The following is the entirety of the memorial. It contains complicated sentences with multiple clauses, but it has only been minimally edited here.
A testimony of Somerset Monthly meeting, Belmont County Ohio, concerning William Flanner, dec'd.
We have believed it right to leave the following upon record concerning this our dear departed friend as a Testimony to the efficacy of that divine power which raised him up and qualified him to become eminently useful in his day and generation being one who was preserved in a remarkable manner in humility in regard to his own attainments, many times remarking "In me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing but by the grace of God I am what I am" and thus being dept, the heavenly treasure in the earthen vessel did shine forth; evincing clearly that the excellency of the power is of God alone who worketh mightily in the heart of men to the cleansing and purification thereof, whereby a preparation is known for allotted service, as well as renewed ability from day to day for the performance thereof to the praise of him who is head over all things to his Church.
He was born the 6th of the 4th month 1766 in the state of North Carolina of parents not of our religious society, and his father dying whilst he was young, the difficulties and privations in his training up were great. When between seven and eight years of age he was put apprentice to a shoemaker during which time he endured many hardships, having very little opportunity afforded him of school learning. He, however, by diligent appliction at times of relaxation from business acquainted so much as to qualify him for the ordinary concerns of life. He appears to have been early visited by the day-spring from on high being made sensible of the monitions of the heavenly monitor to direct in the way of life and peace and by being faithful thereunto he grew in experience as he advanced in age. He however had many deep exercises to pass through, being favoured to see the corruptions of his own heart and enabled to cry for deliverance unto him who is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him.
As he thus continued in a seeking state of mind, he attended the meetings of divers religious persuasions and from his own account it appears that about the 19 year of his age he united himself to the Methodist society, but he soon became dissatisfied, not finding that spiritual sustenance whereby the soul is nourished up unto eternal life. In reference to his situation at this time he says "Things were opened to my understanding and I was mercifully humbled and desired above all things to be rightly directed in so important a matter on which rested the salvation of the immortal soul. I was unwilling to be decieved in any wise and prayed much for heavenly counsel, and did believe I was favored with it. I saw that I had to leave the people I had been professing and meeting with whom I loved and amongst whom to the best of my understanding I had for a time been comforted; now to take up my daily cross. My way I believed was clearly pointed out by the immediate hand of divine love, without the help or counsel of man, creed, or system framed by man or proved by argument. I was to unite with the people called Quakers."
Thus continuing faithful he attended the meetings of friends and in due time became a member of our religious society and through the operations of divine Grace he was qualified and called forth in the service of his Lord and Master, appearing first as a Minister about the 28th year of his age. He was united in marriage to Peninah, daughter of Jacob and Rhoda Parker, and settled at Rich Square, North Carolina, and in a few years he apprehended himself called upon to leave all that was near and dear in this life and travel in the service of the Gospel, and having obtained the concurrence of his friends therefor he proceeded in the [year] 1801 to perform a religious visit in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Between the years 1803 and 1806 he travelled intensively within the limits of North Carolina, Philadelphia, New York, New England, and Virginia Yearly Meetings, to the comfort and edification of the Church.
He removed to the State of Ohio and settled in the limits of Short Creek Monthly Meeting in Jefferson County in the fall of 1808. This devoted servant of the Lord was soon called forth from his new settlement to travel in the service of Truth performing several short visits in this and the following year within this state between which time and the year 1819 he travelled in the love of the Gospel through some parts of Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia, attending the Yearly Meeting of Philadelphia and New York and performing a visit pretty thoroughly to meetings of the latter.
[Note: the following paragraph was edited at some point. The following are the original text and the amended text immediately following.]
[Original text] In the year 1819 he embarked on a religious visit to friends in Great Britain and Ireland but on his arrival at Liverpool was subjected to deep mental conflict and after remaining there and visiting meetings diligently for a short time to the satisfaction of his friends as appears by their Certificate, seeing no way open to proceed further he returned to his native land.
[Amended text] In the year 1819 he embarked on a visit to friends in Great Britain and Ireland arriving at Liverpool and after travelling a short time diligently visiting the meetings of friends to their satisfaction of his friends as appears by their certificate, seeing no way to proceed further he returned to his native land.
In the year 1823 in the ordering of Divine providence he had to pass through a deeply proving dispensation in the death of his beloved wife, which he bore with a good degree of christian fortitude and resignation.
In the year 1825 he was married to Catherine, daughter of Benjamin and Esther Patterson, a member of Stillwater Monthly meeting.
In the year 1828 (having obtained certificates of his Mo. & Qtr. Mtg. & the Y. Mtg. of ministers & elders), he again embarked for England and Ireland and was engaged in visiting in the love of the Gospel the most of the meetings of friends, returning in the following year with the reward of peace.
In the year 1831 he removed and settled within the limits of this mo. meeting after which from increased infirmities he travelled but little, except to attend the Yearly Meeting several times and also his Quarterly, Monthly, and particular meeting; the latter of which he was able to attend until within a few weeks of his death.
He was sound in the faith of the Gospel as received and upheld by us, ever since the Lord first gathered us to be a people and stood as a faithful watchman against any innovations therefrom. In the exercise of his gift as a minister, he was clear and powerful, bearing convincing evidence to the minds of his hearers that with an Apostle, it might be said, he had not "received it of man nor by man neither was he taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." He continued lively in the exercise of his gift and at the last meeting he attended he was engaged in the cause of his Divine Master to the comfort and edification of his friends.
He was a tender nursing father to the young and inexperienced who are laboring under many discouragements and was enabled to hand forth suitably to them, being thereby made an instrument of good to many of this class.
He was a loving husband and a tender parent, careful to set a good example not only to his own family but to the church more at large and particularly we feel bound to record his faithfulness in the timely and diligent attendance of our religious meetings, and his exemplary care in spending the afternoon of the first day of the week in reading the Holy Scriptures and the approved writings of our religious society, avoiding all improper visiting, believing that such a course has an injurious effect and particularly upon the young and rising generation.
His tender & sympathetic feelings were often awakened towards the poor, frequently reminding those who have an abundance of the good things of this life that they are but stewards of the manifold temporal blessings with which they have been favored and therefore the necessity to be liberal in contributing to the relief of the destitute, remembering the scripture language "He that hath pity on the poor lendeth to the Lord and that which he hath given him he will repay him again."
He was taken ill in the 11th mo. 1837 and was subjected to much bodily suffering during the remainder of his life. He, however, retained a lively interest in the welfare of society and the advancement of the kingdom of our dear Redeemer.
At one time in speaking to some friends respecting his bodily sufferings, he remarked "I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better." At another time he said "tell all my friends every where that I die in peace with all men." He continued until the 31st of the twelfth month, when a few hours before his death, he appeared entirely relieved of pain, and thus quietly passed away the 31st of the 12 mo. in the 72 year of his age, and we humbly trust, was prepared to unite with that company which John saw, who had come out of great tribulation, and had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
His remains were interred in friends burying ground at Ridge the 2nd of the 1st mo. 1838, attended by a large number of friends and others, where a solemn meeting was held, and several lively testimonies borne to the efficacy of that Divine power that had qualified him for the work of his day and had called him to fight the good fight, and keep the faith, and to finish his course with joy.
The foregoing memorial concerning our dear deceased Friend William Flanner was read and approved, and the Clerks directed to sign it on behalf of the meeting. Extracted from the minutes of Somerset Monthly Meeting held the 26th of 8th mo. 1844, Asa Garretson and Rachel E. Patterson, Clerks.
The foregoing Memorial concerning our deceased Friend William Flanner was read, approved, and Signed. Stillwater Quarterly Meeting held 29th of 8th Mo. 1844. Robert H. Smith and Rachel E. Patterson, Clerks.