Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Abner H. Deane

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 (Union).

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 Harrisonville, MO.
Pleasant Valley (f. 1883), present Cleveland Baptist Church, Cleveland, MO.
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 Corporation, 2010.
3. Jackson County Pioneers. By Pearl Wilcox. Independence, MO. 1975.
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, MO.; 1947.
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 and KS;
1. William Jewell University, (Deane’s portrait), Liberty, MO.
2. Abner Dean's Home (Built 1867), 702 W. Wall St., Harrisonville, MO. (private home)
3. Cass County Historical Society, 400 E. Mechanic St., Harrisonville, MO. 816-380-4396


  1. Does anyone Know how to Get a Photo of the Portrait done Of Abner Deane By Capt. Bingham? I recently after doing research found out this would be My Brother and Sisters Great Great Grandfather! Would Love to surprise them with a Copy of the Portrait! Thank You

  2. Wow! That's pretty cool! You would have to contact William Jewell University or the Cass County Historical Society to see if they have a print of Deanne. Good luck!


Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~ Ephesians 1:15-17.