The Little Cities Archive

Shawnee, Ohio

Homecoming at Chapel Hill

Posted by JRW on August 29, 2011

From the Catholic Record Society

Diosese of Columbus Bulletin

Vol. 3, No.2, February 1977


Homecoming at Chapel Hill

(From the “New Lexington Herald,” August 24, 1904)

Chapel Hill, an old historic village situated three miles from Corning, was the scene of the greatest event of the kind which ever occurred in this valley Thursday. Two thousand made the pilgrimage to that place to celebrate the homecoming of former residents.

It is the oldest settlement of this section and in its former days was the business center for not only southern Perry County, but neighboring counties as well. It is now almost a deserted village, and the ruins of the old stone church, St. Francis Catholic church, shows the traveler the ancient metropolis.

About the year 1840 the old log church burned, supposed to be the work of incendiaries. In 1841 the magnificent stone church was erected as a better protection against a like occurence from its enemies. Among the pioneer and older settlers were the names of Currans, Monahans, Duffys, Donahues, Corbitts, Nashes, Souders and O’Farrels.

Among the older families represented there were Judge M. H. Donahue and C. A. Donahue of New Lexington; A. H. Perand and Peter of Zanesville; William Corbitt, F. L. James Sweeney, John O’Neil, Peter Duffy and Peter of Columbus; William Curran of McConnellsvill&; Mrs. Kate Nelson of West Virginia; Charles Nash of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Mary J. Skinyon of  Kansas

In 1819 and 1880 when the railroad was constructed through this section and the valuable coal fields commenced to be developed the town of Corning was started and then the decline of Chapel Hill. John Monahan who had been a merchant at the country village moved his store to Corning and others followed.

Monahan is still in business in Corning and among its best and most enterprising business men. It was he who conceived the idea of that pilgrimage to their old home which resulted in such a complete success Thursday

A part of the afternoon devoted to speech at which the Rev. Fr. B. M. O’Boylan of Newark presided. O’Boylan was for years and up to the time of his going to Newark pastor of St. Bernard’s church of Corning and also of St. Francis church of Chapel Hill.  He delivered a most eloquent and instructive speech. Judge M. H. Donahue of New Lexington made a splendid address dealing with reminiscences.

Addresses were also delivered by C. A. Donahue of New and George T.  Drake of Corning.

Later in the day a monument erected to the memory of Father Rooney (1) a former pastor unveiled. Rev. Powers (2) of delivered the address.


1 Rooney died in 1 84.

2 Rev. Thomas A. later for years pastor of St. Peter’s, in Steubenville, Ohio


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