Rev. John Rankin

Male 1793 - 1886

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  • Name  Rev. John Rankin 
    Title  Rev. 
    Born  04 Feb 1793  Jefferson Co., TN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  18 Mar 1886  Ironton, Lawrence Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried  Ripley, Brown Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • (c) 2006 Kouns Family Archives

      Ironton Journal May 5, 1869 - Rev. John Rankin, of Ripley, will deliver a lecture in the Presbyterian Church this evening, upon the moade and subject of Baptism.

      I.R. April 5, 1883 - FATHER RANKIN, 94 years old, walked from Col. Gray's residence to the Water Works, through the snow, last Monday to vote. He believes in putting himself to some inconvenience in order to perform the duties of a citizen.

      I.R. March 25, 1886 - REV. JOHN RANKIN - AN INTERESTING FUNERAL SERMON - Rev. John Rankin died at the residence of his grand-daughter, Mrs. Col. Gray's last Thursday evening. Old age and a cancerous affliction combined, brought him to the grave. His death, at any moment, had been expected for some days. On Friday afternoon, at 4 o'clock, the funeral services were conducted at the Presbyterian church. Dr. W. F. Willson, C. Ellison, Jno. Campbell, Wm. Hamilton, J. P. Shaw, R. McConaughy were pallbearers. Nearly all the ministers in town were present and Revs. Robinson, Lindsey, Hill and Mortimer officiated.
      There was a large audience, among whom were several colored people.

      The pastor, Rev. Robinson, delivered an eloquent and instructive funeral sermon, from which we note a few prominent facts: The deceased was born in Jefferson county, Tenn., February 4, 1793, and died March 18, 1886, being over 93 years old. He was one of ten sons, four of whom, with himself, were preachers. His parents were of the old Scotch Presbyterian stock. He entered Washington college, Tenn., when 20 years old and graduated in four years. He volunteered in the war of 1812, but was refused on account of bad health. He married the granddaughter of President Lowry, of the college he attended, before he graduated. He was licensed to preach in 1816. On his way north, he stopped at West Lexington, Ky., where he took charge of a Prebyterian church in 1822, and continued there for a few years, when he went to Ripley, where he preached for 44 years. During all this time he was an active man, lecturing, preaching and founding churches. He established eight new churches in the region of Brown county, and got pastors for them; wrote and published four books and many pamphlets - all, too, outside of his regular church work which he did on a salary of $350 a year, and much of the time bringing up a family of thirteen children. He was a tireless worker for good. Want of means never kept him still. He was the Paul of the 19th century. He founded the Western Tract Society, and begged money to keep it going. His life was full of zealous work for his church.

      As a citizen, he was a great lover of his country, of freedom and equal rights, and he had the courage to stand up for his opinions on all occasions. He organized an abolition society in 1818 and was the first man in this country to take a public stand for immediate emancipation. This he did in pamphlets and lectures; and for which he was mobbed and rotten-egged repeatedly. A price was set on his head. He was a member of the American Anti-Slavery society and one of its lecturers, whose arguments brought into the society some of the leaders whose renown afterward overshadowed their brave and humble teacher. As a helper to slaves escaping northward, he was ever ready, and from his thrilling experiences in this, he recounted some facts on which Harriet Beecher Stowe based some of the most interesting characters of Uncle Tom's Cabin - notably, Eliza and George Harris.

      After Mr. Robinson's discourse, Rev. Mortimer, pastor of the A.M.E. church, made some very appropriate remarks, referring particularly to the gratitude his people owe to the deceased.

      At the close of the services, the remains were taken to the boat, and then to Ripley where they were interred.

      I.R. May 12, 1892 - UNVEILING - The Bronze Bust of Rev. John Rankin - Rev. John Rankin, the noble hero of Freedom, lies buried in the cemetery of Ripley, amid the scenes of his great conflict for liberty a half century ago.

      Last Thursday occurred a beautiful tribute to his memory, when a bronze bust was placed over his grave. The bust is the work of his granddaughter, Mrs. Ellen Rankin Kopp, a teacher in the Chicago Art School. It is life size and is a fithful representation of the brave abolitionist when he was in his prime. The bust crowns a five foot shaft of Vermont granite, resting on a base 2 1/2 feet high. The general effect of this monument is very pleasing; it is harmonious and effective at every point. This beautiful work of art bears this inscription: 'John Rankin and Jane Lowrie Rankin - Freedom Heroes." Beneath the stone rests the wife, too, the faithful ally of the champion of abolition in all his struggles.

      The ceremonies attending the unveiling were beautiful and suggestive. First there was an address at the Presbyterian church by Mr. J. C. Liggett, a merchant of Ripley. There was a large audience and a choir of 100 school children. Then a procession formed and proceeded to the cemetery, where the unveiling of the monument was conducted by Jackson Atwood, a colored man, who made a very eloquent address. He was followed by Rev. S. G. W. Rankin, of Glastonbury, Conn., a son of John Rankin, who spoke to the relatives. Rev. A. T. Rankin of Greensburg, Ind., also addressed the people. A colored choir furnished the music at the unvieling. Capt. A. C. Rankin, of Ripley, was the Mastor of Ceremonies.

      Upon returning from the cemetery, 37 of the decendants of Rev. John Rankin sat down to dinner together. There were five sons and one daughter present. Attending the ceremonies that day were about 50 of the 100 descendants of John Rankin.

      The occasion was a solemn but an enjoyable one, for it was a tribute to sterling worth and heroic duty. Heaven smiled upon the occasion in the form of one of the fairest days of the year.

      I.R. June 30, 1892 - (SEE CHAMBERS BAIRD, he wrote a Sonnett to the Rev. John Rankin)

      S.W.I. Sept. 24, 1912 - MEMORY OF EMANCIPATOR AND REV. JOHN RANKIN HONORED BY COLORED FOLKS - Emancipation Day, the greatest holiday in the calendar of our colored citizens, was duly celebrated Monday by the members of the race in Ironton, assisted by a large gathering and representative colored people from surrounding towns. The memory of the great emancipator and his proclamation were commemorated in a style befitting the occasion and in the festivities of the day the true import of the holiday was not overlooked.

      The exercises of the day began in the forenoon, with a grand parade, in which appeared a large number of our colored citizens, with their families. It consisted of a goodly number of automobiles, wagons, carriages and floats and the colored band from Huntington furnished the music. There were two floats, one bearing colored boys and the other a bevy of little colored girls, who sang patriotic songs along the line of march which extended over the principal streets and up to Beechwood Park, wher the stated program for the day was carried out. The parade was in charge of R. V. Thomas a grand marshal.

      A very touching feature of the day's exercises and one which carried with it a note of deep sentiment was the depositing of flowers on the lawn of the residence of Mrs. Gray, widow of the late Col. Geo. N. Gray, at Sixth and Adams streets. This was in memory of the late Rev. Rankin of Brown county, grandfather of Mrs. Gray and one of the greatest friends of the Negro in slavery days. It was Dr. Rankin who conducted the Ohio end of the famous underground railway and it was at this point that Eliza, the heroine of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe's great work was supposed to have crossed on the floating ice. At least it was here that she secured the local color for the story.

      At Beechwood Park, a large crowd assembled in spite of the inclement weather and enjoyed to the fullest the barbecue feast and the oratorical menu incident to the celebration. The big outdoor feast was served free to all and as there was a bounteous supply of fried chicken, cornpone, hot coffee, vegetables, watermelon and cooling refreshments, it goes without saying that the gastronomical feature was great.

      The following program was carried out: . . .
    • From the Files of:
      Sharon M. Kouns


      Ironton Register, Thursday, February 03, 1876

      Many of our readers know Rev. John Rankin. He has preached here several times, and has contributed interesting articles to the REGISTER. He lived at Ripley 44 years, and is now at his sonís in Lawrence, Kansas. Recently his wedding of sixty years ago was celebrated. We copy from the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal, an account of it.

      The marriage took place at Washington College, Washington County, East Tennessee. Mr. Rankin was licensed to preach the gospel there. Shortly after the birth of his oldest son, he started with his wife and child to go to Ohio, leaving his native State because it was a slave State; but when he reached the town of Paris, in Kentucky, he was influenced by some of the clergy of that region to accept a settlement in the church of Concord, where he was ordained and installed as pastor. Several of his children were born there. He remained there four years, successfully preaching the gospel; then, determined to carry out his original intention, he moved to the State of Ohio; was settled as the pastor of the church at Ripley, where he preached forty-four years. In his advanced age, he resigned the charge of the church, and lived now with his youngest son at Emporia, Kansas. He is now eighty-three, and his wife, eighty years of age.

      The reunion took place at the residence of Hon. John K. Rankin, Mayor of the city of Lawrence, Kansas. The relatives of the family in attendance were Rev. Alex. Rankin, of Baltimore, Maryland, a brother of the groom, and Mrs. Adams, youngest sister of the bride and her three children, Alex. Rankin, Mary Merryweather, and Jno. K. Rankin, a grandson of the oldest brother of the groom, Joseph Rankin, of Kansas City. The children present were R. C. Rankin and wife of Ripley, Ohio; J. T. Rankin of Mississippi; A. C. Rankin, M. D. and wife, of Illinois; Rev. A. T. Rankin, of Indiana; W. A. Rankin and family of Lawrence, Kansas; T. L. Rankin and family, of Emporia, Kansas; Mrs. Jas. Wiley and husband, of Quenemo, Kansas; Mrs. Fletcher and husband, of Douglas County, Kansas. The children absent were Rev. A. L. Rankin, of California; Rev. S. G. W. Rankin of Connecticut, and Mrs. Humphreys, of Huntington, West Virginia. Also cousins present were Mr. Thomas Rankin and wife, of Olathe, Kansas, and a grandson; John C. Rankin and wife, of Osage County, Kansas.

      The meeting was opened by Rev. John Rankin, his golden wedding having been celebrated ten years before at Ripley, Ohio.

    • Received August 20, 2006
      From: Lkpaul425

      I am related to John K. Rankin of Ripley, Ohio. He was the brother of my gggreat-grandfather, Robert Henderson Rankin.
    • Received email August 13, 2007 - another descendant of Rev. John Rankin: James Powers,

      Thanks Jim for sending me the names and dates of Rev. Rankin's children. -
    Person ID  I0282  Campbell Family Southern Ohio
    Last Modified  13 Aug 2007 

    Father  Rankin 
    Family ID  F111  Group Sheet

    Family  Jane Gilfillen Lowry,   b. 01 Dec 1795, Jonesboro, TN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Dec 1878, Lyndon, KS Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  02 Feb 1816  Washington College, Washington Co., East Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Adam Lowry Rankin,   b. 04 Nov 1816, Jonesboro, TN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 06 Apr 1895, Petaluma, CA Find all individuals with events at this location
    >2. Isabella Jane Rankin,   b. 16 Jun 1818, Carlisle, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. aft. June 1, 1880, Ironton, Lawrence Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. David Wilmont Rankin,   b. 18 Sept. 1819, Carlisle, Nicholas Co., KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Dec 1847, residence near Ripley, OH Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Richard Calvin Rankin,   b. 24 Jul 1821, Carlisle, KY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1899
     5. Samuel Gardner Wilson Rankin,   b. 28 Dec 1822, Ripley, Brown Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Julia Doak Rankin,   b. 02 Nov 1824, Ripley, Brown Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. John Thompson Rankin, Jr.,   b. 25 Feb 1826, Ripley, Brown Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Almira Jane McConnaughy Rankin,   b. 20 Feb 1827
     9. Andrew Campbell Rankin,   b. 22 Jun 1828, Ripley, Brown Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location
     10. Mary Eliza Rankin,   b. 21 Feb 1830, Ripley, Brown Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location
     11. William Alexander Rankin,   b. 15 Sept. 1831, Ripley, Brown Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location
     12. Lucinda Rankin,   b. 03 May 1834, Ripley, Brown Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Mar 1856, Urbana, IL Find all individuals with events at this location
     13. Arthur Tappan Rankin, D.D.,   b. 05 Mar 1836, Ripley, Brown Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 09 Oct 1911, Greensburg, IN Find all individuals with events at this location
     14. Thomas Lovejoy Rankin,   b. 16 Jun 1839, Ripley, Brown Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Nov 1915, Quenemo, KS Find all individuals with events at this location
     15. Catherine McCaskey Rankin
    Last Modified  13 Aug 2007 
    Family ID  F253  Group Sheet

  • Documents
    Article about Rev. John Rankin
    Article about Rev. John Rankin
    Found in the Press Gazette, Hillsboro, Ohio July 26, 1960.