Benjamin Franklin Delo

Obituary of Rev. B. F. Delo from a Clarion Newpaper no date or newspaper name on clipping – clipping was found among the possessions of Grace (Stover) Bryner.  Rev. Delo performed her wedding. 

Rev. B. F. Delo

At exactly five minutes after 12 o’clock as the night turned toward the morning last Tuesday, June 13, 1916, the spirit of the Rev. Benjamin F. Delo, one of the oldest preachers of Erie Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, bade farewell to the scenes of mortality and his loved ones below, and opened his eyes in the world of light and glory and bade good morning to his Saviour and Redeemer and the loved ones who preceded him to the home above.

            Rev. Delo had not been real well for a year or more and his family and friends felt very solicitous as to his condition.  But he continued in his activities public and private very much as he had for years, and made little or no complaint.  Last November or December his indisposition grew more serious and after a number of consultations the physicians agreed that a serious growth had developed in his stomach, which was decided to be cancer, and this it was that finally terminated his life.  He seemed perfectly conscious all along of the danger attending his sickness, but there was never any expression of fear, indicating he had “an anchor . . .(the rest of this paragraph is unreadable).

            Benjamin Franklin Delo was the son of Daniel and Christiana (Lougner) Delo, and was born in Beaver Township, Clarion (then Venango) County, on April 16 1832, thus making him 84 years old last April, when his neighbors and many friends visited him and sent him tokens of their esteem and love, making the day a bright and happy one to him.

            We a boy 12 years of age Rev. Delo’s father and family removed to Clarion, where he attended a summer school, until he was apprenticed in August 1844 to learn the printer’s trade in the Clarion Democrat office, under D. J. Reid and Wm. T. Alexander, his associates in the office being the late John C. Reid, J. F. Weaver, later of Center County, and J. P. George, later of Brookville.  After finishing his trade he went to school and then worked on the Clarion Banner.

            In 1849 he had a definite religious experience and untied with the Methodist Episcopal Church in Clarion.  Following this he went to school, worked at printing, clerked in stores, and taught school until 1852.  He exhibited such gifts and graces that in March 1852, he was given license to exhort by the Methodist Episcopal Church, and from that time on the trend of his life was steadily toward the ministry, though in the fall of 1852 he went to Meadville to work as a printer on the Crawford Journal.  In the spring of 1853 he entered Allegheny College as a student, and July 1855 was licensed as a local preacher on the Shippenville charge.  The next fall there being a demand for his services he preached on the Pleasantville circuit.  Following this he tried the lumbering business, but afterwards went back to the printing business and after other employment, was a foreman of the Crawford Democrat from January 1858 to August 1859.  He then returned to lumbering, but when Col. E. L. Drake struck oil near Titusville in 1859, there was such an influx of people in that region that a demand was made for his services as a second preacher at Titusville and he responded.  In 1860 to 1862 he gave devoted service as a missionary preacher along Oil Creek and became known as a pioneer oil country preacher.  In August 1862, he was appointed preacher on Pleasant Valley circuit, and in 1863 was received as a member of Erie Conference, Bishop Simpson, presiding.

            Having given his life fully to the ministry, his appointments were as follows:  Kinzue, Frewsburg, Cochranton, Youngsville, Wheatland, Brookville, Greece City, St. Petersburg, Presiding Elder Brookville and Clarion Districts, Callensburg, Knox agent for Carrier Seminary and pastor at Clarion.  All through his pastorates success attended him in his work, which as of a constructive nature, and he the joy of seeing many souls coming into the kingdom of Christ through his instrumentality.  It would be impossible to put an estimate upon the good he did throughout his ministerial life, but the amount was large.  He was a truly orthodox, faithful and forceful preacher, some times seeming wonderfully inspired by the Spirit of God in the declaration of Gospel truth.

            On Jan 1, 1857, Mr. Delo and Miss Phoebe Ann Fleming, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Fleming, Jr. of West Hickory, PA, were united in marriage to them were born two sons and one daughter.  Daniel F., the oldest son, died at the age of 24 and his son’s daughter Miss Flora was a great stay and support to her grandfather and grandmother.  The second son, William C. Delo, lived with his father and cared for him to the last.  His only daughter, Mary Ella, died at Wheatland, Pa., aged 6 years, 4 months and 11 days.  Mrs. Delo was and invalid for about twenty-five years and this prevented Rev. Delo from following the life of an itinerant minister, and he finally located in Clarion and went on the retired list in 1897, after having given thirty-three years of effective service in Erie Conference and five years preceding his entrance to the Conference.  Mrs. Delo died August 30, 1913, leaving him with his son and granddaughter.

            Probably the most notable work of Rev. Delo was done during his pastorate in Clarion when he let the members of the Church to erect the beautiful stone church in which they now worship, at and expense at that time of $35,000, but which with the improvements that have been made, could not now be duplicated for twice that sum.  It will stand a s a monument to the far-sightedness and the patient toil of Rev. Delo as well as the loyalty and faithfulness of the membership of the church, who sacrificed to carry out the project he planned.

            The funeral will take place Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock.  The body will be borne from his home to the church at 9 o’clock Friday morning.  All who desire to view the remains should do so before 2’oclock at which time the casket will be closed and the funeral services will begin.  The services will be under the direction of the pastor, Rev. A. C. Locke, and District Superintendent Rev. Dr. C. W. Miner, of DuBois, assisted by visiting ministers of Erie Conference and the Clarion pastors.

Rev Benjamin F Delo  Rev. Benjamin F. Delo

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Father*                     Daniel Delo (b. 09 Dec 1799, d. 19 Dec 1877)

Mother*                    Christina Laughnor (b. 28 Nov 1807, d. 02 Dec 1877)

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Birth*                   16 Apr 1832            Clarion County, PA.

Marriage*            01 Jan 1857            Phoebe Ann Fleming (b. 1836, d. 30 Aug 1913)

Son:                    22 Nov 1857            Daniel Fleming Delo (b. 22 Nov 1857, d. 28 Feb 1882); Clarion County, PA.  

Daughter:           __ ___ 1858            Mary Ella Delo (b. 1858, d. 1862)

Son:                    26 Nov 1859            William Chester Delo (b. 26 Nov 1859, d. 06 Dec 1931); PA.

Death*                13 Jun 1916            Clarion, PA.

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Written by Bob Krepps  © 2002  all rights reserved.  Permission granted to copy for personal & non-commercial purposes only.

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