Source: History of the Eel River Christian Conference (1936), pp. 85-86


Rev. David Hidy was born in Fayette county, Ohio, June 24, 1834. In 1837 he, with his parents, W.M. and Catherine Hidy, came to Indiana, settling on Simington's [Simonton's] creek, Wabash county. He first attended a school held in a log school house near his home in 1842, and by attending faithfully during the winter months he made considerable advancement. At the age of 14 he united with the Pleasant Grove Christian church, under the preaching of Rev. Hallet Barber who also baptized him. In 1853 he was married to Miss Sarah J. Abbott. To them were born five children, two sons and three daughters.

October 8, 1863, he volunteered in the Union army and served as a non-commissioned sergeant in Company E, 130th Indiana Infantry. During the Atlantic campaign he was in 16 battles for a period of 120 days and 200 of his regimental comrades were killed and wounded.

He preached his first sermon at the Union (now Booneville) church, and became a member of Eel River Conference in 1868, and was ordained in 1869. He became at once one of the outstanding ministers of the Conference, and during his lifetime he served with great success, almost all the churches that compose the Conference. He was president of the Conference for four years, was vice-president at three different times, 1874, 1882 and from 1894 to 1910, making 19 years in all. During his ministry he preached about 2,000 funerals, married 1,500 couples, and baptized nearly 600 persons.

Rev. Hidy was a man of God. He was distinguished alike for his godly life and for his zeal for souls. He not only poured out his life in devotion to his own pastorates, but he went far and near in special services. His preaching, like that of the Apostle Paul's "was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power." There was warmth and pathos in his utterances, as well as thought. He clothed his faith and worship with an intellectual garb that appealed to the heart through the understanding. He preached the Bible only and he lived in accordance with his preaching. He had the faculty of impressing his hearers with his absolute and undeviating belief in the truth of all he said. There was no concession to oratorical effort or to literary polish. He said nothing simply because it sounded well, confining himself to straight-forward statements of what he believed and of what he wanted others to believe, and such apparent absolute faith necessarily carried conviction with it. He gave to every question engaging his attention the most conscientious, painstaking thought. His life was a testimony to his faith, what he believed he practiced. He was a hero in service, a Christian in character, and an example in sacrifice, for at no time in his ministry did his salary exceed $600. His footprints have been seen at the door of the poor man's house, and he could be traced to the homes of the sick and suffering. He believed with his whole heart that a preacher's business was soul saving. When God fills a soul with flames that burn and blaze, God is preparing such a one to lead others into the ministry. It is not books; it is not plans and purposes and propaganda that are to save the world to Christ. These are agencies and serve their place. They equip the minister and help him. But only the gospel as it is preached in its purity can save.

There was a tenderness of feeling, a brightness, a kindliness of spirit, free, unassuming demeanor about him that revealed the great soul within, and made those who knew him feel that he was a man who had a grasp on the powers of the world to come. At times he must have felt some faltering, but at those times the Lord always gave him some reassurances.

He was a man whose soul was pure goodness, who was ruled by loftier motives than commonly govern men, whose Christ-like character was his crown, and men, even irreligious men, instinctively yield his memory the homage of their respect and reverence.

Rev. Hidy's life was well filled out with work nobly done, and his death was a fit end of a life of faith and service. As a citizen, as a pastor or as a conference official, he never betrayed the trust reposed in him. His memory is one of the treasures of the Christian church throughout the bounds of the Eel River Christian Conference.

He passed to his eternal reward at is home in North Manchester, Ind., March 13, 1913, surrounded by those who loved him. His funeral was conducted from the Christian church in Manchester, by Rev. Wilson D. Samuel, who was a spiritual son, he having received Samuel into church membership and assisted to ordain him a minister. Hon. O.W. Whitelock, the president of the Conference, assisted in the last sad rites, and the cemetery of the Pleasant Grove Christian church, and there laid to rest among his old neighbors and friends.