Artifact of the Month
Robert Mecklin's Bible
Donated by Roy Warkentin
A native of South Carolina, schoolteacher Robert Mecklin (1798-1871) and his wife Louisa Ann came to Arkansas in 1833. He taught for a time in Little Rock, then at Sophia Sawyer's Fayetteville Female Seminary. In 1845, Mecklin founded the Ozark Institute, a boys' academy located some three miles west of Fayetteville in the community of Mount Comfort. He was elected state senator in 1860. Mecklin died at his home in Mount Comfort in 1871.
The Mecklin Bible was published by the American Bible Society in 1844. Robert Mecklin bought the Bible in 1848 from John Buchanan, a pioneer settler of Cane Hill, who was also a Cumberland Presbyterian minister and agent for the American Bible Society. (see inscription above).
A handwritten note (at left) inside the Bible states that the Bible was "on exhibition at the Centennial held at Fayetteville, Arkansas, which closed on July 5, 1928. This Holy Bible was presented to Helen Louisa McGowan (Hoge) by her cousin, Hon. Hugh A. Dinsmore, on Aug. 9, 1928. It was the property of her grandfather who was Robert W. Mecklin."
In the early 1960s, the Mecklin Bible was found in a San Francisco bookstore by Corliss Eshwig. A teenager at the time, she bought the Bible for her boyfriend, Roy Warkentin. In 2010, Mr. Warkentin donated the Bible to the Shiloh Museum, in memory of Corliss Eshwig.