My ggggrandfather John J. Brower (LDC3-6PY) and other family members were baptized the first time their selves in Geauga County Ohio. This was following a debate between Joseph Smith and a Rev Tracy. I have three accounts one being from Joseph Smiths papers. The three don't completely coincide. I am hoping there is a church record of the actual live baptisms as it is important to their history.
Baptism of John J. Brower and his sons William Brower and Joseph Brower
(Joseph Smith Papers Volume 2 Chapter 15 page 218. This is what Joseph Smith had to say about what seems to be the same event as the one that follows. The dates are different but the events seem to support one another.)
FIRST ACCOUNT Original
> The Papers >
History, 1838–1856, volume B-1 [1 September 1834–2 November 1838]
<?School closed?> The school closed the last weed [week] in March, to give the elders an opportunity to go forth and proclaim the gospel preparatory to the endowment. 29 March 1835 • Sunday <?29. Preached at Huntsburgh.?> Sunday March 29th. I preached about three hours, at Huntsburgh, where Where Wm. E. Mc.Lellin, had been debating holding a public discussion on a challenge from Mr J. M. Tracy, a campbellite preacher, the two days previous on the divinity of the book of Mormon, at the close of which two were baptized, and on monday four more came forward for baptism.
History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Period 1; History of Joseph Smith, the Prophet by Joseph Smith, Jr. Vol. II, p. 218.
Sunday, March 29, 1835--I preached about three hours, at Huntsburgh—where William E. M’Lellin had been holding a public discussion, on a challenge from J.M. Tracy, a Campbellite preacher, the two days previous, on the divinity of the Book of Mormon—at the close of which two were baptized; and, on Monday, four more came forward for baptism.
Pioneer and General History of Geauga County Ohio
with Sketches of Some of the Pioneers and Prominent Men 1798-1880 published by the Historical Society of Geauga County p. 751.
I will now relate what I know of the Mormons who became such while living in Huntsburg, and afterwards left for the west, in company with the prophet, Joe Smith. I think it was in the year 1836 that a debate took place between a Rev. Mr. Tracy and Joe Smith, which continued two days. There were also several other Mormon elders present. The debate was held in a school-house just across the road from my house, affording me a good opportunity in listening to the discussion. The question discussed was: “Are prophets needed at the present time?” The Mormons not only contended that they were needed, but that it was in accordance with Scripture, and prophets were ordained now, as in the time of Moses. If Tracy had held Smith to the passage of Scripture, “The law and the prophets were until John,” I think he would have gained the day, but as it was, Smith was too much for him.
Soon after this debate, twelve families joined the Mormons. These families resided in the northwest corner of the township. Their names were as follows: Thomas Faunce, Noah M. Faunce, Peter Consolley, John Brower, William Brower, Joseph Brower, Hiram Cory, Reuben Barton, Moses Gardner, Abram Marble, Nat. Marble, and Alfred Dixon. Also from Clairdon there were: D. Dudley, Samuel Phelps, and some others, who also joined and went off with the Mormons....
In 1836, while living in Huntsburg, Ohio, John J and Mary Ann Brower along with some of their children and friends, listened to a debate between Reverend Tracy and Joseph Smith jr, which continued for 2 days. The debate was held in a school house and the question discussed was ""are prophets needed at the present time?"" Soon after this debate, 12 families joined the Mormons and were baptized; among these were John, Mary, Catherine, William and Eliza Ann Brower, also William H. and Margaret Elizabeth Hussey. Joseph and Cordelia Ann Hussey, Lucinda Brower Bosley and her husband Joshua Bolsey were also baptized. Shortly after their baptisms, John sold his property in Huntsburgh heeding the call of the prophet to go to Missouri. When they got as far as Coles County(now Cumberland County), Illinois, theylearned the Saints were being driven out of Missouri. They concluded to settle down here until they received further instruction from the prophet.
From the history of Margaret Elizabeth Hussey by Oradell Brower Tripplett.