I have included two short histories for the Rogue River (Talent) Church one written in 1905/06 and the other in 1909.
The Missionary Visitor February 1906 page 87
Rogue River Congregation
This pioneer congregation knows little of it beginning. They met hardships and struggled faithful; but only those who have endured hardness as a frontiersman, know of the conflict. It was so personal, so real, so lasting that it became commonplace to the strugglers and their acts and movements were not recorded on earth, but they are not lost.
As near as can be determined, this congregation was organized in the spring of 1877. Alfred Rummel was the first settler of the Brethren, G. W. Hoxie their first elder. But eight took part in the organization. Their first love feast was at D. Whitestone’s house in 1879. In 1883 they gathered enough financial strength to erect a meeting house costing $800. Though serving this congregation for nearly thirty years as elder, Bro. Hoxie is still retained and is fervent in spirit, and earnest in defending the faith of the church. There are now seven in the official body. Their present membership is thirty-seven.
Perhaps Rogue River has lived a life much like some congregations in the East. They have not increased their own number, as far as present membership is concerned, simply because they have, through emigration of members, founded a number of new congregations farther out on the frontier. The congregation reports the outlook for the future good and press on in the struggle against sin in this great, good land
The above history was sent in to the Missionary Visitor by Z. P Webster.
Talent Church History
The following appears to have been written by the son of Bro. W. T. Nininger.
Ashland, Ore. Feb. 25, 09. (1909)
At the request of our committee, I have agreed to write a brief history of the Church of the Brethren , or Dunkards, here in Rogue River Valley.
The exact date of its organization, I am unable to give, but if my memory serves me right, my father and mother, Bro. W. T. Nininger and wife, Bro. J. B. Nininger and wife, Bro. A. R. Moomaw and wife, Bro. Manily Broiley and wife, Sister Sarah J. Firestone and my wife and I, came here in the spring of 1882, and temporarily located in Ashland, Ore. In this place there had been a church organized for sometime, with about fifteen or sixteen members, who were widely scattered over the country, there being a distance of fifty or sixty miles between some of them. As they had no church house they held their services in the school houses. At this time Bro. G. W. Hoxie was their Minister and temporary housekeeper, but later on was ordained Elder. A few years later, Oct. 14, 1892 Elder David Brower moved into Rogue River church district, and made his home in Talent, Ore., and presided as Elder until his death in 1900, when J. P. Moomaw took his place and presided until he moved away and again the office reverted to Bro. Hoxie, who served until, by his request Elder L. C. Ninear was chosen as presiding elder. Bro. Ninear had served but a few months when his death occurred. The Bro. C. C. Root having moved was chosen Elder, who served for one year, when on account of ill health was relieved of the office, which was again returned to Bro. Hoxie, who still holds it.
In 1883 the members decided to build a church house in Ashland, for as yet they had to hold their prayer meeting and other services in private homes.
With Bro. Hoxie living forty five miles away, and with no place to hold services when we did have a preacher, it was very seldom that the members here could hear any sermons by the Brethren. But then in 1884 our little house was completed and we had a minister in town, things seemed much better, until trouble arose and the members scattered out or moved away, leaving the house stand vacant for several years. When it was moved to Talent, where it still stands. After a few years several Brethren and my self returned to Ashland and decided to build another church, which was soon done, and the body was organized which is now called Ashland Congregation.
Elder David Brower moved into the Rogue River Valley church October 14th, 1892, died March 29th, 1900.
C. E. Nininger Was installed in the 1st, degree of ministry Sept. 10th, 1893 at the District Meeting held with the R. R. Church held on that date.
B. M. Brower and wife located in the R. R. Congregation Nov. 19, 1893, was installed to the work of the ministry in the fall of 1894. He was a member of the Dist. Missionary and Tract Committee from its organization in 1885 to 1901, serving as clerk of board nearly all of that time.