1843 IL -4 Apr 1931 Ottumwa, IA, Shaul Cemetery, Ottumwa IA
  • Ira Blanchard   bur Brimfield Cem d 1862; Co G 17 IL Inf or Co C 47th IL
  • Sarah Blanchard  m. Edwin Preston b 1844 in 1866; Sarah is also listed w/her Hathaway grandparents in Peoria Co, IL in 1850 & 1860 census.

1860 Peoria Co, IL Jubillee Twp, Robins Nest PO – page 3 family 14 screen 464

7   485  14  Fraser William J.     61    M    .    O.S Pebs**min  2,500     4,500     PA
8   485  14  Fraser Mary           25    F    .    .              .         .         ME                .     .     .
9   485  14  Fraser John C.        5     M    .    .              .         .         ME                .     .     .
10  485  14  Fraser James B.       3     M    .    .              .         .         ME                .     .
11  485  14  Fraser Lauretta T.    4/12  F    .    .              .         .         IL                .     .     .

Note: John & James were born in Missouri not Maine

1870  Brimfield, Peoria Co, IL

20  152  148 Frazer   William J.  72    M    W  Minister – Presb. 5,000  1,000  PA
21  152  148 Frazer         Mary           34    F    W    Keeping House  .      .     Maine
22  152  148 Frazer         James          13    M    W    .              .         .         Missouri
23  152  148 Frazer         Laura          10    F    W    .              .         .         Illinois
24  152  148 Frazer         George         9     M    W    .              .         .         Illinois
25  152  148 Frazer         Clementina     5     F    W    .              .         .         Illinois

1880 Census Peoria Co, IL p. 341 entry 277
Mary Fraser age 40  ME
George L. 18  IL
Laura F. 20  IL
Clemintine 15 IL

1880 Taylor Co, IA
Fraser, James 23 m Mo Pa Me far
Rosa? 20 f Il Oh NY
Rory 0 m Ia Mo Il son b Apr 1mo
Clema 15 f Il Pa Me sister

Taylor Co IA marriage:
1878 12 25 – Fraser, James B. to Dunn, Rosa M.

Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines, Polk Co, IA is a different family.
Rev William J. Fraser 1846-1921 (from Nova Scotia Canada)

1873 Atlas Map of Peoria County, Illinois (page 61)

REV. W. J. FRASER was born January 8, 1799. He took the degree of A.B. at Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, October 4, 1822, and the degree of A.M. four years thereafter. [Jefferson College is now Washington & Jefferson College] He entered the ministry of the Old School Presbyterian Church in 1823 {The “Old School” was not officially formed until the split in 1837-1838]. He was married to Miss Ruth Parker March 27, 1823 and then settled as pastor of Hopewell Church, where he remained five years, after which he came to Springfield, Clark county, Ohio, where he remained two years, and came to Illinois.

He first settled in Morgan county in 1830, and his time was given to missionary work. His field extended from Cairo to Chicago. All traveling in these days was performed on horseback; and with corn-dodgers and bacon in his saddle-bags, he used to make his tours over the trackless prairie, sleeping often on the bare ground under the canopy of heaven. On one occasion he was obliged to throw off his clothing, fasten it to his saddle-bow, and three times in one day swim beside his horses across the streams. He studied medicine and by means of this profession was able to eke out his scanty salary.

His wife died March 20, 1851, having been the mother of three sons and four daughters [David V. (b. 1824), Rebecca , Eliza A. (m. John H. Peirsol), John H., Mary F., Charles H., and a daughter]. His second wife was Miss Mary Blanchard (daughter of Ira Blanchard and Vodica Hathaway), and she is the mother of three sons and three daughters of whom four are now living (John C., James B., Laura, George, Clementine, and a daughter).

Dr. Fraser, now in this seventy-fifth year, is living near the village of Brimfield, with all the comforts of life at his command.

Marriages officiated by Fraser in early McDonough County, Illinois

1834 Mar 13 – Lawson H. Robinson to Abigail W. Damron, dau of Geo. W. Damron
1834 Oct 8 – Wilie McFadden to Nancy McFadden, dau of Elias McFadden
1834 Oct 21 – John H. Beagles & Mary Ann Stapp, dau of Elijah Stapp
1834 Oct 23 – Johnathan Ratekin to Nancy Cannon, dau of Robert Cannon
1834 Nov 20 – Nelson Montgomery to Cynthia Anne Walker, dau of Cyrus Walker
1835 Sep 24 – Joseph P Updegraff to Elizabeth Randall Brooking, d/o Thomas A. Brooking
1836 Jan 27 – Wayne A. Strode to Albina Cheatham
1836 Apr 19 – Demosthenes R. Hamilton to Missouri Damron, consent of Geo W Damron
1836 Dec 1 – Moses Henton to Anne Allison
1838 Jul 11 – James F. Howarth to Sarah F. Lovell d/of J B Lovell
1838 Sep 12– Wilson McCandless to Joannah Dixon/Dickson

McDonough County, Illinois Deed Records

Grantee Index




Fraser, Wm J.


Owen, P. & wife


Fraser, Wm J.


Johnson, Cable


Fraer, Henton & Robinson


Smith, Richard


Fraser, Wm J.


Henton, Moses


Fraser, Bailey, Henton, Hays


Edmonston, William


Fraser, Wm J.


Grant, Robert & wife


Fraser, Wm J.


Grant, Robert & wife


Fraser, Wm J.


Talbott, Isham


Fraser, Wm J.


Talbott, Isham


Fraser, Wm J.


Talbott, Isham


Fraser, Wm J.


Thompson, A. by atty


Fraser, Wm J.


Henton, Moses


Fraser, Wm J.


Henton, Moses


Fraser, Wm J.


Robinson, L H & wife


Fraser, Wm J.


Townsend, E. & wife


Fraser, John


Pendleton, N G. & wife

A of M-511

Fraser, Wm J.


Miller, George & wife

B of M – 1

Fraser & Moses Henton


Atkinson, John & wife

B of M – 7

Fraser & Moses Henton


Atkinson, John & wife

B of M –

Grantor Index



Fraser, Wm. J.


Allison, John


Fraser, Wm. J.


Dague, Frederick


Fraser, Wm. J.


Miller, George


Fraser, Henton & Robinson


Rich & Smith


Fraser, Wm. J.


Henton, Moses


Fraser, Henton & Robinson


McDonough College


Fraser, Wm. J.


Cyrus Walker


Fraser, Wm. J.


Henton, Moses


Fraser, James


Malen, Martin F.


Fraser, Wm. J.


Owen, Lamach


Fraser, Wm. J.


Owen, Lamach


Fraser, Wm. J.


Owen, Lamach


Fraser, Wm. J.


Henton, Moses


Fraser, Wm. J.


Bailey, W.W. & Hays, C.

A of M-404

Fraser, Wm. J.


Howarth, James D.

B of M-17

Fraser, Wm. J.


Newton, Joel

B of M-368



  • http://archives.lib.siu.edu/index.php?p=creators/creator&id=474
  • http://ia600500.us.archive.org/4/items/julianmsturtevan00stur/julianmsturtevan00stur.pdf
  • http://www.peoriacountyillinois.info/bios/1873book_fraser_wj.html
  • Federal Land Records. http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/default.aspx
  • Rodgers, J. B. (1889). History of the Presbytery of Washington: including a brief account of the planting of the Presbyterian church in Western Pennsylvania and parts adjacent, with sketches of pioneer ministers and ruling elders ; also sketches of later ministers and ruling elders. http://books.google.com/books?id=S1oXAAAAYAAJ
  • Reformed Church in America. (1846). Acts and Proceedings of the General Synod of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in North America, Vol. VI. (p. 468).
  • Mt. Carmel United Presbyterian Church, A History – 1793 – 1976. http://www.bchistory.org/beavercounty/BeaverCountyTopical/Churches/ChurchesbyDenomination/PresbyterianUSA/MtCarmelFall1983/MtCarmelMF83.html
  • Vail, T. S. (1856). History of Schuyler Presbytery. In The Presbyterian Magazine, Volume 6, pp. 464-468.  http://books.google.com/books?id=yUMUAAAAYAAJ
  • (Leeson, M. A. (1887). Documents and biography pertaining to the settlement and progress of Stark County, Illinois: Containing an authentic summary of records, documents, historical works and newspapers relating to Indian history, original settlement, organization and politics, courts and bar, citizen soldiers, military societies, marriages, churches, schools, secret, benevolent and literary societies, etc. : together with biography of representative men of the past and present. Chicago: M.A. Leeson & Co.  Online

From Banners in the Wilderness:

In the late summer of 1822….the faculty of the College laid before the Board an indictment of several students:

Public fame charges Messrs. Morrow, Bushnell, Brown, Lyons, Frazier, Case, and Martin, as being the authors and promoters of meeting, sedition and rebellion in College, and as being the venters and circulators of calumny and slander against the character and reputation of the Principal of this college (William McMillan), and that at different times, and upon different occasions.” According to the faculty charge, the student Morrow, had called a meeting of the other students and had urged that they petition for the removal of William McMillan on the grounds of disqualification “for discharging the duties of his Office and communicating that instruction to his Pupils which it was his duty to do.” Bushnell, a second student at the meeting, “had slandered the Principal by falsely representing him as incapable fo communicating his ideas in such a manner as that students could receive advantage from him, especially in the moral sciences.” The meeting ended with the passing of the petition. Several students, not named by the faculty, were allowed to testify….

 The students named along with Fraser appear to have been in the classes of 1822 and 1823:

  • James B. Morrow – d. 1842, prob in Ohio, Presby minister — class of 1822
  • Wells Bushnell – b. 1799, m. 1826 Eleanor Hannen, d Pa 1863 – class of 1822
  • Richard Brown – b. 1796 d. 1879 in Hagerstown Oh; Presby Minister
  • George Armstrong Lyon – b. 1803 d. 1873 – class of 1823 (Did Fraser name his son George Lyons Fraser after this classmate?)
  • Case
  • Hugh Martin – b. 1798 d. 1838; physician – class of 1822


From History of the Presbytery of Washington: including a brief account of the planting of the Presbyterian church in Western Pennsylvania and parts adjacent, with sketches of pioneer ministers and ruling elders ; also sketches of later ministers and ruling elders (1889), p. 49. Online

Lists W. J. Fraser as a candidate in 1824.

From Centenary memorial of the planting and growth of Presbyterianism in western Pennsylvania and parts adjacent: containing the historical discourses delivered at a convention of the synods of Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and Columbus, held in Pittsburgh, December 7-9, 1875 : with appendices and illustrations (1876), p. 108:

“advancing years had led Dr. McMillan to seek rest, and when, to some extent, the succession, as a favorite professional instructor, had fallen upon the Rev. John Anderson, D.D., of Buffalo.  A class consisting of William J. Frazer, Samuel McFarren, John Stockton, Wm. C. Anderson, James W. McKennan, David Colmery, John L. Hawkins and Hugh W. Koontz…were anxious to have the use of Turretin as a text book, ….”

Two Rev. John Andersons are found in the histories of western Pennsylvania.  Rev. John Anderson, D.D. (1767-1835) was born in Guilford County, N. C., and licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Orange, N. C., in 1791.  He traveled through NC, SC, TN, KY, OH, and IN. He served Upper Buffalo Church, Washington County, Pa.  1801-1833.   This Rev. Anderson was an educator, an editor and founder of the Western Missionary Magazine and a trustee of the Western Missionary Society.  This is apparently the John Anderson under which W. J. Fraser studied.

The other Rev. John Anderson(1748-1830) was born in the British Isles, raised in the Secession Church of Scotland and was ordained in the “Associate” Church when he arrived in Penn.  He was eccentric, known for long hours of study to the exclusion of social interaction; he founded Service Academy in 1794 (predecessor of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)

From: Everts, L. H. (1876). History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania , p. 80.

“Hopewell is one of the old churches, having been organized in 1814, it being then first named as part of the charge of Rev. Michael Law.  It remained vacant for several years, with only occasional supplies.  In April, 1825, Wm. J. Frazier was ordained and installed pastor of Hopewell and White Oak Flats.  Having resigned the Flats in 1826, he remained pastor of Hopewell alone till October, 1828, when he resigned.”

From: Flagg and Gould. (1827+). The Quarterly register and journal of the American Education Society, Volumes 1-2. p. 127 http://books.google.com/books?id=xHAgAQAAMAAJ

Presbytery of Ohio. Wm. J. Frazer, Pittsburg (extracted from 1828 GA Minutes)

Green, Ashbel. (1829-1830). The Christian Advocate. Philadelphia: A. Finley. (Volumes 7-8).

Vol 7. p. 426: Sept 1829 – Letters received in office July & Aug 1829 – W. J. Fraser, Ohio
Vol 8.
p. 36.
Jan 1830. Synod of Cincinnati. The Rev. Wm. J. Frazer has since been appointed as a Missionary Agent in this Synod, and is probably now engaged in forming Auxiliaries to the Board.
p. 107 – Letters received – W. Fraser, Ohio
p. 160– From the Rev. W. J. Frazier, Springfield, Clark Co. Jan. 30, 1830. “When I commenced laboring here the number of communicants was 29; there was no Sabbath school, no Tract society, no prayer meetings, no place of worship except the naked walls of a house, without gavels or roof.  There are now 52 members in communion – a flourishing Sabbath school with from 50 to 100 scholars. We have a Tract society which has put in circulation between 70 and 80 volumes, and 30,000 pages of loose Tracts.  Prayer meetings were kept up regularly through the year, and we have one of the best places of worship in this valley completed, except pewing.”
p. 162 – From the Rev. Wm. J. Frazer, Agent of the Board for the Synod of Cincinnati, under date of Jan 30, 1830. “On the first of this month I wrote you, giving a statement in relation to my mission.  Shortly after writing I commenced my Agency, and after having labored two weeks among the feeblest churches in this country, have returned home, and am now confined to my bed.  As soon as I am able to ride, I shall go to work again.  I have visited the congregations of Sidney, Piqua, troy, Honey creek, Bath, and Muddy Run.  Piqua, Honey creek, and Muddy run I have organized as Auxiliaries to the Board. Nothing more could be done than commence subscriptions in any of them, the weather being so inclement as to prevent many from attending.”  In the above places Mr. F. obtained several subscriptions for the Missionary reporter, the Christian Advocate, and Philadelphian, and collected some money for the Board.
p. 163 – Re-appointments. Rev. Wm. J. Frasier, 1 year, Springfield and other places in the Presbytery of Miami, Ohio.
p. 267 – New presbytery of Oxford, Ohio.  We are happy to learn, from our agent in the Synod of Cincinnati, the Rev. Wm. J. Frazer, that the Presbytery of Oxford at its first meeting, held a few days since, adopted resolutions of a decisive character, in favor of the Board of Missions, and the Board of Education of the General Assembly.
p. 273 –
reports of agents.  From the William J. Fraser, Springfield, Clark Co, Ohio, March 26th, 1830. “Under date of Jan. 30, I informed you that I was confined from my labors, as agent of the Board, by sickness. After an illness of about three weeks, I resumed my business, and have been, I hope, faithfully employed. Through snow, rain, and mud, I have traveled five hundred and ten miles, visited nearly all the churches in the presbytery of Oxford, and such in the Presbytery of Cincinnati as were not previously in connection with the Board or with the A.M.H.  I have preached forty sermons, plead the cause of the Board in a separate discourse 23 times, assisted in administering the Lord’s supper once, held several conferences or enquiry meetings, exhorted frequently, and visited sick persons and families as often as I had time and opportunity.  I have felt a strong desire to do good as a common Missionary, as I early discovered that but little money could be obtained in this field at present.  There are not in the Presbytery of Oxford more than two congregations able to support a minister of the Gospel. Most of the other churches are struggling hard to procure even a small part of a clergyman’s time.  They will, however, nearly all do something.  My course has been to lay the plans and claims of the Board before the people; sometimes starting a subscription and directing the Session to report success to their Presbytery; at other times leaving them to choose their own method of contributing.  In all cases I have advised that the Session and Presbytery be the channels of communication. In places where there are ministers, I have acted with their approbation and advice.  In my excursion, I visited the churches of new Jersey, Eton, Seven Mile, Bethel, Mount Carmel, Harrison, Lawrenceburg, Rising Sun, Zoar, Vevay, Venice, Hamilton, (lower) Springfield, Unity and Pisgah.  Vevay, Lawrenceburg, Harrison, Venice, Bethel, Pisgah and bell Brook may be set down as new auxiliaries. – Some others reported as auxiliaries, were organized before the present plans of the Board were matured, and had subscribed for one year only.  These I have re-organized on the permanent plan.   I have requested the Sessions to procure all the subscribers they can for the Reporter, giving the names and address to the corresponding committee of Presbytery, and receiving returns by their order.”

Another report has been received from Mr. Fraser, dated April 10th, giving an account of his visit to the Presbytery of Oxford.  Some of the results of this visit are noticed in a preceding page of the present number. It may be added that Mr. F. obtained 15 subscribers to the Reporter and collected $34.25 from auxiliary societies, which will be noticed in the report to the Treasurer.

From Green, A. (1831).  The Christian advocate. Vol. 9 Philadelphia: A. Finley.:

p. 344 – May 1831 – Elected by the Last general assembly to Board of Education: Rev. W. J. Frazer
p. 395 June 1831, Re-appointments: Rev. W. J. Fraser for one year to Providence, Bairdstown [Beardstown], and Jersey Prairie, Illi.
p. 511 Presbytery of Illinois, Jacksonville, Aug 2, 1831: “Dear Sir – It is my official duty to communicate to you the following resolution f the Presbytery of Illinois, viz: “Resolved, that Messrs. Ellis, Fraser, Sturtevant and Watson, be appointed a committee of correspondence with the General Assembly’s Board of Missions, and with the American Home Missionary Society…..John M. Ellis, Stated Clerk.”
p. 679  – From the Rev. W. J. Fraser, dated Jersey Prairie, Oct. 21, 1831. “My last quarterly report gave you an account of my doings up to the first of July.  Since that time I have attended seven “four day meetings.”  One in Carrolton, Green co.; one in Jacksonville, two in Jersey Prairie, one in Hillsboro, Montgomery co.; one on Shoal Creek, Bands [Bond] Co., and the seventh and last one on Mauvaiseterre (Movistar) Creek, five miles from Jacksonville.  At this place, by order of Presbytery, I assisted in organizing a church of 36 members, to which one more has been since added.  This church is distant ten miles from the Providence church on Jersey Prairie, and is called “Union Church.” Between these two churches I expect for the most part to divide my time equally. It is their wish that I should do so.  Less than a year ago I commenced preaching here to a church of only 14 members – now I have two respectable little flocks; in all 70 members.  I have had pressing invitations to leave this and settle in more numerous societies; but I cannot leave this field at present. At Carrolton I presided in the organization of a church of 14 members.”
Fraser’s name also appears in the lists of letters received from Illinois between Oct 25 – Nov 25 and Feb 20 – Mar 20.

From: Hodge, C. and Atwater, L. H. (1840) “General Assembly of 1840: Judicial Cases” in The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review for the Year 1840, Vol. 12, pp. 414-415.

The first case of this kind which occupied the Assembly was an appeal of the Rev. W. S. Frazer, from a decision of the Synod of Illinois, confirming the sentence of the presbytery of Kaskaskia, by which he was suspended from the gospel ministry. This case occupied much of the time of the Assembly, and was finally determined by a vote in favour of appellant; seventy-nine members voting to sustain the appeal, and forty-one against sustaining it. A committee was appointed to prepare a minute on this case, who presented the following: “While the Assembly cannot refrain from expressing their deep concern that the spirit which has been exhibited in the prosecution of this appeal, both by the prosecutor and the appellant, in the matters complained of, appears to have been very far from that discretion and high minded Christian deportment which are honorable to the ministerial character; yet in the judgment of this Assembly the appeal is sustained, both on the ground of irregularity in the courts below, and for the want of sufficient testimony. The Assembly do moreover affectionately and solemnly enjoin it upon the prosecutor and the appellant, and all the parties concerned, to cultivate a spirit of brotherly love; to seek to heal the wounds this unhappy controversy has inflicted; and to unite their efforts in prayers for the extension and power of vital godliness in the destitute regions where the Lord of the harvest has called them to labour.”

The minority of the committee presented as an amendment the following paragraph, to be inserted after the words “for the want of sufficient testimony,” viz: “And particularly in regard to the transaction involved in the third speculation, while it is admitted Mr. Frazer may hitherto have retained in his own hands, a sum of money, which he received from a subscriber to the funds of McDonough college, without any dishonest intention, the Assembly are constrained to express their decided disapprobation of the act, as unjustifiable and peculiarly calculated to bring reproach on the Gospel ministry; and their full conviction that he ought immediately to pay over the money to the institution for which it was originally intended, or (as he received it when no longer acting as an agent of the college) to restore it to the subscriber.” This amendment was cut off by the previous question, and the minute as originally proposed was adopted.

From Rankin, J. G. (1888). Historical sketch of the Schuyler Presbytery. Bushnell, Ill: Camp Bros. printers.:

Rankin notes the sketch was difficult to write because a few pages were missing from the original records, many of the important papers were placed on file and not in the record and were lost or otherwise not transferred to him as stated clerk. He notes that the years of 1833-1837 there was great harmony in the Presbytery and action prevailed; few discipline cases or session appeals.

p. 5 “There was one ministerial brother who labored within the bounds of this Presbytery, but so far as the records show was never a member, Rev. William Fraser, who gave the Presbytery great trouble by forcing himself upon the Presbytery and churches and appealing and complaining to higher courts. With this exception there seems to have been no trouble with any minister connected with Presbytery.”

Stevens, W. B. (1921). Centennial history of Missouri: (the center state) one hundred years in the Union, 1820-1921. St. Louis, Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co.

Kofoid, C. P. (1906). Puritan influences in the formative years of Illinois history. Springfield, Illinois.

Clarke, S. J. (1878). History of McDonough County, Illinois: Its cities, towns and villages, with early reminiscences, personal incidents and anecdotes, and a complete business directory of the county. Springfield, Ill: D.W. Lusk, State Printer.  Online at: http://books.google.com/books?id=R9pCAAAAIAAJ

First Presbyterian Church (Knoxville, Ill.), & Daughters of the American Revolution. (1983). Membership and baptism records of First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Knox county, Illinois, 1835 to 1900: Copied from original church records. Williamsfield, Ill: Spoon River Chapter NSDAR.

Rankin, J. G. (1888). Historical sketch of the Schuyler Presbytery. Bushnell, Ill: Camp Bros. printers.

Grantham, Isaac (1838-1858). WIU Archives digitized letters from Isaac Grantham (lived in Macomb, was county clerk) to Lewis Rumford of Philadelphia, PA & Wilmington, DE. Grantham was Rumford’s land agent. Scans at: http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/wiu_rhist&CISOPTR=375&REC=1

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