Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Harrington Family, Harrington Chapel and Epworth League

Some of our female ancestors were active members of the Fannie Harrington Chapel congregation so it is time to write about the Harrington family in Texas.

Jonathan Harrington was born in 1786 in Virginia. His two sons, Alfred (b.1812) and Silas (b. 1814) came with their families to Collin County, Texas in 1848. It was three years after Texas became a state and about two years after Collin County was formed. In the year 1848, the town of McKinney was established as the Collin County seat.

Alfred and Silas Harrington were some of the earliest settlers in the area of Plano.

Silas' son Silas Marion Harrington (b.1883) graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and after that, in 1881, he opened a pharmacy in Plano, Texas.

In 1982, the Harrington family bought the carpentry (furniture shop) and undertaking business from Mr. Andrew Wetzel. Silas Harrington's son, Edwin Omar became the manager of the Harrington Furniture and Undertaker Store (which was opened from 1893 to 1980s).

On 9 October 1903, Mrs. Mary Franklin (Fannie) Harrington nee Mathews organized a chapel which was called after her name.

Fannie Harrington was the wife of John Huffman Harrington, Alfred's son. She was born on 18 February 1859 in Collin Co., TX to Mr. Benjamin Franklin Mathews and Mary Yeager.

The chapel organized by Fannie Harrington was a Methodist church which served the rural community of Collin County. The lady leader and the congregation members visited people who lived in the area and helped those who were in need.

Our aunt Victoria belonged to the Epworth League of the Harrington Chapel. The league was a youth section of the church (for persons at the age 18-35) which met on Sunday nights. The programme of the meetings was published in a local weekly newspaper. I have come across such an announcement while browsing The Portal to Texas History archives.

Harrington Chapel  

Epworth League

The following program will be rendered Sunday, April 9, 7 o'clock:
Leader - Miss Victoria Gant,
Scripture reading.
Roll call - answer with verse of scripture.
Reading - Miss Ethel Cothes.
Talk - Mrs. John Harrington.
Solo - Mrs. Clint Kennedy.
Reading - Miss Ruby Mathews.
Bible characters.
Reading - James Bryan.

Clipping source: The Plano Star-Courier (Plano,Tex), Vol. 27, No. 44, Ed. 1 Friday, April 7, 1916 Page: 7 of 10, accessed 05/18, University of North Texas Libraries,  The Portal to Texas History, crediting Collin County Genealogical Society

Miss Victoria Gant was our aunt, I am going to write a post about her soon. Mrs. John Harrington was, of course, Fannie, the church leader of course.

The Harrington Chapel was also a social circle - the congregation members spent time together at weekends. The information about such activities was included in the "social column" of a local newspaper as well.

Harrington Chapel

Miss Victoria Gant spent time with Miss Ethel Howard.
Miss Erickson spent Saturday and Sunday with Miss Leona Mathews.
Mrs. Green Bishop spent Sunday afternoon with her aunt, Mrs. Barcus.
Mrs. Gofforth of Renner was the guest of Miss Powell Saturday and Sunday.
Clint Haggard visited relatives and friends in this community over Sunday.
Ernest Bishop and Fred Lunsford were in our community Sunday afternoon.
Several from this community attended Trades Day at Plano last Monday.
Miss Cassie Dillehay and little sister Myrtle, spent a few days last week with Harry Dillehay and wife.
The little son of Mr. and Mrs. Gibbons died Friday and was buried at Rowlett Saturday. We extend sympathy to the bereaved ones.
The conference which was held at the Chapel Saturday and Sunday proved to be a great success in every way. Rev. Spragins preached three very fine sermons. Each church of the district was represented by one or more of the stewarts.
Harrington Chapel, April 15
Clipping Source:  Perkins, Tom W. & Wilson, Walter B. The Weekly Democrat-Gazette (McKinney, Tex.), Vol. 30, No. 11, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 18, 1912, newspaper, April 18, 1912; McKinney, Texas. ( accessed May 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, crediting Collin County Genealogical Society.

According to my finds, many Plano families, including the Gants, Haggards, Harringtons, Lunsfords, the Mathews family, and the Bishops were related to each other in one way or another.
Miss Ethel Howard was Victoria Gant's first cousin. Clinton Shepard Haggard, mentioned above, was born circa 1878 and was married to Miss Nancy Catherine Lunsford. He was the uncle of Fred Lunsford.

Anyway, the Fannie Harrington Chapel was dissolved in 1962.

What was our relation to John Huffmann Harrington and Miss Fannie, his wife?

Via Miss Vera Virginia Andrews* (born 26 Dec. 1897, Collin, TX), our fourth cousin twice removed. Vera's husband was Silas Liter Harrington (born 1896). John Huffman was a brother of a grandfather of Silas'.

Silas Liter Harrington 
his father Joseph Alfred Harrington (b. 31 March 1874, Collin Co., TX/ d. 9 April 1957, Plano, Collin, TX)
his father Silas Liter Harrington (b. 29 April 1851, Plano, Collin, Texas/ d. 21 March 1932, Collin, TX)
his brother John Huffman Harrington ( 11 August 1858, Shelbyville, Kentucky / d. 8 Dec. 1942, Collin, TX).

*based on my MyHeritage research



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