In 1950 the Friends Church on East Main Road in Portsmouth celebrated the retirement of their longtime pastor, Elizabeth Trout.  She had tried to submit her resignation in 1943 and 1949, but her congregation would not accept it.  By 1950 she was no longer able to attend to all the pastoral duties and she desired a rest to visit family.  Elizabeth was so dedicated to her flock that it was her intention to visit every family in the church before she left on her journeys.

Friends corner at time of the Trouts

In 1918 Elizabeth Trout and her sister Ada came to work at the church.  Both women alternated the work of the church until Ada died in 1934 and Elizabeth continued on with the work by herself.

Miss Trout was well prepared for the work.  Elizabeth was born in Pennsylvania in 1879.  She graduated from the Cleveland Bible Institute and she attended and taught at the Evangelistic Institute in Chicago.  She had experience working as a teacher.

Three years after they came to Portsmouth, Ada and Elizabeth reached out to establish a mission at the Coal Mines.  At first they established a summer mission in a tenement, but the cold prevented them from holding winter meetings.  Three years later they established a year round mission at the old school house at the Coal Mines and continued that mission until Ada’s death in 1934.

Education was important to the Trouts, so in 1925 they established a primary school in the basement of the Quaker Meeting House.  They passed on the teaching to Annie Sherman who continued the school until her death in 1940.  At her retirement Miss Trout reflected that the Moses Brown School had started there are well before it moved to Providence.

Elizabeth lived a good long life in retirement.  Until her death she continued to live in Portsmouth with her sister-in-law.   She died in 1975 and is buried at the Friends Cemetery – close to her place of ministry.