“ He took him [Abraham] outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
~ Genesis 15:5 ~ ~ ~
“And so from this one man, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.” ~ Hebrews 11:12
Rev. Abner Holton Deane (1828-1912) = Baptist minister. Major in Union Army. Best known for his
refusal to take the Oath of Allegiance. He was born in Bracken County, Kentucky
and died in Harrisonville, MO.
Perhaps providence prevented his leaving for the gold fields
in 1849, for a horse fell on him and crushed his ankle before he could go.
Instead, he received his license to preach in 1850; emigrating to Austin,
Missouri in 1856 to pastor a circuit of four churches, two in Cass County
(Austin; Dayton) and two in Bates County (Crescent Hill; Knob Creek).When the Civil War broke out, these same
churches recruited four companies of men for the Cass County Home Guards
After the war, he refused to take the Oath of Allegiance (1865-1889) and was consequently jailed for
it. First, he was confined in the jail at Harrisonville, Missouri and then
moved to Independence in Jackson County. He stated in his refusal that: “I have
proved my allegiance to my government by fighting for it; I received my license
to preach from a higher power.” George Caleb Bingham was so moved by his
dissention that he decided to paint a picture of Dean in jail. So in July of
1866, Bingham took his paints to the jail to fashion two pictures of Dean. One
showed him sitting in the lobby of the jail with a Bible across his knees. The
second, in the cell, reveals a noble man on a cot by a small barred window
reading the Bible. Nearby was a copy of the Baptist Journal on the floor. The
saying “one picture is worth a thousand words” brought about the intended
effect and Deane was released.
Historical Note: Rev. A. H. Deane was first listed in
the Blue River Baptist Association, MO. minutes in 1856. In the 1860 Blue River
Association meeting, he was appointed to serve as an evangelist. In the 1877
meeting, he preached an introductory sermon from Psalm 6:4 and in 1885, he
preached on "The Atonement." These are the churches he organized or
served within that association:
Antioch Baptist Church (f. 1889), changed to Buckner Church
in 1883, 5 mi. NW of Harrisonville, MO.
Hopewell Baptist (f. 1835), aka Harrisonville Baptist Church
(1849), Harrisonville, MO.
First Baptist Church (f. 1860), Paola, KS.
First Baptist Church (f. 1872), Belton, MO.
Freeman Baptist Church (f. 1872), Freeman, MO.
Peculiar Baptist Church (f. bef. 1883), Peculiar, MO.
Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church (f. 1868), 6 mi. south of
Pleasant Valley (f. 1883), present Cleveland Baptist Church,
United Baptist Church of Blue Ridge (f. 1848), present First
Baptist Church, Grandview, MO. (Former member: Harry S. Truman)
More to Read:
1. Bingham: Fighting Artist. The Story of Missouri’s Immortal
Painter, Patriot, Soldier and Statesman. By Lew Larkin. Burton Pub., KCMO.,
1954. (Reprinted School of the Ozarks Press, Point Lookout, MO.; 1971)
2. Caught Between Three Fires. By Tom A. Rafiner. Xlibris
3. Jackson County Pioneers. By Pearl Wilcox. Independence, MO.
4. Reminiscences of Half a Century. A.H. Deane. Nos. 1. 3.
1903. Jackson County Historical Society.
5. The Missouri Statesman, July 6, 1866.
6. The History of Cass and Bates Counties, Missouri. St. Joseph, MO;
National Historical Company, 1883. P. 138, 206, 366. 7. History of Cass County, Missouri. By A. L. Webber. 1908.
8. Blue River Baptist Association Missouri. By
Marshall Louis Mertens & O.P. Joyce. Brown-White-Lowell Press. Kansas City,
9. Missouri Roadsides: The Traveler's Companion. By Bill
Earngey. University of MO Press, 1995 10. Cass County, MO. US Gen Website 11. Missouri Death Certificate #35548
12. His wife's Death Certificate #24231 13. Findagrave #7681720
Places to Visit in MO
1. William Jewell
University, (Deane’s portrait), Liberty, MO.
2. Abner Dean's Home
(Built 1867), 702 W. Wall St., Harrisonville, MO. (private home)