The following explanation about the Olive Presbyterian Church has been offered by the transcriber, Mr. Byron Marquis of the town of Sharon, now located in Noble County, Ohio. He is a long time member of this church.
In July and August of 1931 a five-day Anniversary celebration was held in this Church which many can remember. The celebration was spearheaded by Rev. Charles E. Nash who was the minister here at that time. It was quite a celebration with many attending from points distant from Sharon.
Since this celebration some of the oldest records of the church have turned up which more accurately pinpoints the early history of the church organization. The oldest of these records that have came to light is the activities of the Board of Trustees and the very first item in that old book reads thus, "Proceedings of Trustees of the Congregation of Olive, Olive township, Morgan County, Ohio." At a meeting of the members held at Samuel Long's in 1820 (no month or day is mentioned) Mr. Alexander Greenlee, James Archibald and Edward Parrish were chosen Wardens and John Marquis, Sr. Clerk and the Rev. Moore being accepted Pastor duly and according to the ancient, established form, organized the meeting to be known by the name of Olive Congregation. Signed and attested to by John Marquis, Clerk."
The next item in the book reads thus, "At a meeting held at the Graveyard on Saturday the nineteenth of August, 1828, Mr. John Marquis, James Archibald and Samuel Long were chosen Trustees and Edward Parrish, Clerk for said Congregation." The next item being thus, "At a meeting held at the farm house on Friday, 31st of August, 1829, Mr. John Lyons, Thomas Byers and Michael Morrison were chosen Trustees and Edward Parrish, Clerk and Samuel Long, Treasurer of Olive Congregation. Attested to by Edward Parrish, Clerk." One other item needs to be noted here, that being, "At a meeting of the Congregation on the 22nd of August, 1831 the old book, or papers, were put into my hand from which I have copied the foregoing and certify it to be a true statement. Signed, Peter Eckley, Clerk." "At the same meeting, Samuel Marquis, Thomas Byers and Peter Eckley were chosen Trustees, Edward Parrish, Treasurer and Peter Eckley, clerk." "From which time until 1835 there have been officers elected annually."
On March 7th 1836 a petition was granted by the Legislature of the State of Ohio as an act to Incorporate the First Presbyterian Church in Olive Township in Morgan County and a set of Bylaws was enacted which consisted of 10 sections and was signed by William Medill, Speaker Pro-tem of the House of representatives and by Elijah Vance, Speaker of the Senate.
In the same year (1836) as the incorporation a move was initiated to build a Church House and subscriptions were taken to raise the money for this purpose and $145.50 plus "some other small sums" being raised they deemed it prudent to go ahead with the building. A contract was thus given to Lewis Ackley, Carpenter, to build a frame building 30 x 45 feet. The work was completed and a receipt was given Dec. 16, 1836 by Lewis Ackley for $152.75, payment in full "of all demands." Stoves were purchased in Zanesville and nails, hinges etc. were purchased in Marietta and glass was bought from Mr. Wooton in Sharon for $4.50.
It seems as though, up to this time this Congregation had been meeting in a house owned jointly with the Associated Reformed Church for this item appears just two years after the building of the building above mentioned, "Recieved in full of the Trustees of the Olive Congregation our portion of the old meeting house in the Town of Sharon, according to an act of the Legislature providing for the sale of the house. The signature by us as Trustees of the Associated Reformed Church. Joseph Manifold and (balance of the paragraph is unreadable.)
At a meeting of the Congregation in 1839 it was voted to fill the house with seats and this being done the seats were let for two years to pay the Pastor's salary.
Olive, October 24, 1842.
At a Congregational meeting the votes were taken for laying the salary on the seats. 16 voted for and 5 against and Saturday the 3rd of September was appointed for the sale of same. On that day they were sold.
November 10, 1842.
For the convenience of collecting, the Trustees divided the Congregation of Olive into the four following Districts.
Olive, November 21, 1843.
Recieved of Peter Eckley, Treasurer of Olive Congregation, $133.33, the amount of my salary for the year ending November, 1842. It seems by this that the congregation was already one year behind on the preacher's salary.
The old Trustee record book continues until the year 1864 and consists mostly of elections of officers and records of meetings of the Congregation.